Times Cryptic 27110

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Some quite tricky clues here took my solving time to 54 minutes but I was pleased to come through in the end without resorting to aids as at one time that had looked highly likely.

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 Was head of detectives turned? (6)
RANCID – RAN (was head of), CID (detectives). ‘Turned’ as in ‘turned sour’ .
5 Put cloth cover on shivering dun horse (8)
ENSHROUD – Anagram [shivering] of DUN HORSE
9 Expert not nerdy enough, ignoring repetitions of old rules? (8)
PROTOCOL – PRO (expert), TO{o} CO{o}L (not nerdy enough), [ignoring repetitions of old – {o}]. I think this relies on a definition of ‘nerd’ as a person regarded as socially dull, unsophisticated and awkward whereas ‘cool’ describes someone who on the contrary is assured and relaxed.
10 Cheap Mac to acquire (6)
BUDGET – BUD (mac), GET (acquire). ‘Bud’ and ‘Mac’ are both U.S. slang forms of address to an unknown male.
11 Cavalryman unwise to hold Soviet Union’s leaders back (6)
HUSSAR – RASH (unwise) containing [to hold] S{oviet} U{nion} [leaders] reversed [back]
12 Trouble keeping half of common people in heating fuel (8)
PARAFFIN – PAIN (trouble) containing [keeping] {riff-} RAFF (common people) [half]
14 Met objective the fuzz finally see, excited about that (12)
RENDEZVOUSED – ROUSED (excited) contains [about] END (objective) + {th}E + {fuz}Z [finally] + V (see)
17 Doctor receiving sick people, collecting crowd’s spit? (12)
DOPPELGANGER – DR (doctor) containing [receiving] anagram [sick] of PEOPLE + GANG (crowd). The spitting image.
20 Persuade to use unfinished rail line’s termini (8)
INVEIGLE – INVEIG{h} (rail – rant) [unfinished], L{in}E [termini]
22 Sore loser’s first returning racket (6)
LESION – L{oser} [first], NOISE (racket) reversed [returning]
23 Fantastic reptile with head becoming wide (6)
WIZARD – {l}IZARD (reptile) → WIZARD [head becoming wide – W]
25 Something suggestive of ennui, waving with nod (8)
INNUENDO – Anagram [waving] of ENNUI NOD
26 Answer in affirmative? Certainly right for me! (8)
YEASAYER – A (answer) contained by [in] YES (affirmative), AYE (certainly), R (right). Tricky. I was familiar with ‘yes-man / yes-woman’ and ‘naysayer’ but this one was new to me.
27 Some like it here as one of a twosome (6)
EITHER – Hidden [some] in {lik}E IT HER{e}
2 A major win, dispatching last couple in open court (6)
ATRIUM – A, TRIUM{ph} (major win) [dispatching last couple]. I rather thought the point of an atrium is that it is covered and therefore not ‘open’ but some definitions say that in Roman times it was, or could be, open to the elements.
3 Fellow space expert having half forgotten energy debacle (11)
CATASTROPHE – CAT (fellow – beatnik-speak), ASTROPH{ysicist} (space expert) [half forgotten], E (energy). I wonder if having to derive a 14-letter word from a clue and then delete 7 of its letters is a Times crossword record?
4 Perhaps GP test includes name of creed (9)
DOCTRINAL – DOC (perhaps GP), TRIAL (test) contains [includes] N (name)
5 Obscure later note in financial district dishonesty (7)
ECLIPSE – EC (financial district), PS (later note) in LIE (dishonesty)
6 Serious honour senior accepts (5)
SOBER – SR (senior) contains [accepts] OBE (honour)
7 Clear street crossing island (3)
RID – RD (street) contains [crossing] I (island)
8 Without improvement, varying sea level rises into crumbling dune (8)
UNEDITED – TIDE (varying sea level) reversed [rises] contained by [into] anagram [crumbling] of DUNE. The definition assumes that editing necessarily improves on the original, an idea that I imagine many journalists and reporters might have reason to argue with.
13 Vividly colourful bug on sources of metal coin (11)
FLUORESCENT – FLU (bug), ORES (sources of metal), CENT (coin). I haven’t the scientific knowledge to back this up, but I don’t think of  ‘fluorescent’ as necessarily being ‘vividly colourful’ and none of the usual sources mentions ‘colour’ specifically. On first reading the clue I immediately thought of ‘iridescent’ , which seems nearer to the definition, but of course it didn’t have enough  letters and only the ‘-cent’ bit fitted the wordplay. Later edit: On reflection (no pun intended) this probably explains it: High-visibility clothing is clothing made of FLUORESCENT material with added reflective tape or shapes. The sun’s ultraviolet rays react with the fluorescent colours to make them appear to ‘glow’ increasing daytime visibility. The effect is stronger in poor light conditions such as in fog or towards dusk.
15 Unofficial law enforcer has criminal given tail (9)
VIGILANTE – Anagram [criminal] of GIVEN TAIL
16 Agree to make up Spanish hero Quixote’s ending (8)
COINCIDE – COIN (make up – word/expression), CID (Spanish hero), {Quixot}E [ending]. I wrote this in 2008 and reproduce it here to save time: … spent time wondering about ‘cid’. Of course I know El Cid, but I had always understood it mean ‘The Lord’ and Wiki confirms this. COED and Collins are silent on the matter but Chambers lists ‘cid’ in its own right meaning ‘chief, captain or hero’ in Spanish.
18 Workshop more recently losing roof? (7)
ATELIER – {l}ATELIER (more recently) [losing roof]. I can find no evidence that ‘latelier’ actually exists, but of course ‘lately’ meaning ‘recently’ does so I assume the setter is having a bit of fun with wordplay here and the question mark is intended to indicate this.
19 Female working, about to deliver hot dish (6)
FONDUE – F (female), ON (working) DUE (about to)
21 Yard excavation turns frivolous (5)
GIDDY – YD (yard) + DIG (excavation) reversed [turns]
24 Notices cause of cuts on the radio (3)
ADS – ADS sounds like [on the radio] “adze” (cause of cuts – a sort of axe)

49 comments on “Times Cryptic 27110”

  1. Apparently not how either word is spelled. Bummer

    Otherwise 25 minutes. Clues seemed quite convoluted today…

  2. Held up by RENDEZVOUSED (don’t particularly like the word – my excuse) and DOPPELGANGER to finish in 57 minutes. The ‘space expert half forgotten’ took a bit of working out, but I (eventually) parsed it as you did. Didn’t know the ‘open’ bit of ATRIUM which I thought was an enclosed entrance space.

    The ‘more recently’ in 18d and the ‘spit’ def. for 17a were my favourites.

    Thank you to setter and blogger.

      1. Indeed. Why waste 12 letters and 3 syllables when you could just say “met” ?
        An AZED clue methought !
        1. It’s in pretty common use, and to my mind has a touch of both senses for both those words.
  3. Double-H Grid ensures that the south west corner gives one no starter letters and mainly vowels for seconds.

    But after all that I had 9ac wrong! I biffed CRITICAL instead of following the IKEA assembly instructions for PROTOCOL goddammit! So an hour wasted – but hey ho!

    FOI 7dn RID (dear me!)


    COD 3dn CATASTROPHE (dear me!)

    German WOD 17ac DOPPELGANGER. French WOD 14ac RENDEDEZVOUSED LATIN WOD 9ac PROTOCOL English WOD 21dn GIDDY – I once had an Aunt Giddy….. Gay WOD 11ac HUSSAR

  4. I thought the astrophysicist thing was a bit forced, even though I did get it. 43 minutes overall, managing to hold myself up on a number of simple clues, such as 1a, where I was playing with ‘ledcid’ for too long.

    As a writer/editor, I do like to think I improve things – not least, ‘facts’ that haven’t been checked.

  5. I really didn’t like CAT=FELLOW, but well done Jack et al for getting ASTROPHICICIST! I shrugged and thought I’d wait to read the blog!
  6. … and pleased to finish without errors – not quite catching the HK Magoo in this case.

    This is not the first time I’ve been grateful to Flanders and Swann for some cryptic crossword vocab, with my LOI, INVEIGLE, known from “Have some madeira, m’dear”. I did have to think about the beginning (I or E?) but managed to go the right way.

    I also wondered about “latelier” but knew ATELIER from previous crosswords.

    Thanks, Jack, for the blog and to the setter for a good workout.

    1. I’m usually onto F&S references at the drop of a hat, but I managed to miss that one. It’s amongst my favourites of their songs, but there are so many to choose from.

      She was young, she was pure,
      She was new, she was nice,
      She was fair, she was sweet seventeen.

      He was old, he was vile,
      And no stranger to vice,
      He was base, he was bad, he was mean.

      He had slyly inviegled her up to his flat,
      To view his collection of stamps;
      And he said as he hastened to put out the cat,
      The wine, his cigar, and the lamps:

      “Have some madeira, m’dear…”

      1. Delicious reminder, even if it has been characterised as “an hilarious song about date-rape” Still sets the triple gold standard for syllepsis: “She lowered her standards by raising her glass, her courage, her eyes and his hopes” “She made no reply, up her mind and a dash for the door.” Nobody does it better.
  7. The like of DOPPELGANGER one sees but infrequently in The Times as it is a Russian doll job. And I see INVEIGLE is both hard to spell and uses the slightly dodgy ‘line’s termini’ for L-E. FLUORESCENT was done nicely as well.

    Good stuff, some unusual words, and a nice work-out for me.

  8. 23 (nearly) minutes, with ATRIUM the last in looking for entirely the wrong thing, and (I admit it) CATASTROPHE almost entirely unparsed. I agree with Jack that 14 letters half deleted must be a record, and add the fervent hope that it stays that way for a long time.
    Chambers has RENDEZVOUSED, but like others I think it shouldn’t in the name of linguistic decency. I knew naysayer existed, but not its positive counterpart, which has the feel of a back formation.
    On the other hand, the surely made up latelier raised a smile, presumably as intended.
    I thought this was a witty, perhaps more precisely cheeky crossword, playing with words i ways that make cryptics the enduring pleasure we know and love. And thanks to Jack for chasing down the details I missed.
  9. 55 mins with yoghurt, granola, etc.
    The big hold-ups were 4dn, 14ac and 17ac. If I’d spent 50% less time on these (and the other clues), my time would have been halved.
    Mostly I liked ‘Spit’ once the penny dropped.
    Thanks J for explaining how rail fitted in.
    Thanks setter too.
  10. Count me as another ENVEIGLE. Curses. Took me 59 minutes to get there, too. I suppose I’ve not seen either word written down very often…
  11. Very glad I wasn’t blogging this (and Tuesday used to be my day). A difficult enough puzzle without the pressure of having to solve and post. Well done Jack and setter.
  12. Enjoyed this even though entering a careless “yessayer” spoilt it rather.
    I too thought that edit = improve was a rather optimistic view of the situation.
    Flanders & Swann, performers of genius, seldom equalled & never surpassed. My favourite is the song of the weather … “In July the sun is hot. Is it shining? No it’s not..”
  13. What an ugly word RENDEZVOUSED is! Nearly half an hour on this puzzle with several unparsed, and INVEIGLE with crossed fingers – I had the LE from raiL linE’s termini and didn’t know INVEIGH at all. Thanks jack and setter.
  14. 28 minutes, but needed aids to finish. and had YES at 26ac – not parsed properly. As CRITICAL didn’t make sense at 9ac, resorted to aid to find anything else to fit – also at 17ac where I couldn’t think of anything, even with all checkers.
    MER at definition of 13dn.
  15. A full on struggle for 33 minutes with several ‘sort of’ parsings along the way and more than one raised eyebrow. Latelier? Really?
    Sorry setter, not one that I enjoyed.
  16. 48 minutes with hold-up in SW. I couldn’t get COINCIDE until I’d changed AYESAYER to YEASAYER. I can’t make up my mind if CATASTROPHE is the best or worst clue I’ve ever seen. I was a bit young for the beats, so CAT is not a word I use for a person too cool to be nerdy, and when I talk about astrophysics to my younger son, he always uses cosmology in reply. The universe is a branch of mathematics to him. So it’s not even to be COD. Nor is RENDEZVOUSED, a horrible word in print but sounds OK in talk. I had to go through Apostles, Athanasian and Nicene before seeing DOCTRINAL. Too much knowledge is dangerous. So COD to INVEIGLE for the feeling of relief when I got it, by a short head from PROTOCOL. Hard but fair puzzle. Thank you Jack and setter.

    Edited at 2018-08-07 09:34 am (UTC)

  17. Well, I enjoyed that so thank you setter and thank you, Jack particularly for ASTROetc and INVEIGLE. I thought L E came from the termini of rail and line and was wondering how USE = Inveigh.
    Heard of naysayer, of course, but not the affirmative version.
    What took up so much of my time were ATRIUM, PROTOCOL and ECLIPSE.
    I always enjoy it when whole rows or columns make sense so I enjoyed SOBER VIGILANTE and WIZARD INNUENDO!
    Do ASTROPHYSICISTs wear t-shirts that say “Yes, it IS rocket science”? Many candidates for COD but I will plump for that one.
  18. I was ploughing on from top to bottom, thinking I might be in for a decent time, so I wasn’t hanging about to parse CATASTROPHE, RENDEZVOUSED (eeeuugh!) or DOPPELGANGER: so thank you, jackkt, for your clear elucidation (Spanish hero gets around for all nameless people?).

    It turned out not to be a great time, 38 mins, but most enjoyable. The SW corner (COINCIDE, YEASAYER (formerly YESSAYER) and INVEIGLE) clobbered my hopes for a speedy solve.

  19. Just looked in Google and I see the Gay Hussar in Soho, setting for many a rendezvous, closed this June. Shame. Some rather tricky spelling here and mine was much improved by editing. Hard-ish one this. Did the same as BW with the creeds. 21.43
  20. Well, as observed, there were many things which could hold a solver up today, but I chose the less obvious joint stumbling block of LESION and FONDUE, having been reasonably quick to untangle the ostensibly much more inventive wordplay for the likes of PROTOCOL and CATASTROPHE. As so often happens in a puzzle, you get clues which become ever more baffling the longer you stare at them; and once you’ve solved them, you wonder what on earth took you so long.
    1. You describe my solving experience precisely. My time was 27:47 and around half of that was spent staring in increasing desperation at exactly those two clues.
  21. “Yes dear, the lateliest was yesterday”. Not impressed.

    Struggled through in 27:23 with RENDEZVOUSED and CATASTROPHE biffed (thanks Jack). I really DIDN’T like the word in the first answer, (there is no noun that cannot be verbed unfortunately), or the overly long word to be bisected in the other one.

    Editing OUGHT to be an exercise in improvement, but, having seen what various newspapers have done to my letters over the years, I’m afraid I’m more than a little sceptical !

    FOI HUSSAR – I didn’t progress from it.

    Problems that held me up included a conviction that “sources of metal” were mines, which had me vainly trying to justify “luminescence” while totally screwing my hopes of seeing 14A/17A.

    I also totally failed to deal with ECLIPSE despite realising the “PS” was in there, and only when the penny dropped did I realise LOI ENSHROUD was an anagram that I unusually failed to spot.

    Had I got VIGILANTE sooner, I would have got EITHER at once, instead of wondering who the other half of “Therea” might be for no little time. At least I realised early that it was the dreaded encapsulation that so often eludes me.


  22. 50 min. Slow these days. Hope just down to moving house. Still need to rediscover the knack of looking more simply at things. Is a (beatnik-speak) cat male (fellow)? (Is there room in life for such a question?)
  23. Must have been on wavelength today as under 10 mins. Perhaps this was a puzzle for setters to solve? Lots of imaginative words in unlikely forms (Rendezvoused; (l)atelier; yeasayer) which perhaps come easier to us that set. Would love to comment about crossword editors and their “improvements” but fear will get banished to near Wolverhampton… All I’ll add is that the “has” in 15dn seemed superfluous to me.
    1. Nice to get a visit and comment from one of our setters. Sent to Coventry? Does that really count as near Wolverhampton?
    2. ‘Has’ seems necessary if the setter wants to side with the vigilante cause (in the clue). Without it the setter would be characterising the vigilante as a criminal. Also, a vigilante in common perception is more likely to be tailing someone than being tailed him- or herself.
  24. No run of the mill puzzle this! As I limped back to the NW corner after struggling through the rest of the grid, 4d corrected my spelling of DOPPLEGANGER, and the struggle began all over again with 1a, 2d, 3d and 9a still to solve. I eventually saw RANCID, having biffed CATASTROPHE from definition and checkers, but being convinced that 9a ended ___TICAL, I was going nowhere. I eventually used Google to check if PROTICAL or ACETICAL existed, and PROTOCOL popped up uninvited, but reasonably welcome. ATRIUM followed after an alphabet trawl. 43:36, but with a little assistance. Thanks setter and Jack.
  25. Nothing new to say except that I loved the quote from Flanders and Swann in the comments. I had to biff a couple of these (CATASTROPHE and INVEIGLE) but finished in 28 minutes. A very enjoyable puzzle. Thanks for the blog. Ann
  26. Ploughed along happily with this, until after 20 minutes or so was all done except 4d. Hadn’t taken the trouble to unravel the parsing of CATASTROPHE, or INVEIGLE but was stumped by my 4d ending in E. Because I can’t spell German words and had a not properly parsed DOPPLEGANGER so 4d was looking like D-C-R-N-E. Eventually saw the DOC idea and put myself right, another 10 minutes of put it down and pick it up again before than happened.
    Well blogged Jackkt, glad this wasn’t mine, as Jimbo says.
  27. 35:51 with one wrong. I threw in AIRBUS for ATRIUM as I was pretty sure I had erred with YEASAYER only to find that one was OK.
  28. …mins. LOI 16d – El Cid slipped my mind for too long. Enjoyed the challenge and those ‘Ah’ moments particularly stumbling upon both 14a and 17a and post-parsing them.
  29. 40 mins. I didn’t fully parse doppelganger or catastrophe. Yeasayer required careful attention to the parsing. Held up at the end by LOI atrium.
    1. Thank you for that Mark and Simon. We in the 60%+ all have our coping strategies here in the US and crosswords are quite therapeutic. My husband can’t do them and just yells at the tv. Well I do too but at least I have an alternative outlet.
  30. I don’t time it. I do it in the pub while watching the football and speaking to friends, and ordering and paying for drinks. Approx 45 to 60 minutes, but 14 and 17 were entered without parsing them. The parsing came after I had finished.
  31. Nearly an hour (57 minutes, to be exact), but I did finish. No really frustrating clues, but some very strange ones (RENDEZVOUSED indeed, pronounced RON DAY VOWST? or what?). I couldn’t explain the PH in CATASTROPHE because my space expert was only an ASTROnomer and not the ASTROPHysicist. But many really superb clues, like COINCIDED and EITHER. And I did spell INVEIG(H/LED) correctly.
  32. 33:40. A bit late as I didn’t have time to comment this morning as I had to leave to meet friends in Norwich for a harey walk. Held up mostly by the SW corner where AYESAYER proved not to be the right answer and struggling to remember El Cid. DOPPELGANGER and ATRIUM my favourites and an honourable mention to PROTOCOL… too cool, indeed. Not sure why it took me so long, which I reckon is a mark of a good puzzle. Thanks setter and jackkt.

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