Times Cryptic 26822

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
I found this one quite tricky in parts and needed 54 minutes in all to complete the grid.

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

1 At home, nothing is to break dear French ornaments from the East (11)
CHINOISERIE – IN (at home) + 0 (nothing) + IS contained by [to break] CHERIE (dear, French). This has only come up once before but it was as recently as 1st August this year when I was on blogging duty so it presented me with no problems this time round.
7 One in eighteen? (3)
TEE – Hidden in {eigh}TEE{n} with a cryptic hint, what with there being eighteen holes and therefore eighteen tees on a golf course
9 Snake not drinking water from above carriages (4,5)
BOAT TRAIN – BOA (snake), TT (not drinking), RAIN (water from above). A rather loose definition,
10 Green returned clutching a message (5)
EMAIL – LIME (green) reversed [returned] containing [clutching] A
11 Moving right towards the front in restaurant, beginning to like city of fashion? (7)
BRISTOL – BISTRO (restaurant) has its R (right) moving towards the front, [beginning to] L{ike}. The definition here refers to the expression “Shipshape and Bristol fashion” as explained here: A phrase meaning in good and seamanlike order with reference to the condition of a ship. The expression had its origin when Bristol was the major west coast port of Britain at a time when all its shipping was maintained in good order.
12 Wheel around old vessel (7)
COASTER – CASTER (wheel) containing [around] O (old). Many will know this from John Masefield’s poem “Cargoes”:
Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,
With a cargo of Tyne coal,
Road-rails, pig-lead,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.
13 Twisted remark ultimately, and dark (5)
KINKY – {remar}K [ultimately], INKY (dark) which conjures up memories of Billy Bunter’s schoolchums in less enlightened days.
15 Out of foresight, one should be accepted without question? (4,5)
GIFT HORSE – Anagram [out] of FORESIGHT. This refers to the expression “Never look a gift horse in the mouth”.
17 Muscle shown by minister containing scheming from the right (9)
RETRACTOR – RECTOR (minister) containing ART (scheming) reversed [from the right]. The containment indicator here is ‘containing’!
19 On which one might experience turbulence that’s smoother (5)
PLANE – Two definitions, one cryptic and one straight with reference to the carpentry tool
20 Fuel is hot, one in a whirl? (7)
DERVISH – DERV (fuel), IS, H (hot)
22 Going round Baltic capital, European put on a jumper? (7)
ACROBAT – A, CROAT (European) containing [going round] B{altic} [capital]
24 Footballing nation deserted by supporter and companion, for nothing (5)
ZILCH – {Bra}ZIL (footballing nation) [deserted by supporter – Bra], CH (companion)
25 Evidently living wage perhaps getting cut? Then object (9)
BREATHING – BREA{d} (wage perhaps – slang for money) [getting cut], THING (object)
27 American not entirely laid back, no (3)
NAY – YAN{k} (American) [not entirely] reversed [laid back]. Nay, nay and thrice nay! Titter ye not.
28 Fine / still to pay (11)
OUTSTANDING – Two definitions
1 Large island, not a little one (3)
CUB – CUB{a} (large island) [not a]
2 Asian leaders of institution really are quite indecisive (5)
IRAQI – [leaders of] I{nstitution} R{eally} A{re} Q{uite} I{ndecisive}
3 Don’t go before temperature maintained by fire, always (7)
OUTSTAY – T (temperature) contained [maintained] by OUST (fire), AY (always)
4 Something black in modest shiner (9)
STARLIGHT – TAR (something black) in SLIGHT (modest)
5 Mysterious force surrounding its place (5)
RUNIC – RUC (force – Royal Ulster Constabulary) containing [surrounding] NI (its place – Northern Ireland). The RUC became  the Police Force of Northern Ireland in 2001 but I’m not a believer in the idea that historical references have to be indicated as such in the clue.
6 Observer cleaner? Nonsense! (7)
EYEWASH – A cryptic hint and a straight defintion of a slang term
7 Restaurant having upended dessert, a riot breaking out (9)
TRATTORIA – TART (dessert) reversed [upended], anagram [breaking out] of A RIOT
8 Something blown up when soldiers engaged by Grant and Lee in action (11)
ENLARGEMENT – MEN (soldiers) contained [engaged] by anagram [in action] of GRANT LEE
11 It’s odd when people meditate in the cake shop? (6,5)
BAKERS DOZEN – BAKERS (people…in the cake shop), DO ZEN (meditate). A baker’s dozen is 13. The cryptic hint helps with the otherwise loose definition.
14 In a normal manner, of course (9)
NATURALLY – Two meanings
16 Sky confusing extremes of modernism with fine art (9)
FIRMAMENT – Anagram [confusing] of [extremes of ] M{odernis}M FINE ART
18 Sound from hooter in retreat, is hooting! (7)
ATISHOO – Hidden in {retre}AT IS HOO{ting}. ‘Hooter’ is slang for nose, a particular favourite from the days of Hancock’s Half Hour
19 Old Protestant’s bread, brown (7)
PURITAN – PURI (bread), TAN (brown). I didn’t know the bread which my dictionary says is American. see further comments below
21 Practice somewhat beneath him at first (5)
HABIT – A BIT (somewhat)  beneath H{im} [at first]
23 Pancakes — bat doesn’t finish one (5)
BLINI – BLIN{k} (bat – eyelids) [doesn’t finish], I (one)
26 Up-and-down performance? (3)
GIG – Clued as a palindrome [up-and-down]

58 comments on “Times Cryptic 26822”

  1. My time would suggest that I didn’t find this tricky, but then I biffed a bunch: CHINOISERIE from IN; ZILCH from the Z (never thought of Brazil); OUTSTAY from AY; ATISHOO from checkers (I never got beyond ‘owl’ for ‘hooter’–we Murcans sneeze ‘achoo’); and BAKER’S DOZEN from def, although I got DO ZEN post hoc. And RUNIC: with R-N-C there weren’t many choices, and I remembered Poe’s ‘keeping time, time, time, / In a sort of runic rhyme’. DNK PURI, but. Nice to get in under 10 minutes; maybe next time I’ll do it honestly.
    1. I object to your objection. Each clue (mostly) has two parts, but nothing says you’re required to use both in solving. I also grabbed a few answers today from definitions and from grid crossers, unraveling the wordplay afterwards, and feel no guilt whatsoever!
      1. (Your) objection sustained, and my phraseology was less than ept; I didn’t feel guilty, either. Not guilty, but not satisfied, either; 9:44 was the time it took me to complete the puzzle, not to solve it.
    2. You say ‘achoo’, we say ‘atishoo’….Since becoming a subscriber to The New Yorker I’ve noticed another difference: We say ‘the noughties’ to describe the first decade of the 21st century whereas you chaps say ‘aughties’.
      1. I’ve never come across either word, and wouldn’t know what they meant without a pretty clear context.
  2. 53 mins for me. But I put the first clue in in my hotel room, then got dressed and took my computer to the buffet breakfast and did it there, getting food in between. So who knows what time I should count. But probably 30 mins.

    PURI is an Indian bread. Chambers says it comes from Hindi. It comes as a sort of puffed up ball that you poke a hole in and add the flavoring (or they do it for you). At least that’s what it’s been when I’ve had it. I’ve never heard of it in US. Only hold up was biffing NATCH instead of ZILCH from the H.

    As it happens, I go to India tomorrow. Time for some PURI.

    1. You’re right about it being Indian, Paul. My error illustrates the danger of using an unfamilar dictionary (Collins on-line as opposed to the printed version) and then not reading it properly.

      Puri in British
      a port in E India, in Odisha (formerly Orissa) on the Bay of Bengal: 12th-century temple of Jagannath. Pop: 157 610 (2001)

      puri in American:

      a deep-fried wheat bread of India: the flat round of dough puffs out in the hot oil

      Word origin of ‘Puri’

  3. Another excellent puzzle, of the type we get so accustomed to at the Times. I’m lucky enough to receive the Telegraph Toughies each day, and have access, as we all do, to the Guardian, but the fact remains that the Times cryptic is head and shoulders above the rest. Long may it continue at five quid a week!

    19 minutes for this one, ending with STARLIGHT, where the definition seemed a bit woolly. As for 7 across, I got to it by identifying one T in the word eighTeen – prompted by golfing ruminations – but whichever way you look at it, it seems a bit, well, woolly too.

    Edited at 2017-09-05 02:28 am (UTC)

  4. Ah, it’s nice to be back in London and my comfy office.

    I actually parsed everything this one, much to the detriment of my leaderboard position when I refused to put in the obvious RUNIC without understanding how it worked, this pushing my time over 8 minutes, a little behind the mighty MG. I know when he posts such a time it’s only because he’s resizing his screen and so forth for the first 3, but it’s still nice to pretend I’m a competitor.

    Part of the reason that I was parsing this as I went along is that so many of the clues were good and entertaining, big ups to the setter. Oh yes, and just to say I’m very glad I didn’t leave GAG in for 26dn, my first and inferior thought! A quick check of 4 other possible letters of the alphabet is much more acceptable than those _A_E type LOIs where you have to run though hundreds of options.

      1. I did think of dropping you a line but wrangling two kids mostly solo it was hard to think of a window of opportunity for drinks! I hope to return soon with extra parental backup.
        1. I suspected as much. You are welcome anytime. We are in the new town – with a few pubs in very close proximity.
  5. 35 mins munching a Fat Rascal (Hoorah).
    I really enjoyed this one and put ticks against several: 7ac, 11ac, 15ac, 24ac, 5dn, 11dn, 16dn, 18dn. Might be a record.
    COD to 11dn for the thought of doing Zen while contemplating buns. Ah the existential oneness of the Fat Rascal!
    Eyebrow quickly unraised when I twigged Bat was Blink, not Blind.
    Great stuff. Thanks excellent setter and erudite Jack.
          1. Awesome. And I’ve replied to your reply (just in case I find my way back to the junk pile)
  6. 18.59 with a feeling it should have been quicker, but I dawdled over COASTER, absurdly not thinking of the right kind of vessel or the right kind of wheel: for a while I was trying to work “rotate” backwards with an O in it and some sort of anatomical container as the outcome. That left RUNIC until last which I resolutely failed to parse, wondering which RC force was found in a UNI.
    I also didn’t see (properly, at least) the charming BAKERS DO ZEN, that “odd” definition being enough with a hint of cake shop.
  7. 20-ish, but I sort of lost the will to live with this one and checked some things out. Some comments above indicate it’s a matter of taste, but long and winding clues are not my thing. I usually get the same feeling with Telegraph Toughies so I guess this is from the same stable. As a self-professed fan of brevity I’d better exercise some and shuddup.
  8. No problems with this one and a steady top to bottom solve. Some good clues I thought.

    BAKERS DOZEN stirred memories of childhood when I had to go to the bakery to buy freshly baked bread for my mother. The bakery would have portions of broken buns that couldn’t be sold to be given away with each loaf. A hang over from the days when a baker could be flogged for selling short weight – hence the practice of adding an extra loaf to every 12 ordered.

  9. 42 minutes on this tricky puzzle, after seeing CHINOISERIE straightaway. I’ve had a song from my childhood blocking my brain since, ‘Love’s last word is spoken, Cherie’, sung by Josef Locke, although it was Tauber’s song first, Wiki tells me. As a child I can remember being disappointed that a BOAT TRAIN only went as far as the port. I envisaged it carrying on through the water like the Water Chute at Pleasure Beach. Mind you, even earlier again, I thought the Berlin Air Lift was a chair lift with parcels of food strapped in the seats. I showed I wouldn’t be much good at crosswords from very young. COD BAKERS DOZEN. Didn’t parse RUNIC, which if I had done could have been a contender. Thank you Jack and setter.
    1. Indeed there were trains that went not through, but over the water to France (and Holland). I used to see the Paris ones at Victoria, and rather regret never going on one. By all accounts they were rather unsatisfactory in several ways. Steam driven ones must have been fun, though

      Edited at 2017-09-05 08:34 am (UTC)

      1. In my train-spotting yoof, I used to travel the twelve miles to Tonbridge station to see the Golden Arrow on its way from Victoria Station to Paris. Great excitement!
  10. I was beaten by this one, fairly and squarely. My remaining two were the crossers of 22a and 23d; just couldn’t see BLINI, and had also managed to convince myself that I was looking for something unknown. Might’ve got ACROBAT if I’d managed the pancake. Wasn’t helping that I was trying to work Riga into it somehow.

    But it had taken me an hour and a quarter to get that far, and I needed to get on with my day. If it hadn’t taken me quite so long to get BRISTOL, despite the fact that I live there, perhaps I’d have had a chance!

    Extremely enjoyable all round, I thought, my favourite being 2d RUNIC. Thought I was off to a good start by getting CHINOISERIE as FOI—I remember being defeated by this word in the past…

    Edited at 2017-09-05 08:26 am (UTC)

  11. Hmm, found this rather easy, perhaps I was just on the wavelength. Entertaining though, and some excellent clues. Interesting that there are two hidden clues, somewhat unusual these days.
  12. Fully done and parsed, with the exception of BAKERS’ DOZEN, where I was fixated on DOZE for meditate. Thanks jack and setter.
  13. 19:44 – little joy at first sight at the top so started in the SE corner and worked steadily up. Delayed myself by trying to remember where the island of ELB is but otherwise no major problems.
  14. 15:38. This morning was my first experience of solving on the new website using my iPad without its keyboard (nowhere to sit on the train). Let’s just say it will also be my last such experience. I thought part of the point of the redesign was to make the site work better on mobile devices? Adjusting for having to retype every clue about three times and the extended period in the middle when I couldn’t see the top half of the grid I’d estimate this took me about ten minutes.
    We had DERVISH with very similar wordplay a few months ago. That time I put in DIRVISH, in spite of knowing how to spell DERV. This time I remembered the error but hesitated over whether DERV was the right spelling or the wrong one I had put in last time. Some relief to find I had got it right.
    A bit like Z I wondered what the RIC was, obviously some kind of UN military force. Doh!
  15. I, too, failed to parse RUNIC. What were those Roman Catholics doing at University? BOAT TRAIN reminded me that in 1982 I went on a train that went on a boat between Esbjerg and Copenhagen. Memorable journey as we had already passed the European Gateway on its side as we left Harwich harbour on the Dana Anglia.
    1. I should have spotted the parsing having holidayed in NI a few weeks ago, but I didn’t – it was a biff and hope from the checkers for me too. I quite enjoyed this, without finding it quite 28a. 21d my favourite. 20:30.
  16. … but with quite a bit of biffing, as others (ZILCH, OUTSTAY, RUNIC), and I too just thought ‘DOZE, yeah, that’s kind of ‘meditate’… and moved on…

  17. 32.50, felt a bit slow on the uptake of another deft offering. I agree with ulaca – the Times tops the puzzle-tree, sets the standard, primus inter inferiores, sans pareil. The third verse of ‘Cargoes’, quoted by jackkt, was learnt by probably thousands of my pupils over the years to be shouted out in classrooms. I like to think of some of them still shouting it somewhere. – joekobi
    1. Yes, I had to do that .. put me off the English Channel for years, but I have always wanted to go to Distant Ophir…
  18. I remembered CHINOISERIE from its last outing. RUNIC went in without parsing from the crossers. Obvious once it’s pointed out though. ZILCH went in from DOZEN and companion, without worrying about the bra. Needed the ACROBAT before turning P___TAN into a protestant, not being familiar with PURI as a bread, but knowing the Indian food connection. FOI IRAQI, LOI RETRACTOR. Enjoyable puzzle. 25:42. Thanks setter and Jack.
  19. Only 5 comments out of 31 showing, so apologies if I’m repeating points made by others. Enjoyable and a reasonable challenge. I found quite a few difficult to parse, eg 5d and 19d, which I unsatisfactorily had to biff to finish in 47 minutes. I liked the ‘city of fashion’, the ‘Sound from hooter’ and the surface of 11a.

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

  20. 13:51 and I couldn’t find a starting point in the top half so had to work my way upwards.

    The only one I didn’t parse was BAKER’S DOZEN, on account of misreading meditate as mediate.

  21. I would like some general advice please. When I am searching for synonyms can I constrain the possibilities by considering the grammar of the clue. For example for 3 down – don’t go before temperature maintained by fire, always – fire in this case is a noun. The answer takes a synonym of fire as a verb, oust, rejecting my notion, but is this inference from a clue that is an exception, or a general principle in cryptic crosswording. My thanks in advance.
    1. All grist to the setter’s mill. A word can appear as one part of speech in the surface, but be a different part of speech when read cryptically. Anything else would severely deplete the setter’s armoury, and the name of the game is deception after all.
      1. Thanks ulaca. So this doesn’t contravene Ximenean principles, something I’ve just heard of. Exciting business this nascent journey through cryptic crosswordland.
        1. Ximenean principles are all very well (and admirably set out by the man himself in ‘Ximenes on the Art of the Crossword’ by D S Macnutt) but things have moved on a bit. I am sure that the experts can expand on the details of this

          Edited at 2017-09-05 05:23 pm (UTC)

        2. Ximenes was setting crosswords at a time when there were effectively no standards or principles and some setters (google “Afrit”) liked it that way. At the time the “rules” he laid down were useful and made the point that clues should be fair to the solver and consistent.
          Unfortunately they were turned into something of a religion and now you can be severely criticised for a clue that is perfectly sound, perfectly fair and quite solvable but nevertheless breaks one of Ximenes “rules.”
          You may have gathered that I believe rules are for guidance and not blind obedience.. fortunately as ulaca says I think things are moving on, albeit slowly.
          I have one more view which is that it is quite hard being a setter, who is expected to be both witty and original on a daily basis. The more we constrain what they are allowed to do, the harder we make their job, to our ultimate detriment.
    2. Just skimming the across clues at 1 you’ve got dear as an adjective in the surface and a noun in the cryptic reading and at 19 smoother in the surface is actually a nounal definition.
      1. Thanks all. So was the idea I mentioned a Ximenean principle? And are there any crosswords still where Ximenean principlesare strictly adhered to?
        1. Quoting from the man himself – in his famous book – an example of a ‘container’ clue:
          “Habits that are touching in cows (8). (Don’t forget that ‘cows’ can be a verb).”

          Answer: Appa(re)ls. Appals being ‘cows’. According to Ximenes.

        2. The Times is probably the most strictly Ximenean of the usual daily puzzles. The barred-grid puzzles (Mephisto, Azed) are typically stricter.
          I don’t think this principle is Ximenean or non-Ximenean: it’s just common to all cryptic puzzles. Cryptic grammar consists of instructions to put words and phrases in a particular order, irrespective of their meaning or grammatical status. So for example ‘greatest number eats French of’ is perfectly valid wordplay for MODEST, even though it makes no sense. The setter’s art is to construct clues that perform this function while also looking like grammatical sentences, ideally meaning something completely different.
  22. My wife was looking over my shoulder when she announed 13a. I got quite excited for a minute. I would have got this so am claiming a finish in just over 40 mins. Couldnt parse 5d so thanks blogger.
  23. A fun puzzle which I romped through in 26mins this morning. At the risk of tempting fate my solving abilities do seem to peak on Tuesday. I suppose the brain has kicked itself out of the lethargy of the weekend by then. Sadly it’s all downhill again by Wednesday. I wasn’t sure what a boat train was but the word play seemed clear. I missed the “of fashion” bit of 11ac and appreciate it now it’s been pointed out. Hesitated at 12ac where I would have spelt caster castor but my Concise OED has “caster: variant spelling of castor” so it’s fine. I did an alphabet run for BLIN- and got as far as blind before thinking that’s a bit loose for “bat” and moving on without seeing blink. I also saw “doze” for ages before seeing “zen”. Otherwise no problems. Very enjoyable.
  24. I didn’t know the Royal Ulster Constabulary, so looked up the acronym before inking this in… last one. I’d blame it on my being an American, but see that Verlaine was also scratching his head. Not sure I’d ever heard of “DERV” before, but figured it had to be. ATICHOO always seemed an odd way to spell a sneeze, as mine, at least, rarely if ever consist of three syllables.
  25. Well, I enjoyed that. My favourites were ZILCH, BOAT TRAIN and BRISTOL. ‘Bristol fashion’ is one phrase that comes from that city but so is ‘cash on the nail’ which is reported to come from the pillars outside the Corn Exchange in Bristol.
    Regarding the RUC, unlike jackkt, I think that ‘old’ should have been included to indicate a former service, but each to his or her own.
    58m 19s
  26. Twenty-six minutes for me, with no major problems apart from dithering over ZILCH until I got the parsing, and being unaccountably convinced that 27ac was “nah”.

    I do believe I am finally beginning to get the hang of this cryptic malarkey after N years*, though I don’t think I will ever approach the times of some of the fastest solvers.

    * 10<N≤25

    1. Me neither. I tell myself it is because I prefer to take my time and enjoy the solving and parsing rather than to rush through to completion regardless. This is perfectly true, but still..
      1. If the people who regulary achieved ultra-fast* times were not such pleasant souls, I would be tempted to put about the rumour that sub-ten-minute solves were the result of doping.

        (*i.e. any time faster than mine)

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