Times 24,983 Salome Caresses Nelson’s Column

Solving time 25 minutes

I struggled with this at times, never really getting onto the setter’s wavelength. For me there is some stretching of meanings and one clue 16D that troubles me a little. There should be no vocabulary problems and the puzzle requires virtually no specialist knowledge.

1 SHOGUN – sounds like “show gun”;
5 TOP,BRASS – POT=prize reversed + money=BRASS; often more a statement of earnings than of leadership ability;
9 STRIPTEASE – S(TRIP)T-EASE; way=street=ST; relax=EASE;
10 CALM – C-ALM(s); donation=alms; cents=C; on edit “collected” is the definition;
11 SLOVENIA – AILS=troubles reversed encloses OVEN=where things get hot;
12 EGRESS – hidden reversed (mes)S-SERGE(ant);
13 CAIN – sounds like “cane”;
15 GIVES,OUT – G(IVES)OUT; Charles Ives 1874-1954 US composer;
18 REVELLER – L-LEVER reversed + (th)E-(gutte)R; “reeling” as reversal indicator?;
19 RAYS – two meanings 1=fish 2=lines along which light travels, which can bend;
21 PAY,CUT – TUC YAP reversed; TUC=Trade Union Congress;
23 QUAGMIRE – QU-AGM-I-RE; question=QU; meeting=AGM; about=RE; on edit “put to” = added to;
25 EDGE – E-D(e)G(r)E(e);
26 LEAVE,ALONE – LEA(n)-VEAL-ONE; a=ONE; is “certain” padding?;
28 SERMON – (morse)*-N;
2 HOTEL – H(oo-ha)-O-LET reversed; on edit O=over (cricket);
3 GRIEVANCE – G-RI(EVAN)CE; beef = complaint;
5 TRAFALGAR,SQUARE – (quarters)* surrounds RAF+(gala)*; where Nelson watches over us;
8 SALISBURY – RUB-LAS(s) surrounds (tour) IS + (seed)Y; beautiful city with cathedral painted by Constable;
14 ALEXANDER – (m)ALE-X-AND-ER; Alexander The Great 356-323 BC;
16 SCRAMBLER – (clambers)* – R=runs (cricket); does this clue really work?;
17 FLOTILLA – F(LOT)ILL-A; quantity=LOT; occupy=FILL; area=A;
20 CARESS – CARE(S)S; small=S;
22 CREEL – C(ontaine)R-EEL; a fisherman’s basket;

41 comments on “Times 24,983 Salome Caresses Nelson’s Column”

  1. Thanks, jimbo, for parsing REVELLER: an ‘obvious’ answer which I would never have worked out. Glad to see that you confirm my reservations about RAYS as ‘straight lines’. Overall sub-30 minutes but significantly held up by unknown GRILLADE (… and those elision marks): eventually relied on wordplay.
  2. Was under 20 minutes with (I thought) two to go, 5 ac. and 27…and took 30. In fact a dnf as having finally crossed out Aylesbury for Salisbury, threw in top crust. Didn’t know grillade but cooked it eventually. I think 16 is OK, ‘He’ being the definition. Despite the increasing use of ‘they’ for the singular impersonal, it still can’t go with a singular verb: do the ladies here at all mind the setter’s recourse to ‘he’ in this clue?
  3. Disaster today in 25 minutes, but with QUANDARY (no idea how parsed) at 22 making SCRAMBLER impossible except as STRADDLER (equally unparsed). STRIPTEASE was also a very late entry, and the RACER/CALM crossing caused delay because though R(ACE)R was easy, its relevance to REVELLER escaped me. I also got a bit fixated on DOLE as the ?donation, with a big stretch at dolce (gentle ?reduced) without the C.
    As Jim says, a wavelength thing.
    CoD to that devious CALM.
    1. I’m not sure if you came to realise this post-solve, but RACER references SCRAMBLER at 16 rather than REVELLER at 18.
      1. H’m. Senility, myopia and dyscalculia all in one day. Thank you for being gentle with the afflicted.
  4. 38 minutes, with the unfamiliar GRILLADE last in and several, e.g. SALISBURY, REVELLER and QUAGMIRE, only parsed post-solve. Many good clues, but without wanting in the least to give away my political leanings, my COD goes to the TUC wittering on – about their aspirations, perhaps? Does anyone else remember the sketch by the Not the Nine O’Clock News team, I believe, where speakers at its Annual Congress were buzzed and stopped every time they used this word?

    Jim, I don’t get your problem with 10, since the definition is ‘collected’!

  5. …that’s weird, as I too thought that 7dn’s ’16’ referred to REVELLER (doh, that’s 18!), so was working on the assumption that it was either rager or raver (=REVELLER). Couldn’t parse either, nor could I find a suitable G/V-L- for 10ac.

    Note to self: write smaller, so as not to obscure clue numbers!

    Thanks for blog, needed help parsing CREEL, QUAGMIRE.

    Ooh, and I had a blank at STRIPTEASE, too, but should’ve got that one.

  6. 10ac – what’s the problem with collected as a definition of calm?
    23ac – isn’t the I just added to the AGM?
    26ac – arguably not redundant, eg one might refer to the blogger as ‘a certain Jimbo’ or ‘one Jimbo’
  7. Sorry – I thought I would be the first to comment but obviously can’t type quickly enough!
  8. 35 minutes with a semi-cheat on the last one in GRILLADE which I looked up as an option before writing it in. It’s not in Collins, it’s in Chambers only as an ‘obscure’ word but COED is happy with it.

    2dn is H(oo-ha)O(ver)+LET (reversed).

    1. O = Over, the abbreviation as in cricket, I meant to say. ‘Beginning of’ only refers to ‘hoo-ha’.
      1. Thanks Jack – blog amended. A bad day at the office for me. I think I’ll go and lie down in a darkened room.
        1. Don’t beat yourself up, Jim. I only spotted the error because I made it myself originally and had been planning to make the same comment about the clue before noticing that explanation would have included two reversal instructions.
      2. 2d surely could equally well be parsed as HO(beginning of hoo-ha)+TEL with “over” being simply a placement indicator?
  9. Epic Fail. Left with just two in the NE corner, jumped to RIDER instead of RACER, then decided that 10ac had to be DOLE, despite being totally unable to see why (answer: because it isn’t). RIDER has a fish in it, of course, but all the fish appear in different clues to the one which is referenced. Clearly lots of us are having senior moments today.
  10. Grr – I’d actually entered SCRAMBLER, but then decided thaT QUANDARY was needed (meeting gave the AND, but don’t recall how I gat the ARY)’ This forced STRADDLER, even though I couldn’t see how it gave ACE 🙁
  11. There seems to be something in the air today – mogadon, perhaps.

    Though I was quite pleased with myself for getting RIDER straight after SCRAMBLER, it did present a conundrum at 10a which I resolved by ignoring large parts of the clue.

    Just seen Tim’s post and it turns out we’ve messed up in exactly the same two ways. I also had DOLE. Let’s go with “Great minds think alike” over “Fools never differ”.

  12. Approx 15 mins for me – lost track of time when someone asked me a work-related question. WIll they never learn?
  13. Time 31 minutes. Having found yesterday’s relatively difficult I found today’s relatively easy and more fun to boot, but perhaps that’s because many went in by definition alone. COD to CREEL over REVELLER & SLOVENIA.
  14. I found most of this very easy, finishing all but 27 in 14 minutes, then took another 10 to get 27, needing the dictionary to confirm. Part of the problem was that I was parsing the contained part as ..ILLAS.(“harmful when”).
    I got off to a good start with 9 solved immediately just from the word ‘column’ in the clue.
    Re dorsetjimbo’s query about 16dn I think it just about works as a semi-&lit. Not a full &lit because ‘He’ plays no part in the wordplay.
  15. Unfortunately, I read the thing after certain as a blank, and because I was doing a crossword, I wrote leave blank!
  16. Oh dear – another victim of RIDER/DOLE. At least I’m in good company. I had some flimsy justification based on removing C[ents] from DOLCE = ‘reduced’ (in volume).

    I agree that 16dn is dubious but 6dn (SALISBURY) is a real mess grammatically.

  17. 20:18 which felt slow but I see from other comments that it wasn’t so bad after all.

    The RACER/CALM pairing and CARESS held me up for a few of those minutes at the end.

    1. I’m wary, as an utter non-scientist, non-physicist, non-mathematician, about rushing in here …

      But, if this comment is correct, does it mean that all lines are straight lines and that if, to my untutored eye, they seem to bend, then all that has happened is that they have had their direction changed by refraction (or something much simpler such as the ruler slipping)? If so, I wish I had known this is my school days: it would have saved me some hassle from pedantic pedagogues who wanted straight lines. (Or maybe it wouldn’t! Danger of being too clever by half ….)

      1. One definition of a straight line is… the line a ray of light takes, which is also the shortest path between two points.

        Note the universe isn’t a 3-dimensional Euclidian space, so the concept of straight lines is not really applicable to the universe.

  18. Relatively straightforward until I reached the quagmire/quandary of the NE corner. I got the BURY bit of 8d but spent ages trying to decide between SALISBURY. MALMESBURY and AYLESBURY. After getting 5a the correct choice became clear but I still needed this blog to understand why. Thanks to Jimbo. 40 minutes
  19. 48 minutes (OK, as it’s under an hour) and I did have a correct solution in my head, but unfortunately at some point while typing in other answers online the I in CAIN changed to an E and I didn’t notice. Nothing difficult, though I didn’t understand the wordplay for QUAGMIRE (now I know it’s “Annual General Meeting”) and ALEXANDER. I agree that the grammar for SALISBURY is abominable and SCRAMBLER is disappointing. Also “things get hot” does not really translate to OVEN, a thing which gets hot. My last one in was GRILLADE.

    By the way, to a mathematician a RAY is half of a straight line, i.e., the part to one side of a point on it.

    1. The oven is ‘/where/ things get hot.’ Burned too sometimes, when I’m cooking dinner.
      1. I see I can get burned too sometimes, when I’m posting to the blog — thanks for the correction and explanation!
  20. Can’t give a time due to interruptions and watching football, but it felt like a bit on the harder side of average. I thought SALISBURY very convoluted, and SCRAMBLER left me unconvinced. CALM, on the other hand, was very clever. Last entries for me were the CREEL/GRILLADE crossers, apart from NOTING, which I left for the end because, again, it was unconvincing. Regards.
  21. Late solve, late post.
    Utter failure this evening. Completely failed to get STRIPTEASE and also had RIDE and DOLE in desperation. Glad to hear I’m not entirely alone.
    In my defence I only got to this at 10pm after a nice dinner and the best part of a bottle of Barolo but still. Doesn’t bode well for Saturday.
    Tomorrow is another day.
  22. 10:08 for me, with the last minute or so spent agonising over GRILLADE which I don’t recall coming across before. It’s a relief to find a foodie word that others haven’t known either!

    No objection to 16dn – SCRAMBLER went straight in without any crossing letters, though I went back to it a couple of times in the hope of fitting in QUANDARY. Less keen on 8dn (SALISBURY).

  23. Managed to do this in 32′, the last 6 of which were dedicated to 27ac–a brute-force solve, running through the alphabet. Waited until the end, too, to put in NOTING; it just seemed so meh. Ditto for SCRAMBLER.

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