Times 28087 – Easy Monday all round!

Time: 22 minutes
Music: Rossini Overtures, Szell/Cleveland Orchestra

Nothing very difficult here.     I got a little hung up on dipstick before I saw how it worked, but I aced the two bits of parliamentary knowledge required here.   There were not many chestnuts, but the novel clues were rather on the simple side, and the literals were rather literal.   I expect very fast times from our speed merchants.

1 One decent, if somehow flawed (9)
6 Penniless clergyman causing offence (5)
ARSON – [p]ARSON, a chestnut.
9 Gas maybe the product of identical factors (5)
POWER – Double definition, where gas is probably meant as a verb.
10 Cashing in? It’s true, I confess (9)
11 Jog back alongside river? It’ll hurt! (7)
TORTURE – TROT backwards + URE.
12 Overview of conditions in June, might one say? (7)
SUMMARY – Sounds like SUMMERY.
13 Slovenian actor surprisingly chatty (14)
17 Bishop fell after broadcast, being dizzy (14)
21 Callaghan sardonically accepting record of his speeches? (7)
HANSARD – hidden in [Callag]HAN SARD[onically], which I biffed before seeing the hidden.
23 In army almost turn blind eye to married woman (7)
25 The elders wrongly given sanctuary (9)
26 Intends to move European minister’s accommodation (5)
MANSE – MEANS with E moved. 
27 Old goat who’s taken your clothes? (5)
SATYR – SAT + Y[ou]R….well, what do you think?
28 Remove money from girl with son inadequately dressed? (9)
DISINVEST – DI + S IN VEST, where a vest is an undershirt in the UK, but not in the US.  However, this is a UK puzzle.
1 Idiot slopes away with Mo (8)
DIPSTICK – DIPS + TICK, probably the hardest clue in the puzzle, and my LOI.
2 Not so many in turmoil after change of heart (5)
FEWER –  FE(-v,+W)ER.
3 Fat NCO advanced without uniform (9)
4 Deny opening to those longing for profitable ventures (7)
EARNERS – [y]EARNERS, not learners for once!
5 Poles visit property in passing (7)
6 Saw American chopper landing on island (5)
AXIOM – AX + IOM, the American spelling and the Isle of Man.
7 How to make Aryan invent excuse? (4,1,4)
SPIN A YARN –  Reverse cryptic: if you follow the instructions, you get ARYAN.
8 Article about painter depicting city in Japan (6)
NAGOYA –  AN backwards + GOYA.   Never hear of it, but the cryptic is crystal-clear.
14 Clubs in midday match but outcome not in doubt (2,7)
15 Protestant in row in sultanate (9)
16 Near staff officer on very little money (8)
18 Remarkably, Dundee Republican survived (7)
ENDURED – Anagram of DUNDEE R.
19 Too many social workers, perhaps, holding policemen up (7)
BESIDES –  BE(DIS upside-down)ES.
20 Premise of article on MI6 (6)
THESIS –  THE + SIS, the Secret Intelligence Service. 
22 Reactionary corrupts a pioneering MP (5)
ASTOR – ROTS A backwards, wtih a bit of UK history. 
24 Fresh start for dimwit in Oz (5)
OUNCE –  (-d,+O)UNCE, another letter-substitution clue.

61 comments on “Times 28087 – Easy Monday all round!”

  1. Agree that this was very Monday-ish, expect some fast times.

    BESIDES was my favourite, I do enjoy a cleverly disguised definition.

    And I’m taking 24ac as a direct reference to my re-appearance on this site!

    Thanks Vinyl, have a good week everyone.

  2. My last two, DIPSTICK & POWER, took me a few minutes, and I biffed SCATTERBRAINED, parsing post-submission. Like Galspray, I liked BESIDES, too.
  3. 26 minutes, also never having heard of NAGOYA. I’m not sure why ‘gas’ needs to be a verb to mean POWER (nor in what circumstances it would work as a verb) as it seems to me to be a noun DBE qualified by ‘maybe’ – as opposed to ‘electricity’ perhaps?

    Edited at 2021-09-20 01:46 am (UTC)

    1. That’s how I read ‘gas’, as the utility. NAGOYA is one of the largest cities in Japan, noted for nothing that I can think of offhand. I seem to recall the popular comedian Tamori used to make fun of it.
      1. Hi the now ubiquitous 2-d barcode was developed in Nagoya by a supplier to Toyota. Not a lot of people know that😀
    1. Who’s taken — as in picture — the person who sat for it, is the best definition I can get.
    1. Sat an exam – OK, that makes sense, but ‘your clothes’ to give YR is somewhat loose.

      I was held up because I couldn’t parse this one, or OUNCE for a while. Nothing too testing otherwise, and the quick cryptic had a similar wordplay element in (Y)EARN, which must have helped a little.

      1. Good to know that the best of us struggle as well! OUNCE was staring me right in the face, but I couldn’t parse it!
  4. 29 minutes. OUNCE was my last in too; I was beaten all ends up by the capitalisation of ‘Oz’. Otherwise, everything went in OK, though I only saw the ‘product of identical factors’ half of the double def for POWER post submission. Best were the cd’ish SATYR and DIPSTICK, one of my favourite words.
  5. No struggle hereabouts. I thought SAT was short for satsuma. And DIPSTICK was first noticed on the Peckham Omnibus by one Del Boy, when referring directly to his little brother Rodders!


    LOI 24dn OUNCE – somewhat tortured clue

    COD 21ac HANSARD


    Time 27 Monday minutes

  6. There were a couple of abbreviations today which I didn’t recall — SA and ADJ. Which is not to say we hadn’t seen them before, but I do think we’ve probably seen them less often than some of the more popular ones. Duly noted. COD to SPIN A YARN — very clever.
  7. Drove Nymph and Satyr from the prosperous woods

    After 20 mins pre-brekker I decided LOI had to be Ounce but remarkably I couldn’t parse it. Nor could I parse Satyr.
    Pity. there is some neat clueing otherwise.
    Thanks setter and Vinyl.

  8. A fast sub-30 for me, and enjoyable it was too. Biffed SATYR and SIGNORA with shrugs. I haven’t come across SA for army before: how does that work? Now I see your clothes = YR, I think that’s rather clever and a device we may we’ll see again, eg one’s clothes for OS. Thanks setter and Vinyl.
    1. SA = Salvation Army aka ‘Sally Army’. Just be grateful the setter didn’t bring sex appeal into it!
    2. It doesn’t work grammatically, IMHO. YR represents the ‘clothes’ of YOUR, so the cryptic indicator ought to be YOUR’S CLOTHES
  9. 31 minutes, so I didn’t find this so straightforward. LOI was OUNCE where the avoirdupois aspect to the clue came in only at the last minute. The mathematical definition of POWER was good, but COD to HANSARD for the clever hidden. Thank you V and setter.
  10. Last week i went on a dig
    My solving times got very big
    Perhaps rooting in soil
    Takes ones brain off the boil
    But today’s was not such a pig
        1. Ooh, been there! My daughter has a cottage at Rosebush. Lovely area.
          Did you find anything? Carnalw, a little to the East might also be worth a look

    Held up at the end by trying (and failing) to parse SATYR – and resolving the SE corner. Sadly time would have been better spent with a quick check – with EARNERS incorrectly entered as EERNERS.

    Thank you to vinyl1 and the setter.

  12. Not so hard, but clever…
    Always thought it strange that Britain’s first lady MP to take her seat was an American. This feat probably has protected her from being “cancelled,” her family having been big slave owners.
  13. ….although I had to come here to understand OUNCE (I agree with Horryd), and biffed SCATTERBRAINED. I only parsed that and SATYR afterwards.

    COD HANSARD (was Sunny Jim ever sardonic ?)
    TIME 7:10

  14. By a considerable margin, my most effective solve last week came when I tackled the puzzle straight after a morning swim at my local pool – freshly exercised and showered, feeling super-invigorated and focused. So, in the interests of pure empirical research, I decided today to test my new theory, and to make an all-out assault on my PB time (28:29). I waited for the leisure centre to open, and reproduced those optimal conditions with a (hopefully) easy Monday offering.

    And it so nearly worked a treat. FOI SIUMMARY, and few delays as I worked my way through the grid, admittedly biffing some (POWER, SATYR). LOI was DISINVEST at 23m-something and got the dreaded Unlucky – grid check showed one pink square for ASTER. I was of course biffing the name of Nancy A – and if I’d given myself a few more seconds I would have got it right, because actually I know that family name from reading Love in a Cold Climate, and other exposures.

    Anyway – even though it wasn’t an unqualified success, I’m still saying that a refreshing pre-solve swim is a great way of boosting solving performance – next experiment Wednesday. And it may have the welcome side-effect of shedding a few pounds as well!

  15. Nice and easy does it. Just right for a Monday. I thought BESIDES and OUNCE were both clever.

    I had assumed DIPSTICK had originated in Fools and Horses, but the OED gives a first reference from the USA in 1968: “Boy! That guy’s a class A dipstick.”

    Thanks to v and the setter.

  16. Spent a while on the parsing of SATYR. I think that I would have preferred ‘who’s taken your clothing?’
  17. Felt slow today, held up in SE.

    Gas definitely fits POWER — professional cyclists of all nationalities talk about going ‘full gas’.

    COD to SATYR, great construction. Knew NAGOYA only from Civ2.

    13′ 40″, thanks vinyl and setter.

  18. 28 mins, which I’m pleased with, the 8 spent on SATYR, EARNERS and LOI OUNCE. A clever clue. I also liked the long anag and SPIN A YARN. Good fun. Never did parse 27. Thanks v and setter.
  19. 7:50. No problems this morning. I took a minute to understand the wordplay for OUNCE but just biffed SATYR.
  20. Solved after completing the Mephisto adjourned from last night, which I find slows things down as I look for more obscurities. I’d try swimming, like Denise, were it not for lack of a near enough pool and an inability to do much more than float on my back.
    Odd to find two random letter substitutions in one grid, though neither held me up for long. SPIN A YARN was a fun reverse cryptic and my last in.
    My perceived SA army was the Sturmabteilung, employed with a mild shrug. Didn’t think of the Sally Ann.
    15 minutes and a couple of seconds.
  21. No difficulties today, other than trying to parse SATYR – I don’t think it really works, even with the question mark doing a lot of heavy lifting. Also not a fan of the ‘substitute this letter for any letter of your choosing’ style of clue.

    Still, nice anagram for CONVERSATIONAL and I thought ASTOR had a very good surface.

    One of these days I’m going to learn military abbreviations – ADJACENT went in with fingers crossed.

  22. Yes a fast Monday, 16 minutes, a top down solve, left with O-N-E at the end and Australia in mind; a big groan when the penny dropped.
  23. Thought I’d have a problem in the NW but DIPSTICK came to me which left the odd POWER clue. With that and SATYR, I was left with an odd taste in my mouth. I just felt the setter could have done better.
  24. 23.36. A bit off the pace today. I kept making silly errors which I needed to go back and revise in order to complete – endures for endured – left me looking at Su or Susan for the girl in disinvest rather than Di – that kind of thing. Otherwise I found this generally straightforward apart from ounce and dipstick which needed a bit of concentration.
  25. Had no idea what was going on with the biffed OUNCE, so it was a proper smash-head-into-desk moment when I came here and saw how it worked. If I’d seen SATYR or MANSE anywhere else before I started doing these crosswords I wouldn’t have had a clue what they meant, but both are now ringing enough bells in my mind to get them when they come up.

    Those of you who hadn’t heard of NAGOYA clearly don’t know enough about Gary Lineker or Arsene Wenger’s careers 😉

  26. Some biffing required to finish this grid.

    Didn’t understand the craptic SAT and having not seen the IGNOR(E), only pennydropped the pencilled-in OUNCE right before submitting. ASTOR or ASTER? Saved by the cryptic.

    I have also decided that while a crossword makes the lunchtime constitutional great exercise for the brain as well, it probably adds 10% to my times though slower typing/more typos to be corrected.

    Edited at 2021-09-20 01:11 pm (UTC)

  27. 18.11 but a real struggle to finish with firstly ounce and then disinvest. For the rest, reasonably straightforward with a couple of teasing long clues which added to the fun.
    After Wednesday and Friday last week, I thought I was losing the plot. Glad to have a bit of rehab today.
    Thx setter and blogger.
  28. OUNCE. Couldn’t see it. Thought I was on for a 12 minute or so solve at the 10 minute mark, then SIGNORA, MANSE and DISINVEST really held me up, and I stared like a “dunce” at
    O?N?E for about 5 minutes (even thinking of OUNCE, but disregarding it as a cat), before pressing reveal in a huff at 23 mins.

    Blinking crosswords…:)

  29. Disgraceful performance on the Oz front. It was my last one in and took about eight minutes. I was convinced it was an Ozzie word for fool, like Onnie. Hats off to the setter. I fell for it!
    1. Speaking of Aussie fools (of which I are one) a bit surprised to see dipstick – which I knew – but thought was Australian and would be unknown in UK. Wrong again. Personally prefer the likes of: galah, dag and drongo.
      Ounce was my second LOI; followed by the unparsed SATYR with a shrug.
  30. Finished another, chuffed to bits, about forty-five minutes, one clue supplied by husband (corpulent – the clue, not the husband), one checked on the grid – I thought it couldn’t possibly be disinfect, and it wasn’t, but it supplied enough checkers for me to realise what it was. Some clues were QC fodder, e.g. axiom, summary. Another technical DNF but who cares, we finished one. LOI ounce, pdm. Biffed many. Power, spin a yarn (saw Aryan, not much else) etc, etc. Thanks for the blog, V, for putting me straight, and setter for a 15 x 15 I could do. COD dipstick. Husband said “Why dipstick?” No idea, I replied, as I hadn’t at the time, then he went outside to get on with his DIY, and it came to me. GW.
  31. Bit off the boil at 30 mins, though there was no particular difficulty, just an accumulation of minor hold-ups compounded by careless scribbling. DIPSTICK and FEWER were last in after finally adding IF to the anagram pot for DEFICIENT.
  32. 10:02. LOI OUNCE with a giggle when I saw it. Nothig to frighten the horses here. I liked SPIN A YARN best.
  33. 14:10 late this afternoon. A fairly typical Monday puzzle in terms of difficulty and with plenty of well constructed clues.
    LOI 24 d “ounce” where I only discovered the correct interpretation of Oz after dredging my limited pool of antipodean vocabulary and then the characters in the movie.
    COD 7 d “spin a yarn” — clever.
    Thanks to Vinyl and setter
  34. Solved after lunch. I spent a long time trying to find something better than OUNCE, my LOI. I couldn’t parse it so came here.
    I too thought SATYR loose.
  35. One short at 50 mins, surprisingly it was EARNERS that beat me.

    Had SEWER for POWER for some time (sewer gas, another DBE)

    COD DIPSTICK. Dukes of Hazzard.

  36. There is a dimwit here who doesn’t get it. Please could someone (politely) explain.
    1. Dimwit = dunce. Fresh start means change the first letter (in this case, change d to o, giving “ounce”. Oz is shorthand for ounce if you remember the non- metric days of lbs and oz!
  37. Did this one the next day (Tuesday). Not so difficult but I agree with Jerry and others above that it was nicely constructed, nevertheless.
    Thanks for the blog.

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