Times 28324 – waiter, there’s an amino acid in my soup

Time taken: 11:58.

I found this one tricky, though a look at some of the times on the leaderboard so far indicate I may have had more difficulty than the usual early solvers. I found I was piecing a number of answers together from wordplay, and was hoping that several unlikely entries turned out to be words.

Fortunately the wordplay is clear in every clue and I had a complete solution, so away we go…

1 Steps taken by Cubans having drink at pub reduced (5)
RUMBA – RUM(drink) next to BAR(pub) missing the last letter
4 Source of fuel boy used in chilly conditions (9)
COALFIELD – The boy is ALFIE, put him in COLD(chilly conditions)
9 Get in a tangle, using tin tinker reworked (9)
10 Bones Charlie removed from southern African capital (5)
SACRA – Remove C(Charlie) from S(southern) ACCRA(capital of Ghana)
11 Like a GP sacked for being rusty? (3,2,8)
14 Pointedly ignore friends in the centre? Charming! (4)
CUTE – CUT(pointedly ignor) then the middle letter of friEnds
15 Employ too many workers initially to erect large shelf (10)
OVERMANTEL – OVERMAN(employ too many workers) then the first letters of To Erect Large
18 Early stage of development Dior abandoned after particular hesitation (10)
PRIMORDIUM – anagram of DIOR after PRIM(particular), then UM(hesitation)
19 Give up church, ultimately bored and uncooperative (4)
CEDE – CE(church) then the last letters of boreD and uncooperativE
21 Turbulent period identified by firm in garden equipment plant (6-7)
ROLLER-COASTER –  CO(firm) inside ROLLER(garden equipment if your garden happens to be a cricket pitch), ASTER(plant)
24 This mostly is associated with US city club (5)
LATHI – THIS missing the last letter after LA(US city)
25 Desk a chap left outside back of inn (9)
DAVENPORT – the chap is DAVE, then PORT(left) surrounding the last letter in inN
27 British excel in equestrianism, confined here once? (9)
BRIDEWELL – B(British), RIDE WELL(excel in equestrianism)
28 Antisocial youth that can be made booby of (5)
YOBBO – anagram of BOOBY
1 Medical instrument outstanding policeman found in river (10)
RHINOSCOPE – OS(outstanding), COP(policeman) in the river RHINE
2 Witty saying’s import regularly ignored (3)
MOT – alternating letters in iMpOrT
3 Duke intervening in a falling-out at sea (6)
ADRIFT – D(duke) inside A, RIFT(falling-out)
4 Managed to be artificial (9)
CONTRIVED – double definition
5 Old language Zulu introduced to a private eye, perhaps (5)
AZTEC -Z(Zulu) inside A, TEC(private eye)
6 Celebration: feature originally of summer in the States (8)
FESTIVAL – first letter of Feature then ESTIVAL(US spelling of AESTIVAL, of summer)
7 Con workers in east of France, transferring property to state (11)
ESCHEATMENT – CHEAT(con), MEN(workers) inside EST(East in French)
8 Dull poet on the rise (4)
DRAB – BARD(poet) reversed
12 Ice cream all the players must provide nearly half of? (5-6)
TUTTI-FRUTTI – All the players in music is TUTTI which is nearly half of the answer
13 Singer capturing large bird fairly quickly (10)
ALLEGRETTO – ALTO(singer) containing L(large), EGRET(bird)
16 Marrowfat pea resisted at first by lightweight woman (9)
ROUNCEVAL – first letter in Resisted, then OUNCE(lightweight), VAL(woman)
17 What may reduce inflammation in fowl on frozen water (8)
POULTICE – POULT(chicken, fowl) then ICE(frozen water)
20 Noisy quarrel involving English composer in past (6)
BARNEY – ARNE(English composer) in BY(past)
22 Finish university with little finally to invest (5)
ENDUE – END(finish), U(university) and the last letter in littlE
23 Fat female gundog (4)
FLAB – F(female), LAB(gundog)
26 Former pupil pinching teacher’s last globe (3)
ORB – OB(former pupil) containing the last letter in teacheR

79 comments on “Times 28324 – waiter, there’s an amino acid in my soup”

  1. A 38 minute surrender with 7dn ESCHEATMENT and 16dn ROUNCEVAL beyond my ken.

    FOI 2dn MOT – bon!
    (LOI) 13dn ALLEGRETTO – a fairly quick dressing from Nigella?
    COD 1dn RHINOSCOPE – a scope in name only.
    WOD 25ac DEVONPORT – once all the rage.

    27ac BRIDEWELL was a prison to be found in London: this became a generic name for ‘nicks’ worldwide found in New York, Chicago, Dublin, Australia and New Zealand. Also Bristol and Liverpool – a sort of early International criminal export conglomerate.

  2. 30:36, but a technical DNF, as I used aids to get NHO ROUNCEVAL (NHO marrowfat peas, for that matter). I thought of ROUNCEGAL, and looked it up. The V gave me DNK DAVENPORT; for me, a davenport is (another word for) a sofa. DNK ESCHEATMENT; at least, I knew ESCHEAT but didn’t know what it meant (ODE only gives ‘escheat’). LOI BARNEY, which I had misparsed as E in some composer (why composer in the past? a question I asked myself but didn’t act on). SNITCH scores this as easier; it was hardly that for me.

  3. I found this difficult, but got through most of it in 20-ish minutes. The sticking point was the upper-right corner, where I could make no progress on FESTIVAL / ESCHEATMENT / OVERMANTEL / SACRA. When I saw there were no southern African capitals with six letters containing a C and ending with an A, I suddenly realized my error: I’d failed to lift-and-separate southern = S. Once I had that I could finish the rest of the puzzle.

  4. LOI was the strictly-from-wordplay ROUNCEVAL. The very concept of a “marrowfat pea” seems downright surreal…
    Tricky enough! DAVENPORT is one of those names that’s gotten attached to a few different things.
    ESCHEATMENT or maybe just ESCHEAT was, if memory serves, in the first TfTT puzzle I blogged, or one of the first few.

  5. Got there in the end with several words pieced together from wordplay that I’d either never heard of, or forgotten, or only knew some similar word such as PRIMORDIUM where I resisted the temptation to put in PRIMORDIAL and move on. LOI was the marrowfat pea, ROUNCEVAL being a word I’d never heard off. If you have fish and chips in the UK, then you often get “mushy peas” which are (or should be) marrowfat peas cooked until they turn to mush. Tastes better than it sounds!

    1. Mushy peas are more often found in northern England rather than southern England. I once went into a Berkshire chippy and asked if her peas were mushy. She looked at the clock and said “2pm…..not yet”.

  6. 36 minutes and I just found that Paul (above) has written almost everything I had to say about this one.

    Marrowfat peas featured heavily in TV advertising in the 50s and early 60s but eventually couldn’t match the appeal of Bird’s Eye frozen peas ‘Sweet as the moment when the pod went pop’. From what I remember of the marrowfat they were pretty disgusting.

    A very fair set of clues to a lot of unknown or forgotten words. The only one not up to the mark in my view was 12dn TUTTI-FRUTTI where the setter didn’t bother to invent wordplay for the second part of the answer. Fortunately this could only be one thing provided you knew how to spell it.

    1. As per Paul, marrowfats are ‘mushy peas’, served traditionally with cod and chips across the British Isles. My mother used to make ‘em too! Soak overnight in bicarb, boiled and served with thick slices of gammon and creamed, mashed potato. Quite delicious (hardly disgusting!) and part of our heritage! When did you last visit ‘ a chippie’ Jack?

      Tutti-Frutti with Robbie Coltrane and Emma Thompson for afters.

    2. Most marrowfat peas were sold in tins as processed peas. You can buy them still, in fact, perhaps to offer to someone you dislike…

  7. All been said. Quite fast as the clues seemed fair for the unknowns and barely-remembereds, wrote in rounceval, overmantel, escheatment, primordium with little hesitation and much confidence. Stumped trying to parse tutti-frutti, but what else could it be? Not the greatest ever clue.
    COD roller-coaster.

  8. 45 mins but, had to look up NHO ESCHEATMENT. I also had PRIMORDIAL which held up the unknown ROUNCEVAL for ages. (My i-pad has underlined it in red, so even it doesn’t know it!).

    Definitely a 21 ac of a ride. LOI SACRA when I finally saw hat was going on there. I liked all the long clues.

    Thanks G and setter.

  9. A surprisingly snappy 34 minutes for me, despite the “out there”ness of some of the vocab. I started from the top of the grid but ran out of steam and had to restart from the bottom. Luckily everything did eventually join up in the middle!

    Nothing much more to add to other comments—as Horryd observes, I was helped by there having been a BRIDEWELL here in Bristol; it lives on in the name of the city centre’s Bridewell Police Station.

  10. Right, I’m now going to call my desk ‘Dave’!
    37m 50s so no major hiccups. NHO ROUNCEVAL but I do know ‘mushy peas’ Yum yum! At ‘Harry’s Cafe de Wheels’ in Sydney, the ‘top-of-the-range’ was a ‘Tiger’: a pie with a ring of mash with peas and gravy. Not sure if the peas were mushy or not. It’s been a while.
    Like Jack, I was looking for a definition of FRUTTI.
    COD: SACRA because I was lured in to look for a ‘southern African capital’.
    Thank you, George.

    1. I much enjoyed Harry’s trailer in Sydney – but Harry Ramsden’s upt’north in Yorkshire was a huge disappointment.

      1. Harry Ramsden’s was probably superb when it was one shop in Pudsey, but once it became a chain it deteriorated badly. Billy Murgatroyd’s, close to Leeds Bradford Airport, was quite a different kettle of -errm – well fish ! Their chips were distinctly average, but two giant haddock for £8 meant you didn’t need to eat again that day. I shudder to think what they cost now, as I was last there in 2006….

        1. The problem for us was the ‘Methodist’ approach to alcohol. Not a pint in sight! And no corkage!

          1. I seem to remember there was a pub just opposite. The something hotel? We’d scoff the pie and run to the pub for an amber nectar!

            1. In Sydney there were any number near “Harry’s Caff” and three (The Frisco, The Tilbury and The ‘Woolly Bay”) within spitting distance.

      2. I used to live in an apartment that overlooked Sydney “Harry’s” so I was often there but not on the occasion in the 1990s when the British consul in Sydney took the then Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd there for a post-opera supper!

  11. DNF and I never parsed FESTIVAL or the substandard TUTTI FRUTTI. I hope the latter doesn’t set a precedent or might we expect ‘City hospital three quarters missing?’ for SAN FRANCISCO?

  12. The planet Orb of fire, whereon he rode.
    Each day from east to west the heavens through, …

    25 mins pre-brekker, but had to construct Escheatment and Rounceval.
    Thanks setter and G.

  13. A wop bop a loo bop a lop bam boom.
    31 minutes with LOI BARNEY, so not going faster than a ROLLER-COASTER. The DAVENPORT desk opened up the SE for me and I managed to construct ROUNCEVAL. I didn’t know that’s what canned marrowfat peas were as we happily ate them in the more frugal days of the fifties. ESCHEATMENT, RHINOSCOPE and PRIMORDIUM were also gettable constructions. COD to OUT OF PRACTICE. Enjoyable. Thank you George and setter.

    1. ‘Petit pois’ as served in the finest Parisienne establishments, are baby marrowfats from tins. Fresh peas, a la Birds Eye, do not do it for les epicureans.
      I learned this from The Guardian’s Malcolm Gluck, whilst dining at Mon Plasir, our favourite French restaurant – in London.

      1. I used to know the owner, Alain Lhermitte back in the seventies and eighties. We shared a few glasses! Now run by his son, I believe, and still one of London’s best French restaurants.

        1. We probably sat at adjacent lunch tables in Monmouth Street as those were my decades, as well as the early nineties.

          1. We probably did. Didn’t the steak, frites come with petits pois a la française?

                1. Probably did. If either you or horryd ever drank the Sancerre, Chablis, Alsace wines, Brouilly Ch. des Tours, Ch Siran or George Goulet Champagne, they were all supplied by the company I worked for then who were based in Monmouth St.

  14. 23:34. Much of this went in quickly then I spent ages sorting out the NE corner and ALLEGRETTO. I hadn’t helped myself by confidently semi-biffing OVERMANTLE. This caused me to spend several minutes thinking to myself that I was looking for a word like allegretto, with egret being the bird, and being unable to come up with a singer other than alto. Little did I realise I had all the correct parts! I was convinced that I was looking for a word I didn’t know that I nearly threw in the towel so there was some satisfaction in managing to sort things out eventually.

  15. 9:55. A mixture of easy biffing and more tricky wordplay construction. ROUNCEVAL was my only unknown and last in.
    I think DAVENPORT came up – as a sofa – in a championship puzzle a few years ago and caused some problems.
    TUTTI-FRUTTI does seem a bit of a cop-out and not quite cricket.

  16. 13:32. Held up for 5 minutes at the end as I had put PRIMORDIAL in for 18A making the unknown ROUNCEVAL impossible until I realised there had to be OUNCE in the answer and I’d got one wrong. Otherwise all went in smoothly, although I’d not heard of POULT for fowl before. Thanks George and setter.

  17. The Tories think old imperial units
    Are great, but they’re upper-class twits
    But in Times crossword clues
    They’re quite ok to use
    Providing some of ROUNCEVAL’s bits

  18. 33 minutes. Same barely knowns / unknowns as others but managed to get there with the help of wordplay. I agree with Guy’s opinion about the concept of a ‘marrowfat pea’. Thanks for explaining the (odd) parsing of TUTTI-FRUTTI. As well as the proper name for the pea, I was also prompted to look up what a DAVENPORT ‘Desk’ looked like so a few new things to (try to) remember.

  19. Interesting crossword and the type where I am always going to be a bit behind from a SNITCH perspective as it is more “concise” in nature (in parts) than “cryptic” and if you know the answers quickly to the desk, the marrowfat pea and the transfer of property you will no doubt have a relatively fast time.

    I am trying to improve my concise skills but for now they are still behind my cryptic skills.

  20. I can hardly believe that ESCHEATMENT is a word! Is it a US term exclusively, perhaps? My last in, it left me struggling for ages with the various possibilities suggested by the crossers, misled by the idea of ‘en est’ for in East of France, but eventually realising ‘in’ had to apply to positioning. ROUNCEVAL was dredged up from somewhere, so less concern over that, and RHINOSCOPE was unknown but a) plausible (relating to nose) and b) parsed. DAVENPORT fell once I had the V crosser and thought of Port instead of L. Thanks, George, for the parsing of TUTTI-FRUTTI, which IMO breaks the rules of cryptics in that unless you knew the ice-cream, you would be unable to work out the answer from wordplay.

    1. ESCHEATMENT is a common law term that comes up in first year real property . It arose from feudal land tenure arrangements brought in by the Normans so it’s either Latin or law French.

  21. I like my marrowfat peas cooked à l’egretto
    15.32 with a pause in the middle for an extended interruption: thank goodness the club pause function actually works! The setter seems to have been determined to get us accepting words that are almost familiar but with added or subtracted bits: POULT(ry), (a)ESTIVAL, PRIMORDI+UM, ESCHEAT+MENT ROUNCEVAL (runcible? Chambers says no) ALLEGR(ETT)O, SACR(um)A. Plus a couple of spelling tests: PRACTIC(/S)E (I hate that one) and OVERMANTEL/LE. Plus the assumption that we’d all take FRUTTI as a given when it isn’t.
    Not particularly difficult, but perhaps mildly irritating.

    1. Practice/practise is easy if you remember it follows the same form as advice/advise.

      1. One of my first grammar memories from about 1970, when grammar existed: for practise/practice IS is a verb, ICE is a noun. It worked today. Though your advise/advice is probably better, with the differing pronunciation. Every day’s a school day.

        1. Yes, in Canada we learned -ise for verb, -ice for noun too (late 1950’s?).

          1. If the criterion for the different spellings depends on what part of speech is wanted, might that not stray over the line into the grammar realm?

            1. Well you need to know which is a verb and which is a noun but all native speakers understand this perfectly and people who get it wrong aren’t confused about the grammar. You don’t commonly hear people saying ‘rehearse makes perfect’ or ‘we need to rehearsal more’. And ‘praktiss makes perfect’ is a perfectly grammatical sentence!

              1. Yes, I agree with you spelling isn’t really within the framework of grammar. I think I got over-speculative looking up different definitions and historical uses of “grammar”and thinking maybe there could possibly be some overlap.

  22. I gave up at 45 minutes, defeated by 16dn ROUNCEVAL. Now I’m annoyed that it was, I see now, so simple to construct. Managed all the rest with an enjoyable struggle. I knew ESCHEATMENT from a crossword not that long ago. But from a search I see it was a Jumbo, last January, so perhaps not seen by all. I see that the spellchecker is unhappy with both ROUNCEVAL and ESCHEATMENT. And spellchecker

  23. 22: 58
    Quite chewy, this. Relieved to have missed a third pink square in a row, particularly with several words that were new to me -RHINOSCOPE, ROUNCEVAL, ESCHEATMENT – all gettable from the clues.

    Re marrowfat peas: “Sorry mate, you’re too late, the best peas went to Farrows” is somehow burnt into my brain. Like Meldrew, I have happy memories of my mum soaking dried peas overnight (I don’t mean, of course, that he has happy memories of my mum doing this). Very tasty they were too. There is room in the world for more than one type of pea.

    Thanks to G and the setter.

  24. I agree with the many who didn’t like the TUTTI-FRUTTI clue, which I just entered with a shrug, intending to come back to it and then harmlessly forgot. A cop-out. A few unknown words pieced together from wordplay. Otherwise OK I thought. 34 minutes.

  25. I’d certainly never heard of ROUNCEVAL but the wordplay was generous enough if you had the checking letters. I’d have connected it with Roland and Oliver and some old battle in the Pyrenees rather than mushy peas though. In the old hard-boiled fiction of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler DAVENPORTs and Chesterfields are sofas, as others have pointed out. 14.15

  26. 13:24, having got a bit bogged down in the more arcane words which required careful construction to come up with something which looked convincing, mainly the unknown ROUNCEVAL. Others which were in there somewhere (pretty sure ESCHEAT has appeared before) or looked as if they could be knocked up from bits of words which I did know (PRIMORDIUM and OVERMANTEL).

  27. I started with MOT and RUMBA. ESCHEATMENT took a while as I had similar words floating around in my head, and tried to work SCREW for con into it until CHEAT put me out of my misery. At 16 minutes I had 3 left to solve, the aforementioned state appropriation, along with 18a and 16d. The latter was delayed by my biffed PRIMORDIAL, until I figured that OUNCE might just fit the chip shop menu, and rethought the NHO PRIMORDIUM. I eventually checked out at 19:31. Thanks setter and George.

  28. 20 mins. A perfect crossword, lots of unknowns fairly clued. And for once, I wasn’t stuck on the last clue. (CEDE if you’re interested). I also love mushy peas, but I do feel that I’d prefer them without the excessive green colouring.

  29. There was certainly nothing DRAB about this puzzle. ROUNCEVAL is one of those words that was lurking somewhere in the depths of my grey matter, but which I couldn’t possibly have defined, and I was another who needed it to sort out my soupy biff.

    TIME 7:43

  30. 30:52

    Nothing impossible today and the parsing seemed very clear thoughout apart from FRUTTI which was perhaps a little lazy from the setter.

    I enjoyed piecing it all together – just a few slow-ups towards the end – DEVONPORT or DAVENPORT until I thought of DAVE. I liked BARNEY.

    ESCHEATMENT was a successful build though I didn’t know the word, LOIs COALFIELD followed by FESTIVAL – I didn’t parse the ‘of summer’ bit.

  31. A quickly completed NW corner had me excited for a decent bash at this one…but sometime this crossword can’t half make you feel thick!

    I will never be a regular completer of these when I’ve NHOACPP (never heard of and couldn’t possibly parse) ROUNCEVAL, ESCHEATMENT, PRIMORDIUM, and struggle with but could just about parse ALLEGRETTO and ENDUE and could have slung in FESTIVAL but wouldn’t bother having NEHO (never ever heard of) “aestival” let alone known there was an American spelling of it!

    I doff my cap to all finishers today as I retire to lick my wounds

    1. I’m in the same (“pea-green”?) boat as you, Mango, in that those unknown words were simply ‘unbiffable’ AND inconstructable – if there is such a word! I too started off in the NW thinking this was going to be a fast solve ( for me), but frustrated by spending unnecessary time on FRUTTI made me wary, and it was downhill from then on. Surely ROUNCEVAL is far too fancy a word for such a humble object? And ESCHEATMENT? Don’t get me started…

  32. Excellent puzzle, finishing with CEDE. No true unknowns for me, with ROUNCEVAL evoking memories of Ludovico Ariosto’s majestic Orlando Furioso and legends of Basque derring-do in Navarre. 20 minutes.

  33. 23.50. Pretty tricky I thought, summed up by escheatment which took me ages. Hadn’t heard of rounceval either but the cluing was very helpful.
    Still not convinced that a lathi is a club but who cares if it’s the right answer.
    Had to convince myself of primordium being used to the al finish. Good workout so thanks setter and blogger.

  34. Gave up without UTM Rounceval, which meant I never figured out Primordium instead of …ial. In case the editor is paying attention, add me to the “What the ???” crew for Tutti-???i

  35. Fell over the line in 48.35, so a little outside my target. However, I was pleased to finish with all correct as I thought it was tough.
    Held up as others were by putting PRIMORDIAL in, and also briefly invented a new language called ZADEC (possibly the first language of Zadoc The Priest!) . Had no idea how FESTIVAL was parsed, so thanks for the explanation.

  36. Figured out the unknown ESCHEATMENT, ROUNCEVAL, OVERMANTEL, BRIDEWELL and DAVENPORT from wordplay – I can’t recall that many unknows that I’ve managed to solve before (though it did take me three separate attempts to get them all out). Also didn’t parse FESTIVAL as I’d never heard of (a)estival, and took a while to realise that 18a was PRIMORDIUM rather than primordial. My thoughts on TUTTI-FRUTTI are the same as most others.

    FOI Rumba
    LOI Bridewell
    COD Sacra

  37. 26.29

    Liked it though get the ice cream comments

    As Olivia said re escheatment (must get back to my desk to do that property law job…)

    ROUNCEVAL did ring a very vague bell.

    Liked COALFIELD when I eventually worked what went where

    Thanks all

  38. Liked this, late in’t day after a day oot oop north at Renishaw Hall, the Sitwells gaff. Got stuck on the last clue 7d so came here for enlightenment from a lawyer (which @oliviarhinebeck provided). Should have had a guess.

  39. Some interesting words there with poultice (didn’t realise that was how it was spelled) and allegretto (when egret revealed itself)were my last two in. Seemed harder than the snitch suggests.
    Thanks blogger and setter.

  40. Tricky but enjoyable. A 28-minute DNF for me, with ESCHEATMENT and SACRA eluding me. I liked the misdirection around southern Africa, and the wordplay for ‘escheatment’ is completely fair, but I guess I lacked the confidence to build a complete unknown from wordplay alone.

  41. 19’35”. Felt a lot harder than the 86 on the Snitch. Overmantel stumped me the longest. I was assuming the whole thing meant employ too many, and it wasn’t till I had all the checkers that I began to see the light. Aestival from the Latin Aestas, aestatis meaning summer, not to be confused (but by schoolboys and girls always was) with Aetas, aetatis meaning age. There’s a word aestivate, which could do with being more widely-used. To go to ground in the summer.

  42. 17.52. Rounceval was NHO but not hard to derive. Didn’t see how the frutti bit came into play. Otherwise this one caused me no difficulties.

  43. Exactly an hour, since for a long time I didn’t dare to enter my LOI BARNEY. Not easy and not enjoyable, since all of its difficulties equated to obscurities — I prefer misleading clues, not tests as to whether you have read the dictionary all the way through. That said, the wordplay did at least enable me to find the right answers for OVERMANTEL (despite being tempted by TLE at the end), PRIMORDIUM, LATHI, ROUNCEVAL and RHINOSCOPE. I did actually know ESCHEATMENT, but only because I have been listening to David Crowther’s delightful History of England podcast. And BARNEY was just a guess, although, as it turned out, a well-chosen one (but then, if it’s British slang it’s not unfair, not the setter’s fault I’m doing crosswords in a foreign language). And of course I had some trepidations about the spelling of OUT OF PRACTICE and whether I was on the proper side of the Atlantic there — I shall remember the handy spelling reminders mentioned in posts above.

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