Times Cryptic 26465

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
I’m subbing for Verlaine today as he’s sleeping in a tent in a field somewhere,  I believe, so I’m afraid those who have come here for their usual Friday fix of wit and erudition are in for a disappointment, however I hope I’ve got the essential business of the day covered.  This one took me over an hour with one answer remaining to be looked up at the end of that time, but it was a steady solve and an enjoyable one. The outstanding answer (at 8ac) was a word I knew but it eluded me today.  By contrast I didn’t know 14dn at all but the wordplay was friendly and I was able to work it 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 Call for help involving British politician’s sad tale (3,5)
SOB STORY – S.O.S. (call for help) enclosing [involving] B (British), TORY (politician)
5 Drive, reversing that French brand of car (6)
MARQUE – RAM (drive) [reversing], QUE (that, French)
8 Fitting on a collar is ultimately difficult for sect member (10)
ANABAPTIST – A, NAB (collar), APT (fitting), IS, {difficul}T [ulimately]. This was my last one in and I resorted to aids. I’ve met it before but couldn’t bring it to mind or work it out from wordplay. Its last appearance here was in 2012.
9 Evil king’s decline (4)
SINK – SIN (evil), K (king)
10 Film car’s attempt to advance across area (8,2,4)
MINISTRY OF FEAR – MINI’S (car’s), TRY (attempt), then  OFFER (advance) enclosing [across] A (area). I’m not familiar with this film made by Fritz Lang in 1944.
11 Criticised way in which setter is included only every now and then (7)
ROASTED – ROAD (way) enclosing [in which…]  S{e}T{t}E{r} […is included] [only every now and then]
13 Phoned detective — phoned again after connection initially failed (7)
DIALLED – DI (detective), {c}ALLED (phoned) [connection, initially failed]. Since nobody’s dialled for years I wonder whether this usage will disappear in time.
15 Ice cream son accepted in house in Rome, with thanks (7)
CASSATA – CASA [house in Rome] with S (son) inside it [accepted], TA (thanks)
18 Bridge players in one club, say, joining more bridge players too (7)
BESIDES – E+S (bridge players) in BID (one Club, say), E+S (more bridge players)
21 Spot of trouble on a campsite with turf cut badly (5,2,1,6)
STORM IN A TEACUP – Anagram [badly] of ON A CAMPSITE TUR{f} [cut]
22 Brave fellow captured by the Roundheads (4)
HERO – Hidden inside [captured by] {t}HE RO{undheads}
23 Back home unwell after cream cake and pasta (10)
TORTELLINI – TORTE (cream cake),  then IN (home) + ILL (unwell) reversed [back]
24 Sweet drink to swallow, say, with salt (6)
NECTAR – Sounds like [say] “neck” (swallow), TAR (salt – sailor)
25 We’ll take a break about one, being most exhausted (8)
WEARIEST – WE, A, REST (break) enclosing [about] I (one)
1 Fraudster’s book sent up in university staff room (7)
SCAMMER – EMMA (book) reversed [sent up] in SCR (university staff room – Senior Common Room)
2 Clever people translating in Arabic succeeded (9)
BRAINIACS – Anagram [translating] of IN ARABIC, S (succeeded)
3 Passage shortly starting off (7)
TRANSIT –  Anagram [off] of STARTIN{g} [shortly]
4 Stopped working, on getting drowsy (7)
RETIRED – RE (on), TIRED (drowsy)
5 Here they forecast non-skaters assembled so? (3,6)
MET OFFICE – If non-skaters had got together, they would have MET OFF ICE
6 Start to resent hype possibly surrounding American philosopher (7)
RUSSELL – R{esent} [start to],  US (American), SELL (hype – as in “hard sell”). Dear old Bertie!
7 Athlete heading off with very little energy, upset (7)
UNNERVE – {r}UNNER (athlete) [heading off], V (very), E (little energy)
12 Riots with team getting trounced, I guess (9)
ESTIMATOR – Anagram [getting trounced] of RIOTS TEAM
14 Row about one GP with a local anaesthetic (9)
LIDOCAINE – LINE (row) containing [about] I (one) + DOC (GP) + A.  I didn’t know this but the wordplay was clear.
16 Australian with contract to export a white wine (7)
AUSLESE – AUS (Australian), LE{a}SE (contract) [to export a]. I used to know all the grades of German wine and have forgotten most of them but this one remained.
17 Empty chamber pots and put loos in order (4,3)
SLOP OUT – Anagram [in order] of PUT LOOS
18 Live sports fixture covering say cricket? (7)
BEASTIE – BE (live) + TIE (sports fixture) enclosing [covering] AS (say – for instance). Scottish dialect for a small animal or insect, according to SOED.
19 Way listener catches lines like great performer? (7)
STELLAR – ST (way – street), EAR (listener) encloses [catches] L L (lines). Having the quality of a star entertainer, performer, etc. according to SOED
20 Very good handwriting for a reporter, I argue (7)
SOPHIST – SO (very good – as in “just so”), sounds like [for a reporter] “fist” (handwriting)

36 comments on “Times Cryptic 26465”

  1. A bit more than an hour for me. Nothing too obscure, though I’m more familiar with ‘lignocaine’ or ‘Xylocaine’ as alternatives for LIDOCAINE. Didn’t make a good fist of SOPHIST, for which I couldn’t get beyond SO for ‘Very’ rather than ‘Very good’. Favourites for me were BEASTIE (for some odd reason one of those words I like, maybe because of ‘Wee… timorous beastie’) and BESIDES.

    Thank you to setter and blogger.

  2. 45 minutes of the usual Friday fare but wih no Verlaine and one wrong:

    DNK 16dn AUSLESE being a red wine drinker mainly (exceptions for fizz and chablis.)

    10ac MINISTRY OF FEAR Lang’s film noir was based on Graham Greene’s novel, not one of his better known.



    Thanks to Jack for coming off the bench so early.

    horryd Shanghai

  3. 43 minutes with three unknowns – CASSATA, LIDOCAINE and AUSLESE.

    Lang’s M must be the smokiest film ever made; Metropolis one of the best.

    Jack, you have the distinct advantage over Verlaine of getting the thing up earliest doors.

  4. Another fail. I found this very easy except for AUSLESE, which I couldn’t get at all. I was stuck on ‘A’ for Australian, and ‘lease’ for ‘contract’ never crossed my mind.

    I really liked ANABAPTIST. I’m hoping Z8, who knows about these things, will offer a memorable explanation of what one is as I can never remember and can’t be bothered to look it up.

    1. Of course. 16th century double dip Christians: baptised in infancy like most people, then done properly, in their terms, as believers with lots more water. Not much liked by either Catholics or the early reformers such as Luther and Zwingli, the latter having them drowned as an appropriate execution. Anabaptists survive in such communities as the Amish and Mennonites.
        1. The chaplain in Catch-22 is an Anabaptist.

          “I’m an Anabaptist, sir.”
          “That’s a pretty suspicious religion, isn’t it?”
          “Suspicious?” inquired the chaplain in a kind of innocent daze. “Why, sir?”
          “Well, I don’t know a thing about it. You’ll have to admit that, won’t you? Doesn’t that make it pretty suspicious?”

          Slightly tricky SE corner, otherwise pretty easy. Sub-15 mins very quick for me. Helped by not being held up, and generous clueing for unknowns.

  5. Knew ANABAPTIST from Catch-22, DNK AUSLESE or LIDOCAINE, but the setter was kind enough to lead us through the maze.

    Would have been a good week of solving for me if not for INVERTASE on Tuesday. Oh well, won’t make that mistake again. At least not until next time it appears.

    Have a good weekend everyone, thanks setter and Jack.

  6. 30 minutes straightforward solving apart from AUSLESE which was completely unknown to me as my knowledge of white wines ends with Blue Nun and Liebfraumilch.
    Wouldn’t AUSTERE been a fairer clue than this obscure tipple? Or is that just sour grapes?
    1. The ones in an Auslese would be very sweet as they are the pick of the ripest of the bunch. I think it’s often classified as a dessert wine.
      1. This is usually true but you can do actually see completely dry Ausleses. They tend to be very high in alcohol (because of the high initial sugar content). Also technically Ausleses are made from a selection of bunches. Wines made from individually selected grapes are called Beerenauslese.
        I am such a terrible geek.
    2. I was proud of myself for getting all of this one although I’d been in total ignorance of the MET OFFICE or the Senior Common Room, under the category of Anglicisms (and didn’t remember at first that DIALLING would have two “l”s over there), and CASSATA is new to me too, as well as the sense of “fist” as a particular person’s idiosyncratic scrawl. But I couldn’t parse AUSTERE, which is what I had there (and it is a wine term!), having never even imagined such a thing as AUSLESE. (Puh-leese. Ha) Funny thing, I was drinking white wine tonight, which is not one of my usual libations. I much prefer red, but it was the only thing in the office fridge.

      Edited at 2016-07-15 09:38 am (UTC)

      1. I’d love to work in an office that had a fridge, let alone one that had wine in it!
  7. 20 minutes, with AUSLESE taking its time to emerge from the murky depths with a least some help from the wordplay. LIDOCAINE and the spelling of the Italian foods also reliant on wordplay.
  8. Not a bad performance from me for a Friday, but still four left unfinished. Pleased with myself for piecing together the near-unknown ANABAPTIST and the totally-unknown CASSATA.

    I might have got BESIDES and BEASTIE in the end, but even with the wordplay I may not have got to the unknown AUSLESE.

    Last but not least, I think if I’d stared for another hour I still might not have got SOPHIST, not knowing “fist” for “handwriting”, probably never recognising “so” for “very good” and, I confess, not really knowing what SOPHIST meant. Oh well. I’m here for the education, after all, so thanks to setter and blogger!

    Edited at 2016-07-15 08:34 am (UTC)

  9. A 21′ dnf, defeated by AUSLESE, alphabet check did not work. Many Anabaptists came to a bad end at Munster in 1535. COD 5down. Thanks jack and setter.
  10. 35 minutes, while watching the golf, so not an intensive test. Ending with NECTAR and AUSLESE, which took the last 10 minutes and a hopeful guess for the wine – I’d heard of German wines with longer names like trockenbeerenauslese so it seemed a good bet.
    Thanks jackkt for stepping in – V, I can also usually do a Friday if you’re off piste sometime.

  11. Not sure if I should be totally immersed with this sect. DNK AUSLESE. Last time I drank German wines was when they were guaranteed not to freeze however low the fridge was set at. MINISTRY OF FEAR was a Graham Greene book to me, but they made good movies. LOI SOPHIST. 45 minutes while also watching Test match latterly.
  12. 35:04. A similar time to pipkirby and a similar experience – taking at least 10 minutes to come up with AUSLESE. I was close to throwing in the towel until I finally came up with lease for contract. I like red and white wine but I’ve never come across AUSLESE before.
  13. Raced through this until I came to SE corner. Even got the anaesthetic and pasta. But flummoxed by 18a and 20d. Still much of a beginner but I hate clues where you can take all sorts of combinations of bridge players (or directions for that matter) – feel slightly cheated especially as the definition is also a bit devious. Fist = handwriting also seems a bit archaic. Don’t setters want to attract a younger audience?
    1. Yes, especially if they’d like to join the club and grow old before their time.
  14. I thought those were Austrian wines – but I guess they are German-language too.
  15. Another DNF with AUSLESE the culprit. Like others I didn’t know the wine and couldn’t bring LEASE to mind for contract. Also didn’t know the film or the anaesthetic but they were gettabler.
  16. Quick solve – 15 mins. OK with AUSLESE as used to live in Germany. Fun puzzle.
  17. Just over the hour to fail miserably with AUSLESE unknown. Managed to biff SOPHIST, justifying it with SO PI and ST, but knowing the definition anyway. Was aware of various -ocaines, so the wordplay helped put this one in confidently. Whilst not being able to define an ANABAPTIST, I had heard of the sect, and once I had the crossers it was a write in. Was in an SCR on Saturday so 1d went in with a smile. 5d also triggered the facial muscles. FOI SOB STORY, LOI AUSTERE(sic). Nice workout, so thanks to the setter and thanks to Jack for filling in the parsing.
    1. According to Wiki, it affected wine from both countries as Austrian wines were blended into German ones.
  18. 9:15, with a distinct feeling of being on the wavelength. Foodie and wino clues are right up my street, so CASSATA and AUSLESE went straight in, which helped. I’ve even heard of LIDOCAINE. So thanks to the setter for choosing obscurities that I happened to know, please keep it up.
  19. No problem with the wine and the other one that caused some issues here and in the Club Forum, LIDOCAINE, went in quite quickly with checkers in place. My favourite clue was 5d -MET OFFICE. Made me smile.
    When I saw “spot of trouble” I thought this must have been a cunning use of words by the setter so my mind was bent towards acne. You know acne? it’s where you’ll find Acne Wick.
    54m 30s True Solving Time.
  20. About 25 minutes, more or less. The NE corner was the hold-up for me. I was unfamiliar with the MET OFFICE, and the MARQUE wasn’t a common item for me. A lot of US car makers use ‘marquis’, which I thought – still do – was merely a means of trying to sound grand via a French allusion. And I didn’t know of the movie at all, but MINISTRY was clear, and the rest derived from wordplay. As was CASSATA. My last, though, was BEASTIE, more of a guess from the checkers than anything else. So I got through the puzzle, but not in sure-footed fashion, by any means. Regards.
  21. Around 25 mins with a fair bit of biffing. Only DNK was the anaesthetic but it was eminently gettable.
  22. 23 mins in all, with the last 6 of them trying to think of an alternative to AUSLESE which didn’t look like a real word to me. In the end I decided it had to be the answer, bunged it in, and was pleasantly surprised when Chambers confirmed it was right.
  23. First DNF of the week, started well then slowed down going east, just like going onto the A17 at Newark, and what with Froome, Aggers and golf all going on rather lost the track and now I’m off to the pub. Nice clues thanks setter and blogger.
  24. Surprised at my 14:00 as it seemed quicker at the time. Like Keriothe I knew all the obscure words, so I was probably just slowed down by trying to write legibly while on a speeding train as usual.
  25. Considering the number of foodie/winie references (exposing a prime area of ignorance on my part), I’m actually not all that disappointed with my 12:07.

    I vaguely recalled TORTELLINI, but was worried about TORTE being a “cream” cake and wasted time wondering if there was a better alternative.

    And I spent two or three minutes at the end pondering 16dn, trying to see if I could come up with some French wine starting AUS (and pronounced appropriately). It was only when I attacked the clue from the wordplay and came up with LEASE = “contract” that light finally dawned. The annoying thing is that I actually knew AUSLESE, but only because I’d come across it while studying German – I’m not sure I’ve ever actually drunk any.

    Nevertheless, despite those (and CASSATA, got mainly from “house in Rome” – my knowledge of Italian ice-cream not really going much beyond gelato and tutti-frutti – I thought this was another delightful puzzle.

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