Times 27319 – Don’t Bogart that clue, my friend….

Time: 52 minutes
Music: Mingus Ah Um

I suspect this puzzle was a bit difficult.  I haven’t checked the NITCH yet, but the beautifully smooth clues and the well-hidden literals made it difficult to get a handle on things.  But in the end, there is no obscure vocabulary, and each clue works correctly and efficiently.   I would call this puzzle a minor masterpiece, not quite hard enough or clever enough to really rate, but a cut above the average Monday fare.

I don’t often talk policy here, but let me say this.   We have at this site twenty-two active bloggers, plus a couple of substitutes who can be called into action.   They are all volunteers, and they all show up on their assigned day and post their excellent blogs.    Since I took over this blog a little more than two years ago, I have made it a policy to give the bloggers as much freedom as possible, in return for their loyal service as volunteers.    There have been a few blogs that were not to my taste, but that is to be expected with such a varied cast of characters.    So before you take anything to heart, consider that you are getting same-day service from some of the sharpest minds in the solving world, at absolutely no cost to yourself.   EOR.

1 Tree sounding rough, an old one (5,8)
HORSE CHESTNUT –  Sounds like HOARSE, plus CHESTNUT, which this clue is not!
9 After cheers, negative utterance forbidden (5)
TABOO – TA + BOO, a starter clue that I didn’t read until I had nearly finished the puzzle.
10 Water was filling empty bath, clean mind? (9)
r BRAINWASH – B(RAIN WAS)H, where ‘clean’ is a verb.   This is nearly the only clue whee the surface is a little awkward.
11 Quite some voice, good heavens! (10)
12 One’s hairy shoulder (4)
BEAR – double definition, referring to the creature in the bearskin.
14 Lie tenth, not last for a change, so qualify (7)
ENTITLE – anagram of LIE TENT[h].
16 Petrol splashed on back of hood, small amount of liquid (7)
DROPLET – [hoo]D + anagram of PETROL.
17 Taking trouble to break up fight, action rescuing business (7)
19 Greek character, attention-seeker captivating male friend, briefly (7)
OMICRON – O(M)I + CRON[y]. – I was going to biff this, but decided to work out the cryptic – it was quite tricky.
20 Each finally got to work, commute a drag (4)
TOKE – Last letters of GOT TO WORK, COMMUTE, with a beautifully hidden literal in the smooth surface.
21 In lesson, teacher not too serious? (10)
PARDONABLE –  PAR(DON)ABLE, my LOI, and I needed all the crossers.
24 Look sideways round cool street in English city (9)
LEICESTER – LE(ICE + ST)ER.   I’m not sure that ‘leer’ is ‘look sideways’ – I would describe it as a bold stare.
25 Spot on end of nose: kiss and turn! (5)
EXACT – [nos]E + X + ACT, where the trick is finding the literal.
26 Author who collected art coloured green, it eclipsing most blue (8,5)
GERTRUDE STEIN – GERT(RUDEST)EIN, where the enclosing letters are an anagram of GREEN, IT.
1 Having trouble with face, one’s taken to one’s bed (3-5,6)
HOT-WATER BOTTLE – HOT WATER + BOTTLE, in entirely different senses from what the clue reads.
2 Capital, that of Russia, a hit (5)
RABAT – R[ussia] + A BAT.
3 Stretching across both ends of ottoman, a leg on it massaged (10)
ELONGATION – anagram of A LEG ON IT around O[ttoma]N.
4 Regular tone, slightly cutting? (7)
HABITUE -H(A BIT)UE, one we’ve seen before.
5 Plant what may grow to inspire wonderment (7)
6 Relative idiot (4)
NANA – double definition, relatively srriaghtforward.
7 Tourist heading for Timbuktu, one getting into a tangle? (9)
8 Carried by ferryman, then lost at sea, old player (8,6)
CHARLTON HESTON – CHAR(anagram of THEN LOST)ON.   I was very dull on this one, seeing it but thinking Oh, Charleston doesn’t fit.   But that’s not his name!
13 Still not proposing? (10)
MOTIONLESS – Double definition, another one we’ve seen before.
15 Second double fifty, man collects (9)
TWINKLING – TWIN + K(L)ING, the chess man, of course.
18 One trying to plug in old kitchen appliance (7)
TOASTER – T(O)ASTER, another one I was very slow on, thinking of ‘touter’.
19 Requested gold and scarlet to cover Duke’s case (7)
ORDERED – OR(D[uk]E)RED.   My FOI, as I realized this was not going to be a Monday doddle.
22 Strengthen a couple (5)
BRACE – Double definition, one I am always forgetting.
23 Bottom on a chair in the end (4)
REAR – Double definition, so simple it’s confusing….I think.   Maybe there’s something I’m not seeing? Yep, RE A [chai]R, that’s better.   Don’t know why I couldn’t see it.

71 comments on “Times 27319 – Don’t Bogart that clue, my friend….”

  1. I read it as ‘Bottom’ being the definition, then RE=’on’ A chaiR.
  2. The last 5 minutes were devoted to 15d and 20ac; TOKE really annoyed me, as it’s the second time in a week I failed to see a final-letter clue. As it was I biffed it once I had the K, and then realized how it worked. I also biffed GERTRUDE STEIN from the Rs and the ‘most’, which told me there would be an EST sequence. (V, you forgot to underline the def.) Definitely not your typical Monday puzzle.
  3. Hmm, I didn’t think this was so difficult, but then I was, to say the least (ha), in no hurry, and any intermittent slowness I attributed to my own… absent-mindedness.

    Of course, we all know now what “toke” means, but not everyone did when Brewer & Shipley’s “One Toke Over the Line” hit the Top-40 charts in 1971. Lawrence Welk, in fact, was proud to present a couple of his own singers belting out this “contemporary spiritual.” Sweet Jesus!

    Edited at 2019-04-08 03:38 am (UTC)

  4. I started out thinking this was going to be hard as I must have taken nearly 5 minutes to solve a first clue but once that was in (TOKE) I spotted HOT-WATER BOTTLE and everything flowed on quite smoothly so that I completed the grid in 31 minutes, only 1 minute over my target 30.

    I looked twice at BEAR, thinking ‘one’s hairy’ was a bit odd, and at 8dn where, without any checkers in place, I started by remembering the name of the ferryman, CHARON and immediately thought of the football players, Bobby and Jack Charlton, neither of whom fitted the enumeraton. Then I realised the clue didn’t mean THAT sort of player.

    SOED has this for LEER: Look sideways or askance. Now only, look or gaze with a sly, malign, or lascivious expression. Chambers has: a sideways look.

    I’m not entirely sure about ‘face = bottle’ at 1dn but my thesaurus has a three-point-turn connection via ‘nerve’. Hm.

    Edited at 2019-04-08 04:12 am (UTC)

  5. I’ve been trying to do more dailies, after realizing that the Quick Cryptics were bending my mind into a shape unsuitable for solving the ‘15×15’s. I usually get close to finishing, if not particularly quickly. Today on the other hand felt close to a personal best, many of the long clues going in from the definitions and enumeration alone.

    A hasty ELONGATING (sounds sexual, I know) kept me from finding BAILOUT, even though I knew the fight had to be BOUT. I enjoyed BEAR, SEAWEED, TOASTER, and a few others. A lot of the wordplay was quite neatly done!

    Thanks, vinyl, for the explanation on OMICRON!

  6. Finished but guessed the last two twinkling and omicron missing the Oi for attention seeker and twinkling for short time.

    Cod exact.

  7. 6:58. Pretty Mondayish as far as I’m concerned. It really helps when you know all the words.
    I agree with jackkt about ‘face’ for BOTTLE. The only related meaning for ‘face’ that I can see in the dictionaries is ‘effrontery’, which is not the same thing as BOTTLE even if both can be replaced by ‘nerve’.

    Edited at 2019-04-08 06:43 am (UTC)

  8. 15:16 … for me this was one of those that was easy apart from the hard bits. I was much delayed by NANA, of all things, staring at N_N_ for so long that I became convinced one of the intersecting words must be wrong. ALTOGETHER similarly flummoxed me for a while, despite having all the checking letters. Funny what can hold you up.

    Being a fan of brevity in clues, I really enjoyed BEAR and MOTIONLESS

  9. On paper on train, nothing too difficult here. GERTRUDE STEIN took a bit of figuring out – know the name but nothing of her works. LOI – TWINKLING – had Trickling in mind for ages but couldn’t make that work. CHAR….ON came to mind quickly and with both Ts in place, it was a cinch (didn’t know he was dead though).
  10. I don’t know what is happening to me. I have found the last week or so very clunky and this crossword is the same. Long laboured clues. Much less enjoyable suddenly. But perhaps it is just me. With my sixtieth birthday just round the corner, perhaps I am becoming an old grump.
  11. 25 mins with yoghurt, granola, blueberries, etc.
    I enjoyed this – and I think it is worth pointing out that the setter has achieved that most wondrous thing of no ‘link’ words; you know no ‘in’, ‘for’, ‘as’, etc. There is the possible exception of the ‘so’in 14ac, but otherwise I think it is link-free. Well played.
    Mostly I liked: Stein and Heston.
    Thanks setter and Vinyl.
    1. The first THREE postings above have covered this. If readers think they have spotted an error or something missing in the blog it’s advisable to check (at least) the early comments to see if someone has already made the point.
  12. Good start to the week. Last two that delayed me were the same as kevingregg. Twinkling and Toke.


  13. 35 minutes with LOI BAILOUT, having carelessly first put in ELONGATIng. Didn’t fully parse OMICRON. NANA was slow to come as mine were Grannie and Grandma. CHARLTON HESTON is getting more bookings dead than alive. COD to the hoary old HORSE CHESTNUT and HOT-WATER BOTTLE jointly. More beautiful sunshine in St Annes today. I got sunburnt yesterday, would you believe? Thank you V and setter.

    Edited at 2019-04-08 08:27 am (UTC)

  14. 29 minutes. It helped that I stuck in three of the four perimeter answers quite quickly, starting with a biffed HOT WATER BOTTLE. Working the bottom half for a while let me find GERTRUDE STEIN, then I popped back upstairs to finish off with RABAT (as usual, geography letting me down, but at least I knew vaguely that it was a place) and LOI 11a.

    11a took me ALTOGETHER too long to see, and amused me more when I thought it was “get her!” being used for “heavens!” 😀

    Liked 25 and 16’s misdirection, where I was trying to remember the names of things like mangles before I realised where the “old” belonged.

  15. Really enjoyed what was an under-stated and well-crafted crossword. MOTIONLESS and TOASTER were examples of some great clues.
    I am off incommunicado for 2 weeks so, Editor, now would be a good time to bring out that stinker you have been saving or the really witty one just based on antelopes.
  16. 20 minutes and a few seconds, with GERTRUDE STEIN, about whom it seems I knew virtually nothing part from the odd bons mots, going in without understanding most of the clue.
    Ben Hur/Moses/Michelangelo I eventually did parse, though no before filling in the squares.
    I quite liked “get her!” and not for the first time wished there was space for the exclamation mark in the grid. Nicely chewy puzzle, no Monday easy.
    PS should I mention the parsing for REAR? It seems to be de rigeur today.
  17. Found this Monday fare, 14 minutes done except like sotira was staring at 6d wondering if something was wrong elsewhere. Nana means idiot, it seems.
    Thanks for blog vinyl1 and your supportive remarks about we volunteers.
  18. Nice puzzle. Ended up staring at the TWINKLING/TOKE intersection convinced that 15D had to contain “LL” for double 50. Penny dropping moment as I saw TOKE and then of course TWIN. As far as 23D is concerned……
      1. It’s like the cat that keeps dragging the dead mouse back into the living room!
  19. This was a bit more challenging than I was expecting for a Monday: so 39 mins. My LOI also PARDONABLE, despite seeing ‘don’=teacher pretty quickly. I spent ages on 22d early on (with no checkers) chewing on this like a dog with a bone, determined that the wordplay was A+[word meaning ‘couple’]. I am not very strategic about my solving times. I cannot agree entirely with commenters here about the surfaces. I found many of them clunky: e.g. 26a, 2d and 8d. The controversial 23d could be regarded as rather clever in its misdirection: ‘bottom’, ‘on a chair’, ‘end’ and the ‘E’ checker surely leads to SEAT.
    Thanks for your very acceptable and totally inoffensive blog, vinyl1.
    1. Glad I wasn’t the only one held up by this. SEAT seemed so reasonable.

      And having sorted that out, I was finally delayed by another short one, 12a, with the same _E_R pattern.

  20. Seems like I’m stuck with ‘English’ pronunciation, so I’ll shut up about it now, since nothing’s going to change.

    12 minutes, with twinkling LOI and held up briefly by having put in elongating. Also distracted by the idea of buyout rather than bailout, realising it was too short. COD traveller. FOI taboo. Didn’t parse gertrude until I had finished the puzzle.

  21. I was another ELONGATING bailed out by BAILOUT. I started off with TABOO and RABAT, then 1d and 1a went in giving me lots to work with. For once I didn’t get bogged down and made good use of my flying start, only slowing down when I came to my last 2, TOKE and TWINKLING which went in as a pair as I was unsure about the meaning of TOKE and used its K to develop TWINKLING before settling on it. A quick proof read nudged me to the wrong side of 15 minutes at 15:01. Speedy for me! Liked OMICRON and CHARLTON HESTON. Nice puzzle. Thanks setter and Vinyl, whose thanks to all the Bloggers I would like to echo.
  22. What felt like a slowish 28.35. I wonder if the setter saw z’s ‘get her!’ for ‘G, ether’; seems likely given the clue’s tone, which brings an interesting parsing category into play, the decorous and dashing together. If in the Stein clue ‘coloured’ is the anagrind it’s a stretch; but maybe apposite for one who stood at an angle to the universe, if I remember her (or someone’s) words rightly.
  23. Need I say more ? Wasn’t on the setter’s wavelength and biffed OMICRON, GERTRUDE STEIN, HOT-WATER BOTTLE, SEAWEED and TWINKLING. Luckily spotted early that “buyout” wouldn’t fit.

    TIME 14:44

  24. 22 minutes so pretty standard fare for a Monday. Like EXACT a lot.

    Nice to see our blogmeister give a shout out to the Epping and Ongar Railway – a fine example of its type.

    1. How nice! -thanks for this Ulaca. I just had “explanation of reimbursement” from one of those impenetrable statements we get from the medical insurance provider in our wonderful US health care system.
      1. A friend from my Merton days has become a huge volunteer supporter of this charming line, so it was the least I could do to sample one of the steam trains. Strangely, I don’t recall seeing or travelling on a choo-choo train as a child. Perhaps it was the part of the country I was living in, as they must still have been serving passengers in the early/mid sixties.
  25. Some nice stuff here (PARDONABLE and good old Chuckie in 8d) and I must say I didn’t find it clunky. My first thought was Charlie Chaplin but he didn’t fit and there was no room for the ferryman. 12.24

    These anonymice who fail to check the REAR-view mirror are going to cause a pile-up one of these days.

  26. I had NANA, pronounced nar na, from childhood meaning a foolish person, often jocularly, I now see from Chambers that it’s Australian slang from BANANA, hence the pronunciation.

    BOTTLE is another part of the human anatomy.

    As a former blogger I totally agree with vinyl.

    17′ 48”. Thanks vinyl and setter.

      1. Bottle and glass is Cockney rhyming slang for ‘arse’. To ‘lose your bottle’ or ‘bottle it’ means to lose courage.
        1. THanks. One lives and learns! I knew ‘bottle’ as courage but never why. Other relevant CRS (which I’m sure you know but others may not) is ‘boat’ for ‘face’ from ‘boat race’.
          1. I think – I’m not sure – that there is also a double (compounded) Cockney rhyming slang at work here.
            “aris” = Aristotle = bottle = bottle and glass = arse.
            Hence, your “arse” can be referred to as your “aris” (which you do hear occasionally in Cockney land. It sounds more polite, anyway.
    1. All togevver nah:
      “My old mans a dustman
      he wears a dustmans hat
      he wears cor-blimey trousers
      and he lives in a council flat
      he looks a propa ‘nana in his great big hobnail boots
      hes got such a job to pull ’em up that he calls ’em daisy roots”
  27. To those of you objecting to anonymous users commenting on 23d, may I suggest that a more gentle approach might be more effective?

    It’s easy to get excited and post an explanation, then realize that someone has beaten you to it, at which point you feel a little sheepish. By berating such posters, you’re unlikely to enlarge the circle of non-anonymous posters – which is fine if you want a cosy little club. I’ve lurked here for a couple of years, and learned much; going from an occasional, slow completer, to a usual finisher. I value the blog (and of course the crossword) greatly, and appreciate all the bloggers efforts – it must be a significant burden. Firstly in solving even the hardest examples, then uploading the parsings. Nonetheless to an outsider, this can often feel like a slightly unwelcoming club. I write this (and I’ve chosen to logon with Google, so hopefully I won’t be anonymous) in the same spirit that recent blogger comments have been posted; namely to make a plea for more tolerance. I’m well aware that I’m not the most tolerant person in the world, so as much for me as anyone.

    Thanks again, bloggers for your efforts. As an aside, I don’t happen to be one of the anonymous rears.

  28. After last week’s travails, I was happy to come in at a healthy 13’09”. Would have been faster, but it took two or three minutes just to get off the mark. Getting head in gear. Really one should limber up before pressing the timer. Enjoyed the two personalities, both of whom fell quite quickly. Charon immediately triggered Charlton; and in the other the superlative ‘most blue’ meant the surname probably began with ST. Many thanks. I suppose Nana is pronounced two different ways. Nice clue.
  29. Mondayish for me at 9:55. No hiccups apart from at 24 biffing the non-city of Leinster and running out of letters before the end of the light. When solving ALTOGETHER I thought at the time that “get her!” was a bit loose for “good heavens!” but a post-solve look cleared that up.
  30. There’s a wonderful family called STEIN.
    There’s GERT and there’s EP and there’s EIN.
    GERT’s poems are bunk,
    EP’s sculptures are junk.
    And no-one can understand EIN.
  31. Reminded me of the best crossword clue i have experienced, Bust down reason? (9). Thanks blogger and setter.
    1. Brilliant, if more suited to our dear sister publication, the Sun. Some of us might be spluttering into our granola and gin marmalade!
  32. 30 mins. Left staring at a choice between NONG (idiot) or NANA (relative) Finally decided that I don’t have any close or even distant nongs, so must be NANA.
  33. As a man who is just starting out in the cryptic world, I’m finding this blog extremely helpful and amusing. Thank you to all the volunteer bloggers. I’d be lost without you.
    1. Many thanks for dropping by to say that. Get yourself an LJ handle when you feel ready and join the fun.
      1. I did sign up with a name a picture and a password a couple of years ago but then I didn’t find how to log in again. I’ve been looking at this site for some years and I’ve enjoyed it (apart from the occasional outbreak of smugness) and found it useful. I manage to finish the 15×15 sometimes, which gives me a good sense of achievement. Thanks and best wishes to all, RJ
  34. As an intermittent visitor to this blog, I would like to add my thanks to all those who contribute time/knowledge to create and maintain the site. It is much appreciated and enjoyed and I invariably learn something new at every visit. I cannot imagine complaining or criticising – but strike me down if ever I do.
    Smashed through the puzzle today, only to come to a screeching halt on Pardonable/Motionless/Omicron.
  35. 7:02 – I was bang on the wavelength of this one, though I biffed in CHARLTON HESTON and GERTRUDE STEIN, both of whom I encounter on a regular basis, the former having lived in Asheville for a while, and the latter being one I teach when allowed to teach a writing class.

    Much kudos to vinyl1 on his managing of this menagerie of blogunteers. I should add (in case anyone is reading comment 55), that he and I are in the same time zone, and when the big flurry of comments come in during the UK morning, it is the middle of the night here and it can be difficult to make changes to the blog… last Thursday being another prime example.

  36. Er, y’know 23 down? I think it’s….
    Just kidding 🙂
    Straightforward puzzle, steady solve – just over the half hour.
    Thanks, V.
  37. Was helped along by having been discussing GERTRUDE STEIN only the previous day. Apparently she was from Oakland, but we failed to realise that it was that place that she had described with the nice turn of phrase “there is no there there”, even though we were on a train heading to Oakland at the time.

    Once I saw the answer to 20ac I realised I had no choice but to complete this puzzle in 4m20, so I did.

    1. I just realized that TOKE was 4 letter word at 20 across! This is getting spooky.
  38. Ah.

    I came here expecting (and, in an evil sort of a way, hoping) that almost everyone would have found this at least half as tricky as I did. Either I was completely off-wavelength, or my third neuron is playing up again. I finished this in just over an hour, split over several sessions.

    I’d’ve enjoyed the challenge more if the puzzle had produced more “aha!” moments. Instead, I often found myself biffing (after much pre-biff pondering), and then spending almost as long again trying to parse. “Coloured” as an anagram indicator? A four-letter answered assembled from three parts? I agree with [napasai]’s comment – the last few days have been more of a slog than a rewarding challenge; my 60th is further away than his (or hers), so I’ll have to count as a young grump.

    1. I checked that ‘colour/ed’ isn’t in the long list of anagram indicators compiled for Chambers 12th edition but one of its meanings (figuratively) is to distort so I guess that covers it. Not sure I’ve ever seen it before today though!
      1. It’s reached the point where I view every past participle as a potential suspect.
  39. 24:22. I thought this was pretty Monday-ish but solved it tired this evening after a busy day at work and so my time felt slower than it could have been. Nice puzzle.
  40. Thanks setter and vinyl
    Completed this one over a long coffee and toastie on a Sunday afternoon, a long time after it was published here … and longer still over there. Started off with TABOO and quite quickly followed up with the Moroccan capital. Getting the long 1d / 1a soon after opened up the puzzle nicely.
    Had to have several looks at the BEAR definition before writing it in. REAR took just as long … but more from unravelling the cleverly disguised word play (and yes I also had to correct it from my initial SEAT).
    Smiled at the reference above to “My Old Man’s a Dustman” to put NANA back into British perspective – think that it was one of the first records that I owned.
    Agree with your comments on blogging – have practiced doing it on some very old Guardian puzzles that I do from time to time – it does put a whole different perspective on how one views a puzzle !

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