Times 28629 – all that jazz.

A good puzzle made all the more enjoyable with the inclusion of some unusual words. I don’t remember seeing NACELLE, DISCOMBOBULATE or ENTROPIC before in my years of blogging here, or a mention of the silk road city. It took me 25 minutes or so, ending with 17d, where I was dubious about the definition.

Definitions underlined in bold, (ABC)* indicating anagram of ABC, anagrinds in italics, [deleted letters in square brackets].

1 Place with newspapers found on university hike (6)
UPLIFT – U (university) PL[ace] I, FT (two newspapers).
4 Where people may be caught abroad with some grass (8)
OUTFIELD – OUT (abroad) FIELD (some grass). As in cricket, or possibly baseball, as there seems to be a transatlantic shift in some of The Times clues at present.
10 Silk Road city — a spot in desert? (9)
SAMARKAND – A MARK (spot) inside SAND. It’s in Uzbekistan.
11 Two rivers in the country (5)
RURAL – R for river, URAL a Russian one.
12 I want you to understand it may be men got Ted (4,3,2,5)
DONT GET ME WRONG – anagram of MEN GOT TED is DON’T GET ME, so “wrong”.
14 Prevent crime writer dropping The Times (5)
DETER – Colin DEXTER, of Morse fame, drops the X = “times”.
16 Pretentious type of word common in Old Norse (9)
OVERBLOWN – VERB (type of word) LOW (common) inside O N.
18 Certainly not Falstaff for Thursday evening perhaps (9)
WEEKNIGHT – Well, Sir John as in Henry IV Part 1 and so on, was a very large chap indeed, so not a WEE KNIGHT.
20 Girl going short without hot eastern food (5)
SUSHI – SUSI[E] with H inserted.
21 Is jazz band mostly rubbish in engagement upset? (14)
DISCOMBOBULATE – IS COMBO (jazz band) BUL[L] (mostly rubbish) inside DATE = engagement. An excellent word, which I do use occasionally.
25 Scent hard work writing out a verse (5)
TRAIL – TR[AV]AIL. Travail = hard work, loses A V[erse].
26 Cheeseparer has to strip surface from something hard (9)
SKINFLINT – SKIN (strip…) FLINT (something hard).
27 Shortly drunk outside English pub (8)
28 Prince introducing odd extracts from Yemeni songbook (6)
HYMNAL – Prince HAL again as in the Bard, has Y e M e N i inserted.
1 Silly wind-up does upset (6,4)
2 Colour of apple shown by Monet? (5)
LEMON – I think this is a hidden word clue with the “indicator” in between, thus APPLE MONET.
3 Collector of food in aid of increasingly old person (7)
FORAGER – FOR (in aid of) AGER (person getting older).
5 Inappropriate French article and a couple from Italy (5)
UNDUE – French for ‘a’ = UN, Italian for two = DUE.
6 Cut of beef’s fine — or Brie crackers (7)
7 Messing about on or close to barge sure is wrong (9)
ERRONEOUS – (ON OR E SURE)*, the E from the end of barge.
8 Herb died diseased (4)
DILL – D for died, ILL for diseased.
9 Chorus splits regarding key (4,4)
PART SONG – PARTS (splits) ON G (regarding the key of G).
13 Expense relating to teeth after incisors half removed (10)
15 Classic play has to contend with most of these around it (3,6)
THE RIVALS – RIVAL = contend with, inside THES[E].
17 Right work in hospital department in charge of rising disorder? (8)
ENTROPIC – R (right) OP (work) inside ENT (hospital dept.) IC (in charge of). For me, entropic means relating to entropy, which is a measure of the disorder of a system, but I think the unscientific setter wants it to mean “with rising disorder”. It’s like saying “temperature” means “rising temperature”, in my opinion.
19 Streamlined fairing’s new, with excellent lines on plane’s tail (7)
NACELLE – N (new) ACE (excellent) LL (lines) E (end of plane.) The cover on a plane’s engine.
20 Small lock and key finally oiled? (7)
SQUIFFY – S (small) QUIFF (lock of hair) Y (end of key).
22 Amplifier initially made a signal very clipped at both ends (5)
MASER – M A S (initial letters of made a signal) ER (vERy, clipped). A MASER  (an acronym) is an amplifier of microwaves, as a LASER is one of light; if you didn’t know it, you could deduce it from the wordplay.
23 Strange fiction in article (5)
ALIEN – LIE inside AN article.
24 Pine resin has the top left off (4)
ITCH – PITCH (plant resin) has its P left off.


77 comments on “Times 28629 – all that jazz.”

  1. Fun puzzle – 11:55 and a few entered with crossed fingers. I think “of” is part of the definition of ENTROPIC, since IC can be in charge. Some really nice surfaces here.

    1. I think there’s a case for 4ac being gulfweed, abroad = gulf, grass = weed, you could easily get caught in gulfweed (sargassum)

  2. 37:18
    Very slow going–FOI 8d! DNK NACELLE, and DNK fairing: I wasted time taking ‘streamlined fairing’s’ to be (fairin)*. Biffed ERRONEOUS, OVERBLOWN, parsed post-submission. I was puzzled by 2d; LEMON seemed inevitable, and I finally decided it was as Pip suggests; never seen that before. I parsed ENTROPIC as George did. I was stuck in the SW, couldn’t get past ‘vie’ for ‘contend with’ and ‘long’ & ‘ache’ for ‘pine’. Finally I saw TRAIL, and THE RIVALS & ITCH followed immediately. Tough but enjoyable.

  3. LOI MASER (micro bell ringing…), POI SQUIFFY (though I had seen QUIFF before).
    My finest moments tonight were seeing how the clue for TRAIL worked right away and getting SAMARKAND from just the S and D. Also quite happy to have thought of NACELLE in a flash.
    NHO (that I can recall…) FORERIB.
    The clue for LEMON is amazing.
    The clue for THE RIVALS seemed to me… thin gruel (very easy, anyway).
    George is correct about the parsing of ENTROPIC.

    1. Ditto on SAMARKAND, though I’d never heard of a fairing or NASCELLE – went in with fingers crossed, as did LOI MASER!

  4. 49 minutes. I initially put in DON’T GET ME GOING for 12a which mucked up the 6d ‘Cut of beef’. When that was sorted out, I had the NHO / forgotten THE RIVALS ‘to contend with’ and the definitely NHO MASER, which yes, could hardly have been anything else, but you still do wonder when you hit the “Submit” button.

    I liked the split hidden LEMON, but my favourite was NACELLE. This appeared as the answer in an Indy puzzle by Xestobium on April 24th this year and I can’t do better than the comments of Pierre, the Fifteensquared blogger du jour:
    “This leapt out at me, a result of spending too much time as an eleven-year-old constructing Airfix models of fighter aircraft and getting high on the fumes from the polystyrene cement”.

    1. Oh thanks for that! By the age of 12 my ceiling was a full blown dog-fight with spitfires, hurricanes and messerschmitt 109s all hanging from sellotape and threads. Of course a year later they were all in a box replaced by Led Zeppelin and Free posters…

      1. I also remembered nacelle from Airfix days. Just waiting for decal to turn up now or was that from Revell days?

  5. 42 minutes. There were several unknowns words or meanings here, MASER being one of the former and ‘expense/INCIDENTAL’ one of the latter. I failed to spot ‘pitch’ as the resin at 24dn, but recognised NACELLE as a word I vaguely associated with aircraft although I couldn’t have said what it was.

    Another I failed to spot was the crime writer at 14ac which I found rather worrying as only yesterday I completed a 3-4 month binge re-watching the entire Morse / Lewis / Endeavour canon on DVD and streaming.

    I think we have had an example of a split-hidden word previously, and not that long ago, with the two elements separated by ‘and’ or an ampersand sign. The device has appeared in The Guardian puzzle too so I was not surprised by it today.

    1. That’s an impressive performance for watching all three series. It took Mrs U and me that long just to get through the Morse box set.

  6. Interesting vocabulary, as PK says, making for an interesting and entertaining puzzle. And unusually, no NHOs, except perhaps CHEESEPARER as a skinflint. Samarkand known since forever, masers from electrical engineering. No hold-ups anywhere, though not terribly quick. Unsure how LEMON works – is “of” the containment indicator, and “shown by” means put the two words together? The indicator in the middle, as per the blog, doesn’t work for me.

    1. That’s how I read it. APPLE is ‘shown by’ MONET and LEMON is [part] of the result.

  7. Terrific puzzle I thought, hard but also a lot of fun. It took me 50.52 but mainly I was happy just to finish. Several NHOs included MASER, NACELLE, ENTROPIC and SKINFLINT as cheeseparer, then there was the strange LEMON hidden which I remain unconvinced about and the crafty clueing for DON’T GET ME WRONG for which I am grateful to piquet for explaining. I have discovered that a Sheridan play of which I had never heard, and which I am in no rush to see having looked it up, is a classic. Who knew?

    1. I knew it was a Classic as although I am no play-goer and have never seen it I HAVE heard of it; for me if I’ve heard of it it is a Classic 🙂

  8. No probs getting started with SAMARKAND (I’ve been there) and the write-in WEEKNIGHT, but found this hard work thereafter, making steady progress until getting bogged down after 30m and taking a brekkie break. I should have learned long ago that “Jazz band” decodes as COMBO, OUTFIELD and ERRONEOUS took far too long – but SKINFLINT was my biggest hold-up, quickly followed by SQUIFFY and LOI SUSHI.

    Didn’t think I’d get there, but made it in 47:23. Thanks P and setter, hat tip to Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders

  9. 18m

    Quite slow. Yes. well, anyway – 11ac looks quite familiar today, depending on what order you do these things in

  10. 13:03. UPLIFT went straight in then the answers largely flowed from there though I did get stuck briefly about halfway through. I’d been avoiding the long clue and answer at 21A but at this point thought of COMBO for jazz band, from which DISCOMBOBULATE quickly followed. A reminder that sometimes all that’s needed is a partial parsing to semi-biff an answer.

  11. Long day on Tuesday doing pro bono painting and decorating on my son’s house. Anyway, meant that I didn’t start Tuesday’s puzzle till late last night then after midnight just carried on with this one. Finished both in decent time for me (about 30 mins for this one), so some redemption from Monday’s disaster…
    Science/engineering (airfix? thanks for the memory Bletchley), helped here though also wondered where “rising” fitted in ENTROPIC. Did not parse LEMON, so a real biff and never heard of PART SONG as a choral work, but got from definition. Wrongly tried to parse TRAIL from some reversal within “trial” but felt it was right anyway. enjoyed the puzzle, esp the jazzy clue! thanks to all.

  12. Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
    She stood in tears amid the alien corn;
    (O to a N, Keats)

    25 mins mid-brekker. Lots to like. I see others have said they like the split hidden. I don’t like this. It just shows we all have different tastes.
    Ta setter and Pip.

  13. 13:47. Felt I was making heavy weather of this. NHO MASER, fingers crossed for that one.
    One of the definitions of ‘entropy’ in OED (marked as ‘figurative’) is ‘a state of or tendency towards disorder’, which perhaps justifies the use of ‘rising’. None of the other usual dictionary definitions do.

      1. That is the trouble with dictionaries and their compilers believing in their own omniscience.

        There was a discussion on drugs on this thread a few weeks ago. The knowledgeable DeniseTremble humbly pointed out that the dictionary was plain wrong. But there you go, it’s in the dictionary, so what do we know?

        There have been plenty of other occasions too.

        1. As a general point you’re absolutely right: it’s exactly the wrong way round to treat dictionaries as a source of meaning. The source is the language as it’s actually used, dictionaries are a necessarily imperfect attempt to reflect that. And they do get it wrong sometimes.
          For crosswords though they’re as good an arbiter of these things as any, so I tend to think that if it’s in the dictionary we ought to give the setter the benefit of the doubt.
          As to Pip’s point, lots of scientific and technical words have different non-specialist meanings. There’s nothing wrong with these usages and it’s right that they be reflected in the dictionary. However I’m still not really convinced that this applies to ‘entropy’.

          1. As entropy always increases in a closed system (like the universe), I don’t see any problem with dictionary definitions that fit the one here. In Collins and online, the American English definitions for “entropy” virtually echo it, though the last, “a doctrine of inevitable social decline and degeneration,” certainly could have been qualified as “figurative” (and it’s not). In Merriam-Webster, I find:
            2 a: the degradation of the matter and energy in the universe to an ultimate state of inert uniformity
            b: a process of degradation or running down or a trend to disorder
            I love the citation for the latter: “The deterioration of copy editing and proof-reading, incidentally, is a token of the cultural entropy that has overtaken us in the postwar years. —John Simon” (And why is there no hyphen in “copy editing” though there is one in “proof-reading” here? I blame entropy.)

            1. It always increases or stays the same. And then not always: only in a closed system. So increasing is not an inherent characteristic: presumably in other circumstances it can decrease. So to take Pip’s example this is a bit like equating ‘temperature’ with ‘rising temperature’ because of global warming.

              1. That’s only according to the first, technical definition. The second definition in Merriam-Webster, both a and b, cover this.
                Any particular measure of entropy might not be changing now, but my bet is that it will eventually. The word itself means “change.”
                Greek prefix en-, meaning “within”, and trop- root meaning “change.”

  14. 40 mins and very enjoyable. NHO MASER but got it from the wp.

    Loved DISCOMBOBULATE. I shall make sure I use it today !

    Thanks pip and setter.

  15. 51 minutes. LOI the unknown NACELLE, constructed with all crossers in place. I didn’t mind the rising disorder as entropy only increases with time, or at least it did in 1967 when I did my finals. My life since has confirmed this. I just assumed that the separated LE and MON referred to each other. I’d be happy for Steve Smith to be caught in the outfield but Jimmy hitting the top of off would be better. Tough puzzle with COD to WEEKNIGHT. Thank you Pip and setter.

  16. Flew through this, never 21ac’d at all.
    Count me among those who liked 2dn, the split hidden.
    Would love to spend a little time in Samarkand..

  17. 31m 51s
    No real problems but I’m still unsure about the parsing of LEMON and ENTROPIC. From working for many years in aviation, NACELLE was a gimme.
    COD to DON’T GET ME WRONG. Well done to Denise Tremble for spotting the Chrissie Hynde connection.
    I see we have both Prince Hal and Falstaff in the same puzzle but where is Mistress Quickly? Perhaps she will be along tomorrow?
    Thanks Pip!

  18. 12:37 Nice one. But I failed to parse UPLIFT and LEMON, thinking vaguely he may have painted a golden delicious. Remember them? I don’t recall seeing any for a long time. My least favourite sort of apple at the time when my Mum used to buy them. LOI SQUIFFY my favourite. Thanks Pip and setter.

  19. 41:35

    Terrible start where I guessed only the UN of 5d but filled DILL and INCIDENTAL in more confidently on the first pass of all clues. NW corner fell first – not sure about the clue for LEMON but with SAMARKAND plus other checkers, it couldn’t be much else.

    NE was next, though only understood VERB in OVERBLOWN – OUTFIELD took a while even with all checkers, nice clue!

    WEEKNIGHT wrote itself in, though I can never remember which play Falstaff is in, but it took DISCOMBOBULATE to really open up the bottom half, having only the bottom row in place prior. Forgot the crime writer, have only a vague awareness of THE RIVALS, and each of ITCH, MASER and NACELLE went in from definition in the first case, and parsing for the others, having heard of neither.

    Thanks setter and Piquet

  20. 18.32 in a steady solve, with delays over PART SONG and DISCOMBOBULATE until I had enough crossers to see what was going on with the clues. My first shot at 2d was POMME, assuming that it was on a colour chart somewhere (it is!), which I think is cleverer than the split hidden result it turned out to be. I also wondered where the homophone indicator was for Falstaff not being a weak knight. Then I wrote the answer in anyway. Ah.
    ENTROPIC got me musing again on the Second Law. If entropy always increases, how did the universe get itself together in the first place?

  21. 48:22. Much enjoyed, but it took all the acrosses before my FOI 28ac HYMNAL. Liked SQUIFFY and the WEE KNIGHT and 2dn LEMON which I parsed as isla did with apple and monet “shown by” each other. LOI THE RIVALS which took forever with lots of alphabet trawling and then of course I knew it (but couldn’t tell you anything about it). I knew NACELLE as the fairing on a motorbike. WOD DISCOMBOBULATE

  22. 46 minutes so on the slow side today. LOI was THE RIVALS, I was thinking by classic something like the oresteia and when I stepped back from that line of thinking it was a palm / forehead moment! Thanks for the parsing of LEMON, of course that‘s it. Several very clever clues today but I thought the wee knight was especially amusing.
    Thanks a lot to both setter and blogger

  23. 2 hour mark because I forgot to pause when I finished and didn’t have a connection on the train. Shouldn’t closing your laptop automatically pause it? Harumph, harumph, harumph.

    I chuckled again – two days in a row now! – this time at COD – WEEKNIGHT.

    Thanks blogger and setter.

      1. Computers ain’t that clever.

        Unless you explicitly tell the Times website you’re pausing, then the clock keeps running at their end of the connection. Closing your laptop just disconnects from the website, doesn’t tell it anything.

    1. You’ll be pleased when the new AI version is released. It automatically pauses the timer when you stop thinking.

      1. Actually, I don’t think we’re far off from my toaster being able to beat my time on the Guardian cryptic. Scary times!

  24. After a woefully slow start, I eventually picked up speed, and mostly enjoyed it. Thanks as ever to Pip, especially for 2D which I think is an absolute LEMON of a clue !

    TIME 11:00

    * The earworm had kicked in well before reading Denise’s comment. To my mind, it’s one of the great love song lyrics.

  25. If the LEMON clue is as Piquet says in the blog, then ‘shown by’ is both a hidden indicator and a juxtaposition indicator. Several people have it right I think: ‘of’ is the hidden indicator and ‘shown by’ is a juxtaposition indicator. Mind you, I don’t like ‘of’ as a hidden indicator although you do see it occasionally (but not, I should have thought, in The Times), and my thinking was as vague as Johninterred’s: perhaps Monet did something involving a lemon-coloured apple. I thought pine = itch wasn’t quite right. Can’t find it in Collins or Chambers. N really ho MASER, but guessed. The wordplay was pretty simple. 35 minutes.

  26. 18.35. Nice to see the appearance of the lovely word ‘discombobulate’, but I continue to be irritated by the looseness of clues like 2d.

    1. Yes. Nowadays there seems to be at least one clunker of a clue in every cryptic.

  27. Tough but finished in 60+ minutes. Except I put ‘etch’ (=eat away=pine) parsed as [L]ETCH (which apparently is a valid spelling of ‘lech’ (from ‘lecher’). All a bit desperate. Never thought of ‘itch’!
    I believe that masers were actually invented before lasers. The early boffins worked with microwaves, not visible light wavelengths. So it’s a shame they’ve been relegated into being practically non-existent.

  28. 08:59, and enjoyed this, while being glad to discover I’m not the only person ear-wormed (a perennial hazard of crosswords). Splitting the words which need to be run together to reveal the hidden answer is a device I’ve definitely seen before, so the LEMON didn’t detain me unduly – such is the way my brain works nowadays that I can’t remember exactly where or when I saw it, but it feels recent, by which I mean it could have happened any time between last week and three years ago…

    1. I tracked down one past example in QC 873 in 2017:
      Nearly running from Malmo to Stavanger? (6)
      Comments were mostly grudging acceptance assuming the question mark was intended to mitigate any perceived dodginess. We have one in today’s clue too.

  29. 28 mins with an incorrectly parsed NICELLE, never having heard of NACELLE anyway.
    Saw DISCOMBOBULATE and bunged it without bothered to parse. NHO the cheeseparer or MASER either.

  30. I also enjoyed this puzzle – and particularly “Discombobulate”, “Trail” and “Hostelry”. Lots of nice clues to enjoy today. I have been to Samarkand so that dropped in straight away. 40 minutes overall.

  31. Tricky but fun.
    Mis-parsed 18a as homophone of weak knight rather than WEE KNIGHT. But of course he wasn’t weak, and if he was then the clue doesn’t work.
    Didn’t parse Monet’s lemon, I just shoved a vaguely French LE in front of a randomly reduced MONet.
    We had 9d PART SONG recently which helped a lot.
    Entropic is of entropy; the second law of thermodynamics states that all thermodynamic reactions cause entropy to increase. So rising disorder is what the 2nd law is about, it is about entropy which is always rising as there are always reactions going on. As explained by Flanders and Swann “The whole universe goin’ta cool down … that’s entropy, man”.

  32. 19:35. Slow to start and thought this was going to be a stinker when the first pass in the NW corner yielded nothing, but all came together quickly at the end. The LEMON construction was a new one on me and I didn’t parse it before reading the blog, so thanks for the enlightenment, as always.

  33. Did well to finish with all correct in 41.20 as there were quite a few head scratchers in there. I certainly didn’t see the parsing of LEMON and whilst I accept others explanation, I don’t care for the device too much. It was fingers crossed with MASER, and fortunately I remembered NACELLE from previous crosswords, but even so it was my LOI.

  34. Monet used completely unnatural colour palettes in his later work; it would be no surprise if he painted an apple of a lemon colour.

  35. I failed to make any progress in the NW so moved on to the NE which was more accommodating. UNDUE got me going and progress was steady. FORAGER led the way into the NW, with LEMON entered with a shrug. I eventually spotted DISCOMBOBULATE which allowed me to complete LOI, THE RIVALS. 26:59. Thanks setter and Pip.

  36. I knew NACELLE from Star Trek. The various Starships Enterprise frequently took damage to their port or starboard nacelles, which then miraculously repaired themselves in time for the next encounter.

  37. Two goes needed, but got there in the end after spending an age on THE RIVALS – I’d figured out how it worked, but couldn’t think of a 5-letter word meaning ‘contend’ that fit _I_A_. Didn’t know NACELLE or MASER but got them from wordplay, wasn’t worried about how LEMON worked, and needed to get SQUIFFY (great word) before I got anywhere near SKINFLINT.

    Tough stuff. Thanks setter and blogger.

    FOI Hymnal
    LOI The Rivals
    COD Discombobulate

  38. I was held up by putting “singsong” in 9d but eventually resolved that. I could not think of the crime writer referred to in 14a, although I met him and have a signed copy of his book on solving crosswords.

  39. 26.33 but with a desperate CAST SONG bunged in at the end. Not sure I’ve heard of PART SONG but the w/p was clear. There was a lot of finger crossing for NACELLE but a happier ending there


    Enjoyable crossword; thanks Pip and Setter

  40. Off topic, but does anyone know if there’s a particular trick to uploading an avatar picture to Gravatar? Many attempts appear to be uploading, but Gravatar still says oops, you don’t appear to have any… I can upload pictures to my profile picture gallery, so something works, but my avatar stays stubbornly white golem on grey background.

    1. Yes, I just tried to load a new image and change my picture, but it didn’t work. The new image uploaded and was available for “Manage my images” but I couldn’t select it for my profile picture. Looks like a bug to me. (BTW, I’m using an iPad in this case.)

  41. A bit of a slow start before SAMARKAND, my FOI, then flowed fairly steadily from there. Some unknowns (MASER, NACELLE), but the wordplay was fairly obvious in each case. I completely failed to parse DETER, though – I didn’t think it would be anything else, but for the life of me couldn’t see the identity of the crime writer. So obvious when I saw it here!


    Thanks setter for the enjoyable puzzle, and piquet for the elucidation.

  42. A lot of biffing so very pleased to finish with everything correct
    Got stuck in the lower regions but finally recalling THE RIVALS seemed to reveal the remaining clues.

  43. Took me a while to warm up but then made good progress- LOI was SAMARKAND with fingers crossed. Actually they were also crossed for NACELLE and MASER, but less tightly!
    Enjoyed it and was done inside 30 minutes.Thanks setter and blogger.

  44. Returning to the crossword fold after a holiday, I managed most of this over lunch and needed a second session to get SQUIFFY (correcting a dubious Stressy),WEEKNIGHT, NACELLE and LOI ENTROPIC.
    A number of new words for me; same as others.

  45. 30′ 12”
    Dwelt start, in rear, stayed on, but top-weights had flown.
    I think Pootle summed this up well, as being assailable with partially-parsed-semi-biffs.
    I was encouraged by dredging up ‘nacelle’ from somewhere – they weren’t a part of my Airfix days. Thank you setter and Pip – very enjoyable. Feared ‘maser’ was going to get a raspberry – phew!
    Favourite was the Wee Knight. I saw a cracking student production of MWof Windsor, in which the set designer didn’t need to knock in a single tack. The Queens’ students put it on in their Cloister Court and, with the addition of a basket, job done!

  46. A very enjoyable puzzle, done in 26 minutes. I thought several of the clues were very clever, and liked some of the (to me) less obvious anagrams such as HOSTELRY and UPSIDE DOWN. I knew NACELLE only from previous crosswords, and worked out the nho MASER from the clueing. Thanks for the explanations of 14ac and 2dn which I had written in with some confidence but without being quite sure why they were right.
    Thanks to piquet and other contributors.

  47. 45 mins. Never close enough to the wavelength today and had to check nacelle before putting it in. Surprisingly- not. NHO it.
    The Rivals was my LOI and I knew I was in for a slog when I didn’t get a single across clue in my first pass. Liked weeknight, overblown and uplift but pride of place to discombobulate, it’s just such a wonderful word.
    Thx setter and blogger.

  48. Gave in after 2h 26m with 3 undone 9d, 15d and 21a. Assumed 21a was music based which is my weak area. Even tried to begin it with MAN for Is. Turns out it was a wee bit musical with DISCO at start! Held up by with EGREGIOUS for 7d till sorted by WRONG. 5d first thought of UNDIE as being inappropriate. COD – HOSTELRY. Great workout. Thanks to setter

  49. Should have struggled on a bit longer. First one in I had to look at the down clues, which, for me, nearly always seem easier. So UNDUE a write-in, followed by the incorrect GULFWEED and UPSIDE DOWN. Slow going thereafter, with having to look up DISCOMBOBULATE despite it being a word I use frequently (I just like it!). Couple of NHOs: NACELLE , MASER and PART SONG didn’t help, as neither did that sense of ‘pine’ nor INCIDENTAL.
    Loved the cluing once all parsed for me, especially enjoyed WEEKNIGHT – not SO keen on LEMON.

Comments are closed.