Times Cryptic No 27078 – Saturday, 30 June 2018. Don’t raise my hopes.

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
I started quickly on this one and after about 30 minutes had done all bar two. 3dn was just a blind spot for me, but 4dn is definitely my clue of the day. A very unusual concept! I also smiled at 5ac, and felt a twinge of sympathy for the wounded pig. Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle.

Clues are in blue, with definitions underlined. Answers are in BOLD CAPS, followed by the wordplay. (ABC*) means ‘anagram of ABC’, with the anagram indicator in bold italics. Deletions are in {curly brackets}.

1 One way the Germans drive out a crazy husband, covered by veto (8)
AUTOBAHN: (OUT A*), then H (husband) in BAN.

5 He is entitled to hop on board? (6)
KNIGHT: clever cryptic definition, referring to the chess piece. Possibly one of these two-in-one clues since “he is entitled” is a satisfactory definition. Someone who understands the taxonomy may enlighten us.

9 Rodents almost steal from some wood a set of little posts (9)

11 Consternation about a section of flight (5)

12 Amid signs of slack housework, one’s grand contempt (7)
DISGUST: DUST is a no-no for Mrs Mop. Insert I’S and G.

13 Stay a while; as a result, trip is by no means finished (7)
SOJOURN: SO (as a result), JOURN{ey}. So we learn “by no means finished” means drop more than one letter.

14 Here notices how pig was wounded and died (8,5)
BULLETIN BOARD: BULLET IN BOAR might be how pig was wounded? Then, D=died.

16 Twice as true, power make you concentrate more? (13)
SUPERSATURATE: (AS TRUE AS TRUE P*). The trick here is to work out what the anagram letters are. I started with (AS AS TRUE POWER*), and of course got nowhere!  You have to double up on “AS TRUE”, and then need only P from “power”.

20 Insect in tree intended heading off (4,3)
FIRE ANT: FIR, {m}EANT. A nasty insect too, by all accounts.

21 A light ship heading back for old kingdom (7)
ASSYRIA: A, then AIRY (light) SS (ship) all reversed (“heading back”).

23 Erect, beams to audience (5)
RAISE: sounds like RAYS (beams). The definition is a verb, not an adjective.

24 Courtesy in middle of missive is quite extraordinary (9)
ETIQUETTE: the middle of LETTER is ETTE; insert (QUITE*).

25 Like a country gentleman, initially thin and weak (6)

26 Cast-off clothing (8)
KNITWEAR: another clever cryptic definition. This is an exception to the guideline that two-word clues are normally double definitions. Casting off is a knitting technique, of course.

1 The Spanish force maiden into a British academy (6)
ARMADA: insert M in A RADA.

2 They secure government revenue for auditors (5)
TACKS: sounds like TAX.

3 Curious university foible that avoids putting fossils into power (7)
BIOFUEL: (U FOIBLE*). This was my next to last answer. I couldn’t see the anagram letters, and couldn’t think of a word to fit B_O_U_L. Nothing wrong with the clue though – just me.

4 Boro’ making big strides towards success? (4,3,6)
HALF THE BATTLE: The Battle of Borodino was fought on 7 September 1812 in the Napoleonic Wars during the French invasion of Russia, so BORO{dino} is half the battle, no? If anyone claims to have got this from the wordplay, expect to be greeted with scepticism!

6 Unfortunately Jones died in operation (4,3)
NOSE JOB: (JONES*), followed by OB for obiit, Latin for “died”. (Thanks, Kevin.)

7 Make rough opening: the moon’s rising within (9)
GRANULATE: LUNAR backwards (“rising”, since this is a down clue) inside GATE.

8 Lament number finally lacking teacher put back a year (8)
THRENODY: THRE{e}, DON backwards, Y (year).

10 Hand-waving from legion Tacitus misinterpreted (13)
GESTICULATION: (LEGION TACITUS*). No trouble working out the anagram letters here, but I needed a few helpers too.

14 One piece in small snack between two (9)

15 Pro engaged in a piece of satire to invite trouble (3,3,2)
ASK FOR IT: FOR (pro), in A SKIT.

17 Start to repair each split, having hit a vehicle (4-3)
REAR-END: R{epair}. EA, REND.

18 A way to catch old king in raid (7)
ASSAULT: A ST (street), around SAUL.

19 Worry over monarch’s progress (6)

22 Stop working, computer finally failing, and to restore connection (5)
RETIE: RETIRE, minus the second R.


19 comments on “Times Cryptic No 27078 – Saturday, 30 June 2018. Don’t raise my hopes.”

  1. Actually, OB is short for obiit (‘s/he died’), as in ‘Jones (Ob. 1929)’.
  2. DNK MICROBLOG (this and the club forum are pretty much the only blogs I do know). BIFD BULLETIN BOARD, parsed it once I’d typed it in. LOI ASSYRIA. I had a ? by 13ac, and I still do; I can’t recall a clue deleting the final 2 letters of a word, at least not a clue with only a vague ‘by no means’ as the deletion indicator. Am I missing something? COD to ETIQUETTE.
  3. I actually thought the battle was Boromuir, but I see that battle is actually spelled Boroughmuir. So I lucked out on that one. I think KNITWEAR was my LOI, kicking myself when I finally twigged.
  4. I am certainly not going to say I solved HALF THE BATTLE from wordplay! I solved it but had to come here for the explanation.
    KNITWEAR, ETIQUETTE, and BULLETIN BOARD were nice clues but my COD went to 5ac. I do like “hop on board”.
    No, Kevin, I don’t think you are missing anything in 13ac. I don’t recall a clue that asks solvers to delete the final two letters.
  5. “by no means finished”: My guess is that the emphatic “by no means” is meant to indicate that more than one letter is missing from the end of “journey.” If it had merely said “not finished,” you would certainly expect the much more usual case where only one letter is omitted.

    I had a theory about HALF THE BATTLE, but my guess was miles and miles away from Borodino.

    Got a laugh from the out-of-power fossils…

    1. My guess was the same as your guess; if it’s a good guess, it’s bad wordplay.
  6. Agree entirely with Guy’s take on 13ac that ‘by no means finished’ should be enough to indicate more than one letter deletion.

    For reasons I won’t go into I solved this twice with 5 days in between and was very discouraged that my LOI on both occasions was 16ac and I needed aids to get it both times too. So much for learning from past experience! It was a good puzzle though.

    Edited at 2018-07-07 05:37 am (UTC)

  7. 42 minutes with COD of course to HALF THE BATTLE. I read the Penguin War and Peace translation as a young man, viewing the Battle of Borodin as Pierre Bezuhov. That book was particularly useful too when the leg of the bed in my bedsit broke. Special mention too to SUPERSATURATE, KNITWEAR and LOI BIOFUEL. I knew the word THRENODY without quite knowing its meaning before, so just about managed to constuct it. Wasn’t totally convinced that REAR-END was described by ‘hit a vehicle’ but I guess it could be used as a verb, particularly on the bumper cars. They never were meant to be dodgems. Thank you B and setter.
    1. Chambers has:

      rearˈ-endˈ transitive verb
      To hit the rear of (another motor vehicle) with the front of one’s own vehicle

  8. Delightful puzzle, and, sceptically received or not, HALF THE BATTLE derived with a chortle from the wordplay. Fine clue.
    A quickish solve solve in 15 minutes but a pleasure to solve, meaning I was happy to let “by no means finished” delete two letters with no quibble.
  9. Unfortunately a DNF as I had RESET for 22d (stop working=rest?) and therefore stared for ages at 24 & 26ac, finally giving up. In any case DNK the CAST-OFF connotation. Bah, humbug. Thanks B for the blog.
  10. I solved HALF THE BATTLE from a combination of checkers and assuming there was was indeed a battle whose demi-name was Boro. What its other half might be I found out by reading the blog. I particularly liked KNIGHT and BULLETIN BOARD. KNITWEAR also raised a chuckle. An enjoyable puzzle. 35:45. Thanks setter and Bruce.
  11. I enjoyed this and put a lot of time into it. A few stumbles along the way which needed repairs:Microfilm at 9a and Apportion at 14d were biffs which required some major road works.
    I struggled with 4d and never did think of the battle. My philistine thoughts were all about Middlesbrough or similar. Nevertheless I got HALF from there and nearly finished the whole puzzle.
    My LOI was 16a and I could not improve on Supertabulate (there were other candidates), so I had one wrong in the end.
  12. 21:57

    COD: HALF THE BATTLE. I didn’t know the Battle of Borodino. I toyed with Hold the Castle for a while. Castle being part of New-castle which is nearish to Middles-boro’.

    England have played 4 world cup games and have won three of these. To win the World Cup we will need to be successful in three more games. So maybe its an omen. We’ve already won HALF THE BATTLE?

    I will be holidaying for the next 3 weeks in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand with my wife and son. Hope to still contribute here from time to time before we return.

  13. Surely ‘granulate’ means to make smoother? Eg compare granulated sugar to the lumpy stuff in bowls that you get in pretentious coffee shops-which one dissolves the better? (Mr Grumpy)
    1. One of the definitions of ‘granulate’ in Collins is ‘to make or become roughened in surface texture’. In the context of sugar I think it’s the other meaning of the word – ‘to make into grains’ – that is relevant.
  14. 9:19. No problems with this. I don’t mind the device in 13ac: ‘by no means finished’ is clearly asking you to do something more than ‘not finished’.

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