Times Cryptic 26758 – June 22, 2017 To boldly solve.

I have not returned to the sunlit uplands of speedy solving yet, so will be content with the 34 minutes it took. I did think actually parsing some of the longer ones took more time that strictly necessary for completing the grid, but then I’m on duty. Those who merrily biffed their way through can find the proper solutions here.
Since keeping a window open is necessary to cool the heat oppresséd brain my writing has been accompanied by suicidal moths dive bombing the more exposed bits of me, engendering frequent rather rude outbursts. If this has affected spelling and/or coherence  I can only apologise. Otherwise I have attempted to preserve the general clue definition SOLUTION outine


1 Artist performing without one is communicating via waves  (8)
RADIOING  Artist  RA, who is DOING, possibly the simplest form of performing. Together without (outside) I for one
5 Aware of having to follow voting system forthwith  (6)
PRONTO  ONTO aware (M Maigret was onto the villain immediately) and P(roportional) R(epresentation) the voting system.
10 Quartet depart endless hosts to finally play for one (5,10)
SPLIT INFINITIVE  Quartet is IV, or four, which SPLIT (depart) and INFINITE (endless) “host” for the no-longer-solecism.
11 Tatty article you left on sink  (4-2-4)
DOWN-AT-HEEL  You equates to the antique THEE, Left contributes its L. Both are tacked on to DOWN for sink, as in drink. As also is A for article: Thanks McT
13 Burning bible with papers  (4)
AVID the Bible here is the Authoristed Version, AV for short and the papers ID
15 Rather like petrol alternative? One could give it a whirl!  (7)
DERVISH  DERV, for the acronym for diesel engine road vehicle,  is another version of plain diesel, an alternative to petrol, now dropping out of favour (again). Whimsically, a bit like puts the ISH on the end. Dervishes are noted for whirling (see “The Jewel of the Nile”)
17 Re offer, fabulous?  (3,4)
FOR FREE I take it that the conceit of this clue is that an offer “for free” would indeed be fabulous. Double tracking, fabulous is the anagram indicator for RE OFFER
18 Film director to take stock of soundtrack?  (7)
RUSSELL  To my knowledge, Bertrand failed to release the History of Western Philosophy as a movie, but Ken made lots of films of varying decadence and wonder, in one of which, for example, the former MP for Hampstead and Highgate rolls around on the floor a railway carriage in a state of  undress. Oh, his name also sounds like rustle, to take cattle.
19 Happier having smallest coins in a line  (7)
TIPSIER  In which you must assume that tipsier means more drunk and drunk is represented by happy. You need some of the smallest coins which are 1PS, after the period in which there were ha’pennies  to challenge for the smallest (in value) crown. Place them inside TIER for line.
21 Joshua’s father’s sisters  (4)
NUNS Joshua, who fit the battle of Jericho had a dad called NUN. Add the apostrophe S without the apostrophe.
22 Match in Kew moved here?  (10)
TWICKENHAM  It being unwise to play Rugby in the venerable gardens, move the letters of MATCH IN KEW for the more suitable Cabbage Patch venue about 4 miles down the A316
25 Have bags of authority? (4,3,8)
WEAR THE TROUSERS  Especially Oxford style trousers are known as bags. A cryptic definition of the assessment of domestic arrangements, harking back to the days when the lady of the house didn’t but did.
27 Disc behind something attached to vehicle  (1-5)
L-PLATE  Disc is LP, and behind LATE, and not the apprentice crossword solve who would L-PARSE (that nearly works too).
28 Smoother variety of PE shorts (3-5)
HOT-PRESS  has to be an anagram, and is of PE SHORTS In Chambers, the device has no hyphen, but the action does.


1 Part evidently owing was settled (7)
RESIDED  I think this is SIDE as a part of something, in the RED, so seen to be owing.
2 Pulse of boy rising (3)
DAL  The simplest way of spelling the pulse, and LAD backwards
3 Excluded boy I transport very upset  (10)
OSTRACISED  everything in DES (boy) I (I) CART (transport) SO (very) is reversed.
4 Streak of lightning over part of golf course  (5)
NINTH Streak means a bit of and over means reversed. In ligHTNINg.
6 Bust of Caesar finally placed on support (4)
RAID  As in a drugs bust. R from the end of Caesar and AID for support.
7 PIN to disappear without right digital application  (4,7)
NAIL VARNISH  ignore the capitals, and PIN is NAIL. Disappear gives vanish, and for the second time without means outside, in this case R(ight)
8 Outstanding bit of cricket shortened contest  (7)
OVERDUE  The bit od cricket is an OVER, and a contest a DUEL which is shortened by removing the L.
9 Uncertain if I voted for this concoction of features  (8)
VIDEOFIT  Identikit for the TV age. Anagram (uncertain) of IF I VOTED.
12 Drawing grains in brickwork, showing every imperfection (5,3,3)
WARTS AND ALL  Famously Oliver Cromwell’s instruction. ART (drawing) SAND (grains) inside WALL (brickwork).
14 Jolly English judge participating in mass event (6,4)
TRIPLE JUMP A jolly is, in this case, a works outing or some such, and therefore a TRIP. LUMP is a mass, into which you insert your E(nglish) J(udge)
16 Utterly unconvincing in speech days before Easter  (4,4)
HOLY WEEK Sounds like wholly weak.
18 Frenchman with directive put up extension (7)
RENEWAL  Apparently all Frenchmen are called RENE by decree of the Académie, directive is LAW which needs to be reversed.
20 Pharaoh, from memory, repeated verse periodically (7)
RAMESES  Fortunately the best known in familiar spelling. RAM memory (take the back off your computer) and add the alternate letters of vErSe. Twice.
23 Blackguard over the moon finding collector’s item  (5)
CURIO  IO is our favourite crossword moon, so the blackguard must be CUR
24 Figure American’s left standing  (4)
STAT  as in istic. STATUS is your standing, from which persuade the US American to leave.
26 Present that’s not been opened before (3)
ERE  Present being HERE (sir) from which the opening isn’t. Um- Present

38 comments on “Times Cryptic 26758 – June 22, 2017 To boldly solve.”

  1. When I finally got NINTH, I thought “that’s as good a hidden as I’ve ever seen”. Having pondered it further, I’m not sure if clues get any better than that. Fiendish and ingenious.

    Great puzzle all round. Had the feeling of an Anax to me, but others are much better at spotting these things.

    Huge thanks and a round of applause to the setter, and to our poor heat-struck blogger.

  2. Well the “jolly” = TRIP at 14dn is a new one on me. But that had to be the answer. Thanks for explaining z8b. Also for the biblical knowledge re NUNS.

    Agree with Gals that 4dn is clever. But then so is 17ac.

  3. was good old-fashioned Victorian for a day out – of the Jerome K Jerome and Mr.Polly ilk.
    Our Colonial friends never got a day-off so ‘Jolly’ is perhaps not within their vocabulary.

    LOI 14ac TRIPLE JUMP courtesy of IKEA.

    FOI 2dn DAL.

    I did not really ever get on the wave length with 26758. I think it was me rather than the puzzle but it was somewhat ‘vanilla’ in my opinion.

    Time about 50 minutes in three sessions.


    1. Yes we do. Must have been an unusually large moth trampling all over my delete key.
  4. Another disaster for me after a pretty good start but as the question-marks started to appear against answers that had to be right (but why?) I began to lose confidence.

    The final straw came when I had only 10ac still unsolved and I wasted about 15 minutes on it before giving up and revealing the answer at Times on-line. I was convinced that it was something unknown because my previous attempt to cheat using a word finder had come up with nothing to match the checkers which I knew were correct. I then found the reason for my difficulty was having stupidly mark the grid up as (4,11) instead of (5,10). I ask you!!!

    Amongst my unknowns were NUN as Jonathan’s father, HOT-PRESS, DAL spelt DAL.

    There’s a lot of rugby played on the immediate vicinity of Kew Gardens without going all the way down the 316 to TWICKENHAM. London Welsh have their home ground at the Old Deer Park adjoining the Gardens, and right next door to that is the Richmond Athletic Ground, home to London Scottish.

    Edited at 2017-06-22 05:33 am (UTC)

  5. 14:36 … about a 5 on the biffometer but much enjoyed. I had a speculative RESIDUE at 1d for a while which was finally sorted out when the penny dropped on DERVISH

    Too many top-notch clues with neat surfaces for me to pick a winner. Compliments to the setter.

    And thanks, Z8, for blogging while under insect attack. I had a June bug the size of a bat come down the chimney the other night while I sat watching television — like something out of a Hitchcock movie. It then launched a frenzied attack on the walls, light fittings, me … what’s with that? When did June bugs start coming down chimneys? Are they getting smarter?

      1. Huge beetle thing that hurls itself against your windows at night, especially around this time of year. I think I might have picked up the ‘June bug’ name when living in Canada. They may be something else here.
        1. They are called Common Cockchafers. They are truly beautiful close up. Check them out on buglife.org.uk
        2. They are called Common Cockchafers and are very beautiful close up. I included a web address but it went into spam so can I recommend you go onto the buglife website in the uk?
          1. Neat website! Thanks.

            And yes. Very beautiful, though I find them hard to appreciate when they’re throwing themselves at me in the dark.

            Now I read the description on Buglife, I see they’re often called May bugs here, which I now remember from childhood. I guess it’s a reflection of the later spring in Canada that over there they’re June bugs.

  6. Having never enjoyed the sunlit uplands (of speedy solving, anyway), this took an hour. Maybe it is the holiday mood or the iPad lack of anagram-fodder-scribbling-capability issue. I enjoyed this and thought it pleasantly quirky. Having raised an eyebrow immediately at the split infinitive, it took me another age to see it was the blinking answer. Thanks quirky setter and Z.
  7. 11:47, but with a stupid mistake. I don’t think I knew how to spell DERVISH but I know perfectly well the fuel isn’t DIRV.
    I dithered for ages at the end over 6dn: it just had to be RUIN, but I couldn’t see why, and as so often the wrong answer took such a hold in my mind that the right one couldn’t get in. There isn’t much room in there, to be fair.

    Edited at 2017-06-22 06:36 am (UTC)

  8. This took about 35 mins last night, and then about 5 mins this morning for the last 6 or 7. But even with this morning’s renewed energy, I couldn’t get past ruin at 6dn. I knew it was wrong, but, as Keri says, it had such a hold that there was no space for any alternative…

  9. I thought this was going to take me an age when I had about 5 answers in after about 15 minutes. But then a couple went in and the rest became mostly biffable. However I was glad to avoid RUIN at 6D which some of you succumbed to given my penchant for an incorrect biff.
  10. DNF for me. I seem to be starting a run of those following my run of finishes. I had very few answers in this grid even as far in as forty minutes. I had a sudden rally and filled in the bottom half and most of the top, but SPLIT INFINITIVE, PRONTO and a few of their associates eluded me, even when I pushed my time out to 90 minutes.
  11. Spent ages trying to fit a synonym of above, or an example, to 10ac, my COD. DERVISH a strong contender also. 26′ Thanks z and setter.
  12. Wonderful crossword right up my street. Concise, witty and clever ….. but still tough. I agree with Galspray that this is decidedly anax-like. Thanks setter whoever you are.
  13. A reasonably gentle re-introduction after nearly a fortnight’s break romanov down the Baltic and the Gulf of Finland, but I took over 40 minutes. I suppose our trip could be called a jolly, but usually that referred to a corporate event in my life, defined as something that would have been more enjoyable in different clothes and circumstances. This holiday was a total delight, with a cruise on the Queen Elizabeth a first world problem I can handle. It takes a bit of time on return to remember that things like ‘to take stock’ have counterparts like ‘to rustle’. Was uncertain about FOR FREE (which the holiday certainly wasn’t) and TIPSIER (I laid off the vodka) but I had no better answers. COD NINTH, beautifully nestling in a hidden corner of the course. Thank you Z and setter.

    Edited at 2017-06-22 09:40 am (UTC)

    1. I love your definition of a jolly. Perfect.

      Welcome back. Sounds like a great trip. Hope it hasn’t left you pinin’ for the fjords.

      1. Yours is even worse than mine. I don’t think we have a comedy duo career ahead. Reminds me of that interview when Eric Morecambe was asked what he and Ernie would have been if they hadn’t become comedians. “Mike and Bernie Winters.”
  14. 32 min – but needed a bit of help to find something to fit the checkers al 3dn, which I was convinced could only start OUT- : also to find a synonym for ‘happy’ at 19ac, having failed to think of 3-letter small coins to insert that made sense.
  15. Took ages trying to work out E_R_ISH at 15a having put Residue at 1d (could be ‘settled’). Finally saw my mistake and completed in about 40m. Now my golf question – is the Ninth hole something special? Otherwise it seems to me you could relate any number to golf. Best hole is the 19th of course. Thanks all
  16. This may have caught quite a few people, judging by the Club stats. It nearly got me and I had “tippier” for a while, having forgotten that happy=drunk. Although when someone’s tipsy I think he’s more likely to sadly cry in his beer. Yes, good one. 15.19

    P.S. Sorry about the insect bombardment Z. I don’t know if this tops Sotira’s june bug but we once had a bat come down the chimney in our NYC apartment (our building is old enough to have fireplaces). We turned off the lights and my husband ushered it out into the hallway where our neighbour chased it into the stairwell with a tennis racket. What followed we don’t know.

    1. I’ve also had a bat in the house. It flew in through an open window then proceeded to circle the lounge. I cowered on the sofa in fright until my wife said we should turn the lights off then exit the lounge and shut the door. She then went outside and opened the windows wide and the bat shot out. I’m just glad she was there to take control!
      1. Bats were regular visitors in Dorm 5 of my prep school (ie when I was 8). They came, they went.
  17. I considered RUIN for 6d, but discarded it as I couldn’t parse it. It became my antepenultimate entry once I’d boldly entered 10a. RESIDUE went in next with a shrug, and I finally stopped trying to be very upset at 3d, when, after writing out the crossing letters horizontally in pen and ink, I spotted the letters I’d excluded. I liked DERVISH and chuckled at 25a. A fine crossword which kept me entertained for 42:17. Thanks setter and Z.
  18. 13:21. I was probably on for a sub-10 but got a bit stuck at the end on videofit, tipsier and ostracised.

    Re tipsier it probably didn’t help that happy/tipsy and line/tier aren’t the first associations one would come up with.

    Re ostracised, please tell me I wasn’t the only one looking to stitch together OUT {boy} I {transport} to get a word like outraged.

    STAT looks like it might catch a few biffers going for STET on the basis of “left standing”.

    Thanks all round. Z, here are a couple of Viz top tips that might help you in your current predicament:

    Catch moths using a mousetrap baited with a jumper.

    Play “Moth Aircraft Carriers” by floating a shoe box in the bath with a torch attached. Leave a window open for ten minutes, then turn off the room lights and watch as the moths attempt to make their dramatic and dangerous landings.

  19. I was making ( for me ) quite steady progress with this until I biffed HOLST VARIATIONS for 10ac.
    Well, what else could it be – I already had –L-T for the first word and the clue included QUARTET, PLAY and a bit of anagram fodder ( endless HOSTS ).
    This, of course, is why I why I will never, ever, ever enter the Championship Contest. Sigh.

    Had to come here for clarification, with the bottom half finished and the top half looking like a dog’s breakfast.

    Time: DNF in about 40 minutes. Thank you to setter and blogger.

    PS Yes, I know the Holst Variations is (are?) not a quartet, but when did common sense ever come into it?

  20. Brilliant improvisation at 10A, Davest. Even if it’s incorrect technically, it earns you style points from me.
    I don’t have a time because, well, I didn’t time it. I’m unfamiliar with UK auto identification, so ‘L-PLATE’ took a while, but it led to my LOI, RENEWAL, which I should have seen earlier. Learned about Joshua’s dad today, heretofore unknown. Regards.
  21. I found this a very satisfying and engaging solve. It flowed well for the most part with about half done this morning (FOI 13ac) in 24 mins, much of the rest done in another 28 mins after work but slowed to a halt with 17 mins more for my last few. Most trouble at LOI 3dn where I was convinced for far too long that it parsed as Penfold has it above. Thank you blogger for parsing 14dn and for explaining who Joshua’s old man was. I really like clues of the ilk of 10ac (if I twig them!) but COD to the terrific reverse hidden at 4dn, a great spot by the setter worked into a convincing surface.
  22. Thrilled to put this one to bed in about an hour with everything parsed bar 21ac NUNS which couldn’t really have been anything else so I confidently biffed it and moved on. It helped a lot that there were no other obscurities beyond my range of general knowledge.
    Lots of clever clueing here but 3d is my COD because, despite having all the crossers correctly in place, like several others I spent too long thinking it had to be OUT…. (something) before the penny finally dropped.

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