Times Cryptic 26786

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
I needed only 25 minutes for this one, so completed it comfortably within my half-hour target. I’m not convinced it was particularly easy so perhaps I was on the setter’s wavelength for once (and yes, I do believe such a thing exists). I’m sure the speedsters will have given it short shrift but I shall be interested to see how the solvers I sometimes measure my time against have fared. There’s only one word previously unknown to me and an unknown reference in the same clue.

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

1 Indian thus developing the Delhi dialect (10)
HINDUSTANI – Anagram [developing] of INDIAN THUS
6 Revolutionary method of payment for strikebreaker (4)
SCAB – BACS  (method of payment – Bankers’ Automated Clearing Services) reversed [revolutionary]
9 To study a hindrance in article that’s hackneyed (10)
THREADBARE – READ (study) + BAR (hindrance) contained in THE (article)
10 Boss — a big shot, by the sound of it (4)
KNOB – Sounds like “nob” (a big shot – person of wealth or social distinction). Collins has ‘boss’ in this sense as: a knob, stud, or other circular rounded protuberance, esp an ornamental one on a vault, a ceiling, or a shield.
12 Church leader sheltering old feline favourite by large volcano (12)
POPOCATEPETL – POPE (church leader) containing [sheltering] O (old) + CAT (feline), then PET (favourite), L (large). I’d have biffed this one if I’d known how to spell it, but as I wasn’t sure I had to pay close attention to the wordplay to get it right. Having all the checkers would have sorted it out too, but I had only a couple in place when I tackled the clue.
15 Source of fragrance for French in short spin on river (9)
POTPOURRI – PO (river), then POUR (for, French) contained in TRI{p} (spin) [short]
17 English head retiring in German city (5)
ESSEN – E (English), then NESS (head – headland) reversed [retiring]. ‘German city’ is always ESSEN in Times crosswords except when it isn’t.
18 Abroad, one may purchase pulpy food, 60% rejected (5)
RUPEE – PUREE (pulpy food) with its first 3 letters [60%] reversed [rejected]
19 Fighter that’s irregular somehow, changing sides ultimately (9)
GUERRILLA – Anagram [somehow] of  IRREGULA{r} and L [changing sides ultimately – R becomes L]
20 Without direction, spicing and heating a brownish yellow soup (12)
MULLIGATAWNY – MULLI{n}G (spicing and heating – wine, for example) [without direction – N, north], A, TAWNY (brownish yellow)
24 A, B, C, D, F or G, by implication? (4)
NOTE – NOT, E. A 9ac clue with reference to the notes of the musical scale.
25 One in my group before stays fitter (10)
CORSETIERE – COR (my!), SET (group), I (one), ERE (before). Good definition!
26 Obnoxious type given a drink across the pond (4)
SODA – SOD (obnoxious type), A. Language, Timothy! And the drink is common enough on this side of the pond too.
27 Pelt sailors with firm condiment (10)
PEPPERCORN – PEPPER (pelt), CO (firm), RN (sailors – Royal Navy)
1 Strongly dislike appearing in Macbeth at Edinburgh (4)
HATE – Hidden [appearing] in {Macbet}H AT E{dinburgh}. One strayed in from the Quickie page, methinks.
2 Lack of engineers where sailors mutinied once (4)
NORE – NO (lack of), RE (engineers). I didn’t know this. The Nore is a sandbank in the Thames estuary which gave its name to a nearby anchorage used by the Royal Navy at one time. Apparently a famous mutiny took place there in 1797. The wordplay and checkers didn’t leave much room for doubt about the correct answer.
3 Girl lyrical about record, making no excuses (12)
UNAPOLOGETIC – UNA (girl), POETIC (lyrical) contains [about] LOG (record)
4 Rings club about prohibition (5)
TABOO – OO (rings) + BAT (club) reversed [about]. No castling or spectacles today!
5 A bishop immersed in local history? (9)
NARRATIVE – A + RR (bishop) contained by [immersed in] NATIVE (local)
7 Study poetry extremely lovingly? On the other hand … (10)
CONVERSELY – CON (study), VERSE (poetry), L{ovingl}Y [extremely]
8 Old citizen sinking half of capital in infant boy (10)
BABYLONIAN – LON{don} (capital) [half] contained by [sinking…in] BABY (infant) + IAN (boy)
11 Rare trip gone wrong for person on odyssey (12)
PEREGRINATOR – Anagram [wrong] of RARE TRIP GONE. To peregrinate is to travel on a long journey or voyage.
13 Rooms male painters maybe secured in suitable quarter (10)
APARTMENTS – ART MEN (male painters) contained by [secured in] APT (suitable), S (quarter)
14 Spurred on, quietly replacing medium — it’s demanded (10)
STIPULATED – STI{m}ULATED (spurred on) with P (quietly) replacing M (medium)
16 Rambling discourse that’s shaken up a grim function (9)
RIGMAROLE – Anagram [shaken up] of A GRIM, ROLE (function)
21 Fabulous writer of a work about French art? (5)
AESOP – A + OP (work) contains [about] ES (French art – tu es)
22 US politician, not about to desert protest (4)
DEMO – DEMO{crat} (US politician) [not about – c, desert – rat]
23 Cut wages originally accepted by egg supplier (4)
HEWN – W{ages} [originally] contained [accepted] by HEN (egg supplier). Following on from ‘not layers’ for ‘cockerels’ yesterday.

62 comments on “Times Cryptic 26786”

  1. I assumed 6ac was SCAB, although I didn’t know BACS. POPOCATEPETL was easily biffed from ‘feline favorite’, as was MULLIGATAWNY from ‘brownish yellow soup’. NORE was vaguely familiar, but as Jack says, it was pretty much inevitable anyway. I also biffed ‘stimulated’, and only after I took a good look at the clue did I correct it, making RUPEE possible (I never got the puree bit). COD to CORSETIERE.
  2. Logged on to the Club shortly after midnight UK time (7:00 am here). The puzzle turned out to be 22158, September 30 2002! Didn’t notice the retro date until I’d finished it. Going back to the Club, the correct puzzle was up. Anyone else in the same position?

    The actual puzzle for today was a bit easier than the retro. 12ac was the only serious problem; known from Malcolm Lowry — though not the spelling. Will we ever see Iztaccihuatl?

    Edited at 2017-07-25 01:29 am (UTC)

    1. I logged in about the same time, UTC, maybe 19.10 NY time, McT, and did not have that problem. For what it’s worth.
  3. at 1ac (FOI) and HATE at 1dn were write-ins and a faster time was on – with plenty of other ‘gimme’s’ such as 12ac POPOCATAPEPTL (smoking mountain) 3dn UNAPOLOGETIC and 8dn BABYLONIAN.

    If only 13dn APARTMENTS had come a bit quicker I would have been done in around 25 mins as per Jack.

    But I hesitated and was home later – in 28 mins so today’s puzzle was easy-ish IMO.


    Sounds like Professor McText has use of the jolly old TARDIS! I predict Iztaccihuatl (white woman) will appear in the Times 15×15 sometime in 2049.

        1. Or it could be a wonderful poem by W.J.Turner, ‘Romance’, children used to learn. – joekobi
      1. Popocatépetl – horryd used capitals and we all use capitals in crosswords – so your comment is somewhat pedantic!
  4. I spent a few moments mulling over my LOI, CORSETIERE – not a word in my everyday vocab, and the dearth of consonant checkers didn’t help.
  5. Popocatapetel or Popocatepetal or Popocatetptal? And that’s without the accents. Thank goodness for wordplay sometimes.

    Didn’t know about the payment system and hadn’t come across THREADBARE for ‘hackneyed’. Can’t remember having seen either PEREGRINATOR and MULLIGATAWNY in a cryptic before but I liked both clues.

    Home in 33 minutes. The excellent ‘stays fitter’ was my last in and highlight.

    Thank you to setter and blogger.

  6. 13:26 … bit of a spelling test in places, even if the clues were helpful, so slight relief that it came back all correct.

    NORE completely new to me but the Wikipedia page is interesting reading. Seems it was inspired by a successful mutiny at Spithead, which had resulted in pay increases and other perks. This one didn’t work out so well. 29 hanged.

    1. The Wiki article says that the treatment was lenient by the standards of the day. I’m not sure how the writer could form that view in the light of Spithead.
      1. The Spithead mutineers didn’t threaten to take the fleet to sea and surrender it to the French, as did those at the Nore who had previously rejected the terms offered to, and accepted by, the Spithead mutineers.
        1. Didn’t say all this on Wiki. Thank you for the elucidation, Geoff. For 1797, 29 still sounds a lot to hang though, pour encourager les autres.
  7. Never heard of POPOCATEPETL. Required a supreme act of faith to submit such an unlikely-looking word based solely on wordplay.

    Bit of a spelling test today with CORSETIERE, MULLIGATAWNY, GUERRILLA and the afore-mentioned, so thanks to the setter for the clear cluing, and to Jack for explaining where BACS came from.

    1. I swear I didn’t see Sotira’s comment before posting mine. Apparently it’s not just great minds that think alike!
      1. I believe you. Trust me, no one EVER looked over my shoulder in a spelling test!
    2. I only knew BACS because I worked in government accounting and payments for 15 years. It was one of the very few bits of financial knowldge I picked up there as my work was more systems-based.
      1. I was looking at the monthly BACS run table in a financial system just yesterday. One of those fiddly-yet-dependable old technologies that’s remained basically unchanged for decades.
      2. I seem to remember that malcj told me that he was involved in the writing of the BACS software when we met at The George.
        1. Nothing so techie but yes, I was involved for many years and that made 6ac one of the several gimmes. alongside some more complicated offerings. PEREGRINATOR saved me from an incorrect spelling of POPOCATEPETL. I remember that from the Turner poem and also from hearing it sung on a weekly basis during choir warm-ups.
  8. One letter wrong for me today. I knew how 25a worked, but having stared at it for an extra ten minutes at the end of a reasonably flowing half hour, I gave up and tried COOSETIERE. Odd how you can be so close and not get there; if I’d thought of “cor” it would have looked a lot more reasonable. Ah well. At least I learned about a volcano and a mutiny…

  9. 35mins, with time spent, as others on the unknown volcano and the CORSETIERE, both of which needed careful wp. dnk NORE either. That’s one for the memory bank…
  10. Bang on 25 mins over porridge today. The only hold ups were pondering Nore and struggling with Taboo. I know. In future wherever I see ‘rings’ I’m writing in OO regardless. The French ‘art’ and the A,B,C,D, etc ring bells from the recent past. My favourite thing about this one is the loveliness of some of the words: Hindustani, Rigamarole, Peppercorn, Potpourri, as well as the ones already mentioned. Superb. COD to the ‘stays fitter’.
    Thanks sesquipedalian setter and Jack.

    PS The A,B,C,etc was Sunday Times 4749. I knew I’d seen it somewhere.

    Edited at 2017-07-25 07:29 am (UTC)

  11. 40 minutes, with quite a bit of time spent on the unknown mountain and the excellent stays fitter.
  12. I reckon the setter deserves kudos just for having a go at POPOCATEPETL and very nearly making a sensible surface. St Frances at Vesuvius, perhaps. 15 minutes with a more careful check eliminating the stupid bits. I’ll add my praise for the collocation of mellifluous entries.
    Though I knew it was curry flavoured soup and left a yellow stain on the bowl, I rather assumed MULLIGATAWNY had an Irish connection. Apparently it means “pepper soup” in Tamil.
  13. Anyone with a bit of time on their hands might want to try Paul’s prize puzzle in Saturday’s Guardian. A belter.
  14. I flew through about 3/4 of this then got held up, particularly with THREADBARE and NARRATIVE. Hats off to anyone who got POPOCATEPETL from the cryptic alone. I don’t think I’d have trusted my parsing if I hadn’t heard of it (though I definitely needed the parsing to spell it).
  15. So a bit of a flyer for me. One of those days when words kept popping into my head as if by magic. I’ll add my vote to the stays fitter as COD.
  16. 18:42. 25a my last one in – not sure why it took me so long to recognise the definition was ‘stays fitter’. Mostly quite straightforward. It was interesting to see 4 twelve letter words and 8 ten letter words, with not a single multi-word answer. I’m not so good with long words and a lot of construction was required today, which slowed me up a bit. Thanks jackkt and setter.
  17. 25 minutes with LOI POPOCATEPETL, needing all the crossers and still thinking that the T was misplaced. DNK NORE but Bounty and Invergordon didn’t fit and cryptic was clear. I’ve now learnt to try a COR for any MY and so CORSETIERE was constructed without quite knowing it. I’d biffed SLUG for 26a before crosser made me re-visit. I see SOD more as a term of endearment as in “you daft …”A POTPOURRI of a puzzle with Cod PEREGRINATOR, if only because I was pleased to see the anagram without many crossers. Thank you J and setter.
  18. The chestnuts helped make this a straightforward solve. I look forward to a “volcano” Nina in due course. It’s very likely going to be a pangram?
    1. Is the one that blew its top in Iceland too long for the Times grid, or did it lose a few letters en explodant?
  19. Well, after a struggle yesterday, 12.39 today. Turner’s poem bewitched me as a child, and I often “taught” it over the years, but it’s less known these days. I remembered what I always thought of as a mountain spelt as below but managed to correct. A fair old range of long words today with an exotic touch here and there but this surely a pearl beyond price. – joekobi

    W. J. Turner. 1889–
    WHEN I was but thirteen or so
       I went into a golden land,
    Chimborazo, Cotopaxi
      Took me by the hand.
    My father died, my brother too,
      They passed like fleeting dreams,
    I stood where Popocatapetl 
      In the sunlight gleams.
    I dimly heard the master’s voice
      And boys far-off at play,—
    Chimborazo, Cotopaxi
      Had stolen me away.
    I walked in a great golden dream 
      To and fro from school—
    Shining Popocatapetl
      The dusty streets did rule.
    I walked home with a gold dark boy 
      And never a word I’d say,
    Chimborazo, Cotopaxi
      Had taken my speech away.

    I gazed entranced upon his face
      Fairer than any flower—
    O shining Popocatapetl
      It was thy magic hour:
    The houses, people, traffic seemed
      Thin fading dreams by day;
    Chimborazo, Cotopaxi,
      They had stolen my soul away!

    1. Thanks for posting this Joe. I wasn’t overly impressed on first reading, but having now listened to a couple of recitations on youtube, I’m converted.

      Amazed that I’ve never heard of it, especially given that Turner is Australian-born.

  20. Having been fixated on the NHO 12a, which I managed to construct from wordplay alone, I failed to notice I’d bunged APPARTMENS at 13d, which changed 20a and 24 across to TULLIGATAWNY AND EOTE, and also encouraged me to biff an unparsed APPLE at 18a. A veil will be drawn over this disaster and I am going to lie down in a darkened room. Thanks setter and Jack.

    Edited at 2017-07-25 12:13 pm (UTC)

    1. If it is any consolation, tulligatawny is superb. The alliteration, the assonance, the rhythm – it deserves a poem of its own.
  21. 11:57. Sotira and galspray have both described this as a spelling test, but if it had been that I would certainly have failed it. More of a wordplay test I’d say.
    In 26ac the drink is common on both sides of pond of course but the word is very much a North American one. The English equivalent is ‘fizzy drink’.
    1. I still call the fizzy soft drink Pop, much to the irritation of the rest of the family. The only thing to put in whisky is another one, of course. I do remember Connie Francis’ beau saying he was going out for a soda pop, so the US did use both. I understand that wasn’t his only motive though.
      1. Yes ‘pop’ is an English equivalent, not much used these days. Thinking about it it’s noteworthy that the N. American usage ‘soda’ hasn’t caught on in the UK.
  22. I loved the variety of words here and enjoyed it. Got 7d ok but wasn’t sure about con = study Can someone plug this simple gap in my knowledge please ?
    1. It’s just a little-known meaning of the word “con” that only ever seems to appear in crosswords.

      Merriam Webster online has “2 : to study or examine closely”

    2. Actually, it’s pretty simple: ‘con’ as a verb means ‘study’. Or, for most of us I imagine, ‘meant’; outside of crosswordland, I suspect it’s pretty much obsolete, but it should be in your dictionary.
  23. My first ever sub one hour time. 58:59. As I can hardly ever finish I regard that as a notable achievement!
  24. to 45 year old Mr. Ant well done on your best time you can only get better!

    Edited at 2017-07-25 04:06 pm (UTC)

    1. I wish I was still 45 but I gained the moniker in 2001 and have had it ever since. Thanks for the congrats.
  25. Another fairly easy one, despite the complicated words and spelling. About 15 minutes today, learning of the CORSETIERE along the way. Or actually, at the end since it was LOI. Nice clue, as was MULLIGATAWNY. Regards to all.
  26. Still having to solve on my laptop which is cumbersome, but this wasn’t too hard – POPOCATEPETL, MULLIGATAWNY, PEREGRINATOR etc being easy write-ins. I would have been a bit faster if I hadn’t biffed STIMULATED too and spent a long time trying to find something to fit R_M_E for 18ac. When I finally rechecked everything, the P made it easy. Never heard of NORE, but it seemed likely that the wordplay would be straightforward, given the obscurity of the definition.
  27. My first ever sub one hour time. 58:59. As I can hardly ever finish I regard that as a notable achievement!
  28. I zipped through this set of clues in about 15 minutes, but then of course actually getting the answers took longer. Total time 27 minutes on the nose.

    PATCHOULI took me a long time to parse, due in large part to its not being the right answer. Eventually the right one occurred to me. NORE was unknown but clear from wordplay; POPOCATEPETL* was unspellable but ditto.

    *Not to be confused with Popacetalon, the Aztec tea deity.

    Edited at 2017-07-25 08:13 pm (UTC)

  29. 26 mins for this, so on the easy side. FOI 1ac. LOI 12ac after wrestling with the letters for a bit (grateful for the clear wordplay). Thanks for the parsing of 15ac, I had “r” for the river not “Po” and was wondering how “poti” was a short spin. 25ac was only half known and I hadn’t really picked up on the excellent definition. 2dn unknown but the wordplay and checkers left me in little doubt.
  30. 9:16, so still off the pace, but not disastrously so.

    No problem with POPOCATEPETL, which appears in Ernst Toch’s Geographical Fugue (English and German versions), and also appeared alongside “copper-plated kettle” as part of Arthur Oldham’s warm-up exercises for the LSO Chorus when he was chorus master.

    No problem with MULLIGATAWNY either, though I’m sorry to say that there still doesn’t appear to be a recording of Mulligatawny (Where the Soup Comes From) on YouTube.

    25ac (CORSETIERE) was my LOI and COD.

    1. Try:
      Is that the song?
      Rob: a fast 16:40, with fingers crossed at LOI Popo-never-heard-of.
      1. It is. Many thanks. I made the mistake of searching for the whole title and was asked if I meant “Mulligatawny (where the soul comes from)”

Comments are closed.