Times 28426 – entertainment through the ages

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Time taken:  7:14, and with a sigh of relief that the answers that I put in based on wordplay turned out to be correct.  There are not many early times in, but it doesn’t seem to be too difficult.

I did enjoy some of the varied references, and I hope I have sorted out all of the clues – how did you do?

1 Feline from many centuries ago found in sailing vessel (6)
BOBCAT –  BC(many centuries ago) inside BOAT(sailing vessel)
4 City prosecutor’s conclusion ignored by different tribunals (8)
ISTANBUL – remove the last letter of prosecutoR from TRIBUNALS and form an anagram
10 Formerly in agreement with herb given orally (2,3,4)
AT ONE TIME – AT ONE(in agreement with), then sounds like THYME(herb)
11 For example, Iron Maiden and others (5)
METAL – M(maiden over in cricket), ET AL(and others). Fun clue referencing the band known for Run To The Hills
12 Conference VIP in A&E, perhaps, with weapon wrapped around sides of knee (7,7)
KEYNOTE SPEAKER – A can be a KEY of music and E could be a musical NOTE, then SPEAR(weapon) surrounding the external letters in KneE
14 European following daughter inside Dog & Duck (5)
DODGE – E(European) after D(daughter) inside DOG
16 Attractive to dismiss Democrat likely to get votes (9)
ELECTABLE – DELECTABLE(attractive) minus D(Democrat)
18 App store’s new ID (1-8)
20 Right next to river in the countryside (5)
RURAL – R(right) and the URAL river
21 Readers insult a terrible book (8,6)
TREASURE ISLAND – anagram of READERS,INSULT,A. Another fun clue, though I don’t think the book is that terrible.
25 Clear clue uncovered by detectives (5)
LUCID – interior letters of cLUe and CID(detectives)
26 Get on top of a series — it’s going downhill fast! (6,3)
CRESTA RUN – CREST(get on top of), A, RUN(series).  Put this in from wordplay, it is a Swiss toboggan track
27 Cheapskate eats no meat at first — Bombay duck for instance (8)
MISNOMER – MISER(cheapskate) containing NO and the first letter of Meat. Reference to the duck that is really a fish.
28 Mind drinking a fine wine served in this? (6)
CARAFE – CARE(mind) containing A, F(fine)
1 Show organ pierced by bit of anti-aircraft fire? (10)
BLACKADDER – BLADDER(organ) containing ACK(bit of anti-aircraft fire). I loved this Rowan Atkinson show when I was in high school.
2 Lad goes round Australia having plenty of drinks (5)
BOOZY – BOY(lad) surrounding OZ(Australia)
3 Sea creature — clownfish — seen in an estuary’s mouth (7)
ANEMONE – the clownfish is the Disney character NEMO, inside AN, and the first letter of Estuary
5 Expensive marinade (5)
STEEP – double definition
6 Colonial soldier‘s surprised reaction interrupting a tirade? (4,3)
ARMY ANT – MY(surprised reaction) inside A, RANT(tirade)
7 Bishop, say, with difficulty picked up plant (9)
BUTTERBUR – B(bishop), UTTER(say) and RUB(difficulty) reversed. Got this from wordplay.
8 Expression of amusement heard in lounge (4)
LOLL – sounds like LOL(expression of amusement)
9 Slender Zulus separately infiltrating drunken soiree (4,4)
SIZE ZERO – two Z’s(zulus) inside an anagram of SOIREE
13 Gut-wrenching performance? (5,5)
BELLY DANCE – cryptic definition
15 Almost tie with three Olympians in speed events (4,5)
DRAG RACES – DRAW(tie) missing the last letter.  The three Olympians are the GRACES
17 Well-regarded magazine finally joins up with editor (8)
ESTEEMED – last letter of magazinE then MEETS(joins) reversed and ED(editor)
19 Two notes for what’s-his-name (2-3-2)
SO-AND-SO – SO and SO are musical notes
20 Old Egyptian city ready to interrupt work schedule (7)
ROSETTA – SET(ready) inside ROTA(work schedule)
22 Article ignored by grubby family member (5)
UNCLE – remove AN(article) from UNCLEAN(grubby)
23 Voice thanks for erecting chambers (5)
ATRIA – AIR(voice) and TA(thanks) all reversed
24 Criticise Wimbledon for example (4)
SLAM – double definition, second referring to the tennis tournament

69 comments on “Times 28426 – entertainment through the ages”

  1. I did not expect to be the first responder! 46 minutes after being held up in the North East quadrant.

    COD 11ac METAL

    Yesterday I listened to a broadcast on the derivations of the Cockney dialect.
    Cockneys have several geographical and cultural centres and many influences.
    John Keats was born within the sound of The bells of St. Mary le Bow Church but did not speak as a Cockney. London is the most linguistically diversified city on the planet with over 250 different languages spoken today!
    ‘Innit?’ is an abbreviation of ‘isn’t it?’. But has been adopted by the Cockneys as a suffix to any question!
    This annoys a lot of folk, but it has a parallel constructional usage only in Punjabi and other Northern Indian tongues. Thus ‘Innit?’ has developed from London’s vast Indian population, whose delightful cuisine is now forever with us ever since ‘Coronation Chicken’ arrived on the scene in 1953.

    “Spurs took a beating last night at Old Trafford, innit!?”

    Mahdi Meldrew

  2. As Meldrew, COD to METAL and LOI BUTTERBUR after a vowel trawl. Usual time and no problems.

    1. I note that BUTTERBUR was so named as its leaves were once used to wrap butter in. Another name is ‘bog rhubarb’!

  3. Fun indeed, and with a couple NHOs worked out from the rules of the game, which is particularly satisfying: BUTTERBUR and (LOI) CRESTA RUN.
    Bombay “Duck” (ha!) has been served here before.
    And I biffed a couple: KEYNOTE SPEAKER, when I had just the P, A and last E; and ESTEEMED.
    RURAL was my first and TREASURE ISLAND my second one in, and my POI was BLACKADDER.

  4. 31 minutes. I really liked this interesting and slightly quirky puzzle.

    My unknown answers which I enjoyed piecing together from wordplay were BUTTERBUR and SIZE ZERO but my biggest problem was not knowing the clownfish reference in the clue at 3dn.

    It was to be my LOI and two possible answers came to mind, ANEMONE and ABELONE (sic). I couldn’t make sense of the wordplay in either case and an anemone is first and foremost a regular flower, and the ‘sea creature’ named after it is called a ‘sea anemone’. My alternative is undoubtedly a sea creature and at that stage I was unaware I had misspelt it with an E in order to fit the second checker. Eventually I went for ANEMONE because at least my unparsed letters (NEMO) formed a word I associated with the sea (it’s the name of the submarine captain created by Jules Verne) and it turned out to be right. The maddening thing is that I have actually seen Finding Nemo.

    1. Jack, at 2dn l was put in mind of Boosey & Hawkes off the Tottenham Court Road: the great London music publishers and musical instrument makers. Our family had so much of their output in the fifties and early sixties. Meldrew

      1. Also known for their sheet music. I used buy a lot there in the sixties and seventies.

  5. I did this over lunch, so no time recorded, but probably just under a half-hour. I assumed that NEMO was the Disney fish; I learned after submitting that the clownfish is also known as the anemone fish; it is a symbiont of anemones, being impervious to their sting. I’m a devout non-texter, and I thought LOL was an initialism not an acronym. Now I’ll know how to pronounce it the next time I don’t use it. LOI SLAM; didn’t know one could refer to one of the Grand Slam tennis tournaments as a slam. I liked METAL.

  6. 38 mins for, as Jack says, what was quite a quirky puzzle. Carelessly bunged in BUTTERCUP early on until RURAL put me right. Then guessed the BUR bit.

    Held up my last two in BLACKADDER and BOBCAT. Clever stuff.

    I liked CRESTA RUN , held annually in St Moritz, and originated by the brits many moons ago.

    Thanks g and setter.

  7. 24 minutes, with no great issues along the way, though it was lucky that I saw the “RUB” of the unknown BUTTERBUR nice and early. Good to see the occasional cultural reference that’s actually on my level, so COD to BLACKADDER!

    1. I knew BUTTERBUR from “The Lord of the Rings”: it’s the name of the innkeeper in Bree.

      1. Same here! I don’t know whether I would have got it otherwise, as RUB did not spring to mind as ‘difficulty’, although I saw it subsequently.

      2. I have read the Lord of the Rings, but only once and about twenty years ago, so I don’t even remember there being a place called Bree, let alone its innkeeper!

        1. Once is too often. I managed about 12 pages in 1965 before concluding that life really is too short.

  8. 22 minutes with LOI ANEMONE finally parsed. COD to SIZE ZERO. I’ve never heard of BUTTERBUR but the crossers and cryptic just about gave it up. Rosetta, are you better? Decent puzzle. Thank you George and setter.

  9. 16:58… but pink squares in ANENOME. I didn’t parse it at the time hence me misspelling it like I always do. Ho-hum. Lovely crossword I thought.

    Today I learned that BUTTERBUR isn’t just a character in Lord of the Rings…

  10. 22 minutes. Not too many hold ups though I had to be careful about the spelling of ANEMONE, for which the wordplay helped. BUTTERBUR was new and helped mainly by crossers. I liked the sporting related clues; who knows, with all the new sports being included, maybe DRAG RACES will be part of the Olympics one day.

  11. 9:54. I enjoyed this. I only parsed the biffed KEYNOTE SPEAKER afterwards. I’m another to whom BUTTERBUR was unknown, but the wordplay was helpful. LOI SLAM wondering, like Kevin, whether it was valid to refer to a component of a tennis Grand Slam one, but I see the dictionary supports it. COD to CARAFE for the surface. Thank-you George and setter.

  12. 9:44. Count me as another who hadn’t heard of BUTTERBUR and wondered how I could shoehorn BUTTERCUP in. I thought CRESTA RUN would be more widely known but perhaps it’s particularly British GK for some reason. It looks terrifying.
    I’m not normally a big fan of cryptic definitions but I did like BELLY DANCE today.

  13. 32:24 starting with a somewhat half-hearted meander, and developing some momentum towards the end with LOI BUTTERBUR. This puzzle lifted my mood, and I was especially pleased to parse DRAG RACES – solving is finally beginning to expand my meagre knowledge of mythology. Thanks G and setter

  14. 47m 14s
    A fun puzzle. Thanks, George, particularly for ANEMONE and DRAG RACES.
    I initially biffed BUTTERCUP but thought better of it.

  15. It is said of Butterbur at the Prancing Pony that he could ‘see through a brick wall in time’ – possibly a description of us solvers.

    Nearly misspelled ANEMONE before remembering the Disney. Liked BOBCAT.

    10′ 44″

    Thanks George and setter.

  16. Pfft, came here all ready to deploy my extensive Barliman Butterbur knowledge, only to find it all already on display …
    Middle-ranking crossword today I thought.

  17. About 15 minutes for me. Had to put CRESTA RUN and BUTTERBUR together from the wordplay, didn’t know the Olympian graces in DRAG RACES, and never parsed KEYNOTE SPEAKER, but otherwise this was straightforward enough.

    FOI Metal
    LOI Cresta run
    COD Boozy

  18. 14:41. BUTTERBUR was today’s unknown plant with the added sparkle of an interesting factoid, courtesy of Mr Medrew.

  19. Fun puzzle, LOL, 21 minutes, with LOI the unknown Butterbur from wordplay. Thanks Meldrew for the various titbits of added knowledge. I was forced to spell ANEMONE correctly, I too often want it to be ANENOME when I pronounce it.

    1. My father used to point out that if you say ‘an enemy hath done this’ you are saying anemone the wrong way. I have since found it very helpful, both for pronunciation and spelling!

  20. Perhaps my general knowledge isn’t good enough but it seems one nearly always has to trust the wordplay for a couple of clues. In this case it was BUTTERBUR, of which I’d never heard, and knowing that Nemo was a clownfish, since I’m fairly ignorant of Finding Nemo and assumed that the Jules Verne character would possily have given his name to a type of fish. Also, I wasn’t all that sure that e-passports were things yet. 29 minutes.

    1. Australia has passports that are still the standard 32-odd page booklet, but with a chip inside them. Coming home you can just wave it on the reader, same as train tickets, and go straight through. Does that qualify as e-passports?

      1. Yes, that’s what they are. The automatic readers are known in the UK at least as ePassport gates.

        1. Back in the old days all over Europe people with European passports could just flash their passports on the way through without being harassled, while us second-class citizens had to queue up to be checked. From memory. Didn’t even need to electronically read a chip, could just walk through? Presumably all of the Schengen zone is still like that? Haven’t been to Europe in more than 10 years.

  21. Around the 40 minute mark, which is not only fast for me but at such a pace (🐌) that I allowed myself to complete it in one sitting. My crosswording pleasure is normally grabbed in breaks between chores.
    LOI ISTANBUL after working out what was being dropped from the anagram

    I liked A&E as KEY NOTE. The last in a long list of possible definitions I went through, but perhaps that’s come up before my time? Ditto METAL after trying Maggie and something with Fe.

    No more excuses. Back to the chores

    Thanks setter and blogger

  22. 38 mins
    Bit of a plodding solve, but watching news and listening to LBC at the same time.
    Thanks, g.

  23. I’m having a fairly BOOZY week, so 2d went straight in. I then rambled hither and thither around the grid making good progress. BUTTERBUR was POI, with fingers crossed for RUB as difficulty. NHO the plant or the LOTR character. BLACKADDER brought up the rear. 15:43. Thanks setter and George.

  24. 9:32. Not very difficult, but enough tricksy bits to require a bit of application. How can I get BUTTERCUP to fit here? Do I know the names of any Egyptian cities with 7 letters? A CAT is a sailing vessel but how does the rest work? That sort of thing.

  25. Apart from BUTTERBUR (referred to above), my unknown, and LOI was ROSETTA! Faced with an old Egyptian city R-S-T-A, I went into panic mode. Helpfully, the clueing convinced me I was looking at ROTA for work schedule, and the O and T could only go in one way. Despite having heard of the Rosetta Stone from early childhood, I had never twigged that it came from a city in Egypt of that name. So all safely completed and parsed in a very decent time, for me, over 2 morning coffees. Felt very much on the wavelength of this particular setter. As Jackkt says, interesting and quirky. Thanks to George and setter.

  26. I’m in the faction that enjoyed this a lot, though it’s hard to pin down why. Quite easy, where I usually prefer more challenging puzzles. Only unknown – like everyone else – was butterbur, but straight in from the cryptic. Didn’t know Rosetta was a city, but the Rosetta stone had to be named for something – never been curious enough to look up what.

  27. 20 mins MER about anemone being a sea creature, esp NHO NEMO in that sense. BUTTERBUR known from my health shop days as a herb to help with headaches and migraines, natural anti inflammatory.

  28. 14’51”. Same observations as above re BUTTERBUR and SLAM. I’d forgotten the innkeeper at Bree. There’s also a Bree character in the Narnia books. Any guesses?

  29. While my completion time is not too shabby, it would have been far better without the unknowns BUTTERBUR and E-PASSPORT, the clownfish of whom I know nothing, and having to finally biff my LOI which I never came close to parsing.

    TIME 10:51

  30. 30 mins but held on 1d and 14a
    I didn’t see the obvious dog and was looking for other synonyms!!

  31. Pleased to winkle out another solve, at about 70 mins, with a long break to finish off, with LOI BLACKADDER. Good to see newer vocab like NEMO and LOL. Bring it on.

    COD MISNOMER, might be a chestnut for some, but very clever.

  32. 22 mins, quick for me. Found this very easy. Only briefly held up by BUTTERBUR, which I knew as the Prancing Pony publican but not as a plant (you learn a lot from crosswords!). Liked LOLL (lol) and MISNOMER.

  33. 07:51, managing not to get too distracted by the cricket (such is the joy of World Cups, that you can find yourself unexpectedly engaged by a match between Namibia and the UAE). Nice mix of traditional crossword elements and the very new, with your E-PASSPORTS and your LOLLing and that.

  34. Well, defeated by 14a Dodge and intersecting 15d Drag Races, DOH! Thought of Drag Races as a poss, but couldn’t parse. Familar with the 3 Graces, but missed it. Stupidly didn’t allow the E(uropean) to come last in the wordplay, and didn’t equate dodge and duck. Why not?
    Remember Butterbur in Bree, (but didn’t connect with any plants,) partly ‘cos I live in Brill. JRR T used to visit the Pheasant here when he wasn’t in the Eagle & Child in Oxford. Bree is “supposed” to be be based on Brill. Buttercup wouldn’t parse and finally entered Bur with a shrug. Was hoping Astro-nowt would say something rude about plants.
    Many write-ins but still overall I struggled. Prob should have run thru the easy ones as a first step.
    Knew of the Cresta Run as I asked Dad where the name came from when he bought an old PA Cresta, later traded to me. Remains linked in my mind with the roughly contemporary Cortina.

  35. 25:11

    Decently paced, but held up for some minutes by DODGE, BLACKADDER, SLAM, MISNOMER.

    Got SLAM and then its partner followed eventually by DODGE – had already spotted the ACK, before the organ finally hoved into view.

  36. 24.53. Engaging puzzle. Had to think hard to dredge up the Olympian trio in order to work out drag races. Also had a lot of trouble with the crossing bobcat and Blackadder in the NW.

  37. Really thought I would have a DNF after a good start . (pride goes etc…. ) . The NW corner was tricky… I had ‘flak’ for anti- aircraft fire before PDM. I think that the bladder is rare for a crossword organ .. but I got over the line.
    I was challenged by thinking about ‘teemed’ as joins in 17d but as usual hadn’t read the question ( sorry, clue).
    I don’t think ( forgive me if I’m wrong ) anyone has commented on ‘loll’. My mother used to chastise my brother for ‘lolling’ – it seemed to mean being lazy on the sofa.
    I liked 24d and 27ac and I need to remember that Olympians are Graces..
    Agree with Topical Tim, I enjoyed Namibia v UAE , cricket commentary is ‘like honey dripping into one’s ears’ ( quote from good friend).
    I always feel I have imposter syndrome in this erudite place, but thank you as always to setter and blogger.

  38. I didn’t see the rub and put in butterbar as LOI. Kicking myself now of course especially because I did the rest quickly, for me.

  39. A quickish (for me) 20 mins plus change today, with NHO BUTTERBUR being my LOI. Not sure about BELLY DANCE being a gut-wrenching performance, certainly not as performed by the lady-friend of my youth in her youth, but time has passed and I doubt she still performs. Not for me anyway.

  40. If describing musical notes or keys, I’m not sure the ampersand is appropriate. A&E without spacing is clearly a hospital department. It should be A and E, or A & E. There’s still enough misdirection in that to make the surface work.

  41. Bored after finishing the QC, late this evening I tried this and completed with help from aids (to ensure I was not going off the true road). Appreciating it hardly counts, I was surprised by the number of un-aided solves I achieved in 67 minutes. Might dip my toe in the water more often to see if I can up that ratio.

  42. Finished in one sitting, which is unusual for me (and more than I managed with the QC). Thanks for explaining those I’d failed to parse or just didn’t know.

  43. Enjoyed this too – especially as I managed nearly all in one half-hour sitting; but alas stuck to my guns too long on buttercup, making 16a and13d impossible, and NHO CRESTA RUN, SO…otherwise, with a combo of PDMs and biffing, made it past the post.

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