Times Cryptic 28196

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Solving time: 44 minutes. Quite tricky but containing several interesting and amusing clues.

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 Form bad character, the way some artists work (4,6)
Anagram [bad] of FORM, then NATURE (character)
7 A little gem is only paste (4)
Hidden in [a little] {ge}M IS O{nly}. Japanese paste made from soya beans and various other ingredients. Never had it.
9 Group of animals bidding farewell to paradise? (8)
EDEN (paradise}, TA-TA (farewell).  SOED: (Zoology) of or pertaining to the mammalian order Edentata, members of which (anteaters, sloths, and armadillos) lack incisor and canine teeth. I didn’t know this word and it’s not in all the usual sources but I knew ‘edentate’ as a type of animal, and the wordplay and checkers confirmed I was on the right track and prevented me falling into a hole.
10 Like some fruit, orange finally having fallen open (6)
CANDI{e}D (like some fruit) [orang-e finally having fallen]. Fruit saturated and preserved in sugar syrup.
11 Fairly broad pepper pot, for one (6)
W.I. DISH (pepper pot, for one). ‘WI’ here stands for ‘West Indian’, , not as I first thought ‘Women’s Institute’ who are renowned for their baking and jam-making skills rather than cooking up spicy Caribbean stews.
13 Died fighting shark for example of unusual size (8)
D (died), WAR (fighting), FISH (shark for example)
14 Hostile soldier maybe touching one arrested (12)
ANT (soldier maybe) + PATHETIC (touching) containing [arrested] I (one)
17 Horse roundly beaten in fearful fashion (12)
Anagram [beaten] of HORSE ROUNDLY
20 Appointment offers fortune, on paper (4,4)
TIMES (paper), LOT (fortune)
21 Race round, part of a dash (6)
SPEED (race), O (round). Short for the speedometer that’s found on the dashboard of a car.
22 Greeting from the person that put round collector’s item? (4,2)
WHO (the person that…) contains [put round] HAT (collector’s item). A familiar form of address from the world of Bertie Wooster. I struggled to understand ‘hat’ as a collector’s item (though no doubt some people do collect them) but then I thought of street performers etc who often place a hat on the pavement  to collect money from passers-by. And of course the expression ‘pass the hat round’.
23 Narrative about love in classical speech (8)
RE (about), then O (love) contained by [in] LATIN (classical speech)
25 Standard placed at south pole (4)
S (south), PAR (standard)
26 Wants linen laundered, several sets here maybe (4,6)
Anagram [laundered] of WANTS LINEN
2 Star laughing about for example receiving diamonds (3,5)
RIANT (laughing) containing [about], EG (for example) containing [receiving] D (diamonds)
3 Staff‘s shaggy hair cut (3)
MAN{e} (shaggy hair) [cut]
4 Down with heroin? Shame! (5)
À BAS (down with), H (heroin).  It’s a French exclamation. It seems we are required to know rather too much French these days and the ST even expects us to understand the finer points of Italian spelling!
5 Hesitate, being lawyer, to put husband last (2,3,2)
{h}UMAN (being) + DA (lawyer – District Attorney), then H (husband) [put…last]
6 Under the influence, neighbours at table were singing (9)
E N (neighbours at card table – East/North in bridge), CHANTED (were singing)
7 Make footballers out of form fear cut (11)
MANU (footballers – Manchester United) then anagram [out of form] FEAR CUT
8 An hour in sleep, that’s short for most retiring (6)
H (hour) contained by [in] SIEST{a} (sleep) [that’s short]. I’ve never seen this spelt with I rather than Y but the dictionaries are okay with it.
12 Fancy their sister, one with long hair (5,6)
Anagram [fancy] of THEIR SISTER. A somewhat loose defintion which would have worked just as well if the answer had been PERSIAN CAT, ANGORA RABBIT or HIGHLAND CATTLE.
15 In a small pond, picked up litres in wooden butt (5,4)
L (litres) contained by [in] FIR (wooden) reversed [picked up], all contained by [in] A + POOL (small pond) . The butt of a joke.
16 Pleased room of horrors is filled with large blooms (8)
GLAD (pleased), the, 101 (room of horrors –  Orwell: Nineteen-eighty-four) contains [filled with] L (large). Dame Edna’s favourite flowers.
18 Take meal at a sort of bar and be humiliated (3,4)
EAT (take meal), CROW (sort of bar). Brewer’s gives a long explanation of this involving an incident during the Anglo-American war of 1812-14 but then dismisses it. It just means being forced to do something unpleasant as retribution for a misdemeanour of some sort.
19 Twice make knight’s move? Not me (6)
BIS (twice – encore), HOP (make knight’s move?). In chess a knight is the only piece that can jump over another.
21 Pressure in narrow opening causes rupture (5)
P (pressure) contained by [in] SLIT (narrow opening)
24 Front half of bicycle is a shade of brown (3)
TAN{dem} (bicycle) [front half]

55 comments on “Times Cryptic 28196”

  1. FOI MISO, for once spotting a hidden right off. ‘Hem and haw’ I know, but UM AND AW was new to me, and I was hesitant to put it in. Biffed WIDISH & ANTIPATHETIC, parsed post-sub, but with WIDISH requiring looking up ‘pepper pot’ (which I associate with Monty Python in drag). I was surprised to see (on just now looking it up in ODE) that ‘eat crow’ is marked as (N. Amer.). In any case it means to be humiliated by having to acknowledge one’s mistake.
  2. Having been deleted yesterday, (thank-you Lord Verlaine for you support), it is best not to disparage Jack’s comment on MISO, otherwise I’ll be in the….my COD!

    FOI UM AND AH — umami comes to mind!

    LOI 26ac LAWN TENNIS the only sport YKW likes – me too, especially since Novax got his marching orders! (I am aware of the lack of lawns in Melbourne).


    My father’s favourite flowers were 16ac GLADIOLI.

    Was today’s setter Irish?

    My time 44 minutes also.

    1. horryd
      my apologies if I missed the subtlety of your humor yesterday.
      when i finally get around to posting later today, it will be fine with me if you get appropriate revenge via a comment naming me an erk, or worse, an american

      Edited at 2022-01-25 08:39 am (UTC)

  3. 49 minutes. Many of the same comments as our blogger, eg the spelling of SHIEST, HAT for ‘collector’s item?’ and thinking of “Women’s Institute” for WI at 11a. Held up by putting TIME SPOT for 20a, which works, but didn’t help with my last in APRIL FOOL. The ‘room of horrors’ at 16d was the only bit I had no idea about.

    Favourite was SPEEDO. Being in the singular should have put an end to it, but I couldn’t get “budgie smugglers” out of my mind.

    Thanks to Jack and setter

    1. The last time (which may have been the first time) SPEEDO showed up here was when I learned of the dashboard meaning.
    2. I’d have been delighted to see it clued by “budgie smugglers” just for the sheer enjoyment of watching Horryd’s head explode.
  4. Mr Paul in London
    My comment yesterday was aimed not at American but an Englishman who made a trite comment. It was indeed meant to be subtle. Apologies and monies accepted. You have me wrong!
    I have friends all over the US from San Francisco to Maine and Florida to New York, including Sandy (Guy). I have relatives in Springfield Mass., and my lovely literary editor is American. One of my dearest English friends has become American and resides in Wilmington, NC.

    I do celebrate our differences, as long as it is recognised that this crossword derives from London and not New York or Sydney!

    I am still unable to contact you directly as I am still blocked from your ‘Reply’ function.

    Kind regards

    Edited at 2022-01-25 05:40 am (UTC)

    1. My point wasn’t exactly meant to raise the empire/republic thing, amusing as that can be at times, just that by this morning I figured erks were yesterday’s news and something different but still relevant might be on point.
  5. Never saw that (my POI), nor UM AND AH (LOI) in a crossword before!
    This was a sparkling fresh entry, much enjoyed.
    I loved RIANT in 2, À BAS in 4 and BIS in 19. Bisous, setter!
    Came here to find out what was going on with (if not in) the “horror room.” I haven’t read the Orwell novel since… high school!
  6. Although I have a WITCH of 98, suggesting I was very much on par I felt well off the wavelength. I’d not heard of EAT CROW and could only think of “eat dust”. I didn’t recognise the French in ABASH. I wondered what the Women’s Institute had to do with pepper pot. And I wondered what a candide fruit was. One of those days when I feel lucky to get through without error.
  7. Well, that was difficult for me. NHO ‘pepper pot’ as a dish so the idea of it being a West Indian one was very new. I never thought of the Women’s Institute connection but Jack’s comment reminded me that there is a small village called Ugley in Essex, just off the old A11. I have often wondered if they have a W.I….
    I became fixated on RED DWARF rather then GIANT for a long time. I have never heard of ‘RIANT’.
    COD to SPEEDO and UM AND AH.
    1. My wife’s step-grandmother lived in Ugley and there was (may still be) an Ugley Women’s Association whose members took great delight in the name. I’m not sure if it was anything to do with the WI.
        1. I know Manly pretty well: I have visited friends there on each of my three visits to Oz. I had a very boozy lunch there with a mate three years ago.
  8. We in the tournament – you against me!

    What-ho! Anyone for tennis?
    Excellent fun. Brilliant clueing. Mostly I liked the collector’s item and the room of horrors.
    Several unfilled after 30 mins pre-brekker, but by then I had got the idea. So gave it another 10 to LOI Gladioli.
    Thanks setter and J.

  9. 10:42. I thought WI was the Women’s Institute so was puzzled by WIDISH. Never heard of the dish in question, which is apparently ‘highly seasoned with cassareep’.
    1. Arawak Kashirip(o) (cassava-syrup) Is today only spelt with one ‘s’ – Oxford Dictionary of Caribbean Usage. It is a thick molasses and grated cassava which is added to the pepper-pot (once the poison is from the tuber is removed!) as an antiseptic against the meat (goat). I have had it on my journeys in Jamaica, but not enjoyed too much!
  10. 42 minutes with LOI WHAT HO, which I came to via Shakespeare rather than Bertie Wooster, perhaps from my starring role as First Soldier. A tough but rewarding puzzle as I managed to parse everything, eventually deciding on a West Indian and not a Womens Institute dish. I liked SPEEDO, RED GIANT and UM AND AH, but COD has to go to MANUFACTURE, with its reference to that small team down the road. Good stuff. Thank you Jack and setter.
    1. Obviously referring to the Premier League 2 team who play at Leigh Sports Village, just down the road from Bolton
  11. Very nice puzzle, setter, and too many clever constructions to single any one out.

    One error here, where I saw “tata” to follow “eden”, but couldn’t believe it so tried out Edendata. When you’re down on your luck and you ain’t got a buck… getting home to the armadillo is more difficult than it seems.

    I was glad for the clear cluing at Um And Ah; unlike vinyl and unlike the answer I would have said Hem And Haw had I been given free reign.

  12. Well I really struggled with this one. A little over the hour with so many unparsed it’s untrue. Thankfully Jack and a few others have sorted me out. This is one of those crosswords where I’m not sure if I loved it or hated it. The jury’s still out.

    The NW took an age to fathom, LOI ABASH. POI FROM NATURE. I couldn’t believe EDENTATA when I put it in, but I shrugged and moved on.

    I liked UM AND AH and WHAT HO, very Bertie Wooster.

    Thanks Jack and devilish setter.

  13. Many thanks, Jack, for unscrambling what for me were a number of biffs, in particular 22 with it’s clever cluing of HAT. If I had seen it before, then I had forgotten!
  14. 18.46, so about average, but I can’t claim to have understood W I DISH, not just because of the Women’s Institute connection but also because because of the Tony Stark connection (with an S and extra T I think). More Ninja Turtling. Never seen the dish at any of my local Carib Eateries.
    I also bounced off the horror room: it just never occurred to translate letters into numbers.
    SHIEST looks both wrong and slightly mucky in German.
    I did like À BAS H!, and the torturously complicated poison d’Avril.
    Many thanks, Jack for an entertaining blog and for lightening my darkness.
  15. Liked the goodbye to Eden, also the collector’s item, which defeated me at the time. Entered GLADIOLI without thinking of room 101 and stupidly thinking only of the letters IOI. Had never heard of the pepper pot in that sense. 53 minutes.
  16. About 8 minutes with everything other than FROM NATURE and ABASH, and then another 8 minutes trying and failing to crack those before eventually giving up. I’m happy to believe that FROM NATURE is an expression but it’s not one I know; I considered ABASH early on but my French is clearly not good enough to recognise ‘a bas’ as meaning anything, so I went on one or two alphabet trawls after that without any success.

    Thanks for explaining WIDISH, where like you I initially thought of the Women’s Institute, but unlike you I didn’t expand my thinking as far as the correct thought.

  17. ….for unravelling UM AND AH. It had to be right, but I couldn’t see why. I also didn’t get ‘IOI’ but again the answer was obvious enough, and now I’ve read Jack’s blog a ‘DUH’ moment has occurred.

    A most enjoyable puzzle.

    TIME 11:41

  18. Three times as long as Phil but with the same comments.

    Gutted that I didn’t tune in yesterday and so missed the Rocky horryd Show…

  19. Well I certainly thought it was Womens’ Institute, a nice invigorating soup to go with the marmalade and Victoria sponges. Knew “a bas les aristos” from the French Revolution although when they strung them from the lanterns it was more up than down with. Gruesome times. We have been getting rather Frenchified lately so I wouldn’t have been surprised to see the Woosterish WHAT HO clued with Watteau. Neat puzzle. 15.06
  20. 41:30. Much ingenuity on show from the setter; rather less from me. Liked the HAT collector, when it was explained, and the dash in SPEEDO, or to be punctilious about it, vice versa. Thank you to our blogger for providing the various parsings I missed.
  21. Quite hard work, but got everything satisfactorily parsed in the end, not least 11ac, having also tried to get there via the Womens Institute before realising there must be something else going on.

    On the plus side, I was reminded of one of my favourite little snippets from Wodehouse, which very much captures the essence of Bertie Wooster.

    “What ho!” I said.
    “What ho!” said Motty.
    “What ho! What ho!”
    “What ho! What ho! What ho!”
    After that it seemed rather difficult to go on with the conversation.

  22. This was well worth the 40 minutes I spent on it. I bunged in a fair number of answers without seeing the wordplay initially, such as the delightful hidden answer in 7ac. Clues for CANDID and BISHOP (COD for me)and APRIL FOOL were also excellent.
  23. I did have a MER about the 2 ‘ISH’ words together on the same line. Otherwise entirely doable with some very clever clues
    My COD goes to BISHOP and my WOD of course is WHAT HO.
  24. I drew a blank in the NW so shifted my attention to the SE which was a good move. TAN, SPLIT, GLADIOLI, EAT CROW and LAWN TENNIS tripped off the fingers. Then the teeth pulling really began. After 37 minutes, I finally spotted the hidden MISO and submitted, to find to my chagrin, that Cilla’s TARA didn’t fit the bill at 9a. Drat and double drat(or something stronger *!£”^%&$)! 37:01 WOE. Thanks setter and Jack.
  25. 15:46, but I’m on a run of dopey errors. Today I entered MOP at 2dn, immediately thinking it was wrong. Confirmed it was wrong when I got EDENTATA but forgot to go back and complete what would have been a fairly solvable M_N.

    NHO riant, which confused me, but what else could it be. COD to MANUFACTURE.

    Thanks Jack and setter.

  26. Three shrugs today:


    The first two being things I’d never heard of. The last being an obscure jump from pepper to West Indian (according to the blog).

    That’s probably two too many shrugs for my liking.

    I didn’t know the French in ABASH either.

    I did like APRIL FOOL though.

  27. La Poivrière in Boulogne serves authentic Jamaican ‘peppa-pot’, as do quite a few locations in UK (eg at Banbury & Goole) and hundreds across the US. Back in the day to Eat Crow was an act of desperation. In UK Rooks traditionally were eaten Sussex and Lincolnshire. Organised rook shoots were once a traditional part of the country calendar. Young rooks, known as ‘branchers’ their breast meat was used for rook pie. Older country folk still speak nostalgically of it! I’m not sure if budgies are edible – parrots I’m told are not!? My COD 11ac and WOD 18dn
  28. 28 mins but a few troublesome solves. Didn’t know a bas so that was first punt, speedo a second and widish a third. Eventually worked out what ho , april fool and bishop- my COD- but not an elegant effort. Too much like hard work today.
  29. What ho indeed, Quite tricky in places. Couldn’t parse WIDISH but suspected the Women’s Institute. Failed to connect room 101 to GLADIOLI, but “it had to be”.

    Derek Crozier was a famous IRISH SETTER, who working under the name Crosair for the Irish Times. Lived in Zimbabwe. Very idiosyncratic cluing style. Died at the age of 92 while setting a puzzle.

    Thanks to Jack and the setter

  30. 24.14. I thought there was some intricate, tricky stuff here. The french a bas threw me a little until I focused on synonyms for shame to get abash. I’m another one who was surprised to hear that the Women’s Institute were renowned for serving up pepper pots. Doh! The SW was particularly troublesome with time slot, what ho, April fool and bishop all holding out for a while at the end.
  31. Late solve today, and no new points to make, but wanted to say thank you to Jack as there were a number of clues I had no idea what was going on. So thank you, Jack, and, of course our setter. What an odd mind you must have!

    Edited at 2022-01-25 07:53 pm (UTC)

  32. Thanks for explaining the pepper-pot dish. I assumed it had something to do with the West Indies, but it didn’t occur to me it was an actual recipe. Otherwise no prob, though I have same slight niggle with speed as I did with ear yesterday – when basically it’s the same meaning in both the cryptic and straight parts of the clue.
  33. jackkt — in 15d “picked up” seems to be the reverse indicator for FIR (= wooden — ugh!). The first “In” is one of the two “in” containment indicators.
    1. Thanks. Amended now. I don’t know what happened there as I had it all marked up correctly on my printout but evidently wasn’t paying full attention when writing the blog. I also missed explaining that ‘small pond’ = POOL.

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