Times 28288 – all welly, no wanging

Time taken: 8:59.  Parts of this were tricky, and there were two that I had my fingers crossed for when I hit submit, but they both turned out to be OK.

I usually solve online, but this time I had to grab some paper to scribble out the long anagrams and try to decipher them.

Since I’ve been following the elections in the US, Australia and the recent ones in France and the UK, 21 across is one of my favorite clues in a long time, well put setter!

Away we go…

1 Act as vicar maybe, providing church with a set of holy books (5)
CHANT – CH(church) with A, NT(set of holy books)
4 One’s got on in an endeavour to go with the flow (9)
BANDWAGON – cryptic definition
9 One ”spiky” type to go off the deep end, rambling (9)
ITINERANT – I(one), TINE(“spiky” type), RANT(to go off the deep end)
10 Buggy feasible for bringing fruit (5)
LEMON – LEM(Lunar Excursion Model, moon buggy), ON(feasible).  Thanks to jackkt for pointing out the wordplay – I had it as a double defintion originally
11 Formula for making little Sarah’s shoe (6)
SANDAL – little Sarah would be SAL, which can be made S AND AL
12 Trying hard, not having succeeded in the gym? (8)
TRAINING – STRAINING(trying hard) minus S(succeeded)
14 Exceptional man with great hope campaigning very vigorously? (2,3,7)
17 Notice lout is on the loose — I will speak out in a clear manner (12)
20 Most idiotic fools, right to the fore, in court (8)
CRASSEST – ASSES(fools) with R(right) in front, inside CT(court)
21 Miserable aim to get new leader (6)
ABJECT – OBJECT(aim) with the first letter changed.
23 Maybe one-to-one operation is somewhat lacking (5)
RATIO – hidden inside opeRATIOn
24 Soon despicable fellow gets a woman to have close relationship (9)
INAMORATA – IN A MO(soon), then RAT(despicable fellow), A
25 Description of Winnie as a mammal? (5,4)
HONEY BEAR – Winnie the Pooh is a BEAR after HONEY
26 Scruffy children — last thing academy needs (5)
SEEDY – SEED(children) and the last letter in academY
1 Club hit — accompaniment to fish just cooked? (4,4)
CHIP SHOT – CHIPS(accompaniment to fish), HOT(just cooked) and a hit with a golf club
2 A story, nipper’s prime requirement, had to be off-putting (8)
ALIENATE – A, LIE(story), the first letter of Nipper, ATE(had)
3 Host’s moderately tipsy — we’ve heard that so many times before! (3,4,3,5)
4 Dress up and talk big (4)
BRAG – GARB(dress) reversed
5 International organisation to protect old city: way one can make people feel better? (10)
NATUROPATH – NATO(international organisation) containing UR(old city) then PATH(way)
6 Upcoming fashion — chain of shops to provide special footwear (10,5)
WELLINGTON BOOTS – WELLING(upcoming), TON(fashion), then BOOTS is the chain of shops
7 Periodical served up piece as a good opener? (6)
GAMBIT – MAG(periodical) reversed, then BIT(piece)
8 No worry with energy at a minimum in early period (6)
NONAGE – NO, NAG(worry) and E(energy)
13 County and country inadequately supplied with money — anger ensues (10)
LANCASHIRE – LAND(country) missing the last letter, then CASH(money), IRE(anger)
15 Dog left out in the open given drink at the pub (8)
AIREDALE – AIRED(left out in the open), then ALE(drink at the pub)
16 Pieces of sculpture mostly standing on a pair of parallel lines (8)
STATUARY – remove the last letter from STATUS(standing) then  A, RY(railway, pair of parallel lines)
18 Char and whisky, when time is right (6)
SCORCH – SCOTCH whisky with T(time) replaced with R(right)
19 Worker in study somewhere in Switzerland? (6)
CANTON – a worker ANT in DEN(study). Glad DANTEN isn’t a place.
22 An item or two? (4)
PAIR – double definition

68 comments on “Times 28288 – all welly, no wanging”

  1. I think 10ac is LEM (buggy – Lunar Excursion Module) , ON (feasible).

    41 minutes.

    Edited at 2022-05-12 12:10 am (UTC)

    1. The Lunar Excursion Module was the lander. The moon buggy was a LRV. No?
  2. I had STATUARY as status minus the s gives STATU plus A RY. Missed a lot of clues today. Needed blog to make sense of those plus to clear up parsing of many I did get- thanks!
  3. I started off slow–FOI ELOCUTIONIST–but picked up speed, and biffed a couple of long ones: THE SAME OLD STORY from the L and enumeration, WELLINGTON BOOTS. It took me too long to give up UN for the international organization. Thanks to Jack for LEMON, which I couldn’t figure out.
  4. 49 minutes. Not too hard but held up by unsuccessfully trying to parse a few like BANDWAGON. I didn’t know NONAGE as a word, only “nonagenarian” which is hardly the same thing.

    Clever of Jack to have picked up the intended wordplay for LEMON, but as pointed out by Verlaine, I wonder if our setter has mixed up the LEM and the LRV?

  5. I got held up in the NE at the end but got there finally with TRAINING my LOI. Very tempted by CHIP SHOP at 1D, just because it fitted and had something to do with fish, before I saw what was really going on.
    1. Me too! Fortunately, realized my error before I wrote it in…

      Edited at 2022-05-12 04:18 am (UTC)

  6. Is anyone else having trouble finding the puzzles on the newspaper site today? They don’t seem to be there.

    I mean, I did them via the Crossword Club, as usual, but I then like to flick over to the puzzles page of the paper for some of the other word and number puzzles. But today the page seems to be, how can I put it, buggy.

    1. Yes, you’re right. It must be catching because the Guardian Cryptic is missing today, still stuck on yesterday’s. Their Quick Crypic has been updated though.
    2. Not just you, g. They’ve changed the whole format and wrecked it. Puzzles not showing as normal – have to go through the club link to find them; the grid has unnecessary word breaks marked; it now scrolls annoyingly when you type in an answer (doing this on a Windows 10 laptop); the ‘You’ve completed it’ page at the end is different and requires resizing to view; etc. Nightmare.
      1. I don’t think anything has changed in the Club format, and certainly the word-breaks in the grid have been there since the major revamp several years ago. The sizing problems are likely down to browser settings but may be different from the newspaper view. If you were using it every day it’d be worth experimenting but hopefully normal service will be resumed before tomorrow.
        1. Hi jack, thanks for the reply. I don’t know; it all just looks different today. When you hit ‘puzzles’ in the list it brings up a totally new page format (minus the crosswords and with different-looking graphics for the other puzzles), and the page at the end when you finish has changed as well. It must be me, but I don’t recall word breaks being a thing before, and it has never scrolled before when I enter solutions to long down clues. Maybe it all looks different on an Apple device; I use a Windows laptop. I just think someone has been in there and ‘tweaked’ it …
          1. I know the wordbreaks have been there since the major update several years ago (either in the on-line puzzles section or in the Club, or both) because I remember being disappointed they didn’t show when printed. As someone who always solves on paper I would have found that useful.

            The links are all up and running normally now (you may need to refresh or clear your cache) but I can’t speak for the format.

            I am on Windows 10.

            1. Thanks, jack. I waited a couple of hours then opened a new browser window and tried it – links all as normal now; empty grid appears as normal and is blank with no word breaks. Doesn’t scroll on down clues. Meanwhile on my other still-open Firefox page is the completed grid complete with word breaks, etc. I might call in to James O’Brien’s mystery hour withthis one! 🙂 Thanks for helping.
  7. Seemed a bit harder than the others so far this week… I had all the left side and not much on the right until I got the (damn) CD BANDWAGON and the W gave me the boots. NONAGE seemed a bit out-there. INAMORATA hasn’t been seen for a little while… but not so long as to be missed (ha).

    A few test solvers of an upcoming Kosman and Picciotto “Out of Left Field” puzzle were perplexed by LEM. I forget who, exactly… I think we have some youngsters… it’s probably not because they (correctly) associate “buggy” with LRV instead. I wouldn’t have gotten LRV, myself. I don’t even recall hearing of it before Verlaine’s comment tonight.

    Edited at 2022-05-12 04:47 am (UTC)

  8. Had CLAM as the fishy first part of 1d for too long. Club hit, surely? Liked CHIP SHOT when I finally got out of the rough.

    So that’s what NONAGE means! I’d thought it was the opposite; something beyond DOTAGE. Never too old to learn.

    1. I still haven’t worked out whether it’s pronounced “nonnage” (like cottage) with some fancy derivation, or is literally just non hyphen age.
    1. Thanks, g. No need to unblock. As a former blogger you have retained higher level posting rights.
  9. 30:18
    They’ve redesigned the online interface, and, just as with every Windows and ios ‘update’ ever, it’s an absolute disaster. Why do they always mess with things that are working okay?
    Thanks, g.
    1. All that’s happened is that they’ve duplicated the daily quiz and wordwatch links instead of putting the links to the crossword puzzles etc. The intended change is hardly a major rewrite so it’s impossible to understand why somebody didn’t think to check it worked before publication!
      1. Yes, that’s how I saw it too Jack. But it’s been like that since midnight UK time, I’ve just been waiting for somebody to get out of bed and fix it!
  10. 32 minutes, pushed a bit over the half-hour by TRAINING, where I’m always a bit rubbish without the first letter and had also got “striving” stuck in my head for a while. The LEM bit of LEMON didn’t help in that corner… Remembered NONAGE from an earlier puzzle, luckily.
  11. … and 22a had me singing, “Are we a pair?” Then of course there was a rousing chorus of “Oh Lanky Lanky.” 21 minutes with LOI and COD RATIO. I liked BANDWAGON, CHIP SHOT, SCORCH and AIREDALE too. I’m not sure if I’ve been confronted with a NATUROPATH before but no doubt Prince Charles has. Pleasant puzzle. Thank you George and setter.
  12. Of course the most important election of recent times (even if dubbed an anti-election by cynics and non-patriots) took place in Hong Kong over the weekend. Unaccountably, eight of the 1,500-strong selection panel voted for the wrong candidate.

    Just as well we’re not living in a Communist dictatorship.

    Hold on, wait a minute…

  13. I left LEMON until last hoping that I might make sense of LEM but in the end I had to come here for an explanation (albeit a flawed clue!). Like others I was tempted by the potential CHIP SHOP at 1D. The SNITCH shows a few errors — I wonder if this was those solvers’ undoing.
  14. 41 mins so standard time for me. LOI SEEDY. I liked CHIP SHOT and SCORCH. Hopefully I’ll do both while playing golf today.

    Thank G and setter.

  15. And build their mossy homes in field and brere;

    30 mins pre-brekker with several on last two in: Seedy Airedale. Don’t know why.
    I think Airedale is my COD.
    Thanks setter and G.

    1. I like Airedales. My stepson has one and it’s very gentle with his daughter.
  16. 20:57. Way off track today. LOI ITINERANT which I unaccountably rejected earlier, which was symptomatic. Held up for an age by the unlnown NATUROPATH. Couldn’t parse LEMON so thanks for that George/jackkt.
  17. I enjoyed that! My one little mer is that 1ac would have been better, imho, if ‘monk’ had been substituted for ‘vicar’. Monks tend to be the ones who chant.
    Thank you, George, for SANDAL and LEMON. I don’t know enough to query LEM or LRV for ‘buggy’. I didn’t parse it until I came here but thought it might have been something to do with a LEMON being a car with a lot of bugs.
    Increasingly, I’m finding I get a quicker start if I begin in the SW corner.
    With 21ac I initially saw ‘aim’ as intent’ but could make nothing of it but eventually, ‘object’ came to mind.
    LOI: SCORCH/RATIO. Nearly put ‘scotch’.
    1. Having been the first to point out the intended parsing, I hesitate to venture into the discussion about whether the clue is flawed.

      Nevertheless having looked a few things up about a subject of which I know little it appears the criticism rests on the LEM not being the device that was labelled ‘the moon buggy’ aka LRV that was used towards the end of the Apollo missions program whilst the LEM came a little earlier.

      But the clue doesn’t say ‘moon buggy’ just ‘buggy’ which Collins defines amongst other things as:

      a small motorized vehicle designed for a particular purpose, a golf buggy, a moon buggy.

      I would take that to include the LEM as well as the LRV.

      1. I would be interested to see the Lunar Module described anywhere as a buggy.
        1. Looking up wikipedia for the LEM, an early design was nicknamed “the bug” because it looked like a big insect. So NASA thought it was “buggy” early doors. Final design was very different, and didn’t seem to share the appellation. I concur the clue has an unintended error.
      2. The dictionaries might not specify it but a buggy is always a little car, ie it has wheels. I’m pretty sure this is just a mistake on the part of the setter.
        I only know about LEMs at all from doing these puzzles so it didn’t bother me!
    2. Our local vicar has, post-covid, taken to intoning parts of the eucharist, with the congregation more or less cheerfully chanting back.
      1. This reminds me of the priest Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s character in Servant of the People appointed as a judge… (Can’t wait for Netflix to get the second season!)
  18. At 13.28, easily the hardest of the week! It was good of the setter to present that LEMON of a clue, enabling those of us of a certain vintage to tsk tsk at the misnomer and feel vey superior. Buggy indeed.
    I’m not sure you’d come across SEED for children outside of the Magnificat, and I initially essayed SONSY before realising that it’s the complete opposite of scruffy.
    I liked the SANDAL clue, though the device is familiar enough.
  19. 8:15. I thought this was another easy one but it seems I was just on the wavelength.
    I really liked it: some interesting words and neat clues.
    I came very very close to a hasty CHIP SHOP. Fortunately I hesitated for just long enough. I was also tempted to biff SCOTCH but again paused to look at the wordplay. Often a good policy.

    Edited at 2022-05-12 09:19 am (UTC)

  20. Fun today, whizzed along until the NE corner remained, then slow to see BANDWAGON and GAMBIT and couldn’t parse LEMON. I agree with Verlaine, I thought the LEM was not the buggy part. I was on course for the CHIP SHOT though.
    Thanks George and jackkt for explaining lemon.
  21. I messed this one up by biffing STRIVING at 12a and not noticing it had become SRRIVING when LOI, NATUROPATH went in. It didn’t really matter though, as I’d also bunged in ELECUTIONIST. Drat! Thanks setter and George.
  22. This fell into a nice zone, especially where I knew enough to recognise LEM as something I remembered from the Apollo missions, but not enough to think it was wrong. I would also like to quietly congratulate myself on learning enough lessons from the past to stop and think very carefully about the superficially tempting CHIP SHOP, which went in before being amended, and making sure I had SCORCH and SCOTCH the right way round.

    Pretty sure I learned the word INAMORATA at an unnecessarily early age courtesy of Flanders and Swann, so that’s today’s earworm sorted.

  23. Too spacey this morning to see LEMON – glad I’ve got company. I ran into strong head winds in the SW thanks to the double helix in SCORCH/scotch (having failed to spot the helpful RATIO) and having entered the rather feeble “teddy” BEAR. That led to a muddle in Switzerland and it all took some sorting out. Some good surfaces in this one. 22.56
  24. I, too, was held up in the NE. 4D eventually opened up BANDWAGON, which I would never have seen without the B, W and G crossers. NHO NONAGE, so that was a fingers crossed, and LEMON had to be right, but I didn’t know the LEM bit of it. Pleased that many of the clues, eg 1D went in pretty much entirely from definition, which implies accurate setting and gives greater satisfaction on solving.
  25. Not the most satisfying grid today.

    NHO: NATUROPATH; NONAGE (words like this which no-one has ever used or ever will use because no one has ever heard of it should probably be scrubbed from the English language imho)

    Failed to parse: INAMORATA (just bunged it in from first two checkers); LEMON (got the ‘on’ bit but forgotten about the lunar buggy)

  26. A couple of unknowns — LEM & NATUROPATH — but it all came together in the end. Even managed to avoid the temptation of entering CHIP SHOP.

    Only grumble is 21a, my least favourite kind of clue, where we’re told to change a letter to… anything. Not especially controversial here, but always strikes me as a little incomplete.

    14a & 3d were both lovely anagrams.

  27. Back after a while away, and catching up on 2 weeks worth of puzzles. Today like tha past few days quick, and no racalcitrant holdups at the end.
    Like Tim but unlike more knowledgeable others I recognised LEM as a NASA thing, without knowing it wasn’t the moon rover.
    And, from a few days ago – the rarely seen “BOTTLER” in the wild. Race commentator describes a run as “a bottler” – the dog that runs second, Recruitment, at the end of the race:
    1. The champion dog in the video is the sire of my dog, Toto. Toto wasn’t nearly as good, but actually won more races – 37 v 35. Fewer group 1s though – 0 for Toto, 8 for Fernando.
  28. 20 mins and a bit. Nothing to add to above: LEMON seems odd for all reasons stated. But this has been an easy week so far. Friday May be a stretch.
  29. No major difficulties, though I needed Lemon spelling out so thanks. Setter likes the device “last thing that xxx needs” ,”xxx’s prime requirement”. Idiosyncratic. Neat. Expected 16d to end in -ii as in parallel lines, but then couldn’t think of anything except radii. I too don’t recall too many chanting vicars.
  30. DNK NONAGE, and had to resort to aids. Rest fell into place quickly thereafter.
  31. 31.18 so way off the pace today. Struggled particularly in the top half with bandwagon, itinerant particularly holding me up. Thought lemon was deserving of a raspberry.

    Just about managed to save myself the embarrassment of putting in chip shop for chip shot- phew!
    Good puzzle so thanks setter and blogger for the thorough explanations.

  32. 50 minutes for a rather strange but enjoyable puzzle, with lots of somewhat rambling (no, I don’t mean ITINERANT) vaguely allusive clues like the one for BANDWAGON. And I am surprised that they didn’t really faze me. I also had SONSY at first for 26ac until the AIREDALE came to the rescue. And 1dn aspired to be COLE SLAW briefly, but apart from that being a possible accompaniment to fish and other things, it didn’t really fit too well.
  33. Not sure whether it’s because I’m on holiday or because I started on a rather nice Gigondas before starting to solve but I got nowhere with this. Having read the blog, I’m not sure I would have got anywhere sober and at home. And tomorrow is Friday. Oh well, the Derbyshire countryside makes up for most things.
  34. 34.45. Down to earth with a bump after yesterday’s PB. I really struggled with this. The same old story was excellent.

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