Times 26750

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
This one took me 29 minutes so for once I was within my 30 minute target, a somewhat rare occurrence these days. I don’t often take much notice of surface readings but several good ones caught my eye here. I’m doing double duty on the Quickie today so I’ve kept most of my comments fairly concise.

As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions are in curly brackets} and [anagrinds, containment, reversal and other indicators in square ones]

1 Company’s head has to block complete acquisition (8)
PURCHASE –  C{ompany}[head] + HAS contained by  [to block] PURE (complete)
5 No holding boy in battle (6)
NASEBY – NAY (no) containing [holding] SEB (boy). The decisive battle of the English Civil War was fought in 1645.
8 Fellow returning after leaving a wood (3)
ELM – M{a}LE (fellow) [after leaving a] reversed [returning]
9 One stands, taking position on board, prepared for any blow (10)
WINDSURFER – Cryptic definition
10 Song by a drunk affording no escape… (8)
AIRTIGHT – AIR (song), TIGHT (drunk)
11 …and that of salesman makes you go (6)
REPAIR – REP (salesman), AIR (that – referring back to the previous clue). “Repair” in this sense is perhaps not so common these days.
12 Heading away from Channel port to the other side (4)
OVER – {d}OVER (Channel port) [heading away from…]
14 Crosses back carrying board for part of farm building (6,4)
STABLE DOOR – ROODS (crosses) reversed [back] containing [carrying] TABLE (board). “Rood” is the symbol of the cross in the Christian faith.
17 The Spanish engaged in cowardly playing leading to referee’s sanction (6,4)
YELLOW CARD – EL (the, Spanish) contained by [engaged in] anagram [playing] of COWARDLY
20 Either limit to land for nobleman (4)
LORD – “Limit to” indicates the first or last letter of L{an}D i.e. L OR D
23 Monarch is quite losing it, appearing almost rude (6)
RISQUE – R (monarch), IS, QU{it}E  [losing it]
24 Marine creature expert gets a name after swimming etc. (8)
CETACEAN – Anagram [swimming] of ETC, ACE (expert), A, N (name). Whales, dolphins, porpoises.
25 Disloyal feature raising a stink: party to be outlawed (10)
TRAITOROUS – TRAIT (feature), O{do}ROUS (raising a stink) [party – do –  to be outlawed]
26 Son meeting father in spring (3)
SPA – S (son), PA (father)
27 Wood on the beach — no grey rocks (6)
GROYNE – Anagram [rocks] of NO GREY. This is a breakwater often seen on beaches to prevent movement of sand etc. Traditionally they are of timber construction.
28 Right to protect Queen touring valley in response to emergency (3,5)
RED ALERT – RT (right) containing [to protect] ER (Queen) containing [touring] DALE (valley). A Russian doll type of clue.
1 Secretary detaining official and politician as an opener (9)
PREFATORY – PA (secretary) containing [detaining] REF (official), TORY (politician). Not a word I knew but it’s not much of a stretch from “preface”.
2 Regret group of soldiers succeeded, blocking another group (7)
REMORSERE (group of soldiers – Royal Engineers), then S (succeeded) contained by [blocking] MORE (another group). On later edit, thanks to one of the anons below for pointing out that it’s OR (group of soldiers – Other Ranks) + S (succeeded) contained  by [blocking] REME (another group – Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers).
3 Initially had yen to avoid holidaying couple in Pacific islands (6)
HAWAII – H{ad} [initially], AWA{y} (holidaying) [yen – Y – to avoid], I+I (couple)
4 Town’s upset about new article that’s manufactured (9)
SYNTHETIC – CITY’S (town’s) reversed [upset] containing [about] N(new) + THE (article)
5 Nervy, with hint of tension inside? That’s not marked (7)
NEUTRAL – T{ension] [hint of…] contained by [inside] NEURAL (nervy).  SOED has this as having no strongly marked characteristics or features; undefined, indefinite, indistinct, vague; lacking colour or intensity.
6 Go easy on arranged deals — frequently pressure will be involved (4-5)
SOFT-PEDAL – OFT (frequently) + P (pressure) contained by [be involved] anagram [arranged] of  DEALS
7 Central American food — it’s fed to donkey (7)
BURRITO – IT contained by [fed to] BURRO (donkey)
13 Cathedral treasure rarely taken out: I question its contents (9)
RELIQUARY – Anagram [taken out] of RARELY contains [its contents] I + QU (question). Another word unknown to me but I assumed a connection with relics. I don’t know that these necessarily have to be in a cathedral but a quick Google suggests that they frequently are. Rather a good surface reading here.
15 Say upset amongst pub staff is a means of moving forward (9)
BARGEPOLE – BAR (pub), EG (say) reversed [upset], POLE (staff)
16 Greyish-brown in colour, insect is unwanted (9)
REDUNDANT – DUN (greyish-brown) contained by [in] RED (colour), ANT (insect)
18 Broadcaster to turn resentful with British pulling out (7)
EMITTER – EM{b}ITTER (turn resentful) [British  – B – pulling out]
19 Women and others recline, ignoring one fight (7)
WRESTLE – W (women), REST (others), L{i}E (recline) [ignoring one]
21 Supervise foreign article being replaced by English (7)
OVERSEE – OVERSE{a} (foreign) with A (article) replaced by E (English)
22 Note a benefit supplied by a sickness (6)
NAUSEA – N (note), A, USE (benefit), A

45 comments on “Times 26750”

  1. A bit easier than yesterday – 45 mins – and nothing too obscure, though didn’t know PREFATORY existed. Missed the parsing of HAWAII and was mystified by the wordplay for 27 as in my ignorance I had thought a GROYNE was made of rocks, not wood. I liked the use of ‘cowardly’ in YELLOW CARD, the def for BARGEPOLE and especially the &lit RELIQUARY.

    Thank you to setter and blogger.

  2. 45 minutes after a speedy start but was marooned in the north east. I was strangely convinced that 5ac was JERICO! (alt.sp) and that 7dn was thus CASSAVA but it was the wrong donkey! BURRITO was my LOI and should have been a write-in. Doh!

    FOI 1ac PURCHASE closely followed by HAWAII
    COD 8ac ELM deceptively simple.


    Re- 4dn SYNTHETIC is CITY truly synonymous with TOWN? Perhaps in the Philipines?

    1. Unspammed (alt.sp did for it).

      Yes, “town” for “city” is absolutely fine in general terms.

      1. Now I understand (at last!) and alt.sp must be seen as something to do with the far rigt. Thanks Jack.
  3. This went quite quickly, although not particularly smoothly, as I was jumping all over the grid before finishing with HAWAI’I. Paused to wonder about SEB, but it had to be NASEBY, so I stopped pausing. Had ‘natural’ in at first, corrected it soon enough.
  4. 25 mins (no breakfast yet) – which is good as I am on the road early today. Maybe quicker than usual due to not chomping. Random boy today is Seb who caused a raised brow – and further raised by the rogue ‘a’ drunk in 10ac. Thanks setter and Jack.
  5. Happy to find that PREFATORY was correct. “Trust the wordplay”, I said to myself. Apart from that, fairly plain windsurfing, coming in at 39m. I enjoyed the crossing references to adages in STABLE DOOR and BARGEPOLE. FOI 4d, LOI 9a, COD 9a for its penny-dropping moment, WOD RISQUE.

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

    1. No, but should be done to get Theresa May et al ready for the next election, perhaps.
      1. I wonder if the Bullingdon Boys’ warcry has ever been “you’re going home in a #$%^&* ambulatory”?
    2. After some careful consideration I dismissed PREPATORY over PREFATORY because the wordplay worked better for latter… if I’d noticed that PREPATORY wasn’t even a word, it might have been even easier! #oops
      1. I wasn’t 100% happy with the wordplay for PREPATORY. On the other hand, I was entirely happy with the word. I feel anon makes a compelling case for renaming prep school thusly.
        1. Sorry, I was “anon” earlier. I wondered if PREDATORY might be a better name for Osborne and Johnson.
  6. Feeling a little spryer with 18 minutes today, a couple of those checking and deciding I’d better check how EMITTER works before submitting. Still left PURCHASE to go parse itself, so thanks to the overworked and underpaid Jack for that.

    I rather think if I were a windsurfer, the way I’d prepare for some blows (hurricanes, gales and tornadoes, say) would be to pack the dam’ thing away and stay indoors with a nice cup of tea. Maybe that takes the fun element away, but it also removes the scared to death and then dead element too.

  7. Thought WINDSURFER was pretty good. Took ages to get my LOI NAUSEA.

    They didn’t call them GROYNEs where I came from, but they do here in Perth. Great big rock walls down at the beach. Despite being obvious landmarks, I no longer try to arrange catch-ups by suggesting that “we should meet at the groyne”.

    Thanks setter and Jack.

  8. 30 minutes and no problems. I didn’t know PREFATORY but generously clued. Naseby was my FOI and was fought on June 14th so I was looking for a theme until I realised that today is the 13th.
  9. on the Lincolnshire coast are all wooden – as I believe the English ones are. North of Skeggy they have mostly disappeared under the inevitable shifting sands.

    Taxi for one!

  10. 25:08 and with Galspray in taking a age to see NAUSEA, convinced as I was that it had to start with LA or FA. Sometimes a little experience gets in the way of the straightforward…
    Steady progress apart from that and pleased to parse RELIQUARY and EMITTER.
  11. A careless TRAITEROUS spoilt the party somewhat. And no, I’ve no idea where that came from either.
  12. Slipped in under the 7 minute mark, which I’m pleased enough with. I thought this was a clever puzzle that seemed to require a lot of care to avoid putting a foot wrong: however, as one of the things I thought that about was the choice of PREFATORY over PREPATORY, it’s entirely possible I am just an idiot…
  13. They’re a feature in the M.R. James ghost story “Whistle And I’ll Come To You My Lad” which takes place at Burnstow on the East Anglia coast. The sinister figure pursues the narrator over the groynes on the beach and finally catches up with him at night in his room at the pub. 12.31
  14. I fortunately thought of the unknown PREFATORY without any other ideas distracting me, and shoved it in without further ado as it fitted the wp admirably. A pleasing foray into sub 30 minute territory for me with 25:12. This surprised me, as I read through the first few clues without a flicker of enlightenment. However 6d finally got me started and I made a foray into the SE, which seemed to get me into gear. I biffed LORD and HAWAII, which was a late entry before REPAIR, my LOI. Liked 9a, 14a and 15d. Am familiar with GROYNES. An enjoyable puzzle. Thanks setter and Jack.

    Edited at 2017-06-13 11:44 am (UTC)

  15. My first one in was MAD at 8 ((A)DAM rev, old meaning of “wood”), which caused some delays, bit prefatory was clearly right, so the correction was fairly quick
  16. About 45 minutes to get a full house with quite a few unparsed but trusting the wordplay, so fairly straightforward.
    Coming hot on the heels of a rewarding session at the golf driving range, learning how to hit the ball straighter, I’m having a good day. Now for today’s Killer sudoku labelled “Tough”. We shall see …
    1. I suspected something of the sort was going on but couldn’t quite see it.

      Edited at 2017-06-13 04:53 pm (UTC)

  17. Given my picture, it took me ages to get Windsurfer! Some great surfaces – I couldn’t say that a year ago as I didn’t know my surfaces from my anagrists. Hope the English fans behave in la belle France today as we need to show our European friends that we are generally a good ally.
    1. Ps. I forgot to add… If a City can be a town, can a town be a village etc??
      1. Many of the villages in Jamaica spport the title Town (Jones Town, Brown’s Town,Irish Town, Clark’s Town etc.)

        horryd Shanghai

  18. As most above, plumped for PREFATORY on the word play having debated whether prepatory was a word or predatory parsed. 30 minutes. I remember wooden groynes from seaside holidays on the south coast as a child. Good work today jackkt on your double shift.
  19. I’m blaming tiredness for my 28 mins, but at least I was all correct. The LHS went in quickly enough but I slowed up considerably after that. Some answers that should have been easy took me far too long to get, such as NAUSEA, RED ALERT, CETACEAN, BURRITO and NASEBY. NEUTRAL was my LOI after WINDSURFER, and until I got the latter I’d been convinced that 5dn was going to be “natural” but I wasn’t confident enough that “naural” was a variant of “neural” so I didn’t enter it. I’d also convinced myself that 9ac was going to be a variant of “windproof” and I was less than impressed when I finally sussed that it was a straighforward cryptic definition because “prepared for any blow” is quite a misleading description of a windsurfer. It would be a foolhardy one indeed who went out in a hurricane. Whinge over.
  20. I found this one to be on the gentler side of things. A quick-ish solve for me with most done in 23 mins on the way to work and the rest tidied up in 10 mins at lunchtime. FOI 8ac. LOI 18dn. No real hold-ups I was confident with the word play at 1dn and don’t think I paused to ponder such niceties as “is it a word?” And, “if it is, does it fit the definition?” Spent some time at 21dn wondering whether “oversea” in the singular was a word as opposed to “overseas”. I’m sure it must be, I just can’t think of any example where I would use it instead. Didn’t matter in the end because the answer was obvious.
    1. oversea /as adverb, as adjective:/ adverb & adjective. OE.
      [ORIGIN from over- + sea.]

      ► A adverb. = overseas adverb. OE.

      ► B adjective. = overseas adjective. E16.

      1. Thanks Jackkt, I find the usage unfamiliar and my COED only has overseas in it but if it’s in SOED then there’s no doubting it’s legitimacy.
  21. Did this one in breaks at work – needed wordplay to get GROYNE and PREFATORY. Several very good clues, I particularly liked the one for YELLOW CARD. Not as fond of the CD for WINDSURFER which was my last in
  22. At least I was close enough to the setter’s wavelength to break 10 minutes – but only just (9:52). An interesting and enjoyable puzzle.

    I dithered over PREFATORY, though it did sound vaguely familiar. And with just the Y in place, the only anagram I could think of that fitted 27ac was GERYON (whom verlaine will know about even if no-one else does) and wasted a little time trying to think of how on earth he could be clued by “Wood on the beach”. (I don’t recall coming across the word GROYNE until after I’d left Yorkshire, where I’ve only ever heard them referred to as “breakwaters”.)

    Edited at 2017-06-13 10:01 pm (UTC)

    1. Geryon was not the frontman of the Pacemakers, as is commonly assumed, but a highly respectable ancient cattle farmer (or possibly three, I’m not sure how it works when an individual, for reasons best known to the bards of antiquity, has multiple heads).
      1. I’ve just remembered: there’s also a St Geryon – at least according to Coleridge, though I think the conventional spelling is Gereon:

        As I am a Rhymer,
        And now at least a merry one,
        Mr. Mum’s Rudesheimer
        And the church of St. Geryon
        Are the two things alone
        That deserve to be known
        In the body-and-soul-stinking town of Cologne.

    1. I was wondering who’d be the first to spot that but nobody did on the day and I’m afraid your intervention is out of time for the reward I was planning to offer.

      By my reckoning in order to fit the clue and take the indefinite article there were would need to exist a noun ‘tight’ meaning a drunkard, but there isn’t, at least according to the usual sources.

      1. My thinking exactly. Just knowing that great minds think alike is sufficient reward in itself!

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