28102 Thursday, 7 October 2021 A fly and sail cruise

From where I’m sitting, with a time of 14.27, much the easiest of the week, unlikely to be eclipsed in that regard by the Friday. I didn’t get much of a start in the top left, partly delayed by thinking the first of two sails included was an unparseable moonraker but whizzed around the right-hand side and worked a steady clockwise path around the rest of the grid.
I may be miscounting (not unknown) but I find only two anagrams, one reversal, and no “hidden”, compensated for by no less than three flies, two sails and two bits of cricket.
No doubt there will be things some of you don’t know (such is serendipity) but I found nothing I was not already familiar with.
I present my workings with clues, definitions and SOLUTIONS
1 Petty playing about involving third of set (8)
FOOTLING Playing about gives FOOLING, and the third (letter) of set is – um – T. “involve” it by sticking it in where it fits best
5 Silly old man at end of track? (6)
BUFFER Something of a double definition: at the end of a railway track you’ll find a buffer to stop anything going to far
10 Sail bark regularly, wearing bowler (9)
SPINNAKER Take the regular/alternate letters of bArK, and insert in the first cricket reference of today, a SPINNER, a bowler who is able to make the ball turn when it bounces (or do other deceptive things).
11 Sail in yacht originally housed by Dahl briefly (5)
ROYAL From my Airfix ship building days (using polystyrene cement, which was very much a solvent) I know the royal as a sail even further up than the top gallant. Here find it as Y(acht) (originally)housed by (most of) ROALd Dahl
12 Basil, perhaps — or some other boy (4)
HERB Of which basil is an example. I think the “some other” boy indicates we have a short form of Herbert
13 Continue tediously, knowing it’s a predatory insect (9)
DRAGONFLY Something of a chestnut flavour. DRAG ON for continue tediously, and FLY for knowing.
15 Peacekeepers given supply of coal, perhaps showing no appreciation (10)
UNGRATEFUL Whimsically, a supply of coal would be a GRATEFUL. UN are(or would like to be seen as ) peacekeepers.
17 Student finally visiting teacher in jail (4)
STIR StudenT finally for the T, “visiting” SIR, which is what we called teachers back in the day. Stir is one of the many informal words for a prison or jail.
19 Last of crops I see in storage tower (4)
SILO Another “last of”, this rime the S of cropS, then I in plain sight and LO for see.
20 Ingredient of salad and stew carers prepared (10)
WATERCRESS First anagram of the day (prepared) of STEW CARERS
22 Trendy way one student mostly identifies academy (9)
INSTITUTE Trendy: IN, way: ST(reet), student mostly TUTEe [On edit: You also need the I from one to complete the entry – thanks to Mrs Z]
24 Sketch Protégé brought from the East (4)
DRAW Protégé gives WARD, which when read from East to West gives DRAW
26 Shape of a London hospital mentioned in speech(5)
GUISE Sounds like (mentioned in speech) GUY’S, a terribly famous hospital in Southwark. Named for Thomas Guy, founder, who made his fortune printing Bibles and investing in the South Sea Bubble. Not slaves, then, or we’d have to rename it.
27 Transport Tom hired, right for a month in Paris once (9)
THERMIDOR The eleventh month of the French revolutionary calendar, replacing half of July and August, and named in typical pragmatic style because it was usually hot. Our second anagram (transport, as an instruction) of TOM HIRED plus R(ight)
28 Warm up again before missing first qualifying round (6)
REHEAT Before is ERE, but you don’t need the first E, and a qualifying round is a HEAT
29 Tactful Native American in western half of region (8)
DISCREET CREE are amongst the best known (for which read I know it) of the original Americans. Place them in the western, left hand half of DISTrict or region.
1 Period of abstinence for firm (4)
FAST A (very) straightforward double definition, which I was slow to get being fixed on Lent.
2 Musical craftsman, poet, dramatist and novelist (6,9)
OLIVER GOLDSMITH Oliver(!) is the musical, GOLDSMITH the craftsmen. Combined, they are the other three things. Respectively the most famous outputs being The Deserted Village, The Vicar of Wakefield, and She Stoops to Conquer.
3 Itch to join club keeping old ship’s vessel (8)
LONGBOAT Itch is LONG, club is BAT, and O(ld) is “kept”, inserted.
4 Unprotected, ultimately bitten by a sheep fly (5)
NAKED Another last letter (ultimately) this time of bitteN, plus A and KED, a fly particularly attracted to sheep.
6 Displace universal expert on Holy Writ (6)
UPROOT U(nversal) PRO for expert and OT (Old Testament) for Holy Writ.
7 Blow one’s top: dash off article, appending name (3,3,3,6)
FLY OFF THE HANDLE Our setter gives you the OFF for free, replacing dash with FLY, the (definite) article THE and HANDLE for name.
8 King showing displeasure when friend interrupts motor sport (10)
RALLY CROSS The R (king) is CROSS (showing displeasure) and the interrupting friend is ALLY.
9 Part of generator seasoned soldiers set up first (8)
ARMATURE Seasoned gives MATURE, but first you have the R(oyal) A(rtillery) (my regiment) “Set up”, a unique (in this puzzle) reversal.
14 Part of target, collecting music for ball (10)
OUTSWINGER Traditional shooting targets have rings called, in sequence Outer, Magpie, Inner and Bull. We need the OUTER to “collect” SWING for a type of music, the whole being our second cricket reference, a (usually) fast ball which moves away from the batsman. Other sports have similar, as in footballers taking corners.
16 Assess girl delayed securing entrance to university (8)
EVALUATE Our random girl is EVA, who is LATE/delayed and has included the first letter (entrance) of University
18 Scholar possibly? That’s open to speculation (8)
ACADEMIC I take this to be a double definition
21 Machine husband’s left running in the Odeon, for example? (6)
CINEMA Our second anagram (running) of MACHINE, though first you remove the H(uband). The Odeon was where I saw my first epic film, Ben Hur, with my Aunt who was rather dismayed by the violence.
23 Resinous substance the Spanish give out endlessly (5)
ELEMI A resinous substance used by setters to fill E?E?I, formed her by EL foe the in Spanish plus EMIt without its last
25 Worry about being taken in by daily (4)
FRET About is RE, and the daily that takes it in the pink ‘un, the F(inancial) T(imes).

81 comments on “28102 Thursday, 7 October 2021 A fly and sail cruise”

    1. Definitely one of those instances where once you have spotted a solution that works adequately, you see no reason to look for another. Since on this occasion it’s in the wordplay, it doesn’t result in an unexpected pink.
      If I was convinced that a puzzle has to contain a “hidden” I might have spent time searching for this (blindingly obvious) one.
  1. I agree, the easiest of the week by some stretch.

    Fell one square short with the NHO ELEMI. I went with “ELEXI” with exit=“give out”

    I did recall that odd Revolutionary Calendar, with months named after fruits and seasons. Just googled it, today is 16 Vendémiaire.


      1. It must be at least a bit of a Times chestnut too, because I bunged it straight in.

        Edited at 2021-10-07 06:03 am (UTC)

  2. I put in DUFFER, thinking ‘isn’t that BUFFER?’ (DNK in the silly old man sense), and deciding to return to it later; which as always I forgot to do. I biffed GOLDSMITH (until I got INSTITUTE I only saw GALBRAITH, which of course made no sense) and FLY OFF, parsing post-sub. DNK OUTSWINGER, and the checkers invited GUNSLINGER, which again made no sense; finally saw OUTER.
  3. A 28 minute DNF, failing on the ‘Resinous substance’ which I should have known from previous appearances. Missed the hidden HERB as well. About time my luck ran out, so that’s how it is.

    More Australian birds next time please.

  4. Parsed Herb the same as our blogger, but I prefer Kevin’s take. Or maybe both; extra cleverness by the setter. Otherwise similar tale, usually start top left but this time the 1s were the last 2 in, thinking wrong sort of firm and wrong sort of petty, as well as not really knowing what footling meant – a youngster of some sort? Elemi, ked and Goldsmith well known from crosswords but not elsewhere. Thermidor has come up before, but needed a few checkers to remember it. Needed all the crossers for guise – my knowledge of London hospitals is similar to a Londoner’s knowledge of currawongs. Liked spinnaker best of all, also seeing moonraker first with the AK.

    Edited at 2021-10-07 02:11 am (UTC)

    1. I was full of dread when I realised I’d have to delve into my near-empty toolbox of sail names.

      “Right, so there’s SPINNAKER, then…oh, look at that. Phew.”

      1. I have just finished Eric Newby’s The Last Grain Race, so I was ready for anything. Royals and Spinnakers are kids’ stuff! I hope, for everyone else’s sake, that our esteemed compilers don’t get hold of a copy of it … I had no idea there were so many things in sailing ships, all with bloodcurdling names!
  5. ELEMI comes up regularly and is pretty much the only resin that appears in crosswords. I was even slower on FAST since it was my LOI once I finally got FOOTLING. I missed HERB hidden in plain sight and also assumed it was the guy’s name. I wasn’t sure about ACADEMIC as open to speculation. Plus I screwed up and typed it as ACADEMKC so a technical DNF, as opposed to yesterday when I truly couldn’t get the Australian bird, definitely not my specialist subject.
  6. …even though my performance was flawed (see above). The cricket term was my LOI, and I didn’t seal that deal entirely unaided. But I realized it couldn’t be “gunslinger.”
    So easy was the rest that nought was second-guessed. FOI 1D, second OLIVER GOLDSMITH.

    Edited at 2021-10-07 02:50 am (UTC)

  7. Had to decide whether a DUFFER could also be a BUFFER, or a BUFFER could also be a DUFFER. Pulled the wrong rein in the end, but it didn’t matter because I had already invented ERMATURE.

    Can hardly complain given that I took an eternity over the cricket question, which is supposed to be my bailiwick.

    Anyway, nice to see that it was a stroll in the park for the Hong Kong Verlaine. Made my day.

    Thanks Z and setter.

  8. Magnificent Thunderer stuff! Cricket, FOOTLING, BUFFER plus of course Mr Goldsmith. His Vicar of Wakefield was an inspiration for Stendhal’s Life of Henry Brulard, which I am currently ploughing through reading.

    Well done, setter!

  9. Over in a flash! Time 19 minutes and no parses necessary.
    It mattered little that 12ac had two herbal remedies.

    FOI 19ac SILO

    LOI 25dn FRET – I really missed the Lincolnshire sea-mist

    COD 2dn OLIVER GOLDMITH – notes on ‘The History of Goody Two Shoes’ are interesting – does he get the credit?

    WOD 27ac THERMIDOR – 1891: Victorien Satdou’s play ‘Thermidor’ performed at the Comédie-Française, gave rise to ‘Lobster Thermidor’; – some say from the nearby Cafe de Paris (Leopold Mourier) others Chez Marie (Auguste Paillard).
    Whatever, I shall be rustling one up on Sunday, Chez Meldrew (Horri de Shanghai).

    Edited at 2021-10-07 03:47 am (UTC)

        1. I would therefore estimate that FRET is a phenomenon from North York’s down to Sussex, the epicentre being Chapel St. Leonards, just to the north of Skeggy. The FRET rolled in and rarely rolled out! Home to some of the best crabs and brawn in the world. Singaporean-style Sri Lankan crabs are pdg too! Da-Nang soft-shell in Hanoi yum!

          Edited at 2021-10-07 11:34 am (UTC)

        2. That’ll be proper Yorkshire fret, then! Not that namby-pamby southern stuff!😀
          1. That’ll be proper Yorkshire fret, then. Not that namby-pamby southern stuff!😀
  10. I’m with Z on this — nothing too obscure to the seasoned solver, with the unusual words in ELEMI and THERMIDOR having been seen in these parts before. My only unknown was ROYAL as a sail but it was generously clued. Like Kevin and Guy I did spend time trying to justify gunslinger before I came up with OUTSWINGER.
  11. I cantered through this pretty FAST
    (In fact FAST was the word that came last)
    One thing that takes flight
    But no feathers in sight
    (Unlike evil grids from the past)
  12. Aaargh. I just couldn’t resist gunslinger. I knew it was wrong, but white-line fever had me in its pitiless death grip.
    Thanks, z.
  13. ‘To steal my basil-pot away from me.’

    Less than 20 mins pre-brekker. Very neat and tidy.
    Yes Elemi is one of those words, like Erato and Iambi, that turn up often because of their unique letterage.
    Thanks setter and Z.

  14. 24 minutes. I took a punt at a number of unknowns based on wordplay e.g. ROYAL (as a sail), THERMIDOR, OUTSWINGER, ELEMI. I parsed HERB as our blogger did, missing the hidden element.
  15. Probably because I wasn’t distracted by any Australian barmaids. Wide selection of chestnuts … Christmas is coming. I had PRE rather than ERE for REHEAT but both work.
  16. I always found SPINNAKERS a handful in my sailing days. Never heard of a ROYAL.
    A good, late OUTSWINGER is a thing of vast beauty.
    I liked the winter months in the Republican calendar. In English they sounded like three of the Seven Dwarfs:
    “Snowy”, “Rainy” and “Windy”.
    Thanks, Z. COD to OUTSWINGER and DISCREET.
    1. A contemporary English wit mocked the Republican Calendar by calling the months: Wheezy, Sneezy and Freezy (Autumn); Slippy, Drippy and Nippy (Winter); Showery, Flowery and Bowery (Spring); Hoppy, Croppy and Poppy (Summer)

      Glad to see that the English love of language and gentle mocking of the French goes back a long time.

  17. Started off with 1D and then roamed the grid filling in all the 4 letter answers. LOI was again 1A (FOOTLING – I had FIDDLING until OLIVER GOLDSMITH appeared). Alas! I was a DUFFER with one pink square.

    Thanks to z8b8d8k and the setter.

  18. Found the LHS of this puzzle a breeze, but made much heavier weather of the right – by 26m I was 5 clues away…
    – NE corner UPROOT (which I’d wrongly assumed was a UN- start) and ROYAL
    – the (NHO) ELEMI / DISCREET combination + THERMIDOR which was sort of obvious from the anagrist, but seemed like a very unlikely French month.

    …and I got that horrible bogged down / defeatist can’t-be-bothered feeling. Luckily I avoided the temptation of the Reveal button, and realised that the only way to breach this impasse was to have an emergency Somali breakfast – so I headed off to the local eatery and enjoyed a plate of beer (pronounced “bear” with the r rolled a bit) (fried spiced liver with onions and peppers). The nutritional goodness didn’t work instantaneously, but at least it got me there after brief digestion.

    Finished in SE: ELEMI came first after alpha-trawling ELE–, then DISCREET slotted in very easily. CREE goes on to the sticky-note crib list (only short Native American tribe name I could remember was HOPI). LOI was THERMIDOR ‘coz I waited till there was no other realistic possibility.

    Thanks z and setter

    1. The plate of beer sounds like fine dish. It should probably be accompanied by a pint of beer, but I don’t expect Wetherspoons to go Somali any day soon. ☹️

      Edited at 2021-10-07 09:33 am (UTC)

  19. 39 mins and all finished correctly so normal service resumed. I had MUDSLINGER at 14d for awhile but wasn’t happy with it so came back at the end to reread the clue properly. ELEMI bunged in with fingers crossed and DNK ROYAL as a sail either but, as mentioned, the clueing was fair. Liked FOOTLING when I eventually got it-POI.

    Thanks z and setter

  20. I4 unhurried minutes with LOI DISCREET and the only slight hold-up ELEMI. I’m glad THERMIDOR was the revolutionary month, the only one I know and then only through the lobster dish. COD to UNGRATEFUL. I’ll be the first to admit that my contribution to the household chores is not huge, but in my younger days as an early riser I excelled at riddling the ashes through the bars of the grate, emptying them into a box to be later used when cool for cat litter, rolling up the day before’s newspaper and putting it with a bit of firewood in the grate, adding half a shovel of coal from the coal shed, and then lighting the paper with a match. all so much more satisfying than today’s equivalent of emptying the dishwasher. An easy but nicely constructed puzzle. Thank you Z and setter.
    1. She Who Is In Charge Of The Catlitter says that ashes would be a nightmare, they would get everywhere and stick to the cats’ bums … how did they work out for you, BW?
      1. Our cat Chloe never complained during her nineteen years of life. I don’t ever recall ashes sticking to her. I think she had the good sense to allow sufficient clearance. She and our dog Rex had a friendship that was wonderful to behold, and she’d run between his legs if she was frightened.
        1. Our cats are strangers to good sense.
          Also wondering if fire ashes might be different to wood stove ash which is quite fine and powdery.
          academic, since I have been officially informed that the experiment will not be tried…
  21. I always thought ACADEMIC meant irrelevant to the current debate, in the sense that it can’t be proved and does not otherwise affect the outcome.

    Glad to see z putting the ! after Oliver, otherwise I would have said it.

    I was born in Guy’s, if they change the name this would lengthen my autobiography. Worth mentioning that the South Sea Bubble caused a huge economic crash, although the rich didn’t come out too badly. Plus ça change.

    Loved the cricket references, and knew ROYAL from Hornblower, don’t think you get them on dinghies.

    I knew THERMIDOR. Karl Marx wrote a tract called ‘The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon’, an incomprehensible title unless researched.

    10′ 09″, thanks z and setter.

  22. 16.10 with a pause while I worked out why gunslinger couldn’t possibly be right at 14 dn! Funny the mental contortions crosswords induce. Started slowly but then the RHS started to coalesce and that gave me the means to crack the earlier LHS that had initially defeated me.

    Lots to like but ungrateful was my favourite. Thx setter and blogger. I wonder what awaits tomorrow?

  23. Close to a PB and all done before leaving Shepherds Bush.

    It’s not often I get no hold-ups but the vocabulary was kind (even ELEMI was vaguely familiar) particularly the sails although I did think that having both clues start with the word “Sail” was a bit clumsy.

    Have we ever had any months other than THERMIDOR? I think I recall a GERMINAL some time ago.

    Thanks z and setter.

  24. Slow start then speedier clockwise solve, spookily similar to many others it seems … returned to top rows and bunged in FOOTLING and DUFFER from the checkers and overquick re-scan of clues … ooops! Oh silly mio (as I oft sing in shower) … Thanks to setter and blogger
  25. Wasted five minutes on the last three, which is getting to be a pattern these days. Like several others, FAST was the LOI, which is so annoying because it’s so obvious.
  26. So many have gone for 15ac as their COD – sorry, but I found this far to easy. Instead I have gone for 26ac GUISE requiring a bit more cunning. My time was 9:51 minutes with a bit of a hold up at Elemi.
    1. Can’t agree with you on GUISE, which went straight in with little or no thought. I also think I’ve seen it before.
  27. Y for the T of OUTSWINGER.

    TIME 7:05 but with a pinko

  28. My grandfather was called Buffy because he was always in the buff, so that solved the DUFFER/BUFFER situation. As a cricket enthusiast, I had a duh time with OUTSWINGER, took ages to see it. LOI for some reason I couldn’t see the MATURE in ARMATURE. Old age?
  29. 21.25, which was an improvement on yesterday. But no complaints after quite a few rather tougher puzzles. Nothing really delayed me. I just do things slowly, including thinking. Nice blog z and I liked the ‘or we’d have to rename it’.

    Like quite a few I missed the hidden herb completely. Deliberate I wonder? Probably, in which case rather clever to have two bits of wordplay in one. Although I suppose that’s what setters do with an &lit.

  30. After being put in mind of the Ashes earlier in the week, very happy to have more cricket, fewer Aussie birds (though I was also tempted to biff GUNSLINGER, very hard to unsee from those checkers). Nice smooth solve, helped by requiring a fair bit of knowledge which I officially pronounce to be “general”.
  31. Mainly stuck in the top left where only OLIVER stood for a long time. I too was fixated on LENT though couldn’t obvs see why. Eventually the penny dropped and SPINNAKER hove into view sparking a fairly prompt resolution.
  32. 20 minutes, mostly gentle stuff, only saw the hidden parsing for HERB, LOI ARMATURE, liked Oliver Goldsmith clue. Thanks z8.
  33. Langouste Thermidor chez Horryd. I’d be over like a shot if you weren’t quite so far away.
    1. Olivia, do not FRET, I will prep three ‘long-sia’, just in case— there is a large ‘live tank’ just over the road at ‘Hippo’.
  34. Did Gordon really say “bust my BUFFERs”? I gave my collection of Awdry’s books to my grandsons or I’d look it up on treeware but I’ll have to chase it down online. Slowish start but coasted to a pleasant 12.14.
    1. It is said that his last words at Khartoum were, “I can do no more.’ or perhaps ‘I will never be taken alive!”(Baring) No mention of ‘busting his buffers’. I’ll fetch me dashiki.
    2. I think it comes from Series 16, Episode 9, when ‘Silly old Gordon fell in a ditch’ and when the Queen visited. I preferred it when it was Ringo’s voice,sounding just like a Dad home from work reading his kid a story. But maybe that’s because that’s how I heard them seventy plus years ago.

      Edited at 2021-10-07 02:47 pm (UTC)

  35. FOI Herb, without seeing the hidden. 10 on first pass. Couldn’t bring to mind a Goldsmith – institute saved me from Galbraith, husband supplied Oliver. Struggled with uproot, footling and fast for a while. Put gunslinger in because I liked it. Went pink in three places. Found the swinger first, then husband had the PDM. Much to enjoy, an hour’s excellent entertainment. Thanks, Z, and setter.
  36. My first half way decent time in ages. It was easy, of course. But I hit the groove. Would have made it under 10 but for a distinct deceleration for armature and outswinger.
  37. 20.27. I felt a bit slow today but overall found this a regulation solve. I think I was just footling around unnecessarily with one or two and allowing the mind to wander.
  38. A good clean fight! I got 14dn OUTSWINGER, but for the wrong reason; thought it was a wrecking ball used in demolition jobs (allergic to cricket). FOOTLING 1ac, BUFFER 5ac and FLY OFF THE HANDLE 8ac, betray the setter’s mature years; have’nt heard these used in conversation for ages!
  39. 10:33 this afternoon, a welcome return to some form for me after yesterday’s tribulations, although the SNITCH today was a good deal lower.
    A steady solve, everything parsed although NHO of the Royal sail at 11 ac nor the sheep tick contributing to 4 d ” naked”. However in both cases the wordplay was user friendly.
    Liked 27 ac “thermidor”. No lobster in the P household tonight but evidently a risotto of coley ( part of our regular fish delivery from the port of Peterhead) is being prepared with which I propose to serve a Pinot Gris from NZ. Cue for anticipatory salivation!
    COD 14 d “outswinger” triggering thoughts of Jimmy Anderson in full flow at the Gabba!
    Thanks to Z for an interesting blog and setter for providing some respite after yesterday.
    1. Maybe elsewhere. Jimmy always looks unhappy at the Gabba (could be the humidity?) and his record there is terrible.

      1. I bow to your considerable local knowledge and agree it wasn’t the most suitable choice of ground on my part! Just trying to dredge up some optimism for what could be a tough series from England’s point of view!
      1. …and then Bob lost his swing. Strange.

        Went on to be a wonderfully dry commentator, but only got the WACA matches, never landed a national gig.

  40. Liked it

    Everything parsed

    The KED part of NAKED ELEMI THERMIDOR all straight in — all would have been mysteries a few years back when starting these things

    SPINNAKER from playing Dice Sailing at school (don’t ask) and ROYAL from O’Brian

    Finally, those checkers and there was another word in addition to gunslinger and mudslinger? For a change perseverance paid off and OUTSWINGER was my LOI

    Thanks Setter and Mr Z

  41. Thanks setter and z8b8d8k
    25 min – so quite quick for me and in a single sitting.
    Was able to remember both sails, the resin and the cricketing terms. The only couple that gave me grief were ARMATURE (my last one in) and BUFFER (didn’t know the ‘silly old man’ definition) although I wasn’t fully convinced DUFFER could be a part of a railway track – as indeed it wasn’t.
    Spotted the hidden HERB and the blog version did scare me for a start. Although not fully conversant with the French revolutionary calendar – THERMIDOR was a month from it that I did remember.

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