Times 28414 – if you finish you might shout 29

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Time taken: 10:17, though I was crossing my fingers for one entry which I now have to unravel for the blog.

The early times suggest this one is tricky, though I don’t think it is the stinker from last week. The wordplay is invaluable, as several of the definitions hint at multiple possible answers.

How did you do?

1 Get into a brawl, initially being pushed around (6)
OBTAIN – anagram of INTO, A, and the first letter of Brawl
5 Barnet manager, heading off to find artistic finisher? (8)
AIRBRUSH – the barnet manager is a HAIRBRUSH
9 “’I hope it gets sorted out” — Australia’s premier for republic (8)
ETHIOPIA – anagram of I,HOPE,IT then the first letter of Australia
10 Peak of about one million derelict houses (6)
CLIMAX – C(about), then I(one), M(million) inside LAX(derelict)
11 An easy way to stop, if moving on (4,6)
SOFT OPTION – anagram of TO,STOP,IF then ON
13 British sailor heading west for port city (4)
BAKU – UK(British), AB(sailor) all reversed
14 Disheartened attendant serves customer (4)
USER – remove the middle letter from USHER(attendant)
15 New move to eliminate carbon has broad following across the country (10)
NATIONWIDE – N(new) then ACTION(move) minus C(carbon), followed by WIDE(broad)
18 Difficult to reverse into narrow Italian traffic restriction (5,5)
SPEED LIMIT – DEEP(difficult) reversed inside SLIM(narrow), IT(Italian)
20 Hot drink’s knocked over plug (4)
PUSH – H(hot) and SUP(drink) reversed. Plug as in promote
21 An old copper, thing chucked a great distance (4)
AFAR – A FARTHING(old copper) minus THING
23 Fine whiskey found in barrel back in the day (10)
YESTERYEAR –  YES(fine, OK) then RYE whiskey inside TEAR(barrel)
25 Adapt to having internal trouble, right? (6)
TAILOR – TO containing AIL(trouble), then R(right)
26 Muse, on reflection unwilling to supply waterproof material (8)
OILCLOTH – the Muse CLIO reversed, then LOTH(unwilling)
28 Pass over channel in aircraft (3-5)
SKI-PLANE – SKIP(pass) and LANE(channel). I got the PLANE part long before the rest
29 I go to secure parking after end of journey: I’m delighted! (6)
YIPPEE – I, PEE(go) containing P(parking) after the last letter in journeY
2 Rising in boozer, son saying “cheers” (7,2)
BOTTOMS UP – reversal of PUB(boozer) containing S(son), MOTTO(saying)
3 Pilot a vessel around island otherwise (7)
AVIATOR – A VAT(vessel) surrounding I(island), OR(otherwise)
4 Drink pop (3)
NIP – double definition
5 A current hack shown up in old computers (5)
ABACI – A, then I(current), CAB(hack) reversed
6 Case study number one — beginning of talks between soldiers on both sides (11)
RECONNOITRE – CON(study), NO(number), I(one) and the first letter of Talks in between two REs(soldiers). This was the one I couldn’t see the wordplay for before starting the blog
7 Artists in London location for colourful event (7)
RAINBOW – RA(artists), IN, BOW(London location)
8 Cashier accepts note for modest fare (5)
SNACK – SACK(cashier) containing N(note)
12 A neat player out somewhere on the pitch (7,4)
16 He‘s climbing mountain, conserving oxygen (3)
TOM – MT(mountain) reversed, containing O(oxygen)
17 Strip of land I’m set to cultivate (9)
19 Cover for The Listener needing attention, leading to panic (7)
EARFLAP – EAR(attention) and FLAP(panic)
20 Yes, mistake occurs after pressure to provide proof of earnings (7)
PAYSLIP – AY(yes), and SLIP(mistake) after P(pressure)
22 Open using force, standing underneath (5)
FRANK – F(force) and RANK(standing)
24 Small measure of weight? More, ultimately (5)
STONE – S(small), TON(measure of weight) and the last letter of morE
27 Tax, not very good for arable land (3)
LEY – LEVY(tax) minus V(very)

61 comments on “Times 28414 – if you finish you might shout 29”

  1. 47 minutes. Slow (again) to see the anagram at 1a and held up by trying to work out the parsing of a few like YESTERYEAR and RECONNOITRE. I still can’t properly work out LEY either. What’s the ‘good’ doing – is it part of the def and is it anything to do with LEY also having an adjectival sense, as I’ve now found out.

    Just about two for the price of one for OILCLOTH; as well as a ‘Muse’, it almost included a Fate. I liked the apt surface for ETHIOPIA (something we’ll undoubtedly be hearing a lot more about here in the next few years) and the &lit STONE.

    1. I wondered if the “good” in the LEY clue could be part of the clue’s connective tissue – this wordplay (Tax, not very) is good for this definition (arable land). It seems to be redundant to the definition

  2. I didn’t know that spelling of ley, only lea, but thought the definition was all of ‘good for arable land’. I tried the almost satisfactory Tri-Plane for a while, but otherwise found this relatively straightforward. Thx, glh

  3. Abba? Cusses! One mistake was the old computers where I put ATARI , though with trepidation as it didn’t parse and I’d never heard of the AWASI or AGANI brands which did.
    22mins with the error.

    1. I never had an Atari but I still put it in here too. An abacus is an adding machine rather than a computer?

      1. Abaci can multiply and divide also. Computing can refer to calculating generally (i.e. in your head or on paper)not just with the machine. On researching further I see abaci can calculate cube roots too!

        1. Abaci can’t “do” anything – a human being can use an abacus to help them to calculate. I was taught that the first “computer” was invented by Babbage in the 19th Century however I now learn that the term was first used to refer to human beings employed to perform calculations and computations in the 17th Century.
          I didn’t mean to be dogmatic – I am just fascinated by words.

          1. Yes,I see your point- the abacus doesn’t actually perform the calculation, it is just the device people manipulate to carry out the task.

  4. I had all but two answers in 32 minutes but the intersecting stragglers, OBTAIN and NIP, occupied me for another 18 minutes for some unknown reason. My eyes glazed over after the first 5 of those and my brain switched off before eventually coming back to life.

    I’m not convinced by the explanations of ‘good’ in 27dn.

    Re 7dn, we’re used to RA = Royal Academician = artist but I think in order to be ‘artists’ plural it has to stand for Royal Academy in the same way as AA = motorists and NT = conservationists. The blog doesn’t say otherwise, so that’s fine, but I’m just clarifying my own thought process.

  5. I thought this was pretty decent. A slow steady solve in 27 minutes but I somehow managed to type OPTAIN for my LOI. Was held up for a while by t hinking an AIR DRIER might be someone employed by an artist to seal his work more quickly. I also thought, rightly or wrongly, that “good for arable land” was the definition of LEY

    Thanks to George and the setter

  6. The extremely terse definitions “Get” and “Case” eluded me for a long time. That latter clue was my antepenultimate one in, and I needed it to get to CLIMAX, embarrassingly enough (that wasn’t hard, was it?). LOI SOFT OPTION.

    I think LouWeed’s take on “good” in 27d is the only explanation. The ideal clue has no merely connective tissue, à mon avis, but that’s rare enough.

  7. 39m here, never really building up speed and having to take many looks at several of the clues, including 1a and 11a where I missed the anagram until the last minute. I also only worked out why NIP might equal “pop” while sitting down come here and ask why. D’oh.

      1. 🙂 I do occasionally rant on a bit more than this, but I’m usually pushed for time as I have to be on the school run at 8!

  8. 41 minutes with LOI SKI-PLANE, whatever one of those is. COD to SOFT OPTION. This puzzle wasn’t that . Thank you George and setter.

  9. Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of Stone
    Stand in the desert. . . .

    30 mins mid-brekker,Wordle,Nerdle. MER at the extra ‘good’ in LEY.
    Mostly I liked C L(1m)ax. And ‘Case’ as a definition.
    Thanks setter and G.

  10. 16:58, but with ATARI. It didn’t parse but I couldn’t think of anything that did. I have never in my life heard a taxi referred to as a hack. Collins says it’s American.
    Other than that rather daft mistake I thought this was a bit of a mixed bag. I thought some of it was rather loose: the superfluous ‘good’ in 27dn is an example (I think LouWeed has the right explanation) but I also don’t think ‘derelict’ really means lax other than in the specific expression ‘dereliction of duty’, ‘back in the day’ is not really substitutable for YESTERYEAR, ‘serves’ is even more superfluous in 14ac than ‘good’ in 27dn. But there were also some excellent touches: ‘Barnet manager’ was obvious but still fun, ‘case study’ is very good, usw.

      1. It all seems to be connected, also with horses for hire and jobbing writers as discussed here recently.

      2. Yes Chambers says that’s the origin of it. the relevant definition there is: ‘a horse (or formerly, and still in the USA, a vehicle) kept for hire, esp one in a sorry condition’.

    1. Hack is relatively common in the US for driver of a taxicab, and sometimes for the cab as well. The driver has a hack license. I’d always assumed it derived, as Martin suggests, from hackney cabs being pulled by hacks (nags)

      1. Yes see my reply above: Chambers explicitly says that this group of meanings (old horse, journalistic drudge, taxi, ride on a horse) derives from ‘hackney’, which is a word for a ‘horse for general use, esp for hire’.

        1. OED agrees with that etymology. With that said I’ve never heard it for the cab itself, only for the driver, though the extension to the cab or to the cab and driver as a unit would be easily understood. My main point was that it is relatively common in the US. People tend to use it more for the soon to be extinct natives of Brooklyn or Bronx who drive (and opine about the Yankees and the Mayor in a suitable accent), and less for the now common immigrants who drive.

  11. 58m 49s but I’m pleased to see I wasn’t alone with ATARI. The only connection I can make between CAB and ‘hack’ is in Hackney Cab, as I’ve said to keriothe but maybe that’s something different.
    What Lou Weed said is the only way I can make sense of ‘good’ in 27d
    Otherwise, thank you, George, for SPEED LIMIT and for YESTERYEAR.
    LOI: OBTAIN and NIP. I spent about as much time on those two as Jack did.
    I’m annoyed at getting pink squares because I wrote ATARI but I dId like this puzzle, particularly
    Not sure if I’ve ever heard of a SKI PLANE but I have heard of an ‘altiport’. I wonder if that has cropped up at all in the cryptic.

  12. 34 mins but most were complete in 25 min
    I like a few others struggled on the NW corner

  13. Oh dear. Really messed this one up. I’m another with ATARI. I knew ABACI last time it appeared, but not today. And then I went with TRI-PLANE at 28ac (trip instead of skip) which forced me into an unlikely FLAIR for 22dn. But I was pleased with my time 31:05

  14. I went with ATARI, too, though I couldn’t see why. NHO of SKI-PLANE, which held me up in the SW corner. Liked YIPPEE, RECONNOITRE and CLIMAX. 38 mins.

  15. Not a good day for me. Gave up on Obtain/Nip after 15 minutes getting nowhere. Biffed Yesteryear with no idea of how it worked (thanks George). And had Frack instead of Frank.

    Oh well, hope to do better tomorrow…

    1. I also went for FRACK thinking rack could mean stand somehow (in a way a wine rack doesn’t!) but I now realise the F would be doing double duty. Failed to parse a bunch of clues but struggled through otherwise.

  16. 37 minutes, but I used a list for BAKU, obvious really and I shouldn’t have given up. I think the setter was just struggling to produce some sort of a surface with the LEY clue, and that Lou Weed’s explanation, although unsatisfactory, is the right one. Is lax = derelict? Never got that meaning of barrel.

  17. Oh dear. Wrong. Another ATARI person even though I couldn’t parse it. Never heard of a hack being a taxi. Didn’t fully understand NIP or YESTERYEAR although wrote them in. Knew about LEY from Blackbird Leys in Oxford.

  18. I too had FRACK. Doh!
    Wiktionary has:
    skiplane (plural skiplanes)
    1) An aircraft with skis for landing on snow or ice.
    not hyphenated. Ski-Plane on Wikipedia redirects to Bush Plane. So I can’t really satisfactorily find a ski-plane.

  19. Another struggle today and I was bumping up against the half-hour mark (which is when I start to think of giving up) when the last two (SNACK and BAKU) clawed their way to the surface. Failed to parse CLIMAX (is “clax” a word?) – thanks George. No trouble with YESTERYEAR (ou sont les neiges d’antan) or ABACI but I floundered with some of the easier ones. An unwavelengthy 29.48.

  20. In 28 Across you have pass = skip. “pass over” is the synonym for “skip” where pass over is equivalent to
    pass around or leave out or omit.

  21. 17:53, after a bit of a slog. Happy to see it wasn’t just me who was held up by the NW corner. OBTAIN is just deceptively simple, of course, if only once you see it, but until I had the N, there were far too many options for __P, trying to find synonyms for words which appear to have a lot of them…

  22. 37 mins. After trying to think of another muse besides Erato and failing, I failed and gave up to get some help in the SE. The &lit didn’t help either. However I was another ATARI so all in vain.

  23. Interrupted by a long phone call so no time. I thought it was fairly straightforward, though requiring some dogged work piecing together the components, but now see I had 5d wrong as ATARI (I was an Amiga boy myself). Another example of “if you can’t parse it, it’s probably wrong”. Not sure I would have got ABACI even if I had gone back to it. So a DNF for me.

  24. Yet another ATARI here which came to mind because I had one, and assumed I was missing the point on the parsing. Also defeated by OBTAIN and NIP, putting in ABOARD and DIP in desperation, fairly sure something was amiss.
    No time for this as the decorators are with us, and the solve was very stop/go. Pretty sure it would have been approaching an hour however. I found this one tough so no YIPPEE from me, even if it was my COD.

  25. 25:51 this afternoon. Another fitful solve, with some headscratching/MERs at my proposed answers to several clues. Maybe it was just a wavelength thing, but I found this puzzle mildly annoying!
    FOI (and COD) 9 ac “Ethiopia” – an original (?) surface and satisfying to crack. Then a slow process around the grid to finish (like many others) in the NW corner. Should have solved 1 ac “obtain” (a good clue) quicker but, for whatever reason, couldn’t convince myself for ages that the answer to 4 d was “nip”.
    Thanks to George for a most helpful blog and to setter

  26. Pleased to complete about two thirds of this puzzle before looking at the blog for help with the rest – many thanks. My results are highly variable: some days I get all the answers bar a couple; other days I may only get a couple! New to me was ‘cab’ for ‘hack’, still unsure why NIP = ‘pop’ and NHO LEY, otherwise all seemed to make sense. Pleased to get OILCLOTH and RECONNOITRE. Enjoyed AIRBRUSH. Many thanks all.

  27. I do not understand STONE. It seems as though half of the clue is missing. Is this what is described as an &lit?

  28. Fabulous puzzle, but DNF for me

    For 20A I had STOP which really screwed me up on that corner

  29. Took an age to get a foothold then a steady solve. OBTAIN and NIP also my last two and another ATARI sadly. I got reconnoitre from NO-I-T but came here for the parsing of BOTTOMS UP. Thanks glh

    1. ‘British’ is very commonly used as shorthand for the UK. British Prime Minister, British foreign policy, etc. This usage is in Collins and no doubt other dictionaries.

  30. Filled in YESTERYEAR, didn’t understand “barrel”=“tear” at the time, but do now. Otherwise all pretty straightforward. 32 minutes all told.

  31. Definitely off the pace today with a tortuous 39’59” and LOI OBTAIN. I stupidly wrote AIRDRIER for 5ac thinking it was some sort of modern arty tool. Slowed me way down – even contemplated ELAND as modest snack! I’m sure I’d be a bit quicker if I bothered to get up and find a pen and paper for the anagrams like 12 d. Spent too long looking for a part of the cricket field known as the something TRAP – a place where sloggers get caught out near the boundary. But much enjoyed, some very clever clueing – thanks to all.

  32. A long run of solving for me
    Just came to an end…Atari!!!
    I’m as slow as a snail
    But it’s rare that I fail
    Today there’s no final YIPPEE 🙁

  33. Wot uvvers ave said, but lots of MERs at definitions like pop, hack, case. Not recognising the anagrists at 1a ( brawl?/ pushed around?) really held me up. Enjoyed AFAR and AIRBRUSH, but too many misdirections for this some-time solver!

Comments are closed.