Times 28599 – “just one more thing, Ma’am…”

Wednesdays seem to be one of the “fun puzzle” days of the week lately; we haven’t had a hard one for ages but I enjoyed knocking this off in less than 15 minutes.

Definitions underlined in bold, (ABC)* indicating anagram of ABC, anagrinds in italics, [deleted letters in square brackets].

1 If not old, king must be protected by judicious people (9)
OTHERWISE – O (old) then R (king), inside THE WISE (judicious people).
6 Produced a low, sullen feeling, we hear (5)
MOOED – sounds like “MOOD”.
9 Was a criminal almost sent west in Irish town? (5)
ENNIS – SINNE[D] reversed. County town of Clare, a pleasant if unexciting place.
10 One that’s battered in sport tussle, completely gutted (9)
CROQUETTE – CROQUET (sport) T[ussl]E. Mrs P and I think that croquettes are usually rolled in egg and breadcrumbs before frying, not battered, but maybe the setter does his differently.
11 Case of academic curiosity, but not in materialism (15)
ACQUISITIVENESS – A[…]C = case of academic, [IN]QUISITIVENESS i.e. “not in”. I wanted to spell this with a Z not an S but it would give me a red square.
13 Right back loth to make cross (8)
TRAVERSE – TR = RT reversed, AVERSE to = loth to.
14 Silky material in the country changing hands (6)
ANGORA – ANGOLA changes L to R.
16 Soft fur for boy in school for spells (6)
POTTER – P (soft, in piano music), OTTER presumably the fur of an otter when worn.
18 Dip into awful magazine at last and take issue (8)
DISAGREE – SAG (dip) inside DIRE (awful) then E from end of magazine.
21 On a visit, he at once concocted a trifle (1,4,2,3,5)
A DROP IN THE OCEAN – A DROP IN being a visit, (HE AT ONCE)*.
23 Business groups organise return of capital after fraud (9)
CONSORTIA -CON (fraud), SORT (organise) then AI (A1, capital) reversed.
25 Note fate’s spared nothing in place of iniquity (5)
SODOM – SO (a note) DO[O]M = fate spared O.
26 Harry investing £1000 in bank (5)
RIDGE – I’m not sure I understand either the definition or the parsing here, so perhaps someone can improve on this. I can see HARRY might mean “ride”, be on top of, annoy, at a stretch and G could be a grand, £1000, and a ridge could (at another stretch) be a bank, but it’s weak.
27 That man’s touring Asian area, these being the high points of his trip? (9)
HIMALAYAS – HIS (that man’s) around MALAYA, an Asian area as not a country any more, it is an area of Malaysia.
1 What Columbo ends with: great series finale (5)
OMEGA – “series finale” as it’s the last letter of the Greek alphabet. O the end of Columbo, MEGA for great. Mrs P is a great fan of Columbo.
2 Large piece of meat concealed around northern lodge (11)
HINDQUARTER – N in HID then QUARTER = lodge, give quarters to.
3 Impatient Republican and I see TV broadcast (7)
RESTIVE – R then (I SEE TV)*.
4 That thing I stored in box is most irritating (8)
ITCHIEST – IT (that thing) then I inside CHEST = box.
5 Involving striptease that’s sexy, got stick for undressing (6)
EXOTIC – go to the naughty step if you put in EROTIC (as I did at first). the three words are “undressed” as above. Is striptease exotic? Seems an odd definition to choose, unless the setter also was thinking about clueing EROTIC which doesn’t parse. EDIT it seems from below comments exotic dancing is a common euphemism for striptease in this context and is in Collins as such.
6 Woman’s family member given lidless serving bowl (7)
MAUREEN – MA (family member) then [T]UREEN.
7 Promise to leave rugby goal in grass (3)
OAT – OATH loses its H which in capital form looks like rugby goalposts.
8 Velocity in both directions somewhere far from earth (4,5)
DEEP SPACE – SPEED reversed then PACE not reversed.
12 Green cornfield cultivated in Kenya periodically (11)
ECOFRIENDLY – E Y being periodic letters of Kenya, insert (CORNFIELD)*. It’s allowed in Collins with and without a hyphen.
13 Performer of rap act with end going wrong (3,6)
15 Somewhat oafish? Far more breeding’s expected here (4,4)
FISH FARM – hidden words as above.
17 Go off east, following retired policeman? (7)
EXPLODE – EX PLOD being slang for a retired policeman, then E for east.
19 Waking from bibulous revelry having lost head (7)
AROUSAL – CAROUSAL loses its first letter.
20 Appropriate in society, of course (6)
SNATCH – S (society) “NATCH” slang for naturally, of course.
22 New house put up for Gallic commune (5)
NIMES – N for new, SEMI (house) reversed (put up). Nîmes is an interesting city of 150,000 or so, in Gard in the south of France, known as “the most Roman city outside of Italy” because of its extensive Roman remains. it’s only 24 miles from Avignon so you could visit both and dance “sur le pont“.
24 Agree this would make Leander less fat? (3)
NOD – if LEANDER had “No D” it would be LEANER so less fat.


70 comments on “Times 28599 – “just one more thing, Ma’am…””

  1. “Exotic dancer” is (was) a euphemism for striptease dancer.
    Collins, sv ‘bank’, def. 1: a long raised mass, esp of earth; mound; ridge

  2. 12:24. Pretty solid week so far. Croquet took ages to come to mind as a sport, and I needed it to get my LOI MAUREEN, one of those names that seems to have fallen out of fashion. There was a truckload of them around in the 70s, from the Brady Bunch to the Poseidon Adventure.

    Thanks setter, and thanks for the blog Pip. Agree with all your comments on RIDGE. Maybe we’re missing something, but I don’t think so.

    1. I was always a great admirer of Maureen O’Hara and Maureen O’Sullivan- but sometimes got confused which was which!

  3. I had the bottom all worked pretty quickly, but then got stuck—just because I was hungry. After my salad, I found the groove again. OTHERWISE was nearly my last, but that honor goes to CROQUETTE, though I could see that it had to end in TE long before (just as the next one had to start with AC).

    I once lost my wallet—or, more likely, was robbed of it—on a train platform in NÎMES. (For once, my American Express account came in handy, when I got to Paris…)

  4. Steady and enjoyable solve. Same MER at RIDGE as everyone else. And I agree that CROQUETTEs are breadcrumbed and not battered (I just did a Google Image Search on them and they are all breadcrumbed, not battered). If you go to Avignon, dancing on the bridge is about all you can do since it only goes halfway across the river.

  5. 24 minutes. Like others I have misgivings about CROQUETTE as ‘battered’ and can’t find any support for it anywhere. I think the setter has made an error here.

    I was happy with the definition of RIDGE but still fail to see ‘harry / ride’.

    I’ve found support for exotic dancing involving striptease but not exclusively.

    1. “Ride” in Collins: American, “informal | to ridicule or harass persistently” and British, “informal | to persecute, esp by constant or petty criticism.”

      1. Thanks, obviously I didn’t look hard enough. Still never heard of it though.

  6. 13:10. I thought I was on for my third DNF in a row when I finished by putting in RIDGE with a shrug. I had an inkling there might be a fictional character called Harry Ride, but I now realise I was thinking of Harry Lime. Thanks to Guy for giving the definition of ride which explains the answer.

  7. 9:58. Fairly straightforward but a few chewy bits.
    No problem with any of the elements of RIDGE.
    Collins defines exotic as ‘of or relating to striptease’.
    ‘Battered’ does seem dodgy though.

  8. 29 minutes with LOI DISAGREE. I parsed RIDGE as per Guy. Giggle of the day to EXPLODE, COD to OTHERWISE. I enjoyed SNATCH too. Good middle-of-the- road puzzle. Thank you Pip and setter.

  9. Oh! Snatched away in beauty’s bloom,
    On thee shall press no ponderous tomb;
    But on thy turf shall roses rear
    Their leaves, the earliest of the year;

    25 mins mid-brekker. I really liked it. It’s been a great week so far IMO.
    I think Ridge is weak rather than dodgy. But is dodgy to batter croquettes. Mars bars, yes, but croquettes?
    Ta setter and Pip.

  10. 15’20”, with CROQUETTE LOI.

    MER at ‘velocity’ being SPEED or PACE. Velocity is a vector quantity, having magnitude and direction. SPEED is a scalar quantity. Just saying, with small hope of getting any support.

    Thanks pip and setter.

    1. Almost all words have more than one meaning, and many words have both specialist technical/scientific meanings and more general uses. None is more or less valid than the others.

    2. I was just about to reply but keriothe got there first. I certainly agree about SPEED/VELOCITY but as keriothe says there are technical and everyday usages. And if you look in any dictionary ‘speed’ is one of the definitions given for velocity.

      Another one that I used to raise my eyebrow at when I first started doing crosswords is using ‘CO’ for ‘FIRM’, as in legal terms a FIRM is a PARTNERSHIP which is a different business structure from a COMPANY. But I soon realised that nobody could care less and that in real life everybody refers to COMPANIES as FIRMS, and if everybody does it then that’s a definition worthy of the dictionary.

      Interestingly (or not!) in my scientific background people used to split the DATA/DATUM hair regularly. But later when I worked in Engineering and used the word DATUM (I wasn’t even being deliberately pedantic, it was just the word I used naturally in the particular context) all the engineers laughed at me and told me it sounded silly.

    3. I suppose you could just about argue that they do have direction in this case, one going up and one going down 😁

    4. Sympathy but no support from me, because although you are absolutely correct this is not a scientific paper but real life, where velocity means speed virtually every time..

    5. Similar issue a couple of days ago where ‘capacity’ and ‘power’ were equated. Okay for everyday chat, but different in the physics world.

      1. I had similar issues a week or so ago with force and momentum being equated.

    6. Hoorah for pointing out the velocity/speed vector/scalar issue. Even astronomers get this wrong sometimes, referring to “radial velocity” when they actually mean “recession speed”. Drives me mad.

  11. 14:19 finishing with HINDQUARTER. I failed to parse OAT – very clever. Thank-you Pip and setter.

  12. 35 ins. I thought this was quite tough. Thanks for explaining OAT, which now I see is rather clever. Like others, I have misgivings about CROQUETTE (they’re really not battered) and RIDGE, which is just a poor clue. Liked NOD, EXOTIC and SODOM.

  13. Another possible parsing is HIS around MALAY + A (area).

    LOI RIDGE, having managed to convince myself of the informal meaning of “ride”.

  14. 20 minutes. Fingers crossed for RIDGE, even though it didn’t seem likely to be anything else, and I was interested to read above that RIDE has a sense meaning to ‘harry’ or ridicule. Missed the “erotic” for EXOTIC potential biff trap. It was very kind of the setter to give us that checked Q in the NW which helped with the not immediately obvious OTHERWISE. Agree with comments about CROQUETTE. Battered arancini anyone? No thanks.

  15. After avoiding it for a while, I’m back in OWL Club today with ‘out’ rather than OAT for 7d. I thought the definition of ‘grass’ was as a verb, i.e. you out someone/you grass someone up, even though I couldn’t parse the rest of it, and I never thought of OAT.

    I avoided the ‘erotic’ trap for EXOTIC, didn’t know the tureen bowl in MAUREEN, and like others wasn’t sure about RIDGE. An enjoyable puzzle despite my failure – thanks setter and blogger.

    COD Traverse

  16. I found this quite tough. Stuck in the NW for a while with last two in OTHERWISE and OMEGA. Didn’t help that I had bunged in INQUISITIVENESS!

    I liked TRAVERSE for the neat surface.

    Thanks pip and setter.

  17. 21.26. I feel that I should have been quicker but, thankfully, it’s not a speed contest outside of Crossword Championships. (I used to enjoy participating back in Michael Rich’s day but was never going to challenge the really good solvers, and I do stick to the protocol of not using aids unless I have, reluctantly, to concede defeat).

  18. 38m 02s.
    I enjoyed this but agree with Pip about Ridge/bank and croquettes not being battered.
    I particularly liked NOD (Lean (d) er) , EXOTIC and particularly OAT (Rugby goal = H).
    Well-known Maureens : Maureen Lipman; Maureen, the first Mrs Ringo Starr; Maureen O’Hara, Maureen (“Little Mo”) Connolly etc….

  19. I found this tough although I did manage to finish but with one wrong. I bunged in EROTIC and forgot to revisit.
    My last in was ACQUISITIVENESS with all the crossing letters in place which I managed to half parse and TRAVERSE which I didn’t, needing the blog to fully understand. Also, NOD which I am kicking myself for not seeing the parsing.
    With RIDGE I just saw RIDE and G and moved on without questioning it.
    Enjoyed the parsing of OAT, OMEGA and NIMES.

  20. 42 minutes. RIDGE entered without really understanding it — it seems a bit odd of the setter to choose such unusual senses of both ‘ride’ and ‘ridge’. Does this make it a weak clue? Just a difficult one I should have thought. As many have said, BATTERED does seem to be a mistake. Enjoyed NOD.

  21. 16:34 – but one wrong. My grass was a verb meaning to “out”. I don’t remember seeing the rugby goal H before. Nor the AI (A1) = capital. As in capital = excellent presumably? If so, capital idea!


  22. I thought RIDGE was absolutely fine. I didn’t even think about whether CROQUETTES were battered, but of course they are not. All good fun anyway.

  23. Sport or Game?
    Heard a marvellous definition in the pub the other day of how the two should be distinguished. If you can smoke while playing, it’s a game (think darts, snooker, golf, croquet, etc) but if you can’t, then it’s a sport ( think football, rugby, tennis, skiing, etc). Works for me!
    All sorted in 21m but stupidly was thinking ‘roquet’ was the ‘tussle in sport’ and thus could make no sense of cte for ‘completely gutted’. But it had to be, of course.

    1. I’ve played in plenty of cricket matches at a level low enough in the pyramid that it’s not unusual for a fast bowler to smoke while fielding down at long leg in between his own overs, but I don’t think this stops the definition working as a whole 🙂

      1. Yep, back in the bush leagues I grew up in it was normal practice for the half-smoked bunger to be used to mark the fast bowler’s run-up.

      2. Back when I used to be a fast bowler of sorts, at my club ground there was a bench just beyond the boundary at that position, where I used to pop my ciggies and lighter, for between overs refreshment. Skipper used to look askance at me if I was visibly smoking as the bowler at the other end started his run up.

    2. Our goalkeeper used to smoke during the match always leaving different lengths of fag ends in the net corners.

  24. 24:41

    Same question marks as others regarding RID(G)E definitions and what the outside of a CROQUETTE consists of, but was on a pretty comfortable wavelength overall.

    Fortunately saw the trick with EXOTIC before entering EROTIC.

  25. Hard going. Finished in 40 minutes, but plenty of MERs. As well as CROQUETTE, RIDGE, and DEEP SPACE, I was not sure about calling the last letter of an alphabet its ‘finale’. And I would have thought ‘tussle’ could just be gutted to give ‘te’, so the ‘completely’ looks otiose. But I did enjoy some of the clues. ITCHIEST is getting to be popular.
    COD – NOD (small but perfectly formed)
    Thanks to piquet and other contributors.

  26. 08:11, and very much on my wavelength (apart from RIDGE, which was indeed hard to pin down, and involved a lot of stabbing around in my mental thesaurus for suitable meanings of “harry” and “bank” before it was LOI). Once I’d seen it, it was fine, though; in my experience, lots of American cop shows (though not the great Columbo) involve an exasperated chief of police who tells a maverick detective he’s being ridden by the DA because of the hero’s unorthodox crime-fighting methods.

    1. Surprised so many are getting exercised by RIDGE/RIDE. Seemed straightforward. Just sayin’ …

  27. 30 mins. Spent ages at the end trying justify OAT, RIDGE and NOD, then gave up, bunged them and came here. Thanks! Don’t remember seeing G for £1000, I’ll remember that.

  28. Again like others wasn’t sure about ridge, and have never come across a battered croquette. Finished in 62 minutes which was disappointing looking at the finished grid, and feel I should have been much speedier. The main culprits for my slowness today were MAUREEN and ANGORA. At least I finished with all correct I suppose, but with my problems with the QC as well, it was a poor day.

  29. 21:07
    Good fun generally but I’ve never seen a CROQUETTE in anything other than breadcrumbs, and RIDGE seemed bit lame. I lked OTHERWISE, ACQUISITIVENESS and FISH FARM. Having a sister called MAUREEN may have helped slightly.

    According to the US Department of the Interior, sea OTTERs have the thickest fur of any animal and can eat 25 percent of their body weight in food every day. I really need to get out more,

    Thanks to Pip and the setter.

  30. FOI, OMEGA, LOI HINDQUARTER. Liked the H trick for OAT. Agree CROQUETTEs aren’t battered. Liked ACQUISITIVENESS. Managed to spot the trick for EXOTIC before considering EROTIC. In fact I liked the puzzle a lot. Thought RIDGE was weak though. 17:50. Thanks setter and Pip.

  31. Enjoyable puzzle. Ridge was my last one in, entered with little conviction but nothing else would fit there.

  32. 25 mins but on the naughty step for putting in erotic. Final one in was ridge which was the only answer I could think of to a rather impenetrable clue. The setter should join me on the naughty step.
    Other than that , a very enjoyable puzzle. Thx setter and blogger.

  33. Found it a bit tricky, no walk in the park. RIDGE no problem – ride for harry and the bank both OK by me. Didn’t notice the battered croquettes, but then again it’s not something I’ve eaten more than twice in the past 60 years. Finished with the two 1s, OMEGA then OTHERWISE. Liked NOD, but for some reason not so keen on the H rugby goal.
    A fine puzzle; we’re being spoilt recently.

  34. 28:29 for me. Gradually acquiring checkers helped unravel a lot of the clues. Enjoyable crossword. I liked OATH.

  35. Fun crossword this, entertaining.
    A mer at croquettegate, but no problems otherwise. I have walked over very many banks/ridges and can’t see a problem there

  36. Steady solve on the Penzance to Paddington train. Top half all in before my first cup of rather unpleasant British Railesque styrofoam cup of tea. How hard can it be to pour water on a tea bag? Slowed up by (the tea experience and…) DISAGREE (always forget sag as a useful synonym) and the SODOM/NIMES crossers.
    Didn’t parse OAT. So thank you for that and the rest of the blog

  37. Beaten by CROQUETTE because it simply is not on my radar as something battered. Minutesteak or schnitzel (with an hammer) all kinds of fish, Mars bars, baseballs/softballs ??? maybe….

    OAT is clever I got it but with an MER: the posts are shaped as H but are they ever referred to as such?

    Agree with all comments on RIDGE

    1. C_O_U_T_E, what on earth else would it be?! The moment you manage to associate a Q with the U all becomes clear, breadcrumbs or not..

      1. Simply because if you don’t then it doesn’t. Congrats though on your success. One day I’ll see a battered croquette and I will raise a glass.

  38. Same as pretty much everyone with CROQUETTE and RIDGE. In fact, so unsure was I that the latter could be correct that I did an alphabet trawl to ensure I hadn’t missed something, and the former took me forever to think of the game – sorry, sport. Probably because they’re not battered! Liked MOOED and OAT, my first and second in – particularly the unusual clueing of ‘rugby goal’, and also NOD, my COD. Otherwise no real problems, though it did take a long time before I cottoned on to the definition of 16A, looking for a school or a soft fur instead. I nearly put in OPERA for my LOI, being mystified, but luckily a few seconds more thinking it through gave me the answer.

  39. 22 minutes, LOI MAUREEN, got RIDGE without parsing it (did anyone in the end) did parse CROQUETTE be it breadcrumbed or battered, velocity and speed being mixed up doesn’t bother me though momentum and force being equated a few weeks back did, thanks setter and blogger

  40. 20 minues five seconds. It felt harder than the 89 on the snitchometer. Isn’t that the second ITCHIEST in. a few days? Don’t know anything about battering, so the great CROQUETTE debate passed me by. Maybe you can ‘batter’ things with coverings other than batter.

  41. Same feelings as most about RIDGE, don’t know if there’s a UK/US split in the feelings about that one? Otherwise no problems. Thanks for the blog!

  42. DNF in 45m. Could not remember NÎMES, and had EROTIC instead of EXOTIC.

    Same issues as everyone else with RIDGE.

    Thanks for the blog.

  43. Held up by “Madison” as a serving bowl in 6d!! Making Croquette impossible!!

  44. Mostly thoroughly enjoyed, especially NOD and OAT. Moved on swiftly with RIDGE (only possible answer), liked ACQUISITIVENESS too.

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