Times 28765 – Getting my knickers in a twist

No time for this very nice example of the art of crossword setting, as I bombed out on one of the downs, where I did my best with all the crossing letters, but still came up short.

No complaints. Just beaten by a better team, like…

1 English stigma made French scoff (8)
6 Kindly feeding extremely suspicious bees etc (6)
SWARMS – WARM in S[uspiciou]S
9 Eco-friendly vehicle part contains uranium, really oddly (6,7)
10 Article about the setter’s revolutionary nom de guerre (6)
ANONYM – AN ON MY reversed; another word for pseudonym – an anonymous person
11 Service is no good if earlier however (8)
EVENSONG – N G preceded by (‘if earlier’) EVEN SO (however)
13 Weaselly type‘s rowdy intemperance leaving church (4,6)
PINE MARTEN – anagram* of INTEMPERAN[ce]
15 Left sweethearts to shed clothes (4)
OVER – [l]OVER[s]
16 Man perhaps read aloud passage (4)
ISLE – sounds like ‘aisle’
18 Old story about India at back of Republican magazine (10)
REPOSITORY – I (India) in O STORY after (at back of) REP; a repository is somewhere you store things safely, in this case weapons, etc.
21 Tough old bird’s lost after terrible tale (8)
LEATHERN – a bit of Yoda speak here: HER[o]N (the bird HERON loses its O [old]) after TALE*
22 Former magistrate thought about limits of lenience (6)
AEDILE – IDEA reversed L[enienc]E; a Roman magistrate
23 A billion goats slaughtered for world economic development (13)
25 Singular character departs on a trip (6)
26 Most stylish and vacuous supermodel, I’m afraid, is in France (8)
SLEEKEST – S[upermode]L EEK (I’m afraid!) EST (‘is’ in French)
2 Flash one’s lower parts (7)
SECONDI – SECOND I; typically, left hand parts in a piano duet
3 Finally organising diverse people into rank and order (11)
ARRANGEMENT – final letters of [organisin]G [diverse]E in ARRANT (rank, as in arrant nonsense) men (people)
4 Low spirits start to get lower? (5)
GLOOM – G[et] LOOM (lower, rhyming with ‘cower’)
5 Backer briefly entering explosive function (7)
TANGENT – ANGE[l] (backer in the theatre, darlings) in TNT
6 Fancy Easter sun and sweet wine (9)
7 Sky  broadcast  quality  song (3)
AIR – nice quadruple definition
8 Mixture of male impetuosity and half-cut rage (7)
MELANGEthe way I get this to work is as follows, though others may have better ideas: MALE* (with ‘impetuosity’ as the anagram indicator – seems odd) N (and, as in fish ‘n’ chips) [ra]GE. LuckofLucien’s got it: it’s M(male) ELAN (impetuosity: ‘impetuous ardour’ in Collins) [ra]GE
12 Queasy hosts digested last of blood pudding (7,4)
SPOTTED DICK – POTTED (digested, as in shortened or abridged – think of Reader’s Digest) [bloo]D in (hosts) SICK (queasy)
14 Law firm exec regularly duped about new licence (1,4,4)
A FREE HAND – [l]A[w]F[i]R[m]E[x]E[c] N (new) in HAD (duped)
17 Cunning insult overheard (7)
SLEIGHT – sounds like ‘slight’
19 Garments putting pressure on navels (7)
PINNIES – P (pressure) on INNIES (those type of navels!); this one did for me
20 Devoid of ego, listener somehow gives way (7)
RELENTS – L[i]STENER* (no ego, i.e. I)
22 Silver pressing on primate’s Christian love (5)
AGAPE – AG (silver) APE
24 Confess some shallOW Notions (3)
OWN – hidden


82 comments on “Times 28765 – Getting my knickers in a twist”

  1. I think Melange is M for male and ge surrounding elan for impetuosity
    Thanks for the blog easyish Monday fare

  2. I thought this was quite hard and was pleased to have it all done in 43.51. Biffed a lot and needed all of Ulaca’s help to unravel AEDILE, ESCARGOT (didn’t know that sense of scoff), LEATHERN, ANONYM, ARRANGEMENT and SECONDI (oh, I’ll be back in a flash/second, I get it now). A clever crossword and a decent challenge but I found it tough for a Monday. Mind you it was a late night with the cricket and all…

  3. 35 minutes. I didn’t find this very easy either. SECONDI and ANONYM both seem perfectly reasonable words, the only problem being I hadn’t come across either before. I’d forgotten AEDILE and AGAPE which both went in from wordplay and I biffed CARBON NEUTRAL and MELANGE, not knowing ELAN for ‘impetuosity’.

    I’ll say no more but I’m one of the 90%.

  4. 40 minutes. Quite a few unknown words or meanings here. ANONYM, AEDILE and AGAPE as Christian love for example. I also had one wrong – 19dn of course – where I gave up on the wordplay and put in PANTIES merely because they are garments which fitted the checkers. I’d already had problems with that one because for much of the time I was stuck on it I had Y as its third letter, having originally put LEATHERY at 21ac.

    I failed to parse digested / SPOTTED at 12dn because the answer had been obvious and I was not on blogging duty.

    On a point of pedantry (sorry about that, u!) SECONDI are the parts taken by the player who sits on the left in a keyboard duet and uses both left and right hands.

    1. I actually took the definition from Collins! Perhaps they mean left-hand side by ‘left hand.’

      1. In that case apologies are in order to you, but not to Collins. I note that the American English (Websters) definition in Collins online avoids ‘left-hand’ in favour of ‘lower’ which is a much safer bet when defining something in which four hands literally have their parts to play.

  5. 14:50. I finished with PINNIES, where I was pleased to avoid the temptation to biff PANTIES (which sounds somewhat salacious). Elsewhere I thought I had heard of SECONDI though I didn’t know what it meant, and taking the definition to be a crosswordy one I assumed they were something on a cow (lower parts).

  6. I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, …
    (The Lake Isle of Innisfree, Yeats)

    After 30 mins pre-brekker I couldn’t explain Panties. I now see why. Hats off to those who get it.
    Ta setter and U.

  7. Managed the slightly obscure words this morning, 12’35”.

    AGAPE well known, cf philos and eros. Had banged in ‘leathery’, but fortunately recalled a Genius crossword where the word PINNIES appeared.

    Thanks ulaca and setter.

  8. Had not formerly met SECONDI.
    ANONYM and AEDILE new to me.
    Ever use ’em? I doubt it.
    But when I think about it
    Much better than birds endlessly

  9. 7:54. I made slow work of the acrosses but the downs proved more amenable. A mixture of needing wordplay for the funny words and some relatively easy biffs to help with checkers. There was nothing I didn’t know in here but a couple of words I wouldn’t have been able to define for you (SECONDI, AEDILE) and a few others that didn’t come easily to mind. PINNIES my last in having avoided the temptation of PANTIES [Kenneth Williams gif].

  10. Frustrating took me about 25 mins only to find panties should have been pinnies. NHO innies so not too distressed. Mondays much more interesting of late and, for me, considerably tougher than they used to be.

  11. 41 minutes but with PINNIES only chosen over PANTIES because they’re usually just called knickers nowadays. I’ve never heard of INNIES, nor ANTIES for that matter. I erroneously parsed GLOOM, the only word I could make fit, as MOO backwards on G(et) L(ower). I didn’t know AEDILE or SECONDI either but the parsing was clear. Not a satisfying solve but always good to finish. Thank you U and setter.

        1. Interesting, I would honestly have thought it was a universally-known thing. Not that I’ve really used either word since I was a kid! Anyway you seem to be far from alone.

            1. OED says it’s ‘originally US’, and the first citations are from the 60s and 70s, so perhaps it’s a bit of both.

    1. I thought ‘knickers’ was decidedly old fashioned, and all the bright young things said ‘panties’!

      It’s ‘daai fu’ in Hong Kong, so neither word is in my daily lexicon.

      1. I know I went out with the ark, see Keriothe above, but the last time I heard panties was the sixties. Ok, maybe seventies. Have they made a comeback?

        1. I left England in the mid-80s and knickers felt old then – the sort of thing Les Dawson joked about.

        2. I don’t know about general use, but PANTIES comes up on Countdown probably once every week and that’s why the word seemed a natural fit to me other than for wordplay. PINNIES are surely ancient hat so to speak.

  12. Well, a completes cod’s. Convinced LEATHERY was right, the only word that fitted was PHYSICS. No explanation of course but at nearly one hour I was just desperate to finish.

    A number of unknowns didn’t help: SECONDI (guessed) AEDILE (worked out from careful study of cryptic) and AGAPE (well, it had to be AG and APE, no?).

    Not very enjoyable for me, though I do like SAUTERNES. Definitely not with ESCARGOTS though!

    Thanks for the correct instructions U, and setter.

      1. Thank you so much for the honour, richly deserved I believe! I think the DAFT bit is particularly apt. As someone here says, I’ll get my coat.

  13. Way too much biffing made this very unenjoyable, and my LOI at 10:30 on the clock was “panties”. NHO innies. Roll on tomorrow.

  14. Pretty easy, as you’d expect on a Monday, apart from PINNIES, as I’ve never heard of “innies” (or outies for that matter), let along “anties”, which I plumped for in the end. Dictionary says “British English” but I’ve somehow missed this gem. COD to GLOBALISATION for the bizarre but lovely surface.

  15. Pants!
    32:14 with 1 error.
    I couldn’t think of PINNIES so I lobbed in PANTIES in more hope than expectation, knowing a pink square was surely to follow.

    A tough one for a Monday but some nice clues and no grumbles from me.

    Thanks to both setter and blogger.

  16. Another with PANTIES . What else could it be? Even without that, it was hard for a Monday. 41 minutes for the DNF

  17. About half an hour. It seems I was lucky to avoid the issues lots of others had with PINNIES, as I immediately thought of innies and put it straight in. I’d never heard of AEDILE so had to hope I’d parsed the wordplay correctly, didn’t parse ESCARGOT, tried to justify ‘eponym’ for 10a before getting ANONYM, and didn’t see the quadruple definition for AIR.

    Fairly tough for a Monday – thanks setter and blogger.

    FOI Gloom
    LOI Anonym
    COD Repository

  18. I thought this was tough for a Monday with some obscure vocabulary, all the words mentioned by everyone else. I avoided the panties trap and got PINNIES, nowhere near my LOI which was PINE MARTEN. But all correct.

  19. I’m not sure that ulaca’s parsing of 21 ac really works (‘old bird’s lost’ = ‘bird’s lost old’?). Anyway, in my hard copy of the puzzle the clue reads ‘Tough old bird’s lost nothing after terrible tale’, which parses more neatly, but raises the question of what ‘old’ is doing. A (slightly strange) indication that ‘leathern’ is a bit of an archaism? Otherwise, thanks to setter and blogger.

    1. I think that must be it: Collins marks LEATHERN as ‘archaic’. ‘Old [which] bird’s lost’ surely refers to the O.

  20. Friday, or at possibly Thursday, arrived early this week, and I completed in 18.59 (that tick’s important!). ARRANGEMENT was the one I parsed only with a smear – I can’t work out now how I did it. LEATHERN was a bit smeared, because HERN is an old word for heron, and I thought the setter was being generous with two antiquity pointers in old and lost.
    Our setter clearly delighted in getting the Twitterati (Xati just doesn’t have the same impact) in a frenzy with the two long Pavlovian entries. And us boys at the back can go on our way sniggering with that SPOTTED D*CK.
    Oh, and mine’s (still, just about) an INNIE. I’m sure you wanted to know.

    1. I was waiting for a sniggers comment. I remarked to spouse that there should be such a reaction.
      His smiling comment “gonorrhoea “ was corrected by medico daughter to “syphilis”. Much laughter at the breakfast table.

  21. 37:08.
    Quite a few dnk’s. Knew I had heard of secondi somewhere, but it turns out I was thinking of main courses in an Italian restaurant.

  22. DNF after a decent run through. NHO SECONDI and couldn’t biff even with crossers. Solved ANONYM eventually after trying to come up with actual nom de guerres (should nom de guerre be highlighted as an example?). And never heard of innies and outies so panties was biffed once I discounted the Y in LEATHERy (to me panties and pinnies are from similar 60s vintage). On the positive side AEDILE came quickly, known from Robert Harris’s Cicero books. For some reason I’m having to log in each day??? Thanks Ulaca and setter

  23. I too had LEATHERY (NHO LEATHERN), so PINNIES also beat me. Otherwise quite liked this. I can see AEDILE difficult if you don’t know the various Roman magistrates.

  24. PANTIES did for me also. Considered PULLIES in light of the pending weather but that’s maybe a stretch too far.

  25. Most of this quite easy, but eventually I gave up on the LEATHERN/PINNIES crossing, which defeated me and still would, because in my innocence/age I was quite ignorant of innies. Perhaps I could have worked out LEATHERN eventually, but … Agree with LuckofLucien re MELANGE — I don’t think you see n for and (or some other single letter abbreviations like d for had) in a regular daily cryptic. 48 minutes but not really.

  26. Pleased to finish this with all correct as you always do when submitting with quite a few unknown words. The words I’d not come across before were AEDILE and LEATHERN, and I had only a dim recollection of ANONYM. My time of 41.28 was nicely under target, so I’m happy with my start to the week.

  27. 31:08

    Didn’t know AEDILE which was a stretch following the tentative AGAPE (never heard of the Christian love definition) and double-checked it existed before submission. ESCARGOT took a while to come until I thought of scoff as noun.

    PINNIES LOI – couldn’t justify PANTIES so kept thinking…… for several mins before nice PDM!

    I liked A FREE HAND and AIR.

  28. Surprised 8d didn’t trigger a particular quote: ‘Cette sauce de haute qualite est ….’

    1. Only because I’ve used it a few times before. I suspect those of us who prefer HP sauce to Tomato Ketchup were the ones too old to know of innies and outies.

  29. DNF Resorted to aids for the LEATHERN/PINNIES nexus. Never heard of innie for a navel and was too fixed on leathery to get close enough to imagining it into existence.

  30. 10:13 but with the now customary Monday typo. Was pleased to drag up AEDILE and AGAPE: my last two in.

  31. 33 minutes, didn’t find it easy but also not hard, if that makes sense, going through at a steady pace a set of very enjoyable clues. Almost wrote pine martIn before thinking, Im not sure, and checking the letters. Also came close to putting panties before taking another minute or so to think of pinnies and finding innies more convincing than anties. Started with slickest for 26ac but luckily agape saved me and eek more convincing than ick for afraid.
    Thanks setter and blogger. Good Monday puzzle 🙂

  32. 24.00 DNF

    PANTIES here even though considered PINNIES. Having read the blog still no idea what innies and outies are!

    Terrible clue, no?

    No trouble with AGAPE and AEDILE though ANONYM took a while after GLOOM finally came.

    Thanks setter and Ulaca

  33. Pleased to mange most of this, revealing only LEATHERN (‘yoda’ style deletions still way above my level), STONED (should have got this one), REPOSITORY (ditto) and SECONDI (maybe, dimly aware of). Thanks for the much-needed blog. Enjoying the challenge but a way to go I fear!

    On edit: Also revealed PINNIES! No problem with wordplay as innies and outies well-known

  34. The unknown ANONYM and AEDILE were constructed from wordplay. LEATHERY was replaced by LEATHERN, when I twigged where the O fitted in, when the Y seemed out of place in 19d. This led me to think “surely can’t be PANTIES!” and sure enough, further thought produced PINNIES. ESCARGO was FOI and PINNIES was LOI. Tricky stuf!! 28:36. Thanks setter and U.

  35. Went to sleep as soon as I finished this. I was parsing MELANGE the same erroneous way as Ulaca at first, but soon saw the light.

  36. 16:36 but with PANTIES for 19D. Yes I couldn’t parse it but I couldn’t think of another garment to fit and had never heard of INNIES. DNK AEDILE or AGAPE either. A bit tricky for a Monday, but I enjoyed it.. apart from the mistake. Grr. Thanks Ulaca and setter.

  37. I too had never heard of innies/outies and sorry to have done so now. Therefore, as others, panties. Why do I do these puzzles? Rest OK though a fraction surprised at repository. Good to see anonym with its somewhat evensong air.

  38. Nearly completed in 23:34 but failed on AEDILE and PINNIES. I’ve certainly heard of both ‘innies’ and ‘pinnies’ though, somewhat surprised that many haven’t. I contemplated ‘hern’ being clued as an archaic alternative to ‘hers’ for a bit before deciding, like the blogger, that it was ‘her(o)n’. I nearly put in either ‘leathery’ or ‘leathers’ instead but glad I didn’t.

  39. This was very tough for a Monday and I also failed with Panties. Additionally, I needed aids to get Secondi which was a NHO. Didn’t parse Arrangement. Had to look up Aedile.
    Two Lowers in this puzzle and not a cow in sight!

  40. By the way, in the printed version, the clue reads “Tough old bird’s lost nothing after terrible tale” – in which either the “old” or the “nothing” is superfluous (unless a heron is assumed to be an old bird).

      1. Understood – but I presume that the word “nothing” does not appear in the on-line version?

  41. Failed to finish.

    I suppose I should be consoled by the fact that all were parsed and familiar in forty minutes, bar one; I clearly haven’t done enough navel gazing, in its most basic form at least.
    Threw in the towel with panties (unparseable) pundies *(possible and lit. neologism) or maybe the the initial p is wrong as the wordplay for 18 seems implausibly weak.
    No excuses bar the distraction of the GLOOM of my looming no-fault eviction.
    Thank you setter and Ulaca.
    * Corset-like pressure undies DAFTA?

  42. 41 minutes, and I was surprised to find all my answers were correct, since I’d never heard of several of them. I suppose that’s a compliment to the setter. Mind you, I did put PINNIES without understanding the clue (I’ve just googled ‘innies’ …. okaaay) and might well have gone with PANTIES if I’d thought of it. Luckily my mind is on higher things.

    My Clue of the Day was SLEEKEST, which I thought was rather neat.

  43. I thought this was hard for a Monday, and was difficult to get onto the setter’s wavelength. NHO innies, so at a loss with this one. Also had LEATHERY, which didn’t help. In the end, Mr Ego, who’d done some of this online, said that he had initially thought PINNIES, so we switched to LEATHERN and he also supplied the LOI STONED. NHO AEDILE or ANONYM and was fixated on ‘weaselly type’ being a Uriah Heep type character, so that anagram was slow in coming also. Not a great show, in all. Done in batches over most of the day!

  44. PANTY man here. I can honestly say I’ve never heard of INNIES and OUTIES. And when you google I and O, I fear it brings up some anatomical details which I’d rather not have seen. Apart from that all good on 15’39”.

  45. 52:01 with one pink square – I had SECUNDI for 2d – assuming sec for flash, and undi as part of undies. So having avoided the underwear trap in 19d I fell into a different one in 2d.

  46. 16:16 for a not-very-Mondayish puzzle. Had a very late Panties Dropping Moment and switched to PINNIES before submitting.

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