Times 28,289: Friday the Sans Teeth

Well, if you can’t count on an absolute stinker of a tough Friday puzzle on Friday 13th, when can you count on one, I ask you? This was all pretty gentle stuff, add or insert a letter into something and match to a not-remotely-deceitful synonym of the desired answer at the clue’s beginning or end. More Man Friday than Freddy Krueger, really.

I did very much like 13ac for its dextrous use of “cracking up” in the service of a pretty convincing surface. Thank you setter!

Live solve video available on YouTube.

Definitions underlined in italics, (ABC)* indicating anagram of ABC, {} deletions and [] other indicators.

1 Ferret to graze on food underground (4,4)
ROOT CROP – ROOT [ferret] + CROP [to graze on]
5 Gastropods which exhausted deer (6)
WHELKS – W{hic}H + ELKS [deer]
10 Fabulous land sharing supply almost everyone rejected (7-2)
SHANGRI-LA – (SHARING*) + reversed AL{l}. “supply” has got to be one of the best ever anagrinds, “in a supple way” rather than the noun it masquerades as
11 Hot stuff from graduates, with good intervention (5)
MAGMA – M.A. + M.A., G(ood) “intervening”
12 Report of singular advance (4)
LOAN – homophone of LONE [singular]
13 Stretched leaders of one Nazi group cracking up (9)
ELONGATED – ELATED [up], “cracked” by O{ne} N{azi} G{roup}
15 Discharge former prince deposing country’s leader (10)
17 Her majesty’s personal units ? (4)
ONES – when ER speaks of things personal to her she calls them “one’s”
19 Bird initially leaving boat in flood (4)
LARK – L{eaving} ARK [boat in flood]
20 Prove unfaithful , as golfers typically do (4,6)
22 Government’s current input to local pit conversion (9)
POLITICAL – I [electric current] “input” to (LOCAL PIT*). The def is specifically “government’s”, as in “of government”
24 Record contribution to score (4)
NOTE – double def. To note something (down) is to record it; notes contribute to a musical score
26 Warped tail of sick raven (5)
KINKY – {sic}K + INKY [raven, as in black]
27 Railway employees endorse line in final agreement (9)
SIGNALMEN – SIGN [endorse] + L(ine) in AMEN!
28 Lawman from New York seizing books artist brought back (6)
NOTARY – NY “seizing” O(ld) T(estament) + reversed R(oyal) A(cademician)
29 Awfully strained buyer does it to upgrade (6,2)
1 Headstrong , like horse at end of run (4)
RASH – AS H(orse), at end of R(un)
2 Where bee maybe lands later, conserving energy, and distracted (2,7,6)
3 Convincingly firm without using force (8)
COGENTLY – CO(mpany) + GENTLY [without using force]
4 Bad boy out of bounds climbing tree (5)
OLIVE – EVIL {b}O{y}, reversed
6 Tribute paid in silver blocks (6)
HOMAGE – HOME [in], “blocked” by AG [chemical symbol for silver]
7 Legal restrictions on motor ignition when machines are running? (8-2,5)
LIGHTING-UP TIMES – LIGHTING [ignition] + UPTIME [when machines are running]
8 Stage drama at last before players collectively resign (5,5)
STAND ASIDE – STAND [stage] + {dram}A + SIDE [players collectively]
9 Classification charge possible? I’m dismayed (8)
14 Articulate visionary author raised work awareness (4-6)
WELL-SPOKEN – (H.G.) WELLS + reversed OP + KEN
16 Transmission expert left to reflect during trial (8)
TELECAST – ACE L(eft), reversed during TEST
18 Wino died after trip in dark, delirious (8)
DRUNKARD – D(ied) after RUN [trip] in (DARK*)
21 Following check, I’m not sure it’ll keep running (6)
STAYER – following STAY [check], ER [um?]
23 Drink gallons, returning actual bottles (5)
LAGER – G(allons), “bottled” by reversed REAL
25 Cathedral clergy dispensing with clothing shortly (4)
ANON – {c}ANON{s}

66 comments on “Times 28,289: Friday the Sans Teeth”

  1. Hard lines, V; but I see that your NITCH is 101. I biffed SHANGRI-LA; ‘supply’ is a great anagrind, but it was wasted here, what with the def and enumeration. Also biffed ELONGATED, parsed both post-submission. DNK POI LIGHTING-UP TIMES. We have [b]o[y] at 4d, and [c]anon[s] at 25d. For me anyway, a welcome easy Friday puzzle.
  2. Indeed. A good number were solved before they were parsed.
    But an easy puzzle is bad luck for you, Verlaine, so quite appropriate for the baleful date.
  3. Way off the wavelength e.g. LOI LARK needed a few moments thought. Only unknown was lighting-up times – strange concept. How is it promulgated to the masses? Does it differ between e.g. SE England and NW Scotland, where it might get dark at 9PM / 11PM respectively, mid-summer?
    Quite liked the Nazi group not being the SS.
    And the disaster: mispelled ELENGATED (sic) without noticing, and the only word I could see for 9 dn was category, where the definition was OK but it was unparseable.

    Edited at 2022-05-13 03:40 am (UTC)

    1. When I were a lad, lighting up time was half an hour after sunset to half an hour before sunrise, when lights had to be on. I believe now it’s between sunset and sunrise, as communicated in the Highway Code. My current car decides for itself when lighting up time is upon us, and I’m content to trust that it knows the rules.

      Edited at 2022-05-13 08:26 am (UTC)

      1. One thing you can be very sure of is that few cyclists do!

        Edited at 2022-05-13 08:43 am (UTC)

      2. Your car sounds sensible. Volvos even more so: lights on all the time is safer.
        Mandating “between sunrise and sunset” just moves the problem, now you must promulgate sunrise and sunset times.
  4. On Her Majesty’s Service, OHMS, seemed good for the units required in 17a, until spoiled by checkers. Elizabeth Regina’s Gs (ERGS) were also considered, but didn’t work. A gentle Friday otherwise. 20:01
  5. Like Verlaine, I was expecting a Friday the Thirteenth horror but this wasn’t it.
    In 14d I saw ‘visionary author’ and thought of Blake before checkers very quickly pointed me in the right direction. But 14d was another example of finding that it pays for me to start in the SW corner. More often than not, that’s where I get a good start.
    Like corymbia, I saw 17ac and thought: OHMS.
    COD: I’ll follow Verlaine and plump for ELONGATED.
    Thank you, verlaine!
    Now I can spend the evening watching the last two episodes of “The Thief, His Wife and The Canoe” plus Episode 3 of “Tehran” on Apple TV+
  6. 33 minutes. I lost time having bunged in STEPS ASIDE at 8dn which hindered solving 11ac and 13ac. ‘Step’ might have been a better fit for ‘leg’ but the additional S required to fit the enumeration then clashed with the definition and I didn’t spot it soon enough.

    Conscientious law-abiding road-users were well aware of LIGHTING-UP TIMES in the era when I was growing up and cycling every day. IIRC they began at half-an-hour after sunset and ended at half-an-hour before dawn. They were published in newspapers and sometimes announced on radio and TV. They may well still exist in law but I haven’t heard the expression in decades before today.

    I don’t think I knew of CROP as a synonym for ‘graze’.

    Edited at 2022-05-13 05:37 am (UTC)

  7. Like Jack I was uncertain about CROP for ‘graze’ which gave me cause to pause before finishing. In the end I just hoped it couldn’t be anything else. Otherwise a gentle work out which was OK by me particularly as I’m still recovering from last week’s Listener.

    Verlaine — if you intended a reference to the Friday the 13th films you wanted Jason rather than Freddie. I feel you might have missed a chance to defame one of your rival solvers in your reference 🙂

  8. 20 mins pre-brekker. Mostly I liked the ‘… paid in silver blocks’.

    Interesting fact: the 13th of a month is more likely to be a Friday than any other day.
    Thanks setter and V.

  9. Did this earlier than usual, before golf match, and surprised to find it not a stinker. 17 minutes, liked the bee on another plant and TAXONOMY. No issues to discuss.
  10. More ‘categories’ and ‘Ohms’ here. ‘Crop’ no problem for graze. It pops up a fair bit in poesy. 24 mins.
  11. I remember LIGHTING-UP TIMES being announced on LBC radio when I was growing up in London. Can’t remember whether they were at the end of the news or perhaps the travel bulletins.

    It was more the few times where my brain was looking for a noun but what was needed was a verb or an adjective that gave me my problems here, but clearly not too many of them, as I finished in 28 minutes, pretty good for me.

    1. Lighting up times were listed every day in the Southern Evening Echo, just below high tide times for Southampton, today’s shipping movements and a daily reminder that ‘secondary tides are approximately two hours later’. The Isle of Wight causes a tidal backwash as a result of which Southampton uniquely has four high tides daily, once enough to enable it to handle any ship afloat at any state of the tide. As ships have become larger, I’ve no idea if that boast still holds, but we do still get four tides daily and will do so until the Isle of Wight floats away.
      1. Fascinating! Somewhat the opposite of Bristol, where I am, which had to divert the entire course of the river to make a non-tidal harbour because the extremes were causing such problems for boats in the city… Apparently the Severn Estuary has the second highest tidal extreme on the planet.

        Edited at 2022-05-13 05:00 pm (UTC)

        1. Where’s the highest? Went to Derby in 1985 and they had about 10 m tides. A geographical thing. There’s somewhere in France, maybe Bay of Biscay, which is similar.
          Derby has great mud crabs – we caught and ate some, yum.
            1. Yes, the bay of Fundy is the winner—more than 16m average. The Severn Estuary averages a “mere” 15m, apparently. I’ve heard that the need to keep ships in decent enough condition to cope with the harbour before it was made to float free of the tide is what led to the phrase “ship-shape and Bristol fashion.”

              Edited at 2022-05-13 05:56 pm (UTC)

            2. Indeed, Bay of Fundy. Only a continent/ocean/10,000 km awry. God invented google specifically to prevent this sort of embarrassing error.
  12. 24 minutes with LOI the simple LOAN. I was determined it would begin with an S. I was another on her majesty’s service until the lights came on. Otherwise a steady solve. COD to ON ANOTHER PLANET. Thank you V and setter.
    This crossword might be SHANGRI-LA
    But ANON hopes would crash
    ONES glee was too RASH
    As LARK was the worst clue by far
    1. This poem was nicely exotic
      In parts almost downright quixotic
      With imagery evocative
      And worldview provocative-
      Plus a last word clearly non-rhotic.
  14. 15.11, so a gentle end to a generous week. That said, LIGHTING-UP TIMES went in in the sure and certain hope that Verlaine would work out why it was so, and indeed it turned out to be much more simple than I thought once you put “motor” in the definition rather than the wordplay.
    V, the new system seems to be playing merry hell with your layout: I’m glad I’m not the only one who is only slowly working out how to tame the beast!
    1. The blog looks fine in the new format which will be all that matters very soon.
      1. Agreed, and I’m certainly not complaining. But something weird happened during its transfer here viewed on Chrome on PC. Very much looking forward to the new era!
  15. No problems this week and a (for me) speedy solve in around 45 minutes today. Held up at the end by TAXONOMY and, bizarrely, LOAN, where an alphabet trawl was required — I too had been fixated on S at the start. Thanks V and setter.
  16. Before I went back and parsed it I thought the setter had managed to work “woke” (for awareness) into WELL-SPOKEN. And MAGMA also prompted a POLITICAL thought (make America get more absurd). I didn’t really grasp how “which” became exhausted in 5a but the answer was clear. No complaints, nice one. 14.23
  17. About 25 mins and not strenuous at all. LOI TAXONOMY probably COD from an unmemorable, but nonetheless fun, selection. Thanks to setter and blogger as usual.
  18. I penned a long and significant, I thought, post yesterday morning and forgot to click on ‘Post Comment’, and when I found it sitting there waiting in the evening they were evidently repairing the site, because I couldn’t get in. What I was asking was about anagrams: do people write down the letters on paper, or just look at them and try to do them in one’s head? It seems to me that it’s better to try to do them just by looking, because that way one improves and they present fewer and fewer difficulties. But to write it all down is easier, although it takes longer. Is that so?

    As for today, of a piece with much of what has happened earlier in the week. 38 minutes, which may have been too long. I thought that the lighting-up times clue was just a very tortuous CD until V explained it.

    1. I tend to write down the longer ones in a square-shaped block unless the definition makes the answer jump out at me. Up to 6, maybe 7 letters I can usually do them in my head.

      Edited at 2022-05-13 10:41 am (UTC)

    2. I look at them first. If it doesn’t spring to mind straightaway, I write all the letters down, but not necessarily in the order that the clue proscribes. I consider (sorry, boasting here) solving anagrams, (and spotting them) to be one of my strong points. There are however many weak ones!
    3. My aim is to solve them in my head. If I can’t, I write the letters out in a circle and write out the solution space immediately above or below so the eye can readily move back and forth.
      1. I’m with Joe in trying to solve them without writing them down. But when I fail, and write them down, it’s within a complete or incomplete 2 or 3 or 4 by 2 or 3 or 4 grid. Not a circle.
    4. I try, like Joe, to do them in my head first. If not, then they get written in a random, but roughly circular fashion, which seems to work, as when jumbled up, the letters are more likely to show new possible patterns. Quite often, the mere act of penning them opens up the solution.
    5. I used to write them down all the time, just because I was solving on paper (in the daily newspaper) and it’s no extra trouble to do so. I’ve been solving exclusively online for many years now and it forces you to do without most of the time. As a result I have, as you say, got a lot better at it. Occasionally though there is a really knotty one and I will resort to paper and pen, and it definitely makes it easier.
  19. I agree this was very straightforward, but I earned a pink square for having only one signalman.

    Needed Verlaine to explain ELONGATED. COD KINKY. I’ve eaten WHELKS and do not recommend it.

    Thanks to Verlaine and the setter.

  20. My LIGHTING UP TIMES were delayed by my resistance to to correcting 17a until there was no option. ROOT CROP was FOI, wondering slightly about crop=graze. Loved ON ANOTHER PLANET, and ELONGATED. TAXONOMY was POI, and strangely, like others, LOAN was LOI with a sudden Doh! moment. 21:21. Thanks setter and V.
  21. Pretty straightforward for a Friday. No unknowns and little trouble with the parsings.

    Having said that, I ummed and ahhed a bit about CROP although it seemed obvious, SHANGRI-LA written in without even looking at the parsing, similarly ON ANOTHER PLANET just from definition, word lengths and the A and O from ANOTHER.

    No problem with LIGHTING-UP TIMES — though I haven’t read the Telegraph for several years, I believe they were published each day alongside the weather forecast.

    1. I think that, like Olivia I suspect, having a background of literature and poetry, firmly established by parental influence and therefore somewhat grounded in classical 19th/early 20th century works, has given us a certain advantage vocabulary-wise with regard to some of the more obscure definitions. I quite often find I have no problem with synonyms that give rise to MERs or NHOs amongst many of our erudite commenters, while failing lamentably on almost any scientific or political reference!
  22. Agreed, very moderate for a Friday. Clues like Shangri-la are just about write-ins. I did like the one Nazi group cracking “up”. I too wondered what lighting-up time meant, associating it with lamplighters.
    Time: 23 minutes.

  23. Very pleased to have had enough will to persevere past my usual hour quitting time. WHELKS, MAGMA,TAXONOMY were luckily words I was able to eventually retrieve. Really enjoyed KINKY, ROOT CROP, ON ANOTHER PLANET and PLAY AROUND.Thanks,verlaine, for explaining all the parsings I failed to see.
  24. ….I was relieved to find this fairly un-Fridayish.

    TIME 9:39

  25. Bang on 40 mins so light for a Friday which, of course, has already been mentioned. FOI OLIVE, LOI ÂNON. I liked the Bee, SHANGRI-LA and PLAY AROUND, which I do often. The Golf, that is.

    Sorry for your disappointment V but I enjoyed it. Ta to setter too. Now to your video, to see the smoke emanating from your ears!

  26. Very fast for me for a Friday. Relief after yesterday’s disaster. Completed before opening the wine today. Perhaps this is a clue.
    Lighting up times is a familiar phrase but I wouldn’t have linked it to car lights. Street lights perhaps. Anyway, it’s ancient. LOI olive. Just couldn’t see it until an alphabet trawl on the second letter revealed it.
    Thanks to the setter and to Verlaine for the explanations.
  27. 16.07 and no complaints about the severity of today’s test. Always nice to finish the week positively. Whelks my favourite though I’ve never been persuaded to eat one.
    Thx setter and blogger.
  28. 26 minutes, so very easy indeed. Like Jack, I thought of STEPS ASIDE, but the second S didn’t really want to be in there, so I was patient until the crossing letters suggested the correct answer. Nothing else was any problem at all. I might agree that 13ac would be the COD, if this puzzle really is to have one.
  29. 25.12. A pleasant solve elongated somewhat by having never heard of lighting up times and not quite seeing the parsing.
  30. 12:00. I tackled this after three pints of beer in Stockholm airport, and felt I was making heavy weather of it as a result. But my time is more or less par. Still the hardest of what has been a remarkably easy week. No complaints from me.
    I love whelks. In fact I love all the molluscs, from the snail to the octopus.
  31. I note that you experienced solvers found this fairly easy…. I took 3 sittings and finally looked at the blog for STAYER, LIGHTING UP TIMES and KINKY. Also failed to parse SIGNALMEN, ELONGATED and OLIVE. I don’t always finish the QC so this is a stretch for me but I’m definitely getting better, although very slowly. Many thanks for the invaluable blog, and I also enjoy all your comments.
  32. Wonderful to have the new site up and running. Many thanks to all our bloggers.

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