Times Saturday 26736 — May 27, 2017. You say goodbye, I say hello

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic

Coming off the subs bench, replacing Bruce who’s no doubt enjoying a bridge tournment somewhere. Hope he gets some good deals. My old bridge partner, Henry Cabot, was once dealt 13 clubs and promptly bid 7NT! Of course, we lost the lot. These days, I stick to cribbage.

Not too difficult for a Saturday puzzle I thought. Though I did need the phone-a-friend option so as to parse the biffed 7dn. There seems to be some dispute about the correct pronunciation on this one. See http://www.pronouncenames.com/pronounce/dewi.


1. Be stoical: carry in cocktail, rounding end of bar (4,3,4,2)

GRIN AND BEAR IT: Insert the R from the end of ‘bar’ into GIN AND IT (cocktail), then insert BEAR (carry).

9. Branch of maths briefly gripping new town in Herts (5)

TRING: Our maths branch is TRIG, short for ‘trigonometry’. Insert N (for new).

10. Three-fifths of Russian citizens have trouble getting sugar (9)

MUSCOVADO: Three-fifths of MUSCOVites + ADO (trouble).

11. Alarm went off across river, one that works at sea (10)

TRAWLERMAN: (Alarm went)* around R (for river).

12. Tailless bird flying over South African mountain (4)

BERG: Reverse GREB{e}.

14. Passage from article, say, read at first in bar (7)

EXCERPT: R{ead} inside EXCEPT (bar). A second bar, used differently from that in 1ac.

16. One living in solitude, before widow’s contribution (7)

EREMITE: ERE (before) + the widow’s MITE.

17. Agamemnon’s son’s place in old French art (7)

ORESTES: REST (place) inside O (old), ES (French art) — as in ‘Thou art’ (Tu es). A trick we’re getting more and more used to.

19. Raving from Des, being enthralled (7)

SERFDOM: (from Des)*

20. Not a regiment backed in US city (4)

NARY: RA (Royal Artillery, a regiment) reversed inside NY (New York).

21. From the French, apparently good message is loathsome (10)

DESPICABLE: DES (French for ‘from the’, plural), PI (apparently good), CABLE (message).

24. English divorcee feeding sheep in east, needing vet again? (2-7)

RE-EXAMINE: E (English), EX (divorcee) inside RAM (sheep), IN, E.

25. A university woman beginning to organise sound reproduction (5)

AUDIO: A, U (university), DI (woman), O{rganise}.

26. Member of religious order — Charity Pecksniff, perhaps? (6,2,5)

SISTER OF MERCY: In Martin Chuzlewitt, Seth Pecksniff has two daugthers, Charity and Mercy. Shades of laughing Len Cohen? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VT9k5NHCdvQ


1. Test public opinion: access the poll on line? (2,2,3,7)

GO TO THE COUNTRY: GO TO (access), THE, COUNT (poll), RY (railway, line).

2. Woman involved in affair in Arkhangelsk? (5)

IRINA: Hidden. Look for yourself!

3. Boniness of a northern bloke covering criminal trial (10)

ANGULARITY: A, N (northern) GUY (bloke) around (trial)*.

4. Fault making us resign without hesitation (7)

DEMERIT: DEMIT (resign) around ER (hesitation).

5. Subjugate East European in Newcastle area (7)

ENSLAVE: E (East), then SLAV inside NE (North East = Newcastle area).

6. Aussie native going over top of Kilkenny Castle? (4)

ROOK: ROO + K. The castle = rook biz gets occasional flak here. I don’t mind much.

7. Blast delivered by Welshman with name in jazz? (5,4)

TRADE WIND: As noted, had to use my phone-a-friend option to find out that DEWI is a Welsh variant of David. (Thanks to that person.) Add N (name) and put it all inside TRAD (jazz?).

8. Enduring capacity to recall polysyllabic expressions? (4-4,6)

LONG-TERM MEMORY: A slightly facetious cryptic def.

13. Surprisingly she came with rum and a pipe (10)

MEERSCHAUM: Anagram of ‘she came’ + ‘rum’.

15. Gloomy fellow included in expression of thanks (9)

CHEERLESS: LES is the fellow; inside CHEERS.

18. Fruitless steps taken to protect European king (7)

STERILE: E (European), R (king); both inside STILE (steps taken).

19. Top commander up for a night initially in Italian resort (7)

SUPREMO: Take SAN REMO (our resort); replace the AN (a night initially) with UP.

22. Air ace invited to join resistance? (5)

BADER: BADE (invited) + R (resistance).

23. Singer’s perch, by the look of it (4)

BASS: Looks like a different pronunciation of the same word referring to the fish (perch). A rare use of the homonym.

11 comments on “Times Saturday 26736 — May 27, 2017. You say goodbye, I say hello”

  1. Definitely not too difficult for a Saturday, although I did what I could to make things harder. I biffed 1ac and 24ac and solved post hoc (1 is rather involved). DNK the sugar, and wasted time trying to figure how to get 3/5 of the 7 letters of ‘Russian’. I also read 12ac as referring to a South American mountain. And I never got SUPREMO; I thought it was UP in S. REMO, and decided to sweep ‘for a night’ under the carpet. 17ac and 26ac were near-gimmes.
  2. I seem to have thrown away my torn-out solution but as I remember I took about 50*minutes and enjoyed it. COD SISTER OF MERCY where I guessed that Charity had such a sister having biffed it in. Terry Butcher, the old England centre-half, was reputedly nicknamed Douglas BADER because he was great in the air but crap on the ground. *Found it. I was 28 minutes. 55 minutes was Sunday Times to be posted on tomorrow.

    Edited at 2017-06-03 10:29 am (UTC)

  3. Went through this pretty well until left with 16 and 17ac. On 16 DNK the biblical reference but biffed it based on the wild imagining that a Widow spider’s offspring may be called mites. 17ac had me stumped. I’d heard of Laertes (which didn’t help) but hadn’t come across the ‘French art-thou’ device. Thanks for the explanation.
  4. Only 30 minutes for a Saturday puzzle is quite rare for me and I solved 9ac before it was out of the printer as “Hertfordshire town” is always TRING except when it’s WARE. I was lacking a few bits of GK but my assumptions in those cases all proved correct.

    Edited at 2017-06-03 08:49 am (UTC)

  5. 8:37, which puts me at 84th place on the leaderboard! Not hard, anyway. Lots of biffing, and I didn’t bother going back to try and parse everything. If I had I don’t think I’d have worked out how 7dn worked, never having come across DEWI.
    I lived in Hertfordshire as a child but somehow the fact that TRING is in it has never penetrated my consciousness. Not that it slowed me down but ‘town’ would have done just as well for me as a definition.
    I didn’t know who ORESTES was but I at least knew he existed and was helped considerably by being wise to the ‘French art’ trick, which I think is relatively new but as mct says is is becoming familiar.

    Edited at 2017-06-03 09:41 am (UTC)

  6. Not the hardest puzzle but still a DNF for me. Two errors, a lazy Nero biffed at 20ac instead of Nary. I think I was thinking of “no” for “not a” with a backed “Royal Engineers” for the backed regiment inside it to give me what I hoped was the name of a US city. No, I wasn’t particularly convinced by it either. The other error was at 13dn where as someone may once have said, I had all the right letters, just not necessarily in the right order. I think I have seen meerschaum in a previous crossword but could not call it to mind and decided that the most likely placement of letters from the anagram fodder was seeruchasm. No, I agree not terribly convincing either. Bah!
    1. I had the same thinking for NERO, and I got MEERSCHAUM wrong with a typo, having an E where the S was supposed to go.

      Edited at 2017-06-03 12:54 pm (UTC)

      1. It always makes me feel better to hear that a fellow traveller has taken the same wrong fork in the road, John! Bad luck! You made a much better fist of meerschaum than I did though.
  7. I took 55:33 to get the two mentioned in my reply to special_bitter wrong. I knew the religious order as I had the how BW describes as Terry Butcher’s ability on the ground beaten out of me by them at primary school. I’m getting used to the French art trick now. Thanks setter and mctext.
  8. Was at Epsom yesterday enriching the bookmaking industry so a bit late coming here.
    I managed to finish this puzzle after a struggle. Worked out Muscovado, guessed Orestes and Eremite; and vaguely remembered Meerschaum from a crossword I think.
    I thought it was a good puzzle. And I reminded me that I recently read “The Road to Serfdom”, a book whose time may be coming back. David

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