Times 28,301: Dismissable Solvers of Hiphoprisy

This was a more than acceptable Friday challenge, where I started off very fast (6ac and 9ac falling straight in) but ended up really bogged down at the end. Not necessarily for all the right reasons, as I still can’t work out how the end of 4dn works and I spent a while agonising over Z or N for the first letter of 18ac, but I did get very fairly bamboozled by 16ac, 23-26ac, 13dn and 15dn… all sneaky little clues that held out longer than the norm.

Things I very much liked: “wind that’s icy”, the homophone of C2, the whimsy of the feline foot and the celebrity rant, and the beautifully deceitful “set to receive wife”, which is obviously going to feature a W somewhere in the middle.

The “Capital Radio” lift and separate will definitely join my list of COD nominees if someone can explain to me how the rest of the clue works. Even if it doesn’t, overall this puzzle will still be one I very much enjoyed. Nice work setter!

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

1 Next to son, a lot of the time hawk is sounding moderate (4-5)
SOFT-PEDAL – next to S(on), OFT [some time] + homophone of PEDDLE [hawk]
6 Books at college were illuminating (3,2)
LIT UP – LIT(erature) + UP [at college]
9 Back crossing river to west, further from common? (5)
RARER – REAR [back] “crossing” R(iver), reversed
10 Zero in change for one’s close friends (5,4)
ALTER EGOS – 0 in ALTER [change] + E.G. [for one] + ‘S
11 Languidly making a silky manoeuvre with a Cadillac (15)
13 Wind that’s icy — a feature of the continent (8)
14 Fate of clubs, behold, all the same (6)
CLOTHO –  C(lubs) + LO! + THO(ugh)
16 Taste blood after gatecrashing media function (6)
LIKING – KIN [blood] “gatecrashing” LIG [media function]
18 Fly plague overwhelming one quicker than anything (8)
ZIPPIEST – ZIP [fly] + PEST [plague] “overwhelming” I. NIPPIEST seems equally justifiable, no?
21 In a plum position, ancestor-wise? (4,2,3,6)
BORN IN THE PURPLE – cryptic def. Confused me because I am more familiar with it as “born to the purple”, maybe because that was an episode title of Babylon 5
23 Historically, make good porridge? (2,3,4)
AT ONE TIME – ATONE [make good] + TIME [porridge, as in jail time]
25 Outspoken skilled manual worker to deal with (3,2)
SEE TO – homophone of C2
26 Chocolate snack time? Not so, with respect to meals! (5)
TWIXT – TWIX T(ime). You should not snack between/twixt meals! So a semi-&lit
27 Drop in rank, so sale, etc, affected (4,5)
1 French philosopher’s painful introduction to logicism (5)
SOREL – SORE [painful] + L{ogicism}. Author of Reflections on Violence (1908)
2 Dismiss solver? One may be let off (11)
FIRECRACKER – FIRE [dismiss] + CRACKER [solver]
3 Dessert’s component, mostly just filling (7)
PARFAIT – PART [component], “filled” with FAI{r}
4 Capital Radio presenter also called to attend car crash? (8)
DJAKARTA – DJ [radio presenter] A.K.A. [also called]… errr… isn’t RTA an “art crash” not a “car crash”? I may have missed something. ETA: R.T.A. = “road traffic accident”! DJ A.K.A. R.T.A. is going to be my new emcee name.
5 A bit behind mudflat is hill, affected by erosion (6)
LATISH – {mudf}LAT IS H{ill}, eroded away at both ends
6 One left Lycra shifts that can be waxed (7)
LYRICAL – (I L LYCRA*). As in “waxed lyrical”
7 Jerk not thinking to rise (3)
TUG – reversed GUT
8 Hedge that’s required for catwalk? (9)
PUSSYFOOT – if to walk requires a foot, to catwalk must require a pussy-foot
12 Estate agent maybe before succeeded with singular printing method (11)
LETTERPRESS – LETTER [estate agent maybe] + PRE- [before] + S(ucceeded) + S(ingular)
13 Violent language from star priest? (9)
15 Set to receive wife with absence of passion (8)
WIRELESS – W(ife) + IRELESS [with absence of passion]
17 A quartet, cosily placed, is least affected (7)
19 Relating to sort of blue film about break-up of USSR (7)
PRUSSIC – PIC(ture) “about” (USSR*)
20 A judicial hearing in a main court (6)
22 Recall a time before permitted visits (5)
EVOKE – EVE [a time before] “visited” by OK [permitted]
24 Passed on one’s charm (3)
OBI – OB [passed on] + I

83 comments on “Times 28,301: Dismissable Solvers of Hiphoprisy”

    1. I was stewing over this for a while and it just occurred to me independently so I came to the blog to update it! I have never heard it used, but it certainly makes sense…

    2. Friday’s Times, Scottish edition has Thursday’s puzzle in again, 28,300

      1. I’ve just bought it John. Money wasted but a personal best time of 4 minutes only because the doorbell rang. Ridiculous faux pas fae a newspaper of this standing!!!

  1. 14:57. Also confused about the end of DJAKARTA, but Flasky has it – don’t think I had seen RTA before. Surprised I spelled 11 correctly the first time.

  2. Very pleased to persevere and finish in 55 min. Luckily knew CLOTHO, DJAKARTA,and PRUSSIC(my wife painted and was very fond of Prussian Blue). SOREL and ATRIAL were guessed from wordplay. Thought pick of the litter was the answer for BORN IN THE PURPLE but down answers soon showed it was not possible. Also thought rapidest or fleetest for ZIPPIEST and also taint for TWIXT. Taint had time (t) plus not so (ain’t) but unfortunately nothing else. Learned C2, LIG, and porridge for jail time. Liked misdirection of continent and least affected .
    COD was EVOKE.Thanks for very helpful blog!

    1. ‘Porridge’, starring Ronnie Barker was huge in the eighties in both the UK and Oz! A brilliant comedy about life inside. They’re was also a film. Where were you?

      1. Porridge was actually broadcast in the UK in the mid seventies. It’s often available on the BBC iPlayer, and well worth a look.

  3. I went for NIP before thinking of ZIP, so suffered the dreaded pink square (not from a typo this time). I think NIP can equal FLY quite adequately, but so be it. The clue is a little inelegant since the wordplay relies on something speedy anyway.

    My clue of the day is definitely 13a CHASTITY – excellent misleading definition combined with delightful wordplay.

    1. I think the misdirection is that the zip in your trousers is the fly, nothing speedy required?

      1. To zip can be to fly, as in move quickly, but I think the clue works better if you assume it refers to the zip in one’s trousers. Otherwise there is a speed element in the definition and the cryptic which would be rather clunky.

        1. Technical DNF, since I couldn’t choose between ZIPPIEST and NIPPIEST, so took the coward’s way out. (Which was a shame, because I had the rest done in 14 minutes.)

          I can see in retrospect why the clue might seem to refer to one’s trousers, but to me FLY and ZIP are not interchangeable, so the clue IMO is weak if that is how it is meant to work. Trouser flies used to have buttons; now they have zips. ‘Your fly is undone’ can only refer to one thing. If someone tells me my zip is undone, then it could be one of several: the one on my fly, my cardigan, my dress, my jacket, my 1970s boots, and so on.

          (In further consideration, I suppose ‘Your fly is undone’ could refer to a problem with my fishing tackle, or even the demise of my pet bluebottle.)

          1. The dictionaries (esp Concise Oxford) all suggest or confirm that a fly can be a ZIP.

    2. I went for NIPPIEST too, which as Verlaine suggests seems equally justifiable, though I accept that ZIPPIEST is a better answer because of the double meaning of “fly”

  4. What a great crossword. For some reason I’ve managed not to run into the phrase BORN IN THE PURPLE before so that was almost my LOI when I gave up trying to justify BORN IN THE PULPIT. That gave me EVOKE, my actual LOI. I wondered if there was a really alternative spelling for DJAKARCA before I remembered RTA (my mother used to work in an intensive care unit and they had lots of RTAs in there). Never heard of LIG and wondered if it was some sort of variation on LOG(arithm). I did this in two parts and made a tarte tatin in between, so no real time.

  5. 31:33
    Like others, slowed down in the SW: not knowing LIG and having TO THE PURPLE, and not knowing TWIX (LOI) all contributed to the slowth. Dithered over Z and N, decided ZIP was more likely; but as aphis says, not the best clue besides that problem. Also DNK RTA, but as Vinyl says. I struggled over 13ac, until suddenly ‘continent’ struck me; great clue, although I think I’ll give EVOKE the COD.

  6. Things went well – while tricky I thought the cluing was very precise when you thought about it the right way – but at the end I had three sets of crossing pairs which took a while to resolve. Thanks Ed, setter, and vd

  7. SW was still nearly blank after I’d finished the other quarters. NAIVEST was my LOI, but only because I (also) had BORN TO THE PURPLE from early on. POI was TWIXT. I had to guess at C2 (though it may have come up here before) and LIG (which I am pretty sure I’d never seen). Just realized reading this that I didn’t finish parsing DJAKARTA.

    I haven’t finished Thursday’s yet (what a week!), so now it’s back to that…

  8. Another NIP, but with reservations, knowing it was wrong and forgetting to come back to it. This puzzle was way beyond my pay grade – what is a LIG? A party with free food, in Chambers, but how is that a media function? Chastity for me is a feature of the chaste, happiness a feature of the continent – though I see I’m ignorant there, according to Chambers. NHO Sorel or C2 or TWIX or RTA, and not sure I’ve seen Jakarta start with a D. Another BORN TO, but NAIVEST fixed it.
    On the other hand, really enjoyed PUSSYFOOT, PRUSSIC, LATISH, CELBRANT, AT ONE TIME, but COD to WIRELESS.

    1. LIG

      Collins has it: (esp in the entertainment industry and the media) a function at which free entertainment and refreshments are available

      1. From my understanding ‘Ligger’ is a free-loader who attends large media functions just for the free food and booze, but not as per Collins which I believe has misled the setter and perhaps Verlaine too. Is LIG a ligit abbreviation? No one appears to have heard of it! And I’ve been to more media bashes than most over the years.

        1. I don’t think there’s an abbreviation involved. From what I can gather a ‘ligger’ as you define it was the original word and then there was the verb ‘to lig’, a backform, and finally another noun, ‘lig,’ denoting a function at which liggers would be expected to turn up and lig. All of these seem to have originated in the world of media and publicity but as with most such terminology the meaning has expanded over time to be applied more generally.

  9. 59 enjoyable minutes spoilt after stopping the clock by the realisation that NIPPIEST was incorrect — although a generous adjudicator might just allow it as an alternative answer.

    Fortunately I knew RTA from TV cop shows and LIG (or rather ‘ligger’) is a word I had seen many a time in Private Eye without fully understanding its meaning. I think one of their columnists uses the byline The Ligger. I vaguely associated it with partying and gossip, which sounds about right for a media bash..

    I can’t say I ever heard the expression BORN IN/TO THE PURPLE, but rather helpfully ‘purple’ came up on a quiz show a couple of days ago as a colour associated with aristocracy or royalty.

    CLOTHO was my LOI as I finally realised the setter meant that sort of Fate.

  10. 3 left after my 30 minutes. NHO of LIG. Put in NIPPIEST but can see that ZIP is Fly. COD to CHASTITY.

  11. 44 minutes with LOI LIKING, wondering what LIG was. I’ve never heard of it. CLOTHO was a mix of construction and crossers too. I needed the T and the G to get any gut feeling about TUG. I thought I knew my philosophers but SOREL has passed me by. DJAKARTA? No, she walked there herself. After that , it has to be COD to PUSSYFOOT. A tough puzzle. Thank you V and setter.

  12. Fell at the last hurdle on this one, shoving in TWIST in desperation as I had no idea what was going on with 26 but thinking that a chocolate twist was at least a kind of snack. Bit of a shame after an hour.

  13. I declared after 50 minutes on this rather sticky wicket.

    FOI 2dn FIRECRACKER 🧨 – no longer allowed in Shanghai. Boo!
    (LOI) 20db ATRIAL.14ac CLOTHO was beyond me! Hiss!
    COD 18ac ZIPPIEST – l never did like Buttons. Behind you!
    WOD 11ac LACKADAISICAL – from Jack and the Beanstalk?

    Shanghai Lockdown: Two tubs os ‘Snickers’ turned up this morning symbolising our recent marathon of inconvenience. We should be open in early June, let’s hope the shops are too! Middle and Upper Schools open June 9, we are told.
    ‘Er indoors will have to change her name!

  14. DNF. The third failure of a bad solving week! I went for NIPPIEST, which works as an answer but is less elegant as NIP is then forming part of the definition and the wordplay. I’ve never seen DJAKARTA spelled with a D at the start, and I’ve now read that the D was dropped in 1945. Like meldrew I considered DJIBOUTI for some time, thinking that “also called” might indicate a synonym for “also”, and hence BOUT, sounding like “boot” as in “to boot”. It was maybe a little tenuous, and anyhow LACKADAISICALLY put paid to that thought.

  15. SWOL in around 76mins. Needed aids to get CELEBRANT and BORN IN THE PURPLE.
    I object to 18ac. NIPPIEST works just as well.

    1. But then you lose the sense of ZIP as short for “zipper” that chimes with “fly.” This is in Collins.

      1. If an answer is valid (as NIPPIEST is IMO), the existence of a better answer doesn’t invalidate it.

        1. Agree. And I don’t think it is a better answer, as to me ZIP and FLY (in that context) do not mean the same thing.

  16. A great puzzle Started off fast but (as per usual recently) got bogged down in the SW corner
    Several great clues but COD is 15d
    LOI 13a Got it from the anagram though never heard of the connection
    46 min but had to check 13a and also had nippiest which I claim as ok

  17. 19:52. I found this mostly straightforward – I knew most of the required words and where I didn’t the wordplay was kind – but then got completely stuck in the SW. My last in was TWIXT, which went in from wordplay alone. I still don’t really understand it: when else are you supposed to eat a snack?!
    I have a good mate who used to work in A&R back in the days when the music industry was a thing so LIG was familiar to me.
    A superb puzzle overall, with lots of lovely PDMs. Bit of a shame about the ambiguous 18ac.

    1. Totally agree with you re TWIXT. Got it in but I’m not convinced the clue as written really makes sense.

      1. I’m familiar of course with idea that you shouldn’t eat between meals (unless it’s a finger of Fudge of course), but saying ‘don’t snack between meals’ is a bit like saying ‘don’t have breakfast in the morning’.

  18. After struggling for 13:35 I earned two pink squares. I had ‘nippiest’ instead of ZIPPIEST, and ‘lost caste’, both due to failing to parse accurately. Not like me at all, and I’ll have to give myself a good talking-to ! At least they weren’t the usual typos 🙄

    It was a good challenge though, and I especially liked the feature of the continent, ‘make good porridge’, and the silky manoeuvre with a Cadillac.

  19. CELEBRANT took a long time to twig
    And I’d never heard of a lig
    DJAKARTA wouldn’t parse
    And TWIXT was a farce
    Aĺl in all, it’s a bit of a pig

  20. 21:47. Eek.

    The beginning of DJAKARTA threw me more than the end as like Pootle I’ve never seen it spelled with a D before. Maybe the clue should have started “Old…” as Wiki tells me that it has been plain old Jakarta since (pace Pootle’s 1945) 1972. For RTA see also RTC (collision). Those of you who didn’t know RTA don’t watch enough real life cop shows on TV.

    Nice puzzle though but tough.

  21. Roughly an hour to finish with good old paper and pen. Lots of NHO’s for me today (C2, clotho, lig and born in the purple) but managed to get them all from wordplay and crossers. Had no issue with RTA, so perhaps for the first time ever I knew something that Verlaine didn’t!!!
    Excellent Friday test, and my COD to Wireless for the brilliant deception.

  22. Also nippiest, and I’m not convinced by ‘evoke’ as a synonym for recall.

  23. 21:23 but with a nearly right but no cigar NIPPIEST. Rats! DNK LIG, BORN IN THE PURPLE or SOREL but was glad to remember CLOTHO. I liked PARFAIT best. Thanks V and setter.

  24. Several difficult bits — the purple thing, of which I’d never heard, RTA, lig, the French philosopher, but with a bit of confirmation from Chambers I managed to finish in 49 minutes. Enjoyable.

  25. 88 minutes. No idea about C2, LIG or what TWIXT was all about. Just saw ZIPPIEST, not “nippiest” in time at the end. Took an inordinate amount of time to get DJAKARTA and CELEBRANT. If I have heard BORN IN THE PURPLE before, goodness knows when and where it was.

    Four times as long as yesterday but happy to get home unscathed.

  26. Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, Mickey!…

    …Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t know it was undone! (ISIRTA c1966)
    Well, challenging would be the word, pushing me to 27.06, probably only well-placed because of my NIPPIER fellow solvers: some sympathy there, as I doubt the setter thought of “go fast” words when fixated on trousers.
    Like others, I thought PURPLE was something you were BORN TO, only changing when NAIVEST was the only possible crosser. If only I had remembered the porphyrogenite custom of Byzantine succession.
    Anyone else struggle with LACK… because of the universal LACKSA… pronunciation of football commentators?
    SOREL? Really? Only because SARTRE didn’t fit.
    And I resisted the product placement of TWIX until last one in, thinking it might be rather parochial (I gather it’s not) and because at the moment I have a Toffee Crisp to hand.

    1. If you remember Stephen Fry’s wonderful UED definition – a bicycle made for one – you will never have trouble with the pronunciation again.

    2. Yes, I initially entered “Lacksa…..” until I realised I only had one “s” to play with.
      Same issues as others parsing “Djakarta”.

  27. 28 minutes for me.
    Almost a really good Friday puzzle.
    18a Nippiest/Zippiest equally fit the bill.
    26a Twix would be tough for those not UK based, and it is far more Toffee and Biscuit than chocolate.

    1. Twix figures prominently in a Seinfeld episode where chocolate bars from a vending machine are fought over and their ingredients hotly debated.

  28. 10:17 – really enjoyable solve (though I appreciate there may be a bit of “well he would say that, wouldn’t he”, and my apparently swift time indicates I was absolutely bang on the wavelength for this one. Lots of lovely stuff – the snack advice, the celeb rant, the constructed capital (after ruling out N’djamena and Djibouti). All this makes me especially glad that I rejected my first thought of NIPPIEST and decided that in this puzzle it was unlikely to be something so “well it sort of works”ish. Fortunately I didn’t remember the Babylon 5 title in order to be misled by it; thinking more classically, Commodus was the first Roman emperor born in the purple, and that ended badly.

    I was given LETTERPRESS to clue in last year’s Christmas collective puzzle, so I’m pretty sure I’ve toyed with most of the possible ways of writing that clue within the last six months, so that helped.

  29. Worked in media for 30 yrs and never heard of LIG. Top half went in fast, then ground to a halt in the bottom. DNF.

  30. 28 mins but with NIPPIEST, never even considered the Z. To begin with, I thought our esteemed blogger would be very disappointed with this as the grid filled itself very quickly, but the SW proved to be much tougher. There was very little to go on if you hadn’t heard of BORN IN THE PURPLE.
    Yet another curates egg.

  31. Same DNKs as others and yes I’ve only ever heard of being born TO the purple so that and other things contributed to a long pause in the SW corner. Eons ago I learned how to sew a zip into a garment so managed to see the fly connection quite quickly. When I first came to live in the US there was a big Washington scandal about a powerful Republican congressman and a stripper known as the Argentine FIRECRACKER. One or both of them ended up in the Potomac Tidal Basin after a night’s spree and that was the end of his career. Those were the days. 26.56

  32. Another who hadn’t heard of lig and had BORN TO THE PURPLE until NAIVEST made me rethink. SOREL and SOFT PEDAL were first 2 in. LACKADAISICALLY was delayed by my invented PARJUST until the very end, just before I spotted RTA and accepted that JAKARTA could have a D at the front. DJIBOUTI was my first thought but was quickly discarded when AKA came to mind. TWIXT was another very late entry. Fortunately NIPPIEST never crossed my mind. Liked PUSSYFOOT and CHASTITY. 33:14. Thanks setter and V.

  33. DNF. Another ‘nippiest’ here, and like curryowen above I thought 26a could be ‘taint’, despite not seeing how that would fit the rest of the clue – unfortunately it never occurred to me that a brand name might be involved, so I stayed with my taint-ed answer.

    Like others I considered Djibouti as the capital before getting DJAKARTA (though I’m more familiar with the Jakarta spelling, and I didn’t figure out the ‘rta’ at the end). The unknown CLOTHO went in purely from wordplay, I didn’t have a clue about the lig in LIKING, and I needed all the checkers to get the first word of BORN IN THE PURPLE.

    Not the best solving week for me, all told.

  34. Pee po belly bum drawers! Another Nippiest. Had Born to the Purple as well, until NAIVEST fell in to place. Two pinks squares in a week. “Change and decay in all around I see”.

    Apart from that, I thought this was excellent. LETTERPRESS brought my John Bull Printing Outfit to mind. There’s a Jennings story where he loses the letter E from his. Maybe that’s where Monsieur Perec got the idea from.

    Thanks to Verlaine and the setter.

  35. The verb to lig was in common use in the West Riding in the good old days. My mother often told me to stop ligging about and get on with something.

    1. It’s a big jump from “stop ligging about” to a “lig” being a media function. In my opinion.

  36. 45:50

    Think crosswords relying on a relatively unknown word or phrase (in this case BORN IN THE PURPLE) somewhat lose their charm – got the first three words in painstakingly and was left looking at _U_P_E which didn’t inspire. Ho hum.

    I liked WIRELESS, PUSSYFOOT and TWIXT and enjoyed piecing together DJAKARTA (which having worked for Overseas Development back in the day, would have spelled without the D). RTA for Road Traffic Accident is quite familiar if you’ve ever watched any UK hospital series or reality prog about police chasing crims (not my usual fare but have caught the odd fragment).

  37. I fell victim to “nippiest’, also opened my paper to find yesterday’s crossword. Luckily I had access to the digital version. Otherwise a very enjoyable crossword. Spent some time trying to justify Djibouti before reaching Djakarta. Particularly liked 8D and the misdirection of 15D. Thanks setter and Verlaine.

  38. Well, this was a stinker as far as I’m concerned, though I’ve not checked the SNITCH yet. I struggled through the top half and got pretty close to nowhere with the bottom half. Reading the comments above, I’ve lost count of my NHOs. Although I did get DJAKARTA, frankly I felt a bit cheated by that obsolete spelling which does not seem to be clued. The spelling changed 50 years ago, for Pete’s sake! And I’m afraid our blogger is assuming too much of this poor soul, at least at 24D, which I don’t understand at all. OB = ‘passed on’. OK, I’ll buy it. But I’ve no idea why.

    1. Shakespeare was written some five hundred years ago! He is not considered to be obsolete, is he? Meldrew.

  39. My only concern with this excellent crossword is that priest is synonymous with celebrant. I think one is religious and one isn’t. Perhaps someone can enlighten me

    1. Celebrant:”A person who performs a rite,especially a priest at the Eucharist.” Along the lines of a priest “celebrating” mass.

  40. 17.50. A good time for me on a tough puzzle, achieved mostly by not thinking too hard about some of it. Not that I linger in supermarket confectionery aisles but I happened to see this afternoon that they’ve brought out a white chocolate twix and a salted caramel twix, what on earth will those boffins come up with next?

  41. I feel like I’m justified in complaining about how dated cryptic crossword clues are and therefore how inaccessible to the next generations when I looked up Djakarta to find out that was the spelling prior to 1972?! There are *adults* running around who were born in 2004!!!

    I wouldn’t complain about this one if maybe that was hinted at in the clue somehow. I’ve never seen that spelling of Jakarta and I not only live in the region but work at the dept of immigration.


    1. Tina, on the whole history and geography tend to be somewhat dated.

      Siam used to be Thailand; once Prussia was the greater part of Germany; was British; Basutoland was Lesotho and Ceylon was Sri Lanka. Rio De Janeiro was the capital of Portugal in the early nineteenth century!!

      Being an historian- geographer and marcophilist provides me with a plethora of useful/useless information. Many philatelists are very aware of the past.
      In my pursuit of postmarks etc, DJAKARTA was rather easy, especially with the clear word play – did not DJIBOUTI come to mind?

      I have lived in at least ten countries and visited a further fifty . I have been ‘doing’ The Times since 1967. Few twenty-year olds are able to fully master cryptic crosswords, but wait until they are in their fifties and experience begins to tell.
      Patience is a virtue.

      1. I feel like all of those names Siam and Ceylon etc should be signposted as dated too. It feels politically incorrect if nothing else.

        After my rant, I did go hunt down other cryptic crosswords because honestly my only exposure to them are the Times ones where it probably does make sense that they’re more ‘traditional’. Ones in modern Australian newspapers do seem to be set by younger people and have newer references, so I am mollified somewhat

        I completely understand that everyone’s got different areas of expertise whether it’s geography or cricket terms or music and art words. I just find it gatekeepery to have *so many* dated terms, especially slang in these crosswords. I’m not… Particularly young?

        I guess I feel that 20 year olds should be able to do the cryptic crossword just like they can do the sudoku or the myriad other puzzles in the newspaper.

        Anyway, it was just a complaint, really, I hope you haven’t taken this as a personal attack on your hobby and I appreciate you offering your perspective 🙂

  42. Very pleased to do this one in 23:03, my first main puzzle in months. Had to look up C2, LIG, etc, after the fact, but everything was reasonable.

  43. Finally got round to an on and off solve and nearly finishing the paper version of this. Thoroughly enjoyable but had to come here for a few in the lower half – thanks.
    You may not be interested in an old blog – but 25ac shows ‘outspoken’ as the definition rather than homophone indicator.

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