Times 28462 – not a hunter

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Time taken: 11:36.  That’s a tad longer than my usual time, though the early solvers are a bit of a mix of those who found it easy and those who found it more difficult.

I found the down clues significantly easier than the across clues, and spent a lot of time trying to unravel my last two (12 and 26 across). Hopefully I’ve figured out all the wordplay for here.

How did you do?

1 Boxer who sat up after a clobbering (8)
SOUTHPAW – anagram of WHO,SAT,UP
9 A figure fancier and strangely tailored (8)
10 Daughter perhaps is telling stories (8)
RELATION – double definition
11 Ray perhaps is small and perversely heavy (8)
SUNLIGHT – S(small) and one way of saying heavy could be UN-LIGHT
12 What could be flyover crew’s problem on the earlier road (10)
HIGHWAYMAN – a flyover could be a HIGH WAY, then MAN(crew)
14 Ruin — it lies west of here (4)
DASH – to the west of the rest of the clue is a dash
15 Southeastern battlefield’s no open aspect (7)
SECRECY – SE(southeastern), CRECY(battlefield in the hundred years war)
17 Clubs undergoing trial for competition (7)
CONTEST – C(clubs), ON TEST(undergoing trial)
21 Burden — and where it might fall (4)
ONUS – it may fall ON US
22 A little son being important (10)
SMATTERING – S(son), MATTERING(being important)
23 Frustrated Christian’s superior and unruly fellow (8)
BLIGHTED – Captain BLIGH (Fletcher Christian’s superior on the Bounty), then TED(unruly fellow)
25 Shut up Zulu bands performing around king (8)
IMPRISON – IMPIS(Zulu bands), ON(performing) containing R(king)
26 Tsar following dictator killing off a popular composer (8)
SULLIVAN – IVAN(Tsar) after the Roman dictator SULLA missing A
27 One harvesting fish circling at a particular point (8)
GATHERER – GAR(fish) containing THERE(at a particular point)
2 Cancel journey after a number of deliveries (8)
OVERRIDE – RIDE(journey) after OVER(a number of deliveries in cricket)
3 Politician who raises the roof (8)
THATCHER – double definition, referring to the former PM Margaret
4 Gave money to area beset by rising depression (4)
PAID – A(area) inside DIP(depression) reversed
5 Is mixing with women attractive? (7)
WINSOME – anagram of IS and WOMEN
6 Instructions to leave a high-rise building derelict (4-3-3)
DOWN-AND-OUT – to leave a high-rise you would want to go DOWN AND then OUT
7 Lose current agent destroyed after attempt that’s lost billions (8)
STAGNATE – anagram of AGENT after STAB(attempt) minus B(billions). Think of water current for the definition
8 Note tons absorbed in needlework (8)
CROTCHET – T(tons) inside CROCHET(needlework)
13 Account by America — time I have a word in case that’s objective (10)
ACCUSATIVE -ACC(account), USA(America), T(time), I’VE(I have)
15 Disdainful second refusal over British blunder (8)
SNOBBISH – S(second), NO(refusual), B(British), BISH(blunder)
16 Vessel’s company reported over girl, we hear? (8)
CRUCIBLE – sounds like CREW(company) and SIBYL(girl)
18 What takes its toll of fish dangling from reel? (8)
TURNPIKE – PIKE(fish) at the end of TURN(reel). In the USA, a turnpike is a highway with a toll
19 Alone around home, ending in black and hard depression (8)
SINKHOLE – SOLE(alone) surrounding IN(home), the last letter in blacK and H(hard)
20 Wife putting on fleecy layer (7)
WADDING – W(wife), ADDING(putting on)
24 See cricket perhaps missing runs (4)
SPOT – Cricket is a SPORT, remove R(runs)

81 comments on “Times 28462 – not a hunter”

  1. 19:32
    Once again we have an unruly TED. I biffed SULLIVAN, only got the SULLa bit after submitting. There were some QCesque clues here, like FOI ONUS, THATCHER, CROTCHET. I liked ‘a figure fancier’. My LOI was 14ac DASH, which I also liked. But one reason it was my LOI–aside from my slowness in getting punctuation mark solutions–was that I do these online, and enlarge the typeface before reading the clues. This led to 14ac taking two lines: Ruin–it lies/west of here.

    1. With the greatest respect to my late friend Jim Biggin, I would settle for unruly. I remember them well and they were not very ruly.
      Delinquent, that is where I draw the line..

  2. NHO Sulla, so (also NHO) Sullivan was a hopeful guess. Is he/she particularly popular? Had IN mentally pencilled in at the end of the name for the ‘popular’.
    Edit: just looked him up, the other half of Gilbert and. So yes popular, and yes I have heard of him, most embarrassing. Apologies to the setter.
    Ultimately failed on DASH – considered it but didn’t see the cryptic so opted for BATH, as a noun – west of London, and “given a bath” can be slang for ruin. Maybe.
    Bit of a curate’s egg for me, a few clues I didn’t like, but some really nice ones – smattering, wadding, idolater, southpaw.

    1. I too missed DASH; as usual I miss the punctuation clue. Left blank but fancied BATH as a possible. SECRECY was hard, kept trying to prove SECRETE – there were some battles over Crete in WWII. Andyf

      1. Never heard of Crecy, but it sounded like a plausible place in France. Had heard of Crete and was very tempted. Fortunately the penultimate C put the kybosh on it.

        1. Crecy and Agincourt are the two great medieval battles where we demonstrated our superiority over the perfidious French.
          No doubt there are other battles, possibly some even won by the french, but we don’t remember those so much 🙂

          1. I would add The Battle of Poiters(1356) to that pair of notable English victories. Poitiers was “…the catastrophic defeat sustained by the French king John II at the end of the first phase of the Hundred Years’ War. Many of the French nobility were killed, and King Jean was left a prisoner of the English.”

            1. Yes, good point! I have visited the sites of Crecy and Agincourt, but not Poitiers.. no doubt it is as atmospheric and interesting as they are…

  3. Thought I’d see how many I could get without crossers first, and started, as it happened, with the Downs, which was apparently lucky. I had them all thru 13, plus 21 across, before I worked one that I already had a letter for (SNOBBISH). It was pretty easy, but maybe too easy, as at the end I bunged in BATH instead of DASH, which is a possibility that crossed my mind and that I admit is pretty clever, though I can also see why I didn’t see it (excuses, excuses). HIGHWAYMAN was actually last. (It couldn’t be MEN, could it?)

    1. yes, I hesitated over HIGHWAYMAN vs HIGHWAYMEN as it seemed either would do. MAN seemed marginally better. I see a number of solvers had an error. I wonder if it was this?

      1. I thought that the construction – crew’s instead of crews’ had to imply man. I’m hoping that the everyone error is Bath; so far we’re in a majority

        1. Well, one crew could have a problem with repeated encounters on a particular route, and I’m not sure highwaymen always worked alone either. I don’t see any difference between “crew’s” and “crew” in terms of the cryptic.

          But, yeah, it looks like BATH may get crowded. Rub-a-dub-dub…

        2. Hmm … doesn’t the ‘s refer to the whole first part of the clue, i.e. “What could be flyover crew” is (abbreviated) “problem on the earlier road”? So “crews’” would not parse properly. So, I can’t see any compelling real reason to prefer MAN over MEN.

          I took a BATH on both this and 14a 🙁

          1. “Crew” meaning a group, a team, is a singular noun for which, however, you’d have to substitute MEN, plural.
            The verb sense of “crew” (i.e., to form one) can be expressed by MAN, not MEN.
            So you have to decide which way to take “crew”…

          2. MEN over MAN for me, I thought some time about this, decided that “problem” meant an endemic problem hence plural. “Crew” could be either verb (man) or noun (men).

      2. MAN is better because it fits the verb as well as the noun sense of “crew.” But thinking first of the noun (and hoping for a quick finish), MEN might seem to do the trick…

        1. ‘Crew’ can be a verb, too, though; ODE ‘provide (a craft or vehicle) with a group of people to operate it’. Verlaine, in the club forum, asks (rhetorically) for an argument for preferring MAN over MEN, or vice versa. (MEN never occurred to me.)

          1. I said, “MAN is better because it fits the verb as well as the noun sense of ‘crew.’”

        2. I agree the surface of the clue leads one towards MEN but on cold reflection MAN probably has the edge.

          1. The debate just shows that either the verb or noun MAN or the noun MEN are both possible and arguable – the clue is ambiguous on an unchecked letter.

  4. I liked this better when I reviewed the clues afterwards than I did whilst solving.

    Count me as another Bath – my rationale for the ruin bit was the Roman remains. They come a couple hundred years later, but seemed of a piece with Sulla.

  5. DASH was last one in, after WASH, BATH and BASH failed the sniff test. But I didn’t understand why until reading the blog, dash it! – thank you GLH.

  6. See, a lot of angling is done at the turn of the tide, so that could be said to take its toll on fish, if it was in fact called a TURNTIDE, which it’s not, and let’s not try to explain that extra “t”, because the clue wouldn’t parse in any case, and yet that’s what I managed to come up with.

    Liked SOUTHPAW though. Thanks George and setter.

  7. 30 minutes.

    I thought the definition ‘popular composer’ at 26ac was rather odd. So much so that since I didn’t know the dictator I reasoned there might have been one called SULL{ain} which would account for both ‘a’ and ‘popular’ (in) as part of the wordplay. Are we in future to have other composers defined by their success or lack of it in the popularity stakes, I wonder?

    My other query (apart from MEN/MAN as discussed above) was whether a THATCHER can be said to raise a roof? Would we say that of a tiler?

    1. I think it’s that he’s a popular composer in the sense that he wasn’t a Schoenberg, a Scriabin, or even a Sibelius. He wrote for the popular stage, comic operas.

    2. For that matter, would we say of any roofer that he raised the roof? Unless, of course, he raised the roof. So far as I know, the phrase ‘raise the roof’ is used either literally (make the roof higher) or (much more commonly) metaphorically (make noise), not to indicate making a roof.
      My eyebrow quivered a bit at ‘popular composer’, but I took it as meaning not a ‘long-haired’ one; Friml or Lehar or John Williams rather than Bach or Haydn.

      1. Sullivan had a large output of church music, so he had that in common with Bach if not on quite the same scale. Also he wrote a lot of other ‘serious’ music.

    3. I would agree a THATCHER( or a tiler or a slater) certainly isn’t involved in raising the roof, if that is understood to mean the actual hoisting up of the beams. If raising the roof could also just mean in general building that part of the structure , then finishing off the job by covering the top surface with thatch or tiles or slates would be included as the final part of it.

      1. In Collins Dictionary online, under “raise” in British English, the third meaning listed is “to construct, build, or erect”. I think the Setter is in the clear

    4. Sullivan was a popular composer because he did comic opera, meant for the hoi polloi, and not the real stuff.
      For those of us brought up on the beatles and similar, he might seem quite upmarket, but he certainly wasn’t then

  8. A 52 minute DNF. Another “Bath” for DASH and I just couldn’t think of SYBIL at 16d, opting for a homophone of “Cilla” instead and coming up with a nonsense word which was never going to be correct. Didn’t know SULL(A) at 26a; one more old Roman to have forgotten by the time he next appears.

  9. I was cruising through this puzzle, feeling rather pleased with my solving performance …when it turned into a frustrating impasse 6 clues from completion, and I only scored one more hit in the next 15 minutes. Threw in the towel at 39m with four remaining, and one badly wrong 16d solution entered in desperation. I want to forget that I ever tackled this one.

  10. 42:50. I started very slowly, picking up the odd ones here and there, but then it all came with a rush. Except DASH, until I finally saw the dash, and HIGHWAYMAN where I thought man/men could both be right but plumped for MAN. There’s a tube station in North London called Turnpike Lane so it may not just be an American thing

    1. There’s a road in Oakley called the Turnpike. When what is now the B4011 was built it was a toll road.

  11. 40m 51s
    I thought there were some very good clues here as well as a chestnut or two such as ONUS.
    In the HIGHWAYMAN/MEN debate I think it could have gone either way but I just got lucky.
    For 11ac I thought ‘Ray’ might mean some sort of fish so I started with SAND….. (‘small and’) and tried to think of the name of a ray.
    Thank you, George, for SULLIVAN. I had S…IVAN and tried to think of a dictator starting with S but only got as far as Stalin.
    ACCUSATIVE was very good but my COD was DASH. Very clever. I usually miss that sort of clue.
    Today’s earworm: 🎼…counting the cars on the New Jersey TURNPIKE…🎼

  12. Top half went in rapidly, but ground to a halt in the bottom half with quite a few empties.

    Thought our fish would be the LING in TURNPIKE, as I fancied an -ING word. I was also fooled by Zulu=Z, and was running out of places to put it in the clue. Before recalling Dictator Sulla I tried STAL (IN), for the less than popular Stalivan.

  13. And the highwayman came riding—
    The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.

    After 30 mins I had Dash left and gave up. Very clever.
    I have clued a crew=man/men crossword before and got criticised for it. So I could see this would be an issue. I thought Men was slightly better for both the flyover crew and the former problem.
    Thanks setter and G.

  14. 19 minutes with LOI TURNPIKE, so quite a top-ro-bottom, left-to-right solve. COD to SOUTHPAW. I liked DASH too. I’ve no problem with either G or S being described as popular, as they certainly were. A pleasant puzzle. Thank you George and setter.

  15. 10:53, with a long pause at the end over CRUCIBLE. Not the first vessel you’re going to think of.
    HIGHWAYMAN/MEN seems entirely ambiguous to me, which is a shame but I got lucky.
    NHO SULLA and thought for a while I had never heard of a composer called SULLIVAN until the penny dropped.

  16. 23:22. I managed to take many wrong turns today. In particular for DASH I thought that the “west of here” was H so couldn’t make sense of the rest of the clue for some time. I’d not heard of SULLA or SULLIVAN so for that clue I spent time trying to fit in STL, being Stalin losing an A and IN (popular). I also wondered over HIGHWAYMAN/HIGHWAYMEN so all in all, pleased to crawl over the line with no errors.

    1. OK, now I see SULLIVAN is one half of Gilbert &. I didn’t know each existed in his own right!

  17. 30 minutes or so, with no idea whatsoever what was going on with DASH – I’ve been tripped up by punctuation in clues before, but this time I got lucky with what sounded like the word closest to meaning ‘ruin’. I also wasn’t sure about the ‘Sull’ in SULLIVAN, so the dictator Sulla is one I need to remember, and I had to assume that Captain Bligh was the reference being made in BLIGHTED. At least I went for the singular HIGHWAYMAN rather than the plural.

    FOI Smattering
    LOI Dash
    COD Down-and-out

  18. Delighted to get SULLIVAN on first pass from wordplay, without crossers – a classical education does have its moments. Wonderful clue if you’ve heard of Sulla (who started the rot from which the Roman Republic never recovered) and enjoy Sir Joseph Porter’s advice for sailors to ‘never go to sea’. Also liked BLIGHTED for the Bounty reference. I flew through this simply because it hit all my culture/education high notes – even the years of musical theory came in handy for CROTCHET. If only other setters were on the same wavelength. Enjoyed this puzzle immensely.

    1. Strictly speaking, his advice was to non-sailors (like him): ‘Landsmen all, whoever you may be,/ If you want to rise to the top of the tree/ If your soul isn’t fettered to an office stool/ Be careful to be guided by this golden rule:/ etc.

    2. Sulla was not at all a nice person… perhaps that is what you meant, but the Roman Empire had many far more noble dictators after him

          1. About 30 human lifetimes ago. When put like that, it’s really not very long at all. When I visit the Temple of Portunus/Hercules in Rome, which was there in Sulla’s lifetime, I’m blown away by how very close it all is.

  19. I found this a real mixed bag, with some clues seeming pretty easy and others needing a good bit of fathoming, although I suspect that may be more of a reflection of me, as I struggled to see some which appear to raise no comment here, and found no problem with others which appear to have caused some bother. For example, SULLIVAN went straight in for me (Sulla rang a bell from school Latin), but it took me ages to see RELATION, as for a long time I was convinced it had to start with a D. I was a bit surprised to see an average SNITCH time afterwards.
    LOI DASH (although with a satisfying PDM)
    COD IDOLATER for the definition ‘figure fancier’

    Thanks to George and the Setter.

  20. Well, I definitely got lucky by guessing LOI DASH at 14a, as I had BATH (and possibly even WASH) on my shortlist, too, and I never got the parsing, embarrassingly. Especially embarrassing as I think “consider punctuation” is on my list of things to do when I’m stuck—I just didn’t remember the list…

    Still, a win is a win, and it only added about ten solid minutes to my time; I finished in 55m. FOI SOUTHPAW, COD 23a for “Christian’s superior”, WOD TURNPIKE.

    As I mentioned in a late comment yesterday, this is the last day of my current sub and while I dare say I’ll be back at some point, it might be a while. I’ll probably buy the actual paper at some point over Christmas and pop back in then to say hello… Thanks for all the friendship/entertainment/hard work over the years, folks, it’s been fun!

  21. Easy then not so easy to finish off. Missed the double sounds-like for CRUCIBLE, then struggled to remember which Christian was being talked about. LOI DASH, not very good at punctuation being a clue.

  22. 45 minutes. I thought this was a great puzzle and especially liked 15ac “Secrecy”.
    Didn’t understand the “Sull” part of “Sullivan” until coming here, but the Setter was pretty smart to get two dictators into one clue.
    Managed not to fall into the “Bath” and “Highwaymen” traps.

  23. A game of two halves for me; the LHS flew in in 10 minutes but the RHS took another 19 or 20. Ending with a debate about DASH or HASH, never thought of BATH. I liked CRUCIBLE and had no hesitation over Arthur SULLIVAN. I thought the Thatcher ‘raising the roof’ was a bit odd, but tolerable. Thanks George.

  24. Spent ages on 14ac and eventually bunged in ‘dash’ as it seemed to fit the definition better than, say, ‘hash’ – but must remember those pesky punctuation mark clues. I thought maybe the ‘h’ could be ‘the west of here’ and that ‘sa’ maybe represented the ‘it’ in Times honoured fashion, but then that made no sense at all. Thanks George for the enlightenment and subsequent kicking of self for not spotting this (retrospectively) obvious device. About 20m for everything bar ‘dash’ but then bunged it in after much further, and unproductive, thought.

  25. 15:14 but with HIGHWAYMEN at 12ac with full confidence. The word ‘crew’ can’t be a verb in the context of the clue, and you wouldn’t build a flyover with a one-man crew! As for the second definition, I still think MEN fits better as a general earlier road problem. The grapes are tasting very sour…

    Anyway, that didn’t slow me down. My FOI was OVERTURN at 1d, which fits the clue but not the crossers – it was HIGHWAYMEN that unblocked that eventually. Then my LOI was DASH, no idea at first but luckily the penny dropped as soon as I started trawling through the alphabet. Good clue.

    1. I’m sympathetic because the clue is completely ambiguous, but there’s no reason ‘crew’ can’t be a verb in the wordplay (it is of course a noun in the surface reading).

  26. PAID, WINSOME and SOUTHPAW got me off to a flying start, but it didn’t last. I ground out the last 3, THATCHER, RELATION and HIGHWAYMAN (got lucky there) as 40 minutes approached. Lots of clues stumped me for ages, then became blindingly obvious. A bit of a toughie all in all! 38:40. Thanks setter and George.

  27. 31:47

    Another here slightly puzzled by SULLIVAN as a composer, followed by an ‘Of course!’ moment.

    Furrowed brow towards the end caused by entering BLIGHTER, eventually spotted and saw WADDING almost immediately.

    Liked CRUCIBLE.

  28. My Christian thought was only to the Pilgrim’s Progress, or to Christianity generally, so I became completely stuck on the BLIGHTED answer and had to look in a list. At least the Ted wasn’t a lout. If I’d been in a competition (which I wouldn’t have been, 49 minutes) I’d have questioned man/men, since HIGHWAYMAN and highwaymen are both perfectly sound so far as I can see, although by chance I had the ‘right’ answer. I think a thatcher does slightly raise the roof, a little bit above what was there before the thatch arrived.

  29. Spun a coin between DASH and ‘bash’ and it fortunately came down the right way up. It took me a ridiculously long time to see the ‘ride’ of OVERRIDE, and only then did I nail SLOI HIGHWAYMAN – my last two were both just slammed in on a wing and a prayer – thanks as usual to George for enlightenment !

    TIME 8:45

  30. I went for HIGHWAYMEN after a long time looking at the crossers and not being able to see anything that fitted. I got DASH from the definition, but totally missed what was going on. I thought “west of here” was H, and couldn’t see how DAS “lies”. So I put it in, submitted, and half expected to see a pink square. Which I did, but not where I expected, on the A/E of the HIGHWAYMAN answer. Oh well, so DNF for me.

  31. I’m a HIGHWAYMEN. Seems to me it’s a good answer too. Crew can be man or men. Otherwise 28′ 52″. Sleepy after a v cold bike ride to the office.

  32. 16:23, with 1 error (technically – I feel reasonably confident that if this happened on Finals Day, I could persuade an editor that plural HIGHWAYMEN was equally acceptable to the singular, especially as it seems I would have quite a crowd of people standing alongside me with pitchforks and flaming torches). Nice puzzle notwithstanding.

  33. One of those easy to start, impossible to finish ones .. so sorry setter, some of your clues were unpleasantly hard. The dash is not west of here, it is west of several other words as well. Fortunately I was man not men, but otherwise we would be having words about that too ..

  34. I enjoyed this very much, and particularly liked SUNLIGHT, HIGHWAYMAN (debate above notwithstanding: I read ‘crew’ as a verb for solving purposes even though it is literally a noun in the clue as written) and SECRECY. Thanks to setter for 40 minutes of entertainment and, of course, to our blogger.

  35. No time recorded for this one as I’ve been attempting to watch Croatia v Belgium at the same time. Maybe in the region of 45 minutes perhaps?
    For the fourth consecutive crossword all correct bar one letter! To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, to get one letter wrong is unfortunate, to do it a second time is careless. To do it a fourth consecutive time is flaming ridiculous! The clue in question was 14ac where I decided HASH was a better option than DASH.
    Hoping for better things tomorrow!

  36. I had the bottom half all done but half a dozen in the top half eluded me for quite a while. In the end, all filled in correctly – saw ‘problem’ as indicating an individual in 12A- but confess to having to look up synonyms for ruin, having nothing but the ‘a’, before the penny dropped and CROTCHET became immediately obvious. This felt quite difficult, so encouraged to come here to find others thought the same.

  37. I managed to suss DASH, but then
    Hit the poo-trap and wrote highwaymen
    Setting’s hard it is true
    But it’s not a great clue
    Come tomorrow, I will try again

  38. DNF – still had seven gaps after an hour. Some of them may have dawned on me in the end, but I don’t think BLIGHTED ever would. No complaints really, just one of those days I think.

  39. DNF. Did not know GAR, SULLA, BISH words, so couldn’t construct the clues. I had HASH instead of dash. Went for the single HIGHWAYMAN, but it’s ambiguous.
    Meh! Didn’t like it.

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