Times 28960 – yarr mateys

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Time taken: 15:18. Yes, it’s Tricky Thursday!

I’m not quite on my game today, spent most of the day at the hospital with a friend who has a bad case of covid (yes, I know, how 2020).  I struggled with this one and it looks from the early times that it is definitely on the trickier end of the spectrum. One for the classicists maybe?

How did you get along?

1 S American native prepared after second to seize weapon (8)
MARMOSET – SET(prepared) after MO(second) containing ARM(weapon)
9 Terrible footballer’s in short socks (8)
HOPELESS – PELE’S(footballer’s) inside HOSE(socks) minus the last letter
10 For the moment I am facing my opposite (8)
MEANTIME – ME(I) facining ANTI ME(my opposite)
11 Be entirely appropriate? Only at odd intervals (8)
FITFULLY – to be entirely appropriate could be to FIT FULLY
12 What landlord has to say about beer to start with (4,6)
REAL ESTATE – STATE(say) after RE(about), ALE(beer)
14 Where you may find some house mice? (4)
SEMI – hidden inside houSE MIce, referring to the type of dwelling
15 College once left almost 50p as an example (7)
POLYGON – POLY(college once) then GONE(left) minus the last letter
17 Turner does better with brown (7)
CAPSTAN – CAPS(does better) and TAN(brown)
21 Extremely important not to start appealing (4)
CUTE – ACUTE(extremely important) minus the first letter
22 Ensign’s delight about pounds received (5,5)
JOLLY ROGER – JOY(delight) surrounding L and L(pounds) then ROGER(received)
23 Cheeky bloke only just up (8)
FRESHMAN – FRESH(cheeky), MAN(bloke). Up referring to being in residence at University
25 Took a risk housing priest about to be thrown off course (8)
DERAILED – DARED(took a risk) surrounding ELI(priest), all reversed
26 Furious speed across carpet, turning back in panic (8)
STAMPEDE – anagram of SPEED surrounding MAT(carpet) reversed
27 Sideline, say, going into recount (8)
RELEGATE – EG(say) inside RELATE(reount)
2 Daniel’s companion, retired, gaining new self-confidence (8)
ABEDNEGO – ABED(retired), N(new), EGO(self-confidence). Biblical reference.
3 Folk I link with servility (8)
MENIALLY – MEN(folk), I, ALLY(link)
4 Trim tail off wader (4)
SNIP – remove the end from SNIPE(wader)
5 Racing home? (3,4)
THE FLAT – double definition, the first referring to flat racing, and THE FLAT might be your apartment
6 He made preparations to preach differently through a year (10)
APOTHECARY – anagram of TO,PREACH inside A,Y(year)
7 Very determined man will grass (4-4)
HELL-BENT – HE’LL(man will) and BENT grass
8 Say, Iran’s revised ancient Middle Eastern language (8)
ASSYRIAN – anagram of SAY,IRAN’S
13 Rider to move quickly during downpour (10)
SHOWJUMPER – JUMP(move quickly) inside SHOWER(downpour)
15 CO picking up beret with one clenched hand (8)
PACIFIST – CAP(beret) reversed with I(one), FIST(clenched hand). CO means Conscientious Objector here
16 Reformist leaders of local unit nervous around a certain regiment (8)
LUTHERAN – first letters of Local Unit Nervous surrounding THE(a certain), RA(regiment)
18 Son making fun of ornamental stitching (8)
SMOCKING – S(son), MOCKING(making fun of)
19 What 6 maybe offered in repeat upset (8)
APERIENT – anagram of IN,REPEAT, referring to the answer to 6 down
20 Spoils public library? Not on (7)
PLUNDER – PL(public library), UNDER(not on)
24 No place for involving more than one river (4)
URAL – remove PL(place) from PLURAL(involving more than one)

63 comments on “Times 28960 – yarr mateys”

  1. 31:52
    Off to a very slow start, and didn’t ever pick up much speed. I wondered about 5d, thinking there was a specific race, like The Oaks; evidently not. LOI POLYGON, put in because I couldn’t think of anything else; still don’t get the clue.

    1. It’s referring to the 50p coin not being round. I remember it being an odd shape, it’s a heptagon.

      1. Thing is, it’s not a polygon since a polygon has straight sides. Maths teachers grimace, at least, at such imprecision.

        1. Indeed, it’s a cyclic heptagon. There was a rather jolly and infuriating competition to draw an example using on a rule and a compass. I failed.

          1. Not surprising that you did not win – a regular heptagon is not constructible, although a 17-gon is.

  2. Around 90 minutes. I found it quite hard with many answers unparsed. Relieved to find everything correct. Hardest part was SW corner where POLYGON was a particular difficulty. This as made worse because I initially had NEXT PLEASE for 12A. In 15D I had no idea what the CO stood for. I worked it out once I got the solution. LOI LUTHERAN

    1. re CO: I on the other hand was so pleased to follow the wordplay for PACIFIST that I forgot to parse it. DOH!

  3. 35 minutes. I missed the full parsing of MEANTIME.

    SMOCKING was clearly the answer at 18 going by wordplay and checkers but I would never have associated it with ornamental stitching so one lives and learns! ‘Smock’ for me conjured up images of country yokels, and garments worn as protection by artists in their attics and people doing housework.

  4. 20:03. Made tricky by several unknowns today – ABEDNEGO, SMOCKING and APERIENT. I looked up the latter post solving and under the definition it also has aperitive meaning an aperitif or a laxative. You don’t want to get them mixed up for your pre-dinner drinks!

  5. SMOCKING seemed logical, not sure I’ve ever seen it before. I had the right side finished long before the left. Took a break for victuals.

  6. DNF, giving up a couple of minutes short of the hour. No idea about THE FLAT in racing, and still hadn’t figured out where the letters went in 18d, though I should have figured out FITFULLY and was ready to put in URAL even without understanding it.

    1. To those of us with bad habits, THE FLAT is simply the opposite of “the jumps”. Think Derby as opposed to Grand National.

      1. I’ve had so little experience with racing that I didn’t know the Derby was flat, though I have at least seen jumping at the Grand National… Mind you, I’d probably rather learn about the horses than the Old Testament!

  7. 39 minutes with LOI MENIALLY. Shadrach, Meshach and ABEDNEGO were remembered from Sunday School and also the Louis Armstrong song. I’m failing to get down with the kids again. COD to PACIFIST, but do you have to remember the war to know about that use of CO? POI was THE FLAT, needing all crossers, despite having just downsized into one. We call it an apartment, of course. Quite tough, this. Thank you George and setter.

  8. NHO ABEDNEGO so threw in the towel for a DNF in about 50. I should have thrown in said towel earlier, then I could have said DNF in about 40. Some tough clueing here, I mean anti me? Huh? Also never knew of a conchy being a CO. POLYGON was doubly difficult for the non-UK contingent, with knowledge (which fortunately I had) required of both the school and the shape of the coin. Gil’s explanations much appreciated.

    From I Want You (about Brian Jones some say):
    Well your dancing child in his Chinese suit
    He spoke to me, I took his flute
    No I wasn’t very CUTE to him was I?
    But I did it because he lied
    Because he took you for a ride
    Because time was on his side, and because I…

  9. I thoroughly enjoyed this despite a slow start, and the cross reference, and was helped by having all the necessary GK.

    TIME 13:09

  10. 27.05
    Not as tricky as yesterday’s, but getting there.
    I vaguely remembered ABEDNEGO from The Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet song about the fiery furnace, but couldn’t have made the Old Testament connection; likewise the ASSYRIAN:
    “One false step, and he’ll swoop on me like the – who was it who came down like a wolf on the fold?”
    “The Assyrian, sir.”

    1. Well done to parse HOPELESS; I would never have found Pele, and the HOSe wasn’t a given. Biffed.

  11. 34′, found this difficult, and paused to go to vote. On the way there we met a lady looking lost, she couldn’t remember the way to the polling station after 80 years living in the area. On the way back we met her again and she asked us what she should do with the papers in her hand. Noting that these included her (blank) ballot paper, we suggested she go back to cast her vote. I love democracy.

    ABEDNEGO straight in. Took a long time over FITFULLY, FRESHMAN and, unaccountably, SHOWJUMPER.

    POLYGON was LOI – even with POLY— I stared at it for ages. A POLYGON has straight sides! – ‘threepenny bit’ would have been much more accurate than 50p.

    Thanks george and setter.

  12. 36:06
    The unknown ABEDNAGO caused all sorts of difficulties. I tentatively entered ALTEREGO as I couldn’t think of anything else that fitted and that delayed MEANTIME, but after an age sense eventually prevailed.

    The other unknown APERIENT was entered as a best fit of the remaining letters from the anagram fodder. URAL went in with a shrug as I didn’t know what the deuce was happening so thanks to George for that one.

    Overall a very chewy Thursday.

    Thanks to both.

  13. 19:20. Very tough, very enjoyable. Lots of great PDMs. APERIENT was my only unknown in the answers. I didn’t know about ABEDNEGO’s relationship with Daniel but I did know about him and his mates Shadrach and Mesach from the Beastie Boys track on Paul’s Boutique. One of my favourite albums.
    The device in 12ac is very clever but I thought it could have done with a question mark.

    1. My favourite coat was nicked from a pub years ago with my favourite cassette (at the time) in the pocket, Paul’s Boutique

      *In case you’re wondering why that reply’s 3 days late, that’s how far behind I usually am with my solving!

      1. At least it didn’t have your Walkman in it!
        Glad I’m not the only person round here with a bit of musical taste 😉

  14. Even I didn’t immediately associate ABEDNEGO with Daniel, though it is the best Bible story to have related in Oliver Postgate’s soft Welsh accent. Otherwise, 22.13 for this stiffish challenge, with last in URAL knowing it had to be but wanting to know why. Shouldn’t, really, as I’m sure (now) it’s been done before. Is the JOLLY ROGER an ensign? I suppose it is.
    APERIENT worked out from wordplay and probability. I’ll stick to my morning tea.
    Off to Church for guidance before I vote. Have pity on me: I’m in Clacton constituency.

  15. Almost an hour of grind only to fall at the last hurdle, ironically 5d where I entered THE FLAG, with one of the chequered variety in mind as the ‘home’ for motor races. A very tricky test today. Thanks for this toughie to the clever setter and for explaining all to George.

  16. 30:23. Interrupted several times, which didn’t help, but I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who struggled to get on the wavelength. APERIENT was an unknown, so I was glad to see I’d guessed the letter placements correctly. STAMPEDE , MARMOSET and SHOWJUMPER held me up the longest. Thanks George and setter.

  17. 31 – about as tricky as they get. Trusted the wordplay for ABEDNEGO, APERIENT and others. Much ingenuity on show.

  18. 26:55

    Challenging and enjoyable. Several minutes spent over my last three as I fell for the misdirection in FITFULLY and particularly REAL ESTATE (where does that B go?)
    LOI FLAT having toyed with TAPE until I had the checkers.

    As a choirboy in 1971, I recall singing “Shadrach, Mesach and Abednego to tea, here comes Jonah and the whale and the sea”, but I don’t remember the name of the piece or the composer.

    Thanks all.

  19. 30 mins, but I did get bogged down in the NW. Marmosets are S American… who knew? And I did have to a trawl to find the right bird.
    And yes, my prep school ensured that I knew ABEDNEGO.

  20. Another here who grimaced at calling a 50p piece a polygon. If it was a polygon you couldn’t use it in slot machines, but it’s an equicurved heptagon (a curve of constant width) so you can. May also be a cyclic heptagon but I’ve never heard the term. However, Collins says that in American English they’re ‘usually straight’, so that seems to let the setter off the hook.

    But that wasn’t the reason for my taking 60 minutes, and using aids for SHOWJUMPER and SMOCKING, of which I’d never heard. Jump = move quickly would never have occurred. Wanted storm to be in there somehow. Slow to see that APERIENT was just an anagram.

  21. 71:26. Very enjoyable and satisfying to finish, with the difficulty pretty evenly spread. Not many easy ones today, although FOI THE FLAT presented itself on first look. The only unknown was, I think, APERIENT (which was, as others have said,the most likely looking arrangement of the anagrist once the crossers were there) and I did not understand BENT=grass, and still don’t.
    No problem with SMOCKING; we own – well, mrs k owns – a smocking machine. LOI ABEDNEGO with the penny finally dropping when I tried ABED for retired and the rest fell into place. I liked FIT FULLY and JOLLY ROGER and the rest.
    Thanks setter and blogger

  22. 54 minutes. Several such as ABEDNEGO barely known and entered from wordplay. The consecutive unchecked letters didn’t help with a few more like FITFULLY and MENIALLY. Slow, but satisfied to fill the grid correctly.

  23. 39:56 but a with a typo.
    Found this very tough but a fine puzzle over all. After toiling for 35 minutea I took a break for something to eat and then rattled off the last five or six very quickly. Must try this more often. No trouble with ABEDNEGO or APERIENT but somehow managed to enter THE FLAY.

    I liked FITFULLY and MENIALLY.

    Thanks to George and the setter.

  24. As usual, when faced with ambiguous instructions for an unknown word I jumped the wrong way – ‘gaining’ could be a container, and ABENDEGO looked more plausible to me. Nasty clue. Found this rather a joyless 25-minute slog throughout.

  25. Two goes needed.

    NHO APERIENT but it was the most likely answer; like kapietro above, I don’t get how bent=grass for HELL-BENT; constructed the unknown ABEDNEGO from wordplay; and didn’t know what exactly a CAPSTAN does but was happy to trust that it turns.

    Thanks glh and setter.

    FOI Semi
    LOI Abednego
    COD Pacifist

    1. ODE sv bent 2: (also bent grass) a stiff grass whih is used for lawns and is a component of pasture and hay grasses.

  26. After 50 minutes I was left with 5d and 11a. I’d already had to check APERIENT and had run out of steam, so I looked up THE FLAT. Then I managed to get FITFULLY. Submitted off leaderboard at 52:45 to find I’d solved the rest correctly. Thanks setter and George. A bit of a struggle.

  27. 45:07 but…

    As for some others, ABEDNEGO, SMOCKING, APERIENT all unknown – I cheated with the first of those as I couldn’t see any possible words with those checkers – not a bl**dy clue! Heard of Daniel in the lions’ den, but no idea about the rest of it. APERIENT assumed from checkers and remaining letters, but couldn’t have said what it meant. Also didn’t get the THE in LUTHERAN while in flight. No problem with THE FLAT.

    Thanks G and setter

  28. Gave up after 40 with ABEDNEGO, THE FLAT, FITFULLY and APERIENT all unsolved. Might have got APERIENT if I’d spotted the bloody anagram indicator, but I was looking for 2 words meaning upset, because I’m an idiot.


  29. 42.28 Pleased to get there as it felt hard. I liked ME-ANTI-ME, possibly because of some vague recollection of a comic character having a similar name.

  30. 14:44

    I didn’t think this was unusually hard, but the SNITCH suggests otherwise. Early on I confidently chucked in WELL for 4D (a wader – WELLY – tail off, and taking “trim” to mean fit and well). That delayed me until the end, when MARMOSET couldn’t be anything else, although SNIPE took some dredging up from memory.

    No especial standout clues, though I thought URAL was neat.

    Happy holiday to our American cousins.

  31. Interesting thing about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Those are the Babylonian names they were known by after they became officials in Nebuchadnezzar’s government. In Hebrew they were Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.

  32. 22.12. I actually thought that I had taken longer, but my time would have been even better if I had not had repeatedly to recover the correct puzzle when it kept flipping on my iPad. Sometimes you just get lucky with your personal General Knowledge. Having been married for almost 50 years to a nurse helps with words like ‘aperient’.

  33. No time recorded for this one, as I was solving it whilst watching The Tour de France. Hoping for another Mark Cavendish masterclass, but he was off the pace today. It took me some time to get going, and I was on the point of throwing in the towel on a number of occasions, but I persevered and thought I had finally completed with everything parsed. My joy was short lived after finding that Daniel’s pal was not ABENDIGO as I thought, but ABEDNIGO. I was absolutely certain I had it right, and it even parses! Grrrrr………

  34. DNF

    Let down by lack of OT prophet / late 80’s rap knowledge.

    Very enjoyable challenge.

    Thank you setter and glh

  35. A bit slow out of the blocks today, but pleased to finish with everything parsed in 30’30”. I found this much easier than yesterday’s offering, for which I scored a DNCCTF (did not come close to finishing).

  36. After a DNF yesterday I was hoping for something better today. It was, in as much as all was correct, but it took me a dog’s age including a couple of interruptions. Around 50 mins would be my estimation.

    Bottom bit was the most troublesome with in turn Lutheran, derailed, freshman and last but not least showjumper. In the latter case, not helped by rushing to judgment with snowjetter!

    Still good puzzle.

  37. Finished in 52 minutes but with ABENDEGO instead of ABEDNEGO. So I had the right idea but no cigar as they say
    Also NHO APERIENT but got that one right. My travails with those two clues probably cost me an extra 5 minutes or more at the end!
    I enjoyed this puzzle though despite its difficulty, not always the case.
    Thanks setter and blogger

  38. Well, this took me 90 minutes, and I had to look up Aperient – new word for me. Very tricky puzzle but still enjoyable.

  39. I enjoyed this despite a very slow start (the whole thing took me 70 minutes), much annoyed along the way by the entries with two unches in sequence, which made it harder to guess anagrams and the like. My POI was APERIENT (as a correction of the random sequence of letters I had before) after SMOCKING and when I finally dared to submit, I found two pink squares, but not there. I couldn’t think of SNIPe but unfortunately I did remember the skink, just not what it really was (I doubt it is a wader). So my trimming was SKINning and not SNIPping. Some clues were absolutely superb. I enjoyed the non-commanding officer conscientious objector in 15dn and HELL-BENT, despite not knowing bent grass. I thought the clue parsed as HE’LL BE NT, where NT could be the National Trust or whatever, maybe some slang for grass. Oh, well, another in a long line of DNF’s.

  40. Crikey this for some reason was my worst dnf by five clues. I cannot remember more than a three clue dnf.

  41. I took a long time to start and a long time to finish this, and the overall feeling was one of relief rather than satisfaction. NHO BENT=grass – I must clearly get out to the golf course more. And a MER at JUMP=move quickly. The mathematicians have already said what has to be said on 50p pieces.
    FOI – SEMI
    LOI – URAL
    COD – HOPELESS (it’s hard to think of any other go-to famous footballers for crossword purposes)
    Thanks to george and other contributors.


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