Times 28108 – mood

Time taken: 8:42. There’s a few faster times than mine, but it seems of the early crew, most found it a little more difficult than usual.

I was mostly held up by two incorrect stabs at the currency hiding at 25 across which did not ring a bell to me. It appeared in a Mephisto 10 years ago and may be making its debut in the daily puzzle.

Postscript: looks like the Albanian currency unit was the biggest headache, but (as with all the clues in this puzzle), the wordplay is crystal clear, which is exactly what is needed for an unfamiliat term. Top marks, setter!

Away we go…

1 Raved after traveller returned bearing bouquet (8)
PERFUMED – FUMED(raved) after REP(traveller) reversed
9 First course almost 60 per cent of lunch — dig in! (8)
ENTRENCH – The first course is the ENTREE – remove the last letter and add three of the five letters of luNCH
10 As some might say: despicable local fiddle (6)
VIOLIN – sounds like VILE(despicable) and INN(local)
11 With rampaging lion about, maiden’s in perilous position (3,2,1,4)
OUT ON A LIMB – anagram of LION,ABOUT and M(maiden)
12 Affliction I found aboard vessel (4)
PAIN –  I inside PAN(vessel)
13 How demand changes by end of season for used kit (4-2-4)
HAND-ME-DOWN – anagram of HOW,DEMAND, then the last letter in seasoN
16 Failed to meet old love after street party (5,2)
STOOD UP – O(old) and O(love) after ST(street), then DUP (Democatic Unionist Party)
17 Pleas person expresses on catching fish (7)
PRAYERS – PERSON minus ON containing RAY(fish)
20 Society leaders refuse to penetrate heart of legation (10)
GLITTERATI – LITTER(refuse) inside the middle letters of leGATIon
22 Fine avoided by prosperous drunkard (4)
LUSH – remove F(fine) from FLUSH(prosperous)
23 Retiring commie director, heading off to get pasta (10)
TORTELLINI – reversal of TROT(commie) then the director Federico FELLINI missing the first letter
25 Foreign bread from Quebec popular with sailor (6)
QINTAR – Q(Quebec), IN(popular) and TAR(sailor).  I had a few incorrect stabs at this such as QUINAB and QUINOS
26 Informer picked up illegal bit of tack (8)
NOSEBAND – NOSE(infomer) and sounds like BANNED(illegal)
27 Eccentric president managed to divide Right (8)
ABERRANT – the president is ABE Lincoln, then RAN inside RT(right)
2 Arab ruler retaining good worker, one about to leave? (8)
EMIGRANT – EMIR(arab ruler) containing G(good), then a worker ANT
3 Line up, like soldiers with foot problem quarrelling (7,3)
FALLING OUT – FALL IN(line up like soldiers) then GOUT(foot problem)
4 Dictator’s way to put up country seat (5,5)
MANOR HOUSE – sounds like MANNER(way) then HOUSE(put up)
5 Journalist raised small (very small) fortune (7)
DESTINY – ED(journalist) reversed, then S(small), and TINY(very small)
6 Bludgeon zealots in revolution (4)
STUN – NUTS(zealots) reversed
7 Dye-producing plant doing badly, I admitted (6)
INDIGO – anagram of DOING containing I
8 Rising complaint from new leader of distinction in ancient city (3,5)
THE BENDS – N(new) and the first letter of Distinction inside THEBES(ancient city)
14 Island in France that’s south of Bird Island (10)
MARTINIQUE – QUE(that, in French) underneath MARTIN(bird) and I(island)
15 Teetotal Tyneside dons exonerate high street trader (3,7)
DRY CLEANER – DRY(teetotal) then NE(Tyneside) inside CLEAR(exonerate)
16 Discerning head of trade should stop moaning (8)
SIGHTING – first letter of Trade inside SIGHING(moaning)
18 Limit relaxation, taking shower? (8)
RESTRAIN – REST(relaxation) and RAIN(shower)
19 Lady, still unclothed, grabbed by first male turning up (7)
MATILDA – the middle letters in sTILl inside ADAM(first male) reversed
21 Flood ruins exotic hotel (6)
INRUSH – anagram of RUINS, then H(hotel)
24 Lie back on odd occasions, finding unexpected release (4)
LEAK – alternating letters in LiE bAcK

69 comments on “Times 28108 – mood”

  1. 38 minutes. VIOLIN was about as good (=bad) a homophone as we’ve had for a while. Only unknown was the Albanian (as I’ve since found out) ‘bread’ at 25a which went in from wordplay though I was unsure about the Q (by itself) abbreviation for ‘Quebec’. A “lek” (=100 QINTAR(s)) has appeared somewhere before. Nothing else too obscure. The ‘Rising complaint’ at 8d was my favourite.

    The ‘high street’ in 15d should have been capitalised shouldn’t it?

    Thanks to setter and blogger

    1. Q = Quebec in the NATO alphabet (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie etc). ‘High street’ would only require capitals in the name of a particular high street, but as a generic term for a main street it doesn’t.

      Edited at 2021-10-14 05:09 am (UTC)

      1. Thanks for clearing up both the points. I should have recognised Q = Quebec in the NATO alphabet, but try as I might, I can never remember what’s beyond Alpha, Bravo, Charlie + a couple of dances.
  2. Not too hard. Like everyone else, NHO QINTAR, one of those rare words with Q not followed by U. Also wasn’t quite sure if it was MARTIN or MARTEN at 14D until I got the GLITTERATI. But it turns out that’s a weasel, not a bird. 36 minutes for me.
  3. 24 minutes which might have been a sub-20 but for the unknown currency at 25ac. Until afterwards I thought I was looking for the other type of bread anyway.

    Enjoyed the outrageous homophone at 10ac.

    Edited at 2021-10-14 04:28 am (UTC)

  4. I thought of DRY CLEANER, but clearly a vowel was needed where the N went, since of course 25ac began with a Q, hence U. That slowed me down some until I finally saw INTAR. I then looked QINTAR up. LOI NOSEBAND (DNK NOSE). Liked THE BENDS and of course VIOLIN.
  5. Really enjoyed this one, starting with VIOLIN and finding the top half easy once I got going. Bottom half took more persistence, QUINTAR being (unsurprisingly) totally new to me.

    SW corner gave me most trouble, 16d taking longer than it should, then wrongly entered as SIGHTFUL making 26a impossible to solve…
    …and even after back-tracking I was still a bit doubtful about LOI NOSEBAND, completely failing to realise BAND was a homophone. So I was a bit doubtful when I filled in the final blank – only to find I’d done a careless one-letter typo elsewhere, and neglected to check.

    Anyway, fun and stimulating nice start to the day – just as a crossword should be – thanks setter & blogger

    1. Miss Tremble: a QUINTAR is, I believe, a five-string lute, from Seville of Tuareg origin.

      Edited at 2021-10-14 07:47 am (UTC)

      1. You’ve blown your cover, horryd – you are clearly the result of a bizarre genetic experiment, involving the chromosomes of Muir and Campbell!
          1. Not only banned now, but never even a repeat will be allowed… middle class white English people doing clever things …
            1. To be fair, inclusive, diverse, accurate and woke – as are my wonts – Paddy Campbell was, well, a Paddy.
              1. He was a 3rd Baron, which is more than enough in these woke days to cancel him, fortune no doubt built on Irish misery, (not that i would know) …

        1. Drat and double drat, Miss Tremble! How did you know? Are you one of those new Bond women, highly attractive yet as bright as a nuclear button!? I once met Frank, he was both mesmeric and incredibly tall – 6’5″ at least!
          Paddy (Dd….addy) couldn’t tell ‘Talk from Stutter’ as he used to jest…. the margarine ads – remember!?

          Phil! Your mission is to revive ‘Call My Bluff’ (via Zoom!) You and Miss Tremble could be hosts and I am sure Rowan (he is very tall too!) and Stephen (QAnon) could be team leaders. Hell, that would be great!

  6. Like George, QINTAR was my main hold up, in my case due to having instinctively putting in a U after the Q. I also thought that the trader at 15D was going to be a DAY something. I was glad for the checkers in TORTELLINI as I tend to confuse Fellini, Bellini and Bernini. I’m off to check who’s who now in the hope it sticks.
  7. Grows Lush in juicy stalks,

    25 mins pre-brekker. I thought there was a lot of really good clueing in this, but with no absolute stand outs… or so I was thinking until my LOI, the brilliant The Bends.
    NHO Qintar.
    Thanks setter and G.

  8. Two word clues seem to help my speed and the setter gave us a liberal sprinkling of these.
    Enjoyed this and was close to a personal best.

    Edited at 2021-10-14 07:04 am (UTC)

  9. 41:32 Top half went OK but needed a few minutes with furrowed brow before SIGHTING 16dn and getting going again. LOI 27ac.

    I liked the two clues with words repeated at 5 and 14 down, but 8dn is my COD for the well disguised definition and an ancient city that wasn’t UR.


  10. … a favourite expression of my Mum’s I’ve just remembered. 16 minutes with LOI NOSEBAND. I didn’t know QINTAR but the instructions were standard. COD jointly to GLITTERATI and TORTELLINI. THE BENDS was neat too in this reasonably straightforward puzzle. Thank you George abd setter.
  11. Liked the bends most of all, and glitterati. Couldn’t parse lush, thinking of everything except F for fine. Qintar LOI when it couldn’t be anything else.
    The Italian name is Federico – only one R.
  12. 7:29. No problems this morning. I didn’t know the currency but with the starting Q the assembly instructions could hardly have been clearer.
  13. as per 10cc at 8dn. I wasn’t expecting the definitive article and ninja-turtled my way from South Bend to THE BENDS — a brilliant clue! My LOI & COD. I was up for CHE BENOS a City State under the Guardianship of San Serife. I do know that Fray Bentos in Argentina, home to corned beef and cow pie, is not that ancient.

    FOI 21dn LEAK I do like to sniff around the bottom first.

    WOD 20ac GLITTERATI dontcha just love ‘em!?

    I note more Antipodean invasion with 2dn EMIGRANT, 19dn MATILDA, 7dn INDIGO and 18dn RE-STRAIN.
    Time 34 minutes with an interruption from Postman Pang. Very decent puzzlement.

    Edited at 2021-10-14 07:56 am (UTC)

      1. When one stood inside the the Fray Bentos factory the only exterior view was of Argentina, 0.9 miles away just over the Uruguay River. It is now a rusting UNESCO World Heritage Site. I stand corrected – no cigar!
  14. When we lived in France, friends of ours returned from a holiday in MARTINIQUE and Guadeloupe laden with bottles of rum. When I queried how they had got them all through customs, they reminded me that both are DOMS -Départements Outre Mer. In other words they are part of France; no customs.
    1. I find it forever strange that my FOI is other’s LOI – and vice-versa – much enjoyed your MARTINIQUE snippet – we Brits do have some very odd CUSTOMS!

      Edited at 2021-10-14 07:54 am (UTC)

      1. The downside was in the calculation of the winter fuel payment. As a Brit in France -then still part of the EU- I received the WFP. The way it was calculated was on the average winter temperatures. Some bright spark must have realised that départements such as exotic ones in the West Indies were indeed part of France. That was the end of the WFP!
        1. Same experience Martin. Then they said we had left uk before WFPs were started so no pay. We only left in 1974!
  15. I don’t really know why, but I struggled with most of the LHS, finishing just under 25 minutes, VIOLIN (the Spotted Dog round here before it burned down twice in an insurance scam -terrible beer badly kept) my last but one after FALLING OUT fell in.
    MATILDA last of all, deceived into MADONNA initially which meant I had to work out how TORTELLONI worked by inventing Paolo (?) Belloni for the director. Getting NOSEBAND sorted out that delusion, but the waltz-obsessed queen wouldn’t put in an appearance despite TIL being so clearly given.
    Those of us who do word games (I do WWF) know QINTAR well enough, though now I know what it is.
    Biffed THE BENDS, which I now realise is a shame.
    1. I, too,–yea, even I–started with MADONNA and moved to TORTELLONI. You may know what a QINTAR was, but if Wikipedia can be trusted, it isn’t.
      1. Pfft, I guess we all knew that quintar is a variant spelling of qindar, Kevin, and also that qindarka are no longer issued … 🙂

        Nho for me, but the wordplay was clear and I didn’t even bother to look it up until you mentioned Wikipedia .. memo to self: all words with a Q but no U are valuable, and will come around again, one day

    2. Snap with MADONNA.
      You probably know this but the song ‘Waltzing Matilda’ isn’t about a person called Matilda.
  16. Seemed to have a number of hold-ups, but none of them too crippling. LOI was NOSEBAND.

    Good to see the appearance of yet another Aussie bird.

    Thanks George and setter.

  17. 13′ 32″, no issues. Nho QINTAR but clear. COD to THE BENDS.

    Thanks george and setter.

  18. I didn’t realise QINTAR is a currency – I thought it was actually a type of bread. Luckily I worked out the wordplay correctly. Also wasn’t sure about NOSEBAND, and needed all the checkers before seeing it. Enjoyable stuff all round.

    FOI Inrush
    LOI Noseband
    COD Out on a limb

  19. ….QINTAR from the wordplay, but had thought it was some kind of astronomical feature

    10A reminded me of a cartoon seen in “Reveille” many years ago. The pub signwriter has, despite the VIOLIN being correctly represented, lettered it “The Vile Inn”.

    10cc’s album “Deceptive Bends” (thanks Horryd) is much more to my taste than “THE BENDS” by Radiohead — the clue, however, was excellent.

    TIME 7:57

  20. A final spelling check led me to reject Villan (a word, if it actually existed, I really ought to know the meaning of!) in favour of the more in tune Violin.

  21. I join the throng in appreciating THE BENDS (not if I was actually afflicted by it of course!). PAIN and EMIGRANT were my first 2 in. The unknown QINTAR went in courtesy of MARTINIQUE and the wordplay. GLITTERATI and then SIGHTING were my final entries. An enjoyable puzzle. 22:45. Thanks setter and George.
  22. 21.20 after 28.10 yesterday so reasonably pleased with my results for the last two days. Nothing to report, no indecipherable clues as even qintar was very fairly clued. All enjoyable stuff.
    Thx setter(s) and blogger(s).
  23. 19:22 A bit slow getting going and wasted time biffing MADONNA for 19D which made TORTELLINI and NOSEBAND hard. Another who DNK the Albanian currency, although I seem to remember we had lek recently somewhere. I liked PRAYERS, DESTINY and the “rising complaint”.
  24. 55 mins, from slow start. First leak, last emigrant. Qintar’s lack of U confuses. Dry cleaner non. traditional High St trader slowed me.
    1. How far do you go back? We had two lots of dry cleaners in what passed for our High Street over 60 years ago! The place was still recognisable as village then.
  25. A rare sub-20. QINTAR familiar from Scrabble: QINDAR a variant.

    Agree the clue for THE BENDS was very good.

  26. 16:09 so speedy for me. Had OLD BONES — which I have just discovered doesn’t mean what I thought — for a while at 8dn until ENTRENCH put me right.
  27. Qintar was easy enough I thought: NATO alphabet and Scrabble or Countdown or something like that, and bread is always some obscure currency it seems. Much liked the rising complaint. 25.30.
  28. DNK QINTAR, of course, but with checkers there wasn’t much else it could be. Swift solve on everything else. THE BENDS was clever, and my COD.
  29. Top half went in like a QC, leaving a hard grind in the bottom half making up the usual hour for me. LOI dry cleaner. Had dry for ages but it’s ages since we had a dry cleaner in this town. Lush needed an alphabet trawl for a doh! All very enjoyable. Toyed with Madagascar for a while – it’s an island, it once belonged to France, and I think it’s south of Bird Island – I should check. But anyway it helped nothing so was left blank and cleared up by glitterati and prayers. Technical DNF as lush needed an alphabet trawl, and my husband blurted out the dry cleaner. Unparsed out on a limb, stood up, glitterati, manor house, the bends, all got from definitions and part-parsing. Thanks, G, and setter.

    Edited at 2021-10-14 11:40 am (UTC)

  30. Delighted to get an easier puzzle than yesterday’s to get back on track. As others, NHO qintar and liked The Bends.
    Was delayed by missing several (fairly obvious) anagram indicators: badly, exotic, changes; plus a homophone indicator: dictator’s; and deletion instruction: expresses. Hopefully all logged for future reference.
    Thanks to setter and blogger.

    Slow but steady – and all looked so much easier upon review, as so often seems to be the case. But no pink squares. I’m sure I’ve seen MANOR as a homophone recently. QINTAR came from word play alone and my initial MADONNA gave way to MATILDA when the correct pasta was identified.

    Thanks to glheard and the setter.

  32. *with a stupid typo. Would have been close a personal best, otherwise. Sigh…

    Breezed through fairly smoothly. Only knew QINTAR as a Scrabble word so nice to give it some context. Biffed one or two but mainly with the confidence of seeing most of what was going on. Good stuff.

  33. …cheated with the unknown QINTAR. Added to my long list of three words beginning with Q followed by something other than U.

    Otherwise, pretty plain sailing.

  34. 15.16. I struggled to find my first entry but eventually got FOI hand-me-down and from there made inroads into the RHS. The LHS was more resistant and had to be slowly picked off ending with LOI noseband, I was pretty confident about the banned / band homophone, less confident about nose meaning informer but noseband as part of a horse’s tack seemed a reasonable punt.
  35. POI QUINTAR, LOI NOSEBAND, two previously unknown. It’s been a good week for adding to my vocabulary. Had to finish this morning, as I waited too long to start…
  36. Liked this one, some elegant clueing. I particularly liked 17ac, which I thought very neat.
    Also liked the noseband.. if it were not for the sheepskin nosebands, I would never have a clue which horse to bet on ..
  37. I thought this was a really entertaining puzzle, with lots of chuckles on the way, (The chuckle would be a good name for a currency- 100 smirks in a chuckle – will suggest it to MS Sturgeon for when independence comes), Normally solutions ending in “I” make me nervous, but the two here were gems.


    Thanks to G and the setter.

  38. Where did George (postscript) come up with Algeria!? It is hard to have a pop at Joe Bloggs these days – yesterday it was I who was unceremoniously heaved off the QC for simply asking Jeremy a simple question!? As Jerry notes re Call My Bluff, the cancel culture is with us.
    This was another goody which detained me for 12:11 minutes.
    COD was undoubtedly The Bends. Haven’t Sketchley’s always been in the High Street? I learn there is a ‘rates’ discount for the premises either side and the apartment above.

  39. 13:55 this afternoon but with a couple of interruptions. Normally I hole up in a Trappist monastery before starting these puzzles but today the real world got in the way a tad.
    Whatever, I still keep an accurate record of the seconds ticking away. I didn’t really settle down to this puzzle and was not surprised to see others’ fast times. Bit of a missed opportunity?
    Some fine clues I have to say, with my COD 9 ac “entrench”
    As with almost everyone else, NHO LOI 25 ac “Qintar” but eventually convinced myself from the wordplay. The nearest I’ve been to Albania was, as a student in 1971, from the NW Coast of Corfu, standing on a harbour wall peering through binoculars at a pillbox across the water and getting peered at in return. Lived to tell the tale I guess.
    Thanks to glh for the blog and to setter.
  40. 31 mins so about normal for me. A number of tricky clues which needed to be worked on and gave pleasure. MARTINIQUE, THE BENDS, TORTELLINI and HAND ME DOWN to name a few.

    Late today as I finished this early this am and then had to dash off to a golf competition in aid of a South African (Cape Town) school which helps underprivileged youngsters. Played miserably unfortunately but it was the taking part that counted!

    NHO QINTAR but as mentioned, follow the wordplay to the letter and you’re home.

    Thanks Mr Heard and setter.

  41. My initial trawl this morning yielded only 4 answers, so I left it and we went for a walk along the Thames near Sonning. Late this afternoon, I picked it up again, and had all but SW corner in 30 minutes. Initially had biffed MADONNA like others, which held me up. Needed THesaurus to get an informer synonym, so technical DNF.
    I loved THE BENDS and VIOLIN clues. My wavelength puzzle. Thanks tonGeorge for the blog and to the setter for an entertaining puzzle.
  42. At 44:05 a very fast solve for me.

    Found QINTAR not too bad, I’ve come across the LEK before in these things. Originally had ILLUMINATI then TWITTERATI before settling on GLITTERATI. Likewise I had a few pastas that fitted, CANNELLONI being one. Fortunately INRUSH put an end to the silliness.

    I’m not an expert in these parts, but “vile inn” sounds like a chestnut.

    Could not parse MANOR HOUSE, was trying to make Dictator=MAO work.


  43. Hard work, being on hols. Nice Scrabbly QINTAR, wonder if they’d ever use QANAT, QADI, QAID or QAWWALI?
  44. Same as everyone else – loved The bends and took a punt on Qintar (though I think I’d heard of it). I thought it must be of Arabic origin via Ottoman Turkish but wiki says it’s from the Albanian for a hundred.

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