Times 27867 – Georgia on my mind.

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
January 6th. One of the few days so far on my 2021 calendar where something happens. Calor Gas deliver, Majestic Wine deliver, and Americans have just been to the polls in Georgia again. I have fingers crossed for all three, else we’re going to freeze, have no booze, and see Sleepy Joe lose the Senate. This puzzle, however, was less worrying; a mix of witty clues, easy clues and a couple that I don’t quite understand even if I knew the answer. I enjoyed it, nevertheless. Thank you Mr Setter. Happy Epiphany!

1 Contrive once more to render rhino safe (9)
6 Traffic in March moving easily at first (5)
TRADE – TREAD (march, of a stair perhaps) move the E to the end.
9 A German turning back to welcome city relative (5)
NIECE – EIN (a German) reverse it, insert EC for city (of London).
10 Continue to be harsh on sal(eswoman in recession (9)
PERSEVERE – REP reversed, SEVERE = harsh.
11 Blunder, as is possible with mule (3,4,4,2,2)
PUT ONES FOOT IN IT – cryptic, a mule being a shoe or slipper.
13 Horribly grim aunt mellowing perhaps (8)
14 In South Africa I grow supportive of the national drink? (6)
PROTEA – PRO TEA would be in support of tea; the national flower of S. Africa. I knew this as it’s the name for the SA national cricket team. And I’ve been there.
16 Pony disembowelled by Indian? That’s disturbing (6)
CREEPY – CREE (Indian) P(on)Y.
18 Not entirely together, EU pontificates on this (8)
HEREUPON – hidden word as in red.
21 Naturally obstreperous northern boatmen (2,3,6,4)
TO THE MANNER BORN – (NORTHERN BOATMEN)*.  Two things to say about this. One, Mrs. Kirby said ‘must be the Vikings’ although I was thinking, chaps from Whitby. Two, I wanted to write “To the Manor born” until I realised it was a grim TV show, and didn’t fit. Obstreperous as an anagrind? Is this a first appearance?
23 Gloomy about one’s son’s expulsion (9)
DISMISSAL – DISMAL (gloomy) around I’S S(on).
25 Getting stuck, Charlie has a breather (5)
CLUNG – C for Charlie, LUNG for breather.
26 Perhaps one in eight might, after change of leader (5)
ROWER – All you have to do here is choose between rower and power to decide which is the correct definition, as power = might.
27 First of early NHS units built in military accommodation (6,3)
NISSEN HUT – (E NHS UNITS)*, the E from the first of early.

1 Endlessly regret joke about speed merchant’s approach (3-2)
RUN-UP – RU(E), PUN reversed. A fast bowler in cricket, a speed merchant, has a long run-up, longer than the pitch itself on occasion.
2 Way in which press was accommodated once? (5,6)
3 Back Her Majesty to be more authoritarian (7)
STERNER – STERN = back, ER = HM.
4 Dignified admission that one’s putting on an act? (8)
IMPOSING – I’M POSING = one’s putting on an act.
5 Bigoted? A bishop must step in right away (6)
NARROW – A, Right Reverend, in NOW.
6 Stagger around with the Speaker? (7)
TWEETER – A tweeter, other than the Orange One who lost, (but still says he didn’t) is a small speaker which plays the high frequency notes. To get it, insert W(ith) into TEETER meaning stagger.
7 Wicked desire to get rid of husband (3)
ACE – This was actually my LOI, which annoyed me as it”s not original. ACHE (desire) has H removed, and ACE can mean wicked, terrific, in outdated slang.
8 What might give you an irritated look? (9)
EYESTRAIN – &Lit.? I don’t really get this. Okay, your eyes could look red and irritated if you have the condition. And reading too much with the wrong specs could make you irritated. But is this sufficiently cryptic? Am I missing the point?
12 Lazing around? It’s pretty underwhelming (3,2,2,4)
NOT UP TO MUCH – Well, if you’re not up, still in bed, I guess you’re lazing around. Is that it?
13 Style of overall, not the first union staff rejected (4-5)
MOCK-TUDOR – (S)MOCK = overall, not the first; TU (union) ROD reversed = staff rejected.
15 He painted tsar’s opponents, eating only when ordered (8)
REYNOLDS – As in Sir Joshua; The REDS here were the Tsar’s opponents, insert into them (ONLY)*.
17 Top-notch rock band in seaside attraction (7)
PREMIER – R.E.M. inside a PIER. If I have to explain who R.E.M. are, get a life. They came from Atlanta, GA. Michael Stipe’s voice sends me into REM sleep but the songs are good.Edit. As Martinp1 points out below, Athens GA not Atlanta.
19 It hurts, being long subordinate to judge in Bow (7)
EARACHE – under ‘EAR, cockney for hear, as a judge may do; we have ACHE = long (for).
20 Vicar’s boy not feeling too good, apparently (6)
PARSON –  a boy, a son, feels only at PAR, not above par, but good enough I’d have thought.
22 Almost all the booze knocked back in darkness (5)
NIGHT – TH (almost all THE), GIN (booze) all reversed.
24 Gnome used to be upside down (3)
SAW – WAS reversed.

54 comments on “Times 27867 – Georgia on my mind.”

  1. Ah, I haven’t hit the R.E.M. trove yet in my rediscovery of my CD collection—that may be next. The Nation‘s own William Greider is in the very select group of journalists who have been mentioned in rock songs.

    I thought the first part of the clue to NOT UP TO MUCH could be an alternative (literal) definition, but seems it’s just a bit of a CD, giving instead of the accepted sense of the phrase (“of poor quality”) the not implausible interpretation of not being very active. I could see the phrase as meaning either or both easily enough, but only the latter seems to be a dictionary definition.

    I don’t think there’s anything more to the clue for EYESTRAIN. it’s sort of a giveaway that the giver of the “irritated look” is a “what” rather than a “who.”

    I didn’t know the national flower of South Africa, but got that one anyway (and now I do).

    Just noticed that we have “ache” twice here. I know setters who go out of their way to avoid that kind of thing, but I didn’t mind it at the time.

    Edited at 2021-01-06 07:44 am (UTC)

  2. 28 minutes for me. That’s 3 days in a row I’ve been fast (for me). Either I’m getting better or 2021’s crosswords have been a gentle start to the new decade. EYESTRAIN was my LOI, mainly because I was overthinking it.
  3. I thought we might be in for a tough one after a run of relatively straightforward offerings but the SNITCH confirms my experience of this being easier than average. It took me a bit longer than Monday’s and Tuesday’s due to being held up at the end by REYNOLDS and EYESTRAIN. For the former I started off looking for someone who painted tsars and thought the opponents were bridge opponents. It was only when I started trying to fit the letters of only into the answer that Reynolds revealed himself, so to speak. The latter is one of my blind spots – cryptic definitions. I always find myself trying to break down a clue when breaking down is not required. Eventually I spotted it for what is was without straining my eyes too much.
  4. Another not too difficult one – third in a row. Finished in 24 minutes. The SON below PAR for ‘not feeling too good, apparently’ was excellent and I quite liked the medical content of the EARACHE and EYESTRAIN pairing as well.

    A toughie probably just round the corner.

  5. 24 minutes including a few seconds lost when I stopped solving to check I wasn’t working on a Quick Cryptic by mistake. DNK the SA flower but its wordplay was simple. Didn’t think much of the PARSON clue which I returned to after the event to try to make something more of it.
    1. The SON is below PAR, hence not feeling good. Quite neat I thought.

      Edited at 2021-01-06 08:36 am (UTC)

  6. An early morning crossword quietly completed in bed in the dark… resulting in a bit of eyestrain but at least no earache as the wife is still asleep
  7. I SAW NIGHT surrender to dawn
    NOT UP TO MUCH this fine morn
    But if I PERSEVERE
    An ACE solve might appear
  8. All done in 36 mins so not too difficult today. Pip, I think is is son UNDER par at 20d.= not feeling too good. LOI EYESTRAIN, not a great clue, I agree. COD PUT ONES FOOT IN IT. I often do. Thanks Pip and setter.
  9. …And hermits are contented with their cells;

    After 30 mins pre-brekker I was still staring at the unfilled SA grower, so I gave up. I didn’t like Eyestrain. Not my cup of protea.
    Thanks setter and Pip.

  10. Pretty straightforward, I thought.
    One pedantic correction, Pip: R.E.M. are from Athens, GA not Atlanta. The B52s are from Athens, GA, as well.

    Edited at 2021-01-06 08:15 am (UTC)

    1. Well spotted, Martin. I knew they went to U of G but not that it was in Athens rather than Atlanta. Grovelling apologies to hard-core R.E.M. fans.
      1. Thanks, Pip. Always enjoy your blog. Do you prefer being back in England to being in France? I finally sold our house on the Mayenne/Orne border back in August…after 4 1/2 years!
  11. I did this whilst watching the GOP begin to dissolve in GA on Ted Turner’s Telly. Insanity for Hannity & Co.! So no time as I was far more engaged in the beginning of the end of Trumpism.

    However, I thought this puzzle was distinctly 7dn.

    FOI 9ac NIECE

    LOI 14ac PROTEA

    COD 14ac PROTEA(s) the name of the South African Cricket team to boot!


    Nice to see R.E.M. get a shout and a fond farewell to FLEET STREET at 2dn

    Edited at 2021-01-06 08:37 am (UTC)

  12. 9:27. Hurrah! No pink squares: finishing correctly has been a custom more honoured in the breach for me until now in 2021.
    I think 2dn FLEET STREET is just a cryptic definition Pip: I can’t see any wordplay, which would be required for an &Lit.
  13. I raced through most of this and looked comfortably set for a fast time. But then got stuck in the NE. LOI PROTEA.
  14. 14A: DNK PROTEA
    7D: ATE rather than ACE


    Thank you, pipkirby and the setter

    1. M’dear psmith,

      Many thanks for making today’s comment readable by adding the answers words! My FOI was 1ac NIECE as well! Cheers!

  15. 17:05 I spent about half of this stuck in the NE corner, wondering why 6A was TRADE for too long, and struggling to find SEVERE for harsh, ACE for wicked and the strange EYESTRAIN. All in all I found this a bit 12D. I must have got out of bed on the wrong side today, I think.
  16. Sadly chucked in a couple of misplaced letters, ending my attempt to get my error score down to zero.
    We seem to have two clues which are no more than barely cryptic hints, unless I’m missing something on FLEET STREET and the weird EYESTRAIN. I wasn’t particularly impressed by “style” as a definition for MOCK TUDOR either.
    But the under PAR SON made up for a lot of that, the clue that made me smile.
    It helped that I spent some lockdown time watching the PROTEAs demolish Sr Lanka yesterday morning.
    Otherwise 15.21.
  17. 21 minutes with LOI ACE. Hereupon, I give COD to HEREUPON. I was in two minds whether to use the subject bar as above or for ‘Losing my religion’ but, as the latter still hasn’t happened, I opted for a Lucky Wilbury song, paying homage also to Springsteen. Penelope Keith had me in double-think mode on the spelling of TO THE MANNER BORN. Enjoyable. Thank you Pip and setter.
  18. 35m today, a steady solve. Like others enjoyed PARSON and wondered at EYESTRAIN. Thank you blogger and setter.
  19. Another with LOI ACE. Before that 10ac and 8d so definitely found the NE tricky. Helped with PROTEA by the cricket team and enjoyed PARSON once I worked out the cryptic. Took a while to see HEREUPON as a hidden – needed all the checkers. Enjoyable puzzle.
    1. Do you mean ‘&lit’?

      It is a type of clue – ‘&lit’ being an abbreviation for ‘and literally’ or ‘and literally so’.

      If you visit the Glossary – see towards the very top in the the right-hand sidebar / margin of this page for the link (‘Glossary’) – there are explanations for ‘&lit’ and many of the crossword terms that feature in the blogs.

      Edited at 2021-01-06 10:58 am (UTC)

  20. I think 10 Across contains the second recent use of ‘saleswoman’ (perhaps jackkt could please confirm), neither of which I have fully understood. In today’s instance Pip has an open-bracket to suggest part of the word is superfluous. Is that it or am I missing something more subtle? Kind regards, Bob K
  21. Like our blogger, spent a disproportionate amount of time coming up with ACE. “Wicked” is so old hat now, that I didn’t properly register it at first, I’m much more likely to use “peng” or “sick”, obviously.
  22. FOI was RUN-UP, then steady away until LOI, PROTEA which I had to construct from wordplay. Thought EYESTRAIN was a bit weak. Liked PARSON. Also wanted to reference Peter Bowles and Penelope Keith at 21a. ACE took a while and needed both crossers. 20:19. Thanks setter and Pip.
  23. We were able to go to bed at a normal time last night feeling reasonably confident about the election results. As recently as November the votes cast on the day (at least in GA) were counted first and tended to lean Republican, leading to a slow erosion in favour of the Democrats once the early and mail-in votes (leaning D) began to be counted, and also leading to cries of “voter fraud” etc. This time it was reported that they tallied all 3 types of vote at the same time which gave a much clearer picture of how it was proceeding.

    Right, the puzzle. Nice one but I agree we’re in for a stinker any time now. I thought HEREUPON was very neatly hidden. 12.23

  24. I made life hard for myself by putting in “Therupon” for 18a, briefly wondering about the missing E before moving on. That stymied both EARACHE and REYNOLDS, and it wasn’t until I was looking at R_R_C_E for the former that I realised where I’d gone wrong.

    Didn’t know mule as a shoe/slipper, which made me hesitate over PUT ONES FOOT IN IT for a long time. PROTEA was a nice bit of misdirection – I was looking for something beginning with S and ending in A for a long time. Didn’t fully parse PARSON, so thanks for the explanation.

    FOI Niece
    LOI Tread
    COD Nissen hut

  25. Game of 2 halves with half the time spent not getting the last 3 in the NE. didn’t get TRADE till I came here, and spent far too long on TWEETER – those clues with with in them are annoying.
    And should have known ACE as my granddaughter has just renamed herself precisely that to be gender neutral. Wouldn’t have happened in my day…..
  26. Early on, I had GAGSTER as the speaker for 6 down. Saw it as an anagram of STAGGER, and GAGSTER, one who tells or speaks a gag. Soon realised I was on wrong track and rethought it!
  27. I spent 39 minutes trying to finish this before lunch and decided to come here with some gaps in the NE.
    Failed to get ACE, HEREUPON and EYESTRAIN (was on the right lines for it). Noted TRADE and TWEETER but couldn’t parse them.
    Another who started with NIECE.
  28. ….Shiny Happy People, but for the North East corner. I’d checked the SNITCH beforehand, and was aiming for a sub-8 minute finish. Slightly held up by trying to enter “thereupon” before realizing it didn’t fit, but still reached the brick wall in 7 minutes.

    I’m not sure whether Pip is trying to indicate that “Sal” is the woman at 10A, but I spent too long trying to find a whole clue reversal where a feminine indicator of some kind “preceded” rep. Both this clue and EYESTRAIN were unappealing to me.

    As for my LOI in, I probably need to “get down with the kids” more often, though that idea doesn’t appeal much.

    TIME 8:56

  29. …. so yet another relatively easy offering. COD – PARSON. LOI – ACE. Surprisingly, I have heard of R.E.M – so apparently I do have some sort of life even though I am not familiar with any of their members or works. Thanks to setter and blogger.
  30. Enjoyable and reasonably straightforward except for the tricky NE quadrant, PROTEA in particular. PARSON-COD

    All my life I’ve understood the expression to be “To The Manor Born”. The world is crumbling ever faster.

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

  31. A steady solve for me. ACE came to mind immediately, but then I erased it as it didn’t seem to fit the definition. But nothing else seemed to work, and I imagined my ex-girlfriend from New Hampshire saying the words in question and they seemed to make sense together.

    I could not imagine PARSON being right, as I didn’t know PAR was a feeling, but I guess I got lucky.

  32. Really enjoyed this and was very pleased to have very nearly completed it. Ultimately it was another DNF but we’re getting perilously close! Pretty soon I guess we’ll start recording our time – would guess it’s taking about an hour currently.

    FOI: maturing
    LOI: ace (DNF)
    COD: to the manner born (except we thought it was manor) and we also liked “put ones foot in it”

    Thanks to the setter and Pip.

  33. 8:37, breezed through most of this last night while also watching the amusing election results. It was similar to following the presidential election in the way things were ordered. Since counting began in the Altanta area, both Democratic candidates started up way ahead. Then vote tallies from the hinterlands came in and the Republicans went up. Finally postal, absentee and early votes (largely from the Atlanta area) were tallied, pushing the Democrats back up.
  34. 21.24. Another flying start and then a grind through the remaining clues. Had all bar one done in 19 mins but narrow took another 2.24 before the light came on.

    Some great clues today. Protea, mock tudor, tweeter and the well camouflaged hereupon to the fore. One nice bit of serendipity. Just back from a walk round Richmond Park and the hill. On the way back read the blurb on Wick House and the original owner- Reynolds , who was easily recognised as the answer to 15 dn.

    Thanks blogger and setter.

  35. Crossed the North west frontier ( Khyber pass ) first. I too was mired in a 1970s sitcom (21 ac) until I twigged Hamlet Act 1 . 18ac had me, is there a word for looking at a word and pronouncing it in a random way ? Eg. Her you pon ? Got it in the end. Protea, yes, when will we get cricket commentary again?
    13d, kept thinking Mary Tudor . A hangover from yesterday’s choc ice which was a MER for me.
    Thank you gracious blogger and setter.
  36. It’s very tempting to write ‘to the manor born’ when you mean manner, as it was for Mike Atherton in a Sunday newspaper article years ago, when talking about I think Alastair Cook (and yes I spelt his name wrongly and had to Edit). He writes well, but his spelling isn’t perfect.

    Edited at 2021-01-06 04:38 pm (UTC)

  37. Felt like a bit of a race against the clock more than a mental challenge. LOI was Reynolds which I liked. To be pedantic, all bowlers have a run up even if in reality it is no more than a gentle amble!
  38. 12.42 a gentle but fun and entertaining lunchtime solve done in an office overlooking 2dn. Had the same Peter Bowles Penelope Keith flashback as others. Liked the below par vicar’s boy. Got home about an hour ago and put on CNN (to which I got slightly addicted during the US election coverage). Extraordinary scenes.

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