Times 28147 – “In al his lyf, unto no maner wight…..”

Time: 26 minutes
Music: Tchaikovsky, Swan Lake, Previn/LSO.

I thought this was going to be an easy Monday, as I raced through the the NW corner, but there were some clues in the other quadrants that held me up a bit.    It certainly is useful if you know the correct spelling of Politburo, which I apparently didn’t – I was lucky it was checked by the anti-money.   I also struggled a little with ursine, having considered Rupert as a bear, but not as literally as the setter had in mind.   And of course, no one expects an alpenhorn, even though they’re always popping up in these cryptics.

1 Country house and home linked with unknown criminality (8)
6 Man or woman primarily obsessed with one’s jargon (6)
PATOIS –  PAT (an epicene name) + O[bsessed} + I’S.
9 Greek character in City blockbuster (4)
EPIC – E(PI)C, our favorite postcode.
10 Fellow member, male, disturbed by current submission (10)
COMPLIANCE – CO-MP + L(I)ANCE, where Lance is our random man.   I don’t know if this nickname for Lawrence is common in the UK or  not.
11 Duke given job scrapping men’s initial distribution (10)
13 Make better preserve perhaps (4)
CURE – Double definition
14 German woman surprisingly has a fur uniform (8)
HAUSFRAU –  Anagram of HAS A FUR + U.
16 A French coin in Brazil? That’s fantastic (6)
18 Old kingdom beginning to adapt, with thanks to the French (6)
MERCIA – MERCI + A[dapt].
20 Setback star encountered at first, finding plumber’s tool (8)
BLOWPIPE –  BLOW + PIP + E[ncountered], presumably not the same as the blowpipe used in by primitive hunters.
22 Capital this writer’s invested in Hollywood setting (4)
LIMA –  L(I’M)A.   Yes, Hollywood is part of Los Angeles.
24 Danger host represented, being self-willed (10)
26 Spaniard with a large upper-class Welsh girl (10)
28 Midday news covering polo regularly (4)
NOON – N([p]O[l]O)N.
29 Rupert, possibly, in old city function (6)
URSINE –  UR + SINE, the bear, not the prince.
30 Threatening sound of cattle crossing English river (8)
2 Curse little devil, worried about leisure facility (9)
3 Settings where ecstasy is offered in pubs (7)
4 Irritating and spiteful — not British (5)
5 Starchy tuber a woman raised (3)
YAM – MAY upside down, presumably not Theresa, who is probably already forgot.
6 Mostly courteous hanger-on joining old Communist committee (9)
7 Vehicle sailor used to collect army medics (7)
TRAMCAR – T(RAMC)AR.   Royal Army Medical Corps.
8 Suffer part of Latin curriculum (5)
INCUR – Hidden in [lat]IN CUR[riculum].
12 Former pope endlessly touring India’s city fringes (7)
15 Reportedly travelled with firm, stopping for break here? (9)
17 Instrument on plane, extremely rough in motion? (9)
ALPENHORN – Anagram of ON PLANE + R[oug]H.
19 Unleavened bread and tea with papa at one (7)
CHAPATI – CHA + P + AT I.   The NATO alphabet again.
21 Split up with hesitation, securing new spouse, perhaps (7)
23 Champion loses weight? It’s part of the target (5)
INNER – [w]INNER, a chestnut.
25 Muscle pigs displayed, moving west (5)
SINEW – SWINE with the W moved down.   Sinew is not literally muscle, but the metaphorical meanings are employed here.
27 I left school ultimately in poor health (3)
ILL – I + L + [schoo]L

83 comments on “Times 28147 – “In al his lyf, unto no maner wight…..””

  1. 7:55 with ALPENHORN the last one in. Made a slow start but a steady solve the way through. Grateful for the wordplay for IMPRECATE
  2. I didn’t know Lance might be a shortening of Laurence.

    In Australia and I suspect in the UK the normal shortening would be Larry.

    Typo in 2dn BTW.

    1. Lance is Germanic (from land), Laurence is Latin (from Laurentum). The former is the l in glheard.
          1. Apparently we are both relieved .. thank heaven our respective parents got it the right way round 🙂
    2. I had a salesman unfortunately christened Lancelot, like Lance Percival above, and often confirmed it was short for Lawrence as his voice was quite posh and he thought (rightly) that being a Lancelot would piss his customers off.
  3. I scraped home in 33 minutes with 22ac LIMA my LOI, as l nearly settled for RIGA/RICA (RCA. Victor)! All over the show!

    FOI 5dn YAM



    Lord V. You have a slight error at 2dn should be REC not RWC — how did the Rugby World Cup sneak in there!?

    Edited at 2021-11-29 01:55 am (UTC)

  4. Felt like a low snitch Monday puzzle, as I completed within target time but with one error.


    Also thought carefully about RIGA, perhaps RGA is a studio or an actor thing. Eventually twigged that “this writer’s” was genitive not elision. So “IM” not “I”: It’s confusing.

    LOI IMPRECATE, turns out I thought it meant “implicate”.


    1. I’ve been tripped up by “this writer’s” quite legitimately clueing I, ME, MY, IM, IS and MINE in the past, depending on the context, so I’m careful to explore my options these days…
  5. Held up for a minute or two by POI ALPENHORN and LOI BLOWPIPE, both of which I suddenly saw, with an understanding of the wordplay following. DNK that BLOWPIPE.
  6. 28 minutes. Held up at the end by ALPENHORN and its distant cousin the BLOWPIPE, which I also associate with Amazonian native peoples shooting curare-tipped darts. ROADHOUSE seemed more Route 66 than the M1 to me and I wondered if the clue should have included eg “in the USA”, but I see that it’s originally a British term used in a slightly different sense in the US.

    I didn’t know the ‘jargon’ (as opposed to “dialect”) meaning of PATOIS, so something I’ve learnt.

  7. This performance made up for a terrible time on the quickie today! Like others, I was grateful for some of the wordplay which allowed me to get IMPRECATE, URSINE, and other unknowns / partially-knowns.
  8. Nothing to frighten the horses. Would have been quicker but Lance led me off on reminiscences about my drug-addled cycling youth, about which I told so many lies…

    Edited at 2021-11-29 04:47 am (UTC)

  9. Only 20 minutes for this one which beats a couple of the early regulars here for a change.

    The only clue that delayed me was BLOWPIPE as ‘plumber’s tool’ which I didn’t know and having looked for it in various sources doesn’t seem to be easy to confirm. For me a BLOWPIPE is a primitive weapon for blowing perhaps poisonous darts, or a tool used in glass-blowing. I’ve found it also as a device for blowing oxygen into a flame to increase its temperature and I guess that’s where plumbing might come into it, but not exclusively, and anyway I thought what plumbers use in welding joints in copper tubes is a blow-torch.

    Edited at 2021-11-29 06:03 am (UTC)

    1. Just checked with my 94 y o father who was a plumber and he never called it a blowpipe. He was originally trained in leadwork (plumb) and, rather randomly, I remember he spent a couple of months in 1966 (I think) in Bermuda putting the large circular leaded light window back together in the cathedral after a hurricane.
      1. Thanks. I was going to add ‘…or blowlamp’ to my last sentence above but can’t edit it now.
  10. I hesitated slightly at the end over TRAMCAR, with RAMC being an abbreviation I’m not familiar with. Indeed I can’t imagine it comes up often given how few words it appears in (ramcat anyone?). In the end I decided it couldn’t be anything else.
  11. Thank you, Vinyl. The name Lance brings to mind Lance Percival of TW3 fame.
    Thank you also for:
    21d PARTNER. I was looking for a word for split but reversed to indicate up.
    20ac: BLOWPIPE. I hadn’t equated PIP with star.
    7d: TRAMCAR. My ‘army medics’ were MOs until the pfennig dropped.
    15d: ROADHOUSE. Again, I didn’t associate firm with HOUSE.
    No real COD.
  12. V, I gather that you take ‘mostly’ to apply both to POLITE and to BURR; a) is that done? I don’t think I’ve come across such wordplay, and b) BUR is a variant spelling (which I’m pretty sure I’ve seen here before), see ODE.
  13. 18 minutes with LOI ALPENHORN. Penultimate was BLOWPIPE. My g-g-g grandfather was a plumber, but he’s not around to ask. For me a BLOWPIPE was exclusively used in South America on the pages of The Wizard to fire darts of curare poison. I took a minute to remember the military slang of Pip for Star on a military uniform. I may have first read that in The Wizard too. COD to URSINE. A pleasant Monday offering . Thank you V and setter.
  14. …by the Doors is a great song. 26 mins so not too difficult. Held up by having BLOWLAMP for a while. LOI IMPRECATE which was a NHO. Never did parse COMPLIANCE so thanks for that v.

    I was trying to figure out what Rupert Murdoch was doing in a clue until the penny dropped.
    Enjoyed today. Thank you v and setter.

    1. Roadhouse Blues — a classic 12 bar. Would have been the standout track on the album, but of course that’s the impeccable Riders on the Storm.
  15. Solution DEPLOYMENT pre-NOON
    No VILLAINY – done very soon
    We INCUR no birds — great!
    This Astro-nowt’s over the Moon
  16. The site might say I entered MERCOA, but I know I didn’t.


    Thanks setter and Vinyl.

  17. After yesterday’s discussion re-Leibniz chocolate biscuits und Kunzle Cakes, I just received a directly targetted, large banner ad for – Jaffa Cakes – Phil!?

    ‘Big Brother’ is watching.

    Edited at 2021-11-29 09:04 am (UTC)

  18. That’s how it works these days. Any crumb and ‘they’ are on to it! Nice Mondayish puzzle which engaged me for 13:22 minutes. COD 11ac Deployment. Are Alpenhorns allowed on planes?
  19. 10:04 BLOWPIPE my LOI with a shrug as I can’t imagine a plumber’s tool called that, unless it’s an alternative name for a BLOWTORCH. I had a workmate called Lance, which wasn’t short for anything; it is just his first name in full. Thank-you setter and Vinyl.
  20. 18:03
    The RAMC folk say it stands for ‘rob all my comrades’ :))
    Male = Lance?? These clues with random names in are just pants, mate. And this is one of the worst. Tom, Ann, Di, Ted, etc. – the shorter ones, often clued as ‘*little* boy/girl’ – well, okay, if you absolutely must. At least the solver can have a go at those, guided by custom and practice. But Lance – er, no. It was easy to deduce ‘compliance’ from the definition in this case, but a clue employing this random-name tactic alongside an obscure definition would rightly have everyone jumping up and down.
    Thanks, v.
  21. 10:57. Steadyish solve but I got a bit becalmed around the half-way mark.
    20ac was a bit of a hit and hope because I knew neither the star meaning of PIP nor the plumbing meaning of BLOWPIPE. The latter seems a bit odd, lacking as it does support in any of the usual dictionaries. I suppose a plumber might use one.
  22. 25 m. but spelling error in ANDALUSIAN, I used a C for S. Silly sausage. LOWERING reminds me of Richard III speech “and the clouds which lowered about …” It’s all in the pronunciation. Thanks all and setter.
  23. Some Rich III plays have “loured upon our house”. Same meaning. Funny opening tho’ ” Now is the winter of our discount tent …”
  24. Pushed to 17 minutes by the BLOWPIPE/ALPENHORN crossing. Thoroughly bamboozled by a failure to lift and separate instrument on a plane and struggling to make sense of the remaining wordplay. Couldn’t happily equate star with PIP, and like everyone else except the setter not seeing BLOWPIPE as a plumber’s tool. Apparently there is something called blowpipe solder which is a thing. Perhaps it needs a blowpipe to apply it. Is there a plumber in the house?
    LANCE of course, as for Martinp is Lance Percival in TW3, and an excursion into wondering whether he would get away with “Shame and scandal in de famalee” in these enlightened times. Random names are, let’s face it, an inevitable tool in the setters armoury. We had four in this grid, MAY, LANCE, PAT and SIAN, although the last is scarcely random as “Welsh girl” is always SIAN.
    1. Unless she’s Olwen or Myfanwy (your homework tonight is to write a cryptic clue for that one !)
  25. Quite straightforward, though LOI ALPENHORN took a little finding, and I share the general disquiet over the definition for blowpipe. I am pretty certain my plumber would never have used one. He only gets even his blowtorch out when he absolutely has to; things mostly just click together these days ..
  26. ever I think.

    Only minute or so slower than my effort on the QC today, where I also got one wrong.

    ALPENHORN was my LOI, and I thought it might tip me over the 10, but it didn’t.

    URSINE my favourite.


  27. YAM, ITCHY and VILLAINY got me off to a flying start. Apart from DEPLOYMENT, the rest of the NW also flew in. The SW followed suit and I moved to the SE where all appeared reasonably quickly, apart from 20a and 17d. Up to the NE where TRAMCAR and COMPLIANCE (didn’t bother to parse the lance bit) opened up the corner, with PATOIS bringing up the rear in that section, leaving BLOWPIPE, which I’ve NHO in that context, (BLOWLAMP/BLOWTORCH yes) to precede LOI, ALPENHORN, which as Vinyl mentions, no one seems to expect! Nice puzzle. 13:33. Thanks setter and Vinyl.
    1. Andy, If you had signed up for a free Live Journal account you would have been able to correct your error:

      Joining the Community
      To sign up for LiveJournal go to this link https://www.livejournal.com/create
      choose a username and fill in your details. You don’t actually have to post anything on your blog. If you log in and go to Times for The Times you can post comments here and they will be tagged with your username. You will also be able to edit your posts later if you wish, until such time as somebody has replied to them.

  28. Fairly Mondayish and enjoyable. Don’t think I’ve come across
    EXURBIA before…or that meaning of BLOWPIPE.


    Thanks to v and the setter.

  29. When HEADSTRONG clicked in a few rows under COMPLIANCE the association of ideas showed what Lance was doing in there. After taking an almighty long time over the Robert Price yesterday this one positively zoomed. 8.30 which is as fast as I can ever get.
  30. A pleasing 29:46. I don’t often come in under 30 minutes. LOIs BLOWPIPE and ALPENHORN (which the spellchecker has just delivered as BLOWOUT and SHOEHORN) with the same issues as everyone else. I had BLOWLAMP right up to the end as the must-be-right-even-though-it-doesn’t-parse solution. Rescued by 21dn PARTNER my COD
  31. Sub 15 minutes so very chuffed.
    I would be very worried if a plumber needed to use a blow pipe,
  32. Shrugged a bit at BLOWPIPE but what else was it going to be.

    EXURBIA is not a word anyone uses in everyday language.

    Otherwise a pretty comfortable romp.

    1. I think of a blowpipe as a glassblowing tool. Plumbers use blowtorches or blow lamps in my experience. John
  33. Very fair Monday stuff, with a minor delay for the unlnown sort of BLOWPIPE, but I remembered that Wodehouse characters often refer to something good as an absolute pippin, which is presumably where the etymology lies (although they also describe annoying things as giving them the pip, which shows what a perverse language English is).
    1. But its military here isn’t it, or would the etymology still be the same. Anyway, no-one seems to have mentioned it specifically. A three star General, say, would have three pips on his collar or shoulder or bosom or wherever
  34. 13.08 a brisk and enjoyable solve. Helped myself by not thinking too hard about blowpipe. Finished up in the NE corner where the: find random male, Lance, delayed me momentarily as did the unfamiliar RAMC abbreviation. I enjoyed the clue for alpenhorn.
  35. 15m, with the same misgiving as others for BLOWPIPE. After some searching online, it does appear to be legitimate, although by the same token it is evidently rather obscure.
  36. This would at least have been my second best time ever if I had taken proper account of the interruptions. A pleasant Monday solve. Not heard the word ‘exurbia’ but it was easy to deduce. Agree with the comments on blowpipe and lance.
    Last two in were headstrong and roadhouse. Not seen ‘represented’ as an anagram indicator before so it took a while before the penny dropped.
    Thanks to setter and blogger.
    1. I hesitated about represented but then read it as re-presented (which made more sense to me as an anagram indicator).
  37. 16.04 with a major roadblock at the junction between 1ac and 3 dn. Took ages before locales finally dawned and that yielded villainy. But what a palaver. Similar brain fade with mercia. It was the first answer I thought of but tied myself in knots with too literal concentration on the beginning to adapt.

    Given the above, reasonably pleased to finish in under 20. Thx setter and blogger.

  38. All straight forward and fair enough.

    My son is called LAURENCE and one of the main reasons we chose the name is that it’s the longest name that I know of which is an anagram of another word. CERULEAN.

  39. Have been to London today and this was something to do on the train. Not too difficult overall apart from a few at the end.
    LOI was COMPLIANCE where I needed all the checkers; I found the word before realising that the random male was Lance -rare, but I do remember Lance Percival and once saw him at his golf club.
    I’ve never known a plumber with a blowpipe; and EXURBIA was an interesting construction.
    COD to HAUSFRAU. Under an hour.
  40. I did the same with a Spanish C in Andalucia.
    Good puzzle but I was a good bit slower than most on this blog…..
  41. 11:23 this afternoon. Typical Monday fare and an entertaining puzzle.
    Began with NW corner and moved steadily around with POI 21 d “partner” (once I realised that “new” was part of the wordplay) and LOI 20 ac “blowpipe”. Didn’t parse “pip” (thanks Vinyl) and wasn’t 100% sure it was a plumbers tool but went for it.
    COD 17 d “alpenhorn” if only because the surface had me visualising a cockpit dashboard for too long.
    Thanks to Vinyl and setter.
  42. ….that pygmy plumbers use a BLOWPIPE. Straightforward otherwise.

    TIME 6:51

    * One of my all time favourite cryptic clues :

    Instrument used for long distance off peak calls

  43. 23 minutes, don’t get much faster really. I sometimes think that on an easy one I might get down to about 10 minutes, but can’t think or type that fast. How Verlaine does a crossword in about 7 minutes taking it all very casually it seems is beyond me.

    Like many of the commenters was uncomfortable with the blowpipe, but it seemed the most likely answer.

    Edited at 2021-11-29 07:34 pm (UTC)

  44. Apologies to They Might Be Giants, I think I have a lyrical crossed wire somewhere but the tune’s been firmly lodged in my brain all day. A tidy offering though I dread to think what a plumber does with a blowpipe.

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