Times 28287 – two kinds of firsts.

My first time blogging for the new site then copied here, as opposed to last week’s when that process was reversed. As it happened, I found this puzzle an easy one and set a new PB by completing it in 10 minutes and a few seconds. Afterwards I looked up 17a on Wikipedia, it was a word I’d heard of in a calendar context but didn’t know what or when it was. Not much else to add about this one.

This was copied and pasted from the new website which creates larger spaces between some lines, sorry about that but I’m not going to edit every line of HTML to make it tighter. [Editor: Fixed in new site].

Definitions underlined in italics , ( Abc )* indicating anagram of Abc, deletions and [] other indicators.
1 Intimidate son interrupting discussion in plant (3,7)
COW PARSLEY – COW = intimidate, PARLEY = discussion, insert S for son.
7 Person singing in new boat (4)
NARK – N for new, ARK a boat.
9 Furore over books in part of Belfast (8)
STORMONT -STORM = furore, O = over, NT = books.
10 Scandinavian food tucked into by a knight on board (6)
DANISH – A, N [knight in chess] both inside DISH = food.
11 Extremely significant widespread conflict (6)
STRIFE – S T (extremes of significant) RIFE [widespread].
13 Administered church, inspiring priest’s trust (8)
RELIANCE – RAN [administered] insert ELI the usual crosswordly priest, CE = Church of England.
14 Student of life misused Bitcoins site (12)
17 A game is set up, oddly, for a day in church (12)
SEPTUAGESIMA -(A GAME IS SET UP)*. It’s the Sunday between seventy and sixty days before Easter, hence the name derived from the Latin for seventy. No doubt a more religiously inclined person can expand (or read Wiki like I did).
20 Tedious book lying around Irish quarters (8)
TIRESOME – TOME [book] has IR and E S inserted.
21 Benefactors having no right to infiltrate parties (6)
DONORS – DOS = parties [plural of DO], insert NO R.
22 Newspaper ’s revolutionary work plugged by Times leader (3-3)
RED-TOP – RED [revolutionary] OP [work] insert T for Times.
23 Acclaim register, one used endlessly by Brussels (8)
EULOGISE – EU, LOG (register) I, USED = used endlessly.
25 Cook disturbed by a brawl (4)
FRAY – A inside FRY.
26 Improving technique increases murder rate (10)
2 Surpass old-fashioned tourists finally on excursion (8)
OUTSTRIP – OUT [old-fashioned], S (end of tourists], TRIP [excursion].
3 This standard giving rise to censure (3)
PAR – RAP [censure] reversed.
4 River horse, or cow, by the sound of it (5)
RHONE – sounds like ROAN, which can describe the white and coloured patchy coat of horses, cows, and other animals.
5 More recent article identifies site of Roman basilica (7)
LATERAN – LATER [more recent], AN [article]. The oldest of the four basilicas in the Vatican.
6 Singing and shouting odds regularly inside (9)
YODELLING -YELLING has the alternate letters of OdDs inserted. Debatable whether yodelling is singing – then again, remember Frank Ifield?
7 Accepting new power, not a single craftsman is unbiased (3-8)
8 Cut out part of support covering financial centre (6)
RESECT – not 100% sure, but I think this is REST (support, as in snooker) with EC (City of London, hence financial centre) inserted.
12 Unusually tiny, listens with determination (11)
15 Off-the-cuff claim to be on time at university (9)
IMPROMPTU – I’M PROMPT = claim to be on time, U for university. A bit of a chestnut.
16 Lock up woman concerned with protecting elected member (8)
IMPRISON – IRIS (a woman) ON (concerned with) has MP inserted.
18 Ineffectual American drug? Not so (7)
USELESS -US (American) E (drug) LESS (not so).
19 Like a style of painting some revel in early (6)
LINEAR -hidden as above.
21 Capital Henry invested in high-quality food shop (5)
DELHI – H for Henry inside a DELI. I could take issue with this as the capital is NEW DELHI not just Delhi, which is a larger urban area in which New Delhi is sited.
24 Set cricket side up (3)
GEL – LEG reversed.


58 comments on “Times 28287 – two kinds of firsts.”

  1. 22 minutes, which is fast (for me). A couple at the end wondering if ROAN was a cow as well as a horse, and then failing to spot STRIFE immediately since RIFE didn’t come to mind for a bit. I also found this easy.

    I think for RESECT that “part of” is part of the definition. Then it is, as you say, REST around EC. Just checking Chambers and it has RESECT as “cut away part of, especially the end of bone”.

    Edited at 2022-05-10 11:41 pm (UTC)

  2. I must have missed the announcement of the new site. Could you please give it here or say where the announcement is?
    1. The new site is not yet in production, the bloggers are still testing it. It will be opened to the public soon. Thank you for your patience.

      Edited at 2022-05-11 02:40 am (UTC)

  3. Lucky to get RED TOP right. The pieces worked but I didn’t know what it was. Enjoyed UPSKILLING and YODELLING the most. SEPTUAGESIMA felt like something I’d seen somewhere. Thanks, pipkirby, for all the explanations!
  4. In my hurry to get in under 10 minutes, I overlooked a typo–RESEDT–giving me 2 errors. (I agree with Paul about ‘part of’.) I didn’t realize that ‘roan’ could apply to a cow as well as a horse. Is a deli necessarily ‘high-quality’?
  5. What is this, easy week? Is it because this week’s listener crossword is a total bastard?
    1. I’m agreed that it’s a really tough Listener. I’ve got a couple of answers tentatively placed in my grid and I’m not convinced they’re in the right place.
      1. I know this isn’t the place for it but happy to give a nudge or two on the Listener. When you’re done, the clues are definitely worth a second or third read – it’s an absolute masterclass in misdirection from Sabre (as well as using all corners of Chambers of course!)

        Just scraped in under 10 on this one

      2. Just realised something about the down entries, and I’m pretty sure I’ll finish now.

        The power of posting your problems

        1. Having posted in the Listener forum the penny has finally dropped for me as well!
  6. Pretty easy for me – 15 minutes was all it took. I had the same doubts whether a cow could be a roan, but the answer was obvious. Stormont was a bit obscure for a non-Uk solver, but I knew it somehow.
    1. STORMONT is often used metonymically to indicate the NI legislature or government; I remember it from when it used to appear often enough in the news, during the Troubles.
  7. Never remember the difference between the various meanings of NARK and NARC but didn’t need to know to get the right answer here. Also thought SEPTUAGESIMA with all its fellow gesimae was after Whit Sunday, but that didn’t matter much either.

    As I recall, the Listener is one of that species of crossword where I struggle to understand the rubric let alone the clues…

    1. I’m always having difficulty with the various (non-US) meanings of NARK, NECK, & NICK.
  8. 28 minutes with the some unknown meanings, ‘roan’ as a cow, LATERAN as a basilica, and one unknown word, RESECT, which had helpful wordplay. I know all the special days ending in -GESIMA from attending church regularly in my childhood though I’m afraid their religious signifance is long-forgotten, assuming I ever knew what it was.

    Edited at 2022-05-11 05:12 am (UTC)

  9. A sprightly 22 minutes here. It helped a lot that I was fascinated with diaries as a child, and some of their annotations—SEPTUAGESIMA, “third Sunday after Epiphany”, “waning gibbous”, so forth—even though they meant nothing to me on a practical level.

    STORMONT, RESECT and RHONE last in,

    Edited at 2022-05-11 06:14 am (UTC)

  10. This might have been one of my quickest times if I hadn’t come up against my old nemesis the compound word. I spent a disproportionate amount of time on BIOSCIENTIST, wondering at times if I had something else wrong as I was so bemused by the anagram. I must remember, if I can’t think of anything, consider compound words!
  11. 17:48
    Three quick ones in a row. Will get flak jacket on for tomorrow …
    Thanks, pip.
  12. 37 mins but, although I had thought of the (unknown) RESECT it just didn’t look right so I looked it up. Luckily I got the jumbled letters for 17ac in the right order. Thanks Pip for the explanation of that one! Didn’t know LATERAN either but the wp was helpful.

    I liked IMPROMPTU, BIOSCIENTIST and YODELLING. Nice crossword.

    Thanks Pip and setter

  13. Not a good solving day for me – definitely not on the wavelength here …at least I made it through in the end. BIOSCIENTIST took far too long to unscramble, but it confirmed LATERAN as the only reasonable 5d. NHO of ROAN so the river was entered with a shrug. Final pair were in the NE:
    – Really wanted 8d to be REDACT as it’s a perfect definition for “cut out part”, but I had to, er, redact that solution
    – Got fixated on Scandinavian food before spott8ing the obvious-with-hindsight DANISH
    – Finally went with the unfamiliar RESECT as the least-worst LOI choice.
    Astonished to see a “very easy” SNITCH value, but pleasantly surprised to register a success – thanks Pip and setter
  14. 19 minutes with LOI RESECT, a word I didn’t know but which did parse. COD to COW PARSLEY, out in wondrous profusion along the lanes around us at the moment, reaching up to the May blossom in a wall of white. I had all the knowledge today, which is as well as I’m a bit old for UPSKILLING. Enjoyable puzzle. Thank you Pip and setter.
  15. 6:18. Another pretty breezy one. Similar queries to others: didn’t know roan could be a cow, no idea what SEPTUAWHATSIT was but at least knew it existed, same for LINEAR painting.
    My son is learning one of Schubert’s IMPROMPTUS at the moment so that came easily to mind.
    I solved RESECT and then LATERAN
    USELESS verse needs UPSKILLING
    EULOGISE if you’re willing
    When I make SEPTUAGESIMA scan
  17. …of which about 8-9mins was spent on NARK/RESECT.
    As I attended a Catholic primary school in the ’50s, I was familiar with SEPTUAGESIMA Sunday.
    Thanks, Pip!
    1. I’ve just watched a 1973 Columbo episode* online and guess what pops up? ‘Resection!’

      Thank you every much.


      * A Stitch in Crime with Leonard Nimoy

  18. And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.

    25 mins pre-brekker.
    Keats might have said Emprison, but maybe he knew a girl called Eris.
    Thanks setter and Pip.

  19. Well, there we go, my first ever sub-9, if only by one second! I hesitated to submit wondering what RHONE/roan had to do with cows, but decided discretion could take a running jump for once and valour won out.
    I panicked briefly over STORMONT, thinking I didn’t know any discrete bits of Belfast until I tried looking at the wordplay and discovered I did.
  20. Well, it’s Groundhog Day…again. A pleasant, smooth and unusually quick solve for a third day in a row. I worry about what Friday may bring.

    RESECT was my last one in, and not the most common word, but I think I probably picked it up from one of the numerous hospital dramas I may have watched with varying degrees of attention over the years. And SEPTUAGESIMA is a good diary note, but not as good as Quasimodo Sunday.

  21. Thought it was going to be hard at first, when no clue in the top half yielded immediate answers. Then came YODELLING, COW PARSLEY and DANISH, and the rest flowed very quickly thereafter. COD UPSKILLING.
  22. Same as above, roan cows for instance. And I don’t see how “less=Not so” in 18d… Ah, now I see! PDM.
    Spelling Delhi Dheli (looks obvious in ACROSS, but not in DOWN) made Eulogise impossible, but COD once I finally spotted the SE from “used endlessly”.
  23. Surely no problem about this, Frank Ifield or not?

    Definition 1 in the online dictionary:

    “To sing with frequent changes from the ordinary voice to falsetto and back again, in the manner of Swiss and Tyrolean mountaineers.”

    Straightforward but fun. Thanks to setter and Pip.


    1. But then sorry — where’s my sense of humour. Pip was probably just joking about the sound being unpleasant.
  24. Oh dear, that so-and-so lonely goatherd. If asked I’d have said that SEPTUAGESIMA was one of the long stretch of Sundays after Trinity in the C of E calendar, which it isn’t but at least I knew of it. When we get one of these quickies the masochist in me always checks to see where Mohn clocked in – 2.41. He’s clearly from another planet. 10.29
  25. 7:59. Another easy one. I was held up only by wondering if roan could apply to cows as well as hirses and by the unknown RESECT, my LOI. I liked COW PARSLEY best. Thanks Pip and setter.
  26. Straightforward but with some witty surfaces. Held up for a while for having BISECTIONIST for the
    BIOSCIENTIST. I would say it’s a defendable alternative.

    I had the same doubt as others about RHONE, and RESECT was anew word for me. SEPTUAGESIMA (like the other gesimas) is a lovely word. It sounds vaguely like an expression of surprise or delight.

    Thanks to Pip and the setter

  27. 28 minutes, held up by the long anagrams, which didn’t come to mind until I got some paper and wrote it down. With anagrams I suppose it’s better to try to cope with them just by looking, as it improves one’s ability to do them and is usually quicker anyway, but occasionally one just has to slog it out. I have to, at any rate. RESECT rather tricky since I didn’t really know what it meant, and roan’s connection with cows was a mystery.
  28. Just one second off my personal best – perhaps if I hadn’t started writing RAP as my FOI, before paying slightly more attention to the details of the clue!

    The lower half of this was particularly quick, with lots of biffing opportunities. I don’t think I knew RESECT, and hadn’t come across roan to be anything other than a horse, but otherwise no problems.

  29. Men who reach a certain age often find this word creeping unwelcomely into their vocabulary — as in the TURP procedure which my wife and I are helping an old friend to understand and come to terms with at the moment (he is very elderly and just doesn’t understand what the doctors are telling him). TURP = Trans-Urethral Resection of Prostate.
    1. I always find doctors are happier when you don’t understand what they are talking about (or writing), and a happy doctor is a good doctor, so no bad thing.
  30. PAR and OUTSTRIP fell into place just before the COW PARSLEY and I was off. Slight pause over the cow as a roan, but it had to be. RESECT took a little thought, but was familiar when derived. UPSKILLING was LOI at 11:40. Thanks setter and Pip.
  31. 11:10 but overconfident about the nth Sunday around Easter which thus acquired an errant “I” as I failed to check the anagram. A quick google suggests plenty of churches, which have rather less excuse, can’t spell it either. Otherwise no problems biffing my way to a speedy solve.
  32. I found this the easiest of the week so far. 16 minutes, with a minor hold-up entering EULOGISE since I’d carelessly entered DELHI as DHELI. But for that I might have got below 15 minutes.

    I’ll add my praise for Sabre’s Listener – a brilliant set of clues, and a superbly constructed puzzle (with the emphasis on ‘puzzle’).

  33. Must have missed the email that said this was going to be particularly easy (Snitch 55 at the moment which for me, would be a target of 17.5 mins).

    With better GK, might have been more confident seeing COW PARSLEY, STORMONT, LATERAN first time through.

    Parsing somewhat astray too, RHONE with a shrug (heard of a roan as a horse, but suppose it applies to cows too), IMPRISON and TIRESOME bunged in without checking.

    Fortunately familiar with SEPTUAGESIMA from seeing it referenced in many a diary, but couldn’t have told you what it referred to.


    Edited at 2022-05-11 11:06 am (UTC)

  34. Pushing for the under ten, I was a bit hasty, but my guesses proved correct. My worry about Rhone was that it might not actually be a homonym of Roan. In my head I’d always pronounced the horse row-an. Wrongly I’m sure. Maybe mixing it with the riders of rohan. Otherwise very straightforward. Septuagesima no problem to anone who spent time in schooldays in bored contemplation of hymn- and prayer-books. No idea then or now what it means.
  35. 8.19 and a new PB beating my previous time by 20 seconds so very satisfying for me. I found this to be a pretty easy top-to-bottom solve with the exception of the crossing re-sect and nark in the NE corner which I couldn’t see and had to leave until the end. Once I had discarded altos and basses and thought of another type of singing, nark went in. I then had to trust to the wordplay for LOI resect. I didn’t know the word and was a little hesitant over entering it, I might possibly have shaved a few more seconds off my time had I been more confident with that one.
  36. Yes, straightforward today, and add me to the throng that hadn’t heard of roan cows…

    Solved in an idyllic clearing in the Landes forest in the Vendee, while listening to cuckoos.

    Edited at 2022-05-11 03:19 pm (UTC)

    1. We’ll be in the Vendee later in the summer. Any recommended places to visit or walk?
  37. LOI Rhone with the same hesitation as everyone else. On holiday, so completing on the iPad which may have contributed to the faster time. I find that if a puzzle is difficult, I need to solve on paper. Once a certain level of competence has been achieved (e.g. for me with the QC) then it is possible, and much quicker, to complete online.
    Thanks to the setter for providing a relatively easy puzzle and to Pip for the explanations, particularly of tiresome and the ‘ise’ of ‘eulogise’ which I failed to parse.
  38. 20.10 with LOI the unknown resect. Took me a while to get started with redtop my FOI- which says it all really. Eventually got some momentum, helped by septuagesima- I knew my early altar boy training would come in useful sometime.
    Liked nark and bioscientist but my COD is awarded to upskilling. Classic😊👍
    Thx setter and blogger.

    How do you access the new website? Intrigued.

  39. Goodness! I was racing through this one so fast I thought I’d started the quickie. But no. I see from comments above that this was as easy as it seemed to me. The SNITCH hasn’t shown a lower score since 13 July 2020. What shall I do now?

    Edited at 2022-05-11 04:31 pm (UTC)

  40. Was I the only who bunged in RHONE once I had all the checkers without paying too much attention to the definition. Seems so, so maybe a lucky escape there. Otherwise had to keep checking it wasn’t the 13×13 grid but no less enjoyable for it being an easy one. Knew resect which helped


  41. 27 minutes, so yes, very easy and no real problems except maybe RED-TOP, which I had never heard of, and perhaps RESECT and RHONE (STORMONT made sure it couldn’t be RHINE, but separating out the wording of the clue took some time).

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