Times 28366 – didn’t he manage the Beatles?

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Time taken: 14:26, and it seems from the early solvers that this is a tricky one. A good puzzle for looking carefully at the wordplay, as there are some answers that appear plausible from the definition, but do not make total sense with the wordplay.

I rather enjoyed this one – how did you do?

1 Charm shown by publication — new version of Times (9)
MAGNETISM – the publication is a MAG, then N and an anagram of TIMES
9 Penning front part, I prepare the ground for story (7)
IVANHOE – VAN(front part) inside I, HOE(prepare the ground). Tough to get this from the definition
10 Without hesitation, king and queen hate peeled fruit (7)
KUMQUAT – UM(hesitation) inside K(king), QU(queen) and the interior letters of hATe
11 Modernist‘s material coming from the east (5)
ELIOT – TOILE(material) reversed for the modernist poet and writer
12 Strike idiots on behind (4,5)
DOWN TOOLS – TOOLS(idiots) after DOWN(behind on the leaderboard)
13 In front of monarch, blow kiss (7)
SMACKER – ER(monarch) after SMACK(blow)
15 Sky features return of popular doctor, upright character (5)
NIMBI -reverse of IN, then MB(doctor) and I(upright character)
17 Forces newbie into ill-fated action the wrong way (5)
CADET – hidden reversed in ill-faTED ACtion
18 Crime, but not of dodgy dealer (5)
FENCE -the crime is an OFFENCE, remove OF
19 Good school subject to follow in French class (5)
GENRE – G(good) and RE(school subject) after EN(“in” in French)
20 Person who digs up scripture about deity (7)
MINERVA – MINER(person who digs up), then AV(scripture) reversed
23 He questionably claims penny on being given cash (9)
PRETENDER – P(penny), RE(on), TENDER(cash)
25 No bores providing film’s opening shot (2-3)
IN-OFF – NO inside IF(providing) and the first letter of Film
27 Before request, take off a little winter covering (3,4)
SKI MASK – ASK(request) after SKIM(take off a little)
28 Leader of police stops mastermind leaving home? He made many busts (7)
EPSTEIN – first letter in Police inside EINSTEIN(mastermind) minus IN. Modern sculptor Jacob – I know him from Oscar Wilde’s tomb in Pere Lachaise
29 Confession of follower heard to get slap (3,6)
EYE SHADOW – sounds like I SHADOW
1 Novel, revolutionary trouble for old ruler (6)
MIKADO – the novel is Rudyard Kipling’s KIM.  Reverse that and add ADO(trouble)
2 Supervisor for hunting a bird in green space (4,6)
GAME WARDEN – A MEW(bird) in GARDEN(green space)
3 Surviving tours United left jubilant (8)
EXULTANT – EXTANT(surviving) containing U(united), L(left)
4 Keen on drinking whiskey, thus something may get broken? (2,3)
IN TWO – INTO(keen on) containing W(whiskey)
5 It looks like this — foreign character oddly missing clothes (5,4)
MINUS SIGN – NU(foreign character) inside an anagram of MISSING. It looks more like an em dash on the online version.
6 Poor area by Rio? Preferred North American city (6)
FAVELA – FAVE(preferred), LA(North American city)
7 President hasn’t finished drink (4)
CHAI – the president is the CHAIR, remove the last letter
8 Unripped condition of letter (4-4)
RENT-FREE – no rips would mean RENT-FREE. The condition is not paying rent.
14 Cryptic indication of red potato (4,6)
KING EDWARD – you could break down KING(R) and EDWARD(ED) into RED
16 It increases volume of e.g. a diamond around ring (9)
MEGAPHONE – A, GEM(a diamond) reversed then PHONE(ring)
17 Officer, before mass trouble in the rear, does my job (8)
COMPILES -CO(officer), M(mass) and PILES(trouble in the rear)
18 Perhaps school bags always very hot (8)
FEVERISH – a school of FISH containing EVER(always)
21 One having basic craft for a bit of carpentry (6)
RAFTER – double definition, the first being a watercraft
22 Polish area of pan, vessel that’s overturned (6)
KRAKOW – WOK(pan) and ARK(vessel) all reversed
24 Guarantee to lose right result (5)
ENSUE – ENSURE(guarantee) minus R(right)
26 York, say, has no hotel, but it does feature this (4)
OUSE – the HOUSE of York minus H(hotel)

60 comments on “Times 28366 – didn’t he manage the Beatles?”

  1. 34:24
    Off to a very slow start–FOI 28ac EPSTEIN, and that was a BIFD: I didn’t parse it until much later–followed by a slow middle and a slow finish. 1d MIKADO and 5d MINUS SIGN biffed, parsed post-submission. (It does look like an em-dash, but em-dashes look like minus signs.) 16d MEGAPHONE biffed, not parsed. I was misled by the ‘by’ in 6d FAVELA, since I thought favelas were in Rio not by Rio, and I didn’t understand what ‘by Rio’ was supposed to mean. POI MINERVA, LOI RAFTER. I liked DOWN TOOLS & MINUS SIGN. A tough puzzle; it felt good to finish it unscathed.

    1. Epstein was my LOI – I’m only familiar with the Epstein who definitely killed himself

      1. So far as I know–not very far, of course–there’s Rodin, Moore, and Epstein, and only Epstein has a P.

      2. Two of the family Stein

        How I hate the family Stein,
        There is Gert, there is Ep, and there’s Ein.
        Gert’s poems are punk,
        Ep’s sculpture is junk
        And no one can understand Ein.

  2. SATSUMA seemed a plausible guess for the fruit. Well, it includes AT and UM at some point even though the rest doesn’t work.

  3. I found many of the word play rather tricky but like all difficult things, once solved, gave me much satisfaction and pleasure. Biggest guffaw came from 17Down – trouble in the rear, indeed !

  4. 26 minutes. I enjoyed this too. There were some good defs, eg for CADET, EYE SHADOW and MINUS SIGN (though whether it was an em or en dash passed me by) and like Yap Yok Foo, I smiled at the ‘trouble in the rear’ bit of the wordplay at 17d. I was fooled by the ‘red potato’ at 14d until I saw what ‘Cryptic indication’ was getting at.

    interesting to see KIM getting a guernsey for ‘Novel’ for the second time in a week.

  5. I finished all but 6dn and 7dn by the time the clock passed my half-hour target. 5 minutes later I spotted CHAI{r} but I had to resort to aids for FAVELA as I had no idea what was going on there. I’d guessed correctly that I wouldn’t know the word but the wordplay was decidedly unhelpful and didn’t offer an alternative route. FAVE for ‘preferred’ would never ever have occurred to me unless I’d already found the answer and was trying to parse it.

    KING EDWARD was a write-in given ‘potato’ (4,6) and the K-checker, and I forgot to go back and think about the rest of the clue.

    I disagree that an em dash (as printed in the clue) looks like a MINUS SIGN. That would be an en dash.

    1. We’re all used to thinking of a minus sign as a hyphen, but this is because a hyphen had long been the only option available, rather than the proper mathematical symbol.
      “The hyphen-minus – is the most commonly used type of hyphen, widely used in digital documents. It is the only hyphen character provided in many character sets such as ASCII or on most keyboards; therefore, in programming languages and spreadsheets, it functions as the minus sign.… In mathematical texts that include the plus sign, use of the hyphen-minus as a minus sign typically results in an unattractive appearance.”

  6. 11:55. The first puzzle this week where I haven’t struggled to finish – nice to be on the wavelength for a change. My FOI was COMPILES which I thought most amusing. I did have a little trouble in the rear of this puzzle when I was looking for the name of a president for the CHAI clue, but then I thought of the drink and worked back from there. I then finished with a biffed IVANHOE.

  7. 24 minutes with LOI RAFTER a stab in the dark. COD to COMPILES. I liked DOWN TOOLS too. The universe of sculptors known to me isn’t vast but does include EPSTEIN. Anyone else got the theme music of Roger Moore’s IVANHOE now stuck in their brain? He rides against the manor where tyranny is lord. Good training for playing The Saint and James Bond. Decent puzzle. Thank you George and setter.

  8. 37:51
    Tricky. Didn’t parse chai, but put it it as my LOI and got lucky.
    Thanks, g.

  9. Not often these days I get the “this is never going to happen” feeling …but today was like revisiting those not-so-good old days. SE corner was reasonably straightforward, but progress for the remainder was slow and painful. Amongst my other missteps, I spent a good 5 mins trying to fit I RAKE into 9a – maybe it just wasn’t my day.

    Gave up at 52m with NW and SE complete, 3 clues away from each of the other corners. Surprised to see the SNITCH currently at 113 – felt a lot harder to me. Thanks G and setter.

  10. A long, slow 54 minutes here, finishing off first with the stragglers in the SW—not knowing EPSTEIN didn’t help—and then the stragglers in the NE, where it took me a long time to see ELIOT and then finally stop going through my incomplete mental list of US presidents and come up with the CHAI. A lot of very broad definitions in the wordplay—modernist, deity, material, fruit, so forth—always causes me grief. COD to 5d for me; although it’s an em-dash in the clue, it does look like a MINUS SIGN, after all…

  11. At 55 mins one of my slowest for a while
    My comments virtually replicate “gothick” above

  12. DNF – I realise I only post occasionally when I complete in fast times but wonder if posting more regularly and particularly my failures might be a better way of trying to learn from my mistakes and improving.

    Couldn’t see the “No bores providing” piece of IN-OFF or spot the definition. Didn’t remember the “front part” piece of IVANHOE. Struggled too with RAFTER and CHAI.

    Way off the pace today generally. Here’s looking forward to tomorrow.

    1. You make a good point about when you post. I find that making a point of posting however I’ve done and admitting to howlers does help to focus the mind when solving.

      1. Thanks Pootle, will try to comment more often.

        Btw, hope you don’t mind but I use your times as a bit of a benchmark for me as our times seem broadly similar although am sure your completion rate is better than mine.

        I also recognise your name when I practise the crosswords back from 2010!

        1. That’s interesting, I’m currently dipping into 2010 when I have spare time. I’m up to about November so far. I had started by going back to 2000 but didn’t like the style of some clues so much so jumped forward 10 years.

  13. 75m 13s but I biffed COMPILER….Failed to spot the cheeky ‘trouble in’t’rear ‘.
    Thank you George for GAME WARDEN and MEGAPHONE.
    MEGAPHONE was very good but COD to MINUS SIGN.

  14. 1 hour 6 mins so really struggled today. Much like gothick, got stuck on several unknowns. ENSUE took an age for some reason but it opened up the SE (EYE SHADOW Next) and that was done. Next onto the SW where I had bunged in IF NOT so was in real trouble there. Eventually saw the light and, once I had RAFTER, I finished. Phew.


    Thanks g and setter.

    1. I saw how Down Tools must parse, but where I went to school “tools” was the name for the ones who more or less lived in the library, and as a result turned in all the problem sets early and then destroyed the curve by getting top marks on the quizes. Bastards.

  15. Hard but excellent; thought I wasn’t going to finish, but then found I had in 26 minutes. CHAI was my LOI, after IVANHOE; wasn’t sure whether it was CHAIM Weizmann who was President of Israel I think. Didn’t think of CHAIR. Never seen the plural of NIMBUS before, but fair enough.
    KRAKOW was very good, but not many poor clues in this one.

  16. 47:15 of great enjoyment, thank you setter. Several very sarltisfying PDMs, among them the excellent MINUS SIGN and COMPILES. A fine puzzle IMO, albeit a toughie.

  17. V pleased to finish in 34 mins, good for me. And not an easy one. Some of the clues tricksy. Liked OUSE, EPSTEIN (I wondered if the clue was a wry ref to the notorious Jeffrey’s ‘art’ collection) and TOOLS for ‘idiots’. Nearly fell into the GAME KEEPER trap, but managed to skirt it. LOI FAVELA, which took a while to come.

  18. Got off to an excellent start in the NW and then slowed to a crawl with answers here and there but nothing coming together. Failed to parse IN-OFF and KING EDWARD (thanks George). Good one. 24.10

  19. I don’t normally solve this early in the day so often look later to see what I’ve missed, but rarely comment. I thought this was a good puzzle, particularly liked MINUS SIGN and EYE SHADOW. It was unfortunate that the RAFTER clue needed CRAFT rather than (e.g.) BOAT to make the surface work.

    Sadly all my troubles landed in one corner. The FAVELA, CHAI and ELIOT crossers did for me. Vaguely aware of the first, can’t stand tea so unfamiliar with the second, and shamefully thought T S’s surname has double L. Oh dear. Even after nailing RENT FREE stopped me wondering how MINED could mean modernist, I couldn’t see that one.

  20. Wow, a toughie today! Unknowns for me were CHAI, although I did manage to parse it, EPSTEIN, got from wordplay, and that ELIOT was a modernist. They did all ring a vague bell when they went in though. IVANHOE was eventually the key to the NE corner. IN-TWO was my FOI and ELIOT brought up the rear. Liked rear trouble in 17d. 56:49. Thanks setter and George.

  21. Just under 19 minutes today, which seems to be stacking up OK.

    Held up a bit by inventing the LONG ISLAND potato, took ages to get PRETENDER, and am used to seeing KUMQUAT spelt with a C. I like the occasional quirky clue, so COD to MINUS SIGN.

    Toughest one so far this week I think. Thanks George and setter.

  22. 28.50 and delighted to have been under 30 minutes. Started off well in the NW corner but slow going thereafter. Some cracking clues I thought- smacker, Ivanhoe and minus sign to the fore but I thought compiles was a hoot. Still smiling at that one.
    Fidgeted a bit over Chai , being too literal about an actual president before the light dawned.

    Well done setter and thanks blogger.

  23. Another good’un. Oddly I found this reasonably straightfoward while many seem to think it tough. Usually it’s the other way round.

    As George says, the wordplay was tricky. I liked DOWN TOOLS (reminded me of I’m All RIght Jack) and IVANHOE (reminded me of Roger Moore) but COD was the sneaky little IN-OFF.

    Thanks to George and the setter.

  24. 13:02 this afternoon. Why I should find this puzzle easier than the earlier ones this week (with lower SNITCHES) is still not clear to me. Having all the relative GK in my head certainly helped, plus a few biffs towards the end when all the crossers were in place (e.g. 17 ac “cadet” and 18 ac “fence”).
    Award to the setter for 17 d “compiles”, the most unsettling clue of the year.
    Much preferred 5 d ” minus sign” and its clever construction .
    Thanks to George and setter.

  25. 26.38. I enjoyed this, found it a decent challenge putting up no little resistance. Wasted too much time wondering whether Mikail was a famous old ruler and running through a list of US presidents before working out chai. Wasn’t sure that a mew was a bird but the garden bit of game warden clinched it for me. Nearly fell into the satsuma trap at kumquat.

  26. 18’53”

    …giving a perfect 100 WITCH rating as I type. I would have been about 2 minutes quicker if I had biffed MINERVA from the M, N and A plus mention of a deity. But for some inexplicable reason I got hung up on ‘person who digs up’ being the definition, and went on a fruitless search for deities to fit inside some kind of scripture that started with an m. Last entry RAFTER after realising my frankly stupid oversight.

    Enjoyable par level puzzle for me. Favourite clue KRAKOW. I always think puzzles without any out-and-out anagrams seem harder.

  27. No time recorded because of umpteen interruptions from my 5 year old grandson, but estimated at 45 minutesish. Felt good about finishing it correctly only to discover I’d put in COMPILER at 17dn, so effectively a DNF.
    Wouldn’t have got FAVELA from the cryptic, but fortunately had seen documentaries on the poor of Rio. My LOI was CHAI where eventually after 5 minutes of torture finally had the lightbulb moment.
    IN-OFF reminded me of my snooker playing days and occasionally playing a Russian exile who was known to one and all as ‘Innov The Red’. He was particularly gifted at billiards I recall.

  28. 37 mins. A bit of a marvel this one, every clue being expertly crafted. My philistinism about all things art and music didn’t help. EPSTEIN especially tricky because the clue said there was no IN when there clearly was one. Like others, I was looking for a city when I should have been looking for a FAVELA

  29. Pleased with 36 minutes today, though a tad outside my recent sub-30 minute solutions. Particularly liked MINUS SIGN.

  30. Never heard of IN-OFF, and just now looked it up. Ah, English billiards…
    Set this aside last night with the SW fairly blank. Finished this morning. So not easy for me either.

    1. Not just billiards – it has a more general meaning of “taking a deflection before going in” and is commonly used in soccer (and I would expect other sports with a goalmouth such as hockey, etc.)

    2. Also croquet Guy in a specially nasty shot that once made one of my sisters chase the other round the lawn brandishing a heavy mallet.

  31. 28:11, with today’s hold-outs being ELIOT and CHAI. Some nice moments on the way.

  32. Used aids for Epstein and chai. My mind went blank on sculptors and I was hung up on US presidents being cut short. Never heard of in-off but the word play was persuasive. Enjoyed the puzzle a lot. Thought the word play very fair. Fave clue Krakow.

  33. 29.28

    Also liked it a lot and like some other correspondents struggled to get a toehold but once I did it came together. Knew FAVELA and EPSTEIN which helped

    KRAKOW also a fave

    Thanks George and setter

  34. The MINUS SIGN clue struck me as good, and as Gothick above says, it does say ‘like’, so perhaps we’re all fussing a bit too much. In the early days of modern maths teaching there were two ways that ‘minus’ could be used (I don’t think they make the distinction nowadays): as the mark by a number to indicate that it was a negative number — thus what we call the number ‘minus 1’ was called ‘negative 1’, and there was a small mark like a hyphen near the top of ‘1’ on the left. But when we had the operation 6 — 1 to give 5 the minus was much more stretched out and was probably an em-dash. May have been an en-dash, not sure. 6 – 1. This was intended to help children understand these tricky things. Perhaps it didn’t.

    I took 45 minutes on this, most of it this morning but had things to do and couldn’t finish it in time, came back to it this evening and did the last eight or so clues rather slowly.

  35. Struggled with NE corner but rest was okay. Very pleased when I finally spotted IVANHOE. MINUS SIGN was a great clue but just pipped to COD by OUSE.

  36. A late post, but when I saw Ivanhoe and a couple others directly then had to sort the cryptic out I realised this would be tricky. As it proved to be for the ones I didn’t see directly. Nice job, setter.

  37. A three-letter bird here today
    That’s better than five yesterday
    I do hope they intend
    To continue the trend
    And the avians will then go away

  38. Finished but with one stupid mistake which I’m too embarrassed to detail. Tricky puzzle. I thought “a bit of carpentry” for “Rafter” was rather loose – even I, with my non-existent carpentry skills, can saw a rafter!

  39. Too-hard basket for me today, though I enjoyed what little I managed of it. Despite my Visual Arts degree background didn’t give Epstein a thought (missed the substitution device), and NHO Mew as a bird. Ho hum…better luck tomorrow 😶

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