Times 28141 – Sunil Havaskar?

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
Mondays appear to have been ramped up a bit recently, with this one coming in at around my true NITCH. (The actual number is lower, but that’s mainly owing to the fact that submissions with errors and unfinished efforts are not counted.)

There are five clues with question marks, which is a bit unusual in itself, I reckon, and three in total that I am in various degrees of flummox about. So, all suggestions welcome; this one will be a true team effort. 38:38.

A technical question: does anyone know how to perform the right-click mouse function using a Dell laptop keyboard? I Googled this, but to no avail.


1 Bird gathering fruit (9)
BRAMBLING – double definition; to bramble is to collect wild blackberries. Did much of this in early September in my youth.
6 Occupying position of king in charge of subject (5)
TOPIC – TOP (occupying position of king) IC (in charge of)
9 Produced fabricated info about American university (7)
LIMITED – MIT in LIED; I’m not sure how limited can mean produced, but it might be something to do with geometry, where produce means to extend a line or plane. The consensus is that there is a mistake here – maybe two clues met on one dark night and this was their bastard offspring
10 Bitterness must be managed with inadequate legal organisation (7)
RANCOUR – RAN (managed) COUR[t]
11 What I can do for ’Arry! (3)
EAR – another one where I’m struggling; you drop the aitch from hear and you get EAR, but I can’t see how that fits in with the rest of the clue. Thanks to galspray: the best stab at this is that an EAR can fulfill the function of ‘earing (i.e. hearing) for ‘arry (i.e. Harry)
12 Person with bad manners and humour brought to head to give evidence (4,7)
BEAR WITNESS – BEAR (person with bad manners) WIT (humour) NESS (head)
14 This writer initially looking depressed becomes cheery (6)
MELLOW – ME L[ooking] LOW; Collins has ‘genial, as through the effects of alcohol’
15 Fruit plantation in old farm close to railway (8)
ORANGERY – O RANGE RY; ‘close to’ means ‘next to’ here
17 Head of school deficient, not working hard enough (8)
19 Care to protect church ground (6)
22 Admire a carer, endlessly out to bring friendship (11)
23 Small island needing a technology for modern communications (3)
25 Virgin shows skills, overtaking old record company (7)
27 Very briefly, I spoilt child, having got old and wobbly (7)
VIBRATO – V (very briefly) I BRAT (spoilt child) O (old)
28 Immature insect in mountain flower, right inside (5)
LARVA – R in LAVA (mountain flower, i.e. stream running down a mountainside)
29 Refusing to acknowledge drinking, is getting drunk (9)
DISOWNING – IS in DOWNING (IS is contained [or drunk] by the word DOWNING)


1 Good-looking girl gets ring — first sign of engagement (5)
BELLE – BELL E[ncounter]
2 Notice learner receiving star presented by officer (7)
ADMIRAL – MIRA (a red-giant star estimated to be 200–400 light-years from the Sun in the constellation Cetus) in AD (notice) L (learner)
3 Tibet always appears to be such an answer for a particular health problem? (4-7)
BETA-BLOCKER – I think the idea here is that the word TIBET is written with the letter B in the middle; put slightly differently, the BETA is blocked by the other letters. Thanks to Isla: BETA may be found in (or blocked by) [ti]BET A[lways]
4 Meal produced by one grandmother — little girl tucks in (6)
INDIAN – DI (little, i.e. abbreviated girl) in I (one) NAN (grandmother); as in ‘Tonight I’m going for an Indian. Care to join?’
5 A crude tablet possibly erected in place of worship (8)
GURDWARA – A RAW (crude) DRUG (tablet possibly) all reversed; a Sikh temple
6 After short time cricket side gets significant number of runs (3)
TON – T (time) ON (leg side in cricket); a score of 100 plus in cricket
7 Bit of speech conveyed by telephone message (7)
PHONEME – Phone me! Hidden in [tele]PHONE ME[ssage]
8 Gruff son watched what his deferential sister might have done? (9)
CURTSEYED – CURT (gruff) S (son) EYED (watched)
13 Be silent now about member’s trouble (6,5)
14 Tot upset sick, having swallowed hot drink in theatre (5,4)
MUSIC HALL – SUM (tot) reversed CHA (hot drink) in ILL (sick)
16 Dad is one looking untidy — given a coat (8)
ANODISED – DAD IS ONE*; ‘to coat (a metal, such as aluminium or magnesium) with a protective oxide film by electrolysis’ (Collins)
18 A maiden encountered with hesitation — one sitting in the physics lab? (7)
AMMETER – A M (maiden in cricket) MET (encountered) ER (hesitation); an instrument used to measure the current in a circuit.
20 Fellow attending one finding accompaniment for 4? (7)
CHAPATI – CHAP (fellow) AT (attending) I (one); a flat unleavened bread resembling a pancake
21 Demonstrates quietly and goes here and there (6)
24 Host not right to appear in minimal attire? (5)
26 Girl showing ambition, on the up (3)
MIA – AIM reversed

85 comments on “Times 28141 – Sunil Havaskar?”

  1. Gave up with BRAMBLING & GURDWARA to do. NHO of either. DNK ANODISED. Never even noticed the definition problem with LIMITED; it was nice to see MIT referred to as a university. I wondered about EAR; still do.
        1. Well, I’m an ear, and I can “hear” for you, or I can ‘ear for ‘arry, so…

          Shrug, move on.

            1. Pretty much. Not saying it’s a great clue, but to the setter’s credit there was no mention of Bow or East London.

              Fair play to ‘im or ‘er.

  2. Agree with the HKV that this was a toughie. I certainly had no confidence in entering BRAMBLING at the end, not being aware of either definition.

    Also didn’t know GURDWARA, but it’s nice when you can construct an unknown from the wordplay.

    And I can’t shed any light on LIMITED. Looking forward to somebody unravelling that mystery.

    Good tough start to the week. Thanks Ulaca and setter. (BTW U, PHONEME is a hidden, although you probably realised that).

    1. Sadly I produced GARDWARA, on the grounds that someone who’s a pill is also a drag…
  3. This is American University MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) + info=I, with fabricated=LIED wrapped around. Innit!?

    Edited at 2021-11-22 03:15 am (UTC)

    1. Agree that ‘limited’ is surely not ‘produced’.
      It is li/mit/ed though, with lied = fabricated info.

      Edited at 2021-11-22 12:30 pm (UTC)

  4. I had roughly the same time as Lord Ulaca at 39 minutes.

    FOI BRAMBLING Fringilla montifringilla – ‘The Cock o’the North’. They don’t get out much!

    LOI 8dn CURTSEYED as I originally bunged in CrossEYEd – knowing full well it was only half correct and ‘S’ too many!

    COD 4dn INDIAN – took a while to find the girl was indeed Ruby Murray! 20dn helped.

    WOD 5dn GURDWARA – Punjabi- ‘Door to the the Guru’

    Mon ‘arse! I did not like 11ac ‘Ear-‘Ear!

    On edit: two ‘likes’ – from Lord Galspray (Hon. Member for Northern Beaches) and Sir Kevin Gregg (Osaka Central) – summatz-up!? If Jez shows-up I’ll have a prile!

    Edited at 2021-11-22 05:41 am (UTC)

  5. Correct, but it is how I got it! OK remove I is for info!

    Edited at 2021-11-22 03:30 am (UTC)

    1. But where’s the definition ‘orryd? I think that’s the part we haven’t decoded yet.
      1. A LIMITED edition was produced!!? No!

        It appears to me to be an error – and should be ‘Reduced’ and not ‘Produced’.

        Edited at 2021-11-22 03:43 am (UTC)

  6. Too many intersecting unknowns to guess: Brambling (both meanings), Mira, Gurdwara (I had the WARA).
    Did get beta-blocker eventually – I think it’s a reverse-cryptic: [ti]BET A[lways] blocks beta. Parsed ear the same as Galspray and thought the clue was fine, but no idea about limited/produced so dubious about it. Got Indian backwards after solving chapati and remembering “Let’s go for an Indian” from sundry Britcoms; without that I’d never associate meal with Indian.
    Tough one.

    Edited at 2021-11-22 03:40 am (UTC)

  7. This was a strange puzzle. Many straightforward write-ins, but then GURDWARA, LIMITED = produced (do I get that one yet), EAR, BRAMBLING, etc. I had guesses for all of these, but little confidence.

    And, I should add, thank you to galspray for making sense of EAR for me.

    Edited at 2021-11-22 03:47 am (UTC)

  8. This felt long-winded and clunky to me. I agree with galspray on EAR and isla on BETA. I still cannot equate LIMITED with produced. Perhaps horryd is correct and it should be reduced?
    1. Funnily enough, as I printed it out and it almost completely filled the page I thought, “Oh no. A lot of long clues”. I also thought it a bit clunky in places.
  9. 30 minutes. Didn’t know GURDWARA but the wordplay plus checkers got me to it.

    Like others I was puzzled by LIMITED and ‘EAR which I’m afraid I still don’t get.

    ‘Bramble’ is another word for ‘blackberry’ and ‘blackberrying’ (collecting the wild-growing fruit) is a traditional UK pastime, so BRAMBLING though new to me was no great stretch. I didn’t know it as a bird but took that on trust.

    I know the expression well though I can’t say I recall ‘going for an Indian’ in any sitcoms, but ‘Going for an English’ is a classic sketch from the ‘Goodness Gracious Me’ team.

    1. There’s a big cultural difference for us, then. Brambles as thorny bushes known, but not as blackberries specifically. Blackberries are a noxious weed in these parts. You don’t go out and pick them, if you find them you notify the Ag Dept who go out and poison them, dig them up and burn them.
      Can’t remember the provenance of “go for an Indian”, a sitcom was best guess. Sounds TVish.
  10. Much the same experience as others, grinding to a halt in the NW, not understanding EAR or LIMITED, not knowing BRAMBLING and taking a while to come up with GURDWARA.
  11. A few interruptions so no proper time, but a bit over an hour. Managed to finish after spending much of the time in the NW, with the problems coming from those already discussed. I sort of understood EAR but had to rely on wordplay to eventually get GURDWARA. BRAMBLING is yet another bird I only know from crossword land – quite an attractive LBB (little brown bird) from the pics.

    LOI was BETA-BLOCKER. I thought the def was a bit strange given that there are a number of ‘health problem(s)’ for which they may be prescribed.

    Thanks to ulaca and setter

  12. I’m glad Ulaca had trouble with LIMITED and EAR as those were my two queries as well. I’m still puzzled by Galspray’s interpretation of EAR but that’s probably just me being thick. LIMITED? No idea, but ‘Orryd’s explanation is a good one.
    LOI: EAR
    Right, time for bed and to finish reading John Le Carré’s last novel, “Silverview”. It’s a bit slim at only just over 200 pages.
  13. 28 minutes, held up in NW. I couldn’t see the definition for LIMITED, but shrugged and just put it in. COD to BETA BLOCKER, even if it’s not the greatest clue. I also liked BRAMBLING, what my pregnant wife and I were doing on 25 September 1988 when she realised something was happening. Our first born came early the next morning. What seemed to worry her most was who was going to cook the blackberries. This was quite a difficult puzzle but had its moments. Thank you U and setter.
    1. It’s traditional for new babies to be found under a gooseberry bush; those that aren’t delivered by a stork, that is!
      1. Gooseberry bush was 19th-century slang for pubic hair, and from this comes the saying that babies are “born under a gooseberry bush”. Wikipedia
          1. Indeed. When I was a kid I was admonished for calling someone a ‘berk’. Language develops. My aunt told her son she got him from Sainsbury’s! The Stork is Dutch.

            Edited at 2021-11-22 12:13 pm (UTC)

  14. After 35 mins pre-brekker I stopped trying to understand Limited.

    Coincidentally, yesterday I was thinking about using Vibrato as an anagram indicator. You see, I thought it might mean wobbly. But all the dictionaries had it as a noun.
    Thanks setter and U.

  15. 16:44 I was pleased to be able to construct the unknown GURDWARA from the wordplay and checkers. Like others I was mystified by the apparent lack of definition in 9A. Maybe horryd has it right, but “Restricted” makes for a bit of a clunky surface. Maybe “Checked” would be better? Whatevs. I was unconvinced by EAR too and I thought BETA BLOCKER a bit odd. I liked PHONEME, though. Thanks setter and U.
  16. 22:30
    Got through it. NHO gurdwara, but wp was fair. The ‘limited’ clue is wrong.

    Edited at 2021-11-22 09:21 am (UTC)

  17. Well spotted – I just threw in Limited and left it that.
    Ear was OK but Beta Blocker was terribly contrived. The Khalsa Jatha, the first Sikh society in the UK was founded in 1908. In 1911, the first Sikh Gurdwara was founded in London. My COD
  18. 23 minutes so 15 mins quicker than my average time. I must have been on the setter’s wavelength. Perhaps the porridge I was eating was firing my synapses …
  19. It helps to live in a diverse area and know GURDWARA. Notwithstanding that, INDIAN LOI, needed CHAPATI.

    Nho MIRA. Same problem as everyone else on LIMITED and EAR.

    18′ 15″, thanks ulaca and setter.

  20. 14:22 No problem with either definition for BRAMBLING but I needed to construct GURDWARA (NHO) before I could get it.

    Like others could not see how EAR or LIMITED work.

    Did not parse MUSIC-HALL or BETA-BLOCKER.

    Thanks setter and Ulaca.

  21. Through the slough of despond I am shambling
    Griping amd moaning and rambling
    ‘Bout these avian junkies
    Who don’t give a monkey’s
    And start the grid off with a BRAMBLING
  22. Feeling grumpy after a much interrupted solve, a typo (I can’t count the number of A in CAMARADERIE) and mystification on LIMITED and EAR. ‘EAR I sort of get (is “I” the anthropomorphised definition?) but LIMITED doesn’t work, unless we’re in a world where “guess the intended definition from a misprint” is a Times thing.
    Didn’t get INDIAN until CHAPATI. like others. 21.12 I’d rather not have spent in this way.
  23. More or less on the money for a snitch of 100, went well for 30 mins — the last nine spent on 4 intertwining clues solved in the following order: BEAR WITNESS; BETA BLOCKER; BRAMBLING; and finally the guessed GURDWARA — had thought of DRUG backwards earlier and with all of the checkers, it was but a little jump.

    Edited at 2021-11-22 10:59 am (UTC)

  24. 10m 35s, and didn’t feel on the wavelength today. NHO BRAMBLING the bird, didn’t understand definition of LIMITED (which sounds like it wasn’t understandable anyway) and I’m thoroughly underwhelmed by EAR.

    Having said that, TENNIS ELBOW was a great clue that I didn’t parse at the time; it’s always nice to see an anagram that doesn’t look like an anagram. LARVA was also a nice twist on the usual ‘flower’ for river.

  25. 22:14. Didn’t understand LIMITED (and have subsequently subscribed to Mr Horryd’s typo theory), nor EAR, for the same reasons as everyone else and failed to see the hiddens in plain sight.
  26. All was going quite well until I came to a halt and gave up and used aids, but still finished in 54 minutes — thankful that the Snitch is at least vaguely high and that it wasn’t one of those crosswords which people have PBs on. I was surprised that Chambers Crossword Dictionary doesn’t give brambling as a bird, although it gives a number that are new to me: aepyornis, bower bird, fairy tern, … LIMITED just seems a mistake. Surely it was meant to be ‘Reduced’. Am still uncomfortable with EAR. I have to admit that I didn’t know what a gurdwara was and had to look it up to confirm, although post-Rafiq-cricket-Yorkshire-endemic racism perhaps I should have done.
  27. I shrugged in the same way as everyone else before deciding the two slightly unconvincing answers I had in the NW corner had taken as much examination as I could give and submitted while thinking “well that’s close enough”. Not entirely satisfactory, but sometimes you just have to move on.

    Then realised I’d done a fat-fingered typo by putting in PHOMEME, so all in vain anyway.

  28. I had the same eyebrow-raising moments as most other solvers. EAR at 11A seems to me to me to be on the other side of the line separating “cryptic” from “ridiculous”. Thanks to isla3 for explaining the parsing of BETA-BLOCKER.

    It would be nice if the setter could enlighten us as to whether there is a mistake in the clue to 9A. Horryd’s suggestion that “produced” should read “reduced” makes the most sense.

    1. Setter and editor are usually pretty good about answering inquiries of this sort. The last time I blogged (last month) I had a question about one of the clues which was in fact perfectly complete and correct, I just failed to understand it – and we heard quite promptly.
      1. I guess we have to accept the possibility that there is no mistake in 9A and the parsing has simply eluded us all.

        Edited at 2021-11-22 04:20 pm (UTC)

  29. DNF. Gave up after 60 mins. Same problems as others in NW. Nothing to add but that being a newby I haven’t the confidence to just put the word in without working out why. And when it doesn’t work out — EAR, LIMITED — it’s irritating. Thanks to all, and the setter.
  30. 11:54. I seem to be very much in the minority in knowing both meanings of BRAMBLING, but the rest was tricky and I solved it in fits and starts, jumping around the grid. I ended in the NW where I didn’t understand EAR (where galspray seems to have it right and I think it’s rather neat) and LIMITED, where something seems to be missing. I’m not sure I buy the ‘reduced’ thesis as it’s more than a typo and still leaves an unsatisfactory clue.
    In other news I am showing zero errors on the leaderboard for the first time in a very long time indeed. Woo hoo!
      1. So let’s have The Keriothe ‘thesis’ on LIMITED – what is missing? – something more than a typo!?
  31. 19.45. I made steady progress on this one until ending up in the NW corner. Like others could not justify limited but the wordplay seemed clear. DNK Mira but there seemed to be only one officer fitting the bill. Brambling when it occurred to me from checkers and the gathering fruit definition just seemed to be right. It was ear that I was really unsure about and the best explanations for it here haven’t really persuaded me that it’s much cop as a clue. Fortunately three letters beginning E and ending R didn’t leave many options.
  32. Thanks ulaca for excellent blog as always, one of the rare occasions where I can’t understand clues and I’m seemingly in the right! But please explain why you’ve titled this blog as the little master indian cricket’s bravest and best opener ‘sunil gavaskar’ with a misprint- have enough things unparsed from this crossword without adding to that as well 🙂
    1. The Australian impressionist and parodist Billy Birmingham (AKA The Twelfth Man) came up with the name.

      I thought it rather nicely encapsulated the cricketing and subcontinental flavour of the puzzle.

      1. Kutis Arminhaaf, Heeza Hazbeen and Enevah Waz. Thanks for the reminder.

        The first time I ever heard Billy Birmingham do his cricket thing, I was rendered completely speechless with laughter for a good hour.

        The sketches with “Tony Grieg” and “Bill Lawrie”. Genius.

        Edited at 2021-11-22 03:31 pm (UTC)

        1. I wish I had six jackets like Richie Benaud’s in my wardrobe: the cream, the bone, the white, the off-white, the ivory and the beige would see me through most cricket seasons.
        1. He did quite a bit of stuff, but the Pakistan/Australia series is the best. As hopkinb says, the real genius is the interplay between the commentators.
  33. I started with TOPIC and populated the NE quite quickly. I then popped in INDIAN and ADMIRAL in the NW, and ____WARA. The rest came later. There were no particular hold ups in the rest of the puzzle, so I returned to the NW to finish. BELLE came first, which convinced me to go with LIMITED, despite misgivings, then I saw DRUG for tablet, which allowed me to get BRAMBLING. EAR went in last with a shrug and raised eyebrows. 18:18. Thanks setter and U.
  34. Did this early, but late to the party as had to rush out to several meetings.

    But….. DNF as I just couldn’t put in LIMITED, had BELLE but thought it too obvious and looked up GURDWARA (NHO). Looked at EAR and thought eh wot? I should take topicaltim’s advice. Just bung ‘em in and hope.

    Very unsatisfactory all round. Bah.

    Thank you Ulaca.

  35. Yay! GURDWARA really is a word!
    The NW was tough, though. I only finished on crutches.
    And hoped for more clarity about EAR, and, especially, to find out how LIMITED (which I hesitated so long to put in) could mean “produced.”

    Edited at 2021-11-24 04:28 am (UTC)

  36. My grandmother used to make bramble jelly, having been BRAMBLING, so once I had some checkers, that was OK (though NHO the bird), and gave me BELLE and LOI GURDWARA.

    A step up from a typical Monday, and my 4th puzzle of the day.


  37. An odd puzzle to come back to. 11a was a Schrodinger’s clue. I didn’t know if it was going to be EAR or ERR until I hit the button – both made about as much sense. LIMITED has been dealt with here. BETA-BlOCKER made me wince and GURDWARA made me a little wiser. So it goes.

    Thanks to ulaca and the setter.

  38. As usual, I shot off at a tremendous pace, and staggered towards the finishing line. I think as for most it was the NW that held me up. Knew about BRAMBLINGS when I was 4 ( I was a world expert on birds at that age) but had to stretch back 65 years to find the memory.
    Just had a trauma with our Meg pictured, she decided to go for a swim and didn’t come back. She was 18, I believe old dogs can decide to move on when they’ve had enough.
    1. My Sympathies. I believe that too, we had 2 collies on our farm who went off into the night when they knew the end was near.
  39. 36’42”, of which a lot was spent head scratching over LIMITED, for which add mine to the consensus view that the clue is just wrong. EAR had to be, but it’s a shocker of a clue IMO.
  40. Around 20 mins. Same comments as the setter regarding ear and limited but couldn’t think of anything better as an answer. Some vague recollection of gurdwara but eventually got via working out the backwards clue.

    DNK Mira but, again, a reasonable infill to guess. A bit chewy for a Monday so glad I got through it without taking ages- comparatively!

  41. All done swiftly except the two discussed above, LIMITED and EAR, neither of which make sense to me although I can see how LIMITED is derived from wordplay. Could just be an error as suggested.
    I knew the brambling bird and liked the clue.
    Deduced the Sikh temple from wordplay then vaguely remembered it although couldn’t have spelt it without help.
    CAMARADERIE was a good anagram.
    20 minutes except for those two bad eggs.
  42. 18:41 late this afternoon. Enjoyed some of the clues but was unimpressed with several of the others and can’t add anything to earlier comments. It would be nice to get an official response to “limited” in particular.
    Also several NHOs as far I was concerned, which added to my vague sense of disgruntlement. However for my LOI 5 d “gurdwara”, I realised I wouldn’t recognise the right answer even if I got it, which made me concentrate on trying to construct a watertight analysis of the cryptic elements — so fair play to the setter I guess.
    COD 3 d “beta-blocker” which I thought was a clever clue, with the eventual but nonetheless satisfying PDM.
    Thanks to Ulaca and setter.
  43. But one wrong – put in gardwara. I think I had in mind the french word dragee meaning a sweet, and imagined there must be some English equivalent. Classic example of mind making totally unwanted leaps. Otherwise the same problems as everyone else. Limited was easy to parse, impossible to explain. Ear still eludes me.
  44. Couldn’t/can’t make any sense of “‘ear”.

    Curate’s egg, this puzzle.

    Mike Cowking (logged out somehow).

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