28954 Taking one consideration with another.


24.33, so not so easy for me, not least because on blogging night I had to be reasonably sure that all was in place and understood, and then this was no connected solve, answers going in haphazardly. Most of the top of the grid was the kind of Times-y, sedate stuff we’re used to: colloquialisms with a safe antiquity, some Latin and bits of French and Italian, arty stuff from the C19, but towards the end, especially in the down clues, some of the stuff we may have to get used to with the Down with the Kids’ version. I was lucky, in that none of it was unfamiliar, but I’m sure there will be answers in all categories which will flummox some of our company.

Definitions underlined in italics, letters missing from abbreviations and such shown by [], everything else take your chances.

1 Suffer, with quite pained expression (5)
ALLOW – Rather an antique version of suffer, best seen perhaps in “suffer the children to come unto me”. Quite gives ALL via completely, altogether, plus OW as your pained expression
4 Briefly had success — they are about to retire (3,3,3)
HIT THE HAY – The syntax is tricky. Briefly HA[D], with success: HIT and THEY both (hence are) about (it).
9 End of camping? Love to stop at home! (9)
INTENTION – Camping is IN TENT (tee hee) and O for love stops, is stuffed into IN for home.
10 Tend to back employees running shows (5)
NURSE – Reverse hidden (back…shows) in employeES RUNning.
11 Taking off: one’s mass movement in art (13)
IMPRESSIONISM – Taking off gives IMPRESSION plus I’S M[ass]
14 Monarch no longer to block vote against old tyrant (4)
NERO – Our late, lamented ER blocks, is stuck into, NO for a vote against.
15 Make early sporting exit, but not be “distressed” (4,3,3)
MISS THE CUT – From golf, I think, where after a couple of rounds only the lowest scores go on the further rounds. Hilariously, you don’t get your hair/tress cut.
18 “Ta God” is, er a translation? (3,7)
DEO GRATIAS – Latin for God be thanked, and an anagram (translation) of the first five words. Perhaps slightly forced, perhaps rather clever, &lit.
19 Book with education essentials? It’s fresh! (4)
BRRR – B[ook] with the three Rs of basic education, Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic. Don’t blame me.
21 One refusing to change out of uniform into elaborate stitched mink (5-2-3-3)
STICK-IN-THE-MUD – Formed  out of U[niform] in an anagram (elaborate) of STITCHED MINK.
24 Are Wanderers after quiet sort of tournament? (3-2)
PRO-AM – More golf, usually, where professionals and amateurs (usually famous for other reasons) are paired. (They) are wanderers – (they) ROAM after P for quiet.
25 Female porter maybe cross with artist (9)
ALEXANDRA – Porter is a kind of ALE, add X for cross and R[oyal] A[cademician] for artist.
27 Is earlier pressure one exerts moving Society? (3-6)
PRE-EXISTS – P[ressure] plus anagram of I (one) EXERTS plus S[ociety]
28 Lack, for the most part, somewhere peaceful (5)
HAVEN – Most of HAVEN'[T], (you) lack.
1 Fan of a fine old company performing song and dance (10)
AFICIONADO – Tried to make it some sort of air conditioning, but its A F[ine] old company: ICI, performing: ON (stage, etc) song and dance ADO.
2 Many failing to finish: a policeman’s not happy? (3)
LOT – Many: LOT[S]. The rest of the clue references Gilbert and Sullivan’s “A policeman’s lot is not a happy one” from Pirates of Penzance.
3 Jan’s in this women’s team in Italy (6)
WINTER – The abbreviated month. W[omen’s] team in Italy, that’ll be INTER Milan. Legend has it my excellent Mother in Law danced with every team member thereof when on holiday in Italy.
4 Rough for one to wear one? Right (4,5)
HAIR SHIRT – Okay, so HARSH for rough plus I (one) wears another I, in this case rather as a medallion in the middle  plus R[igh]T. &lit
5 After function, leave for dance (5)
TANGO – The function is TAN[gent], add GO for leave.
6 Unusual thing to have bloke close to union at? (3,5)
HEN NIGHT – A third &lit, if you will. An anagram (unusual) of THING, with HE for bloke and the end/close of [unio]N. Obviously, a bloke coming up to marriage/union would more likely be at the stag do getting tied to a lamppost on Bodmin Moor.
7 Rash — with smell — concealing a strange mark (5-6)
HARUM-SCARUM – Smell gives you the colloquial HUM, and A strange: RUM, and mark: SCAR are interposed.
8 He’s French, or would be indeed, if not very (4)
YVES – A common enough French male. If V[ery] were not included, he would be YES, or indeed.
12 The end perhaps of Turkey’s objections recounted by ministers (7,4)
PARSONS NOSE – Just in case you don’t know, this is “the fleshy protuberance visible at the posterior end of a bird (most commonly a chicken or turkey) that has been dressed for cooking.” In my experience, always claimed by the Granny at Christmas lunch, without much competition as it’s proximity to the turkey’s a*senal is off-putting for everyone else. Oh, the sound of (recounted) NOES for objections from PARSONS for ministers.
13 Men raised Deutschmarks in tax: something for a rainy day? (5,5)
STORM DRAIN – Men gives O[ther] R[anks]’, add the reverse (raised) of D[eutsch]M[arks], place both in STRAIN for tax.
16 Go out more? Missing Yankee’s not spotted (9)
STAINLESS – Go out more and you STAY IN LESS. Remove the Y[ankee]
17 One’s not sincere, on reflection, in thanks for snack (5,3)
TRAIL MIX – A confection of coconut and dried fruit. One’s not sincere gives I’M LIAR, which is reversed (on reflection) withing TX for thanks – perhaps the thin end of the wedge of the Sign of the Times setting up camp in our hallowed fogeydom.
20 Area quiet after 5-hour party (6)
THRASH – The wedge thickens? If you refer back to 5d, you’ll see it’s TANGO, NATO for T. Add H[ou]R, A[rea] and SH for quiet.
22 One addressing autumn ending of off-peak fare (5)
KEATS – And now the thin end of the TLS wedge: To Autumn (you probably know the opening line, “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”) is by this chap, made up of the end of [off-pea]K and EATS for fare.
23 Each smartphone download potentially interrupted by ring (1,3)
A POP – Another fairly recent synonym. APP is a download, stick in a ring, which looks like O.
26 For silly short film turned to Sky (3)
DIV – And another. A short film, or VID[eo} is turned skywards.

64 comments on “28954 Taking one consideration with another.”

  1. 38 minutes. An engaging puzzle that gave me a few problems along the way but I enjoyed sorting most of them out and coming good in the end.

    At 4ac the answer soon became obvious but the order of wordplay took some thinking through. I never quite got to grips with the wordplay in HAIR SHIRT, so thanks for that, Z.

    At 6dn I biffed HEN PARTY but had to reconsider it later after the arrival of IMPRESSIONISM at 11ac.

    NHO MISS THE CUT but it wasn’t hard to deduce the answer.

    I think I met TRAIL MIX for the first time in a Jumbo about a year ago and may not have remembered it but for hearing it mentioned in something on TV a couple of days ago.

    1. How old does one have to be to be a fogey? I’m pretty certain we had nuts and raisins we called trail mix when hill walking with the scouts some 45 years ago.

      Looking back, we may have called it that after either a jamboree between UK and US scouts or after one of our leaders spent some time with scouts in the USA and came back with all sorts of exotic stuff like pbj sandwiches.

      1. I think your latter explanation is probably right: TRAIL MIX is a North American import I believe. I first heard the term in the kids show Sheriff Callie. A traumatic memory.

  2. 52 mins for me, with nothing I didn’t know so a steady, if not quick, solve. LOI was PRE-EXISTS. I never understood the 5-hour party. That sort of clue is more Guardianeque than Timesy. But the answer was obvious even if not where the T came from.

  3. I rather lost patience with this, and biffed my way through it. It felt more of a chore than a pleasure. Thanks Z for sorting out 3 or 4 parsings I didn’t bother to return to.

    TIME 10:52

  4. 22:07
    An orgy of biffing–6 or 7 clues–got me through in a fairly short time; parsed most post-submission, with HIT THE HAY taking a bit of working out. I remembered PARSON’S NOSE from here some time ago; we call it the Pope’s nose, and I’ve never understood why one would want it. DIV puzzled me; NHO, and just looked it up now. I liked THRASH, I think.

  5. No probs today, though nho div with that meaning, as if we didn’t have enough descriptors for foolish people already..
    Neat clueing overall, I thought.

  6. 12:55, only 80% confident on ALLOW and don’t know my G&S so LOT was a mystery. Enjoyed the puzzle though.

    Thanks setter & Z.

  7. 20:46. I found this quite tough and was relieved to finish with all correct. I was most unsure about THRASH, having no idea what the 5 was doing, and having to resist the temptation to put VHRASH. Thankfully I decided that was very unlikely to be a word.
    Regarding the Down with the Kids crossword I gave that and yesterday’s QC to a Gen Z colleague who had expressed an interest and he found the former much more accessible.
    Tx to setter and blogger.

  8. 38 minutes.LOI was MISS THE CUT which I had seen earlier but missed the pun.Some great clues. COD to HEN NIGHT. I found out that I was a DIV or DIVVY when I had a job in Liverpool. By definition, everyone from deeper Lancashire seemed to be.Thank you Z and setter.

    1. I believe “div” is derived from The Deva hospital – one of the old county mental asylums, not far from Merseyside.

      1. Speaking as a Londoner born and bred, the Merseyside origin is interesting, as my son (b. 1978) used ‘div’ a lot in his teens, so if it originated there it must have readily drifted south. I certainly never noticed it used in Liverpool in the 60s when at university there.

      2. I hail from East Devon, where a similar term was bandied about as an insult at school: digby, derived from the fact that the area known as Digby in Exeter housed a lunatic asylum.

  9. 19′ with a misspelled AFICIONADO.

    Parsing took longer than most answers. Liked (eventually) THRASH.

    Thanks z and setter.

  10. 49:06

    FOI NURSE, then slow progress with a final lengthy mental alphabet search (fixating on GRAIN MIX for too long) for TRAIL MIX as LOI. Failed to parse HIT THE HAY and MISS THE CUT until afterwards.

    TX to Zabadak and the setter

  11. I really liked this even though I failed to finish. Missed deo gratias. Had miss the cut but failed to see the clever distressed for hair cut, thanks Z. Same thoughts re TX. Never seen it and never want to!
    Thanks setter and Z.

  12. 25:55
    After messing up NABOKOV yesterday I took extra care stitching together the few clues I wasn’t sure of the spelling (HARUM SCARUM, the unknown DEO GRATIAS, and AFICIONADO) and happily avoided any pink squares.

    A very enjoyable puzzle with good wordplay throughout.

    Thanks to both.

  13. About 20 minutes, with lots of biffing.

    Had no idea where the T in THRASH came from; didn’t parse HIT THE HAY, YVES or HAIR SHIRT; had to trust that TRAIL MIX is a thing; somehow missed the anagrist for PRE-EXISTS; had to trust that KEATS had written something about autumn; and had no idea about the policeman’s LOT reference.

    Thanks setter and blogger for the explanations.

    FOI Winter
    LOI Thrash
    COD Stick-in-the-mud

  14. Another one I found pretty tough in places and was pleased to finish in 37.36. Thanks Z for explaining everything that I couldn’t figure out, including that 5 reference which turned out to be tango…wow. Actually TANGO was my FOI, which suggests I took a long time to get going.

    From You Ain’t Going’ Nowhere:
    Clouds so swift, rain won’t lift
    Gate won’t close, the railings froze
    Get your mind off WINTER time
    You ain’t goin’ nowhere

  15. 43m 05s
    Thank you, Z, particularly for ‘5-hour party’ and YVES.
    I do hope efforts to encourage more people to tackle the Cryptic by modernising the references stay with the Sign of The Times puzzles. I’m happy being a fogey.
    PS. Re 19ac, might one say that a frozen filled tortilla is a brrr-ito?
    I’ll get my coat.

    1. Yes more people should be encouraged to tackle the cryptic, but one way of doing this is varying the level of difficulty from one day to another. A toughie like today’s offering will put off all but the most determined tyros; a fogey like myself has been doing the puzzle for donkey’s years (60 years in my case) and most of the Times cryptics just cater for old geezers and younger eggheads.

  16. 34:06. A good steady solve after a slow start (FOI TANGO, like LindsayO above) and a slow finish with LOI THRASH. At 7dn I was tempted by HAREM SCARUM (which rhymes in my head) so was careful with the parsing to get it right.
    My great aunt – a devout member of the Church of England – would never refer to that end of the turkey as the PARSON’S NOSE. It was disrespectful to the Church. She called it the Pope’s Nose. I now see that Kevin does too, so not her own invention after all

    1. My family, too, so it may be an Americanism. For us Pope is also a family name, so in addition to mildly disrespecting Rome the Pope’s Nose chit chat alway led to the kind of weak jokes which annoyed all the teenagers.

  17. Enjoyed this one, about half an hour, ending with TRAIL MIX from wordplay and NHO. I liked the golfing clues, which were write-ins. Thanks Z for a nice blog and explaining the minutiae of THRASH.

  18. 8:17. I started very quickly on this but it put up a bit of resistance towards the end. I had to be careful in a few places: checking the anagrist for DEO GRATIAS, spelling AFFICIANADO and HARUM-SCARUM correctly, working out why THRASH was THRASH (not a word I readily associate with ‘party’).
    I winced a bit at DIV: it’s a word that I associate with other, more offensive terms with the same meaning. It turns out to be a borrowing from the Romani divio so this is all in my imagination.
    Like Kevin I’ve never understood why anyone would want the PARSON’S NOSE. The bit(s) that my kids always want is the oyster, or “le sot l’y laisse” as the French call it, rather delightfully.

    1. I’m afraid that “DIV” is as offensive as you thought. It refers to a patient of The Deva hospital – a psychiatric institution in West Cheshire.

      1. The Deva Hospital (formerly the Upton Mental Hospital) wasn’t called that until 1950.
        The first citation in OED for ‘divvy’, from which ‘div’ is derived, is from 1928.

        1. Thank you for correcting me. I will inform my scouser friend. Growing up in Leeds in the 1960s the equivalent schoolyard term was “you’re a menston” – from the location of High Royds hospital.
          Do you have any idea of the etymology of “divvy”? Of course “Deva” for Chester is 2,000 years old.

          1. OED says it ‘apparently’ comes from the Romani ‘divio’. The earliest citations support this idea: the first (1928) is from a book called ‘Gipsy Fires’ and the second starts ‘a gipsy…popped his head out’.

  19. About 45′ and enjoyable. I wrongly assumed 4ac was a NHO DD (only knowing the bedtime version). Did not see the mechanics at all. Smile at LOI DIV (yes I’ve been called one), which replaced “doc” once HAVEN became apparent. The TANGO in THRASH only parsed after an alphabet search and once “V” had been finally ruled out. Thanks Zabadak and setter.

  20. 43:52

    Found it really tough to get going – had only three inked in after the first ten minutes (BRRR, TANGO, HAVEN), but things came together gradually from that point with the never-fully-parsed HIT THE HAY pencilled in, STICK IN THE MUD, STORM DRAIN and HARUM SCARUM giving some letters to work with.

    However, I was still slow to see much in the NW – even with plenty of letters IMPRESSIONISM and PARSONS NOSE took some time to fall, as did A POP, DEO GRATIAS (without a pen handy, not so easy to unscramble the anag, though might have guessed that the first word would be DEO), the not-entirely-parsed TRAIL MIX, and KEATS (didn’t know the poem). The T in THRASH was also a puzzle I couldn’t solve (doh!).

    On the whole though, it was a strangely satisfying solve even though I appear to have been way off the wavelength.

    Thanks Z and setter

  21. 38 mins. Same problems as everyone else, by and large. Had no idea how T=5 in THRASH, but it couldn’t be anything else with crossers. Not mad about lack=haven’t and all=quite, but hey. Liked BRRR, DIV and LOT, er, a lot. Not a nappy one, for sure.

  22. Well this one was an eye-opener. Lots of biffing, fast progress, quite exciting. Very wavelengthy in parts, the parts where I “got it” of course.
    4a biffed. I still don’t understand it!
    15a miss the cut. A golf term I gather from R4 news (don’t like golf either). Solved and added to Cheating Machine. Liked the ref to dis-tressing.
    18a Deo Gratias easy to solve the anag. Added to CM. Clever clue I think.
    21a Stick-in-the biffed. Thanks for sorting the anag.
    1d Aficionado biffed. TX again.
    2d Lot; spotted the G&S ref, didn’t know it was Pirates. Write in.
    4d Hair Shirt, TX again.
    7d Harum ditto.
    12d Parson’s clever.
    17d Trail Mix NHO, cheated only to find it in CM so I have heard of it before, probably here. In CM before 2022, not sure how much earlier. DNF.
    20d THRASH; a write-in but took a minute for the PDM. Excellent.
    22d Keats, recognised the ref, didn’t know it was his.
    23d A POP, COD.
    26d DIV NHO. Couldn’t be anything else. From Wiktionary
    “Etymology 4
    UK, 1980s. Clipping of divvy (“a foolish person”).
    div (plural divs)
    (UK, Ireland, slang) A foolish person; an idiot.”
    So a long way down the list. And I was in Liverpool at Uni in late 60s, early 70s and was never called a div or divvy, so I was there too early. I would surely have been called that if the term existed then.

    1. It did: OED has a 1972 citation from a book called Lern Yerself Scouse, which gives the example ‘eez a birrova divvy’!

      1. I remember the book. Perhaps it was very early on the uptake, or maybe I STILL hadn’t quite grasped the lingo in Aug 1970 when I left.

  23. 28 mins but had to biff DIV and HAVEN at the end with no idea how they worked. Liked BRRR, a very useful word in Scrabble too. I thought the rest was reasonably straightforward

  24. 12:44 – wide-ranging, but all reasonable with some convoluted assembly involved (HIT THE HAY). I have seen the BRRR device on previous occasions and it is an instantly recognisable write-in.

  25. 39 minutes with a couple of aids at the end — failed to see THRASH and KEATS, both good clues, as were all of them so far as I could see in a very nice crossword. DEO GRATIAS a highlight, although I half-expected the religious right to object.

  26. Tricky in a kind of refreshingly different way. I didn’t know Div and, as above, in our house it’s the Pope’s Nose, but both were accessible.

    I’m not familiar with Thrash as party, and all I could think of for the 5 = first letter was it must be a Myrtilus-baiting resemblence between “5” and “S”. Shrash didn’t seem likely, but I had a way of getting to it, so one pink square.

  27. 24:40
    LOI DEOGRATIAS I needed all the crossers for working out the anagram
    Didn’t understand T being 5 in THRASH, so it was 5d thanks Z
    Didn’t understand DIV not an expression I know but once I got HAVEN it had to be VID skywards
    Thanks setter and blogger

  28. 16.41 a fairly pleasant canter through this one for me, not quite parsing the triple aitches of hit the hay, hair shirt and hen night. Also failed to twig the cross-reference to 5 down in thrash. I thought season of mists and mellow fruitfulness was by Kipling (Mr – the cake maker – not Rudyard).

  29. 33:32
    An interesting mix of highbrow and lowbrow knowledge.
    NHO DIV=silly.
    I had mistyped AFFCIONADO, which delayed getting 9a, hence INTENTION was my LOI.
    I completely missed the wordplay in HEN NIGHT, but it worked as a cryptic definition.

    Thanks Z and setter

  30. Haven’t waded through the blog yet but I found this challenging but hugely enjoyable. Devious, clever, great surfaces. Took me ages but a brilliant puzzle. FOI TANGO, LIO WINTER, COD has to be THRASH for its clever reference to TANGO. This one is definitely worth thanks to the setter. Now I’ll go back and read the blog…

  31. 13:47. DNK DIV for “silly”, my LOI. I liked DEO GRATIAS and HEN NIGHT. Thanks Z and setter.

  32. LOT was FOI followed by WINTER and ALLOW. I then seemed to float through the clues until slowed down by the remaining down clues in the lower section of the puzzle. With the M from PRO-AM and the X from PRE-EXISTS, and assuming it wasn’t going to something like Pepsi Max, MIX was the obvious choice, and TRAIL MIX rang a bell after it was assembled. THRASH didn’t take too long once I had -H-ASH and spotted the referral to 5d. KEATS came relatively quickly too. I just biffed STORM DRAIN so HAVEN and ALEXANDRA left few options for LOI, DIV. Once PRO AM was in, A POP soon followed. Earlier, IMPRESSIONISM corrected a biffed HEN PARTY. STICK IN THE MUD was a write in from the intial S and the M. 16:39. Thanks setter and Z.

  33. 14:57

    Nothing particularly difficult about this, but the syntax of a few clues led to a lot of time being spent parsing. I too was a little surprised to find a Guardian-style cross-reference clue, although there are plenty of precedents in the archives. They’re just rarer in these parts.

    No standouts for me today. All fair fare as far as I can see.

    1. Cross references come up from time to time, but I don’t recall a cross-reference that did not stand alone. The Guardian often has the split between definition and wordplay in the middle of the word, but I think that is banned in The Times.

  34. Odd to read the squeamish remarks about the PARSONS NOSE. It has been my daughter’s property since she was five, she’s now 51 and still committed to it, even from a poussin.
    Complete failure with A POP and, more excusably, DIV.
    The rest rewarded a bit of extra effort
    Thanks Everyone

    1. Japanese yakitori restaurants consider the Parson’s Nose to be a delicacy with a couple of them on a wooden skewer.

  35. Oh dear I thrashed around with this one and dnf 23 d; just stared at it and gave up. One thing strikes me after 3 months trying TfTT and that is that I seem to know most of the things others NHO in their hoards and dont know things that others never comment on.

  36. 41.29. not the easiest of solves, and never quite got into a rhythm. the young fogey in me slightly deplored the TX. what next, LOL and ROFLCOPTRS?

  37. Glad to finally wrap this up! LOI LOT—maybe I had vaguely heard of the song about being a cop… Morpheus dragged me away last night when I still had the NW unfinished. It had to be AFICIONADO, but I couldn’t parse that yet, not remembering the “old company.”

    I didn’t know DIV either, but put it in with a shrug.

    When I was a little boy in West Virginia, my family once visited an uncle’s family who lived on a farm. I had never been on a farm before. They were in a distant county and we arrived late, so I hadn’t seen much of the place yet when someone announced that it was “time to hit the hay!” Oh boy, I thought, and rushed to the door, expecting to take part in some interesting farm chore.

  38. Some original stuff in there. HEN NIGHT gets my vote for COD. Cryptic and literal. Got through in 17’33”.

  39. Thanks for explaining THRASH.
    My route to HAVEN was different to most due to the numerous hair references in the puzzle. I assumed it to be SHAVEN for the most part. Given that could describe someone lacking on top, it felt appropriate!

  40. DNF after an hour and twenty minutes, because I didn’t know THRASH as a party and didn’t see how the 5 w0uld enter into that. So with all the other strange entries in this crossword I accepted the dare and entered VHRASH, which somehow seemed just as likely as THRASH. My online OED lists the party meaning at the very end and marks it as British informal. So I can’t complain.


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