Times 28450 – letting your fingers do the walking

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

I struggled with this one, completed in 18:33.  There’s not a lot of early times in, but most of them are faster than mine, so maybe I was off the wavelength of the setter.

I think I’ve figured out the tricky stuff, hopefully it all makes sense.

How did you do?

1 Wed late, perhaps, this minor titled gentleman? (9)
WEEKNIGHT – WEE(minor), KNIGHT(titled gentleman), referring to the time right now, as this puzzle appeared at 7pm Wednesday my time
6 Sporting event in truth nearly over (2,3)
FA CUP – FACT(truth) minus the last letter, then UP(over). Collins has it with this enumeration, though I don’t think it is pronounced as “far cup” for obvious reasons
9 Hatch fool briefly stuffed with paper (5,2)
DREAM UP – DUPE(fool) missing the last letter containing REAM(paper)
10 I’m going to lift different bits, evidently (7)
CHEERIO – CHEER(lift) and the bits are binary computing ones, I and O
11 See me up from time to time? Yes and no (3)
EMU – alternating letters in sEe Me Up, the whole referring to a bird that cannot fly
12 One might leave City for this international team (11)
COUNTRYSIDE – the international team could be a COUNTRY SIDE
14 Shake after medium’s lost voice (6)
TREBLE – TREMBLE(shake) minus M(medium)
15 One rowing with Yankee somewhere near kitchen (8)
SCULLERY – SCULLER(one rowing), and Y(Yankee)
17 Stop doing that stuff? I can! (4,2,2)
PACK IT IN – PACK(stuff), I, TIN(can)
19 Setter, perhaps childishly dumping 25 gallons in sink (6)
DOGGIE – the answer to 25 across is OWN GOAL, so OG, and G(gallons) inside DIE(sink)
22 Old headgear originally practically any graphic could represent (8,3)
PHRYGIAN CAP – anagram of the first letter of Practically and ANY,GRAPHIC
23 Put on extended promotion (3)
ADD – the promotion is an AD, extend it by another D
25 Blunder that hurts: no good, old boy! (3,4)
OWN GOAL – OW(that hurts), NG(no good), O(old), AL(boy)
27 Don ugly pants — and far from clean? (7)
UNGODLY – anagram of DON,UGLY
28 Unorthodox contracts for a bridge player (5)
NORTH – hidden inside uNORTHodox
29 Brave comic getting applause across the way (9)
WITHSTAND – WIT(comic) and HAND(applause) surrounding ST(the way)
1 With slight advantage, it could be a piece of cake! (5)
WEDGE – W(with), EDGE(slight advantage)
2 Complete case dismissed, both male and female appealing (7)
EXECUTE – remove the external letters from SEXES(both male and female), CUTE(appealing)
3 At the end of term, trade abuse (4-7)
NAME-CALLING – NAME(term) and CALLING(trade)
4 Bomb shelter descended on by US politicians (2,4)
GO PHUT – HUT(shelter) after GOP(Grand Old Party, the US Republicans)
5 Maybe grandfather’s sound bond with family, never with sons (8)
TICKTOCK – STICK(bond) and STOCK(family) both missing S(son). I have only seen this hyphenated, but Collins has it as a single word
6 The price of iron ore eclipsing gold (3)
FEE – FE(iron) then ORE minus OR(gold)
7 Filming hosts prepare food dye (7)
CARMINE – CINE(filming) containing ARM(prepare). I don’t think I’ve seen CINE this way, but Collins confirms it as connected with the making of films
8 Convert to Presley, rocking (9)
13 List of numbers shrinking quietly over time (6,5)
YELLOW PAGES – YELLOW(shrinking), P(quietly), AGES(time). Now that is a blast from the past!
14 Excited platoon up for final advance? (3-2,4)
TOP-UP LOAN – anagram of PLATOON,UP. Unfortunate that UP is in the anagram letters and part of the answer, but I don’t think it can be avoided in the clue
16 Refuse girl pasty (8)
DISALLOW – DI(girl), SALLOW(pasty)
18 Public official is gracious I aver, finally (7)
CORONER – COR(gracious!), ONE(I), and the last letter of aveR
20 Married in August a female relative (7)
GRANDMA – M(married) in GRAND(august), A
21 Clear air, initially cold, above desert (6)
ACQUIT – the first letter of Air, C(cold) and QUIT(desert)
24 Eg WG Grace period reflected the spirit of the Ashes? (5)
DRYAD – WG Grace was a DR(doctor), then DAY(period) reversed. Ash is a tree here, but the clue has lots of cricket
26 With goalless draw maybe hard to sound excited (3)
OOH – the score for a goalless draw would be O-O, then H(hard)

67 comments on “Times 28450 – letting your fingers do the walking”

  1. “Far Cup” – this is how I will now pronounce it, many thanks blogger

    16m, held up at the end by CARMINE and EXECUTE. Still baffled by “both male and female” = sexes. I mean I get it, but I just—ah forget it

    1. No, it isn’t “far cup” as blogger explained. FA is the abbreviation for the Football Association; the F.A. Cup being the oldest national football event in the world.

      1. Fascinating. And do the players emit a FA cough while they wait in the FA queue to receive their FA kit?

  2. I learnt a number of things in this fine crossword: that OGG means 25 gallons, that GRANDMA is a slightly more common female family member than ‘grandam’, that a DRYAD, Naiad or Oread is always sure to slow down Bletchley Park types, especially, dare I say it, of the Australian variety.

    Took me an hour. Tip of the hat to the setter, and thanks to George for sorting out a couple of points.

    1. I liked your joke about OGG for ’25 gallons’ – I wondered the same thing until I bothered trying to make sense of the wordplay. Apparently it is a word though – obsolete Australian and NZ slang for a shilling according to the OED.

      Knowing all those ? Grecian -AD(s) means I’ve done too many crosswords and should get a life.

      1. ‘Knowing all those ? Grecian -AD(s) means I’ve done too many crosswords and should get a life.’

        [Adopting best whiny Queenslander voice] ‘Please explain.’

        1. Maybe I should have been doing something I would remember, like hiking the Appalachian Trail or whatever, rather than recognising the name, but repeatedly forgetting the difference between a DRYAD and a Naiad!

          1. Having served on HMS Naiad I have no difficulty remembering the difference. I’m sure that those that served on HMS Dryad also remember.

              1. Naiad and Dryad were both Leander class frigates named after figures from Greek mythology. I’m not aware of any Oread, but there was a Nereide back in 1797, a 36-gun fifth-rate Sibylle class captured from the French.

      2. Ah, but Greek mythology is a wonderful thing! Sex, incest, violence, murder .. it makes Game of Thrones look like a vicarage tea party. Well worth a read…

  3. Dryad only slowed this Australian slightly – answer was obvious but I struggled with the parsing. Eventually remembered Grace was a doctor, but missed the ash being a tree. It was CARMIINE that did for me – sort of knew it as a colour though not a food dye, and couldn’t solve the cryptic. Some interesting and tricky stuff in there, somehow it had a slightly different feel to the usual. Liked Wed late the most, and CHEERIO.

  4. 45 minutes. CARMINE was my LOI immediately after EXECUTE. I’ve seen DRYAD a few times so it didn’t hold me up, particularly as ‘WG Grace’ always brings “Dr” to mind. I was helped by having seen a similar clue for WEEKNIGHT recently; can’t remember if it was here or elsewhere. Didn’t know what a PHRYGIAN CAP was but the anagram fodder and crossers were helpful.

    Favourites were GO PHUT, TICKTOCK (even if it did look funny without the hyphen) and especially the &littish YELLOW PAGES. If (a) I’m allowed and (b) I don’t muck it up, here is a YouTube link to a YELLOW PAGES Australian ad from 2000. The product being advertised is indeed a “blast from the past”, but the last 3 shouted words have lived on in the Aussie vernacular.

    1. You’ll know what a PHRYGIAN CAP is by 2024, as it is/they are the mascots for the Paris Olympics/Paralympics

  5. Relieved to find I was not alone being off the wavelength for this one. I got as far as the SE corner before finding my first foothold and from there I struggled to work upwards through the grid placing odd answers here and there. Despite it taking me exactly one hour to complete I enjoyed the puzzle and found it quirky and inventive.

  6. I messed up with a careless PHYRIGIAL CAP (there isn’t even an L in the anagrist) and I didn’t know PROSELYTE so I went for PROLETYSE. So two wrong. Everything else went in but I found this much harder than recent crosswords. ACQUIT took too long since I assumed AC was air (it’s often used that way) and I forgot to consider Q when a checker is U, which I do far too often. Very enjoyable though.

    1. If you have no objections, I’ll steal “Consider a Q when the checker is U” for Rotter’s Third Law (attrib. Paul) – see yesterday’s comments for the QC for the First and Second Laws.

  7. 63m 23s
    I thought this was an excellent puzzle with much to enjoy.
    YELLOW PAGES brought back memories of some beautifully observed YP television adverts, especially “J.R. Hartley” and one with a broken down ute in Australia. I wonder if Meldrew has any reflections on those ads?
    15ac: SCULLERY. Almost fooled me in that the clue didn’t refer to a section of an orchestra.

    1. Indeed J. R. Hartley was a bit of a masterpiece. It was written by David Abbott the CD of Abbott Mead Vickers. David was mainly a writer who wrote long copy for press ads. and the script has that same feel. Early Sainsbury’s press was his as were the posters for The Economist. At DDB 1964-71 VW Beetle was David’s forte. I was hired by him in 1970. Meldrew

  8. Beaten by this excellent crossword in my usual 30 minutes. Clever but retaining good surfaces. It felt different.

  9. 34:32. One of those crosswords where I found it really hard, but then on getting each answer thought to myself, “argh, I should have got that much earlier.” Probably the sign of a fab bit of setting. (With a couple of exceptions – I’m not fond of the EMU clue…)

  10. 11:16. I seem to have been on the wavelength for this one, judging by leaderboard and SNITCH. I really liked it: it felt original somehow, and I needed the wordplay for most of the clues. One notable exception was 25ac OWN GOAL, which I solved from 19ac without even looking at the clue.
    I panicked a bit when I realised I had to create something unknown from an anagram for the hat, but there was nowhere else to put the letters. My last in was CARMINE, where CINE from ‘filming’ seemed a bit oblique.

  11. 28′ for this challenging puzzle. PDM eventually for 25 gallons, as I do another newspaper’s puzzle where such cross-referencing is common, but unusual (?) in The Times.
    Didn’t like EMU, though obvious. CHEERIO not fully parsed.
    Once sang something in the PHRYGIAN mode.

    Thanks george and doggie.

  12. 17:58 Nice one. I enjoyed the cleverness, but failed to parse DOGGIE (not spotting it was a cross-reference), EXECUTE and TICKTOCK. LOI WEEKNIGHT. Lots of ticks on my copy, the biggest for CORONER. Thank-you setter for the fun and George for the elucidation.

  13. 35:02

    Some nice clueing here – particularly liked pdm for CHEERIO – parsed after entry. DOGGIE and EXECUTE were good too, once the parsing became clear.

    EMU and NHO GO PHUT though were definitely shrugworthy imho.

    I only knew of PHRYGIAN being one of the modes from music, but guess it had to come from somewhere.

    Thanks George and setter

  14. Having eventually solved the difficult clues, I was mightily miffed to discover I’d been careless with the anagrist at 8d and gone for the verb instead of the noun when I biffed it. PROSELYSE. Drat. 44:13 WOE. Thanks setter and George.

  15. Several words and parsings I found hard. As the time approached the hour I used a list of synonyms for ‘clear’ and got the obvious-enough answer, silly of me not to persevere. I did persevere with the Presley anagram but was thinking the definition was ‘rocking’ and wondered how this was PROSELYTE. Didn’t help myself by entering (with a shrug) eye not EMU for a while, but was eventually presented with E_E_E_E, which I didn’t reckon existed. But it did: exegete, although I’d have had some trouble getting that to work.

  16. Found this hard going, but completed roughly on the hour. LOI WEEKNIGHT, which should of course have been obvious, but even though I knew it ended in ‘knight’ I couldn’t see it for ages. Might have been more obvious if I’d had EXECUTE, but that was also MIA for ages. I thought GO PHUT was a bit crap, but I’m sure somebody will tell me why it’s a brilliant, genius clue that I should have appreciated.

  17. Very tough one for me, eventually completed in over 50 mins. LOI CARMINE, struggled to see how prepare food was arm. Duh it’s a food dye.

  18. Two goes needed, as I took forever to get WEEKNIGHT and EXECUTE (even then, I didn’t work out the ‘exe’ bit of the latter). I didn’t have the faintest idea where the ‘io’ in CHEERIO came from – now that it’s been explained, did the ‘evidently’ need to be in the clue? I also hadn’t heard of a PHRYGIAN CAP, but was helped by being aware of the Phrygian mode, and I didn’t understand any of the DRYAD clue, though with D_Y_D it was the only possible option.

    FOI Fee
    LOI Execute
    COD Top-up loan

  19. Untimed, but over an hour and included a resort to aids for one or two of the trickier bits. Some very nice, if chewy stuff here. Thanks.

  20. Found this tough, though I did know Phrygian cap. After 40 minutes I ground to a halt, with around eight clues to go. I put it aside and went back later, and slowly the remainders fell. Total time was probably an hour, but may have been more as I didn’t time the second session.

  21. 31:49

    Very chewy. About half-way through I was loathing this, but was gradually won around by the off-beat nature of many clues. Hat-tip to George for explaining the DR part of DRYAD. GO PHUT is a new one for me. I’m tempted to use it as an imperative when I get the chance.

    Thanks to George and the setter.

  22. I too found this puzzle “chewy”. It took me over an hour and four solutions were unparsed until much later.

  23. Excellent crossword, enjoyed TICKTOCK, DOGGIE and several others. Like Wil, I had gone for EYE for 11ac (for reasons that weren’t very clear even to me), and sadly unlike Wil I never moved on, so ended up after an hour (my normal white flag time) with 2dn still unsolved & 11ac incorrect. Thanks setter & George.

  24. An early breakthrough with PHRYGIAN CAP (though I’ve no idea where I knew it from) gave me an early foothold here. While the QC appeared to be 3 days late, this tricky beggar was definitely a day early ! Thanks to George for parsing my 3 biffs (DREAM UP, CHEERIO, and DOGGIE).

    TIME 14:01

  25. Mieux vaut tard que jamais ! I started this last night, after a very nice dinner with Paul_from_London and famed solver Jon Delfin, getting PHRYGIAN CAP first of all (the latest edition of Le Canard enchaîné has a front-page story-less banner headline about the just-announced “mascots” of the Paris Olympics, “JO 2024: La mascotte controversée sera produit à 80 % en Chine | Un choix qui phryge le ridicule !”—punning on “borders on ridiculous”)… and then NAME-CALLING and I was well on my way. But… not surprisingly… didn’t finish until much later. LOI CARMINE

  26. 27.56

    Agree lots of interesting and original cluing which I liked (GO PHUT was great)

    But gotta say that EMU was a bit weak and ADD also – my LOI

    So 8/10 for you, Mr Setter. Not bad 🙂

    Thanks George

  27. Lots of lovely gristle, to continue the chewy metaphor. I was all ready to ask if the setter had seen the latest news about Phrygian caps and the Olympics, but I see I’ve been beaten to it — several times! There must be plenty of other examples of ridiculous anthropomorphic mascots, but I can’t think of them right now. 38’43” for me, but it was a puzzle to savour. Many thanks.

  28. A strange one for me today. Delayed in the dentist’s waiting room this morning I stared at this for 45 minutes without solving a clue. After dinner this evening, polished it off in 20 mins, which, for me, is pretty quick. Can’t really see why I should have been so switched off this morning. One issue remains: I spotted the hidden EMU easily enough, but I can’t see how the ‘Yes and no’ fits. Will trawl comments above to see if anyone has explained it. I can’t get it from our blogger’s notes, unfortunately.

    Update: two minutes later and I now get the point. Not as weak a clue as some other posters think, IMO, though it’s unlikely to win Clue of the Year.

  29. I very much enjoyed this, although it took me just over an hour, but I was very pleased to have got everything right, including the many very misleading clues (like DOGGIE). My COD would be WEEKNIGHT, but there were many other superb ones.

  30. NAME CALLING I amloth to do
    But why did you DREAM UP EMU?
    It’s UNGODLY, a sin
    GO PHUT yourself, why don’t you.

  31. For the record:
    FOI 27ac UNGODLY – shades of 10cc!?
    LOI 11ac EMU!?

    Time some 70 mins

  32. Like most posters, thought this an excellent and chewy puzzle ( partly because I fared better than my usual efforts on it!). But started off very slowly, with only FA CUP, PROSELYTE and CHEERIO on first pass. Picked up speed once I’d changed a guessed ????\SELLING for CALLING at 3d, and the PDMs of DOGGIE, OWN GOAL and YELLOW PAGES emerged. Finally defeated by 1 and 9 across, but retired happy…lots of CODs.

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