Times 27,203: View Halloo

A very nice Friday puzzle I thought, not overly complex in terms of the wordplay but given much extra chewiness by tough vocabulary and a very nice line in obscuring the definition part.

FOIs 15ac and 20ac, LOI 2dn once I finally worked out the whole thing wasn’t going to be the name of a rare type of eagle. COD to 14ac for reminded me of Peelie’s charming habit of playing records at the wrong speed, but an honourable mention to 5dn too… Great work from the setter!

1 House right next to moors proved inadequate (4,5)
FELL SHORT – HO RT [house | right] next to FELLS [moors]

6 Society cuts waste (5)
SLOPS – S LOPS [society | cuts]

9 Old fellow sporting nice tan (7)
ANCIENT – (NICE TAN*) [“sporting”]

10 Invoice most of island community, producing a large sum of money (7)
BILLION – BILL ION{a} [invoice | “most of” island community]

11 Music from the French composer’s last work (5)
LARGO – LA R GO [the French | {compose}R | work]

12 Got rid of current emergency procedure (4,5)
FIRE DRILL – FIRED RILL [got rid of | current]

14 Change tone of start of John Peel song? (3)
DYE – “D’ye ken John Peel with his coat so gay?”

15 Proceeds to cover favourite books? That’s useless (11)
INCOMPETENT – INCOME [proceeds] to “cover” PET [favourite], + NT [books]

17 Stab lodger, one holding son and friend (11)
GUESSTIMATE – GUEST I [lodger | one] “holding” S [son], + MATE [friend]

19 I will not be included in key staff (3)
MAN – MA{i}N [key, not including I]

20 Something fresh: fish in local cafe, with insides removed (9)
INSOLENCE – SOLE [fish] in INN CE [local | C{af}E]

22 Persian king lacking power in Mediterranean island (5)
CYRUS – CY{p}RUS [Mediterranean island, lacking P for power]

24 Dog unexpectedly tearing off, deprived of drink (7)
GRIFFON – ({tea}RING OFF*) [“unexpectedly”]. Remove the drink TEA before attempting anagram.

26 A second-rate remedy, free (7)
ABSOLVE – A B SOLVE [a | second-rate | remedy]

27 Fool employed by renowned dynasty (5)
NEDDY – hidden in {renow}NED DY{nasty}

28 Vegetable ultimately served with most of fish course, we’re told (9)
BREADROOT – {serve}D with BREA{m} [“most of” fish], + a homophone of ROUTE [course]

1 Thrash learner, overwhelmed by disappointing test result (5)
FLAIL – L [learner] “overwhelmed by” FAIL [disappointing test result]

2 Eagle with endless pluck going over lake (7)
LUCERNE – ERNE [eagle], with {p}LUC{k} going over

3 Susan and Antonia shortly meeting American historian (9)
SUETONIUS – SUE and TONI meeting US [American]

4 Blooming old group of people no longer working (3,2,6)
OUT OF ACTION – OUT O FACTION [blooming | old | group of people]

5 Yank’s check jacket, half-length (3)
TAB – TAB{ard} [“half-length” jacket]. Americans say “can I have the check, please” when we’re ask to be brought the tab.

6 After it, youngster leaves (5)
SALAD – after S.A. [it], LAD [youngster]

7 Rock climber following one — look — on way up (7)
OLIVINE – VINE [climber] following reversed I LO [one | look]

8 Queen alone, say, continue to perform without hindrance (9)
SINGLETON – SING ON [continue to perform] “without” LET [hindrance]

13 Alcoholic drink fellow brings in matures for fund-raising event (7,4)
RUMMAGE SALE – RUM {alcoholic drink] + MALE [fellow] “brings in” AGES [mature]

14 Eating with gusto, like a couple of drinks (7,2)
DIGGING IN – DIG [like] + GIN GIN [a couple of drinks]

16 Worked out interpretation of eleven decrees (9)
EXERCISED – (XI DECREES*) [“an interpretation of…”]

18 Former Pakistani province reportedly cut off (7)
EXSCIND – EX [former] + homophone of SINDH [Pakistani province]

19 Men tucked into mostly ripe fruit (7)
MORELLO – O.R. [men] “tucked into” MELLO{w} [“mostly” ripe]

21 Socialist abandoned party in the end (5)
LEFTY – LEFT [abandoned] + {part}Y

23 Cleaned up part of church gone round by pious sort (5)
SWEPT – reversed PEW [“up”, part of church], “gone round by” ST [pious sort]

25 Writer not into books originally (3)
NIB – N{ot} I{nto} B{ooks}

62 comments on “Times 27,203: View Halloo”

  1. 40 minutes which I consider not too bad for me given the number of scraps of GK that I didn’t possess so had to rely on wordplay. Very annoyed to find a careless error where I bunged in GRIFFIN instead of GRIFFON having failed to check the anagrist.

  2. 36 minutes, but, confronted with three unknown words (OLIVINE, GRIFFON and BREADROOT), I invented another – that famous eagle, the ‘lucerie’, mentioned in Suetonius’s life of Caligula, I believe, on account of its proclivity for nibbling parts other eagles couldn’t reach.
    1. So I’m not the only one to invent the eagle. Not sure I’ve ever heard of Lake Lucerne – would have said lucerne was a crop.
      1. It’s a city too, and stunningly beautiful, surrounded by the Swiss Alps. Been there a couple of times.
        1. Hay, I yam impressed, it must have bean a swede feeling to corn* such an un-beet-able sileage-based pun. When I soya post I could barley believe it; I concede defeat with a rye grin.
          *Not sure corn works for coin.
  3. Slowed down by a couple of DNKs–EXSCIND (LOI), BREADROOT, but not, oddly enough, NEDDY, where I actually spotted the hidden right off, atypical for me. Wasn’t slowed down by BILLION, other than to wonder why ‘community’? and why ‘money’? In the US, a bartender may ‘run a tab’, letting you pay once for all your drinks rather than drink by drink, or indeed, if you’re a regular, letting you owe him; in ‘Cheers’ Norm’s tab lasted the length of the series. COD to DYE.
    1. We use TAB in exactly the same way in the UK. The American aspect of the clue is the word ‘check’.

      Edited at 2018-11-23 10:28 am (UTC)

      1. That’s what I assumed (viz. that you don’t say ‘check’), which led to my wholly uninformative discursus on ‘tab’. Let me know if any of your relatives don’t know how to suck eggs.
  4. Cos I entered FALL SHORT instead. Bugger

    Otherwise all parsed & entered correctly in under 20 minutes…except of course for the John Peel clue, where my musical tastes run more to the other John Peel’s, so I had to biff

  5. ODO doesn’t recognise EXSCIND as a word so I had a mental run through the alphabet before realising it had to be right, which was confirmed by Collins.
    COD to DYE.
    1. A little research reveals some discrepancy in the usual sources:-

      Oxfords: Concise, no entry; On-line, no entry; Dictionary of English, no entry; Shorter Oxford, LISTED.

      Collins: Printed and On-line, LISTED

      Chambers: On-line (free), no entry; 12th edition (printed), LISTED; On-line Word Wizard, allowable Scrabble word.

      Edited at 2018-11-23 07:17 am (UTC)

      1. I’m surprised that our esteemed blogger and passionate classicist, Verlaine, didn’t mention the famous one-word message – “Peccavi” — supposedly sent by Sir Charles James Napier to his superiors in London after he had conquered the Muslim province of Sindh. It is Latin for “I have sinned”. The pun had an extra layer of meaning because Napier was acting against orders in conquering the whole of the province. He was only supposed to have given its Muslim rulers a bloody nose. The story first appeared in Punch magazine. Alas, it is almost certainly apocryphal.
        1. It was only the pun on “Sinned” that enabled me to get the answer. Probably the only time that piece of schoolboy history knowledge has proved useful!
  6. 27:47. Held up by my last 3 – GRIFFON (was it GRIFFON or GROFFIN?), EXSCIND and BREADROOT (LOI) – all unknown. The last one a pure guess as I never got the wordplay either – thanks for that V! Never knew the historian either. My, I’ve learnt a lot today! Otherwise a lot of fun. FIRE DRILL my COD.
  7. ….to have a typo.

    Apart from a randomly-inserted “I” where it should have been an “N” (lake LUCERIE anyone?) this was a very rare Verlaine-beating time at 10.50.

    I need to get rid of this iPad I think.

    One wrong in the quickie today as well (because I can’t read) so all in all a rubbish start to the day.

    (Goes off to sulk for the rest of the weekend).

    Edited at 2018-11-23 08:05 am (UTC)

    1. Indeed. Several people have already commented that they, too, postulated the existence of Lake Lucerie.
      1. If I’d actually got it wrong I wouldn’t have minded. But I had the wordplay and everything sorted then somehow managed to look at the I in the wrong way (or whatever it takes for the iPad to start on me – sorry, couldn’t help that, still sore after yesterday) and my sub 11 minute time was destroyed forever. forever I tell you. Bah.

        And it’s Christmas soon. So Humbug to boot.

  8. DNF with no brekker. Going out to the (Scots) National Gallery for a bacon sandwich later. Hoorah.
    45 mins and had two left: Exscind and Breadroot. I wasted too much time on 5 letter islands (Capri, Corfu, Crete).
    Note to self: swot up on Persian Kings and former Pakistani provinces.
    Mostly I liked: Dig Gin, Gin (and Lime marmalade).
    Thanks setter and V.
  9. Shame I didn’t finish this, as I managed to get through almost all of the tough vocab. Unfortunately I was finally overcome by my complete lack of knowledge of either Sindh or EXSCIND in 18d.
  10. General Sir Charles James Napier sent to his superiors the immortal and brief message “Peccavi” – “I have sinned” – after taking control of the province. Actually he didn’t but it is amazing what sticks in the brain 60 years later.
  11. 26 minutes, slowed by the rarities in the nether regions.
    EXSCIND I had to work out from the checkers and that should-have-been-true terse telegram from Charles Napier on subduing the province: “Peccavi” – I have Sindh.
    I spent much time trying to work out how BREADFRUIT, though not a vegetable, could be squeezed into the space, finally putting the right letters in without much conviction.
    GRIFFON I knew as almost anything (sometimes misspelt) other than a dog.
    1. Didn’t he get the reply “Vovi”. I vowed (I’ve Oudh – another Indian state) From someone called Dalhousie or something. I read that in my school history book. Probably equally apocryphal.

      Edited at 2018-11-23 06:40 pm (UTC)

  12. Definitely chewy. Took 46 mins. Like most people, I didn’t know BREADROOT, CYRUS, GRIFFON = dog, nor OLIVINE — but managed to work them out from the wordplay. I came up with EXSCIND quite quickly (assuming it was relaed to ‘rescind’), but then took it out after I’d consulted my Oxford and couldn’t find it there. LUCERNE was probably my second one in, after FELL SHORT, and followed swiftly by OUT OF ACTION and SUETONIUS so I began well, thinking this might be a bit of stroll in the park: how wrong I was. I, too, enjoyed the double gin in 14d.
    Thanks, setter. And thank you, V, for your lucid blog.
  13. 39 minutes with my two unknowns, BREADROOT and OLIVINE, guessed correctly. I wasn’t too sure about ABSOLVE either. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a RUMMAGE SALE. How does it differ from a jumble sale? I would spell LEFTY as leftie, but then I would use Grannie for Granny. Is this regional or generational. I wonder? And it was Neddie Seagoon, and not NEDDY, I believe, who was qualified as above. Thank you V and setter.

    Edited at 2018-11-23 09:56 am (UTC)

  14. 20m for all but Cyrus and Breadroot, the latter of which took me another 25m! Some very nice clues, though,thanks setter and Verlaine.
  15. I get this confused with the heraldic critter and I wouldn’t recognise one if it rode on the elevator with me but it couldn’t be anything else. Another one thinking of “peccavi” and trying for “breadfruit”. A lot of people this side of the pond pronounce “route” to rhyme with shout rather than root. 18.18
    1. I’m one of those routers, sometimes; I dither between them, and eeconomics/ecconomics, envelope/anvelope. My guess is that if a gryphon got into your elevator, you’d know. I hope you got through Thanksgiving OK.
      1. Thanks Kevin – it came off just fine but I’ve come down with my first cold in a couple of years and it’s a doozy.

        Re the Iona “community” I took the setter to mean the famous monastic establishment there but I agree it seemed surplus to requirements.

        1. That’s why I asked. I have a feeling I’ve given this advice before–maybe even to you, on the occasion of your previous cold–but my brother’s way to handle a cold is, you take a bottle of scotch and a top hat; you get into bed with the scotch, putting the hat at the foot of the bed; you drink the scotch until you can no longer see the hat.
          1. I actually remembered your brother’s remedy Kevin and after last night’s misery I might be desperate enough to try it!
  16. Dnf in 32 mins.

    Corus for Cyrus and Breadwort for Breadroot.

    I love the “I have Sindh” reference from Z8b8d8k. Not heard that before.

  17. A bit gentler than yesterday, but a few difficult words such as EXSCIND and BREADROOT, so I was pleased to finish with all in correctly, even if it took a bit more than an hour.

    I liked the reference to ‘John Peel’ in 14a. D’ye ken that the writer of the lyrics, John Woodcock Graves, who was a friend of the real John Peel in Cumberland, migrated to Tasmania and (I see from Wikipedia) died there in 1886 at the grand old age of 91. I’d vaguely heard about it, but thought it was an urban myth, a bit like Merle Oberon having been born in Tassie.

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

  18. 18:26. Another very enjoyable puzzle with a huge number of unknowns requiring close attention to wordplay: CYRUS, GRIFFON, NEDDY, BREADROOT, EXSCIND, SUETONIUS, OLIVINE. I also associate Sindh with the famous apocryphal ‘peccavi’ pun, in fact that may be the only reason I’ve heard of the province.
    1. All your Indian -anis are Sindhi: Gidwani, Advani, Lalchandani, etc. Many of them moved to Bombay at partition.
  19. ….due to not knowing the vegetable – it may be as chewy as the clue, but I wouldn’t know.

    LOI “BREADWORT” (knew damn well it was a momble)
    DNK EXSCIND but no problem
    COD FELL SHORT – very apt !
    TIME immaterial for a DNF, but I got down to 28A in 10 minutes or so, and threw in the despairing biff after a further 5 minutes of fruitless (or veg-less ?) alpha trawling.

  20. Having made an error in the Concise and a typo in the QC, I was expecting to mess this one up too, but the Gods were with me, and despite a large number of unknowns, I managed to slog my way through unscathed, albeit in a tortoise like 55:43. LARGO was my FOI and the unknown EXSCIND my last. I didn’t know the word or the Province, so that was an alphabet trawl. I knew the heraldic Griffon, but not the dog. As it happens my Halfords push bike also bears the name, Carrera Griffon. It’s the closest I got to owning a Porche. I managed to spot the correct parsing for the vegetable. I liked “something fresh” and Dig Gin Gin. A worthy challenge! Thanks setter and V.
  21. perfect except that I had to check whether EXSCIND or possibly ECSCIND was a word – either looked unlikely.
    Still a bit confused about the queen – is it a lonely cat? Or maybe QE1?
    LOI and DNK BREADROOT which took some devious working out, but eventually had to be that, but pressed complete with some trepidation.
    1. My ODE has:

      • (in card games, especially bridge) a card that is the only one of its suit in a hand: declarer drew trumps, finding that West had a singleton | [as modifier] : a singleton spade.

    2. A single card of any suit in a hand is called a SINGLETON.

      Edited at 2018-11-23 01:00 pm (UTC)

  22. 18 minutes, BREADROOT LOI – not known, but trusted wordplay. Peccavi reminds me that it was claimed that when Dalhousie took the state of Oudh he telegraphed VOVI – “I vowed”
    1. I commented on this above. I knew I’d read it somewhere. Even remembered Dalhousie. I think there’s a 4 line verse about it which was is my school history book.
  23. I decided that a LAROP was a country dance and hence “music” which made the historian rather tricky (I won’t tell you what I put). I also invented BREADWORT.

    I got EXSCIND right though which was a surprise.

  24. Very good crossword after yesterday’s excellent offering.
    BREADROOT unknown and only OLIVINE raised an eyebrow. In my professional life it is a mineral and component of the rocks excavated. I, however, missed the point that ‘rock’ also means ‘gem’. A little knowledge etc.
    1. Well noticed Sawbill – olivine is a rock forming mineral and NOT a rock. Like you I assumed that the “rock” referred to gemstone. The gem form of olivine is the lovely chartreuse coloured Peridot. I have never seen a gem referred to as OLIVINE although they may occur?
  25. Pleased to finish in 63 mins despite several unknowns only to find my brain had mixed up the Italian antipasto with the musical term.
  26. Held up for far too long by Breadroot, Morello and Tab. COD has got to go to Dye. Any other famous people name-checked coincidentally in songs? Jack Straw of course, in the Dead classic. Wonder if he knows. Gordon Brown, not quite, in the Stranglers’. Hesitated over Griffon. Are they those funny dogs you see in mediaeval portraits?
  27. I went to the British Museuem today to see the Ashurbanipal (let’s see if he appears in a crossword) exhibition. I came across The Medes for the first time outside a crossword and learnt much about Nineveh.
    Anyway having a coffee afterwards I looked at this puzzle and, inspired perhaps by my surroundings and the learning, I got most of this quite quickly.
    I tried to finish it when I got home but failed to get Olivine. I put Edifice which fitted with Shews for 6a. I also failed to get the fish; I deleted Bread .. for Beetdrout (which has a bit of a different fish).
    Still, enjoyed the crossword journey but not the rail journey with no trains into Charing Cross or Victoria when I wanted to travel. As the fifth largest economy in the world etc etc … David
    PS also visited Ian Hislop’s Dissent exhibition which is more fun.
  28. After yesterday’s humdinger (which I’d given up on with barely 25% done) I was chuffed to solve this chewy puzzle without resort to any aids. That’s not to say there weren’t any DNKs – a fair number of those in fact – but I was fortunate to correctly biff the ones I didn’t manage to figure out from wordplay. Time irrelevant: most enjoyable. Thanks setter & V.
  29. Bit sluggish today, a tad hungover. I had this done in around an hour. FOI 6ac. LOI 14ac where I’m afraid I was not kenning JP and had no idea how the clue worked. Good job it was only three letters with two of them checked. Some nice vocab and some chewy wordplay.
    1. “It” is “sex appeal” (the It Girl) is S.A.

      Bit tenuous these days, but so useful that it still comes up in crosswords a lot.

    1. SA is (rather old fashioned) for Sex Appeal, and bears comparison with “it” especially when used in the context of the It Girl (wiki “An it girl is an attractive young woman, generally a celebrity, who is perceived to have both sex appeal and a personality that is especially engaging.”).
      Both are frequent visitors to these parts, worth committing to memory.

      Edited at 2018-11-24 09:23 am (UTC)

  30. 56 mins at a fairly steady rate countering a slanging match on a train and hollering kids in the local sports centre reception. NHO EXSCIND or BREADROOT. Can play John Peel on the old joanna so familiar with the opening line.

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