Times Cryptic 26798

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
This one took me 48 minutes. I found it quite tricky with a number of rather intricate parsings. For some reason my LOI (19ac) took for ever to parse but I had stopped the clock long before then.

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

1 One wise guy on paper reversed view (6,5)
MIRROR IMAGE – MIRROR (paper),  I (one), MAGE (wise guy). There’s a very clever clue to something similar still under wraps at the moment.
7 At last go with mass as a physical unit (3)
OHM – {g}O {wit}H [at last], M (mass)
9 Bill entertains washing solution for suitable material? (9)
POLYESTER – POSTER (bill) contains [entertains] LYE (washing solution). ‘Suitable material’ as in a material from which suits can be made. LYE is a word I know only from crosswords.
10 Insect you might catch: it has leaves to chew (5)
BETEL – Sounds like [you might catch] “beetle” (insect)
11 Maybe phrase misprinted on page (7)
PERHAPS – P (page), anagram [misprinted] of PHRASE
12 Why / reprimand? (4,3)
WHAT FOR – Two meanings. To give someone ‘what for’ is to reprimand them.
13 Bird’s colourful — that is, on reflection (5)
EIDER – RED (colourful) + IE (that is) reversed [on reflection]
15 Genuine article found in a new tunic (9)
AUTHENTIC – THE (article) contained by [found in] A + anagram [new] of TUNIC
17 Swear sheep and lamb are interchangeable (9)
BLASPHEME – Anagram [interchangeable] of SHEEP LAMB
19 Student, not acceptable, rejected by one painter (5)
LIPPI – P{u}PIL (student) [not acceptable – U] reversed [rejected], I (one). Take your pick from Filippo, Filippino or Lorenzo
20 Scruffy barrister, not old, died (7)
RUMPLED – RUMP{o}LE (barrister) [not old], D (died)
22 Appealing, are not always successful? (7)
WINSOME – WIN SOME / lose some (not always successful?)
24 Area for new part of stage (5)
APRON – A (area), PRO (for), N (new)
25 Prisoners taken for a ride, reportedly squeeze up (9)
CONSTRICT – CONS (prisoners), TRICT sounds like [reportedly] “tricked” (taken for a ride)
27 Transporter of livestock avoiding a drama (3)
NOH – NO{a}H (transporter of livestock) [avoiding a]
28 Visiting some ladies, noticed daughter idle (2,1,5,3)
AT A LOOSE END – AT A LOO (visiting some ladies), SEEN (noticed),  D (daughter)
1 Sweet child removing pet hair that’s untidy (3)
MOP – MOP{pet} (sweet child) [removing pet]
2 Despot perhaps that should go straight (5)
RULER – A straight definition and a cryptic hint with reference to the instrument used for measuring and drawing straight lines.
3 Outside broadcast led by Frank (4-3)
OPEN-AIR – OPEN (frank), AIR (broadcast)
4 Unwilling, run out of road in America (9)
INTESTATE – INTE{r}STATE (road in America) [run out of]
5 School’s head confiscated weapon (5)
ARROW – {h}ARROW (school) [head confiscated]. My old school shared the Hill, many facilities and a school motto with this lot, known to Etonians as ‘the dump on the lump’. Stet Fortuna Domus.
6 Putting me up, couple give affectionate greeting (7)
EMBRACE – ME (reversed) [up], BRACE (couple)
7 How one might find pest at odds with others (3,2,4)
OUT OF STEP – One of those self-referencing anagrams with ‘out’ in the answer as the anagrind and PEST in the clue as the anagrist
8 Negligent work’s bad impact clear (11)
11 Lawyers benefit after halving enjoyable legal discussion (4-7)
PLEA-BARGAIN – PLEA{sing} (enjoyable) [halving], BAR (lawyers), GAIN (benefit)
14 Finished army exercise, getting serious strains (4,5)
DEAD MARCH – DEAD (finished), MARCH (army exercise)
16 Martial activity destroys a Kent wood (3,4,2)
TAE KWON DO – Anagram [destroys] of A KENT WOOD
18 Heading for administration after banker advanced dough (7)
POLENTA – PO (banker), LENT (advanced), A{dministration} [heading]
19 Medicine workers organised in county (7)
LINCTUS – US (workers organised – Trades Union) in LINCS (county – Lincolnshire)
21 Country house hotel accepted by half the university community for erection (5)
DACHA – H (hotel – NATO alphabet) in [accepted by] ACAD{emia} (university community) [half] reversed [for erection]
23 Everything horrid not to be furthered? (2,3)
ON ICE – If everything is horryd nothing (0) is NICE
26 A little bit of information shortly picked up (3)
TAD – DAT{a} (information) [shortly] reversed [picked up]

64 comments on “Times Cryptic 26798”

  1. I was very much on the setter’s wavelength with this one, finishing in 7:30 – the version on the crossword club seems to work really well for me, for some reason the older version would sometimes shift the cursor around and I’d end up with a bunch of typos to sort out. Fortunately LIPPI rang a bell as that was tricky. My biff today was DACHA so thanks for sorting that one out.
  2. Between 30-35 minutes without too many hold ups. Remembered Fra Filippo LIPPI from schoolboy history classes – always associate his name with Piero della Francesca. Good to see a few old friends such as NOH and EIDER which were almost write-ins.

    Liked ‘Everything horrid’, WINSOME and my favourites, the sort of &littish (I know, not proper ones – ? &legalish) PLEA-BARGAIN and RUMPLED.

    Thank you to setter and blogger.

  3. 13:15. I liked this one a lot: some interesting words and trickyish wordplay, not much that was easily biffable.
    I thought the definition at 18dn was strange but it’s in ODO so I’ll have to take it up with them.
  4. … medium difficulty.
    12ac??* was noteable for its brevity.

    Got the artist* via the Thames & Hudson set text for A-Level Art … all those years ago.

    *Can’t see the clue numbers without a magnifying glass.
    The morning pleasure has turned into a terrible chore.

  5. Resorting to Photoshop is successful but a little time consuming. I do feel for Prof. McText having to use a magnifying glass and Lord Verlaine seems to be slightly discombobulated by the new site.

    Pressure must brought to bear by The Time Lords and the warden Mr.Biddlecombe et al – especially if our Sotira and other’s health is being endangered! Muttley!

    Forty minutes hereabouts with FOI 13ac EIDER and LOI the PLEA bit of PLEA BARGAIN at 11dn.


    DACHA a biff, George! You and POTUS!

    Edited at 2017-08-08 03:58 am (UTC)

    1. Thank you. But I have a feeling this load of **** will continue.
      There’s no one at the other end who cares a **** about the end print user.

      So I’m giving up and going back to the Guardian for now.
      Or until Bruce emails me for a Saturday replacement.

      Signing out then,

      1. You can save the page, and it will go onto your desktop or wherever as a PDF, or you can print from within your browser. Adobe Reader or Acrobat and any browser will allow you to rescale the PDF when you print—above 100%, if need be. You can also set it to simply “fit” your paper, which I would think would make it big enough.
        1. It’s always interesting to hear others’ experiences, Guy. I hadn’t had much success with the PDFs, so I having read your comments I decided to have another go at it. I may be doing something different from what you describe, but what I tried didn’t make any significant improvement on what I get if I print directly from the Times site which prints by default at 100%.

          Having saved the PDF I opened it in Adobe for printing. Firstly I tried the ‘Fit page’ option which actually reduced it to 97% which was no improvement so I cancelled that and resized upwards of 100%. The furthest I could go before bits of clues started dropping off the RH of the page was 106%, so I printed that but it really didn’t make it any easier on the eye. The only difference I could measure was 3 inches of blank paper underneath the clues at 106% instead of 3.5 inches at 100%. So it’s back to copying and pasting into Word for me!

          1. Oh, dear! Looking at the set-up to print a puzzle from Safari right now, my experience is the same as yours. I didn’t realize you needed it even bigger than that. I never printed it out directly from the old site, so I don’t know how things have changed.
              1. It seems the main difference in the type isn’t so much size as darkness. I like a smaller grid. In the html template I used to pour the clues into, the screenshot of the grid was inset among the clues and the whole thing took up less of the page, but with space at the top for a clipboard.
                1. The images do not reproduce the darkness or otherwise of the typeface completely accurately but are intended to illustrate the contrast between the sizes of grids and fonts.

                  For the record, the font sizes in the old club were 12pt for the clues and 10pt for the numbers in the grid. The sizes in the new club are 10pt for the clues and 8pt in the grid, and it is the last figure (8pt in the grid) that seems to have been main issue for our friend mctext, which together with it now being in 70% black instead of 100% has made it a strain for him to read.

                  I have amended the linked page now so that both examples are of the same puzzle, and I have added further details about the font size and type face.

                  Edited at 2017-08-09 05:28 am (UTC)

                  1. The Times should, obviously, make the puzzle as big as it can be and still fit on letter-size paper. Anyone, like me, who wants it smaller can rescale down. Also, they seem to have it backward about which parts should be darker. I find the nonwhite squares in your example on the left to be a little too pale, but the Times should be able to allow users to set their own preference in that regard, as The New York Times does, also offering PDFs.
  6. I did both yesterday’s and today’s this evening, still have to finish Saturday and Sunday. I was hung up for a bit in the southeast because I’d put in CONSTRAIN. The strained syntax of the clue for 9 across is meant to be funny, I know, so I will take with a grain of salt the apparent endorsement of the notion of polyester suits (horrors!).
  7. 37 minutes over whisky and orange marmalade on toast—parse that how you will. FOI 1a, which started a joyful run where I wrote in a good few answers in a row with barely a pause, but slowed down once i was out of the NW corner.

    Still, never felt entirely stuck and finished up in esteemed company with LIPPI, where the wordplay eventually fell. I didn’t think I knew him at all, but looking at his Wikipedia article, I think perhaps I saw a Madonna and Child of his when it visited the RWA in Bristol.

    COD 4d—unwilling, indeed—WOD WINSOME. Thanks both.

    1. Nice to see another marmalader.
      Back from hols and just did this. No idea how you got Lippi. Good one,
  8. 9:06 … fun with some nice touches, like OUT OF STEP and ON ICE. Wasn’t too confident about DEAD MARCH but it couldn’t be much else.
    1. 12:42. Me too – not a phrase I’d heard either, and I failed to parse LIPPI. RUMNPLED COD for me.
  9. Easy one today, only a one-cup. Some lovely clues though, I thought 17ac and 4dn particularly neat..

    Sorry to lose you McT, keep in touch .. I find myself having to count from 1 in the top left, to find out which clue is which. A plague on all those who seem to genuinely believe they are improving a website by removing functionality from it.

    1. I too am sorry to lose Prof. McText – I imagine more will disappear in protest. It is a disgraceful state of affairs.

      This is not progress!

      1. I suppose for all of us there might come a point at which would say ‘enough is enough’ and give up, but for me the printing issue is not a deal-breaker, even with my ageing eyesight, as I am prepared to use a work-around i.e. copy and pasting into a word-processing application, enlarging and printing from there. It’s an inconvenience and I resent having to do it, but in all honesty it takes less than a minute and at the end of the process I have a perfectly serviceable print-out.

        It’d take a lot more than that to see me off!

        Edited at 2017-08-08 08:44 am (UTC)

  10. 42 minutes but with two typos – must have picked them up from George during the migration. At first, I was working around “lei” at 9, until I realised it was something crosswordy other than a dye.

    Got Lippi of course through the outstandingly successful football manager, currently clutching the poisoned, if Croesean, chalice that is the Chinese national team.

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

  11. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard BETEL pronounced so 10a proved a mite tricky. I would have said BET-EL, in the same way as I heard someone talking about something going “ory” until I twigged they meant “awry” having only ever seen it written down. That’s the peril of having “sounds like” clues I suppose.
    Putting in WINNING and CONSTRAIN held me up for a while, but all in all a pleasant way to spend 20 minutes.
  12. Pleasant enough puzzle where my main difficulty was reading the clue numbers, reading the clues, and writing the answers into the tiny grid spaces. Like Alec I need a magnifying glass. At 75 eyes and hands just don’t work as well as they once did.
  13. Top half went straight in but then slowed to a more leisurely pace. Laughed at RUMPLED but COD to AT A LOOSE END
  14. After 26′, despairing at the completely unknown L-P-I. Having read the helpful blog, am not convinced that U is acceptable- proper or universal perhaps. Thanks jack and setter.
  15. I found this pretty straightforward. However I am still struggling with the input in the new format and seem to manage at least one typo in every solve.

    Help needed! I have an International Digital subscription, and keep receiving exhortations from The Times to get the iPad app. However that tells me that it is available only on the UK app site which seems to be inaccessible from Australia. (That rather makes a mockery of an “international” subscription.) Does anyone have any suggestions?


    1. I am having the same issue from Spain. I talked to the Times helpline and they said it was an apple issue or due to the settings on my iPad and they couldn’t help me. They also said that I was the only person who had contacted them, so it wasn’t a general problem with iPads. Not much help I’m afraid.
  16. These were the Dead March lyrics of my childhood. The timescale now needs to be reduced by at least one order of magnitude. By your leave, I always remember LIPPI from the Browning poem. We had to learn the first few lines at school. Zooks, what’s to blame? Only myself for taking 45 minutes on this. I always forget NOH and NOAH rather than ARK for transporter took a while to dawn. I’m not sure they were going anywhere anyway anytime soon, stuck on the top of Mount Ararat. COD AT A LOOSE END. Thank you Jack and setter.
  17. Rattled along at near r&w pace until hitting the buffers in the SE. Renaissance painters are not my strong suit and I did not get the wordplay so guessed 19a – wrongly. Bother.
  18. 8 minutes something – I might have scraped under if I hadn’t stopped to parse LIPPI, which seemed like it probably must be the answer, but I wasn’t sure if he was an actual painter or just a monk from a Robert Browning poem. (If I knew the poem just slightly better I’d have been much better off!) Anyway I eventually just decided to hang it all and hit submit, and saw the skulking PUPIL shortly afterwards. Still not 100% sold on the new Crossword Club, but fun puzzle!
  19. Thanks for the parse on him Jack – I couldn’t see it. Rather a legal flavour today. The POLYESTER suit reminded me of the Ealing comedy The Man In The White Suit with Alec Guinness and Joan Greenwood. He’s a scientist who invents an indestructible material and falls foul of both labour and management in the textile industry as a result. In the end however the suit falls apart from its own chemical composition (as Vinyl imagines the effect of lye on polyester). 14 on the nose.
    1. Great movie! I think the fictional synthetic must have been far superior to polyester in terms of breathability as well as everything else.
  20. As others have found, entertaining without being at the highest level of difficulty. Several nice touches, but I particularly liked the clueing for INTESTATE.
  21. An enjoyable romp, coming over the line in 17:24, which is one of my better times. Started with MIRROR IMAGE, keying it in as I read the clue, and finished with a biff of the vaguely familiar artist. I also liked the clue for INTESTATE. Thanks setter and Jack.

    Edited at 2017-08-08 11:00 am (UTC)

  22. One wrong biff Luppi who is apparenly a little known 20th century artist called Giorgio. A good crossword spoilt by the print quality as many have moaned about. Fortunately the sun is shining on and off today so I repaired to the terrace where the extra light made things easier. The Telegraph and Guardian offerings sit in front of me in their crystal clear splendour…
  23. With the changes i have returned to my routine of accessing the paper in the library . A game in itelf but seems like a good idea in the build up to the championship so no typos in 14 mins (hurrah) and making doubly sure to get the spelling of thai gwen due absolutely correct. The chmshp is long enough away for it to reappear . . maybe?
  24. Fellow Welshies may be amused to hear that I had UCHAF in at 21dn for a while (H in approx half of FACULTY reversed). Well, there *is* a Plas Uchaf country house somewhere in the North Welsh wilds…
  25. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Dear Mr Dunleavy,

    Thank you for contacting us regarding the crossword club progress history.

    I do apologise for the inconveniences caused. As the crossword club webpage has been under maintenance and updated, the progress history has been deleted automatically. I feel really sorry but I am unable to restore it.

    I hope you will continue to enjoy your Times subscription. Please make sure you check out the Times+ facility (http://www.mytimesplus.co.uk) as there are some great offers available to our subscribers. Offers are updated each Friday at 11 AM and there are also some all-year round offers which I think you will enjoy.

    I hope you enjoy the rest of your week. Should you require further assistance please do not hesitate to contact myself or any of my colleagues at The Times and The Sunday Times, as we will be happy to assist further.

    Doesn’t explain why some histories are still there!!!
    Disgruntled of Middlesbrough.

    1. Rather redolent of the BT ‘customer care’ ethos. Ok you’ve just made a complaint but check out our offers and how likely are you to recommend a friend or family member…
  26. Done in just under 20 min, with no particular holdups – had heard of Lippi – probably from Browning. I’m informed that I have one error, but there seems to be no way to display my submission – yesterday ‘review’ showed the solution in green with my wrong answer in orange, but this doesn’t happen now. I guess there’s a typo somewhere.
  27. 12:34 so I’d say we were firmly in “average” territory here.

    Like others I finished with Lippi, which I was reluctant to put in until I spotted the parsing.

  28. Twenty-one minutes for me, done on the paper’s site rather than the club site, which doesn’t work for me.

    COD 12ac for brevity, closely followed by 4d, but I quite liked most of them.

    LIPPI must have been lurking at the back of my memory on a high shelf, because I was fairly confident over it. DEAD MARCH was a bit less certain, but clear enough from the parsing and checkers.

    Edited at 2017-08-08 01:20 pm (UTC)

  29. Just back from Tai Chi class to find another martial art in the clues. So jy mind and body (what’s left of it) were in a perfect state. Clue numbers perfectly visible in the paper version. Finished in about an hour with a couple of fortunate biffs. Never heard of NOH. i know you oldies (ahem) will have seen 4d before but as it was bew for me I loved this as my COD. thanks all and persevere with the new site – you could always be a Virgin Media sucker (oops, customer)
    1. NOH crops up from time to time (sometimes qualified as being Japanese) so it’s worth remembering (along with ANA & SHE among other literary / dramatic TLFs (three-letter favourites)).

      Edited at 2017-08-08 01:43 pm (UTC)

  30. I print from the crossword club site to tackle a 15×15 whereas I use the online (and on iPad) version for the QC. Paper based solving is so much easier – resulting in a very surprising (given other times) 32 minutes today. Struggled really hard to get out of step (which was cod) and polenta. Didn’t quite ‘get’ dead march which seemed to be indicated and had a guess at lippi (maybe heard from another context) so it was pleasing to see them confirmed in the blog. Thanks,
      1. I think the Chopin piece is more usually referred to as his ‘Funeral March’; the only piece I know that’s officially entitled ‘Dead March’ is by Handel, from his oratorio ‘Saul’. Nevertheless, ‘dead march’ appears in all the usual sources.

        Edited at 2017-08-08 05:04 pm (UTC)

  31. About 20 minutes, in the average range. I had to biff BETEL because I wouldn’t pronounce it that way if I ever needed to pronounce it, and also PLEA BARGAIN, since my eyesight read ‘having’ instead of ‘halving’; thus the way into the PLEA part was mysterious. So I ignored the wordplay rather than strain my brain, or, as may have been more fruitful, squinting at the actual wording of the clue. LOI was TAD, after CONSTRICT. Regards.
  32. Managed to finish this and some of the clues seemed of a Monday nature.
    I knew Lippi but not Betel and put Betal; it sounds the same.
    Liked 4d very much and fun overall. LOI was the guess at Betel. David
  33. 25 mins 39 secs. A few nice touches but fairly gentle fare. Held up a bit by the parsing of Lippi where at first I could only see the “L” to account for “student”. I liked the “serious strains” of 14dn and the interchangeable sheep and lamb in 17ac.
    1. I also started with L for ‘student’ and then spent ages consulting various sources trying find out how PPI or IPP could mean ‘not acceptable’. When I started writing the blog I still hadn’t explained it so I enjoyed the ‘doh’ moment when it eventually arrived.
      1. Yes, Lippi is not the first artist that springs to mind and the wordplay was a little tricky so it was satisfying to work it out in the end. I work in the Courts and IPP only ever means one thing to me so I did for one brief moment wonder how imprisonment for public protection might fit in but I guess that’s probably too specialised to make its way into a Times cryptic.
  34. Late to the party as didn’t get to it yesterday. Easy enough, I thought. Held up by BETEL, since it couldn’t have been anything else, but you chew the nut, not the leaves. That kind of error irritates. As for the crossword club, count your blessings. You could be trying to use the android tablet app. It’s dreadful.
    1. Hi anon, I don’t think it’s an error. When I went to India 20 years ago there was a paan-wallah on every street corner and chewing paan was a national sport. I seem to remember that paan was largely a mixture of the betel leaves, although maybe the odd but was thrown in for good measure. Either way I’m sure the leaves definitely got chewed.
  35. Back from hols so catching up.
    35 mins with Gavi di Gavi. But couldn’t get the Lippi.
    Thanks setter and Jack.
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