Times 26752 – pass the 21

Solving time : 8:18 – there was a fair bit of biffing going on here, and I hope I can figure out the wordplay as I write this one up. I’m also relieved as there are a few of my favorite words to mis-spell lurking in the grid, a few clued as anagrams.

After writing this up and sorting out everything, it seems this one is heavy on the music references, so it may be more up some people’s alleys than others.

Away we go…

Apologies for the typos in the first version of this, and for taking so long to get around to them – that’s what happens when I blog after midnight and cider.

1 FARMYARD: F(female), ARM(member) then DRAY(cart) reversed
6 DURESS: DRESS(line up, military use) containing U
9 GASTRONOMICAL: ASTRONOMICAL(immense) with G at the start
10 FRIEND: alternating letters in FeRtIlE, then AND missing the A
11 RHAPSODY: anagram of HARPS,DO,(badl)Y
13 CAPPUCCINO: A, P, PUCCIN(i) in CO – beware if you happen to be in the US and order one of these, in most places it means a sweet flavored coffee
15 LENT: double definition, LENT meaning slow in French
16 ST,YE
18 PICARESQUE: PIQUE(ill-feeling) surrounding CARES
21 DEMERARA: this was a biff, but I think I have the wordplay – DEME is a Greek subdivision, and then it sounds like RARER (though in the US it is pronounced “rah-rah” at the end)
22 CURSOR: homophone (articulate) of CURSER
23 ONE IN A MILLION: this was also a biff, I’ll admit ignorance to the character of Tulliver in THE MILL ON THE FLOSS, so it is ONE IN A MILL, then NO,I reversed
25 MONKEY: (floc)K in MONEY
26 RENEGADE: READ, E containing a reversal of GEN
2 ALGERIA: a reversal of AIR(show), EG(for one), LA
3 MASTERPIECE: another biff – ASTER(plant) in M, PIECE(a castle is a piece, definition by example being alluded to by the question mark)
4 ACRID: (inspecto)R in A, CID
5 DENARII: anagram of IN,A,DIRE – a word etched in my mind from Life of Brian
6 DEMEANOUR: D and E are musical keys, then sounds like MEANER
7 ROC: COR(french for musical horn) reversed
8 SALADIN: S(son) then remove a D from ALADDIN
12 SELF-SERVING: anagram of SEVEN,GIRLS,F(ather)
14 CAPTAINCY: another biff – though I saw the wordplay later – CAIN is the second man, and C(hoos)Y surrounding APT
17 TREMOLO: anagram of LOT,MORE
19 CHARMER: anagram of HER,CAR containing M
20 UNOWNED: U, NED(bloke) containing NOW(at present)
22 COLON: COON(raccoon) surrounding L
24 ELK: alternating letters in mEt LiKe

36 comments on “Times 26752 – pass the 21”

  1. …didn’t know my DENARII from my DINAREI (which don’t exist). Pity, would have been my best time for a while.

    And just noticed that I actually have 3 errors on the scoreboard, but that’s because the software changed my C to a V at 19. Honest, even I know that VHARMER is not a word. (Is it?)

    So much for an error-free June, guess I’ll just get back on the horse tomorrow.

    Thanks setter and George.

    Edited at 2017-06-15 05:47 am (UTC)

  2. I biffed a couple myself, including ALADDIN at 8d; soon enough realized that was wrong, but failed to complete the correction, producing ‘Salddin’. 23ac was one I biffed, only recognizing Tulliver post submission. I spent a full 7 minutes on PICARESQUE, having forgotten the advice to look for a Q if you’ve got a U.

    Edited at 2017-06-15 05:55 am (UTC)

  3. I was all done in under 15 minutes except for PICARESQUE and then I couldn’t see it since I forgot to try Q (I will always try Q when I have an unchecked U but somehow I forget). So I wandered off for a time to do a chore and saw it immediately on return. I had no idea about Mr Tulliver but by reverse reasoning on the wordplay I deduced he was a miller somewhere.
  4. 29 minutes with ALGERIA entered very tenatively as I took a while to spot the wordplay to confirm it. Also looked several times at 5dn, wondering if the second letter might be “I” as in “dinar”, but the ending -EI wouldn’t have looked right so I plumped for what turned out to be the correct answer.

    George, you are missing a C in CAPPUCCINO, and you’ve “Green” for Greek at 21ac. Which reminds me I didn’t know DEME in that one.

    Edited at 2017-06-15 05:01 am (UTC)

    1. Forgot to say I didn’t know Mr Tulliver but the surname rang a faint bell and I eventually remembered Maggie of that name and the book she was in.
  5. Fastest of the week so far for me, coming in at 32m. FOI FARMYARD, LOI PICARESQUE (luckily, I did remember to try a Q!) A few biffs here and there, but pretty confident they were right; thanks for the explanations! Whenever I hear PICARESQUE it’s Lovejoy who springs to mind…
  6. 13.19 and the leaderboard tells me I have one error but I can’t find it. Managed to change ALADDIN to SALADIN correctly. It will no doubt leap out at me when I have another look later on.
  7. About 45 mins over porridge and banana. But 15 of those messing about in the NE due to having put in Alladin. I know. That made Duress tricky, especially as I had convinced myself there was a legendary flyer called PAC. I know.
    Enjoyed it. Thanks setter and blogger.
  8. 12:01 … now this one I did find biffable. Unfortunately, in an effort to engage warp drive I asked too much of the dilithium crystals and found myself missbiffing all kinds of things that subsequently had to be sorted out.

    Speaking of warp speed, I see our Verlaine was a second away from the 5-minute barrier. Outstanding.

    COD to CAPTAINCY for a clever parsing, which I did feel the need to get to grips with before submitting.

    1. This was totally biffable wasn’t it, a good half dozen clues not parsed until later because, what else could they possibly be?

      Just failing to dip below the 5 minute mark seems even more upsetting now that Jason has posted a time of 4m11!

  9. 25 mins today, starting with ONE IN A MILLION on def and enumeration. PICARESQUE always brings to mind Don Quixote. And an embarrassing tutorial where the tutor wondered, with a glint in his eye, if I could offer any examples of this that weren’t from the first quarter of the novel…

  10. Still running on dawdle setting, so 24 minutes. The Saladin clue so nearly works the other way round and did for a while in my entry. I think had I seen the relatively easy GASTRONOMICAL (and come to that the relatively easy FARMYARD) I might have taken ten minutes off my time, but maybe tomorrow, eh?
    DENARII from my own wee collection
  11. 8m. Lots of biffing today. No unknowns, but a couple where I was unsure of the vowels. DEMERERA? DINAREI?
    My first thought when I see PICARESQUE is always Augie March.
  12. 12:28 is my fastest for a long time – whoopee! Didn’t know Mr Tulliver, didn’t really need to…
  13. Was about to find a new hobby after a complete blank on Monday, and about half done the rest of the week, but am now encouraged to plough on after finding this one relatively straightforward for a newbie.
  14. Way off the pace (again) today at just over 20 minutes.

    The 6’s held me up for for a good few minutes – for no obvious reason other than my own stupidity.

    22a could well define me – I do much of the articulating whilst watching the indicator do anything other than what I clearly (in my head at least) told it to.

  15. Another just over 30 minutes at 30:33, which is on the quicker side for me. I was held up at the end by 6a, 6d and 8d. Having put ALLADIN for 8d, it took a while before I revisited the clue and tried PALADIN. In the meanwhile I saw DEMEANOUR and then DURESS at which point the penny dropped for 8d. FOI was FARM____, followed by ACRID, and then ____YARD. The musical clues were write ins, but I didn’t know the miller and biffed from checkers and enumeration. PICARESQUE from trying Q with a U and then eliminating PICTURESQUE, as it not only didn’t fit the wordplay, but the grid neither. An enjoyable puzzle. Thanks setter and George.
  16. Another one here who just couldn’t see this – and I was thinking I might break 10 for one of the very few times in a year. I really should have got it right away because we had the “gastronomy”/”astronomy” thing in a recent TLS in connection with the supposedly picaresque Hithchiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. 11.16
  17. Yes I also tried Aladdin, Alladin and Demerera. But I thought I had finally resolved them but a DNF for Dinarei (in about 30m). Oh well, at least the weather is good. COD 18a – one of those words that just sounds good (another favourite of mine is Peleton). No grumbles about the blogger today as I let rip yesterday! Heartfelt condolences to all those dead or affected by the tower fire. Thanks all
        1. I like it so much that I’ve long had one among my LJ user pics, the better to reflect my usual position in the scheme of things. Not sure I’ve ever got round to deploying it before, so thanks!
          1. I’m usually in the same one as you Sotira, but you’re usually the one in the yellow jersey.
  18. Well you and I both appear to think they exist. Maybe they can be our own version of Bitcoins.
  19. My 1st sub 15mins this year. That makes me one happy bunny, even if everyone’s times were good.
    I also noticed the missing letter in 13ac in the blog. is it something to keep quiet about?
    1. No, it’s what happens when a tired and slightly tipsy blogger writes it up after midnight, then passes out for a while, and misses that it has been corrected multiple times in comments. I’m on the east coast of the US, so I miss UK mornings.
  20. Liked this one, although never heard of Mr Tulliver or indeed read George Eliot. Having looked up this
    I don’t think I’ll bother even though I expect it’s free on Kindle.
    But all done with some biffing in 21 minutes. LOI picaresque, when I remembered the ‘see U think Q’ rule.
  21. 11 mins so back to some kind of form after a couple of slower days. DEMEANOUR was my LOI after PICARESQUE. I’d have been quicker had I thought about a possible Q as fast as I should have done. I’ve been doing these puzzles long enough for “if there’s a U look for a Q” to be a Pavlovian response, but it doesn’t always happen.
  22. Under 10 minutes for this one, maybe because I solved in the AM US time instead of the evening prior, and my mind was therefore much clearer and operating without the effects of whatever I have been sipping the night before. Didn’t know who Mr. Tulliver is, but other than that no problems. LOI was DEMERARA, since I now realize I didn’t know the Greek place either. Regards.
  23. Sailed through most of this in 29 mins this morning (FOI 1ac) but needed another 10 mins at lunchtime to clear up my last three which were: 3dn, 6dn and 6ac. Once I realised that I had misspelt 21ac as demarara and corrected it to demerara 3dn fell soon after. I had some trepidation about solving a clue that featured both a plant and a castle but in the end they were both crossword staples, so no difficulty there. Wondered for a time if a pompadour might be a stagecoach sort of a carriage but couldn’t parse it and the other type of carriage eventually dawned on me which in turn allowed me to get LOI 6ac. Bit of a delay at 14dn. I could see that the answer was captaincy but was not happy to enter until I had cracked the fiddly parsing and identified the second man. COD 12dn. I’m another for whom picaresque brings to mind Don Quixote.
  24. 16:58 so quite good for me. Slowly getting to grips with doing this online, having been given 12 weeks free subscription for being a loyal Sunday Times Wine Club drinker. I still think I’m quicker with pen and paper as I keep typing in the wrong spaces and mangle words I’ve already entered. A few biffed unparsed today.. count me as another literary philistine who had never heard of Mr Tulliver. Like Andy, DEMEANOUR and PICARESQUE were my last two in after some head-scratching. CAPUCCINO my favourite.

    Edited at 2017-06-15 06:45 pm (UTC)

  25. Damn! Going for a clean sweep, I had the choice between 14dn with its initial C and 18ac with its R and S, and chose the latter. I spent ages trying to fathom it, but had to give up. Switching to the former gave me an easy win, and now the initial P in 18ac made the answer blindingly obvious (particularly as I’d briefly considered CARES for “concerns”!) after which the rest of the clues fell without any real problems. 7:44, so not too bad, but slower than it would have been.

    No problem with DEMERARA (on my list of difficult words for decades) or Mr Tulliver. Another pleasant, straightforward solve.

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