28858 Après Mao.

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Ford Prefect’s 15 year stay on Earth expanded the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy entry on the Blue Dot from “harmless” to “mostly harmless” which adequately describes this puzzle which I more or less scampered through in 16.18, a lot of the time correcting the mangled entries my fingers produce on a keyboard. While you do have to know or surmise the painter and the Chinese gentleman, Diderot and Schiller can pretty much be anonymous to you for solving purposes. There are no esoteric plants or strangely spelled Capitals to worry solvers. Undemanding but still satisfying.

Definitions underlined in italics, square brackets enclose the dross removed from words reduced to one or very few letters.

1 Artist heading for shops, getting French bread (7)
SARGENT – John Singer, American born in Florence 1856,and living and working mostly in Europe until 1925. The S that heads Shops plus French bread, not pain for once but ARGENT, money
5 Cheer up tot in depressed area (7)
GLADDEN – Tot is ADD, placed in GLEN, a low area between hills
9 Long to host current party game (9)
PAINTBALL – PANT for long (“as pants the hart for cooling streams”) hosts I for (electrical) current with BALL for party.
10 Most insignificant article to stuff in case (5)
LEAST – A for article,  inserted into LEST for in case.
11 Terrible overreactions in the players’ training area (13)
CONSERVATOIRE – Musical players, that is. A perfect anagram (terrible) of OVERREACTIONS
13 After warning, put up with distant relative (8)
FOREBEAR – FORE, a warning from golf plus BEAR for put up with
15 Return of comic with, say, novelty (6)
GEWGAW – Comic is WAG, then W[ith] and EG for for example, all returned. A novelty such as “a present from Clacton” of no practical value.
17 Take too much vermouth during day periodically? This is rum (6)
ODDITY – Take too much: O[ver]D[ose], with IT[alian] vermouth, contained by the odd letters of D[a]Y
19 More stout and ale, drinking large one (8)
PORTLIER – PORTER is a kind of (dark brown malty) ale which drinks in L[arge] I (one)
22 Stopping speaking, Conservative reluctant to give aid for domestic workers (6-2,5)
DRYING-UP CLOTH – Stopping speaking DRYING UP C[onservative] plus LOTH for reluctant. Insert a hyphen if the grid hasn’t done it already, though nobody will mind if you don’t.
25 Bishop with responsibility to provide blessing (5)
BONUS – They don’t come much easier than this, though with perhaps a slightly oblique definition. B[ishop] ONUS, responsibility. If, as opined recently, any noun can be verbed, provide might be included in the definition.
26 Spooner’s freezing ear is a nuisance in the street (9)
LITTERBUG – Speverend Rooner’s Swegendary lopping of lirst fetters give the messed up version of our answer as BITTER LUG, freezing ear.
27 After son moves back, fizzy drink settles (5,2)
EVENS UP – Product placement alert! SEVEN UP is the fizzy drink. Push the S[on] back four spaces.
28 What’s penned by Diderot — an essay about lawmaker (7)
SENATOR – Frightening looking GK clue is just a reverse hidden (penned, reversed) in DideROT AN ESsay.
1 Tribal group determined to seize power (4)
SEPT – Originally Irish. SET (e.g. on a course of action) from determined including P[ower]
2 Complain about resistance one’s seen on line (7)
RAILCAR – RAIL is to complain, then C[irc]A, about and R[esistance]
3 Eschew restaurants cooking without rind? (3,2)
EAT IN – Cooking would be HEATING, without rind banishes the H and G
4 Some paper by whizz going over economic shortfall (5,3)
TRADE GAP – Some paper is PAGE and whizz, DART, combined reversed (going over) and respaced. Lost time trying to work in ream.
5 Become active, ultimately subsisting on fruit (2,4)
GO LIVE – the last letter of [subsistin]G plus OLIVE, the fruit.
6 Workers caught in completely outrageous plot (9)
ALLOTMENT – No ants or bees, these workers are just MEN, caught by ALL OTT, completely O[ver] T[he] T[op] outrageous.
7 Fighter stops old Chinese leader giving people a hand (7)
DEALING – Not that I thought of it at the time, but the old Chinese leader is DENG Xiaoping (current transliteration) Rope-a-dope fighter ALI stops in.
8 New area for sufferers, drinking anaesthetic down (10)
NETHERWARD – N[ew] WARD for area for sufferers drinks in ETHER, an anaesthetic.
12 Welcoming crossing ring road that’s not too steep (10)
AFFORDABLE – AFFABLE stands in for welcoming, crossing, or surrounding O (ring) and R[oa]D
14 Plant experts in NATO? Its buildings in need of emptying out (9)
BOTANISTS – A mildly complex anagram (out) of NATO, ITS and emptied B[uilding]S
16 Refuses to patronise children around bed time (8)
BOYCOTTS – Children are BOYS for this purpose, around COT for bed and T[ime]
18 Woman who’s experienced desire over clothes (7)
DOYENNE – A senior and respected member of a group, so experienced will have to do. Desire: YEN clothed by DONE from over (and…).
20 People very shortly getting astride horse (7)
INHABIT – A verb form. IN A BIT is very shortly, H[orse] a-stridden.
21 Sacking crony, create friction the wrong way (6)
BURLAP –  Crony is PAL, create friction is RUB, put the two together and follow the instruction to put them the wrong way.
23 Work by Schiller perhaps staged in ancient theatre (5)
ODEON – Schiller’s most famous ODE is the one to joy, when staged it’s ON.
24 Russian king court occasionally expelled (4)
IGOR – The even letters from kInG cOuRt for a generic Russian.

43 comments on “28858 Après Mao.”

  1. 34 minutes with LOI RAILCAR. I’ve always called 22a a TEA-TOWEL .GEWGAW was a total unknown obtained by following the instructions, similarly SEPT and BURLAP. I guess I did know NETHERWARD. COD to the LITTER BUG. Decent puzzle. Thank you Z and setter.

  2. Did this one last night in 28 minutes before falling asleep. LOI was TRADE GAP, where I spent a good minute or two looking for a word meaning paper -A-E. That’s what happens when you’re tired I guess!
    Thanks Zabadak (DDDBMAT fan?) and setter
    PS you complain in England but Germany… Was supposed to be flying from Frankfurt this morning, got a taxi to the airport because the trains and trams are striking. When I got there, no flight departures at all because security are striking today. What a country.

    1. Indeed yes: I saw DDDBMAT shortly before DD d’d, and that song initially crafted to prove you could have a hit with made up words is a special favourite.

  3. 19:40
    13ac reminded me of Michael Flanders’ “Freedom for Flanders, that’s what I say. That’s where my FOREBEARs came from – well, three of them, anyway. Who’s been sleeping in my porridge?”
    LOI DEALING, not helped by initially confusing Deng Xiaoping with the snooker player Ding Junhui.

  4. 14:20. Smooth sailing, but a surprisingly high SNITCH currently.

    The only real risk to a clean finish was a thankfully-aborted attempt to invent SONCOTTS. The unknown SEPT was my LOI – thought of it early, but waited until the French bread/artist came to me to enter. I know GEWGAW from… somewhere? Not a clue.

    Thanks Zabadak & setter.

  5. 40′ not quite on wavelength so struggled for some reason on the RAILCAR/PAINTBALL crossing. Had to check GEWGAW since I thought it was spelled geegaw but couldn’t parse it (seems it is an accepted spelling, though doesn’t fit the clueing). For some reason SARGENT came with just the S and E which helped, but didn’t know argent = french money, similar to silver I suppose. Thanks Zabadak and setter

  6. 31:35
    No typos today so there is that.
    Held up in the end in the NW. I thought of SEPT quite early on but as it was an unknown it didn’t really help my progress. CONSERVATOIRE only went in when RAILCAR fell, and DART took ages to mind. Last in was SARGENT as all the checkers were required to stumble on the right french lucre.
    GEWGAW was the only other real unknown as BURLAP rang the faintest of bells.
    A green grid at least and only a few minutes over my average.
    Thanks to both.

  7. 45 minutes, so another puzzle I found a lot more difficult than the duty blogger. In fact I had to go all the way to IGOR at 24dn before finding an answer I could write in. After that I was steady but slow.

    If our search facility is to be believed this is the very first appearance of BURLAP in any puzzle in the TfTT era. I also don’t recall ever seeing SEPT before but searching on that is not so easy as it appears in other words, most notably September.

  8. DNF, and now I’m desperately hoping that I’m not the only person who put ‘jitterbug’ for 26a. I was convinced ear=jug (thinking of Gary Lineker!) and had jitterbug in mind both as a bomb and the dance, which would be a nuisance in the street in different ways. I never thought of lugs for ears, and of course the J then completely scuppered BURLAP.

    GEWGAW went in from wordplay and a vague memory of seeing it here before; didn’t parse ODEON; and took a while to get SARGENT, despite the fact there’s a big exhibition of his at Tate Britain at the moment which might have jogged my memory.

    Thanks setter and blogger.

    COD Conservatoire

    1. Yes I did first think of jitterbug with jug for ear!! Before thinking, that doesn’t work, and thinking of lug. So you’re definitely not alone 🙂

  9. Tricksy in places, but I got past my usual spelling and pronounciation of Gewgaw as Geegaw and the experienced rather than respected lady without difficulty.

    I’ll check back with interest to hear what our French speakers say about the use of ‘argent’; you know what I say about foreign language slang. thanks setter, and thanks Z

      1. My first French text book at grammar school in 1957, Nos Voisins Francais, cedilla included but beyond my present IT capabilities, had ARGENT for money. My French hasn’t progressed much since, so I’m with you on this. It’s one for the monet, two for the show…

      2. We must have done Olevels at about the same time then.
        On edit; I thought I was answering Z. The timing is very close.

      3. Well ‘monnaie’ is change. Or a mint.
        Numerous other (slang) words for money: fric, blé, pognon, thune.

  10. 36:29, quicker than it felt after some struggles with the vocab. I tried NETHERMOST before the NHO NETHERWARD (underlined by my spellchecker) and GEEGAW before GEWGAW. NHO SEPT spotted early but left till last. I liked INHABIT

  11. I took a lot longer than our blogger, and DNF as I cheated. Got VERY slow in the South until the 22a teatowel showed up. Spoonerisms never come to mind quickly; 16d lug known of course but not the first thought and bitter not first for frozen. 1d SEPT known vaguely, but felt the need to check it. Was unaware it was specifically Irish.
    POI 7d DEALING was thinking it might be (Mao Ze) DUNG rather than DENG so that delayed me a bit.
    Added 8d NETHERWARD to my cheating machine as it was absent.
    LOI BOYCOTTS for no obvious reason. I liked 9a PAINTBALL.

  12. 12:04, and broadly in agreement with our blogger that no horses were startled in the solving of this puzzle. Some words you’ll only really find in crosswordland, but as that’s where I have my second home, that wasn’t a problem.

  13. A technical DNF, stymied by the NW corner. Resorted to an aid for PAINTBALL, which broke the logjam. The rest was by no means easy (for me). COD a photo-finish between SARGENT and INHABIT.

  14. Had to take two goes at this, one watching a cricketing disaster in India and finishing off the tougher ones when play had ended. Would have been near 45 minutes added together, I thought this was quite tough, ending with RAILCAR and PAINTBALL . The anagram for conservatoire was a good one. Thanks Z especially for explaining DING whom I had forgotten.

  15. I don’t think a FOREBEAR is necessarily a distant relation. All the sources I looked at seem to mention parents and grandparents first when defining the word.

    1. The first word in all the usual sources seems to be ‘ancestor’ although closer relatives are sometimes mentioned further down the entry. But Chambers free online has this as its only definition: an ancestor, usually more remote than grandfather or grandmother.

      1. Thanks, I should go to Chambers or Collins first and not just accept the first things I see online that agree with my opinion.

  16. 43 minutes. A Thursday puzzle of about the expected difficulty level. SARGENT was the one which gave me most trouble, with NETHERWARD only entered after I realised NETHERMOST didn’t fit the crossers. You wouldn’t catch me playing it but I liked the clue for PAINTBALL.

  17. GEWGAWs is the name of Stanley Holloway’s company that makes replica Eiffel Towers in The Lavender Hill Mob.

    And I really hate “Spooner” clues.

  18. I rather like Spooner clues. Another weapon in the setter’s armoury, and always a pleasant challenge. This took me 45 minutes, with no great holdups but steady although slow solving most of the way through. I’m ashamed to say that IGOR was one of my last ones in . Was trying to make tsar or czar work. Had nho NETHERWARD.

  19. 40:28

    On the hard side with plenty of pencilled answers in the top half before seeing how they worked. Random artist (name rang a bell but no idea what he’d done) and economic issue came to the party very late on. DEALING bunged in from definition with no clue about the wordplay. GEWGAW probably seen here sometime previously as it is not a word I’ve ever used.

    Thanks Z and setter

  20. 45 mins so not on the easier side. LOI GEWGAW (on edit!) (NHO) held me up. Finally worked out from very careful studying of the wp. BURLAP likewise. I am definitely changing from a lion to an owl.

    I liked DRYING-UP CLOTH.

    Thanks Z and setter.

  21. I got completely stuck on this at about the 10-minute mark, then had to pause it to do a zoom call, and when I came back to it solved the rest pretty readily. So I should probably add the unconscious thinking time to my 14:28 but I don’t know how to do that.
    There’s a ‘Great Sept’ in Game of Thrones, but it’s a building. Still, it helped me get the answer. Dr Evil was of course famously placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds when he was insolent.

  22. Dear oh dear. Slow over two sessions. Needed all the crossers for the long anagram, played around with all the combinations of EGW and wit or wag reversed before checking GEWGAW was a word. I tried to make opeon (Opus E that famous Diderot work?) an ancient theatre. Fortunately I remembered that an Olive is a fruit here. COD INHABIT which almost got me.

    Thanks Z

  23. I came in just within target at 44.40, but would have been a good deal quicker if it hadn’t been for the nw corner. It took EAT IN to get me going again after a five minute hiatus, and the T enabled me to get PAINTBALL, where for a long time I couldn’t get PLAINBALL out of my mind (no such game of course, but a term often referred to in snooker commentaries). After a minute or so RAILCAR came to mind, and my LOI SARGENT quickly followed after I realised that the setter wasn’t including reference to an obscure type of French baguette.

  24. 25.27 with a bit of help from memory. Gewgaw has appeared before and after toying with dewlap rather foolishly thought ah there’s the rub and all was well.
    For some reason, drying up cloth took me ages despite getting the cloth part reasonably quickly. Allotment also delayed.
    LOI evens up which appealed so that’s my COD.

    Really enjoyable puzzle.

  25. Just over an hour. Like yesterday’s, I found this tricky but very fair, sort of like wading through treacle while the answers slowly filled themselves in. The clues all seemed to be pointing in the wrong direction at first, but there was nothing obscure, so it was a very enjoyable bout with the setter this time. TRADE GAP and then SARGENT were my LOI. COD perhaps to DRYING-UP CLOTH or LITTERBUG. Quite a fun puzzle.

    I’m still solving on Opera, since Edge doesn’t work.

  26. Am I the only one who struggled with IN A BIT meaning “very shortly”? If I say “in a bit” I mean “When I get round to it, or probably never.”

  27. Agree with david_ch that there is not much to say about this. I enjoyed it over a slow pint and did not find it too exhausting. All done in 33 minutes.
    LOI – EAT IN
    Thanks to Zabadak and other contributors.

  28. 22’53” and all correct with LOI PAINTBALL, preceded by SARGENT. All pretty straightforward.

  29. Woke up at 3am unable to sleep so had another go at yesterday’s unfinished puzzle, and was able to complete with all correct, much to my surprise.
    LOI GEWGAW (one among a number of unknowns)

  30. A bit off the wavelength today, with looking for an obscure type of “pain” instead of ready…ah well. So never did get SARGENT, and not getting 1a is always a downer. But it GLADDENed my heart when I got going on that one, and helped getting the very good anagram for overreactions. ODDITY was a mess (oddbod just didn’t work). CODs to DRYING UP CLOTH (for the misdirection) and AFFORDABLE. No time, but far too long.


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