Times 27175 – Put on your nightcap and try a little bit

Time: 27 minutes
Music: Carol of Harvest

This is a puzzle that might seem difficult at first, but yields easily if you trust the cryptics.   Even if the answer is a word you are only vaguely familiar with, you can be confident that it must be correct.   The vocabulary is not necessarily obscure, but it is not the stuff of everyday conversation, either.

While some of the clues were a little awkward in their surface, I don’t see a hint of controversy or error.  The worse I can say is that ‘hooch’ is not necessarily inferior in current usage, although that was its original connotation.   So there are really no excuses; skilled solvers will finish quickly.

1 Depart at speed following bishop’s abrupt dismissal (5-3)
5 Save pounds ultimately, meeting accountant over wine (6)
BARSAC – BAR + [pound]S + CA backwards, i.e. Chartered Accountant.  A wine I had a hard time remembering. 
9 Study lines on creative work from East? That’s awkward (8)
CONTRARY – CON + ART backwards + RY.
10 First of Iraqi kings locked up by crazy old emperor (6)
MIKADO – M(I[raqi] K[ings])AD + O.
12 Isolation unsettling Spenser at sea (12)
SEPARATENESS – anagram of SPENSER AT SEA, presumably when he can’t think of a suitable archaic word that rhymes!
15 Inferior liquor husband loves — cold and hot (5)
HOOCH – H + OO + C, H.
16 Result of boring climb amusing to Spooner? (9)
DRILLHOLE – Spoonerism of  HILL, DROLL.
18 Leap dancer made at last before talk with hospital department (9)
ENTRECHAT – ENT + [dance]R [mad]E + CHAT.
19 Pearl’s mother, a credit in the Sunderland area? (5)
NACRE – N(A CR)E, a write-in from the literal.
20 Wide boy’s lookalike, one distributing diamonds etc? (6-6)
DOUBLE-DEALER – DOUBLER + DEALER, in entirely different senses.  ‘Wide boy’ is UK slang.
24 Claim member pitched into porter, say (6)
25 Trivial piece rejected by Ted Heath, for one? (8)
NUGATORY – GUN backwards + A TORY, so the PM, not the bandleader.
26 Phoney European hotel with appeal for Irish leader (6)
ERSATZ – E + R(-i,+SA)TZ, a nifty word-for-letter substitution clue….well, a word if you are a crosswordian.
27 After exercise, rings cook about game for children (8)
PEEKABOO – PE + OO BAKE backwards, 
1 Male animal enterprising Americans may make fast? (4)
BUCK – double definition, alluding to the fast buck everyone is looking for. 
2 Bone up primarily on article supporting London’s banks (4)
ULNA – U{p] + L[ondo}N + A.
3 Possible hack’s garden implement, a token of good luck (9)
HORSESHOE – HORSE’S HOE.   A hack was an ordinary riding horse, typically one suitable for unskilled riders.
4 Starchy doctor’s alter ego with notes on pungent gas (12)
6 Delicate priest’s left up displaying nimbleness (5)
AGILE – [fr]AGILE.   Nothing to do with Eli, as it turns out, although he appears upside-down in the answer.
7 Vehicle for men only on green next to a church (10)
8 Sheltered girl appearing in court before duke (10)
CLOISTERED – C(LOIS)T + ERE D.   A clever clue, in that ‘before’ is not a position indicator, but part of the wordplay.
11 Wise men’s true art excited law administrators (12)
13 Ragged crowd, they say, digesting poster over pub counter? (10)
THREADBARE – THRE(AD BAR)E, two’s company, three’s a crowd!
14 Left to reduce size of one’s protective grating (10)
17 Soldier caught in narrow passage, held up by sailor (9)
LANCEJACK – LAN(C)E + JACK.   A word I had never heard, but the cryptic gives it to you.
21 Reasonable, in a word, to do a runner (3,2)
22 Search valley, missing centre (4)
23 One who lacks experience in quality roofing (4)
TYRO – Hidden in [quali]TY RO[ofing].

45 comments on “Times 27175 – Put on your nightcap and try a little bit”

  1. Didn’t remember BARSAC, though it’s surely shown up here before, so found the wine online before inking it in. LOI was NUGATORY, right after (“A valley? Wait, it’s coombing back to me…”) COMB. Pretty sure I’d never heard of LANCEJACK before. Nice little session.
  2. Does anyone know LANCEJACK? Not moi, but I actually felt comfortable enough with the wordplay not to check it. I can never remember what a wide boy is, or a spiv, but it didn’t matter. I remember FORMALDEHYDE as a liquid preserving worms in junior high school biology. COD to ERSATZ. (Vinyl, weren’t you going to send me something from Olivia?)

    Edited at 2018-10-22 05:29 am (UTC)

    1. First time in a regular 15×15, but it appeared once before in a Club Monthly in 2012 blogged by Jerry. Keriothe and ulaca were the only two named contributors to the discussion and neither mentioned the word in their comments.

      Edited at 2018-10-22 06:59 am (UTC)

      1. I think it was one of the many which I didn’t know. With Club Monthlies, it is easier to mention those you do know!
          1. It may be damning them with faint praise, but I prefer them to Mephistos. At least they look like crosswords.
    2. Would you send Kevin my email address Vinyl – would be much appreciated.

      Came late to this – same as everyone else on AGILE. I got BARSAC mixed up with a character in Tale Of Two Cities (Barsad the spy) briefly but no other hold-ups. LANCEJACK sounds more like a fish than a fighter but he’s in the Collins mini, although as 2 words not one. 14.27

  3. Technical DNF here as I didn’t know LANCEJACK and missed the wordplay. I also wasted a lot of time, firstly coming up with AGILE as the answer at 6dn and then trying to parse it, distracted by the reversed priest who it turned out was not relevant. As far as I can see ‘up’ serves no purpose in this clue. Wasn’t sure of one of the unchecked letters in the pungent gas and picked the wrong second note.

    Edited at 2018-10-22 05:31 am (UTC)

  4. ‘Up’ is a bit odd in 6d, unless it is intended to refer to the upper part of the word from which the separation takes place. So, definitely odd, then. 28 minutes for this, with LANCEJACK definitely unknown, and claims for BARSAC and ENTRECHAT.
  5. A better sleep before Monday morning train to Glasgow resulting in a decent 44 mins. LANCEJACK new to me too and vague on NUGATORY in that I previously had no idea what it meant – now I do. COD to ERSATZ. LOI AGILE once BARSAC was in place.
  6. Lots of time with yoghurt, granola, blueberries etc.
    About 30 mins of fun and then the trouble: (a) time taken over Barsac (not a wine I know) due to the head scratching over Agile (that ‘up’ is not cricket); (b) the comb/peekaboo/lancejack combo – once you get one, the others are easy.
    So 30 mins turned into about 55.
    Thanks setter and Vinyl.
  7. Easy today, no unknowns for me .. lancejack is standard military slang, though possibly not that current. Barsac is often seen as a poor person’s Sauternes, which indeed it can be, but the best ones are fine wines indeed.
    Magistrature is not a word I would ever use .. I would use magistracy, in the highly unlikely event of ever needing a collective noun for magistrates..
    “left up” for abandoned is in the OED, marked obsolete, but I could not find it in Collins, Chambers or the ODO. The “up” seems entirely superfluous

    Edited at 2018-10-22 08:15 am (UTC)

  8. …. which is about as fast as I can do them. Didn’t parse AGILE (Thanks vinyl1) and didn’t know LANCEJACK but the ‘K’ gave it away.
  9. … or maybe just the A66. 25 minutes, looking across the Irish Sea from St Annes with a sky that’s got enough blue in it to be hopeful of our planned trip to Keswick today on our brick quake in the north. We might climb a droll hill while there, or perhaps have a low on the rake. LOI LANCEJACK, not known but constructible with all crossers. ENTRECHAT also unknown, strictly entre nous. Several minutes were spent on MAGISTRATURE. COD to ERSATZ for the clever substitution with an honourable mention to LEG IT. Thank you V and setter.
  10. <20′, but uneasy about the unknown BARSAC, the unparsed AGILE, and the forgotten NUGATORY – like everybody else it seems. FORMALDEHYDE FOI. COD to ERSATZ, a word I first encountered reading about WW2 German coffee made from burnt acorns.

    Thanks vinyl and setter.

  11. Very pleasant 16m today. All terms familiar, including Lancejack, which is simply army slang for a Lance Corporal (cf ‘Fullscrew’
    which is the equivalent slang for a full Corporal).

    Edited at 2018-10-22 08:30 am (UTC)

  12. As a cadet Lance Bombardier I was (briefly) a LANCEJACK, and I have to admit to knowing the word, hoping it doesn’t make me look too much of a show-off. Came in in less than 17 minutes, with the wine, the not-up AGILE, and the random-girl-included CLOISTERED my last entries.
    Very nearly undone by my inability to spell SEPARATENESS (I used only one A from the anagram) but spotted the clearly-wrong FORMELDEHYDE before submitting. Like Kevin, I would associate FORMALDEHYDE with liquid rather than gas: the indigestible by-product of the (not-to-me) sweetener Aspartame. Perhaps you might like to remember that when dutifully consuming your diet Coke.
  13. 17:48. Held up mostly by the SE corner and I needed PEEKABOO to unlock it. Count me in the never-heard-of-LANCEJACK club. Thanks for the parsing of AGILE which had me mystified by the ELI ‘up’. DRILLHOLE my LOI. COD to BARSAC.
  14. This took me far too long! Had to push about ten minutes over my hour to finish up the SE corner, with the final 27a PEEKABOO (I’d fixated on Peterloo, oddly), the unknown 17d LANCEJACK and 22d COMB arriving in that order. They’re normally “coombes” around these parts. I was in Coombe Dingle at the weekend…

    Not held up too long by the unknown 5a BARSAC; 11d’s MAGISTRATURE took longer even after I’d figured out the first half. Eventually got there by comparison with “legislature”. Also stymied for a while on the first half of 20a. I’d have said a wide boy was more of a wheeler-dealer; a DOUBLE-DEALER has more the feeling of a turncoat to me.

    Edited at 2018-10-22 09:17 am (UTC)

  15. 16:14. I was on target for a sub 10 minute here but got delayed 6 minutes by the unknown Barsac. My effort was also spoiled by yet another tyro, (sic). CLOISSERED.

    In 1614 Julius Caesar founded Greggs, opening their first shop and thus becoming Master of the Rolls.

    COD: BUCK.

    LOI CLOISTERED, although I hesitated over the unparsed AGILE before stopping the watch on 9:30 with some trepidation.

    It was definitely the “up” that threw me. Was I missing an unlikely anagram ? Was it a cunning reversal ? No, just an unsatisfactory clue in an otherwise decent puzzle. Thanks for parsing it Vinyl.

    LANCEJACK was known to me, despite my non-military record (born just too late to do National Service thank goodness).

    COD ERSATZ, but also enjoyed DRILLHOLE and NUGATORY.

  17. 19’19, lancejack more familiar than barsac. I liked the hack’s garden implement but the definition muchly oversimplified things. ‘Up’ in 6 seems to have a hint of ‘upstage’, but again, a setting not quite set perhaps. Still a nice tester overall.
  18. 12:57 – a quick time for me. Not much effort needed to spot the definitions which always helps. I can’t see what the ‘up’ is doing in 6d either. ERSATZ the pick of the bunch and turkey of the day goes to the rather pointless Spoonerism.
  19. Not quite a PB, but it all went in quickly. I lost time by trying out a liqueur (cassis) before the crossers insisted on Barsac. I always like a puzzle I finish quickly, and I like words such as Portcullis, Hooch, and Lancejack, but this still seemed a little bland to me. I’m not sure why.
  20. I was held up in the NE and SE by the usual suspects. 6d had me messing around with ELI for far too long until I spotted the correct parsing and forgot about the stray UP. BARSAC was my LOI. PEEKABOO gave me the unknown LANCEJACK. Otherwise a pleasant start to the week. 26:54. Thanks setter and Vinyl.
  21. I’ve been TT for 29 years — but I knew my BARSAC. I agree the otiose ‘up’ in 6d is annoying. All done in an enjoyable 30 mins.
    Thanks for the blog (and parsing AGILE), vinyl1. Thanks, setter.

    Edited at 2018-10-22 10:30 am (UTC)

  22. 8m 44s with AGILE / BARSAC the last to fall. I can only assume that the ‘up’ was an error, unless ‘up displaying nimbleness’ is the definition… surely not?

    BARSAC, ENTRECHAT, MAGISTRATURE, LANCEJACK were all unknowns to me (although BARSAC range a vague bell and MAGISTRATURE was inferrable) but nicely clued to leave, as our blogger notes, little doubt.

  23. Just testing enough for a Monday morning. Most of the vocabulary was either straightforward, or at least straightforward for Crosswordland, where I’ve previously found BARSAC and TYRO and NUGATORY to be a part of everyday conversation; the exception being the unfamiliar army term, where I had to eliminate LANCESALT, LANCETAR, LANCEMATE etc. etc. before coming up with a likely sounding candidate.
  24. Today is the first day of the season of mellow soupfulness for me so I’m knocking 1 minute off elapsed time to claim a soup-juggling-adjusted 13:48.

    I knew Barsac but not lancejack and had the same reservations as others about UP in 6d.

  25. Rats. I don’t think I have ever completed a Times crossword where I can honestly claim to have fully parsed every single clue. I was close today but couldn’t parse Fragile (thanks blogger). But all done in just under 20 minutes which is v.fast for me. For once I also forced myself to look at all the words and not to fall into easy traps. All this after smashing my handicap by 6 on the course this morning (pitch and putt, which doesn’t really count!). I will wake up soon. Thanks all
  26. A DNF but very nearly got there. I could not solve 5a BARSAC, a wine I am unfamiliar with. I biffed correctly ENTRECHAT, NUGATORY and TYRO from the wordplay and ERSATZ from the definition. The wordplay for ERSATZ was completely lost on me and I still do not understand the SA substitution. Having said this I found the 15×15 more accessible than the QC today.
      1. Yes. I for Irish is substituted in RITZ(hotel) by SA(IT), with E for European at the front.

        Edited at 2018-10-22 03:10 pm (UTC)

  27. 17 mins, solving on paper. Pleasant puzzle. No need for ‘up’ in 6dn, though. Great blog, cheers.
  28. Twenty minutes, maybe a bit less, but lost some time trying to deal with the stray ‘up’, the ENTRECHAT, and whether it was BARSAC or CANSAC. I decided ‘can’ means something more like ‘preserve’ than ‘save’, and that BARSAC also looked more likely to be wine. But I didn’t know of it. Regards.
  29. 27:05 I found this one that could be rattled off at a fairly decent clip but not so Monday-ish as to not be worth taking in a little of the scenery along the way. Never really got stuck but did have trouble letting go of woo for court in 8dn and finding the right girl. The wine at 5ac went in from wp, vaguely-heard-of-ness and I-can’t-be-bothered-to-alphabet-trawl-past-bar-for-save-ness. Lancejack, peekaboo, nugatory, comb and tyro all a bit tricky in the SE but once one went in the rest quickly fell. An enjoyable start to the week.
  30. Learnt (temporarily!) a few new words from this puzzle. I suppose “separateness” is not quite such a clumsy word as the recently seen “aliveness”.
    On 13dn I thought of throng for crowd instead of three – but this gave me thr as the starting letters and led me quickly to “threadbare”.
    On 20ac, diamonds made me think of the former beer Double Diamond, which led me quickly to “double dealer”.
    So, I had a bit of luck today. Still seemed tougher than usual for Monday’s puzzle.
  31. As far as I am concerned, Formaldehyde is not a gas. Re 16A, is Drillhole really a thing? I don’t think BARSAC is very fair, even in the 15×15. Thanks for the blog. Richard J
    1. That was my first thought, so I looked it up. Boiling point -19 or -20 celsius, so very definitely a gas in this part of the world. Maybe a liquid at the north pole. In winter. Guess it must have been formalin we occasionally came across for preserving things, formaldehyde dissolved in methanol.
  32. ‘Lance Jack’ is Army slang for the rank of Lance Corporal and is in common usage. Interestingly it is definitely two words, yet Collins initially lists it as one. The next rank is (full) Corporal, the vernacular being ‘Full Screw’. Screw in this case refers to wages. Having served in both ranks i can personally attest to this.
  33. just before i sAw the receipt for $6821, i did not believe thAt…my… sister woz like reAlly mAking money pArt time At their lAptop.. there sisters neighbour hAz done this for under eleven months And At present pAid the loAns on there ApArtment And purchAsed A top of the rAnge lotus cArlton. reAd more At,
    COPY AND PASTE……. www .jobsish.com
  34. just before i sAw the receipt for $6821, i did not believe thAt…my… sister woz like reAlly mAking money pArt time At their lAptop.. there sisters neighbour hAz done this for under eleven months And At present pAid the loAns on there ApArtment And purchAsed A top of the rAnge lotus cArlton. reAd more At,
    COPY AND PASTE……. www .jobsish.com

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