Times 28443 – get your pads on for this one

An interesting crossword, I thought, reminiscent of a Saturday and a nice surprise for a Wednesday. Half an hour to solve it correctly then a few minutes during blogging to see exactly how 15d and 16d parsed. There were a couple of “obscurities” (i.e. things I didn’t know) and three clues involving cricket references, although solving with no cricket-savvy was possible. I particularly liked 1a (Latin but a well known phrase) and 7d for its clever definition with “… on-line courses”.

Definitions underlined in bold, (ABC)* indicating anagram of ABC, anagrinds in italics.

1 Would you mind the setter maybe using Latin? (4,5)
CAVE CANEM – Latin for ‘beware of the dog’, so mind out for the setter.
6 Correct English book, appreciated all round (5)
DEBUG – E, B(ook) inside DUG = appreciated.
9 Backing an opponent of violence, mostly with King in spirit (5)
VODKA – All reversed, A, DOV(E) with K inserted; AKDOV.
10 Queen to take off in pursuit of rear admiral? (9)
BUTTERFLY – BUTT (rear) ER (queen) FLY (take off); a red admiral being a common British species of butterfly.
11 Lexicographer, originally from OU, dispatched entire contents of Chambers? (7)
ROOMFUL –  (L FROM OU)*, the L from front of lexicographer.
12 He painted large bat on house (7)
HOLBEIN – HO (house) L(arge) BE IN (be batting, bat).
13 Twig I replanted to make things even (3,4,3,4)
GET ONES OWN BACK – GET (twig, understand), ONE (I), SOWN BACK (replanted).
17 Historic work coming in awfully handy: not a poem (7,7)
ANTHONY ADVERSE – (HANDY NOT A)*, VERSE = poem. I got this entirely from the wordplay, having never heard of this ‘historic work’ of 1931, a book then a film apparently. Initially I was thinking it must be something a bit more significant than a fairly obscure American novel. A clue for the TLS!
21 Pressure unduly apparent — a mark of democracy? (7)
OVERTAX – pressure as a verb; OVERT = apparent, A, X as in a vote.
23 Having finished twice, given a tip (7)
UPENDED – UP and ENDED both mean finished.
25 Record of Turkish governor visiting in foreign lands (5,4)
ABBEY ROAD – a BEY is a Turkish governor, insert him into ABROAD = in foreign lands. Eleventh and last Beatles studio album released in 1969 before they broke up in 1970.
26 Are becoming bothered primarily by police’s image (5)
BEFIT – B (bothered primarily) E-FIT a police image created digitally from witness memory to try to identify a criminal.
27 All off, presumably, to see old president (5)
NIXON – if you have NIX ON, you have it all off. Tricky Dickie, I remember him well.
28 Excursion with host to see body of church (5,4)
SALLY ARMY – SALLY = excursion, ARMY = host; popular nickname for the Salvation Army.
1 Reporting by journalists of cause of sailing incident in bay? (8)
COVERAGE – well, COVE RAGE could cause an incident, while sailing or otherwise I suppose, in a bay or cove.
2 Film made with fourth edition of dictionary coming up? (5)
VIDEO -all reversed; OED, IV.
3 Winger is kid on edge (9)
CHAFFINCH – CHAFF = kid, tease; INCH = edge, move gradually.
4 Jack has got everyone’s deliveries wrong (2-5)
NO-BALLS – another cricket-related clue; NOB as in “one for his nob” in cribbage, being the jack of the same suit as the card turned face up by the dealer. ALL’S = everyone’s. I played cribbage a lot in my youth. Does jack mean nob in another or wider context?
5 Old taxman visiting Amsterdam at the weekend (7)
MATTHEW – here he is hidden as above. I vaguely remembered he was a tax collector turned apostle.
6 Hang out tops to dry, with exotic lacy lingerie (5)
DWELL – initial letters (tops) as above, no exotic underwear knowledge needed.
7 Here on-line courses, Polish and so on, are cut (6,3)
BUFFET CAR – BUFF = polish, ETC = and so on, AR(E). On-line as in on a train.
8 Country fellow with stories to tell (6)
GUYANA – GUY = fellow, ANA = stories, as often found in crosswords.
14 Volatile situation in Brixton unfolding, journalist recalled (9)
TINDERBOX – in (BRIXTON)* put ED reversed.
15 Disapprove of having very brief word with Yankee? Tough! (6,3)
BOVVER BOY – BOO (disapprove of); insert V (very, brief) VERB = word, add Y for Yankee. It’s a long time since I heard the term, a Cockney term from BOTHER BOY, a thug or anti-social yob.
16 Side with monarch and Scottish banker providing support (8)
HEADSTAY – my NTLOI, having *E*D*T*Y and thinking of the TAY being a Scottish river; then a PDM when I saw that HEADS is the side of a British coin on which the monarch appears. A headstay is the line from bow to mast on a sailing boat, apparently.
18 Harmful refusal by native Americans to swap tips (7)
NOXIOUS – NO (refusal) then SIOUX with the tips swapped to make XIOUS.
19 English castle with a Lord’s single key (7)
ARUNDEL – A, RUN (Lord’s single, another cricket clue) DEL (delete key on keyboard). Very pleasant castle in West Sussex, established in the early 11C and long time seat of the Dukes of Norfolk.
20 Party chief’s territory (6)
DOMAIN – DO (party) MAIN (chief).
22 Don to assess student teacher’s finals with that (3,2)
TRY ON – last letters of student teacher then YON = that.
24 Ruin suit (2,3)
DO FOR – double definition. “That’ll do for me” meaning it will ruin me, “that’ll do for me” meaning I like it, ça va. Strange language, English.



92 comments on “Times 28443 – get your pads on for this one”

  1. Thought this was absolutely brilliant. Too many clever definitions and PDMs to mention, but “side with monarch” stood out. Also buoyed by correctly guessing the Latin spelling (E or U?).

    Saw NO-BALLS immediately but couldn’t justify it without knowing the cribbage term. In the end it had to be.

    Good day for the cricket brigade all round. Would never have heard of ARUNDEL if not for it being the traditional launching spot for Ashes tours. That was back when they had time for such unprofitable niceties of course.

    Many thanks setter, and well blogged Pip.

    1. Well said! But I have long thought the tour opener was played at Worcester. Arundel, though, is a lovely ground. I’ve seen Sussex play there on a couple of occasions.

      1. Tour opener was traditionally against the Duke (or Duchess) of Norfolk’s XI at Arundel. Looks like Australia’s only played there once this century though. A T20 against the PCA Masters, whoever they may be.

  2. 52 minutes. That’ll DO FOR me for a very enjoyable puzzle, though the ‘Side with monarch’ at 16d nearly did DO FOR me at the end, not helped by never having heard of a HEADSTAY, though guessing it had something to do the rigging of a sailing ship. Glad that I remembered just enough about Latin declensions and cases to avoid the U for E trap for CAVE CANEM. I know zilch about ANTHONY ADVERSE but maybe Guy will have something to say about it being described as “a fairly obscure American novel”.

    My comments about 19d mirror those of galspray; the Australians probably disembarked from the ship at Southhampton (none of this flying to Heathrow then) and went straight to ARUNDEL.

    1. My mate has some wonderful footage of the Australians arriving at Heathrow for the 1981 tour. He was a member of that squad and tasked himself with documenting Rod Marsh’s attempt at Doug Walters’ Sydney to London beer-drinking record.

      The highlight of the video (never to be released) is a semi-conscious Marsh being wheeled through Heathrow on a luggage trolley. Try getting away with that in 2022.

      1. Did Boon break the record? Always associate him with beer – my brother-in-law had the Boony VB doll which sat on top of the TV and every so often during the cricket commentary would make a (barely-)humorous beer-related comment.

      2. Great story. No smart phones with their cameras around then. Maybe Rod Marsh (RIP) was still feeling the after-effects at the time of the Headingley test!

  3. Another vote for “Brilliant!” But bloody hell, that was hard to finish, mostly due to the things I didn’t know (i.e. the obscurities) and the well hidden wordplay: side with monarch, bat, run at Lords etc.
    LOI headstay, COD Abbey Road.

  4. DNF. It’s been a while since I had a proper aberration but I managed it today with VODRA, which I thought might be some sort of spirit as in an incorporeal being. Dear, oh dear.

    1. I was about to put in VEDRA, the spirit from which the adjectival VEDIC is derived, but wasn’t sure if Ohio band DEVO were particularly anit-war. Fortunately sanity prevailed.

      1. VEDA appeared in one of the clues on Only Connect last night. Maybe that subconsciously influenced my thinking.

  5. I agree with those who have praised this puzzle to the skies. It had a different sort of feel about it and was full of ‘penny-drop’ surprises. So many everyday answers that needed to be constructed carefully from clever wordplay and others where the answer may have been apparent almost immediately but the wordplay took time and trouble to make sense of. One example of this being HOLBEIN at 12ac which had to be the answer but could BEIN really be a type of bat? Surely not!

    Elsewhere it was fortunate that I knew of one of the very few obscurities, ANTHONY ADVERSE, but only as the title of a film I have never seen and had no idea what it was about.

    BOVVER BOY took some parsing. Can we look forward to ‘bovver boots’ now, I wonder?

    My solving time was a few minutes under an hour but I enjoyed every moment.

  6. 36m 39s
    Along with several other commenters, I really enjoyed this puzzle.
    Thanks, Pip, for GET ONES OWN BACK and HOLBEIN.
    I didn’t know the shortened version -‘SALLY ARMY’ – was in the dictionary.
    5d MATTHEW reminds me of my second favourite painting: “The Calling of St Matthew” by Caravaggio.
    I’ve been fortunate enough to see it in situ in Rome twice.
    So many clever clues and solutions but top marks to CAVE CANEM and VIDEO.

        1. 🤣🤣🤣 Thank you, Jerry, for giving me such a good laugh on this bright, sunny NZ morning!
          My avatar is indeed a painting of my Miniature Poodle, Bianca, and is hung on the wall behind my desk.

      1. Another Caravaggio: the version of “Supper at Emmaus” which is in the National Gallery.

  7. 56 solid minutes, though I didn’t help myself by writing in CHAFFINCE at 3d, which left me struggling at the end with the completely unknown ANTHONY ADVERSE until I convinced myself that it had to be an anagram of some kind and that I might’ve got something wrong. Not knowing HEADSTAY didn’t help, either. Happily I at least saw NO BALLS fairly quickly despite not knowing what “nob” had to do with “jack”. Enjoyed the BUFFET CAR and DEBUG, which I should’ve got rather more quickly, being a programmer…

  8. You’ll probably think I’m a grinch
    This crossword was but an inch
    From being a great
    But the the birds that I hate
    Appeared in the form of CHAFFINCH

  9. Knocked off-balance at the outset when I got CAVE CANEM right away. ..after regaining my composure, made steady progress through this until getting snarled right at the end. Ran out of time without solving the unknown HEADSTAY – couldn’t figure what letter could possibly go in the ending D-TAY, I guess I should have alpha-trawled that.

    Anyway, I found this super-enjoyable puzzle, loved the surfaces – but 39m fail, last four or five on the final unsolved clue. Thanks P and …er… setter.

  10. P.S. Can anyone explain why my picture isn’t showing. I’m logged in and it’s there in my profile?

    1. When My pic disappeared I relogged-in from the option at the top of the page and it worked! Occasionally I still get logged out but, again, re log from the top and all is well. Hope this helps.

    1. I think there’s a logic to it but it has escaped me now. Johninterred may have the answer if he’s around.

  11. Wow! I must join in the chorus of praise.
    Very nice distraction from the election returns… which were also a distraction from this—or I might have finished sooner. But can’t be sure!
    I essentially worked the SE, then the NW, then the NE and then the SE. I had never heard of ANTHONY ADVERSE, so that came very late. LOI was BEFIT. And then it still took a while to see how that worked.

  12. 30:50
    Yes, this was quality. NHO Anthony Adverse, but it had to be that, didn’t it? LOI was headstay; took me 5 mins to see heads as in the coin.
    Thanks, pip.

  13. 46 minutes finishing with the unknown HEADSTAY. Lots of great clues, requiring semi-biffs with my knowledge at best partial. I had heard of ANTHONY ADVERSE but I’d have put it as a worthy Victorian novel if asked. I can’t give COD to a Latin expression, and my dogs have been friendly, or a Beatles album when I didn’t know the governor, so let’s give it to tricky Dicky NIXON. Thank you Pip and setter.

    1. Except for the fact it’s one character too many, I considered ANTHONY ABSOLUTE, the Sheridan character.

  14. Well, I seem to be alone in finding this a real struggle. Over 50 mins. A number of unknowns including the book/film, and HEADSTAY, (LOI). The SE kept me held up for at least twenty mins, not helped by my having bunged in TOUR at the end of 28ac ( TO and then « body » of church =UR). Once I finally saw BEFIT, DO FOR had to be which put paid to the above.

    I did like CAVE CANEM and BUFFET CAR.

    Thanks Pip and setter.

    On édit.I really think that an obscure US film should be called an « historic work » is not on. Canterbury Tales, Venus de Milo, Mona Lisa, yes , but……..

    1. Not alone, Rose, as I took longer than you, but I really enjoyed the ride so I didn’t mind. In fact I was almost sorry when it ended!

  15. Excellent crossword. ‘Would you mind the setter’, ‘bat’, ‘Lord’s single’ and ‘side with monarch’ were particularly fine.

  16. 43 mins for a great puzzle As other solvers have said there were too many very clever clues to mention
    Only negative was 17a which I had to cheat on
    Very obscure book

  17. All the superlatives have been used, 38′ for this excellent challenge.

    Nho heard of the ‘historic work’. HEADSTAY LOI, not fully parsed.

    Many thanks to Pip and setter.

  18. Funny I thought 24D said “run for” and had BE FIT there for a while. Right answer, wrong entry!

  19. 23:20

    Wowsers. Most of what needs to be said has already been said. Very hard but very, very good. It was when I got down to the SW corner with very few lights filled, and encountered the clever “Don to assess”, that I realised a brain reset was needed to progress.

    Like others I almost goofed up on VODKA, had to take a punt on the CANEM / CANUM thing and had never heard of the book.

    1. When I saw your first comment “Wowsers” about such an excellent puzzle, I thought what a puritanical spoilsport, which is what the word means down here (as a colloquialism). I was reassured from your subsequent comments you obviously liked it too, but maybe “wowser” should now qualify as a contronym.

      1. Interesting. I intended it to mean WOW, and then a bit, and a bit of research suggests that Inspector Gadget agrees with me. It also appears that in the singular in NZ, if you spell it with a Z, it can mean “something of great interest or beauty”. I was blissfully unaware of the Oz spoilsport meaning.

  20. 22:10. Very hard, and mostly excellent, but clueing a Latin phrase with a cryptic definition is completely unacceptable and a major blot on the setter’s copybook IMO.

    1. Sorry, I disagree, it’s a well known Latin phrase used in English to mean not only “beware of the dog” but in a more general sense meaning be careful. A bit like caveat emptor / buyer beware! Or ad infinitum, sine die, and so on.

      1. You don’t have to apologise for disagreeing! I suspect the difference here will be between those who learned Latin at school, for whom it’s no doubt familiar (as ‘poser un lapin’ is familiar to me) and those who didn’t.
        PS I did actually know it from somewhere, but I don’t think it’s English. I was also half-expecting a pink square from CANEM rather than CANUM, which would have made me even crosser!

        1. Well, it is Latin, yes. Accusative singular case of canis. If the dog was canus, then the accusative would be canum, but it’s a 3rd declension noun. And 60 years since I did Latin O Level! Sadly, few schools offer Latin these days, but you needed it to get into Oxbridge then. My Latin teacher’s real name was Percy Cushion – truly; you couldn’t make it up.

          1. You’re rather making my point for me! Sadly or not, the fact is that Latin is no longer taught in most schools, and hasn’t been for decades, so the assumption that people will (or ought to) know this stuff is well past its sell-by date. It’s like the old not-at-all missed literary quotation clues.

            1. I like the idea of a novice postman that doesn’t have any Latin approaching a garden gate labelled ‘Cave Canem’.

              One might question why anybody would have such a warning on their gate if only a tiny percentage of passers-by will know what it means. Appreciate that a higher percentage might have known once upon a time, but even then, wouldn’t it be simpler to have the warning in English?

              It might still be in the interests of certain professions to obfuscate by using Latin in their literature. I am very much of the opinion that plain English would lead to simpler documentation and greater understanding….

              1. When my daughter had a baby we gave her a car sticker, bought in Dunquerque, which said “bébé abord.” She loved it .. foreign languages, living or dead, have a cachet (!) sometimes that the bald English lacks

            2. Totally agree! I know no Latin because I went to comprehensive skools. I don’t see why we should be expected to know any Latin to complete a modern English crossword. At the risk of inflaming even more people, I also think I should not be expected to know any French. I happen to have a smattering of behasa Indonesia, but I’m sure that most would complain if one of our setters decided to through well known Indonesian phrases into the mix!!

          2. I didn’t get where I am today by knowing what an accusative singular 3rd declension noun is.

            1. How do you all know that I’m currently working my way through the DVD box set of Reggie Perrin? I’d already noted all the ‘great’ and ‘super’ comments, and now this!

          3. I put ‘canum’. I was not taught Latin, per se, even though I did go to Cambridge, but not till 1976 but which time they had removed that ridiculous requirement. I thought this was a very unfair clue in an English language crossword, witty as it was – I got the joke – in that you either know something obscure in a dead language or have to look it up. Bah!

      2. ‘Cave’ is also known from school slang of a certain era and was still around in my schooldays. Someone would ‘keep cave’ (pronounced ‘cavey’) when a class was left unsupervised, standing at the door or out in the corridor to warn of the approach of a teacher.

    2. And my only error was a misspelling – I went with CANIM – maybe canine was my thinking- so I it spoilt my experience too! Disappointing- I don’t do Latin!

  21. 33 mins Half of that spent in the SE, where particularly UPENDED and HEADSTAY held me up. Loved the HEADS bit when I got it.

  22. 51:01

    1a took a long, long time – needed four checkers to be remotely in the ballpark, but with next to no Latin, had to check on the spelling of CANEM (was tempted with CANUM), so a technical DNF.

    ANTHONY ADVERSE completely unknown and requiring all checkers – I had thought of ANTHONY when I had only the two Ns but didn’t imagine that would lead anywhere.

    BOVVER BOY was very good, as was HEADS…

  23. Struggled with this for 80 minutes then gave up with ANTHONY ADVERSE and HEADSTAY missing. I was never going to get the NHO former as I’d biffed BOTHER BOY at 15d. Thanks setter and Pip.

  24. I agree with everyone who says how good this was. It took me over an hour and by the end I was using aids freely, sometimes unnecessarily (as with VODKA, which I saw easily after being presented with the answer). ANTHONY ADVERSE a major problem, and Chambers doesn’t have HEADSTAY although Collins does, so all I could think of was mainstay.

  25. 28:28, and had to think hard for a great deal of that time. Finished, after a particularly long period of thought, with HEADSTAY, which was like the rest of the puzzle, impenetrable at first, and (once you’d seen the right answer) absolutely clear as day. Nice work.

  26. Very enjoyable, if tough. Reminded me of some of the Sunday Times cryptic tussles. Surely a Dean Mayer creation? 24d would be a typically succinct DM clue.

  27. No time as I had to return to this after several breaks, but it was well over the hour. Worth every minute of it too – clever and scrupulously fair. Great stuff

  28. I am in the camp with Keriothe and M. de Provence. Brilliant but slightly flawed.

    FOI 12ac HOLBEIN

    1ac CAVE CANEM. I did five years of Latin under Jock MacLelland and Albert Wortley. For me it was a loathsome chore (second only to reading Mandarin Chinese!). I think Esperanto might have been far more useful.
    10ac BUTTERFLY was an IKEAN mess! And 17ac ANTHONY ADVERSE somewhat
    obtuse. Meldrew

  29. 59 minutes, and really pleased to finish in under an hour, having got approximately zero answers from first trawl through the clues! Agree with others that this was a great puzzle, with some inventive clueing and many PDMs. A few unknowns for me, but the wordplay was always kind. And cricket based clues are an advantage for me…..

  30. This one well & truly did for me. I gave up after 45 minutes with less than half done, and having looked at the excellent blog I’m sure I’d never have got close. Many brilliant clues have already been mentioned, but I liked 5d as a harder-to-spot-than-usual hidden word.

  31. Agree with all the commets above about how good this puzzle was – nothing unknown in the end, but I was slowed down considerably by trying to work out the wordplay for answers that fit the definitions, e.g. HOLBEIN, GET ONE’S OWN BACK, HEADSTAY. 16:38 in the end, which turned out to be not a bad time overall.

  32. DNF. Oh dear! Some very good stuff as mentioned by other commenters but I got really stuck in the SE, not knowing Anthony Adverse and having to work it out the hard way was tough. In the end I managed to solve all but one clue. Sadly I could not make heads or tails of headstay, it now seems that’s exactly what I should have made of it, the former at least.

  33. Also failed with HEADSTAY although I can see now that it was cleverly clued, unlike 1ac which I hadn’t heard of and didn’t like because it wasn’t really biffable.

  34. Abbreviation PDM mentioned several times in the comments. What is a PDM?

    Also, what is ‘biffable’? If it means ‘guessable’, why is not rendered as ‘guessable’? Just asking!

  35. Just poked my head above the parapet on this fine NZ morning and I’m astonished at the current state of the SNITCH as against my solving time of 36m 39s. I’ve solved similarly ‘very hard’ puzzles before but it’s taken me at least twice as long. Wow! This brilliant puzzle really must have been on my wavelength. Belated thanks to Pip for the blog.
    PS….My first thought was ANTHONY ABSOLUTE, the Sheridan character, until I realised it had one character too many.

  36. Well I learned Latin at school but I didn’t play cricket so not only are classical references ok by me but offer a much needed chance of a more level playing field. CAVE CANEM went straight in but the obscure work/film eluded me. I couldn’t make out the anagram fodder from the trees. Some clever clues indeed. Too clever for me today.

    Thanks setter and blogger

  37. A hard ride, but well worth it. Thanks setter, special thanks to Ed for sourcing it

    Pip – for what it’s worth, in the part of the US I grew up in it was always “his Nibs”. I’d never heard of the Nob variant until one of these puzzles a couple years ago.

  38. Agree with the excellence of this puzzle, with good PDMs and “Aha!” moments – all spoiled for me by my Oz newspaper’s printing of the clue for 13a read over three lines “….to make thing / seven” : by which I interpreted that to refer to 7d, which of course was nonsense! Also got little on the first pass ( not even CAVE CANEM, which I did, vaguely, know – having done Latin at school, and I must add, jolly glad I did!). But picked up on the southern part of the puzzle with NIXON and TRY ON ( very clever “don to assess”) and worked my way up from there . Came to a standstill after 30 mins, with only half done, so had to look up ANTHONY ADVERSE ( knew it from somewhere), DEBUG and COVERAGE to get going again, but couldn’t complete HEADSTAY with the TAY part in place for sure, or SALLY ARMY, where I was looking for a part of a church. CODs to BOVVER BOY, HOLBEIN (couldn’t parse HOGARTH) and DO FOR. Hope we retain this setter.

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