Times Cryptic 26470 – July 21, 2016: Satis factory inter rim combi nations.

By a couple of minutes, my quickest of the week, possibly because our setter give us the chance to practice the sort of clue where two words which make one sort of sense merge into one to provide the answer. Keep a lookout for three facts, two rims and two News, giving the impression that the setter has discovered there is a charge for each different word and is anxious to economise. I can’t for the life of me identify anything which our esteemed community won’t know, though some of you will have to pretend you’re British and living somewhere in Britain.
Clues, definitions SOLUTIONS


1 Drink after side’s second half winning goal?  (7)
DECIDER  The second half of side and CIDER, a drink made from fermented apples and whatever else falls in.
5 Struck or fascinated as we hear what’s covered by paper (7)
WRAPPED  A triple soundalike: rapped and rapt being the ones you don’t use
9 Bad behaviour from one side in sex wars?  (11)
MALEFACTION  Possibly one of the oldest cryptic clues in the book, one side of the sex wars being the MALE FACTION. The other side being right, of course.
10 Part of our army securing island’s border  (3)
RIM Presumably part of our army is the Royal Marines, but it might also be aRMy. Whichever, insert Island for the first rim of the day.
11 He’s set to challenge all-comers in small field  (6)
SENTRY   Small ENTRY (field as in athletics competition)
12 European citizen having half-empty beer vessel  (8)
BERLINER  take half the contents out of BEeR and add a LINER/vessel. While Kennedy shouldn’t really have used the indefinite “ein”, Berlinsprache for doughnuts is Pfannkuchen, so nobody at the time thought he was a doughnut. So there.
14 Unusually clean kind of punishment for one of low rank  (5,8)
LANCE CORPORAL  An “unusual“ spelling of CLEAN plus CORPORAL as a type of punishment. One stripe or many, depending on whether you’re referring to the answer or the wordplay
17  Agitated perhaps in one’s fears  (13)
APPREHENSIONS  Perhaps in this case doesn’t indicate an anagram; agitated does, and is applied to PERHAPS IN ONES
21 Organized crime group’s seized control of racket back in island  (8)
TRINIDAD  Your organised crime group is a TRIAD. Insert DIN for racket once you’ve reversed it.
23 Person from one part of Africa thus joining another  (6)
SOMALI Thus provides SO, MALI is the other part of Africa required. Another 2 into one, along the lines of 9a?
25 Caddy holds this thing golfer needs we hear  (3)
TEA Sounds like TEE, “thing a golfer needs” (not therapy, then). Apparently the two caddies are not even distantly related
26 Resolving to prevent deployment of explosives in the main?  (11)
DETERMINING  As with 9ac, the art is to make one word out of two.
27 Good monthly forecast for part of our capital (7)
MAYFAIR  “Our” capital (this is an English puzzle. For English solvers) contains the dark blue Monopoly™ property. Again, as in 9 and 26, the wordplay splits the one word and this time makes it into a laconic forecast.
28 Fine and altogether dandy ultimately — that’s how this clue comes across  (7)
FINALLY  …because it’s the last one. I’m going for F(ine) IN ALL for altogether and the (dand)Y “ultimately”.

1 Woven fabric daughter put on a screen  (6)
DAMASK  D(aughter) on A MASK or screen
2 Officer I stationed in part of Hebrides  (7)
COLONEL  I in this case is ONE, which leaves you with COLL for part of the Hebrides. Any combination of letters can be a part of the Hebrides. This, however, is your actual Coll. Jolly nice.
3 One party in court securing monarch’s respect  (9)
DEFERENCE Stick an ER for monarch into DEFENCE for the court party.
4 Part in thriller I chose that’s full of comic potential  (4)
RICH Today’s hidden:  thrilleR I CHose
5 I.e. how the US rebuilt what British set on fire  (5,5)
WHITE HOUSE  Mildly &littish, but looks so much like an anagram it’s hard to miss. IE HOW THE US the fodder. The dirty deed was during the Anglo-American war of 1812 but rather disconcertingly occurred in 1814.  Since then, “war with America” has tended to mean on the same side, and is occasionally qualified by “whatever”.
6 On-line article reflected account of year’s activities  (5)
ANNAL  The article to be reflected is AN, keeping both versions, placing them on L(ine)
7 Catch up with right associate  (7)
PARTNER  Catch here is ENTRAP, which gets reversed (“up” –  it’s a down clue). Attach R(ight)
8 Object over site of cathedral with affected modesty  (8)
DEMURELY  Yet another two words into one. DEMUR object and ELY, possibly the only cathedral site known to setters.
13 Supporter‘s complaint about new player  (10)
BENEFACTOR Complaint is BEEF, which cuddles N(ew) and waits for ACTOR to tag along and spoil the romantic moment.
15 Publicity campaign with most of capital invested in medicine perhaps (9)
PROMOTION   Not “our” capital this time but the Italians’. Because it’s short, it matters not if you spell it “our” way or theirs, Mix it into POTION, medicine.
16 Piece of data corporation childishly stated about old and versatile worker  (8)
FACTOTUM The third appearance of FACT, this time in the guise of a piece of data. TUM is a childish version of the allegedly humorous “corporation” for “belly”. You need the O from Old to complete the wordplay. For those of you with a proper education, the figure O would do just as well, by and Largo.
18 Quick to secure edge in leadership  (7)
PRIMACY  Hello again RIM, this time edge, not border, and accompanied by an enfolding PACY for fast.
19 Speech about a new breed of dog  (7)
SPANIEL  SPIEL for speech embracing A N(ew).
20 Small boat hard to find in dark  (6)
DINGHY  created by inserting H(ard) into DINGY/dark
22 Land in East as I heard from control tower?  (5)
INDIA  Land in East from “our” perspective. If you listen to control tower traffic, you’ll sooner or later discover that what you hear as India is really I. Natospeak.
24 Supporting female chairperson, in short  (4)
PROF  Now you see if you didn’t insist on gender neutral sillinesses such as chairperson, you wouldn’t have to qualify it with “female” for the lady version. Not much to do with this clue: PRO stands in for supporting, F stands in for Female, and a chairperson is whimsically a professor, reduced here as instructed to the short version.

45 comments on “Times Cryptic 26470 – July 21, 2016: Satis factory inter rim combi nations.”

  1. A pretty straightforward thing, although I biffed BERLINER from checkers and PROMOTION (LOI) from def, and only twigged post hoc. 5d rather a gimme. Nice surface to 21ac.
    So if they didn’t think he said “I’m a jam doughnut!”, why all the cheering?

    Edited at 2016-07-21 02:45 am (UTC)

    1. That was the people from Hamburg and Frankfurt looking forward to getting a mention.
  2. Just snuck under 20 minutes, though who knows what the time would have been but for that 2 minute interruption? Well, 17:43, I guess.

    If you don’t mind, Zed, keep your deconstructionism to yourself. I like the story about Kennedy (more than I like him, in fact), and don’t much appreciate having another so-called myth exploded. Next you will be telling us that Melania Trump writes her own speeches…

    Edited at 2016-07-21 02:32 am (UTC)

  3. This would have been under 20 minutes but LOI 26ac DETERMINING as I messed up on 13dn BENEFACTOR which had somehow become BENEFACSOR.

    So 24 mins in the the end but not a bad week – bar yesterday.


    Looks like 5dn is at risk once more! God bless America.

    horryd Shanghai

  4. 34 minutes, so the most difficult of the week for me so far. I didn’t understand INDIA but should have done as I was reciting the NATO alphabet only two days ago, checking that I remembered it.

    The Royal Marines are part of the Naval Service so I was puzzled by the reference to “army”. As for RM being part of the word as suggested, that would render “our” superfluous so it’d be unsatisfactory on that score.

    I can’t see DAMASK without thinking of an old revue sketch originally performed by Cicely Courtneidge but also by the American, Bea Lillie who perhaps made it more famous, which involved placing an order for “One Dozen Double Damask Dinner Napkins”. I think you had to be there at the time to appreciate this fully!

    Edited at 2016-07-21 05:42 am (UTC)

    1. I had the same misgivings on “Army”. It has to be “our”, I suppose, to get the “Royal” prefix, but if I were today’s setter I might want to set a sentry outside my door to avoid getting duffed up by the Navy boys. And that was another thing. Does one set sentries? I thought they were posted.
      1. If it had been “posted” I might have seen it in fewer than 15 minutes. I’d say “set” could just mean “ready” in this case, so fair enough, though.
  5. …with a 22-second distraction in there somewhere.

    DNK FACTOTUM but it wasn’t hard to piece together.

    Thanks setter and Z.

  6. About 50 minutes for me. From the wordplay for 2d I presumed COLL existed though hadn’t heard of it before. Otherwise everything was pretty familiar and not too esoteric. I liked the ‘fact’ clues, with FACTOTUM and BENEFACTOR as my favourites for the day.

    Thanks to setter and blogger

  7. Another bland rather easy puzzle and none of yesterday’s dunce mathematics to enliven it. The Times is having fun with 1 across at the moment. Last Sunday’s Mephisto contained a howler of a mistake as well.
  8. A rare success in my hour. It might have been 45 minutes if I’d had any idea why “field” is “entry”. Still, it only took me fifteen minutes of staring to finally come up with a word that fitted the crossers — “sundry” — and then quickly get from there to SENTRY. Odd how the mind works.

    Only one unparsed, possibly because I was trying to figure out what a LAN had to do with being online in 6d, and no complete unknowns, which is rare for me. Thanks for the workout and the elucidation!

  9. 35 mins, ANNAL and BERLINER biffed. Needed a crosser to confirm it was RICH rather than eric (morecambe) who seems to crop up regularly in crosswordland…
  10. 11:42 … easy, but I found plenty to enjoy.

    Great selection of vocab., like overheard fragments of an anecdote in some venerable gentlemen’s club … “gal from Mayfair out in India … a scent of damask rose … taking tea with some wretched Berliner when the Colonel walked in … found the spaniel hiding in the dinghy … he and his old factotum, a Somali, I believe … up for promotion … shot the Lance Corporal … sentry duty out in Trinidad …”

    I also wondered if the Royal Marines might be surprised to find themselves in the army. Not a view to venture in a dockside pub down Plymouth way.

    Z8’s “Any combination of letters can be a part of the Hebrides” should be added to the unwritten rules for solving The Times crossword.

    1. I really must go and see more of the Hebrides. I’ve spent a *lot* of time on Islay because of the excellent annual whisky festival, but never even ventured as far as Jura from there. Maybe next year I’ll do a bit of island-hopping.
      1. Sounds like the Islay whisky festival should be on my to do list, perhaps when the kids have flown the nest. I recently finished a bottle of Lagavulin and have a Laphroaig ready to take over.
    2. …but I’m afraid I was very, very drunk.

      Edited at 2016-07-21 10:09 am (UTC)

      1. Well that’s my Friday blog pre-empted. Back to the drawing board! (Unless I do a Melania…)
    1. It’s possible the only piece you’re missing might be “the main” meaning the sea. So to “deter mining” would be to prevent deployment of explosives in the sea.
        1. My apologies for not explaining the wordplay fully , and thanks to Matt and Jim for taking up the strain. Perhaps it was just that it was another in a set of very similarly structured clues.
  11. Liked 1ac, some possibilites for future clues, such as de-port, de-aler……Wasn’t aware of the RM not being army, does that mean they have admirals in charge? Flying today, 12’24”. Thanks setter and z8.
  12. Like all those of us of that age, I can’t hear Berliner without thinking of JFK’s speech. Ask not what your baker can do for you. I tentatively used aRMy to solve for RIM and found it worked. More than once! After a sluggish start, all fell in place quickly in just over 20 minutes.
    Pleasant enough puzzle.
  13. 17:50. LOI SENTRY, for which I could only think of sundry for a while. It seemed to vaguely fit with ‘He’s set’ perhaps alluding to sunset and all-comers being sundry. Thankfully I saw sense and gave it some more thought.

    Curious to see both MALEFACTION and BENEFACTOR today.

  14. Initially thought that was quite slow but not so sure now….

    Particular likes were 9 and 26, but enjoyed it all. Which may well be due to actually finishing for the first time this week!

  15. 11m. Steady solve, held up at the end by 6dn. I wasn’t quite sure what an ANNAL is so wanted the wordplay to confirm it, and it took a while to see it. Clever.
  16. Very easy (31:37) with INDIA being the only clue I didn’t understand until I came here, but I did like a number of the whimsical clues (lance CORPORAL, MAY FAIR, factoTUM and even MALEFACTION).

    Edited at 2016-07-21 11:35 am (UTC)

  17. As I said to ulaca earlier, I always thought ‘ein berliner’ was a sausage.
    …And why ISN’T there an island called MAFNIDIA?!
    44m 24s
  18. Not so easy for me at 16:15. I had most trouble in the NE corner where the triplicate nature of 5a had me confused and the wordplay for what had to be annal eluded me.
  19. A reasonable solve of around an hour despite a couple of interruptions. I was pleased to finish as I got really stuck on the SW quadrant having romped away with the rest. Just as I was about to resort to aids I saw India and Mayfair and the rest just dropped into place. Last one in was benefactor despite the fact that I was looking for beef almost from the start. I enjoyed 1 ac.
  20. A PB of 15:20 for me. Must have been inspired by the sea air on a trip round Chichester Harbour yesterday:-) All parsed as well! Enjoyed this one. I spend a week on Coll regularly, so that was a write in.
  21. 38 minutes.

    I was convinced it was girls, not boys, behaving badly in 9 across, leading to MIS-Something. But no. It’s always the boys, isn’t it? *Tch!*

  22. A fully alert 9 mins. I had an even busier day than usual so I was glad to come home to a “right wavelength” and relatively straightforward puzzle. It was almost a top to bottom solve and I finished with DETERMINING after PROF.
  23. Late in the day, so wine not coffee, 23 minutes while watching thick Pointless Celebs, SW corner went in last, nothing special to say. Well, no, I liked TRINIDAD having flirted with the NID MAFIA idea too.
  24. Well, I did have a top to bottom, left to right solve, something under 15 minutes, but I don’t time these with any attempt at exactitude. LOI was FINALLY, which was also the clue that made me smile. The rest was pleasant, but nothing too exciting. Not a complaint, mind you. Thanks setter and z. Regards.
    1. This took me about four hours and I had to cheat an enormous amount to do it as quickly as THAT. Perhaps I should stop doing the Times Crossword altogether as it is taking up more and more of my life as the week goes on. If I cultivated another addiction, like heroin, I could achieve a much more persuasive form of elation more quickly
  25. 8:24 for me – not a disaster, but I feel I should have been quite bit faster (I could almost hear the cogs in my brain grinding as I tried to engage them).

    Another pleasant, straightforward solve. I was prepared to believe that the Marines were part of the army, so wasn’t unduly fazed by 10ac.

  26. Almost a PB for me at 17min. This alone would cheer me somewhat, but I am even cheereder to note that this is just a whisker over 2 Severs, which I doubt I’ve achieved before.

    Of course I am also a day (or is it two, now?) behind but, given the age of the universe, a 48 hour delay is well within statistical error.

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