Times 28477 – Felicidades a la Albiceleste!

A nice little number for the start of the working week, featuring quite a few clues requiring letters to be transplanted from clue to solution. Also, quite a few random peeps, plus some nice definitions. 20 minutes for me. How about you?

1 Law lord say recalled in good Parisian club (8)
BLUDGEON – LUD (law lord, m’lud) EG (say) reversed in BON (but Argentina were, ‘ow you say, a beet meilleur, non?)
5 Decline to cross current in front of building (6)
FACADE -AC (current) in FADE (decline)
8 Floral garland certain to be withheld from rest (3)
LEI – LEI[sure]; Sterling Hayden’s warts-and-all biography Wanderer (recommended) contains a few of these being bestowed by dusky maidens in the South Seas
9 Dozenth couple requiring medical treatment (10)
10 Single man sensitive about key household articles (8)
IRONWARE – I (single) RON (random bloke) RAW (sensitive) reversed E (musical key)
11 In ThurSO OTHErs find calm (6)
SOOTHE – hidden; been to Wick, not Thurso. Their loss…
12 Measures of resistance in the service of the monarch? (4)
OHMS -play on the phrase On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (oops! getting a carried away: thanks Jack)
14 Drug the Spanish boy found in German city area (10)
BELLADONNA -EL (‘the’ in Spanish) LAD (boy) in BONN A (area)
17 State requires means for constructing major road (10)
EXPRESSWAY – EXPRESS (state) WAY (means); ‘requires’ and ‘for constructing’ are links
20 Endlessly bring in pounds for titled person (4)
EARL – EAR[n] L (pounds)
23 Popular chap at café finally serving porridge (6)
INSIDE – IN (popular) SID (another random fellow) [caf]E; I wanted it to be INTIME,  but that would be French (don’t mention the Coupe du monde!), and a friend.
24 Complete source of water for cattle outside house (8)
25 Domestically particular expert on river, feeding hound regularly (5-5)
HOUSE-PROUD – OUSE (river – take your pick, there are many) PRO (expert) in H[o]U[n]D; nice definition
26 Writer of new book about India (3)
NIB -I (India) in N (new) B (book)
27 Hospital doctor contributing to revolution, do we hear? (6)
INTERN – sounds like IN TURN, where ‘contributing to’ seems to refer to people doings things in turn, or doing their bit. Other ideas welcome.
28 Late boss, a dull, uninspiring person (8)
DEADHEAD – DEAD (late) HEAD (boss); DEADHEAD is better known to me as a verb referring to the removal of dead flowers
1 Maryland port serving Indian food increasingly (9)
BALTIMORE – BALTI (Indian food from the West Midlands) MORE (increasingly); Baltimore tend to get a pretty bum rap in books and TV shows. Any fans out there?
2 Regular place of education favouring maths principally (7)
UNIFORM -UNI (place of education) FOR (favouring) M[aths]
3 Warehouse holding party in formal dress (6)
4 Morose fellow in old store initially lacking scent (9)
ODOURLESS – DOUR (morose) LES (third random three-letter chappie) in O (old) S[tore]
5 Girl going about sporting such a flower (7)
FUCHSIA – SUCH* in FI (random woman to balance the men a bit) A (‘a’ from the clue)
6 Naval officer keeping gold in chest of drawers (9)
COMMODORE -OR (heraldic gold) in COMMODE (chest of drawers or sometimes something less salubrious); best known commodore I know is Lionel Richie; second best, his chin…
7 PC turns up, greeting northern sea creature (7)
DOLPHIN – PLOD (policeman) reversed HI (greeting) N (northern)
13 Bible probing eastern responsibilities over slavery (9)
SERVITUDE – RV (Revised Version of the bible) in a reversal of E (eastern) DUTIES (responsibilities)
15 Abhorrent circle in Liberal party capturing last of seats (9)
LOATHSOME – O (circle) and S (final letter of Seats) in L (liberal) AT HOME (party – ‘We’re having an at-home on Boxing Day’); no specific directions for O and S – you just shove ’em in where you can.
16 Nothing good about a hotel overlooking a city in India? (9)
ALLAHABAD – A (a) H (hotel) A (a) in ALL BAD (nothing good); a super name for a place
18 Unknown worker on horse wanting in yellow pigment? (7)
XANTHIN -X (unknown) ANT (worker) H (horse) IN (in)
19 Old nurse entertaining cupbearer in illicit drinking-den (7)
SHEBEEN – HEBE (cupbearer in Greek mythology in SEN (state enrolled nurse – now, presumably, a defunct title)
21 Porter possibly catches university man jostling ex-students (7)
ALUMNAE – U (university) MAN* in ALE (porter)
22 Given position in class: Greek reportedly helped (6)
GRADED – GR (Greek) sounds like AIDED

64 comments on “Times 28477 – Felicidades a la Albiceleste!”

  1. Really, really slow here. Tired and on a big adrenaline letdown after watching the football, kept on seeing all these words in the clues and not being able to make sense of them.
    Fine puzzle nevertheless, except way too many random boys & girls names, thanks setter and blogger.

  2. I knew GODOWN and SHEBEEN, but not XANTHIN. I was sure I was looking for a word for a horse that I could remove “in” from (“wanting in”) before I eventually realized that IN was just “in” in the clue.

    I also thought FUCHSIA was spelled FUSCHIA so I had to pay careful attention to the wordplay to disabuse myself of that. Funnily enough, living in San Francisco, the followers of the Grateful Dead meaning of DEADHEAD was the first one I thought of.

    1. I remember the correct spelling because the flower is named after a botanist called Fuchs. And if you struggle to spell eschscholzia, just remember that it’s named after a botanist called Count von Eschscholtz. Easy.

  3. Ulaca, I’m sure you know this, but just for clarity re 12ac, OHMS stands for ‘On Her Majesty’s Service’ and used to be printed on brown envelopes posted by the Civil Service in the course of their official business to indicate that no postage stamp was required. ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ was a play on this used as the Bond title. The practice stopped when Royal Mail was privatised.

    I needed 31 minutes for this. I’d actually completed the grid in 29 and if I’d been been playing on line would have submitted it, but having stopped the clock I decided to revisit two answers I wasn’t satisfied with the parsing and found two errors. Like vinyl1 I had put INMATE at 23ac which works for the most part but would have required the name MATT to be spelt MAT and I wasn’t convinced that it could be. That error had led me to to SERVATUDE where it crossed with 13dn, which was surely wrong and I had been unable to explain it fully. Correcting these added another 2 minutes to my solving time.

    Elsewhere I trusted that HEBE might be a cupbearer although I only knew the word as the name of a plant.

    ALLAHABAD was unknown to me but careful attention to wordplay led me to it.

    1. I’ve known a few Matthews who abbreviated their name to Mat. Indeed it puts me in mind of two university friends in the same group where one spelled his name thus and so the other was often known as “two Ts”.

      1. Thanks, and I now find it’s listed on Wiki as a male given name, an alternative to Matt. INMATE still wouldn’t quite fit the definition though, and I should have spotted that sooner.

      1. As mentioned in my comment above, OHMS is no longer used in its most widely known context although it may still be amongst the arsenal of acronyms at the disposal of civil servants. If it were to be resurrected in general use the H would currently stand for ‘His’ but as far as I’m aware it doesn’t apply and for crossword purposes ‘Her’ is perfectly valid historically, and arguably has a better claim than ‘His’.

  4. 26 minutes. I remembered the correct spelling of FUCHSIA but still bunged it in from def and crossers so didn’t see the random ‘Girl’. The other bit of parsing I skipped over was also horticulturally related – the HEBE in SHEBEEN.

    I tried to make “inmate” fit for 23a too, wondering if there was some connection with “maté” being served in a ‘café’; I think something a bit stronger will be more popular in BA tonight though.

  5. Short of available time, and enjoying the solving (well, sort of) tremendously, I played this fast ‘n’ loose, finishing in 19:40. Unfortunately I neglected to revisit POI XANTHER (yeah, it was a partial biff, I convinced myself I knew the word) before entering LOI INTERN, leaving XANTHEN.

    Two more days of office life before I get a fortnight’s break. I promise I’ll start making a proper job of it Wednesday – thanks U and setter

  6. 30m 53s
    The first thing that struck me was that there were about three clues where it would have been easy to biff a wrong answer: INMATE iso INSIDE; IRONWORK iso IRONWARE and ALUMNUS for ALUMNAE. With the last one, though, you would have not been paying attention if you thought ALUMNUS was the answer.
    No clues requiring explanation but thanks, ULACA.
    Vinyl has covered the DEADHEAD/Grateful Dead angle.
    My musical contribution is BALTIMORE. It features in the Little Feat song “Feats Don’t Fail Me Now”. And the sleeve notes on one of their albums refer to a recording studio sinking in Baltimore harbour.
    COD: No real candidates.
    PS….Until today my favourite WC goal of all time has been Carlos Alberto’s goal in the 1970 final. That now has a serious challenger in Di Maria’s goal, Argentina’s second. The problem is, the assist was provided by Mcallister who plays for ‘my’ club, Brighton. Come next month I’m sure one of the moneybags clubs will snap him up.

    1. It did seem incongruous that one of Argentina’s best players was a Brighton player called Alexis McAllister!

      1. Alas, he appears to have had a good World Cup and provided the pass to di Maria for Argentina’s wondrous second goal. I’m sure the moneybags clubs will come after him in the January transfer window.

  7. 34:52. I’m another with INMATE at first at 23ac making SERVITUDE my last one in, which had to be right but I could not see the parsing for ages. Clever. DOLPHIN came as a surprise – having constructed it from the wordplay I almost didn’t recognise it as a word. I liked BLUDGEON

  8. 23 minutes with LOI SERVITUDE, unparsed. I managed to construct the unknowns GODOWN and XANTHIN with some degree of confidence that for once wasn’t misplaced. COD to DUODECIMAL. A decent Monday puzzle.

  9. To know what tongues defile the dead man’s name.
    With Loathsome Love, and probe that stings like shame.

    20 mins pre-brekker. Gentle. No ticks, no crosses, no QMs.
    Thanks setter and U.

  10. Another INMATE here (popular – M = chap – AT – E), so again SERVITUDE LOI.

    Pleased to note the acknowledgement that BALTI is from the West Midlands.

    12’37”, thanks ulaca and setter.

  11. 7:48. No problems.
    Is EXPRESSWAY another unindicated North-Americanism? The only example I can think of is the Gardiner in Toronto.
    GODOWN appeared in a Dean puzzle recently (as part of a clue) and then I heard the word a couple of days later listening to The Honourable Schoolboy on audiobook, so it came to mind immediately.

  12. 15:57. There were quite a few clues today which I found needed a second or third look to work out what was needed which I think tends to be the mark of a good clue. There were also a few words unfamiliar to me – XANTHIN, GODOWN and ALLAHABAD – all of which I would have struggled to come up with on definition alone but the cryptic made them clear.
    Continuing with BALTIMORE’s bum rap, the name always makes me think of Baltimore Technologies, one of the high profile victims of the dotcom crash. I just looked them up and found they were Irish, so I don’t know where the name came from.

    1. The original Baltimore is a town in West Cork. I will be there later today as it happens.

    2. Baltimore is named after Cecil Calvert, 2d Baron Baltimore, who was the first proprietor of what became Maryland. The name comes from the Irish; Cecil’s father, the 1st baron, had property in Ireland.

  13. Shouldn’t we be saying On His Majesty’s Service now . . doesn’t affect the abbreviation obviously.
    Re: McAllister – there are a substantial number of Argentines who can can claim Scottish ancestry ( and Welsh) apparently

    1. As mentioned in my comment above, OHMS is no longer used in its most widely known context although it still may be amongst the whole arsenal of acronyms at the disposal of civil servants and so beloved by them. For crossword purposes it should still be okay to refer to ‘Her’ as part of an historical abbreviation.

    2. I remember hearing about the Welsh now you mention it. There’s actually a language variant Patagonian Welsh.

    3. And Sebastian Coates of Uruguay. At first commentators pronounced it Co-ah-tees until it was pointed out that he has Scottish ancestry on his fathers side.

  14. A few short. I got confused with city=LA (as it often does), so ended up with ALLALABAD, which seemed familiar. Another INMATE, and that led to the plausible SERVATURE meaning “slavery”. Should have stayed with my instinct on GODOWN ( NHO ), but I just couldn’t see what was going on with “dozenth”. At this point I felt we hadn’t had enough (any?) anagrams, but still couldn’t see it.

    Still, pleased to know XANTHIN and SHEBEEN, even if Hebe was only ever known from HMS Pinafore. From memory, “Captain Corcoran, oblige me by taking this lady away and showing her the wonders of the forecastle”.

  15. 10:50

    Decent enough fare for a Monday. HOUSE PROUD was biffed but everything else needed at least partial wordplay, indeed for XANTHIN and ALLAHABAD I relied on wordplay only.

    I only know SHEBEEN and GODOWN from crosswords, and I know that HEBE was a mythological character, but nowt else about her.

    DEADHEAD familiar as a sticker on a Cadillac.

  16. 10:47, enjoyable and trickier than the average Monday. I don’t remember coming across GODOWN before (though obviously this is no guarantee that I haven’t), but everything else was in there somewhere. In my Wordle peer group, the word “axanthic” has become commonplace for those days when you have only green on your grid, and no yellow, so that was a lot easier than it would have been a few months ago. Otherwise the main delays were in working out why the answers weren’t, in fact, INMATE and FREESIA.

  17. 29 minutes which would have been more but my LOI was LOATHSOME and I entered it without parsing. Everything seemed fine, although I entered XANTHIN on trust. I agree that EXPRESSWAY seems a surreptitious Americanism.

  18. 24:15. Felt quite difficult for a Monday, if that is still a thing. EXPRESSWAY proved more evasive than it should have done as I was looking for an obscure state with RUSSIA as part of the name. I did not know ALUMNAE was the plural of alumna or that alumna was the feminine of alumnus, which is a bit of a gap on the basic knowledge front. At least I knew XANTHIN though I thought it was spelt with a Z. Not quite sure I deserved to muddle through at all.

  19. It would have been a good morning for me if I had taken the trouble to go back and rectify an obvious mistake. I fell into the INMATE trap, quite happy with Mat as a shortened alternative of Matthew, thinking to myself as I did so my next one in SERVATUDE isn’t right surely. In my haste to get finished in a fast time (for me) of 26.25 I didn’t return to find the error. What a DEADHEAD!

  20. A little trickier than your average Monday, but no major difficulties. I biffed EXPRESSWAY and ALLAHABAD, but parsed them OK after completion.

    COD IRONWARE (once I removed BACHELOR)
    TIME 7:35

  21. I got off to a quick start with LEI, UNIFORM and BALTIMORE. We have a regular attendee from Baltimore at our Saltburn Folk Club Zoom sessions. He seems to like it there, although apparently the cicadas get rather noisy at certain times of the year. I ambled through the rest of the puzzle until I was left with the obscurities, but managed to work them out eventually with careful attention to the wordplay. XANTHIN was LOI. GODOWN and SHEBEEN were vaguely familiar from previous puzzles. Had to parse IRONWARE carefully to make sure it wasn’t IRONWORK or even IRONWARY(wary/sensitive perhaps). Anyway all was well after 23:41. Thanks setter and U.

  22. Feel bound to say that we fans of the Grateful Dead are not all dull and uninspiring. 14’09” with a careless mistake at 23a – INTIME. I couldn’t get it to parse, but thought heck it just about works. Fatal error. Some veey easy clues like OHMS, but interesting new vocabulary like XANTHIN. Once knew a lovely girl, a budding actress, called Xanthe. Where is she now?

  23. DNF, defeated by SHEBEEN (didn’t know Hebe or the drinking den) and INSIDE (I put ‘intime’). Nearly fell into the ‘ironwork’ trap as well before figuring out IRONWARE. Other NHOs were GODOWN, XANTHIN and ALLAHABAD.

  24. At the last minute changed XANTHON to XANTHIN so managed to finish all correct. Prior to that GODOWN and IRONWARE as LOI. Pleased to work out ALLAHABAD -had never heard of it.
    And could not parse FUCHSIA.
    About an hour.

  25. Baltimore Orioles, a great baseball tradition, and a delightful bird, too.
    Baltimore crab cakes, a taste delight
    The Peabody Library
    Home of Edgar Allan Poe
    Home of Babe Ruth
    Setting of TV series “Homicide: Life on the Street” (if it’s OK for Oxford to have one…)
    Site of Fort McHenry, inspiration for the line “O’er the ramparts we watched” in the US national anthem
    and more

  26. I think Allahabad has been renamed Prayagraj in an effort to expunge Muslim placenames by the nationalist Hindu government. One legislator referred to this as correcting “Akbar’s mistake”. Akbar was Mughal conqueror and emperor from 1556 to 1605.

  27. 28:23 with XANTHIN and ALLAHABAD unknown, but confident both must be correct. (Although I initially had ISLAMABAD, seemingly unconcerned that I was not even in the right country).

    Pleased to have remembered GODOWN from the last time it appeared. Generally felt to have been on the same wavelength of the setter without wasting too much time chasing down blind alleys.

    Thanks s & b.

  28. No drama, especially as I remembered Godown, didn’t remember Shebeen but knew Hebe, and was able to construct Xanthin from the clear cluing.

    To be pedantic, Baltimore is the death and burial place of Poe; most of his creative work was done in New York or earlier in Virginia.

  29. Crawled over the line unable to believe that XANTHIN really was going to finish in in! Had to come back to the crossword after grinding to a halt with about 6 left. SHEBEEN dragged from the back of my brain, so pleased with that and GODOWN likewise. Needed the time out to have another look at DUODECIMAL- where I thought I was looking some medical relative of paracetamol!
    Very pleased to have finished this one. Thanks to blogger and setter.

  30. Defeated by this one. IRONWARE I just couldn’t see and NHO SHEBEEN- I biffed in SCEBEEN. GODOWN was also a new word for me, but the wordplay was clear.
    Nearly everything else went in very quickly, while I was trying to get through to a home insurance company!

  31. DNF, after spending the last 20 of my 50 minutes coming up with INSIDE (correct) and SPELEAN (apparently not). There was absolutely no way I was ever going to find the right answer to that, knowing neither the word being sought nor the cup-bearer (I thought it might be a football trophy, so PELE instead of HEBE, and I confused the nurse SEN, which I might have heard of once in a lullaby, with the hospital ward SAN). I did remember GODOWN from a recent puzzle, so that was my only mistake. There’s nothing too wrong with very obscure clues until they rely on equally obscure wordplay. So thumbs down for that.

  32. 21.55

    Also INMATE’d but for a change spotted the error when parsing SERVITUDE. Didn’t know GODOWN or the City but they had to be.

    Decent puzzle.

    Thanks Setter and Ulaca

  33. I’m not sure if it’s bad form to comment on yesterday’s crossword but having never heard of xanthin I decided to look it up. The yellow pigment is xanthene. It seems that xanthin is an alternative (in some dictionaries) spelling of xanthine which is “a crystaline compound found in blood and urine” which, while presumably yellow, does not appear to be a source of yellow pigment.

  34. Same problems as most above: INMATE having to be changed to INSIDE after SERVITUDE hove into view; XANTHIN needed a bit of work . Unlike most others though, I’ve not heard of DUODECIMAL (not into figures!) or IRONWARE for household items – so those two remained blank . Enjoyed constructing ALLAHABAD, BELLADONNA and really most of the rest, but I’ve unfortunately been spelling ALUMNAE with an I all these years!

Comments are closed.