Times Cryptic No 27082 Thursday, 5 July 2018 THBPBPTHPT! (but I liked it)

A  likeable puzzle with plenty of wit, and only one word (at 18) which I had to pretend I knew before looking it up post solve. I’ve had to work extra time on some clues, notably 24 and 19 so as to give the impression I know whereof I speak, but this was no hardship. The setter is to be congratulated for eschewing jokes about dried fruit, and, having included a Welshman and a Scotsman, resisting the temptation to include an Englishman and the foundation for any number of jokes. 
Our setter plays a fair enough round of charades, clues where the wordplay simply requires you to put synonyms and such in straight order, rather more (or so it feels) than is usual, but this is no complaint. I took 22 minutes. My reasoning is presented with clues, definitions and SOLUTIONS

1 Board members aim to sermonise (11)
DIRECTORATE  Aim provides  DIRECT if you think in terms of pointing at a target, and ORATE is a reasonable synonym for sermonise: Chambers helpfully gives harangue for both, which might be unfair to some preachers, and even some orators.
7 Dry run cancelled to provide encouragement (3)
AID Think of a word for dry, and cancel the R(un) That’ll be ARID
9 Speciousness ruined story about wrecked ship (9)
SOPHISTRY The art of plausible but false reasoning, rendered by the ruined/wrecked fragments of STORY and SHIP
10 United supporters returned in usual chaos (5)
SNAFU “Situation Normal, All Fu..ouled UP. Bizarrely, I had this at the beginning of last month (27058) and I’ve got it again. This time the wordplay is a reversal of U for (usually Manchester) U(nited) plus FANS, a technical term for people that live anywhere but Manchester.
11 Mistress last month put in clinic close to Chelsea (7)
SULTANA Mistress I think in similar terms to ”the Sultan is master of all he surveys”, but possibly as concubine to a Sultan rather than wife. ULT (sc ultimo) used to be common as “last month” in formal business letters (I refer to your crossword on 7th ult). Kept in SAN(atorium) for clinic plus the last letter of ChelseA.
12 What makes Angelenos who they are, backing country? (7)
SENEGAL Who gave a good account of themselves in Russia, narrowly losing out to Colombia (who?). The wordplay is rather cute: an Angeleno is a native of Los Angeles, so born with LA GENES. Reverse.
13 Minister in service flat emptied receptacle (5)
PADRE Flat: PAD, empty R(eceptacl)E
15 Enduring blues act, crowd confined (9)
DEPRESSED Like Churchill’s “black dog” yesterday, depression might be seen as a malady that is endured  (not necessarily by choice). A neat, misleading definition, then the word constructed from PRESS (crowd) in DEED (act)
17 One may have blown it in expressing disapproval (9)
RASPBERRY cryptic (just about) definition.
19 Article in pipeline bringing money to Shylock (5)
DUCAT a coin in Venice (and elsewhere) the loss of two bags of which was much lamented by Shylock in TMOV:
“My daughter! O my ducats! O my daughter,
Fled with a Christian! O my Christian ducats!”
Our sample is made of an article A in a DUCT or pipeline.
20 Single knight having impressive physique that’s essential (2-5)
IN-BUILT Single I, knight N (chess), Built I believe (from overhearing  it on the awful Love Island)  a complimentary expression in the argot of  a young woman on such a programme regarding the physical attributes of the male of the species.
22 Challenge validity of attractive person’s claim? (7)
IMPEACH Probably not on the lips of one of the above, being so last century, but I’M PEACH might be such a claim, though I think the question mark is valid, as it’s a designation more likely said about someone than by someone, however vain.
24 If only I’d backed Union member (5)
IDAHO Union member is a cute way of suggesting a state of the US of A. If you reverse it, it gives O, HAD I which is a dramatic version of “if only I’d”. Took me ages to work it out
25 Gather the ambassador will be furious (5,4)
RAISE HELL Gather I think as in raise taxes. The Ambassador is H(is) E(xcellency), add ‘LL for a contracted will.
27 Rebuffed university sort’s acknowledgment (3)
NOD A nice and simple reverse of DON
28 Donna playing around with stove lit sometimes (3,3,5)
NOW AND AGAIN An anagram (playing) of DONNA placed around W(ith) (sneaky!) plus  the second AGA stove in two days and IN for “lit” as in the  (dated? Regional?) “phrase the fire is in”

1 Energy spent, breaks down in soul venue (3)
DIS A classical term for an/the abode of the dead. Take E(nergy) out of DIES for breaks down (terminally, in this case)
2 Parry, holding short sword in both hands (5)
REPEL Which I would have got quicker if my myopia hadn’t read party. The short sword is EPE(e) enclose in Left and Right. Well, it’s not leper, is it?
3 Firm in time makes money (7)
COINAGE A straight charade of CO(mpany) (firm) IN AGE  (time)
4 Alien asleep on spacecraft (9)
OUTLANDER Asleep as in out for the count and LANDER as in the wondrous spacecraft, lunar stage of the Apollo missions
5 Area near steamer that’s extremely deep (5)
ABYSS Another straight charade: A(rea) BY (near) S(team) S(hip)
6 Ancient ascetic catching cold shows perfect form (7)
ESSENCE The Essenes were a sect around the BCE CE turn who eschewed the luxury and corruption of Jerusalem for life in the wilderness. Possibly linked both to John the Baptist  and the Qumran community of the very remarkable Dead Sea Scrolls. Wrap one of them round C(old)
7 Angelica’s reformulated as medicament (9)
ANALGESIC A blatantly signalled anagram of ANGELICA’S
8 Nonsense that follows from bigamy in Bow? (6,5)
DOUBLE DUTCH Dutch is CRS (?Duchess of Fife) for wife (I prefer Dutch plate/mate), so an Eastender bigamist would be twice blest.
11 Surveillance requires excellent image (11)
SUPERVISION Charades don’t some straighter.
14 Controls in place here to run committee (9)
DASHBOARD And another charade:  DASH for run and committee: BOARD.
16 Medic in film about strangely shy Scotsman (9)
PHYSICIAN Film is PIC, strangely shy is HYS (to be inserted) and the Scot is IAN, a Gaelic version of John.
18 Advantage to accept free bit (7)
BRIDOON “The light snaffle usual in a military bridle in addition to the ordinary bit, controlled by a separate rein” (Chambers). Follow the wordplay and you should be OK: RID for free enclosed in BOON for benefit
19 Flies in sink water mixed with leaves (7)
DIPTERA “Two winged”: the genus of flies. I’ve only just worked this out: it’s sink: DIP plus a mixture of WATER from which W(ith) leaves). That sneaky W(ith) again.
21 Cast shortened the series (5)
THROW Short TH(e) plus series ROW. I was nearly content with THREW before paying proper attention.
23 Stadium in region accommodating any number (5)
ARENA Any number N region AREA
26 Welshman raised in Penylan (3)
LYN Lynn Davies, 1972 Olympic gold long jumper, like most male Lynn’s, has the extra N, but I give you David Llewellyn “Lyn” Parker, Moriarty in a couple of 1930s Rathbone Sherlock films. Anyway, he’s reverse hidden (raised in) in PeNYLan.

55 comments on “Times Cryptic No 27082 Thursday, 5 July 2018 THBPBPTHPT! (but I liked it)”

  1. Faster than it felt. LOsI were BRIDOON and IDAHO; NHO BRIDOON and was tempted to go to the dictionary, but resisted the temptation. And the O gave me IDAHO. IDAHO, DEPRESSED, & DIPTERA all masterfully clued.
  2. BRIDOON can’t be a word, surely, I thought; but it was. Nice puzzle but the brief period (yesterday) when my solving time was lower than the Club average is now well and truly past.

    BUILT? I’m rather glad that modern , reality TV, vocab passes me by. I would be no good on such quiz programmes as “The Chase” and “Pointless”.

    2d had me wondering. Wondering if Hubert Parry had leprosy!

    IDAHO reminds me in reverse of a song that starts “O HAD I a golden thread” which I’m sure I’ve heard sung by Judy Collins.

    1. Mrs Z has done (and won, see pic) 15 to 1, so all those hours watching reality TV while I try studiously to ignore it clearly can pay off.

      Edited at 2018-07-05 07:28 am (UTC)

      1. In fairness 15-1 doesn’t lean heavily on reality TV. I’ve been lucky enough to win it twice – back in 1988 with William G.Stewart at Wandsworth, and again in 2016 with Sandi Toksvig in Glasgow.
  3. Lotsa fun. Especially LA GENES <—! FOI was NOW AND AGAIN, POI DIPTERA, LOI BRIDOON (the one unknown, which I checked before inking in).

    “Venue” seems a little odd in the definition for DIS, as the word means the location where something happens; you wouldn’t alternately call a “concert venue” a “rock (or opera, etc.) star venue.”

    Would anyone really say “I’m peach,” rather than “I’m a peach”? Just asking.

    I can’t decipher Z’s acronymic title. I find his first interpretation of the clue for SULTANA to be laudably feminist but improbable.

    Edited at 2018-07-05 05:24 am (UTC)

    1. It would be tempting to claim it represents the sequence of penalty takers in Moscow (Tottenham Hotspur, Bit Part, Bit Part, Tottenham Hotspur, Pow! Tottenham!)* but in reality it’s a carefully researched (ie looked up on Google) representation of the ejective unvoiced bilabial trill referenced in 17. There are many, many other versions.

      *That’s not why I picked it, but on revisiting at your prompting it’s spookily accurate….hide me!

      1. I do like your penalty takers idea, but maybe BPBP was Bang!Pow!, Bad Penalty. You have the essence of Tottenham winning it for us though.
        1. I was winging it, but I like your suggestions. Spurs have got England far enough along to be insufferable win or lose, added to which both Belgium and Brazil have Spurs/former Spurs players. Spurs sent a tweet to (our) Davidson Sanchez commiserating with him on Colombia’s loss and congratulating him on playing well.
          1. I liked the fact Sanchez seemed to stay out of the argy bargy, perhaps out of some respect for his club colleagues. Not sure about us being linked with Barrios, unless we want him to repeat his shenanigans with Henderson when we play Liverpool!
    2. “You’re peach !”
      “Yeah, you’re built !”

      ‘Love Island’ has a lot to answer for….

  4. 14:55 … really fun puzzle.

    Quite a tricky SW, where BRIDOON, IN-BUILT and IDAHO stared blankly at me for a while (or was it the other way round? something like staring into the ABYSS) before hazarding a completely erroneous idea that a BRIDOON might be a coin (by analogy with dubloon) got me started.

    I feel that 19d DIPTERA deserves singling out. That’s a masterful clue, great surface, clever as a cartload of monkeys

    1. Agree DIPTERA. It’s that use of ‘leaves’ we see occasionally that has been deployed so craftily here I’d say.
      1. that and “sink water” to be lifted and separated, both in the same smooth surface, is classy stuff
  5. Didn’t know the Welshman LYN, nor BRIDOON of course and failed to parse SENEGAL in the time I was prepared to spend thinking about it. BRIDOON was my LOI and added 50% to my solving time for the rest of the puzzle making 45 minutes in all. Very enjoyable for the most part.

    Edited at 2018-07-05 05:04 am (UTC)

  6. 31 minutes, so my fastest for a while. F(tentative)OI 1d DIS, LOI either 24a IDAHO (not quite parsed) or 18d the unknown BRIDOON; I think they really led to each other at about the same moment.

    Definitely enjoyable overall; liked 12a SENEGAL especially. Glad I remembered DIPTERA from earlier puzzles, as I made up my own wordplay after biffing it—DIP followed by “R” for river in “tea” for “leaves”… Still, a win is a win!

  7. 30 mins with yoghurt, blueberry compote, granola, etc.
    MERs at gather=raise and encouragement=aid.
    Last in were Bridoon(which it had to be) and Idaho(unparsed).
    Also didn’t parse 12ac. Note to self: learn to read backwards.
    Mostly I liked: I’m Peach and COD to Dashboard.
    Thanks setter and Z.
    1. ENL (eyebrow now lowered)?
      No trouble with gather=raise, in the sense of a group of people on a nefarious bent: gather a posse/raise a posse, or a lynch-mob perhaps.
  8. As others, mostly easy but held up below the equator by BRIDOON, DIPTERA and IDAHO. Used checkers and wordplay to derive the answers and then checked first two in the dictionary

    Loved the LA GENES and the “water mixed with leaves” device

  9. I did most of this at speed but a few delayed me at the end, including LOI DIPTERA. I had thought of this earlier but ‘water mixed with leaves’ surely had to be TEA so how did the R get in there? I finally saw the parsing just as I finished. If this was intended misdirection on the part of the setter then hats off to him/her.
  10. No idea about the LA GENES and O HAD I parsing, with BRIDOON entered from wordplay. Managed to eventually work out DIPTERA after trying to fit in ‘cha’ for ‘leaves’.

    DOUBLE DUTCH bought a smile and I like SOPHISTRY as a word for no good reason other than it makes me sound smart when I use it, even if I don’t really know exactly what it means.

    Sorry to be a pain, but I think you’ll find Lynn Davies won the long jump at the 1964 (not 1972) Olympics – I have a vague, grainy B&W recollection of it, along with Betty Cuthbert winning the 400 m.

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

    1. You’re quite right, I conflated 2 references. In 1972 he finished 18th.
  11. Many good clues, and a smattering of brilliant ones, in a high-quality puzzle. I really enjoyed this one.


    Great puzzle, great blog too, for which many thanks.

  12. 28 minutes. I can recall a Board meeting when I suggested that if X were to be the case then I was a Dutchman, only to look up at a colleague director from Amsterdam. Didn’t know BRIDOON from BORIDON and needed penultimate IN-BUILT, which took its time. I think I recalled ‘built like a brick outhouse’, or a very similar structure. I wasn’t sure either between DIPTERA and DOPTERA, so had to solve the cryptic. COD to IDAHO. Nice puzzle. Thank you Z and setter.
  13. Enjoyed this a lot. 21m. Interesting that we’ve had the Aga appearing two days running (yesterday at 10ac and today at 28ac).
    Some excellent clues, particularly 12ac. Thanks setter and Z.
    1. Yes, and with the second appearance inside the word “again”!
      Surely, this was deliberate…
      If we hadn’t had “aga” yesterday, I think this wouldn’t have been my FOI.

      Edited at 2018-07-05 10:57 pm (UTC)

  14. 22.14 holding my breath on bridoon. 12 a delight; but a wife, sister, mother or daughter of a sultan who doesn’t happen to be the mistress of one may raise her eyebrows at the preceding clue. Is ‘usual’ the right word in 10?
  15. ….that I don’t really need. As the enduring blues act BB King put it. Was playing him in the car yesterday.

    I didn’t need “Outside Help”, and returned 12:48 for this top notch offering. Started slowly (again) but FOI DUCAT led immediately to ANALGESIC and I was then off at almost full tilt.

    Thanks to Z for his usual excellent blog, which saved me having to look up DNK BRIDOON, and cast light on DIPTERA, where I joined Pootle73 in thinking too hard about tea.

    LOI DIS which I just didn’t see on earlier readings.

    COD SENEGAL. Is a RASPBERRY the correct response to “I’m peach” ?

    Z : the best way to avoid “Love Island” is to go to the pub, but noise cancelling headphones are a good alternative (works for me during “Emmerdale”).

    1. I think it might be if you’re Dame Nellie Melba, though you should include vanilla ice-cream as well.
  16. 12m. Super puzzle. Like Kevin I successfully resisted the temptation to look up BRIDOON before putting it in. I was solving on paper so no-one else would have known if I had got it wrong, but still.
    If memory serves (which would be unusual, let’s face it, but I can’t be bothered to check.) the term ‘dutch’ for wife predates the existence of the title ‘Duchess of Fife’ so is certainly not rhyming slang. But of course the setter doesn’t say it is.
    1. Jesus would have known, K, and reminded you of it on that day. Just sayin’.
      1. I don’t think so. As it happens I chatted to him the other day, and he said ‘I do not say to you seven times, but seven across is really bugging me, is it an anagram?’

        Edited at 2018-07-05 04:51 pm (UTC)

    2. Goldsmith apparently alluded to the cockney usage in the late 18th century, over 100 years before the Duke of Fife was created.
  17. 24 min – with some unparsed. Had doubts on definition of 11ac, as mentioned by others, and DNK 18dn, though wordplay was clear enough. For 12ac, I was trying to find why I had to lose the NO from an anagram of ‘Angelenos’, while at 19dn (like Pootle) I needed an R from somewhere.
  18. Very enjoyable puzzle, which kept me amused for 21 minutes. COD to SENEGAL – very nice.
  19. Solved this in 26:08 but with a too hasty insertion of DOPTERA (-lepi) carelessly parsed as an anagram of drop with tea(I know!). Annoying considering I’d managed to parse all the other awkward stuff. Nevertheless, a good puzzle. Didn’t know BRIDOON but went with the wordplay. Liked SENEGAL. Thanks setter and Z.
  20. Liked it, interesting and humorous. A tad over average 21 mins. Recognised the LA genes clue immediately, remembered it from a previous Times: Google suggests 24763 in 2011. My memory isn’t that good, must have appeared more recently as well.
    Flies beginning with D… fruit-fly. Took forever to remember drosophila – my dad used to be very interested in DNA science 30/40 years ago. Learned recently that PTERA was a wing, when solving a clue for HELICOPTER – never before realised it was made from HELICO-PTERa, always assumed it was HELI-COPTER.
  21. the well known eighties BBC series – in the Poldark vein.

    This took me just 30mins bar the aforementioned 18dn and 20ac IN-BUILT

    FOI 2dn REPEL


    WOD 19dn DIPTERA

  22. I get the feeling the setter is more Theory X than Y with lots of directorates and supervision. Took ages over Bridoon which is clearly clued. Otherwise done in about 40 mins, which allowed me to see more than 10 services by Nadal. We need some Theory X umpires. Fun puzzle and fun blog.
  23. 28:01. FOI 9ac. LOI the unknown 18dn where I trusted the wp. Thought diptera the best of a good bunch.
  24. Put me down as another with BRIDOON as the LOI. Thanks for clarifying the Essenes and raise = gather, which I couldn’t quite understand (but felt confident enough about not to worry too much!). A fun puzzle, not too taxing. 8m 45s.
  25. Got through it in good time – a bit over 30 min – and enjoyed it. I particularly liked the clever wordplay at Idaho and at Diptera. My holdup was Repressed (Lou Reed – enduring bluesman – with press, meaning more or less confined) instead of Depressed. Thanks, Z
  26. I was thinking the other day that, if Calvin was 6 in, say, 1990, he would be mid 30s today, and wondering what he’d get up to given access to adult resources.
    1. It’s a nice thought. Where would any of the old cartoon characters be if they’d been allowed to grow older? Charlie Brown would be pushing 70. I think Lucy’s probably still living next door and giving him a hard time
  27. 12:34 – it was the top left that gave me the most grief, with DIRECTORATE being the last in. Got DIPTERA and BRIDOON from wordplay, but SENEGAL went in from definition, though I now see the wordplay is v clever.
  28. Loved it. Lots of wit and invention here, much to savour. Some really great clues, among which probably the two toughest, DIPTERA and SENEGAL, are my CoDs. The wrecked ship also tickled my fancy somewhat, though I must confess I had plenty of time to think about the clues as several of them refused to yield answers! But hey, it was fun.

    Thank you blogger, very nice one, and setter bravo/ brava.

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