Times Cryptic 26510

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
I completed all but 4dn, 18ac and 21dn in 28 minutes but then had a mental block and needed that time again to come up with the remaining answers, finally resorting to aids for 21dn. I’m still wondering whether to cry “foul!” over that one as both ways into the clue require specialist knowledge of the same subject. For Shakespeare scholars it would probably be a write-in but lesser mortals have to take their chance. I reached the point where I didn’t care any more and just wanted to move on.  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 In winter covering simple game absorbs silly cow (7)
SNOWCAP – SNAP (simple game) contains [absorbs] anagram [silly] of COW
5 Epic call to the States that’s endless (7)
HOMERIC – HO (call), {a}MERIC{a} (the States) [endless]
9 Stupid not to have opening near the tail (3)
AFT – {d}AFT (stupid) [not to have opening]. A bit of a loose definition here, I feel, as “aft” specifically refers to the stern of a ship which would never in any circumstances be called “the tail”, so one has to go via another word such as “back” or “rear” to match the definition with the answer. On edit: Thanks to mct for pointing out that “aft” also applies to aeroplanes so “tail” is fine. I should have checked before sounding off because SOED has: Nautical & Aeronautics. In or near or to or towards the stern or tail.
10 Holding off briefly, go on green traffic signal, and make to race away (3,2,6)
PUT TO FLIGHT – PUTT (go on green – golf), OF{f} [briefly],  LIGHT (traffic signal)
11 Ship that is carrying good clothing (8)
LINGERIE – LINER (ship), containing [carrying] G (good), IE (that is – id est)
12 Debrief of work in restaurant (4-2)
WASH-UP –  Two meanings. I learned the first one quite late in my working life along with many other unnecessary modernisms that people sling around to make themselves feel trendy and with-it.
15 Despicable type, little open to love? (4)
TOAD – TAD (little) contains [open to] 0 (love)
16 Those labouring on jumbo maybe bought drinks and boasted after finally finishing (6,4)
GROUND CREW – {finishin}G [finally], ROUND (bought drinks – drinks that have been bought),  CREW (boasted). In terms of air travel as indicated by “on jumbo” one might be more likely to think of cabin crew or pilot officers, but of course the ground crew work on a plane in another sense and get it ready for take-off.
18 Holy Office is impertinent but no end weird (10)
PRIESTHOOD – PRIES (is impertinent), THO’ (but), OD{d} (weird) [no end]
19 The legend of Hop-o’-my-Thumb (4)
MYTH – Hidden in [of] {hop-o’-}MY-TH{umb}
22 Abscond, so busy with one’s feet? (3,3)
RUN OFF –  If one is so busy one might be said to be “run off one’s feet”
23 Man with pasturage rights is our age, almost (8)
COMMONER – COMMON ER{a} (our age) [almost]
25 Don’t address David familiarly, we are told, and don’t give up (5,3,3)
NEVER SAY DIE –  DIE sounds like [we are told] “Dai”, a familiar form of David in some parts
27 School leavers’ destination? One to France, one to Rome once (3)
UNI – UN (one, to France), I (one, to Rome once).  “Yew-knee” – a ghastly modernism for “university”. In my less tolerant moments I am tempted to think that anyone who calls it this should not be permitted to attend one.
28 Mine’s best chance to refuel (3,4)
PIT STOP – PIT’ S (mine’s), TOP (best)
29 Determination to have another go at puzzle? (7)
RESOLVE – Two meanings with the second one pronounced “re-solve”
1 Bulb very bright at last across room (7)
SHALLOT – SO (very) + {brigh}T [at last] contains [across] HALL (room)
2 Showing off nine tattoos newly created (11)
OSTENTATION – Anagram [newly created] of NINE TATTOOS
3 Manager retains power element (6)
COPPER – COPER (manager) contains [retains] P (power)
4 Right attitude turns up in irregular style of government (10)
PATRIARCHY – R (right) + AIR (attitude) reversed [turns up] in PATCHY (irregular)
5 Trap / pirate chief (4)
HOOK – Two definitions. The pirate Captain in Peter Pan.
6 Non-English dinners should include fat birds (8)
MALLARDS – M{e}ALS (dinners) [non-English] contains [should include] LARD (fat)
7 Scrap / paper (3)
RAG – Two definitions
8 Relish getting out the fifth answer with tool (4-3)
CATS-PAW – CATS{u}P (relish) [getting out the fifth – letter], A (answer), W (with). “Catsup” as a variation  of “catchup” or “ketchup” is a new one on me, although I see it has been mentioned here in despatches a couple of times without actually  appearing as an answer. According to one of the usual sources it’s principally an American term. It sounds somewhat unappetising to me as I’m aware of “cat up” as a dialect expression meaning to vomit.
13 Poppy for one gives a regularly-produced poetry book? (5,6)
HARDY ANNUAL – A definition by example and a cryptic hint with reference to the writer Thomas HARDY plus ANNUAL (regularly-produced book). Wiki advises that Hardy considered himself principally as a poet although I only know of him as a novelist.
14 Not acceptable to be shot stealing old car (3,2,5)
OUT OF ORDER – OUTER (shot) containing [stealing] O (old) + FORD (car). An “outer” is a shot in archery and other target sports which hits the outer circle of the bull’s-eye.
17 Approving being in a comedy sketch is to invite trouble (3,3,2)
ASK FOR IT – A, FOR (approving) in SKIT (comedy sketch)
18 Briefly trim and lightly cut vegetable (7)
PARSNIP – PAR{e} (trim) [briefly], SNIP (lightly cut)
20 She’s admired a couple of drugs (7)
HEROINE – HEROIN (drug #1), E (drug #2)
21 Shakespearean Lord’s appearance in first word of his play (6)
AMIENS – MIEN (appearance) in AS (first word of his play – with “his” referring back to the Shakespearean Lord). I don’t like this clue at all as both ways in require more than a passing knowledge of the same subject. There must be hundreds of Lords in Shakespeare so the most likely route to the answer is by recognising the name from enumeration and checking letters if one happens to know of Lord Amiens in the first place, which I didn’t. The wordplay which ought to provide an alternative route to the answer is decidedly unhelpful as MIEN for “appearance” is not among the synonyms that spring most readily to mind and “first word of his play” is almost useles with its significance only becoming fully apparent in retrospect. It turns out that the work in which the good Lord appears is “As You Like It”, and anyone wondering (as I did) whether the first word of a play is quite the same thing as the first word of the title of a play can be reassured that our setter has both angles covered because the first word spoken in  “As You Like It”  actually is “As”.
24 Buzzer made little noise? (4)
WASP – WAS P (made little noise – P, quiet in music)
26 Tank is huge, not small (3)
VAT – VA{s}T (huge) [not small]

73 comments on “Times Cryptic 26510”

  1. For reasons Jack’s mapped out in meticulous fashion, AMIENS proved my Achilles heel. The play’s not in my WS repertoire, so I knew neither the character nor the significance of AS. Not helped by COMMONER being my LOI.

    Otherwise, I liked this puzzle a great deal, even if it required getting through the second half of a pot of coffee.

    AFT (9ac) also applies to aeroplanes, so “near the tail” is OK??

    On edit: meant to say, I’m with Jack on “yew-knee” and have moaned about it here before. Mind yew, the swanky-chinless “varsity” is just as bad for different reasons. This is one area where I’m with the Americans who tend to use the more humble word “school”.

    Edited at 2016-09-06 12:07 am (UTC)

    1. Thanks mct for pointing that out and I have amended the blog for AFT accordingly.

      By coincidence (or had you already seen it for yourself?)”varsity” turns up in one of today’s QC clues?

      In my day (or at least in the circles I mixed) in everyday speech we tended to talk about “college” if we wanted to save on the syllables.

      Edited at 2016-09-06 04:22 am (UTC)

    2. When I was at Otago university, we had several sides in the local club rugby competition, Varsity A, Varsity B … etc. I would like to be there when you repeat your comment to the several All Blacks in the A side, including one used by the ABs as the enforcer in the forwards!
  2. FOI 21dn AMIENS – couldn’t do the rest.

    That my Galspray Golf career over!

    Might 15ac be TWAT!?

    horryd Shnghai

    1. Ditto. Ditto.
      I would have been 5 under par on the Galspray Golf handicapping method (move over Duckworth-Lewis) if it hadn’t been for pesky 21D for which I had IMBEDS: “I’m Bedfordshire” (a little known Shakespearean lord)
      I’m comfortable with UNI – like it or not it’s now in common parlance, so just grin and bear it.
  3. DNF since I had no idea about AMIENS and I wasn’t going to get it by thinking a bit harder. But I found a lot of the rest pretty hard too, one of those crosswords where you end up with a few disconnected unsolved clues rather than a corner that a single moment of inspiration can break and you just fill them all in.

    I’m surprised anyone’s FOI was AMIENS with no checkers. I couldn’t do it with them all. Although I think it is joke.

    Edited at 2016-09-06 01:48 am (UTC)

  4. My final putt on the last (AMIENS) just lipped out, so I finished one over par in pretty tough conditions. That’s one under for the tournament.

    Not sure anyone I know says the entire word “university”. What a waste of syllables! But then I’m from a different place.

    Some sympathy for those griping about AMIENS, but as I’m unfamiliar with the play and still managed to solve it, I think I’ll make it COD.

    Thanks setter and Jack.

    Edited at 2016-09-06 02:03 am (UTC)

      1. No, you drop a shot for going over par, and for each two minutes after that.

        So you were one over today. Sorry.

          1. No, that’s one under. It’s a stroke per minute under par, and a stroke per two minutes over par. That’s to reflect what we said yesterday about there being greater variation on the high side.

            If you didn’t stop for that sip of coffee you’d have been two under.

            And you were two over today, so one over for the tournament. Still well and truly in the hunt, given the near certainty of Ulaca having a massive choke when the pressure is on.

            1. Righto. It’s very technical this crossword solving, isn’t it? No more coffee while solving for me.
  5. Another one held up by AMIENS (which was at least possible from the wordplay) and finished in almost exactly an hour. Quite a few with tricky parsing such as 10a. Guilty as charged for using the “ghastly modernism” at 27a, but even worse I was allowed to attend one despite this. By the way I don’t know if a term really still is a “modernism” if it’s been around for 40+ years, at least where I come from.

    Thanks to setter and blogger

  6. LOI none other than, although I knew the Lord (thought he was in LLL, though). I only got it when I got the M of COMMONER–my 2d to LOI–and finally thought of MIEN. Definitely a TLS clue that lost its way. I wasted all kinds of semi-precious minutes thinking the couple of drugs were H and E, and trying to come up with a woman’s name to fill in the space between. Happy to say that I DNK WASH-UP in the ‘debrief’ sense. I imagine I acquired ‘uni’ from Galspray’s fellow-citizens, but I’ve been using it (in writing) for years now, so there.
  7. Another AMIENS DNF, but I was otherwise wired in and so liked this one.
    The recent uni grads (after today I’m tempted to think of them as aft toads) in my office made me all too familiar with WASH-UP,
    Thanks for the blog, and especially for the clear discussion of the Amiens problem, Jack.
  8. 21’11”, so 8 under for my round to go 5 under for the week. McIlroyesque? Yes, probably Augusta 2011…

    15 mins for all bar 21 and 23, so could have been the crossword equivalent of a 62 at the Majors.

    Another who got AMIENS from the wordplay, since, though I’ve read around 25 of Shakespeare’s plays, I can never remember character names, unless they are Becky Sharp, and she’s not even in the canon.

  9. Loved 21d when I finally saw it (after several minutes of staring blankly, putting me well over the 10 minute mark) but then I am a TLS puzzle blogger. As You Like It, along with The Winter’s Tale, is a notable gap in my Shakespeare knowledge – I wonder if the clue would have provoked quite so much exasperation if it had been from the A-list of the Bard’s works (Hamlet, Macbeth, Lear, R&J, MND, Twelfth Night perhaps? Though I’m sure such a canon is very arguable).

    And 13d was almost as TLSy. Of course Hardy would rather have been a novelist, but the critical savaging of his work was such that he went off in a huff and just wrote poetry for the last few decades of his life, or at least that’s how I seem to remember it.

    1. In former times, AYLI was definitely on the Times crossword A-list, and you needed a fair knowledge of The Winter’s Tale as well. However, the most conspicuous absentee from your list is Julius Caesar, a regular source of quotations, with Othello and Richard II also strong contenders. Happy days.

      PS. There’s a school of thought (to which I incline) that Hardy’s poems are better than his novels. At any rate I’m prepared to recite The Choirmaster’s Burial and/or Lizbie Brown at you from memory should you drop a hat.

      Edited at 2016-09-06 10:59 pm (UTC)

      1. I’ll bring a hat in October then!

        I was thinking (in a muddled fashion) more of plays that I might reasonably expect a youngster to have some acquaintance with these days. Much as we all love JC I can’t remember it having made an appearance in popular culture for years, whereas you still get, e.g. R&J films starring Leo di Caprio, Hamlet with David Tennant, Midsummer Night’s Dream done for TV by Russell T Davies, etc. AYLI and Winter’s Tale just feel way off that radar at this point, for better or worse…

  10. 30 minutes, almost all of them for AMIENS, which probably counts as a lost ball (and no spares) in the new scheme of things. I reasoned that Lord EMBERS was more likely to be Wodehouse, Lords SMEEKS and UMBELS Dickens (and very unlikely first words) and Lord EMMETS Daphne du Maurier (“Emmets” said Mary as the London Coach trundled by. “What can you do?”). I was partly waylaid by the notion that the required Lord would appear within the first word, which is how I read the clue, but couldn’t think how anything in iambic thingies could start with the word “remembers”. Definitely a refugee from the tougher (but highly entertaining) reaches of the TLS, where it would have been greeted with a round of applause.
    The rest of the grid was fine, with a tip of the hat to the ANNUAL
  11. Unoriginally, 8 minutes for everything except amiens/commoner. Then 10 minutes of staring before throwing in the towel.

    I’m getting annoyed with being caught out by ‘common era’ every time it comes up, so I’m writing ‘common era’ here twice in the hope it will stick. In fact, I’ll write it again. Common era.

    As for Lord Amiens … I’m also a TLS blogger but have admitted that, like a good Swiss cheese, my Shakespeare is mostly holes. I love Shakespeare’s writing but don’t much like his plays (bit long, bit silly), and have only lately stopped pretending I do.

    I was going to gripe about the clue but as others got it without knowing the references I suppose there’s no excuse.

    p.s. jackkt, your entry for AMIENS is a little masterpiece. Thank you.

    Edited at 2016-09-06 07:21 am (UTC)

    1. You’re in tollerably good company, as the author of the, um, bit long and bit silly Lord of the Rings didn’t care for the plays either.
      1. Yes, but he (probably) thought little of all the modern rubbish produced once the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle closed down..
        1. Indeed, he fought a rearguard action, with Lewis, to keep Old English on the English syllabus and cut it off at 1820, as I recall. I think it stayed that way till the Second War.
    2. Thank you, sotira. I really appreciate your p.s. and I’m glad that my entry appears to make some sort of sense. I had had feared when constructing it that it might not to anyone but me.
    3. Do you like the Sonnets, Sotira? ‘Two Loves I Have’ is a book on them you may be interested to have a look at if so.
  12. Like our blogger I decided that I wasn’t going to get AMIENS. A little embarrassed by this public display of wimpishness but I would probably still be staring at the grid otherwise. 13.49 for the rest and I abandoned ship two minutes later.
  13. I’m actually quite glad that I got stuck on the NW corner — took me far too long to work out OSTENTATION, even though I saw it was an anagram from the start — and didn’t make it back to my one left elsewhere, as I would never have got to AMIENS.

    Ah well. As someone who spent most of his education learning about computers, I do have to accept that there will occasionally be more classical heights of Times puzzles that I won’t be reaching…

    (Loved 24a, by the way…)

    Edited at 2016-09-06 07:30 am (UTC)

  14. My knowledge of Shakespeare’s plays is derived solely and entirely from crosswords (oh, and watching “Shakespeare in Love”) .. none of which have ever previously mentioned Lord 21dn, so far as I recall. Nevertheless I did manage to solve it, once “mien” surfaced. There are precious few alternatives to pick from, in fact.
    There are a couple of very slick clues here to make up for it, such as 20dn and 23ac

    Edited at 2016-09-06 08:03 am (UTC)

  15. Penultimate one in COMMONER. Last one never put in AMIENS although perhaps I should have seen it from the wordplay. We did As You Like It in school but even the estimable Peg Leg Wakefield’s teaching skills didn’t enable me to carry the memory of LORD AMIENS through the succeeding fifty-six years. 50 minutes until I did say DIE. COD HARDY ANNUAL, which would be a worthy rival to the Bumper Fun Book. Biffed CATS PAW. I’ve heard of the tool but never CATSUP. But then I link the decline of the country with ketchup replacing HP Sauce.

    Edited at 2016-09-06 08:33 am (UTC)

  16. 16:56. COD to AMIENS because I got it! Although it was my LOI it jumped out fairly quickly. On another day I could have stared at it for ages and came up blank, as I did for VINEGARISH yesterday.
  17. 17’15”, with doffing of cap to several aforementioned clues, and LOI AMIENS, solely from checkers and the lovely word mien. I have read and studied As You Like It. I have written essays and answered exam questions on the play. I have acted out several scenes, and I have seen two RSC productions. I had never heard of Lord Amiens though. He is just one of those attendant Lords, fit to swell a scene or two. According to Wikipedia “Amiens does not, in any way, contribute to the action of the play. He does however sing two songs that allude to and perhaps clarify the plot.”

    AYLI is a marvellous play. At one point Rosalind is pretending to be Ganymede, who is pretending to be Rosalind, pretending to be Ganymede…and of course the actor would have been male. See it if you can. Thanks jack and setter

    Edited at 2016-09-06 10:04 am (UTC)

  18. The only Shakespeare play I have read is The Tempest, which I did for O Level English, but I somehow managed to piece 21d together without even having the M crosser. MIEN just sprang to mind as I tried to think of a 3 or 4 letter word for appearance. I had no idea which play he came from and chose AS rather than Is for the first word as it looked more likely. In fact AMIENS gave me the M to complete my penultimate, COMMONER! My LOI was TOAD and FOI AFT. PUT TO FLIGHT and CATS-PAW went in with a vague nod to the wordplay, but no detailed dissection, so thanks to Jack for the full explanations. I didn’t know the debrief meaning of 12a but it didn’t seem unlikely. A lot of excellent clues here and this one kept me busy for 37 minutes.
  19. Overall I enjoyed this and completed it at a steady pace within 45 minutes except, of course, for 21 down. Did loads of Shakespeare at school and seem to recall As You Like It was a GCE text but no recollection of the relevant Lord even after coming to the blog to put me out of my misery. Thanks very much for that.
  20. 15m. I seem to have got lucky with AMIENS: I certainly didn’t remember the character but derived it from look = MIEN, thinking ‘there must be a Lord AMIENS in As You Like It. I am far less upset by the clue than I am by the mention of Shakespeare and that godawful writer of stupid books about imaginary creatures in the same sentence.
    The ‘debrief’ meaning of 12ac rang a bell, but it was so faint that I didn’t dare put it in until I had all the checkers. I wonder if it has appeared in one of these puzzles at some point. CATS PAW didn’t ring even the faintest of bells.
    1. Well, Lewis put Ariosto and that god… in the same sentence and on the same level. Probably the most embarrassing thing he ever did, but he was a faithful friend.
  21. Shakespeare at school brings back memories of sadistic teachers. Anyone remember “Horace” at Farnworth Grammar? – wow, you had to behave. I like the combination of 6d and 18d and wonder if the local Cafe Rouge could add to their menu; it might be an improvement. Good week so far completing two days running which, as a QCer, is pretty good for me. I could propose a new scoring approach on how many glasses of wine are allowed based on accuracy and speed but I’d probably end up TT
  22. Glad to get through this, with Amiens the last in, right after commoner. As an English teacher should have got the lord sooner. A colleague (same dept.) used to pronounce the lady of Tennyson’s poem as 1 dn., a memory I simply have to live with. A lot of crafty simplicity in this puzzle – I liked it.
    1. I pronounce them the same too. Have I been making a fool of myself all these years? Probably!

      Edited at 2016-09-06 12:05 pm (UTC)

      1. You’re right! Just checked in OED. One lives and (finally) learns. Still, my colleague was wrong too, hitting the first syllable. And I’m freed of one memory, but maybe have another to live with.
  23. Hats off to those who got the Lord without actually knowing the character – have to admit I just gave up. Other than that, highly enjoyable puzzle (COD the Hardy annual with several other close contenders). Some tricky stuff and could not parse 8dn so thanks to Jack for the enlightenment.
  24. A scrappy 13:10 with HOOK going in last after HOMERIC which I got from CAT’S PAW. I initially had saw as the second word of 8 and had to correct it. I’m as ignorant of the Lord and his play as anyone but once I’d stopped looking for a word containing AIR as the “appearance” (which I only did after correcting DAI to DIE (DOH!)) I immediately considered MIEN and rightly assumed, as Keriothe did, that there must be a bloke called Amiens in AYLI.

    Given that 13:10 is within 2 whole minutes of my 12′ handicap I’m signing my card as a par round (pending clarification from the committee) so I’m still 4 under for the tournament.

    On edit:

    Tournament referee (the toad) insists I’m 1 over today so 3 under overall.

    Edited at 2016-09-06 12:35 pm (UTC)

  25. I got AMIENS from the clues, but managed to screw up the PUT TO FLIGHT/HOOK crossing, with PUT IN FLIGHT/HUNT. My excuse: I was simultaneously eating a rather difficult teriyaki soup with chopsticks and that required most of my concentration.

    45 minutes to finish the crossword, a little longer for the soup.

  26. AMIENS was my LOI after a trawl through the alphabet. I remembered the lord and know the play. So that helped. Didn’t know WASH UP in the modern sense. A bit of a slog but enjoyable. 42 minutes (8 of them wasted on the noble lord). Ann
  27. Hi all. About 35 minutes to complete, ending, as many did, with AMIENS, after COMMONER. No I didn’t know of the Lord, but like others saw MIEN because I had all the checking letters, and from there assumed there was such a character in As You Like It. After looking it up (thanks wiki) and seeing how minor a role he has, I second Jack’s observations. That’s really far too cute. A clever construction, yes, but beyond the pale, methinks. Though I guess they (editor and setter) can be pardoned for tossing one of these at us every so often, perhaps just to see what happens. Regards.
  28. 4 under par today, but didn’t beat barracuda.
    SE most difficult, took some minutes to get 23ac, and it was only then that I got 21dn – a name vaguely recalled with the wordplay then revealing which play was relevant. Although I knew the work, I’ve no memory of that character, where what’s particularly noteworthy is (as mentioned above) that we have Rosalind (a female actor playing what would have been a male in a female role) disguised as a man, pretending to be Orlando’s girl.
  29. 20 mins for a technical DNF since someone had posted the answer to 21dn in the QC blog and I couldn’t unremember it. Having never heard of Lord Amiens I think it unlikely that I would have got it from the wordplay.
  30. As a relatively recent convert to the Times from the Telegraph I was very pleased to finish this pretty much in one sitting. Am gradually beginning to learn the Times style which I find quite a bit harder. Quite a few answers were intuited initially and parsed afterwards (or, in some cases, not at all or only partially) – so thanks for the very helpful blog. Particularly for OUTER in 14d; 8d which I had heard of but couldnt parse; pleased to have got 21d but it took a while and all the available letters. Liked the wordplay in 25a. Looking forward to tomorrow!
    1. Well done. I used to do the Telegraph too, but much prefer the Times, which varies in difficulty but is usually well edited and pretty consistent in quality (in my view).
      1. When I visit my cousin in Northampton, we do the Telegraph crossword whilst partaking of a few beers in the White Elephant pub across the road from his house. I occasionally persuade the group to try the Times, but they always go back to the Telegraph.
  31. No time to report because I took a severe knock in the middle of it, and I needed aids at the end to get AMIENS because my brain seemed to have stopped working by then. I was sidetracked by wondering if “Shakespearean” on its own was the definition and “Lord’s appearance” was the almost obligatory daily cricket reference. It didn’t help that I initially mombled “moderner” for 23ac before I realised what a muppet I’d been.
  32. Another DNF. I thought today’s crossword was on the unusual side, having so many 2 and 3 word answers, and this could be construed as either a child’s cryptic (though solving in the classroom on the first day back is more likely to have put me in this frame of mind) or, well, a somewhat careless grid. As the kids say, whatever – it was fun.

    On “uni” – I couldn’t abide it for a long time, but I suppose I’m begrudgingly getting used to it now. Back in the 80s no-one would’ve dared to use this “word”.

  33. Finished in 4 seconds under the hour, but my LOI was PRIESTHOOD (and PATRIARCHY just before that). Didn’t know the first meaning of WASH-UP and certainly didn’t know Lord AMIENS, but I had the crossing S and saw the MIEN, so with a choice of I or A for the first letter it had to be A. Amazing what wordplay can do. COD to 10ac for PUTT=go on green, but there were many other obscure and therefore quite enjoyable clues as well.
  34. Pretty quick; about 20 mins. LOI PRIESTHOOD – took me a little while to see it. Got AMIENS from wordplay. Nice puzzle and blog.
  35. No idea about AMIENS, don’t like WS silly plays (the history plays are not so silly), and no idea why a French town would be the answer. All the rest was fine in twenty minutes, so I guess it counts as 3 over par, cumulative 1 under for the week. On the real course, in 33 degrees, I was only 4 over and won the euros, so the day wasn’t all bad.
  36. Thanks for blog. Like many here, I found this not too difficult until confronted by my last two PRIESTHOOD and, yes, AMIENS. They took me ten minutes but pleased to work the latter out from the wordplay. The second letter M narrowed the possibilities. I’ve studied three Shakespeare plays in great detail when going through the education system and AYLI is one of them (a great play) but I’d no recollection at all of LORD AMIENS. Could also have been clued as a French city whose Gothic cathedral is apparently the largest church in France. Enjoyable puzzle, thanks to setter.
  37. Enjoyed the puzzles, and my time puts me 8 under par for the day, having set my target time at a realistic 25 minutes. I own up to a couple of lucky chip-ins, so thanks for the missing parsings.
  38. Things are a bit fraught at the moment so I’m not too surprised at my sluggish 15:00. Dredged AMIENS up from somewhere at the back of my mind. An interesting and enjoyable puzzle.
  39. ….But thank you jackkt for PRIESTHOOD, CATS PAW, COMMONER and particularly for AMIENS. The trick now is to remember the devices used for the next time.
  40. Very grateful for the logic to these. As a fairly new crossword solver I am still learning and still struggling. I had got cats-paw from the meaning and the letters I had, but the logic escaped me. As an English teacher, not getting 21 down annoyed me, but I don’t feel so bad now!
  41. Yes, I went to uni in the 60s. Anyone who says all of university when they could say uni is a snob or a Pom – much the same, really.
  42. Bit harsh on our colonial overlords I would have thought. I mean, some of my best friends and all that.

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