Times 28143 – no stone unturned.

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
A rapid solve for me with nothing unknown or uncomfortable. Unusually, two and a half homophones. Not as much fun as some recent Wednesdays, but pleasant enough.

1 One-time citizen’s infant boy consuming half of capital (10)
BABYLONIAN – infant boy = BABY IAN, insert LON(don) = half of capital. Hard to spot from cold, but once I had 1d and 5d, easy enough.
6 Where a cobbler may be, missing Times unfortunately (4)
ALAS – AT (his) LAST loses its Ts for Times.
10 Endless longing for painkiller (7)
ASPIRIN – ASPIRING = longing, loses its G.
11 Reserve force with revolutionary goal, keeping one illuminated (7)
MILITIA – goal = AIM, reversed = MIA, insert I LIT.
12 Wading bird changes colour (9)
TURNSTONE – TURNS TONE = changes colour. A bird I had heard of.
13 Discernment of staff originally employed in gallery (5)
TASTE – S (staff originally) in the TATE.
14 Economise, writing novel in health resort, mostly (5)
SKIMP – KIM (a novel by Kipling), insert it into SP(A).
15 Remove arms from girl’s political representative? (9)
DISMEMBER – DI’S MEMBER (of Parliament).
17 Go too far past stretch of river (9)
OVERREACH – OVER = past, REACH = stretch of river.
20 Curious about current emitting loud sound (5)
NOISY – I for current, inside NOSY = curious.
21 Dark period man on board reported (5)
NIGHT – sounds like KNIGHT as in chess.
23 Period in Alabama principally surveying transport hubs (9)
TERMINALS –  TERM (period) IN AL(alabama) S(urveying).
25 Current measure blocking fashion for disorderly behaviour (7)
RAMPAGE – AMP (current measure) inside RAGE (fashion).
26 Head off duck trapping seabird — it’s never-ending! (7)
ETERNAL – TERN a seabird goes into (T)EAL) a headless duck.
27 Solitary-sounding advance (4)
LOAN – sounds like LONE.
28 European capital initially involved in urchin’s discharge (10)
BRATISLAVA – BRAT’S (unchin’s) LAVA (discharge) insert I (initial letter of Involved). Capital of Slovakia, a pleasant enough city.

1 Most appropriate accommodation for a farm animal (5)
BEAST – A is accommodated in BEST.
2 I share in light meal comprising two elements (9)
BIPARTITE – I, PART (share) inside BITE (light meal).
3 Bishops left US airports I’d left, surprisingly (5,9)
LORDS SPIRITUAL – (L US AIRPORTS ID L)*. We had this very recently so it was a write-in then check the anagram fodder.
4 Sister’s position: not one picked up by poet (7)
NUNHOOD – NUN sounds like NONE, then HOOD an English poet. Thomas Hood is ranked 230 out of the top 500 on a poetry website I found, so no wonder I was unaware of him.
5 Article by this writer’s not so lacking in purpose (7)
AIMLESS – A (article) I’M (this writer’s), LESS (not so… ).
7 Plant a great number around university (5)
LOTUS – U inside LOTS.
8 Darkish-coloured pan Lady Jane possibly used? (5-4)
SLATE-GREY – SLATE = pan, criticise; GREY as in Lady Jane Grey, the great-granddaughter of Henry VII who was Queen for nine days until being deposed by Mary and executed. She was only seventeen.
9 Slovenly nature of old nurse drinking coffee at bar on ship (14)
SLATTERNLINESS – SRN (state registered nurse) has LATTE (IMO disgusting milky coffee) inserted, then LINE – bar, SS = ship.
14 Rascal caught in narrow channel on lake (9)
SCOUNDREL – C (caught) in SOUND (narrow channel) RE (on) L (lake). The word always reminds me of Dr Johnson’s allegedly having said patriotism was “the last refuge of a scoundrel” but perhaps it should have been ‘politics…”.
16 Helmeted woman’s time in Bahrain, travelling without husband (9)
BRITANNIA – (T IN BA RAIN)* where the H is omitted from the anagrist.
18 African native given a set of books to carry (7)
ANTBEAR – A, NT (set of books) BEAR (carry). Another name for the aardvark.
19 Possess way to gather first of ripe crop (7)
HARVEST – HAVE (posess) ST (way) insert R (first of ripe).
22 Continental character setting up a male publication (5)
GAMMA – All reversed, A M(ale) MAG.
24 Latin American dance additionally used briefly in South Africa (5)
SALSA – SA (South Africa) has ALS(O) = additionally used briefly, inserted.

101 comments on “Times 28143 – no stone unturned.”

  1. That should have been under 15′, but I spent more than 10 vainly trying to solve 23ac and 18d before I finally realized I’d put in BRITTANIA. TERMINALS and ANTBEAR followed within seconds. Damn. I biffed LORDS SPIRITUAL–it certainly helped that it had so recently appeared–and never checked the anagrist. Didn’t know that a TURNSTONE is a wading bird, but that didn’t matter.
  2. Pretty much what Kevin said, without the unfortunate typo to hold things up.

    Hesitated at the end over SLATE-GREY until the penny dropped. Could have gone with my guess, and would have been correct in this instance. But taking the time to parse makes for a much less stressful period between submission and “judgment by pink square”.

    We really should have a name for that five seconds or so of angst BTW. Any suggestions?

    1. Those few seconds are a physical manifestation of The Pink Uncertainty Principle, which asserts a fundamental limit to the accuracy with which both the definition and the wordplay can be predicted.
  3. Easy in retrospect but hard at the time. Wavelength. Terminals LOI, but I can imagine it would be first one in for some. Nothing really stands out as brilliant, but nothing poor either.
    For me latte is a milk drink, rather than a coffee drink – hot milk flavoured with espresso. Cappuccino is espresso with a splash of milk.
  4. Kevin, were you a native Englishman you would heading for ‘The Tower’ in a tumbrel!, ‘Rule Britannia, Britannia Rules the Waves!’ Page One! The black turnstone is found wintering on the upper reaches of the American West Coast. There is a Ruddy Turnstone as well.

    My time was a healthy 19 mins, this was a bit of a stroll.

    FOI 6ac ALAS poor Kilroy – I knew him backwards.

    LOI 18dn ANTBEAR as per Pip – aka as the aardvark – the first animal in the phone book when I was lad.

    COD 14ac SKIMP skimpy-things?

    WOD 9dn SLATTERNLINESS two teas, please!

    Initially i divined that 14dn SCOUNDREL was SCALLYWAG – I quickly discovered it wasn’t.

    My second coffee this morning was a delicious ‘Cocoanut Milk Latte’ – my first the disgusting milk variety.

    Edited at 2021-11-24 02:32 am (UTC)

    1. Ahem, sorry ol’ chap but it’s “…Britannia RULE the waves…” i.e. an exhortation rather than a declaration. It would be off with your head too if it wasn’t such a common error.
    2. A late comment, but sadly, horryd, she only rules the waves in years in which the organizers of the Proms are from the traditionalist side of the aisle.
  5. Held up for minutes on the unknown bird- TURNSHADE? TURNSBLUE? I was tone deaf and blind for too long, which held up the hooded nuns as last in. I feel your pain, Astronowt! 22:25
    1. So ALAS, with huge NOISY groan
      I finished the grid with TURNSTONE
      Our setter’s a BEAST
      Well a SCOUNDREL at least
      And hence here’s my ETERNAL moan
  6. All done apart from two answers in 27 minutes but the missing words intersected and after a further 10 minutes I threw in the towel and used aids for one of them so that the other then fell into place. The troublesome pair were TURNSTONE and NUNHOOD.

    I should have got the bird as it has come up before but for some reason it wouldn’t come to mind. I had been convinced that 4dn started with NUNS (sister’s) and that put me off the trail, not that I’ve ever heard of NUNHOOD, although ‘-hood’ as a suffix can be attached to all sorts of professions of callings e.g. priesthood.

    At 9dn unless there’s another meaning of ‘bar’ that I haven’t considered the only connection with LINE I can think of might be in musical notation. However, in that context a bar is not a line, it’s the space between bar lines.

    1. In mathematical notation, a line across the top of a symbol is typically referred to as a bar. Eg in statistics, the sample mean is distinguished from the population mean (mu) by placing a line above it, and is then referred to as “mu bar”.
      1. And although pedantry is welcomed around here, I’ll head it off by adding that yes, the sample mean is more properly denoted as “X bar”. Which changes nothing re the bar / line equivalence.
      2. In linguistics, X-bar theory, and notations, sometimes has a macron over the X, although I think more commonly it’s X’.
    2. 19th century American cattle brands (—M for Bar M) was what I thought of – Wikipedia seems to confirm it.

      Edited at 2021-11-24 06:43 am (UTC)

  7. Seemed pretty easy, but slowed down in the NW (again). NUNHOOD resisted because I was taking “sister” as NUN as wordplay instead of part of the actual answer. BEAST is not necessarily an animal found on a farm, but without “farm” the indefinite article would’ve had to be “an,” which wouldn’t produce the cryptic clue; and this threw me for a while. That TURNSTONE is a bird seemed… a bit absurd.That was one of my last, but the very LOI was LORDS SPIRITUAL, which I finally recognized in the crossers, after the one-word definition and the wordplay eluded me. Good thing I’d seen it here just the other day.

    Edited at 2021-11-24 05:44 am (UTC)

  8. Reasonably easy and enjoyable, with FOI ALAS followed by a slew of QC-level stuff, and LORDS SPIRITUAL still fresh in the memory. Then a steady trudge through the proper clues, ending in the NW

    – SLATTERNLINESS gave me a bit of trouble (here as in life) as I was parsing LATTER N for “old nurse” but eventually I shrugged and continued.
    – Top left was finally unlocked by BABYLONIAN. Couldn’t make sense of NUNHOOD, failing once again to interpret “picked up” as a homophone (when will I ever learn?), also without knowledge of the poet.
    – LOI ANTBEAR which I solved previously, but decided to revisit because it seemed a pretty unlikely hybrid.

    Overall a good outcome and time for me – all comfortably ahead of the morning stroll. Thanks Pip and setter

  9. Slow at 35 minutes, spending too long on trying to get 1a at the very beginning, instead of waiting for crossers. Happy to have seen the ‘wading bird’ pretty quickly anyway.

    I don’t think I’d heard of the ‘poet’ at 4d before, but he seems a likeable character. From Wikipedia, describing his contributions to a humorous periodical: “He would cover all the leading events of the day in caricature, without personal malice, and with an undercurrent of sympathy.” Maybe something a few of today’s comedians could learn from.

    Favourite was BRATISLAVA, the city that (among other luminaries I’m sure) gave us Johann Nepomuk Hummel.

    Thanks to Pip and setter

  10. Your love I did allow,
    But then, you know, you stand upon
    Another footing now.”

    25 mins pre-brekker. Nice to have a reminder of Thomas Hood. As usual when he comes up I recommend his ‘faithless’ ballads for all pun lovers. A fun way to look at dismemberment.
    Thanks setter and Pip.

  11. 50 mins with a sad pair of pinks in the SE. I put SAMBA in early and never went back to it. So I invented the -EUM duck for ETERNUM.

    LORDS SPIRITUAL easier second time around. LOI NUNHOOD.

  12. 19:11
    Quick solve; no dramas.
    People in the coffee shops round here (Northampton, UK) are always asking for laah-tay. Even some of the baristas say it. This always has me reaching for my Ramipril (or Raah-mipril).
    Thanks, pip.
    1. You prompted me to check with Google, as I’ve only ever heard it pronounced that way.

      Seems to be a difference between the English and French pronunciation, which isn’t unusual.

      I’m happy to embrace either pronunciation, but at Joe’s Beachside Cafe one of them will get me Pip’s disgusting milky coffee, the other will get me a quizzical expression!

      1. Joe’s sounds nice. Just the Italian word for milk, really. It’s the linguist in me, g. Can’t help it 🙂
        1. No, I found it genuinely interesting.

          Joe’s is a humble venue, but it’s very close-by. Joe himself is an absolute psycho, a Lebanese guy who gets angry in several languages, accosts me relentlessly with conspiracy theories, and flirts outrageously and openly with my wife. I absolutely love him.

    2. I assumed ramipril was some sort of Asian knife like a kukri or something.. then I looked it up
      1. My full prescription sounds like a roll call of alien ambassadors at a Star Trek AGM: Amlodipine, Losartan, Omeprazole, Prednisolone, Seretide, etc., etc.
      1. Lattay. That’s more or less how the Italians say it and is more common in the U.K. I think.

        Edited at 2021-11-24 10:43 am (UTC)

        1. I’m not sure I see the difference (although I am sure I don’t care): [lættei] vs. [lattei]? I didn’t think Italian had [æ].
          1. I’m never very sure what these notations mean. It’s latt to rhyme with hat rather than (non-rhotic) hart.
  13. 29 minutes with LOI ANTBEAR. TURNSTONE was guessed from cryptic and crossers. The LORDS SPIRITUAL can’t have worked this hard since the abdication. COD to DISMEMBER. Poor old Di works hard most weeks. I put in AIMLESS early, but I still can’t really see LESS as ‘not so’. We visited BRATISLAVA a couple of years ago, a beautiful city well worth a visit but next to the horrors of Soviet style architecture. People probably said something similar about Babylon. Thank you Pip and setter.
  14. 10:31 LOI BRITANNIA. I’m another who put LORDS SPIRITUAL in without working out the anagram as we had had it so recently. ASPIRIN my favourite. Thank-you Pip and setter.

    Edited at 2021-11-24 08:39 am (UTC)

  15. Just under 50 mins, the last 10 spent staring at B-A-T and A-T-E -R without any pennies dropping at all. Eventually bunged in BEAST without knowing why (thanks Pip) and looking up ANTBEAR. Shucks.

    SLATTERNLINESS is a very ugly word IMHO. I liked SCOUNDREL and BRATISLAVA, though I’ve never been there.

    Thanks Pip and setter.

  16. 37 is fast – for me. You guys are much quicker. ‘I remember, I remember’ is probably Hood’s best known poem, especially the first stanza. Last in ANTBEAR, I was thinking it might be a tribal name, not an animal. I’ll remember that.
    1. … by Thomas Hood

      Ben Battle was a soldier bold
      And used to wars alarms
      Till a cannon ball took off his legs
      So he laid down his arms

      And as they bore him off the field
      Said he “Let others shoot.
      For here I leave my second leg
      And the forty-second foot.”

      My handle comes from a poem by Hood. I still didn’t get NUNHOOD

  17. V quick today. But still fun, and some neat clues.
    We are having so many repeated words at present that you can get a start, just by looking for them.
    I never go into coffee shops, and I don’t speak coffee. A flat white means nothing to me ..I do however have a fancy bean-to-cup machine so I can press buttons and pretend that I do..
  18. I also put in Brittania initially, which slowed me down. And I wanted to put in Slatterniness which didn’t fit.

    I signed up for a Livejournal quite some time ago in order to contribute to this blog. Well today I have received an email from Livejournal informing me that it is my 12th anniversary on Livejournal and attaching a virtual gift.

    The gift comprises a colourful number 12, either side of which there are a couple of bizarre looking cartoon characters, (who appear to have hybrid genetic origins), festooned in party hats and equipped with fire crackers, who I think are in the process of celebrating this momentous event.

    I can’t adequately express my thanks!

  19. 13.25. I found a lot of the answers went in swiftly but held up by one or two- slatternliness to the fore till I recognised SRN. For Bratislava I spent too much time searching for an anagram including in urchin and convinced that the answer lay in some remote European enclave ofRussia. Oh what tangled webs we weave…

    Enjoyable so thanks setter and blogger.

    1. And also those of a certain age will remember endless calculations with logs, in which ‘bar one/two/etc’ used to appear. Thanks goodness for calculators, which have saved hours of time, the only benefit of which was a certain facility with numerical calculation, something that can easily be achieved without the slog.
  20. Short and sweet, though I dithered over TURNSTONE.

    Good to see HOOD get a mention.

    SLATTERNLINESS and SCOUNDREL are fine words though I expect they are rarely heard these days, despite new opportunities presenting themselves almost daily in Downing Street.

    Thanks to Pip and the setter

  21. 26 minutes, the last few of which were spent on turnstone/nunhood. I just couldn’t think of it: turnsrose, turnspuce, turnsblue …? Eventually I looked at a list of colours and found it wasn’t a specific colour at all. Then nunhood just had to be, although the word was hardly familiar.
  22. Clearly right in my wheelhouse, but nothing wrong with a puzzle which briefly entertains and is gone (as long as it’s not every day).
  23. 7:44. I started really quickly on this so hoped for a while I might manage sub-five minutes, but I slowed down in the SE corner. My main problem was looking for a nationality at 18dn, once I spotted the ANTBEAR the rest went in quickly.
  24. The apt poem I recall is the one that starts – “No sun, no moon, no morn no noon” and ends with “November”. No dramas here – a smooth 12.03.
  25. Amazed to find that 28a didn’t need the last N.
    Also thought NUNHOOD a dodgy word and the first dictionary didn’t have it. Wiktionary does though.
    Pretty easy today I thought.
  26. Noddy ol’ chap – one lives and learns! We were never told as it is such a common error!

    Altogether now, “Rule Britannia, Britannia waives the rules!”

  27. Back to an easier one today, with only a little worry about GRAY/GREY for my LOI, and the unknown TURNSTONE. I was confident on SLATTERNLINESS but had forgotten SRN from the mental list of historical nurse abbreviations.
  28. Monkhood I knew and therefore NUNHOOD must be a word. Thomas Hood is a favourite with me too. My COD. The Lords Spirtual returned to haunt us so quickly. Rule Britannia and those Scoundrels!
  29. Thought I was on for a very fast time but held up in SE, BRITANNIA and ANTBEAR coming slowly.

    11′ 40″, thanks pip and setter.

  30. …. I’d be doing better on the SNITCH ! Made a mess of entering SCOUNDREL, otherwise I’d have been sub-6 minutes. A very straightforward puzzle with no unknowns.

    TIME 6:33

  31. 38:09. No reason why this seemed so difficult, other than a few moderately, but guessable, unknowns — though SLATTERNLINESS, with its pesky first N, didn’t help — but it did and there’s no arguing with the clock.

    Edited at 2021-11-24 12:44 pm (UTC)

  32. Didn’t realise SRN is another type of nurse, which stopped me fully parsing SLATTERNLINESS so that it eventually went in once I was left with no other option. Like one or two others I found the 12a/4d intersection tricky, as I hadn’t heard of a TURNSTONE or the poet Hood, but eventually it came. Also didn’t know that Kim is a novel, though SKIMP was otherwise straightforward.

    FOI Loan
    LOI Nunhood
    COD Turnstone

  33. Was not in my lexicon, I’ve NHO Hood (toyed with the momble NUNBARD until the wader went in), and (LOI) BRATISLAVA always sounds like a made-up place such as Ruritania to me!

    Apart from those, this was OK. I hadn’t heard of the wading bird either, but TONE=colour came to mind immediately.


  34. Fast time for me, only the unknown bird and NUNHOOD (never having heard of the poet) held me up.

    LORDS SPIRITUAL confidently bunged in due to its recent appearance.

    BRATISLAVA from three checkers without parsing the LAVA bit.

    BABYLONIAN from the L and A checkers with the notion that 4d might begin with an N

    I like latte, preferably skinny, but then I like capucchino and espresso too. Not so keen on americano or mocha.

    Edited at 2021-11-24 02:15 pm (UTC)

  35. I’m with Astro Nowt and Jackkt today. My solve ended with a long look for the bird and the nun’s position. I decided to follow the parsing as best I could. The bird became TURNSPALE as I had to accommodate BARD for the poet.
    I’m not sure I’ve ever come across Turnstone, and Hood’s poetry must be hidden in a barred grid.
    Otherwise I was pleased to complete more of this than seemed likely at the start.
    1. I’m embarrassed to read that there is a plaque commemorating Thomas Hood on Cheapside. I have spent 40 years walking up and down that street without it registering. In fact I may walk past it this evening! I’ll be keeping an eye open.
  36. Delayed tackling today’s puzzle until after this morning’s walk with the local RSPB group (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) along the River Deben where, among many others, we saw teal, terns and a lively turnstone belying his name by using his head to turn over seaweed to search for his lunch. Fortunate timing.

    Unfortunately, we didn’t come across any antbears, of which I had never heard and could not invent for the puzzle.

    All done bar the antbear in 31 minutes so was on track for my second fastest time but was left with a DNF.

    Thanks to the setter and blogger and to fellow commenters for the introduction to Thomas Hood, whose name I had heard but knew nothing of. I’ll look him up.

  37. 7:33 this afternoon, my fifth fastest ever time according to SNITCH. A rare chance for me to experience personally what our “Premier League” colleagues do virtually as a matter of course.
    I have two possible explanations — one of course “wavelength” in the sense that today I had worked out several answers before I’d finished reading the clue in question.
    The other is the little known “Reverse Samson Effect”. I had to get my hair cut this morning after a gap of 3 months and I appear to have been re-invigorated, unlike poor old Victor Manure. However, this will have to remain hypothetical for some time, as I have too little hair left to re-test in the immediate future.
    Finished in the NE corner and, realising I could be having close to a PB, in my haste managed to remove the “t” from “at last” for 6 ac and enter “lass”. I then realised 7d could only be “lotus” and recovered fortunately.
    Thanks to Pip and setter.
  38. Didn’t know TURNSTONE nor ANTBEAR so those held me up. But the rest of the puzzle seemed to go straight in.
  39. I also accepted the holy HOL fillers as a gift, after BABYLONIAN got me off to a quick start. Oddly enough, I can actually remember which Grey Jane was without worrying. I was only on somewhere around 12 or 13 minutes with 1 left to solve, but that was NUNHOOD and took me circa another 4 minutes. Nice puzzle. 17:28. Thanks setter and Pip.
  40. Reasonably smooth solve for me today. Had nunhead for a while which held up turnstone but eventually got that sorted. NHO the bird but it seemed a reasonable guess. Fingers were crossed on the spelling of grey. 26m so 10 or so mins faster than my average time. Thanks setter and blogger as ever.
  41. From Crepidus, our Athenian cobbler who should have stuck to his last, we get the juicy word Ultracrepidarian, or, I suppose, beyond the knowledge of Crepidus. A great word to use to compliment a bull?????er that should make you both feel good. (S)He because it sounds seriously complimentary, you because you know that its meaning flew cleanly over the offender’s head!
  42. Thirty-five minutes for me, so it must have been a friendly puzzle. FOI alas, 19 on first pass, never were such times. My quickest solve yet, and mostly parsed. LOI by three minutes, nunhood. Liked all the clues. Thanks, Pip, and setter.
  43. Solving in the early evening might account for a slow start, as when I finally got moving the answers whizzed in, even ANTBEAR once the checkers were in. That “African native” ploy can be a beast (sic).

    Anyway, 14.22 for a puzzle that perhaps should have taken a couple of minutes less.

    Fancy The Bishops showing up again! No-one expects the English Institution.

  44. Turnstones always make me smile. In Britain a creek is an inlet but never (in my humble opinion) a bay. Is the cryptic usage of “at” in 9 down a signature of the setter? It seems to be around a lot lately and I’m not a fan.
  45. Another late solve and like Leskoffer glad it was on the gentler side. Struggled a bit with the same last two as others (NUNHOOD and TURNSTONE) but the rest went in smoothly enough.

    Thanks Pip and setter

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