Times 28,241: Nothing Quite Like It For Cooling The Blog

I found this “quirky” with some rather unusual vocabulary and cluing but not too hard for all that: I clocked in at 6.5 minutes. COD to 5ac for pure “what the heck?”-ness. Apparently there’s a James A Stone Swimming Pool in California but it would take me 176 hours to get there on foot so I probably won’t be checking it out any time soon.

Some word-salady surfaces that I couldn’t really imagine ever coming across in real life but I did enjoy this puzzle for a’ that. Thank you setter!

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

1 Pleased in the past with flowers round my person (8)
GLADSOME – GLADS [as in gladioli] + O [round] + ME [my person]
5 James A Stone (6)
JASPER – JAS [Biblical abbrev. of James] + PER [a, as in “a head”]
10 Serving in women’s clink: it is sort of character-forming (6-2,7)
JOINED-UP WRITING – JOINED UP [serving] + IT in W [women] + RING [clink]
11 Support for climbing rose with pressure for second length before summer (4,6)
ROPE LADDER – RO{p->S}E + L(ength) before ADDER [summer, as in one who sums, tots, or adds]
13 Horse taking a long time over race (4)
HARE – H(orse) + reversed ERA
15 Canadian’s box of beer, whiskey, old and fine used during trip (3-4)
TWO-FOUR – W + O + F during TOUR
17 Fanciful female academic’s claim (7)
PROFESS – if a male academic is a PROF a female one could be a PROF-ESS
18 Rail about large university’s power (7)
FLUENCE – FENCE about L(arge) U(niversity)
19 A distanced gesture — as holding in anger is (3,4)
AIR KISS – AS “holding in” IRK IS
21 Encountered one returning couple (4)
ITEM – MET I, reversed. FOIT
22 Tern — ocean’s glory (3,7)
SEA SWALLOW – SEA’S WALLOW. “Delight greatly in” is a meaning of WALLOW
25 Area: mountain road, long time closed, I book (1,7,2,5)
A PASSAGE TO INDIA – A(rea) + PASS + AGE [long time] + TO [closed, as in a door] + I(ndia)
27 Involve volunteers in overturning occupation (6)
ENTAIL – T.A. in reversed LINE [as in, what’s my line?]
28 Awfully base breaking in to dishonestly alter lawyer’s record (8)
CASEBOOK – (BASE*) “breaking into” COOK [dishonestly alter, e.g. books]
1 Emotional about clash over a state of India (7)
GUJARAT – GUT [as in a GUT feeling] “about” JAR A
2 Friend, in a major way (3)
AMI – A + M1
3 Herald sure to be transported (10)
SPELLBOUND – SPELL [herald, as in “this spells disaster”] + BOUND [sure]
4 Bank with millions? Pound, not pence (5)
6 Like something stocktaking reveals? (4)
AKIN – hidden in {stockt}AKIN{g}. LOI
7 British in a bad way under rank future legislation? (7,4)
PRIVATE BILL – B(ritish) ILL under PRIVATE [army rank]
8 Right exit to turn back? (7)
9 A wee pest deforming garden plant (5,3)
12 In favour of tirade against underground being filled to bursting (11)
PROTUBERANT – PRO [in favour of] + RANT [tirade] against TUBE [underground]
14 Iron amulet needs resetting for gemstone (10)
16 Engineers note combine getting crop up again (2-6)
RE-EMERGE – R.E. [engineers] + E [note] + MERGE [combine]
18 Vessel’s cook found in Providence (7)
FRIGATE – RIG [cook] in FATE [providence]
20 Narrow ridge over in southwest in the past (7)
SOWBACK – O in SW, plus BACK [in the past, as in “a few years back”]
23 Scripture? There’s tons in Koranic verse (5)
24 Wine area with a lot of activity (4)
ASTI – A + STI{r}
26 Party involving upper-class singers? (3)
DUO – DO “involving” U

46 comments on “Times 28,241: Nothing Quite Like It For Cooling The Blog”

  1. I bunged in MARE, wondering about the M but forgetting to go back to it. DNK TWO-FOUR, SEA SWALLOW, & SOWBACK. Couldn’t parse JOINED-UP WRITING. COD JASPER.
  2. …Praise the Setter for he or she is kind. Well, fairly kind for a Friday anyway.

    Finished in 43 minutes. A few unknowns, eg the the ‘Canadian’s box of beer’ at 15a and the ‘Narrow ridge’ at 20d, but wordplay helped and the answers made sense. The ‘Koranic verse’ bit of the wordplay for SUTRA was also new, so this went in from the def as my LOI.

    Favourite was the def for JOINED-UP WRITING

  3. Tricky, with lots of unknowns, but gettable. Liked rope ladder, and joined-up writing where I was looking at ting for clink and wondered about the missing ri.
  4. Something something scripture, something something Koranic verse is enough to make me stick pins in my eyes.

    And TOURMALINE is an awful clue for those of us who prefer the yet-to-be-discovered MOURNALITE.

    Can you guess which two I got wrong?

    Thanks setter and V-Dog.

  5. 45 minutes of slow but steady solving with unknowns as already mentioned by others, SOWBACK, TWO-FOUR and SEA SWALLOW. Also SURA in SUTRA. GUJARAT was dredged up from somewhere and once all the checkers were in at 14dn I constructed and vaguely recognised TOURMALINE although aside from the clue I’d have had no idea what it was. I lost a lot of time at 11ac trying to justify STEP LADDER until the R-checker arrived and put me right.
  6. Not too hard despite not knowing (or having forgotten) TWO-FOUR, SEA SWALLOW, SOWBACK, and TOURMALINE. My only doubt was whether the likely SEA SWALLOW was SEA HALLOW since that fitted the wordplay better but was less likely as the name of a bird. I also made a play for STEP LADDER but I was suspicious enough not to even enter it, just the LADDER bit which was clear. ROPE became obvious later. I actually parsed JASPER as J (for James) and AS PER for “a”, which doesn’t quite work but was good enough to bung it in.

    Here in the US, where JOINED-UP WRITING is called “cursive” they have pretty much given up teaching it. Everyone types most stuff, and when they need to write (say) a shopping list, capitals are fine and it is not really worth spending years practicing cursive to be able to write fast if you never need to do it. Apparently Chinese kids (and young adults) can’t write lots of the characters any more since they only ever type them in Pinyin (Chinese using the Western alphabet) and only write common words (like the aforementioned shopping list although I bet most people do that on their phone).

    Edited at 2022-03-18 05:37 am (UTC)

    1. Your comment prompted me to look at V’s parsing of JASPER. Hadn’t realised it was yet another religious reference. Give me strength.
      1. Jas. is simply an abbreviation of James, like Chas. for Charles; nothing religious about it. I have a friend who goes by Jas., actually pronouncing it ‘Jazz’.
      2. ‘Jas’ is the standard abbreviation of James. It can be biblical as mentioned by V (with reference to The Epistle of St James) but only because every book of the Bible has an abbreviation and ‘Jas’ is the obvious choice for this one.
    2. Not just the US: here in the UK, my son has a special dispensation to use a computer in his exams because his handwriting is so terrible.
  7. I struggled a fair bit today as I have all week. A weekly WITCH of 140 puts me well off the wavelength. As ever I’m happy to have a clean finish though especially given my doubts over JASPER. I’d not heard of SOWBACK but I live fairly close to the Hog’s Back, a ridge in the North Downs so it wasn’t too much of a stretch. Beer drinkers may know it from the Hog’s Back brewery.
      1. Thanks Martin, I didn’t know that. I see that he was buried at the west end of the Hog’s Back in Farnham.
  8. A handy conFLUENCE of this puzzle and my recent desire to worry less about parsing and biff where I feel able made short work of this. A lot of question marks—from JASPER to SOWBACK—but all my hunches were right, as it turned out, and I finished in 29 minutes.

    I think a couple of years ago I’d have entirely failed to finish this one, so all the practice is clearly helping.

    Looking up some of my question marks, I particularly like one of the definitions from Urban Dictionary:

    two-four (n): A case of beer consisting of 24 bottles. Usually enough for one or two Canadians.

    Edited at 2022-03-18 07:19 am (UTC)

    1. Back four or five decades ago in Ontario , the smart social set I frequented then would judge a person’s character by whether they arrived at a get-together with a two- four or not. Those who dared to show up with a mere ” poverty pack” (6 bottles) were justly shamed.
  9. Our esteemed blogger says: “I found this “quirky” with some rather unusual vocabulary and cluing”
    I’ll second that!
    I may have solved the puzzle but I didn’t enjoy the bit of obscure Canadian terminology nor PROFESS, which I thought was rather strained. NHO SOWBACK.
    Like Jack and paulmcl, I started with STEP LADDER and took ages to arrive at the correct answer.
    I always thought the word MEMBER’S came between PRIVATE and BILL.
    1. Private Member’s Bill is in common usage but Member’s is not necessary and there is actually a ‘Private Bill Office’ in the Houses of Parliament.
  10. I must be older than Bletchley as this is the version we sang.“For his mercies aye endure” maybe, but not to the extent of allowing MOURLATINE as a correct answer. Otherwise, 26 minutes with LOI HARE. I didn’t know TWO-FOUR or SOWBACK either but they had unique solutions. Otherwise, an enjoyable puzzle. Thank you V and setter.
  11. Possibly intimidated by Friday-ness, I made heavy weather of this, and almost gave up at about 35m, less than halfway there. Struggled on for another 20m before reaching that “critical mass” where enough checkers were in place to finish at an agreeable canter.

    Very pleased to get through to completion given the unknowns, especially TOURMALINE as the word-most-likely. Friday finishes are still rather special for me – thanks V and setter.

    PS (edit) Despite SCC times, 4 fully-correct completions is my best week ever for accuracy – closing in on that elusive medium-term goal of 5/5.

    Edited at 2022-03-18 08:27 am (UTC)

  12. Ihr 15 mins but…. I am rather annoyed at myself because after struggling to finish, which I did, I find I have PROWESS at 17ac.

    DNK SOWBACK, (knew hogs back and, yes Martin, that is where Mike Hawthorn killed himself in his Jaguar), the stone or TWO-FOUR but managed to see them somehow.

    FOI AMI, LOI AKIN. Why is it sometimes that the one staring you in the face is the hardest to see?


    Thanks V and setter.

  13. Well done on pushing through!

    By the sounds of it, I was actually quite lucky to know TOURMALINE. I think it’s due to geekery rather than geology. One set of the University of Warwick’s undergrad computers while I was there (1991-1994) had a stone theme for their names.

    Among the more prosaic computers I used for years—”marble”, “flint”, “onyx”, and the main server, actually “stone”—were some more unusual choices like “chalcedony” and “tourmaline”. I seem to remember that the print server was called “quartz”. Funny what sticks in one’s mind…

  14. DNF
    Way too many options possible for tourmaline. Chose one of the wrong ones. After that – my penultimate clue – I didn’t even bother to sort out sutra properly. I just knew it was a roll of the dice that I couldn’t influence, so I gave up and came here. Obscurities clued as anagrams – especially those with multiple viable configurations – ruin otherwise good puzzles, imho.
    Thanks, v.

    Edited at 2022-03-18 09:30 am (UTC)

  15. 22:31 DNK TWO-FOUR, SOWBACK or SURA and failed to parse JASPER, but at least I got there. I liked PROFESS and HARE best. Thanks V and setter.
  16. 24.20. That’s a bit more like it, the rust slowly being rubbed away. Took a while to get started but passage to India and joined up writing started the ball rolling with a lot more acceleration. DNK sowback or sea swallow but cluing was good. What an appropriate name for a tern.

    COD protuberant. A blissful weekend of golf awaits.No doubt that will ensure I start the new week feeling utterly miserable.😊

  17. A strange puzzle, in which some wordplay was very much from the beginner stable: pound not p(ence), rose with p(ressure) for s(econd), with no attempt to disguise the base words. And then the collection listed in most entries of words from off piste.
    I looked up SOWBACK post-solve and was met with a picture of two pigs “playing sowback” in the classic pose known to Pass the Pigs fans as Makin’ Bacon. And for those for whom “religion” causes brainfreeze, it’s probably in the Kama SUTRA. Is there some sort of (probably sexist) reason why a hogback becomes a sowback?
    I knew TOURMALINE from (necessary, believe me) research into wedding anniversary gemstones: it’s either the 8th or the 38th. My local jeweller was very helpful.
    TWO-FOUR is a time signature in music, no?
  18. Have to agree with my Aussie friend that TOURMALINE (a wing and a prayer for me) was *one of those* clues that we hate and setters love. On the other hand, SUTRA surely has KAMA to help us get there – even if we have to go through a contortion or two.

    Quirky stuff – did enjoy JOINED-UP WRITING, without even parsing it…

    Edited at 2022-03-18 11:16 am (UTC)

  19. Hard work but worth the effort, as I learnt about SOWBACK. TOURMALINE, SEA SWALLOW, and TWO FOUR. An odd mixture of ingenious cluing with, as z8b8d8k has said, some very basic stuff. PROFESS seems a bit dingbatty to me. Gladsome is a lovely word, but JASPER is COD.

    Thanks to Verlaine and the setter.

  20. Possible slight advantage to the “solvess” here because I have a pretty pink necklace of my grandmother’s with that stone. Nothing in JASPER though. Minor quibble on CASEBOOK because I don’t really associate them with lawyers, more with Sherlock Holmes or Dr. Finlay. 18.13
    1. As another lawyer I tend to find that [warning: massive generalisation coming up] no legal reference in Crossword Land bears any resemblance to “real” law. Not complaining mind — last thing I want at the end of the day is reminding what I’ve been doing for the rest of it!
      1. It’s not just the law. no reference whatsoever in crosswordland bears any resemblance to “real” life, to extend your massive generalisation ..
  21. If it’s a two-four and there are 24 bottles then I wonder how it works. You’d think that somewhere 3 must come in (no, I see after googling it, that it’s a little play on words: 24 can be read as two-four). This took me, in my currently rather feeble-minded state, almost exactly an hour, never parsing the joined-up writing but liking the definition. I was surprised that AMI is a word in English, but evidently it is (according to some dictionaries anyway).
  22. A good workout today, with a lot of dodging round the grid to pick off the low hanging fruit, before tackling the hard stuff. AKIN went in first and MOUND wasn’t far behind. SWEET PEA was another write in, and JOINED UP WRITING helped in joining up the dots. GUJARAT came directly from that. All in all, I made hay with all except the SE corner which held me up for ages. CASEBOOK eventually set the ball rolling, allowing a posited BACK to precede SOW and provide the AIR KISS and SEA SWALLOW, leaving TOURMALINE as LOI. 37:05. Thanks setter and V.
  23. Frustratingly long time to get TOURMALINE considering that I have some black tourmaline pendulums. In fact that was the major holdup, because that allowed me to finish in what may be a record Friday time. Was convinced HERALD SURE was anagram material for ages, and had to come here to understand GUJARAT.
    1. Re TOURMALINE – your pendulums jogged my memory and I looked it up. It appeared in puzzle 27538 from December 19th 2019 blogged by Zabadak. I made a comment referring to a not-very-good Dorothy Sayers mystery called The Documents In The Case in which the murderer is exposed by the use of a polariscope and a thin tourmaline plate – I have no idea what the physics was all about or even it was plausible. P.S. You weren’t the only one chasing that “herald sure” anagram.

      Edited at 2022-03-18 12:21 pm (UTC)

  24. 15:59, with one incredibly stupid error. I parsed 20dn perfectly, thought to myself ‘oh that must be like the hog’s back’, then typed in SAWBACK and failed to notice the error when checking my answers.
    Other than that I enjoyed this. It was quirky but that can be a good thing.
    I was surprised to see TWO-FOUR, but it was familiar to me as what every Canadian needs on May two-four.
    I didn’t have a problem with TOURMALINE: it seemed much the most likely combination of letters. I did think SUTRA was pushing it a bit though.
  25. 21 mins. NHO SOWBACK, though I had heard of Hog’s Back (also a beer I think), but if asked would have placed it somewhere in the Lake District. GUJARAT is the only Indian state I could name, so that helped with a slightly difficult parsing. PROFESS I just couldn’t see, wondering how dropping the OR made it feminine, even fancifully. Duh.
  26. Tried TOURMALINE but settled on MOURTALINE as being more plausible. I guess not. (Also messed up SUTRA for SATRA, so there you go).
  27. I discovered the rare to nonexistent TAMOURLINE on the way to falling short on this one after 35 minutes with the Canadian beer thing and SOWBACK needing to be looked up. Didn’t enjoy it although JASPER and PROFESS were good ones.
    Who the H knows about Canadian beer packaging, except Canadians?
  28. ….and went to Southport. I’ve only got round to puzzles this evening, and, having returned a new PB for the Quickie, my time for this one wasn’t too shabby either. I can only put it down to having a pint of Wobbly Bob (Phoenix Brewery, Heywood 6.0%) with my all day brunch in Wetherspoon’s. The first pass wasn’t brilliant, but the second was flawless.

    NHO of TWO-FOUR or SOWBACK, but the parsings were clear. PRIVATE BILL also caused a slight MER, as I’ve never seen it without the word MEMBER’S in the middle. My only minor hold-up was down to trying to make an anagram of “herald sure” at 3D.

    TIME 6:23

  29. Mrs D and cousin watching a film about dogs [spoiler — there’s a happy ending] so perfect time to tackle this with Bach’s keyboard partitas on the headphones

    Liked it. Pottered around but never got too stuck.

    SUTRA last one in preceded by CASEBOOK and SOWBACK

    Thanks Verlaine and setter

  30. 28.26. A bit of a struggle. DNK Jas as an abbreviation for James. DNK two four. Was grateful for the word play for sowback.
  31. Coming to this several days late, am pretty pleased with my time. The Snitch not so high, but comments suggest it was quite a toughie. I’m pretty sure I remembered Tourmaline from a past crossword. I certainly wouldn’t have known it otherwise. NHO Two-four but it was my FOI.

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