Times 27153 – mostly 27a but more fun than shopping.

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
I had to put on a spurt for this one as Mrs K was waiting to drag me on a shopping expedition for such annoying trivia as curtain poles, having just moved house. No real hold-ups and all was done in a respectable (for me) 18 minutes or so and one hasty coffee. Lots of anagrams or partial anagrams, and no hidden word today, forwards or backwards, unless 21a qualifies I liked 12a, 3d and 14d for the surfaces.

1 Dawning, as the answer to this clue will be? (5,5)
FIRST LIGHT – Cryptic definition, a light being a word for a clue.
6 Round, almost colourless stone (4)
OPAL – O = round, followed by almost PAL(E).
9 Penniless, affected by termination of loan, packed up and moved on (6,4)
BROKEN CAMP – BROKE = penniless, CAMP = affected, insert N the end of LOAN.
10 Little child head sent to the back, for one thing (4)
ITEM – A wee MITE has its head moved to the end.
12 Singlemindedness of concept for The French Connection? (6,6)
TUNNEL VISION – Cryptic DD, ha ha.
15 Columbine’s one limb I clad in pale blue (9)
AQUILEGIA – I LEG = one limb, I, inserted into AQUA = pale blue. Genus of plants of which Aquilegia vulgaris is the common columbine.
17 God moving origin of universe back in time (5)
HORUS – In HOURS, move the U backwards. Ancient Egyptian God, usually depicted with a falcon’s head.
18 Roman censor suppresses new part of poem (5)
CANTO – CATO suppresses N for new.
19 In brief, be returning the broken missile launcher (9)
TREBUCHET – CURT = brief, insert BE into that and reverse it all = TREBUC, add (THE)*. A big catapulty thing for hurling rocks in a siege.
20 Following plotter, do deed to acquire ship (7,5)
CHARTER PARTY – A plotter could be a chap who makes charts, so a CHARTER, and DO = PARTY; technical term for a deed to hire a ship for transport of cargo.
24 Genuinely not about to join in marriage (4)
ALLY – REALLY = genuinely, loses its RE = about.
25 County celebrities ignoring unknown, bizarre artist (10)
26 Call to abolish home counties maybe a central feature (4)
NOSE – “No SE” or “no south-east”.
27 Facing spread, ticked off eating large piece of cake (6,4)
CHILDS PLAY – CHID = ticked off, insert L for large, add SPLAY for spread.
1 Lies first thing in flat, in bed, snoring (4)
FIBS – Initial letters of F lat I n B ed S noring.
2 Shout for grub (4)
ROOT – Double definition.
3 Every Python episode? All you could desire (3,4,5)
THE FULL MONTY – Witty cryptic definition.
4 Old American takes lid off empty container (5)
INCAN – TIN CAN loses its T lid.
5 Murmur ancient epic, missing last note — shame (9)
HUMILIATE – HUM = murmur, ILIA(D) = ancient epic, losing its final D, TE = note.
7 Right impression promoted in irregular family group (10)
PATRIARCHY – R AIR = right impression, reverse that and insert into PATCHY = irregular.
8 Amount of light oil in musty nuts (10)
11 Now sewn up, perhaps, painlessly? (7,5)
WITHOUT TEARS – Double definition, one cryptic, as something sewn up would no longer have tears in it.
13 Albert, for one, look at all the mountains (5,5)
WATCH CHAIN – WATCH = look at, CHAIN could be all the mountains in a row. Popularised by Price Albert in Victorian times hence the name.
14 Reverse fortunes? Not the record-holders (10)
TURNTABLES –  TURN THE TABLES would be reverse fortunes, delete the ‘the’.
16 Suffer to qualify (2,7)
GO THROUGH – Double definition.
21 Sampled at intervals, hamper will do for several weeks (5)
APRIL – alternate letters of h A m P e R w I l L.
22 Face losing half one’s kidney treatment? (4)
DIAL – DIALYSIS loses half i.e. YSIS.
23 Lost pet has run away: wait! (4)
STAY – A STRAY loses its R = run.

32 comments on “Times 27153 – mostly 27a but more fun than shopping.”

  1. AQUALEGIA – I thought English was the language that was riddled with inconsistencies – why does Latin have both an aqua- prefix and an aqui- prefix, and by what logic are they applied? Anyone?

    And before anyone points out that AQUALEGIA doesn’t parse, it does: “a leg” = “one limb”

    Otherwise very easy, 15 minutes

  2. At about 28′, I still had 5 clues to go and was despairing of getting any of them, when all of a sudden, WATCH CHAIN, ALLY, NOSE, CHARTER PARTY, TURNTABLE, appeared within a space of 2-3 minutes. Surprised I knew TREBUCHET. I was going to say what Jack did about ‘one’.
  3. Mostly reasonably easy but there were enough tricky clues to slow me down so that I missed my target half-hour by 13 minutes. The main difficulties were the two unknowns, AQUILEGIA and CHARTER PARTY but I also struggled to remember TREBUCHET. HORUS was known only from the ‘Only Connect’ quiz where ‘Eye of Horus’ is one of the symbols used for selecting questions.

    Not sure I’ve understood Lou’s main point above but leaving that aside, am I right in thinking there is a convention that ‘one’ isn’t supposed to be used to clue ‘a’ and vice versa?

    Edited at 2018-09-26 05:20 am (UTC)

  4. Bonjour par la Manche..
    27ac this one, though proud of self for remembering the watch chain and what Columbine is..
  5. A fast start and a slow finish, adding up to 24 minutes. I hesitated over my LOI, WITHOUT TEARS, wondering whether it was a recognised phrase (it is). And over CHARTER PARTY, not knowing it was the actual contract, though I’m a bit hazy over what I thought it was.
    I was distracted by Albert in 13d, thinking we were in prince territory and therefore the last place you’d want to keep a watch. I’m not sure I knew the Albert/WATCH CHAIN definition.
  6. Very easy today

    CHARTERPARTY (it’s usually one word rather than two) from insurance exams years ago where I had to do a basic marine insurance paper. Commonest form probably is a time based contract to hire of a yacht for pleasure. It can also apply to the hire of an aircraft

  7. 35 mins with yoghurt, granola, banana, etc.
    After 30 mins I only had Without blank and Charter blank left. Eventually plumped for the Party/Tears combo but only because ‘do’ is so often party.
    MER at the ’empty’ in 4dn. Is a Tin Can not one until it is empty?
    Mostly I liked: 27ac for the Chid and the Splay. I’ll try to sneak both into conversation today.
    Thanks setter and Pip.
  8. 51 minutes – a similar experience to Jack’s, except I was slower, especially to get THE FULL MONTY.
  9. I must have seen TREBUCHET before, but I got to it from remembering the French expression monnaie sonnante et trébuchante. I should have realized what was up with the Python clue earlier, but it gave me a laugh. AQUILEGIA seemed improbable but was inevitable.
  10. … and the dawning to noonday bright. It wasn’t quite that way round. I was on for sub 15 minutes until the last two, taking 24 minutes overall. LOI TREBUCHET, constructed only when all the alternate letters were available. I took several minutes to come up with a backward CURT. Penultimate was BROKEN CAMP, as was Liberace as he cried all the way to the bank. COD to SURREALIST. Thank you Pip and setter.
  11. This took me nearly an hour and a half. The unknowns held me up most, with LOI 15a AQUILEGIA (where I had no idea what a columbine was, either), 20a CHARTER PARTY and 18a CANTO being the tricksiest (neither did I know Cato.)

    In the SW corner, not knowing what an Albert was, not seeing 24a ALLY for ages and only figuring out my second-to-last-in 14d TURNTABLE after about twenty minutes of staring really didn’t help! Other problems included being fixated on The Holy Grail for the Pythonesque clue and wondering, like Myrtilus, why the TIN CAN was empty…

    I wasn’t just off the wavelength; I think I was on the wrong modulation and descramble cipher code, too.

    Edited at 2018-09-26 08:41 am (UTC)


    A steady completion in 11:47 with TREBUCHET, CHILDS PLAY, and APRIL all parsed post-solve.

    FOI OPAL (FIRST LIGHT was about 15th light !)


    COD TURNTABLES, which I trust gave Vinyl1 no trouble !

    I wouldn’t give you tuppence for your old WATCH and CHAIN….

  13. Well, this wasn’t 27a for me, though completed 11d in 49mins. Like myrtilus I ended up looking at WITHOUT blank and CHARTER blank. Like myrtilus I raised a minor eyebrow at the ’empty’ in the 4d clue. I really, really, really wanted the ‘pale blue’ to be azure in AZUILEGRE, and the solution to be something to do with Commedia dell’Arte, so that held me up a bit!
    Lots of clever clues, I thought, so good puzzle. And good blog — thanks to Pip.
  14. I was held up by thinking “azure”, too (and also desperately wondering whether “blue” might be an anagram indicator until I’d got 14d.)
  15. Was doing well until the SW, having seen a TREBUCHET demonstrated at Warwick Castle and storming in with FIRST LIGHT. Defeated, however, by the unknown AQUILEGIA and plumping for made up CLOCK CHAIN, and never heard of CHARTER PARTY, so even with the first word and checkers… and it still doesn’t make sense.

    The Eye of HORUS is based on powers of two, extremely important in Egyptian mathematics.

    Thanks pip and setter.

  16. Enjoyable and mostly straightforward, until I was left with 20ac. CHATTER PANTS? COASTER PACTS? Even when I got the CHARTER bit, the second word didn’t spring to mind at once, so that “lift and separate” of “do deed” was very artful. Clearly I haven’t hired enough boats in my life, so nice to learn something new.
    1. Oxford says probably yes, Chambers says probably no, it’s based on aquila. Collins online – weirdly – says unknown etymology in the English section and probably aquila in the American section. My Australian Macquarie Dictionary says based on aquileja which kinda looks Spanish except q not g. Take your pick.
      Quite quick, but embarrassingly I briefly wondered if Canton was a Roman censor as I biffed the fully-checked canto. Reading the blog I realised I knew Cato from previous puzzles. Luckily knew lights, Albert, trebuchet and charter party; aquilegia the only never-heard-of but a generous cryptic. I’m sure “one is always I” is one of those unwritten Times rules everyone knows, but I’m equally sure it’s been broken once or twice in the past few years, causing me a MER at the time.
  17. 28’45 after long pause at end for the party. Not quite sure of the first light’s surface. Entertaining and deft offering.
  18. I didn’t find this particularly easy, with AQUILEGIA, CHARTER PARTY and the WATCH CHAIN in question all unknown. I’m also not confident that I’d have know WITHOUT TEARS was an expression found in the dictionary. On the other hand, TREBUCHET and PATRIARCHY could be biffed.

    23d held me up for a while, as I entered STOP on the basis of a strop being a pet; I thought the ‘lost’ might be reference to an old usage or something, but it didn’t really sit right.

    11m 18s.

  19. I battled my way through most of this in 30 minutes but was then left with 14d and 20a. I was fixated with Q before U at 14d and COUNTER for the first word in 20a, so it was over 20 minutes with the brain cells superheating, before CHARTER and PARTY came to mind, quite separately, as I’d never heard the expression. TURNTABLES took a bit longer, but I finally saw the light. TREBUCHET was remembered from previous puzzles. AQUILEGIA was constructed as per instructions. Off to Malvern now to meet up with some college friends for a few days. Nice puzzle. 51:36. Thanks setter and Pip.
  20. Prince Albert was a kind of pipe tobacco sold around here once upon a time. This reminded me of one of my husband’s favourite schoolboy jokes (Vinyl probably knows it) – you go into a tobacconist and ask have you got Prince Albert in a can? If so let him out. Yes I know. Never thought my brief wallow in marine law would come in handy. Does anyone know how THE FULL MONTY originated? Montgomery was it perhaps. Nice clue anyway. 16.27
  21. 43:45 I stumbled a little over charter party and without tears: unfamiliar expressions where the first words were clear but the second words less so. Watch chain, broken camp and patriarchy were all awkwardly unyielding too. Skimming the clues I saw ancient epic in 5dn and wondered if shame might anagram at the end of something else to give Gilgamesh – a little knowledge and all that. Fortunately didn’t get too hung up on it. A typo in go through meant I had an “h” instead of a “u” in 25ac so the relatively easy surrealist was a long time coming. Saw the plant clue and knew I would have to piece it together from instructions once I had a couple of checkers and duly did correctly opting for an “i” not an “a”, not sure why that seemed to me to be the right choice though.
  22. 13:35 but with AQUALEGIA, just because it seemed more likely. Is there a hard and fast rule that ‘one’ can’t clue A? If so why?
    A decent dose of silly crossword knowledge required in this one: Albert, light, Cato, TREBUCHET. Somehow this sort of thing irritates me even when I know it.
    In short, harrumph.
  23. Third day running over an hour – i put it down to the weather in Glasgow. DNK AQUILEGIA or CHARTER PARTY nor even WITHOUT TEARS as a regular phrase. Biffed PATRIARCHY as could not see what else it could be. Was thinking CHIDED was past tense of CHIDE which slowed me down a bit. Albert’s WATCH CHAIN mistily recalled. Pleased to so easily write in TREBUCHET.
  24. Got most of this quite quickly until getting stuck in the SW. Today’s QC was at least as difficult for me. David
  25. Second time through 34 months later. Improved by at least 20 mins, though still struggled with CHARTER PARTY

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