Times 28269 – monkey puzzle, and a bridge too far.

For me this was a meatballs sort of puzzle; not exceptionally tasty but filling and quite acceptable. No unknown words, not much else to add; 30 minutes done and parsed. The long anagrams were fun.

1 Revolutionary male doctor went down to find monkey (8)
MARMOSET – RAM reversed = revolutionary male; MO = doctor; SET is to mean went down, not sure I can see in what sense though. Perhaps ‘set down’ as in written, went down on paper? #or as pointed out below, sun set = go down.
9 Man’s situation woman has abused, smuggling in ecstasy (5,3)
IRISH SEA – IRIS (a woman) (HAS)* with E inside. Came to mind as I lived there for nearly 20 years.
10 Sculptor with initial cast showing ruler in Asgard (4)
ODIN – RODIN loses his initial R; where ODIN lived in Norse mythology.
11 This attained, perhaps, so can one get involved with female? (3,2,7)
13 Seductive dancer to accept honour in exchange for money (6)
SALOME – OM (honour) insode SALE (exchange for money).
14 Smooth youth rounds cape in armoured ship (8)
IRONCLAD – IRON (smooth) LAD (youth) insert C for cape.
15 Decorative chain having two metals additionally inset (7)
FESTOON – FE (Fe, iron) and SN (Sn, tin) have TOO inserted.
16 Have argument about rook with an ascetic? (7)
SPARTAN – SPAT = argument, insert R add AN.
20 Returning quietly, do penance in church and vacant tomb (8)
CENOTAPH – P, ATONE, all reversed inside CH.
22 This installed, point at vehicle sent the wrong way? (6)
SATNAV – S (point) AT, VAN reversed.
23 Those considered expendable fed on corn and nuts (6,6)
25 Regularly find clues not working (4)
IDLE – alternate letters of f I n D c L u E s.
26 Regret very much pronounced in French philosopher (8)
ROUSSEAU – sounds like “rue so”.
27 Ocean drifters not put back on board (8)
PLANKTON – NOT reversed on a PLANK.

2 Sailor to expire whilst receiving whip, or give up (8)
ABDICATE – AB (sailor) DIE (expire) insert CAT = whip.
3 Sophisticate, person on brink of victory? One’s lost! (3,5,4)
MAN ABOUT TOWN – MAN ABOUT TO WIN on the brink of victory, loses I.
4 To dine before travel shows moral conscience (8)
SUPEREGO – SUP (dine) ERE (before) GO (travel). Sup to me means drink not dine, but I guess one can sup one’s supper.
5 Thin wrapping material can be frustrating? (7)
TINFOIL – TIN (can) FOIL (be frustrating).
6 Stunner going about one day in gown with sash (6)
KIMONO – KO (knockout, stunner), has I MON (one day) inserted.
7 Key passage denied opening note (4)
ISLE – AISLE (passage) without the initial A, key as in Florida Keys.
8 Needing to trap fox, secret lodger lost elephant (8)
MASTODON – MASON (“secret lodger”) has TOD = fox inserted.
12 Crisis with turkey supply is threat to country? (8,4)
15 Jack perhaps following champion around on street (4,4)
FACE CARD – F (following) ACE (champion) CA (around) RD (street, road).
17 One news supremo quickly on the rise in City (8)
PASADENA – all reversed; A, N ED (news supremo) ASAP (quickly, as soon as possible). I have stayed with my old school friend in Glendale, CA so I know Pasadena is the next door city.
18 Coal processed outside top university in resort (8)
ACAPULCO – CAP U (top university) goes inside (COAL)*.
19 Distressed having to get together with son (5,2)
SHOOK UP – S for son, HOOK UP for get together.
21 Attention-seeker covering British sailors in battle? (6)
ARNHEM – “AHEM” = attention seeker, insert RN for Royal Navy.
24 Pointless to see reduction in common sense (4)
NOUS – NO USE would be pointless, reduce the E.

44 comments on “Times 28269 – monkey puzzle, and a bridge too far.”

  1. 11:06 with TINFOIL the last one in. Think of the sun for set = go down.
    Good wordplay in this puzzle!
  2. Really enjoyed lots of the wordplay, tricky in a pleasing way.
    Wasn’t sure if Pasadena had A N ED or AN ED – don’t think we’ve seen ONE clue A in the Times before, though it’s common elsewhere.
  3. LOI ARNHEM, strictly from wordplay.
    No complaints! Remembered SATNAV, for once.
  4. I got SPARTAN all right, but mis-parsed it spar-tan, all the while wondering how tan=rook. A nice PDM when I realized what Man’s situation was. Also liked AGE OF CONSENT.
  5. I took ‘one news supremo’ to be AN ED, since ‘news’ would be NN. I think the taboo in The Times is clueing the letter I as ‘a’, not AN as ‘one.’

    I was fortunate that, knowing a quick time was on, I looked through my answers towards the end and queried ‘mastadon’. Vague memories of TOD came to the rescue. SHOOK UP (my LOL) was a particularly good multi-word clue.

  6. I was going to query ‘go down’ = SET as well, but George had the answer.
    Bit of a travel theme today: from the ISLE in the IRISH SEA to ACAPULCO and PASADENA via ARNHEM (by parachute?) using a SATNAV in your IRONCLAD while wearing your KIMONO.
    So, you lived on the IoM for nearly 20 years, Pip,….with IRIS..?!
    1. Martin, Are you referring to the Iris the lady socialite jounalist, or IRIS the ridiculous all island sewage scheme?
  7. 37 minutes with time lost early on by thinking SATNAV at 22 and then trying to write it in at 16ac, realising it was too short so I discarded it and turned my attentions elsewhere in the grid.

    I learned that SUPEREGO is to do with knowing right from wrong whereas I had always assumed it was the extreme of a quality possessed by a self-centred person.

    Failed to parse MARMOSET.

    1. I too was unfamiliar with “superego” in the sense required here, but it was the only solution that seemed to make any sense. Plenty of tricky and intricate wordplay elsewhere.
  8. Today I learned that FESTOON is a noun as well as a verb (and a verb I’d never fully understood, apparently!) Everything else was fairly well-defined in my mind, though I’d normally think “court card” for FACE CARD, and I was glad I remembered exactly how to spell ROUSSEAU.

    Anyway, 33 minutes, enjoying “Man’s situation” and the “secret lodger” along the way. I was eying up a rather weatherbeaten edition of AE Waite’s two-volume Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry in a local bookshop last week, but mostly for its interesting bindings and aura of mystery rather than for its content…

    Edited at 2022-04-20 06:28 am (UTC)

  9. I finished with TINFOIL where I looked at TI_F_I__ and thought I must have something wrong as no word fitted in there. The lesson for me is that if it looks like nothing fits consider a compound word.
  10. Very enjoyable puzzle – one of those where I had some key correct answers (MARMOSET, MASTODON) a long time before deciphering the cryptic. Steady progress, though a rather messy finish due to a typo in IRISH SEA – I spent a good 5 minutes alpha-trawling -E-E for LOI ISLE before correcting the error and finishing off. A relatively rare 3/3 for me so far this week – eyeing up that medium-term goal of a 5-tick sequence…

    PASADENA reminds me of my early childhood, during which my old dad occasionally gave an outing to his 78s – including The Temperance Seven’s rendition of that number. Thanks Pip and setter

  11. Some very slick clues today I thought, 5, 8dn and 13ac. par example.
    Surely we all wrote 23ac in though, the moment we read the clue?
  12. 27 minutes with LOI SHOOK UP. Cue Elvis. And Gary Puckett for his principled honouring of 11a. I really enjoyed this one with lots of PDMs and good puns, with ROUSSEAU my favourite. COD to ARNHEM though for the PDM. Thank you Pip and setter.
  13. About 11 minutes, but I couldn’t submit (or pause). I’m still having the disappearing letters problem on my iPad and now this on my laptop. The glitches on this damned website are going to prevent me from solving altogether before long.
    I really enjoyed the puzzle though. I had BANDEAU initially for 15ac. ‘Chain’ seemed a bit odd but it’s not very far off (in the absence of other information I’d certainly have picked it over FESTOON!) and the wordplay fits so precisely that I had no doubts and was surprised when the MAN ABOUT TOWN showed up.
    1. Yes. Same here. I’ve had to go back to my old iPad which somehow doesn’t have the same problem, but types duplicate letters instead, depending on which way round I have the screen. May have to revert to the desktop
  14. 11:58. LOI MASTODON, but only because I’d forgotten to go back to it. I was pleased with myself for seeing TOD for fox – one of many words I have learned from these crosswords. I’m another AN ED in 17D. I enjoyed the threat to Christmas best. Thanks Pip and setter.

    Edited at 2022-04-20 07:57 am (UTC)

  15. 49 minutes. I started off badly with 1a giving trouble for some time and I never was able to parse it. Like gothick_matt, I wondered about the part of speech of FESTOON but it’s there in the dictionaries, so just my ignorance. Favourites were TINFOIL and especially the surface for SATNAV.
  16. DNF with CENOTAPH SHOOK UP and ARNHEM all unsolved. Gave up on 50 mins. Just not on the wavelength I guess.

    Thanks Pip and setter.

  17. Didn’t solve a clue until 25a, IDLE, then got ACAPULCO and began to populate the SE. The rest of the bottom half followed and then the NE, but the NW resisted for ages. ABDICATE was the first chink of light, then ODIN, MARMOSET and MAN ABOUT TOWN came along. However, having done the same as Vinyl1 and biffed ACT OF CONSENT, I was snookered until I reassessed the anagrist. FESTOON was another late arrival, and SUPEREGO brought up the rear by a mile. Surprised to be in the top 80 on the leaderboard at 51:48. Thanks setter and Pip.
  18. Not the most difficult but very good fun. My college tutor, who probably contributed most to teaching me the ways of the Times crossword, used to set puzzles under the pseudonym MASTODON (it was a rare act of self-deprecation to suggest that he belonged to the past…)

    Edited at 2022-04-20 10:24 am (UTC)

  19. 23.04 and a very good workout I thought. LOI superego which I dredged up without knowing it referred to moral conscience. As per pipkirby, enjoyed the long anagrams but I especially liked arnhem and satnav- an answer I know has been on here before ( but unsolved by me on that occasion) in a different formulation.

    Thx setter and blogger.

  20. ….I had it down to three missing answers. SHOOK UP came quickly with an alpha-trawl, PASADENA took rather longer, as “asap” didn’t come “pdq”, and then I biffed my LOI (thanks for the parsing Pip).

    TIME 8:56

  21. Made an absolute hash of this approachable puzzle by confidently, and rather smugly, instantly putting MANDRILL in at 1a, I mean there’s a man and a doc who is ill, right?

    2d went straight in but then spent an age struggling with all the other downs coming off it.

    Finally unpicked the mess in 23 mins!

    1. MANDRILL was my first one in, using the same reasoning. It did leave the ‘revolutionary’ hanging, but what the heck. Full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes! It slowed me up for a lot longer than you, to finally come home unpinked in 35:42.
      I liked the Irish Sea and the secret lodger, but this was a classy crossword throughout.

      Edited at 2022-04-20 01:43 pm (UTC)

  22. Yes, a bit vanilla this one, steady solve with TINFOIL LOI. I still get thrown by the CAN -> TIN cryptic.
  23. Another relatively easy puzzle, but I really liked the clues, especially those to IRISH SEA and MASTODON. I was pretty sure ‘fox’ was TOD as soon as I read the clue, but the ‘secret lodger’ didn’t come to me until I had almost all the checkers. MARMOSET was my LOI after 26 minutes.

    I agree with glheard’s comment – “good wordplay in this puzzle!” I don’t agree with those who thought it vapid.

  24. PASADENA reminded me of the Beach Boys’ little old lady and (like BW) a couple of other golden oldies from Elvis – ACAPULCO and all SHOOK UP. I thought this was a very neat puzzle with lots to like and not a quibble in sight. On wavelength at 12.30
  25. I gave up at around 25 mins with Superego, Festoon and Face Card maintaining their resistance. I also couldn’t parse Marmoset. But all was fairly clued.

    COD: Age of Consent.

    Edited at 2022-04-20 11:30 am (UTC)

  26. Another who was sure mandrill made sense for a long time. Pleased to recognize tod ,ahem,asap and to remember SATNAV from previous puzzle. Also that Man is an ISLE which is a synonym for key. Missed on SHOOK UP and CENOTAPH so gave up after hour and a quarter. Saw SALOME right off but didn’t know the honour to parse it. Thanks for that ,P.K.,and the rest of informative and entertaining blog!
  27. A rather dozy 20 minute solve with the cricket on and Mrs Z drawing attention to fascinating entries on Facebook. Quite an elegant puzzle, I thought, lots of deception (“secret lodger”, “man’s situation”) and some smooth, story-telling surfaces throughout.
    So cleverly concealed was the anagram for AGE OF CONSENT, I genuinely gave up looking for the wordplay and assumed it was a rather wordy CD. I’m delighted it wasn’t!
    MARMOSET was my first guess but last actually entered. Just didn’t think of RAM for male.
  28. Very nice puzzle, completed in several short work breaks so no time, but I’d guess about 40 mins in total. Thanks for parsing MASTODON, which I couldn’t see for looking, much as used to be the case with the secret lodgers, although in my experience they seem to be rather less shy these days. Still a mystery to me why they exist, but heigh ho!
  29. 31 minutes including proofreading, 30 without, and nothing to complain about. I did biff several answers (ACAPULCO, IRISH SEA, NOUS, and others) before sorting out the wordplay. The clue I liked best was for TINFOIL, and NOUS was my LOI because it took a while so see how it worked.
  30. 22.06. I thought this was an engaging puzzle with a few tricky bits in it, more than enough to keep me occupied.
  31. Making this comment for fellow solvers in the Australian. I think the setter might be a bridge player. Set=went down is bridge terminology for failing to make the contract. The appearance of FACE CARD in the puzzle supports the theory.

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