Times 28,223: Cored Almighty

I thought this was going to be pretty quick work until the SW corner, where I got well bogged down by the cricketing parlance at 13dn and the unknown word at 15dn… where I had STOREROOM for a while, leaving 19ac impossible until correction had been made. “Minimal” is an interesting indicator for “first letters only of”.

My favourite thing was probably CASH LAND, cancelling out some of the emotional trauma caused by the supposed homophone at 22dn. Thanks setter!

Definitions underlined, (ABC)* indicating anagram of ABC, {} deletions and [] other indicators.

1 Piece of music has magnificent opening (5)
CHASM – hidden in {musi}C HAS M{agnificent}
4 Vitamin primarily alleviating discomfort if colic’s bad (5,4)
FOLIC ACID – (A{lleviating} D{iscomfort} IF COLIC*)
9 Diligent help almost keeping couple united (9)
ASSIDUOUS – ASSIS{t}, “keeping” DUO
10 One on flight to watch carefully, we’re told (5)
STAIR – homophone of STARE
11 No Yankee reactionary has Socialist backing over there (6)
YONDER – reversed NO Y + reversed RED
12 Enriched fruit drink, sophisticated sort (8)
SMOOTHIE – double def
14 Frantic partners put on odd bits of dress (10)
16 Retro science facility, source of medicinal lotion (4)
BALM – reversed LAB + M{edicinal}
19 Marketeer‘s minimal stock purchased in Vienna (4)
SPIV – S{tock} P{urchased} I{n} V{ienna}
20 Changed side for Lord’s is fully updated (8,2)
SWITCHED ON – SWITCHED [changed] + ON [side, in cricket]
22 Dispatch book left behind by somebody (8)
23 Bear to the left, reaching city’s stall at fair (6)
HOOPLA – reversed POOH + L.A.
26 Defective weight or, conversely, any number of grams (5)
WRONG – W(eight) + reversed OR + N G(rams)
27 Mum forming part of twosome getting spliced at sea? (4,5)
28 Freshly brewed tea missed cup (9)
29 Theologist invested in home improvements very little (5)
DIDDY – D.D. “invested” in D.I.Y.
1 Big Eddy‘s circumspect bids scuppered (9)
CHARYBDIS – CHARY [circumspect] + (BIDS*)
2 Child follows retreating gunners, firing irregularly (5)
ARSON – SON follows reversed R.A. “Firing” as in “setting fire to”, “irregularly” as in “illegally”
3 Gothic gong I’ve improperly seized (8)
MEDIEVAL – MEDAL, “seizing” (I’VE*)
4 Small section of verse also fine on reflection (4)
FOOT – reversed TOO F
5 Take time to record final? (4-6)
LAST-MINUTE – LAST [take time, as in “it lasted 4 hours”] + MINUTE [to record]
6 Court order restricting American patronage (6)
CUSTOM – CT O.M. “restricting” U.S.
7 Runs into region where there’s money maybe for pancake? (5-4)
8 Woeful setting for grand part of requiem (5)
DIRGE – G “set in” DIRE
13 Conclude activity on field to lure foxes (4,6)
DRAW STUMPS – DRAW [to lure] + STUMPS [foxes]
15 Large pantry not yet full? (9)
STILLROOM – if it’s not yet full, there’s STILL ROOM
17 Unnamed lady cleared out ground in routine manner (9)
18 Beaten cricket coach ultimately cheated (8)
THROBBED – {cricke}T {coac}H + ROBBED
21 Promising biographer’s first title (6)
BRIGHT – B{iographer} + RIGHT [title]
22 Cried like a corvid deprived of heart, so we hear (5)
CAWED – homophone of CORED, allegedly
24 Material lodged underneath piano (5)
PLAID – LAID underneath P
25 Increase in price for walking tour (4)
HIKE – double def

57 comments on “Times 28,223: Cored Almighty”

  1. Perhaps you’ve been too long in the US of A? Cored/cawed works perfectly well for me, and I suspect most SE Englanders too.
    Otherwise, similar. No problems for 3/4, but the SW slowed me down. SPIV went in early, guessed the unknown STILLROOM with fair confidence, but in a lapse of concentration I’d written CORED so WRONG was imppossible, and bright and celerity too difficult without crossers. Eventually got WRONG and the rest followed.
    COD to arson; I liked the “firing irregularly”. Just beating the well-disguised hidden CHASM.

    Edited at 2022-02-25 06:40 am (UTC)

      1. I rarely pronounce the letter ‘r’
        Unless of course I’m forced to say ‘rarely’ out loud
    1. I pronounce “cored” and “cawed” in pretty much the same way, so it’s not so much that I have a problem with non-rhotic homophones myself, more that I know somebody else is bound to get really exercised about them in the blog comments. And so it has proven…
      1. It was a write in from the definition, but I didn’t think of cored and so was puzzling how cold — having no heart, eg — could get all the way to cawed. I was, of course, fully willing to believe that at least one of us (in addition to the setter) might pronounce cold that way.

        Edited at 2022-02-25 11:51 pm (UTC)

  2. very slow at one hour but I never felt I wasn’t going to solve it and there was nothing unknown to me either in clues or answers.

    I lost at least 10 minutes at the end doing an alphabet trawl on S?I? at 15ac, and even having eventually thought of SPIV it took me a while longer to spot the wordplay. Talk about hiding in plain sight!

  3. Under 30 minutes for me, so no real problems. Unlike everyone else, I don’t think I filled anything in wrong that I had to later correct. I guessed STILLROOM. SPIV was my LOI. I liked the “splice the main brace” clue since my Dad was in the Royal Navy. Fun crossword although not “Fridayish”.
  4. Up early again, and flew through this, just 32″ slower than verlaine!

    Spent some time over CAWED, wondering how to manipulate ‘crowed’, and was also reminded of a Doctor Who episode — am looking forward to the reboot.

    Although I am a cricket fan, I’d put in DRAW ‘trumps’ at first.

    Also a bit puzzled by ‘beaten’ as a past participle, but Chambers says it’s OK, or does the clue work by having THROBBED as a result of said action?

    11′ 24″, thanks verlaine and setter.

    1. I wondered about that. Beaten as a past participle is OK, but only transitive: “He has beaten me at chess”. Intransitive “His heart has beaten” just sounds all wrong. Throb for me – and the dictionaries – is intransitive only.
      1. I thought this at first but on reflection I think it’s fine. Here’s an example I found googling:

        So doctors are struggling to define “circulatory death,” to determine when the heart has beaten for the last time once life support has been withdrawn.

        Edited at 2022-02-25 11:59 am (UTC)

  5. 44 minutes here, held up by a broad swath of clues including the cricketing thing but also LAST MINUTE, SMOOTHIE and SWITCHED ON, all of which took me longer than they should, in hindsight.

    I knew STILLROOM from somewhere. My brain tells me I learned it recently, and probably in a vintage story, so it’s probably somewhere in Chesterton or Le Fanu, given my recent reading.

  6. 71 minutes. Stuck solid for about half an hour mainly in the SE, but then things re-started after a break and seeing DRAW STUMPS. Only unknown was STILLROOM which went in from from wordplay. I also wondered about THROBBED for ‘Beaten’ but thought it was just me. No problems with the CAWED homophone.

    Very slow, but happy to finish with my LOI and favourite CRASH-LAND.

  7. I’m always pleased if I solve cryptics in under my average time of 50-52mins.
    The only clue that I needed parsing was FOLIC ACID so thank you, verlaine.
    I do have some queries though:
    – In 20ac I feel SWITCHED ON would have been better clued as “with it” rather than “fully updated”.
    – Like others I don’t like THROBBED as a synonym of “beaten”.
    – Which dictionaries give STILLROOM as one word? Lexico has it as two words and Collins Online doesn’t have it at all.
    I liked it that “partners” in 14ac didn’t mean bridge partners for once.

    Edited at 2022-02-25 08:07 am (UTC)

        1. I’m not sure I have understood the query here. STILLROOM (one word) is the answer to the literal definition (large pantry). STILL ROOM (two words) meaning ‘room still available’ (not yet full) is wordplay which wouldn’t be in dictionaries because it’s not a lexicographical expression.
            1. Yes, and since writing the above I’ve seen that SOED also sanctions the literal as two words, which I was not expecting. It seems all three versions are acceptable. But there’s nothing wrong with the clue or the enumeration.
  8. 28 minutes with LOI CAWED, which works perfectly well for this NW Englishman too. COD to DRAW STUMPS, although I guess that would be a bit of a mystery to a non-cricketer, more so than SWITCHED-ON. I liked ARSON and SPIV too. THROBBED to mean BEATEN didn’t strike a chord or is that mixing too many metaphors? I must admit that I first thought of Duane when I read Big Eddy and CHARYBDIS needed most crossers. Good puzzle. Thank you V and setter.
  9. And wave thy silver pinions o’er my head.

    Well I breezed through this. After 20 mins I only had Celerity to crack, but strangely it took a few mins.
    One tick: Draw Stumps.
    One question mark: Beaten= Throbbed. Ok, I get it, but the eyebrow twitched.
    Thanks setter and V.

  10. For once I’m SWITCHED ON and feel BRIGHT
    My answers weren’t WRONG, they were right
    No mental CHARYBDIS
    Much CELERITY with this
    SMOOTHIE — I’ll sleep well tonight! 😀
  11. Not as difficult as I tried to make it. I ended up with an angular C shape in the NW corner, and neither CHASM nor SPIV should have been a problem. Once I finally saw the former, CHARYBDIS fell straight in to point me at the latter. I’ve never seen MAINBRACE with a hyphen before.

    COD DRAW STUMPS (no dental jokes please !)
    TIME 12:15

  12. Just on the hour but never saw SPIV (doh) so bunged in SAIL, thinking “Vienna” might be an example of one. So a technical DNF.

    Stuck in the SW for awhile until I saw CAWED then CELERITY. I was pleased to have remembered CHARYBDIS from the dark distant past.

    Thank you V and setter.

  13. 22.44, so a steady if patchy solve held up primarily by the clues that relied on multiple first letters, T H ROBBED and of course SPIV, where “minimal” is, shall we say, a novel indicator.
    I’m unsurprised to find CASHLAND is a thing in itself, though not, as far as I can see in the UK. Money lending in the US, and a video game store in Lille.
    Dis anyone else biff MAELSTROM for Big Eddy? Completely unparseable, of course, though I’m sure V could give it a go.

    Edited at 2022-02-25 09:34 am (UTC)

  14. CHASM dropped into place at first glance, followed by MEDIEVAL, YONDER and CHARYBDIS. I’ve just looked up CHARYBDIS, so now understand the clue. I had to engage the reserve neuron to progress further and finished up in the SW corner with STILLROOM, BRIGHT and CELERITY taking quite a while. 30:12. Thanks setter and V.
    On edit: I forgot to mention that CAWED/CORED sound much the same to me and I also had a MER at THROBBED/BEATEN.

    Edited at 2022-02-25 10:13 am (UTC)

  15. …idiotically just biffed RISE for HIKE clue. Had been a bit frustrated up to that point and needed to speed up. Too much haste, … did wonder if THRIGGED was a word for a while … hohum sort of puzzle with some interesting parts. Thanks to setter & blogger
  16. Nice puzzle, and just getting into Friday territory at times, but I had enough flashes of inspiration that I never got bogged down anywhere. There seemed to be a lot of cricket going on, which always suits me. I was helped by the fact that I never considered for more than a very brief moment that CROED, or even CRWED might be a word.
  17. Enjoyed this one. I’d temporarily forgotten the original meaning of SPIV and thought it just meant a too sharply dressed man – then it came back to me. 27A came from watching Sesame Street with my children in the episode where Columbus is just setting off in 1492 and orders his mates to hoist the MAIN BRACE, belay the jibber jabber and jettison the supercargo. My father used to refer to the politico Roy Jenkins as SMOOTHIE-chops for some reason. 21.18

  18. Very enjoyable, if fairly gentle for a Friday.

    CAWED didn’t bother me. DRAW STUMPS, MAIN BRACE and CRASH-LAND all made me smile and in future I will not have to dither when spelling either CHARYBDIS or MEDIEVAL.

    Thanks to Verlaine and the setter.

  19. 9:58 but with TWO errors. In a stupid effort to get in under ten minutes I decided to take a gamble and not check my answers. Inevitably I had not one but two typos. This has been a terrible week for me!
    Nothing wrong with cored/cawed. This is the Times of London and that’s how we pronounce it here.
  20. Although I did yesterday’s in 32 minutes I took half an hour longer today, having stared at the CHASM/CHARYBDIS/SPIV bit for ages. How shaming to miss a straightforward hidden and also a straightforward first letters clue. Minimal a slight question mark, and the misdirection to The Third Man threw me.

    Cored/cawed not a problem. Why should homophone clues be hampered by the existence of rhotic speakers? And I can’t see the problem with beaten/throbbed: if you take the intransitive sense of beaten then surely that’s OK.

    Edited at 2022-02-25 12:02 pm (UTC)

    1. You’ll be saying that “flaw” and “floor” are homophones next. The truth is exposed in “flawed” versus “floored”.
      And I’m not Scottish!
      1. Flaw and floor are homophones, as indeed are flawed and floored.

        Edited at 2022-02-25 12:27 pm (UTC)

      2. I think that some people take homophone clues far too literally and seriously. The outrageous ones are fun and worth drawing attention to whilst not questioning their validity but the endless rhotic objections are somewhat tedious. Clues can’t possibly cater for every dialect and adding ‘some say’ or similar as a qualifier would be deadly dull.
        1. What’s tedious for rhotic speakers like myself is that these clues are still churned out with such regularity. They really do put us at a disadvantage and always lessen the enjoyment of solving. I’d certainly vote for a ban on dodgy r-word homophones. My view is that if someone was kind enough to provide an “r” when coining a word, the least we can do is pronounce it. To do otherwise is just plain rude.
  21. Took me two goes, but I got there in the end. I got CHARYBDIS based on faint memories of previous crosswords rather than anything else once I had enough checkers, and even after STILLROOM went in I wasn’t sure about it until I figured out SPIV. No trouble with the CAWED homophone once I’d given up trying to justify ‘cowed’ (for a while, I thought ‘deprived of heart’ was pointing that way).

    FOI Balm
    LOI Celerity
    COD Chasm

    Edited at 2022-02-25 01:47 pm (UTC)

  22. At last I managed to complete one without a typo. Spent ages on CELERITY, a word I don’t really know. I would define it as ‘the state of being celery’. CAWED works well in north Wales.
  23. …more or less.
    Was feeling pretty happy with the way things were going as I went through most of the top half without much difficulty. Then I got bogged down and made terribly heavy weather of the rest. It didn’t help that I had ‘call stumps’ for a long time. Once corrected life was much better. Although I also took ages trying to see why LOI 25dn was ‘rise’ until the penny dropped. COD to ‘hoopla’ as I really enjoyed ‘bear to the left’.

    Thanks, V, and Setter.

    Have a lovely weekend everybody.


  24. 35m. I found this tricky in parts and like others had a question mark by the THROBBED/beaten equivalence, given that throb is an intransitive verb and etc etc. Keriothe’s example of the heart that has beaten its last seems conclusive at first glance but I can’t be bothered to spend any more time thinking it through.
  25. Spent an hour on this. 50%, must try harder. Did most of the rest by making guesses, checking and amending, but had to reveal two, hoopla and plaid. Thanks, V, and setter.
  26. No problems with this, just a bit slow after a tiring golf game. CORED and CAWED is fine for me, although Verlaine I am not so sure about CORED and GAWD.
    32 minutes. I liked HOOPLA and agree with martinp1 about SWITCHED ON being better defined.
  27. 34.34. My progress was hampered by being unable to recall the first word of the draw stumps expression – pull stumps, lift stumps, drag stumps etc. I also got snagged on my last two in, the crossing smoothie and crash land.
  28. …screwed up changing CORED to CAWED having spotted WRONG, but forgetting to change the O to an A — doh!

    Pretty swift though thought STILLROOM a bit meh.

    80% enjoyable but the rest…… ho hum.

  29. I’ll read the other comments after I put in my two cents.
    I took the homophone to be “cold,” which isn’t the way I say it, but…
    Had never heard of STILLROOM. Still want to look up the derivation.
    Nor MAIN BRACE. LOI, after MUNDANELY eradicated the inexplicable MAIL-BOATS.

    Edited at 2022-02-25 06:35 pm (UTC)

  30. As a “rhotic” from birth, being Canadian ,I don’t think I’ve ever failed to voice an “r” . That being said, over the years many of my best friends have been non-rhotic and we have always been civil and open-minded in regard to each other’s linguistic foibles!
  31. Oops, that was me- Canadian Rhotic- still pretty new to this electronic form of communication.
  32. I did not like ‘minimal’ as an indicator to use first letters. Much too contrived! 24:35
  33. 27:46 Rather sluggish on a Satirday afternoon after traveling home from a few days away. LOI STILLROOM which, typically, took longer to come than it shoud have. I liked the well-hidden CHASM best.
  34. A day late, but thought this was a bit short of usual Friday difficulty. Having said that, I failed to get SMOOTHIE, convinced it would be a French word I’d never heard of with the checkers I had. I also bunged in MAIN-BITTE, thinking that was an acceptable spelling. Also love when slightly more obscure vocab is gettable, like at 28a – a very satisfying puzzle overall.

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