Times 28251 – well polished surfaces here.

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
I thought this was an excellent, but not difficult, puzzle, with some fine surfaces to the clues, such as 29a 6d, 20d, and 27d. It took me 22 minutes, with a ‘must be that’ for my LOI at 28a, a word I didn’t know.

1 Once rebuked poet about Liberal’s early years (9)
CHILDHOOD – CHID (rebuked) insert L, HOOD a poet we’ve had before so I remembered him.
6 Winged figure police department guards at university (5)
CUPID – C.I.D. has UP = at university, inserted.
9 Erase old joke finally giving offence (7)
EXPUNGE – EX PUN = old joke, G E final letters of giving offence.
10 Henry leaves top officer taking a fortified wine (7)
MARSALA – MARSHAL loses H and adds A.
11 Fellow introducing French art books (5)
TOMES – TOM a fellow, ES = art, as in French tu es.
13 Nonconformist causing upset to residents (9)
14 What’s left outside entrance to major art museum (9)
HERMITAGE – What’s left = HERITAGE, insert M = entrance to Major.
16 Rascal dismissing pressure to swindle (4)
SCAM – SCAMP loses P.
18 Note about old hotel in central London area (4)
SOHO – O H = old hotel, inside SO a note.
19 Slip up badly in summer month, backing freedom fighter (9)
GUERRILLA – GUA = AUG a month backing, insert ERR ILL = slip up, badly.
22 A politician reportedly entering exam relating to speechmaking (9)
ORATORIAL – into ORAL = exam, insert A TORI which sounds like a politician.
24 Test way to secure date (5)
TRYST – TRY = test, ST = way, street.
25 Girl and boy crossing top of Italian lake (7)
GALILEE – GAL (girl) LEE (a boy’s name) insert I = top of Italian.
26 Forgetful man exercising energy thus (7)
AMNESIC – AMN = MAN ‘exercising’, E = energy, SIC = Latin for thus.
28 Like dry humour? Sounds like a lie! (5)
PAWKY – I didn’t know this Scots word, but faced with P*W*Y and the suggested homophone of PORKY for lie, it was easy to guess.
29 Welshman with wife visiting auction in part of Yorkshire (9)
SWALEDALE – W (wife) ALED (a Welsh chap) go inside SALE = auction.

1 Big cat Guevara viewed with rising abhorrence (7)
CHEETAH – CHE Guevara, then ETAH = hate reversed.
2 Current member, one making mischief (3)
IMP – I = current, M.P. for member.
3 Like hereditary rule — and city’s, oddly (8)
4 One found in folklore, a divinity (5)
OREAD – hidden word, Greek nymph.
5 American woman accepts rise, endlessly producing metal inlay (9)
DAMASCENE – DAME (American woman) insert ASCEN(T) = rise endlessly.
6 Team catching emu finally and, separately, large shore bird (6)
CURLEW – CREW = team, insert U (end of emu) and L in another slot.
7 How a realist would act, almost (11)
PRACTICALLY – double definition.
8 Police officer going over a lightweight chart (7)
DIAGRAM – D.I. (detective inspector) A GRAM.
12 Old woman, ultimately rather frivolous, chewing minute sweet (11)
MARSHMALLOW – MA (old woman) R (end of rather) SHALLOW (frivolous) insert M for minute.
15 A broad smile arrested by head’s fury (9)
ANGRINESS – A, NESS (head) insert GRIN.
17 Fabric on end of divan in Mediterranean island (8)
CRETONNE – insert ON, N (end of divan) into CRETE.
18 Makeshift post confused boy attendant briefly erected (7)
STOPGAP – (POST)*, GAP = PAG(E) reversed.
20 Diplomat dealing with bushy hirsute growth? (7)
ATTACHE – AT (dealing with) TACHE short for moustache.
21 Book arable land for discharge of firearms (6)
VOLLEY – VOL = volume, book; LEY = arable land. I remembered Blackbird Leys from Oxford days and looking up what a Ley was then.
23 Climber from Iowa with name in Californian city (5)
LIANA – LA (Los Angeles) insert IA for Iowa, N for name.
27 Bath, possibly, initially smelling pretty awful (3)
SPA – initial letters of Smelling Pretty Awful.

60 comments on “Times 28251 – well polished surfaces here.”

  1. I raced through most of this in 15 mins and then was held up by not knowing PAWKY and, when I did a couple of alphabet trawls, not even considering it. Eventually the “porkie” penny dropped and I realized PAWKY must be a word. Also held up on SWALEDALE, that I’ve also never heard of, since I assumed the SALE part was going to be the first S and then ALE at the end, which it seems it is since ALED seems to be a Welsh name, but I have never heard of it. But I did the wordplay as SALE around W and then DALE with a mer as to whether DALE was a particularly Welsh name.
    1. That was pretty much my experience as well, Paul. With SWALEDALE, I too, had W inside SALE and wondered if DALE was a Welsh name.

      Edited at 2022-03-30 07:54 am (UTC)

    2. Likewise, although I didn’t spend long on this as I know a Welshman called Dale, so it seemed natural. Maybe if I’d questioned it, I might have seen Aled, which is clearly the Welsher option!
    3. I was scratching my head over Dale as a Welshman too, but as a Yorkshiremen I knew it had to be SWALEDALE. Thanks to Pip for ending my consternation.
  2. Similar experience to the HKV with the B for book, but unable to match his breakneck solving speed.

    A number of NHOs that required painstaking construction, which made for a very satisfying solve. CRETONNE and DAMASCENE (vaguely heard of) were clearly correct once resolved, whereas the unlikely PAWKY and SWALEDALE were very much a matter of trusting in the wordplay.

    OREAD was obviously a write-in. Remember that goose who whinged about it being too obscure on here all those years ago? Whatever happened to him anyway?

    Top marks setter, and thanks for the blog Pip.

    1. I knew OREAD rang a faint bell from somewhere – besides school.

      When I entered SWALEDALE, I confess to a ‘That should slow him down a bit’ moment.

      1. Apropos nothing, did you read Athers on Warney in today’s Times? Nails it I think.
        1. No, but I’ll look it up. The greatest spinner in my lifetime, but not my cup of tea as a person.
          1. Agree on both, but Athers manages to place the latter in some perspective.

            Unlikely that Warney learnt much about oreads at school.

  3. Pleased to have all correct in under an hour but needed lots of help re parsing so thanks to blogger for making everything clear!
  4. Raced through this until grinding to a halt at the PAWKY / VOLLEY crossing. Since I never got past B for book, I had to get PAWKY first – which I eventually did.
  5. Mostly anodyne excepting the bottom row which took some thought. Thank Pip
  6. Exactly wot ulaca said in his earliest posting except I needed 33 minutes in total with the last 10 spent on PAWKY/VOLLEY.

    Edited at 2022-03-30 06:21 am (UTC)

  7. Fail. Like paulmcl I knew pawky wasn’t a word, so never even considered it. And while yesterday I knew the egregious geographical obscurity, today I didn’t, so Swaledale remained empty. I’d guessed Staffwale before cretonne put the kybosh on it. Is Taff Times-worthy, or derogatory?
    Otherwise what everyone else said, nice puzzle, mostly easy.
  8. I sort of knew ‘pawky’, and I realized there was a non-rhotic homophone going on, but that didn’t stop me from putting in POWKY. NHO Aled, so I got as far as S….DALE and looked it up; NHO SWALEDALE either, of course.
  9. …otherwise I would have had to run through my (admittedly small) list of Welsh men’s names which didn’t even include yours. I’m looking forward to seeing Rhodri in a crossword one day.

    28 minutes. NHO the Scots word at 28a, but the wordplay and crossers left little room for doubt. Well, OK, I did do an alphabet trawl too, just to be sure. I was thrown by ‘secure’ not being a containment indicator at 24a. Vaguely remembered OREAD as a nymph and LEY for ‘land’.

    Favourite was VOLLEY.

  10. 20:11
    Pawky no problem – a common word in my Glaswegian family. Nice puzzle.
    Thanks, pip.
  11. …a chorus from the late fifties and my Boy Covenanter Days. 16 minutes. I thought I was on for a sub 10 while in the north but the south slowed me down quite a bit. CRETONNE was LOI once I’d cracked which dale it was courtesy of Aled Jones. PAWKY was hesitantly entered too. Enjoyable.Thank you Pip and setter.
  12. Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon in front of them
    Volleyed and thundered

    20 mins pre-brekker. Damascene rang a bell; Pawky didn’t.
    Eyebrow twitchy at: is a Nymph a Divinity, why is a Marshal a ‘top’ officer, and is Galilee a lake without the “Sea of ..”?
    Thanks setter and Pip.

    1. I agree concerning GALILEE. It’s either the Sea of Galilee or Lake Tiberias. You can’t really mix them as has been done here. I shall have more to say on this clue when I post my main entry later.
  13. Not so much a game of two halves but a game of two halves with an interminable amount of time added on, like that France v Wales 6N match only a few years back. It ended up with 20 minutes of time added on but time enough for one player to be yellow carded and still be able to come back on to play!
    18 minutes for all but 3 clues.
    Like others, I parsed SWALEDALE differently with W inside SALE and then wondered if DALE was a Welsh name.
    I also didn’t know the word LEY. I had ‘arable land’ as LEA for a long time. And taking all that into account, no wonder I struggled with PAWKY.
    I know the word DAMASCENE as in ‘conversion’ not as in ‘metal inlay’.
    My one beef is with GALILEE. In my book it’s the ‘Sea of….’ not ‘Lake….’ I appear to share Myrtilus’ concern with that one.
    Thanks, Pip.
    1. By normal definitions it is a Lake. It is also called Lake Tiberias. And whoever heard of walking on a sea?
        1. Is this a case of British and American humour diverging, Paul? That was the joke.
          1. Sorry for any confusion, BW: ironically, (Americans LOVE irony, just ask anyone) I did see the joke — just my reply was (meant to be but might’ve failed at) even drier humour than yours.

            Edited at 2022-03-30 09:05 pm (UTC)

  14. Much ANGRINESS over CURLEW
    So this AMNESIC IMP has to boo
    Are you some sort of CRETONNE?
    A CHEETAH? I’d bet on
    A VOLLEY of puns aimed at you
  15. Having got through most of this quickly I thought I was making particularly heavy weather of my last three, but it seems that two of those in VOLLEY and PAWKY were common difficulties. For me GALILEE was also a problem, as though it rings a vague bell as a biblical place I wasn’t familiar with the lake.
  16. Enjoyable but very quick, today ..
    Startled by those unfamiliar with Swaledale; though I suppose being born in Yorkshire gives one a head start.
    Also unsure about lake Galilee .. Wikipedia is emphatic that it is a lake, but says it is called Lake Kinneret now, having had various names over the years..
  17. Sounds like Peaky Blinders to me. Never heard of either of them. I was convinced that I’d be looking at multiple pink squares as I pressed the submit button. I followed the instructions to parse OREAD, DAMASCENE, PAWKY & SWALEDALE, and CRETONNE without knowing the definitions. A Damascene I knew only as an inhabitant of Damascus. Pleasantly surprised to find them all correct. Nothing as easy as Nagorno-Karabakh today!

    Edited at 2022-03-30 08:31 am (UTC)

  18. …well, I’m quite glad to have learnt of you. The same goes for OREAD, both words new to me but nicely clued, as was everything else. 19:44

    Thanks to Pip and the setter.

  19. I scythed my way through the top half of this then slowed considerably. SWALEDALE wasn’t a problem as I spent a large part of my working life driving around it and soaking up the scenery. I was heading for a sub 15 minute solve, but VOLLEY and LOI, PAWKY, put paid to that. CHILDHOOD was FOI. 20:45. Thanks setter and Pip.
  20. Whizzed through this but then got completely stuck on 28ac, where a combination of small print, the font and my failing eyesight convinced me the last word was ‘lief’. Since I certainly didn’t know a word fitting the checkers I just threw in the towel.
  21. 50 mins. Similar to others. Flew through the first 30 mins (for me) and the got bogged down with the PAWKY/VOLLEY crossing and for reasons that I can’t explain, the DAMASCENE, MARSALA and CURLEW trio. I dragged SWALEDALE up from somewhere and also took awhile over HERMITAGE, convinced the word ended in ‘TATE. Clever clue really.

    Quite enjoyable now I look back on it.

    Thanks Pip and setter.

  22. Usually the easy ones have one sneaky unknown word in them and this didn’t disappoint. Would have been easier had I not rejected LEY being arable land. In my book it’s a LEY line.
    A pleasant stroll otherwise
    WOD SWALEDALE which I visited recently.
  23. Parsed this the same way as Martin so I thought we had two gender-ambivalent names here Lee (as in JFK’s assassin and Jackie O’s sister) and Dale, as in Carnegie (how to win friends and influence people) and Evans (Roy Rogers’s female sidekick). For some reason I knew PAWKY and DAMASCENE so this went in smoothly. 12.30
  24. This was firmly in quickie territory. I usually solve on paper, but holidaying in Tenerife, did it on tablet and submitted correctly in 15:22,by some margin a PB.
    1. Cripes, I must get to Tenerife some time. I didn’t think this was easy at all, well done.
  25. Rattled through this in a quick (for me) (qfm?) 30 minutes. Knew both Aled Jones (from The Snowman originally) and swaledale so that was easy. Thought damascene was a type of material.
    For the second day in a row, a quick solve was defeated by one short word. NHO pawky and still forget the crossword use of porkie for lie. Left p_w_y unfinished.
    Thanks to the setter for a fun puzzle and to Pip for the explanations. Also to Astro Nowt both for his limericks and for the smile they induce when entering a bird as a solution!
    1. It’s a common misconception that Aled Jones sang Walking in the Air in The Snowman, but he didn’t, it was sung by a St Paul’s choirboy called Peter Auty. After the film a new recording was commissioned but Auty’s voice had broken by then so Aled Jones sang it instead.

      Edited at 2022-03-30 05:11 pm (UTC)

      1. Well well well. One learns so much in this community. Thanks for putting me right.

        If I were replying to my wife, I would say that I had been referring to the album rather than the film but I wouldn’t get away with it with her either.

  26. Whizzed (by my standards) through this and thought I was on for one of my better times, but spent 6 minutes on the PAWKY-VOLLEY intersection at the end, taking me up to 28 minutes. Like others, nho pawky as meaning ‘like dry humour’.
  27. ….but, further to earlier comments on GALILEE, I felt it was a rank bad clue. Lee Remick and Lee Grant are the best known of a clutch of American actresses named thus. It is also a commonly used female diminutive (think Leanne Battersby in ‘Coronation Street’. Certainly not strictly a male appellation.

    LOI GUERRILLA (a word which once floored me in the Times Final due to it having varied spellings, but this is technically the correct one)
    TIME 7:17

    Edited at 2022-03-30 11:06 am (UTC)

    1. “1966 Melbourne Cup winner” might have been a better way of clueing it, but then I guess that would have been too obvious.
  28. 22:40 with much delay over VOLLEY/PAWKY, the unknown latter falling into place shortly after the former eventually capitulated.
  29. Hooray finished another, even though NHO pawky, got it through apples and pears. This occupied the time nicely between having a new back door fitted and watching Shane Warne’s state funeral, and going out for a snivel afterwards. Much to like here. Thanks, Pip, and setter.
  30. Nice and zippy with a very brief hold-up in the SW corner before VOLLEY led to PAWKY; no real concerns once the penny dropped, as I knew PAWKY was a word, even though I doubt I could have convincingly defined it in isolation. Also a brief pause while I, too, worried about the right number of Rs and Ls in the freedom fighter, which I think I’ve been spelling wrong (or at least alternatively) all these years.
  31. Generally comfortable sail across the grid, though minor hold-ups with SWALEDALE which I failed to fully parse not spotting the ALED; CRETONNE which I pieced together and DAMASCENE (think this may have been here before).

    Working in Glasgow these last seven years proved its worth with LOI PAWKY though had never thought how to spell it.

  32. 12.48. For a while, I thought today was Monday but got slowed down in the SW corner. Eventually biffed volley and pawky followed swiftly though Galilee took a bit longer. Bit lucky with swaledale. Thought it was right but eventually wondered why Dale was a welsh name. Never mind wrong thinking but right result.
    Thx setter and blogger.
  33. Beaten by PAWKY, which I’ve never heard of and won’t remember by tomorrow. Enjoyed the rest of this though, except for the word ANGRINESS, an example of a bugbear of mine, namely a noun made up from an adjective which is itself derived from a perfectly serviceable noun of identical meaning. ANGRINESS? What, pray, is wrong with ‘anger’? Not quite the same, I know, but whoever came up with ‘the quickness of the hand deceives the eye’ rather than ‘the speed …’ needs shooting.
  34. My best time for ages.Brief pause for PAWKY but otherwise everything went in smoothly. 14 minutes. Ann
  35. !0 minutes pushed to 13 by PAWKY, as for uncertain reasons the porky pie wouldn’t come to mind and the Scottish humour passed me by. Guessed right in the end.

    The hymn writer, it seems, wasn’t too troubled about the sea/lake distinction:
    Jesus calls us o’er the tumult
    of our life’s wild, restless sea;

    As the first disciples heard it
    by the Galilean lake.
    …but then he needed a rhyme for “sake”.

    I was relieved to spot ALED in the Dale, because the clue then made sense,

  36. 18.19. Nice puzzle. I was a little bit slow working my way through this but no real difficulties until I got to the bottom half where cretonne and swaledale needed a bit of working out.
  37. If pawky is a scottish word it cannot possibly sound like porky. I’m getting sick of this ‘sounds like’ nonsense.

    The Times crossword compilers need to know that the paper is sold outside the M25.

  38. Quite a good time for me. Better than the DNF on the “quickie”

    SWALEDALE not a problem with Dad’s side from round there; OREAD and CRETONNE (LOI) not known but constructed from w/p

    Liked it

    Thanks Pip and setter

  39. 12:55 Held up for a good 2 minute at the end by my LOI, PAWKY after taking a while to see VOLLEY too. No complaints about the homophone.

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