Times 27129 – not the usual Wednesday challenge, but pleasant enough.

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
For some reason I began this from bottom right to top left, but none of it did I find hard, twenty minutes had it done even with a couple of interruptions by the telephone. A random female at 11a and a random man at 14d appear, but the word play is straightforward. Have an extra biscuit if you bothered to parse 5d. From a forgettable bunch, I select 15a as my CoD as it took me a while to twig and it was before I had 15d.

1 Contrived return of French artist — about time (6)
STAGED – DEGAS reversed includes T.
5 Accommodating chaps after a black filling beer (8)
AMENABLE – MEN and A, B inside ALE.
9 Our class is left for minutes in West End musical (8)
MAMMALIA – MAMMA MIA ! a musical I personally hate (well, the movie anyway), has its last M changed to an L as in “left for minutes”.
10 Walked about round south-eastern part of England (6)
DORSET – TROD = walked, is reversed and has SE inserted. Dorset being the treasure trove of England from which such little gems as Jimbo and I hail.
11 Female soldier dressed in recycled old and new gear (8)
GEORGINA – Insert GI = soldier into (O, N, GEAR)*.
12 Very unpleasant pub reported for someone on the fiddle (6)
VIOLIN – Sounds quite like “VILE INN”. Violin can mean the player as well as the instrument, as in ‘second violin’ in a quartet.
13 Memorial is not cheap, unfortunately (8)
15 Gesture to attract attention of runner in the countryside (4)
BECK – Double definition, as in at his BECK and call, and BECK a stream.
17 Learned custom abandoned by university (4)
SAGE – USAGE = custom, loses its U.
19 Hearing daughter’s embraced by rugby player — sweet (4,4)
PEAR DROP – PROP, a rugby player, has EAR and D inserted or they are ’embraced’.
20 Book upset many in House of Lords (6)
HYMNAL – HL = House of Lords, insert (MANY)* = many upset. A vague definition, but the wordplay is easy enough.
21 Pretender’s action following ruling to abolish king (8)
FEIGNING – F = following, REIGNING, drop the R = abolish king.
22 Working on care for muscle attachment (6)
TENDON – ON on TEND = care.
23 Action regularly taken by one who’s near spray (8)
ATOMISER – ATO = alternate letters of A c T i O n, MISER = one who’s ‘near’. Collins has NEAR as a synonym for meanness or parsimony, in one sense.
24 Leave to investigate the point of paying (8)
CHECKOUT – Triple definition; To leave, to check out as in research, and where you pay in Tesco, if you’re not into home delivery.
25 Run back inside tent for food (6)
YOGURT – GO reversed inside YURT a tent in Mongolia or similar.

2 Cross and unwilling to follow the rules initially (8)
TRAVERSE – T R = the rules, initially; is followed by AVERSE = unwilling.
3 I’m cutting good drug to be worthless (8)
GIMCRACK – G = good, CRACK = a drug, insert I’M. It means showy but worthless, an odd looking word derived from GIBBECRAK from Old French gibben meaning erratic and crak a breaking sound.
4 Everything I wanted in social flirting (9)
DALLIANCE – ALL I goes inside DANCE being a social.
5 In reality a missile at end of life mostly has bad performance (2,1,6,2,4)
AS A MATTER OF FACT – Some tortuous wordplay here; A, SAM = missile, AT, TER(M) = end of life mostly, OFF ACT for a bad perfornance. Phew! Biff it.
6 What ancient humans used carving up the lion? (7)
NEOLITH – (THE LION)*. They were Neolithic, so used neoliths, I guess.
7 Beginning to build a foundation for sandstone church (8)
BASILICA – B(UILD), A, SILICA for the foundation of sandstone.
8 Ravel star abandons the piano (8)
ENTANGLE – PENTANGLE = star, lose the P for piano. More usually seen is UNRAVEL the opposite, but you can ravel string apparently.
14 Resistance over chap cutting wages as penny-pinching (9)
PARSIMONY – PAY = wages has R and SIMON a chap, inserted.
15 Jane Austen’s city quote brought up to ludicrous effect (8)
BATHETIC – Jane Austen lived in Bath for 5 years and set her two of her books there; then reverse CITE = quote.
16 Start to remark when tons missed church (8)
COMMENCE – COMMEN(T) = remark loses tons, CE = church.
17 Very good compass and ruler (8)
SPANKING – SPAN = compass, KING = ruler. Spanking as in spanking new, not as a noun you naughty person.
18 Great European pretentiousness (8)
GRANDEUR – GRAND = great, EUR = European.
19 Vain person? Love is my middle name (7)
PEACOCK – Double definition, a peacock is a vain person and Thomas Love Peacock was a poet, a chum of Shelley’s, even I knew that.

32 comments on “Times 27129 – not the usual Wednesday challenge, but pleasant enough.”

  1. I had trouble with BECK even after getting 15 down, wanting it to be ‘buck’.

    I know GIMCRACK only from Flanders and Swann. Genius.

    ‘Referendum? Oui, oui, oui,’ indeed!

  2. 35 minutes for all but 9ac where after a further 5 minutes I gave up and resorted to aids. I’m not familiar with MAMMALIA although I note it came up once before (April 2013) clued as ‘Class left for final minutes of West End musical’.

    I claim an extra biscuit for parsing 5dn correctly although I had my doubts about TERM / end of life.

    I had a few problems getting started and BECK was my first one in.

    Edited at 2018-08-29 05:45 am (UTC)

  3. 23mins. Held up by the NW corner. Took a while to see BECK and our random girl and a full 3 minutes for MAMMALIA, my LOI. Didn’t know the poet and failed to parse 5d – thanks for untangling that, Pip. Not my finest solve. COD to GIMCRACK for encouraging Ulaca to share that witty song.
    1. It’s strange that it is derived from the Greek for ‘deep’, yet has come to mean ‘shallow’.
  4. 17:31, so pretty smooth sailing for me. I fully realise that, if even Pip knows Thomas Love Peacock, I can’t really indulge that little frisson of arcane recognition, but I felt it nonetheless.

    I had to write in MAMMALIA before I realised that the clue actually worked. I might venture that hating the musical is a bit like anathematising candyfloss. “Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?” Mind you, I suppose it has got Pierce Brosnan singing….

    Do we have a setter’s tip o’ the hat the SAGE of DORSET? And if so, is it for Jim or Pip?

  5. Vanilla offering today – a stroll along Chesil Beach

    YouGov recently asked more than 42,000 people how they felt about the 47 English counties. Dorset and Devon top the popularity charts, with 92 per cent saying that they like both. Dorset’s is also officially the most photogenic county, appearing on Instagram over 98,000 times throughout 2017.

    Next year may see the creation of a new city comprising the combined Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

    1. Sacre bleu! When I was invented, Bournemouth was actually in Hampshire and we lived right on the ‘border’ with Poole. There’s a road junction called County Gates in Westbourne.

      Not surprised about Dorset’s photogenicity though, pix of my childhood haunt Durdle Door are everywhere. Not to mention the CA giant and Milton Abbas village.

      Am prob in trub now with HMV now for going off topic. No politics though.

  6. Ah, Pope. I love his maxim:

    ‘To err is human;
    To blame it on someone else shows management potential.’

  7. 9:57 – DORSET is indelibly stuck in my head from the Comic Strip parody Five Go Mad In Dorset. GEORGINA and MAMMALIA were my longest hold-ups and last in.
  8. 10:36. Steady solve without very much to remark on.
    I’m baffled by the objections to the homophone in 12ac. How on earth do you all pronounce it?
    1. I think many speakers of Standard (southern) British English (especially, in rapid connected speech – not reading from cue cards) pronounce vile, vial and viol the same. According to phonemic transcriptions, the first has no schwa sound, while the other two do, but in practice, many people would collapse them into the same pronunciation. Which is another way of saying I have no problem with this homophone.
    2. I think many speakers of Standard (southern) British English (especially, in rapid connected speech – not reading from cue cards) pronounce vile, vial and viol the same. According to phonemic transcriptions, the first has no schwa sound, while the other two do, but in practice, many people would collapse them into the same pronunciation. Which is another way of saying I have no problem with this homophone.
  9. 60 mins dead. Three quarters of this was straightforward. But got stuck in bottom left until Bathetic unlocked everything. Feigning also held me up as was not certain of Spanking. Entangle was my LOI, Ravel having me puzzling through the composer’s multitudinous works before the penny dropped….
  10. Hi all. This took some time, but wasn’t overly difficult. I didn’t stop to parse 5D, no. My LOI was PEACOCK, of whom (the poet) I hadn’t heard, so I was befuddled by the middle name bit. So twas eventually biffed. Regards.
  11. 15:46 done on iPhone in Binic, Bretagne.

    Been to the beach here. Some souls have been brave enough to go into the sea in their swimwear. Surprised they don’t sell Binicis. Probably too cold to wear one.

  12. Game of a quarter and three quarters. 15 mins for most of it and complete seizure in the SW. I thought Jane Austen was from Hampshire so that was me done for. No idea about Love Peacock either. I think I’m going to have to do some ‘learnin’ as for some reason I never managed to have a lesson in EngLit at school. I did recently read Woman in White though so I’ve made a start. NHO Bathetic either and finished up coming here for the answer
  13. It is, in a somewhat indistinct way.
    Chambers gives ‘viol’ and ‘vial’ as homophones so it’s not just me!
  14. A distracted 28:17. Slowed up by adverse solving conditions. For some reason I decided to pop out of the office and solve over a coffee in a local establishment which turned out to have loud music blaring out. That made it a bit difficult to concentrate and get into a rhythm but I’d made my bed and I was determined to lie in it. FOI 5ac. LOI 24ac.
  15. Right, gotcha. When I say ‘vile inn’ the schwa in the middle is almost imperceptible. Is it three syllables? I’m not sure. I am sure that the central schwa in ‘violin’ sounds the same if I take it at speed in the middle of a sentence.
  16. Took me ages and I didn’t enjoy it (too many unnecessarily obscure clues and not particularly obscure other ones, PEACOCK belonging to the first class and AS A MATTER OF FACT to the second). I had quite a bit left undone before I finally saw HYMNAL (once I accepted that MANY was to be taken literally and not replaced by LOTS or something like that). After that the rest fell into place, with a dull thud.

Comments are closed.