Times 28390 – mixing and matching your underwear

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Time taken: 11:23.

I thought we might have been in for a stinker, as a first read through the across entries only yielded three or four, but I got most of the downs at a first read and was only left with a few gaps. I will admit my last in was 16 down where I had to go through letter combinations to figure out what it was.

I enjoyed the wordplay in today’s puzzle. How did you do?

Away we go…

1 Underwear in state: groom is wearing it! (12)
COMBINATIONS – NATION(state) inside COMB(groom) and IS. Speaking of wordplay, I needed it here! Collins lists COMBINATIONS as “a one-piece woollen undergarment with long sleeves and legs”, so I guess what we would call a union suit or a onesie now?
9 French city, former Olympic hosts cancelling field event? (5)
LILLE -the 1994 Winter Olympics were in LILLEHAMMER, Norway. Remove HAMMER(field event)
10 Worshipper’s place in which food eaten, primarily? (9)
REFECTORY – RECTORY(worshipper’s place) containing the first letters of Food Eaten
11 Each sole mended — string nearby? (8)
12 Interruption of testing by India leader of opposition dreads, say? (6)
HAIRDO – HARD(testing) containing I(India), then the first letter of Opposition
13 People who don’t believe lies find another way (8)
INFIDELS – anagram of LIES,FIND, and I have a feeling of deja vu
15 For example, Homer’s Greek character gone travelling (6)
PIGEON – PI(Greek character) and an anagram of GONE
17 Foxy observed mousy collecting newspapers (6)
SHIFTY – SHY(mousy) containing two newspapers, the I and the FT
18 Family dispute — help! (8)
DOMESTIC – double definition
20 Reportedly, foreign water perhaps does well! (2,4)
OH DEAR – sounds like EAU(foreign water) and DEER(does)
21 A good appeal: support promotion of communism (8)
AGITPROP – A, G(good), IT(appeal), PROP(support)
24 Flat passage in requiem, initially erased (9)
APARTMENT – PART(passage) in LAMENT(requiem) minus the first letter
25 Purple’s second and blue’s third in red fish (5)
TROUT – the second letter of pUrple and the third letter of blUe are both U. Put U in TROT(red)
26 Sit with old master sprawling — might one? (7,5)
1 Heavyweights in defeat saved by endless cash (7)
COLOSSI – LOSS(defeat) inside COIN(cash) minus the last letter
2 Economist and poet taking cannibal’s food? (6,8)
MILTON FRIEDMAN – MILTON(poet) and a cannibal might enjoy FRIED MAN
3 Dream what croupier might say? (5)
IDEAL – a croupier might say I DEAL
4 Old general I pass invading Indian city (8)
AGRICOLA – I COL(pass) inside AGRA(Indian city)
5 Suspect provided that case of felony (4)
IFFY – IF(provided) and the exterior letters of FelonY
6 Square packing crate designed for fruit (9)
NECTARINE – NINE(square) containing an anagram of CRATE
7 One’s neither civil nor polite, but rude or foul! (4-6,4)
FOUR-LETTER WORD – long cryptic definition, based on CIVIL and POLITE having five and six letters, but RUDE and FOUL having four
8 Magnate ending in family business, significant amount’s banked (6)
TYCOON – last letter in familY and CO(business) inside TON(significant amount)
14 Harsh critic in debate “discontented” with vehicle (9)
DETRACTOR – DebatE missing the middle letters, then TRACTOR(vehicle)
16 Create flier that’s OK (6,2)
FORGET IT – FORGE(create) TIT(flier)
17 Toil over an advertising expression (6)
SLOGAN – SLOG(toil) and AN
19 Money to invest, sterling (7)
CAPITAL – double definition
22 Sign name to take claims up (5)
TOTEM –  hidden reversed inside naME TO Take. Really good hidden here!
23 Shop fronts on dreary estate look inadequate (4)
DELI – first letters of Dreary Estate Look Inadequate

76 comments on “Times 28390 – mixing and matching your underwear”

  1. I raced through the first three quarters of this in under ten minutes and then ground to a halt in the southeast. My LOI was also 16D since I was so convinced the first word ended GHT that I’d even put in the H. Doh. And I couldn’t get DOMESTIC without the crosser that FORGET IT supplied. The hidden at TOTEM was so well hidden that I missed it and biffed it without really understanding the wordplay, not surprisingly. Hidden wordplay never makes sense if you miss the hidden.

    I don’t think a croupier would say I DEAL since they work roulette tables and craps tables. On card tables, they are called dealers. At least in Vegas, or, our favorite city recently RENO.

    I was convinced FOUR LETTER WORD was an anagram. And I actually got it from seeing FOUL and RUDE gave me the answer, before realizing the rest of the letters just weren’t there.

    1. Yes, I am more familiar with croupier meaning roulette and craps, however the Collins definition is “a person who deals cards, collects bets, etc, at a gaming table”.

  2. Doh! A deer! I couldn’t parse 20a.
    The French city defied parsing too. LIEGE? LILLE? Could LOIRE be a city as well as a river? It had to be Lille once COD Milton Friedman (lol ) went in- thank you blogger for the explanations.

    1. It is interesting that the UK city of Milton Keynes is named after two of the most famous economists of the twentieth century. Except it isn’t. It was just a village that was obliterated (I think) to build everything. It is a “new town” and was built pretty much from scratch while I was a student at Cambridge and my parents lived in Bath. The first thing they built was the bypass, so you had to drive this long road past acres of empty fields. Now, of course, it is a pretty sizeable city.

      1. And you’re so up to date Paul, City status having been granted to Milton Keynes only last month! It was awarded to commemorate the platinum jubilee. The old village still exists in name along with its 13th century thatched pub, The Swan Inn.

        1. I’ve partaken of many a happy beer in the Black Swan. My company had a training school at Fox Milne. The Greyhound at Haversham was another favourite spot, although I had to be careful not to fall in the canal when cycling back to Fox Milne!

  3. 20:39
    I never figured out APARTMENT, and I doubt that I’d have come up with ‘lament’ for ‘requiem’. The ‘and’ in 25ac had me briefly thinking that there were two U’s in the word, but luckily I thought of TROUT before wasting too much time on that idea. DNK COMBINATIONS (POI) , and I needed all the checkers; I finally parsed it after submitting. OH DEAR was my LOI; ‘Well!’ seemed rather a stretch.

    1. I assumed the requiem thing was going to be one of those Latin names for sections like Dies Irae or Agnus Dei so just bunged it in from “flat” and the checkers.

  4. I didn’t enjoy this as much as yesterday’s, but MILTON FRIEDMAN raised a smile, thinking of the days when the Conservative Party had a real leader.

    Last in was FORGET IT, too, which I didn’t think as much of as I thought as I was going to. 21 minutes.

        1. Martin thanks for retrieving yesterday’s comment on my Hanseatic League reply to you. It simply vanished into the ether, with the message, ‘Your comment has been deleted’. It also happened the same day, on a post in reply to RosedeProvence! But I managed to retrieve it and re-post successfully.

          Jack, is there a problem here? If I was off topic, then why was Matin not deleted as well? Or was it simply a recurring glitch? Please advise.

          “I was due to visit some of the major Hanseatic Ports, but was foiled by various lockdowns. My interest derives from the Hansa communities that thrived in, Lowestoft, Bishop’s Lynn (King’s Lynn), Boston and other East Coast havens. The ‘Steelyard’ in London had become an important shipbuilding centre for The League. It was destroyed in the Great Fire of London. The loose cannon was Antwerp, which had set its sights in trade with the Dutch East Indies. As was London who looked to India and China for trade in tea and opium. (Germans drank coffee, but eschewed tea.) TBC”

          1. I know nothing about these deleted comments. Generally our policy is that if we delete anything we would post a message to say why.

            1. I can see the deleted comment in the “bin”, but, as you say, if anyone deletes comments there would be an explanatory message. The message was not removed by the Spam filter (which has only removed 5 messages). I’ve restored Meldrew’s comment. I’ve no idea what happened. It wasn’t me who deleted it!

          2. If you visit Bergen there are some wonderful Hansestic wharf side buildings. They were a fascinating bunch – possibly the worlds first multinational.

  5. A very amusing exercise.

    I was sent to 4-H camp as a kid, where we sang “Boom! Boom! Ain’t It Great to Be Crazy?,” one of whose multitude of verses went something like this:
      I bought a pair of COMBINATION underwear
      Guaranteed not to rip or tear
      Wore them six weeks, no exaggeration,
      Couldn’t get ’em off, ’cause I lost the COMBINATION!

    Thanks for the parsing of LILLE, which I biffed.
    The clue for TROUT seems intent on making you think there are two “U”s in the answer.
    I tried doing something with [-l]AMENT for “requiem” right away, but rejected for a while the first answer that came to mind for “Flat”—the right one!—because it seemed too obvious and… I miscounted the blanks!
    “Testing” for HARD in HAIRDO was very sneaky…
    POI FORGET IT (but right after OH, DEAR, I think).

  6. 33 minutes. Like our blogger, in the initial stages I had more success with the Down clues rather than the Acrosses and I was able to build from there finishing with DOMESTIC as my LOI.

    I didn’t get the wordplay at 9ac as I know nothing about Olympic sports, but LILLE came to mind immediately I saw ‘French city (5)’ with the L-checker in place.

    Very enjoyable with some excellent clues.

  7. Similar experience – long time reading across clues before INFIDELS appeared, then COLOSSI was obvious and I was away. Actually LILLE was my first thought – the Norwegian city misremembered as Lillestrom, so I didn’t write it in. Then sped through until – inevitably – 16 dn took a minute or two to appear, and be justifiable. Like Paul I’d mentally pencilled in the -GHT.
    Liked the fried man, and those female deers.

  8. A leisurely 52 minute stroll initially from the north-west to the south-west and then the south-east and up to the north-east. Maybe too leisurely!?

    FOI 1ac COMBINATIONS as worn by my grandfather throughout the year!
    A good tip for this winter, with heating bills sky-rocketing:- Back in the day in rural areas – in October children were lathered in goose grease and then sewn into their combinations until the spring! Poor little darlings!
    LOI 12ac HAIR-DO – doh!
    WOD 7dn FOUR-LETTER WORD – like 5dn?

    If Serling is considered to be the capital city of Stirlingshire, then 19dn is perhaps a triple definition?

    1. It wouldn’t be according to the rules to have “sterling” uncapped if it were meant to have that third definition.

      1. Sandy, in fact Sterling was the capital of Scotland until 1452, when Edinburgh took over the mantle. ‘The Scottish Play’ was set in that period.

        So technically a third definition is quite plausibe. Was it a typo?

        With one eighth Scottish blood*, had I written the clue it would have read:-
        Money to invest? Sterling! (8)

        This would have solved our problem and added a bit of forgotten history.

        *You may well have more Scottish blood than I, by the sound of things! Do tell!

        1. There would have to be a typo, yes, if a third definition were the intent. But I think this is a bit obscure.
          My grandfather McCroskey’s parents came over from the Old Country. One was Irish, the other Scottish; I’m not sure which was which. But I read online: “The contraction from Mac to Mc has occurred more in Ireland than in Scotland, with two out of three Mc surnames originating in Ireland, but two out of three Mac surnames originating in Scotland.” My mother’s maiden name was House and that family had been in the states a much longer time; her mother’s name was Ware (so when she married, she became a Ware House).

    2. By chance I was looking up something else the other day, and discovered the technical term for what you describe: OVERLARD – “To smear over as with lard” according to Chambers.

  9. OH DEAR! Something awful’s occurred
    Our setter’s included a turd
    It’s a pigeon today
    And I’d just like to say
    That “bird” is a FOUR-LETTER WORD

  10. Took a good long 39 minutes on this, with the starting NW corner proving most difficult in the end. I barely remembered MILTON FRIEDMAN from a mention in a Yes Minister episode, I think. The TV series Lilyhammer I’d seen a couple of episodes of once was also just about enough to prod me towards LILLE, a city I only know from being host to a couple of prog rock concerts I probably still have on CD somewhere. Apart from that desperate Ninja-Turtling I’d never heard of COMBINATIONS as underwear, and like Kevin needed all the checkers to finish off.

    1. I hadn’t read this when I posted it, but I’ve put a link to the Yes, Minister scene in a comment above.

  11. 15:42. I was intrigued by the clue for LILLEHAMMER, initially only being able to think of Lyons for the French city and considering all field events except hammer. This gave me unlikely place names such as Lyonsdiscus. With all the checkers in place I thought of Lille, then immediately remembered Lillehammer. Nice clue.
    FRIEDMAN reminded me that it was quite recently I learned that “long pig” means human flesh eaten by cannibals. I never knew it when listening to the band Longpigs back in the 1990s.

  12. 32 minutes with LOI OH DEAR. COD to Milton Friedman. A steady solve with the low number downs getting it going. Thank you George and setter.

  13. Hangs, a fat gun-barrel,
    deep under arched bridges
    or slips like butter down
    the throat of the river.

    25 mins mid-brekker. Mostly I liked Pigeon and Oh Dear.
    Thanks setter and G.

  14. I liked this one, though with no less than seven question marks and four exclamation marks it felt overpunctuated to me. Exclamation marks in particular are often just a way for the setter to say how clever they are (this is a quote from Ximenes on The Art of the Crossword, McNutt, D).
    I remember the winter olympics at Lillehammer very well, mainly for its remarkable opening ceremony, which involved numbers of little gnomes popping up through holes in the ice ..

  15. 14:41. Like others I found slim picking from the acrosses but the downs got me going. LILLE went in unparsed as I never thought of LILLEHAMMER, as did TOTEM – a great reverse hidden, as George says. I was another puzzled by the two Us apparently needed for 25A until I saw the answer. LOI COMBINATIONS which took a bit of staring at before it appeared. I liked OH DEAR and ARTISTS MODEL best, but overall I thought there was lots of fun wordplay. Thank-you setter and George.

  16. 30 mins which is quicker than I thought I was going to be at one point. As our blogger, LOI FORGET IT. Slowed down in the SE until I saw the reverse hidden which opened things up.

    I liked ARTISTS MODEL, nice anag and surface, and the FRIED MAN.

    Thanks G and setter

    1. All correct but one parse! I somehow missed the cannibalistic reference in Pip’s blog. Not until I noted you and others liking ‘FRIED MAN’, did the scales fall from my eyes! A lack of spacial awareness! A definite lack of spacial awareness!

  17. In a change to my recent sequence of chaotic failures, this was an orderly solve (though failing to spot the hidden or fully parse a couple of others). Ended up with the NW, where I struggled for a few minutes before AGRA became the key that unlocked the remining clues on quick succession. Finishing sequence COLOSSI – SHOELACE – and finally the middle bit of AGRICOLA. I don’t often nominate a COD – but MILTON F was a corker.

    30:27 – a good time for me on a 100-ish SNITCH puzzle – thanks G and setter

  18. 08:09, so after some rather shonky performances so far this week, I have regained my mojo, at least for today. A good puzzle, and I, too, especially enjoyed the darkly humorous economist.

  19. 43M 05S
    Pleasant puzzle with no real problems. Thanks, George, particularly for TOTEM, OH DEAR, REFECTORY, TROUT and FOUR-LETTER WORD. The latter has given me a good ear worm: “Love is just a FOUR-LETTER WORD”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SX4QLrrqhNI
    COD: COMBINATIONS and “discontented” in DETRACTOR.

  20. IFFY started me off and was followed by a few more danglers from the top row, but COMBINATIONS didn’t arrive until much later. MILTON FRIEDMAN (ha ha) allowed me to guess LILLE, but it was unparsed. APARTMENT also went in from definition and crossers. The SE corner was last to fall, with FORGET IT LOI. 20:16. Thanks setter and George.

  21. 19.30 and a very enjoyable puzzle with something pretty much for everyone I would hope. A few trickier ones I thought hairdo being my stand out and COD. Liked Lille as well.
    Troubled by forget it, constantly thinking the first word must have ought in it. As Homer might say Doh.
    Didn’t see the hidden word so totem was a relief!

    Thx setter and blogger.

  22. 25 minutes, not quite parsing APARTMENT thinking AMEN was part of a requeim or some such, and missing the hidden TOTEM until I realised I had one clue left and we hadn’t had a hidden clue yet so look for it. LILLE was FOI followed by the economist and the underwear, solved from top left to bottom right. Thanks George and for LAMENT at 24a.

  23. Ditto on TOTEM.
    HAIRDO was COD. I never thought of THAT definition of “hard” = testing at all, until several seconds after reading the blog. DOH!
    Struggled with OH DEAR tring to make it _ _ DEAU which didn’t work.

  24. Took me over an hour, but got over the line with OH DEAR my LOI. FORGET IT held me up for the longest time. Liked PIGEON, LILLE and HAIRDO. Never heard of COMBINATIONS as underwear, but couldn’t think of any other word that could fit, so went for it.

  25. I couldn’t remember FRIEDMAN’s first name (Morgan? no that’s Freeman) and mentally settled on Morton which made a hash of the Olympic clue – which I wouldn’t have remembered anyway because the only Olympic venue I can think of these days is Rio. Got there in the end but it was a laboured guess. We had a rather effete substitute English teacher who wore powder blue COMBINATIONS which were visible below the turn-ups of his trousers – the Lower Sixth was merciless. This was a bit of a struggle. 23.56

  26. Enjoyable fare today- held up by a bit of confusion in LOI 1AC. We have “COMB IS” with “NATION” inside- to me this is NATION “wearing” COMBIS, not the other way round. Why is “wearing” an acceptable insertion indicator?

    1. I think the idea is that NATION is worn by COMBIS as an arm is worn by a sleeve – that is, surrounded by it.

  27. 38 minutes. I didn’t know COMBINATIONS which I don’t think have ever been a thing here. Otherwise the rest were known, though went in slowly. Like others it seems I found FORGET IT and the parsing of FOUR-LETTER WORD difficult. Ended up with the unchecked letters of 18a looking impenetrable until DOMESTIC clicked into place.

  28. 36:55 but…

    …miniged a ponk squaw in my speling of WPRD – groan. It’s always caused by doing the puzzle on a mobile phone – grrr.

    Within my time target for a snitch of 99, there was a single unknown:

    MILTON FRIEDMAN – saw the FRIEDMAN part with three of the checkers but had to wait a while for the poet – could have been BROOKE, LARKIN, BELLOC, DRYDEN, VIRGIL etc etc

  29. 30 minutes for me, but it doesn’t count because in despair I had to look up the synonym for ‘magnate’, six letters, second letter ‘Y’. That’s how dull-witted I am today. Enjoyable puzzle though.

  30. About 45 minutes to complete as I had too many interruptions to record an accurate time. Got there in the end having struggled from half way, with 16dn my LOI. Liked the cannibalistic definition at 2dn.

  31. 29 mins, but should have been under 20 after going crazy over FORGET IT. As most others, I assumed there was an H in there

  32. Oddly enough, FORGET IT was fairly straightforward for me, having got the flyer in. What caused major problems were the crossings of DOMESTIC, CAPITAL, TROUT and TOTEM! With the first two, I was so busy trying to lift and separate that I failed to see the double definitions. I thought early of TOTEM, but couldn’t parse it and ‘sign’ seemed too much of a stretch as a definition, and like many others, I was looking for a fish with two Us, the ‘and’ being very misleading. Couldn’t parse LILLE, since Winter Olympics leave me cold. COD between HAIRDO and PIGEON, 15A, which led me on a wild goose chase of The Simpsons initially.

  33. 8m on the nose. I’m another who started slowly on the acrosses and sped up considerably on the downs.

  34. This took me just over an hour, but that includes a brief nap somewhere in the middle, apparently. Still, an enjoyable puzzle. COMBINATIONS and IDEAL were my LOI (in the first, I kept trying to fit BRA in as the underwear until MILTON helped me see the groom). LILLE was easy enough to biff, but I kept wondering what Olympic discipline, in France obviously, OUIS V might be, since the only city name I could think of that would reduce to LILLE was LOUISVILLE — I am completely uninterested in where the Olympics are held, as long as it is far away from me. I liked the FOUR-LETTER WORD and FORGET IT (easy to see once one found the flier).

  35. 16.05. Combinations as underwear was unfamiliar and forge tit was hard to see at the end but other than that I didn’t find this too difficult.

  36. 49 minutes on a good crossword in which I couldn’t understand why we were being urged to put two Us in the TROUT clue. Slow to see or accept that oh dear = well, or that hard = testing. I couldn’t see the need for ‘that’ in 5dn.

    1. It perhaps makes the surface read a bit better, IF being rendered by ‘provided that’, of course.

  37. Best of the week for me, in contrast to many other (superior) solvers: COMBINATIONS a lovely image of mid-fifties John Wayne Westerns, and the cannibalistic economist/poet a corker. Fell at the last fence, however, at FORGET IT , despite having the bird in place for an age , and also liked PIGEON and HAIRDO. (Time quite good, for me, of around 30 minutes – apart from FORGET IT)

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