Times Cryptic 26576

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
35 minutes with time lost at the end over 7dn and 16dn that prevented me achieving my half-hour target. I’ve not come across 7dn before and some guesswork was involved in the final part of the wordplay. 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 Outstanding feature originally typifying Zola’s printed material (6)
CHINTZ – CHIN (outstanding feature), T{ypifying}+Z{ola} [originally]
4 Renegade RAF officer in a tizzy (8)
APOSTATE –  PO (RAF officer – Pilot Officer) goes in A+STATE (a tizzy)
10 Final triumph a Welshman secured (11)
VALEDICTORY – VICTORY (triumph) with ALED (a Welshman) inside [secured]
11 Language spoken in Djibouti? Yes and no (3)
IBO – “Yes”, because it’s hidden in {Dj{IBO{uti}, and “no”, because it’s not a native language spoken there – that would be Somali or Afar. On later edite: I’ve amended the definition from “language” to “language spoken” in order to have all points of pedantry covered.
12 Budding artist initially wearing new perfume (7)
NASCENT – A{rtist} [initially] in [wearing] N (new) + SCENT (perfume)
14 Neologism created by commander at late stage of life (7)
COINAGE – CO (commander), IN AGE (at late stage of life)
15 Care that editor is forced to deliver stern warning (4,3,4,3)
17 How vowels are used by an editor’s sub? (14)
ALPHABETICALLYA{n} E{d}I{t}O{r’s}{s}U{b}
21 State of article a woman delivered to the front (7)
FLORIDA – FLO (a woman), RID (delivered), A (article)
22 Daughter thrown by composer’s instant operatic realism (7)
VERISMO – VER{d}I’S (composer’s) [daughter thrown], MO  (instant).  SOED has this as: Realism or naturalism in the arts, especially with reference to late 19th-century Italian opera.
23 Stop giving tip (3)
END –  Two definitions
24 About time team line-up is organised, second from the 23 (11)
PENULTIMATE – Anagram [organised] of TEAM LINE UP containing [about] T (time) with reference to the  answer at 23ac
26 Noted performance of plucky chap, perhaps, looking up to girl? (8)
SERENADE – &lit conjuring up the romantic image of a suitor in earlier times serenading his beloved beneath a tower or balcony whilst plucking his lute.
27 Possibly Irving’s best ever role, lauded primarily at home (6)
BERLIN – First letters [primarily] of B{est} E{ver} R{role} L{auded}, IN (at home). Irving Berlin (1888-1989) one of the all-time great American songwriters.
1 Lines written by archdeacon in bed in cathedral city (8)
COVENTRY – VEN (archdeacon) in COT (bed), RY (lines)
2 Laid up in the Chicago area, briefly? (3)
ILL – Two definitions, the second leading us to the abbreviation for Illinois
3 Goes out in clothing of singer: most neat! (7)
TIDIEST – DIES (goes out) inside [in clothing of] TIT (singer)
5 How one’s banished for writing note left in plant? (14)
PROSCRIPTIVELY – PRO (for), SCRIPT (writing), then E (note) + L (left) inside IVY (plant)
6 Designer’s register of farm accommodation? (7)
STYLIST – STY (farm accommodation), LIST (register)
7 US city bird coming up with new clues for amoebas etc (11)
ANIMALCULES – LA (US city) + MINA (bird) reversed [coming up], anagram [new] of CLUES. I didn’t know this word but was pleased to derive it from wordplay and correctly guess the placement of the vowels in the anagram.
8 Runaway given work by the Spanish Queen (6)
ELOPER – EL (the, Spanish), OP (work), ER (Queen)
9 Frivolous broadcast about black cats and dogs? (14)
SCATTERBRAINED – SCATTERED (broadcast) contains  [about] B (black) + RAIN (cats and dogs). Hm. Whilst being completely familiar with “rain cats and dogs” I can’t find any support in the usual sources for “cats and dogs” being directly interchangeable with “rain”. Following day edit: please see the very first comment below.
13 Crofter’s cut of meat union leader dropped outside precinct (11)
SMALLHOLDER – SHO{u}LDER (cut of meat) [union leader dropped] contains [outside] MALL (precinct)
16 Austrian neophyte of slender build (8)
TYROLEAN – TYRO (neophyte), LEAN (of slender build)
18 Sort of bend sometimes found in locks (7)
HAIRPIN – A literal definition with a cryptic hint
19 Firm beginning to repair attractive ornamental moulding (7)
CORNICE – CO (firm), R{epair} [beginning],  NICE (attractive)
20 Fish-eaters substituting folios for Times bargains? (6)
OFFERS – O{tt}ERS (fish-eaters) substituting FF (folios) for TT (times)
25 Reportedly everything a boring person may need? (3)
AWL – Sounds like [reportedly] “all” (everything)

87 comments on “Times Cryptic 26576”

  1. On first read I was not hopeful. But I was done and dusted in 32 mins.

    FOI 23ac END 16ac TYROLEAN no problem.

    LOI 5dn PROSCRIPTIVELY – it would have helped had I not stuck in VALEDICTION for 10ac when VALEDICTORY was somewhat superior.

    WOD SCATTERBRAINED (I never thought of your Hm. Does the question mark at the end help matters?)

    COD 22ac VERISMO

    World’s fastest ever blog from the Time Lord?

    1. I will be attempting to beat that time once I have fully mastered the controls and tidied up the mess down under.
  2. Quick by my standards. FOI END LOI COVENTRY

    Started slowly. 1ac looked like it ended -TZ but although I know CHINTZ it had somehow passed me by that it’s a printed fabric. PO=RAF officer was unknown to me. The long answers were also tricky, except 15ac.

    (fwiw The main languages of Djibouti are Somali and Afar.)

    1. Thanks, Adrian, and I have amended my comment accordingly.It just goes to show the pitfalls of stating as fact information one has found on the Web on a subject of which one knows nothing.
    1. What’s bluebottle?

      I found the word easily enough. The only question was whether the answer was animalcules or animalculum. “new clues” settled that! MVS

    2. When I finally twigged this one, I remembered where I first heard it… and maybe never since – it features in the Major General’s song in the Pirates of Penzance….
      “I’m very good at integral and differential calculus,
      I know the scientific names of beings animalculous;
      In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
      I am the very model of a modern Major-General.”
      I was one of his daughters in our school production!
      As for the crossword – no real problems except for carelessly bunging in VALEDICTION for 10 ac, which left me struggling with the NE corner until I spotted it. 24a my favourite. 21:16
  3. About 35 min here, too. Like Vinyl, a lot of biff material, but a then lot of tricky wordplay too. Biggest problem: D’Presto seemed a likely operatic effect, with just enough crossers to hang around too long. Thank you Jack.
  4. Held up for about 4 minutes by SMALLHOLDER, not being familiar with the term and realising I didn’t actually know what a crofter was. Just assumed it was one who crofts.

    All good other than that. I remember seeing ANIMALCULES as an early term for microscopic organisms many moons ago. Hard to forget such a great word.

    So that’s Monday and Tuesday out of the way (in reverse order), and I’m sitting on par. The excitement builds.

    Thanks setter and Jack.

  5. Among Major-General Stanley’s talents (which don’t include military knowledge) in “The Pirates of Penzance” is that “I’m very good at integral and differential caluclus; / I know the scientific names of beings animalculous”.
  6. I flung in FLORIDA for some reason, was surprised that it seemed to fit, and never did parse it. I didn’t help myself by also flinging in ‘featherbrained’ and ‘animalculae’, but then I looked at the clues. VERISMO appeared here some time ago, and hadn’t completely faded from my memory. No COD, but I liked this one.

    Edited at 2016-11-22 06:37 am (UTC)

    1. I’m sure he did, even though I evidently don’t; but he couldn’t ‘tell at sight a Mauser rifle from a javelin’.
  7. Just snuck in under the half hour, so can’t have been too difficult. Once I had the microbes sorted, I was able to end it all by eloping. Chance would be a fine thing…
  8. Ooh, dear, I found this one really tricky, and just snuck in under the hour… Never heard of ANIMALCULES, and would have spelt the bird ‘mynah’ had I been asked…
    1. As a suggestion, just allow yourself 30 mins and don’t worry about finishing it, just do what you can. Then either come back to it again later on (it is amazing how different it looks!) or simply find over time that you will get better at it..
  9. 15:36 … enjoyed this tremendously. Last in ANIMALCULES, unknown but now unforgettable.

    Hard to pick a COD. I’ll go with 1d COVENTRY — a pleasing image, like a polite version of the glorious opening line of Burgess’ Earthly Powers.

    Thanks B&S

  10. Usual half an hour. Pencilled in VERISEC until the yodeller turned up. Created an extensive list of creatures long extinct before ANIMALCULES evolved. Thanks S & B as always.
  11. 12:25. Nice puzzle. Last in ANIMALCULES, of course.
    I assumed IBO must be spoken in Djibouti, since you don’t say the language when you say the name of the place. In fact it appears that there is no sense in which IBO is ‘spoken in Djibouti’.
    Do I win ‘pedant of the day’?

    Edited at 2016-11-22 08:50 am (UTC)

    1. Perhaps the definition ought to be taken as “language spoken” (that’s) in (the word) “Djibouti”
  12. 54 minutes, with my last ten spent on the crossers of 21a—I really must learn the US states well enough to go through them in a mental list—and 20d, where I sort of knew how the clue worked, and had even thought of “otters”, but oddly never got to “TT” for “Times”, and had to work backwards once I’d got the answer.

    Thanks for enlightenment on the couple of bits of wordplay I skipped over, especially the clever 17a. Oddly, I got HAIRPIN first of all through actual locks rather than hairdressing, the hairpin being the preferred improv lockpicking tool of the gentleman burglar…

    DNK VERISMO, ANIMALCULES (Helped that I saw a stuffed mina in Bristol City Museum last weekend!); WOD NASCENT.

  13. Very rare these days for me to zip through a puzzle but I romped through this with barely a pause. Helped that I knew the slightly obscure 7D and 22A so didn’t have to give them much thought.

    Waiting now for the local rivers to burst their banks – local golf courses all under water already

  14. Good luck with the weather. I found it pretty hairy just driving through Bristol yesterday…
    1. Thanks. Should be OK. Large sums of public money have been invested over recent years making our local rivers safer. Places on the Stour like Blandford, Wimborne and Christchurch have benefited considerably. I think Bristol was hit by some flash-flooding which is very difficult to mitigate
  15. Dnk VERISMO or ANIMALCULES, got from wordplay. Knew IBO from the Biafran war, one of the horrors of my childhood, seems to have been erased from public memory, do look it up. All of the 11- and 14-lettered clues, with the exception of 15, seemed to take a long time to fall into place, so well done setter. 24′, thanks jack too.
  16. Is that why Irving Berlin was clued? Completed and parsed in 25 minutes, which is pretty hot for me. FOI COVENTRY. DNK ANIMALCULES but its ending was clear and checkers did the rest. A pleasant start to an unpleasant day replacing my desktop. If you hear the swearing through the ether, apologies. COD ALPHABETICALLY.
  17. Rather off the wavelength with this one, and dawdled home in 28 minutes exactly. AIM at 2d didn’t help, somehow meaning trained (would have worked for aimed) and based on A(rea) and MIchegan, wrong in a multitude of ways) FEATHERBRAINED stayed put for a long time too, though how feather = broadcast is a mystery.
    Very much liked the clue for ALPHABETICALLY.
      1. Zed is a championship competitor – with a scary ponytail to boot – so mind your Ps and Qs, horryd.

        Edited at 2016-11-22 12:24 pm (UTC)

  18. After 37 minutes sitting in the golf club billy-no-mates while the zealots tramped round in the rain, I gave up with all but 5d finished; couldn’t see a 14 letter word that fitted for the life of me. Got 7d from WP although it looked clumsy. Didn’t parse FLORIDA either. COVENTRY my FOI and COD. Well blogged jackkt.
  19. Managed a much better showing than yesterday, taking a not exactly speedy 9 minutes over that but at least confident of all being correct. I did find this puzzle unusually bung-innable, with at least half a dozen clues confidently enterable without full parsing after a few checkers were in place. I did like the puzzle a lot though.

    ANIMALCULE is pretty easy if you release it is to ANIMAL exactly what HOMONCULE is to HOMO. Latin diminutive forms FTW!

    1. I was moved to look up FTW but received mainly unprintable options. Elucidation?

      Edited at 2016-11-22 12:32 pm (UTC)

      1. Though I just noticed I fluffed it, the word is HOMUNCULE!

        You must know CARBUNCLE – a little “carbo”, i.e. a little coal.

  20. Called at the café for a coffee while the chemist was configuring my prescription and had all but 4a, 5d, 7d and 22a completed in 30 minutes. Collected the chemicals and checked in to chez moi, completing the challenge in another five minutes. A sudden inspiration that 5d might start with PRO gave me 4a and 5d which then gave me the unknown VERISMO, ANIMALCULES then popping into place and chiming a distant bell in the depths of my memory. FOI, IBO. LOI ANIMALCULES. Liked COVENTRY. An enjoyable puzzle, although the parsing of 17a eluded me until coming here. Thanks setter and Jack.
      1. I know! Lansoprasol and rivaroxaban didn’t fit the bill 🙂 (Can’t work out how to log in on this phone). John
  21. No one else seems to have raised this re 9D, so perhaps it’s just me being ultra nit-picky, but “scatterbrained” (incapable of sustained attention or thought) surely conveys something quite different to “frivolous” (silly or trivial).
    1. I thought it was a bit of a stretch, but my Chambers has:

      > exhibiting or characterized by lack of serious thought or concentration; disorganized; silly

      …for “scatterbrained”, so “silly” is a common definition there, at least.

      Edited at 2016-11-22 12:56 pm (UTC)

    2. Yes, I put in FEATHERBRAINED first – which does mean “frivolous”. It occurred to me that the setter changed the word without changing the clue…
  22. 18:27, a good stretch of which was spent teasing out PROSCRIPTIVELY, APOSTATE and ANIMALCULES.

    Is SERENADE just a CD rather than an &Lit? I can’t see any wordplay at all.

    I couldn’t see how ALPHABETICALLY worked but now I can I think it’s rather clever and so it’s my COD.

  23. 37m today with much head scratching over the long ones. I like the diminutive thingy that V explained so my undersized veggies will now henceforth be carrotocules and swedocules. Also took me a good while to come up with VERISMO as I convinced myself the d was missing from the start but unsurprisingly couldn’t bring any relevant composers to mind! Most enjoyable puzzle and blog so thanks to setter and blogger today.
  24. 17 mins again. Like quite a few others ANIMALCULES was my LOI after I saw the wordplay, in my case after VERISMO. COINAGE took longer than it should have done, and it was only after I got it that PROSCRIPTIVELY fell into place. I’m with those who thought the clue for ALPHABETICALLY was a gem. I think anonymous has something with the SERENA/ED reversed explanation for 26ac, although it would work better as a down clue.
  25. About 35 minutes, ending with ANIMALCULES, from wordplay and blind faith. Oddball looking word, that. VERISMO came only after getting PROSCRIPTIVELY, where the appearance of the “V” gave me a recognizable composer to drop the “D” from. Regards.
  26. I was distracted and hungry tackling this one last night and limped home in about 22 minutes, could not get on the setter’s wavelength at all. Needed the wordplay for ANIMALCULES
  27. I posted previously (as Anonymous, because I didn’t know how to put my name) questioning Verlaine’s time to complete – who cares? I do the crossword for enjoyment, not to compete against others. I pause to have a sip of gin, to watch an interesting item on the evening news or merely to stroke the dog. Having said that, I actually finished this one in 25 minutes and, now that I realise how annoyed I was by Verlaine’s claim, I shall never note the time I take again. PS. I still don’t know how to give my name instead of being “Anonymous”!
    1. Addressing the last point first, you can create a Live Journal account by clicking on “Log In” at the very top of this page, then underneath the sign-in fields for users already registered there is a button marked “Create an account”. Alternatively you could just put a name or nickname at the end of your Anonymous contributions.

      As for solving times, the name of this forum is “Times For The Times” and it was set up about 10 years ago by Peter Biddlecombe a former Times Crossword Champion and currently the Sunday Times Crossword Editor, for expert solvers to discuss points of interest and compare solving times. Over the years its audience has widened considerably and we now have many contributors like yourself for whom solving times are not important, but the topic remains open for discussion by those who want to talk about it. If nothing else solving times are probably the best guide to the level of difficulty of any particular puzzle.

      The Times Crossword Club allows for completion of puzzles on-line and solvers can submit their daily efforts to a leader board showing the actual time recorded by each participant, and whilst there are ways to cheat at this (by neutrinos, as they are termed), regular contributors’ times, such as those of Verlaine, are completely genuine. Today his time is recorded there as 9 minutes 14 seconds. The reigning Times Crossword Champion (posting as Magoo) completed it in 4 minutes and 22 seconds.

      You don’t have to care about others’ solving times, and I do my best to avoid thinking about them too much as they put my efforts to shame, but it’s a harmless pastime for competitive souls, and we lesser mortals are free to enjoy the same puzzles in our own way.

      Edited at 2016-11-22 09:27 pm (UTC)

        1. Hear, hear!

          And as one of the also-rans on this blog, I take great delight in seeing the times posted by the speedsters such as Verlaine, Tony, Mohn and others.

          Can’t imagine in what sense it could be considered annoying.

  28. 11:16 for me, feeling desperately tired after a busy day. An interesting and enjoyable puzzle.

    I’m slightly surprised (OK, to be honest, very surprised) how many people haven’t come across ANIMALCULE before. It’s a word I feel as if I’ve known for ever, and I would have thought the term “wheel animalcules” for members of the Rotifera was commonplace, but I suppose it must simply have gone out of usage since I was young.

    1. “wheel animalcules” – there’s a term I haven’t seen in many years. From my grandchildren’s study I think they just refer to protozoa these days Tony
      1. I’d never heard of ANIMALCULE, though I have heard of protozoa. It’s possible that if I’d chosen to have biology lessons rather than computer studies back in the day (mid-1980s) I’d have been exposed to more tiny things swimming around under a microscope.
  29. If “cats and dogs” were a phrase directly equivalent to “rain,” I don’t think the clue would have ended in a question mark.
      1. I just meant that the question mark, as in the clue for “awl,” typically indicates that something jocular, and often a bit loose, is involved–that you’re not meant to take everything too literally. When copy-editors used to read pieces out loud at The Nation, the term for the question mark was “quirk,” which seems apropos! (And an exclamation point came out as “sclam”!)
        1. Sorry, Guy, I hadn’t seen your response when I posted my comment below, but I’ll let mine stand.
      2. It seems clear enough to me. The question mark indicates something in a clue that perhaps doesn’t have to be take too literally whereas its absence would not prepare one for that and sticklers like me would be start banging on about the clue perhaps not being completely sound. Somebody seemed to be making a similar point about “cats and dogs” for “rain” much earlier in this discussion, but I can’t think who it was!

        Edited at 2016-11-23 05:48 am (UTC)

        1. I was adding this to my comment, when your reply made entering it this way impossible:
          Sometimes too (I suspect this explains the “quirk” after “bargains,” which all “offers” are not) the question mark indicates a definition by example. “Cats and dogs” is one way it might rain, so that also works.
          The blogger——oh, wait, that’s you!——seemed to have a problem with “cats and dogs,” but I didn’t notice anyone else mentioning it.

          Edited at 2016-11-23 05:50 am (UTC)

          1. It’s true I queried it, but the first contributor pointed out the question mark which I realised covered the slight looseness in the definition so that was that. I didn’t amend the blog or comment further on the subject because at the time I had to drop everything and blog the QC at no notice.
            1. Yes, well, I see, and that was Horryd, who (much) later asked me to explain when I (needlessly) pointed out the same thing. And round and round we go.
              1. Oh, perhaps that was what he was getting at. Don’t worry about the repetition. It was one small comment buried in one of some 80 postings ahead of yours and nobody can be expected to wade through every detail of that lot in one sitting. If anything it was my fault for not amending the blog accordingly.

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