Times 28795 – Passencore rearrived from North Armorica

Time: 24 minutes

Music: Horowitz Plays Chopin

This was a relatively mild crossword for skilled solvers, but there were a few I had to think about.    Fortunately, I have the skill to handle words I never heard of, whether in the definition, the cryptic, or the answer.     In this puzzle it was Hemel Hempstead, floorcloth, and muntjac.

Knowledge is definitely useful in a puzzle like this.   It helps if you know khamsin, ophthalmoscope, and choughs.   Most experienced solvers probably will.

1 Clumsy person, terribly old, boarding helicopter (10)
6 Argument suitable to be backed with force (4)
TIFF –  FIT backwards + F.
10 River adopted by ray — and another fish (5)
BREAM – B(R)EAM.   A bit of a chestnut.
11 Good Yankee soldiers overturned plot primarily endangering aircraft (9)
GYROPLANE –  G + Y + OR backwards + PLAN + E[ndangering].
12 Churchy NW town originally advertised in sprawling italics (14)
ECCLESIASTICAL – ECCLES + anagram of ITALICS around A[dvertised].   The Eccles Goon must come from somewhere – my Ninja Turtle of the day.
14 Female with pride in Sir Tristram’s birthplace, it’s said (7)
LIONESS – Sounds like Lyonesse.
15 Family eating pigmeat finally suffers wind in Egypt (7)
KHAMSIN –  K(HAM, [suffer]S)IN.
17 Complex man’s big wordbook I dine over (7)
OEDIPUS – O.E.D. + I + SUP backwards.
19 Take part in dog show, perhaps, but arrive without dog? (7)
20 Simple rustics in America kept by state money (7,7)
23 Performing stage work in simple key, including tango (9)
OPERATING – OPERA (T) IN G.   I don’t think operas actually have keys – maybe we should ask Jeremy?
24 Bracing air a specified person associated with Australia (5)
OZONE – OZ + ONE.   Remember, crosswords reflect usage, not knowledge.
25 Fell making twitcher’s shelter (4)
HIDE – Double definition.
26 Recently recruited compiler digesting Liberal bulletin (10)
1 Youngster going over a sugar-producing island (4)
CUBA – CUB + A, a definite chestnut.
2 Caught in excessively noisy environment, become dull (9)
3 She helped mate malamutes initially, rocking Herts town (5,9)
HEMEL HEMPSTEAD – Anagram of SHE HELPED MATE M[alamutes].   Solvable even by those who have never heard of it, like me.
4 Winged horse, — quiet. say, like you and me (7)
5 Set aside weapon in English rescue boat (7)
7 OT patriarch’s account supporting another (5)
ISAAC – ISA + A/C.   Another thing we don’t have in the U.S.
8 Self-employed person in country with right to catch fish (10)
9 Work on the school map somehow: it’s used to examine pupils (14)
OPHTHALMOSCOPE – OP + anagram of THE SCHOOL MAP.   What is the ancient Greek word for eye?
13 Perplex clergy, producing cleaning requisite (10)
FLOORCLOTH – FLOOR CLOTH, producing another thing I NHO.
16 Grim job, getting supporter on board! (9)
18 Second row about Kentucky’s visible horizon (7)
19 Hawks catching last of sluggish birds (7)
CHOUGHS – C([sluggis]H)OUGHS.
21 Stand erect and extremely unbowed outside animal enclosure (5)
UPEND – U(PEN)D, where the enclosing letters come from U[nbowe]D.
22 Muntjac, possibly, bringing up grass (4)
DEER – REED upside down.  Muntjac is another NHO.

32 comments on “Times 28795 – Passencore rearrived from North Armorica”

  1. Dig the Finnegans ref!
    I whizzed thru this!
    Saw a bunch as soon as I saw the def, but parsed as I wrote them in.

  2. 22 minutes for this easy offering. My only unknown was KHAMSIN which I deduced quite easily from wordplay but waited for checkers to confirm it before writing in. This is its first appearance in the TfTT era apart from one Mephisto puzzle 10 years ago. GYROPLANE was my LOI.

    I had an advantage with HEMEL HEMPSTEAD as I worked there for 16 years. During the 5 years leading up to my retirement my work was being phased out so I had time on my hands and that was when I discovered TfTT and did most of my commenting 2007-2011 from my desk in a town centre office there.

    1. I knew Khamsin from the Maserati model that I had in a pack of Top Trumps (or something similar). That didn’t tell me its meaning, but at least I knew the word existed and cars named after winds are common.

  3. Recent efforts suggest I’m not overly blessed with skill, but still managed this in 19 minutes. Went to school near H.H., but unsure whether I ever went there.

  4. The rime was on the spray,
    And starlight lit my lonesomeness
    When I set out for Lyonnesse
    A hundred miles away.
    (When I Set Out for Lyonnesse, Hardy)

    Merry Christmas.
    20 mins pre-brekker. Very gentle. Slight hiccup due to thinking I might Compere the dog show and wondering if there was a dog called a “Per”. Doh! I don’t even know if dog shows have comperes, although many take the lead.
    I’m here all week.
    Ta setter and V.

    1. Yes, officially called ‘The Plough Roundabout’ it’s known locally as ‘The Magic Roundabout’. There are one or two others like it now (e.g. in Swindon) but I think HH was the original. I had an uninterrupted view of it from my desk for several years but the land in between was developed into a shopping precinct called ‘Riverside’ and my line of sight was blocked leaving me looking out on a concrete wall.

    2. No, that’s in Swindon. Hemel has one large roundabout where traffic can go either way around. Both are worth avoiding if at all possible!

      Edit: it seems I am wrong! It is a series of mini roundabouts, apparently. I only drove through a couple of times, both at night and there were roadworks and traffic lights both times, so I guess I misunderstood the construction. All I remember is being horrified by traffic coming towards me the wrong way on a roundabout!

  5. 12’01”. Had trouble spelling the -scope. I know vaguely where HEMEL HEMPSTEAD is (near St Albans?) but don’t recall ever visiting.

    Merry Christmas everyone. This forum is a near-daily delight. God bless.

    Thanks vinyl and setter.

    1. Hemel is close enough to St Albans for me to cycle there on a Moulton to visit a young lady during a short-lived but pleasant relationship in the late Sixties, before the building of the Magic Roundabout.

  6. Happy Christmas! 23 minutes with LOI STERNPOST. COD to OPHTHALMOSCOPE, not easy to say or to spell, so I assume difficult to use too. DNK KHAMSIN and have since checked to see if it blows or is indigestion. Memo to self, don’t eat too much. Pleasant start to the special day. Thank you V and setter.

  7. Easy puzzle but I lacked some GK; Sir T born in Lyoness, that a gyroplane is a thing, that overcloud is a verb, that the Khamsin blows in Egypt but nothing to scare the horses.
    I’ve been to HH and Swindon a lot over the years and the magic roundabouts are all right IMHO, all alternatives would take even longer to negotiate I imagine.
    Never realised a floorcloth is a British thing.
    Muntjacs not native here either, they were imported from India to be decorative in someone’s stately home, whence they promptly escaped and are now a nuisance and an invasive species. They’re not even good to eat – too little meat.

    1. I’ve actually read (and rather enjoyed) Malory’s Morte d’Arthur, which features Sir Tristram, but had no clue as to his provenance.

  8. A very kind Christmas present of a crossword taking up a mere 12 minutes of the Great Day. It’s taking me longer to contribute to TftT.
    I’m pretty sure a lady lion is not pronounced lee-on-ess but Tristan’s birthplace is. I’m just thankful we didn’t have to try to remember what Simba’s mum was called.
    The CHOUGHs that visit my garden have taken the precaution of using black beakstick so as to remain anonymous, but I’m on to their deception.
    A very happy Christmas to all!

  9. Congratulation to mohn of this parish, who finished this in 2:58. Matthew (AKA Verlaine) was presumably on the sherry, as he took a full minute longer.

    And a Merry Christmas to the whole TfTT community, setters and editors.

  10. 18 minutes 38 seconds. First time ever under 20 minutes. Felt the need to tell people who would appreciate my pleasure. Let’s hope it’s not the best part of Christmas Day.
    Greetings to all.

  11. I took 35 minutes and always felt that I was taking too long and that it was really very easy. Never really heard of a GYROPLANE, not helped by my thinking that ‘plot primarily’ gave the P, so wondering about the link between lane and endangering. I think 23ac is opera, in, G, all separate: opera = stage work, in = in, G = simple key. Slow with OPHTH… because I forgot the PH at the start.

  12. 11:43. Another one for whom the reference to Sir Tristram suggested Joyce rather than Mallory, but he wouldn’t have done if he’d featured much past the first page of FW!

  13. 22:29 for a pleasant start to the great day. DNK the River Beam (far away from me on the other side of London), or that a FELL is an animal skin, or KHAMSIN (where I had KHAMINS for a while causing problems with FREELANCER and STERNPOST).
    Merry Christmas everyone

  14. A nice gentle puzzle done while the family cleared up the debris from the present opening ceremony. A brown ale is almost demolished at my side, the elder daughter is doing things in the kitchen, the grandchildren have attached the Nintendo to the big TV and are investigating one of the aforementioned presents and all is well with the world. Merry Christmas to all! Oh yes the puzzle: from CLODHOPPER to STERNPOST in 15:42. Only KHAMSIN was unknown but easily constructed once HAM replaced “finally suffers.” Merry Christmas everybody!!

  15. Very quick but a nice effort nonetheless.
    Knew khamsin from the Maserati.. remembered to put the H in ophthalmetc.. and there are Muntjacs here in Kent nowadays, surprisingly.
    Never been entirely sure what a fellmonger does.

    Setters, bloggers, solvers, commenters, even Editors! Thank you for your contributions

  16. Thought this was going to be a breeze, but couldn’t actually figure out HEMPSTEAD or CHOUGHS in the end. (I’d forgotten about that meaning of ‘hawk’, or maybe didn’t know it was spelled that way!)

    Charles Rosen makes the point that all of Mozart’s mature operas can definitely be considered in a key, in that there is a clear tonal center and that important dramatic moments in the operas are written in keys that relate to that center in meaningful ways. I think it’s a cogent point. Obviously an opera’s tonal areas are more loosely connected than those in a Bach minuet, say, but I think it makes sense for Mozart at least.

    Outside of Mozart, I’m not so sure. There aren’t even many operas that come to mind that start and end in the same key in an obvious way. The only one that comes to mind somewhat strongly is Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and I think this is because C major has a special role in the opera.

  17. 13.32

    Stumbled over the plane and took too long to think of pigmeat comprising _A_ but who cares? It’s Christmas!

    Thanks all

  18. 9:39. Solved a day late. DNK KHAMSIN or STERNPOST but the wordplay was clear. COD to COMPETE. Thanks Vinyl and setter.

  19. 19:55

    Just under the 20-minute wire, suffered with the last three in – which type of POST is onboard, the type of dog at the dog show, and not spotting the type of CLOTH easily.

    But then, I’d NHO GYROPLANE nor KHAMSIN nor the provenance of Sir Tristram whoever he was.

    All in all, a well-crafted crossword which enabled one to complete the job without knowing all of the components.

  20. A nice easy tackle for Boxing Day morning – I certainly don’t feel up to anything too taxing. Not familiar with either the nautical support or the wind, but both teased out at the end. Now to have a look at today’s…

  21. As expected, I didn’t find it as easy as the rest of the crew, with 4NHOs clogging up the works (KHAMSIN, STERNPOST, FLOORCLOTH and OVERCLOUD) and a sluggish brain to boot. Even with the cheats written in, I only managed a total of 15 correct out of 26, so not happy with my performance. I worked out HEMEL HEMPSTEAD pretty early on, but wrote it in (in pen!) in the wrong place (12a), so the checkers for 2,3,4,8 and 9d were somewhat obscured: not a good excuse, I know! Glad that I could remember CHOUGHS and the hard-to-spell OPHTHALMOSCOPE. Note to self: never give up…

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