Times Cryptic 27206

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Solving time: 55 minutes, very nearly beaten by 1ac and 2dn but just managed to hold on until the answers came. We have a couple of complicated ‘Russian doll’ or nested constructions today in the wordplay.

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 Old Creator? (6)
FORMER – Two meanings, the second vaguely cryptic
5 Don’t talk nonsense about case of employee being slightly embarrassed (8)
SHEEPISH – SH (don’t talk) + PISH (nonsense) containing [about] E{mploye}E [case of…]
9 In rift, apprehension starts to affect rock music genre (7,3)
GANGSTA RAP – ANGST (apprehension) + A{ffect} + R{ock} [starts] contained by [in] GAP (rift)
10 Dead centre, miles inside (4)
NUMB – M (miles) contained by [inside] NUB (centre). NUMB for ‘dead’ came up very recently, so it was in my mind.
11 Setter weary before end of house party (8)
JAMBOREE – JAM (setter), BORE (weary), {hous}E [end]. We’ve had JAM for ‘setter’ before but I took ages to think of it today having spent forever considering ‘sun’ which is the more usual cryptic ‘setter’ when dogs and crossword compilers are not being referenced. I always thought JAMBOREE came from the days of Empire, possibly the Raj, because I associate it with the Scout movement which has or had traditions steeped in that era, but the dictionaries say it originated as US slang in the 19th century.
12 Tell anyone but me: frankly, content unnecessary (6)
NOTIFY – NOT I (anyone but me), F{rankl}Y [content unnecessary]. Neat!
13 European Parliament in crisis on all fronts — long story (4)
EPIC – E{uropean}, P{arliament}, I{n}, C{risis} [all fronts]. My lips are sealed!
15 Furious to discover affair (8)
SEETHING – SEE (discover), THING (affair – love affair, romance)
18 Day having a rest rejuvenated climber (8)
MONSTERA – MON (day), anagram [rejuvenated] of A REST. Known to me only from crosswords, but one of its varieties is the Swiss cheese plant.
19 Bank simply ignoring me (4)
RELY – {me}RELY (simply) [ignoring me]
21 Almost expected to feed bagpiper’s habit, man always playing? (6)
KIDULT – DU{e} (expected) [almost] contained by [to feed] KILT (bagpiper’s habit). The definition is a bit loose but the question mark attempts to paper over the cracks. As far as I have been able to confirm, this portmanteau word means an adult who is interested in entertainment that’s intended for children, so a ‘man always playing’ is not necessarily a KIDULT. Alternatively it is an adjective describing an entertainment that’s aimed both at children and adults. It came up here once before in 2012 and somehow I have remembered it.
23 Fit fifty helium cans into storeroom (8)
ATHLETIC – HE (helium) contains [cans] L (fifty) then that’s all contained by [into] ATTIC (storeroom). There’s no doubt that attics are often used to store things but I don’t think that’s what they’re designed for and I can’t find reference to ‘storeroom’ in the usual dictionary defintions.
25 Film not seen, reportedly? (4)
MIST – Sounds like [reportedly] “missed” (not seen)
26 After a bit, one willing to be bowled over by Charlie’s good spelling? (5,5)
WHITE MAGIC – WHIT (bit), GAME (willing) reversed (bowled over), I (one), C (Charlie – NATO alphabet)
27 Go below red line embroidered onto uniform (8)
UNDERLIE – U (uniform – NATO alphabet), anagram [embroidered] of RED LINE
28 All English Premier League teams advanced, stuffing outsiders in trophy (6)
TWENTY – WENT (advanced) contained by [stuffing] T{roph}Y [outsiders]. I gather there are 20 teams in the EPL.
2 Spiritual icon I see in US city (5)
OMAHA – OM (spiritual icon}, AHA (I see). OM was previously unknown to me but this is its entry in Collins: Hinduism – a sacred syllable typifying the three gods Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva, who are concerned in the threefold operation of integration, maintenance, and disintegration. It makes a change from the Order of Merit, I suppose.
3 A packet young men found under a stone, lifted up (9)
MEGABUCKS – A + GEM (stone) reversed [lifted up], BUCKS (young men). ‘Packet’ as in ‘cost a packet’.
4 Answerone required in experiment, perhaps? (6)
RETORT – Two meanings. The second remembered from school chemistry lessons.
5 Certain to arrest soldier donning dress if sozzled in Queensland suburb (7,8)
SURFERS PARADISE –  SURE (certain) contains [to arrest] PARA (soldier) which is itself contained by [donning] anagram [sozzled] of DRESS IF. It was fortunate for me that the answer is also an expression in its own right as I’ve never heard of the suburb nor even the city in which the suburb is located.
6 One getting bigger, bear no more being said? (8)
EXPANDER – EX (no more), PANDER sounds like [being said] “panda” (bear).
7 Old drink bottles for wine (5)
PINOT – PINT (drink) contains [bottles] O (old). In the UK ‘a pint’ as a drink is most likely to mean a pint of beer.
8 Important packs provided, round near the end (9)
SEMIFINAL – SEMINAL (important) contains [packs] IF (provided)
14 Legal requirement for faculty (9)
PROVISIONTwo meanings. On edit: Thanks to Kevin for pointing out this should be a single definition (legal requirement) parsed as: PRO (for), VISION (faculty). I had a query over the double myself but thought I had found something in one of the usual sources to justify it – clearly I was wrong. 
16 For which hack or chaser on course, ultimately? (5,4)
HORSE RACE – Anagram [hack] of OR CHASER, {cours}E [ultimately]. ‘Hack’ and ‘chaser’ are both types of horse.
17 Presenting act, a bird of the highest order entertains? (8)
BESTOWAL – BEST OWL (bird of the highest order) contains [entertains] A
20 Danger which carries on (6)
THREAT – THAT (which) contains [carries] RE (on)
22 Account, I expect, not entirely free (5)
UNTIE – Hidden [not entirely] in {acco}UNT I E{xpect}
24 Dunce demonstrating hint of intelligence in current mark (5)
IDIOT – I{ntelligence} [hint of] contained by  [in] I (current) + DOT (mark)

60 comments on “Times Cryptic 27206”

  1. Couldn’t remember the test tube thingie (if I ever knew it in the first place), so gave up the struggle after 50 minutes to look up which of ‘return’ and ‘retort’ was right.

    Lots of good stuff here, but FORMER gets top honours for its conciseness.

    1. Thanks. The only Gold Coast I ever heard of is/was in West Africa and not a city. ‘Schoolies’ is as bad as KIDULT in my book.
      1. Agree about ‘schoolies’, but I guess that is just part of the Aussie way of reducing everything to as few syllables as possible, but not to just one. Firemen are ‘firies’ and Salvation Army members are ‘Salvos’. On the other hand, it was once said that Mark Waugh, before he made it to the Test team, was known as ‘Afghanistan’ the forgotten Waugh’. I disputed that on the basis that Afghanistan, at 4, has far too many syllables for the average Aussie.
  2. SURFERS PARADISE a gimme for us Aussie solvers. It’s a slightly classier Antipodean version of Blackpool.

    The wordplay for BESTOWAL and similar clues is rather convoluted but I guess it works.

    Edited at 2018-11-27 03:51 am (UTC)

  3. To me Surfers Paradise is a beach or at a stretch a town, but I have to concede that with population growth across the Gold Coast it is now technically a suburb. I was agog to see which Queensland suburb Times solvers were expected to recognise!

    More substantially: the Monstera Deliciosa in our backyard doesn’t climb an inch! It just sits on the ground and bears fruit.

  4. Maybe under an hour; signed off at about 25′, finished it over lunch. NHO KIDULT, NWTHOIA (never want to hear of it again). I cleverly got the L and HE at 23ac, and persisted in trying for a word that had LHE in it. NHO of the suburb either, but biffed it on the basis of S _S/ A I E; wasn’t sure if it was a place name–dumb place name–or a common noun. Liked THREAT and NOTIFY.
  5. About 20 minutes (I was interrupted so no exact time).
    I haven’t been to SURFERS PARADISE but I have been to Noosa, which is close enough for me to have heard of the suburb. As others have noted though you don’t really need to know it. We were in Noosa during Schoolies Week, which was far less of a problem then the overwhelming and inescapable stench from rotting algal bloom.
    I rather like the word KIDULT: it describes nicely a certain type.
  6. Like our blogger I struggled in the NW corner, with OMAHA, FORMER and RETORT taking some time to yield. I didn’t know the other definition for retort so it was a toss up between this and return but retort seemed to fit the definition of answer a little better. COD to EXPANDER for its Pythonesque silliness.
  7. OMAHA required some prolonged meditation after LLAMA had been thought better of. And so yet another day of me taking the Snitch down a peg or two.
  8. 40 mins with yoghurt, granola, etc.
    Like others, I struggled in the NW. DNK Monstera or Kidult, but easily constructed.
    Mostly I liked: ‘good spelling’, Best Owl and COD to the convoluted Horse Race.
    Thanks setter and Jack.
  9. If I get any more practice pulling teeth, someone’ll give me an honorary doctorate in dentistry! Completely off the wavelength, with plenty unparsed and unknown, including the long 5d. On the plus side, I did manage to finish it all off correctly in 57 minutes.

    Very surprised to find the MONSTERA was a climber. I’ve got one right here, and it doesn’t look like it’ll be going upwards any time soon…

    FOI 13a EPIC, LOI 28a TWENTY, knowing nothing about football. Thanks for struggling through this one for us, Jack!

  10. I didn’t get to this till quite late, ran out of steam about halfway through but persevered, and was so frazzled that I couldn’t parse PINOT. D’oh! FORMER also took an unaccountably long time, and KIDULT was rather surprising… “Cost a PACKET” is new to me too.

    Edited at 2018-11-27 09:03 am (UTC)

  11. Didn’t enjoy this one – too much obscurity for my liking, and I was glad to see it off. Still preferable to listening to GANGSTA RAP, which I parsed post-solve along with WHITE MAGIC.

    TIME 17:36

  12. Found this a bit of a struggle, especially 1A. Some slightly quirky definitions such as the number of football teams in a particular league

    Knew SURFERS because I once gave the keynote address at a convention of auditors from Japan, Oz, NZ etc that met there. Strange place.

  13. Just returned from a long weekend in the beautiful city of Prague, where Mrs BW (a cockney whose ‘Us’ are indistinguishable from her ‘As) discovered the perils of weak homophones. She ordered a Duck Confit in the Cafe Louvre, Kafka’s favourite restaurant, only for a black coffee to arrive for her at the same time as my braised beef and dumplings. The time then taken for the right dish to arrive could well have been the inspiration for a rewrite of The Trial. We could hear all the staff ‘corpsing’ with the poor waiter.
    Constructed KIDULT without having the faintest idea about the word. Never heard of SURFER’S PARADISE but the fact it had to include SURE plus anagram did make it soluble. I’ve not used a RETORT since 1963 A level Chemistry. I used to have a MONSTERA Deliciosa until it died. Of course I knew how many teams in EPL. COD to FORMER. About 40 minutes.Thank you Jack and setter.

    Edited at 2018-11-27 10:04 am (UTC)

      1. I love EmmyLou trying to guess where he’s off next on Desire. And your number one? A hard rain’s a gonna fall, Like a rolling stone, Visions of Johanna, Tangled up in blue, Blind Willie McTell, Mississippi…. ?
        1. It’d be close to my number one, but never admit it – always claim there’s one that’s better. The whole of Desire was excellent, Blonde on Blonde too. But Leonard Cohen should have got the Nobel Prize.
          1. I love Lenard Cohen too, but for me it went to the right man. None of it would have happened without him, and his chaotic imagery has been with me ever since I bought Freewheelin’ back in 1963 on a sixth-former’s pocket money.
  14. My personal SNITCH would be a fetching shade of green today having polished this off in 17:49. Delighted to have got MEGABUCKS GANGSTA RAP and KIDULT so quickly (or indeed at all). Even as a newly qualified OAP I can clearly still get down with the yoof.
  15. 51 mins. I got frustrated with this — and cheated on the Aussie beach clue. Took ages to work out what kind of RAP it could be that began with G and was sure that AHA was an element of 2d, but the US city was slow to come to mind. On the other hand, school chemistry lessons saw me alright with RETORT, KIDULT was known to me and clear from the bagpiper’s habit, I saw MEGABUCKS = ‘a packet’ quite quickly and, although I had no idea that the football league contains just 20 teams, the wordplay fixed it.
    Excellent blog — many thanks.
  16. 36 minutes, with most of the top half requiring intense study before revealing its secret. So frazzled I couldn’t even remember if OMAHA was a state or a city, only that it was where Lady Fanny came from (cf Dirty Rotten Scoundrels).
    I didn’t parse HORSE RACE, and only flimsily grasped the Queensland suburb’s construction. I only worked out that Gold Coast was not just a seafront designation from remembering the Commonwealth Games, but thought until now that SURFERS PARADISE was just a bit of tourism hype which could be applied to anywhere with waves.
    I’m not quite sure whether this was brilliant or just taxing. Maybe I’ll settle for tricky.
  17. 27 mins; steady solve with no dramas. Didn’t know monstera or om, but the wordplay was generous. Kidult again from WP – only twigged the portmanteau after I’d written it in. All EPL teams = 20 is stretching it a bit, I thought. I’m probably being a bit thick here: how does provision = faculty? Great blog, cheers.
  18. “Zimmer” was the only thing I could think of for 1a for a long time – until I eventually got 2d and the penny dropped!
  19. So far off the wavelength I might have been on a hand-cranked telephone. I did’t know OM was the spiritual icon, I thought it was just the noise you made when meditating. Left it to stew for an hour or 2 before making the effort to finish so no time.
    1. ‘Icon’ misled me, too; I knew, sort of, ‘om mani padme hum’, one of your top-40 Buddhist mantras, and there’s the loony sect responsible for the sarin attack in Tokyo 20+ years ago, for some reason romanized as Aum Shinrikyo. Thanks to Ulaca, and Collins, for the information; I’ll keep it in mind the next time, which will be the first time, I meditate.
  20. Not very impressed. Never heard of GANGSTARAP but I suspect I wouldn’t like it. The number of teams in the EPL may be a passable definition for some but it seems pretty poor to me. Took ages to get SURFERS PARADISE even though I’ve lived in Oz for 30 years – never been there. I share Jack’s reservations about ATTIC.
    1. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Why not give F*** Da Police by Niggaz Wit Attitudes a go? 😉
  21. Other than the particular meaning of OM I had all the required GK for this (the plant, the suburb, the “music” genre, the number of teams in the Prem) but still needed 16:20 to wrestle this into submission. My last two were FORMER and ATHLETIC so I agree with others who thought them tricky.
  22. Teetered on the verge of being a bit too loose/obscure, but never crossed the line IMO, and was consistently entertaining. That NW corner still took a lot of working out, mind. Glad to see I wasn’t alone in thinking “How am I ever going to get a Queensland suburb, this is ridiculous, far too esoteric, what was the setter thinking, I shall be writing to the editor oh wait I do know it, as you were”. Today’s unexpected ear-worm: Peyton Manning shouting OMAHA.
  23. I found this hard going with GANGSTA RAP, OMAHA and FORMER my last 3 in, accounting for around 15 minutes of my 64:13. I wasted a lot of time trying to fit some version of I see into LA. KIDULT arrived quickly, but MONSERAT caused me some struggles in the SW until I revisited it and was bestowed with 17d. I hadn’t heard of the Oz suburb, but spotted the ingredients and was eventually able to concoct it. No trouble finding a RETORT. Thanks setter and Jack.
  24. 36 minutes on the timer – but I needed to stop after half an hour with the whole NW quarter blank, to go shopping. On return, saw 1ac at once, giving me the rest in a couple of minutes – hence actual solving time rather more.
    As with Z. I didn’t know 5dn as an actual place name, but a few checkers and the wordplay made it clear what was needed.
  25. 33′ on paper. Rather liked KIDULT. I have an idea that a panda is not a bear at all, rather like the koala is not…

    Thanks jack and setter.

    Edited at 2018-11-27 02:13 pm (UTC)

  26. Enjoyed the different approach and the different vocabulary.
    MONSTERA are houseplants in the UK but enormous in tropical jungles. The biggest tree I ever saw was a Ficus benjamina in Sri Lanka (I thought that it was a wooded hill not an individual plant). Almost every London office has one in the corner struggling to reach 2 metres.
  27. Dozed off with just the Ozzie suburb to go. Couldn’t believe we could be expected to name a . Brisbane suburb, so assumed (when it finally clicked) that in a generic way Queensland towns all had suburbs that were beach. Was dubious about kidult, ganghsta rap etc but on second thoughts they do perk things up a bit. In moderation.
  28. One of the worst crosswords in a long time, with some bizarre devices and surfaces. ‘Not I’ doesn’t equate to ‘anyone but me’ IMO. Not precise enough. The surface of 5d is not only a complete mess, but describing Surfers Paradise as a ‘Queensland suburb’ is like saying Croydon is an England suburb. Not technically or geographically incorrect, but as a foreigner you would be none the wiser as to where it actually is. Why not say ‘Gold Coast resort (or suburb)’? 17d is a bit clunky and nonsensical too. I agree with others about ‘kidult’ and ‘attic’-again, just not precise enough. COD, the beautiful ‘threat’, but it’s wasted in this offering. Mr Grumpy
  29. Set off with hopes ‘ilo’ in NY or LA, and found a Hawaiian ruler called liloa that caused some confusion . . But why ‘in’ US city, wouldn’t for US city be better?
  30. Hope I’m not just repeating what’s been said; I may have missed something: It would have been quite simple to start 28ac with ‘Number of’ instead of ‘All’ and surely that wouldn’t have ruffled any feathers. And in 9ac for a long time I was thinking that the second word was ‘arm’ and the definition ‘genre’.
  31. Around 20 minutes, held up only in the NW by FORMER, OMAHA and RETORT, which all went in together at the end. Didn’t remember or maybe didn’t know of the lab device, didn’t know the icon meaning re ‘om’ either. Happily the obscure suburb had user friendly wordplay, else it would have taken even longer. Strange name for a place, but it certainly conjures up images of what must go on there. Regards.
  32. In sharp contrast to many, I loved it. Yes it was challenging and weird at points. But it was consistent and fun – still laffin’ at the ex panda
  33. Finished but had to use aids for 3 clues (beaten by Bestowal, Gangsta Rap and Monstera) – so DNF, I suppose.
    Actually, I was raging at Gangsta Rap being classified as Rock Music – until I read this blog and realised that Rock was only there to provide the R. So, the Setter got me there, fair dinkum, as they say in Surfers.
  34. Seized up in the NW after a reasonably regular solve and had to revert to help for OMAHA after which it all fell into place. Had GANGNAM RAP for rather too long which didn’t help.
    COD SEMIFINAL which had me barking up several wrong trees
  35. 44:28. Feels like a variation on the old good cop / bad cop routine from the setters so far this week. Yesterday’s setter made us comfortable and got us a nice cup of tea; today’s setter came in and duffed us up with a telephone directory. That said I enjoyed today’s challenge and found it a very satisfying completion. Yesterday’s old, crosswordy vocab fitted like a comfy pair of slippers, today’s modern gangsta rap, surfers paradise, kidult and Megabucks were hard fought and all the more pleasing when wrestled into submission. Dnk the chemistry apparatus at 4dn but retort seemed likeliest. Needed a bit of time to appreciate that day was not part of the anagrist in 18ac. LOI 14dn where I spent too long trying to make it a double Def before spotting the wp.
  36. Unsatisfactory for many reasons previously mentioned. Did not like OM as an ‘icon’; constructed SURFERS’ PARADISE but thought it obscure and our MONSTERA never climbed anywhere! Around 50 mins before and after sleep.
  37. Can someone tell me who the setter of this terrific crossword is please? As difficult as Dean Meyer and similar style but I don’t think it’s him. 1a was the last to reveal itself, oddly – such a good clue, as is Threat and Expander. I didn’t get the football one, being a mere Aussie.
    1. Setters of the Times daily 15×15 puzzle are anonymous as a matter of policy. Some people know who some or possibly all of them are as a group but they are not identified with individual puzzles. There’s supposed to be a TftT house rule about not outing them but there’s never been a need for it to be invoked in my experience because there’s very little speculation on the subject. The only two names I can recall coming up are Dean Mayer(as mentioned by you) who sets for the Sunday Times, and Don Manley who sets Times Quick Cryptics as Izetti.

      Edited at 2019-01-04 06:36 am (UTC)

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