Times Cryptic 26792

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
After yesterday’s easy run this one presented me with much more of a challenge. My solve started well enough and I appeared to be heading for completion in 30-40 minutes but I had problems in the SE quadrant and in the end needed 75 minutes.

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

1 Walked out at night? (13)
SOMNAMBULATED – A rather good cryptic definition gets us started. I needed several checkers before the answer came to me and then I wondered why I hadn’t spotted it immediately.
8 Duck in bed or some other bird (4)
COOT – 0 (duck – cricket) in COT (bed)
9 Medication to dispose of male’s spots (5,5)
EPSOM SALTS – Anagram [to dispose] of MALE’S SPOTS
10 Thankless task to get the Spanish school structural support (8)
SKELETON – {ta}SK [thankless], EL (the, Spanish), ETON (school)
11 Remove multi-faith subject offered by school (6)
RESECT – RE (multi-faith subject – Religious Education), SECT (school). I didn’t know the word until recently when I underwent an operation which included this procedure. Away from surgery it can more generally just mean ‘remove’.
13 Trip with a meal spectator finally organised before the match (10)
PREMARITAL – Anagram [organised] of TRIP A MEAL and {spectato}R [finally]
16 Love piece that is written in one of the paper’s sections (4)
OBIT – 0 (love – tennis, this time), BIT (piece). I think this goes down as semi &lit, but don’t quote me!
17 Hide from relations after first hint of scandal (4)
SKIN – S{candal} [first hint of], KIN (relations)
18 Four meeting at one in reception room — indication of appetising meal ahead? (10)
SALIVATION – IV (four) + AT + I (one) in SALON (reception room)
20 Bridges in border area defaced (6)
ARCHES – {m}ARCHES (border area) [defaced]. Marches are border areas of a country, in the UK the parts of England bordering on Wales and, at one time, Scotland.
22 Settler : one person held in veneration (8)
COLONIST – COLON ( : ), I (one), ST (person held in veneration – saint). Tricky stuff!
24 Italian learning coming with set of books with beautiful binding (10)
FLORENTINE – LORE (learning) + NT (set of books – New Testament), contained by  [with…binding] FINE (beautiful)
26 Famous inventor, no adult for chat maybe (4)
BIRD – B{a}IRD (famous inventor – John Logie) [no adult – a)
27 Where cluster of businesses agitated with rents becoming ridiculous (7,6)
TRADING ESTATE – Anagram [becoming ridiculous] of AGITATED RENTS. I think the definition part of the clue needed a bit more work. Edit: mctext suggests the defintion is some sort &lit, so the whole clue is the definition, and I think that make more sense.
1 Financial professional in descent — having lost all money, runs (11)
STOCKBROKER – STOCK (descent – ancestry), BROKE (having lost all money), R (runs)
2 Second phone needed in stopover for guest (5)
MOTEL – MO (second), TEL (phone)
3 A river’s full of fresh openings (9)
APERTURES – A, PERT (fresh), URE’S (river’s)
4 Opener for England bats in new helmet (7)
BASINET – E{ngland} [opener] in anagram [new] of BATS IN A
5 Animal in space module descending on old city (5)
LEMUR – LEM (space module – Lunar Excursion Module], UR (old city)
6 After start of term organised games may bring delight (9)
TRANSPORT – T{erm} [start], RAN (organised), SPORT (games)
7 Girl / E Morse represents (3)
DOT – Two definitions, the second with reference to the International Morse Code in which a single ‘dot’ represents the letter ‘E’. A nice reference to Inspector Morse, Colin Dexter’s Times crossword-solving detective whose first name was kept secret for many years and was eventually revealed to be Endeavour.
12 Oriental style shown by one in trousers overlooking lake (11)
CHINOISERIE – I (one) in CHINOS (trousers), ERIE (lake)
14 Obsession gets surly fellow briefly imprisoned in Chinese region (9)
MANCHURIA – MANIA (obsession) contains [gets…imprisoned] CHUR{l} (surly fellow) [briefly]
15 Radical politicians of Left, party types abandoning leader (9)
LEVELLERS – L (left), {r}EVELLERS  (party types) [abandoning leader]. I never heard of these guys until they appeared in the prize puzzle on 15th July, blogged here on the 22nd.
19 A sort of gloss ruler is missing (7)
LACKING – LAC (a sort of gloss), KING (ruler). I lost time here thinking the answer was ‘lacquer’ with ‘qu’ as the ruler but I was unable to take it further for obvious reasons.
21 Muslim more cheerful, without hesitation (5)
SUNNI – SUNNI{er} (more cheerful) [without hesitation]
23 Sloth, something hairy turning up in old African region (5)
NUBIA – AI (sloth) + BUN (something hairy) reversed [turning up]. This wretched sloth never fails to catch me out. Nubian slaves crop up opera – Faust and Aida for example.
25 Man with wicked wife / somewhere in France (3)
LOT – Two definitions. I wasn’t aware that Lot’s wife was particularly wicked, only disobedient in that she is supposed to have looked back at the doomed city of Sodom and was turned into a pillar of salt. Up to that point she was going to be spared by the angels so she can’t have been all that bad.

53 comments on “Times Cryptic 26792”

  1. … a LOT more difficult than yesterday. Didn’t much like the CD at 1ac until the other meaning of “out” (unconscious?) occurred. Top marks though to the thankless {ta}SK at 10ac. By a short head from the def at 13ac. Or possibly 22ac’s COLON?

    Jack, re the def in 27ac: is it possible that it’s an &lit of sorts?

    1. Thanks for the suggestion and I think you are probably right so I have noted your comment in the blog. I’m wary about categorising &lits and semis as I seem to get them wrong too frequently.
  2. I’m reading a particularly detailed history of the civil wars, so I am highly current on most of the Levellers. Interestingly, that also makes me current on a very obscure politician / radical preacher named Nye. So last week I didn’t know Bevan or his nickname, but had a reason (which did seem a pretty far reach I thought) to choose the right middle vowel. Thanks for he blog, J
  3. Missed the punctuation mark in parsing 22, didn’t know AI for ‘sloth’ (I’m probably the only person here who doesn’t) and had to guess LEVELLERS. I was held up in the SE as well, mainly by BIRD and finished in a bit over 40 minutes.

    Liked the connection between 9 and 22.

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

    1. Never knew or probably just forgot the sloth. I will henceforth remember by thinking of an animal too lazy to sign his name with more than two letters. I also thought “inventor” would have been enough, sans “famous,” if an inventor in the straightforward sense were meant, so I was looking for a notorious liar or something else. This fellow Baird can’t be that famous, as his name didn’t come to mind. So I was hung up the longest time on these two little words, after getting all the rest. I was also tired and reading the second “A” in “Trading Estate” as an “N”!
      “Where cluster of businesses” is atrocious. “Where cluster businesses” would be better.
      The “thankless task” was brill.

      Edited at 2017-08-01 07:08 pm (UTC)

      1. John Logie Baird was reasonably famous, as he invented Television, albeit with a mechanical rather than an electronic system.
        1. I’m not sure “famous” helped anyone get the answer, but plain “inventor” could also have meant the answer is a synonym for inventor, while “famous” might tell you a specific person is intended…
  4. DNF by several wrong answers.

    I got COLONIST without spotting the colon, just from the checkers. But I missed BIRD since I biffed BIRO without really seeing why, for obvious reasons. I had never heard of the LEVELLERS so I went for LAVALIERS (which I know is a sort of microphone so maybe it comes from some radicals, but apparently not), with CAVALIERS as the party types (roundheads and cavaliers were not parties, of course, so that was pushing it too). I’d never heard of RESECT so that one was a wing and a prayer too, although that one turned out to be correct. NUBIA took forever too (without just the A in place) since it took forever to remember the AI three-toed sloth, and then nothing hairy sprung to mind to put upside down on top. But eventually I clicked.

    I had the same experience of fairly quickly filling in everything apart from the SE and then really struggling.

  5. Somehow I couldn’t see OBIT, with the checkers even. Put in ‘opie’ (‘that is’), thinking that (well, wondering if by any chance) it might be a playi on ‘op-ed’. Didn’t get the BIRD clue (I wouldn’t have recognized Baird with out the Logie). And I missed the : in 22ac; I’ve been fooled every time by a punctuation mark used as part of the wordplay. Here I thought COLON was doing double duty.
  6. All sorts of problems in the SE, not knowing CHINOISERIE and not being too sure about NUBIA or BIRD (can’t believe I overlooked John Logie for so long). Also not helped by miscounting the anagrist at 27ac and having TRADING STREET for quite a while.

    Knew there was a short word for sloth but took ages to bring it to mind. And of course couldn’t work out the parsing of COLONIST until the very satisfying PDM.

    Certainly a step up from yesterday’s. Enjoyed both of them. Thanks setter and Jack.

      1. Apologies, I’ve emailed you now.

        Your PM mentions an email which I haven’t seen. If you used the email address that includes the name of a large multinational computer company, I won’t have received it, as my relationship with that organisation has fundamentally changed!

    1. NUBIAN has appeared a few times, most recently on May 2. It’s finally stuck in my mind!
  7. 13.36, so for me not much harder than yesterday’s speed typing test. Didn’t pause long enough to appreciate the punctuation clue, but I did get the rest.
    I agree with Jack that characterising Lot’s Mrs as wicked is a little presumptuous: she became a pillar of salt, not a candle. I took the French connection on trust: I gather it’s a department whose main claim to fame is that Léo Ferré once lived there. Quite.
  8. Roundly defeated by this one, even though I woke early so gave it the full hour. As well as SOMNAMBULIST—it didn’t help that I’d desperately bunged OVERTURES in for 3d, nor that I wasn’t sure about my LEMUR or my BASINET—I had a lot of the SE left over.

    The unknown sloth did not lead me to the barely-known African region, the unknown CHINOISERIE wasn’t helped by the unknown RESECT, even though I had vaguely considered CHINO- as the start. The “colon” passed me by, and I never thought of Baird for the inventor and didn’t know the bird… Just too much out of my reach all in one corner!

    At least I guessed right about LOT and remembered “marches” for borderlands from a previous puzzle.

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

  9. 13:12 … that RESECT / CHINOISERIE / COLONIST / LACKING combo was very tricky. For me, the unlocking of it came from hazarding the -ERIE bit at the end of 12d and working back from there. I vaguely remembered the ornamental style from previous puzzles but needed the wordplay to spell it.

    COLONIST is good fun, but COD to LAC,KING

  10. 12.28 and I managed to spot my typo (AOERTURE) on first read-through after submission. So only a couple of minutes longer than my effort yesterday, when it felt as if everyone went to a party to which I hadn’t been invited. Belated congrats on all the PBs.
  11. 35 mins with overnight oats – and enjoyed this a lot. Nicely do-able, but with some lovely touches: ‘thankless task’ for SK is genius, ‘defaced’ excellent, ‘:’ and ‘out’ clever. DNK Resect, but it had to be. COD 1ac for a neat clue for a tricky word. Thanks setter and Jack.
  12. 22′, at least 5 on 26 ac before seeing the meaning of chat. Better than yesterday, when I appeared to be among the slowest. COD to the colon. Lot’s wife wasn’t wicked, the story is just an explanation for the presence of salt deposits near the Dead Sea. The end of the chapter, incidentally, has Lot having incestuous relations with his two daughters, and founding the Moabite and Ammonite tribes. Thanks jack and setter.

    Edited at 2017-08-01 08:03 am (UTC)

    1. To be fair to Lot, his daughters got him drunk and he knew nothing about either encounter. And I’m not sure Jesus would have urged his hearers to “remember Lot’s wife” unless he considered her action to be disobedient and therefore wicked.
  13. Felt I was flying today, and my 22 minutes would have been faster without doubts over RESECT and the parsing of NUBIA. Thought of SOMNAMBULATED straightaway. Both FLORENTINE and CHINOISERIE came as if delivered by messenger. Not quite sure about STOCK for ancestry, but I guess so. These LEVELLERS seem to be having a great time this summer with their rhyming pals. I’d try to join one or other if I could make up my mind which. Neither would have me anyway. Really enjoyable puzzle. Thank you J and setter.

    Edited at 2017-08-01 08:17 am (UTC)

  14. Nice to have a bit more meat on today’s bones compared to yesterday’s.

    Count me among those feeling very nervous about the proposed changes to the Crossword Club website scheduled for Wednesday. (see the general section of the club Forum) Presumably changes will be needed hereabouts as well, as we are sadly waving goodbye to the TLS. And if solutions, hints and comments are all to be available instantly, the point of TfTT is slightly undermined. Also I am aware that there are a few of us holdouts still having free access to the site (but not the main site) and wonder what will happen to them. Are you one too, Tony S?

    1. Solutions (both to individual clues and the whole grid) have been available instantly for all but competition puzzles since March 2014 in the puzzles section of the on-line newspaper, so I very much doubt that particular change will have any impact on discussions or traffic at TftT.

      Edited at 2017-08-01 08:24 am (UTC)

  15. Clearly not a walk in the park like yesterday. More a walk in the dark. Stupidly put in SKELETAL which held me up and never got RESECT. Put in COLONIST and NUBIA without parsing properly.
  16. Due to a typo the ipad didn’t give me a time but it was certainly a lot harder than yesterday (and more satisfying for it). I was surprised it was only an 87 on the Snitchometer.

    I was held up for some time by having a biffed MONOMANIA in place of MANCHURIA. LOI RESECT which I wasn’t at all confident about but obviously proved correct.

  17. 45mins…

    Held up by ‘—– paste’ at 9ac; didn’t spot the punctuation at 22ac; and put in RESECT with a shrug.

  18. Enjoyable puzzle where I solved quite a number from definition and then reverse engineered. ARCHES, COLONIST, STOCKBROKER all come to mind along with the French Department LOT where I was never bothered to think about the ins and outs of the myth.

    “Thankless task” for SK is very good but again I solved from obvious definition

  19. 20 minutes for the rest, then was stabbed in the front by RESECT, which took another 14.
  20. 17.28 but a much more fluent innings than yesterday’s fast but scratchy effort. All the hold ups in the SE until the clever but over my head COLONIST unlocked the final few.
    The individual SNITCH scores seem to be showing a wider spread than usual, although overall it is looking of average difficulty. (I know, I need to get out more…)
  21. Unlike above, I found this even easier than yesterday’s, finishing in a PB 11 minutes (confirmed by Mrs K as she did her Sudoku). As Jimbo, reverse engineered a few, but no slip-ups. 11a and 12d my LOI. Tomorrow is another day…
    1. Mmm, this might have been less difficult than yesterday’s (hard not to be) but I didn’t find it markedly so, not even coming back from a bar to a hotel room laptop. Under 7 minutes here anyway.
  22. I made good progress with this one until I reached the SE corner. I held myself up here by biffing TRADING CENTRE at 27a. Having remembered RESECT I was working on 12d as CHINOSMIERE, and having ground to a halt looked it up to see if it existed, at which point CHINOSERIE leapt out from the page as a suggestion. That enabled me to see COLONIST(missed the 🙂 and get NUBIA which corrected 27a and I finished with BIRD, which I got from crossers and chat=bird, despite knowing John Logie, who didn’t spring to mind. Crossed the line in 36:06, but with the aforementioned cheat on 12d. An enjoyable puzzle. Thanks setter and Jack.
  23. 19:00 – more than twice the time of yesterday’s romp. Held up by RESECT, my LOI, which was unknown and found by an alphabet trawl. COD to SOMNAMBULATED – a great word!
  24. 13:32. Much harder than yesterday’s, but still not particularly hard. One for experienced solvers, though: 23dn for instance is a bit of a double-obscurity, but the sloth will be familiar to anyone who has been doing these things for long enough. And both elements of the wordplay in 5dn (LEM and UR) are things I only know from crossword solving.
    Last in the unknown RESECT: SECT isn’t the first thing that comes to mind as a synonym for ‘school’.
    1. We baby-boomers who avidly followed NASA’s Apollo space programme (program?) would all recognise LEM as the acronym for the Lunar Excursion Module.
      Neil Armstrong: “I’m gonna step off the LEM now …. that’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind”.
  25. Trying to get back to 15x15s – possibly encouraged by yesterday’s. Did this online and managed to work out/bif most. I accepted a dnf and resorted to using the ‘check’ option and ended up having 26 minutes of fun. Thanks for the blog – there were 5-6 I wasn’t sure of the parsing.
  26. Dnf due to 23dn. Had rhe n and a and put wig upside down as something hairy. Incredibly ngiwa is a central african region. So famous inventor srumped me!
  27. OK, I’ll ask the question: why does SLOTH = AI and why is a BUN ‘something hairy’?
    Did like the usec of the colon in 22ac and I also enjoyed the two anagrams in 27ac and 13ac.
    1hr 12m 13s
  28. 32 mins 11 secs for me. A decent puzzle I thought, not a walkover but never really a slog either. I saw 1ac immediately but missed the “out” and appreciate it all the more now that’s been pointed out. FOI 2dn. LOI 11ac bunged in, not entirely confidently, from wordplay. COD 9ac, which I thought very economical and with a persuasive surface. It took me ages to see that it was an anagram. I spent some time looking at a probable E-S-M for the first word and drawing a complete blank.
  29. 8:42. For the most part I found this easier than yesterday’s: switching to the downs after the first five acrosses, I only missed LACKING (which I really ought to have got) at a first read-through. However I had difficulty with both 20ac (ARCHES, which I at least managed to twig before submitting) and 22ac (COLONIST, which I eventually ended up biffing and only twigged later despite having seen similar clues several times in the past), thereby spoiling what might have been a half-decent time.
  30. Ok so it’s an a-i not an a-l. Someone should have said at the outset. Doh….

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