Times 28907

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic


An entertaining and fairly gentle puzzle. I found the top easier than the bottom, and had to stoke my beard for a bit over the composer (13ac), tricks (15ac), and unmanly (26ac). LOIs, though, were the innocent-looking ruffian (3dn) and goddess (16ac).

Definitions underlined.

1 Warm tribute, last of many (6)
TOASTY – TOAST (tribute) + last of manY
4 Learned of English square housing University College (8)
EDUCATED – E (English), then DATED (square) containing UC (University College).
10 Change regular journey (7)
COMMUTE – double definition.
11 Outline all but first of paradigm shifts (7)
DIAGRAM – remove the first letter from pARADIGM and anagram.
12 Hard drinker knocked back moonshine (4)
TOSH – H (hard) + SOT (drinker) all reversed.
13 Composer and friend sit near Brahms and Liszt (10)
PALESTRINA – PAL (friend) + an anagram of SIT NEAR (B&L is CRS for pi**ed, drunk).
15 Smart visionary welcoming new tricks (9)
CHICANERY – CHIC (smart) + AERY (visionary, as in like a vision, incorporeal) containing N (new).
16 Goddess regularly suppressing her reaction (5)
ERATO -regular letters from hEr ReAcTiOn.
18 Revise fourth letter following word of agreement (5)
AMEND – D (fourth letter) after AMEN (word of agreement).
19 Female experts declare it spares one’s blushes (4-5)
FACE-SAVER – F (female) + ACES (experts) + AVER (declare).
21 Reverse engineering of terminus (10)
23 Mark’s shock when failing to finish (4)
SCAR – SCARe (shock) without its last.
26 Heroic Leander oddly dismissed as unmanly (7)
EPICENE – EPIC (heroic) + even letters from lEaNdEr.
27 My darling returned for a dance (3-4)
ONE-STEP – ONE’S (my), then PET (darling) reversed.
28 Loneliness and anxiety after loss of heart (8)
SOLITUDE – SOLIciTUDE (anxiety) losing its two central letters.
29 Commotion as hairy hosts left (6)
FLURRY – FURRY (hairy) containing L (left).
1 Silent guy climbing with relations (5)
TACIT – CAT (guy) reversed + IT (sex, relations).
2 It’s a crime to break a truce (9)
3 Tough time with press (4)
THUG – T (time) + HUG (press). Hug and the nounal form of tough both caught me out.
5 Frail stranger in empty doorway (7)
DODDERY – ODDER (stranger) in DoorwaY. Lovely clue – my COD.
6 Green plan, green practice (10)
CHARTREUSE – CHART (plan) + RE-USE (green practice).
7 Bones of sailor shortened by injury at work? (5)
TARSI – TAr (sailor) missing the last + RSI (repetitive strain injury, common in typists, injury at work).
8 Humble setters’ carriage (9)
DEMEANOUR – DEMEAN (humble) + OUR (setters’).
9 Ply Rex, say, with beer (6)
REGALE – R (Rex) + EG (say) + ALE (beer).
14 An impressive way to hold up present that’s most generous (10)
HANDSOMEST – SOME (an impressive) + ST (street, way), underneath HAND (present).
15 Unattractive male lacking cleaner clothes (9)
CHARMLESS – M (male) + LESS (lacking), covered on top by CHAR (cleaner).
17 Supporter abbreviated part of speech by old Roman Republican (9)
ADVOCATOR – ADV (abbreviation for adverb, part of speech) + O (old) + CATO (Roman) + R (republican).
19 Dad finally scrubbed and emptied mug (7)
FATHEAD – FATHEr (dad) without the last (finally scrubbed) + AnD without the central (emptied).
20 Hypocrisy about division of territory (6)
CANTON – CANT (hypocrisy) + ON (about).
22 Where spirit is made calm, as before (5)
STILL – triple definition!
24 Fabric-covered walls of library echo (5)
REPLY – REP (fabric) on top of the first and last (walls) of LibrarY .
25 Reportedly flog prisoner here (4)
CELL – sounds like “sell” (flog).

47 comments on “Times 28907”

  1. 43 minutes. NHO ‘visionary / AERY’ at 15ac which the dictionary informs me is an alternative spelling of ‘airy’, though I got CHICANERY immediately from ‘smart / CHIC’.

    Never managed to parse TARSI, so thanks for that one, Will.

  2. I neglected to parse a few, and didn’t even realize it till I came here. All indications are that I was in a state of extreme distraction, but everything was correct anyway. (Then I wrote my blog for Sunday.)

  3. 18:50
    I have ‘CRS?’ by 13ac, and on reflection I think I came across B & L here once; anyway, biffed from PAL. Couldn’t figure out TARSI, DNK RSI. Also biffed HANDSOMEST, failing to parse it. Like Jack, I got CHICANERY from CHIC, NHO AERY, but inferred it was (a) a variant of ‘airy’ that (b) meant (something like) ‘visionary’; does it?

  4. 24 minutes, finishing in the NW with TOASTY and THUG. I wasn’t convinced by AERY as visionary but it had to be.I developed a taste for COD CHARTREUSE in the early seventies when liqueurs were fashionable but haven’t had one this last fifty years. A pleasant puzzle. Thank you William and setter.

  5. 32 minutes exactly, with LOI HANDSOMEST. Made steady but slow progress, a bit disappointed to have gone over the 30 minute mark. Thanks for explaining TARSI, TA-RSI of course, these things are always obvious with hindsight!!!
    Thanks setter and blogger

  6. I spent far too long on TOASTY, and then spent ages wondering how ‘eocene’ could be seven letters and mean unmanly.

    I’ve never used the word ‘solicitude’, and I automatically thought of the medical condition anxiety, from which I suffered for a while, so SOLITUDE was LOI.

    14’29”, thanks william and setter.

  7. 16.12, Pretty much on a par with a very gentle week. It was THUG that took most time, failing to think of a sensible word for press, but if I’d stayed to parse everything it wouldn’t have done.
    That “setters'” was artful: it’s hard to spot the rogue placing of the apostrophe, but good to see at least one setter thinks of the fine bunch of our tormentors as “us”.
    I haven’t had CHARTREUSE in many a long year, but seem to recall the taste suggested it might be more use as a cleaning fluid.
    I did spend a while on REGALE, wondering if it was legitimate to swap rex for reg[ina].

    1. I wouldn’t mention that to the monks of Chartreuse, they might put a curse on you!

  8. A little more difficult than the rest of the week, as expected on Friday, but very doable for me, albeit in about 45′. Brahms & Liszt always reminds me of nights out in the Philharmonic, Liverpool, many years ago. A few NHOs in some of the constructions eg “aery” and the meaning of solicitude. No idea where PALESTRINA came from but I knew it. Enjoyed CHARTREUSE and LOI HANDSOMEST took a while to construct. Thanks William and setter.

    1. Do you remember the Philly wouldn’t allow women pints, nor to approach the bar. I think they could buy drinks but only if not accompanied by a man!

      1. I can remember when bars wouldn’t serve me a pint at the bar. Ladies had to have halves in goblets. The so-called good old days….

      2. Not sure when you were there, I spent quite a bit of time in Liverpool in the early 80s and can’t remember a problem of that nature. Knowing the women who were part of our group I think there might have been a strong word or two if refused a pint! Then again maybe I was too Brahms and Liszt to notice??

  9. 21 minutes. I took a while to get TOASTY at the start and FLURRY at the end and didn’t have much idea about the AERY bit of CHICANERY in between. I liked the juxtaposed HANDSOMEST and CHARMLESS and the STILL triple def.

    I’ll probably regret saying this, but I’m almost looking forward to a toughie after a few on the gentle side this week.

  10. 29:03
    Generally straightforward enough but I spent the last 5 or so minutes on the unknown PALESTRINA (DNK the CRS Brahms & Liszt) and putting together CHARTREUSE.

    I was expecting an absolute stinker after a relatively easy week so I was pleasantly surprised when quite a few of these went in at first reading.

    Thanks to both.

  11. There were several answers whose parsing I didn’t really get, but — except for the final one — I resisted the temptation to biff and tried to work them out as I went, so my 35 minutes would have been rather less if speed had been a concern. With EDUCATED I was wondering what the square was and was thinking about four or nine etc, not the word that hasn’t I’d guess been used by anyone since the early 1960s. Never seen Brahms and Liszt as an anagram indicator. Had always thought that solicitude involved sympathy, but have now learnt that that is only one sense. In 15dn how does ‘clothes’ indicate being on top of, rather than being round? Was it a mistake, and should it have been ‘Unattractive male cleaner lacking clothes’? In 22dn I wondered if ‘still’ meant ‘calm, as before’, in other words an archaic meaning of ‘calm’.

      1. Yes I think you’re right. I was seeing ‘lacking’ and ‘char’ as separate things.

    1. Brahms and Liszt was used as an anagram indicator in 28010 (June2021). You commented that day but not about this.

      I’m not really expecting you would remember this and I forget previous occurrences of words all the time, but thought I’d mention it.

  12. 24 mins. Yes, very gentle for a Friday. As others above, much biffing, tx for the explanation for DEMEANOUR.

  13. Unlike others, I found this one really chewy, with almost every clue requiring some real thought before entering – seems like I wasn’t on the wavelength so much, but I thought it was an excellent puzzle. 7m 57s.

  14. I struggled a bit with this, 33.45. My main problems were the composer, DEMEANOUR and CHARTREUSE in the NE, and CHARMLESS and EPICENE in the opposite corner. All told a nice puzzle, I should have been quicker.

    From Hurricane:
    Now all the criminals in their coats and their ties
    Are free to drink martinis and watch the sunrise
    While Rubin sits like Buddha in a ten-foot CELL…

  15. Almost there on the first go, only held up by HANDSOMEST which I eventually got second time around.

    Didn’t see how SOLITUDE worked and couldn’t have told you that solicitude means anxiousness; took the ‘aery’ in CHICANERY on trust; saw that PALESTRINA was a partial anagram but didn’t initially remember Brahms and Liszt as cockney rhyming slang; didn’t know that EPICENE means unmanly; and if asked, would have said that CHARTREUSE is a wine, such is my ignorance.

    Thanks setter and blogger.

    FOI Face-saver
    LOI Handsomest
    COD Palestrina

  16. 45:24. Off to a good start with eg TOASTY and THUG going straight in, making me think I was doing well with a tricky one. But I ran into the sand at the end trying to find/understand the last few including TARSI and CHICANERY, which both had to be, but I failed to parse, and HANDSOMEST, which went in with fingers crossed. I liked DODDERY and CHARTREUSE.
    Blog much appreciated. Thanks blogger and setter

  17. Lots of biffing today. I was in a hurry – had to play piano for a U3A group. Anyway, got it done and dusted in 25 minutes. I came here to check out CHICANERY . I didn’t recognise AERY as a thing.

  18. 21: 14
    A reasonably gentle puzzle for a Friday. I liked CHICANERY, FACE-SAVER and DEMEANOUR. CHARTREUSE was the only one that made me pause. Even after reading Willliams blog, it took some time to work out that “green practice” was not a golfing reference. FATHEAD!

    Thanks to William and the setter.

  19. DNF

    22’ with only 14d to go but gave up at 30’. Some St? Hmm.

    Thanks all

  20. No time as done in three sessions, interruptions, taxi service etc!

    Pretty enjoyable. First pass I had nothing in the NW and thought, here we go, a Friday stinker, but then the south opened up and I slowly worked clockwise to finish with TACIT, TOASTY & THUG. PALESTRINA (NHO) worked out purely from the cryptic.


    Thanks William and setter.

  21. 18:18 – gentle seems to be the general verdict and mine too. EPICENE was a vaguely familiar word, but not its meaning – though once the crossers were in it couldn’t have been anything else.

  22. More than usual parsed backwards after guessing the right answer, which explains my surprisingly good time (for me) of 22 mins. Pretty sure that on any other day it would have taken much longer, but I got lucky.

  23. Pleased to finish another 15 x 15, even though that means it must have been rather gentle. Wasn’t really sure of the meaning of EPICENE and put PALESTRINA in with fingers firmly crossed. Couldn’t parse TARSI or ONE-STEP and didn’t know ‘aery’. Good way to end the week. Thanks W.

  24. 32:13

    Mostly OK but quite a few bits of parsing missing.

    DNK COMMUTE = change
    NHO PALESTRINA but pieced together from cryptic
    NHO AERY = visionary
    DNK what EPICENE meant – thought it must have been a period in Earth’s history before man existed i.e. unmanly – doh!
    DNK REP = fabric
    Failed to parse TARSI, SOLITUDE and the REUSE bit of 6d
    Don’t know why SOME = ‘an impressive’ – how would one substitute the other

    LOIs TACIT, TOASTY, COMMUTE and THUG in that order

    Thanks for the blog William – it was very helpful

    1. I think it’s to be read as ‘That’s some street!’ = ‘That’s an impressive street!’

  25. A fairly steady solve finishing in 42.16, so a few minutes under target. Mainly held up at the end with my LOI HANDSOMEST and before that SOLITUDE where I had trouble parsing them.

  26. Just realised I never parsed TARSI after the tar’s bit. Took aery on trust. The really easy one was PALESTRINA, where I guessed Pal, knew what B&L inferred, then tried to put it in 15A, where it wouldn’t fit the crossing letters! After that had been sorted out, the crossing downs went in quite quickly, except for LOI DEMEANOUR, where I had the ‘our’ down, but was trying to think of a physical carriage, like a phaeton, for the answer. However, all done and dusted, across a couple of sessions. THUG was one of the trickiest – a Dean Mayer-type clue. Agreed that it’s a fairly friendly Friday, but none the worse for that after the week I’ve had!

  27. 30:24
    LOI was REGALE, since I struggled to equate REG with REG, failing to see say=eg. I also took a while to see TOAST as a tribute.

    Thanks William and setter

  28. NHO REP (with the required meaning), VHO EPICENE and didn’t know ‘green’ was a word for CHARTREUSE despite it being that colour but I got all but HANDSOMEST in shortly over 20 mins in the end, so not too bad overall.

  29. Thanks both. PALESTRINA was fun and triply musical and STILL was clever. ADVOCATOR is a horrible word. ERATO is a muse, not any old goddess.

  30. 24.17 after a delayed second session, but several unparsed, so a late visit here for enlightenment.


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