Times 28583 – sit and wail

I found this just beyond the edge of my ability / patience. Biffed a few and used aids for some others. On reflection, it is a masterful puzzle, but very hard!

Definitions underlined.

1 Travel first class? Put yourself down for a saver! (6)
GOALIE – GO (travel) + A (first class) + LIE (put yourself down).
4 Time, with very large middle, to get XL! (3-5)
TWO-SCORE – T (time) + W (with) + OS (outsize, very large) + CORE (middle). Roman numerals XL = 40 = two-score.
9 Fail with things at college (7)
STUFFUP – STUFF (things) + UP (at college).
11 Drop round, in pursuit of meadow plant, for dinner? (5,2)
LEAVE GO – O (round) after LEA (meadow) + VEG (plant for dinner?).
12 Girl to be educated earlier retaking a course in India (5)
RAITA – RITA (girl to be educated) with another A inside earlier in the word (earlier retaking a).
13 Be done with ice breaking and falling in? (9)
OBEDIENCE – anagram of (breaking ) BE DONE with ICE.
14 One offering purse with fancy zip — her gift? (10)
PRIZEFIGHT – anagram of (fancy) ZIP HER GIFT.
16 Collected monies originally given by state (4)
CALM – CAL (California, state) next to M (monies originally).
19 One of two discs moved inside record player, making room for karate? (4)
DOJO – O + O (two discs) with one of them moved inside DJ (record player.
20 Room in a box is restricting, extremely (10)
TERMINALLY – RM (room) + IN + A, all contained by (… is restricting) TELLY (box).
22 Begin by shoving hard to stop cat biting (4-5)
PUSH-START – H (hard) contained by (to stop) PUSS (cat) + TART (biting).
23 Tools to get hold of instead of spades (5)
VICES – VICE (in place of, instead of) + S (spades).
25 Resort’s website, editable without a single click, ultimately (7)
WAIKIKI – WIKI (website, editable) containing all of (without) A + I (single) + clicK (ultimately).
26 Train in Peru trundling around (7)
NURTURE – reverse hidden (in… around) pERU TRUNdling.
27 Furious drunk committing crime on Tube? (8)
STEAMING – double definition, both slang, the second referring to the crime committed by gangs running through stations taking whatever they can.
28 Making one pass on licence given to small boy (6)
LETHAL – LET (licence) + HAL (shortened version of Harry, small boy)
1 Party drink to sink after picking up a snail? (9)
GASTROPOD – DO (party) + PORT (drink) + SAG (sink), all reversed (after picking up).
2 Pick out dhal, oddly passing up bean (5)
ADUKI – reversal of (up) even letters from (oddly passed) pIcK oUt DhAl.
3 Knowledge largely hard to find by day? None of us can see it (8)
INFRARED – INFo (knowledge largely) + RARE (hard to find) + D (day).
5 City to have Liberal MP worn out! (13)
WOLVERHAMPTON – anagram of (out) TO HAVE Liberal MP WORN.
6 Figure in charge, still (6)
STATIC – STAT (statistic, figure) + IC (in charge).
7 New lad alone, somehow not missing anybody (3,3,3)
ONE AND ALL – anagram of (somehow) N (new) + LAD ALONE.
8 Overreact when volume turned up close to one (5)
EMOTE – reversal of (turned up) TOME (volume), then last of (close to) onE.
10 For energy, helping to provide a great deal (13)
PROLIFERATION – PRO (for) + LIFE (energy) + RATION (helping).
15 Wrong being at home with no lemon wedge? (9)
INJUSTICE – IN (home) + JUST ICE (like a G&T with no lemon wedge).
17 No reason not to be miles up indeed in a balloon! (3,2,4)
MAY AS WELL – M (miles), then a reversal of (up) AY (indeed) inside A + SWELL (balloon).
18 Mostly lacking knowledge about current matter as a whole (8)
UNIVERSE – most of UNVERSEd (lacking knowledge) containing I (current).
21 One visiting sailor, lover of pop perhaps and heavy metal (6)
OSMIUM – I (one), inside (visiting) OS (sailor) + MUM (lover of pop (father) perhaps).
22 Montgomery is in this year overwhelmed by war captives (5)
POWYS – Y (year) in POWS (prisoners of war).
24 Press pipe down underneath vineyard (5)
CRUSH – SH (pipe down) under CRU (vineyard).

61 comments on “Times 28583 – sit and wail”

  1. 26:56. Yes, a real tough one to finish the week. Had no idea why STEAMING was correct but got lucky.

    Thanks William and setter.

    (William, you have the wrong anagrist for WOLVERHAMPTON. It’s “to have L(iberal) MP worn”).

  2. 41:54
    I was so unsure of some of my solutions, and checked a couple in the dictionary, so submitted off leaderboard.
    STUFFUP seemed obvious, but I couldn’t find it in ODE or Collins. Totally at a loss with STEAMING, never having heard of the crime. I spent a lot of time playing with the wrong anagrist for 5d, finally biffed WOLVERHAMPTON and worked out the anagrist from that. DNK ADUKI could be spelled like that ([aduki] is impossible in Japanese). An MER at EMOTE; to emote is to overact not overreact. I liked TERMINALLY.

  3. 27A I read this as a triple definition, with “furious”, “drunk” and “committing crime on Tube” all definitions of steaming.

    1. That’s how I saw it too. I didn’t know about the third definition, until I looked it up.

  4. No idea about the tube meaning of STEAMING but I saw the other definitions so I was confident it was right. I put WOLVERHAMPTON in from just the W and N and the number of letters, and only then realized it was an anagram. My LOI was INFRARED which was hard, especially since I spent an age trying to justify INFLATED or INFLAMED which fitted but had nothing to do with the clue (beyond the iNF bit). But I got there all green in the end.

  5. Very tough, happy to be all correct. Very enjoyable, I like this type of puzzle.
    Only actual unknowns were Monty in Powys, aduki beans, and vice’s Latin meaning – inferred from vice-versa, like vinyl. Plus the third definition of steaming – another who thought furious and drunk were two separate definitions. A bit miffed at stuff-up and LOI infra-red not being hyphenated. Though I see the dictionaries have infrared as one word, and stuff up as two, neither hyphenated.
    Too many good clues to pick a COD.
    Thanks setter and blogger.

  6. Wow, I really liked this, best of the week for sure. But I had to have a second postprandial (big) cup of java before I could get properly started… or I’d have had to leave it till tomorrow. Got my second wind, and finished with all correct. Amazing stuff, coffee.

    I wondered about the missing hyphens too. Marked “earlier retaking a” in the clue for RAITA as… remarkable. It’s similar to the clue for DOJO.

  7. 11:42. Unlike yesterday I seem to have been on the wavelength for this tricky puzzle. And I got up even earlier. Go figure.
    I wasn’t happy with STUFFUP which needs a hyphen at least, and even then it’s a noun. The verb form required here is always two separate words. And RAITA isn’t a course. Edit: actually ‘fail’ can be a noun, of course. Objection withdrawn.
    But other than those quibbles enjoyed this a lot. A good challenge.

  8. This was very hard work. I completed it in 61 minutes but now take some comfort since discovering that this was a little faster than than one of our Mephisto bloggers. Also some of this time was lost by dithering over writing in STUFFUP at 9ac which I would not have done had the enumeration been (5,2) or indeed (5-2) instead of (7) which is surely an error. I entered it reluctantly only when all the checkers were in place and I was left with no alternative. Checking the usual sources, STUFF UP /STUFF-UP meaning ‘fail’ appears only in Chambers.

    Other than the above I quite enjoyed this in a masochistic sort of way.

    1. It’s in OED as two words. Not one of the usual sources but MacMillan has it as a noun, marked as an Australian usage, with a hyphen. Whichever way you look at it this does seem to be an error.

      1. I seem to have lost some of my original comment in the final edit. The only place I found STUFF UP with this meaning was in Chambers. Their Slang Dictionary also has it with a hyphen as a New Zealand euphemism for ‘f-word-up’.

      2. I took “Fail” to be a noun.
        You see it a lot that way these days (check out YouTube, Google “epic fail”), but it has always been a noun in “without fail.”

        1. Yes so did I (see my earlier comment). STUFFUP as a noun isn’t in the usual dictionaries, but to me it unquestionably can be, as can any term with the same form, most obviously the F-word one. And I regard the use of hyphens as almost entirely a matter of stylistic preference, so if someone preferred to write STUFFUP as one word I wouldn’t consider it incorrect. However this is probably an unusually liberal view!

      3. The Macmillan definition is at the top of the Google results for “STUFFUP definition.”

      4. The treeware Australian has enumeration 5,2. Easier to see as up was obvious.
        My downfall was picks instead of vices at 24ac making universe impossible.
        Thanks for the blog, and to the setter.

  9. Ye gentle visitations of Calm thought –
    Moods like the memories of happier earth,
    Which come arrayed in thoughts of little worth,
    Like stars in clouds …
    30 mins pre-brekker. Lots not to like about this one: stuffup, steaming, Liberal anagram fodder, overreact, may as well.
    Ta setter and WJS.

  10. 22:12. I struggled to finish in the SE corner with LETHAL, TERMINALLY and UNIVERSE. Partly this was due to having a tentative PICKS instead of VICES. I thought the definition could be “Tools” and “to get hold of instead of” could be pick, as in choose. Ultimately I managed to get TERMINALLY which gave me UNIVERSE and I was then able to come up with the correct tools.

  11. Finished! 75 minutes after starting and after several heroic assumptions, I constructed LOI ADUKI. WAIKIKI and STEAMING were biffs, but then I’ve never been brave enough to edit Wiki. COD to TWO-SCORE. As with you, William, this was beyond the edge of my ability. Thank you to you and to the setter.

  12. Great puzzle. WOLVERHAMPTON took a while, even though I once worked at the eponymous university. STEAMING a triple definition, as above. Liked TERMINALLY with its hitherto unmentioned allusion to coffins.

    26’39”, thanks william and setter.

  13. 44:35. Felt like I made it hard – in that many of the clues seemed very simple once I had the answer – but clearly others found it hard as well, so fair play to the setter for some very cheeky definitions. GOALIE, TWO-SCORE, LETHAL among others took a long time to read correctly. A challenging but enjoyable end to the week. Thanks both.

  14. 24:53. LOI GOALIE changed from an unparsable GRATIS after a bit more of a think for a minute or two. I was also held up by STUFFUP and INFRARED in that corner. Like others I think the former, at least, is surely an enumeration error, and maybe the latter too. DNK that 3rd meaning of STEAMING or what a DOJO was. I liked MAY AS WELL WOLVERHAMPTON and TWO-SCORE best. A proper Friday test. Nice one. Thanks William and setter.

  15. Well over the hour and gave up counting. Then realized I hadn’t entered anything for 8d with my E-M-E. And just gave up and came here. No brain left!

    A very tough challenge but quite rewarding when the pennies (and there were many) dropped. I didn’t like STUFFUP as one word but I did like WOLVERHAMPTON, PRIZEFIGHT and WAIKIKI.

    Thanks William and setter.

  16. They do it down on Camber Sands
    They do it at Waikiki
    Lazing about the beach all day,
    At night the crickets creepy


    Just my sort of puzzle this, lots of trickery, imagination and well-hidden definitions, coupled with not much in the way of silly words or classics nonsense.

  17. Good in parts, this, though I thought a few clues rather overwrought. Also, I’ve never been a great fan of overpunctuating crosswords. The occasional question mark is fine, but four ! and eight ? is far too many.
    Refer Ximenes..
    Hal is NOT a random boy. He is a computer … 🙂

  18. 47 minutes. Just about the right degree of difficulty for a Friday with some hard ones, though none unreasonably so. Still, I didn’t parse VICES, initially going through the same thought processes as Pootle above and then wrongly sticking with just ‘Tools’ as the def. I agree the enumeration for STUFFUP and INFRARED was iffy.

  19. Isla has already made a similar point, but I also researched that INFRARED is the only spelling given in the Oxfords and Chambers. And Collins prefers it too but gives it with hyphen as an alternative.

  20. “Raita” is not a course. And “stuffup”… isntaword.
    A shame, because some (e.g. “goalie”) are good.

    Only the other hand, “infrared” is kosher. I just finished writing a report on infrared spectroscopy. It is seldom, if ever, spelled with a hyphen.

  21. 46.07. Never heard of the crime of steaming. Another puzzle I did not enjoy. Thank goodness that the Grauniad had a puzzle from a really top class setter today.

  22. 21:39, and I enjoyed this, a proper Friday beast, but a fair one (mostly – my last in was STUFFUP, slightly tentative and definitely without the full confidence I’d have had if there had been a hyphen or a break in there…also I, too, would be disappointed if I was promised a three-course Indian meal and one of the courses was RAITA and nothing else). I remembered that STEAMING was very big back in the day, and added to the thrill of travelling around London by tube; as always, not sure if it was just a passing fad amongst the criminal classes, or still happens but doesn’t get reported as much. I note that some wag has updated it for the digital age with the alternative name “flash rob”.

  23. I needed a second go to figure out UNIVERSE and VICES (where my experience was almost exactly the same as Pootle above), but I got there in the end.

    A few answers went in not fully parsed – INFRARED, WOLVERHAMPTON, DOJO – and ADUKI was an unknown entered purely from wordplay. I didn’t know the ‘crime on tube’ meaning of STEAMING either (I thought it referred to the ‘crime’ of trying to run a steam train on the London Underground, even allowing for the Steam on the Met specials they run), and STUFFUP without a hyphen was a brief MER.

    A more enjoyable way to end the week than how it started, so thanks setter and blogger.

    FOI Static
    LOI Vices
    COD Two-score

  24. 50:03

    Lots to enjoy in this grid. Having grown up in London, was well aware of STEAMING as a crime on the underground. Agreed that that answer is a triple definition.

    Dredged up DOJO having practised karate over forty years ago.

    STUFFUP and LEAVE GO both seemed to me to be non-UK terms – I may be wrong.

    Was stuck in the SE corner until LETHAL somehow popped into my head – that opened the door to the last four answers MAY AS WELL, VICES, UNIVERSE, TERMINALLY in that order.

    Thanks setter and William

  25. INFRARED never concerned me as I thought (correctly, evidently) that it was one word, but of course STUFFUP did. 72 minutes with a few aids at the end. I never knew that third defintion of STEAMING, and hardly the second one either, although almost anything is equivalent to drunk. Nobody has complained about the random boy in 28ac, or if they have I’ve missed it.

  26. DNF. Gave up on the hour without EMOTE, INFRARED, UNIVERSE and LETHAL. Quite pleased to have done as well as I did, though. This was a tough puzzle, but enjoyable.

    Just two gripes: STUFFUP isn’t a word and EMOTE doesn’t mean to ‘overreact’. Really.

  27. 37mins. No individual clues stood out as particularly difficult but all were just a notch above the usual, adding up to a long, v enjoyable solve. A good end to an uneven (for me) week.

  28. I gave up after 50 minutes with STUFFUP (never come across it) and INFRARED unsolved. STUFFUP is not in TEA’s standard vocabulary or CHAMBERS.
    Other than that I like the clues, 4a (TWO-SCORE) especially.

  29. Like RobR, WOLVERHAMPTON took me an age, even though I lived there for a short while. It didn’t have city status then, that’s my excuse. Can’t keep track of what is or isn’t a city now.
    One day I hope a compiler will use ‘state’ to indicate something like MH (Maharashtra). Why not? It has a far bigger population than California.

    1. Agree Paul, but I seem to recall mutterings about “obscure place names” when Tamil Nadu appeared here, despite it being home to over 70 million people!

      1. e.g. Force state to fail (5, 2)
        rather than the old-fashioned ‘up’ meaning ‘at university’ (probably Oxford)

  30. 27 – Right answer, wrong logic. I thought that running a steam locomotive on the Tube would be a crime, given modern air pollution legislation . .

  31. 59 mins. Stuck on EMOTE (agree, not overreact), UNIVERSE, LETHAL and MAD AS HELL and LEAVE DO held me up somewhat.
    LOI STEAMING (never heard of the practice, there again I live a long way from a Tube)

  32. 8m 3s, probably the first time I’ve ever solved faster than Magoo. Definitely a case of wavelength today, as I thought this was a lovely puzzle but not the trickiest of the week.

    WOLVERHAMPTON took me too long, as a Wolves fan, because I saw the B in Liberal and ruled it out.

  33. 34 minutes, really enjoyed this one. Would maybe have been quicker but didn’t quite believe in STUFFUP as a single word and NHO ADUKI, so I had my fingers crossed on those.
    So many great clues, it’s impossible to pick a COD.
    I think I just want to say, thanks **so much** to the setter of that one, really appreciate both for the challenge and hopefully keeping me improving. (Though i’ll never reach 8 minutes, that’s just amazing…)
    Cheers Steve

  34. Really tough. It took me over an hour, even discounting interruptions, and then was technically a DNF as I misspelt WAIKIKI. I had finished the right hand side while the left was almost entirely blank. DNK STUFFUP as a single word, or DOJO. Agree with some other comments above about some questionable clueing.
    LOI – STUFFUP, having convinced myself there was no alternative.
    COD – VICES.
    Thanks to william and other contributors.

  35. In 17D “May as well” I didn’t understand why it says the “ay” is reversed when it isn’t. Does the up refer to something else? I really enjoyed this one even though it was hard.

    1. m a(YA)swell

      For me, the problem with that clue is ‘be’, which isn’t part of the definition or wordplay, but doesn’t grammatically work as a link word.

  36. Difficult but enjoyable. Never heard of Waikiki and was convinced that ‘without a single click’ meant ‘…IHIT…’ so I populated the South Seas with invented resorts.

    No actual time — failed to finish at lunch, but managed to get it all correct after supper.

  37. Sunday night solve. None in after ten minutes. All in after 43’53”. A toughie that crumbled. Many thanks.

  38. Above my pay-grade here: so happy to get the sprinkling that I did! Was it the hard-to-find definitions, or the slightly off-key synonyms? As it was, the unknown ADUKI bean was first in (just trusted the cryptic), but never got close to OBEDIENCE, PRIZEFIGHT or STEAMING. I STUFFED UP the answer to 17d by jumping into MAD as being synonymous with NO REASON , and therefore not being able to finish it. Hopefully learning by my mistakes. Liked the clue to LETHAL.

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