Times Cryptic 26522

40 minutes with the last 10 minutes spent on 17, 18 and 29, so quite a chewy puzzle in places but with enough “gifts” to keep things moving along steadily. Unusually for a Times puzzle there are two clues referring to answers elsewhere in the grid. One of these is upfront about it but the other is more devious and quite clever so I shall forgive it on this occasion although generally I have a dislike of cross references.

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

1 Pub turned over at first by the French mob (6)
RABBLE – BAR (pub) reversed [turned over], B{y} [at first], LE (the, French)
4 Acceptable area and time to digest European question (8)
ADEQUATE – A (area), then DATE (time) containing [to digest] E (European) + QU (question)
10 Some stylists may do it to stir things up (4,5)
MAKE WAVES – A cryptic definition followed by a straight one
11 Article in trendy magazine ultimately lacking sense (5)
INANE – IN (trendy), AN (article), {magazin}E [ultimately]
12 Form of 24 a Mitford aristocrat backed? (3)
NOH – HON (Mitford aristocrat) reversed [backed]. The definition refers to the answer (drama) at 24dn and “Noh” or “No” is a traditional form of Japanese masked drama with dance and song. Jessica Mitford wrote a book about the aristocracy called “Hons and Rebels” which is probably all one needs to know, but there’s more about her family’s  use of the term “Hons” covered elsewhere in the Mitford sisters’ various writings if one is interested.
13 Way extremely sharp gang stole first diving aid (11)
SPRINGBOARD – S{har}P [extremely], RING (gang), BOA (stole), RD (way)
14 Pig-headed Greek character taking his novel on lake (6)
MULISH – MU (Greek character), L (lake), anagram [novel] of HIS
16 Clothing torn to pieces when keeping goal (7)
RAIMENT – RENT (torn to pieces) enclosing [keeping] AIM (goal). I seem to remember there’s a lot of rending of raiments in the Bible and in addition to being an expression of frustration (like tearing one’s hair out) it can also signify grief and mourning.
19 Sad European stage where you’ll find rabble (7)
ELEGIAC – E (European), LEG (stage), 1AC (where you’ll find “rabble” – 1 Across). A sneaky cross-reference which seems more suited to the Guardian than the Times crossword.
20 Mug about to return goods conforming to latest fashion (6)
NOGGIN – ON (about) reversed [to return] , G+G (goods), IN (conforming to latest fashion). In addition to being a small measure of booze a noggin can be the cup or mug from which it is drunk.
22 Surprised-looking writer encountering “trap” in dictionary (4-7)
OPEN-MOUTHED – PEN (writer) + MOUTH (trap) inside OED (dictionary – the Oxford English). The slang word for mouth is most commonly used in the expressions, “shut your trap!” and  “keep your trap shut”.
25 See about eating with a wise-looking person (3)
OWL – LO (see) reversed [about] containing [eating] W (with)
26 Perform in French before a court (5)
ENACT – EN (in, French),  A, CT (court)
27 Antipodean army’s obsession with north (9)
TASMANIAN – TA’S (army’s), MANIA (obsession), N (north)
28 Finish fish, chewing over part of fruit (8)
ENDOCARP – END (finish) + CARP (fish) containing [chewing] O (over). This is a botanical term for the lining of the seed chamber of a fruit, apparently. The inner layer of the pericarp, for future reference. I’d vaguely heard of it, and the wordplay was very helpful.
29 Grain from a mountainous island, some say (6)
BARLEY – Sounds like [some say] “Bali” (mountainous island).
1 Managed shop primarily, accepting order for book (6)
ROMANS – RAN (managed) containing [accepting] OM (order – of Merit), S{hop} [primarily]
2 Seek a hob for cooking outside university food establishment (9)
BAKEHOUSE – Anagram [cooking] of SEEK A HOB containing [outside] U (university)
3 Harris’s neighbour’s wife, draped in garlands (5)
LEWIS – W (wife) is contained by [draped in] LEIS (garlands). By a quirk of Scottish geography that has has failed to register previoulsy in my brain, Lewis and Harris in the Outer Hebrides are not actually separate islands but share a land border.
5 Remove vote from female nurse once husband is in country (14)
DISENFRANCHISE – DI (female), SEN (nurse once) then H (husband) + IS inside FRANCE (country). Biffsville, Arizona! Hands up anyone who needed wordplay to arrive at the answer?
6 Who in Paris initially buys glitzy jewellery, finding fault? (9)
QUIBBLING – QUI (who, in  Paris), B{uys} [initially], BLING (glitzy jewellery)
7 Question a graduate, initially having a port (5)
AQABA – A, Q (question – no U as in 4ac), A, BA (graduate)
8 Interrupting English match, aim to correct errors (8)
EMENDATE – E (English) then END (aim) contained by [interrupting] MATE (match). Does anyone ever use this word, I wonder?
9 How some purchases are made — the opposite with deliveries (4,3,7)
OVER THE COUNTER – OVER (deliveries – cricket), THE, COUNTER (opposite)
15 Close relative’s crazy about conforming to established usage (9)
IDIOMATIC – IDIOTIC (crazy) containing [about] MA (close relative)
17 Leader takes time going over college, so to speak (9)
EDITORIAL – TIDE (time) reversed [going over], then sounds like [so to speak] “Oriel” (college)
18 French author’s point about old Italian painter (8)
VERONESE – VERNE’S (French author’s) contains [about] O (old), E (point – of compass). Paolo Veronese (1528-1588).
21 Fashionable environment for introduction of liveried servant? (6)
FLUNKY – FUNKY (fashionable) contains [environment for] L{iveried} [introduction]
23 Head of exceptionally light African antelope (5)
ELAND – E{xceptionally} [head of], LAND (light)
24 Sensation in music academy described by American lawyer (5)
DRAMA – RAM (music academy – Royal Academy of Music), contained [described] by DA (American lawyer – District Attorney)

53 comments on “Times Cryptic 26522”

  1. Why was this blog posted hours early? I did not expect to see the answers to a puzzle I haven’t worked yet!
    Guess I’ll be taking a day off then…
    But how did you do this? The puzzle just now became available on the site, right? It’s 7:10 in the USA and ten after midnight across the pond!

    Edited at 2016-09-19 11:12 pm (UTC)

      1. I also asked how the blogger got the puzzle so early. See, I didn’t even know this was possible. Also, I work on a huge monitor at The Nation and could see more than the intro the instant the page loaded. I’ll certainly be more careful…
        Sandy McCroskey
        Guy du Sable
    1. Sorry if the early blog took you by surprise but it’s something to be aware of as technology moves on. It has the correct number at the top with no “giveaways” in the introduction so that’s worth checking first before reading further to avoid problems in the future.
      1. What I don’t understand is what “technology” has to do with it. Wait… you have a time machine, is that it?
    2. Not being unsympathetic to Guy, but in the interest of balance let me state that we Antipodeans very much appreciate an early blog post.
      1. I just wish someone would explain how jackkt got the puzzle and blogged it so early. I assume everyone gets the puzzle online at the same real time, whatever it’s called in their zone. So he must have worked it in the print edition, which must be distributed earlier. Is that right? I thought the Times was a morning paper.

        Edited at 2016-09-20 02:52 pm (UTC)

  2. Doubtless 19ac is clue of the day (COD). Very clever indeed – I missed the end parsing.

    I found this rather easy and was disappointed that it took me 27 minutes – three under par for the day.



    The time difference ‘thing’ was discussed about a month ago.

    But Jack is a Time Lord. Fine blog and puzzle.

    horry Shanghai

  3. 24 mins (so somewhat on the easy side – unusually FOI was 1ac) but somehow had REMAND for 1dn so it’s a DNF or DQ. Quite a few biffable clues, and quite a few crossword words, but fun.
  4. Held up by a few at the end and took about 45 minutes. Guilty as charged for biffing 5d, missed the clever wordplay for ELEGIAC and didn’t appreciate the subtleties of 12a. FLUNKY was my favourite.

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

  5. Two in a row. It never occurred to me to equate FUNKY with ‘fashionable’; so after playing with the alphabet, and with my cell phone ringing repeatedly–it’s set not to, but gets overridden when, as now, the authorities send a typhoon warning–I threw in the towel. Didn’t understand what IAC was doing in 19ac, so thanks Jack for that.
    1. “My name is Prince and I am funky!” I don’t *think* he was proclaiming himself in need of a shower…
  6. 34 minutes, with a solving experience – and reflections on cross-referencing clues – that mirror Jack’s. I had to work hard on my last (i.e. work out the parsing) to not rely on a coin-toss between Genovese and Veronese – my two artistic front-runners.

    Actually, I’ll give my COD to 19a, as that’s a creative use of cross-referencing, which rather tickled my fancy.

      1. Obviously doing something for my accuracy, as I’ve not made an error in 7 goes.

        Do you follow the footie? A friend of mine is a mad Bulldogs fan and almost apoplectic as they try to heal 62 years of hurt.

          1. I waded through the Wikipedia page on “footy finals” (seem to be a awful lot of them) and came to much the same conclusion. No Leicester fairy-tale for Footscray…
  7. 19ac my clue of the day too; the penny didn’t drop until post-submit but very good.

    We’ve had 7dn not too long ago if memory serves, just as well really as otherwise I might have agonised between AQABA and AQAMA this time too.

  8. I’ve always put an ‘e’ in FLUNKY, not that we employ too many of the genre in our household in these straitened times. But there was nothing else it could be. WIth crossers, vaguely managed to remember LOI ENDOCARP. I knew VERONESE from a stunning day at the Uffizi. It had to be NOH too, a drama form I’m not familiar with. but the Hon Mitfords colonised the gossip columns of my youth. I found this enjoyable and not too taxing, finishing in a half- hour interrupted by the postman.
      1. It was a recorded delivery and I had to sign one of those machine screens that nobody can read afterwards. It might have been more legible if I had signed through the letterbox.
  9. Usual 30 minutes. Pretty straightforward. My father used the word NOGGIN for the bits of wood connecting rafters in a roof. RIP Oliver Postgate.
  10. Well done setter, an excellent challenge.

    Was very relieved post-solve to confirm VERONESE, ENDOCARP and AQABA, each of which rang a distant and very faint bell.

    Assumed Lewis and Harris were from a British soapie, Eastenders or Neighbours possibly.

    Loved 19ac. Thanks setter and Jack.

  11. 8:35. Lots of biffing this morning, so I missed some of the finer points including the very clever 19ac.
  12. A par 30 minutes, but with a silly spelling error in 1d caused by trying too hard to fit RAMONA in (RAMONS anyone?). Like Ulaca, flirted with GENOVESE before deciding Genves was probably not a French author.
    LOI 19a caused by not spotting the cross reference.
    Re Noggin the Nog (see Sawbill above) there’s a special exhibition about Oliver Postgate’s work at the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood on at the moment.
    1. Thanks for the information. I have had a look on the website.

      I had RAN-S-OM for a while. I presumed it was the title of a novel.

  13. A fine challenge today, top half zoomed in, then struggled. Invented ELEGAIC, amended it, then still unable to parse it or IDIOMATIC, obsessed with ..MANIC for mad, could not understand how ENACT could be ‘a court’ (‘Perform in French before’ is perfect wordplay for ENACT). Dnk NOGGIN, 17d LOI. 30′, thanks jack and setter.
  14. 20:48 … I’m in a small minority it seems as this wasn’t my cup of tea at all. A strangely bygone age feel in parts, especially with NOH, and one innovation I’d be happy not to see again. I think this would be a hard sell to a non-solver.
  15. Very enjoyable puzzle with 19A much appreciated – very clever

    Lewis and Harris is worth a visit if you’re up that way. Lewis is the flat half and Harris the hilly bit. Strangely they used to be part of separate council areas but are now sensibly all under the Western Isles

  16. Sadly another DNF for me. Got closer than yesterday, though, with only a small collection in the southerly corners left over. The unknown crossers of VERONESE and ENDOCARP (C_R_ at the end had me thinking “core” for part of fruit), plus not knowing Bali was mountainous were probably my biggest sticking points…

    Still, at least I got through the rest unscathed, even guessing correctly that AQABA sounded more likely than Aqama and trusting that EMENDATE was a word…

  17. 20.40. 19 a gem – and above the dreary cross-referencing of the Guardian in my opinion. Emendate like perseverate which we had not so long ago I think – one wonders what others are coming up.
    1. Had administrate the other day, which takes the biscuit.

      Dreary indeed, but not as bad as when the setters start referencing each other.

  18. 16:04. I had an odd start to this, first deciding the port at 7D must begin with a Q so trying to get 4A with a Q in only to find it had moved to the left in ADEQUATE!

    When I was left still with the port and the Italian painter clued by a French author I thought I was done for. However, a run through the alphabet to VE__E revealed VERNE and the Q and B/M went in the right place in the port for a surprisingly quick finish.

  19. Gave up after an hour, defeated by the painter and bit of fruit, neither of which I’d heard of. Easy enough once the wordplay has been pointed out though. Again I sprinted from the start, but became becalmed with half a dozen clues left. Took me ages to see NOGGIN, after finally spotting EDITORIAL, when the L from BARLEY gave me the key crossing letter. I also had ELEGAIC which prevented me seeing IDIOMATIC for a while. Never spotted the reference to 1ac. Very clever! FOsI NOH and DRAMA. LOI before my 2 unsolved, NOGGIN.
  20. A miserable DNF since I just could not get “core” as the fruit part out of my mind for 28ac and so was looking for a fish something like albacore. Never heard of ENDOCARP and will no doubt claim the same next time it appears.
  21. I was pleased to finish bang on the half-hour. I don’t often achieve this.
    25a raised an eyebrow, as I always associate OWL for a person with Billy Bunter (the Fat Owl of the Remove), and you can’t get much less wise-looking than him.
  22. 16 mins. I didn’t find this as straightforward as some of you seem to have done. ELEGIAC was biffed but I saw how it parsed post-solve and mentally tipped my hat to the setter. Like a few others I had the most trouble in the SW and VERONESE was my LOI after ENDOCARP.
  23. Needed to go out shopping this morning, so by time I got round to looking at the puzzle Countdown, and then Pointless was on, so could only concentrate on it in commercial breaks. Hence time of 46 min, probably beaten by barracuda, but pushed off leaderboard by neutrinos.
    Several unparsed, including 19ac and 17dn, with 29ac LOI
  24. Was doing OK on this until the doorbell rang. My neighbour had locked herself out and needed the spare key I’ve been holding for her. 38 minutes including interruption – so probably about 30 mins. I saw NOGGIN as slang for “mug” in the sense of “head/face”. Didn’t think of it as a drinking vessel. I always spell ELEGIAC incorrectly. Thanks to the cryptic I got it right this time. It may help for the future… Ann
  25. Not too easy and DNF, as I didn’t see the wordplay for AQABA, which might have rung a bell. As it was, I was being linguistically creative again, with AJABA the question (derived from the Swahili word for “wonder” of course) and AJA the obscure Indian port. ENDOCARP just a lucky guess and ELEGIAC definitely my COD. Well, there’s always a tomorrow.
  26. 7:49 in a clean sweep.

    NOGGIN held me up longest. I expect I must have come across the (drinking) mug meaning before, but it didn’t surface until I was working through the clues properly after I’d submitted. At the time, I was torn between “mug” meaning “head” (as well as just “face”) and NOGGIN meaning “a stupid person” (“You silly noggin!” sounded pretty plausible).

    I’m amazed how many people had difficulty with VERONESE, but I suppose living in London gives one an advantage: the National Gallery has some terrific paintings by him, and their exhibition Veronese: Magnificence in Renaissance Venice a couple of years ago was a “must see”.

    Nice puzzle.

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