Times Cryptic 28520


Solving time: 24 minutes

I raced through this one, my only hold-up of significance being at 16ac.

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 Got into bed with a criminal (8)
Anagram [criminal] of INTO BED A
6 Reveal all after country club investigation quietly dropped (6)
UN (country club – United Nations), {p}ROBE (investigation) [quietly – p in music – dropped]. I think ‘disrobe’ is more widely used.
9 Best wedding   programme? (5,2,3,3)
A cryptic hint precedes the main definition. The title may well have been used around the world but in the UK it refers to this programme.
10 Eastern people’s side welcoming different temperatures (6)
MANU (side – Manchester United) containing [welcoming] CH (different temperatures – Cold / Hot)
11 Mention a misapprehension that head has left (8)
A, {i}LLUSION (misapprehension) [that head has left]
13 Teenager thrilled, I hear, by beer drinking party (10)
ALE (beer) containing [drinking] DO (party), then SCENT sounds like [I hear] “sent” (thrilled – slang from the jazz age)
15 Contents of paper binder, quaintly dated? (4)
{f}OLDE{r} (paper binder) [contents]. ‘Quaintly dated’ as in ‘olde worlde’.
16 In recession corporations producing coarse material (4)
TUMS (corporations – fat stomachs) reversed [in recession]
18 EastEnders failing to provide any hope? (10)
The cryptic hint refers to the assumption rife in Crosswordland and elsewhere that Cockneys don’t pronounce the sound of h at the beginning of a word. It’s certainly a handy if somewhat overworked device for setters. I found this quotation in SOED that may be of interest: M. Edgeworth: ‘Londoners are always aspirating where they should not, and never aspirating where they should’, suggesting that a Cockney may well pronounce the answer to this clue as ‘HASPIRATION’. The spelling ‘EastEnders‘ is not an error; it’s the style adopted as the title of a long-running BBC TV soap opera.
21 After deal crime boss is exploited (6,2)
TRADE (deal), DON (crime boss). SOED: trade on – make use of for one’s own ends; profit by; take advantage of (a person’s credulity, one’s reputation, etc)
22 Bitter substance girl preserved apparently (6)
ANN (girl) inside TIN suggests (apparently) that she has been preserved
23 Facing equivalent challenges, as punter and companion may be (2,3,4,4)
A definition and a hint with reference to ‘punt’ as a type of boat
25 Various   people going under (6)
Two meanings. I seem to remember that this first meaning of ‘divers’ appears a lot in the Bible – the traditional version anyway – and that’s probably where I learnt it.
26 Journalist I dispatched back to cover unknown English region (8)
ED (journalist) + I + SENT (dispatched) reversed [back] containing [to cover] Y (unknown). Land of the Geordies.
2 Crowd turning on poet in blitz (7)
MOB (crowd) reversed [turning], BARD (poet)
3 Cartel audit going wrong, it’s said (11)
Anagram [going wrong] of AUDIT CARTEL
4 Indian leader employing some dour henchmen from the south (5)
Hidden [some] and reversed [from the south) in {do}UR HEN{chmen}
5 Collapse of penthouse maybe owned by banker (7)
FLAT (penthouse maybe) contained [owned] by DEE (banker – river, at least 5 of them to choose from)
6 Poet hurls out pad (9)
Anagram [out] of POET HURLS
7 Warning sign the Speaker’s studied (3)
Sounds like [the Speaker’s] “read” (studied)
8 Young criminal describing time of his life? (7)
BOY HOOD (young criminal)
12 Unplanned broadcast of Peanuts soon? (11)
Anagram [broadcast] of PEANUTS SOON
14 University’s new stewards becoming sloppy (2,7)
Anagram [sloppy] of N (new) STEWARDS
17 Cocktail dress inspiring painting? (7)
MINI (dress) containing [inspiring] ART (painting)
19 One fussing a lot about new necklace (7)
PEDANT (one fussing a lot) containing [about] N (new – again already!)
20 “Paw” included in dictionary — or not? (7)
MITT (paw) contained by [included in] OED (dictionary  – Oxford English Dictionary). The definition refers back to ‘included in’
22 Hook up in Asian hotel, did you say? (3,2)
Sounds like [did you say] “Thai inn” (Asian hotel)
24 Occasionally stroke a little piggy? (3)
{s}T{r}O{k}E [occasionally]. As in the nursery rhyme.

69 comments on “Times Cryptic 28520”

  1. After I figured it out, I liked Aspiration best. OED says divers for diverse has been obsolete (though still acceptable) since about 1700, so I’m guessing jack’s King James version would, in fact, have been full of it. thanks, jack

  2. 8:14, and relieved that TRADED ON was correct. Definitely fit the wordplay but didn’t know the phrase.

  3. ASPIRATION was my LOI, and a lot of fun.

    I had ADOLESCENT from just “Teenager” and the fourth letter already filled in. If I were a speed solver, or in competition, I would surely have written it right in and parsed only after finishing the whole thing.

    I knew I could take my time with this—as I watch video of carnaval in a little fishing village, Santa Elena, in the Entre Rios province of Argentina—and finish in time to post before too late tonight. But it certainly did not lack in entertainment value.

  4. Two short : MANCHU and OMITTED. I thought of the Fu Manchu films, dreadfully dated and full of racial stereotypes, but didn’t see how it could work. “Side” can be on, off, leg, xi etc, those kept me busy enough, with maybe C+F for Celsius and Fahrenheit ( different temperatures)

    The enumerations of both long across clues helped me get going.

    Ann in tin, for “preserved” was clever, not that I figured it out at the time.

  5. 26:59
    I paused at 25′, went to the gym, and in 2 more minutes got ASPIRATION, OMITTED, TYNESIDE, & PENDANT, and figured out how MANCHU & OLDE worked. I don’t know why I was so slow at the beginning (of 20 solvers currently on the SNITCH, I’m the only one with a 3-digit personal NITCH).

  6. 8:15. Steady solve, no dramas.
    Collins describes DIVERS as ‘archaic or literary’ too so you might argue it should have been indicated.

    1. It’s a point, but interesting to note that the American entries in Collins online don’t have that qualification, nor does SOED. One might suggest that as a DD clue and with DIVERS being so closely related to ‘diverse’ and ‘diversity’ still very much in current use, it shouldn’t be too much of a hurdle for solvers to reason their way to the correct answer from the clue as it stands.

      1. The OED says it is “Somewhat archaic,” but one does still see it used from time to time. Feels a bit twee to me though.

  7. 22m 48s
    Very straightforward with no unknowns, known or otherwise but some very enjoyable clues: I liked ‘country club’ in 6ac UNROBE; ASPIRATION, DEFLATE and BOYHOOD.
    Thank you, Jack.

  8. 28 minutes with LOI OLDE. COD to OMITTED. I googled ‘divers places’ in the King James Bible as I remembered the expression. It sounds like today’s news bulletin: ‘For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.’ And they were. Thank you Jack and setter

  9. I never feature amongst the speed merchants, just can’t solve that fast. But pleased with a new PB today at 15:52.

    COD to Ann in Tin

  10. Who trusted God was love indeed
    And love Creation’s final law
    Tho’ Nature, Red in tooth and claw
    With ravine, shriek’d against his creed

    20 mins mid-brekker. A very enjoyable, gentle, well clued test. I have ticks against 1ac (great clue) and the Cocktail Dress one.
    Thanks setter and J.

  11. 18:39. I felt like I was off the wavelength today which the SNITCH confirmed for me. My experience was epitomised in one clue, that for the wedding. I started off with ORDER OF THE DAY, then when I got NEHRU it became CATCH OF THE DAY, and it only became MATCH OF THE DAY just before finishing with BOMBARD.

  12. Straightforward again today, but with some very neat clues… excellent surface readings. Concise, and not a one you couldn’t pop into a normal sentence.
    Manchu loi, I thought of the word straight away but struggled to parse it, too busy thinking about Kelvin, Fahrenheit etc..

  13. A straightforward 13’10”. On the Cockney aitches, it’s noticeable that the French have the same problem alluded to above: they remove the aspiration where they should pronouce it, and pronounce it where they shouldn’t. To the point where you wonder if their teachers of English shouldn’t just say, pretend there is (or is not) an aitch there. When Dickens created Sam Weller, it wasn’t the dropped aitches that marked his spoken English, but the ‘v’s for ‘w’s and vice versa. Apparently that was a recognised Cockney trait in the 19th century which has disappeared now. Might make an interesting crossword-land device. Weller’s wet = vet. Maybe it’s been done.

    1. Like Sarah Gamp on the rumored death of Bailey: ‘He was born into a wale [vale, i.e. of tears], and lived in a wale, and must accept the consequences of such a sitivation’.

  14. 29 mins, so pretty straightforward and no real hold-ups. LOI the clever OBTAINED. I liked ANN in her TIN too.

    Thanks Jack and setter.

  15. 8:31. My best time in quite a while. I risked not checking for pink squares and got away with it.

    COD: OBTAINED. Nice surface. Misery acquaints a man with strange bed-fellows.

  16. About 22 minutes. Didn’t really understand ASPIRATION, and the penny has only just dropped as to what where the C and H came from in MANCHU, but otherwise it was all understood and parsed. I took a while to lift and separate the ‘got’ in 1a to get OBTAINED, and I finished by just about remembering TANNIN.

    FOI Match of the day
    LOI Tannin
    COD Obtained

  17. Another fast time today, no issues. MATCH OF THE DAY straight in, although I hate football. It used to be said that churches dealt with ‘hatches, matches and despatches’.

    Liked TANNIN.

    9′ 26″, thanks jack and setter.

  18. Struggled to finish off the NE quadrant, and failed to parse MANCHU.

    TIME 10:25

  19. 21 minutes. A good start for the setter with the surface for 1a, even if it turned out to be my last in. No real problems though a few bunged in from def or enumeration. I liked OLDE, ASPIRATION and TANNIN for the ‘girl preserved’.

  20. This is bonkers – I took 25’2” which I now realise is close to a record for me but I was really miffed with how slow it was, until….I realised that this was the 15×15 and NOT the quickie. It’s ALL in the mind

  21. 18:32
    Generally straightforward but good fun. Some ingenious surfaces and the short but sweet SMUT, DIVERS and OLDE.

    ASPIRATION ‘eld me up for a while. It is not just cockneys. My mother, who never lost her strong Kerry accent despite living in London for many years, would always refer to the department store Arding and Hobbs as Harding and Obbs.

    Thanks to Jack and the setter.

    1. There’s the apocryphal story of the Cockney soldier asked his name by his sergeant major. His response: Arrison, sir. Haitch, hay, har, har, hi, hess, ho, hen, Arrison.

  22. 12:59, sluggish for no apparent reason, but such is the way of crosswording. OLDE took a long time to see, in particular.

  23. Good crossword. Delayed at 2d by biffing BOMBING, thinking I remembered a Bing poet. On research I found Ignaz Bing, poet, who was actually more of an industrialist. I won’t add him to my list of bods to remember.
    Took a while to find 15a fOLDEr. Don’t remember seeing ye olde tea shoppe spelling used before.

  24. I didn’t find this that easy, but I did enjoy the clues. Some nice anagrams. LOI was ASPIRATION, which was delightful.
    38 minutes.

  25. I’d have thought that MATCH OF THE DAY was rather UK knowledge, but I didn’t notice anyone complaining. Otherwise a crossword that seemed a bit chewy — I took 41 minutes, expecting a SNITCH well over 100, and was surprised: now I look at it there was nothing terribly hard. For some reason I took a long time over SPONTANEOUS. Clearly not at my intellectual best, such as that is, this morning. I’m sure that in the days when I sang in choral societies we used the word ‘divers’ — I thought it came in Handel’s Messiah but no.

    1. For once the month long delay in printing puzzles in the Australian was of benefit, as the current angst regarding Gary Linaker and the Match of the Day boycott is front of mind. I biffed as soon as I saw the m and the enumeration.
      A rare write in for me, thank you setter, it has a cheering effect. No elucidation needed, but as always the blogger’s effort is appreciated.

  26. An enjoyable puzzle, with some pretty clues, all done in 28 minutes, about my average.
    COD – SMUT, but I also liked OBTAINED – even though it is an anagram with a clear signpost it took me a while to see it.
    Thanks to jackkt and other contributors.

  27. 22:30 – a bump after yesterday’s speedy offering. No particular stand-outs or difficulties except for my LOI, MANCHU which took minutes longer than any other clue. I have seen “side” used to indicate a sports team often enough that there is really no excuse for the brain freeze.

  28. Enjoyed this, which I managed to complete in about
    30 minutes without any silly errors, for a change. LOI Olde – it took me a while to see what the setter was getting at. Also lingered over Manchu. COD Ann in tin. Excellent. Thanks setter and Jackkt.

  29. I’m getting better at spotting my own mistakes. ASPIRATING was corrected then LOI OMITTED was easy enough. And TIE UP was a poor initial guess.
    This did not take too long after lunch.
    COD to OLDE.

  30. 23 mins. Struggled with some obvious ones, like MANU which I didn’t get at all and ALLUSION, my LOI for no apparent reason other than being dim.

  31. 17 minutes with a last minute fluster over tannin which was resolved by omitted. Like at least one other, didn’t quite get the derivation of tannin but decided Ann was sufficient cause to take a punt. Glad to have avoided taking said punt down an unpleasant creek.
    Hadn’t heard traded on too often but had to be.
    Nice puzzle thanks setter and blogger.

  32. 27:52, first completion since last Thursday. Lots to like in this one: OBTAINED, MARTINI, SMUT, OLDE to name a few. LOI MANCHU once I’d stopped thinking about Fahrenheit or Kelvin. Thanks b & s.

  33. 19:13

    Nicely-paced grid which gave up its secrets in a satisfyingly smooth style. Wasn’t sure of MANCHU as an Eastern People though have heard of Fu Manchu, but the parsing worked so in it went.

  34. 10:46 late this afternoon. A very nicely pitched puzzle in terms of difficulty with several marvellous clues, with COD 1 ac “obtained”
    I realise I haven’t contributed anything for ages, mainly because for various reasons I’m having to attempt the puzzles much later in the day and by the time I’ve read through the blog and your comprehensive comments I feel there’s nothing much for me to add!
    However today 14 d aroused me, seeing my old University making an appearance. “St Andrews” may have appeared in a golfing context before but the academic reference is the first I’ve come across in a Times 15 x 15. Perhaps Jack or another of you archivists can enlighten me?
    I wonder how many St A alumni and alumnae are in our group, sheltering like me behind our pseudonyms. I graduated in 1971 in Statistics by the way!

  35. Started this late in the day and thought I might struggle but all good.
    COD OBTAINED (cleverly disguised anagram)
    Perhaps 25a should have been clued as “Various French people going under” to avoid any issue

  36. All correct, but put in ASPIRATION without understanding- thank you for the explanation.
    I liked the OMITTED and BOYHOOD clues.
    This one seemed tougher than yesterday for some reason. Maybe more whimsical definitions.

  37. Didn’t get around to this until after supper, but a pleasingly smooth fill-in, starting with 1A and not really getting held up until the last few – OLDE, MANCHU and bizarrely, BOYHOOD, which should have gone straight in, but flummoxed me. (Flummox – there’s a nice word for Crosslandia…)

  38. 32 minutes, but still a DNF because of a silly mistake: while thinking about 18ac, I did get the EastEnders reference and parsed the clue correctly, but somehow I talked myself into thinking the clue had something to do with EXASPERATION, so that’s how I spelled what I put into the grid (well, without the EX, of course). If I hadn’t been in a hurry to finish before the start of the news on TV I might have caught the mistake, or then again, I might not. I liked UN as a country club and of course ANN preserved in a TIN. But I also had the impression that there were somewhat too many anagrams. Here in Germany, the link to Jeopardy is blocked — does it really work in the UK? (I’ve just searched Youtube, and today’s show is on and was watchable, and Verlaine won again!)

    1. The link no longer works, but it did at the time of posting as others used it and commented here. The message doesn’t say it’s blocked but that it has been removed by the uploader. Perhaps the person only leaves an episode up until the next one becomes available.

  39. Really enjoyed this crossword, probably because I felt it so much easier than recent offerings! Most went in smoothly and unhesitatingly enough, apart from OBTAINED – which is a brilliant surface reading – and MANCHU, of which I was not at all sure was a real easterner. Otherwise a 25 min solve, which is very good for me!
    Thanks s and b.

Comments are closed.