Times 28563 – where are my royalties?

This took me longer than perhaps it should have done, and I suspected it was hard, but I was distracted by visitors and a streaming cold. When I came to parse it and write the blog, I thought, not that hard really, even if a few times I was looking for the definition at the wrong end of the clue. For example, at 18a. I liked 28a for its simple and relevant surface.

Definitions underlined in bold, (ABC)* indicating anagram of ABC, anagrinds in italics

1 Nothing good is postponed (2,3)
ON ICE – O (nothing) NICE (good).
4 Car — blue — drawing in constant power from only one source? (9)
AUTOCRACY – AUTO (car) RACY (blue) insert C the constant speed of light in a vacuum.
9 Officer requires years just to get protection for work (9)
COPYRIGHT – COP (officer) Y(ears) RIGHT = just.
10 Partygoer close to dancefloor, say (5)
RAVER – R (end of dancefloor) AVER = say.
11 Shelter covered with light, rocky earth and shiny material (6,7)
PATENT LEATHER – TENT (shelter) inside PALE (light) (EARTH)*.
14 Book publishers should send my royalties here! (4)
TOME – I’d want royalties paid TO ME!
15 Singular limits restricting key attack victims (10)
SCAPEGOATS – S (singular) CAPS (limits) with E (key) GO AT (attack) all inserted.
18 Broken bone somehow compressing extremely tough joint (2,3,5)
ON THE BLINK – (BONE)* with T[oug]H inserted then LINK = joint.
19 One advising young woman to drop married name (4)
AIDE – MAIDEN drops its M and N.
21 Desperate hunters battle to reverse fortunes (4,3,6)
24 Try to block some pain (5)
AGONY -GO (try) inside ANY (some).
25 King and others worried about current counterattack (9)
RETALIATE – R (king) ET AL (others, Latin), I (current), ATE (worried).
27 Perseverance shown by foolish individual — one I put into service (9)
ASSIDUITY – ASS (foolish chap) I (one) DUTY (service) with I put in.
28 Sheep finally allowed outside a fold (5)
PLEAT – P (sheep finally) LET (allowed) insert A.
1 Company from the south — one charged to hold up employment (10)
OCCUPATION – OC (company reversed) CATION (one charged, a positive ion) insert UP.
2 Little mischief? One’s played quietly (3)
IMP – I’M (one’s) P (played quietly).
3 Aim to secure right artist for commission (6)
ERRAND – END (aim) with R, RA (artist) inserted.
4 Lovely candy decoration on top of lebkuchen (9)
ANGELICAL – ANGELICA being a candy decoration, L being the top of lebkuchen. The latter being a German gingerbread type of thing.
5 Otter that regularly eats river fish (5)
TETRA – Insert R into alternate letters; o T t E r T h A t. Small tropical fish often kept in tanks.
6 Hours in transit leading to former trading hub (8)
CARTHAGE – insert H (hours) into CARTAGE (transit).
7 A lad arrives furiously combative (11)
8 Not large, really flipping basic dwelling (4)
YURT – TRULY = really, remove the L (not large) and reverse it.
12 Invitations gathered up at points to be dished out (11)
TEMPTATIONS – MET (gathered) reversed then (AT POINTS)*.
13 Old male German paramilitaries overwhelmed by strength test (10)
ASSESSMENT – ASSET = strength, insert SS MEN those old German paramilitaries.
16 Use moderate wordplay with sarcasm (9)
PUNGENTLY – well, if you PUN GENTLY you can be said to be using moderate wordplay. It’s in Collins to mean with caustic wit or satire.
17 Settled dispute outlined by contract (8)
DEFRAYED – FRAY (dispute) inside DEED (contract).
20 Everyone featuring in the Republican party race (6)
GALLOP -ALL (everyone) inside G.O.P. the “Grand Old Party” so-called.
22 Collector’s items including many human sculptures? (5)
TORSI – hidden as above, being the plural of TORSO.
23 Somewhat elevated numbers in a spreadsheet? (4)
DATA – A TAD (somewhat) reversed (elevated).
26 Excellent commando principally involved in each uprising (3)
ACE -C (commando principally) inside EA (each) reversed.


52 comments on “Times 28563 – where are my royalties?”

  1. Some of this really was tricky – Carthage as a trading hub and cartage as transport, wow. Some was just nice.
    I’m not sure I get I’m = One’s. I mean I see how they’re close, but not exactly synonyms. What am I missing?
    thanks pip

    1. What about the “Royal one”, ie the impersonal pronoun “one” used as a first person pronoun?

  2. Liked that, pleasantly tricky. PUNGENTLY was great, as was DEFRAYED. Last one in DATA took a minute or two at the end for the penny to drop.

  3. 34 minutes. I didn’t know ANGELICA for ‘candy decoration’ and I didn’t properly parse AUTOCRACY (good def) or ASSESSMENT. Same initial problem at 18a as our blogger.

    I also liked CARTHAGE and the wordplay for my LOI PUN GENTLY.

    Thanks to Pip and setter

  4. Well, after the past two days of very easy puzzles I was hoping for something a bit more challenging and I certainly found it here, although it hadn’t seemed like it at first as I got off to a flying start in the NW sector. By the time I crept over the finish line with 58 minutes on the clock I felt I had fought a tough battle against some of the devious (but fair) machinations of our setter.

    ASSESSMENT and AIDE were my last two in, the latter after a massive alphabet trawl to fill the gaps ?I?E and had wrongly discounted the possibility of the first letter being anything but a consonant. A major error as things turned out.

  5. Back down to earth today, crashed and burned on AIDE. Just didn’t see it so bunged in CITE (name) without much confidence. Stared at the pink squares for another minute or two before the penny dropped, so I’ll give it my COD.

    Also struggled to find the correct word form for ASSIDUITY and needed all the crossers and some reverse engineering for SCAPEGOATS.

    Well played setter, and thanks Pip.

  6. I really liked this, and had an experience similar to Pip’s (though I don’t have a cold, and my only distraction was the telly). COPYRIGHT, my LOI, didn’t seem like it should have been, and same story with TOME. There was some really clever stuff here: (m)AIDE(n), PUN GENTLY (ha), et al. I bunged in OCCUPATION from the northward “company” and ION as “charged,” took a minute to remember CATION in parsing. I had ON THE BLINK marked as one I especially liked. Thought “Lovely” a little mild for ANGELICAL—had forgotten about the cake… candy?… decoration too, so this came late. (ANGELICAL is unnecessary if you don’t have crossword squares to fill, as otherwise ANGELIC would suffice.)

  7. I sprang to the stirrup, and Joris, and he;
    I galloped, Dirck galloped, we galloped all three;
    (Browning, the “Ghent to Aix” one)

    35 mins mid brekker, held up by Scapegoats meaning Victims with a key, ‘go at’ in the middle.
    Maybe GOP rings a very vague crossword bell.
    Ta setter and Pip.

  8. ON THE BLINK and ASSESSMENT both foxed me for a bit – I wrote in and deleted them a couple times each before the penny dropped. In the former case I thought it was clever clueing as I was convinced “broken” was anagrind and “joint” was definition. In the latter case I think the sheer wordiness of “old male German paramilitaries” was a little clunky. Fun puzzle, thanks piquet for parsing SCAPEGOATS as GO AT wasn’t an easy spot!

  9. Gave up over the hour with AIDE and DATA not answered. Just couldn’t see them. Bah.

    I liked PUN GENTLY.

    Thanks pip and setter

  10. DNF in 30 mins. AIDE and DATA eluded me – but were both fair enough.


  11. 9:52. It felt like I was slowing down all the way through this solve, having started very quickly. At the end it took me quite some time to see DATA. Nothing very hard though, and no unknowns for me. I only know TETRA from doing these puzzles: not sure I’ve ever come across them IRL.

    1. Tetras (particularly the neon variety) are quite common in home aquariums. (My brother used to have a fairly large one. In the same room as his pool table. And one day, the inevitable happened…)

  12. No time recorded due to interruptions when I failed to stop the clock, but certainly not quick. I wasn’t very impressed with the clue for assessment, but enjoyed plenty of the rest.

  13. Just about the hour, interrupted by the installation of a water softener. COD to SCAPEGOATS. A tough one. Thank you Pip and setter.

  14. Very similar experience to Jack: the start went pretty smoothly but then I slowed and finished in 58 minutes. The difference was that (I imagine) he used no aids; I gave up on COPYRIGHT and used an electronic aid; was convinced the officer was a Cap or a Capt. Was uncomfortable with invitations = TEMPTATIONS although I suppose ‘enticement’, which Chambers has, makes it OK. As Piquet says, not that hard really. Shouldn’t have struggled.

  15. 20:14

    I’m probably a bit rusty as I haven’t done a daily cryptic for over a week but like others I found this a two-speed puzzle, with some very easy and the rest quite hard to fathom.

    Am I the only one who biffed TARKA at 5d?

    1. TARKA? I was sorely tempted and actually wrote it in the margin but I couldn’t make any sense of the wordplay so I waited for the middle checker to turn up.

      1. It would work if there were a river fish called an ARK (T{h}A{t} eating ARK). I’ve never seen Paul Whitehouse catch one but that didn’t make it impossible that such a thing might exist somewhere in the world.

    2. Immediately thought of Tarka. What’s that joke? The cockney restaurant had a Tarka Marsala. Just like Tikka Marsala, only ‘otter. But equally quickly it didn’t parse, so I solved the clue.

              1. In Australia Indian restaurants aren’t common. I’d always been under the impression there was a dish named “Chicken Tikka Marsala”. Hence the joke. Don’t know where dal comes into it.

                1. Yes there is (although it’s ‘masala’, Marsala is a fortified wine from Italy). But there’s also a common dish called tarka dal (or dhal) which makes the joke even more direct.

                  1. Marsala/masala – embarrassing mistake. Indian food not my forte. Used to get sent to Singapore occasionally for work, liked searching out good Indian restaurants, can’t find then down here so much.

  16. Back to reality after the gentle exercises on Monday and Tuesday. I found this tough but fair, and might have beaten my eventual time of 38 minutes had I not run aground for a while in the NE corner. CARTHAGE and AUTOCRACY both took some time to emerge. But it was worth it for the entertaining clues, especially SCAPEGOATS and PUNGENTLY.
    FOI – ON ICE
    Thanks to piquet and other contributors.

  17. I found this hard! It’s amazing to me that people can do a puzzle like this in under 10 minutes! Didn’t time myself today but must have been around 50 minutes (across 2 sessions)
    I wasn‘t sure if ANGELICAL waa a real word (as opposed to ANGELIC) so that was my LOI. If I had trusted myself on that maybe I would have been a bit faster (or maybe not…)

  18. DNF… because I couldn’t see DEFRAYED. Even with all the crossers and everything else correct. Am I going senile?
    Liked this, in general.

  19. Had an interruption in the middle of solving, so I didn’t get a time, but I thought this was fun, not too difficult. Liked CARTHAGE

  20. 27:11, getting progressively boggier the lower down I went. TEMPTATIONS, DEFRAYED and, for some reason, TORSI the last and longest to fall.

  21. Most of this worked out but I didn’t quite fully parse a few. However, failed in the end with yare for yurt (anagram of really without the Ls to mean go slowly as in the river/dwell), Gallup for gallop (misspelt and didn’t know GOP) and torti for torsi (didn’t know what was going on here but thought it might be plural of totem). Thanks for clearing it all up.

  22. A decent puzzle. I biffed both DATA and RAVER and submitted with 🤞

    It hasn’t done wonders for my Snitch ratings, but personal vanity has no place here.

    COD TOME (simple but elegant)
    TIME 14:08

  23. 50:24

    A bit like pulling teeth. At 75% I completely ran out of juice for ages, then a slooooooow trudge to the finish line. It’s painful when filling in one answer fails to help with others.

  24. All correct, all parsed, but I found it pretty challenging. Can’t see the problem with the clue for assessment though, seems okay to me. No timings today for no particular reason. I also raised an eyebrow for a equating temptations with invitations, but no more than that.

  25. 16:26. I got all the way to 21D before I solved a clue, but the Downs got me going. LOI AIDE took a while to come. COD to ON THE BLINK. Thanks Pip and setter.

  26. 45 minutes today and a puzzle somewhere in the middle, not too easy, not too hard, no unfair clues but many requiring a certain amount of thought. My LOI was DATA (I spent too long actually looking for numbers). Never heard of TETRA but I trusted the wordplay. And with OCCUPATION I fell into my usual trap of seeing just ION as “one charged”, which made the rest a bit hard to parse until I saw the CATION with UP in it. I rather liked the surface of PLEAT, too.

  27. Gave up on this – e.g. couldn’t do 4ac because I’d AERY at 8dn (anag. ‘really’ minus both Ls) = and many other clues had no idea how to parse.

  28. Gave up with about 4 to go – just not on my wavelength. Mr Ego had a look and put WIFE for 19A. As in ‘One advising young woman – MIDWIFE, minus M for married and ID for name. I was quite happy to accept this without the definition! He also got DATA, ASSIDUITY and TORSI (I said I wasn’t on the wavelength!) However, we were both stumped on 16D – I tried all the vowels except U! Liked ON THE BLINK most – it was one of my first in.

  29. DNF I had biffed ANGELHAIR at 4d, and this left me with ON THE BRINK and a puzzle at 15a. Otherwise all others parsed and correct.
    A tough one

  30. As others have said, generally a tough puzzle interspersed with some gentler ones. Thought I was off to a good start with ON ICE and OCCUPATION, then slowed down dramatically. Trusted the wordplay for ON THE BLINK ( my COD along with PUNGENTLY and TOME. Not such a great outcome for me, with having to look up seven!

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