Times Cryptic 27200

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

I completed the grid in 61 minutes but this was a technical DNF as I used aids to unscramble the intersecting anagrams at 14dn and 18ac, both of which answers were  unknown to me, or long-forgotten.

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 Part of mouth involved in a quiet falsetto? (4,6)
SOFT PALATE – Anagram [involved] of A P (quiet) FALSETTO
6 Announced very full agreement (4)
PACT – Sounds like [announced] “packed” [very full]
9 Commander with name badge attached in a particular shape (7)
OCTAGON – OC (commander), TAG (name badge), ON (attached)
10 Spell to remember vividly, full of energy (7)
RELIEVE – RELIVE (remember vividly), containing [full of] E (energy). I don’t think I knew this meaning of ‘spell’ but Collins has: to take over from (a person) for an interval of time; relieve temporarily.
12 Old Presbyterian binding witches to stake with a bit of rope (10)
COVENANTER – COVEN (witches), ANTE (stake – bet), R{ope} [a bit of…]. I knew this word, having once stayed at a Covenanters Inn in Scotland.
13 Daughter abandons dreadful passion (3)
IRE – {d}IRE (dreadful) [daughter abandons]
15 Art of self-defence gives splendid child a rounded character (6)
AIKIDO – A1 (splendid), KID (child), O (a rounded character). I thought it was a puzzle, but heigh-ho!
16 Announces journeyit starts from here? (8)
AIRSTRIP – AIRS (announces), TRIP (journey)
18 Rock band so bad I must repeatedly interrupt (8)
OBSIDIAN –  More than one I is contained by [I must repeatedly interrupt] anagram [bad] of BAND SO. I didn’t know the word and was missing one of the checkers, so having identified the anagrist I used a solver to place it in the correct order. Further research revealed this has come up four times previously in puzzles I have solved and each time it passed without comment from me.
20 Broken fragments presenting girl with no end of danger (6)
DEBRIS – DEB (presenting girl), RIS{k} (danger) [no end]. Debutantes  (‘debs’ for short) used to be presented to the Queen in a ceremony at Court. Her Majesty abolished all that in 1958.
23 A little information should come back shortly (3)
TAD – DAT{a} (information) [shortly] reversed [should come back]
24 Sum not completed in crucial test (6-4)
ELEVEN-PLUS – 11 + ? (sum not completed). This school examination began to be phased out from 1976 onwards but is still retained by some local authorities. It was a ‘crucial test’ because a pass or fail determined the type of secondary education the pupil would receive in subsequent years.
26 Girl fills reverse of dry forms (7)
CLASSES – LASS (girl) is contained by [fills] SEC (dry) [reverse]
27 Dull, like a mountain lake? (7)
TARNISH – TARN-ISH (like a mountain lake – Uxbridge English Dictionary)
28 Dead queen ignored by count (4)
NUMB – NUMB{er} (count) [queen ignored]
29 Amateur work involves quieter, spirited works? (10)
DISTILLERY – DIY (amateur work – Do-It-Yourself) contains [involves] STILLER (quieter)
1 Ox that brings up young (4)
STOT – TOTS (young) is reversed [brings up]. One of those crossword words.
2 Joint where gang takes in film (7)
FETLOCK – FLOCK (gang) contains [takes in] ET (film)
3 Obstinacy characteristic of Animal Farm? (13)
PIGHEADEDNESS – A cryptic hint with reference to the pigs who were heads of the farm in Orwell’s allegorical tale.
4 Before university, acquire a coach (6)
LANDAU – LAND (acquire), A, U (university)
5 Prepare to run: go, dog! (4,4)
TURN TAIL – TURN (go), TAIL (dog)
7 A row about meal taken regularly in drawing room (7)
ATELIER – A, TIER (row) containing [about] {m}E{a}L [taken regularly]. A drawing room in the sense that it can be an artist’s studio.
8 Play time theme: pets to be groomed (3,7)
THE TEMPEST – T (time), anagram [to be groomed] of THEME PETS
11 In ground speed test overlapping title-holders (5,8)
LORDS TEMPORAL – LORDS (ground – cricket),  TEMPO (speed) + {o}RAL (test) [overlapping]. Lords Temporal are the members of the House of Lords other than the Bishops who are Lords Spiritual.
14 Appoint criminal to study prison (10)
PANOPTICON – Anagram [criminal] of APPOINT, CON (study). My second defeat. The word has not appeared here before in a puzzle but it was mentioned several times in a discussion involving Kevin Gregg around this time last year. I’m sure I read it with interest at the time but the word didn’t stick.
17 Wears kit adapted: one way to follow a boat (5,3)
WATER SKI – Anagram [adapted] of WEARS KIT
19 Love to drill through card to find pistol (7)
SIDEARM – DEAR (love) contained by [to drill through] SIM (card)
21 Debauched man saves money for habit (7)
ROUTINE – ROUE (debauched man) contains [saves] TIN (money)
22 Hurry away and keep busy (4,2)
BEAT IT – BE AT IT (keep busy)
25 Watery liquid from height dropping into uprooted tree (4)
WHEY – H (height) contained by [dropping into] YEW (tree) reversed [uprooted]. Wot Little Miss Muffett ate with her curds.

48 comments on “Times Cryptic 27200”

  1. I’m sure others will remind us that a PANOPTICON was a form of institution designed by Jeremy Bentham to enable one person to observe a large number of people without being observed him or herself. Bentham also comes to us courtesy of the Python’s “Philosophers’ Song”:
    “New-Bruce will be teaching political science, Machiavelli, Bentham, Locke, Hobbes, Sutcliffe, Bradman, Lindwall, Miller, Hassett, and Benaud….”.
  2. Everything in in 22:26, except 1d, which, after 8 minutes of alphabet manipulation–as always with me, desultory and incomplete–I threw in the proverbial. NHO STOT, which didn’t help. I biffed wot Vinyl biffed, along with LORDS TEMPORAL, although the TEMPORAL took a bit of time. I have no memory whatever of talking about the PANOPTICON; I’d love to know what the discussion was.
      1. Thanks, Jack; having read the entire blog, I still have no memory of this. Perhaps it was my evil twin writing.
  3. 37 minutes and remarkably just 2 Verlaines. Did he pop out to take the kids to school, I wonder, and forget to pause the clock? Not everything thoroughly known, but the tricky ones well enough known to be put in with some confidence. PANOPTICON sounds nothing like a prison and everything like a kaleidoscope. No wonder they never bothered to build one.

    COVENANTERS a write-in courtesy of Scott’s Old Mortality. STOT a complete guess.

    1. They were built, and thoroughly vile, being run on a total isolation regime. Eg Port Arthur, Tasmania. The guides allege those who survived and were released (at end of sentence/parole) were institutionalised and could not cope with the world, some indeed begged to be readmitted. (Daleofoz: long time blog admirer)
  4. A 70 minute DNF, with 1d defeating me despite the usual fruitless alphabet search coming up with the ridiculous ‘sdop’ – I still put it in anyway.

    A few obscure words such as COVENANTER entered from the wordplay. Fortunately I did remember OBSIDIAN from previous puzzles.

    I liked the ‘overlapping’ bit of 11d, the ‘presenting girl’ of 20a and the ‘spirited works’ def. of 29a.

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

  5. …on Lords Temporal. Maybe a distant memory, one or two neurons fired, but I was sort of expecting Latin or French word for the second word. With the L Distillery became obvious – that sort of spirited works, I was expecting an unknown liturgical tome. Managed to correctly build unknown covenanter from the cryptic and guess unknowns panopticon & stot, the former in desperation, the latter after a complete alphabet trawl.
    Rating: difficult, tending to obscure.
  6. Apparently quite a lucky 38 minutes for me!

    My continual immersion in low culture paid off: I learned OBSIDIAN in my misspent youth because in Star Trek: Deep Space 9 the Obsidian Order are the Cardassian secret police.

    Plus, I first heard PANOPTICON as the name for the seat of the parliament on Gallifrey. Perhaps it was thinking of Doctor Who that eventually got me to the LORDS TEMPORAL, too, and put me in mind of 15a: the Doctor is a master of Venusian AIKIDO.

    Enjoyed 27a TARNISH and 7d’s “drawing room”. FOI 2d FETLOCK, LOI 20a DEBRIS, where I just thought of “Deb” as short for Deborah and hadn’t spotted the “presenting” bit. Thanks to setter and Jackkt.

    Edited at 2018-11-20 07:22 am (UTC)

  7. Slowed up by the unknown Panopticon and Stot. I didn’t expect Stot to be correct. Neat!

    COD: A 3 way tie. Tarnish, Debris and The Tempest.

  8. Agreed that this felt like a bit of a GK-fest. I must have encountered STOT in the Mephisto and a search reveals that it cropped up here earlier this year.
  9. 18:26. STOT and PANOPTICON were vaguely familiar fortunately, or I might have struggled. COVENANTER and AIKIDO from wordplay. I knew OBSIDIAN from playing Minecraft with my kids!
  10. Much the same experience as others with a dictionary check for PANOPTICON before writing it in. As Jack says, STOT is one of those words that appears to exist only in crosswords. Some obscure stuff for new solvers to wrestle with.

    I well remember the 11+ which my father made me prepare for by doing test papers for a year before the exam itself. As a result I passed and it did indeed change my life.

  11. 45 mins with yoghurt, granola, blueberries, etc.
    The first few obscure-ish words made me wary so I hesitated for ages over LOI Beat it.
    I convinced my self there was a noun ‘Relieve’ meaning a spell on watch. “Will you take the first relieve, Sergeant Wilson?” But no – it appears Spell has that verb meaning. Well I never.
    Thanks setter and J.
  12. Usual 30 minutes with only STOT uncertain (I thought it was a horse). NEAT jumped into my mind when I saw OX (and I tried to reverse TEEN to fit).

    Same as Jimbo on the 11+ (hence I did Geology A level, hence I knew OBSIDIAN).

  13. Hmm, when it comes to crossword vocabulary size does matter, it seems. Heard of everything today. To be fair to STOT, it may not come up in polite London circles very much but I bet if you went to the Tan Hill Inn or the Hawes working mens club, they would all know the word. Anybody live nearby, and care to have a go?

  14. ….33% of my time spent in one corner – SW today.

    Thanks to Jack for parsing LORDS TEMPORAL, and SIDEARM, and for explaining PANOPTICON, which was a hopefully biffed DNK. Also, for confirming my thoughts on RELIEVE, where I’d never seen the usage, but correctly guessed its relevance.

    COD BEAT IT (loved “be at it”)
    TIME 10:33

    Edited at 2018-11-20 09:44 am (UTC)

  15. …the Covenanter chorus, a Church youth group I was a member of. It was good advice for today’s puzzle. 39 minutes. Like Aston Villa , I was unsure about STOT, and wished I’d thought first of it being a neat clue. But the OBSIDIAN/ PANOPTICON crosser took perseverance. I hit on OBSIDIAN first, playing round with the letters, not absolutely sure if it was a rock or a geological period. I then realised the CON had an anagram in front of it too, producing PANOPTICON and the greatest happiness for me and the Guard, if not for the greatest possible number. COD to the ELEVEN-PLUS. Thank you Jack and setter.

    Edited at 2018-11-20 09:45 am (UTC)

  16. 35 minutes with a diversion on the way, but I thought this was on the tough side.
    PANOPTICON I remembered from Dr Who but not as that room on Gallifrey, rather the box they imprisoned the Matt Smith version in in “The Big Bang”. I couldn’t believe that would be the reference for a Times crossword, but put it in anyway on the strength of the wordplay. Turns out that box was the Pandorica anyway. Right for really wrong reasons, then.
    STOT from Mephisto, where it’s usually what antelopes and such do.
    COVENANTERS was (is?) also a youth organisation in some churches, a sort of non-uniformed Boys Brigade.
    I did like this setter’s quixotic approach to definitions: drawing room, way to follow a boat, that sort of thing. Jack is to be congratulated on seeing it all through.
  17. I have found that I do crosswords better if I am short of sleep, hence today’s 18′, better than verlaine and keriothe!

    I have a brown belt in AIKIDO, am a fan of Game of Thrones, and note there are two Orwell allusions (‘AIRSTRIP one’ maybe our future…)

    The 11+ was abolished in London in 1964, so I missed it by one year. At the age of ten I acquired a book of tests, which I thought were puzzles. I couldn’t do them. However, after then looking up a few answers, I easily whizzed through the entire book, only realizing much much later that this was the fabled test which could ensure or permanently damage your future.

    Thanks jack and setter.

  18. The old ones (not the modern youth group) were, as I recall, a bunch of Bible-thumping Scotsmen who managed to get up the noses of Charles I, Charles II, and Parliament back in the day and were finally seen off by Cromwell’s New Model Army. Milton wrote a well-known poem about them with the line “New Presbyter is but old priest writ large”.

    This puzzle was a sort of slow-slow-quick-quick-slow shuffle and didn’t take quite as long as I thought at the time. I get PANOPTICON and pantechnicon confused (and I agree with Ulaca about the kaleidoscope) and I was very slow to see SIDEARM and DISTILLERY. 22.05

  19. 16 and a bit today, and given the illustrious names below me on the leaderboard (Verlaine, keriothe, topical Tim to name but 3) would suggest that something clicked somewhere.

    The unknown PANOPTICON was LOI, but given checkers and wordplay I couldn’t come up with anything else that looked even vaguely like a word.

    1d known because, well, crosswords.

  20. Lots of nice touches here, like the spirited works and the incomplete sum. Cricketers will be familiar with 10ac – your veteran left-arm spinner might get “spelled” if he’s looking weary after bowling thirty-five overs in the day.

    I was less pleased after having to resort to an alphabet trawl for 1dn, which always makes for an unsatisfactory solve; STOT is one of those crossword-y words which has clearly passed me by, I thought, and I was quite right, as it also passed me by as recently as April, when I last commented that I didn’t know it. In fairness, I seem to have failed to add it to my list of “words I keep not knowing”, but it’s there now. I look forward to the next instalment of our struggle at some point in 2019.

  21. 33′ half-dead with trying to get out of Stot, fortunately not succeeding. Thought ‘prison’ might have been a misprint for ‘prism’ in panopticon clue. Some tidy (since can’t use ‘neat’) clueing here. e.g. 11. And yet the total giveaway of 3.
  22. The various DNK’s held me up at the end – however felt that PANOPTICON couldn’t have been anything else (but still looked it up to be sure!) Struggled with 29a for ages before the penny dropped – my COD. Seem to remember doing the eleven plus, even though I was at prep school and didn’t need it.
  23. I knew the word, PANOPTICON, though not the meaning, probably from watching Dr Who, so was able to unscramble the anagram once I had OBSIDIAN, another familiar word whose meaning I would struggle to come up with. COVENANTER, again was vaguely familiar once I’d laboriously constructed it from the word play. ELEVEN PLUS held me up for a while, and I also remember my Father drilling me repeatedly for the year before it, no doubt inspired by his own experience of being forcefully ejected from school aged 14, and sent down the pit, a role he extracted himself from after 15 years by learning to fix radios in a shed in the back garden. Apparently I only exist because one radio he was working on had a short mains cable which came out of the socket when he received a shock and fell over backwards! FIREARM was eventually replaced by SIDEARM. Around 30 minutes elapsed dealing with everything bar 1d, which had me considering SYOB and SNOS until a laborious alphabet trawl came up with the more likely STOT. This dragged me out to 45:34 and left me with a slightly aggrieved feeling that a 4 letter word with 2 letters present should waste so much time, after an already quite tricky crossword had been dealt with. Thanks setter and Jack.
  24. 22:53 for a tricky beast indeed. Had I got the N and Ps in a different order in PANOwhatsit I’d have been a bit miffed. Also had to do an alphabet trawl at 1dn and thankfully STOT rang the faintest of cow bells.

    I wasn’t massively familiar with the Lords in question (presumably Doctor Who is one) but enjoyed the overlap in the wordplay.

  25. Left hand side went in quickly, right hand side less so. I knew STOT and PANOPTICON but couldn’t honestly tell you why. They form part of that huge passive-vocabulary section of my mental hard-drive which I fear is probably diminishing with the advancing years.

    I remember the 11+ well and, although it tends to get a bum rap these days, it provided me with an escape route which I shall always value.

    Time: All correct in 45 minutes.

    Thank you to setter and blogger.


  26. A slow 36 minutes thanks to the Stot, which I ended up having to check. Went to school with someone called Stott, and he was vaguely bovine, but that didn’t help. Panopticon I remembered from Victorian history books and prison reformers. I seem to recall it was seen as a good thing to have guards looking at you from above the whole time. But maybe that’s a false memory. Covenanter could have taken longer, but the coven bit gave it away. The double reading of beat it could also be be a tit, but that would breach decency rules — unless taken literally.
    1. ST 4367: 5 Go away and act the fool! (4,2). Feb 2010.
      But then that’s the Sunday Times, not unexpected.
      However, Times 26823: 20 Act like a fool? Get lost! (4,2) (Sept 2017) shows standards of good taste can and do slip even in our home from home.
  27. All done in 17 minutes bar STOT. After failing to find the word in 2 alphabet trawls, I gave in and used aids. PANOPTICON rang a vague bell – maybe from the blog Jack pointed us at, as did LORDS TEMPORAL. I see now I failed to parse SIDEARM, so thanks for that, Jack. DISTILLERY my COD.
  28. I had a flying start and zoomed through this getting nearly all of it in 20 minutes. Then it took me another 10 minutes to get LORDS TEMPORAL and DISTILLERY – both good clues that should have been straightforward. Once I had those the rest of the puzzle fell into place. I had no trouble with the GK – must have been on the wavelength there. I’m another who immediately referenced GoT for OBSIDIAN. 37 minutes. Ann
  29. ‘Overlapping’ (here, it’s in TEMPORAL) I have seen more than once as a technique in The Times, but not sure I like it. Other niggle the partial anagram of the difficult word PANOPTICON. STOT, well, if you must.

    Good stuff though, solidly put together. Took me about 50 minutes.

  30. Solved (slowly) on and off through the day. Everything was work-outable even if it took some time – all except for the dnk 1dn. I couldn’t work out how to make it up – so thanks for the explanation.
  31. Some biffing involved today, as I didn’t stop to parse SOFT PALATE, or at first the LORDS TEMPORAL, although I later figured out the wordplay. LOI was, no surprise, STOT. The PANOPTICON was in my head somewhere, but I needed most ( maybe all) of the crossing letters before it popped into mind. Regards.
  32. 43:59 with the last 7 or 8 mins on an alphabet trawl at 1dn. In the end stot was just preferable to snos and syob. Panopticon and obsidian were both known and fairly early entries for me. DNK that meaning of spell. Covenanter constructed from wp. I liked the presenting girl in 20ac and the drawing room in 7dn. A generally satisfying puzzle with some nice touches though I did find 1dn a bit frustrating.
  33. this puzzle.
    my ability.

    I gave up lacking LORDS TEMPORAL (though I did get TEMPORAL by a process of elimination) and COVENANTER

  34. DNF – stumped on five clues – despite having correctly biffed PANOPTICON from the anagrist at 14d (although the *prison* definition was new to me) as I was familiar with the word in relation to the Glasgow Panopticon, in its heyday a music hall where Stan Laurel, prior to famously hooking up with Oliver Hardy, is believed to have trodden the boards for the very first time in his comedic career.

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