Times 28125 – I like those sweet little things.

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
A more straightforward offering than recent Wednesdays, I found, getting home in under 20 minutes. However when it came to parsing I found a couple of clues worried me – 5D and 8D – perhaps I’m being picky but they don’t quite add up for me. And there are no plants or antelopes to entertain me. I expect a SNITCH well below par.

1 Quantity of opium churchwarden can consume? (7)
PIPEFUL – crfyptic definition, a chrchwarden being a kind of pipe with a long stem. They recently enjoyed a surge of popularity as some of the characters in Lord of the Rings are seen smoking them.
5 Justify book having new introduction (7)
DESERVE – book = reserve, replace the beginning R by D.
9 Operation inevitably includes staff (11)
PERFORMANCE – PERFORCE (inevitably) with MAN (staff) inserted.
10 Take drugs with half-cut Liverpudlian (3)
USE – SCOUSE is cut in half.
11 Director’s after Charlie’s guts? (6)
CLEANS – C for Charlie, LEAN as in David Lean, film director, GUTS as cleans in a fish.
12 A dreamer desperate for rum (8)
14 Secret place where drunkard might be found? (5,3,5)
UNDER THE TABLE – double definition, one speculation..
17 Ignorant to assume criminal’s out of control (13)
UNCONSTRAINED – UNTRAINED (ignorant) has CON’S (criminal’s) inserted.
21 Army reigns disastrously in foreign city (8)
TANGIERS – TA (army, territorial variety) (REIGNS)*.
23 City haunt making delicious pastry? (6)
ECLAIR – EC (City of London) LAIR (haunt).
25 Glaswegian’s rejection of celebrity losing millions (3)
NAE – NAME (celebrity) loses M. Scottish for no.
26 Belief of society long evolving (11)
SCIENTOLOGY – (SOCIETY LONG)*. Belief system entertained by Tom Cruise and some other nutters who want to give their money to L Ron Hubbard and his chums.
27 I defy you to be angry about article (2,5)
SO THERE – SORE (angry) goes round THE (article).
28 Member chosen for XI getting runs (7)
INSIDER – IN (chosen) SIDE (XI) R (runs).
1 Office secretaries extremely coy (6)
PAPACY – PA, PA (two secretaries) C(o)Y.
2 Upstart parking on street almost grabbing king (7)
PARVENU – P (parking) AVENU(E) has R (king) inserted.
3 Disapproved of promiscuous female? No wonder! (7,2)
FROWNED ON – (F NO WONDER)*. First time I think I have seen promiscuous as an anagrind.
4 Heavy person best to shift piano (4)
LUMP – PLUM (best, as in plum job) has the P moved to the end.
5 D for dimwit? (10)
DUNDERHEAD – D is indeed the head of dimwit, and of dunder, but dunder alone doesn’t mean an idiot, it’s lees from distilling rum. I know what the setter meant in practice but does it work in theory?
6 Acquiesce, needing to conceal incident (5)
SCENE – hidden as above; scene as in create a scene, make a fuss.
7 Regret insult in speech? Rubbish! (7)
RHUBARB – sounds like (in speech) RUE BARB = regret insult.
8 Happy about Bible being promoted (8)
ELEVATED – ELATED (happy) has EV inserted. Was this supposed to be AV for Authorised Version? I can’t see how EV is a reference to Bible. It means Electron Volts in my world.
13 Hang about with French trainees, getting drunk (10)
15 Dogged cardinal going over account with evidence of debts (9)
TENACIOUS – TEN (cardinal number) AC (account) I.O.U.S (evidence of debts).
16 Sweet little things found in harem perhaps (8)
SULTANAS – wives of sultans, perhaps.
18 Make Tory female firstly examine court (7)
CONFECT – CON (Tory) F (female) E (first of examine) CT (court).
19 No servant upset duke? Brilliant! (7)
DIAMOND – NO MAID reversed, then D for duke.
20 Grace perhaps, a sportsman changing sides (6)
PRAYER – PLAYER changes L for R.
22 Children’s edition (5)
ISSUE – double definition.
24 Article Congress backed — or opposed? (4)
ANTI – AN (article) IT (congress, sex) reversed (backed).

64 comments on “Times 28125 – I like those sweet little things.”

  1. I had problems with this and in the end I lost patience and used aids to polish off 11ac and 16dn.

    I had the same queries as Pip over DUNDERHEAD and ELEVATED. In addition to AV and RV bibles there is ESV (English Standard Version) but no EV, at least as far as I know.

    My main difficulty came from having two alternative answers which I thought parsed reasonably, but both turned out to be wrong. The first was TARTLETS at 16dn, which I admit is non-PC and I knew some would object to, but it would not have been the first time that we’ve had that sort of thing. The E-checker that it provided led me to EAN at 25ac. This a Scottish name (alternative to John) thus satisfying ‘Glaswegian’ in the clue. My parsing was reversal [rejection of] NA{m}E (celebrity) [losing millions].

    Having these answers in prevented me getting UNCONSTRAINED and CONFECT for ages but I eventually worked them out and realised my errors. I was then able to get to NAE at 25ac but SULTANAS beat me.

    Edited at 2021-11-03 12:59 am (UTC)

  2. The same quibbles as others. CLEANS last in after PIPEFUL and FROWNED ON; all decent clues, I thought.

    Chuckle of the Day: Jack’s TARTLETS…

  3. The final minute was devoted to ELEVATED, trying to see how it could work, double-checking the four acrosses, deciding that either there’s an EV bible or it’s an error. More time was taken on SULTANAS, where I had to drag through the alphabet. I didn’t notice anything amiss at DUNDERHEAD when I put it in, but having read Pip’s comment, I see that something was. Liked CLEANS.
    1. I had exactly the same experience as you with “elevated”. Scriptural knowledge would never be my specialist subject on Mastermind!
  4. Zipped through, but one wrong. Ignorance again to the fore I guessed buntings were British sweets, and that the collective noun for a flock of the birds was a harem. Didn’t notice the deficiency in 8, on the fly elevated went straight in thinking: elated with AV written upwards (promoted) – 2 parsing errors because the answer was obvious, so didn’t stop to check.
    Happy with 5 as a double definition. D = dunderhead, dimwit = dunderhead.
    LOI diamond, COD confect, nice word.
  5. D = DUNDERHEAD, as in the head of “dunder”. And a dimwit is a DUNDERHEAD, so I don’t see the problem here.

    But then what would I know, I abandoned ship at 11ac. For the first time ever I submitted without even an attempt at a solution. Didn’t know the director, but can see now that it’s not a bad clue.

    Thanks Pip and setter.

  6. Also wondering about the “Bible” in ELEVATED, entered it reluctantly.
    Sure I’d seen DEMERARA here before as sugar, not rum. By the time I got to it, I only had to rearrange the remaining letters in all the crossers.
    I was very slow in getting CLEANS, but gutting is indeed part of the process of “cleaning” fish, which my brother and father always took more delight in than I did.
    I hadn’t heard of the churchwarden pipe, and know (mercifully) little about Lord of the Rings.
    What threw me about parsing DUNDERHEAD is that DUNDER doesn’t exist, AFAIK, as a word on its own.

    Edited at 2021-11-03 05:33 am (UTC)

  7. 32 minutes. DUNDERHEAD only sort-of parsed and in my haste to finish, I didn’t notice the problem with ELEVATED, like isla3 mistakenly thinking it must be AV reversed.

    I’ve been doing too many crosswords. If ‘book’ appears in a clue, my first thought is that it’s going to be some unheard of book in the Old Testament and I go into a panic. Stopped me from seeing the not very difficult DESERVE which was today’s last in.

  8. Is in British Guiana (now Guayana) where the famed Demerara sugar is turned into Demerara Rum
    by the Demerara Distillers & Co. Their best known brand is ‘El Dorado’. Demerara was home to Bryant & Mays ‘Lighthouse’ Lucifers and the world’s most sought after stamp, the BG 1 cent Magenta — postmarked DEMERARA!

    FOI 1dn PAPACY — the old chap still hasn’t got to the moon! (Milligan)

    LOI 16dn SULTANAS which are not sweet little things when compared to raisins. Tartlets do not reside in harems, that’s brothels, according to my old friend Mr. Kipling. As a rather old fashioned Liberal l’m not terribly PC, so immediately thought of Tartufes!

    COD 11ac CLEANS — a very decent clue — and hats off to one of my favourite directors — I used to pass his lovely house on the 74 bus.


    I was out and about this morning, so did this puzzle on the hoof. My driver dropped me hither an’ thither, so my time was irrelevant today.

    Edited at 2021-11-03 07:17 am (UTC)

    1. I used to get the 74 from Primrose Hill to Selfridges where I worked many moons ago. Dreadful service, I once waited 2 hours for one. Couldn’t afford a taxi in those days!
    2. Many years ago, my then future wife and I took my mother and my future mother-in-law to see David Lean’s Ryan’s Daughter at the cinema, thinking they would enjoy it as they both came from Kerry where much of it was filmed. They sat either side of me, and the minutes or so during which Sarah Miles is writhing naked in a field with the young army officer seemed to last for about three hours.
  9. I thought this was a tough puzzle but going by the SNITCH I was just well off the wavelength. I spent time trying to get poppy into 1A and particularly struggled with my LOI SULTANAS. It was only when I tried an alphabet trawl of the penultimate letter that I saw it.

    I did wonder if ELEVATED could be an &lit as the whole clue works for the cryptic but I can’t see how the definition would work.

  10. A very welcome all-correct completion for me – I’ve had a sequence of fails recently – and I diligently completed my typo-check before entering the last letter of SULTANAS, knowing this was a good ‘un.

    FOI PIPEFUL – I think I learned about “churchwarden” being a pipe when I used to attempt Araucaria’s Grauniad crosswords, as a fresh-faced student, decades ago. Fairly zipped through most of the puzzle, even thinking a PB may be on the cards, but CLEANS and the SW corner provided more of a challenge.

    Anyway, that was a fun and satisfying start to the day – which I guess is why I’m here. Thanks Pip and setter

    1. Ah…..Araucaria, monkey puzzle, a great name for a setter, who apparently was a (retired) vicar. Did you ever try his alphabetic jigsaw crosswords by the way? Very cleverly constructed
      1. No – I had my work cut out dealing with the main puzzle. Back in those days of unconditional student grants (even if you didn’t actually turn up to the lectures, ahem) I would regularly spend 3 hours getting through 40% of the puzzle.

        I remember my flatmate Liz once commenting to me that during the holidays, she came down to breakfast and found that her mother had COMPLETELY SOLVED the entire Graun puzzle by 08:00!! We both marvelled at this unfeasibly brilliant feat (and I wondered if it was really true…)

        Crossie-solving is definitely (and now reassuringly) a challenge at which oldies have the upper hand.

  11. 17.16 and no daft mistake today. Hurrah! FOI use, LOI confect. Loved sultanas. Quite partial to raisins too.

    Thx setter and blogger.

  12. 24:21
    Bible clue is wrong.
    Glaswegian’s rejection in no, not nae. Nae is only used as a determiner meaning not any – ‘There’s nae breed’.
    Thanks, pip.
    1. Quite right about nae, but, strictly, Glaswegian for NO is NAW – as in ‘Naw, ye can get yer ain breed.’

      Agree about ELEVATED, though didn’t spot it at the time.

  13. 8:29. Slightly surprised to be the first person to check in a dictionary and confirm that EV is short for English Version (of the bible).
    1. I had checked, but evidently not in the right dictionary, though I did find ESV as mentioned above.
        1. Proper noun
          Abbreviation of English Version (of the Bible)
          Abbreviation of Early Version (of the Wycliffite Bible)
  14. So there! 27 minutes with LOI the well-hidden SCENE and with a question mark against ELEVATED. I’ve degrees in Physics and Divinity but only know of the electron volt. I suspect a cock-up which would be a shame on this otherwise excellent puzzle. FOI was DUNDERHEAD which I had as COD despite Pip’s valid reservations, D also being for DUNDERHEAD as well as Dimwit. Thank you Pip and setter.

    Edited at 2021-11-03 08:06 am (UTC)

  15. In CONFECTing a LUMP of ECLAIR
    You may USE DEMERARA with care
    But we’re ANTI SULTANAS
    RHUBARB and bananas
    They are all FROWNED ON, SO THERE
  16. 29 mins so not too hard today. Reading the blog I realise that I did not fully parse ELEVATED, SCIENTOLOGY or DUNDERHEAD. Still got there anyway. Knew the rum. I liked CLEANS and UNDER THE TABLE. No comments Please!

    Thanks Pip and setter.

    1. Denis Dunderhead; so quick!!

      Look back and you’ll see that Lord Keriothe bagged the Brownie Points earlier on this subject – some 41 minutes before you tipped up!

      Edited at 2021-11-03 08:57 am (UTC)

  17. 14:29 with about 3 minutes spent on my last two, CLEANS and SULTANAS. I liked DUNDERHEAD but COD to FROWNED ON for the great surface. Thanks Pip and setter.
  18. I made things very difficult for myself but not looking at where the highlighted square was when I started typing TENACIOUS (I have to look at the keyboard) and ended up with TTENACIOU. That made all the across clues in the SE corner impossible until I eventually spotted the error.

    I really am crap at typing and don’t help myself by being inconsistent in where I position the cursor for a word where I have the first letter.

  19. Having never been in a harem ( or brothel, for that matter ) I couldn’t get 16d without aid. Rest ok. Like others, dunderhead I thought a bit stretched. Took me a time to get going but 48 mins. eventually. Thanks to all, love the comments
  20. CLEANS was my FOI after putting in the CY at the end of 1d and pondering how AGEN could mean assistants, before rejecting the idea. I drew blanks for a while until I moved to the NE and saw RHUBARB, which gave me UNDER THE TABLE, and got me moving again. I was then UNCONSTRAINED and carried on TENACIOUSly to the end, with the SW providing some resistance until TANGIERS and NAE provided the contents of the harem. That left me with 5d, which I needed to write out before the penny dropped. I was quite happy with the parsing. 23:55. Thanks setter and Pip.
  21. CLEANS was my LOI, as I vaguely remembered David Lean but wasn’t sure if he was a director or an actor… I think in my ignorance I was confusing him with David Niven.

    Otherwise this was reasonably straightforward, though I really didn’t know what was going on with PIPEFUL – a churchwarden pipe is one for me to remember in future.

    FOI Use
    LOI Cleans
    COD Fraternise

  22. I initially put in axes for anti. I went for the wrong sex. Sultanas was my LOI and took at least a minute to find. Custards were considered but they did nae fit.


  23. There have been enough holes picked in this puzzle without me exacerbating the situation.

    TIME 8:40

  24. Nice stroll today. LOI SULTANAS and TANGIERS, the last because I was looking for the wrong literal. A slightly naughty offering today, although I don’t think harems are particularly naughty. Especially those with SULTANAS in them.
  25. 18 mins. No quibbles here for this straightforward but pleasant puzzle. I was familiar with the EV abbreviation for Wycliffe’s Bible and had no trouble with D being the head of DUNDER, whatever its meaning happens to be. D for dunce might have been neater.
  26. 36 minutes, with an electronic cheat on my LOI SULTANAS, which I couldn’t see even with all the checkers. EV I assumed would be something like ‘English Version’, but I didn’t bother to check.

    Isn’t the dunderhead clue similar to the Gateshead matter, which I can never quite get my head round. Should it not — in The Times, anyway — be ‘dunder head’ or even, some would say, ‘dunder’s head’?

  27. Well, I fair whizzed though this in 15.31, with CLEANS taking a disproportionate amount of time, looking for the wrong sort(s) of guts.
    I thought DUNDERHEAD was fine, in fact the smiliest of the day. The crossing random letter change DESERVE didn’t – um – deserve anything of the kind. Lazy.
    There are days when it pays to be ignorant of the language of Glesga so I had NAE problem.
  28. Right on the money as far as the SNITCH and my personal targets are concerned. 78 = 29 mins.

    NHO churchwarden = PIPE but clear from all checkers.

    FTP (failed to parse): LUMP

    I too wasn’t convinced by the EV bible.

    David Lean took a while to come to mind even though I’ve recently watched Lawrence Of Arabia and his version of Oliver Twist which I found far more enjoyable than the musical version.

  29. I looked up the spelling of Glesga (you can’t be too careful here) and happened across Wiki in Scots, which I didn’t know existed and which has its charms. In the entry for Glesga it has “Glesga’s main sport is nae dout fitba” which further suggest NAE is aw reit.
    1. Surely you’re only confirming that it isn’t?
      Glasgow’s main sport is politicians lying about reducing greenhouse gases and ending deforestation WITHOUT ANY doubt football.
      I prefer the Uncyclopedia.

      Edited at 2021-11-03 02:17 pm (UTC)

    2. Naw it isny. The clue specifies a synonym for rejection. As mentioned earlier, NAE is a determiner. It is not a synonym for NO, in the sense required by the clue.

      I would normally bow to your erudition, but here you’re arguing with a native. NAW and NAE have different syntactic and grammatical functions, and NAE doesn’t work here.

      ‘Glesga’s main sport is naw dout fitba,’ to use your example, doesn’t make sense.

      Edited to add, from today’s Grauniad, from an article about Glasgow and COP26:

      ‘So were Glaswegians looking forward to Cop? Yes and no, or aye and naw, depending who you ask.’

      Edited at 2021-11-03 09:26 pm (UTC)

      1. I have learned through experience not to dispute Scottish issues with a Scot. I once (not here) innocently celebrated a particularly successful sporting weekend, I think including the English Cricket team, Lewis Hamilton and Andy Murray, and was subjected to a bitter and unforgiving discourse on how we English always purloin Scottish successes as if out own. I don’t think I did (I think the word British was part of my celebration), but no amount of mollifying stemmed to flow of incandescent rage. So I widnae dare.
  30. 25.08. Nice puzzle. I was off to a pretty fast start but got bogged down in the dunderhead / demerara corner, couldn’t quite parse the former and couldn’t quite unravel the latter. Also had a laborious alpha-trawl over sultanas at the end, nearly gave up at the first hurdle and threw in buntings, so glad I persevered.
  31. …. thinking I’d been awfully clever to see it (Turkish, harems etc etc). And that delayed me horribly until I realised it was wrong.

    Was left with PIPEFUL uncompleted. Defeated me because NHO a ‘churchwarden’ pipe.

  32. Slightly held up by think Fae must be Glaswegian for something. That made the only possible harem participants to be Mustafas. I thought about it.
  33. I had no trouble with 16d, remembering an excellent clue from long ago: a pound of sultanas (8): SERAGLIO
  34. Thought I’d finished – but I hadnae. Two pink squares since I put contest – test = examine, never mind the female, I thought. I couldn’t complete conf***? though I did see it. I thought wrong. Nevertheless, still well-chuffed with my effort in only forty minutes. Five unparsed or only partly so – pipeful, deserve, so there, frowned on, lump. Got from definitions. Didn’t see the anagram material for frowned on. Thanks, Pip, for the blog, and setter for a puzzle I could nearly do, and in a reasonable time.
  35. Had the same unease about DUNDERHEAD but “it had to be”. Didn’t notice the problem with ELEVATED till I came here, probably because it had an A in it and I didn’t parse it properly. FAE is in Chambers and I almost persuaded myself this was FAME without the M.

    COD and LOI ClEANS.

    Thanks to Pip and the Setter.

  36. 9:21 this afternoon. Just when I had doubted that I still had a sub-10 minute solve left in me, this friendly puzzle come along.
    FOI 1 ac “pipeful” — I’m sure I came across this meaning of “churchwarden” from a Times Crossword originally.
    One of these all too rare days where I seemed to pick up the correct understanding of the structure of each clue as soon as I looked at it. No doubt normal service will be resumed….
    Among a number of enjoyable clues I particularly liked 11 ac “cleans”, my thought process being ” C for Charlie + (David) Lean’s” — what’s that got to do with viscera?” Then the PDM!
    Thanks to Pip for the blog and to setter for making an old man very happy!
  37. 53 minutes, but I would have been much quicker without the 20 or so minutes spent looking for something more likely than CLEANS and then giving up in frustration. Obviously I didn’t know the director. As for ELEVATED, I just decided somehow to believe it. No other problems, really, although I thought UNDER THE TABLE a rather unspecific hiding place.

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