Times Cryptic 26456

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
I needed 52 minutes for this one. I started very well, knocking off the clues in turn but then ground to a halt and stayed in the doldrums for ages, possibly even nodding off briefly. But once 12dn and 22ac had fallen into place I took a new lease of life and polished off the remainder fairly smoothly. I can’t say that I was over-familiar with 19ac or 16dn but their four component words are all in everyday use so I trusted to luck and assumed the answers were correct. I don’t know how well-known 22ac is overseas but the foodstuff named after it is worth seeking out. Here’s my blog…

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

1 The following works mostly useless needing revision without question (7)
SEQUELS – Anagram [needing revision] of USELES{s} [mostly] containing [without] Q (question).
5 Noise comes on, banging at first on my inner ear (7)
CORNCOB – COR (my!), N{oise} + C{omes}+ O{n} + B{anging} [at first]
9 Old woman, one peer and monarch to be sent for (4-5)
MAIL-ORDER – MA (old woman), I (one), LORD (peer), ER (monarch)
10 Pass notes for couple to hold (5)
DUNNO – DUO (couple) contains [to hold] N+N (notes)
11 Within bounds of seminars, summit, I tend to be frank (5,4,4)
SPEAK ONES MIND – PEAK (summit) + ONE (I) contained by [within] S{eminar}S [bounds of …],  MIND (tend)
13 Awfully kind chap to single out specially (4-4)
HAND-PICK – Anagram [awfully] of KIND CHAP.
15 Instrument-maker’s gamble, first time out? (6)
FLUTER – FLU{t}TER (gamble) [first time out  / -T]. Collins has the required definition; in other sources a fluter is a person who plays the flute, more usually called a flautist.
17 Officer in the first place briefly to turn to Morse? (6)
ENCODE – NCO (officer) in EDE{n} (first place) [briefly]
19 Fliers you put back amidst angry noises (4,4)
GREY OWLS – YE (you) reversed [put back] contained by [amidst] GROWLS (angry noises)
22 Town memorably mistaken for one in the Midlands (6,7)
MELTON MOWBRAY – Anagram [mistaken] of TOWN MEMORABLY. The town in Leicestershire is home of the tastiest pork pies and is one of the six official homes of Stilton cheese.
25 Say nothing, and ruffle feathers of duck (5)
SHIRK – SH (say nothing), IRK (ruffle feathers – annoy). One might shirk or duck one’s responsibilities.
26 I’m obliged to exercise caution when handling large knives etc (9)
TABLEWARE – TA (I’m obliged),  BEWARE (exercise caution) containing [when handling] L (large)
27 Funny / fellow sharing practice? (7)
COMEDIC – Two definitions, the second vaguely cryptic and requiring the answer to be read as CO-MEDIC
28 Novelist’s chat with Australian outlaw cut short (7)
GASKELL – GAS (chat), KELL{y} (Australian outlaw – Ned…) [cut short]. Elizabeth Gaskell 1810-1865, perhaps best known for “Cranford”.
1 Fuel reservoir having problem with pressure (4)
SUMP – SUM (problem – arithmetic), P (pressure)
2 What of Caesar, breaking laws and profiting? (5,2)
QUIDS IN – QUID (what, of Caesar – Latin),  SIN (breaking laws)
3 Call up in time before collecting in order (5)
EVOKE – EVE (time before) containing [collecting] OK (in order)
4 Associate team with what footballers do (8)
SIDEKICK – SIDE (team), KICK (what footballers do). Tonto to the Lone Ranger, Robin to Batman etc
5 Taking heart from band of conscientious objectors? (6)
CORING –  A straight definition and a cryptic hint that a band of conscientious objectors would be a C.O. RING
6 Show over, wine is quietly put down (9)
REDISPLAY – RED (wine) IS, P (quietly), LAY (put down)
7 One given time to study volume caught opening it (7)
CONVICT – CON (study), V (volume), then C (caught) contained by [opening] IT
8 Lacking detail of brief collision south of minor road (10)
BROADBRUSH – B ROAD (minor road),  BRUSH (brief collision). “South” places one element of the answer beneath the other in a Down clue.
12 Sue chemist for falsifying papers with notes (5,5)
SHEET MUSIC – Anagram [falsifying] of SUE CHEMIST.
14 Crowded round antique that’s turned up, protected from theft? (9)
PADLOCKED – PACKED (crowded) contains [round] OLD (antique) reversed [turned up]
16 Toast with a particular taste — could there be alcohol in it? (5,3)
BROWN BAG – BROWN (toast),  BAG (a particular taste  – e.g. that’s not my bag). I didn’t know this as an expression in its own right but Collins has it as a bag made of brown paper that’s often used for carrying a packed lunch or alcohol. Also as a verb meaning to carry alcohol in a brown bag.
18 An element still keeping chin up, periodically (7)
CALCIUM – CALM (still) containing [keeping] C{h}I{n}U{p} [periodically]
20 Journey from Mull just being broadcast (7)
WAYFARE – Sounds like [being broadcast] “weigh” (mull – as in mull over or weigh up) and “fair” (just). Not often met in this form perhaps, but “wayfaring” survives e.g. in the title of the traditional folk song “The Wayfaring Stranger”.
21 Making one fetch up quote, the writer reflected (6)
EMETIC – CITE (quote) + ME (the writer) all reversed [reflected]. Great definition!
23 Europeans denied their capital stinks (5)
REEKS – {g}REEKS (Europeans) [denied their capital / -G].
24 Colour used for filling in quite a lot (4)
TEAL –  hidden [filling in] {qui}TE A L{ot}. A dark greenish-blue colour resembling the colour of the teal’s head and wing patches.

62 comments on “Times Cryptic 26456”

  1. I DNF because of 5ac – CORNCOB Jack, where’s the ‘noise.

    The West half was easy enough however the north-east cluing was

    not to my taste 10ac DUNNO! note = n! 16 dn BROWN BAG! All a bit

    iffy for The Times!Terribly American!Sir Noel would turn in his


    FOI 1dn SUMP Most horrible 18dn CALCIUM – yuk!

    COD 22ac MELTON MOWBRAY perfect anagram – also home to Jamie Vardy.

    horryd Shanghai

    1. The “noise” was explained in the blog.

      Edited at 2016-07-05 03:14 am (UTC)

    2. My first thought when getting MELTON MOWBRAY was also that it’s home to Jamie Vardy. Perhaps the pies are the secret to his success.
  2. 31 minutes for this entertaining puzzle, with DUNNO the standout for me (would like to have heard a Mastermind contestant try it with Magnus Magnusson), and the cunning SHIRK last in.

    Will Melton Mowbray be a bridge too far for some of our overseas solvers, I wonder? One can but hope…

    1. …that overseas solvers would be unable to find MELTON MOWBRAY? Are you hoping to force all the foreigners out now?
      What is it with you Brits?
    2. Not quite a bridge too far, but it required all the checkers and a “most likely” arrangement of what was left.

      The final result sounds more like an exotic ice cream flavour.

      1. Melton Mowbray is very famous for another foodstuff. They carefully select all of the best bits of a pig, throw them away and hide the residual grey mass in thick pastry. The idea of Melton Mowbray ice cream is putting me off my pre-breakfast G&T.
      2. Funny – as a fellow Sandgroper who’s never (knowingly) been anywhere near Leicestershire, I wrote it in after barely 3 seconds looking at the anagram fodder. No idea how I knew of it. Have heard of Jamie Vardy, but didn’t know he was from there; didn’t know of pork pies or stilton, neither of which I eat.
        Easyish 19 minutes, the last 3 or 4 trying to get GASKELL with a misspelled WAYFAIR.
  3. Seemed pretty easy for a start before becoming bogged down in the NE and with the BROWN BAG / GREY OWLS crossers. Had a bit of a snooze (often the best thing to do) and then the rest fell in to place. Didn’t know BAG for ‘particular taste’ (of the 22a foodstuffs, the cheese is, but the pie definitely isn’t my bag I’m afraid!) or that WAYFARE existed, although gettable from the more familiar ‘wayfarer’. Yes, I really liked the def. for EMETIC and also for CORNCOB, my last in. To each his/her own I suppose, but DUNNO was one of my favourites.

    Thank you to setter and blogger.

    1. I don’t have any problem with “dunno” either. It’s colloquial, and there’s nothing wrong with that in the right context. OED’s first reference for the word is from 1842 and there are many later examples including one from 1902 by John Masefield, later to become Poet Laureate.

      Edited at 2016-07-05 04:15 am (UTC)

  4. …CORACOB. Obviously a typo, right? Sadly not.

    Just assumed it was “one of those words” for noise, with the “a” coming from “inner ear”. Almost as brilliant as it was stupid. Anyway, I’m giving it COD along with DUNNO, in what I thought was another very entertaining puzzle.

    Thanks setter and Jack.

    1. … Yep, I too had ‘coracob’=noise, from the same convoluted wp!

      About 45 mins for the rest.

  5. Never heard of it as a verb meaning ‘carry liquor in a bb’, but definitely as a verb meaning ‘carry one’s lunch in a bb’ (to work, etc.). At the U. of Hawai’i, the Linguistics Dept. has a weekly lunch-hour brownbag lecture series, where e.g. grad students report on current research etc.
  6. too confidently bunged in ‘Milton Mowbray’ once the name came to me. I dithered over BROWN what?, never thinking of the intended meaning of BAG and putting it in only once I had the checkers. CORNCOB and LOI SHIRK gave me lots of trouble until I finally twigged to the wordplay. COD to EMETIC. Lovely puzzle.
  7. 22.03, with a lot of time being spent on SHIRK because of that swinish “feathers of a duck” looking so inseparable. I nearly settled for STICK being a version of “say nothing” and smudge the wordplay, then I went down a cricketing route with SNICK, something about feathering a catch to the keeper for no score (clever, eh?).
    I was deeply suspicious of BROADBRUSH, mostly because of minor road = B road, not that it doesn’t but that it does rather too obviously. Let’s think of another word for “road”. Oh, I know, “road”.
    Thanks for unravelling CORNCOB: after successfully remembering COCHLEA and realising there wasn’t a scrap of wordplay to support it, I was just glad to get something else that looked as if it worked and left it unparsed.
  8. I enjoyed this with just enough toughness to exercise my grey cells.
    However this was not before I’d biffed “Speak your Mind” and mombled two new words: EROLE for 3d (LO reversed in ERE, meaning: collecting in order) and ELCODE for 17a (LE(d) reversed + CODE, meaning: Officer). All plausible. All wrong.
    Just pity poor Melton Mowbray who will lose the protected status on the name of their pork pies when we leave the EU. But on the other hand, maybe Somerset apple brandy will be able to call itself Calvados and English sparkling wine Champagne.
  9. Loads of amusing penny-drop moments made this puzzle a real winner for me, and one that look me over the 10 minute mark, largely because I spent some time agonising over my LOI 25, wondering “should I just put STICK in and submit? should I?” Glad I didn’t though, per the “if you can’t see any way to parse it it’s almost certainly wrong” rule!
  10. As a relative newbie. I would be interested to know if there exists a Glossary of Terms for the convenient shorthand used by bloggers and contributors.
    I understand terms like: FOI, LOI, DNF etc. and think I grasp anagrist / anagrind.
    Although I tend to stick to the QC as I find it doable within a reasonable time. I do attempt the Saturday offering albeit a struggle and, the Everyman on a Sunday.
    I find this blog very helpful in my quest to further my abilities in the art of cryptic crossword solving and my wish to graduate to the 15 x 15 once I feel more confidence.
    1. A glossary would be a very good idea – perhaps we could make some kind of jointly editable FAQ post?
    2. Sorry Bruce, I used two bloggers’ terms in my post below: Biffed (Bunged in from Definition) and Momble (inventing new words from the cryptic – can’t remember what this stands for).
      1. That’s a new one to me…
        I be interested to know its meaning. I understand Biffed (BIFD).


        1. I believe momble was a word which one of us once (Janie?) invented from the cryptic for a particular clue and it has stuck as a definition for any word invented from the cryptic. I did just search to try to find the original post but couldn’t find it.
        2. Hi, Bruce. I agree with Verlaine that a glossary would be useful. “Momble” is a new one on me and I’m not sure it’s actually valid until it has passed into widespread usage in the forum. How are your cats?
          1. Jackt

            As it happens there is the start of a glossary under the heading of “notation” some way down on the “about this blog tab …”

            Perhaps one of you super-users might have time to expand this.


  11. Very diverting puzzle, with lots of unpicking of clues required even to reach an actual definition to start with. I was also led astray for some time by thinking the only author who fitted the half of the clue I’d solved must be Henning MANKELL – clearly I am much more familiar with Wallander than Cranford.
  12. Struggled with this – mainly failure to see some of the quirky definitions. “ruffle feathers of – duck” is really good stuff.

    Prefer stilton to the pork pie in Melton M plus a nice golf course as I recall

  13. Flying today at first, what with carefully parsed SEQUELS and SPEAK ONES MIND and FLUTTER. MELTON MOWBRAY a write-in, pork pie fame (btw try reading Tom Sharpe’s ‘Wilt’ for a great description). Ground to a near halt, like others, on BROWN BAG, before recalling that most shopping in America came in such on my only WAYFARE (LOI). Was pretty sure GREY OWLS don’t exist, but apparently it’s another name for tawny owls. 17′ today, thanks setter and Jack.
  14. I think this is the first time I’ve finished (very slightly) more quickly than one of our esteemed bloggers, coming in at a smidge under fifty minutes.

    FOI MAIL-ORDER, COD 17a, LOsI 5d and 25a.

    No objections to anything, though I agree that BROAD for minor road seemed a little too obvious to be true. DNK WAYFARE, GREY OWLS, or GASKELL, but the wordplay was fine. Might have to have a pork pie for lunch today.

    Thanks to setter and blogger!

  15. 12m. I did about half of this very quickly, but the second half proved more challenging, ending with the fiendishly cunning SHIRK. An entertaining puzzle, very much my bag.
    We have BROWN BAG sessions at work, but I’ve never been to one and never really thought about where the term comes from. Based on this definition it might be worth going along after all.
    By far the most common surviving use of the word at 20dn for people of my generation is the name of a type of sunglasses.

    Edited at 2016-07-05 09:20 am (UTC)

  16. Not sure if I knew BROWN BAG or not. I’m too chicken to try and smuggle drink into a cricket ground nowadays and end up buying the exorbitantly priced fizzy lager from the bar. Oh for the days you could walk openly into Lords with a carrier bag full of Melton Mowbray pies and bottles of Ruddles County, when all the other counties used to play each other to see who met Lancashire in the Gillette Final. Biffed far too much and took the full hour today, eventually seeing rather than saying DUNNO.
    1. Jack Bond’s catch to dismiss Asif Iqbal. Eat yer heart out, Stokes: http://youtu.be/cMfJHQ_bfWk

      And to be fair to my club, Lord’s is the only international ground in the world where you can bring (limited) booze in. And you can bring as many pies as you can eat!

      Edited at 2016-07-05 11:39 am (UTC)

      1. Thanks for the memory, Ulaca, in fact a whole load of brilliant memories: Flat Jack, David Hughes, Peter Lever, Big Clive and of course Jack Bond’s catch. Was at Lords last week for the day when your two lads Gubbins and Eskinazi got their tons. Looked good players.
  17. 29:44. Bunged in ENSIGN which survived until I was staring at PIGLOCKED. CORNCOB was a biff so thanks Jack for the explanation. An enjoyable start to the day, clue of which is DUNNO
  18. 19:49. Good time for me so evidently I was ‘on the wavelength’. My Belgian colleagues sometimes have BROWN BAG lunch meetings. I originally knew the term for carrying alcohol rather than food so I presumed they were all getting roasted at these meetings.
  19. My grandparents lived in Rutland so this was no prob and a very neat anagram. In earlier eras it was the centre of hunting country (the Cottesmore, the Quorn and the Belvoir), and as such features in Trollope’s novels because he was a keen huntsman. He devotes whole chapters to description of hunts – which I usually skip! The “Melton men” were greatly admired by wannabe riders. I know we’ve had “wannabe” which falls in the same category as “dunno”. Good puzzle. 18.17
  20. I was on the setter’s wavelength today, not finding too many difficulties and completing the puzzle in 9m 22s. LOI was DUNNO, although I must admit I biffed ENCODE – “the first place” is a nice definition for Eden, which I don’t remember seeing before.

    All in all a decent puzzle: my only quibble would be that including the word ‘road’ in 9d was a little clumsy.

  21. I was doing OK until 25a. 25 minutes until then, but it floored me. Even when I went through all the possible options for S_I_K I missed both the definition and wordplay and ended up bunging in SMIRK just to fill the grid. I could pretend my M looks like an H.
  22. 17 mins, Very enjoyable puzzle. Not sure why but MELTON MOWBRAY just popped into my head without even having to think about it.
  23. 15:15 with SHIRK last to fall. Some brilliantly disguised defs like pass, duck and show over.
    1. I thought of you today as I solved one of the clues in today’s DT Toughie as it reminded me of a comment of yours here the other week:

      Troop flew out to find a home for Bill – or his partner (9)

  24. 31m but another DNF after 10m staring at the last two! So much for ‘there’s always tomorrow’. Defeated by CORNCOB which I’ve heard of though not as INNER ear I suppose. I’m more used to corn on the cob but making lame excuses. Perfectly fair clue but too hard for me today. As was CORING – not enamoured of the cryptic here, now I know the answer. A bit laboured rather like the B road. Some good stuff too. I liked SHIRK and the pie/cheese town. Thanks for the blog, Jack, which put me out of my misery!
  25. 15 mins, and thankfully alert the whole time. I probably had most of it done in 11 mins, then spent a further minute on the CORNCOB/CORING crossers and a further three minutes on SHIRK. I could have kicked myself when the penny dropped but it was a cunning clue, as were several others as has already been mentioned, and it seems like I was in good company. Thanks setter.

    Thanks also for the Lancs Gillette Cup memories. As a boy I travelled down from Merseyside for the Sussex final in 1970 and the Warwicks final in 1972, but my parents wouldn’t fund the Kent one in the middle of them (I didn’t have enough pocket money saved) so I didn’t get to see Bond’s catch in person.

  26. I liked this one and made pretty short work of it. Helped that there was a school just west of Melbourne called MELTON MOWBRAY (though it appears it has since closed) so no worries to this double foreigner. I did need the wordplay for GASKELL and QUIDS IN.
  27. A DNF due to the dastardly SHIRK bunged in STICK in desperation. Quite toughie I thought so pleased to have got so near.
  28. Twenty minutes for me too, which made me wonder if today was Monday again. It would have been eighteen, if I hadn’t spent time staring at 6d and asking myself what kind of play was a REDISPLAY.

    What with yesterday’s “ankle biters” and today’s Ned Kelly reference, there has been a distinct Australian flavour recently. I wonder if this is a master-plan to forge closer links? Now that we’ve asked France, Germany and all the rest to leave the EU, perhaps there is a move afoot to re-invigorate Commonwealth.

  29. Better late than never today, then all done in 20 mins except SHIRK which fooled me, ran out of time before dinner so came here to find it was a fair and excellent clue. In the mornings I’d have twigged it.
  30. Like Jason over in the Forum, I though BROADBRUSH was a little clumsy. It’s not unknown, of course, to include a word from the clue in the solution but it put me off to the extent that I was looking elsewhere for an answer for quite a while.
    1. But isn’t it the setter’s job to “put us off”?! I typically – as here – think it’s a positive thing when a setter does this kind of thing on a very occasional basis.

      My own problems with the clue were caused by looking for a word meaning ‘collision’ to remove one letter from!

  31. About 30 minutes, held up at the end by the very clever SHIRK. Happily, it came to me after realizing the SH was the signal for the initial part of the wordplay. Very nice altogether. Regards.
  32. 18:57 for me, not really in the mood following news of an unexpected death in the family, and taking an age to come up with SHIRK.

    There were a few nice touches, but some of the clues were just too convoluted for my taste.

  33. Good grief! Just over an hour of actual solving time, but requiring a long break within that hour to think of the last six answers or so (CORNCOB, SHIRK, BROADBRUSH, GREY OWLS, WAYFARE, BROWN BAG …), convoluted, as Tony says. And DNF, defeated by MOLTON MAWBREY (not in the Midlands?). I suppose I’m one of those overseas solvers (especially since the English Channel has now broadened considerably). Very strange to watch you all disintegrate from here; hopefully the crossword setters won’t all be stepping down too, or civilization really will come to an end.
  34. Had trouble with this. Why show ‘over’ and/or would show ‘again’ be too obvious ?
    1. I think “show over” makes for a better surface reading and it’s also more devious than “show again”, remembering it’s the setter’s job try to catch us out whilst of course remaining scrupulously fair at all times.

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