Times 28,193: Come-To-Bed Hs

No complaints about the Fridayishness of this. Lots of interesting words containing many Scrabble letters (though the puzzle is a nongram, for lack of an X), and a lot of clues requiring careful unteasing of double meanings and other cryptic jiggery-pokery before confident entry became possible.

I liked everything (though the unusual forename at 18ac had a slight whiff of “argh nothing else will fit in this spot, I guess it’ll do”) but my favourite was definitely the exceptionally meta 7dn.

Also it’s very attractive indeed that after obeying several subliminal injunctions to hit the sack contained within the clues, it is also possible to catch a well above average number of Zs during it. Primo stuff from the setter – thank you sir!

Definitions underlined, (ABC)* indicating anagram of ABC, {} deletions and [] other indicators.

1 Call judge, indeed, a conceited fellow (8)
POPINJAY – POP IN [call] + J(udge) + AY! [indeed!]
5 Note shortage of coffee in much of Europe: familiar experience? (4,2)
DEJA VU – D [note] + JAV{a} in E.U.
10 Do reasonably well trained Omega-1 staff do ok? (4,1,4,4,2)
11 Kind of permit blocked by regressive German veto (7)
LENIENT – LET [permit] “blocked by” reversed NEIN!
12 Female appearing in court is subdued (7)
13 Some backing spectacular bet, revealing a bit of backbone (8)
VERTEBRA – hidden reversed in {spectacul}AR BET REV{ealing}
15 Are deprived of brief sanctuary (5)
18 Fellow about to interrupt performance (5)
20 Having abseiled, curiously they’re slow to rise (3-5)
23 Prize given by leading organiser? (7)
PALMTOP – PALM [prize] by TOP [leading]
25 Go with style round course with sharp double bends (7)
PIZZAZZ – PIZZA [round course] with two Z bends
26 Popular stand-in making a minister revolt (15)
INSUBORDINATION – IN SUB ORDINATION [popular | stand-in | making a minister]
27 Oddly overlooked, unheard, US dean and poet (6)
NERUDA – {u}N{h}E{a}R{d} U{s} D{e}A{n}
28 Try to take too much leave that’s on offer at Christmas? (8)
GOODWILL – GO [try] + O.D. [take too much] + WILL [leave, as a bequest]
1 Spotted hint at bottom of page (6)
PIMPLY – IMPLY [hint] beneath P(age)
2 Get set to rest feet after exercising family dog (9)
PEKINGESE – GE{t} SE{t} after P.E. KIN
3 Most mean, accommodating some seeds, to fit in another (7)
NEAREST – NEST [to fit in another, as in nesting tables] “accommodating” EAR [some seeds, e.g. of corn]
4 Going on to settle, following apprehension initially (5)
AFOOT – FOOT [to settle, as in a bill], following A{pprehension}
6 Passing comment in English, opening with a measure of acidity (7)
EPITAPH – E(nglish) + PIT + A pH
7 What’s dropped from hand, and the result (5)
AITCH – If you drop the aitch from HAND, AND, quite literally, is the result
8 When shot, find a gun fast! (8)
UNFADING – (FIND A GUN*). As in dye
9 Fair article, compared with its last at much higher level (8)
ADEQUATE – A [article] + EQUATED, moving its last letter to the very top
14 Rough plonk had after dance (4,4)
BALL PARK – PARK [plonk, as in plonk yourself down on a seat] after BALL [dance]
16 On ITV, a kid mixed cocktail (9)
17 For one, a pity to confuse new and ancient language (8)
EGYPTIAN – E.G. + (A PITY*) + N(ew)
19 Was honoured daughter to retire? (2,2,3)
21 Excitement on the way, chasing a bird (7)
BUZZARD – BUZZ, on RD “chasing” A
22 Missing segments, each removed from flower to seize on (6)
AZONAL – AZAL{ea} “seizing” ON
24 Runner-up maybe less tense after conceding round (5)
25 One in pair leading second (5)
PRIMO – I, inside PR “leading” MO, &lit

74 comments on “Times 28,193: Come-To-Bed Hs”

  1. The SE was the problem – had to get BUZZARD to see PIZZAZZ, which was necessary for AZONAL
  2. the pangram was shaping up to be useful today. My penultimate one in was 17a with crossers P-L-T–. So to be a pangram the answer was likely to be POLLTAX. Unfortunately it didn’t parse as well as I’d have liked, and made 14d rather difficult. Eventually sorted this out, realising it wasn’t a pangram after all. Clever misdirection by the setter. But I ruined it anyway by putting in NERADA rather than NERUDA
    29:00 with one pink
  3. Not an everyday name at all… and I was thinking, “But there’s a famous Greig”—but that’s Grieg!
    Nice, hard, steady solve, pretty much top to bottom and left to right. When I got stuck in the SE, I didn’t know if this was from tiredness or the difficulty of the clues. Had to get BUZZARD to get PIZZAZZ. Then came AZONAL, where I had been thinking “azalea” for a while already, GOODWILL and, last but not least by far, PRIMO!
    PALMTOP seemed redolent of an earlier era.

    Edited at 2022-01-21 04:39 am (UTC)

    1. I think this clue stands out as a bit weak in a puzzle otherwise so interesting.

      Knowing the Times usual obsession with cricket I’m surprised the clue didn’t reference Tony GREIG, former England captain, but my own choice, although less known to the masses, would have been Stan GREIG, the pianist who played at various times in some of the great UK jazz bands, Ken Colyer’s, Humphrey Lyttleton’s, Acker Bilk’s Paramount Jazz Band, before forming his own.

      Edited at 2022-01-21 06:02 am (UTC)

      1. From Wikipedia:
        Edvard Grieg, Norwegian composer and pianist, whose family name was of Scottish origin and originally spelled “Greig”
  4. This was another terrific puzzle, with Mr.Snitch riding high at 130 presently.

    FOI 16dn VODKATINI and my WOD – ‘From Russia with Love’

    LOI 3dn NEAREST which remained unparsed until Verlaine pointed out the nesting tables (which can be ordered from IKEA – under the name KRAGSTA)

    COD 1ac POPINJAY which is also an old name for a macaw/parrot

    My time was a gritty 58 minutes with little 25ac zzzz! I originally had Bezzazz.

  5. Fellow=GREIG?? I can think of a few more fitting exclamations than “Argh!” Other than that, an enjoyable puzzle.
  6. I solved this in 41 minutes. The enumeration at 10ac caught my eye before everything else so I tackled that clue first and spotted the answer immediately. But after that very good start I was held up for a while with futile attempts to build on its checkers. Eventually I got going and solved away steadily with no major hold-ups.

    I had some misgivings about GREIG being clued as a random bloke and I’m not entirely convinced by ‘opening = PIT’ but perhaps I am missing something obvious. I failed to parse PIZZAZZ.

    Edited at 2022-01-21 06:15 am (UTC)

  7. Pretty grim slog through this – felt glacially slow, eventually resulting in top-half completion at about 52m, feeling sure I had no chance of completion without a further long haul…

    …but the six or seven remaining bottom-half clues actually went in OK – apart from PALMTOP, which I couldn’t figure even after extensive alpha-trawling (clearly I failed to do that diligently enough). And yes leading = “TOP” was eminently gettable, so feeling slightly foolish – though quite relieved that I made it as far as I did. Thanks V and setter.

  8. 16:56. I thought I was making very heavy weather of this but it seems it was just hard! Good challenge.
    I had a Palm Pilot in 1999 but I don’t remember ever calling it a PALMTOP, and it took me forever to work it out from wordplay. They were the future for about five minutes.
    1. PALMTOP is one of those words that popped up in my grid every time I ever clicked the lazy “fill in the entire grid for me please”. That and EPROM.
  9. Write, for example, ‘The night is shattered
    and the blue stars shiver in the distance.’

    After being a lie-abed and then 35 mins with porridge, I had done but didn’t understand Pizzazz (pizza — dough!) or Nest (which is pushing it a bit).
    Good one.
    Thanks setter and V.

    Edited at 2022-01-21 08:53 am (UTC)

    1. I liked the given definition for NEST after staring at it awhile; what’s given for PIZZAZZ looks like an eye-wateringly hard squint at the Chambers definition.
  10. 18:24 FOI MAKE A GOOD FIST OF, but I didn’t quite succeed in that. I was held up by having SS at the end of 25A which made AZONAL impossible. PRIMO got me sorted in that corner, although I failed to parse GOODWILL. Another who though “really??” to GREIG. COD to GO TO BED. Thanks V and setter.
  11. 28′ 21″, and correct, but couldn’t parse GOODWILL, so not on board.

    PALMTOP definitely ancient. I worked with an early adopter who had one, but by the time I worked out what it was it had become obselete.

    Nho VODKATINI. Had the same experience with the Zs as others. Liked FOI POPINJAY. I use the phrase BALL PARK without knowing its origin.

    Thanks verlaine and setter.

  12. 57 minutes with LOI a bemusedly constructed AZONAL. That followed the unheard of VODKATINI, but then for me there’s only ever really been beer, wine and whisky in the world. Even the easier clues were tricky. For instance, I wouldn’t put a G in PEKINGESE, I’d forgotten about a PALMTOP, and the random appearance of Tony GREIG certainly had me grovelling. COD to POPINJAY because it was more at my level. But I did finish, so thank you V and setter.
  13. I’ll join Jack and others in looking askance at GREIG as a random bloke. I thought was a tad unfair.
    I also echo Guy in thinking PALMTOP relates to an earlier era.
    Thank you, Verlaine, for VERTEBRA. I missed the hidden reversed. Thanks also for ADEQUATE and PEKINGESE.
    COD to AITCH. Definitely agree with V there!
    AZONAL reminded me of “Pressed Rat and Warthog”…..
    “Atonal apples and amplified heat…”
      1. “….and Pressed Rat’s collection of dog legs and feet”!
        I think it would have been a surprise had they not been!!
        Many years ago, Ginger Baker narrated a TV doco about travelling across the Sahara, or something like that. I fully expected him to break into “Pressed Rat…’ at any moment!
  14. A hard slog indeed, but none the worse for that. 55mins. As V says, a number of clues had to really be worked on until the light shone, including my last 4 in, AITCH (very clever) ADÉQUATE, QUASHED and of course PALMTOP. The last bunged in with fingers crossed before I looked it up.

    I loved the long anagram , GO TO BED and BALL PARK. Luckily I didn’t consider a pangram or I too would have been looking for ax X in 23ac.

    Thanks V and setter.

  15. Threw in the towel near the end of my hour with several missing. Not sure I’d ever have got the obsolete PALMTOP, especially as “pole”, “top” and “up” could all mean “leading” and “palm” is quite obscure to me, but I also had a few missing in the SE.

    Edited at 2022-01-21 09:04 am (UTC)

  16. I’m thinking 15 clues a short form of HAVEN’T, but it works either way.

    Couldn’t quite understand BALL PARK at the time (and it’s often seen as a single word anyway), but it was the obvious contender and definitely helped with my LOI PALMTOP.

    1. I thought it was HAVEN’T too but I actually think HAVE NO is better. Not that it matters!
      1. So initially (and there is video evidence of this) parsed this as HAVEN’T but when it came to blogging it I decided that having to deal with the apostrophe was fiddly/inelegant so I swerved to HAVE NO…

        Edited at 2022-01-21 04:50 pm (UTC)

        1. To me HAVE NO conveys totality, and a sense that you ought to have whatever it is, which matches better with ‘deprived of’.

          Edited at 2022-01-21 05:48 pm (UTC)

          1. A good point, though in crosswordland one surely has the latitude to take this phrase as representing HAVEN’T (which was my take).
            1. Absolutely, this is just my marginal preference, it works either way. And we aren’t required to show our workings!

              Edited at 2022-01-21 06:33 pm (UTC)

  17. Just for once I spotted that this was surely a pangram.. except it wasn’t, merely a lipogram.

    Some clever clueing here, though as already mentioned that doesn’t include 18ac. I know two Greigs, the cricketer and the ex Daily Mail newspaper editor that Private Eye is regularly rude about. Not really enough to justify the clue imo.

    A 7 letter word containing four Zs must be quite unusual

    1. Isn’t the link with « performance » relèvent? That’s how I read it anyway.
      On edit: having now just read z’s note below I’m completely wrong. However that’s still how I read at the time:-).

      Edited at 2022-01-21 12:54 pm (UTC)

    2. There is something to be said, of course, for a clue that can barely be solved from the definition and the crossers, and requires SOME cryptic effort to resolve. In your face, Doctor Fill…
  18. Feeling generous to a compiler who was trying so hard to keep V happy on a Friday, I tried to work a bit more into GREIG than the weak “fellow”. Some sort of all in one, with the idea of a bloke who might interrupt a performance with an impromptu version of In the Hall of the Mountain King revealing that we were looking for the composer? Annoyingly, he spelt it GRIEG, though to be fair I only know that because I looked it up.
    Otherwise I quite liked locking horns with a determinedly fiendish setter, and completed in 25.42.
    Didn’t know you could put a G in PEKINESE, and I’m in the HAVEN'(T) party.
  19. 58 minutes. Happy to finish after a few scary looking surfaces such as for ADEQUATE and AZONAL. Couldn’t parse PIZZAZZ and wondered about GREIG, who I thought was ? Tony after initially thinking of the composer. Favourites were the cryptic def for AITCH and PALMTOP for the reminder of the Palm Pilot (like keriothe) which really was a ‘leading organiser’ (no question mark needed) in its day.

    Thanks to Verlaine and setter

    1. So the definition of PIZZAZZ in Chambers is “a combination.of flamboyance, panache and vigour” (my emphasis), which the setter seems to have run with. I’m not convinced it’s Chambers’ *best* definition…
      1. Lexico: an attractive combination of vitality and glamour.
        Collins: an attractive combination of energy and style
        I think this is a rather brilliant definition, personally.
      2. Perhaps the setter is making it a verb ie ‘to pizzazz’? If you take it as such, the clue works. I’ve seen it used in that sense informally, but it’s only in the dictionary as a noun.
  20. A proper Friday challenge, with the NW corner in particular being a real struggle to unpick. Agree that the only weak point was using a “fellow” with such an uncommon first name that it never quite gives you the “yes, that’s it” feeling that you’ve successfully parsed a clue. (I was put in mind of Greig Tonks, the recent Scottish rugby player, but I can’t think of many more, certainly as a first name…) That small flaw apart, good entertainment.
  21. Another excellent puzzle. It’s been a good week.

    The combination of EGYPTIAN and PALMTOP held out for a long time and I needed Verlaine to parse PIZZAZZ and ADEQUATE. COD AITCH

    Thanks to Verlaine and the setter.

  22. ….he exclaimed, hurling his metaphorical pen across the room after 20 minutes with nine answers unsolved. I wasn’t helped by having biffed ‘bustard’ at 21D, nor by NHO NERUDA, where I only dealt with ‘unheard’ as intended, and was left wondering if ‘UDA’ was an American abbreviation that I hadn’t met before.

    Thanks to Verlaine for salvaging most of my mental health once I came here. I did right to resign, since I’d not have got QUASHED or ADEQUATE, certainly not PIZZAZZ (even if I had got BUZZARD), and PALMTOP had me totally flummoxed. My COD was another that I failed on.

    FOI POPINJAY (cue false sense of security)
    LOI UNFADING (just couldn’t grind it !)
    COD AITCH (not ‘haitch’ as so many on TV bug me by misusing — ‘Lingo’ on ITV, and ‘Countdown’ are particularly offensive !)
    TIME 20 frustrating minutes or so.

    1. Pablo Neruda comes up so often in quiz… some “hard” answers become write-ins if you quiz enough, as topicaltim will surely also attest.
      1. Absolutely. The best way to get a quiz question right is to have previously got it wrong once. And possibly twice, three times or even four times, always while saying “ooh, I’ve been asked this one before”.
        1. In combination with the possession of a functioning memory. This is the thing that lets me down in a quizzing context.
        1. Just reading about PN and apparently Borges said of him “I think of him as a very fine poet, a very fine poet. I don’t admire him as a man, I think of him as a very mean man.” Not sure any enemy of Borges can be a friend of mine…
  23. Thanks for the parse on PIZZAZZ Verlaine – I gave up. I couldn’t possibly define AZONAL but if I’d had to guess it would be something to do with agriculture or climate rather than segments. There’s a popular pick-your-own place near here called Greig Farm where you can get asparagus, various berries and apples in season and it’s pronounced Gregg, as in Kevin. Until today I thought it was one and the same with the composer. GOODWILL was good. 25.23
    1. I actually pronounced it Greig, but over the years in Japan (gureggu) have come to change. (A (Japanese) friend of mine who I’d call at work from time to time told me that he would get a message that a Mr. Gray had called.)
  24. Found this hard and several times ground to a halt, rescued by aids. Like many I was amazed that such a good crossword could contain such a dreadful clue (GREIG), which I entered with a shrug, thinking it referred to the composer, forgetting the spelling. Never heard of anyone called Greig (except as a surname, Tony Greig etc). Exactly 60 minutes.
  25. Another puzzle that seemed easy at first. After a lot of the top half completed in a relatively short time, I thought it was going to be a Monday look-alike, but the bottom half almost did for me, especially PIZZAZZ, GOODWILL, BUZZARD, AZONAL and PRIMO, all in the SE corner. Eventually finished in 48 minutes.
  26. It seems the setter just got him/herself backed into a corner here. If you look at the crossing words it is very hard (if not impossible) to find alternative words that fit the checkers for PEKINGESE or GO TO BED, and while there are numerous alternatives for EGYPTIAN none of them lead to a better answer for 18ac than GREIG. So it was either unpick the thing a layer further or just go with it.

    Edited at 2022-01-21 11:52 am (UTC)

    1. As a relative newbie amateur setter I have become well acquainted with the problem so empathise with our setter today.
      1. I suspect he or she also really wanted that *R* in there too, as I think there’s a virtual Nina tucked into the lower half of 2nd column hinting at today’s esteemed blogger: V_R_A_N_E
  27. Aside from PALMTOP, I finished 3 of the quarters reasonably quickly, but the SE took over half my time. I thought of PIZZAZZ fairly quickly, but that is not how I thought it was spelled and I rejected it. It wasn’t till I realised that there may be more than 2 Z’s involved that clicked.
  28. 56:07. A good start with POPINJAY and DEJA VU across the top, but hard and slow after that. Finished with a struggle in the South east. I still don’t quite get 25dn PRIMO, either as an &lit or, as I struggled with, definition=one: built up from pair=pr, leading/first=1, second=mo. Never mind. Liked GO TO BED and BALL PARK
  29. 32:48, but I shot myself in the foot by working out the parsing for GREIG, but typing in GRIEG, thinking of Edvard Hagerup, and not spotting my then invalidated PEKINGESI. Who spells that with a G anyway? I’m going into the sulky corner with Phil! Thanks setter and V.
  30. Slow but fair. Couldn’t get PALMTOP. Liked PIZZAZZ among much else. Had never heard of GREIG as a forename but the cryptic was generous enough.
  31. Another very nice puzzle and pretty tough. So I was pleased to complete the journey unscathed in less than 30 mins.


  32. Made a bit of a mess on the left hand side (EGLANTIN — EG plus N mixed up with LATIN) initially, and bunging in a hasty CHICANE for the course with double bends caused some upset too.

    Could have done with the long one at 10ac, but walking around, I didn’t have a pen and paper to write down the anag — got there eventually.

    Don’t really understand NEAREST = Most Mean — any ideas?

    PALMTOP last in after some thought — I too used to have a Palm Pilot — great little machine.

    1. To be near is to be tight-fisted — mean. My Yorkshire grandmother used this expression as did my mother but that was back in the day, Doncaster way.
  33. This was a puzzle with much Pizzazz and most regulars getting hung up on Greig. I offer up Dr. Louis Leisler Greig playing at Wimbledon, back in 1926, with his partner KGVI – way before he ascended the throne. Hewlett-Packard’s 1994 Palmtop was superseded by the smartphone. My COD Haitch, my WOD Lie-abeds and Nearest was indeed my LOI.

    Edited at 2022-01-21 04:23 pm (UTC)

  34. I have no beef with Greig — it was very clearly clued and it’s no more unusual than many of the “a woman” or “a girl” names we take without complaint.

    I didn’t think the brand-name Palm had ever made it to generic status, and I would have thought either two words or a hyphen if it had. My views are influenced by putting in Palmtip for a sole pink square.

    Thanks setter for a very nice Friday, and you too RR for putting him or her up to it.

      1. Palm was definitely a company; it make the Palm Pilot which is definitely a brand name.

        I’d personally never heard either the Palm Pilot or it’s generic kin referred to as palmtops or palm-tops or palm tops, only as PDAs (Personal Digital Assisstants)

        1. Snap. And I owned one, as I already mentioned. I got there by association with laptop but I also didn’t think of tip.
    1. …and I read here, “Greig is a surname and given name. The surname is of Scottish origin and is derived from a shortened form of the personal name Gregory and Greg.” Came right up. But I’d surely never seen it as a surname ere this.

      Edited at 2022-01-21 06:03 pm (UTC)

      1. It’s also in all the dictionaries. It’s possible that I did hear the term at the time but I don’t remember it. As Paul says above it was always PDA.
  35. 56.12. A fiendish puzzle, the solving of which featured a lot of me staring blankly at the largely empty grid, me scratching my head nonplussed and me swearing under my breath.

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