Times 28475 – wherein doth sit the dread


Very pleased with my time, as this felt like more of a stinker than late. All green, but several not understood until blogging with the help of the internet. COD 26ac, LOI 18ac, most time spent unravelling 7dn.

Definitions underlined.

1 Maybe money that’s left on account, last of salary (6)
LEGACY – LEG (on) + AC (account) + last letter of salarY.
4 Person acquiring a record: disc with loud guitar (8)
OFFENDER – O (disc) + F (forte, loud) + FENDER (guitar).
10 Obsession of Arab, blocking title given to Lisa (9)
11 Assume German cheers after eliminating resistance (5)
POSIT – PrOSIT (cheers in German) lacking ‘r’ (resistance).
12 Kind of pop record’s sleeve showing lack of harmony (7)
DISCORD – DISCO (kind of pop music) + RecorD’s outer letters (sleeve).
13 Minor eminence not well dressed in white (7)
HILLOCK – ILL (not well) in HOCK (white wine).
14 Banter with pair of females after a drink (5)
CHAFF – FF (pair of females) after CHA (drink).
15 E.g. fighter‘s great skill, boxing right (8)
AIRCRAFT – A1 (great) + CRAFT (skill) containing (boxing) R (right).
18 Will one carp see inside boat? I’m not sure (8)
KVETCHER – V (vide, see) in KETCH (boat) + ER (I’m not sure). One who complains/carps.
20 Lodge in valley accommodating wife (5)
DWELL -DELL (valley) containing W (wife).
23 East Germans taking very little time in assimilation (7)
OSMOSIS – OSSIS (slang for East Germans, ‘easties’) taking MO (moment, very little time).
25 Once again, go over most of renegotiated treaties (7)
ITERATE – anagram of (renegotiated) most of TREATIEs.
26 Ruffian, working for university, is one showing a lot of cheek? (5)
THONG – THuG (ruffian), substitute ON (working) for U (university).
27 Staggered towards the sunset in a crowd (9)
AWESTRUCK – WEST (towards the sunset) in A RUCK (a crowd).
28 Supply deal secured by helper making capital (8)
ADELAIDE – anagram of (supply) DEAL contained by AIDE.
29 Cook fish slices in great quantities (6)
FREELY – FRY (cook) that EEL (fish) cuts into (slices).
1 Lady Fortune, according to Spooner, is a weakling (4,4)
LAME DUCK – “Dame Luck” (Lady Fortune), Spoonerised.
2 Vocalist crooned with head down amid grand cheers (7)
GANGSTA – SANG (crooned) with first letter moved down gives ANGS, inside G (grand) and TA (cheers). A rap singer, apparently.
3 Succeed using computers? Pull the other one! (4,3,2)
COME OFF IT – COME OFF (succeed) + I.T. (computers).
5 During sunny day, scoff that lady’s underwear is silly (14)
FEATHERBRAINED – FINE (sunny) + D (day) containing all of EAT (scoff), HER (that lady’s), and BRA (underwear).
6 Dismiss half of costs on line (5)
EXPEL – half of EXPEnses (costs) + L (line).
7 Write quickly — from France’s capital (4,3)
DASH OFF – DASH (—) + OF (from) + F (France’s capital).
8 Painter‘s frames for rococo triptych a stunning hit (6)
ROTHKO – outer letters (frames) for RococO and TriptycH + K.O. (knock out, stunning hit).
9 A compiler into version of Handel American musicians play (2,5,7)
AN IDEAL HUSBAND – A + I (compiler) inside an anagram (version) of HANDEL + U.S. (American) + BAND (musicians). Wilde play.
16 One possibly barking puzzle supplier for the Morning Star? (3,6)
RED SETTER – DBE and cryptic definition.
17 Oddly keen to block friendly state, one involved in assembly (5,3)
ALLEN KEY – anagram of (oddly) KEEN inside ALLY (friendly state).
19 See a deer and beat it (7)
VAMOOSE – V (vide, see) + A + MOOSE (deer).
21 Night before receiving a signal, one gets rescued (7)
EVACUEE – EVE (night before) containing A CUE (a signal).
22 Play heroine part and heartless Iago amazingly (6)
PORTIA – anagram of (amazingly) PART and IagO (i.e. heartless). A leading role in one of my favourite WS plays, The Merchant of Venice.
24 American soldiers in retreat showing character (5)
SIGMA – AM (American) + G.I.S (soldiers) all reversed (in retreat).

51 comments on “Times 28475 – wherein doth sit the dread”

  1. I had just finished Thursday’s, finally, before I started this, and if it’s hard, then I must have gotten lucky and tuned in on the right wavelength. Right away I got AN IDEAL HUSBAND from just the D in DISCORD (and, of course, the enumeration). Then the right side filled in much more quickly than I expected from working the left. Lots of fun!

  2. 26:37
    Not that tough for a Friday. I was surprised to see KVETCHER; I needed the V and T to come up with it. (on edit:) I’ve actually never come across ‘kvetcher’; someone who kvetches is a kvetch, although adding an -er doesn’t bother me. Biffed DASH OFF, AWESTRUCK, AN IDEAL HUSBAND. It took me a long time (after submission) to see where DASH came from. ROTHKO puzzled me until I realized I was confusing him with Roethke. I had a MER at GANGSTA, which is a kind of rap, not a vocalist thereof; or so I thought: according to Collins it can also refer to the rapper. DNK ALLEN KEY (I may have known ‘Allen wrench’); I was further slowed down by taking ‘oddly keen’ to be KE rather than (KEEN)*. I liked LEGACY.

  3. Found that quite easy, the ones not seen first time through showed themselves easily enough with a few checkers. Only surprise was GANGSTA built from the cryptic; everything else seemed telegraphed. Though I see I had one parsing error, yet again missing the — = DASH, assuming in passing (and parsing) that Quickly! was the imperative for Dash!
    COD has to be GANGSTA, liked OSMOSIS and LEGACY as well. Thanks setter & blogger.

  4. 47 minutes. There were some tricky goings-on here and a few unknowns such as ROTHKO and East Germans/OSSIS, but all answers could be obtained from wordplay, definition or a combination of both, and unlike yesterday’s disappointing puzzle, once I had an answer I knew that it was correct and felt motivated to press on to another stage of the solve.

    Although I had been thinking along the right lines at 18ac having spotted the definition and the -ER ending, I might never have come up with KVETCHER if the setter hadn’t used the same device (see/V) in the intersecting clue to VAMOOSE. I wasn’t sure what KVETCH(ER) meant but I did at least recognise the word as I’d heard it used by the American comedian, Jackie Mason.

  5. I was definitely on the setter’s wavelength. All done in my usual time. Thanks compiler and William.

  6. 55m 43s. Difficult enough for me.
    Like Kevin, I thought GANGSTA was the style of rap, not the person rapping.
    My first thought with 13ac was PILLOCK and not HILLOCK but a ‘minor eminence’ is not the P-word!
    I knew KVETCHER because I have a New Yorker cover on my desktop which divides New York into ‘stans. One is Kvetchnya.
    I was foxed by OSMOSIS because I had always thought East Germans were known as Osties or Ostis.
    I like the long down clues, FEATHERBRAINED and AN IDEAL HUSBAND but COD to DASH OFF. I normally miss the punctuation-type clues.
    I’m just pleased to conclude the working week (not that I work these days) with no errors after several days of pink squares.

  7. 37 minutes for me. A fun puzzle. I didn’t know CHAFF with that meaning. It was odd that the V in KVETCHER and VAMOOSE were clued the same way. I’m not sure I knew AN IDEAL HUSBAND but I worked it out from the wordplay, that was like an Ikea assembly (needing an ALLEN KEY). I biffed DASH OFF so never noticed that I needed to “parse” the punctuation. I know enough about rap to know that GANGSTA rap is a thing, but not enough to have an MER at it being the rapper not the style like others above. I also liked THONG.

  8. 27:27. Weird week for me – after massively struggling on Wed and Thu (and making errors on both) I actually found this one relatively simple. Still an above-average time, but nothing massively horrible I thought. Using V = SEE not only twice in the same crossword but as the intersection of two clues was a bit odd!

    Thanks William and setter!

  9. 15:49. We’ve all heard the tip that if there’s a U try a Q in front of it. Lesser known is the tip that if there’s a V try a K in front of it. I was surprised to see Chambers has a handful of entries other than KVETCHER containing KV though I don’t expect any others to come up soon.
    I finished today with GANGSTA where I’d previously spent time thinking the only possible word that fitted was Ganesha.

  10. 39 minutes with LOI FREELY. I biffed POSIT, not having the German. I’d heard of GANGSTA rap but, somewhat surprisingly, there’s none to be found in my collection of gramophone records. It had to be KVETCHER once VAMOOSE emerged but I’d have not thought of it otherwise. OSMOSIS was from the Physics part of the clue, as I thought that East Germans were Osters or something similar, with an umlaut. I trust a working knowledge of German isn’t about to become mandatory. Overall, a good puzzle. Thank you William and setter.

  11. 12’37”, pretty much steady solving for me today. I definitely have been (a) more relaxed and (b) faster since I stopped doing the Crossword Club.

    I had KETCH in mind but couldn’t fit it in until I got VAMOOSE. Bifd AN IDEAL HUSBAND, ALLEN KEY not parsed (they always seem to be the wrong size or too short for leverage). No idea re GANGSTA, my music taste and knowledge stops in the early 1980s.

    Thanks william and setter.

  12. 16:44. I was puzzled by OSMOSIS thinking it had to be OSMOTIC, knowing OST was German for East, but I’d never heard of OSSIS. VAMOOSE and the unknown KVETCHER took a while to come too. LOI FREELY. I liked the FEATHERBRAINED IDEAL HUSBAND. Thanks William and setter.

  13. About 30 minutes. DASH OFF was unparsed – one day I’ll successfully figure out a clue involving punctuation, but today is not that day. I took ages to work out the kind of eminence the setter was getting at with HILLOCK (not helped by forgetting to consider wines for ‘white’), and once that particular penny dropped I got ROTHKO as my LOI. My knowledge of German helped a lot with POSIT and OSMOSIS, though I think with checkers they were gettable anyway. Enjoyable stuff, so thank to setter and blogger.

    FOI Dwell
    LOI Rothko
    COD An Ideal Husband

  14. 38 minutes. Didn’t know OSSIS for ‘East Germans’ and was surprised to see GANGSTA and KVETCHER. I was also held up by initially reading ‘Iago’ as ‘lago’ at 22d; Shakespeare isn’t my strong point.

    The misleading ‘one involved in assembly’ def for ALLEN KEY was my pick for today.

  15. Liked this one, not too hard, neatly put together and as Jackkt says, once you get an answer you can see it’s the answer.
    Kvetch has appeared several times before, though not recently … 2017 the last time, it seems.
    We old Ikea hands always use our own set of allen keys (or screwdriver bits), never the pathetic little bit of metal that comes with the package..
    Gangsta the last one in, not my scene at all. Like others I thought it related to the genre not the performer, but as so often, it is in Collins, so ..

  16. 10:53

    Pretty easy for a Friday I thought (although a WITCH of 72 suggests not everyone found it so). I didn’t know OSSIS or KVETCHER but in both cases the rest of the clue made it clear what the answer needed to be. Like others I biffed the play so the wordplay was wasted on me.

  17. 18’09”. with FREELY doing my ‘ead in for the last four. I also lost time searching for a wordplay with OSTIES in 23a before seeing the light. Didn’t we have REALOs recently, for a branch of the German Greens? I suppose state capitals are capitals, though I’m not sure we’d clue Albany or Des Moines that way. Only now seeing why THONGS show a lot of cheek. I think of a thong as a bit of leather, but yes, now I get it. Bit risqué quand même. Much thanks as ever to setter and blogger.

    1. There was a discussion about this a few weeks ago in the context of Dubai being clued as a ‘capital’ (puzzle 28318). The conclusion was that state capitals and similar are clued this way: BATON ROUGE for instance has been defined as a capital in a recent puzzle..

  18. 12:16 is probably a PB for a Friday so a boost after a slog through yesterday’s. Speed on puzzles like this usually depends on how the GK falls and I got lucky with this one. KVETCH took me back to college days on the Mile End Road and I knew OSSIS (and their counterparts the WESSIS). The unknown painter was very generously clued and with a good time in prospect I wasn’t about to split hairs over whether a GANGSTA is someone who performs Gangsta Rap.

  19. 25:45 An enjoyable tussle.

    “Ossis” seems a little esoteric to me.and it’s odd to see the words GANGSTA “vocalist” and “crooned” in close proximity. FEATHERBRAINED was good but the cheeky THONG was even better.

    Thanks to William and the setter

  20. For 1ac I never thought of leg = on. The clue said ‘Maybe money …’, and I saw that as ‘L, e.g.’, but now that I look at it the definition requires those two words, so I was wrong, but got the right answer. Guessed KVETCHER was a word, and never heard of Ossis, although they seemed quite plausible. Surely in 25ac ‘Once again, go over’ = ‘reiterate’; ‘iterate’ simply means ‘go over’. “Could you repeat it again, please.” “No I couldn’t, because I haven’t repeated it yet.”. Like others thought that GANGSTA was a type of rap, not its perpetrator. MER at Adelaide being a capital, but I suppose in a sense it is. Thought the repeated V a weakness. Otherwise an enjoyable 45 minutes.

    1. I had the same feeling about ITERATE, but e.g. ODE says ‘perform or utter repeatedly’; ‘make repeated use of a mathematical or computational procedure …’

  21. 28 mins. Quite a few holdups, I thought they were OSTIS not OSSIS and was another fixated on KE, which meant that having got ALLEN KEY I couldn’t work out why. LOI FREELY, one of the easier clues. We all have our duh moments.

  22. Apropos everyone’s comments above: OSSIS was a common word in 1989 and 1990 on TV news, in papers, etc when the Berlin Wall came down and all the OSSIS moved west. Just googled to confirm my memory wasn’t playing tricks… seems to be legit.

    1. I worked for a summer in West Germany in 1966 and remember being treated to many earnest explanations about the differences between OSSIS and Wessis.

      1. My German is good enough, but I had always said Ostis- I know quite a non-PC joke involving Ossis und Wessis, which if I ever tell again in will be pronounced correctly.

  23. 28:20. Didn’t know GANGSTA could be the singer as well as the song and I tend to think of OSMOSIS in its strictly technical sense rather than its figurative one, but otherwise a fairly gentle and enjoyable Friday outing.

  24. Lovely puzzle, all finished. Should my reward be a Cointreau in my coffee – or a coffee in my Cointreau?

  25. On first reading 22 dn (without any crossers) I took ‘and heartlessly’ to be ‘AD’ with ‘IAGO amazingly’ to result in ‘ADAGIO’, beguiled by its musical connection to ‘Play’, and spent far too long trying to fit ‘heroine part’ in. Totally off track. Anybody else fall into that one? (Got her in the end after crossers stymied that theory.)

  26. 20:13

    Pleased with this time given the noise around my desk (i.e. the kitchen table) for the first ten mins.

    Didn’t parse everything properly but some useful leaps of faith allowed crossers to be filled in.

    Unparsed: MONOMANIA (Lisa Simpson was stuck in my head here!); POSIT (didn’t know the German drinking term); OSMOSIS (got the MO and assumed the rest); AN IDEAL HUSBAND (from checkers and could see the US BAND)

    Shrug: GANGSTA (same thoughts as others whether a rap vocalist might be termed as such); KVETCHER (assumed to be correct as it parsed but couldn’t have said what it was)

    Liked EVACUEE for the multiple unusual vowels, and AWESTRUCK for the misdirection.

  27. Got KVETCHER giving me VAMOOSE, NHO V for SEE but that’s fine. Felt a bit inelegant to have the same letter clued identically in the two clues.

  28. Struggled with this, a bit brain drained after a long morning’s intensive bridge for charity. Mombled GANISTA for the singer, and never heard of a KVETCHER, presumably another of those annoying US Yiddish terms.
    I was also delayed by the awful sans typeface, thinking IAGO was LAGO.
    The rest took about half an hour, and I liked the THONG and the “one invoived with assembly”.

  29. Most people seem to have found this relatively straightforward, but I struggled with this one. I made too many errors initially by biffing wrong answers such as WARCRAFT and PORTAL (god knows why on this one), and this made the 9dn and 28ac crossers initially impossible to solve. I put KVETCHER in more in hope than anything, and was pleased to see it was correct. Eventually finished in 66.45, with a feeling of satisfaction that I did at least get everything right.

  30. Struggled mightily yesterday, but this came together reasonably smoothly.
    I needed a second session to finish off the SW. SIGMA opened it up and the question-marked ADELAIDE was confirmed as the capital.
    Last two were PORTIA where I spent ages on the parsing and LOI the NHO KVETCHER which seemed increasingly likely after the ketch hove into view.
    I liked this. Without any regard to parsing, tried POLLOCK after ROTHKO suspecting an artists theme. He soon went.

  31. Struggled mightily yesterday, but this came together reasonably smoothly.
    I needed a second session to finish off the SW. SIGMA opened it up and the question-marked ADELAIDE was confirmed as the capital.
    Last two were PORTIA where I spent ages on the parsing and LOI the NHO KVETCHER which seemed increasingly likely after the ketch hove into view.
    I liked this. Without any regard to parsing, tried POLLOCK after ROTHKO suspecting an artists theme. He soon went.

  32. Quite a few of the same unknowns as others, but managed to work them out eventually. LEGACY and LAME DUCK got me off to a good start. I put SIGMA in and took it out again several times before I saw the parsing. It was my LOI! Didn’t know the German for Cheers, so biffed from checkers and definition. HILLOCK allowed me to get the unknown ROTHKO as I finally saw where the last 2 letters came from. KVETCHER led to VAMOOSE. The word was unknown, but I’d had ketch in mind for the boat, and VAMOOSE confirmed it. THONG and OSMOSIS went in just before SIGMA. 33:15. Thanks setter and William.

  33. This Friday offering was beyond me. I thought I might get over the line but GANGSTA eluded me. Note to self again that ‘staggered’ isn’t always a reference to gait.
    I liked 26a THONG . Never a great fan of Spoonerisms but as they go LAME DUCK fitted the bill …..
    I liked ROTHKO , never a fan of his but I once had a birthday card from my brother with a reproduction of one of his late period abstract oils in very dark colours . ‘No one says ‘Happy Birthday’ quite like Rothko ‘ was the message inside. It raised a smile.
    Thanks as always to blogger , setter and other contributors.

  34. Lucky to finish given 2 bits of German needed! Guessed OSMOSIS with some confidence- POSIT less assured. LOI KVETCHER, interesting that V = see in both that one and my POI VAMOOSE. Struggled in SE corner until FREELY opened it up. Some nice clues here. Thanks to setter and blogger.

  35. 75:15, found this really hard. Nearly gave up after an hour (my usual “give up” limit) but had 4 remaining and so plodded on. Good clues, though, and nothing that felt unfair. Thanks s & b

  36. “Supply” as an indicator of an anagram was new to me. It seems to be the less common spelling of the adverb. Has it appeared often before used in this way?
    NHO kvetcher but not ashamed to have NHO a word that has passed me by for 74 years…..


    1. Only finished this one today, as busy yesterday but yes, ‘supply’ appears quite regularly as an anagram indicator – the meaning, as you imply, being ‘in a supple fashion’. Quite often foxes me for a few minutes, as intended!

  37. Defeated by the SW corner. Mainly because I didn’t know see = V and NHO KVETCHER, so couldn’t get there either way. OSSIS also unknown. I liked ALLEN KEY but COD was THONG!

  38. Defeated by 18ac- never heard of the noun, but vaguely recall KVETCH as a verb.
    I think GANGSTA spelt that way was mentioned in that lovely TV program on BBC 2 from a few years back on cryptic crosswords.
    Tough but fair puzzle

    1. Just realised I put FREEKY instead of FREELY! I thought EEK might be a fish, and ‘FREEKY borrowing requirements from Trussonomics’ was the definition. Never mind

  39. 43 very enjoyable but challenging minutes. Started in bed last night and finished this morning. Amazingly the lack of a finish didn’t affect my sleep. Obviously need to go to bed frustrated more often.

    LOI was kvetcher which came to me only after an alphabet trawl and a memory of a Stephen Berkoff play, Kvetch. Delighted to see my punt prove correct.

    Thanks setter and blogger.

  40. Quite like that idea of a Downunder section, running one month behind. That way I can ask why on=leg

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