Times 27667 – Linux, of course!

Time: 31 minutes
Music, Prokofiev, Symphony #7, Martinon/PCO

Another easy Monday, you might say, although as usual I put in most of the answers and then hit a bit of a slow patch in the brazenness/zillionth/singsong area.  I was solving briskly until then, biffing answers and then working out the cryptics.   There is nothing here that will be terribly obscure for the usual well-read crew, and fast times are certainly possible – if you can get over the hump.

On another topic, here’s a summary of the latest computer glitch at The Times.   As many people are aware, both the Crossword Club and the puzzles section of the online version of the Times are generated by an automated content-management system, with a queue of puzzles waiting to be published.   On Friday, there was some sort of problem with the Quickie.   While Quickie 1614 correctly appeared on the Crossword Club site, Quickie 1615 was posted to the online newspaper.   Our Friday blogger, Curarist, went to the newspaper site, solved the puzzle and wrote the blog – it’s not his job to check if the Times has published the correct puzzle!   Later on in the day, Quickie 1614 did appear on the Times web site, but as an additional puzzle, wtih 1615 still present.   While I was sleeping in Conncticut, my able colleague Jackkt spotted the problem and provided an improptu blog for Quickie 1614, the official Friday Quickie.

Now the Times has gone ahead and published Quickie 1615 as the Monday Quickie.   Anyone who wants to see the blog will have to look back to the Friday entries, as there was really nothing we could do and I had to allow Cuarist’s blog to stand.    Normal service should resume shortly.

1 Return game? It’s played with strings attached (5)
STRAD – DARTS backwards.  
4 Meeting team at last after my opus is broadcast (9)
SYMPOSIUM –  anagram of MY OPUS IS followed by [tea]M.
9 Strange athlete, one breaking the law with spirit? (3-6)
10 Basic concept of drunkard about to secure work (5)
TOPOS – SOT backwards around OP.   It is more likely to occur if you’re conversing in Attic Greek, but I’m sure the English usage is attested.  
11 Twist Nikolai Gogol originally employed in literary work (6)
TANGLE – TA(N[ikolai] G[ogol]LE. 
12 Drink that went to one’s head once? (8)
NIGHTCAP – Double definition, and one that I did not immediately see even though it’s probably some sort of chestnut.
14 Catch hooligan pinching head of Repton’s floor-covering (9)
16 One working as judge in German city? (5)
TRIER – Double defintion, the first one somewhat jocular rather than representing a common usage. 
17 Desperado finally banished from district backing African river (5)
NIGER – REGI[o]N backwards.
19 Tiny part of Jerusalem sheltering sick Thai leaders (9)
ZILLIONTH – Z(ILL)ION + TH[ai].  I had biffed ‘millionth’, and had to rethink.
21 Err seriously at first, dividing award for informal musicmaking (8)
SINGSONG – SIN + G(S)ONG.   The UK meaning, not used in the US – we would say a singalong.  
22 Yankee at home finds sleeveless jacket (6)
JERKIN – JERK + IN.   This clue probably should have used Yank instead, which may have been the setter’s intent.
25 Film about police department overturning decree (5)
EDICT – E(CID backwards)T, the only film we ever get, it seems.
26 Group of nations thus abandons song: it backed oil producers (9)
EUCALYPTI – EU + CALYP[so} + IT backwards, biffed by me and then analyzed.
27 Way English archdeacon’s supported by Scottish writer (9)
STEVENSON – ST + E + VEN’S + ON, another justified biff.
28 Long story about Eeyore’s tail (5)
YEARN – Y([eeyor]E)ARN.
1 Take a walk? Procrustes would sometimes do it (7,4,4)
STRETCH ONES LEGS – Double definition, one allusive.
2 Stomach certain sporting blokes required? (5)
RUMEN –  RU + MEN.  
3 Old garment seen in Quetta, but not in Quito? (7)
DOUBLET – DOUBLE T, of which Quito has only one.
4 Function popular in the Home Counties (4)
SINE – S(IN)E, a Quickie clue.
5 Money young lady invested in horse’s strap (10)
MARTINGALE – MAR(TIN, GAL)E.   Since a martingale is actually a horse’s strap, the clue gives something away….unless, like me, you don’t have a clue what a martingale is!
6 Excelled on range, though not in photo (7)
OUTSHOT – OUT + SHOT, where you have to lift and separate.
7 Collision involving current member, one visiting part of W London (9)
8 Reportedly escape arrest? It’s a fallacy (15)
13 Audacity of woman about to destroy notes (10)
BRAZENNESS – B(RAZE NN)ESS, an easy biff once you have the Z.
15 South American bloke at home in most of district (9)
ARGENTINE – AR(GENT IN)E[a].   A very common chestnut.
18 What we learn by accepting established award (7)
ROSETTE – RO(SET)TE, a word that seems to occur rather frequently.
20 I trade extremely lucratively — in theory (7)
IDEALLY – I DEAL L[ucrativel]Y.  
23 Greek character in dark apparel (5)
KAPPA – hidden in [dar]K APPA[rel].
24 Investigation primarily conducted in hospital (4)
SCAN – S(C[onducted]AN, just a touch of an &lit, but not really.  

62 comments on “Times 27667 – Linux, of course!”

  1. Yeah, “YankEE” must be a typo. We shan’t exacerbate transatlantic tensions by taking umbrage…

    I don’t think I knew before that a horse’s strap was a MARTINGALE, but it somehow seemed the obvious answer.

    The part that stopped my headlong rush near the end was in the northwest. So I went to the fridge for a mini Heath bar and when I returned to my page, everything was suddenly clear.

  2. I had a ? at JERKIN (I just noticed we have DOUBLET & JERKIN) because of the -ee; a slip by the setter, I would imagine. Like Vinyl, I started with MILLIONTH until I thought of BRAZENNESS, which, like HEARTHRUG and MARTINGALE (not that I knew what a martingale was; if asked, I probably would have said it’s a kind of dress), I typed in before parsing. LOI OUTSHOT, which I also biffed. V, you’ve got the wrong Nikolai.

    Edited at 2020-05-18 02:36 am (UTC)

  3. If the Yankees are jerks, then 22ac may not be a slip by the setter. What was the setter thinking? And where was the settee?
    The coffee in some southern states is the one who gets coffed-upon.(Bierce)

    FOI 23dn KAPPA




    28 minutes

    Edited at 2020-05-18 04:18 am (UTC)

        1. If you mean the dastardly baseball team, very insightful horryd, and I’m with you. If, however, you mean the lineup of Guy, me, Olivia, vinyl, Kevin, plusjeremy, and Jon….
          1. ‘If you mean etc’

            I think what you mean is – if the setter meant etc.

            But there being no apology from the editor for an error in the clue, we may never know what was intended.

  4. embarrassing that 26a was LOI. We live surrounded by them. 19mins

    Edited at 2020-05-18 04:24 am (UTC)

  5. Actually our dog has a martingale collar, so they aren’t just for horses! It’s like a choke collar, but with a stopping mechanism so it can’t pull too tight.
  6. I had much the same experience as others. Like vinyl my hold up to finishing was SINGSONG, BRAZENNESS and ZILLIONTH. And I’d had a biffed MILLIONTH which contributed to that hold up. Other than that reasonably straightforward though TOPOS gave me pause for thought as I’d not heard of it before but the parsing was unambiguous.
  7. Well, I biffed ‘billionth’ first, probably because billions are the only amounts pandemic costs are counted in.
  8. 32 minutes with minor delays along the way caused by things already mentioned by others, ‘millionth’ before ZILLIONTH, ‘Yankee’ = JERK, TOPOS, Procrustes who?

    Edited at 2020-05-18 08:43 am (UTC)

  9. 25 mins pre-brekker.
    Guessed Yankee was meant to be Yank.
    MER at Thai leaders=TH. If we allow ‘leaders’ to be the group of leading letters, where will it end?
    Thanks setter and Vinyl.
  10. 28 minutes, despite not knowing who Procrustes was and not having heard of TOPOS. I thought there was likely a word missing at 22a, perhaps “Yankee fool” for “jerk”, being a nice misdirection where you’d likely think the answer began with Y where instead it clued American usage…

    Anyway: FOI 2d, LOsI the crossers of 13d BRAZENNESS and 19a ZILLIONTH (I was very glad of the Z appearing.) COD 24d for its extra &littishness.

  11. Held up in the nw corner with STRAD, DOUBLET, RUMEN and TANGLE, although it doesn’t seem to have troubled others.

    YANKEE definitely should have been YANK. Of course in Quito you find a singlet. I suspect if the Z of ZILLIONTH had been unchecked a few people would have got it wrong.


    Friday’s answer: the country other than Afghanistan to contain three consecutive letters of the alphabet is Tuvalu.

    Today’s question: what is the last letter to appear for the first time in the sequence zero, one, two, three, …?

  12. 23 minutes. LOI RUMEN. I really enjoyed this puzzle, with lots of pleasant clues, despite the puzzlement over ‘Yankee’ taking up a minute or two. I tried ‘someone who is jerked’ but couldn’t make sense of that, so shrugged and entered JERKIN. It’s going to be too warm for that or a DOUBLET today. COD to ZILLIONTH. If I’d known who PROCRUSTES was, that might have won the prize. I think I must have seen Procrustean before and wondered how a crab or lobster fitted into the sentence. Thank you V and setter.
  13. Easy but enjoyable puzzle

    RUM RUNNER was interesting. Dorset is famed for its smuggling history. About ten miles inland from the coast are a number of pubs tucked away in remote places. One might wonder how a pub came to be there. They were the first base storage barns for contraband rushed in from the coast by packhorse and hidden from the excise men ready for later distribution. Some survive as country pubs.

    1. Like the Sailors Arms ar West Chaldon, perhaps? Used to be run by my school Pal’s brother.
      1. The nearest one to me is probably the Barley Mow tucked away behind Wimborne. There are still some that survive!
        1. That takes me back Jim. My father once took me on a dubious pub tour of places related to the infamous Judge Jeffries assizes. I wasn’t of drinking age and the only names I remember from it are (for obvious reasons) Pimperne in the ?Piddle valley. Smugglers’ pubs would have been far less ghoulish.
          1. Yes, the river Piddle runs through Dorset in an area of outstanding natural beauty. You were probably in the southernmost village of Piddlehinton where a barn would be ideally placed for contraband brought in from Weymouth beach. The village was requisitioned by the US and UK forces in WW2 as part of the build up to D-day
    2. Rum runners ran rum from Bermuda to both sides of the American Civil War, and guns too. The start of its unabashed business model……
      A very popular watering hole here was named after them.
  14. I know this, I’ll be interested in your answer, about when it occurs.
  15. Enjoyable puzzle. Thanks, Vinyl1 for JERKIN and MARTINGALE. Yes, Yank would have been better and I failed to grasp that ‘money’ equalled TIN although I’ve come across it before, of course.
    COD to DOUBLET. It took a while but I like clues like that.
  16. Dnk TOPOS, and nho Procrustes. Still need clarification on Yankee, will we be told? Liked DOUBLET.

    13’13” thanks vinyl and setter.

  17. Well, for a supposedly easier Monday, this gave me some grief. Chugged home eventually in 16.45. Took a fair while to get out of the starting blocks- at least across- 1dn being my FOI, far too long an answer to repeat the feat here. LOI brazenness despite getting the parsing wrong, I thought the slang brass might refer to the woman. Oh dear, best get myself booked on a correction course.

    Zillionth also provided a road block but all’s well as they say. Now off to exercise my newly enhanced rights to exercise, but I think I’ll have a cup of tea and a bacon buttie first.

  18. 18.05, feeling that I should have been quicker. Part of the time was used in checking the wordplay for ARGENTINE, MARTINGALE and BRAZENNESS*, the rest by puzzling out 1ac by realising I’s chosen SINGLET from the clothing available. TOPOS I knew as Greek for place, which hardly seemed to fit, but Chambers later enlightened.

    *But not, apparently, EDICT and STEVENSON, which came as a surprise when I read V’s excellent and more comprehensive analysis.

  19. Slowed down by entering Couplet in place of Doublet and then stumped by 1 across. Got there in the end.


  20. I enjoyed it and so passed YANKEE by as a mistake or unknown to me.
    Knew TOPOS from the design magazine to which my office subscribes.
  21. A letter from Ely perhaps, read aloud (1)

    First couple to twist at start of dance number (9)

    Edited at 2020-05-18 11:45 am (UTC)

  22. Various things required a little bit of extra thought, but not enough to stop this feeling very pleasantly like Monday (apart from the Yankee, where I was expecting to find a word meaning “one who is yanked” but didn’t, so concluded it was an error, as per everyone else). As previously discussed here, I am not the only one who has trouble telling his MARTINGALE from his FARTHINGALE, but no room for confusion here.
    1. Ah but there’s also ‘vardingale’, an alternative version of ‘farthingale.
  23. A lot of this puzzle went in easily, but other bits required some thought. OUTSHOT and IMPACTION held me up, as did STRAD, RUMEN and DOUBLET. BRAZENNESS was a big help with ZILLIONTH. JERKIN went in with a shrug. No trouble with MARTINGALE, having come across it several times. 27:07. Thanks setter and Vinyl.
  24. 13:33. I’m another who thought Yankee had to be a mistake. LOI EUCALYPTI checking the wordplay to correct my initial spelling with an I for the Y. DNK TOPOS. what PROCRUSTES did and needed BRAZENNESS to see ZILLIONTH. It made me wonder how small it is… some way less than a octillionth, I guess.
  25. 17’55. Went right in with the two long ones and no serious problems. Wondered for a moment if a Yankee could be a knot could be a jerk, then a pleasant moment whether all kinds of prejudice were suddenly to be allowed the setter…finally assumed the error. Didn’t know the presumed abbreviation for ‘out of shot’.
    1. I’ll raise you by a factor of 10^9 to get the previous letter. Edit: I can’t count.

      Edited at 2020-05-18 12:39 pm (UTC)

  26. 10:27. No real problems with this: I didn’t understand ‘Yankee’ but I just shrugged and bunged in the obvious answer.
    I knew MARTINGALE, presumably from appearances in Mephisto because it doesn’t seem to have appeared in a daily puzzle. Or rather it has, but with a different meaning as a gambling system in puzzle 27482 (15 October last year).
  27. The JERK YANKEE error never occurred to me I must be too trusting. I did find a quote on google about the Yankees being jerks however. LOI TOPOS which had to be looked up for confirmation.
  28. ….long time, no see ! Did our paths not last cross in TRIER during the chestnut season ?

    I assumed the setter knew Martin, who is Yankee on the taxi radio system, and unarguably a jerk.

    I made a rod for my own back by biffing “millionth”, and consequently got stuck with just my eventual COD and my LOI after 7 minutes. I extended that time by 50% until I had the HEARTHRUG pulled from under me, vainly tried “billionth” and finally realised the error of my ways.

    TIME 10:29

  29. A Martingale is also a ruinous roulette strategy which involves doubling up on each spin in order to chase your losses.

    Why do I seem to be the only solver who knows this…….?

    All correct in 21.21.

    Thank you to setter and blogger.


    1. That is the only form of MARTINGALE that I knew. But that meant that I knew it was a word, and it seemed unlikely that it had been invented just to name a gambling system, so I guessed it must also be a piece of horse tack, as indeed it is.
  30. Didn’t time myself but comfortably under the 30 minutes. Did check whether ratis was a game before I the more obvious darts came to mind. Rumen LOI. Procrustes was NHO, so thanks for filling me in there, and was also dubious about jerkin, but I agree yank was probably intended.
    Enjoyable solve, thanks setter and blogger.
  31. Easy run-in for the week, though I probably overbiffed. Got away with it, though. The recently late and much-missed Robert Hunter had an album called Tales of the Great Rum-Runners. Sadly, though he wrote some of the greatest lyrics in the canon (imho), that didn’t mean he could sing.
  32. With all the Zs and Ys dotted about (and the Qs in the clues) I thought we were in for a pangram and wasted a bit of time on that, and on trying for a sitar in 1a. Otherwise same as others. 16.49
  33. Probably my quickest on the iPad so far, but maybe not the toughest of nuts to crack. None the less enjoyable. Misapprehension my favourite, pithy!
  34. 19:22 with Procrustes, rumen and Martingale unknown or forgotten. Hearthrug needed a bit of unravelling but otherwise this was straightforward. How long before we can all have a James Haskell style 21ac?
  35. Pip – Did you miss davest100’s earlier comment?

    Edited at 2020-05-18 03:23 pm (UTC)

  36. A nice quick solve after first game of golf for 8 weeks.
    Re 5D: a martingale is also a mathematical betting method used by hedge funds, which makes the surface of 5d even cleverer if our setter knew that!
  37. No time as done on and off but done it was – despite Yankee and dnks todos, martingale, Procrustes and kappa (so a fair amount to piece together). Very enjoyable.
  38. An easy perimeter with the four long and tricky crossing on the middle. I liked the Rum Runner. Thx, vinyl
  39. Surprised to see so many objections to this. I thought of a Yankee as something or someone who has been yanked, and that was enough for me to pop in the answer with a smile.
    1. But how does ‘something or someone who has been yanked’ relate to JERK? It would have to be JERKEE surely?

      Edited at 2020-05-18 08:18 pm (UTC)

      1. If that is the case, then YANKEE might well be synonymous with JERKEE and the setter was indulging in a bit of mischief: but with the absence of an editorial comment we cannot actually tell. ‘New’ words are used very occasionally by setters in the cluing. So, is this one,Ed?

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