Times Cryptic 28730


Solving time: 26 minutes

An enjoyable puzzle perhaps a little heavy on ‘containment’ clues and light on cryptics and all-in-ones so lacking a little in variety.  How did you all get on?

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 Old money duke occasionally unchaste (5)
D (duke), U{n}C{h}A{s}T{e} [occasionally]
4 Sumptuous taste, mostly ace £1 sandwiches (8)
PALAT{e} (taste) [mostly], then 1 L (£1) contains [sandwiches] A
8 Zany Bronx comedian receives Oscar for harmful, tasteless stuff (6,8)
Anagram [zany] of BRONX COMEDIAN contains [receives] O (Oscar – NATO alphabet)
10 Exaggerate the introduction of obscure poetry full of rubbish (9)
O{bscure} [introduction of…], VERSE (poetry) containing [full of] TAT (rubbish)
11 Academic stream pursued by American novelist and essayist (5)
CAM (academic stream – river in Cambridge), US (American). Albert Camus 1913-1960.
12 Man left holding a dog (6)
JACK (man) + L (left) containing [holding] A
14 Famous statue put back outside former capital city university (8)
EROS (famous misnamed statue) reversed [put back] containing [outside] BONN (former capital city of West Germany)
17 Crucial newspaper boss acquiring Evening Observer so described? (4-4)
KEY (crucial) + ED (newspaper boss) containing [acquiring] EEN (evening – poetic)
18 Doubts question put to charity (6)
QU (question), ALMS (charity)
20 Playing slowly a necessity for popular golfer (5)
Hidden in [a necessity for] {popu}LAR GO{lfer}
22 Old firm fed retired copper — top man! — Italian food (4,5)
O (old) + CO (firm) containing [fed] CU (copper) + BOSS (top man) reversed [retired]. Shin of veal containing marrowbone stewed in wine with vegetables.
24 Empty-headed eejit initially punches dad, hit on the noggin (7-7)
E{ejit} [initially] contained by [punches] FATHER (dad), then BRAINED (hit on the noggin – slang for head)
25 Sweatier when running, so to speak (2,2,4)
Anagram [running] of SWEATIER
26 Current article features in humourless journal (5)
I (current) + A (indefinite article) contained by [features in] DRY (humourless)
1 Funny joke drolly entertaining court physician (6,6)
Anagram [funny] of JOKE DROLLY containing [entertaining] CT (court)
2 Cut meat desire following slight stomach upset (5)
CRAVE (desire) becomes CARVE when internal letters (its ‘stomach’) are switched [upset]. I think ‘slight’ is there to indicate that only two  letters are involved in the switch.
3 Came together and did rock record for Spooner (4,5)
SHOOK (did rock) +  TAPE (record) [for Spooner]
4 Dad’s traversing peak of Moroccan plains (6)
PAPA’S (dad’s) containing [traversing] M{oroccan } [peak of…]
5 Hang around wearing underwear that is stolen (6,2)
LINGER{ie} (underwear) [that is stolen], ON (wearing). If you have something on you are wearing it but I’m having difficulty thinking of an example in which the two words can be substituted in a sentence without having to make any other alterations. Perhaps you can help?
6 Penniless subject admitting vote is harmful (5)
TO{p}IC (subject) [penniless] containing [admitting] X (vote)
7 Coming inside undressed, sailor boy turned up — such muscle! (9)
AB (sailor), then {c}OMIN{g} [undressed] contained by [inside] LAD (boy) reversed [turned up]
9 Holy Thursday always involves dissonance, sadly (9,3)
AY (always) contains [involves] anagram [sadly] of DISSONANCE
13 Dreary toast the French consumed (9)
LES (the, French) contained [consumed] by CHEERS (toast)
15 A serial wife-killer, depressed poet swallows drug (9)
BLUE (depressed), BARD (poet) contains [swallows] E (drug). You can read about the folk tale of Bluebeard and his wives here if you wish to know more.
16 Terribly sore knee that might become inflamed (8)
Anagram [terribly] of SORE KNEE
19 Upper-class fur available for exploitation (6)
U (upper-class), SABLE (fur)
21 G8 say or voice Tweets every now and again (5)
{v}O{i}C{e} T{w}E{e}T{s} [every now and again]
23 Line dance? (5)
Cryptic definition

99 comments on “Times Cryptic 28730”

  1. Biff City. Like, if you read “A serial wife-killer” first thing and you already have the U, why hesitate? I even rashly threw in SCATTERBRAINED when I had the first T, second A and the D, had to be corrected by CHEERLESS (at least I read the whole clue for that one). Not unenjoyable, if not very exciting. I liked the definition for KEROSENE, which was my POI. LOI SORBONNE.

    LINGER ON can’t help but recall the Velvet Underground’s “Pale Blue Eyes.”

  2. I think ‘wearing underwear’ needs to be taken as a whole.

    So, a man (possibly husband, but probably not) enters a hotel room and calls out to the woman, who he hears in the bathroom, ‘You getting yourself dolled up for me?’

    ‘Oh, yes, lingerie on!’

  3. 15:59
    Like Guy, I biffed BLUEBEARD, although I saw the wordplay immediately after. Biffed CARVE and ABDOMINAL, never worked them out. I hesitated over CONGA, because I couldn’t see anything cryptic: I thought the conga was a line dance; but evidently that term is reserved for the country/western kind. I had no problem with LINGER ON; as Ulaca says. Or, say, “Mary, lingerie on/wearing lingerie but no dress, went to the door.”

    1. Yeah, even if the BLUEBEARD definition hadn’t invited a biff, the wordplay was as transparent as it gets. I wondered who would be the first person to point out, if I didn’t, that the clue for CONGA is only faintly cryptic.

  4. I, too, whizzed through, pausing only to qu whether I’d ever seen qu for question before.

  5. A brisk run round the block for me as well, 17.10. My last two were TOOK SHAPE and JACKAL, seeing we seem to be allowing abbreviations for the names of dogs these days (Westie, Lab) I wondered for a while if this was going to be Jackie for Jack Russell. I too just bunged in scatterbrained and vaguely wondered where Dad had got to. Thanks to Jack for explaining CARVE and PAMPAS (I only parsed Pa’s so was one Pa short). Good fun crossword if not especially challenging, and I’m not complaining.

  6. 43m 31s…much of which time was spent pondering the Spoonerism.
    Meanwhile in 16d…
    ‘Then they bring them to the factory where the heart-attack machine
    Is strapped across their shoulders and then the KEROSENE
    Is brought down from the castles by insurance men who go
    Check to see that nobody is escaping to Desolation Row’
    9d: ASCENSION DAY: It used to amuse us lads studying ‘O’- and ‘A’-Level German that the German translation is Himmelfahrt.

    1. My mother, who studied German in the thirties, said the girls all fell about when they were taught the German for a sleigh ride, SCHLITTENFHART!

      1. Ah yes, my children fell about when heard that one, nearly as much as when I got stung on the neck by a wasp and did the wasp dance. Even better when it’s a horse drawn sleigh-ride, when it becomes a PFERDESCHLITTENFAHRT.

        1. Cor blimey! How much longer could it be; a two horse sleigh ride in a covered sleigh with bells on?

        2. Wonderful!
          Somehow that brings to mind an invented ‘expletive’ that Peter Sellers came out with on a Goon Show once: “Geschmittenhemmenswitz!” The show was called “Tails of Mens’ Shirts”.
          The German high command had perfected a colourless, odourless and tasteless liquid to apply to the tails of British officers’ shirt!

  7. 9:47. Sometimes it comes down to which ones you choose to look at first, and I got lucky on that score today. The checkers were extremely helpful when it came to filling in a few such as SORBONNE, OSSO BUCCO and ABDOMINAL.

    Thanks Jack and setter.

  8. 8:49. I was back to my common pattern of getting stuck on one at the end today, though clearly it didn’t hold me up too long. I came close to throwing in TOOK SHARE, reasoning that if you come together in a race you take a share of victory. Thankfully the inability to make the Spoonerism work delayed me long enough to think of TAKE SHAPE.

    1. Hello folks. I’m Rob and I compiled this puzzle. I popped in to apologise for the mistake at 22A where the grid entry OSSO BUCCO is wrong; there is only one C. This was pointed out to me by my wife, who was a student in Florence for several years. I’m sorry to say that I didn’t check this thoroughly enough when filling the grid. Best wishes to all, Rob

      1. Thanks for dropping in to let us know Rob, and thanks for all the puzzles you and your colleagues produce. I’m sure I speak for the masses here in saying they are a daily source of pleasure.

      2. Thanks for that. I too spent time in Florence, and cooked Osso buco often. It did hold me up a lot.

      3. Thank you for a very enjoyable puzzle, Rob. I have to say I didn’t notice the error, and would have spelled it that way myself, not being fluent in Italian.

  9. 9:58. Felt a bit sluggish this morning, solving early without caffeine assistance.
    The attempts to explain 5dn have made for an uncharacteristically steamy start on TfTT this morning.

  10. 11:45. I paused to parse a few (e.g. CARVE and ABDOMINAL) being determined not to just biff my way round and took too long to see LARGO was hidden, thinking SWING at first. Quite entertaining. Thanks Jackkt and setter.

  11. “I wouldn’t linger on this crossword for too long, if I were you.” 31 minutes with the Spoonerism LOI. We always used paraffin in our Tilley and it was only when I bought Highway 61 Revisited that I heard it was called KEROSENE on Desolation Row. COD to ASCENSION DAY. A pleasant puzzle, but I felt I should have been quicker. Thank you Jack and setter.

  12. Carved lamps and chalices, and vials which shone In their own golden beams …
    (The Witch of Atlas, Shelley)

    30 mins pre-brekker. A bit quirky, yet I liked it.
    Ta setter and J.

  13. 28:53. under the half hour which I’m happy with. didn’t have BLUEBEARD down as a wife-killer but seemed possible and the wordplay was pretty clear. Biffed CARVE as couldn’t make anything else work but the explanation above makes sense now. For a while I had DOCTOR DOCTOR as the funny joke until I couldn’t make the wordplay work. Just what we hope for from a Tuesday puzzle. thanks Setter and Jack

  14. 20′, with far too long missing the correct enumeration for 8ac, convinced that it was an oxide I’d never come across.

    I do remember having a comprehension piece in school French featuring Barbe bleue, not previously known – I now know that it was originally a French folk-tale.

    Rather liked LINGER ON.

    Thanks jack and setter.

  15. 24:18 so again a bit slow today. But no special problems.
    Thanks setter and blogger

  16. Enjoyable 35 mins, some time spent on LOI OSSO BUCCO which I’ve never come across and eventually got there from wordplay. Also wasted time on my first pass convincing myself that “ermine” worked as an upper class fur, with mine giving “exploitation” with “er” tbd….crossers then proved otherwise. TOOK SHAPE was a bit forced as a spoonerism for me. Thanks Jckkt and Setter

  17. 25 minutes, with the most time spent on TOOK SHAPE.

    Didn’t parse PALATIAL or CARVE, only saw how ABDOMINAL worked post-submission and didn’t figure out that DOCTOR JEKYLL was an anagram (+CT) until I was writing it in – the combination of ‘funny joke’ and ‘doctor’ in the answer made me think of ‘Doctor, doctor’ jokes. Not familiar with OSSO BUCCO but managed to get there from wordplay.

    Thanks setter and blogger.

    FOI Ducat
    LOI Took shape
    COD Carbon monoxide

  18. 40 mins so standard fare today. Another with LOI TOOK SHAPE. Odd ‘cos I’m normally quick with the Spoonerisms. Took a while to see LINGER ON too. My POI.

    I agree with Jack, a few too many containment clues, and only 4 anags too!


    Thanks Jack and setter.

  19. 40 mins
    Quite challenging. Qualms took me a while. Didn’t – couldn’t – parse carve.
    Thanks, jack.

  20. 8:50
    Nice Tuesdayish one, with quite a few biffables.
    Slightly disappointed not to see the Z which would have made it a pangram – changing CONGA to CONGO would have allowed DOOZY.

  21. It was Christie
    Almost dead stop at the end with CARVE and TOOK SHAPE missing. The first I entered watching for the joint to be rare, but it emerged a splendid shade of gangrene. I didn’t work out the Spoonerism for ages, and pushed my time to 23.54. Zabadak’s law states that if I don’t spot it immediately, it’s not a good Spoonerism, so this one was awful.
    Bluebeard is not in my pantheon of uxoricides, so I lost time trying to remember the Attenborough character in 10 Rillington Place.
    I liked the SORBONNE clue, painstakingly constructed the vaguely remembered OSSO BUCCA from the wordplay, and still think PALATIAL looks wrong (though palacial looks wronger, thankfully).
    Thanks Jack, especially for CARVE.

  22. Didn’t know the French folk tale about Bluebeard but vaguely knew of some piece of music called Bluebeard’s Castle (I now see that it was an opera by Bartok) so BLUEBEARD was probably the answer, ‘obvious’ from the wordplay. Stupidly entered OSSa BUCCO and wondered why the top man was a bass, meant to return to it and forgot, so my 30 minutes didn’t really count. LINGER ON looks to me like green paint: it isn’t in Chambers or Collins and I’m not surprised. I didn’t like CONGA and could hardly believe that was really the answer.

    1. LINGER ON appears in the Oxfords, SOED, COED and ODE, but even without that I wouldn’t see it as ‘green paint’ because it’s not two random words put together but a naturally extended construction. You linger or stay for a while and as you continue to do so you stay or linger on.

      Another example that comes to mind is in the title of a song by Irving Berlin recorded by Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and countless others: The Song is Ended (But The Melody Lingers On)

      1. Ah yes, the glorious and unexpected ending to Potter’s Pennies From Heaven “We couldn’t have gone through all that without a happy ending. Songs ain’t like that, are they?”

  23. 19:58

    Just under the 20-minute marker. Didn’t know that BLUEBEARD was a serial wife-killer, so not a write-in for me. Missed the parsing in 2d. Another here that initially considered DOCTOR DOCTOR as a ‘Funny joke’. Last few in were ABDOMINAL, PALATIAL, LINGER ON and finally TOOK SHAPE.

    Thanks Jack and setter.

  24. Am I alone in my dislike of Spoonerism clues? I don’t know why I hate them, but I do.

    1. No you’re not alone, judging from the number of unfavourable remarks in various places. But personally I enjoy them and can’t see what the problem is.

          1. Sorry to be clear I didn’t mean that the answer is necessarily obvious, just that the clue structure generally is, which takes away quite a lot of the fun in deciphering a cryptic clue.

      1. They’re overused, and the indicator “Spooner” could hardly be less cryptic. I like them as an occasional treat but not every week. Without the sense of novelty, solving them can become a tedious mental trawl through possible matching word pairs.

        1. I agree. I hate them, but they’re at their most acceptable when they occur without a reference to Dr Spooner in the clue.

            1. Setters sometimes indicate an exchange of first sounds in a pair of words without using the S word, which can make the device a bit less glaringly obvious.

              1. Indeed. It’s hard tracking down past examples in the archive but my recollection is that on the rare occasions such clues have occurred they have been favourably received.

        2. Have seen a few – perhaps in The Times, likely not – with a Russian name in the stead of Spooner. Markov? No. Mastrovia? No. I think it starts with M and has a Russian sound. First time I saw it I was totally bamboozled.
          Generally dislike them as I can’t solve them – wait for crossers, guess the answer, see if it fits. Today, unusually , I just saw it. But my mind doesn’t work like keriothe’s; they’re never obvious.

          1. As mentioned to Paul above, I didn’t mean to say the answer is always obvious. Sometimes it is, sometimes not. But it’s obvious what you’re looking for, which takes away some of the fun.

    2. I normally spot them quite quickly, but today’s was my LOI. I do like them, generally. Sorry.

      Isn’t it though a bit like saying that some of the anagrist, are a bit hackneyed, yet we spot them more or less straight away. Having said that, today’s (Zany, Running, Funny and Terrible) were slightly more unusual. We don’t want to lose them though, do we?

  25. As the main purpose of this page is to comment on today’s puzzle, I will just say 9:57, but with a dreaded pink square, for a rather enjoyable puzzle.

    However, I’d also like to ask if anyone else has suffered at the hands of the Championship organisers. The 9.30 heat has now been dispensed with, such that all will be taking part in the later one. I had booked and paid for a non-refundable hotel room the night before, to be able to make the 9.30 heat and then to take the train to a friend’s sixtieth birthday lunch, a longstanding commitment. I was happy to do so, confident that I wouldn’t be making the Finals, but very much looking forward to the competition, even though I would have to make the necessary sacrifice of forgoing the lunchtime session in The George. I am sure there is nothing to be done about it, and attribute the organisers’ change to the dwindling number of participants, but even so am interested to hear if anyone else is in a similar position.

    With apologies if this is deemed inappropriate for the blog.

    1. Hopefully our Editor will read this and re-instate an early heat, or offer compo. Another example of why I don’t bother entering as it’s often messed about.

    2. Not inappropriate in any way, (although there is a separate thread on this topic).
      I sympathise, and an email direct to The Times should get you a refund, I would hope.
      However, can you still make both? Doesn’t seem impossible by any means.. if you bolt for the exit straight after, you can still be most places in central London by 1pm…

  26. I initially raced through this, with the only unknown OSSO BUCCO entered with some confidence thanks to the wordplay and checkers. I then ground to a halt with about 4 to go, including my least favourite clue type, and I was glad to be called away from my travails.
    Upon my return the crossword finally took shape, with the grid completed in a combined 35 minutes or so.
    Hopefully at least another week will pass before I hear from that Mr Spooner again.

  27. 25 minutes, all done right and parsed except for CARVE for which thanks jackkt for explaining the stomach bit. Getting Dr Jekyll quickly opened it all up. Liked SORBONNE.

  28. I’m a bit puzzled by OSSO BUCCO. Chambers and every dictionary I’ve checked gives BUCO, with only one C, and Google Translate doesn’t recognise BUCCO. I don’t claim fluency in Italian but as tutored by my Italian ‘suocera’, it should only have one C. So I set about seeking plurals such as OSSI BUCCI et al to get the fifth letter. After Ascension Day I was finally forced, reluctantly, to accept the misspelling as an anglicism.

    1. OSSO BUCCO is in Collins, and given as a variant in OED. It’s not given as an alternative in ODE but then in most of the examples it is spelled this way.

    2. You’re quite right. Osso buco being bone hole/cavity and so marrowbone, which the Milanese make a stew from; new to me as the stews where I am are usually of mutton, goat or boar.
      Devoto-Oli (Italian OED) has only osso buco, and there is no sign of osso bucco, or bucco for that matter.

  29. Young curate, visiting elderly female parishioner at end of October, trying to make conversation: “Winter draws on, eh?”
    Old lady: “I don’t see that it’s any of your business if I have, young man.”

    But I agree I don’t think you can substitute ON for WEARING in a sentence without using a verb like ‘have’ or ‘put’.

    1. But that is not the requirement. To solve the clue you only have to be able to connect the words in your head.
      If the lady you refer to has winter drawers on, she is wearing them, isn’t she? We all can get that, can’t we?
      We need a word, which I will be happy to add to the glossary, for specious fiddlefaddle complaints (not meaning you, specifically) where it is completely obvious what is meant, but still we object.
      Perhaps we should give our setters a little more wiggle room?

      1. It wasn’t completely obvious to me. I spent longer on that clue because it seemed unclear that “lingerie on” was intended. I considered other anwers such as “linger at” and “linger in” before deciding that “on” was probably what the setter meant.

      2. I agree.
        I’m normally one of their harshest critics but I can see absolutely no problem with it.

        I despair when I see some of the monstrosities that are allowed to pass on here, but then everyone piles in on something inconsequential like this, and which is also grammatically correct (in crossword land).

  30. No real trouble here, although there were a couple I couldn’t parse (to be honest, I didn’t try very hard to do so), CARVE and LARGO.

    Every now and then I get irked by a clue; in this case it was 3d, the “Spoonerism” – clunky or what?

  31. A pleasant but not too exciting stroll, finishing in 30 minutes. I agree with Bazzock about OSSO BUCCO. I do not have the advantage of an Italian suocera (or an Italian moglie), but every Italian menu which I remember spells it with a single ‘c’. However I see that the alternative spelling is given in my ODE. I also nearly tripped up on 24ac until the crossers showed that SCATTER-BRAINED had to be wrong. Not too keen on the Spoonerism or LINGER ON, but it takes all sorts.
    COD – BLUEBEARD (once I realised Henry VIII wouldn’t fit)
    Thanks to jackkt and other contributors.

  32. I eventually finished in 44.30 but felt it should have been a good deal faster. Never heard of OSSO BUCCO although from Jackkt’s description I’m sure I’d like it. My main stumbling block was my last two in which cost me well over five minutes. I hate spoonerisms in crosswords and sure enough it was my LOI TOOK SHAPE that nearly had me throwing in the towel. The other difficulty was CARVE where the parsing of it escaped me, and it went in with fingers crossed. Having said all that, I enjoyed the puzzle.

  33. 22:38, several minutes of which were spent wondering what L_N_E_ / O_ could possibly be & trying to make LANDED ON work. Must brush up on my underwear.

    Thanks both.

  34. 17:15. Fairly straightforward in the solving with some intricate cryptics which I largely ignored in a flurry of biffs. The logic behind CARVE eluded me even after pondering it post-solve. Thanks for the explanation.

  35. 34’20”
    The plater again started at his standard pace, and finished at the same.
    Like Jack I found this meccano-esque and I was clumsy with the tiny nuts and bolts. In addition, unlike Galspray, I attempted everything in the wrong order.
    I should have got BLUEBEARD a lot earlier, as I heard Bartok’s opera last year on Rai Radio 3.
    I heard it, rather than listened to it, as I was cooking, not a misspelt osso buco (see above), but cacio pepe (pasta with cheese and black pepper, in the dialect of Rome), a dish requiring only three ingredients but total concentration in its preparation.
    Still, I was fractionally under par, with only one semi-biff, and enjoyed it; thank you setter and Jack.

  36. Am I the only one who remembers a 1960s or 70s film Bluebeard, with Richard Burton killing sundry wives? Including Raquel Welch, IMDB tells me, in 1972. Didn’t notice the misspelling of BUCO, but always had trouble with Italian words whether or not to double the penultimate consonant.
    An enjoyable and not too difficult puzzle, like yesterday’s. Hopefully there’ll be more of a challenge in coming days.

  37. DUCAT dropped straight into place and I made good progress. NHO OSSO BUCCO but the wordplay was kind once I had some crossers. Took ages to see TOOK SHAPE. SORBONNE was LOI. 23:28. Thanks setter and Jack.

  38. 11:27. Should have broken the Ten Minute Barrier but I was stalled by a few. I like Spoonerisms but can’t say I’m that good at them. As Paul Hammond says they are nice occasionally. I couldn’t have fed Sarah myself.

  39. A pleasant if undemanding lunchtime solve.

    CAMUS made me smile.

    Thanks as ever to setter and blogger for explaining ABDOMINAL.

    Time: 27:58

  40. SORBONNE also my LOI and it took me an age to get but seems easy now. COD goes to CARBON MONOXIDE.
    I enjoyed it, but then I usually do if I complete successfully.

  41. 40 minutes. SORBONNE and OSSO BUCCO were the kinds of complicated clues I have no chance of solving from the cryptic, but they were very biffable. I thought I knew BLUEBEARD as a pirate, but I seem to have imagined him. Fortunately, that was the opposite kind of clue. TOOK SHAPE was very slow at the end. Thanks to jackkt.

  42. I have learned to like Spoonerisms, (and homophones) for the simple reason that if I didn’t, crosswords would be less fun and harder to solve.
    I “like” broccoli, and leafy rabbit food, for exactly the same reason. Not enticing, but probably good for you ..
    Amazing, what you can learn to cheerfully put up with

  43. 31 mins. No idea that BLUEBEARD was a wife killer, and OSSO BUCCO NHO, esp as I’m a veggie. The CARVE cryptic was a bit cryptic….

  44. 25:54

    I liked CAMUS, with its reference to Rupert Brooke’s “The chestnuts shade in reverend dream, The yet unacademic stream..”.

    Not fond of 3d. Count me among those who dislike Spoonerisms in crosswords.

  45. 32 minutes. Don’t know why I took so long over clues like CARBON MONOXIDE. Not enough chocolate today, probably.

    Speaking of which, I know ‘feather-brained’ and ’empty-headed’ mean roughly the same thing, but my inner pedant protests that if you are feather-brained then your head isn’t empty: it’s full of feathers. I know that’s not how this works. But it did seem a bit clumsy to have two rather similar hyphenated words. ‘Silly eejit’ might have worked better.

  46. 9m 14s, with the last 2 minutes or so spent trying to put together OSSO BUCCO from the cryptic – never heard of it, and I tried all kinds of variations before I realised I needed a boss. Other than that, not too tricky, but I didn’t find it as simple as many seem to have done.

  47. 19’00”. Would never have spotted the misspelled OSSO BUCCO if it hadn’t been pointed out by our conscientious setter . I’d have assumed two Cs was right. But it ain’t.

  48. An enjoyable and not too problematic puzzle, with just a couple of unparsed answers – CARVE and ABDOMINAL, to check up on. I don’t mind the occasional Spoonerism – they are often amusing, and frequently helpful when one is stuck otherwise. To be fair, there are only so many types of tricks that you can use in a cryptic – the hidden, the anagram, the DD or CD, the missing front or back letter etc. And so long as there isn’t more than one per puzzle, I don’t see the problem. In fact it was my last in, but so what?

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