Times Cryptic No 27240 – Saturday, 05 January 2019. The civility of servants.

A middle of the road Saturday challenge, I thought. I did it in bits and pieces, and don’t have an aggregate time to report. My LOI was 19dn, where I had a blind spot thinking that “SEA” would appear in the answer. Writing the blog, I found that many clues that were hard to see at the time are easy to explain in hindsight.

My clue of the day was 11ac, for its elegant simplicity. Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle.

Clues are in blue, with definitions underlined. Answers are in BOLD CAPS, then wordplay. (ABC*) means ‘anagram of ABC’. Deletions are in [square brackets].

1 See managers can provide space for posts (6,5)
NOTICE BOARD: see / managers.

7 Surprising outburst, a little lacking in volume? (3)
BOO: BOO{k}.

9 Telegraph, perhaps, has cut wire that’s bent (9)
PAPERCLIP: The Telegraph is a PAPER / cut is CLIP.

10 Dram on board cutter (5)
SNIPS: a NIP is a dram / put it on board the SS. Tin snips, for example.

11 Some attached to beginning a nation of Europe (7)
GERMANY: attach some or ANY to the GERM of an idea.

12 Style of harmony for choirs involving five hundred (7)
CHORDAL: choirs are of course CHORAL. Insert D, Roman numeral for 500. Unfamiliar answer, but of course it was easy to believe chords might be chordal.

13 Passage is guarded by porter, say (5)
AISLE: ALE (porter, say) around IS.

15 Outsource working like civil service? (9)
COURTEOUS: anagram (“working”) of (OUTSOURCE*). The question mark covers the remote possibility that anyone might ever at any time have experienced discourteous treatment by a civil servant.

17 Note a lot of commission on house (9)
SEMIBREVE: SEMI (house), BREVE[t] (a type of military commission).

19 Sneak unused to follow society (5)
SIDLE: S for Society, then IDLE.

20 Old hand editor’s passed over (7)
OMITTED: O for old, MITT, ED.

22 Rue A to D conversion in data retrieval (7)
READOUT: anagram (“conversion”) of (RUE A TO D*).

24 Figure where daughter must be parking to see gorge (3,2)
PIG IT: DIGIT (figure) must change D to P.

25 Not believing he’s interrupting classic speech (9)
ATHEISTIC: ATTIC is the classic Athenian dialect. Insert HE IS.

27 Tear drop regularly includes one (3)
RIP: put I (one) in RP, the even letters of DROP.

28 Runs into perhaps Duke Ellington’s most successful offering? (5,6)
BRAND LEADER: Ellington was a BAND LEADER. Insert an R. It’s the brand of product with the largest share of the market, according to Chambers.

1 South leaving card game to sleep (3)
NAP: South leaving [s]NAP.

2 Make use of skin of inferior animal (5)
TAPIR: TAP (make use of), then the “skin” of I[nferio]R.

3 Part of dress has to hang down in middle (7)
CORSAGE: SAG in CORE. Is “pinned to” a dress the same as “part of”? Perhaps so, if “dress” is used in a slightly different sense, to refer to the ensemble rather than the garment!

4 The man pursuing corporation account to complain (9)
BELLYACHE: corporation / account / man.

5 Note sons mostly choose jelly (5)
ASPIC: A (note) / S (sons) / PIC[k].

6 Play about where the voyage across the Styx ends? (7)
DISPORT: DIS is the underworld, reached by crossing the river Styx in a boat which might plausibly reach a port. A nicely whimsical clue.

7 Unable to see shade on pen (9)
BLINDFOLD: BLIND (window shade) / FOLD (sheep pen).

8 Celebs not so spoilt, losing currency (11)
OBSOLESCENT: anagram (“spoilt”) of (CELEBS NOT SO*).

11 Talk about right one looking to buy jumper (11)
GRASSHOPPER: GAS around R for right, then SHOPPER.

14 Review total jazzman not using small piano (7-2)
SUMMING-UP: SUM (total) / MINGU[s] (jazzman Charles Mingus, without the S) / P (piano).

16 Dug up in Passau — near the Danube (9)
UNEARTHED: hidden answer.

18 Sailor turned up on time on hotel boat — a large vessel (7)
BATHTUB: AB (sailor) “turned up” / T / H / TUB.

19 Figure freeze will do for maritime plant (7)

21 Raising a duck, but not all play (5)
DRAMA: A M[all]ARD “raised”.

23 Set up daughter at company group (5)
OCTAD: D / AT / CO, all “set up”.

26 Find fault has cut power in vehicle (3)
CAR: CAR[p], without the P[ower].

15 comments on “Times Cryptic No 27240 – Saturday, 05 January 2019. The civility of servants.”

  1. ….AISLE have to do better. DNK STATICE, didn’t see “stat = figure”, and resorted to aids.

    In my experience, civil servants don’t tend to be particularly COURTEOUS – the Inland Revenue spent three years persecuting me around the time of the Millennium, and eventually decided they owed me money, rather than the other way round.

    TIME Just over 11 minutes with a cheat

  2. Drat! Slogged away for 41:23 only to find that I have CHORDIL where I thought I typed CHORDAL. Some good stuff elsewhere but I’m sulking now 🙁 Thanks setter and Bruce
  3. Also failed on NHO statice – my figure was a geometric pentagram, a star, having failed to find synonyms for number or calculate/reason.
    Quite liked disport; raised an eyebrow at blindfold as an adjective but the dictionary confirms with a great example: blindfold chess. Eyebrows working overtime at corsage, only ever known as a small bouquet, but again dictionaries say it’s the bodice of a dress.
    Thanks setter and blogger.
  4. Not sure of my time, maybe 35′? I went offline with
    SNIPS and STATICE (DNK) to do. I’ve actually never encountered uncourteous behavior from Japanese civil servants, even at Immigration (but then I’m white). And the clue has ‘civil service’ not ‘Civil Service’; civil service by definition is courteous. (There’s a wonderful scene in Dickens’s “Little Dorritt” where the hero visits the Circumlocution Office (the government department devoted to seeing that things don’t get done) and starts to make an inquiry: “I want to know..” “You want to KNOW? You can’t just come in here and say you want to know, you know!”)
  5. A few moments over the half-hour, but didn’t know STATICE, my last missing answer, so used aids to find it. Sometimes if I’ve had an easy run and am left with just one answer outstanding I find it hard to find the motivation to persevere with it.
  6. …52 minutes, with the unknown STATICE LOI. COD to DISPORT, which was penultimate in. It’s the sort of answer which at first makes you think it’s a disappointing literal until the penny drops. Enjoyed BRAND LEADER too. Mrs BW was a Civil Servant, so I couldn’t possibly comment on 15a. Thank you setter, and Bruce for sorting a few things out.
  7. I spent a lot of time on this and found it difficult. I knew the plant would be a problem at the end and so it was;I ended up with STARICE.
    I managed to derive CHORDAL and the TAPIR was very slow to emerge, if I got it at all. DISPORT also a problem.Now that I am mainly solving online, it’s hard to recall the audit trail.
    Otherwise there were a lot of satisfying moments,perhaps BRAND LEADER was my favourite. David

  8. Biffed several of these (consequently never saw the Mingus reference – thanks brnchn). Left with STATICE and, like jackkt, just looked it up. No COD, I think.
  9. 42:30 a good workout. DNK brevet but did know the note. DNK statice but bunged it in fairly confidently from wp and checkers. Octad not as familiar as Octet but wp was unambiguous. My LOI was 20ac where I was looking for died rather than omitted and couldn’t remember the required synonym for hand for ages.
  10. Done in 36 minutes this morning. LOI was SNIPS because, although I could see the cryptic, I couldn’t see the word as a noun for something/someone that cuts. A gap in my GK. I knew the other vocabulary but it was still a slowish solve. Nice puzzle though. Ann
  11. FOI 1dn NAP




    A very low turnout I note. FA Cup 3rd round?

  12. Enjoyable puzzle – 29 minutes for us today. Almost missed the anagram indicator at 15a which was a clever clue. Also liked the cunningly hidden long answer in the river!

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