Times 28696 – tie one on

Time taken: 10:30.  I think this one might be a touch easier than that, but I am a little out of practice, a change in scheduled means I am a few days behind on the daily puzzles.

Not a bad puzzle to come back to – very clear wordplay throughout. How did you get along?

1 Move fast to arrest Scotsman dodging last lecture (8)
HARANGUE – HARE(move fast) containing ANGUS(Scotsman) minus the last letter
9 Strong drink like this with rum has to be managed (4,4)
SOUR MASH – SO(like this) and an anagram of RUM,HAS. A fairly common style of whiskey in the USA
10 Match setting round ladies from the east? (4)
OVAL – O(round) and LAV(ladies) all reversed, the match being a game of cricket
11 Painful thing‘s increase in prices constraining married mum (12)
INFLAMMATION – INFLATION(increase in prices, and don’t we all know about that right now!) containing M(married) and MA(mum)
13 Dictator’s to limit wages and capital claimed by PRC (6)
TAIPEI – sounds like TIE PAY(limit wages). PRC is the People’s Republic of China
14 Sound passage consisting of eastern mysteries: fifty (3,5)
EAR CANAL – E(eastern), ARCANA(mysteries), L(fify)
15 Second Mr Toad out to find celebrity (7)
STARDOM – S(second) and an anagram of MR TOAD
16 No prominent personality in a bubble (7)
BLISTER – the not to prominent personality is a B-LISTER
20 Ginger beer served at right temperature in crisis situation (3,5)
RED ALERT – RED(ginger) and then ALE(beer) next to R(right) and T(temperature). I smiled thinking that this might also be taken to mean the ale should be consumed at room temperature, even though RT for room temperature isn’t supported by Collins, and I prefer it at least chilled
22 Material around tip: unknown amount (6)
CHINTZ – C(around), HINT(tip), Z(unknown amount)
23 Grumpy about intelligence gathering vessel? (12)
CANTANKEROUS – CA(about), and NOUS(intelligence) containing TANKER(vessel)
25 One question about Gunners appearing in Arab republic (4)
IRAQ – I(one), Q(question) surrounding RA(Gunners)
26 Just take trip in twilight (8)
EVENFALL – EVEN(just) and FALL(take trip, inadvertantly)
27 Plant imports drug to old German provinces (8)
OLEANDER – E(drug) inside O(old), LÄNDER(german provinces)
2 Consumed by champion endlessly, answer is drink (8)
ADVOCAAT – inside ADVOCATE(champion) minus the last letter, insert A(answer). A pretty rare spirit in the USA
3 Key a retired factory worker has left inside (3-9)
ALL-IMPORTANT – A, then MILL(factory) reversed and ANT(worker) containing PORT(left)
4 Count agreed with love message on wall (8)
GRAFFITO – GRAF(German count), FIT(agreed with), O(love)
5 Finish from George Best in picture — he’s made successful run (7)
ESCAPEE – last letter in georgE, then CAP(best) inside SEE(picture)
6 Odds raised — that brings complaint (6)
MURMUR – RUM and RUM(odds) reversed
7 Compact mass the writer used for drying channel (4)
WADI – WAD(compact mass) and I(the writer)
8 Crime author one with wicked output? (8)
CHANDLER – Double definition for Raymond CHANDLER, creator of the detective Philip Marlowe, and a seller of candles
12 Signal coaches reaching embassy — one to be deported (12)
TRANSMISSION – TRAINS(coaches) next to MISSION(embassy) missing one I(one)
15 Tooth and what seats it leads to pain raging inside (8)
SPROCKET – SOCKET(what seats it) containing the first letters of Pain and Raging
17 Game casserole almost cooked (8)
LACROSSE – anagram of CASSEROLE minus the last letter
18 Working away from maisonette altered value (8)
ESTIMATE – anagram of MAISONETTE minus ON(working)
19 After religious works, how he doubted his wife (7)
OTHELLO – OT(religious works) and HELLO(how is a greeting)
21 Cutting introduction, wrote about Area Nine (6)
ENNEAD – remove the first letter from PENNED(wrote) surrounding A(area)
24 Voters against in narrow winning margin reported (4)
NOES – sounds like NOSE(narrow winning margin)

73 comments on “Times 28696 – tie one on”

  1. Found that very tricky, but really liked all the wordplay. Top half went in relatively quickly, but slowed down markedly in SW then SE last. Always thought a chandler was a ship provisioner, not someone from whom you’d buy four candles… and it seems chandlers are both.
    COD Othello, guessed first then back-engineered the greeting.

    1. As I recall, Pumblechook in Great Expectations is a corn chandler.
      I could have done without ‘how’ in OTHELLO.

      1. A famous UK TV sketch by the Two Ronnies. Man in a shop asks for four candles. When the shopkeeper brings them he says “no, ‘andles for forks”. And several other similar mix-ups. How we larfed.

          1. you can find the four candle sketch from the two Ronnies on Google or you tube….you do need a certain sense of humour to appreciate it

  2. I enjoyed this, no problems. TAIPEI seemed the most devious clue. I have an artist friend who has been doing a residency in TAIPEI, as it happens (should be back next month). She’s sent me some pictures.

  3. George, you have a stray W on HELLO at 19dn.

    43 minutes but DNF as there were two answers I was obviously never going to get without resorting to aids.

    I started very well and thought it was going to be a doddle but after a while it became clear this was not so. I managed to get past a number of obstacles successfully, such as the unknown ENNEAD and SOUR MASH and unfamiliar EVENFALL and EAR CANAL (seemed likely but I never heard it referred to), and OTHELLO went in without fully understanding why, but the last two TAI PEI and WADI proved to be too much for me.

    I got the reference at 13ac eventually and knew I was looking for the capital of Taiwan but unfortunately I had no idea of its name and I didn’t find the wordplay helpful, although I can see in retrospect it would have been if I’d known the answer and merely forgotten it for the moment.

    I finally gave up and revealed the answer WADI when after reverting to aids I found there were 49 words that fitted the checkers and I couldn’t be bothered to try to think through them all. As things turned out, I knew the word but not exactly what it meant.

      1. I dare say but I’ve blogged over 900 puzzles for TfTT and I can’t remember all the words I’ve come across .

        The unchecked letters were the same on that occasion but evidently I found the wordplay more helpful with its no doubt unintentional reference to Loadsamoney which I’m sure will mean nothing to you but other Brits of a certain vintage will know it. The definition was helpful too. I know ‘gully’ well from Westerns (Head them off at the gully!), so much more evocative than ‘drying channel’. I need things like that to set my brain whirring into gear.

          1. Yes, that too. Instructions shouted during exciting chases. Also ‘the creek’. All were popular as meeting places too.

    1. Similar experience but different problems. I managed Wadi (I seem to remember Spike Milligan having problems in one) and TAIPEI (but had no idea how to parse it). However, Ennead and Sour Mash were beyond me. I found Blister remarkably difficult but that unlocked the final (apart from the 2 mentioned) SE section. Thanks for the blog.

    2. Wadi would suggest the Sahara – Wadi Halfa.
      Biggles was well acquainted with the word hence his excellent advice “Never camp in a dry wadi”.

  4. Where branched thoughts, new grown with pleasant pain,
    Instead of pines shall Murmur in the wind
    (Ode to Psyche, Keats)

    35 mins mid-brekker. Tricky, I thought, but all fair. Murmur was LOI.
    Ta setter and G.

  5. 15:10. Are SOUR MASH, ADVOCAAT and ginger ale the ingredients for a cocktail? I’ve got a nice bottle of Michter’s Sour Mash, but I’ll pass on the advocaat.
    I thought the WADI clue quite tough so was pleased that it has appeared enough times now for me to remember the word well. It’s curious to me that some fairly obscure words like WADI make semi regular appearances. I wonder why that is the case rather than introducing us to some new obscurities.

  6. 44 minutes with LOI the unknown ENNEAD. The last time I used HOW as a greeting was when playing Cowboys and Indians in the early fifties, when we were a little less concerned about cultural appropriation. LOI was WADI. Three contenders for COD today, MURMUR, BLISTER and CHANDLER. Let’s give it Raymond. Quite tricky. Thank you George and setter.

  7. No problems today, a little slow towards the end (harangue, advocaat) but got there.
    Note for George: advocaat is not a spirit, it is a (Dutch) liqueur made with eggs, sugar and brandy. A disgusting one, imo, but I suppose some must like it…

  8. DNF, defeated by WADI. Hadn’t heard of ENNEAD but figured it out from wordplay, and didn’t know what kind of drink a SOUR MASH was.

    COD Lacrosse

  9. 50 minutes. Slow but happy enough to finish, with SOUR MASH unknown and EVENFALL unfamiliar, as noted by Jack, though plausible. I didn’t parse OTHELLO properly but presumed ‘he doubted his wife’, whether fairly or unfairly I couldn’t say. Glad I did as told by the wordplay and resisted the temptation to put a K in ADVOCAAT. Favourite was the RUM RUM reversal for MURMUR.

  10. DNF. Had to look up PRC as it was clearly not Performing Rights Council to get TAIPEI. Also defeated by _ _ _ MUR (didn’t thnk of RUM twice), and the unknown Americanism, SOUR MASH, thinking from the wordplay it ended in WASH. Bah! Good puzzle, though. Thanks George and setter.

  11. 59:32
    Harangue and graffito took absolute ages. Tricky but satisfying crossword.
    Thanks, g.

  12. 12:55
    In addition to The Two Ronnies and Loadsamoney, British solvers of a certain age may recall the children’s TV programme ‘HOW’, which made free use of the greeting, with associated hand gestures and nary a thought for cultural appropriation.

  13. What you mean, “we,” Kemo Sabe?
    Brilliant Thursday crossword, with fine, story telling clues disguising the crosswordy stuff like definitions and wordplay, thing like 15a: second Mr Toad out to find celebrity. How cool is that? I liked the (probably antique) “wicked output” and ignoring cultural sensitivity giggled at how for HELLO.
    Always good to get new ways of saying things, so from now on it’s Abide with me, fast tides the EVENFALL. I was relieved that OLEANDER wasn’t an obscure German state, though I toyed briefly with OBERNSEE, which sort of looks possible.
    After IAGO yesterday, can we expect Desdemona tomorrow to complete the set?
    Side note on cultural appropriation: Wiki suggests that if “how” is appropriated from anywhere it’s from Zane Grey and Holywood. And, of course as John Burscough notes, ITV.

    1. ‘My crude cultural/racial stereotype isn’t even accurate’ is perhaps not the most powerful of defences… 😉

        1. The Inappropriate Giggle Police will be knocking down your door before you know it.

            1. “Amongst our weaponry are such diverse elements…”
              I was proud to wear a badge declaring “nemo expectat inquisitione hispaniensis” always hoping someone would ask. In vain, sadly.

    2. We had a variation on Tonto’s phrase based on a science lesson in the pm. “Chemo Savvy”.

  14. 45 mins and pleased with myself for finishing. NHO ENNEAD, but wordplay helped. OLEANDER and EVENFALL were lucky guesses, back-engineered to the wordplay. DNK CHANDLER was a candle seller, but it couldn’t be anything else with crossers. Liked GRAFFITO and, especially, MURMUR.

  15. A toughie today! I started with WADI, ESCAPEE and EAR CANAL, then biffed CHANDLER and hoped that more crossers would confirm it, as BLISTER and SOUR MASH eventually did. After a hiatus I put FALL after EVEN when the assembled from instructions ENNEAD made it likely, and had a PDM as OT became the required religious works at 19d. HELLO went in unparsed, but also allowed me to get OLEANDER. That left the previously intractable NW corner. ALL IMPORTANT finally surfaced, ADVOCAAT floated into view, the OVAL then emerged and PRC was unveiled leading to TAIPEI. HARANGUE and GRAFFITO brought up the rear. 37:29. Thanks setter and George.

  16. Quick start then slowed down by my last half dozen. Last one solved, WADI, but couldn’t biff NHO ENNEAD, so a DNF today. Not a fan of Advocaat, reminds me of New Year as a child when my mother would allow me an advocaat and lemonade (ugh). Though making a comeback now at Christmas when my daughter makes trifle shots (equally ugh)

  17. Liked the sour mash clue. Did not like the ‘how’ as ‘hello’, reminiscent of children’s comics in the fifties and out of touch and taste now. I’m always tempted to spell graffito grafitto but saw it had to be the former. What a fine word evenfall is.

  18. Another defeated by ENNEAD, hit the reveal button at about 45 knowing I was getting nowhere. Some lovely clues here, I’ve been fooled by that ‘wicked’ trick before and hope this is the last time. Slightly surprised by the general head-scratching over SOUR MASH and have a vague memory of a reference to Jack Daniel’s on this blog not so long ago. A wonderful drop that rose to prominence in the late 60s/70s courtesy of The Stones among others.

  19. DNF as resorted to aids towards the end, but enjoyed it anyway. COD TAIPEI. Liked MURMUR, CHANDLER (especially the ‘wicked’ red-herring). Failed on OTHELLO, couldn’t get LOT out of my mind. Was convinced that 27 was some obscure German princedom.

  20. 11m 13s, a bit of a struggle towards the end with MURMUR & EAR CANAL taking a long time to get.

    GRAF was new to me.

    1. Graf known from: Graf Spee, a WW2 battleship, which I think was sunk in River Plate, and a Graf Zeppelin from the Hindenburg era.

  21. 33:51

    Stuck towards the end with WADI (which hit me like a bolt of lightning), OLEANDER, CANTANKEROUS and OTHELLO finished in that order. Pleasantly puzzling with no unknowns…

    Thanks G and setter

  22. Another defeated by ENNEAD. Done in two sessions as I had to go out today.

    Got stuck in the NW until I finally saw ADVOCAAT and then HARRANGUE and ESCAPEE. Didn’t have a problem with WADI for once but interesting to note how many contributors were tripped by words that started with an unch! My personal bugbear.

    I liked CHANDLER best.

    Thanks g and setter.

  23. I really enjoyed all 45 minutes of this. There were many delightful clues with surprising wordplay, almost nothing turned out to be what I was expecting initially, but there was nothing unfair or unsolvably obscure in it. Among the clues I liked best were CHANDLER, OTHELLO (despite the “how”, but then I grew up on 1950s American television), CHINTZ (the unknown not being Y after all), MURMUR for its odds, the dictator’s TAIPEI and too many others to mention. WADI was my LOI. In 10ac I was expecting ?OOL, which led nowhere. And the Scotsman in 1ac was going to be IA(N), but ANGU(S) was indeed more productive. As for the old German provinces, the provinces in German would of course be LÄNDER, or if the umlaut was not available then LAENDER at a pinch. So you could just transpose two letters without having to import any drugs. But yes, it is a British puzzle …

  24. In passing… my pet greyhound, in my avatar, was named Angus by his trainer. Or owner. That didn’t please me as a dog name, so I renamed him. You can do that with greyhounds, they aren’t treated as valid entities who know their own name until they finish racing and get a real life.

    1. DNF but couldn’t let a reference to greyhounds pass without comment. Wonderful dogs, much underrated as pets and I still miss our retired racers Bill and George.

  25. Good clean fun, although WADI was tricky & I was primed for a DNF. Eventually twigged why my brain was shouting GUM! GUM! though, and vaaaaguely remembered the word, probably from another puzzle. Didn’t parse OTHELLO.

    Thanks both.

  26. 53 minute finish but defeated by two answers. I don’t think I would have thought of TAIPAI having no idea what PRC stood for, and ENNEAD also did for me. At least I got WADI having recalled it from my A Level Geography days, even if it was getting on for 60 years ago!

  27. 28:34
    Something odd happened when I submitted this – I didnt get the usual Leader Board. It turned out that my setting had been set to “Private”, presumaby because I did yesterdays puzzle on my phone and didn’t use the Crossword Club version. I was on a train and wasn’t sure if I would finish or not. No matter.

    Good puzzle with some very sneaky wordplay. Tickled pink to have got ENNEAD and OLEANDER.
    Thanks to George and the setter

  28. 41 mins. Pondered for what seemed like hours over the capital until I realised I’d mistyped GRAFFITO.

  29. 7:47. Back on form – in spite of jet lag – after a disastrously stupid double-pink error yesterday.

  30. 45 DNF

    Failed on TAIPEI – completely forgot “dictator” can mean a homophone clue so struggled to grasp the wordplay

    Most of the rest done in 30 but EVENFALL OTHELLO and OLEANDER all took an age. Liked the OTHELLO clue

    Thanks setter and George

  31. 42’45”
    Finished like a rocket from way off the pace, needs a longer trip?
    I feel like Greville Starkey and Dancing Brave; my bet on Sharastani was very lucky that day.
    This was a cracking puzzle that I could see from the outset was going to be enjoyable.
    With a Witch just over the ton and all parsed, I’m chuffed.
    My route from here to the coast is lined with mile after mile of unbroken oleandri of various hues.
    The womenfolk here wear what the English would only use as curtain material or sofa upholstery – CHINZ ! And they look fabulous in it.
    Compliments to the setter for the battle and thank you George.

  32. 32.00 but a daft mistake with escapee. Just saw escaper and didn’t trouble to work it out properly. Didn’t find it as easy as some but good clues blister, Taipei and harangue to name but a few.

    Friday coming up and will aim to be more rigorous!

  33. Basement temperature, right George?

    I liked Blister and especially Murmur, but had a hell of a time with Escapee even when all the crossers were in place. Just a nice puzzle, and thank you setter

    Like Isla I was pretty sure I’d once looked Chandler up and found zero candles (other than as purveyed goods). Looking again today I find I mis-remembered, and that the general purveyor is a later formation deriving from the maker of, or the manager of, a place’s (presumably important) candles.

    Where I grew up dry ditches are arroyos or barrancas, and my golf shots are unforunately well known to both. However, being familiar, cover to cover, with T E Lawrence I well knew Wadi. I’ve not lost a ball in a Wadi, but then I’ve never played in the Middle East.

  34. 36 mins. Very tricky and inventive. I vaguely recall the wicked device from a past puzzle, but it still tickled and foxed me for a while.

  35. Pleased with 24’10” because this was a tricky one, with some very clever definitions. I’m glad a remembered the DICTATOR thing in 13 across, because I was almost going through a mental list of Maos and Mussolinis. COD CHANDLER. I know it’s been done, but it still works a treat.

  36. Bear with me….
    Guy goes to see an american indian with total recall
    Guy: Who scored the winning goal in the 1926 FA cup final?
    Amerindian: Smith
    Guy : Correct
    Few years later the guy goes back and decides to use the native greeting.
    Guy: How
    Amerindian: Diving header


  37. 65m. DNF as was never getting CHINTZ having evaluate at 18d. Dallied with crixar for 22ac being my latest nonsense word! COD harangue.

  38. Unlike some I was very slow to get going and since I had to go out around 11.00 I predicted that I’d have to leave it and come back to it later, something I narrowly avoided with my wonderful time of 67 minutes. There were a few words with which I wasn’t familiar (SOUR MASH, EVENFALL, ENNEAD) and some references that I found difficult (PRC, bubble/blister, red/ginger, graf/German count, and perhaps more). But no complaints really: lots of good clues.

  39. Lots in here I DNK as others have found but the word play must have been bang on because I got them all except WADI. I agree, Jack, that loadsamoney would also have helped me more than the drying channel.

  40. I enjoyed ‘CHINTZ”, stupidly looking for something ending in ‘Y’ rather than Z. Once I had MURMUR, EAR CANAL fell out. Never heard of EVENFALL. Greek deities defeated me. Also too literal with ‘Nose’ rather than Noes. Struggled to start with, but some nice clues.

  41. This puzzle took me ages but I did eventually finish the next day! I thought it was a great puzzle – thank you setter and blogger. I had to look up to check that I had “Ennead” correct – new word for me.

  42. A real slog for me, even though a biffed GRAFFITI started me off well , but followed by not sticking my two ‘rums’ together after that (was looking for something like ‘tumour’). EAR CANAL followed reasonably quickly, then the simple STARDOM, but the following pause was too long and unfruitful. Should have got the easy LACROSSE ( we played it at school), but by then I was too dispirited to go on…
    Clever setter 1, stupid solver 0.

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