Times Cryptic 26588

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
A fairly straightforward puzzle that took me 35 minutes to solve. Everything more I have to say about it is in the blog, so here it is…

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

1 Iron anklet finally brought in for one’s security (6)
SAFETY – FE (iron) + {ankle}T [finally] in SAY (for one – for example)
4 Monitor arranged play-pens (8)
SPYPLANE – Anagram [arranged] of PLAYPENS. Maybe I’m missing something but the definition here seems decidedly loose.
10 Suggest true love doesn’t run smooth around November (9)
VOLUNTEER – Anagram [doesn’t run smooth] of TRUE LOVE containing [around] N (November – in the NATO alphabet)
11 Assign full set of religious texts? (5)
ALLOT – ALL (full), OT (set of religious texts – Old Testament)
12 Hazard visitors will move tail-ender forward before one end to game (11)
GUESSTIMATE – GUESTS (visitors) with its last letter moved up the ranks [tail-ender forward], I (one), MATE (end to game – chess)
14 Prohibition sees cop retiring (3)
BAN – NAB (cop) reversed [retiring]
15 Understanding blame attached to harbour (7)
RAPPORT – RAP (blame), PORT (harbour)
17 A lot of criticism about a source of television interference (6)
STATIC – STIC{k} (criticism) [a lot of] containing [about] A + T{elevision} [source of]
19 Kidnapping ending in distress, of course (6)
SNATCH – {distres}S [ending], NATCH (of course – naturally)
21 Top setter’s hard attitude with posh lass (4,3)
HAIR GEL – H (hard), AIR (attitude),  GEL (posh lass). A somewhat cryptic definition.
23 A positive outcome, losing one’s beard (3)
AWN – A, W{i}N (positive outcome) [losing one]
24 Show of embarrassment, seeing how poor people live? (4-2-5)
HAND-TO-MOUTH – Putting a hand to one’s mouth is a gesture sometimes made on realising one has said something embarrassing.
26 Regret monarch’s being besieged by heads of Merchant Navy (5)
MOURN – OUR (monarch’s, as in the Royal “We”) inside [being besieged by] M{erchant} N{avy} [heads]
27 Ostentatious sob recalled as something generating red eyes? (9)
FLASHBULB – FLASH (ostentatious), BLUB (sob) reversed [recalled]. In photography red eye is a reflection from the blood vessels of a person’s retina, seen on a colour photograph taken with a flash.
29 Hotel regularly accommodating a divine (8)
HEAVENLY – H (hotel – in the NATO alphabet again), then  EVENLY (regularly) containing [accommodating] A
30 Fairly dim idiot concealing bad cut (6)
TWILIT – TWIT (idiot) containing [concealing] IL{l} (bad) [cut]. Comments about repetition in clues will have to wait for another day.
1 Rescue curtailed: a European country losing man in barbarous attack? (8)
SAVAGERY – SAV{e} (rescue) [curtailed], A, GER{man}Y (European country) [losing man]
2 Sports body going to college in London? Not so (5)
FALSE – FA (sports body – Football Association), LSE (college in London – the London School of Economics)
3 Metal part of fork trimmed (3)
TIN – TIN{e} (part of fork) [trimmed]
5 Maybe iodine isn’t found in variety of sapphire (7)
PERHAPS – Anagram [variety] of SAPPH{i}RE [Iodine isn’t found]
6 Trashed male Puritan, one offering vision of heaven (11)
PLANETARIUM – Anagram [trashed] of MALE PURITAN
7 Politician upset writer embraced by a BBC chief, improvising (2-7)
AD-LIBBING – A, then LIB (politician) + NIB (writer [upset]) contained [embraced] by DG (BBC chief – Director General)
8 Current navigational device not accommodating first polar direction (6)
EXTANT – {s}EXTANT (navigation device) without [not accommodating first polar direction – S]. “First” is needed here to specify which of the two poles – S or N – in “sextant” is to be removed.
9 Live to support son — disregarding daughter? (6)
SEXIST – S (son), EXIST (live). Another somewhat cryptic definition, and by example, making it very loose.
13 Part of team kit not entirely given makeover in swindle (5-6)
SHORT-CHANGE – SHORT{s} (part of team kit) [not entirely], CHANGE (makeover)
16 Alpine sun transformed narrow piece of land (9)
PENINSULA – Anagram [transformed] of ALPINE SUN. I was ready to query “narrow” here, but Collins has it. I wouldn’t have thought the Iberian peninsula qualifies as “narrow”.
18 Peak support involving husband and lots of characters (8)
ALPHABET – ALP (peak), H (husband), ABET (support)
20 Bananas: food without energy? That’s a nuisance (7)
HANDFUL – HAND (bananas), FU{e}L (food) [without energy]
21 Time to interrupt that chap (an assassin) (3,3)
HIT MAN – T (time) inside [to interrupt] HIM (that chap), AN
22 Cordiality on leaving some time after conflict (6)
WARMTH – WAR (conflict), M{on}TH (some time) [on leaving]
25 America adopting universal line regarding customs? (5)
USUAL – USA (America) containing [adopting] U (universal), L (line)
28 Hot team in card game making cut (3)
HEW – H (hot), E W (team in card game – bridge)

36 comments on “Times Cryptic 26588”

  1. I found this to be the easiest 15×15 for some time getting over the line in 26 minutes. Only 4ac SPYPLANE (just couldn’t see it!)and LOI 8dn EXTANT held me up. There will be fast times today as it flowed. I would commend this for newcomers.

    I failed to parse 26ac MOURN but after Jack’s explanation find the logic somewhat hard to follow.


    1. I just realised I mistyped my explanation and put “being” in the wrong place. I hope it makes more sense now that I’ve amended it.

      Edited at 2016-12-06 01:18 am (UTC)

  2. Zoom zoom – 7:08 is one of my fastest times on the club timer (and I’m in third at the moment), so this was on the gentler side. Helped that TWILIT with similar wordplay popped up elsewhere recently.
  3. 20 minutes which is fast for me. Only SPYPLANE took a while (with the A and E in place there did not seem to be enough vowels). Even wondered if there was a NEPTUNARIUM which seemed like a very limited visitor attraction.
  4. 12:24 … so an almost identical time to yesterday for me. Tempting fate, I hope we get a toughie soon. I think vinyl’s right, though, this is an ‘easy once you know how’ kind of puzzle rather than just plain easy.

    How quaint the idea of a flashbulb now seems. I just about remember my father using them for family portraits when I was very young. They made quite an event of it, and I seem to remember a rather alarming, exciting smell of burning (or is that my imagination?).

    1. ….. those were your retinas (sorry, cannot see to type since those family portraits in the 1960s).

      Edited at 2016-12-06 08:46 am (UTC)

    2. It was the plastic shield in front of the the bulb stopping little bits of glass flying across the room, or at least it was on the hi-tech little cubes you used on Instamatic cameras. Only a select few will remember when that was hi-tech.
      1. I do remember those cubes, but Dad also had (possibly still has) a thing with aluminium leaves that unfurled into a convex reflector and you stuck a bulb in the middle of it. I think. I’m seeing him later this week and will have to ask if he still has any of it. I’m curious now. Much more fun than a smartphone.
        1. I think that may have used plastic covered flash bulbs (same reason). The plastic would melt and bubble up on firing, and might be the source of one of those magic smells which take you back to a particular time and place. Happy days?
  5. A whole second under 20 minutes, with the holdups in the NE corner like, apparently, everyone else. SPYPLANE? I was thinking lizard, and those letters were all wrong. And of course I was well and truly had by “one offering vision of heaven”. John the Revelator just didn’t fit.
  6. I agree, easiest for some time solving top to bottom with no hold ups

    No problem with SPYPLANE. Jack, you must remember Gary Powers and the Lockheed U2 spy plane incident over Russia?

    Strange to think younger folk don’t have experience of FLASHBULBS and the awful red-eyed photo

    1. I wasn’t querying SPYPLANE/SPY PLANE as such, Jim, and I do indeed remember Gary Powers. I appreciate that monitoring is the function of a spy plane, but it’s also what a baby alarm does, or any number of other devices that monitor other things, so having simply “monitor” to give us SPYPLANE seems very loose to me, unless I’m missing something. “Monitoring” in itself doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with spying or planes.

      Edited at 2016-12-06 10:51 am (UTC)

    2. Still plenty of red-eye photos from mobile phones!

      Yes quite a Mondayish puzzle but none the worse for that. FOI HAND-TO-MOUTH LOI SEXTANT COD SEXIST

  7. 14 mins is a good time by my standards so you know this was an easy one! Although on the simpler side, I really appreciate the consistency of the clues. I dislike those crosswords with a bunch of easy clues and then one or two really tough ones. Go tough or go easy, I say. Don’t mix.
  8. Monday’s puzzle on Tuesday? Zipped through this in just under 20 minutes including responding to dog’s request for more breakfast. MOURN the only problem, which I did not parse, seeing the royal ‘we’ as exclusively a nominative personal pronoun. I hope I got that right and that my old English master Peg Leg Wakefield is rejoicing in heaven rather than turning in his grave. TWILIT came up recently, didn’t it, or I have I added precognition to my grammarian skills?
  9. PENINSULA means ‘almost an island’, so I am not sure how it is narrow, and now am not sure why the Iberian Peninsula is one.

    A relatively untroubled passge through this in 25′, but was struck afterwards by how many answers could allude to the incoming POTUS. With the notable exceptions of WARMTH, HEAVENLY and SAFETY, we have SAVAGERY, HAIR GEL, MOURN, SNATCH, SEXIST, HITMAN, BAN, STATIC, SHORT CHANGE, FALSE, AD LIBBING, and may all be HAND TO MOUTH and TWILIT pretty soon. Maybe just the setter’s unconscious mind, or my imagination. Thanks to setter and jack.

    1. Perhaps the setter (and editor) were unconsciously mixing up PENINSULA with the other thing (ISTHMUS) which is certainly narrow.
  10. 50 minutes is quicker than usual for me at the moment, but a long way from my personal best, sadly. Nothing too hard in retrospect, but the crossers of GUESSTIMATE (where I was trying to play with “gate” for “visitors” instead of “guests”) and SHORT CHANGE held me up at the end. DNK AWN, but that was the only unknown, I think.

    Thanks for the parsing, especially for the “our” of MOURN, which I hadn’t twigged even after writing it in. I suppose I’m not very royal.

  11. Exactly one second under 26 minutes for me, even with a brain still addled by jet-lag and dubious hotel wine.

    I hesitated over MOURN, and I don’t think the “monarch’s” device works well. Spent a while staring at 4ac, convinced that I was looking for some sort of lizard. LOI FLASHBULB.

  12. Count me as another who failed to parse the royal possessive and DNK the awn beard. Other than that, a relatively smooth sail.

    Thanks to Jack and setter.

  13. I also failed to parse the Royal WE, but finished in a snappy, for me, 21 minutes, so this was definitely on the easier end of the spectrum. FOsI TIN and BAN. LOI HEAVENLY. No trouble with SPYPLANE or PLANETARIUM. I inherited one of those unfurling flashlight things from my Dad: I’ve no idea what happened to it though! An enjoyable start to the day. Thanks setter and Jack.
  14. Exactly one whole second under 12:34. I reckon I did it in two five-minute bursts with an unaccountable lull in the middle. I biffed a few and raised an eyebrow at monarch’s = our but that now makes sense.
  15. 20 mins. I was tired and kept drifting, so much so that it took me ages to see some that should have been write-ins once a few checkers were in place, such as SPYPLANE and PLANETARIUM (my LOI after STATIC).
  16. 26m today so on my easier side, surprisingly as I barely solved a clue on the first pass and expected the worst once I noticed the wordiness of some of the clues. However a 5m burst saw the South fall and I was away. No standouts today and I shrugged at the Royal OUR rather than being held up by it. Thanks for the blog.
  17. Not a toughie, 15 minutes or less, top to bottom solve ending with HEAVENLY. No unknowns today either, although ‘stick’ as criticism isn’t really part of my usual vocab. Like grestyman, I shrugged at ‘our’ as well. Regards.
  18. 12m. Not the easiest, but certainly not the hardest either, and a steady solve. I was held up a bit over MOURN, thinking the navy was RN.
  19. Horribly tired after a busy day, I struggled to 13:07. Should have left it until tomorrow.
  20. Would have been a bit faster than the 30 minutes I clocked, if I hadn’t given up on 12ac figuring that there was some unknown parlor game called guessmyname, and struggling to parse or cross it. Awn is a favorite in the NYTimes crossword.

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