Times Cryptic 27260

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

36 minutes. I was quite pleased with my solving time as there were some tricky moments along the way with a couple of subsitution clues that took some working out  – but I still managed to get one of them wrong!

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 Blue-green coat is mine — river’s damaged outside (9)
VERDIGRIS – Anagram [damaged] of RIVER’S contains [outside] DIG (mine)
6 Grey and unfashionable plaster (5)
GROUT – GR (grey), OUT (unfashionable). Gr = grey in horsy circles as discussed here recently.
9 Submarine’s left for a means of securing something (1,4)
U BOLT – U-BO{a}T (submarine) becomes U BOLT when L (left) stands in for A. Also the hyphen is dispensed with. Not a term I’m familiar with.
10 Trouble to dish out praise (9)
ADORATION – ADO (trouble), RATION (dish out)
11 Regular shade used outside a little (7)
HABITUE – HUE (shade) contains [used outside] A + BIT (little)
12 Leak linking visit to young boy up in court (7)
SEEPAGE – SEE (visit), PAGE (young boy up in court). A nice shot at misdirection here as ‘up in court’ immediately suggests legal proceedings rather than royal circles.
13 Learning about criminal in test gets a boy to see sense (6,2,6)
LISTEN TO REASON – LORE (learning) contains [about] anagram [criminal] of IN TEST, then A, SON (boy)
17 Form, one composed and universal — exactly so (9,5)
CLASSICAL MUSIC – CLASS (form), I (one), CALM (composed), U (universal), SIC (exactly so)
21 Mediterranean resort opposed to beds, with 500 being axed (7)
ANTIBES – ANTI (opposed), BE{d}S [500 – D – being axed]
23 Scottish scientist is the biggest possible bore (7)
MAXWELL – MAX (biggest possible), WELL (bore). James Maxwell: Scottish mathematical physicist famous for his work on electromagnetism.
25 Optimism about mostly sound old knight (9)
CHEVALIER – CHEER (optimism) containing [about] VALI{d} (sound) [mostly]
26 Employment of learned person after university (5)
USAGE – U (university), SAGE (learned person)
27 Record includes unknown composer (5)
LISZT – LIST (record) contains [includes] Z (unknown)
28 Antics succeeded in transforming hero Macbeth? (9)
HORSEPLAY – S (succeeded) contained by [in] anagram [transforming] of HERO, then PLAY (Macbeth)
1 See gold cross on entrance for former pleasure garden (8)
VAUXHALL – V (see), AU (gold), X (cross ), HALL (entrance). I got this from the definition straight away and reverse-engineered from there. The old pleasure gardens closed back in the 1800s but after redevelopment in the late 20th century a public park was reinstated and later renamed Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens.
2 Shape character of Greek doctor (5)
RHOMB – RHO (character of Greek), MB (doctor). An alternative to  ‘rhombus’ of which I was unaware.
3 Ruined home time slicing potatoes (2,7)
IN TATTERS – IN (home), T (time) contained by [slicing] TATERS (potatoes)
4 Test substance of date shown in lease (7)
REAGENT – AGE (date) contained by [shown in] RENT (lease)
5 Promoter of scent containing even pieces of anise (7)
SPONSOR – SPOOR (scent) containing {a}N{i}S{e} [even pieces]
6 Old cricketer’s grand career (5)
GRACE – G (grand), RACE (career). W.G.
7 Like birds round celebrity endlessly excite (9)
OVIPAROUS – O (round), VIP (celebrity), AROUS{e} (excite) [endlessly]. Well who’d have thought it? OVI- words to do with creatures laying eggs are as rare as hen’s teeth in Times Cryptics, but we’ve now had them on two consecutive days. Today’s word has turned up only once before in the TftT era, in a puzzle set last October. Following the appearance of ‘ovipOsit’ yesterday it was fortunate that the A was a checked letter  today or it would have been a sure-fire misspelling for me.
8 Fragile £10 with no date for new note? (6)
TENDER – TE{NN}ER (£10) becomes TENDER when ND (no date) is substituted for N (new) + N (note). I couldn’t decide which way round this worked when I was solving and opted for TENNER, thinking that ‘no date’ indicated removal of the D, but having discovered my error after the event I then discovered that n.d. is a recognised abbreviation for ‘no date’, something that had not previously come to my attention.
14 What obsessive does for peanuts and vegetables (5,4)
SPLIT PEAS – Nut (obsessive) is required to SPLIT ‘PEAS’ to make the word ‘peanuts’
15 Think highly of including unknown trade union in amalgamation (9)
ADMIXTURE – ADMIRE (think highly of) containing [including] X (unknown) + TU (trade union)
16 Where dishwasher went cruelly wrong after last of rinses (8)
SCULLERY – {rinse}S [last], anagram [wrong] of CRUELLY. The past-tense is appropriate because it’s an old-fashioned word and not many properties lay claim to a scullery these days, but there was one in my grandparents’ house in Kew Gardens so I didn’t have to dig very deep to bring it to mind.
18 Orwell’s town Wigan is primarily swamped by bad chips (7)
IPSWICH – W{igan} I{s} [primarily] contained [swamped] by anagram [bad] of CHIPS. ‘Orwell’ here has nothing to do with Eric Blair despite the reference to Wigan (of pier fame), it’s simply that Ipswich stands on the River Orwell.
19 Maiden taken in by a dreadful Romeo — this one? (7)
ADMIRER – A, then M (maiden) contained [taken in] by DIRE (dreadful), R (Romeo). Easy to get this one having just solved 15d.
20 Step three beginning calculation in programming language (6)
PASCAL – PAS (step – in ballet), CAL{culation} [three beginning]. Learned from previous puzzles.
22 Plant fibre packed round large slate (5)
BLAST – BAST (plant fibre) contains [packed round] L (large). ‘Slate’ and ‘blast’ in the sense of criticise harshly. I didn’t know the plant fibre.
24 Trouble following space communication (5)
EMAIL – EM (space – printing), AIL (trouble)

66 comments on “Times Cryptic 27260”

  1. SPLIT PEAS @ 14dn was a somewhat tortuous clue, and the rest of it left me rather cold and uninspired.

    FOI 2dn RHOMB

    LOI 24dn EMAIL


    WOD 20dn PASCAL

    Not enough 26ac

    Time immemorial

  2. I went for BLATT, never having heard of BAST (but having heard of batting). And I had a vague feeling BLATT was a sort of tile. But it’s a newspaper. Otherwise, all correct
  3. I mucked up ADMIRER, trying to make an anagram out of ‘Romeo’, so a DNF in 47 minutes. I didn’t know BAST, but managed to get the answer from the def.

    I found a lot to like here, including the reminder of W.G. and U(sain)BOLT. Two sporting giants of their times. I like to think they would have got on well together.

    I also enjoyed CLASSICAL MUSIC and the device for SPLIT PEAS.

    Favourite was IPSWICH. The town of the same name in this hemisphere happens to have had a particularly (in)famous fish and chip shop owner.

    Thank you to setter and blogger

      1. She’s still a Senator. Her latest “initiative” is a scheme to catch cane toads for 10c a pop! Should be highly effective of course.
  4. Thank you, Jack, for SPLIT PEAS. That was my COD.
    I, too, remember coming across OVIPAROUS once before. Didn’t do yesterdays -so missed OVIPOSIT- as I was at the ODI cricket, watching India demolish the Black Caps and thus win the series. Can we quickly give Kohli a British passport and send him to the Windies?
  5. 21 mins but with U BOAT carelessly biffed. Didn’t spot the ingenious construction of SPLIT PEAS until reading the blog.
    Nice to see James Clerk Maxwell – up there with Newton & Einstein in the opinion of many but not often heard about. His equations describing electromagnetism are things of beauty…..for the few of us that way inclined.
  6. 41 minutes, partly thanks to regular study of my Big List O’ Crosswordy Words, which has contained OVIPAROUS since it last came up. That balanced out my being led up the same garden path as bletchleyreject for a while at 19d, but luckily I saw the right answer in the end.

    It’s also a good job I learned PASCAL at university, as I was much more familiar with it than the ballet step and had totally failed to spot the “three beginning calculation” despite them staring me in the face.

    Liked 14d SPLIT PEAS.

  7. roughly; I did this at lunch. And a good thing, too, or I would very likely have forgotten to go back to U BOAT and see how it worked. 13ac and 20d biffed, as was 17ac, from the two S’s. I had no idea what the connection was between Orwell and IPSWICH, although I guessed it had nothing to do with the author. It was kind of the setter to use the one cricketer’s name I know. COD to SPLIT PEAS, another biff, which I didn’t twig to until I typed in the solution for submission.
  8. 17.12 – and count me in with the “trying to make an anagram out of A M ROMEO” club which probably accounted for a good couple of minutes until the inevitable “D’Oh” moment.

    OVIPAROUS vaguely remembered from somewhere, which realistically it could only be a crossword, as it’s one of those words that if I used it at home the wife would accuse me of making it up.

    I suspect the U-Bolt may have caught out a few speed-biffers, I flirted with putting an A in before deciding that the L was a better fit.

    Never delved into the PASCAL world, always been more of a COBOL man, and then VB.net and C++, before ditching programming entirely to do architecture (IT, not buildings)

    1. It was VB.net that did it. You always need a space after a full-stop in LJ unless you have ‘maintainer rights’ as some of our bloggers do. I have ‘unspammed’ your posting.

      Edited at 2019-01-29 08:04 am (UTC)

      1. Thanks – live and learn, only been here god-knows-how-many years and never knew that.

        Correct paragraph construction FTW!!!

          1. For The Win

            And now I’ve logged in with the wrong account. Can I cancel today and start again?

            Edited at 2019-01-29 08:18 am (UTC)

  9. Biffed U-boat. Otherwise all correct. I didn’t know Bast or Pascal so I was pleasantly surprised that those two were OK.

    COD: Scullery

  10. 40 mins with yoghurt, banana, blueberries, granola.
    Easy apart from the few that weren’t.
    And a bit mean to make us work for U-BoLt and TenDer.
    Mostly I liked: Horseplay (in the) Scullery.
    Thanks setter and J.
  11. 15:38 but forgot to go back to U-BOAT. I liked CLASSICAL MUSIC and SPLIT PEAS. Eric Blair was a Suffolk man and took his pen-name from the river. so there is a connection. I didn’t know there was an Ipswich in Queensland, though.

    Edited at 2019-01-29 08:28 am (UTC)

  12. I liked ADMIRER for the misdirection of ‘Maiden taken in by a dreadful Romeo’ which had me looking for a word beginning in A then with an anagram of Romeo with an M in it. COD though to SPLIT PEAS, the clue for which I thought was quite original.
  13. Straightforward solve of interesting puzzle. I liked 17A and pleased to see both MAXWELL and PASCAL featured. I never learned PASCAL but had good reports of it.

    SCULLERY a trip down memory lane. I recall an old mangle, a glass washboard and one of those huge old sinks

    1. At one time years ago I had overall responsibility for my bank’s account processing software, BOLP (branch online processing), a suite of programmes developed and enhanced over many years. I commissioned a review of it and was told that the different parts of it were written in four different languages: Machine Code, Cobol, Pascal and a fourth language called “Unknown.” A miracle it worked at all really, but in fact it was extremely efficient, capable of processing about 8 million transactions in a 20 minute overnight run..
  14. I now realise I had U-BOAT which was not sea-worthy.

    Was the U-BOLT invented by a well known Jamaican Athlete?

  15. 32 minutes with LOI VERDIGRIS. DNK Bast but BLAST for slate was clear with crossers. Crossing with W G Grace as it does, GROUT could have been clued as a Wally who kept wicket. Well, that would have been less incongruous than using a programming language to clue prodigious polymath Blaise PASCAL, should we say rather better known to me for his Physics, his betting theology and his pensées. But fortunately I knew it. Whatever happened to COBOL and FORTRAN? We seem to have been over-spoored and ovipared this week too. COD to IN TATTERS. A nice puzzle. Thank you Jack and setter.
    1. COBOL is still going strong (at least in my neck of the woods)

      About 5 years ago there were apparently still more lines of COBOL code in production around the world than all other languages put together.

      This may well of course just be an indication of how verbose and inefficient it can be.

      1. I recently heard that 90% of code in use in the City is COBOL. It certainly accounts for the majority of code where I work (though I’ve managed to escape it for some years now!).
    2. COBOL and FORTRAN two very different animals. COBOL is all about data processing and management; FORTRAN is for mathematical/scientific calculations

      As others have said COBOL still prevalent in back office applications. I’ve been out of the loop for several years now so have no idea if FORTRAN is still used. I believe actuaries these days use EXCEL and VISUAL BASIC

      1. Our actuaries certainly use a lot of Excel, to the point we have had to purchase a version management solution purely for their 1000+ spreadsheets.
          1. Ah, BREXIT, that’s the programming language where no matter what code you key in, the computer just crashes, right?
            1. It infects the entire system so that it is incapable of performing any task other than talking repetitively to itself in an endless loop for two years before blowing up.
  16. 24 minutes, delayed as others by the non anagram of A ROMEO M. Liked this puzzle a lot. BAST was a guess as blast seemed okay. I knew the river but not the Eric Blair fact so thanks johninterred for that one. Best clue SPLIT PEAS when I saw why.
  17. 33 mins to complete this nice puzzle. GROUT was an easy first one in, and thence the checking ‘O’ made OVIPAROUS a write-in after yesterday’s featured lexical item. Summer hols last year were spent pootling along the Suffolk coast, so the Orwell-IPSWICH link was readily accessible for me. I simply couldn’t work out the clueing for SPLIT PEAS, so thanks, Jack, for your help there. Bast lies beyond my ken — and many others’ kens, too, it appears. I seem to remember from my programming forays in the late-70s/early-80s that PASCAL was a long way ahead of its time as a coding language — certainly in comparison with the rudimentary FORTRAN.
  18. Oh well. Big boost for my error count today, as I spent ages trying manfully to disentangle TENDER and settled for TENNER thinking the £10 bit of the clue was maybe an error. Never did read beyond submarine for the not-U-BOAT.
  19. But with U BOAT and a typo! sigh….

    At least they’re both on the same day. Did not parse SPLIT PEAS. RHOMB FOI.

    I went to school on the River Orwell.

    Thanks jack and setter.

  20. This took me 28 minutes, and I found it quite enjoyable. Many were biffed, so I was lucky not to be sunk by the U-boat at 9ac. I too spent much time trying to deconvolute {A+ROMEO+M}. I thought things were a bit too French in places (CHEVALIER, HABITUE and PASCAL; and, for that matter, VERDIGRIS), but I enjoyed SPLIT PEAS.
  21. ….IPSWICH Pier ? Very clever bit of clueing, as was ADMIRER, but neither quite got today’s accolade.

    Maybe my stampede through the QC drained the battery, for I made slightly heavy weather of this, and was becalmed for a couple of minutes in the SW corner, biffing my LOI and parsing post-solve.

    I was fortunate to spot the correct definitions of U-BOLT and TENDER, so entered them correctly. However I must thank Jack for introducing me to “no date” in the latter clue.

    Thanks also for parsing the biffed PASCAL – had I not heard of it, it would have been the clue most likely to defeat me. DNK “bast” but BLAST went in as soon as I nailed LISZT, which I took longer to spot than I should have done.

    TIME 13:32

  22. Nice to see Pascal, Maxwell, rhomb, reagent .. though with Liszt, classical music we only finished 3-2 up. Still, a win is a win ..
    Vauxhall of course very well known to the Heyer contingent; several books include visits to the pleasure gardens
  23. Jerry beat me to it! The more fashionable gardens then were Ranelagh. Eons ago my mother parked in the wrong place in Chelsea and was towed to the hinterlands South of the Vauxhall Bridge – no gardens in sight. I wonder what it looks like now. Like Jack I remember my grandparents’ scullery and pantry where they had a wonderful but lethal machine that could put the fizz back in flat tonic water and bitter lemon in time to flavour the gin after church on Sunday morning. Nice puzzle. 18.06
    1. We still have a scullery and a pantry but we call them the utility room and the larder .. must be non-u I suppose!
  24. Obviously on the wavelength today, which makes me doubly glad that I read to the end of 9ac, and edited my original U-BOAT (this is the sort of elephant-trap clue which a really cruel editor would save up for Finals Day). Couldn’t see past SWEET PEAS until that became impossible with the checkers, at which point the penny dropped with a pleasing sound, and it was my LOI. Wide-ranging and entertaining puzzle.
  25. 8m 44s today but with an error right at the top – I was moaning to myself about obscure anagrams when plumping for VERPITRIS over VIRPITRES and, of course, neither was correct. Never heard of it, but perhaps thinking of ambergris should have set me along the right lines?
  26. I did not know BAST = plant fibre at 22d but I did encounter Leonard Bast on my Kindle last night as I am reading EM Forster’s Howards End where he is one of the key characters. I also notice that BAST – a variant spelling of BASTET – is an ancient Egyptian goddess. We’d better look out for her I suspect. A fairly quick solve for me in under the hour off and on but I BIFD U-BOAT at 9a without reading the clue properly. D-oh.
  27. I pulled myself into shape by starting with 2d then inserted Usain, thus preventing my attempt finishing up 3d. Didn’t quite spot the clever wordplay for SPLIT PEAS, but had a rough idea what might be going on with split hairs coming to mind. Didn’t know BAST, but there wasn’t much doubt about it. Was unsure about ND being an abbreviation for No Date, but went with the definition. Nice to see OVIPAROUS drilling itself into my memory. Liked CHEVALIER. PASCAL was my LOI. I knew the language but couldn’t figure out the parsing, so that cost me a few minutes agonizing at the end. 34:42. An enjoyable foray. Thanks setter and Jack.
  28. 18’25” but 2 mistakes: the inevitable U-boat, and a misspelled Ipswich – which was annoying because I was proud of remembering that Orwell was the river. As for U-boat, I just didn’t read the clue properly, which was obviously the devious intention of the setter – so well done! It did occur fleetingly that the clue was too easy for a Times!
  29. 17min, with 1ac FOI – 19dn non-anagram cost a couple of minutes for me too, and 8dn & 9ac needed a little thought to decide on correct entry. The Orwell bridge is a notable landmark, so no problem, and I remember doing the washing-up (and laundry) in my mum’s scullery.
  30. Never having heard of a U-BOLT, I didn’t even think of going back to that clue. Otherwise would have finished in 56m40s.

    NHO BAST either, but am familiar with PASCAL by name – one of those programming languages which was still floating around when I started in the 80s.

  31. TENNER and BLAST did for me today. My steady solve unfortunately met an untimely end. I even looked up BAST but didn’t get past an Egyptian goddess.
    1. It’s an abbreviation for the Latin Vide.

      “verb: vide
      see; consult (used as an instruction in a text to refer the reader to a specified passage, book, author, etc., for further information).”

  32. Ended up with “UBoat” and “Tenner” but won’t lose sleep over those.
    Habitue is a word not habitually seen.
  33. 17:48. A tough puzzle to encounter after an early start and a long day outside. Same problems as others: TENNER/TENDER, U-BOAT/U-BOLT, A + M + (ROMEO)*, BAST. Got there in the end.
    I had no idea about the VAUXHALL pleasure gardens: must read more Heyer. I associate the place more with tons of traffic, high-rise apartment buildings and changing for the Victoria line.
  34. Nice puzzle. Made it last as long as possible to alleviate the boredom of being down with the bug. Good bog jack, thanks.
  35. Late home from a 17ac concert at the Royal Festival Hall. Not 27ac unfortunately. Prokofiev, Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky instead. Very enjoyable. More so than the puzzle which for me was a DNF. All done in 30 mins but couldn’t get 20dn. Came here prepared to be “disgusted of Tunbridge Wells” at an obscure computer language clued by intractable wordplay but actually I think I have vaguely heard of it and now I see it the wordplay is perfectly fair even if you don’t know it. Didn’t know the river in 18dn or the pleasure gardens in 1dn. Bit odd to have two admirers and a spot of adoration in the same puzzle and the buslike ovi-word (you wait ages for one…). Split peas my favourite from this bunch when I saw how it worked.
  36. Thanks Jack and setter
    This appeared in today’s weekend Australian and was able to finish in around 36 min which is quicker than normal for me. Came across the same issue as most here, although was able to resolve U-BOLT and TENDER quite quickly, albeit no picking up the ND (no date) swap out – focusing only on the D for N. Knew something about a NUT was going on in 14d but forgot to go back to it to work out the details. Studied PASCAL in 1980 so it was an early entry. Had to check VAUXHALL and IPSWICH (to see if George was born there – then learnt about the river).
    RHOMB was the first in and HORSEPLAY the last.
  37. I suspect there are a lot of us in Oz doing the crossword 4 weeks later than the usual bloggers.
    41 mins for us , but with UBoat and we’re in good company with several minutes wasted time looking for the a-m-Romeo anagram.
  38. In HK we get them even later than in OZ! I absolutely love this blog which has taught me all I know (and that’s still only a fraction of that known by the many contributors on this site) of cryptic solving. After years of lurking and reading the blog, I now regularly manage to solve all the clues! I still more regularly get stuck however so I guess I’ll need to lurk around a lot longer. Thank you to all the wonderful bloggers and contributors. You guys rock!
    Frederique in Hong Kong
  39. In HK we get them even later than in OZ! I absolutely love this blog which has taught me all I know (and that’s still only a fraction of that known by the many contributors on this site) of cryptic solving. After years of lurking and reading the blog, I now regularly manage to solve all the clues! I still more regularly get stuck however so I guess I’ll need to lurk around a lot longer. Thank you to all the wonderful bloggers and contributors. You guys rock!
    Frederique in Hong Kong

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