28222 Thursday, 24 February 2022 Apparently not my scene

Something of a breeze in just under 21 minutes (takes me that bit longer when I have half an eye on how I’m going to explain it all to my eager readers). But a sting in the tail, as it turns out I couldn’t spell the geological time period and my spelling looked likely enough not to query why only half of it was a homophone.
The way I edit my copy includes copying and pasting into Word, and a quirk of typesetting means that longer clues stand out with line breaks and displaced numbers. This puzzle had a way higher proportion of longer clues than usual: clearly our setter was not bound by any considerations of economy, and the editor turned a blind eye to the profligate use of printing ink/toner.
My convention is to italicise clues, underline definitions therein, and present solutions in BOLD CAPITALS.
1 Hussy’s unclothed with detective after day in Riviera location (5,5)
MONTE CARLO So the hussy is a harlot, who is stripped of her exterior to leave ARLO. This follows MON for day, and TEC for detective. Time lost thinking I was clever to work with a day in Riviera location being Mardi.
6 Impact one expects to have? (4)
BUMP Familiarly, these days at least, an expectant mother has a baby one.
8 As one might be, having confused note with four others? (4,4)
TONE DEAF  A good excuse to advert to this brilliant piece of Flanders and Swannery. An anagram od NOTE plus the notes D E A and F. I’ll call this an &lit.
9 Unstructured mass survey needs sending back to party (6)
DOLLOP A survey is a POLL, which is reversed (needs sending back) and tacked on to DO for party
10 Comes in, displacing monarch, to find wooden characters (4)
ENTS The walking talking trees from Tolkien, produced from ENTERS for comes in with our sovereign lady ER displaced altogether.
11 Fabulous group fashionably late appearing in ancient city (3,7)
THE BEATLES Fabulous because they were the Fab Four. An anagram (fashionably) of LATE appearing inside THEBES, our ancient city du jour.
12 Mystical system Henry introduced to eccentric Soho type (9)
THEOSOPHY An anagram (eccentric) of SOHO TYPE with H(enry) introduced.
“Any of a number of philosophies maintaining that a knowledge of God may be achieved through spiritual ecstasy, direct intuition, or special individual relations, especially the movement founded in 1875 as the Theosophical Society by Helena Blavatsky and Henry Steel Olcott (1832–1907).”
14 Snake applying pressure to indigenous North Americans (5)
CREEP That incredibly useful bunch of indigenous North Americans, the CREE, with P(ressure) applied to the end.
17 Strangler’s device police informer carries round (5)
NOOSE A police informer is a NOSE, and round indicates the shape of the additional letter you need to insert.
19 Youth alive to climate crisis crossing northern country (9)
GREENLAND A youth alive to climate crisis is whimsically a GREEN LAD. It (he?) crosses N(orthern)
22 Being old man, large ruffian should contain reduced crowd (10)
FATHERHOOD So (shades of gangster Tony in the Simpsons) your large ruffian is a FAT HOOD. Crowd is HERD, reducing it produces HER, to be contained.
23 Small cake presented with good sweetener (4)
BUNG Sweetener in the sense of a bribe, for which this is one of many slang terms. Small cake is a BUN, and G(ood) provides the G
24 I’d turned medieval guitar’s tone down (6)
DILUTE I’D is reversed (turned) and the medieval guitar is a LUTE.
25 Bothering to swallow what’s in best wine (8)
RIESLING Bothering is RILING, insert what’s (contained) in bESt
26 Cry out in sorrow when displacing back joint (4)
KNEE to cry out in sorrow is KEEN which I thought had Scottish overtones uty Chambers says Irish. Displace the N at the back two spaces towards the front.
27 Reader worried by Burke or Hare finally choosing body (10)
ELECTORATE Reader is LECTOR, worried ATE. Both Burke and Hare end with E (finally) so I’ll leave you to chose which one to go on the front.
1 Shabby Shakespearean fairy employed by school broadcast (4-5)
MOTH EATEN Moth is one of the fairies in Midsummer Night’s Dream, EATEN sounds like ETON, the school does when heard in some broadcast.
2 Woman to take home incredibly neat clothes (7)
NANETTE An anagram (incredibly) of NEAT, NATE, “clothes” NET, another way of saying the income you actually take home after tax and other deductions. Could also have been ANNETTE, a girl I used to play with when very young and entirely innocent, which confused my grandmother who wondered what I was doing playing with a net.
3 Response when Conservative rises in the world (8)
CREATION Response is REACTION, and when its C rises it produces our synonym of the world. The grammar is a bit strained.
4 Resort to accommodate student starting in some further education? (9,6)
REFRESHER COURSE Resort is RECOURSE. Accommodate a student starting, who would be a FRESHER
5 Where democracy initially denied, draws lots (6)
OODLES Draws is DOODLES, drop D, the initial letter of Democracy.
6 With two parties involved, bare it all when dancing (9)
BILATERAL An anagram (dancing) of BARE IT ALL.
7 Period said to be this writer’s speciality — nothing in that (7)
MIOCENE If I’d applied the sound like formular to both words in the wordplay, I’d have got this. Sounds like MY (this writer’s) SCENE for speciality. But I didn’t and I still think, pace Chambers, that Myocene looks better. Oh, you need to insert O (nothing)
13 Building old and as you see unfinished (9)
OASTHOUSE O(ld) AS THOU (you) SE(e)  (“unfinished”)
15 Class in gym excited, enthralled by outstanding teacher (9)
PEDAGOGUE Gym is PE, then AGOG for excited is contained within (enthralled by) DUE for outstanding, as in still owing rather than brilliant.
16 Not feeling pressure in extremely close finish (4,4)
DEAD HEAT They don’t come any closer. Not feeling is DEAD, and pressure gives you the HEAT.
18 Zero put on tax? One at work gives sustained applause (7)
OVATION Zero is O, tax is VAT, one Is I, and at work gives ON.
20 Abrasive former student one’s interrupted (7)
ALUMINA Former (female) student is ALUMNA, insert I for one). I took its abrasiveness on trust, but it turns out that aluminium oxide (which this is) it unusually hard and can have that function among others.
21 Cheeses spoken of for picnic (6)
BREEZE As in a simple thing, a picnic. And sounding like (spoken of) BRIES for cheeses.

57 comments on “28222 Thursday, 24 February 2022 Apparently not my scene”

  1. I had ANNETTE at first, which delayed MONTE CARLO for some time; I only parsed the ARLO post-submission. I saw FRESHER, but never saw RE COURSE. And I saw ‘two parties’ and thought DO DO. So all in all I could have been faster.
  2. Nice to finish in about 30 mins today after 2 DNF the last couple of days. Having lived on the French Riviera for years, MONTE CARLO was a write-in from the enumeration and I never bothered to parse it.

    Z: At 2D you need NET not NETT or you end up with 3 Ts.

  3. I’m with Kevin on writing in Annette without pause, so Monte Carlo was last in after much head-scratching. No other problems, all parsed, but not so quick – lots of clues have lots of words, which I always find harder. Miocene looks better to me that way, didn’t consider the Y.
    COD to electorate, but only after looking up who Burke & Hare were – I’d guessed they invented some sort of electoral process, or maybe were Victorian-era explorers as a fallback guess.
  4. Another Annette. Usually I cringe when we get a ”mixture of notes” or similar cluing, but todays &lit was kind of pleasing.
  5. 28 minutes. Glad I went with my first thought for the spelling of MIOCENE and didn’t mix it up with the early Greek civilisation.

    I was on the point of creating a neologism – “norak” – for 17a until OASTHOUSE rode to the rescue. I had the NET in 2d as a verb (to earn), but it works as a noun (take home pay) as well. I liked the baby BUMP.

  6. 36 minutes and it was a relief to complete a puzzle after my last two efforts but unfortunately I went for MYOCENE at 7dn. I didn’t examine the wordplay closely enough to consider the alternative MIOCENE, though I agree it doesn’t look right so I’d probably have plumped for the Y anyway.

    It was interesting to see a word forming part of wordplay in both puzzles today that I hadn’t thought of in a while, and defined differently in each. In fact at first glance the definitions appear to be opposites but on reflection it’s possible to reconcile them.

    Thanks for posting the link to the divine A Word On My Ear, z8. I know the song well and have it in my collection performed by Sarah Walker accompanied by Roger Vignoles. Since F&S could never have performed it themselves (Flanders didn’t have the voice) I assumed it was in an early revue that they contributed to but I have been unable to track this down – although I have managed to rule out the obvious ones. I did however find that there was a recording with Swann at the piano accompanying the singer Rose Hill, so I suspect she sang it first. Long forgotten as a singer, if her name looks familiar it may be because many years later she played Mme Fanny Le Fan, Edith’s bed-ridden mother in the TV sitcom ‘Allo ‘Allo’.

    Edited at 2022-02-24 06:44 am (UTC)

    1. If I could have found it online, I’d have posted the Sarah Walker version, which I possess on CD: divine! Others online are either partial or very poorly recorded. This one was the only one which was acceptable, and included the line which is of most use to us: “I’m tone deaf, musically D E A F”
      1. Many thanks. I have now confirmed the song was used in the revue Penny Plain which played at St Martin’s and toured 1951/2. Joyce Grenfell had top billing but this song was performed, as I surmised earlier, by Rose Hill. Joyce had a good singing-voice but this would not have been her style and I can’t imagine her pulling it off. Accompaniment in the show was provided by two pianos played by John Pritchett and Kenneth Broadberry. Now I want to track down the studio recording by Rose and Donald.

        [Edit: It appears to exist only on a 4 CD set called Hat Trick: Collectors Edition which is no longer available. Amazon have one used copy at £65 which might have been tempting but I already have The Complete Flanders & Swann set which covers all the other tracks.]

        Edited at 2022-02-24 09:49 am (UTC)

        1. There have been two sales on eBay, coincidentally both on the same day this month, for £21 and £40. There are also a couple for sale on discogs for £49 and £54 – the price history shows the set only comes up once or twice a year and is never particularly cheap (only twice less than £40 and one of those was missing a CD, though not the one you’re interested in). Both sites have alerts if you wanted to keep an eye on prices.
          1. Many thanks, John, for your diligent research, but I don’t think I could justify anything more than a pound or two to obtain a single track when I have all the others already. Perhaps some kind soul will put it up on YouTube at some point!
  7. Meant to add ref your intro, z8, that if you are pasting into Word and getting quirky results you might experiment using Edit, Paste Special, Unformatted text, OK, instead of ordinary paste. Then add your formatting for copying into Live Journal. There are easier ways of working though!

  8. Thanks, Z, especially for RIESLING, OASTHOUSE and ELECTORATE. I grew up in hop country on the Sussex/Kent border so OASTHOUSE was not a problem.
    The liner notes to my CD copy of the Rolling Stones greatest hits album “Forty Licks”, say that NANETTE Newman sang backing vocals on “Honky Tonk Women”. I presume that would be the same Nanette Newman who was married to Bryan Forbes?
    COD now that I understand it is RIESLING.
      1. Haha! Thanks, Jack. I had forgotten about that. They say that when you get older, your long-term memory improves. Either that or I’m a bit of a sad case, but I can still remember the jingle 🎼”Hands that do dishes can feel as soft as your face with mild green Fairy Liquid”🎼
  9. 29 minutes with LOI DEAD HEAT in a steady solve. COD to THE BEATLES, which worked out beautifully. I liked TONE DEAF too, but there were lots of good clues. I biffed MONTE CARLO early, and parsed it as I finished. Good puzzle. Thank you Z and setter.
  10. Another MYOCENE here, sadly, and also another who fell for ANNETTE, delaying MONTE CARLO. 40m for this wrong-by-one failure.

    The Bristol Theosophical Lodge still exists, has its own premises, and meets regularly, though they also hire their rooms out to various other groups including the Bristol Dowsers and the local Tensegrity and White Eagle groups. Interesting crowd…

  11. Started with a very welcome MONTE CARLO write-in, half-parsed but mostly from the enumeration, also getting the big 4d early. I made my way through this one without any protracted hold-ups – great to have that “in the zone” feeling after two DNFs and having a hard time completing Monday’s grid. However, by the end I was resorting to biffs (KNEE, RIESLING, and LOI ELECTORATE which I expect I could have worked out with another 30s). Didn’t know ENTS and it’s decades since I saw AMND.

    I did consider both possible spellings or MIOCENE, plumped for the wrong ‘un – but anyway this was fun and satisfying – thanks z and setter

  12. Quick today, something of a relief after yesterday; this one played to my GK strengths (wine, inability to sing, the Beatles, the Med., geological epochs etc)and I enjoyed it.
    Fortunately 1ac a write-in so no Annette-related difficulties.
  13. 26:20 but with MYOCENE, having considered and rejected MIOCENE, and with a typo at BILATEREL to boot, which I failed to spot during proof reading. I passed ANNETTE by and biffed NATALIE, only noticing during proof reading that my ENTS were ENLS and TONE DEAF had become TOTE DEAF. Not mi finest hour. Thanks setter and Z.
  14. Seeing so many good solvers bedeviled by “Myocene” I wondered if they were making the unconscious connection (as BletchleyR suggests) with the place where Schliemann dug up Agamemnon – Mycenae, Schliemann schlepped there. Luckily I didn’t think of it. Took an extra few beats today to check for typos after yesterday. I was very slow to see the ENTS and was confused by ALUMINA because “alum” is the stuff in a styptic pencil that my husband keeps for shaving accidents. 22.03 Oh and thanks Z, Jack et al for the Flanders/Swann info – it was new to me.
    1. I wasn’t handicapped by an encyclopaedic knowledge of classical antiquity…

      …nor, for that matter, am I a good solver – so I guess I’m doubly excluded from that elite club.

      PS this was a throwaway remark, not fishing for compliments – no reassuring responses required

      1. The main reason I know about Mycenae Denise is that I went there as a student back when the junta of colonels was in power and somehow the awful pun about Schliemann has stuck with me. You’re exactly where I was as a solver not so very long ago and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if you overtake me fairly soon – I’ve reached the point where I’m unlikely to get any better.
        1. I don’t think that getting better and getting quicker are one and the same anyway.
          Dealing efficiently with the hard ones and avoiding misspellings 🙂 seem just as useful to me
  15. Like others above, held up by putting in ANNETTE at 2d, so MONTE CARLO was LOI, otherwise went along smoothly, done in 24 minutes.
    Thanks for the NN ad link, brings back memories of my times in that world.
  16. ….Annette. What a really irritating clue. Unfortunately my 11:30 was in vain, as, like our blogger, I plumped for myocene. Not my favourite puzzle of the month, but I won’t dissect it further for fear of being deafened by howls of “sour grapes !”
  17. Not having that. The lute and the guitar are different instruments, in construction, tuning, number of strings or courses, shape etc. There’s no record of the earliest lute, but it remained a popular instrument in Europe well into the 18th century. Bach had a couple, and was best buds with Sylvius Weiss, who was the German 18C equivalent of Hendrix. So definitely not medieval.

    The problem is compounded by the existence of an instrument known as the Renaissance guitar, and by the Spanish vihuela, which is the closest instrument of the period to the modern guitar. Either of those might possibly be a ‘medieval guitar,’ but the lute certainly isn’t.

    1. I’m glad to see someone with some relevant knowledge has taken this up. Quite inaccurate as a definition
  18. Time taken. A little less than one dull MDT meeting.


    A pleasant change after the last 3 days when I was left with one or two clues uncracked.

  19. 18:47 with DOLLOP and CREATION last ones in. Pleased to finish all correct after yesterday’s run in with CISCO, the superior “salmonoid” fish (whose salmonoidity doesn’t apparently extend to pinkness).
  20. I made heavy weather of this, and looking back, I can’t quite see why. Sleepily entering Sophistry (which isn’t even an anagram) instead of THEOSOPHY certainly didn’t help.

    COD DOLLOP – such a nice word.

    Thanks to the setter and to z, particularly for the musical link.

  21. Just a thought everyone. In the light of current events in Ukraine and probable fallout, should we be making contigency plans for loss of connection with LJ? Even a temporary Facebook page might suffice.
    1. I was wondering about that too Z. Vinyl is an IT man I believe and might have some ideas for a stopgap in the event.
    2. with that in mind, do you think someone should organise a list of emails for anyone who is willing to give one in, or else some central contact method — so that if we have to move suddenly and unexpectedly it’s easier to re-convene?
      1. I’m sure Vinyl has all the email info Paul and possibly Jackkt too. The anons will be out of luck though.
      2. We don’t really need a list of emails, just a facebook page would do. Blogs could be posted there and commented upon in quite a similar way to now. The only real loss would be the history side of things..
  22. Several bunged in without too much thought or parsing — RIESLING, PEDAGOGUE, ALUMINA

    But actually failed to parse KNEE (not knowing that meaning of KEEN) and missing the pregnant nuance of BUMP.

    Last in were THEOSOPHY, NANETTE (had been looking for confirmation via a third checker) and finally ENTS which took some minutes to recall.

  23. As above, really. Just pleased to finish. I had to check and correct a number of clues so that’s a DNF, but I eventually found all the answers without revealing any. Enjoyed the experience. Took me about an hour. Was casually reading through the clues and I thought “That’s The Beatles” without really knowing why. Just enjoyed seeing them standing there. Thanks, Z, and setter.
  24. 36.18 a bit slow today, the clues seemed wordy and hard to pin down. I had Annette in at first and feared that I might have another Mato Grosso on my hands at 1ac but Nanette changed my A to an N and Monte Carlo soon fell.
  25. Alumina is an abrasive which I probably consumed a fair bit of in my first 7 years of work at an aluminium smelter as it’s very fine and gets on every surface. Also a bugger if you get it on your hands. Great first job though and great place to work.

    28 minutes held up by fatherhood as, after getting the second checker, I thought for a long time it must start pa.

    Thanks Z and setter

  26. Slightly amazed that NANETTE made it through in that form. A fundamental rule of cryptic crosswords is that there should only be one possible correct answer, and in this case not only were there two but the other is, I would hazard, much more common. Disappointing.
  27. This required more than a lunchtime session, but I was engaged so returned to it. FOI THE BEATLES which really pleased me.
    Another ANNETTE delayed MONTE CARLO to the very end. LOI was OODLES.
    My memory of Mycenae inevitably led to MYOCENE. Just that error by the look of things. There was some very good stuff in here but …
  28. Zipped through this very happily until I discovered MYOCENE was incorrect post-submission. Not madly impressed, to be honest, though obvously there are greater wrongs in the world right now.
  29. I fared a bit better today than the last couple of days, but was another Annette, which held me back from 1ac for quite a while. 15:13 in the end.
    Apart from that, some really entertaining clues today. I particularly enjoyed ‘tone deaf’.

    Thanks to Setter and Z.

    1. Guess who just stole the last line of today’s limerick !!😀

      I enetered 2 down as Annette
      Which made 1 across hard to get
      I solved Monte Carlo
      And then said ho ho
      Is it …….PLEASE SEE ABOVE

    1. No apology necessary. I was very late on the scene, but having thought of the no no Nannette line, I then read through everyone else’s comments expecting someone else to have made the gag first…..and got to the very last one, yours, before I found it!
  30. I’m surprised that no one has picked up on the very basic knowledge that Greenland isn’t a country.

    Other than that, a splendid crossword.

    1. Wiki doesn’t agree, for one: “Greenland is the world’s largest island, and one of the three constituent countries that form the Kingdom of Denmark, along with Denmark and the Faroe Islands”
  31. 20:26 Catching up at the weekend after being away. I was another ANNETTE, but at least I guessed the unknown MIOCENE right. I liked BILATERAL for the surface best.

Comments are closed.