Times 28263 – a work of art.

I really enjoyed this one; not especially hard, it took me half an hour to do and parse, but full of fun and bits of General Knowledge slipped in here and there. I know my vitamins, of course, and vaguely remembered what a panegyric was, I’ve seen 24a before in these pages and I’ve sailed past the 2d. And my Chilean history was up to the mark, I remember Mrs Thatcher being far too nice to General Pinochet in his dotage. All good stuff, but my favourite was 1d for “reproduction method”. The error in the clue online was corrected later in the day, see below. 26a got a smile, but haven’t we seen it before?

1 Staff and volunteers each ringing one caller, primarily lawmen (6,8)
POLICE OFFICERS –   POLE = staff, OFFERS = volunteers; into both insert I C being the primary letters of one caller.
9 Most of silver parts reduced in size (9)
LARGENESS – ARGEN(T) = most of silver, insert into LESS = reduced.
10 Fruit drink without the odd bits of pip (5)
APPLE – ALE = drink, insert P P being the odd bits of me.
11 Admit altering order for small marine arm (5)
INLET – I presume this is LET IN rearranged, although it’s not very exact wordplay.
12 Convincingly toppled leader in seventies denied last drink (3,4,2)
ALL ENDS UP – the toppled leader in seventies is Salvador Allende, a reasonable if socialist chap who got toppled with the CIA’s backing so that the right wing military dictator PINOCHET took over for 20 years. So much for USA promoting democracy. [enough politics – Ed.] So we have ALLEND(E) and SUP = drink.
13 Child following current affairs (6-2)
GOINGS-ON – GOING = current, SON = child.
15 Improvised panegyric mother recalled (4,2)
MADE DO – ODE (a panegyric is an ode of praise) DAM (mother) all reversed.
17 Address system in centre certain to cause bother (6)
TANNOY – I wanted to construct something using PA, but no, it’s T the centre of certain, ANNOY to cause bother. It’s one of those brand names like Hoover which has become generic.
19 Fellow bachelor carrying less weight (8)
BLIGHTER – B for bachelor, LIGHTER carrying less weight. A Wooster-ish type of tricky fellow, not sure if it transposes to our non-British friends?
22 Flaw is found in disheartened team’s intimidatory tactics (9)
TERRORISM – TM is disheartened TeaM, insert ERROR IS.
23 Sound coming from furrow on the level (5)
PUKKA – homophone for PUCKER = furrow. It’s a Hindi and Urdu word originally.
24 Retro company regularly built in circular windows (5)
OCULI – CO = company, reversed = OC, then alternate letters of bUiLt In.
25 Academic not for but against King Edward? (9)
CONFESSOR – PROFESSOR our academic changes the PRO for CON, giving us Edward the Confessor, last Saxon King, 1042-66.
26 Wearying, as today’s successful solvers must be? (7,3,4)
GETTING ONE DOWN – witty cryptic definition.

1 Key fact in reproduction method where crosses accumulate (7,7)

POLLING STATION – took me a while to see how this works. the reproduction method is POLLINATION, into which insert G (key) STAT (fact). EDIT as pointed out below, G STAT in POLLINATION would give us POLLING STATATION so the clue doesn’t work like that, but I think that’s what the setter intended. I did wonder about key fact = GIST but there is then a surplus I.
EDIT 2 for the record, the paper edition had ‘key way’ not ‘key fact’ and this was corrected by The Times later in the day for the online edition. G ST being = key way.

2 Travelling collier, heading off round eastern rock (7)
LORELEI – I didn’t see this until I had the final I from getting 13a, then the penny quickly dropped. It’s (OLLIER)* with E inserted, for the rock on the Rhine steeped in myths.
3 Case confined to research establishment (5)
CHEST – hidden as above.
4 Person using drill interrupts speaker (8)
OPERATOR – PE (drill) inside ORATOR.
5 Nancy’s son importing American firearms (6)
FUSILS – FILS being the French for son, hence from Nancy the main city of Meurthe-Moselle. Insert US.
6 Cons that are bound to work? (5,4)
CHAIN GANG – cryptic definition.
7 Sally‘s position in office (7)
RIPOSTE – I think this is POS for position inside RITE for office, as in Mass, as POST for position inside RIE is nonsense.
8 Make the locks secure and calm down! (4,4,4,2)
KEEP YOUR HAIR ON – double definition, one literal, one an idiomatic expression.
14 Scientist initially examining old journal, in essence (9)
GEOLOGIST – GIST = essence, insert E (initially examining) O (old) LOG (journal).
16 Bird very hot sitting on egg? (8)
FLAMINGO – FLAMING, O for egg. A chestnut methinks.
18 Return, resolved to acquire university education (7)
NURTURE – U inside (RETURN)*. Collins has these as synonyms, after upbringing and training.
20 Starts using bags, a couple wife cast out (5,2)
TAKES TO – TAKES = bags, TWO a couple loses W for wife.
21 Third person tipped trendy vitamin (6)
NIACIN – CAIN allegedly was the Third Person because he was the eldest sone of Adam and Eve, ,according to the Old Testament. Reverse him and add IN for trendy. Niacin is vitamin B3 or nicotinic acid, if you dont’ eat enough of it (there’s plenty in Marmite so I’m okay) you get pellagra, which I’d imagine is unpleasant.
23 White House deputy turned up European bug (5)
PEEVE – VEEP being the short name for the Vice President, reverse and add E for European.

46 comments on “Times 28263 – a work of art.”

  1. 12:03 with a good 2-3 minutes being confused on the last two, LARGENESS and POLLING STATION, which I agree, doesn’t seem to completely work but couldn’t be anything else. The last word of KEEP YOUR HAIR .. avoided me for a while, was hoping it wasn’t KEEP YOUR HAIR IN.
  2. Nice puzzle. Couldn’t parse 1ac, saw the IC in OFFERS but missed the one in POLE, embarassingly. PUKKA / TAKES TO last two in. NIACIN known from cereal boxes and adverts as a kid (thiamin riboflavin niacin and iron, ca 1960s). Stretching my knowledge a bit with the likes of POS and RITE; had heard of Edward the Confessor but didn’t know he was a King, probably COD.
  3. Got everything in just a minute over the hour.PUKKA and TAKES TO last ones to figure out. I thought level would be plaza or plata(?) but when TAKES TO came it had to be PUKKA. Many clever clues, especially NIACIN, INLET and CONFESSOR.I think Harold was last Saxon king as Edward died that year and Harold got to march up to Yorkshire to beat off the Norse , then had to speedily return south to fall at Hastings.
  4. Like Pip, I really enjoyed it; however, I agree with ‘bletchley’ in that 1d doesn’t work if you say that ‘key fact is ‘G stat’.
    I agree with Pip about RIPOSTE. RIE for ‘office’ is nonsense.
    Lots to enjoy but I did like LARGENESS, NICE, INLET and ‘Nancy’s son’.
    An interesting little fact that I’m sure crosswordistes will know: Allende’s death occurred on Chile’s own 9/11…but in 1973.
    Those here who do the weekend cryptics will probably remember that Dean Mayer used CHAIN GANG in a recent Sunday puzzle but clued it: “Joined Labour Party”.
  5. Not too much of a problem…except I carelessly put LORILEI with I instead of E. PUKKA my LOI once I got the K crosser from TAKES TO.
  6. Wondered what a RIE was, finally got TAKES TO after jettisoning ‘turns to’, thought LORELEI was the siren, and biffed POLLING STATION, so missed the putative setting cock-up there.

    I must say, in the absence of weird Icelandic comestibles, I greatly enjoyed this one.

    Allende was no doubt hard done by, but dare I confess that my opinion of him may have been just a tiny bit affected by the bunkum produced by his first cousin once removed, Isabel.

  7. Bout of covid nearly over – this morning’s LFT had just the faintest hint of a pink line in the “T” position – but no pinks in the puzzle, also something of a relief. A couple of concerns made me a little apprehensive at the submission point
    – Didn’t know the “retort” sense of “sally” and bemused by RIE
    – Wasn’t sure whether the vitamin began with M or N – but CAIM wasn’t at all likely

    But overall an orderly and satisfactory solve for me – was expecting a lower SNITCH than the 103 currently reported. A return to normality is just what I needed, thanks Pip and setter

    Edited at 2022-04-13 05:38 am (UTC)

  8. 44 minutes. Another interesting and enjoyable romp, but it’s a shame about 1dn, especially in view of the setter making reference to it at 26ac. I made the same mistake as our blogger, spotting G,STAT and then POLLINATION but overlooking that this required an overlap that’s not accounted for in the clue.

    Elsewhere I was also delayed parsing RIPOSTE but I later found that POS for ‘position’ is listed in Collins.

    If I ever knew OCULI as a type of window I had forgotten it until I met it somewhere in a crossword within the past couple of days. Since no-one else has mentioned this it was probably in The Guardian. Anyway it was a write-in for me today.

    Edited at 2022-04-13 05:22 am (UTC)

  9. Well, it still took me 44 minutes, but I was happy that this was the opposite experience of yesterday’s, in that I started off very slowly but gradually built momentum and finished without getting too hung up anywhere. The crossers of PUKKA and PEEVE were the last to fall—perhaps I was helped at the end by local firm Pukka Tea (originally Bristol-based but now owned by Unilever, which seems to be the fate of most successful brands.)

    Didn’t know Allende, so ALL ENDS UP took a while, but apart from that and LORELEI being a rock I think I had all the requisite knowledge. Shame about POLLING STATION; I’d noticed that I couldn’t make it work but had assumed I was missing something until I pitched up here for a gander at the blog.

  10. 47 minutes. LOI was TAKES TO as that PUKKA BLIGHTER Edward the CONFESSOR finally succumbed in the SE. In the newspaper, it’s a ‘key way in reproduction’ so POLLING STATION was no problem. I hesitated long and hard over FUSILS as I thought it might be FUSILI, which fortunately wouldn’t parse. COD to the CONFESSOR. I made hard work of this but it was well worth it for the Chrissie Hynde ear worm. Thank you Pip and setter.
  11. Isn’t G ST the key, then way in POLLINATION for 1 Down. May be wrong or apologies if already stated.
    45 mins and still COVID +
  12. As mentioned above, the paper edition has “key way in reproduction”, which means POLLING STATION works.

    Had to trust that FUSILS are firearms and that NIACIN is a vitamin, but in both cases the wordplay was gettable. Straightforward enough otherwise, with RIPOSTE as my LOI once I realised what kind of office was being referred to.

    FOI Apple
    LOI Riposte
    COD Nurture

  13. 50 mins so on the tougher side but very enjoyable. A number of good clues taxing the old brain cells today. Like others, couldn’t make sense of 1d but it had to be. I didn’t manage to parse RIPOSTE or ALL ENDS UP so thanks Pip for those.

    I liked the long clues, BLIGHTER and PUKKA.

    Thanks Pip and setter.

  14. 35 minutes. A pity about 1d, but I see from recent comments that the clue as given in the paper edition does work. I liked the device in 1a and the CHAIN GANG cryptic def. Missed the RIPOSTE parsing.

    Favourites were ALL ENDS UP for the ‘toppled leader in seventies’ and NIACIN. The Wikipedia page on pellagra is worth a look.

  15. DNF
    No good. Couldn’t get Cain or takes to or pukka. Not my day – props to setter.
    Thanks, pip.
  16. Enjoyable, though I, too, hesitated for a while, wondering what on earth a RIE might be when it’s at home. Especially liked the cryptic CHAIN GANG and the PROFESSOR becoming the CONFESSOR.
    1. That occurred to me too as ‘one’s’ is the preferred crosswordese for sayings that can take ‘your’ or ‘one’s’. But ‘Keep your hair on’ is not really a saying, it’s an imperative addressed directly, and sometimes with some force, to another person, so it really has to be ‘your’.
  17. 34 minutes, having shrugged and entered NIACIN, POLLING STATION and RIPOSTE with shrugs. The glitch in 1dn is appalling and not what one would expect from The Times. Everybody seems to be remarkably relaxed about it. If they’ve seen it and altered the clue in the paper edition, why not then in the digital one? Mind you, when I look at it again it’ll probably have been done.

    I remember when Special K arrived. From what it said on the packet, one could deduce/suspect that it was just Corn Flakes with the addition of a litle thiamin, riboflavin and niacin.

  18. 16:56. LARGENESS my LOI after POLLING STATION which, like others, I failed to spot was not STAT in POLLINATION. I liked 26A best.
  19. Good one and I failed to spot the glitch in 1d. I’ve always had a very slightly different feel for PUKKA – more like real or genuine or “echt” whereas I think of “on the level” as more like straight or honest. But that’s a quibble. 20.14
  20. By the time I did the Club version, 1d had been corrected to Key way, but as I biffed it anyway, it didn’t matter. I really struggled to get started, with KEEP ONES HAIR ON FOI, later corrected to YOUR, when MADE DO arrived. I eventually got on the setter’s wavelength, but the SE corner held out for ages. Took me a while to forsake PENSE for PEEVE, at which juncture LOI, CONFESSOR popped up. NIACIN went in from definition and I missed the reference to CAIN. FUSILS was suspected from the outset, but I needed the crossers to confirm the unknown word. 43:08. Thanks setter and Pip.
  21. 37:56. A slightly more esoteric vocab than usual meant a heavier reliance in the cryptics so slow progress for me. All very fair and original.
  22. ….and eventually biffed ALL ENDS UP (Allende would never have occurred to me), GEOLOGIST (wot, “gist” again ?), and POLLING STATION (very unsatisfactory, if obvious), thus leading me to OCULI (NHO in that sense).

    TIME 13:51

  23. Took me about 45 minutes, with some entered on instinct rather than wordplay, though it felt easier than my 45 minutes would suggest. I didn’t have a problem with 1dn as my version indicated G ST from ‘key way’ (noted by others). My main parsing query was the clue to NIACIN. Biblical references are not my strong point, and ‘Third person’ for CAIN seems pretty oblique to me. Not my favourite clue. But I did like the clues to POLICE OFFICERS and GOINGS-ON.
  24. 27.08. A rather woolly solve from me today often failing to see the wood for the trees. I had officers at 1ac but spent ages trying to come up with a four letter staff to fit round IC when the answer was obvious. At least the clue to 1dn had been corrected online by the time I came to solve.
  25. 15:30. I felt like I was making very heavy weather of this, but the SNITCH suggests it was only moderately heavy.
    I was also puzzled by PIE but didn’t notice the problem with 1dn.
    I thought ‘fellow’ inadequate as a definition for BLIGHTER. Like defining CAD as ‘man’: not inaccurate, but missing the essential point.

    Edited at 2022-04-13 01:11 pm (UTC)

    1. Well, it’s the first sense given in Collins, so you’d better take it up with those blighters.
  26. Yes, its a Polly nation
    I didn’t have a problem with 1d, because by the time I came to solve it online there wasn’t one. I missed ALLENDE, somehow solving perfectly happily anyway.
    Followers of Schulz anywhere on the planet won’t have a problem with BLIGHTER: WW1 flying ace Snoopy was forever pitying the blighters below in the trenches.
    I liked a lot of this, especially the pros and cons of ‘fessors. 16.11 overall.
    Fine, cheerful blog, Pip.
    1. I’m not a Snoopy aficionado but I’ve always interpreted this use of BLIGHTER as an ironically affectionate use of what is nonetheless a pejorative word. See also ‘bugger’, or usages like ‘Jenkins, eh, how is the old bastard?’
  27. Found this rather tough, although I did have a nap in the middle. A friend is experimenting with very high doses of NIACIN to cure her arthritis, going quite well so far. Main difficulty was keeping ONES hair on, which made the BLIGHTER and MADE DO rather hard to get. I see that I am not the only one…
  28. I felt as though I was finding this hard but finished in a reasonable time. Annoyingly failed to remember that Nancy is a French indicator so assumed I didn’t know some famous Nancy from literature. Could only think of the one in Oliver Twist but didn’t remember a son. Bunged in fusile in order to fill the space. Otherwise all correct with some failures to parse (i.e. guesses). Didn’t remember argent for silver so had no idea how largeness worked. As others with wondering where the RIE came from in riposte. Didn’t remember that lorelei was a rock. COD to peeve.
    Thanks to setter and to Pip for the explanations.
  29. Amazed that my guessed PUKKA was right, as well as my guessed parsing (which seems a bit out there). I don’t know if I’d ever heard of TANNOY, but I had to cheat a little (perusing a wordlist) before I guessed at that. Never figured out the parsing of NIACIN either. I have to start working these earlier in the evening again!

    Edited at 2022-04-13 05:50 pm (UTC)

  30. Long wait at the end for riposte and niacin. I’d forgotten the third person for Cain trick. Neat. I suppose fourth person must be Abel, and fifth person Seth (Adam and Eve’s third).
  31. 40 enjoyable minutes for a somewhat strange puzzle, strangest of all being that the many answers I didn’t really know came to me very quickly (TANNOY, PUKKA, ALL ENDS UP) and more of the ones I did know popped right into my mind than is usually the case. POLLING STATION had been corrected by the time I solved and it would perhaps be my COD, or maybe the CONFESSOR.
  32. Late entry just before entering the land of Nod. 24.38. Very enjoyable puzzle and I always like the long clued borders. But police officers and polling station took a while. Of the many good clues my COD was fusils. Very droll.
    Thx setter and blogger. Happy zzzz.
  33. Plenty of biffing and lots that I didn’t quite parse e.g. POLLING STATION, INLET

    Thought LARGENESS was good for its misdirection.

  34. Great humour, nice surfaces, clever red herrings.
    Just over half an hour. COD apple.
    A truly enjoyable start to the day.

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