Times Cryptic 26762

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
I needed a few moments over an hour on this one but never doubted I would get there without resorting ot aids so I persevered. You’ll gather that I found it quite tricky but I fully expect to read later that some solvers completed it in 3 minutes including several unwanted interruptions. It’s just as well that I don’t let such things get me down!

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

1 Money companion invested in theatre (7)
DRACHMA – CH (companion  – of honour), contained by [invested in] DRAMA (theatre). The monetary unit in Greece until 2002 that some say might save their failing economy if they were permitted to return to it now.
5 Save on eco-friendly transport (7)
RECYCLE – RE (on), CYCLE (eco-friendly transport). I suppose to recycle something one has to save it first but I don’t really see the two words as direct synonyms.
9 Quality resolving eg old sins? (9)
GODLINESS – Anagram [resolving] of EG OLD SINS. Words ending “-ness” usually refer to a state or quality. I think there may be a case here for extending the definition to the whole clue making it &lit.
10 Primate originally lived on rocky island (5)
LORIS – L{ived} O{n} R{ocky}[originally], IS (island)
11 Early example of ‘sofa’ government? (7,6)
OTTOMAN EMPIRE – A cryptic definition and possibly a bit of  loose one as sofas and ottomans, though both are padded seats of sorts, are somewhat different. A sofa also has a padded back and usually arms, whereas an ottoman has neither. Perhaps that’s why ‘sofa’ is in quotations.
13 Painful growth: phone doctor shortly (8)
RINGBONE – RING (phone), BONE{s} (doctor) [shortly]. A condition affecting horses, apparently. I’ve never heard of it, and according to Google it has never come up here before.
15 Line by largely inexperienced poet (6)
VIRGIL – VIRGI{n} (inexperienced) [largely], L (line)
17 Haggard entertainer, not entirely full of enthusiasm (6)
ARDENT – Hidden [not entirely] in {hagg}ARD ENT{ertainer}
19 Live near old hospital in West Midlands area (8)
SANDWELL – SAN [old hospital – sanatorium], DWELL (live). Sorry to any folks who hail from that part of the world, but I’ve never ever heard of this place tghat’s only 85 miles from my house.
22 Imagine venue housing a cinema (7,6)
PICTURE PALACE – PICTURE (imagine), PLACE (venue) containing [housing] A
25 Female isn’t commonly timid (5)
FAINT – F (female), AIN’T (isn’t, commonly)
26 No word about one stuck in South America’s mountain range (9)
SNOWDONIA – NO + WD (word) + ON (about) + I (one) all contained by [stuck in] SA (South America)
27 Peacekeepers brought into region, revolutionary hotspot (7)
SUNTRAP – UN (peacekeepers) contained by [brought into] PARTS (region) reversed [revolutionary]. The singular cluing the plural made me think twice, but it’s fine as people often say “in these parts” meaning “in this region”.
28 Pork pie must ultimately include right type of pastry (7)
TARTLET – TALE (pork pie – CRS for ‘lie’) contains [include] RT (right), {mus}T [ultimately]
1 Setter maybe heading for encomium? That’s official (4)
DOGE – DOG (setter, maybe), E{ncomium} [heading]. “Doge” defined as “old magistrate” came up as part of the wordplay in the Quickie I blogged last Friday, and in the competition  puzzle the previous Saturday defined as “old Venetian” where it intersected with DOG defined as “setter” in the wordplay.  Enough already! It’s starting to feel like Groundhog Day around here.
2 Soon to collect medal plus other things (3,2,2)
AND SO ON – ANON (soon) contains [to collect] DSO (medal  – Distinguished Service Order).
3 Gelignite maybe first used in crime (5)
HEIST – HE (gelignite maybe – High Explosive), 1ST (first)
4 This person enters hostelry with head lowered, it’s declared (8)
AVERMENT – ME (this person) contained by [enters] {t}AVERN (hostelry) ->T [head lowered – in a Down clue]. A word more used in legal jargon than in everyday speech I suspect. Another unknown to me but easy enough to deduce. It has come up once before in a Jumbo three years ago.
5 Dislike Sterne novel (6)
RESENT – Anagram [novel] of STERNE. The ‘Tristram Shandy’ man. A book I intended to read one day but never got round to and probably won’t bother now.
6 Bad-mouthed uncle misbehaving with maid (9)
CALUMNIED – Anagram [misbehaving] of UNCLE MAID.  This came up once before seven years ago.
7 Top-quality port in glass girl dropped (7)
CORKING – CORK (port), IN, G{lass} [girl dropped]. I think we’re in Bertie Wooster territory with this one.  ‘Cork’ makes a welcome change from  ‘Rio’ as the port of choice.
8 Flower, one beginning to lean in wind (6,4)
EASTER LILY – I (one) + L{ean} [beginning] contained by [in] EASTERLY (wind)
12 The best advertisements for pastries (5,5)
CREAM PUFFS – CREAM (the best), PUFFS (advertisements). Another pastry to go with the pork pie and tartlet at 28ac.
14 Make joky comments about that Parisian diner (9)
BANQUETER – BANTER (make joky comments) containing [about] QUE (that, Parisian)
16 Restless soul‘s complaint after eating a fish (8)
GADABOUT – GOUT (complaint) containing [eating] A +DAB ( fish)
18 Democrat lies, forgetting opening in speech (7)
DICTION – D (Democratic), {f}ICTION (lies) [forgetting opening]
20 Non-resident wanting vote is persistent (7)
ETERNAL – E{x}TERNAL (non-resident) [wanting vote – X]. Here’s a defintion of “external” that supports the wordplay: Of a student or an examiner: taking or marking examinations of a university of which he or she is not a resident member.
21 Establishes classes at university (4,2)
SETS UP – SETS  (classes), UP (at university)
23 One assists a traveller leaving capital (5)
AIDER – A, {r}IDER (traveller) [leaving capital]
24 Unable to move / quickly (4)
FAST – Two definitions

56 comments on “Times Cryptic 26762”

  1. Completed at an average speed of just under half a K (where K is the new symbol for the speed of light).

    I got horribly bogged down in the Queensland corner, with VIRGIL, CORKING and LORIS. Also took ages over SNOWDONIA, misparsing the clue and preparing to complain about the incorrect anagrist. I was already in medium dudgeon when the penny finally dropped.

    Always wondered what a GADABOUT was. Thanks setter and Jack.

  2. I felt like an idiot for falling at the last fence with ‘cant’ instead of FAST, but Chambers has “to tilt of toss suddenly” as a meaning for ‘cant’ (as in ‘decant’) which of course is exactly what I was thinking. Maybe a quasi-correct answer anyway. A few obscure ones such as RINGBONE held me up and I came in at just under the hour. CALUMNIED is a good word which I’ll store away for future use and was my favourite today.

    Thank you to setter and blogger

  3. Strangely this word is not in Chambers or any of the other established dictionaries. The verb form of CALUMNY is listed as “calumniate”. Nevertheless quite an entertaining puzzle. Thank you.
    1. ‘Calumny’ as a verb form is in ODO.
      [As mctext has already pointed out, I see.]

      Edited at 2017-06-27 06:47 am (UTC)

        1. I think it’s the Oxford Dictionary Online – the free one.

          Nice to see you here again, Uncle Yap!

          Edited at 2017-06-28 04:58 am (UTC)

        2. Yes that’s right, Oxford Dictionaries Online. I don’t think the contents match exactly with a particular OED paper edition (unlike online Collins which I think does match) but it’s the same source.
  4. Glad to see that even a local like Jack didn’t know SANDWELL. Also DNK RINGBONE, but it had to be, and AVERMENT. I had Jack’s reservations, too, about RECYCLE and OTTOMAN EMPIRE, but I’m always willing to overlook such problems when I can solve them quickly. Biffed 2d and 16d.
  5. … to find so many obvious answers (starting with 1ac) plus so many difficut ones — such as SNOWDONIA — with hardly anything in between. With Gals, I had most trouble in the QLD quadrant. And failed to parse CORKING and LORIS. Also failed to spot the inclusive for ARDENT. (The new coffee machine obviously isn’t doing its wake-up job too well.)

    2dn was a bit odd with SO-ON in the clue and the answer, leading to much turmoil over how AND could be a gong.

    As for 6dn, ODO has:
    verb: (calumnies, calumnying, calumnied) [ with obj. ] formal.

  6. 14:35. Top of the leaderboard two days in a row. This time I achieved it by solving just after the puzzle was published at midnight: working late has its perks. Quite tricky this, but without resorting to obscurity, which I like. Not that I particualrly mind obscurities (when clearly indicated), but I particularly admire hard clues for commonplace words.
  7. Found myself almost the same as Jack with DNKs RINGBONE and SANDWELL although I lived in Solihull for a year I could only must HAN(D)WELL which is NQR.

    26 ac SNOWDONIA was my COD ands fortunately came early.

    But this was a DNF on the hour with a great hole in the NSW corner as at 28ac pork pie had to be HAT or LIE – but not TALE which again was NQR! As it is CRS it has to rhyme! TALE does not!

    2dn AND SO ON was NQR as per McText.


    IMO this puzzle lacked a bit of finesse and thus I lacked a finish.

    Modd Meldrew – Luncheon!

    1. It’s not in the corner of anywhere on my maps. VIC/TAS perhaps for the SE?
      I prefer the Star Trek parlance: Alpha, Beta, Gamma & Delta quadrants. A lot more precise.

      “I lived in Solihull for a year” … my commiserations.

      1. NSW/VIC/TAS form the SE Quadrant of Australia – to be precise

        Most of the maps produced by the Star Wars art staff for the series show the Solar system is roughly in the center of the Alpha Quadrant. However, some maps show that the Solar system is at the edge of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants.

  8. 3Ks for me. Thought CORKING was very good.

    I was second in the Concise roll of honour when I completed at 1am BST. This fastness (cant?) must be contagious…

  9. 18:25 … with the LORIS / CORKING pair using up a fair bit of that. Tricky stuff in places but, as jacket says, sure-footed enough that you never gave up hope.
  10. Took 50mins over toast and pink grapefruit marmalade. Biggest holdups were Gadabout and Corking (couldn’t see the ‘glass girl dropped’ thing for ages). I once worked in Sandwell helping to build schools in Tipton and Wednesbury. Was pleased if amazed to see it in crosswordland. Thanks setter and Jack.
  11. Not quite sure how I pulled LORIS out of the hat at the very last second of my hour, but I did, assuming without looking hard enough that Oris was just some Scottish island I’d not heard of (I assume if one learns them all then the Scots just manufacture new ones…) If you’d asked me what a LORIS was when I started I’m sure I would have said I’d never heard of it.

    FOI DOGE. This was a game of two halves for me, with the east a lot harder than the west. I had particular trouble coming up with SANDWELL (I went to Warwick uni but didn’t venture out much while I was there), GADABOUT, TARTLET and CORKING. Eventually I’ll remember that Cork is a port.

    COD for the hidden ARDENT, which totally wrongfooted me: as soon as I saw “Haggard entertainer…” I started thinking along much more devious lines, like She… WOD DRACHMA, perhaps because I’m trying to learn Greek at the moment.

    1. And I was a third. In fact I think it was my first one in.

      Edited at 2017-06-27 08:39 am (UTC)

  12. Hmm, found this quite straightforward – but I’ve been to Sandwell, I remember it (perhaps unfairly) as an undistinguished suburb of Birmingham, totally surrounded by motorways. Bit surprised to see it in a Times cryptic.. and I’m off to Snowdonia in a week or two. And my parents had an ottoman on the landing with linen in it.
  13. 36.35, which left me with a bit of a sense of disappointment after doing the left half in about 7 minutes. Finally conceded it’s easier working out anagrams if you write the letters down, hence CALUMNISED and then the rest of the NE sector. But the SE refused to give until I realised I wasn’t looking for a type of pastry (choux, shortcrust, puff…erm) but any old pastry. Pork pie for tale fits the context better than the answer, methinks, but fair enough. FAST last in after SNOWDONIA (couldn’t make SOUNDLESS work any more than VAGABOND for the restless one) having discounted CANT.
    Harder than it should have been, but pleased I’m not the only treaclehead.
  14. My LOI was AND SO ON which made GODLINESS patently obvious rather than the pencilled-in GOLDINESS. Probably 40 minutes in two disturbed sessions.
  15. I nearly did give up hope twice. Once after 5 minutes with nothing to show but FAINT. Fortunately CREAM PUFFS were a staple of last week’s cruise and they got me going if slowly. The NE caused some difficulty although I do sometimes say CORKING, I think in parody, probably of myself. But the SE really stumped me, determined as I was that the mountains must be in Silesia, which is probably as flat as Norfolk. Only when GADABOUT hit me did I biff SNOWDONIA, at best semi-parsed. TARTLETs were on the cruise too of course, but difficult to spot next to the pork pies. LOI ETERNAL. So I finished after an eternity of 65 minutes. Thank you Jack and setter.

    Edited at 2017-06-27 09:42 am (UTC)

    1. Hi BW. if you ever cycle around parts of Norfolk you will realise it’s not that flat! Admittedly it’s not the Alp D’Huez (which my son says is quite a climb). I hope Mr Froome isn’t abused this year. I have a big DNF on this struggling in the NE and, like others, using CANT (as in canter). I don’t like clues such as Sandwell as very few people will have heard of the place. Thanks all
  16. Slightly irritating puzzle with “pork pie” for “tale” the worst offender. As others have said, its CRS for “lie” not “tale”

    Knew SANDWELL as the home of football club West Bromwich Albion but still a bit obscure me thinks

    1. One of the definitions of TALE in ODO is ‘a lie’. I’d say this gets the setter off the hook, although in most of the usage examples ODO gives I’d say the word is being used to mean ‘story’.

      Edited at 2017-06-27 10:10 am (UTC)

      1. Can’t agree K – as horrid has said it’s CRS and the answer must rhyme. We can’t have “skin and blister” for “relative” or “jam jar” for “estate” etc.
        1. Pork pie means lie. If TALE means lie then pork pie means TALE. By the same token CHINA is often used to indicate PAL. And we’ve seen BERK in these puzzles without the setter feeling the need to reflect its CRS origins!

          Edited at 2017-06-27 10:34 am (UTC)

          1. K.Orchestra stalls!

            I doubt any setter would stick out ‘is Gregory an’ reflect on the origins of BERK!

            Yer old China

            1. CRS terms are used all the time to indicate synonyms of their rhyming equivalent (or vice versa). A few recent examples googled at random:

              Source of medicine mostly a success in China – PHIAL
              Conflict associated with trouble for Cockney spouse? – STRIFE
              Barnet — specifically the church there – THATCH
              Outing of cobblers cut short – TRIP

              Pork pie for TALE is just like this, assuming you agree with ODO that TALE means lie.

              1. I’ll repeat Jimbo’s comment:-

                Slightly irritating puzzle with “pork pie” for “tale” the worst offender. As others have said, its CRS for “lie” not “tale”.

                The CRS for TALE is definitively ‘Weep and wail’

                Which part of the Mile End Road do you hale from?

                Any setters from Bow?


                1. And in the clues I cited above:
                  > ‘China’ is CRS for ‘mate’, not PAL
                  > STRIFE is CRS for ‘wife’, not ‘spouse’
                  > ‘Barnet’ is CRS for ‘hair’, Not THATCH
                  > ‘Cobblers’ is CRS for something rhyming with ‘awls’, not TRIPE.
                  So ‘pork pie’ for TALE is really not unusual.
                  1. All known – however you have one wrong.

                    The CRS for wife is TROUBLE not strife! Better known as ‘The Trouble’.

                    One usually drops ‘the rhymer’ but not always.

                    Over to you jimbo.

                    1. Fair point! But the clue tells us that STRIFE is associated with ‘trouble’ to get… ‘spouse’. Not ‘wife’.
                      1. It appears that the synoyms are ‘stretched’ by the setters and as has been noted earlier. CRS itself is very precise. Thatch = hair country-wide but in the Mile End Road where it refers pecisely to pubic hair and is NOT CRS! CRS Barnet = hair and nothing else! Syrup covers that!

                        Metaphors are being mixed which is diluting and annoying.

                        CRS is CRS – although much of it now is heard within the bells of Basildon Starbucks. Mockney abounds! Stick to Spoonerisms!

                        I’m not sure you or the setters quite geddit’s (CRS) purity!

                        Ball and Chain in CRS = strain – in Mockney it means wife!

                        Edited at 2017-06-27 08:07 pm (UTC)

                        1. I’m not sure you “geddit” that this is a crossword, not a CRS manual.
  17. Agree with Jack, this was one where I *knew* I could finish it, so kept plodding on until I did! The SE (NSW/VIC/TAS?) took ages at the end, and I was fully expecting 19ac to be Bridwell (does the Bristol Royal Infirmary still exist?) until I eventually got GADABOUT, where I couldn’t get past the fish being ‘trout’ for the longest time. All good in the end, though my time was off the scale…

    1. I can personally confirm the continuing existence of the Bristol Royal Infirmary 😀
  18. I think this was around 28 minutes and I found it a little frustrating, most of the left hand side was completely blank and after piecing together SANDWELL, CALUMNIED and AVERMENT I was starting to wonder if the setter had painted themselves into a corner and was making up new words to get out of it. Oh well… better luck tomorrow!
  19. ‘He gets what exercise he can
    By falling off the ottoman
    But generally seems to lack
    The energy to clamber back.’

    I dont want to hear about GOUT on a fine Tuesday morning, especially as I seem to be getting it elsewhere from the classic big toe (knee, first finger left hand). Otherwise a pleasant solve. No issue with pork pie = tale. If setter had written ‘lie’ in the clue, no-one would have objected. Pork Pie is another way of saying the same word. Driving into London from Heathrow used to involve going past a large advert for Carlsberg whose standard advert was that it was ‘probably the best lager in the world’. This particular poster stated ‘The best lager in the world’ but the picture was of a pork pie. I always wondered what visitors to the UK made of it. Thanks Jack.

    Edited at 2017-06-27 02:51 pm (UTC)

  20. DNF: Had to go out after about 40 min, with most of SE blank. Back in, decided to resort to aids, but still spent over 20 min on searches – the lists I have don’t include 26ac or 28ac under the relevant headings, and I was looking for a fish at 16dn. Almost gave up, but a search fit the checkers gave me 26, when the rest followed, with 28 LOI.
    Was watching ‘Money for Nothing’ in which items saved from the dump are imaginatively recycled, so no problem with 5a.
  21. I had a bit of trouble with this one. Most done in the hour but a slightly desperate LAZAROUS (I had been drinking beer) at 16dn left me staring at S_R_L_T for 28ac. An alphabet trawl got me nowhere so I put the puzzle away for 10 mins. When I came back to it I identified the error, put in the correct “gadabout” and got “tartlet”. Thank you blogger for parsing “Snowdonia” I couldn’t see where the “on” came from. Nice puzzle. FOI “Loris” never too far from my thoughts as he has done sterling work between the sticks for my football team over a few seasons now.
  22. A DNF with CORKING, VIRGIL, RECYCLE and GADABOUT unsolved until after 75 minutes I gave up and googled “Save on eco-friendly transport” which brought me to Jack’s blog. In mitigation, I plead hunger pangs and the knowledge that a nice lamb steak was sitting in the fridge, having been out since early doors taking my daughter to catch a train to Cardiff(via Bristol) from Darlington, where the call of the snooker club seduced me into spending the afternoon knocking balls about. I did manage to come up with SANDWELL once I’d cheated on GADABOUT. I found the right hand side much harder than the left. I also spent ages pondering over the wordplay for SNOWDONIA. Annoyingly, the NW went straight in with DRACHMA my FOI. All downhill from there. Never mind, there’s always tomorrow. Thanks setter and Jack.
  23. Took a while, maybe half an hour. SANDWELL a wordplay derived term, glad it’s correct. I ended in the SE area with the last word of PICTURE PALACE, GADABOUT, and AIDER. I also reached SUNTRAP via wordplay only. Not a term we use over here. Not much else to say, so regards.
  24. Not my sort of puzzle, failing to raise even the ghost of a smile. Feeling tired after a busy day, I struggled home in 24:03.

    I’d never heard of SANDWELL, but wikipedia tells me it incorporates Smethwick, which is hardly likely to endear it to anyone who remembers the 1964 general election.

    No objection to “pork pie” for TALE though.

  25. I tried but could not find. Can you give me the url of the dictionary entry that shows CALUMNIED as a verb form?
      1. According to Chambers “calumny” is an intransitive verb and the transitive verb (needed here as a synonym of “bad-mouth”) is calumniate. OED gives calumniate as both transitive and intransitive and says calumny as a verb is a synonym for calumniate. However the only citation of calumny OED gives as a verb is an intransitive usage from 1845. I think this ball is in the setter’s court: show us a use of “calumny” as a transitive verb.
        1. ODO gives two examples:

          ‘What I don’t believe is that it is necessary to calumny it with things it does not teach or believe.’

          ‘That passage takes us closer to the reason why he has been hated and calumnied for so long.’

          Edited at 2017-07-01 03:10 pm (UTC)

  26. 16dn Restless soul’s complaint after eating a fish (8)

    I had _ A _ A _ O _ _.
    A restless soul? Such a person could be a PARANOID! A couple of A’s to be eaten. And that well-known crossword fish, the ID, on the end. It must be… it must be…

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