Times 28939 – Out of the box, and into No. 10!

Time: 30 minutes

Music: Oliver Nelson, Blues and the Abstract Truth

I was going great guns, and I had three-quarters of this one finished in 15 minutes, when a mini-Mephisto broke out in the SE quadrant.   I suppose lobscouse was a bit of a warning, but generally speaking everything had been very simple until then.    Eventually, I biffed and then parsed orlop.  This allowed me to see what dance was meant, and I had all the anagram letters, but spelling was a bit of a challenge and I had to wait for some crossers.     My LOI was frangipani, which is gettable from the cryptic and which I vaguely recalled – is that a plant, or a dish?

If you happen to have all of the knowledge, and not just most of it, this puzzle will probably seem quite simple.   Here’s hoping you do!

1 Pest guzzling old boy’s cold stew (9)
9 Prudish Greek character backing church dignitary (7)
PRIMATE – PRIM + ETA backwards.
10 Old vehicle originally carrying deerstalker, say, around port (7)
CHARIOT – C[arrying] HA(RIO)T.
11 Inquisitive type trains workforce ultimately in image promotion (5)
PRYER – P(RY,[workfoc]E)R, i.e. public relations.
12 Dispatched soldiers will invade it — that’s the feeling (9)
13 Position of leading US banker, having taken too many courses? (7)
OVERFED – OVER FED, Jerome Powell’s job.
15 Horrify a namesake of Revere when speaking (5)
APPAL – Sounds like  A PAUL.
17 Letter in verse that hurt the Spanish (5)
VOWEL – V + OW + EL.
18 Period in camp has ended (5)
PHASE – Hidden in [cam]P HAS E[nded].
19 Extremely literary head of English at church school in Paris (5)
LYCEE – L[iterar]Y + C.E. + E[nglish].
20 Showing regret about limits of curative magic (7)
SORCERY – SOR(C[urativ]E)RY.
23 See Isaac so confused, missing a dance (9)
ECOSSAISE – Anagram of SEE ISAAC SO minus one A.
25 Good member of family, though lean and scraggy (5)
GAUNT – G + AUNT, an escapee from the Quickie.
27 Two cities introducing a way to produce cord (7)
LANYARD – L.A. + N.Y + A RD.
28 Where Tree mostly would inspire enthusiasm! (7)
THEATRE –  T(HEAT)RE.   We haven’t had Beerbohm Tree for a long time.
29 Obnoxious VIP’s rule badly restricting employees at first (9)
REPULSIVE – Anagram of VIP’S RULE around E[mployees], with a mer at the definition.
1 Copper enthralled by missing stripper? (6)
LOCUST – LO(CU)ST, with a jokey definition.
2 Mental ability of supporter with overall control (10)
3 Fraudulent claim in Republican broadcast (8)
CRIMINAL – Anagram of CLAIM IN R, with another mer at the literal.
4 Free to come together, turning it upside down (5)
UNTIE – UN(-it,+TI)E.
5 Key associate of Falstaff in charge of letter-writing (9)
6 Pass on university course in Channel resort (6)
DIEPPE – DIE + P.P.E.   The anniversary was a few years back, but it was not widely publicized.
7 Straightforward, as in the old uprising (4)
EASY – AS in YE upside-down.
8 Resent wrongfully arrested Dickensian holding up petition (8)
14 Blooming thing having woman soldier lose cool endlessly (10)
16 Former college girl reportedly supplying synthetic material (9)
POLYESTER – POLY + sounds like ESTHER.
17 Primitive person’s call on husband to save energy (8)
VISIGOTH – VISI(GO)T + H.   Another mer, as the Visigoths were no more primitive than any other Germanic tribe at the time.
18 Originally starring in Evita, perhaps, chap becomes particular (8)
PERSONAL – PER(S[tarring])ON + AL, our favorite chap.
21 Having made will, head leaves landed property (6)
22 Stick one’s nose in, hearing gong (6)
MEDDLE – Sounds like MEDAL.
24 Deck game taken up crossing river (5)
ORLOP – POL(R)O upside-down.
26 Person employing American with little hesitation (4)
USER – US + ER, another Quickie escapee.

61 comments on “Times 28939 – Out of the box, and into No. 10!”

  1. Never heard of the stew and the deck was only vaguely remembered, but the tropical tree and the dance were known. BARNABY RUDGE is the only Dickens I haven’t read, with its lamentable reviews. His other attempt at a historical novel, TALE OF TWO CITIES, isn’t much to write home about either. 19:22

    1. Tale of Two Cities well worth reading for the first and last sentences. The rest is a bit turgid.

  2. 11:51
    My eyebrow was in synch with Vinyl’s, at REPULSIVE, VISIGOTH, & CRIMINAL. I biffed THEATRE, FRANGIPANI (a beautiful, fragrant flower, V), & PERSONAL, parsed post-submission. NHO EPISTOLIC, only ‘epistolary’; not in ODE either. V, you’ve got RIO misplaced.

  3. LOBSCOUSE last in, entered with fingers crossed as I’d never heard of it, though it parsed well. Having now looked it up, I see it is the origin of the term ‘scouser’ for a Liverpudlian.

  4. Around 50 minutes. I found it enjoyable and with no particular problems. FOI USER then GAUNT, THEATRE, ESTATE and SORCERY. Liked VISIGOTH. LOCUST as stripper was clever. Knew FRANGIPANI as soon as I saw the final letter and the word play confirmed it. Knew ORLOP. Had all the crossing letters and biffed ECOSSAISE. Only other unknown was LOBSCOUSE which was easy to get from the word play.

  5. We may have had LOBSCOUSE before, because I did get it right. It’s the only one I had to guess at. I was surprised that it’s of Scandinavian origin. But it seems sailors took it to all European ports.

  6. 26 minutes. LOBSCOUSE and ORLOP both known thanks to Patrick O’Brian. I didn’t think too much about the MER’s pointed out by Vinyl; REPULSIVE for ‘obnoxious’ seems OK but I see what he means with the other two. The only thing I know about Barnaby RUDGE is Grip the raven, so the ‘wrongfully arrested Dickensian’ went over my head. FRANGIPANI mainly remembered from the lyrics of a 1976 song Winter in America by Doug Ashdown, an Australian singer: “The frangipani opens up to kiss the salty air”; funny how these things stick.

    No personal offence meant to the great thespian, but maybe this should be the swansong of ‘Tree’ in the theatrical sense in crossword land.

    1. An honourable wish which I foretell shall be more honoured, sire, in the breach than the observance.

  7. 36 minutes. I remembered LOBSCOUSE from its most recent appearance in a Jumbo c4 years ago when it was clued as ‘Stew made by shy Liverpudlian’ which is perhaps more memorable than today’s offering.

    Missing the last two checkers at the time I considered OVERATE at 13ac which I found hard to put out of my mind although I’d decided it wasn’t good enough to go in the grid.

    I lost time at 16dn however having convinced myself that POLYETHYL (“Ethel”) was a synthetic material, and that needed to be corrected before the anagram at 29ac could be unravelled.

    I knew ORLOP.

    I arrived at FRANGIPANI entirely from wordplay. I had no idea it was a plant but knew the word as a custardy desert or cake-filling containing ground almonds.

    With the return of Beerbohm Tree and ‘supporter / BRA’ (neither seen for a while) I began to feel quite nostalgic.

  8. Flying today, digging up obscure knowledge. I have read Barnaby Rudge and enjoyed it. LOBSCOUSE FOI. The midshipman’s berth ORLOP has been discussed here before – Nelson died in the Victory’s orlop, which was the surgery.

    So, 9’11”, continuing a great run which may be due to insomnia and light mornings.

    Thanks vinyl and setter.

    1. I’ll second the positive nod to Barnaby Rudge. I remember thinking it was a pretty exciting read back fifty-odd years ago. The cry of “No Popery”, however, is the only detail I can remember.

  9. A similar experience to our blogger. I reached the SE corner inside 5 minutes, but then doubled my time, before biffing my LOI and coming here for enlightenment.

    TIME 9:58

  10. This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
    This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars, …
    (John of Gaunt)

    25 mins pre-brekker. I liked it. Gentle but with some chewier chunks. Luckily I vaguely remembered Orlop deck and Frangipani (from crosswords, not real life).
    Ta setter and V.

  11. Tough one, barely half completed.

    My Grade I piano piece was a simple version of ECOSSAISE in F by Beethoven, so that went in. Had vaguely remembered LOBSCOUSE, just looked up Beerbohm since coming here, crikey that’s obscure.

    Did not get the second part of BRAINPOWER, reminds me of one of my favourite clues “bust down reason”, BRAINWASH.

    ORLOP, one to remember.


  12. 30m
    I do a pretty good Scouse and have stayed at a Frangipani Tree hotel so no issues with those. Biffed theatre
    COD overfed

  13. 10:35. I remembered LOBSCOUSE from other crosswords and knew FRANGIPANI as we had a couple of the plants in our garden in South Africa when I was young. LOI BEGRUDGE – I’m another who has never read the book. Vinyl – in 11A I think the E comes from the last letter of workforcE rather than imagE, with PR coming from “image promotion”. Thanks Vinyl and setter.

  14. 27 minutes with LOI PRYER. The LHS was finished in less than five minutes, the RHS was tricky. Did the setter use the two sides of their brain to match? I’m usually quite good at plants but FRANGIPANI came at me as a pudding. I admit I’m no good at dances and ECOSSAISE just sounded like the French translation of Flower of Scotland. LOBSCOUSE was a write-in for anybody from the north-west. COD to VISIGOTH, known from 1066 and All That, still my primary source of matters historical. Enjoyable. Thank you V and setter.

  15. 20:40
    Unlike our blogger, it was the NE that slowed me.

    I didn’t think I knew the Shakespearean and Dickensian references but as soon as the first domino DIEPPE fell then my memory was sufficiently jogged and they all went in quite nicely.

    LOBSCOUSE, ECOSSAISE, ORLOP, and FRANGIPANI were also hidden in the depths and needed a helpful letter or two to get the cogs in motion.

    A nice start to the week so thanks to both.

  16. 14:50
    Monday seems to be becoming the new Friday, with some obscurities and tricky definitions. I also had more trouble with the NE corner than the SE, expecting the Key to be ESC, then the Greek character to be PHI; my LOI was BEGRUDGE (an old-fashioned literary allusion!)
    I worked for a few years in Liverpool, and ate (LOB)SCOUSE in both cathedral cafés – the Catholic one was better. I knew the Blooming thing from the Pete Atkin/Clive James song ‘FRANGIPANI was her Flower’.

    The Goths were a Germanic people who played a major role in the fall of the Western Roman Empire and were known for dark (often black) attire, make-up and hair. In the late 4th century, several groups migrated west and adopted brightly coloured, reflective clothing to become Hi-VISIGOTHs.
    I’ll get me Hi-Vis jacket.

  17. I had almost all of the knowledge. LOBSCOUSE has come up somewhere I saw recently, presumably a crossword since I don’t know any California-based Liverpudlians. FRANGIPANI I know of as a tart filling but it was easy to believe it was a flower too. I know nothing about RUDGE other than the title, so I had no idea he was wrongly arrested, but it was very plausible, especially for Dickens. I knew ORLOP, probably from Patrick O’Brian or maybe just that my father was in the Royal Navy. Just under 30 mins.

  18. 19:54. Whizzed through this one, needing to make up for a dismal performance on the QC. FOI LOBSCOUSE which I assumed I knew from these crosswords. It must be a particularly memorable word if its last appearance was a Jumbo four years ago. LOI the unknown ECOSSAISE. I liked SORCERY and LANYARD

  19. 12.09, with ECOSSAISE vaguely remembered from previous puzzles, and FRANGIPANI vaguely remembered from Lord knows where once I thought of the right woman.

    Thanks setter & V.

  20. About 15 minutes.

    Had head of Scouse but not LOBSCOUSE, though the wordplay helped; didn’t know Pistol as Falstaff’s associate for EPISTOLIC, or Paul Revere for APPAL; and like one or two others, I wasn’t sure if FRANGIPANI was a plant or a dessert.

    Wasn’t the anniversary of DIEPPE two years ago?

    Thanks setter and blogger.

    FOI Appal
    LOI Begrudge
    COD Ecossaise

    1. Wiki:
      Operation Jubilee or the Dieppe Raid (19 August 1942) was a disastrous Allied amphibious attack on the German-occupied port of Dieppe in northern France, during the Second World War.
      So yes, nearly (8)2 years ago.

  21. 33m 12s Very straightforward except for having POLYETHYL instead of POLYESTER for quite a while.
    I’ve seen ORLOP in the Cryptic before and had no problem with FRANGIPANI as I lived in Sydney for several years. Used to have relatives in Liverpool so LOBSCOUSE – whence comes the appellation ‘scouser’- was an easy one.

  22. 14.00 with no particular issues. VISIGOTHs, if not really primitive, have the distinction of prompting one of the more erudite puns in the (English translation of) Asterix in an exchange between too luckless legionaries: “Visigoths!” “Why the past tense?”.
    I was a bit concerned about PRYER, which looks wrong, but Chambers puts a linguistic bra on it.
    And I tried Oliver (!?) for the wrongfully arrested Dickensian before settling on Barnaby, whose story (and arrest) are still unread.

  23. 25 minutes – seemed to fall nicely for me today. Held up slightly by starting with Escossaie before I realised my error.
    I used to think that John of Gaunt was lean & scraggy.

  24. Relied on GK and therefore flirted with the biff quite heavily, as I was fair rattling along. FRANGIPANI LOI and one of those biffs, so thank you to V for shining a light where I glossed over in pursuit of speed.


  25. 20:59
    Reasonably straightforward. I agree with all Vinyl’s Mers. My heart sinks when I see any reference to blooming things but the first and last letters were enough togive me FRANGIPANI. Ma femme est une écossaise so that was easy enough. COD BEGRUDGE.

    Thanks to vinyl and the setter

  26. 23:45

    LOI – DIEPPE. I never see PPE early, and so it was with this. Not bad for a Monday, glad to have gotten the long plant without use of aids at least. Thanks setter and blogger.

  27. 25:51

    Thought I was quick until I came here and saw others’ times. Turns out it was just my lack of GK.
    RUDGE (as falsely accused)

    Nonetheless, all went in correctly, so clueing must have been excellent.

    Thanks V and setter.

  28. 8:07. No problems today. The only complete unknown for me was FRANGIPANI, but it was easy enough to reverse-engineer from the almond stuff. I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what an ORLOP is, but I knew it was something and that was enough. And the words ‘wrongfully arrested’ were of no use to me but similarly unnecessary.

  29. 16.28. Originally thought I was on for a sub ten but too many rushed (and wrong) answers held me up for too long.

    Lobscouse was my first in, not unnaturally given my origins. Allegedly the word comes from Norwegian sailors who introduced Merseyside to a culinary feast.

  30. POI Lobscouse is the origin of our expression “scouse/Scousers” for liverpudlian/s, as mentioned by MartinP1. I went to Liverpool Uni so it was a no-brainer. Blind Scouse contains no meat, if money is short.
    9a PRIMATE led me astray; I wasn’t expecting prim but rather pi. Or perhaps phi… so I got lost awhile.
    18a PHASE, missed the hidden for ages.
    23a NHO ECOSSAISE, biffed. Not hard given it’s an anagram. It wasn’t in Wiktionary (except as French for Scotswoman) or in Cheating Machine, but it is in Wiki. Added to CM.
    29a REPULSIVE I was unaware there was any difference from obnoxious, but I didn’t think about it much.
    5d ePISTOLic; never knew Twelfth Night for O Level would come in handy. Never noticed it’s unusual; it was absent from CM and so added.
    8d BegRudge, never read any Dickens so missed the point of the clue.
    17d VISIGOTH Agree with the MER on def. I was reluctant to enter it, but the wordplay left zero room for doubt. Ditto for CRIMINAL.

  31. About 30′ but various interruptions so not particularly accurate. Half biffed the dance from the fodder and the French/Scottish, and like others FRANGIPANI from the cake rather than flower. NE I found more difficult though on reflection it shouldn’t have been. LOBSCOUSE only known from crosswordland and enjoyed LOCUST. Pretty hard on the VISIGOTHS I thought. Thanks Vinyl1 and setter.

  32. I was really pleased to finish this with all correct and parsed in 46.16. At least 10 minutes of this however was required for my last two answers FRANGIPANI followed by ECOSSAISE. I fully expected the latter to be wrong, having an almost unerring tendency to put the given letters in the wrong order. Prior to that, the clue that delayed me most was BEGRUDGE, not having any knowledge of the book at all.

  33. I enjoy crosswords with fewer bits of obscure knowledge even if I know them all. Just took an age to finish off today in 55 mins. Come to think of it that would have been fast for me even a year ago.

  34. 33:03, with half that time spent in the SE corner. Last four in were ORLOP, MEDDLE LANYARD and ECOSSAISE.
    For MEDDLE I had wasted much time looking for words ending in OBE.
    I agree with the MER about the Visigoths.

    Thanks V and setter

  35. An enjoyable puzzle, with the occasional obscurity well signposted, which is fine by me.
    I am surprised at the mers. I thought the rule was that if you could swap one word for another in a sentence without changing the meaning then that was okay. Just looked up obnoxious in the dictionary, and it has repulsive as a synonym. Is not fraudulent activity also criminal activity? Perhaps I’m missing something.

  36. 32:18 Tricky at the top and the bottom and most bits in between. I hope LOBSCOUSE tastes better than it sounds, though it could hardly be worse.

  37. 13.58 fail

    Horrible momble of POLYETHER. Knew it looked dodgy but forgot to go back and review. Shame as like some others, the shipping arcana were write ins; remembered ESCOSSAISE; shrugged shoulders on FRANGIPANI and even managed a Dickins related clue. Good stuff.

  38. Knew Frangipani from the Pete Atkin song «Frangipanni (sic) was her flower » Rest fairly straightforward once I had remembered « Lobscouse » from somewhere.

  39. 15:44

    The LHS went in in less than five minutes, but nothing on the right side for a further two or three minutes before the floodgates reopened. One of those perhaps where if you looked at the clue for a little longer, the answer seemed to pop into view – even put the letters of ECOSSAISE in the right order. LOI was FRANGIPANI, the female element of which was a bit meh. Otherwise, a very enjoyable crozzie.

    Thanks V and setter

  40. DNK LOBSCOUSE and ORLOP but what held me up was BEGRUDGE even though a perfectly good clue.
    Nice start to the week

  41. An enjoyable exercise, completed over a lunchtime pint in 28 minutes. Some of the words e.g. LOBSCOUSE and ORLOP were words I had encountered only in previous crosswords, and other unusual answers such as ECOSSAISE and EPISTOLIC could be constructed from the clueing, so overall I thought a very fair puzzle. I share vinyl’s MER regarding VISIGOTH. They were hardly primitive, and Gibbon’s account of one of their kings, Theodoric, presents him as a rather civilised character (when not on the battlefield!) by C5 A.D. standards.
    Thanks to vinyl and other contributors.

  42. Clearly on the wavelength here, our 22:50 being a PR by about 2 minutes or so. LOBSCOUSE needed a checker or two but having worked it out it sounded right so I think I must have come across it before. ORLOP was familiar also, I suspect I’ve come across it previously in GK crosswords. Have never read Barnaby Rudge but BEGRUDGE sprang to mind easily enough with some checkers. NHO LOI ECOSSAISE but with all the checkers in place and a clear enough anagrist it seemed the most likely offering.

  43. This took me about 30 minutes after a very slow start (OVERFED my FOI), but then everything just buzzed along. ORLOP was my only unknown and my LOI. I liked the LOCUST as a stripper and the wordplay for EASY. The first time I had LABSKAUS (the German spelling and the German version of the dish) was in a restaurant in Hamburg next to one of the landmark churches and at the other end of the otherwise empty dining room a group of gentlemen were having a loud and joyful celebration. When I asked them what they were celebrating they told me that they were former sailing captains who had sailed around Cape Horn and this was their annual get-together. They were certainly still alive and very well in 1978, when this took place. Labskaus or LOBSCOUSE, if you prefer, was a very popular dish among seafaring people, among other reasons because it kept well on long journeys and was soft and edible even if scurvy had ruined your teeth. Nobody seems to know where the name comes from — it may be Latvian or the English version might be the original one (which is what the German Wikipedia article seems to suggest).


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