Times 28249 – Nice and easy does it…one more time

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Not much to say about this gentle introduction to the week. I got home in 16:47, so it can’t be that tough…


1 Growth of old academic institution, beginning again (5)
POLYP – POLY (old academic institution, since everything is a university now) plus its initial letter P again
4 Church without particular members is lacking in appeal (9)
CHARMLESS – CH (church) ARMLESS (without particular members). Moving right along…
9 Devil called out with a jokey appellation (9)
NICKNAMED – NICK (devil) NAMED (called out)
10 Agent wants old books put in different container (5)
REPOT – REP (agent) OT (Old Testament)
11 Artist and old boys, having arrived with dog outside a room with a view (6,7)
CAMERA OBSCURA – RA (artist) OBS (old boys) in CAME (arrived) CUR (dog) A; ‘the earliest versions consisted of small darkened rooms with light admitted through a single tiny hole. The result was that an inverted image of the outside scene was cast on the opposite wall, which was usually whitened. For centuries the technique was used for viewing eclipses of the Sun without endangering the eyes and, by the 16th century, as an aid to drawing; the subject was posed outside and the image reflected on a piece of drawing paper for the artist to trace’ (Britannica).
14 A good deal is what saleroom may be offering (4)
LOTS – double definition (DD)
15 Property providing something for boozers inside — others had food outside (4,6)
REAL ESTATE – ALE (something for boozers) in REST (others) ATE (had food)
18 I’d get over a drunk being insulting (10)
19 Not entirely green, a capital city (4)
21 Online pest ran slurs, being hostile to people (13)
24 Explosive is prime requirement for the robbery (5)
HEIST – HE (high explosive) IS (is) T[he]
25 Record-keeper about to get essential stuff, unusual mostly (9)
REGISTRAR – RE (about) GIST (essential stuff) RAR[e]
27 Liquid discharged in switch-over period (9)
28 Gift for groom having party — and grimacing? (5)
DOWRY – DO (party) WRY (grimacing: ‘[of a facial expression] produced or characterized by contorting of the features, usually indicating dislike’ – Collins); I’m more familiar with the humorous sense


1 A pal and I can do wicked rum concoction (4,6)
2 Want to have bottom wiped — something sticky! (3)
LAC – LAC[k]; moving very swiftly along…
3 Faced with depression, go in storeroom (6)
PANTRY – PAN (as in a salt pan) TRY (go)
4 Most expected amount paid should cover maiden with cash falling short (9)
COMMONEST – M (maiden in cricket) MONE[y] in COST (amount paid)
5 Where to find some PeruviAN DESperadoes? (5)
ANDES – hidden all-in-one
6 Noble lady is seen in tent mostly (8)
7 No longer having power, the French people — reason? (11)
EXPLANATION – EX (no longer) P (power) LA (the in French) NATION (people); pretty torturous surface
8 Drunkards given urgent message? About time! (4)
SOTS – T [time] in SOS [urgent message]
12 Friend with elevated manner and inclination to be unspiritual type? (11)
MATERIALIST – MATE (friend) AIR reversed LIST (inclination)
13 Male and others getting disease? Science is the answer (10)
METALLURGY – M (male) ET AL (and others) LURGY (disease); somewhat contrived, methinks
16 Helped financially, supplied with pounds and always getting on (9)
LEVERAGED – L (pounds, as in LSD) EVER (always) AGED (getting on)
17 A contemptible person on a hill who appeals to the mob? (8)
20 Excited Pole accepting employment (6)
ROUSED – USE (employment) in ROD (pole)
22 Attractively lively hotel in Scottish location (5)
PERTH – PERT (attractively lively – rather like galspray, if normally used of a female) H (hotel)
23 Playwright‘s expression of annoyance, not quiet (4)
SHAW – [p]SHAW; Pshaw! is the sort of exclamation used by Dorothy Sayers in her rather mannered style
26 Red or green? (3)

57 comments on “Times 28249 – Nice and easy does it…one more time”

  1. I fell into the trap for a capital city _I_A and just bunged in RIGA without thinking too much about it. Ooops. Otherwise a gentle start to the week.
    1. I think virtually the same clue has appeared in The Guardian within the last couple of weeks. I fell for it then, but not today. 20 mins with half the afternoon teapot and the first of two biscuits.
  2. I bunged in MARQUESS; maybe I should have read the clue. Biffed PINA COLADA, CAMERA, & MATERIALIST, parsed post-submission. 2d was clever, I suppose, but I could have done without it.
  3. I guess my choices are to learn to read the clues, to learn to spell better, or to learn all the funky aristo titles. None is appealing. No problems otherwise. Thanks, ulaca
  4. APALICANDO was the anagrist. But is there a cocktail called ‘Poli Canada’? Canada Dry with rum? I needed the devil in 9a to put me back on course.

    Come back Horryd, all is forgiven!


    Edited at 2022-03-28 03:32 am (UTC)

  5. I was tempted by the two potential pitfalls mentioned above, RIGA and MARQUESS, but I managed to avoid both. The latter was particularly tempting, seeming to involve both the tent, and possibly “queen” for lady if I didn’t look hard enough. I don’t know what caused me to look hard enough today, on another day I could easily have been suckered in.
  6. It seems like stretching this out to 20m by doing the parsing helped me avoid the pitfalls. My main holdup was thinking that 21a would start with ANTHRO- rather than ANTI-, but working my way around other bits of the grid and coming back to it sorted that out.

    I was in Clifton Observatory’s CAMERA OBSCURA a few months ago. It’s rather good; the bit that collects the light is roof-mounted and crankable with a wheel above the projection table so you can turn the image through a 365 degree view.

    Edited at 2022-03-28 06:08 am (UTC)

    1. I visited the Clifton Camera Obscura many times during my Bristol domicile: it always made me feel slightly naughty, even if nothing remotely naughty ever appeared on the table.
  7. Not so easy for me. Although I had started very well in the NW quarter and completed about half the answers without difficulty, I then became bogged down mainly on the RH side and required 38 minutes to fill the grid.

    One of my problems was the unknown LEVERAGED where I needed most of the checkers in place before deciphering the wordplay and arriving at the answer.

    I also lost a good 5 minutes on my LOI where I resisted RIGA as the first capital that came to mind that fitted the checkers. I had to do an alphabet trawl to find LIMA as a capital that fitted the wordplay.

    MARQUISE wasn’t a problem as I know the Noel Coward play called The Marquise.

    Edited at 2022-03-28 05:23 am (UTC)

    1. In the bad old days before retirement when I had to prepare BS-y company documents, ‘leverage’ (in its non-technical sense, meaning exploit, as in ‘leverage our strengths’)was right up there in my top ten least favourite phrases, vying with social responsibility, governance and enhance (a particularly HK favourite).

      Edited at 2022-03-28 06:03 am (UTC)

  8. Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.

    20 mins pre-brekker.
    My eyebrow twitched a little at depression=pan and did a full MER at ‘not quite’ meaning to remove the first letter — until I saw it was ‘quiet’.
    Thanks setter and U.

    Edited at 2022-03-28 06:40 am (UTC)

  9. A PANTRY is a type of larder
    These COMMONEST words are not harder
    A few minutes, not LOTS
    For us weary old SOTS
    Now I’m off for a PINA COLADA
  10. One week in to “Sober Spring” – seven days of complete sobriety, daily exercise, and a good few practice puzzles – my ability to get through ‘em faster has definitely improved…
    …but unfortunately my fat fingers haven’t.

    Had fun with this …FOI CHARMLESS then a decent clip throughout, no major holdups (though alpha-trawling SHAW and POI RAW took a couple of minutes). LOI REGISTRAR but tripped up in an attempt to do a PB (second time in a week) which currently stands at 20:45. I’d entered METALLURGY with two Ts and one L – despite definitely knowing how to spell the word, and having the A from LIMA in place. Guess I was reading the next clue whist typing. I suppose I had just enough time to proof-read and still get a PB – but opted to cross my fingers and go for glory.

    Back to the swimming pool and the 2019 puzzle archive – thanks J and setter

  11. I did wonder why there are already so many people with one or two errors on the club leaderboard. I figured it might be MARQUISE. At first, though, I toyed with ‘marquess’ and ‘marquesa’ and was glad I didn’t just biff either.
    My only query was PANTRY, so thanks for explaining the PAN, ulaca.
    Right! Altogether now!
    🎼 “If you like piña coladas
    And gettin’ caught in the rain
    If you’re not into yoga
    If you have half a brain” 🎼

    Edited at 2022-03-28 07:12 am (UTC)

    1. Oh no-I thought I’d heard the last of that annoying song decades ago! Now after this unfortunate reminder, how long will its ghastly insipid words and tune rattle around in my head ?
      1. I agree! It is intensely annoying but it must have got into my brain a long time ago and never left! Sorry!
  12. Sub 15m but my average will not improve as I was another to biff MARQUESS as carelessly as an England top order ‘batter’: it sounds so convincingly female doesn’t it? I think the phrase here would be RTFC. Thanks gentle setter and Ulaca.

    Edited at 2022-03-28 07:27 am (UTC)

  13. … although I think that was about the Australian one. 26 minutes with LOI RAW. I biffed PANTRY, guessing that PAN was a geographical feature. Otherwise this was reasonably straightforward. but the anagrams detained me. COD to METALLURGY. Thank you U and setter
    1. That’s set my earworm for the day: I was singing the Rutter Requiem on Saturday.
      1. Yesterday I was listening to a special tribute programme to Barry Cryer on BBC Sounds. To finish off the programme they used this joke by Barry:
        “A drunk is slumped on a park bench when a man in a black cloak with a cowl and carrying a scythe approaches him.
        “Who are you?” asks the drunk
        “I am death” answers the figure
        “I SAID, WHO ARE YOU…?”
  14. I suppose I was in full Monday mode, reading the wordplay without bothering with the surface, so the scatology of 2d passed me by. It got me through with 11.54, and accounted for me avoiding the MARQUESS fubar. And any other capital but LIMA (mine might have been PISA). RAW my last in – I needed the checkers!
    * A stick. Set your minds on things above!

  15. Oh well, another RIGA here, unparsed of course. Got stuck on the last two DOWRY and RAW, otherwise a fair Mondayish offering.

    I liked PINA COLADA and the IKEAN CAMERA. Like Kevin, could have done without 2ac. “Endless need for something sticky” would have sufficed.

    Thanks u and setter.

  16. DNF
    Marquess. Forgot to go back and see why it wouldn’t parse properly 🙁

    Edited at 2022-03-28 08:27 am (UTC)

  17. Very gentle indeed. I’m another with a momentary MEH having misread the clue to SHAW. A CAMERA OBSCURA features in the Powell and Pressburger film, A Matter of Life and Death. It’s presented in a jovial manner, but it’s always struck me as slightly sinister.

    Thanks to Ulaca and the setter

  18. Like Z8, I was in ignore the surface mode, so missed the ickiness of 2d, which was my 2nd one in after POLYP. A pleasant ramble through the rest of the clues saw me arrive at LOI, METALLURGY, with time left over to do an unrushed proof read, and still clock in under 15 minutes. My initial thought at 6d was MARQUESS, but I was pretty sure that was the male version, so looked carefully at the wordplay. 14:39. Thanks setter and U.
  19. A light and enjoyable mental stroll, nearlty wrecked by Riga sted Lima. But I think I fell for that before once, so happily drew up at the last minute and had a proper think. Clifton’s camera obscura is by the ol’ alma mater, so very familiar. On the site of a pre-Roman camp or fort of some kind. Wemt back with children last year – and it still has a strange fascination.
  20. Trouble with DOWRY and RAW at the end, just couldn’t find the right grimace. Haven’t finished yesterday’s yet, seemed quite hard…
  21. No particular problems, but I was a bit mystified by the pan in PANTRY. And I’d always thought that leveraged was something to do with financial activities in the city of which I know very little. 26 minutes.
    1. If a company is LEVERAGED it just means it has borrowed money, usually with the implication of large amounts. That’s what the clue is referring to with ‘helped financially’.

      Edited at 2022-03-28 10:05 am (UTC)

  22. First puzzle after a relaxing week away, so it was a gentle and pleasant return. Happily I hadn’t forgotten my slowly-acquired good habits – biffed MARQUESS, paused to parse it properly, corrected it – and having seen how many people fell into the same trap, I will now permit myself a brief moment of self-congratulation. There, all done.
  23. Nice and easy so I got it wrong, I thought MARQUISE was a dessert thing and bunged in MARQUESS. Also took a while to discount POO(R) at 2d !
  24. ….knows that “The Marquess of Granby” is a not uncommon pub name (I’ve had a few pleasant evenings in the one in Whitby over the years) so I parsed carefully and arrived at the correct solution. I never thought of Riga, as years of using the NATO alphabet on the taxi radio pointed me straight to LIMA.

    I was far too slow to see POLYP and ANTIPERSONNEL, while DEROGATIVE rather than derogatory just seemed odd.

    FOI CHARMLESS (like my son’s ex-wife)
    LOI DOWRY (which she didn’t bring with her. She took plenty away though)
    COD RAW (simple but clever)
    TIME 9:24 (personally disappointing but no disgrace)

  25. 7:41. No hold-ups today. Like others I didn’t even notice the surface reading at 2dn.
  26. LOI Pantry because I didn’t understand the PAN part, so thanks for that. Otherwise all good and ideal for someone at my level.
  27. One of my very rare sub-10s. No prob with the pesky MARQUISE – it’s the French version of the rather clumsy marchioness. A contraband copy of Les Liaisons Dangereuses made the rounds at my boarding school – its chief villainess is the Marquise de Merteuil. There’s also such a thing as a marquise-cut diamond, a sort of pointed oval. I haven’t actually got one but I wouldn’t mind. 9.42

    Edited at 2022-03-28 12:15 pm (UTC)

  28. 28 minutes. Same comments as others re MARQUISE which I wasn’t sure about as a term for a ‘Noble lady’ (rather than say a marquesa), but it fitted the wordplay so in it went. Luckily saw LIMA without even thinking of Riga. I’ve only ever seen a CAMERA OBSCURA in a “Midsomer Murders” episode and again wordplay helped. Last parsed was the PAN bit of pantry.
  29. 14:33. No problem with MARQUISE or LIMA — risky biffs, among plenty of others, on sight. Elsewhere, DOWRY and RAW put up some resistance but not a great deal.
  30. Kitchen interruptions — cat, son, wife — each nibbled into my concentration time — might have been under 20 mins but for those.

    No problems with the content though needed to think twice with the MARQUISE or MARQUESS conundrum.

  31. I wasn’t going to bother with this as I was determined to do a bit more of Sunday’s puzzle. But totally becalmed there, I started this and whizzed through it -which for me means under 30 minutes and probably not much more than 20. Should have timed it.
    Anyway LOI was RAW after DOWRY.
    COD to POLYP which held me up quite a bit.
    The slightly bearded face of Joe Root is peering out over my puzzle. Atherton thinks he should go.
  32. Forty minutes. LO’sI polyp, lac, raw and dowry. Hooray, finished one. Time not so bad either for me. My attempts at these usually end up with a percentage score and a DNF. Was attracted by the snitch today. Aside – The camera obscura inverts vertically and horizontally. I have been studying Vermeer – some think he “cheated” by using a camera obscura. Most think he used one, since it was the technology of the time, but was not a slave to it.

    Did not fully parse registrar, materialist, metallurgy (saw the lurgy all right) or see the p in Shaw. Thanks, Ulaca, and setter.

    1. I don’t care if Vermeer “cheated” – his work is sublime! Have you seen the ones in the Frick in NYC? The great thing about that collection is that you can get right up close if you want to and look as long as you like. Also, if you pick your time, you’re not surrounded by hordes of people.
      1. Hi Olivia, Thanks for your comment. I agree, I don’t care if he “cheated” either. I went to the exhibition in The Hague in 1996, it was really good.
  33. Finished last night, but was already in bed. No problems, got ’em all right—as I’m sure more of y’all would do if you weren’t trying to beat your own time. I’d rather be right than president, someone said.
  34. 13.20 . Nice start to the week, nothing too taxing though I did take a while with commonest, my last one in. COD to metallurgy. Thx etc.
  35. 27 minutes, which for me means very easy (under half an hour). I did think of MARQUESS, but read the wordplay, and for LIMA I read the wordplay before even trying to enter anything, so I fell into neither of the traps. Wasn’t quite sure why PAN was a depression (but now I know). Otherwise not much to say about this puzzle.
  36. 2dn is slightly reminiscent of probably the greatest joke of all time:

    Q. What’s brown and sticky?
    A. A stick

  37. 11.26. This was a comfortable canter for me. I came within a whisker of putting in Riga but my inability to parse it just gave me sufficient pause to reconsider and find Lima.
  38. Another MARQUESS but unlike other heroic failures I knew Marquise but managed to persuade myself MARQUESS was right

    A horrible 5 on Wordle as well. Not my day!

  39. Well I distinguished myself by actually stopping to parse 6dn and still getting it wrong. Somehow my brain had determined that the tent was a marquis, so MARQUISI must have been a variation of one of those strange aristocratic terms. Enough said.

    And thanks for the compliment U, it’s not often I’m labelled as pert. Neither is PERTH (the southern version) for that matter.

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