Times Cryptic 27092

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

I needed 40 minutes for this one which I found quite chewy in its way .  Nothing in it was overly difficult but plenty that needed a bit of thinking about.

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

1 Senior officer in underwear lounged around hotel (5,3)
BRASS HAT – BRAS (underwear), SAT (lounged) containing [around] H (hotel)
5 No end of reason to keep policeman a university place (6)
CAMPUS – CAUS{e} (reason) [no end], containing [to keep] MP ((military) policeman)
10 Electoral system that may provide veto? (11,4)
ALTERNATIVE VOTE – VOTE is an anagram of VETO. The anagrind in the clue  is  ‘may provide’ which goes together with ‘alternative’ in the answer. The AV system requires voters to rank candidates in order of preference.
11 Endless scoff dunked in sweet tea (10)
DARJEELING – JEE{r} (scoff) [endless] contained by [dunked in] DARLING (sweet – as a term of endearment)
13 Be nervous of loud organ (4)
FEAR – F (loud), EAR (organ)
15 Contributed nothing new in old-fashioned surroundings (7)
DONATED – 0 (nothing) + N (new) contained by [ in…surroundings] DATED (old-fashioned)
17 Tinker holds a leisurely course (7)
MEANDER – MENDER (tinker) contains [holds] A
18 Predecessor to Romans manages to close scripture lesson (7)
FRIENDS – FENDS (manages) contains [to close] RI (scripture lesson – Religious Instruction). The definition refers to Mark Antony’s speech in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar that begins: Friends, Romans and countrymen…
19 Chap in jumper opposing member of dynasty (7)
ROMANOV – MAN (chap) in ROO (jumper), V (opposing – versus)
21 Fit to be seen on road? (4)
RAGE – A straight definition with a cryptic hint referring to ‘road rage’
22 Evaluation of panic rooms needing revision (10)
COMPARISON – Anagram [revision] of PANIC ROOMS. The definition seems a bit loose to me but one of the ways one might evaluate something is by comparing it with something else.
25 Throw a match, and fail to keep it secret (4,3,4,4)
GIVE THE GAME AWAY – A possibly literal reading of the answer followed by its more usual figurative meaning
27 Holding hearts (king or queen), go down in contract (6)
SHRINK – SINK (go down) containing [holding] H (hearts) + R (king or queen)
28 Shorten study, stupid (8)
CONDENSE – CON (study), DENSE (stupid)
1 Marked as criminal, but not with own label (7)
BRANDED – Two meanings, the second with reference to products in, say, a supermarket where goods widely available elsewhere may be ‘branded’ whereas similar products, presumably cheaper and only available from that retailer may be termed ‘own label’ .
2 Lovely piece of work, are you? (3)
ART – Two meanings I think, although the equivalent of ‘are you?’ would be ‘art thou?’
3 Cage, metal, in dry lake (10)
SERPENTINE – PEN (cage) + TIN (metal) contained by [in] SERE (dry). Specifically the lake in London’s Hyde Park. It extends into Kensington Gardens where its name officially becomes the Long Water.
4 Be suffering? Take on the Bible for help (5)
AVAIL – AV (Bible – Authorised Version), AIL (be suffering)
6 One delivering big service / tree (4)
ACER – Two meanings. There were far too many big services in the first men’s semifinal at Wimbledon this year.
7 Profits secure in good transactions (11)
PROCEEDINGS – PROCEEDS (profits) contain [secure] IN + G (good)
8 One cutting small member of audience? (7)
SHEARER – S (small), HEARER (member of audience)
9 Glow-worm for instance chews persimmon — not quietly (8)
MISNOMER – Anagram [chews] of {p}ERSIMMON [not quietly]. The misnomer is probably important to the entomologists amongst us but is lost on me.
12 Exceeding limit and knocking someone down (7,4)
RUNNING OVER – Two meanings
14 Shark’s ear bone had to receive echo (10)
HAMMERHEAD – HAMMER (ear bone), HAD contains [receive] E (echo – NATO alphabet)
16 Find divorces shattering (8)
DISCOVER – Anagram [shattering] of DIVORCES
18 Seeks food a long time (7)
FORAGES – Alternatively spaced this can be FOR AGES (a long time)
20 Collar’s front finally black in colour (7)
VANDYKE – VAN (front), {blac}K [finally] in DYE (colour). Pointy collars and beards are referred to as ‘Vandyke’ after Antoon (aka Sir Anthony) van Dyke, the Flemish-born painter.
23 Drama not unknown to philosopher (5)
PLATO – PLA{y} (drama) [not unknown], TO
24 Crazy to turn up and cause sensation (4)
STUN – NUTS (crazy) reversed [to turn up]
26 Pale and sickly, not using whole allowance (3)
WAN – Hidden in [not using whole] {allo}WAN{ce}

50 comments on “Times Cryptic 27092”

  1. This was a bit heavy going at times but the north-west fell at last.

    FOI 13acFEAR

    LOI FRIENDS I originally thought it was NUMBERS – biblical.

    COD 20dn VANDYKE

    WOD 9dn MISNOMER followed by 19ac ROMANOV

    Originally I had 12dn DRIVING OVER (the limit) but was sobered by 11ac DARJEELING.

    46 mins.

    Edited at 2018-07-17 01:44 am (UTC)

  2. I had VOTE from the start, but had to wait for checkers to get the ALTERNATIVE. I started 12d with BOWLING OVER–figured there was a cricket reference somewhere–which made 11ac and 15ac impossible, until I finally thought of DARLING. LOI FRIENDS; I gave up early on the idea of Biblical books, as nothing begins with F, but nothing replaced that idea (Etruscans?) until the N appeared. The more I look at 2d, the less I understand it, or like it. And it’s not just ‘art’ these days; ‘The Gleaners’? ‘The Death of Marat’? a lovely Pietà?
      1. Thanks for digging out that quote from Hamlet: I think there are more examples of the Bard not bothering with the “thou”, possibly to fit the metre, but it was how I reconciled the clue.
        1. Lucio in ‘Measure for Measure’ says (re Isabella’s arguments against Angelo) ‘Art advised o’ that?’ I tried Googling that, and would have done better to have just pulled the damn play off my shelf. Anyway, my problem had nothing to do with this; I didn’t like ‘lovely piece of work’.
  3. 35 minutes for this, so bang on my NITCH, with 18, 19 and 20 being the last to fall. I thought 2 down rather bizarre, not least on account of much that passes for ‘art’ these days being far from lovely. Re 10a, definitely a first-past-the-post man myself.
      1. The voting systems could do with some tweaking, but if I were an all-powerful POTUS the first thing I would do is rescind the second amendment…
  4. 21:38 so faster than normal for me. No real problems except confidently writing in TRANSFERABLE VOTE before removing it since it has one letter too many. LOI was SERPENTINE once I realized that it was a red herring that ERIE fitted in the middle with the checkers.
  5. 13:25 … had a bit of a meh feeling early on but revised my opinion with some of the harder clues that went in later. DARJEELING had me on the wrong track, as did the very nice RAGE. And MISNOMER is a nice idea.

    A chuckle — at myself — for getting annoyed about having to dredge up a book of the bible. Not.

    Is a BRASS HAT actually a thing? I’ve met it in crosswords a few times but never IRL, though admittedly I’ve never been in the military (bone spurs).

    1. I know it from the film Wargames, whose use of “Brass Hat” as the callsign for the General of the NORAD base under Cheyenne Mountain is apparently based directly on reality. I’ve not heard it used anywhere else, though, but I was only in the Air Cadets 😀
        1. Rightly or wrongly, I always thought that the Brass Hat bit referred to the gold braid on the peaks of the headware of senior officers, also known as Scrambled Eggs
          1. that seems to be the preferred theory, although there’s another one around that it derived from the Napoleonic chapeaux à bras (somewhat implausible, but much more fun)
  6. I knew damn well the book before Romans is Acts, so it was hard to think of an alternative. In fact, this was my last one in.

    I guess the thing about the term “glow worm” is that it refers, variously, to the larva of certain insects, not to a creature that is a worm for its entire life cycle.

  7. I think I was mostly on the wavelength for this one, an interesting puzzle made trickier by the use of a few terms which would be the second or third to spring to mind rather than the first—MP for policeman, AV for bible, so forth—and some nice indirect definitions. I particularly liked “predecessor to Romans”.

    Started well with 1a BRASS HAT, but had to keep coming back to 4d AVAIL until it was the last one left, just after the unknown VANDYKE collar. Enjoyed 11a for its nice use of the (quintessentially British?) image of dunking things in sweet tea.

    36 minutes all told.

  8. 45 mins with yoghurt, etc.
    Like others, I thought the predecessor would be a Bible book – until I got the F.
    Mostly I liked: Friends, Misnomer and COD to Rage (neat).
    Thanks setter and J.
  9. enjoyed this, one of the wittier offerings I thought. Liked the Romans reference but several others had me floundering for a while too.
    Glow-worm is clearly a misnomer, it not being a worm at all but a larva or larviform beetle or gnat
  10. Straightforward puzzle. BRASS HAT comes from the decoration on the peak of an officer’s cap

    Not sure about “predecessor to Romans” for FRIENDS. Where does this stop? “predecessor to toil” for “blood”?

    1. or “successor but one to toil?” for tears.. still I did like it, I think the first time at least, you have to admire it ..
  11. 17:24. Completely bamboozled myself by putting in TRANSFERABLE VOTE in for 10a, not even noticing it was too long and I’d entered it without the second A. That took a while to sort out as I needed all the crossers. Like Horryd, I initially thought of NUMBERS for 18a… must remember the sequence of the books, but that was clearly wrong. Chuckled when I saw it wasn’t a book of the bible.
  12. 17ac sums up my progress through this puzzle, a gentle meander, not worrying too much about the time (21.23, for what it’s worth, which SNITCH says is 20 seconds faster than my average).
    Naturally I fell for the ACTS conundrum, while wondering who other than the Etruscans occupied the Seven Hills before the twins. Not helped by struggling for ages with 18d, trying to accept that RUM could be a food to go with the ages.
    Can’t be coincidence that ROMANOV turns up on the 100th anniversary of the atrocity at Yekaterinburg: well played, setter and editor.
    The VANDYKE I knew was the beard rather than the collar, plus, if you’ll excuse me, the gore blimee Dick.
  13. 26 minutes with LOI VANDYKE. Like Z8, I knew the beard and not the collar. It was a steady solve, with MISNOMER the other sticker. I guessed it must be another sort of insect. I would give COD TO DARJEELING, but I’d then have Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren in my ear all day. So the honour goes to FRIENDS for the deception. Certainly nobody could describe Peter and Paul as friends after reading Acts. Thank you Jack and setter.
    1. Golly, you have actually *read* some of the bible?! I’m not sure even my local vicar could say the same
      1. I’m a man of many parts, Jerry. Just wish I could find the instructions to put them together.
  14. A similar level of difficulty to yesterday’s with a similar slow grind to get over the line. Very slow to see SERPENTINE, my LOI. Kudos to the setter for eschewing ‘supporters’ in 1a.
    Interrupted, but about 21 minutes
  15. Straightforward enough but bamboozled at the end by the 7 doozy – just couldn’t see ‘proceedings’. I share the discomfort as to ‘predecessor to Romans’.
  16. Pleasant and not too demanding, once, like everyone else, I’d realised I wasn’t going to have to remember my RE lessons, and come up with some people who were like the Colossians and Galatians, but only had seven letters in their name; I also only knew the Vandyke beard, but the artist having more than one thing named after him didn’t seem too much of a leap of faith.
  17. It’s always heartening when the blogger (to whom thanks) says they found the puzzle tricky. By sheer luck or by being on wavelength, I got through this in a nippy (for me) twenty-one minutes. My only unparsed was WAN, where I failed to spot the buried word. I liked 18ac, although technically the predecessor of “Romans” would be “comma”, surely?
    1. Everyone keeps telling me I must ignore punctuation I dont find it easy mind you
  18. Some lovely clues, I thought: 11ac DARJEELING and 18ac FRIENDS for example; but my favourite was 21ac RAGE.
  19. Held up by scribbling in STAB (ie BATS up) at 24d but then faced with an odd-looking 27a, I reconsidered. Enjoyable puzzle 22:16
  20. I spent some minutes staring at 7d and trying every combination I could think of, before giving up. The kind of clue that I’d hope would suddenly make sense if I came back to it in competition – but, for some reason, I never considered that ‘secure’ could be a container indicator here.
    My COD is 10a.
  21. An entertaining mix of the straightforward and the tricky.

    Thanks to Jack for an excellent blog and for explaining the proper parsing of 18ac (FRIENDS). Like quite a few others, I assumed that this was a biblical reference, and my strained attempt at parsing went as follows: The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans comes after The Acts of the Apostles, with “apostle” here needing to be taken as a synonym for “friend”!

    10ac was a neat clue. I spotted quickly enough that we were looking for “vote” as an anagram of “veto” preceded by a word that could serve as the anagrind. Like paulmci above, I too confidently wrote in “transferable” only to discover that it was a a letter too long (not to mention that the electoral system in question is the “single transferable vote”).

    Thanks setter.

  22. It’s nice on the rare occasions that I come here expecting to hear of some lightning times only to find instead that I’ve had a good solving day. I had a confident start with the two long ones going straight in and everything else flowed from there. LOI PROCEEDINGS that I was a bit unsure about but went with the (fortunately correct) biff.
  23. Not much to add, really. I also spent a long time trying to crowbar ACTS into 17 ac. before the penny dropped.

    Time: all correct in 33 minutes.

    Thank you to setter and blogger.

  24. Pretty straightforward at 10:16.

    I didn’t twig that 26 was a hidden and just lazily assumed that WANT somehow equated to ALLOWANCE.

    I don’t have a beef with the ROMANS clue, and not just because it didn’t actually rely on biblical knowledge. Provided that the phrase in question is sufficiently well-known I think it’s both a fair device and pleasingly “different”.

    Edited at 2018-07-17 12:11 pm (UTC)

  25. I printed off today’s 15×15 and also a few Indys from the last week, before heading off to the garage to have a new window regulator mechanism fitted in the front passenger door of my car. Good news, the window now works, bad news, the warranty had expired and I had to dig deep. By the time they came to extract their pound of flesh I’d completed the 15×15 in around 39 minutes, Knut’s puzzle from last Wednesday in 35 minutes and solved 2 or 3 clues from Nimrod’s Saturday Indy, in about 20 minutes. Having arrived home, I redid the 15×15 online and am waiting for the other 17 minutes to elapse before hitting submit. It actually took around 4 minutes to redo, which reinforces my admiration for our speed merchants! I didn’t have any doubts about my answers so came here before checking and found I wasn’t being unduly optimistic. CAMPUS was my FOI with DARJEELING and SERPENTINE bringing up a rather tardy rear. I’d been dabbling with DOLCE for sweet until the tea leaf matured. SERE TIN and PEN still took a while to sink in. FRIENDS raised a smile after I gave up trying to think who could’ve occupied the seven hills first. Missed the hidden WAN. An enjoyable puzzle. Thanks setter and Jack. Now back to the Nimrod!
  26. I think 9d is the def. because a glow-worm is not a worm but a beetle. Similarly, a slow worm is a lizard, a polecat is not a feline and a jellyfish is not a fish.

    I only know this because some months ago, I spotted this list under the heading of ‘Anomolies’ and thought ‘Aha, bet that’ll come in useful for the cryptics one day’. And so it has, although I spent ages trying to form it into a name of some sort of beetle and wasn’t until the checkers were in that the penny dropped.

    Although it has taken me many hours, off and on, I’m amazed at having finished today: the only few other times this novice has finished has been on days when general opinion has been that they were ‘easy’. Progress perhaps?

    My COD is 17a simply because I really like the word.
    Thanks to setter and Jackkt

  27. 7 down – couldn’t see it for several minutes. Finally twigged the containment indicator. Also had a brief tussle with 5 across, trying to fit the redundant A from the clue into the answer. Had stab for 24 down, before changing it to stun. I think stab works, though. A disappointing 22 mins. Great blog, cheers.
  28. Hi all. Got through in around 25 minutes, ending with the little ones, WAN and ART. PROCEEDINGS was a very clever clue, and I actually enjoyed the FRIENDS clue, that is of course, once I realized the same thing as everyone else. I also learned that a glowworm isn’t a worm, which is something I never knew. Regards.
  29. Spent a long time trying to think who were the people before the Romans (Etruscans as noted above) so this new (to me) version of predecessor escaped me. Simple but tricky is my assessment of this one.
  30. So the good news is that I finished the 15×15 today with no reveals. The bad news is that I got 1a wrong by putting in Brass Cap despite struggling to parse it. I also biffed correctly 4d AVAIL not knowing AV to be Authorised Version and 20d VANDYKE, so thank you to jackkt for the blog. My COD is 18a FRIENDS which took me back to my O’level English Literature studies and put a smile on my face at the PDM.
  31. ….but finished in 13:18 after a bit of a battle in the NW corner, where the DNK ALTERNATIVE VOTE held me up ( I had VOTE in early).

    LOI RAGE (wasn’t keen, but ART irritated me more)

    Thanks for the usual excellent blog Jack, and especially for pointing out WAN, where – yet again- the encapsulation passed me by.

  32. 54 mins.
    Lots of biffing today. Thought of 26d early but even with checkers did not see its hiding place.

    5a couldn’t be anything else once checkers in.

    Did not know AV for Bible but did know Acts was before Romans so minutes wasted trying to shoehorn.

    Vandyke successfully parsed once all checkers present. Did not know collar.

    NW corner last to fall.

    FOI 6d LOI 2d

  33. 39:37 I found most of this ok, 18ac was a nice PDM, but I got a bit stuck on 7dn, 1ac and 3dn. I was sure 7dn was going to be a word for good and a word for transactions going around one for secure, seeing the initial p made me think it could be pi and that I was on the right track. Took a while to discard my wrongheaded notions. Can’t now look at the grid without thinking of perhaps the greatest of all the actors who played Caesar over the years, Kenneth Williams in Carry on Cleo. I think it was the wan at 26dn that tipped the scales:

    Seneca (looking at Caesar who has just fainted): He looks a little wan.
    Calpurnia: He looks a big one if you ask me.

    And of course the famous:

    Caesar: Friends, Romans….
    Whoever is standing next to him (whispers): Countrymen
    Caesar (indignantly): I know!

    Not to mention:

    Caesar (during an attempted assassination): Infamy, Infamy….they’ve all got it in for me.

    I genuinely could (very sadly) continue but I’ll leave it there.

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