Times 28342 Come up and see me sometime


A gentle 19 minute stroll around the grid, with  the last two at 22 and 25 adding considerably to my time as I rather ran out of steam. For those of you that don’t like Bible references we have the Good Samaritan (and the NT, I suppose), and for those of you who resist foreign languages we have one clue which requires a bit of French, another derived from Belgian and a third in Hebrew. A couple of random ladies and a slew of first letter/last letter variations, but a pleasant enough piece with no birds and only one plant (which could  equally have been a third random female). I have included some additional elucidation where I hope it’s helpful.

I show definitions in underlined in talics, and solutions in BOLD CAPITALS

1 ”Cheers!” and ”Shame!” said to be unacceptable (4)
TABU – Cheers, or thank you, gives TA. Shame translates to boo, which when said sounds like BU. Put them together.
3 A French girl with Parisian father, daughter not spoilt (10)
UNPAMPERED – Ignoring French grammar, A (in French) gives UN, the random girl is PAM her Parisian father is PERE, add the D from Daughter.
9 Old illicit traders disposing of the last of their drugs (7)
OPIATES – O(ld) PIRATES, either the illicit raiders on the Spanish Main or the more modern retailers of dodgy DVDS. Remove the last letter of theiR
11 Party men approaching dull person easily put upon (7)
DOORMAT – Party is DO, men O(ther ) R(anks) dull is MAT – I’d have put at least an extra t on the end. Just someone who gets walked all over.
12 Cafe and store to be installed in piece of land shortly (9)
ESTAMINET – Knew the word from crosswords past, but the etymology is rather unexpected: “Borrowed from Walloon estaminé (a small café), from stamon (a post to which cows are tied next to a manger)”. Possibly the first time we’ve strayed into Walloon. The wordplay is MINE for store placed in ESTATE for piece of land, shortly, i.e. with its end removed.
13 Cat to come back, wanting bit of breakfast (5)
OUNCE – Come back is BOUNCE, remove a bit (the first letter of) Breakfast. Any of several medium sized wild cats.
14 Burrowing insect having one grumble, to penetrate a set of books (9,3)
CARPENTER ANT – To grumble is to CARP, then ENTER for penetrate, A in plain sight, and N(ew) T(estament) for set of books. I was a little thrown by the “having one” bit of the clue, only there for the surface. And yes, they do burrow  which indeed might make one carp.
18 Wild animal eating bit of tough heather in specific region (5,7)
LATIN AMERICA – An anagram (wild) of ANIMAL withh a bit (first letter, again) of Tough consumed. Then add ERICA for heather, and not ling as was my first guess
21 Some hospital ungenerously making charge (5)
LUNGE – Today’s hidden in hospital ungenerously
22 Those people joining cricket side stop improving (2,3,4)
ON THE MEND – The cricket side is ON, those people THEM, and stop is END. Respace.
24 Female to take off clothes endlessly for great men? (7)
MAESTRI – Another random female, this time MAE (I only know of Ms West). Take off clothes is STRIP, of which we don’t need the end.
25 Keen to provide something for future growth (7)
CUTTING – I think a double definition in effect, the second relating to the practice of taking snippets of other people’s plants to rear as one’s own.
26 I am an expert on the Chinese lingo — it’s so complicated (10)
SINOLOGIST – An anagram (complicated) of LINGO IT’S SO
27 Drop live commercial (4)
BEAD – Live: BE, commercial: AD.
1 Someone may not care that Good Samaritan paid it (8)
TWOPENCE – Referencing the phrase “I wouldn’t give twopence for…” (favourite example here). The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37) having rescued the poor unfortunate, takes him to an inn “And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.” You need to be in KJV to get the two pence.
2 British surgeon’s finding skin problems (8)
BLISTERS – B(ritish), and then a named surgeon Joseph LISTER, famous for introducing antiseptic care into surgery. You need the ‘S, though not the ‘.
4 Granny is being kept inside for a month (5)
NISAN -Granny NAN and IS in plain sight inside. Depending on how you’re counting, the 7th or 1st month of the Jewish calendar.
5 Song involving duo — it excited parts of concert-halls (9)
AUDITORIA – Take ARIA for song, and include/involve an anagram (excited) of DUO IT’S
6 Perhaps we bond, providing definitive ruling (13)
PRONOUNCEMENT – Blink and you miss it, but we is an example (perhaps) of a PRONOUN. and CEMENT for bond.
7 In old city taking time off is fellow traveller (6)
ROMANY – You might be fooled into thinking the old city is Rome, but actually you’re looking for TROY. Take of the T(ime) and place MAN for fellow in it.
8 Ultimately saddled with university restrictions and obligations (6)
DUTIES – The last letter (ultimately) of saddleD plus U(niversity) and TIES for restrictions.
10 Have me prattle inordinately, getting the last word in — too excitable? (13)
TEMPERAMENTAL – An anagram (inordinately) of ME PRATTLE with the last word, in this case AMEN, inside.
15 Fashioning the end bit with circular sealant (9)
TAILORING – The end bit: TAIL plus O-RING for circular sealant such as failed disastrously on the Challenger shuttle.
16 Team row? It could be a distraction (8)
SIDELINE – I would have preferred side SHOW for this definition, but the wordplay, team: SIDE and row: LINE is unequivocal.
17 Group with old people getting dressed (8)
BANDAGED – Group: BAND and old people AGED (as in Help the…)
19 Female, feeble soul initially, burns brightly (6)
FLAMES – F(emale), plus feeble: LAME plus the first letter (initially) of Soul.
20 Season starting late, November, for US student (6)
INTERN – Chambers confirms it’s a US usage. The season is winter, but it’s late starting so misses the W. Add N(ovember) (NATO)
23 Fat man’s folds (5)
TUCKS – My last in, because I failed to go straight to the rotund Friar

62 comments on “Times 28342 Come up and see me sometime”

  1. 26:31, with the last six minutes or so firmly spent on the ROMANY / OUNCE and TUCKS / CUTTING crossings. I felt lucky to “see” TWOPENCE in the crossing letters, as I didn’t know either reference.

  2. 24:21
    TUCKS was my LOI, too; I persisted in thinking there was some term for ‘fat man’, and it was only on getting POI CUTTING that I thought of the friar. I didn’t realize that INTERN was US usage; thought it was simply US spelling, as opposed to ‘interne’. I also didn’t remember the twopence (2 denarii) part of the Good Samaritan parable. I wasted a lot of time taking 10d to be (have me prattle)* before finally taking ‘the last word’ into account.

    1. It isn’t, really. It may have started as US usage but we have interns at work and have done for years.

  3. There is a bird hiding in 20d!
    TUCKS was my last in too. I liked PRONOUNCEMENT, after struggling to make an anagram with the ‘ perhaps we bond’ fodder. 22:17

  4. Pleasant enough, but a sting in the tail with the last two taking almost as long as the rest. Didn’t know the carpenter ant and the clue seemed to have too much in it. LOI twopence only once the C was in – had no idea the Samaritan gave pennies to the stranger. A bit surprised finding an O-ring, but as Z says everyone heard of them after Challenger. Liked bandaged, but COD to auditoria.

  5. Just over 19 minutes for me. I had heard of CARPENTER ANT and the wordplay was clear. My LOI was TWO PENCE although I knew the Good Samaritan paid, I had no idea how much. I wasn’t sure about NISAN (Jewish? French Revolutionary?) but the wordplay didn’t leave much room.

  6. 47 minutes. Enjoyable but not easy. I lost time on the NHO NISAN which seemed likely from wordplay but I waited until I had all the checkers before writing it in. I also delayed writing in OUNCE as I was baffled by the reference to ‘breakfast’.

    Elsewhere I didn’t know O-RING so even when I’d spotted TAILORING as the answer the clue went unparsed. The ANT and the Good Samaritan delayed me most as I hadn’t remembered that ‘two pence’ featured in the story and I had written in HARVESTER ANT (which does exist) although I was unable to parse it, which gave me a wrong checker in 1dn.

  7. I didn’t expect the Good Samaritan to be carrying English coin, so obviously it’s been a while since I cracked open the KJV. TUCKS was my last, after CUTTING. I liked PRONOUNCEMENT, because grammar.

  8. 1d TWOPENCE was my LOI after 48 minutes of work, not least because I didn’t know the details of the bible story. I’m more comfortable with science references, so O-RING sprang to mind almost immediately, at least—I read What Do You Care What Other People Think? in my teens, which includes details of Richard Feynman’s part in the Challenger disaster investigation.

    Elsewhere, everything else seemed just a little bit harder than it should have been, with easier ones like LATIN AMERICA not springing out at me even though I’d thought of “erica” and could see the rest of the wordplay. In general my slow time felt more like it was the fault of my sluggish brain rather than the puzzle itself this morning…

  9. 45 minutes. I’ll own up to having had to do an alphabet trawl at the end for UNPAMPERED, after “untampered”, which also works but not as well, refused to budge. I didn’t parse TUCKS properly and didn’t know the ‘Good Samaritan’ TWOPENCE reference.

    We’ve had a few of those months of the Jewish calendar (a bit like Irish counties) and I was happy to remember NISAN, even if I’ve forgotten the others.

  10. 50 mins being held up firstly by the TUCKS/CUTTING crossing and the last three in, ESTAMINET (this fooled me last time too! Didn’t réalise it was Wallon, thanks Z.), TWOPENCE and LOI TABU. Oddly enough there is a restaurant, L’Estaminet just up the road from where I’m staying near Lake Annecy.

    Needless to say, I enjoyed the frenchified UNPAMPERED. ON THE MEND was fun too.

    Thanks Z and setter.

    1. There used to be a fine restaurant in Floral St, Covent Garden, called L’Estaminet. It was very far from being a “small cafe!”

  11. 24 minutes with LOI UNPAMPERED, changed from UNTAMPERED on final review. I’d first spelt TWOPENCE as TUPPENCE until the OPIATES kicked in. I liked PRONOUNCEMENT but COD to TWOPENCE despite the spelling. Thank you Z and setter.

    1. I knew that you, like me, would first think tuppence. We Northeners must stick together !

      1. There’s nothing particularly northern about ‘tuppence’, I think. It’s what I as a soft southerner was brought up to say and illustrated as Cockney in the song Any Old Ir0n

  12. ESTAMINET would come easily to anyone who has read T S Eliot’s Gerontion:

    Spawned in some estaminet of Antwerp,
    Blistered in Brussels,
    patched and peeled in London.
    The goat coughs at night in the field overhead;
    Rocks, moss, stonecrop, iron, merds.

    Straightforward but fun, thanks very much setter and blogger.

  13. 39m 29s
    No real problems. Like Bolton Wanderer, I thought of TUPPENCE first.
    Thank you, Z.

    1. Have you watched yesterday’s Tour highlights yet? The Devil made an appearance, at the 10 km banner just after the start of the final climb.

      1. Hi there, Yes, I’ve watched the highlights package that Sky NZ has shown. Don’t know where they get their coverage from but, although I looked for him I didn’t spot The Devil. Fantastic stage though!

        1. Great stage, added some interest to the race finally. I think there’s only one official video stream from ASO, all broadcasters in all countries get the same thing, add local commentary or not. For a highlights package Sky will cut out most of it, so you miss a lot. I watched it live, more amenible time-zone, and they only showed the 10 km banner & Devil twice: when Barguil went past, and when Pog, Ving et al went past.

  14. I always find ‘O-RING’ a succinct example of how Americans tend to overstate the obvious. (Or maybe we all do and I shouldn’t single out the Americans). I just remember it from Richard Feynman’s simple visual reconstruction of the cause of the Challenger disaster.

    Talking of succinct, I’m thinking about the two clues discussed yesterday. Could someone (maybe MartinP1?) give the letter count for the ‘Likes eating?’ clue?


    1. Hello there, “Likes eating” (11) Sorry, I don’t have the puzzle to hand so can’t give any crossing letters.

  15. 39 mins with most of the time in the NW corner Never heard of estaminet and carpenter ant and didn’t know the twopence reference to the Good Samaritan

  16. 21:22. I was very tempted by UNTAMPERED but a quick alphabet trawl before finishing gave me UNPAMPERED. Curiously of the two words my spell check doesn’t recognise UNPAMPERED. Whilst it did occur to me that Tam could be short for Tamsin, I’ve only ever heard Tam used for a man. In particular it makes me think of Tam Fry, head of the UK’s National Obesity Forum. I’ve always found it ironic that his name sounds like some sort of unhealthy snack.

    1. And the above sums up one of the reasons why I can’t come close Pootle’s hit-rate – I was sort of thinking Tammy rather than Tamsin, but really, either was too much of a stretch for a Times 15×15 clue. 39m but with UNTAMPERED blotting my copy-book.

      Enjoyed this one quite a lot – SW corner felt super-easy, then worked my way through to an impasse in the NW at around 30m. “Surgeon” = LISTER has tripped me up before, so I was relieved to dig that up, along with ESTAMINET (learned here within the last year). I didn’t much like the completely unknown NISAN as a word, but had no other plausible solution. and I finished off with CARPENTER ANT.

      A lot of one-pinker puzzles for me recently – feels like I’ve learned the rudiments of solving, and I now need to move on to the finer points …anyway, I’m having fun -thanks Z and setter

      1. I distinctly remember a period when I’d come up one short more often than not. With practice I eventually moved beyond it. I think it was just a case of experience improving my judgement.

  17. 9:10, with a brief panic at the end over 7dn, where I fell into the trap of thinking the old city was ROME and couldn’t see how the rest of the clue could possibly work. Fortunately it occurred to me that the fellow might be a MAN and that got me there.
    I had TUPPENCE initially too, which delayed me a bit on the OPIATES. I didn’t know the reference and it did strike me as a bit odd that a pre-common era Palestinian would be carrying modern British currency, but it went in with a shrug.
    I’m sure we’ve had a version of the TUCKS clue before.

    1. On the other hand the Romans had denarii and that is what we called our pre-decimal pence, so the bold translater simply picked a recogniseable coin. Not sure that 2d would have paid for a night in the time of King James though (early 17th C.)

      1. Interesting, I did not know (or had forgotten) that the old d for pence derived from ‘denarius’.

      2. A denarii was a day’s laboring wages, so I figured £75 – £100 each today. I triangulated with Jack, working for a penny a day, because he can’t work any faster.

  18. An enjoyable steady solve that included several semi-biffs followed by understanding later.
    At 11ac I think the single T in MAT is indicated by the word ‘approaching’.
    The blog reference to CUTTING reminds me of the anecdotal question to an employee in a formal garden as to the best time to take cuttings; the answer, “When I’m not looking, Sir”.
    Thanks for the informative blog.

    1. MAT is – depending on which dictionary you believe – either the only (Collins), the usual (Chambers) or a US variant (Lexico) spelling of the word!

  19. 16:29. I’m another who got suckered by the possibility of ROME in 7D. I finished in the NW corner where I had to deduce the unknown ant and I didn’t know that the Good Samaritan paid 2d, although I eventually saw TWOPENCE fit the definition. LOI TABU took a while to see too. I liked PRONOUNCEMENT – even if, as vinyl says, it is chestnut, I don’t remember seeing it before. COD to SINOLOGIST for the neat related surface. Thanks Z and setter.

  20. About 30 mins
    Good challenge. LOI twopence; took a while to see that.
    Thanks, z.

  21. Nice steady solve in 25 minutes, ending with the clever TUCKS and CUTTING crossers. Guessed the Hebrew month and got twopence from the ‘don’t care’ angle, not knowing the Samaritan paying bit. Should have been quicker but was watching golf at the same time. Thanks Z for the blog and Belgian enhancements.

  22. 29:45

    First fifteen minutes seemed to make good progress, second half felt more treacly, though actually took same amount of time to complete.

    Glad to think of PAM (after HAM) before TAM, which gave me AUDITORIA which opened up much of the remainder.

    LOI LATIN AMERICA after thinking NORTH, SOUTH, CENTRAL and “There aren’t any others, are there?”

  23. Nope, didn’t parse ROMANY – thanks Z. We get CARPENTER ANTs occasionally and then it’s time to call the exterminator because they get very busy chewing up the wood in the house. Another nice one for a good week. 18.22

  24. Also fooled by ROME, and took me ages to get past it for the right city. The best clue of the lot, IMO. Pleased to finish in 45 mins, but although some weren’t easy, the penny-drop moment was still somehow rather unsatisfying. TWOPENCE and OPIATES the standouts for me.

  25. 11:55, pleasant midweek stuff. Such delay as there was came mostly in the NW corner where ESTAMINET is one of those crosswordy words you have to drag up occasionally, and like others, I hadn’t realised that the Good Samaritan’s goodness had been calculated so precisely in monetary terms, but (appropriately) the penny dropped after a bit of musing.

  26. 28 mins but very stuck on ROMANY at the end. I too was fixated on Rome and couldn’t see where the T came from. Before that, all but the NW were straightforward but too many unusual words like ESTAMINET to hurry over the rest.

  27. Finally completed in just under an hour with fingers crossed for NISAN and TWOPENCE. Probably enjoyed TABU and ROMANY most. I remember a more down-to-earth reference to O-ring. In an Austin Power movie Mike Myers(Austin) is fighting a bad guy in a public washroom stall and his friend in the next cubicle interprets all the groans and screams as meaning Austin is having enormous difficulty evacuating successfully. So he warns him to calm down, take it easy for fear of “blowing his O-ring”.

  28. Started off with TABU and made steady progress until I was left with 23d and 25a, and 1d and 14a. CUTTING arrived first, and TUCKS followed after some cogitation. I then concentrated on the ANT, finally giving up on harvester when I could make no sense of the H in 1d, and eventually seeing CARPENTER. That allowed me to spot TWOPENCE from the crossers, although I didn’t recall how much the GS had actually paid for our mugging victim. 25:36. Thanks setter and Z8.

  29. 31:04. Found this quite tough in places – particularly the SE corner. Like boltonwanderer, I had an unconvincing UNTAMPERED in place throughout until I returned at the end to check what else it could be, walking the alphabet gauntlet of shame to get PAM just before stopping the clock.

  30. “This is horror movie stuff” (REM : ‘Binky the DOORMAT’). If it was, entering ‘tuppence’ didn’t help me to get OPIATES (which was actually one of the easier clues). I biffed ESTAMINET because my attempt at parsing was totally wrong.

    FOI UNPAMPERED (Though spell check and I are dubious that it’s a thing)
    TIME 11:50

  31. Hurrah- got one finished- although it took ages before I could piece together carpenter- several alphabet trawls!
    Nisan nho so fingers crossed there
    Thanks blogger and setter

  32. Finished quickly for me in 31.50 only to discover a very careless mistake with my FOI. 1ac went in as TABO (no doubt with taboo in mind), and I never gave it a second thought. LOI was CARPENTER ANT which I’ve never heard of. TABO looks so wrong it’s annoying I didn’t give it more thought. Grrrrrr….. ☹️

  33. Wrote in TWOPENCE from checkers, but I find the clue underwhelming. Ultra-obscure biblical reference + cryptic hint that’s not really a definition by itself? Not for me.

    1. The definition seems fine to me: it’s ‘someone may not care that’, as in ‘I don’t care twopence what you think’.

  34. I’m not a timer. Though I’ve been doing ( or trying to do ) the Times crossword since 1972 ( and I’m now 76 ) any time I could do would be an embarrassment when compared to the lightning speeds I see here. Years ago I merely set myself the target of finishing the damned thing and that remains my only goal. However, I discovered TftT several years ago and have come back to it ever since and enjoyed the knowledge gained and the sense of international “family” that it encourages so thanks to all bloggers and commentators. Sadly, some old names seem to have fallen by the wayside so I hope all are OK. Of today’s offering I only wanted to say that I bunged in NISAN purely from the cryptic but I’d never heard of it. As an enthusiastic entomologist I found the “ant” no problem, but like others, I was held up by my entry of “TUPPENCE”. Best wishes to all and keep ‘em coming.
    Joe the Jazzer.

  35. DNF. An 18 minute solve but unfortunately I had the not quite right but not quite wrong enough untampered instead of unpampered.

  36. I was sure it was harvester — what else could it be, but I finally gave up and used aids for TWOPENCE and CARPENTER ANT, so managed 38 minutes.

    In 1dn surely one definition is ‘Someone may not care that’. ‘Someone may not care’ isn’t really a definition of TWOPENCE.

    For some reason ‘why don’t you come up and see me sometime’ is always misquoted. Mae West actually said (to a young Cary Grant) ‘why don’t you come up sometime and see me’.

    [Sorry, wrote this about 12 hours ago then forgot to click on ‘post’ or whatever it is]

  37. 23.02. Held up mightily by thinking 6 dn was an anagram of perhaps we bond. Next last in was romany which finally convinced me of ounce- though I didn’t actually work it out.
    Up to speed and now for Friday!

  38. Still way off top form – must be getting old! ( Haven’t finished one for over a week!)

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