Times Cryptic 26507

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
This was an emergency blog thrown together in about 30 minutes so please forgive any errors, but let me know if you spot any so I can correct them. The actual solving took me around 45 minutes and I felt I was struggling at times, particularly in the early stages before things started to flow a bit. Here’s my blog…

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

1 Flag by the end of gloomy game (9)
BLACKJACK – BLACK (gloomy), JACK (flag)
6 Baby’s pram initially covered in dirt (5)
SPOIL – P{ram} [initially] covered in SOIL (dirt). I had planned to come back and explain this further but it has now been covered in the comments below.
9 Smaller than some European articles (5)
UNDER – UN (European article #1), DER (European article #2)
10 In court rejected second apparent objection (9)
COMPLAINT – CT (court) contains MO (second) [reversed] + PLAIN (apparent)
11 Order device primarily used in more precise navigational aid (9-6)
DIRECTION-FINDER – DIRECTION (order) then D{evice} [primarily] inside FINER (more precise)
13 Sweets moved about near lips (8)
PRALINES – Anagram [moved about] of NEAR LIPS
14 Line on chauffeur’s pants (6)
DRIVEL – DRIVE (chauffeur – vb), L (line)
16 Escape from work after striking (6)
OUTRUN – OUT (striking), RUN (work). I had an error here when I stopped the timer as I could only think of “output” which didn’t quite work. On a further look OUTRUN fitted the wordplay but I wasn’t sure of the definition, however Collins has it as 2: to escape from by or as if by running
18 Stays keen about county overlooked by daughter (8)
CORSETRY – CRY (keen – wail) about {d}ORSET (county) [overlooked by daughter]. One for Jimbo (the County that is)!
21 I enjoy discussing actions investor misconstrued (15)
23 One not heartless describing member with unpleasant rash (9)
IMPRUDENT – I (one), MP (member), RUDE (unpleasant), N{o}T [heartless]
25 Retired military commander caught shoplifting, say (5)
CRIME – EMIR (military commander) + C (caught) reversed [retired]
26 Throw out old coat shortly (5)
EXPEL – EX (old), PEL{t} (coat) [shortly]
27 First class work following conclusion of trial in tense case (3,6)
TOP FLIGHT – OP (work) + F (following), {tria}L [conclusion] inside TIGHT (tense). “In…case” is the containment indicator.
1 Sure United will be involved in tie (5)
BOUND – U (united) involved in BOND (tie)
2 Berkshire village an old master portrayed originally (11)
ALDERMASTON – Anagram [portrayed originally] of AN OLD MASTER. Famous as the destination of CND Ban-the-Bomb marches in the 1950s.
3 Turkish capital left by first couple meeting Greek character in port (7)
KARACHI – {an}KARA (Turkish capital) [minus first couple],  CHI (Greek character)
4 Records in waste briefly turning up outside busy place (8)
ARCHIVES – SCRA{p} (waste) [briefly] reversed [turning up] outside HIVE (busy place)
5 Stunner goes round one day in exotic dress (6)
KIMONO – KO (stunner – knockout) goes round I (one) + MON (day)
6 Officer perhaps flogged strapping individual losing head (7)
SOLDIER – SOLD (flogged), {t}IER (strapping fellow – one who ties, geddit?)
7 Witchcraft portrayed by Holbein regularly (3)
OBI – Alternate letters of [portrayed by…regularly] {h}O{l}B{e}I{n}
8 Best, but not the first, meeting, strictly speaking (9)
LITERALLY – {e}LITE (best) [but not first], RALLY (meeting)
12 Joining party in poor health after check (11)
DOVETAILING – DO (party), VET (check), AILING (in poor health)
13 Condemn act of piracy in plain language (9)
PROSCRIBE – CRIB (act of piracy) in PROSE (plain language)
15 Impression of Oxford? Once Labour leader’s flipping favourite (8)
FOOTSTEP – FOOT’S (once Labour leader’s), PET (favourite) reversed [flipping]. “Oxford” being a type of shoe.
17 Out of tune, qualitatively different (7)
UNEQUAL – Hidden in [out of] {tun}E QUAL{itatively}
19 After treatment, lots going about in charge of a patient (7)
STOICAL – Anagram [after treatment] of LOTS going about IC (in charge of) + A
20 Expression when kissed reportedly (6)
ASPECT – AS (when), sounds like [reportedly] “pecked” (kissed). In the sense of appearance, countenance, look etc.
22 In races need minute to send messages (5)
TWEET – WEE (minute) inside TT (races – Tourist Trophy)
24 Just defeat leaders of parties in poll (3)
PIP – First letters [leaders] of P{arties} I{n} P{oll}

60 comments on “Times Cryptic 26507”

  1. Thanks jack, I look forward to later editions. I particularly enjoyed 18ac. Suspect overseas solvers may find 2d a bit challenging. 23′ today.
  2. Well done Jack for stepping into the breach.
    34 minutes for me today.
    About the only thing I know about ALDERMASTON is the CND marches that took place in the ’50s. Other than that, it’s a pretty obscure town for an answer.
    Someone will I’ve no doubt explain why SPOIL=baby?
    1. If you “baby” someone – treat them like a baby – you could be said to “spoil” them.
      1. Yup, that was my reasoning. I’m starting to get the hang of double-checking whether something I’m assuming is a noun is actually a verb and vice versa, when stuck.
  3. I don’t know whether to be glad or not that this emergency blog emerged later in the day! On the plus side, it did mean that I pressed on with my tooth-pulling and finally finished the thing, but on the minus side, it did mean that I pressed on with my tooth-pulling and finally finished the thing.

    I think my brain’s always-temperamental thesaurus engine threw a piston before I started this one, and it just seemed like an unrewarding struggle from start to finish–after about one and a half hours–today. Ah well. I think, on balance, I’m glad I pushed on. I’ve been wondering if my self-imposed time limit means that I’m not getting enough practice at the clues I find hardest.

    Thanks for the blog. I may have to come back later and check a few of my unparsed ones, like identifying how my LOI, ASPECT, means “expression”…

  4. After a day off yesterday to see a man about a car, I was slow today. Finished in just under the hour and can’t see why I took so long, since I decided that SPOIL was baby straightaway. Liked CORSETRY, something I wouldn’t have said as a younger man! I can still see Canon Collins and Bertrand Russell on the march.
  5. Yep, ALDERMASTON was a challenge for this solver, but there wasn’t much doubt once the checkers were in place.

    Not sure how I knew PRALINES. I’m sure I’ve never heard of them, but the word went straight in from the anagrist, so it must have existed somewhere in the dusty depths of my consciousness.

    Thanks setter and Jack. Nice blog at short notice.

    And yet again I’m reminded that Verlaine’s life is far more interesting than mine.

    1. Verlaine’s interesting life?

      Trapped in Wales? I wonder what V was caught doing?

      I spent my honeymoon at Loggerheads in North Wales (yes, really). It was an omen.

  6. I didn’t think I would creep in under 20 minutes when the bottom half was full but the top nearly empty. My inner pedant wasn’t entirely happy with UNDER=SMALLER THAN and ‘overlooked by daughter’ meaning remove the D. If I had an inner prude he would not have liked 23ac!
  7. 22:58. The clue for LITERALLY, ‘strictly speaking’ reminded me of hearing quite recently that the dictionary now includes the common use of literally to mean ‘not literally’. As in ‘the Tottenham striker is literally on fire’. That’s progress for you.
  8. On song over 18 minutes with this one, possibly as a consequence of actually being awake! Aldermaston went in with a touch of “so it’s a real village as well then?”
    There were a few definitions that only looked a bit dodgy when I actually thought about them: baby/SPOIL, expression/ASPECT and of course pants/DRIVEL: it seems after a short break pants has returned and can mean almost anything with a negative connotation. I don’t really expect to find Drivel: pants in the thesaurus any time soon and as a definition I think it’s a bit pa… shoddy.
    1. Both Chambers and ODO have it only as a noun meaning ‘nonsense’ and ‘rubbish’, while Collins has it only as an adjective meaning ‘inferior’. Go, as they say, figure.
      1. ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’
        ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’
  9. 19.05. A little surprised by conversationist without the al. ‘Gloomy game’ apt if not meant for blackjack – prefer poker.
    1. That seems correct. It would be wrong to make the adjective (conversational) into the noun. Horticulturist is another that is commonly written/said wrongly as horticulturalist
  10. Not so much 1ac BLACKJACK as WHITEJACK with Verlaine off the radar. The naughty chair awaits!

    2dn ALDERMASTON was FOI LOI SOLDIER -strapping = TIER! rotten clue! So was 6ac SPOIL!

    13ac PRALINE CRACKNEL was one of the BLACK MAGIC chocolates – plenty en Paris.

    23ac IMPATIENT had to become IMPRUDENT as 17dn was UNEQUAL.

    45 minutes of Friday fun.

    COD 18ac CORSETRY even though somewhat tortuous.

    horryd Shanghai

  11. Well done, Jack! We should all give V a spanking but I suspect he would enjoy it too much. 48 minutes here, with CORSETRY last.

    ALDERMASTON, which pops up quite a bit, I think, always reminds me of Bertrand Russell, who in turn always reminds me of impenetrable mathematics.

  12. This is my idea of a standard cryptic – average difficulty with nothing too obscure. So, well done to the setter. FOI 21 LOI 20. No brilliant clues but I liked 23, 3, 5, 12, and good misdirection at 6ac, 18, 23, 15, 19.

    Edited at 2016-09-02 10:31 am (UTC)

  13. 10m. I had a couple of queries with this:
    > IC for ‘in charge of’ rather than ‘in charge’
    > ‘Condemn’ for PROSCRIBE
    But both are in Collins.
    Thanks for stepping into the breach, jackkt!

    Edited at 2016-09-02 09:34 am (UTC)

    1. Okay, I’ve changed “in charge” to “in charge of” as I can’t see another way of accounting for the extra word.

      Two of the usual sources give i/c solely as “in charge” but Collins adds (of) as an alternative.

      Looking it up has brought home to me that I didn’t know it required a forward slash (I forget its posh name) between its component letters, but then it also occurred to me that I doubt I have ever come across the abbreviation outside crossword puzzles and I wonder in exactly what context one might use it in the real world.

      1. It’s pretty common in my experience in sporting contexts (both at school and in clubs), as in i/c nets, i/c games.
  14. 25:23 with interruptions. Sitting in rural Berkshire, I was a bit thrown by the village but given the length of the answer and it being an almost-homophone helped. Much biffing and/or sticking in from crossers so thanks for the emergency blog Jack. A bit concerned that Verlaine will use his unexpected absence this week to blog twice as much next week.

    Edited at 2016-09-02 11:01 am (UTC)

    1. I think I can see the start forming through the mists:

      ‘For those unfamiliar with the Eisteddfodic myths of the Gwynneth Peninsular, or those who have not trod upon the sods pressed upon of yore by the Latian legions heading back from a benighted placed they called Sanctum Caput, rendered in Albion as Holyhead, …’

  15. The top half of this one seemed to fly in, then I had a short barren spell before finishing at a canter in 27 minutes with LOI CRIME. My FOI was nominally OBI, except I didn’t know that meaning, and didn’t write it in until I had the crossers. Like Joe I raised an eyebrow at CONVERSATIONIST without the AL. FOOTSTEP raised a smile. Another enjoyable solve, so thanks setter, and to Jack for the Emergency Blog.
  16. Thanks, jackkt for an enlightening blog. I biffed many but thanks to you, I now understand what I biffed. I did like 11ac -DIRECTION FINDER. I was looking for an anagram for quite a while. True Solving Time 37m 56s.
  17. Thanks for the blog. About 30 mins for me after almost completely blank first sweep. I just found this irritating. But that was probably because of the couple near me on the train telling lies about life in the UK to their Japanese tourist friends.
  18. About an hour for this one which was a bit harder than yesterday’s and which, maybe as a result, I enjoyed more. Helpful wordplay for some unfamiliar terms / places, eg 2d, but also some quite difficult parsing, eg 11a. I know ‘Stays…’ is a bit of a chestnut, but CORSETRY was still my COD and I liked the ‘… unpleasant rash’ misdirection for IMPRUDENT. Didn’t know that ‘pants’ could mean DRIVEL. The not so easy OUTRUN was my last in.

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

  19. Struggled quite a bit but finished with only one error (output) knowing it didn’t really work but past caring. Thanks very much for the blog which explained to me those which went in mainly on checkers and definitions. Loved corsetry which was one of my first in. About an hour and a quarter in all.
  20. 22 mins. I started off slowly and CRIME was my FOI. I continued to struggle and then lost concentration badly with less than half of the puzzle completed. When I finally snapped out of my lethargy I finished the rest of the puzzle quite quickly so I may have been able to post a decent time had I been alert for the whole solve. Count me as another whose LOI was OUTRUN, in my case after PROSCRIBE. Before my brain re-engaged I was another who thought 11ac was going to be an anagram of “device primarily”, and I had also been suckered by the setter into thinking that the “portrayed originally” element of 2dn was telling me to use the letter P somewhere before the penny dropped.
  21. Took me about 35 minutes in two sittings, ending with SPOIL, which I finally saw after my brain turned on. When Verlaine describes himself as unable to blog in the AM because he’s ‘trapped in Wales’, I sympathise. I too have been ‘trapped in Wales’ on some mornings, and will probably be so tomorrow, as it’s the start of a long holiday weekend in the US. Regards to all, and thanks to Jack.
  22. I feel Wales is getting a bad press – thanks to Verlaine. Lovely day today and a wonderful place to be trapped in. In fact, some of us never want to leave. Enjoyable puzzle. Slowish but steady 36 minute solve. LOI ALDERMASTON in spite having walked from there to Hyde Park on more than one occasion. Ann
  23. All correct while on the plane from Boston to San Francisco. WiFi on board improves plane journeys. The crossword was not available (too early) when I left Boston.

    When I came here yesterday, everything since August 1st had vanished and I got a TLS crossword from then, but nothing more recent. It wasn’t a plane thing either, it was the same when I arrived home. When I saw “emergency blog” I assumed it was something to do with that, not a “detained in Wales” problem.

  24. Thirty-five minutes for me, and I thought it an excellent puzzle. Like some others, I was surprised by CONVERSATIONIST, and wasn’t happy with PROSCRIBE meaning “condemn”, but then again one can’t expect to be happy all the time. Thanks to Star Wars for 7d.
  25. 42 minutes, a surprisingly straightforward puzzle (or maybe I’m slowly getting better). Didn’t know the meaning of OBI, but it was clear from the wordplay. LOI was CORSETRY, which with DOVETAILING was one of the better clues. But there was nothing really outstanding in this puzzle.

    By the way, how does everyone know that Verlaine is detained in Wales? (Oh, I see, now that I’ve clicked on “previous entry”. My sister-in-law rang to say that she’d just returned from Wales, so it’s not actually covered in quicksand or anything like that.)

    Edited at 2016-09-02 10:24 pm (UTC)

  26. 11:37 for this pleasant, straightforward puzzle after a slow start.

    I wasted some time trying to remember what Turkey’s currency was (it turns out I didn’t know it anyway, assuming that wikipedia is right about the “Turkish lira”) and was slightly annoyed to find I should have been looking for another sort of capital which I knew perfectly well.

  27. I quite enjoyed this when I finally got around to it – 11 minutes odd (clearly I’m only slowly getting back into the swing of things after 2 weeks away). On the other hand I don’t think I would have had a million things to say about it, other than that it was acceptably if not overwhelmingly witty and devious; so I don’t think we lost out much from it falling to emergency blogging status. Thanks again for going once more into the breach dear jackkt. Hopefully I can return to the fray much refreshed next Friday.

    Edited at 2016-09-03 09:35 pm (UTC)

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