Times 28594 – the leader of the Archies?

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Time taken: 13:39, but with a very silly typo in 1 down.

I don’t think this was as difficult as I made it out to be, many clues took me a number of readings before seeing what was going on. I also confidently typed in some woefully incorrect answers and had to revisit slabs of the grid.

How did you get along?

1 Devious aunt cheated, it can be verified (13)
9 Commander left in charge is a pain (5)
COLIC – CO(commander), L(left) IC(in charge)
10 Energy old President gets with one sausage (9)
PEPPERONI – PEP(Energy) then former President of Argentina Juan PERON, I(one)
11 I am a friend, embracing one in grand manner (10)
IMPERIALLY – I’M (I am), PER(a), ALLY(friend) containing I(one)
12 Mark loses heart — an unhealthy condition (4)
COMA – COMMA(punctuation mark) minus the middle letter
14 Proper lines outside a school (7)
PRIMARY – PRIM(proper), RY(lines) surrounding A
16 Alongside is an animal crossing river (7)
ABREAST – A, BEAST(animal) surrounding R(river)
17 English king surrounded by wise men who look for truth maybe? (7)
SEEKERS – E(English), K(king) inside SEERS(wise men)
19 Wife dumped by author outside church — I understood the quaking! (7)
RICHTER – remove W(wife) from WRITER(author) and insert CH(church)
20 Test hard material lacking carbon (4)
ORAL – CORAL(hard material) minus C(carbon)
21 Features of a square dance in trading establishment (6,4)
CORNER SHOP – CORNERS(features of a square) and HOP(dance)
24 Recording medium — a duo worked with it to get copy (9)
AUDIOTAPE – anagram of A,DUO and IT, then APE(copy)
25 Specifications for limited periods (5)
TERMS – double definitions
26 After end of play stage will be left so dull? (13)
CHARACTERLESS – there will be no characters on the stage at the end of a play
1 Concerning a top bishop, parochial epic’s sorted out (14)
2 Union insolence — it arises in spring (5)
TULIP – TU(trade union), LIP(insolence)
3 Severely criticised old firm organised trade around India (10)
EXCORIATED – EX(old) CO(firm) then an anagram of TRADE surrounding I(India)
4 Design on box? (7)
TOPIARY – cryptic definition with box referring to a tree
5 Top jazz songstress? A star (7)
CAPELLA – CAP(top), and ELLA Fitzgerald
6 Kicked and pulled audibly (4)
TOED – sounds like TOWED(pulled)
7 One creates a stink? On the contrary! (9)
DEODORANT – cryptic definition
8 People we don’t like — this sportsman being nasty, one to be included? (14)
MISANTHROPISTS – anagram of THIS,SPORTSMAN containing I(one)
13 Agent for one managing museum? (10)
PROCURATOR – PRO(for), CURATOR(one managing museum)
15 Island’s wild animal, one getting cold on top and bottom (9)
ICELANDIC – ELAND(wild animal), with I(one) and C(cold) above and below
18 Tiny holes in floor covering in colonnade (7)
STOMATA – MAT(floor covering) inside STOA(colonnade)
19 Most offensive row is “not English” (7)
RANKEST – RANK(row) then EST(is, in French, not English)
22 Army hospital with tidiness falling short (5)
HORDE – H(hospital) and ORDER(tidiness) missing the last letter
23 Your turn in Paris to upset foreign character (4)
IOTA – A TOI(over to you, in French) reversed

51 comments on “Times 28594 – the leader of the Archies?”

  1. Not too hard, but took a bit to get 1dn after confidently writing in ARCHEPISCOPAL, coming up short. Slowed at the end witht IOTA and COMA. Also slow to twig on the type of box in TOPIARY – nice clue.

  2. 20:51
    It took me a while to drop E for energy in 10ac PEPPERONI, and REP for agent in LOI 13d PROCURATOR (DNK). 4d TOPIARY was clever, but I can’t imagine I could get it without a couple of checkers. I liked the misleading definition of MISANTHROPISTS.

  3. Not too hard except for a couple where I didn’t know the word and had to trust the wordplay: ARCHIEPISCOPAL and CAPELLA (as a star). Surely MISANTHROPISTS are people who don’t like us, rather than people we don’t like. Chambers has someone who distrusts everyone else. It took me some time to see how ICELANDIC worked since however I looked at it there seemed to be something unclued. At first I thought cold on top and bottom was ICE and C with ELAND in, but there is an extra E. Then I went for I and then ELAND with C on top and bottom…but then there is an extra I. Finally I squinted the right way and realized it was IC on top and bottom. LOI was DEODORANT which wasn’t very obvious even with all the checkers.

    1. I think it’s meant to be read Yoda-style. “People…we don’t like”.

      1. It’s not just Yodaese–if it were, I think we’d be justified in objecting– it’s English: topicalization. I’m fond of animals; people, I don’t like. Regrets, I’ve had a few. Etc.

            1. For Star Wars Day… “Her name was Yoda, A showgirl she was”.

          1. Ignored punctuation always is.
            All this reminds me of a silly gag I saw somewhere: Yoda points at his desk and says ‘my work here is done’.

  4. 11:48 which seems to be punching above my weight at this stage. As opposed to the Quickie where I managed to press submit before filling in all the squares.

    A few unknowns or semi-knowns, including the French, but there were enough breadcrumbs left to lead to a solution.

    CORNER SHOP and RICHTER were probably my faves today. I like a good cryptic definition, but thought TOPIARY and DEODORANT weren’t great examples of the genre.

    Still a very pleasant diversion as always. Thanks George and setter.

  5. 10:17 Initially got 1 dn wrong, but the rest fell into place afterwards.

  6. 44 minutes. I really don’t know what took me so long over my target half-hour as I had started so well with three of the four long answers at the perimeters going in almost straightaway.

    I lost a bit of time at the end finding it disconcerting that for my final two answers (12ac and 23dn) I was looking for words to fit the pattern ?O?A.

    CAPELLA as a star was new to me, and I thought the cryptic definition at 5dn was a bit weak.

  7. 53:28. Oh dear. Same as yesterday. That’s two days running I’ve found it harder than the SNITCH would suggest. Struggled in particular with both the long down anagrams and the area that included DEODORANT, COMA, ABREAST and RICHTER. Good one though

  8. 18:38. I made a bit of a mess of the grid trying to write ARCHEPISCOPAL in for 1D, but the mistake that held me up at the end was misspelling DEODORANT with a second E, which made COMA impossible to find until I had exhausted all _E_A possibilities and realised, which add about 4 minutes at the end. I had a MER at MISANTHROPISTS but see it now. Nice puzzle though. I liked is “not English”. Thank-you George and setter.

    1. I made the same spelling mistake with DEODERANT as you, John ( obviously not an American!) which also held me up with ?E?A , which unlike you, I never rectified.
      I also had forgotten the French “a toi” – struggling with “vous” for a long time. Also unhappily entered BORDER SHOP, thinking that it was a new one on me, after RUDEST at 19d …oh well!

    2. Ditto. I figured ARCHEPISCOPIAL had to be a word until IMPERIALLY arrived. Not sure why I struggled to get Coma as LOI.

  9. 42 minutes with LOI COMA.. I was worried about MISANTHROPISTS being haters and not hatees too before shrugging. I’ve no idea what STOMATA are but reached them via STIGMATA. I liked TOPIARY and CHARACTERLESS best in this tricky puzzle. Thank you George and setter.

  10. Little to frighten the horses today, although I couldn’t parse IOTA and the nho CAPELLA was trusted to wordplay.

    I’m very sensitive to DEODORANTs, perfume and all the other junk people smother themselves with – going on a plane is a nightmare. So 5d for me was not only approaching a poor clue, but an inaccurate one too.

    19’37”, thanks george and setter.

    1. I agree and sympathise. I once was unable to escape a plane debarcation queue behind two inconsiderate yankee ‘ladies’ who sprayed their new duty free perfumes on themselves and me. Two different stinks, both musky, resulting in itchy red eyes and sneezes, and an internal evocation of Gordon Ramsay’s mantra.

  11. 17:55. I liked some of the subtleties today, even if I didn’t see them until coming here. I’m thinking particularly of “People we don’t like” and “is not English”.
    I also thought the clue for my LOI, IOTA, was clever. I was tempted to biff it but eventually managed to work out the parsing. However, it seems to me that the word “to” in the clue is only serving to make the surface read correctly and is redundant to the definition or the parsing. Or have I missed another subtlety?

    1. I read it as similar to ‘to be included’ in 8dn, just active rather than passive. They’re instructions along the lines of ‘which has to be included’/’which you have to upset’.

  12. 9:51. I liked this one: I found myself needing the wordplay most of the time despite having almost all the required knowledge (I didn’t know CAPELLA). I panicked briefly over my last one in: COMA, one of those very simple clues that seem to have almost infinite possibilities. Fortunately it was nicely amenable to an alphabet trawl.

  13. 25 minutes. Didn’t parse STOMATA, relied on the wordplay for CAPELLA, and like others I thought 1d would be ‘archepiscopal’ before realising another I was needed. Liked the “not English” device in RANKEST, even if it took me a while to figure out, and luckily my French just about stretched far enough to get IOTA.

    FOI Authenticated
    LOI Coma
    COD Icelandic

  14. A completed grid but a little help was needed with unravelling ARCHIEPISCOPAL.

    CHARACTERLESS and IOTA needed the blog to fully understand the parsing.

    AUDIOTAPE parsed incorrectly as TAPE anagram of A DUO + IT and def. as ‘copy’. I can see that didn’t really work.

    NHO STOMATA but somehow managed to put it together from wordplay and crossing letters.

  15. About an hour,( with regular micro-interruptions). Had to check the spelling for 1D. Which makes me slow AND a cheat today. Just as well we don’t use our real names. Otherwise a fairly steady solve anti clockwise around the grid. Nearly gave up on IOTA but suddenly saw it. Liked TOPIARY, which I felt sure was going to be something to do with the telly.

  16. 51 minutes with a couple of bits of help from lists that I immediately regretted, since both answers were so obvious, so this time would have been longer. I just couldn’t think of a four-letter jazz songstress apart from Kitt. And I couldn’t think of a sausage that ended in i. MISANTHROPE was annoying and bewildering. Liked RICHTER but didn’t think much of the DEODORANT clue.

  17. 33.32. Found this hard going in more ways than one. I wonder whether solvers of French crosswords are expected to know English ?

  18. 32 minutes, slowed down a lot by the 2 anagrams at 1ac and dn. I think having only a phone and not being able to jot the letters down definitely is a disadvantage for the anagrams. Also initially thought the solution to 1ac would mean “can be verified” rather than just “verified”. DNK Archi… but once I saw the start had to be arch then it became guessable. COD TOPIARY for sure.
    Thanks setter and blogger (also for your replies last week)
    Cheers Steve

  19. 40 mins to do everything but COMA, which took me another 15.

    Thought DEODORANT was a rather poor clue, and was irritated by CORAL – obv setter has never heard of soft corals. That said, this was a good balance; challenging, with some NHO words (ARCHIEPISCOPAL), but just enough help to make them gettable. Liked TOPIARY.

    1. I expect he just relied on Collins, as setters do: “Coral is a hard substance formed from the bones of very small sea animals.”

  20. 07:29, so I was right on it this sunny morning. Like everyone else, started with ARCHEPISCOPAL and was glad I was solving on a screen and not on paper, when I had to go back and work out what the extra letter was and where it belonged. That aside, the four long ones round the edge fell almost instantly, which made everything else much simpler.

  21. 25 minutes, enjoyable, no major delays except I tried to get 1d to be ARCHEPISCOPIAL to be a word for a while until the checking PRIMARY caused a rethink. I’d heard of Capella and stomata and biffed ICELANDIC at the end.
    Thanks George.

  22. Just crept in under target at 44.50. A steady solve throughout really in spite of getting the very helpful 1ac instantly which should have been a better springboard to a faster solve. Eventually all solved and parsed, although it took me a while to get my LOI IOTA, where my GCE French (failed) knowledge was not sufficiently good enough to be absolutely certain it was right.

  23. I sorted 1d out by putting ARCH in, then ISCOPAL at the end, and popped the other letters in with IMPERIALLY and PRIMARY helping out. MISANTHROPISTS was POI and COMA finished the job. TOED was FOI. 21:13. Thanks setter and George.

  24. I solved two-thirds of the puzzle in 6 minutes, then took 30 more to get the rest!. Anything SE of the NE-SW diagonal seemed distinctly harder. It seemed an oddly balanced puzzle. I don’t see the function of ‘it can’ in 1a. In effect there are two anagrinds, ‘devious’ and the otiose ‘it can’. The definition for COMA was pretty weak, as was the use of ‘on the contrary’ in the clue to DEODORANT. Ditto, ‘is “not English”‘ for EST.
    I didn’t care much for the puzzle at all.

  25. 36 minutes. Most of the points that occurred to me while solving have been covered above. Quite a few not fully parsed so happy to escape unscathed. The image of the CORNERS HOP was my favourite today.

  26. Took so long to sort out the ARCHI-something at 1d that I stopped counting. Some of the clues felt a bit off for reasons already discussed (deodorant, the non-English “is” in partic) but TOPIARY was cute.

  27. 38 mins, spent ages on the last 2 until I realised that I’d mistyped ARCHIEPISCOPAL.
    I seem to remember having it on here not that long ago.

  28. After going through almost all the clues, I nearly gave up. My FOI for an age was RICHTER, which didn’t help with anything else. This was then followed by faint letters here and there wherever I thought I saw a possible beginning or ending, such as an initial A for 16A, or an EST at the end of 19D. Fortunately, I had no other entertainment at hand, and no means of looking anything up, so persevered and eventually completed correctly at some point over lunch. Now that it’s done it doesn’t seem so difficult, the only NHO being CAPELLA, but I was definitely not on the wavelength of this particular setter, and every clue had to be teased out laboriously. I was helped with 1D by having the I already in place, meaning there wasn’t much room for error in the letter order. LOI the clever IOTA. I also liked TOPIARY, having eventually discarded TELE—!

  29. The two long anagrams at 1A and 1D certainly made this a straightforward solve for most of the way, but, curiously, my last two in were the two short words, both *o*a, and they held out much longer than they should have. In the end it was 25 mins, with at least five minutes battering away at these two. I liked CHARACTERLESS and the other long anagram at 8D. And I don’t see a ‘Yoda’ problem there. (Is that a Star Wars thing? Seems so from the comments, but I’ve never seen the film. If it’s a TfTT thing, it’s not in the glossary.)

    Edit: Just noticed that YODA is another *o*a. They’re causing me problems today!

  30. 26:36

    I don’t know enough French to know that ‘a toi’ means ‘your turn’, but somehow scraped TOI from my memory to have a reasonable guess at IOTA – so was puzzled as to how the A fitted in.

    COMA required an alpha trawl.
    ORAL – not sure I would have said CORAL is necessarily hard but every day’s a schoolday.
    Didn’t think much of the clue for DEODORANT.
    ICELANDIC – thought of it with just the first checker, but thought it was ICE up front but couldn’t see the animal (LAND or LANDI?) – first office I ever worked in was called ELAND House, so not as if I’d never heard of it.
    STOMATA – educated guess.

    Liked TOED

  31. DNF

    25 minutes left COMA and DEODORANT but gave up on both of them after a further fruitless 15 minutes.

    Thought the rest of this was very good, and COMA was just a blind spot, but not a fan of the DEODORANT clue particularly as I alpha trawled through DIO DOO DRO starters but gave nary a thought to DEO. In retrospect I guess it was ok but for me spoiled an otherwise excellent puzzle. I guess that can be the way with cryptics

    Thanks setter and George

  32. “top bishop” > episcopal > which we all know is an anagram of Pepsi Cola …

  33. I’m another who was held up at the start by not knowing how to spell ARCHIEPISCOPAL. I was certain it began ARCHE.., to the extent that although I had got IMPERIALLY on first pass, I assumed that I had got that wrong, as it would have to begin with E. Eventually looked it up, to confirm that it could be spelled with the I.

    Final time 37:11. LOI COMA.

  34. I struggled to understand the DEODORANT clue parsing (and also spelled it wrongly); and failed to see the corners of the square, only the borders, which left me wondering whether a BORDER SHOP was another name for a Tax-Free outlet…hmm. Think the definition of CORAL as hard material is just wrong, as many corals are relatively soft. But otherwise enjoyed the challenge, and (nearly) finished in about 50 minutes (with interruptions).

  35. References above to iota being a French word bemused me, but I see from Collins’ online French to English dictionary it is in general use.
    I’d only come across it in the context of the Greek alphabet.

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