Times 28,367: Bible Studies

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Woof, this was good and Friday, with a load of clues requiring us to work for our supper. I spent a long time at the end trying to fathom the brilliantly opaque 1ac, and then even longer on 20ac, which I’m still not sure I get. Numerous others went in without full comprehension, only to be parsed when I wrote the blog. I love it when a crossword slaps me around like a rag doll so this gets a thumbs up from me even if a couple of clues seem like… a bit of a stretch. Better to take risks as a setter than play it safe, every time, so it’s a thumbs up from me. Many thanks to whoever was responsible!

COD to 1ac I think because it’s simple really but it took me forever to work out exactly what was going on, hiding in plain sight.

Apologies for the lateness of the blog, I am in Vancouver BC this week visiting my family so the normal routine was out the window. And now I must sleep!

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

1 Devious miss might ultimately plot to be mine for evermore? (10,3)
8 Be stuck with second class post (4)
JAMB – JAM [be stuck] with B [second class]. FOI
9 It’s more than just one’s elder relatives, however! (6,4)
FAMILY TREE – cryptic def. An elder is a tree, so the idea is that family “trees” might be just the elders…
10 Draws close to various sailing vessels (8)
SKETCHES – {variou}S + KETCHES [sailing vessels]
11 English Premier League initially breaks constitution (6)
HEALTH – HEATH [English premier] “broken” by L{eague}
13 Feeble doctor in denial about another’s salary (5-5)
NAMBY-PAMBY – M.B. in NAY, then, about another M.B., PAY. M.B. being of course Medicinae Baccalaureus, a doctor of medicine.
16 Following current, tendency to lose a wader (4)
IBIS – following I [electrical current], BI{a}S
17 Shell explodes twice, bringing police (4)
PLOD – EXPLODES “shelled” once is {e}XPLODE{s}; done twice you get {e}{x}PLOD{e}{s}
18 Payment made with fake euro, one GCHQ investigate finally (4,6)
GIRO CHEQUE – (EURO I GCHQ {investigat}E*)
20 Publicity domain having to include secure network (6)
ADLAND – a LAN or Local Area Network is private and thus pretty secure, but I’m still not sure why it gets put inside ADD. Perhaps the idea is that AD is publicity, D is domain and the whole is a bizarre &lit? Answers in a secure email please. VVLOI
22 Holed up in Manitoba, two Menshevik officers’ attendants (8)
BATWOMEN – hidden in {manito}BA TWO MEN{shevik}. Never heard this before, but I guess if your batman is actually female…
24 American battle casualty in US hospital, in bed sick (6,4)
BUNKER HILL – E.R. [casualty, in US] + H{ospital}, in BUNK ILL [bed | sick]
26 Old king’s pronouncement after enlightenment by bishop (4)
AHAB – AHA! [pronouncement after enlightenment], by B(ishop)
27 The habit a disappointed dog owner had got into? (6,7)
MOTHER HUBBARD – a Mother Hubbard is a “loose flowing gown”, ergo a “habit”, and also the woman who went to the cupboard to get her poor dog a bone, only to find it empty.
1 Very smutty, perhaps, and blunt in speech, getting excluded (11)
BLACKBALLED – BLACK [very smutty, i.e. with soot] + homophone of BALD [blunt]
2 Book about blind man, very much missed by son (5)
TOBIT – TO BIT{s}. Tobit is from Nineveh and blind, though – SPOILERS LOOK AWAY NOW – he gets cured of his affliction at the end and marries Sarah of Ecbatana.
3 Ready-made article put in ice to freeze (3-3-3)
OFF-THE-PEG – THE [article] put in OFF [ice, as in kill or bump off] + PEG [freeze, as in prices or pensions]
4 Mass in Latin one is ready to give once? (4,3)
LUMP SUM – LUMP [mass] + SUM [“I am”, ergo “one is”, in Latin]
5 Hard work’s upset a delicate lass (5)
SYLPH – reversed H(ard) PLY’S
6 Food certain to go off after a year (5,4)
PATNA RICE – (CERTAIN*) after P(er) A(nnum)
7 As Calabria’s often viewed from the west? (3)
TOE – Calabria is the toe or boot of Italy; from the west is to the east, or TO E
12 Endless Abba it turned out? (7,4)
14 Old archbishop accepting record player, a thing for retirement (3,6)
BED JACKET – BECKET [will nobody rid Henry II of this turbulent priest?]  “accepting” DJ [player of records] + A
15 Group of sailors carrying on bachelor chat with Lucy (5,4)
19 Awful mistake, supporting Polish (7)
RUBBISH – BISH [mistake] underneath RUB [polish]
21 Keen — for one shot to the top (5)
DIRGE – reversed E.G. RID [for one | shot (of)]
23 On regular basis, nonmeat’s bad for stomachs (5)
OMASA – {n}O{n}M{e}A{t}S {b}A{d}. The third stomach of a cow, also known as the bible, the fardel, the manyplies and the psalterium, because why not
25 I must think about looking firstly for a place in Germany (3)
ULM – UM [I must think…], “about” L{ooking}. The place where Johann Gambolputty de von Ausfern-schplenden-schlitter-crasscrenbon-fried-digger-dingle-dangle-dongle-dungle-burstein-von-knacker-thrasher-apple-banger-horowitz-ticolensic-grander-knotty-spelltinkle-grandlich-grumblemeyer-spelterwasser-kurstlich-himbleeisen-bahnwagen-gutenabend-bitte-ein-nürnburger-bratwustle-gerspurten-mitzweimache-luber-hundsfut-gumberaber-shönendanker-kalbsfleisch-mittler-aucher von Hautkopft was from, IIRC.

60 comments on “Times 28,367: Bible Studies”

  1. Gave up on this after 55 mins with virtually all the unknowns—TOBIT, ADLAND, BUNKER HILL—not done. Really not my cup of tea.

  2. I found half of this straightforward and the other half not so much.
    I read 20 ac. as ADD (include) “securing” LAN?
    Many thanks to setter and blogger.

    1. Excellent!
      I was thinking the same in-solve but decided – wrongly – it needed to be securing or secures. I now see that having is the active verb and secure is an infinitive.

    2. Yes that’s what I had (in the end, after getting rid of admass). Took a while.

  3. A few minutes under the hour but with several unparsed – in fact too many to detail here. If I’d been on blogging duty I’d have made more effort and probably cracked most of them but I somehow doubt I would have succeeded with BED JACKET and OFF-THE-PEG.

    I parsed ADLAND as our blogger went on to suggest, but I’d be interested to know if there’s an alternative. I liked MOTHER HUBBARD and BOTTOMLESS PIT in particular.

    OMASA was unknown but deduced, and TOBIT which I suspect has come up before but not stuck in my head.

    I’ve been to ULM, so that one was easy.

    Edit: I think Adrian’s parsing of ADLAND looks right.

    1. ULM ought also to be better known as the birthplace of Albert Einstein. Have also been there, on the way to Venice, with my family and ma-in-law, who was no friend of the Germans/Nazis (she didn’t make any distinction, and lost a brother in the London blitz), but was very impressed with the duvets and pillows in the hotel. The kids insisted on McDonalds that night.

  4. 46m 18s but one ‘error’. I put FAMILY TIES for 9ac which I think is acceptable.
    Too many solutions biffed for my liking: 1ac, 9ac, 17ac, 20ac, 27ac, 2d, 3d, 4d. So thank you Verlaine for those but I have a mild objection to a British PM being described as a Premier. In Australia, individual states have a Premier but the country has a PM.
    I also don’t get/like 12d TRIBUTE BAND? Which brings me back to Australia. THE perfect band name in my opinion is the Australian ABBA TRIBUTE BAND, “Bjorn Again”!

    1. It has been suggested that Placebo ought to be a Cure tribute band, and that someone should form an Elbow tribute band called Ar*e.

  5. 39:33. I really struggled with this, as evidenced by me having the highest personal NITCH of 242. It would have been much higher if I’d tried to finish in one sitting rather than keep chipping away at it over the course of the morning. I enjoyed the challenge though, being pleased to finish having had doubts over whether I would do so. TOBIT gave me particular trouble, having never heard of the chap. Curiously I did get Nineveh in another crossword just yesterday.

  6. Cor, what a stinker. Just over the hour with last four in ADLAND (also parsed as Adrian), DIRGE, SYLPH And HEALTH. A couple of unknowns, TOBIT and OMASA. I Had PATAN RICE for a while which didn’t help.

    I have ticks against BOTTOMLESS PIT, PLOD, and MOTHER HUBBARD.

    Thanks to an obviously happy V and devious setter.

  7. Horrible. Gave up on the hour with DIRGE, the NHO TOBIT and ADLAND unfinished. Was pretty pleased though to end up with only three missing. BOTTOMLESS PIT took ages to see, and was kicking myself for being so dim. Liked TRIBUTE BAND, ULM and AHAB.

    1. TRIBUTE BAND was a touch of sheer class
      A clue that is hard to surpass
      But IBIS is a bird
      This is getting absurd
      When ends this most feathery farce?

  8. 19:03

    Tough but most enjoyable. Only Tobit went in on a bit of a W and a P – I’m au fait with the expression “to bits” but didn’t know the book.

    I knew ULM from O-Level German (which i did instead of Latin, take that classicists!) as it was part of some dumb “rhyme” we were told to help with adverbs or summat so I didn’t have to ninja-turtle it from Monty P. It appears that In Ulm und um Ulm und um Ulm herum is also a song. Ach du meine Güte!

    Thanks for the explanations for OFF-THE-PEG and ADLAND which I struggled to parse.

  9. Of course I took ages on this and when the hour passed I used aids, although even then some were entered with a shrug, only to be parsed later. I never understood ADLAND and parsed it as V does, although D = domain seems a bit of a stretch; I can’t find it anywhere, and am only vaguely aware that mathematicians talk of a domain and a range as D and R. The alternative doesn’t seem convincing. Liked 1ac and for a long time thought it was PASTA or PIZZA something.

  10. Just under 14mins. Very tough but masochistically enjoyable. Borderline GK for TOBIT (and a tough clue to boot, especially before one got the also-difficult JAMB crossing its middle). But much to smile at too and some ingenious constructions. I am always happy to see these sorts of thing appear as it gives me ammo as a setter against overly pernickety editors. Thanks to Verlaine for most entertaining blog and setter for the challenge.

  11. Tough, and not all enjoyable. No reflection on the puzzle though, very fine, more a reflection on me. Way outside my comfort zone, surprised to finish correctly. NHO Mother Hubbard the robe, didn’t know Becket was a bishop and failed to parse that clue, wasn’t sure of adland in the solve but see now how it works (Thanks Adrian), Tobit vaguely remembered as a book but blind meant nothing, NHO patna rice, thought Ahab was a sailor, didn’t spot the anagram at 1ac (idiot!) and spent too long thinking Calabria was the island Sardinia, for some reason – and I lived a year in Italy, visited Calabria.
    I did like shell explodes twice, Bunker Hill, sylphs, and the Latin mass. I would have liked Endless Abba if I had heard of the band.

    1. Never heard of ABBA? What were you doing when the Eurovision song contest of 1974 was airing?!

  12. 85 minutes. Grid filled correctly but a few unparsed, notably BOTTOMLESS PIT and OFF-THE-PEG. Just remembered TOBIT as a book from the Apocrypha but didn’t know about his unfortunate visual impairment.

    A bit too hard for me to be truly enjoyable but some satisfaction in seeing no pink squares. Favourite was AHAB; makes a change from the usual Cole, Lear, Offa etc.

  13. If Starstruck is reading, there’s a Neutrino issue on the SNITCH. Reference solver Womblehustler has posted a time of 2.22 for this puzzle, a NITCH of 10. The same has happened other days this week.

  14. After several minutes struggling with T_B_T, I gave up and shoved in TIBET as the only word I knew that fitted the crossers. NHO the book and never got near to “to bits” for very much. A disappointing end to a difficult puzzle in which I’d managed to solve and parse all the other clues. 54:00 WOE. Thanks setter and V.

  15. Thanks to our blogger for the parse on TOBIT. I knew the book was in the Apocrypha but otherwise nothing about it and I never thought of “to bit(s)”. I think it’s in the Somerset Maugham stories that missionaries to the South Sea Islands get the local women to wear MOTHER HUBBARDs (a sort of shapeless all-over pinafore) instead of their skimpier and more attractive attire. Coo this was very hard work but no quibbles or complaints from me. Are there such people as BATWOMEN (outside of comics)? 31.47

  16. 11:31, one of those puzzles which you suspect is actually rather tough but appears to have fallen right into your wheelhouse (is that how wheelhouses work? I’m not sure). Apparently TOBIT is only canonical in Catholicism, so being raised in the faith may have planted that at the back of my mind; and ADLAND went in only semi-parsed, but I was happy enough to submit – I don’t remember seeing it before, and was thinking of ADMASS, which is a similar one which has foxed me in the past. Enjoyable, if challenging…

  17. 1:03:40. Corks – probably a weekday record because I usually allow only 40 mins maximum, but this was well worth the effort of finishing. A real treat, from start to much-delayed finish.

  18. A school pal of mine years ago told me that in the 19th century the Pitt family tended to be quite thin and were known as the BOTTOMLESS PITts. In her family (the Cecils) she had two unmarried aunts known as the Salisbury Plains.

  19. Just short of an hour but cheated on the three NHOs: ADLAND (poor clueing didn’t help – “having to” superfluous?), TOBIT and OMASA.

    Bad week for me in the end, not helped by a stinking cold.

  20. 81 minutes, and very satisfying that my biffs (or whatever) came good, particularly TOBIT where “book about” gave me the Old Testament reversed and the two other crossers left only the second vowel to find. I was tempted by TOBUT (nice word, I thought) but plumped for TOBIT. They all count.

    A MER at English Premier, but not for the same reasons as MartinP1 above. Fair enough, Heath was English, but he was the British (not the English) Premier/Prime Minister

  21. Nice puzzle. Every time I grow doubtful of “the wavelength” something like this comes along to re-ignite my faith. Whis is another of saying I saw most of the difficult answers quickly and then was able to parse at will. The exception was Tobit; but I got my own back by leaving it gutless as T-B-T in my submission. Hah! I parsed the somewhat awkward Adland using the ADD = HAVING with LAN inside method.

  22. Managed all but Bottomless pit, adland and Tobit. Pretty good for me as I’m usually struggling at this level. Liked bottomless pit when I eventually got there. Would never have got adland. The explanation was very helpful. Thanks setter and blogger.

  23. Blimey that was a workout. I had all but 5 done in about 40 minutes and then not another for the next 15. ‘Finished’ in 63.30 but with two wrong. Couldn’t work out what was happening with 20ac and put in ADBAND as a likely answer, and had no idea about the blind man at 2dn so put in a name I thought sounded biblical TABOT (the little talked of twin brother of TOBIT perhaps?)! 😀

  24. Wow, a proper Friday cracker! Luckily I turned out to have all the required GK in the end but it took a while to get there and I spent twice as long failing to parse the PIT, though it was obviously the answer. Can’t believe I failed to spot the anagrist, but I was fixated on the final t being from ultimately plot. Grrr.
    Thanks V and setter.

  25. 45 mins. Was trucking along happily with this until I ground to a halt. I think the biggest cockup was not seeing DJ as the record player, however BED JACKET didn’t immediately come to mind in the current temperatures. TOBIT and DIRGE were my betes noires in the end

  26. 28:27

    Well, I made heavy weather of that. 14 minutes in I had OFF THE PEG and TOE, then disentangled PATNA RICE and immediately bunged in 1 Across. Rest of the top half fell in a couple of minutes and I reached 20 minutes needing the three in the SW corner that most people struggled with. Last entry BED JACKET, after finally twigging Becket and DJ.

    Thanks to the setter for a good workout in the heat.

  27. After 35 minutes I just had 2 d to sort out but my scant biblical knowledge doesn’t extend to the Apocrypha I’m afraid and I got one of my fixations that “very much missed by son” had to be “n” (son minus so) which wasn’t terribly encouraging when trying to fit it into t – b – t.
    Anyway, given a current SNITCH of over 150 I was quite pleased to have got everything else – admittedly with a few biffs en route. Normally puzzles at this level find me out.
    Thought there were many great surfaces, skilfully constructed. Particularly liked 1 ac “bottomless pit” which I persevered with, having got the gist of the clue early on and 17 ac “plod” which has appeared in Times puzzles over the years but not with such marvellous wordplay.
    Thanks to Verlaine for his expert blog and to setter for a fine challenge which I nearly did justice too.

  28. Did half of this in 15 minutes, before dashing off to golf, thinking would polish it off in quick time on my return. However I then ground to a halt with 2d, not a clue about T*B*T, and a couple more not convinced about. I put in MOTHER HUBBARD knowing only about the cupboard lady, not a garment, and didn’t much like DIRGE for keen, and only got PATNA RICE because of all the checkers. Do they still do GIRO CHEQUES?
    Quite happy with ADLAND as I used to be a resident.
    Thanks V for explaining a few. 1a was a good one.

  29. Gave up after 41 minutes defeated by adland- NHO- dirge ,which I think I would have got if I had heard of the aforesaid and patna rice which I had heard of but never got close to solving.
    Never mind a good week up to today.

  30. Liked this one. Knew Tobit, though had to take on trust that he was blind.. had heard of Bunker Hill too, though had forgotten that the Brits won it.

  31. 24:29. What a stinker! I thought it was great though, no complaints about any of the clues from me, now that I understand them. I failed to parse ADLAND or LUMP SUM so thanks to Adrian and verlaine respectively for those.
    Among many good things ‘shell explodes twice’ is particularly excellent.
    NHO MOTHER HUBBARD or PATNA RICE and TOBIT and OMASA were only very vaguely familiar, but the wordplay was clear.

  32. 53.25. Tough as old boots. This was me solving at the limits of my ability. Almost gave up in the SW with bed jacket, where I couldn’t shake the idea that the old arch-bish was the venerable Bede, adland which I couldn’t quite put together and the unknown battle of Bunker Hill. Managed to get through it in the end. Some appreciation for the setting though I can’t say it was entirely enjoyable.

  33. Found this really tough, but after three goes I got there in the end.

    I’d heard of MOTHER HUBBARD, but I thought she was in Postman Pat – that’s Miss Hubbard, of course. Took a long time to figure out the wordplay for the unknown TOBIT and SYLPH, had to trust that OMASA is a stomach, and eventually saw the clever BOTTOMLESS PIT, which in turn made clear that it had to be PATNA RICE rather than ‘aytna rice’ (I thought ‘a year’ might be giving ‘ay’ rather than ‘pa’). It was also a while until I got BUNKER HILL, as I’m not overly familiar with the American Revolutionary War and struggled to put the wordplay together.

    FOI Ulm
    LOI Tobit
    CODs Bottomless pit / Health

  34. Not that this would be any help unless you’d read the book, but “Miss Garnet’s Angel” by Salley Vickers featured the Book of Tobit quite heavily. Worth a read should you be visiting Venice.

    1. Ha! That’s where I dredged Tobit up from! Though not until sleeping on it! Finally finished the puzzle this morning with TOBIT and JAMB last ones in.

  35. WOW, glad to finish! And glad to have worked it.
    “Shell explodes twice” is genius!

  36. 33’05” Done a month late. I looked on the Snitchometer for toughies from August. Didn’t disappoint! No sir!

  37. Pleased to have struggled my way through most of this (mainly to confirm the continued presence of marbles in this ‘older’ head), but a few very clever ones escaped me: TOBIT (of whom I have vaguely heard), BOTTOMLESS PIT (where I struggled to see the anagrist or the def.), HEALTH ( isn’t Premier doing double duty – wrongfully so IMHO – being both the first letter of League and part of the definition ‘English Premier’? ( he was a PM); and ADLAND (NHO). Somewhat humbled to admit that the more ‘nursery-style’ answers were more easily spotted: NAMBY-PAMBY and MOTHER HUBBARD in particular, but also the prob out-dated GIRO CHEQUE and OFF-THE-PEG. Thanks to setter and V for explanations!

  38. Solving on paper in Sydney, so three weeks late, but seeing the date on Jacaroo’s comment, I’ll contribute. Tobit got me. I had OT reversed for the book, bat for blind (as), giving me Tobat, a guess at something biblical that and relevant.

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