Times 28732 – all day I dream about

Time taken: 14:31.

A little bit longer than my average, and I don’t think there’s anything too obscure, but I had a hard time getting started on this one, I think in a first reading through the across clues I only got two of them.  I’ll admit to a few biffs, but the wordplay became clear after thinking about the answers for a moment.

How did you get along?

1 Grass skirts old men put on repeatedly swinging — we’re celebrating! (3,3,6) 
HIP HIP HOORAY – HAY(grass) surrounding O(old), OR(men) after HIP and HIP (swinging, repeatedly)
9 Plaintiff’s confession about small snag (5)
ISSUE – The plaintiff’s confession is I SUE, surrounding S(small)
10 Driver maybe meeting obstacle — one may display relief (9)
WOODBLOCK – WOOD(a driver in golf) and BLOCK(obstacle).  Relief as in printing from a woodcut
11 Tope distilled whiskey in container for e.g. beer or port (4,4)
CAPE TOWN – anagram of TOPE, and W(whiskey) inside CAN(container for e.g. beer)
12 Current leaders in Sun and Telegraph papers (6)
STREAM – first letters in Sun and Telegraph, then REAM(papers)
13 Tense account personnel inspired by guidance mechanism (8)
THRILLER – HR(personnel) inside TILLER(guidance mechanism)
15 The force abandoned by Luke, ultimately needing unknown approach (6)
POLICY – POLICE(the force) minus the last letter in lukE then Y(unknown)
17 German brand‘s publicity said to require work (6)
ADIDAS – AD(publicity) then an anagram of SAID
18 Manipulated mum’s getting on with son at first (8)
MASSAGED – MA’S(mum’s) then AGED(getting on) with S(son) in front
20 Welcoming terrible din, throw noisy party (6)
SHINDY – anagram of DIN inside SHY(throw)
21 Floral adornments from diminutive men? (8)
CHAPLETS –  small men could be CHAP-LETS
24 Youth speaks about pantomime, losing cool (5,4)
SALAD DAYS – SAYS(speaks) surrounding ALADDIN(pantomime) minus IN(cool)
25 Indian’s item for clubbing, entering ball at Hilton (5)
LATHI – hidden inside balL AT HIlton
26 Feeding farm animals, devour bananas for starters (4,8)
HORS D’OEUVRES – HORSES(farm animals) containing an anagram of DEVOUR
1 Perhaps Bob‘s appearance after Henry left out (7)
HAIRCUT – AIR(appearance) after H(Henry), then CUT(left out)
2 Capital stripper mostly dancing for drunk, perhaps (4,10)
PAST PARTICIPLE – anagram of CAPITAL,STRIPPER minus the last letter
3 Reverse, losing velocity still (5)
INERT – INVERT(reverse) minus V(velocity)
4 Member of Daisy’s family‘s attempt to flog doormat? (8)
HAWKWEED – HAWK(attempt to flog), WEED(doormat)
5 Steer round north, having been at Christchurch, say (4)
OXON – OX(steer), O(round), N(north) – referring to the Oxford college
6 Fewer shots than expected from cricketer getting runs during a licking (9)
ALBATROSS – BAT(cricketer) and R(runs) inside A LOSS(licking). Fewer shots in golf.
7 What landlord’s insurer is doing, showing a bit of application (8,6)
COVERING LETTER – the landlord’s insurer could be COVERING the LETTER
8 Revealing novel penned by someone with intelligence? (6)
SKIMPY –  KIM(Rudyard Kipling novel) inside SPY(someone with intelligence)
14 Turkey back in barn in plain Welsh town (9)
LLANDUDNO – DUD(turkey) and the last letter of barN inside LLANO(plain)
16 Physicist lives with doctor displaying excess testosterone? (8)
MACHISMO – The physicist Ernst MACH, then IS(lives) and MO(doctor)
17 Support string player forgetting the opening note (6)
ASSIST – BASSIST(string player) minus B(the opening note)
19 Rubbish and criticise inspiring theory (7)
DISMISS – DISS(criticise) containing ISM(theory)
22 Eastern dish, you heard, with a sauce knocked up (5)
PILAU – U(you, phonetically) then A, LIP(sauce) all reversed
23 Miss star leaving Nevada location (4)
LASS – remove VEGA(star) from LAS VEGAS

80 comments on “Times 28732 – all day I dream about”

  1. I wondered whether HOCKWEED might be a daisy until second last in WOODBLOCK put me right. I knew SHINDIG as a party, but was unfamiliar with SHINDY, but it parsed and in it went.
    A toughie at 36:09

  2. 34:06
    Happy to finish this in under my average time, as I thought it was a bit tricky. A few partial biffs (including 1ac) went in and I was glad to recall enough of the Welsh Town (and the plain) to be able to piece it together from the cryptic clues. I liked 2d when the penny dropped.

    Thanks, George, for the clear blog. And thanks to the setter for an interesting challenge.

    1. Hi starstruck. I noticed the addition to the SNITCH of the individual monthly average time. Thanks for this – it’s interesting to see the change over time (in my case I’ve got a little slower recently).

      1. Thanks, Pootle. I finally got around to doing something about performance over time and I’m glad you’re finding it useful. Your results are consistently hovering around 16 minutes now, aren’t they? I’m not sure I’d read too much into the variations of +/- 20 seconds or so. Thanks again.

  3. Mostly steady progress, but a slow finish in the top right. Last few in SKIMPY, WOODBLOCK, HAWKWEED and then OXON. I liked said to require work not being a homophone indicator, and the never-before-seen distilled as an anagram indicator, even thinking it a bit dodgy.

  4. I really struggled with much of this, finally falling over the line at 72.02 with a few interruptions. Like, the Aussie women cricketers are right now playing the Windies and had to help the groundslads wrestle with the covers when a massive storm blew in. Quite a tricky business, it was touch and go for a while. I challenge anyone to get HIP HIP HOORAY from the cryptics alone. NHO SHINDY or the professor and struggled for a while with SKIMPY before I realised the three-letter novel was not She but the other one. Thanks to George for the blog, I needed it. Oh dear, match abandoned.

  5. LOI THRILLER… not the hardest here, but…
    I was held up a good while on the left, especially the top, because I refused to put HIP HIP HOORAY in until I could parse it, but doing that opened up the rest. Biffed PAST PARTICIPLE, which I hadn’t realized was an agranam.
    May not have heard of SHINDY before, but it’s clearly a synonym of “shindig.”
    A fine puzzle that made me think more than twice (it’s all right!) about some of the clues.

  6. 67 minutes. An enjoyable solve but I found some of it very tricky (the LH side again after an easy RH, just like yesterday), and once again I was relieved to come here and find that other experienced commenters struggled a bit too and recorded times not dissimilar to my own.

    My only unknown today was HAWKWEED where I saw the HAWK quite early but WEED came much later. I looked twice at SHINDY, but it had to be, and on checking he archive later I found it had come up several times before, on one occasion blogged by George and on another occasion blogged by me in a QC when it was not an answer in itself but had to be deduced in order to understand the wordplay.

    Is anyone else printing via Chrome suddenly funding the puzzles being presented in Acrobat reader at the final print command? This only started yesterday.

      1. Hi, starstruck. Many thanks for this. Yes, that’s what I get too, but up to 2 days ago it opened in a simple print-preview window without involving Acrobat. TBH it doesn’t really matter as it still prints out exactly as before, but I was curious as to what had changed. I guess there’s a new or updated Chrome extension that’s installed as a default. I might find it and switch it off to see if printing reverts to normal.

        [Edit: Found it, switched it off – now back to normal!]

  7. 25:46
    Thought this was a tough one, struggled all the way, but now I can’t quite explain why. Having HOCKWEED for a long time didn’t help, because I needed WOODBLOCK to be able to launch a guess at OXON.

    Highlight of the puzzle was assembling the possibly vaguely sort-of half-known Welsh town name. To eventually enter such answers with confidence is what makes solving cryptics such a pleasure.

    Thanks George and setter.

  8. 32:29
    I was desperately trying to finish in time for my doctor’s appointment, and just made it. At the price of biffing some without parsing: HIP HIP ( got the HAY part), PAST PARTICIPLE, SALAD DAYS, DISMISS (I had DISS, but with the wrong IS, and couldn’t figure out what MIS was doing; I ask you). No problem with SHINDY. I thought of OXEN at 5d, couldn’t parse it, of course, and move on; it wasn’t until I got WOODBLOCK that the light dawned, although I didn’t actually know if Christchurch was an Oxford college. No doubt tomorrow’s will be even tougher, and I have another doctor’s appointment.

  9. 41 minute with LOI POLICY. I got into this one from the SE, not the best direction when the words go left to right, top to bottom. LATHI was the first I saw, followed by PILAU and HORS D’OEUVRES, and then taking the St Tudno to LLANDUDNO, all in a rush. COD to SALAD DAYS. I liked this puzzle in the end, although I suspect Christchurch was a mean clue for most. My abiding memory is of the college being called House, pronounced Hice, and needing ten stitches above my eye, from when playing football against them. Thank you George and setter.

      1. They call it that themselves – I regularly get sent bumf such as “The House in a pandemic year”.

        1. I’m a scrote from a council estate in Corby, pip, so most of them look like toffs to me. It’s the begging letters they send out that tickle me; they own half of Oxford.

          1. I’m a Grammar school yokel from Dorset, @harmonic_row, we weren’t all toffs, thank G. But I agree, one of the wealthiest institutions in the country and a “charity”, constantly begging and printing fancy brochures, it is bonkers.
            Anyway Corby isn’t too bad, especially if you like Irn Bru.

            1. You’re right, pip, there were quite a few of us there to dilute the social mix! And yes, the place is definitely a gigantic piggy bank. I’m from a Glaswegian steelworker’s family, so Irn Bru was the libation du jour every payday in Corby 🙂

  10. 46.10
    Tough this morning but fun.
    MER at Christchurch – should have been Christ Church to be an Oxford college.

    1. Good point Doc. Others on here may have more insight but having conducted a full minute’s research on this, it looks categorically wrong.

        1. But surely “say” is required to avoid it being a DBE? I don’t think it even works in this context as a homophone indicator.

          1. You’re right of course. I think it would work as a homophone indicator if it hadn’t already been taken.

  11. 20′ but with ‘pass’ instead of LASS, unparsed. I am still pondering WEED = doormat……

    Thanks george and setter.

  12. 16:12. LOI an unparsed MISS with fingers crossed. I needed all my brain cells for this one. Some great clues. Thanks George and setter.

  13. 13:05
    Excellent mid-weeker.
    LOI ADIDAS, LOL HIP HIP HOORAY – older solvers may recall Norman Vaughan hosting ‘Sunday Night at the London Palladium’, with his catchphrases “swinging” (thumbs up) and, as in isla3’s comment above, “dodgy” (thumbs down).

  14. Just over the hour but fell at the last with the NHO HAWKWEED. Looked it up. Bah.

    A challenging toughie but quite enjoyable for all that. I agree with the comments on Christchurch. I was looking for word with NZ in it!

    I liked PAST PARTICIPLE and ALBATROSS. Two golf based clues crosssing today, Thursday normally being my golf day, except it isn’t because my shoulder is snookered. Op next week.

    Thanks g and setter.

  15. Thanks to George for HIP HIP HOORAY, which, unlike Guy du Sable, I didn’t parse once there were sufficient checkers to make it pretty obvious. A very enjoyable puzzle which I took a little while to get started on, and which then kept me on my toes throughout.

    TIME 10:54

  16. 35 minutes all told, with the only unknown being SHINDY and possibly CHAPLETS, but the cluing and checkers were helpful. That also applies to 26A which would otherwise have been butchered.
    I really enjoyed this one and aside from taking far too long putting together THRILLER and HAWKWEED I maintained a steady flow and parsed all the clues as I went along.
    As I’m back on a good run I expect to encounter an absolute stinker tomorrow.

  17. DNF, back in OWL Club with ‘pass’ rather than LASS – couldn’t think of any Nevada locations (always forget that Las Vegas is there), and for some reason never considered the young woman meaning of ‘miss’. Not sure I knew Vega as a star anyway.

    Found this fairly tough. Eventually pieced together the unknown HAWKWEED; took a long time to see ADIDAS as for ages I only thought of Audi or Aldi as the German brands; knew shindig but not SHINDY; considered Emma as the novel for 8d before remembering Kim and getting SKIMPY; had to hope that CHAPLETS are flowers; got MACHISMO without knowing who Ernst Mach was; and thought 2d would be one of the seemingly thousands of words for drunk until the penny dropped and I got PAST PARTICIPLE.

    Thanks setter and blogger.

    COD Adidas

  18. Enjoyed this one, just right for a Thursday, a gentle limber up before the Friday shocker ..
    Nho shindy but close enough to shindig, i guess. The OED says “origin obscure, possibly a formation from shinty. About shinty, OED says “Origin unknown!” So there you go.
    Pleased to see that we haven’t had any “Surprised to see a brand name” comments yet.. 🙂

  19. 52:34
    Good puzzle with only one or two clunky surface readings. As noted by others, it’s Christ Church – definitely two words, not one. Additionally, it’s never Christ Church College; it’s just Christ Church (I was there as an undergraduate 1977 to 1981).
    Thanks, g.

      1. Hi there! Phil is a very good mate; we both studied Fr and Sp and shared rooms. Think I only met you the once, at St John’s, as I recall. Great to see you on here.

  20. Tough going again at just under 60′ today with a few biffs, including 1ac and the NHOs SHINDY, LATHI, and CHAPLETS. Needed WOODBLOCK to finally work out LOI HAWKWEED. As a child we used to joke about “horses-doovers” for starters, so that was a write in for me!

  21. 116m 42s
    The SNITCH says ‘Harder’. I say ‘Very Hard’.
    Had to come here to understand ‘hip hip hooray’ and ‘Llandudno’ but enjoyed ‘albatross’ and ‘past participle.
    Thank you linesman, thank you ballboys.

  22. 15:12. Tricky one. Like George I was particularly slow to get going, with only a small handful of answers after my first pass through the acrosses. Only HAWKWEED unknown though, so one of these puzzles where the difficulty comes from cunning rather than obscurity.
    So many thanks to the setter who, judging by 1ac, appears to be Austin Powers. Groovy baby!

  23. It’s Hush Hush! Hooray!
    Another Thursday beauty, feeling harder, and a great deal more sophisticated, than yesterday’s. It’s Easy to Sing it’s praises, but as We Said We Wouldn’t Look Back, I’ll just say I had The Time of My Life doing this. Oh, Look At Me getting all nostalgic, as if Looking for a Piano instead of the parsing for HIP HIP HOORAY, or wondering how it could possibly be ABATTOIR. Most days, I Sit in the Sun to do these things, but as apparently in Victoria, today it’s raining. All that said, my thanks to George for clearing up the bits I didn’t and to Anon for the puzzle, which occupied me for 23.19. Obviously (to some) my CoD was SALAD DAYS.

    1. Great to be reminded of the old show! I may have posted this before but here’s a very rare recording of the songs as played by the composer himself on two pianos. Sorry about the low-fi quality.

      1. I first saw Salad Days as a child in (I think) an amateur seaside production, and the songs stuck. I saw the Revival in 2009 at the Riverside Studios, and it had lost none of its charm. I still know all the words!

        1. I first heard the music as a child on the 78 linked above, and loved it. I had to wait until 1995 to see it on stage at Richmond, Surrey, but it also toured, in a lavish production starring Kit and The Widow directed by Ned Sherrin.

          Later Radio 4 mounted a celebratory all-star production ago to mark an anniversary of the show but I felt it lacked magic despite the presence of the big names.

  24. Tricky. DNK HAWKWEED and didn’t want to guess at it, so DNF after 45 mins. Liked PAST PARTICIPLE and SALAD DAYS.

  25. The Christchurch clue is I suspect a mistake. It looks as if the setter thought that that was how the Oxford college was spelled. ‘Say’ is needed for one of two reasons: to misdirect the solver to the place in New Zealand (etc) by having a homophone; or to indicate that Christ Church (or Christchurch, as the setter thought) is an example of an Oxford college. It can’t be both. Like some others I was terribly slow to get started but then went along steadily but slowly until I reached the HORS D’OEUVRES, which was too much and I had to admit defeat after 76 minutes.

  26. Quite hard, with some biffing and guesswork – SHINDY, HAWKWEED and CHAPLETS – but no complaints. Liked SALAD DAYS, as in the musical from which my mother used to play the songs repeatedly on the piano and sing badly.

  27. 6m 26s, back in the wavelength today, even if I didn’t manage to parse 1a or the clever user of ‘said’ in ADIDAS. Very nice puzzle.

  28. 33 mins. All plain sailing, until my LOI, CHAPLETS, which I’d NHO. In the end, my patience gave out and I looked it up.

  29. I struggled on for about 35 minutes then checked HOCKWEED to find that it wasn’t. That removed the obstacle to WOODBLOCK and OXON as well as ALBATROSS leaving me with last 2 in, MACHISMO, which corrected my spelling of HORS D’OEUVRES, and CHAPLETS. 37:05, but with a little bit of help. Thanks setter and George.

  30. I found this very difficult, and wouldn’t have completed without a bit of aid from the word database fount that is Mr Ego. However, the clues were undoubtedly clever. My first in was 1A, bifd, but then parsed and that led to the clever OXON, which I had no trouble with, as I didn’t notice the lack of spacing in Christchurch. However, after just a few more it was a slow slog to tease out the answers and at the end I had to resort to aids to get ADIDAS. I had no idea it was a German brand, but I was additionally fooled by the false homophone indicator! I was unable to parse DISMISS, though everything else was satisfactorily parsed. Hoping for a gentler ride tomorrow.

  31. 72 minutes with two pink squares. Not that hard (especially looking back at it) but needing a lot of teasing out. A silly typo at 26ac and a desperate PASS at 23dn. I decided that Passadena must be in Nevada; it must have a double S; and “Adena” must be the star we had to remove. That’s what you do after 72 minutes

  32. Came close to giving up on this but returned and completed it in well over an hour, long after I had stopped timing. I found this very tough and a bit of a joyless grind throughout.

  33. 26’26” LOI LASS. I’d forgotten ADIDAS was German. At one point it was owned by the very French Bernard Tapie.

  34. Can only assume the lack of appalled spluttering from the Anti Trade Name Collective over the inclusion of ADIDAS today was in response to it elegant cluing. Thin end though…?
    Plenty to smile about here, thanks setter and, of course, our blogger

  35. DNF
    Flushed with success from completing yesterday’s 15×15, I ventured back out of the relatively safe world of the QC.
    Called time at 41:16 with only 6 entries.
    Going through George’s blog, my early exit was vindicated. I might have managed another 6, but there are clues in here I would never have got, and I’d NHO SHINDY or SALAD DAYS.
    Thanks to all those that signal in the QC blog when the 15×15 might be worth a visit for us relative newbies, and thanks to George for the education.

  36. 56:28

    I didn’t have that much fun trying to tweeze out some of the definitions here, though there were a-ha moments – SALAD DAYS was good, assumed SHINDY to be correct, whereas 2d I was initially miles off looking for a capital, two words the first beginning with P – getting that one was the high spot.

    No idea who MACH was, but guessed there was a physicist of that name. The word CHAPLETS only known from an early Dr Who companion of that name (Dodo Chaplet) – didn’t know it actually meant something! Didn’t enjoy the unknown plant at all, and as for OXON, absolutely no idea about the correct spelling of Christchurch/Christ Church – though I was pleased to parse that one. LOIs DISMISS (had been wondering whether I could shoehorn DUSTPAN (Rubbish and criticise) in from the D and first S), LATHI, HORS D’OEUVRES and finally LASS (another pdm).

  37. 36’0″
    Smartly away, lost a little ground home turn, stayed on gamely.
    There’s a bit of life in the old plater yet; under par with all parsed. Hawkweed was new to me, but it seemed likely as it parsed, and finished only two lengths adrift of our stalwart Snitchmeister in the Witch handicap.
    A rather spooky thing happened down in the square yesterday evening; returning to my table I glanced upwards and noted VEGA almost overhead and then sat down and drilled Matteo on his irregular PAST PARTICIPLES, one of which was DRUNK !
    My grandparents took me to see Mother Goose in Torquay; when they asked why I didn’t look very happy, I answered, “It wasn’t a pantomime.” Grandma’s sleuthing solved the mystery; my first three pantos in three different theatres had all been Aladdin.
    Thank you George and setter for a wonderful workout.

  38. 48 minutes. A good example of a tough but fair puzzle, I thought.

    Spent too long trying to remember the name of Siegfried’s sword from Wagner: I was convinced that was the German brand.

  39. Got to this much later in the day than normal and maybe a late afternoon solve suits me. I recognise that this was pretty tough but the answers came quite steadily. At first pass however I wasn’t confident of even finishing, as very few were solved. After revisiting the clues I then built up a head of steam crossing the line in 43.45. My LOI was HAWKWEED, as I wasn’t sure whether doormat was another term for weed. An enjoyable grid to solve with all correctly parsed for once.

  40. 21.50

    Surprisingly on the wavelength and no typos. HIP HIP HOORAY straight in from checkers followed by OXON (sorry Gerry). Writing out the ‘grist for the long ‘un on the LHS proved the unblocker for the rest.

    Thanks everyone

        1. Thank you – but no worries. Life too short to get irritated over such trivia. You should see what folk do with my surname!

  41. Very stop-start for me. Was left staring at the checkers for HORS DOEUVRES and HAWKWEED at the end hoping for inspiration which fortunately duly arrived. 32 mins slower than my brother (see previous post). Ouch!

    Good puzzle – thanks to setter and blogger.

    Time: 53 mins

  42. 33 minutes after a couple of beers, which I feel OK with after glancing through the comments. Like others knew shindig but nho shindy, also hawkweed for daisy new to me, but everything was fairly clued.
    Another good puzzle imo
    Thanks setter and blogger

  43. First finish of the week, with several requiring crossed fingers (LASS, DISMISS, HAWKWEED, CHAPLETS, SHINDY) so pleased to find all we’re correct.

  44. Decidedly red brick over here. OXON FOI without blinking. Slow start but steady solving for the rest of the hour. As a non-golfer the material of the various clubs passed me by so I went for IRONBLOCK which produced HAILWEED. Slightly embarrassing.

    Thanks G and setter

  45. Didn’t think I did too badly, considering it was generally considered a toughie, and that in the first pass I only came up with LATHI. I still don’t really see the link between “we’re celebrating” and HIP HIP HOORAY (I know, I know). A couple of the anagrams defeated me (COVERING LETTER, PAST PARTICIPLE), and I too had NHO HAWKWEED or CHAPLETS, but the last at least raised a smile when I got it. The lack of the 1a crossers was a hindrance to solving the involved down clues, but all eventually teased out. Especially liked THRILLER, MASSAGED and LLANDUDNO, where I spent a wonderful fortnight with my best mate on a school Geography trip (mainly as a base for us to conquer Snowdon, I think.)

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