Times 28618: Not the bumper edition

Time taken: 9:02.  There are several better times than mine in, and I suspect knowing the town at 5 across (which was my last in) and using the British term for the cryptic definition at 4 down could be the key factor in swift solves.

There is a lot to like in this puzzle, particularly the crafty definitions.

How did you get along?

1 Island flat where one can find space and return? (6)
KEYPAD – KEY(island), PAD(flat)
5 Yorkshire town’s bridge team, with third person, crushing resistance; bravo! (8)
WETHERBY – The bridge team are W and E, then THEY(third person) containing R(resistance) and B(bravo)
9 Lied sung after retiring includes lyrics from liturgy (5,3)
AGNUS DEI – hidden reversed in lIED SUNG After
10 Flirtatious girl, bubbly sounding, going out regularly (6)
FIZGIG – sounds like FIZZ(bubbly) then alternating letters in GoInG
11 Plain policy document the last to go (8)
MANIFEST – MANIFESTO(policy document) minus the last letter
12 Hack back working following twenty-four hours in Paris (6)
JOURNO – ON(working) reversed after JOUR(day in French)
13 Pearly courtesan dancing short tango (8)
NACREOUS – anagram of COURTESAN minus T(tango)
15 Curse of Dark Arts every now and again? (4)
DRAT – alternating letters in DaRk ArTs
17 Page engaged by established Irish clan (4)
SEPT – P(page) inside SET(established)
19 Worry with gold finish of Lübeck ornamental carving (8)
FRETWORK – FRET(worry), W(with), OR(gold) and the last letter of LubecK
20 Edison having broken leg (6)
ONSIDE -anagram of EDISON for the cricket term
21 Survey potential client (8)
PROSPECT – double definition
22 Excellent starters of teriyaki, if considerably vinegary (6)
ACETIC – ACE(excellent) and the first letters of Teriyaki, If, Considerably
23 Member of ruling clique occasionally moulding curved structure (8)
OLIGARCH – alternating letters in mOuLdInG, then ARCH(curved structure)
24 Jam session of maybe sixty minutes? (4,4)
RUSH HOUR – cryptic definition referencing each word partly
25 Doctor final part of Treasury agreement (6)
TREATY – TREAT(doctor) and the last letter of treasurY
2 Expert in chasing work? (8)
ENGRAVER – cryptic definition, enchasing is engraving
3 Part in which true friend stripped, being into that sort of thing (8)
PRURIENT -PT(part) containing the internal letters of tRUe fRIENd
4 Fair attraction sure to have some impact (6,3)
DODGEM CAR – cryptic definition. I’ve been in the USA far too long, I confidently put in BUMPER CAR
5 Time stuck in two US heliports ruined busy holiday (7-4,4)
WHISTLE-STOP TOUR – T(time) inside an anagram of TWO,US,HELIPORTS
6 One from Germany confined to home without energy? Unspeakable (7)
HEINOUS – EIN(one in German) inside HOUSE(home) minus E(energy)
7 Missile sent skywards in anger suits industry (3,5)
RAG TRADE – DART(missile) reversed inside RAGE(anger)
8 Old hog somehow features in nomadic home culture (8)
YOGHOURT – O and an anagram of HOG inside YURT(nomadic home). Not the spelling of this word I’m used to seeing, but clear from the wordplay
14 Waterworks specialist runs over record kept by Hebridean isles (9)
UROLOGIST – R(runs), O(over), LOG(record) all inside UIST(Hebridean isles)
15 Urbane dweeb intermittently transmitting live (8)
DEBONAIR – alternating letters in DwEeB then ON AIR(transmitting live)
16 The so-called greatest compilers eschewing film VIPs (1-7)
A-LISTERS – Muhammad ALI(the so-called greatest) then SETTERS(compilers of crosswords) minus ET(film)
17 Sheik evacuated flying alpine transporter (8)
SKIPLANE – external letters of SheiK, then an anagram of ALPINE
18 Discount 100 different picture frames (5,3)
PRICE CUT – C(100) inside an anagram of PICTURE
19 Fleetingly fashionable, fine hotel outside northern part of African capital (7)
FADDISH – F(fine), and H(hotel) surrounding the first part of ADDIS ABABA(capital of Ethiopia)

82 comments on “Times 28618: Not the bumper edition”

  1. FIZGIG a guess. What’s the term for a flirtatious man? GAY DOG? Well, that seems to cover all bases, or what would be called ‘inclusive’, in modern parlance.

    16 minutes. A few more Yorkshire (and Lancaster – devotee of inclusivity and diversity that I am) towns, please, setter. Knaresborough, Staithes, Rawtenstall come to mind.

    1. Re “all bases”: How apt, U! Today is the beginning of LGBTQ+ Month. (If you search that term on Google, something wild will happen to your page.)

      1. Didn’t work for me but searching LGBT and LGBTQ did. Thank you for pointing me in that direction.

  2. Lots of wonderfully misleading definitions (like KEYPAD). For me, FIZGIG is a NHO too. In fact, I thought of it on the first read through but didn’t dare put it in until I had all the checkers. Just over half-an-hour for me. Luckily I knew WETHERBY sort-0f, meaning I had to re-work it out from the wordplay.

  3. Thought it was going to be hard after drawing a blank on the first four across clues. Started on the downs, ENGRAVER straight in, giving the hidden Agnus Dei, which immediately gave WHISTLE-STOP TOUR – had to start with W or S – and the unknown WETHERBY was a write-in. Sped through the rest without a hold up, very easy. I did like it, though, agree about the pleasing cryptic elements.

  4. I enjoyed this! NHO FIZGIG, which was one of my last—as was KEYPAD, a nice surprise. I didn’t know WETHERBY either.
    I was slow to the finishing line mostly because I had a “typo” for a while, AGNES for AGNUS, though I certainly knew better (and of course it was all spelled out for me). I must have been thinking of one of my favorite waitresses from my all-time favorite resto on this street (now, alas, closed—not because of the pandemic).
    Yesterday’s seemed a bit harder but was great fun too. I had a night on the town and didn’t get to it till this afternoon.
    I’m an American but BUMPER CAR never occurred to me.
    EDIT: Vinyl’s comment, below, reminded me that I biffed UROLOGIST and didn’t think of the islands at all.

  5. Like others I found it hard to get going but once I did (FOI DODGEM CARS -are they still a thing?) it opened up quite steadily and I got home in 24.05. Nice to see the venerable Australianism JOURNO getting a go, says this hack. Not sure in which century FIZGIG might have last been used but I am determined to try it out on the next flirtatious girl I meet, so if I suddenly disappear you’ll know why. My understanding of WHISTLE-STOP TOUR relates to political campaigning and engaging in one would be anything but a holiday. Enjoyed this and thank you glh for explaining A-LISTERS. I simply bunged it in without figuring it out at the time, but now that I get it I’ll call it COD!

    1. Hello Lindsay. You may be interested in this article by David Astle from the SMH (? your local paper) a couple of years ago.

      1. Thank you BR, only DA could so remorselessly get on the trail like that, really interesting. I’ve recently moved to Melbourne from Sydney but his fearsome Friday crossword is also published in The Age. He is on radio here and pops up on TV as well, he is completely fixated on anything to do with words. Some other TftT members were discussing him recently, I suggested I prefer the Times to DA’s efforts which sometimes seem to revel in obscurity for its own sake without the cryptic elegance the Times delivers. I might have a think before I call anyone a fizgig…

  6. I wasn’t keen on 20 down as a six-letter word, although Chambers seems to find it acceptable. In my far-too-long cricketing career it has always been on side or occasionally on-side, with onside used in football and rugby.

    1. 20 across. I agree with you about this. With reference to cricket I’d have expected two words or a hyphen.

      1. Yes, it’s a peculiarity that you can have a legside field, but not an onside one.

  7. I started this while waiting for my eye exam, continued over lunch, and finished at home, with dilated pupils. I saw AGNUS DEI right away, only I saw it as an anagram of ‘lied sung’, and it took me a moment or two to see how that might not work. I think I knew FIZGIG, but as a firecracker not a girl. Saw ENGRAVER at once, only couldn’t think of anything but ETCHER; similarly, tried HYDROLOGIST for 14d but saw soon enough that was wrong. This setter seems inordinately fond of alternate-letter clues: 10ac, 15ac, 23ac, 15d. Plus 22ac initial letters. George, you’ve got a slip at MANIFEST.

  8. 24 minutes. Like isla3 I had trouble in the upper part of the grid so I moved down south to build some confidence. Once I had a few in, there weren’t too many more hold-ups, admittedly with some biffing along the way. WETHERBY known from “Bargain Hunt”; they have an antiques fair at the racecourse there. I liked KEYPAD, but I wonder if ‘space’ and ‘return’ should have been capitalised.

    Guess who the author is of the first quotation in which FIZGIG (or “fysgygge”) appears (in 1529)? Surprise, surprise it’s our favourite poet John Skelton, whose company we enjoyed only three days ago.

  9. At 50 minutes I made heavy weather of this by taking far too long thinking about answers I knew were correct (e.g. WETHERBY) and then getting stuck for ages with only four answers missing: KEY PAD, ENGRAVER, MAINFEST and FIZGIG.

    The last of these has come up once before in a Jumbo in 2017 but I didn’t attempt them every week in those days. I was very surprised to find it in the dictionary having worked it out today as I couldn’t equate ‘bubbly’ with ‘fizz’ (rather than ‘fizzy’), but then I remembered they are both slang terms for Champagne or sparkling wine more generally.

    I’ve never seen YOGHOURT spelt with a second O before but it’s acknowledged in all the usual sources except SOED. Chambers goes one further offering ‘yaourt’ as well!

    All the answers in the grid below NACREOUS went in very easily so my overall time of 50 minutes was rather disappointing.

    1. Yaourt is the French for yogurt. Not seen it spelled that way in English, I must say.

  10. 18’37”, surprised that the nho FIZGIG was correct. I’ve gone my entire life without using or encountering this word.

    I should have got WETHERBY much earlier, and MANIFEST was LOI.

    In cricket the opposite of offside is legside, not ONSIDE, even though the leg side and the on side are the same thing. (Test match today, in case you’ve forgotten).

    Thanks george and setter.

  11. 19 minutes with LOI KEYPAD. DOH! George, I had BUMPER CAR first, and this is from someone actually born in Blackpool who’s spent many happy hours on Pleasure Beach, noted for fresh air and fun. So, I don’t think it’s UK vs US. Maybe benevolent vs bellicose. I put in FIZGIG early without all the crossers as I thought that’s what it had to be. No snags, but I went through Nunc Dimittis and the Te Deum, before hitting on AGNUS DEI. Enjoyable and enjoyed. Thank you George and setter.

  12. Slightly ponderous start, but the momentum developed as I hit the lower half, finding it very enjoyable. Back up to the NE which was finished just before the 20m mark – then with the NW still blank, I hit the wall and got nothing for over 10m. This included failing to spot AGNUS DEI as a hidden-word even though DEI was obvious.

    Completely unaware that enchasing=engraving, failed on the final 2d / 11c pair, entering ENGINEER and INDIRECT, fully aware they made no sense. I just wanted it all to end – 35m fail

  13. 8:27. Good one. The clue for AGNUS DEI is brilliant even if it wasn’t hard (‘retiring’ is a bit of a giveaway).
    I knew WETHERBY but more as a posh school in West London than a town.
    It’s very rare to see this spelling of YOGHOURT these days. Much more common without the second O and often the H.

    1. So brilliant I completely missed it. Does that make me more than a genius or considerably less?

      1. You speed solvers are incorrigible, you should pause to admire the scenery from time to time.

        1. I know. It’s like a drug. I’ve had to block the SNITCH on all my devices.

  14. … See, banks and brakes
    Now, leavèd how thick! lacèd they are again
    With Fretty chervil, look, and fresh wind shakes
    (GM Hopkins, Thou Art Indeed Just, Lord)
    I think the Fretty alludes to the Fretwork look of chervil.

    20 mins mid-brekker. Neat, but weird vocab, not bringing much poetry to mind.
    Ta setter and G.

  15. WETHERBY racecourse is nicely appointed and I can recommend it to would-be punters. I knew FIZGIG, but couldn’t say from where. I biffed a couple but parsed them later.

    TIME 8:50

  16. 35:59. Good fun. Seemed harder than the Snitch suggests. LOI KEYPAD, fooled again by a keyboard clue. FIZGIG constructed but only put in when I realised, like jackkt, that champagne, bubbly and fizz are synonyms. And I put in BUMPER CAR at first, based on “impact” in the clue. I have always believed that Dodgems were meant to dodge, not bump. The clue’s in the name. I liked RAG TRADE

    1. During my first ever nervous ride in a Dodgem I wondered why I wasn’t being electrocuted.

  17. Little bit harder today for me, but not too bad.
    I have heard of fizgigs but not in that context. As a firework, I think, but also from Ms Heyer perhaps.

    Many years ago my older sister was interviewed for a place at York university. When asked why she had chosen York, she said it was the only university in England with eight racecourses within easy reach. One being Wetherby… she got in.

    1. Here’s an old chestnut:
      The four racecourses that do not contain an R,A, C or E are …

      1. Dubbo in NSW, Wyong in NSW, Young in NSW, and… there isn’t a fourth. Unless you mean Stony in Victoria, short for Stony Creek (which really has C, R and E).

          1. And perhaps it was Redcar your sister left out, for there are nine racecourses in Yorkshire but the furthest from York is Redcar.

        1. Great answers; I’ll make a note of those. I’ve only remembered three in the UK, all in England, but the fourth always eludes me.

          1. I have a good friend, who is both a gambling addict and an alcoholic. About 10 years ago while under the influence he made the outlandish statement that the best horse to back had the same number as the race, e.g back #1 in the first race, #2 in the second etc. I demurred but he insisted. Being the nerdy, mathematical type I investigated – downloaded 5 years worth of horse race results from every single track in Australia that the totalisator bet on, put it all in a database, and tried to see some patterns. Five years, about 10 000 race meetings, nearly 100 000 races, and almost 1 000 000 starters comprising about 40 000 different horse. Very little to see except:
            – Saddlecloth number 1 wins most often, by far. Since half the races are handicaps, it seems the handicappers know what they’re doing.
            – Equally, the handicappers don’t try to make the races even. They try to reduce the chances of the better horses and increase the chances of the lesser horses, while still favouring the better horses.
            – Backing #1 in every race, however, you will lose. They are more often that not more favoured, so you get back about 80% of you stake.
            – Backing random numbers you get back about 75% of your stake. This really puzzled me – the Aussie tote takes 15% off the top, returns 85% of the pool, so I’d expect an 85% return on random numbers. I struggle to explain this.
            – Odds-wise, backing more favoured horses is better. Backing every horse with odds between $1.50 and $2.00 (odds between 2-1 on and even money) you will just about break even. My interpretation of this is: everyone knows “Odds on look on,” so no-one backs odds-on horses, and their prices are much higher than they should be. Relatively. A mass-hysteria occurrence, perhaps?
            Long way of saying – I have a list of every single Australian racecourse that the tote bets on in my database, 176 of them. Scanning through them only 3 have no R A C or E.

            And… you can’t win backing horses on numbers, need to consider form, breeding, track, distance, trainers, jockeys, track state etc. At least on the tote, with it’s 15% margin. Online bookies take less, as little as 5% sometimes, you might be able to win backing odds-on favourites with them?

            1. In a handicap if a horse carrying 10 stone is rated 100, one rated 58 should carry 7 stone, 42 pounds less. However, handicaps have minimum weights, say 7-7 in this case. So our pour slowcoach, No. 12 perhaps, as horses are numbered in descending amounts of weight, is not only slow but carrying half a stone too much. Why run it at this disadvantage ? The trainer doesn’t have much choice in many cases. So high numbers have an inbuilt disadvantage. This would explain your random numbers not returning 85% as high numbered horses in handicaps will underperform. Backing horses that are “out of the handicap” is suicidal folly.
              I used to run a system backing very carefully selected top-weights on sharp tracks based on the theory of a canny ex-shipyard worker. The seasonal bank usually doubled or better, but a story too long for here.

              1. That used to be the case when handicaps were ‘long’, ie the full range of weights was on display in the entries. This gave rise to specialist lightweight jockeys, sometimes ‘boys’, who could do the weight. But it also meant heavier jockeys had to do ridiculous and unhealthy wasting for some rides.

                Minimum weights were introduced-7-12 in 2002, 8-00 in 2012, and 8-02 in 2022. To accompany this, in 2010 a new classification system was introduced whereby handicap races are still handicaps, but the weights are ‘compressed’ into 14lb or 15lb divisions according to the race rating. Thus we get Class 1 for horses rated between 95-110, meaning with a top weight carrying 9-7 the bottom weight should not carry less than 8-7. We go all the way down to Class 6 for horses rated between 45-60, or 51-65. There are still some ‘open’ handicaps but the minimum weight stipulation has the same effect of compressing the weights.

                The overall effect is that it ensures horses compete against horses of similar ability. There’s no longer any huge incentive for a trainer to keep one of their charges ‘dark’ because the most weight they’ll receive is 14lb. So you are still correct in that because most of the time the top weight will only be conceding weight to horses of similar and exposed ability and not ‘blots’ on the handicap, theoretically the higher weights should prevail more.

  18. 27:38

    Mostly OK until I returned to the NW corner where I had only entered BUMPER CAR. Took some time to see the ‘chasing’ meaning to enter ENGRAVER and only then realised 9a must be AGNUS DEI (and then saw the cryptic) and 4d DODGEM CAR – slightly irked as in my recollection, they are called either BUMPER CAR or DODGEMS but not DODGEM CAR. Anyway, that was enough to breakdown the last few.

    1. I’m glad I’ve found someone who shares my frustration at DODGEM CAR = bumper car. It’s a dodgem. Dodgem car does not exist in my world and never will; and in advance of being alerted to any official dictionary references to such a thing that may exist – I refute them all!

      That, along with FIZGIG and YOGHOURT left me with enough NHOs/WTF?!s for a really frustrated DNF.

      Doing my best Muttley impression, “Fushenwushenfushen”

  19. NHO FIZGIG, so biffed as LOI. 35 mins. I’m either getting better at these or it’s been an easy week… I strongly suspect the latter! Wrongly parsed A-LISTERS as simply a word play between very good compilers (listers) and film stars. agree with others that the fairground rides were either dodgems or bumper cars (pref dodgems).

  20. 21:38
    Nice puzzle. Fizgig, eh. Okay then.
    On the topic of gigs, double header at MK Stables: Debra Stephenson tonight; the flawless G2 tomorrow.
    Thanks, g.

  21. 38 mins and a very pleasant challenge, I thought. Last few in the NE held me up a bit with the (like others) unknown FIZGIG going in last.

    Some great wp today and a good workout. I really liked KEYPAD and WHISTLE STOP TOUR. I also missed the reverse inclusion in 9ac, thinking it was some sort of anag that I wasn’t going to bother to work out. Ho hum. NACREOUS was dredged from the dark section of my brain.

    Thanks g and setter.

  22. Yet another slowed by BUMPER CAR, hesitantly entered anyway because the fairground attraction has an S on the end, there being not much fun driving around in something you can neither bump nor dodge in. Left the top left in puzzlement as a result, expecting the rest to be equally sluggish, only to whizz through clockwise with no hold-ups, even FIZGIG bursting into mind like an unexpected firecracker.
    Still struggling to remember the bit of liturgy that ends MEI, or even some French variant with MOI, the penny dropped when I got the G from the excellent ENGRAVER, calling to mind the formidable Agnes Daly (sic) of my Totnes years.
    A mild rebuke: true friends who strip are called naturists, and get very cross with suggestions of PRURIENCE.

  23. Three clues where one has to find alternate letters of given words. Too many in my opinion. I also had discomfort with onside rather than on side. My guess is that the setter is a football, not a cricket, fan. One or two answers I’d never heard of (SKIPLANE, FIZGIG,…) but easy enough from the wordplay. 26 minutes, so my run of sub-30 times continues but tomorrow … I wasn’t really sure in 13ac that ‘short’ means ‘short of’. When yoghurt was something new, there was a sketch on an Arthur Haynes radio show where the milkman prononunced it ‘yeh-hogurt’. Goodness knows why that has stuck in the memory.

  24. 32 mins. NHO FIZGIG and NACREOUS, but they worked so went in with fingers crossed. Otherwise not very challenging, thank God, and nothing really stood out as particularly clever or amusing.

  25. 19 minutes, ending with the guessed FIZGIG which I would have said was a firework. MANIFESTO was a good one. Thanks George.
    I wonder why we call them dodgems when the idea is to ram people not dodge them.

    1. I rather think the fairground attraction proprietors switched from bumper to dodgem in a vain attempt to stop yahoos attempting annihilation of the competition. Didn’t work.

      1. Yeah, it always seemed a bit incongruous to see signs saying “No bumping of other cars…with your, er, bumper car, yeah you’ve got a point”

      2. Nice theory, except that dodgem (“Dodge ‘Em”) was the original (American) term, and they only later became “bumper cars”, though I’ve always known them as dodgems (in the UK). I always thought the aim was to dodge other cars rather than to deliberately bump into them. Maybe I’ve been doing it wrong…

    2. The dodgems were always a very popular feature of the Inns of Court summer ball – I don’t think there was any significance to it. 17.05

  26. 06:55, not greatly held up by anything, even with a couple of brief pauses: a) I’ve grown used to not knowing whether I favour YOGURT or YOGHURT but never that extra O, and b) I used to work for the Firkin Brewery back when that was a thing, and there was definitely a Fizgig and Firkin in the chain (even if I realised I couldn’t tell you what it meant, I at least knew it was definitely a word).

  27. FOI AGNUS DEI, from definition – only then did I spot the clever hidden. Then 2D and 1A, giving me no chance to biff ‘bumper car’. In fact, all the left hand side went straight in, followed by the SW, SE and only a few hold-ups in the top right, where WETHERBY held out until I got HEINOUS. LOI FIZGIG, which, as Jerry says, must surely have been used by Georgette Heyer at some point, but if so, I’d forgotten it. My quickest for a long time… but good fun.

  28. I had to skip around searching for a clues to get me going. JOURNO was the first, after which things proceeded at a steady pace. Much of the time I was biffing from definitions or from letters in grid. I was able to penetrate the cryptic definitions such as those for ENGRAVER and UROLOGIST without much thought. The one clue that held e up briefly at the end was 1 ac, even when I had all the checked letters in place. Very nice clue. Altogether a very satisfying puzzle.
    24 minutes.

  29. Worked on this over two sittings and made hard work for myself as I also bunged in BUMPER CAR which I only realised was wrong when I spotted the hidden reverse AGNUS DEI and my LOI KEYPAD.
    I only parsed the first part of A-LISTERS needing the blog to fully understand. NHO of FIZGIG but wordplay helped although I nearly went for FISGIG so a lucky guess. Also, SEPT as an Irish clan again relied on wordplay.

  30. DNF here, with the NW corner having me stumped with rotten checkers for the longest time – I went for UNRIPEST as meaning ‘last to go’ then biffed ENGINEER at 2D hoping for the best. Serves me right for feeling cocky at knowing the alternate spelling YOGHOURT.

    MANIFEST now looks so obvious!

    Off for a consoling slice of ricotta and lemon cake.

    Thanks setter and blogger!

    1. Cheese and cake. In the QC yesterday we had Christmas cake with a choice of Cheddar or Lancashire cheese. But perhaps ricotta and lemon cake is just one thing. Still sounds good

  31. 15:11. FIZGIG with fingers crossed (and glad I didn’t opt for fisgig). Completely failed to spot the cleverness of AGNUS DEI, the crossers leaving no room for doubt.

  32. I’ve never seen a keypad with a Space key on it. I also spent ages on that one thinking about launchpads.

    1. Oh yes! Never crossed my mind at the time, but a definite MER now. No RETURN either.

      1. No great expert on keypads, me, but all those I have seen have had a return/enter key.
        For a space bar you need qwerty, I suppose.

  33. I’ve fared a lot better on the biggie this week than I have on the QC. I was fairly speedy by my standards on this one finishing in 29.24. I was held up a little at the end by KEYPAD, and my LOI MANIFEST took even longer. I’ve never heard of a FIZGIG, but what a great word. I’m going to slip it into a conversation at some time when the opportunity arises and enjoy everyone’s confusion!

  34. DNF, back in OWL club after putting ‘fisgig’ rather than FIZGIG. Didn’t know that enchasing=engraving, so ENGRAVER went in with a shrug, and I’d never heard of NACREOUS or the Irish SEPT clan (of course I didn’t need to know it – I’m not a fan of those rare occasions when a clue is entirely made up of checkers from other clues). Didn’t parse A-LISTERS, so thanks for that.

    COD Journo

  35. Got to JOURNO before solving a clue, then worked clockwise with SKIPLANE helping me along. Finished in the NW after KEYPAD enabled ENGRAVER, and MANIFEST brought up the rear. FIZGIG was unknown and cobbled together from the wordplay. Never seen that spelling of YOGHOURT. 26:31. Thanks setter and George.

  36. 28′ , which pleased me. NHO SEPT & FIZGIG but crossing words helped. NACREOUS got from NACRE. ONSIDE as one word is opposite to offside, as “He played him onside” but thought it needed hyphen for other terms. Enjoyed this week’s. Famous last words? Thanks all.

  37. Dwelt at the start, soon pushed along, swerved and faded rapidly final furlong.
    Being an enthusiast of racing, bridge, cricket and having sung countless agnus dei s, I can offer no excuses.
    I take comfort that the swerve was caused by the manifesto; I certainly won’t be the last to be misled by one of those!
    I’m certain I’ve seen FIZGIG before, and as I avoid Jumbos, it must have been in The Times, Guardian or Listener.
    27′ 07”

  38. 49 minutes and despite the many obscurities I found it very enjoyable. Especially since I did understand the often somewhat tortuous wordplay (A-LISTERS, for example) and I would never have got WETHERBY or FIZGIG right without it. And I have apparently learned to see misleading references like the space and return on the KEYPAD. So I am quite pleased with myself, despite the not really sparkling time I needed.

  39. DNF after stupidly putting HIDEOUS for HEINOUS as I thought it was I (1) de (from Germany) so was never going to get NHO FIZGIG given _D_G_G.
    Was totally unable to get a single clue until 15a DRAT, then the bottom was easy-ish. Getting STOP TOUR gave me 5d, and then NW was quite easy.
    No prob with the YOGHOURT, it is spelt a zillion ways.
    In retrospect I was more stupid than usual I think.

  40. Got there in the end, with fingers crossed for FIZGIG, and a good few alphabet trawls before MANIFEST became plain, took me far too long to see the manifestly obvious answer! Other than no issues. Fingers crossed for a nice one tomorrow for me to get a correct sweep this week!
    Thanks setter and blogger.

  41. Absolute breeze today. My fastest time ever. No delays on any clues. Wow!

    WHISTLE STOP TOUR was FOI. Initial W gave me WETHERBY straight off. Then everything just flew into place.

    Can I keep this up on Friday?

  42. I‘m quite disappointed with myself – again DNF beaten by (NHO) FIZGIG. I was doing well up to the NE corner, Wetherby slowed me down, wrote HIDEOUS instead of HEINOUS, went back to it after 5 minutes of battling with 10ac and realised my mistake, but I still couldn‘t get the FIZ part of FIZGIG. Would have been about 25 minutes, gave up at 34 minutes.
    Well done to everyone who came up with FIZ(Z) without knowing FIZGIG!!!
    Thanks setter and blogger as always.

  43. 14.40. NHO fizgig but the cluing was very fair. No especial issues, roll on Friday.

  44. Very enjoyable crossie (been in Oz too long!) with only one NHO for me : FIZGIG. AGNUS DEI straight in, followed swiftly by JOURNO (with a little shrug), then the lower half fell quite quickly. Only big hold-up was the SKIPLANE/PROSPECT crossers, where I failed to see the anagram (d’oh!) of alpine and hastily bunged in SKICRAFT . So 21a was impossible. Got stuck on thinking Whitby had to be the 5a town, so didn’t reach WETHERBY. Apart from all that, I loved DEBONAIR and many other neat clues.

Comments are closed.