Times Cryptic 28238

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Solving time: 36 minutes. There were some original ideas here and I enjoyed both solving and blogging this puzzle.

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 Exotic dish found in eastern county where bodies were buried (9)
TACO (exotic dish) contained by [found in] CAMBS (eastern county – Cambridgeshire). Would anyone really consider ‘taco’ an exotic dish?
6 What’s used in ceremonial — a thick stick (5)
Hidden [used] in {ceremonia}L — A THI{ck}. A word I know only from crosswords.
9 Nervy movements going round bog? Toughen up! (7)
FITS (nervy movements) reversed [going round], then FEN (bog). There’s no shortage of fenland in Cambs!
10 Turning in close to meet bishop at entrance (7)
B (bishop), ENDING (close). ‘At entrance’ simply indicates the position of the B.
11 A king acquired the language of a particular class (5)
A, R (king), GOT (acquired)
12 Rosy-cheeked Scot or American? (9)
FLORID (rosy-cheeked), IAN (Scot)
14 Short priest, one despised (3)
CUR{é} (French priest) [short]
15 Philanthropist given brief reprimand — declined to meet the Queen (11)
ROCKE{t} (reprimand) [brief], FELL (declined), ER (the Queen). The family money originally came from oil. I’m not sure if ‘giving someone a rocket’ is known beyond these shores.
17 Love and thanks received by fantastic sporting champion (11)
0 (love) + TA (thanks) contained [received] by anagram [fantastic] of SPORTING
19 Length — short one extending end of railway (3)
EL (elevated railway), L (short one – length). ‘One’ is reflexive here.
20 Abrupt son getting looked at gave gesture of respect (9)
CURT (abrupt), S (son), EYED (looked at)
22 Speak — do so quietly with face hidden (5)
{m}UTTER (do so quietly – speak) [face hidden]. Another reflexive reference.
24 Old levy — object when it is limited (7)
THING (object) containing IT [when it is limited]. As a noun, ‘tithe’ is more familiar.
26 King Edmund like King Alfred? (7)
LEAR (King), NED (Edmund). I gather King Alfred was highly literate and believed in the importance of education for the masses. He instigated a policy of translating books from Latin to English so that more ordinary people could read them. A slightly obscure definition.
27 Acceleration going down in journey to bring top place? (5)
G (acceleration going down – gravity) contained by [in] RIDE (journey)
28 One who needs insects to thrive — such as hartebeest? (3-6)
A word such as ‘hartebeest’ contains ‘BEE’ and might therefore be said to be a BEE-KEEPER
1 Conspirator about to start swindle — millions stolen (5)
CA (about), SCA{m} (swindle) [millions stolen]. Servilius Casca was one of plotters against Julius Caesar.  ‘To start’ just adds to the surface reading as it’s not needed in wordplay.
2 Lever, prime requirement for the ship (7)
T{he} [prime requirement for…], RIGGER (ship)
3 Vehicle outside gala, one with ace facility for refreshments (9)
CAR (vehicle) containing [outside] FETE (gala), then I (one), A (ace)
4 Do Old Trafford players emerge from this ancient industrial unit? (11)
MAN U FACTORY – A cryptic hint referring to ‘Old Trafford’, the home ground of Manchester United. Collins has ‘manufactory’ as obsolete, hence ‘ancient’.
5 Replace one sort of vessel (3)
Two meanings – substitute and submarine
6 Short track leading to excellent porch (5)
LAN{e} (track) [short], A1 (excellent). From Hawaiian apparently. I didn’t know this but the wordplay was helpful.
7 Unimportant test with India against joining in (7)
I (India – NATO) + V (against – versus) contained by [joining in] TRIAL (test)
8 Learning English to start with — tricky usually (2,7)
Anagram [tricky] of LEARNING E{nglish} [to start with]
13 Act as glutton, devouring ends of lettuce messily (11)
Anagram [messily] of DEVOURING L{ettuc}E [ends of…]
14 Electrical device seen as top performer needing minimal current input (9)
CAP (top), then ACTOR (performer) containing [needing…input] I (minimal – abbreviaition of – current)
16 Leaders of empire not trumpeted when we are living as followers? (9)
E{mpire} N{ot} T{rumpeted} [leaders], OUR AGE (when we are living)
18 Scientific unit needing old trees destroyed (fifty to go) (7)
Anagram [destroyed] of O{l}D TREES [fifty – L – to go]. NHO this. Read up on it here if you wish.
19 Report of school in superior position being demolished? (5,2)
EATEN sounds like [report of] “Eton” (school), UP (in superior position]. No ‘school vs college’ postings please!
21 Drunk-sounding gentleman in Dorset for example (5)
SIRE (gentlemen) as slurred by a drunk might sound like SHIRE
23 Game to get embarrassed about, with more offensive language? (5)
RU (game – Rugby Union), then RED (embarrassed) reversed [about]
25 Rock with primate half visible? (3)
GIB{bon} (primate) [half visible]. The Rock of Gibralter.

52 comments on “Times Cryptic 28238”

  1. At 10a I put BUNKING (for “turning in”) although I didn’t have much confidence since I couldn’t see how the wordplay worked. But I couldn’t think of anything else. It was my LOI. So two pink squares and a DNF.
  2. I must have been paying attention the day that Oersted and Casca were taught in class, and I knew Lanai, so what could have been tough sledding wasn’t today. I think Harry Potter has probably globalized “Rocket”. thanks jack
  3. Made heavy weather of this for no good reason. E.g. read “fish” at 1ac so was looking to insert a tetra, not a taco; and assumed acceleration would be a not g in ridge. Oersted known from electrical engineering as one of those quaint old never-used units, Casca known from crosswords, lanai unknown but obvious, so no excuses. Didn’t know Alfred was learned or Edmund was Ned or that a Rigger was a boat, so they were the last 2 in with no other possibilities.
    COD to manufactory or Rockefeller.
  4. Would you believe I had POLYAMORIST bunged in there—in ink—for a minute?
    A little harder than yesterday, but no problems.
    I didn’t think about “rocket,” though. The one good Rockefeller was a fine (Democratic) governor and then senator for West Virginia.
    Was glad to remember GIB.
  5. 53 minutes. I took a while trying to parse ELL and to work out what ‘to start’ was doing in 1d, neither of which I could do successfully. I also wondered if TRIGGER could have been a triple def, but I don’t think so.

    NHO the Hawaiian ‘porch’ and I learnt that King Alfred was LEARNED.

    Thanks to Jack and setter

  6. I had the same thought as Jack about ‘taco’. DNK Old Trafford, so looked up to get MANUFACTORY. Also DNK about Alfred, and had no idea how the clue worked. On the other hand, LANAI was a gimme. Biffed PROTAGONIST, TITHING, & IN GENERAL, parsed post-submission.
  7. Really ejoyed this but had fingers crossed for lanai and ell (though I knew the ‘space’ as it has appeared many times – but forgot the elevated railway bit even though I am a great fan of Sara Paretsky who frequently refers to ‘the el’ in her VI Warshawski stories! Pleased to know Oersted from youthful study of Electronic Engineering. I have clearly missed something but why is there trouble with this website brewing?
    1. The short answer is that Live Journal which this inhabits is a Russian website, which causes consternation among many contributors, and connection with it in the “West” may well become iffy.
      1. Thanks. I thought it must be something like that, but wonder why TFTT has anything to do with Russia?
        1. TfTT was founded in 2006 at which time Live Journal was an American social network platform based in San Francisco. LJ was sold on to a Russian media company in 2007 but continued to operate out of California. The switch to Russian servers occurred in 2016.
  8. Took me a good 46 minutes this, even though I think I had heard at least once of most of the words, as OERSTED and LANAI both rang vague bells when I finally worked them out.

    I was watching an episode of Father Brown last night where the estimable Sorcha Cusack makes some amazingly appalled faces as her character Mrs McCarthy is forced to try that new and unfamiliar American food called the “hot dog”. Given her reaction, I hate to think what she’d have made of something as exotic as a taco.

    Edited at 2022-03-15 07:47 am (UTC)

  9. 23 minutes with LOI RIDGE. This puzzle was tailor-made for someone who did the first years of his Electricity and Magnetism in cgs with Bleaney and Bleaney as his guide and OERSTED the unit of magnetic intensity of the H field. Busby Babes were still rolling off the production line. Mind you, we were still calling CAPACITORs condensers back then. LANAI was unknown but the instructions were clear. I needed all crossers for LEARNED before half remembering that Alfred was that, if not that good a cook. COD jointly to CATACOMBS, MANUFACTORYand ROCKEFELLER. It’s a lovely sunny day today, so it’s time to leave my worries on the doorstep and go for a walk. Enjoyable puzzle. Thank you Jack and setter.

    Edited at 2022-03-15 08:00 am (UTC)

  10. Bad solving day for me – stopped making progress as I approached 30m with the SW corner and a few other answers missing. Had the feeling all along that I was underperforming on a puzzle that wasn’t very difficult, and I was right. A couple of snags were:
    – Picking the wrong anagrist (AS GLUTTON + LE) for 13d
    – Convincing myself that BAB must mean “rock” (because half of BABOON)
    I’ll spare everyone the details of my other shortcomings – suffice to say that it wasn’t my finest 0.75h. Thanks J and setter
  11. And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core

    After 25 mins pre-brekker, having guessed Oersted, I was left with the NHO porch and the American. I couldn’t think of Florid. Must try harder.
    Thanks setter and J.

  12. A crossword PROTAGONIST’s schtick
    Includes LATHI as some kind of stick
    LEARNED ARGOT, I guess
    IN GENERAL, used in exess
    Setters OVERINDULGE — solvers sick
  13. 50 mins so on the trickier side. NHOs include CASCA (LOI), LANAI and OERSTED. All eventually dragged out from wordplay. FLORIDIAN seems a weird word. I liked PROTAGONIST. Definitely felt harder than it probably was.

    Thanks Jack and setter.

  14. 14:52. I breezed through most of this but then got completely stuck with two left. I saw LANAI as a possibility but thought it looked unlikely, and for some reason I just could not for the life of me see BENDING. Got there eventually.
    Similar MER at ‘exotic dish’, although the puzzle itself did feel a little that way with all the funny words.
    1. Yes, I had the same thought. They have all kinds in the local supermarket and I use the soft ones as pancakes for moo shu pork which isn’t really exotic either.
    2. Apologies if someone has pointed this out before. The first meaning for ‘exotic’ given in Chambers is “Introduced from a foreign country”. Seems OK to me.
      1. I think if you describe food (as opposed to say a plant) as exotic, there’s an implication of something out of the ordinary and mysterious. I’m not sure anyone would use the word to describe pasta, for example.
        1. Yes, you’re right, but there is at least one exception. My dear old Dad, who is in his mid-90’s, would definitely use the word ‘exotic’ to describe pasta, which he has almost never had in his whole life. As for TACO(S), which he would never even have heard of, well, they would be off the scale in terms of exoticism!
          1. Pasta must have been exotic (in my sense) to many people at one time, or the spaghetti tree April fool wouldn’t have taken so many in!
  15. CASCA and LANAI went in from wordplay, and OERSTED only rang the vaguest of bells from previous crosswords. Didn’t get GIB until I had the G and the B, didn’t see where exactly the G came from in RIDGE, and hesitated over SHIRE because it seemed a bit… weak somehow. But no major problems otherwise.

    FOI Lathi
    LOI Shire
    COD Rockefeller

  16. A briefly interrupted 23.38, though the interrupting probably sped things up as I immediately say GIB o return.

    I’m delighted for everyone who thought that the wordplay for LANAI was clear, but why not LIN(e)AI, which looks Greek and might just as well mean porch? If you’re not up on Hawaiian, you could well be sunk.

    Both IN GENERAL and PROTAGONIST went in initially without benefit of anagram and therefore with puzzlement. “Learning” and “sporting” looked so innocent: great setting.

  17. I didn’t find this all that easy although it was enjoyable. LANAI is one of the smaller Hawaiian islands and also a town on that island. I knew the porch/patio meaning from binge-reading Ross Macdonald novels (set in California) a few decades ago. And I inferred that Alfred was LEARNED from reading The Late Scholar – the first-rate pastiche by Jill Paton Walsh of a Dorothy Sayers novel. 24.12
  18. Slow start — fast middle — slow end.

    A few too many unsatisfactory unknowns for my total enjoyment.

    LATHI — at least I’d heard of that one, but….
    LANAI — random Hawaiian porch?
    OERSTED — random scientific unit — difficult to spot even with anagrist and most checkers in place.

    GIB for the Rock of Gibraltar was pretty bad.

    Other than those, there were some quite enjoyable clues — BEE KEEPER, SHIRE.

  19. 19:51. Some less familiar words and some tricky cluing with only OERSTED resisting, mainly because I always mix up my roman Ls and Ds. Thankfully, RIDGE sorted that out for me. I thought the learned King Alfred clue was slightly woolly.
  20. I thought I was heading for a time similar to yesterday’s, around 20-25 minutes, but made a hash of things in several places. Even whne I thought I had the answer I didn’t enter it as I could not see the wordplay for some time (eg the clever anagram in the clue to PROTAGONIST0. SHIRE, RIDGE and BEE-KEEPER were my last entries. at the end of 38 minutes.
  21. My main hesitation was over SHIRE, where I was thinking at first that it was an inebriated pronunciation of “SIR”, which fits the sound when it’s part of Yorkshire or Warwickshire, but not when it stands alone as a word. Upon realising it was SIRE, not SIR, my objections were withdrawn. Also a brief moment spent idly wondering what sort of rock a BAB might be. Liked the Man U Factory.
  22. We’re told that GIB was pretty bad; I thought it was pretty good, since there are monkeys on the rock of Gibraltar, so it’s an &lit. Unless ‘bad’ is being used in the sense ‘good’, which was around I think about 30 years ago, maybe still. Even so I needed aids for that. RIDGE’s definition seemed weak. LANAI nho but guessed. TITHING a very odd word. It still took me 53 minutes.
  23. 7:32 – pretty breezy solve, though I had somehow got it into my head that there were three R’s in Rockefeller (one in the middle somewhere) and had to type it in about four times until it fit the space.
  24. I sight checked every clue, but not closely enough in the case of “curyseyed”. I suppose Y for T is easy enough to miss at a quick glance.

    TIME 10:50 with typo

    * How exotic is a taco ? Don’t Walker’s make them ? Still a decent clue though.

        1. It would be especially so if your definition of exotic is “rarely if ever experienced” — which I’m pretty sure Marmite-flavoured black pudding would be even if it existed.
  25. Very pleased with 15:49 on a par-toughness puzzle after a disappointing few days. I’m glad I didn’t look at GIB until the end — didn’t understand it but it couldn’t be anything else with those crossers.
  26. I must be 5d-par today. I was born in Cambs but it didn’t come up in my mental trawl of eastern counties, but given Casca the answer to 1a came eventually. Got bogged down thinking 11a was something to do with cant/Cnut and gave up with 5d and 10a unsolved.

    Thanks for the blog Jack.

  27. I enjoyed this puzzle. OERSTEDs appeared briefly in my early Physics classes, as the SI units were just beginning to take over. ARGOT was FOI. CAPACITOR was another early entry, as I spent what seems like a lifetime replacing low ESR specimens in TV and VCR PSUs with 105deg versions to replace the 85deg ones that always failed due to being under spec in the original designs. I still have boxes full of them in the garage, and a meter built from a kit from OZ which measures ESR with the capacitor still in circuit. Liked BEE-KEEPER and CURTSEYED. LANAI was LOI, constructed from wordplay. 25:46. Thanks setter and Jack.
  28. I’m not sure quite how I felt about this in the end. NHO Lanai, but guessed right; dredged out a vague memory of Oersted from previous crosswords; couldn’t for the life of me see the parsing for capacitor, although the answer seemed obvious; knew Alfred was learned; never like ‘got’ for acquired. Felt like I was a touch on the slow side for some others, as indeed it proved.

    Thanks, Jack, for elucidation, and Setter, of course.

  29. This came in like a lion but went out like a lamb. Good fun.

    CASCA LATHI GIB LANAI ELL OERSTED looks like Molesworth’s Latin homework.

    Thanks to Jack and the setter.

  30. Really enjoyed this although it took me 45 minutes to work through. I ummed and aahed over linai or lanai and fortunately plumped correctly. I could not parse ell but it could only be with the checkers. Had a bit of a meh for shire — is sh as a drunken thing common? I’ve not seen it before.

    Thanks J and setter

  31. Really enjoyed this although it took me 45 minutes to work through. I ummed and aahed over linai or lanai and fortunately plumped correctly. I could not parse ell but it could only be with the checkers. Had a bit of a meh for shire — is sh as a drunken thing common? I’ve not seen it before.

    Thanks J and setter

  32. To my great surprise, I survived the many traps to finish correctly in 58 minutes, changing LINAI to LANAI (which sounded more likely but certainly not more familiar) at the very end. LATHI and CASCA went in solely from wordplay. And I found SHIRE a bit dubious — one might say all sorts of things when drunk. Like some other solvers, I was also thinking of BUNKING or BEDDING at 10ac and BAB for 25dn, but fortunately didn’t succumb to those temptations.
  33. This took me about an hour. I had no idea how BENDING worked; so thanks for the explanation.

    I didn’t trust SHIRE until the penny dropped, by the force of G, to give me the confidence to enter those last 2 clues.

  34. 14.05. This was a pretty quick, smooth solve for me. Lanai the only unknown but no problems working it out.

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