Times 28453 – Glory to Hong Kong!

Cadres, far east, police receiving huge complaints…This seems to have been designed with my home of 35 years come next Monday in mind.

A tip of the hat to the setter for a nice puzzle and a much needed shot in the arm, whether intended or not.


1 Meet Carol, disorganised person who keeps you waiting? (9)
6 Baddy leading soldiers in military unit (5)
CADRE – CAD RE (Royal Engineers)
9 A French fellow outside university, one to ease irritation? (7)
UNGUENT – UN (a in French) U in GENT
10 Loud street outside zone in distant territory (3,4)
FAR EAST – AREA in F (loud) ST
11 Old coin, article blocking pipe? (5)
13 Husband and I eat meat — fantastic source of iron (9)
HAEMATITE – H followed by I EAT MEAT*
14 Training establishment with shaky foundation damaged — start to search inside (9)
SANDHURST – SAND (shaky foundation) S (initial letter of Search) in HURT (damaged)
16 Fever that’s non-specific having five going down (4)
18 Some land bill: concerning! (4)
ACRE – AC (bill, as in account) RE
19 Cruel, needing time to replace one that’s trustworthy (9)
VERACIOUS – V[i]CIOUS with ERA (time) inserted
22 One investigating trendy male, a poet (9)
DICKINSON – DICK (as in Philip Marlowe, private detective, one investigating) IN (trendy) SON (male); our Em
24 Object when odd journalist comes round (5)
DEMUR – reversal of RUM ED
25 Missile I had cast into river (7)
26 The man’s accompanying Welsh woman? That’s the stuff! (7)
HESSIAN – HE’S SIAN; stuff used for wallpaper etc
28 Most unlike Henry VIII — king, cross, bumping off queen (5)
RANGY – R (king) ANG[r]Y (angry with the r for regina deleted); nice definition
29 Decoration in a part of play with mother taking the lead (9)
DAMASCENE – DAM (mother – if you’re a foal) A SCENE (part of play); basically, an article produced by etching
1 Miraculous place of old, sure to have changed (7)
LOURDES – OLD SURE*; some will say there are no such things as miracles, others that there are but not the sort you get at Lourdes, others that there are miracles at Lourdes. I say, ‘Vive la difference!’ or even ‘Vive la différence’ and ‘Long live inclusivity and diversity, when the phrase actually means what it says on the label!’
2 Long garment lacking a measure of thermal protection (3)
TOG – TOG[a]
3 Beasts: rule-breakers, we hear? (8)
CHEETAHS – sounds like ‘cheaters’
4 Agree  a fixture (5)
MATCH – double definition (DD)
5 Football official reader found in the Mirror? (9)
6 Food is one thing after another reportedly (6)
CEREAL – sounds like ‘serial’
7 Minor war god made to look silly in an entertaining place (7,4)
8 Maiden hiding in Exeter, out in a faraway place (7)
12 Don’t, for instance, study adhesive friction (11)
CONTRACTION – CON (study) TRACTION (adhesive friction); nice grammatical literal
15 Divers manoeuvring round place being looked at again (9)
REVISITED – DIVER* (sic) around SITE (place); I believe there is a mistake here
 17 A police group is receiving huge complaint (8)
ACIDOSIS – OS (outsize, huge) in A CID (police group) IS (from the clue)
18 Accountant in car somewhere on Dartmoor? (7)
AUDITOR – AUDI (car) TOR (you get these prominent rocks in Devon)
20 Odd stone — how far it might be thrown? (7)
STRANGE – ST (abbreviation for stone) RANGE (how far you might chuck it)
21 Splendour of industrial plant about to be demolished (6)
FINERY – [re]FINERY (a refinery without its ‘about’, that is, Latin RE)
23 Prophet raised an awful stink (5)
NAHUM – reversal of AN followed by HUM; pity the initial letter was checked, setter…
27 Diamondsreally cool stuff (3)

66 comments on “Times 28453 – Glory to Hong Kong!”

  1. I’ll let the historians amongst us point out that for most of his early life Henry VII was, in fact, tall and lean, and just say that there were lots of strained words – Haematite, Tog, Acidosis, Nahum, and at least for me Veracious – a typo in some anagram fodder, definitions like “stuff”, and not quite enough wit to make up for it.

    I feel as if I’ve been sent to bed without my supper.

  2. I enjoyed this lots more than Paul did. Had no complaints, but then I wasn’t aware of the physical characteristics of the younger Henry (my POI, with FINERY last) and I didn’t stop to check the anagrist on REVISITED, although I did have a feeling something was off there. HESSIAN was one of my first in; one definition for “stuff” in Collins is (British version) “woollen cloth or fabric,” and I knew that. TOG was a guess, but otherwise no mysteries. I enjoyed getting HAEMATITE by connecting blood with “iron,” NAHUM from my churchy childhood, and ACIDOSIS, not literally. DICKINSON is one of my favorite poets.

    1. I, too, wrote in HAEMOTITE immediately remembering haemoglobin etc. Fortunately stopped to check the fodder to correct it.

    2. Yes, I too enjoyed this more than Paul. Certainly harder than the usual Monday with some tricky vocabulary, but why not? Like others I couldn’t see how 15D (REVISITED) could be made to parse with “divers” instead of “diver”, and like them assume a typo was to blame. Perhaps the crossword editor can enlighten us.

      1. A simple apostrophe (diver’s) would have separated diver from the ‘s’ and facilitated the anagram.

  3. Rapid top half, struggled below.

    DNK DAMASCENE as at work, but only as a St Paul type of conversion.
    I agree that Henry VIII was certainly tall and only became fat in middle age, but to be fair, those were his prime queen-bumping-off years.

    I was always told to “trust the cryptic”, so was uneasy with the obvious error in REVISITED. First time I’ve come across an actual mistake by the setter, as opposed to a misprint.

  4. 14:51
    I biffed HAEMATITE without batting an eye and without knowing what it is. Didn’t notice the diver problem; I suspect Vinyl is right. We had TOG not that long ago, I believe; not that it was necessary to remember that or know what it means. I was done and dusted in about 12′, except for 28ac, where I took a lot of time thinking runty? randy? (unlike Henry??) before thinking of RANGY; although as Paul says.

  5. 33 minutes. I wasn’t parsing carefully enough to notice a problem with REVISITED.

    AUDITOR, RANGY and FINERY (my LOI) gave me pause for thought and took me over my half-hour target. Annoying as I had thought of FINERY much earlier but was unable to parse it so it didn’t go in. It was only after the Y-checker arrived with RANGY that I decided FINERY had to be correct and persevered until I could see how it worked.

    1. I didn’t care much for FINERY. (And I don’t.) For one thing, finery is stuff: decoration or clothing, while splendor is an abstraction: you don’t wear splendor. And ‘finery’ tends to be critical or trivializing, while ‘splendor’ is anything but.

      1. FINERY

        SOED has: 2 Looks, beauty; affected or ostentatious elegance or splendour.

        Chambers (free on-line) has: 1 splendour; very ornate and showy clothes, jewellery, etc.
        ‘Splendour’ is also the very first definition in the printed edition.

  6. Thought it quite easy. Noticed REVISITED, guessed a missing apostrophe in diver’s. Slowed a bit in the SE SW, POI with trepidation was refinery, which I couldn’t parse. LOI Cereal which I hadn’t solved earlier. Liked HR bumping off his queen; only ever seen him drawn as rotund.

  7. Bad solving day …never felt comfortable with this one, I continually had the feeling I was doing a puzzle of QC-level difficulty, but taking ages to get anything apart from the no-brainers. I think it stated out with a frustrating inability to get either of the easy-looking 1a and 1d anagrams, throwing me off-balance.

    Struggled through, along the way banging REFLECTED Into 5d, leaving me with V-D-C-OUS for LOI. I chose VIDICIOUS, which seemed like a possible NHO, but I was fooling myself – 27m fail. Ouch.

    1. Yes, CHEETAHS and ICE made it feel like a QC!
      Gosh! With 19ac you nearly ended up with SID VICIOUS!

  8. 57m 28s. Starting in the NW, I thought ‘it would be all over by Christmas’. Solutions flew onto the page; but the lower down I got the harder I found it.
    I don’t agree with Pauletc on his choice of strained words. I expect to be challenged in The Times. In fact, I think NAHUM has cropped up fairly recently.
    Like Jack, I didn’t notice the error in REVISITED.
    In 14ac, “training establishment” made me think, initially, our setter was looking for the name of a train station.
    Nearly made a mistake and put VORACIOUS.
    CHEETAHS and ICE were two chestnuts, I thought.
    LOI/COD: FINERY. Some decades ago in one of his books, Alan Coren had a chapter on reworking old sayings. One that I remember is: “Red sky at night, refinery’s alight!”
    “And you read your Emily DICKINSON, and I my Robert Frost…”

  9. “Hope” is the thing with feathers –
    That perches in the soul – …

    25 mins mid-brekker. No ticks, no crosses, no irritations. For me the top half was much easier than the bottom half.
    Thanks setter and U.

  10. 10:12. Fairly straightforward, as I expect England’s World Cup match against Iran will be later today. Never can be sure with England though.
    I see a couple of solvers were not familiar with TOG so wondered whether it is largely a British unit of measurement. How do those who are unfamiliar buy duvets?

        1. And if VAR is going to give penalties for ‘defender dangling his arm in front of attacker’, there will be 100 more of those over the next month.

  11. TOG and Pippin were in Pogle’s Wood
    Back when children’s TV clearly could
    Have a magical vine
    Drinking bilberry wine
    The drugs in the sixties weren’t good

  12. 12:40. Moderately tricky, partly because of the funny words. I felt I was making heavy weather of it though, taking a while to see the rather obvious LATECOMER for instance. I didn’t notice the problem with REVISITED.

  13. 9:09. I didn’t share Paul’s dislike – I quite enjoyed this. I was held up for a minute at the end by the innocuous CEREAL and never spotted the problem with REVISITED. I liked HAEMATITE and RANGY best for the surfaces. Thanks Ulaca and setter.

  14. 30:18. A good brisk start until thrown by the tricky ones, and some of the simple ones too like CEREAL. LOI FINERY where, like others, I had the word but had to struggle to parse. I liked AUDITOR and CONTRACTION

  15. 15’04”. LOI Finery. Didn’t know Haematite or Acidosis but they were straightforward guesses. All pretty much on the level. Many thanks

  16. 40 mins so a little harder than your average Monday for me. Did notice the extra S in 15d. Talking of typos, you have one U in 5d where you have LECTRO.

    LOI RANGY. LATECOMER was, well, late in coming which held me up in the NW. I liked UNGUENT (great word) and SANDHURST.

    Thanks u and setter.

  17. Very quick this morning, brain still working; it doesn’t begin its downward spiral until Weds pm, usually.. sadly failed to notice that only one DIVER is needed, but there was quite a lot of biffing.
    Slight mer at Henry VIII, but though he was tall and to begin with not fat, I’m not sure if “rangy” ever quite fit. I’ve only got Hilary Mantel to go by, mind 🙂
    CHEETAH/CHEATER a real chestnut..

  18. 24:29
    I sleepily embarked on the Quick Cryptic by mistake this morning and when I started on this I didn’t think there was much difference in the level. But gradually I found myself slowing down and the last few made it, overall, an enjoyable Monday puzzle. I like DEMUR and the (demure) Miss DICKINSON. Last one in was FINERY which is fine by me.

    Thanks to ulaca and the setter.

  19. I found this fairly easy, and pleased to see some vocabulary I’m familiar with- ACIDOSIS is a nice one for an anaesthetist.
    Held up in the SW corner. Henry VIII was a very good tennis player in his youth, so they say.

  20. Most of this was on the easy side, and I thought at one point I might be on track for a record time, but there were enough trickier bits that in the end it was 6m 51s for me. CEREAL, FINERY & RANGY were my final trio.

  21. 48 minutes, but LIVERY didn’t work and neither did VORACIOUS. LIVERY should have failed Rotter’s Second Law, but I was persuaded by half parsing ‘to be’ as LIVE and couldn’t think of anything else. Stupid boy!

  22. I thought it was a bit tough on the setter to say that it was a setter’s mistake with diver/s, when it could have been the editor or the typesetter, but Izetti has come clean. Pity, for otherwise a pleasant easyish crossword that I did in 33 minutes. It was looking like being quicker until I got a bit bogged down. ACIDOSIS nho and entered from wordplay, and I have to admit to using a list of poets since DICKINSON never came to me.

  23. Liked it, 25 minutes, knew HAEMATITE and even had heard of Dickinson the poet. Agree it should be DIVER or DIVER’S in 15d. SANDHURST the CoD for me.

  24. I thought this was going to be a twenty-minute solve, since, as some have said, there was a lot of easy stuff, but the SW corner held me up for ages, particularly DICKINSON, RANGY, AUDITOR and FINERY. VERACIOUS and ACIDOSIS were alos late solves. One of those puzzles wher the setter lulls you into a false feeling of security with the easy early clues.
    29 minutes in the end.

  25. 24 mins. A few duh’s at the end, in particular at how long it took to get my LOI, CEREAL. Liked RANGY when I eventually twigged, which gave me FINERY. NHO VERACIOUS.

  26. Like others, I found the top half easier than the bottom half. In particular the SW held me up, with CONTRACTION and DICKINSON the main culprits. I didn’t notice the problem with REVISITED. TOG was FOI and FINERY LOI. 31:40. Thanks setter and Ulaca.

  27. Had just about heard of HAEMATITE but had to work it out from the clue rather than knowing it’s definition. Like the QC, I was in the groove today finishing this in 23.57 which for me is speedy. Held up at the end by CADRE and CEREAL which was my LOI. An enjoyable crossword although I never felt stretched.

  28. 20 mins. Couldn’t see how VERACIOUS worked and wondered how voracious could mean cruel – perhaps from the perspective of the one being eaten – but the clue made it clear which was required. Found this tougher than my eventual time would suggest.

  29. 37 mins and quite happy to get there – took a few goes to parse FINERY and I’m ashamed to say how late I got STRANGE… sometimes I feel conditioned not to consider the most obvious reading of the clue. I enjoyed VERACIOUS – a nice spot by the setter and fun to hunt for the right words.

  30. Found NW corner very easy, thought it would be a blitz but then held up by rest of crossword. MER at “divers”

  31. Apologies to the setter – reading the comments, I might have been a bit harsh last night. I will say that the difficult words were clued very clearly and fairly.

  32. Two goes needed again for me. Took too long to work out the anagrist for HAEMATITE, and before I got AUDITOR I was trying to fit ‘ca’ into a kind/brand of car for a place on Dartmoor (‘Acaston’ maybe?), which held up DICKINSON. I worked out DAMASCENE from wordplay, and I wasn’t at all confident about RANGY. The ‘divers’ error with REVISITED completely passed me by.

    FOI Extreme
    LOI Cereal
    COD Haematite

  33. Having worked out DICKINSON and ACIDOSIS, my LOI was 19a. I wrote out Vicious with Era and Age and decided to go for VORACIOUS which at least is a word I know exists.
    I now know VERACIOUS.
    About an hour.

  34. A gristle free Monday solve for me . UNGUENT, AGUE & ACIDOSIS made me happy, no doubt there will be some vexing legalese clues soon.

    DUCAT & ICE more QC than 15×15 ?

    I know it has been discussed before but brand names as in AUDI (TOR) ……do challenge me ( my very good friend ( a retired consultant ) had never heard of Tesla…. (when of course we all know he was an electrical engineer and inventor , and , it is a unit of magnetic flux. ) )
    I’m sure I will be reminded about such usage.

    Well done England.

    Thank you setter, blogger and other contributors.

  35. I might well not have finished at all, thanks to a stupid mistake – I somehow confounded cheetahs and cheaters to end up with CHEETERS which, being a down clue, didn’t look as wrong as it should have. This meant that 14A was impossible. Luckily, Mr Ego pointed out the error, and SANDHURST was immediately obvious. Some delay over VERACIOUS. I failed to parse it – I wanted to put VORACIOUS, but knew it didn’t mean cruel – in the end I went for the correct solution, but I really hate it when I can’t parse the answer. There were an unusually large number of anagrams – lucky for me, as NHO HAEMATITE

  36. This didn’t feel at all like a Monday puzzle. NHO NAHUM and, unaccountably, I couldn’t come up with CEREAL even with all the checkers in place. I liked VERACIOUS when I eventually saw it, but even now I’m going to have to reach for a dictionary to find out what RANGY means: I don’t think I’ve ever heard it. So, a DNF to start the week for me.

  37. 23:40

    No real difficulties with the lesser-known words. HAEMATITE seemed like a straightforward anag though I didn’t know what it was. If you’d asked me to name a poet called DICKINSON, I’m not sure I could have, but the cryptic was clear enough.

    My only real pause for thought was VERACIOUS vs VORACIOUS (maybe unknown to me, it had another definition of ‘cruel’?) rather than VICIOUS – couldn’t see what ERA should be replacing, so trusted the definition. And breathe…

  38. A couple of tricky unknowns -Nahum and Acidosis, though the cryptics were kind, and a half remembered poet, but enjoyable, steady progress until the last pair: Finery/Rangy. A fair bit of head scratching at that point, before Finery confirmed a dubious sounding Rangy (unknown to me, but confirmed as ‘obvious’ by Mrs I). Better still, all fully parsed apart from the flawed Revisited. Invariant

  39. Breezed through, but didn’t like the reference to Henry 8 in clue for RANGY. Couldn’t figure out why he was mentioned. I managed 20 minutes.

    1. Obviously, a bit of a Marmite clue, but for me the stereotypical image of the man is important.

      Ever since Keith Michell portrayed him on TV 50 odd years ago, he’s typically conceived of by the average Brit of a certain age as tubby.

  40. I came here just to find out how to parse 15d. Glad it wasn’t me being obtuse. Enjoyable puzzle. I had VORACIOUS at first although I thought the definition was a bit off. One I parsed it the answer was clear – but I’ve never heard of VERACIOUS. 26 minutes

  41. Lucky my guesses were correct- NHO NAHUM but was nicely clued, likewise the poet and the complaint. Assumed the extra s was a mistake.
    Enjoyed it
    Thanks blogger and Izetti

  42. Rather a slow 41 minutes for me.

    My most inspired mistake was pencilling in ‘carion’ for the ‘food that’s one thing after another.’

  43. 29:55 for me. All but 4 done in around 20 minutes, but slowed up in SW corner with LOI RANGY (not very confidently). Another one who didn’t notice the problem with REVISITED. I thought there was lots of enjoyable variety in the clues, so thank you setter, and also Ulaca.

  44. Even though I never managed to work out VERACIOUS, and because I use a pen, that part of the puzzle gradually became obscured (!) and I ended up with the fictitious VIROCIOUS. Also never twigged that 14a was a named ‘training establishment’, so that was very slow to fall. Caught napping by the (apparent) chestnut at 6d too. Despite all that, felt ok that I nearly made it – a definite improvement on my recent struggles. Liked all the ones that lead me to unknown words by simply trusting the parsing; like McBeak I often overthink simpler clues! ACIDOSIS went straight in, as I had a bad run with that as a toddler nearly 8 decades ago!

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