Times 26740 – a little one’ll do you

Solving time : 40:40 – I think that’s about the longest it has ever taken me to complete one of these, and at least half of it was on the last two answers, both of which I was on edge about.

Excuses? I’m tired, and hungry, and not thinking straight and this may be a difficult puzzle, though looking back I’m not sure why I made such a meal of it.

Away we go…

1 HEDGEROW: ROW(dispute) after HEDGE(cautious declaration)
6 SUCKLE: alternating letters in KiLlEr after CU’S reversed
9 FABRIC: FA(musical note) and then BRIC(k). I spent a long time trying to make this end in LEG
10 ROUND OFF: ROUND(orb) and OFF(out of alignment)
11 KEPI: K(king) and I surrounding EP
12 PLAGIARISM: two A’s in an anagram of PILGRIM, literary lifting
14 PHANTOMS: PANTO(traditional play) and MS(manuscript) surrounding H(igh)
16 NAVY: V(against) in an anagram of NAY
18 SPUN: PUNS (attempts at wit) with the S moved to the front
19 CHIVALRY: VARY(are at odds), holding L after CHI(a capital CHI looks like an X)
21 CONTRABAND: ART(craft) reversed in CON BAND
22 DABS: This was my last in – I think it’s a double meaning, with the fish and a DAB HAND could be an expert witness? Edit: didn’t take long for multiple corrections to come in – it is slang for fingerprints
24 MISSOURI: MISS(maiden) and then (h)OURI
26 ACIDIC: CID(section of the law), I inside AC
28 NUMBERED: NUMBER(edition, issue) then ED
2 ERASE: ERAS(times) then (decad)E
4 RECEPTORS: P(olic)E inside RECTORS
6 STUDIO: OUTS(gives away) containing I’D, all reversed
7 COD: DOC(bones, doctor) reversed
8 LIFE SAVER: anagram of RIVAL’S,FEE
13 RANK AND FILE: RANK(highly offensive), AND(also) FILE(smooth)
15 HYPNOTISE: HYPE(large plug) containing an anagram of IS,NOT
17 WIND FARM: swap the first letters of FIND WARM
20 SALUTE: reversal of AS, then LUTE(thing that needs plucking)
23 BAIZE: sounds like BAYS, and the surface of a pool table.
Had to get this by going through the alphabet options for the first letter twice
25 SOP: double definition for a concession and abbreviation for SOPRANO

55 comments on “Times 26740 – a little one’ll do you”

  1. For the blog George.
    Also last in with DABS: slang for fingerprints.

    Looks like we’re all agreed!

    But now I see we also need “edition” (not issue) for NUMBER at 28ac. My COD

    Edited at 2017-06-01 05:04 am (UTC)

  2. Thanks for all the DAB clearing up – I’ll put a note in the blog. I now see that it is in Collins, it is not in Chambers. I meant edition=issue=number, I’ll fix that too. Ta!
  3. I probably took the same time George did just to start this SOB! I just couldn’t get going. FOI 8dn LIFE SAVER and everything else then fell into place in 35 glorious minutes,finally nailing 2dn ERASE. (Was looking for an X somewhere because of ‘Times’). 11ac KEPI was my penultimate answer – what is wrong with me!

    COD 3dn GORDIAN KNOT nicely disguised anagaram with hon. mention to 12ac PLAGIARISM.

    WOD DABS (More jargon from Dixon of Dock Green!). Wearing gloves on the job is a must!

    Evenin’ all!

    Edited at 2017-06-01 05:16 am (UTC)

    1. I’d come back to mention, but you got there first, that I’d not heard DABS for “fingerprints” for years despite being an avid fan of UK TV cops shows, but it was used constantly on “Dixon of Dock Green” – every week several times probably.

      Edited at 2017-06-01 05:22 am (UTC)

      1. Two other DoDGy words – All suspects were known to Det. Inspector Andy Crawford as ‘Chummy’ and the telephone was referred to as ‘the blower’ – as in Chambers.
        Lord Galspray at 43.46 shares my LOI- why was it so damned elusive!?
        1. In my case it was largely because I had fat-thumbed HADGEROW into 1ac. But yeah, even after fixing that it took a while for the penny to drop.
  4. 22ac, DABS is police slang for finger-prints. Also I think “switching” in 15dn is just changing the order of IS NOT to NOT IS rather than indicating an anagram. Green BAIZE cloth is a “playing area” for many games other than pool and snooker etc, e.g. card games and roulette.

    I agree this was tough although I started very well in the NE corner and had most of that and the SE completed before I ran into problems. LH was like a war of attrition and I seriously expected not to finish without resorting to aids, but it came together and I completed in 61 minutes.

    Edited at 2017-06-01 05:12 am (UTC)

  5. Like Jack, I wasn’t confident of completing this, but got there in the end. The toughies took ages, and the less tough (LOI ERASE!!!) took longer. I also hesitated for a long time over CHIVALRY, just couldn’t see the parsing, partly confused by thinking “line” accounted for RY.

    Great Gordian knot of a puzzle. Thanks setter and George.

  6. I didn’t finish, as 16ac eluded me, or at least patience did. DNK DABS, but inferred, correctly as it turns out, that it was UK police talk for fingerprints; and anyway I couldn’t think of any other fish. BAIZE my LOI; getting the B freed me from playing with ‘neigh’. I agree with Jack on HYPNOTISE, although I suppose ‘switching’ is less far-fetched as anagrind than some words we’ve had.
    1. There’s no rhyme or reason is there? After about 5 unproductive minutes 16ac was my first one in!
  7. … as the hour drew closer I threw in the towel with MISSOURI, SOP and HYPNOTISE left blank. Good crossie, despite being a dnf.

  8. 19:29 … admirably concise clueing for such fiendish wordplay.

    Last one in for me was PHANTOMS, struggling to parse it as I always forget that “touch of” device for indicating a first letter.

    For some reason DABS as prints makes me think of The Sweeney, but I could be wrong as I usually wasn’t allowed to watch it!

    1. My dad made us watch it! I don’t think the boys used ‘dabs’ as evidence – just whoever looked the most guilty! I hope Blue Peter was OK! RIP John Noakes.
      1. Get your trousers on, you’re nicked!

        Who are you?
        We’re the Sweeney, son,and we haven’t had any dinner.

        1. Heh. Yes, thinking about it some more, and recalling the odd bits I managed to watch before being sent to bed and the odd re-run I watched later, I was clearly wrong. If a bloke looked shifty, that was that. Evidence was for college boys, briefs and other ponces.

          @horryd – yes, Blue Peter was allowed and almost compulsory, and John Noakes of course my favourite presenter. I rewatched his notorious Nelson’s Column climb the other day and laughed while my palms sweated. Brilliant stuff.

    2. Reminds me of the constant battle with our parents to be allowed to stay up and watch the Australian police drama Homicide.

      We’d plead with them to let us watch at least the beginning, knowing that each episode started with some nasty business.

      Negotiations usually ended with “Ok, you’re watching the murder, then you’re going straight to bed!”

      Textbook 1960’s parenting.

  9. thanks, all clear except 24a, why does without aspiration mean without the first letter?

  10. Just an hour (with croissant). I found this v. tricky – with some well disguised definitions (e.g. ‘Lifting’) and sly wordplay (e.g. Chivalry). But all fair-ish. Spent 15 mins wondering why Chivalry was right (who can picture the cross as Chi? and is ‘Knights’ chivalry?).
    Nice to see puns get an outing in 18ac.
    “But Holmes, how can you tell the cat has brushed up against the electric fire?”
    “Element hairy, my dear Watson”.
    Thanks setter and blogger.
    1. The Chi-Rho was an early Christian symbol made up of the two letters. Constantine on conversion even used it for his military standard. It took several more decades for St Augustine to develop his just war theory. The world doesn’t change much.
  11. I feel exhausted! DNF but cannot see in retrospect why it was so difficult. COD to NUMBERED. Thanks setter and blogger (needed you today).
  12. Difficult but rewarding puzzle that took a bit of hard work to finally crack

    In the 1950s my first girlfriend’s father was in the Sweeney and “chummy” and “dabs” really were used as part of the patois. With forensics in its infancy the whole system relied upon informers (narks)and turning a blind eye to a low level of crime in return for assistance if anything major happened.

    1. Nark is so much ‘nicer’ than the current use ‘CHIS’! In my time with the police (IT Dpt) the cheaper Community Support Officer role was established giving us the brilliant ‘plastic plod’. Like the armed forces, policing is a great source of slang words. I found this puzzle very odd. Once I got the long down clue I completed many by pure biffing. I couldn’t parse Chivalry, Phantoms and never really understood Numbered. About an hour. Thanks all as ever and also RIP John Noakes (who probably wouldn’t pass the BBC interview now)
  13. 49 minutes, which I’m very pleased with on a very tricky puzzle. LOI PHANTOMS which was quite straightforward compared with some. I was pleased to write WORD ASSOCIATION in or there would have been no chance. PLAGIARISM immediately followed. Sympathetically borrowed and not lifted would have nicer. Mae West was a life saver too. I was more than pleased to see her. COD CHIVALRY, solved from applying the Chi-Squared test. I think DABS is back to George Dixon and I don’t remember it in Z Cars either. Great puzzle. Thank you George and setter.
      1. Not even a pickle in my pocket. I’ve got self-respect even in my dotage.
  14. As others have said, a tough puzzle which felt like it took me longer than it actually did. Interesting that George stated baize to be the surface of a pool table as I assumed a snooker table! It was my LOI despite spending many hours of a misspent youth on the stuff.
  15. 28:20. I found this a right beast, and thought for a while I wasn’t going to finish. I came quite close to bunging in a desperate CHINOOKS at 14ac, for no good reason other than the fact that it fits the checkers. I’m glad I persevered: a fine puzzle and very satisfying to complete… eventually.
  16. Hard work today; still don’t get why Knights = chivalry, though. I get that Knights ‘are chivalrous’ of course, but can’t make sense otherwise. Help!
    1. Chivalry is also a collective noun, so that the set of knights in a realm is the chivalry thereof. I’sooth.
    2. Had the same thoughts Tring, but assumed it must also mean knights collectively, which it turns out it does. And the whole knightly system apparently.
  17. Phew! Glad to get through that one intact, even if it did take 72:19. What a snorter! FOsI FABRIC, ERASE and KEPI, then I went into slo-mo. The RHS gradually came together then the NW and finally the SW with 14a, 18a and finally 15d taking up a good 20 minutes. A sense of achievement, as I almost gave up on those last three. Glad to see it wasn’t just me found it a beast. Particularly liked GORDIAN KNOT, which neatly sums up the puzzle. Bravo setter and thanks George.
  18. Over an hour, but distracted by arrival of guy to unblock kitchen sink, so actual solving time probably around half that. Then submitted with careless typo in my LOI.
    SW was main holdup – spent too long trying to think of variant on ‘Lorelei’ that would fit at 24ac, and then was expecting an L for ‘large’ somewhere in 15dn. (the irrelevant OS did sort of help eventually)
    Earlier, was delayed by having TAU for the Greek cross in 10ac)
  19. Glad it wasn’t just me, as I crawled to 47.34, with nothing flowing in any kind of rhythm, other than lento mysterioso. Very few definitions that clicked, I think, and some that raised eyebrows. Maiden = miss, anyone? ACIDIC/trenchant? I mean, yes but they’re not ready synonyms without going round the houses in a Thesaurus. Mae West/life saver, again yes, sort of but not ordinarily: life preserver, life vest much more common. Still, no complaints, just a sense of a setter pushing the boundaries, sometimes rather vigorously.
    1. A maiden can be construed as an unmarried woman. As in Maiden Aunt.
    2. I parsed the clue slightly differently: M is ‘ouri. But I think George’s parsing works better.
  20. Quite relieved to finish without aids as I found it quite tricky too. Held up by SW corner and my last two – WIND FARM (I was looking for something meaning ‘succeed’) and NUMBERED (N—E- for ‘limited’ anyone?). I enjoyed DABS but PHANTOMS my favourite, although it took me ages to abandon trying to put HINT in the middle. 30:44
  21. 22:15 but I was close to throwing in the T after 20 minutes with bits of the SW corner missing. Once I spotted that “entrance” was probably the def for 15 I got that, temple and sop quickly and finally forced phantom into submission, like the end of a Scooby-Doo episode.
  22. An absolute stonker for me as I just couldn’t get on the setters wavelength (too much of my youth tuned to Luxxy). Didn’t Dabs come up recently or was that in the QC? A definite DNF for me.
    So I can only claim a small measure of satisfaction by, being pedantic, the extra ‘s’ thrown in at 4dn by our Blogger (Hate him. He made it look simple).

    Edited at 2017-06-01 02:26 pm (UTC)

  23. Time off the scale, with my last 3 being exactly the same as janie_l_b’s, but finally all present and correct. Knew DABS from having watched too many British police shows in my time (ah, The Sweeney – John Thaw was never better). Finished by remembering {H}OURI from my list of words which I only know from cryptic-land.

    Hard to pick the best out of such a good lot, but I’ll go for the &littish (sitting on the fence as usual) CONTRABAND.

    Thank you to setter and blogger.

  24. And there was I thinking that after yesterday’s gloating “Pride goeth before a fall”. Eventually finished with some help and several sessions. If only 17d had mentioned the good Rev. Spooner I might have got it a lot sooner.
  25. Had to cheat to get phantoms, temple and salute so I could finish within 100 minutes. Great puzzle – I was done like a kipper.


  26. DNF, but with only one wrong letter still quite satisfied. There were only five possibilities for D?BS and I picked DIBS, knowing neither the fish nor the slang for fingerprints. The rest didn’t seem quite as tough as it might have.
  27. No time for this one, found it tough and was just pleased to finish all correct, eventually. After this morning’s train journey I had entered barely a handful of answers FOI 11ac. I spent most of the rest of the day picking at it and making very slow progress. Chivalry was entered unparsed on the basis of checkers and being something to do with knights, so thanks for the explanation. Had most trouble in the bottom half at 22ac, 24ac, 27ac and LOI 26ac where I was thinking Acts or Bills of Parliament sort of law not Dixon of Dock Green or Sweeney sort of law. I liked 5dn and 14ac but COD to 12ac, a nice PDM when I saw the def.

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