Times 28303 – I have found it…..now what?


Time: 30 minutes

This was a an outdoor deck solve, so no music – the weather here in Connecticut is very fine.    The puzzle did not particularly impress me – there are just too many rather imprecise equivalents and sloppy usages.   However, here at TftT we solve ’em all, and blog ’em all as well.

I did run into difficulty by carelessly putting in a wrong answer that was not even spelt correctly.   Glancing at the anagram letters and putting in a word that vaguely resembles them, while entirely disregarding the literal, is not a recommended solving technique.   I only discovered the problem when I was trying to finish.

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1 Flash Republican eating bit of beef? On the contrary (6)
4 How sheep can enter seaside town? (8)
RAMSGATE –  Double definition, the first facetious.
10 Ignoring advice on a reorganisation (9)
11 Expert in image-making maybe who walks nervously up and down? (5)
12 Accountant queuing here for coffee? (4,7)
BEAN COUNTER – Another facetious double definition.
14 The Spanish king, a horny individual (3)
15 Way in which unfinished story makes one scoff (7)
17 Pandemic? It surely holds country back (6)
RUSTIC – Backwards hidden in [pandemi]C IT SUR[ely].
19 Old woman has grabbed one’s abnormally large shrub (6)
21 Composer runs inside, attacked by dog maybe (7)
23 Promising words in this language? (3)
IDO – Double definition, referring to the wedding ceremony and the obscure offspring of Esperanto.
24 Give the go ahead to a mug (11)
COUNTENANCE – Double definition, first a verb and then a noun.
26 Clergyman that might deliver broadside, did you say? (5)
CANON – Sounds like CANNON, a chestnut.
27 Repetition of poetic device everyone rejected (9)
29 Might it be breakfast time in prison? (8)
PORRIDGE – Double definition.
30 Beastly female going to Balmoral? I couldn’t care less! (2,4)
SO WHAT – SOW HAT, similar to the cat’s pyjamas, no doubt.
1 Babyish learner treated thus? (8)
SHABBILY – Anagram of BABYISH L, where the literal does not necessarily follow.
2 Revolutionary song about old judge, a Red (5)
RIOJA – RI(O,J)A, with air upside-down.
3 Cockney workman, a joiner (3)
AND – ‘AND, of course.
5 A more suitable partner in crime (7)
ABETTER –  A BETTER, where the cryptic precludes ABETTOR.
6 Muzzling of Pope in USSR’s mistaken (11)
7 The claims potentially made by this seeker of life-prolonging remedy (9)
8 Triumphant cry emanating from Bath? (6)
EUREKA – Cryptic definition, a chestnut.
9 Suffer knock on the head by river (6)
ENDURE – END + URE.   Knock on the head is a bit loose.
13 Experts caught in dreadful congestion (11)
COGNOSCENTI – Anagram of CONGESTION containing C.
16 Prisoner sporting black eye, a wealthy Greek perhaps (9)
18 Overseas team make communications infrastructure (8)
INTERNET – INTER + NET, the Milan team and how much they make after tax.
20 Knocking about with sailor on drugs (7)
21 Colleague abandoning resistance? Damn! (6)
BOTHER – B[r]OTHER.   Well, a brother is not really a colleague, and bother is not as strong as damn – but close enough?
22 In Cicero’s time this drink becoming a problem? (6)
HICCUP –  HIC + CUP, where Cicero’s time is a little loose to indicate the Latin hic, since presumably many other languages were spoken then.
25 Stated refusal, as Arab for one may do (5)
NEIGH – Sounds like NAY, from an Arab horse.
28 Top-class cook making trouble (3)
ADO – A + DO.

88 comments on “Times 28303 – I have found it…..now what?”

  1. This was a bit sloppy and imprecise, but then so aren’t we all at Times? Lord K, should that not be TfTT and not TftT as per the revised banner?

    FOI at the crack-a-sparrers 3dn AND
    LOI 22dn HICCUP – does this actually exist in the singular?
    COD 12ac BEAN COUNTER and not barrister
    WOD MIMOSA my absolutely favourite – why do these lovely trees not grow in parts of China? Never seen it at our local HongQiao (Rainbow Bridge) flower market.

    28ac PORRIDGE again! Time 35 scruffy minutes.

    1. HICCUP in the sense of ‘problem, glitch’ exists in the singular.

      1. I was whimsically referring to the condition. I see you have your head back!

        1. And feet! Thanks to you for pointing out the problem in the first place–the avatar was so small I didn’t notice–and to Johninterred for fixing it.

  2. Failed to get HICCUP, ALCHEMIST and LASAGNE. Missed the “scoff” meaning for the latter and for “hic” I thought of it only meaning either here or this and I thought alchemists were just interested in turning baser metals into gold. Enjoyed IDO and BEAN COUNTER most. I think the phrases “brothers in arms” or ” band of brothers” can help suggest the non-family connotation. Thanks for useful blog- needed it.

  3. 14:54
    DNK SCOFF as a noun. Embarrassingly, I didn’t get the [all]iteration until after submitting. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many clues ending in ?

  4. 25 minutes with quite a few shrugs and question marks along the way that were resolved satisfactorily on closer examination after the event. For some reason RAMSGATE emerged quite late in the proceedings and had it gone in earlier (as it should have) I might have knocked 5 minutes off my solving time.

    I had no misgivings about ‘colleague / BR{o}THER’ as it has been a tradition in the activities of Trades Unions in the UK for members to refer to each other as ‘brothers’. Try watching Peter Sellers as Fred Kite, the shop steward and left-wing firebrand in the 1959 film I’m All Right Jack.

    1. Not just UK unions (and not just ‘brother’, of course). Thanks for reminding me of Fred Kite, although I don’t recall him as a firebrand; but I do remember his “Ah, Russia. All those corn fields, and then ballet in the evening.” (How do you get italics here?)

      1. Italics (also bold and underline)

        Just the same as Live Journal. Type the html codes before and after the text you want to format.

        For italics you can use:
        Less than sign i Greater than sign TEXT Less than sign /i Greater than sign

        For bold use b instead of i
        For underline use u

          1. Nice. For anyone struggling to follow along, you’d write italics like this: <i>the sentence you wish to italicise</i>.

            1. Exactly, but how did you manage to keep the html codes displayed in your example after posting? When I tried it they disappeared and just showed the italicised text, which was why I resorted to ‘less than sign’ etc.

              1. I got this message in my e-mail, although I assume you were replying to gothick not to me.
                I have found that when I quote from ODE–which uses double angle brackets to enclose terms like ‘archaic’, ‘N. Amer.’ etc. — the brackets (less-than/greater-than) and the bracketed word disappear from my text when posted.

              2. Yes, it’s all a bit meta—as angle brackets do special things in HTML, they themselves can be encoded in a way that makes them appear as literal angle brackets when rendered, using what’s called character entity references.

                Specifically, the left angle bracket “<” can be encoded as the “less than” symbol in HTML by writing “&lt;”. The right angle bracket can be encoded as “greater than”: “&gt;”. So when you write them like that when composing a comment, they appear as “<” and “>” once the comment appears on the page.

                Let’s hope this site doesn’t change how it treats HTML in comments, otherwise this explanation will probably turn into gibberish at some point! Personally, I prefer the more modern Markdown-flavoured systems where one writes things like **this** or _that_ and the system renders them as bold or underlined. It’s a lot easier for everyone other than old-school HTML experts.

                1. Many thanks gothick. This is useful and I have made a note of it for future reference. I hardly need say that I know only a little about html coding as I have always used visual editors that do all the heavy lifting. But occasionally I need to look at the coding to sort out a problem so I have picked up a bit.

                  1. And once again I get a reply in my e-mail that wasn’t a reply to me. At least, I assume it wasn’t, since my name isn’t gothick.

                    1. TBH, Kevin, I’m not sure how it’s supposed to work. Perhaps once someone is part of a conversation they get notified of any responses no matter who is being replied to. I’ll try and make sense of it later (much later) and perhaps refer it to johninterred unless he’s picked it up himself in the meantime. We may need to let this change settle in for a while to understand all the possible implications.

                    2. Kevin, I will take a poll on this once people have got used to it. The design for notification of commenters mimics that for bloggers who get notified of all comments on their blogs – if a commenter starts a thread by having their comment replied to, they get notified of any additions to the thread (i.e. replies to the reply and replies to replies to replies). It may be that commenters only want to be notified about direct replies to their comments. If so, it is a simple change to make the system do that.

    2. Hilarious! The film from which comes, the stammering Sam Kydd’s immortal line, “Why don’t you pha..ph…ph..photograph somewhere else!”

  5. Liked it more than our blogger, no more loose than most puzzles. E.g. for ENDURE: doing a job as 5PM approaches someone is sure to say, “Let’s knock it on the head and go get a beer.” Failed to parse RIOJA, coming here to find out what revolutionary song the IR was (thinking the I was Internationale, no doubt led astray by Internazionale in 18 dn). Last 2 in SHABBILY, taking too long to see it was an anagram and getting no help from the definition, and LASAGNE where scoff as a noun is not used hereabouts.
    COD Britten, simple but appealing

  6. 22:59. I found this mostly straightforward, but HICCUP, CANON, and SHIPOWNER held me up considerably in the end.

  7. 33 minutes for me, all green. I came here to see what I was missing at 1D SHABBILY. I mean I solved the anagram but why would a babyish learner be created shabbily, any more than roughly, or kindly, or any other adverb. I wasn’t sure about COUNTENANCE, which seems more like “letting it go ahead reluctantly” rather than “giving the go-ahead”. I had no problem with BROTHER since I know that’s what Trade Union members call (or mostly called) themselves. I know Onassis was a wealthy Greek shipowner—were there lots of others?

      1. Ah yes, the guy who sounds like a particularly unpleasant medical condition.

  8. A 29 minute DNF. I’ve learnt a “shiconner” has nothing to do with being ‘a wealthy Greek’ or anything else for that matter.

    1. A ‘shiconner’ (schickonner) is a gentile female practitioner involved in the Oxford Street ‘Three Card Trick’; Find the Lady’ etc., which ever draws in small crowds of gullible travellers from abroad.

      1. Well, well. Guilty of laziness twice then; entering the first answer that came to mind and then just assuming it was a neologism.

        Thanks for the enlightenment.

  9. I finished in 22.10 with no real holdups. SHABBILY was the only clue where I didn’t understand the definition but the anagram was quite straightforward.

  10. At the outset I confidently assumed this was in the very easy category – same as last Monday – and had no difficulty in sprinting through the top half. Biffed PACER but proper FOI was BEAN COUNTER – the name a local veggie eaterie, operated by an ex-accountant. Lower half took a bit more brain-work, I was held up at the end by:
    – typo-ing COUNTENANCE, making BOTHER impossible to solve
    – failing to get the NET bit of INTERNET for far longer than it should have taken

    25:53 – an enjoyable and not-too-taxing start to the solving week – thanks V and setter

  11. I started off a bit erratically on this one, but pressed on and trusted I’d eventually build up more momentum, so circled round the grid from the NW leaving quite a lot of gaps to fill in later. In the end I found the bottom half a bit easier and didn’t need too many round trips, finishing in 26 minutes. COD to 12a BEAN COUNTER.

    I’ve recently read the letters of Rev. W A Ayton, a vicar, ALCHEMIST and member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. At one point he claimed that he’d prepared the elixir of eternal life as a young man, but was too scared to drink it because of the reputed side-effects, so he saved it until he was elderly. When he went to try it he found it had all dried up! (W B Yeats described him as “the most panic-stricken person I have ever known”; he seems like quite a character.) He and Yeats would certainly have referred to each other as “brother” or “frater”, being colleagues in a fraternal order.

      1. Corrected! I’ve realised over the last few years that I have a complete inability to spell Yeats’s name, even after having read at least one biography of the man…

  12. At 31 mins this was about average for me
    Not a lot to say except agreeing with many others that 1d was a bit iffy

  13. 11:07. I found this a bit loose in places too, but not overly so. My only hold up was a confidently entered SPOONFED for 1D which made the rest of the NW corner a bit difficult until I realised it wasn’t that. I liked BEAN COUNTER. Thank-you V and setter.

  14. Hic haec hoc
    18 minutes with LOI SHIPOWNER. That was a Eureka moment, I suppose, having lazily parked the clue earlier when Onassis didn’t fit. I’d give it COD but self deprecation insists I give that to BEAN COUNTER. Quality control at the Heinz factory is very important, I’d have you know. A pleasant Monday offering but I thought ENDURE was a bit iffy. Then again, the COGNOSCENTI know plenty. Thank you V and setter.

  15. 29m 52s but failed miserably to see the reverse in 17ac and biffed ‘Russia’. BOTHER!
    Like Kevin, I didn’t know ‘scoff’ was also a noun.

  16. Two wrong in a sluggish 17:45. SHICONNER and MISOSA were clearly both wrong but I couldn’t see the right answers. Until the pink squares flashed their rebukes.


  17. 19:05
    Pretty quick solve. Didn’t really get the babyish/shabbily thing; not the best clue, but easy enough to solve.
    Thanks, v.

  18. A rather sluggish 38:55. Like others, I was left looking for a definition for 1dn SHABBILY and I had the non-word SHICONNER hanging around for too long, not seeing the POW. But it all came right in the end. I liked 4ac RAMSGATE

  19. Slightly relieved to see I’m not the only one who put ‘shiconner’ rather than SHIPOWNER. Having spent too long trying to fit a B + a word for eye in the answer, once I moved away from that and thought of ‘shiner’ I then didn’t stop to consider that the prisoner might not be a con and never thought of POW. Like others, I didn’t know scoff as a noun, but LASAGNE was clearly clued.

  20. If I were to write all AND all
    Is that all-ITERATION? Your call.
    The COGNOSCENTI would know
    I’m just RUSTIC and slow
    I DO rockets. SO WHAT? It’s a ball!

  21. This is the famous stone

    Completed in 18.29, so rather stiff for a Monday as far as I was concerned, and finishing with a double-pink LASANGE for no reason I can account for.
    I took a long time to remember that one’s can also stand for one is and therefore I’m, so regarded MIMOSA (a shrub I know) with suspicion for a long time.
    I was under the (mis) apprehension that ALCHEMISTS were after creating gold from base materials, and that the life prolonging thing was the Philosopher’s Stone (thanks, JKR): apparently both are (in)capable in both endeavours.
    And I thought it was ABETTOR so hesitated over that. Others have noted a certain sloppiness in the clues: you’ll see that I thought that in spades.

    1. About time too!

      With the excellent introduction to htmling produced by Jack and gothick today, I have at last decided it’s not that difficult to learn and remember so expect my posts to be a bit more expressive in future. And yes, I should have got it sooner with the patient help that has previously been offered.

  22. 04:26, which slightly startled me when I stopped the clock, but that’s Mondays for you, I guess. This was what you might call an IKEA puzzle, very much “insert tab A into slot B” but without the swearing and losing the Allen key. Which is fine, not every puzzle needs to be a masterpiece of misdirection.

  23. No complaints from me. No problem with brother=colleague – which recalled the endless C P Snow series of novels, Strangers And Brothers, about office politics in academic, government and legal circles. 14.03

  24. 10:57 here, which is a lot slower than it probably should have been. I was briefly held up by having to answer a question from a work colleague (Skype should have a “Do Not Disturb – Solving a Crossword” button), but then I also spent far too long trying to figure out the anagram at 13D with only the C in place, and wanting 16D to be an ancient Greek! COD to 12A BEAN COUNTER.

  25. I think the setter has been given a slightly raw deal. It struck me that OK one can make a few criticisms (the nounal anagram indicator in 10ac, the chestnuts, the SHABBILY clue perhaps, knock on the head = end in 9dn, but that seems more or less OK to me) but that’s no more than in most crosswords. It would be interesting to know where the faults lie. Vinyl says “there are just too many rather imprecise equivalents and sloppy usages” but then doesn’t so far as I can see very often say what they are.

    48 minutes, which is rather shaming: most of the people I’m normally much the same as were far quicker. The separation of ‘breakfast’ and ‘time’ in 29ac came slowly — actually, now I look at it, aren’t the two definitions ‘Might it be breakfast’ and ‘time in prison’?

    1. Yes that’s how I read it. While I’m at it I also read the definition of COUNTENANCE as ‘give the go ahead to’.

  26. 11:38

    Crikey! I’ve beaten some very estimable names today – that almost never happens. I found this very straightforward apart from HICCUP where with only church Latin, I wasn’t 100% about HIC, but bunged it in to secure the fast time – probably only the second time I’ve dipped under twelve minutes over the past three or four years.

    Must be a wavelength thing!

  27. pleased to finish but 1 pink square for misosa, bother!
    Don’t like the term bean counter.
    thanks for the html refresher.

  28. 6:13. I don’t understand the criticism of this puzzle either. Other than SHABBILY (which I agree doesn’t really work) I can’t see a single objectionable definition.

  29. 15:13, BUT having confidently entered CON in the appropriate place, I never reconsidered it when I spotted SHINER. Drat! Otherwise enjoyed the puzzle with AND FOI and INTERNET LOI. Thanks setter and Vinyl.

  30. I quite enjoyed this one. Could be the fact that I’m on holiday in Mallorca and sipping cold San Miguel as I solve! 21 mins. I also enjoyed a Rioja last night. No probs today. Scoff for Lasagne was a bit loose. I liked BEAN COUNTER.

    Thanks v and setter

  31. ‘IDO, IDO, IDO, IDO, IDO’ as Abba put it. Not the greatest puzzle we’ve ever seen, but it didn’t cause me any difficulty.

    FOI RAMSGATE ( I was there in May, lovely harbour)
    TIME 7:21

  32. There seem to be a lot of SHICONNERs about today, and I was one of them. I knew in my heart of hearts that it wasn’t a wealthy Greek, but decided in the end he was a rarely referred to cousin of Aristotle Onassis. With this name already in my mind you’d have thought SHIPOWNER would have been obvious to me!

  33. 31:26. Bit of a stinker I thought. I toyed with the yiddish slang SHICONNER too, perhaps channelling the Philip Roth novel I am currently reading. Needed the penultimate HICCUP to get PORRIDGE, my LOI for no good reason that I can now see.

  34. 8:01

    Very Mondayish but there’s nowt wrong with that on a Monday.

    Only the def part of SHODDILY caused me to raise any kind of eye furniture.

    I needed MIMOSA to correct my clumsy COGNISCENTI (sic). Maybe I was thinking of cognisant when I whacked it in.


      1. No. Underline just isn’t working, not with u or ul, which I saw somewhere. I think underlining is anyway a printers mark for italics, so we’ll have to settle for that

        1. No it isn’t. It works in the blogs themselves as we underline the clues. I tried to replicate that methodology in my previous comment (it’s something long-winded using spans, styles and decorations) but that didn’t work either.

          1. Underline does work using the methodology in my 4:35 AM posting above and in Gothick’s posted at 7:37 AM, substituting u (underline) in place of i (italic)..

            1. Not for me. You must have special powers.

              Oddly, when I edit, the “u” tags have disappeared.

              1. Penfold, I think we are about to run out of the maximum levels of reply so I am adding a new comment at the bottom of the page. Please reply there if you wish to continue.

  35. 16.30 and never found this easy. Last two in were lasagne and shipowner. Thought hiccup was a lovely clue, as was Ramsgate .

    Thanks setter and blogger for a challenging but jolly start to the week.

  36. 21 mins and nothing here to frighten the horses. Thanks to our blogger, as usual, and now a little test.

  37. The phrase “I do”, contrary to popular opinion, does not occur in the marriage service. In the traditional service, in response to “Wilt thou [do this and that]?” the bride and groom reply “I will.”

    1. Hmm. “Who giveth this woman to be married to be married to this man?”
      “(Her mother and) I do.

  38. 15 mins in 2 sessions, very straightforward. Haven’t seen ONE’S become I’M before.

  39. A fast (for me) 27 minutes, which I was very pleased with. I didn’t note too many loose definitions other than raising an eyebrow at 1d – but we have had too many babies and dependant children treated shabbily (and worse) for it to come as much of a surprise. Knock on the head for end seems perfectly ok to me. Thanks both.

  40. Yes, there is no real definition for SHABBILY.
    Didn’t want to put in ENDURE because “knock on the head” wasn’t making it for me either. Apparently, though, (from Isla’s comment) this is a British idiom. Live and learn.
    I wouldn’t call the first part of RAMSGATE a proper (dictionary-status) definition but just a cryptic hint.

  41. Oh dear, Vinyl7 – bit up your own bum, aren’t you?
    We who are delighted to get just a few correct answers right read the blogs (for which we are very grateful) to improve our own performance. Not to hear how awfully good you are and how awfully bad the setter is. Be glad that people are willing to set a crossword that is sometimes difficult and sometimes not so, in order that more of Times readers can have a go.

    1. Yet you are the only person to have taken offense. Hmm…
      Bloggers typically report how they fare—both because of the puzzle itself and as a result of their own foibles and background (Vinyl and I are both American)—and how they rate (striving, of course, for objectivity) the puzzle it is their duty and honor to blog.
      There is some difference of opinion here as to the “looseness” of some clues, but I can see why Jonathan (Vinyl7) opened the discussion, as well as appreciate that our British friend James (keriothe) begged to differ.

    2. Well said, Linda!
      I think we should all be jolly grateful for the general quality of the TfTT cryptics, and less inclined to quibble. Some days I’m on wavelength, others I’m not: don’t think we should be ‘picking over’ the clues looking for ways in which the setter “may have done better”. That said, I think maybe Vinyl was just having an off day.

  42. The clue for IDO is not a DD either. The answer is a three-letter word. The reference to wedding vows is a cryptic hint, a sort of charade spelling out the answer in another (non-definitional) way.

  43. DNF in just under 25 minutes. Oh dear, got stuck in the weeds on this one and couldn’t quite hack my way clear. I ended up with shiconner instead of shipowner. Failed to look beyond con or lag for prisoner even though I knew deep down it wasn’t right.

  44. Found the top half straightforward and the bottom half tricky.
    My contribution to the “looseness” debate would be to question “Ignoring” = “Avoidance” as they seem quite different to me.
    Liked “Hiccup” – when I finally saw it.

  45. Replying to Penfold above: Not for me. You must have special powers.

    Oddly, when I edit, the “u” tags have disappeared.


    You are absolutely right as I have been checking this in our test area and confirmed that the underline option is not available at the Author level of access. I post here as Editor which is the next level up. I’ve no idea why this would be so, but will investigate, though I don’t imagine it’s a major disadvantage if it’s not an easy fix.

    1. Thanks for checking John. It’s not a big deal for me as I can’t recall ever wanting to underline anything on the old site (other than defs in clues but that still works here). When I was researching workarounds I came across a general mood of “why would you want to underline something anyway when you can embolden or italicise?”.

  46. 23.39 with a typo

    Straightforward-ish for me

    I’m in the “didn’t really notice any looseness” camp as my solving is pretty loose so two negatives making a positive there I reckon

    What did astonish me was that there was a proper old momble going abegging and it didn’t even occur to me.

    Bath and Ramsgate both get a mention today – the former my place of residence, the latter my place of birth.

    Thanks all

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