Times 28679 – my lard, I did intend it

NOTE FROM Jackkt: Because of confusion at The Times the puzzle presented as 28679 in the Club and online is different from 28679 in the printed newspaper and the facsimile epaper. William has blogged the Club/ online version so discussions here should be limited to that one. Please don’t give away answers to  the alternative puzzle (1ac: After restraint finding outlet for being creative again) as  Mick Hodgkin (Times Puzzles Editor) has confirmed it will be appearing online the week after next and we shall blog it for discussion then. Thanks.

Now back to William’s blog:


A mixed bag of clues, continuing the generally easier-than-average theme of the week. Perhaps buoyed by false confidence, maybe just a silly error, I managed to put in an answer I knew to be wrong (7dn). Chambers wholeheartedly supports the setter, so I’ll just put this down to a lesson learned.

As usual for me, there were several other clues that were either half-known, half-remembered, or guessed (6dn still eludes my tiny brain). But despite the travails, it was 27:32 well spent.

Definitions underlined.

1 Curlers having clothing with name written inside (5)
TONGS – TOGS (clothing) containing N (name).
4 System of rules suppressing rebellious nonsense leads to uprising (4,5)
COUP DETAT – CODE (system of rules) containing UP (rebellious), then TAT (nonsense).
9 Card game dropping one of its players in quality Home Counties town (9)
TONBRIDGE – BRIDGe (card game) minus an ‘e’ (East, one of its players) contained by TONE (quality).
10 Cathedral dignitary, head of chapter, not giving name? (5)
CANON – first letter of Chapter + ANON (not giving name).
11 Turn into fossil? Most of fossil badly done, ending in ignominy (6)
OSSIFY – all-but-the-last of (mostly) FOSSIL anagrammed, then the last of ignomonY. Petrify, more like.
12 Little from Escoffier to fill primate’s hunger (8)
APPETITE – PETIT (‘little’ from Escofier, i.e. in French) contained by APE (primate).
14 Unsympathetic emperor’s replacing one with offspring (10)
IMPERSONAL -IMPERiAL (emperor’s) replacing ‘i’ (one) for SON (offspring).
16 Remote distance recalled after leaving end of line (4)
SLIM – MILeS (distance) reversed, excluding the ‘e’ (last letter of line).
19 Upset about river excursion (4)
TRIP – TIP (upset) containing R (river).
20 Small particular changes ignoring an area of Biblical studies (10)
SCRIPTURAL – S (small), then an anagram of PARTICULAR excluding one ‘a’ (area).
22 Lake expert spinning in Black Sea, unable to progress? (8)
BECALMED – L (lake) + ACE (expert) all reversed, contained by B (black) + MED (sea).
23 Drunkard throttling glutton delivering tap (6)
SPIGOT – SOT (drunkard) containing PIG (glutton).
26 Teacher rejected backing key component of education? About time (5)
TUTOR – OUT (rejected) reversed, then R (one of the three, key component of education), containing T (time).
27 Part of London — I pass to North (9)
ISLINGTON – I + SLING (pass) + N (north).
28 One new bird observed in US city is a thing of no importance (9)
NONENTITY – ONE + N (new) + TIT (bird), contained by NY (US city).
29 Very keen about hard working, engaging leaders of our teams (3,2)
HOT ON – H (hard) + ON (working), containing the first letters of Our and Teams.
1 Drumming is beginning to threaten — you’ll see me turning to hide (9)
TATTOOIST – TATTOO (drumming) + IS + first letter of Threatening.
2 Number getting endless home service (5)
NONES – NO (number) + NESt (home) without its end.
3 Father will collar United over match official for certain (8)
SUREFIRE – SIRE (father), containing U (united) + REF (match official).
4 Mock opera’s ultimate conclusion (4)
CODA – COD (mock) + last letter of operA.
5 Machine put to work without much impact (10)
6 Appropriate seeing change to older coinage in receipt (6)
DOCKET – *shrug*. Can someone help? Vinyl to the rescue – pOCKET (appropriate) with ‘p’ (new penny) for D (old Penny, older coinage). 
7 Describing glands, look, inside damaged nostril (9)
TONSILLAR – LA (look) contained by an anagram of NOSTRIL. Not ‘lo’ then…
8 Weight and volume after inclusion of additional unspecified number (5)
TONNE – TONE (volume) containing N (unspecified number). Does ‘tone’ = ‘volume’?
13 Italian composer in book: iconic in translation that woman penned (10)
BOCCHERINI – B (book) + an anagram of ICONIC containing HER (that woman).
15 Continue to publish about church in US university city (9)
PRINCETON – PRINT ON (continue to publish) containing CE (church).
17 Hormone turning in zucchini, not a lemon (9)
MELATONIN – hidden in reverse in zucchiNI NOT A LEMon.
18 A simple golf-shot starts to cause hesitation in a crisis (2,1,5)
AT A PINCH – A + TAP IN (simple golf shot) + first letters of Cause and Hesitation.
21 French person’s conclusion is to accept my old coin (6)
FLORIN – FIN (conclusion, in French) containing LOR (my).
22 Upset no key office staff? (5)
BATON – reversal of NO and TAB (key).
24 Mean opening of gallery to have famous gallery upset (3,2)
GET AT – first letter of Gallery + reversal of TATE (famous gallery).
25 Degree of freedom in Shakespeare’s work? (4)
PLAY – double definition.

125 comments on “Times 28679 – my lard, I did intend it”

  1. I struggled with this one, not quite sure why but it took forever to sort out the anagrams for TONSILLAR and SCRIPTURAL. 18:13.

    1. I too struggled with TONSILLAR. Can you explain why “LA” means “look” here?

      1. I think this is where we need OliviaHeinbeck to set us straight – surely ‘La!’ is somewhere in the works of Georgette Heyer?

  2. 32 minutes. Not too bad for a Friday. Managed to avoid the potential “tun” and “lo” traps at 9a and 7d. TONE for ‘quality’ at 9a and for ‘volume’ at 8d; I wasn’t sure about the latter one either.

    My London geography is a bit skimpy but is ISLINGTON almost a cryptic def as well? Good to see BOCCHERINI (who spent a lot of time in Spain, even though he was a ‘Italian composer’) crack a mention.

    1. Indeed the A1, eventually the Great North Road, having started at St Paul’s passes through Islington calling itself Archway.

  3. Hardest of the (fairly easy, overall) week for me. Last two in, purely faute de mieux, DOCKET, couldn’t quite see why, and TONNE, and I’m still asking the same question as our blogger there. For TONSILLAR, I also thought of LO long before LA for “look.”

  4. Well that was hard – way off the wavelength – and ultimately a DNF: TONSILLOR is obviously the non-word Chambers’ editors were trying to make up. A toss-up for Boncherici/Boccherini but all else known or worked out; with a few uncertainties: ossify for petrify, tone for volume and office staff for baton (e.g. field-marshal, dictionaries say).
    Liked the tap-in mostly. Gary Player, asked his favourite golf-shot to play, replied “A 2-inch uphill putt”.

  5. I also went for TONSILLOR even though it looked unlikely, but to me the wordplay seemed clear so I went with it. I’d never hard of BOCCHERINI but once I had all the checkers nothing else reasonable would fit. I got SLIM early but couldn’t see why it was “remote” until I thought of a “slim chance” and a “remote chance”. I was also puzzled by TONE for “volume” since those are different knobs on my sound system. Apart from getting one wrong, this was pretty easy and took me a little over half-an-hour).

      1. There’s a big difference between having heard a composer’s music and having “heard of them”.

  6. 53 minutes, once again with all but 3 or 4 answers within half an hour and the rest of the time spent on struggling to resolve the remaining few.

    I was planning to query volume/TONE at 8dn but a little research post-solve satisfied me that it’s justified despite my misgivings. I guess like Paul I had been thinking only of radios and sound systems which traditionally had separate controls for each.

    DOCKET was my LOI but I didn’t work out the parsing.

      1. Now you’ve got me glad that I was too dull-witted to think of that at the time.

  7. How is LA look? Never seen that before. Assumed TONSILLOR which I kind of knew is wrong.

      1. I too can’t see how that works, and I note Myrtilus (see below) refers to it as downright sneaky! Sadly I don’t understand it enough to know whether it is sneaky or not.

      1. Me too. On the back of the printed Times dated August 11th 2023, numbered 28679 and delivered to my house in SE England this morning!

        Totally different to the online one. (And proving to be something of a head scratcher for me, hence coming to the blog to see how others were finding it!)

        1. Me too. Away from home with no way of printing the online version, I got the physical paper with a completely different 28679.

    1. And me – solved the online version first. The paper one is different and a bit harder (for me), just finished in 18 minutes after getting tangled up in the NE corner.

      1. It does at least seem that those of us who have the online version have a new crossword, since as far as the search goes, this is the first (and hopefully only) appearance of TONSILLAR.

  8. Happy with my work, about 35 mins for a Friday is very acceptable to me. Docket not parsed, so thanks for the joint efforts! Took a bit of time getting to TONBRIDGE (even though I lived there for 4 years or so), somehow thought Home Counties was offering “SE” as part of the answer. Also struggled for a while on LOI TATTOOIST, (similar to the above I’ve been to the Edinburgh Tattoo a few times, albeit with my parents, and reluctantly..). Enjoyable week, just one DNF, I’ll take that! thanks William and setter.

  9. 55 mins so on the tougher side I thought. 28679 from the website (then printed). Last 3 in COUP D’ETAT, TONNE and DOCKET.

    I too liked the golf reference, though I can’t play at the moment as my shoulder’s snookered:-(

    Also TATTOOIST and NONENTITY were fun.

    Thank William and setter.

  10. Needed William (and Vinyl1) to sort a few of these post-solve, DOCKET most obviously. Started slowly so pleased to finish in 35.15 with help from the check function to confirm such esoterica as BOCCHERINI and NONES. Like others was held up by a handful at the end, especially in the NW (TONGS, TATTOOIST). LOI was SLIM where it didn’t occur to me for ages that ‘miles’ was just as valid a distance as ‘mile’. But all-round an enjoyable end to the week, thanks all.

  11. If music be the food of love, Play on;
    Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
    The Appetite may sicken, and so die.

    30 mins mid-brekker ( a Bettys Fat Rascal, hoorah). Not my cup of tea. I think pass=sling is a bit weak and the Look=la is downright sneaky.
    Ta setter and WJS.

    1. If LA = LOOK is in the proper spirit of this game, then Carey’s stumping of Bairstow was in the proper spirit of 🏏.

      1. Never mind the spirit of the game. The ball was ‘dead’, as the umpire had handed the bowler his cap and was heading toward square leg at the end of the over.

        1. Not wishing to rise to your ignorance, but: If the umpire had called “Over” the ball was dead and he would not have been given out. He was given out – clearly the umpires considered the ball still live. Not saying I’m not ashamed that the Aussies didn’t call him back, but you – and the drunken bogans in the Long Room – are out of order.

  12. I’m on the printed paper version of number of 28679. Not so easy. Can anyone help with the 9 letter answer to 14 down, about work with diet? Just 3 clues left after 45 mins.

    1. Ian, I have removed the helpful responses to your query as we now have it confirmed that the newspaper version of the puzzle will appear online in about two weeks so we shall be delaying further discussions about it until then.

      1. In the event the solution to the printed version is in the hard copy of the Times today. No point in offering it again in the future

        1. Most of our regulars work online so won’t have seen it or the solution. It will be blogged here on Wednesday week in the normal course of events.

  13. I thought that Myrtilus would beat me to say that this may be our initial/final letter fiend -8, I think.

  14. 41:44 for this curate’s egg. The golf clue was excellent but tone is definitely not in any way synonymous with volume; up is hard to substitute for rebellious in any sentence I can think of; and in what world does la mean look?

  15. 51 minutes and TONSILLOR. I still haven’t seen what LA for look is about, nor really do I see TONE for volume. I got the composer with all crossers but do have to accept that my scanty knowledge of classical music is woeful. On the positive side, I got 29a without the last line of the clue, which my printer chose to ignore. Not the happiest of mornings. Thank you William and setter.

  16. I’m easily confused but I like to do the paper version of the crossword and today it’s different from the online one so the solutions above came as a great shock!

  17. 29.40 which I was moderately pleased with till I saw the two pink squares . Tunbridge which was just dim but tonsillor I thought was reasonable. Never seen la for look before, where does that come from?

  18. Another TONSILLOR here, and another with no idea of volume / tone, otherwise half an hour.

    Thanks william and setter, and everyone else too

  19. Jolly nearly 24 minutes, so the hardest of the week, mostly caused by delays in that evidently troublesome NE area. I can’t really say why TONSILLAR was more obvious than TONSILLOR, though it seems the latter ending is almost exclusively in the council/counsel section. LA for see is common enough, I assume from the French ooh la la (though Chambers doesn’t). I also remembered just in time it was TONBRIDGE, which was just as Wells.
    ISLINGTON set me off on a reverie, partly because my charity did some work in the scruffier bits, but mostly because it drove me into Douglas Adams territory, and the delightful discovery all those years back that there’s an estate agent called Hotblack Desiato.

  20. I have also just completed the paper version delivered on my doorstep at 7am this morning. A completely different set of clues from our blogger. It seems someone has reprinted an old crossword on the website.

    Unlike others I found this (version of 28679) straightforward enough to solve in one sitting. My first completed fully this week, much to my pleasure and relief.

    I am sorry your hard work may have been in vain for many William? Is it even possible to submit a second blog on any given day?

  21. I also had TONSILLOR. How is LA see??? I came here to find out what I had missed but I didn‘t miss anything, just LA should be see apparently.
    Anyway having got that off my chest…
    I‘d never heard of Boccherini but with all the crossers in only one answer was possible really. Other than that a nice puzzle and got through it in 34 mins.
    Thanks setter and blogger

  22. Good progress, but missed a few (SLIM, TUTOR, BATON) which on retrospect don’t seem the hardest. I can’t believe that TONSILLOR is incorrect, I have never heard of LA=see, either inside crosswords or out. The OED has it as archaic, and no quotes from the last 150 years.

    Had trouble with POCKET/DOCKET/TICKET


  23. 14:35, and it appears I saved myself from grief with 7dn by not bothering to check the anagram fodder properly, so another victory for the lazy solver. Also hesitated over TONE=volume, especially when I’d already solved one clue involving something encased by the same word, which felt a bit sloppy, but all there in the end.

  24. I’d like to register another ‘La’ = ‘look’ harumph, regardless of what Chambers might say. Especially as I thought I was doing pretty well on the rest…Oh well, shrug and move on….

    Thanks William, for the blog. And thanks to the Setter, too, despite my cavil!

    1. That is the danger of letting dictionaries compilers dictate our vocabulary. They’re not content with the mere vernacular.

      And unfortunately we have setters who indulge them, when in any sensible world they be lampooned.

      1. The main crosswording dictionaries are descriptive, not prescriptive, i.e. they are not dictating vocabulary, merely reflecting it. What’s your objection to the word la? Simply that you’ve never heard of it (which, of course, is not the dictionary’s fault)?

  25. Dear solvers, sincere apologies to all for the fact that different puzzles appeared in print and online today. The online cryptic crossword was uploaded in error, and is one that is due to appear later this month.
    To ensure no one one misses out on either crossword, on the day the puzzle blogged here appears in the paper, we will give online solvers in its place the one that print solvers did today.
    Further apologies to anyone who did both puzzles today, who will have a day off the week after next. Yet further apologies for confusion and disruption to the conversation between print and online solvers. We are all very sorry.

    1. Dear Mick,
      Can I start by thanking you (and your team) for all the fun you provide for the denizens of this website.
      Your apology for the error today is accepted in full in these parts. Clearly I can’t speak for everyone, but we’re all human beings and these things happen.
      However, on behalf of my fellow addicts who have succumbed to the temptation to solve both versions of the crossword today, can I warn of the dangers of a widespread outbreak of Crossword Withdrawal Syndrome later in the month. Who knows what we might get up to in the time we would normally spend on the crossword? Some of us might even get so desperate that we buy the Grauniad!!
      Hence, could I request that, as penance, the Times might consider a one-off Apology Crossword to be printed (additionally) on the date in question?

    2. Well this solver sailed through a repeat solve today 23rd having totally forgotten I did it a few days ago. Short-term memory loss, but I had remembered a few things such as LA for LOok.
      8d Never noticed, either this time or the first time, that it wasn’t TOME + N, and gaily entered the correct TONNE.

  26. I like to solve on my tablet from the Times App. But it has frequently gone wrong recently, and although the people at The Times do try to help over the phone — this morning’s person tried everything and spent ages and then told me that he’d just seen a message from on high which said that they were experiencing problems with the app, so the problem was at their end and apologies, within a couple of hours it should be sorted — recently the puzzles section has often just been giving me a blank screen, but today the Friday edition simply refused to load. So I did the crossword on my laptop, not a pleasant experience since it was so unfamiliar and you don’t seem to be able to pause. It took ages, well over an hour. Never understood (and still don’t) why tone = volume. In the FLORIN clue I thought F was French and person’s conclusion was n, so couldn’t justify the i. BOCCHERINI was the composer of that music played by the crooks in the original ‘The Ladykillers’. TONSILLAR and tonsillor are equally unknown, so I didn’t know which was a word. ‘La’ appears quite a bit in very old stuff but I doubt you hear it nowadays.

    1. Hi Wil. I always solve on the app on my mini iPad. (Not the quickest way). Anyway I often experience the same problems as you describe. Each time I just delete the app and reinstall it which solves the problem every time for me. I think the updates on the two sites, Club and Main, might get out of sync some times. You might try this.

      1. Well that’s what they tend to tell me to do, and indeed I did it once without ringing them, but it’s a fiddle and I keep hoping that they will sort it out once and for all.

    2. I have complained several times to ( error 502) when trying to load the online version on my Mac. Alas all to no avail. I’ve given up. When this occurs, I reach for my IPad and go through a convoluted system whereby I finish up by emailing myself the copy and then printing it!

    3. For next time, in my computer version at least, there is a “pause” button in the gear icon, which is at the top right of the screen.

  27. Well I should be popping to point out that to any Heyerite, “La” for look is just a gimme. Unfortunately, it did not stop me putting lo… being totally unable to tell one tonsil from another, I just thought it a more likely answer, after all how many setters are Heyerites?
    (answer: probably not enough)

  28. 31:47 – with TONSILLOR and a little shrug, but it was BATON/TUTOR that held me up the longest for some reason. I didn’t understand the tone/volume thing and unless I have missed it neither does anyone else.

    1. On tone/volume, I wasn’t keen on it myself but Collins has tone as ‘sound with reference to quality, pitch, or volume’ and most other usual sources have similar, so I have to concede the point.

      1. There was nothing to that effect (at least as far as I could see) in Chambers, American Heritage or the Shorter Oxford. Presumably Collins has documented authority for including volume as part of the definition, but we don’t know what it is and I wonder at what point a particular dictionary’s entry becomes such an outlier that it begs to be corrected.

        1. The Concise Oxford and Oxford Dictionary of English have: tone as ‘a musical or vocal sound with reference to its pitch, quality, or strength’, which covers volume, I think.

        2. Please don’t get me started on dictionaries again. There seems to be an unholy alliance between the compilers, and setters who indulge them.

          They even attempt to make sure they’re front and centre at least once in a while by taking it upon themselves to pompously publish a list of new words every year.

          Whereupon the English-speaking world simply shrugs.

  29. As some have observed, some easy ones, leading me to think I was in for a 30-minute solve, then some that needed much thought. I was held up for ages by a carelessly written P of APPETITE that looked like a C, which made 8d rather difficult to see. That, COUP D’ETAT and DOCKET were my LOIs. I was also perplexed by ‘volume’ for TONE, and didn’t enter TONNE until the T was confirmed.
    50 minutes.

  30. I was another who came a cropper on 7d, and while it’s of course technically correct, I thought it was unreasonable from the setter than fiendish to include a rare synonym in a rare word, when the common synonym fitted as well. Didn’t feel like the solving experience was considered there. Something a test-solve or editor ought to have picked up.

    Enjoyed the puzzle otherwise.

    Thanks both.

  31. Found this very tough and no really my kind of puzzle. Too much “single letter manipulation ” for want of a better phrase. I did like AT A PINCH, MELATONIN and SCRIPTURAL.

    No problem at all with BOCCHERINI. The minuet from his string quartet in E is the party piece of Alec Guinness and his band of rogues in one of my favourite films The Ladykillers .

    Thanks to William and the setter.

  32. 36:43 but…

    …another TONSILLOR.

    When nearly 40% of those completing the puzzle in The Times Crossword Club have finished with an error, the setter should be disappointed.

    As with many that complete the crossword, I’m not an anatomist by trade and take only a passing interest in such subjects. Consequently, the clueing of a little-known word should be crystal clear when parsed. There should be no room for doubt. It would have been far better to have signalled the LA within TONSILLAR with a more commonly understood pointer rather than use a rarely-seen synonym of a word when a more-commonly-seen synonym (LO) fit the answer equally well. And bleating, “Well, it’s in Chambers…” is no defence…. Rant over.

    1. I sympathise. But I also have to laugh.

      I was making a lot of these very same points on this board (albeit more clumsily) at least five years ago. Nothing’s changed in the crossword itself, but I do detect an increasing exasperation with some of the whimsical and cavalier eccentricity on display.

      Welcome to my world. . .

  33. 38’38” one letter fail.
    Steady pace throughout.
    I will echo Mike Harper’s thoughts above.
    Not a good day for The Times in many respects.

  34. 10:41 but with two errors. I parsed 9ac correctly but then my finger-autopilot kicked in and I typed TUNBRIDGE. And of course I had TONSILLOR. I considered LA but decided to go with the less esoteric version of the wordplay.
    A few MERs along the way. TONE/volume is wrong AFAIC. You might consider volume an element of tone, which I suspect is what the Collins definition is driving at, but it is not sufficient on its own. OSSIFY is also wrong (indeed almost the exact opposite of the intended meaning) and SLING/pass is loose.
    All in all not the happiest solving experience.

    1. OSSIFY fits “fossilize” in this sense: “to become hardened or conventional and opposed to change
      so easy for the mind to ossify and generous ideals to end in stale platitudes”

      1. A fair point, but I don’t think you can read ‘turn into fossil’ in this figurative sense. I wonder why the setter didn’t just use ‘fossilise’.

        1. I don’t see the elision of the indefinite object as invalidating an equivalency between “turn into fossil” and “fossilise” in a cryptic puzzle.

          1. You might say that certain habits or a person’s mind had fossilised or ossified, but you wouldn’t say they had ‘turned into’ fossil, or bone. So in terms of this particular usage (which is all that matters) there isn’t an equivalency. By the same token you can’t say that a disgraced celebrity (for instance) has been ‘marked with a stigma’ in the press.

            1. I’m thinking of people—not merely their habits or ideas, though that too—who turn into (figurative) fossils, in these senses (Merriam-Webster): “a : a person whose views are outmoded : FOGY | b: something (such as a theory) that has become rigidly fixed.”
              “Fossilise” means “turn into [a] fossil,” so where’s the problem?
              “Stigmatize” in the sense of “to describe or regard (something, such as a characteristic or group of people) in a way that shows strong disapproval” is a different definition from the one involving stigmata. But one can be marked with a stigma. M-W gives as an example “bore the stigma of cowardice.”

              1. You just don’t say – of people – that they ‘fossilise’ in this sense. You could say that someone old-fashioned is a fossil, and you might say that they turned into a fossil over time, but nobody would ever say that a person ‘fossilised’ in this sense. The word simply doesn’t have that meaning.

                1. I’d plead poetic license for using “fossilize” in the sense of “turn into an old fogy,” but that’s not the issue here. The clue says “turns into fossil,” which can be typically elliptical crosswordese for “turns into a fossil,” which you just allowed.

                  1. Well yes but than it’s certainly not synonymous with ‘ossify’!
                    You wouldn’t say that a person had ‘ossified’. If you said they had turned into a bone you might be misunderstood…

                    1. Me, I might say anything! Ha.
                      OSSIFY doesn’t have to literally mean turn into a bone. That’s what I said in my first reply.
                      OK, I’m done.

  35. I did the paper version and there’s two clues I completed but didn’t fully understand. I will just have to wait for the explanations.
    It’s a good puzzle, IMO.

  36. Despite the promise of the paper version of 28679 being presented again in a couple of weeks, the solution is given in full in today’s Times

    1. As I understand Mick H, on Wednesday week the paper will get the puzzle we had online yesterday, and online will be the one in newspaper yesterday. The solutions in the newspaper obviously need to be published on the day following each puzzle.

  37. I fear that my printed 28679 will have made its way into the recycling bin with (as it currently stands) at least 6 clues unexplained long someone can put me out of my misery, but thanks in anticipation for the blog.

  38. 29:26 but with TONSILLOR, having considered TONSILLAR, but being unable to justify it from the wordplay. NHO LA for LO. Sneaky IMHO. Thanks William.

  39. 14:44. I don’t suppose anyone cares at this point, but I’ve just solved this the day the wrong one in the paper came out. I failed to parse DOCKET, thinking DUCAT for the old coinage, but failing to see how that could work. Thanks for the explanation. Thanks William and setter.

  40. Johninterred – I care! I’m another on-paper solver, so I’ve just done this one.

    30 minutes for me, likewise with DOCKET unparsed – or rather, it would have been a completion were it not for TONSILLAR, where I take great comfort from being among many who put ‘tonsillor’ having not heard of la=look. Didn’t understand TATTOOIST either (I know of the Edinburgh tattoo of course, but not that tattoo simply means drumming), and to be honest I still don’t really get the definition despite this blog.

    Enjoyable crossword otherwise – COD Princeton

    Now to go and comment on the other puzzle, which I solved nearly two weeks ago…

  41. Dunno if anyone still cares about this after the previous confusion, but I quite enjoyed this one, finishing in 29 minutes. At least I thought I had finished until I found I was in the TONSILLOR club, so it is technically a DNF. Never heard of LA being used in this sense, so I shall be more wary in the future.
    Thanks to william and other contributors.

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