Times 27883 – C’est bon!

Time: 22 minutes
Music: Bach, Schubler Chorales, Lionel Rogg

This was a puzzle where you might really be stuck if you didn’t have some particular knowledge, so solvers are either going to whiz through it or really struggle.  This will influence the SNITCH rating, which only counts solvers who managed to finish correctly.    Fortunately, I had at least heard of the difficult words, so I had a chance, and I took it.

I am glad to see that everyone has calmed down a little, after the rebuke from managment – let’s keep it that way!   In other TftT news, I was able to get Olivia to substitute in the Jumbo slot this week, and in the immediate future Jerry will be covering the -3 and -8 numbered Jumbos.   Thanks to all the bloggers who volunteered to help out!

1 American hare finally caught by sailor and religious leader (4,6)
JACK RABBIT – JACK + RABBI + [caugh]T.   I hope you weren’t looking for a religious leader to fit.
6 Vitality unknown in Grantchester at first (4)
ZING – Z IN G[rantchester].
9 Ruler way back, initially named in song (7)
TSARINA – ST backwards + ARI(N)A.
10 Part of horse’s behind associated with power (7)
PASTERN – P + ASTERN – the word Dr Johnson messed up!
12 Like trade involving churchgoer in shabby headgear (10)
13 Mostly tense character in Euripides, say? (3)
TAU – TAU[t].   Actually, there is no tau in Euripides, so you’ll have to look in the text of his plays.
15 Move fast, wanting second hot dish (6)
SCURRY – SCURRY – S = CURRY, a conditional cryptic, where the condition is conveyed by an absolute construction.
16 Fellow politician in US city first to gripe (8)
18 High official’s valet endlessly taking risks (8)
20 Agreement thus broken ultimately by academic institution (6)
UNISON – UNI + SO + [broke]N.
23 Old unit of measurement some levellers used (3)
ELL – Hidden in [lev]ELL[ers].
24 Popular Welsh girl entertaining accomplished islander (10)
26 Decay reported beneath the Pantheon, for example (7)
ROTUNDA – Sounds like ROT UNDER, if you happen to be a non-rhotic speaker.
27 Ideal cover secured by upper-class Scotsman (7)
28 Firm originally cultivating a South American shrub (4)
COCA – CO + C[ultivating] A.
29 Remove freedom, as it were, to take counsel (10)
1 Early settler’s source of fibre? (4)
JUTE – Double definition, a Germanic tribe mentioned in Beowulf.
2 Cat taking water in French country house (7)
CHATEAU – CHAT + EAU, an cryptic entirely in French.   OK, how about Finnish or Hungarian?
3 Control plant, securing rebirth (13)
4 Red wine? Sounds like something a pugnacious type may pick (6)
BEAUNE – Sounds like BONE.
5 Lock up young man supporting African warriors without resistance (8)
7 Sloth I train somehow round back of menagerie (7)
INERTIA – Anagram of I TRAIN around [menageri]E.
8 Good university man finally controlling smuggling racket (10)
11 Streets around Essex town by which one means to progress (8-5)
14 Sadly my team’s mostly fat and unbalanced (10)
17 Where a flyer may go for a walk in London? (8)
BIRDCAGE – BIRDCAGE WALK, a street in London I vaguely knew, named after the Royal Aviary.
19 Relating to river — nothing to do with ears! (7)
21 Endurance shown by southern girl touring America (7)
22 Demons one youngster encountered in Northern Ireland (6)
25 Joint head of kindergarten born in Paris (4)
KNEE – K[indergarten] + NEE, in the case of a girl.

53 comments on “Times 27883 – C’est bon!”

  1. After racing through most of the grid in about 15 minutes, I got hopelessly stuck on BEAUNE and the BIRDCAGE / DELIBERATE crossing. Finally I got DELIBERATE (probably a chestnut, in retrospect), and I should have gotten BEAUNE (which I’ve never heard of) but was only thinking of “pick a fight” so who knows how long ‘bone’ would have taken me. But BIRDCAGE? Nah, not for me.
  2. I never did figure out what MERCAN was doing, but TILE was enough. POI SCURRY, where I spent too much time trying SQU… LOI MANDARIN. Fortunately, I knew BEAUNE, although I never would have come up with it without a couple of checkers; and BIRDCAGE. I always get a sinking feeling when I see “X(shire) town” in a clue, although invariably it’s not necessary to know what county the town is in. (Vinyl, I think the definition is just ‘means to progress’.)
  3. Didn’t know Impi or Nilotic, but the clueing was over-generous in both instances. And I was pleased to avoid biffing Brer Rabbit. Thanks vinyl
  4. but I’m out of ink! (Not used to it, and the way the interface skips letters you already have, unlike the grid I fill in to make my blog entries.)
    Everything’s green! Glad it was pretty easy.
    POI the French wine, LOI the London walk.
  5. I raced through this in 21 minutes but made a foolish error at 10ac where I wrote POSTERN instead of PASTERN. I must have lost concentration thinking that POSTERN (actually a back or side door) had something to do with horses via ‘postilion’ the rider of a horse drawing a coach. Other than that it was all perfectly straightforward.
  6. I was delayed finishing today by BEAUNE and SCURRY. I spent time thinking of red wines and Beaune was not one which sprang to mind. Like Kevin I’d have struggled without the checkers. With SCURRY I spent some time trying to put a Q in as the second letter, pondering if “squirt” could mean “move fast”.

    @vinyl – for ROTUNDA I think the homophonic part is just the UNDA.

    Edited at 2021-01-25 08:51 am (UTC)

  7. NHO Beaune so went with BRAWNY that are hard intense wines. I know… but it was the best I could do… beaten on a Monday… woe is me!
  8. …like Jack I put POSTERN.
    And like Pootle73 I wondered about “squirt” as well.
    FOI: CHATEAU. LOI: SCURRY, MERCANTILE, BEAUNE. It’s the Hospices de BEAUNE that holds the auction each year for Beaujolais Nouveau.

    Edited at 2021-01-25 07:34 am (UTC)

    1. The Hospices de Beaune does hold a wine auction every year but it’s nothing to do with Beaujolais, nouveau or otherwise. Wines from the charity’s vineyard holdings in Burgundy are auctioned by the barrel.

      Edited at 2021-01-25 08:56 am (UTC)

  9. ..which I thought was rather sprightly, but the Snitch disagrees. I came here to find out how ERN could possibly mean power. BIRDCAGE was a walk in the park for this Londoner. BEAUNE was the pick of some good clues. Considered BRAINS for a while. Now back to the delicately poised cricket.
  10. This was a rather gentle start to the week with Birdcage Walk. This is a grand, tree-lined avenue, not a street, which runs along the southern edge of St. James’s Park and up to The Palace. It’s antithesis is the Lambeth Walk.

    Twenty-three minutes in a taxi into town (Pusi) from Hong Xiao for a Burn’s birthday lunch at the Lotus House.

    FOI 4dn BEAUNE – as I used to be a wine-blogger for Glug-Glug-Glug. But why the question mark!?

    LOI 12ac MERCANTILE – a truly dreadful IKEAN clue!

    COD 18ac MANDARIN – also a duck but not of cricketing type.

    WOD 17dn BIRDCAGE Yeh!

  11. After 25 mins I was left with the Red Wine. And I gave up.
    And Mrs M and I have stayed in Beaune on more than one occasion, a beautiful place, and drunk the wine on considerably more than one occasion. Those were the days.
    Birdcage was a write-in, but only ‘cos I knew it. Some wordplay might have helped those who don’t.
    Thanks setter and Vinyl.
  12. 14.23 but two silly mistakes. Ying for zing and postern for pastern. Too quick to put in an answer without properly working it out.
    So frustrating but I liked the puzzle. FOI jute, LOI beaune. Reincarnation was easy but very jolly. Rotunda, birdcage and deliberate also appealed but my favourite was the aforesaid beaune.

    Not the greatest start to the week but hopefully will get better.

  13. EPPING, BIRDCAGE WALK and BEAUNE all familiar enough. PASTERN, NILOTIC and the shape of the Pantheon less so, but that didn’t really delay me.

    Vinyl, at 26 I don’t think ROT is intended to be part of the homophone (I think it’s ROT + soundalike of UNDER).

  14. 8:04. A puzzle well-suited to the French-speaking Burgundy nerd. I go to BEAUNE most years, or at least I did in the before times.
    PASTERN is a word I have learned from crosswords. I’m sure ELL must have come up before but I had forgotten it so I needed the checking letters even after I spotted that it was probably a hidden.

    Edited at 2021-01-25 09:06 am (UTC)

    1. “Give him an inch and he’ll take an ell”; I learned it as ‘mile’, but came across ‘ell’ in childhood, and assumed it was what those British people would say.
    2. Pastern is a word I know, but beaune only known from crosswords. As an Australian non-UKish person I somehow knew Birdcage. I would have said it was the southern edge of Hyde Park, but google says it’s the southern edge of St James Park. Mercantile 2LOI, beaune LOI after going away to watch Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers et al, so elapsed time was many hours. Thank-you setter and blogger… I really do appreciate your work, even if I was abusive on Saturday. Apologies.
  15. DNF In my rush to stop the clock before 10 minutes (which I did, just)I failed to spot I hadn’t solved BEAUNE. Furthermore I had, like Jackkt, an in correct POSTERN. Grr.
  16. JUTE as a fibre was unknown, which made me hesitate for a long time. BEAUNE was also a reasonably (un)educated guess as I’d NHO the wine, and I needed all the checkers to get BIRDCAGE, which I’m only dimly aware of.

    Not too many problems otherwise.

    FOI Zing
    LOI Birdcage
    COD Knee

  17. I had most of this solved in 20 minutes but then got stuck on my last 2, MERCANTILE and BEAUNE. I saw MERCANTILE first, but still struggled to recall the wine, despite having drunk it in the past. Eventually an alphabet trawl steered me away from BRAINS and BRAWNY and the PDM arrived. 35:26. Frustrating puzzle! Thanks setter and Vinyl.
  18. Took a while to get started, wondering early on if there was a spelling of ARCH RABBI I could concoct, but once that was out of the way, the rest flowed cheerfully on. I liked DE-LIBERATE for the smile, and wondered whether we were supposed to be taking BEAUNE with a Clouseau impression, but Chambers assures me it is indeed pronounced “bone”.

    Essex has some rather fun places to conjure with: Matching Tye is a favourite, and I ran through quite a few before I realised it was actually where I currently reside. Familiarity can make the mind go wander. 11.27

  19. Hmm, couple of tricky bits there all right. No problems with Birdcage, having lived and studented in London, but I struggled with Beaune, which I tend to think of as a place rather than a wine. I like white Burgundies but I dislike Pinot Noir so seldom drink and never buy the red variety..
  20. 18 minutes with LOI MANDARIN. No papers this morning as delivery by bike in the snow and ice would not have been safe, so I had to go and get them. It was then nice to find a puzzle that I went through steadily from beginning to end. I did hit on PASTERN trying to parse POSTERN, and the wine took a bit of remembering. I would give COD to BIRDCAGE as my main light bulb moment, but I think that required a knowledge that might not be readily available to all solvers, so I’ll go for DELIBERATE. A nice puzzle. Thank you V and setter.

    Edited at 2021-01-25 10:12 am (UTC)

  21. 14′, with more than 3′ spent on LOI BEAUNE.

    I ran the London Marathon in 1983 and in 1984, and have vague memories of BIRDCAGE WALK being somewhere on the route, but cannot be sure as my entire body was like mush by that point in the race.

    Nice to see IMPI, can still see the picture of the bull in one of my favourite films.

    I had a JUTE rug once, but washing and tumble drying it meant it fell apart and clogged the machines.

    Rather liked MERCANTILE.

    Thanks vinyl and setter.

  22. 30m today, held up by the wine and walk downward pairing for long enough. I spent a long time trying to justify BONDGATE as a place where a flyer might be put as in Be on d gate. I think it’s called desperation. Otherwise a pleasant offering. Thanks to setter and blogger today.

    Edited at 2021-01-25 10:30 am (UTC)


    but typo … 10A: POSTERN! (Stupidity, Madam. Sheer stupidity!)

    And pressed submit forgetting that I hadn’t managed 4D: BEAUNE.

    Overthought a couple of clues and misread 5D as ‘Look up young man …’ several times before the fog lifted.

    Thank you, vinyl1 and the setter.

  24. Breezy Monday solve, with helpful wordplay, and, more importantly, all the knowledge already known (even if the full extent of my knowledge of the PASTERN is that it’s the one you need if the answer isn’t FETLOCK)
  25. Just a few mins extra thought required for the INCUBI/DELIBERATE crossing and for BEAUNE – I too considered BRAWNY but it didn’t ring any wine-related bells.

    Pleased to get the right horse part.

  26. I had BEAUNE from the Flanders & Swann song about De Gaulle – cognac, armagnac burgundy and beaune, this old man thinks he’s St. Joan (to the tune of this old man). JUTEs of course are one of Sellars & Yeatman’s waves of invaders of ancient Britain. The guards regiments can be seen drilling for parade at Wellington Barracks just off BIRDCAGE Walk – I loved to watch them as a kid. 11.06
  27. Another POSTERN here. Also banged in BUCK RABBIT and BUTE which I thought I knew as some kind of fibre. Duh. BEAUNE took a while too despite the fact that I know the delightful little town very well. Perhaps it’s because they make both red and white wines there. Maybe that is what the question mark was doing? I agree with Keriothe re the auctions. Very fine wines and all for charity. Thanks vinyl and setter.
    1. I guess so: perhaps the most famous BEAUNE vineyard – Clos des Mouches – is better known for its white. The Hospices wines are a bit hit and miss and tend to be oaky. Because they sell whole barrels, they have to replace them every year, which means almost all the wines go into new ones and often they can’t really take it.

      Edited at 2021-01-25 09:42 pm (UTC)

  28. A sort of parse-as-you-write puzzle. Held up briefly at BEAUNE, a very fine place to dally a while. We had NILOTIC recently somewhere, which must have helped, though the clue was sufficiently generous. 14m
  29. Fortunately no DNK’s today so did indeed whiz through it. Surprisingly (to me) my LOI was BEAUNE which has been on many occasions my overnight stop on drives to and from Provence. Those were the days.
  30. Pre lunch – most of this went in in about 45 minutes.
    After a walk on dangerous icy pavements, finished it off. Was very stuck on MERCANTILE my LOI even with all the checkers. Had a nice time thinking of French wines; BEAUNE appeared rather late.
    I knew that POSTERN was a word so thought this might be its fourth or fifth meaning. DNK PASTERN.
    One wrong but good fun.
  31. A gentle Monday stroll. Shame that Knee and Beaune weren’t connected. Been to both Beaune and Grantchester. Beaune’s better.
  32. Which was lazy of me, because I could see the parsing was shot. Otherwise it was a quickie on 13 and a bit.
  33. 16’45”, but one wrong. Never heard of Beaune the place or the wine, even though most of the bloggerati above seem to have been there. So went for BRAWNY instead, thinking it might be a rough red.
    The first pinks of the year. Must do better.
  34. ….BEAUNE ? It is here today, but I bet our match at home to Wealdstone tomorrow gets waterlogged off.

    I was a tad surprised by “RC = churchgoer”, since the majority of those that I know are lapsed.

    TIME 6:56

  35. Another POSTERN here. No problem with BEAUNE once I had a couple of checkers. LOI JUTE since I’d put BUCK RABBIT at 1A without thinking about it properly. But I knew both meanings of JUTE once I fixed JACK.
  36. Another POSTERN, and didn’t get BAUNE, thought maybe BATTEL might work.

    Still, getting better at these. Doing on Paper helps.

  37. 45 minutes with a brief nap in the middle. Nice to see that many of my near mistakes were very popular (BUCK RABBIT, BUTE or BUTT, POSTERN), but fortunately I caught all of those before submitting. LOI was BEAUNE (a lovely place, well worth a visit), but I did correct POSTERN to PASTERN just before submitting, because I couldn’t account for the O. I have been down BIRDCAGE Walk a few times or I certainly wouldn’t have been able to solve that one.
  38. 12.14. Nice puzzle. I solved this mostly in cruise control with a couple at the end, mercantile and beaune, where I had to engage the brain.
  39. Agreed. I used to sell Clos des Mouches many moons ago, great wine and I think it was more or less wholly owned by Drouhin.

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