Times 27172 – this puzzle blogged by a former 14 11 17.

Time: 11:48. Odd little puzzle this one, there’s a number of words that are not in everyday parlance, but the wordplay is in general extremely clear, so it is the sort of puzzle I like, where everything has to be understood.

Since I got most of the left hand side out before the right I wondered if the setter was going for some sort of record of number of instances of the letter H – there’s three down answers that have multiple H’s in them.

The first definition is underlined in the clues – away we go!

1 Had spiced up editorial content (5)
DUPED – hidden inside spiceD UP EDitorial
4 Colourful knight leaves full of love after church (9)
CHROMATIC – remove N(knight in chess) from ROMANTIC(full of love) after CH(church)
9 One’ll defend a point after game (9)
APOLOGIST – A then GIST(point) after POLO(game)
10 Rogue ultimately splits faction (5)
SCAMP(split)S, CAMP(faction)
11 Rabbit lover to give back trap (6)
GASBAG – one fond of rabbiting – SAG(give, yield) reversed, then BAG(trap)
12 Get engaged to escort, then split up (4,4)
TAKE PART – TAKE(escort), PART(split up)
14 Islander from a small island, one with brown skin? (9)
TASMANIAN – A, S(small), then the isle of MAN, I(one) inside TAN(brown). I lived in Tasmania from 1992-1995. Many natives prefer “Taswegians” or “Australians”
16 Beer from the East that’s fit for a king (5)
REGAL – LAGER(beer) reversed
17 Noddy‘s lack of memory recalled (5)
MORON – if you have a lack of computer memory there is NO ROM – reverse it
19 Voluntary payments or tribute in US a strain, on reflection (9)
HONORARIA – HONOR(tribute in the US, where I live now), A, then AIR(strain of music) reversed
21 When most events occur, maybe, in Big Brother’s terms? (8)
NEWSPEAK – most events would occur at NEWS’ PEAK – reference the language in Nineteen Eighty-Four
22 Colleges in functioning state complete agreement (6)
UNISON – colleges in functioning state would be UNIS ON
25 Compassion from judge at start of trial (5)
HEART – HEAR(judge), T(rial)
26 Most tedious diet deals with disorder (9)
DEADLIEST – anagram of DIET,DEALS – tedious as in “dead boring”
27 College with vacant refectory taking on several partners (9)
POLYANDRY – POLY(college), AND(with), then R(efector)Y
28 Retiring Times editor penning books — a turn-off for addicts? (5)
DETOX – reverse all of X(times, multiplied by) and ED(editor) containing OT(books)

1 Men on board provide crew scaling craft (15)
DRAUGHTSMANSHIP – DRAUGHTS(men on board – checkers for those on this side of the pond), then MAN SHIP(provide crew)
2 Self-righteous Liberal short of company (5)
PIOUS – COPIOUS(Liberal) missing CO(company)
3 3-D depiction of moon in play (7)
DIORAMA – IO(moon of Jupiter), inside DRAMA(play)
4 Pirate‘s card game (4)
CRIB – double definition – pirate as in copy illegally
5 Royal attendants in turbulent reign acquiring new skills (10)
RETRAINING – TRAIN(Royal attendants) inside an anagram of REIGN
6 Catch badly in marshier ground, conceding one run (7)
MISHEAR – anagram of MARSHIER missing one R
7 Gunners waving flag held by sailor in battle (9)
TRAFALGAR – RA(gunners) and an anagram of FLAG in TAR(sailor)
8 Levy for which Brussels possibly gets blame (7,5,3)
CAPITAL GAINS TAX – Brussels is a CAPITAL, GAINS(gets), TAX(blame)
13 Like autocrat on a trip, passed over? (4-6)
HIGH-HANDED – HIGH(on a trip, coincidentally this appeared on the same day as Canada legalizing recreational cannabis), HANDED(passed over)
15 Odd American dance succeeding twist (9)
SCREWBALL – BALL(dance) after SCREW(twist)
18 Sweep up last of slush that briefly forms solvent (7)
NAPHTHA – PAN(sweep) reversed, then (slus)H, THA(t)
20 Vexed, if ordered to throttle Labour leader (7)
RANKLED – RANKED(ordered) containing L(abour)
23 Toboggan losing its rear part drifted off (5)
SLEPT – SLED(toboggan) without the last letter, then PT(part)
24 Tramp’s friend remained with daughter in custody (4)
LADY – LAY(remained) containing D(daughter), reference to the 1955 Disney movie.

32 comments on “Times 27172 – this puzzle blogged by a former 14 11 17.”

  1. Off to a slow start, with MORON my FOI. I biffed NAPHTHA from checkers, forgot to go back and parse it. GASBAG my 2d to LOI, PIOUS LOI.
  2. No time to offer as I nodded off with barely half completed and returned to it this morning. Unlike our blogger I found the RH easier than the LH where the key, or so it turned out, was working out the answer at 1dn – once that was in place (very late in the solve) the LH gave up its secrets in fairly short order. I think most of my problems were self-inflicted as on reflection there’s nothing very difficult here. We had TRAFALGAR in the puzzle I blogged on Tuesday.

    Edited at 2018-10-18 04:58 am (UTC)

  3. Pleasant, but tricky in places. FOI 1a DUPED followed by 1d DRAUGHTSMANSHIP, which was a good start for the left hand side. Struggled more with 8d CAPITAL GAINS TAX (I was wondering if there might be a CABBAGE PATCH TAX for a while…)

    Finished with 20d RANKLED, but it was the unknown 19a HONORARIA that really held me up at the end. Today’s Wikipedia excursion ended at the Golden Cavalry of St George, which was an interesting diversion…

    Oh, yes: 44 minutes, in total.

    Edited at 2018-10-18 06:49 am (UTC)

  4. I blame my Mum. She never let us read Noddy. It was beneath us, she said.

    Therefore a DNF in about 40 minutes.

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

  5. 25 mins with yoghurt, granola, etc.
    Plus 3 more for Apologist. Nice, once you see it.
    I liked 1dn which I got early, which helped a lot.
    Blame=tax is unusual and neat.
    Mostly I liked: News peak.
    Thanks setter and G.
  6. 18 or so minutes, with the opposite experience to George, (right, then left) which obviously depends on whether 1d was a write in or not. In my case not, confused by men in the clue and man in the answer. Plus men on board are usually directors, of course.
    Like Bletchley, I hesitated over MARON/MORON, somehow managing to include MERON as well. Noddy could be loads of things that might work.

    Edited at 2018-10-18 08:17 am (UTC)

  7. 23 minutes and no problems.SCAMP last one in for some reason. Some good believable surfaces – DUPED, APOLOGIST, SCAMP, GASBAG, HEART,DEADLIEST, DRAUGHTSMANSHIP, PIOUS etc.
  8. I seem to have found this trickier than most, taking 38 minutes. I was quicker on the RHS, finishing in the NW. I didn’t parse PIOUS or TAKE PART. I’ve never called a MORON NODDY, but I guess so. I saw CGT straightaway. Bring back indexation! NEWSPEAK also a write-in. COD to POLYANDRY. Thank you George and setter.
  9. The first thing I noticed was a palindromic crossword number – funny how the mind works

    With 1D a write-in this caused me no problems but was a pleasure to solve, as George says. Thank you setter.

  10. Pleasantly even-paced solve, in which I was undoubtedly helped by the very accessible full-length clues at each side. The only hold-up after that was self-inflicted, caused by biffing POLYAMORY.
  11. 62 mins for this, after 63 yesterday and 61 on Tuesday. I’m having a bad week. The right side wasn’t too awful, but then I had most of the left side blank and I struggled with POLYANDRY, NAPHTHA, GASBAG and DRAUGHTSMANSHIP. No excuse, really… just slow seeing the words. And there wasn’t even a single homophone clue that would play to my southern-England RP advantage!
    COD to NEWSPEAK, I think.
    Thank you, blogger, for parsing 1d and teasing out ‘scaling craft’ for me.
  12. ….by 28A, where I entered DOTEX in the hope that it was a drug to cure addiction. Fortunately, I circled it for recheck, along with COPIOUS which I hadn’t parsed. The process made the difference between my successful 11:55 and a 10:30 DNF. With the Championship a mere 17 days away, I’m trying hard to cut down on the biffing, and to reconsider any that I do commit.

    FOI REGAL (Manchester brewer Holt’s famously brew REGAL LAGER).

    Apart from the above pair, I had no real trouble, and the LOI was therefore DETOX.

    I liked CAPITAL GAINS TAX, but COD goes to NEWSPEAK.

  13. After what seemed an eternity trying to get the first one in, steady progress clockwise from the NE back round to the troublesome NW. Finally home in a respectable 21:04. Hard-fought but fun.
  14. Another who finished the R before the L was tackled, then when 1d arrived the rest followed quickly enough, 26 minutes or so. LOI was GASBAG as was not thinking rabbit as in talk too much, more about beginner or furry animal. Another pleasant puzzle, we’re having a good week.
  15. Off to a flying start with DUPED and DRAUGHTSMANSHIP, then carried on without much in the way of hiccups to finish in 23:26. I was slow in spotting CAPITAL GAINS TAX, so the RHS went in more slowly than the LHS. RETRAINING and TAKE PART were my last 2 in. A very enjoyable puzzle. Thanks setter and George.
  16. For some reason I found this really tricky and completed it almost entirely by working backwards from the bottom right, where DEADLIEST, DETOX and the last word of CAPITAL GAINS TAX were my first entries.

    COD 1d, which I should have got much sooner, because that’s what my Dad did.

  17. 21:30. Stuck for 2 minutes at the end trying to parse GASBAG, my LOI. Like Bletchley and Z, I too tried MARON for Noddy, before seeing the light. I confused myself no end by writing POLY in the boxes for 26a rather than 27a. COD to NEWSPEAK. Nice puzzle.
  18. NHO NAPHTHA but wordplay was clear enough. Didn’t quite parse GASBAG which was my LOI, but all green. FOI TRAFALGAR. COD NEWSPEAK
  19. 45:09. I found this to be another tricky one. Not having a clue what was going on at 1dn (spent ages thinking of chess and directors rather than draughts) meant that, honoraria aside, the RHS went in much quicker than the LHS which was an attritional battle. Pleased to get through all correct. I thought scaling craft was a very good Def masked by an excellent surface.
  20. 10:22, POLYANDRY the only unknown but I wasn’t 100% confident that MORON would be right.

    Like Philip Jordan I recalled Holt’s Regal lager (who needs branding consultants?) and that has reminded me that the makers of UM BONGO, when trying to think of a name for a new variety, came up with the rather splendid UM OGNOB.

  21. 19:34. I found this pretty tricky. I still don’t really understand the definition for 1dn. Something to do with drawing to scale?
    I consider the term MORON too offensive for the Times crossword but I know I’m more sensitive than most to these things.
    1. Yes, it’s a whimsical way of saying that techical drawing demands that every line be measured or to scale.
      1. Thanks. I see Collins has ‘to make or draw (a model, plan, etc) according to a particular ratio of proportionate reduction’, which I missed the first time I looked.
    2. Yes, it’s a whimsical way of saying that techical drawing demands that every line be measured or to scale.
  22. Not much to say today. This took around 25 minutes, LOI CRIB. I had to assume there was a card game called that over in the UK. Apparently so. Regards.
    1. The card game is more properly called ‘cribbage’ but ‘crib’ is valid colloquially. Technically the crib is the set of cards that makes up an extra hand to be scored in favour of the dealer at the end of each round.

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