Times 28189 – Winds moderate, doing their thing from the north

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Well, I was an epic fail in 40 minutes on what is not a particularly hard test. My major problem was 10a, in spite of having been one once. Too clever for me. I imagine those of superior intelligence will find this quite easy, but a tad tougher than an average Monday. SNITCH at 85, anyone?


1 Ready to complain, losing head (4)
3 Copper perhaps, crashing tractor into drink (10)
TERRACOTTA – anagram* of TRACTOR in TEA (especially for horryd – terracotta, besides being a material and stuff made from the material, is the colour of said material/stuff – ‘a strong reddish-brown to brownish-orange colour’, AKA copper the colour)
10 Subsequent payment, though not in regard to student (7)
FRESHER – [re]FRESHER (REFRESHER is the subsequent payment and ‘in regard to’ is dropped -‘though not’)
11 Press to join mature holiday scheme (7)
PACKAGE – PACK (press) AGE (mature)
12 Source of protection potentially rickety and unstable (8,7)
13 Observe — it’s acceptable to block fool (4,2)
LOOK ON – OK in LOON (fool)
14 Youth, or one coming in fresh? (8)
MINORITY – OR I in MINTY (fresh)
17 Recalled brief comment about hot TV show (8)
TELETHON – H in NOTELET reversed
18 Old King heading for European conflict in days (6)
EDWARD – E (initial letter of European) WAR (conflict) in DD (days)
21 Story of boy’s encounter with animal, domestic one — he went for lad, unfortunately (5,3,3,4)
PETER AND THE WOLF – PET (domestic one, i.e. animal) HE WENT FOR LAD* (amended from original nonsense as per Jeremy’s comment). More about the story, here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_and_the_Wolf#Plot
23 Love, in different ways, being swamped in a lake’s spray (7)
AEROSOL – EROS O (two ways of expressing love) in A L
24 Reduced charge securing very large article with little sparkle? (7)
25 Slowly move cart backwards, attaining timber store (10)
LUMBERYARD – LUMBER (slowly move) DRAY reversed
26 Dressing medic must stock indeed (4)
MAYO – AY in MO. AIOLI and MAYO are the two Crosswordland dressings


1 Declining to accept a lot of commotion — genuine about that (7)
REFUSAL – REAL around FUS[s]
2 Shortage of staff restricting chores when working in nursery (9)
4 Rascal in time will make mistakes (6)
5 Country memorial housing a tavern (8)
6 Get ready to shoot a picture, opening mostly depicting crow (4-1-6-3)
COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO – COCK (get ready to shoot) A (a) DOODLE (picture) DOO[r] (opening mostly)
7 Recording movement of yacht around river (5)
TRACK – R (river) in TACK (movement of yacht). TACK can mean to steer and YACHT can mean to sail, so perhaps that´s close enough. Over to the sailing types…Thanks to isla for sorting this out: the literal is not the weird ‘recording movement’, as I had it, but merely ‘recording’. No one would believe I went sailing for the first time in 40 years on Friday!
8 Forward missing header collared by supporter with a keen eye (7)
ALERTLY – [p]ERT (forward) in ALLY (supporter)
9 Dessert needing Chartreuse — lots — sloshed (9,5)
CHARLOTTE RUSSE – CHARTREUSE LOTS* (anagram indicator being ‘sloshed’)
15 Exotic lover? Over being embraced by a Martian that’s besotted (9)
INAMORATA – O in A MARTIAN*. Exotic inasmuch that it´s an Italian word, I suppose
16 Give less attention to Northern Irish drama? (8)
DOWNPLAY – DOWN PLAY. Keinty Dign is in Nrn Irn…
17 Operations in stern or other part of vessel (7)
19 Actually, excellent performer has run off (2,5)
DE FACTO – DEF (excellent in Estuary English) ACTO[r]
20 Goes off climbing, keeping to a higher level in sort of fog? (6)
STUPOR – UP (to a higher level) in ROTS reversed
22 Monotonous sound of personnel in corporation (5)
THRUM – HR in TUM (CORPORATION is Crosswordese for stomach)

69 comments on “Times 28189 – Winds moderate, doing their thing from the north”

  1. I managed about a third of this quite easily but then struggled, finally completing the grid in 54 minutes. I wondered FRESHER or FURTHER at 10ac for ages without managing to parse either but spotted {re}FRESHER eventually. There were some tricky definitions here, ‘copper’ for one.

    Horace Rumpole of the Old Bailey was always going on about being paid a REFRESHER so I assume it’s standard jargon in the world of barristers.

    Edited at 2022-01-17 05:07 am (UTC)

    1. I can confirm that in this and so many other ways Rumpole is remarkably accurate in its depiction of the world of barristers, you get a brief fee and then a refresher for each day that the case exceeds one day …or now (controversially) in crime for each day after day 2
        1. I loved the books and adored Leo Mc Kern’s portrayal on the TV. Definitely one of Australia’s best exports, apart from the wines of course. (Oh, and now Novaccx)!
  2. I was utterly demoralized, thinking this was the quickie. Then I went back to the site to click the link for the main puzzle, only to find to my great relief that this had been the main puzzle!

    Yes, I know, some would be pleased to finish the quickie in a half an hour.

  3. Incidentally, there is no P in that anagrist. Ah yes, it’s PET + ….

    Edited at 2022-01-17 01:43 am (UTC)

  4. Found it a bit tricky throughout, probably just a wavelength thing. A few minutes at the end needed for ALERTLY and MINORITY. In any case it made for an enjoyable solve with no unknowns and no MERs.
    I parsed TRACK with the definition just ‘recording’ e.g. music on a disc, and tack as ‘movement of a yacht’.
    COD: republic, thinking it would be a specific country.

    Edited at 2022-01-17 02:08 am (UTC)

  5. ‘Copper perhaps’!? Is this a reference to Chief Inspector Terry Cotta of the Yard – or what? Lord Ulaca?

    Not a happy bunny as this was not a happy Monday for Meldrew, especially in the North Eastern Quarter.

    FOI 18ac EDWARD



    WOD 9dn CHARLOTTE RUSSE named after a distant cousin!

    12ac SECURITY BLANKET was a very decent anagram unlike 23ac AEROSOL- if mispronounced.

    Time 45 minutes

  6. Felt like a Friday to me. I thought I might not finish this, with TERRACOTTA particularly troublesome. Of all the different meanings for ‘copper’ I didn’t think of the colour until after seeing that ‘terracotta’ was a word that fitted. I spent ages with the tractor anagrist, trying to fit MED or SEA for drink around it. Eventually got there in 34:19
      1. No. Corymbia is a 28, so-named because its call sounds like someone saying 28. Native to WA, where he lives. Bletchleyreject is a lorikeet, not native to WA.
        You’ve got to live here to know how it feels – lorikeets are a bit of an introduced pest.
    1. My experience exactly, Corymbia! The NE, and TERRACOTTA/ALERTLY specifically, held out for ages, as I tried to fit the R, A, O and T into the grid to make any sense with random ‘drink’.
      Gill D
  7. 50 minutes. Slow in the NW with REFRESHER unparsed, not remembering the term from Rumpole and it took a while to work out if the ‘nursery’ at 2d referred to the human or horticultural variety. Sucked in by the surface for 26a, thinking of “crêpe” and “gauze” before seeing the light.

    I like apple CHARLOTTE but had never heard of the Russian version. Looks like a good way of contributing to the funds for the private cardiologist’s next 8 Series coupé.

  8. Submitted off leaderboard; could well have been a DNF, but while looking at the QC blog I noticed horryd’s comment in the right-hand column–what, by the way, is the point of that? Getting TERRACOTTA gave me, almost immediately, REPUBLIC, COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO, ALERTLY, MINORITY. DNK REFRESHER. Biffed PETER AND from the P, took ages to figure out how it worked. I’ve noticed, by the way, that each time I submit off leaderboard, I’m told I’m now a private player, but when I go to revise my profile, I’m still down as a leaderboard player.
  9. Bit of a challenge for a Monday.
    I eventually figured out MINORITY but thanks for AEROSOL, ulaca.
    Haven’t we had INAMORATA two or three times recently?
    Like corymbia, I found it hard to equate copper with terracotta but it did fit.
    Like Jack, I was undecided for ages between FRESHER and FURTHER.

    Edited at 2022-01-17 07:38 am (UTC)

  10. 9:39. No major hold-ups today. I did get slightly tangled up with 3ac, somehow thinking that TRACTOR was a six-letter word (something to do with the repeated T and R) and so looking for a four-letter drink.
  11. 37 minutes with LOI MINORITY. FOI SECURITY BLANKET. I think the clue for TELETHON should also have included ‘unwatchable’. COD to COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO. I did guess what reFRESHER was on about, but to me Refreshers will always mean a tube of sherbet sweets, made by Barratts, I think. A decent challenge but with no smiles or laughs, on the PROSAIC side but worthy. Thank you U and setter.
  12. I found this tough, not least trying to come up with TERRACOTTA and more so DOWNPLAY. The latter highlighted again my blind spot for compound words, and it was only after several alphabet trawls for each missing letter that I finally decided to look for compound words, after which I got it quite quickly. I’m sure there’s a lesson to be had there but I’m less sure I’m going to learn it.
  13. 20:12 Rather slow to get going on this and took a while to parse several. TELETHON LOI and I hesitated over FRESHER for a while before I saw it… yes I was another who considered FURTHER initially, but couldn’t get it to work. I liked minty fresh and COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO. Thanks U and setter.
  14. I found this quite tough too. 47 mins with LOI TERRACOTTA taking ages to work out. Another FURTHER/FRESHER dawdler here.

    U, you have left out the UN in UNSTABLE in 12 ac in your blog.

    I did enjoy PRESCHOOL when the penny finally dropped, and I liked COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO. Lots of them around me here.

    Thanks U and setter.

  15. Badly off the pace today, with a general feeling of gormless flailing around, even in cases where I’d guessed the answers or was very close to them. FOI RIPE was a write-in, then I became increasingly disturbed by the difficulty before managing to get a foothold in the bottom half, which I completed about 25m in. NHO CHARLOTTE RUSSE (though I untangled it a lot faster than the first half of SECURITY BLANKET).

    Eventually ended up entering TERRACOTTA without realising the colour-connection, and LOI incorrectly biffed as ADEPTLY (knowing it was a pretty poor synonym for “with a keen eye”). Glad it’s all over, but thanks anyway to ulaca and setter.

  16. Dragged this out to fifty minutes. I have copper tape wrapped around some of my TERRACOTTA pots in a vain attempt to repel slugs, but it still took me a long time to see LOI 3a.

    I probably wasted more time on the unknown dessert, though. At some point I shall have to see if I can find a restaurant to serve me some of the puzzling dishes that crosswords have thrown at me over the years…

  17. Sometimes it helps to have your avatar holding up the answer, though that was a brilliant anagram. I started slowly, getting nothing until I got onto the right T(R)ACK, which led to Linus’ prized possession and unlocked, if not the floodgates, then the steady trickle gates. 18.50 to complete.

    Does anyone apart from crossword setters still use DEF?

    A rather good start to the week.

  18. Very slow start, put down to sleeping like a teenager recently, but it turns out it was a bit hard.

    Only knew CHARLOTTE RUSSE from a previous appearance. INAMORATA was in another puzzle somewhere at the weekend. Did not parse FRESHER. POI TERRACOTTA with all checkers in place.

    Just under 20′, thanks ulaca and setter.

  19. I found this a bit harder than usual for a Monday, as others, in my case because many of the definitions had common alternative meanings. 28.45 to complete, also held up by putting Charlotte Russe in the space for 6D! This did not help at all. Thank you setter and Ulaca; an enjoyable solve once I got my act together!
  20. Unexpectedly tricky for a Monday, with lots of hold-ups caused by errors on my part. I lightly pencilled in FURTHER for 10, for want of anything else; I needed 2d to get the first E, but that was very late in the game. Then the A of ALERTLY appeared to confirm my suspicion that ‘drink’ in 3a was SEA. I wasn’t confidant enough to enter LOOK ON for 13 as I thought ‘acceptable’ indicated the ON, and toyed with LEAD ON for ‘fool’.
    In the end it all came together after 35 minutes.
  21. I started fairly quickly but then became utterly stuck and looked up 5-letter words for complain, to get {g}ripe, having looked in vain for rial or rand or something, after which all went OK. ‘Ready’ in crosswords nearly always seems to be money. 53 minutes.
    1. I also assumed that “Ready” was referring to money. Nice misdirection on the part of the setter.
  22. After 30 minutes I was left with 3a, 8d and 14a. After a struggle I managed TERRACOTTA, but after 50 minutes I gave up and used a word finder for ALERTLY. I was then able to work out MINORITY and submitted off leaderboard at 52:24. Annoyingly I had (p)ERT for forward, but never made it from TEE for supporter. Thanks setter and U as I join you with an Epic fail!
  23. Glad to see I had company in finding this a struggle. Yes, SECURITY BLANKET was first rate. I failed to spot Eros in AEROSOL so thanks for the parse Ulaca. The P & the W that I recall is the Prokofiev one that used to be used to teach children the orchestra instruments. 25.46 although not quite that long because just I was about to submit I got pinged with a security alert that someone in Tanzania was attempting to use my debit card for an expensive plane ticket. Must now go and deal with it.
  24. Well, that was rather more difficult than last Monday. Hope we didn’t upset the setter with our hubris. Took me 34.33 to crack this but I’m not complaining, I really enjoyed it. Ticked off a whole batch of stand out clues as far as I was concerned- terracotta, minority, mayo, preschool, cock a doodle, alertly and downplay. COD to alertly from a class selection.

    Thanks very much setter and blogger.

  25. After 5 speedy solves last week back down to earth today.

    Mainly held up in the NE corner – took a long time to spot ALERTLY and then TERRACOTTA (via the more exotic TETRACOTRA which deserves to mean something but probably not copper).

  26. Copper Terracotta-dipped plant pots ‘perhaps’, but how does copper relate to terracotta – brick-red!? It does not go in my colour chart. Colour blind setter? I did not like the clunky Package either. WOD Cock-a-doodle-doo! COD 12ac Security Blanket-great anagram. Alas and alack, I was just over my limit of twenty minutes.
  27. 32:23. Clever surfaces and intricate cluing didn’t give much away at first, with the final struggle in the NE corner. Same misgiving about TERRACOTTA as above.

    Edited at 2022-01-17 12:19 pm (UTC)

  28. Quite bracing for a Monday. PRESCHOOL and DE FACTO took a while to parse.

    The old Prudential Insurance building near Chancery Lane tube station was a magnificent TERRACOTTA edifice. Not sure if it’s still there

    Thanks to ulaca and the setter,

    1. The building is still there but the Prudential is not. A (very) long time ago I used to go there to support their Re-insurance system and my current office is about 400yards away along High Holborn
      1. This one requires a three-point turn which is not really acceptable imo. Collins has ‘copper’ as ‘reddish-brown’ and ‘terracotta’ as ‘brownish-red’. The other usual sources have similar but none has a direct correlation between the two words.
        1. Thank-you Jack for that — especially note this Lord Ulaca, after your trolling additional entry to your otherwise esteemed Blog!
        2. I agree totally with you Jack. Not a correlation in my lexicon.

          Edited at 2022-01-17 07:32 pm (UTC)

  29. Not as easy as many Mondays, but everything there for a steadyish solve, albeit with a pause because I wasn’t aware of any way in which TERRACOTTA could mean “copper” though it clearly did, so in it went. Started off hoping we were going to see Albert and the Lion, but the answer turned out to be music rather than monologue.
  30. No time – did it in bits.
    Quite tough, in a kind of ‘where do i get a hold on this smooth rockface?’ way. Got through it in the end.
  31. A crossword for those of us who’ve done these before. CHARLOTTE RUSSE appeared not so long ago and INAMORATA appears in almost every crossword these days. As above, I struggled at the end with ALERTLY and MINORITY, and it wasn’t till I had submitted that I worked them out.
    A nice challenge for a Monday.
  32. Rubbish start but steady solve once I’d got going — finishing ahead of my Snitch (103) target.

    Failed to parse FRESHER — didn’t think of REFRESHER as a subsequent payment, but fortunately my second son is a FRESHER this year, so it was in mind.

    PRESCHOOL and the unparsed TELETHON were last two in.


  33. 46:48. Like our esteemed blogger, I felt I was struggling with a puzzle that would turn out to have been really easy for everyone else. So I’m relieved to find out it was really a bit hard. COD TERRACOTTA and WOD minty
    1. Was 105, currently 98.

      It always falls during the day, as latecomers seems to have, um, an advantage on early birds.

      1. The snitch only uses the top 100, meaning the slower times — which are more likely to have a higher nitch — are not accounted for, resulting in a lower snitch
  34. Left FRESHER with all its crossers in to finish—with a shrug—just after waking. Thanks for the elucidation. Also had still to complete TERRACOTTA and ALERTLY. I really should do these earlier in the evening.
  35. Some fairly hard ones here to my eye! Not helped by me putting DRONE for 22D as FOI, thinking it is a fair DD
  36. Took a while to get going, but everything answered to a bit of crossword logic ruthlessly applied. By the way, does anyone have a mnemonic for remembering the difference between bow and stern? I just can’t fix in my brain which is front and which is back!
        1. My pleasure. When I was doing my wine studies I could never remember the Burgundy wine villages in the Côtés de Nuits so I came up with (heading south from Fixin) four good men carrying Vougeot vines Northwards. Got me through at least one exam!
  37. Ended up using aids for my last two in — Terracotta, Alertly. I should have persevered but ran out of steam.
  38. A real struggle for me. I wonder why some puzzles with higher snitches seem easier than this. Is it a similarity of setter and solver’s mind set? Or is it just good days and bad days?
    Time taken, all day. Got there in the end *phew*.

    1. I’ve always thought that well constructed and properly difficult puzzles have tighter cluing — no terracotta = copper, for example. As a weaker solver, if I know I can trust the cluing I find the solving goes more smoothly
  39. A stray ‘a’ in 5d. And terracotta the colour is most certainly NOT the colour copper.
  40. DNF. I left a huge chunk of the NE undone on this one. Just couldn’t get to grips with it.
  41. 38 minutes and I didn’t really find it that hard, though like almost everyone else I got off to a very slow start. Originally I thought 9dn would turn out to be CHOCOLATE MOUSSE, but of course that wouldn’t have the right letter count. A decent and enjoyable puzzle, revealing its secrets slowly but steadily.

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