28270 Thursday, 21 April 2022 Hi ho, Silver!

An avoidable typo spoiled my taking possession of the early head of the leaderboard, but I’ll still say I got through this in 13.34, and would have been quicker if I hadn’t diligently and carefully (and fruitlessly) proof read. Mind you there was (is) one clue I can’t unravel properly, though the answer is obvious enough from the definition. There’s some GK that might not be all that G, such as the philosopher chappie and the Irish land of eternal youth which looks a lot like a misprint (it’s not).
I present clues in italics, definitions therein underlined, and SOLUTIONS.
1 Good, pink paper for wrapping one’s present (4)
GIFT G(ood) F(inancial) T(imes), a famously pink broadsheet newspaper, wrapping I (one). The ‘s should be taken as “is”.
3 Certain Americans developing British mania, alas (10)
ALABAMIANS An anagram (developing) of B(ritish) MANIA ALAS. I used the anagram fodder to get the correct spelling with the I.
9 Roman general, an old man, assuming control (7)
AGRIPPA Marcus Vipsanius, buddy of Augustus Caesar with many notable victories to his name, together with the construction of great buildings such as the Pantheon in Rome. Get him from A old man: PA, taking in GRIP for control.
11 Typical farmer astride gee-gee is a funny fit! (7)
GIGGLES I did not know this, but “Farmer Giles” derives from a Tolkein fable, Farmer Giles of Ham, and has entered British and American slang as a stereotypical bumpkin farmer. Chambers says it’s CRS for piles, haemorrhoids. Place him around two G’s (spelt out in the clue)
12 Excellent ambition by worker perhaps to get one up (9)
DEFENDANT One up in court, that is. DEF for excellent, END for ambition, and ANT for the familiar (six-legged) worker.
13 Tongue? Hold it, with oxtail initially not available (5)
SHONA One of the languages of Zimbabwe.  Construct it from SH for hold it, O(xtail) “initially” and N(ot) A(vailable), and hope for the best.
14 Herb repelled Scottish devil woman — but took his time? (5-7)
DILLY-DALLIED The herb is DILL, then take the Scottish version of devil, which is DEIL and a generic woman, LADY, and reverse both. Famous from “My Old Man”
18 Long digital film dealt unusually with gender ID (6,6)
MIDDLE FINGER In which digital is a noun. It’s an anagram (dealt unusually) of FILM and GENDER ID.
21 Disown niece, oddly out of order (5)
IONIC One of the orders of Greek architecture. Delete the odd letters of dIsOwN nIeCe to arrive at your solution.
22 Sort of weapon taken from NCO was carried by everyone (5-4)
SMALL-BORE The NCO is a S(ergeant) M(ajor), and “was carried by everyone” translates to ALL BORE.
24 Philosopher’s nadir: redundant, in retreat, diminished (7)
DERRIDA Jacques, 1930-2004. Even if you are not acquainted with the name, the setter has kindly reverse-hidden it (in retreat, diminished) in nADIR REDundant to make it almost unmistakeable.
25 Kenny’s outside cutting turf up (7)
SKYWARD The outside letters of KennY inside (green) SWARD for turf.
26 Filling one glass after female called (10)
FRANGIPANE A tasty filling for a tart. F(emale) RANG for called and then I (one) PANE (of) glass.
27 Postponement indeed on the way (4)
STAY As in of execution. AY for indeed stuck on to ST(reet) for way.
1 Pop producers putting sum of money on promotions (8)
GRANDADS Well, your grandad did produce your father. Sum of money GRAND, promotions ADS.
2 Lots to eat? Suffolk runs out! (8)
FORKFULS Unlikely looking anagram (out) of SUFFOLK R(uns)
4 High capital growth ultimately when investing in the City (5)
LHASA The last letter (ultimately) of growtH plus AS for when, placed into LA for the city.
5 Piece of music which Swiss hero managed not to broadcast (9)
BAGATELLE The only Swiss hero everyone knows is William TELL, but where the rest of word comes from is still a mystery to me. I’ll let you know if light dawns before I post. It looks as if it might be a “sounds like” from broadcast, but…[curryowen has it! In the Tell legend. William is obliged to shoot an apple from his son’s head by the tyrranical Austrian occupying ruler Gessler, which he successfully did. So he managed not to BAG A (junior) TELL, which is what our solution sounds like (if broadcast). Crumbs!]
6 With command from military, Gaels dispersed (13)
MAGISTERIALLY An anagram (dispersed) of MILITARY GAELS.
7 Out of a book, one fed yarn (6)
ABLOOM Blink and you miss the definition. A B(ook), and something you feed yarn to is a LOOM.
8 Strut made of wood for example holds (6)
SASHAY For example gives SAY, this time, and it holds ASH for wood.
10 Near miss, perhaps: too close for comfort? (5-8)
PENNY-PINCHING Near in its sense of miserly. The random miss you need is PENNY, and the rest of the clue more or less defines the pinching bit.
15 Light seen by a lord quietly embracing religion (5,4)
ALDIS LAMP One of those signalling lights that navy ships talk to each other with. A L(or)D plus P for quietly takes in ISLAM for religion.
16 Tir nan-Og strangely left out of the picture? (8)
IGNORANT I came across Tit na nOg (my spelling) in an ancient Spectrum game which was pretty unfathomable but had surprisingly good graphics. Irish Elysium. But you don’t need to know that! It’s just the anagram (strangely) fodder.
17 Small fish sandwiches I polish off with large cordial (8)
FRIENDLY Small fish: FRY encloses I END for I polish off.
19 Not exactly a family affair following (4,2)
KIND OF A family affair is whimsically a KIN DO, add F(ollowing)
20 Girl with touching article (6)
ANDREA With gives AND, touching RE, and article just A
23 Firing from big guns upset native (5)
ARSON Big guns are R(oyal) A(rtillery) and then native gives SON, as in “Now is the winter of our discontent Made glorious summer by this son of York”

51 comments on “28270 Thursday, 21 April 2022 Hi ho, Silver!”

  1. Not being familar with the legend, I just assumed that 5dn was a double definition, and that Mr. Tell had managed to not tell (broadcast) some small piece of information. Or something. No idea really
  2. Put in FRANGIPANI (I imagine I’m not alone); FRANG was enough for me, as I’d never heard of FRANGIPANE. Maybe if I’d tried to parse the clue I’d have seen the problem. I did try to parse BAGATELLE, and failed. ALABAMIANS certainly doesn’t look like the correct spelling to me; I’d say Alabamans, as does ODE, with lots of examples. Whereas Collins doesn’t even cross-refer from ‘Alabaman’, giving only ‘Alabamian’. SHONA wasn’t a problem, but it does seem odd to choose a little-known language and just clue it as ‘tongue’.
    1. at the time of writing the snitch shows 8 solvers with an error, and only 10 correct. I wonder if it’s FRANGIPANI, which is how I’d have spelled it if I hadn’t twigged that the parsing required PANE for the glass.

      Edited at 2022-04-21 05:12 am (UTC)

      1. Another Frangipani here. I’m familiar with the flower and have never heard of the pie filling.
  3. I think the story had him having to shoot the apple off his son’s head. He did this without harming his son so he managed not to “bag a Tell”.Great puzzle -really liked FORKFULS and SKYWARD but couldn’t get ABLOOM or SHONA. Thanks for all the explanations of things I couldn’t see!
    1. Yes that works a lot better doesn’t it? Although now the clue suffers from close examination – “bag” isn’t quite the right word for accidental filicide – and I realise I should have just bifd and forgotten about it
  4. One cute clue after another. Thank you setter. I’m with Kevin on Alabamans, but the OED also allows the I. I think there is extra umph in Middle Finger. In addition to being the long one, the relative length of the first and ring fingers is influenced by the level of testosterone in the womb, so the lengths of the first, middle, and ring fingers are also a gender indicator.

    Edited at 2022-04-21 03:18 am (UTC)

  5. A 33 minute double fail. For no good reason I thought the ‘Scottish devil’ might be a “dyel” and I didn’t look closely enough at the anagram fodder to help me spell the not very difficult MAGISTERIALLY. Thanks for explaining BAGATELLE I’d have had no hope.
  6. I was held up a little trying to parse BAGATELLE and SMALL BORE before I gave up and threw them in. I was held up a lot by ABLOOM and SHONA until I finally saw the definition for the former. The clue for SHONA could easily be read as “Take word meaning ‘hold it’ then remove an O”, Likewise the clue for IONIC was deceptive with “out of order” seeming a clear anagrind at first glance. Good work setter!
  7. I struggled with most of this, but unlike some difficult puzzles it was a very enjoyable solve so at 59 minutes I got value for money today. The only unknown was SHONA as a language, although I knew it as a given name.

    I’m not sure I’d accept the explanation of ‘Farmer Giles’ as it has been around since my childhood in the early 1950s and, with the exception of The Hobbit and then LOTR I don’t think Tolkien’s other writings were particularly widely read at that time. Brewer’s mentions it as a possibility but also suggests it’s from a poem called The Farmer’s Boy published in 1800.

    Whatever its source, by the 1950s it had become Cockney rhyming slang for haemorrhoids.

    Edited at 2022-04-21 05:43 am (UTC)

    1. I ran out of time searching Farmer Giles, and put up with the flood of Tolkein references, despite a similar feeling that it had been around much longer. I’ve subsequently come across a National Portrait Gallery Gilray print from 1809 entitled ‘Farmer Giles and his wife shewing off their daughter Betty to their neighbours, on her return from school’, which confirms a much earlier provenance. Your suspiciaons are correct!
  8. Couldn’t get ABLOOM after 30 minutes.

    I needed to read Foucault and Derrida for my PhD. I occasionally understood Foucault, so he wins that battle.

    1. I encountered Derrida at university. I did understand him sometimes, but never for a whole sentence.
      1. I forget (sc. don’t know) who* it was who said, “Ce qui n’est pas clair n’est pas français”, but he lived before Derrida came along.
        *Antoine Rivaroli; I just looked it up.
  9. 53 minutes with LOI ABLOOM after I eventually saw and parsed SHONA. I thought they were ALABAMANS too. I’d no idea what 16d was referring to but fortunately there was no need. At least this time I managed to deconstruct Derrida, unlike when I read some of his stuff. COD to GIGGLES and hunger pangs of the day to FRANGIPANE. Definitely a toughie for me. Thank you Z and setter.
  10. A chaotic solve, ending in a rather bitter disappointment after my Mon – Wed correct completions. Started off well enough, with GIFT and ALABAMIANS straightaway, then had severe doubts about the latter, and erased, it only to later re-enter.

    Then I DILLY-DALLIED through the rest of the puzzle, making pretty hard work of it, but eventually, to my surprise, approaching completion at about 48m. However the final ABLOOM and (NHO) SHONA crossing never came – upon revealing ‘em, I wasn’t anywhere close. Another week, another blot on my copybook – thanks z and setter.

  11. The ABLOOM/SHONA intersection caused me the most trouble, and the latter eventually went in with no great confidence. Also had no idea how BAGATELLE worked, took a while to remember that ‘def’ can mean ‘excellent’ in order to get DEFENDANT, and held off on putting in ALDIS LAMP, even though I’d figured out the wordplay early on, as I didn’t know the term.

    But this was very enjoyable stuff. Thanks setter and blogger.

    FOI Gift
    LOI Shona
    CODs Grandads/Dilly-dallied

  12. Pretty tough today. 54 mins but managed to finish, which at one point I didn’t think I would. As has been said some very neat clueing and terrific use of small words: out, near, and a number of tricky definitions. Like others, several unparsed, so thanks for the explanations here. I am sure we’ve had SHONA before? I’ve no other reason to get it!


    Thanks Z and setter

  13. Tricksy .. unable to parse the bagatelle, though I knew the legend well enough so should have; and I thought 7dn might be ABLOOD (out of, in a certain sense) but when I looked that word up in Collins it said it didn’t exist, did I mean ABLOOM? Which was helpful.

    The OED is silent on the origins of Farmer Giles, but its earliest quotation is from 1770, which appears to cast some doubt on the etymologies so far proposed ..

  14. DNF. Another defeated by ABLOOM, needing a wordfinder to get it. I wondered about BAGATELLE – well done curryowen for working it out! COD to 2D for the mention of my home county for the last (nearly)25 years. Thanks Z and setter.
  15. As GIFT, GRANDADS and ALABAMIANS(where did that extra I come from?) tripped easily into place, I was led to a false premise that this might be an easy puzzle. My next entry, STAY, put an end to this notion! AGRICOLA didn’t fit, so there was a bit of a hiatus before AGRIPPA turned up. I DALLIED for some while in the SE and became a little less IGNORANT, before returning to the NE where SASHAY and GIGGLES led me to ABLOOM. SHONA was somehow familiar, but MAGISTERIALLY took a while to emerge. FRANGIPANE appeared from a careful inspection of the wordplay, and PENNY PINCHING helped with DEFENDANT where I also had to rethink FORKSFUL, once I had the DILLY bit of 14a. Thankfully our philosopher was plainly hidden and helped with the arrival of LOI, ANDREA. Liked MIDDLE FINGER and was, like others, slightly baffled by our BAGATELLE. 26:35. Thanks setter and Z8.

    Edited at 2022-04-21 09:33 am (UTC)

  16. Combination of the right sort of general knowledge and some post-biff rationalisation meant this fell into place more easily than I probably had any right to expect. I was especially glad the Americans sprang to mind quickly and were in handy anagram form, as I have a vague memory of being undone by IOWANS back in the day. Meanwhile, I was cheered by the memory of Monty Python’s epic staging of Julius Caesar on an Aldis Lamp, the sequel to Wuthering Heights in Semaphore
  17. About 20 mins
    Just sort of drifted through this one with no particular issues.
    Thanks, z.
  18. Liked a lot of this, including (unlike some) BAGATELLE, which I entered because it fitted and because of Willam Tell, but didn’t understand, and now it’s explained I like it. I also entered ARSON without understanding it, as it seemed to be the only word that fitted, and now it’s quite easy. I was confusing myself because for some reason I was regarding arson as some form of theft and forgetting what it meant. 44 minutes. ALABAMIANS seemed an odd word. Slowed myself with FORKSFUL.
  19. The rest slowly but surely fell into place, not without a few struggles here and there. BAGATELLE just doesn’t work, I’m afraid, whichever way you try to parse the clue. Pity, because excellent work from setter in the rest of the puzzle.
  20. Tricksy today, and I sensed that I might not complete, for all the clever wordplay, as many answers resulted in a ‘Really? Why?’ before the penny dropped. Sure enough, I was stuck for ages on the Shona/Abloom crossing, having guessed SHONA as being the only language I could think of that fitted the S—A, but been unable initially to make sense of it, not recognising ‘Sh’, as meaning ‘Hold it’. Finally, I assumed the O and Loom came to me. It’s not the first time I’ve been caught out by the definition ‘Out’! Very pleased to finish and couldn’t parse SMALLBORE, so thanks for that, Z, and to the setter for an excellent workout.
  21. ….but got through it in a reasonable time. I parsed FRANGIPANE carefully, remembered SHONA from a recent puzzle (although maybe not here), dragged the barely known DERRIDA from the depths of my grey matter (aka known as sludge), and finally biffed my LOI. BAGATELLE struck me as the poorest of a number of ill-contrived clues. Roll on Friday….

    TIME 10:20

    1. My grey matter seems to alternate between having great clarity and covid mists at the moment!
  22. 7:11. I seem to have been on the wavelength for this.
    Fortunately FRANGIPANE has always been FRANGIPANE in my experience so my biff proved correct.
    I didn’t understand 5dn and I don’t think much of it. ‘Bag’ really doesn’t mean what William would have done to his son if he had missed. But other than that I very much enjoyed this puzzle.
    We had fun* with Derrida at university reading third-party explanations of what he was on about (which always seemed interesting and perceptive) and then trying to relate that back to what he had actually written. If that’s what he meant why didn’t he just write that?

    *not fun

    1. Chomsky was another who had to be read ‘in translation’, but I always sensed there was a real brain there. When he kept to writing about what he knew about…
      1. Indeed, although I found you could at least connect the translations to the originals.
        He does seem to have gone the full Pilger these days. You never go the full Pilger.
  23. 33:54. An excellent puzzle with well-concealed definitions hiding in plain sight. Was slow to get LHASA and ABLOOM and only parsed BAGATELLE at the end — the best of the lot, I thought.
  24. I really struggled with this – and I’ll put it down to grogginess after my second booster shot which gave me a sleepless night with chills and a sore arm (sniff). I associate FRANGIPANE not with filling but with an unpleasantly cloying “fragrance” which was popular decades ago in some hippy circles. I certainly failed to parse BAGATELLE and ARSON. The latter I thought was a reference to some horrible assault weapons available to almost anyone in the US. Also slow to see SHONA because I think of “hold it” meaning “stop” rather than “be quiet” but “Stopa” somehow didn’t sound convincing. 25.52
    1. I struggled with Shona parsing due to having S…A quickly, and thinking that’s what the “it” referred to.
  25. Surprised to finish this, as I got very bogged down in the middle. Some clever misdirection going on, in particular IONIC, a type of clue I usually get very quickly. No idea about BAGATELLE and SHONA, thanks for enlightening me.
  26. Another with Shona/abloom resisting until the end. SH for “hold it’ was unconvincing, and the language that kept insinuating itself was Xhosa. Even having the S…A crossers.
    Otherwise a superb puzzle, except for bagatelle, as others have noted, it doesn’t really work.
    Frangipane unknown but guessed, frangipani the plant known, 3 were here but 2 have died and the other on its way out – not a tropical plant, no matter what the dictionaries say.
    Andrea a boy’s name, too: Andrea Pirlo. No COD today.
  27. BAGATELLE was my one biff!
    MAGISTERIAL is maybe most often used to describe the supposedly “definitive” biography of some great name.
    Been a while since we’d had ALDIS LAMP, was probably right on the verge of forgetting it…
    I guess the week’s hard one will be tomorrow, as is only appropriate…
  28. DNF by three or four fences today, but a great crossword even so, and thanks to our blogger for explaining where I could not. BAGATELLE a went in unparsed, but the ‘failure to bag a Tell’ explanation makes sense and raised a smile.
  29. 19.00 with hold ups along the way with grandads, penny pinching, dilly dallied and LOI Defendant. Enjoyed it all. But an approving nod to skyward and ionic.
    Thx setter and blogger. Hoping for a full house with Friday.
  30. 23.30. I found this tricky. Like others I nearly ran aground on the shona / abloom crossers but managed to finally see “out” in the correct light. I felt when solving that it was a bit forced in parts, bagatelle, Scottish devil, digital though there were plenty of nice touches too, pop producers a particular favourite.
  31. 12 seconds over an hour, very good puzzle with some very complex clues. Not a chance of parsing BAGATELLE (which I knew as something trivial or unimportant, not a piece of music, but that may be a meaning more prevalent in German), but I did manage everything else, including ABLOOM, my LOI and COD. My first try at 2dn was FORKSFUL, but with that I couldn’t solve DEFENDANT, so I eventually changed it.
  32. Held up at the end by ABLOOM and SHONA. I’d never heard of SHONA and it took me a long time to see ABLOOM even with the tentative O. Then I clicked, and so I hoped SHONA was a thing, and it was.
  33. …cheated with SHONA — a completely random and unknown language. Spoilt an otherwise decent grid.

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