Times 28759 – On The Shore

Time: 37 minutes

Music: Mahler, Symphony #1, Boulez/ChicagoSO

I have a feeling I really made a hash of my solve – wrong answers, word dividers incorrectly placed, illegible crossing letters.      Well, I don’t claim to be a speed solver.     The SNITCH shows that this is a moderate puzzle, although some solvers seem to have found it tough.     I don’t think there will be much to slow down the top solvers here, no strange vocabulary, and relatively straightforward cryptics.



1 Dated a right Charlie drinking spicy drink (7)
5 Man, say, that is filling glasses (7)
SPECIES – SPEC(I.E)S.   Not an island, for once.
9 Musician‘s funny Christian rock after tango (9)
TRUMPETER –  T + RUM PETER.    St. Peter was called the Rock of the Church, because his name means rock in Greek.
10 Having peeled date, a German did duck meals outside (3,2)
ATE IN – [d]AT[e] + EIN.   It you don’t see the significance of did, you might put EAT IN, as I did…..until the old Brits came along.
11 One putting a cross in the box in footie, regularly caught by vacuous viewer (5)
VOTER – V([f]O[o]T[i]E)R, where the enclosing letters are from V[iewe]R.
12 One blowing up foe finally, if arming bombs (9)
MAGNIFIER – Anagram of [fo]E + IF ARMING.
13 Smuggler in Berlin is following group of Nicaraguan rebels (13)
CONTRABANDIST – CONTRA + BAND + IST.    I just could not get Sandinista out of my head for the longest time.
17 Drunk in bar did groan, drying out here (8,5)
21 Outraged sons formed an alliance (7,2)
24 Scouting leaders in cub expeditions on playing field (5)
RECCE – REC + C[ub] E[xpedition].
25 One seen wading in say river banks in Egypt (5)
EGRET – E.G. + R + E[gyp]T.
26 Good deal on cost drawing in new students here (9)
27 Star’s face — rugged and thin (7)
28 Try playing in Lear, wanting a role therein (7)
GONERIL – GO + anagram of IN LE[a]R.
1 Dynamic fourth part of staged work has energy (6)
ACTIVE – ACT IV  + E, should be a chestnut if it isn’t one.
2 Succeeded in accurate working in class (9)
CRUSTACEA – Anagram of ACCURATE containing S – not the kind of class you were expecting?
3 Hoping to offload Samsung’s ultimate tablet (7)
ASPIRIN – ASPIRIN[g], removing the last letter of [samsun]G.
4 Vessel in southern English river with article that’s tin-plated (9)
CATAMARAN – CA(TAMAR, A)N.   I was sure this was going to involve SN, but not so.
5 Child beginning to suck a kind of rock (5)
SPROG – S + PROG, as in King Crimson, Hawkwind, Hatfield and the North, etc.
6 No one except revolutionary is sidestepping the issue (7)
EVASION – NO I SAVE upside-down.
7 Very old Brits chill, turning up at home (5)
ICENI – ICE + IN upside-down.
8 Determined to hold golf club up before a miss (8)
SENORITA – SE( IRON upside-down)T + A.
14 Playing jazz live and dancing (9)
15 Popular ruler wants time, one signalling change of direction (9)
INDICATOR – IN DIC[t]ATOR.    A blinker in the US, watch out for that.
16 Old island-hopper uses elastic after trunk’s losing lid (8)
ODYSSEUS – [b]ODY + anagram of USES.
18 Door staff turned handle here (4,3)
NAME TAG – GATE MAN upside-down.
19 Continental area — cool hedges endlessly fertile (7)
20 Picked up soldier’s rank meat (6)
KERNEL – Sounds like COLONEL.   The literal uses a secondary meaning.
22 Howler monkey losing its head (5)
ERROR – [t]ERROR, as in a naughty child.
23 Perhaps like hummus and nuts (5)
DIPPY – Double definition, one jocular.

72 comments on “Times 28759 – On The Shore”

  1. 7:48 – pretty steady solve. Vinyl1 – in 19 down I think you mean RICH losing the last letter inside A FAN

  2. Yeah, a smooth trip.

    The story is that Peter was called Simon (or Simeon) until (Wikipedia) « given by Jesus the name Cephas (/ˈsiːfəs/), from the Aramaic 𐡊𐡉𐡐𐡀, Kipa, ‘rock/stone’. In translations of the Bible from the original Greek, his name is maintained as Cephas in 9 occurrences in the New Testament, whereas in the vast majority of mentions (156 occurrences in the New Testament) he is called Πέτρος, Petros, from the Greek and Latin word for a rock or stone (petra) to which the masculine ending was added, rendered into English as Peter. »

    So when Jesus says to Simon, in Matthew, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,” he is at that moment calling Simon the rock of the church, and giving him the name Cephas/Peter for that reason.

    1. Thanks, Guy, for that explanation. When I first learned Jesus probably spoke Aramaic I wondered how the Peter/rock pun in Greek fit in.

  3. 39 minutes, so no walk in the park for me. Nice to have RECCE, something my dad was always doing. DIPPY raised a smile too. I had ‘dotty’ originally. I guess I was thinking about the hummus I make…

  4. 18:25, tougher than most Mondays but not too bad.

    Just needed to know the usual fragments of Shakespeare, the Bible, geo-politics, Greek mythology, ornithology, Roman / British history, musical terms, military terms, geography, biology and the odd Continental word or name.

    Standard Times fare. Thanks Vinyl and setter.

  5. I found this straightforward but needed 36 minutes to complete it following a slight delay in the SE corner. “Students here” as definition was not very helpful, nor was the wordplay, so I needed most of the checkers to bring PRINCETON to mind. CRUSTACEA had been encountered elsewhere very recently and was fresh in my mind.

  6. 9:55. Several definitions threw me today. I presumed “Man, say” to indicate an island, I thought “one blowing up” was some sort of bomber and I took “Continental” to mean European. However, once I had some letters in it all came together quickly giving me a Monday time for a harder than typical Monday puzzle.

  7. Well that’s annoying, I wrote a comment about an hour ago and apparently forgot to send it, so have to start again. I remember thinking this was not easy but very enjoyable, with many sharp clues like ASPIRIN, CATAMARAN, ODYSSEUS, MAGNIFIER (oh, that kind of blowing up) and CRUSTACEA (that kind of class). The evolution from ‘monkey’ to ‘terror’ perhaps has a missing link but never mind. Nice blog from vinyl, thanks for explaining AFRICAN. 30.43 for me.

  8. 28 minutes, not helped by being another Sandinista. The crossing TON for ‘Good deal’ and KERNEL for ‘meat’ took a while to sort out, but otherwise this wasn’t too bad. Favourite was DIPPY, even though I’m a ‘hummus’ spreader.

    A bit like the Fates, the Furies and the Muses, the daughters of King ‘Lear’ only exist in crossword land for me.

      1. Thanks. Having just looked up the Norns in Wikipedia, I wish I could say I will now remember their names, but not much hope I’m afraid. We had Yggdrasil in an Indy puzzle a couple of months ago which is a bit more memorable.

  9. Unlike the Championship puzzles so far I managed this one in bang on 20 mins, so I must’ve been on the wavelength by the sounds of it. Only CATAMARAN unparsed, as I was hung up on the AN at the end being the article.

    Possibly helped by watching a lot of The Big Bang Theory recently; though it’s set in Pasadena at Caltech, PRINCETON occasionally features, too.

  10. 26 minutes, started quickly and I was hoping for a good time but the south side slowed me down. DIPPY and PRINCETON I thought were not so easy, I started off thinking hummus might be dotty but finally cottoned on to Princeton.
    Thanks setter and Vinyl, nice start to the week

  11. 39m 17s
    Like you, vinyl, I was fixated on Sandinista for quite a while in 13ac.
    And I agree with Jack. We’ve had CRUSTACEA very recently.
    Still, a good start to the week.
    PS….Is our setter trying to tell us something in Row 1? 🙂

  12. Penultimate was my regret
    As I stumbled across the EGRET
    My spirits were saggy
    As I finished with SCRAGGY
    No respite from avians yet

    1. I didn’t find this one too hard
      But my knowledge of plays by the Bard
      Is scanty, you see
      But in this company
      I should be feathered and tarred

    2. He was grid filling really quite merrily,
      With no chirping to upset him terribly,
      But he felt mighty sick,
      When a thing nilotic,
      Turned out to be something that’s feathery.

  13. To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
    With a sweet kernel; to set budding more, …
    (To Autumn. Keats)

    25 mins pre-brekker. Standard-ish fare. I liked the clever Goneril.
    Ta setter and V.

  14. 13:23. I liked the man filling glasses best. I remembered 2D coming up somewhere else recently. Thanks Vinyl and setter.

  15. 37 minutes with LOI ERROR. COD to TRUMPETER. He wasn’t always a rock. An eerie experience in my life was a cock suddenly crowing twice as I was walking round the walls of Jerusalem. I wasted time on MAGNIFIER convinced it was going to end in MINE. I found this a bit tougher than average. Thank you V and setter.

  16. 30 mins which I’m pleased with, A fun Monday romp. LOI SCRAGGY. I thought the clue for PRINCETON was a bit clunky but heh….

    I liked the two long clues and TRUMPETER and MAGNIFIER.

    Thanks v and setter.

  17. 15 minutes today and generally plain sailing until I was held up for a minute or two at the end with the unknown GONERIL and KERNEL.

    Generally I thought this was fair with nothing too obscure.

    A pleasant start to the week so thank you to the setter and to vinyl for the blog.

  18. 20 minutes. Like our blogger, I struggled to get Sandinistas out of my head for 13a even though I knew it didn’t fit and I wasn’t expecting CRUSTACEA as the class. Also didn’t fully parse ERROR as I forgot monkey=terror, and wanted to biff ‘evasive’ for 6d until CONTRABANDIST set me straight, but no real problems otherwise.

    Thanks setter and blogger.

    FOI Archaic
    LOI Evasion
    COD Contrabandist

  19. 15’22”, nearly banged in SANDINISTA…plus something.

    Distracted by Cabinet reshuffle – the Times has live updates, minute by minute.

    Thanks vinyl and setter.

  20. Having been brought up R.C. (Jesuit school, to boot, though I no longer practice), I knew all about Peter and his ‘rocky’ origins in Greek and Latin, but have never once until today encountered ‘Cephas’ as one of his handles. The Jesuits are no slouches at theology so I’m intrigued as to why they never mentioned it to me. Is there some doctrinal censorship going on here, I wonder? Fascinating, especially, is the ‘rocky’ association even in the Aramaic, which appears to have been carried over into the Greek. More info, please.

    1. As Guy says, New Testament Greek renders it in our alphabet as Kephas from the Aramaic kepa, the spoken language of the disciples. I can’t see any reason for the Jesuits to play down Peter’s role, as the papacy claims for authority come from this text. I speak though as a middle-of-the-road Anglican.

    2. Slightly sideways…loan translations of Peter. Pierre, Pedro, Pietro are obvious enough, but slightly less obvious…Gaelic Craig = crag = rock .

  21. A very enjoyable Monday offering – nothing too easy, and some lovely clues. Loved the ‘Christian rock’ and GONERIL. One of my last in was SCRAGGY, which was alarming, as I had SCRAG for 5D’s child. Without that I would have had a DNF, but a quick revisit revealed the much better SPROG. LOsI were PRINCETON and SENORITA, both of which I found rather opaque, especially since I’m not up on golf and had rejected the obvious ‘iron’ as I assumed the definition was ‘determined’.

  22. No great problems with this, and I managed 31 minutes. CONTRABANDIST and BEBOPPING seemed odd words but easy enough. At first I also had dotty not DIPPY, but suspected it was wrong since so far as I’m aware hummus is just plain pink.

  23. Failed with my LOI where I put GENERAL instead of GONERIL (NHO). I knew it was wrong so should have tried harder. But apart from that a very enjoyable puzzle for me. Particularly liked MAGNIFIER, VOTER and EVASION.

  24. Just over 30′ for me. Remembered CONTRAS which gave me an easy write in. Also biffed GONERIL from the “G” but couldn’t parse it (nor (t)ERROR). Otherwise a nicely challenging start, more Wednesday than Monday?

  25. As a few others could not parse 28a GONERIL, (never seen or read the play but his daughters do pop up a lot), needed that L to convince me that in 20d KERNEL=meat, and never saw the chai in 1a ARCHAIC. So a poor effort really.
    Also tried to believe in 23d dotty until the Uxbridgey DIPPY came along (I too think hummus is too stiff to dip properly like taramasalata) giving me 26a PRINCETON (again, as recently).

      1. Indeed, it is. From Paul in the Guardian, October 2021:

        Athenian’s dip in defeat, alas, a marathon backfiring (12)

  26. 17:39

    Very smooth sailing today. I’m another who was hung up on Sandinsitas for a while. On completing the puzzle, I treated my wife to a rendition of

    ” I’m Gilbert the Filbert the Knut with a K
    The pride of Piccadilly the blasé roué
    Oh Hades, the ladies, who leave their wooden huts
    For Gilbert the Filbert the Colonel of the Knuts.”

    She was unimpressed .

    Thanks to vinyl and the setter.

  27. ARCHAIC was FOI and I made good progress until I was held up at the end by ODYSSEUS, SCRAGGY and LOI, AFRICAN. 23:12. Thanks setter and Vinyl.

  28. 21.19

    Nice puzzle which needed some thought but was then happy to reveal its secrets. Bit like Oink’s excellent QC today.

    Thanks Vinyl and setter

  29. 31’33”
    Failed to quicken when put under pressure, never nearer.

    Under par, but, alas, not under snitch; one of those nondescript performances that adds a few more ounces of lead to the saddle.
    As has been noted, many of the usual suspect fields are here, but with some mischievous definitions to make it knottier than the standard Monday fare.
    Couldn’t help smiling at the nilotic niggle for Mr. Nowt.
    Lots to like; thank you setter and Vinyl (good choice of accompaniment today).

    1. Funny racing jurisdiction you inhabit, where they penalise you for a poor performance.

      You’d get at least a ten-month ban in Hong Kong for that. But then the other week they gave an eight-meeting suspension to a jockey who finished first, so they do operate on a different planet. Not to mention, none of the stewards have ever sat on a horse!

      1. Box No. 55,
        c/o Captain, Sir Archibald Stirrup,
        Stevedon Stables,

        Dear Ulaca,

        I’m sorry, I made my point a little gnomically. My average was 36’21” and my time of 31’33” gave me a personal Nitch of 86, 14% under my par; but, viewed through the prism of the Snitch of 84, my Witch Handicap performance was 102, a tad longer than I should have been. However, despite this fractionally sub-optimum showing Witchwise, I’ll be entered in tomorrow’s race with an average of 36’17” , 4 seconds less than today, an ounce or two up in the weights.
        I’m not having a gripe; the SNITCH-MEISTER’s system is great, and perfectly fair to all. Furthermore, today, having got stuck on the rails behind a couple of misleading definitions, I could have said to my jockey, “Look here, Charlie, we haven’t a hope of getting in the frame, put the stick down, we’ll finish in 38 not 31 and have less to carry tomorrow.” but I didn’t.
        If I had, my trainer would have been furious; he, unlike some I’ve known on the turf, is NEVER going to say “Win/place if you can Charlie, if not, don’t finish in the top thirty!”
        I like Saturdays; I get an extra nosebag and apples and Charlie doesn’t batter me because the Captain doesn’t put my time into the average machine.

        Best whinnies,
        Il Principe
        PS Hope to see you on Wednesday; Wednesdays have been tough lately, but it’s good to have a gallop with the heavyweights, eh?

        1. Dear IP, nothing like a gnome for leading you up the garden path. I can’t make head nor tail of the Snitchmeister’s contraption, so can only take your word that’s everything’s on the up and up.

          PS if you’re looking for someone to ride you out pre-dawn on the gallops, there’s a chap called Harry Bentley who’s got a bit of time on his hands. If he asks you for tips, please play dumb.

  30. 22:28

    Slowish start but jumped into life after a few minutes, quickly filling in the top half (though thought CONTRABANDIST was a bit of an unlikely word).

    Picked the remainder off one by one with the longer pauses for AFRICAN (even with three checkers), then PRINCETON to confirm DIPPY (rather than DOTTY or DITSY/DITZY) at which point SCRAGGY jumped out at me after several earlier unsuccessful looks at it.

  31. 49 mins.

    I had Contrabandier which I believe is a real word, and my German not up to knowing If “ier” might mean “is”.

    Liked ODYSSEUS and ACTIVE.

  32. Moment of insight… ODYSSEUS and GONERIL popped into my head some time before I could see why they were right. Then I realised, for people who can solve this puzzle in 10 minutes or so, this is how it ALWAYS feels. Sort of subconscious neural short-circuit. Maybe that’s what it felt like to be Bach…you didn’t have to work it out, you just knew it was right.

  33. 18.45 with the SW corner proving a block with error and scraggy. Should have got Odysseus quicker which would have helped.
    Thx setter and blogger.

  34. I didn’t really like this, although surprisingly I had all of the clues right which seemed obscure (GONERIL, S+PROG, ERROR as a decapitated TERROR). But DIPPY is not in my vocabulary, so I had DIPSY instead, which incidentally is also a word with the same meaning and fits the clue perfectly. Much better, by the way, than monkey equates to terror. Humph!

  35. An enjoyable 12.28, nothing too scary in there. NAME TAG and SPROG were neat.

    I thought I recalled GONERIL from Adrian Mole thinking it sounded like the name of a contraceptive – but in fact that was Vladimir and Estragon from Waiting for Godot.

    Thanks both.

  36. Stopped with two to go, ERROR and KERNEL, both of which I revealed. ERROR I should have got, KERNEL I will get next time. Thanks for explaining the parsing of GONERIL and CATAMARAN. Enjoyed the detailed explanations about Peter. Thanks all.

  37. Did this in a hurry before a Christmas shopping trip, which was less fun; only time now to add a comment. Straightforward but fun, 13 minutes one coffee. GONERIL my CoD.

  38. Getting to Crustacea was definitely helped by having just written Species in; definitely liked Simon’s evil twin (the rum one) and Goneril with no role; thought hummus can be a dip but that that isn’t really dippy , and thought twice about the monkey to lad to terror connection before there weren’t any other choices.

  39. It’s something daring, The Continental, A way of dancing that’s really ultra new.

    Finished in 12’38” so was obviously on the wavelength. LOI AFRICAN, which was silly because it was obvious. My mind was diverted by thoughts of Fred Astaire.

  40. Another sandanista here but it didn’t hold me up.

    Nice puzzle with just the right amount of difficulty for me.

    Thanks Setter and Vinyl

    Time: 28:24

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