Times Cryptic 28706


Solving time: 28 minutes

I found this straightforward. 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 Fruit went up in price? Hiked at first by smallest amount (7)
ROSE (went up in price), H{iked} [at first], 1P (smallest amount – one penny)
5 Harry taken in by smooth cheat (7)
NAG (harry) contained [taken in] by FILE (smooth)
9 Raiment so fashionable — that’s good for evening out (5,4)
Anagram [fashionable] of RAIMENT SO
10 Key used by Scottish group making harsh sound (5)
CLAN (Scottish group), G (key)
11 Walking to pub, real man resolved to neck one (13)
Anagram [resolved] of TO PUB REAL MAN, containing [to neck – swallow] I (one)
13 Retired bore back amongst Aussies missing flight (8)
TIRE (bore) reversed [back] contained by [amongst] EMUS (Aussies missing flight). A title often given to retired professors.
15 Like some Cretan scripts nonsensical poet keeps at home (6)
LEAR (nonsensical poet  – Edward Lear) contains [keeps] IN (at home). My AI assistant advises: The Linear A script was used by the Minoans of Crete from 1800 to 1450 BC. It was the primary script used in palace and religious writings of the Minoan civilization. It was succeeded by Linear B, which was used by the Mycenaeans to write an early form of Greek.
17 Kick in the teeth from theological expert? (6)
RE BUFF (theological – Religious Education – expert)
19 Place of massacre, or safe place to go? (8)
PETER (safe), LOO (place to go). The massacre took place in Manchester in 1819.
22 What the bridesmaid shows? Rum’s location (5,8)
Hidden [INNER] in {t}HE BRIDES{maid}. ‘Rum’ is the name of one of the islands in the group.
25 Small island in centre of this nation (5)
AIT (small island) contained by [in]{t}HI{s} [centre]
26 Collection for each politician after resistance by English (9)
R (resistance), E (English), PER (each), TORY (politician)
27 First Lady having snooze — struggle here getting up? (7)
EVE (first lady), REST (snooze)
28 Earthy expression used endlessly by Descartes? (7)
TER{m{ (expression used) [endlessly], RENE (Descartes). I wrote NHO this on my copy. It has come up a couple of times over the years, just never stuck in my head and I didn’t recognise it when I found it in the archive.
1 Volcanic product seen after Ranau’s initial eruption (4)
R{anau’s} [initial], ASH (volcanic product)
2 Telescope firm put out for modification shows tower (7)
Anagram [for modification] of TELES{co}PE [firm put out]
3 Big hit from Ruth as poet? (5)
The cryptic hint refers to HOMER as a ‘home run’ a major stroke in baseball and George “Babe” Ruth who was a legendary exponent of the game.
4 Secret lover for Parisian entertaining alpha male? (8)
POUR (‘for’ Parisian) containing [entertaining] A (alpha) + RAM (male)
5 Fine cooking expected in dish for dippers (6)
F (fine), ON (cooking), DUE (expected). Fondue parties were all the rage at one time but mercifully they’re out of fashion now.
6 Fruit from tree in can that needs a shake (9)
Anagram [that needs a shake] of TREE IN CAN
7 Stone from six counties placed in jar (7)
NI  (six counties of Northern Ireland) contained by [placed in] GRATE (jar)
8 Eastern figure seizing good opportunity gets influential part (6,4)
E (Eastern), NINE (figure) containing [seizing] G (good), ROOM (opportunity – e.g. for manoeuvre)
12 Plea for patience heard from Queen, her afternoon tea guest having arrived? (4,4,2)
The cryptic hint refers to the video of our late Queen taking afternoon tea with ‘Paddington Bear’  made to mark the Platinum Jubilee celebrations last year.
14 Assume tradesman finishing early is not productive (9)
INFER (assume), TILE{r} (tradesman) [finishing early]
16 Fiat lacking finish? Mine’s in late stages of decay (8)
DECRE{e} (fiat) [lacking finish], PIT (mine)
18 Warmer outside on day to remember? (7)
Cryptic with reference to ‘Guy Fawkes Night’ aka ‘Bonfire Night’ and the nursery rhyme:

Remember, remember, the 5th of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

So far so good, but has anyone ever heard the rest if it? I’m sure I hadn’t before today!

Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, ’twas his intent
To blow up the King and the Parliament
Three score barrels of powder below
Poor old England to overthrow
By God’s providence he was catch’d
With a dark lantern and burning match

Holler boys, holler boys, let the bells ring
Holler boys, holler boys
God save the King!

20 Flexible line is what this writer’s all about! (7)
L (line), IS, SO ME! (what this writer’s all about!)
21 Feel remorse having run over white bird (6)
R (run), EGRET (white bird)
23 Article in German featuring old city artist (5)
DER (definite article in German) containing [featuring] UR (old city)
24 Yorkshireman extremely testy with reduced knowledge (4)
T{est}Y [extremely], KE{n} (knowledge) [reduced]. Some of the meanings of this are considered offensive but I’ve always had the impression that Yorkshire folk are proud to be described as such so I guess it’s all a matter of context.

56 comments on “Times Cryptic 28706”

  1. 17:44
    lac was my FOI; never seen it as one word, though (ODE has it as two, but it’s one in Collins). Biffed PERAMBULATION, PARAMOUR, & LISSOME, parsed post-submission. I also biffed DECREPIT, but could make nothing of the DECRE; I came here to discover that I’d misread ‘fiat’ as ‘flat’. Also didn’t get the ‘on’ of FONDUE. Some very nice surfaces; I especially liked 5ac, 19ac, and (COD) 25ac.

  2. Straightforward, sure, if you know about the queen and the bear (just got that from the definition), the massacre in Manchester (!… named after St. Peter’s Field, I just found), which I must’ve heard of at least once, the non-child sense of TYKE (which I also knew, despite being a Yank), and on what memorable day English folks would revel around a BONFIRE (“Remember the Fifth of November!” shouted John Lennon; and I did).

    I loved the clue for HAITI. Did you know that after the black population shattered its shackles and obtained independence, the new nation was compelled for a century and a half to pay reparations to France for ending the slave trade? Journalist Amy Wilentz, who has covered that eternally abused little country for decades, met with some of us at the magazine office last Wednesday. She’s afraid to actually enter the country, has been relying on contacts for the info in her stories. Anyway, Amy says The New York Times is wrong to call the Haitian government “fragile,” as long as it is backed up by the United States, and regardless of the increasing precariousness of Haitians’ lives. The question is why Washington continues to support the autocrat in power.

    1. As someone who’s worked in liberal media for such a long time you should also know that the Peterloo Massacre led directly to the founding of the Guardian (originally the Manchester Guardian).

  3. Never heard of TYKE (except as a little kid) and TERRENE was almost NHO too. I managed to drag PETERLOO out from somewhere. I loved the INNER HEBRIDES clue (in addition to RUM, there are EIGG, MUCK, and CANNA that might show up one day). Otherwise the only problem for me was clicking on EMERITUS and INFERTILE.

  4. Made a rod for my own back by confidently entering Outer Hebrides without thinking it through. So SW corner was empty for a long time. Knew Rum was an island associated with Eigg, vaguely remember the queen and the bear – she was our queen too, so sometimes featured on the news – knew the (first 3 lines of) Guy Fawkes rhyme, remembered Tyke, the only GK missing was Peterloo.
    COD to Haiti.

  5. 14:14. As is typical I was held up by one clue at the end, though it didn’t take as long to crack as they sometimes do. Predictably today’s was TERRENE, which I presumed was going to start with TERRE but which I couldn’t finish until I finally remembered Descartes’ first name.

    Recently I’ve seen several egrets while out walking near my home in Hampshire. The clue reminded me that one time I got home and said to my wife “I went out specifically to see those white wading birds again but they weren’t there. Still, no egrets!”. I’ll get my coat.

  6. … As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
    Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
    Stirred for a bird, – the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!
    (The Windhover, GM Hopkins. Any excuse to remember this masterpiece)

    20 mins pre-brekker. Not very chewy, but delightfully done with some great surfaces and a couple of neat tricks. Mostly I liked the Rum.
    Ta setter and J

        1. All right, I guess your body of work(not to mention your”good works”) have been more than sufficient to earn you a non-Hopkins-hailing exemption.

    1. Thank you Myrtilus for occasionally ‘giving the nod’ to that master of poetry G.M.Hopkins, and especially this piece which I’ve kept in my heart (and on my tongue) since schooldays some 63 years ago. And I’m generally not a poetry-lover! ( although I do appreciate a little bit of Astro_Nowt now and again).

  7. Really good puzzle I thought. Needed Jack’s help to figure out STEEPLE, the ‘ter’ part of TERRENE and the last bit of ENGINE ROOM. So it was about the late Queen meeting Paddington Bear? Uh-huh. Liked HOMER, HAITI and INNER HEBRIDES (sounds like something Henry Higgins might say). All done in 30.09.

  8. 39 minutes, finding the SW a bit sticky. I’ll never think of INFER and ASSUME as meaning the same and I was certain that the theological expert would be a DD. I was also with Alice in Wonderland before I thought of that brilliant scene of Paddington and our late Queen. BEAR WITH ME has to be COD. A very good puzzle, I thought. Thank you Jack and setter.

  9. 13:15
    In 2019 I joined a march from Stockport to Manchester to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo massacre, meeting contingents from all the towns that took part in the original demonstration.

  10. About 25 minutes. Lika isla3, I made things hard for myself by originally putting ‘Outer Hebrides’, before BEAR WITH ME prompted a correction to INNER HEBRIDES. Hadn’t heard of TERRENE, but the cluing was very helpful. The TYKEs is the nickname of Barnsley Football Club, so I assume they’re fairly proud to be referred to as such.

    Lots of nice clues and surfaces here: FINAGLE, STEAM IRON, PERAMBULATION, REBUFF, INNER HEBRIDES, INFERTILE, DECREPIT were all nice clues to figure out.

    Thanks setter and blogger.

    FOI Rash
    LOI Engine room
    COD Perambulation

  11. 13:19. Off the wavelength today, and I got particularly stuck on TERRENE at the end, unfamiliar with the term and trying for a while to fit in something Descartes said.
    I had forgotten about the Paddington Bear thing so was completely baffled by 12dn.
    I liked this though. SO ME raised a smile and there are lots of neat surfaces.

  12. I don’t know that spelling and can’t find it in any of the usual dictionaries. Pedantry is always welcome here but I’m not sure it applies in this case.

  13. 30 minutes. Tried to parse BONFIRE as a definition with wordplay which held me up at the end. I’d just heard of the name PETERLOO without knowing of the circumstances of the massacre and I missed the reference to the Paddington Bear afternoon tea with the late Queen. I liked the ‘Fiat’ that wasn’t a car after all in DECREPIT.

  14. Wiktionary has:
    smoothe (third-person singular simple present smoothes, present participle smoothing, simple past and past participle smoothed)
    Archaic form of smooth.

    1. Yes, I came back to say that on further checking I found ‘smoothe’ is listed as a verb in the ODE and Concise Oxford as an alternative to ‘smooth’. I had originally checked the massive two-volume Shorter Oxford and made the mistake of assuming that if a word (clearly not a new one) was not listed there, it wouldn’t be in the smaller editions.

      Anyway it seems that somebody has since deleted Tim’s comment and taken my original response with it, which is rather a shame as it’s always interesting to have such discussions. I presume he must have done it himself since it contained nothing that our moderators would have had reason to delete.

  15. Slow in the bottom half, registering 18.30. Tried to think of anything other than TERRENE, via all sorts of cogitos, and only spotted René when I wrote it in faute de mieux. I spent way too long on BONFIRE: you might guess I was trying to fathom the wordplay, especially with ON enclosed in a warmer, but what’s a BFIRE? One to forget.
    Shouldn’t it have been BEAR WITH US? There was something quintessentially proper British about that event, probably more than any other cementing Liz in the people’s affections.
    PETERLOO was familiar enough: after all, Major Sharpe tried but failed to prevent it, or at least a reasonable facsimile. In the official ITV history, Sharpe was a TYKE, and Cornwell adapted his narrative to account for the accent.
    Is HOMER another candidate for highbrow/lowbrow? Speaking of which, Osman has done everything possible to make FONDUEs popular again. I note from Jack’s (good blog!) comment it has not been a success!

  16. 42 minutes which should really have been less. I came to a halt with a few to go and couldn’t make progress. Never knew the Paddington Bear video so this was a mystery. Never saw the INNER HEBRIDES trick (nice), feeble of me, thinking it was something to do with he-brides. For the Descartes clue I was looking in vain for something to do with cogito ergo sum etc. I didn’t parse CLANG properly, thinking that there was probably some Scottish pop group called ‘Lang’. Slow to see how STEEPLE worked. Not my best, but no complaints, good crossword.

  17. About 28 mins. Remembered the Paddington thingy after biffing from crossers. Didn’t parse HAITI ( didn’t know AIT) and NHO TERRENE, it just made sense once I’d cottoned on to RENE. Nice puzzle I thought, and good to have some GK that doesn’t depend on a detailed appreciation of ancient Greek…. though it was a bit Brit specific!! Enjoyed FONDUE as a clue, but not the real stuff. Thanks jckkt and setter.

  18. Quite a straightforward solve for me today, with the unknown TERRENE not presenting a problem thanks to the cluing and checkers.
    TYKE was a write-in once the Y was in place thanks to my in-depth knowledge of Association Football. If only my knowledge of Latin and the Classics would stand up to the same scrutiny.

  19. 23 minutes though with a stupid typo at EMERIMUS
    Rum Egg and Muck was how I understood them as a child when we had our holidays up there.
    Loved the Paddington Bear clue
    Really enjoyed the crossword today, was sorry it had to finish.
    Many thanks to the setter, and blogger

  20. 26 mins. Top half completed in 6 mins, so another game of two halves. In the end I bunged in TERRENE, (forgot about his first name), REBUFF and STEEPLE as they were obviously correct.

  21. I found this far harder than yesterday’s, though I made a good start in the top half. Like isla3 I entered OUTER HEBRIDES, which held me up for a bit, and my R of HEBRIDES looks like a B, so 16d eluded me for ages.
    I didn’t care much for 9a. Apart from the indirectness of the definition, ‘fashionable’ rather than ‘fashioned’ doesn’t cut it as an anagram indicator for me. The former implies potential, not that the reshaping has been done.
    38 minutes, almost three times as long as it took to finish yesterday’s.

  22. Held up at the end by REBUFF, INFERTILE and BONFIRE in the SW. Bonfire eventually cleared that logjam; then grappled with DECREPIT, TERRENE, LISSOME and LOI, PETERLOO in the SE. RASH was FOI. 25:43. Thanks setter and Jack.

  23. 29 m. I didn’t find this so easy. STEEPLE and HAITI went in without fully parsing and the SW corner was generally troublesome. We’ve seen the INNER HEBRIDES device before but it still held me up longer than it should have done even the first time.

  24. I can only estimate how long this took as I kept dozing off after a lack of sleep last night. Around the 40 minute mark I would say when conscious, and having filled about three quarters of the puzzle very rapidly I then getting bogged down. My last two in were REBUFF and finally BONFIRE which was easy enough after getting the former. I never did parse 12dn , forgetting the Queen’s amusing tea engagement with Paddington Bear.

  25. Absolute shocker! Failed to finish in 60 mins with several in the SW pencilled in or incorrect. I’d been OK up until 25 mins having completed 2/3 of the puzzle. Of the 9 clues that I was left with, over the next 35 mins, I managed to pencil in TERRENE (assumed to be correct), but failed on 16d with all checkers (assuming the T to be correct) and a pencilled I – didn’t have an earthly what Fiat was doing there, thinking it must be something to do with Italy or its cars.

    While I had INNER HEBRIDES and HAITI inked in, could only come up with a pencilled in BEAR WITH ME (no clue about the Paddington reference). Had assumed 18d might be SUNNIER (Warmer?) which made 17a and 27a trickier (though had originally thought EVE for the first part). 21d – no idea that an EGRET is a white bird and 14d – thought might be looking for a word meaning assume and not remembering TILE{r} as a tradesman.

    Definitely one to forget!

  26. 28’32”
    Good steady pace, stayed on well…
    ….with all parsed; but the pub stroll was semi-biffed.
    The TYKES are giving the Taffs a hard time in Cardiff at cricket as I write; rest assured Jack that the cricketing tykes relish their sobriquet and apply it to themselves with pride.
    This was an elegant puzzle and, as is so often the case, whilst I needed no explanations, I still learnt a lot here.
    Thanks to contributors, setter and Jack.

  27. Another who found this definitely a game of two halves. Perhaps I’m still suffering from the trauma of trying to enter the Stade Velodrome on Saturday in Marseille. I swear, on those steps, I thought my life was over. Frightening.

    Last two in, PETERLOO and LISSOME. I found that I solved a lot from the clues and then had to make the wp confirm the answer which, I did not always manage. Normally the other way round for me.

    Loved HAITI.

    Thanks Jack and setter.

  28. One interesting point about Peterloo is that the ‘loo’ was a reference to the earlier battle of Waterloo. A bit like ‘gate’ being affixed to scandals following Watergate. I am not aware, however, that any further battles were given the ‘loo’ suffix. Blame the lack of social media in the 19th century perhaps.

  29. I was slow in the SW corner – eventually saw “Bear With Me” but never cottoned on to the Paddington connection until coming here ( thought it was some weird Be A R with Me).
    My COD – Inner Hebrides.
    Nice puzzle.

  30. Trying to be clever I entered “BEAR WITH US” and misspelt HAITI so the SW corner offered extra resistance.
    Lovely, well balanced puzzle, thanks setter and Jack

  31. Took ages but failed by putting TERRESE and I think I’m alone in that respect.
    COD BEAR WITH ME (now I understand it)

  32. 48:22 , held up by the SW corner. Had never heard of AIT, so could not parse HAITI. LTI were BONFIRE and REBUFF – I spent a long time wondering about theological experts in various religions before spotting that one.
    COD was BEAR WITH ME. Paddington was the high spot of the jubilee celebrations.

    Thanks Jack and setter.

  33. Failed on TERRENE- didn’t know Descartes first name so tried to make an endless anagram of Descartes instead- the adjective tarcese seemed possible! Otherwise all correct.

  34. Puzzle of two halves: I agree. Top half good going (apart from FINAGLE – a word I’d forgotten), but slowed in the south with needing a hint for EMERITUS as I couldn’t find a definition ( is it really just “retired”?), and having WATERLOO for way too long. I also bunged in OUTER at 22a, making 12d impossible, until I backtracked with HAITI in place and ‘seeing’ BEAR WITH ME. Bit of a furfy getting HAITI, as I did by taking the ‘centres’ of tHIs and nATIon. I know, I know., but I’d rather believe the setter made a mistake than I did. 😶 CODs to BEAR WITH ME ( now I know the Paddington connection!) and HAITI.

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