Times 24025

Solving time: 39 minutes

After some pain at the end of last week, this seems ok. I thought there were some really fun clues and interesting wordplay.
1A and 5A were first in; 10A and 7D last in.
I think I understand 20D, but I’m not sure!


1 PALISADE – this roughly sounds like ‘PALACE AIDE’ – got this immediately, though thinking of -ADE and working backwards.
5 CE,N(S)US – CE=ends of college, NUS=National Union of Students, S=succeeded
10 A(A,CHE)N – this went towards the end for me. I thought of CHE at first but couldn’t think of any cities. I had heard of Aachen, but don’t think I’d have got it without very helpful wordplay.
18 HOUSE OF CARDS – I guess this refers to a house of cards being unstable. You might think it refers to the Palace of Westminster, but I couldn’t possibly comment.
24 SHE,WED – SHEW is an archaic spelling of SHOW.
25 BA(LINE)SE – this tricked me a bit – I was trying to find an island. Island’s here means ‘of Bali’.
27 LEANED ON – sounds like ‘lean don’.


1 PLAN(C)K – a plank being a principle in e.g. a policy; C is the speed of light.
2 LEG I[r]ON
3 SOLITAIRE – a card game for one person – not quite sure what it means to ‘lay heart open’.
4 DA CAPO AL FINE – DA=District Attorney, CAP=limit, OALFINE=anagram of ‘of alien’ – this took a while – I guessed it started ‘da capo’ but I didn’t know the rest of the phrase.
7 S,CH,NAP(P)S – S=initial letter of snoring; CH=Companion of Honour; P=soft.
11 MISTRANSLATE – anagram of ‘Latin masters’ – I think I’ve seen this anagram before, but it’s very sweet.
15 R,EDUC[a]TION – this is a neat idea – and I think it just works!
17 BUD,DLEIA=(anag of IDEAL)
20 SI(ME)ON? – ME in SION(alternative speling of Zion) – not sure about the rest… something to do with Exodus? I guess the ‘exodus’ is an early departure.

39 comments on “Times 24025”

  1. About 45 mins in a couple of sessions. Thanks for the explanation of 15D – the answer became obvious but I didn’t get the wordplay. Unfortunately nowadays “education” and the “3 Rs” are not always synonymous. I just took reference to “lay heart open” in 3D as a rather weak reference to the suit, but I think I must be missing something.
  2. 64 mins – a nice start to the week. Mistakes I made and had to fix along the way: (1) LEGATE instead of LEGION – Duh! (2) My lean don was RAGGED ON for a while.
    Last in was BALINESE ‘cos it fits – but I feel a bit cheated – surely a Balinese is an islander rather than an island.
    CoD – DA CAPO AL FINE. Dug out from the caliginosity of my memories of childhood piano lessons.
  3. Not at all in touch with Simeon (Although it could be nothing else from the word play) but Max Planck! Unmissable.
  4. I made the mistake of starting this just after midnight when I was very tired. After about 15 minutes I had most of the SW and NE completed but ground to a halt and abandoned it for the night. I then got off to a bad start this morning and ran out of time after an hour (total time) with three answers missing.

    I should have got 3 and 12, but I was completely thrown by not being able to find a way into 1d and eventually resorted to looking up physicists beginning with P in Wikipedia. I can’t say I have heard of PLANCK nor did I know C as the speed of light and I just didn’t think of plank = principle. I suppose it’s a fair enough clue but it requires knowledge of two physics-related matters that I didn’t have.

    After coming here I also found an error at 20 where I had guessed ZIMEON. Does anyone know who this SIMEON was and what exactly the reference to early departure means?

    1. SIMEON – one of the sons of Jacob and hence one of the twelve Tribes of Israel. That’s why I thought of Exodus as the early departure. Still not entirely sure though.

      C – I thought this was one of the few bits of physics that most people know, particularly the equation E=mc2

  5. A most pleasing solve. I think I have seen 11 Dn before, but who cares. A great clue. And after last week, perhaps we are in for a gentle ride.
  6. The Simeon in question features in Luke, chapter 2, asking to be dismissed after seeing the Messiah – hence ‘nunc dimittis’ (=now you release). Suggests the setter is DFM again!

    Tom B.

  7. …and Simeon is specifically mentioned as a ‘man in Jerusalem’, so the clue’s and &lit.

    Tom B.

  8. 14 enjoyable minutes.

    A shewd setter pre-empting homophone-related quibbles with that ‘roughly speaking’ in 1a. I’m assuming this can’t be the first appearance of the Latin masters – it’s too good never to have been spotted before.

    Of Max Planck, time to dust off an (I hope it’s not apocryphal) old story:

    After winning the Nobel prize, Max Planck went around Germany giving talks. His chauffeur heard the talk so many times that he had it by heart, and so one time, he asked Max Planck if he could give the address. Planck agreed, they changed places, and the lecture came off famously. But then came the Q&A, with the very first question being one that the chauffeur had no hope of answering. The chauffeur replied: “I’m surprised to hear such an elementary question on high energy physics here in Munich. It’s so simple, I’ll let my chauffeur answer it.”

    QED – 0,8,6

  9. Also started last night, with most of the hippy corner empty I gave up. A poor night’s sleep helped, finally saw 4D and was off again. Some nice but thorny clues, I thought SHEWED was more a Mephisto word.
  10. I found this an easyish start to the week, taking me a leisurely 25 minutes to solve. The only clues that held me up were 4 and 13. I finally realised that my tentative DO was wrong to begin 4 and that the answer was Italian, though I had to play around with OF ALIEN to get the last two words. ‘Da capo’ was very familiar, the rest wasn’t. Once I had P I saw the ‘simple book’ that had eluded me for so long. I liked the possessive apostrophe in ‘Island’s’ to give the adjectival answer. Enjoyable clues, especially 7, 13, 15, 21.
  11. 10.34. After a weekend with the jumbo 4000th Listener puzzle, it took a while to adjust. I’d got so used to Listener levels of toughness that I was overlooking perfectly straightforward wordplay.

    Regarding the comment above about the 3 R’s no longer being synonymous with education, according to Saturday’s Times in the 1930’s the Listener appeared in Latin or Greek once every month…

  12. Sorry – never got off the mark with this so-and-so. Got about half and then had to give up. 2d – isn’t a manacle for your arms/wrists? LEGIRON would not have entered my mind, though should have done.
    1. The Concise Oxford allows hands or ankles for manacle. It would have been okay with me if everything else in that corner was reasonably straightforward, but it wasn’t.

      To Ross, ZIMEON was possible at 20dn and to a heathen such as myself it was just as likely.

      To Tom B, is the setter DFM the Martha/Mary fellow?

  13. I blame a very long day at the raceway yesterday and several hours doing photos and video last night – my brain just wasn’t up for this and I eventually stumbled over the finishing line after 25 minutes.

    The NW corner was my undoing. Kept looking at SOLITAIRE but refused to commit it as I was unable to parse the wordplay; in the end I think I’ve accepted there IS no wordplay and “lay heart open” must be a technical ref to the card game.

    The xwd ed is pretty sharp when it comes to spotting overused clues and if 11D has appeared before it must have been a long time ago. Even if this is the case it’s superb and well worth seeing again – my COD anyway.

    Q-0 E-7 D-9 (for me) COD 11

    1. During Aachen’s ‘French period’ – late 18th / early 19th centuries – it was the capital of the Roer d├ępartement. Much early, under Charlemagne, it was effectively capital, or ‘curia regalis’, of Europe.
  14. From last Friday’s FT puzzle 12,877:

    9d. Latin master so in trouble, missing beginning of essay – could lead to this? (14)

    Moonlighting setter? Ximenean espionage? Shop talk down at the Setters Arms?

  15. I guess the answer to the earlier objection about 25 ac (Balinese is the islander rather than the island) is that the clue has “Island’s”, the apostrophe plus S here indicating the possessive, belonging to. So, for example, “Bali’s coast” could be equally well expressed as “the Balinese coast”.

    I started well, potential stumbling-blocks such as 4 dn falling into place quite quickly, and I was hoping for an under 30 min time (good for me). Then I got hopelessly bogged down on 16 dn and 24 ac, eventually needing more than 60 mins. Though a toughie, 24 ac was perfectly fairly clued. Don’t know why 16 dn held me up for so long – the definition is pretty straightforward, in all honesty. My only quibble would be that manages=uses seems to me a rather loose synonym. All the senses of “manage” that come at all close primarily convey the idea of controlling, administering, supervising or running, which is, I submit, not present in “use”. That said, if I’d solved the clue quicker I probably wouldn’t have minded.

    Like others, I loved the anagram at 11 dn. Difficult to imagine it hasn’t been used in some form before, but surely worth another outing. My COD.

    Michael H

  16. I worked my way steadily down this grid making slow but sure progress with nothing holding me up unduly and finished in 35 minutes. I knew Max Planck of constant fame immediately and it made a change from scrabbling about trying to work around obscure literary characters. Like others I had to guess SIMEON who was my last to go in, so thanks for explanations given – what next from DFM in the know your Christian Bible stakes I wonder? I too don’t understand the heart reference at 3D.
    1. Gave up after 25mins or so with three still to get – Balinese, carpi and simeone. An enjoyable puzzle all the same. Would probably have got balinese eventually but never heard of the other two. Bc
  17. Thought this was a lovely start to the week. well done.quite challenging…COD 11D for me tooHad trouble with Balinese like a number of the blog but it finally came like a ray of sunshine on an autumn day!
  18. 10:50 – should have been quicker but pig-headed pride stopped me writing down a letter jumble for the ‘Latin Masters’ anag. for a while, even though the answer would open up the RHS. Slightly surprised not to see too many grumbles about the music instruction.

    I don’t think a biblical reference guarantees who wrote the puzzle.

    Maybe the heart ref. in the solitaire clue is about the ‘patience’ meaning of solitaire.

    1. My guess at the setter was also based upon the high number of excellent clues and the avoidance of, for example, partial homophones – 1A and 27A are full homophones, and 1A even has the scrupulous ‘roughly speaking’. I enjoyed this one a lot – 20D is very good, if you know the reference, so I’ll choose it as a controversial COD.

      Tom B.

    2. I’m not puzzled by “heart” in 3 but am still baffled by “open”.

      I didn’t do a QED earlier. It’s 2-6-7. The Q-rating being 0.5 for 1dn plus 1.5 for 20.

    1. The definition is ‘drink’, while ‘onset of snoring’ is just to give the S at the start – and from the point of view of the surface, it ties in with ‘sleeps’=NAPS.
  19. Little to add to what has gone before. I hadn’t heard the music phrase before but uambiguous wordplay and a smattering of italian made it gettable. Clocl stopped at 28:35 so a little more challenging than the norm.

    Q-o, E-6, D-6.5

  20. The clue is “Herb going out with a nice gal”; how can the ‘with’ be justified in the wordplay?
    1. It depends on the angle of approach! Substitute “playing around” for “going out” to get the idea. The clue reads much better that way, but is perhaps a little too risque for The Times?.
  21. A cracking little number. No problem with the Italian instruction at 4d if you spent some of your schooldays having music lessons!
    There are seven “easies” in this one:

    9a Herb going out with a nice gal (8)
    ANGELICA. Anagram of (a nice gal). “Going out with” is the anagram indicator – could have been a bit more raunchy as suggested above.

    12a Bash about someone who needs to be taught manners (5)
    C LOUT

    21a Endemic is out of control – get these? (9)
    MEDECINES. Anagram of (Endemic is).

    26a Son has need of trousers (6)

    6d Uplift provided by drug after normal office hours? (5)
    E LATE

    8d Pass judgement on grammatical structure (8)

    22d Suppress utterance of European (5)
    CHECK. Sounds like CZECH – he plays for Arsenal now.

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