Times 28432 – hopefully nothing too 20

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Time taken: 8:54.  There are some slick times amongst the early solvers, so I may have made a bit of a meal of this. I probably should have trusted my first instincts on 12 across which I didn’t fill in confidently until a second pass of the clues.

Some of the wordplay is tricky to unravel, so hopefully I can get everything explained here. How did you do?

1 Female succeeding yours truly in superior grade (8)
CLASSIFY – F(female) after I(yours truly) inside CLASSY(superior)
5 Layers separated by right tool (6)
PLIERS – PLIES(plural of ply, layers) containing R(right)
9 Radio operator suspended, unable to function (9)
HAMSTRUNG – a radio HAM then STRUNG(suspended)
11 Managed under cover? (5)
COPED – double definition, the second a little cryptic referring to wearing a cope
12 Recoil once from bloody Eastender’s dog (7)
REDOUND – RED(bloody), ‘OUND(Eastender’s version of HOUND, dog)
13 Smallest of small cars failing to start during trial (7)
TINIEST – MINI(of small cars) missing the first letter inside TEST(trial)
14 Inevitable consequences of article in prominent feature on war? (5,8)
CHAIN REACTION – A(article) inside CHIN, then RE(on), ACTION(war)
16 Delay batting, worried by master players bagging runs (13)
PROCRASTINATE – IN(batting) and ATE(worried) next to PRO(master), CAST(players) containing R(runs)
20 Secret remedy for alumnus? (7)
OBSCURE – the remedy for an alumnus could be an OB’S CURE
21 Order extremely tough fibre for carpets, perhaps (7)
THISTLE – external letters in TougH, then ISTLE(fibre for carpets)
23 Weapon provided in low joint, mainly (5)
KNIFE – IF(provided) inside KNEE(low joint) missing the last letter
24 It’s mixed with sealant to make bait (9)
TANTALISE – anagram of IT and SEALANT
25 Other people adopting one’s beliefs (6)
THEISM – THEM(other people) containing I’S(one’s)
26 Correspondent shot casualty in US (8)
REPORTER – REPORT(shot) and ER(casualty in the USA)
1 Firm Republican guarded by ardent squad (6)
COHORT – CO(firm), then R(Republican) inside HOT(ardent)
2 In a way, the speaker’s prepared for conflict (5)
ARMED – A, RD(way) containing ME(the speaker)
3 Citrus fruit essential when climbing (7)
SATSUMA – A MUST(essential), AS(when) all reversed
4 One often used bombs after Franco originally settled in (5,4,4)
FOUND ONES FEET – anagram of ONE,OFTEN,USED after the first letter in Franco
6 Leading pair of lawyers venerated, though losing first brief (7)
LACONIC – first two letters in LAwyers, then ICONIC(venerated) minus the first letter
7 Former VIP let out European obscenity (9)
EXPLETIVE – EX(former) then an anagram of VIP,LET, followed by E(European)
8 Composing mission for Kentish marriage bureau? (8)
SEDATING – the mission for the Kentish marriage bureau could be SE DATING. Composing here meaning giving composure
10 Model changes diet to complete assignment (2,3,8)
14 Lively exchange of views annoyed cashier (9)
CROSSFIRE – CROSS(annoyed), FIRE(cashier)
15 Wheel originally steering powered missile (8)
SPROCKET – first letters of Steering and Powered, then ROCKET(missile)
17 Talk of people supporting IT equipment (7)
ROUTERS – sounds like ROOTERS(people supporting)
18 A twerp at Oval initially on edge when scoring (7)
AGITATO – A GIT(twerp), AT, and the first letter of Oval. Referring to the musical instruction
19 Change course, taking in Tyneside show (6)
VENEER – VEER(change course) containing NE(Tyneside)
22 Misrepresent women’s groups in Times (5)
TWIST – WIS(women’s groups) inside T and T(times)

57 comments on “Times 28432 – hopefully nothing too 20”

  1. It was pleasing to see that the layers weren’t hens this time around, and there were some nice surfaces, too. I was glad the cluing was precise since I found a lot of the definitions a bit tangential to my thinking. Thx gh

  2. Early solve, at about 45 mins, but with one DNF, AGITATO. Figured it might be an unknown musical term, so went with ANIMATO, which seems plausible for “on edge”, with Nim short for nincompoop.

    Didn’t really understand veneer=show.


  3. As per George, some slick surfaces. I liked ‘model changes diet to’ and ‘one often used bombs’

  4. Easiest one of the week, only slight pauses for PLIERS and ROUTERS, which is completely wrong for mine. Supporters = rooters is US-only usage, I thought; while in US as well as here the first syllable of the IT equipment is pronounced like rout, not root, as vinyl1 says. Also toyed with animato before seeing the git, and didn’t really understand veneer = show as per Merlin.
    Still an excellent and enjoyable puzzle, COD to the model changing his/her diet. Just ahead of the VIP’s European obscenity – Italian is the best language to swear in, so I often do.

  5. 31 minutes with dithering over the unknown but obvious REDOUND causing me to miss my half-hour target by a whisker. Other than that this was straightforward. My ISP and many others no longer supply routers having switched to calling them hubs. Back in the day they were called modems.

    1. A modem is different from a router. I have a modem from my ISP (the newer ones no longer make the old sign-up sound, which I get nostalgic when I hear) to connect to the Internet and a router to send it to the various devices on my home network.

      1. Ah, that must be the box with the flashing lights that was screwed to my study wall when I signed up to fibre-optic broadband. My router (now called a hub) plugs into that. Thanks for the clarification.

  6. Didn’t like this one at all – a combination, I think, of being off the wavelength and several unknowns – REDOUND, ISTLE, that meaning of “cashier”. Also failed to parse ROUTERS …at the end I was pleasantly surprised to get a thumbs-up in 35:53. Thanks G and setter.

    1. On the contrary I quite enjoyed this one. I’m a fan of compact clueing a la Dean Mayer.

    2. Am with you there, Denise, except for the fact I did not finish by a long chalk! Definitions were far too well OBSCUREd for my early-morning brain, and I had to cheat on 1and 5a just to get a foothold in the NW and NE. NHO REDOUND or THISTLE as an order, and PROCRASTINATE was too complex for me to unravel.
      Ho Hum…tomorrow is another day ( how profound!)

  7. 36 mins. A number parsed post solve and a couple unparsed which have been clearly explained by our blogger.

    FOI FOUND ONES FEET (I liked the anag), LOI REPORTER which, for some odd reason held me up for a minute or two. I saw COPED from the roofing term.

    I liked SPROCKET and HAMSTRUNG, as I often am!

    Thanks g and setter.

  8. Glad I’ve seen “istle” (which is not pronounced how I expected it to be) fairly recently (was it here or the Grauniad?), and also that VENEER sprang to mind so quickly. I still took 25 minutes for this, which I think reflects my tiredness this morning rather than any great difficulty. I did, for example, fail to get 14a first time around because I was trying to fit CHIAN at the end, where I had a C, and I and an N, rather than putting CHAIN at the beginning. D’oh.

  9. No problems here. I work in computer aided design where we have something called “place and route” and in UK I would say “root” but in US it is “rout”. No idea about other countries, but I’m completely bilingual on that word. My temptation was to try and put MOUSE in for the first letters but that didn’t work. I would have taken longer on THISTLE except we had ISTLE just recently as something to do with carpets.

  10. 27 minutes with LOI SEDATING. COD to PROCRASTINATE. I eventually went for AGITATO having toyed with an invented ANITATO. A GIT is also unpleasant, a twerp frequently not. (My third novel is out today. If anyone wants details, please DM me. Not that I know how and if you can!)

    1. I’ve just remembered that my mother used to say to my father « don’t be AGITATO » when he was a bit on edge!

  11. ‘Tis we who, lost in stormy visions, keep
    With phantoms an unprofitable strife,
    And in mad trance, strike with our spirit’s Knife
    Invulnerable nothing.

    25 mins pre-brekker. I liked Procrastinate, but several of the synonyms had my eyebrow twitching.
    Thanks setter and G.

  12. 11:02. I found some of this quite tricky. My last in was REPORTER, where the rather obvious wordplay took me ages to spot, so perhaps I’m just a bit slow this morning.
    I didn’t understand PLIERS. I don’t think I’ve ever seen ‘ply’ in the plural: loo roll is never labelled as ‘3 plies’.
    In my experience ROUTERS is, more often than not, pronounced with ‘out’ as the initial vowel even in the UK, which has always struck me as odd.

    1. If you invested in a 3-ply loo roll you’d be disappointed if you found it had only two plies.

    2. In replie to your comment, I remember that once, when I was doing some home carpentry, I used 3-ply hardwood. Also if sheet =layer, the naval expression »three sheets to the wind » could suggest «3 plies to the wind » No criticism implied, of course.

      1. I’m not questioning the meaning, just observing that it’s rarely seen in the plural, which caught me out. To take jackkt’s example, I don’t think anyone would ever say ‘it only had two plies’: they would say ‘it was only 2-ply’. I know nothing about DIY but I would expect the same is true of plywood: people talk about 3-ply wood but probably don’t often say ‘this wood has 2 plies’.
        The sheets in the expression ‘three sheets to the wind’ are ropes attached to sails, so layers don’t really come into it.

        1. Some nice surfaces to TANTALISE
          And nowt too OBSCURE (for the wise)
          Wordsmithing is better
          From a Times crossword setter
          How cryptic the trade that one plies!

    3. The plural “plies” is commonly used in the tyre industry. If you look at the sidewall of a car tyre, you’ll see a small text box showing the number of plies, ie layers of reinforcement, in the sidewall and in the crown.

      Jim R

  13. 28 minutes, held up by being unsure about the plies in PLIERS. Didn’t know REDOUND but the cluing was generous. Steady enough otherwise.

    FOI Twist
    LOI Pliers
    COD Tantalise

  14. At 26 mins this was the easiest (for me) for a few days
    LOI pliers as I didn’t click it was a plural of ply
    Interesting conversation about routers This piece of kit directs (or routes) data

  15. 25:42
    Not to difficut apart from the last two, SPROCKET & PROCRASTINATE. Sound like a Dickensian legal firm.

    Witty cluing throughout, particularly FOUND ONES FEET, made this good fun.

    Thaks to George and the setter.

  16. I spent a lot of my working life installing ROUTERS, so was familiar with both pronunciations. Even so, that was my LOI. ARMED got me started. HAMSTRUNG, FOUND ONES FEET and GO THE DISTANCE quickly followed and provided lots of help for the rest of the puzzle. The SE filled up first, but I PROCRASTINATEd over the SW. 22:17. Thanks setter and George.

  17. I thought I’d completed everything correctly in a quick time of 25.13, until discovering that it wasn’t ANITATO. I’m especially annoyed with myself as I’d worked out it was a musical term, and I’ve come across AGITATO before. I’ve also seen the word REDOUND before, even though it’s rarely used.

  18. Gave up after 10 minutes without PROCRASTINATE and ROUTERS, and being unable to parse REPORTER.

  19. 21:19

    Nowt too difficult here – just the unknown REDOUND but even that was more than lavishly clued.

  20. I found this tough. NHO ‘istle’, which made everything in the SE corner hard. Finally unlocked by AGITATO, but not before lots of head scratching. SPROCKET and CROSSFIRE also took way longer than they should have. Completed, but in a less than dazzling time of 52 mins.

  21. I thought I was heading for a time 0f under 20 minutes after some quick solves in the top half. I found some in the bottom half trickier, especially 16a (which I thought began with IN) and the crossing SPROCKET. I also took some time sorting out the anagram fodder for TANTALISE.
    A bit over 29 minutes eventually.

  22. About 45 min, with CROSSFIRE being main holdup, not being able to recall required meaning of ‘cashier’. Knew both sorts of ROUTERS – to rhyme with ‘brow’ as a machine tool, and with ‘boot’ as a switch, the first half of my engineering career having been in hardware and the latter one software.

  23. 40 mins with a lot of naps interspersed after an arduous round of golf. No, I didn’t get the PLIES either, and that was my LOI. Quite a few, like PROCRASTINATE, we’re biffable when a couple of helping letters came in. All in all, a well constructed puzzle.

  24. A DNF for me as l had other things on my schedule, such as proof reading the concluding article of six on ‘Knutsford Park’, for the BCPJ in America. Where….?

    (LOI) 5ac PLIERS!! Innit!?
    COD 19dn VENEER

    At 23ac Like Lord Vinyl, l was hoping for a rifle, but settled on a KNIFE instead.

  25. Some chewy bits and some classy clues.
    FOI 9a
    LOI 18d
    14a and 17d – clever.
    I didn’t parse everything so thank you to blogger. The SE corner was a challenge , NHO istle and got mired in gybes and tacks for 19d until PDM.

    Note to self (again) that scoring pertains to music as well as sport.
    My father was an engineer so I’d heard of a sprocket but always thought it was something the Pythons would have included in a sketch.

    If I hadn’t spent most of the day on the 15×15 and listening to T20 ( congratulations to Zimbabwe) my house would be clean and tidy…

    Thanks again to blogger, setter and contributors.

  26. My downfalls were Procrastinate and Routers, where aids were required. Annoying as they were actually straightforward. Some consolation to find that other people were similarly affected. Enjoyed Classify and Sedating, certainly not the answers I expected to end up with when I first looked at them. An enjoyable crossword though, thanks setter and blogger.

  27. After two DNFs in a row, one by a country mile, I was glad to get through this at all, and normally I wouldn’t crow about 52 minutes, but it’s not been a normal week. I enjoyed most of this, but I didn’t parse ROUTERS and SATSUMA, my LOI, took an age to reveal itself. CHAIN REACTION and PROCRASTINATE took some work as well, but both yielded a smile once I’d seen what was going on. Thanks to our blogger for explaining the IT homophone and to the setter for the entertainment. Friday tomorrow, and, on current form, the smart money for Yours Truly must be on a two and three week, as American sports fans would have it. Though, on reflection, perhaps they’d say Very Truly Yours*.

    * Many years ago, I worked for a firm which was headquartered in and very centrally managed from Chicago. We used to receive from HQ standard letters which we were supposed to send to all clients or specific groups of clients, often with addenda attached from UK management asking us to change American spellings to British English and so on. One such, I recall, requested that we change the complimentary close from ‘Always with pleasure at your service, we remain, dear Sirs, Very truly yours’ to ‘Yours faithfully’. Let’s just say our typists were very happy to comply.

  28. A leisurely lunchtime solve, after discovering to my relief that this was the easiest offering since last week. I’d vaguely heard of REDOUND, so went with the clueing, which was fair. 19d had to wait for checkers, since my first thought was for Veer, but I wasn’t too happy about Show = VENEER, but subsequently thought of a Show/VENEER of sophistication. The main lesson of today seems to be ‘trust the clueing’, as many were solved from that alone.

  29. 09:33, nothing hugely difficult but including a distinct hold-up as I tried to work out how PLIES worked. That use as a plural didn’t really register with me, and for some time I was wondering whether it had something to do with ballet (as always, the discussion here is enlightening, but obviously too late to help me until after I’d puzzled it out).

  30. 10:41 early this evening. After a slow start, I was able fortunately to pick up a bit of momentum.
    Wasn’t sure about 12 ac “redound” but I trusted the cryptic elements.
    Entered 5 ac “pliers” with a bit of a shrug, justifying the answer by convincing myself that cross-ply tyres consisted of plies that crossed.
    LOI 25 ac “reporter” which I had almost completely forgotten about, tucked away at the foot of the puzzle.
    COD 4 d “Find Ones Feet”.
    Thanks to George and setter

  31. Did it this morning, been busy since. 18 minutes no problems except veneer for show MER. Router and rooter are homophones for me.

  32. Took an age to get a foothold with a few scattered answers but then filled in the rest of the grid fairly steadily. I came within a gnat’s whisker of giving up on 8d but then saw the wp, if a bit surprised by the definition. Sadly I was another ANITATO.
    VENEER put me in mind of Dickens’s Mr and Mrs Veneering of Our Mutual Friend. All show indeed.

    Thanks setter and blogger

  33. All correct eventually, but I had to check the meaning of PLIES as layers, and initially put ANITATO at 18.
    I liked 14, 16 and 10, and they helped me make progress.
    LOI was REPORTER- seems obvious in retrospect!

  34. Didn’t know AGITATO or REDOUND but they both seemed perfectly reasonable. Wish I’d paid more attention when I got stuck on “casualty in the US” recently. I guess we’re going to see it more since Liz passed away.

  35. DNF in a little over 14 mins. Bah! This was a pretty smooth solve for me, although pliers gave pause for thought. Managed to shoot myself in the foot though with a typo at kkife.

  36. 43 minutes but I used electronic aids for my last two (ROUTER and REPORTER) as I had to go out. Probably would have got them eventually, but who knows how long?

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