Times 28336 – the president, not the haircut

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Time taken: 14:16, but with a very silly mistake that was clearly indicated in wordplay, I was just on automatic pilot and fluffed the spelling of 1 across.

I think this is on the trickier side, and most answers needed a little head-scratching before going in, with one a real fingers crossed moment for the cape, which last appeared six years ago in a Saturday puzzle.

Away we go…

1 Old president in uniform following ceremony I perform (8)
POMPIDOU – U(uniform) after POMP(ceremony), I, DO(perform). Former French president Georges, who I rather embarrassingly spelled with an A in the grid
6 Preserve item, often mechanical, a source of drama (6)
QUINCE – double definition, the second referring to the character in A Midsummer Night’s Dream
9 Maybe Swede’s boss informally embracing celebrity, mostly (6)
GUSTAV – GUV(boss) surrounding STAR(celebrity) minus the last letter
10 Unusual label on jacket accompanying a cloak (8)
DJELLABA – Anagram of LABEL after DJ (dinner jacket), then A
11 Love last traces of jazz age ever so (4)
ZERO – last letters of jazZ agE eveR sO
12 Large amounts of alcohol — old fine — introduced to US domestic market (5,2,3)
YARDS OF ALE – O(old), F(fine) inside YARD SALE(US domestic market)
14 Spectator originally keen on following race meets (4,4)
RUNS INTO – first letter of Spectator, then INTO(keen on) after RUN(race)
16 A sign November is turning to December time (4)
NOEL – the sign is LEO, then N(November), all reversed
18 Mountain republic’s more westerly one excavated for uranium (4)
FUJI – the republic is FIJI. Replace the leftmost (more westerly) I with a U(uranium)
19 Briefly take old vessel back round a volcanic island (8)
KRAKATOA – TAKE missing the last letter and ARK(old vessel) all reversed, then O(round), A
21 Cuckoo with intention of feeding? (3,2,5)
OUT TO LUNCH – double definition
22 Old version of my commercial — as before (4)
EGAD – AD(commercial) with EG(as) first
24 What boy working with monk after hours produces? (8)
HYMNBOOK – anagram of BOY and MONK after H(hours)
26 Grant airworthiness certificate perhaps, and send out (3,3)
LET FLY – double definition
27 World body backed agreement to hold vote without it (6)
UNSEXY – UN(world body) then YES(agreement) reversed containing X(vote)
28 Young creature dying after taking lion’s head for its tail! (8)
YEARLING – YEARNING(dying) with the first letter of Lion replacing the last letter of lioN
2 Bomb may not be if it has this (2,3)
OF USE – if the bonb has O(zero) FUSE it would not be much of a bomb
3 The blessed Guardian’s not partisan, somehow! (6,5)
4 Sharing out reward, ultimately two pairs in contention? (8)
DIVVYING – last letter in rewarD, then IV(four, two pairs) VYING(in contention)
5 Inside out? Stick with solution (5,4,3,3)
UNDER LOCK AND KEY – UNDER(out, asleep), LOCK(stick), WITH(and), KEY(solution). Nifty clue!
6 Filling in cheque, as you’ve not settled? (6)
QUEASY –  hidden inside cheQUE AS You’ve
7 Maybe poverty’s rise in the East End (3)
ILL – the rise would be a HILL, remove the H
8 Don cape before a dance, leading lady love (9)
CABALLERO – C(cape) before A BALL(dance) then ER(leading lady), O(love)
13 Pay for courses, with books in principle (11)
FUNDAMENTAL – FUND(pay for) then A MEAL(courses) containing NT(books)
15 S American revolutionary: more than that, a university teacher (9)
URUGUAYAN – reversal of NAY(more than that), A, U(university), GURU(teacher)
17 Place to go after ascending, with endless special food? (8)
VALHALLA – LAV(place to go) reversed, then HALLAL food missing the last letter
20 Woman’s who’s fallen — case of fuel leaking? (6)
FLOOZY – external letters of FueL, then OOZY(leaking)
23 Spent, having nothing else to pay? (3-2)
ALL-IN – double definition, the second being used in poker
25 Called before match not being broadcast (3)
NEE – sounds like NAY(not)

68 comments on “Times 28336 – the president, not the haircut”

  1. 33:03
    but I prematurely looked up 12ac YARDS OF ALE. Wasted some time trying to think of a US president at 1ac, and taking ‘world body backed’ at 27ac to be NU. Biffed UNDER LOCK AND KEY without getting the UNDER part. I’ve never seen HALLAL spelled that way, only HALAL, although Collins gives it as alternative (my spellchecker underlines the two-L version). I liked 12ac ‘US domestic market’, 22ac ‘as before’, 8d CABALLERO, and 15d URUGUAYAN (it was nice to see ‘S American revolutionary’ not cluing CHE).

  2. 30:28
    A challenge from start to finish, and a very enjoyable one at that. Same thoughts as Kevin re “halal” but by the time I got to that element of the clue (ie after the upturned LAV) it was pretty obvious.

    Thought we’d moved on from fallen women and floozies, but hey-ho.

    Thanks George and setter.

  3. 18m
    I think this is a pangram? Haven’t checked, but the idea that it was certainly helped finish off QUINCE/QUEASY and FUJI

    What’s the “mechanical” referring to in the quince clue? Some of us are too busy playing computer games to swot Shakespeare

    1. The characters who take part in the play within a play in Midsummer are called the rude mechanicals… Quince, Bottom, Snug, Flute, Snout and Starveling

          1. When I lived in Sicily twenty years ago, it amused me that the internet designator
            ‘www’ was pronounced voo voo voo!

      1. We want pangwams with a W?
        Well some vawiant spelling might do
        QWINCE and QWEASY would win
        KWAKATOWA could even have two

  4. That seemed really hard, but I got there in the end with LOI VALHALLA without fully parsing. My hold-up was that I misremembered DJELLABA as DJABELLA with obvious problems until I saw the hidden QUEASY (after failing to justify UNEASY).

  5. Tough but rewarding. With a fail at the last: I rejected VAL early as impossible and invented the Tex-Mex NACHALLA . Which doesn’t work, food doing double-duty. Really wanted it to be a nachalaa; another who’s never seen HALLAL but has seen HALAAL. Otherwise a tricky, entertaining challenge, surpisingly with no unknowns and only UNDER not parsed. Biggest holdups were CABALLERO, I was in the wrong country trying to remember what a Mafia Don was called… CAPO something; and DJELLABA after I got the B.

  6. I didn’t note my time but it must have been nearly an hour as I found much of it very difficult. And actually it was a DNF because I didn’t get FUJI even after using aids and ended up revealing the answer.

  7. 85 minutes. Too hard to be much fun, but there was some satisfaction in seeing everything in correctly at the end. I’d NHO DJELLABA and couldn’t parse UNDER LOCK AND KEY (v. good), the ‘mechanical’ bit of QUINCE or VALHALLA. Saw the W lipogram, though didn’t spot the double V in DIVVYING as a sort of stand-in.

    Favourite was working out the parsing of URUGUAYAN.

  8. 56 minutes, finally slowing to an absolute crawl in the NE corner where I didn’t know CABALLERO and only barely remembered DJELLABA. I was also looking for a “W” somewhere in there, which didn’t help.

  9. 23:21. I really enjoyed this puzzle with most clues requiring a fair degree of thought. I finished with DJELLABA which I thought might be related to a jallebi. Having looked it up I see this is not the case, but I’m reminded that a jallebi is “An Asian snack of deep-fried dough covered in syrup”. With the two ingredients that make food taste good – fat and sugar – and little else it sounds delectable.

    1. It just make me think of the fictional land in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels, Djelibeybi!

  10. 38.10 so another stodgy effort from me. LOI nee after finally seeing unsexy . Egad was another clue to tax my diminishing brain cells. God, how I loathe these four letter clues.

    Other than that, good puzzle with just djellaba as the unknown but easy enough once I clicked with DJ.
    Thanks setter and blogger.

  11. While he from forth the closet brought a heap
    Of candied apple, quince, and plum, and gourd…

    I gave it the extra 10 mins, so 40 pre-brekker. It was worth it.
    LOI Djellaba after Ill.
    Not sure if the Woman(‘s) in 20ac is a typo.
    Ta setter and G.

  12. 57m 30s
    I thought that was an excellent puzzle but undoubtedly in my ignorance, I query EG as ‘as’ in 22ac and LOCK equalling ‘stick in 5d (under lock and key)
    So many good clues to single out one but I did like NOEL.
    LOI: VALHALLA (Does that constitute an &lit?)
    26ac LET FLY: I became fixated on MAY FLY. At Gatwick in the 60s and 70s the company I worked for issued a daily mayfly, a list of flights scheduled to operate that day.

    1. Agree with you on both ‘as’ and lock/stick. Iffy, to my mind. Saw them both, but v unsatisfactory. I found this tough, and was ultimately beaten by UNSEXY and NEE (one would have come from the other, no doubt). Liked URUGUAYAN, KRAKATOA and CABALLERO (like many, I spent ages trying to think of mafia family designations).

      1. Thanks. So far no-one else, particularly our blogger, has responded to my queries on ‘as’ and lock/stick.

        1. I can try! Both stick and lock have jam as one of their meanings in Chambers so it’s what I tend to refer to so as a three point turn in a Thesaurus.
          As goes to eg via “such as”, “for example”. Works for me.

        2. Sorry – was out for most of the day, so haven’t been replying to comments.
          Stick = lock came to me from the sense of stick -> fasten -> lock
          As = EG came from as -> such as -> eg

          1. …and I was enjoying my Southern Hemisphere slumber!
            Thanks! I’ll buy that!

  13. 31:54. I misremembered the jacket as DJALLEBA which made a mess of the NE corner that took a long time to sort out. Brilliant puzzle with lovely PDMs all over the place. NOEL, HYMNBOOK, VALHALLA, OF USE, DIVVYING, NEE and QUEASY all had ticks on my copy. Thank-you George and setter.

  14. I am firmly with the « found this hard » brigade. Several interruptions did not help(we are moving out of our house for the summer on Saturday !) Time off the clock anyway.

    Finally finished but had to look up the spelling of the cloak.

    Some excellent clues which, as our excellent blogger says, needed a lot of head scratching. I particularly liked POMPIDOU, QUINCE (LOI for some reason), QUEASY, YARDS OF ALE, RUNS INTO and KRAKATOA.

    Thanks glh and setter.

  15. 47 minutes. LOI NEE without the keyboard skills for the acute accent. I couldn’t get going with this one. I didn’t know DJELLABA so needed all crossers there. YARDS OF ALE was a biff, not having heard of a yard sale. I didn’t even spot the INSIDE definition of UNDER LOCK AND KEY. COD to VALHALLA, best experienced at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Thank you George and setter.

  16. Another meaty puzzle in a meaty week, this one taking 28 minutes to crack, and would have been longer had I been required to work out all the wordplay for the blog: I got virtually none of the elements of UNDER LOCK AND KEY, missed both LAV and HALLA(l) (!) and fudged the various bits of DIVVYING trying to put IV in VYING.
    But what larks! NAY! A U GURU! Fuji, west of Fiji! All that beer in a yard sale! Leo N! No fuse! The monk and his boy producing psalmody! Terrific stuff all round, and thanks, George, for increasing appreciation by working out what I missed.

  17. DNF. Just couldn’t see how FUJI worked. I did consider it as an answer, and a potential connection with FIJI, but just couldn’t see how to construct it from the wordplay. I think I was hampered by an expectation that ‘mountain republic’ was going to be the answer, but my main problem was completely failing to see what ‘more westerly one’ meant. I was absolutely convinced that ‘westerly’ indicated some sort of reversal.
    About 15 minutes to that point. A really good puzzle.

  18. This took me 41:36, but I submitted off leaderboard, as having managed to come up with D_ELLABA for my LOI, on my jotting pad, I was unable to complete it and looked it up. I managed to parse the rest of the puzzle. A bit of a chewy one I think. Thanks setter and George.

  19. Coo that was hard. Thanks for the parse on UNDER LOCK AND KEY George – I threw in the towel. This was definitely not one for the slackers – the setter really made you work for it. 26.57

  20. 12:02, a really entertaining puzzle, which went to the edge of my lexicon (and indeed knowledge in general) without going over it, and offered plenty of high-quality wrong paths to go down.

  21. The DJELLABA clue is close to being an obscurity clued by an anagram. At least I think it’s an obscurity. I wasn’t all that convinced by LET FLY = send out: the only proper meaning of let fly that I know involves losing one’s temper. How does this work? I took a while over URUGUYAN, failing to spell it properly and thinking it had only 7 letters and wondering what word like it had 8. Otherwise very nice, hard for me but a lot of good clues. 56 minutes.

    1. Letting fly…

      Wil, I had exactly the same reservation but Collins defines let fly as:

      a. to lose one’s temper (with a person)
      b. to shoot or throw (an object)

      and I think (b) covers ‘send out’.

  22. 29 mins. I was left with 3 that I just didn’t understand and had to come here for explanation. Not having ever been interested in Shakespeare was one problem solved, the two pairs device (which I now feel I’ve seen before) explained the second, and the unusual spelling of HALLAL the third. On reflection that last was a great clue.

  23. Thanks to George for unravelling my EIGHT biffed answers. I hadn’t the patience to try parsing them afterwards. I hated this.

    FOI ZERO (how much pleasure I got)
    LOI NOEL (I don’t do Xmas either)
    COD OUT TO LUNCH (I wish)
    TIME 20:42

  24. 46:09

    Enjoyed this a lot – after a quiet start, each of FLOOZY, GUSTAV and DIVVYING came in quick succession, which made me think it would be a good one. Some biffs and non-understoods as follows:

    QUINCE – didn’t know about rude mechanicals, and had forgotten the dude from AMND
    DJELLABA – NHO but the parsing was great with all checkers in place
    EGAD – not sure about the EG part
    URUGUAYAN – didn’t bother parsing
    UNDER LOCK AND KEY – ditto
    VALHALLA – from checkers only

    Last few in: FUJI (I’d been thinking MAUI until URUGUAYAN popped up); YEARLING; VALHALLA in that order


  25. Well this was as hard as the quick cryptic was easy. I started off timing but two long interruptions meant I lost track. Pretty sure I was over the hour however. I was on the point of giving up with 10ac unsolved when I thought of dj for jacket and even then I wasn’t confident it was correct. In my youth tried to down a yard of ale only to find it was a lot harder than it appeared. I remember getting drenched by an overflow of Worthington Best Bitter when I tipped the base just a tad too far.

  26. 37:27m. GUSTAV, DJELLABA and – for some reason – NOEL were my main hold-ups in a generally tricksier than usual puzzle. Plenty of well-engineered clues to enjoy and few instant write-ins among them.

  27. Around 45 minutes but like John D couldn’t make the cloak make sense, failing to see DJ for jacket and not knowing the word

    No one has mentioned it but NAY for “more than that” seems dubious to me – I can’t see a context in which they would be interchanged but I’m sure there is one

    Didn’t stop me getting the answer with all the checkers and that was followed by VALHALLA and a lot of head scratching as to what the special food was., as my POI

    HYMNBOOK was v good amongst other good ‘uns

    Thanks George and setter

    1. Hymnbook was very good – obvious anagram but the fodder looked impossible.

    2. “It’s bound to take months, nay years, to change the national consensus on capital punishment”.

  28. It’s been a good week indeed so far. I haven’t been able to finish any until the next day… That’s about all that’s left at this hour for me to report!

  29. 29’09” Very meaty indeed and wth 135 on the Snitch am pleased to be in under the half hour. Halal in Arabic certain has just the two ‘l’s – not that that means it can’t have three in English. Some lovely clueing, many thanks.

  30. Very pleased to have finished this although it took a long time- well over the hour I suggest. NE corner was particularly difficult until ER for leading lady Came to mind as did hill/Ill which opened up the cloak and don. Fortunately FIJI was in the front of my mind as it one of two of the ten 4 letter countries I failed to recall last week whilst doing the Yorkshire 3 peaks challenge.
    Thanks setter and blogger

  31. Very hard but I enjoyed it. Gave up with the Fuji one. I thought there was a mistake in the Floozy one which should be woman who’s fallen, not woman’s.

  32. A DNF well over an hour and DJELLABA was my downfall (DRELLABA was my guess, as I didn’t see the DJ and thought if an executive is a suit, then perhaps a doctor might be a jacket). I did manage all of the other difficulties, of which there were many. QUINCE just biffed from the preserve. The clues I liked best were DIVVYING and CABALLERO.

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