Times Cryptic 26636

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
I completed this in 33 minutes so it would rank among the easier puzzles of recent days but for the fact that I had one careless error. There are a couple of words or meanings bordering on the obscure but the wordplay was generally helpful.

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

1 Old space station approaching a celestial object (4)
MIRA – MIR (old space station), A. It’s a giant red star, apparently.
4 Everyone going by taxi unhappy about foreign gentlemen (10)
CABALLEROS – CAB (taxi), ALL (everyone), then SORE (unhappy) reversed [about]. A Spanish word for “knight” or “gentleman”. The Gershwins wrote of “The Land of the Gay Caballeros” in their 1930 musical “Girl Crazy” revived as a film in 1943 starring Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney.
9 Parts of the world where some might understand self-restraint? (10)
CONTINENTS – Sounds like [some might understand] “continence” (self-restraint)
10 Rough stuff from invader (4)
JUTE – Two meanings. A coarse cloth and a Germanic invader.
11 Old coin, restricted, being brought back (6)
DENIER – REINED (restricted) reversed [being brought back]. I knew this as a measure (especially re thickness of nylons) but not as an old coin.
12 Being most sullen, fades away in debate (8)
MOODIEST – DIES (fades away) in MOOT (debate). Better known perhaps as an adjective (as in “a moot point”) moot also exists as a noun meaning a debate or argument. Some communities e.g. Aldeburgh in Suffolk, have or had a Moot Hall as a council chamber.
14 Soft bundle one used for drying channel (4)
WADI – WAD (soft bundle), I (one). My LOI and one error as I plumped for PADI. I did know the word however, so no excuses.
15 Estate scheme put in place first off (10)
PLANTATION – PLAN (scheme), {s}TATION (put in place) [first off]
17 St Paul’s fellow possibly troubling me, ‘non-saint’ (10)
MINNESOTAN – Anagram [troubling] of ME NON SAINT. Names of inhabitants of American states almost always give me trouble. I’m not sure how Times crossword conventions stand on this, but the city is called “Saint Paul” so I wonder if it is legitimate to refer to it in the straight definition at “St Paul”. On edit: It now appears that the sources I checked when blogging were exceptions and the most usual nomenclature is St Paul.
20 Face falling off glass instrument (4)
LUTE –  {f}LUTE (glass) [face falling off]
21 Characters getting on in South Africa protected by foreign father (8)
PERSONAE – ON in SA (South Africa) in [protected by] PÈRE (foreign father)
23 Disagreement about your being up to the job? (6)
WORTHY – ROW (disagreement) reversed [about], THY (your)
24 Money Irishman once used for a flutter? (4)
PUNT – Two meanings, the second referencing two slang terms for a wager
25 Oily substance from strange tree put in end of garden (10)
TURPENTINE – Anagram [strange] of TREE PUT IN {garde}N [end]
26 Criticise books this writer’s penned — they are laughable affairs! (10)
PANTOMIMES – PAN (criticise), then I’M (this writer’s) contained [penned] by TOMES (books)
27 Judge wants old-fashioned award returned (4)
DEEM – MEED (old-fashioned award) reversed [returned]. I’ve never heard of the award.
2 Sending up musical traveller on island is out of order (11)
INOPERATIVE – Reversal [sending up] of EVITA (musical) + REP (traveller) + ON + I (island)
3 I train tot badly — it’s wearing (9)
ATTRITION – Anagram [badly] of I TRAIN TOT
4 Mischievous act, offering sanctimonious words with wish for peace (7)
CANTRIP – CANT (sanctimonious words), R.I.P. (wish for peace- Rest In Peace). It’s a witch’s spell or a playful trick.
5 Art in mobile home represented a piece of mathematics (8,7)
BINOMIAL THEOREM – Anagram (re-presented) of ART IN A MOBILE HOME. I spotted THEOREM early on and worked out the most likely first word from the remaining anagrist and checkers.
6 The French, showing courage and determination, survive (4,3)
LAST OUT – LA (the  – French), STOUT (showing courage and determination)
7 Exam subject covering published course (5)
ROUTE – RE (exam subject) containing  [covering] OUT (published). I never sat an RE exam in my life or knew anyone who did so at school, but I suppose it may count as an exam subject.
8 Ambassador seen in group in paper (5)
SHEET – HE (ambassador – His/Her Excellency) in SET (group)
13 NHS to charge possibly and cheat? (5-6)
SHORT-CHANGE – Anagram [possibly] of NHS TO CHARGE
16 Are gang turning up with yesteryear’s rebel to be countenanced? (9)
TOLERATED  – ARE + LOT (gang) reversed [turning up], TED (yesteryear’s rebel). I think the clueing of TED is fair enough here and certainly better than “hooligan”  as so often in the past but I await Jim’s verdict with interest.
18 Short puzzle engaging African party in quiet room? (7)
SANCTUM – STUM{p} (puzzle) [short] containing [engaging] ANC (African party – African National Congress)
19 Quality of the present head, keeping personal (7)
NOWNESS – NESS (head – headland) containing [keeping] OWN (personal). It sounds like a modern word to me but it dates back to the 19th century with this meaning.
21 Work chewed by dog? Such may be children’s book (3-2)
POP-UP – OP (work) contained [chewed] by PUP (dog)
22 Game with nobody short of energy to go into extra time? (3,2)
RUN ON – RU (game), NON{e} nobody [short of energy]

51 comments on “Times Cryptic 26636”

  1. You are right. Some blogs do appear early. Finished in 30 minutes. Enjoyed this . 21D reminded me of my grandchildren’s books and raised a smile from that age-old excuse ‘the dog ate my homework’ Thank you for the blog
  2. Found this hard (again). Biggest hold-ups were JUTE, CONTINENTS, INOPERATIVE and the unknown CANTRIP. Still, got there in the end, so no complaints.

    Didn’t realise the city was actually Saint Paul. I’m sure I’ve only ever seen it written as St Paul, so no complaints there either.

    Thanks setter and Jack.

  3. About 45 minutes for me, but a DNF as I made the same mistake with 14a. Unknowns were also DENIER as a coin and the old word for ‘reward’. Our RE was called Divinity for which we did have an exam (test would be a better word) and I was the proud winner of the Divinity Prize a couple of years on end. Another example of schoolboy success not being carried through to adulthood – such wasted potential.

    I’d have to say NOWNESS is not my favourite word but I liked the ‘Work chewed by dog’ wordplay and LUTE was also clever.

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

  4. Same as Jack and Bletchley – put 14ac PADI – WADI of course! 42 minutes

    Held up by 7dn/10ac intersection ROUTE and JUTE

    we had RI but no exam!



  5. 14:20 here – struggled a bit with this, and had to piece together CABALLERO, TOLERATED, ROUTE and TURPENTINE from the wordplay. Relieved DEEM was correct, don’t recall seeing MEED before.


  6. DNK CANTRIP, so far as I can tell; I certainly couldn’t have told you what it meant. And although I knew DENIER, I’m surprised I was able to recall it. Wasted a lot of time on St. Paul’s until the penny dropped. I always thought MEED was ‘merit’, ‘desert’, rather than a specific award; and ODE has ‘a person’s deserved share of praise, honour, etc.’
  7. FOI BINOMIAL THEOREM, LOI MIRA. Always known I should have read Maths and not Physics. DNK MIRA but MIR dredged up from somewhere. THE NW last to fall. CONTINENTS being a very dodgy homophone and CANTRIP not known but eventually seen from cryptic. In SE MEED never heard of so DEEM biffed. COD PERSONAE. Other things happening meant no accurate time.
  8. Can someone find that famous song in which Paddy O’Reilly (for it was surely he) being short of a bob or two bet his wee horse on the truth of the tale that the Pope was a Catholic? (Sing hi di diddly dee) because then I can justify my PONY at 24 and my 14.01 counts for something (Sing hi di diddly dum). Maybe it was Shanks?. I did manage to correct PADI before submitting, mind.
    CANTRIP from wordplay with a distant wave from the direction of 4 prong spiky things (which it ain’t)
    I was slightly disappointed with 5d being just an anagram: I hoped on first sight it was going to be one of those clever clues that use the antique -est verb ending – art in: dwellest or something. O well, at least it made sure I didn’t spell theorem with a U.
  9. Enjoyable puzzle and by no means easy. Very happy to see “Ted” described as “rebel” because that’s what most of us were doing in the 1950s – rebelling against parents and social values

    Interesting to see BINOMIAL THEORM – fundamental piece of maths. Watch out also for the related “Pascal’s Triangle”

  10. For 16d, why does TED = yesteryear’s rebel?
    Is it teddy boys?

    Edited at 2017-01-31 09:36 am (UTC)

    1. Yes – I was one

      A small percentage in the inner cities were trouble makers and they got the rest of us tarred with their brush. But for the vast majority it was a uniform that made a statement about rebelling. In my case against Edwardian parents, short back and sides haircuts, boring Sundays etc. See also Teddy Girl

      1. Back in the mid fifties, as a ten year old, I sometimes watched Dad play cricket, on a Saturday of course. Once, the other team had a Ted playing for them. Nothing incongruous about that; most blokes in Lancashire played cricket then. But, given out LBW by the old codger neutral umpire, he refused to go. He had to be dragged by his own team from the pitch. I was as horror struck as they all were. Never a Ted, but both the last Victorian and the first Boomer, I enjoyed Sundays, particularly a few years later meeting the girls at the Church youth club. They weren’t too repressed!

        Edited at 2017-01-31 10:37 am (UTC)

        1. I wouldn’t describe that as Teddy Boy behaviour. I played for the school and a club and would never have dreamed of defying the umpire. The guy was just an idiot.
  11. Curses! 55 minutes, but with one letter wrong. I couldn’t remember whether the fabric was “bute” or JUTE and sadly plumped for the wrong one, having never heard of the other meaning. I think “bute” must have been lingering in my head from school chemistry lessons.

    Glad to have correctly biffed DEEM and DENIER, and remembered WADI from Spike Milligan’s war memoirs (not for the first time here, I think.)

    I particularly liked MINNESOTAN, having left the clue till later assuming it was some religious reference, only to find that it was a nice piece of misdirection. Luckily I’ve got a friend who lives in Minneapolis, so at least I knew what was going on once I worked out the anagram.

    Edited at 2017-01-31 09:40 am (UTC)

  12. Off the wavelength and off the scale on this one, limping home in 85 minutes. Not helped by being completely fooled by the Minnesotan and by inventing a mew mathematical theorem, viz. “Bolimian”, presumably named after Princess Di. She was dyslectic, after all.
  13. For the second day in succession I have been shown as 2 errors but I cannot find anything different in my solutions to the ones on the blogs. Is there an appeal procedure?
  14. 35 minutes, held up by the NE corner and slow to see MINNESOTAN where I was trying to find people St Paul visited, like the Ephesians but not. CANTRIP and MEED reversed unknown but put in hoping they were OK. The rest was fine.
  15. Nice to see a mathematical clue, but undoubtedly COD to LOI MINNESOTAN, was thinking my biblical knowldge should have been better. Struggled with deciding 1ac, considered at length space stations VEG and NOV. Was in Spain last year, so knew CABALLEROS, seems such an unnecessarily long word, I wonder if they abbreviate it, like we do Gents. Just over 24′, thanks jack and setter.
  16. 18m. This was made tricky by the obscurities, but I like an obscurity when it’s fairly clued. I’ll admit to crossed fingers over DEEM, and WADI/PADI is arguably unfair but fortunately I knew WADI so I wasn’t tempted.
    Today we have a homophone which I would say is potentially questionable, although I would wager that many people who think they pronounce the T at the end often don’t. In any event ‘some might understand’ puts it beyond question IMO.
    My daughter has just chosen her GSCEs (which is odd because I’m sure she was in nappies only the day before yesterday) and one of the options is RE. She considered it briefly but I’m glad to say she picked Greek instead, which will help her no end in future crossword endeavours.
    1. Geez it goes quickly doesn’t it K? It’s back-to-school week here, and for the first time in 26 years we’ve run out of little Galsprays to send.
      1. Crikey this is a blast from the past! My daughter has now done her A levels and is off to university next year to study Classics.
        1. I’m plodding through past puzzles. Rather miss the comments from erstwhile regulars such as Sotira and Tony S but pleased to see Galspray back. Not sure how much good it does me but I like it.

          I did Greek and Latin A Level and my teachers were keen for me to do Classics but 4 years and then scratching my head what to do was less attractive than doing Law in the late Eighties. Of course I hated being a lawyer but turns out I like leading a team rather than being told what to do by clients. Just a shame it took twenty years to get there!

          At least the Greek comes in useful for these things though I’m still utterly hopeless at Wordwatch

  17. Your setter, as a former editor of RE books, is sorry your daughter didn’t choose RE. More than ever, we need a proper understanding of the world’s religions, whatever our own particular faith (or ‘non-faith’) may be. You’ll probably get more RE than Greek in my puzzles too!
    1. So true, setter. Why just a few weeks ago, the scales were lifted from my very own eyes. Until then, it pains me to confess, I had fumbled aimlessly through life not knowing what a PREBEND was!
    2. Hi setter, and thanks for popping in. I wouldn’t have minded her studying RE, although as it was described to my by her teacher the GCSE syllabus seemed quite Christianity-centric. That may have been an unfair impression but in any event we didn’t put any pressure on her one way or the other.
  18. Another solver for whom CANTRIP and MEED and MIRA existed – if they existed at all – right at the edge of my working vocabulary. However, given that I solved correctly, in good time and enjoyed it, no complaints and I pronounce myself happy to have continued my education.
  19. The hint of science here reminded me that the New Scientist started a crossword this year (well they got as far as No.2) not cryptic but obscure enough to have to google to finish. It made think of the sheer plurality of possible combinations. My dad hated Teds but i think it was because some called him Ted being an Edwin. It was Mods and Rockers by the time i was old enough to care.
    Disastrous attempt wanting DENIER to be SENIOR and taking ‘this writers’ as MINE so messing pantomimes and theorem . N and Ms always difficult to spot in the crosscheck at the best of times
  20. This was Richard Nixon’s press secretary’s famous word for a statement on his boss’s behalf which was almost immediately shown to be utterly false. Now we have “alt. facts”. I knew the THEOREM from Sherlock Holmes – it was Prof Moriarty’s specialty. I found this rather difficult despite knowing CANTRIP for some reason. Z wasn’t the only one looking at “pony”. 17.47 but my keyboard entered “newness” at 19d (grrr).
    1. I knew the theorem from the Major General’s song in “The Pirates of Penzance”. And I’m another who had NEWNESS (which I couldn’t parse but bunged in nevertheless) Ann
  21. Having successfully negotiated most of the many unknowns in 13 minutes I fell at the last with 4d, where I couldn’t see past CON for “mischievous act” and so made something up.

    Seeing St. Paul in there at 17 I wonder if I’ll bump into today’s setter at the Leeds Irish Centre tonight where I’m off to see the fabulous Alabaman soul combo St. Paul & The Broken Bones. After all, lead singer Paul Janeway was “raised in a non-denominational, Pentecostal-leaning local church and was groomed to be a preacher until he was 18 years old”.

  22. A few tough four-letter answers today. Having taken a punt (no pun intended) on DEEM and chucked in JUTE with little hope, I too came a cropper on 14a: I went for PAPI. 10m 20s with that error.
  23. Decided to finally raise my head above the parapet after lurking in the shadows for some time. Managed an almost all-correct solution in about 45 mins. Only went wrong with 10ac which I’d put in (on treeware) as RUDE which I’d parsed as (int)RUDE(er) “stuff from invader”.
    1. Welcome, Mike, and thanks for breaking cover on my watch. Hope to hear from you regularly from now on.
  24. Managed not to trip over the dry river bed and worked out the unknown CANTRIP from wordplay. Took DEEM on trust with fingers crossed. JUTE eventually dragged from the remote memory cells after seeing ROUTE. Didn’t know DENIER as a coin, but it had to be. MINNESOTAN also held me up as I considered the ecclesiastical possibilities fruitlessly. 5d was a write in after I extracted THEOREM from the anagrist. A satisfying workout which took me 45 minutes. Thanks setter and Jack. And welcome to mikelima!
  25. 18 mins, with the CANTRIP/DENIER crossers my last ones in, and PERSONAE took a while to sort out. I confess that 2dn, 16dn and 25ac were biffed although I parsed them post-solve. I had no problems with MIRA or WADI but DEEM certainly went in with fingers crossed. I’ve flown into Minneapolis/St Paul a couple of times so I’m a little annoyed with myself for getting fixated on a possible biblical answer for so long at 17ac.
  26. Went through this in a bit below 20 minutes, despite not knowing of MEED, CANTRIP and DENIER. As an American I’m a tad sheepish to admit that my LOI was MINNESOTAN. That misled me, for sure, well done setter, and thanks for dropping by. Regards to all, thanks to Jack.
  27. 9:36 for this interesting and enjoyable puzzle.

    I had a brief attack of vocalophobia over 2dn, but fortunately managed to work out the wordplay before panic really took hold. (I sometimes wonder if Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice named their musical especially to take advantage of all the free advertising they were going to get from cryptic crosswords.)

  28. 52 minutes with one mistake, but at least not everyone else’s. This puzzle was full of obscure clues, but I did survive all but one: MIRA, JUTE, WADI, CANTRIP, DEEM were all OK despite my not knowing either the word itself or what was involved in the wordplay. But for 24ac I had PANT: not being able to equate PUNT with “flutter” and last having been in Ireland 45 years ago I convinced myself that PUNT was the Welsh spelling and so Irish must be different. So much for that. COD to MINNESOTAN

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