Times 28267 – Dumbo, perhaps?

Music: Old Blind Dogs, New Tricks
Time: 20 minutes

The cryptics here are very simple, but I biffed my way around anyway.   Didn’t parse unicellular, pittance, melting pot, and marital, all the evident answer once you have a letter or two.   In any case the cryptics are simple, and quite on the level with what is usually used in the Quickie – I certainly didn’t have any difficulty figuring out the parsings.   The only two things I hadn’t heard of are trading estate and Hay Fever (the play), and how hard are they? 

Fast times are expected from the usual crew today.

1 Cats perhaps calm us in distress, one’s gathered (7)
MUSICAL –  Anagram of CALM US around I.
5 Massive winger covers a short distance (7)
9 Like simple life in college, until having to be evacuated into vault (11)
UNICELLULAR – UNI + CELL(U[nti]L)AR.   I thought the vault was a cell until I had to blog this one.
10 Starts to grin, upsetting young kid (3)
GUY – G[rin], U[psetting] Y[oung].
11 Awkward moment in case of surgery (6)
12 PM once introducing article for nothing — or very little (8)
PITTANCE – PITT  (-o,+A)NCE, a simple letter-substitution clue.
14 Dash back to eat at European business venue (7,6)
17 Sort of art in leading couple abandoning TU principles, on paper (13)
21 Alternating crops needs overtime in allotment (8)
23 Dietary requisite from celebrity chef, half-cut (6)
25 Not many? What a relief, I’d say (3)
FEW – Sounds like PHEW.
26 He’s treading uneasily, unable to see clearly (4-7)
27 Maybe keener cabby managed to go round rarely empty (7)
CRYBABY – Anagram of CABBY around R[arel]Y.
28 Overcome pressure, cutting cost (7)
1 Mickey for one scoffs second sweet (6)
2 What sporty type in Cairngorms uses if kilt’s torn? (3,4)
SKI LIFT – Anagram of IF KILT’S.
3 Prague colleague reported decisive position on board (9)
4 Plant one between lines at rear of nursery (4)
LILY – L(I)L + [nurser]Y.
5 English officer in China first tipped many races there (7,3)
MELTING POT – M(E LT)ING + TOP backwards.
6 Flag raised after millions desert (5)
MERIT – M + TIRE upside down, as in your just desert. 
7 Gold Middle East strip inspires new fabric (7)
8 Coward’s work that may make your eyes water (3,5)
HAY FEVER –  Double definition, one a famous play.
13 Is Israel taken in by RC saint’s converter? (10)
15 Poor rowers head off, clinging to frame (4-5)
16 Huge blunder if one’s in court, having been set up (8)
TERRIFIC –  T(ERR IF I)C, where CT is upside down.
18 Track what’s wrong in earnings (7)
PATHWAY – P(anagram of WHAT)AY.
19 Old poet turning over note respecting union (7)
20 Rubbish not even collected by cast (6)
22 Archipelago‘s name appearing in old clothing (5)
24 Capital‘s industrial action out of bounds (4)
OSLO – [g]O SLO[w].

56 comments on “Times 28267 – Dumbo, perhaps?”

  1. 7:01 – I had heard of HAY FEVER but I also needed to put TRADING ESTATE together from the wordplay. I really liked the clue for SKIN-TIGHT.
  2. Biffed MUSICAL, PITTANCE (from PITT), UNICELLULAR. DNK TRADING ESTATE. Once I had MAMMOTH (nice to have a flier that isn’t a bird), thus all the checkers, I vaguely recalled HAY FEVER. Like George, I liked SKIN-TIGHT.
  3. Thanks for MELTING POT, PITTANCE and MARITAL but I’m afraid I don’t follow your explanation of EXPRESSIONISM, vinyl.
    I struggled with CELLULAR but I reckon my time would have been about 10 minutes shorter had I not initially typed in METLING POT…which I believe is somewhere near Metlon Mowbray in Leicetserhsire….

    Edited at 2022-04-18 03:51 am (UTC)

    1. The “paper” is (the) EXPRESS, with Trade Union principles, i.e., “unIONISM,” losing its first two letters. (“Principle” would have worked and not conflicted with the singular answer.)

      Edited at 2022-04-18 05:36 am (UTC)

  4. Oops, I forgot to fully parse SKIN-TIGHT.
    Like my compatriots, I hadn’t heard of TRADING ESTATE, but the clue led me by the hand step by step. I may have heard of HAY FEVER, though it’s hard to imagine Noël on a farm…
    I first had EXPRESSIONISt as a “Sort of art” (adjective) though I guess the difference from EXPRESSIONISM as a school (noun) may be slight…

    Edited at 2022-04-18 04:54 am (UTC)

  5. A snappy twenty minutes to start my bank holiday Monday. (If I want to devote the rest of my day to crosswords I understand I could do worse than take a look at Maskarade’s sprawling and complex-sounding effort in Saturday’s Gruaniad; I’ve heard a couple of rave reviews since I looked at it and decided it would be too much for me…)

    I hadn’t remembered Martial from school—he doesn’t seem to have been mentioned as much since as other classical poets I learned about—but apart from that my only unknown was the Coward play. I’ve only seen Present Laughter (starring Rik Mayall, and it was very good, from what I remember.)

    Edited at 2022-04-18 06:38 am (UTC)

    1. I didn’t know Rik Myall ever played Garry in Present Laughter but I know he had hidden depths as an actor so he might have turned in a good performance. I’ve now tracked down some reviews (it toured in 2003) and most of them are favourable.

      I’ve seen a number of productions, the best of them starring Donald Sinden at the Vaudeville which is available on DVD in a BBC box set.

      The review comment I enjoyed most was about a Broadway production starring George C Scott who, it said, played the Coward role with all the subtlety of a Sherman tank.

      1. It’s hard to imagine Generals Turgidson and Patten as Garry Essendine but in fact Scott got some good notices, including one from the notoriously tough NY Times reviewer Frank Rich. Rich wasn’t nearly so keen on Cats which opened that same year although he was fairly polite about it.
        1. Yes, I learned later that a New York friend of mine has seen it and she said he was good in it.
  6. 36 minutes. Mostly straightforward but I needed wordplay and a few checkers to arrive at the less than familiar UNICELULLAR and I was unable to see the wordplay in MARITAL because the old poet wouldn’t come to mind. TONGA was my LOI where again I relied on checkers.

    HAY FEVER is one of Coward’s most famous and funniest plays and is constantly revived. Coward directed a revival for the National Theatre in 1964 in a production starring Edith Evans and Maggie Smith amongst many well-known names.

  7. Enjoyable, not-too-taxing start to the solving week. I was unaware of cry/wail meaning for “keen” so that one had to be guessed from the crossers – but nothing else was fitting into that grid. GUY = kid / tease I learned here 3 or 4 months ago, no idea how I knew ORGANZA (but I did), finished off with an improperly-parsed UNICELLULAR. Thanks V and setter.

    Edited at 2022-04-18 06:54 am (UTC)

  8. With anguish moist and fever-dew,
    And on thy cheeks a fading rose
    Fast withereth too.

    How lovely. And I liked the crossword too. 20 mins pre-brekker so very gentle, but some lovely surfaces, e.g. the torn kilt and the crop rotation.
    Thanks setter and Vinyl.

  9. 22 minutes. I started off like a house on fire but slowed the further south I got. LOI was MARITAL. I LIKED SKIN-TIGHT but COD to MELTING POT. A pleasant start to the week/ bank holiday.Thank you V and setter.
  10. 10:28. Slowed by biffing IMPRESSIONISM for 17A, but TERRIFIC set me straight. COD to SKI LIFT for the surface. Thanks Vinyl and setter.
  11. And Kevin’s comments to the QC blog.

    Straightforward, but not easy, if you see what I mean.

    Enjoyable though. A few unparsed, such as Sion = Israel, NHO the play, UNICELLULAR biffed from cellar = vault and checkers.

    An out of practice 18:36.

    Thanks to Vinyl and setter.

  12. Really enjoyed this … easy, but trés elegant. A momentary pause parsing marital but loved skin tight and melting pot ..
  13. 31 minutes. Generally slow on the uptake and held up at the end in the SE corner by OUTPLAY and SHODDY. Everything eventually parsed, including EXPRESSIONISM. I liked the ‘Maybe keener’ and ‘clinging to frame’ defs.
  14. 34 minutes, easy enough but some very nice clues here. The skint eight was excellent. I couldn’t work out why it was ‘pot’ in MELTING POT, but as so often, utterly obvious. I had silly ideas about a ming pot being tipped to pour the tea.
  15. 15.23 with LOI the unparsed expressionism. Mixed emotions on this, started breezily with hopes of a quick finish but then hit the doldrums for a few minutes. Unicellular and missionary my favourites today.
    Thanks setter and blogger.
  16. 17 minutes, with my sausage fingers on my tiny iPhone, so claiming it would have been another K-beater if I’d been on the familiar iPAd.
  17. I’m afraid I can’t remember anything about it other than that I enjoyed it, and saw it in (I think) the Theatre Royal, Bath. Every other memory of it appears to have crumbled away!
    1. I can confirm that the tour included Bath. The production originated at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford.
  18. Another IMPRESSIONISM here which was corrected by TERRIFIC. LILY was FOI. Didn’t know the old poet, but got it from definition and crossers. Liked SKIN TIGHT and CRYBABY. LOI was UNICELLULAR. 22:31. Thanks setter and Vinyl.
  19. Held up by my iPad playing up, and yes another IMPRESSIONIST here. Does annnnyone else have this problem?
  20. Enjoyed this and managed it in around 25. I think this is one of of the more accessible puzzles so thanks setter and blogger.
  21. Another “Impressionist” here but otherwise no hold-ups. I liked the Scotsman on the SKI LIFT. 12.23
  22. Good luck with the Maskerade Matt. Even though I twigged the motif fairly quickly I gave up – too much like hard work.
  23. 12.20, gentle and amusing enough, especially the skint eight and the incommoded Scotsman.
    I wanted 14 to be Trading Places, if only as an excuse to recall THAT Jamie Lee Curtis moment. Can it really be almost 40 years?
  24. 33 minutes, which is a good time for me these days. I was also tempted into a rare excursion to the biggie by comments on the quickie blog, and glad I came. I didn’t know the Roman poet and thought the note I was turning over was LA to give the AL at the end, so was looking for an old poet called MARIT. Otherwise, no real problems with this one. Thanks both, and thanks to Vinyl and Kevin for directing me here.
  25. ….and I had to biff UNICELLULAR at the end. My biggest hold-up was PITTANCE, where the two former premiers didn’t come readily to mind. SNITCH suggests that this was quite a stellar performance from yours truly.

    TIME 6:03

  26. 32 mins and very enjoyable. I liked SKI LIFT and SKIN TIGHT most. I also had IMPRESSIONISM which made TERRIFIC tough until I saw the light.

    Thanks v and setter.

  27. An easy 20-minute solve. On the whole it was the longer answers such as UNICELLULAR and TRADING ESTATE that were my last entries. MARTIAL was a distant memory, HAY FEVER much more familiar (and my fourth entry after MUSICAL, GUY and Starch). Enjoyable clues, especially those to TRADING ESTATE and SKIN- TIGHT),
  28. I’m brand new to the quicks and rarely finish them but the comment there said try this so I did

    I managed the nw corner including the first half of unicellular but the rest of was tricky for me, even after reading the explanations I still don’t understand a whole heap of them. Like, the wordplay makes sense but the actual definitions are often ones I’ve never heard of.

    My first word in was FEW and the one that made me grin a lot was SKINTIGHT.

    1. Actually I might as well ask as there’s so many helpful people here, thanks in advance!

      6a Flag raised after millions desert (5)
      MERIT – M + TIRE upside down, as in your just desert.

      I don’t understand the above at all. I understand M is for millions and that is the only part I understand

      Also why is cast = odd in SHODDY and why is gold = OR

      Maybe keener = crybaby? I assume keen means cry, but why the maybe?

      1. To flag (e.g.at a task) is to run out of energy or ‘tire’.

        Cast = SHY (throw) – think of ‘coconut shy’ at a fair. ODD is ‘not even’.

        ‘Maybe’ at 27ac is there because a CRYBABY is an just an example of a keener. It’s a definition by example (DBE) which by convention needs to be indicated by some means – ‘maybe’, ‘perhaps’ or a question mark are the most usual ways.

        Edited at 2022-04-18 01:59 pm (UTC)

        1. Actually, thinking about it again, it’s not a great definition. KEENING is more correctly the type of weeping and wailing associated with mourning.
      2. To flag is to tire, droop or otherwise show exhaustion. Reverse it and put M for millions in front and you have MERIT. To receive your just deserts is to receive merit for work well done, hence merit can = desert.

        ODD in SHODDY is clued by ‘not even’ in the clue. This is inserted into SHY meaning cast or throw, as in a coconut shy – throw a ball at a pile of coconuts.

        OR is French for Gold, and has been adopted into English through heraldry, where the gold colour on a heraldic emblem is described as OR.

        Keep on asking if there are parts of our magic and mystery that you don’t understand – it is one way to learn.

        1. I had to google it, because I had always believed the phrase was ‘just desserts’. TODAY I LEARNT!

          thank you for your thorough explanation

  29. No one has given a pat on the back for the surface of 16D which I thought was TERRIFIC.
  30. Was able to get everything correct but needed to come here to see why each one worked, so much thanks, vinyl1! It seems I was able to solve most from definition,number of letters and a few crossers here and there. I hope in future I can remember some of what I learn from bloggers’ parsings but unfortunately the state of my short-term memory means I probably won’t!
  31. I agree with Phil on the degree of difficulty.
    I solved the top half finally getting UNICELLULAR and the bottom half was blank apart from FEW.
    It took me a lot more time to crack the rest. LOI was TERRIFIC as I had biffed IMPRESSIONISM because it seemed about right.
    But it was an excellent puzzle, worthy of a Saturday I thought.
  32. The top left went in so fast I thought I was heading for a rare (for me) under ten-minuter. But things slowed down in the bottom half. Great fun. Thanks to all
  33. Think I was a bit slow off the mark today — filled in mostly during a walk along Morecambe seafront, completed back at the ranch.

    Only unparseds were EXPRESSIONISM, TRADING ESTATE (though I got the DART bit) and MISSIONARY.

    Only NHO was the old poet

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