Times Cryptic 26115 – Light and airy

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Someone forgot to close the shutters and the sun was beaming in at an earlier hour than usual, so I was up and on duty with the tea and toast and this puzzle in hand. Maybe I’m brighter in the mornings, but this one zipped along in 15 minutes or so, made easier by 7d as a FOI then a steady solve from left to right. There are some good clues but nothing obscure or (I hope) controversial.

Music today: Vivaldi Four Seasons, Nigel Kennedy (odd bloke but great violinist).

1 FREUDIAN SLIP – (A SINFUL PRIDE)*, anagrind ‘of a sort’, def. remark that’s revealing.
8 ENVIOUS – Cryptic def; Casca was referred to as ‘envious Casca’ in Shakespeare’s JC.
9 CHANCES – CHANCELS = areas of the church, omit L; def. risks.
11 GARNISH – N = knight, inside GARISH = showy; def. decoration.
12 DIP INTO – DI – I would, backwards; PINTO = horse; def. &lit.
13 LODEN – LODE = vein, N = last for inoculation; def. bluish-green. Loden is a heavy woollen material which is naturally an olive green colour.
14 RECOLLECT – Hidden reversed in INSTRUMEN(T CELLO CER)TAINLY; def. have in mind.
16 ON THE BEAT – Double definition.
19 STRUT – ST = street, way, RUT = mating frenzy; def. peacock. Well, peacocks strut, but I can’t find allowance for ‘to peacock’ as a verb.
21 HEATHER – HEAT HER to warm her up. My first proper girlfriend was so called and she didn’t need to be heated. [Too much info – Ed.]
23 A BIT OFF – Double definition.
24 TWINNED – TINNED = preserved, insert W for wife, def. made part of a pair.
25 SEASIDE – SE (Kent) ASIDE (excepted); def. holiday destination.
26 WELL DRESSING – (RED SWELLING)*; Mrs K, a Northern girl, confirms this is a regular practice especially in Derbyshire. It allegedly arises from a desire to give thanks for pure water after the Black Death in 1349.

1 FEVERED – FED = G-man, insert EVER = always; def. flushed.
2 EMOTION – E = European, MOTION = travel; def. for example, fear.
3 DISCHARGE – (D HIS GRACE)*, the D for Duke; def. carry out, as in ‘discharge duties’.
4 ARCED – ACE = excellent, insert R = runs, D = start for Durham; def. 3 (down) = discharge. Today’s cricketing clue, on the surface.
5 SCALPEL – SCALP = top of the head, EL = W(EL)L not the sides; def. it may cut.
6 INCENSE – In = popular, CENSE sounds like SENSE = taste; def. a contributor to some services.
7 TEN-GALLON HAT – cryptic definition, my first in, a clue more suitable for the Quickie?
10 SHORT-STAFFED – SHORTS = skimpy clothes, FED = provided; insert FAT = overweight reversed; def. needing more help. The shorts I am currently wearing are far from skimpy, you’ll be pleased to know.
15 CATHARSIS – CATHAR = heretic, SIS = relative; def. release. If you are short of a good read, try one of Stephen O’Shea’s books about the Cathars.
17 TEATIME – TEAT = source of milk, I’M, E = beginning to eat; def. now / &lit. I had to have the checkers to twig ‘teat’ but it’s good once you see it.
18 ETHANOL – (THE LOAN)*, anagrind ‘free’, def. it’s intoxicating.
19 SHIKARI – (RAKISH I)*, anagrind ‘remarkably’, def. hunter’s guide. I didn’t know the word but Shiraki looked less likely and I checked it aferwards.
20 ROOTING – TOO = also, reversed inside RING = circle, def. cheering, as in ‘rooting for’.
22 RIDER – Sounds like RYDER; def. additional statement. there are or were several famous non-writer Americans called Mr Ryder or Ryder someone but I am not sure which ‘writer’ is being implicated here?

46 comments on “Times Cryptic 26115 – Light and airy”

  1. I think the clue is referring, not to any specific writer, but rather to the phenomenon of North American intervocalic flapping–don’t look at me, that’s what it’s called–, where e.g. ‘rider’ and ‘writer’ are homophones, as are metal/medal/mettle/meddle. (So I suppose I should stop complaining about non-rhotic homophones.)

    Edited at 2015-06-03 08:06 am (UTC)

    1. Thanks, Kevin – I am sure you are correct. Despite the fact that most Murcans would pronounce the first vowel differently from a standard English speaking Brit, with whom presumably they are being compared, as well as using a rhotic ‘r’, this is rather clever.
  2. Nothing obscure? SHIKARI not obscure? Like Pip and Keriothe, I went for it because it looked better; also because it’s a Japanese word. Several, in fact, one of them meaning the leader of a hunt, oddly enough (I just looked that up). I only knew LODEN as a kind of material, and indeed thought it was more on the brown side; but it fit, so wotthehell. 26ac was inevitable, but I was glad when I recalled that we had it once in a cryptic.I think 4d was my LOI; it just always looks wrong.
    1. I didn’t go for it because it looked better. In fact I didn’t go for anything because I couldn’t see any reason for favouring one over the other. I left the space blank and mentally threw the paper across the room in disgust. I might have done so literally but I was on the train and solving on an iPad so it would have been a rather dangerous and expensive gesture.
      SHIRAKI is a brand of Japanese knives, among other things.
      1. And ‘shiraki’ 白木 means ‘unvarnished wood’. Fortunately, I didn’t know that; there’s an advantage, as I’ve said before (and definitely not to coin a phrase), to having a limited hypothesis space.
        1. It’s not necessarily an advantage: if you know more about Japanese knife-makers/authors/woodwork than Indian hunting guides/obscure rock bands from St Albans, your hypothesis space will be similarly limited, but it will be in the wrong place.
          In this case my hypothesis space was non-existent.
      2. Oh, go on – have a guess, you old spoilsport! There’ll be some big game guide in Bengal who’ll be pretty disappointed indeed if we don’t get him.

        Edited at 2015-06-03 08:49 am (UTC)

  3. 12.40 here. Thanks for your explanation of RIDER Kevin. LODEN was new to me but unambiguously clued unlike SHIKARI which I chose by analogy with ASKARI. Totally spurious reasoning as it turns out, one being of Urdu origin and the other Arabic (says Wikipedia).
  4. 6:57 here, very gentle stroll despite never having heard of LODEN or SHIKARI. As I’m currently out of work I’ve been solving online this week rather than on print-outs, and my times have definitely improved just because typing is so much faster than writing in block capitals.

    I didn’t understand the wordplay of RIDER either, so thanks to Kevin for that.

  5. Failed to get LODEN today not knowing this or LODE for vein. Otherwise straightforward. Though I didn’t know the meaning of SHIKARI I knew the word from the name of the band Enter Shikari.
    1. Ah yes, me and you both on the Enter Shikari front. Who knew the band name was a prophetic answer to the question “how shall I tackle 19D in the 3rd June 2015 Times Cryptic”? Veritable Nostradami of their age, those lads.

      LODEN was harder vocab from my point of view but fortunately LODE for vein came quickly.

    2. I accidentally saw a bit of Enter Shikari at the Leeds Festival one year. On the basis of what I heard I can only assume the crossword editor is trying to forge a link to yesterday’s “DIN”.
      1. I must add that given I knew SHIKARI I thought it an entirely fair clue, unlike the recent OREAD 😉
        1. Unlike the recent OREAD, SHIKARI had one way in even if you didn’t know it – a 50% chance of putting the anagram fodder in the correct place. OREAD gave you no way in.

          Guessed SHAKIRI right, guessed LODEN with no checkers though would have said it was leather not a colour – probably conflating LEDER and HOSEN. Assumed RIDER was RYDER (sic) HAGGARD, the famous American from UK. A little ignorance is a wonderful thing, occasionally. Us Aussies similarly mangle pronunciation: BUDDER on our bread, say. But at least we speak English, unlike the bastard abomination of a language spoken in USA.

          13:15, very quick. Rob

  6. 12m but SHIRAKI didn’t look a lot less likely to me. What a dreadful clue. 13ac isn’t great either but I happened to know both the required obscurities.
    Chambers has ‘to strut about or behave like a peacock’ under ‘peacock’.

    Edited at 2015-06-03 07:55 am (UTC)

    1. I think I only got there myself because there’s a (probably dreadful) post-hardcore band from St Albans called Enter Shikari…

      (Ah, I see they’ve already been much mentioned. Note to self, read through comments before posting!)

      Edited at 2015-06-03 09:16 am (UTC)

  7. About 25 mins today, with a lucky SHIKARI and LODEN. Wrote in RIDER and assumed that there must be some US author called Ryder. So same experience as many others. Just a bit slower…
  8. Just under 25 minutes for this not the greatest of puzzles. Same unknowns as others, but created one for myself by shoving in six-gallon hat. What the Poisoned Dwarf in Dallas wore, I guess.

    Enjoyed Heather…but completely cold about the American author.

    Edited at 2015-06-03 08:10 am (UTC)

  9. Which I only mention because Sue will be champing at the bit to know. Not quite a top table time, but certainly within two Magoos and boding well for an average time under 10 minutes this week… probably a Richard Rogan puzzle will be along tomorrow to comprehensively destroy even that tiny dream, mind you.
  10. So about 3.43V, but I was happy with it.

    Not sure how I’d have described the clue for 19dn if I hadn’t guessed correctly, but I think Keriothe sums it up quite neatly.

    Came to the same conclusion as Kevin re RIDER, but with some bemusement. Still, it was a write-in (ride-in?) with the checkers and the def.

    Thanks setter and blogger.

  11. 11 mins. SHIKARI was my LOI with a shrug as the more likely arrangement of the anagram fodder (IMHO). Definitely not my favourite type of clue. Thankfully I knew lode=vein so I was able to get the previously unknown LODEN, while ENVIOUS and RIDER were biffed. I almost invented “bell dressing” for 26ac before I looked at the anagram fodder a little more closely.
  12. 21:49. Likewise I didn’t know LODEN or SHIKARI or understand 22d. I thought that maybe Rider Haggard was spelt with a Y, but it’s not and he was english not american. Ignorant me. Ryder Wyndham has written more than 60 Star Wars books, but isn’t referring to living authors a no-no for the crossword? Inter-vocalic flapping and non-rhotic homophones – thanks for the explanation, Kevin. I’ll look out for these in future clues.

    Edited at 2015-06-03 08:45 am (UTC)

  13. Now I reflect on my solving process, I’m pretty sure I “got” SHIKARI from Daktari – an integral part of my 7-year-old education, along with Batman.
  14. Put in RIDER without thinking beyond H Rider Haggard which a) makes the clue a bit odd and b) ignores the fact that he was a Brit. Nevertheless, an answer is an answer!

    A pleasant midweek stroll.

  15. 25 minutes. Shikari and loden were definitely obscurities for me. Take your choice between SHIKARI, SHIRAKI, SRIHAKI and SRIKAHI. The last two are no less likely than the first, given the Asian prevalence of SRI. All of them sound as if they could be breeds of hunting dog. I did opt for the first in the end. Apart from that, a straightforward puzzle, with 1a getting me off to a flying start.
  16. 9:45 so a lot longer than young Verlaine but then obscure groups aren’t part of my knowledge-base. Fortunately I ‘plumped’ for the correct places for the K and the R.

    When younger we used to drive our sister mad by calling her HEAT HER so 21a made me smile.

  17. I’m surprised so many people don’t know lode. I live in California and the “mother lode” is where all the gold was, so it is a common word round here.

    But I got the 50-50 guess on Shikari wrong so technical DNF

    1. That’s where I knew it from, although it took a little bit of a mental leap for me to make the link with ‘vein’. In my experience ‘mother lode’ is more often than not (mis)spelled ‘mother load’ these days.
  18. One of those that felt quicker than it turned out to be, 2 seconds shy of 14. My Chambers knows the LODEN material but is ignorant of its colour, so that went in on a lode of hope and wishful thinking. SHIKARI was, of course, unknown: my St Albans band will for ever be the Zombies, whose genesis I witnessed as part of the School’s end of term entertainment. Rod Argent’s auntie lived opposite us. I’m also too young to remember HMS Shikari, scrapped in 1945 after a long and distinguished career which included being the last ship to leave Dunkirk. We do the research so you don’t have to.
    I hope we don’t go too far down this lonesome road of North American intervocalic flapping, though suppose it makes a change from Cockney, naht min? Wasn’t Robert Ludlum occasionally masquerading as Jonathan Ryder? He’s dead.

    Edited at 2015-06-03 02:28 pm (UTC)

  19. 12:20 with a lucky guess at LODEN my LOI.

    Shikari entered based on knowledge of the band, well dressing just one of those things I knew about. As for envious, I just went for the only word I could think of that fitted. Given the inclusion of “rent” I figured IOUs might have been involved. I think the clue escaped from one of the historic puzzles.

  20. 30 minutes here with the same problem as others with the guide but guessed correctly with as others a vague memory of Daktari. No problem with LODEN – in December 1980 I was living in N Germany and a bitterly cold winter inspired me to spend £350 on a LODEN coat which I still have and wore regularly in the cold winter of 2011/12. And it is a lovely shade of Olive green. Thanks to setter and blogger.

    Edited at 2015-06-03 03:28 pm (UTC)

    1. Like you, knew the coat having owned one, so the penny dropped. But until today I’d always thought loden described the wool, not the colour. Live and learn.
  21. Needed two peeks at this one (though one was while I was pretending to pay attention to a dreary web design presentation). I was waiting to come to grief over ENVIOUS (does it really work as a CD?), LODEN and SHIKARI which went in from wordplay.

    Thankfully WELL DRESSING appeared in crosswordland a few months ago.

  22. 18 minutes, which is possibly my best yet, so I’d like to congratulate the setter on a particularly fiendish and challenging puzzle. However, I suspect that it was really a little on the easy side. Either that or those stem cells have finally started to work.

    NHO LODEN, and I’d have spent more time worrying about it had I not been chasing the elusive (for me) 15 minute goal. Likewise SHIKARI; all that was going through my head was “Shakira”, who I believe is a chanteuse – perhaps the young folk here will be able to enlighten me further. All other permissible letter permutatinos looked even less plausible.

    I was pretty sure that the only Derbyshire customs were goitre and the making of toy china figures, so you learn something new every day. If they’re that much in awe of fresh water, they’ll be completely blown away when they get electricity.

    COD for me was RECOLLECT – not because it was difficult but simply for the ingenuity in constructing it. Bonus points to the setter for including my friends, ETHANOL and SCALPEL (my profile-image-thing shows me wielding a large example of the latter after a large example of the former – even a routine appendectomy can be approached with enthusiasm).

    Edited at 2015-06-03 06:35 pm (UTC)

  23. A rather better day for me, my 5:39 putting me ahead of crypticsue by a decent enough margin, and allowing me to pip Verlaine at the post.

    I was helped by knowing SHIKARI (from Kipling perhaps?) and LODEN (familiar from occasional work trips to Munich, where it was much in evidence – though I don’t think of it as bluish-green).

    I assumed the American writer must be RYDER (some relative of Winona perhaps?) so was grateful for the “wrider” explanation.

  24. An airplane solve – returning from Dallas where all the ‘Mer’cuns know hats are 10-gallon not 6-gallon. Agree with pretty much everybody about Shikari; NE took a while because a de-l’d “aisles” also fits the crossers – but only leads to praise, braise, and liaise – none of them very risky. Lots of head scratching, but they served tame ethanol on the flight so we got there.
  25. I did this before going to sleep last night, so posting late, but Shakira is an example of an lesser known word being an anagram solve: you’vge no chance of solving it until there are some crossing letters and even then it is a question of guessing or hunting around, which is not satisfying
  26. About 20 mins. DNK LODEN but wordplay clear. DNK SHIKARI but guessed it. Anon has a point…

    Edited at 2015-06-04 08:31 pm (UTC)

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