Times 28582 – was there an oldgate?

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Time taken: 6:50.  Apart from a few double takes, and one answer I had to piece together before I saw the literal, everything went in at a first or second glance, so I expect this is among the easier offerings.

How did you get along?

1 What striped tiger, say, has upset asinine lot (3-1-4-5)
CAT-O-NINE-TAILS – CAT(tiger, say) with an anagram of ASININE LOT. Striped can mean beaten with a lash.
9 Uniform used in particular Jewish festival (5)
PURIM – U(uniform) inside PRIM(particular)
10 Characteristic of vehicles with tail end low (9)
WHEELBASE – W(with), HEEL(tail end), BASE(low)
11 Note granny has place to eat suitable for renting out (10)
TENANTABLE – TE(musical note), NAN(granny) and TABLE(place to eat)
12 Old garment from Pacific islands, never new (4)
TOGA – TONGAN(from Pacific islands) minus both N’s(new)
14 Unruly girl and others around unruly boy returned (7)
LADETTE – ET AL(others) surrounding TED(unruly boy) all reversed
16 Excuse for acting before script is here? (7)
PRETEXT – PRE(before), TEXT(script)
17 Decline of following after one season (4,3)
FALL OFF – OF, and F(following) after FALL(one season in the US)
19 Aviary, excessive inside small building (7)
COTTAGE – CAGE(aviary) containing OTT(excessive)
20 Nevada reduced reported sin (4)
ENVY – sounds like NV(abbreviation for Nevada)
21 Perhaps bitter and against insincere talk around football team (10)
INTOXICANT – INTO(against, in contact with), and CANT(insincere talk) surrounding XI(eleven, football team). One of my double takes, thinking against could not match into, but it works
24 One concerned with promotion run by centre in Bristol (9)
CAREERIST –  CAREER(run) and the central letters in BrISTol
25 Sound threatening to increase loudness initially (5)
GROWL – GROW(increase), and the first letter of Loudness
26 Crude thug with money (5-3-5)
ROUGH-AND-READY – ROUGH(thug), AND(with), READY(money)
1 Stolen goods dealer’s wealth is something to die for (7,7)
CAPITAL OFFENCE – the stolen goods dealer’s wealth could be the CAPITAL OF FENCE
2 Go round one European city (5)
TURIN – TURN(go) surrounding I(one)
3 Thought about bird’s proposal (10)
NOMINATION – NOTION(thought) surrounding MINA(bird)
4 Agent we tortured in prison once (7)
NEWGATE – anagram of AGENT,WE
5 Cuff link exchanged for another male accessory (3,4)
TIE CLIP – CLIP(cuff) and TIE(link) switching places
6 Did less? Mostly this (4)
IDLE – hidden inside dIDL Ess
7 Drama as a pontiff is placed above God (4,5)
SOAP OPERA – SO(as), A, POPE(pontiff) over RA(God)
8 Go with chaps to match as organised by divisions? (14)
DEPARTMENTALLY – DEPART(go), then MEN(chaps) next to TALLY(match). This was my last in, built from the bottom up
13 The French franc holds little pain for socialist (4-6)
LEFT-WINGER – LE(the, in French), FR(franc) containing TWINGE(little pain)
15 Performer of hepatectomy perhaps is a saviour (9)
DELIVERER – got this from the definition, but now I like it – a hepatectomy is removal of the liver, so the performer would be a DE-LIVER-ER
18 Language sounding like Polish? (7)
FINNISH – sounds like FINISH(polish)
19 Conservative cut by utter defeat? One such could be in the soup (7)
CROUTON – CON(conservative) containing ROUT(utter defeat)
22 Indian city set around old marketplace (5)
AGORA – AGRA(Indian city) containing O(old)
23 A united country (4)
PERU – PER(a) and U(united)

54 comments on “Times 28582 – was there an oldgate?”

  1. 11:41 made this a very fast one for me. Of course many went in without full understanding, and I had the same double-takes as you, so thank you for your clarification!!

  2. 13:32
    On the ho-hummy side. I biffed the two 1s, parsed post-submission. I had a MER at ‘into’, but I guess it works. Liked TIE CLIP.

  3. DNF, but definitely getting easier as the week goes on. My eleven minutes included a couple of interruptions, none of which could be used as an excuse for entering TOE CLIP as my LOI. Bugger.

    Agree that it was a bit on the bland side, lots of standard crossword fare, but I do like DELIVERER now that George has explained it.

    Thanks George and setter.

  4. Started slowly, didn’t get either of the 1s, first one to fall was TOGA, but then sped through it. Quite liked it, some of it very clever. Apart from into=against it was fully understood, still not convinced by that, briefly wondered if ANTIXICANTS (sic) tasted bitter. You know, like antioxidants do.

  5. 20 minutes for me indicates an easy puzzle but there were plenty of interesting and well-constructed clues. I thought I knew all the important days of the Jewish calendar but PURIM has somehow passed me by – not that the answer was hard to construct.

  6. NHO of WHEELBASE, and TENANTABLE seemed odd. My LOI was the rather obvious CAREERIST, which only shows how focused I was, since I had spelled CAPITAL OFFENCE with an S and had to correct that first. Also, I never even questioned “into” for “against,” semi-biffing there. DELIVERER is painfully funny. The “exchange” clue for TIE CLIP stood out.

    1. “Tenantable” is often seen in English leases, eg: “The lessee is to keep the premises in good and tenantable condition and repair”.

  7. 13’45”, with several not fully parsed.


    May I recommend the film ‘Agora’, with Rachel Weisz?

    Thanks george and setter.

  8. 13:12. Surprised by the SNITCH, and comments here: I didn’t find this easy at all! I understand why people dislike the word ‘wavelength’ but I was definitely not on it today. I did have to get up at 5.30 for the second day in a row which might explain it.

  9. To bend with apples the moss’d Cottage-trees,
    And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
    (To Autumn, Keats)

    20 mins pre-brekker. Neat and tidy, no ticks/crosses/QMs and no anagram fodder in the margin. I enjoyed it – over too soon.
    Ta setter and G.

  10. 14 minutes with LOI WHEELBASE. Didn’t know the operation so DELIVERER was a biff, a pity as it would definitely have been my COD if I had. Thank you George and setter.

  11. 24:25 …not bad considering the rustiness of my solving skills following a two-month break, and Ramadan depriving me of a decent brekkie for the second half of that period.

    Had to work quite hard to get a foothold on this one – it was a good 15m before I got either 1a or 1d – but the far RHS held out longest with the second half of WHEELBASE stubborrnly resisting, and finishing sequence SOPAP OPERA, COTTAGE, and INTOXICANT.

    Not sure I’ll be here regularly, as I’m still trying to get more sleep – but a fiver a minth seems reasonable considering my dislike for the rest of the paper. For today, at least – it’s good to be back

    1. I subscribe to the Australian each year specifically to get the crossword, and like you Denise, abhor the sentiment of the rest of the newspaper, so seldom read it at all, unless something so appalling hits my eye as I start to trash it – then I do, to give me cannon-fodder for our upcoming “Current Affairs” U3A class each week.
      Never have counted the cost, as doing this puzzle every morning for the past ten years has been worth “every penny”.

  12. 30 mins but bunged in ANTOXICANT which I thought was a word (it isn’t). Couldn’t see the INTO bit at all.

    NHO PURIM but the clueing was fair.


    Thanks for the explanations g, and setter.

  13. 11:08. No problems apart from starting to write 11A in the space for 10A which messed up my grid a bit, LOI TIE CLIP as a result. COD to CAPITAL OFFENCE. Thanks George and setter.

  14. 07:48, so no hold-ups, queries, or eyebrows raised. Pretty sure I have seen the DELIVERER device before, but it’s a good ‘un, so why not. It sprang even more quickly to mind as I was reading an article very recently on the 40th (that can’t be right, how did I get so old…) anniversary of Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, which features a de-livering sketch, not one for the faint hearted.

  15. 15 minutes, with CAT-O-NINE-TAILS, CAPITAL OFFENCE and DELIVERER not fully understood, and similar uncertainty over the ‘into’ in INTOXICANT as others. Straightforward otherwise.

    Thanks setter and blogger.

    FOI Turin
    LOI Soap opera
    COD Capital offence (now that I understand it!)

  16. I also found this harder than the SNITCH suggests I should have. True, many went in as confident biffs without bothering to parse… but I was held up by ENVY, TIE CLIP and TOGA. Saw DELIVERER instantly, and enjoyed it. NHO PURIM, but it couldn’t be much else with crossers. 38 mins.

  17. 23 minutes today, I think that was me being slow rather than the puzzle being hard. My LOI was TURIN which was probably the easiest clue. And I was unforgivably slow to get CAPITAL OFFENCE. I should deffo have coffee before doing the crossword in future.
    PS soap operas seem to be a lot on setters minds recently, or is that just me?
    Thanks everyone much appreciated as always.

  18. 16.40 but did not parse ‘intoxicant’. I’m not fully convinced by ‘into’ as a synonym for ‘against’, but perhaps I’m just being picky.

      1. Thanks for that example. I wasn’t convinced by previous explanations and I can’t easily think of another example where the words are interchangeable, but that’s pretty good.

      2. That has ‘legs’ as they say, but the ‘into’ there has to be qualified by ‘wind’ otherwise it doesn’t mean anything. In fact ‘wind’ is probably the only context in which you could use that sentence, which strikes me as a bit unfair in a crossword clue.

  19. 28:47. I didn’t think it was that easy. Held up at the end by FINNISH (because I couldn’t get FLEMISH out of my head) and INTOXICANT. I liked PERU – one of those clues where the easy-to-miss “a” has a major part to play. But COD to DELIVERER, with thanks to Topical Tim for the liver donor sketch reminder

  20. 14:15
    Long ones made this a bit of a stroll. I liked ENVY ad DELIVERER.

    Flying off this afternoon to spend a week being IDLE in a COTTAGE in Lossiemouth on the NE coast of Scotland. It will, I suspect, be bracing and INTOXICANTs may be required..

    Thanks to George and the setter

  21. 18 mins. Struggled to think of a suitable bird for NOMINATION which didn’t help with the unknown PURIM. However, re the above, I’m already on holiday sitting having a caffeine INTOXICANT in Skelwith Bridge.

  22. 32 minutes which should have been quicker I suspect, with one entered without understanding, quite easy really. I wasn’t convinced by into = against, and I wondered why the clue for 16ac had ‘is here’. Perhaps in order to mislead stupid people into thinking the answer might be ‘present’; it nearly worked. For 12ac I just thought Tonga – n but George’s version is better, accounting for ‘never’ and reducing the need for a link-word. I bet the PERU clue is a chestnut.

  23. 25 ish mins which is fine with me. same view as others on intoxicant but nothing else worked. COD deliverer, which I worked out from “hepa”.

  24. I enjoyed this puzzle, especially DELIVERER and CAT-O-NINE-TAILS. TURIN and NEWGATE saw me off to a quick start. INTOXICANT was LOI after I corrected a mis-biffed FLEMISH to FINNISH. 19:57. Thanks setter and George.

  25. Good puzzle. I should have finished quicker if I hadn’t unaccountably struggled with CAPITAL OF FENCE despite being sure there was a fence somewhere. Oh well. The other long ones were quite easy, 1a CAT… going in mainly from enumeration.

  26. 16:25

    Race around the grid, nearly everything going in without a struggle – a couple that held me up were PURIM (vaguely heard of), INTOXICANT (bunged the X in front of the I and then tried to come up with a word that fit).

    DEPARTMENTALLY and PRETEXT last two in. I did like DE-LIVER-ER.

  27. PS At the time, I was bothered by the MINA bird in 3dn NOMINATION, but just bunged it in and moved on. I have now tried looking it up. I can find myna, and mynah, and even miner, but not mina. So I’m registering a MER. You’d think I would have something better to do

    1. ?
      Try searching mina in the online Collins or Chambers, to get the bird. Or in my Chambers or Oxfrod app. Or my treeware 1981 Macquarie Australian Dictionary. Every single significant dictionary has mina… except perhaps for the on-line Oxford dictionary/lexico, which seems to have disappeared from the interwwweb thingy? Does it still exist?

      1. Sadly the Oxford/Lexico thing has been absorbed into the American owned Dictionary.com. I won’t touch it now but have resorted to using my printed Oxfords.

      2. It’s not in my ODE or Collins apps, and I’ve never seen anything other than mynah. Is it perhaps a non-British English variation?

      3. Ah. Yes. I’ve found it in Collins. Below the entry defining mina as an ancient unit of weight and money, used in Asia Minor, equal to one sixtieth of a talent. It’s an American spelling of myna. So, thanks, that’s fine. I guess

  28. 12:11 with a mild flutter of uncertainty at INTOXICANT for the same into/against problem as mentioned by others.

  29. I finished just within target at 43.45 but felt I was slower than I should have been. The general consensus seems to be that this was fairly straightforward, so I must conclude I wasn’t quite at the races today. Like others, couldn’t get past FLEMISH for a while, but getting INTOXICANT of course made FINNISH obvious.

  30. 15.02 with LOI intoxicant. Thought it fitted but struggled with into being against as it’s so often used to be in favour of. Best time of the week so more on the wavelength it would appear.
    Nice puzzle.

  31. Straightforward solve in 21’38”, with a mild concern on seeing 1A and 1D vary early on that our dear Home Secretary might be compiling crosswords as a sideline.

  32. 32 minutes and I thought this was a scream, not only because of the many delicious clues (ENVY, for example, and CAPITAL OFFENCE, where the wordplay even helped choose the correct spelling). I would not have understood the wordplay for DELIVERER had it not been that by chance, today, I was listening to a 1 1/2-year old episode of Merriam-Webster’s Word Matters podcast, on words which have been dropped from their dictionary. One such word mentioned was hepatectomize, although hepatectomy stayed in, very topical information indeed for this crossword. TIE CLIP was very clever, too. Good puzzle!

  33. I thought my 23 mins without any problems was an okay time (for me). I don’t see how anyone can complete in 6 mins, it takes me longer than that just to read the clues.

  34. 26:51 which is fast for me.

    LOI was DEPARTMENTALLY, which like others I had to build from the bottom up.

    No biffing needed, except 21a, where in common with others I could not see how against made INTO.

  35. A steady solve in 20 minutes. I found it more like a Monday puzzle, with the bottom half falling into place more quickly than the top half. Agree with SteveB that we have had a lot of soap recently.
    Thanks to george and other contributors.

  36. Nice puzzle, solved in stages, as I was busy driving to Ely and back most of today, and the traffic was heavy.
    My late colleague, Dr Eddie Young, who was a very accomplished solver, did a wonderful clue for the AZED competition many years ago for ‘Rough and Ready’: “A hard tussle with Dr E Young plainly winning”. AZED 1775

  37. Started off badly by bunging in HANGING OFFENCE ( could not understand why the first part, but…), so that threw me off the scent with 1a, as it then started with HIT A ……. ( I had put in TURIN already, my FOI.) That meant that the NW crossers were all wrong. Good PDM when I finally amended 1d, and could then put in LADETTE. DELIVERER my COD, among many good clues.

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