Times 27307 – “…but you’re already caught!”

Music: Bizet, Carmen Suites, Markovich/Lamoureux
Time: 28 minutes

I had a hard time getting started, finding few short, easy clues, but once I got going I biffed nearly all the longer answers.  Only if I got really stuck did I try to puzzle out the cryptic.   With long clues for long answers, the cryptic can be very difficult to figure out, and if you don’t need it, why bother?    For the purpose of general amusement, I have bolded all the clues I biffed.

The music has been sounding much better lately, as I have taken to cleaning each record before playing it.   I had gotten lazy and was thinking, well, this doesn’t sound any better than CD.   For doing the blog, I am listening to a CD, on the computer, the Foo Fighters ‘Wasting Light’.   I’m not sure if I like it, but since I am able to get lots of CDs for fifty cents or a dollar around here, I am trying all the music I missed to see if it is any good.   A lot of it isn’t.

1 Small drinks on behalf of church team taking orders (5,5)
SALES FORCE – S + ALES + FOR C.E, a stock Cramer is always touting.
6 Junk plans to head west (4)
SPAM – MAPS backwards, a starter clue.
9 Brief message backing TV fundraiser Henry’s left (7)
NOTELET – TELET[h]ON backwards.
10 Got up tired, having lost energy (7)
12 Temporary pianos evenly sited round old university (3-2)
POP-UP – P(O)P(U)P, yes, lots of pianos!
13 Like interpreter to invoice hosts in August, on returning (9)
BILINGUAL – BIL(IN + AUG backwards)L.
14 Head of printing house fetched back painter (not English) behind picture book (10,5)
PHOTOGRAPH ALBUM – P[rinting] HO[use] + GOT backwards +  RAPHA[e]L + BUM, with the English slang meaning of ‘bum’ rather than the American – this is the Times of London!
17 Varied resources here to cover French study update (9,6)
REFRESHER COURSE – RE(FR)ESHER COURSE, where the enclosing letters are an anagram of RESOURCES HERE.
20 A hundred and fifty European books, romantic? (9)
CANDLELIT – C AND L + LIT, not NT or OT for once!
21 ‘‘Jaws’’ bound to be shown in empty cinemas (5)
CHOPS – C(HOP)S.   I’m not really sure what sense of ‘jaws’ is intended here, but the cryptic is obvious enough.   Feel free to discuss!
23 Salute archbishop opening mine (7)
PLAUDIT – P(LAUD)IT, for once not Ven, but a specific archbishop, the one who caused a lot of trouble in 17th-century England, and was beheaded after being attainted by the Long Parliament,
24 Less smooth make-up runs, hard to stop (7)
25 Pine tea chest’s contents (4)
ACHE – hidden in [te]A CHE[st].
26 Saw old man in a hotel with the general manager (10)
APOPHTHEGM – A(POP)H + THE G.M.   I really needed the cryptic for this – I knew the words, but my attempts to spell it would have been risible.
1 Abrasive guide appears around North Dakota (9)
SANDPAPER – SA(N.D.)PAPER, wherre the enclosing letters are an anagram of APPEARS.   Our constructor appears to favor enclosing anagrams.
2 Decline rent at university (3-2)
LET-UP – LET + UP, ‘decline’ as in not rain so much.
3 The French turning up cut down outside support under their own steam (4-9)
SELF-PROPELLED – LES backwards + F(PROP)ELLED.   Parsed only for the blog.
4 Love to live in credit some weeks (7)
OCTOBER – O + C(TO BE)R.  Likewise.
5 Maybe Jersey Beer erected plant (7)
COWSLIP – COW + PILS upside-down.
7 ID of superior doctor in NW London area (3,6)
PIN NUMBER – PINN(U MB)ER.   Never heard of Pinner, but I didn’t need the cryptic anyway.
8 Perfect lines to fill little volume (5)
MODEL – M(ODE)L, that is, a milliletter with a poem inside.
11 Bouncer to try to win dodgy hearing (8,5)
KANGAROO COURT – KANGAROO + COURT.   I always tend to write ‘kangeroo’, which gave me trouble with PHOTOGRAPH ALBUM until I sorted it.
15 Composer on holiday with another, eating nut (9)
OFFENBACH – OFF (EN) BACH, where ‘nut’ is a slang term for the printer’s measure.   Offenbach is one of two enclosing composer pairs, the other one being Verdi/Monteverdi.
16 Eddy, top conductor, hogging large mike (9)
18 Unfortunate Tory leader packed in spring summit (7)
19 Some sailor upset pest controller (3,4)
RAT TRAP – PART TAR upside down.   It would have been amusing to clue a specific part, like ‘sailor’s leg’.
20 Coconut oil prepared right away, primarily from this (5)
COPRA – C[oconut] O[il] P[repared] R[ight] A[way].   Are you so used to ‘right away’ meaning ‘remove the R’ that you tried to do just that?
22 Buff coach horse every so often (5)
OCHRE – [c]O[a]C[h] H[o]R[s]E, my FOI, in my quest to find a clue I could solve easily.

61 comments on “Times 27307 – “…but you’re already caught!””

  1. Well, this sure seemed easier than Sunday’s, which I finished quite late today. But maybe that’s just me. But I had forgotten that nut = en, if I ever knew it (so what’s the word for an em?), and I’m not sure I ever knew what COPRA is.
    1. Apparently it’s mutton (the word for em that is). Makes sense to distinguish them clearly, phonetically in the noisy clatter and rattle of a printing press, I assume.
    2. It’s not just you! Yesterday’s took me the best part of two hours over three sessions…
  2. Biff City; at least 7 answers went in from def. I may have once known about en/nut, but not today; but I assumed some sort of equivalence, since the answer was definitely OFFENBACH. The spelling of 26 took some time; in the US it’s ‘apothegm’, a step forward for mankind. I just noticed that we have ‘bound’=HOP in 21ac, and ‘spring’=HOP in 18d. Significant? Well, probably not.
  3. Perhaps it’s a British thing, but “hit him in the chops” would be a punch on the jaw I think.
  4. 8:10. Lots of biffing for me too today. I know en/nut from past puzzles but I didn’t even notice it today.
    The first definition of ‘chops’ in Collins is ‘the jaws’, so I don’t see this as much of a mystery.

    Edited at 2019-03-25 03:54 am (UTC)

  5. This took me about 30 mins with the last 10 spent trying to construct the unlikely word APOPHTHEGM from the wordplay. The rest of the long solutions were biffable without having to bother with the often convoluted wordplay. I didn’t much like this puzzle.
  6. Vinyl1, FYI,Pinner is where Elton John comes from. I suspect, but I could be wrong, that you don’t have any of his music in your collection.
    Thanks for the explanation of PHOTOGRAPH ALBUM. I just biffed it without bothering to analyse it.
    Thanks also for EN in OFFENBACH. Another NFI.

    Amusingly, BILINGUAL started out life as bilguanil! Que¿

    As for 26ac, I see from ODO that Americans spell the word ‘apothegm’ and leave out the ph. Much more sensible.
    28m 50s

  7. The parsing at the start should be: P{rinting} [head of], HO (house), GOT (fetched) reversed [back], etc.

    I biffed a few including the above, which was why I looked at the explanation so closely. I’d previously read RA as ‘painter’ missing the artist’s name and that led me into confusion whilst solving to the point where I gave up trying to work out how it worked.

    I was very pleased to get the almost unknown APOPHTHEGM by trusting my interpretation of the wordplay. Also to remember EN/nut which caused me so much grief on a previous occasion.

    Edited at 2019-03-25 07:50 am (UTC)

  8. 13:40 … with a few bleary-eyed Monday morning missteps along the way.

    Some neatly disguised definitions in here, even if intersecting biffability slightly undermined them.

    Nostalgic trivia: Pinner was also the surname of Vincent, the character played by Paul Nicholas in the sitcom Just Good Friends.

    1. At a recent quiz, one question asked exactly this (in fact, the surname of either Vince or Penny would do for a point – hers was Warrender, FYI). I could remember it had a connection to North London, but couldn’t for the life of me come up with the right suburb, although I was pretty sure he wasn’t Vince Neasden.
      1. I suspect his (charming, of course) appearances on the Real Marigold shows have rekindled interest. They’ve certainly made me recall the old sitcom after many years of never giving it a thought.
  9. 60 mins all complete.
    FOI spam.
    LOI Apophthegm

    Couldn’t parse the laud from plaudit, sa(nd)paper or the en from offenbach.

    Like let up, sales force, maelstrom, but Cod kangaroo court.

  10. This was also a bit of a biff-fest for me today. The only clue that troubled me somewhat was that for APOPHTHEGM, for which I had considered SPAPATHEGM which seemed a plausible parsing with spa for hotel, but seemed an even less plausible word than the correct answer.

    COD to NOTELET – I always like the observation that a word backwards is almost another one.

  11. 14 minutes dead. Funnily enough, I was going to come here with the observation that the wordplay in this one took a poor second place to spot the definition and chuck in the answer, but I see V’s innovative display technique has beaten me to it.

    Apart from APOPHTHEGM, the wordplay was largely redundant, and occasionally misleading: I paused over OFFENBACH to wonder whether FAN/nut was involved and there was another composer with a spookily similar name. The Z8 medal for exemplary devotion to expository duty is on its way to Vinyl.

    I am glad to learn that Elton John comes from Pinner. It lends fresh impetus to a Muir/Norden/Spooner joke I’ve been working on for years which ends with the line “When you wash a Pinner star”. A career in stand-up beckons.

  12. I tried to make an anagram of “bouncer to try to w” – which led to a court but not one with an “a” in it. I also struggled with the spelling and parsing of apophthegm, with “Pa” for “Pop”, but got there in the end.


  13. 30 mins with yoghurt, granola, etc.
    I have a friend who refers to someone who is agitated about something as having “a wasp in his chops”. It is like a bee in his bonnet but more likely to lead to an oral outburst.
    Mostly I liked: Jaws being shown in empty cinemas.
    Thanks setter and Vinyl
  14. Didn’t time myself and took a nap with five left after which the remainder fell easy. It’s easier to call a saw a saw rather than an APOPHTHEGM – why would you ever bother?
  15. ….an affectionate (I hope) nickname an early girlfriend gave to me. I wonder if she still has a photo of them in an early PHOTOGRAPH ALBUM. That now has to be COD. 21 minutes with the only problem matching the spelling of APOPHTHEGM to the cryptic. Once upon a time, I would struggle to get the pH right when using Phenolphthalein. Nice Monday puzzle. Thank you V and setter
  16. If we want to be scrupulous, submitted with errors, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t write RREFESHER COURSE under exam conditions, so I’ll award myself a pass. Add me to the club who knew APOPHTHEGM as a word, more or less, but would have needed several goes to spell it right without wordplay. Otherwise, pleasant Monday solve with lots of Monday biffing.
  17. There’s also the 20th Century Shoenberg/Berg. Like Sotira I had several mis-steps along the way. e.g. 8D had to begin CI – wrong, 20A had to end ENT – wrong. I was pleased to derive the only vaguely remembered APOPHTHEGM from the wordplay as I’d never have spelt it that way with the weird extra PH in the middle [Although I see now, looking it up, the word is derived from the greek phthengesthai to utter]. 19:13.

    Edited at 2019-03-25 10:07 am (UTC)

  18. Just like everyone else, I biffed my way happily through this in 20 mins. I didn’t rate this as a great puzzle: some of the surfaces were horribly clunky (e.g. 14a, 3d). But, I agree with myrtilus, “Jaws” showing in an empty cinema was rather good. The spelling of APOPHTHEGM held me up not at all — I have that word filed alongside ophthalmic and diphtheria on the “Spellings To Catch You Out” shelf of my brain.
    Well done, vinyl, for working out all that needless wordplay!
  19. When is a saw not a saw? When it’s an adage. I did the same dithering as others with the placement of the Hs. CANDLELIT invariably reminds me of Hyacinth Bucket. There’s nothing particularly romantic about candlelight when we’re in Rhinebeck – it means we’ve had a power outage. The biggest one was 2003 when the entire NE quadrant of the US blacked out. 14.11
  20. Okay, so this is how the descent into oblivion starts: I misread the enumeration for 7dn as 6,3 and then wrestled with it for ages, finally caving in to the wordplay, and entering the correct answer with a despairing shrug, wondering what the hell a pinnum ber was.
  21. No, he doesn’t OFFENBACH (sorry, couldn’t resist it).

    Like Quailthrush I didn’t much care for this. I wasn’t helped by a comment on the QC blog which led me to believe it would be easier than proved to be the case.

    I took “en = nut” on trust.

    TIME 13:16

  22. Plenty of biffing here as well, particularly when I thought I might be edging towards a PB. No such luck, but 6m 02s for a fairly gentle Monday. APOPHTHEGM was very fairly clued with helpful checkers, fortunately.
  23. Did you hear that the man who invented the PIN number and the ATM machine has died? May he RIP in peace.

    Anyway. I woke dozy after reading late into the night so I’m happy to have finished in exactly half an hour. And I even vaguely knew how APOPHTHEGM was spelled after the last time it came up, so my revision must be going well. FOI 1d SANDPAPER, COD & LOI 20a CANDLELIT. No problem with CHOPS, but the book I was reading was a Chris Fowler Bryant and May novel, so I’m somewhat steeped in Victorian slang right now.

    Thanks for parsing all the bits I hadn’t spotted, Vinyl. I’m currently going through a different exercise for music: occasionally popping into Rough Trade and picking an LP purely based on its cover and/or written notes by the shop staff, like I used to do as a teenager. So far it’s been more hit than miss, and the experience is fun, regardless…

    Edited at 2019-03-25 12:34 pm (UTC)

  24. The day I get to use the word apophthegm in a regular conversation, I will be both proud and embarrassed. Proud of the achievement, embarrassed for being the pedant my children keep telling me I am. Neat puzzle. Many thanks.
  25. 20:55 nothing to frighten the horses, even the difficult word at 26ac was very clearly signposted. Didn’t bother to work out photograph album, that was a parse too far.
  26. Just over half an hour for this slowcoach (and that’s if I finish, which is not too often!) So another good day. I’m waiting for a return to norm, when having just a few blanks at the end feels like a success. As others have said, lots of biffing but I like to parse as I go wherever possible. All the same I couldn’t see ‘appears’ as an anagram in 1d – I was convinced some sort of guide had to go round ND! Sapaper – another entry to the momble dictionary ☺ It’s strange how you can get a total blindspot when the clue is perfectly fair.
  27. As noted by many, a bit of a biff fest, but none the less enjoyable for that. POP-UP popped up first with SANDPAPER dropping by next. My initial thought of CATNIP at 5d was ruled out by being a letter short, but PILS wasn’t far behind in the Beer Stakes Handicap. MAELSTROM was still fresh in my mind from a recent puzzle, so went straight in. I didn’t bother to parse PHOTOGRAPH ALBUM or SELF PROPELLED. I did, however, pay careful attention to my LOI, APOPHTHEGM. I spotted the parsing for 1d on my final check before submitting. Thanks setter and V.
  28. Had to come here for the parsing of OFFENBACH, otherwise nothing enlightening to report,aside from having my first game of golf today after severely damaging my shoulder while babysitting. Dangerous occupation!
  29. 18 minutes again. Didn’t like some of the surfaces, since they appeared ‘clumsy’. LOI model, since I was convinced ‘lines’ meant l.
  30. A shade under 20 minutes for this one, which I found fairly straightforward apart from APOPHTHEGM, which sounds like something there should be a treatment for. I paused briefly at PIN NUMBER, not only because I failed to spot Pinner, but because I doubted the Times would give in to such recursion. TTFN for now.
  31. Just for the record: today’s 6 across in the Telegraph cryptic is the same answer and almost the same clue as the Times.
  32. After starting cryptic crossword puzzles in April of last year, this was my first completion of the 15×15 puzzle.

    Almost always complete the quickie. But always a few, (sometimes more than a few!), short of completing this one. Until today!

    Suitably chuffed!

    LOI APOPHTHEGM which took me about 20+ minutes to get on its own. Unfamiliar word for me.


  33. Since we tend to be pedants, I was very surprised to find that nobody pointed out the tautology; until thud_n_blunder did, rather elegantly.
  34. Easy enough today apart from “Apophthegm” which is a NHO. Maelstrom is a lovely word.

    Edited at 2019-03-25 10:26 pm (UTC)

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