Times 28299 – not tough stuff, but here and there, you could say.

A much more enjoyable effort than last Wednesday’s test, taking me about 25 minutes with the SW corner putting up some resistance at the end. I liked the 3 part construction of 9d and the Frenchness of 16d best. Have we seen 3d before? I think so. LOI was 26a.

Definitions underlined in bold, (Abc)* indicating anagram of Abc, anagrinds italic, (deletions).

1 Officer caught wearing little jumper that’s ornate (6)
ROCOCO – CO (officer) C (caught) inside ROO (a baby Kanga, little jumper).
4 Feature inspiring answer saying something cutting (8)
CHAINSAW – A for answer inside CHIN for feature, then SAW for a saying.
10 Ceremony with a grim style adopted by The King? (9)
POMPADOUR -POMP = ceremony, A DOUR = a grim. I’m not sure if our King is wearing a pompadour hairstyle or adopting Madame!
11 Ally involved in machinations (5)
CHINA – not very hidden as above.
12 Criticises half-hearted search for taxi to return (7)
REBUKES – All reversed (to return); SE(E)K, UBER. Nice to see uber instead of the usual cab for taxi.
13 Wager’s banked after tax for woman (7)
ANNETTE -ANTE (wager) has NET (after tax) inserted.
14 Inadequate chances to seize area in retreat (5)
SADDO – All reversed (in retreat); ODDS = chances, insert A for area.
15 How Spooner may serve macho male thug smuggling drug (5,3)
LADLE OUT – this is the first time I can remember where “Spooner” doesn’t refer to the esteemed Doctor, but to someone who spoons! LAD = macho male, LOUT = thug, insert E for drug.
18 Tally of money ending in many killings? (8)
COINCIDE -very droll. COIN for money, ‘CIDE’ being the ending of many ‘killing’ words; fratricide, homicide…
20 Squirrel away from tip of Chile pine (5)
CACHE – C(hile), ACHE = pine, long for.
23 Cockney’s present wish soon given poetic form (7)
ERELONG – ‘ERE being Cockney for HERE, = present; LONG (for) = wish (for).
25 Falls in a river over to the west (7)
NIAGARA -all reversed (to the west); A, R, AGAIN = over.
26 Maybe ensure no shooting from football team without right back (5)
UNARM – reverse (back); MAN U ‘without’ R. Does this mean chop off your arms? Or is it the same as disarm?
27 Passed with top grade, after clear knowledge (9)
OVERTAKEN – OVERT = clear, A top grade, KEN = knowledge.
28 What could be sigh or dry, rough cough? (3,5)
EYE RHYME – I couldn’t get this one until I had the checkers from 19d and 22d so E*E had to be EYE, then I recalled what an eye rhyme was; rough and cough, for example, look as if they rhyme but they don’t. Or here and there.
29 Decorous or forward? I need to think about that (6)
PROPER – PROP a front row forward in rugby, ER…
1 Sharper novel contains English word again (8)
2 Makeshift retirement arrangement affected teacher (4,3)
CAMP BED – well, an affected teacher can be a camp Bachelor of Education.
3 Tough approach to solve a clue like this (9)
CRACKDOWN – if you solve a down clue such as this, you CRACK a DOWN clue.
5 Lady’s with Fancy Dan, hiding in bush? They’re lovers (4,3,7)
HERO AND LEANDER – HER (lady’s) OLEANDER (type of bush) insert (DAN)*. Or biff it if you knew the Greek story.
6 Preserved from civilisation once (5)
INCAN -if it’s IN CAN, it’s preserved, waiting for a tin opener.
7 Asian pressing suit has to fail (7)
SHIATSU -(SUIT HAS)*. It’s a kind of Japanese massage.
8 Sailor healthier after whiskey (6)
WHALER – W for whiskey (why the Irish one?) HALER = healthier.
9 Where one sees patient official can tidy up (10,4)
CONSULTING ROOM – CONSUL (official) TIN (can) GROOM (tidy up). Nice construction.
16 Parisian in to sing is one with charms (9)
ENCHANTER -EN French for in, CHANTER French verb infinitive  ‘to sing’.
17 A rentier’s high fee paid up front (8)
19 Media reporting that leader’s abandoned excess (7)
OVERAGE – COVERAGE loses its leading C.
21 Raise standing entering competition (5,2)
CRANK UP – RANK (standing) inside CUP (competition).
22 Hosting queen, fetch up rug (6)
PERUKE – ER for Her Majesty, inside PUKE. Rug as in wig.
24 Dash round repeatedly with speed (5)
OOMPH – O O (round repeatedly) MPH (miles per hour).

68 comments on “Times 28299 – not tough stuff, but here and there, you could say.”

  1. I laboured over this puzzle for 50 minutes, ending up, down in the South West corner amid the puke.
    FOI 24ac OOMPH – low hanging fruit!
    LOI 19dn OVERAGE
    COD 15ac LADLE OUT
    WOD 22dn PERUKE

    28ac EYE RHYME NHO and will try to forget!

  2. 19:51
    I biffed POMPADOUR from the P_M; it was only later that I saw that the King was Elvis. The R gave me HERO ETC., which I then parsed. I was taken in by Spooner, and wasted some time trying to figure out how LADLE OUT could be a spoonerism. I liked SHIATSU and LOI PERUKE.

    I popped this in immediately, but does the clue work? sigh/dry is a rhyme, but not an eye rhyme. rough/cough is an eye rhyme, but it’s not defined. I suppose “What could be rough cough?” would work, but.

    1. The only thing I can think of is sigh and dry are “i”sounds so they could be called i-rhymes while rough and cough are true eye rhymes.

      1. I agree – ‘rough cough?’ as the def and ‘What could be sigh or dry’ (= rhyming “i” sounds= “i rhymes”) as wordplay. I think that’s what our blogger meant as well.

  4. Gave up after 40 min not seeing EYE RHYME or SHIATSU. CONSULTING ROOM was my COD but also enjoyed COINCIDE, INCAN, CRACKDOWN and WHALER. Didn’t know SADDO . I learned not every Spooner leads to a Spoonerism.Thanks for blog,Piquet, much needed.

  5. 40 minutes on the dot. Sailing through, admittedly with some biffing, until I hit the SW corner. Eventually saw UNARM, then PERUKE came up from the depths to help with EYE RHYME. LOI was COINCIDE, which again I biffed without seeing the nice ‘ending in many killings?’ bit. I didn’t know OVERAGE could be a noun.

    Favourite was the non-Spoonerism ‘Spooner’, helped by having seen the trick before.

  6. Bogged down at the end, but got there. Peruke vaguely recalled, but never heard of fetch up for vomit. It, coincide and ladle out were L3I. Couldn’t parse eye-rhyme or chanter, but did spot Elvis.
    Really liked lots of the extended definitions: Asian pressing, how spooner may serve, makeshift retirement arrangement, where one sees patient etc.

  7. 33 minutes for all but the intersecting 9d and 18ac, and then I needed another 10 minutes to crack those two.

    9dn was always going to be more of a GK clue than a cryptic one and unfortunately having thought of HERA as a possibility for the first word I stuck with it for far too long before considering alternatives. HERA AND ???N?E?? seemed quite likely but eventually I abandoned that idea, thought of HERO and remembered her association with LEANDER in Greek mythology . The E checker at 18ac then brought COINCIDE to mind, though not quite immediately.

    I didn’t know about Elvis’s hair which I’d always thought was a quiff, but I knew of POMPADOUR as a style named after the Madame who a French King’s mistress, so in the answer went and I moved on.

    I also remember seeing Spooner clues that didn’t involve a Spoonerism, and EYE-RHYME has come up many times before, which is how I came to know of it in the first place.

      ODE: ” a man’s hairstye in which the hair is combed back from the forehead without a parting”.

      1. Thanks. Yes I found many a reference to it and illustrations when I checked on-line but somehow the association with Elvis passed me by although I was around through all his career. I was never a fan but quite liked some of his ballads and the early material from his days at Sun records .

        1. Odd; when I quoted ODE, I included their parenthetical ‘N. Amer.’; specifically, I wrote . I note also that the quotation marks are both closing marks: ” ” [On edit: once again, the phrase has disappeared! ]

          1. Are they <angle brackets> you’re trying to paste in? That would probably trigger something to remove potential HTML code.

  8. Held up in the SW. First, I only knew PERUKE with QUE, and I assumed wrongly I was going to reverse a word for “fetch”. EYE RHYME I suddenly remembered. But OVERAGE and COINCIDE held out for another several minutes. LADLE OUT didn’t fool me for more than a moment, we’ve seen people with spoons before in these parts.

  9. My laptop was updating so had to use my mobile. Interesting the difference to my solving when I solve in the paper, on the laptop or mobile.

    For this crossword, I seemed to see all of the setter’s ruses quite quickly so never had any real problems.

  10. Gave up in the end on the PERUKE, where “fetch up” and “queen” just left me with too much scope for possibilities for an unknown and unlikely-looking word. Bah.

    1. For those with a little French or German it’s handy that their words for ‘wig’ are ‘perruque’ and ‘Perücke’ respectively.

      1. Periwig also comes to mind, though I can’t think where I’ve heard it. Probably Shakespeare.

      2. And in Russian, a hairdresser’s salon is a “Parikmackerskaya” (in Cyrillic) which must come from the French or the German.

  11. 59m DNF. Felt rather chuffed to get FOI ROCOCO after a few seconds, and made my way through this at a reasonable clip, MER at SADDO, until around 30m when I bogged down severely. After another 5m or so, I spotted the 7d anagram, also giving me LADLE OUT, and leaving just the SW corner to deal with…

    …and I never got there, thwarted by the NHO PERUKE / EYE RHYME crossing, along with COINCIDE and OVERAGE. COD POMPADOUR – though I preferred Little Richard’s version – thanks p and setter

  12. ‘Tis young Leander toiling to his death.
    Nigh swooning he doth purse his weary lips
    For Hero’s cheek, and smiles against her smile.
    O horrid dream! see how his body dips
    Dead-heavy; arms and shoulders gleam awhile;
    He’s gone; up bubbles all his amorous breath!

    20 mins pre-brekker left the Peruke/Eye Rhyme corner. Another 5 cracked it.
    Thanks setter and Pip.

  13. 24 minutes with LOI and COD to COINCIDE, after finally twigging what sort of ….cide it was. I liked too seeing the taxi as an UBER, although with my free train, tube and bus pass I’m too mean to have travelled in one. I was puzzled by the dry, sigh, eye rhyme so thank you to Bletchley Reject for the explanation. You should have got the job. Lots of interesting stuff in this. Thank you Piquet and setter.

  14. 17:05. Much of my time was spent on my final entry, PERUKE. My first thought was REBUKE, considering that rug could be a verb like carpet. Seeing that didn’t fit the cryptic I then spent some time trying to think of a word for fetch and reverse it. Finally I tried putting the queen in and thinking of words that fitted _ERU_E. Once I thought of PERUKE I reverse engineered it to get “puke” for “fetch up”. It’s not a term I remember hearing before, but it’s not much of a stretch from “throw up”.

  15. At 43 mins, my worst for a week or so
    I really struggled in the SW corner Knowing what “eye rhyme” was my have helped
    Was also on the wrong track for 15a!!
    Good puzzle though

  16. DNF. No idea about COINCIDE. Even after cheating to find answers that fit the crossers I couldn’t see it: ‘tally’ seems loose at best. Otherwise a fun puzzle with some nice PDMs. The Spooner trick is neat.

    1. That doesn’t tally with my understanding of the meaning of ‘loose’.

      1. To put it more simply, I don’t really think ‘tally’ and COINCIDE are synonyms. I see though that Lexico actually use the former in one of their definitions of the latter so I’ll have to take it up with them!

        1. I think of tally as numerical equivalence, coincide as time-domain equivalence. This tallies with that is a bit different to this coincides with that.

          1. I agree. In the example given in Lexico for instance (‘the interests of employers and employees do not always coincide’) I don’t think you can substitute ‘tally’. But this is an argument with the lexicographers not the setter!

  17. 18:11. Held up at the end by COINCIDE and LADLE OUT – yes I was fooled for too long by Spooner with a capital S. Nice one. Thanks Pip and setter.

  18. 50m 29s but I managed to type CRACK UP iso CRANK UP for 21d by mistake. Rats.
    As with Pip, the SW corner gave me the hardest time. LOI: EYE RHYME. I agree with Kevin G that ‘sigh’ and ‘dry’ are not eye rhymes.
    There was a lot to enjoy, though: The ‘not-THAT-Spooner’ clue in 5ac, for one, plus COINCIDE.
    Thanks, Pip!

  19. Dnf on coincide and peruke. Was looking for a word for fetch reversed, nho of fetch up for vomit.

    COD Overtaken.

  20. All went swimmingly and 3/4 done in 30 mins when I hit the dreaded SW.

    Completely baffled. Thought of unarmed, but couldn’t see why. Never seen PERUKE spelt like that and did not know EYE-RHYME, though I had the RHYME bit. Gave up on 45 mins and came here for solace.

    I liked 9d.
    Thanks Piquet for the clarifications.
    I see I’ve been logged out again as was the case often in LJ. And my avatar’s disappeared!

  21. 12:15, successfully sent down several blind alleys by the setter before reaching my destination. Chief among those was the obviously unsuccessful search for a Spoonerism, as I don’t recall being fooled by the wordplay referring to a very literal spooner before, so I enjoyed that.

    And I’ve never bothered trying to collate such things, but it’s always interesting to spot the moment something is regarded as sufficiently part of common speech to make it into the Times puzzle (assuming this is the first time we’ve had to summon an Uber in wordplay).

  22. Had it all done in around 25 minutes- apart from coincide which totally defeated me so I gave up at 30 mins. It may be droll but I failed to see the funny side! I even got to coin and ide as an ending to many killings but just didn’t see it.
    Very disappointing having worked out peruke and remembered eye rhyme from an earlier puzzle.
    Nice crossword. Thanks setter and blogger.

  23. I think of a WHALER as the vessel rather than the sailor but it’s an awful long time since I read Moby Dick. My first effort at parsing LADLE OUT involved a ridiculously ROCOCO Spoonerism in which the good doctor would “aid a lout” thereby serving the macho thug. Yes I know. Nice work setter! 18.22

    1. In school we used to sing a lively Newfoundland folk song with the chorus :
      “Jack was every inch a sailor
      Five and twenty years a whaler
      Jack was every inch a sailor
      He was born upon the bright blue sea.”

  24. I never really understood the eye rhyme clue but assumed unconfidently that ‘eye rhyme’ means not only words like ‘rough’ and ‘cough’ but also words like ‘sigh’ and ‘dry’, which don’t look as if they rhyme as words like ‘rate’ and ‘fate’ do. Such an unlikely thing that I can’t even be bothered to look it up. Never understood ENCHANTER (where did the ER at the end come from?), although now it’s obvious. 35 minutes on a pleasant puzzle.

  25. Enjoyed this, although I gave up after 40 minutes, having got marooned in the South West. Doubt if I’d ever have got EYE RHYME. I thought PERUKE, SHIATSU and CONSULTING ROOM were all very good but COD was COINCIDE.

    Thanks to piquet and the setter.

    1. From which I infer you’re not a treeware solver: I do that sort of thing often enough keying in the first letter of the answer in the second square because that’s where the cursor is. Could be why they call it a cursor.

  26. 37:55 but…

    ….cheated with PERUKE which I’d never heard of and spent a good five minutes trying to get – didn’t think of PUKE as fetch up.

    EYE RHYME only ever seen in these crosswords.

  27. Popped ROCOCO straight in and made good progress through the NW and SE, then slowed down quite a lot. I eventually ground to a standstill with 5d and 18a resisting ferociously. Out with the scratch pad and after a bit of scribbling I finally spotted the OLEANDER. That seemed to confirm the killings’ ending as CIDE, and lo the COIN hove into view. 31:28. Thanks setter and Pip.

  28. 10m 27s, with the last two and a half minutes spent on COINCIDE – took me that long to start thinking about the other meanings of tally. Very nice, even if it didn’t stretch the possibilities of the idea: e.g. ‘Tally killing a bit?’

  29. 36 mins but I had to look up PERUKE and EYE RHYME, both NHO and as they intersected, I was never going to get them.

  30. No problem with PERUKE – have fond??? memories of children and grandchildren “mewling and puking in the (parent’s/grandparent’s) arms”. As others have noted, some dictionaries (Chambers included) link the word with periwig.

  31. A spoonful of syrup or two?

    Just under 20 minutes for this intelligent and witty offering. I liked the invention of COIN-CIDE and the non-Spoonerism, and (now that I understand the eye-rhymes-with-sigh-and-dry connection) the concoction for EYE RHYME. For this, I tentatively essayed EAR RHYME (probably an invention) while wondering what cough and rough were suggesting.
    Interestingly (well I think so) Chambers doesn’t really allow the Elvis version of POMPADOUR, which I didn’t spot anyway, concentrating on Madame’s hairstyle which was a great deal higher, together with other non-hairy meanings which I didn’t know.
    Always good to have a crossword where there is pleasure to be had from working out the wordplay after an inspired biff, such as for both of the long ones and the taxi bit.

    1. On a technical note, could I also mention my delight that on the new site, nobody can see the damning “edited at (time)” which always used to betray the fact you hadn’t properly proof read your entry.

  32. 20:21.Nno problem with EYE RHYME, but the Spooner trickery foxed me for a while even after I guessed L OUT was going to feature. Spent a while wondering if CRACKDOWN had a similarly constructed synonym ending in O so I could fit in genocide. But it hasn’t and eventually I didn’t need to. Fun puzzle.

  33. Like many others defeated by the Sw corner. Didn’t know peruke and misinterpreted the direction by looking for an alternative word for fetch in backward form.

  34. Just over the hour on this one but did quite enjoy it. I was slowed down by entering “Ear Rhyme” (bonkers, I know) until I finally saw “Overage”. I was also very slow to see “Annette” for some reason.
    Could the decline of that civilisation be referred to as Incan Descent? Is that a clue we’ve seen before?

  35. PERUKE was archaic and quaint
    Not sure if that’s quite a complaint
    It turns out that CHAINSAW
    Chimes well with POMPADOUR
    But an EYE-RHYME it certainly ain’t

  36. I didn’t know Peruke or fetch up in that sense, so you know what corner I had problems with. Cute that the highbrow/lowbrow adoptive King could have been Louis or Elvis. I still think of Uber as a brand of hire-cars or taxi substitutes, so I looked unfavourably on the product placement.

  37. 38 mins – half of them on coincide! Grrr. Slight falter at Leander, mixing her (it is a she, right?) with Lysander.

    1. No, Hero is the girl. Leander swam across the Hellespont(Dardanelles) every night to be with her.

  38. 18.42. Not too shabby. The non-Spoonerism Spooner had me going for a while.

  39. DNF

    Struggled and gave up the ghost on the hour

    Two unsolved

    PERUKE – see comments passim

    COINCIDE – see Keriothe’s comments even to the point of cheating but still not getting it. Actually missed the -cide idea so was a long way from understanding what was going on

    Otherwise, think I enjoyed it. Uber one to remember

    Thanks all

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