Times 27205 – Bunker meets Keats?

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Looking at the early submissions, it would seem I was on the wavelength for this one, coming home in 16:24. It has a bit of an old-fashioned whiff about it, which certainly plays into my hands, and no nasty sciency stuff. A couple of the long ones were write-ins for me, notably 5 down and 17 & 24 across, while the fortification comes up often enough to have domiciled itself in my progressively unreliable memory bank. (Not a place to invest your life savings.)

Unusually, I am blogging this in the office rather than at home – so unusual must it be that I do not have my fancy code on file here, so must do this the old-fashioned way without the clues being included. I don’t imagine anyone understood what that meant, so in lieu of further elaboration let’s get on with the thing.


4 ANTEATER [gambi]T in A NEATER; what’s not to like about ‘one that takes in workers’?
10 STENOGRAPHY anagram* of ENTRY A SHOP G[irl]
11 IDE this, arguably the most common of all cruciverbal ichthic presences – though its mortal enemy the ray might have something to say about that, if it could talk – is here found in one of its favoured habitats, the reverse hidden state
12 NICEISH NICE I precedes (first finds) SH to give ‘fairly pleasant’
14 LAICISM ICI (old firm) in LA S[atisfy] M[any]
15 HAVE ONES OWN WAY the main definition is given extended whimsical exemplification
17 IDENTIFICATION give that fish an inch and it will take a mile! IDE swims across from 11a to attend Bible classes (NT) before taking the letter A into I FICTION (lie)
21 ELEGIAC E LEG I (current – about as sciency as this one gets) AC
23 DAL DAL[i]
24 EXPERIENCED triple definition, methinks
26 MARTELLO R[epublican] TELL (as in Guillaume) in MAO
27 STRAND [trade]R in STAND (pedestal)


1 ABSINTHE SIN (doing wrong) TH[is] in ABE
2 CUE C[l]UE
3 PROVISO PRO (hooker, prostitute) VISO[r]
6 ELYSIAN ELY (see/diocese) SIAN (Welsh female name meaning God is gracious); Llanfairfechan is a town on the North Wales coast that was given a free transfer from Gwynedd to Clwyd a few years back
7 TRINIDADIAN DAD I in TRINIAN (the fictional saint that gave his name to Ronald Searle’s fictional school. Interestingly, the actual school upon which the comic strip was based, St Trinnean’s, appears also to have been named after a fictional saint by its founder – a Miss Jean Brodie figure called Miss Catherine Fraser Lee.)
8 RHEUMY E in HUM in RY gives ‘damp and unhealthy’
9 ARCHIEPISCOPAL ARCHIE SIP reversed CO PAL; yes, in answer to your question, ARCHEPISCOPAL also exists, but is a lot less fun
13 CAVE DWELLER CAVE (prepschoolese for ‘look out, chaps!’) D[ickensian] WELLER (Tony – coachman in The Pickwick Papers and father of the fabled Sam)
18 NAIVETE AI (fine, as in ‘in AI condition’) VET (surgeon) in NE
20 BELDAM BEL (sounds like ‘belle’) MAD reversed gives ‘old woman once’
25 CHA CHA[t]

51 comments on “Times 27205 – Bunker meets Keats?”

  1. No horses were scared in the production of this solution, although 5d took more time than it should have; for some reason I was trying to summon Peloponnesian from memory, and it wasn’t until it surfaced and I realized it was out of the question that I managed to think of NAPOLEONIC. Biffed TRINIDADIAN, IDENTIFICATION, & BELDAM, worked them out after. I also wasted time trying to make LAICITY work; I finally saw the light when I saw RHEUMY.
  2. I had to assemble Martello, and I took the I in Archiepiscopal on, er, faith. I lost good time to Ray, since The Philadelphia Story once taught me that Yar can mean very pleasant indeed when applied to a boat. Clever setter, I was thinking, but no. Otherwise I liked this, as the clues seemed hard but I did well with them.

  3. After spending some time today catching up with puzzles I neglected over the holiday, I was in fine fettle to make quick work of this one. HAVE ONE’S OWN WAY, NAPOLEONIC WARS and STENOGRAPHY were my first ones in and ARCHIEPISCOPAL my last (pausing a bit, like Paul, over that I). I biffed a few, parsing them even as I wrote. When you see “Lincoln” and “drink,” (8), what else can it be? I didn’t know the Dickens character or the saint, but didn’t need to.

    Edited at 2018-11-26 03:32 am (UTC)

  4. Could have been 25 minutes for me, but I gave up on 9d and 20d. I thought ARCHIE but it didn’t look like a thing — what can one do? 🙂

    Now to bed after a long weekend of American carousing.

  5. 33 minutes with time lost being suprised by the I in 9dn. BELDAM from helpful wordplay. We’ve had ICI as ‘old company’ or ‘former company’ before; it was still in existence as recently as 2008 but was sold that year to a Dutch company.
  6. 32 minutes, with 9d ARCHIEPISCOPAL taking me over the half-hour. Luckily, unlike plusjeremy, I thought ARCHIE and just threw it in with crossed fingers.

    I also got through the unknown Dickens reference (he’s on my reading list, but he’s been there a while…), trusted the wordplay for BELDAM (though having Googled the word, I must’ve come across it before, as I’ve read Coraline) and have a friend who was in charge of the Eastbourne Martello Tower for a while.

    Wish I’d parsed TRINIDADIAN, as I loved the St Trinian’s films as a boy, but I just biffed it and moved on without thinking too hard.

    Edited at 2018-11-26 06:38 am (UTC)

  7. 15:09. I was another surprised by the I in the 9D and I had to rely on the wordplay for BELDAM. I failed to spot ICI as old company in 14A even though we’ve had it before and my Dad used to work for a subsidiary of it. Otherwise quite Mondayish. I enjoyed seeing MARTELLO as I walked past a couple of them on a dawn walk at Felixstowe last week, but COD to NAIVETE.
  8. 30 mins with yoghurt etc.
    Beldam and Laicism were constructable.
    Mostly I liked: Anteater and to See Ely appearing again.
    Thanks setter and U.
  9. Monday morning Glasgow train. 50 mins or thereabouts seems to be my average time on mondays. As time passes though, the same chestnuts appear and reappear. By the time I’m 70, I might just be quite good at this. Just couldn’t think of STENOGRAPHY for ages though i could see the letters. LAICISM took a while to drop as did ANTEATER even with all the checkers.
  10. 18.20, so just a little too late for the Napoleonic Wars. Couldn’t get started in the top right, though I can’t see why. Several clues here which look like defective spellings: ARCHIEPISCOPAL, ELEGIAC with the A and I the wrong way round, BELDAM looking as if it should be the Imperial War Museum. NICEISH (though how else would you spell a nastyish word), NAIVETE (what, no Y?). Almost as if the setter was just testing.

    Edited at 2018-11-26 08:58 am (UTC)

  11. 9:20. As Paul says, these clues felt difficult but somehow weren’t. BELDAM today’s unknown for me.
  12. 27:54 with one wrong. Mesdam for Beldam. No mercy for this Monday solver.

    Overall impression. NICEISH.

    1. I’ve just watched Alan Hutton turning into Maradona at the weekend. I never saw him do that at Spurs!
  13. No worries today for this rather old-fashioned crossword, except beldam took a little while to surface. Bit less than 15m
    Think we’ve had “rheumy” a couple of times lately. And I’ve never knowingly eyed an ide, except frequently in crosswords
  14. I couldn’t parse the old firm bit of 14A so with ‘laity’ in mind I went for LAITISM. It was only afterwards when I’d tried random letters for the middle letter and finally got LAICISM that I saw ICI and the penny dropped.
  15. 9.55 to bring in the double for the first time – sub-10 on the main, sub-3 on the quickie. That won’t be happening again for a while.

    Like keriothe, I though it felt harder, so was quite pleasantly surprised to see the final time.

    BELDAM not know, but wordplay trusted, and like others a slight raised eyebrow for the extra “I” in 9d.

    RHEUM in some form or another has definitely been seen at least twice nin very recent time – I remember it coming up the other day and thinking “I’ve only just seen that”.

    LOI was EXPERIENCED. Because, um…….

  16. Instead of whipping through all the clues to pick off the easy ones (a strategy that, I believe, many experienced solvers employ), I got drawn into ploughing through from 1a (my FOI) in a south-easterly direction across the grid. PROVISO took me ages, because I baulked at treating ‘hooker’ as a synonym for a prostitute, and I could only see ‘condition’ as an ailment with a medical name. Last ones in were the simple BELDAM and MARTELLO, to end in a ponderous 36 mins.
    Your blog is a model of concision, U, so thanks for that.
  17. I’ve been caught out on the spelling of this more than once but no chance of error this time. I haven’t yet dared to use Kevin’s brother’s cold remedy but this is very much how I feel at the moment. 14.20
  18. A wonderful painting, almost enough to make one want to give up alcohol. BELDAM LOI, LAICISM unparsed, have walked to the MARTELLO tower at Aldeburgh many times. <20’, thanks ulaca and setter.
  19. The monstrous other mother in Neil Gaiman’s Coraline – my favourite children’s book – was referred to as a beldam, so was a surprising LOI. But at least I beat the hour.
  20. 26.16 so reasonably quick for me but no record – nor was it going to be today. Struggled to make PROXIMO work, but as there was nothing there that suggested it, had to think again. A few that I didn’t bother to parse at the time so thanks to Ulaca for the explanations.
    COD ANTEATER made me chuckle…
  21. DNK the spelling for 9D, in common with most on here. Otherwise a gentle breeze of a puzzle.

    TIME 9:49

  22. I thought that this was on the easy side, with plenty of biffable answers – IDENTIFICATION, particularly, went entirely unparsed – until I got to 14a. Having never heard of Imperial Chemical Industries (I’m assuming that’s the ICI of the clue), I went for LAITISM, which obviously isn’t a word. Interestingly, LAICISM doesn’t appear to be in Chambers, although I was kicking myself in any case. 7m 47s with that error.
    1. That will indeed be the ICI in question. Very familiar at least to any Brit who grew up during the near-continuous advertising campaign they battered UK TV with for decades. I was mostly baffled by them as a kid, as I really wasn’t sure what they wanted me to do: go out and buy myself some drugs? Or an artificial hip?

      I understand now that name recognition was the point, and I suppose it worked to the extent that ICI still feels like a household name, even though it disappeared years ago.

  23. A little slow off the mark today. It took me a while to assemble some of these; as others found, there was an old-fashioned feel to words like LAICISM and BELDAM, and the extra I in 9dn looked a little out of place, but all were perfectly accessible once you looked at the wordplay the right way. Today’s ear-worm is Peter Sellers asking “Do you have a rheum?”
  24. A clean sweep for me today, in that I managed to complete the Concise, the QC and the 15×15 without a typo. I started this one on CUE and finished off with NAIVETE and MARTELLO. I flirted with MARYTELL for 26a as I considered the possibilities, but sanity reasserted itself. Being only vaguely aware of the spelling possibilities for 9d helped enormously as I built it from the bottom up, with COPAL going in first, PIS being added next and the _R_H_E being easy to fill with our uneducated fellow. Like Olivia, I’d been caught out before by ELEGAIC, so had no trouble with it today. ANTEATER made me smile too. BELDAM had to be laboriously constructed from wordplay but then rang an, er, bell. RHEUMY was my first thought for 8d, but I needed LAICISM to confirm before I spotted the parsing. Nice puzzle. 23:15. Thanks setter and U.
  25. All quite Mondayish, but with a few crunchy bits that added interest. DAL (spelled that way) ARCHIESPISCOPAL were NHO but gettable. I thought BELDAM had an “e” on the end, but the internet tells me that that is not so, unless you’re talking about an American racehorse from the turn of the last centure. I missed the Dickensian aspect of 13d (and didn’t go to prep school either), but once again there was wordplay solid enough to take ones weight. Very pleasant start to the week, and thanks to setter and blogger both.

  26. A pleasant top-to-bottom solve. Some interesting vocabulary but all fairly clued.

    Rarely gets much faster than this for me.

    Time: All correct in 27 minutes.

    Thank you to setter and blogger.


  27. Well, there has to be one outlier, I suppose. Way over average at 26 min – the ANTEATER just wouldn’t show itself, NICEISH also elusive and Archie as a random name for the unknown religious bloke was annoying. Otherwise straightforward and enjoyable.
  28. I thought this was quite straightforward and Mondayish. I enjoyed it. COD to ANTEATER which took me a while even though I was thinking of ants and bees. I had only seen Beldame but OED gives it as the second spelling I see. I saw ARCHIEPISCOPAL once I had a few letters and it’s funny that it has PISCO in which is also a drink but not the right answer.
  29. I’m not complaining, but while I have no difficulty with (say) maniac, I can well envisage elegaic being ok on the lines of (say) prosaic, mosaic and many others, without much affecting the pronunciation. Pretty sure I’ve done it in the past

  30. 30 minutes with one wrong, plumped for ORTHOEPISCOPAL being a thing or bloke with a silly hat. Liked the ANTEATER def.
    1. Sorry that were me, somehow got logged out by Spanish IP visits. Back now having run the gauntlets of gilets jaunes protesting, blocking and having barbeques on roundabouts.
  31. Early comments on the QC blog said this was accessible -and it was. My LOI was (the unknown) BELDAM having rejected MESDAM after a bit of thought. 9d took me ages to decode and was 2LOI but I had the parsing right.
    Enjoyed this. All in all a good crossword Monday -and we had trains running today (albeit on a reduced schedule because of leaves). David
  32. Like David, I came to this after the hint from the QC blog. Unlike Sonofjim, I was over the hour (in a few interrupted sessions). Had to look up Laicism and needed to check on the I in Archiepiscopal. LOI Beldam. John M.
  33. 16:49 I found this nice n’ Mondayish, if anything I was feeling a bit dozy today and think I could have gone a bit quicker. The old-school vocab appealed to me. I didn’t know the coachman in 13dn but that was no impediment to solving the clue. Part of my job involves dealing with court transcripts so stenography was a quick FOI. LOI was 8dn I knew it was rheumy but didn’t spot the parsing at first. A very pleasant start to the week.
  34. After doing the QC in under 10 mins (celebrated by a first post on this blog), managed to do this one in under an hour albeit in two sessions (does that still count?) after replacing laitism with laicism. Question if anyone still out there and can be bothered: when do you go for ones instead of your? I assumed that 15 ac would be have your own way as one was in the clue and I thought you didn’t put words in the clue that are in the solution. So I wasted time on that wondering how 3D could end in y. Enjoyed anteater definition.
    1. Others may offer a different percentage but I’d say if there’s a choice between ‘ones’ and ‘your’, ‘ones’ will be correct 99.9999999% of the time. As for a word appearing in both clue and answer, I think ideally it should be avoided but there’s no rule or even convention to say it that it can’t happen. I believe that on occasion setters might do it intentionally in order to misdirect the solver.

      Edited at 2018-11-26 09:10 pm (UTC)

        1. You get “your” in phrases which specifically include it e.g. always “keep your hair on”, never “keep one’s hair on”.
  35. Nice Monday puzzle. I don’t recall a time for me, but I think it was in the average range, say 20 minutes. LOI BELDAM, like others, and also like others I took a while before believing in the random ARCHIE guy, and the resulting odd-looking spelling, but there didn’t appear to me to be any more useful alternative. Regards to all.
  36. . . . as it took me nearly 2 hours to crawl over the line, following a (no doubt well intentioned) tip on the QC. I take some small comfort from being able to parse all but two (8 and 13d) while going along, but the step up from the QC is still quite a challenge. Invariant
    1. Congrats on completing it! It does get easier with practice and as one’s confidence builds. For what it’s worth, I didn’t think today’s was easy and would have thought more that twice before recommending it to QC-ers.
  37. 15.55, all gradually falling like reluctant skittles but short of the sub-15 strike. Lovely word, 9 dn.

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