Times Cryptic No 27070 Thursday, 21 June 2018 Made in South Caroline

I thought this was pretty straightforward fare, which I completed in my pretty straightforward fare par time of 17 minutes. Sharp eyed students among you will notice this is my third outing in as many weeks: George and I have been juggling  assignments to mutual benefit.
If there is a trap for the unwary, it’s the very first clue, where the random woman herself has two acceptable versions giving two possible words, and you have to decide which is the rarer – tough if you’re a contract lawyer.
We’re short on anagrams again, only 2 and a half that I can count, one of them (wouldn’t you know it?) to the one word in the grid that might be unfamiliar.
Here’s how I resolved the issues, with clues, definitions and SOLUTIONS
1 Rare aversion concerning woman with dog (10)
REPUGNANCY The rare is there because it’s more often encountered with an E at the end. Chambers avers it’s now mostly a legal term relating to inconsistency in contracts. Shakespeare used it, but probably only when he needed the extra syllable. Anyway, here it’s about: RE, random woman: NANCY with dog: PUG slightly rearranged
6 Jewel a girl finally displayed after work (4)
OPAL Nice ‘n’ easy: A and last letter of girL after OP, work.
10 People with no following invited into old man’s dance (5)
POLKA People with no following are FOLK without the F, old man is PA. Insert one into the other
11 Constant inclination to take in son’s washing (9)
CLEANSING C(onstant) LEANING with S(on) taken in
12 Outstanding hospital department engaging mean manager (14)
SUPERINTENDENT Outstanding: SUPER, hospital department the venerable ENT (ear nose and throat, now otorhinolaryngology, much harder to fit in) with INTEND for mean “engaged” therein.
14 Old poem about Greek character backing Arab territory (7)
EMIRATE Two reversal indicators here, about and backing. Apply to RIME (as in of the Ancient Mariner) and ETA.
15 Piece of furniture employed in one theatre or another? (7)
DRESSER Possibly a triple definition: the theatres are thespian and surgical.
17 Like a simple song, perhaps, developing mostly nice mood (7)
MONODIC One meaning would be a song for a single voice, so simple. Our first anagram (developing) of NICe MOOD
19 Crooner once accepting bad position in publicity (7)
BILLING Our crooner is BING (Crosby, of course, as in Bing sings but Walt Disney). Insert Ill for bad. Position is part of the definition, such as top billing.
20 Aerial display soldiers and sailors ultimately recall in dark periods (8,6)
NORTHERN LIGHTS Soldiers OR (don’t make me explain that again), sailors THE R(oyal) N(avy) plus (recal)L all in NIGHTS, usually dark periods.
23 Miser’s second family to west of North Wales town (9)
SKINFLINT S(econd) family: KIN placed west of FLINT, just about in North Wales
24 Brawny wartime fighting force unknown outside European capital (5)
BEEFY The British Expeditionary Force is/was deployed to France whenever we think a World War is brewing. Unknown Y and capital of Europe –um- E. Assemble
25 Cross, and discourteous to listeners (4)
ROOD Specifically a crucifix, but sounds like rude, discourteous.
26 City man in underworld row accommodating in case (10)
CHARLESTON I like this one.  The man in underground row (using oars, that is) is CHARON, your ferryman across the Styx. Today he has to carry LEST, in case.
1 Absorbed — and made into a parcel, it’s said (4)
RAPT Another nice ‘n’ easy. Sounds like (it’s said) wrapped.
2 Cut up over airport concealing current contamination (9)
POLLUTION LUTON, the airport you need, cropped up on Tuesday and indeed the previous week: perhaps we are being subliminally urged to eschew Heathrow and Gatwick. Cut up is LOP reversed, stick in I for (electrical) current.
3 Unsocial work period solemn detectives change (9,5)
GRAVEYARD SHIFT A straight charade. Solemn: GRAVE. Detectives: (Scotland) YARD. Change: SHIFT
4 Turn up, dropping round primarily for church records (7)
ARCHIVE Turn up is ARRIVE. Remove R from Round (primarily) and replace it with CH(urch)
5 Rose to a high point, like some tits (7)
CRESTED Here’s an example.
7 Composure one’s discovered in American writer (5)
POISE Edgar Allan, the American writer you’ve heard of, surrounding 1S, one’s
8 Less demanding time for conveyance of cargo (10)
LIGHTERAGE Less demanding LIGHTER plus time AGE. “Loading, unloading and ferrying by lighters; the payment for such service.”
9 Obscure military group reportedly qualified to arrest knight (14)
UNINTELLIGIBLE The military group is a UNIT, sounds like they’re qualified or EL(L)IGIBLE, and they have arrested a N, ches notation for knight.
13 Preacher abused Morse, upset about wrongdoing (10)
SERMONISER An anagram (abused) of MORSE, plus RE: SIN (about wrongdoing) “upset”
16 Most bad-tempered Italian brought up in county street (9)
SHIRTIEST Your Italian is IT, who is “brought up” and placed in SHIRE (county) and ST(reet)
18 Like some pasties — and grain, give or take (7)
CORNISH grain is CORN, more or less suggests ISH. Uxbridge English Dictionary: Cornish: A bit like corn.
19 Support British pensioner abandoned by daughter (7)
BOLSTER B(ritish) OLDSTER (pensioner) loses his D(aughter) King Lear, anyone?
21 Thick-skinned type playing horn around India (5)
RHINO An anagram of HORN around I(ndia) (NATO)
22 Half of capital Yankee invested in French city (4)
LYON The capital you want half of is LONdon. Y(ankee) (NATO again) is “invested”. Lyon is, of course, famous for its corner houses.

45 comments on “Times Cryptic No 27070 Thursday, 21 June 2018 Made in South Caroline”

  1. Thanks for parsing Charleston, z. Once parsed it is cute. Otherwise the top took me longer than the bottom; and the longer words once again proved that the more letters there are, the more chance there is to get misdirected.
  2. Not that much longer than it took me on today’s Quickie, and a rare sub-10′ in any case. I biffed NORTHERN LIGHTS, and semi-biffed UNINTELLIGIBLE, SERMONISER, & CHARLESTON–had the eligible, ‘morse’, and ‘lest’, respectively, worked things out after. On DRESSER: Isn’t this just a cryptic def? I mean, the furniture item isn’t, so far as I know, a characteristic of either kind of theater. (On edit: I’ve since gone to ODE and discovered that in British surgical theaters there is a [human] dresser.) And if it’s a double def, shouldn’t there be a “that’s” before “employed”? Liked CHARLESTON, once I figured it out.

    Edited at 2018-06-21 05:41 am (UTC)

    1. I think you’ve pretty much elaborated why I think this is a economical triple: there are three DRESSERs suggested: the furniture (a sort of kitchen sideboard come shelving unit in British English), someone who dresses wounds in an operating theatre, and Tom Courtenay’s Norman to Albert Finney’s Sir in Luvviland.
      1. Then perhaps your underlines should be one, for the entire clue? That’s what prompted me to suggest the need for ‘that’. I have a definite sense that I’m picking a rather small nit, but.
        1. Maybe, but I was also trying to find a way of making 3 underlines! The piece of furniture is not employed in either theatre: there’s an assumed “person” not written before “employed”
  3. Finished in 49 minutes. I bunged in CHARLESTON in hope, with no idea about the parsing, other than seeing ‘Charles’ and ‘Les’ as two men, which had nothing to do with anything of course. Very good clue once explained though.

    The subtlety of 1a escaped me but I opted for the correct, more formal, version of the woman’s name. MONODIC was new, even if ‘melodic’ sounds better.

    OLDSTER? Not my favourite. Daddy, when I grow up, I want to be an “oldie” instead.

    I’ll go for CHARLESTON as my COD, mainly because of the reminder of what a jewel of a city it is.

    Thanks to setter and blogger

  4. At 32 minutes I missed my target by a whisker with time lost carefully considering the final letter of 1ac and taking what seemed like forever to come up with SHIRTIEST despite having all the checkers in place and the -IEST taken as read.

    What is it with LUTON and its environs (Dunstable and Beds) at the moment? It’s a ghastly place anyway and having LU in my postcode adversely affects my insurance premiums despite being over 16 miles away.

    Edited at 2018-06-21 03:51 am (UTC)

  5. 13:22 … might have been rather faster if not for a hastily biffed ‘moonlight shift’, which caused a lot of problems before I realised the mistake. It’s the sort of confusion of terms that happens to me when I try to overclock my mental processor.

    Thanks for the full explanation of BILLING, Z8, where I couldn’t understand how ‘bad position’ = ill.

    Another CHARLESTON fan. Nice

    Edited at 2018-06-21 05:44 am (UTC)

  6. 10.00 today, and given that that is under 2 Jasons I’ll take that any day. Impressive time for Kevin too.

    Helped today by not even considering an alternative girl at 1a (knowing a NANCY was maybe influential there) and spotting CHARON straight off.

    19a took a bit of parsing for the same reason as others, and also fell briefly into the ABLE trap at 9.

    Won’t be going that fast again for a while I suspect, also am expecting some pretty quick times when the speedsters get going.

  7. 34 minutes, but with REPUGNANCE rather than REPUGNANCY, thinking that the “rare” just indicated “extreme”. Sigh. And I was so pleased with myself for working out CHARLESTON from the wordplay at the end, too…
  8. 25 mins with a croissant and G&L marmalade (hoorah).
    I thought this was well pitched: enough easy ones to get a good foothold in all quadrants, then some cleverness and wit to test (a bit).
    Mostly I liked Charon and Bing.
    Thanks well pitched setter and Z.
  9. I’ve not had a sub-10 on the weekday for some time but this was something of a biff-fest.

    LUTON seems to be a popular town amongst the setters. I had a quick look to see how often it has come up before and was amused to see one blogger make pretty much the same comment about it on two occasions when it had come up. I won’t reveal who it was 😉

  10. Not heard of Nance as a name, so 1ac did not lead to agonising. LOI and COD CHARLESTON. 14′, which exceeded yesterday by 90”. Thanks z and setter.
  11. Some fast times here. I was 22:45.

    COD: I’m doing the Charleston too. Clever misdirection with “in case”.

    LOI: Shirtiest.

    I thought 5 down had an amusing possible alternative surface reading – but I won’t lower the tone of this erudite site by elaborating further! Other than to say I was thinking Blue before Crested.

    1. I very much doubt the setter wasn’t aware of it. Seems more Private Eye than the Times, but heigh-ho!
  12. Phew. My first error-free solve of the week, I think, taking 25 minutes. I racked my brain over REPUGNANCY (or repugnance), but fortunately it’s only a small brain and therefore didn’t take long to rack. NHO MONODIC, but more plausible than monidoc or minodoc. CoD definitely 28ac (CHARLESTON).
  13. 31 mins. I share Myrtilus’s opinions entirely on this one, though I couldn’t parse Charon at the time of solving.

    [Now back from Ireland to find the garden here has gone wild after 5 weeks of freedom.]

  14. 15:45. I spent over a third of this time staring with increasing desperation at 16dn. My mind had latched onto the idea that the county was a specific county, and I had to do several alphabet trawls with different checkers before the light finally dawned.
    Otherwise not difficult, but a lot of fun. I loved the ‘man in underworld row’.
    I went for REPUGNANCY on the basis of NANCY: I couldn’t have given you a firm view on the relative rarity of the actual answer and REPUGNANCE.
    I was grateful for the checking D in 17ac: without it the anagram fodder is ambiguous.
    No such help with 9dn, which was a bit of an able/ible spelling challenge for me. I’m never entirely sure. Got away with it this time.
  15. I ignored the “rare” part of 1ac, hoping I wasn’t missing something pertinent. Turned out I was, of course. Wasn’t helped by having an Auntie Nance or being in full biffing mode for much of this apparently straightforward puzzle.

  16. 18’16. I like the multi-tasking ‘crested’. 9 fell into place with the odd checker without parsing. 16 an unlikely superlative outside Billy Bunter but far better that than ‘tonsil tennis’ that the Grauniad recently had for kissing. Repugnancy is as good a word as any for how I view its right-on cultural verbals, though it can be a good challenge nonetheless.
  17. 17 minute stroll, another who changed the E to Y at the end of 1a as NANCY was a more likely girl. Also ended with 8d and BILLING. CoD the underground rower.
    Nice work z8. LYON’s corner houses, indeed.
  18. One of my better efforts, with Nancy taking priority over Nance by virtue of my Mam’s friend Nancy, which turned out to be a lucky break. I was pleased to see the classical culture of The Times crosswords rubbing off on me as CHARON sprang to mind without hesitation for the underground rower! My only unknown was MONODIC, but there was little room for error there. A most enjoyable puzzle and possibly a PB for a weekday offering. 15:07. Thanks setter and Z.

  19. One of the very rare occasions when I breach the 20
    minute barrier. Only held up by MONODIC but decided it couldn’t really be anything else.

    Time: all correct in 17 minutes.

    Thank you to setter ( who is clearly on my wavelength and should be encouraged to put in a few extra shifts ) and blogger.

  20. Solved somewhat mechanically while keeping across important cricket and football games (I appreciate “important” may not be everyone’s choice of word at this sport-heavy time of year). Only real hold-up was the obvious one, where I tossed a mental coin, and thought that while both possible full words looked equally good bets, NANCY was a much more likely choice than her diminutive.
  21. It’s a game of two halves, completed in two sittings. About 40% completed in the first look, with some of the remaining clues looking inpenetrable. When I came back to it, they surrendered themselves with almost no difficulty, and I rattled through the remainder, although CHARON unparsed. I thought of the rower on the Styx, but had no idea what his name was – maybe I’ll remember now.
  22. Jiminy, Magoo was a sub-4 on this one. I guess he’s not a man who has to waste much time deciding between NANCE and NANCY…
  23. Cripes, sub-4: it took me that long to finish grumbling about NANCY NANCE. Enjoyable though, and a nice LEST in Charleston for me (and others, I see) to peruse.
  24. Pretty much a top to bottom solve, ending in CHARLESTON, around 15+ minutes. Didn’t stop to worry about ‘nance’, and the only thing I didn’t recognize was SHIRTIEST. The wordplay for that one, though, was unavoidable. Regards.
  25. One of my rare finishes on the back page, although strictly speaking I’m a loser because I went for Nance. And I had PALPA for the dance at 10A: papa with (a)l(l) inserted! I even looked the word up to see if it was a dance…and it is! I really enjoyed this, though, despite my schoolgirl errors. Thanks for the parsing Zabadak; I biffed quite a few without knowing quite how they worked. Will try and remember the military abbreviations OR, THE RN and BE. Not my strong point!
  26. 22:05 pretty quick for me but if anything the solve felt a bit laboured and probably should have been even quicker. A very nice puzzle. Monodic the only unknown to take a punt on but checkers were helpful.
  27. Well, I thought this was pretty easy, rushed to submit just under the half hour and when I saw I had one mistake I assumed it was a typo — until I realised that the E highlighted in the grid at the end of REPUGNANCE was what I had actually typed in and not the Times’s correction and that REPUGNANCY would have been an alternative. (I wasn’t too comfortable with Nance as a woman’s name anyway). So now I can kick myself. But the rest was pretty easy.

    My mother didn’t have a friend named Nancy, but I did once, and more amusingly, in my student days there was someone in the dorm who simultaneously had two girlfriends named Nancy (he called them Nancy 1 and Nancy 2). If one of them rang and someone else answered the phone, it wasn’t much help to tell him afterwards that Nancy had called. And you couldn’t really ask the caller whether she was Nancy 1 or Nancy 2. I think he didn’t have them long.

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