Times 28474 – maybe time to call it 19?

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Time taken: 11:51, but with one silly typo.  This has not been my week, I had a typo on Tuesday, a completely incorrect answer on Wednesday and today I am back to the head-smacking pink square.

Looking at the early times, this is a tricky one, and there is one answer I need to do a bit more research on, as I biffed it and still don’t quite see how part of it works.

How did you do?

1 Deserts from armed conflict inspired by Trotskyite? (6)
REWARD – WAR(armed conflict) inside RED(Trotskyite)
4 After school exam, finally escape for a chat (8)
SCHMOOZE –  SCH(school), the last letter of exaM, then OOZE(escape). This was my biff, fortunately saw what was going on for the blog
10 Collar getting black: race to find cleaner (9)
NAILBRUSH – NAIL(collar), B(black) and RUSH(race)
11 One dwelling in Ontario, also Garda, oddly unseen? (5)
NAIAD – alternating letters in oNtArIo and alternating letters in gArDa.  Both lakes where a naiad might live – clever all-in-one
12 No can do! (6,5)
BOTTLE PARTY – cryptic defintion
14 Experienced? Only from what we hear (3)
NEW – sounds like KNEW – kind of a reverse clue where the answer is the reverse of the wordplay
15 Clumsy Yankee should have let go earlier (7)
UNHANDY – Y(yankee) with UNHAND(let go) in front
17 Squat in E London joint: filthy place all round (6)
STOCKY – ‘OCK(East London version of HOCK, joint) with STY(filthy place) outside
19 Game is even, there’s nothing in it (6)
QUOITS – QUITS(even) with O(nothing) inside. This was my typo, where I had QUUITS
21 Returning skint upset somewhat original world tourist (7)
SPUTNIK – hidden reversed in sKINT UPSet
23 Urge for one to stick with golf (3)
EGG – EG(for one) with G(golf)
24 First for group closing, performing cover for festival (11)
GLASTONBURY – first letter in Group, then LAST(closing), ON(performing), BURY(cover)
26 Cross quietly taken from crib (5)
IRATE – remove P(quietly) from PIRATE(crib, copy)
27 Hope to let out type of camera (9)
29 Grasping person before finding support in choir stall (8)
MISERERE – MISER(grasping person), ERE(before)
30 Gibe to upset the market-goer? (3,3)
BIG TOE – anagram of GIBE,TO – one of the little piggies that went to market
1 Wheels for convenience are working: first class fit (8)
RUNABOUT – RUN(are working), A(first class), BOUT(fit)
2 Game that’s small to expand a tiny bit (5)
WHIST – S(small) inside WHIT(a tiny bit)
3 Base missing from stone grate (3)
RUB – remove the last letter from RUBY(stone)
5 Playing mostly rock, host support bands (7)
COHORTS – anagram of ROCk and HOST
6 Ready for firing when loaded? (5,2,4)
MONEY TO BURN – MONEY(ready) TO BURN(for firing)
7 With expert knowledge, evidently, family produces fine paper (9)
ONIONSKIN – someone with expert knowledge would know their ONIONS, then KIN(family)
8 Finances put a stop to audible suffering? (6)
ENDOWS – END(put a stop to), OWS(audible suffering)
9 Provide with flexibility (6)
SUPPLY – double definition
13 Acquiring clothes which you also need to take off (7,4)
LANDING GEAR – LANDING(acquiring), GEAR(clothes)
16 Timer displaying agreeable figure? (9)
HOURGLASS – double definition
18 Fine old pair of openers, one briefly about to perform (4-4)
OKEY-DOKE –  O(old), then two KEY’s(openers), the second one shortened, surrounding DO(to perform)
20 Dash to revamp the arts (7)
SHATTER – anagram of THE ARTS
21 Foot light (6)
SETTLE – two definitions, the first one being to pay, and the second to land
22 Maybe opposing women’s teams in cup tie: one’s knocked out (6)
SEXISM – XIS(teams) inside SEMI(cup tie) minus I(one)
25 Sub has left for a bar (1,4)
U BOLT – U BOAT(sub) with L(left) replacing A
28 Letter, or what’s added to it by one (3)
PSI – PS(addition to a letter), and I(one)

69 comments on “Times 28474 – maybe time to call it 19?”

  1. 48 minutes. Not quite the stinker we’ve been expecting for a few weeks but still hard enough. Entered the appropriately ecclesiastical sounding NHO MISERERE from wordplay and biffed ONIONSKIN. Only semi-parsed NAIAD, missing the lakes bit, and also wondered how to classify NEW.

    I liked working out the parsing of SCHMOOZE, OKEY-DOKE and BIG TOE.

    I haven’t looked it up, but to me a TELEPHOTO is a type of lens, not a ‘camera’.

  2. No real problems until reaching the SW, but some thought needed to figure out the likes of OKEY-DOKE and PSI, and not write U-BOAT. Needed to guess MISERERE to finish HOURGLASS, UNHANDY (is that even a word?) and then LOI SEXISM.
    I mentally included support in the definition for cohorts.
    Nice puzzle, good level of trickery.

    1. “Unhand” has a period ring to it these days, as in “Unhand me, Sir, you blackguard!”

  3. This started well enough in the NW corner but gradually fell apart. By the time an hour was on the clock I had so many question marks re words, meanings or definitions in answers I assumed to be correct that I had lost interest and used aids for the remainder.

    Amongst many other things, at 22dn I had SEXIST which made the NHO choir stall impossible anyway.

    Not my sort of puzzle at all, and the enjoyment factor was nil after the first 10 minutes.

    1. #Me too! Too much of a slog: NHOs include BOTTLE PARTY, UNHANDY (really?), U BOLT. Solving not helped by having a missing clue for 22d ( I do the paper version in Oz a month after you guys). Newspaper editors not what they used to be…

      1. I’m hoping they have a work experience student on crossword duty on a “how hard can it be to cut and paste?” basis. Roll on back to school.

      2. It would be good to get a one month later Oz discussion going at the bottom of the blog. I had been put off by your comments being dated the day before publication of the puzzle here and was wondering how you were getting it a day early. However, it occurred to me maybe that’s British time. We’ll see what the date of this comment is. The other off-putting thing was a comment one of them made a long time ago about how pathetic were comments added so much later than theirs. However, I think that we here could get something out of it. Of course, people may not feel moved to comment every day, especially when so much has already been said. On edit: No, this does have today’s date. How did both of you do the puzzle yesterday?

        1. I also do the crossword on paper in Australia, but in the evening so come to this site to resolve any puzzlement. Today I struggled to parse OKAY DOKE, and now know why, and chose wrongly between possible invented words at 29 across (MISERERE v. MISERBRA).

        2. Hi anjoha
          I saw your comments recently and added a response at the end of the blog.
          No response, however, from there, so I thought I would repost in response to your post, which seemed more relevant to do than to Crucihacker or to Caz, though they obviously have similar issues.

          So here we are again:

          My wife and I are more of the Aussie (though ex-Brit) contingent, who do the paper version of the 15×15 in The Australian. We usually copy it enlarged onto A4, as easier for our aging eyes to read. But we certainly can’t read missing clues (22d) either. We’re often several days behind our other fellow-country cruciverbalists, but we always enjoy coming to this site to read the blog, even if delayed. The now not-so-new site is so much better than the old one, and we’re grateful for all those who made that change happen. We appreciate the many regular contributors (poetic: well done, Astronowt and Myrtilus! and prosodic: too many to mention!) and the faithful bloggers (though we are missing Verlaine’s regular gems!), and applaud the skills of the anonymous setters. Thanks to all. Our skills have been gradually improving ever since we came here from the Telegraph weekly cryptic so many moons ago!
          We have been moved to write after the earlier comments higher up this particular blog.
          It’s not yet time to call it …..!

          Hopefully, you will see this

  4. Gave up after 30 mins, just could not get going.

    Knew MISERICORD as a support in a choir stall, tried to see how that could work.

    For me, this was the long-expected stinker.

  5. 63 minutes with LOI OKEY-DOKE. SPUTNIK should win the hidden of the year award too. I took an age to get going and didn’t finish that fast either, but did parse everything but UNHANDY on the way. For me too, this was the long-awaited stinker, a sentence I’d already come up with before reading Merlin. Thank you George and setter.

  6. As if a Naiad, like a meddling elf,
    Should darken her pure grot with muddy gloom:

    35 mins post-brekker. Quirky. Naiad and New were interesting clueing. And Bottle Party’s a gem.
    Thanks setter and G.

  7. I’m with Merlin an Jackkt (although even then I’m flattering myself)

    Puzzles like this make me wonder whether I’ll ever get to the level of a regular solver.

    I think the biggies I’ve cracked in the past must have been flukes. Just too many hard ‘uns to mention but SCHMOOZE, ONIONSKIN, MISERERE, OKIE DOKE, BOTTLE PARTY, MONEY TO BURN, RUNABOUT, NEW, UNHANDY…for starters!

    I even failed to enter REWARD having worked out that it was the ONLY answer but thought I was being tricked as I always thought it was ‘desserts’…as in what you get after…

    Off to lick my wounds and do a ‘dead easy’ Sudoku or similar.

    1. Interesting point regarding REWARD and “deserts”. I just looked it up and in this meaning of deserts the word is pronounced the same as desserts (as opposed to barren sandy places).

      1. I was too scarred by the whole experience to want to research further but I have done now and you’re right. From MerriamWebster: ‘an older noun version of desert meaning “deserved reward or punishment”‘. Well there you go…

          1. Oh yes, definitely a phrase in current usage. It was the origin of ‘deserts’ (that I’d always assumed was ‘desserts’) that needed research.

  8. 23:59. I really enjoyed this, with most clues requiring a good deal of thought but none seeming so opaque as to cause frustration. There were some nice penny drop moments along the way, such as when I realised that “finally escape” wasn’t just indicating the letter E and so I didn’t need to equate MOOZ with “exam”. Similarly with QUOITS I spent a while thinking “Game” was our old friend RU, causing me to look for an answer fitting RU_I_T_.
    There was one clue which seemed to me not to quite work which was ONIONSKIN. AFAIK, the only sense in which onions relate to expert knowledge is in the phrase “know one’s onions”. The mere presence of the word ONIONS seemed to me to omit the knowing part. Anyhow, a small quibble over a very good puzzle.

  9. 35:08 with 1 error – U-BOAT. I was struggling by that time and therefore biffing too quickly. I don’t think I understand 16a. I would get it if it was “Experienced? NOT from what we hear!”

    Thanks for sorting me out on the parsing!

  10. For the second time this week, I’m pretty happy with a DNF as worked through (almost) all of the tricky elements of this in 12.16 but made a sloppy rushed punt at U-BOAT without really reading the wordplay. Clearly still need to improve in certain areas!

    I really like this sort of puzzle where the difficulty comes from the cryptic clues rather than the vocab itself although still needed to guess MISERERE.

    Thanks G and setter

  11. 18:23. But with 1 wrong – U BOAT. Grr. LOI SCHMOOZE where I struggled to find the exam that was (mostly) not there. I liked NAIAD but COD to ONIONSKIN. Thanks George and setter.

  12. REWARD FOI, thinking of ‘getting one’s just deserts’. SCHMOOZE / ONIONSKIN LOsI – I’d thought of ONIONSKIN, which I knew was a thing, but not what thing, but the PDM took a while.

    Like others, NAIAD only half-parsed. Had to be careful with OKEY DOKE, never seen spelt like that.

    Always stood or sat when I was a chorister, so didn’t know the support meaning of MISERERE – but Ps 51 one of my favourites.

    Incidentally SPUTNIK means ‘fellow traveller’.

    23’22”, thanks george and setter.

    1. Please picture the SPUTNIK for me
      There are no solar panels, you see
      So it bleeped for a while
      As it whizzed round in style
      Till it flattened its poor battery

  13. 26:46
    Overall I enjoyed this but I thought several clues were decidedly libertarian, ONIONSKIN and NEW for example. TELEPHOTO was a MER but fair enough if it’s in the dictionary. I needed George to fully explain OKEY-DOKE. COD was SCHMOOZE.

    Thanks to George and the setter,

  14. 14:45 here, with a careless U-BOAT at the end, having spent too long picking apart all the other wordplay and wanting to finish under 15 mins. I ought to know better by now…

  15. Nice one. 26’07”. A couple of minutes wasted by having SEXIST, like Jackkt. Though that was stupid of me, because I knew I couldn’t parse it, whereas with SEXISM it is clear. Some lovely tough clues, though I am sure I’ve seen NO CAN DO or a variant of it before. Many thanks

  16. 27.54, but another puzzle that, sadly, I didn’t enjoy very much. An awful lot of looseness.

  17. I’m also having a bad week, like George, with a daily pink . Today unthinkingly succumbed to U-BOAT. Otherwise very much enjoyed the puzzle. Thanks George and setter.

  18. 48:15. I enjoyed this one, some tricky definitions. LOI SCHMOOZE having previously rejected SCHM as a possible start until getting COHORTS. And then changing U-BOAT to U-BOLT in the final check. I liked BOTTLE PARTY and BIG TOE

  19. Surely those who post on this site, no doubt many of them more experienced at crosswords than I am, saw ‘no can do’ as a chestnut to end all chestnuts. Goodness knows how the crossword editor allowed it to get through. Very nice once, but it has surely been used too many times.

    There were some answers that I was uncomfortable with, and my experience was much the same as Jackkt’s: as the hour approached and went by I lost interest and used aids. MER at TELEPHOTO = camera, but if the dictionaries allow it then OK I suppose. Didn’t really know what a MISERERE was, but thought that no doubt it was OK. Not quite sure how 6dn works: it seems a bit loose. In 13dn is the def referring to what an aeroplane needs when taking off, or is there something else? I liked 18dn, 22dn and 28dn. Had never really heard of a U BOLT and had u port without knowing why except that port = l.

    1. I think NO CAN DO must be a reverse chestnut. a search reveals many appearances as the answer, even one with the wordplay bottle-only party, but no sign of it before as the clue

  20. 13:53, decidedly tricky in parts, but all unravelled reasonably quickly for a tough puzzle. My biggest pause for thought was NEW, where my first thought was “where’s the definition, then?” but I suppose it’s an unusual sort of all-in-one clue where you need to already have the answer to fully make sense of the clue. Not sure I’m keen on the mechanism, if I’m honest, but I suppose I got the answer, so what’s the problem? An interesting challenge, anyway.

  21. I enjoyed this one finishing outside target at 49.10 and thinking I’d got all correct. Sadly, I was another who carelessly put in U BOAT so a DNF with yet again one letter incorrect. I am losing track of the number of times this has occurred in the last few weeks.
    MISERERE didn’t cause me concern as I was looking at a fine example of one in York Minster only a few months ago.

  22. 34:15 but with the U BOAT error. It was clear something was amiss in my failure to parse and I meant to return to it at the end but forgot. Rats.

  23. 9:57 with final rather biffy rush to try to keep under 10 min barrier. Fortunately all proved correct, but left with some open thoughts. Not convinced NEW clue really works, whatever dictionary says I would put TELEPHOTO as a lens rather than a camera, and Ontario and Garda can be lots of things other than just lakes (and I think NAIADs are “water nymphs” and presumably thus not restricted to lakes), but some other good flourishes, rarely seen, eg “suffering” for OWS, and some very chewy bits of wordplay to disentangle elsewhere. Entertaining if occasionally tad frustrating. Many thanks to blogger and setter.

  24. Took three goes, but got there in the end. Had to construct the unknown NAIAD and MISERERE from wordplay, didn’t understand how WHIST worked until after I’d put it in with a shrug, and like others was held up by thinking of ‘sexist’ before working out SEXISM.

    FOI Reward
    LOI Runabout
    COD Money to burn

  25. 44:15. This felt a lot harder than recent puzzles, and I was pleasantly surprised to finish correctly in what for me is a reasonable time. I thought there were lots of great clues here – SCHMOOZE, BOTTLE PARTY, MONEY TO BURN, ONIONSKIN, OKEY-DOKE, SEXISM. NAIAD was cleverer than I’d realised. Thanks s & b.

  26. I was dreading this, my first crossword in over four weeks (been away taming Patagonia) and needed to finish it before my log-burner ate my only two logs. Did it with heat to spare. Thanks to setter and blogmeister.

  27. I wouldn’t have said this was a lot easier than yesterday’s, but I enjoyed it a great deal more, despite putting in U-BOAT, without understanding the parsing (no, I hadn’t heard of a U-BOLT!). Bit of a MER at SCHMOOZE, which I have always used and heard used in the Yiddish sense of ‘sucking up’ to someone or ‘sweet talking’ them, not just having a chat. Also, while trying to remember the word for a choir stall rest, I was actually thinking of misericord, but fortunately I came to the right answer from the cryptic anyway. I bifd and didn’t parse LOI WHIST, so thanks, George, for that, and to the setter for a good workout, half of it post a work Christmas lunch.

  28. I liked this. It felt tricksy, as distinct from tricky, but rewarding.
    Except telephoto is NOT a camera, whatever anyone might allege

  29. Enjoyed a lot of the clues despite my worst DNF in a while – missing ONIONSKIN, NEW, QUOITS and SEXISM and I would have failed on U BOAT anyway.

    I have to say I’m struggling to get my head around “with expert knowledge, evidently” = ONIONS. It feels like onions = knowledge only in the specific phrase “know one’s onions” which isn’t hinted at here. Is “evidently” just a magic word that fixes any grammatical issues?

    Thanks George for parsing lots of clues for me (and thanks setter!)

  30. DNF, 22d SEXISM, too clever for me and 26a pIRATE, never thought of that sort of crib.
    One benefit of a Cathedral School education was 29a MISERERE, explained by a master who happened to be teaching me Latin at some point.
    MER at TELEPHOTO camera, lens is fine.
    25d U-BOLT familiar enough but for me it ain’t a bar. Bars tend to be straight, possibly with a bend somewhere but NO WAY a U. U-Bolts are threaded, not something a bar commonly is. I am very surprised no-one else had a MER.

  31. Very enjoyable- one of those where you keep chipping away, solving one clue and then slowly another. SEXISM LOI. Glad I changed my u-boat on rereading the clue. Also pleased there was no doubt as to the spelling of OKEY-DOKE.
    As an aside a chestnut is only a chestnut if you’ve met it before (several times presumably). That assumes no new(er) solvers are coming here. That would be an unfortunate state of affairs. Thanks a plenty to the setter and of course the blogger .

  32. 4th one finished this week, all in under 50 minutes, no gripes. Will I even find time to tackle Friday’s, let alone complete in <50 mins?

  33. I really enjoyed this. Although a DNF (just how many bits of a church should we be able to name??) I loved the challenge of some different clueing. Too many PDMs to mention. I agree telephoto is a type of lens, but if it was clued as such it would have been too easy…
    Don’t have a time for my DNF because I solved part over coffee at about 6am, part on the Eurostar around 11am, part on various motorways in France, and finished it off on a campsite near Bordeaux. Tomorrow’s effort will be similar, ending somewhere in the vicinity of Salamanca.

  34. I finished this correctly after 75 minutes or so, but interrupted after 55 of them because I couldn’t see five answers (SCHMOOZE, RUNABOUT, UNHANDY, STOCKY, SEXISM). They slowly fell into place when I returned. And fortunately, before submitting, I wondered if U BOOT, with the German spelling, could really be what was wanted at 25dn, and then I saw how the clue really worked. Many clues needed very careful picking apart, so that was superb. COD to BOTTLE PARTY or MONEY TO BURN or SEXISM, for that matter.

  35. 42 mins. Frustrating to discover after finally getting there that I’d bunged in U BOAT without even reading the clue beyond SUB.

  36. What did the choirboy say when another one stole his seat?

    “Miserere Mei!”

    No? Okay, no.

    Enjoyable puzzle which I did over supper, just scraping in under the hour. Thanks setter and George.

  37. Well, I came here to see if the blog was up yet for Friday’s, which I’ve now completed in much less time than this one took me. I honestly couldn’t tell whether Thursday’s taking so long was due to my own circumstances, so am happy to find that others also found it hard. No errors, though, and nothing mysterious about the parsings. MISERERE was one of my last (a guess), before SEXISM.

  38. I apparently forgot to do this one yesterday, and after battling for 45 minutes was inclined to wish I hadn’t realised and left it alone. I finally realised why I couldn’t solve 29a when I revisited SEXIST and saw the correct parsing. LOI, MISERERE. However, it was all in vain as I’d missed the parsing of 28d and decided that 1 added to the acidity or alkalinity of PH and popped PHI in. Drat and double drat! 47:20 WOE is me. Thanks setter and George.

  39. My wife and I are more of the Aussie (though ex-Brit) contingent, who do the paper version of the 15×15 in The Australian. We usually copy it enlarged onto A4, as easier for our aging eyes to read. But we certainly can’t read missing clues (22d) either. We’re often several days behind our other fellow-country cruciverbalists, but we always enjoy coming to this site to read the blog, even if delayed. The now not-so-new site is so much better than the old one, and we’re grateful for all those who made that change happen. We appreciate the many regular contributors (poetic: well done, Astronowt and Myrtilus! and prosodic: too many to mention!) and the faithful bloggers (though we are missing Verlaine’s regular gems!), and applaud the skills of the anonymous setters. Thanks to all. Our skills have been gradually improving ever since we came here from the Telegraph weekly cryptic so many moons ago!
    We have been moved to write after the earlier comments higher up this particular blog.
    It’s not yet time to call it …..!

    1. Many thanks, Bill. Any comments you post will usually be seen by the person who created the blog. Also if you post using the Reply button anybody who contributed to that sub-thread of the discussion will also be notified unless they have opted out. Thanks for all your kind remarks.

    2. I’m in HK and do the Times Crossword in the paper version of the SCMP – generally about 3 months after the UK contingent.. I love this site, it’s fantastic and the only reason I am able to do cryptic crosswords – though neither fast nor without the occasional need for aids/ to look things up. But getting better and that is thanks to this blog.
      To the wonderful bloggers – your time and knowledge and wit are so appreciated. Thank you

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