Times Cryptic 26444

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
I needed 36 minutes for this fairly straightforward offering that will probably produce some record times on the leader board. Here we go…

As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions are in curly brackets} and [indicators in square ones]

1 See island store with 80% baked clay as exterior (9)
BISHOPRIC – I (island) + SHOP (store) is contained by [with…as exterior] BRIC{k} (baked clay) [80%]
6 Small county that may be big in finance? (5)
BUCKS – Two definitions. The abbreviated [small] County of Buckinghamshire, and a reference to “big bucks” in financial circles.
9 Maintain independence : advance oneself autodidactically! (2,4,3,6)
BE ONES OWN MASTER – Also two definitions, to be one’s own boss, for example, and to teach oneself.
10 Quiet girl taking in a film (6)
PATINA – P (quiet), A, TINA (girl)
11 Hold back son going in to take further instruction (8)
RESTRAIN – S (son) going in RETRAIN (take further instructions)
13 Through which we may view new cubs with no lair? (10)
BINOCULARS – Anagram [new] of CUBS NO LAIR. &lit
14 Eg Rosemary’s part of Wetherby (4)
HERB – Hidden in [part of] {Wet}HERB{y}
16 Mother’s ruin brought about by husband close at hand (4)
NIGH – GIN (mother’s ruin) reversed [brought about], H (husband). Gin for mother’s ruin has come up before.
17 Blow about plot initially concerning recently killed fowl, once (10)
SPATCHCOCK – SOCK (blow) contains [about] PATCH (plot) + C{oncerning] [initially]. I didn’t know this definition but Chambers has it originally as a fowl dressed and cooked immediately after being killed. These days it’s more commonly a culinary term for a bird that’s split open and grilled.
19 Hawking scam on river and railway (8)
FALCONRY – FAL (river – in Cornwall), CON (scam), RY (railway)
20 Rifleman given piece of cake by Queen? (6)
SNIPER – SNIP (piece of cake, in the sense of something that’s easy), ER (Queen)
23 What better hopes for reforming those in authority? (3,6,4,2)
24 French marshal backed by party’s senior member (5)
DOYEN – DO (party), NEY (French marshal) reversed [backed]
25 Frivolously time a single woman in motoring event (9)
TRIVIALLY – T (time), then I (a single) + VI (woman) in RALLY (motoring event)
1 Live broadcast’s opening work, an example of jazz (5)
BEBOP – BE (live), B{roadcast’s} [opening], OP (work)
2 Where some aim to film in grand building like the Prado? (8-7)
SHOOTING-GALLERY – SHOOT (film), IN, G (grand), GALLERY (building like the Prado – art gallery in Madrid)
3 Excessively particular old king visiting Antonio’s place (4-4)
OVER-NICE – O (old), R (king) inside [visiting]  VENICE (Antonio’s place – title character in The Merchant of Venice)
4 Swindle money out of / man on board? (4)
ROOK – Two definitions
5 Give blessing to studies connected with City tariff (10)
CONSECRATE – CONS (studies), EC (city – postcode East Central, the financial district of London), RATE (tariff)
6 Attend end of party university held for glamour girl (6)
BEAUTY – BE AT (attend) contains [held] U (university), {part}Y [end]
7 Injured at coast, I got help — here, possibly? (7,8)
COTTAGE HOSPITAL – Anagram [injured] of AT COAST I GOT HELP. &lit.
8 Bound volume omitting origin of oldest type of gazelle (9)
SPRINGBOK – SPRING (bound),  BO{o}K (volume) [omitting origin of Oldest]
12 Tense female in form after place at university (10)
PLUPERFECT – PL (place), UP (at university), then F (female) in ERECT (form)
13 Boy, English, adapted, we hear, and did well out of it (9)
BENEFITED – BEN (boy), E (English), sounds like [we hear] “fitted” (adapted)
15 Hover in quiet road in Oriental city (8)
SHANGHAI – HANG (hover)  in SH (quiet), A1 (road)
18 Politician without Bill’s companion’s protective covering (6)
COCOON – CON (politician) contains [without] COO (bill’s companion, as in bill and coo). Coming so soon after 3dn I had Ben on my mind as Bill’s possible companion. Flobbalob!
21 Like Bunter losing head, becoming weak and thin? (5)
REEDY – {g}REEDY (like Bunter) [losing head]. More childhood thoughts for this one with happy memories of Billy Bunter, the  Fat Owl of the Remove. Beasts!
22 Appeal over upset wine, a white one (4)
ASTI – SA (appeal) reversed [over], IT (wine – Italian vermouth) reversed [upset]. The definition “a white one” refers back to “wine”. I hope I have parsed this one correctly as it’s a bit confusing. I tried to make one indicator cover both reversals but couldn’t make sense of it that way.

39 comments on “Times Cryptic 26444”

  1. Not much to say about this one, more Mondayish than Monday’s. I couldn’t remember who Bunter was, but the definition fit (wasn’t Lord Peter Wimsey’s valet also Bunter?). Vaguely recalled COTTAGE HOSPITAL from a cryptic, and anyway COTTAGE was the only choice. 12d was a gimme, taking ‘tense’ as the definition, which it (almost?) always is. Didn’t horryd just ask for a moratorium on ASTI?
  2. I found this pretty straightforward, but there were some I couldn’t parse such as SPATCHCOCK. Liked the &lit COTTAGE HOSPITAL and PLUPERFECT, which brought back happy memories – yes, really – of doing Latin all those years ago.

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

    1. Apologies to horryd and bletchleyreject; my memory actually is what it used to be, alas. At least it wasn’t me who proposed the moratorium.
  3. This was the easiest puzzle for along time. My printer was playing up and it took 15 minutes to get a decent grid printed.

    It then took me just 13 minutes to fill it in – which will help my overall handicap!

    FOI 1d BEBOP LOI BENEFITED as I was unsure of the single T!?


    horryd 15dn

    1. Hello Kevin and horryd Shanghai,

      That was me asking for the moratorium on ASTI, only a couple of days ago. As I said, it’s about time that something just as easy to fit into a grid such as ‘Liebfraumilch’ should become the standard tipple of cryptic setters.

  4. A fast–for me–50 minutes here. The last ten of them were spent getting the combinations of 3d/10a and 18d/24a. I only remember seeing the female “doyenne” in writing, and I knew nothing of Ney, hadn’t heard of “bill and coo”, and knew that 3d would have something to do with Shakespeare, but didn’t know who Antonio was. Or, as it turned out, what “over-nice” actually meant. Lucky for me Antonio sounded sufficiently Italian for me to work it out!

    Pleased with my 40-minute dash through the rest of the answers, even though a couple were unparsed; thanks for dissecting a fine meal of SPATCHCOCK and ASTI for me.

  5. Only after coming here did I realise how few I had actually parsed, which just wouldn’t do for a blogging day. I’m not sure whether that means that my 13.28 is a bit of a swiz. Funnily enough, I was held up on ASTI precisely because I wanted to be sure I’d got it right, and was confused, as Jack indicates, by the apparent doubling up on “appeal”.
    I did wonder whether the setter was indicating a voting preference by placing BE ONE’S OWN MASTER some distance above THE POWERS THAT BE, but I’ll make my own mind up on Thursday, thank you.
  6. 3m49, and that was *including* time taken to tell a 6 year old that, no, I couldn’t help her with her video game just now darling, can you give me a minute, and weathering the tantrum that followed. Oh well, who wants a new personal best anyway? (I think it’s a second best, even if not an actual PB.)

    I didn’t need to parse SPATCHCOCK, PLUPERFECT, BISHOPRIC etc given a few of the letters which helped. LOI FALCONRY as I was looking for something ending RRY and meaning “vending” throughout.

    Edited at 2016-06-21 07:19 am (UTC)

    1. There was me thinking my 4:59 was a pretty good time.

      Two questions: do you think you’ve peaked far too soon? and you do know they don’t allow children into the room for the finals?

      1. I think it’s safe to say that I really wish I was having my current run of form in October instead…
        1. On the other hand .. looks like you made Magoo angry yesterday, Verlaine, which is a bit like scoring first against Germany.
          1. Oh no, are you saying I riled him up and now he’s coming for us with his actual A-game? We’re all doomed!
  7. 8:57 … Biff Central, and little else to say.

    Pleased to be 24 seconds faster than Verlaine today (on the Concise). Seriously, well done, Verlaine. I’ll have one of what you’re drinking, please.

    1. Oh man, that Concise… I was doing alright until I butted up against the conviction that OBTRUDE couldn’t possibly mean what the clue was asking for. Eventually I caved in and checked it, and lo and behold it does; you live and learn.

      Those crazy days when you do the Cryptic faster than the Concise are good fun, I always reckon!

  8. Woop! At 17mins, I think this must be a PB for me (and more satisfying than yesterday’s dnf)… all parsed bar SPATCHCOCK and PLUPERFECT, but with checkers they went in with confidence.
  9. 14:40. I was a little slow to start but whizzed through it once I got a foothold. Hopefully back to more challenging fare tomorrow.
  10. This crossword had quite an antique feel to it. Congratulations to the setter for getting both SA and ASTI into the same clue… at least we were spared U = posh.

  11. Found this pretty easy today, in under the half hour. Didn’t know the definition of SPATCHCOCK but knew the word. COD BISHOPRIC, a word that can be ended emphatically at the PCC
  12. 6m, which is not far off a PB. Easy but still fun, with some good words like BISHOPRIC and SPATCHCOCK.
  13. …in dodgy conditions, waiting for my flight back to Perth to be called.

    Nice day for an easy one. Thanks setter and Jack.

    Great time Sotira. Unbelievable time Verlaine!

    1. I’ll tell you who got an actual unbelievable time today… but maybe you can guess? I bet he didn’t have any kid interruptions, but even so, those almost certainly didn’t cost me a full half minute 😉

      Under 200 seconds to do a Times crossword, he really is the maestro!

      Edited at 2016-06-21 11:14 am (UTC)

  14. 22 minutes. Very straightforward today. After bunging a few across answers I switched to downs and solved all but two of them in sequence as I read them. A minor hold-up was down to my carelessness in entering 6d in the light for 6a, shortening it to BEAUT to fit. Fortunately I spotted it before long. I didn’t see the wordplay to 17 straightaway but worked it out post grid fill. Trickiest clue for me was 19, my LOI. Very nice anagram for 23.
  15. 8:39 and now I don’t know if that’s fast or slow.

    Nice to see Wetherby, my nearest town, popping up but I was disappointed that once again Bill’s companion wasn’t Ben.

  16. A pleasant 25 minutes for me. FOI, BEBOP, LOI COCOON. Biffed SPATCHCOCK, but spotted the parsing just after completing the grid. Liked 1a when the brick dropped! I doff my cap to the under 5 minute crew!! Thanks setter and Jack.
  17. 19 minutes, cooling down after a sweltering round of golf, so in the 9 handicap buffer zone again at crosswords, if not quite making my 36 points on the course.
    A biff-fest. Would have been another 10 minutes or so if I had to parse them all properly for a blog.
    Well done V, although I am glad I get a few minutes more pleasure every day … speed and retirement don’t go together.
  18. Back to the iPad with its inevitable slowing down, compounded by trying to avoid a discussion on whether ceilings need replastering, so about 5 magoos. Was a regular at Epsom Cottage Hospital, just down the road from the College, where suspected broken bones were sent, and like bletchleyreject, knew PLUPERFECT straightaway from the Latin. 18dn LOI as fixated by Bill and Ben.
  19. A finish which confirms what everyone is saying that it’s an easy one, certainly easier than yesterday’s which was only 2/3 done. 7d must be COD the surface is impeccable, or is it 23a, I just don’t know, I really don’t. Thanks setter and blogger you explained my biffs at 17a and 22d ( I always forget SA, and I’m old enough that I should know it ).
  20. 10 mins with FALCONRY my LOI after COCOON. Count me as another who biffed SPATCHCOCK and ASTI. I agree with those who have said that it was far from a beast but still an enjoyable puzzle.
  21. Not timing it really, but felt in the 10-15 minute range. LOI was the ASTI/TRIVIALLY pair, so it went in top to bottom, left to right, all parsed. The only thing I didn’t know was the SPATCHCOCK definition, although I’m fully up to speed on the common usage cited by Jack in the blog. It certainly couldn’t have been anything else, though. Regards.
  22. Pretty breezy this one, didn’t get a time but was never held up – DOYEN and SPATCHCOCK went in from definition without working out the rest.
  23. 29:33 and I think this is the first time I have come in under half an hour, so apparently it is Monday (and yesterday was Friday). Everything quite straightforward, no unknowns except Bunter (but REEDY was easy to biff), no problems at all. COD to COCOON (for “Bill’s companion”).

    Edited at 2016-06-21 05:51 pm (UTC)

  24. At 14:33, I think this is probably my fastest ever. Quite a few were semi-biffed once I realized I had a chance of getting under the quarter hour. COD for me was THE POWERS THAT BE – I’ve seen few finer anagrams.
  25. A miserable 8:33 here for what was – or should have been – my type of crossword. (Deep sigh!)
  26. 20m of enjoyable fun for me. Some lovely words and like Thud I really admired the cleverness of the anagrist for THE POWERS THAT BE. Thanks for the blog, Jack

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