Time 28567 – Just wait until Friday…

Time: 17 minutes

Music: Mahler, Symphony #4, Klemperer/Philharmonia

Well, nobody seems to have found this one very difficult, so welcome to another easy Monday.   I put the answers in pretty steadily, only pausing at the end to figure out my last two.   I tried putting the O in every position in dwelling but the right one, but once I had the W for a crosser I biffed twisty instantly.

If you’re looking for a challenge, good luck – all the weekend puzzles have been quite mild.   You might want to give Mephisto a go – that’s never easy unless you’re a member of the really elite solving set.


1 Supplier of drugs quick to overcome injury (8)
5 Endless sea mist engulfing vehicle in foreign port (6)
10 Long period of time before noon (5)
11 Residence containing old carpenter’s work (9)
12 Stern Mona trashed decorations (9)
13 View from pass crossing westmost part of Tyrol (5)
VISTA – VIS(T[yrol]A.
14 Poet inspiring the old senior member (7)
16 Sally’s kind, extremely inventive (6)
18 Cook digesting broadcast about religious community (6)
FRIARY – F(AIR backwards)RY.
20 Some made his cellar burst open (7)
DEHISCE – Hidden in [ma]DE HIS CE[llar].
22 Tea served by a southern man or woman (5)
ASSAM – A + S + SAM, as in Tiger Woods’ daughter.
23 Stun factory, producing growth (4,5)
25 Butterfly in seawater? Most unusual (9)
26 Tall palm found in a park area (5)
ARECA – A + REC + A.
27 British family touring island, primarily introducing swimwear (6)
BIKINI – B + I  (KIN) I[troducing].
28 Convocation skilfully securing overthrow of disorderly state (8)
ASSEMBLY – A(MESS backwards)BLY.
1 Fork out megabucks for warheads, perhaps (8)
2 A chap I restrained with great force (5)
3 Stoneworker’s massive mother and male issue (10,5)
4 Fall in pitch originally concerning gulf church (7)
CADENCE – C[oncerning] ADEN C.E.
6 Completely finished, the fish, we hear — everywhere! (3,4,3,5)
7 I’d pass him irregularly in the centre of Sheffield, say (9)
AMIDSHIPS – Anagram of I’D PASS HIM.   A Falklands War allusion, I would suppose.
8 Good health initially found in a supporter’s dog (6)
AFGHAN – A F(G H[ealth])AN.
9 Idiots consuming small bread rolls, possibly (6)
15 Standard police department staff (9)
17 Most inspired lines about Iowa animal book (8)
BESTIARY –  BEST (IA) RY.   One of the more obscure US state abbreviations.
19 Fret over keeping a Eurasian plant (6)
YARROW – WORRY backwards containing A.   Grown in my garden in the US, too.
20 Noblewoman finally cooked high-class game (7)
21 Two graduates and bishop gathering round African tree (6)
24 Bitter as a native of Belgrade sounds? (5)
ACERB – Sounds like A SERB.

83 comments on “Time 28567 – Just wait until Friday…”

  1. 7 minutes so yes pretty easy.

    As for the weekend puzzles being “mild” – has our blogger attempted the most recent Listener puzzle? Almost guaranteed to take longer than the other weekend puzzles combined, though your mileage may vary, and I never bother with the mephisto anymore

    1. The Listener puzzle is not included with the Times Puzzle Club offerings. Is it free? I’ve never tried it. I think Vinyl was referring to Times puzzles specifically. Where do you get this?

        1. Understandable from Guy though. I don’t see the Listener on the club page unless I specifically select the “Specialist” tab. Although I do see the Mephisto, which is also classed as “Specialist”. Just a quirk of the site I guess.

          1. That is strange. No one ever gave me a hint…
            But no one blogs the Listener puzzle (as far as I know…!).
            Does the Mephisto appear in the print edition of the Times?

            1. Should add that the Listener is not solvable on-line, it needs to be printed out.

              1. Ah, cool, that’s how I much prefer to work crosswords anyway.
                And the solution is (eventually) available online.
                I’ll have to give it a whirl…

                1. Recent puzzle #4754 was the easiest Listener I’ve encountered in my few years of solving so I’d recommend that one to start with.

            2. The Listener is blogged by several people at: https://listenwithothers.com/ (the website name being a reference that probably only Brits of a certain age will get). The official site for the puzzle (also with solutions, very brief explanations, and much other info) is at: https://listenercrossword.com/

              Edit: just noticed that Listen With Others is mentioned in the “Other solving blogs” section on the main page of TftT.

            3. It’s blogged separately at a place called listenwithothers, which there’s a link for on the side of this blog. The Mephisto does indeed appear in the print edition of the (Sunday) Times.

          2. Is this a new feature? It’s years ago now (possibly going back to when PB was in charge) but I seem to remember we stopped blogging The Listener puzzle because it was no longer available without a sub to the magazine.

            Edit: On reflection I was confusing The Listener puzzle with the TLS puzzle which used to be blogged here but was dropped in 2017.

            1. What is the magazine? Is that the same as the paper? Don’t all the crosswords require a sub?

              I’ve been doing the Listener since late 2020 when Zabadak (and whatever happened to Zabadak?) recommended it

              1. Wikipedia (and all I know about it): « The Listener was a weekly magazine established by the BBC in January 1929 which ceased publication in 1991.… The Listener crossword puzzle, introduced in 1930, is generally regarded as the most difficult cryptic crossword to appear in a national weekly. It survived the closure of The Listener and now appears in The Times on a Saturday, along with other puzzles and game articles on the last four pages of the “Saturday Review” section.

                « Solvers are invited to send in their solutions, with each of three randomly drawn correct solutions winning a prize of a book provided by the sponsors, Chambers. »

                Maybe the only puzzles up front on the club page are the ones that can be worked online. Just a guess.

                On a related note, why do you “no longer both with” the Mephisto?

                1. Ah right I see, thanks

                  I find it very difficult to finish a mephisto, which is a problem I don’t have with the Listener. This is probably down to two things: the listener usually has some kind of “end game” which provides extra motivation to chip out those tricky final entries; and the fact that it has to be solved on paper, whereas the mephisto will have to compete with all the other entertaining things I could be doing with my phone, like posting on tftt.

              2. I also noticed Zabadak hasn’t appeared here or on the Listener forum of late.

          3. You can usually see it in the “Crossword articles” section at the bottom of the club page.

  2. 14:39, giving me one of the poorest WITCH scores; for some reason I didn’t find this that easy, with DOWELLING & AMIDSHIPS taking the most time–I had no idea what Sheffield was doing.

  3. Just now had to look up Sheffield, which I hoped the blog might explain; thanks for the “Falklands” hint though… I got the answer anyway, but tried first to try MID as the first three letters. Also took a minute to remember “haar” for 5. Otherwise, very smooth sailing…

    1. Could it be that the city or name of Sheffield was in between (amid) ships – having lost the one referenced here and before the new ship to be called HMS Sheffield comes into service.
      ‘In the centre of’ and ‘Sheffield, say’ being double definitions. Maybe clues don’t work like this though?

      1. No, that’s not what the word means. It means “at, near, or towards the centre of a vessel” (ship or plane) and, more loosely, “in or toward the center of anything” (Collins).

    2. Like our blogger, I could only think of Sheffield as a reference to the ship which was sunk in the Falklands war. She was a type 42 destroyer, and her sister ship, HMS Coventry, suffered the same fate. I wonder why the setter felt it necessary to use the name of either of these ships when there were 12 other type 42s built for the Royal Navy, all named after cities and any of which might therefore have done. All I can think is that the naval task force was being readied for departure – and perhaps HMS Sheffield actually sailed – on Easter Monday of 1982 which was the first Monday that April. I remember coming into Portsmouth harbour that morning on the overnight ferry from Le Havre and commenting to my mother that I’d never seen the place looking so busy. We’d been in Paris since the Friday and had no idea that, in the three days we’d been away, the UK had gone to war. In those days, neither of us being much of a reader of French, the only way we could have known would have been if we’d bought an expensive air-mail copy of an English paper or listened to the BBC World Service. Times have changed rather: now I guess you have to pay for the luxury of ignorance.

  4. 22 minutes. Season of mists and… Not too hard but I didn’t know ARECA for ‘Tall palm’ or the ‘Fall in pitch’ sense of CADENCE and I couldn’t have defined AMAIN. TWISTS was another solved more from wordplay than def.

    AMIDSHIPS was my favourite once I’d worked out what ‘Sheffield’ was referring to.

  5. Me too, not knowing that sense of Amain (OED: obsolete/archaic) or Areca at all. Since I’m rubbish with pretty much all plants and butterflies, having to work through their cryptics was expected, though I did have to figure out that growth meant some kind of vegetation.

  6. Leaps of faith for ARECA, AMAIN and DEHISCE (???), and just assumed there was a ship called Sheffield after solving the anagram. A respectable (for me) 12:50 to start the week.

    Thanks Vinyl and setter.

  7. Well I finished in 21 minutes but with three guesses based on wordplay at words unknown or unremembered, one of which didn’t pay off. The three were AMAIN, ARECA and BAOBAB where I put MAOBAB. Having checked the answers afterwards it turned out that the first two had come up more than once before but I had no recollection of either, however I recognised BAOBAB, so I should have got that one. The rest of it was straightforward enough and I was pleased to remember DEHISCE which has caught me out in the past.

    The credit card I use to pay my monthly sub to The Times is about to expire so on receiving a replacement on Saturday I logged into Subscriptions to amend the details. I was amazed to find that the only way of updating these on-line involved making a payment of £1. Of course it’s not the money but the principle, since none of the other sites my card is registered with required a fee and The Times sub is not exactly cheap and no doubt due to increase again before long.

    1. That charge for merely updating the numbers on an account is absolutely outrageous.

      No human labor is involved in making the change. No person need be cognizant of it. The computers will take care of it

      Exacting an additional pound for this is nothing but highway robbery.

      1. Yes, and they weren’t upfront about it as there was nothing on The Times site about it. But when I went down the ‘Amend Details’ route I eventually landed at a verification screen that said ‘You are about to make a payment of £1 to Times Newspapers to be paid on April 23’. I backed out of this and started from scratch hoping to find another way through it but still ended up in the same place with no alternative but to agree to the payment or cancel my sub by default.

  8. …; any man’s death diminishes me,
    because I am involved in Mankinde …
    (John Donne, from the ‘No man is an island’ one)

    13 leisurely mins pre-brekker. Tweezy.
    Ta setter and Vinyl.

  9. 26:54, well ahead of my target time of Snitch/2, which was 31.5.

    Quite a few NHO: ARECA, AMAIN, DEHISC (LOI) I can never spell BAOBOB, and I did recall “haar” for sea fog, along with “fret”.

    I do confess to trying HACARA as a possible port.

  10. 26 mins so definitely easy despite the unknown words, AMAIN, HAA(R), and DEHISCE. All worked out from wp though.

    LOI BESTIARY, an odd word really.

    I liked the MASON ans AMIDSHIPS.

    Thanks v and setter.

    1. Odd word, odd thing. From Wiki:
      A bestiary… is a compendium of beasts. Originating in the ancient world, bestiaries were made popular in the Middle Ages in illustrated volumes that described various animals and even rocks. The natural history and illustration of each beast was usually accompanied by a moral lesson. This reflected the belief that the world itself was the Word of God and that every living thing had its own special meaning. For example, the pelican, which was believed to tear open its breast to bring its young to life with its own blood, was a living representation of Jesus.

      1. BESTIARY known to me as the title of one of the delightful LPs recorded by Flanders and Swann, now reissued on CD as part of their complete collection.

          1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. My favourite is ‘The Armadillo’. At the end you may need to wipe an eye!

  11. 6:48. I made up for my hasty aberration in last week’s easier offering by dipping under 7 minutes for the 5th time. This was still more than twice as long as mohn took though!

  12. 23m 37s
    I convinced myself that 5ac had to involve FRE(t), especially as the word FRET is in the clue for 19d. Enlightenment eventually came.

  13. 15 minutes, with the unknowns (AMAIN, ACERA and DEHISCE) very generously clued. Also not sure I’d seen ACERB before – acerbic, yes, but not without the ‘ic’. Like Martin above, I spent a while trying to get fre(t) into 5a before the checkers forced a rethink. AMIDSHIPS is a nice word, one I’m more familiar with used euphemistically when a cricketer is hit by the ball in an awkward place.

    A nice way to start the week. Thanks setter and blogger.

    FOI Yearn
    LOI Havana
    COD Amidships

  14. 7:09. A top ten fastest time for me, held up only by AMIDSHIPS until I realised it was HMS Sheffied being referred to. Thanks Vinyl and setter.

  15. A 14 minute Monday; all fine except a guess for AMAIN after trawling other options.

  16. Same as many here- leaps of faith for AMAIN, ARECA and CADENCE. Never like spelling BAOBAB so glad that I had no choice on where to put the O. Thanks setter and blogger.

  17. 24.28, apparently I made harder work than others of the obscure (but fairly clued) words. In particular it’s a bit inexcusable that I needed an alphabet trawl to get park = REC! Thanks s&v.

  18. 24 minutes, with slight discomfort over Sheffield and I assumed it must have been a ship, having forgotten about the Falklands. AMAIN comes in some poem I think, at any rate no problem, and ARECA dredged up from somewhere. Not helped by stupidly thinking for a while that the definition in 11ac was ‘Residence’. Btw Vinyl your title to the blog references a certain American periodical.

    1. I forgot to say earlier that although AMAIN has come up before, it seems designed not to stick in the memory having been defined on various occasions as ‘with violence’, ‘with strength’ and ‘with haste’.

  19. 4:41. My 6th fastest ever, the SNITCH tells me. Funny that a puzzle with so many unusual words can be so easy.

  20. Came home OK in the end but struggled to work the unknowns BAOBAB, ARECA, YARROW and BESTIARY.
    ‘All over the place’ still reminds me of Fawlty Towers.
    I commented on AMIDSHIPS above thinking that both ‘in the centre’ and ‘Sheffield, say’ could be definitions.

  21. 04:48, and yes, rather a surprising sprint, containing as it did some quite arcane words, which then turned out not to need much thought.

  22. 11’32”. Would have been in under ten but was slowed by the plants in the south-east. Did an awful lot of biffing.

  23. AMAIN was new to me, otherwise no problems. PHARMACY was FOI, YARROW LOI, then I changed DAYENTE to DOYENNE during proof reading. 17:01. Thanks setter and Vinyl.

  24. Pretty straightforward solve to start the week, and I crossed the line in 20.32 so well inside schedule. Trusted to luck with AMAIN and DEHISCE, neither of which I’ve come across before. The latter didn’t quite look right to me, so I was quite relieved to see it was right.

  25. 20 mins for me so must be pretty easy! (.. albeit spaced in between grandad duties). Never heard of dehisce but an easy find and guessed amain and areca from the parse. Got yarrow on my lawn, i can’t get rid of it so that one went in with a frown. COD amidships. thanks setter and blogger

  26. 18:50. I found this tougher in the end than the speedy top left suggested it was going to be, some moderately obscure vocab and an inexcusably long wrestle with MALAGA at 5ac slowing proceedings to a crawl.

  27. The easiest Times cryptic I have ever encountered. I filled the top half in 4 minutes apart from 7d. The bottom half took longer, though all the words were familiar.
    A personal best time of 13 minutes.

  28. Nice and gentle, no further comment necessary.

    TIME 5:31

  29. All correct, despite some unknown vocabulary- AMAIN, ACERB etc.
    Wound dehiscence is a frightening surgical emergency for a patient who has probably started mobilising after a big operation.

  30. A rare sub-5 minutes, so definitely a very easy Monday. Almost a clean sweep too, the only one I had to revisit (for no good reason) was DUCHESS. Agree with K that it was odd to be easy with all the unusual words.

  31. Well, I wasn’t at the races today then! OK, I was well under 20 mins, which I once thought was only a pipe dream, but similar snitches last week were much quicker.

    Just a wavelength thing I think – as everything fell into place in the end, just relatively slowly!


  32. 17:26

    Though this might be fast when I bunged in the LHS in double-quick time. However the RHS seemed a little chewier with the unknown (to me) ARECA and the mysterious port _A_A_A – Malaga? Finally remembered the non-FRET word for a sea mist and bunged in HAVANA (though I’d read Our Man In …… funnily enough while staying in Malaga, I’d forgotten it was full of references to boats).

  33. I had a feeling DEHISCE referred to the spontaneous splitting of seed pods on plants, but I see on looking it up that it can also refer to wounds, as Dr Kitching says above, though I imagine that’s one for the professional medics. Anyway, not a problematic crossword – some unknowns like AMAIN, PAYLOADS and ARECA, but readily solvable using the cryptics. CADENCE was entered with some doubt, as I was thinking of the musical definition rather than speech. FOI 6D ALL OVER… , LOI DOWELLING, immediately following the W from TWISTS. Tackled over lunch in about half an hour.

  34. A sprightly 14:17 so yes, an easy one…I don’t normally clock up that sort of time, being more of a 20-minuter to quote Blackadder Goes Forth. NHO DEHISCE, but it’s right there in the clue so 50/50 confidence/leap of faith to submit it. I got the two long down clues as FOIs, MONUMENTAL MASON raising a chuckle due to it being a popular phrase from my schooldays where for some obscure reason we found it hilarious. (It was the ’80s, we had to make our own entertainment etc) ARECA was my LOI which I’m angry about because I’ve seen it before; not helped by “rec” being an unfamiliar word for a park down my way.


    EDIT – Forget to say, this was my 100th cryptic on the CC!

  35. Quite quick but blew it by entering “Arena” instead of “Areca”. No idea why!
    NHO “Dehisce”.

  36. Late arrival at the ball today. 22 minutes with LOI ARECA. COD to PAYLOADS. I had Sheffield as the Falklands ship. Thank you V and setter.

  37. I limped over the line with LOI AMIDSHIPS having missed the anagram.
    The unknowns held me up ( ARECA, AMAIN) but I remembered DEHISCE from a previous puzzle; and BAOBAB seems to occur quite often.
    I liked AFGHAN as it took me down some blind alleys.

  38. Not difficult but still had to guess AMAIN, ARECA and DEHISCE. The HMS Sheffield reference was very close to home (we had a neighbour on her when she was hit) but still seemed a tad obscure to me. Thanks for the blog.

  39. 36 minutes (actually just 30, but it took me ages to find a pen so that I could write down BAOBAB and BAOBOB and decide which is the correct spelling). Very straightforward and pretty nondescript, except for the one or two things that weren’t and were solved from wordplay (DEHISCE, BRIMSTONE, ARECA and HAVANA because I wasn’t sure how to make HAA? mean sea mist). The problem with BAOBAB is that the wordplay can also yield BAOBOB if the second graduate is an OB, but I did get it right in the end. As for Sheffield, at first I thought the clue might be referring to the ligature in the middle three letters ffi, which in the days of lead type would often be set as a connected unit.

  40. It must have been easy because, lured to the Big Boy simply by the fact that it was Monday, I finished it in 19:07. NHO DEHISCE (u wot?) or ACERB, you don’t get this fancy vocab in the QC.

    Thanks setter and vinyl.


  41. I surprised myself by finishing this in one sitting, despite the nhos Amain, Areca, Acerb and Dehisce. Baobab was vaguely familiar from a previous encounter and Amidships was the last of several pdms. In contrast, Friday’s puzzle kept me entertained over two days, so I still have some way to go. . . Invariant

  42. A fairly straightforward puzzle, all done in 25 minutes in competition with listening to ‘Just a Minute’. No issues.
    Thanks to vinyl and other contributors.

  43. This took me about 20 minutes (no exact time, as I was interrupted for about ten minutes after loading the crossword but before entering the first answer).
    Several words I had never heard of, such as AMAIN, ACERB, DEHISCE and ARECA, but all were gettable.


  44. 13.02

    Quicker than the Quickie today but a lot slower than Dean’s Sunday offering from a week ago (I solve weekend ones a week in arrears) which I baled out of with two still to go

    Held up by BAOBAB on this one as I knew what I was looking for but always think theres an MA in there (like Jackkt)

    Thanks Vinyl and setter

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