Times Cryptic 26840

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Most of my recent 15×15 solves have taken me well beyond my 30 minute target and this one at 50 minutes is yet another example. I found the top easier than the lower half where I had some difficulty establishing a foothold.  One word completely unknown to me and clued by a reference to football held me up for ages at the end but I worked it out from wordplay eventually.

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

1 Person goading Republican after image trouble (7)
PICADOR – PIC (image), ADO (trouble), R (Republican). In bullfighting he’s the twat on the horse who goads the bull with a lance.
5 Fire started by phosphorous in match (4-3)
PLAY-OFF – P (phosphorous), LAY OFF (fire – from a job)
9 One not wanting to leave, accepting day’s rest (9)
REMAINDER – REMAINER (one not wanting to leave) containing [accepting] D (day). SOED need to revise their entry for this word following the Brexit campaign and referendum : remainer –  noun (rare) a person who remains or stays. The clue on the other hand is spot on and in line with current usage.
10 In no sense upstanding! (5)
LYING – Two meanings
11 Out in public, having done time (5)
OVERT – OVER (done), T (time)
12 Released a single, plugging covers of acoustic number (9)
ANALGESIC – Anagram [released] of A SINGLE contained by [plugging]  [covers of] A{cousti}C
13 Politician‘s failing here probed by papers (4,9)
VICE PRESIDENT – VICE (failing), PRESENT containing [probed by] ID (papers)
17 Forged coins, not concealing wrongdoing by one twisted individual (13)
CONTORTIONIST – Anagram [forged] of COINS NOT containing [concealing] TORT (wrongdoing) + I (one)
21 Instruction for players, both sides admitting a poor quarter (9)
LARGHETTO – L and R (both sides) containing [admitting] A, GHETTO (poor quarter). Largo  is perhaps a more widely known word for ‘slow’ in music; larghetto is a just shade faster than that.
24 Strain of uncut narcotic (5)
PUREE – PURE (uncut), E (narcotic). In cookery this means to reduce food to a pulp. In my book ‘puree’ is not the same as ‘strain’ which means to separate solids from liquid. It’s true that pureeing is sometimes done by forcing food through a sieve or strainer, but I don’t think that justifies the definition in the clue.
25 Throw out a slippery customer, pocketing ten pence (5)
EXPEL – EEL (slippery customer) containing [pocketing] X (ten) + P (pence)
26 Scrub best clothing, note: not available (9)
ELIMINATE – ELITE (best) containing [clothing] MI (note) + NA (not available)
27 How far, say, a vehicle must reverse (7)
YARDAGE – EG (say) + A + DRAY (vehicle) reversed
28 A site with no ground or land (7)
ESTONIA – Anagram [ground] of A SITE NO
1 I didn’t catch that mafioso after a number of shots (6)
PARDON – PAR (number of shots – golf), DON (mafioso)
2 Less macho military leaders moving home (6,3)
CAMPER VAN – CAMPER (less macho), VAN (military leaders) which can be defined as the foremost division or detachment of a military force when set in order for advancing
3 Like believers quoted about saving lives (7)
DEISTIC – CITED (quoted) reversed [about] containing [saving] IS (lives)
4 Northern town favoured one grand welcome (3,6)
RED CARPET – REDCAR (Northern town), PET (favoured one)
5 Parents crossing river in provincial capital (5)
PARMA – PA + MA (parents) containing [crossing] R (river). The Italian province is also called Parma.
6 Tempo cut by current composer (7)
ALLEGRI – ALLEGR{o} (tempo) [cut], I (current). Gregorio Allegri (c1582-1652) may not be known to all as his fame rests almost entirely on the popularity of one choral work, his ‘Miserere, mei Deus’.
7 Trimmed blossom: it spread leaves out (5)
OMITS – Hidden in {bloss}OM IT S{pread}  [trimmed]
8 In terms of footballing, United tops a rival for passing quality (8)
FUGACITY – U (united) in [terms of] F{ootballin}G, A, CITY (rival – to Manchester United). I’ve never heard of this word from ‘fugacious’ meaning ‘fleeting’ and I’m automatically resistant to football references so it was no surprise that this was my last one in. According to a Google search of TftT, neither word has ever come up before.
14 Frenetic come-on, that is ensnaring second husband (9)
ECONOMISE – Anagram [frenetic] of COME ON, IE (that is) containing [ensnaring] S (second). ‘Husband’ in the sense of managing resources economically.
15 Host‘s put in metal fencing area (9)
ENTERTAIN – ENTER (put in), TIN (metal) containing [fencing] A (area)
16 Row extremely raucously outside English servants’ room (8)
SCULLERY – SCULL (row), E (English), R{aucousl}Y [extremely]. It’s a separate room or area of an old kitchen in which dishes were washed, perhaps by servants.
18 Tragic figure in work by essayist stealing hearts (7)
OPHELIA – OP (work) + ELIA (essayist – Charles Lamb) containing [stealing] H (hearts)
19 The author’s right to drown in beer, creating depression (7)
IMPRINT – I’M (the author’s), R (right) contained by [to drown in] PINT (beer). In expressions ‘going for a pint’ and ‘having a pint’, beer is taken to be the drink in question.
20 Prunella, Vanessa and others in the information age (6)
GENERA – GEN (information), ERA (age). I assume these are plants of the same genus. Edit: Thanks to Ulaca for advising that, whilst  I was correct about ‘prunella’, ‘vanessa’ is a genus of butterfly so we have here a definition by two examples from different areas of knowledge.
22 Perhaps cowboy’s well-behaved, doffing cap (5)
ROPER – {p}ROPER (well-behaved) [doffing cap]. A person who uses a lasso.
23 Place for opera’s unfinished melody (5)
THEME – THE ME{t} (place for opera) [unfinished]. The Metropolitan, colloquially referred to as The Met, is the world-famous opera house in New York City.

59 comments on “Times Cryptic 26840”

  1. Really off the wavelength today, almost 40 minutes. No unknowns except Allegri & Fugacity (guessable from tempus fugit), just being dense. And PUREE wrong – considered, but as with Jack decided puree wasn’t strain so guessed purge. Also would never have got the cryptic as E is an amphetamine, the exact opposite of a narcotic. Missed the “terms of” in 8 dn and wondered where the G came from. A bit of a footballing corner there helped me, unlike Jack, Parma won the UEFA cup 20-odd years back beating Juve, now coached by Allegri. And of course Leeds and Bradford in 8 down.
  2. 35 minutes, with a post-solve search revealing that while a prunella is a genus of plant, a vanessa is a genus of butterfly. Apparently.

    Fugacity unparsed (pesky ‘terms’), so thanks to Jack for that. We used to have a scullery in our 60s-built house – basically, just a passage leading to the garage with the washing machine, a clothes horse and various bits and pieces.

    I don’t see any problem with E clued as ‘narcotic’, given that the word is commonly used to mean any kind of illegal drug.

  3. A long time trying to justify FUGACITY, a word I’d never heard off but it seemed the most likely, once I had enough checkers that MANUCITY was ruled out, another word I’d never heard of but for the better reason that it doesn’t exist.

    I guess “strain” for PUREE is pushing it, but I didn’t notice at the time. And I’ve long since stopped worrying that all drugs seem to be called narcotics, even cocaine and meth, which if anything are the opposite.

  4. I’d got as far as F_GACITY for 8d but no further—could someone put me out of my misery on this “terms” thing? No idea what’s going on there.

    It mattered little, though, as while I had the rest of the top half, including the unknown composer, I only had about half of the bottom, stymied by not getting the “tort” of wrongdoing nor the definition in 17a, missing the “ghetto” and not knowing the Italian term in 21, though knowing I was looking for one, and so on. I was close in a couple of places—I’d even thought of “gen” in 20, “Met” in 23, “pint” in 19, “tin” in 15—but hadn’t put everything together.

    Basically, so far off the wavelength that it wasn’t funny, plus lacking in GK. Glad I could come here to be put out of my misery, and at least I know how OPHELIA works now… Thanks to setter and blogger. Let’s hope the rest of my day goes better.

    1. I took it to be indicating that “in terms” (of footballing) City are a rival to United esp for the affections of local supporters in Manchester.
      1. I took Matt to mean he didn’t get the force of the word ‘terms’, in which case it indicates (as Jack’s rubric suggests) that you should take the two ends of the word FootballinG. ‘Terms’ here is being used in the old sense of boundary or limit.
        1. Thanks for explaining my parsing, ulaca, as I’m afraid I had overlooked including the deletion indicator [terms of] in the blog. I have added it now. Unfortunately when I responded to Matt I did so without consulting my own notes!
        2. What’s with the duplication, I wonder? I spotted it earlier and deleted it before leaving home around 11:00, but on my return it’s back again, word for word, posted at 12:58.
          1. And I thought it was my email playing up on iOS 11! I take back everything I just muttered about Mail duplicating things…

            Thanks for the enlightenment, both! I shall have to try and remember “terms” for when it’s deployed in the future…

            Edited at 2017-09-26 01:16 pm (UTC)

          2. Maybe it means something encrypted into Russian! Anyway, I have had a go at consigning it to oblivion…
  5. 35 mins with croissant and plum jam. And with the Snitch currently running at 113, that feels quick for me. Generally it was quite smooth notwithstanding some minor eyebrow raising at ‘strained’ synonyms and concealed definitions.
    I am ashamed to have left 1ac/2dn to the end – despite knowing that trouble is so often Ado. I was looking for a goader with an ..er ending – that’s my excuse.
    Mostly I liked the very camp van and the fleeting football.
    Thanks intriguing setter and Jack.

    PS The Ophelia clue was very TLS

    Edited at 2017-09-26 07:56 am (UTC)

  6. Tough puzzle but very satisfying to finish

    Solved 8D Mephisto style – concoct a word from wordplay and then consult dictionary to see if word exists! Agree about PUREE but not so worried by loose use of E – its common usage whilst strictly inaccurate is well known

    Thank you setter and great job by Jack

  7. 22:38 … took me a while to realise this was tricky and to get the wavelength retuned. I really enjoyed it once I got into it, though — a fascinating selection of vocabulary and some off-beat clues. Last in PICADOR.

    A non-PC chuckle over CAMPER VAN, a nice penny-drop moment with RED CARPET, and a purr of contentment over FUGACITY, a lovely word.

    Thanks, jackkt, especially for the education about Allegri’s ‘hit’ (love the Mozart story), which I didn’t know I knew until I went to the YouTube video of the King’s College choir performing it. Hard to argue with your assessment of the music – https://youtu.be/4lC7V8hG198

      1. It would be an interesting argument. That top C surely has to be sung by a choirboy, if a somewhat exceptional treble. I suppose a sop who can manage the Queen of the Night would do.
        But lets not debate it too much, in case Katherine Jenkins finds out and decides to do it as a solo, which would then become the most played version on Classic fm, at which point the whining noise you would here would be Allegri, Mozart and probably Mendelssohn spinning vigorously in their graves.
        1. I was, of course, being facetious, spurred on by her version of Faure’s In Paradisum which she sings as a solo, the only piece of music that has ever made me weep with rage.
          But it seems she already has released her version of the Allegri – can’t check it because some sort of divine intervention has removed it from YouTube.
  8. Twice yesterday’s time at 28’23, but I didn’t really think it was that hard.
    FUGACITY a new word which I will probably never see or use again, but trusted the wordplay.
    Now then, when I puree something, I reduce it to a pulp. The only strain involved is that I don’t possess a liquidiser, but I doubt that’s what the setter had in mind.
    We haven’t employed a scullery maid for years, and neither the butler nor the upstairs maid will fill in, so we’ve converted the scullery to a downstairs loo. Servants, eh?!
  9. But I got the music term and the composer. I’d heard of FUGACITY too, without quite knowing its meaning and it fitted the cryptic. Jose’s teams don’t beat Pep’s for passing quality though. Struggled for a long time in SE with the PUREE/GENERA crosser, taking my time to 47 minutes. COD has to be FUGACITY as, unlike our esteemed blogger, my eyes still light up at footballing talk, even when my team are bottom. Thank you Jack, and setter for a tough Tuesday. You should be on the Friday shift.
    1. I did alternate Fridays for many years but swapped to Tuesdays when Jimbo semi-retired. I think it’s true that Tuesdays are getting harder though.
  10. Fine crossword .. fugacity is related to fugitive, in the sense of a fugitive thought that comes and then goes .. I get quite a lot of those nowadays

    strain = puree, is that one of they pesky dbe thingies? Since one can puree in more ways than the one.. otoh if you strain something it is definitely a puree that results

    1. When I strain something I usually end up with that thing in the strainer and the cooking water in the sink. I agree with jackkt that the essence of straining is the separation of liquid and solid, which is not what happens when you PUREE something.

      Edited at 2017-09-26 09:11 am (UTC)

        1. Indeed. For that to work you have to start with a (rough) PUREE if you don’t want to spend all day doing it and/or break your sieve!
          I actually think this is one of those very rare examples where you can say that one of the dictionaries has got something unambiguously wrong. The Collins definition implies that a PUREE is always sieved, which simply isn’t the case.
  11. Dnf as no FUGACITY after 35 minutes. Have sung the bass part to the Allegri many times, hair stands on end every time. Thanks jack and setter.
  12. 11:41. No real problems today: I don’t know if I’ve come across FUGACITY before but it seemed perfectly likely.
    I wondered about ‘strain’ for PUREE. Collins defines the noun as ‘a smooth thick pulp of cooked and sieved fruit, vegetables, meat, or fish’ so perhaps we can let the setter off the hook and take it up with them.
    ‘Narcotic’ for E is fine. There is a specialised technical meaning and more general one. There are countless words like this.
  13. By some miracle I finished this one in 43:44, much to my surprise. I lost a bit of time trying to get INCITER to make sense in 1a, and spelling ACAPELLA in various incorrect ways trying to shoe-horn it into 12a, but I got there in the end. I liked the surface of 17a and the definition “twisted individual”. Thanks setter and jackkt.
  14. I had heard of 6dn ALLEGRI but not 8dn FUGACITY but simply guessed it! Jack I know you eschew footy so the Manchester thing needs a bit of clarity.

    Manchester City fans live in Manchester United fans do not! They live everywhere – including Shnaghai – as I am a Red Diehard. The old joke used to be:-

    Q. How do you know when United are playing at home?

    A. There are tail-backs on the King’s Road (Chelsea)!!
    There are far more Man United fans living in London than in Manchester. There is no red-half of Manchester, just a red-quarter!

    FOI 7dn OMITS LOI 24ac PUREE

    fyi Senor Ulaca – Vanessa was with us only recently!


    I believe Motzart was an intolerable brat!

    Edited at 2017-09-26 09:57 am (UTC)

      1. It’s certainly true that Mozart has been portrayed as an intolerable brat (in recent years via Peter Shaffer’s play and later film ‘Amadeus’) but I’d guess that few ‘gifted’children weren’t at some stage. He wrote some of the most divine music ever produced, so who cares after all this time? And anyway, Beethoven was a miserable old git.

        Edited at 2017-09-26 01:14 pm (UTC)

    1. Aren’t Liverpool ‘Reds’ and MU ‘Red Devils’ ?

      Just asking


  15. I tussled with this one for 54:50, but with FUGACITY unparsed and NHO. PICADOR was a very late entry as I was fixated on it starting with PR(Image) and finishing DER, but I couldn’t make ODDE mean trouble, so I discarded it. Finally got it when CAMPER VAN hove into view. Some enjoyable moments, even if the solve mostly seemed like a swim through treacle. PARMA was my FOI, closely followed by 4d(nice to see my local seaside town mentioned) 9a and 1d. GENERA from wordplay after IT ERA wasn’t going anywhere. LOI was THEME after ELIMINATE. Knew Allegri from his Miserere. Beautiful piece of music. Quite a challenge, setter, and thanks Jack.

    Edited at 2017-09-26 11:55 am (UTC)

  16. I thought this was a tricky one and was relieved when all was shown as correct, and then a little surprised to see my 13:45 was the slowest of the all-corrects at the time! ALLEGRI, FUGACITY and GENERA from wordplay.
  17. I’d had my fill of obscure composers after a Gozo in the FT last week and groaned when I saw 6d was going to be another. Haven’t heard his Miserere yet but intend to – thanks for the YouTube link.

    Managed to get FUGACITY from the wordplay. What a great word. I fully intend to use it as soon as I can, correctly or not.

    Finished in about an hour over a pub lunch. I was having a 6d as it happens.

    Thanks to blogger and setter.

  18. I was another “prodder” like John Dun and it took me a very long time to see the hidden in OMITS, so either it was very well done or I was just slow. I decided to skip the football bits and relied on Alevel Latin (what I remember of Horace – eheu fugaces) for FUGACITY. ALLEGRI is in the handy little Collins crossword solver dictionary so my eyes had skimmed him many times – dnk the piece but I’ll listen now, thanks to all for the prompt.

    Somewhere I still have my mother’s vintage “mouli bebe” from the 50s which both purees and strains. I think I did use it occasionally despite acquiring first a blender and then a food processor. Forgot – 21.33

    Edited at 2017-09-26 01:01 pm (UTC)

  19. Twenty-eight minutes, and for once my bubble of smug satisfaction has not been burst by too many of you saying this was an easy one! My only delays were caused by having Othello at 18d for a while, and spending half a second tutting over the spelling of ANALGESIC.

    FUGACITY was familiar from somewhere but, as I can’t remember where it’s possible that it only became familiar after I’d written it in. I also pondered “prodder” at 1ac for a while.

  20. Well I thought this was really rather difficult – especially the NE corner. Allegri’s Miserere seems so familiar-sounding NOW, but it didn’t during the actual solve!
  21. Nearly 45 minutes: I found it really hard to get started, with only half a dozen answers here and there at half-time. Religious music in general doesn’t do it for me, so I have never understood the popularity of Allegri on Classic fm – whenever he’s announced I know I need to go elsewhere to avoid a quarter-hour of him being miserable.
  22. No problem with FUGACITY, but I knew if from studying chemistry rather than the literary term. As for the ALLEGRI Miserere, I’m afraid that having performed it umpteen times I find it a little tedious as it is rather repetitious. It’s good to hear a nice top C, though. My grandparents had a scullery, but no servants to wash the dishes. I solved this in two spurts with a 21a dawdle in the middle where I dried up for a while. 24:27.

    Edited at 2017-09-26 05:11 pm (UTC)

  23. In two halves, the second after a long contentious meeting, all done except the SE corner where I couldn’t twig the relevance of Vanessa and her pal. Knew the composer and knew FUGACITY from chemistry. Probably 45 minutes all told.
  24. 26 mins this am and another 17.5 mins this pm to get this one done and dusted. I enjoy this blog for so many reasons not least of all the education and entertainment it provides. So, thanks to Jerrywh and Sotira for those links to the two different versions of that wonderful and sublime piece of music. It was a real pleasure to listen to, right up there with Club Tropicana, though less of a holiday party vibe to it. I found the LHS quite straightforward, FOI 1ac, the SE fell next and I finished in the NE where 5ac, 12ac, 6dn and LOI 8dn took some time to unravel. I was reasonably comfortable with fugacity as a word from fugit tempus but took some time to convince myself of the “terms” giving me the “f” and the “g”. 20dn bunged in from information age, a guess as to what Prunella and Vanessa signalled and a slight raised eyebrow at their randomness.
  25. About an hour. I liked this puzzle, which sports some very fine surfaces. PUREE is fine – vt: to rub through a strainer or process (food) in a blender. I knew Prunella was a plant, so guessed that Vanessa must be too, although when I checked later, it proved to be a butterfly. COD must be ANALGESIC, because even though the definition is tired, there are no less than *5* other musical elements in the clue: “Releasing”, “A single”, “Plugging”, “Covers” & “Acoustic”. Quite remarkable.

    Edited at 2017-12-12 07:48 am (UTC)

    1. The definition of puree as quoted by you is fine (and was actually already covered in my blog) but rubbing (food) through a strainer is not the same as straining it which involves the separation of liquids and solid. In pureeing nothing is removed or separated, just broken down.

      Edited at 2017-12-12 08:28 am (UTC)

      1. Often the challenge with a clue I don’t quite get is to find the setter’s perspective from which the answer is entirely logical. One reason why I like the Times so much is that I don’t think a composer would ever be deliberately loose without a question mark.

        In this case, I’m looking at online “Free Dictionary” by Farlex (who ever they are). They say to puree is to rub through a strainer, and that to strain is to pour or pass through a sieve, filter, or strainer. It seems to me that “rub through” is a particular kind of “passing through”, so puree is indeed a particular kind of strain.

        Wikipedia gives apple as an example of a puree: in this case there will be pips (and perhaps other hard flakes from the core) that don’t make it into the puree. This is a counter-example to the assertion that in a puree everything passes through.

        Reminds me of seeing my mum make crab apple jelly every year, many decades ago. Thanks for the memory.

        Edited at 2017-12-13 01:36 am (UTC)

Comments are closed.