Times 27073 – Jumbly polysyllables out the ass

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
And here we are, fresh from an invigorating trip to Greece, the second part of which was spent on the fair isle of Chios, not a million miles away from the place referenced at 14 down.

This was a nice mix of the old and the new, of letters and science, with one clue (13 across) likely to send recovering vocalophobes into recidivism. 28 minutes and change.

A glass of mastiha for the first person to name my holiday reading (without Googling) from the quotation given above (clue: I’ll probably still be reading it on my next holiday).


1 Plants in island thus smuggled from the east (8)
NARCISSI – reversal of IS SIC RAN
5 Like a Dane, for example — and not one in Washington (6)
NORDIC – NOR (and not) I in DC
9 Legendary bird biting head off dangerous reptile (3)
ROC – [c]ROC
10 Fine workforce, one possessed by man like Sir John? (11)
FALSTAFFIAN – STAFF I in F (fine) ALAN (random man)
12 Briefly poke around leg, to find protein (10)
INTERFERON – INTERFER[e] (poke around with the last letter deleted) ON (legside in cricket – a game once played by Australians)
13 Share the Sunday joint, do we hear? (4)
METE – sounds like ‘meat’; consider the poetry of the KJV: ‘For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again’ (Luke 6: 38)
15 Ragout of game containing a highly seasoned sausage (6)
SALAMI – A in SALMI (a ragout or casserole)
16 Mature combination of companies adopting western name (5-2)
18 Delay after chap encounters strong wind from east (4-3)
TIME-LAG – TIM (random bloke) GALE reversed
20 Switching sides, Chinese communist finds Lao Zi’s philosophy (6)
TAOISM – MAOIST with the ends swapped
23 Retired priest following northern river (4)
NILE – N ELI reversed
24 Grassy area in politician’s part of constituency (10)
26 Worried if a host is an obsessive trendy! (11)
27 Anger shown when state’s leader is deposed (3)
IRE – [e]IRE (as in Ireland); cue discussion re stamps etc.
28 Current Oxford course taken in six months? That’s wonderful! (6)
YIPPEE – I PPE in half of YE[ar]; Politics, Philosophy and Economics is the course specially designed for rugby players at God’s own university. You catch the ball at the interview at St Edmund’s Hall, you’re in; you pass it back, you get a scholarship.
29 Lower rent Ray’s splashed out up front? (8)
AYRSHIRE – ‘lower’ as in ‘the cattle are lowing’; RAYS* HIRE


1 Sea nymph entangled in reed (6)
2 Dairy product a girl takes in bed (7)
RICOTTA – COT in RITA (random, typically uneducated, woman)
3 Put friend in the picture in a relaxed way (10)
4 Serving in army club, one left out cementing tool (9,4)
6 Tender-sounding Mercian king? (4)
OFFA – sounds like ‘tender’
7 Republican in seedy bar visiting cinema, perhaps (5-2)
DRIVE-IN – R in DIVE IN (visiting)
8 Scorn fiddle casual worker finally bought (8)
11 Insensitively considered the French devious (13)
14 Recipients of letter from Welshwoman cutting business deficit (10)
COLOSSIANS – SIAN (random Welsh woman) in CO LOSS
17 Insect — one flapping lamely at first in farm pen (8)
STONEFLY – ONE F[lapping] L[amely] in STY
19 Effeminate chap writing about class work (7)
MILKSOP – ILK (class) in MS (writing) OP (work)
21 Language provoked by a limited rise in Westminster? (7)
SWAHILI – A HIL[l] (limited rise) in SW1 (postcode for Westminster)
22 Stick a poster, possibly, in this place (6)
ADHERE – AD (a poster, possibly) HERE (in this place)
25 Long evergreen tree (4)
PINE – double definition

55 comments on “Times 27073 – Jumbly polysyllables out the ass”

  1. 12:34 … some of the references were outside my ken but it was all solvable or guessable enough. Never knowingly heard of a salmi. COLOSSIANS likewise — not, I’m disappointed to learn, a race of exceptionally tall people.

    I was tempted to read Infinite Jest, Ulaca, until I found out how long it was. Thank you for reading it so I don’t have to. Be sure to tell me how it turns out.

    COD to the clever TAOISM

      1. I can’t really brag about copy/pasting your blog title into Google! But I have read things about the book, so I ‘know’ it in that sense
        1. I thought it might be Finnegans Wake, which I didn’t finish, or Ulysses, which I did, but it seems to be from a book that makes Joyce seem like clear prose. I’ll bear it in mind for the TLS puzzles to come.
          Thanks for the blog, this was a 16 minute stroll.
          1. I managed to survive 4 years in Greece without knowingly drinking mastiha, and I think I’m glad sotira has won! (even if she googled).
            1. I was 3 years in Greece, and I’m pretty sure I DID drink mastiha (or something very similar), though one of the effects of drinking it might be not being sure you drank it

              Edited at 2018-06-25 08:56 pm (UTC)

      2. I believe it was Sidney Smith who said, “I never read a book before reviewing it; it prejudices one so.”
  2. 35 mins on the IPad in bed on hols.
    A nice start to a relaxing day.
    Mostly I liked: Yippee, Ayrshire!
    Now for a proper croissant.
    Thanks setter and U.
  3. Monday, it would seem, is the new Monday. 9ac and 15ac went in without I read the whole clue. 10ac almost ditto; well, I had to read to the end to get Sir John, but that immediately suggested Falstaff. INTERFERON my LOI, YIPPEE my COD. U, you’ve got SLAMI at 15ac.
      1. I find myself wondering whether the second prize is two shots of Mastiha. I still have a bottle of a Croatian liqueur which proved to be undrinkable once we got it home.
        1. Ah, it must be made from the Mastic tree grown in Chios. All other attempts to grow it successfully for products have failed. Even the Japanese tried.
  4. I thought I vaguely remembered “salmi,” but you made me doubt for a second, so I had to look it up.
    My last one in was COLOSSIANS, where what was “obscure” to me was the Welsh feminine name, not the Pauline epistle.
    There are some really clever clues here: TAOISM, FASHIONISTA, NEREID…
    1. Sian comes up quite a lot as a Welsh girl’s name which is the only reason I know it as such. Previously for some reason I had thought it was Irish.

      Edited at 2018-06-25 06:20 am (UTC)

      1. Sian I knew because some lovelorn pupil carved it into several of the desks I sat in at Alma Mater. He used the ^ (you do if you’re that obsessed) and for quite a while I wondered who Stan was. Not that that sort of relationship was necessarily frowned on in my type of school.
      2. Sian is a reasonably familiar name in the UK. The best known Sian I can think of is Sian Lloyd the weatherperson/presenter though I doubt she’s known outside these isles.
        1. Also (Dame) Sian Phillips, actress and for 20 years wife of Peter O’Toole.
    2. I know lots of Sians. It is still a very common name here in Wales. Welsh version of Jane.
  5. As Sotira has said, the unknowns were solvable or guessable but I rather surprised myself by finishing in 28 minutes, 2 beneath my target. We had ‘mete’ meaning ‘appropriate’ only last week and now it means ‘share’, but fortunately I knew the expression ‘mete things out’ meaning to share them or divide them up.

    Edited at 2018-06-25 05:24 am (UTC)

    1. I can’t find any citation of “mete” for “appropriate,” but Times Quick Cryptic No 1112 had “meet” for “proper.”
      1. You’re quite right about the QC ofcourse – my mistake. ‘Mete’ meaning ‘proper’ does appear in the text of the 1549 Book of Common Prayer, but that contained a lot of odd spellings which probably fell into disuse long ago as it was superseded by various revisions and so are not in any dictionary. I’ve seen it and it must have stuck somehow.
  6. 8:19. I started very quickly on this, but then slowed considerably towards the end when the vocabulary got a bit more recherché: COLOSSIANS, INTERFERON, GREENSWARD, STONEFLY.
    I don’t think I’ve ever come across INTERFERON on its own like that before, but I was aware of the beta variety used to treat MS so it seemed feasible.
  7. Nice and easy today like an England World Cup victory. I’ve never heard of INTERFERON but if I had to guess what it was I’d have thought one of the Transformers rather than a protein.
  8. 16′, so a flying start to the week for me. Slightly helped by cross-references (intertextualities?) with both the QC and the Quintagram today.
    Knew the letter after a couple of checkers, incidentally it’s pronounced CO-LOSH-IANS. COD to FASHIONISTA. Thanks ulaca and setter.
  9. My comfortable 15 minutes marred by one of those typos where you have the cursor in the second space but type in the first letter anyway. OOFA’s dyke, anyone?
    GREENSWARD my last in – I somehow don’t associate “politician” with “green”. I hope that’s not deemed offensive.
    We’ve had SALMI several times in the past and its full fat version salmagundi, a much nicer word. Usually it’s been cluing SALAMI, as here.
    1. They seem to share an etymological root but SALMI and salmagundi are quite different dishes these days. Perhaps this is just what happens naturally when people argue about an ‘authentic’ recipe for a few hundred years.
  10. ….for a 7:42 completion.

    LOI METE (I really hate 4 letter answers where the two givens are vowels !)

    DNK COLOSSIANS or STONEFLY, but the surfaces were reasonably friendly. Luckily, I did know INTERFERON.


    Nice gentle start to the week – just like old Times !

  11. Twenty-five minutes for this, and most of it seemed gentle enough. My only hesitation was over 14d. I knew St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, but clearly I haven’t been keeping up with the Colossians.
  12. 18:07 with over 3 minutes spent on LOI: METE.


    In 1807 Pall Mall became the first street with Gas Lighting.

  13. The middle of the grid stayed stubbornly blank for quite a while until NARCISSI opent up NEREID and INTERFERON after which I cantered over the line in 31:53. I was confused by solder being equated with cement, but a post solve delve into Thesaurus.com let the setter off the hook. Nice puzzle. Thanks setter and U.
  14. 12m 56s, with fully the last six minutes spent on INTERFERON and (the vast majority of the six) METE. Having gone through the alphabet about three times, it seemed the most plausible.

    I’m another who DNK salmi, and I’m not sure I’ve come across GREENSWARD in the wild, but both were guessable.

  15. A pleasant Monday morning solve. I didn’t know the STONEFLY before, but I didn’t really need to. I also usually get SALMI and SALMAGUNDI confused in my head, but again, that didn’t matter much here. My first thought for the holiday reading was that it must be Professor Stanley Unwin’s memoirs, or autobiogralode. Deep joy.
  16. 20 mins for this with about half of that stuck on -E-E. As a veggie, I’m not sure what people have for Sunday lunch, so I’m excused….
  17. Was that people standing in the street saying ‘no sir, this is not Pall Mall, Pall Mall is in Paris’?
    1. keriothe

      Wikipedia states that “the first public street lighting with gas was demonstrated in Pall Mall, London, on 28th January 1807 by Frederick Albert Windsor.”

      Bien sûr, Nancy may think differently.

      I am hoping in the future to report some interesting facts from the Middle Ages – if I can improve my times.

      1. I wasn’t questioning the facts: just trying to make a weak joke based on the other meaning of the word ‘gaslighting’. I won’t give up the day job. Actually I have given up the day job, but I won’t try and go into a new career as a comedian!
  18. A fairly straightforward solve, but held up by Sir John until I had all the checkers in place, the portly knight being one of the many historical/literary figures that are only recognisable to the davest hard-drive by surname.

    Time: all correct in 40 minutes.

    Thank you to setter and blogger.

  19. Yes, METE, COLOSSIANS and INTERFERON unknowns to me. Enjoyable stuff nonetheless.

    Let’s hear it for INFINITE JEST, an interesting one indeed. I’m a bit partial to Modernism, and that one is neo-M if I ever saw it. Stunned however, to realise how many of my relatively well-educated friends have not attempted the north face of Ulysses (another that toys with the dynamics of Hamlet), never mind The Wake. Sheesh.

    1. The odd thing about IJ is that some parts are very funny (the riff on psychiatrists comes to mind), while much is so sophomoric and over-written. I recommend to anyone else thinking of reading it not to bother with the footnotes. Makes the task more manageable. Also, don’t read anything twice…
      1. ‘Don’t read anything twice’ deserves to be emblazoned on t-shirts. In my book anyway.
  20. 34:05 delayed at the end of course by -e-e at 13ac, also by thinking thus was so and smuggled a containicator at 1ac. Dnk Salmi but the highly seasoned sausage was highly gettable nonetheless, as was the unknown interferon. Colossians took a while to emerge – I spent time hunting for co respondents or some such. I liked taoism and yippee.
  21. Nice Monday puzzle. I ended with INTERFERON after 15-20 minutes or so. Didn’t know it was a protein. I know the word as one of those many things ‘that does something inside your body’, but any further than that I cannot go. Regards.
  22. Cementing tool – soldering iron?? Never! To solder is not to cement but to bind two metals by use of a low melting point alloy!
    1. Cement: verb trans. Unite (as) with cement (lit. & fig.)

      The operative words being ‘as’ and ‘fig’ (figuratively).

  23. Thought I’d check out this Monday puzzle and I got 1d and 2d quickly so I was off and running. I finished with Colossians and then went back to try and improve on Salami which I couldn’t parse. I was trying to put A in a five letter word for Game. Happily nothing caused me to change it.
    Very much enjoyed this. Testing but gettable at my level. David

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