Times 27115 – “Fifteen minutes can save you….

Time: 37 minutes
Music: Mozart, Piano Sonatas, Christopher Eschenbach

Good evening, fellow solvers.   The blog is a bit late tonight, as I was involved in watching the final major of the year on TV, which is more than those in the UK can say.   I admit that I don’t care for the hype around Tiger, but his play from all sorts of undesireable locations was truly spectacular.  But in the end, Koepka had the final word, tapping in his last putt as if to say that winning a major is nothing new to him, either.

On to the puzzle.   I found tonight’s offering really excellent, with very subtle and allusive literals that were difficult to untangle from the wordplay.   None of the answers are that obscure, but extracting them from the clues takes a little work.

1 Triumph when surrounded by independent, select group (2-5)
IN-CROWD – IN(CROW)D, my FOI, with inspiration from the Bryan Ferry version.
5 Bit of skin trimmed and left in freezer (7)
9 Complaint unlikely in small Shetland island, or round Skye regularly? (9)
SUNSTROKE – S + UNST + OR backwards + [s]K[y]E.   I worked for a long time that this ended in OSY, misinterpreting ’round’ and taking the wrong letters from ‘Skye’, but a likely ending for a disease of some sort.
10 Colourful sort of light in West (5)
MAUVE – MA(UV)E, that is, Mae West and ultra-violet…..but not Ultra Violet, although since she died four years ago she is available for cryptic use.
11 Problem breathing oxygen after run in competition (5)
CROUP – C(R, O)UP.   I wasted a lot of time thinking ‘competition’ was the literal.
12 Not quite understand teaching story that can be analysed (9)
13 Objective for Trappists, perhaps, not to exaggerate (2,3,3,5)
TO SAY THE LEAST – Double definition, one somewhat far-fetched.
17 Black music heard in stages that give one a lift (8,5)
PLATFORM SOLES – PLATFOR(sounds like SOUL)S.  I had biffed ‘shoes’, and then I read the wordplay.
21 I see endless loot around failed invasion site (9)
GALLIPOLI – I + LO + PILLAG[e] backwards.  I wasted a lot of time trying to work in ‘Dieppe’.
24 Travel round city, and finally ask for wall sticker (5)
GECKO – G(EC + [as]K)O, with a clever allusive definition.
25 Custody, after a court decision (5)
AWARD – A + WARD.  Not quite right, as custody would really be ‘wardship’.
26 Disturbed serenity, receiving a tired look (9)
EYESTRAIN – anagram of SERENITY + A, with another clever literal.
27 Clinics, each covering western city (7)
28 Leader to drink more, getting drunk (7)
SUPREMO – SUP + anagram of MORE – lift and separate!
1 Examine heartless, wretched person (6)
INSECT – INS[p]ECT, the sole chestnut in the puzzle.
2 Wife, excellent, raised lots of concerns (9)
3 In several weeks work one may use a lot of ink (7)
OCTOPUS – OCT = OPUS.   Another clever literal, referring to the release of dark fluid by various species of octopus.
4 I fear the worst, but army does nothing wrong (9)
5 Heard vulgar call from the hatch (5)
CHEEP – Sounds like CHEAP, and in virtually all dialects, too.
6 Sound quality: pound, shake this (7)
TIMBREL – TIMBRE + L, a tambourine.
7 Not much comfort in clubs: not all dance (5)
CRUMB – C + RUMB[a].   Another allusive definition: ‘a crumb of comfort’ isn’t much.
8 Out of the Top Ten for Armistice Day? (8)
ELEVENTH – Double definition, more or less.
14 Comes with spikes: singular recipe for losing speed? (9)
HASTINESS –  HAS TINES + S.   “More haste, less speed”, another allusive literal.
15 Companion and I must visit sea-coast for a swim (9)
16 With this telescope, secretly watch grand girl (8)
SPYGLASS – SPY + G LASS, the easiest clue in the puzzle.
18 Feminine coiffures repelling husband? Be reasonable! (4,3)
19 Start to burn as cheek punched by nasty thug (5,2)
LIGHT UP –  LI(anagram of THUG)P.   Both ‘cheek’ and ‘lip’ are to be taken in the sense of ‘insolence’.
20 Investigate precise moment pressure dropped in game (2,4)
GO INTO – G([p]OINT)O, which most solvers will biff.
22 One city has merged into another (5)
LHASA – L(HAS)A, my LOI, and very puzzling until I realized ‘has’ was part of the wordplay.
23 The last round — great! (5)
OMEGA – O + MEGA, one we’ve seen before.

54 comments on “Times 27115 – “Fifteen minutes can save you….”

  1. To my surprise, I was able to solve this online, submit it, and have the time registered (although I’m still not able to post to the club forum). Biffed SUNSTROKE (DNK the island), and GALLIPOLI (couldn’t think of any other failed invasion site), working out the wordplay to the latter post submission. I didn’t have to put up with any Tiger hype, as the Japanese broadcaster didn’t bother to make the broadcast bilingual.
    1. I’m not sure how it is that the computer glitch that scuppered the Club site could not be fixed over the weekend, but could be fixed by midnight on Monday morning.
      Personally, I’m hoping that wrestling through unlikely channels to submit prize weekend crosswords might mean that my chances of winning (at last) are enhanced. I can dream!
      1. Or why fixing it for today’s puzzles–and who knows, maybe even tomorrow’s–left the weekend puzzles alone.
  2. Nice one ! No questions. But I think you have a point about WARD. (Haven’t done any research, though…)
  3. I think The Armarda would be my number one – with Operation Sea Lion being the completest invasion failure. The Bay of Pigs did not go well and ‘The Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ failed ultimately!

    49 mins- which was shameful for a Monday. I blame her indoors.She is not yet accustomed to the Maldivian waters.

    FOI 24ac Gordon GECKO (wall sticker!)

    LOI MAUVE unparsed as of IKEAN origin. I note IKEA have opened their doors in India – and that the new ‘Ikea Game’ has been banned world-wide!

    COD 2dn CONSORTIA (her indoors again – how did they get her name?)

    WOD 4dn DOOMSAYER – has a nice ring about it!

    Victor Meldrew is on holiday.

    Edited at 2018-08-13 04:21 am (UTC)

  4. Very pleased to untangle all the wordplay in this one in a decent 18 mins but I ruined it by typing ’seperable’, despite parsing the thing. Duh.

    Last in the ELEVENTH, after a long think.

    Favourite thing the ‘wall sticker’ def. for GECKO

    Nice challenge

  5. 30 minutes for all but 14dn and ??L?S at 17ac. I could only think of ‘platform heels’ which didn’t fit with my existing checkers, nor did it account for the second part of the wordplay. I had a complete mental block over 14dn until I spotted the possibility of TINES as ‘spikes’ and then everything fell into place.

    I thought I was pretty good on my Scotish islands but for some reason UNST has not come to my attention before, or if it did I have forgotten it.

    39 minutes in toto.

  6. 35 mins with yoghurt etc. even though we were in York over the weekend and have re-stocked with Fat Rascals.
    Eyebrows twitched a bit during this but not raised.
    Mostly I liked: ‘recipe for losing speed’ and COD to the wall sticker.
    Thanks setter and V.
    1. Nice TLS last week and thank you for the name-check. I went looking for Welles in the top row when I should have been looking for a pub!
  7. 23 minutes, though wrestling with a keyboard that refused to work accounted for the first few, and thinking 8d read One of the Top Ten made justifying 11th a bit tricky.
    Another PLATFORM SHOES initially, thinking shoo music might be a thing in, say, Alabama. Fortunately I remembered Dusty Springfield in time and changed to SOUL/SOLE (that doesn’t work with “black” – Ed).
    I would have biffed GO INTO but thought it a very feeble synonym for investigate. So I waited until I remembered that GO is a game and stopped fiddling with RU or POLO.

    Fortunately (again) my sporting distractions all happened before the crossword was published/accessible:
    Dina Asher Smith lifting the spirits (and golds) in the way that Usain Bolt used to.
    England bowling a hapless India to oblivion in a way that made you wish umpires could step in to prevent further damage like boxing referees do.
    The mighty Spurs winning silverware (sic!) ten days after their last match in the competition.
    Glory days!

    1. My weekend was buoyed by the same sporting events, but the silverware reference is lost on me. As far as I’m aware we only beat Newcastle in the Premier League?
      1. We did that too, but in the off season we played in the Champions Cup. The competiton was made up of the usual Champions League suspects, each playing 3 matches. Ours were Roma (4-1), Barcelona (2-2, lost on penalties but still got a point) and Milan (1-0), all played in the US. With our 7 points and +4 goal difference, we topped the league. There is a proper cup! Most of our World Cup players were missing, so in some ways, even more amazing.
        Inter Milan needed to score 4 goals in the last match of the series on Saturday to claim top spot, but could only manage 1 against Atletico.
        So Spurs are crowned Champions. Considering the last cup was 10 years ago, it’s worth a hot diggedy dog, don’t you think?

        1. I was aware we were playing in that competition but had forgotten about it. It would appear that only the best teams from the Champions League were involved putting this win slightly above winning the Champions League.
  8. Made heavy weather of this, particularly NW, 26′. CROUP took a while, thinking that ‘breathing’ indicated an insertion. Is FAIR DOS an international English phrase? Just wondering.

    My entry for the invasion is as above.

    Thanks vinyl and setter.

    Edited at 2018-08-13 07:42 am (UTC)

    1. I don’t think FAIR DO’S ever crossed the pond. I suppose I must have come across it somewhere, once, but I can’t imagine where.
  9. 22’02. All very separable. A dull wordy wit in some of the surfaces. Jollity a bit forced.
  10. I wasn’t sure if it was rustiness from a week’s holiday that made this seem quite tough or if it actually was quite tough. SNITCH suggests the latter.

    Did anyone else find PLATFORM SOLES didn’t seem to quite parse correctly? If the definition is ‘stages that give one a lift’ then stages is doing double duty in the clue. If the definition is ‘that give one a lift’ then it doesn’t read too well (as compared to ‘they give one a lift’ or ‘these give one a lift’).

  11. This was good Monday fare. I took 29 minutes, trying to fit some unknown past tense of ‘crew’, sounding like ‘crude,’ for too long. I should have remenbered the old pet shop joke about having birds going cheap sooner. SEPARABLE saved me in the end, and then LOI SUNSROKE dawned. Liked GECKO but COD to FAIR DOS. I gather there are some historical inaccuracies in Eric Bogle’s song about Gallipoli but The Pogues version is extremely moving. Thank you V and setter.
    1. I thoroughly agree with your assessment of The Pogues’ version of “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda”. In 1984 I was working in Riyadh and I attended the first night of the Riyadh Folk Club; an all-expat affair of course. One man, a Scot I think, sang it a capella. Extremely moving.
    2. On holiday with my family in the early 70s at a tiny little place in the Scottish Highlands, at the hotel one evening a folk singer played that song and moved the whole ruddy place to tears. I was only 9 or 10 years old but I’ve never forgotten it. The song would only have been written a couple of years before, and Eric Bogle himself was in Australia by then so I don’t suppose it was him, but I suspect the guy we saw playing it in the Galley of Lorne hotel was a friend of Bogle’s from the old country who had somehow picked up the song. It’s stayed with me ever since, but thanks for the reminder.
      1. Maybe John Dun could sing a version for us at his folk club and put up a link. He has a beautiful voice.
        1. I sing another one of his, No Man’s Land, but haven’t tried Waltzing Matilda myself. A few of my Folky friends have done it and it always goes down well. I guess I need to learn it now. Thanks for the plug BW 🙂

          Edited at 2018-08-13 10:53 am (UTC)

  12. Amazing to relate, I was able to complete and submit on the Club site, but I still cannot comment.
    I enjoyed this one, too. I worked in Shetland from 1978 to 1980 and have been to Unst by way of two ferries, so that wasn’t a problem. I think I am safe in saying that the Baltasound Hotel, at which I have had Sunday lunch, is the most northerly pub in Great Britain and the airfield at Baltasound the most northerly. There is also a military installation right at the northern tip named RAF Saxa Vord although WIkipedia says it was closed in 2006 but is being recommissioned as a Remote Radar site.

    Thank you, Vinyl1, for GO INTO and also for your preference for Brian Ferry’s version of “In Crowd”. Coincidentally I have been playing the CD with that on recently. I also used to like Ramsey Lewis’ version.

    Obviously it is acceptable to equate ‘colourful’ with MAUVE but is it all that common?


    Curious that about the Tiger hype. TVNZ1 sports news chose to open it’s segment on the USPGA with Tiger holing a putt rather than with Brooks Koepke, the winner. I watched the highlights package on Sky and the commentators did mention that the first nine of Tiger’s round was Seve-like in that he scored very well but didn’t hit one fairway.

    1. fyi In and around 1885, MAUVE was toute la rage – everything had to be MAUVE! It was The Mauve Period. Oscar Wilde noted it in ‘The Ideal Husband’
  13. A whisker under 40min for me, all of which I enjoyed. PLATFORM SOLES went in unparsed, but everything else was clear enough.
  14. 27:33 which felt like it took longer than it should have as I didn’t really get stuck on anything, so maybe I was just being a bit slow this morning. Like Sotira, ELEVENTH my LOI. TO SAY THE LEAST my favourite.
        1. It’s the annual setters sloggers and bloggers get together organised by John Henderson aka enigmatist etc. Details on 15squared website here: http://www.fifteensquared.net/2018/05/11/york-sb-weekend-26-28th-october-2018/
          I went last year and met up with a few familiar names including our own Verlaine and George Clements. Setters included Harry, Dutch, Eccles and Dean Mayer. Loads of fun. There’s a pub crawl(aka quiz) round York on Friday night, and a day in the Fox and Roman across the road from the Racecourse on Saturday. Accommodation is organised at the Jockeys’ quarters on the Racecourse.
          1. Sounds fun. Sadly, I doubt if I can make it. Not sure my liver could either.
  15. ….since I was born on Armistice Day in 1947 (which is 11 x 177). So a finishing time beginning with eleven (11:58, so only just !) seemed rather apposite.

    FOI IN CROWD (I’m in Dobie Gray’s camp)
    COD GECKO – I once abandoned a puzzle I was compiling because I simply couldn’t produce a clue for this word, and nothing else fits the grid !

    DNK DOOMSAYER but it was easily parsed.

    Thanks Vinyl1 – absolutely correct surmise for GO INTO !

    1. I was given GECKO to clue a couple of Christmas Turkeys ago (Thanks sotira). My offering was
      Lizard for example around abour start of sporting event.

      I prefer today’s version

      1. Not at all a bad shot though ! And certainly better than anything I could come up with.
  16. LOI SEPARABLE which I couldn’t parse at first, being previously fixated on FABLE which didn’t work. Wasn’t sure about the definition for SEPARABLE my dictionary has it as ‘able to be separated’. COD definitely FAIR DOS for the double-duty Feminine. Well I definitely never have a ‘hair do’, more of a ‘no 4’…
  17. 16 mins, so I was pretty much on the setter’s wavelength, much like I was the last time I did a weekday puzzle a fortnight ago. I found the top half easier than the bottom half, and after I’d cracked the GALLIPOLI/HASTINESS crossers PLATFORM SOLES was my LOI after FAIR DOS. A tip of the hat to the setter for the GECKO definition.
  18. I had to jump around the grid a bit as some clues just wouldn’t capitulate. The NE was the only section that flowed. CONSORTIA and SUNSTROKE were my last 2 in. The SW gave me most trouble, with GO INTO a real struggle. Still, the whole thing was done without errors in 29:00. An enjoyable tussle. Thanks setter and Vinyl.
    I was at Saltburn Folk Festival over the weekend, and during a beer and crisps interval, I lost a huge filling from lower left 6 molar. Serendipitously, I’d been summonsed by the Dentist for a check up last week, and my appointment is for 12:40 today. Better get my skates on!
  19. I only picked up on the Club site brouhaha this morning and was able to solve and submit with no glitches. BUT while I was away for the weekend some gremlin changed the layout on me so that instead of being under the puzzle on the right the submit button was off to the upper right. This was distracting. For some reason I couldn’t see MAUVE at all, which was rather stupid of me because my new grandchild is Mae Imogen. Otherwise FAIR DOS. 18.42
  20. 23:21 and a little bit chewier than normal for a Monday. I liked the feminine coiffures. I biffed go into and had platform shoes rather than soles until the cheek in 19dn had to be lip.
  21. Was going well but entered Eyeglass instead of Spyglass and therefore couldn’t get Platform Soles.
    My error – should have recalled from “Sir Patrick Spens” :-
    Long may my lady stand
    With a spyglass in her hand
  22. 8:10 – a good crossword for lovers of wordplay, and needed it to get FAIR DOS and the KE at the end to see SUNSTROKE
  23. Really liked this one – good, chewy fare for a Monday. LOI Sunstroke, COD Hastiness for me.
  24. No problems with this, maybe 15 minutes. I think my LOI was TIMBREL, which I had forgotten was a tambourine. I also didn’t know of UNST, or FAIR DOS, but they went in anyway without me worrying overly much. Regards.
  25. Black music took a while to drop and divided the grid between NE and SW. Everone has already alluded to the mistakes I nearly made. Could not parse GALLIPOLI and was late to the party with MAUVE, my LOI. COD 18d.

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