Times Cryptic No 27106 Thursday, 2 August 2018 The multitudinous seas incarnadine

By dint of (almost) skipping typo watch, I scrambled in just one second under 30 minutes, but I’m not sure why I made (for me) rather heavy weather of this one. For the most part, the anagrams in particular are easy to spot, and some of them rearrange themselves generously in front of your eyes. Unless you can’t identify the correct term for Albert II and chums, there’s not much obscurity here. To compensate, there’s a 4 letter answer with the dreaded ?A?E pattern (choose any 1 from 171 examples in Chambers)
We are one letter short of the pangram: I suspect the setter eschewed the opportunity for correcting the omission just to annoy fans of the bottom left hand corner of the keyboard.
Here are my musings, with clues, definitions and SOLUTIONS provided.


1 Shifting coffee table and PC provides surprising health benefits (7,6)
PLACEBO EFFECT  Shifting immediately suggests an anagram: coffee table +PC are your fodder.  I suppose health benefits from pills with no medicinal content would be surprising, but belief is a powerful agent of change. Discuss
9 Spirit of old duke regularly seen in V&A (5)
VODKA My easy starting point. O(ld) plus DuKe (regularly seen ) in V and A. That sort of spirit.
10 Make ruddy new offenders put in long stretch of time (9)
ENCRIMSON N(ew) CRIMS, an Australian (?) contraction of criminals place inside EON for long stretch of time.
11 European party appropriating £1000? (10)
MONEGASQUE Saved from misspelling by the wordplay. The party is a MASQUE, and £1,000 translates into ONE G.
12 Leaves of the elder (4)
SAGE (though I bet there’s other possibilities). A double definition,  leaves rather loosely indicating some sort of greenery.
14 A small room amid New England housing (7)
NACELLE Housing as in for a jet engine and such. Your small room (not loo this time) is A CELL, found in N(ew) E(ngland).
16 Chubby US mother avoiding starters and large chunk of bread (4,3)
LUMP SUM (so not a door step, or the wonderful South African bunny chow). Remove the first letters from PLUMP US MUM
17 Mark off pieces of furniture in stalls (7)
ARRESTS M(ark) away from ARMRESTS, pieces of furniture rather than – um – pieces of furniture.
19 Universal launch epic involving good outlaw (3,4)
BIG BANG  A cutesy definition, and epic: BIG, embracing G(ood) outlaw: BAN. I lost time working through the merry men, the James gang and Ned Kelly.
20 Voiced disapproval about uranium and source of banned material (4)
TUSK  TSK is your voiced disapproval, and Uranium (obviously) is U. The sale of ivory from elephant tusks is banned in the UK. I associate the sound tsk with Bugs Bunny, though I can’t track down an authority for that. So here’s a limerick I found instead:
Elmer Fudd loudly started to swear
At a restaurant down by the square
They served up some bisque
To Bugs Bunny tsk tsk
But he cannot stand soup in his hare
21 Notes alarming blunders before I answer (10)
MARGINALIA Either alarming or blunders could provide the anagram indicator or fodder, but you need MARGINAL to add to I A(nswer). You work it out.
24 Half of day is boring dry lecture (9)
SERMONISE MONday provides the half day you want, and you add IS and place both in SERE for dry. An alternative spelling could have provided the Z to complete the pangram.
25 Snack made by British Muslim pilgrim (5)
BHAJI Yum. Onions deep fried in spicy batter. And a mildly surprising use of the completely unrelated HAJI, Arabic for pilgrim, following B(ritish)
26 Heard if cooking celebrity is worn down by exposure (7-6)
WEATHER BEATEN Sounds remarkably like whether (Mrs) Beaton

1 One presenting a down-at-heel image? (8,6)
PAVEMENT ARTIST Cryptic definition, down at heel not meaning shabby, but rather more literally down at or by your heel.
2 Poetic form master in eau de nil (5)
AUDEN Hidden in eAU DE Nil. WH Auden was a school teacher in early life, but I’m not certain whether that’s the reference or that he was a master of the poetic form.
3 Advocate leaving set off (10)
EVANGELIST LEAVING SET “off” Anagram clues don’t come with greater economy than this.
4 Curate poetry written in Old English (7)
OVERSEE So not the master of diplomatic egg criticism, but the verb. Poetry: VERSE in O(ld) E(nglish).
5 Documentary’s bad fault when incorporating account (7)
FACTUAL Documentary as adjective. Anagram (bad) of FAULT plus AC(count)
6 Onset of extra time keeps football team going (4)
EXIT First of Extra, plus T(ime) surrounding XI for team
7 Drink down under while chap’s getting stuck into meal (6,3)
TASMAN SEA Strewth, that’d be a big tinnie. While: AS, chap: MAN, seat in meal TEA.
8 Mixing one surgeon’s title up in midst of complex operation (14)
INTERMIGRATION Integration always felt pretty complex when I was doing Maths, but there may be a more technical connection. Surgeons are by courtesy always  Mr (not Dr, dear me, no). Take one (and one: I), reverse him* and place him in INTEGRATION
*and what, pray, would you call a lady surgeon?
13 Big AA Milne novel not too far-fetched (10)
IMAGINABLE A “novel” version of BIG AA MILNE
15 Opener from county’s team (9)
CORKSCREW The team from – um – Co CORK
18 Seconds before profuse grovelling (7)
SLAVISH S(econds) followed by profuse: LAVISH
19 Tap on shoulder produces pain in the neck (7)
BUGBEAR  Tap as in wire tap: BUG plus shoulder (burden): BEAR
22 Tipped British director to take away Oscar (5)
LEANT David LEAN (Dr Zhivago, Brief Encounter and, well,  almost every Great British Movie) plus TO with the O(scar) taken away
23 Travel always upset painter (4)
GOYA  Travel GO and always AY reversed.

57 comments on “Times Cryptic No 27106 Thursday, 2 August 2018 The multitudinous seas incarnadine”

  1. Spent a good deal of time worrying over LOI SAGE before deciding that nothing else seemed to work. I originally typed in MONAGESQUE (well, it’s Monaco not Moneco, innit?), but that would give a soft G. I was working for a long time with the wrong anagrist for MARGINALIA, and with LOO at 14ac; finally the light(s) dawned. DNK BHAJI, but it had to be. Ditto CRIM (Z, you’ve got an extra N). Does a lump sum have to be large?
  2. …about (British) surgeons’ being called “Mr.” That held me up quite a bit. I’m also not sure why “form” is added to the Auden clue. I happened to know the term for a Muslim pilgrim, though I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of the snack (probably have, though, and right here). I thought of SAGE immediately but was very reluctant to put it in.
  3. 14:30. Late to yesterday’s but early to today’s, which I found reasonably straightforward in spite of a smattering of funny words. I’m glad I didn’t skip typo watch though: I’d have had three errors.
    I seem to remember reading that recent research has shown the PLACEBO EFFECT not to be as powerful as previously thought, which would reduce the surprise factor.
    The Mr/surgeon thing is a hangover from the days when a mere sawbones wasn’t considered a proper doctor. Now they’re top of the tree they wear the distinction with ironic pride.
  4. I got rather bored with this – the trouble was in the North Eastern Wilderness.

    I failed on 6dn EXIT and 11ac SAGE (really)!

    I just wasn’t happy with 10ac being ENCRIMSON in case 8dn was TRANSMIGRATION as opposed to INTERMIGRATION. My head span and I sought Lord Z who was in Chambers.

    FOI 13dn IMAGINABLE which indeed the anagram was!


    WOD 11ac MONEGASQUE which was also a fine clue.

    I really must make a start on that Club Monthly. Nothing on first read through.

    Edited at 2018-08-02 07:33 am (UTC)

  5. Couldn’t decide between SAGE and PAGE so settled for the latter on the basis that a leaf is a page. Oh well.
    Otherwise, thank you, Z for MONEGASQUE, INTERMIGRATION and the SERE in SERMONISE.
    My ‘voiced disapproval’ was a TUT but it didn’t make any sense so I moved to TSK.
  6. I’m a MONAGESQUE, as Hamilton, L. said. Didn’t know masque as a party, so was never going to parse that one. And it’s English? In my mind masked balls are associated with Venice.
    Needed an alphabet trawl for sage; fortunately kept going past Kale – some old bloke, perhaps?
    1. Forgot to say: a slowish 28 min DNF, but an enjoyable puzzle with some quirky definitions: I enjoy the likes of universal launch, drink downunder, large lump of bread. Thank-you setter and blogger.
  7. There’s a typo at 10ac, z, where an extra N has crept into EON.

    Staggered to find ENCRIMSON is a word and got through a number of other difficulties but fell at the final fence using aids to come up with MONEGASQUE which has not appeared before other than in a Club Monthly (which I never do) and a comment by mohn2 re Prince Rainier in a QC last December. I was looking at IG to account for £1000 but never considered spelling it out as ONE G. Having said that, I wouldn’t have recognised MASQUE as ‘party’ anyway.

    As I have noted here before, Mrs Beeton was a journalist and editor, not a ‘cooking celebrity’. The recipes published in her famous Book of Household Managment formed only a part of its content and were more or less cut and pasted in from elsewhere. For all I know she may not have been able to boil an egg.

    Edited at 2018-08-02 04:57 am (UTC)

    1. The debates over the proper designation of Isabella Beeton did cross my mind both while solving the puzzle and writing up the blog, but not sufficiently for me even to spell her name correctly, which fortunately didn’t matter in the grid. Did Cecil perhaps have a star turn on an early version of Masterchef to go with his photography?
  8. 18:54 … with several minutes staring at the dreaded .A.E at 12a and going through the alphabet. ‘elder’ as a SAGE doesn’t spring to mind for me.

    Couldn’t remember what a MONEGASQUE was even after solving the clue, so that’s my bit o’ learning for the day.

    COD to the excellent VODKA

  9. 48 minutes, so a stretch for me, but not too far. FOI helpfully 1a PLACEBO EFFECT (I understand there are plenty of surprising things, the one springing to my mind being that it can still work even if the patient knows it’s a placebo…)

    LOI 11a the unknown MONEGASQUE, but helpfully I’d (a) remembered the “see a U, try a Q” and (b) read the Wikipedia entry on masques the last time the word came up here.

    Got one answer courtesy of Star Trek: those two tubes mounted on pylons at the top of the USS Enterprise are “warp NACELLES”. Liked “universal launch” the most of everything here.

  10. 40 mins to give up on the Monacoan – with yoghurt, granola, etc.
    I liked it a lot – but spoilt by the DNF clued by the least likely synonym for party.
    I got Sage – but it was a painful trawl. Someone should coin an acronym for short answers with many options. SAWMO perhaps? I’m sure you can do better.
    Mostly I liked: W-Beeton, AA Milne anag, and COD to Bugbear.
    Thanks setter and Z.
    1. perhaps you could get bogged down in a SWAMP (short word allowing many possibilities)
        1. I am looking forward to the day when myrltilus has created enough acronyms that we can do an entire commentary in them. I am especially eager to see how we deal with Fat Rascals and various marmalade’s.
  11. I am sure that I will be corrected by Thud n Blunder but I believe that the Mr title relates only to Consultant Surgeons. Female Consultant Surgeons are styled Mrs, Ms or Miss as they prefer.
    1. It isn’t necessary to be a Consultant. Reverting to Mr / Ms / Miss / Mrs comes with gaining Fellowship of one of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons (London, Glasgow or Edinburgh), and the postgraduate diploma is passed during the Specialist Registrar years, well before a Consultant appointment is secured. 🙂
  12. I spent some time staring at M_N_G_S_U_ and feeling like I wasn’t getting close to an answer so eventually gave up. With hindsight that was the right decision as I didn’t know MONEGASQUE and didn’t remember MASQUE for party so I could have spent several more hours staring and not come up with that.

    PAVEMENT ARTIST put me in mind of the chap who is often on the Millennium Bridge doing art in old chewing gum marks. But I guess he’d be a bridge artist rather than a pavement artist.

  13. With 1A and 1D write-ins this was never going to be a headache and only the pesky 4 letter SAGE gave real pause for thought

    The moment I read the clue I knew Jack would rightly mention Mrs Beeton not being a cook!

    1. Sorry to be so predictable, Jim, but if we don’t keep telling they won’t ever learn – not that I imagine the setters follow our ramblings that closely anyway.
      1. No apology needed

        I think we have had some success over the years. The scientific element of the crossword is far greater than when we did the clue analysis that exposed just how biased the puzzle used to be. Also “ted” is less often described as a thug of some sort. Keep going – we’ll get Mrs B her proper description

  14. St Annes is currently north of today’s weather fault line so no walk down the beach today. We had scheduled a trip to Malham but that may need to wait. The newspapers were acquired by car. 42 minutes with LOI SAGE, preferred to page as the answer wasn’t plural. Penultimate INTERMIGRATION. I think humankind is divided between integrators and differentiators, but the former sometimes forget that an unknown constant has to be added. That’s the problem for planners. COD WEATHER-BEATEN by a short head from the BIG BANG. I was helped by seeing a copy of Mrs Beaton’s Household Management yesterday in the kitchen of Samlesbury Hall. It was a gorgeous day too. We should have gone there today and Malham yesterday. It was as well I knew MONEGASQUE or the old physicist would have wanted a K for the G, at least until the EVANGELIST persuaded me to follow mammon. I’ve never used CRIMS but what else? Thank you Z and setter.
    1. Went up to Lytham today, passing the Reebok….sorry Macron….sorry University of Bolton Stadium on the M61. I don’t see the existing signage permitting a new moniker of such size to be substituted !
      1. What about Bolton Mechanics’ Institute instead? That’s what’s now the University was first called in the 1820s, a far more honourable title. It could be abbreviated to BMI to fit, not that Ivan Campo or Kevin Davies would have known theirs.
        The rain cleared and it turned into a nice day. We went to the Witch Museum, drove round Pendle, and then through the Trough to Lancaster before coming back to sun ourselves. Did you come to watch the women’s golf or have you got connections here?
        1. I still remember Burnden Park. Those were the days – or maybe I’m getting old
          1. I’d been going there 45 years prior to the move to the Reebok. I was first taken to Burnden by my Dad in January 1953. He saw the Reebok being constructed but died before we moved in, a bit like Moses with the Promised Land. I never saw any football at your old County Ground, not even in the 64/65 season when you pipped us for promotion, but I’ve been there several times to see the cricket.
            1. Northampton is not my team. I only moved up here in 2005. I’m from Watford, and have supported the Hornets since 1955 when I was 11. I’ve visited just about every ground in the country, including the old ones. The Reebok is one of my favourites for the terrific atmosphere. Yesterday I was at Vicarage Rd for the Graham Taylor memorial game, against Sampdoria, and the unveiling of his statue. Good luck for the season
  15. No problems until faced with just 11 and 12a left – all the checkers and no idea. MONEGASQUE finally appeared through the fog but I lost the will to live running through the -A -E options. Finally chucked in MATÉ in despair. It fits one of the definitions at least and is Mauricio Pochettino’s favourite drink so what’s not to like?
  16. An uncomfortably long time on this, stuck in SW with TUSK LOI, and SAGE just hopeful. MONEGASQUE only fell because of the wordplay. Integration is not necessarily complex (and complex has a different meaning in mathematics). Clue reminds of a great poser: what is the integral of (1/cabin)? Answer is one word of nine letters. 42′, thanks z and setter.
    1. log(cabin) + c is what I solved. I gather that is a HOUSEBOAT from google.
  17. Decent puzzle, which required a bit of thought, but not too much, as, for a second day in a row, all the required knowledge happily fell into my definition of general. The biggest delay was, inevitably, rejecting all the possibilities for _A_E which didn’t work; whatever we choose to call them, I hate being left with this sort of word, especially when one of the definitions is a bit vague, so that spotting the right answer doesn’t make you go “Ah, yes, that’s definitely it”; more something along the lines of “Well, that’s the best I can come up with, and I’m pretty sure it’s OK”.
  18. Remind you of any particular cricket team?
    Never heard of 11a. Can someone please explain how the SUM element of 16a works? SAGE! Well I got there but these clues should be banned. A forced puzzle in my view and not much fun. Thanks Z as always – you’re a joy to read
    1. Well, Z said it, but: PLUMP minus the initial P, US minus the initial U, MUM minus the initial M= LUMP S UM
  19. 61 mins: an inordinate amount of time spent on the last two crossers of BIG BANG and INTERMIGRATION. My arts education leaves me quite unable to see the mathematical sense of ‘complex operation’. While the witty ambiguity of ‘poetic form master’ as a definition for Auden greatly impressed, I think my COD award would go to 19d: the surface is smooth and the slightly out-of-focus semantics of ‘tap’ and ‘shoulder’ make this a very well crafted clue, in my opinion.

    Thanks, Z, for your very clear (very large type for the poor-sighted!) blog and to the setter for a lovely crossword.

    1. The large type is precisely for myopic readers, including me. LJ in the visual edit setting allows normal print (which is actually tiny) and the large setting which I used, and nothing in between. I find if I try html editing the text size I end up with chaos.

  20. Miswrote Monegasque so DNF. Slow time anyway. But entertaining puzzle. Mrs B.’s a cooking celebrity, surely, even if she was no cook. Speaking of Auden’s poetic forms, the villanelle beginning ‘Time will say nothing but I told you so’ is worth a gander. NB Sage for elder works for me – maybe because I’ve sat before the hearth-fire of ancient tales of Ind.

    Edited at 2018-08-02 10:09 am (UTC)

  21. I don’t think ‘elder’ is good enough for ‘sage’ – none of the dictionaries I have checked support it. Anyway, my alphabet trawl would have yielded ‘kale’ under exam conditions – unseen?

    Wouldn’t have mattered much anyway, as I put ‘Monagasque’. Those damned schwas – at least the way I was internally pronouncing it.

  22. Like others, for me MONEGASQUE & SAGE were the trickiest bits here. I got the former from wordplay after a struggle, and finished on the latter without masses of confidence. It also took me almost all the checkers to get INTERMIGRATION.

    ENCRIMSON is definitely my favourite word today, and I hope I get a chance to use it soon.

    9m 50s altogether.

  23. A disaster for me, with a whole 85:25 required to screw up with MONAGASQUE and an unforgivable EVANGELISE. Too careworn by the end to worry. Didn’t enjoy this puzzle. I found it too much of a slog, with SAGE my LOI consuming ages for a complete alphabet trawl which yielded KALE or SAGE, at which point the wise old man meaning hit me. Wasted ages on INTERMIGRATION trying to anagramise (complex)operation and FRCS. Bah! Thanks setter and Z.
  24. I was so, so close to completing my first ever 15×15 without any aids. I have sat for the last half hour looking at the unsolved clue 11a for MONEGASQUE and have finally admitted defeat. Looking now at the blog I know I would never have got there. I biffed just two today, NACELLE and MARGINALIA from the wordplay. Thank you for the blog. Solving time about an hour.
  25. I remembered doing Milton’s Comus for A Level which helped with MASQUE. A dogged plod through this but managed to finish in 35 minutes. INTERMIGRATION, which is a word I’ve never seen before, was my last one in. Ann
  26. Beaten by having the vowels around the wrong way in the unparsed MONEGASQUE, so a DNF in 52 minutes. 10a and 8d were both interesting words which I don’t expect to meet again any time soon. ENCRIMSON? Really? Maybe there’s an ‘enscarlet’ or ‘envermilion’ too.

    Yesterday’s boo-boo with SAGE for ‘sago’ helped with 12a for which I thankfully didn’t have to do the dreaded alphabet trawl.

    I did like the ‘Drink down under’ and for some reason LEANT also appealed.

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

  27. I looked up MONEGASQUE. I certainly didn’t know it, and I doubt I’d ever have thought of ‘masque’ for a party. So DNF today, but I learned what to call the Monacans if I ever get there (and remember the term). Regards.
  28. Well, I did manage to get 12ac without an alphabet trawl but after an hour I still had the recalcitrant 11ac to get, it was very much starting to look like a word I’d never heard of with wordplay which might be beyond me. I had to return to work but picked the paper up again on the journey home. After a bit more staring I finally figured out the wordplay for what was indeed an unknown so pleased to get it in the end. Not heard of bunny-chow before I bet it’s delicious washed down with a sherry cobbler or three.
    1. Take it from me, bunny chow needs a steady supply of Castle Lager, preferably well chilled. It’s a pretty robust, rustic construction, and I doubt anyone ever eats all the bread.
  29. As a retired cutter, my belief is that we were Mr (later also Mrs, Miss, or Ms) because in years gone by, a Physician, diagnosing an abscess, would refer the patient to a barber, who of course was equipped with razors and other sharp instruments, for lancing. Thus some barbers became Barber Surgeons, and not being qualified as Doctors, were known as Mr. This of course is nonsensical because very few medical doctors hold a Doctorate such as MD or PhD – most are Bachelors of Medicine and Surgery; the doctor bit is a courtesy title. As noted above, on passing the examination for a Fellowship in Surgery of one of the Royal Colleges, one suddenly reverted from being Dr to Mister – quite a proud moment.
  30. ….this had a satisfaction factor of minus 2. I can’t remember when I last got so little enjoyment from a puzzle, all the more frustrating because I’d been looking forward to it after a day out. Clearing it in 18:05 was scant consolation.


    Didn’t like MONEGASQUE, which would have gone in as “Monogasque” if I’d not fully parsed it. Thought LUMP SUM was an appalling clue on every level. If I see “mark off” I don’t expect it to really indicate “mark out”, so meh to ARRESTS. INTERMIGRATION was simply more trouble than it was worth.

    COD TASMAN SEA, an easy choice as nothing else made much appeal.

    LOI ENCRIMSON followed by huge sigh of relief at seeing the back of this offering.

  31. Didn’t know monegasque, and the g kept suggesting bag (as in bag of sand, grand) instead of plain old grand. I didn’t like intermigration, but I did like Vodka which was new and clever, and Corkscrew which I think we’ve had this way before.
  32. More than an hour for me. Sage went in quite early even without the second checker. Bottom right foxed me for ages – had Blini rather than Bhaji in mind and had thought of Leant already. LOI Intermigration as had thought this clue must be some sort of anag. Only fell into place with Big Bang as penultimate
  33. Well, I’ve almost managed a complete run of DNFs, beaten today by MONEGASQUE (my closest was “managascul”), and ARRESTS (where I went so wildly wrong that I am not even going to tell you all about it).

    Excellent puzzle, though I’d have thought it excellenter had I finished it.

  34. A handful, but got through it okay. No time as I kept falling asleep. Great blog, thanks.

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