Times 28444 – where a corner tells a story

Time taken: 5:59.  The early solvers are getting some slick times on this one, though there are several submissions with a few errors.  Could be the muscial term at 1 down or the city at 27 across, the latter of which I needed to piece together from the wordplay.

Fun puzzle, and there may be something going on at the corners.

How did you do?

1 Crash site potentially located in plains of Armenia (4)
SOFA – hidden inside plainS OF Armenia. Crash meaning to sleep or slump here.
3 Dealing with letters, exhausted without wife to hold arm (10)
EPISTOLARY – WEARY(exhausted) minus W(wife) containing PISTOL(arm)
10 Three worked on my back — one might be bowed, for example (9)
HETERONYM – anagram of THREE then, ON and MY reversed. Referring to bowed meaning to genuflect or a way a violin is played depending on the pronunciation
11 Person with no future married in Greece (5)
GONER – ONE(married) in GR(Greece)
12 Revolutionary determined to keep bishop in stronghold (7)
REDOUBT – RED(revolutionary), and OUT(determined) containing B(bishop)
13 Does chimpanzee perhaps have the skills to bite? (6)
15 Saturday’s Client — that’s labyrinthine detective story (1,5,2,7)
18 Parties protecting short seaman forced to follow local conventions (2,2,3,6,2)
DO AS THE ROMANS DO –  DO and DO(parties) containing an anagram of SHORT SEAMAN
21 Trouble dogs American behind attack (6)
ASSAIL – AIL(trouble) after ASS(American behind)
23 Clytemnestra’s child chosen by hawk-headed god (7)
ELECTRA – ELECT(chosen) and RA(hawk-headed god)
26 Broadcast agreed for all to hear? (5)
ALOUD – sounds like ALLOWED(agreed)
27 Son is not with mother, left close to bordello in walled city (5-4)
SAINT-MALO – S(son), AIN’T(is not), MA(mother), L(left) and the last letter in bordellO
28 Old fashioned counsel given by good man in wood is doom (10)
PREDESTINE – REDE(old-fashioned counsel) and ST(good man) inside PINE wood
29 Garden visitor meeting female displays muscle (4)
BEEF – BEE(garden visitor) and F(female)
1 Dozen chairs, one removed, thrown around with playfulness (10)
SCHERZANDO – anagram of DOZEN CHAIRS minus I(one) – a musical term
2 Iron Duke consumes this regularly — it’s foul (5)
FETID – FE(iron)  and D(duke) containing alternating letters in ThIs
4 Narrow piece laid into long cloth (9)
PINSTRIPE – STRIP(narrow piece) inside PINE(long)
5 Small tree pessimistic French writer’s climbing (5)
SUMAC – the writer is Albert CAMUS, reversed
6 Material in paper, along with unknown article (7)
ORGANZA – ORGAN(newspaper), Z(unknown), A(article)
7 A northern city in Italy’s the state capital (9)
ANNAPOLIS – A, N(northern), NAPOLI’S(city in Italy’s). The capital of Maryland
8 Article in your name an incredible story (4)
YARN – A(article) inside YR(your), N(name)
9 Where footballers play and train (6)
GROUND – double definition, the second is tricky, think of “getting a good grounding in” a subject
14 Way horse consumes good and bad meat dish (10)
STROGANOFF – ST(way), then ROAN(horse) containing G(good), all followed by OFF(bad)
16 Damaged nose parts change position (9)
17 Some European or habitually negligent Scot? (9)
SLOVENIAN – SLOVEN(habitually negligent), IAN(Scot)
19 Tango with side-to-side movement? That’s nonsense (7)
TWADDLE – T(tango) and WADDLE(side-to-side movement)
20 For sacred works put on holy robes in sober company (6)
AVESTA – VEST(put on robes) inside AA(alcoholics anonymous, sober company)
22 Sound tip for virtuoso pianist (5)
LISZT -sounds like LIST(tip)
24 Artist leaving daily grind gives hint (5)
TRACE – remove RA(artist) from RAT RACE(daily grind)
25 Instrument softly accompanies regular parts in theatre (4)
HARP – P(softly) after alternating letters in tHeAtRe

67 comments on “Times 28444 – where a corner tells a story”

  1. Another really good puzzle! But easier than yesterday’s. The two long ones went in almost on sight.
    I don’t know about any secret theme in the corners, but for some reason I started with three of them, NW, SE, SW… but I needed GONER to get YARN.
    LOI was GROUND, as it took a minute to think of the right sense for “train.”
    Think my favorite here is HETERONYM.
    I wonder if Slavoj Žižek would appreciate 17.

    The corners, OK: I see BEEF STROGANOFF! And the first English novel was an EPISTOLARY YARN, wasn’t it…

        1. SAVA not SOFA? Shambolic Saver used to be the goalkeeper for Wien (Vienna). Split the difference on the spelling: Szabolcs Safar.

    1. I just remembered that HETERONYM was coined by the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa to designate the various names he used to write under. Not pseudonyms–like Guy de Sable–but, he would say, different poets; from Wiki sv ‘heteronym’:
      heteronym refers to one or more imaginary character(s) created by a writer to write in different styles. Heteronyms differ from pen names (or pseudonyms, from the Greek words for “false” and “name”) in that the latter are just false names, while the former are characters that have their own supposed physiques, biographies, and writing styles.

      1. Very interesting. As Pessoa was only born in 1888, he would have been phenomenally precocious if he had coined the word itself—in its more general sense, “one of two or more homographs (such as a bass voice and bass, a fish) that differ in pronunciation and meaning” (Merriam-Webster)—which is first recorded in 1889. (The Merriam-Webster page does feature a reference to Pessoa, under “Recent Examples on the Web”—the only one. These are “selected automatically”; the special sense that Pessoa gave to the word in his work is not defined here.)

    2. It’s great we all have different interest, isn’t it! Although I have heard Žižek speak, ‘Slovenian’, for me, means Tadej Pogacar, Primoz Roglic and Matej Mohoric, all top class road cyclists.

  2. 18:36
    Had everything but 20d in 15′, but I just couldn’t make anything of the clue. An alphabet trawl seems to have skipped V, but I finally twigged. I didn’t see how ‘ass’ worked until after submitting, and I never saw how ‘train’=GROUND. DO AS THE biffed, never parsed. I didn’t know SAINT-MALO was walled.

  3. It was predestiny to fail at 28a.
    16:02 with a tinge of pink. Glad it wasn’t a mid-term red tide.

    1. Yes, it was the bear trap for me. Entirely my fault for not working out what sort of wood the people were in!

  4. Failed on the doubly-religious AVESTA, so I won’t be too hard on myself.

    COD to HETERONYM. And I wonder if it was the final-letter bear trap of PREDESTINE that scuppered some other solvers? Anyway, good puzzle, will try harder tomorrow.

    Thanks setter, and thanks George particularly for the explanation of GROUND.

  5. Well put-together and enjoyable. Hard, but due to personal ignorance/abundance of obscurity (delete as you wish). Lots of reverse engineering to figure out what must be what e.g. rede is counsel, Ra is hawk-headed, Electra is The NHO’s daughter, Saint-Malo is walled, Annapolis is a capital, Camus was pessimistic. LOI GROUND just about justifying the second definition as George did.
    Didn’t notice the beef stroganoff, but did notice 2 words cased in PINE – PINSTRIPE probably COD.

  6. 26 minutes. Made it despite a few unknowns, eg HETERONYM at 10a, ‘Clytemnestra’s child’ at 23a and REDE for ‘Old fashioned counsel’ at 28a. No giving the game away, but there’s another puzzle today with ‘hint’ as the def in exactly the same position in the grid.

    I liked the two French related clues. If “L’Étranger” is anything to go by, CAMUS wasn’t exactly an optimist. I remembered SAINT-MALO from French lessons many years ago as being the location of the only tidal power station (usine marémotrice) in the world at that time. Very progressive.

    1. Camus… en revanche… il conclue Le Mythe de Sisyphe avec:
      « La lutte elle-même vers les sommets suffit à remplir un cœur d’homme. Il faut imaginer Sisyphe heureux. »

        1. I have no trouble believing it, and believe Nietzsche would agree. This epigrammatic statement is an affirmation of existence in itself, for itself. To simplify very much, but not misleadingly: “Life is a journey, not a destination.”
          I’d call Camus’s “absurdism” stoic (which does not mean feeling nothing) rather than pessimistic.

  7. I solved all but four clues, SLOVENIAN, AVESTA, PREDESTINE and ALOUD, in 29 minutes but needed nearly as long again to arrive at those answers.

    The main problem constructing 28ac was not knowing REDE as ‘counsel’. At 17dn I had all the checkers and IAN as the Scot but SLOVEN for ‘habitually negligent’ was not easy.

    I have met AVESTA in a puzzle elsewhere (probably The Guardian) within the past few days but that didn’t help me think of it, however once I had worked it out from wordplay I knew it to be right because I had looked it so recently.

    Like others I had gaps in my GK relating to several clues but took all the missing stuff on trust.

  8. 15:41. I was back to a typical solving pattern today of being inordinately held up at the end by one clue, today’s being that for AVESTA. I didn’t know the word and the clue suggested several other partial parsings to me before I hit upon the right full parsing. Chief among these was AV for “holy works”. I also considered having TT in there for “sober”. With both these looking promising it was quite an effort to eventually see the clue the right way.

  9. I bunged in SOFA immediately and FETID not long after, but then ran into something of a wall in that corner, and started to worry that this was going to be as hard as yesterday’s. Then I decided on a whim to try the opposite corner, filled in BEEF and started gradually working my way back up the grid. Biffing A STUDY IN SCARLET from the definition, enumeration and a couple of crossers helped, as did noting during yesterday morning’s commute that the last few leaves were about to drop off a Staghorn SUMAC.

    Despite all my lack of knowledge—SCHERZANDO, REDE, SAINT-MALO, HETERONYM, that Camus was pessimistic—I was surprised to finish off in 35 minutes with PREDESTINE. Coming here to find I’d got everything right was something of a relief.

  10. My brain is now full of dust
    Having rummaged around as one must
    For these under-used terms
    Some riddled with worms
    And most of them covered in rust

  11. 28 minutes with LOI AVESTA. The musical term was slow to be constructed as was SAINT-MALO, where I have never been and didn’t know about the walls. I had no idea of the definitions of HETERONYM but that was what was built from the instructions. COD to DO AS THE ROMANS DO, the wisdom of St Ambrose passed down to us via Augustine’s mother, I seem to remember for some obscure reason. Good puzzle.Thank you George. and setter.

  12. I thought the old counsel must be REVE and PREVESTINE some word I didn’t know for doom. So I ended up with one pink square. Doh. I should have got that one. My LOI was AVESTA like many others.

  13. 11:02. I biffed a few as the crossers appeared and didn’t worry I hadn’t understood GROUND or TRACE. Thanks for the explanations George. LOI ANNAPOLIS. I liked the chair-throwing game. Thanks George and setter.

  14. 27 minutes. Hadn’t heard of rede=counsel in PREDESTINE or the SUMAC tree, didn’t know that ELECTRA was Clytemnestra’s child, only knew ORGANZA from previous crosswords, had to hope that AVESTA was a sacred work, and found out through this crossword and from coming here that ANNAPOLIS is not the same as Minneapolis.

    Maybe one minor criticism would be having ‘pine’ as part of two different answers, albeit with different meanings, but otherwise I enjoyed this. Thanks to setter and blogger.

    FOI Sofa
    LOI Sumac
    COD Redoubt

  15. Approximately 40m 19s. Opened the puzzle then got distracted by my dog for about 5 ½ – 6mins
    Another good puzzle like yesterday’s.
    NHO HETERONYM or AVESTA so had to trust in the wordplay. Also had to trust that REDE is a word.
    All I know about Camus is that he was a goalkeeper.
    Thanks, George.

  16. Liked this a lot, it played to my strengths (ie otherwise useless knowledge). I bifd a few but not being sure if we were doing as Romans or as locals, I was forced to parse that one..
    St Malo is lovely. Compare with the dire Le Havre..

  17. Failed to parse 19a so finished up with DO AS THE LOCALS DO. Drat! 28:40 but! Thanks setter and George.

  18. 33 minutes, no major problems. At first I wanted it to be locals not ROMANS, a bit slow to see the anagram indicator. And I thought that the Italian city could well have been Napolis in Italian, not likely really. Good to see the American connected with ‘ass’. Far too often you just see ‘ass’, with no indication that it is American in that sense.

  19. Thought this was going to be a walkover, but it finally defeated me with GONER , ORGANZA and AVESTA missed.

  20. DNF as didn’t know AVESTA (religious items not my thing), otherwise a good one in 35 minutes. Thanks George for explaining ground = train. Wondered for while how broadcast meant aloud then saw the definition was the other end of the clue.

  21. A new iPad miniG arrived by courier this morning, from the Apple Store in downtown Shanghai. As for today’s puzzle in limped home in around 48 minutes.
    FOI 1ac SOFA , so good but not from IKEA.
    LOI 20dn AVESTA
    COD 1dn SCHERZANDO more chairs from IKEA.
    WOD 14dn STROGANOFF – named after the Bulgar/Hungarian chef Arturo Stroganov, late of the Budapest Kempinski.

    A STUDY IN SCARLET c. 1887 Conan Doyle’s novel marked the first appearance of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson.

  22. 8:17 in the end, but started off a lot faster and thought I’d be pushing for a very rare sub-5 at one point, but got bogged down in the bottom half with AVESTA (trying to see how TT fit in rather than AA) and PREDESTINE (put off by the clunky surface reading).

  23. A breeze today, under 20 minutes. But don’t see that ‘dogs’ in 21 across is best choice of word in the clue.

    1. “I’m out to make sure it happens”. Recognise it but would never say it.
      Some dictionaries I own:
      Australian Oxford. Out to – keenly striving to do.
      Chambers. Out to – Aiming, working resolutely, to

      Chambers make things up, but I’d trust the Oxford.

  24. 31:03

    Only got one across clue (DO AS THE ROMANS DO) on first pass – filled in around that before going up top.

    Got stuck in NE corner, mainly trying to remember EPISTOLARY which unlocked most of what remained.

    Wasn’t sure about the second definition of GROUND nor whether PREDESTINE or PREDESTINY might be correct, so thanks for explaining the parsing.

  25. 9:41, but with PREDESTINY. The kind of careless error I make all the time, born purely of trying to go too fast and not paying close enough attention to the clue. Will I ever learn to take more care? No, I will not.
    I really liked this one, an eclectic and interesting range of vocab and references.

  26. I found this all pleasantly straightforward, which isn’t to say I was fast, popping in clues between morning tasks. I hadn’t passed ASSAIL so thank you for that (well I never). Wasn’t convinced by GROUND even though I could see what was being aimed at. I liked CANAPE (oh that kind of bite ) but COD to PREDESTINE partly because I got it right first time and partly because I think it’s clever to squeeze so many elements into a flat pack clue.

    Thanks setter and blogger

  27. Several short after 60 mins, with REDE completely unknown, will file that with REEVE.

    Just finished reading the Trojan novel “A Thousand Ships”, so ELECTRA was somewhat familiar. Sadly NHO VESTA.


  28. It was all going so well, England had a stunning win over India 🏏, but like others, NHO Avesta, so DNF. Apart from that I enjoyed the rest. 27a was clever ( I went there on my honeymoon many years ago but remembered the ramparts … )
    Always forget how to spell Liszt ( where does the z come? ) . Yes, he wrote nothing for any moderately proficient pianist.
    Got stuck with ‘prefecture’ for 28a. But once I’d got 17d I climbed out of the rabbit hole.
    Thank you setter and blogger and other contributors.

  29. 22:15. Got slightly fixated on making DUMAS the sad author reversed round the dwarf um tree, but fortunately I’ll never have to admit it to anyone.

  30. 31 something

    10 minutes at the end on AVESTA. Used to carry the candles in Church but never heard of VEST to dress in robes. Liked the rest of it but that scored quite highly on the Dodgyclueometer

    Thanks George and Setter

  31. Enjoyed this one despite finding it hard (again). 46 minutes. I thought “doom” was a bit loose for “predestine”, as “doom” is always negative whereas “predestine” is not? Maybe that’s a bit picky though. Thanks to both blogger & setter.

  32. ‘Alps of Austria’? ‘Rockies of America’? ‘Andes of Argentina’?

    Considering that it is one of the most mountainous countries in the world, ‘plains of Armenia’ seems particularly daft, albeit it’s only a container.

  33. Pleased to get all bar AVESTA, PREDESTINE, GONER and SLOVENIAN although not all parsed. Didn’t know REDE (or AVESTA for that matter). Can’t believe some of the times posted – will keep at it! Many thanks for the blog.

  34. A very enjoyable puzzle. It took me three sessions over two hours, but that was a vast improvement over yesterday where I ground to a halt with half the clues unsolved.

    NHO AVESTA. Had vaguely heard of ANNAPOLIS , but not in my mental list of US state capitals. LOI was ASSAIL

    Thanks for the blog.

  35. Much to like in this, but I couldn’t get my head around the NHO AVESTA, and PREDESTINE was a step too far. Happy to get SOFA at first glance , and the top half of the puzzle went in smoothly from there, leading me to think I was in for another completed puzzle like yesterday’s – but no. Bottom half a bit more of a struggle, starting with not remembering who it was we were supposed to be doing as (frustration!), and filling in ASSAIL with no parsing. Been to SAINT MALO a few decades ago, and 15a was a given. However didn’t manage to fill in SLOVENIAN, despite having checkers and the IAN part. Good puzzle.

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