Times 27249 – One for the record?

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
This took me a leisurely 19 minutes, having started without delay with the long 1a and 1d to make it flow smoothly. I suspect there will be some single figure times as even I found it straightforward. Nothing very memorable but I think 25a gets my CoD vote for joining two words beginning with (or actually without) the same letter.

1 Making poor naughty chaps include extra time (14)
IMPOVERISHMENT – Naughty chaps are IMPISH MEN, insert OVER = extra, add T at the end.
9 Will writer seek alternative link? (9)
SOLICITOR – SOLICIT = seek, linked to OR = alternative. Nice concise surface.
10 Wait and leave course, needing to lose weight (5)
SERVE – SWERVE loses its W(eight). Serve as in serve at table.
11 Unwell following Greek restaurant (5)
GRILL – GR(eek), ILL.
12 I’m left with one French female to harass (9)
IMPORTUNE – IM = I’m, PORT = left, UNE = French for one, feminine.
13 Bridge bid concluded as wanted from the outset (8)
INTENDED – INT = 1 No Trump, ENDED = concluded.
15 Get by in G&S show with two vocal changes (4,2)
MAKE DO – The MIKADO changes two letters, I to A and A to E.
17 Ancient Greek — one on island that has a name (6)
IONIAN – I (one) ON, I (island), A, N(ame).
19 Sent a message about ancient city given a little relief? (8)
TEXTURED – Insert that old chestnut city UR into TEXTED.
22 Settle data speed after accumulator’s voided (9)
ARBITRATE – AR = accumulator, voided; BIT RATE = data speed.
23 People of hot Australian area (5)
HAUSA – H = hot, AUS, A(rea). People not from Oz but Africa, mainly Nigeria.
24 Oxygen is absorbed by three hundred current bacteria (5)
COCCI – C, C, C = three hundred, insert O(xygen) and add I = current. Plural of coccus; any bacterium with a generally round or oval shape, as opposed to rod shaped bacilli or spiral shaped ones.
25 Attacker of Xmas revelry deficiency — there’s never whiskey (9)
ASSAILANT – WASSAIL and WANT lose their W letters = whiskey in NATO phonetic alphabet.
26 Scrap handout, grumble misguided (5-3-6)

1 Write my name if I’m able in nice flowing smallness (14)
INSIGNIFICANCE – SIGN = write my name, IF, I CAN = I’m able, insert all of that into (NICE)*.
2 Left note in the keeping of former reader (7)
PALMIST – Insert L(eft) and MI (note) into PAST = former.
3 See boozer losing head, speaking loudly (5)
VOCAL – LOCAL = boozer loses its L, after V = vide, see.
4 One complaining strongly about alien shopkeeper? (8)
RETAILER – Insert ET the alien chestnut into RAILER one who rails or complains.
5 Son heading rubbish band (6)
STRIPE – S(on), TRIPE = rubbish.
6 Racist men unfortunately behaving unlawfully (9)
7 Key routine to manage raising? (7)
NURTURE – E (key), RUT (routine), RUN (manage), all reversed. Raising here is doing the definition and the instruction to reverse, I think.
8 Stock present for Washington PM finally forgot (8,6)
HEREFORD CATTLE – HERE (present), FOR, DC (Washington), ATTLE(E) = PM with final letter omitted.
14 Note, connecting the green wire is almost a disaster (4,5)
NEAR THING – N(ote), EARTHING = connecting the green wire.
16 Last days of the year were relaxing no more (8)
DECEASED – DEC(ember), EASED = were relaxing.
18 Italian opera mounted in Havana company? (7)
NABUCCO – CUBAN reversed, CO(mpany). Opera by Verdi originally called NABUCODONOSOR, from the Italian for Nebuchadnezzar, I’m not surprised he changed it to something even more catchy.
20 Rhum baba running short, bringing in queen’s pudding ingredient? (7)
RHUBARB – RHU, BAB = Rhum Baba running short; insert R for queen.
21 Hat country divided by boaters? (6)
PANAMA – Double definition, one referring to the canal. 
23 Three lines that Mike cut in the middle (5)
HAIKU – Central letters of t HA t m IK e c U t. Should be 17 syllables, three phrases, in Japanese.

59 comments on “Times 27249 – One for the record?”

  1. That’s the only part I didn’t get, in the clue for MAKE DO (though I put in NEAR THING a while before I figured out the parsing). I mean, that’s it, there’s nothing more behind “vocal”? One of the letters in MAKE isn’t pronounced. Oh, well…
    I liked 25 too (though I would hate it if there was never whiskey), and also the device at 23 down. The clue for PANAMA is a rather clever, and really cryptic, cryptic definition.
    I Googled to find out why INT could be a bridge bid, but I didn’t see what it meant. I like!

    Edited at 2019-01-16 05:49 am (UTC)

      1. Right, vowels. Couldn’t it have said “vocalic,” then?
        But now I see that Collins has “vocalic” as the sixth definition of “vocal,” after all.

        Edited at 2019-01-16 06:00 am (UTC)

        1. Yep; for me, anyway. I was going to give the setter the benefit of the doubt (what doubt? you may say; shush, I may say), but.
          1. I thought the clue didn’t work on that basis. Neither of the ‘normal’ dictionary sources support this use of the word, but Chambers has ‘of or relating to a vowel’ without specifying that it is restricted to its first meaning of ‘vowel’ (‘a speech-sound…’). I assume this is the basis the setter/editor justified the usage but like you I think it’s wrong.
            But it was pretty obvious what was going on, so [shrug].

            Edited at 2019-01-16 08:36 am (UTC)

              1. I’m pretty sure the answer to that is no because the clue relies on the other (musical) meaning of ‘vocal’.
  2. I thought this was quite a nice one, although I didn’t care much for ‘grumble’ being part of the anagrist for ‘TUMBLE’. DNK the cows, but once I had HERE, … Biffed IMPOVERISHMENT and parsed much later; biffed HAIKU and parsed post-submission, which was rather a pity as it was a clever clue (haiku are generally written in 3 lines, 5 syllables, 7, 5). Liked HAIKU & NURTURE, despite the dusty UR.
  3. 19ac I had as POSTURE- no wonder I was stuck on 16dn! Oh! me miserum!

    SO DNF and was in good time.

    FOI 11ac GRILL – too easy.

    COD 21dn PANAMA – fine clue – but do not forget that Panama hats are made in Ecuador.


    39 minutes

    Edited at 2019-01-16 08:42 am (UTC)

  4. I found this a bit tricky but got there in around 45 minutes I think, as I had forgotten to note my starting time. I had a few queries in the margin which have mostly been covered now, ‘vocal’ in MAKE DO for example, and the ‘raising’ doing double duty in NURTURE – might one claim it as &lit in order to excuse it, I wonder? A bit of a stretch, I feel. I also wondered whether HEREFORD CATTLE actually exists as a phrase. Of course there’s no doubt that ‘Hereford’ is a breed of cattle but none of the sources I have consulted puts the two words together as here.

    Edited at 2019-01-16 06:46 am (UTC)

  5. Stroll in the park today with 1A and 1D going straight in. I had 7D as an &lit as suggested by Jack
  6. 22 minutes, so somewhat stroll-like, as Jimbo says. 7d seems a bit odd (though easy enough to get, unless you live in Shanghai). ‘Routine key to manage raising?’ would make more sense – if it made sense…
  7. With three of the long ones together with GRILL, STRIPE, PALMIST and VOCAL written straight in, I thought that I would be even quicker. I quite liked the “boaters” even if it was easy.
  8. 11:23, but with another silly mistake. I am making a lot at the moment. I put in IONIAN but was unsure of the spelling so checked it carefully and changed it to IONEAN on the basis of the wordplay. Pfft.
    I think I’ve said it before but my favourite HAIKU is this tribute to Amy Winehouse:

    They tried to make me
    Write a haiku but I said
    No, no, no.

    Edited at 2019-01-16 08:30 am (UTC)

  9. Clearly this was easy if the 1s went straight in: mine didn’t so the clock stopped at 20.44. I think I was confused by the slightly weird surface of 1d, but in any case had no entry until the unusual MAKE DO. No complaints, except a feeling I should have got going quicker.
    Oh, and thanks Pip, especially for persevering to the end of 8d’s parsing, which I didn’t.
  10. I couldn’t remember if we were still going on the championship final crosswords, so when I finished I thought either my ability had rocketed overnight or we were through with the championship ones. Alas it was the latter.

    RHUBARB my COD – I liked the clever play on the two desserts.

  11. Had all but 3 done in about 22 mins. I then got my Intended but I couldn’t see the obvious Solicitor despite the checkers. Palmist would then have been handed to me.

    COD: Panama.

  12. It can’t be a coincidence that the meaningful vote was in the same week as the Stan and Ollie biopic. 27 minutes, with LOI INTENDED, not having played Bridge for fifty years when someone roped me in when they were one short. It seemed to go on all night. I hadn’t had a Rum Baba (where did the H come from?) since 1968 until last week, when there was one on the theatre menu. I couldn’t resist having it but it was a big disappointment, a deconstucted affair with, worst of all, no glacé cherry. The present is a foreign country. They do things differently here. I just assumed that ‘vocal changes’ meant ‘change the vowels’. COD to HEREFORD CATTLE. I liked PALMIST too. There are no life lines to be seen right now. Nice puzzle. Thank you Pip and setter.

    Edited at 2019-01-16 09:33 am (UTC)

    1. It does just mean ‘change the vowels’, but ‘vocal’ refers specifically to a vowel sound, and there are only two of those in MAKE DO.

      Edited at 2019-01-16 09:53 am (UTC)

      1. We’ve been here before, because I remember looking it up before. My Chambers has under vocal, inter alia:
        10. Of or relating to a vowel
        11. Having a vowel function

        No mention of sound

        1. The first definition of ‘vowel’ in Chambers is ‘a speech-sound…’
          It’s not clear whether the definition of ‘vocal’ is supposed to include the secondary definition of ‘vowel’ (‘a letter…’) but it shouldn’t.
          Collins is much clearer on this. ODO doesn’t have it at all, interestingly.
          Note also that Collins categorises this usage as relating to phonetics, and every other meaning of the word ‘vocal’ relates specifically to sound.

          Edited at 2019-01-16 12:03 pm (UTC)

          1. Interestingly enough, both Chambers and ODE define ‘vowel’ (2) as a letter representing a vowel sound; by this definition the E in MAKE is not a vowel.
            1. Well that does seem a little restrictive! Orthographically the E is undoubtedly a vowel (I konw this from Countdown), even if phonetically it isn’t. I can’t think of how you would use the word ‘vocal’ if referring to a vowel in the orthographic sense though.

              Edited at 2019-01-16 04:11 pm (UTC)

  13. This was a nice crossword except for the vocal changes which doesn’t seem right, One tends not to notice the surface readings when trying to solve quickly but there were some neat ones today. “Unwell after Greek restaurant” brought back some memories.
  14. I thought this was a lovely puzzle, getting a lot of ticks in the margin. It wasn’t too tough, I agree, but it raised quite a few smiles along the way.

    I’d’ve been quicker if I’d looked at 1d instead of 1a first, I think, as all I could see of 1a at first glance was that it probably ended …MENT. I therefore started in the NE corner and worked my way around from there. Not a great idea, tactically, but got back around to LOI 2d PALMIST in 36 minutes.

    Enjoyed the impish men, the one French female, the “given a little relief”, the NEAR THING, and the country divided by boaters along the way.

    Glad that David and Ruth Archer had a herd of Herefords (sounds like the start of a tongue twister!) otherwise 8d would have taken longer appearing.

  15. This was a fun puzzle, done in 20 mins. The 1s went in at the outset — pretty much biffed — so a flying start there. I see no problem at all with ‘vocal changes’ = ‘make changes in relation to the vowels or vowel sounds’: neat clue. I always enjoy clues of the 23d type, which require dicing and splicing letters in that way: of course, I biffed it and worked out the wordplay later. Actually I did quite a lot of biffing: PANAMA, RHUBARB, NABUCCO, the cattle, ASSAILANT, inter alia. The checkers were hugely helpful across most of the grid, I thought, making it fairly easy to biff one’s way through.
    COD contenders would be the Mikado, possibly, or the HAIKU? No!… I’ll vote for ASSAILANT.
    So, thank you for explaining all the cleverness, Pip.
  16. COCCI’d optimist, and was fortunate not to be a DNF today, having biffed “postured” at 19A – luckily my penultimate solve was DECEASED and the error of my ways was thus revealed.

    Parsed ASSAILANT post-solve, but needed Pip to throw light on SERVE.

    TIME 14:07

    My appearance on the leader board with a time of 4:43 should be ignored. I’ve changed my subscription this morning, and just redid the puzzle online to try it out. It’s hard work on a smartphone, and I’ll be sticking with the newspaper !

    Edited at 2019-01-16 11:43 am (UTC)

  17. 18′ 27”, with the long ones taking me a while. HEREFORD CATTLE nicely clued. To take on jack’s point, some breeds have differently phrased names, e.g. Hereford cattle but Jersey cows, Highland cattle but Aberdeen Angus.

    On 14d, is the information deliberately out-of-date? Is that part of the clue? Isn’t that dangerous?

    ‘Chorus of the Hebrew slaves’ is a favourite.

    And my favourite haiku is about the infinity of prime numbers:

    Multiply all primes
    Product plus one’s factors are?

    Edited at 2019-01-16 11:33 am (UTC)

    1. Yes, the earth wire hasn’t been solid green since the late seventies, I think, though it’s only changed to green-and-yellow and neither the live or neutral has ever been green, so I don’t think anyone’s in too much danger!
      1. Back in the 50s(and before) the earth wire wasn’t covered at all and ran as a separate strand to the 2 wire live/neutral cables. My Dad always used to say it was a lethal arrangement as the bare earth was easily touched to complete the circuit if you happened to touch the live wire as well. (He did a lot of electrical wiring).
        1. I didn’t know what ‘green wire’ was about until I solved, but the only earthing wire I have, on my microwave oven, is green.
          1. In the UK AC wiring used to be red/live black/neutral and green/earth, but this was changed to brown/live blue/neutral yellow/green/earth some time ago. I believe in the US it’s black/live white/neutral and green/earth.
  18. Pace Chambers, it’s actually a matter for scholarly debate whether haiku are in “three lines”. (I remember reading a journal article discussing precisely this question.) Haiku certainly normally consist of 17 syllables in a 5.7.5 pattern, and it is the convention to translate (and/or transliterate) them in three lines to show where the breaks are, but in Japanese they are often written as a single line. In English I don’t think there is clear agreement on what constitutes a haiku, and syllable counts vary. Pound’s poem “In a Station of the Metro” may or may not be a haiku (it’s certainly trying to be an English-language equivalent of one), but it has 19 syllables and is written in two lines. Jason
    1. Strictly speaking, what one counts in haiku in Japanese is not syllables but morae, which generally comes to the same thing, but e.g. Nihon (‘Japan’) has 2 syllables but 3 morae, while Nippon (‘Japan’) has 2 syllables but 4 morae. In any case, to all intents and purposes–certainly to all cruciverbal i’s and p’s–a haiku is a 3-line poem.
  19. If it looks like a haiku but has the wrong syllable count, is it a pseudoku?

    Twenty-three minutes for this one, with much biffing.

  20. Of the 4 long peripheral clues, only INSIGNIFICANCE yielded quickly, when I saw “if I can” in the wordplay. At that point my only other entry was my FOI, GRILL. The SW fell next and I made steady progress until I was left with P_L_I_T. Needed a minute or so to ponder that one, but got there eventually. Liked HAIKU, where I did spot the parsing, and ASSAILANT where I only saw (w)ASSAIL and moved on. Had to follow wordplay for HAUSA, but now see that they have a significant presence in Africa. Used the instructions to assemble the cattle. Nice puzzle. 25:29. Thanks setter and Pip.
  21. Thanks to blogger for explaining Hereford Cattle. I nearly put in Hereford Castle, blindly hoping there was some historical event that would explain it. Thankfully was pulled up by the very idiocy of it. Otherwise pretty straightforward. Liked the Haiku clue, and was glad I spotted it quick.
  22. Very enjoyable puzzle, and, in terms of solving time, made much more straightforward by two very gettable words at 1ac and 1dn opening up so many other words. Finished with the G&S, after initially thinking I didn’t know enough of their work to get there, as well as not necessarily getting what the clue was asking, and suddenly realising I did.
  23. 13:50. Like others I was confused by the ‘vocal changes’ for MAKE DO. DNK HAUSA, but the wordplay was clear. Like Jack I had 7d as an &lit for it to work. Clues I enjoyed included RHUBARB, DECEASED and, my COD, INSIGNIFICANCE.
  24. Another one who found it fairly easy, but it was the SOLICITOR and the PALMIST who finally held me up (prize for the most humorous connection…) – not difficult, it’s just that there is always a clue that stumps me, however easy.
  25. Loved it and this was easily a PB for me. Getting 1a and 1d straight away was very much instrumental in achieving a sub 20 min solving time. The only clue I couldn’t parse was 25a ASSAILANT which I biffed so thanks Pip for the blog.

    In retrospect my parsing for 8d was a little off. I had HERE+FORD+C.ATTLE(E). C for Clement.

  26. I liked the several places where separating a noun from its adjective was difficult, but necessary. Otherwise I found this an easy trot, except where I made the horryd mistake with Posture instead of Texture, so no Deceased.

    Rather than work that out I quit and instead distracted myself with a copy of 100 Great Books, each summarized in Haiku. As an example:

    Dusk, the windmills turn
    Is the Don mad, or are we?
    No, it’s him alright


  27. 40 minutes here. Found this one quite chewy, and struggled with LOI, Hereford Cattle. Hausa was new to me, and I especially liked Haiku.
  28. 27:54. Nice puzzle studded with a couple of gems. I particularly liked the haiku, Panama and assailant clues and the “given a little relief” Def in 19ac.

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