Times Cryptic No 27096 – Saturday, 21 July 2018. Oh I do like to be beside the seaside.

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
After suggestions during the previous week that week-day puzzles were tending to become easier, this number has certainly proved that Saturdays don’t have that problem, for me at least! Perhaps an early sign of the difficulties in the following week, epitomised by the Thursday puzzle two days before this blog went up!

Anyway, on that Saturday, a number of clues had inaccessible parts for someone who doesn’t speak the dialect of English required here. The extreme examples were 2dn, where I knew neither the answer nor the wordplay, and the improbable-looking and obscure answer at 5dn.

I don’t have a time to confess to – I stopped the clock and resorted to tools for 2dn at a relatively early stage and continued to struggle after that. Never mind – I hope Verlaine and many of you loved it! Thanks to the setter for a challenging puzzle.

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

1 Possible Venetian spy, a source of misunderstanding? (5,4)
BLIND SPOT: “blinds”, of the Venetian or other type, “spot” for see.

6 Henry’s left fichus arranged in a mysterious order (5)
SUFIC: (FIC-US*), taking out H for Henry.

9 Work sailor’s put together for mates (5)
OPPOS: OP for work, PO (Petty Officer) for sailor. A British word, but I know it from Crosswordland.

10 He whom I dub X’s successor, without reason (9)
MANICALLY: Mr. Y is the man I call Mr. X’s successor, you see!

11 Figure it’s high time to arrest Harry! (7)
NONAGON: NAG in NOON. A gimme.

12 Most cuckoo chicks found here? (7)
INANEST: since chicks, cuckoo or other, will be IN A NEST.

13 Coldplay events with alterations to 4 lyrics (6,8)
WINTER OLYMPICS: W for with, then (PIMENTO LYRICS*). Numeric “4” rather than “four” often indicates a reference to another clue, 4dn in this case. Nice definition.

17 Merry old maiden and two Brits which I heard at promenade concert? (6-2-3-3)
TIDDLY-OM-POM-POM: the wordplay is helpful: TIDDLY (merry), O M (old maiden), POM POM (Brit repeated).

No – we’re not looking for Rule Britannia at the Royal Albert Hall during the Last Night of the Proms. This is a brass band on a seaside promenade. The reference is to the 1907 song Oh, I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside, written by John A. Glover-Kind.

Oh! I do like to be beside the seaside
I do like to be beside the sea!
I do like to stroll upon the Prom, Prom, Prom!
Where the brass bands play: “Tidd[e]ly-om-pom-pom!”

21 Respond in kind to storyteller in lounge? (3,4)
LIE BACK: double definition, the first facetious.

23 More robust following hip and chest expander? (7)
INHALER: IN (hip), HALER (more robust). A pedant might object that it expands the bronchi, not the chest, but near enough.

25 For recital, the best philosopher’s works (5,4)
FLOUR MILL: FLOUR sounds like “flower”, as in “the flower of English womanhood”. The philosopher is John Stuart MILL.

26 Egg on the faces of the elite — most pundits, too (5)
TEMPT: spelled out by the first letters (“the faces”) of each word.

27 Auditor’s to instil panic in the City (5)
SOFIA: sounds like SOW FEAR, at least to non-rhotic speakers (those who don’t stress their “r”s).

28 Fume, penning article for Express (3,6)
GET ACROSS: GET CROSS (“fume”), around A (“article”).

1 Guide who leads from summit currently descending on lake (5,3)
BROWN OWL: BROW, NOW, L. Apparently Brown Owl is the standard title for the adult in charge of a Brownie unit.

2 No reason for cold-callers to ring up? A winning point! (5)
IPPON: reversal (“up”) of NO PPI. I had no idea what a PPI is, nor what an IPPON is, making this an altogether inaccessible clue! Some internet investigation reveals an ippon is a good score (“winning point”) in Oriental martial arts, and a PPI is apparently something that has been a vehicle for mis-selling by cold callers in Britain. So, if you have NO PPI, there’ll be no point in their calling you.

3 Was not as one desired, sadly, claiming silver (9)
DISAGREED: AG (silver) inside (DESIRED*).

4 Something spicy people into holy books turned up (7)
PIMENTO: PI (holy, or at least presenting as such), MEN, OT “turned up”.

5 Call from opponent in the box, ending in penalty (7)
TANTIVY: ANTI (opponent) inside TV (box), then Y from {penalt}Y. Hard to believe this is (or at least was) a real word! It has to do with galloping, or the sound of the hunting horn.

6 Boy or girl, upset seeing that, given tea (5)
SACHA: SA (from AS, “seeing that”, upset) , then CHA is tea. Can be either a boy’s or a girl’s name.

7 Padding about quietly in tanktop? (6,3)
FILLER CAP: FILLER (padding), CA (about), P (quiet). The top of a fuel tank of course. Not what we call it in my part of the world, BTW, but the wordplay is enough.

8 Secret member’s call to turn over a new leaf? (6)
CRYPTO: CRY (call), PTO (please turn over to a new page/leaf).

14 Stage direction one is barking so very loudly (6,3)
NOISES OFF: (ONE IS*), then SO, FF as the musical instruction for “very loud”.

15 Seeing what’s coming forward, fellow has nervous reaction (9)
PROPHETIC: the PROP is a beefy chap at the front of the Rugby scrum; HE is our fellow of the moment; TIC is the nervous reaction.

16 Aussies missing flight holding flag up, having retained title (8)
EMERITUS: EMUS (flightless Australian birds), around TIRE (flag) backwards (“up”).

18 Always recalled George VI perhaps with stammer delivering speech (7)
YAKKING: YA is AY backwards (“recalled”), K-KING might be a stammering reference to G-VI.

19 Top post: one’s destiny? (7)
MAILLOT: MAIL (post), LOT (destiny). I thought a maillot was a swimsuit, but it can also be a top apparently.

20 Bank’s exercises in deception (6)
BLUFFS: double definition, one of them with an apostrophe.

22 Bloody channel volunteers to put rock music on! (5)
AORTA: AOR is apparently an abbreviation to do with rock music (another DNK for me); TA are the usual volunteers immortalised in Crosswordland.

24 Where waiters are passing under bar? (5)
LIMBO: passing under the bar refers to the LIMBO dance; the first definition is referring to dead souls at least temporarily unable to gain admittance to Heaven.


17 comments on “Times Cryptic No 27096 – Saturday, 21 July 2018. Oh I do like to be beside the seaside.”

  1. Actually a DNF, as I had to go to the dictionary and play with the alphabet for IPPON. I may have in fact come across the word before, but certainly didn’t know PPI. I also typed UM for OM. Also DNK AOR, although that didn’t matter; and DNK BROWN OWL. I think I first came across TANTIVY in ‘Our Mutual Friend’:
    ‘Bravo!’ cried Eugene, rising too. ‘Or, if Yoicks would be in better keeping, consider that I said Yoicks. Look to your feet, Mortimer, for we shall try your boots. When you are ready, I am–need I say with a Hey Ho Chivey, and likewise with a Hark Forward, Hark Forward, Tantivy?’

    Edited at 2018-07-28 06:48 am (UTC)

  2. I’m a little surprised that Kevin didn’t know IPPON as he lives in Japan! However, I thought 2d joined a couple from Friday’s cryptic as being somewhat contrived. I biffed IPPON and never guessed the connection with PPI, the selling thereof I had only heard about.
    I wonder as the day progresses if there will be discussion of TIDDLY-OM-POM-POM. That was quite obscure. Can we now expect a quote from “Sussex By The Sea”?
    I like rock music but had never heard the term AOR but biffed AORTA anyway.
    Thanks for FILLER CAP, brnchn.
    I think we’ve had the other spelling of PIMENTO (with a second I) recently.
    NOISES OFF ranks as one of the funniest nights I’ve ever had in the theatre.
    1. Well, I don’t do martial arts, or watch them; a bit of sumo (watch, not do!), although not much, and the term doesn’t figure there. Somehow I ‘knew’ ‘tiddly-pom’, but not TIDDLY-OM-POM-POM, and will be happy not to see it again. On edit: NOW I remember: it’s from The House at Pooh Corner, which I don’t recall ever reading:
      The more it snows
      (Tiddely pom),
      The more it goes
      (Tiddely pom),
      The more it goes
      (Tiddely pom)
      On snowing.
      And nobody knows
      (Tiddely pom),
      How cold my toes
      (Tiddely pom),
      How cold my toes
      (Tiddely pom),
      Are growing.

      Edited at 2018-07-28 11:29 am (UTC)

  3. I love brass bands, B, the mournful music played in God’s waiting room, aka the bandstand in classy Southport, where I had a vacation job. Ever since, I’ve claimed to be the last Victorian and the first baby boomer. But ‘I do like to be beside the seaside’ is forever associated in my head with Reginald Dixon rising from the underworld with his mighty Wurlitzer on the other side of the Ribble in brash Blackpool at the Tower Ballroom. I was around 80 minutes on this, not knowing but correctly biffing TANTIVY, MAILLOT and IPPON. As I believe is the case for all UK residents for the last umpteen years, I have been solicited most weeks to see if I took out unnecessary PPI insurance, so the last of these wasn’t difficult. I may have known of album orientated rock but AORTA just needed the cryptic and the TA. I enjoyed this, long as it took. Thank you B and setter.
    1. The joys of mobile phones: I only have a landline because it’s compulsory for the ADSL. I don’t answer it when it rings, everyone I want to talk to rings the mobile. And I don’t answer the mobile if it’s anonymous, everyone I want to talk to displays their number.

      I was beaten by IPPON & TANTIVY – guessed the point in martial arts but no idea of IPP, guessed the ANTI but too thick/off the wavelength to see TV. Oh, well. Not really a crossword I enjoyed.

    2. I once went to a concert in Southport by the American singer Judy Collins. My memory is that the decor of much of the theatre was purple! Very odd!
      1. What year was that, Martin? It was probably the Southport Theatre, built on the site of the old Floral Hall, a bit later than my days there.The bandstand was on Lord Street, with the Cambridge Hall behind it. If, to quote the poster, the weather was inclement, then the concert was transferred inside which left me having to set out the seats quickly having already done so outside. I then had to operate the mike system. I love brass bands from 50 yards off, but something is lost, not gained, if only two yards away!
  4. 2dn IPPON was no problem if one has watched the Olympics over the years. But 5dn TANTIVY was unknkown so I lobbed in TENUITYwith a biff!

    Thus a DNF on a difficult puzzle overall – no time recorded.


    LOI 22dn AORTA

    COD 2dn IPPON


  5. Indeed this was a stretch over 37 minutes, with FILLER CAP causing most distress. That unhyphenated tanktop was naughty, and for the longest time I could not see it as the top of a tank.
    Cold callers are a menace that I cannot believe are permitted to live. It cannot be beyond the wit of the telecoms companies to put a punitive charge on anyone making such a call. The worst I have at the moment threatens legal action if I do not pay a large sum on an agreement I don’t have to prevent cold calls. That has to be illegal in so many ways. The PPI ones are, by comparison, merely annoying. What an age we live in where you are made to feel guilty for failing to claim something you’re not actually owed. Not to mention life cover, funeral plans, “just a brief lifestyle survey”, ISP corruption etc, etc. How are these things allowed to exist???

    Rant over. Thanks (not) to 2d for reminding me.

    AOR also out of my ken, not so TANTIVY and TIDDLY.Thanks to BW I’ll have good old Reginald Dixon echoing through my conscious all day. Better than a cold call, for sure.

  6. DNF. I never really got going on this (my FOI was 26ac), I plied away but eventually used aids to get the unknown 5dn and the known 25ac. I did know ippon from doing judo when I was a kid. I quite liked 17ac when I got it. Is “one’s” doing anything in 19dn?
  7. I’ve lost my bit of paper since last week, but according to the website I got it all correct, at least. Helpfully, I did a few years of karate. I even have a runner-up cup from a local tournament gathering dust in a drawer somewhere, so I must have heard “ippon” a couple of times, at least 🙂

    I remember struggling over the unknown TANTIVY and MAILLOT, though. And apparently I like Album-Oriented Rock, though I didn’t know that while I was solving…

  8. I don’t time my Saturday solves any more, but in any case this would have been a technical DNF because I had to use aids for IPPON and TANTIVY, although in retrospect I should have been able to see the PPI connection, and forgetting TV/box is inexcusable.

    On the plus side, how could I not love a puzzle that has TIDDLY-OM-POM-POM as one of its answers, even though the downside was it kept popping up as an earworm throughout the week.

  9. I am beside the seaside at the moment. Arrived just as the rain started.
    And I once saw Reginald Dixon live.
    As for this puzzle, I found it extremely difficult. I was delighted to solve the bottom half after a big effort. There was not much in the top half to keep Sufic Sacha company.
  10. …IPPON, and couldn’t work it out. Now it’s parsed here it gets COD. DNF after 20 minutes or so.
  11. I made a royal mess of this in 79:05, having to look up IPPON which I did not know and could not parse, as well as having to use a word finder for the unknown TANTIVY, although I suspect it may crop up regularly in G&S operettas. Apart from that I somehow managed to forget to go back to 8d and left it as a despairing COYOTE(beats me too!). My first thought was of Pooh and Piglet for 17a. 1d was a write in as my elder daughter has just become Brown Owl for Guisborough Brownies. A tough puzzle. I’m glad to see it wasn’t just me that struggled. Thanks setter, and Bruce for unraveling it.
  12. 17:54. I thought this was quite tricky but not too bad. I did judo as a kid, so IPPON was a familiar word I associate with lying supine on a mat in varying degrees of pain. PPI is very UK-specific but will be all too familiar to most people here. My brother-in-law actually got £8,000 from his bank so it’s not all bad.
    TANTIVY completely unknown and constructed from wordplay. An unlikely-looking word entered with crossed fingers.
  13. A very quirky puzzle in terms of both vocabulary and wordplay. The MAILLOT jaune is topical courtesy of the soon-to-end Tour de France. I remember from childhood piano lessons some tune that had the refrain “Tantivy, tantivy, tantivy, A-hunting we will go”. The definition “Call” seems a little ungenerous but I suppose anyone who’s never heard the word probably wouldn’t have got it from “Hunting call” either (plus it would have ruined the surface). Loved the IPPON clue but can sympathise with those not familiar with either martial arts or UK mis-selling controversies.

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