Times Cryptic 28172

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Solving time: 47 minutes. There were one or two trickier bits here but after some of last week’s puzzles it was enjoyable to solve one where the answers mostly flowed along nicely.

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 Miser‘s choice for going on ice? (10)
A straight definition plus the whole clue cryptically defines the alternatively spaced CHEAP SKATE
6 A driving hazard, in two ways (4)
M1 + ST (two ways – M1 motorway / street)
9 While away in resort innate bias may appear (2,8)
Anagram [resort] of INNATE BIAS. In the absence of…
10 Like motorist’s hi-fi: not right for an ancient person (4)
IN CA{r} (like motorist’s hi-fi) [not right]. In-car entertainment.
12 What making love spontaneously is doing for sporty pair (6,6)
One of those reverse-type clues. ‘What making love spontaneously’ is doing is hiding [BOXING] GLOVES
15 A little software distributed round vehicle, one proverbially unstable (5,4)
APPLET (a little software) containing [distributed round] CAR (vehicle). A reference to the saying ‘upset the apple cart’, but I’m not sure it counts as a proverb.
17 Attractive girl caught you texting a link (5)
C (caught), U (you when texting), TIE (link). Recent dictionaries are not gender-specific on this one but SOED adds: esp. an attractive young woman.
18 Writer joining a large sort of colony (5)
PEN (writer), A, L (large)
19 They drew roars, flying around? (3,6)
Anagram [flying around] of DREW ROARS. Aka the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team.
20 Coins but not notes? (4,8)
24 Ruin    satellite reception here (4)
Two meanings
25 A medic seen regularly at a queue for hormone (10)
A, DR (medic), {s}E{e}N [regularly], ALINE (queue)
26 Louis XIV more than half ruined (4)
The SUN K{ing} (Louis XIV) [more than half]
27 Lightly touch base down here for the night (10)
FEATHER (lightly touch), BED (base) I didn’t know ‘feather’ as ‘lightly touch’, but Collins has it.
1 To plagiarise writer is out of bounds (4)
{s}CRIB{e} (writer) [out of bounds]
2 Afternoon paper? (4)
EX-AM (afternoon – PM)
3 Risk failure, having excelled in America in courage (4,4,4)
SHONE (excelled) contained by [in] US (America), all contained by [in] PLUCK (courage)
4 Among these characters, is it possible our seventh letter is read out? (5)
Sounds like [read out] “can” (is it possible) “gee”  (our seventh letter). A set of borrowed and adapted Chinese ideographs used in the Japanese writing system. NHO this but worked it out from wordplay.
5 Shadowed, holding gun, and got dangerously close (9)
TAILED (shadowed) containing [holding] GAT (gun)
7 Grand reception at small hotel a novelty (10)
INN (small hotel), OVATION (grand reception)
8 Coming across extremely tedious piece of scripture, raced through (10)
RAN (raced) contained by [through] T{ediou}S [extremely] + VERSE (piece of scripture)
11 Almost put Nixon into office; with energy, the hounds will be after him (8,4)
ELECT (put into office), RICHAR{d} (Nixon) [almost], E (energy)
13 Has ample daffodils the centre released free — they’re round bulbs (10)
Anagram [free] of HAS AMPLE D{affodil}S [the centre released]
14 Power in Spooner to convert inmates here (4,6)
P (power) contained by [in] anagram [convert] of SPOONER. I hate Spooner clues so I left this one until all the checkers were in place only to find that it was not a Spoonerism after all!
16 High-level connection brigadier organised (3,6)
Anagram [organised] of BRIGADIER
21 Turn out always on time (5)
EVER (always), T (time)
22 Branch line with some storage capacity (4)
L (line), 1MB (some storage capacity)
23 Tried to speak in crowd (4)
Sounds like [to speak] “heard” (tried a case in court)

52 comments on “Times Cryptic 28172”

  1. This was a particularly enjoyable offering. Thank you setter! Lots of clever clueing. I particularly liked BOXING GLOVES, but the suggestion of the electric chair for Richard Nixon was a little harsh. 14d perhaps…
    I found it tough in parts 34:45
  2. at 12ac was my LOI and unlike Mr. Corymbia, was my least favourite clue. Thus COMING CLOSER wasn’t the answer, after all! I also had 2dn EXAM as REAM initially.

    Is there an argument that 26ac could be SANK as well as SUNK?

    FOI 21dn EVERT



    I also liked 4dn KANJI. My time was a raggetty 58 minutes.

    Edited at 2021-12-28 03:57 am (UTC)

  3. 55 minutes. I thought the ‘driving hazard, in two ways’ at 6a might refer to a word meaning a problem for both a motorist and a golfer, so I needed the crossers (which happened to include TRANSVERSE) plus an A-Z run-through to get this at the end.

    PRE EN yesterday and EX AM today. Wonder what we’ll get tomorrow. Favourite was the def and clever device at 12a. Torvill and Dean in BOXING GLOVES?

    Thanks to Jack and setter

  4. 40 minutes for me, with far too long spent fitting FEATHERBED into the unpromising checkers. I didn’t understand BOXING GLOVES, Tried to put KHAKI for KANJI before I had the N, which didn’t work but was the only thing starting with K and ending with I that I could think of. No problem with it then since I’ve been in Japan dozens of times so know Kanji, Hiragana, and Katakana (as words…I’m not saying I know all the characters). I liked ELECTRIC HARE once I decided it wasn’t one of the strange slang names for a fox.
  5. Good fun I thought.
    Unlike some other folk, I liked BOXING GLOVES.
    Thanks you for CRIB, Jack. Couldn’t see it.
    COD to OPEN PRISON and LIMB. I liked the non-Spooner Spooner clue.
    Like bletchleyreject, I was also looking for a golfing hazard – sand?
  6. [Yes, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Pretty extraordinary session. 6/7 off four overs – more like the Under 12B’s as one commentator said. Might be time to bring back Colin Cowdrey again!]
  7. Went offline after about 20′ with TRANSVERSE, KANJI, & MIST to do, did them in a couple of minutes over a sandwich. NHO RED ARROWS, but there was little choice. A forehead-smacking moment when I finally thought of KANJI; I would never pronounce the word, and have never heard it pronounced, to rhyme with ‘can G’, although I can see how it would be. Like Martin, I enjoyed Spooner without a Spoonerism. Like Bletchleyreject, I thought of two meanings of ‘drive’, and I also tried to find a palindrome; getting the T finally led me to the solution. It’s my COD.
      1. I gather that in English it is homophonous with CAN-G. Japanese doesn’t have [æ]; ‘A’ is pronounced more or less as in Italian or Spanish, so ‘kanji’ would sound more or less like ‘kahn-G’.
          1. I note that ODE gives ‘katakana’ with the first A as ae, the 3d as ah; ‘hiragana’ with ‘gah’; ‘shinkansen’ with ‘kahn’. I’ve never heard [ae] in any of these, but then I wouldn’t.
              1. Thank-you Kevin and Keroithe for this marvellous little interlude! I read it as if it were written and spoken by Noel Coward himself. Quite delightful!
  8. “Driving wind” seems a bit more idiomatic (with a dictionary entry or two) than our answer, but I also considered “driving rain” and “driving snow”… Had to get TRANSVERSE first, very near the end. Lots of fun, this one. Didn’t know about the Red Arrows, but everything pointed that way.

    Edited at 2021-12-28 07:42 am (UTC)

  9. Good fun. I enjoyed BOXING GLOVES although I thought that they were to prevent spontaneous love. I put in KANGI at the end but not the end of the world. Thanks all.
  10. 25 mins pre-brekker.
    Good fun. I liked it, mostly the sporty pair.
    There is a real art to clueing that is fair and inventive and cheers people up.
    Good work setter and J.
  11. 18 minutes, and would have been faster but for the NW, where CRIB took time and I wasn’t totally sure of KANJI over KANGI. The J looked more oriental. What went right? It was either a wavelength thing or an ADRENALINE stimulus from waking up to the dreadful Test Match score. COD to BOXING GLOVES. I liked SUN KING and LAMPSHADES too, and saw straight through the Spooner deceit.Thank you Jack, and setter for these delusions of adequacy.
  12. 52 mins so on the trickier side for me. LOI LAMPSHADE which I spent far to long on. I liked the BOXING GLOVES too and the ELECTRIC HARE. A number of the four letter words were quite cleverly disguised. Thanks Jack for APPLE CART which I had but hadn’t parsed.

    NHO KANJI but wordplay was helpful.

    Thanks Jack and setter.

  13. This was good fun, and a good time for me. I saw what was going on in 12ac but it took me ages to think of BOXING for some reason. NE corner was slowest, with TRANSVERSE my LOI – couldn’t see it at all without getting the T first. CHEAPSKATE a write-in for FOI.

    Thanks for the blog, jackkt, and thank you setter for an enjoyable hour.


    1. Thanks for your comment, David. You may be aware that before I ‘unspammed’ it it had gone into ‘suspicious messages’. Unfortunately that’s what happens when you use the new LJ ‘insert username’ feature, so it’s best avoided.

      The duty blogger is notified anyway when something new is posted, and if you use the ‘Reply’ button to respond directly to another poster (other than anons), that person will be notified too.

      Edited at 2021-12-28 09:37 am (UTC)

      1. Thanks for fixing and letting me know. Yes I did notice the spam message and did wonder… I guess they’ll fix idc.


        1. You have more faith in Live Journal than I do! Putting into spam is not actually an error according to their own long-standing security regime, it’s just that someone has added a shiny new feature (as seen on Facebook and the like) without understanding the implications for their existing systems. The simplest fix would be to remove it as it doesn’t add anything to the LJ experience.

          Edited at 2021-12-28 10:42 am (UTC)

  14. CHEAPSKATE went straight in followed by CRIB, but a biffed ECHO at 2d held up IN ABSENTIA right to the end and it was my LOI. Liked PUSH ONES LUCK and BOXING GLOVES. Fun puzzle. 27:45. Thanks setter and Jack.
  15. KANJI was got from the wordplay, and I needed Jack to explain BOXING GLOVES.

    Some clever little shimmies here. the drivng hazard, the non-existent Spoonerism, the aforementioned BOXING GLOVES.

    Thanks to Jack and the setter.

  16. This went smoothly until I got lost in the MIST – simply couldn’t see the two ways for several beats. DNK the characters in 4d and had a G in there for a while until I realized I was confusing them with Kangra paintings – which I know nothing about either except some supposedly valuable ones get wrecked towards the end of Jewel In The Crown. Nice puzzle. 15.43

    Edited at 2021-12-28 10:59 am (UTC)

  17. I’m glad I’m not the only one who hates Spooner clues. That and dodgy homophones which only work south of Watford.
  18. I had to search a bit for some easily solved clues, but found seven that proved useful in opening up the grid, especially TAILGATED. What looked as if it might be a long solve ended up as 32 minutes. I didn’t understand the clue to BOXING GLOVES (thanks for the blogger’s explanation), and KANJI was new to me. I suppose it could have been KANGI, but J seemd to fit the homophone better. The main hold-up was overlooking the fact that 19a (RED ARROWS) was two words.
  19. Nice smooth solve. Glad to find I wasn’t the only one who thought “Oh Gawd another Spoonerism to resolve” and was delighted to discover it was nothing of the sort, so well done, setter.
  20. 22:10. Some neat clues, I thought. Particularly liked the misdirection in the Spooner clue but no major hold-ups.
  21. I took 57 minutes, which was longer than the apparent difficulty merited. All easily understandable in retrospect — the sign of a good crossword. Lots of nice clues and I particularly liked the boxing gloves. Why is Spooner so unpopular?
    1. My dislike is that I can rarely solve them until I have most of the checkers in place, so they (like cross-referenced clues) are off-limits on the first pass and usually for some time afterwards.
  22. 23.58. I enjoyed this puzzle but it took me a while to get going, probably still in a bit of a post Christmas fug. Electric hare was my favourite.
  23. I rather like a bad spoonerism but they undoubtedly have the weakness that they tend to be rather obvious. [Edit, having seen jackkt’s comment: I mean obvious to spot, not necessarily to solve! It’s true that you often have to reverse-engineer them from whatever fits the checking letters.]

    Edited at 2021-12-28 01:33 pm (UTC)

  24. 10:23. I started very quickly on this but then it got a bit chewier. A very enjoyable puzzle.
    I hesitated a little over KANGI/KANJI but like bw decided that ‘characters’ might refer to an oriental writing system and in that context J looked more likely. I’d had preferred less ambiguous wordplay for this word.
    20ac is interesting in that it doesn’t really have a definition, but does fine without.
  25. Chuffed to do this in 20 minutes, after a tedious spray-filled drive back from London; only to find I had put in DASH not DISH for 24a, so now in the corner with the D hat on.
    Nice puzzle though. I liked KANJI and EX-AM once I saw why. Thanks as ever jackkt.
  26. I looked at this over lunch and, at first, thought it was going to be too difficult. But after FOI RED ARROWS I managed to work my way through the SW and continued from there.
    Last in were HERD, LIMB and FEATHERBED, prior to LOI 6a, which I thought might be about golf and car driving. MIST was preferred to KILT and WIND.
    Expecting a triumphant All Correct I see DASH and KANGI were wrong.
    Great puzzle though.
  27. Just snuck under the 30 min time limit.

    COD: In Absentia. Nice cryptic definition in “while away”.

  28. The ” galaxy” clue was sweet as a …well..bar of overpriced confectionary , enjoyable jaunt through some usual cryptic devices — 20minutes . Thanks for the blog jack.

    Edited at 2021-12-28 06:22 pm (UTC)

  29. I’m back! After a week of trying to do the crossword lying down due to an extreme case of post covid labyrynthitis, I finally managed to complete one! It feels like losing my solving skills has been a further side effect.
    In particular my inability to anagramise innate bias was particularly galling.
    1. Commiserations on the labyrinthitis. Years ago I had a viral infection of a cranial nerve, which produced a similar effect and also gave me double vision. Not at all pleasant. Speedy recovery!
  30. 38 minutes, with some very enjoyable clues and eminently solvable, though not entirely easy. No problem with KANJI, once I decided it wouldn’t be KAPPA (for a time I wondered if it might possibly be the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet). I also spent some time trying to guess which DISK or DISC could be the preferred spelling for 24ac, before realising that it was neither. I rather liked EXAM and BOXING GLOVES (after wondering what else a sporting couple making love might be doing that could be included in a Times crossword).

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