Times 28,115: Two Logs Would Be An Extravagance

Blogged from London. This had a slightly “Saturday Jumbo” flavour to its cluing in parts, but I was tickled by at least a few numbers, including the very interesting homophone at 19dn and the fun of “shabby chic” at 16dn: when all’s said and done, maybe I just like Italian words?

Thank you to the setter and maybe see some crossword people in the pub at Bank this Saturday? Details available if you don’t already have them.

Definitions underlined, (ABC)* indicating anagram of ABC, {} deletions and [] other indicators.

1 Bobby keeps preparing a way for Jack, say (7,4)
PLAYING CARD – P(olice) C(onstable) keeps LAYING [preparing] + A R(oa)D
7 Discharge a member of church (3)
ARC – A R(oman) C(atholic)
9 Idle line stops working (9)
10 Current mariners preserving old piece of mast (5)
ACORN – A(lternating) C(urrent) + R(oyal) N(avy), “preserving” O(ld)
11 Discerning diner in assessing our methods (7)
GOURMET – {assessin}G OUR MET{hods}
12 Pity about cutting new individual transmitter (7)
NEURONE – reversed RUE, “cutting” N ONE
13 Democrat spotted backing housing requirements (5)
NEEDS – D(emocrat), housed by reversed SEEN [spotted]
15 Perhaps dish first artist taking risks (9)
AERIALIST – AERIAL [perhaps (satellite) dish] + 1ST
17 Woman’s returning to add belts and collar (9)
APPREHEND – reversed HER, “belted” by APPEND
19 Release old boy from bawdy part of act (5)
20 Pray here for a Conservative female abandoned (7)
22 What lovers may do in county hotel to some extent (7)
COHABIT – CO(unty) H(otel) A BIT
24 More hostile French company welcomed by Irish (5)
ICIER – C(ompagn)IE “welcomed by” IR
25 Clubs in the past inspiring present consistency (9)
27 Drive here and there regularly (3)
TEE – T{h}E{r}E
28 Later, old pro distributed crude earnings (11)
1 Just beat seed (3)
PIP – double def
2 A little over half of audience riotously cheers (5)
ADIEU – (AUDIE{nce}*)
3 Land bridge exists as shown, covering miles (7)
ISTHMUS – IS THUS, “covering” M
4 Big entry at Crufts perhaps wrecking tea garden (5,4)
5 Minister quietly denied crime (5)
6 Count upsetting a large posh club maybe (7)
DRACULA – reverse all of A L(arge) U CARD
7 Acknowledge wrong record in a balance (9)
8 Subject intended to dispel a sense of satisfaction (11)
11 Tree expert‘s data on each trunk is on time (11)
14 English politician holds one small pill for stress (9)
EMPHASISE – E(nglish) M(ember of) P(arliament) HAS 1 S(mall) E
16 Receiver takes possession of shabby chic plant (9)
RADICCHIO – RADIO “possesses” (CHIC*)
18 European collected rent as personal booster (3,4)
EGO TRIP – E(uropean) GOT RIP
19 Broadcast avoids last of Soho’s lively bars (7)
SCHERZO – homophone of SKIRTS [avoids] + {soh}O
21 Berlin’s rowers potentially follow unknown craft (5)
YACHT – ACHT [(a rowing) eight, in German] follow Y
23 Embargo placed on almost entire stock (5)
BANAL – BAN placed on AL{l}
26 Every so often repair organ (3)
EAR – {r}E{p}A{i}R

64 comments on “Times 28,115: Two Logs Would Be An Extravagance”

  1. Not very Fridayish. I couldn’t remember what Crufts was, but the anagrist plus enumeration gave me the solution. I had PLAYING CARD fairly early, but just couldn’t see how it worked until the very end, making it my LOI. SCHERZO came to me only with all the checkers in, and it still took me a while to see how it worked, as I would never have imagined it was pronounced to rhyme with ‘skirts-o’.
    1. Much asier than the usual Friday puzzle, I agree, but that was quite a relief after yesterday’s stinker (albeit a very clever one). And there were some very good clues — e.g. RADICCHIO and SCHERZO.

  2. Kevin, you might need apply a few Regional accents – Scouse, Manc, Geordie, Glasweigan to get to 19dn SCHERZO how you like it -ˈskertsō or even 冗談で? My COD.
    My time was a measured 44 minutes.

    FOI 1dn PIP


    WOD 16dn RADICCHIO is this clue a semi&Lit as it is indeed red chic-ory? (Cichorium intybus)

    Edited at 2021-10-22 01:53 am (UTC)

      1. But URP if it is The London Times, don’t y’know. The term RP has murky origins, but it is regarded as the accent of those with power, influence, money and a fine education – and was adopted as a standard by the BBC in 1922. In 2018, it was used by just 2% of the population. Only really found in the Oxford and Cambridge dictionaries as a guide for language students, cruciverbalists and editors, innit!?

        Edited at 2021-10-22 05:09 am (UTC)

    1. Agreed. My thought was that the only way to get a homophone out of skirts/scherz was to apply a Scouse accent.
  3. Bit easier than yesterday, but still a nice challenge. My last two were APPREHEND and AERIALIST as I needed all the checkers, but my hardest-working answer was SCHERZO.

    I knew (from crosswords) that a word like that existed, and I knew it meant something (as words usually do) but I had no idea how it was pronounced and took a while to see skirts = avoids.

    Would definitely be up for the pub at Bank if I could. Will have to settle for the Newport Arms instead.

    Thanks setter and Verlaine.

    1. If anyone saw my previously-posted technical questions, please ignore. Both issues have been resolved, so I deleted the post, because I can (now).
  4. On fire, sped through this with ease, only to make a stupid mistake – AD for current, not AC, and wondering how adorn was a piece of mast. Which I thought had clued chestnut in past puzzles, but I see from Chambers it can be chestnut, oak, beech etc. No problems with scherzo with just the R and O in place, knowing its meaning and pronunciation (though I wouldn’t pronounce them exactly the same). Saw tree expert immediately having only the G. Right on the wavelength. Liked a lot of the cryptic indicators – CRUDE (earnings), (lively) BARS, TREE (expert), TRANSMITTER, DRIVE (here) etc.
  5. This was one of those puzzles where I saw a lot directly from the definition or from one or two crossers, and then couldn’t seem to get a foothold in a few others. I’m talking to you Aerialist and Contentment. Go figure.
  6. Easier than yesterday at 26 minutes. I liked the ‘transmitter’ and ‘artist taking risks’ defs as well as the def and homophone for SCHERZO.

    Favourite was BANAL for being a bit too close to the bone.

    Thanks to Verlaine and setter

  7. This was a long way off a typical Friday puzzle, and I completed it in 27 minutes.

    At 1ac I saw P……CARD immediately but lost a little time toying with PICTURE CARD and when that wouldn’t parse I tried to think of alternative names for court cards before settling on the all-encompassing PLAYING CARD.

    My lack of knowledge of French meant I had to take CIE on trust at 24ac but the answer to the clue was clear.

    I never heard anyone say ‘skirt-so’, only ‘scare-tso’.

    Edited at 2021-10-22 05:12 am (UTC)

    1. This is the only pronunciation given by Collins and Lexico but Chambers has both. I think I would say ‘skirts-o’ but it’s a word I have often seen written down but almost never had cause to say.
        1. I swear, I hadn’t seen your comment when I wrote my comment with the subject line that looks like I ripped you off.
          Great minds.
  8. I found this to be a puzzle where solving experience very much helped. SCHERZO and PETRODOLLAR are both words I’ve only ever seen in crosswords which saved me considerable time. Indeed I think it would have been a struggle to finish otherwise. Likewise “mast” for ACORN is now very familiar. GENEALOGIST was somewhat trickier, where I was looking for an expert in trees of the wooden variety. Likewise my LOI AERIALIST, which I thought was going to hold me up for longer. However once I stopped thinking of artist as in painter and started thinking of acrobats and trapeze artists AERIALIST appeared soon after.
  9. 32 minutes. I was disappointed to find 1a wasn’t about Cissie Charlton’s sons. LOI was AERIALIST, constructed and then checked. I’m not sure how to pronounce SCHERZO anyway, but if there is an RP way, I’ll prefer the other one! COD to GENEALOGIST, having of course tried to find a variation of arboriculturist that fitted. I started slowly and finished in a rush. Enjoyable. Thank you V and setter.
  10. But you only heard his Scherzo.
    So you have been Litolff lightly.

    This was my late father’s favourite Scherzo pun.
    I liked this, mostly: Banal and Contentment for the ‘intended to dispel a’.
    30 mins precisely pre-brekker.
    Thanks setter and V.

  11. I think the only place I know of where SCHERZ(O) might be a homophone of skirts is on Merseyside.
    Thank you, Verlaine for PLAYING CARD and APPREHEND.
    FOI: PIP
    1. In Italy, where scherzo comes from, it sounds a little bit like skirts-o. But as Jack says above, more like scare-tso. Still, close enough for a dodgy Times homophone.
      1. I love a dodgy homophone (we had a great one last week that I can’t bring to mind at this moment) but for me this one is not bad enough to qualify.

        In researching this earlier I came across a site that claims there are 516 ways of pronouncing SCHERZO in Italian alone. I’d have been interested to learn more about this but the video on the link was all in Italian.

  12. 19.20. Thank God for that! First one I’ve completed correctly this week. Was beginning to think it was time to bid my adieu to this forum.

    LOI aerialist. Just preceded by pip and playing card. Some very pleasing cluing today and no unknowns.

    Thx setter and blogger for giving me a spring in my step for the weekend. Next stop Elizabeth and Mary exhibition at the British Library. Truly my cup runneth over.

  13. A very pleasant Friday outing this, with SCHERZO and AERIALIST LOsI.

    ‘Mast’ is becoming familiar, while I reckon I am a GENEALOGIST, although I struggled to spell it correctly.

    Considering neologisms, does the ‘gasdollar’ or ‘gasrouble’ now exist?

    13′ 13″, thanks to verlaine and setter.

    1. Regarding neologisms, if you like it, it exists! I also like ‘gasdollar’.
      The neologism I’m claiming rights to is ‘crosswordiste’, meaning someone who completes crosswords. I think cruciverbalist is somewhat pretentious.
  14. 14:16 LOI ICIER after the neat EMPHASISE. More middle-of-the-road than a usual Friday, but we had today’s yesterday, didn’t we? I was puzzled by APPREHEND before I realised “belts” was an inclusion indicator. Nice one. Thanks V and setter.
  15. 20.20, much easier than yesterday’s but with the two sticky ones that others refer to, PLAYING CARD and AERIALIST. Even with all the crossers (and PIP took quite a while because I though it was a triple) neither fell easily. Jack is always a sailor of some kind, and when I thought it might not be my mind wandered to bowling greens. Likewise, artist is more often than not RA, and dish usually either something edible or a fair maiden in this (happily) still not PC world.

    No problem with SKIRTS-O as I pronounce it that way. Thanks to Myrtilus I’ll now have that damn Litolff endlessly repeating all day.

    Welcome back to the UK, V

  16. Which is my best so far for ‘Verlainesday’. My COD to Skirt-so, which I pronounce like Pip. Talking of which: every few years (2-5) acorns have ‘mast years’, as do pecans and walnuts – the years of plently – when pigs, pig-out!
    1. Last year was definitely a mast year as shown by all the oak saplings I’ve had to pull out my front garden this year!
  17. 10.29, with several minutes at the end struggling to get the trapeze artist. Not a word I recognised, although no doubt I’ve seen it before.
    ‘Mast’ in the nut sense came up somewhere recently, possibly not here, which helped.
    Good puzzle.
  18. Hmm, our esteemed editor got yesterday’s and today’s crosswords mixed up, didn’t he?

    No problems with this except for the excruciating 19dn homophone. Fortunately I quite like excruciating homophones. And I saw scherzo in a xword only a few days ago, which helped.

  19. As an amateur genealogist, GENEALOGIST was my second in after FOI GOURMET, which gave a lot of first letters in the SW.

    I was tentative with ICIER as though I would recognise compagnie as the French, I didn’t know the shorthand.

    SCHERZO went in from the H and R checkers with a more than 50% notion that it meant lively playing.

    Most time was spent, as yesterday, sorting out the NE corner — ACORN (= MAST remembered from my crossword list) finally providing the key.

  20. Both typos being O’s. Must check before submitting! Some MER’s about some of the definitions, in particular idle for POINTLESS and pity for RUE. Also not too keen on the CARD/DRAC interface. I think I must be Mr Grumpy today.
  21. 33:10, but with one silly pink square. I seemed to sail through this, mainly definition-led, while feeling it was quite a tricky one. LOsI ICIER and AERIALIST, without properly parsing them, but failed on ACORN (had ADORN?) like isla3 above. COD to PLAYING CARD
  22. I never did parse SCHERZO. Have never heard it pronounced any other way but ‘scare-tso’. Probably been listening to Radio 3 too much.

    After yesterday it seemed easy, but it still took me 49 minutes, and that was with a little help from a list for ADIEU — I was thinking it would be some word I didn’t know that was equivalent to skol or bottoms up or some such.

  23. 7m 38s with lots of biffing. And this is how I find out I’ve been mispronouncing scherzo all my life! I was a ‘shirts-o’ man, to my shame.

    LOI was AERIALIST. Slightly surprised to see the crossing of cards at 1a & 6d, probably more so because I solved them consecutively – albeit not in that order.

    1. I can confirm that scherzo is pronounced similarly to bruschetta — as long as you’re consistent I guess!
  24. ARSON was my FOI, with ADIEU, PIP and POINTLESS following in hot pursuit. I then hopped around the grid, with the NE taking most effort. PLAYING CARD arrived fairly late in the proceedings and I spent a few moments trying to parse it before the penny dropped. DRACULA was my LOI, shortly after AERIALIST. Nice puzzle. 25:34. Thanks setter and V.
  25. Oh so that’s how it worked – the homophone never occurred to me. I had an elaborate anagram constructed from HERZ=broadcast (yes I know it should have a T) with SO[ho] and a C picked up from somewhere – “lively” being the anagram indicator. Well close but no cigar. 17.26
  26. ….over PETRODOLLAR and AERIALIST, and just missed my 10 minute target. Still, at least I finished today !

    TIME 10:02

  27. 27.50. I made progress in fits and starts on this one. FOI gourmet. I was particularly dithersome over LOI aerialist, wasn’t entirely sure that an aerial could be a dish and wasn’t entirely sure that an aerialist was an artist. Ended up putting it in because I couldn’t be bothered with lengthy alpha-trawling to find something better, which wasn’t entirely satisfying as a way to arrive at the solution. Managed to avoid the Skirt-so, Scare-tso, shirt-so conundrum by being too thick to parse the clue and identify the homophone, just bunged it in from checkers and lively bars. I liked the construction of woman’s returning to add belts and collar so COD to apprehend.
  28. Considerably easier than yesterday’s, which utterly defeated me, but there were still one or two answers I wasn’t sure of. I’ve never been confident of how to spell aerial, so even with all the checkers I was left hoping I had the right spelling of AERIALIST. NHO of RADICCHIO, which I pieced together from wordplay, and didn’t see how SCHERZO worked.

    FOI Needs
    LOI Aerialist
    COD Isthmus

  29. Last two in : Pip and Playing card. Clever putting three short words in the clue — Just beat seed — because it made me think this was one of those triple definitions. Otherwise, a lot of clues slipped in with little effort. I saw the shabby chic trick early on, but couldn’t see how it could possibly fit inside a real word; and then I had my light-bulb moment. Like a lot of other solvers, I realise I have never actually articulated out loud the word Scherzo. I’d probably have said Share-tzo. Many thanks setter and Verlaine.
  30. Yesterday I solved two (whole) clues. Today I solved all but two, so quite pleased with a DNF only two short. A really strange solve. I solved NW and SW first, then SE, left with four in the NE. I revealed arc and acorn, then finished with Dracula and aerialist. Took ages as usual, though – over an hour. Lots of biffing, mostly as discussed above. Enjoyed the crossword and the blog. Thanks, V, and setter.

    Edited at 2021-10-22 02:38 pm (UTC)

  31. Gentle for a Friday I thought though AERIALIST and RADICCHIO took a while. SCHERZO was definitely COD.

    Thanks to Verlaine and the setter

  32. Oops, I didn’t parse that. But it relies on a slovenly (mis)pronunciation
    This was sure easier than yesterday’s (which I did finish, just a day late). Had the bottom half of this one done before I was snatched into the darkness by Morpheus. Did the top quickly enough after oversleeping an hour.
  33. No time recorded today but delighted to have completed and parsed it all correctly. Last two in were playing card followed by aerialist. Both responded to my new regime of allowing time and working at the wordplay as the proverbial dog with a bone.

    At one point I was trying to think of an artist who took risks being an a-realist. It was only when first as ist came to mind that it fell into place (hopefully unlike the aerialist).

    Thanks to the setter for the workout and to Verlaine for confirming the explanations.

  34. Another rare excursion to the 15 x 15 for me, particularly on a Friday where its reputation usually scares me off. About half an hour I think, but as my base unit for these is the hour, I can’t be sure. Some lovely clues and devices. I got SCHERTZO just from lively bars, and never stopped to parse it. Like others, AERIALIST was LOI shortly after DRACULA. I liked YACHT and BANAL.
  35. Quick question, please. How does ARC tie in with Discharge. I get the Roman Catholic part but not the link. Thanks, AdrianM
  36. My Pitman dictionary helped by information that a mast is the fruit of beech and oak tree. Nothing to do with the mast of a ship!

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