Times Cryptic 27194

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

This was a slow but steady solve and took me 62 minutes in all with only one answer unknown and no queries of any significance.

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 Seen wandering by trail over the hill? (9)
SENESCENT – Anagram [wandering] of SEEN, SCENT (trail)
6 I carefully note foremost of usual debs coming out (2,3)
IN BUD – I, NB (carefully note – nota bene), U{sual} + D{ebs} [foremost]
9 A bottle with contents switched is to be of use (5)
AVAIL – A + V{ia}L (bottle) becomes A + VAIL [with contents switched]
10 Bar books concealing shortage completely (9)
BLACKBALL – B+B (books) containing [concealing] LACK (shortage), ALL (completely)
11 Theatrical credits clamour to include one theatre worker (7,8)
MUSICAL DIRECTOR – Anagram [theatrical] of CREDITS CLAMOUR containing [to include] I (one). An unusual anagrind but one of its meanings is ‘eccentric’ so I think it’s okay.
13 Learner to try to get a good score in archery (8)
BEGINNER – BEG (try to get), INNER (good score in archery – next outside the bullseye)
14 High billions something of interest to gamblers? (6)
BLOTTO – B (billions), LOTTO (something of interest to gamblers). ‘High’ and ‘blotto’ are just two of many hundreds of colloquial terms for ‘drunk’.
16 US city getting international news (6)
LATEST – LA (US city), TEST (international). The ‘latest’ can refer to news or fashion or various other things, so we’re in DBE territory.
18 Noblewoman I start to see in pubs (8)
BARONESS – ONE (I) + S{ee} [start] contained by [in] BARS (pubs)
21 Adorable and mundane, strange heavenly vision (9,6)
ANDROMEDA NEBULA – Anagram [strange] of ADORABLE MUNDANE. I knew both words in the answer but not in combination.
23 Recalled a baker in blue, strangely unpleasant (9)
UNLIKABLE – A+ KILN (baker) reversed [recalled] in anagram [strangely] of BLUE
25 Leading article — six Times rejected (5)
AHEAD – A (article), HE{x}AD (six) [times rejected]
26 One in eight gardeners trimming borders (5)
ROWER – {g}ROWER{s} (gardeners) [trimming borders]. Eight being the usual number in a team of rowers unless its four.
27 Put out LP? Miss securing source of funds (9)
DISCOMFIT – DISC (LP?), OMIT (miss) containing [securing] F{unds} [source]
1 Opening up to welcome Queen after small crowd (5)
SWARM – S (small), MAW (opening) reversed [up] containing [to welcome] R (Queen).
2 The reading’s affected, having eye problems (4-7)
NEAR-SIGHTED – Anagram [affected] of THE READING’S. I had EYESTRAIN clued as ‘problem from too much reading’ in my blog for yesterday’s QC; what’s going on?
3 Wrong to accept lithium and cobalt — or this? (7)
SILICON – SIN (wrong) containing [to accept] LI (lithium) + CO (cobalt). ‘This’ is referring to a third element following on from the two already named in the clue.
4 Maintaining a stiff challenge? It’s what my job presents me with (8)
EMBALMER – Cryptic definition with reference to the rather unpleasant slang ‘stiff’ meaning a dead person and the embalmer’s job of  ‘maintaining’ the corpse.
5 Sad when kid in it turned up cold (6)
TRAGIC – RAG (kid) contained by [in] IT (reversed [turned up], C (cold)
6 Source of writing clearly supporting popular King (7)
INKWELL – IN (popular), K (king), WELL (clearly)
7 Stole or got from South American city (3)
BOA – BO{got}A (South American city) [‘got’ from…]
8 Irritated after mounting evidence of debts, not thinking straight (9)
DELIRIOUS – RILED (irritated) reversed [after mounting], IOUS (evidence of debts)
12 Costing expressed in notes? (2,3,4,2)
TO THE TUNE OF – A straight definition plus a cryptic hint with reference to music
13 Pester a lot of clubs to reduce investing in booze (9)
BELEAGUER – LEAGU{e} (a lot of clubs) [reduce] contained by [investing in] BEER (booze)
15 Chap gets on, securing right officials? (8)
MANAGERS – MAN (chap), AGES (gets on) containing [securing] R (right)
17 Game series reduced by 50% after securing no agreement (7)
SNOOKER – SER{ies} [reduced by 50%] containing [securing] NO + OK (agreement)
19 Newspaper, perhaps, wrapping store’s last old herb (7)
OREGANO – ORGAN (newspaper, perhaps) containing [wrapping] {stor}E [last], O (old)
20 Marine location‘s origin probed by sailor (6)
SEABED – SEED (origin, e.g. of an idea) containing [probed by] AB (sailor)
22 Gold European concealed from parliament in survey of accounts (5)
AUDIT – AU (gold), DI{e}T (parliament) [European concealed from…]
24 A lot of grass is something that could be laid down (3)
LAW – LAW{n} (grass) [a lot of]

51 comments on “Times Cryptic 27194”

  1. Like Jack, I knew ANDROMEDA & NEBULA, but not the combination. Got NEBULA right off, but had to wait for some checkers to sort out the remaining anagrist. Biffed a bunch. On edit: I Googled Andromeda Nebula, and found out that it isn’t a nebula; it’s the former name for the Andromeda Galaxy, so called before the nature of galaxies was understood and it was thought to be a nebula.

    Edited at 2018-11-13 07:49 am (UTC)

    1. I don’t care much for this kind of clue. Take a couple of random synonyms, modify one and put them together to form a third. It feels like trying to converse with a drunk.

      In much the same way, I decided I had better things to spend my time on.

  2. Got ’em all, but too tired to parse AHEAD… it might have come to me, eventually, but not tonight! Thanks, Jackkt.
    1. I meant to mention that as one of the bunch I biffed, but one I never figured out; and I’m pretty sure I never would have.
  3. Just squeaked in, taking 59 minutes of my hour. I liked this one; I enjoy the hard puzzles where afterwards you wonder what was taking so long and don’t find anything unfair.

    FOI 18a BARONESS (you can tell it’s a bad day when you get to the SE corner before putting an answer in), LOI, unaccountably, 15d MANAGERS.

    My mind went in all sorts of wrong directions today. I’ll draw a veil over my first guess at 4d; let’s just say I thought “no, that can’t be it, this isn’t the Guardian…”

    Edited at 2018-11-13 07:52 am (UTC)

  4. 30 mins with yoghurt, granola, blueberry compote, banana.
    Tricky enough but all nicely doable. LOI was Ahead after I convinced myself Hexad must be a word.
    Mostly I liked: To the tune of…
    Altogether now… Come back and make me your wife. And as Beleaguer started to go, she said “Keep your pretty head lo-oh-oh-oh-ow”.
    Thanks setter and J.
  5. 15:29. No great problems today until the end, when I got badly stuck on BEGINNER and BELEAGUER. I biffed AHEAD, made a note to myself to go back and check the parsing, and inevitably forgot. Got away with it this time.
  6. I found this reasonably straightforward, finishing with the slightly tricky BELEAGUER. COD to EMBALMER – nice touch of humour. I’m just a little disappointed that my schoolboyish mind hadn’t even thought of what I’m guessing gothick_matt and keriothe considered for this clue!
  7. 22:47. A slow but steady solve. Failed to parse AHEAD and AUDIT, so thanks for that Jack. ROWER my LOI after LAW. COD to SENESCENT as I may be seen wandering by a trail later as I go skirting around Kirtling with my local ramblers group.

    Edited at 2018-11-13 01:34 pm (UTC)

  8. !4.47 just cruisin’ through, but not working out what was going on in AHEAD bar the definition. Hesitated over BELEAGUER too, only because the LEAGUE bit didn’t seem to need reducing, at least until you counted the Es in BEER.
    To me, pairing ANDROMEDA with galaxy seems odder than with NEBULA, though even I am too young to remember when it was still open to debate – Wiki gives the 1920s as the age of resolution. I think I can trace that to one of my grandfather’s Wonders of Science books which would predate Hubble and co.
    I thought the stiff challenge was (of course) in poor taste, but I may spend the rest of the day trying not to think what Gothick and Keriothe were thinking.
    Thanks Jack for putting in the hard yards working out hexad. Saves the rest of us struggling.
  9. 39 minutes with AHEAD unparsed. LOI SEABED, needing UNLIKABLE which I would usually spell with an E and then wonder if i’d got it wrong. COD TO THE TUNE OF, a phrase much beloved of cost accountants. ANDROMEDA NEBULA took some seeing, but I’ll never forget the moment when the heavenly Julie Christie emerged in A for Andromeda on the television. I’ve googled it and it was the day before my 16th birthday. I think I got a ‘tranny’ radio for my main present the next day. My horizons were expanding rapidly! Enjoyable. Thank you Jack and setter.
  10. No BELEAGUER, thought I had one of the others wrong. Nice crossword though. As noted, ANDROMEDA NEBULA is no longer so named, this held me up. Rather liked AHEAD, once I’d worked it out.

    Could I mention that I won a prize for the Saturday before last? – first time ever. People seem to think this is because of some sort of expertise 🙂

    Thanks jack and setter

    Edited at 2018-11-13 10:18 am (UTC)

    1. Congratulations! There must be something in the air: I just had an unexpected parcel drop through the letterbox and it turned out to be the book awarded to the Guardian’s Saturday puzzle winners 🙂
  11. Pleasant steady solve with no problems

    It’s always been a galaxy to me so intrigued to find out it was once viewed as a nebula. Two interesting things about ANDROMEDA. First, you can see it with the naked eye and even better with only a small telescope. Second, its on a collision course with the Milky Way – so be prepared.

    1. Isn’t that due to be in something like 20 million (earth) years though?

      Although given the nature of our latest “charge” the next week could feel that long.

      1. Just my sense of humour Mike – much longer than that, several billion years as far as I know
  12. Is it just me who is confused by ‘investing’ (as in 13 down)? My first reaction is that the word that ‘invests’ should go round the outside — as in a city siege. I guess it could be taken either way. Andromeda and Crab are the only to nebulae that I know of, though I suppose there are several squillion. FOI Boa. LOI Embalmer. Not entirely happy with the word ‘challenge’ in that clue. I can see why the setter had to put it in, but it was a bit of a red herring.
  13. I thought IN BUD was rather neatly done, diagonally across from the gardeners. And I liked the ghoulish humour of EMBALMER and can safely say I never thought of anything else. 15.47 right behind Keriothe in the Club stats.
  14. ….AVAIL over the reason why I took far too long to spot 13D.

    Thanks to Jack for parsing AHEAD, which I took on trust. DNK ANDROMEDA NEBULA, but sorted out the anagrind to my satisfaction. It took me a few moments to work out BO(got)A.

    COD MUSICAL DIRECTOR (great anagrind !)
    TIME 13:15

  15. Very enjoyable, even though I realised a moment too late that UNLIKEBLE isn’t a word, idiot. I was also held up slightly by BELEAGUER, which is one of those words my brain sees as being wrongly spelled even when it isn’t. I also needed some persuasion that the NEBULA wasn’t an AURORA, which, apart from anything else, required a non-existent second R.
  16. Half an hour with AHEAD not parsed. Long anagrams first in helped. 4d and 13d took last 5 minutes to see, very smart clueing. Will tell Mrs K we have to go on more holidays and spend the pension fund before Andromeda arrives.
  17. 27’22. Another who didn’t parse the hexad or know consciously of the nebula or galaxy. At school we had inkwells in the desks. From 1 to 6 across reminders can appear – a minor pleasure of the magic grid.
    1. I remember inkwells with scratchy nibs on sticks posing as pens in my early schooldays and had the impression at the time that quill pens had only recently gone out of fashion. The ink was concocted in the schoolroom, made up from powder mixed with water. The ghost of Wackford Squeers pervaded the place!

      Edited at 2018-11-13 02:14 pm (UTC)

  18. . .tricky enough to test my solving skills. As an old boy of Bridlington Grammar, you don’t want to know what I tried to write in for 4 Down . .
  19. Had to really work on this: 41 mins. LOI was the notorious 4d — and ’embolden’ was the *only* other word that I could possibly find to fit there. I quite enjoyed the humour, even if some might consider it in bad taste.

    Word of the Day to BELEAGUER for its discombobulating sequence of letters.

    Thanks, jackkt, for your elucidating blog.

  20. This one started very slowly, with almost nothing in on a first pass. Then it picked up, leaving me with the bottom-west corner. I could not for the life of me see “BELEAGUER”, until at last I did, after trying “belabour” and finding that it didn’t fit the clue, the checkers or the available space.

    ANDROMEDA NEBULA wasn’t too hard once I’d subtracted NEBULA from the available letters. I think the term “galaxy” replaced “nebula” well before I was born, at the moment we discovered that the universe was about 100 billion times bigger than we had hitherto reckoned. For a time, I think the phrase “island universes” was used to refer to these other galaxies, until someone realized that there should, by definition, be only one universe. Now that we’ve discovered that the observable stuff in the universe is only a fraction of what there actually is, it makes one wonder where it will all end. Frankly, I think a world-view that takes in Scotland and the nicer parts of France covers most of what one needs to know.

  21. I started off by putting an S (from small at 1d) in the top left corner, then got 2d, which allowed me to get 1a and I was off to a great start. Like Tim, I biffed AURORA for the second part of 21a until OREGANO pointed out the error of my ways. Have just got back from my cousin’s club, where we played 3 frames of 17d. BELEAGUER and EMBALMER were my last 2 in and accounted for at least 5 minutes of my 29:40. I didn’t parse AHEAD. I remember darts on sticks and inkwells from school. My handwriting was always terrible whatever I used though! Long live the keyboard. An enjoyable puzzle. Thanks setter and Jack.

    Edited at 2018-11-13 02:57 pm (UTC)

  22. 14:22 finishing with BELEAGUER, surprise surprise. Like Kevin in reverse I saw Andromeda straight away but had to wait to get NEBULA.

    Fluffer doesn’t fit at 4d by the way.

  23. I’ve never seen ‘unlikeable’ without an ‘e’. I know the ToL’s readership is truly international these days, but must we really pander to American usage? With due respect to our American cousins, I doubt you would see any British spellings in the New York Times crossword. Mr Grumpy
    1. You raise an interesting point that hadn’t occurred to me either whilst solving or when writing the blog. But I’ve now looked it up and confirmed that ALL the usual sources list UNLIKABLE/LIKABLE as valid without any reference to either being an Americanism. In some of the dictionary entries the first listing is without the first E.
      1. Thanks. Yes you are right. But I am still reeling in anger from the ‘aw shucks’ clue that we had about a year ago, and my antenna still twitches at the slightest suspicion! Thankfully we haven’t yet reached the stage where ‘z’ replaces the ‘s’ in verbs. ‘Yet’. Thanks again. Mr Grumpy.
        1. Sorry to disappoint you Mr G, but I think all the Oxford dictionaries favour -ize over -ise.
  24. It was indeed a straightforward solve, 52 minutes, the last 10 or so of which were spent trying to parse AHEAD (until I realized that “six” was not going to be VI and the Times needn’t be a T and HEXAD would solve all my problems). I also never thought of anything but EMBALMER for 4dn and I’m sure from all the whispering that I really shouldn’t dare to ask: but what would it have been in the Guardian? Nice puzzle anyway, accessible to ordinary humans unlike yesterday’s.
  25. Solved all with no aids as I was at sea with no phone signal or internet. All correctly parsed as well. LOI LATEST in about two hours.
  26. 30:11, a decent though perhaps not quite stiff challenge of mostly steady solving until a bit of a hold up at the end over the two 13s, 16ac and LOI 4dn where I couldn’t see past embolden for a while. A nice round of one song 12dn another in yesterday’s ISIHAC.
  27. Same here, ending with BELEAGUER, and not parsing AHEAD. 20 minutes. Since it’s so late I don’t expect anyone to see this, so nothing more to add. Regards.

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