Times 28741 – Get on your float!

Enough to keep you honest here, I think. It took me 25 minutes, so a bit over par for a Monday.

1 Presumption each end of the year holds value (8)
TEMERITY – MERIT (value) in T[h]E (both ends of the word ‘the’) Y (year)
5 Stand or stumble: too many drugs? (6)
TRIPOD – TRIP OD (overdose)
10 Seeing problem, new counsellor bids for resolution (6,9)
COLOUR BLINDNESS – anagram* of N COUNSELLOR BIDS; new becomes N
11 Pitch right into a clue, beginning to yield so soon? (7)
ALREADY – R in A LEAD Y[ield]
12 Choose a way in to catch fighter in the ring (7)
PICADOR – sounds like ‘pick a door’
13 Silences pale, white creature (4,4)
15 Left part of church, one’s faith having done this? (5)
LAPSE – L APSE; ‘lapsed’ would be better, no?
18 Make sense of commercial by party (3,2)
ADD UP – AD DUP (Democratic Unionist Party, from Nrn Irn)
20 General having succeeded showing signs of distress (8)
23 Inn opening time: taxi! (7)
25 Her wailing has been terrible (7)
26 Peremptorily dismiss joke: why is service bad? (5,3,2,5)
LAUGH OUT OF COURT – LAUGH (joke) OUT OF COURT (an unsuccessful serve at tennis, badminton, etc)
27 Incorporate firm at last in European group (6)
EMBODY – [fir]M in E BODY
28 Pious saint avoiding contrary scripture (8)
REVERENT – REVER[s]E NT (New Testament); both contrary and reverse can mean opposite
1 Swapping elements of scheme gets communication, of course (3-3)
TIC-TAC – TACTIC with the vowels swapped; the weird callisthenics employed by oddsmakers at racecourses
2 Take advantage of some drinks in hiring programme (4,5)
MILK ROUND – MILK (take advantage of, e.g. applause)  ROUND (some drinks); a series of visits that large companies make to universities to tell students about job opportunities in their companies
3 Regret pig fat is said to be in this dish (7)
ROULADE – sounds like ‘rue lard’
4 Cat flap extremely busy (5)
6 Very left-wing cardinal Vatican finally drops in reshuffle (7)
RADICAL – CARDI[n]AL (minus the  final letter in [vatica]N)
7 Phoney subscription raised under pressure (5)
PSEUD – P DUES reversed
8 Regularly idle, joined the army — just (8)
9 Very stupid to conceal internet supplier issue (8)
14 Exhausted, did domestic chore (6,2)
WASHED UP – double definition
16 Purchaser’s first to rave about old flat (9)
PENTHOUSE – P[urchaser] O in ENTHUSE
17 Alliance dispersed a mob (8)
19 Quietly made a bow, desperate for a drink (7)
21 Bowl with a revolutionary swagger (7)
PANACHE – PAN A CHE (of Guevara fame)
22 Attend the event, or buzz off (4,2)
BEAT IT – BE AT IT (the event)
24 Remarks on jacket having a smear on top of buttonhole (5)
BLURB – BLUR (smear) B[uttonhole]
25 Be around where many animals are brought up to drink a lot (5)
BOOZE – ZOO reversed in BE

45 comments on “Times 28741 – Get on your float!”

  1. I guess.
    Didn’t see a many of the stretchy synonyms until answers were in place, but learning the previously unknown to me Tic-Tac kind of made up for it. thanks ulaca

  2. 7:39, pretty breezy, though the new champion pipped me by a few minutes as usual. I was foiled by TIC-TAC in a Saturday puzzle last year when it was clued by a cryptic definition, so wasn’t going to miss it again.

  3. I lost track of time on this because I began to nod off more than once after a heavy day of crossword solving (ST, the Saturday Jumbo and the Championship Final). I had started well enough but then my eyes started to glaze over and the answers stopped flowing.

    As already discussed by others, this was not the easiest of puzzles and certainly not typical for a Monday since RR has apparently now confirmed that Monday puzzles are supposed to be easier and Fridays harder, contrary to previously declared policy.

    NHO the MILK ROUND thing, so although I got the answer eventually once most of the checkers were in place I had no idea what the clue was referring to.

    REVERENT was a tentative guess as a word that fitted the unhelpful checkers (three Es and a T) and seemed more suitable that ‘vehement’, the only other word that came to mind. I missed the wordplay apart from the NT .

    I’d have said CANAILLE was a NHO, but on checking later I found it has come up two or three times before, including a puzzle I blogged myself.

    I knew AUBERGE well enough but had been distracted whilst solving into thinking ‘inn’ = BAR which had to be fitted into a word meaning ‘time’ to make a word meaning ‘taxi’ perhaps in the sense of an aircraft moving slowly on the ground.

  4. NHO of MILK ROUND or, in this sense, TIC-TAC. This wasn’t terribly tough, but if Friday is going to be four days tougher…!
    CANAILLE reminded me in particular of a Léo Ferré song (“Paris Canaille”—an affectionate look at the demimonde) and I was a bit surprised to see it here. But Jack says it’s not the first time. AUBERGE seemed a cryptic commonplace.
    There are, of course, right-wing radicals too, but, to repeat a recent reply here to the same objection, this is The Times.
    LAUGH OUT OF COURT reminds me of a passel of hapless lawyers and especially one hopeless defendant (three guesses!) in a handful of cases now being tried in the States.

  5. Pretty much what everyone else has said on the chief obscurities. I found this a bit of a slog and was happy to limp across the line in 51.38. LOI was REVERENT (I never think of ‘saint’ as being just S) and I too wasted time fiddling around with bar in AUBERGE. Looking at it now I think I convinced myself it was harder than it was, but if this is the easiest of the week I, for one, am going to be in trouble.

  6. TIC-TAC a marvellous thing, can be seen in ‘The Blue Lamp’. Double carpet, anyone? Also no difficulty with MILK ROUND, having been at university in the 1970s – does it still happen?

    AUBERGE brought back memories of being snowbound when hitchhiking through Andorra. Nho CANAILLE. REVERENT LOI.

    Not a Monday though, 15’54’, thanks ulaca and setter.

  7. 14:58. Like Jack I was thrown for some time trying to fit BAR into a word for time to get a synonym for taxi. Once I’d sorted out the unfamiliar CANAILLE I biffed AUBERGE not spotting the relatively modern UBER.
    MILK ROUND brings back good memories of visiting many companies’ evening presentations in order to get free food and drink!

  8. 15:19. Held up at the end by REVERENT, which I failed to parse. I liked the RUE LARD homophone. Thanks Ulaca and setter.

  9. I found that hard, finishing in 34 minutes. Although my time was almost the same, I found it subjectively harder going than the championship puzzle.

  10. DNF. Had to pull the pin as the hour approached with CANAILLE and AUBERGE remaining unsolved. Had the same difficulties as others, but I seem to have made them difficulter.

    Can only marvel at the blogger’s ability to dispatch this one in 25 minutes. Well played U.

  11. Indeed, a slow start for me but a reasonable finish in 16.17. I think the eye defect in 10a prompted me to think of things like presbyopia, myopia and other complicated words, and blinded me (sic) to the more prosaic. CANAILLE was a guess based on checkers and a fancied connection with canard, with or without chains, and of course mistaken, but right nonetheless. Twice bounced by wrongendedeness: PICADOR where the homophone indicator was deceptive, and my LOI AUBERGE, indeed looking for (a) taxi with an internal BAR (now there’s a good idea).
    Would have loved to be with you all on Saturday, to see V jumping for joy as he once saw me: lack of mobility is a b*gger. But at 16.17, I could have been a contender!

  12. 33:52
    Plenty of challenge but nothing unfair. A sprinkling of French and Spanish too, so my sort of puzzle.

  13. A struggle for me today. I didn’t time myself but I wouldn’t be surprised if 45 minutes passed before the SW finally clicked into place. I went around the houses and wot dunnit in the end was remembering a less than salubrious establishment in Abergavenny called the AUBERGE. The unknown CANAILLE then went in with a slight shrug of the shoulders.

    Looking back I think this was generally a fair puzzle and I was just off form this morning.

    Thanks to the setter and blogger, and on the wrong thread, well done to the new champion Verlaine. I think my decision not to enter for the first time was proved correct by today’s showing!

  14. Found this tough for a Monday, well into the 40’s for me. Auberge came from the Chris Rea song rather than any knowledge of French, and only after playing with bar/pub/cab. Nice, though, to see “uber” as taxi being a bit of an update on previous synonyms. Biffed CANAILLE from crossers and dim memory. Never parsed REVERENT but a straightforward biff. I took part in a MILK ROUND in the late 70s so a write in. Enjoyed PICADOR. Thanks Ulaca and setter.

  15. Gnarly for a Monday, I thought. I liked CANAILLE. I think in a Parisian mob it’s one step up from ‘racaille’? The homophone in 3 down works only for non-rhotic speakers (ie the south-eastern English), as ‘lard’ gets an audible ‘r’ everywhere else. As an English person living in Scotland I have become aware of these issues (not to say had them pointed out on a number of occasions). Do TIC-TAC men still exist? Brings back memories of childhood Saturday afternoons when all the BBC could broadcast on Grandstand was the racing, and behind the commentator there’d be a guy on a box gesticulating… he was a lot more interesting to a ten year old than the horses.

    1. As a Scotsman living in England I’ve mentioned a few homophones that don’t quite work for me (usually rhotic based) but there’s usually little sympathy!!

  16. 17:03, so very pleased this puzzle appeared now and not on Finals Day – NHO CANAILLE that I could remember, and it crossed with the other one which foxed me for some time, AUBERGE (where I, too, thought it must have a BAR in the middle, and took ages to parse even when I saw the answer, because I am too old to belong to Generation UBER).

  17. 7:51. No problems today, helped by knowledge of French. Mind you I’m not sure I’d have been able to tell you what CANAILLE means.
    I remember the MILK ROUND from university. In my case a process that was a complete failure in so far as the objective was to find gainful employment. To the extent the objective was to get free drinks I maximised my potential. Perhaps there is a link between the two outcomes.

  18. I made very heavy weather of this (54 minutes, with aids) and found several clues rather hard. The alliance anagram was difficult and I have been used for so long to The Times not advertising that I was very slow to see Uber in AUBERGE. One might say that it’s now generic, like hoover, but has Uber been around for long enough? Liked ROULADE and PICADOR.

  19. 35:38 but…

    Not the easiest start to the week, most of the top half done in good time – exception was ALREADY – having worked in a couple of merchant banks, the MILK ROUND was easily recalled. Bogged down in the bottom half where I guessed the OUT OF COURT part and wondered what word could precede it. PENTHOUSE took a while to come, even with four checkers. Finished with EMBODY, BLURB, AUBERGE, LAUGH…, REVERENT and finally the unknown CANAILLE which I confirmed by looking up before submitting.

  20. This definitely had me thinking, which I suppose is the point of these puzzles.
    I’m surprised that so many complain of the dodgey homophones, after all the whole puzzle is driven by various conventions, and surely it is easy enough to remember that to SOME people many of the dodgey ones are not. Afer all, the synonyms are rooutinely selected to only work in rather restricted circumstances?
    Incidentally I started off with a ROULARD so the dodginess wasn’t!

  21. I, too, was expecting an easier Monday after the Championship puzzle had been wrestled to bed last night. Pretty much what everybody else is saying about it, except no problems with CANAILLE, remembered from French drama lectures. The S/ST thing fooled me again, leading to an unparsed bif on REVERENT. LOI was PICADOR, not in itself difficult, but hampered by having DESIGNED at 8D for most of the time and failing to clock the homophone indicator.
    Well done to Verlaine, and all those who got through the first round (see John Interred’s report). He deserved to win after crossing the Atlantic to take part, though I’m sure his family were able to enjoy his company as well.

  22. Technical DNF. Penultimate OI was PICADOR, failing to spot the homophone function of ‘catch’. Fiddled about trying to force ‘PICK’ in somehow. Gave up, used aids, and even then had to muse a bit to understand the parsing. This finally gave me DESERVED which I’d thought might be DESIGNED (‘signed’ for join the army’) but was unconvinced. Of course that didn’t help with PICADOR!!
    Congrats to Verlaine!

  23. 11:46 but only with a deep breath. NHO of CANAILLE but couldn’t see another plausible construction. Other than that I tripped through *fairly* smoothly. Didn’t see the wordplay for REVERENT because “saint” is *always* ST, right? Was pleased with AUBERGE, having also put BAR in initially. Good stuff.

  24. 21:46

    Reasoanably comfortable, particularly after wrestling with the Times Final puzzle, but I needed Ulaca to explain AUBERGE.

    I still get CANAILLE and CANELLÉ mixed up. Not helpful if you are in a boulangerie.

    Thanks to Ulaca and the setter.

  25. I was beginning to panic when nothing had gone in after almost 5 mins but ended up finishing in a second over the 30 which is par for me.

    Remembered the st/s thing which helped, my French speaking wife confirmed the meaning of canaille and I too experienced the milk round in the 80s and was also fascinated by the tic tac men on World of Sport with Dickie Davies. Have also stayed in plenty of auberges so in truth this was right down my rue …

    Enjoyed the porky homophone.

    Thanks setter and Ulaca and congrats to Verlaine!

  26. DNF, defeated by PICADOR, AUBERGE, CANAILLE, PSEUD and DISPENSE. I hadn’t heard of any of the first three, and the fourth and fifth were simple failures to think of subs=dues and ISP respectively (in the latter case, not helped by assuming that the ‘very’ in the clue was giving us a V – is ‘dense’ necessarily *very* stupid?). Like several commenters, for AUBERGE I was trying to fit ‘bar’ for ‘inn’ into a four-letter word meaning taxi and never considered that the clue might work the other way round.

    Didn’t know that meaning of TIC-TAC or MILK ROUND either, so those went in with a shrug.

    Tough stuff for a Monday – well done to all who completed this one, and thanks setter and blogger.

    COD Radical

  27. Threw in the towel after 70minutes with other matters to attend to. Never sorted out the anagram fodder for the unknown CANAILLE. Fixated on finding the name of a specific military General, missing the bl**din’ obvious as usual, and was sure the reshuffle started with RED(something). Hope to be more with it tomorrow.

    Thanks for elucidations.

  28. Once I saw how AUBERGE supposedly worked, I abandoned the puzzle in protest.

    If you see the sign at the start of a bus lane that says “BUSES AND TAXIS ONLY” while you are riding in an Uber, you will note that your driver cannot use that facility. The reason is simple :

    AN UBER IS NOT A ******* TAXI!!!!

    I didn’t work 45 years in the legitimate taxi trade to have my intelligence insulted in such a manner, and the setter responsible for this abomination should be taken out and flogged within an inch of his life.

  29. 27’58”
    Good early pace, stayed on well.
    All parsed and all familiar, but twelve years of French and chasing Grandad around the Newmarket betting ring in the 70s helped considerably. Even in the 1990s racecourses were almost identical to those in the 50s; there’s a wonderful scene in The Rocking Horse Winner (John Mills/Valerie Hobson) depicting a summer afternoon at Goodwood.
    Colour blindness was a semi-biff allowing me another gramophone record Witch; six more and I’ll have a quorum for the desert island.
    I was very pleased to read about the three heavyweights with princely pedigrees fighting out the final yesterday, and am looking forward to John I’s report.
    I enjoyed this very much, thank you setter and Ulaca.

    PS A Google Pic search yesterday using M.Marcus revealed three snaps of MM in the company of crossword royalty and left me more bemused and even more intrigued: I had no idea that his sobriquet is Verlaine. Many, many congratulations to him on a highly deserved victory.

  30. The top half was easier than the bottom half I found but DNF for me. I got both homophones but neither really works and it’s nothing to do with rhoticity, they have the wrong vowels (at least in my accent, I say them in a way that is approximately the same as how most actual French and Spanish people do)

  31. Around 30 minutes but I failed to parse “Reverent”.
    I liked “Auberge” and “Pseud”.
    Nice puzzle.

  32. No complaints although AUBERGE and CANAILLE did for me too. I also failed to parse REVERENT even contemplating teletext as a “contrary scripture”! Thanks for the blog!

  33. An unimpressive 28’07” for me. I was help up by the BAR problem, and also by seeing DECIDE in 12 across.

  34. Over an hour, so quite hard for a Monday, but I did finish, with the wordplay essential for TIC-TAC and MILK ROUND. The only reason CANAILLE was not much of a problem is that it is fairly common slang in German for the hoi polloi. Nevertheless, an enjoyable puzzle (although I was also surprised that Uber was allowed in, not because I was ever a real taxi driver but because it is a brand name).

  35. Rather slow 40 mins, but enjoyable. All the usual trouble with CANAILLE and AUBERGE. I convinced myself there was an old word for a taxi — a ‘lebarge’ or an ‘aubarre’ — parked just around the corner. Got there in the end though. Thanks to the setter and blogger.

  36. Had to have a fair bit of help with this one: several ‘toughies’ like CANAILLE and REVERENT and DESERVED. AUBERGE was one I should have cracked, as that was the name of the hang-out/coffee bar in Richmond, Surrey, where my bestie from school and I spent many an evening for the price of one coffee in order to ogle the local talent, but like others I was determined to insert bar into a word for age to make another for taxi…
    Didn’t know that meaning of TIC TAC, or of MILK ROUND, forgotten about MUTE SWANs. But very much liked BANSHEE, AUBERGE and PANACHE.

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