Times 28497 – I do like to be beside the seaside

Straightforward, I thought, this one, with just one long word (14a) probably meat and drink to the literati among us, but it got a blank stare from me. The rest was pleasant enough and shouldn’t present any problems, unless you fall into the trap at 7d of biffing the singular instead of parsing to get the plural.

Definitions underlined in bold, (ABC)* indicating anagram of ABC, anagrinds in italics

1 Group of cottages in Perth or Penicuik? (6)
THORPE – hidden as above; name for a hamlet, mainly seen in the north of England in place names. Although Perth and Penicuik are both in Scotland, of course.
4 Hymn is able to delight, though king has left (8)
CANTICLE – CAN TICKLE loses its K for king.
9 Woman binding books, works of an explicit nature (7)
EROTICA – ERICA a woman with OT = Old Testament inside.
11 Comparatively slender maidens visiting German city (7)
TRIMMER – TRIER, German city, with M M two maidens inside.
12 Reportedly witnessed embarrassing display of emotion (5)
SCENE – sounds like “seen” = witnessed.
13 Reverse old carriage out of sight of the house (9)
BACKSTAGE – BACK (reverse) STAGE = old carriage. House as in theatre.
14 Airborne soldier’s girl adopting name of some French poets (10)
PARNASSIAN – PARA (airborne soldier) with N for name inserted, then SIAN a girl, from Wales perhaps. I had to guess it from checkers then look it up, as my ignorance of matters poetic is both deliberate and pretty complete.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parnassianism if you’re that way inclined.
16 Increase in cost of healthy exercise (4)
HIKE – double definition.
19 Variable food leader spat out? That’s disgusting (4)
YUCK – Y (a variable) TUCK loses (spits out) the T. If asked, I’d have spelt it YUK but I see both are alive and kiking.
20 Person like Linnaeus, one without cover crossing a lake (10)
NATURALIST – NATURIST – one without cover- with A L(ake) inserted. EDIT based on the feedback below, I am staggered by how many regular solvers were not aware of Linnaeus, the originator of the whole system of plant classification, although I did have to think for a moment to get from botanist to naturalist.
22 Great month to introduce a star! (9)
23 Eg Hammerstein’s very big estate, perhaps (5)
OSCAR – OS (outsize) CAR (estate car).
25 Escapologist’s dog losing direction in India (7)
HOUDINI – HOU(N)D = dog losing north, IN I(ndia). I’d need a while to think of another escapologist.
26 Empress’s army penetrated by nerve gas (7)
TSARINA – TA (Territorial Army) with SARIN a nerve gas inside.
27 Compliant, having the last word? Clever (8)
AMENABLE – AMEN = last word, ABLE = clever.
28 Explosive device Aussie native kept in castle, perhaps (6)
MAROON – ROO (kangaroo) inside MAN (chess piece such as castle).
1 Article on old Persian monarch’s religious system (9)
THEOSOPHY – THE (article) O(ld) SOPHY (or Soffi, Sofi, Sophie) the name for the monarch of Iran / Persian in the Safavid dynasty. Before it went pear shaped.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophy_(Safavid_Iran)
2 Cricket side in wizard place initially enjoying bracing air (5)
OZONE – OZ (as in the Wizard of… ) ON (cricket side) E first of enjoying). Don’t get me started on how ozone is nothing to do with bracing air and seaside smells in reality, as all chemists know. Ozone is toxic, even at very low concentrations.
3 Ancient drug injected into prudish woman (8)
PRIMEVAL – PRIM (prudish) VAL (a woman) has the drug of crosswordland, E, inserted.
5 Clot aunt again dispersed, using this? (13)
ANTICOAGULANT – (CLOT AUNT AGAIN)*. About time we had an anagram.
6 Limited number concealing onset of such longing (6)
THIRST – THIRT(Y) = limited number, insert S first letter of such.
7 Bell towers river god observed on the Italian island (9)
CAMPANILI – CAM (river in Cambridge, barely a stream really) PAN (God) IL (“the” in Italian) I(sland). Go down a snake if you put in CAMPANILE without seeing the plural.
8 One invited into Jane’s lofty dwelling (5)
EYRIE – Jane EYRE has I (one ) inserted.
10 Senior diplomat’s fuss over retreat set up by American singer (13)
AMBASSADORIAL – AM(erican) BASS (singer) ADO (fuss) LAIR (retreat) reversed.
15 Again experience strong emotion touring City area (9)
RECAPTURE – RAPTURE = strong emotion, insert EC = London City area.
17 Host in French land given time for second run (9)
ENTERTAIN – EN (in in French) TERRAIN has a the second R changed to a T.
18 Broad view of girl kept by dad and mum (8)
PANORAMA – NORA, a girl, is between PA and MA.
21 A number of sailors in charge of a plant (6)
ARNICA – A, RN (sailors) IC (in charge) A.
22 Unstressed vowel we analysed originally after school (5)
SCHWA – SCH = school, W A first letters of we analysed.
24 Outstanding feature primarily of cotton twill fabric (5)
CHINO – CHIN (outstanding feature) O (primarily Of).


93 comments on “Times 28497 – I do like to be beside the seaside”

  1. 36 minutes with two unknowns PARNASSIAN and ARNICA arrived at from wordplay. Both the long Down answers came to me immediately on reading the clues, which helped a lot with opening up the grid.

    I wasn’t pleased by having another clue where the answer depends on one having an obscure piece of GK i.e. who Linnaeus was. A bit like having to know the nationality of Noriega yesterday

    The url links in the blog aren’t clickable for some reason, is it just on my device?

    1. I think Dorsetjimbo would have had something to say about the obscurity of Linnaeus!

  2. I’ve been trying to access the club site, both directly and via the Times, and get nothing but a blank screen. When I tried to do the Concise puzzle via the Times, it was yesterday’s puzzle. The boffin at my uni just tried the club site, with the same result.

    1. Yes, I’ve been getting a 503 error (Service Unavailable) on all my devices here in Sydney. Had to do the puzzle via the newspaper site (not the Crossword Club site). As there are no entries yet for the SNITCH, I’m guessing that will be true for everyone.

    2. You’re not alone, Kevin. I had to go to the Puzzles section of the online paper to access both the Concise and this Cryptic. It’s just coming up 9am in the UK so maybe the day shift at Times Towers can sort something out.

    3. Same for me since late last night. I can access the puzzles directly on the Times site or app, but the Club is just a white blank page.

  3. A couple short, could not choose the final woman in PRIMEVAL, I thought it was some ancient tribe, went for the unsatisfactory PRIMENAN. Also just could not see AMENABLE.

    Had to look up the NHO PARNASSIAN. But was confident in the NHO MAROON and ARNICA.

    For THEOSOPHY I at first had THEOCRACY, as both Sophy and Cracy looked equally unlikely as the name of ancient Persians, with Y not appearing in Greek or Latin. I’d only heard of it in the Blondie song, which has the line “ We could entertain each one with our theosophy” (I’m Always Touched By Your Presence Dear)

    Did anyone not biff HOUDINI?

    At 22a Great=SUPER, sorry CJ.


  4. 14:57, but I saw PARNASSIAN
    I knew Linnaeus, but had trouble thinking of a word to describe what he did. Spent time trying to think of an empress. DNK MAROON.

  5. I’m also having connection trouble.

    I get a blank page (not even the famous 404) at the Crossword Club. However, I can get an interactive version via the Times itself. I’m glad I’m not the only one.

    1. Are you in London? So far the people who have reported a problem are in Australia, the US, or Japan.

        1. …and Cyprus!

          Moreover out here I’ve been unable to get the puzzles themselves via the Club page for some time. I can however get them and solve them interactively via the paper, but only via Microsoft Edge.

          For the record, since I can’t post it on the Club site, today’s took me 11′ 17″. My LOI was PARNASSIAN, since my ignorance of poetry is I think second to none. My plant knowledge isn’t extensive either, but I did know ARNICA because my hairdresser once told me it’s brilliant for treating bruises – and it is, & easily obtainable from any chemist or pharmacist (at least in the UK it is).

          1. I can’t access the club site from my phone either. It says you shouldn’t be here. But it’s fine on the laptop. I did report it but no-one responded. Has anyone found a solution to this?

  6. Another blank until I cleared my cookies and history for the website, and logged in again. It had been getting progressively worse recently, the Puzzles section link was giving me a partial grid, but the Crossword Club route was OK.

    Anyway, got my just desserts here – enjoyed the solve and made progress at a decent clip until bogging down with B-C—A-E and T-I— remaining, so I had some brekkie. Returning to the grid, I immediately guessed BACKSPACE from the checkers, checked out how that affected 6d, and triumphantly entered LOI THIRST.

    27m for a 114 SNITCH would have been an exceptionally fast time for me – if it hadn’t been a fail. If only I could discipline myself to *actually solve the clues* …thanks P and setter.

    1. If it’s of any interest for the diagnosticians – Manchester UK, Firefox on Windows 11, both fully patched and current

    2. The 114 SNITCH is for yesterday’s puzzle. What with all the server problems there is no SNITCH for today’s

      1. Ahhhhhh – that explains why it was such plain sailing until the botched completion. Thanks

  7. A tanker carrying red paint today collided with a tanker carrying blue paint. All the sailors were marooned. (Two Ronnies c.1976)

    25 mins mid-brekker assuming Arnica is a plant and a maroon can explode.
    I thought 13ac was a great example of the setter’s art. Crisp synonyms concatenated to make a deceptive definition. A simple, meaningful surface which means nothing like the answer.
    Thanks setter and Pip.

    1. I am a sceptic as far as herbal remedies go, but mrs piquet is instantly at hand with her tube of arnica ointment in event of a sprain or bruise, i have to admit it seems to work!

  8. Thought I might be on for a sub-10′ but spent time thinking of names rather than types of stars. Nho SOPHY, and HIKE took a while.

    ARNICA is allegedly good for bruises, knew MAROON from when the RNLI used to use them to summon the crews.

    10’50”, thanks jack and setter.

  9. 29 minutes with LOI ARNICA. Is it a double definition? If so, I think it’s a bit clumsy. I suppose the Royal Navy is a number of sailors but I think they also still have a few ships. Apparently though the plant is a herbal remedy for pain, a number. Whatever, I constructed it as I did MAROON and eventually PARNASSIAN. As a Physicist, of course I had no idea who LINNAEUS was but the clue gave him away. COD to CANTICLE. Thank you Pip and setter.

  10. 39m 28s but I’ve had to access both the Concise and the Cryptic through the Puzzles section of the paper and not through the Crossword Club. I use Chrome on my MacBook and I’ve cleared the browsing data several times without success. Maybe as it’s just past 9am in the UK, the day shift can sort it out.
    No problem with this puzzle except I didn’t know the SOPHY part of THEOSOPHY.
    For the record, I think Linnaeus is the sort of GK a Times crosswordiste should know about.
    Thanks, Pip.

      1. Because he was a major figure in his field and I associate Times crossword solvers with a broad range of knowledge.

  11. 22:44

    My crossword club access also kyboshed so have used newspaper site.

    PARNASSIAN – aware of Mount Parnassus mainly through Louis Bonello, an English teacher at my school, who had published a book of collected poems under that name.

    Had to wait for lightning to strike for the unknown Linnaeus to reveal he was a NATUR(AL)IST.

  12. 29 minutes. I had the same problem as Merlin, putting ‘theocracy’ for 1d until I worked out that 12a had to be SCENE and correcting myself. Even then, I wasn’t sure about Sophy or that THEOSOPHY was a word. That also held up PARNASSIAN, an unknown where the wordplay helped a lot. The explosive meaning of MAROON was new to me, I previously only knew ARNICA as the cream for treating bruises, and I wasted a fair amount of time trying to think of a specific empress before I realised that we were looking for a TSARINA.

    FOI Thorpe
    LOI Tsarina
    COD Entertain

  13. 42 mins but had to look up the unknown poets, to my shame. Linnaeus also unknown but at least the crossers, once in, left few options. Several other unknowns, THORPE, MAROON (in that sense, anyway) and I always thought CHINO was the name of the trouser, not the material! The clueing for each was generous though.

    I liked BACKSTAGE.

    Thanks Pip and setter.

  14. Happy to complete in about an hour of solving across 3 separate sessions.

    Didn’t know THORPE was a word but pleased it is (and it makes sense given the suffix as many small villages) just to have it fit in such a neat opening clue.

    I did make the singular mistake for 7D but it was corrected by The Linnaeus connection which is a bit obscure for me but not painfully so – it rang a distant scientist bell.

    PARNASSIAN is also not entirely unknown but I do have a habit of part filling clues where I need to and starting confidently with PARA obvious didn’t help me there.

    Biffed and learned SCHWA concurrently.

    Thanks setter and Piquet

  15. 23 minutes. Same comments as others re accessing the Club site so I did this on a hard copy printed out from the Puzzles section.

    Gentler than yesterday. NHO PARNASSIAN but wordplay was helpful and the ‘Explosive device’ sense of MAROON was also new. Good to see Linnaeus and Hammerstein (odd bedfellows) get a mention.

  16. Quick again today, knew everything bar the Parnassian but had heard of Parnassus so it went in with confidence. Linnaeus, right up there with Darwin (and Attenborough?) as one of the great naturalists. Canticle Ninja-turtled from “A Canticle for Liebowitz”
    10am and still no crossword club …

    1. My getting “theosophy” from a 1970s pop song (Blondie) is also a canonical Ninja-Turtling guess.

      1. There’s a fantastic Old Grey Whistle Test session by early Blondie performing “I’m always touched by your presence Dear” …and you’re right I hadn’t connected “thesosophy” to it, but it immediately resonated when I read your comment and it’s there! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mv1sbIIZibA

  17. Hi, the Crossword Club seems to be down for everyone. Times engineers are looking into it now. I will post here when it is back up. Apologies.

  18. Not too hard. I put in THEOCRACY to start with, until that turned out ot be problematic. No problem with MAROON since I went to a boarding school in Weston-super-Mare where they used maroons to summon the life-boat (trivia: both John Cleese and Roald Dahl went to the same school, although years before me). Parnassus is a hill in San Francisco, so PARNASSIAN was a very plausible word, but like many others here, my knowledge of English poets is near-nonexistent, and forget about French poets.

  19. In case it helps, I could not get onto the club website and solved it on the regular newspaper site. I’m in California on Comcast.

  20. Surprising how many people express ignorance of or at least unfamiliarity with Linnaeus. I thought he was quite well-known. My ignorance was that Sophy was an old Persian monarch, but this seemed to be the answer and I entered it on the assumption that she was. 24 minutes for a puzzle that otherwise didn’t really give any problems. The only problem was the same as that for everyone, and I had to do it in the alternative version. Presumably the crosswords done in the usual way are more of a problem than the other puzzles: I could access Futoshiki, Chess, etc as usual.

        1. You laugh… but the last sentence of the book reads “Entranced by these lover-like words, Miss (Sophy) Stanton-Lacy returned his embrace with fervour, and meekly allowed herself to be led off to the stables.”
          Make of that what you will!

  21. I seem to have timed this just right, being the first person to complete the QC and the second “person” to complete this one, if the leaderboards are to be believed, so it must just have been fixed.

    …having said that, I tried to click back in to review, and it’s down again.

    6m 15s (if I remember rightly!), mostly quite easy but with some trickier words thrown in: PARNASSIAN was my LOI. Intersecting random women between SIAN & VAL.

    Obviously NHO ARNICA, but it looked plausible.

        1. I got through to it eventually but had to overrule security warnings (has a certificate run out?). Even so, it was extremely slow to open a chosen puzzle..

  22. Unaware of any problems since I always access the crosswords via the Times website and print them. A fairly breezy solve with no unknowns bar the explosive meaning of MAROON. PARNASSIAN partly bifd once I lit on Paras, but spent some time initially trying to fit in DES (‘of some’ French), assuming the definition was ‘poets’. I think we’ve had CHINO as material rather than trousers before. As I filled in OZONE I anticipated complaints from our scientists!

  23. No problems today. Whizzed through this. My degree in French and German helps with many clues, including 14a. I don’t know what theosophy is exactly, but knew that Rudolf Steiner was a noted apostle for a time.

  24. 9:33. I waited for the crossword club, which came back up for long enough for me to solve the puzzle, and now is down again.
    Normal service more or less resumed this morning after yesterday’s anomaly, although my last in – THIRST – took me several minutes on its own for some reason. NHO MAROON as an explosive device or PARNASSIAN. SOPHY only vaguely familiar, and I knew THORPE but might have defined it as a small wood.
    Add me to the list of those surprised, nay shocked, shocked I say at the lack of awareness of Linnaeus.

  25. Verlaine was a PARNASSIAN (when he wasn’t doing crosswords). When I was a kid tincture of ARNICA used to come in a brown bottle, had a nice herbal smell and left a yellowish smear. It also seemed to work on bruises. The club site is still blank in NY. 17 minutes

    1. Verlaine was a PARNASSIAN before he fell in with a dissolute young man from Charleville…

      1. Whatever happened to Verlaine? 😶 ( I’m a lurker in Oz, so never get the up-to-date news; do the newspaper crossword a month after you guys) I have long been a fan…

        1. Matthew forgot that he had Friday duty here one last time and decided to relinquish all his slots on the blog.
          He is currently appearing (haven’t heard yet, but he probably won again today) on the American quiz show Jeopardy!

  26. All links to the Crossword Club (my bookmarks and from the web) got a blank page, but I was able to access the online version and solve it there. I much prefer to solve on paper over afternoon tea. Most was fairly straightforward, starting with the easy hidden at 1ac, but I was slow to complete the SE corner. I didn’t enter MAROON for some time because I didn’t recognise the definition. Linnaeus is well known (probably better known than Mendel), but I was slow to get NATURALIST. I also spent time thinking of alternatives to RISE for 16ac.
    Time 32 minutes, 39 seconds.
    I find scanning online clues is slower than scanning a printed copy because I’m having to scroll up and down constantly. On the other hand, typing answers is probably faster than writing them in by hand, so swings and roundabouts.

  27. 18:32. A briskly efficient sort of puzzle. Very enjoyable. NHO MAROON in that context and not helped by misspelling PANORAMA for a while.

    I prefer to print the crossword so was briefly stumped by the site being out of action. If you go to the interactive version and email it to yourself it gives you a link to a version which you can print in the usual way. I have never found a way to print directly from the interactive version itself (using an iPhone).

  28. One of the advantages of doing the crossword directly on paper is that you don’t get involved in these infernal computer glitches! It’s been fascinating however to note how many of the solvers are dotted around all parts of the globe!
    Never heard of SCHWA before, but the clueing was clear. My main hold up was my LOI at 14ac PARNASSIAN, and had it not been for this one clue I would have finished in about 26 minutes. It took me over five minutes to unravel it, but I eventually got there in 31.35.

  29. 36 minutes, via puzzles rather than the club site. It alarmingly declared my successful completion as I entered the last letter. I guess it always does that. Lots of ladies today: Erica, Sian, Val and Nora, not to mention MM (two maidens) and Sophy

  30. 30:07. I sprinted away on this one with most of the NW corner going straight in, then slowed down, but ending with a time that is still quicker than average for me. NHO PARNASSIAN or SCHWA. The latter was very guessable, the former took a bit longer as I’ve only ever known one Sian so the name didn’t quickly come to mind. COD MAROON. Overall a very enjoyable puzzle, thanks s & b.

  31. 09:00 after waiting all morning to get in. Some things that weren’t known to me (the SOPHY, the PARNASSIANS, though that name seemed pretty likely if you know where the Muses dwell) and some that were – like our blogger, I am surprised at the unfamiliarity of people with Linnaeus, who featured heavily in my school science lessons (which stopped at O-levels). As well as his main work, Linnaeus also took his compatriot Celsius’s temperature scale and made the quite important tweak of putting the low numbers at the bottom and the high ones at the top. For whatever reason, Celsius created it with 0 as the boiling point and 100 as the freezing point, which seems slightly counter-intuitive…

  32. I literally just came across your fact about Celsius in this new book “Beyond Measure: The Hidden History of Measurement”. Worth a read.

  33. 45 mins. Rather too many women’s names in the NW for my liking, but hey.

    Sure I’m being dim, but are chess pieces commonly known as ‘men’? Wasn’t aware of this, so the NHO MAROON went in as a guess, ‘ROO’ being the likely Aussie native.

    NHO of PARNASSIANS, but knew that Montparnasse in Paris is associated with artists so figured that must be it (turns out to be an oblique derivation, at least according to Wikipedia). Never heard of SCHWA, but it satisfied the clueing, so went in with a shrug. Found this puzzle vaguely irritating, but couldn’t tell you why.

    1. I know next to nothing about chess but I’m quite used to the pieces being referred to as ‘men’ in crosswordland.

  34. I’m sure there used to be a public information film featuring maroons being discharged to summon lifeboat crews to station – one for the coastguard and two for the lifeboat was the tag line.

  35. Glad to get into the site finally. I got a reply from the Times saying the outage is a known issue and they are working on it, but I had already started the puzzle by then. Whizzed thru this one, felt like a Monday even, but that may be partly because it’s not the tail end of the day. Lots of near-biffing, getting the wordplay as I wrote in the answers, like HOUDINI from the first word and the terminal I, SCHWA from the H and the definition. Didn’t remember SOPHY as a Persian potentate and MAROON as an explosive was a revelation.

  36. Not at all straightforward for me, with an eventual DNF after ages. NHO Linnaeus, hence couldn’t see NATURALIST; PARNASSIAN says nothing to me at all; could not parse AMBASSADORIAL, though it’s clear enough on reading the blog; YUCK is just yuck, frankly – not a word, just a childish ejaculation which earned me a rap across the knuckles from my grandmother whenever I dared to utter it in her presence (and just being in a dictionary doesn’t change its character as far as I’m concerned). Overall unsatisfying, sadly. But another day will soon be with us.

  37. Once I could actually get the site to load, I found this pretty easy and finished in just over 14 minutes. Couldn’t think who Linnaeus was at first, even though I knew the name, but once I had a few checkers it dropped in easily enough.

    The only hold up was falling into a slightly different trap at 7d and writing “the” Spanish instead of “the” Italian, which led to some head scratching on 16a until I spotted my error and all was good.

  38. Being a traditionalist, I fill in the grid in the printed version of The Times, so was not inconvenienced by IT problems. I thought this a fairly standard puzzle, taking me 22 minutes, which is as good as it ever gets for me. As often happens I was held up by some of the shorter answers, especially as my first thoughts on 16ac were JUMP and then RISE.
    LOI – HIKE
    COD – MAROON (no problem with chessmen).
    Thanks to piquet and other commentators.

  39. Third fail of the week- CANTACLE!!! Wasn’t sure about tackle for delight but then I’m not sure I’d have thought tickle was delight either! It’s a shame because I’d managed all the other DNKs like MAROON and ARNICA, and dredged THEOSOPHY and PARNASSIAN. Maybe I’ll be luckier tomorrow !

  40. DNF. Got off to a quick start, but not knowing a SOPHY, and not thinking of ARNICA (because I thought it was a mineral), I gave up. I should have persevered a bit longer, as AMBASSADORIAL did occur to me, but we have been decluttering the house, and I kept finding old A level papers, expired insurance documents etc etc.
    Not my wavelength. I think of LINNAEUS as a taxonomist

  41. 16.19 despite the unknown- schwa. Parnassian came to me from somewhere , perhaps the mountain but the cluing was very helpful. Didn’t really know maroon but I think I’ve encountered it in a naval setting?
    LOI hike, having almost put in rise on several occasions.
    Thx setter and blogger.

  42. 19.11

    Not much to add. Knew Linnaeus; didn’t know the poets which was my LOI and seemed a reasonable punt. Also changed cracy to sophy. Plenty of gentle ones and the harder ones were work-out-able. Nice puzzle; nice blog; lots of nice comments from all around the world it seems. Good night from Bath!

  43. I was tickled by CANTICLE but had to guess SOPHY, THORPE, SCHWA and ARNICA from the wordplay. No problem with Linnaeus. It is nice to see I wasn’t alone in getting to PARNASSIAN incorrectly via the artistic associations of Montparnasse in Paris (it reminded me of the wonderful old black-and-white photo of a steam train that overran the buffers at Montparnasse Station and came through the station wall above the street level – sadly the station was replaced by a concrete box in the 1960’s). Thanks for the blog.

    1. I have a copy of that photo hanging alongside my desk in my study. It never fails to give me a smile when I look at it, though I guess the driver was less entertained.

  44. Unusually, I flew through this , and finished in about 35 minutes with hardly a backwards glance: all correct too. So my recent failures were all brought to nought, and confidence reigns again – Hoorah! It never fails to amaze me that puzzles that I find what some may call “Mondayish” are impenetrable to me, and vice versa. Had to guess at THORPE ( not difficult given the currency of the word in English villages – Scunthorpe, Maplethorpe, etc); PARNASSIAN (not much into poetry but knew the mountain), or MAROON as a bomb, but wordplay very clear.
    Thank you setter for restoring my (ever-retreating) confidence!

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