Times 26757 – Qualifier #3 for the Championships

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
This could have been blogged and published yesterday but owing to a bit of ‘no, be my guest, you can do it’ between me and Verlaine, it fell through a crack until now. So apologies to anyone who was waiting expectantly for enlightenment.
I found it a rather easy and bland puzzle, probably the easiest of the three qualifiers, with little to add except to beware of the bear trap at 17a which may have caught out a few too-hasty punters.

Definitions underlined as usual.

1 College head wanting a good book, devoid of current jargon (12)
TECHNOBABBLE – Clunky but straightforward bit of wordplay; TECH (college), NOB(head), A, BIBLE (good book) loses I (current).
9 Recalled part of serial by Orwell, in fact (5)
BLAIR – Found reversed in SE(RIAL B)Y, in fact Eric Blair was the real name of George Orwell.
10 Heat, with burns, affected this one?
11 Everyone in Church Row withdrew from circulation (6,2)
CALLED IN – ALL (everyone) inside CE (church), DIN = row.
12 Asked to have some breakfast in bed? (6)
BEGGED – EGG (some breakfast) inside BED.
13 Plant, centrepiece of holy Christian festival (8)
OLEASTER – OL = centre of H(OL)Y, EASTER the festival. Today’s plant clue, not to be confused with OLEANDER, another frequent growth in the crossword patch.
15 Beautiful old vase originally captured by Baroque painter (6)
LOVELY – O V = ‘old vase originally’, inside Peter LELY the Dutch Baroque painter.
17 Plan after-school English qualification (6)
SCHEMA – SCH for school, E(nglish), MA the qualification. As far as I know, an ME is not a qualification, so SCHEME doesn’t parse. Schema, directly from the Greek, plural schemata, is used for a plan or diagram.
18 Again declared country debtridden? (8)
RESTATED – Biffable, but it parses as; STATE inside RED (country debtridden).
20 Coins collected in hat for drink (6)
TIPPLE – PP for coins, inside TILE for hat. Something of a chestnut.
21 Mentioned fresh flowers, in cases of illness (8)
NEUROSES – NEU sounds like NEW, and roses are flowers.
24 Tories excited about Republican who might join the party? (9)
ROISTERER – (TORIES)*, RE (about) R (Republican).
25 Pair of British people (5)
BRACE – B (British) RACE (people).
26 Irregular plan — queen has a hand in it (12)
INTERMITTENT – INTENT = plan, insert ER (Queen) and MITT (hand).

1 Traveller set up business supplying stuff from Virginia (7)
TOBACCO – CABOT was the traveller, set up = TOBAC, add CO.
2 Daily story line involving male, popular actor (7,7)
CHARLIE CHAPLIN – CHAR = daily (cleaner), LIE = story, CHAP = male, L = line, IN = popular.
3 Ensure brief retraining for care worker (5)
NURSE – ENSUR = ensure brief, make it an anagram (‘retraining’).
4 Sleeping place for baby at home, protected by dog (8)
BASSINET – IN = at home, inside BASSET breed of dog.
5 Very thin lad eating nothing for starters (4)
BONY – BOY (lad) eats N (nothing for starters).
6 Disregards hooligan crossing edge of roof (6,3)
LEAVES OUT – EAVES = edge of roof, inside LOUT = hooligan.
7 Muhammad Ali cut head, film’s shown (3,5,6)
THE GREAT ESCAPE – He was ‘The Greatest’; ‘cut’ = remove the final T; add CAPE for head.
8 Leader of council damned unpleasant (6)
CRUDDY – C(ouncil), RUDDY = damned.
14 Fool heading for scandal, one politician revealed (9)
SIMPLETON – S(candal), I, MP, LET ON = revealed.
16 6 Mrs Simpson allowed to circulate urgent message (8)
TELEGRAM – Not Wallis, but MARGE, blue-haired wife of Homer. Add LET = allowed,
reverse the lot (‘circulate’).
17 Joining group of workers engaged by firm (6)
SUTURE – Insert TU (group of workers) into SURE (firm).
19 Regularly avoided edge on trail going downhill (7)
DESCENT – DE = EDGE avoiding the e and g; SCENT = trail.
22 Jacket turned up and shortened? Capital (5)
RABAT – TABARD is the jacket, shorten it and reverse. Capital of Morocco.
23 Loyal Conservative shunning armistice (4)
TRUE – TRUCE = Armistice, drop the C for Conservative.

8 comments on “Times 26757 – Qualifier #3 for the Championships”

  1. Yes, an easy one .. like all qualifiers; clearly a deliberate policy. I assume the entry fee is non-refundable 🙂

    Still some very neat surface readings however.. I am wondering if there may be some connection between how easy or hard a clue is to solve, and how slick or convoluted a surface reading the clue has

    1. Jerry,

      The entry fee these days is only payable if you take up your place.

      That said, this was by far the easiest of the three (notwithstanding the Biffo the Bear trap).

  2. I am sure my 21 minutes was murdered by hundreds of eager entrants but with many failing at the bunker on the seventeenth.


    Edited at 2017-06-30 02:52 pm (UTC)

  3. I didn’t find this the easiest of the three. It took me 12 minutes, twice as long as the second one. Not the most difficult of puzzles though.
  4. Yes. I got trapped in the bunker at the 17th. However I did manage to avoid all the bunkers on the short 17th at Castle Eden today. The first 5 were a bit damp though! Otherwise 21:20 so definitely on the easy side.
  5. Yup, I was caught by 17. Shame; all done in 31 minutes apart from that one letter. Must’ve been rushing.
  6. A pleasant solve, all done in 28mins so fairly easy. I’m more familiar with oleander but did exactly what the clue told me to get the lesser known oleaster. Otherwise no holdups or difficulties.
  7. Despite this seeming to be a particularly easy one, I qualified for the finals based on a time of just under an hour having submitted the completed puzzle on a whim! Any reasons as to why a longer time might have gotten through?

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