Times 28585 – Whatever…

Around 20 minutes for all bar 15 down, where I had to look up the solution, despite having the first five letters. Better known by its Latin name.

1 Fellow worshippers, say, participating in sombre threnody (8)
BRETHREN – hidden
9 Shrub in old list of French rarities, principally (8)
OLEANDER – O LEAN (list as in lean to one side) DE (of French) R[arities]
 10 Line up outside initially under pressure (6)
DURESS – U (initial letter of U[nder]) in DRESS (line up – military expression, esp. in ‘dress ranks’)
11 In my past it involved inflammation of the eardrum (10)
12 Fine atmosphere for outdoor entertainment (4)
13 Countless men run Bude, surprisingly (10)
16 Temptress in food shop meeting prince from the East (7)
DELILAH – DELI reversal of HAL (Shakespearean and cruciverbal prince)
17 Dynamic type carrying goods left one gawping! (7)
GOGGLER – GG (goods) L (left) in GOER
20 Insubstantial western rowing crew? Not so (10)
WEIGHTLESS – W EIGHT (rowing crew) LESS (not so)
22 Elder possibly demands support, accommodating religious leader (4)
TREE – R (R[eligious]) in TEE (golf ball support)
23 Seize report of widely-encountered ruminants (10)
COMMANDEER – sounds like ‘common’ DEER
25 Peacekeepers worry about gunmen finally being free? (6)
UNNAIL –  N ([gunme]N) in UN (peacekeepers) AIL (worry)
26 Steep charge imposed on son at university (8)
SATURATE -S (son) AT U RATE (charge)
27 Assume control, and do a spot of bowling? (4,4)
TAKE OVER – double definition (DD), the second being cricket based
2 Rotten time for coarse food (8)
ROUGHAGE – ROUGH (rotten, as in ‘Poor Vera’s had a rotten time of it since Jim took up with the au pair’) AGE
3 Embarrassing books about English and Scottish sport (3-7)
TOE-CURLING – reversal of OT (Old Testament > books) E (English) CURLING (Scottish sport)
4 Others managed these at first, including a posh eating-place (10)
RESTAURANT – A U (posh) in REST (others) RAN (managed) T[hese]
5 Old conquerors — and not belonging to island (7)
NORMANS – NOR (and not) MAN’S (belonging to that isle)
6 Attorney leaves western state for Russian river (4)
NEVA – NEVA[da]; not the best known Russian river
7 Key French couturier reserving time for press chief (6)
EDITOR – E (key) T (time) in DIOR
8 Campaigner having a certain appeal in more basic setting (8)
14 Mad medic on small lorry (10)
15 Book recollecting meeting he originally organised (10)
EIGHTEENMO – MEETING HE* O[rganised]; a book size resulting from folding a sheet of paper into 18 leaves or 36 pages
16 Dejected teacher going about with company of actors (8)
18 Invigorate Republican soldiers in various directions (8)
ENERGISE – R GIS in ENSE (random directions)
19 Young creature perpetually restricted by obstruction (7)
LEVERET -EVER in LET (obstruction); a young hare
21 Convict, possibly, one taking tea round back of prison (6)
INMATE – [priso]N in I (one) MATE (tea)
24 Bovine creature  without water, perhaps? (4)


76 comments on “Times 28585 – Whatever…”

  1. Most wasn’t too taxing (though UNNAIL is odd), then at the very end… after POI GOGGLER… I did not find EIGHTEENMO unaided!

    I didn’t realize TOE-CURLING is connected with embarrassment, associating it with something else.

  2. 12:15, WOE
    The hell of it is, I knew EIGHTEENMO, so I biffed it without looking at the wordplay; but I typed …VO, maybe influenced by ‘octavo’. Damn.

    1. Congratulations, Kevin! The mere typo doesn’t nullify the fact that you knew—and even could have biffed—the correct answer, which is surely more significant.

      1. What’s more significant is that I dropped from 109 to 125 on the leaderboard.

  3. xxxxMO remembered from puzzles past, without knowing what it was, so that went straight in with the O already in position. It was DURESS and TOE-CURLING which held me up, not least from not knowing curling was Scottish, feels more like something the Dutch or Scandinavians would invent. Though having said that I vaguely remember I didn’t know it was Scottish the other time it came up… 25/12/2021, search tells me, though I didn’t comment that day.
    Otherwise nice and quick and easy. Liked take over and moonstruck.

    1. I thought CURLING was Canadian! (And it would be wrong to say that it isn’t!)

      1. Same here; which is why I wasted time thinking of something besides caber-tossing.

  4. Some walks in the park are slowed down by the odd muddy patch. TOE-CURLING and GOGGLER were soft underfoot, but EIGHTEENMO was damn near treacherous.

    NHO the book size, and the anagrist couldn’t be sorted into anything resembling a word, so I opted for spelling out a random number followed by the two leftover characters. Imagine my surprise.

    Thanks U and setter.

  5. Like Guy I thought Unnail was odd and curling was Canadian, and like Galspray I goggled at Goggler; unlike Kevin my Eighteenmo was definitely more luck than skill in getting the pieces into their correct places. Maybe my attention was diverted by the ice hockey playoffs.

  6. 19 minutes. I won’t pretend I knew EIGHTEENMO (not helped by the consecutive unchecked letters BTW), but it seemed possible as an old printing term. UNNAIL for ‘free?’ was unusual as noted by Guy so that question mark was needed. I didn’t know the ‘Line up’ sense of DRESS and therefore had to rely on the def for 10a.

    Apart from 15d, this one showed that a week is a long time in crossword land.

  7. 21 minutes, a good time for me, but disappointing because I might have been on target to break the 15 minute barrier, perhaps for the first time ever if I hadn’t been thwarted at the very end by EIGHTEENMO and UNNAIL. My experience with the paper size was exactly as described above by Galspray, eventually picking the number EIGHTEEN and bunging on the remaining letters of anagrist. After that, UNNAIL required a systematic alphabet trawl.

    I note now that EIGHTEENMO came up once before, in January 2012, when I eventually resorted to aids, but having looked it up I still managed to write in EIGHTEENVO believing that to be the word I had found in the dictionary.

    1. A quick search reveals TWELVEMO has appeared before, too. Rings more of a bell, hence my xxxxMO above for random-number-mo.

  8. DNF. Absolute car crash today. I had the first I and the Y the wrong way round in TYMPANITIS. And thinking a dynamic type was a doer I invented the unlikely DOGGLER – possibly one who gawps at others undertaking carnal activity in isolated public places.
    Fortunately I had no idea about EIGHTEENMO so submitted off leaderboard.

    1. I too went for DOGGLER. And where I grew up a goer was something/body else altogether!

      1. Chambers still has its second definition as “A sexually promiscuous person, esp a woman”.

        1. Typically double-standard of it! Never any negative words for sexually promiscuous men! I of course had DOGGLER, so am understandably miffed.

    2. Another DOGGLER here, DOER seeming more likely to me as a dynamic type than a GOER.

    3. I had ‘Boggler’ which made sense to me as one gawping might well be a mind boggler. Maybe…

  9. Would have been 11′ but for a mangled EIGHTEENMO, nho.

    CURLING is from 16th century Scotland, and the Scots have done well at the international level recently, I believe.

    Same comments as everyone else otherwise…..

    Thanks ulaca and setter.

  10. All green. But a few distractions. I was sure the “Scottish sport” was hurling (which fitted all my checkers) and is an even more Scottish sport than curling. Held up at the end at my LOI UNNAIL since I wasn’t sure AIL for “worry” was good. No problem for me with EIGHTEENMO after making sure it wasn’t “eighteenvo”.

    EDIT: just realized hurling is the Irish version of the sport and in Scotland it is called Shinty. It’s basically hockey with no rules.

      1. I once went to an ice hockey match in Montreal, at vast expense. The only rule seems to be, ‘stop play for the ad breaks’. A lady came by offering Coors. I’m afraid I said, “do you not have beer?”

      2. I used to enjoy watching it on telly in the 70s, but then they decided to clean the game up and I gave up.

        The puck flew too fast, while the punches were just the right speed to enjoy.

        I once spotted a hockey player without a beard. I have to say I feared for his safety…

        1. Two rules of ice hockey: 1. Do unto others before they do unto you. 2.If you can’t beat them in the alley you can’t beat them on the ice.

  11. I thought I was on for a personal best, but then I took longer on UNNAIL (which I eventually got, helped by having actually unnailed a fence panel on Saturday!) and EIGHTEENMO (which I did *not* get) than the rest put together. Very frustrating.

  12. Neva until the mankind making
    Bird beast and flower
    Fathering and all humbling darkness …
    (Dylan Thomas, A Refusal to Mourn …)

    20 mins pre-brekker, but 7 spent on: trawling states for Neva, constructing the NHO Eighteenmo, and shrugging at Unnail. Pity about those three.
    Ta setter and U.

    1. Very similar experience, Myrtilus: I still think UNNAIL is a non-word and that ‘ail’ does not mean ‘worry’.

  13. 27 mins so pretty easy except for the two mentioned several times above. Had to look up the unknown EIGHTEENMO (Automatically underlined here on my iPad so unrecognized!)

    I liked WEIGHTLESS.

    Thanks u and solver.

  14. 7:17, with at least three minutes staring blankly at 15dn. Eventually I managed to construct it and then it rang a vague bell, which I can only assume is a memory of its last appearance a decade ago. It’s a pretty memorable word I guess.

  15. 30 minutes, the last 10 on EIGHTEENMO, having tried many other combinations. Not being absolutely sure of UNNAIL didn’t help. I also would have preferred BOGGLER to GOGGLER but couldn’t make it parse. COD to TOE-CURLING, which brought a smile. Thank you U and setter.

  16. 13:13 of which at least 4 minutes on my last 3 UNNAIL, GOGGLER and, LOI, the unknown and unlikely looking EIGHTEENMO, but nothing else would fit. The rest of the puzzle was very Mondayish. As for CURLING – I always thought it originated in Scotland, not Canada as some suggested so looked up the history… “Evidence that curling existed in Scotland in the early 16th century includes a curling stone inscribed with the date 1511 found (along with another bearing the date 1551) when an old pond was drained at Dunblane, Scotland“. Thank-you Ulaca and setter.

  17. DNF, defeated by the unknown EIGHTEENMO – after several minutes staring at it, I eventually plumped for ‘eightmeneo’.

    Straightforward enough otherwise, though I wasn’t 100% sure about UNNAIL and relied on the wordplay for LEVERET.

    COD Toe-curling

  18. Yes just did it in 16 minutes which would have been 12 without UNNAIL (which I felt very unsure of) and EIGHTEENMO (which was all I could make from the letters. At one point I stopped to make sure I wasnt doing the quick cryptic by mistake, which has happened before, but then slowed down unfortunately especially those last two.

  19. 28m 34s but inexplicably typed BOGGLER when I knew the answer was GOGGLER.
    As far as CURLING is concerned, I thought all curling stones came from Ailsa Craig in the Firth of Clyde but, apparently, they also come from a quarry in North Wales.

  20. A horrible failure in the SE corner, bunging in UNNEAT and ENERVATE, and having to look up 15d.
    Mondays is one of those days where I often make sloppy mistakes, but also come across old obscure words.
    Hoping for better things tomorrow, as I’m taking a break from my Times subscription.

  21. I also had BOGGLER without parsing it, but didn’t think of GOGGLER. Had to check EIGHTEENMO was a thing, as nothing else would fit. Otherwise a fast 12 minutes. rushing to play golf on time.

  22. 23.14 with 5 mins looking for something better than 18MO. I figured it was possible along the lines of octavo etc. but didn’t think you’d want to fold paper into a non power of two… pretty shocked to see all green. Thanks ulama and setter.

  23. Surprised that people generally didn’t say how easy it all was. I took 19 minutes and then did the QC to see if that was slower so that I could say so (but it wasn’t). EIGHTEENMO wasn’t too hard, although 18 seemed strange as it isn’t a power of 2. Had vaguely heard of it. UNNAIL, which delayed me at the end, seems a pretty dreadful word: in the dictionaries no doubt, but …

  24. 9:12

    A rare sub-10 finish completed with a hastily bunged-in EIGHTEENMO (what else could it be?) and UNNAIL (in the absence of anything else coming to mind). Might have spent more time thinking about it if I hadn’t been so close to a sub-10.

    Happy with GOGGLER (HG Wells’ short story ‘Jimmy Goggles The God’ came to mind) and NEVA (Petrograd/Leningrad/St Petersburg river).

    Thanks setter and Ulaca

  25. 05:29, so I must have slept especially well or something. Minor hold-ups as already well detailed, but as with some of those other solvers, I must have had EIGHTEENMO or something very similar at the back of my mind (presumably from that decade-old appearance in the daily, or even a Mephisto-type puzzle, as it’s definitely not a word I find myself using terribly often…)

  26. Sub-30 minutes, but needed aids to find 18mo, and then spelled the ear thing wrong, with an E in place of the last I for a pink square. No problem with UNNAIL, I worked out that it must start with UNN, and that left few options and a helpful start to the alphabet trawl for the rest of it. NEVA took a long time for LOI. Thanks both.

  27. I wrote in “eighteenmo” and was amazed to find, when I googled it, that it was a real word. Strewth, I deserve a smoko and a couple of tinnies after solving that one.

  28. Mostly very easy, but I took a while to get UNNAIL and EIGHTEENMO (which I know), then at the end I took a couple of minutes to get the Russian river, so unfamiliar that I wasn’t sure I had the right answer.
    25 minutes. Disappointingly slow.

    POI UNNAIL (not a great word)
    LOI EIGHTEENMO (seemed the only plausible answer from the letters available)
    COD TREE (simple but effective)
    Very mondayish, which is great for me.

  30. I finished well inside target at 28.35 and was only held up by the 15dn and 25ac crossers. If you’ve not come across it, EIGHTEENMO is a most unlikely looking word, and my LOI was UNNAIL where I spent time trying to find an alternative that would fit, as I felt like others, that something wasn’t quite right. I was surprised to see they were both correct.

  31. 24:24 but despite looking up the weird EIGHTEENMO (EIGHTMENEO was the nearest I got), I carelessly managed to mis-spell TIMPANITIS. So WOE is me. Thanks U.

  32. 4m 28s, all plain sailing (and plenty of biffing) other than UNNAIL, plus the two obscure anagrams of EIGHTEENMO & TYMPANITIS – happily both very gettable from the checkers.

    TAKE OVER was very nice.

  33. Beaten by 3 that I should have got:

    NEAT I remember this now as cattle only from crosswords but I did know and had forgotten

    NEVA I didn’t take enough time with my US states because I knew it had to be DA away from something…Delaware didn’t work and I didn’t push on through

    SATURATE couldn’t stop looking for UP in the answer and caved in.

    Oh and of course I had to use an aid for EIGHTEENMO …

    Thanks setter and Ulaca

  34. I vaguely remembered the ….mo formula from previous crosswords, but I still spent five minutes figuring it out – and have to admit I checked before submitting. What would have been 10 minutes was 14’48”. Everything else was pretty Monday-ish, though UNNAIL took a while. Not helped by its checking with 18mo. Many thanks.

  35. 10:21 so about as fast as I can go. I pondered EIGHTEENMO probably long enough to rob me of a sub-10 time, but the stars aligned for everything else. Couldn’t quite see AIL for worry – but the unlikely UNNAIL it had to be, and was..

  36. Found this easier than Teazel’s QC today but I did learn a couple of new words which were biffed – EIGHTEENMO and NEAT=ox. UNNAIL took a while as it seemed such an unlikely word. Liked GOGGLER. Very pleased to have finished all correct, although it did take the best part of an hour! Thanks all.

  37. Cheating, I looked for the river (da)KOTA in Russia in vain.
    18mo was another cheat, although I was sure it began with 8. Cut into 3*6 fragments I suppose; seems an odd shape to go for, would have thought it was either very short and fat or long and skinny.
    Otherwise easy.

  38. What everyone else has said about “Unnail” and “Eighteenmo” and what Andyf said about the River Kota (I bet there is one somewhere in Russia).
    Otherwise, sailed through quickly.

  39. 23 mins. Not much to add, except that I’d NHO of it and yet another opportunity to rant about unknowns clued with anagrams.

  40. Well, this was all fairly straightforward/biffable, right up until the moment it wasn’t. Needed help with the nho Eighteenmo, but at least that helped confirm that Unnail really was what the setter had in mind for ‘free’. Saturate and Duress also put up more than just token resistance. Invariant

  41. I believe that in antiquarian book circles eighteenmo is written 18mo but pronounced octodecimo.

  42. 18.30 but put in doggler rather than goggler. Where I grew up a goer had a rather different meaning to being dynamic. Eighteenmo was a bit of a struggle, NHO but made sense. Nearly missed unnail, more used to eat than ail for worry.

  43. 33:18. Last three in were UNNAIL, SATURATE and NEAT.
    NHO neat=cattle, but had heard of neatsfoot oil, never wondering what animal it came from.
    EIGHTEENMO is another NHO, but it was the only word that fitted and used the anagrist, and sounded like it might be a book size. Pleasantly surprised that it was.


  44. Very straightforward, which was nice, for a change. There is a TV programme in the UK called ‘Gogglebox’ (not that I’ve seen it) which apparently is a fly-on-the-sofa listen-in on TV watchers commenting on what they’re seeing. Anyway, it unearthed GOGGLER, as I’d already expected ‘goer’. I spent some time trying to fit ‘eat’ into 25A, before looking for alternatives, and luckily, ‘ail’ was next. Haven’t we had UNNAIL in the last year or so? I can’t imagine why it would seem familiar otherwise. LOI 18mo was constructed painfully by distributing the remaining letters into something that might resemble a book. Liked SATURATE. COD TYMPANITIS – unknown, but immediately obvious given the anagram and definition.
    Now time for a browse of the last week’s puzzles, which have languished uncompleted owing to a break in Spain…

  45. 30 mins plus change, with EIGHTEENMO my LOI and being the only possibility, however unlikely, once the checkers were in place. Like others, I thought UNNAIL was a bit odd. Other than these two, all fairly standard Mondayish fare, I’d say.

  46. All said already: trundled along happily until GOGGLER dropped in (btw alto_ego, ‘gogglebox’ means the TV set in England). Then unnailed fairly ( or unfairly) undid me, and I neva got the NEVA. All that apart, a quick solve for me, so I’m a happy bunny, relatively speaking.

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