Times Cryptic 26864

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Over an hour yet again, delayed and nearly defeated by an unknown foreign currency and yet another Ancient Greek clued with reference to an unknown Spanish dance. That said, this was mostly an entertaining and lively puzzle that was much more enjoyable both to solve and blog than last Tuesday’s stodge.

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 despicable sort in film about buccaneers (7)
PIRATIC – I (one) + RAT (despicable sort) in PIC (film)
5 Ancient queen endlessly patient during Spanish dance (7)
JOCASTA – CAS{e} (patient) [endlessly] during JOTA (Spanish dance). I managed to arrive at this solely from checkers and the assumption that two of the three unches had to be vowels. I’ve heard the name JOCASTA somewhere but had no idea it was that of a legendary Greek. As for wordplay, I knew the names of a number of Spanish dances, but JOTA was not amongst them.
9 Head of department takes more than half a month to judge academic qualification (9)
DOCTORATE – D {epartment} [head], OCTO{ber} (month) [more than half], RATE (judge)
10 What occurs when dreaming? It’s brief (5)
REMIT – REM (what occurs when dreaming – Rapid Eye Movement), IT
11 Old time artist, no star (5)
EXTRA – EX (old), T (time), RA (artist)
12 Involved in bar work, say, we hear James can sit around (9)
GYMNASTIC – GYM sounds like [we hear] “Jim” (James), anagram [around] of CAN SIT
14 Time to spend at home and learn veggie cooking (9,5)
GARDENING LEAVE – Anagram [cooking] of AND LEARN VEGGIE. Smashing surface!
17 Key award announced, backed by unknown individual in industrial area (10,4)
ENTERPRISE ZONE – ENTER (key), PRISE sounds like [announced] “prize” (award), Z (unknown), ONE (individual)
21 Block a view of ancient city (9)
DAMASCENE – DAM (block), A, SCENE (view)
23 Money from abroad — firm needs constant investment (5)
SUCRE – SURE (firm) contains [needs…for investment] C (constant). ‘Investment’ can mean putting on clothes, or in military terms laying a siege. Either meaning might indicate containment.
24 Supply on-line joke? (5)
EQUIP – E- (on-line), QUIP (joke)
25 Lock keeper sports hat in heat? Not half (4,5)
HAIR SLIDE –  AIRS (sports) + LID (hat) in HE{at} [not half]
26 Two tracks together making pattern (7)
TRACERY – TRACE (track no.1), RY (track no.2)
27 Scoffed when guided round a Spanish church (7)
LUNCHED – LED (guided) round UN (a, Spanish) + CH (church)
1 Rise of right political party in part of W Yorks (6)
PUDSEY – Reversal [rise] of YES (right) + DUP (political party). The Democratic Unionist Part of Northern Ireland is currently more prominent than in recent years as its support is keeping Mrs May in Downing Street. The town is situated between Bradford and Leeds.
2 Cheese stuffed into apricot tart (7)
RICOTTA – Hidden in [stuffed into] {ap}RICOT TA{rt}
3 Don threw a wobbly in Educating Rita, perhaps (3-6)
TWO-HANDER – Anagram [wobbly] of DON THREW A. Note to recent setter: not ‘a wobbler’. I hadn’t realised that this play by Willy Russell is a two-hander, but then I’ve only seen the film version which was opened out and made use of many more characters.
4 Health worker‘s daily information on source of funding cut at source (6,5)
CHARGE NURSE – CHAR (daily – as in domestic cleaning person), GEN (information), {p}URSE (source of funding) [cut at source]
5 Jack, old English man’s name (3)
JOE – J (Jack – cards), O (old), E (English). An escapee from the QC perhaps?
6 A pain in the neck contracted when twisting around (5)
CIRCA – A + CRIC{k} (pain in the neck) [contracted] reversed [twisting]
7 A US tram adapted for island (7)
SUMATRA – Anagram [adapted] of A US TRAM
8 A form of diplomacy verbally criticised (8)
ATTACKED – A, TTACKED sounds like [verbally] “tact” (form of diplomacy)
13 Cabinet member’s brief time in several dramatic episodes? (11)
MINISTERIAL – MINI (brief), then T (time) in SERIAL (several dramatic episodes)
15 Sets about last character, American with a new revolver (4,5)
LAZY SUSAN – LAYS (sets) contains [about] Z (last character), US (American), A, N (new)
16 Least robust rose ultimately withers if drenched? (8)
WEEDIEST – {ros}E [ultimately] + DIES (withers) in WET (drenched)
18 Office worker, given curry, oddly rejected a fried dish (7)
TEMPURA – TEMP (office worker), {c}U{r}R{y} [oddly rejected], A
19 Resort is hot and fairly pleasant (7)
NICEISH – NICE (resort), IS, H (hot). According to this song in Sandy Wilson’s 1954 pastiche musical “The Boyfriend”,  It’s so much nicer in Nice.…Just listen to those top notes!
20 Top man wearing a piece of jewellery (6)
BEHEAD – HE (man) contained by [wearing] BEAD (piece of jewellery)
22 Musician turned us against piano exercises (5)
SUPPE – US reversed [turned], P (piano), PE (exercises). The Austrian composer, Franz von Suppé
25 Old Man’s place: house close to Torquay (3)
HOY – HO (house), {Torqua}Y [close]. It’s the second time this month that this has come up on my blogging day. On 3rd October we had HONEY clued as: Sweetheart’s quarters in the Old Man’s place (5)

59 comments on “Times Cryptic 26864”

  1. 1 mistake. For reasons I can’t explain I always want to spell it DamOscene. I think it’s cost me a correct solution before. Still, who would want to be perfect?

    Neat stuff — especially BEHEAD, CIRCA and WEEDIEST. ATTACKED got a giggle, too. Nice.

    SUPPE was a new one on me. And I couldn’t parse JOCASTA, so thanks, jackkt.

    Edited at 2017-10-24 01:22 am (UTC)

      1. The thing is, I’ve always known that. That’s why I said I can’t explain why I always misspell the word, other than maybe being a bit thick. But thanks, anyway. Maybe next time I’ll remember this conversation and that will sort it out.
          1. Great minds think alike, it seems (you and phmfantom posted almost simultaneously) and I suspect you are both quite right. Good thinking.
  2. Had this all done within 15, except for 27a/25d, and 1d

    Realised I had the wrong end of the stick with 13d (MINISTERIES), giving me LUNCHED

    Realised there was probably a pangram at play (missing only B & F), which gave me BEHEAD

    Finally accepted there was no pangram at play, but still had to google a succession of non-existent places (PADSEY, PEDSEY..) before finally cracking 1dn, which I don’t like, on several levels: aside from the fact that it preys upon my ignorance of English geography and British Politics, it has “W Yorks” which is both weirdly specific and awkwardly abbreviated. And the surface is ugly too. Humbug.

    Liked lazy susan, gardening leave and weediest

    Edited at 2017-10-24 03:14 am (UTC)

  3. DNK Pudsey, so went to the dictionary, hence the DNF. I would have been better off if I hadn’t finished, because I didn’t get the queen, although I knew her name–I mean, Oedipus’s mother, after all–and I knew the dance. As I’m sure you do, too, Jack, and Jon–as in Glinka’s ‘Jota Aragonesa’, a concert chestnut.
    1. Having just listened to it, Kevin, I don’t know it at all, even by name, but then I’ve had very few dealings with Glinka’s music.
      1. I’m surprised; but then I’ve been in Japan for the last 39 years, so it could be that it’s only here where it’s played so often (I used to think that the Broadcasting Law required NHK to play ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ at least once a month.)
  4. So you can take time off work over there to tend to the flowers and/or vegetables? How wonderful! I learned other things from this puzzle: a Spanish dance, the composer SUPPÉ, the handy HAIR SLIDE (I could use one), and PUDSEY, which was my LOI and which drove me to CrosswordSolver to find something that looked plausible, as I am quite unfamiliar with that neck of the woods. I wouldn’t have known HOY if it hadn’t been for a puzzle here a few weeks ago.
    1. It seems that this defined principally as leave taken when somebody is about to terminate an employement but they are still on the payroll. I’d always heard it in a context where it’s a euphamism i.e. the person is required off the premises because they are under a cloud and they have been suspended with pay. If it’s being said they are ‘on gardening leave’ everybody knows there’s a problem of some sort and they may or may not return to normal duties in due course depending on circumstances, the outcome of an enquiry etc.

      Edited at 2017-10-24 05:18 am (UTC)

      1. Yes, absolutely. “He’s on gardening leave” == “We’re not letting the bugger back in the office in case he runs off with the silver, but we can’t say that out loud.”
      2. In my experience GARDENING LEAVE is just what people do when they’re between jobs, with no negative connotations. It happens a lot in the city because people often aren’t expected to work during their notice periods.
        1. I agree, it had no negative connotation in my day, if you were going to work for the opposition the firm you were leaving prevented you from starting as soon as you liked but didn’t want you to be in the office so you got paid to stay at home, you hd done nothing wrong except annoyed your employers and made your colleagues jealous. An ideal scenario.
      3. There’s a related term in the US (and it may well have spread to the UK) which is “so-and-so left to spend more time with his family”.
      4. I think I must have known, deep down, that my notion of the term’s meaning was fanciful, too good to be true (normally, I would look up something like this), but how disappointing (especially in light of certain recdent developments at my own place of employment) to learn its true significance!
  5. 11m for a bleary early-morning solve. JOCASTA unparsed as I desperately trawled my memory for queens on the home straight. Enjoyed this – some stuff in there you really had to do some digging for.
  6. A struggle because this was very well-clued, I thought, plus the adjectival theme put a bit of a twist on quite a few of the words, but also because I just didn’t have the GK.

    I was defeated in my hour by just a few left in the SE; I knew it was HAIR something, but I didn’t know HAIR SLIDE, I couldn’t get the unknown currency, and that left me with not enough crossers to work out BEHEAD.

    Shame, as I thought I’d done well to get the unknown JOCASTA from the unknown jota, recognise PUDSEY from the bear though not knowing the place, work out what a TWO HANDER was, conjure the unknown musician, and remember enough from earlier puzzles to just about get to HOY, among other stretchy knowledge here.

    I think 5d might have been a kind gimme so that we had more of a chance with 5a…

    Anyway. Thanks to setter and blogger. Perhaps if I work on my skills I’ll have enough time left to work out those last few on puzzles like this.

  7. 35 mins of fun with yoghurt, home-made granola, banana and blueberry compote (phew). Lavazza coffee.
    Like Lou, I was lookin’ for the F’in’ pangram.
    Mostly I liked: Gardening leave, Lock keeper, a pain in the neck.
    DNK Suppe – but wordplay was generous – which is thoughtful of the setter and brings smiles – or Smiler or Smiley.
    Thanks considerate setter and Jack.
      1. I would have said ‘Poet and Peasant’; can’t say I’m a fan either way. He apparently also wrote 4 dozen operas.
        1. Thanks both. I am becoming educated. I see he was a Split personality – called: Francesco Ezechiele Ermenegildo Cavaliere di Suppé-Demelli. That’s easy for you to say.
  8. No problems with this one, mainly because I’ve come across the likes of JOCASTA, SUPPE and SUCRE before. The Ecuadorian currency is no more but it’s now used as a virtual currency I think for trade – a bit obscure to say the least

    Well done Jack

  9. Guesses only take you so far (eg JOCASTA) and I also ended up being defeated in the SE with HAIR SLIDE and BEHEAD unsolved. Thought I was being very clever with ‘reediest’ for 16d, which does work in a way, but missed the more obvious correct answer.

    Liked sucre/SUCRE – it was real enough when I was in Quito hace muchos anos, though apparently is now only a virtual Latin American currency as dorsetjimbo says- and SUPPE.

    Thanks to setter and blogger

  10. Well, no problems with this, being familiar with Jocasta, as it were, did not know Suppe but helpful clue. EXCEPT I did not realise, until reading the blog, that I had completely failed to complete 1dn. So annoying, when the first thing you learn about a clue is inadvertently reading the answer ..
  11. 42 minutes on this, all parsed. DNK LAZY SUSAN, which will probably reveal what a sheltered life I’ve led, but biffed from crossers. Likewise SUPPE, although I think you’d have had to have led a very closeted existence to know of him. LOI and COD BEHEAD. My experience of ENTERPRISE ZONEs, another good clue, is sadly of under-capitalised start-ups trying to break into a high-tech market replacing the belching smoke of a proper industrial area. PUDSEY, as well as the bear, is the birthplace of Len Hutton, who made 364 in the timeless test that ended in a draw (?), and England’s first professional captain. Thank you, Jack and setter.

    Edited at 2017-10-24 08:41 am (UTC)

      1. Yorkshire keeper, Arthur Wood, making his England debut at 39, came in at 700-odd for 6 and made the immortal comment, ‘I’m always t’ man for t’ crisis.’
      2. You’re right G. We’ve been out all day visiting in-laws without iPad access. I was conflating this Test with the Timeless last Test in Durban in 1939 which had to finish before it was over as the boat home was leaving!
      3. Yorkshire keeper, Arthur Wood, making his England debut at 39, came in at 700-odd for 6 and made the immortal comment, ‘I’m always t’ man for t’ crisis.’
  12. A very hard fought 37 mins. Surprised to see SNITCHY only has this at Moderate at the moment. It was certainly at the harder end for me.
  13. 25:58. I struggled mightily with this one, not least because of unknowns like PUDSEY, SUPPE and SUCRE. My last in was JOCASTA: I wasn’t entirely sure it wasn’t JACASTA and of course I hadn’t heard of the Spanish dance, so I had to just chance it.
    Small point jackkt but ‘around’ in 6dn is the definition, not part of the wordplay.
  14. Paper solving, and managed to avoid starting the stopwatch – so somewhere around 20 minutes I think.

    JOCASTA was biffed very early, but only in pencil, and very soon discredited. Silly me. When the penny finally dropped at 6d it went back in.

    Fell into the MINISERIES trap too, which slowed things down for a bit, also managed PIRATES at 1a to start with – on hindsight I have absolutely no idea why

  15. Thanks for this from last time round Jack – I actually remembered it. PUDSEY and SUPPE were guesses but as Myrtilus says, the setter was generous. 20.02
  16. Yes, we have that too, olivia, most usually from politicians giving up ministerial office following a misdemanour or some other irregularity. They’re going, but of course it’s nothing to do with whatever’s been revealed or is rumoured that it’s about to be.
  17. So this from the dreaded I-pad. Thank-you Beijing!
    I thought this was a cracker! Much enjoyed hour with LOI 27ac LUNCHED after correcting MINISTERIES!

    COD 20dn BEHEAD.

    WOD 5ac JOCASTA I am sur e JOTA is an old Spanish chestnut.

    Talking of which Mr. Myrtilushave you tried Spanish chestnut honey on your waffle! I kid you not delicioso!

    horryd Shanghai

    1. I haven’t tried it – thanks for the tip. I assume it is honey from bees that favour chestnut tree pollen – rather than a nut/honey combo?
      I have had a sort of pistachio spread – which was delicioso.
      1. Indeed it’s the pollen. Available all the year round at City Supermarket Hong Mai Lu. Orange blossom also available.
        horryd Shanghai
  18. I also had PIRATES at 1a until CHARGE NURSE went in. A tough puzzle which kept me busy for 45:40. I knew Franz Von Broth from listening to his LCO on Classic FM. JOCASTA was a name that rang a vague bell, without conjuring up any details, but it went in from checkers. SUCRE went in as my LOI from wordplay alone. I think I’ve driven through PUDSEY. Otherwise a bit of a slog, but enjoyable too. Thanks setter and Jack.
  19. Cleverly put together puzzle, what with making adjectives out of otherwise obvious answers. About 25 minutes, LOI was CIRCA. Regards.
  20. … Having gone to bed at 4am after a lovely first night at the Norwich Beer Fest (BOD Crouch Vale Amarillo). So a slighly weary effort and a second DNF (missed Jocasta, Circa and Behead). Note to self – please don’t fall constantly into the trap such as ‘top man’ being literal. It’s these type of clues that often undo me (along with Greek Gods etc). But an enjoyable DNF in about 40 mins. Thanks all
  21. Found this tough and took a little over an hour, held up quite a bit by 6dn where I failed to lift and separate “twisting around” and could not see the Def for ages. Jocasta and Suppe both unknown and worked out from wp. Knew sucre from time spent travelling in South America about 20 years ago. I took a picture of all my sucres after changing money in Ecuador because it was the only time in my life I was ever likely to be a millionaire (I think there were about 7000 sucres to the pound – so not that impressive).
  22. 17:31. I actually lived in digs in Pudsey in my first year at Leeds Poly so that was easy enough.

    I didn’t know JOTA or that JOCASTA was noteworthy but like Jack a vaguely knew it as a name. SUPPE was unknown too.

    1. I think I knew JOCASTA from a TV sitcom long ago in which the next-door neighbours were the sort of people who had inflicted the name on one of their unsuspecting offspring for socially pretentious reasons. “Simon and Jocasta” ring a distant bell in this context, although “Simon” is a common enough name, I’d have thought.
  23. Still having to use android on the tablet, as am still only getting ‘spinning wheel’ with Windows 7. Hence very slow to enter solutions, as need to check letter by letter, and every time I get adjacent key to intended one, need to succeed in pressing backspace to correct. So I guess at least half overall time of 50 minutes was spent fighting the keyboard, as I did have all the GK unfamiliar to some of the others.
  24. …by MINI-SERIES for 13d instead of MINI SERIAL, so 27a was impossible. Otherwise about an average time. I knew JOCASTA from Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex (a great piece) and knew SUPPE and SUCRE too. GARDENING LEAVE my COD.
    P.S. In case you’ve missed me, my existing LJ account was suspended a week ago – I know not why and I’ve been unable to get any response to support calls asking for it to be restored. So here I am resurrected (and reburied).
    1. Good to see you back, John. It seems a bit odd that postings from lapsed accounts remain in place whilst they disappear for suspended ones. I don’t recall this happening to anyone else in the 10 years or so that I’ve been posting here.
  25. Surprised myself with this one late in the day and tired, food and wine taken, got it all done and dusted in 24 minutes (the Archers and a bit of Front Row) a couple of lucky guesses but like Jimbo no problems. ATTACKED was LOI. See above reply on gardening leave discussion.

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