Times 28255 – Print users gobsmacked!

Music: Shostakovich, Symphony 10, Karajan/BPO
Time: 40 minutes

Perhaps my time was not great, but I have a pretty good excuse.   I was about ten minutes into my solve when I noticed my printout had no clues for 20 and 23 down.    I suspected some sort of local error, and bought up the print page again – yes, two clues missing.   Fortunately, the interactive version had them, but I must have wasted a good 10 minutes right in the middle of my solve.   Not that there weren’t a couple of hard ones – sect and poniard kept me guessing for a while.     But without tracking down the missing clues, I could not have finished at all, even though I strongly suspected what the answer to 23 down must be.

Blog update: There will definitely be a new Times for the Times.   We are currently working on configuring the new site, testing, and fixing problems.   The team is also looking at ways to load the archive from Live Journal into the new site.   When we are ready to cut over, everyone will be notified.   Thanks for your patience!

1 Order wretched individual to leave home (4)
SECT – [in]SECT – definitely a tricky one.
3 Slithery creature alarms dean horribly (10)
9 Nothing disturbing primate’s idleness (7)
LANGUOR – LANGU(O)R.   If you thought it was spelt LANGOUR, you’re wrong!
11 Chosen to embrace ultimate in cool, as the Gherkin might be? (7)
12 Airbus director, perhaps one introduced to transport conspiracy (9)
13 Intends to find a way (5)
MEANS –  Double definition, my FOI.
14 Fear of being caught? (12)
APPREHENSION – Double definition.
18 Doctor entering dark place where young play (12)
KINDERGARTEN – Anagram of ENTERING DARK, very well-disguised as most solvers will suppose entering is an insertion indicator.
21 Criticise sleeping place after change of heart (5)
ROAST – RO(-o,+A)ST.
22 Fatigue of current head on display (9)
24 A bet involving millions? It makes you shudder (7)
25 Pull back a little, protecting excellent new weapon (7)
PONIARD – DR(AI,N)OP, all backwards.
26 Examine a good book on Tory rival? (10)
27 Went to get some grass (4)
WEED –  Double definition.
1 Sweet little things linked to eastern potentate? (8)
SULTANAS – Definition with a cryptic hint, a chestnut I always miss.
2 Memorial’s not cheap, unfortunately (8)
4 Reporter’s test of hearing (5)
AURAL – Sounds like ORAL, in some dialects.
5 Titbit is gobbled up by a page boy (9)
6 Hotel providing this arrangement? (13)
ACCOMMODATION – Double definition.
7 Pole holding everyone up for cash (6)
DOLLAR – R(ALL)OD upside-down.
8 Copper covered in spots — something he ate? (6)
10 Abrupt decline strangely random (13)
15 Stop couple turning up to grab staff award (9)
ENDOWMENT – END + TWO upside-down around MEN, which is not upside-down.
16 Always camping in field, the cheapest way to go (8)
STEERAGE – ST(EER)AGE.   MER at field = stage.
17 Unbalanced United team finally defeated (3-5)
19 Amorous Cockney lead having a brief moment (6)
20 Surrender of California vessel (4-2)
23 Mid-season, writer comes to ski resort (5)
ASPEN –  [se]AS[on] + PEN.

50 comments on “Times 28255 – Print users gobsmacked!”

  1. I put in LANGOUR, and it was only after wasting time on 10d that I finally noticed. I also thought I spotted the anagram in 2d and flung in PANTHEON, wasting more time. Like V, a MER at field=stage; STEERAGE was my LOI. DNK TREBLE. V, you’re missing a couple of underlines.
    1. Did you mean 25a or 27a? I thought PONIARD was fair enough, but found WEED pretty ordinary.
      1. Poniard. Weed was a bit twee, but clear enough.

        With 25A, I didn’t know the answer, which would have been OK if the word play was unambiguous. Not so for me.

  2. Snap on langour, which held up unpredictable and the whole SW corner. Not least as my understanding of erotic and amorous has different meanings and useages.
    Times and mores change, but I’m not sure I’m ready for clues like 28 ac in the daily quite yet. Otherwise a pleasantly tricky puzzle, held up a bit by the cleverly hidden anagrams as Vinyl noted. Thanks setter and blogger.
    1. I suppose you mean 27ac. There have been a number of clues like that; have they all been in the ST?
      1. Indeed, 27 ac. I generally don’t do the Sunday Times, but not for that reason.
  3. …and to make it worse, I misspelt LANGUOR even after having the checkers in place, just steamrolling over the top of them. Completely failed to notice the ONPREDICTABLE result.

    Otherwise all good in 18:21.

  4. DNF. I was thrown off balance as soon as I discovered there were clues missing, but even without that distraction I think I may have had problems finishing this one off. Incidentally the interactive version only works in the Club; the newspaper version is missing two clues and their answers won’t reveal.

    I struggled with SULTANAS, and SECT, which I eventually got, I was unable to parse as ‘insect’ for ‘contemptible person’ though not unknown to me was something from schooldays that I had not thought of for decades.

    NHO (OHF) PONIARD and without its P-checker would never have come to mind as a possibility.

    I’ve seen ‘weed/grass’ somewhere very recently and thinking strictly horticulturally it seemed a bit odd, but today I realised it’s a drug reference.

    Edited at 2022-04-04 04:56 am (UTC)

  5. 19 minutes. Another to misspell LANGUOR for a start, until put right by UNPREDICTABLE. Yes, I also thought ‘entering’ at 18a was an insertion indicator and therefore took a while to work out the parsing. Just able to remember PONIARD – it looks pretty lethal as it was doubtless intended to be. An ASPEN, a TREMBLE but no “poplar” to complete the trifecta.

    Favourite was EROTIC.

  6. Another one who had LANGOUR in for a long time! I seem to be getting better at working out when I’ve made another clue impossible with a botched answer, though, at least.

    I realised that I was missing two clues from my printout and decided to press on regardless, and managed to get everything but them in about 40 minutes, which I thought was quite good, especially recalling PONIARD from 28180 in January.

    Then I checked the iPad version, found out the clues were missing there, too, and took wild guesses at ASPEN and BALEEN, both words I thought to be suitably crosswordy.

    Edited at 2022-04-04 07:53 am (UTC)

  7. This was going OK, top half seemed fairly easy apart from SECT and LANGUOR (NHO langur) – but moving down, I found that the website had no clues for 20d and 23d – and in fact I couldn’t even put my cursor on the unches. Tried printing the PDF – same absence of clues, came here to investigate and saw SECT and PONIARD in the blog – so really I invalidated, rather than failed, this one. Think I would have probably have got there, but I’ll never know for certain.
      1. Shamefully I failed to solve it immediately – but yup, that was a welcome highpoint for me, amid the chaotic milieu of today’s puzzle.

        Trebles all round!

  8. I did wonder about the spelling of LANGUOR, but that instinctively felt more right to me than the O and the U the other way round. I’m not sure why, it’s not a word you often see written. I was also tempted by Kevin’s pantheon but noticed that would give me a redundant C. My other near miss was a potential ALPEN instead of ASPEN. People ski in the Alps so it felt almost right but I had the good sense to ponder it further.

    Good news re the move from LiveJournal. Thanks to those who are putting the work in on this.

  9. 36 minutes with LOI CONTESTANT. COD to APPREHENSION, the first time I’ve given it to a DD, I think. I quite liked AUTOPILOT and ONE-SIDED too. I didn’t know PONIARD and I found the instructions confusing but I got there in the end. I did half-know the monkey and how to spell LANGUOR. Harder than it looked. Thank you V and setter.
  10. ….but I reckon a full 30-35mins was spent on SECT, PONIARD and STEERAGE. Like others I didn’t like field = stage nor DROP = ‘pull back a little’. I liked (in)SECT even less.
    I see AURAL is also in todays Concise (17d)
    Thanks Vinyl. Your avatar makes me say that I think the award given at the grammys is a stylish one.
    Thanks also for your note about a replacement for TftT. You may have noticed that, on Saturday, ‘pedwardine’ was getting a little antsy at what they saw as slow progress.
    1. As I see it, “pull back a little” doesn’t give DROP, it gives PORD. I don’t see anything wrong with “a little”=DROP.
  11. I’d not formerly met PONIARD
    So I found that clue pretty hard
    And I’d just like to say
    It’s now my holiday
    So a break from your bird-obsessed bard
  12. PONIARD gave me the most problems, and when I eventually put it in, it was with no great confidence. Straightforward enough otherwise, although I had to trust that LANGUOR is indeed the correct spelling and I took longer to see SULTANAS than I should have done. Once I got that, SECT revealed itself.

    FOI Means
    LOI Poniard
    COD Kindergarten (as noted, very cleverly disguised anagram)

  13. 20.38, mercifully with all he clues. The two short ones top and bottom gave most trouble. SECT only went in when I’d managed SULTANAS and WEED after a long alphabet trawl and a struggle to justify REED, which obviously failed. How innocent we all are ignoring the mildly scatological and the informally medicinal!
  14. It’s all been said really. 40 mins with same hiccups, printing probs, etc. Luckily I had guessed that 10d started UN…. so LANGUOR was not a problem. I admit it might have been otherwise! 25ac (oddly enough my POI!) is spelt POIGNARD in French so, like Jack, I was faffing about with the letters for a while. LOI SECT with no idea why.

    Thanks v and setter.

  15. I have fallen foul of LANGUOR before, and it still looks wrong to my eye, even when it’s right, but fortunately it always rings an alarm bell now. PONIARD was familiar – does it appear in Shakespeare maybe? – but I spent a while pondering _E_D, and had to resort to an alphabet trawl, during which I almost wrote in PEED, then REED, both of which were 50% there. In fairness, I’ll admit a smile briefly played across my lips when the penny dropped.
  16. Not a tricky puzzle, except that in my haste for a good time I managed to put in ALPEN for 23d. Not a typo: in my mind it was related to alpine, which seemed ski-ish, and AL was the middle of FALL, which at the time I thought was quite a stretch for the setter – but the stretch was all mine.

    I also had REPREHENSION for a bit, but 1d set me straight.

    LANGUOR has tripped me up before, so I’m the lookout for it now.

  17. I solve on a printout and was going great guns until I saw the last two down clues were missing. Fortunately, they were in the e-paper, so I wrote them down and continued. All straightforward; I knew Poniard and I liked the cheeky 27A, until I was left with 1A, and had to resort to an alphabet trawl to get SECT as my LOI, which I then parsed correctly.
  18. I missed the drug reference in 27a, so entered a wring answer and didn’t really enjoy this puzzle very much.
  19. 20 and 23 not there on my laptop on the interactive version. Same on print version. Gave up – no point going on.
    Thanks, v.
  20. Half an hour, once I had found the missing clues by going to the Club version; but sadly ended up with an accidental LANGUUR as I had the down clue in correctly and then misread what I’d written. Same MERs as those above, about STAGE, and EROTIC for amorous.
  21. 6:49. Another LANGOUR but fortunately I spotted that there was no O in what looked very much like anagram fodder at 10dn.
    PONIARD familiar from its French equivalent and I’m sure I’ve seen it in Shakespeare and similar.
  22. My first cuppa got cold while I sorted out the missing clues. Made the mistake of going to the Club forum for explanation so I couldn’t submit but my time was a bit under 20 altogether. No trouble with LANGUOR thanks to Lydia Languish of The Rivals and I think I’ve seen PONIARD in the Three Musketeers as well as Shakespeare. The diagonal corner clues of SECT and WEED gave me the most trouble.

    Many thanks to Vinyl, George, JohnInterred et al for all the work on the new site – looking forward to it.

  23. Half of that spent on STEERAGE and WEED. When I got STEERAGE, I thought the MER for the clue was perhaps a major eyebrow raise. As for WEED, I was on the right track, but I couldn’t for the life of me work out how PEED worked. LANGUOR was easy after I misspelled it last time on here, and I knew PONIARD, just not whether it contained a Y or an I. My favourite blogger is always going on about being in KITTENGARTEN so that nearly went in too.
  24. 26:50. No problem with the clues I could see plus a short detour into the interactive version for the ones I couldn’t. I always remember LANGUOR is an odd spelling along the lines of “beleaguer” but I was sure PONIARD, familiar from somewhere vaguely Elizabethan, was “poinard” until the crossers put me right. Not a word I think I have ever been called on to spell.

    On edit: I see from gothick_matt’s comment that like everyone else I was called on to spell the word as recently as January, when I commented I would have spelt it POYNARD. I’ll get my coat…

    Edited at 2022-04-04 11:27 am (UTC)

  25. About 40 minutes, with no entry for 20d – too many possibilities. I guessed ASPEN for 23d.

    I also entered LANGOUR, which I should have corrected immediately as it looks so wrong, hence I struggled to get UNPREDICTABLE. With an initial O, RANDOM had to be part of the anagram fodder. All sorted out in the end, but I wasted a lot of time. I think PONIARD has come up before. I knew it anyway, though it was one of my last solves.

  26. This weapon is mentioned at least five or six times in various Shakespeare plays, most notably in Act V of Hamlet when Laertes bets King Claudius six poniards (plus various other accessories) against six Barbary horses that Laertes would win his duel with Hamlet. I guess none of them
    was left to actually claim the stakes!
  27. No problems experienced with missing clues by the time I did this in the club online.

    Fairly breezy, PONIARD built from cryptic though feel I’ve seen this before, another misspelt LANGOUR but quickly disregarded and written in later on.

    Some minutes passed initially with GIVE UP then GIVE IN, then finally twigged (doh!) what California was doing there and wrote in CAVE IN.

    LOI was SECT once I’d remembered SULTANAS.

  28. About forty minutes. FOI salamander. Fourteen on first pass, so worth sticking at it. LOI sect, did not parse that, or kindergarten, which I enjoyed in retrospect. COD tremble. Always enjoy finishing one of these. Thanks, V, and setter.
  29. 6:17 – I’ve been tripped up enough times by LANGUOR so it went in straight away and I think the rest of it was really on my wavelength.
  30. ….and lost a little time at the end justifying my LOI. Otherwise this was straightforward.

    TIME 7:14

  31. 16.22. Solid start to the week. Hold up in the bottom SW but realising I’d spelt languor wrong opened it up ,LOI cave in after giving up trying to convince myself shin could be a vessel- doh.
  32. Didn’t notice the missing clues last night, as I worked only the top half then; they were there this morning.

    CONTESTANT was obviously the answer, but I still can’t parse the clue. CON is “examine”; is TEST “a good book”? Or can “CONTEST” mean “examine” here? If “Tory” is T, what accounts for AN? No one else has said anything, must just be me…!
    …Oh, wait. Think I got it. CON(servative) is the damn “Tory,” TEST “examine” and A NT, a New Testament, the supposedly “good book.”

    Edited at 2022-04-04 03:07 pm (UTC)

    1. Yes, Guy, you have the correct parsing now. My query would be that ‘The Good Book’ surely refers to The Bible as a whole, not just the New Testament.
      1. But the clue says “a good book” so the indefinite article might make it loose enough to refer to any virtuous book – e.g. the NT.
        1. Thanks, but ‘a’ is needed for the wordplay so is not part of the definition. I admit my point was a bit picky, but something that occurred to me so I thought I’d mention it.
          1. Yes, I think I see it now. A + good book in clue gives a + nt in answer.Therefore “good book” is seen as equivalent to New Testament which, as you said ,is questionable since that term refers to the whole Bible not just part. Thanks for furthering my education!
  33. I’m another that would have spelled it “Langour” if it had fitted.
    Not my favourite puzzle but agree with Vinyl that “Kindergarten” was cleverly disguised and I quite liked “Fear of being caught” = “Apprehension”.
    Good to hear about the work on the new Times for the Times — sounds really good.
  34. Something made me put in languor correctly. I’m sure if I’d thought about it, I’d have got it wrong. Last few minutes spent on the sect-sultanas crossover. Many thanks.

  35. Another who has been caught out before by LANGUOR, so got it right today. CENOTAPH was FOI. SULTANA and SECT held me up considerably at the end. Never did see the anagram for KINDERGARTEN, just shoved it in from the checkers. A biffed POYNARD was then corrected by reading the wordplay carefully. 24:48. Thanks setter and Vinyl.
  36. 14.15. A pleasingly quick time for a solve that felt a little on the slow side with a delay wondering whether an urch(in) might be an order, a struggle to break down poniard and to find appetiser, to say nothing of the amorous cockney or the cave-in.

Comments are closed.