Times 28609 – The setter’s quiddity

I thought this was a little quirkier than your average Monday. I came in at 33 minutes, suggesting either that it was a little tougher than normal or that I was a little dumber than normal. Lots of deletion clues detract a bit from the overall effect, perhaps, but all in all fine Thunderer fare.

1 Orbital motion covering only 40 per cent of orbit is a chaotic situation (4-3-3)
FREE-FOR-ALL -OR[bit] in FREEFALL (orbital motion)
6 Fine American vessel in trouble (4)
9 Knight set to participate in Australian service (7)
ANGELUS -N (knight in chess) GEL in AUS; series of prayers commemorating the annunciation and incarnation
10 Radio operator’s character is unvarying (7)
UNIFORM -Uniform stands for U in the NATO alphabet
12 Late supporting worker (10)
13 Wrong book removed from account (3)
ILL – [b]ILL
15 What’s rum? “Alcoholic drink without head” should capture it (6)
16 Funny caption about Liberal not motivated by sex? (8)
PLATONIC – L in anagram* of CAPTION
18 Dishonest scheme giving house to patient fellow (3-2,3)
PUT-UP JOB – JOB from the Bible is the patient man; house (vb) means PUT UP in the sense of accommodate or give lodgings to
20 Transformed room with two pieces of lurid gilded stuff (6)
ORMOLU – LU[rid] in ROOM*; a gold coloured alloy
23 Resistance when getting a parking charge (3)
RAP -R (resistance) A P
24 Caper the writer’s presented in flabby weak conclusion (10)
ANTICLIMAX – ANTIC (caper) IM in LAX (flabby)
26 Disreputable cut limiting a French book offering little light (7)
SUNBEAM – UN (a in French) B (book) in SEAM[y]
27 Prominent statement in court lacking power (7)
28 Record no openings for this employee (4)
NOTE – NO T[his] E[mployee]
29 For dispensing, try a cheapo chemist (10)
1 Melee  to become untidy at the edges (4)
FRAY – double definition
2 Intellectual urge picked up with professor finally leaving (7)
EGGHEAD -EGG (urge) HEA[r]D; ‘picked’ AKA HEARD with the final letter of professor being deleted
3 Join the ranks, leading line with excellent resolve (4,4,5)
FALL INTO PLACE -FALL IN (join the ranks) TOP (leading) L (line) ACE (excellent); or just biff and wonder which end of the clue is being referenced…
4 Stay on the left? (6)
RESIDE – RE (on) SIDE (the left?)
5 Excellent litre, supported by University expert in beer (8)
LAUDABLE – L (litre) + U (univeristy) DAB (expert) in ALE
7 Crashed out, instrument not entirely ideal (7)
8 Restaged musical with unusual superficial likeness (10)
11 Uncertain blend of tea and dinnertime (13)
14 Study that involves European city coming in second? (10)
COMPARISON – PARIS in MO in CON; an all-in-one
17 Son ignoring encouragement to drink not coming from senior level (6-2)
19 Bow of vessel that’s raised speed at sea (7)
TOPKNOT -POT reversed KNOT (speed at sea)
21 Company elevated operatic item with introduction of new wind instrument (7)
OCARINA – CO reversed N in ARIA
22 Give form to row, omitting last point (6)
25 Not looking good, using library, overlooking contents (4)
UGLY -U[sin]G L[ibrar]Y

139 comments on “Times 28609 – The setter’s quiddity”

  1. Biffed ANTICLIMAX, TOPKNOT, & OCARINA, parsed post-submission. I never did work out FALL INTO PLACE. ODDITY was nice.

  2. Some nice stuff in here – ANGELUS from wordplay, really liked the clues for COMPARISON and ANTICLIMAX. 9:07.

  3. A DNF in 37 minutes, with the U and the A the wrong way round in SIMULACRUM. I agree this was more challenging than usual for a Monday and it was annoying to have solved and parsed the not so obvious ones, only to make a silly mistake.

  4. 37 minutes. I entered SIMULACRUM with fingers crossed but RUM for ‘unusual’ seemed likely and with all checkers written in it was only a matter of placing A,I and U as the remaining anagrist. ‘SIMUL’ as the beginning of a word meaning likeness seemed most probable.

  5. 12:22 Took a while to get started but all fell into place thereafter.

  6. Quirky and hard, as noted, but no long hold-ups. Some interesting vocabulary, but nothing unknown except perhaps topknot – I know it as a bird. Cue protest limerick from Astro_Nowt. Overall enjoyed the challenge.

      1. TOPKNOT. Not sure I want to see a hara-kiri film but I know the word from the old nursery rhyme about Tom, Tom the Piper’s son who stole a pig and away he run. Later on there’s a bit about “over the hills and far away” and the wind “blowing my topknot off”. None of it makes much sense. 18.53

  7. 12:28. Nothing too tricky today other than confusing gilt with a footballer giving me ROMOLU for a while. Post solve I see the footballer is actually Romelu Lukaku.

    1. I think it would be fitting somehow if Romelu Lukaku collected ormolu clocks!

    2. Hi Pootle, I only saw your reply late the other day regarding “And The Ass Saw The Angel” so it wasn’t worth replying. I think what Mike said about it (or what his first wife said about it – ‘difficult’ and ‘weird’) is about right. And yes, I would agree with you that that sort of reaction is a pretty good recommendation! At least I don’t think you will be bored by it.

      Hope you enjoy it and would be interested to hear your comments eventually.


      1. Thanks Don. If it’s anywhere near as good as his music I’ll be happy!

  8. Hello all, after hovering in the background for some little while I am now joining up in order to join in. I do this with some trepidation, you are a fearfully bright lot and seem of you even have knowledge of things like engineering and chemistry which is dead scary.

    By way of geographical background I am in Oz, so I’m OK with the cricket clues but struggle with some of the more UK-centric references despite having lived in London for a number of years. I’m now in Melbourne, we moved recently from Sydney for family reasons. I am slowly coming to terms with this, helped by the fact that where we live teems with good restaurants and getting to the MCG is an easy walk.

    I wish I could have come up with a zinger of a blog name. I tried but was never going to outdo BletchleyReject.

    As for today’s puzzle I got through it in 26.33, which for me is Verstappenesque. I wasn’t sure about some of the vocab but as a newbie I think it would be impolite to complain from the off. I think Millet’s Angelus in the Musee d’Orsay is one of the high points of human artistic achievement.

    1. ‘I think Millet’s Angelus in the Musee d’Orsay is one of the high points of human artistic achievement.’

      Are you sure you’re Australian? 🙂

      …and welcome!

    2. Welcome, LindsayO!
      You’ll find there are other Antipodean residents here. I’m in NZ.

      1. Hey Martin, thank you, and cheers from across the ditch. I appreciate how welcoming all you familiar blog identities have been and I look forward to contributing as and when I can!

        1. When in Sydney did you do the cryptics set by David Astle in the Sydney Morning Herald? They could be fiendish.

          1. He’s in The Age as well. Yes he’s a challenge, when someone told me his name rhymed with ‘hassle’ I was surprised, thought it was more like ‘castle’ (geddit?) He’s very clever but I think sometimes he’s too focused on being obscure for the sake of it rather than beguilingly cryptic, if that has any meaning. I think I prefer the tenor and tone of the Times, but that being said I still get the paper on Fridays…

          2. An Australian friend of mine sent me (the image) of one of his once. I thought a couple of his clues were a bit iffy, as did the commenter in a review of it that I found, but it did exercise the braincells well.

            1. A bloke called Zinzan used to blog David Astle’s crosswords each week. Always assumed Zinzan was a Kiwi rugby unionista, with a username like that. David Astle is also a rugby unionista, played rugby in Italy and France in his younger years.
              Astle is a brilliant bloke, and very likeable – met him once – but I’m another who’s not always enamoured of his clues. He was also the Susie Dent of the Australian knock-off of Countdown, ran dictionary corner. Was very good. Only remember him being beaten once: he got LEMONADE, a contestant got PADEMELON.

              1. OK that is niche and the only Countdown I know had Molly on it, but hi Isla I always enjoy your perscipacity, go well

                1. Countdown in UK became Letters and Numbers in Oz – David Astle for words and Lily Serna for numbers.

              2. That’s an interesting bit of info about David Astle! Maybe he played rugby in Italy alongside David Campese?
                I used to watch ‘Letters & Numbers’ when I lived in Sydney. Thank you reminding me about the lovely Lily Serna! I remember the host used to be an ABC newsreader but can’t remember his name.

              3. David Astle came to our library once (and gave us a fairly simple crossword, for him), and I talked to him afterwards. He’s actually quite humble, but obviously very clever. I still find his Friday crosswords impenetrable, and find the Times more rewarding ( because of this blog, I have to say)

                  1. That’s quite a blast from the past guys! Rather than doing the Xword a month late in the paper I took out a subscription (by coincidence they had a super cheap coronation offer) and haven’t looked back. Yeah I had a look at DA yesterday but didn’t get far and lost interest. From memory our comrades in London are having their get-together at The George in Southwark or somewhere today, I’m sure they’ll have a good time. If I’m anywhere near London in the future I’ll try to make it coincide with one of these events.

                    1. Yes we are. i ‘m on the train to it now. Looking forward to meeting galspray who is coming today.

    3. Nice to have you here! I think your time shows that you fit in pretty well.

      1. Thank you, um, Eni etc. I lucked in I think, might not boast about future efforts. Oh! Quartermaine! Thank you Backwards…

    4. Nice to meet you LindsayO. The more of us the better on here, helps lift the tone of the place.

      Beware of Ulaca.

      1. Ah, hello Galspray, I think from memory you do these things very quickly which is intimidating. I obviously need to know more about Ulaca who welcomed me here, do tell. I assume you’re also in the great south land, which bit?

        1. Ha! No I’m more of a “middle of the peloton” type. Occasionally attempt a sprint but usually go tumbling off course down a mountainside.

          And yes I’m currently in Sydney, on the Northern Beaches.

          As for Ulaca, what can I say? Think he just needs a hug.

          1. I used to be in the inner east, Rushcutters. it was a fantastic place to live. I think you are better described as one of the poursuivants, the peloton doesn’t get in under 10…

        2. And welcome from me – I’m another Australian, living in Sydney, though trailing far behind galspray in average solving time.

          Feel free to have a go at ulaca from time to time – he enjoys the occasional jibe from us Aussies and gives as good as he gets. It helps if you follow cricket (which I don’t, but galspray does) especially if we’re winning :-).

          1. Hey Star (if that is not inappropriate or triggering) thanks for the welcome, I anticipate some spirited to and fro once the Ashes begin. Thanks for the g’day

    5. I don’t comment much, as they’re an intimidatingly clever lot! I’ve been known to complain about obscure vocabulary too, but I guess I’ve got used to it. I think the Times crossword is one of the high points of human artistic achievement. And the best alias I think is WombleHustler.

      1. Yes they are clever but I reckon if you’re here you’re no dope. I admire the crossword but not as an art form. The Millet still gets my vote (along with a number of other amazing achievements capped, I think, by the David) and I’m sticking with BletchleyReject which encapsulates so much for me. But g’day Sheapey and thanks for the shout out!

    6. Welcome Lindsay .. you are among friends here, I think we have enough Australians now to form a second-rate cricket team …

      1. Hi Jerry, you’re also in Oz? Good to connect, it’s a shame the country is so big that an occasional get together is unlikely. And speaking of cricket, between the world champ game against India and the subsequent Ashes I suspect this blog will have a bit of good-natured byplay in coming months…

      1. Hi Mike, I would if there was any chance my lap times were remotely competitive on a regular basis. As it is I feel an overwhelming sense of satisfaction simply to finish the course, let alone to do so in a time that I regard as quick. But when you put it like that, Verstappenesque does sound kind of cool…

        1. Bienvenue LindsayO from sunny (usually but not today!) Provence.
          My daughter lives in Mosman.

          1. Merci monsieur from miserable (but not this morning, the sun is actually shining!) Melbourne. I was thinking of calling myself CabernetdeCoonawarra but it didn’t have quite the same ring to it. I hope your daughter is enjoying Mosman, a very nice part of Sydney with fabulous harbour beaches and spectacular views across to the city. I appreciate the welcome RDP

  9. Not remotely Mondayish, and I wasn’t in the mood for a struggle. I biffed a fair few, including NHO ANGELUS, and was relieved to have avoided any pink squares.

    COD BEHINDHAND (once I’d given up the idea that I was looking for another word for “coffin bearer”)
    TIME 10:18

  10. Blue be it: this blue heaven
    The seven or seven times seven
    Hued Sunbeam will transmit
    Perfect, not alter it.
    (GM Hopkins, The Blessed Virgin …)

    30 mins mid-brekker having slowed down in the SW.
    I liked it. A tiny MER at the Son ‘ignoring’ Bottoms Up. We really want the Bottoms Up ignoring Son, but only a tiny MER.
    Ta setter and U.

  11. 13’44”, harder than usual for a Monday, but helped by the gimme INDETERMINATE and the enumeration of FALL INTO PLACE.

    I never did parse COMPARISON. LOI was ANGELUS once I twigged that the definition was ‘service’ rather than ‘knight’.

    After weeks of cool wet weather the garden is perking up.

    Thanks ulaca and setter.

  12. 46 minutes successfully pulling all the teeth. LOI BEHINDHAND which I should have seen early. COD to PUT-UP-JOB. I’d call SUNBEAM a lot of light, particularly with Jesus wanting me to be one since childhood, but I suppose so. Similarly with LAX and FLABBY. Quite tough but a decent challenge. Thank you U and setter.

  13. 11:23. I did most of this very quickly but the last quarter or perhaps two-thirds was like pulling teeth. I had a confident PALLBEARER for 12ac (perfectly good cryptic definition) but fortunately EGGHEAD put paid to that idea quickly so it didn’t cause me much of a problem.
    Good stuff.

  14. 45 mins, I agree, quite tough for a Monday. I also agree with Myrtilus re 17 ac. It should be the other way round, surely?

    A number of clues not fully parsed so ta to u for the explanations.

    LOI. ANTICLIMAX which was, well, an anticlimax.

    I liked PUT-UP JOB best.

    Thanks u and setter.

    1. I’d suggest that if the invitation ignores the son or the son ignores the invitation the outcome is the same i.e. absence of son.

  15. “Curly Bevan. Tell my auntie it was me who pawned the ORMOLU clock.”. (Under Milk Wood). Great play. 33 mins. Thank you, very enjoyable.

    1. I recent listened to a recording of the play by Dylan Thomas and others in front of a live audience. In New York, I think. Anyway, it’s terrific. It’s on Youtube if you’ve never heard it.

    2. I’m with you on that one, Geoff! UMW has been my favourite play for many years, for many reasons. I still have the Richard Burton recording of it, which I dig out occasionally when I’m feeling nostalgic.

  16. 42m 20s
    Thank you Ulaca for COMPARISON, ANTICLIMAX and EGGHEAD.
    I really must be missing something but surely FREE FALL is straight down not in an orbital manner?
    Enjoyable nonetheless.

    1. I’d never thought about it before, but not if you fell from a moving plane. Ignoring air resistance, your horizontal velocity would stay constant and vertical velocity would increase under the force of gravity.

      1. I think the person to ask about falling from a moving plane would be Vesna Vulović. She was a flight attendant who was on a plane that was blown up by a terrorist bomb in 1972. She survived the fall from over 33,000ft. There’s a Wikipedia article on her.

      2. A satellite in orbit is falling freely towards the centre of the earth. But it has sufficient angular velocity to mean it keeps falling over the edge of the earth.. and keeps doing it all the way round.. over and over.

        The reason astronauts seem to be in ‘zero-gravity’ is not because there is no gravity, it is because they are falling freely at the same rate as their vehicle.

  17. 39 minutes so on the slow side today. LOI SCULPT, was slow to think of scull for row. Didn’t know why UNIFORM for 8ac till coming here.
    Thanks setter and blogger and welcome LindsayO I am also a newbie 🙂
    Cheers Steve

    1. Thanks Steve, let’s do our best to keep our heads above water in this daunting company, and I’m with Martin about free fall but suspect some aeronautical engineer will give me an insight into the depth of my ignorance shortly

      1. Not an aeronautical engineer, but I did read Physics sixty years ago. See reply to Martin.

        1. Oh gosh. I had to read your reply to Martin several times but think I get it. So this idiot asks, what if you jump from a stationary hot-air balloon? Is there an orbital component or do you (Monty Python ref follows) plummet straight down to a painful death?

          1. They presumably would give themselves some sideward momentum as they leapt clear of the basket and there may be some wind, but otherwise I think so. They’re unlikely to bounce like the lady Martin mentioned. I preferred quantum mechanics though, and I think we can ignore those effects. Welcome.

            1. Thank you BW, I always enjoy your contributions and I think you are right about quantum mechanics, whatever they are. You can see why I mentioned my trepidation about joining a conversation with you lot…

      2. Head above water is about right in my case 🙂
        I think Martin is wrong about free fall, the moon is in constant free fall towards the centre of the earth (or rather the centre of gravity of the two) aiui. But Im not an engineer!

  18. 16:47. I had SECONDHAND for a while. I wasn’t convinced BEHINDHAND was a word until post submission.


    1. I like the way that once you have finished the puzzle, your COD is something in the past and you want to move on.

      Great result against the Scousers

      1. I was there with my son! Never been to Anfield before Saturday just gone. Great result and great atmosphere. Not great viewing. It was like watching the game through a letter box. Shame Brighton won yesterday as they have now secured the coveted 6th place in the league.

        1. You have a v good coach in Emery.

          I infiltrated the Kop around 30 years ago, but not in a game against United. Was in the perfect place to see Jan Molby curl in a free kick.

          1. I was on the Kop when Franny Lee, then still a Wanderer, swung his boot at the ball where the goal line and penalty box meet and it hit the back of the net without Tommy Lawrence in the Liverpool goal moving a muscle. That was when I realised I was the only one on the Kop cheering! But the Anfield crowd all then applauded the goal. That was 1967 though.

  19. 17:39. Solved in a garden centre tearoom while I waited for my car to be serviced (in the garage round the corner not the garden centre). The background music was a bit distracting, but I shouldn’t blame it for getting fixated on trying to make SUNLESS work for 26A and REMAIN for 4D. LOI ANTICLIMAX. I hesitated over EGGHEAD until I eventually saw the neat wordplay – my PDMOD and COD. Thanks Ulaca and setter.

  20. Plunged straight into the FRAY and followed up with the prayer at 9a. I then skipped around the grid picking off the low hanging fruit until FREE FOR ALL FeLL INTO PLACE. I wanted 12a to be UNDERTAKER, but EGGHEAD persuaded me to rethink. SIMULACRUM was eventually constructed amd after getting BEHINDHAND I eventually had a LEADING finish. An enjoyable start to the week. 18:21. Thanks setter and U, and welcome to LindsayO.

  21. 20.58. Once again, some rather weak definitions.
    Welcome to LindsayO – I’m often grumpy about the crosswords but still need the mental exercise so I plod on and applaud the ones that I find really good.

  22. All was going well until I spent my last ten minutes on the ANTICLIMAX/SCULPT intersection. Sculpt was just a good tricky clue, but I really should have seen anticlimax sooner: if it says ‘flabby weak conclusion’ then you can be pretty sure that the definition must be ‘weak conclusion’; if it had just been ‘conclusion’ then the setter would have found a single word that was equivalent to ‘flabby weak’. Yet I didn’t see this and agonised for ages over it, even though the start of the word was obvious (I feebly resorted to a list for this), so completed in 32 minutes. And that was after getting UNIFORM all wrong, missing the NATO alphabet and reckoning that form = character and uni = some type of radio operator: after all CB radio has lots of strange words.

  23. I had the same experience with ANTICLIMAX/SCULPT, got the ANTIC bit quite early on but just couldn’t see what to put with it. Not very Mondayish I thought, odd mixture of write-ins and anything buts.

  24. 18:40 with more biffed and teased out post-solve than usual. Some interesting vocab and constructions.

  25. 24 mins, held up at the end trying to work out how the ubiquitous ocelot worked with the clue (it didn’t)…. The only ANTICLIMAX for me is landing after a week on the Orkneys etc. Summer has suddenly arrived.

  26. 20:05. Felt like I was solving through quicksand, especially with my LOI SCULPT. Just couldn’t see it.

    Needed all the checkers for the spelling of SIMULACRUM. Happy to survive unscathed.

    Thanks U and setter.

  27. I think I must have been on form today finishing in 24.43, a good deal quicker than many of the solvers who regularly finish well ahead of me. I initially biffed BEFOREHAND for 12ac before solving 3dn meant a rethink. I trusted to luck to a degree with SIMULACRUM but was relatively confident I’d got the letters in the right order.
    I’d like to add my welcome to LindsayO, and well done on a bonza time cobber!

    1. Thank you Andy, and like you I was slightly surprised to come in ahead of some others I normally trail by quite a margin. I’m putting it down to beginner’s luck…

  28. Found this really tough for a Monday, finally coming in under the hour with one wrong – FLAP inexplicably instead of FRAY. Just not with it today.

    Welcome Lindsay0 – I don’t often comment here because everything worth adding has already been said long before I finish. But really pleased to be part of this club even if far from the top

    1. Thank you Rookie. Here in oz the time difference means when we start the day hardly anybody has commented. Even then I’m doubtful whether I’ll have anything worth adding…but I’ll give it a go and you should too I think, every comment adds to the whole. Cheers and thank you

  29. Forgot my old username so consider this a fresh start. Hello all, on a tough Monday offering for me.

    52 mins and much of that spent on 12 across.

    More of an ugly free-for-all for me, with a distinct lack of utopian sunbeams alas.

  30. Liked this one, a bit hard for a Monday, I would say about Wednesday lunchtime. But no queries and several fine clues ..

  31. 32:26

    Didn’t get off to a fast start and wondered whether it was due to my mind being on other things, but built up slowly in the bottom half making inroads into the top half.

    Parsing was kind for NHO ANGELUS and SIMULACRUM. Failed to parse the SEAM in SUNBEAM. Liked LAUDABLE but COD to SCULPT (I’d been thinking it might end LET (omitting last point – as in tennis – playing a let)).

    Thanks setter and Ulaca

  32. DNF, defeated by BEHINDHAND – I couldn’t get away from ‘secondhand’, even though I knew it didn’t really work and made FALL INTO PLACE impossible.

    Fairly tough for a Monday, I thought. NHOs were ANGELUS and ORMOLU, and I overcomplicated UNIFORM by thinking character=form and wandering how uni=radio operator.

    COD Egghead

  33. Because I nearly always take more than an hour and often don’t finish my comments are few and far between. Today I was successful though took an age getting my last two, the FUSS/UTOPIAN crossing. I liked TOPKNOT.

    I can’t recall seeing so many greet a new contributor so, not wanting to be left out, Welcome LindsayO!

    1. Philbstoke – I’m nosy, I’ll admit, but is your place of residence Basingstoke? Forgive me if I’m presuming, but it’s often shortened to B’stoke, and with all these Aussies on the site, it would be nice to know there was another Hampshire contributor!

      1. Spot on alto_ego. I assumed some would think I was from Stoke but you’re right. Which part of Hants are you from, if you don’t mind me asking?

        1. From Winchester. I consider myself to be a Winchester person, as I’ve spent nearly all my adult life here, though I grew up in London. Will either of you be going to John Interred’s TFTT get-together in London on 24th June?

          1. I wasn’t aware of the event but won’t be attending anyway. Sorry

    2. Thank you Phil, I admit to being slightly overwhelmed by the generosity of so many in welcoming me in, having woken up this morning to find it is still going on. In the 1970s myself and a few friends drank about 97 pints each in a pub just outside Basingstoke then at closing time drove back to London in the fog. I mention this as an example to all the youngsters reading this blog of what NOT to do…

  34. A bit of a slog today. For me this was one of those puzzles where you see the answers but take ages to work out why they are right. 50 minutes – including time spent answering door to someone collecting for charity.
    Thanks to ulaca and other contributors, and greetings to LindsayO.

  35. Somewhat slow today – but did get there in the end.
    Hello to LindsayO from a half Kiwi.

  36. Tough going today. Dnk Angelus and simulacrum (which is not in Collins and seems a remarkably unlikely word!). Ah well, still learning.

  37. 17 down .. BOTTOM-UP. “Son ignoring encouragement to drink …” seems to be the wrong way round. Why is it not “Encouragement to drink ignoring son …”? I finished in 16 minutes, but was uneasy about this.

  38. I’m sure—especially after reading the comments—that this would have seemed harder if I’d tackled it after a night out. Was a pretty quick solve this (late) morning after arising, but I did wonder how long it would have taken me at 2 a.m. to think of, for example, SCUL to parse SCULPT.
    POI COMPARISON (nice!) and LOI NOTE.

  39. I raised half an eyebrow over LAX=flabby but ODE has (for flabby) “lacking strength, vitality or effectiveness” which I suppose just about covers “lax”. Otherwise no problems here. Thanks for the blog!

  40. Growing up in Ireland we had the Angelus on the telly every evening at six. Tolling of bells and pictures of nuns. Harder than the average Monday and I came in at 24’53”.

  41. No complaints, no unknowns, pretty happy with the time taken, though only got to it late in the day because of work. Belated welcome to LindsayO – you’ve certainly animated the antipodean bunch today!

    1. Thank you Alto – do I detect a sax player? Turns out there are more antipodeans than I thought!

  42. I know ‘angelus’ from the famous Irish song ‘The Foggy Dew’: “The angelus bells o’er the Liffey swells rang out in the foggy dew”.

  43. Wow! What a lot of welcomes for a newbie! And another Ausie to boot! I too am in Melbourne, but am officially classified as a “lurker” as I haven’t exactly joined the TftT club, and only get to attempt the crossword about a month after it appears in the Times, so most will never read my comments. Probably for the best. Most enjoyable today; time not very quick.

    1. Hey Jacaroo, as I mentioned elsewhere you should get a subscription and get with the times! I’ve also found they’re much easier to solve in the online format, not sure why this is. Yes they have been a very welcoming bunch

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