Times Cryptic 27098

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

I needed about an hour for this one but I’m not exactly sure why as most of it was quite straightforward.

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 Female celebrity put up with leers somehow outside government department (10)
SUPERMODEL – Anagram [somehow] of UP LEERS containing [outside] MOD (government department – Ministry of Defence)
6 Bloke is vulgar, heartless (4)
CHAP – CH{e}AP (vulgar) [heartless]
8 Legally gets hold of this person’s cash (8)
IMPOUNDS – I’M (this person’s), POUNDS (cash). Hm. Yesterday we had  “this person’s” clueing I’VE (in ‘alewives’) and today it stands for I’M. Am I alone in finding both a little odd? “This person” usually refers to somebody else i.e. in the third person (no pun intended) whereas “I” is in the first person and indicates the speaker. I suppose there are examples of people referring to themselves in the third person (Mrs Thatcher: The lady’s not for turning) but as I have said, it seems a bit odd.
9 Slight sign of affection after firm provides a bit of money (6)
COPECK – CO (firm), PECK (slight sign of affection). 1/100th of a Russian rouble. Not a spelling I’m familiar with but it’s valid along with kopek, kopeck and copek.
10 Member of hobbit family / captured (4)
TOOK – In The Hobbit  the Tooks are Bilbo’s mother’s family, vaguely remembered from reading the book years ago. It wasn’t bad as a story for children, but if only Tolkien had stopped there…!
11 Meeting zone used very regularly when abroad (10)
RENDEZVOUS – Anagram [when abroad] of ZONE USED V{e}R{y} [regularly]
12 Suffering financially? That’s obvious, being given the sack (9)
OVERTAXED – OVERT (obvious), AXED (given the sack)
14 Support hospital organisations? Not the second time (5)
TRUSS – TRUS{t}S (hospital organisations) [not the second time]. Hospital trusts are the main providers of secondary care within the National Health Service.
17 Having crossed river, bed down in rubbish (5)
DROSS – DOSS (bed down) containing [having crossed] R (river)
19 Brainy bits produced by church dissenter, the Parisian (9)
CEREBELLA – CE (church), REBEL (dissenter) LA (the, Parisian)
22 Briefly hold mammal spinning round quite briskly (10)
ALLEGRETTO – ALLEG{e} (hold) [briefly], OTTER (mammal) reversed [spinning round]. I’m not entirely convinced that ‘hold’ and ‘allege’ are synonymous but my thesaurus links them via ‘maintain’ so I suppose there must be a crossover of meaning somewhere.
23 Rugby player acceptable without hesitation (4)
PROP – PROP{er} (acceptable) [without hesitation]. A shortened form of  ‘prop forward’.
24 Chaste woman loves talking, putting lots off (6)
VESTAL – Hidden [putting lots off] in {lo}VES TAL{king}. A shortened form of  ‘Vestal Virgin’.
25 Kill rodents — but there’s one left inside home (8)
DOMICILE – DO (kill), MICE (rodents) with I (one) + L (left) contained [inside]. Apart from ‘party’, ‘do’ is more usually clued as ‘swindle’ but ‘kill’ is also valid.
26 Drink and energy-containing nuts (4)
MEAD – MAD (nuts) containing E (energy). Slang terms for madness seem to be causing some dissent in the ranks lately so that I’m not even sure we’re allowed to use the word ‘mad’  any more, let alone ‘nuts’. My view for what it’s worth (probably very little) is that as long as such terms are presented in the abstract and aren’t being applied with malice towards individuals then there’s no reason why they should not appear in crossword puzzles.
27 Services, long ago held for local dignitaries (10)
MAYORESSES – MASSES (services) with YORE (long ago) contained [held]
1 Son isn’t outlaw — shows such piety (9)
SAINTHOOD – S (son), AIN’T (isn’t), HOOD (outlaw)
2 Infant and old man face the camera full of love (7)
PAPOOSE – PA, (old man), POSE (face the camera) containing [full of] 0 (love). I imagine there may be more dissent in the ranks over this one.
3 Guy has spoken about island on the lord’s territory? (8)
MANORIAL – MAN (guy), ORAL (spoken) containing [about] I (island). My last one in. For ages I could only see ‘Montreal’ to fit the checkers and then I thought of ‘Lord of the Manor’.
4 Resident I’d style eccentric, lacking concern (15)
5 Philosopher reading maybe in a secure compartment (6)
LOCKER – LOCKE (philosopher), R (reading maybe). ‘Reading’ as a school subject is traditionally one of ‘the three Rs’ but in fact it’s the only genuine one (cf writing and arithmetic).
6 Island capital always given low grades (4,5)
CAPE VERDE – CAP (capital), EVER (always), D+E (low grades)
7 A pleasure trip, we hear, comes as an added extra (7)
ACCRUES – A + CCRUES sounds like [we hear] “a cruise” (a pleasure trip)
13 Reclined, maybe, clutching muscle, and given proper treatment (9)
RESPECTED – RESTED (reclined, maybe) containing [clutching] PEC (muscle)
15 Port‘s edge (9)
SHARPNESS – Two meanings. One of the most inland ports in the UK, SHARPNESS is on the River Severn in Gloucestershire.
16 One keen to change, about to confront past (8)
REFORMER – RE (about), FORMER (past)
18 Little right with priest meeting temptress — take off duty! (7)
RELIEVE – R (little right), ELI (priest), EVE (temptress). Rather bad press for Eve here, I think, as she was led astray by the serpent so was only a temptress by proxy.
20 Stories about old bishop? They may be articulated (7)
LORRIES – LIES (stories) containing [about] O (old) + RR (bishop – Right Reverend)
21 Middle-distance runner beginning to puff, upset? Examination needed (6)
PRELIM – MILER (middle-distance runner) + P{uff} [beginning] reversed [upset]

63 comments on “Times Cryptic 27098”

  1. 9:18 – this one was up my alley as there was a lot of clear wordplay for the definitions I was not overly familiar with. Kicked myself for not writing in TOOK right away, looking everywhere for a hidden word.
  2. 46 minutes for what I thought was a chewy offering, with ticks against 17a and 2d. 14a provided an unwelcome reminder of the layers of bureaucracy in the NHS that my insider sister knows so well.

    I have no problem with I’M and I’VE for ‘this person’, as the deictics of a crossword presupposes a kind of sermonising context in which the setter is I and the solver YOU.

    I’ve clearly missed the discussions re madness/insanity etc., but the plethora of words for such an imputed state (in others, of course!) reflect the reality of life as it is lived, and language as it used, so I can’t see a problem.

    Not sure I’ve ever heard of SHARPNESS the port.

    Edited at 2018-07-24 01:48 am (UTC)

    1. At 43:33, it’s a rare sub-HKM outing for me. I felt that it was reasonably straightforward, but needing care and diligence to solve most clues.

      But a nod to you, U, for extending my vocabulary with “deictics”. I know of apodeictic from studying OT theology, but not the shortened form as a noun.

      1. It was a sad day for me when I found I had lost my 19th century edition of the Greek New Testament picked up when I was little more than a mere papoose from a second-hand bookshop in Winchester for 20p.
        1. So I’m guessing that this would have pre-dated the Nestle-Aland standard, as Wikipedia tells me “The first edition published by Eberhard Nestle in 1898”. I loved my NA, 26th edition, for my studies in the early 90s, and they’re now up to edition 28.
          1. Very likely so. I seem to remember it had a signature and date from the 1880s. Nestle? Ah, memories of my first sales job…
  3. Surely we’ve had “this person”=I before? Anyway, no problem with it here. No problem with the various words for ‘loony’, either, with something like Jack’s caveat. I do have a problem with PAPOOSE; can you conceive of using it in speaking to, say, an Indian mother? ‘Cute little papoose; how old is she?’
    Anyway, I must confess (why?) that TOOK was my FOI. TRUSS was my LOI, as I hesitated a long, long time before deciding that 15d had to be SHARPNESS. COD to either ALLEGRETTO or DOMICILE.
  4. Much in line with Lord Ulaca – chewy indeed.

    George 9.18!? RU the setter?

    Biffed 10ac TOOK my LOI – does it reference Tolkein’s own family? Never read Lord of the Rings. Enjoyed Lord of the Flies.

    Bottom half in quickly and the 15 letter anagaram at 4dn DISINTERESTEDELY was my third one in.

    Never heard of 15dn SHARPNESS.


    COD none

    WOD 1ac SUPERMODEL from the IKEA catwalk

    14ac TRUSS I prefer ‘SUPPORT’

    Madness – fine band

  5. We can say, at least, that “papoose” is not like “squaw”: There is no intrinsically derogatory connotation. It is a loan word from the Algonquian “papoos,” meaning child, and originated with the Narrangansett tribe, Wikipedia says, and is “usually used a term of endearment, usually in the context of the child’s mother” (if you can decipher that last bit of odd phrasing). The word can also refer to a device used to carry a child. It could come across as presumptuous or condescending for an Anglo, say, a gringo, to refer to a random Native American child, of any old tribe, as a “papoose”—which is why Oxford dictionary online has it as “dated, offensive.”

    “This person is” and “I’m” seem to me equivalent. “That person” would be some other Guy.

    I had to guess TOOK was the name of a Hobbitt family, and SHARPNESS was my LOI because I had absent-mindedly put in TRUST instead of TRUSS above.

    Edited at 2018-07-24 03:45 am (UTC)

    1. If a Native American person had referred to my kid as a ‘nipper’, I don’t think I would have considered it condescending or presumptuous, but who knows?
      1. I was adding to my comment when you replied: Merriam-Webster has “now, often offensive,” while Collins offers no such caveat. I’d say context is everything.
      2. If you were Japanese, you might; and you might have grounds for so feeling. Otherwise, why would you? The origins of ‘papoose’ and ‘squaw’ are totally irrelevant; they mean ‘one of THEIR children’/’the wife of one of THEM’, and the criterion for whether the terms can properly be used is whether THEY would object. (I’m trying to remember the name of the black American comedian, I think it was, who writes of being given a lift by an elderly, kindly white couple who kept using the word ‘nigger’, and were sincerely puzzled when he finally asked them if they could please stop using it.) On edit: Finally remembered the name–Dick Gregory–although I’m still not sure if it was him I was thinking of.

        Edited at 2018-07-24 01:21 pm (UTC)

  6. I always avoid using DISINTERESTED as a synonym of UNINTERESTED. For me, it still means impartial
    1. I quite agree. Can’t the definition here, “without concern,” also indicate impartiality?
  7. 14:28 … mostly rattled along but then got quite stuck for a while on OVERTAXED, where the ‘axed’ bit wouldn’t come to me, and on VESTAL — that ‘putting lots off’ thing has caught me out before, sending me on wild goose chases involving trying to subtract ‘many’ from candidate words and so on.

    I’ve a feeling TOOK like this has come up before, but there’s no easy way to search the blog for that one. Anyone recall?

    COD ACCRUES, which made me smile

      1. Ah, cheers, that’s the one I was thinking of, for sure. And thanks for the top tip
      2. And here am I, way back on January 1: “The name of a Hobbit?!—good grief, no way I would ever know that”…!
  8. 46 minutes for me. A surprisingly slow start in the bottom half (FOI 20d LORRIES, having wrongly assumed that 19a must end with “LES” and got the right first letter for 20d by sheer luck!), gradually speeding up a bit as I worked my way towards the same LOI as Jack, 3d MANORIAL.

    Enjoyed 1d SAINTHOOD a lot once I’d got it.

    One of those puzzles that seems easier once you’ve finished, and wonder what all the trouble was about.

  9. 40 mins with a drink and energy-containing nuts, yoghurt etc.
    Are all supermodels female? No chance for me then.
    Mostly I liked: dossing in rubbish, drinking Mead and articulating stories about the old bishop.
    Thanks setter and J.
    1. Not necessarily female, but no doubt the best paid ones are. If I was one, I’d get Billie Jean King on my case to fight for equal pay…
  10. Forced out of hibernation by the unseasonal weather.Sub 15 for this but with demouise misbiffed.
  11. With a lot of chat about linguistic minefields today, it might be OK for me to admit that my first take on 6a started with vulgar being (of course) COMMON. But this person’s sure the disheartened version would have crossed the line. Even so, CHAP was my LOI, partly because I retained that double letter heart fixation.
    VESTAL was my other late entry, a brilliant hidden. Did anyone else notice that the other (more?) obvious fit for the checkers was MENTAL? Not, I think, proper term for a chaste woman, no matter how chatty.
    Myopically missing the hyphen in 26a’s “energy-containing” made it hard to solve without a bit of Yodaspeak, but I did it. Clever this person is.
    I never could get past page 1 even of The Hobbit (let alone LotR), and gave up on the (three!) films with the first half hour discussing the menu. Did well to get TOOK, I thought.
    23.37, but I can easily work out where the time went.
    1. When I woman I know had been to see the newly released film of The Hobbit I asked her what she thought of it. She said “It was very …. [long pause] Hobbitty.”

      I’ve since seen the film myself but I still haven’t seen a better review.

  12. 19:30. I’ve no problem with I’m for “this person’s”. SHARPNESS was a new port on me, but I trusted to the checkers and wordplay. I was held up mostly by the NW corner… SUPERMODEL took a while to come and, like Sotira, I got stuck on OVERTAXED for a time, which I needed before I could see MANORIAL, my LOI, struggling to think of words to describe a peer’s estate. RENDEZVOUS my favourite for its semi-&lit flavour, but I enjoyed SAINTHOOD and ACCRUES too. Nice puzzle. Thanks setter and jackkt.
            1. My dear Lord Ulaca of Omnibusia – bad news

              St. Agnes already has the position of Patron Saint of Goats – St. Baa-baara didn’t quite cut it – neither did I.

  13. 15 largely untroubled minutes. Having successfully avoided all the works of Tolkien for nearly 65 years TOOK was entered on definition alone and I had VESTAL long before I spotted the hidden.
    On a point of order CAPE VERDE isn’t an island, it’s a nation made up of ten separate islands.
  14. 40 minutes on this, with LOI SHARPNESS. I’d forgotten the port. The VESTAL virgin (one of sixteen?) was the second last to fall. She’d be a SUPERMODEL today. FOI and COD SAINTHOOD. A steady sort of puzzle and solve. Thank you Jack and setter.
    1. If this were a dinner party, forgetting the port would be a hanging offence !
        1. I take a daily celery seed capsule for that. Having had a prolonged bout (7 weeks !) in my big toe a few years ago, I’m in no hurry to suffer another.
  15. Forgot to mention: although the port is relatively close to me, the only reason I knew SHARPNESS is that it’s near the old Oldbury on Severn nuclear power station, used for filming a few episodes of Blake’s 7. Shame this didn’t come up yesterday, given how anorak-ey a fact that is…
  16. 20′ 21”, so in the swing. Lifelong Tolkien fan, books and LOTR films, but the Hobbit films leave me cold. Read something recently about how ‘chasteness’ is a social construct, used to manipulate and oppress.

    Delayed today by biffing SHEERNESS. Thanks jack and setter.

  17. ….I’ll tell everything I know.

    I suspect that Sonny Boy Williamson knew as much about Hobbits as me, and THAT’S very little indeed. Thanks Jack for confirming my only biff of the day.


    LOI VESTAL (well hidden indeed, but I’ve got to start spotting these more quickly before November). Together with TRUSS, I needed 3 minutes to round off what should have been sub 10 minutes, but turned into 11:12 accompanied by muttering of a very coarse nature.

    I concur regarding Cape Verde, though it’s a minor blip.

    Reading is indeed the only “genuine r” so I would have been miffed if the philosopher had been writing.

    The apostrophe in “this person’s” is critical as it leads to either “I’m” or “I’ve”.

    I had no trouble with SHARPNESS which is an inland port on the Bristol Channel, and my COD.

  18. 15th puzzle in a row which the SNITCH grades as on the easy side; presumably a statistical anomaly rather than a deliberate campaign by the editor (he may simply be making sure our brains don’t have cause to overheat during the current spell of weather). That doesn’t mean I’ve been particularly quick on all 15, of course, but this one was right up my street.

    My only problem with SHARPNESS is that my brain usually confuses it with SHEERNESS, which wasn’t an issue here.

    As an aside, I recently visited the Tolkien exhibition at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, which was well worth it. Prompted by the TOOK, I mention it here because among the carefully-preserved documents, such as the original hand-drawn maps of Middle Earth, and interesting correspondence relating to LotR (including a fan letter from a 17-year old Terence Pratchett), there are some Times crosswords from the 1930s, solved by the man himself. Unsurprisingly, JRR was a very proficient solver, and filled in the grid using semi-Elvish letters in different coloured inks, before adding elaborate doodles in any gaps on the page.

  19. 42 mins, which seemed rather sluggish of me, until I came here and was heartened to find that some, whose solving skills I much esteem, took longer. These clues were almost all very neatly composed, I thought: the wordplay was orderly and clean — which I find rather satisfying. PAPOOSE=the child (rather than its cloth wrapper) was unknown to me. I do see where jackkt is coming from in questioning the use of ‘this person’ to stand for ‘I’ — third person used to clue first person — but this person thinks that the linguistic analogy with “yours truly” and the deixis of ‘this’ (=proximate) as opposed to ‘that’ (=distant) fully justify the setter’s practice.
    If I had to find some nit to pick it might be the definition of VESTAL as ‘chaste woman’; sure, the Vestal Virgins were chaste, but that’s down to their virginity, not to their affiliation to the deity Vesta.
    Lovely puzzle, lovely blog. Thank you, both.
  20. Bang on 9 minutes. Nothing too sticky, although I hadn’t come across SHARPNESS before. LOI was VESTAL, a very well-concealed hidden word.
  21. Glad to see I’ve got good company in making a slow start. I can just hear Ian McKellen saying “fool of a TOOK” when one of them did something stupid. Don’t think I’ll read or watch the stuff again though. I happened to be in Paris when the first movie came out and Le Seigneur des Anneaux sounded so much better than LOTR. 16.41
  22. A chewy puzzle where I was held up for some time by SUPERMODEL, RENDEZVOUS, the AXED bit of 12a, the very well hidden VESTAL and my LOI MANORIAL. SHARPNESS unknown, but easy enough from definition and crossers. Hard to see why the puzzle took so long once it was done! Nice one setter and thanks Jack for the blog. 43:46.

    Edited at 2018-07-24 12:21 pm (UTC)

  23. Never made it past page 30 on the occasions when, at the emphatic behest of Mrs. Davest, I have again, and with a heavy heart, picked up LOTR.

    I am not averse to a challenge, having tackled the monster reads of European and Russian literature in my youth, including the gripping (not) L’Etre et le Neant, but I find I am unable to cope with the myriad cute life-forms presented by Tolkien.

    Time: all correct in 45 mins.

    Thank you to setter and blogger.


    Edited at 2018-07-24 01:10 pm (UTC)

  24. Not sure of my time on this one, but probably about 45 minutes – slower than my average. No excuse for my slowness, though, as almost everything was fairly straightforward, apart from the unknown port at 15d.

    As for Tolkein and LOTR – way too long and dull for a child, and I never understand why people consider it a book for adults.

    Edited at 2018-07-24 02:35 pm (UTC)

  25. 35 min – having carelessly entered ACCRUSE at 7dn, spent five or six minutes trying to think of anything that made sense of ?R?ES at 14ac and finally bunged in TREES as something to do with ‘support’. (I knew Sharpness, and for some reason I was unable to see what was wrong, even won my pre-submit check for typos 🙁 )
  26. In my youth, I had drummed into me the difference between UNINTERESTED (couldn’t give a monkeys) and DISINTERESTED (impartial). I know what the dictionaries say but a shame that such words lose their original meaning. 20:42 of steady solving.

    Edited at 2018-07-24 05:26 pm (UTC)

    1. The couldn’t give a monkey’s meaning of DISINTERESTED is actually older than the impartial meaning.
  27. I think this took 25 minutes or so. LOI ACCRUES, which I actually felt was the highlight clue once I saw it, as I was fixated on ‘tour’ or ‘trip’ somehow being involved. Not much else to say today, so regards.
  28. 13:10. Solving when sober definitely works better for me.
    Fingers crossed on SHARPNESS. Mild irritation that hobbity stuff is considered required knowledge, as if it was literature or something.
  29. 35:40. LOI was overtaxed, delayed because I spotted over and thought the second part was a five-letter word for given the sack rather than a four-letter word. 10ac was as unfamiliar now as it was back in Jan. I was also hesitant about 15dn. Didn’t know the port but an alphabet trawl didn’t offer anything more convincing.

Comments are closed.