Times 28707 – blow the whistle, no extra time needed.

I found this a straightforward, well clued puzzle, with a couple of obscurities* solved from wordplay and checked afterwards. 15 minutes plus the checking and parsing. I liked the surfaces of the SHAW and CHIC clues particularly.
*ESCHEAT and VICTORIA as a carriage.

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

1 Not worried about heartless whistleblower (8)
6 A girl finally dated man in recess (6)
ALCOVE – A, [gir]L, COVE old word for a man.
9 Ken’s withdrawn from participant in primacy dispute — that’s smart (4)
CHIC – lose KEN from CHICKEN, the dispute being which came first, the chicken or the egg. Obviously, the egg.
10 Bishop is so moved, along with lady I converted (10)
DIAGONALLY – (ALONG LADY I)*. As in chess, obviously.
11 Wrong kind of surgeon for personconfused vein with artery (10)
13 Playwright making wise statement about what his heroine would keep missing (4)
SHAW – I think a SAW is a wise statement, around H, which was the letter dropped by Eliza in Pygmalion. Professor ‘enry ‘iggins tried to put ‘er right.
14 State carriage (8)
VICTORIA – Double definition. I thought for a while there might be a Virginia carriage, but the crossing A put an end to that. It’s a state in Australia not USA, and a carriage based on a phaeton.
16 As result, down is freezing? Just the opposite (6)
UPSHOT – if down is freezing the opposite is UP’S HOT.
18 Raptor circles victim (6)
OSPREY – O’S are circles, PREY a victim. Very neat clueing.
20 Name a holidaymaker lacking nothing who barely enjoys the open air? (8)
22 Some seabirds returning, or just one (4)
SKUA – AUKS reversed.
24 In general, it must establish definitive check (6,4)
LITMUS TEST – hidden as above. We had this the other day.
26 Financier making statement that’s true about Turkey or Thailand (10)
CAPITALIST – of those two words, the capital (letter) is T. Is a financier always a capitalist? I’ve financed a few risky enterprises but I don’t think I’m a capitalist. I suppose an amateur venture capitalist might apply.
28 One’s holding first pair of birds, or just one (4)
IBIS – BI (first two letter of birds) inside I’S (one’s).
29 Partly switching sides is of little consequence (6)
PALTRY – Swap the R and L of partly around. A nice clue, have we seen it before?
30 Large oak tree I destroyed, dislodging a small bird (8)
LORIKEET – (L O K TREE I)*, where OAK loses A.
2 A line in article jerks put together for sport (9)
ATHLETICS – A, TH(L)E, TICS = jerks.
3 Retrieval of property that could be the case (7)
ESCHEAT – (THE CASE)*. One of those legal profession words which I’d heard of but no idea what it meant. That’s what it means.
4 Mostly communicate with one — none is any longer in specific circle (5)
RADII – RADI[O] = communicate mostly, I = one. All radii of a circle are the same length, obviously.
5 For cameraman, between one minute and the next is a long time (3)
ERA -between the M’s of caMeraMan we find ERA.
6 Unspecified relative putting in effort as paper’s adviser (5,4)
AGONY AUNT – ANY AUNT = unspecified relative, insert GO for try.
7 Framework produced by church covering aid, mostly (7)
8 Revolutionary kind of dwelling (5)
VILLA – double definition, Pancho Villa of the Mexican revolution, and a type of house. Nothing to do with Aston Villa.
12 Versus Arsenal, initially gets extra time (7)
AGAINST – A[rsenal], GAINS (gets) T[ime].
15 Pinafore was in this combination of blues (5,4)
ROYAL NAVY – two colours of blue locate HMS Pinafore as in G&S.
17 Controlling awful bosses I have (9)
19 Catalogue once more includes a non-abstract artist (7)
REALIST – RELIST = catalogue once more, include A.
21 Have second thoughts about weak king (7)
RETHINK – RE (about) THIN (weak) K[ing].
23 Stop following bear? Not really (5)
KOALA – KO (knock out, stop) A LA (following, in style of). Koalas are marsupials not bears.
25 Unqualified, so to speak (5)
UTTER – double definition, utter as in “utter rubbish”, utter meaning speak.
27 Bad opening for my statement of intent (3)
ILL -My statement of intent could start with “I’LL…”


72 comments on “Times 28707 – blow the whistle, no extra time needed.”

  1. Wait, that’s right. SKUA is the bird, SKEA was the kid in my son’s cricket team. Must remember that for next time.

    Pretty straightforward otherwise. VETERINARY and SHAW were very good, and it was pleasing to see our little marsupial treated with some long-overdue respect.

    Thanks setter and Pip.

  2. I found this easy going. I was tempted by RIBA as a bird (hidden reversed in “seabirds” and a plausible bird name) before I realized I was trying to be too clever. I didn’t think too much about it since CHIC was clearly the answer, but I thought the primacy stuff was about pecking order (which it obviously isn’t once you think about eggs). I think of ESCHEAT as a legal term the only purpose of which is to show up in the Times crossword from time to time. I have no idea how to pronounce it, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it anywhere else. 32 minutes total.

    1. I spent a fair while thinking it was going to be RIBA, too. As is so often the case, the actual answer proved much better than what I’d originally thought.

  3. 12:45
    Surprisingly easy, although I biffed AGONY AUNT, parsing post-submission, and missed the Ms of ERA, and the H of SHAW. I think UTTER has appeared a couple of times, similarly clued. I’m not sure I’d call the chicken and egg participants in the dispute, the participants being the disputants; but that’s nit-picking, and I never nit-pick. I liked OSPREY and PALTRY.

      1. I was hoping that the facetiousness of the comment would be evident without an emoji (which I don’t use).

    1. John B’s and Steve B’s (and my) parsing of the clue would remove the nit.

  4. 20 minutes for all but the 22ac and 23dn intersection where after a further 13 minutes with absolutely nothing coming to mind I decided enough was enough and used aids to help me with 23dn. I’d never have found KOALA from wordplay. As soon as the K was in place I saw AUKS as the other missing answer. Prior to that I’d have counted this puzzle as very easy.

    I’m rather surprised that our esteemed blogger mentions VICTORIA (as a carriage) as a possible obscurity as it has surely come up many times before. I admit that my first thought was also ‘Virginia’ but felt that the misdirection in this clue was ‘state’ referring to Australia rather than the USA.

  5. Hmmm… bottom half straight in, but took a while to fill the top, feeling off the wavelength. Liked it, though. COD to ERA for novelty and ingenuity.

    1. I wonder whether the clue to ERA comes anywhere near the record for the longest ever clue to a 3-letter word.

  6. Surrendered at 23-ish, defeated by the NHO ESCHEAT. Piquet’s term ‘neat clueing’ applied throughout this classy effort, I especially liked CAREFREE, DIAGONALLY, PALTRY and CHIC. Like Jack I would never have got KOALA from wordplay, the K did the work for me. The State of VICTORIA took far too long to reveal itself, seeing I’m sitting in it. If the concept of declaring a word like ‘cove’ to be dated becomes a rule many setters are in for a world of pain.

  7. 14:10. Like Paul I considered RIBA for the bird until eventually the penny dropped on that clue. ESCHEAT also took a long time coming – I think the clue for it is excellent, with the surface giving me no idea initially that there was an anagram in there. I spent a long while looking for words beginning EXC.

  8. Not, I’ll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee;
    Not untwist — slack they may be — these last strands of man
    In me ór, most weary, cry I can no more. I can;
    (Carrion Comfort, GM Hopkins)

    25 mins mid-brekker. I liked it, although lots of across birds: five if you count your chickens. Mostly I liked Carefree and the hidden Litmus Test.
    Ta setter and Pip.

  9. It seems we have reached a nadir
    There are four bloody avians here
    These birds are regressive
    I’m off to seek solace in beer

    1. I thought of you when I saw all these birds, and you didn’t disappoint.
      But a fun crossword all the same I thought.
      COD LITMUS TEST (I hadn’t seen the previous example of this)

  10. 27 minutes with LOI ESCHEAT. Villa was only half known, or so I thought. I checked him out afterwards and realised that the great Townes Van Zandt song Pancho and Lefty paralleled it. We could have had him any day. I love the Dylan/ Willie Nelson live version. VICTORIA was guessed at early and I got lucky. I think phenolphthalein should have been used for one of the litmus tests, provided I’ve spelt it right. COD to GBS. Good puzzle. Thank you Pip and setter.

  11. 15:35
    Excellent, with some fine anagrams and a tremendous hidden & LIT(MUS).
    I vaguely wondered if the primacy dispute in 9ac might be the game of Chicken; then got distracted by recalling John Shuttleworth’s production company Chic Ken (named after his next-door neighbour and sole manager Ken Worthington, ‘TV’s Mr Clarinet Man’).

  12. 13’51”, no real problems. LITMUS TEST (the same clue?) occurred recently somewhere. There is to my mind an issue with the idea that such a test is ‘definitive’ – isn’t pH a spectrum? Fantastic hidden anyway.

    Thanks pip and setter.

    1. The term just has distinct literal and figurative meanings. ‘Definitive’ applies only to the latter.

  13. I found it a bit harder, taking just under 28 minutes with ESCHEAT my LOI which I had vaguely heard of when I got it and VICTORIA having previously held me up a few minutes also, again I had vaguely heard of it (the carriage) when I got there.
    Thanks setter and solver, Steve
    PS I also had assumed CHIC was about a game of chicken, but I guess the chicken / egg thing makes more sense!

  14. 6:41. Back on the wavelength today: that’s 0.73 verlaines. I expect he was live-vlogging it while juggling knives. I liked this one.
    MER at ‘old’ for ‘cove’.
    Genetically speaking the egg obviously came first, it’s not even a dispute.
    Based on my experience the technical term for someone who finances risky enterprises started by friends and family members is ‘mug’.

  15. DNF
    I invented that well-known denizen of financial institutions, the initialist. That, of course turned my realist into a realtst, but did that concern me? Not a bit of it. This burst of creativity conveniently froze out the koala and the skua, thus creating a SW corner with more errors and omissions in it than a Windows update. Try again tomorrow …
    Thanks, p.

  16. So I put in KOALA knowing it couldn’t be anything else, even if negatively defined (lots of things aren’t really a bear). Hadn’t parsed it, of course: it takes a genius like Piquet to say it’s straightforward. So I submitted staring at that corner, expecting to see a pink or two, and got the momentary shock of that red square, before noticing the pink had migrated to a typo in OBSOSSIVE (sic, no idea why I didn’t spot it). Drat.
    The CHICken dispute is simple: they turned up intact on day 5 or 6, depending on whether you think they fly or only move along the ground. Eggs came later. Here I am instigating a game of chicken: who’s going to blink first?
    The SHAW clue and the ERA clue were both special, as were the hidden for LITMUS TEST and the CAPITAL IS T. I nearly scuppered myself with PARAKEET at 30a, trying to make IMP work at 27d before reminding myself that in a cryptic clue there’s usually wordplay of some sort.
    Good grid, great blog, thanks all.

    1. Lots of things aren’t bears, but KOALAs are not bears in a very specific way. See also killer whales, starfish, flying foxes, red pandas, jellyfish, guinea pigs, seahorses, prairie dogs and the Conservative Party.

      1. Two examples from Canada: prairie oysters(bull testicles) and Canadian tuxedos(blue jeans and denim jacket).

  17. 20 minutes. I thought about ESCROW for 3d but obviously not enough letters; it’s just as much a mystery to me as ESCHEAT. I liked the surface, which is really an extended definition, for SHAW and the accuracy of the def for KOALA. Unlike Astro_nowt, I also enjoyed seeing all four of our feathered friends today, especially LORIKEET.

  18. ESCHEAT is all too familiar to those of us who grappled with first year real property – along with things like entail, enfoeffment, fee simple and easements. All that feudal stuff (pronounced the same as futile in the US).. The thing that briefly baffled me here was that it was defined as “retrieval” whereas it’s more of a reversion, as where a property that’s left by someone who dies without a will or any known heirs reverts to the Crown. Still it was a good clue.

    1. Enfeoffment looked so unlikely I looked it up to check you weren’t pulling our leg with that one. It made more sense when I made the link to fiefdom.

    2. I remember my surprise, living in Honolulu on sabattical, to discover ‘fee simple’, which I’d encountered in Chaucer, and which I assumed had died. An important term in Hawai’i, where a lot of people don’t own the land their house is sitting on.

  19. What does ‘specific’ add in 4dn? It seems to me that the statement is equally true without it and the surface probably a bit better. Apart from this I think, a nice crossword which took me 41 minutes: I was unable to do CAPITALIST even with all the checkers and after cheating I still couldn’t understand it; indeed I’ve only just done so. AGONY AUNT seemed to be a rather vague CD until it was explained. Slow to see ROYAL NAVY, since the second blue was unaccountably tricky and I could only think of a Royal Command performance or some such.

    1. I think “specific” is required here because the clue is implying that all radii in a particular/specific circle are the same length. The radii from two different circles might not be the same length.

      1. Well yes fair enough I suppose, but if the setter had simply said ‘a circle’, it would have been pretty obvious that we’re talking about just one circle.

  20. I found this quite similar to yesterday, with generous cluing and checkers to get the unknowns (to me) of ESCHEAT and LORIKEET. As already mentioned above, CAPITALIST, SHAW, and CHIC were nice clues, albeit easily biffed without having to solve the wordplay.
    Thanks to the setter and blogger.

  21. No time as I forgot to pause and it managed to time my journey from Chester to Anglesey
    Very straightforward LOI SHAW very clever having come here to find out how it worked

  22. Two goes needed before I got VICTORIA and then ESCHEAT – with the former I spent ages trying to think of US states, and with the latter it took me far too long to realise it was an anagram, and then it was just a case of putting in the S, H and A in the only places they could realistically go.

    Didn’t understand half of what the SHAW clue was doing, thinking that H=heroin (of course if I’d read it properly I’d have seen the ‘e’ on the end of it, which would only have confused me more). And didn’t know the SKUA bird, so had to hope the half-remembered auks would do the trick.

    FOI Alcove
    LOI Escheat
    COD Veterinary

  23. This was a QC in all but name (and size) and two straight passes through the clues duly put it to the sword.

    TIME 4:49

  24. 18:08 but…

    A recovery of sorts after yesterday’s debacle. Finished by presuming VICTORIA would be a carriage (from the I R and A checkers), which left 3d – didn’t initially spot that this was an anag, but having done so and presuming that there was only one place that in which the H would go, left me with the choice of EACHEST or ESCHEAT having heard of neither – Think I was justified in looking it up. Otherwise, it was an enjoyable puzzle in which I enjoyed the humour and failed to parse only KOALA (and no, I didn’t know it isn’t a bear) and the Pancho half of VILLA.

    Thanks setter and P

  25. This was easier than the norm I thought even if my time of 41.20 didn’t necessarily reflect that. Particularly liked the clue for ERA, and was happy for all the checkers to be in place to enable me to spell VETERINARY. In the end I fell at the last hurdle by carelessly putting in LORAKEET. Grrr… 🤬

      1. Wee mistake there with the Scottishism, IPd’O. I think you probably meant to say swither (= hesitate) rather than haver (= talk nonsense).

        1. Thank you Mike; I hadn’t come across swither before and was unaware of a Scots meaning of haver (Collins has it as dither). I’ll salt both of those away as meanings that might well crop up in wordplay to come.

  26. DNF having chewed for a while to no avail on ESCHEAT. I have heard the word, just didn’t come to me. Good puzzle though. Didn’t get the primacy reference for CHIC, for which I thank Piquet. Nice to see a state that’s not in the US, though Virginia was an initial pencil-in on my first read through. thanks Piquet and setter.

  27. With 9 hours on the trains to fill today (returning to Blighty from Switzerland – Mrs S does not fly these days), I make a rare stab at the 15×15, and was both pleased and slightly sorry that it took me just 30 minutes – pleased to finish in what is for me a good time and sorry that there are still 8½ hours to fill.

    Did not parse Koala (but K-A-A could not be anything else) and flirted with the lesser spotted Riba, but otherwise more addressable than many 15x15s I thought.

    Many thanks to Pip for the blog

  28. After posting for the first time on the Quick Cryptic, I thought I’d be brave and try the 15×15 for only the second time. Gave up after 35mins but did complete well over half the grid – much more than the first time.
    I liked DIAGONALLY and pleased I got ROYAL NAVY!

    Oh, and thanks Pip for enlightening me on the clues I wasn’t able to solve.

  29. Another delightful outing, marred only by the time it takes for me to spell VETERINARY properly and to guess where the “SS”s go in OBSESSIVE.
    Lovely blog, thanks and 1o House Points to the setter

  30. 31.39, quite disappointing given about a third of that was ESCHEAT (and to an extent VICTORIA) – just didn’t see it was anagram for ages, and never heard of it. Lovely puzzle though. Thanks both.

  31. Late to the puzzle today after another old colleagues get together. Rattled through it reasonably quickly until I hit the wall in the SW corner. LORIKEET went through several mutations while I got to grips with the anagrist. Eventually spotted SKUA rather than RIBA, and popped in the KOALA, but still had to wrestle with CAPITALIST for a while longer. Doh! 20:20. Thanks setter and Pip.

  32. Great blog Piquet

    Shouldn’t your parsing of 1 Across read CA (about) REF[E]REE
    rather than CA (about) REF[ER]EE ?

  33. Feeling pleased at taking less time on this than on the QC, but then got the dreaded pink square, since I had omitted to change the A to an I in LORIKEET.

  34. 23.09

    Bit tired after some chess down the pub so glad it was at the gentler end this evening.

    Some nice clues (ERA and the hidden).

    Thanks Pip and setter

  35. 47’18”
    Was travelling well – until a near catastrophic stumble final furlong.
    It took an age to scotch RIBA with the NOT REALLY BEAR. I think the non-bearishness of koalas came up on Radio 4 recently.
    Lots to praise both in the puzzle and in the contents of this page; I’ll never panic again over the spelling of vet’n’ry, tha knows !
    Thanks to all.

  36. A day late but what a fab puzzle- much thanks to the setter especially as my fingers firmly crossed VILLA and VICTORIA guesses cos they had to be .. were correct. Thought SHAW, ROYAL NAVY and VETERINARY clues were first class.

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