Times 27,227: Should Overwordiness Be Forgot And Never Brought To Mind?

A verbose crossword with some quite obscure vocabulary in it (ARTICLING and especially SOCLE leap to mind), I suppose I must deem this suitably Fridayish in that it took me well over twice as long to complete as yesterday’s puzzle, stopping my clock at 6m55. FOI 17ac, LOI 14dn, clue of the day to 12ac for its prescience over Man U’s Jexit crisis; though I did also appreciate the neatness of the triple def at 1dn and the &lit at 7dn. Many thanks to the enjoyable setter!

1 Little guy beginning to employ fine performer is generous type (10)
BENEFACTOR – BEN [“little” guy] + E{mploy} + F ACTOR [fine | performer]

6 English paper’s showing creatures of land and water (4)
EFTS – E FT’S [English | paper’s]

9 Thought opposing team “very hot” (10)
CONSIDERED – CON SIDE RED [opposing | team | “very hot”]

10 Independent worker restricted by money paid (4)
FREE – {worke}R “restricted” by FEE [money paid]

12 Football team run by he-man struggling to keep in charge (6, 6)
BAYERN MUNICH – (RUN BY HE-MAN*) [“struggling”] to “keep” I/C [in charge]

15 Accusing, in the past, small boy, I don’t let go (9)
ARTICLING – ART [“small” boy] + I CLING [I | don’t let go]

17 Worker in firm producing lyrical lines (5)
CANTO – ANT [worker] in CO [firm]

18 Time short? Then there’s little hesitation to provide bit of information (5)
DATUM – DAT{e} [time “short”] + UM [little hesitation]

19 Securing organic compound – container must be sound (9)
TETHERING – ETHER [organic compound], contained by TING [sound (like a bell)]

20 Song rendered by lea lady, sung badly (4,4,4)

24 One horsey pair maybe but not a couple in partnership (4)
ITEM – I [one] + TE{a}M [horsey pair maybe, but not “a”]

25 Delicacy of record concerning first person in fashion (10)
DISCRETION – DISC RE [record | concerning] + I [first person] in TON [fashion]

26 Imbibers with urgent message “Time!” has interrupted? (4)
SOTS – S.O.S. [urgent message], “interrupted” by T [time]

27 Bad feeling about despatched soldiers, feature recurrent in battle (10)
RESENTMENT – RE SENT MEN [about | despatched | soldiers] + T [the repeated letter in “battle”]

1 Second team player reinstated?
BACK – triple def

2 Senior member of family having any number of anecdotes (4)
NANA – N ANA [any number of | anecdotes]

3 Pacific almost ruined with no end of plastics, an occurrence one must accept (4, 8)
FAIT ACCOMPLI – (PACIFIC ALMO{s}T) [“ruined”, without {plastic}S]

4 Island has real criminal being put away (5)
CRETE – {con}CRETE [real, CON (= criminal) “put away”]

5 Sir losing head over maiden, maybe surprisingly quickly (9)
OVERNIGHT – {k}NIGHT [sir “losing head”] after OVER [maiden, maybe]. As in an “overnight sensation”.

7 What may be distributed, e.g. for India?
FOREIGN AID – (E.G. FOR INDIA*) [“distributed”], semi-&lit

8 Understand the true nature of support to the bitter end?
SEE THROUGH – double def

11 Pre-cooked food in can – hotel menu being awful! (8,4)
LUNCHEON MEAT – (CAN HOTEL MENU*) [“being awful”]

13 Light over small room making letters visible (10)
LANDLADIES – LAND [light] over LADIES [small room]

14 Most magnificent voice introducing story by saint (10)
STATELIEST – STATE [voice] introducing LIE [story] by ST [saint]

16 After trendy numbers the writer’s becoming serious (9)
INTENSIVE – after IN TENS [trendy | numbers], I’VE [the writer’s]

21 Plinth only having carbon at the centre (5)
SOCLE – SOLE [only], having C [carbon] at the centre

22 Something woodworker can hold: not rank? (4)
FILE – double def. As in the phrase “rank and file”.

23 Bird making speed over the waves (4)
KNOT – double def

50 comments on “Times 27,227: Should Overwordiness Be Forgot And Never Brought To Mind?”

  1. 38 mins but one wrong! 15ac ARTICLING – I unparsingly stuck in ATTACHING!


    LOI 2dn NANA (I do dislike nan!)

    COD 13dn LANDLADIES with 7dn FOREIGN AID in close attendance.


    For 22dn I originally had VICE which is a not quite rank!

  2. Surprisingly fast for me for a Friday. Would have been faster if I were more familiar with soccer teams. I had no idea how CRETE worked, so ta V. For some reason, I actually knew SOCLE. For some reason (NYT?) I associate ‘organic compound’ with ‘ester’, and actually entertained the possibility of TESTERING for a few seconds. These are long-winded clues, aren’t they? Hadn’t noticed at the time. Liked LANDLADIES and FOREIGN AID.
  3. 14:25. I sometimes fail to see the wood for the trees in wordy clues like these, but not so today. Echoing our blogger, I had question marks by both ARTICLING and SOCLE as unknowns and enjoyed the triple definition at 1d. I liked the &lit FOREIGN AID too, but my COD goes to LUNCHEON MEAT. After yesterday’s reindeer, I see we have another seasonal reference at 20a. A fun puzzle and nice blog. Thanks V and setter.
  4. 40 mins with yoghurt etc.
    I suppose I have learnt two new words that I will never use.
    Mostly I liked: Considered and Foreign Aid
    Thanks setter and V.
  5. 37 minutes, though all but three answers were in place after 25 minutes and the rest of the time was spent battling away at 13dn, 14dn and 15ac which I eventually solved in that order. The unknown SOCLE went in with some confidence and with only one checker in place because the wordplay was helpful, but ARTICLING, also unknown, presented many more problems. The Monday and Friday puzzles seem to have been swapped around this week.

    Edited at 2018-12-21 08:15 am (UTC)

  6. I wasn’t confident I was going to have all correct on finishing this, particularly LOI NANA. With hindsight though I think we have seen ‘ana’ once or twice in recent times. In fact it’s probably time I filed it with ‘ton’ for fashion as words I’ll ever only encounter in crosswords.
    1. You will encounter ‘ton’ outside crosswords if you ever join the TfTT Georgette Heyer club.
  7. I was quite quick through all but the last few here, staring for at least ten minutes at 13d, 15a, 24a and 23d to bring my time to 47 minutes. Finally I saw ITEM, which led me to the LANDLADIES and the already-thought-of-as-possible ARTICLING. Then an alphabet run to get 23d. I really should add “see an N, try a K” to my mental checklist…

    FOI 1a BENEFACTOR, then it was pretty plain sailing from there until the end. Glad 21d SOCLE was right.

    Have a good weekend, all. I may be too hungover to cope with a crossword; ’tis the season…

    Edited at 2018-12-21 09:04 am (UTC)

  8. Nothing to frighten the horses here. Steady solve of a standard Times offering. Liked 7D
  9. I couldn’t find a definition of “article” in any of the usual sources to justify the one required at 15A. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
    1. Chambers has this for “article”:

      intransitive verb (obsolete) To bring specific charges (against)

      Edited at 2018-12-21 09:31 am (UTC)

      1. Thanks (and to pserve_p2 below). Couldn’t find it in my hardcopy of Collins but I now see it is in Chambers. A meaning previously completely unknown to me. We live and learn.
  10. 28 minutes with LOI and COD LANDLADIES. So I had roughly the same ratio between yesterday and today as you did, V. I’m claiming parity. I got the unknown ARTICLING early from ‘I cling’ plus Mr Garfunkel. I had SOCLE put in faintly also, as the better part of valour, until DISCRETION gave its own reward. It’s not that long ago that Wanderers held Bayern 2-2 at the Allianz Arena in the UEFA Cup, goalscorers the two Kevins. O my Nolan and my Davies (not that) long ago! Easyish for a Friday. Thank you V and setter

    Edited at 2018-12-21 09:27 am (UTC)

      1. When you’ve been watching them since 3 January 1953 (Bolton 4 Blackpool 0), that’s recent!
          1. As with ManU and Fergie.

            Did the old boltonian watch Bolton 3 Blackpool 4 May 1953?

            My first live game was 1961 Lincoln 2 WBA 1 3rd Round FA Cup.

            1. Broke my heart, H. Mum’s family was from near Blackpool, Dad’s from Bolton. I was only seven. Dad could only get one ticket and he went to Wembley. We’d bought our first telly for the Coronation and this Cup Final. I had to watch us lose a 3-1 lead, effectively down to 9 men, with all my Mum’s gloating relations. Dad always reckoned the big mistake those last few minutes was not moving Lofthouse to left back. He wouldn’t have let Matthews past him.
              1. That’s a ‘Play for Today”!

                The Tangerine Wars. Mum, Dad, Auntie Flo’, Matthews, Mortensen and The Lion of Vienna with a number 3 on his shirt.

  11. Had all but the knotty ARTICLING, STATELIEST and LANDLADIES done in half an hour — but then dragged on to finish it at 46 mins. The ‘visible’ in 13d really fazed me: I was pretty sure of LAND=light and reckoned that ‘letters’ would be people who rent out property but the solution was still not visible to me. My LOI, of course. ARTICLING seemed like the only word that would fit the checkers and I CLING looked solid: but I baulked at putting it in because it just sounded weird as a synonym for ‘accusing’. My COD vote goes to the neat triple def of BACK. I enjoyed this, despite the frustration of the last few clues.
    Many thanks, V, for the explanatory blog.
  12. 24 minutes, with the weird ARTICLING taking a while, and the innocuous ITEM being last to fall – yet another team to come up with to add to the three already in plain sight, surely some kind of record.
    I wouldn’t have known what a SOCLE was except as one of those obfuscatory words beloved of architects and interior decorators, followed by a sucking of teeth and an indication of enormous cost.
    It was a relief, in a way, to have a football team that isn’t Man U, which seems to be the default version.

    Edited at 2018-12-21 09:52 am (UTC)

  13. Z got in first with that plinth song from Disney. I don’t know how I knew SOCLE but as he suggests it probably joins such words as “soffit” making the eyes glaze over when reviewing the scope of work. ARTICLING came from considering articles of impeachment, I wonder why. Ditto Kevin on “ester” and I got stuck on vise/vice (like Horryd) for a while and had to wait for all the checking letters for the football team, so a rather sluggish 21.18

    P.S. I only just saw it this minute so I’m a bit late to the fair but must congratulate Verlaine on yesterday’s stunning time!

    Edited at 2018-12-21 02:20 pm (UTC)

  14. I didn’t notice the verbosity of the clues, and quite enjoyed this one, finishing in almost exactly 30 minutes. My solving time seems to have plateaued, averaging something like 25 minutes over recent months, I think.

    I was pretty sure that SOCLE was going to be plastered with pink after I clicked ‘Submit’. It’s one of those words that just doesn’t look like a word, and I was sure there would be a blindingly obvious alternative. ARTICLING was another NHO, but at least it looked like one of those slightly fussy Victorianesque words (like “comptroller”). I could only think of “articled apprentice”, but decided that was close enough. Apart from those two, everything was fairly straightforward and yet not (for me) easy – which is my kind of puzzle. Thanks to setter and blogger.

  15. Pleasant and not scary by Friday standards, though I didn’t know that meaning of ARTICLING, or any meaning at all of SOCLE (I was another who worried there must be another glaringly obvious four letter word for “only” which I was missing).
  16. Fast Friday, with some write-ins, LUNCHEON MEAT, FAIT ACCOMPLI…

    Would have been faster, but I had to switch from electronic to paper when the cursor refused to go on to the next blank square, but deleted what I’d just put, over and over – help please.

    Thanks verlaine and setter.

    1. Exactly that happened to me a few weeks ago Rob and it was utterly infuriating. What cured it was doing a complete clear-out of cookies – rather a bore when you want to get right back in to your regular routine sites and have to enter all the bumph again but it certainly worked to make the crossword site behave itself.
    2. Like Olivia, I find I often have to clear out cookies etc in my browser, particularly Chrome, to make it work properly.
  17. ….to finish as draws on Wednesday evening in a Lucky 15 bet. BAYERN MUNICH snatched a late winner to spoil things (a profit of about £25 rather than £180). Still, a few Christmas beers paid for !

    Biffed TETHERING. If the LADIES really is just a “small room”, that goes a long way to explaining the queues into the corridor at Motorway service stations.

    COD FOREIGN AID (didn’t initially spot the clever anagram)
    TIME 9:02

  18. Only problem with this one was that, being a Friday puzzle, I assumed it would be hard, and my initial trawl across the clues didn’t reveal anything. Finally came up with CANTO, and then everything fell into place with remarkable speed. SOCLE and ARTICLING were my LOI’s, not being very sure about either, and STATELIEST was held up because of my misinterpretation of ‘introducing’. Handy word that for setters..
  19. Just under 10 minutes, but with ANTICLING alas. Not often you get an obsolete word in the daily crossword.
  20. As others, I didn’t know SOCLE or the required definition of ARTICLING, but trusted the wordplay. Is an Articled Clerk accused of cooking the books? BENEFACTOR got me off to a flying start, closely followed by the neat triple definition at 1d. Liked FOREIGN AID. I needed all the crossers and pen and paper to finally see the soccer team, which was my LOI. An enjoyable puzzle. 28:35. Thanks setter and V.
    1. And to you. Many thanks for a most enjoyable puzzle. Even with SOCLE and ARTICLING unknown.(But gettable…)
  21. Articling and landladies took forever. Boys’ names in clues are a nightmare. 40 mins. Great blog, V, thanks.
    1. Especially when they are preceded by the pointless ‘small’; as presumably they are men’s names too-unless the intention is to make it the name itself abbreviated? I’m never sure. Mr Grumpy
  22. LOI Landladies which was a great clue. Had to guess Articling, which was second last in. Between them they held me up a good six minutes.
  23. Biffed CRETE from checkers and guessed SOCLE (parsed easily) and ARTICLING (less obvious). No real hold ups but was doing in fits and starts while minding 3rd party contractors at the data centre so no definite time, though it felt quickish.
  24. Took me a while because, as with others, I wasn’t aware of ARTICLING or SOCLE. I also took forever to see ITEM, and was trying to fool around with IBEX or some such but that’s really not getting you closer to ‘horsey’, so that was my LOI. Regards.
  25. 47:44 for me. I think I could have been a bit quicker than that but my brain felt a bit scrambled after doing some Christmas shopping this afternoon. Held up for quite a while at the end by landladies, the song at 20ac (spent too long trying to make recognisable, modern English words from anagrist and checkers rather than the old Scots required), the couple at 24ac and the most magnificent voice at 14dn. I’m glad sole was the only ‘only’ to fit the bill at 21dn.
  26. 12ish minutes, of which nearly half staring at 15ac. Eventually I bunged in ATTACKING as the only word I could relate to anything in the clue, but I wasn’t remotely surprised to find it was wrong. I don’t know why I couldn’t see it: I didn’t know this meaning of the word ‘article’ but the wordplay seems perfectly clear to me now of course.
  27. Oh, well. Didn’t quite finish. But SOCLE was my FOI!
    There was a clue like the one for LANDLADIES in Thursday’s quickie: instructions for finding the answer word, with the definition only part of it and one word away from one end. I don’t particularly like this kind of thing.

    Edited at 2018-12-21 11:35 pm (UTC)

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