Times 28291 – The site is new, but the puzzles march on!

Time: 45 minutes.

Music: Beethoven, Piano Concerto #5, Bishop/Davis/LSO

I found this unusually hard for a Monday, and struggled a bit.   It didn’t help that I didn’t know carpet rod and sea loch.   Some of the cryptics were quite obscure, and I had to resort to biffing obvious answers to finish the puzzle.    I also wasted a lot of time looking for a god of the sea instead of a lord of the sea.     Not a sterling performance by any means, but perhaps I wasn’t on the wavelength.

I would like to thank all those who sent messages of congratulation about the new site.    The last two weeks was rather like having a job again, after being retired for 8 years, and John felt the same same way.   I am certainly relieved that it’s all over for now, since it’s time to get busy on gardening and such.

1 Song, where it’s found, and how one’s done? (5,6)
TRACK RECORD –  TRACK + RECORD, in different senses.
7 Job cut reversed in concession (3)
SOP – POS[t] backwards.
9 Complained about most of weight system providing security for climbers? (6-3)
10 What contributes to flight ace being held in prison (5)
11 Scottish bay: surprised cry there after appearance of marine creature (3,4)
12 Actual state of affairs regarding landed gentry, ultimately (7)
REALITY –  RE + ALIT + [gentr]Y.
13 I make a mark in logo (5)
IDENT – I + DENT, an answer I resisted for a long time, but eventually put in with a shrug.
15 London district where no one returns around cocktail time (9)
ISLINGTON –  SLING T inside NO 1 backwards.
17 Beethoven sonata? Perform other work (9)
MOONLIGHT – A double definition.
19 Stand-in minister starts to organise choir in Mass? Not all of it (5)
LOCUM – L(O[rganise] C[hoir])UM[p].
20 Hanoverian monarch — not English — leading a Eurasian country (7)
22 Top figure in the main almost entirely behind attitude about historic currency (7)
ADMIRAL – A(DM)IR AL[l], where the Deutsche Mark is meant, and behind is a location indicator.
24 Live portrayal finally capturing one Shakespeare character (5)
ARIEL – AR(I)E + [portraya]L
25 Skill acquiring information in a South American country (9)
27 Husband is word appropriate to males (3)
HIS – H IS, a beginner clue.
28 Lava turned up? Notices me after eruption (6,5)
PUMICE STONE – UP backwards + anagram of NOTICES ME.
1 Twitch, regularly observed? (3)
TIC – T[w]I[t]C[h], an &lit.
2 A place for judge not left in chambers (5)
3 Warning: sharp cut will lead to rueful expression (4,3)
4 Attention given to item about large life-form in solar System (9)
5 Leader ousted from fringe organisation.(5)
6 Scorn island lawyer in Manhattan getting involved in racket (7)
7 Figure poor-quality stuff is involved in a lot of criticism (9)
8 No gin served up? One whisky short? He may be devastated! (5,6)
PARTY ANIMAL – NAY TRAP upside-down + I MAL[t].
11 Recorder of earth movement that’s wrecked gophers’ aims (11)
14 Financial situation? Funny figures about operating after franchise’s closure (9)
ECONOMICS – [franchis]E + COM(ON)ICS, where the slangish meaning of economics is meant.
16 Initially lit the cigar awkwardly without much spark (9)
LETHARGIC – L[it] + anagram of THE CIGAR.
18 Fielder for one second blocking rising ball (3,4)
LEG SLIP –  EG S in side PILL upside down.   If you are an American solver who biffed this one, you have been doing English cryptics for a long time!
19 I will avoid idiots after half-hearted expressions of sorrow (7)
LAMENTS –  LAME + N[i]TS, parsed long after solving.   Half-hearted is usually a letter removal indicator, but this time it really means half-hearted!
21 Cause concern? The French invading might (5)
23 Greek character providing home for popular endangered species? (5)
26 Friend, heading off, had a meal (3)
ATE – [m]ATE, another escapee from the Quickie.

100 comments on “Times 28291 – The site is new, but the puzzles march on!”

  1. Monday’s Child

    A leisurely 42 minutes among the carpet rods, leg slips, pumice stones and my old crossword haunt of Islington – pure nostalgia.

    FOI 1dn TIC
    LOI 11ac SEA LOCH

    1. Yo horryd! Hope you’re not too much troubled by the lockdown in your neck of the woods. Nice to see you back.

  2. Easy enough. I had 59 minutes on the clock…but I also had dinner and had a shower during that time, so probably under 30 really. I had no problem with either CARPET ROD nor SEA LOCH. I thought of HIS at 27A when I first saw the clue, but it seemed too uncryptic to be correct. I only put it in once I had the checkers. IDENT was my last one in for similar uncertain reasons until it couldn’t be anything else. Thanks for the explanation of 22A. I’d forgotten that DM could mean Deutschmark, not just M, so I was a bit perplexed as to where the D came from.

  3. Oh, and since this is my first time in our brand new home, thank you to everyone who plastered the walls and chose the paint.

  4. A 25 minute DNF. Bunged in “carpet-red” for 9a, bereft of any idea as to what else it could be. A ‘half-hearted’ effort indeed.

  5. I had problems getting started on this one as all the clues in the NW segment eluded me, other than 1dn. I found easier pickings when I looked elsewhere in the grid and I completed the other three segments within the next 15 minutes. I was still stuck when I returned NW but eventually had a breakthrough with SEA LOCH, then gradually the rest of it fell into place. 39 minutes in total.

  6. My crossword timer’s battery died five minutes in, but I think this one took about half an hour, and the fact I still have warmish coffee in the mug backs that up.

    Not held up on any particular clue, but several had me coming back to them a few times before I saw the answer, including CARPET ROD and my last two in, LEG SLIP and ARIEL. Wasn’t sure about “pill” for “ball” and the parsing of PARTY ANIMAL completely escaped me.

    1. Gothick, your mention of CARPET-ROD reminded me that it was one of my very last entries and I can’t say I am familiar with the term. In my experience, when such things still existed (most older houses had them) they were called ‘stair rods’ and gave rise to the expression ‘raining stair rods’ as it has been here for much of the past 24 hours. Collins doesn’t list CARPET-ROD, nor does Lexico. Chambers has it with a hyphen and SOED has it without one.

  7. 45 mins and another stuck in the NW for a while. Last one IDENT which I can’t find any reference to in my on-line dictionaries. NHO SEA LOCH. A bit of a bizarre mix of QC type clues and very tricky ones. Not sure that I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Thanks v and setter.

  8. 11:11. Not too taxing a start to the week, though I did take one or two wrong turns. Like vinyl I was thinking of the wrong sort of “sea lord” at first though when I came back to it I was able to biff it from the crossers.

    Thanks to all for your work in moving to the new site. I’m pleased to be able to drop the 73 from my username and thus become ageless!

  9. 42 minutes but it seemed longer. LOCUM and PARTY ANIMAL were unparsed biffs, the unknown SEA LOCH a construction. COD to EARTHLING (take me to your leader) which led me to CARPET-ROD. I then finally saw LOI TRACK RECORD. A tough puzzle. It’s a while since I’ve heard a ball called a pill too. Maybe I move in more refined circles now. Thank you V and setter.

    1. If you’ve read your PG Wodehouse the pill is what you whack with a niblick!

      1. I’ve not read much Wodehouse, John. But in my football-playing days (fifties to eighties) pill could be used to mean the ball itself, as in an exasperated coach saying, “Stop all the fancy stuff and just put the (expletive deleted) pill into the net.”

  10. A fair amount of successful biffing results in a good time but requires a visit to the new site for the parsing . Always going to appreciate the resource . .

  11. 11:19. Failed to parse PARTY ANIMAL and ADMIRAL, so thanks for explaining those V.

  12. Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania.

    (Yes, it’s Myrtilus). I’m struggling to login as me – I’m sure it will be my fault and I’ll sort it later and add a Fat Rascal avatar.
    25 mins on the crossword, lots of it trying to parse Admiral – terrible clue IMO.
    Thanks setter and Vinyl and all for the excellent site.

  13. So EARTHLING did much entertain us
    And MOONLIGHT also did sustain us
    ARIEL sounds to some
    Like you’re showing your bum
    Because it’s a moon of Uranus

  14. A reasonably straightforward puzzle, despite CARPET-ROD being unknown. I biffed ADMIRAL, and parsed it later.

    TIME 7:14

  15. This is good. Many thanks to the Working Party for a fine job.
    Nice crossword too. 31:58, a bit stuck in the end in the North West. NHO CARPET ROD – I call them stair rods – but it wasn’t too much of a leap. COD EARTHLING

  16. Can I add my thanks to all the experts for their hard work in getting this site up and running, brilliant. Even better, all the old data is saved – a valuable resource.

    Quite enjoyed the puzzle. Mostly no problems but slowed a bit at the end with Ariel, economics and LOI ident which took a while to see and parse.
    The $64 question: is Georgia in Europe or Asia? Where does the border go, north of the Bosphorus?

      1. That’s a long way north. Where does the border go through the Black Sea/Ukraine/Georgia/Armenia/Azerbaijan even Kazakhstan? There doesn’t seem to be a definitive answer.

    1. Good Q about continents. From wiki we have:
      According to the current convention, Georgia and Azerbaijan are transcontinental countries where waterways have been completely replaced by mountains as the divide between continents.
      The other definition is “is it in the Eurovision Songs Contest” – like say Israel!!!!

      1. Georgia and Azerbaijan are also members of UEFA( association of European football nations) ,along with Kazakhstan,Armenia,Turkey and Israel.

      2. The Eurovision test is not entirely infallible – see Australia. No I don’t understand why they’re there either (or what time they are watching it at!).


      3. Wikipedia is untrustworthy.
        Australia is in the Eurovision song contest, and I would say we’re not in Europe.
        Israel is in Asia. Indisputably.
        The Eurovision test fails.
        Israel play in the European Championships in soccer; but I suspect that’s mainly so they don’t get drawn against all their mortal enemies in Asia: Saudis, Palestine, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Syria etc.
        I have a vague remembery of England playing a European Championship qualifier in Bizkek against Kyrgyzstan. That country is definitely in Asia. Turkey has a tiny section in Europe. I suspect Kazakhstan is fully Asian, but maybe a few square metres on the left hand side are in Europe. Who knows?
        UEFA test fails.
        Australia play soccer in the Asian confederation, not Oceania, for political reasons. The soccer test is political not geographic.
        Mountains and rivers are natural borders. Caucasus Mountains/Ural River? But where is the line between Istanbul and the south end of the Urals?

        1. Politically, they’re mostly European countries

          Geographically, it’s a grey area

  17. Firstly, well done to Vinyl and to all who created this site to rid us of Russia.
    For the most part I found this easy but ADMIRAL and LAMENTS gave me pause, so thanks, vinyl for parsing those.
    Curious that there were two staircase related clues next to each other in 9ac and 10ac.

  18. Major quibble with SEA LOCH being defined as a bay. They are more like fjords, long and narrow, as can be seen in Loch Long and Loch Fyne and various others.

  19. None of the possible sources of confusion were really much trouble: CARPET-ROD seemed OK because the wordplay was quite helpful, and SEA LOCH I didn’t really know but the wordplay was also helpful. In fact I found it all unusually easy (26 minutes) and expected a SNITCH of about 50, but it’s a bit higher than that at the moment.

  20. Congrats on new site.

    I had aorta for 2 down so a poor start.
    COD Islington.

  21. Not that it matters much to me, but the avatar that was there a day or two ago has now disappeared and it seems to assume that I don’t have one.

  22. Well done, intrepid TftT team. The site looks great.

    I biffed many of these, amongst which ECONOMIES was a biff too far. Under 30 with that sad pink square.

  23. 31’45” was longer than it should have been but I got interrupted half-way through. 9 across reminded me of a puzzle in a “Boy’s Weekend Book of Activities” given to my father in the 30s. Which is heavier, a ton of gold or a ton of feathers? The answer is not — surprisingly — neither. It is gold (I think) because one is measured in Troy weight and the other in Avoirdupois. Who remembers that now?

    Once again a thousand thanks for all the hard work on the new site.

    1. Wiki can’t find a Troy ton. Ounces and pounds yes, but what is a troy ton?

  24. Harder than usual for a Monday perhaps, but home in 29m. Very surprised, as others, by 27ac!

  25. Firstly, thanks to everyone who has worked so hard to set up the new site – it looks fantastic!

    I managed to get this done reasonably quickly by my standards (20 minutes or so), though I was held up slightly by not knowing the sling gin I needed to parse ISLINGTON or the Troy weight system, which delayed CARPET ROD until the very end. PUMICE STONE wasn’t fully parsed either, and I only saw how LAMENTS worked after I’d put it in. Otherwise, a nice way to ease into the week.

    FOI Georgia
    LOI Carpet-rod
    COD Statistic

  26. 06:47, so the current warm streak continues for now. Nice Monday puzzle, anyway.

    Loving what you’ve done with the place.

  27. Thank you to all those concerned for running this site.

    Having accessed the site on a daily basis for many years, I thought that this might be a good time to make my first post.

    I finished this in 21 minutes which is within my usual 20-30 minute time. I have also not come across a Carpet-Rod before.

  28. Has anyone dared tell Putin that we’ve flown the coop? Speaking of flying, after a weekend dismally off-wavelength I positively flew through this. In the days when people had servants I believe the poor under-housemaid had to polish the brass CARPET-RODs. And I have a vague recollection of them featuring in an old-fashioned mystery plot where some member of the household loosens a rod thereby causing a fatal fall to the old ancestor with all the money. Some good clues here i.e. PARTY ANIMAL. 12.54

  29. 7:50. Pretty gentle Monday puzzle, in spite of some slightly unusual terms: CARPET-ROD, SEA LOCH, IDENT. Nothing completely unknown though.

    1. I blew up the page to a ridiculous type size and I still can’t figure out your new avatar.

      1. It’s a picture I took – on a very still day – of a floating diving platform in the lake by our place in Canada.

  30. 15:17. ADMIRAL was too complicated to parse but I didn’t need to. Some clever surfaces here – many sadly ignored in a flurry of biffs, particularly down in the SE corner. I quite liked the defiantly unwoke 27a.

  31. Thank you for explaining GEORGIA – I got the George part of it, but couldn’t understand where the I came from. Obvious now, of course.

    And thank you to the devisers of the new site.

  32. 25:48
    Great job with the site – not missing the Russian escorts at all.

    Pretty smooth solve, though a few not completely parsed:

    LAMENTS – from definition only
    PARTY ANIMAL – from checkers
    ADMIRAL – no idea what was going on here
    LEG SLIP – ball = PILL?

    As for CARPET-ROD, entered without a second thought, though was probably thinking of stair rods which I can picture in many public buildings/hotels etc

      1. At my school (direct grant at the time, now public, King’s Worcester) pills were testicles, rugger balls and really any ball.
        Just so you know that dictionaries may not be 100%!

        1. See above in reply to John Dun concerning the use of ‘pill’ to mean ‘football’. It wasn’t a usage reserved for the Wodehousian classes.

  33. After last week’s set of simples, I found this one tricky, perhaps because of the rather wordy clues, and came home in 22.31, a long way down the leaderboard. Perhaps I can also blame a determined commitment to laboriously parsing everything. LAMENTS took ages, as I got hooked on wondering how lemmings for idiots worked in the clue, and that “half-hearted” threw me completely down the deletion hole. Likewise “one whisky short” in 8d had me looking for one of two Ws to delete.
    This site’s fabulous, isn’t it? So clean! So devoid of adverts in Russian!

  34. I seemed to be right on the wavelength for this one with the answers popping straight into my head before being parsed. Having said that I didn’t manage to parse PARTY ANIMAL and didn’t bother to parse ADMIRAL. I also found the NW corner trickiest, finishing with KEEP OUT after CARPET ROD and TRACK RECORD. TIC, SOP and SEA LOCH were my starters. 16:25. Thanks setter and Vinyl. And once again thanks for all the hard work on the new site.

  35. 25 minutes. I thought this was a fairly typical Monday offering apart from some in the NW corner, which held me a bit, along with PARTY ANIMAL. I didn’t spend time parsing the latter once I had the answer, but having seen the explanation by the blogger, I think it’s rather nice. LAMENTS was another one I didn’t bother to parse.

    My password’s been rejected, but perhaps we have to create a new one.

  36. Steady progress (albeit with parsing problems galore), before returning to a sparsely populated NW. Earthling gave me the breakthrough I needed, but my luck ran out with a careless Aorta (another unparsed answer) for loi 2d. Good fun all the same. Invariant

  37. Thank you for all the hard work to create this new site

    A nice puzzle for a Monday – carpet rod was my last one in too

  38. 21 mins. KEEP OUT those russkies! Pleasant Monday stroll sitting in a cafe in St David’s.

  39. Very well done to the artisans who crafted this new home. Best regards to all.

    1. Hello, Kevin! Long time no read! Can we hope to hear from you on this lovely new site?

  40. Thanks Everyone involved in producing this new site. It looks great and functions beautifully. Chapeau to all👏👏

    1. Excellent! I certainly didn’t notice that – in fact I thought the 3-letter words particularly poor until you pointed that out – now I think they are extremely clever instead!

  41. Felt I too should stop lurking and join up on the new site.
    Under 25 mins for this one which shows I have at least learnt something from this habit.

    1. Tough indeed for Monday. Never heard of CARPET RODS.

      Many thanks to everyone who made this new site possible

  42. Congratulations on the new site. I have quite serious eyesight problems so this lovely clear typface and layout is a bonus. I found today’s puzzle quite tricky for a Monday offering. 30 mnutes.

  43. Stumped by IDENT and ATRIA so retired from field after 35 min . Enjoyed KEEP OUT and EARTHLING . Thanks, vinyl1, for clearing up all the building blocks for me.

  44. I didn’t find this very hard, especially considering the hour and condition in which I attacked it, but I did have to finish the NW this morning. LOI CARPET RODS. I also resisted IDENT.

  45. Many thanks to everyone who worked to create this new site, which looks great and seems straightforward to use.
    About 40 minutes today – I did initially put in Aorta put couldn’t see why – fortunately saw Atria at the last moment. Four clues today where I initially biffed the answer and then came back to them to figure them out – Laments, Admiral, Leg Slip and Aorta/Atria.

  46. 40 minutes. FOI Tic LOI Atria COD Track record
    It’s not just American solvers who may have to biff cricket terms 😅
    Nice to see lots of lurkers joining the gang

  47. 38 minutes today, with ATRIA and then LEG SLIP as my LOI. Like Jack, I got off to a very slow start, with TIC as my FOI. After a while it got very easy, until it didn’t. For 8dn I biffed PARTY ANIMAL and then decided to be cautious, surprised that it turned out to have been correct after all. For 2dn I kept trying to justify AORTA, but of course that’s a vessel and not chambers. As for LEG SLIP — I started off with LEG SLAB from the wordplay, which not only seemed unlikely but also collided with PUMICE STONE. I finally settled on LEG SLIP because “I” seemed the most likely filler to make P?LL into a ball. Relieved that it was the right choice. And for CARPET ROD, it turned out that I was thinking “curtain rod” all the time and wasn’t quite sure why curtains were climbers, which I had originally expected to be climbing plants. So fortunately, in the end I didn’t actually need to know what CARPET RODs really are.

    One additional positive feature of the new site, which I already posted on yesterday, is that you can see all of the entries on one page instead of having to scroll through several. And it’s also very nice that Horryd is back — I really missed him.

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