Times 28672 – victory

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Time taken: 9:18.  Just a scratch faster than my average, though I expect there are a few answers that will hold up people less confident on trusting wordplay.

At one point I thought the setter was going for a record number of V’s in the grid! There’s some crafty definitions and intricate wordplay at foot here.

How did you get along?

1 On-screen image a match official gathers in case of argument (6)
AVATAR – A, VAR(Video Assistant Referee, match official) containing the external letters of ArgumenT. I don’t recall VAR being used in this form in the Times.
5 Maybe record written by past Labour leader in March (8)
FOOTSLOG – the record written by a past Labour leader would be Michael FOOT’S LOG
9 This may keep a red grouse, we hear, dry in part of tree (4,6)
WINE BOTTLE – sounds like WHINE(grouse) then TT(dry) inside BOLE(trunk of a tree)
10 Where Japanese train departs and heads for Osaka, journeying onwards (4)
DOJO – D(departs) and the first letters of Osaka, Journeying, Onwards
11 Range of products for keeping plants in jelly (8)
VASELINE – the range of products for keeping plants in would be the VASE LINE
12 Quality of a sound medic, cutting fag out (6)
TIMBRE – MB(medic) inside TIRE(fag out)
13 Carry out gong character used twice in symphony (4)
OBEY – OBE(gong, medal) and the letter Y is found twice in sYmphonY
15 Welsh man mistaken for saviour on English river (8)
CAMBRIAN – BRIAN(reference Monty Python’s Life Of Brian), on CAM(English river)
18 You can’t possibly miss this dratted churl, according to Spooner (4,4)
BARN DOOR – Spoonerism of DARN(dratted), BOOR(churl)
19 More pleasant but nameless kitchen decorator? (4)
ICER – NICER(more pleasant) minus N(name)
21 A setter includes trap, going over puzzle (6)
ENIGMA – A, ME(setter) containing GIN(trap), all reversed
23 Wound up, almost hallucinate (8)
SEETHING – SEE THINGS(hallucinate) minus the last letter
25 German‘s hindquarters uncovered (4)
OTTO – the internal letters of bOTTOm (hindquarters)
26 Peanuts, perhaps, Mike saved in price cut (5,5)
COMIC STRIP – MIC(mike) inside COST(price), RIP(cut)
27 Is a solicitor learning to stop troublemakers? (8)
IMPLORES – LORE(learning) inside IMPS(troublemakers)
28 For Constantine I, entering my home oddly generates a lot of resistance (6)
MEGOHM – EGO(I in Latin) inside alternating letters of My HoMe
2 Instrument I brought down — there it is! (5)
VOILA – VIOLA(instrument) with the I moved down
3 Historian translated 17th-century chronicler’s absorbing article (9)
TREVELYAN – TR(translated) and the diarist John EVELYN surrounding A(article). This was my last in and a bit of a fingers crossed moment.  TREVELYAN last appeared in 2014, and I’m more familiar with Waugh than John
4 Fine! I will tuck into fishy food for a starter (6)
ROOKIE – OK(fine) and I inside ROE(fishy food)
5 Santa Fe charms artist travelling astride horse (6,9)
FATHER CHRISTMAS – anagram of FE, CHARMS, ARTIST surrounding H(horse)
6 Issue clergyman raised, given nothing initially for extra work (8)
OVERTIME – EMIT(issue) and REV(clergyman) all reversed after O(nothing)
7 Party held by certain people briefly in wicked place (5)
SODOM – DO(party) inside SOME(certain people) missing the last letter
8 Tick off job, changing frame of upper entrance (9)
OBJURGATE – anagram of JOB, then the external letters of UppeR, GATE(entrance).  Got this from wordplay – has not appeared in this blog before.
14 Part of the head tribesman’s ground (9)
16 Diet European fed to fertile male (9)
REICHSTAG – E(European) inside RICH(fertile), STAG(male)
17 Escapist fiction writer right behind Catholic Church (8)
ROMANCER – R(right) after ROMAN(Catholic), CE(church)
20 It’s used to film live reels in the can before noon (6)
WEBCAM – BE(live) reversed in side WC(toilet, the can), AM(before noon)
22 Sound which threatens to become loud, primarily (5)
GROWL – GROW(become) and the first letter of Loud
24 Jade perhaps may utter this audible refusal (5)
NEIGH – sounds like NAY.  Collins defines jade as a worn-out horse

80 comments on “Times 28672 – victory”

  1. The surface of 1a is brilliant. Well done setter!
    And thanks to our blogger for the parsing of WEBCAM which stumped me, but couldn’t be anything else given the checkers. I’d never heard of TREVELYAN the historian, nor EVELYN the diarist but guessed the name correctly.

  2. Some great clues – DOJO, SANTA, AVATAR, ROOKIE, WINE BOTTLE, MEGOHM particularly enjoyed. Lots of unknowns – Trevelyan & Evelyn, objurgate, jade as a horse, Foot being a Labour leader, Cambrian as Welsh. But unfortunately the dreaded error: Didn’t see the vase line, just the line, and knew acer as a plant (plants? maybe not) so a mombled LACERINE for the jelly c.f. glycerine. Bugger!

    1. I am not sure that a range of products is a line.Surely the former is plural and the latter singular? This put me off the track for 11 across

  3. Several things I didn’t know. The video-referee, jade (in the horse sense), objurgate. At 18A I think that “this” should be underlined (“you cannot miss this”)

  4. Excellent challenge but my time of 65m 31s was over Verlaine x 10 so that puts it into the (very) hard basket.
    Several thank yous to George: COMIC STRIP, TREVELYAN, NEIGH (nho Jade as a horse).
    FATHER CHRISTMAS was excellent. I tried for a long time to get something out of an anagram of “Santa Fe Charms RA (artist)”.
    Another very good one was MEGOHM.

  5. 57 minutes. I found this hard as my solve didn’t flow and I had to keep hopping around the grid looking for new footholds. There were too many unknown or forgotten words and shades of meaning to mention and most of them have been covered by others already, but I was disturbed that DOJO was amongst them yet its only previous appearance in a 15x15n was as recently as April this year.

  6. Got AVATAR right away, though I had no idea about VAR, and made steady progress, though NHO (possibly) OBJURGATE stood out like a sore thumb and my LOI was FOOTSLOG, which I’ve also never encountered (maybe). POI was VASELINE.

  7. 30 minutes. I was pretty confident about everything except the NHO OBJURGATE; I wasn’t sure if there was another _A_E ‘entrance’ apart from GATE and didn’t feel like doing an alphabet trawl to check. Glad to remember the ‘Historian’ and the second most famous ’17th-century chronicler’ at 3d. The excellent misleading ‘Santa Fe charms travelling artist’ bit of 5d and the surface for AVATAR were my highlights.

  8. I started this at home, online, then in the hospital waiting room (quarterly appointment, no problem), and finally over lunch, so no time, but it took time. Lots of good clues, but tough. I somehow knew VAR, but AVATAR took ages because I was taking A_T to be initial/final letters of the word. DOJO FOI. I didn’t know that TICK OFF meant ‘rebuke’ (for me, it means ‘irritate, annoy’), but then I didn’t know OBJURGATE did, either. I saw TREVELYAN once I had the Y_N; but it took me ages to figure out the wordplay. Like Martin, I tried (for a long time) to get something out of (Santa Fe charms)* +RA; it was only when I had all the checkers for CHRISTMAS that a saw the light. A brilliant clue, my COD. But I also liked MEGOHM (although I got EGO early on), AVATAR, ROOKIE inter alia.

    1. Two nations divided by a single language. In American it means annoy, in British it means rebuke. Perhaps the former, passive, is the reaction to being subjected to the latter, active? I do love language! Agree that Santa was a brilliant clue.

  9. 12:24. Occasionally I find that with a puzzle I can admire the cleverness but at the same time I can parse the clues relatively quickly, and this was one such example. Thus FATHER CHRISTMAS went straight in which opened the grid up nicely and enabled answers to flow through to LOI, VASELINE. This was one clue where my thinking was wide of the mark, reckoning that “Range of products” was going to be something-WARE. Yesterday when RITZ appeared someone asked whether it was commonly accepted practice for the setter to use a brand name as an answer. I think VASELINE might have answered that!

    1. Someone has asked this question more or less every time a brand name comes up for at least the last decade!

      1. Not sure “last decade” is correct. Would say since: last editor was appointed. Before RR only Murdoch’s brands and a few other media: Sky, Times, Sun and sundry others e.,g. Express, Mirror, al Jazeera (once) were allowed. Things have gone rapidly downhill since his appointment .

        1. It’s at least a decade. I can find you instances of people citing the imaginary ‘no brands’ rule from 2012, if not earlier. I have checked before!

  10. DNF. Collapsed in the SE with WEBCAM, NEIGH and MEGOHM [NHO] all unanswered. Very frustrating.

    I liked AVATAR and WINE BOTTLE.

    Thanks g and setter.

  11. DNF. 57 minutes for all but 3d. NHO TREVELYAN, NHO EVELYN, and hadn’t even clocked that “translated” could be TR.

  12. 46 minutes with LOI ROMANCER. NEIGH was a biff as I didn’t know the horse. OBJURGATE didn’t fly off the tongue either. I had to say it out loud a few times before I was convinced. I really liked TREVELYAN, COMIC STRIP and FOOTSLOG, but COD to FATHER CHRISTMAS. After yesterday’s mental blocks, this started in the same vein but then fell into place sweetly. Thank you George and setter.

  13. DNF, defeated by FOOTSLOG – I got the Foot bit, but misunderstood the ‘maybe’ and was looking for a 4-letter word S_O_ indicating some kind of record and plumped for ‘show’ out of desperation.

    Even after I got FATHER CHRISTMAS (solely from the checkers) I didn’t see the separation of Santa and Fe. Perhaps I was being dense, but I think that’s as good an example of it as you could ever hope to see. I pieced together the unknown OBJURGATE from wordplay and put in TREVELYAN once I had the T and the N with no idea how it worked. Took ages to see WEBCAM too, even with the three checkers.

    A fine puzzle, too good for me in the end. Thanks setter and blogger.

    COD Father Christmas

  14. I think you may be in a class of one recording a fast time for this, George! I got through in 25.13, and for a while thought I was tackling a complete B*stard. Then I started laughing out loud, starting with CAMBRIAN, going on through Santa, continuing with VASELINE and more or less finishing on SEETHINGs. Oh, and the teutonic streaker, and the Roonerspism. So for me, a great puzzle, with plenty to properly mislead, and just one escapee from the MCS and one from the TLS to cause any concern. Red grouse for lunch, anyone?

        1. I would no longer dare eat a grouse. They might look like wild birds, but they are not. They are riddled with chemicals and disease (google strongyle worm). And all the rest of their habitat suffers alongside, with other wildlife trapped and killed, heather burned … not nice

          1. They are wild birds, but you’re right about the habitat, which is often intensively and harmfully managed for driven shooting. Not always though: I have shot completely wild grouse on the Isle of Lewis. To do that you need pointers and a large capacity for yomping across moors.

  15. 16:20
    A good work-out with some brilliant surfaces, especially in the top half.
    That very naughty boy seems to be getting popular.

    1. “I’m not the Messiah!”. “I say you are, Lord, and I should know, I’ve followed a few!”

      1. “Alright I am the messiah, now f**k off”. “How shall we f**k off, oh lord?”.

  16. Hard work but most enjoyable. I seemed to get the RHS rather more easily that the LHS. The excellent FATHER CHRISTMAS took a long while. Nho OBJURATE, or jade in that sense, and was fixated on ref for the official, which held things up. I will try to drop MEGOHM into conversation soon.

    28’52” thanks george and setter.

  17. 43:59
    Well, this was chewy. But it was also great fun, and it allowed me a few more minutes of entertainment than usual before starting work for the day.
    Thanks, g.

  18. Took a long time and a few visits so over the hour for me. Liked the reference to Brian. Spent too long trying to place “ref” in 1a and in looking for an anagram that included Santa Fe…. Went through a number of xxxcam iterations before WEBCAM, which was obvious once I got there. Also VASELINE took longer than it should have, but a very nice clue as were many others. Thanks glh and setter

  19. 63 minutes but had to check the historian and the worn-out nag using aids. As others have said, some excellent clues here, BRIAN, SANTA and MEGOHM amongst my favourites. I completed the entire RHS.before cracking a single clue on the left. Thanks both.

  20. Almost an hour to solve, but really enjoyed this one – full of clever and amusing clues, viz CAMBRIAN, WEBCAM, BARN DOOR and of course the wonderful and brilliantly misleading FATHER CHRISTMAS.

  21. Nothing much to add other than thought this was a brilliant crossword with some great surfaces and excellent crypticness so wanted to say as much

    Battled my way through in 13.5o

    Thanks setter (and G)

    1. “Battled my way through in 13.5o”
      Well, yes, most of struggle to finish under 20 minutes.

    2. Oh for F**ks sake! “ Battled my way through” in 13 minutes!! It’s comments like this that dishearten ROOKIE solvers!

      1. Apologies – I apologised for the loose language at the time and would delete the comment if I knew how

        Not sure why it’s disheartening though – this whole board is full of people with a whole range of times. When I started, when I saw times like this, it showed me what was achievable and the times were aspirational and inspirational for me.

  22. I really enjoyed this puzzle. Some very well disguised definitions (I enjoyed Santa especially), some obscure words but fair wordplay, I thought (e.g. OBJURGATE). I was given an illustrated copy of Trevelyan’s ‘English Social History’ as a boy. It’s perhaps indicative of these more secular times, that The Times Crossword appears now to share my tendency, upon hearing the word, ‘Messiah’, to think immediately of Brian, rather than, say, GF Handel.

    Hats off to the setter, and thanks to George for the blog.

    15.23, btw.

  23. 22:29, so it took a while, because there were plenty of things here I don’t recall seeing before in the crossword, or, for that matter, anywhere. I was, however, always entertained.

  24. Agree that this was a smashing puzzle. 45 minutes, with the SE corner holding me up. Just had to guess at Trevelyan as hadn’t heard of either of them, but not many names ending in – yan. My COD out of many was Reichstag.

  25. 31 minutes. Started off pretty much blank for maybe 4-5 minutes but then got TREVELYAN (my father knew him), NEIGH, and FATHER CHRISTMAS and then I kind of unblocked, and the rest went in mostly at a steady rate. Though I had mistyped OTTO as OTOO and got the unlucky message before finishing (I‘m doing the crossword club old crosswords to practise and that happens to me a lot, I get a good – for me – time but just one stupid typo knocks the score right down!!)
    Thanks setter and blogger 🙂
    PS and oh yes I have to admit to googling OBJURGATE to make sure it was a real word

  26. 45:00

    I really enjoyed this – even after 30 minutes when I had around 10 clues left to solve in the NW and SE and nothing would come. Each successive answer felt like a victory and there were some great pdms.

    NHO TREVELYAN nor EVELYN though it was a reasonable guess with the Y_N ending – have seen the name before somewhere – I was thinking Treasure Island, but think that is Trelawney.
    NHO OBJURGATE and doubt I will ever use the word again, but it was very buildable from the cryptic.
    MEGOHM – NHO though remembered OHM from physics at school – didn’t twig that Constantine would imply Latin so missed the EGO bit…

    FATHER CHRISTMAS and REICHSTAG were both very good, but COD deffo to WEBCAM.

    Thanks both

    1. Trevalyen… kinda reminds me of a book I read in about 1976: The Eiger Sanction. Perhaps a character in asid book?

  27. 71 minutes, and by the end of it I’d given up and was using aids freely, which was silly as some of the wordplay was perfectly accessible. OBJURGATE I’d never heard of. So far as I know Pepys was the most well-known 17th century diarist, but John Evelyn comes close — there was (and maybe still is) a column in some newspaper, maybe the Daily Express, called ‘John Evelyn’s Diary’, as a nod to the original one. The FATHER CHRISTMAS clue was lovely. Perhaps I’d better stop moaning about product placement, as I also did yesterday: Ritz and now Vaseline. It seems The Times crossword is quite happy with it.

    1. I see Vaseline as one of those proprietary terms, like Xerox, that have become general: I’d never refer to the stuff as petroleum jelly. Ritz crackers, on the other hand, …

    2. Evelyn and Pepys were good friends. Sadly, Pepys literary abilities never rubbed off on Evelyn, whose diary is rather a struggle to read..

    3. Brand names have been appearing regularly in the Times for as long as I can remember.

      1. They don’t really bother me when they are part of the wordplay – cluing the letters FT or SUN for example – but I don’t really like them as rather answer.

    4. Echo your problems in solving, Wil: I too didn’t let go of the Pepys idea, and NHO Treveleyan , so…another blank. Also NHO the ugly OBJURGATE ( surely not !) or MEGOHM or VAR, so more blanks. I too gave up before I should have done, as this was worth the battle. COD to FATHER CHRISTMAS for the clever definition, and CAMBRIAN, at which I chuckled.

  28. Stumped by VASELINE and CAMBRIAN, for which I resorted to aids after 40 minutes. I should have got them both really, especially as I guessed 11 ended in LINE. Some tricky definitions in places. I should have seen FATHER CHRISTMAS sooner than I did. I needed the M_S ending before the penny dropped.

  29. Really enjoyed this one, some fine clues from 1ac onwards.
    I spent far too long with SANTA as part of the anagrist, but heigh ho, not too hard otherwise..
    If Pepys’ Diary is a 10, Evelyn’s is about 3 or 4 ..

  30. I must have been on the wavelength for this one. Didn’t know DOJO or OBJURGATE, but the wordplay led me to them. FATHER CHRISTMAS jumped out at me with a couple of crossers in place, and althought I didn’t have a clue about John Evelyn, my Dad used to have a copy of a work by TREVELYAN, so that must have stuck! VOILA was FOI quickly followed by AVATAR and ROOKIE. VASELINE brought up the rear. 23:18. Thanks setter and George.

  31. Some tough definitions among some delightful clues, particularly liked DOJO. DNF as failed to spot VASELINE and plumped for LACERINE (LINE keeping ACER for plants) thinking it might be some setting agent I don’t know (or a word for “jealous”, if our setter was in a modern mood!)

  32. Phew. Got a bit stuck here but the twisted scroll finally unrolled and did the Telegraph cryptic as therapy afterwards. I wonder if others resort to this – the equivalent of lying down in a dark room. It works. Loved the Foot’s log, the vase-line, the near-hallucinate, and the almost magical Santa Fe optical illusion. The gradient continues to steepen. Roll on – with a shudder – tomorrow.

  33. DNF (obviously) but pleased to manage about half before looking at the blog for a couple of clues, then trying to do some more… FOI AVATAR and very pleased to spot FATHER CHRISTMAS straight away. A few new words in FOOTSLOG, OBJURGATE, MEGHOM and jade for horse. Thanks for the much-needed blog. Harder than yesterday but pleased that some were (for me) at least doable. Onwards and upwards.

  34. 11:16 but with a silly typo that I somehow didn’t spot when checking: DOJA. I know perfectly well what a DOJO is, having learned judo for many years in my youth and seen Karate Kid several times. Drat.
    Excellent puzzle though. ‘Santa Fe’ is brilliant.

  35. Lots of clever traps I managed to avoid and unknowns I managed to trust the word play to produce, so naturally failed on the ‘easy’ ones. Couldn’t think of WC for can but should have been able to biff the answer if I’d been more awake. SEE THINGS did catch me out. Touché

    Thanks setter and George.

  36. Happy to have got the unknown TREVELYAN, DOJO and NEIGH but MEGOHM was beyond me even though the M, H and M seemed indicated.

  37. 54’56”
    Asleep in the stalls, and this jade was not much faster thereafter.
    However, it seems I was not alone in finding the going testing, and I’m chuffed to have fallen over the line with all parsed. I have come across DOJO, but I couldn’t remember what kind of an institution one is.
    Lots of very clever stuff going on here; I found this a highly enjoyable exercise.
    Thanks George, and a Bravissimo! for the setter.

  38. 35 mins, but had to get help at the end for the VASE LINE. I hate it when there’s no consonants to work with.

    1. The esteemed Tony Sever called it “vocaliphobia”. When you had an 8 or 9 letter word unsolved, and all the crossing letters were vowels.

  39. We normally do the puzzle over our evening meal, so I rarely post as everything has already been said. However, I will make an exception for this wonderful puzzle.
    Quite brilliant. The lift and separate clues were exceptional.
    Great stuff, very clever setter.
    Thank you.

  40. Slow but steady. Dear old GM Trevelyan, long gone but still with us in crossword land. Still scratching my head over why an ICER is a kitchen decorator. Is it because everyone has one but nobody ever uses it?

    A stately 52:00

  41. Just want to echo others’ comments on the quality of this puzzle. It took me an age to complete, but on the plus side I did get it all right and could parse all the clues, which is not always the case.
    FOI – DOJO
    COD – CAMBRIAN and OTTO (a fine pair of non-random chaps)
    Thanks to george and other contributors.

  42. I did finish correctly, in one hour, then a long break, and as usual just a few minutes more. Lots of unknowns, but none of them stumped me in the end, and indeed there were some very good clues. COD to FATHER CHRISTMAS, but SEE THING(s) was very good too.

  43. 32.32

    V late entry from me. Got all the toughies no problem but stared at the crossers for SEETHING at the somehow unable to parse it. Was only thinking wound up as an active pp rather than a present passive. If that makes sense…! It’s late so I’ll take an all correct

    Thanks setter George and everyone’s comments

  44. 90:36. 0 errors. but gosh that was hard for me. I struggled with Vaseline, as there were quite a lot of options. I even saw the ‘line’ part for quite a while.

    anyway I’m not moaning (well maybe a little), I had a great time solving it. thank you g and setter!

  45. Most said in reply to Wil Ransom, but forgot to mention that I thought SEETHING and REICHSTAG were both excellent clues (along with most others).

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