Times Cryptic 28202

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Solving time: 30 minutes. This was a little harder than yesterday’s puzzle but I  still found it reasonably straightforward, and I’m not complaining after some of the really tricky challenges of last week.

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 Traverse vegetable plot perhaps, finding old grump (10)
CROSS (traverse), PATCH (vegetable plot perhaps)
6 Animal’s tail yobs finally severed (4)
{yob}S [finally], CUT (severed). A short, stumpy tail, especially of a hare, rabbit, or deer.
9 Sailor‘s mother and child crossing European lake (7)
MA, then TOT (child) containing [crossing] E (European) + L (lake)
10 Begin again, songbird not having died (7)
RE{d}START (songbird) [not having died – d]
12 Church officer who has pinched manual worker’s wife (5)
{w}ELDER (manual worker) [pinched…wife – w]
13 Select old solver’s needs, ignoring key the compiler’s provided (9)
EX (old), CLU{e}S (solver’s needs) [ignoring key – e], I’VE (the compiler’s)
14 Case trainer sets out for repelling wrinkles? (6-9)
Anagram [out] of CASE TRAINER SETS
17 Branching-out of girl with poetic technique (15)
DI (girl), VERSIFICATION (poetic technique)
20 Domineering manner of woman keeping old vessel at home (9)
BESS (random woman) containing [keeping] O (old) + SS (vessel) + IN (at home)
21 Class actors in play established at first (5)
CAST (actors in play), E{stablished} [at first]
23 Argument about trill, a fugal device (7)
SET TO (argument) containing [about] TR (trill). Two lesser known musical terms here. ‘Stretto’ is a fugal device in which the subject entries follow closely in succession, each overlapping with the next. ‘Trill’ may be more familiar but its abbreviation to ‘tr’ not so, perhaps. It’s a rapid alternation of next-door notes. Fortunately my background in classical music made ‘stretto’ a write-in for me.
24 Creatures identified by small plates facing backwards (7)
S (small) + LAMINA (plates) reversed [facing backwards]. I think there may be a problem here as ‘lamina’ is a thin plate, singular. The plural would be ‘laminae’ or ‘laminas’. We had a similar problem with ‘automata’ last Wednesday.
25 Lack of exercise? The answer’s in the negative (4)
NO PE (lack of exercise). I can’t find any credible explanation of how this slang word came into being.
26 Way a jailbird with power reportedly raised deposit (10)
ST (way – street), A, LAG (jailbird), then MITE sounds like [reportedly] “might” (power)
1 Began praise church inspired (9)
COMMEND (praise) with CE (church) enclosed [inspired]
2 Group originally observing notice outside court (5)
O{bserving} [originally] + AD (notice), containing [outside] CT (court)
3 Composure and individuality others displayed around school (4-9)
SELF (individuality), then REST (others) containing [displayed around] TRAIN (school)
4 African native worker originally encountered in pub (7)
ANT (worker) then E{ncountered} [originally] contained by [encountered in] BAR (pub). Another name for the aardvark.
5 Capital form of transport used by arbitration service (7)
CAR (form of transport), ACAS (arbitration service). The capital of Venezuela. For those who don’t know but may wish to: The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) is a Crown non-departmental public body of the Government of the United Kingdom. Its purpose is to improve organisations and working life through the promotion and facilitation of strong industrial relations practice.(Wiki)
7 Row involving hair vicar restyled (9)
Anagram [restyled of] HAIR VICAR. SOED: A cacophonous mock serenade in derision of an unpopular person, marriage, etc.; a discordant medley of sounds, a hubbub. M17. I’ve always thought this was from Italian but apparently it’s French.
8 Cricket championship, for example, Lord’s got? (5)
Two DBE are involved here
11 Critical examination in English rough class abandoned (4-9)
Anagram [abandoned] of IN E (English) ROUGH CLASS
15 Earwig woman’s picked up by sink (9)
EAVES sounds like [picked up] “Eve’s” (woman’s), DROP (sink)
16 Several directions given in time to visit US state (9)
ENNES (several directions – points of the compass) contained by [given in] T (time) + SEE (visit). This sort of cluing is not popular around here.
18 Vessel, one Cabot damaged touring East (7)
Anagram [damaged] of I (one) CABOT, containing [touring] E (East)
19 Establish where an Arab might be (7)
A definition with a cryptic hint leading to the alternatively spaced IN STALL (where an Arab – horse – might be)
20 Naval rating filling roll for warrant officer (5)
OS (naval rating – Ordinary Seaman) containing [filling] BUN (roll). Originally ‘boatswain’.
22 He teaches Hindus in the morning in Westminster? (5)
AM (in the morning) contained by [in] SW1 (Westminster). SW1 is the postal area of the Houses of Parliament and all the principal government departments sometimes referred to collectively as ‘Westminster’and  also ‘Whitehall’. The City of Westminster covers a larger area and includes other postal areas.

58 comments on “Times Cryptic 28202”

  1. I assumed that TR was an abbreviation for trill, but had never come across it; then I wouldn’t, would I? I’ve got ‘feh’ written next to 16d; definitely not popular around here. My guess about NOPE is that the [p] is a way of shortening the [o] (Collins refers to ‘yup’ (or ‘yep’), from ‘yeah’); similarly, “Ha!”, as opposed to, say, “Ha, ha (very funny)”, has a glottal stop at the end. Why [p] and not a glottal stop, I have no idea.
  2. 23 minutes. I had a vague memory of STRETTO as a musical term but TR for ‘trill’ was unknown. ANIMALS went through to the keeper without much thought, but I think you’re right that it’s a boo-boo. Doesn’t quite qualify as an all-in-one, but ICEBOAT was still an excellent clue.

    I wonder if Venezuela will feature again tomorrow?

    Thanks to Jack and setter

  3. Only TITLE gave me much pause, taking me to dead on the 5 minute mark. An interesting early week puzzle with some medium-hard vocab but fairly easy cryptic elements, I thought.
  4. But not as easy as Lord Verlaine made it look — five minutes! Most whatever!


    LOI 8dn TITLE! Really! What a dreadful clue! Why not Speedway or Darts!?

    COD 20dn BOSUN

    WOD 1ac CROSSPATCH — hello!?

    Enforced lack of fireworks here in Shanghai has ruined CNY. Imagine Christmas without decorations.

    Edited at 2022-02-01 05:04 am (UTC)

    1. Presumably because neither darts nor speedway happen at Lords, so wouldn’t satisfy the surface of the clue. At a pinch, I suppose, the Olympic archery tournament could have replaced cricket.
      1. Fair point but which Cricket Championship is held at Lords these days? A few trophies but not the County Championship, per se? Confused of Rainbow Bridge.
  5. TITLE was my LOI.
    I thought this was chewier than yesterday’s for sure!
    “Repelling” seems an odd word to apply to fighting wrinkles. (Here they come…)

    Edited at 2022-02-01 05:36 am (UTC)

  6. Judging by my times, this one was easier than yesterday’s and felt that way, too.
    My only real difficulty was with STRETTO. Didn’t know the TR abbreviation so, thank you, Jack.
    I also didn’t know about the French derivation of CHARIVARI. Isn’t there a connection with the old Punch magazine?
    No problem with CARACAS. ACAS was a question in The Daily Quiz in The Times today.
    SCUT is interesting. I knew the word SCAT as that’s what comes out from underneath the SCUT but didn’t know SCUT itself!
  7. Didn’t find this much fun – a chaotic solve, making heavy weather of some easy clues. Probably the result of eating muesli for breakfast, but also there were a few …er… wrinkles that needed to be ironed out…

    – NHO ANTBEAR, OCTAD or ICEBOAT – all had to wait for the crossers
    – Took me far too long after guessing COMMENCED to actually parse the clue, ditto RESTART
    – For LOI STRETTO (also unknown to me) I wondered “TR for “trill” – really?” And (unusually) I used an aid to check the word before filling the final space

    COD ANIMALS lightened the mood a litle, thanks setter and Jack

  8. … if inscribed over human Ashes,
    is but a just tribute to the Memory of Boatswain, a Dog

    15 mins pre-brekker to leave a letter missing from S?retto or Ser?tto. Impossible for me.
    Thanks setter and J.

  9. 24 minutes here and pleased to see one of my favourite words, CHARIVARI, popping up. Thank you, setter 🙂

    I had the vaguest recollection of seeing “tr” followed by a long wavy line for a trill in musical notation, which if it is a thing must have stayed with me since music lessons in school, as I’ve barely glanced at a sheet of music since. Just as well, as not only did I not know STRETTO I also mis-read “fugal” as “fungal” and got very confused!

    Only a few other question marks here and there, especially the intersecting SCUT, TITLE and RE(d)START in the NE, where I just trusted my instincts and bashed those in on a wing and a prayer to finish off.

  10. 18:50
    No real dramas, but took a minute to see SCUT/TITLE.
    Pleasant puzzle with a bit of challenge here and there.
    Thanks, jack.
  11. 23 minutes with LOI STRETTO, TR for TRILLED assumed when I couldn’t find a vowel instead of the first T that would make a word. I’ve never heard of it though, so fingers were crossed. COD to BOSUN, which was POI. Otherwise, this was reasonably straightforward. Thank you Jack and setter
  12. 43 mins but….. had to look up the NHO STRETTO. Did not know TR for trill either, nor CROSSPATCH or SCUT for that matter.

    Tricky in parts I thought though mostly gettable. TITLE bunged in with a shrug. I liked EXCLUSIVE.

    Thank you Jack and setter

  13. 8:08. Like yesterday’s, not difficult but fun. Unlike yesterday’s, quite a few unusual words. I happened to know all of them except STRETTO. Clueing a word like this with a similarly obscure musical notation is arguably pushing things a bit, but faced with ?R and clearly needing an abbreviation for ‘trill’, it wasn’t much of a stretch to get to TR. If it had been anything else I would have been annoyed!
  14. Found this very straightforward, nonetheless enjoyable. Stretto rang a bell, another of that vast number of words vaguely recognised, but meaning not known ..

    Re NOPE, the OED says “No, with apparently arbitrary extension. Compare yep.” Both are said to be of US origin

  15. All complete in just over 7 minutes with LOI TITLE.

    Glad to see NHO STRETTO was correct – I agree that cluing a musical term with another one is a bit much. Having said that STRETTO sounds like it should exist and TR = trill is very plausible.

    All the long ones fell into place quickly which helped as did the fact that I knew all the vocab needed.

    Thanks setter and Jack

  16. 10:17 Neat puzzle. No problem with TR for trill, but did not know the “fugal device” meaning of STRETTO, only the “faster” direction, or SCUT. Thanks Jackkt and setter.
  17. Fairly quick by my standards, with the possibly-heard-of-but-not-sure STRETTO and the definitely-not-heard-of-and-put-in-from-wordplay SCUT the only real hold-ups. Remembered CHARIVARI from previous crosswords, and eventually realised what the ‘Arab’ in 19d was getting at to see how INSTALL worked.

    FOI Caste
    LOI Scut
    COD Eavesdrop

  18. A LanCASTEr bomber could fly
    (Its bomb-bay uNOPEned), very high
    The fiELDERs could read
    The unTITLEd screed
    Propoganda lEAVES DROPped from the sky
    1. We could’ve done with something similar to this last week, when ASTRA featured as a literal.
      I don’t recall anyone mentioning the RAF motto PER ARDUA AD ASTRA in that context.
  19. Curious that SCUT/TITLE should have caused head-scratching, but it did also for me, as I was looking at the wrong end of 5ac for the definition. Not a bad clue for TITLE, I thought, with a clever use of the proper apostrophised name of the home of cricket.

    Otherwise, 13 minutes and a bit with a Y for T typo which my faltering fingers created and my dodgy eyes didn’t spot.

    I spent a while idly thinking of coffee for STRETTO: perhaps there’s a fugue in Bach’s Coffee Cantata.

    1. Ristretto is the coffee – restricted. An espresso which is cut off about half way, so about half as big and twice as strong as normal. Bach did a ricercar… close, but not a coffee or a fugue?
  20. It looks as if ANIMALS is a mistake, for the reason Jack gives in his blog. Otherwise no problems: I knew that a stretto was something, but goodness knows what, to do with music so was quite happy to accept that it was a fugal device. For some reason I found this even easier than yesterday’s and finished in 18 minutes, almost as fast as I can manage.
  21. The only hold-up I had was 1a because “curmudgeon” was the first word that came to mind and it wouldn’t dislodge itself. It’s always nice when the clueing makes it clear whether it’s to be a STALAGMITE or the other one. The down column with the row in Westminster was amusing. 15.15
  22. ….the QC and the 15×15 immediately, and still get to bed at a quarter past midnight. I biffed STRETTO, but otherwise it was “just another day at the office” as Shaun Wallace would put it.

    TIME 6:14

  23. 36:50. FOI 1ac CROSSPATCH for a good start. LOI the NHO STRETTO. I had SET TO in my head for a while and had to just go with the guess that TR was short for trill. Not helped by not really trusting the O at the end from ICEBOAT; I know icebreaker and gravy boat, but ICEBOAT? I liked MATELOT and BOSSINESS
  24. 15 minutes. Only marginally harder than yesterday’s, which surprised me. The extra time was probably due to slightly unusual, though familiar, words, such as CHARIVARI, SWAMI and STRETTO. The last was my LOI, and wasn’t 100% sure I had it right.I don’t recall TR indicated as ‘trill’ before. It’s not in Chambers, so I assume it’s in Oxford or Collins.
    I confess I didn’t spot the error in the clue to ANIMALS, but that often happens when I’m aiming for a quick time.
  25. Poor start but soon got going with SCUT, CHARIVARI and NOPE.

    Only STRETTO caused a pause, even with all checkers in place, before spotting SET TO and assuming the rest.

  26. …with much relief that stretto was correct. I was heading for my third ever under 30 minutes solve but the NE corner and my LOI stretto pushed me over. This felt easy apart from those four last clues. Charivari rang a vague bell, presumably from crosswords, but I had no idea what it was. As others have said, set to presented itself but I had no idea what to make of trill and wondered whether ‘a’ (as in ‘a fugal device’) had to be inserted somewhere. Settled for the most obvious answer.
    The crossworder’s dilemma is that one aims to finish in a shorter time but by doing so one reduces the time that one spends enjoying doing the crossword.
    Thanks Jack and setter.

    Edited at 2022-02-01 01:06 pm (UTC)

  27. Very quick for me today, even though I completely concur with others mentioning a few pieces of tricky vocabulary balanced by some pretty straightforward cryptic elements. Also the half-heard of/half guessed words all seemed pretty plausible, e.g. my LOI STRETTO – I got Set-to pretty quickly from crossings, so NHO TR for trill seemed quite likely, even for the musically ignorant.

    Thanks, Jack, and Setter

  28. Well I am not one to complain
    And composers are mainly my bane
    But TR for trill
    Made me feel quite ill
    And STRETTO is not in my brain.
    1. I spy a poem! Woo hoo!
      I extend a warm welcome to you
      I see twelfth of May
      Is Limerick Day
      Let’s hope others will versify too

      National Limerick Day is set on 12th May to mark the birthday of Edward Lear, the English writer known for his works of nonsensical prose and poetry. It was Edward Lear who was to popularise the Limerick in his A Book of Nonsense, published 1846.

  29. A bit like yesterday, I thought I was being brilliant but then the Snitch came in and it was only 67! Still, much fun was had. Charivari Agreable are a super early music group.
  30. A disproportionate amount of time spent, like others, on resolving STRETTO, as I am not an accomplished musician, although I know what I like. Generally good fun, though.
  31. DNF. 18.39 but a typo. My seLL-restraint didn’t show sufficient self-restraint. Wasn’t too keen on the randomness of several directions in Tennessee. Minor delays taken to resolve scut / title in the NE and bossiness, bosun, stretto in the SW at the end.
  32. As noted, some difficult vocab in this. DNK SCUT or OCTAD but guessed correctly. Assumed BOSUN could be spelt thus without seeing the parsing. That left LOI 23a. I found SET TO but then failed to understand how to deal with TRILL; thought it might be an instruction to insert about or RE, hence SERETTO. One letter wrong is annoying. Agree with eniamretrauq above.
    Otherwise, enjoyed and quite quick -say 45 minutes or less.
  33. 38m but once again a foolish biff, since like Olivia I bunged in CURMUDGEON and then since COMMENCED went in next never bothered to check the actual cryptic. And then i noticed I hadn’t got many at the top after a 10 minute delay! A steady solve otherwise with pauses on the ones others and Jack have mentioned, though musical background meant STRETTO was a write in. Thanks to setter and blogger today for a bit of fun in the howling gales.
  34. Nearly biffed OCTET in error, CHARIVARI remembered from a previous puzzle, otherwise I quite liked DIVERSIFICATION.


  35. …for that rare vessel, the ICEBAOT. I liked the puzzle apart from TENNESSEE and the very weak TITLE.

    I knew CHARVIARI through once owning two volumes of collected issues of Punch from Victorian times. Bought for a couple of quid in a second hand shop. Still an entertaining read a hundred years later.

    Thanks to Jack and the setter

  36. 14.30. Nothing too tricky but NHHO stretto I did check I got it right. I had worked out the set to bit but had no idea about tr for trill. COD bosun.
  37. In an otherwise smooth solve I had trouble (and pink squares) where the unknown TRill and the vaguely known Lamina came up in the cluing. It’s easier for me when any unknown is the answer itself. I easily worked around the unknown Redstart, and either knew (Charivari, Scut) or quickly figured out (Crosspatch) the rest of the slightly eccentric fill. Onward to Wednesday
  38. Folks might have remembered it from my earlier ‘avatari’.
    This was my FOI with COD 23ac Stretto. WOD Stalagmite I can never remember which is which! My LOI was Title, with its dreadful surface. My Time 11:53
    1. one of the odd things I remember from my schooldays is a teacher remarking that stalactite’s (the ones that hang down) are so named because they need to *hang on tite*!
  39. 35 minutes (give or take 5 seconds) today, so still quite easy. I needed the wordplay for STRETTO, but then it was clear enough. And TENNESSEE could have all of the noninitial letters clued as directions, which would not have made it significantly worse. SCUT was my LOI, after I couldn’t find a tail which but for an extraneous S would be the name of an animal (or trying to apply the wrong end of the clue, as z8b8d8k said).
  40. I knew Phil had done this in a super quick time from the Quickie blog so thought my time would be on the slow side but I see it was not bad (for me)

    Like others nho STRETTO but fewer excuses as I have scraped about on the cello in my time (mercifully no more). That accounted for 2/3 minutes at the end till I remembered SET TO

    CHARIVARI also remembered from a previous puzzle and blog

    Thanks Jackkt and setter

  41. Got tied up yesterday before I had time to comment. CROSSPATCH was FOI. Then I sped through, even remembering CHARIVARI, until about 14 minutes in I was left with 23a. After an age I came up with SET TO for the argument, but still needed aids to come up with the unknown STRETTO. 21:31 with a little bit of help. Thanks setter and Jack.

Comments are closed.