Times 28276 – looky looky here.

Time taken: 10:02.  I thought I was going to be around 8 minutes but I drew a blank on 14 across for quite a while, even though the answer was not too difficult, just had a bad brain moment.

There’s a bit of everything here… except a direct anagram! In fact this puzzle has one of the smallest number of anagram components of any cryptic crossword I have encountered.

Away we go…

1 Constant area for one to circulate in prison (4)
CAGE – C(constant), A(area), then EG(for one) reversed
3 The clan is excited about daughter of the northern isles (10)
SHETLANDIC – anagram of THE,CLAN,IS surrounding D
9 Passage was published, second one to appear in Times? (7)
TRANSIT – RAN(was published), S(second) and I(one) inside TT(times)
11 India invested in factory working to get quantity of money? (7)
MILLION – I(India) inside MILL(factory), ON(working)
12 Conference item to be delivered with speed? This should fix your notes (5-4)
PAPER-CLIP – at a conference, you might present(deliver) a PAPER, then CLIP(speed)
13 Aquatic mammal showing excessive energy beside river (5)
OTTER – OTT(over the top, excessive), E(energy) next to R(river)
14 Street right through area of land — unknown quantity — it may never be restored (4,8)
LOST PROPERTY – ST(street) and PROPER(right) inside LOT(area of land) and Y(unknown quantity)
18 Oversight from treating things as a lark for example? (5-3,4)
BIRDS-EYE VIEW – cryptic definition based on seeing from overhead
21 Depression, after initially fading, is difficult (5)
ROUGH – TROUGH(depression) missing the first letter
22 Job assessment? Shock to receive extra pay cut (9)
APPRAISAL – APPAL(shock) containing RAISE(extra pay) missing the last letter
24 Most of confirmation about volume is stipulation (7)
PROVISO – remove the last letter from PROOF(confirmation) and insert V(volume), IS
25 Keen political faction suppressing misfortune (7)
WILLING – WING(political faction) containing ILL(misfortune)
26 Brutally treated after backsliding, a politician offering insults (10)
DEROGATORY – GORED(brutally treated) reversed, then A, TORY(politician)
27 Unfunded, missing new part of comedy show (4)
SKIT – SKINT(unfunded, broke) missing N(new)
1 Project a gentle touch within religious group (8)
CATAPULT – A TAP(gentle touch) inside CULT(religious group)
2 Upright piano in part of India misplaced (8)
GOALPOST – P(piano) inside GOA(part of India), LOST(misplaced)
4 Mostly very good about limitations of the accommodation (5)
HOTEL – Remove the last letter of HOLY(very good), and insert the external letters in ThE
5 Watch report of herb superior to rest? (9)
TIMEPIECE –  sounds like THYME(herb) above(superior to) PEACE(rest)
6 Observer overlooked what another type of paper would catch? (1,3,2,3,4)
A FLY ON THE WALL – double definition, the second based on what you might get with flypaper
7 International in time becomes choice (6)
DAINTY – INT(international) inside DAY(time)
8 Stop using campaign item about Republican rumour (6)
CANARD – CAN(stop using), then a campaign AD surrounding R(republican)
10 Being unappreciative about holiday illumination (5,8)
STRIP LIGHTING – SLIGHTING(being unappreciative) surrounding TRIP(holiday)
15 Distinguished fellow initially obtained two degrees? Not seen around university (3,3,3)
ODD MAN OUT – first letter of Obtained, then the two degrees are DD(Doctor of Divinity) and MA(Master of Arts) followed by NOT surrounding U(university). Distinguished here meaning set apart.
16 Cosmetic comments that are impertinent don’t go away (8)
LIPSTICK – LIP(comments that are impertinent), STICK(don’t go away)
17 Drunk comes round not quite roaring early in the evening (8)
TWILIGHT – TIGHT(drunk) surrounding WILD(roaring) missing the last letter
19 Work in malicious gossip, reversing support for paparazzo? (6)
TRIPOD – OP(work) inside a reversal of DIRT(malicious gossip)
20 Pretend to agree with expression of doubt, filling time (6)
HUMOUR – UM(expression of doubt) inside HOUR(time)
23 Might at last trap someone in red? (5)
POWER – last letter of traP, then OWER(someone who is in the red)

44 comments on “Times 28276 – looky looky here.”

  1. 27 minutes for me. Biffed several answers and parsed them later (LOST PROPERTY, ODD MAN OUT, CATAPULT). I had no idea SHETLANDIC was actually a word, usually people just say “shetland” if they need an adjective (eg the pony). I thought “quantity of money” for MILLION was a bit too indirect, but I suppose there is a question-mark.
    1. Having looked it up, SHETLANDIC is the local dialect, like Icelandic, not just an adjective for something from Shetland.
      1. I worked in Shetland for a couple of years at an airfield in the northern part of the Shetland mainland. The two lads who fuelled the aircraft were locals and spoke perfectly understandable Scottish-accented English to us ‘foreigners’ but talking amongst themselves, they might have been talking Greek!
        1. This is a form of what’s called diglossia, where there’s a prestige form of the language (here, ‘standard’ English) and a local version. Arabic is an example: Moroccans would have trouble understanding Egyptians, say, if they spoke in their local varieties. A Swiss-German teacher would speak standard German in the classroom, but during recess would use Schwyzerdütsch. And so on.
          1. Thanks, Kevin. I became aware of the difference between Arabic as spoken by Egyptians and other Arabs when I worked in Jeddah. I dealt on a daily basis with (Egyptian) staff of Egyptair as well as with local Saudi staff. The word Hajj, for example, was ‘Hag’ when spoken by Egyptians.
  2. By the way, I think it is impressive that you solved the puzzle and then blogged it, all in 45 minutes. Often I’ve got lots of blanks in the grid after 45 minutes.

    Edited at 2022-04-27 11:57 pm (UTC)

    1. I’ll do one reply for two messages…

      Collins has the following amazing definition for million: a million (unspecified but understood) monetary units, as dollars, pounds, francs, etc.

      I was expecting a call at 8pm so I wanted to get the blog out quickly. If I write it as soon as I do the puzzle the wordplay is pretty fresh in my mind so it doesn’t take that long.


  3. I was a bit surprised by SHETLANDIC, too; it’s not in ODE. I biffed TWILIGHT, for some reason never seeing TIGHT. At 14ac, I was looking for STR (street right), didn’t see PROPER until I parsed post-submission.
  4. A rare sub-10 for me, nice confidence restorer after taking 10:50 to do the Quickie.

    Didn’t feel like I was zipping through it, but managed not to get bogged down anywhere. In that sense a solving time is a bit like a stroke score in golf. It doesn’t measure how many good shots you play, just how many bad ones.

    LOI TIMEPIECE. COD BIRDS-EYE VIEW, but I think it would have been better without the “for example” at the end, given that it also has a question mark.

    Thanks George and setter.

  5. Well, I’m slightly embarrassed that CANARD was my antepenultimate one in, seeing as how just before starting this very enjoyable exercise I had spent an hour reading the latest numéro of my favorite newspaper, Le Canard enchaîné (en numérique).

    And my LOI was TIMEPIECE, which was suddenly obvious after I had worked out the anagrammed SHETLANDIC.

    The crossing of BIRDS EYE VIEW and FLY ON THE WALL is pretty neat.

    Edited at 2022-04-28 06:59 am (UTC)

  6. Considering the problems I had seeing wordplay and a real struggle coming up with CANARD at 8dn as my LOI, I managed to finish this after 31 minutes. Later I revisited about 6 clues to find out how they worked. TWILIGHT, LOST PROPERTY and CANARD were the most troublesome in this respect but I sorted them all out eventually..

    Edited at 2022-04-28 04:56 am (UTC)

  7. Glad to see I’m in good company in struggling with the fairly-obvioius-in-hindsight LOST PROPERTY. A few others in the bottom half held me up for a bit longer than anything above, but I still managed to finish in about a half-hour, which is good for me.

    COD 10d STRIP LIGHTING, I think. I liked the surface, perhaps because of my struggles with finding holiday accommodation with decent reading lights in the past!

  8. Del: You can say that again bruv!

    20 mins pre-brekker — but then some time on LOI. It was.. Canard.
    Thanks setter and G.

    Edited at 2022-04-28 07:00 am (UTC)

  9. Got off to a rather shaky start on this one – unsuccessfully spending far too long on the 3a anagram before moving onwards, and eventually finding my bearings in the SE corner which fell pretty quickly. At around 20m / 50% I was feeling a bit bogged down – still with LOST PROPERTY and STRIP LIGHTING unsolved – but eventually recovered by getting HOTEL, and working outwards from there – LOI CAGE.

    Haven’t been feeling very connected recently, crossword-wise – so in the end I was happy to get an orderly completion with no unparsed clues or finger-crossing. Thanks George and setter.

  10. No particular problems with this except obtaining it in the first place, since I am away this week in a place with no wifi and only average mobile recepeption … that is Cambridge for you, I guess 🙂

    I see from yesterday that a glossary entry for “semi &lit” is requested. No problem, but I need a snappy definition for the entry. Off the top of my head, how about this? Comments or alternative suggestions welcomed:

    “In an &lit (qv) clue, every word is part of the wordplay and also of the definition. In a semi&lit clue every word forms part of the definition, but not necessarily of the wordplay.”

    1. In a semi-&Lit the (a) definition sometimes stands on its own, and the rest of the clue clarifies it. So I would say ‘the whole clue can be read as the definition but only part of it is wordplay’.
      I wouldn’t use the word ‘necessarily’ because if this condition isn’t met the clue is &Lit.
      There is a section on this in Don Manley’s book, I’ll look it up later.
  11. 15 minutes with LOI WILLING, only because I’d really only just reached it. A steady to quick solve throughout. COD to TIMEPIECE. Definitely a confidence builder. Watch that get wrecked tomorrow! Thank you George and setter.

    Edited at 2022-04-28 10:49 am (UTC)

  12. 4:52. If sub-5 times are like London buses I should expect another next week. I hardly engaged with the wordplay this morning, and in several cases I didn’t really need the definition given distinctive checking letters and enumeration. You might argue that solving this way defeats the objective of the exercise, and you’d have a point, but sometimes it’s worth sacrificing intellectual satisfaction for the spring-in-step-giving qualities of insufferable smugness.
  13. 45 mins. LOI CANARD, and like others, parsed a number of clues post solve. At least I finished. I had no idea what was going on with LOST PROPERTY, POI, so thanks for that g. I liked DEROGATORY and SKIT. Thought “choice” for DAINTY was a bit loose.

    Thanks G and setter.

  14. For once, no clues that needed explanation and all parsed as I went along.
    One difficulty I made for myself was spending time pondering ‘ho(no)ur’ as a solution for 20d.
    Favourites today were (T)ROUGH and GOALPOST. With the latter I wondered if P might need to be fitted inside an anagram (‘misplaced’) of a part of India, like Gujarat.
    32m 08s
    Thank you, George.

    Edited at 2022-04-28 08:14 am (UTC)

    1. It is generally understood, Martin, that the anagrist is never suggested by an example, synonym or other suggestion such as “part of India”. It must actually be spelt out in the clue.
  15. MER at 7d for DAINTY meaning choice, but the wordplay was clear enough. Like others I took longer to see LOST PROPERTY than might have been expected, and I needed all the checkers to get ODD MAN OUT. I hesitated over TIMEPIECE as I was thinking of the wrong meaning of rest and misunderstood the ‘superior’ in the clue. But this was enjoyable otherwise.

    FOI Cage
    LOI Humour
    COD A fly on the wall

    1. Often expressed as ‘a dainty morsel’/’a choice morsel’ – somewhat antiquated, but perfectly valid.
  16. 45 minutes. Everything parsed bar ODD MAN OUT for which I didn’t quite get the full def. LOI was CATAPULT; I was itching to put in “catapell” until reason prevailed.
  17. 11:43. But 1 wrong with a careless CANARY for 8D thrown in at the end from the checkers and CAN… I liked CAGE and A FLY ON THE WALL best. Thanks George and setter.
  18. Nor Iron bars a Cage.

    It seems I’m relatively rare today finding this a tougher challenge than anything else this week. Perhaps it was the wordy (but excellent) clues that slowed me down, perhaps a desire to parse everything properly before entry (POWER, for example, took ages) but I clocked at 22.17.
    Some evocative doubles today:
    ROUGH APPRAISAL given or received?
    DEROGATORY SKIT plenty of examples available
    DAINTY LIPSTICK Possibly a contradiction in terms
    GOALPOST HUMOUR Anyone care to come up with examples?
    TRANSIT MILLION Ukrainians in Poland?

  19. Your ‘tougher challenge’ is my ‘plain sailing’ Z, yet you still posted a quicker time.

    Didn’t fully parse three:

    LOST PROPERTY — saw ST and Y but couldn’t blunder through the rest in quicktime.
    HOTEL — holy just did not spring to mind — saw the ‘TE’ and the checkers confirmed the definition.
    GOALPOST — saw the P but the rest was only parsed post-solve.

    Edited at 2022-04-28 09:30 am (UTC)

  20. A confidence booster for me too today. HOTEL was FOI which immediately led to SHETLANDIC, DAINTY, MILLION, OTTER and CANARD. I then skipped merrily through the rest, with LOST PROPERTY a late arrival and GOALPOST LOI. 15:36. Thanks setter and George.
  21. 40 minutes for me, which is good. SHETLANDIC jumped out at me to be FOI (you have missed the S from your anagrist G), and then immediately confirmed with HOTEL and TIMEPIECE. Lots more to enjoy before LOI TRIPOD. Thanks both.
  22. Lots of nice definitions and wordplay today. 5m 52s, with GOALPOST the LOI — a good example of those nice definitions.

    Slight hold-up at 24a because I misread it as ‘stimulation’, but otherwise nothing too tricky.

    SHETLANDIC definitely WOD.

  23. Like most, I finished with CANARD, a word which I’m not sure I know what it means, aside of course from being a duck.
    Clever but easily doable is my comment.
  24. 16:51. Another stumped by LOST R-something-probably-Y until the improbability of the crossing S-R-R forced a rethink. Had ICELANDISH at 3ac for a bit too long before deciding it was neither a proper word nor a correct anagram, though temptingly close to both.
    1. I also had Icelandish! I think I was put off the Scottish Isles by the presence of the C, until I worked out what it must be.
  25. 12.05 so rather better than yesterday. LOI lipstick . COD goalpost especially after the pleasure of watching last night’s footie. Unfortunately, I fear my first choice team is going to fail to get into the playoffs this weekend 😥🥃

    Thxs setter and blogger.

  26. for a long time. Struggled horribly with 1ac. Once I got it, the rest came quite quickly. LOST PROPERTY also my LOI. Can’t imagine why I didn’t see it sooner.
  27. Missed LOST PROPERTY, CATAPULT, and GOALPOST. Thanks for explaining these and also for showing how the rest I was able to fill in worked!
  28. 48 minutes. My excuse for taking so long is that I had to do it at two sittings, also I don’t tend to enter words until the parsing is clear. This comes from years of Azed solving: you can be pretty sure that if you don’t understand why the answer is what it is then your guess will be wrong. Also, it’s more enjoyable. Otherwise what’s the point of doing crosswords? Who cares if you could be a little bit faster — someone like me will never be up there.
  29. First crossword for a week, so a nice way to re-enter the fray. I, too, suffered peculiar word-blindness over LOST PROPERTY, so that was last in, shortly after I’d needed all the wordplay to be sure there actually was such a thing as SHETLANDIC.
  30. This was not hard and took me 34 minutes after a leisurely proofread, and of course CANARD was my LOI. Many other clues needed a bit of reflection, but there was nothing especially tricky or, heaven forbid, unfair. COD perhaps to POWER.
  31. BIRD’S EYE VIEW was not nice to see
    But worse was to come, tragically
    For our setter was sneaky
    And sneaked in something beaky
    For a CANARD’s a duck in Paris
  32. Getting back in the rhythm after 10 days off the crozzies thanks to work. Pleased to see the old grey matter still functioning. No particular difficulty. LOI cage. Many thanks
  33. Nor Iron bars a Cage.

    It seems I’m relatively rare today finding this a tougher challenge than anything else this week. Perhaps it was the wordy (but excellent) clues that slowed me down, perhaps a desire to parse everything properly before entry (POWER, for example, took ages) but I clocked at 22.17.
    Some evocative doubles today:
    ROUGH APPRAISAL given or received?
    DEROGATORY SKIT plenty of examples available
    DAINTY LIPSTICK Possibly a contradiction in terms
    GOALPOST HUMOUR Anyone care to come up with examples?
    TRANSIT MILLION Ukrainians in Poland?

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