Times 28077 – where the mountains of Mourne sweep where ?

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
A middle of the road puzzle for me, it took half an hour while watching US tennis. 11a has the same unusual word answer as 4d in 28065 which I blogged 2 weeks ago, so it didn’t hold me up. 7d made me smile for the well hidden definition and gets my CoD award. 21d was not a word I knew although its derivation was obvious enough to make it guessable. Once again, nice work, Mr Setter.

1 Times in the morning claiming payment back for power unit (8)
MEGAWATT – “back” = all reversed; TT (times) AM with WAGE inserted. I’ve just finished the last episode of the docu-drama CHERNOBYL on Sky Atlantic so I’m in reflective mood and have megawatts in mind. It should be compulsory viewing for everyone and I don’t know how they managed to make it so realistically (in Lithuania) without blowing up another nuclear power plant.
5 Award for third British team in France? (6)
BRONZE – BR (British) ONZE French for eleven hence team.
10 Train hospital department these days (9)
ENTOURAGE – the ENT department again, then OUR AGE = these days.
11 Ancient city street associated with duke’s historic dare (5)
DURST – D (duke) UR (ancient city) ST(reet). See 11a 28065 and comments.
12 Try to introduce new restraint (4)
BIND – BID = try, insert N for new.
13 Head of family more distant, speaking after recurrent trouble (9)
GODFATHER – FATHER sound like farther, (almost), after GOD reversed = DOG = trouble.
15 Ignore me on travels round area below deck (6,4)
17 Russian banker first runs out of country (4)
URAL – That Russian river again, RURAL loses its first R.
19 Round up the lady’s daughters (4)
HERD – HER (the lady’s) D (daughters). Why is daughters plural not DD?
20 Imagist set off in disgrace (10)
22 Small horse ridden by would-be queen more subject to depression? (9)
SQUASHIER – S (small) QUASI (would-be), insert H (horse), ER (Queen), .
24 We’re told of fearful worker changing colour (4)
DYER – sounds like dire = fearful.
26 Scoop a portion of salad leaves (5)
LADLE – hidden as above.
27 Be hesitant to leave housing in a poor state (9)
VACILLATE – VACATE (leave) ‘houses’ ILL = in a poor state.
28 Bear going round coastal city provides fair game (6)
HOOPLA – POOH (bear) goes round = HOOP, LA a coastal city. Game at a fair.
29 Three-foot case carried by pilot? (8)
TRIPODAL – TRIAL (pilot) carries POD (case).

1 Comply with those gathering for the chase (4)
MEET – double definition, second being meet as in the hunting set.
2 Making delayed start on buying drinks, too disheartened (7,6,2)
3 Causing injury to dog, commonly in flank (8)
WOUNDING – WING (flank) has ‘OUND, a cockney dog perhaps, inserted.
4 Pluck shown by all leading toxophilites when arrow nears gold (5)
TWANG – initial letters of Toxophiles When Arrow Nears Gold; toxophiles being archery buffs.
6 Attempt artwork again and screw up (6)
REDRAW – redraw reversed = WARDER, screw being a nickname for same.
7 Down here, with empty larder another dinner’s off (8,7)
NORTHERN IRELAND – (LR ANOTHER DINNER)*, LR being ’empty larder’, Down being one of the six counties of NI, where the mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea, so the song goes.
8 Slowing down in the end, curiously engrossed (10)
ENTHRALLED – RALL (abbr. for rallentando, slowing down musically) inside (THE END)*.
9 Reckless leader to be dying (8)
HEADLONG – HEAD (leader), LONG (to) = be dying (to).
14 Your setter, so vigorous getting up for an old fellow (10)
METHUSELAH – ME (your setter) THUS (so), then HALE (vigorous) reversed. Methuselah lived for 969 years, allegedly, and had a large wine bottle (8 times normal size) named after him. Years must have been shorter then.
16 Save short essays dons always returned (8)
RETRIEVE – TRIE(S) = short essays, inside (dons) EVER reversed. Surely you save something, then retrieve it later?
18 Presumption following country’s downfall, naturally (8)
LANDSLIP – LAND’S (country’s) LIP (presumption).
21 Skeletal bird, previously overlarge (6)
OSTEAL – OS (outsize, over-large) TEAL (a bird). It just means bony or skeleton related, from Greek osteon, bone.
23 Athlete would be naughtier were I to enter (5)
RACER – inserting an i would make it RACIER, naughtier.
25 Went down hill in north (4)
FELL – double definition, even I know that they have FELLS oop north in’t Lake District and such. I’ve seen odd folks running up them on television.

46 comments on “Times 28077 – where the mountains of Mourne sweep where ?”

  1. LOI SQUASHIER, and it took me a long, long time to come up with it. DNK the fair game. I demi-biffed GODFATHER, not seeing how GOD could be recurrent trouble. I was going to raise my eyebrow here about ‘recurrent’, but ODE tells me “2 (of a nerve or blood vessel) turning back so as to reverse direction”. No problem with RETRIEVE; one can retrieve a file from the trash, for instance.
  2. Fast then slow, taking ages at the end to get DYER, even with the two checkers in place.

    Couldn’t decide between SQUISHIER or SQUASHIER until the parsing penny dropped. All fair and above board though, and I particularly liked “Down here” as a definition.

    Thanks Pip and setter.

    1. I had SQUALLIER at first pass (more subject to depression?). Thought there must be a word OLTEAL until the two pennies dropped.
  3. As yesterday I finished within my target half hour (29 minutes actually) but also with a one-letter error, this time TRIPEDAL instead of TRIPODAL. The word exists and means both ‘three feet long’ and ‘having three feet’, but if only PED meant ‘case’ I might have had grounds for appeal. I knew there was a problem but was so sure my answer was correct I didn’t stop to consider if there was a possible alternative.


    I also had my doubts about ‘recurrent’ as a reversal indicator, but it’s in the Chambers list.

  4. My long good run had to come to an end at some point, and like Jack it was with a semi-biffed TRIPEDAL. I say semi-biffed as I’d got the “trial” bit and just assumed the answer at that point. As it fits the definition, it’s an easy trap to fall into. Oh well, just a month to go to get back to zero errors on the leaderboard.
  5. DNF
    Same as jack and pootle: tripedal. Couldn’t parse it; forgot to consider the Greek word for foot.
    Thanks, pip.
  6. In the online newspaper version of the crossword, the clue for 7D (NORTHERN IRELAND) ends duplicatively (8,7) (8,7) and so…

    Seven down is “(eight, seven)”; but there’s more
    For the numbers, they provide an encore
    You might wonder “What for?”
    As we’ve seen them before
    The Irish like to be sure, to be sure

  7. …A flowery band to Bind us to the earth.

    After 30 mins pre-brekker I just couldn’t see that definition of ‘train’ or that ‘bear’.
    DNF. Well played setter and Pip.

  8. 33 minutes. LOI DYER. I nearly fell into the tripedal trap but podded the pea just in time. COD to GETTING AROUND TO. I liked METHUSELAH too. Of course this ex-CEGB man can’t let MEGAWATT go without comment, particularly after seeing the Rugeley cooling towers demolished recently. In 1965, three cooling towers collapsed at Ferrybridge in high winds. The scientific services department were called in to find out why.Their helpful conclusion was that they couldn’t understand why every other cooling tower in the country was still standing. I’m not joining the campaign to preserve them for posterity! Decent puzzle. Thank you. Pip and setter.
  9. Aauugh! Total dog’s breakfast of the bottom left, completely discombobulated after mispelling LADEL (sic). How can you misspell a hidden word? Finally saw it, guessed the SQAUSHIER, but looking for a skeletal word came up with OSSEAL, figuring an ossea was an unknown extinct (previous) bird, over the L for large.
    1. I initially thought that the final L was because something was over large and was prepared to grumble here. But it does say ‘overlarge’, not ‘over large’. This distinction is often not observed by certain crosswords, but The Times usually (not always?) gets it right (and yes I know certain people will complain about my use of the word ‘right’); which is why some people particularly like the Times crossword.

      Edited at 2021-09-08 09:54 am (UTC)

      1. That’s easy to see after you’ve seen it 😉 Lack of concentration, drifting into Grauniad -land.
  10. Further to the helpful advice I received last week, I’ve changed my approach to the daily 15×15. No longer allocating one contiguous hour to the puzzle – if my progress slows to a point where I’m slogging towards a DNF, I now choose to step away and resume after doing something else. I won’t declare a new PB unless it’s a one-session exercise, but I’m not in any realistic competition with anyone here – so enjoying it and learning takes priority.

    So feeling the slowdown at around 23m and 60% completion, I broke for morning walk + brekkie, returning hopeful of a “second wind” completion. Unfortunately Plan B did not deliver in full, and I reached the hour mark five clues from completion + same mistake on TRIPODAL as multiple others.

    On reflection, and after reviewing the outcomes of others here, that’s a reasonable effort for me – I also get extra kudos for correctly guessing the (105 at time of writing) SNITCH rating before checking the link.

  11. 17:00 Held up in the end by SQUASHIER and OSTEAL (like isla I was looking for an extinct bird over L). I liked HOOPLA best.
  12. Just over 16 minutes, but three or four wasted on 8d, because I’d entered STIGMATISM at 20a, which I spotted only at the third attempt at checking crossers.
  13. “My spelling is Wobbly. It’s good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places.” Good to see Pooh bear making a return appearance in 28a.
    Average bother today, 24:33.
  14. 38 mins and a bit of a slog on an iPhone. Would have been faster on paper but perhaps not as much as I’d like to think; decidedly tricky in parts.
  15. I was another TRIPEDAL, alas. At least I’m in good company.

    A little under 8 mins with that error, finishing on the tricky SQUASHIER – it’s a long-term rule of mine that, if I’m struggling to fill in the blanks, I should try a Q and see what happens.

  16. I was fine with TRIPODAL, but put OSSEAL. This is a word, does have the right meaning, and there is a seal bird, although I will grant that OSTEAL is a better answer.
  17. Finished in the end but took an hour. Looked up TRIPODAL after just to check as it was a NHO. LOI DYER. Having said what I said yesterday, I struggled with the rather clever 7d (or is that DOWN?). I liked BRONZE, the aforementioned NI and SQUASHIER, which I never did parse properly.

    Thanks Pip and setter.

  18. Thanks Pip. Have you forgotten the horse in 22? Took me over an hour but worth the effort!
  19. ….and finally biffed SQUASHIER without understanding it. Thanks Pip, and I also biffed MEGAWATT — although I sussed that out after submission. Fortunately, I correctly parsed TRIPODAL, although I can understand people biffing it incorrectly.

    FOI URAL (yet another slow start)
    LOI SQUASHIER (just marginally safer than squishier)
    COD NORTHERN IRELAND (“Down here” was clever)
    TIME 12:42 (which won’t help my SNITCH rating)

  20. I got SQUASHIER all right (helped by the word “quasi” appearing in one of the Guardian clues this morning) but outsmarted myself by trying for far too long to squeeze “yard” (3 foot!) into 29a – that corner took a bit of sorting out. 19.51
  21. No idea about SQUEEZIER, SQUISHIER, SQUASHIER. eventually eliminated the first, but unfortunately plumped for the wrong one, and realised my error just after submitting…
  22. I set off with a TWANG, then put in G__FATHER while I tried to figure out how GOD could recur. I eventually raised an eyebrow and stuck him in anyway(apologies for the male assumption, if that’s not an oxymoron:-)). I needed STIGMATISE before I stopped trying to make an anagram of LEADER TO at 9d. ENTOURAGE and ENGINE ROOM were fairly early entries. 2d was a big help, but a biffed MEGABYTE (different industrial background to BW!) held up WOUNDING for a while. Liked BRONZE. Didn’t spot the parsing for ENTHRALLED. SQUASHIER took an age but I did see the parsing eventually. TRIPODAL (helped that I thought of tripod, so didn’t consider tripedal) assisted the LANDSLIP, leaving me to puzzle over OSTEAL. A couple of minutes cogitation produced the duck. 36:27, but around 5 of those were spent answering the door to pay the window cleaner and chat about the hot weather. Thanks setter and Pip.

    Edited at 2021-09-08 11:40 am (UTC)

  23. Managed 1ac MEGAWATT; 29ac TRIPOD(AL); 21dn OSTEAL etc but got hung-up on 27ac VACILLATE! I did not get 16dn RETRIEVE — did not manage to parse 22ac SQUASHIER (Dough!).

    FOI 25dn FELL

    (LOI) 18dn LANDSLIP I was looking for ……DROP for ages.

    COD 28ac HOOP-LA but (4-2) would not be fair-er? Also liked 4ac BRONZE.

    WOD 11ac DURST

    Must do better! Meldrew

    Edited at 2021-09-08 12:57 pm (UTC)

  24. Storming first eight minutes or so in which I more or less polished off the left half (save for SQUASHIER and OSTEAL).

    Considerably slower after that. Last two in were LANDSLIP — thought of it much earlier but couldn’t parse presumption = LIP — and DYER which required a long alphabet trawl. Groan.

    Significantly ahead of the SNITCH though (104 at the time of writing means my target time would be 42 minutes) so a good day for me.

  25. Comparatively quick for me at around 35 mins. Most of it went in without problem but got stuck on the SQUASHIER, OSTEAL, HOOPLA interchange. Eventually penny dropped for HOOPLA, trusted for the wordplay on OSTEAL and fortunately I didn’t think of SQUISHIER as I hadn’t parsed SQUASHIER. Thanks setter and blogger.

    I enjoyed a lot of this: METHUSELAH, HOOPLA, STIGMATISE, REDRAW for example. I could try to pretend TRIPEDAL was a typo … but it was a half-parsed attempt when I should have vacillated.

    Thank you to pipkirby and the setter.

  27. 13:02 but I let ‘this is surely the only word that fits’ overrule ‘I can’t explain the wordplay’, which is almost always a bad idea, and so it proved.
  28. ….with relation to a dodgy homophone, I would just like to say that, on that basis, 24A was absolutely “DYER”. In this neck of the woods they don’t even have the same number of syllables !
  29. DNF but got close, which pleases us here. We are among the tripedal brigade, enough here for a three-legged race, it seems. FOI durst, LOI squashier. Enjoyed all the clues, and learned a lot from the blog. Thanks, Pip, and setter. Team GW.
  30. This was just about at my limit. A promising start followed by a slow grind that became glacial towards the end, with Vacillate, Landslip, Dyer and Tripodal taking forever. Quite a bit of luck as well. I couldn’t parse Squashier, so Squishier also came into play but guessed right, and I can see now that I parsed poi Tripodal almost back to front. Still, too hot to do much else, so I don’t begrudge the time. Invariant
  31. My second successive pink result. Small horse obviously mean strip the ends off equid and never mind the rest of the words, SQUISHIER must be right. Pedantry would have its rewards I suppose but we Aries will charge in heroically and stuff the paperwork.
  32. DNF. Bah! 38 mins but tripedal not tripodal. Ped for case didn’t sound right but I was foolishly too firmly fixed on bipeds and tripeds to review it. This one was otherwise generally towards the tougher end of the spectrum for me.
    1. I actually had trial for case, and pod for a group of (pilot) whales. Complete gibberish, but I’ll take anything going.
  33. Third typo within a couple of weeks which is infuriating, since I do the puzzles on paper first and wait for my actual time to match up on the Crossword Club before submitting, so I have plenty of opportunity to identify fat finger errors.
    I’ve had some distractions today as our garden redesign work has reached it’s final stages but no excuses really.
    Good puzzle, COD 7d “Northern Ireland”. Exit stage left, muttering profusely.
    Thanks to Pip and setter.
  34. After seeing all the Tripedals I am very happy to have missed that error. Ped- and Pod- both mean feet, but Pod- is Greek, right? Ostern nearly went in on 21 D. An enjoyable close to a long day so thanks to all involved.

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