Times 28546 – little red crossword

Time taken: 7:46. Pretty steady solve, though I had to do an alphabet trawl for my last in then hit myself for not seeing them earlier (25 across).  The early times seem to indicate this is about average difficulty.

There were a few answers I put in without full understanding, and had to piece together the wordplay for the blog, but I think I’ve got it all sorted out now.

How did you get along?

1 Mark time during end of Greek holidays? (6)
STIGMA – T(time) inside SIGMA(Greek version of S, the last letter in holidayS)
5 Young child settled unknown sum (8)
TOTALITY – TOT(young child), ALIT(settled), Y(unknown)
9 Warship commander has queen to inspect them regularly (8)
CORVETTE – CO(commander), R(queen) next to VET(inspect) and alternating letters in ThEm
10 Being in Kent city, initially ignored (6)
ENTITY – remove the first letters from kENT cITY
11 Take flight affected by delays, losing deposits (6)
DECAMP – CAMP(affected) next to DELAYS minus LAYS(deposits)
12 One digging out old wooden plate (8)
TRENCHER – double definition
14 Dismayed what happens when first three characters fail to get job? (12)
DISAPPOINTED – if the job doesn’t go to A, B or C, then D IS APPOINTED
17 Hears protest exploding? It’s all around us (12)
20 Tear around always dutiful (8)
REVERENT – RENT(tear) surrounding EVER(always)
22 Access inside of sent box, perhaps (6)
ENTREE – interior letters of sENt, and a box TREE
23 One who loves a busy person has run inside (6)
ADORER – A, DOER(busy person) containing R(run)
25 Duke in circle with old queen is a flatterer (8)
WHEEDLER – D(duke) inside WHEEL(circle) and ER(old queen)
26 Badly cut, see? (8)
27 Difficult making a bow without beginning on ribbon (6)
TRYING – TYING(making a bow) surrounding the first letter of Ribbon
2 Aid for gardener lifting the French herb (6)
TROWEL – LE(the in French) and WORT(herb) all reversed
3 Compromise deal with profit (4-3-4)
GIVE-AND-TAKE – DEAL(give) AND(with) TAKE(profit)
4 A pita’s not cooked as an appetiser (9)
5 Nearly where a queen heard she had the throne and crown (7)
TREETOP – This was a head-scratcher, but I think a little googling has solved it.  The story is that the future Queen Elizabeth II learned her father had died when she was at the Treetops resort in Kenya. Possibly in a treehouse.
6 Not here? No no! (5)
THERE –  remove NO from NOT HERE to get THERE
7 Left the thing burning (3)
LIT – L(left), IT(the thing)
8 Rent time was important when month’s missed (8)
TATTERED – T(time), MATTERED(was important) minus M(month)
13 Quite happily under canvas in cold, single (11)
CONTENTEDLY – TENTED(under canvas) inside C(cold) and ONLY(single)
15 Exceed one’s power, being open about English king (9)
OVEREXERT – OVERT(open) surrounding E(English), REX(king)
16 Girl turning up with flower is one for meeting? (8)
ATTENDEE – NETTA(girl) reversed with DEE(river, flower)
18 What’s going badly during return walking route (7)
PATHWAY – anagram of WHAT inside PAY(return)
19 Disgrace made me a nonentity in some parts (6)
DEMEAN – hidden inside maDE ME A Nonentity
21 Strange and fantastic stage show loses following (5)
EERIE – FEERIE(a stage extravaganza) minus F(following)
24 A way for France to show regret (3)
RUE – double definition

82 comments on “Times 28546 – little red crossword”

  1. I started this thinking it was a Quick Crossword! All went accordingly for a while, before it slowed down. I didn’t know about Treetops, so looked that up after. Didn’t know FEERIE either, but was happy to rely on you there. I liked 14a.

  2. 19:48
    I spent the last minute or two puzzling over 21d, finally doing an alphabet trawl to make sure it was EERIE; NHO FEERIE. I stayed at the Treetops Hotel 50 years ago, and knew the story of Princess Elizabeth, but it took me a while to remember. Never did get how DISAPPOINTED worked.

  3. Netta, eh?
    Same unknowns, Treetops and feerie, guesses from the definitions. Plus one other unknown: dutiful as reverent. Steady progress then slowed down in the SW; PATHWAY – very neat – got me going again. Liked SEVERELY, also.

  4. FEERIE is new to me, too, which is the only reason EERIE was my LOI.
    Didn’t know what was up with the TREETOP either!
    “Netta” raised an eyebrow.
    DISAPPOINTED is terribly cute.

    Joe Biden is very proud of his CORVETTE!

  5. I’ve not been doing the crossword much of late during my extended holiday in New Zealand, but I’m glad to find today that I can still crack ‘em. About 25 mins today on the ferry across the Cook Strait – a recommended journey for anyone who has the chance, not least for the beautiful views in the Marlborough Sounds of the South Island.

  6. (Typo alert, George: You have “expect” for “inspect” for VET.)

  7. 39 minutes. Remembered TREETOP(S) and QE II but couldn’t parse STIGMA and had NHO FEERIE. As others have commented, NETTA as your random ‘girl’ was unusual. I liked THERE; if I have seen it before, I’ve forgotten it.

  8. Still no leaderboards appearing! Tried clearing cookies and changing browser to no avail.
    Does anyone know the solution to this problem?
    Thanks for the new word FEERIE and the parsing of TREETOP.

    1. I suspect the solution lies with the techies at the Times, who presumably haven’t got out of bed yet. I can’t think of a site I’ve used that causes anywhere near the problems the club site does. Or any problems, come to think of it.

      1. They do seem to mess up rather a lot. I think I’d find conducting a review of their design and their maintenance and testing processes quite entertaining. If you want to see the times (stripped of neutrinos) then the SNITCH has them.

      2. Hi, we are having problems with the leaderboards which may be related to a design change rolled out yesterday. Our techies are on the case and I will post in the Crossword Club Forum when it’s fixed.

  9. 40 minutes. Fortunately I knew about TREETOP(s) from documentaries over the years and it was also mentioned extensively in coverage of the late Queen’s death and retrospectives about her long reign.

    Collins defines ‘feerie’ as: a theatrical production, often opera or ballet, involving fairies and depicting fairy scenes and landscapes, popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. I am familiar with the type of work but am very surprised that I have never before come across this name for it as I have studied opera and ballet of that era, and as a hobby I have held a lifelong interest in theatre and its history. Still the answer had to be what it had to be to fit the checkers and it didn’t delay me unduly.

    Elsewhere I carelessly wrote REVEREND at 20ac which gave me problems solving 18dn and accounted for me missing my target half-hour.

    1. I don’t find FEERIE in SOED. (Other than a cross-ref to ‘feirie’ ‘(Fit to travel; nimble; vigorous)’.

      1. That’s something different, although I hadn’t heard of that either! The required meaning is in Collins and also in Chambers (printed edition) where it’s listed, spelt féerie under fée which is French for ‘fairy’. There it’s defined as ‘an extravaganza (theatre)’.

        I have several encyclopedias and dictionaries of theatre and féerie isn’t in any of them, with or without the accent.

  10. 21 minutes with LOI EERIE, assuming that there must be a FEERIE show. COD to TREETOP for the penny drop, but perhaps TROWEL deserves it more. Pleasant fare.Thank you George and setter.

  11. An aged man is but a paltry thing,
    A Tattered coat upon a stick, unless
    Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing …

    25 mins mid-brekker. Am I the only one who didn’t like “end of Greek holidays”? “End of holidays in Greece” would have been ok, IMO.
    NHO Feerie.
    Ta setter and G.

    1. Agree. Found it rather weak, especially for an opener. After all, absolutely any plural would’ve done. Setter could’ve better said something like ‘Euripides’ (or various other dramatist candidates) and so wouldn’t have needed ‘Greek’ at all.
      (Sorry, Setter! Keep up the good work. You probably have to work to deadlines like most of us.)

      1. Well exactly. Imagine doing your job and being exposed daily to criticism from this crowd!

    2. This was the last clue I got, and for the same reason, that holidays is not a Greek word. However the Greek word for holidays is διακοπές, and this does end in sigma (it’s a plural, as was the English word in the clue), which means that the clue does strictly speaking work as written. Appreciate it’s rather more of a stretch linguistically than assuming that solvers know that a French word for “the” is “le”…

  12. 16:12. NHO FEERIE, never met or even heard of anyone called NETTA and the word WORT (rather than just a suffix) for herb is archaic. I only remembered the TREETOPS story after I out in the answer. Apart from that some fun clues. I enjoyed THERE and DISAPPOINTED. Thanks George and setter.

    1. 14 across I interpreted the first three characters in Dismayed as dis, so when the answer had to be DISAPPOINTED I thought there was a typo in the setting and the clue should have read:
      Dismayed what happens when first three characters get job?
      Anybody else wrestle with that?

  13. 27 minutes. Biffed ATTENDEE once I had enough checkers (I suppose I’ll have to add Netta to the list of random girls who can come up in these crosswords) and EERIE, as like others I hadn’t heard of feerie. In my mind dismayed is a bit stronger than DISAPPOINTED, but I suppose they’re close enough.

    A nice challenge – thanks setter and blogger.

    FOI Antipasto
    LOI Entree
    COD Tattered

  14. 16.25. Not convinced by some of the definitions, but enjoyable overall.

  15. NHO feerie, but EERIE was all it could be with crossers. TREETOPS rang a faint bell, but still went in very doubtfully. The rest quite easy. 18 mins. Liked THERE and TRYING.

  16. Quick, though nho FEERIE so eerie, last one in.
    I had a good friend, sadly dead, called Netta, short for Jenetta.

  17. 13:54. Well I found that really tricky. I was completely baffled by a few of them: I put in THERE long before I figured out the wordplay and never understood EERIE. I initially dismissed STRATOSPHERE because it’s above us not around us (a matter of perspective!) and I also thought OVEREXERT needed a reversal indicator (doh!). And I got myself very confused over 5dn because I remembered the story about Elizabeth I finding out she was queen while sitting under a tree in the grounds of Hatfield House and couldn’t for the life of me see how TOP came into it. In the end I just bunged it in.

  18. 36:44. Quite hard work and I felt I was taking longer than I did. I liked THERE and DISAPPOINTED

  19. As usual, kept my fingers crossed for a number of answers, EERIE, DECAMP, WHEEDLER et al, so am happy all good.
    COD DISAPPOINTED (thanks for the explanation)

  20. 14:38

    Not that I can dance but I did this one to the Foxtrot. My solving was slow, slow, quick, quick, slow.


  21. 15 minutes. LOI EERIE assumed as NHO feerie. I agree with @myrtilus, end of Greek holidays is poor clueing for sigma, although the answer was obvious. CoD to D IS APPOINTED. Mrs Piquet was quick to remember about Treetops, I had forgotten or never bothered to know.
    Thanks George.

  22. TROWEL was my FOI followed by CORVETTE, then GIVE AND TAKE. That gave me SIGMA, which I agree is a bit odd. I also puzzled over OVEREXERT until I notice REX higher up the order. I struggled with LOI, ENTREE until I realised BOX=TREE and metaphorically kicked myself. 21:49. Thanks setter and George.

  23. I found it fairly easy, but at several points I was reluctant to enter an answer until I had checkers to confirm it (eg DECAMP, EERIE). One or two definitions seemed questionable, and I’m not sure that the cryptic for STIGMA works. Is ‘end of Greek holidays’ cryptically equivalent to ‘end of holidays in Greece.’? I’m not convinced it is.
    23 minutes.

  24. I read it as ‘holidays in Greek’, which I think works. Google translate tells me it’s ‘διακοπές’.

    1. Thanks.
      Blooming hell, so we need to be Greek linguists now to undertstand Times clues!

      1. It does seem a bit of a stretch. ‘End of holidays in Greece’ would have been better because it just requires you to translate the S. ‘End of Greek holidays’ requires you to go via the actual Greek word. On the other hand it doesn’t take an intimate knowledge of Greek to speculate that the last letter of a plural noun might be sigma!

    2. So… as an engineer/physicist/ mathematician rather than a classicist or a Greek linguist, it seems the word holidays in Greek doesn’t end in sigma? From maths, capital sigma used as “sum of” is Σ, small sigma used as “standard deviation” is σ. The letter on the end of your word is… dunno… zeta perhaps?

      1. From Wikipedia: ‘the letter sigma ⟨Σ⟩ has two different lowercase forms in its standard variant, ⟨σ⟩ and ⟨ς⟩, with ⟨ς⟩ being used in word-final position and ⟨σ⟩ elsewhere’.

        1. Well, there you go. Never knew that. Don’t ever remember seeing ς, but do remember zeta having the same curl at the bottom which I always found hard to write.

          1. Neither did I! I’m entirely reliant on Google translate and Wikipedia here. I think the fact that we have to even have this discussion tells you that the clue is dodgy.

  25. After about five minutes I only had a few answers and thought I was in for a hard slog. I got going towards the bottom of the grid and found solutions steadily after that finishing in 37.57. I had most trouble with WHEEDLER thinking for a long time that the word had to finish in DOER. Like others never heard of Feerie, but the answer was obvious. I particularly liked 14ac DISAPPOINTED which I made my COD, even though I have a feeling I may have seen it before.

  26. I thought I was going to be quick(ish) but was delayed by the ATTENDEE, which seems an odd word, so was 30 minutes exactly. I knew a Netta once. Short for Annette? Agree that the Greek holidays is a bit dodgy and that holidays in Greece would have been much better. Eventually I was stuck with E_R_E at 21dn and although I’d heard of feerie I imagined it was an archaic or obsolete word for fairy; nothing like a stage extravaganza, so I entered it in the hope, which turned out to be OK (incidentally isn’t the definition just ‘Strange’, the fantastic applying to the stage show?). Enjoyed the Kent city.

  27. 20 mins. SEVERELY struggled with SEVERELY until I realised that I had ATTENDER.
    NHO FEERIE (who has?) but had to be.
    Thought TREETOPs was common knowledge…

  28. Some fanciful clueing!

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

  29. DNF beaten by TROWEL. Just couldn’t see it, despite its simplicity. Bah

    Severely disappointed and stigmatised!

    Thanks g and setter.

  30. Enjoyable enough, and I should probably have needed less than 33 minutes. That’s about average for me. I entered TREETOP and EERIE as the crossers left little option, so thanks to others for the explanations. Agree with others about 1ac, which seemed a slightly clumsy way of pointing to ‘sigma’. Sixteen answers contained two or more ‘e’s. Is this a record? I don’t mind ENTREE but have a strong aversion to unnecessary words like ATTENDEE. At least the notices in London buses have now stopped referring to ‘standees’.
    Thanks to george and other contributors.

  31. Unusually for me, I finished with no less than 5 question marks against clues I was unable to parse, so I guess the setter and I do our thinking in different ways. It resulted in coming to the blog with some trepidation that I may have erred, though the definitions made sense. Those I couldn’t parse were STIGMA (I understood time and sigma, but couldn’t make the connection), DISAPPOINTED (I’m not the only one), TREETOP (I knew, but had forgotten about Princess Elizabeth being on safari), PATHWAY and EERIE, LOI, which had to be correct, but like everyone else, I’d never heard feerie, though I knew the French fee (with accent – does anyone know how to include them, btw?). I also missed parsing DECAMP, which was just as well, as I doubt I’d have succeeded.
    To me, ‘flatter’ and ‘wheedle’ are different concepts. I understand ‘wheedle’ as meaning to try and get something from someone by cajolery and it might include flattery. If I were to ‘flatter’ someone, I might massage their ego, but I wouldn’t be wanting anything in return. The dictionaries, however, do not appear to make this subtle distinction.

    1. On my Apple keyboard (I presume there are PC equivalents, with the Option key being Alt), it’s option-e for an acute accent, option-` for a grave, option-u for an umlaut, option i for a circumflex, option-n for a tilde… followed by the letter, if it will take it. Option-c gives the cedilla.

      1. I don’t have an Apple. On my PC in Word I can use the Ctrl key for these applications eg ctrl , c will give a cedilla, ctrl/shift 6 e will give a circonflexe. However, neither these nor the Alt key give any kind of accent on my PC keyboard on this site, which is puzzling, as surely there must be a way other than copying and pasting from Word!

        1. Oh, my! That’s very enlightening. The Apple commands are so intuitive that I just assumed the commands on a PC would be virtually identical. And at least as simple (I’ve only used Word for Mac). Commiserations!

      2. Also on Apple, if you just hold the e key down for a couple seconds you get all the choices

        1. Well, I’ll be damned. That’s how I do it on my iPhone, but I didn’t know that it works that way now on desktops too (though it’s probably been that way since, say, the invention of the iPad).

    2. Agree on WHEEDLE. Don’t care what dictionaries say, there is a distinction in meaning that really should be preserved.

    3. On an iPad you just press and hold the required letter. This brings up a menu of the accented options for that letter. Press and drag the required option into your text.

  32. Charged through this but held for far too long at the end with Totality/Tattered and Loi Entree. Nho feerie but that didn’t seem to matter. Thanks for the parsing of Disappointed.

  33. 29:40

    Pleased to finish within the current snitch (87 = 33m30s target), however many went unparsed or were unknown:

    STIGMA – could see the T and knew SIGMA as a Greek letter, but failed to see what it had to do with holidays
    DISAPPOINTED – failed to parse
    ATTENDEE – NETTA is a girl’s name? Really?
    TREETOP – didn’t ‘get’ it until I read it here – GK that I had heard somewhere before – very good
    THERE – failed to parse
    OVEREXERT – Entered as I couldn’t think of anything else that would fit – probably as with others, was looking at the wrong letters making up OVERT
    CONTENTEDLY – saw TENT but didn’t see TENTED, so wondered why single = ONEDLY

    Thanks for the elucidations.

  34. No huge problems although I had to trust in the Crossword Gods for TREETOP. I didn’t know the story which has been so eloquently explained above, but it seemed correct because it really couldn’t have been anything else with those crossers. And as for 1a… I did a lot of biffing, more than normal, but I’m of the belief that one needn’t do more thinking than necessary when solving this bad boy, and sometimes, you just know when an answer is right.

  35. Thanks to the setter and the blog. Like most, NHO ferries and Greek holidays threw me so biffed both. Treetops came quite quickly and i thought severely was quite elegant, esp ely/see.

  36. 19:49 this afternoon, held up badly at the end in the NE corner where I was convinced that 12 ac “trencher” involved a word beginning with “ex”. Eventually because 5 d then looked so unpromising, I tried something different and suddenly thought of a possible word for an old wooden plate, arrived at via “trencherman”. With a sense of relief, I took one look at the crossers at 5d and just bunged in “treetop”. Thanks to George for the explanation.
    Liked 14 ac “disappointed” and 6d “there” and the PDM moment.
    Thanks to setter for a good workout and to George for a clear blog

  37. DNF as I couldn’t get WHEEDLER and PATHWAY.
    I thought 1ac wasn’t quite right, and I couldn’t parse DISAPPOINTED, thinking like others, it was something to do with the first three letters of Dismayed.
    Some very easy clues at the top of the puzzle, but found the lower half more difficult, with so many of the checking letters being ‘E’.
    Thanks George and thanks Setter

  38. I had to come here for elucidation on 5dn. Now that I’ve got it, I can’t say I like it!

  39. 19’06” Had REVEREND for too long, which made me think there must be a new word PEDIWAY. In the top right I was looking for TITHE connections. My Robert dictionary says a féerie (in French) is a play or spectacle in which supernatural beings appear and which normally requires considerable technical means to stage. I imagine them in Versailles.

  40. Given that almost any combination of letters will constitute someone’s name somewhere I wish there were some strict limits on using them in these crosswords, Shakespeare and the bible or something? and yes, if there’s a Netta in one of those I stand corrected. I’m not convinced reverent is a synonym for dutiful either. Grumble, grumble. Thanks for the blog!

  41. 23 minutes (and that after a couple of beers) so I think it was quite easy as for me that‘s a good time
    LOI STIGMA (and penultimate TROWEL)
    NHO FEERIE and didn’t understand TREETOP either, thanks for explaining that
    Sometimes I see I go down the same false avenues as other people, but today seemed very diverse
    Thanks everyone

  42. I knew TREETOP and like many others NHO EERIE. Would have been last in had I not got stuck on ENTREE, although it came finally. COD: DISAPPOINTED (now it’s been explained)

  43. 40 minutes and unlike how it is in most puzzles, the last few clues just popped into my mind rather than eluding me for ages. LOI was ATTENDEE and yes, NETTA is a girl’s name, probably in very rare cases. Then just about anything else ending in A could also be a girl’s name, so not really a satisfying clue. And I couldn’t really justify TREETOP, not knowing the resort and this particularly well-known event in British history, but of course the answer couldn’t really be anything else. Some clues were very good (THERE was one), but some others could be argued against. For example, if A, B and C don’t get the job, it doesn’t mean D isn’t rejected, too.

  44. Pretty much the same as everyone else: a couple which went in from either definition or definition plus crossers, and a raised eyebrow at Wheedle, and I liked There. thanks for all the legwork, gh

  45. Same problems as others: NHO the English history re the crown, nor had I heard of FEERIE, CORVETTE . Was a bit DISAPPOINTED in the looseness of some of the definitions ( REVERENT, WHEEDLER ), even though they were easy to guess, and never did see the cleverness of DISAPPOINTED, SEVERELY. Started well in the SE, but failed to see a few. Agree that STIGMA was not the best clue., but enjoyed THERE, ENTITY and PATHWAY.

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