Times 28456 – If you 13 on a 4 does it make a 1ac?

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Time taken: 10:00, which I think is the first time I’ve recorded such an even time. I thought it was going to take a while, since a first run through the across clues didn’t yield much, but it was a pretty steady solve from there.

How time flies – my first daily Times blog was November 22, 2007 (jackkt started that week as well) so here’s to the next 15 years!

How did you do?

1 Group getting possessive pockets grand in racket (8)
CLANGOUR – CLAN(group) then OUR(possessive) containing G(grand)
5 It may be fruitful to curse housing thus (6)
DAMSON – DAMN(curse) containing SO(thus)
9 Turn end of satire into laconic humour (8)
DROLLERY – ROLL(turn) and the last letter of satirE inside DRY(laconic)
10 Sport, or cheating at it (6)
DIVING – the second part refers to diving in soccer or basketball or taking a dive in boxing
12 Little bit of drink with Polish and Gallic meal (6,6)
FINGER BUFFET – FINGER(little bit of drink, particularly scotch), BUFF(polish), then ET(“and” in French)
15 Go so far as to cover small animal, with love (3,2)
RUN TO – RUNT(small animal) and O(love)
16 Air supplier in awfully hot minutes without oxygen (9)
TUNESMITH – anagram of HOT,MINUTES minus O(oxygen)
18 Ship off clothes tried out where culture’s displayed (5,4)
PETRI DISH – anagram of SHIP containing an anagram of TRIED
19 Pattern of suit jacket from Oxfam that’s sent back (5)
MOTIF – FIT(suit) and the external letters in OxfaM all reversed
20 What stockholder needs: smooth marketing at first (8,4)
BRANDING IRON – IRON(smooth) after BRANDING(marketing)
24 Cool wine locked away (2,4)
IN HOCK – IN(cool), HOCK(wine)
25 Coming over, English cricket team fuel India’s obsession (4,4)
IDEE FIXE – reversal of E(English), XI(cricket team), FEED(fuel) and I(India)
26 Illegally seize something inherited during sleep (6)
KIDNAP – DNA(something inherited) inside KIP(sleep)
27 Watcher of The Birds, one showing nervousness (8)
TWITCHER – double definition
1 One needs cracking finale in epic verse (4)
CODE – last letter in epiC, then ODE(verse)
2 One single bathroom for e.g. King Edward in Asia (4)
ALOO – one single bathroom would be A LOO.  Hindi and Urdu term for a potato.  I think single is in the clue to avoid “one” clueing “A” which is not in the Times style
3 Rancour with current politics half vanishing in campaign (9)
GALLIPOLI – GALL(rancour), I(current) and half of POLItics
4 Honourable and gentle, but one’s less than grand? (7,5)
UPRIGHT PIANO – UPRIGHT(honourable) and PIANO(gentle)
6 I’m leaving high grade university, securing pass (5)
ADIEU – A(high grade), and U(university) containing DIE(pass)
7 Female dressing, wearing furs? They’re tight (10)
SKINFLINTS – F(female), LINT(dressing for a wound) inside SKINS(furs)
8 Almost time to accompany key group working late (5,5)
NIGHT SHIFT – NIGH(almost) and T(time) with a SHIFT key
11 Vent, perhaps, without revolving glass door (6,6)
FRENCH WINDOW – vent is FRENCH for WIND, then WO(without) reversed
13 Lack tact in work, punching dull pain in the neck (4,1,5)
DROP A BRICK –  OP(work) inside DRAB(dull), RICK(pain in the neck)
14 Single, horrid taunt caused pain (10)
UNATTACHED – anagram of TAUNT then ACHED(caused pain)
17 Men lost on manoeuvres inclined to retire? (9)
21 Moving day in a country house (5)
DACHA – move the D(day) in A CHAD(country)
22 Slip again on horse (4)
BISH – BIS(again), and H(horse)
23 Endlessly long time (4)
YEAR – remove the last letter from YEARN(long)

72 comments on “Times 28456 – If you 13 on a 4 does it make a 1ac?”

  1. 24:12, but I had KITING at 10ac. Hadn’t thought of diving as cheating; if the ref sees a dive, does he flag the diver?
    Slow start–FOI PETRI DISH, which I biffed. All in all, I biffed a half-dozen clues, parsing them all post-submission.
    Congratulations, George, and thanks for the 15 years.

    1. I thought a ref would have to be pretty observant to see a dive, in the sense of a deliberate loss: taking a dive—but I don’t think anyone says “diving” in reference to that (say, in boxing), and there’s no question mark at the end of this clue. So I look up “dive” in Collins, for the British take, and find the definition from what we Yanks are pleased to call “soccer”—“(of a footballer) to pretend to have been tripped or impeded by an opposing player in order to win a free kick or penalty”—about which I am too ignorant to declare whether that is officially regarded as cheating, though it seems shady enough (but then again, I also know about Maradona’s “hand of God”).

      1. It’s DEFINITELY viewed as cheating, and will earn the perpetrator a yellow card if it’s detected. The introduction of the video referee (VAR) has helped a little, as it’s harder to get away with what is called simulation – if it’s on the referee’s blind side it’s not always easy to detect.

        1. Thanks, Phil; that’s what I wanted to know–in the few minutes I’ve ever spent watching soccer, I’ve seen several players in their death throes, but never a yellow card, or even an expulsion, and I wondered.

    2. Our bloggers we all hold very dear
      There are some that we almost revere
      So I know we will hear
      An almighty cheer
      For George on his fifteenth great year

  2. I needed this blog for the decomposition of French Window – so thanks, George, and congrats on the anniversary. There were a couple of cute definitions today – the air supplier and the cultural display come to mind.

  3. Diving apposite, but so far the games I’ve seen have been played mostly fairly and in good spirit. Yes the ref sometimes detects and punishes cheating, but it’s still cheating. Another slow starter but rapid finisher, with only the unseen SHIFT key and French window unparsed. I think the slowness was from some delectably cryptic definition parts of clues, hard to see where the clues were coming from or going to. Most enjoyable type of puzzle, for me.

  4. I raced through this and ground to a halt at 10A where I could only think of KITING (which is a type of fraud, but hardly qualifies as a sport). It took me far too long before I saw DIVING. There are a lot of sports that fit those crossers. I saw DIVING early on but didn’t think of that aspect of cheating so I carried on my alphabet trawl. Got there in the end though.

  5. I got off to a fast start, having alighted on YEAR first, after which I got TWITCHER and all its crossers, and proceeded up the grid at a steady clip—generally climbing by Downs and then solving Acrosses. Hung up at the end on ALOO—which was my first guess, but I had to Google “Asian potato” to check it.

    Congrats on the crystal anniversary, George!

    1. Conveniently enough, I had eaten at an Indian restaurant Sunday and had, as always, aloo gobi; so ALOO was a gimme.

  6. 45 minutes. On the point of submitting with “coda” for 1d until I finally saw the correct def and the wordplay then fell into place. I can’t say I’d come across FINGER BUFFET as a thing before and I didn’t know the ‘locked away’ sense of IN HOCK. I liked the surface for SKINFLINTS and the ‘where culture’s displayed’ and ‘one’s less than grand?’ defs.

    Thanks and congrats to George for what I’ve just learnt today from Guy above is your crystal anniversary as a TfTT blogger.

  7. 43 minutes. I enjoyed solving this but I admit to not being at all sure about DIVING as my LOI and after I had stopped the clock I did a full alphabet trawl to see if I could come up with another sport that fitted the second part of the definition more clearly. In settling for DIVING I was thinking of ‘ducking and diving’ which actually means being evasive but is usually associated with some sort of dodginess if not perhaps outright cheating.

    SOED informs me that IN HOCK can mean being in prison, but I had never heard of that, only being in debt or items being pawned, so my answer at 24ac went in with some misgivings.

    Congrats on the anniversary, George. That week seems a very long time ago!

  8. Liked air supplier, the French wind and where culture’s displayed.
    DIVING will be a write-in for those on this side of the pond during the World Cup, I expect.
    Congratulations George.

  9. When Australia plays ***** in the soccer World Cup, there’s no question in any Aussie mind that diving is cheating!

  10. First time in a few weeks I’ve felt properly in the zone – enjoyed this tremendously as I ploughed through – when I worked out IDEE FIXE despite only the vaguest recollection, I knew I was really motoring. A little biffing (had no idea whatsoever about DACHA) but overall a very orderly completion, most serious hold-up was about 90 seconds on LOI KIDNAP.

    When I started regular solving in May ’21, my long-term goal was to be able to do 100-SNITCH puzzles in 25m – so a 23:45 for this one is right on my stretch target. Thanks George and setter.

    Another thing I haven’t experienced in quite a while – self congratulatory Somali brekkie – now awaits. Yum!

  11. 30 minutes for the rest of it, then five minutes spent staring at _I_I_G at 10a before giving up

  12. 42 mins, but another Hiking here. Oddly, I didn’t parse FRENCH WINDOW either. I liked TUNESMITH.

    Congrats on the 15 G, and thanks.

  13. 50m 43s I enjoyed that! Lots of good clues. Well done, George, on your anniversary.
    A few solutions we’ve seen recently: DAMSON was in yesterday’s cryptic and ADIEU and IDEE FIXE have been spotted very recently.
    Thank you, George , for DACHA and FRENCH WINDOW. The latter will doubtless remind some solvers of Gerard Hoffnung’s wonderful monologue: “Letters from Tyrolean Landlords”: “There is a French Widow in every bedroom!”
    LOI: All in the NW corner: 1ac, 1d, 2d, 4d
    COD: TUNESMITH (‘Air Supplier’) plus UPRIGHT PIANO (‘Honourable and gentle’)
    Regarding DIVING, it’s a common enough term in football. I’m surprised so many people here seem to have had difficulty with that clue. When the great German player Jürgen Klinsmann joined Spurs in the 1990s he arrived with a reputation for DIVING. At his first press conference he self-deprecatingly announced he would be looking for a (scuba) diving school. He went on to become a legend at the club.

    1. Speaking of diving, there goes Ronaldo just as I read this. The ref and his pal VAR don’t agree with my view.

      1. If you mean the penalty: Dive! and yellow for Ronaldo was the correct decision. Maybe not the yellow – refs have been lenient so far.

  14. His nose were all covered with scars,
    He lay in a somnolent posture,
    With the side of ‘is face ‘gainst the bars.

    25 mins pre-brekker. I confidently got Petri Dish and wrote it in at 16a rather than 18a – and then didn’t notice for ages which made several crossers slightly tricky. What a mess.
    Mostly I liked French Wind OW.
    Thanks setter and G.

  15. Solved mid-channel en route to sunny France 🇫🇷
    Pleasant and inventive crossword I thought, but then the sun is out and croissants beckon..
    Where I come from, a bathroom contains a bath and a lavatory contains a loo. .. but let it pass.

  16. 18:27. Like others I struggled to finish with my LOI, DIVING. I was looking for a word that meant cheating in general rather than a specific form of cheating so although I’d thought of DIVING as a sport it took me some time to equate it with cheating.
    Sadly cheating seems to be part of the game in football now. I’d like to see retrospective punishment for it to try to rid it from the sport.

  17. 21:52 – loved 11d and 20a, very clever definitions. Thank you for DACHA – couldn’t parse that!

  18. Now this was so much more like it
    Not like yesterday’s bird-obsessed shit
    Thought a BISH might ensue
    With the last across clue
    I note TWITCHER begins with a twit

  19. Took a while to get started and technically DNF as I couldn’t get idee fixe and bish as I NHO bis meaning again although it does ring a bell now I’ve seen it
    That said I thought it was it a good workout with several amusing clues

  20. Just under the hour. Diving is well known to English Football fans… look up ‘doing a Klinsman’ for reference. Didn’t parse French Window but would have if a helpful QC device, such as ‘vent in Paris’, had been employed. I spotted the Gallic ‘et’ in buffet.
    many thanks

  21. 12’32” after a slow start. CLANGOUR LOI. DIVING a curse on sporting integrity.

    Congratulations George!

  22. I had difficulties with the crossword club site. It would not let me enter words. As it has not affected anyone else I am guessing it is something to do with my browser… irritating!

    1. I had the same thing earlier in the week. I emailed The Times, but as far as I can see they haven’t bothered replying yet except as an auto-acknowledgement.

      Ii you are in the app, I found that deleting and reinstalling it solved the problem.

    2. This happens from time to time if you are a frequent solver as some bit of memory gets filled up. Go into settings for your browser and clear the data for the Times site. You’ll have to log in again afterwards but the crosswords will work again.

  23. 38:01. I’m another who started slowly – FOI 19ac MOTIF – but then picked up speed. LOI KIDNAP, distracted by NAP instead of KIP. I liked UPRIGHT PIANO

  24. I too thought of Hoffnung and the French widow. Agree with jerryW about bathrooms and loos, and with Pootle about diving and retrospective punishments. ‘Part of the game’ indeed: that’s what football enthusiasts always seem to say. It ruins what originally was quite a good game.

    This crossword had a slow start, which suggested to me that it was going to be hard, but I came in 2 seconds short of 30 minutes, after using a list of potatoes because I couldn’t remember that Asian potato. Entered UPRIGHT PIANO thinking that p was gentle and being unable to account for iano, then forgetting to come back to it.

  25. Many congratulations on this significant anniversary, George and jackkt, and, just as importantly, thank you to both.
    I don’t have a time for today’s solve but I made much heavier weather of it than I should.

  26. 20 minutes, no problems except didn’t bother to parse MOTIF or DACHA so thanks George.
    No problem with DIVING for cheating, it’s cheating in football (aka soccer) and refs are encouraged to give yellow cards for it, although not enough do.

  27. Congrats on the milestone George, and thanks for resolving KIDNAP (I was fixated on ‘nap’), SKINFLINTS, and FRENCH WINDOW. I biffed three others, and parsed them on completion (DACHA took a while to crack). I started very slowly, and was never totally on the setter’s wavelength

    COD FRENCH WINDOW (now I understand it !)
    TIME 11:24

  28. ALOO got me going. CLANGOUR and CODE soon followed. Steady progress ensued, and PETRI DISH, then FRENCH WINDOW rounded off the proceedings. I didn’t manage to parse DACHA or FRENCH WINDOW so thanks to George for those, and indeed for the 15 years of Slogging at Blogging! 23:54. Thanks to the setter too.

  29. NHO CLANGOUR, and opted for the unlikely CLAMGOUR instead. On the other hand, DIVING was a write-in, once I’d counted that HANDBALL was too long – I’m enjoying the World Cup.

  30. No time recorded today as the website was showing ‘idee fixe’ as an error. To be honest though, my time wouldn’t have been very quick anyway.

  31. 21:10. No particular hold-ups, though I’d have been hard-pressed to parse DACHA, FRENCH WINDOW or FINGER BUFFET while solving, so thank you for the helpful explanations – all 15 years of them.

  32. This seemed hard at first but I soon got into it and enjoyed lots of the clues, especially kidnap and motif. I didn’t get the subtleties of French window: thought maybe French as in ‘scuse my French, could be vent as in get something off your chest! Gave up with the sport.
    Thank you to George on your anniversary.

  33. ALOO was my LOI, and I suffered for it. Had to leave and look again several times before the penny dropped. Initially thought I’d get nowhere near finishing, when my first trawl yielded only ADIEU and SOMNOLENT. But they fell steadily after that. Thought this was a good puzzle; just testing enough, not so easy that the clues were write-ins. DACHA COD.

  34. 21:50

    Several I missed the finer points of today:

    KIDNAP – bunged in from two checkers
    DACHA – failed to spot the country, but well up on Russian culture of going to the dacha for the summer months.
    FRENCH WINDOW – very good, but it was well over my head

    Liked TUNESMITH.
    LOI DIVING took a long time to think of. Very apposite given that it’s WC time.

  35. Finished in 42.35, so inside schedule, but would have been a couple minutes quicker if I had twigged IDEE FIXE a little sooner. As with others, FRENCH WINDOW brought a smile to my face remembering that great raconteur Gerard Hoffnung, in particular his address to the Oxford Union. CODE took a while to get and I considered both CODA and CLUE as possibilities.

  36. Just over 40 minutes for my first completion of the week (though I don’t think I even looked at yesterday’s: will need to check). Thanks for the parsing of FRENCH WINDOW, which went in with about three checkers and was then not returned to, and DROP A BRICK, which I couldn’t see for looking.

  37. Congratulations on your anniversary George and thanks for all the blogs. Funny how diving seems to have divided people, I was on the write-in side of things though I can see it might have been tricky for non-Brits. I liked air supplier.

  38. Satisfied to have another completed 15×15 without aids. A bit of biffing and mombling but mostly on the wavelength.
    LOI DIVING ( it was a PDM , possibly because I had the footie on the radio – any port in a storm when there’s no cricket) .

    I had NIGHTSTAFF for a while and realised I hadn’t read the clue and was probably being taken back to interminably long shifts as a junior doctor in the 80’s.

    Was down a rabbit hole with an honourable gentle giant (🤣) . ..( PIANO not giant , stupid …)

    Must remember possessive as being a pronoun .

    Thank you to all bloggers for your labours and erudition, also to setter.

  39. Late to the party today. Time irrelevant as I fell asleep, but this was definitely a toughie. NHO CLANGOUR, and DIVING LOI

  40. Somewhere between 20-25 mins today. Forgot to set the stopwatch. LOI aloo having finally worked out code and clangour. Have to confess to taking too long on 18 ac, I thought there was an e at the end of Petri.

    Remembered idee fixe and drollery from earlier failures, so virtue rewarded.

    Thx setter and blogger.

  41. Some excellent PDMs here FRENCH WINDOW in particular but also TUNESMITH and PETRI DISH and my LOI UNATTACHED when I finally saw what the straight bit was. Excellent crossword- thanks setter and blogger.

  42. 24 minutes so unusually quick for me, but hadn’t understood FRENCH WINDOW or DACHA before coming here, so I appreciated the explanations, and all the best for the next 15 years of 15 x 15 blogs.

  43. Bad choice at 10 ac. Went for RIDING, hoping that it might have a double meaning. No such luck. Despite a good 8 minutes on a letter trawl, I couldn’t find anything else. Of course it’s DIVING. How could I have missed it? FRENCH WINDOW was a great clue. I was on 33’57” – but with the bish.

  44. 10 ac was my downfall, too, since I couldn’t connect DIVING with cheating in any way, so I put in FIXING, thinking this might have something to do with wrestling, perhaps. I think this was not really the best clue. The ones I liked best were UNATTACHED and FRENCH WINDOW (perhaps unfair if you don’t know French). But not the best of all puzzles.

  45. 42 very enjoyable minutes with less arcane vocabulary and much more wit than in today’s unpleasant Concise. Thank you setter – and thank you George for 15 years of outstanding service. You bloggers give us all so much.

  46. 14:52 here, with over 5 minutes at the end staring at 10ac before the context of DIVING as cheating suddenly came to me. Till then I was trying to decide between that, BIKING, RIDING and HIKING.
    Also couldn’t parse 21d DACHA but it went in with a shrug, didn’t hold me up once I had D?C??

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