Times Cryptic 28232

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Solving time: 43 minutes. There was nothing particularly difficult here but it took me a while to sort it all out.

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 Player securing fine wicket — a declaration may follow it (3,2,3)
ACTOR (player) containing [securing] F (fine) + W (wicket) + A. An em dash interrupts the wordplay here!
5 Old medicine finally changed for modern therapy (6)
PHYSIC (old medicine) ‘finally changed’ becomes PHYSIO (modern therapy)
9 Where book festival is anyhow being broadcast you can follow (3-2-3)
Anagram [being broadcast] of ANYHOW, then YE (you). ‘Can follow’ adds to the surface and indicates position. Overseas solvers and some native ones may not know of this small Welsh town renowned for its annual book festival.
10 After landslide perhaps rescue detective with problem afoot (3,3)
DI (detective inspector), GOUT (problem afoot)
12 Reject Percy, not very fashionable name (5)
{Hot)SPUR (Percy) [not very fashionable – not hot], then N (name). Henry ‘Harry’ Percy, nicknamed ‘Hotspur’,  was the son of the Duke of Northumberland and featured as a character in Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part 1
13 Sort of figure one must reform rough girl (9)
Anagram [one must reform] ROUGH, then LASS (girl)
14 Twelve, a large crowd for this celebration (8,4)
MIDNIGHT (twelve), MASS (a large crowd)
18 Birds, egg-layers for reproduction, full of goodness (7,5)
Anagram [for reproduction] of EGG LAYERS, containing [full of] GEE (goodness!)
21 Special set of linen said to be right, like that (9)
TROUSSEAU sounds like [said to be] “true” (right) “so” (like that)
23 Ordinary language appeared elevated on page (5)
P (page), ROSE (elevated)
24 A little fruit one’s taken into shower (6)
I’S (one’s) contained by [taken into] RAIN (shower)
25 I maintain champion has lost his head (8)
{c}UPHOLDER (champion) [has lost his head]
26 Sales pitch— or brief example (6)
PATTER{n} (example) [brief]
27 Stopping insatiable appetite, nothing beyond a kilo for classic beauty (5,3)
KG (kilo) + 0 (nothing) contained by [stopping] GREED (insatiable appetite). ‘Beyond’ indicates position.
1 Horrified to have a good speed limited (6)
A, G (good), HAST{e} (speed) [limited]
2 Your move at first to join our side? You’ll get it in the neck! (6)
THY (your), M{ove} [at first], US (our side). Medicine. A growth or tumour resembling a bud.
3 In the last round, new government agency concerned with funding (9)
N (new) + CIA (government agency) contained by [in] FINAL (last round)
4 Standard apparently not observed? (8,4)
If you have no standards then ANYTHING GOES. It’s also the title of a ‘standard’ song and musical by Cole Porter.
6 In a hurry, Harry, not having arrived in front of George (5)
H{arr}Y [not having arrived], IN, G{eorge} [front of …]. Alternative spelling of ‘hieing’ as in ‘hie thee to the hills’.
7 Unauthorised passenger in Sierra: confiscate vehicle! (8)
S (sierra – NATO), TOWAWAY (confiscate vehicle)
8 Broken toes, small but extremely thick (8)
Anagram [broken] of TOES S (small) BUT
11 Chuck beer heartily over top bouncer (6-6)
BUNG (chuck), {b}EE{r} [heartily], JUMPER (top)
15 Fury: is it on reflection something many check regularly? (9)
IS IT (reversed ) [on reflection], PHONE (something many check regularly). I didn’t know this one but the wordplay was helpful. The other Furies – her sisters –  were Alecto and Megaera. They punished crimes of murder: parricide, fratricide and homicide.
16 A fool for quietly producing fake news? (8)
A, GIT (fool), PRO (for), P (quietly). I’d have said an unpleasant or contemptible person, not necessarily a fool, and most of the dictionaries agree with me, but Chambers adds ‘stupid’. I saw this definition elswehere very recently.
17 Self-indulgent type has done this wrong (8)
Anagram [wrong] of DONE THIS
19 Follow after stolen food (3,3)
HOT (stolen), DOG (follow)
20 Was nervous about beginning to fidget with handles? (6)
F[idget} [beginning], EARED (with handles). Collins: Having ears or earlike appendages; the latter might cover handles, for example as on a sporting trophy
22 Quietly pass   plaything   that may be stuck in the hair (5)
Three meanings

57 comments on “Times Cryptic 28232”

  1. Off to a slow start (FOI PROSE), followed by a slow middle, picked up some at the end. LOI SLIDE, which I didn’t know (or ‘hairslide’), and ‘plaything’ seemed a bit odd; I finally went with the first definition. FEARED took me too much time; I was looking for an included F, not an initial. DNK HAY-ON-WYE, but inferred it from ‘anyhow’, only got the YE post-submission. I actually knew TISIPHONE, but it needed some checkers.
  2. I wrongly thought the bird was a GREYLEG rather than GREYLAG, and put this in without further thought, gaining the first pink square of the month.
    Mer at 2d. The thymus isn’t in the neck, but rather the anterior mediastinum ( upper chest), though embryologically it descends from the neck.
    30:14 , bird-brained.
    1. Yes it was GREYLAG that cooked my goose. I confidently wrote in GREYLEG which I was sure I knew so thought I’d save time by not bothering to check the anagram.
    2. You are right. I started to read the Wikipedia entry but came over all wobbly and had to stop and have a sit down. Apparently it is lobulated, but suffers from involution…
  3. Found it tricky and a bit obtuse. Wordy clues always seem harder to solve, so many more potentially meaningful words, so much extra filler, harder to decide where a definition might start or stop.
    Hay-on-Wye, Harry Hotspur, Greylag Geese only known from crosswords, and all needed most crossers to fill. Thymus and Tisiphone NHO but helpful cryptics.
    Liked the &lit-ish ANYTHING GOES best.

    Edited at 2022-03-08 02:36 am (UTC)

    1. It’s interesting that you’ve used the word “obtuse”. I always thought it meant something like “hard to understand”, “not easy to see at first sight” or “cryptic” which (and apologies if I’m wrong) is what I presume you’re saying here. I didn’t appreciate that the meaning of “obtuse”, as given in the dictionaries, is much the same as for 8d, that is “dull”, “insensitive” or “stupid”. Instead of “obtuse”, it looks like “abstruse” is the word I should have been using for the sense of “hard to understand”. You live and learn.

      Again, apologies if I’ve misinterpreted your comment.

      1. Thanks for that. I used it, without looking it up, as I always use it: to mean abstruse. Perhaps misusage local to Australia? I probably learnt it from my mum, never knew it was wrong.
        1. It’s not wrong: Lexico has ‘difficult to understand, especially deliberately so’. Generally the word tends to carry a sense of intent these days: if you say someone is being obtuse (in the sense that they are failing to understand something) there is often an implication that they’re doing it on purpose.
          1. I’ve never come across ‘obtuse’ in this sense; to me it means, not to put too fine a point on it, dumb. I see now, though, that ODE gives the ‘difficult to understand’ meaning as well.
            1. Nine times out of ten if I hear the word these days it is preceded by ‘deliberately’ — including in the example given in Lexico!
              (Lexico and ODE are essentially the same thing btw)
              1. Of course, I don’t hear the word these days, or many others. But I wonder if this isn’t a fairly recent extension of the meaning. And I don’t understand ‘deliberately’ going with ‘difficult to understand’, as opposed to ‘failing to understand’. Deliberately difficult to understand would be ‘obscure’, say.
                (I know about ODE/Lexico; my electronic dictionary, which I carry with me everywhere I go, much to my indignation carries the ODE of a couple of years ago, not Lexico.)
                1. To old-school me, obtuse means thick. Deliberately obtuse means pretending to be thick, for effect. Simples.. obscure, abstruse, quite different in not being so personal 🙂
                2. Being ‘deliberately obtuse’ is pretending to be stupid, or affecting not to understand something. If someone says ‘oh stop being obtuse’ it carries the same meaning, in my experience.
                  1. No problem; but ‘Oh, stop being obtuse’ doesn’t mean ‘Stop being difficult to understand’; which is what I had a problem with with the Lexico definition.
                    1. Indeed. ‘Difficult to understand’ is just another meaning, possibly a corruption of abstruse.
  4. 12:22 but with about three minutes of that on the FEARED/UPHOLDER crossing, of which FEARED was the first to fall. I thought ACT OF WAR and ANYTHING GOES were clever.
  5. About 45 minutes for me, but not exact since I was doing other things too. Only hold up was the NHO TISIPHONE. Given the checkers I had I tried for TISIPULSE (hey, people check pulses regularly). Obviously, that held me up until I abandoned the idea and got one of the other crossing clues, before realizing it was PHONE. At 18a, once I’d guessed that goodness was going to be GEE it seemed very unpromsing fodder with so many Gs and Es, then I saw GEESE and remembered, presumably from crosswords, that there was a GREYLAG goose.
    1. My first thought was TISIPOOLS. Well, people used to check the pools regularly!
  6. Struggled throughout and plumped for ‘whisko’ at 5a, even though I can’t stand the stuff.

    Edited at 2022-03-08 04:00 am (UTC)

  7. 42 minutes. Took a while at the end to get the barely heard of TISIPHONE (I think we had Alecto here only a week or so ago) and then UPHOLDER, which took longer than it should have. Didn’t know GREYLAG GEESE and thought AGITPROP was political propaganda with the purpose of stirring up rebellion, rather than ‘fake news’, but I suppose the question mark allows for this.

    Thanks to Jack and setter

  8. I was hung up a long time at the end on SLIDE—finally had to look that up, and found the “hair slide” in Collins.
    Harder than yesterday, no? Or maybe I should have waited till the morning!
    Satisfying to discover HAY-ON-WYE strictly from wordplay. How nice that this little place is widely known for a book festival!

    Edited at 2022-03-08 06:39 am (UTC)

  9. Took a long time to find BUNGEE JUMPER even with all the crossers in place. It doesn’t appear to be listed as such in dictionaries, though clearly well known. Actually my mind couldn’t get away from the idea of our beloved ex-PM Tony Abbott wearing his ‘budgie smugglers’.
  10. Bit of a struggle, and I let my standards of solving completeness slip too far, entering GREYLEG TEALS and TELEPHONE into the grid. NHO TISIPHONE, possibly have come across GREYLAG GOOSE before – but only the faintest recollection. So that crossing was a tough one, and “goodness” as an exclamation has caught me out before.

    Feeling slightly ashamed of this backslide into newbie tactics – I’ll put it down to (in)experience. Thanks J and setter

    1. Spend a few happy minutes reading up in Wikipedia on the fates, the muses and the furies … educational in every sense, not just crosswordic. And mostly, more X-rated than U…
      1. I note they picked TISIPHONE to appear on International Women’s Day. I wonder if that was deliberate.
        1. If deliberate it’s somewhat ironic as the Furies seemed to be only concerned with avenging murders of males. Patricide and fratricide are mentioned but no matricide.
      2. Thanks for the advice – had a look and that’s quite a lot to digest – but I take your point that the stories are – er – “colourful”

        Just need to finish off by learning:
        – The rest of classical mythology
        – The full canon of English lit (including every character in every Shakespeare play)
        – Every plant and bird name – in fact probably the whole of biology to be on the safe side

        …or maybe I should just get better at crunching the cryptic!

  11. I was quite pleased to get through this in 38 minutes, all things considered. I also assumed the geese had grey legs at first, had no idea what was going on with SPURN (we did that particular play at school, and I think it was what put me off Shakespeare for decades), and took a long time to come up with a BUNGEE JUMPER, possibly due to my fear of heights.

    AGITPROP and ACT OF WAR seemed quite topical, but I’d rather be in HAY-ON-WYE with a HEDONIST.

  12. I am surprised this only took me 65mins. For quite a while I thought it was going to take all evening. I found it heavy going.
    My special ‘set of linen’ was layette for a while.
  13. …writing PROSE. ANYTHING GOES. I expect The Times will be allowing GEE for goodness next. Oh, they have! 29 enjoyable minutes. I constructed ACT OF WAR straightaway and HAY-ON-WYE was a write-in, so I was in a good mood. I even spotted the geese quite quickly.There were several contenders for COD but I think it has to go to Detective Inspector Gout. I don’t think that was why Morse limped though. Thank you Jack and setter.
  14. I was with Paul in considering TISIPULSE for a while. I wasn’t sure that pulses were checked regularly though I guess that depends on the context. When I got the crosser and thought of phone I was much happier with TISIPHONE given the likeness to Persephone. Another Greek to remember!

    Edited at 2022-03-08 08:20 am (UTC)

    Much AGHAST, I must SPURN and abhor
    AGITPROPS’s propaganda
    And I hate goose and gander
    TISIPHONE loves the setter, I’m sure
  16. 21:09 — some nice vocab here with TROUSSEAU and AGITPROP, plus the unknown THYMUS & TISIPHONE (which sounds like it should be a Shakespeare play). Felt like a pretty straight down the line crossword, confirmed by Snitch.
  17. 13:54 LOI OBTUSEST after I finally spotted PHYSIO. I liked the triple definition for SLIDE most.
  18. DNF and no time as several (long) interruptions. Had to look up TIsi wotsit as NHO. Oh well, the week continues badly….

    Definitely at my OBTUSEST today. What an ugly word!

    Thanks Jack and setter.

  19. Another GREYLEG here – check the anagram! Otherwise 22.37 feeling pleased to have remembered TISIPHONE. OBTUSEST was very hard to tease out: while it’s obviously a properly formed superlative, it has the look of one that shouldn’t really exist.
    I nearly submitted with SLIDE neglected, and was slow to give up fiddling with wordplay to see the neat triple.
  20. 15:58. Tricky one. I had most trouble in the NE where the wordplay for HYING eluded me for a while and O_T_S_S_ looked an incredibly unlikely combination of letters.
    I thought the knowledge required for 12 ac was pushing it a bit. You might expect a solver to know Harry Hotspur, but expecting them to derive him indirectly from his family name seems a bit much.
  21. Got there in the end but it was a struggle. Not helped by having convinced myself that 8d was “oste-” something and being quite unable to grasp HYING. Not my finest effort. 25.08
  22. 43:15. Did not come close to parsing SPURN. LOI OBTUSEST, trying to begin it with an anagram of toes and not seeing the rest of the anagram. An ugly word, as rosé says above. I liked GREYLAG GEESE and HOURGLASS
  23. Enjoyable, and everything pretty clear (though I have sympathy with anyone who thought the definition of “general” knowledge was stretched today). Especially taken by the unexpected combination of Greek mythology and modern technology.
  24. 33:36 and pleased to get through unscathed. Felt SLIDE would be a triple def, but couldn’t see it until the end and had to swap the E and A in the goose when HEDONIST dropped in. TISIPHONE was another unknown. Two toughies in a row.
  25. I started with ___-OF-W__ and FINANCIAL, and filled in the rest of 1a when AGHAST arrived. Hardly needed to parse the festival, but did enough of it to get HAY rather than HEY. I had most difficulty in the SE and NE, with the unknown Fury eventually constructed from wordplay and crossers. GREEK GOD and FEARED held me up for a while. I had the __ING at 6d early but HY didn’t come easily until I remembered One Misty Moisty Morning’s thresher as on his way he hied. PHYSIC finally occurred to me and was retailed as required. OBTUSEST finally loomed from the mist and the job was done. 30:16. Thanks setter and Jack.
    1. Loved this comment. Immediately went to hear Maddy Prior and sure enough…well spotted that man. 👍 Saw Steeleye Span in Frome just before lockdown — we were the youngest there by a decade I suspect. Amazing violinist I recall — worth the entrance fee alone
      1. I saw them at Darlington in the autumn of 2019 on their 50th Anniversary tour. Brilliant! and yes that violinist is good:-)
  26. All was going swimmingly until I got utterly bogged down on TISIPHONE (needed aids), SLIDE, FEARED and UPHOLDER, eventually taking 52 minutes. But no complaints.
  27. Unparsed, I bunged in ANSAPHONE as it’s something you might check regularly. Which left me with an impossible MASS. Had I got the mass first, things would have been different. However I still think TISIPHONE looks unlikely.
    1. Tisiphone is a bit tough if you haven’t heard of it. For those interested, it derives from one form of the future tense of “avenge” + “murder” in Ancient Greek. An alternative spelling is Teisiphone, using the other future form.
  28. I sailed along fairly happily though most of this, though the South East was a bit of a swamp. I thought TROUSSEAU, ANYTHING GOES, were very good, but I agree with bletchleyreject about AGITPROP.

    Thanks to Jack and the setter.

  29. Hello all,
    Long time lurker here but I thought I’d better get a user name so I can email vinyl1. Would hate to lose my favourite site! I’ve been doing these things for 50-odd years so don’t often actually need the blog but I do enjoy all the witty and erudite comments and even the occasional mild squabble. I solve on paper and don’t time myself rigidly but usually around 8-12 minutes fully parsed, which is the
    Key thing, not keen on overly biffable clues.
  30. This time I really DNF and it took me an hour and 23 minutes to do so — never saw so many pink squares (though only two mistakes according to the scoreboard). Of course they were GREYLEG WELLS (WELL being the goodness! and yes, I did notice that the A had gotten lost) and TELEPHONE, thinking TELEPH might be the fury and not knowing how to explain ONE. The rest was quite hard, too, although I did manage to solve the other clues correctly.
  31. Must have been in the groove, because I found that pretty straightforward. My brain was making the right early moves, and refraining from going down blind alleys. Knew the goose and vaguely knew the Fate. -phone is always a good guess for a Greek ending. Very much liked the bungee-jumper. Thanks to all.
  32. This was a real struggle taking several sessions of head scratching.

    I agree with the earlier comment about the thymus. It definitely lives in the chest.

    Pleased to finish with no nasty little errors.

    Thanks for explaining how SPURN worked. I had no idea how to parse the clue though.

    Best wishes all.

  33. DNF in around 25 minutes. Got stuck on my LOI and finally entered pig out instead of dig out. I couldn’t really see the definition properly during the solve and went for PI as the detective with the complaint to give a phrase I recognised.
  34. Defeated by Tisiphone, Hying, Physio, Obtusest.

    Not my greatest hour (3 hours!)

Comments are closed.