Times Cryptic 26462

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
This one took me 48 minutes and was mostly very enjoyable though I struggled with a couple of unknowns, the enzyme and the Hebrew unit of dry weight. 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 Story about quiet bird in watery home (8)
FISHBOWL – FIB (story) contains [about] SH (quiet!), OWL (bird)
5 Slow progress by son — handwriting not very good (6)
SCRAWL – S (son), CRAWL (slow progress)
9 Guide sailor needs a lot to begin with (8)
LOADSTAR – LOADS (a lot), TAR (sailor). Literally a star that serves as a guide for navigation e.g. the Pole star, but it is also used figuratively. I’m more familiar with the alternative spelling “lodestar”.
10 One shooting bird by river (6)
SNIPER – SNIPE (bird), R (river)
12 Old female in crowd gets to speak, one interrupting chair (13)
PROFESSORIATE – O (old) + F (female) in PRESS (crowd), then I (one) inside [interrupting] ORATE (speak). The definition is figurative.
15 Design steps for the auditorium (5)
STYLE – Sounds like [for the auditorium] “stile” (steps)
16 Veteran is treated, getting intestinal enzyme (9)
INVERTASE – Anagram [treated] of VETERAN IS. Never heard of this one so I needed all the checkers to unravel the anagrist and even then had to guess whether it ended -TASE or -SATE.
17 Female in make-up, daughter became more crude (9)
ROUGHENED – HEN (female) in ROUGE (make-up), D (daughter)
19 After capture, Charles I was restricted, king being held (5)
TRIED –  TIED (restricted) with R (king) inside [being held]
20 Legendary mama represented as female saint (4,9)
MARY MAGDALENE – Anagram [re-presented] of LEGENDARY MAMA
22 Saint has home by marketplace (6)
MARTIN – MART (marketplace), IN (home). Two saints in a row!
23 Affluent / dresser in Derbyshire will have this before celebration (4-2-2)
WELL-TO-DO – This answer came to mind immediately from the first definition and checkers, but it took me a while to work out the secondary one. “Well dressing” has come up before on at least one occasion but it had slipped to the furthest recesses of my mind.
25 Support outside is making stand firm (6)
RESIST – REST (support) contains [outside] IS
26 American eagle that’s caught in the morning gets form of identification (8)
USERNAME – US (American), ERNE (eagle) contains [that’s caught] AM (in the morning). This answer turned up as a rather spectacular hidden reversal only last Friday, so it was fresh in my mind.
1 Type of dough I cut in firm lines (4,6)
FILO PASTRY – I + LOP (cut) in FAST (firm), RY (lines – railway)
2 Mammal abandoning lake for bigger expanse of water (3)
SEA – SEA{l} (mammal) [abandoning lake]. The definition refers back to “lake”.
3 Shut in, as is revolutionary, say, imprisoned by queen? (7)
BESIEGE – IS (reversed) [revolutionary] + EG (say) inside [imprisoned by] BEE (queen?)
4 Man wishes possibly to seize crown? I can’t remember who (5-3-4)
WHATS-HIS-NAME – Anagram [possibly] of MAN WISHES contains [to seize] HAT (crown)
6 Horseman in a very old city going after money (7)
CENTAUR – CENT (money), A, UR (very old city)
7 Devious inmate with hemp has smuggled in a different drug (11)
AMPHETAMINE – Anagram [devious] of INMATE HEMP contains [has smuggled in] A. The definition refers back to “hemp”.
8 Fat landlord must lose a bit in the middle (4)
LARD – LA{i}RD (landlord) [must lose a bit in the middle]. On edit: as pointed out by Z8 and others below I may have overcomplicated this and the setter probably simply intended LA{ndlo}RD.
11 Serious Aussies who may work alongside the church (5-7)
GRAVE-DIGGERS – GRAVE (serious), DIGGERS (Aussies)
13 How you will be judged in examprepare to get going (2,4,5)
ON YOUR MARKS – A cryptic definition and a straight one referring to the start of a race, for example.
14 Award amount of money, as one might say, for interfering? (10)
MEDDLESOME –  Sounds like [as one might say] “medal” (award), “sum” (amount of money)
18 The female’s entertaining university folk reluctant to socialise (7)
HERMITS – HER’S (the female’s) containing [entertaining] MIT (university – Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
19 Vehicle in on-screen advertisement (7)
TRAILER – Two straight definitions
21 Measure heading off old poet (4)
OMER – {h}OMER (old poet) [heading off]. My second unknown of the day, an OMER is an ancient Hebrew dry measure, the tenth part of an ephah. Best remember that last word for another occasion!
24 An ending for many Russian women in cells (3)
OVA – Two definitions. I think the first one translates as “daughter of”

44 comments on “Times Cryptic 26462”

  1. 8.5 minutes here including a fair bit of hesitating over INVERTASE (for some reason I was looking for an intestinal parasite… and as such INVERSATE seemed at least as tempting) and indeed PROFESSORIATE, though at least the I couldn’t reasonably go anywhere else in that one.

    It’s lucky my elder daughter’s name is Magdalen or else 20ac might not have been my FOI. COD to 24dn which I thought was both unusually and nicely surfaced.

  2. Not too taxing, although I didn’t know about ‘Well dressing’ and INVERTASE was new. Last in was MEDDLESOME which I was a bit dubious about for a start, but which I think does work. My favourite was OMER – I like those old measures, which have turned up a few times before. Now just how many pecks are there in an ephah?

    Thank you to setter and blogger

  3. I got it into my head that it was Wednesday, already!

    Whatever, 14dn WOD MEDDLESOME.

    Verlaine is done and dusted and no doubt in bed dreaming of doing away with Magoo and Jason! et tu Verlaine!

    Took me just 25mins, noting the second use of USERNAME (26ac) recently but the cluing was not in the same class as that rev. anag.

    Also more DIGGERS in 11ac – FAIR DINKUM as they say in Perth!

    FOI 10ac SNIPER. LOI 21dn OMER – old measures are dull fare.

    COD 24dn OVA – SHARAPOVA as they say in Moscow!

    Back to my benighted bibliography.

    horryd Shanghai

  4. In order to answer Verlain’s question a couple of days ago
    I decided to print out this crossword again and just fill it in again – already knowing the answers.

    What took 25 minutes before breakfast took exactly, exactly 2 minutes and 59 seconds,after! (timed on the computer) I did not read one clue or parse SFA.Just ink to paper.

    This what the likes of Jason, Magoo & Co are doing on a daily basis! Where’s the fun in that.
    Are they indeed robots who have fooled KEYCAPCHA and their little jigsaw puzzles?

    I challenge anyone else (not magoo & Co) to beat 2.59. Verlaine over to you?

    horryd Shanghai

    1. I managed 2.23 this morning by the simple expedient of moving the decimal point. Easy.
      1. Rest easy – you are the Magoo of the Eleusinian world of the TLS crossword.
    2. As a variation on that theme, using a photocopied Times cryptic , I read clue one , quickly filled in letters at random , then clue two etc , all the way through to the last down clue . I repeated this three times and my time was four minutes give or take a few seconds each time . Factoring in thinking time and the speed of writing , I’m not sure what my little non-scientific test suggests other than the speed merchants must be reading and solving clue two whilst they are entering the answer to clue one .
      1. I seem to remember one of Peter B’s tips for speed solving being to look at the next clue while you’re writing in an answer.
  5. Fighting off sleep, and I think briefly losing once or twice for multi-second catnaps, I finally got 3d, which finally got me 1ac and 1d, but I gave up on 9ac and flung in ‘leadsman’; LOADSTAR was unknown to me, or as near as dammit. No problem with INVERTASE, although I couldn’t have told you what it was. I remembered well-dressing post hoc, and certainly didn’t remember its association with Derbyshire, but the enumeration was enough, with the def. I liked a number of the clues, including Ulaca’s 3, and PROFESSORIATE & BESIEGE. Didn’t like LEADSMAN.
  6. 31 minutes, but guessed wrong with ‘inversate’. A lot to like here, including FISHBOWL, CENTAUR and my favourite and last in, MEDDLESOME.

    Edited at 2016-07-12 08:08 am (UTC)

  7. 15m, held up a little bit in the NW. INVERTASE and OMER with fingers crossed, and LOADSTAR only once all the checkers confirmed the required, and unfamiliar, spelling.
    Well-dressing, on the other hand, is strangely familiar. Needless to say I’ve never encountered it outside crosswords.
  8. A leisurely 22.30 today, finishing at a snails pace with MEDDLESOME and TRIED, the latter with enough wordplay elements to complete a much longer answer.
    I solved LARD just by leaving out a larger bit than Jack from LAndloRD and eliminating the step to LAIRD. Not that it matters, and bit=1 probably works better in a computer solve.
    Enzymes are very often -ASE, aren’t they? That’s what I assumed to make solving much easier.
    1. Indeed. Having “helped” daughter #1 with her A level biology revision certainly went some way towards my plumping for -ASE rather than -ATE.
  9. Curses! All but two in my hour.

    Happy enough to get the unknown PROFESSORIATE, the more challenging OVA and INVERTASE, and the unknown alternative spelling LOADSTAR. Glad to have the explanations here otherwise I’d probably never have known about “well dressing”! I also jumped straight to LA{NDLO}RD.

    The two I was left with were a) BESIEGE, which I might possibly have worked out in the end, but just wasn’t forming up in my mind, and b) OMER, which I’d never heard of. Sadly I was thinking along the right lines, but was distracted by OmAr Khayyam. Ah well.

    Edited at 2016-07-12 06:59 am (UTC)

  10. I have walked the Tissington Trail and seen the dressed wells, worth a visit certainly. Like others, fingers crossed on INVERTASE and OMER. COD MEDDLESOME. 18’12” today, thanks setter and blogger.
    1. Weird coincidence of the day… I have just ordered a plant support from the “Tissington Range”… never heard of the word before…!
  11. Just under 30mins, so average difficulty for me… (unlike yesterday’s dnf, where I had several blanks in the SE). Count me as another who went for LA(ndlo)RD, and had a vague idea that enzymes often end in -ASE. Also dnk OMER.
  12. 15:23, so I seem to have been on the wavelength today. I struggled at the end with PROFESSORIATE despite having all the crossing letters. INVERTASE was an educated guess over INVERSATE, on the grounds that INVERSATE sounded more like an adjective and as with Janie, the vague notion that the ending sounded enzyme-like.
      1. You got me wondering there – this is all very vague from schooldays. BBC GCSE Bitesize lists protease, lipase, carbohydrase and isomerase as common enzymes. It might have been these I was thinking of.
        1. Indeed. My dictionary has -ASE listed as “forming names of enzymes: amylase.”
  13. Those years as a Boy Covenanter weren’t wasted. Bread of heaven was fed to us, so I vaguely remembered OMER too. We only had USENAME a couple of days ago and still I spent 5 minutes on it. COD FISHBOWL. Good puzzle. 35 minutes with fingers crossed it was INVERTASE.
  14. 9m 4s today, but I join the unhappy throng who plumped for INVERSATE – which, as has already been mentioned, did sound a little too adjectival. Otherwise there weren’t too many problems: I entered 23a without understanding it, and 3d was LOI.
  15. 21:15 of iPad poking. Was thrown for a while by LOADSTAR as I only knew LODESTAR (and LODESTONE) but it had to be. We have had OMER before and I was a LAndloRD. A pleasant solve. Thanks setter and Jack.
  16. Vinyl would be at at home with these – we get them all the time in the NY Times puzzles.

    I did like Ulaca’s Eleusinian Mysteries of the TLS. They are a little less recherche these days now we have a real editor (PB who is also a setter and a fiendish one at that). Z, Verlaine and Sotira (and I) are your friendly bloggers so give them a try on a Friday if you’re looking for something to do. 15.08 on this one.

  17. I’d never heard of the practice of Well Dressing, but got the answer from crossers and definition. My FOI was SEA. 33 minutes in all. I pencilled in -ASE for the enzyme. Liked USERNAME and GRAVE DIGGERS. SW was last to fall with RESIST giving HERMITS, then wondering whether a MARKIN was a market before seeing the obvious and finishing with OMER, where I took the measure on trust. I was also taken by surprise by the alternate spelling of Lodestar.
  18. 18:13 and relieved to be correct as OMER was a guess from wordplay, and I spent a lot of time trying to piece together FILO PASTRY (which has always been PHYLLO to me) and PROFESSORIATE (even though I think I am in possession of one). Glad I knew INVERTASE
  19. 12:54 with a good couple of minutes of that trying to piece together professoriate. It didn’t help that, as is so often the case, I was looking at the wrong end for the definition. Did Methuselah have a female equivalent?

    I agree with others that the clue for fishbowl was a beauty.

    1. Your going to like this. Methuselah did have a wife, according to the utterly reliable Book of Jubilees (Ethiopian Jews and Orthodox Christians concur). Her name was Edna.
      1. On the other hand, there’s Harry Belafonte’s calypso:
        Methuselah lived his life in tears,
        Did without women for 900 years;
        One day he thought he’d have some fun–
        The poor man never lived to see 901.
        1. From Gershwin’s ‘Porgy & Bess’: Methusalah lived 900 years…what’s the point of livin’, if no girl will give in to one who’s 900 years ?’
  20. Two bites of the cherry required, but if I finish it I know that it is an easier one. Some great clues but for the 15×15 quite a few write ins 11d for example. Biffed 15a thought style must be some theatrical word for steps, I will add auditorium to my growing collection of “sounds like”. Thanks blogger and setter.
  21. 22 mins, but I drifted off towards the end with three still to go in. When I was able to concentrate on the clues again instead of thinking random thoughts about nothing in particular I finally saw TRIED, followed it with MEDDLESOME, and a correctly guessed INVERTASE was my LOI. I saved myself a bit of time by reading the clue for 12ac properly because “professorship” was eminently biffable with some of the early checkers in place. I agree that the clue for FISHBOWL was excellent. I’ve probably come across OMER before but it didn’t spring to mind and I was glad that the wordplay was relatively helpful. 9ac was my FOI; I found it straightforward because I’d seen the LOADSTAR spelling before and the wordplay was clear enough. I got LARD the same way Z8 did, although I’m sure the LA(I)RD wordplay was what the setter intended.
  22. About 20 minutes, ending with OMER, from wordplay. Unknown to me, as far as I recall. I don’t remember the well dressing bit, although it might have appeared here at some point. I’m well known for claiming I have never heard of something only to have someone else here point out that it’s not the first time that I’ve said the same thing about the same word. So in the event I’ve seen it before, mea culpa. Regards.
    1. Yes; this pretty much always happens the *second* time something comes up for me. The third time I claim I’ve never seen it before but get a strange sense of deja vu, and the fourth time it’s just about settled into my brain…
  23. Just under the half-hour, but entered OMAR, guessing he was some unknown measure beheaded. No problem with the enzyme, as I knew the termination. Didn’t think of LAndloRD – went for LAiRD immediately!
  24. Didn’t make the Club leaderboard with my time of over 46mins but at least I got a name check (22ac).
    I enjoyed 3d as I toyed with (Good Queen) BESS for a while.
    Ancient units of measurement often put me in mind of an old but very funny comedy routine by Bill Cosby who holds a conversation with God about the latter’s demand that Cosby builds an ark. “What’s a cubit?”!
  25. The timer tells me I took 55 minutes for this one, but I’m sure I must have left it running… in any event, it felt like about 40min.

    For some reason, I could not bring FILO PASTRY to mind (fast pastry? flan pastry? flat pastry?), and struggled badly with LOADSTAR, even though I knew it had to be some sort of star. Got there in the end, at which point FILO became blindingly obvious. LOADSTAR still looks wrong to me, but apparently “lodestone” (which set me thinking about lode/load/lead, and presumably has the same origin) can also be spelled “loadstone”.

    OMER was an NHO but, as I’m short on poets’ names, it was the only option. The entire well-dressing bit at 23ac was over my head, but I shrugged and figured anything could happen in Derbyshire.

  26. 10:17 here for another delightful puzzle – a model Times crossword.

    My first thought for 21dn was OMAR, but I couldn’t think of a suitable measurement so resisted the temptation to biff it – and fortunately remembered OMER from the ludicrous Scripture Knowledge O-level (minimal intellectual effort required!) we had forced on us at Dotheboys after our main O-level year.

    Like Kevin, I couldn’t have defined INVERTASE off-hand, but it seemed familiar enough for me to bung it in straight away without really needing to check the anagram.

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