Times 27520 – who wants to bee a farmer?

Time taken: 13:12. Most of this went in pretty quickly, but there was some head scratching over the last five or so, particularly the crossing of 13 across and 5 down, which were my last in. Given my form this last week or so I was surprised to see that I had everything correct, I’ve had a run of typos and just didn’t get its (missed LIMA yesterday).

In my adopted country Thursday is Thanksgiving, so I hope my American friends have a wonderful day and eat and drink lots. With this blog, I enter my 13th year of contributing every other Thursday to Times for the Times, so thanks as always to our fearless leaders and the other volunteers for providing a fun home for these solutions and chit-chats.

Away we go…

1 On appeal, this could prove tedious (10)
6 Get front of Turkish rug (4)
TWIG – first letter in Turkish, then WIG(rug)
9 Ray in student group returning smile (7)
SUNBEAM –  NUS(National Union of Students) reversed, then BEAM(smile)
10 Abridged great book, for example (7)
EPITOME – remove the last letter of EPIC(great), then TOME(book)
12 Strip protection from team without right back (5)
UNARM – the team is MAN U, reverse it and insert R(right)
13 Area cultivated is doubled, part for farmers (9)
APIARISTS – A(area) then an anagram of IS,IS,PART
14 Swimmers after water sport gathering in training place (9,6)
FINISHING SCHOOL – SCHOOL(of fish, swimmers) after FISHING(water sport) containing IN
17 Warmer kind of blue and white escort’s coat (8,7)
ELECTRIC BLANKET –  ELECTRIC blue then BLANK(white) and the outer letters in EscorT
20 Chat about small sources of illumination (9)
GASLIGHTS – GAS(chat) surrounding SLIGHT(small)
21 Note monarch from the east is no lone wolf (5)
MIXER – MI(musical note) then REX(monarch) reversed
23 Leaders of town hall are supposed to provide idea (7)
THOUGHT – first letters of Town and Hall then OUGHT(are supposed to)
24 Involve relative wearing green the wrong way (7)
EMBROIL – BRO(brother, relative) inside LIME(green) reversed
25 Somewhat nearer a reddish pink? (4)
RARE – hidden inside neareR A REddish
26 A drug man, roughly, with tips for remedy? (10)
APOTHECARY – excellent all-in-one clue. A, then POT(drug), HE(man), CA(roughly) and the outside letters of RemedY

1 Cabinetmaker’s action — one that ensures new deal? (9)
RESHUFFLE – double definition, the first referring to the maker of a parliamentary cabinet
2 Letters from Nepali centrally displaying Chinese symbol (5)
PANDA – in the middle of Nepal you will find P AND A
3 Corps of soldiers love my job getting harder, permanently (13)
THERMOSETTING – THE RM(corps of soldiers), O(love), SETTING(the job of the writer of the crossword)
4 Drums, monkey stopping to beat one (7)
TIMPANI – IMP(monkey) inside TAN(beat), I(one). TIMPANI is the plural, the rarely-used TIMPANO is the singular
5 Round figure doctor holds up in window, perhaps (7)
OPENING – O(round) then NINE(figure) inside GP(doctor) all reversed
7 Club, very familiar music venue (9)
WOODSTOCK – WOOD(golf club), then STOCK(very familiar)
8 Company hasn’t time to make suppositions (5)
GUESS – GUESTS(company) missing T(time)
11 Doomed liberal America almost past saving (13)
15 King follows his noble, barking Great Dane (5,4)
NIELS BOHR – R(king) after an anagram of HIS,NOBLE for the Danish physicist
16 Departed before improvement from one side? (9)
LATERALLY – LATE(dead, departed) then RALLY(improvement)
18 This person’s appealing on record for revered architect (7)
IMHOTEP – I’M(this person), HOT(appealing), EP(record) for the designer of pyramids
19 Least idle, yet nap endlessly (7)
BUSIEST – remove the last letters from BUT(yet) and SIESTA(nap)
20 Gold piece comes first for Florida resident, say (5)
GATOR – OR(gold) with GAT(piece, gun) first. There are lots of alligators in Florida, but because of the mascot of the University of Florida, inhabitants of the state are also referred to as GATORS
22 African‘s vote — I’m surprised about it (5)
XHOSA – X(vote) then OH(I’m surprised) reversed, SA(sex appeal, it)

48 comments on “Times 27520 – who wants to bee a farmer?”

  1. Maybe it was the poor night’s sleep, or maybe just dimness, but I was slow on the uptake today. 1d suggested RESHUFFLE right away, for instance, but I couldn’t see how a cabinetmaker shuffled. Had the PA right away, couldn’t see where NDA came from. That sort of day. DNK THERMOSETTING, DNK that IMHOTEP was an architect; I probably thought he was a pharaoh. LOI APIARISTS; it came to me when I had all the checkers, but–more dimness–I didn’t see how the clue worked and I wasn’t sure a beekeeper would be called a farmer. Thanks for the 13 years, George; here’s hoping for 13 more.
  2. I was similar. I got RESHUFFLE from the new deal but didn’t think of the cabinet stuff. And I thought SETTING was odd for job since I didn’t see it as “my job”. I was convinced 13A was going to be some obscure classical word ending ISIS for the share a peasant gets to keep, before I tried a new idea. I was worried NIELS BOHR was an obscure viking despite having studied quantum mechanics in the past.

    About an hour of actual solving.

  3. I believe APIARISTS are farmers as we now have inner-city bee farms. Also my LOI.

    18dn IMHOTEP was probably an architect (Wiki) and an apiarist, probably.

    Time 46 mins – was this as the same setter as yesterday?

    FOI TWIG – twigged first.

    SOI 1dn RESHUFFLE as Boris will soon be having.

    COD 14ac FINISHING SCHOOL – as per Parker Pens?

    WOD 15dn NIELS BOHR Atomic scientist and friend of my grandfather’ at Cambridge as was his brother HARALD. The latter played footy for Lowestoft Town as did my grandad Hedley Mobbs. Denmark won the silver medal at the 1908 Olympics. Niels ‘starred’ in Michael Frayn’s ‘Copenhagen’; Ian Fleming got him out of Denmark and over to Sweden in 1943, for which he earned his only medal of WWII.

    Edited at 2019-11-28 03:52 am (UTC)

    1. Your WOD peregrination sounds straight out of Round Britain Quiz! Assuming your gramps is the Hedley Mobbs on a Wiki page, I see he was also an APIARIST; and presumably the source of your love of stamps? Quite the Renaissance man, and a great name to boot.
  4. I couldn’t get to sleep, so I got up and fired up the computer. It’s 3:45am now. TWIG was my FOI. The NW was done towards the end of the solve, with penultimate, APIARISTS(cunning!) leading to LOI, TIMPANI. Liked APOTHECARY and RESHUFFLE. Good puzzle. 41:07. Thanks setter and George, and congrats on the 13 years! Back to bed now. Hopefully to sleep, perchance to dream…zzzzz
  5. Cheated for unarm, epitome, and mixer. Got the rest.

    Also tired, football finished at 1.45am here and then a 4.30am start for kids swim squad.

    Cod thermosetting.

  6. Not BOHRing at all! Got through it without cheating—unlike yesterday’s! strewth!—though I wondered for a moment…
    LOI the bee farmers, and Godspeed to them!
  7. A second consecutive solving nightmare for me after yesterday’s puzzle in which I must have read most of the clues 4 or 5 times before eventually finding an answer to write in, and after that it was like drawing teeth.

    Unlike yesterday however I got through this without resorting to aids and completed the grid in 78 minutes. NHO of IMHOTEP, or not as an architect anyway, nor XHOSA which if I ever knew it, it was forgotten. THERMOSETTING was also unknown but I think recently I struggled with another answer that turned out to have the prefix THERMO- so this one didn’t take too long to work out once I had some checkers in place.

    I thought ‘farmers’ for APIARISTS was stretching things a bit.

    Edit: Forgot to say congrats on your milestone, George. You beat me here by one day!

    Edited at 2019-11-28 06:53 am (UTC)

    1. We had XHOSA very recently, although it may have been in a Jumbo; I remember commenting on it. It was Nelson Mandela’s mother tongue.
      We do say ‘dairy farm’; so I suppose insofar as raising bees for honey is like raising cows for milk, ‘farmers’ works. The eyebrows would have gone a lot further up if the clue had said ‘ranchers’.
    2. And I’m from the same intake. My first blog was 20th November 2007. Seems like only yesterday!
      1. Thanks to both (and others) for your years of valuable contributions. I just looked at a couple of 2006 entries for a bit of history and saw that on November 3 Magoo blogged one which took him 13 minutes and on which he commented “I found this one very hard going”. That must have been tough!
  8. All in after about 65 minutes. I had to enter a few such as IMHOTEP and THERMOSETTING from the wordplay and couldn’t parse others such as ELECTRIC BLANKET. I saw APIARISTS early on, though I too wasn’t convinced that honey was farmed. I wonder if FINISHING SCHOOL(s) still exist?

    Favourites were the TWIG/GUESS crossing, ‘Great Dane’ and APOTHECARY.

    Thanks to setter and thanks and congrats to our blogger.

  9. Well done, George. That is a fair number of years before the mast!

    I just hit and hoped with APIARISTS. That was my LOI

  10. Couldn’t get my head around this one at all! One of my worst performances of the year, and I gave up after my hour with at least half the grid unfilled. I think my brain is taking a day off…

    PS: Congrats, George!

    Edited at 2019-11-28 07:53 am (UTC)

  11. I was surprised to see this rated as hard on the SNITCH as I found it fairly straightforward, particularly compared to yesterday’s. I knew IMHOTEP and XHOSA, but both only from crosswords I think. I always remember a previous fantastic surface for the latter, “Butcher has ox tongue”.

    I’ve been having a crack at the Mephisto recently and yesterday evening I had a go at Sunday’s. Surprisingly it was a fair bit easier than yesterday’s cryptic, so if anyone else fancied a dabble I’d recommend that puzzle.

  12. I think that I will just cut and paste the above from now on ….. especially after yesterday’s.

    Thanks George and all of the wonderful bloggers.

  13. 38 minutes with LOI APIARISTS. It was only the REPETITION of Jesus wanting me for a SUNBEAM to bowl UNDERARM that produced the THERM to go with the OSETTING. I followed the instructions to construct IMHOTEP, a name I knew. I think Bettany Hughes told us recently on BBC4 that he’d built pyramids. APOTHECARY has to be COD, but today it has a dual nature and NIELS BOHR is joint winner, definitely not alongside Werner Heisenberg. Tricky puzzle. Thank you George and setter. Congratulations on your duodecennial (?)

    Edited at 2019-11-28 08:42 am (UTC)

  14. 23:12 … much enjoyed again, though some of the wordplay here was of the intricate kind that I struggle with. In truth, I couldn’t parse either TIMPANI (I thought the beat was -PAN-) or APIARISTS, but in the end decided to bank on “can’t be much else.”

    Joint COD to NIELS BOHR and IMHOTEP, just for the diversity.

    Well done, George. Thanks for so many years of entertaining elucidation. Here’s to many more

  15. 40 mins with yoghurt, granola, etc.
    Took ages over last ones in: Mixer/Xhosa. Thought the Re was going to be the note, not Mi, so Rex was a long time coming.
    Thanks setter no G.
  16. Very enjoyable puzzle after yesterday’s mental contortions.

    Interesting that so far nobody has said they’ve never heard of Nobel Prize winner NIELS BOHR. Back in 2007 that would not have been the case. In 12 years we’ve come a long way in getting scientists and science in general included in this crossword.

    1. I knew of him only through the play ‘Copenhagen’ by Michael Frayn as adapted for TV in 2002 about the 1941 meeting between Bohr and Heisenberg.
  17. Another puzzle with a lot of challenge for me. Eventually finished in just over thirty minutes. One silly mistake , rushed to put in repetition but misspelled with an i instead of an e! What a muppet…
  18. Good to see NIELS BOHR. APOTHECARY gets COD. 30’03” today, concentrating on accuracy, still didn’t parse REPETITION. Thanks george and setter.
  19. I found this harder than yesterday’s “stinker”. Struggled to make progress and threw in the towel at 28 mins with over a third of the clues unsolved.


    Well done and many thanks George!

    Edited at 2019-11-28 12:00 pm (UTC)

  20. 46 mins but not really rushing. We’ve had Xhosa a few times, I seem to recall. Imhotep vaguely recalled, but I had Incas in mind when I unearthed it. Two pretty tricky ones in two days. Thanks George.
  21. 13:25 but with yet another stupid typo. I am doing this an awful lot at the moment.
    MER at ‘farmers’ for APIARISTS.
    IMHOTEP was the most humbly opinionated of the ancient Egyptians.
    Congratulations on the milestone George and thanks as always for the blog.

    Edited at 2019-11-28 11:30 am (UTC)

  22. would have been a lot quicker if I hadn’t stuck with RECITATION for 1a. Much easier than yesterdays, but still got hopelessly bogged down in the NW. Didn’t know that the PANDA is the Chinese symbol, I was more thinking on the lines of Chinese script etc. APOTHECARY COD, although I didn’t get the subtlety it till I came here.
  23. ….late last night, and with most of four pints of ale inside me. What a pig of a puzzle – I eventually resorted to aids. I thought for some time that this one was heading the same way.

    NHO THERMOSETTING, or IMHOTEP, but the parsings were helpful. After a misspent youth on the Stretford End with Best, Law, and Charlton weaving their magic in front of me, I really shouldn’t have needed George to unravel UNARM, but I’m (as usual) glad he’s here – congratulations on the milestone, and long may you continue.

    Wasted time trying to use “great Dane” as anagrist.

    The bottom half was in after 10 minutes, but I struggled with the top. OPENING and GUESS were both duh moments.

    TIME 17:08

    1. I lived in Stockport 1968-1970 and only managed to see the Holy Trinity once, as I played for Stockport College most Saturdays. It was v Sunderland 3-0 or 3-1. It cost 12/6 to get in, if you knelt down in a duffle-coat to look a bit younger! I managed to get to Maine Road more often – ‘Rodney Marsh, Supestar, who the **** do you think you are!? Denis Law! Denis Law!’ You know the rest!
      1. Before my wife met and married a Rugby Player she used to go dancing in Huddersfield and some of the local team’s professional soccer players also went there. One night a weedy youth came up to her and said “I’m Denis Law, would you like to dance”. She replied with her name and an expletive ridden “No”. Not sure who missed out there.
  24. As with yesterday’s glad to get there at last (tho’ with yesterday’s chose the wrong city at the death). 57’50 today so a slight improvement in time. Yet this seems clearly easier – I simply took every wrong turning in the book. Finishing school needed, indeed.
  25. 26:31 with APIARISTS my LOI too, trying for some time to come up with a words ending ISIS. I took a while to get going, but then speeded up. Failed to parse FINISHING SCHOOL… it’s not the first time of not thought of fishing as a watersport. I was pleased to remember IMHOTEP and nice to see NIELS BOHR get a mention.
  26. Well, as the more recent occupant of the other Thursday, I was glad this was not the other Thursday, as I’d have had trouble explaining APIARISTS (missed the anagram), RESHUFFLE not Chippendale, then) and FINISHING SCHOOL (didn’t occur to me that fishing was a watersport). Perhaps the resulting all-green grid should be seen as proof of the efficacy of prayer (and/or winging it).
    34.15 but with interruptions. Might have got in under 30, but still no good for 3-in-a-hour!
  27. After yesterday’s fine effort I failed miserably today and gave up after an hour with 13a and 18d unfilled. Never heard of the pyramid designer so had to go find him with an aid. Are bee-keepers farmers? Also mis-spelt TYMPANI although that doesn’t parse.

    Well done George on your longevity in these circles, I doubt if I shall get anywhere near 13 years (another 7.5) unless medical science works yet more wonders.

  28. I’m still reasonably happy in blogging retirement, but I miss it now and again. I’ve only recently restarted solving daily Times puzzles online, but I’ve been plagued by typos. I was all correct today in about 14 min, but having climbed into the top 20 on the leaderboard I made 10 mistakes in a week and plummeted into about 120th. Only one of them was a genuine wrong answer. Good job the championships aren’t electronic yet – my hopes for a best-of-the-rest consolation cheque would be doomed!
  29. Steady solve with only the OPENING/APIARISTS crossing holding me up at the end.

    Didn’t parse TIMPANI though it was my second in.

  30. 42:47. It was a long day for me, up at the crack of dawn for a meeting in Birmingham and not finally getting home and solving this until 9pm. I think the tiredness meant I kept seeing key elements like Man U, fishing, irre-something-able but then discounted them only trying them again much later, a few blind alleys further on than necessary. Thermosetting was the only unfamiliar bit of vocab. Apothecary was good and the p and a device is always a satisfying PDM. Nice puzzle.
  31. Woodstock was certainly NOT the ‘venue‘ for any music festival, and really The Times should know this. The original plan was to hold a concert at Woodstock, but that fell through very early in the piece. After months of searching for an alternative venue, and being rejected by several sites, the concert eventually took place at Bethel NY, on Max Yasgur’s farm-nowhere near Woodstock. The concert is known as Woodstock, simply as the company formed to promote and run it, was called Woodstock Ventures. Mr Grumpy
  32. Well, it is the end of a very long week. Yes, I know, technically it’s only Thursday, but this week has been going on quite long enough and I’ve therefore decided to call a halt to it.

    As to the puzzle, a very enjoyable 32 minutes. I was diluted to see NIELS BOHR putting in an appearance (once I’d figured out that the other Great Dane, Victor Borge, wouldn’t fit). He’s one of a handful of key physicists who survived their universe being completely changed twice (once by relativity, and then again by quantum mechanics). He was also, apparently, a great goalkeeper, and a dab hand on the ukulele*.

    I also appreciated THERMOSETTING, which is the counterpart of the possibly more familiar “thermoplastic”. Thermoplastic things go gooey when heated (and can hence often be recycled, like cheese), whereas THERMOSETTING things are liquids that set hard when heated (and hence often can’t, like pancake batter).

    APIARISTS was a nice clue, and brought to mind an image of a Stetson-wearing figure saying “Yup, we run a couple o’hundred thousand head of bee on this ranch”.

    But I see that I am rambling, possibly as a result of a recent concussion which kept me out of circulation for a short time. One of the annoying things about falling off a roof (don’t ask!) and concussing oneself is that you can’t remember the actual falling-off bit. It therefore leaves open the question of whether you (a) passed out as a result of falling off a roof, which is entirely reasonable and understandable or (b) fell off the roof as a result of passing out, which requires endless bloody investigation.

    (*That last statement was entirely made up, of course.)

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