Times 27111 – not marketed correctly?

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
I had a lot of fun with this one, for some reason starting with 20a on a quick glance through, finishing the SE corner and working my way up and across to end with the guessed-from-wordplay 2d. Around 25 minutes all told. When I had two X’s and two Z’s in early, I was thinking at least one if not a double pangram, but it was not so. I am now better informed about a violent kind of dancing and an amateur expert on ice skating manoeuvres. 1d gets my CoD award for its audacity.

1 Exaggerated passion about which to sing sometimes? (8)
CAMPFIRE – CAMP = exaggerated, FIRE = passion. Ging Gang Gooly Gooly, I remember.
5 Ancient Roman wheel mark crossed by modern vehicle (6)
BRUTUS – RUT is crossed by a BUS.
8 Images that are missing beginning to cause doubts (3)
IFS – GIFS (images in Graphic Interchange Format) lose their initial G.
9 Perform a track using axe (2,4,4)
DO AWAY WITH – DO = perform, A WAY = a track, WITH = using.
10 East Windows — since replaced — permitted, revealing everything (8)
EXPLICIT – E = east, XP = version of Windows since replaced, LICIT = permitted.
11 Cardinal featuring in sex-change, excommunicated (6)
NINETY – Hidden inside SE(X C)HANGE are the Roman numerals for ninety, XC. At first I stuffed in NUNCIO thinking the Papal chap would be a cardinal, but had to re-visit when faced with 7d.
12 Jump is something that takes pluck, with unknown ending (4)
LUTZ – On the rare occasions I’ve watched ice skating on TV for more than a few seconds before switching channels, I’ve heard the commentator refer to a ‘triple Lutz’  which I see is a jump named after an intrepid Austrian chap who did it first in 1913, one Alois Lutz. To get the answer I think you replace the E of LUTE (something that takes pluck) with the unknown Z. For ages I was looking for LUT being a real Scrabble word in English not just an abbreviation in computing; as you may know, a lookup table or LUT is an array that replaces runtime computation with a simpler array indexing operation.
14 Religious leaders call for peace: give affirmative answer back (10)
AYATOLLAHS – Reverse all of: SH (call for peace), ALLOT (give), AY (affirmative), A (answer).
17 Someone evidently bad-mouthing weakness is wrong (10)
DISSERVICE – a DISSER could be a bad-mouther, and VICE = weakness.
20 Touring Australia, leave for island (4)
GOZO – GO around OZ and end up in Gozo, smaller island in Malta.
23 Poles belonging to the workforce (6)
STAFFS – STAFF’S would be belonging to the workforce.
24 Exemplary message: secure? (8)
TEXTBOOK – TEXT = message, BOOK = secure, reserve; TEXTBOOK as in example.
25 Match-winner, or miss? There’s nothing in it (6,4)
GOLDEN GOAL – GOLDEN = or, GAL = miss, insert an O.
26 There’s a surprise, seeing hotel amidst castles (3)
OHO – H for Hotel in between the two 0’s used as notation for ‘castles’ as a move in chess.
27 Drawing stick from a crony for corruption (6)
28 A consequence of murders: riot (8)
OFFSHOOT – OFFS = murders, HOOT = riot, as in he’s a hoot, a riot, very funny.

1 Sharply-defined foreign character, marketed incorrectly? (9)
CHISELLED – CHI Greek letter, SELLED meaning marketed in very bad English.
2 In place of wild dancing, doctors knock around quietly (4,3)
MOSH PIT – I guessed this from the checkers and wordplay, as my LOI. MOS = doctors, HIT = knock, around P = quietly. Apparently there is a form of dancing called MOSHING where one aggressively bumps into other people, carried out in a pit, to very loud punk type ‘music’. Verlaine may be a fan, perhaps, when he’s not in Seattle.
3 Filming technique: fancy German one (4-2)
FADE-IN – FAD = fancy, EIN = German for one.
4 Big Brother and co? Resistance vital, yet hopeless (7,2)
5 Bounty I resolved to accept (3,4)
6 Our standard of higher education about to drop (5,4)
UNION FLAG – UNI = higher education, ON = about, FLAG = to drop.
7 Release body of Manhattan Yank (7)
UNHITCH – I’m a bit lukewarm on this. the UN is a Body with its HQ in Manhattan, true. And a meaning of YANK can be the same as HITCH, as in ‘to hitch up one’s trousers’. I suppose it works. Not crazy about it though.
13 Tutorial ultimately left Suzy bursting with enthusiasm (9)
ZESTFULLY – (L LEFT SUZY)*, the L from end of TUTORIAL.
15 Scolded, as things removed from to-do list? (6,3)
TICKED OFF – Double definition.
16 What wineshops can do for a town (9)
STOCKPORT – wine shops can STOCK PORT.
18 Note to obtain national insurance, looking up number (7)
INTEGER – All reversed; RE = note, GET = obtain, NI = national insurance.
19 Girl from Central Europe, Polish (7)
ROSHEEN – (EU) RO (PE), SHEEN = polish. I’ve never seen it spelt this way only the Irish way, ROISIN with an accent on the second I. I suppose it’s an Anglicisation like SHAUN for SEAN.
21 Drink up on one’s own, welcoming men round (7)
OLOROSO – SOLO welcomes OR = men then O = round; all ‘up’.
22 English going out of fashion for American writer of history (6)
STYLUS – STYLE loses its E, the US for American. Old kind of writer, I was thinking of Roman historians for a while.

64 comments on “Times 27111 – not marketed correctly?”

  1. Whew, I couldn’t parse that at all!
    XC is also found in “excommunicated,” which is the only reason I can see for that word being there.
    I agree with ulaca about the clue for LUTZ. There is no implication that the ending of “lute” is changed as it is.
    Took a guess at STOCKPORT, DNK GOLDEN GOAL but found it, also discovered the heretofore unknown island.
    TICK OFF: We Americans can get TICKed OFF, but we don’t have the sense of “to reprimand.”
    Good one! I had less trouble than yesterday.
  2. If you are not conversant with Slamdancing to ‘Bad Brains’ then 2dn Mosh Pit will probably pass you by. California is now paying for its crimes, as they say Washington. I wonder if NicktheNovice has done a turn in the Pit?





    My single LUTZ was OK but my triple was a disaster.

    Just under the hour with much speeding up as per Jack.

  3. 65 minutes for me on a challenging puzzle indeed.

    12 across doesn’t make sense to me as written. Though the surface would be damaged, it needs something like ‘with unknown for ending’ in my book.

    Edited at 2018-08-08 05:34 am (UTC)

  4. Pip, XC is in eXCommunicated as well as seX-Change.

    A tough but satisfying puzzle! Done on paper in fits and starts over about 2 hours.

    1. Yes I see that, but then why add in sex-change if not to be a carrier for xc?
      Both are valid I think.
      1. Yes – I think having XC twice in a list of words seperated by a comma is deliberate. It’s a feature, not a bug!
  5. A slow start for me but increasingly found myself on the setter’s wavelength and speeded up considerably to finish in 48 minutes. Trusted to wordplay for ROSHEEN and GOZO, both unknown, and assumed correctly that OO in OHO was to do with chess notation when castling. Got MOSH PIT when prompted by checkers only because it completely eluded me the first time I came across it in a puzzle some months ago. I agree the clue to LUTZ (another unknown) doesn’t work as written. Also feel that something is missing from the ‘Cardinal’ clue, ‘and’ instead of the comma perhaps?

    Edited at 2018-08-08 05:15 am (UTC)

    1. Or maybe no comma at all. What we have, it seems, is a type of asyndeton in a simulated newspaper heading where the aspectual clash (i.e. use of different tenses), as written, makes the text rather difficult to parse.
    2. Yes, I think ulaca is right on this: omitting the comma would allow the surface to be read neatly as a sort-of newspaper headline.
  6. Inventive clueing, and the ‘castles’ device may be a novelty (in chess parlance). At least it is new for me.
    1. O-O is castle on the king’s side. Less common you may see O-O-O which is castle on the queen’s side
      1. Indeed – I’ve seen it in chess annotations, never in a crossword clue!

        I once played Raymond Keene as part of a simul in Blackwell’s bookshop. He defeated me in about three moves, and then delivered the limpest of handshakes along with a sneer of cold command. I still enjoy his columns though.

  7. 35 minutes, so way off a convivial stroll through the setter’s landscape.
    I never, ever get the TV bit as a 2-letter word. Despite having been over-exposed to Love Island, I was still struggling for an Orwellian solution. I suppose the setter struggles when looking for a word ending in V.
    Likewise when confronted with R_S_E_N: what else do you do but put in a name whose only virtue is that it fits. Just for coincidence sake, Roisin (Irish version) Dunne played guitar for 7 Year Bitch, an American punk rock band from Seattle, which it the most likely reason V’s there.

    This was a clever (-clever?) puzzle with some different devices: XP possibly making its first appearance, XC making two appearances (only spotted that after submitting when I thought to look for the Latin), king-side castling (ignore the -), not bothering with a substitution indication for LUTZ, putting riot at the end of 28 just so I could misread it as “not” and totally not understand the clue, pretending “Manhattan” sufficiently indicates UN, inventing the word DISSER…
    We are surely spoiled beyond measure.
    Well played Pip, glad it wasn’t me.

  8. 26:39 … for a wonderfully inventive puzzle.

    CHISELLED my favourite.

    Roman numerals are a perennial blind spot for me and I was nowhere near parsing NINETY, but ‘Cardinal’ plus the checkers was enough for confidence.

    Some great vocab., even the arbitrary girl’s name. ROSHEEN really is a lovely name, however you spell it.

    Enjoyed the chess clue, too, being a confirmed and typically enthusiastic patzer.

    Thanks, setter – great stuff.

    Edited at 2018-08-08 09:34 am (UTC)

    1. Never heard of a patzer before either, so just looked it up. I don’t believe that’s what you are. Is there the equivalent of a bandit in chess?
      1. Oh, trust me, I’m a patzer.

        I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a chess bandit. Hustlers are by no means unknown, especially in the online chess world where they’re often known as sandbaggers or, unaccountably, Smurfs. To Smurf your online chess rating is to throw a bunch of games in order to depress your rating and get easier games in tournaments. Online chess has spawned a whole new and ofter weird vocabulary — but then online crosswording isn’t so different, what with our biffing and neutrinos. As for people who use chess engines while playing online, they have many names, all of them unprintable.

  9. Found this very hard, and was surprised to find I’d got it all correct after an hour and twenty minutes where I never felt on the wavelength, and ended up with half a dozen question marks in the margins.

    Still, I woke up early, so it’s not like I didn’t have the time to spare!

  10. 45 mins with yoghurt, granola, blueberries, etc.
    And 10 of that was trying and failing to parse Ninety and thinking of writers of history ending …US. (A contemporary of Tacitus, perhaps).
    I’ve been bamboozled by that sort of hidden numerals/abbreviations clue before.
    Mostly I liked: Do away with, Offs hoot, Castles and Stockport (COD).
    Thanks setter and Pip.
  11. Same as yesterday, pleased I didn’t have to solve under the pressure of blogging the thing. Didn’t know ROSHEEN and think LUTZ and UNHITCH are not quite up to standard. Have only ever met a MOSH PIT in a crossword. Good work Pip.
    1. I’m surprised you never found time to pogo to some punk band in a steamy cellar. Perhaps Verlaine can help complete your education!
      1. Of all the things I might accomplish in a steamy cellar jumping up and down on the spot looking a complete prat is fairly low on my to-do list
  12. Panic set in when I got all the way to GOZO without solving a clue. STOCKPORT came next (Ryanair said it was the nearest airport) and I was up and running. Finished back in the NW with an alphabet trawl for the F in IFS and was amazed when my ipad congratulated me on finishing in 22:33. It felt twice as long and having seen the current SNITCH score I will probably be insufferably smug all day.
  13. More or less bang on the hour. I’m grateful for a young woman I sat next to at the Albert Hall at last year’s Dylan concert (she was there with her mother) who told me she was in a band called MOSHPIT, the meaning of which she then of course had to explain to me. I came nowhere near to parsing NINETY nor LOI UNHITCH, as that meaning of hitch just didn’t occur to me. Not knowing that a castle move was O, I had AHA until the OLOROSO in STOCKPORT wineshops revealed itself. I guess the off -licences there are the equivalent of the old gin palace. Needed all the crossers for LUTZ to emerge from the icy depths of memory. Good puzzle in most places. Thank you Pip and setter.

    Edited at 2018-08-08 09:17 am (UTC)

    1. I spent three years at Stockport College of Art in the late sixties. Up on Stockport Hill nearby the curry house we used to frequent was a furrier’s shop. At the end of spring the owner used to put a sign in the window to attract the dwindling summer trade.
      It read:-‘IT WILL BE COLD AGAIN!’

      Edited at 2018-08-08 09:40 am (UTC)

  14. I really enjoyed this and finally completed it, after having trouble with the SE corner (too many ‘O’s’!), in about 70 minutes.

    The ‘something that takes pluck’, MOSH PIT and DISSERVICE were my picks. Thanks for explaining NINETYand the ‘castles’ bit.

    Thanks to setter and blogger

  15. Found this quite tough (51 mins) but most enjoyable nonetheless. Like many others I popped in GOZO to get started, then BRUTUS and UNION FLAG pretty quick so the NE corner was looking OK, until the crossing of UNHITCH and AYATOLLAHS slowed me considerably. Yank=hitch was a stretch too far and I was hell-bent on finding a 10-letter word which refers to Judeo-Christian clerics. I thought the number of Os in 21d was otiose, overdone, OTT, but suddenly I had a recollection from my childhood of a rotund old man with a most orotund trans-Atlantic voice on a TV screen intoning about the superior qualities of Domecq sherry — Orson and the oloroso!

    Great puzzle and lovely blog. Thank you.

    1. I had exactly the same problem with “Ayatollahs” even when I had 4 of the 5 crossing clues. Couldn’t see the wood for the trees.
  16. 40 minutes – with most of bottom unsolved, aid told me that no word would fit the checkers I had at 17ac – so had another look, and saw that ZEALOUSLY didn’t parse for 13dn. Thereafter rest completed (after correcting BOOT to GOAL) without assistance, though 19dn went in from wordplay with a shrug, never having come across that anglicisation of ROISIN. I did spend time trying to think of a suitable Roman historian at 22dn, so 24ac was LOI. I never did see how to parse 11ac, so thanks fr that, and agree clue to 7dn was unsatisfactory,
  17. It was the NW corner that caused me all the problems. The clueing for MOSH PIT was clear but I had lost my wits by then. Wasn’t on the wavelength for IFS which didn’t help. Another👎 for LUTZ although I got it OK.
  18. MOSH PIT was my first one in, weirdly. I found this quite tough overall, with a few clues not entirely convincing, particularly LUTZ and CHISELLED. OLOROSO was a bit of a stab, and I didn’t parse NINETY at all. 14m 21s.

    The multiple Xs and Zs made me wonder if this was veering into pangram territory, but it was not to be.

  19. DNF in 41 mins. 5 wrong.

    Unleash, nuncal, oroloso, textlock and, most embarrassingly, Do Ably Dill! A bit like singing tra la la when performing a music track, where the words are unknown or made up.

  20. This made my morning. It took a while to get started but was immensely satisfying. I couldn’t parse NINETY and didn’t understand the chess terminology but they were easily biffable. Thanks to setter and blogger. 35 minutes. Ann
  21. The mysteries of the wavelength meant that I found this considerably less sticky than yesterday’s, and enjoyed the similarly inventive approach. (Confession, I was another who finally went with NINETY after deciding it was almost certainly right, but that I couldn’t spend literally all afternoon trying to work out why; and having got the answer here – thank you, Pip – I suspect I might never have got it). Also a nice trip down Memory Lane remembering XP and Golden Goals.
  22. Gave up after 30 minutes having been stuck on 24A for the last 5 minutes of that time. Alpha trawling DIDN’T help ! Was the definition “exemplary” or “secure” ? Best at the start ? Lock at the end ? Came here to find TEXTBOOK which I really should have solved.

    There was much I didn’t like about this one. DNK (G)IFS, and the XP of EXPLICIT also didn’t cut much ice with this ancient technophobe. Also struggled with the TV.

    To spell ROISIN in that way is a crime against humanity. Can anybody name an even vaguely well-known person with that moniker as presented ? I only succumbed when GOLDEN GOAL ruled out “Rosalin” which I’d pencilled in, hoping that “salin” might be some kind of polish.

    UNHITCH was really poor. I agree with other posters that neither NINETY nor LUTZ were adequately clued.

    If I diss the setter, it doesn’t strike me that I’m a DISSER. And I’d sooner have my toenails pulled out than play chess.

    FOI GOZO, followed by STOCKPORT (I actually wrote this clue for a puzzle I compiled some years ago !). But having started like Rinteff, I didn’t build on it.

    Biffed AYATOLLAHS. Good clue though.

    COD CHISELLED by a country mile.

    Maybe tomorrow will be more enjoyable.

  23. Not a stick I didn’t get the wrong end of with this one but at least I managed to bring it home unlike last Friday’s. I had “aha” for a while which didn’t help. I didn’t know ROSHEEN but “Rosalyn” looked unlikely and GOLDEN GOAL took forever to register. Did anyone else have “Jack” at 6d? – that took a while to sort out too. GOZO I associated with Ghostbusters (although Google says it’s “Gozer”) which my children watched interminably at one time. Some good stuff here. 32.12
  24. NINETY was my LOI after several minutes trying and failing to parse it. I eventually submitted with fingers crossed relying on the definition. LUTZ was my FOI, with an MER over the way the clue didn’t really indicate changing a letter, but rather adding one to the end. ZEALOUSLY then went in with doubts which were later confirmed by GOLDEN BOOT, which STYLUS eventually caused me to change to GOLDEN GOAL. GOZO saved me from entering UNION JACK. MOSH PIT came up recently so I was able to recall it once I had a couple of checkers. Liked CHISELLED and REALITY TV. Was initially a bit baffled by body of Manhatten = UN at 7d, although HITCH was no problem. On the whole I quite enjoyed this puzzle. 41:58. Thanks setter and Pip.
  25. 30:28 with lots of fun along the way, but I failed to parse EXPLICIT. Very clever. I was a bit surprised by CHISELLED, but then chuckled. COD to OHO for the invention.
  26. Over an hour on this good puzzle, did not get NINETY, conflating nuncio and an imagined word meaning excommunicated. Thanks pip and setter.
  27. Slightly surprised at the negative reaction to LUTZ. I agree that it’s not the normal ‘crossword’ wording but I think saying LUTE has an unknown ending is the same as saying it has an ‘unknown’ for its ending.
    As for NINETY I think it’s grammatical, possibly in a more journalistic sense 🙂
  28. If I hadn’t cheated I would have got further before I ran out of time. Googling AES and wheel turns up a fantasy series of books know as the Wheel of Time where aes sedal is a symbol or marking, so Caesar fits 5ac, but not 5d, 6d or 7d. I figured that anyone who could set Mosh Pit might also know some fantasy and sci-fi. I wasn’t helped by seeing Jete as the only jump I could think of with a t in third position.

    I liked the rest of this though; I’m a sucker for clever cluing and this had it in spades.

    Edited at 2018-08-08 03:53 pm (UTC)

  29. 27:01. I decided to tackle this after a fairly well-lubricated dinner and thought for a while my booze-impaired solving skills weren’t going to be up to it.
    I found it a curious mix of the very enjoyable and the rather irritating. I share the view of others that the clue for LUTZ is defective (sorry setter), and I didn’t like the chess notation (not really common knowledge) or the rather loose ‘Yank’ for HITCH. And why on earth would you spell Roisin like that?
    On the other hand there’s lots of really fun and inventive stuff in here and it’s great to see new-fangled things like GIFs, XP and MOSH PITs.
    On the whole the fun outweighed the irritation so thanks setter and please don’t be discouraged from supplying more of the same!
  30. DNF. Gave up with 5 to go; NINETY, TEXTBOOK, UNHITCH, OLOROSO, STYLUS and 1 wrong MeSH PIT. Liked CHISELLED and EXPLICIT.
  31. That was certainly unusual. It took a good deal longer than normal, and I had to just biff NINETY, AYATOLLAHS, and I guess LUTZ too. Sort of a semi-biff on UNHITCH. The CHISELLED device could lead us all to a lot of murkily created wordplay, but once I saw that one, it was clearly the answer. A bit of a mind stretching exercise altogether, but rewarding in the end. The girl’s name was new to me too. Regards.
  32. Around NINETY minutes to complete. Apart from a brief burst ten minutes in, this was a slow plod through the setter’s landscape, not helped by entering ZEALOUSLY at 13d.

    (Un)luckily, I have been moshed many times – one of those unlucky observers trying to enjoy the gig but on the edge of the twits beyond caring whether they elbow you in the face. I almost prefer being showered with beer.

  33. Got through it in two goes – around 30 mins all in. Quite a handful. Great blog, thanks pip.
  34. On Monday we had Pontefract, where I used to live – today Stockport where I was born. Maybe on Friday I will learn in which town I am to end my days?
        1. Whichever town appears in Friday’s crossword – I will never travel there. I hope it’s not London (difficult to avoid).
  35. I needed an hour for all but 1ac and 3dn which typically both fell within 5 mins on returning to the puzzle after work. Ninety was of course biffed from cardinal and checkers with no clue about the parsing until coming here. I thought this crossword was terrific, loads of invention, just lots and lots of fun to solve. I am bursting with as much enthusiasm for it as 13dn’s Suzy at the end of her tutorial. I wonder if one might find the ayatollah of rock and rolla in the mosh pit. Gozo FOI. Campfire LOI. COD 4dn.
  36. This was a value-for-money puzzle, keeping me thinking (if that’s not too strong a word) for a little less than fifty minutes.

    UNHITCH went in only vaguely parsed, and OHO on a wing and a prayer. If “O” is the chess notation for “castles”, then wouldn’t two of them be “castleses”? AYATOLLAHS was left unassembled – I could see that all the pieces were there, but wasn’t prepared to go through the effort of assembling them.

    NTLOI TEXTBOOK, LOI OLOROSO, after TEXTBOOK made Orinoco mechanically unfeasible. I had grave misgivings over ROSHEEN, which I assumed was one of those madey-uppey names like Jerrika or Charenne, as opposed to naturally-occurring ones like Jane or Emily. To learn from our esteemed blogger that it can also be spelled Roisin just makes it all the more bewildering.

    Edited at 2018-08-08 08:02 pm (UTC)

  37. Could someone please advise me on how to not be “Anonymous” if I wish to make a comment in the blog? I have tried to sign up without success.
    I complete The Times cryptics every day (not at the record speeds of the bloggers!) and often refer to the journal afterwards to see how others have found them (for example, I found all last week’s crosswords more challenging than usual – wanted to know if it was just me or the heat!).
    Help will be appreciated. Just reply to ‘Anon’ on the blog!
    Incidentally, I have Tim Moorey coming to Kent next March 18th (evening) to do a talk about doing cryptic crosswords, if anyone would like to meet him. Can this be announced in the journal?
    1. If you want help with signing up, anon, you will have to supply details of the problems you are having. I’m not aware of any ongoing difficulties but others may know more. Usually it’s just a matter of coming up with a username that has not already been taken, and if that’s what’s happening to you, just adding two or three random numbers to it should help.

      In the meantime please put a name, made-up or otherwise, at the end of your contributions and that will distinguish you from the other anons.

      With regard to your crossword event I don’t think there’d be any objection to your posting about it here and giving details. Adding a message to a blog early in the morning should ensure maximum readership.

      Edited at 2018-08-08 08:40 pm (UTC)

  38. Thank you, jackkt. I am no longer “Anonymous” having added the odd asterisk and underscore to my password and changed my username. I will now be known as “Chloe54x”.
    I have sometimes added comments with a signature at the end, but it has been annoying not being able to sign in!
  39. If you haven’t heard of it, you are not going to work it out from the cryptic, so this is a case of ‘obscurity clued by obscurity’ which is bad form.

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