Times Cryptic 28442


Solving time: 30 minutes

An interesting puzzle that didn’t present any major problems in the solving. How did you do?

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 African doctor is able to accommodate gigantic bird (8)
MO (doctor) + CAN (is able) containing [to accommodate] ROC (gigantic bird)
5 Item left in car with sloping roof (6)
L (left) contained by [in] COUPÉ (car with sloping roof). ‘Item’ as in a courting couple. A little research reveals that the type of car comes from the French carrosse coupé which translates literally as ‘cut carriage’.
10 Reliability of management line about spare points (15)
TRUST (management), then ROW (line) reversed [about], THIN (spare), E S S (random points of the compass). The interesting wordplay falls a bit flat at the end, I think.
11 Methodical   male hospital attendant … (7)
Two meanings. I checked all the usual sources and found ‘male’ specified only in the American listings in Collins.
12 … dashed into Cooper’s Farm Feed Store? (7)
RAN (dashed) contained by [into] GARY (Cooper)
13 Chapel keys regularly kept by woman attorney (8)
{k}E{y}S [regularly] contained [kept] by BETH (woman) + DA (district attorney). Fortunately for me this has come up before and I remembered it. It’s a chapel as used by some nonconformist Christian sects and is named after a pool in Jerusalem that’s supposed to have healing powers and where a paralysed man is said to have been healed by Jesus. There’s a Bethesda fountain in Central Park, NYC.
15 Nice time for casual workers! (5)
A cryptic definition based on the French [Nice] word for time precedes the literal straight one
18 Gaseous element identified by academy teacher (5)
RA (Royal Academy), DON (teacher)
20 Polish member enters spiritualist meeting, missing start (8)
LEG (member) is contained by [enters] {s}EANCE (spiritualist meeting) [missing start]
23 Right inside baptismal bowl, a large hanging drapery (7)
R (right) contained by [inside] FONT (baptismal bowl), A, L (large). I didn’t know this word for the cloth that hangs across the front of an altar.
25 Part of plant greeting Zulu in European capital (7)
HI (greeting) + Z (Zulu – NATO alphabet) contained by [in] ROME (European capital). One of the main parts of the stem of a plant.
26 After university we’d threaten her appallingly? That’s a bit sick! (5,3,7)
U (university), anagram [appallingly] of WE’D THREATEN HER
27 Travel on river — seriously (6)
DEE (river), PLY (travel)
28 Not having worried, put in for global police force (8)
INTERPOL{ate} (put in) [not having worried – ate). The answer was a write-in but the wordplay needed more thought.
1 Chap carrying leftover food up for head nurse (6)
MAN (chap) containing [carrying] ORT (leftover food) reversed [up]. ‘Ort’ was unknown to me until it appeared in a crossword several months ago. Dictionaries advise that it’s most commonly used in the plural.
2 Parliamentarian leader holding up circular (9)
ROUND (circular), HEAD (leader). ‘Roundheads’ were the supporters of Cromwell in the English Civil War.
3 Discharge sailor picked up by vehicle at hospital (7)
TAR (sailor) contained [picked up] by CAR (vehicle), H (hospital)
4 Extreme suffering of some collecting game (5)
ANY (some) containing [collecting] GO (game)
6 Substance producing rust in west, reportedly (7)
Sounds like [reportedly] “Occident” (west)
7 Art work created by two characters in Thessaloniki (5)
PI + ETA (two characters in Thessaloniki – Greek alphabet). SOED: A painting or sculpture representing the Virgin Mary holding the dead body of Jesus on her lap or in her arms.
8 Writer for example visiting little sibling in film (8)
SAY (for example) contained by [visiting] SIS (little sibling), all contained by [in] ET (film)
9 Go to seed, having originally served this old family member (8)
S{erved} + T{his} [originally], AGNATE (old family member). I knew the word ‘agnate’ but not its meaning. Chambers has it as a person related to another on their father’s side or through a male ancestor.
14 Furtive way with money? Not wife! (8)
ST (way – street), {w}EALTHY (with money) [not wife]
16 Piece of silicon Greek character found in farmer’s yield by motorway (9)
M1 (moroway), then CHI (another Greek character) contained by [found in] CROP (farmer’s yield)
17 Erudite academic, old, and German (8)
PROF (academic), O (old), UND (and in German)
19 Unpretentious    character on the staff (7)
Two meanings. The second is found in musical notation, the staff or stave being the set of 5 lines on which music is written. A natural sign indicates a return to natural pitch after a previous sharp or flat.
21 Make a fuss, getting it set in stone (7)
IT contained by [set in] AGATE (stone)
22 Shearwater, say, found by domestic animal on lake (6)
PET (domestic animal), RE (on) L (lake). Shearwater is one of many types of this sea bird.
24 Mature person shaving member of fighting force? (5)
{s}OLDIE{r} (member of fighting force) [shaving]
25 Horse, possibly, nibbling root of willow tree (5)
ROAN  (horse, possibly) containing [nibbling] W{illow} [root]

77 comments on “Times Cryptic 28442”

  1. FOI-Matron
    NHO -Piesta or Behesda
    As a retired material and corrosion engineer, liked that one.
    Mighty ships upon the ocean
    Suffer from severe corrosion,
    Even those that stay at dockside
    Are rapidly becoming oxide
    Alas that piling in the sea
    is mostly Fe2O3,
    And where the ocean meets the shore
    You’ll find there’s Fe3O4,
    ‘Cause when the wind is salt and gusty
    Things are getting awful rusty.

    We can measure we can test it,
    We can halt it or arrest it,
    We can gather it and weigh it,
    We can coat it, we can spray it,
    We examine and dissect it,
    We cathodically protect it,
    We can pick it up and drop it,
    But heaven knows, we’ll never stop it.
    So here’s to rust, no doubt about it,
    Most of us would starve without it.

  2. 10:17
    FOI TRUSTWORTHINESS–well, it fit–which I never did manage to parse. That and UNDER THE WEATHER–which I did parse, post-submission–gave me lots of helpful checkers. I also biffed, and failed to parse, INTERPOL. DNK FRONTAL, DNK that a coupé has a sloping roof. BETHESDA, Maryland is the site of the Walter Reed Medical Center, which is where US presidents go.

  3. Early solver today as I have a dental appointment this morning. 35 minutes.

    FOI 17dn PROFOUND which opened-up the southern plains.
    LOI 3dn CATARRH, Yuk!
    COD 7dn PIETA

    I shall return! Meldrew

  4. 25 minutes. Didn’t know/had forgotten ORT for ‘leftover food’ and the ‘hanging drapery’ sense of FRONTAL. Never did get around to even trying to parse TRUSTWORTHINESS. Fortunately I did remember BETHESDA for ‘Chapel’ and was able to work out INTERPOL.

    I was embarrassed to have missed the parsing of OLDIE; comes with being a ‘Mature person’ I suppose.

  5. Like Kevin, I didn’t know the distinguishing characteristic of a coupe (Merriam-Webster indicates that the acute E is usually reserved for the sense of a horse-drawn carriage, rather than an auto).
    Like him and others, I didn’t parse TRUSTWORTHINESS until after the puzzle was finished, having entered it from two crossers and the definition.

    1. Well Wiktionary, which is based on an old Merriam-W has a lot on it with the accent, a few mentions on UK, and without the accent specifies (in places) US and Canada.
      Andyf. Excerpt below.

      coupe (plural coupes)
      A two-seater car, normally a sports car. (variant of coupé)
      (US, Canada, automotive) A car with two doors (variant of coupé).

      coupé (countable and uncountable, plural coupés)
      A two-seater car, normally a sports car. (variant of coupe)
      (Britain) A car with a fixed-roof body style that is shorter than a sedan or saloon of the same model.
      (historical) The front part of a French stagecoach.

  6. Usual time but found it a bit old and dusty. ‘Part of plant greeting Zulu in European capital’ is a candidate for worst surface of the month.

    1. Now that you mention it, that is remarkably incoherent. Maybe the Zulu ingested some plant before taking their stroll thru the streets, so now the flora are talking to them…?

      1. Personally, I think that ‘Item left in car’ would have been better but I agree that it is a good clue.

  7. The only bit I didn’t know—agnate—was easy enough to take on trust. Happily I only got around to adding “ort” to my Big List of Words from its last appearance just yesterday, so behind am I on my homework. I’ve also fairly recently encountered the local Clifton Bethesda Chapel, an offshoot of George Müller’s larger (but no longer with us) Bethesda Chapel in Bristol. 20 minutes on the nose, so I’m happy enough with that.

  8. 12:37. About twice as long as yesterday, so I conclude that I got lucky with yesterday’s clues rather than having acquired Verlaine-like skills overnight.
    Several things held me up today. It took me some while to spot “Nice time”, reflecting on the quality of the surface. For COUPLE I thought the answer was going to be an architectural term for a sloping roof. And despite pi being one of the most familiar Greek letters my first couple of attempts at that clue only threw up MUETA and NUETA. Although I have seen PIETA before, I’d have guessed it was an artist’s name rather a type of art work.

  9. 28:11 with FOI MOROCCAN, and a mostly anticlockwise trajectory around the grid. Last 7 or 8 minutes spent in the NE, where I didn’t know AGNATE, only had the vaguest inkling of PIETA, and totally failed to parse TEMPS. LOI COUPE for a satisfying completion after dealing with the impasse – thanks J and setter.

  10. 16 minutes with LOI PETREL I would have been quicker if I’d taken management on trust, but I was dubious about them. As sidesman in Church, I’ve often put a piece of white linen across the altar, but I’ve called it a tablecloth. It wasn’t a full FRONTAL in any case. A puzzle which wasn’t hard if you followed the instructions. COD to OXIDANT.

  11. Thought I was on for a sub-10, but held up by GRANARY, having spelt ‘oxident’ incorrectly. DEEPLY LOI after convincing myself that it could only be the DEE river.

    10’27” thanks jack and setter.

  12. Rather neatly, the M1 is now also a microchip – a specialist apple chip at the current zeitgeist of such things.

    Bethesda has also been taken as the name of one the computer game industry’s leading studios, responsible for mega game series such as Fallout and Elder Scrolls; Elder Scrolls games being notoriously meme-able (the Skyrim game is home to the infamous ‘knee arrow’ – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrow_in_the_knee meme) and very glitchy.

    I also could not parse trustworthiness.

  13. Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
    Thee sitting careless on a Granary floor, …

    20 mins mid-brekker. Gentle and enjoyable.
    My trivia regarding the Manx Shearwater is that it’s Latin name is Puffinus Puffinus. The Puffins are Fratercula (little brother – they look like monks?).
    Thanks setter and J

            1. Well that would be easy – but under my name I just get the date and time.
              What have I not got set right?

              1. As extra info – I have signed in on a PC – and I can now see “Click to edit” and a 12 hour countdown.
                I will try signing out and in again on the Ipad.

                  1. But no “click to edit”.
                    Extra info – it is an old IPad with old IOS.

                    PS It is ok on my phone too – as this edit proves.

                    Enough, I will use phone for edits – so easy.

                    Last info (as if you cared) my wife’s IPad is fine too, as this edit proves. So it must be the old IOS.

                    1. My iPad is being sent to the menders tomorrow. The LCD has gone haywire and refuses to recharge more than 7%! I’m not a fan of Apple! Meldrew

    1. The pedant in me wants to point out that formal binomials have a capital on the genus, but lower case on the specific epithet. So Puffinus puffinus.
      Strictly, it’s also incorrect to use “Latin name”, since parts of many binomials are based on Greek words.

  14. 34 mins for a medium level puzzle slowed down by some parsing as I’d never heard of ort or agnate
    I’m sure I remember Bethesda as a hospital in several US TV programs
    I like 6d and 16d

  15. 6:34. Easy today, lots of biffing. AGNATE was my only unknown, and it held me up briefly at the end as I worked out the wordplay and hence a likely-enough-looking word that might mean something or other to do with families. It’s a word that refers to everyone in the world if you go back far enough (about 3,000 years).

  16. 10:08. I started slowly, but then it all came together quite quickly. I biffed TRUSTWORTHINESS and MATRON; NHO ORT, so just as well. I liked UNDER THE WEATHER. Thank-you setter and Jackkt.

  17. 35 mins so no probs today. The chapel dragged up from the dim past.


    Thanks Jack and setter.

  18. Very quick this morning, 6 or 7 mins which is as fast as I get.
    Possibly for that reason, I entered coupee instead of couple 🙁
    Overall a bit chestnutty, I thought.
    Is Interpol global? I thought it was European. (But I see from Wiki that it is indeed global. Its current president is from the UAE!)

  19. AGONY and MATRON went in first, despite the unknown ORT. AGNATE was also unknown, as was the required meaning of FRONTAL. The wordplay was clear enough though. TRUSTWORTHINESS was biffed once enough crossers came along. Even RHIZOME was familiar, from previous puzzles rather than real world experience. Likewise BETHESDA. Liked GRANARY. 18:08. Thanks setter and Jack.

  20. Much more Mondayish than Monday’s was, 14 minutes no problems. I knew the chapel but had thought it was a Welsh thing as there is a town so-called in Snowdonia.

  21. 06:32, so the Mondayish feeling persists into Tuesday. That said, there were a few things which would be unusual in everyday conversation (but are, luckily, much more familiar if you’ve spent a lot of time in Crosswordland). Also one notoriously difficult-to-spell word, helped by very clear wordplay – I think it was Tim Vine who recently offered the thought “Imagine how horrible it would be if it was the Catarrh World Cup, though”.

  22. 28 minutes or so. PIETA was just about remembered from previous crosswords, the unknown RHIZOME and PETREL went in purely from wordplay, I had to trust there was a Cooper called Gary to get GRANARY (like RobR, I was held up there by putting in ‘oxident’ for 6d), and I didn’t know the agnate in STAGNATE or the ort as leftover food in MATRON. Enjoyable stuff nonetheless.

    FOI Radon
    LOI Stagnate
    COD Temps

  23. I took 39 minutes, which seemed OK until I came here and found that most people were quicker. TRUSTWORTHINESS I entered since I was sure it was right, but I couldn’t parse it so deleted it, and only put it in again when it had to be, and the parsing came to me this time, very slowly.

    In my childhood I seem to remember some song where an orderly was worked off her feet — “orderly here, orderly there” — but I can’t trace it. So far as I remember it was about a female orderly.

    I can’t now see ‘Nice’ or even ‘Nancy’ in a crossword without immediately guessing the setter’s intention. Perhaps the device is becoming a bit hackneyed, although here I was misled to ‘heure’.

    1. It was to be found in ‘The Magazine’, the organ of the Northern Lincoln General Hospital c.1916.

      One of the many poetic offerings to The Magazine was an Ode to an Orderly:

      It’s orderly here, orderly there,

      And where is that orderly? Well, I declare!

      It’s orderly this and it’s orderly that,

      And orderly, will you please shake the mat?

      The floor of the kitchen has got to be scrubbed

      (I’m sorry your uniform’s new),

      There’s a basket of rubbish I want to have tubbed,

      And a few other things you can do.

      Orderly, please light the duty room fire,

      And I want a few pairs of boots brushed,

      Orderly, please get the temperature higher,

      And the bathroom’s in need of a dust.

      We don’t mind the work; it’s all in our lives,

      But please kindly nurses, oh don’t tell our wives,

      How we dusted and scrubbed, our stiffness concealing,

      Or they’ll want us to do it at every spring cleaning!

      My grandfather knew it off by heart!

        1. Kevin! Please read what Will Ransom wrote, ‘So far as I could remember it was about a female orderly.’
          There were officially no female ‘orderlies’ in WWI in Lincoln, or the rest of Blighty. I traced the origin of this ode and duly dated it. I left the rest up to Will!
          Kevin, If you have better candidate, then please let him know.

          1. Well done finding that. I always thought it was a female orderly since my aunt, who was of that era, had trained as a nurse, and I think told me about the song. Could well be wrong.

  24. 15:53. Seemed like an elegant puzzle apart from the surface of RHIZOME, which has already been mentioned. LOI PETREL. Quite liked INTERPOL.

  25. 22:33

    Enjoyable puzzle but plenty of knowledge gaps and parsing holes today. Didn’t help that I’d entered OLDER for 24d which delayed seeing LOI DEEPLY.

    Bunged in TRUSTWORTHINESS from three checkers but failed to parse.
    BETHESDA – had heard the word before but couldn’t have said what it meant.
    FRONTAL – no idea that it was some kind of altar curtain
    INTERPOL – from checkers only

  26. Seemed to be more than the usual number that I couldn’t parse so was pleased all correct, but many thanks to Jack for the explanations.
    FOI Under the weather
    LOI Couple
    COD Temps (catches me every time)

  27. A bit of biffing here, though I later parsed my guesses. LOI COUPE, which was miles easier than lots of other clues but baffled me for ages. Liked OXIDANT, CATARRH and BETHESDA, which happily I knew.

  28. Started very slowly; after going through the A clues I had only ELEGANCE and happily, UNDER THE WEATHER. The downs began to fall with the aid of the crossers and soon I had only 5A, 8D, and 22D, 28A crossers left, as I’d forgotten that shearwaters were petrels and was convinced that global police force referred to UN. DNK or care what the shape of a coupe was, so was looking for a sloping roof term until ESSAYIST got teased into submission and I realised that item could mean COUPLE. As above, NHO AGNATE and ORT only vaguely recalled from previous crosswords. Did not parse TRUSTWORTHINESS – I would never equate trust with management, although I did see THIN and the random spare points.

  29. Found this very straightforward, 17:01. But! A pink square caused by my fat fingers trying to solve the puzzle on my phone in a coffee shop in Blackpool. Can’t really blame Blackpool I suppose.

  30. 30 minutes for me. Didn’t parse TRUSTWORTHINESS or TEMPS but will try to remember about Nice/Nancy for when the answer isn’t so obvious. Ditto new words ort and agnate. I fully expected to hit my usual buffers with the last few clues but no, straight on to morning…
    Thanks setter and Jackkt

  31. 20:59
    Straightforward but nicely clued I thought. Got TRUSTWORTHINESS just from the letter count. Liked GRANARY, TEMPS and NATURAL and now I know what RHIZOMEs and ORTs are .

    Thanks to Jack and the setter.

  32. Consecutive days solving without aids. Something to cheer about.
    13a my favourite, having lived in Wales for years , chapel names are part of the vocabulary. Beautiful old biblical names adorn them in most villages, Beulah, Sion, Ebenezer, Tabernacle, although many have been converted into homes.
    It used to be said that chapel goers would refer to ‘my chapel ‘ or ‘the one I don’t go to’.
    I liked 25a and 18a.
    Thank you to blogger and setter.

  33. I got stuck in the NE, with COUPLE and PIETA the last to fall. Quite a few biffed in with fingers crossed. ORT and AGNATE are new knowledge to be squirrelled away.
    Thanks for the blog again, Jack

  34. Not too difficult this. I struggled more with the QC today.
    LOI DEEPLY having tried to justify DARKLY having biffed OLDER -careless.
    NHO ORT.
    Some good clues. I liked STEALTHY.

  35. Mostly straightforward, though with a couple unparsed – so thanks to our blogger for filling the gaps. Sadly, I couldn’t find PETREL, so a DNF for me in just under 20 minutes.

  36. I found this much easier than the QC where I got a little bogged down. Only held up slightly in the north east corner with PIETA and COUPLE, otherwise a speedy solve. Finished in 21.45 with all correct but two unparsed, TEMPS and INTERPOL, although clearly in both cases the right answers.

  37. 34 minutes. I never knew ‘ply’ could mean ‘travel’. Didn’t know ‘agnate’. And I always thought a coupe was simply a car with a roof you could fold down. So a fun yet educational time.

  38. Managed to finish without aids, but found it much more of a struggle than yesterday’s – and I knew Rhizome, Pieta and Bethesda. Ort and Agnate on the other hand were totally unknown and only accompanied Matron and Stagnate when I was happy that nothing else would fit. So that’s three new words in one day (the other one was Ascot from the QC). I’m of an age where my stock of neurones is running down, so not too sure I can afford such extravagance! Invariant

  39. Completed in several sittings but not all parsed and several new words for me including ort, agnate, frontal and petrel. Liked PIETA and GRANARY. Many thanks for the much-needed blog!

  40. Well I’m definitely in the minority but found this tricky, 40 minutes, was about to give up as it’s getting late but then COUPLE, OXIDANT and PETREL all came in a rush.

  41. I’m sure that our setters intend
    To drive this poor Nowt round the bend
    They can write super clues
    Other words they could choose
    But they stick PETREL in at the end

  42. NHO ORT but MATRON was gettable from the definition.

    If only all 15×15 crosswords were this easy I’d make the journey over from QC land more often.

    I remember Bethesda as a chapel name. There used to be lots of them in South Wales when I was growing up many decades ago.


  43. Like Simjit and Ianmac, I found (once I got a toe-hold in the south) this to be far easier than the norm: finished it off with my breakfast cuppa with glee, having stared at the top few with nothing clicking at all until BETHESDA forced me to slowly parse (on paper) and the rest of the lower half of the puzzle completed before I looked at the top with ‘new eyes’. Once MOROCCAN hove into view it was plain sailing from there – I didn’t worry that certain words were new; that’s to be expected in a Times. So Yay! On the wavelength at last!

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