Times 28161 – by George, is it Monday?

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
After a run of tricky Wednesdays, this gave some respite, with rather a lot of Quick Cryptic standard clues, I thought. Only one anagram, which is unusual, and no hidden word. It didn’t take me very long, I expect some quick times from our experts. 1a, 1d and 10d went in early, and my LOI UNDIES gets my CoD award.

1 Conservative adviser in small oval rowing boat (7)
CORACLE – C (Conservative) ORACLE (adviser). An easy FOI.
5 Gallery built by posh woman possessing a lot of vitality (6)
UFFIZI – U (posh, upmarket) FI (woman, Fiona perhps) insert FIZ(Z) = a lot of vitality.
8 Finally settled in French Society, formerly in diplomatic corps (9)
ENSCONCED – EN (in, French) S (society) CD (corps diplomatique, CD as on diplomatic number plates) insert ONCE (formerly).
9 Expression of surprise about old politician’s pizzazz (5)
OOMPH – into OH ! (expression of surprise) insert O, MP.
11 Stir up river, one of several in England (5)
ROUSE – R (river) OUSE (one of several such rivers in England).
12 Faulty road manoeuvre finished male ox (9)
OVERSTEER – OVER (finished) STEER (male ox).
13 Breed of sheep daughter kept in her Highland town (8)
HERDWICK – HER, WICK (town in north of Scotland), insert D for daughter. A breed of sheep I’d heard of from watching BBC Countryfile.
15 Hooded cloak displayed by Catholic dignitary in love (6)
DOMINO – DOM (as in Dom Perignon, perhaps) IN O. Vaguely remembered seeing this before as a sort of cloak.
17 Medic, one the French find submissive (6)
DOCILE – DOC (medic) I (one) LE (the in French).
19 Admirer of lilac originally in bloom (8)
FOLLOWER – initial letters of Of Lilac inside FLOWER.
22 Convivial, though apt for cudgelling? (9)
CLUBBABLE – double definition, one whimsical.
23 Fragrant smell drivers hold in memory (5)
AROMA – ROM (sort of memory) inside AA (drivers, Automobile Association).
24 Old coins marketed by Italians primarily (5)
SOLDI – SOLD (marketed) I(talians). I was more familiar with SOLIDI / plural of SOLIDUS, but SOLDI is an early Italian rather than Latin version.
25 George’s car scheme involving head of industry (9)
AUTOPILOT – AUTO (car) PLOT (scheme) insert I (head of industry). I knew the autopilot was often called George by aviators but not why, so I looked it up. As is often the case, there are two possible explanations. Either by RAF pilots after King George VI, in WWII, or after one George De Beeson, an American who patented such a device in 1931. Take your pick.
26 Overdramatic, bringing the old guns back! (6)
STAGEY – all reversed, YE (old the) GATS (guns).
27 Daily customer to begin with, one with a list? (7)
CLEANER – C (customer originally) LEANER (one with a list).

1 Prepare for action — tidy up after card game? (5,3,5)
CLEAR THE DECKS – double definition, one a cliché, one prosaic.
2 Saver, one who regrets concealing key (7)
RESCUER – RUER (one who regrets) having ESC (key) inserted.
3 Fragrant spice clubs think the world of (5)
CLOVE – C for clubs, LOVE for think the world of.
4 Intrude, initially encountering natural resistance in bus (8)
ENCROACH – E N (first letters of Encountering Natural) then R inside COACH.
5 This clothing is resurrected, do we infer? (6)
UNDIES – witty &lit; if something un-dies, it could be said to be resurrected.
6 Pays to look up resting-place for supporters? (9)
FOOTSTOOL – FOOTS (pays), TO, LO reversed.
7 Zulus, one crossing briefly Orange River (7)
ZAMBEZI – Z Z (two zulus) I (one; insert AMBE(R) for orange briefly. At first I was was thinking, IMPI, leading to LIMPOPO, but that was the wrong river.
10 Entertain male teacher, one looking after the port (7,6)
HARBOUR MASTER – HARBOUR = entertain, (e.g. harbour thoughts), MASTER a male teacher.
14 Fit crooner protecting energy and good health (9)
WELLBEING – WELL (fit) BING (Crosby, crooner) insert E (energy).
16 Home help misconstruing extremely dire sitcom (8)
DOMESTIC – an anagram at last. (DE SITCOM)* where DE are the extremes of dire.
18 Left in car, finally digest a little verse (7)
COUPLET – COUPE (car) insert L for left, add T end of digest.
20 Court girl turning up in such a warm garment? (7)
WOOLLEN – WOO (court) NELL (girl) reversed.
21 A bishop past accepting current monastic office (6)
ABBACY – A, B(ishop) BY (past) insert AC (alternating current).
23 Remove son from trial: that’s sufficient (5)
AMPLE – remove S from SAMPLE.

69 comments on “Times 28161 – by George, is it Monday?”

  1. I too waded into the green and greasy Limpopo! This spoilt my chances of a quick time as the North Eastern area was now despoiled.

    Whatever, I limped home in 31 minutes it’s my LOI 15ac DOMINO which l knew not, but am sure Dan Brown did.

    FOI 1ac CORACLE a gimme!

    COD 5dn UNDIES also liked 5ac UFFIZI and 13ac HERDWICK

    WOD 22ac CLUBBABLE which I am not anymore.

    Time a reasonable 31 minutes considering my age and diminishing faculties. I am still just about ‘with it’!

    Edited at 2021-12-15 02:56 am (UTC)

  2. I, too, was surprised by the easiness of this one, and relieved, after doing poorly on the last two. CORACLE my FOI, too. DNK HERDWICK, DNK the cloak. And I had no idea what George was doing. Spent some time trying to fit TATE into 5ac, and IMPI into 7d, though I never thought of the Limpopo.
  3. Was on for a PB with this one, but just felt I wouldn’t get the last two DOMINO and ABBACY. was very close with the latter, but was stuck with I=current. Went for ABIANY, with ANY=past. DNK that Dom was a Catholic, was confused with the Spanish Don, who are usually catholics anyway. Hence DONINO.

    1a and 1d in the first minute got off to a good start.

    OOMPH was in the QC yesterday?


  4. on autopilot for most of this, but a pity I never got the UNDIES to take-off. Instead I had UNDYED, being colourless clothing which sounds as though it might have been resurrected. Sub 20mins but in the pink.
  5. Glad to find UFFIZI and ZAMBEZI in a crossword and not in a spelling test.

    Sounds like I’m not the only one not to know HERDWICK, but the cluing was generous. Almost too generous, leading me to look for a trick that wasn’t there.

    COD to GEORGE, although in Flying High* the name was Otto. Honourable mention to UNDIES. And CLUBBABLE is a very strange word.

    Thanks Pip and setter.

    *Known as Airplane in the USA I believe.

    On edit: Corrected spelling of UFFIZI. Like I said…

    Edited at 2021-12-15 02:29 am (UTC)

  6. 32 minutes. DOMINO was the equivalent of yesterday’s MNEME and held me up at the end of a not very difficult puzzle. Favourites were the ‘resurrected’ UNDIES and HERDWICK. I remembered having heard something about the role of Beatrix Potter in the preservation of the breed and looked this up post-solve. All very interesting.

    For some reason, I think of women named FI as being ‘posh’ and having ‘a lot of vitality’. Don’t know why.

    Thanks to Pip and setter

      1. You could well be right, but I’m afraid I don’t remember the names of any of the (human) characters in “Four Weddings”. My favourite bit in the whole film was the black Labrador at the end who stole the show as far as I was concerned!
  7. I liked Undies, and I didn’t know either the sheep or the town, so i mis-guessed Hardwick, and considered Hardwich. Harsh, that.

    Otherwise it was easy enough that I had time while solving to reflect that all oxen are castrated males, so a “male ox” is either an impossibility or is over-specified, depending on how you view the resulting gender.

    Edited at 2021-12-15 04:04 am (UTC)

    1. There’s also a broader sense of “ox” in the dictionaries, like “any domesticated bovine animal kept for milk or meat; a cow or bull.” The word STEER (which we also have in this puzzle) is used (though not exclusively, as it also can also mean an ox less than 4 years old) for a castrated bovine, esp an ox.

      Edited at 2021-12-15 07:02 am (UTC)

      1. Shows how far we are from rural life these days, I guess. We’d never call a lorry a car, because we see those every day, know the difference, and that difference matters. We don’t encounter bulls which have been castrated after achieving most of their heavy muscle growth (oxen) or ones castrated before that growth (steers) very often, so we conflate them, and then we mix in cows (always female).

        Edited at 2021-12-15 01:59 pm (UTC)

  8. 37 minutes delayed a little by the unknown DOMINO which I only managed to work out at the very end when I had all the checkers in place and did an alphabet trawl to come up with a three-letter word ?O? meaning ‘Catholic dignitary’. Fortunately D comes early in the sequence.

    I was rather disappointed to discover I had a wrong answer at 7dn with ZAMBESI. I first heard of the word aged about 7 or 8 as the title of a popular song – I think the earliest hit version was by the trumpeter, Eddie Calvert, but it has been recorded by many people since. Anyway, it was spelt with an ‘S’ and that’s why I had it in my head and wrote it in instinctively. Wiki confirms that the river can be spelt both ways and Zulus = Z’S might just about work as a plural so I think in a competition it could be worth an appeal to the judges as an alternative answer.

    Edited at 2021-12-15 06:02 am (UTC)

    1. Agree Jack, for exactly the reasons you note. In the end I decided Zulus was slightly more likely to clue ZZ than ZS, but was far from confident.
    2. Interesting. I wasn’t aware of the alternative spelling so didn’t think twice but I don’t see how an appeal could be refused.
    3. Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White was an answer on Pointless last week too. O Mein Papa!
    4. Similar experience. Pretty much a write-in with the exception of DOMINO, which exposed my weakness on Carholics and clothing.
    5. Yup, that’s what I did with the Zulus and the river and I agree (naturally) that it should be allowed on appeal. As it was the pink square spoiled one of my faster times – 9,37
    6. Couldn’t agree more with your comments regarding “Zambesi” — all the way back to Eddie Calvert! But probably our appeal would have gone the same way as Lewis Hamilton’s!
  9. I was glad this went fairly quickly, as I want to get back to a book before sleep intervenes. I didn’t even hurry but worked a slew without crossers first just because that’s very satisfying.
    We have both WICK and SCONCE tonight, and I’m burning (mildly) scented candles to mask the smell of the building two doors down from mine that was gutted in a four-alarm fire early the other morning…
    WELL-BEING, as I know very well, is hyphenated in Merriam-Webster, and I find that it is also in Lexico and Collins. I guess Chambers must say otherwise…?
    My POI, which could also be Preposterous One In (the clue, that is) was UNDIES and LOI ENSCONCED, a word I’ve always liked, and enjoyed being (I also enjoy being lit).

    Edited at 2021-12-15 06:53 am (UTC)

  10. Thank you, Pip, especially for ENSCONCED.
    I, too, first came across the HERDWICK breed through watching Countryfile. I did know that George was the term used for AUTOPILOT but didn’t know the origin of the term, so thanks for that as well.
    Didn’t we have OOMPH yesterday or the day before?
    As far as I can see there is only one anagram: DOMESTIC.
    LOI: ABBACY/STAGEY preceded by DOMINO.
    COD: I agree with Pip. It has to be UNDIES.
  11. … Peeps the richness of a pearl.

    After 20 mins pre-brekker I only had -O-INO left and no knowledge of catholic dignitaries or hooded cloaks. And with other ways to clue Domino and/or Dom, I thought this a bit shabby.
    I think this is the many-first-letter-indicator setter again: originally, primarily, head of, to begin with, initially.
    Thanks setter and Pip.

    Edited at 2021-12-15 07:54 am (UTC)

  12. 6:37. Faster than a couple of people (including verlaine) who are normally much quicker than me so clearly on the wavelength. I wonder what held them up. I did have a brief panic at the end thinking the ‘Catholic dignitary’ was going to be something terribly obscure, but the light dawned mercifully quickly.
    I’ve been to Wick several times and it always seems weird to think of a coastal town as being in the ‘highlands’. It is though, technically.
    I don’t think 5dn is &Lit, Pip. ‘Clothing’ is the definition, the rest is a second whimsical definition.

    Edited at 2021-12-15 07:58 am (UTC)

      1. Did you know that the actual discovery of the fizzy stuff was due to the fact that two monks (German I think) were on their way home from Santiago de Compostela and stayed at the Abbaye d’Hautvillers where Dom Perignon was in charge of all things vinous. They bought with them wine that was stoppered with cork, probably from Portugal, and tied down with string. They left some corks with DP and he used some as closures on his bottles. They traditionally placed the bottles upside down in the soil in winter to protect them and, the following spring, after the secondary fermentation (Malo-lactic) had taken place, the resulting CO2 gas was retained in the bottle and, hey presto, Champagne.
        1. The key innovation in the invention of champagne was the process of disgorgement, by which the yeasty residue from the secondary fermentation is removed. If I remember rightly this is what Dom Perignon is supposed to have invented.
  13. I’m another UNDYED which I think fits the clue (and all the crossers) perfectly, so I was surprised by pink squares. The same unknowns as others but the generous wordplay got me there. Knew all about GEORGE since it was also the name of the early ICL (ICT in those days) operating system for their (its in american) computers.
  14. … the girl on the half shell could keep you unharmed. Botticelli to Joan Baez in an instant. 21 minutes with LOI WELLBEING, the SW holding me up a bit despite knowing the sheep. Fingers were crossed for the constructed DOMINO, I didn’t know AUTOPILOT was called George. So’s my younger son and I don’t trust his directions either. COD to UNDIES. Very enjoyable if at the easier end. Thank you Pip and setter.
  15. 10 minutes but hoodwinked by DOMINO where I went for donino having never heard if the cloak. Perhaps overexcited at what would have been a personal best.

  16. 24 mins so definitely on the easier side and very enjoyable for that. FOI CLEAR THE DECKS, LOI DOMINO after dreaded alphabet trawl.

    Oddly enough I was thinking only the other day that we haven’t seen George for a good while, and, lo, he turns up. Serendipity.

    I particularly liked FOOTSTOOL and CLUBBABLE, though, like Horryd, I don’t think I am any more. Saw two ZZs immediately so I didn’t have a problem with ZAMBEZI luckily.

    Thanks Pip and setter.

  17. 10:23 Taken over the 10 minutes by my LOI, DOMINO, struggling to think of the catholic dignitary and not knowing DOMINO was a cloak. DNK the sheep breed either, but the wordplay for both got me there. COD to ZAMBEZI for including a second southern african river in the clue.
  18. Never heard of the coat and checked every possibility or something obvious… but to no avail
  19. Then I wasted a whole load more time, like others, playing around with impis and limpopos. All the rest pretty straightforward.
  20. Last week was one of those rare weeks when the Snitch was always over 100. This week it may always be under 100, but I bet we have a really difficult one in the next two days. This was a generally comfortable outing for people like me who take ages on the hard ones: 24 minutes.

    Dom was no problem: I seem to have heard it a lot: Dom José da Silvestre in King Solomon’s Mines, which struck me as a child; Dom Perignon brandy; Dominican friars …

    Nobody so far has mentioned that the idea for undies is not new. I saw it only the other day, but presumably not here.

  21. An enjoyable puzzle. I got off to a fast start with CORACLE and CLEAR THE DECKS, but slowed a bit after most of the LHS was complete. I was particularly delayed by ABBACY until George arrived, having been fixated on I for current. George was also delayed by my having typed WOOLEN at 20d, so I had an E where the L of PILOT should have been. LOI, DOMINO, also held me up while I did an alphabet trawl for DOM. All done in 19:00. Thanks setter and Pip.
  22. It did rather feel like a Monday puzzle, taking 20 minutes. I guessed DOMINO from wordplay. HERDWICK was also unfamiliar; the entry had to wait until I had 3d. Two oomphs in a row is somewhat careless editing, but it couldnt be changed for anything else without a DOMINO effect.
  23. I’m sure I’ve seen UNDIES in a Guardian clue that included a reference to zombies. Although the Z’s a bit of a sore point this morning after I left the second one out of the river in favour of an S. Georgette H (of course) for the DOMINO. It was what you wore to a masquerade ball if you were pretending to go incognito and slip away when everyone unmasked at midnight. CLUBBABLE was a favourite word of Dr. Johnson – it was his way of sorting those men he liked (who were) from those he didn’t (who he said weren’t).
  24. Slightly better than average, with 25/30 complete after 35mins.

    Plenty to think over, and some clever clueing that led me entirely astray.

  25. Monday-ish, yes (apart from DOMINO which was lurking in the lumber-room of my memory and required some digging). The Herdwick is not just a breed but a vertitable brand these days – on our last walking holiday, we stayed in Keswick and visited the shop, in fact my wife is drinking tea out of her Herdy mug right now…
  26. At last, no pink squares. CLUBBABLE brought to mind A Clubbable Woman, the first of the Dalziel series by Reginald Hill. The wonderful humour of the books was not reflected in the TV series.
  27. Started with 1a and worked in a clockwise fashion finishing with …,yup.. DOMINO. Needed a couple of minutes but it seemed to be the only option though never heard of the garment. [gazes wistfully at bookshelves bereft of Georgette Heyer novels]

    Thanks Pip and Setter

  28. Well now, a 16.44 solve, unaccountably held up by trying to parse FOOTSTALL, which, as it turns out, is a place (hyphenated) to rest your feet if riding a horse. TALL somehow derived from look up? Fortunately, having therefore failed to work out the (possibly obscure clerical garb) I rethought and managed TO LO up.

    I don’t think that would have survived an appeal, though I think ZAMBESI stands a chance – I only saw the Z-Z version.

    I also toyed brief with UNDYED though I think VAR would have ruled that offside – no homophone indicator.

    Weird fact of the day: HERDWICKS are born black which put me in mind of this from Crimson Tide.

  29. Crikey — nearly under 10 mins — found this something of a breeze with 1a and 1d straight in.

    Only held up really by ABBACY which took a few moments to come to mind, though I did educatedly-guess DOMINO with all checkers and a reasonable certainty that a DOM is a top man in a monastery.

    This really is more or less as fast as I can go, so hat tips to all those who regularly get below 10 mins. Problem with doing it on the ‘phone is that reading ahead to the next clue while typing the answer of the current clue is not possible…

  30. I remembered HERDWICK from a life of Beatrix Potter, and also The Lilac DOMINO , an operetta from which tunes were popular in my childhood.
  31. ….and I can only blame wavelength issues for what was, by my standards, a poor performance. It took me at least half as long again as it should have done.

    FOI HERDWICK (at which point I thought it was a hard puzzle)
    LOI DOMINO (the first half of the answer didn’t come readily)
    TIME 8:34

  32. Having eventually navigated the Limpopo, I ran aground in the unfathomable Zambesi.

    I liked UFFIZI, CLUBBABLE and UNDIES (a wonderfully English word, somehow). Been a good week for puzzles so far, a dreadful one for typing.

    Thanks to Pip and the setter.

  33. Possibly a record time for me — I didn’t time it exactly.
    Didn’t know that “George” was an autopilot and may not have seen “Abbacy” before, but luckily they didn’t hold me up.
  34. I am very fond of sheep especially Shaun, who is a Suffolk breed. Herdwick, which I had only vaguely heard of, was my COD. My time 10:38 mins
  35. 17:50 but with an error at 15ac, not knowing the requisite cloak and running through my stock of three-lettered Catholic bigwigs in a nanosecond or two.
  36. …scuppered by 7 d “zambezi” . First of all, another one besotted by “Limpopo” and then the mis-spelling.
    A pity, because after a few very busy days recently, where the Time Crosswords have had to take a back seat (Shock! Horror! I know), I felt I was back in the groove.
    Was becalmed in the NE Corner after a quick solving process until that point. Getting 10 d “harbour master” then lead to 15 ac “Domino”, which finally convinced me to look for another river.
    CODs 5 ac “Uffizi” and 5 d “undies”.
    Overall a bit grumpy but thanks to Pip and to setter.
  37. 11.15 for a rather quicker solve than previously this week. Reasonably straightforward though abbacy took a while to sort out. Domino not known but the cluing was pretty clear.

    Thanks setterand blogger.

  38. Yes, very easy today with a 32 minute solve for me. My LOI was UFFIZI, because first I had to convince myself that FI could be a girl’s name. And HERDWICK was an unknown, but the wordplay was fortunately easy enough. On 14dn I am wondering why BING was the crooner who immediately came to mind and seemed to fit quite well, although I was expecting B?????ING before I found the breed of sheep. As for ZAMBEZI, I also first tried to spell it ZAMBESI, but I quickly decided I was falling into the trap that often befalls me of using a German spelling (which, however, did not seem to fit the Zulus), and so corrected it. Surprised to find out here that it could have been an English spelling as well. A relaxing but also somewhat boring puzzle.

    Edited at 2021-12-15 07:19 pm (UTC)

  39. Had to look up DOMINO and UFFIZI, and ABBACY was another unknown. I liked the CLUBBABLE clue.
  40. Not far off a personal best but unfortunatelky I was a Zambesi-er. Definitely of the view that Zambesi is an allowable alternative! The sheep made me think of Bess of Hardwick, but then I saw they’re spelled differently.
  41. When it’s HERDWICK ant say it’s cheesy
    We have ROUSE about words till we’re wheezy
    UNDIES erving I think
    Raise a COUPLET us drink
    To our setter, who made this st UFFIZI

    Edited at 2021-12-16 09:55 pm (UTC)

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