Times Cryptic 28160

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Solving time: 34 minutes. This was mostly straightforward with a few trickier bits that were easy enough to work around.

As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions and substitutions are in curly brackets} and [anagrinds, containment, reversal and other indicators in square ones]. I usually omit all reference to positional indicators unless there is a specific point that requires clarification.


1 Flounder perhaps in first half, somehow striker’s finish missed (8)
Anagram [somehow] of FI{r}ST HALF [striker‘s finish missed]. I biffed this one and couldn’t see how it worked until I came to write the blog.
6 Maybe spend time inside lighthouse? (6)
BE A CON (maybe spend time inside prison)
9 South American tattoo artist called out? (4)
Sounds like [called out] “inker” (tattoo artist). ‘Ink’ is used informally with reference to tattoos.
10 Where to launch Russian commodores at sea (10)
Anagram [at sea] of COMMODORES. Not a word I knew but I was aware that Russian astronauts are termed ‘cosmonauts’ so it wasn’t much of a stretch to come up with the answer.
11 Intimidate meeting about small plant (3,7)
COW (intimidate), then PARLEY (meeting) containing [about] S (small)
13 Long facial hair has tip removed (4)
{t}ACHE (facial hair) [tip removed]
14 Lover of Homer allowed to return message (8)
MARGE (lover of Homer Simpson) + LET (allowed) reversed [to return]. I wonder if I’m the only person in the country who has never seen the cartoon referenced here?
16 Some birthday, I remember backflipping in city! (6)
Hidden and reversed [some…backflipping] in {birt}HDAY I R{emember}. Capital of Saudi Arabia.
18 Wreck site visit, reportedly, with plot (6)
SEA sounds like [reportedly] “see” (visit), then BED (plot)
20 Peter has fabricated a criminal record (3,5)
Anagram [fabricated] of PETER HAS
22 Slugs ignore rinds of meat (4)
{g}AMMO{n} (m eat) [ignore rinds]
24 My ceramist goes to pot that’s lopsided (10)
Anagram [goes to pot] of MY CERAMIST
26 No country claims publicity award (5,5)
NO, then BELIZE (country) contains [claims] PR (publicity)
28 Demure being almost nineteen, maybe (4)
PRIM{e} (nineteen, maybe) [almost]
29 Second-rate tea, primarily, and where it’s put? (6)
T{ea} [primarily], IN POT (where it’s put?). Often used of nations and dictators.
30 Time during part of the day for sport (8)
T (time) contained by [in] EVENING (part of the day). Horse trials.
2 Spent years breaking into deserted tourist attraction (6,3)
DONE (spent) + Y (years) contained by [breaking into] LONE (deserted). Aka the Millennium Wheel. I ‘ve had this referenced in my blog twice recently.
3 Go, reluctantly, from wild parties (7)
Anagram [wild] of PARTIES
4 Suffer at home with rogue (5)
IN (at home), CUR (rogue)
5 That guy’s   greetings (3)
Two meanings, the second being the plural of Hi!
6 Bird overturned component for explosive device (5,4)
BOOBY (bird), then PART (component) reversed [overturned]. Booby is a seabird not unlike the gannet.
7 A noblewoman carries on so soon (7)
A, then LADY (noblewoman) contains [carries] RE (on)
8 Energy of tuba’s sound when dropping key (5)
OOMP{a}H (tuba’s sound) [dropping key – a]. Other Oompah instruments are available. Here’s one.
12 Sucker starts to lease another mine next to quarry (7)
L{ease} A{nother} M{ine} [starts], PREY (quarry}
15 Racecourse favourite Star must step on it? (3,6)
REDCAR (racecourse), PET (favourite)
17 Food specialist‘s threatening note to an artist? (9)
DIE TITIAN (threatening note to an artist?)
19 Disapproving noises heard at university party (5-2)
BOOZE sounds like [heard] “boos” [disapproving noises), UP (at university)
21 Stew, with seconds included, in popular place (3,4)
HOTPOT (stew) containing [with…included] S (seconds)
23 I drift north from Polynesia, originally (5)
I + ROAM (drift) all reversed [north]
25 Internet joke about new moon (5)
MEME (internet joke) containing [about] N (new)
27 Take out some diamonds (3)
Two meanings, the first being slang for ‘kill’ as is ‘take out’

82 comments on “Times Cryptic 28160”

  1. The quickie took only 3 minutes less today! Just confirms my pet theory about the quickie being very challenging at times.

    Nearly wrote DIETICIAN, which perhaps accounts for some of the errors. Plenty of unknowns here but helpful wordplay. NOBEL PRIZE wins my prize for best clue!

    1. Yes, that was me, even though my sister is one. Somehow worked a homophone into the clue, when there wasn’t one!
  2. I strolled through this, only messing up at 13ac, where I tentatively had BEAR until ACHE presented itself. So 27 minutes for a puzzle more akin to a traditional Monday rather than a Tuesday.

    FOI 4dn INCUR

    LOI 4ac BEACON — what l hear thems Hairy Bikers have for breakfast.

    COD 26ac NOBEL PRIZE — has anyone from British Honduras ever won one!?

    WOD 19dn BOOZE-UP — often held in Downing Street at this time year

    Country notes: 11ac COW PARSLEY known locally as ‘Cow Keg’ in Kesteven, is the most common and tallest resident of the roadsides and woodland fringes. It has a very delicate, musty aroma. Nettles are next.

    Edited at 2021-12-14 11:21 am (UTC)

  3. 28 minutes. Doing well until almost coming a cropper on my LOI the NHO ‘moon’, which wasn’t helped by not knowing the specific meaning of MEME either. I liked AMMO and the misdirection (literally) of the wordplay for MAORI.
  4. Was stuck for a second on TINPOT but then some news came on about a recent American president…

    I think the distant moon may be a more obscure way to clue MNEME than as one of the muses… I always feel “meme” is a misnomer for one of these “Internet jokes” on Facebook, when they still have just three “likes”; they are wannabe memes, or they could use the original name for this style of post (macro-something, I think)…

    I was grateful that the wordplay for DIETITIAN made clear which spelling was required.

    The clue for HIS looked awfully familiar—say no more…

    Edited at 2021-12-14 03:48 am (UTC)

    1. Well, she’s a pretty obscure muse to me: I had to look her up just now to find out about the 3 Boeotian muses. The more familiar 9 are the daughters of Mnemonsyne. I wasted 5 minutes on Mneme before looking it up and putting it in.
      1. What pray, is the point of having a non-obscure muse? The Nine Muses were the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne – Memory personified, distant Memory I suggest.

        Edited at 2021-12-14 08:15 am (UTC)

        1. point well taken, horryd. i generally have to consult Mnemosyne to remember the names of any of the other 8
      2. Indeed. Placing the N inside MEME and seeing MNEME, I immediately thought of “memory” and guessed, rather than remembered, that this must be—like the well-known Mnemosyne—the name of a Greek muse… and hence a likely candidate for the name of a moon.
  5. Nothing too hard except for a little uncertainty about the moon, although vinyl above in his comment shows that there is a place you can put the N and get the wrong answer! I’d never heard of a COSMODROME either, but it couldn’t really be anything else. I was another who nearly put DIETICIAN before realizing that doesn’t work since the painter is not spelt that way. And no problem on the bird since I have made many visits to Booby’s Bay near Wadebridge and Padstow.
  6. While i was solving it felt as if there were a lot of anagrams and homonyms — but when I was done it was just the usual number. I guess that’s an indication that the rest of the clueing was straightforward, and the only ones which needed an extra look were those. I liked Beacon.

    Edited at 2021-12-14 03:57 am (UTC)

  7. Can’t recall achieving many more rapid solves than this. So is it churlish to mention that if my new glasses had arrived (due next week) I’d have been 30 seconds faster?

    11ac was “intimate meeting” to my incorrectly-corrected vision, and that really had me stumped.

    Agree with Vinyl that DIETITIAN was the pick of the bunch, and count me as another who would have misspelt it without the assist.

    Thanks Jack for the blog, and the setter for the confidence-booster.

  8. I might have been on for a PB if I hadn’t slowed down in the SW corner where it took a while to tease out my last few. I’m not sure what prompted me to check the cryptic after initially entering DIETICIAN but I was glad I did. I see now that it is an acceptable spelling so tough on those that did biff it.
        1. I saw them in that era on TV at the weekend. I was quite taken aback to see a clean cut Robert Smith!
  9. My only query was the parsing of LONDON EYE so, thank you, Jack.
    I’ll join you in never having watched The Simpsons but as I live in NZ, you can hold on to the title of the ‘only person in the country etc…’.
    Haven’t we had both HIS and LAMPREY recently?
    Slight issue with 23d MAORI: NZ is part of Polynesia so it would have been more technically correct to have said “from elsewhere in Polynesia originally”.
    1. New Zealand isn’t mentioned or alluded to in the clue. The Maori are aboriginals of Polynesia, wherever any of them may be today… including anywhere in Polynesia.
      1. The name Maori is only used in relation to the Polynesians who came to NZ from elsewhere in Polynesia starting in the 14th century, and to those who inhabit the Cook Islands. Something you may not be aware of in the U.S.
        1. The setter could have said “East Polynesia,” sure, if the intent was to allude to this history. I don’t know that Americans would be particularly unaware of it.

          Edited at 2021-12-14 08:24 pm (UTC)

  10. 8:31. I needed the E from NOBEL PRIZE to choose between MNEME and MEMNE (I didn’t consider MENME) and was a little uncertain about it even then. I’m another who needed the wordplay for DIETITIAN and on another day I might easily have biffed the wrong answer. I also had HOT POST for a while, which is pretty daft.
  11. … disturb my peace,
    I played for time.
    I wore a widow’s face

    Am I the only one to have got the first two Es in Telegram, seen ‘lover of Homer’ and written in Penelope? What a mess.
    NHO Mneme, but all tidied up in 20 mins pre-brekker.
    A mixed bag I thought including a few gems.
    Thanks setter and J.

    1. I started with Penelope, too. I’d like to say that it would have been a better word for the grid, but…
  12. 27 minutes with LOI SEA BED. COD to COW PARSLEY, a beautiful plant. I enjoyed COSMODROME too. I needed all crossers for MNEME as I can never be bothered remembering the names of other planets’ moons when we haven’t given our own one. Pleasant puzzle. Thank you Jack and setter.
        1. Ah Moon of my delight that knowest no meme, the moon of heaven is rising once again.
  13. I should have broken the ten minute barrier but stumbled with 11ac, putting Bear(d) and then finding a bit of pain. My COD to 20ac RAP SHEET – very Eliot Ness. Cow Parsley is delightful stuff – but I don’t like the smell.
  14. At BOOBY my toes rather curled
    But with COSMODROME tension unfurled
    When i reached 25
    My heart came alive
    An answer that’s out of this world!

    So I think obscure moons are fun
    But others may think they’ve been done
    Folks that feel as i do
    May be awfully few
    A minority, maybe, of one

  15. Another who spent the last five minutes looking at M-E-E and, not knowing the moon, had to look it up. I only know the mnemonics version.

    I liked TELEGRAM though, like Jack, I have never read or watched the Simpsons. Several clues seemed very familiar…..

    Thanks Jack and setter.

  16. A bit of a stroll with pause for thought only really about MNEME (could it be MEMNE? No, surely not? Ok, biff MNEME and submit with apprehension). I rather like the word COSMODROME, and good to see BELIZE make the wordplay. Homer misdirection brought smile too but crossers meant easily biffed. Many thanks to setter & blogger.
  17. 12:31 Another who didn’t remember the moon (or muse) but confidence in the answer was increased when I surmised the name was the root of mnemonic. I liked the REDCAR PET which took me a while to see. Trying to make 19D KNEES UP at first didn’t help with the SW corner. Thanks jackkt and setter.

    Edited at 2021-12-14 09:08 am (UTC)

  18. Deja vu city with lamprey, his and red carpet all turning up recently.

    Hereabouts, we use the name Queen Anne’s Lace rather than cow parsley, which lacks charm as a name for a lovely plant. It is edible, but watch out for poisonous lookalikes such as hemlock

  19. 9′ 51″, with COSMODROME / ALREADY LOsI.

    There are rather a lot of moons in the Solar System, and the number known is growing all the time, better get studying (and hope the setters don’t move on to asteroids).

    Thanks jack and setter.

  20. 30 mins but with a spelling mistake so no perfect week yet for me.

    Message to self. ALWAYS understand how the clue works. If I don’t my answer is probably wrong.

    LOI. ALREADY was strangely difficult to see. Not sure why.

  21. Nearly gave up on the last three – tinpot, maori and ammo – then, once they were solved, wondered why they were so difficult. Perhaps the sign of a good clue.
    COD telegram. Having arrived at tele, was misled by knowing that Odysseus’ son was Telemachus so wondered if there were another Tele…m in the Odyssey. Only when I spelt out the last five letters of the obvious fit, telegram, backwards did I realise that I had the wrong Homer! Doh!
  22. After 20 minutes I was left with 25d, and eventually I put in MNEME having worked out the wordplay despite it not looking at all right.

    Didn’t parse RED CARPET, and had no idea that there’s a racecourse in Redcar. I tend to get Redcar and Redruth mixed up and can’t remember which one’s in the north east and which one’s in Cornwall.

    Not too tricky otherwise.

    FOI Inca
    LOI Mneme
    COD Telegram

  23. Rather slow again today, at just under 20, and way too far past the time I can blame it (or anything) on the booster jab.

    It’s a bit generous to call a 2 kilometre wide rock going backwards 21 kilometres away from Jupiter a moon, but kudos to the people that managed to spot it. When I were a lad, Jupiter had a memorable 4 moons and a few others with less striking names: I gather there are now around 80*. I called this one MEMNE until I conceded that the NOBEL PRISM was not a thing.

    The other clue that terrified me was INCA, because I thought I had to come up with a name for a SA drum rhythm that sounded like a named artist. D’oh!

    * A brownie point to the first person to point out there always were 80+ moons of Jupiter, we just didn’t know about them.

    1. I’ve just spent 10 minutes on Google trying to decipher this. I’m being referred to GI JOE, a character I seem to have confused with Joe 90, which I occasionally watched when my sister’s kids were young, on the odd occasion I’ve heard mention. Can you point me in the right direction, or otherwise I’ll think you’re all laughing at me for not knowing.
        1. Is that the same helpful book that gave us “my postilion has been struck by lightning”?
          1. Had to look that up. Googled and it came up purple not blue, so I’ve googled it before. Apparently the phrase “my postilion has been struck by lightning” originated in the 19th century, so it pre-dates the Pythons. Just. Probably comes from Georgette Heyer 😉
  24. Only 53 of the 80 Jovian moons have been named so far. Thus I propose that the very last one is named z8b8d8k in your honour, plus an extra point for fastest lap.
  25. Managed about 75% completion after 22 minutes before being totally stumped:
    BEACON – far too clever for me, tried fitting T inside all sorts of things
    COW PARSLEY – vaguely heard of the plant but wordplay baffled me. I thought a meeting was a parlAy not a parlEy?
    SEABED – bamboozled.
    AMMO – likewise.
    BOOBY TRAP – NHO booby before, should have been able to biff this in retrospect but couldn’t force it out
    ALREADY – RE for ON is a new one for me – maybe more common in the 15×15 than QC?
    BOOZE-UP – always forget that UP= “at university”

  26. 37:10 with one pink square for MEEME(?) at 25dn. Just could not fit an N in anywhere. Liked AMMO, BEACON and MARGE SIMPSON
  27. Should really have finished, I think I should be finishing off sub-70 snitch puzzles in an hour.

    Defeated by BEACON, BOOZE UP , and AMMO. Annoyed about the latter as I had figured out the “rinds” device which I had not encountered before.

    Saturn has 50 moons now, a side effect of the recent Cassini satellite program. The smallest is about the size of a navy warship I think. Plenty of obscure ones to learn.


  28. Surprised how quickly this went. A few notes:

    TRAIPSE — wasn’t sure it meant ‘Go, reluctantly’ but it seemed the only combination of the anagram which remotely worked.

    COSMODROME — didn’t see it at first but jumped out second time through the clues.

    COW PARSLEY — wow, managed to nail a plant without any bother. Not sure I could pick one out from a line-up though.

    ACHE — thought about BEAR but thought again.

    TELEGRAM — you’ve missed out if you’ve never watched The Simpsons.

    NOBEL PRIZE — nice clue.

    MNEME — with all checkers, not much else it could be (having teenagers referring to dank memes does help sometimes).

    DIETITIAN — another on the ‘would’ve spelt it wrong but for wordplay’ bus. Nice clue.

  29. 28 minutes, the last few of which were spent trying to find the mistake which I was told I’d made, and eventually discovering, like Ulaca, that I’d imagined a homophone at 17dn and spelt it dietician. Wasn’t very happy with ‘tip’ indicating the first letter, not the last, but I suppose t is in a sense the tip of tache. Didn’t we have a very similar clue for ‘his’ only the other day?
  30. I’ve always spelt it that way, so wasn’t going to change just for the sake of a non homophone clue.
  31. I see MNEME is aka Jupiter XL – can we expect another XXXIX moons to appear here (not to mention all of Saturn’s etc)
  32. 23:18. I spelt DIETICIAN with a C, not knowing the alternative and assuming Tiziano (Vecelli) had a less familiar anglicised spelling, which apparently he does. So there.
  33. Count me as another UK resident that has never seen an episode of the Simpsons Jackkt! This took me nearly an hour with all the aforementioned traps and misdirections slowing me down. I invented COW PARSNIP initially (not previously mentioned), and a couple remained unparsed at the end, including BEACON and ACHE, where I was working on moust being the tip that was AWOL. It never occurred to me to shorten it to ‘tache. Thanks all, especially Jackkt for the blog, and Horryd for the many asides and interjections.

    Edited at 2021-12-14 12:26 pm (UTC)

  34. ….than today’s QC, and at least I solved it correctly. Some decent clues in here, but NHO MNEME, and initially put in ‘dietician’ until common sense prevailed.

    LOI AMMO (biffed — seen afterwards)
    TIME 7:38

  35. Another saved from DIETICIAN by the wordplay! HIS and FLATFISH were my first 2 in. Ploughed my way nicely through most of it but was slowed by MNEME, RED CARPET(should’ve seen that one sooner! I shall be in Redcar next to the Racecourse tonight for a folk club meeting in the Bowls Club Bar), and LOI SEABED. 17:34. Thanks setter and Jack.
  36. Enjoyable canter for twenty minutes or so, but I fell for the dietician; something I’m extremely unlikely to do in real life.

    Damp and misty in Poitiers. I ACHE for a BOOZE-UP in a HOT SPOT (not RIYADH).

    Thanks to Jack and the setter.

  37. Simpsons popular when I was young. Has some good episodes and a lot of funny characters.

    Loi oomph.
    Cod telegram

  38. 18.13. Another regulation Times solve for me. Just delayed at the end by trying to make a stew out of seconds (s) inserted into a popular (hot) place (put, set etc) rather than a popular place out of a stew with seconds inserted. Didn’t really have a clue about prim either until the P dropped into place. The grid reminds me that I saw many red-footed boobies (fortunately none in traps) in the Cayes of Belize while travelling from one dive site to another on a holiday many mnemes ago. And I cannot see booze up clued with a homophone without recalling from Blackadder II Edmund’s elaborate explanation to his puritan relations as to why, if he wasn’t hosting a debauched drinking session, someone had just shouted: “Great booze up, Edmund.”
  39. better than the brick wall I hit yesterday.

    BOOZE UP was my favourite, NOBEL PRIZE a close second.


    Edited at 2021-12-14 03:16 pm (UTC)

        1. I don’t see your point, then. I thought your implication was that The Simpsons was something people should outgrow, as you did with this show, which Wikipedia told me was a kiddie show—which The Simpsons never was. There have, of course, often been hidden jokes for adults in kids’ cartoons and the like.

          I still enjoy The Simpsons, and you can look down your nose at me if you like. Je m’en fous !

          Edited at 2021-12-14 06:29 pm (UTC)

  40. Embarrassingly slow time of 39 minutes, even though I got off to a fast start. Biggest delay at the end was the PARSLEY clue. COW just didn’t come to mind quickly. Toyed with FOX for a while.
    I thought the clues were a very good set, particularly those to BEACON, TELEGRAM and NOBEL PRIZE. Thanks, setter, for a satisfying puzzle.
  41. Well, I got there in the end, but the Telegram, Red Carpet and Seabed quadrant held me up.
    I enjoyed the vocabulary in this and appreciated the clue surfaces.
    Thank you for the blog
  42. Rather enjoyed this. High 30’s, with COD beacon, which was also my LOI, and took at least 10 of my 30 minutes!
  43. I was going great guns and had three to go at ten minutes. Then the usual halt. Beacon and Already stumped me for some reason. Mneme too, though annoyingly I sort of had it straightaway. I thought it was probably a moon of Jupiter like Io, and I saw the possibility of Mneme. But I couldn’t see that a meme was an internet joke. I wasted minutes working backwards with words like E-Beam turned over. Finally it clicked that a meme was not just a serious word for something philospohical which I don’t quite underatand like trope, but is also just one of those stupid Internet pictures. I’d known it all along.

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