Times Cryptic 27056

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

I’m having a run of bad luck on my blogging days at the moment and once again with this one my solving time was off the scale. Last week when I reported something similar I was relieved later to see so many comments that others had experienced difficulties too, but I am fearful today that everyone but me will have found this one easy. Time will tell. For all that, it was a very enjoyable solve and I haven’t any gripes or misgivings about anything in it.

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

1 Those tipped to feature in food programme (4,4)
CHAT SHOW – HATS (those tipped) contained by [to feature in] CHOW (food)
5 Appropriate fruit soft after bruising action? (6)
SCRUMP – SCRUM (bruising action), P (soft). ‘Appropriate’ in the sense of ‘steal’, and in case the word SCRUMP has not travelled overseas, it means to steal fruit from orchards or gardens.
10 Dicky lands a tuna: fears line gradually slipping (3,7,5)
11 On-line security device, block keeping the second page empty (7,3)
CLOTHES PEG – CLOG (block) containing [keeping] THE + S (second) + P{ag}E [empty]. A nifty definition!
13 A spinner is on (4)
ATOP – A, TOP (spinner)
15 Dog hit cat, say? (7)
WHIPPET – WHIP (hit), PET (cat, say?)
17 Greek letter regarding housing crisis initially framed by artist (7)
OMICRON – ON (regarding) containing [housing] C{risis} initially, itself contained [framed] by MIRO (artist). Joan Miró (1893-1983) who is nothing more than a name to me.
18 Some time after primate detailed impossible dream (7)
CHIMERA – CHIM{p} (primate) [detailed], ERA (some time). The definition is the English title of a song from the musical Man of La Mancha, sung here in French by Jacques Brel. I’ve added this as it’s nearly 10 years since he was mentioned here. One of the few famous Belgians.
19 Fundamentalist movement I outlaw after short conference (7)
TALIBAN – TAL{k} (conference) [short], I, BAN (outlaw)
21 Secure / domain (4)
LAND – Two definitions
22 Infinite praise surrounding contrary maxim (10)
BOTTOMLESS – BLESS (praise) containing [surrounding] MOTTO (maxim) reversed [contrary]
25 European agreement centred on tale I fabricated, unworkable ultimately (7,8)
ENTENTE CORDIALE – Anagram [fabricated] of CENTRED ON TALE I, {unworkabl}E [ultimately]. The treaty of 1904 between Britain and France.
27 Off like a horse, perhaps, heading away (6)
ADDLED – {s}ADDLED (like a horse, perhaps) [heading away]
28 Man behind cover, hiding (8)
SPANKING – SPAN (cover), KING (man – chess). ‘Hiding’ in the sense of beating or flogging.
1 Brief example: how to invest capital in company that makes money (4,3)
CASH COW – CAS{e} (example) [brief], HOW containing [to invest] C{ompany} [capital]. It’s a business or project which provides a steady cash flow.
2 At first, articles will nestle in beard (3)
AWN – A{rticles} + W{ill} + N{estle} [at first]
3 Small crustacean in pond has muddled through (4,6)
SAND HOPPER – Anagram [muddled] of  POND HAS, PER (through).  Sometimes spelt as one word and also known as a sand flea.
4 Yellow top of rootstock is for fragrant preparation (5)
ORRIS – OR (yellow – literally ‘gold’ but also yellow in heraldry), R{ootstock} [top], IS. I knew this as the plant itself – a type of iris – but ORRIS is also the prepared root or stem of the plant which is fragrant and used in perfumes, and that’s the meaning required here.
6 Small restaurant needing cleaning originally, some wiping floor (4)
CAFE – C{leaning} [originally], A FE{w} (some) [wiping floor i.e. remove the last letter in a Down answer]. After I completed the grid I must have spent at least half-an-hour trying to see the wordplay – not the C, I got that easily enough!
7 Complete parts ineffectual — that’s beyond words (11)
UNUTTERABLE – UTTER (complete) contained by [parts] UNABLE (ineffectual)
8 Build cricket side that’s taken advantage of (3,4)
PUT UPON – PUT UP (build), ON (cricket side)
9 Embracing queen, ludicrously wonderful standing naked below? (8)
BAREFOOT – TOO FAB (ludicrously wonderful) containing [embracing] ER (queen), all reversed [standing]
12 Papa constrained by fixed idea, notion being dogmatic (11)
OPINIONATED – P (papa – NATO alphabet), contained [constrained] by anagram [fixed] of IDEA NOTION
14 Position I am to take up welcomed by mad professor? (5,3-2)
SILLY MID-ON – I’M (I am) reversed [to take up] contained [welcomed] by SILLY DON (mad professor) More cricket.
16 Duck covering extremity to keep wings, primarily, drier (3,5)
TEA TOWEL – TEAL (duck) containing [covering] TOE (extremity) itself containing [to keep] W{ings} [primarily]
18 Upsurge of a coloured resin in crater (7)
CALDERA – Reversal [upsurge] of A + RED (coloured) + LAC (resin)
20 Savings teens wasted on goods (4,3)
NEST EGG – Anagram [wasted] of TEENS, GG (goods)
23 March — miserable time for uprising (5)
TROOP – POOR (miserable) + T (time) reversed [uprising]
24 Bet repartee needs trimming (4)
ANTE – {b}ANTE{r} (repartee) [needs trimming]
26 Old fighter entering qualifiers (3)
ALI – Hidden in [entering] {qu}ALI{fiers}

51 comments on “Times Cryptic 27056”

  1. Having fouled up both the Concise and the Quickie by sloppy typing, I was in no mood for this one. FOI TALIBAN, followed by AWN, followed by sweet Miss Adams. Biffed a half-dozen, until I was finally left with 14d. Having finally got the MID-ON, and having tentatively typed in and removed FIELD, I unwillingly suspended disbelief and went for SILLY.
  2. A bit of a biff-fest for me, so thanks to Jack for some of the workings, especially for 6 down, where my first thought was CAFF, but my second was along the lines of how can I derive the wordplay for that from the clue, so I Occam-razored it. I rather liked the clue for the semi-known ORRIS, as well as the on-line security device, even though we’ve seen something similar recently.
  3. Took a while to get going, but progressed steadily after the first few were in. Carelessly entered ‘bareroot’ for 9d, so 51 minutes for a DNF.

    Liked the ‘On-line security device’ def. and the cricketing references.

    I don’t think Jacky Ickx (or Olivier Gendebien for that matter) ever sang “The Impossible Dream” but I could be wrong.

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

  4. I biffed quite a lot of this one too, but just like ulaca I spent time to ensure it was CAFE and not CAFF. Miro just a name? His art is well worth a look (I happened to see a few of his pieces in Madrid last month)
  5. Thanks to you, JacK, I now understand CHAT SHOW, CASH COW, CAFE AND BAREFOOT. My favourites were “Appropriate fruit” in 5d and, particularly “On-line security device” in 11ac.
    To add to your list of famous Belgians, how about Hergé (and Tintin), Adolphe Sax, Eddy Merckx, René Magritte and James Ensor. I expect none of them ever fielded at silly mid-on.
  6. Wow, these cricket terms. That one stumped me, so I had to cheat, with only one left to fill in, which was SPANKING. What I get for cheating.
    Couldn’t tell if this was difficult or if I just had too many distractions and too little energy at the end of the day. I thought I had parsed them all, but now see that I forgot to take that second look at SAND HOPPER.
    1. I don’t know what a SILLY MID-ON is, but I know enough about cricket to be able to biff it confidently from the crossers, without needing to bother to parse anything… hurray!
  7. Got all but 9d in 55 minutes, then stared until the bell went off. Fiddle. I’m terrible when I’m missing a first letter, I really am…
    1. If it’s any consolation, barefoot was my last in by far. Found the puzzle tricky, all but that one took 25 minutes, then had to go away and do something else to reset the brain. I was so close, too: guessed the ending ROOT from 1. underneath, and 2. ER, and wondered if a FABEROOT was a skinless plant. Idiot.
      Liked the appropriate fruit and the clothes peg.
  8. Some really clever and difficult stuff here, I thought. I nearly gave up a few times but soldiered on. 53:48 with one typo/square unfilled. I accidentally left out the O in 3 down, so I had Sand H pper.

    I didn’t know Miro, Caldera or Sand Hopper but worked them out.

    COD. A photo finish between CHAT SHOW, SCRUMP AND CLOTHES PEG. CLOTHES PEG pinches it on the line.

  9. 40 mins with Challah bread toast and G&L marmalade.
    I was held up by writing Chimera confidently into 18dn (not 18ac). Should have gone to specsavers.
    Mostly I liked: Clothes peg and COD to Chat Show.
    Thanks setter and Jack.
  10. 16:44 … distinctly tricky in parts, but not all the tough ones needed parsing (unless you were unlucky enough to be on blogging duty) once the checkers were in. BAREFOOT a case in point for me, so thanks for doing the hard work, jackkt.

    Last in CLOTHES PEG, where I know we’ve had that def. before but it still took a lot of time for me to get there, especially as I was convinced it had to be a something KEY

    1. I thought BAREFOOT was an anagram of {w}ONDERFU{l} with some abbreviation for queen in it until just now, so I was pretty lucky that it was correct! It was because my first thought for it was UNDERFOOT, so when BAREFOOT fitted the definition it went straight in.
  11. As others a good deal of biffing and pleased not to be on blogging duty. Trying to remember if I’ve seen the “wiping the floor” device before – took me some time to see it. Thanks to setter and well done Jack
  12. 20:03. Some meaty wordplay here. All parsed bar 1a… where did the ATSH com from in the CHOW (doh!) and CAFE. I must remember that “wiping the floor” instruction in future. So thanks for explaining those Jackkt. CLOTHES PEG my COD.
  13. I found this the easiest for a while so evidently I was “on the wavelength”. I guess this was illustrated by reading “On-line security device” early on and immediately thinking of CLOTHES PEG as compared to some other cunning definitions of late which have baffled me for some time.
  14. 48 minutes with LOI CHAT SHOW. BAREFOOT was unparsed. I had ROTTED before ADDLED which made OPINIONATED slow to fall. CALDERA was then constructed and entered with some conviction. The IT possibilities led me to LINK before LAND for domain , but I persisted in seeking the right answer because links never seem to be secure. COD to CLOTHES PEG. Would have been useful for hanging out the washing on the Siegfried line as part of the ENTENTE CORDIALE if it had still been there. Thank you Jack and setter.
  15. 16′ 45” with no real hold-ups except for the unparsed CAFE, which went in with crossed fingers, and a completely unparsed BAREFOOT, LOI. Didn’t we have ADDLED recently? Thanks jack and setter.
  16. I behaved myself on this one, and sorted everything out in 23 minutes exactly. Not that I used the wordplay to get the answers: rather often the inspired guess of an answer allowed unravelling the word play, but I wanted to be sure, and the word play was entertaining in itself.
    CHAT SHOW was my last in, since I had no idea where the definition was, and CAFE was entered after much thought about how either AFF or AFE could mean wiping the floor. Even when the penny dropped, seeing “some” and thinking A FEW was a stretch. Clever stuff.
    In a sea of rather verbose clues, WHIPPET tickled my fancy most. There are numerous “amusing” videos around of cats hitting dogs, but rarely the other way round. Revenge is sweet.
    Thanks Jack for a thorough and entertaining analysis.
  17. 36’20, with some parsing there the harder test and so let go of, not the ideal I’d have thought from the setter’s point of view. But all redeemed by the security device.
  18. [From the camper, now parked on the end of the Dingle peninsula.] Found this quite challenging — 49 mins. ORRIS, CALDERA and AWN stretched my GK, but actually those went in without much difficulty, since the wordplay was clear. Yes, COD definitely to 11a for “on-line security device”, and like Sotira I really wanted it to be something KEY. Is Cassius Clay the only ‘fighter’ permitted to Times setters? What happened to Sonny Liston, George Foreman or even our very own ‘Enry Cooper?
    Thanks for super blog, jackkt. No need to beat yourself up about taking longer than 20mins to solve; there are loads of us plodding our way to the answers behind you.
    Thanks, too, to setter for entertaining and teasing puzzle.
    1. Thanks for your encouraging words, pserve. My target for the 15×15 is 30 minutes but I’m satisfied with under 45. “Off-the-scale” for me starts after an hour and often involves at least a little “cheating” by resorting to aids, but at least I was spared that humiliation on this occasion. Also encouraged that some experienced solvers found it a bit tricky too.
    2. A lovely part of Ireland. Is Fungi the dolphin still to be found in Dingle Bay?
      1. Yes, indeed, it’s stunning scenery (but hard to see through the thick sea mists!). And yes, we saw Fungie frolicking in Dingle harbour yesterday.
  19. I shall join in the applause for all the cunning definitions which held me up – more than one clue where I suddenly realised that I was looking at the structure in completely the wrong way. I was also happy to have cricketing references after being denied two days of the recently concluded Test match.
  20. A lovely puzzle today, although like others I didn’t parse some of the body parts – the TOE in TEA TOWEL was lost on me, and I had no idea what was going on in BAREFOOT. My LOI after 8m 09s was OMICRON, which I entered with fingers crossed. The main thing I’ve learned today is that Joan Miro was apparently a man.

    COD for me is probably 28a, which is relatively simple but nicely and misleadingly constructed. And, as a bearded man, I can confirm 2d.

  21. A minute over the half-hour for this one. Only the multilayered O{M{C}RO}N and CHAT SHOW held me up beyond 20 minuted, the latter yielding only to an alphabet trawl. Good clues throughout, I felt.

    I’d also like it noted that, possibly for the first time ever, I knew the necessary obscure (and, frankly, ludicrous) cricketing term.

    1. Ditto on the cricket Dr. Thud. When my father first told me about it (he tried vainly to interest me in the sport) I remember saying something like “You cannot be serious” – to coin a phrase.
  22. A knotty 31m, with plenty that were easier to biff than untangle (or even attempt). Caught out, until CALDERA intervened, by ROTTED for ADDLED at 27ac, which I still think is neater, providing you don’t look too closely.

  23. Having completed all bar 9d in around 35 minutes, it was another quarter hour plus before I hit on BAREFOOT. Even then I submitted and revisited it before managing to unravel the parsing, which took another 30 seconds or so and a OFGS moment. I remembered that we had the US CLOTHES PIN last time round, so had a careful look at the wordplay for 11a. CHAT SHOW and CASH COW took some decoding. CALDERA was no problem as, when I was still working, Manny Caldera was the man who authorised CCAs(Change Control Authorisations) for software upgrades on EMC Content Addressed Storage units. It was always a relief when Manny said yes and the bundle of forms could be filed away! Liked WHIPPET and SPANKING. Chewy puzzle. 51:17. Thanks setter and Jack.

    Edited at 2018-06-05 11:58 am (UTC)

  24. I suspect a conspiracy among our larger consumer items. First it was the 2 year-old fridge that packed it in a couple of weeks ago. This weekend it was the turn of the “station car” (twice) which led to quite an odyssey, then I came back to the city to find the printer had decided to join the club. So I was in no mood for any nonsense in the puzzle department. Mercifully I had the wavelength for this one. Thanks Jack for the parse on the CLOTHES PEG (they’re called “pins” in these parts) and the TEA TOWEL – at least they don’t suddenly up and die on you. So was “scrumpy” made from nicked apples? 17.43
  25. 15:32 with clothes peg, cash cow, barefoot and tea towel biffed but unraveled post-solve.

    Caldera brought back happy memories of last month’s fleeting visit to Santorini.

  26. 38 min, but needed aid to ind something to fit checkers at 9d – I’d been trying to make something with ELO (from ‘naked below’) and ’embracing’ as definition. Glad to have resolved 6dn correctly from wordplay.
    The only Belgians famous enough to be eponymous that I know of are Belpaire (firebox) and Walschaerts (valvegear).
  27. Held up by 22a where I was looking for a word to priase with no ending (infinite – has this construction ever been used?). 10a and 25a (biffed) got me going but I was consistently fooled by clues such as Caldera where I was looking at Dent, Cleft etc. Very nice puzzle but. DNF as above in just under the hour. Great blog.
  28. Silly mid-on. Seriously? I know, I know, the wordplay actually led to this after the checking letters were in place. But it required a suspension of disbelief; I looked it up because it’s just so absolutely unlikely to mean anything at all. So a DNF. The rest I enjoyed. Regards.
    1. Look out also for silly mid-off, short leg, leg slip, leg gully, fly slip, short point, fine leg and backward short leg. This list is by no means exhaustive!
      1. Thanks Jack, but I believe I am mentally better off simply having to record a DNF when I am faced with one of these. There’s only so much room remaining in my brain. I am fine with the leg slip since it has appeared often enough, but that’s as far as I’m willing to go. Regards.
  29. 10:57. I seem to have been on the wavelength for this, helped by knowing crossword words like AWN, CALDERA, ORRIS. SILLY MID-ON is indeed a very, um, silly term, but familiar to a large majority of English people I’d have thought.
  30. As usual, by the time I come here everything has been said. I took ages to get started on this. FOI was CLOTHES PEG. LOI was CAFE (unparsed) I originally had ROTTED for 27a. It fitted the cryptic (TROTTED rather than SADDLED) and the definition. But left me with a problem in the volcanic crater at 18d. That took a while to sort out. But a very enjoyable 40 minutes. Ann
  31. 49:31 I found this quite tricky, perhaps because some of the clues seemed a bit wordy. Barefoot was reverse engineered. Cash cow entered and then solved. I had the most trouble with LOI 1ac though which just took me ages to see for some reason.

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