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Times 27,053: The Thriller in Vanilla

A very competent and concisely clued crossword, but almost unnecessarily straightforward for a Friday - oh well, if you find yourself craving convolution there's always my Club Monthly blog, also live today.

I quite liked 2d for being the quirkiest clue of the day and also 3d for a fun cryptic device resulting in a nice surface. Having done this on paper I don't have an exact time, but I know I didn't have to pause long at any point: a "steady, pleasant solve". Thanks setter!

1 Arrangements for action aborted, or left out (5,2,6)

9 Maybe kilos wife's shed, showing figure (5)
EIGHT - {w}EIGHT. WEIGHT is "maybe kilos", shedding W for wife.

10 Moving a line at the end of proposal on the internet? (9)
EMOTIONAL - A L [a | line] at the end of E-MOTION. MOTION is a proposal, and you can jocularly internet anything by putting an E- in front of it.

11 One dealing with gender-fluid performer (10)
TRANSACTOR - TRANS [gender-fluid] + ACTOR [performer]. Is "trans" necessarily "gender-fluid"? You might be trans and very firmly committed to your gender. Probably best not to start arguing about these things on the internet though...

12 Asian bands love ending with encore (4)
OBIS - O [love] ending with BIS [encore]. A familiar word in crosswords, like its friend the ibis, an obi is a Japanese kimono sash.

14 Ruler in east, one out of Shanghai (7)
EMPRESS - E [east] + {i}MPRESS [shanghai, losing I for "one"]

16 Language's current rules about welcoming greeting (7)
SWAHILI - I LAWS [current | rules], reversed and then "welcoming" HI [greeting]

17 Old writing, wanting a new start (7)
OPENING - O [old] + PEN{n}ING [writing, wanting "a new" = one of its Ns]

19 Pupil once misleads about spearhead of ground forces (7)
OBLIGES - OB [= old boy, pupil once] + LIES [misleads] about G{round}

20 Losing heart, book holiday period (4)
NOEL - NO{v}EL [book, losing "heart" = its central character]

21 Leader with due respect to me (10)
PACESETTER - PACE SETTER [with due respect to | me]. PACE, from the Latin, is a word that I've never quite known how to pronounce. I tend to gravitate to saying it so it sounds quite similar to an r-less "padre" - what about you?

24 Radical message, not the first on film (9)
EXTREMIST - {t}EXT [message, "not the first"] + RE MIST [on | film]

25 Once again, make fast retreat — run off (5)
RETIE - RETI{r}E - a word for retreat, losing one R for "run".

26 Pan for some food maybe being the wrong size (13)
DISPROPORTION - DIS PRO PORTION [pan | for | some food maybe]

1 Say how to buy drug patent with two drugs — the wrong way (4-3-7)
OVER THE COUNTER - OVERT [patent] with H + E [two drugs] + COUNTER [the wrong way]

2 Belief one may be a source of litter? (5)
DOGMA - convert the word laterally into DOG MOTHER and you will have the proud source of a litter of pups.

3 Sozzled, rise twice to spit (10)
ROTISSERIE - (RISE RISE TO*) ["sozzled"]

4 Rob's put on small garments (7)
FLEECES - FLEECE [rob] is put on S [small]

5 Way of working in thrill, almost erotic (7)
AMOROUS - M.O. [way of working] in AROUS{e} [thrill, "almost"]

6 Grasp tip of throw rug (4)
TWIG - T{hrow} + WIG [rug]. Was hoping this to be something to do with syrup again, but that was probably a one-off.

7 Giving title to book and nine long works (9)
ENNOBLING - (B + NINE LONG*) ["works"]

8 Doctor stops neuralgic spasms (7,7)

13 Does one hold up one who is late? (4-6)
PALL-BEARER - cryptic definition, "late" meaning "deceased" in this case.

15 Introduced now dominant figure on paper (9)
PRESENTED - PRESENT [now] + ED [dominant figure on paper]

18 Tradesman more likely to avoid work after golf (7)
GLAZIER - LAZIER [more likely to avoid work] after G [golf]

19 Henry leaves Frank a record for dance (3-4)
ONE-STEP - {h}ONEST [H for Henry leaves a word meaning "frank"] + EP [record]. When you see dance in a clue and a 3-4 enumeration, it's very often ONE or TWO-STEP...

22 Show disapproval over note in noted passage (5)
TUTTI - TUT [show disapproval] over TI [note]

23 Place to eat in Times Square (4)
MESS - hidden in {ti}MES S{quare}


( 54 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jun. 1st, 2018 06:31 am (UTC)
One of those odd ones where I struggled to get anything to start with (apart from FOI 6d), wondering if it was going to be a real stinker. Then I finally got 7d ENNOBLING and everything started falling into place in quite a nice flow. 35m in total, so my fastest of the week.

LOI 21 PACESETTER, where I wasn't sure about the pace bit (I've never needed to pronounce it, but if I had to take a stab it probably wouldn't be a million miles from "parquet".) COD 2d DOGMA, which made me grin, WOD SWAHILI.
Jun. 1st, 2018 06:36 am (UTC)
9:55 … I didn’t get annoyed at any point in this, so perhaps I’m recovering form Acquired Crossword Intolerance. Or maybe it was just a well-judged puzzle, even if it wasn’t quite chewy enough for verlaine’s Friday tastes.

DOG,MA is the sort of thing that made me love crosswords in the first place, so an automatic COD, but I got another chuckle from FLEECES
Jun. 1st, 2018 06:56 am (UTC)
Great to have you back
(no subject) - philip jordan - Jun. 1st, 2018 08:11 am (UTC) - Expand
ACI? - sawbill - Jun. 1st, 2018 08:39 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 1st, 2018 06:53 am (UTC)
A welcome relief after the trials of recent days although it was by no means easy and, like Matt (above), I struggled to get going and thought at first we may be in for another stinker. I came home in 33 minutes, which is my best solving time for a while I think, although I don't keep day-to-day notes on such matters for the 15x15 and I'd have to review my recent contributions here to confirm that.
Jun. 1st, 2018 06:54 am (UTC)
... the rock-steady beat of Madness.....One Step beyond
25 mins with half a Fat Rascal (hoorah)
I'm a bit disappointed. It is Friday, it is the 1st of June. I was expecting Pimms with strawberries and borage and this was more like a half of mild.
Mostly I liked: Dogma.
To cheer myself up I think I'll do a one-step to Tutti Frutti. And where did I put the Pimms?
Thanks setter and V.
Jun. 1st, 2018 06:54 am (UTC)

1 ac. I couldn't find where the "F" in Order of Battle could possibly come from as I was determined that Left =L.

11 ac. I've not seen "trans" here before, defined as gender-fluid.

21 ac. I would pronounce pace as almost rhyming with Saatchi. Either brother. Or with starchy.

Jun. 1st, 2018 06:58 am (UTC)
I have the impression that PACE has an Italian pronunciation since that’s where His Holiness has his HQ. That would make the A long, and the C a “ch” sound. So, PARCH-EH.
philip jordan
Jun. 1st, 2018 08:12 am (UTC)
RE: Pace
I concur.
Re: Pace - pipkirby - Jun. 1st, 2018 08:31 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Pace - verlaine - Jun. 1st, 2018 09:55 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Pace - john_dun - Jun. 1st, 2018 09:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
RE: Pace - (Anonymous) - Jun. 2nd, 2018 05:40 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Pace - john_dun - Jun. 2nd, 2018 09:45 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 1st, 2018 06:58 am (UTC)
Kilos, perhaps, with no front or back side
I think it's pronounced pack-eh, but it'd be odd to use it in speech. 13'45” today, which must be a PB for a Friday, this early-morning-online solving must be growing on me.

Am pleased to see that the Times uses 'kilo' both as an abbreviation and in its everyday context - pedantic physicists will tell you that it's a unit of mass.

Thanks verlaine and setter.
Jun. 1st, 2018 07:48 am (UTC)
I suppose if I said 'pahkay' I'd have to say Kikero, and weni weedee weekee, so I pronounce it like an Italian word. 21ac my LOI--maybe the last 5'--and COD.
Jun. 1st, 2018 07:49 am (UTC)
I found this pretty much as hard as the rest of this week, but evidently it was just me. I agree with verlaine that there was some nice concise clueing - "Doctor stops neuralgic spasms" being one of my highlights but a firm COD to DOGMA today. Not least because I'd thought of DOGMA for belief early on but couldn't parse the litter part so the penny-drop moment was particularly pleasing.
Jun. 1st, 2018 07:59 am (UTC)
15 minutes
Yes, this was pretty straightforward and I knew all the GK but it is a well crafted puzzle with good surfaces. COD to the PLASTIC SURGEON who makes another appearance (I suppose they do, really).
Jun. 1st, 2018 08:09 am (UTC)
18:21, so a welcome relief after the struggles I had with the others this week. The top went in easier than the bottom with NOEL and OPENING my last two in. PACESETTER my COD (I'm with Brnchn and Kevin on the pronunciation of the first part). DOGMA was fun, but it has come up similarly clued in a recent Jumbo. I liked ROTISSERIE to.
Jun. 1st, 2018 08:18 am (UTC)
Order of Battle
...surely a denial of the Second Law of Thermodynamics? My sister- in-law used to live in Battle. I was always disappointed that the 'Battle Welcomes Careful Drivers' sign didn't read 'Let Battle Commence' instead. 24 minutes with lack of total conviction about OBIS. This philistine decided that TUTTI must be a musical term courtesy of Little Richard. DISPROPORTION is a word that doesn't look in proportion, which I guess is the way it should be. COD to DOGMA, which was nice. I think the definition of OVER THE COUNTER is a drug with insufficient content to do any good. Easyish for Friday but a pleasant puzzle. Thank you V and setter.
I forgot to add, my Latin master would have insisted on PAR SAY. To use CHAY was for Church Latin.
Jun. 1st, 2018 09:09 pm (UTC)
Re: Order of Battle
I remember PARCHAY from the Latin Mass
philip jordan
Jun. 1st, 2018 08:23 am (UTC)
Syrup and pay attention!
I almost missed the "wig/rug" connection for the second time this week, and this puzzle had me scratching my head in a few places before I mopped up in 17:23

FOI ORDER OF BATTLE, but the anagrind took well over a minute to crack.

I biffed RETIE, and feel that "run out" would have been more accurate than "run off", which suggested to me that the "r" either began or ended the relevant word. My only gripe with an otherwise excellent puzzle.

Thanks to V also for parsing my other biff OVER-THE-COUNTER, where I had a drug problem.

LOI EXTREMIST where I yet again overlooked "on = re" for some time.

Jun. 1st, 2018 08:29 am (UTC)
Blimey, my Latin master would have had apoplexy if anyone were to pronounce it as anything other than 'packay'; ie it is the ablative form of 'pax' and the letter c is always hard in Latin.
Lovely crossword though, a very enjoyable 24 mins.
Jun. 1st, 2018 12:03 pm (UTC)
Hard C, soft C ? It was 1961 that I did Latin O level! I'm sure you'll be right. It was Church Latin our master railed at. I think he was a Methodist.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Jun. 1st, 2018 11:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tringmardo - Jun. 2nd, 2018 06:34 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 1st, 2018 08:33 am (UTC)
Straightforward for a Friday
24 minutes, with the hidden MESS my LOI with a big Doh! Liked DOGMA and PLASTIC SURGEON was very slick.
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