Times Cryptic 27068

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

This one took me 38 minutes and was notable mainly for its lack of anagrams – there are only three in all, and the first doesn’t  appear until 28ac. Also there are two ‘substitution’ clues, which is a little unusual. The vocabulary is mostly straightforward with the only real unknown (at 6dn) requiring some GK that I was lacking, but the wordplay was helpful.

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

1 Raving person has love for a man in broadcast message (5)
ROGER – R{-a +0}GER (raving person / man…) [has love for a]. Roger and out!
4 Celebrity died catching wild animal, right? (9)
STARBOARD – STAR (celebrity) + D (died) containing [catching] BOAR (wild animal)
9 Quiet town, one I hesitate to say that’s dangerously unstable (9)
PLUTONIUM – P (quiet), LUTON (town), I (one), UM (I hesitate to say). This part of the world seems in favour at the moment. We had Luton & Dunstable last week and Beds, the county where they are located was in the same puzzle. And a couple of months ago we had Dunstable clued as ‘industrial town’ which raised a few eyebrows, including mine since I live not many miles away and it’s not a description I would recognise.
10 Football, ultimately maybe a German game? (5)
LOTTO – {footbal}L, OTTO (maybe a German)
11 Having secured facility on smartphone, you had talked freely (6)
YAPPED – YE’D (you had) contains [having secured] APP (facility on smartphone). We had ‘yappy’ only yesterday!
12 Drink to be knocked back in autumn? It’s a sporting option (4,4)
FREE BALL – BEER (drink) reversed [knocked back] contained by [in] FALL (autumn)
14 Elaborate accommodation for king, one in exile? (10)
EXPATRIATE – EXPATIATE (elaborate – on a topic) contains [accommodation for] R (king)
16 Mark brought by corporal punishment? Son avoids that (4)
TICK – {s}TICK (corporal punishment?) [son avoids that]
19 Hesitation to get into meditation when lectures should be attended? (4)
TERM – ER (hesitation) is contained by [to get into] TM (meditation – Transcendental Meditation). Not an abbreviation I’ve met before but it’s in the usual sources.
20 One of two books, very serious, written by the French (10)
CHRONICLES – CHRONIC (very serious), LES (the, French). The Old Testament contains two Books of  Chronicles. The absence of a comma between ‘the’ and ‘French’ may cause some concern after Verlaine’s recent comments, but it seems to crop up almost every other day and doesn’t bother me at all.
22 Loud murderer with yen for ostentation (8)
FRIPPERY – F (loud), RIPPER (murderer), Y (yen)
23 Coat officer gashes when falling over (6)
STUCCO – OC (officer) + CUTS (gashes) reversed [falling over]. Hm. Does ‘falling over’ count as a reversal indicator in an Across clue?
26 Female shows spite rejecting male (5)
ALICE – {m}ALICE (spite) [rejecting male]
27 Little fellow, the German who takes a quick break? (9)
WEEKENDER – WEE (little), KEN (fellow), DER (the, German). Another missing comma!
28 Lake in garden transformed foreign city once (9)
LENINGRAD – L (lake), anagram [transformed] of IN GARDEN
29 See, previously, army of abstainers taking alcohol (5)
SARUM – SA (army of abstainers – Salvation Army, noted for their views on temperance), RUM (alcohol). Sarum was the old city of Salisbury, a ‘see’ in the same sense as the more familiar Ely.
1 Agent always intended to avoid a financial transaction favouring customer (9)
REPAYMENT – REP (agent), AY (always), ME{a}NT (intended) [to avoid a]. A slightly dodgy definition perhaps, as customers making mortgage repayments to banks don’t necessarily feel the transaction is in their favour.
2 Bad-tempered type, initially getting behind (5)
GRUMP – G{etting} [initially], RUMP (behind)
3 Sound of Aussie beast encountered in small enclosed space (8)
ROOMETTE – ROO (Aussie beast), METTE sounds like “met” (encountered), Not a word I knew but ‘dinette’ and ‘kitchenette’ are familiar enough so it didn’t seem unlikely once arrived at via wordplay.
4 Wrong to swallow hard bone (4)
SHIN – SIN (wrong) containing [to swallow] H (hard)
5 Respect and acknowledge reduced allowance (10)
ADMIRATION – ADMI{t} (acknowledge) [reduced], RATION (allowance)
6 Missile not quite right for old British soldier (6)
BULLER – BULLE{t} (missile) [not quite], R (right). I imagine this is Sir George Buller (1802-1884) apparently famous for his part in the Crimean war, but I never heard of him and there are other military candidates of the same name according to Wiki disambiguation.
7 What’s authentic about upcoming broadcast related to insurance business (9)
ACTUARIAL – ACTUAL (what’s authentic) containing [about] AIR (broadcast) reversed [upcoming]
8 Amusing turn daughter’s put on (5)
DROLL – D (daughter), ROLL (turn)
13 One coming off drugs, having “a bit of a chest” (10)
WITHDRAWER – WITH (having), DRAWER (“a bit of a chest”). I haven’t managed to find this defined with specific reference to drugs in any of the usual sources, but ‘withdrawal’ is, so it’s not much of a stretch.
15 Arrangement that does for NI patriot? (9)
PARTITION – Anagram [arrangement] of NI PATRIOT. The defintion is &lit.
17 A smirk so naughty when receiving good present with a hug? (9)
KISSOGRAM – Anagram [naughty] of A SMIRK SO containing [receiving] G (good). I had to research these activities when explaining another clue recently so I know there is more than one spelling of this, but the variable letter is checked today and the answer is derived from anagrist, so there’s little room for error.
18 Girl’s hair the result of a bad hair day? (8)
DISTRESS – DI’S (girl’s), TRESS (hair)
21 Piano learner has found out about organ (6)
SPLEEN – SEEN (found out) contains [about] P (piano) + L (learner)
22 Swing that sees weak Right being ousted by Left (5)
FLAIL – F{-r +L}AIL (weak / swing) [Right being ousted by Left]
24 Tree making church gloomy, almost (5)
CEDAR – CE (church), DAR{k} (gloomy) [almost]
25 Joint in handle, one coming loose (4)
WELD – W{i}ELD (handle) [one coming loose]

75 comments on “Times Cryptic 27068”

  1. Slowed down by trying to think of a city of the ancient world at 28ac, and by DNK BULLER, where I was looking for a generic term. The Buller I turned up afterwards was a hero of the Zulu and Boer wars; forget his name. I wondered about ‘falling over’, too, but not for long.
  2. Finished except for 12a in 40 minutes, then took about half an hour to eventually work out that my ‘drole’ for 8d was incorrect.

    Don’t like CHRONIC to mean ‘serious’, which has come up before. To me it refers to length of time, not severity, but I’m probably just being a GRUMP.

    Unfavourite word of the day – ROOMETTE.

    Thanks to setter and blogger

    1. Collins has “A chronic situation or problem is very severe and unpleasant.” .. and a chronic shortage would be a serious one, not a long standing one
      1. Yes, I’m sure you’re right, it’s just me. My only excuse is I work in the “health care industry” (isn’t that an awful term?), in which CHRONIC does have the specific meaning of long-lasting (cf ‘acute’) and doesn’t refer to severity.
        1. Most words in the English (and every other) language have more than one meaning, and these change over time. You might as well just get used to it – it’s a chronic feature!
          1. And there, Keriothe, you are using the word as it should be used (in my humble opinion, that is, but with some support from the OED).
        2. It’s not just you, Bletch! My OED is with you (and me) on “chronic”, but I see Collins allows for “very serious” in this clue. Like you, I don’t like it.
    2. Sounds like a real estate agent’s (or as they call themselves in the States, realtor’s) invention, for something even they wouldn’t have the gall to call a room.
      1. Yes, that’s exactly what I took it to be as with ‘kitchenette’ and ‘dinette’ which usually are not separate rooms in my experience.
        1. usually preceded by the word bijou, which is a much more pleasant way of saying “incredibly small for the money”.
    3. Agree completely about chronic. My husband believes that’s what it means too, and he’s JUST WRONG
  3. My FOI was LENINGRAD, and right after I got CHRONICLES, so I was well on my way. I can’t remember ever hearing anyone use WITHDRAWER. Or ROOMETTE, for that matter. My last ones in were, in this order, SARUM (I guessed there must be a place by that name…), BULLER (I, too, didn’t realize for a while that we were looking for a particular fellow), and (of all things) TICK.
    1. As jack says, SARUM is Salisbury, but it is very famous in British history – Old Sarum was a ‘rotten borough’ , a parliamentary constituency with very few electors, sometimes fewer than ten, which returned MPs. These were mainly abolished by the 1832 Great Reform Act, part of our long struggle for democracy.
      1. Old Sarum is still there, north of Salisbury, and is a tourist attraction. You can visit it and Tolpuddle in the same day.
        1. … if you wanted to be a martyr?

          Saw the BBC Tony Robinson programme on Salisbury cathedral, how it moved from Sarum, very interesting series.

        2. A tourist attraction and a fine surviving feature of English history. I was there in March for the first time – excuse being that I’m a Hampshire man, not a Moonraker, and it’s taken me 50-odd years to get across the county border. With Old Sarum, Stonehenge and the wonderful Salisbury Museum within a few miles of each other, Wiltshire is well worth a visit.
  4. I got through this fully parsed in under 35 minutes, but had MISTRESS instead of DISTRESS for 18d. I interpreted the question mark as leaving room for creating bad hair with a mis-tress and the overall meaning as “girl”. The right answer is more straightforward, so I probably should have thought of it.

    Thanks, Jack for the early-posted blog and to the setter for a good but manageable workout.

  5. 31 mins for me, with no real problems. Took a couple of minutes at the end to see STARBOARD since I didn’t have the unknown BULLER which would have made it obvious.

    Funny that the bottom row contains two obsolete names for existing cities. But I don’t see anything else that would make it anything of a theme.

  6. 22:31 .. one of those where I hit the submit button fully expecting an error or two.

    I was very unsure about ‘stick’ as corporal punishment, feeling I was probably missing something. And totally at sea with BULLER.

    Last in was ROOMETTE, where the adjacency of ‘sound of’ and ‘Aussie beast’ seems odd, as the Aussie beast isn’t the homophone.

    Much happier with EXPATRIATE and FRIPPERY, both worthy of a COD nomination

    Edited at 2018-06-19 06:41 am (UTC)

    1. And, if I recall correctly, was one of the first pioneers (if not the inventor) of the creeping barrage, used to such deadly effect in WW1 and subsequent conflicts.
  7. I thought this was moderately chewy! You couldn’t get through it without actually *thinking* about most of the clues, if only to make sure you weren’t putting FRAIL in instead of FLAIL, etc. Not that it didn’t take the amazing Jason only 5 minutes as usual, but I didn’t get my LOI (WITHDRAWER) in until the 8.5 minute mark.
  8. 40 mins with yoghurt, granola, etc.
    MER at Buller. Other random surnames are available.
    Mostly I liked the idea of the ex-druggy being a bit chesty.
    Thanks setter and Jack
    1. I forgot to sing the praises of “a bit of a chest” for drawer. Top-hole.
  9. The setter grew up near Exeter, where there is a statue of a mounted General Sir Redvers Buller, of Ladysmith fame. The Boer War is a conflict we rarely consider these days, I grant you.
    1. I’m given to understand that Crediton, Buller’s home town, still hasn’t forgiven Exeter for placing his statue facing away from the town. Can this be true?
  10. Steady solve of a standard puzzle, enjoyable without being taxing. Liked the “bit of a chest” – very clever. BULLER from wordplay and vague memory of General – perhaps from Exeter statue referred to above by the setter.
  11. Good to see a snooker reference in FREE BALL instead of a cricket reference for a change. Only unknown was BULLER but the parsing was nicely unambiguous.

    COD to FLAIL as I liked the consistent political theme of the surface with ‘swing’, ‘left’ and ‘right’.

  12. 21:53. BULLER unknown to me too. I liked the “bit of a chest” and the bad hair day.
  13. 26 minutes, with BULLER occupying quite a few of them. It might have been my solving order but there did seem to be a lot of letter deletion going on.
  14. I’m with Verlaine on this: it wasn’t hard difficult, as my under par 16 minutes testifies, but it needed proper concentration. I felt as if I were coping with a tricky crossword rather gratifyingly well, which is a compliment to the (Devonian?) setter.
    I reasoned a BULLER might be a nickname for the average squaddie, whose waking hours were/are often taking up with polishing bits of kit, which in my case (as a cadet squaddie) resolutely refused to become shiny.
    “Bit of a chest” was magic, and there were a couple of choice pairings: your choice between PLUTONIUM LOTTO and a naughty but nice ALICE WEEKENDER.
    1. But see Jerrywh above. We could argue about this something chronic, but the dictionaries are the usual arbiters. Perhaps we should call for VAR?
      1. We treat dictionaries as ‘arbiters’ for the purposes of these puzzles, of course, but in reality they are no such thing. They are a record, not a source. The word ‘chronic’ is widely used to mean ‘serious’, therefore that’s what it means. End, as they say, of.

        Edited at 2018-06-19 11:48 am (UTC)

        1. Not to argue on your point about dictionaries, but it’s very Oliver Kamm. Deep inside, I feel that there must at least be the possibility that some words are misused. The “dictionary as a record, not a source” argument makes them useless if we are looking for correctness of use or otherwise. So where should we turn for that? Or do we just accept the Oliver Kamm (or Humpty Dumpty) position that, when I use a word, it means what I want it to mean?
          1. A good general principle to adopt in matters of language is that Oliver Kamm is always right.
      2. Misuse of technical terms occasionally annoys me – when pretentious pseudo-technical people do it to try to sound intelligent – but usually I’m with you: words have many meanings.
        On that note: plutonium caused me a MER: after seeing ingots of stolen plutonium sitting idly on the minister’s desk in 1980s TV series Edge of Darkness I looked up it’s properties: the spent-fuel isotope was extremely stable. You’re more likely to be chemically poisoned by it than affected by its radiation or likeliness to explode.
        So far the VAR is good – perhaps should have been a red card or two, a Brazil penalty, and maybe a couple for Harry Kane being dragged to the ground, but can only applaud the awarded penalties.
        Puzzle: 18 minutes, so average or just a bit easier – no delays at the end. Buller unknown, thought perhaps a “British bulldog” generic term for soldier. Sarum unkown, but sure it’s been an unknown in previous crosswords.
  15. As V says, most clues needed careful consideration en route. Glad to have solved this as I have been away from crosswords for a week working abroad and I normally struggle on my return (even more than usual).

    BULLER familiar from A level history and I am a Wiltshire lad so SARUM no problem.

    I so wanted 2d to be TRUMP. Type initially + rump. Bad tempered seems to sum him up.

  16. 15:27. Best wishes to daughter and granddaughter, Olivia.
    Jack’s comment on the low number of anagrams made me think back quite a few years when 3 anagrams would be the absolute maximum. But we probably also had direct quotes then too.
  17. Did a quarter of an hour on this before a dentist’s appointment, and then about the same on return, celebrating a clean bill of health. Or did he just say there was nothing else he could do? COD to PLUTONIUM, which started the puzzle with a bang. I think I knew General Buller, but I can remember better a cricket umpire called Sid in the days of John Arlott and E W Swanton. A KISSOGRAM arranged by John for when Jim Swanton was doing his end of day summary would have been well worth seeing. If ever you feel moved to do a John Arlott impression, try “And it’s Statham coming in to bowl from the pavilion end.” For a while I thought the joint might be WEED until WELD presented itself. I went through all Paul’s letters before going back to CHRONICLES. A steady solve. Thank you Jack and setter.
  18. Well, this one took me about 40 minutes, but with an annoying mistake. I mis-parsed 1ac, and ended up with “rager”. Is it just me, or is it not clear whether the answer is “raving person” or “broadcast message”? Well, OK, maybe it is just me.

    I also wasted quite a lot of time having “trump” (type, initially; getting behind) rather than GRUMP (initially getting; behind), and trying to decide whether “[T/t]rump” could plausibly be a “bad tempered type”.

    1. I put TRUMP in initially too, but fortunately I realised quite quickly that it didn’t work.
      To me ‘has love for a’ can only be interpreted as an instruction to replace A with O.
      1. Yes, re-reading the clue, I think you’re right. My answer also fails to account for “man”.
  19. Pleasant challenge, with lots of nice touches. I didn’t know BULLER either, and also concluded it must be a non-specific person, along the same lines as sapper, or squaddie; I thought I’d recognised it as a person, until I realised I was actually thinking of Sir Walter Bullivant from the Richard Hannay stories, who was probably a not dissimilar sort of person to the actual general, but sadly for my purposes, not real, and with a different name.
  20. I didn’t know FREE BALL was a snooker reference. When you google it in this neck of the woods it apparently means “going commando” which would also fit the “sporting” part of the clue but would be more likely found in the Guardian.

    SARUM was one of the tunes for the hymn For All The Saints but most people prefer the Vaughan Williams setting. The Sarum Rite used to be part of C of E liturgy. How do I know this? – two words, boarding school. I was shanghaied into the choir as one of the few altos.

    A ROOMETTE is what a sleeping compartment is called in the pathetic remnant of long distance train travel in the US.

    I was wondering if any of the other participants was going to mention it. They haven’t so I will. Last Thursday we had a gathering of the NY contingent of TfTT bloggers and contributors as follows: Vinyl, Guy du Sable, Paul-in-London (and a friend of his David Ogilvie), Plus Jeremy, and Jon88. We met for drinks and eats on our roof garden and I think the participants enjoyed it (at least I hope so). I don’t know if any pix were taken. It was a bit of a curate’s egg for the hosts because very shortly before everyone arrived we learned that our younger daughter, who had gone to hospital in labour earlier in the day, was having a difficult delivery and the baby had “complications”. This was a bit distracting. It appears all is well. Our daughter went home on Saturday and her daughter will be released from the ICU on Friday we think. Relief.

    Apologies for being more prolix than usual. 21.11

    1. “The golden evening brightens in the west.” I only knew the Vaughan Williams tune, dual-sourced from state grammar school and Anglican church youth club days, the second of which was entirely voluntary. Hope all goes well wth the new arrival.
    2. Sorry to have missed this gathering. I might be in New York in September – will keep you posted.
      Glad to hear all turned out well with the new arrival.
  21. I enjoyed this puzzle, but just as I hit the second submit button, I noticed I’d over-typed the U in GRUMP with an O due to mistyping PLOTONIUM. Drat and double drat! STARBOARD took a while to get as I didn’t know BULLER, but postulating bullet as the missile got me there and confirmed BULLER too. I liked the “bit of a chest” too. Nice puzzle. 28:28 with a typo. Thanks setter and Jack.
  22. 14:58. I found this quite tricky, and a curious sort of puzzle with a loose feel. Take 16ac for instance: both ‘corporal punishment’ for STICK and ‘mark’ for TICK seem a little imprecise to me, so the clue as a whole has a bit of a rickety feel to it. In the end it’s all perfectly solvable with no real ambiguity though, so no complaints.
    1. ‘Tick’ for ‘mark’ questionable? Perhaps I’m way behind the times, but in the old days teachers used to do ‘marking’ and would award ticks or crosses as appropriate. A tick was a mark of correctness.
      1. No certainly not questionable. I mean imprecise just in the sense that ‘mark’ is a word with so many possible meanings, as is ‘stick’. So as I put the answer in I had this funny feeling that there might be another answer that would fit. This is just a feeling though, as I said in reality there is no ambiguity in it.
  23. was it not he , who came up with the idea ” rule of thumb ” , whereby , a man could beat his wife with a stick , it being no thicker than …………
    1. Any plausible and amusing explanation for the origin of a common word or phrase will turn out to be false. This is known as ‘Fotherington’s Law’, after the explorer and milliner Obadiah Fotherington, who accidentally killed his wife by trying to explain the origin of the phrase ‘my old Dutch’ to a passer-by while driving his combine harvester in Osterley Park.

      Edited at 2018-06-19 01:33 pm (UTC)

  24. 13:22 with about a minute of that trying to think of a 4-letter joint that wasn’t WEED, KNEE or DIVE.
  25. Pleasant Monday style puzzle, easier by far than yesterday, about 17 minutes, dithered between DISTRESS and MISTRESS but DI had to be the girl.
    Can England XI get 500? Watching it now.
  26. At 40′ only had 3D left and 20 mins later still had it! So another DNF, darn. Enjoyed STARBOARD and WEEKENDER. DNK SARUM or BULLER either. Thank you blogger and setter.
  27. Got there eventually, with Mrs I’s help (she doesn’t look at the clue, just calls out the answers from the crossers – very infuriating) after about 2 hours. Even then, had an unparsed (surprise) Bullet for the unknown (but now obvious) Buller. And this was supposed to be an easy one ? Invariant
  28. DNF. Bah! Conspired to shoot myself in the foot at the last by overlooking wield and pondering field at 25dn. Ended up putting in feld without worrying too much about it not being a word. Should’ve known better.
  29. Not too tough, but no real time to report, because I didn’t time it at all. LOI for me was CHRONICLES, which, if the Bible contains two, I was ignorant of either. I did know Sir Redvers Buller though, as odd as it is for an American to be readily aware of a not so very famous British soldier. He was held up by the Boers for an agonizingly long time at the Tugela (near Colenso?) trying to relieve Ladysmith. My memory tells me that everyone’s unhappiness with the delay precipitated the arrival of Lord Roberts in SA to retrieve the situation, and the rendering Buller something of a scapegoat.

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