Times 28131 – who names a theatre after a cabbage?

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
What larks! Lots of fun answers in this clever crossword, hats off to Mr Setter once again. I seemed to be on the wavelength, metaphorically speaking, getting it done in under half an hour and having no arguments with the parsing, except for 9d where I don’t understand the choice of definition for an otherwise excellent clue. Among some goodies, 12a gets my CoD vote for its neatness.

1 Loss of interest from years on a course (6)
APATHY – A, PATH (course), Y.
4 Spies what is said to be floury mix for bread (8)
CIABATTA – CIA (spies) then it sounds like BATTER (floury mix).
10 He has a hunch as if weird doom is to follow (9)
QUASIMODO – QUASI (as if, Latin), (DOOM)*.
11 Order for building one’s given to men in Washington (5)
DORIC – DC (Washington) has OR (men) I inserted.
12 Nigerian visiting Bilbao on and off (3)
IBO – alternate letters as above.
13 Soul’s ending in torment, after life of this? (11)
UNGODLINESS – (SOUL’S ENDING)*. Clever surface.
14 Turn on girl accompanying artist and scold (6)
VIRAGO – VI (a girl) RA (artist) GO (turn).
16 In retrospect, Cummings initially should replace tungsten in pen, one not working (7)
RETIREE – Tungsten’s symbol is W (for wolfram, its alternative name), so we take WRITER (pen) and replace the W by ee (e e cummings being the poet who insisted (pretentiously?) on being a lower case poet). So we have EERITER. Then reverse it all.
19 Waits to execute youngster (5,2)
HANGS ON – HANG (execute) SON (youngster).
20 Complete language, bar one noun (6)
FINISH – FINNISH the language loses an N.
22 Note dinners thrown together for one that can’t stay (3-8)
25 Right to avoid first medicinal herb (3)
RUE – TRUE loses T.
26 Some sea-green water coming upriver (5)
EAGRE – hidden as above, a tidal bore.
27 Definition of baritone (sound) one may check on phone? (9)
VOICEMAIL – sounds like “VOICE MALE” = baritone.
28 Opera fan starts to see assorted Verdi offerings at the Garden (8)
SAVOYARD – initial letters of See Assorted Verdi Offerings, then yard = garden (in USA). Derived from the name of the Savoy Theatre built in 1881 by D’Oyly Carte for staging Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, thus known as Savoy operas.
29 It comes after health? It is said to come first (6)
SAFETY – I’ve decided this is a double definition; the first from the “Health and Safety Executive” which nowadays protects (or plagues) us all, the second from the expression “Safety First”.

1 In Paris, who may get into performance free? (6)
ACQUIT – ACT (performance) has QUI (who in French) inserted.
2 A western alliance set up to pin down Turk (9)
ANATOLIAN – A, NATO (alliance) NAIL (pin down) reversed. The part of Turkey in Asia, across the Bosphorus.
3 Loud bird-call audible in poem (5)
HAIKU – Sounds like “HIGH COO” that being a loud bird call, perhaps.
5 Admitted to exclusive club? Sorted! (2,5,2,5)
IN ORDER OF MERIT – double definition. Exclusive because at any one time there are only at most 24 nominated members alive. Currently there are only 19.
6 Notice China supporting British in court action (9)
BADMINTON – B (British) AD (notice) MINTON (kind of china).
7 Cake’s radius: where to bet about it (5)
TORTE – bet on the TOTE, insert R for radius.
8 Statement worked out charges for what solicitor did? (8)
ACCOSTED – AC (account, statement); COSTED (worked out charges).
9 Cook’s underwear viler after fouling (4,4,6)
LONG JOHN SILVER – well, LONG JOHNS are a form of all-over underwear, and then (VILER)*, gives you the answer. But I thought LJS was the Quartermaster, not the cook, under Captain Flint. There seem to be two theories as to the origin of the term “long johns”, one to do with a tall chap, John Sullivan, in Derbyshire who sported them early on, and one as derived from French “longues jambes” meaning long legs. I don’t much like the latter, as I think the French would say “jambes longues” more usually.
15 At sea, surely eat with great self-discipline (9)
17 Wake up again to do some road work? (9)
RESURFACE – double definition.
18 Popular line in board game is such a wonder (8)
CHINLESS – IN L (popular line) is inserted into CHESS. The term “chinless wonder” meaning upper-class twit, seems to originate from many people of high birth, especially the Royal Family, having a receding chinline. The current Duke of Kent springs to mind, although I wouldn’t be caught in print calling him a chinless wonder.
21 Eccentric retains key allegiance (6)
FEALTY – FEY (eccentric, unpredictable) has ALT (key from keyboard) inserted.
23 Green stuff eaten (not “ate”) up in desert (5)
NEGEV – VEG (green stuff) E(ATE)N = EN, all reversed = NEGEV. Desert in Israel, between Beersheba and Eilat. I went to Club Med in Eilat once for a diving holiday and the sea water was like soup because of the plankton bloom. And the airport lounge was a shed with no AC and the flight was hours delayed. Don’t go.
24 For Greek student, introduction to Thucydides? (5)
THETA – Well if you were writing Greek, Thucydides would beging with Θ i.e. theta.

66 comments on “Times 28131 – who names a theatre after a cabbage?”

  1. Too late for full comment now, but on LJS I think he was said to have been a cook on previous voyages, but he was quartermaster on the one in the story. More later.

    Later: This one took me 27 minutes for all but the intersecting answers FEALTY and SAFETY, both of which on reflection I should have got, but after an additional 10 minutes staring blankly at both I used aids to finish off the grid.

    A little research this morning has confirmed my memory of LJS more or less.He first appears in a chapter of Treasure Island called ‘The Sea Cook’ and whilst he has officially attained the position of Quartermaster by the time of the voyage on Hispaniola, Jim Hawkins refers to him in the narrative as ‘our ship’s cook, Barbecue, as the men called him’ and describes him cooking in the roughest of seas.

    Edited at 2021-11-10 07:01 am (UTC)

  2. I’ve never read “Treasure Island”, but somehow I knew, or thought I knew that Long John was a cook; I just checked Wikipedia and it gives both ‘quartermaster’ and ‘cook’ as occupations. Anyway, getting the _O_G suggested LONG. Clever clue, but I could have done without that surface. Biffed RETIREE, finally remembered wolfram. Biffed FEALTY, forgot to check it. ‘eccentric’ struck me as odd for FEY, but going to Collins just now I see that Webster’s includes it.
    1. His nickname was “Barbecue” – which is a bit of a giveaway. I’d never heard the word until I read Treasure Island.

      Edited at 2021-11-10 08:53 pm (UTC)

  3. Read Treasure Island a few years ago but had forgotten what Silver did, besides piracy, so no problem there.

    Fun puzzle: good to see DORIC popping up again. Have to keep the tone of these things up, you know…

  4. The good people of Pforzheim did! The Kohlslaw Varietetheatre, opened in 1873, was razed to the ground in 1945 by the RAF. The said theatre was named after Heinz Kohlslaw, a local actor/ manager, who died in Munich 1860, aged 57.

    FOI 24dn THETA (no variety!)

    LOI 29ac SAFETY (curtain?)


    WOD 11ac — alas poor DORIC!

    There is also Grauman’s Chinese Theatre over in Horrywood.

    Time (to fetch me coat!) 23 mins.

    Edited at 2021-11-10 05:47 am (UTC)

  5. Well, Squire Trelawney did hire Long John as cook on the Hispaniola. His shipmates, who had mostly served with him under Captain Flint, called him “Barbecue”.
  6. Defeated by staring at the checkers for SAFETY but having no idea. To be honest, the checkers are not that helpful. Bakery? Barely? Eatery? Lately? Namely? And several more, but for some reason, I never thought of the right one. So DNF.
      1. Held me up too – LOI by several minutes as I trawled the alphabet more than once.

        I also took a while to see VOICEMAIL, FEALTY and IN ORDER OF MERIT. I think these last four took me as long as the rest of the puzzle (which I though was very good despite that).

        Thanks setter and Pip (especially for explanation of RETIREE).

    1. Left staring at it helplessly having finished everything else. Very, very irritating.


  7. ….one wrong. I put THEMA instead of THETA.
    That and SAFETY were my two LOIs.
    I thought there some good surfaces today and I learnt a new word in EAGRE. I knew bore but not eagre.
    I bunged in RETIREE just from checkers but never saw the WRITER bit and didn’t know ee Cummings. I was working on the C of Cummings.

    Edited at 2021-11-10 07:20 am (UTC)

  8. …Quasimodo on bells. 29 minutes with LOI FEALTY. I’m glad I had a vague inkling that it was SAVOYARD as the US garden always throws me. I’d forgotten that LONG JOHN SILVER had been a cook, if I ever knew and needed most of the crossers before the penny dropped. COD to CHINLESS and RESURFACE jointly for causing the biggest smiles of recognition. Thank you Pip and setter.
    1. And looking very appealing, Max Jaffa. Ah the Bonzos! Interesting to see if I pick it up as an earworm!
  9. I guess there are times when you RUE
    That I don’t have the skill for HAIKU
    You’d not be ACCOSTED
    By THE TAt in my head
    And the FINISH would come sooner too
  10. Started off reasonably well on this one, but felt severely bogged down by the 30m mark – even after taking a break I made little further progress, throwing in the towel at 52m with 12 or so clues to go.

    Not going to write an exhaustive list of stuff that tripped me up, but I note there were a couple (FEALTY, RETIREE) where I spent significant time completely failing to work out the cryptic, having guessed the correct answer. (Dominic C, I’m blaming you for one of those). Unknowns such as EAGRE, SAVOYARD, and MINTON for “china” added to my difficulties, and made this seem like a 120+ SNITCH to me.

    On the plus side, I got IBO straight away – learned that one here a couple of months ago.

  11. 13:01. I started very quickly on this but slowed down considerably in the bottom half, not helped by a couple of wrong biffs, in this case meaning ‘bunged in from some imagined definition that bears no relation to the clue’.
    I’ve never read Treasure Island but I knew from his past appearances here that LJS was a cook. That’s also how I know the term SAVOYARD.
    Don’t remember coming across MINTON before, and was surprised by the definition of ‘fey’.

    Edited at 2021-11-10 08:13 am (UTC)

  12. but your wife said she …

    DNF after 30 mins pre-brekker. Too clever by half for me.
    Now, where’s that marmalade?
    Thanks setter and Pip.

  13. 54 minutes. Like others I had problems with SAFETY (I agree with the double def parsing) and FEALTY at the end and was held up by taking a long time to spot the anagram for UNGODLINESS. I liked the misleading surface for HUNCH and the ‘such a wonder’ def for CHINLESS. No hope with ‘Cummings’ at 16a (I thought of Bart of that ilk who was a famous horse trainer here) which had to go in from def.

    I’m no linguist, but isn’t CIABATTA pronounced with a long A, ie bart, not bat?

    1. The sound file on Collins has it as ‘batta’ like the clue. On Lexico and Dictionary.com it’s ‘bahta’. Pays yer money…
      1. Thanks. My WordWeb dictionary app has ‘bahta’, but the OED online has both ‘bahta’ and ‘batta’, so protest not upheld and one to our setter. I’ll stick with ‘bahta’ though as my preference.
        1. It is now editorial policy on Only Connect, where the question setters love a crossword-style clue, that they refer not to “homophones” but “things which sound a bit like”, presumably to stem the avalanche of letters from Scots, Australians, Irish people etc. etc. (and remind people that it’s a bit of fun and not a strict science).
        2. If that was aimed at me following my posting yesterday, if people raise an issue I’m perfectly willing to discuss it.
    2. a, i and u always have the same pronunciation in Italian.

      a is always pronounced as in cat, fact and black.

      So unless you pronounce those words as cart, farct and blark, then ciabatta is pronounced as cha-batt-a

      Edited at 2021-11-10 12:12 pm (UTC)

      1. As an Italian speaker I must disagree with you on the pronunciation of A in Italian. It’s ar, as in car, cart, farct, blark. Always. Even when followed by a vowel e.g. auguri, Australia. The homophone in the clue is technically wrong in a pleasingly dodgy way, but 1. near enough 2. the letters, not the word – (Or maybe the word? Don’t know how it’s pronounced in UK) – are close enough.
        Ciabatta in Italian is pronounced Cha-baartttt-ar, 1st and 3rd vowels very short like swchwas, second vowel long, the double TT emphasised. But that’s Italian; this is an English crossword, so anything goes 😉
  14. 48:40 for a nice one that needed some hard work. I liked CIABATTA (perhaps because of the dodgy homophone) and SAFETY. At 16ac i got the ee from cummings, and i knew tungsten was not T or anything obvious, but never made it to W and writer. Bunged RETIREE in anyway. LOI 21dn FEALTY; I’m always fooled by the keyboard keys
  15. LJS went in as soon as I looked at ‘viler’, I still have the book I got for Christmas in 1961, beautiful colour plates.

    Flying today, 14′ 24″, with 3′ spent on SAFETY / FEALTY.

    Liked SAVOYARD.

    Thanks pip and setter.

  16. Another DNF here. Gave up after the hour with RUE (NHO) SAFETY AND FEALTY (NHO) all missing. Shame because the rest had some great clues. I also didn’t think LJS was a cook, but at least I bunged it in.

    Glad you enjoyed it Pip, thanks for the blog. Well done setter.

  17. 45 minutes, but resorted to aids for the usual suspects (FEALTY, RUE, EAGRE). Otherwise I really enjoyed this.
  18. Thanks for the parse on that Pip. I’d forgotten the poet and was baffled by the Cummings (and goings) in that clue. Kept reminding myself that this was not the Guardian so it couldn’t be THAT Cummings could it? He bears a passing resemblance to James Carville who played a similar role in the Clinton administration. 20.23
  19. That was tough after yesterday. I had no idea LJS was a cook but I was never interested in tales of derring-do. SAFETY and FEALTY held me up for a while, as they did others, but they are both fine clues. An enjoyable puzzle, with COD to UNGODLINESS, with its magnificent disguised anagram. I do wish the setter hadn’t made me think of Dominic Cummings though…
  20. 14:39. Slowed down by much fat-fingered mistyping on an iphone rather than pen and paper but, looking at the time, probably not held up as much as I thought. All seemed to slot in easily enough, with half knowns, MINTON, SAVOYARD and FEY obligingly bobbing to the surface without much prompting.
  21. This was a bit of deja vu (again). I filled the NW in one minute flat, and expected to do the same elsewhere. However it turned out to be a bit of a bugger, and I finished with having to negotiate. -E-L – – , having thought of ESC earlier and not thought of ALT. Must be because I’m doing this on my iPad.
  22. 38 minutes. Biffed RETIREE and forgot to revisit it, although I’d only got as far as rejecting Dominic because so far as I know he’s still alive. Didn’t think much of the theta clue.
  23. SAFETY / FEALTY were the trickiest pair, where I spent a while at the end moving back and forth – although once FEALTY was in, SAFETY followed almost immediately. 11m 14s for a nicely chewy puzzle.
  24. Cheated with the unknown SAVOYARD (even with all checkers) and made heavy weather of the SE corner, taking ages to come up with MERIT, VOICEMAIL, SAFETY and finally FEALTY.
  25. I started off at a gallop in the NW, but then ran into a wall. After a while, HANGS ON and CIABATTA got me going again, but the progress was slow. Took a while to get LJS, but I did remember he was a ship’s cook. I gradually sorted the NE and SE, no real problems with SAFETY and FEALTY, and then got stuck for ages in the SW with EAGRE, NEGEV and then SAVOYARD finally yielding. 43:32. Thanks setter and Pip.
  26. …with five unfinished and one mistake. Thought of rue but wasn’t sure. Thought of fealty but forgot to think of the keyboard so could not see how either felty or falty meant eccentric. Failed also with safety, resurface and retiree. NHO eagre so was confused by the upriver to reverse the hidden to the also unheard of ergae. Unusually, both fitted.
    Digression of the day: imagining that Cummings was the Dominic variety and that tungsten was represented by t and that a retinue does not work, then replacing the t of retinue by c and reversing gives EU Nicer which many of us wish DC had thought. Of course, the solution then collapses into the nonsense that it is.
    Thanks to Pip for the explanations and to the setter for a chewy, enjoyable puzzle.

    Edited at 2021-11-10 12:48 pm (UTC)

  27. This took me 11:32 at a gallop. COD to 28ac Savoyard with 13ac Ungodliness a blindingly good anagram.
  28. Completely misparsed FEALTY – thought it was eccentric=falty, containing the key of E. It never occurred to me that ‘falty’ needs a U in it, or indeed that it doesn’t quite mean eccentric… no matter, I got it anyway.

    I also didn’t put RETIREE together, thinking that ‘writer’ and ‘ee’ were involved but not seeing how it worked. I didn’t know SAVOYARD but eventually figured out the wordplay, trusted that RUE is a herb once I had R_E, hoped that EAGRE was a word and that ‘minton’ was a type of china for BADMINTON, and couldn’t have told you that LONG JOHN SILVER was a cook, that a VIRAGO is a scold, or where the NEGEV desert is.

    Enjoyable stuff nonetheless. Thanks to setter and blogger.

    FOI Ibo
    LOI Savoyard
    COD Quasimodo

  29. 28 mins so a bit chewy for me. A quandary at 26 ac whether to go up ergae or down eagre. Fortunately, opted for the latter. Nice puzzle, thanks setter and blogger.
  30. Would have been better but i had ciapatti at 4 across for a good long time! Well… patty . Kind of works.
  31. 25.22 an enjoyable solve which seemed to become trickier the further east of Long John Silver that I sailed. The LHS having gone in relatively quickly. The parsing of retiree was way over my head so I was glad of it’s relative biffability.
  32. ….SAFETY first, FEALTY last, but only on the basis that the former was SLOI. I couldn’t parse my LOI, so many thanks to Pip.

    Another unenjoyable puzzle for me, and my hat remains firmly lodged on my head. At times I felt as if I were swimming uphill through treacle. DNK ANATOLIAN, biffed “edict” instead of DORIC (saw Washington, and switched my brain into neutral until BADMINTON kicked me in the backside), and took far too long to spot HAIKU, LONG JOHN SILVER, UNGODLINESS, and VOICEMAIL (a massive irritant which has not been active on my phone since about 2012).

    I’m totally afflicted by APATHY and was almost tempted to be a RETIREE. Eventually sheer bloody-mindedness drove me to the FINISH.

    TIME 19:05

    Edited at 2021-11-10 02:53 pm (UTC)

  33. Like others, SAFETY, FEALTY & EAGRE meant a DNF after 60 mins. Oh well. Thanks to setter and contibutors — interesting as ever.
  34. Little to add. Started quickly but last few in the bottom right were recalcitrant. SAFETY a strange sort of clue – I’ve worked offshore on boats and rigs, so both phrases were known, but I imagine not to everyone. Someone mentioned the safety ELF… I’m always tickled by the German National Elf. And note: offshore it’s safety first, except where money is involved. I got sacked once for shutting down a job I considered unsafe.
    OM known from crosswords, but never knew what it was until looking it up today. Doesn’t seem to be actually based on merit? Charles and Philip? Yeah, right. Closer to home, the evil little gnome John Howard of Tampa fame and “throwing refugee children into the sea”, who probably won the award for scuppering Australia’s republican referendum.
  35. 52 minutes, some of them rather horrid. It could only be RETIREE, but it took me ages to parse it and convince myself. Then again, I stared at DORIC for a while, though once I saw it it was actually rather easy. LOI ACCOSTED and although “COSTED” is perhaps technically correct, it really is rather contrived. SAVOYARD and EAGRE went in on faith and wordplay.
  36. I stuck the correctly-letter-counting Seraglio in off the initial “s” in as an opera (too much Anatolia on the brain), which slowed the SW corner down. Otherwise it all fell in place quickly excepting only Fealty, which took a while.

    In the US there is a chain of fast food restaurants named Long John Silver’s and specialising in fish. The fish is generally deep fried and generally accompanied by French Fries — the fish has some, but not a lot, of resemblence to the fish from a chippie, and the FFs have some, but not a lot, of resemblance to proper chips. This in the same way that LJS may have some, but not a lot, of resemblence to a cook in Treasure Island. (For those who weren’t previously aware of the restaurants, I apologise if learning of them gives you bad dreams).

  37. ……as I tackled the puzzle while watching the cricket. Could hardly begrudge the Kiwis their victory, good luck to them in the final.
    Same POI and LOI as many others in the SE corner.
    Incidentally 3 d “haiku” could also be considered as a homophone for “Smelly Scottish farm animal”
    Moving swiftly on……..COD 28 ac “savoyard”.
    Thanks to Pip for the blog and to setter for the puzzle — both of which were far better than England’s bowling in the final overs!
  38. Just finished now! Started last night, getting the first five acrosses right off the bat. But soon I was suddenly too sleepy to continue. This morning, I again made good progress, till I got stalled in the SW, and then had to put it aside till now, to do my Nation magazine chores. LOI in was (the last bit of) ORDER OF MERIT.
  39. He most certainly did not insist on spelling his name all in lower-case.
    This is one of the most stubborn misconceptions about any poet!
    His name was styled that way on a few book covers, and he used caps sparingly (but he did use them!) in his poetry. (I’ve had the hardcover Complete Poems since I was in high school).
    He used caps when he signed his name, at least on the great majority of occasions.

    Encyclopedia Britannica: Cummings used capital letters only irregularly in his verse and did not object when publishers began lowercasing his name, but he himself capitalized his name in his signature and in the title pages of original editions of his books.

    It may at first seem of little import, but for a poet who paid such exacting attention to typography, it must be said once and for all that his name should be written and printed with the usual capital letters in their usual places: “E. E. Cummings.”

    In the preface to a 1964 book about Cummings, critic Harry T. Moore ever claimed that Cummings had legally changed his name to insist upon the small letters, which led to an angry letter from Cummings’s widow calling this a “stupid & childish statement.”

  40. A late solve for me, and a late entry here witha query that may well not be in time for an answer.
    Some of my 22.04 was taken up wondering whether “IN ORDER OF MERIT” was an actual thing. Of course the OM is fine and if you are a member you’re in it, so the wordplay works, but I don’t think I’ve ever come across the phrase as such. Along with many here, I’ve been listed in order of finishing (usually 26th), lined up in order of height, and watched Strictly contestants called out in no particular order.
    In order of merit is not unreasonable but I can’t find it as a dictionary entry, though Cambridge online does list some examples of its use.

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