Times 28729 – Not your usual teenager

A typical Monday offering with nothing too much to tax the grey cells. Apart from mine, that is, as I forgot to extend my alphabet run to the fourth letter of last in 10 across, and paid the price. Not that I should have been doing any alphabet runs in the first place, but I am allowed the odd senior moment. Or two, or…

1 Dinosaur, large one, found in park (5)
4 One yelling about temperature in part of church? (4,5)
9 Gamble without parking permit? That’s indefensible (9)
UNTENABLE – [p]UNT (gamble minus P) ENABLE (permit, vb.)
10 Spot for rock climbing  stuff (5)
GORGE – double definition; so not gorse, then
11 Musician fighting heavyweight boxing king with energy (4,9)
DUKE ELLINGTON – K (king) E (energy) in DUELLING (fighting) TON (heavyweight – well, sort of); much easier to biff and move on
14 Crunch some data on a teleconference? (4)
BITE – sounds like byte
15 Merchant to sell out, with someone saving lots (10)
SHOPKEEPER – SHOP (to sell out) KEEPER (someone saving lots [of stuff])
18 Covering up place for gun battery in the end (10)
UPHOLSTERY – UP (from clue) HOLSTER (place for gun) [batter]Y
19 Profit once more with no capital (4)
21 Leader once put chap on hold? Deal’s off! (6,7)
NELSON MANDELA – MAN (chap) on NELSON (wrestling hold) anagram* of DEAL
24 Scare a Liberal member (5)
25 Trumpeter reportedly went on main thoroughfare? (5,4)
TRUNK ROAD – TRUNK (trumpeter – as in, part of the bits of an elephant that produce its distinctive noise) ROAD (sounds like rode, went on)
27 Vessel obtained from seabed with top broken (9)
28 Spirit shown by Claude Monet (5)
DEMON – hidden
1 Do urban sprawls then reveal road feature? (10)
2 Item in auction is a good deal (3)
3 Study nettle that’s curved outwards (6)
CONVEX – CON (study – always this or DEN in Crosswordland) VEX (nettle – seldom a plant in Crosswordland)
4 Chap to complain about hospital’s woolen garment (6,3)
BOBBLE HAT – BOB (random fellah) H in BLEAT (complain)
5 Stay in bed with case of indigestion after pork pie (3,2)
LIE IN – LIE (pork pie, AKA lie or tell porkies) I[ndigestio]N
6 United to reach this point briefly (8)
7 Leo’s work permit initially accepted by Canada — we’re excited! (3,3,5)
8 Homer, say, to scratch head and hum (4)
REEK – [g]REEK; hum as in pong
12 Old general almost admits fighting for cooking equipment (11)
KITCHENWARE – WAR in KITCHENE[r]; a military leader better known not for his service record but for his index finger
13 Band Aid is besieged by press guys (4,6)
16 Most important soldier on horse (9)
17 Took turns with dancer covering line dance’s opening (8)
SLALOMED – L in SALOME D[ance]; although not mentioned by name in the two Biblical accounts that relate the story associated with her (and made famous in works by Wilde and Richard Strauss), Salome’s dancing so pleased her stepdad (one of a fistful of Herods that were doing the rounds at that time – she was the daughter of another) that when he told her he would give her anything she wanted, she consulted her mum (Herodias – naturally enough) and asked for John the Baptist’s head on a platter – as a teenage girl would.  Mum was upset with John for declaring that her marriage to her second Herod was unlawful.
20 Small bare wound (6)
SNAKED – S NAKED; wound as the past tense of ‘wind’
22 Musical finale to our plays (5)
23 US city really upset state (4)
LAOS – LA SO reversed
26 Unit of heat measurement primarily (3)
OHM – initial letters of words 2 to 4

78 comments on “Times 28729 – Not your usual teenager”

  1. I was all done except GORGE in pretty quick time, but also had to alphabet trawl to see the obvious. 8:18

  2. 24:43 WOE
    I biffed BUBBLE HAT, never having heard of BOBBLE HAT. Also biffed UNTENABLE, and submitted off leaderboard. Then I saw how it worked.

    1. 4D That’s what I did, too, Bub!
      Never dreamed that was wrong.
      Fun puzzle, though!

  3. Another with GORGE last in, mostly as I didn’t consider the correct parsing on the first run through. The other slight hold-up was SLALOMED, saw it fitted and remembered SALOME. I did like SNAKED, and LIE-IN for its surface.
    Just noticed the blog’s title on the browser’s address bar is “28729 of gorse”. But on the tab the title references teenagers.

    1. The address bar shows the title from the first edit which is retained as the permanent link unless edited separately.

  4. Fortuitously just last week I saw a repeat of Would I Lie To You in which David Mitchell claimed to have got the bobble on his bobble hat caught in the doors of the tube, so that one presented no problems and assisted in a 20.13 finish. Thanks Ulaca for untangling DUKE ELLINGTON ( yep, I biffed and moved on) and for pointing out that WAR AND PEACE was an anagram. No particular problems except trying to figure out if there was a general in earthenware, and until I got the checkers IRON MAIDEN (remember them? Not really) remained elusive. Liked TOGETHER, UPHOLSTERY and ROUNDABOUT.

  5. 26 minutes, just avoiding GORSE at 10ac at the last moment. I don’t know why it was so tempting, but I note from the blog and comments so far that I was not alone in considering it.

    Elsewhere I missed the wordplay for BITE as I thought of BIT as the data and was left wondering about the E and the second half of the clue. I expect on a blogging day I would have figured it out.

  6. GORGE was also my LOI. But TRUNK ROAD also came very late.
    Biffed DUKE ELLINGTON with two crossers; I’d recognize him anywhere.
    But it seemed we were getting unexpectedly familiar with Mr. Tolstoy…
    I also had a five-letter answer for 8 in mind before I saw the enumeration. Scratch the “head” of EG (“say”) and add REEK (“hum”). But is there a “head” to a two-letter abbreviation?
    I thoroughly enjoyed this, thru GAIN to LAOS.

  7. 7:17. My quickest for some time, just sneaking in to my top 10 times on the SNITCH. This enabled me to achieve a first of completing cryptic and concise in under 10 minutes.
    I liked the presence of IRON MAIDEN, taking me back to my teenage headbanging years. It did feel slightly incongruous though. You start with them and before you know it we’ll see the likes of Extreme Noise Terror, Cannibal Corpse and Napalm Death.

      1. I so often find that if I’m curious about an old band and I look them up they are still going. So it is with Iron Maiden – just finished their latest world tour last Friday!

    1. As a fellow headbanger, I’m curious to know whether this is a precedent for the genre.

      And if we did ever get AC/DC, would it be enumerated (1,1,1,1), or (2/2) or something else?

  8. Here, ambush’d by the chimla cheek,
    Hid in an atmosphere of reek,
    I hear a wheel thrum i’ the neuk,
    I hear it – for in vain I leuk.
    (Epistle to Hugh Parker, Burns)

    15 mins pre-brekker. Neat and tidy. I also started alpha-trawling at the end for the Gorge/Reek crossers.
    Ta setter and U.

  9. Woolen? Who let that slip in? Nearly choked on my first cup of the day. Once I calmed down, 16 minutes or so. Typical Monday

  10. 40m 39s
    23d: I was sorely tempted by TAOS (N.M.)
    17d: I once saw a production of Wilde’s SALOME by Steven Berkoff on the West End stage. The actors moved in slow motion. I thought it was very effective.

  11. 18 minutes with LOI SLALOMED. I would much have preferred to give COD to DUKE ELLINGTON but IRON MAIDEN was/were better, words I never wanted to say. A friendly start to the week. Thank you U and setter.

  12. 24 mins so about as quick as it gets for me. Last two in SLALOMED and the tricky GORGE, as others.

    I liked the DUKE, NELSON MANDELA and KITCHENWARE. Never noticed “woolen”, not good.

    Thanks U and setter,

  13. 12:04. Held up at the end by… you’ve guessed it… GORGE, having considered PITON at first until REEK disabused me. I liked the yelling bell-ringer. Thanks U and setter.

  14. 15:19 with SLALOMED as my LOI. The checkers looked so unlikely that I spent time looking for errors elsewhere until the penny dropped. No idea where I’ve heard BOBBLE HAT but it seems I have, fortunately.

    Nice start to the week. Thanks U and setter.

  15. Whilst GORGE was SLOI , my hold up, costing over a minute, was LAOS which I eventually biffed (I acted similarly with DUKE ELLINGTON, and WAR AND PEACE). At least I parsed the latter two on completion, but I have to thank Ulaca for parsing that LOI. I started terribly slowly, only solving three across clues on my first pass, but found the down clues more tractable and established a rhythm thereafter.

    TIME 8:49

    1. Exact same FOI and LOI as you only to find that I hadn’t given sufficient thought to GORSE. It didn’t feel right but I was impatient.

  16. 8:17

    Very easy but also very enjoyable – there was a lot of neat stuff going on.

    At 15 I’m pretty sure that the “someone” saving lots is a (GOAL)KEEPER rather than a hoarder, and I’ll fight anyone who says it ain’t so.

    I biffed DUKE E and W&P so thanks for the parsings.

    1. Ah yes, I thought in passing that it was a bit loose and that’s a much better (more precise) explanation.

  17. There was I thinking this was my fastest ever time (8 minutes or so)… then I come here and see I very stupidly put ‘byte’ rather than BITE. I thought about I/Y for a while, then completely lost my senses and forgot that the definition had to be ‘crunch’, meaning the I was right. I’m now left desperately hoping I’m not the only member of OWL Club today.

    Pretty straightforward otherwise, with DUKE ELLINGTON parsed post-entry.

    COD War and Peace

  18. A new PB for me, in just under 9 minutes … SLALOMED was my LOI else it could have been sub eight minutes. Pleasant but easy. I liked Leo’s work.

  19. I raced through this until my last two. Eventually SLALOMED swam into my consciousness – not helped by not knowing which L was the line. Then my last – the inevitable GORGE. I had to do an alphabet trawl to get the answer. Thank goodness I didn’t put in GORSE, which tempted me, but isn’t a climber. I felt like a fool when the penny dropped, but was astonished to discover it similarly foxed nearly everyone else. Other than those two, it felt more like a quickie than a 15×15.

  20. 14 minutes, all but, so not that speedy. My last in was SLALOMED, because I couldn’t see how any word other that a misspelled alleluia would fit, and wanted the L(ine) to be the second L.
    There’s an apocryphal story that SALOME became a disciple, and is identified with one of the women at the cross.
    I liked this one, at least until coming here and realising I had missed some of its subtleties, like anagrams. Is there a word for unintentional biffing?

  21. WAR AND PEACE took a while – I was looking at the wrong end of the clue. Once I’d got that though, everything else fell into place. GORGE being the unsurprising LOI.

    Good to see IRON MAIDEN there, having been a “fan” since 1985, though not having listened to any of the music they have produced since approximately 1990.


  22. 15 minutes in total and I maintained a very steady pace throughout. SALOME was the only gap in my knowledge but the answer was clear enough once the checkers were in. This felt more like the concise rather than the 15×15 but it was an enjoyable romp all the same. Thanks to the setter and to ulaca for the breakdown as I biffed most of the answers.
    As a footnote, I was ready to lob in AMEN CORNER at 13D as I started solving the downs first and I didn’t have any checkers at that point (MEN for guys in A CORNER for besieged). It was a passing thought and I couldn’t account for “aid”, but I thought a 60’s band was much more likely in the Times Crossword than the positively up-to-the-minute IRON MAIDEN.

  23. 18:29
    Typical monday puzle. Only GORGE slowed me up.

    At one time “wound”, like “supply”, would never fail to trip me up. Now they stick out like Hazchem warnings. OUTRO always brings memories of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band.

    Never knew that “alphabet runs ” actually had a name.

    Thanks to Ulaca and the setter

  24. 13:30
    A mate of mine is a huge fan of IRON MAIDEN – he once flew to Paris in a 747 jet piloted by the band’s lead singer Bruce Dickinson (‘Flight 666’) to hear their new album ‘The Book of Souls’ at the studio where it was recorded.
    LOI (and LOL) SLALOMED. Weird word, cute definition.

  25. All went in easily enough (25 minutes). Like some others SLALOMED was my LOI, and it took a bit of time to work out despite being quite easy. My skiing knowledge is a bit vague. It struck me that ‘then’ was superfluous in 1dn. It would read perfectly well, and have an arguably better surface, without it.

  26. Quick time for me at 25.37, and I seem to be one of the few who quickly solved GORGE. My main delays were SLALOMED and my LOI which was LAOS. I’ve heard of an INTRO to music, but never heard of the expression OUTRO. Fortunately the generous clueing meant it couldn’t be anything else.

    1. There’s a treat in store if you’ve never heard The Bonzo Dog Doodah Band’s Intro and Outro available on YouTube.

      1. I actually saw the Bonzo Dog Doodah Band live when they played at the Students Ball in about 1968-9. They were brilliant and I was a big fan at the time. Now you mention it – Yes, I had heard the term!

  27. I started off with a sprint and thought I was doing the quickie, but then got bogged down in the SE before finally emerging on 28 minutes. A MER at ‘woolen’ in the clue for 4dn, as noted by others. Also thought the clue to 5dn was a bit lazy, but otherwise no issues. I never listened to IRON MAIDEN but was never allowed to forget them as one of my sons always wore the T-shirt.
    Thanks to ulaca and other contributors.

  28. 11:45 – a gentle start the week. Didn’t like the US spelling of woollen – which surely must be a typo – and agree that KEEPER is probably a footie reference. LOI was LAOS, which took far longer than it oughter.

  29. 14:43 but…

    …fat-fingers gave me a double error, somehow ending 16d and 27a with a D – how did that happen? The content itself was straightforward enough, only held up at the end by 23d.

  30. I was far off the pace today at 27 minutes. LOI SLALOMED which took me a couple of minutes maybe because I’m not a winter sports fan!
    Thanks setter and blogger

    1. I like your parsing, the only question for me would be whether, having used up the word ‘main’ in the wordplay, ‘trunk road’ can adequately be defined as just ‘thoroughfare’. Having checked the dictionary I think trunk road does need to be defined as ‘main thoroughfare’. On its own ‘thoroughfare’ doesn’t quite pass muster. On that basis, for your parsing to work, ‘main’ would have to be doing double duty in both wordplay and definition. So I think it must be a homophone of rode not rowed.

      1. I would add that ‘went on main’ is a strange definition for ‘rowed’. Technically you can row on the open sea, of course, but it would be unusual. On the other hand ‘went on’ is a direct synonym for ‘rode’ and, as you say, ‘main thoroughfare’ is a better definition.
        Having said that there’s nothing technically wrong with the alternative parsing. Also it doesn’t really matter as long as you got to the right answer!

        1. I had in mind oared vessels like triremes and Viking longships for rowing on the open sea so it didn’t seem that unusual to me at the time. On reflection though I can’t tell you the last time I saw either vessel out on the open sea, so perhaps unusual is fair. As you say, it doesn’t really matter as long as you get there in the end!

  31. Tolstoy wasn’t the first Leo I considered, Sayer and other lion/constellation possibilities coming first, although a copy of 7d is around here somewhere.

    I read in the Times clue writing contest the other week that George was too ambiguous for Orwell, I suppose Leo is sufficiently rare to be ok. [Makes a note].

    1. Leo Sayer is still around (and younger than me) so wouldn’t be eligible in a weekday puzzle..

      1. Like an amazing number of old musos, he’s lived in the Southern Highlands of NSW for many years. Karaoke night at the Bowral pub must be quite the scene.

  32. DNF: LAOS just wasn’t going to come to me especially as I thought it was probably a city.
    I agree with pendrov above about rowed in 25a.
    Liked the bellower in 4a.

  33. Enjoyed this one. Started with LOT and RELIC and finished with LAOS in 17:24. Thanks setter and U.

  34. Can’t believe it, my old record time was 40:20 but completed this in 20:36. FOI UPHOLSTERY, LOI LAOS, COD BELL TOWER. I expect this new PB to last for some considerable time. Incidentally, for any Red Dwarf fans, Rimmer refers to an old lady in a crocheted bobble hat in “Back to Reality” from series 5.

  35. DNF. Bah! A breezy and comfortably sub-10 minute solve ruined by failing to spot that I had typed Wqr and Peace for Leo’s Work in 7dn. Will spend the rest of the day kicking myself.

  36. 20 mins. Had trouble with REEK and GORGE, which I read too much into.
    Just finished Anna Karenina (38 hours on Audible) and not a lot happened. In fact, it was two separate novels in one, one of them being autobiographical. If that’s the ‘greatest novel ever written’ I’m not going to try WAR AND PEACE in a hurry.

  37. 36’55”
    Started well, lost pace back straight, tailed off.
    I see the Snitchmeister has this as a Class D handicap, but I ran like a selling-plater.
    The Baptist’s nemesis slowed me down, for which I have no excuse having bought a copy of the complete works of Wilde over forty years ago.
    Iron Maiden was a choice of this week’s castaway, which helped; I also liked his choice of book: The Apollo Guidance Computer: Architecture and Operation by Frank O’Brien.
    At least I’ve stopped spitting nails after Friday’s two hour dictionary aided fiasco.
    A very neat and tidy crossword; thank you setter and Ulaca.

  38. 15:45 – think that’s a personal best so happy days. Didn’t parse everything as most seemed to fit in without too much effort and the definitions were pretty obvious for the most part. LOI OUTRO. FOI RELIC. COD WAR AND PEACE

  39. 9.43

    Rare sub-10 for me. IRON MAIDEN was excellent and plenty of other ones to like as well.

    Thanks Ulaca and Setter

  40. 12.30 but fell to the Gorse sucker punch. Pretty staple Monday offering but still entertaining. Within the last few days, we’ve had clues including VAR and now Iron Maiden. Not sure I can cope with these new fangled challenges 😞

  41. Some very low times out there, so my 18’14” feels not so good. I felt the puzzle was easy, but I slowed down considerably for the last handful. LOI LAOS. Couldn’t get MASS out of my head, which answered the STATE part but nothing else. If I’d had had pen and paper to hand, SPEEDBOAT would have fallen a lot quicker too. No great fan of IRON MAIDEN. But FREE-EE NELSON MANDELA! – now there’s a song.

  42. This was so easy I expected to see that it was a qualifying puzzle for this year’s competition but apparently not. I love how the language has found space for woolly and woollen and likewise for wood and silk. But presumably hempy and leady never made it while rocken is lost forever except in place names. Thanks for the blog.

  43. I badly wanted ‘we’re excited’ at 7d to be wet our pants, but no such luck.

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