Times 28635 – I remember those eyebrows

Another super puzzle from our setter, or compiler, indeed, with nice wordplay and nothing very obscure. Provided you know your F1, that is. Mid twenty minutes for me, ending in the NW corner although that wasn’t any harder than the rest really. I liked both of the homophones.

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

1 Land in base is becoming a slum? (8)
BLIGHTED – LIGHT (land) inside BED (base).
9 Beer with a politician? That’s chancy (8)
ALEATORY – ALE (beer) A TORY politician.
10 Owing money, one might say for sport (4)
JUDO – sounds like DUE, DOUGH.
11 Livid with waste after team admits shortage (5,3,4)
BLACK AND BLUE – BAND (team) has LACK (shortage) inserted then BLUE = waste.
13 Armstrong not needing a second to master new little piece of music (6)
SNATCH – Louis Armstrong was a.k.a. SATCHMO, delete the MO (second) and insert N for new.
14 America backing Europeans and East Africans (8)
SUDANESE – US reversed, DANES (Europeans) E (east).
15 Great supplies at the front packed by soldiers into two cases for your compiler (7)
IMMENSE – I and ME being the subjective and objective cases for the setter, insert MEN (soldiers) and S[upplies].
16 Tango unknown in country dances (7)
WALTZES – WALES, a country, has T for tango and Z an unknown inserted.
20 History exam such work for priest? (8)
PASTORAL – well, a history exam could be an ORAL exam on the PAST, a past oral.
22 Short expression wears thin in speech (6)
PHRASE – sounds like FRAYS.
23 Foreign trips arranged for the ballet (4,2,6)
RITE OF SPRING – (FOREIGN TRIPS)*. A piece of Stravinsky I really enjoy, when Mrs P is out and I can play it loudly enough.
25 Something to do with seeing taxi in bad weather (4)
HAIL – a double definition, I think, when you see a taxi you might hail it.
26 Sort of sweater I knitted (2,2,4)
27 For one single day turning to face nameless severe misfortune (8)
DISASTER – AS I D (for one, single, day, reversed), STER[N] = nameless severe.
2 Drug has speeding driver almost stupefied (8)
LAUDANUM – Nikki LAUDA, once a famous speedy F1 driver, NUM[B] = almost stupefied.
3 Where literally all the world’s a stage? (5,7)
GLOBE THEATRE – cryptic definition, ha ha.
4 Trounces in sporting fixture, having run to eliminate one of the Europeans (8)
THRASHES – THE ASHES, the crucial cricket series just begun again last week, loses the first of its E[uropeans].
5 Rather gloomy beauty hugging chest (7)
DARKISH – DISH, a beauty, “hugs” ARK a chest.
6 Brezhnev seen in the shower (6)
LEONID – double definition; first name of the old Russian top man, the one with the eyebrows, and one of the regular meteor showers seen originating in the constellation LEO.
7 Distant bird call over lake (4)
COOL – COO as in call of a dove, L for lake.
8 Fire watched over in the range (8)
PYRENEES – PYRE (fire) then SEEN reversed = watched, over.
12 Absolutely prevent good men wearing women’s clothing (4,2,6)
BANG TO RIGHTS – BAN (prevent) G[ood], then OR (men, ordinary ranks) inside TIGHTS (women’s clothing).
15 Hazard accepting a particular size (8)
IMPERIAL – IMPERIL with A inserted.  Among other things, IMPERIAL is a particular size of paper 30 x 22 inches, in the art world.
17 One maybe on the phone comes up and tells (8)
APPRISES – you may have an APP on your phone, RISES = comes up.
18 Cherish sinner — he needs to reform (8)
19 Head of fleet, docked, collapsed into bed (7)
FLOPPED – F[leet], LOPPED = docked, cut off.
21 Man on small boat is right behind (6)
RAFTER – R for right, AFTER = behind. A man on a raft, obviously.
24 Consider losing kilos to get slim (4)
THIN – THINK (consider) loses K.


111 comments on “Times 28635 – I remember those eyebrows”

  1. Nice crossword. Not too hard as long as you knew Louis Armstrong was Satchmo, and Niki Lauda. I knew LEONID Brezhnev but didn’t know the meteor shower (I only know the Perseid but that didn’t hold me up).

  2. Like Paul, the Leonid shower was a mystery. A bit embarrassed at not being able to parse “The Ashes”, especially after last night’s excitement. Also failed to lift and separate due dough, so thought it should have been owed, not owing. But I did lift and separate past oral – the past as history works for me. A bit surprised Nikki Lauda was dead, it passed me by.
    Liked that, a decent test without being too obscure.

  3. 40 minutes but with several parsings not understood (e.g. LEONID as shower) and one error.

    There were also a couple of examples of what seemed to me, very loose clueing (the hail / taxi thing, and blighted / becoming a slum) so I was too ready to accept my incorrect answer at 10ac with a shrug, whilst thinking to myself, oh I suppose it’s another one. Having considered and rejected POLO early on, when I returned to the clue later I had both checkers so I considered LUDO and rejected it. But then I thought of SUMO and accepted it solely because it contains SUM which could have been the money mentioned in the clue. I also considered O having something to do with owing, as in IOU. All very unlikely, but after the examples given above I didn’t feel it was worth pursuing the matter further.

  4. 23 minutes, with LOI APPRISES. I’d still prefer to place apps and phones in different categories. COD to SNATCH. LAUDANUM needed the crossers before name recognition took over. I didn’t know the meteor shower but was familiar enough with Brezhnev for that not to be a problem. Nice puzzle. Thank you Pip and setter.

    1. “One maybe on the phone” = APP. But perhaps your point is that you are content with only a landline?

  5. How does JUDO sound like “DUE DOUGH”? I essentially gave up on this… (decided it’s not “PO’ + LOW, thought maybe it had to be SUM zerO, though that’s not a homophone. That’s what I put in). In what dialect does J sound like D? I’m not saying there’s not one… But, although I’ve been deaf in one ear for the past five, I can still distinguish consonant sounds, and I’ve never heard that pronunciation.

    Otherwise, this seemed rather easy for a while, but then I got distracted and wrote RITE DE SPRING (ha), which threw me off on the crossing word. I had to stretch to reach BANG TO RIGHTS, but I’ve probably heard the expression a time or two in my life. LAUDANUM I know from reading William Burroughs. I wrote “Whew!” next to both DISASTER and SNATCH after finally figuring them out. LOI THRASHES.

    “Literally” is not the right word for 3 Down. It’s rather that all the stage there is “the Globe”—other way around. And “the Globe” is “the world” only figuratively.

      1. Well, OK, though the hard J in Collins (where I go for UK pronunciations) is still not simply a D.
        It reminds me of the Woody Allen character who was sure a friend had said, “Jew eat?”
        But that’s a contraction of “Did you…?”

        1. That’s an old example from linguistic texts: Jeat jet? No, joo? (Did you eat yet? No, did you?)
          I’ve heard dyoo–> joo often enough, but I didn’t think it was RP.

        2. OK, Collins online has slightly different pronumciation (judo = dʒu:do, due = dju) but when you press the play button they sound almost identical. Close enough for a crossword homophone 🙂

          1. Hmm. I had honestly never realized that Brits pronounce DUE so differently from the way Americans do.

            1. I’m with you on this Guy, the JU in JUDO sounds like JEW and not DUE – I’m a Londoner

              1. For what it’s worth I (a Brit) pronounce DUE and JEW pretty much identically

              2. As a speaker of northern standard English, I do have a slight d before the ‘you’ on due but not on jew. Not quite homophones then but not as far off as the won/one which so frequently is used by southern setters.

                1. Ha, a bit of revenge for nonstandard (standard being broadly London RP) pronunciation today.

                1. Same here and I’m from t’other side of the Pennines. I also pronounce hair and her the same. Her fair hair is a give away for my precise original location.😊

            2. Brits in general most certainly do not, Guy! It’s a lazy south London sort of pronunciation, and to suggest we all spoke like that would be the equivalent of assuming all Americans sounded like someone from New Jersey. I personally thought that as a homophone it stank, but I couldn’t justify polo or ludo!

      2. Disagree that in the south-east of the UK where I am from, DUE and DEW sound like JEW – they most certainly do not 🙂

        DUE and DEW sound like DYOU, whereas JEW sounds like DJOU.

        1. Got to disagree – dew has a hard D but due and jew sound in fact identical to me. From Norfolk if it matters!

    1. I too disagree, Guy, in my world (southern England) DUE sounds exactly like JU.. and not like DOO.. And D’YOU … has much more of a D sound than DUE.

      1. DOO is North American English. For some reason, after certain consonants British [yu] becomes American [u]], as in tune, enthuse, nude, due. The question here, though–my question– was whether ‘due’ is pronounced dyoo or joo in RP.

        1. I’m somewhat… shocked (ha) to think RP would sanction JOO for DUE, utterly silencing the D. Can that be true? I hope someone will come forth with the answer, one way or another…

          1. For what it is worth, that’s exactly how I say it – due dough = ju do, it’s a much better homophone clue than most.

          2. This JOO-DOO discussion has been followed with wry amusement by one who has learned to live with rhotic/ non-rhotic Rs. pterodactyl says:


      2. Well I’m in London but from Tyneside and for me it’s definitely a homophone for DEW (not JEW). I had to choose between LUDO and JUDO and opted for JUDO as it is a sport.
        Rest was enjoyable despite NHO SATCHMO.

      3. I’m from the south and I think it depends on context sometimes?

        Saying it quick enough does get the J sound, but the word being heard as JEW might be perceived, in these delicate times, as causing offence maybe? So some would be more likely to emphasise that D in DUE, just in case. I even thought of the word JUDO but couldn’t for the life of me see how you would pronounce it like that in this combination. But of course it’s a crossword, so we should probably leave context at the door. A legitimate parsing of the pronunciation then, but you can see why many wouldn’t have made that leap even in the south.

      1. My issue with this clue isn’t just the dodgy homonym, but the sense. If I am due dough I am OWED money not OWING it.

        As for the (mis) pronunciation of due with a J, the setter does try to cover it with “one might say”. To which one might reply “but most people don’t”.

        Not the COD in my opinion …

        1. As others have said you just have to read the elements separately. Due = owing. Money = dough.

    2. On first pondering judo as homonym for due dough I thought this is ridiculous. However the pronunciation of the letter J is pretty complex. I don’t hear any hint of D when I say J but consider German where they write Dschungel and Dschunke for loan words jungle and (Chinese) junk. It seems like they certainly hear a D somewhere in the J!

      1. There is a D sound somewhere in the J (without it we would be speaking French), and there is no other way to write anything close to the English J sound in German (which doesn’t have that sound natively and doesn’t like voicing it).

  6. 35 minutes. No idea about the LEONID ‘shower’ either and I took some time to think of the ‘ballet’, despite the helpful enumeration. I wondered why 25a wasn’t ‘Something to do on seeing taxi in bad weather’. BLUE for ‘waste’ or ‘squander’ (yesterday) is rapidly becoming a crossword chestnut and went in straight away. No problems for me with the JUDO homophone; dodgy as expected.

    Favourites were the Niki Lauda and Satchmo clues.

    1. I’m surprised by the near-total ignorance of the LEONID meteor shower displayed here so far (Vinyl didn’t mention it, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt).

  7. Thou tree whose shadow o’er the Atlantic gave
    Peace, wealth and beauty, to its friendly wave, its blossoms fade,
    And Blighted are the leaves that cast its shade;
    (To Ireland, Shelley)

    25 mins pre-brekker. I liked it, especially Globe Theatre and Tango unknown in country dance.
    Ta setter and Pip.

  8. 15:20
    Just the right level for me, with a nice blend of geographical, musical and sporting references. In the print copy 4d appears directly beneath a photo of Pat Cummins with the headline ‘Ausball 1 Bazball 0’ chiz.
    I did wonder for a moment if there might be a sport called DUDO, then I too recalled Woody Allen’s mishearing in ‘Annie Hall’ (“Did you eat yet, or what?” “No. D’you?”)

  9. 51m fail – a rather anaemic and unsatisfactory performance from me. Found this a struggle throughout and was nowhere near completion when BLIGHTED triggered a NW corner biff-sequence (LAUDANUM, THRASHES, JUDO, SNATCH) without doing any actual solving. After that I thought I might complete it, but never managed WALTZES and APPRISES before running out of time and enthusiasm.

  10. Finished in 39 minutes so it was hard but unlike yesterdays very enjoyable. LEONID was my FOI. LOI was THRASHES I kept thinking the sporting fixture would be a TIE. From The Ashes to Thrashes by just turning an E to an R was somehow not so obvious! I won’t forget how to spell Pyrenees again either.
    Thanks a lot to setter and blogger.

  11. 29.41. Did not parse 27a. ‘Due dough’ is more likely to suggest money owed to one rather than the converse. As usual, I agree with jackkt, but what’s the use of complaining about loose clueing if the editor’s happy to accept it ?

    1. ‘More likely’ is not a relevant test. ‘Banker’ is more likely to mean financier than river, but the latter is used all the time. The only question is whether ‘owing’ can mean due, and it undoubtedly can.

  12. 28:44 but…

    … careless LAUDANAM pink-squared me. Blasted through two-thirds of this in about 13 mins – another 5 mins gave APPRISES and PHRASE.

    Couldn’t make much of 15a or 15d before THRASHES and SNATCH gave 2d and JUDO (not a very good homophone – JEW (Djoo) DOUGH is far closer than DUE (Dyoo) DOUGH).

    Only with all checkers except the first did I see IMMENSE (that clue was a bit of a mess, I thought) and LOI IMPERIAL.

  13. Great puzzle, maybe adrenaline still pumping from yesterday evening. Wonderful clue re the Ashes, but maybe the setter was anticipating a huge England victory? LAUDANUM / JUDO LOsI, once I’d erased POLO.

    Also nho ALEATORY, but after submitting realised it’s obvious from what Caesar said on crossing the Rubicon.

    14’23”, thanks pip and setter

    1. Seems the setter was more prescient on England’s chances. The top and bottom lines accurately sum up England’s hopes.

      1. A late Aussie solver extending your comment.
        which nearly applied to us in the fourth test.

  14. Denise and I had an almost identical experience except I had another fail on PHRASE. Annoying now that I’ve seen the answers. With others on JUDO and HAIL, still don’t properly get the clue to DISASTER and I’m not sure why everyone is expected to know the LEONID meteor shower when it doesn’t even make the top ten in most internationally approved lists of meteor showers. Completely missed the Nikki Lauda ref and also the Ashes, which is ironic in the circs. The fact that I was up until nearly 5am watching that sensational match possibly explains why I didn’t exactly rip through this.

  15. Bit surprised the SNITCH is only 98 – this felt harder. 50 mins to complete, with a lot of head scratching.

    I had no problem with due = jew, but like at least one other commenter I felt the clue was wrong. Surely you’re ‘due dough’ if you’re OWED money – not if you’re owing it?

    Had no idea what was going on with my LOI SNATCH (if you don’t know Armstrong’s nickname you don’t have a hope), but inferred it from crossers. Really liked LAUDANUM and WALTZES, which both baffled me for the longest time.

    1. Equally surely (and ignoring the sounzabitlike debate) money that is owing is due dough?

    2. I was with you thinking owed while solving, not seeing the lift and separate of the two pieces until reading the blog: due = owing, money = dough.

  16. 67m 28s
    I’ll join the mutinous mob marching on Times Towers with lit torches to complain about JUDO sounding like DUE DOUGH. Bah, humbug!
    It took me a while before I realised 13ac was referring to neither Neil nor Lance…
    Thanks, Pip, especially for THRASHES.

  17. Enjoyable crossword – followed by an enjoyable debate! I made good progress and finished in 25 minutes, but it turned out to be a dnf as I am in the SUMO camp for 10ac. For what it is worth I (in London UK) like to think I pronounce DUE differently from JEW, though I may find my standards slipping in the heat of informal conversation.
    COD – LAUDANUM, but LEONID also earned a chuckle.
    Thanks to piquet and other contributors.

  18. Completed in 21.54, feeling I’d taken longer because the NW sector was especially obdurate. I also felt, having eventually put in JUDO, “there’ll be letters”, which earns me the prize for “most accurate prediction of the year so far”. I didn’t feel the same about HAIL, though on reflection “something to do when seeing taxi” would have been better.
    I spent quite a time trying to work the immense Neil into the Armstrong clue, or possibly the more tarnished (and not dead yet) Lance, or even (does it still exist?) Stretch.
    I almost stumbled with APPRIZED which I gave up when realising the “on the phone” bit was not, for once, a homophone indicator.
    I thought the answer to the “all the world’s a stage” was going to be rather more literally As You Like It, but it was hard to fit in the space provided.
    A (d)juicy) puzzle, fun to do.

    1. Well remembered! Was there not another ‘stretch’? My brother owned something green that was similarly elastic.

      1. It proved less elastic than my brother’s estimation. When it broke it spread foul-smelling, probably highly toxic, goo far and wide.

  19. 35:31. A nice one. I thought the “due dough” homophone was a lot closer than many we’ve seen. Like others, I was reminded of Woody Allen. Had the impression we were expected to know too many people, but it was only Lauda, Satchmo and Leonid and they were OK. For the record, count me among those who have heard of the Leonid meteor shower. LOIs APPRISES and IMPERIAL. I liked SNATCH and WALTZES

  20. 17:20. No problem with LEONID meteor showers but didn’t parse SNATCH (although SATCHMO rang a faint bell when I read the blog) or DISASTER (through being too lazy to work it out). Lots of nice clues. I enjoyed the topical cricket reference, although the match was very close rather than a thrashing and PYRENEES, my COD. Thanks Pip and setter.

  21. At the 90-minute mark, I still had three left so I walked away. On return seeing the homophone PHRASE fell followed by APPRISES unparsed then DISASTER just seeing the STER(N) bit.
    Three others with parsing problems BLUE = waste which I still can’t see, I had forgotten SATCHMO and the second definition of LEONID.
    JUDO went in seeing the homophone and not thinking too much about pronunciations.
    Other than that a long but satisfying workout.

    1. Alf, I don’t think you were around yesterday but we had a long discussion about ‘blue’ with this meaning re yesterday’s 15×15, with many sharing your puzzlement. It’s perfectly valid but a bit old fashioned so not seen much outside Crosswordland. Cheers!

      1. Thanks, I’ll have a look. As for yesterday I saw your opening comment and the SNITCH and decided to give it a miss. I wouldn’t have had enough time to spend on it.

  22. Liked the Ashes and the Louis Armstrong clues. I didn’t lift and separate (as one also could for PASTORAL) and was one who wondered why it was ‘Owing money’ and not ‘Owed money’. Not loose clueing at all I think. My feeling that people fuss too much about homophones has been reinforced by the fierce arguments over due and Jew. 36 minutes. I agree with Guy about ‘literally’ being doubtful in the GLOBE THEATRE clue, also with those who thought the hailing of the taxi was a bit loose.

  23. 24 mins, however had to come here to confirm JUDO, worst crossword homophone I’ve yet come across. If it was clued as D’YOU DOUGH, then maybe, but it wasn’t.
    Held up by a tentative FLUMPED earlier on. Also spent ages going through all the Armstrongs I could think of (Lance, Neil) but none of them worked until I got LAUDANUM (not literally). Talking of ‘literally’ it was almost used correctly in 3d.

  24. Another one here a bit flummoxed by the JUDO homophone but then I recalled the awful old joke: My wife just left for the West Indies. Jamaica? No she went of her own accord. Our skies are DARKISH here so if the weather’s clear we watch for the LEONID meteor showers around Thanksgiving.

  25. 26.44
    A toughie. I’m with those who consider the JUDO homophone a bit iffy , but for a while this was academic as I had persuaded myself that Sum O somehowe meant that you owed money.
    MERs also at the app and phone connection and the taxi hail. More than enough good stuff elsewhere to compensate for this – RITES OF SPRING aand IMMENSE in particular.

    Thanks to Pip and the setter.

  26. Got through this fairly niftily by my standards finishing in 37.42. I’ve been looking with amusement at all the comments generated by JUDO, and I don’t recall so many comments on a single clue before. For me it seemed a perfectly reasonable clue, but I understand the bemusement of others. One of the last clues I solved was WALTZES where for the life of me I couldn’t think of a country ending in S. Where do I live? Yup you’ve guessed it Wales!

    1. Belarus is the only other one I can think of. I don’t think United States counts but possibly UAE(United Arab Emirates).

  27. I liked it.
    Doesnt need any more comments

    I dont time myself as its not a competition

  28. DNF, defeated by the NW corner. JUDO didn’t occur to me, I didn’t know Satchmo was Louis Armstrong’s nickname so didn’t get SNATCH, and I didn’t realise we were looking for a specific driver in order to get LAUDANUM.

    Put me down as another who hadn’t heard of the LEONID shower, and I didn’t understand the IM…E part of IMMENSE, so thanks for the explanation. It was also an embarrassingly long country trawl before I thought of Wales for WALTZES.

    COD As it were

  29. DNF at 51:00 with SUMO instead of JUDO.

    sounds like DUE DOUGH indeed …. My cut glass accent clearly doesn’t allow for such eventualities 🙂

    COD IMPERIAL just because I like the use of IMPERIL

  30. Well, I say due with a hard d, but my son and daughter both say it with a j. I didn’t get hung up on it, because I always treat the homophones as whether it could sound like someone saying it, not whether it would be a homophone were I to say it.

    Otherwise, I enjoyed this one, I knew satchelmouth = SATCHMO = Armstrong, biffed THRASHES, kicked myself, liked a few – IMMENSE, PYRENEES (LOI), RITE OF SPRING.


  31. Very enjoyable. In at 18’51”. Could add more but got to go. Work call.

  32. 13:33 but with LUDO. I considered and rejected JUDO as not a homophone but if I had thought about it a bit more I’d have realised that it’s a perfectly common pronunciation. It’s not how I say ‘due’ but if we applied that standard we’d effectively have to outlaw homophones altogether. See also rhotic/non-rhotic, one/won etc.
    Perhaps more pertinently LUDO is quite clearly not a sport!
    ‘Blue’ two days in a row is quite something. I remain entirely confident that it will nonetheless elicit the usual protests next time it appears.

    1. One reason I never got JUDO–aside from my pronunciation of ‘due’–was that it never occurred to me to think of judo as a sport. (No, I’m not saying it isn’t, just that it didn’t occur to me.)

  33. 42mins with most of the problems in the NW corner. Nothing worthwhile to contribute to the learned discussion on JUDO as a homophone except that – any way you cut it- it’s a bit cheesy.

  34. Given the regular solvers here, I’m surprised some haven’t heard of SATCHMO … must have encountered the SATCHMO/STOMACH anagram sometime in the past. And others haven’t heard of the LEONID showers – tut!

    Too much agonising over the pronunciation of JU in JUDO. Seems fairly straightforward.

    Liked RITE OF SPRING from “foreign trips”.

    All done in 32 minutes.

  35. Who is compiling this? Some of the clues are so long they need chapter headings.
    Several dubious answers but the worst was ‘Judo.’ How does that fit in to the alleged homophone (anti semitic)?
    Five clues left but I couldn’t be bothered: it’s not difficult, just vague and, I guess, in an arrogant way

  36. Nice puzzle, although, unlike our blogger, I’m not convinced by either of the claimed homophones, though perhaps APPRISE** is closer to acceptable than JUDO, which simply doesn’t work in my neck of the woods (nor, I respectfully suggest, in RP). F1 being the only ‘sport’ which I find more boring than tennis, I couldn’t get LAUDANUM without some crossers, and since one of them came from JUDO, which I missed for reason already stated, another from SNATCH, which eluded me because I could only think of Neil and Lance, and yet another from the splendid but equally unsolved IMMENSE, I really didn’t stand a chance. Apart from the gaps all down the left-hand side, I did brilliantly.

    ** Edit: from the blog, I now see that APPRISES is not a claimed homophone (of the unlikely ‘uprises’ which had me raising the eyebrows), so apologies to all for being even dimmer than usual. Of course, I’d overlooked PHRASE, which is much better.

    1. Not being funny but what’s wrong with Due Dough? Though I have to confess it took me a while to say it like that.

      1. That’s exactly the point. At least in my part of Hampshire and in received pronunciation, ‘due’ does not sound like ‘ju-‘.

  37. 43’10”
    Stopped as if shot, final 100 yds.
    However, it seems I should be grateful for getting over the line. I came a cropper over THE/RASHES of all things; Andy Pandy, I feel your pain.
    The debate above reminded me of what I call the ‘moribund diphthong’.
    ‘We’re where eight noisy knights rode out’ is the mnemonic covering the other seven that I give my students. The last person I recall pronouncing ‘pure’ /pj-oo-er/ rather than /pj -or/ was Grandma H, who also scolded me severely over ‘due’. “It is due, as in dew, not jam!”
    I love the idea of LUDO being a sport. My family classed things as sports only if they posed the threat of blood or death or both; which means the Racing Demon played by my cousins was certainly a sport.
    Thank you I/ME, Pip and contributors here, especially Jerry Wolf, for taking my mind off yesterday’s events and dark thoughts of blighted disasters yet to come.
    PS Talking of ‘sports’, how should I go about replacing Mrs.White the Cook, in the kitchen, with the lead piping, with a little picture?

    1. Our aged next-door neighbour when I was a child pronounced the name Susan as Syu-san, and suit as syuit, which I don’t think was particularly unusual then, but rapidly went out of use.

      1. It went out of use during your lifetime, perhaps, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the change was rapid: your neighbour and forebears might have been using that pronunciation (which, I agree, sounds odd in 2023) for centuries. I’m pretty sure at least one of my great aunts used the same pronunciation, but it’s five decades since she made a rapid change by dying.

        1. I didn’t mean to imply that the pronunciation hadn’t been around for centuries. My comment was really highlighting the ‘relatively rapid’ change that was effected subsequent to radio and then television RP, combined with extended travel, which meant that when I referred to a ‘syuit’ to a friend at University, I caused much merriment and was told it was pronounced ‘sooot’. Needless to say, my pronunciation then also changed!

    2. My memory of playing Ludo as a child is that things could get quite vicious, so the danger of blood being spilt wasn’t entirely out of the question. I can’t remember now if we played to special rules but it was ‘blocking’ tactics that were the source of all the hostility.

  38. A not-unanticipated volley of comments on the dreadful homophone, but I put it in regardless, so can’t complain. LOI APPRISES, which I spent ages over trying to identify yet another homophone. That said, nothing wrong with PHRASE/frays. My first and second thoughts on Armstrong were Neil and Louis – it surely had to be one of the two, but it took me forever to think of Satchmo, though if you’d asked me what his nickname was, I’d have come up with it immediately. I think, in fact, that the penny only dropped when I finally worked out THRASHED and saw the H. Not having the first letter, but having the inserted N just made it more difficult. I’m another who put in LEONID without any insight into the shower, but I know now, so that’s good for next time.

  39. Got through this in a couple of settings, but needed help with the NHO ALEATORY.

    Having queried squander=blue yesterday that one went in quickly today. Although I still think “blow” is more common: “he blew his bonus in one weekend”.

    DNK the LEONIDs, but pleased to get through it all after a long trawl for the FOI : FLOPPED

    No comment on JUDO. Went in, sounded OK, never parsed DISASTER or SNATCH. Only Armstrong I could think of was Neil.


  40. As a one time almost Geordie, ah nivver had nee botha with the outstanding debt. Took both crossers to see it tho’ but (dials in to The Likely Lads). I came to this puzzle very late as I scrambled from my bed into the car this morning after a solitary cup of coffee, to meet up with the rest of my usual gang of retired Burroughs/Unisys colleagues at Malton for lunch. A pleasant trip over the NY Moors avoiding sheep and tourists more intent on looking at the scenery than concentrating on the road, was followed by an excellent lunch, lots of pleasant reminiscences and, due to the driving restrictions, orange juice. Having completed the puzzle after 17:45hrs, in 19:58, I was astonished to find I was actually in the top 100 (75!!) on the Leaderboard. I’m usually way outside by Midday. I started slowly with COOL and LEONID solitary entries for a while, then a few clues in the SE yielded and BANG TO RIGHTS opened up the puzzle. PYRENEES was LOI. Nice puzzle. Thanks setter and Pip.

  41. I found this very easy (25 minutes to solve). My LOI was JUDO, but I needed an alphabet trawl to find it, not entirely convinced that DUDO would be the name of a sport I had never heard of. And then I remembered how Brits would pronounce DUE and convinced myself it would in fact do (not dew this time). My POI was SNATCH, when I switched Armstrongs and remembered Satchmo. Some nice misdirection in some of the clues, for example in 26ac “sort” is not the anagrind but part of the definition. Now I know that “knitted” can be an anagrind.

    1. Not all Brits pronounce ‘dew’ and ‘ju-‘ in the same way. See several comments above on the point.

  42. 19.20. Had my fingers crossed for Leonid- I’d forgotten about the meteor shower. COD judo small but beautifully framed.
    Thx setter and blogger.

  43. DNF sadly, defeated by ALEATORY (NHO), and PYRENEES(which I should have got). No problem with LEONID. Biffed JUDO and SNATCH. COD: THRASHES.

  44. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with the clue for ‘judo’ and these have probably been the most stupid, snobby and generally disappointing set of comments I’ve ever read on this website. Look up ‘yod coalescence’ if you don’t believe this phenomenon is real. There was even a clue recently where BETCHA was the answer, either here or in the Guardian. I always say both ‘due’ and ‘dew’ like ‘Jew’, so the attempt to distinguish between ‘dew’ and ‘due’ was bizarre and the claim that such a pronunciation is ‘antisemitic’ is the daftest claim of the lot!

    1. I don’t think anyone is arguing that ‘dew’ and ‘ju-‘ are never pronounced the same. The setter certainly must have heard your pronunciation and so have I. But, like many homophones, this one does not work everywhere or for everyone. There’s nothing snobbish or stupid about making that point, though your disappointment is clearly a personal matter for you. Unless discussion of homophones here is banned, I’m afraid you may continue to be disappointed occasionally. I’d also strongly recommend giving comments on The Guardian’s crosswords a wide berth, as such discussions appear there very frequently. I agree with you completely on the antisemitism point, but I haven’t seen it made here. Did I miss it somewhere?

      1. There’s certainly rubbish in the Guardian comments section such as the recent furore over ‘faggot’ being used to mean a bundle of sticks but I expect a little better of the Times! I admit I slightly misremembered and misinterpreted the previous comment which claimed that oversensitive people might avoid saying ‘dew/due’ as ‘Jew’ in case others took offence rather than what I stated above – it was probably a fair point in fact but it’s a sad reflection on the state of the world that it’s even an issue!

  45. Gave it my standard hour and was about half done (mostly the NE side of a NW-SE diagonal). Did a check and found almost everything I’d put was correct. Had put aLIGHTED instead of BLIGHTED and treTCH instead of SNATCH because my ARMSTRONGs were limited to Neil, Lance (still alive), footballers from my old Panini sticker albums David and Gerry (maybe alive, not sure) and children’s toy Stretch Armstrong which I think is Toy Story film. Should have thought of Louis as he does appear regularly.

    As soon as I did those corrections, almost everything went in from there and finished in 1hr11 with one further check before finally figuring out APPRISES. Not a word I really know, I’d have thought it was APPRAISES 👍

    Still no expectations of finishing but all good fun for a 76 SNITCH.

Comments are closed.