Times 28523 – derived from honourable loins


A really nice puzzle with fewer unknowns than yesterday, but enough vocab on the very edge of guessability to make things interesting. Some beautiful clueing, too.

Definitions underlined.

1 Much nationwide suffering after revolution spread (7)
EFFUSED – hidden in (much) nationwiDE SUFFEring reversed.
5 Filthy rich nob means to have air travel for life (7)
BRONCHI – anagram of (filthy) RICH NOB.
9 Teased by personnel, getting stick for heraldry (6,5)
RAGGED STAFF – RAGGED (teased) and STAFF (personnel). DKN – a knotted stick used as a symbol in heraldry.
10 An essential part of the WI? (3)
JAM – as in ‘Jam and Jerusalem’.
11 Drivers do get cross (3,3)
TEE OFF – drivers (in golf) do this, and ‘tick off’.
12 American music group’s good general beat (4,4)
GLEE CLUB – G (good) + LEE (general) + CLUB (beat).
14 Fine memory game involving the Bible, starting at Genesis? (4,3,4,2)
FROM THE WORD GO – F (fine) + ROM (memory) + GO (game) containing THE WORD (the bible).
17 Reporter at Stade de France in time to follow match (13)
CORRESPONDENT – EN (‘in’ in French, at Stade de France) + T (time) after CORRESPOND (match).
21 Oscar and Carol after mischief in August (8)
IMPOSING – O (oscar) + SING (carol) after IMP (mischief).
23 Verbal agreement resulting in promotion (6)
ASCENT – sounds like (verbal) “assent” (agreement).
25 Have to pay for when not there, oddly (3)
OWE – odd letter missing from fOr WhEn.
26 A short plain-spoken Party Conference perhaps bearing fruit (7,4)
AVOCADO PEAR – A + VOCAl (short plain-spoken) + DO (party) + PEAR (conference perhaps).
27 Consents, with conditions, to work set by us (3-4)
YES-BUTS -anagram of (to work) SET BY US.
28 Meet flying fist for one is boxing (7)
SATISFY – SAY (for one) containing (boxing) an anagram of (flying) FIST.
1 Slips out of shop in time (6)
ERRATA -RAT (shop) in ERA (time).
2 Cover for embarrassment when gaffe left one reeling (3,4)
FIG LEAF – anagram of (reeling) GAFFE + L + I.
3 Get shot of Casanova giving out tips for the papacy (3,2,4)
SEE OF ROME – SEE OFf (get shot of) + ROMEo (casanova), each missing its tip.
4 Easy job, turning over small bit of turf (4)
DOSS – S (small) + SOD (bit of turf) all reversed.
5 Bouncer intends to grab Yankee, certainly (2,3,5)
BY ALL MEANS – BALL (bouncer) + MEANS (intends) grabs Y (yankee).
6 Workplace doing away with cold drinks store (5)
OFFIE – OFFIcE (workplace) deleting ‘c’ (cold).
7 Got around and about jogging, initially shouted encouragement? (7)
CAJOLED – CA (about) + Jogging (initially) + OLÉD (shouted encouragement). The trickiest of the lot, I think.
8 If you ask me to dance, I’m bony, alright! (2,2,4)
IN MY BOOK – anagram of (to dance) I’M BONY + OK (alright).
13 Wonderful places to retire before death, old and useless (10)
STUPENDOUS – PUTS (places) reversed (to retire) + END (death) + O (old) + US (unserviceable, useless).
15 Go too far in some of test, maybe, attracting jeer (9)
OVERSHOOT – OVERS (some of test, maybe) + HOOT (jeer).
16 Ill-feeling as a friend buttons lip (8)
ACRIMONY – A + CONY (friend) containing (buttons) RIM (lip). DNK ‘cony’, apparently a term of endearment. Edit: this has been confirmed as an error, and the clue changed, see below for an explanation.

Ill-feeling as a friend holds back note (8); ACRIMONY – A + CRONY (friend) contains MI (note) reversed.

18 Check traveller getting on ship (7)
REPRESS – REP (traveller) + RE (on) + SS (ship).
19 Bond, not so informally dressed? (7)
TIELESS – a bond is not without tie.
20 Maiden in fairy tale getting highly emotional (6)
STORMY – M (maiden) in STORY (fairy tale).
22 Radioactive element blows up, causing confusion (5)
SNAFU – U (uranium, radioactive element) + FANS (blows) all reversed (up).
24 Nerve of elite military force (4)
SASS – SAS’S (of the S.A.S., an elite military force).

99 comments on “Times 28523 – derived from honourable loins”

  1. ACRIMONY: Collins doesn’t know CONY=friend, but CRONY does mean friend, and I suspect an error, since IM doesn’t mean ‘lip’.

    1. I suspect you’re right, but giving the setter generous benefit of the doubt, Chambers has:

      cony or coney
      5. A term of endearment for a woman (obsolete)

      Bit of a long shot!

      1. Don’t understand all this chat. My clue (online) is “Ill-feeling as a friend holds back note” – which seems to fit the answer / crony and mi (backwards)

        1. They obviously spotted the error and changed the online version. I just put it in on the basis of crony without noticing the R would have to be doing double duty.

  2. 39 minutes. Not quite the real toughie I’d been expecting. For JAM at 10a, I also took ‘WI’ to be an abbreviation for the West Indies, of which JAMaica is a part, so I parsed the clue as a sort of double cryptic def. I tend to agree with Kevin about ACRIMONY, though have also just seen the obsolete sense for CONY in Chambers. I couldn’t parse CAJOLED which I hadn’t thought of in the ‘Got around’ sense.

    I liked the ‘filthy rich nob’ and his ‘air travel for life’ at 5a and the tricky parsing for SEE OF ROME.

    Thanks to William and setter

  3. 28:18, but a typo–YES-BUTE–giving me 2 unforced errors
    DNK RAGGED STAFF, OFFIE. LOI JAM, which I put in because it wasn’t likely to be JEM, JIM, JOM, or JUM; never heard of ‘jam and Jerusalem’. Biffed FROM THE WORD GO, AVOCADO PEAR, SEE OF ROME, parsed post-submission. COD to CAJOLED.

  4. Lots of unforced errors. Drivers SEE RED (lights), obviously. A conference is a type of (pear) tree, and something that bears fruit is an AVOCADO TREE. Took a bit of sorting.
    No idea about JAM, but having seen the blog I vaguely remember jam and Jerusalem being quoted on this site many years ago. OFFIE remembered from? Who knows where? I had LESS as not so in TIELESS, which I think works, but it makes no difference.
    Another who wondered if CRONY was an error… cony is quite a stretch. Nevertheless I really enjoyed this, tricky in the exact right way. Thanks setter and blogger.

    1. I parsed TIELESS as you did; I didn’t notice William’s reading, which I don’t understand.

    2. ‘OFFIE’ sounds Aussie to me. They use the -ie suffix quite a lot. I first heard UNI there; there’s also ‘U-ie’ for a U-turn. And ‘Aussie’ itself of course. Can isla3 confirm this of ‘OFFIE’ as Aussie? I’ve never heard it used for Off-license in the UK.

      1. Not a term Mrs S or I have heard in Australia. We don’t use the term “off-licence” for this type of shop, otherwise I’m sure we would resort to “offie” (or maybe “offo”).

      2. Offie is common, but a cricketing term for a bowler or his/her deliveries. The offie Nathan Lyon bowls offies. No such thing as an off-licence shop down here. It was a bottle-shop or bottle-o (local one in Beaumaris was the Beauie O-ie) when I grew up, but now we’re reverting to the American – a liquor store.

      3. I don’t know which part of the UK you’re from but ‘offie’ for off licence is common in London and the SE.

        1. Isla3 and Starstruck are not from the UK at all. They are both antipodean, and wouldn’t be expected to know very specific UK terms.

  5. Isla3 and Kevin are right, TIE, “bond” + LESS, “not so.”
    And I’m glad I biffed ACRIMONY (must be an error).
    Really liked “air travel for life,” among others.
    LOI JAM! I had to get IN MY BOOK first.

  6. A good test for a Friday with some great clueing and a number of pleasing PDMs.
    I took JAM to be a Women’s Institute reference, nothing to do with the West Indies. Something to do with them making a lot of jam. But I’m probably wrong.

    1. “JAM and Jerusalem” (which William mentions) is indeed a phrase associated with the Women’s Institute.

      1. How wonderful that you know something so quintessentially English as “Jam & Jerusalem”! It was also a British sitcom about 15 years ago.

        1. Only thru these puzzles did I know the connection of WI with JAM, and I Googled the phrase.

  7. 15:25 Knew the Bear and Ragged Staff, something heraldic to do with Warwickshire? Cajoled was LOI. Could the R in Acrimony be doing double service, in crony and rim? Excellent puzzle, I really enjoyed it.

        1. That’s how I saw it. Buttoning involves one thing going over another so I thought the “rim” was fitting over “crony” and overlapping. Really enjoyed this crossword which had some very clever clues.

    1. The Bear & Ragged Staff is on the Warwickshire coat of arms, something I knew from county cricket, Tom!

        1. In between now and the start of the Test, Tom, Cyclone Gabrielle is set to batter the north of the North Island down as far as Tauranga and my area of the Bay of Plenty and on to the East Coast. Extremely strong winds and heavy rainfall are expected. Let’s hope that the Bay Oval is not a lake come the day!

  8. Mostly enjoyed but I don’t like filthy as an anagram indicator and I couldn’t fit RIM in CRONY even trying to imagine them being ‘buttoned’.

    1. I share your misgivings about ‘filthy’ and it’s not on Chambers extensive list of possible anagram indicators. Checking ‘filthy’ in my thesaurus I found ‘stormy’ and ‘corrupt’ as equivalents that might justify it, but I still think it’s stretching things a bit.

  9. 46 minutes. I had to battle with a few unknowns to complete this. The main one was RAGGED STAFF which I eventually found from wordplay. I had lost a lot of time trying to bring to mind the name of an item that might have fitted the definition but when at last I remembered ‘swagger stick’ I realised it didn’t, nor did it fit the grid or anything else in the clue.

    I thought of JAM in connection with the Women’s Institute early on and was aware of a TV sitcom on the subject that ran for a while called Jam and Jerusalem and involving French & Saunders, I think. But the answer didn’t go in until the checkers made it inevitable because I felt the WI connection on its own was not enough for a satisfactory clue. There needed to be some sort of play on words to justify ‘essential part’. There isn’t as far as I can tell, but perhaps the question mark is enough.

    1. I agree. My first thought was that it couldn’t be JAM because there was no definition. The clue relies on general knowledge alone.

  10. 59m 00s
    A very good puzzle only slightly spoiled by what others have also identified as an error in the clue for ACRIMONY. However, I didn’t really like OLÉD in 7d.
    I thought 10ac would fox our ‘Murcan friends but Guy knew it!
    I thought DOSS and SASS stretched the vocab a bit but having lived in Australia for about 20 years in total, I think of an OFFIE as an offspinner.
    9ac: Followers of country cricket will probably recognise the Bear and RAGGED STAFF as being on the coat of arms of Warwickshire.
    LOI: SEE OF ROME. My first thought was of Casanova as a (L)OVE(R) rather than as a (R)OME(O).
    COD to CORRESPONDENT. Well presented clue.

  11. IN MY BOOK, end the week on a high
    BY ALL MEANS did this grid SATISFY
    From ACR(r)IMONY forfend us
    Since ERRATA like that mystify

  12. 41 minutes, with 1d answer having a question mark underneath. Maybe that was what the setter was telling us by putting ERRATA right above ACRIMONY. CORRESPONDENT was a biff from crossers and RAGGED STAFF constructed but not known. COD to SEE OF ROME. FROM THE WORD GO reads like a modern translation of the first words of Genesis. Quite a tough puzzle but fair, apart from the probable error. Thank you William and setter.

  13. Relatively easy for a Friday, but still took 23’+

    Didn’t fully parse CAJOLED, and missed the WI indicator.

    ‘In the beginning …..’ are traditionally the first three words of the Bible in English. However there are numerous alternatives, such as ‘to start with’ or ‘before all these things’. FROM THE WORD GO might do for a modern rendition.

    Thanks william and setter..

  14. ACRRIMONY – is not needed on a Friday

    At this rate I will be losing all my – er – conies



    1. 👍
      Just be careful you don’t lose your… er… cojones. I see your boss is looking to axe 5% of his worldwide staff.

    2. Glad to see the error acknowledged, but why are you apologizing to us, and not to the club? I see no mention in the club forum of the error or the correction.

      1. . . .Which is a point I’ve always made. Or tried to anyway. If the TftT continues to supplant the actual Times forum as the main discussion site, then the danger is the cryptic crossword will face a very uncertain future.

        The forum has virtually died a death as it is-it’s like posting ‘into the ether’-and if our Rupert doesn’t see the clicks, there’s no knowing what he might do. He’s a ruthless chap you know.

        If the crossword ended because of a perceived lack of interest, it would be a tragic irony.

  15. 20 minutes or so. Like others I thought there was an error in ACRIMONY, and I agree with other commenters’ parsing of TIELESS. I didn’t parse ERRATA or understand where the final S came from in SASS, and I relied on the wordplay for the unknown RAGGED STAFF. I’m glad I got SEE OF ROME before looking at 11a, as I would have been tempted to put ‘see red’ there rather than TEE OFF.

    FOI Offie
    LOI Yes-buts
    COD Snafu

  16. Well I liked this one, which I thought harder than average, as is appropriate for a Friday. It did however have one or two dodgy bits 8dn.
    I had “SEE RED” for a while for 11ac, which I thought parsed, but did make 1dn and 3dn tricky…
    Nice to see the clue to ACRIMONY confirmed as an error. I much appreciate our editor’s willingness to ‘fess up and settle the matter ..

  17. 24:25 with much mistyping on an iphone keyboard. Thought the WI/Jamaica clue was clever. Seems neat enough to be a chestnut but I don’t remember seeing it before.

  18. Managed to finish in 49 minutes, though some of the clues (all mentioned in earlier comments) tested the bounds of my comprehension. I was not aware that a glee club was exclusively American. A fair if slightly frustrating puzzle.
    FOI – OWE
    LOI – TEE OFF, as I had never heard of the second (non golf) meaning.
    Thanks to william and other contributors.

  19. I do not understand the comments on ACRIMONY. It parses as A CRONY around MI<. Clearly I have a different clue to everyone else: "Ill-feeling as a friend holds back note".

    A bit of a struggle, especially with the crossing ACRIMONY and CORRESPONDENT. Many of my entries were tentative at first, either because an aspect of the wordplay eluded me, or because the word was unknown (eg OFFIE).
    45 minutes.

    1. Did you not read the editor’s acknowledgement of an error (corrected) just a few comments before yours?

    2. Yes I got the same OK clue as you, presumably after the Editor’s intervention (see above). Good crossword. Plenty to chew on, all sorted in a rather lengthy 36.10
      Thanks William, setter and Editor!

  20. I agree with Ucalegon that glee-singing isn’t necessarily American – it comes up in Jane Austen (Mansfield Park). I had a vestigial memory of the Bear and the RAGGED STAFF and Warwick the Kingmaker and there’s a pub of that name not far from Oxford. However at first I went looking for an anagram of “by personnel”. Good puzzle. 20.38

    1. Ha, “Can’t beat a bit of glee-singing ” is constantly on my lips .. not. Never come across it, ever. Definitely sounds like the sort of thing Americans might get up to, what with all those barbershops and such…
      Now Beetle Drives, that would be different 🙂

      1. ‘glee’ is a British word originally, 18th century if I recall; see e.g. Collins. This came up very recently here, and I recall offering G&S’s “A British tar ” from HMS Pinafore as an example of a glee.

  21. 55 mins, so quite tricky for me, with a number of unknowns bunged in, either from the wp , GLEE CLUB, or guesswork, ACRIMONY.

    Some nice clueing today. I liked BRONCHI and the PEAR.

    Thanks William and setter.

  22. 43:40 but with two wrong. I couldn’t see CAJOLED and put CIRCLED in just from definition. This gave me RAM for the WI clue which I just assumed must be the Widget Interface on a computer

  23. 38:59

    I really enjoyed this – there were plenty of fine clues with amusing answers, though I certainly missed bits of parsing:

    FOI GLEE CLUB – only heard of this in the sense of the ghastly US TV show where great songs were butchered, which my daughter seemed to enjoy watching.
    RAGGED STAFF – NHO but an educated guess.
    JAM – only known in the sense of WI making lots of it.
    CORRESPONDENT – from definition only – too convoluted to bother parsing.
    YES BUTS – didn’t notice the anag.
    CAJOLED – didn’t bother with the OLED part (though in retrospect, very good)
    SASS – wondered where the final S came from

    LOI – ACRIMONY – By the time I got to do this puzzle, the clue had been ‘improved’.

    Thanks setter and William

  24. I had the same experience with ACRIMONY, starting so late that there was no problem. 58 minutes, with the occasional prod from lists of things. It struck me as good but rather hard. I thought the JAM clue was very nice, with its WI = both Women’s Institute and West Indies. Can’t see the problem with ‘filthy’ in 5ac. Azed was asked to contribute to that Chambers list of anagram indicators and refused to do so, saying that there were so many and anything that indicates a sort of jiggling or disruption is OK. At least that’s what I think he said in one of his slips some years ago.

    1. I disapprove of such lists, which are essentially cheating. If you need them you shouldn’t be doing The Times crossword in the first place. But more important, isn’t an anagrind one of the areas where setters can use originality? Why try to subvert that?
      (But I think you, I and Azed are all agreeing with that. Sorry Wil!)

      1. No need to apologise, Jerry! I think that the only use for such things is that they act as a sort of discipline for setters: they make the setter think ‘is the anagrind that I’m planning to use really OK?’.

      2. I’ve never seen such a list, and wouldn’t use one; but would using one be ‘cheating’ any more than using a dictionary? One hopes to solve unaided, of course, but. I agree that the setter has the right to indicate an anagram as he wishes; but I reserve the right to criticise his choice.

        1. Big thumbs up from here on setters’ choices fro anagram indicators. Filthy I’d probably not use, but no problems with setters pushing the envelope.
          Aside: I set occasional puzzles; I’m Australian; I used “cactus” as an anagram indicator once. Because in Australia if something is cactus (adjective) it’s messed up or broken beyond repair. You won’t see that in The Times!
          “Nuns lop cactus, leaving stump (7)”

          1. Curious to know why Aussies gave the word that meaning. Cacti are wonderful.. still and all, i will toss it into the general conversation when opportunity permits, and see what happens 🙂

            1. Can’t say I know. Consulted my Macquarie Australian dictionary (1981) which has 4. Broken, ruined but no explanation. Locally we used the Latin phrase cactus fuc*tus maximus for things that didn’t work, but that just might have been us.

        2. I’m not quite sure how one uses such a list in a way that could be construed as ‘cheating’. Lists exist in any number of books about solving crosswords, the most extensive one that I know being in the Wordgame Companion section of Chambers Dictionary 12th edition. There’s no suggestion that the list is exhaustive and these are the only words permitted. I would have no reason to use the list whilst solving but I consult it occasionally if I come across an anagrind I think is unusual when writing a blog or when somebody here raises a similar issue as happened today with ‘filthy’. My purpose in doing so, as when I quote definitions from dictionaries, is first and foremost to try to prove the setter correct.

          1. Cheating might be too strong a word for what i had in mind .. I certainly didn’t intend to level any accusations, and no doubt one person’s cheating is another’s perfectly normal behaviour, in this context anyway. I only meant that I prefer to solve the crosswords unaided, as one would have to do in a competition.
            But if nobody uses a list of anagrinds to help decide that a word is one, one wonders what use the list is at all. I notice that it was not included in the current 13th edition..

            1. I’m sure no offence was taken, certainly not by me. I think the idea of the list which is part of a wider section on crossword solving (including lists of other types of indicator) was intended as a learning tool for people to read and get a feel for the subject in order to improve their solving skills. Once they have that and they become more experienced, solvers will probably recognise anagram clues instinctively. My only reason for consulting it occasionally is to deal with queries relevant to our discussions.

              The Wordgame Companion section was unique to the 12th edition but is available to the wider crossword community as a section in Chambers Crossword Dictionary.

  25. 15:44. Tricky one. I thought it was going to be a real stinker when my first go at the acrosses only yielded a couple of answers but I made steady progress after that.
    The clue for ACRIMONY had been corrected by the time I got to it.

  26. The clue for ACRIMONY had been corrected by the time I did the puzzle too. I seem to have followed a bit of a pattern today in that my first answers were 1d then 1a in this puzzle and in the QC I did earlier. I had to use a bit more brain power to make progress in this one though. Some clever cluing and a lot of pleasant PDMs. Liked BRONCHI. My longest hold up was in the SE, but SATISFY and TIELESS eventually allowed me to get ASCENT and LOI, OVERSHOOT. 29:11. Thanks setter and William.

  27. 27:56

    ACRIMONY and JAM apart, I thought this was excellent; SEE OF ROME and CAJOLED being the pick of a fine bunch. I’m not keen on “filthy” as an anagram indicator but over at the Guardian almost any word seems to pass for one these days, so one gets used to it.

    Thanks to William and the setter.

  28. ACRIMONY clue changed online now, so that all passed me by. I found the AT STADE DE FRANCE overdoing it a bit. Had me looking for a cryptic justification for STADE. Might as well say ON RUE DE RIVOLI or BY THE BANKS OF THE LOIRE. A bit random. 32’18” all up, after guessing RAGGED STAFF and GLEE CLUB. Liked the air travel.

  29. I needed two sessions to finish this, total time 36’59”. Last two in were STUPENDOUS and IMPOSING. I enjoyed BRONCHI.

  30. Did not expect to finish this but the last 5 or 6 fell into place quite quickly after a long lunchtime session.
    LOI was ERRATA where I was toying with Errors. However FOI had been TEE OFF and I couldn’t think of anything better.
    Late in were ACRIMONY from the definition and RIM and an unparsed CORRESPONDENT. I was running out of time for parsing at the end.
    My last decision was to stick to ASCENT, but it was a close call.

  31. Anyone else have “see red” for 11 across instead of tee off? Much too vague a clue for me…and held me up in the NW corner

    1. Yes I had ‘see red’ at first. But I think that is even vaguer than the correct answer, so I was happy to change it.

  32. A fun puzzle with some devilish dodges!
    COD OFFIE (I like that word)
    As regards ACRRIMONY I’ve decided to put it behind me, get over it and move on…!
    Thanks to setter, blogger and editor.

  33. Delighted to complete this, even though I needed the dictionary once or twice and only got two clues on the first reading. NHO Offie but it was all I could think of so bunged it in as I did have a rationale for it. Remembered Snafu from other crosswords. Somehow Jam and the WI was inevitable, though I believe they are keen to shed that image now. COD Bronchi. Thanks setter and William for the parsing.

  34. 15:39 late this afternoon. There were several clues where I was not aware of the definition but had sufficent faith in my interpretation of the cryptic element to go with my answer – for example 9 ac “ragged staff”, 11 ac “tee off”, and 4 d “doss”. So always the risk of a pink square but not today fortunately.
    I very much enjoyed the solve and the top notch clueing. Particularly liked 14 ac “From the Word Go”, 5 ac “bronchi” and 7 ac “cajoled” with the spanish twist.
    Thanks to Willam and setter.

  35. Voluminous vernacular (Doss/Sass/Offie/Yes-buts/SNAFU). See red derailed me, not least because where I come from tee off has been confined to golf and the get cross meaning has been drowned out by one of the two meanings of p*** off. So DNF but my error apart I thought this a more accessible Friday

  36. FOI was TEE OFF but it went downhill from there. As I do the paper version, no update for 16d, which didn’t help. OFFIE is used in North of England (and Scotland I believe?)

  37. DNF! I made up see of love – my Casanova being love(r). Kicking myself now I see the correct answer. Otherwise all done despite the error with acrimony! Hope for more success next week.

  38. A very good puzzle which took me just over an hour. To finish I needed to replace SEE RED by TEE OFF, which made SEE OF ROME possible. GLEE CLUB evoked distant memories of high school (in the U.S., of course), not that I was actually ever a member of a glee club. CODs to BRONCHI and YES-BUTS. It’s late, and so to bed.

  39. 29.29

    V late entry. A lot of excellent clues – BRONCHI was fantastic – smoothness of surface justified the unusual indicator in my book but understand the slight MERs

  40. BRONCHI first one in (thought ‘filthy’ an ok anagrind); followed by CAJOLED and JAM (very good, once I had it explained in its entirety!). CORRESPONDENT did for me though, ( not a fan of complex ‘charade’ clues). Liked the PDMs of IN MY BOOK and BY ALL MEANS especially, though NHO OFFIE, despite spending my first 22 years in London. Too difficult for me to finish without aids.

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