Times Cryptic 26642

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
I took 26 minutes to get within three letters of completing the grid but then fell at the final hurdle when my poor recollection of Roman statesmen let me down at 11ac. With X, Y and Z spotted early in the proceedings I was on the alert for a pangram but in the end it came nowehere near it with  J, K, Q and V all absent on parade.

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

1 Female star shortened jumper (4)
FLEA – F (female), LEA{d} (star) [shortened]. I wondered if there might be a star in the heavens “LEA?” but couldn’t find one so decided on a more mundane explanation.
4 Chairman’s doctored minutes exposing policy of exploitation (10)
RACHMANISM – Anagram [doctored] of CHAIRMAN’S, M (minutes). A tricky one for overseas solvers, perhaps, or for native youngsters. I’ve pinched this from Wikipedia to save time:  Perec “Peter” Rachman was a landlord of Polish origin, who operated in Notting Hill, London in the 1950s and early 1960s. He became notorious for his exploitation of his tenants, with the word “Rachmanism” entering the Oxford English Dictionary as a synonym for the exploitation and intimidation of tenants.
9 They once shot dog when crossing river (3,7)
BOX CAMERAS – BOXER (dog) containing (when crossing) CAM (river), AS (when). I had one of these as a child but I doubt any survive in general use today so the definition is apt.
10 Almost track down North European (4)
FINN – FIN{d} (track down) [almost], N (North)
11 Roman statesman and senator one recalled (6)
SENECA – SEN (senator), ACE (one) reversed [recalled]. I couldn’t think of this from the definition or work it out from the straightforward wordplay, so shame on me. I’m a little concerned that I may only recognise the name because it was that of a character played by Charles Hawtrey in “Carry On Cleo”. I don’t know whether that was supposed to be the Elder or the Younger or possibly neither of them, but hasty research this morning suggests that the statesman referred to in the clue was Seneca the younger.
12 Open University right to get in tutor for community work (8)
OUTREACH – OU (Open University) + R (right) in TEACH (tutor). Another trip to Wikipedia was needed for this definition, although I knew of it vaguely: Outreach is an activity of providing services to any populations who might not otherwise have access to those services.
14 Dairy product put on scales, some might say (4)
WHEY – Sounds like [some might say] “weigh” (put on scales). That’d be the some who don’t articulate the “h” in “wh” words. This is what Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet and ate with her curds.
15 To unwind, one’s tucked into dip with Rioja, perhaps (10)
DISENTWINE – I’S (one’s) contained by [tucked into] DENT (dip), WINE (Rioja, perhaps)
17 Nasty, mean prison affecting individuals (2,8)
IN PERSONAM – Anagram [nasty] of MEAN PRISON. Wikipedia to the rescue yet again: In personam is a Latin phrase meaning “directed toward a particular person”. In a lawsuit in which the case is against a specific individual, that person must be served with a summons and complaint to give the court jurisdiction to try the case, and the judgment applies to that person and is called an “in personam judgment”. It goes on to contrast it with in rem which applies to all the world and I think also comes up in puzzles occasionally.
20 Cover and page missing from early edition (4)
ROOF – {p}ROOF (early edition) [page missing]
21 Liking song writer at the outset (8)
PENCHANT – PEN (writer), CHANT (song). “At the outset” is a nifty misdirection that serves only to tell us how to place the components of the answer, and has nothing to do with using a first letter.
23 In church, praise French saint (6)
CLAUDE – LAUD (praise) in CE (church – of England). Saint Claude de la Colombière (1641-1682).
24 Fairy story’s ending with pictures (4)
PIXY – PIX (pictures), {stor}Y [ending]. Two unusual spellings here for me as “pixie” and “pics” are more familiar.
25 Child’s undesirable habit / causing anxiety (4-6)
NAIL-BITING – Two meanings
26 Before crossing sea to France, first go round English lake (10)
WINDERMERE – WIND (go round), ERE (before) containing [crossing] MER (sea to France)
27 Was unhappy about drive round much of Europe, heading west (4)
RUED –  DR (drive) containing [round] EU (much of Europe) all reversed [heading west]
2 Coppers are suspended for chasing secretary in Cornish town (5,6)
LOOSE CHANGE – SEC (secretary) + HANG (are suspended) in LOOE (Cornish town).
3 Model young pupils initially enthralled by fantastic teacher (9)
ARCHETYPE – Y{oung} + P{upils} [initially] contained [enthralled] by anagram [fantastic] of TEACHER
4 Held up detective with weapons, one sawn-off, perhaps, in robbery (3,4)
RAM RAID – DI (detective) + ARM (weapon #1) + AR{m} (weapon #2) [sawn-off] all reversed [held up]
5 After revolution, Iran coordinates buffer states (6,9)
6 It’s small, lifted and held by soldiers? (4,3)
MESS TIN – IT’S + S (small) reversed [lifted] contained [held] by MEN (soldiers)
7 Island that’s part of Fiji, bizarrely (5)
IBIZA – Hidden in [part of] {fij}I BIZA{rrely}
8 Champ, from German city one knocked out (5)
MUNCH – MUN{i}CH (German city) [one knocked out]
13 Politician taking steps to secure my agreement (11)
CONCORDANCE – CON (politician) + DANCE (steps)  contain [secure] COR (my!)
16 I’ll guarantee one’s a loud bellicose type? (9)
WARRANTER – a WAR RANTER might be a loud bellicose type
18 University staff room admitting female reader (7)
SCANNER – SCR (university staff room – Senior Common Room) containing [admitting] ANNE (female)
19 Ghastly murder oddly around area north of Hackney? (7)
MACABRE – M{u}R{d}E{r} [oddly] containing [around] A (area) + CAB (hackney). “North” places A above CAB in a Down answer.
21 Fruit pop followed by whisky (5)
PAPAW – PAPA (pop), W (whisky- NATO alphabet)
22 Reportedly prison’s acceptable for disgraced leader (5)
NIXON – Sounds like [reportedly] “nick’s” (prison’s), ON (acceptable). And many thought he was bad!

39 comments on “Times Cryptic 26642”

  1. Ended up close to an hour. The two long anagrams weren’t write-ins – I vaguely remembered ‘Rachman’ from a previous crossword – and the NW was slow to yield as I persisted in wanting to put in ‘frog’ for 1a. I liked the clues for MUNCH (no ‘scream’ elsewhere) and BOX CAMERAS (hang on, almost an anagram there).

    Thanks to setter and blogger

  2. 4ac A reign of terror for unwitting Jamaicans et al in the fifties. Younger folk will have trouble here I guess. My WOD.

    I had most trouble with 5dn CORDON SANITAIRE even though the anagram was blindingly obvious. Probably PKs FOI.

    My FOI was 10ac FINN and LOI 6dn MESS TIN.

    Just over an hour of hard work once I’d finally nailed 15ac DISENTWINE.

    I dithered over WARRANTER/WARRANTOR.


    Excellent blog – shame about SENECA who once noted – ‘If you wished to be loved, love.’
    OK with you POTUS REX!?

    A quality puzzle.

  3. 13:01 – I needed all the checking letters to get CORDON SANITAIRE, and also got RACHMANISM and IN PERSONAM. Not my day for anagrams!
  4. Dreadfully slow, chronometrically and intellectually. A first pass through the acrosses yielded only FINN, OUTREACH, & CLAUDE; the downs only CORDON S, IBIZA, and WARRANTER (like horryd, I dithered over E/O). Never heard of RACHMANISM, and wasted time making sure nothing else would fit. Biffed PROTOTYPE and took forever to remember the other TYPE. All in all a poor performance on a decent puzzle.
  5. 16:09. I solved this early in the morning without caffeine assistance on my way to the airport, and my brain felt very slow. In the circumstances I’m pleased with myself for paying attention to the wordplay and avoiding some biff-traps for a poor speller like me: DISINTWINE, some other variant of IN PERSONAM, WARRANTOR. Actually WARRANTOR isn’t even a case of bad spelling so I’m giving myself a double pat on the back for non-carelessness on that one.
    An early and memorable theatrical experience for me was seeing Antony Sher in Peter Flannery’s Singer In Stratford. The main character is modelled on Peter Rachman so he and his ism have been familiar to me ever since.

    Edited at 2017-02-07 07:18 am (UTC)

  6. 20:37 … had to stop and do a mental reset half-way through when I realised this wasn’t as easy as early progress had suggested. Many of the predictable unknowns, half-knowns and forgottens for me.

    Impressively intricate wordplay, though if they were all like this I’d have to up the caffeine intake. COD to MESS TIN, a model of its devilish type.

  7. Enjoyed this. I only stumbled over 2d which was obviously SPARECHANGE – Par being a Cornish port. This made FLEA impossible so time for a rethink.
  8. Clearly—and somewhat luckily—on the wavelength here, at 43 minutes, which is good for me!

    FOI and COD 4a, for although he was operating before my time, he was mentioned in Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine’s 1989 song “Sheriff Fatman”, about a similar slum landlord (YouTube):

    There’s bats in the belfrey
    The windows are jammed
    The toilets ain’t healthy
    He don’t give a damn
    Just chuckles and smiles
    Laughs like a madman
    A born again Rachman
    Here comes Sheriff Fatman

    I’ll admit SENECA went in on a bit of a prayer, and I knew neither IN PERSONAM nor the French saint, but apart from those it all went in fully parsed and understood. Enjoyed 19d, and my LOI, MESS TIN. WOD PIXY.

    Edited at 2017-02-07 08:55 am (UTC)

  9. ..and LOOE always springs to mind first, because it was mildly amusing when I was seven, having lavatorial leanings. RACHMANISM went straight in – I always think it’s sad when criminals become famous. 18′, thanks jack and setter.
  10. Dawdled through (apparently) in 23 minutes, despite RACHMANISM and C.S. being write-ins. Never gave WARRANTOR a thought because rantor isn’t a thing. PIXY still looks wrong.
    An overall sense with this one was of a collection of words that have had their day in the sun, and would not survive outside crosswords.
  11. I couldn’t come up with the unknown SENECA but having come here I see that it was clued perfectly clearly so I can’t pin the blame on the setter!

    Until then I’d been pleased with coming up with CORDON SANITAIRE and RACHMANISM though I’d wrongly guessed the latter was the exploitation of pianos.

  12. 17:02 so on wavelength today. Would have been better if not held up on my last 2 NIXON and PIXY, especially as I do not spell the latter like that. NIXON fell first. Like Rob, LOOE makes me smile, not for any lavatorial associations but for the concept of Looe’s Womens Institute.
    Thanks setter and Jack.
  13. About 35 minutes in two stages, separated by a wet walk with ailing dog. FOI FLEA, uncertain if the LEAD has to be a star. RACHMANISM more or less a write-in. My first camera, pre Brownie 127, was a Box Camera, used on school visit to Chester. I put in SENECA once I couldn’t make CICERO fit. A third Roman statesman would have been one too far. I’d always spell LOI PIXY as PIXIE. Can’t say I see NAIL-BITING as either childish or undesirable. I’m proud that my teeth are still up for it. COD MESS TIN, a beautifully tight arrangement. An enjoyable puzzle.

    Edited at 2017-02-07 10:30 am (UTC)

  14. Nice steady solve of a good puzzle. SENECA a kneejerk reaction to Roman statesman. Recall both Rachman (whose methods were widely copied across London) and NIXON – was with an American when NIXON fessed up and he was deeply affected having previously given his President the benefit of the doubt. Liked MESS TIN

    Well blogged Jack – some tricky stuff here

  15. 30’52. Slow and steady. A bit annoyed with pixy when poxy was there. Would that be a Dylan song by any chance? Poor old Mr Nixon. joekobi
  16. Necessity was the mother of invention for me today as I glanced at the clock to realise it was already 8.30 and the girls not dressed yet. A lesser man would have said “we’ll be cutting it fine as it is, don’t do the crossword until later you idiot” but not me! And fortunately the time pressure, combined with a bunch of classicist-friendly clues like 11ac and 17ac, resulted in a rare and exceptional time of 5m42. Which even seems to have given Magoo a run for his money today! Now, how can I arrange it that the next Times Champs are held at 8am on a schoolday…
  17. An 18 min fail under competition conditions. Until I checked my Chambers post-solve I was unaware that WARRANTER is an alternative spelling of warrantor. I assumed that the “loud” in the clue was a homophone indicator and the answer was a particularly poor homophone. It wouldn’t be the first. Once I was aware of the alternative spelling I knew it had to be the correct answer, and I should have probably accepted that there’s no such thing as a quiet rant, and that would account for the “loud” in the clue. Of the other answers MESS TIN was my LOI after RACHMANISM.
    1. MESS TIN very much my LOI too – obviously not a clue that’s easy to “bung in from definition”!
      1. Well I did, once I had a couple of checked letters in place and had decided that this must be an &lit. It brought back memories of the Dotheboys CCF.
  18. QC improver here. Very pleased to complete this. Latin class and some time working in la belle France definitely helped. I briefly looked for a plural in 5d?? 24a seemed a bit trixy to me also. Maybe things are falling into place for me, but i soon come back to earth with a bang! Excellent blogg thank you.
  19. QC improver here. Very pleased to complete this. Latin class and some time working in la belle France definitely helped. I briefly looked for a plural in 5d?? 24a seemed a bit trixy to me also. Maybe things are falling into place for me, but i soon come back to earth with a bang! Excellent blogg thank you.
  20. Another slow one for me today, getting there in 14m 26s. I must be one of the young crowd, because RACHMANISM was unknown to me (and I spent too long thinking it was something like MAO + MINUTES*). So too was CORDON SANITAIRE, for which I needed almost all the checking letters. LOI was RUED, for some reason.
  21. Found this tough at 49 minutes, but also fell into the bear trap at 16d with WARRANTOR. FOI, FINN, except that I wrote in FIND, which held me up somewhat on 8d.I spotted my error once RACHMANISM fell into place. I tried to justify PROTOTYPE for 3d, but CAMERAS put paid to that. I still didn’t spot the anagram of teacher though and just biffed ARCHETYPE. Didn’t know the Roman, but followed where the wordplay led. A challenging offering with some clever wordplay. Thanks setter and Jack.
  22. I’ve hit a patch of not being able to finish these stupid things. Yesterday it was militate, visceral and cineraria, today Seneca. T’other day flexion did for me.

    I wonder what it will be tomorrow.

  23. RACHMANISM did it for me. Never heard of it, or him, so I googled the required info. Furthermore, I entered WARRANTOR on the grounds that that’s how you spell it. Silly me. All that in around 20 minutes or so, but with those 2 misplays. Better luck tomorrow, and regards.
  24. Unfortunately DNF being three short of a full house. 11ac SENECA didn’t come to mind despite just not long having finished reading all the way through Mary Beard’s excellent SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome. Never having studied Latin academically, DNK 17ac IN PERSONAM (“affecting individuals”) yet it’s surprising how quickly a grasp of stock Latin phrases can be acquired empirically, e.g. AD HOMINEM (“to the man”) which, on the other hand, could have been a write-in for me! 9ac BOX CAMERAS is slightly before my time, having been introduced to photography via the Kodak Brownie. They tell me photographic film is making a comeback too!

    Edited at 2017-02-07 09:04 pm (UTC)

  25. 11:11 for me.

    No problem with RACHMANISM, but I don’t recall coming across IN PERSONAM before, and I was worried that 16dn was going to turn out to be WARRANTOR rather than the unknown WARRANTER that the wordplay seemed to lead to. (I actually bunged in WARRANTEE until I finally cracked 27ac.)

    And I had a brainstorm at 25ac and bunged in the interesting (but in this case irrelevant) word CRIB-BITING because it fitted!

  26. 32m all correct and a most enjoyable puzzle that I was clearly old enough to tackle – Rachman, Seneca, old cameras, and the buffer States all falling quite easily. Very good blog too so thank you setter and Jack. Off to Oz tomorrow -Perth, Cairns, Sydney and Perth – but hope to still be lurking around the blog. Last time in Oz I did the puzzles online and came back to find I’d won a pen on the Sunday Cryptic! Here’s hoping for more such unexpected successes!
  27. This one kept me busy for 37 minutes, but that’s not bad for my rather slow brain.

    Irritated to see OUTREACH at 12ac. I can remember when people and organisations actually did the things they were meant to be doing, rather than outreaching to innocent members of the public who would probably rather be left unreached.

    RACHMANISM went in solely on wordplay and checkers, and SENECA was only half-remembered but clearly clued.

  28. Was it Bob Dylan who sang about masters of war? Whoever it was it caused me to bung in WARMASTER at 16dn in the vague hope that a warmaster might be another word for someone who guarantees. Very silly really. I wonder if I was the only fool who did this.
  29. ok, no problem with most of these but I don’t get what ‘jumper’ refers to.
    1. Well, fleas jump so they are jumpers in the way that rivers flow and are often clued as flowers

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