Times 28705 – Memories of Duane

The latest in a run of not especially complex Monday puzzles took me 15:49.

How went you?

1 Vehicle that’s found in a nuclear power plant? (3,3)
HOT ROD – …because nuclear power uses control rods, or indeed fuel rods (nod to Isla)
4 Film family with head of Kuwait wearing medal (4,4)
KING KONG -KIN K[uwait] in GONG (medal)
10 With tablet, prepare unique identifier (2,7)
IP ADDRESS – iPad DRESS (prepare, e.g., fish by cleaning it)
11 Lincoln, say, gets a motorway directly from port? (5)
ABEAM – ABE A M; ABEAM means ‘at right angles to a ship’s length or keel’, so it could be from the port side
12 Legendary vehicle — British sports car — without a fresh practice (5,6)
MAGIC CARPET – A in MG (the MG goes outside (without) A – as in ‘There is a green hill far away wihout a city wall’) anagram* of PRACTICE
14 Academic  wear (3)
DON – double definition
15 Riot‘s anger engulfing a politician (7)
17 Refusal to negotiate about Northern Ireland (6)
DENIAL – NI (Norn Irn) in DEAL
19 Oil producers claim poles without being asked (2,4)
21 Pig has good time in town (7)
GLUTTON – G T in LUTON – of airport fame…
23 Had a meal with friend, skipping starter (3)
ATE – [m]ATE
24 Crying and complaining, put up with large animal (7,4)
GRIZZLY BEAR – GRIZZLY (crying and complaining) BEAR (out up with)
26 Planet once placed outside large observatory’s entrance (5)
PLUTO – L in PUT O[bservatory]
27 Famous dog originally dwelling around part of Switzerland? (2,7)
You ST BERNARD – BERN (part of Switzerland) in STAR (famous) D[welling]; a nice all-in-one, even if one usually dwells in a place, not around it. Thanks to Zylanthic and Keriothe for the alternative (correct) parsing which makes my comments redundant: BERN (part of Switzerland) dwelling in STAR (famous) D[og];
29 Some musings on garage music session (8)
SINGSONG – hidden
30 Hand out gold shower component? (6)
1 Healthy-sounding old lady with really empty prayer (4,4)
HAIL MARY – sounds like ‘hale’ MA R[eall]Y
2 Pest upset hosts with noise from guitar (5)
TWANG – W in GNAT reversed; Mr Eddy is still going strong at 85
3 Unlimited alcoholic beverage — rum (3)
ODD – [t]ODD[y]
5 Trendy drink I had is tasteless (7)
6 Leader of Genesis finally performing cover for musical festival (11)
GLASTONBURY – G[enesis] LAST ON (finally performing) BURY (cover); actually, in a bunch of fields about five miles east of Glastonbury, but Shepton Mallet is perhaps insufficiently redolent of Arthur, Camelot, Avalon, Merlin and all that caper
7 New advert for bank loan of sorts (9)
8 Almost get car delivery in June, perhaps (6)
9 Scoundrel seen in river for some time (6)
13 Pelicans go flying, circling unknown birds that can’t fly? (4,7)
16 Thomas, say, tailed horse-like figure (9)
MANNEQUIN – MANN (Thomas, author of Death in Venice) EQUIN[e] (horse-like)
18 I’d return to shift trespasser (8)
20 Embarrassed, guilty party covers lips (7)
CRIMSON – RIMS (lips) in CON (convict)
21 Gareth with award picked up for summerhouse (6)
GAZEBO – GAZ (informal form of Gareth) OBE reversed
22 Grounds for university to break up scam (6)
25 European movie villain’s short skirt (5)
EVADE – E VADE[r] (of Darth infame)
28 Fish potentially with line you might catch? (3)
ROE – sounds like ROW (line you might catch, i.e., hear); nice three-letter clue

85 comments on “Times 28705 – Memories of Duane”

  1. With the M in place my first thought really was Thomas MANN – which I promptly disregarded as too abstruse for any non-TLS puzzle, much less for a Monday. But MORE didn’t go anywhere, other letters appeared, and…
    Otherwise it went quickly, and I liked the non-flying avians. thx ulaca, setter.

  2. 18:47
    Slowed down somewhat by not knowing IP ADDRESS, GAZ, or GRIZZLY.
    With 40 solvers in, I have slipped from worst to second worst SNITCH score.

  3. I actually changed ID to IP only at the very end—ironic, considering my work life.
    Biffed GLASTONBURY, since I’d heard about it.
    GRIZZLY in the relevant sense may have come up here before… but long ago.
    Had no idea about GAZ, but the answer seemed obvious.
    I must confess to not seeing how Vinyl connects ST BERNARD to Sirius. “Star” is part of the wordplay, playing no role in the definition. Nor do I see how that would make it any more of an &lit (and it’s an OK one anyway).
    I would’ve finished much, much sooner if I hadn’t been watching episodes of The Prisoner the whole time.

    1. The universe recently seems to have been giving me hints that it’s time for a Prisoner re-watch. I’ll take this as another one!

    2. I think Vinyl is correct. Famous dog = St Bernard, also Famous dog = the Dog Star. Add d from dwelling and place around Bern

  4. Not so easy here – couldn’t parse St Bernard properly, then held up at the end by MANNEQUIN. Went for a coffee and solved it en-route, but wrongly parsed, Thomas as a man. My take on 1ac was that fuel rods are ‘hot’ i.e. radioactive. They’re probably slightly warmer temperature-wise than the control rods, too.
    COD to CAMPUS – liked the anagram.

    1. I’m sure you’re right. A little learning (via a three-minute Google search) is a dangerous thing for a non-sciency chap like me!

  5. 32 minutes. I was delayed by a very slow start in which only the 3-letter answers came easily to mind. I thought of ST BERNARD as a possibility quite early on but it didn’t go in until checkers confirmed it had to be the answer. Wasn’t sure of ‘Gareth/GAZ’ as being official but in the world of silly abbreviations for first names I have met more unlikely ones. DECADE was my LOI having discounted DERATE.

  6. 9:58. I found this fairly easy going, though I slowed down in the SW, where I eventually finished with MANNEQUIN. I thought SINGSONG was a particularly good hidden, given that I looked for a hidden some time before I eventually solved the clue, only to conclude there wasn’t one there.

  7. O Rose thou art sick.
    The invisible worm,
    That flies in the night
    In the howling storm:

    Has found out thy bed
    Of Crimson joy:
    And his dark secret love
    Does thy life destroy.
    (Sick Rose, Blake)

    20 mins mid-brekker. No dramas. I liked the ‘last on’ and surface in Glastonbury.
    Ta setter and U.

  8. Enjoyed this one, and well on the wavelength at 22 minutes. Nice to see a few sciencey clues, though I even got the literary reference to Thomas Mann, albeit only through the film of Death in Venice and having recently heard the In Our Time podcast about the book.

    I wonder whether the setter’s a KING CRIMSON fan?

  9. Was helped by ulaca for a couple here. Never parsed MAGIC CARPET, didn’t see the SINGSONG hidden and as for GEMINI, well there’s the miniskirt I was originally trying to work with at 25dn. Eventually got round in 21.12, started well but was held up in the bottom half by EVADE, METEOR and a random error that turned out, after a tedious search, to be INSIPED.

  10. Shazam! 14 minutes with LOI METEOR. Zero miles of bad road solving this, just a speed restriction in the Swiss Alps making sure the dog was happy. COD to ON SPEC. Thank you U and setter.

  11. 20:45. Yes! I needed that. Much enjoyed. I liked KING KONG and SINGSONG and I’ve only just noticed they rhyme

  12. 40 mins with no real hold ups. LOI EVADE after finally working out ST BERNARD.


    Thanks U and setter.

  13. Regarding the parsing of St Bernard, I took originally as referring to (D)og, so that STARD was “dwelling around” BERN.

  14. 25:39, very much on the wavelength today.

    2d appears in another puzzle today, so went straight in.
    RAMPAGE was a hold out as I had anger=Rile (the verb).

    At 13d, the anagrist is actually (PELICANS GO)*, not just (PELICANS).

    When they axed PLUTO from the roster of planets it was a sad day. There’s rather a sweet children’s book about it, which aims to deal with rejection and acceptance.

    COD GLASTONBURY, but Merlin would say that.

    1. Seven of the moons in the solar system, (including our own), are larger than Pluto, so in hindsight, its demotion isn’t all that surprising

  15. I took a while to get to grips with this enjoyable offering, but sneaked inside my SNITCH rating in the end. Apart from my COD, I also enjoyed HOT ROD and GLASTONBURY.

    TIME 9:54

    1. Crikey, I landed a sub-Busman on the main puzzle, now that’s something I never thought could happen.

  16. 11:42. Held up a little by MANNEQUIN and seeing the film villain VADE(r), otherwise quite Mondayish. COD to CLAY PIGEONS but I liked DENIAL too. I wondered if this was also set by our QC setter today, Oink, as the style seemed quite similar. Furthermore we have a pig in a clue and a pig in an answer. Just concidence, perhaps? Thanks Ulaca and setter.

  17. DNF, foiled by ROE – I put ‘rae’, having originally put ‘ray’ only to change the Y to an E once I figured out METEOR, and not bothering to consider whether there’s such a thing as a rae fish or whether my line=ray logic was right. So my bid for presidency of OWL (One Wrong Letter) Club continues apace.

    Didn’t parse ST BERNARD (just assuming it was a rather weak cryptic definition) or IP ADDRESS. Like one or two others, I was looking for Thomas More before the checkers set me straight with MANNEQUIN.

    Thanks setter and blogger.

    COD Clay pigeons

    1. I too thought that ROE might be ray
      Plausible, it seemed, anyway
      Then I solved METEOR
      Of which I was sure
      And sussed I’d gone somewhat astray

  18. 14:58 – didn’t even have time get out of bed to make my first cup of the day!


  19. Seemed v straightforward to me, with only MANNEQUIN causing pause, though GEMINI was LOI as I missed it up there in the corner.

    Maybe a PB, maybe not, but under 10 is very rare for me.


  20. 23 minutes, so I was a bit slow this morning.
    IP addresses aren’t unique, though MAC addresses are.
    Thanks setter and blogger

  21. 9:11. A sense of continual deceleration with this one, starting very quickly and ending slowly.
    I don’t think ‘famous dog’ can indicate STAR. I read it as STAR (famous), Dog surrounding (dwelling around) BERN.

  22. A pleasant, untaxing 13 minutes today, though I omitted to parse the rather good ST BERNARD, and only realised it was Thomas MANN afterwards, smearing over the need for an extra N.
    Gareth/GAZ set off a train of thinking inevitable for a Spurs person: Gazza’s short for Gascoine, and Gareth Bale has never been Gaz: I understand at Real he was known as The Golfer. Gazprom from the Champion’s League. Apparently Gareth Gates, chanteur, is Gaz, but it’s hard to find others.
    CLAY PIGEONS do fly, just not very far. Other tablets (mine’s a Huawei – get that in a clue) are available. Other British sports cars can be found. GEMINIs are fast inflatables, METEORs early jets. That’s the problem with the Crossword Brain: association overdraftive.
    I’m convinced PLUTO got its own back for being demoted by proving to have God’s last message to his creation on display when New Horizons accomplished its brilliant flyby.

    1. Association overdrive: Down here they made a local car called a Gemini for 10 or 20 years, maybe 80s and 90s. For me “Car delivery in June, perhaps” would have sufficed.

  23. 12:27

    Flying start filling in the NW. Made way round the board filling in the easy pickings until left with half a dozen to finish: DECADE on its lonesome, then ABEAM and GEMINI in the NE, followed by ON SPEC, MANNEQUIN and CRIMSON in the SW.

    Spotted the KING KONG SING SONG rhyme but didn’t detect anything else that might turn a possible coincidence into a pattern.

    Thanks setter and Ulaca

  24. No real probs but held up at the end by a couple. Also one of my cats sat on the crossword, twice.. 17 mins.
    Technically, clay pigeons do fly, once at least; and I will continue to regard Pluto as a planet, albeit a dwarf one.

  25. Another gentle Monday for me. The NW tripped nicely off the fingers with HOT ROD and MAGIC CARPET raising smiles. 16d was a latish entry with the requisite Thomas not being forthcoming, but a PDM coming from spotting the abridged horse. ST BERNARD was biffed once I had CRIMSON and GAZEBO. Last 2 in were GEMINI and OVERDRAFT. 13:52. Thanks setter and U.

  26. 26 minutes. I spent too long convincing myself there wasn’t a word RAMPILE for 15a, like Merlin, getting stuck on RILE for ‘anger’ and I couldn’t parse ST BERNARD. Main problems were in the SW; I found MANNEQUIN hard and needed crossers for IN STEP and CLAY PIGEONS, my last in. Favourite was the ‘shower component?’ def for METEOR.

  27. A quick solve spoiled by the longest hold-up in the SE. I had ROD for 28dn – it’s a fish (perch) and ‘with line you might catch’ = fishing rod. Seemed reasonable to me. Eventually reworked it when METEOR clicked. Got but mis-parsed MANNEQUIN.

  28. The ‘Some First Names’ section at the end of the 2008 edition of Chambers (unaccountably dropped from the latest one) has Gaz as a diminutive of Gary, and Gary as a diminutive of Gareth, but not Gaz as a diminutive of Gareth. However, that was 15 years ago and perhaps usage has changed. Anyway, although I found it hard to believe The Times would include it, there were no problems as it was pretty obvious. 30 minutes, with five spent on DECADE as a result of my pathetic inability to give up on rat.

    1. No, it is in the latest one, the Revised 13th edition.
      Under Gareth it has both Gary and Gaz as diminutives. Under Gaz, it says see Gary.
      I would not want to be associated with anyone who actually christened their son “Gaz!”

  29. I must have been on form today. I ran through most of the across clues entering answers as soon as I’d read the clue. I had to think about the wordplay for a few of the downs before I was sure of my instinctive answer. Almost too easy, but I enjoyed clues to GLASTONBURY, GLUTTON (first entered as GRUNTER) and METEOR.
    13 minutes.

  30. Nice Monday puzzle. But I’ll make my usual beef about the word-lengths indicator for 12 ac. IP stands for ‘Internet Protocol’, two separate words, ergo in my book the indicators ought to be (1,1,7), not (2,7). I know there appears to be a compilers’ convention on this apparent ‘rule’ but I think it’s quite illogical. (Not that I had any problem solving 12 ac.)
    If an answer were (for example) ‘T.S.ELIOT’ would compilers mark it as (2,5) rather than (1,1,5)?
    I’ve beefed about this before and the only reaction I got was “obviously the convention is correct”, which is no justification whatsoever. Can any anyone justify the logic more explicitly and convincingly?

    1. The old fallback? – it’s in Chambers. There’s an entry IP, two capital letters together not separate no full stops, defined as Internet Protocol.

    2. Logic has very little part to play, hereabouts. We are dealing with the English language, remember! So we are already on shaky ground before we even start on grammar, or setters’ conventions …

    3. Recognised acronyms are treated as words. So IP is treated as RADAR, or SCUBA, or GIF would be. The T. S. In T. S. Eliot is not a recognised acronym.

        1. Fair point. Strictly speaking it’s just an abbreviation. But a recognised one!
          I actually encounter IP more often as an abbreviation for Intellectual Property, which isn’t in Chambers.

          1. On reflection I have a suspicion we’ve had an abbreviation of this sort (CIA, or LSD, or similar) enumerated as (1,1,1) in the not-too-distant past. I might be imagining this.

            1. Have we ever seen US as an abbreviation of United States, and, if so, how was that enumerated? It seems to me (a Brit) that the use of full stops in capitalised abbreviations is a thing of the past – we never see B.B.C., I.T.N., or, come to that, M.I.5 these days. And the United Kingdom is invariably the UK. Across the pond, the period also seems to have disappeared from CIA, NBC and CNN (for example), but, based on my reading of numerous American colleagues’ writings, not from U.S. Now off to see if I can find an online copy of The New York Times Style Guide which might explain this.

              Well, this is more complicated than I thought. The New York Times apparently does use periods in abbreviations such as F.B.I. But the Associated Press doesn’t. Both, however, use periods after abbreviated state names, which are required to be used after most (but not all) American city names. And both use periods in U.S. Why? Well, because!;

              1. Do they use periods after both the the state name abbreviation and the postal address abbreviation, or only after the state name. E.g.: Mass. and MA, or Mass. and MA. ? Trickier with NY and N.Y.

                1. I’ve never seen anyone anywhere put a period after the postal state abbreviations of two capital letters. The New York Times uses the old-style upper-and-lower-case abbreviations. There’s a list in the style guide. Because of an ill-advised change (back) to using these in The Nation, you can now find, say, “Washington, D.C.” in the same line as “US,” sans dots. I hate it.

                  1. That’s more or less consistent with the AP Style Book – no periods in zip code abbreviations, but they are present in other cases, including Mass., Calif. and N.Y. and N.J. (See? It IS confusing!) Even worse is that AP doesn’t require a state name after Washington (though the NYT does). There are a dozen or so other cities which don’t require a state name in AP style. I’m glad I don’t have to know this stuff by heart!

                    1. In those postal codes for states, the stylization by capitalization and their consisting of two and only two letters—some of which pairs standing for one word (like MAssachusetts) but some for two (West Virginia)—in itself indicates an abbreviation. Putting a period after one of them could only be a thoughtless mistake. You won’t find that in any style book.

            2. September 19: You must be imagining it. I recently reviewed the blogs for three months of Mephistos, and must report that in No 3281 26D is “Index estimated by head of finance tipped (4)”: FTSE

                  1. You wouldn’t believe what British bankers got up to under the table at their clubs and temples…

  31. Like others, quick until I was held up. I did not expect Thomas Mann on a Monday but welcomed him eventually.
    My final problems were in the SE. Could not parse ST BERNARD so wasted time looking for alternatives. METEOR and EVADE occurred to me eventually; I only know two film villains so will have to add more, after I have revisited the Death Star Canteen.
    LOI was ROE. It had been ROD then RAY -you catch rays in September in the UK this year.
    Common sense prevailed. I knew ROE became fish, but the parsing was unclear.
    Thanks for all the explanations.

  32. Enjoyed this, but then I always do when I finish in a reasonable time.

  33. Hello everyone,

    My first post here. First of all, a huge thank you to all the bloggers (and commenters) for such a useful resource.

    My target for a while has been to do one of these in under 10 minutes. A few times I’ve been 2 or 3 clues away after 9 minutes, but each time have then ground to a halt. After staring at I-ADDRESS for probably 30 seconds I thought that today was going to be the same, but finally the penny dropped, and then in quick succession spotted MANN… and EVADE. After a proof-read I ended up with 10:03 which I’m over the moon with. No doubt the setters will bring me back down to earth with a bump later in the week.

    Is this the place to ask a quick question about technique? My starting strategy is to solve something and then as far as possible try to follow checking letters around the grid. If I’m understanding some of the comments on here correctly, some people seem to start by making a pass through of all the across (and presumably down ?) clues. I haven’t found much discussion about solving technique on the Internet – I assume that following checking letters around is the more mainstream way?

    1. Welcome, Riche. Your solving technique sounds remarkably similar to mine in that I go for easy pickings and try to build from checkers, and when I can’t proceed I begin the process again. Sadly (for me) your target time is way out of my league, I’m afraid, and perhaps proof that it’s not the best line of approach!

    2. I’m sure there wil be lots of different techniques. I go for a quick pass across and down looking for easy pickings. I then repeat the process, more slowly, before homing in on the more promising looking checkers.

    3. There have been some interesting discussions on solving techniques here in the past. If you’re lucky, someone will be able to point you to them!

    4. This is my approach too. I’m very slow in general with a FOI, so I don’t want to do more than one without checked letters.

  34. 23:34
    Good Monday puzzle. Sailed through most of it but got held up a little by CRIMSON and ON SPEC. It turns out I had never fully grasped this meaning of the latter – I alway assumed it just meant taking a punt on something.

    Thanks to ulaca and the setter

    1. Good point about ON SPEC. Your assumption was the same as mine and is consistent with its usage by Banjo Paterson in Clancy of the Overflow.

      A quick Google suggests a definition broad enough to cover the setter’s usage here though.

  35. Like the QC today, a fairly gentle start to the week, completed by me in 31.50. Like others I dithered over IP ADDRESS, thinking initially of ID. My biggest hold up was at the end where ROE and then finally METEOR were slow in solving.

  36. Late to the table, golfing holiday. But a pretty straightforward walkthrough today (the puzzle, certainly not my golf). About 20 mins, which is good for me, GLUTTON was a write-in but never did parse it. Are MGs still British and still Sports Cars; I think they are marketed from UK, and going by my mate’s version, his is certainly not a sports car!! thanks setter and blogger

  37. 17 mins held up mightily at the end by METEOR and EVADE, plus the ST BERNARD that didn’t seem self explanatory at all. I’ll go with STAR D around BERN.

  38. 28’48”
    Woefully one-paced throughout.
    However, all were parsed bar St.B, which I eventually unravelled in the same manner as Keriothe.
    Lots to like here; thank you setter and Ulaca.

  39. 30m. Held up for 5m with ROE as LOI having slung in COD as FOI which with L for line gives you a cold which you might catch.

  40. Encouraged by the Snitch rating I crossed the great divide from the QC and was rewarded with 22:57 and a warm glow. The blog revealed the subtleties I’d missed, thanks Ulaca.

  41. 10.42

    Quick for me. Agree that there was a very definite porcine aroma to this offering, and absolutely not the worse for it. Managed to put in the unlikely SONGAGOG before sanity prevailed. Yes, I know.

    Thanks U and setter

  42. Looked difficult at first to me, so started with the 3-letter fill-ins and then began to see a few, including ON SPEC,HOT ROD and MANNEQUIN. Then the biffing began, but I failed to find the requisite letters for RAE and ID ADDRESS (had heard of it but failed to remember it). All up a fairly quick nearly-solve. COD to MANNEQUIN perhaps.

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