Times Cryptic 26546

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
After yesterday’s blog by proxy, here’s one of my own.

This one presented a few problems in the solving and even more in the blogging where I found some of the parsing quite tricky to explain and I’m left with a few loose ends as noted below against the relevant clues. I don’t have a time because I forgot to note it down but I doubt it was many minutes under an hour. On edit: as pointed out in the comments, there’s a hidden name in the grid which I failed to spot.

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 Paris I read about this writer’s rejected complaint (8)
JEREMIAD – JE (in Paris, I), READ containing [about] I’M (this writer’s) reversed [rejected]. My last one in and I needed to check the answer because I wasn’t sure of it. I knew about Jeremiah and his lamentations and that his name has come to mean someone who complains a lot, but JEREMIAD as a complaint or list of complaints was unknown to me. The wordplay was helpful though.
5 Reckless senior officer’s assistant enthralled by chart (6)
MADCAP – ADC (senior office’s assistant – aide-de-camp) contained [enthralled] by MAP (chart)
9 Friend o’ the compiler’s briefly seen with old horse (8)
PALOMINO – PAL (friend), O, MIN{e} (the compiler’s) [briefly], O (old). A horse with light golden-brown coat and white or pale mane and tail.
10 Lizard droppings mostly found in Iowa (6)
IGUANA – GUAN{o} (droppings) [mostly] found in IA (Iowa)
12 Studious type watching the cricket, perhaps? (12)
ENTOMOLOGIST – Cryptic definition with reference to the study of insects
15 Piece of litter on doorstep (5)
RONDO – Hidden in {litte}R ON DO{orstep}. Piece of music, that is. “Piece” also helps to indicate the enclosure here.
16 Aware of fellow worker swigging spirit from East (9)
COGNIZANT – CO-ANT (fellow worker) containing [swigging] ZING (spirit) reversed [from the East]. I had problems with this one because the only spelling I knew has S for Z so I was unable to parse it for a while.
18 A commotion connected with mother’s inlaid work (9)
DAMASCENE – DAM (mother), A, SCENE (commotion). I knew the word but not this meaning. SOED has “Damascening” as the art of inlaying different metals into one another.
19 I see nothing grand in this dome-shaped dwelling (5)
IGLOO – I, G (grand), LO (see), 0 (nothing)
20 Start of rally with state soldier, perhaps (12)
SERVICEWOMAN – SERVICE (start of rally – tennis), W (with), OMAN (state)
24 Was jealous of girl embraced by English chap (6)
ENVIED – E (English),  then VI (girl) contained [embraced] by NED (chap)
25 A ghastly start for one city plant! (8)
AGRIMONY – A, GRIM (ghastly), O{ne} [start], NY (city). I’m not too bad on plants usually but this one has passed me by until now – apart from April 2010 and June 2015 when I also didn’t know it. Again the wordplay was helpful.
26 Divine in church vestment, not the first to walk unsteadily (6)
TODDLE – DD (divine – Doctor of Divinity) in {s}TOLE (church vestment) [not the first]. “Stole” is more familiar as a woman’s long scarf or shawl, but it can also be a vestment worn by priests. A “divine” can be a priest who is learned, especially in the study of theology.
27 Rosalind’s ally caught eating last of the summer veg (8)
CELERIAC – CELIA (Rosalind’s ally – “As You Like It”) containing [eating] {th}E + {summe}R [last of…], C (caught)
1 Primate crushed by judge’s joke (4)
JAPE – J (judge), APE (primate). “Crushed by” indicates A beneath B in the Down clue.
2 Responsibility quietly removed from uncultured pleb (4)
ROLE – {p}ROLE (uncultured pleb) [quietly – p – removed]
3 Fateful sign all of the French associated with mass (9)
MOMENTOUS – M (mass), OMEN (sign), TOUS (all, of the French)
4 Queen’s article on new enemy upset most of intelligent Society (4,2,6)
ANNE OF CLEVES – AN (article), N (new), FOE (enemy) reversed [upset], CLEVE{r} (intelligent) [most of…], S (society)
6 Trouble-making Greek disrupting a match? (5)
AGGRO – A, GR (Greek) is contained by [disrupting) GO (match – as colours may match or go)
7 Generous woman taken in by communication about hours (10)
CHARITABLE – RITA (woman) taken in by CABLE (communication) containing [about] H (hours). A Russian doll type of clue with two containment indicators, “taken in” and “about”.
8 Plot French film director takes on in cultivated area (10)
PLANTATION – PLAN (plot), TATI (French film director), ON
11 There’s rhyme as well as reason in this jazz style (6-6)
BOOGIE-WOOGIE – The cryptic element of this clue remains a bit of a mystery to me. It’s obvious where the “rhyme” come into it, but as to the “reason”, I’m stumped. My only thought is that it’s a reference to i.e. as an abbreviation meaning “that is” or “namely” which customarily introduces an explanation or reason. On edit: please see my comment below timed at 01:59 pm.
13 Hibernian ancestry second husband denied, getting shot! (10)
IRIDESCENT – IRI{s,h} (Hibernian) [second, husband denied],  DESCENT (ancestry). I didn’t have any idea how the definition works here and after consulting the usual sources I was none the wiser, so in desperation I googled “shot” and “iridescent” together and came up with this on Wikipedia: Shot silk (also called changeant changeable silk and changeable taffeta) is a fabric which is made up of silk woven from warp and weft yarns of two or more colours producing an iridescent appearance.  A “shot” is a single throw of the bobbin that carries the weft thread through the warp, and shot silk colours can be described as “[warp colour] shot with [weft colour].” I still don’t really know whether this covers what the setter intended, or if it does, whether it actually works as a clue.
14 Lacking firm evidence, I’m internally no better (10)
UNIMPROVED – UNPROVED (lacking firm evidence) containing I’M [internally]
17 Mimicking cry of kid at play a president’s wife’s mounted (9)
IMITATIVE – I’ M IT (cry of kid at play – e.g. playing tag), EVITA (president’s wife) reversed [mounted]. The terms used in “tag” or “he” seem to vary according to local custom but as played at my school in the 1950s the person doing the chasing was said to be “it”, and that fits nicely with our clue today.
21 Visionary declaration of banker at table? (5)
IDEAL – I DEAL. It’s clued as if it’s a homophone but as it’s not I suppose it’s straight definition with a not very cryptic alternative route to the answer. As for the straight definition, once again I’m struggling to see it and the best I can find is this in Collins: visionary –  (of people) characterized by idealistic or radical ideas, esp impractical  ones.
22 Asian desert, one with marshland up to the north (4)
GOBI – I (one) + BOG (marshland) reversed [up to north]
23 Alignment required to make washing-up place sound? (4)
SYNC – Sounds like “sink” (washing-up place)

56 comments on “Times Cryptic 26546”

  1. … grateful for the TARDIS effect.

    Many of the same questions as Jack, esp. “shot”. Only thing I could think of was certain birds (e.g., my friendly local bronzewings) which are irridescent, so shot through with certain colours (in this case blue-green).
    No idea about the “reason” for BOOGIE-WOOGIE. Fun bass line to play though. Anyone can do it in C# at the bottom end of the piano.
    And also tempted by COGNISANT (with an S) but couldn’t justify SING as “spirit”.
    Hesitated at 24ac because (while often confused) envy is not jealousy.

    Is DAVID the new NINA?

  2. Too good for me. Well over an hour and ended up missing 20, which I should have solved, and 25 which I couldn’t work out despite the helpful wordplay. Also fell for the ‘S’ for ‘Z’ trap at 16. Otherwise the same queries/unknowns as our blogger and in particular can’t help with the ‘reason’ bit of BOOGIE-WOOGIE either. I like TODDLE as a word and other favourites were CELERIAC, the clue if not the food, and DAMASCENE.

    Well done for spotting DAVID, mctext. I’m still waiting to see FREDERIK as a Nina. I’ll die a happy man when I do.

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

    1. There was something rattling about in the back of what I laughingly call my mind.
      Now I remember a friend from Liverpool University who was both: David by day (a tall swotty type) and Nina by night (an “escort” for “gentlemen”). Wonder where s/he is now.
  3. Raced through this and ended up with none of SERVICEWOMAN, AGRIMONY and CELERIAC. I just couldn’t fit anything in for 20c and I was pretty sure that “rally” in the clue was going to end up as “demo” in the solution, but that didn’t help. I knew Rosalind was one of a pair in AYLI, but couldn’t remember her partner. I had to work out AGRIMONY from the word play having never heard of it (probably also for the n’th time).

    Once I finally finished, I discovered I put SING not ZING in 16a since SING and spirit didn’t set off alarm bells.

    So technically DNF.

    Edited at 2016-10-18 03:37 am (UTC)

  4. Coming by early to see how IRIDESCENT could be ‘shot’ and the reason behind BOOGIE WOOGIE. No help from me, I haven’t figured them out. Otherwise, LOI was IDEAL, about 40 minutes all told. I didn’t see Evita either, buffed it in. Regards.
  5. In Collins the third adjectival definition of “shot” is “streaked with colour.”
  6. We had a five hour power maintainance outage this morning and it looks like I had one too.

    42 mins but two very carelessly incorrect. 1ac JEREMIAH instead of JEREMIAD and 16ac COGNISANT for COGNIZANT which is not fully displayed in my Chambers just -z-. My cheongsam shirt is of shot silk.

    But did notice DAVID and, if you look closely, his twin brother DUG is at sixes and sevens.

    Being a country boy 13ac IRIDESCENT has always been ‘shot’ – due to lapwing’s and pheasants plumage – always pointed out by my grandfather.

    FOI 15ac RONDO

    Didn’t parse 4dn ANNE OF CLEVES


    A Meldrew day all round

  7. So, after about 6 weeks without an error I make 2 in 2 days as the Champs draw near … fortunately, there’s always the pub.

    This puzzle had quite a few words I thought I knew how to spell but didn’t. The wordplay saved me with a few of them but not with palAmino, which I was so sure of I didn’t bother to parse it beyond ‘friend’ -> ‘pal’.

    Around 17 minutes but with the mistake. LOI JEREMIAD

    Thanks jackkt, and the setter. I enjoyed the puzzle, regardless.

    1. Don’t panic too much – I used to be quite pleased if I made a silly mistake or two in the week before, rather than on the day. On the other hand, any borrowed foreign word with an unchecked neutral vowel, or part thereof (as pronounced in English) is a potential hazard worth parsing. I can’t remember whether there was anything to parse, but writing “La Gioconda” rather than “La Giaconda” once took me past a few people. [For that one, recalling “jocund” could help too]
      1. Hi Peter. Sorry to hijack this forum, but I’ve lost my letter and can’t remember which session I’m in on Saturday. Who should I contact to find out? Thanks!
        1. James, the email address on my confirmation is crosswordchampionship [at] the-times [dot] co [dot] uk. There’s no phone number.
            1. It’s also worth mentioning that the letter asks you to take photo ID in order to be admitted to the building.
      2. I remember the clue too, Peter, as I was another who benefited from it. I seem to recall that the wordplay gave no indication of which vowel to choose, but I was still very surprised at how many people plumped for the wrong one. Those were the good old days when those who could spell had a far greater advantage over those who couldn’t.
      3. I remember the competition where this came up. I was one of many people who miss misspelt Gioconda. The reason is that Aldous Huxley inexplicably makes this mistake in a short story title “The Giaconda Smile”.
          1. I don’t believe a word of it. Unless Anonymous can come up with concrete evidence, he’s talking rubbish.
  8. Held up in the SW as convinced 21 was seer based seeya homophone.Boogie woogie reminded me of the old joke Wogan often alluded to on his morning show involving country and western and a punch line involving a gentleman from the blog title city.Happy days!
  9. convinced that this writer was my, ending up with jerym… Otherwise 40 mins with a singing spirit
  10. Struggled at times with this and especially with the ones giving most others problems.

    At 15A “piece” seems to be doing duty both as definition and containment indicator. At 16A didn’t know it could be Z rather than S. Don’t understand 16D and 11D is a total mystery

    Well done Jack!

    1. No 16d in my puzzle Jim! But I agree with you on 11d, couldn’t find any reason for reason, and I’m not convinced by IE as an explanation any more than Jack appears to be.
    2. Some crossword editors would count “of” as an acceptable containment indicator, making “piece of” a non-essential alternative.
  11. I thought this was a great puzzle, and I wish I’d had time to battle on to the end; sadly I had to give up at ten minutes over my hour with only BOOGIE-WOOGIE and the unknown AGRIMONY left to get. I can play a BOOGIE-WOOGIE but it’s firmly entrenched in my mind as blues, mostly because my dad put me off jazz at an early age by being too enthusiastic about it*.

    Particularly enjoyed IMITATIVE, IRIDESCENT and SERVICEWOMAN, but there were plenty of the kind of clue I like—where when the penny finally drops it drops hard, and possibly with a groan.

    *A friend bought me Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue for my 40th and I’m gradually coming around.

    Edited at 2016-10-18 09:05 am (UTC)

  12. A nice racy 14.51, slightly worried on the way through by SING for spirit, but, hey, BOOGIE WOOGIE was hardly intelligible as a clue, jealousy and envy were equated (as they are, it turns out, in my Thesaurus) and I’d puzzled through to AGRIMONY as a plant even though I thought it might be a legal term.
    So I’m holed below the waterline, possibly because in my mind I’d pronounce the two spellings differently, stress on first syllable with the S and on the second syllable (and with a long I) with the Z. I note Chambers pronunciation guide does the same, though unlike Chambers, I have always pronounced the G, as I would in recognise.
    No problem with shot as in silk, for me that was a gimme.
  13. After successfully parsing JEREMIAD and PALOMINO, defeated by COGNIZANT; it is in my 1993 Chambers, but never occurred to me. Incidentally my spellchecker/predictive wants me to change the spelling to an S. LOI was SERVICEWOMAN, was convinced it was an anagram of ‘state soldier’ meaning beginning of recovery, and all the checkers are in this wordplay, so permuted all the remaining letters until the penny dropped. AYLI one of my favourite plays. Altogether a worthy challenge, and a technical dnf. Thanks jack and setter.
  14. A deeply unimpressive performance today to a good puzzle. Spelt it as COGNISANT, puzzled as to why ‘from east’ meant an anagram of ‘gins’. Biffed IRIDESCENT as the only word I knew beginning with IRID, having semi-biffed DAMASCENE, last heard in connection with St Paul’s change of heart. Then in despair looked up AGRIMONY which I thought was farming economics. At least I knew the As YouLike It reference from school. I was an hour to the assisted false finish. COD IMITATIVE. I once went to the Argentinian presidential palace on business when Menem was in post. Now I’ve got visions of Juan and Evita chasing each other round the corridors playing Tig, or whatever variant is used in South America.
  15. 30m with all but 20a to do. Like Rob I was convinced it was an anagram of state soldier and ended up with the momble sersidetotal which sadly had only the merits of using the letters and filling in the gaps. So definitely one nil to the setter! I BIFD the Jazz without any understanding and a raised an eyebrow. But lots of good clues to enjoy here too with 16a and 13d my picks. Thanks for the blog – very informative.
  16. I guess I’m happy enough with 7 minutes for this level of puzzle in the run up to Saturday – I would have been into a cocked hat by the mighty Jason’s 5 minutes of course, but perhaps he fell into the heffalump trap at 16ac…
  17. 52 minutes for me but with 2 wrong, as I was convinced “this writer’s” was MY, thus entering JEREMYAD, and fell into the heffalump trap at 16a. I did wonder about the equivalence of sing and spirit, but stuck it in anyway. Wondered why RIMO meant “for one” at 25a until the penny dropped. Liked 17d. Associated shot with silk for 13d. Tricky but enjoyable, although I don’t have a clue where the reason comes into 11d either! FOI SYNC, LOI BOOGIE WOOGIE. Thanks Jack.
  18. 23m, but with the same error as some others at 16ac. I didn’t understand how SING could mean ‘spirit’ but I knew perfectly well how to spell COGNISANT.
    Bit of an old-school feel to this one, especially the very churchy 26ac, which I couldn’t parse. It inclines me think this must be a Don Manley puzzle, which of course means that it certainly isn’t.
    ‘Shot’/IRIDESCENT seems fine to me in the silk sense: ‘woven to give a changing colour effect’, as Collins has it. I can’t explain the ‘reason’ part of BOOGIE WOOGIE though.
  19. 17.57 and then a long time checking for my customary typo and failing to find it. Yes, it was 16ac. Someone on the club site has come up with a plausible ‘reason’, v.s.
  20. 24.04 and irked by the elusive reason for reason. But good to be reminded of Chas’n’Dave’s song. Their lyrics as good as Dylan’s in my view; Abba’s also. Jealous is as close to being envious as dammit in general usage surely if not closer. Liked the story of your friend McT. Perhaps s/he also used 4. On reason – maybe jazz has its own.
    1. Whilst waiting outside Boundary Mills once for the wife I read the words of the Mamma Mia tracks whilst listening to the cd and , you are right , some of the poetry is astonishing , especially as it originated from two lads whose first language was not English .
  21. 2 errors today, COGNIZANT of course (which I actually managed to write as COGNISAAT but hey-ho) and JERYMEAD, with MY reversed fulfilling the “writer’s rejected” bit. So one real word that didn’t match the wordplay and one momble = two-thirds of the way to the unwary solver’s equivalent of a footballer’s perfect hat-trick. What would the third error be in such a situation? Silly typo maybe.
  22. According to a suggestion the Forum it’s a reference to:

    Don’t blame it on the sunshine
    Don’t blame it on the moonlight
    Don’t blame it on good times
    Blame it on the boogie

    If correct then the game has changed and it’s time for old farts like me to retire from the scene.

    1. A different generation? Not what us old farts call rock ‘n roll, or jazz. I might have got Michael Jackson a bit more if he’d stood still and his voice had broken. But I doubt it. And I have to confess, I didn’t even think about the reason to go with the rhyme.

      Edited at 2016-10-18 02:39 pm (UTC)

      1. You guys must have been delighted with the overnight announcement of Chuck Berry’s new album!
    2. I can’t believe that’s what’s intended. For a start the song clearly isn’t referring to jazz piano:

      My baby’s always dancin’
      And it wouldn’t be a bad thing
      But I don’t get no lovin’
      And that’s no lie

      We spent the night in Frisco
      At every kind of disco
      From that night I kissed our love goodbye

      so BOOGIE-WOOGIE is in no way responsible for anything.

      Edited at 2016-10-18 02:47 pm (UTC)

  23. 25 mins, another slightly sleepy solve, and I’m another who biffed the incorrect “cognisant” with a shrug. TODDLE was my LOI after IRIDESCENT, and I have to confess I didn’t enjoy this one too much.
  24. Despite a long career with a large American multi-national which got me in the habit of using Z where I might otherwise have used S, it never entered my mind that COGNIZANT was a valid alternative to COGNISANT. Guess it should have.

    Disappointing, after I was so pleased with myself for going with the wordplay for the unknown JEREMIAD. Everything else took over half an hour, with the usual hold-ups on IRIDESCENT and BOOGIE-WOOGIE. Glad someone finally came up with the “reason”, but it’s not quite the PDM I was hoping for.

    Interesting puzzle, COD to ENTOMOLOGIST. Thanks setter and Jack.

  25. I wish the setter, or the editor, would drop in and tell us what that was all about.
  26. bout 50 min, but same error at 16ac. Was completely stuck on SW, so had an hour’s break, and then still with no ideas resorted to aid to find something to fit the checkers I had for 20ac. No problem with 11dn as I had a vague memory of the relevant song.
    1. Or, according to the children”s song chorus “you do the the boogie woogie and you turn around, that’s what it’s all about”. The reason?
        1. Yes, I thought the same. But it is quite common as an internet search and I think we are really struggling on this one!
  27. 28 minutes, but with “cognisant”. I did briefly wonder what “sing” had to do with it, but I should clearly have wondered longer. Ah well.

    JEREMIAD was an NHO but went in from the wordplay. I had no knowledge, either, of Rosalind’s sister, who I assumed must have been called “CELEIA”, assuming that the “last of the summer” was just the “r”. Now had I heard of AGRIMONY, which I would have guessed was some kind of legal term or, possibly, something not unlike agronomy.

    Like others here, I am at a loss to explain BOOGIE-WOOGIE. Surely we on this forum have the collective power to summon the setter hence to account for him/herself? We don’t? Ah well.

  28. 7:28 in a clean sweep. (Why didn’t they keep that one for Saturday?)

    I suspect 11dn is simply an old-fashioned Times crossword clue where “as well as reason” is there to make the surface reading better. Such padding was commonplace when I started solving (over 50 years ago), and even now caused only the briefest flicker of my eyebrow.

  29. Tony is absolutely correct in his reading of the BOOGIE-WOOGIE clue. It is indeed one of those old-fashioned style clues which I allow through occasionally. It raised a smile with me when I solved it and felt there was a place for it amongst all the deeper, ‘cleverer’ stuff.

    DAVID also passed me by and I am pretty sure it is a coincidence


    1. Thanks for commenting, Richard. I’m pleased it’s just that rather than any of the alternative explanations put forward.

      Edited at 2016-10-19 10:24 am (UTC)

    2. Thank you for the explanation. I have no real problem with the clue but just thought that I had missed something.

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