Times 28217 – This’ll do for now

I don’t see a blog for today’s 15 x 15 so I’ve taken it upon myself to do a quick one.  The puzzle took me my average of about 50 minutes…


1 VESPERS – sounds like Vespas (scooters).  Definition Service
FELSPAR – L{earner} inside FE (iron) and SPAR (box).  Definition Mineral
TRADE FAIR – TRADE (traffic) and FAIR (just).  Definition Mercantile event
10  KOALA – OK (approve) reversed (boomerangs) and A LA (prepared by).  Definition Native Australians
11  LEARNING CURVE – R{un} inside LEANING (at an angle) and CURVE (camber).  Definition Picking up speed
13  EXPEDITE – TIDE (current) and P (quiet) all reversed (flowing back) inside EXE (river). Definition Hasten
15  CAVEAT – CAVE (caped crusader’s (Batman’s) residence, with AT (at).  Definition Warning
17  INFUSE – F(reixenet) (at first) inside IN USE (occupied).  Definition Soak
19  POLYGLOT – POLY (old college) with G{ood} and LOT (fortune).  Definition Linguist
22  OLD WIVES TALES – Anagram (moved around) of [LOVES DETAILS] with W{ith}.  Definition Creative accounting
25  TERRA – TERRApin (aquatic reptile, deleting PIN (trap).  Definition Legally land
26  GLADSTONE – LADS (boys) in G(rand) and ETON (school) with the E moved to the end.  Definition Statesman
27  RELIEVE – {despai}R (ending) with ELI and EVE (two biblical characters).  Definition Help
28  TORMENT – Anagram (manoeuvres) of [ROTTEN] containing M{illions}.  Definition Pain


VETO – VET (beastly healer) and O (zero).  Definition To stop
SCALLOP – CALL (order) inside ShOP (after H is sent out).  Definition Shellfish
ELENA – Reverse hidden in {americ}AN ELE{ction}.  Definition Russian female – I don’t know why Russian?
STAGNATE – EATS (grub) reversed (on the rise) and containing GNAT (insect).  Definition Do nothing
FARINA – FAR IN (deeeply embedded) with A (needing A).  Definition Meal
LIKE CRAZY – LIKE (compared with) and CRAZY (madness).  Definition Something awful, as in running like crazy / something awful
PRAIRIE – PeRu (occasionally) and AIRIE (sounds like airy, windy (as reported)).  Definition Plain
REAL ESTATE – REST (others) containing ALE (beer) and followed by ATE (consumed).  Definition Spread
12  HELICOPTER – Anagram of [POLICE THERe] (almost there).  Definition Hovercraft
14  DISSIPATE – I’S SUP (ones drink) inside DATE (have to see).  Definition Waste
16  CONTRAST – CONTRAS (Nicaraguan guerrillas) and T{ell} (beginning to).  Definition Difference
18  FEDERAL – FERAL (not broken, as in untamed) containing DE (side letters of dispute).  Definition Supporting union.
20  LISSOME – SO (hence) parts / divides and anagram (off) of [MILES].  Definition Moving supply
21  LEAGUE – LE (French article) and ArGUE (put forward case, dropping R).  Definition Union
23  LASER – Every third letter (regularly) of LebAneSe cEdaR.  Definition Beam
24  BEAT – E{cstasy) inside BAT (club).  Definition Pound

49 comments on “Times 28217 – This’ll do for now”

  1. Thank you for doing the blog. Much appreciated! I struggled home after 50m with this but I had LETOUT 21 across thinking tout was ok for ‘put forward case’. Only after 15m getting nowhere did I think it through and reconsider after remembering that my answer would be two words. Never heard of the mineral and scooters had me thinking of ‘ducks’. A good challenge so thank you setter too.
  2. Good on yer, Rotter! Thanks for stepping up.
    Haven’t we had Gladstone very recently? Made it easier this time. I took too long over 16d, wondering how SANDINISTA would be altered to fit – got the government confused with the guerrilas.
  3. Many thanks for stepping in, Rotter!

    I finished this in just on 30 minutes but with FEDERAL unparsed. Just couldn’t see it.

  4. Thanks Rotter

    Pretty comfortable with no real issues — LOI FARINA which took some thinking about.

    FEDERAL — thought of the word first (from three checkers) and shoehorned into the wordplay.

  5. Thanks very much. I could only fit Lissome into 20d but just couldn’t see why until I realised “supply” didn’t rhyme with ‘thigh’.
  6. Bless you, Rotter! Now I can go to bed.
    I’ve never seen FELSPAR, which is a variant spelling of FELDSPAR, which I typed in until I ran out of space. Alternative spellings (of little-known words) is a Mephisto custom, and I could do without it. A MER at the definition of LEARNING CURVE. I think ELENA is simply a Russian woman’s name. Never did figure out FEDERAL, so thanks again, Rotter.
  7. 39 minutes. Thanks to therotter for filling in for the blog. Not too demanding for a Friday. Helped by having a VESPERS homophone elsewhere very recently. Liked the ‘creative accounting?’ and ‘hovercraft?’ defs for 22a and 12d and the reference to the BatCAVE at 15a – RIP Adam West.

    Thanks to setter and thanks again to therotter.

  8. Found this much tougher going than the Snitch would suggest, and was relieved to finally stagger over the finishing line.

    “Spread” for REAL ESTATE seems rather liberal, as does “something awful” for LIKE CRAZY, and isn’t the Caped Crusader’s residence Wayne Manor?

    I’ve obviously got out of bed on the wrong side this morning.

    Thanks to the setter, and to Rotter for kindly stepping in

    1. You’re absolutely right – it’s “Stately Wayne Manor” and the Batcave containing the Batmobile is in the basement.
    2. Can’t argue with any of that. I completely agree. LIKE CRAZY to me means ‘in a demented fashion’, or a strenuous but usually fruitless effort to make something happen, the results of which cause some amusement to the onlooker.
    3. LIKE CRAZY and SOMETHING AWFUL can both mean ‘intensely’ or ‘very much’: ‘she loved him like crazy/something awful.’
  9. 49:54, so about my average, but I felt i was making heavy weather of it. I think I expected a scary Friday. Most held up in the SW, but I did parse FEDERAL when I asked myself why does feral mean not broken? and I was able to answer myself. Many thanks for the blog

    Edited at 2022-02-18 01:12 pm (UTC)

  10. The prodigal son’s on his travels again, so thank you therotter for stepping up, and for parsing FEDERAL which was beyond me. I took 45 minutes. I knew the caped crusader and where he sometimes hung out from the sixties Adam West version. I thought the camber was the lateral slope on the road and not the curve itself. You live, you learn. I’d not heard of the meal named after the guy that married Joan Baez’s sister either. Thank you again therotter and setter for a good puzzle.

    Edited at 2022-02-18 01:10 pm (UTC)

          1. ….and let’s not forget Frank Farina, who played football as a striker for Australia and later managed the national team.
            1. Indeed. My only quibble with that would be that the Richard & Mimi had a tilde over the n in their name.
    1. To me (following my father, who as an engineer and avid motorist was always very interested in these things), the camber is, as per Collins, the ‘slight upward curve to the centre of the surface of a road’ – which could help a vehicle stay on course when rounding a corner, say (compare adverse camber), as well as help heavy rain disperse more quickly.

      Perhaps I don’t quite understand your terms, not being anything of an engineer myself!

      1. I think it’s my use of language that’s confusing. I meant by curve the bend in the road, whereas of course the lateral slope I referred to as the camber is also curved-shaped. Apologies to you and the setter for the confusion.
  11. Didn’t understand how the ‘not broken’ gave ‘feral’, but FEDERAL WAS the only possible answer for 18d. I relied on the wordplay for the unknown FARINA and FELSPAR, and I can’t recall seeing ‘regularly’ mean one letter in every three before, which held up LASER for a few moments until I realised.

    FOI Beat
    LOI Dissipate
    COD Vespers

  12. ….especially the clueing of ‘spread’ to define REAL ESTATE. I took my first driving lessons in an Austin A40 FARINA. I’m pretty sure that when Gene Pitney warbled “Maria ELENA, I’m going away to war” the only Russian involvement would possibly be in the fighting. I would expect ELENA to be a Latin lass (see also the beautiful instrumental Marie ELENA by Los Indios Tabajaras, but take no notice whatsoever of the publicity blurb attached to it !)

    Thanks to Rotter for stepping into the breach, although I’d happily parsed it all when I did it.

    FOI VESPERS — it was a Lambretta for me
    LOI CONTRAST — thought first of Sandinistas
    COD OLD WIVES TALES — or urban myths
    TIME 12:37

  13. Cue Dick Barton theme.

    Where’s Man Friday? Rotter solves the Puzzle!

    FOI 24dn BEAT



    WOD 22ac OLD WIVES TALES I’ve had few…

    I had no problem with the parsing of 18dn FEDERAL

    I was detained for 46 minutes.

    Edited at 2022-02-18 02:16 pm (UTC)

  14. 28.04. Bit of a plod for me today, not quite seeing things first off. Delayed at the end over the crossing terra and federal, the latter trying to justify the not broken definition of feral, which only dawned on reading the blog. Many thanks Rotter for stepping into the breach.
  15. I agree that this felt very American, though that seems to be happening more and more lately.

    I hope Verlaine is OK? I Worry that he might have taken on too much, what with the dailies, jumbos and club monthly as well ..

    1. If there are bloggers waiting in the wings and/or champing at the bit to have a blogging slot, I would be very happy to lighten my load actually!
      1. V, I’m happy to help out if you know in advance that you might be incommunicado, just let me know, but I cannot promise to match your wit and classical bravura.
  16. 40m. Stumped for the parsing of LISSOME even for a time after reading the blog. Definitely not on the wavelength today.
  17. I found this tough, well over the hour. Gave up timing it in the end. Held up in the SW corner til finally EXPEDITE and HELICOPTER opened it up. NHO FELSPAR , but cryptic was clear. I liked LISSOME and TRADE FAIR.

    Looking back on it now, I don’t quite see why I was so bamboozled.

    Well done Rotter for standing in. Ta to setter too.

  18. I found this fairly straightforward. I had to use wordplay for FARINA although I’m prettty sure is is the Italian for flour so not much of a stretch. I’ve only ever seen FELDSPAR before (with a D). Some slightly dodgy definitions if I put my strict hat on.
  19. I was all set to comment as soon as the blog appeared, so was somewhat disappointed. Maybe Verlaine looked at this and thought it must not be Friday. Or are these easier for me when worked online?!
    Same hesitation over D-less FELSPAR experienced by others.
    Didn’t grasp the homonym for VESPERS at first.
    LISSOME reminded me of one I recently blogged, and the GLADSTONE was left here by another recent puzzle.

    Edited at 2022-02-18 04:57 pm (UTC)

  20. Sincere apologies for missing my regular blogging spot and thank you so much Rotter for posting an emergency blog! I did two days’ puzzles together and found this second one sufficiently quick to solve (< 6 minutes) that it completely slipped my notice that it might be Friday’s.

    I really liked some of the definition parts in this puzzle — “picking up speed”, “creative accounting”, “moving supply”. 11ac my COD accordingly.

      1. Being out of town has made it harder to remember what day it is. I’m on Portland time now.
        1. If you are in Portland, OR and not ME, does Wankers Corner still exist? Always good for a titter or two.
  21. I had hardly started and looked at the timer etc and saw that I’d already taken twice as long as V took to do the whole thing. 46 minutes eventually. Actually I agree with boltonwanderer’s doubts about camber = curve, which to me mars the otherwise delightfulness of the clue.

    The trouble (a trouble?) with dictionaries is that when they give an alternative spelling of something they don’t tell you what the proportions are. Do 90% say feldspar and 10% felspar? Or is it 51-49? I’m certainly in the over 50% camp, so hesitated over this, but am I in the vast majority?

    Edited at 2022-02-18 10:23 pm (UTC)

    1. Didn’t think of it while solving, but also agreed camber doesn’t mean curve. Except it does: all the dictionaries define camber as the slight convexity of e.g. the surface of a road, or a ship’s deck, or an aerofoil. None of them define it as the banking on a curve in the road.
  22. Well done, Rotter! And pleased to read that there’s nothing wrong with Verlaine. Unless you have a back channel to someone they can disappear without trace.
    I enjoyed this one. I particularly liked the slightly different definition used of ‘regularly’ in 23d.
    Thanks, Rotter, for TERRA. That was the only clue I couldn’t parse.
    Ah 1ac! I used to have a red 150cc Vespa!
  23. Will my neurons begin to STAGNATE?
    Will my little grey cells DISSIPATE?
    Can I RELIEVE my fears;
    The TORMENT that my ears
    Surround much defunct REAL ESTATE?
  24. I did this in bits and bobs over two days. Quite a tough one for me, but all correct!
    LOI was FARINA- never heard of it, but trusted the wordplay.
    Thank you for the blog, and thank you to the setter.

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