Times 26739 – Pennies dropping

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
This was one of those puzzles which involved a little head-scratching at times followed by penny-dropping moments when an answer, or the reason why, suddenly became apparent and the beauty of the setter’s art was revealed. Or maybe I was just slow to see what seemed obvious afterwards. For instance, it took me a while to see why 1a was what it was, even though I’m supposed to be a golfer. The one I didn’t know ‘why’ was 8d, although it was easy enough to guess, and I just avoided the possible error at 11a – easy to mis-spell unless you’ve parsed it correctly.
30 minutes, one coffee, before I was ready to write it up. Definitions underlined.

1 Forest resident shot brother it’s said (8)
CHIPMUNK – CHIP = shot, a chip shot in golf, MUNK sounds like MONK = brother. I wasn’t aware chipmunks were particularly forest-dwellers, but I’ve only seen them in cartoons.
9 Scripture studies likely to be trustworthy (8)
RELIABLE – R.E. Religious education, LIABLE (to be) = likely (to be).
10 Antagonise sergeant given new order (8)
ESTRANGE – (SERGEANT)*. I didn’t feel estrange was a particularly close synonym for antagonise, but it had to be a simple anagram.
11 Equipment that is left with schoolboys’ mother? (8)
MATERIEL – MATER = schoolboys’ mother, I.E. = that is, L(eft).
12 Welsh girl ditching singular Belgian writer (3,7)
IAN FLEMING – Of course, I was thinking, how many Belgian writers do I know? Well… Simenon. Hergé, is he a writer? VAN somebody? But no. SIAN is a Welsh girl’s name, drop the S for singular (not the I for singular as I did at first), and Flemings are people who live in Flanders.
14 City boundaries in Split survive (4)
LAST – LA = Los Angeles, city; ST = boundaries in Split. There is no city called STBE.
15 Deputy puts name to Democrat in smear (5-2)
STAND-IN – STAIN = smear, insert N and D.
17 Star now dimmed was in perfect form (3-4)
HAS-BEEN – A change of tense, WAS is past continuous, HAS BEEN is past perfect continuous. Hence ‘perfect’.
21 Try to quit search on Net producing lustful gaze (4)
OGLE – Remove GO (try) from Google (search on net).
22 Fight on: one’s embedded in position (10)
RESISTANCE – Need to separate ‘fight’ from ‘on’. RE = on, STANCE = position, embed I’S.
23 Opening refuge in wild that has no lake (8)
FENESTRA – NEST = refuge, inside FERA(L) = wild with no L(ake). Latin for window, used more often in English in adjectival form, fenestrate or fenestral.
25 English lord stirred trouble in fabulous location (2,6)
EL DORADO – E(nglish), (LORD)*, ADO = trouble.
26 Former head admitting it’s an indicative survey (4,4)
EXIT POLL – EX = former, POLL = head, admit IT.
27 Shameless Mussorgsky introducing himself (8)
IMMODEST – Well, Mussorgsky’s first name was Modest, so he’d meet you and say Hi, I’M MODEST. He did some pretty good stuff, Pictures at an Exhibition being the most often heard.

2 Holding back as it then turned out (8)
3 Fuel vessel stopped by pilots following one (8)
PARAFFIN – PAN for vessel, holds RAF, F(ollowing), I (one).
4 Bone discovered up in San Luis (4)
ULNA – Hidden reversed in S(AN LU)IS.
5 Where was crackpot like Mr Stalin in the end? (7)
KREMLIN – &Lit; anagram of (LIKE MR N), the N being the end of Stalin.
6 See-through material helping good girl (5,5)
PLATE GLASS – PLATE = helping, G(ood) LASS.
7 Reject ruling? (8)
ABDICATE – Cryptic def.
8 Smart to include width and length in scientific language (3,5)
NEW LATIN – NEAT = smart, insert W(idth, L(ength), add IN. Apparently there was a long period from 1300 on, when early scientists tried to revive Latin as their lingua franca, but why it was called ‘New Latin’ not just good old Latin I know not.
13 Going from Mali’s capital to Nigeria possibly (10)
EMIGRATION – fortunately you don’t need to know that BAMAKO is the capital of Mali. It’s an anagram of (M, TO NIGERIA).
15 Second bed delivered without damage (4-4)
SCOT-FREE – S for second, COT for bed, FREE for delivered.
16 Having reached 50, worker lives in fantasy land (8)
ATLANTIS – AT L = having reached 50; ANT = worker, IS = lives. It can’t be a fantasy land; I remember Patrick Duffy (later of Dallas fame) as the Man from Atlantis, he was real enough and could do lots of cool stuff I wanted to do, like breathe underwater.
18 Parliamentary official seen in two sorts of bar (5,3)
BLACK ROD – BLACK, as in bar, black-ball; ROD, as in bar. Chap who exists in several Commonwealth countries as well as UK, who bangs on the door of the Commons three times with his black stick, to gain admission.
19 Refuses puzzles that Times compiler’s originally entered (8)
EXCLUDES – ELUDES = puzzles, insert X (times) C (compiler’s originally). Neat misdirection here.
20 National Prime Minister losing day (7)
ISRAELI – Chestnut time. Disraeli loses the D(ay).
24 Dutch town that’s invented might one infer? (4)
EDAM – I wondered if this was a typo, invented should be inverted? MADE reversed spells EDAM, a Dutch town famous for its rather dull cheese. Or do we see MADE as a synonym for invented, and ‘make’ Edam from it? Anyway that’s the answer. The name EDAM arises because of a DAM on the River E, apparently (I know, a one-letter river, but that’s what it is.)

47 comments on “Times 26739 – Pennies dropping”

  1. More simple than that. MADE up(wards).
    But then … maybve that’s what you intended?

    Edited at 2017-05-31 05:34 am (UTC)

  2. Not sure how I’ve existed for (inaudible mumble) long years without being aware of the word MATERIEL. Oh well, there it is, and it parses perfectly. Much better than my biffed solution, which I’m pretty sure you can guess.

    An enjoyable 14:56 otherwise. COD and WOD to BLACK ROD, one of those quaint Westminster traditions that found its way to the colonies. Seems more suited to King’s Landing than to Canberra, but I guess that’s the fun of it.

    Thanks setter and Pip.

    1. Like Galspray, I too missed 11ac MATERIEL, so a 36min failure – but I did know the word – rats! Read the clue, Meldrew!

      Otherwise only 8dn NEW LATIN held me up.

      EDAM is such a pretty town with lousy rubber cheese. Gouda is a horrible town with far better fare, especially the aged variety.
      Never seen or tasted aged Edam, bar my mother’s fridge!

      COD 17ac HAS-BEEN. WOD 23ac FENESTRA (Windows 1.0).

  3. Deffo on the right wavelength today: 16 minutes, all parsed and all bear traps avoided (e.g. 11a), despite briefly flirting with FANLIGHT for 23a.
    I shall now wear a self-satisfied smirk for the rest of the day.
  4. Agree with the blogger about 10ac but perhaps there is some prescience going on. I include my website forum offering here
    < I agree with Mhairi Black that it’s antiquated and William Morris that it is a dung-heap but even i have witnessed the opening of that collective of (c)rooks where the said official bangs on the commons door with the said stick (maybe should be upgraded to a taser). Perhaps it’s a bit early for a 26ac but on this day I am glad to see the end of May.>
    There is only one thing than being witty and that’s not being witty. Evenso a 20-minuter with other stuff going thru my poor brain too. Don’t know what’s the matter with me
  5. 9:53 … and nary a biff in sight — just as well or I would surely have been a material girl.

    By chance I finally got round to watching Joanna Lumley’s homage to Ian Fleming (Where Bond Began) last night so I took solipsistic joy in seeing that one emerge.

    1. Proper credit due for that time, even if you’re not a material girl.
      1. ‘umble doff of the cap / courtesy etc. Faster times are, of course, available, but any time I’m around 1.5 Jasons I’m not going to be too modest about it, much as I may have to be modest about.
    2. I’ve been on the run all day but it came to me on my travels that in WWII the ATS were the “materiel girls”. My late father was one of Fleming’s commandos – and despised him as they all did because he spent the war in Whitehall plotting preposterously dangerous missions for them. However my dad is mentioned a couple of times by name in The Man With The Golden Gun. Good time indeed Sotira.
      1. The programme mentioned that even the woman who would become his wife teased him along those lines, calling him a “chocolate soldier”
  6. 35 minutes, so I was quite pleased with that and found the puzzle lively and inventive. I didn’t fully understand the parsing at 17ac but was getting there and had made a connection with grammar. EDAM for “made” up is stinky old cheese as far as clue setting is concerned but disguising it as “invented” improves it just a tad.
  7. Under 35 mins over a Fat Rascal (pictured) – so nothing too stretching and some great clues. I especially enjoyed COD Mr Stalin and the trip from Mali. Wordplay forced the right vowels in 11ac and 23ac in my case. DNK New Latin, but it had to be. Thanks for a good one setter and Pip.
  8. Went smoothly but a technical DNF since I left the type of latin blank until I had more crossres and then forgot to go back and fill in the, by then obvious, N as the first letter. With just the W, having heard of pig-latin I wondered if cow-latin was a thing.

    Struggled with ABDICATE since I could only see OBLIGATE every time I looked at it, and being the type of clue it was I wasn’t really sure what I was looking for. More than just a word with two meanings, anyway.

    I went through almost the same sequence of logic for the Dutch author, even wondering if Hergé was in play, assuming it started VAN and then the penny dropping.

  9. I knew MATERIEL, and of course it fits the def a hell of a lot better than ‘material’, but I didn’t let that keep me from biffing. I was unsure if BLACK=bar, but figured that some sort of blackballing meaning existed. No problem with the Belgian, unlike Robert Benchley, who wasn’t sure if someone from Flanders who spoke Flemish was a Flan or a Flem.
  10. Distinctly Mondayish feel to this. 17 mins, with 3 spent on excludes at the end.
  11. About 35 mins, ending with NEW LATIN, where I was held up by parsing ‘smart’ as ‘EAT IN’, and not being able to account for the initial N.

    Didn’t see the perfect-continuous tense bit of HAS BEEN, so thanks for pointing that one out.

  12. Usual time. I, too, considered COW LATIN. This was an enjoyable crossword.
    CODs to the writer who wasn’t SAN ABELING and KREMLIN.
  13. Pleasant enough puzzle without being exceptional. Liked the KREMLIN clue but thought the setter tired towards the end with the two chestnuts at 20D and 24D
  14. Lovely offering today. 17m and the only one biffed was Mussorgsky (is Modest really a first name, even for a Russian?)
    16 yrs army left me very familiar with materiel,a bit of Latin at school made fenestra a write-in,and after Atlantis and El Dorado I was half expecting to see Shangri-La pop up somewhere.
    It is always very enjoyable to drag up bits of vaguely familiar GK en route to completion, and this was no exception. Thank you setter and blogger for confirming his modesty.
  15. I tried to make a Shelduck prefer forest lakes before memories of the CHIPMUNK’s Ragtime Cowboy Joe saved me. I seem to remember a couple of the wretched things in costume molesting guests at Disneyland too. I spelt MATERIEL correctly, having parsed it. Liked the IAN FLEMING clue having watched a programme about the various Bonds on BBC4 a couple of nights ago. I first encountered Roger Moore as Ivanhoe fighting against the manor where tyranny is Lord. Yep, everybody is younger than me nowadays, I’m a COD HAS BEEN, but at least I’m in perfect form. 28 minutes. Lots of good clues. Thank you Pip and setter.
  16. 18:13 with no real hold-ups.
    Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition is a fine piece but ClassicFM seem obsessed with only ever playng the last picture The Great Gate of Kiev. Watchers of Walt Disney’s Fantasia will recall his other great hit, Night on a Bare Mountain. I recollect probably incorrectly that Tchaikovsky’s brother was also called Modest.
    Thanks S and pip.
  17. 19 minutes, but would have been much faster if I hadn’t convinced myself that 5d had something to do with ‘stern’ (last letters of was, crackpot, like, Mr, Stalin, followed by ‘in the end’). 1a (LOI) would have help me eliminate that rufous piscine.


  18. A quick for me 16.18 with some time wasted at the end putting FENESTRA together. Sian is the only Welsh girl who ever gets a look in at crosswords otherwise I might have lost more time running through my list of famous Belgians.
  19. 15 min, but having biffed MATERNAL at 11ac, getting 7dn left me with a valid word, so didn’t go back to think about clue in haste to submit in that time.
  20. Pip’s right about chipmunks not necessarily being forest critters – we used to have a family living in the wood pile until a black snake took up residence. I was briefly held up trying to squeeze Mae West into 17a and NEW LATIN was a slow parse for some reason. 12.09
  21. 8m 30s for me. It was only when I came to this page that I realised the clue for 1a began “Forest” rather than, as I’d read, “Former”. No wonder I couldn’t understand the definition.

    MATERIEL came up in a semi-final of the Times championship in 2015, if I remember rightly, but fortunately not the one I was in.

    1. You’re right and that’s what enabled me to enter it confidently. If memory serves it was the clue that did for Cryptic Sue on the day for which I remain grateful as it meant I snuck into 25th place and got a free pass for 2016.
  22. Just back from 10 days in Greece, so the brain can only run to a choice of beer, red wine or pina colada for lunch (answer -all three please just to start). Anyone remember Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s take on Mussorgsky? (Helped me to remember his name). Two down one to go so to speak. I somehow managed to complete this in just under 30m even with a brain that hasn’t been used for a while. Right, where’s the ouzo…
    1. A fine band. Very sad to lose Keith and Greg last year; Carl still making music – long may he continue to do so.
  23. I finished in exactly the same time as Sotira making 9:53 today’s mode.

    I only parsed Kremlin after the event and had no idea that Mussorgsky wasn’t called Graham or Reg.

    1. Love the Magritte piccie. I’m sure Michael Jackson based his song Man in the Mirror on him, non?
  24. I seem to fill crosswords most days in about 15 mins, only for the last 3 to stump me for the next 30 mins. Today was no exception, and after realising that CLEAR GLASS wasn’t getting me anywhere, I was left with 7d and all the letters in place. As with Paul above, all I could see was obligate. COD HAS-BEEN for confusing me even after submission.
    1. Really? I’m surprised it wasn’t mentioned in one of the previous 27 comments.

      Oh wait, it was. In the first one.

  25. I enjoyed this one, especially as I avoided the elephant trap at 11a. A post solve google advises that material is stuff and materiel is military stuff: so now I know, having been previously unaware that there were two spellings with different meanings! My FOI was ULNA, rapidly followed by CHIPMUNK. LOI was ABDICATE. Didn’t spot the anagram for 5d, and constructed 8d and 23a from wordplay. I did however know Modest, so that was a write in. A quickish for me 24:51. Thanks setter and Pip.
  26. Going pretty well this week. A few trip-ups today along the way though. Semi-biffed “insistance” for 22ac, and wanted 13dn to be “elimination” but it wouldn’t fit. Liked ABDICATE, KREMLIN and HAS-BEEN.

    Edited at 2017-05-31 02:33 pm (UTC)

  27. 7m. Felt very much on the wavelength with this one, confirmed by the fact that I managed – most uncharacteristically – to avoid the MATERIAL biff-trap.
  28. Wow! I never knew that. The straight etymology of the name reads just like a cryptic crossword clue… and could be used as one!
  29. 11 mins with FENESTRA my LOI after EMIGRATION. I’d have been a lot quicker had I seen IAN FLEMING as quickly as I should have done. MATERIEL went straight in from both the definition and the WP, and “material” was never considered.
  30. 50m for me, handicapped by a 2am start and solving on a Ryanair flight. I think that’s pretty good given the circumstances. Today I learned Mussorgsky’s first name. FOI 1a, LOI 13d, pleasant solve all round. Did the Guardian to boot and still had time left over on the way to Crete.

  31. About the usual 20 minutes or so, ending with the unknown (to me) BLACK ROD. That was a guess from the checking letters more than anything else, and a very vague memory of it having appeared in some earlier puzzle. I don’t keep track of all these Parliamentarians. I also didn’t know Mussorgsky’s given name, which certainly appears unusual. But beyond that no real problems, although I needed a few extra moments to see ABDICATE. Regards.
  32. Lucky day for me today and as there have been so many allusions to it being a *Monday* puzzle, I am under no illusions that tomorrow I shall be back to my usual paltry 5 or 6 correct. It has been nice whilst it lasted.

    It’s (E)strange that the anagrammed sergeant should turn up in both the QC and 15×15….and similar elegant clueing. Coincidence?

    2CODs…27a simply because I shocked myself by remembering his first name and
    17a for the grammar lesson, thank you Pip and setter.

  33. I was really happy with my 22 minute solve, but it was a DNF. Strangely enough, the mistake was not the unknown BLACK ROD, but of course the MATERIAL trap.
  34. I had all but five clues (12ac, 17ac, 14ac, 3dn and LOI 7dn) solved in 24mins on the train this morning. I managed to find a convenient break during work and tidied up those stragglers in another 3mins later on this morning. I knew materiel vs material, I saw the former somewhere fairly recently I think it may have been in Robert Harris’s Cicero Trilogy. “Has-been” went in on the basis of checkers and “star now dimmed” wondering if the rest were padding or, as it turned out, something more sophisticated which went over my head (thanks for the explanation blogger). I was hesitant over the first “bar” in 18dn but have seen “black” alone rather than blackball stand for bar in a previous crossword. I thought 2dn was neat, I liked the Kremlin clue but COD to the shameless 27ac.

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