Times 27085 – Coming Home?

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
25 minutes for this pleasant offering that had some nice misdirection if not too much to frighten the horses. Away we go…


1 Approve pub bar’s term for concoction (6-5)
7 Patient man‘s situation? (3)
JOB – double definition (job = situation as in situations vacant)
9 Person pushing in to seize Victorian lunchbox (6-3)
TUCKER-BAG – a person who tucks or pushes a letter into an envelope might be called a tucker; to seize is to bag. Victorian here refers to the state in Australia
10 Maiden crossing island brought back hemp, of a sort (5)
SISAL – I in LASS reversed
11 What it’s said 007 has on invasive code? (7)
SPYWARE – sounds like ‘spy wear’
12 Dodgy individual giving ninety the sack (7)
ELUSIVE – EXCLUSIVE minus the XC (ninety in Latin). ‘evasive’ rather than ‘elusive’, I’d have thought, but close enough
13 Made great strides and took charge of fencing work (5)
15 Nurse with extra energy, first person determined to get on (9)
17 Plain cash released for Panama, perhaps (4,5)
19 Here’s something to drink, after knocking back dram — cheers (5)
PINTA – NIP reversed TA
20 A fine romance, full of good humour (7)
22 Bloody child behind 80% of lawlessness! (7)
24 Wastrel filling barrel dithered around (5)
IDLER – reverse hidden
25 Smallest rabbit ultimately getting most irritation? (9)
27 Rope that’s ritually burned? (3)
GUY – every 5 November…
28 One leaves coaches, wild about inventor’s latest conveyance (11)
TRANSFERRAL – TRA[i]NS FERAL around [invento]R


1 Aggressive male behaviour Proust regularly exhibited (3)
RUT – every other letter in [p]R[o]U[s]T
2 Havana needs this vehicle reversing on city’s outskirts (5)
BACCY – CAB reversed on outside letters of C[it]Y
3 Eastern male, messenger casting the first stone (7)
4 Minor cleric‘s case bound to collapse (9)
5 View that could be right (5)
ANGLE – quirky extended, geometrical definition
6 Farmland beyond river (7)
PASTURE – PAST (beyond) URE (that of Wensleydale, if I remember correct)
7 Emperor newly arrived in housing area (9)
JUSTINIAN – JUST IN (newly arrived) IN (from clue) containing (housing) A (area)
8 Little urban ground for high-speed transport (6,5)
11 Single fleas in contortions forming their own bond (4-7)
14 Dad participating wholeheartedly, to one’s embarrassment (9)
PAINFULLY – PA IN FULLY (‘participating wholeheartedly’)
16 During reports, Officer in Command is moved (9)
18 With nothing on Persian maybe grabs some entertainment (7)
CABARET – BARE in CAT (‘Persian maybe’)
19 Please old ambassador in ceremony, quietly taking the lead (7)
21 Spare
no established player (5)
23 What’s said to be complete fleece (5)
SHEAR – sounds like ‘sheer’
26 Sesame to cultivate: large leaves (3)
TIL – TIL[l]; another name for sesame

54 comments on “Times 27085 – Coming Home?”

  1. A typo at 4d, but this was really a DNF anyway, as I didn’t know TUCKER-BAG and went to the dictionary for TUCKE_ -B_ _ . The term BULLET TRAIN annoys me for some reason. The Japanese don’t use the term (or its Japanese equivalent, whatever that would be); it’s called Shinkansen, which prosaically means ‘new trunk line’, although it’s probably lost that association now that there are so many lines.
  2. I suffered from knowing Australian slang, so had trouble going past TUCKER BOX for 9ac, but I got there in the end. All fair enough, except that I didn’t know TIL and was reluctant to bang it in because “large leaves” didn’t sound like there should be another L left!

    Edited at 2018-07-09 02:09 am (UTC)

  3. … fully parsed, so not too hard. I also had tucker-box for a short while. LOI was ELUSIVE (for no good reason that I can think of). DNK TIL for sesame, but the cryptic left little choice.

    Thanks to the setter for the Monday fare and the nod to Oz. And to U, as always, for the early-posted blog.

  4. 24 minutes. Didn’t know TIL for ‘sesame’ but trusted the wordplay.

    A little surprised that TUCKER BAG appears to have caused some difficulty as it crops up several times in the song ‘Waltzing Matilda’ which I’d have thought was universally known. Perhaps it’s not, but I’d put money on that being a reference the setter may have had in mind.

    Edited at 2018-07-09 04:13 am (UTC)

    1. Good point: indeed he did stuff the jolly jumbuck in his tucker BAG. On the other hand, the dog sits on the tucker BOX nine miles from Gundagai.
      1. I don’t know that reference, but having looked it up and checked a couple of dictionaries it seems that ‘tuckerbox’ is a 9-letter word whereas our answer today was 6-3.
        1. I got there by figuring the setter wouldn’t clue Tucker Box as Lunchbox, and would probably avoid having to find a word with an ‘x’ in third spot.
  5. Rather liked PRITHEE. Dnk TIL. Nice gentle start to the week. Is PINTA anything other than for advertising milk? 12’23” thanks ulaca and setter.
    1. I think ‘pinta’ is to milk what ‘cuppa’ is to tea although some insist the latter can also apply to coffee these days. Although PINTA started life in an advertising slogan (Drink pinta milka day) it’s in the language now in its own right.

      The slogan was used in a Milk Marketing Board campaign in the 1950s and 1960s along with others such as “Milk’s gotta lotta bottle” and “Is your man getting enough?”

      1. I can’t imagine anyone using PINTA today though, whereas cuppa remains in common usage. Not that I mind PINTA as an answer if it’s in the dictionary.
      2. Fans of the late Tony Hancock will remember his rendition of Drinka Pinta Milka Day in his classic The Blood Donor
        1. Also “Coughs and sneezes spread diseases” sung to the tune of “Deutschland uber alles”!
  6. Never quite felt on the wavelength, with quite a few put in in hope rather than certainty, but they all turned out to be right, and my 39 minutes was faster than it felt, at least.

    FOI 1d RUT LOI 26d TIL, with wobbles around 7d JUSTINIAN (I vaguely considered Jossarian for reasons I can’t quite explain right now) and 9a TUCKER-BAG, among others.

    Still, several times faster than yesterday’s…

  7. 11:03 but yet another slow start, FOI LOPED.

    Agree with most of the foregoing, especially LOI DNK TIL.


  8. 30 mins with yoghurt and superfoods.
    DNK Til but it had to be.
    Mostly I liked: Elusive and Prithee.
    Thanks setter and U.
    1. Those superfoods – not tomatoes by any chance? Not sure they’d go with yoghurt.
  9. 14:09. TIL, my LOI, unknown, but it had to be. My only slight difficulty was self-inflicted by initially having RELOCATED for 16d. With BACCY, PINTA, TITCHIEST and PRITHEE this looked like a sepia-tinged photograph. Enjoyable monday fare. Thanks setter and U.
  10. DNF as I put in a careless SHEER instead of SHEAR, otherwise all wrapped up in 20 minutes.
  11. There was a variant spelling of TIL referenced in one of yesterday’s competition crozzies (say no more) so it was fresh enough in my mind, though perhaps a little arcane to turn up on a Monday.
    I thought this was delightful: 16 minutes, so not hard, but some cheerful surfaces rather discouraged biffing. I particularly liked the bloody child, the dodgy sacker and the NoDad dancing at 14. Personally I’m not worried that the Japanese don’t call their bullet train a bullet train: the National Railway Museum at York invites you to “make yourself comfortable in the Japanese bullet train”. Case closed.
    TUCKER BAG of course from the fair dinkum Oz national anthem. Even if I’m not all that clear what a jumbuck is now that Rolf isn’t at liberty to tell us.
    Thanks for clear exposition, and to the setter appreciation for a cheery start to the week.
    1. Your comment made realise I didn’t know either, but apparently it’s a sheep which leads to the inevitable question, how large can a tucker-bag be?

      Down came a jumbuck to drink at that billabong.
      Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him with glee.
      And he sang as he shoved that jumbuck in his tucker bag:
      “You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me.”

      Edited at 2018-07-09 08:52 am (UTC)

  12. 23 minutes with LOI proving to be the most ELUSIVE. Took a long time parsing LOPED. COD to JUSTINIAN, an interesting guy whose arguments with the monophysites in the Eastern Church arguably opened the door for Islam, if I’ve remembered my church history correctly, which I probably haven’t. Thank you U and setter.
  13. 13 mins. I found the RHS a fair bit trickier than the LHS, and I finished with JUSTINIAN after SISAL and JOB. Count me as another who didn’t know TIL so I went with the wordplay, but only after TITCHIEST and TRANSFERRAL were in. TUCKER-BAG was my FOI thanks to Waltzing Matilda, although I haven’t got a clue if it is usually spelt as one word.
  14. Typo again but under 13 mins.

    Some automatic writing involved (eg JOB), but just enough tricksiness to stop it being a total reflex solve for old hands.

    Another nod to that tabloid staple, the one-child crime wave.

  15. Thirty-five minutes for this one. In retrospect, I can’t see why I wasn’t faster, since there’s nothing too difficult – perhaps I was just off-wavelength. AFFABLE, along with “effable”, both seem to refer to long-lost verbs.
  16. Amazed that I’d never heard of TIL after many years in the health food trade.Otherwise it took longer than it should have done. LOI SPYWARE, where I spent an age looking for S.Y.E.E after a mistyped EMERELD.
  17. I was rather ponderous in solving this in 36 mins. Slow start, but then I got into the swing a bit more. A fun puzzle, as several here have noted. I reckon Rolf’s TUCKER BAG, CABARET (the musical) and BULLET TRAIN are also relics from the era of PINTAs, BACCY and Shirley Bassey — aah, those were the days!

    How does SHEAR work? As a noun (the shear = the fleece of a sheep?) or as a verb (they were fleecing sheep all morning?) — I don’t get it.

    Thanks for the blog; and thanks, setter, for an enjoyable start to the week.

    1. I presumed that fleece as a verb is synonymous with shear as a verb. Mr. Google confirms this.
    2. Oh, OK — thank you both. I suppose I could have done the google research myself before posting a query, but thanks for clarifying this. My ODE only had fleece=swindle, shear=cut.
      1. Don’t worry about posting queries, pserve_p2, as they and the responses that follow serve to entertain and enlighten others and are the life-blood of the forum.
    3. fleece 3 verb trans. Clip or shear the fleece from (a sheep). Now rare. E17.
  18. 19:08 which was a fair time considering I have a man with a digger excavating foundations in the next door garden. Even worse his chum’s dumper truck has one of those annoying beeping devices that starts every time it goes into reverse. It could be a long day…
    The crossword? Nothing too tricky except for the unknow TIL. It matters little here but in principle I think we should be told to remove just one L.
    1. Well… they are supposed to be clues, rather than comprehensive instruction manuals.
      1. And has anyone ever managed to read through a comprehensive instruction manual? It’s much more fun to make it up as you go along.
  19. Just under 30 min. – got needlessly stuck here and there. Here’s a maze trod indeed through forthrights and meanders! (Sorry – holding forth as Gonzalo in ‘The Tempest’ shortly.) ‘Large leaves’ is more of a singular idea than plural, surely. Liked ‘spyware’, don’t know why. Reminds me of ‘Spy versus Spy’ in ‘Mad’ magazine’, could be it.
  20. Definitely at the easier end of the spectrum in accordance with Monday tradition. It took me no more than 30 mins, close to a PB, so I imagine the likes of Verlaine will have needed no more than a handful of nano-seconds to complete it.

    I too toyed for a while with TUCKER-BOX and failed to spot the Oz connection at 9ac (ridiculous, I agree, Jack as we all know Waltzing Matilda). I’d never heard of TIL at 26d as another name for sesame but the cryptic parsing left little doubt that it was the right answer. A strong feature of the puzzle, I thought, were the smooth and plausible surface reads.

  21. 13:01. I started really quickly on this, but then hit a wall with half a dozen or so unsolved. I didn’t help myself by putting in an over-hasty RELOCATED at 16dn.

    Edited at 2018-07-09 10:14 am (UTC)

  22. Hardly a write-in, but still quite Mondayish. TIL was unknown but not hard to believe in. Elsewhere, I had one of those peculiar moments of word-blindness where I worked out PINTA but kept pronouncing it in my head as if I was considering Columbus’s ship, and couldn’t see what that had to do with any sort of drink, until Hancock in the doctor’s surgery suddenly sprang to mind.
  23. Golden oldies time. Another Waltzing Matilda here and the Flanders/Swann Slow Train number for DUNSTABLE. The one where everyone gets the sniffles. 16.15

    Edited at 2018-07-09 10:36 am (UTC)

    1. Were you solving the same crossword as me Olivia? I didn’t find any DUNSTABLE in mine!
      1. Quite right Pootle – I was catching up after being away and it was in one of the others. Oops.
  24. I wasn’t entirely convinced by ‘person pushing in’ being a TUCKER, but I hadn’t thought of envelopes. No particular difficulties today, all done in 9m 04s.

    COD for me was 4d, just because the anagram was done craftily enough that I didn’t spot it was an anagram until quite late on. Although possibly I’m just trying to make myself feel better about missing the obvious.

  25. Three opportunities to incorrectly use “a” and “e”, but by golly I got every one of them. Sisel and Caberet should have sucombed to paying better attention in spelling class; Sheer should have sucombed to better reading of the clue. Otherwise a quick and enjoyable solve with just enough new or unusual to be interesting without being overpowering
  26. An enjoyable puzzle which I managed to finish correctly having considered the Shear/Sheer trap.
    Some echos: DNK Til but I thought the clue was clear; held myself up with Relocated at 16d; my LOI was Elusive and I spent a lot of time trying to parse it, including trying to insert X and C.
    I remember Drinka Pinta Milka Day too well. David
  27. A pleasant 23:34, with RUT leading the field and AFFABLE bringing up the rear. PRITHEE was elusive for a while as I tried to fit an OHE into the charade. My initial SUBCODEAN at 4d led to a metaphorically slapped forehead. CRIMSON took a while to register too. TIL was unknown but wordplay was clear. Thanks setter and U.
  28. Over 30 mins for a Monday! I wasn’t sure whether 11ac was SPYWEAR or SPYWARE

    FOI 1dn RUT

    LOI 26 dn TIL

    COD 22ac CRIMSON


  29. Around 15 minutes to get through this, so not a hard one. I delayed myself by entering RELOCATED at first as did some others, which held up TRANSFERRAL, but LOI was the unknown TIL, because it had to be that from the wordplay. Not much else to say on this, other that of course I had no idea of what a TUCKER-BAG would have been without the ‘lunchbox’ hint appearing in the clue, and I don’t know the words to Waltzing Matilda either, just the tune and the chorus. Regards.
  30. 28:44. Some of this went in like greased lightning: job, pasture, bullet train, titchiest but some others: rubber-stamp, elusive, subdeacon, had enough disguise or misdirection for this to be a fun challenge overall.

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