Times 28149 – some strange flavours here, but charming in parts, like quarks perhaps.

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Most of this puzzle was fine by me, but some of it seemed, well, odd. Hard to put a finger on how, but I thought there were some obtuse definitions (like 13a, 16a)  and bits of wordplay (11a, 4d) that raised an eyebrow. Maybe I just didn’t appreciate the subtleties.
Anyway it took half an hour and there were some jolly good clues too, like 15d, 16d and 23d.

1 Peers slam old report that’s recycled (5,8)
LORDS TEMPORAL – Goodness me, is it the same setter each time or do we have an outbreak of coincidence? Two very recent appearances of Lords Spiritual, and now their less clerical chums. (SLAM OLD REPORT)*.
8 Nothing took effect in late news report (4)
OBIT – O (nothing) BIT (took effect), abbr. for obituary.
9 Spirit level in a mine brought to one working (10)
APPARITION – A, PAR (level) put into PIT (mine), I (one) ON (working).
10 Gardens conveyed in painting — Appian’s first (8)
ARBORETA – BORE (conveyed) inside ART (painting) then A for Appian.
11 Noble philosopher denying Trinity at the end (6)
ARISTO – ARISTOTLE loses his “Trinity” of last three letters. I’m not keen on Trinity for a trio of letters, but it has to be.
13 Note in Rule Ten wrong about competition at court (4,6)
LAWN TENNIS – LAW TEN insert N for note = LAWN TEN, then SIN (wrong) reversed.
16 Wrongdoer renouncing evil — that’s pointless (4)
VAIN – VILLAIN is our wrongdoer, he loses ILL = evil. I can see a pointless attempt is a vain attempt, or more usually, in vain.
17 Land granted that is held between two forces (4)
FIEF – I.E. for ‘that is’ (ID EST) between F and F.
18 Little son carrying weight (10)
SMATTERING – S (son) MATTERING (carrying weight).
20 One leaving whole sheep’s heart in dish (6)
ENTREE – whole = ENTIRE, leave out the I and put in E being the ‘heart’ of shEep.
22 Traveller involved primarily in china and metal (8)
CHROMIUM – china = CHUM, insert ROM meaning traveller and I being first letter of involved. A Rom is apparently a male member of the Romani ethnic group, Roma being plural; (the female is a ROMNI in that language.)
24 Instrument getting fish on line (6,4)
STRING BASS – STRING = line, BASS a kind of fish.
26 Stone work filling in wall (4)
OPAL – OP = work, AL the filling w AL l.
27 Good Scottish man to avoid French island cruise? (6,7)
GUIDED MISSILE – GUID Scottish for good, ED a man, MISS to avoid, ILE French for island.

1 Sailor introduced to African as believer in free will (11)
LIBERTARIAN – TAR our sailor goes inside LIBERIAN an African.
2 Spanish runner clutches at relationship (5)
RATIO – RIO (Spanish for river) has AT inserted.
3 Dumpy, small, unfortunate: close to collapse inside (9)
SHAPELESS – S (small) HAPLESS (unfortunate) insert E (last letter of collapse).
4 Lover that was hardly hunky offers excuse (7)
EXPLAIN – EX (lover that was) PLAIN (hardly hunky, in a vague sort of way).
5 Old man should cover chest in something warm (5)
PARKA – PA cover an ARK).
6 Hound someone to set situation straight? (9)
RETRIEVER – double definition, dog, fixer.
7 Learner driver on two wheels for convenience? (3)
LOO – L for learner, O O for two wheels. My FOI.
12 Measure in sections bending rule time and time again (11)
TRIANGULATE – my LOI, took me a while to see it was an anagram, not ending in T AGE. (RULE T T AGAIN)*. Does triangulate really mean measure in sections? A difficult word to define in a few words.
14 Queen playing Free Bird in six counties? (9)
NEFERTITI – (FREE)* TIT all inside NI for Northern Ireland.
15 Ridicules flowers bought at the weekend? (9)
SATIRISES – IRISES bought on a Saturday, SAT IRISES, ha ha.
19 Welcome account — one saying little about India (7)
ACCLAIM – AC (account) CLAM (one saying little) insert I for India.
21 Powerful symbol used regularly in mezangelle (5)
EAGLE – alternate letters of m E z A n G e L l E. I looked up mezangelle to see if it was a thing, it is, but I am none the wiser from reading about it.
23 Husband to Mathilde perhaps housing old south sea islander (5)
MAORI – Mathilde might be a French lady, if so her husband is son mari in French, insert an O for old.
25 Physicist at last uncovered huge gravitational force (3)
TUG – T (end letter of physicist) UG (hUGe uncovered).

65 comments on “Times 28149 – some strange flavours here, but charming in parts, like quarks perhaps.”

  1. Another sluggish solve for me. I put in STOP at 26ac (stone work ST OP), wondered about the definition and of course forgot to return to it until 23d forced me to reconsider (it was my LOI). ‘Trinity at the end’ had me fooled; I spent a lot of time trying to think of a philosopher ending in Y. Similarly, ‘wrong’ at 13ac suggested to me (inruleten)*, which of course led nowhere.
    Is a retriever a hound?

    Edited at 2021-12-01 02:31 am (UTC)

    1. Hounds are used for hunting (Lexico) and retrievers are, too, so I guess a retriever is a hound!
      1. It’s not clear from Collins and ODE, but it looks to me like hounds track or chase the game, where retrievers, well, retrieve; which would seem to exclude them from the hound category. Not that it really matters; my eyebrows didn’t move a bit while solving.
        1. A hound can be any dog according to the dictionaries, where this definition appears alongside the more precise version.
  2. The strange recent emergence of various Lords certainly helped with 1ac, at least for the first word. Found the rest of the puzzle to be quite a step up from yesterday and was happy to emerge unscathed.

    CHROMIUM (LOI) and MAORI not fully parsed, but not much room for doubt.

    Thanks setter and Pip.

    *Edited to remove accidental reference to a Quickie clue. Whoops.

    Edited at 2021-12-01 01:43 am (UTC)

  3. Slow and steady for a 60+ finish.

    LOI OBIT, which I suspect might be a chestnut. LIBERTARIAN was POI and a long trawl through African countries and possible philosophies eventually clicked. I tried MALIAN, and also MET for ‘introduced to’.


    Coincidentally, I was reading a book on Etymology (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55517946) yesterday and came across the fact that Romany does not come from Roman but from ROM. That fact, along with my muttering about china=mate=friend yesterday made CHROMIUM parsable.

    Edited at 2021-12-01 01:43 am (UTC)

  4. I found this hard, especially as I was multi-tasking with email. LOI was RETRIEVER with a bit of a shrug since the non-dog definition seemed a bit off. Earlier when I had some of the checkers I was trying to fit ROTWEILER.
    1. I was fixated on ROTWEILER for a while, too but then realised the dog has two Ts in its name.
  5. Had that ‘hound’ come into view I would surely not have finished!

    I was slow at 65 mins but fared far better than yesterday’s horryd show.
    The northern reaches of the central highlands proved tough, particularly 4dn EXPLAIN; hunky the opposite of plain!? EXWEEDY was more in line for Meldrew (a well hoed garden perhaps!)

    FOI 1ac LORDS TEMPORAL well protested Pip! The editor is without VAR!

    LOI 3dn SHAPELESS is that really dumpy? It should have connotations of small, innit? I was hoping for the more diddly — SQUATNESS!



    12dn TRIANGULATE simply means to measure distance from three fixed points — GPS does it simultaneously these days.

    Let’s hope the QC is nice’n’easy.

    On edit: it wasn’t!

    Edited at 2021-12-01 04:16 am (UTC)

    1. I always thought that the term ‘trig point’ used in mapping was a shortening of triangulation point but apparently not: it’s trigonometrical point.
  6. I wrote Lords Temporal in directly, then started looking for a plausible 5,4 for the matching trinity apperance of Tudor Rose. Not to be. Otherwise like vinyl — pretty quick until I was left with a couple where the crossers distracted my thinking more than helping. The ‘mattering’ in Smattering, for example. Thanks, pip. Nice blog
  7. 29 minutes with the last 5 spent on ARISTO. Not keen on the use of ‘denying Trinity at end here’ as I lost time trying to find something to remove a Y from.
  8. 47 minutes. It was too much to hope we were going to get the LORDS whatever three times in a week and not knowing the other varieties, 1a took a while to get. Slow progress through the rest until TRIANGULATE, trying to sort out the anagram fodder and thinking the def was a bit strange. I wasn’t a big fan of ‘denying Trinity at the end’ at 11a either, unless it’s a clever reference to Aristotle’s philosophical beliefs. If so, way over my head.

    I’m none the wiser after reading about ‘mezangelle’ either. Anyway, according to Wikipedia it is: “… a poetic-artistic language developed in the 1990s by Australian-based Internet artist Mez Breeze (Mary-Anne Breeze). It is recognized as a central contribution to Codework,[1] Electronic literature, Internet Art and digital writing in general.” As any fule kno.

  9. Like you, Pip, and others, I found it odd that we had yet another reference to LORDS, this time TEMPORAL.
    Thanks, Pip, for explaining ‘Trinity’ at the end’, the extra N in LAWN TENNIS and the ROM in CHROMIUM, as well as VAIN.
    Like vinyl, most of this went in fairly quickly but the last half dozen or so took a long time.

    Edited at 2021-12-01 07:25 am (UTC)

  10. I finished with ARBORETA, where I thought I was looking for the name of a particular garden, possibly biblical, which had me lacking confidence. I considered whether “rode” could mean conveyed giving the vaguely plausible ARRODETA but thankfully thought again. GUIDED MISSILE led me up the wrong path, where I just assumed G for good and then tried to get our familiar Scottish friend Ian in there. Always nice when the setter plays on our (or just my) expectations.
  11. Pleased to sneak in just under current SNITCH of 102 (my target time of 41 mins).

    Nifty start with OBIT, LAWN TENNIS, FIEF and NEFERTITI with those helpful first two checkers.

    Slowed considerably with about a dozen clues filled before the enjoyable GUIDED MISSILE and SATIRISES went in.

    The rest was a bit of a struggle having pencilled in both RETRIEVER and SMATTERING, before working out CHROMIUM and MAORI.

    Didn’t see the anag for TRIANGULATE but it fit the last four checkers, VAIN went in before a few minutes puzzling over 11a. I didn’t think ARISTO’s parsing was up to much.

  12. FOI an immediate 1a – hardly a stretch given the very recent double-appearance of their spiritual counterparts – and an easy LIBERTARIAN 1d made this a promising start.

    After working my way around for 18m and 60% of the grid, I felt I was at a bit of an impasse (also I was starving hungry), so paused and headed off to the kitchen. Preparing a pot of caldo verde, I put it on to simmer and returned to the 15×15 feeling some trepidation – but in the event, progress resumed fairly smartly with RATIO and ARBORETA. Stickiest part was the VAIN / ARISTO / TRIANGULATE area – and LOI the isolated ENTRÉE. Nothing unknown to me, so submitted after typo-check with confidence high.

    Very satisfied to complete a 100-plus grid in under 30m (just!) – time for a steaming bowl of Portuguese goodness! Thanks Pip and setter (which I prefer over a RETRIEVER)

  13. It seems that I protest in VAIN
    As we’re suffering birds once again
    So it’s EAGLE today
    Was there no other way?
    Would our setter please like to EXPLAIN?
  14. 48 minutes with LOI SHAPELESS. COD to GUIDED MISSILE. I liked ARISTO, although I wasted several minutes trying for a philosopher ending in Y. My SMATTERING of French didn’t run to MARI but I thought it must be MAORI before CHROMIUM confirmed it. We have a falling-down Tree Arbor at the bottom lf our garden and I fondly call that section of garden an ARBORETUM. If we had two, I could upstage everyone by using it in the plural. Unless I’m missing something, EXPLAIN was below par for an otherwise tough but fair puzzle. Thank you Pip and setter.

    Edited at 2021-12-01 08:08 am (UTC)

  15. There are far too many LORDS TEMPORAL, some of them being party political donors.

    Could not parse TRIANGULATE. FOI was OBIT. LOI was ARBORETA. NEFERTITI was a bit of a gimme given NI.

    22′ 42″ thanks pip and setter.

  16. 46 mins so around average for a, IMHO, tricky one. LOI TRIANGULATION, of course, after at least 5 mins staring at A-I- — -, also looking for a philosopher to knock the Y off! FOI PARKA, quickly followed by me LORDS.

    I liked the surface of 14d and thought 18 ac was clever.

    Thanks pip and setter.

    Edited at 2021-12-01 08:32 am (UTC)

  17. 36:54, with the LORDS in first at 1 ac. Enjoyed GUIDED MISSILE, SMATTERING and the SAT-IRISES. And struggled at the end with TRIANGULATE, VAIN, MAORI and OPAL (had STOP). So pretty much like everyone else
  18. My last in was VAIN, dithering between that and VOID, which is just as pointless. So my time stretched to 20.26 on this fast start, slow finish offering.
    GUIDED MISSILE was clever: like others I was fooled into looking for IAN, and wondering whether the first word might be GUINEA to account for the island bit.
    I can’t remember seeing STRING BASS before for the giant violin, but at least it makes sense.
    SHAPELESS with a shrug for the dumpy definition. Shakespeare uses SHAPELESS to mean “without purpose”, which takes us back to VAIN, and a DUMPY-level is apparently used by surveyors in order to TRIANGULATE . Perhaps such serendipity makes sense if we translate to Mezangelle, but I doubt it.
  19. Off topic: does anyone know why there’s no Monthly Club Special today? Having discovered that I’ve recently collared £20 for a runner up Mephisto spot, I fancy my chances at the MCS £100.
  20. Thank goodness for the recent spate of Lords, since I don’t think I’d have got that one quickly otherwise – and since it was 1ac it opened up the puzzle nicely.

    On the wavelength today – for the 15×15, at least, after my slowest QC for a long while – finishing on ENTREE in 5m 22s.

    I thought this was a very nice puzzle, with ARBORETA one of my favourites, and a kind clue for NEFERTITI that meant I didn’t have to worry too hard about which vowels went where.

    1. Is it a set-up, do you think? A trIck to make us BIFF LORDS TEMPORAL for the tenth day of Christmas clue? Coming shortly
  21. I had the “puzzle of two halves” feeling as well, a very swift first half built on LORDS TEMPORAL, which is apparently compulsory in all crosswords at present, and a slower grind to arrive at the likes of TRIANGULATE (had convinced myself it ended in -AGE, which didn’t help), CHROMIUM and SMATTERING. Enjoyed 27ac, one of those clues which goes several different ways before you suddenly realise how the definition works.
    1. I really shouldn’t admit that at one point it had me wondering whether Guido had gained popularity as a Scottish name.
  22. 23:50 with an error — VOID for VAIN. Just couldn’t see the latter and had no explanation for the former, which you’d think would ring alarm bells by now. Why is it always the small words that trip one up?
  23. Been having an unusually speedy week which as any fule know goeth before a pink square. Like others I had to come here to find out what the Trinity was doing with Aristotle. Triangulation was some sort of political strategy dreamed up by Bill Clinton’s backroom boys – I never bothered to find out what it was. Some good stuff here. 16.10
  24. But the more dangerous biff was CRIMe for 16a. Crime=evil, drop the East point. Crim is in the dictionary I now find. So 8d retriever was hard to get. Got a PDM after correcting 16a to V_I_.
    Never sussed out the fodder for TRIANGULATE 12d.
    Thanks setter and blogger.
  25. I took ages over this — just over an hour — with liberal use of aids by the end. I never parsed ARISTO, thinking of ariosto with its first O somehow disappearing. Somehow I had much trouble with the triangulate clue, being sure that it was going to end in …tage (time and time again). If it had said ‘Split into sections …’ would people have complained? And in the chromium clue I couldn’t get past pal/mate for china, or rep for traveller.

    I agree with Horryd that plain is hardly the opposite of hunky, although that one at least was no problem.

  26. RATIO and LIBERTARIAN got me off to a quick start, and the ubiquitous house sitters immediately followed. The SE proved a tough nut to crack, with ACCLAIM finally proving the key, as the type of cruise suddenly became obvious and CHROMIUM sprang into view. I didn’t bother to make a detailed parse of TRIANGULATE, but could see at a glance that the anagrist was probably there. SMATTERING, SHAPELESS and ARBORETA were my last 3 in. 31:35. Thanks setter and Pip.
  27. Struggled for a while with this but finished at a canter.

    Not very keen on “dumpy” equating to SHAPELESS or the use of “trinity” (I looked for a philosopher ending in y: Snoopy?) I liked SMATTERING and NEFERTITI but GUIDED MISSILE is COD.

    There are probably enough LORDS CRIMINAL to form their own cadre

    Thanks to pip and the setter.

  28. I was pleased with myself for checking wordplay and finding that Nefartiti had to go.

    COD: Apparition

    When by thy scorn, O murd’ress, I am dead ….

  29. 9:45. Steady solve.
    I agree the equivalence of not hunky with plain is odd. In my experience latter is exclusively used to refer to women and girls, the former to men.
    I didn’t know this meaning of TRIANGULATION. It’s a word I hear quite a lot used in a figurative sense which I think must derive from the navigational usage rather than the surveying one.
  30. 28.00. I found this one a bit of a struggle. There were a fair few clues which took quite some persistence to crack. Of course I fell into the remove the last letter of Trinity from a philosopher trap, even though I was sure it was going to be Aristotle leading to Aristo. I found the crossing triangulate and chromium particularly impenetrable at the end and really needed to turn the clues inside out and upside down before finally working those ones out.
  31. 1. A retriever is not a hound. Yeah, yeah, I know ‘hound’ can also mean ‘dog’… but this vexed me.
    2. ‘Triangulate’ does NOT mean ‘measure in sections’ (WTF?). No, niet, nein, non.

    I wasn’t wild about shapeless meaning dumpy, either, but I can live with it.

    Finished in 52 mins, but came away feeling irritated by this puzzle.

    1. ‘A method of surveying in which an area is divided into triangles, one side (the base line) and all angles of which are measured and the lengths of the other lines calculated trigonometrically’.
  32. 66 mins — gave in with 3 to solve, VAIN, TRIANGULATE & ARBORETA. Disappointed. Interruptions don’t help and it was a pm solve. Just excuses really. There’s always ‘tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow …’
  33. ….particularly since a RETRIEVER is no more a hound than I am the Bolshoi Ballet’s prima ballerina. I don’t give a monkey’s what various dictionaries say on the matter — the clue is in the verbs ‘hound’ and ‘retrieve’ which define the roles of these dogs in the field. I suspected the answer early, but refused to believe that Richard Rogan would allow such a disgracefully slack clue through his edit.

    I biffed 3 or 4 others, but lost any real interest long before the end.

    TIME 11:55

    1. ‘Hound’ had both a specific and a general meaning. The latter is used here. You can refuse to accept this if you like but it seems a little unreasonable to expect the editor to follow your own private version of the English language!
      1. If you can give me an example of the use of ‘hound’ to mean retrieve I might be swayed.

        1. I have no desire to sway you though, you are most welcome to use the language as you see fit. Just don’t expect to impose your stylistic preferences on the rest of us!
          1. And you never attempt impose your stylistic preference on the rest of us! Ah! But of course, you are a Chartered Accountant of long standing!
        2. I’m with you. A retriever is not a bloody hound (or indeed a bloodhound), and it was a crap clue.
  34. 17.43. Interesting to see after a couple of appearances for the lords spiritual, their temporal brethren have made their entry. My last one in was arboreta which took a while figuring out what word fitted between art and a. Didn’t work out Aristo but was confident it was right. I’m with our esteemed blogger in not being convinced of the reference to trinity but I suppose it makes sense.

    I can’t remember seeing mattering too often as meaning weight. It’s a bit of a mouthful for everyday conversation.

    However, still enjoyed the challenge so thx setter and Mr Enlightenment, the blogger.

    1. I think “carrying weight” = “mattering”. I had the same initial reservations as you.
  35. Enjoyed this one, except for EXPLAIN, in which I struggle a bit to equate ‘not hunky’ with ‘plain’. TRIANGULATE raised no eyebrows on the Norm0 visage as far as definition is concerned, ignorance probably being the reason, but I couldn’t see the anagram-fodder at all, so thanks to our blogger for the explanation. 31’35”, which is OK for me.
  36. 16:46 early this evening, in what was a rather clunky solving process on my part. Some excellent clues I thought, plus several others (e.g. 11 ac “aristo” , 4d “explain” and 23 d “maori”) which I found less satisfactory.
    Like many others got off to a quick start with 1 ac “lords temporal” (almost re-appearing like old friends) and 1 d “libertarian”.
    Almost entered “fife” for 17 ac until I re-read the wordplay. More haste….
    Finished with a good deal of head scratching in the NE corner before finally getting 18 ac “smattering” which had been staring me in the face for what seemed ages (so one up to setter there) and then 12 d “triangulated” where I identified the anagrist fairly quickly but had to wait a while to tease out the answer.
    COD 27 ac “guided missile”.
    Thanks to Pip for a concise blog and to setter.
  37. Amused by the idea of Queen playing Freebird – having seen both F. Mercury and co. and Lynyrd Skynyrd at Bristol Colston Hall (as it isn’t called any more) in the mid 70s. Happy days. Today everyone says Freebird is a yawn-fest, but I still love it. The live version goes on for ever! I suppose the setter had to separate (reluctantly) the Free and the Bird or the clue wouldn’t have worked. Saw the Lords straightaway and knew it couldnt be spiritual — for a third time! — so bunged in temporal without really looking at the clue. Held up at the end by aristo, vain, smattering (nice clue) and triangulate. Good fun.
  38. I took the inclusion Lords Temporal as a bit of good humour on the part of the setter and it made me smile, but I found less to enjoy in some of the other clues. Strange that 27a was COD for so many, I really didn’t like “cruise?” as a definition for guided missile and I didn’t much like the stray “gravitational” in 25d, the opposition of “plain” and “hunky” or the vanishing space that’s required in “stone work” if the cryptic part of 26a is to work properly. But “hound” for “dog” is fine by me and I liked the gentle humour of Saturday irises. Thanks all.

    Edited at 2021-12-01 11:47 pm (UTC)

  39. Time: 12.08 – not a particularly good puzzle IMHO, with some rather odd clues – akin to Tuesday’s perhaps? Off to a bad start with Lords Temporal! And what was 3dn’s shapeless to do with ‘Dumpy”! COD – few candidates.
  40. Can’t see anything wrong with SHAPELESS for dumpy

    And unlike others loved the trinity device — clear COD for me

    Cant see anything wrong with hound = dog = retriever. As Keriothe says hound means dog in its general sense. QED

    Of course anything I say is undermined by the worst mistake in living memory. Yup, SATARISES. Not a typo, I vaguely remember thinking flowers might mean arises as in “gets higher”. Off to the dunce’s step for me

    Liked the puzxle

    Thanks Setter and Mr K

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