Times Cryptic 28758 – Sat, 11 Nov 2023. Hot ’Pies.

In Australia, the ’Pies (shortened from ‘magpies’) are the Australian Football 2023 Premiers. Their supporters will be delighted to see them featured in 1ac! Makes a change from cricket and the “round ball” version of football. (I daren’t say “soccer”.)

Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle. How did you all get on?

Note for newcomers: The Times offers prizes for Saturday Cryptic Crosswords. This blog is for last week’s puzzle, posted after the competition closes. So, please don’t comment here on this week’s Saturday Cryptic.

Definitions are in bold and underlined. (ABC)* means anagram of ABC. Italics mark anagram indicators in the clues, and other ‘assembly instructions’ in the explanations. {Curly brackets} mark omitted letters.

Answers, and their components in the explanations, are in BOLD CAPITALS.

1 Sort of western pie that’s good for cooking (9)
(PIE THATS G)*. “G” for good.
6 Writer certainly beginning to exasperate (5)
DEFO (certainly), E{xasperate}. NHO “defo”, unlike “def”. Maybe a UK/US thing?
9 Run with machine, leaving motorway: one may turn fast (5)
R (run), {M}OTOR.
10 Fashionable, and thinner, displaying bust (9)
IN, SOLVENT (paint thinner).
11 Two Republicans in fight to the death with Liberal naturalist (7)
RR (two Republicans) in DUEL + L (liberal). Gerald Durrell.
12 Diamonds fraud not small — that brings decline (7)
13 County reporting reason for flock’s abbreviated visit to woolshed? (14)
Sounds like (“reporting”) LESS TO SHEAR. Or not.
17 Phenomenon’s initiation: celestial pair’s new alignment with it? (7,7)
(P CELESTIAL PAIR)* The first P is P{henomenon’s} initiation.
21 Old men in lounge cleaning sheets? (3,4)
O (old) + OR (men, in the army), in LOLL.
23 Draw dustcart taking back bottles (7)
backwards hidden answer, as indicated.
25 Mock serenade from female spy taken in by vicar deviously? (9)
{Mata} HARI taken in by (VICAR)*. I vaguely remembered the answer from past crosswords, or rather misremembered it! My first recollection was CHADIVARI, but the female spy straightened that out.
26 Digger’s flat in Seascale vacated (5)
PAD in S{eascal}E, vacated.
27 All right in time before event to call up (5)
OK in EVE.
28 Rock show’s beginning with initially sibilant sound (9)
S{how}, AND (with), S{ibilant}, TONE (sound).
1 Bridge Street seen before right turn (8)
ST, R, ADDLE (turn, like old milk).
2 Announced change for Union Station? (5)
sounds like (“announced”) ALTER.
3 Some heart in stew that’s unlikely to reach an English table? (9)
4 Eight-lined poem allowed by musical group (7)
TRIO, LET (allowed). Wordplay obvious, NHO answer. See more here.
5 Person with advantage imprisoned at Broadmoor finally (7)
INSIDE, {Broadmoo}R.
6 Asian city and Greek one less quiet (5)
DEL{P}HI is/was in Greece.
7 Skilfully deal with lapse in scientific expedition (5,4)
FIELD (skilfully deal with), TRIP.
8 Dish carried by salver did you say? (6)
sounds like (“did you say”) ON TRAY.
14 Man in relationship very soon to desert love (9)
IN A MO (very soon), RAT, O.
15 Henry II accepting return of inebriate son in foul pants (9)
HAL (Henry), II accepting TOS (SOT, returning), S (son). Neat definition. For once “pants” isn’t an anagram indicator.
16 Art lover consumed saving biblical queen king’s abandoned (8)
ATE saving ESTHE{R}.
18 British king once visiting too briefly, listening closely (3,4)
LEAR visiting ALS{O}.
19 Shaping toe-nail brings exhilaration (7)
20 Company’s opening — plant not closing — nothing new here! (6)
C{ompany}, LICHE{N}.
22 Long to be with circle and express view (5)
24 All lost after Mexican offensive? Leaders therein (5)
First letter of each word (leaders therein). I think the whole clue is definition. Here is the Wikipedia entry.

38 comments on “Times Cryptic 28758 – Sat, 11 Nov 2023. Hot ’Pies.”

  1. 20:48
    I wondered about DEFO (definitely), but an Australian colleague confirmed that it’s an Australian thing! (Defo not US.) I biffed several, parsing post-submission; including HALITOSIS, where I finally twigged to ‘pants’. I have ‘def?’ written by ALAMO. Didn’t Stephen Dedalus write a TRIOLET in Portrait of the Artist? The setter seems (over-)fond of initial letters: 6ac ‘beginning’, 17ac ‘initiation’, 28ac ‘beginning’, ‘initially’, 20d ‘opening’. Plus a couple of final letters: 5d ‘finally’, 20d ‘not closing’. I liked STRADDLE, HALITOSIS, & AESTHETE.

    1. ‘Defo’ is deffo not a word I’ve ever met in Australia!

      Actually, on reflection, there have been some defo (defamation) cases in the courts recently. But that’s another story.

      1. Collins and Dictionary.com mark it as British. But my colleague is defo Australian; go figure.

        1. ‘Defo’ is ubiquitous slang amongst my generation (just the right side of forty) and younger.

  2. I worked this one online, being out of ink, so have no notes. I liked “foul pants” I think maybe CHARIVARI was my LOI…?

    There was a scandal in France a while back when it was discovered that some restaus had been serving HORSEMEAT without informing their patrons. Some people in Europe do eat HORSEMEAT (I saw it on a menu on the Piazza San Marco in Venice), but everyone likes to know what they’re eating…

    There is a keyboard command, whatever your computer, to make the apostrophe (not an opening single quotation mark) in ’Pies. But you could just copy the one I’ve put here (if I didn’t use the keyboard command, it would have come out backward) and paste it in as needed.

    1. Sir Clement Freud, long time Liberal Member of Parliament for the Isle of Ely, where he was initially elected by overturning a massive tory majority by backing himself at 33/1 and suggesting others do likewise and vote for him, I believe made a killing in the days of rationing by setting up a London restaurant selling steaks. When asked by his satisfied, but very curious clientele, where on earth he found such copious amounts of red meat, he replied, “It’s horse!” They thought he was joking; he wasn’t.

  3. The Australian language has been enriched by the addition of the suffix -o to many abbreviated words, but ‘defo’ is new to me.
    Last Thursday arvo Australia beat Bangladesh 7-0. This compares favorably with England’s 2-0 victory over Malta. Admittedly Bangladesh are ranked 183, eleven places below Malta. Beating South Africa in the cricket semi-final was a nice bonus for the journos to write about.
    The crossword was a ripper! HALITOSIS was especially brilliant. Thank you setter.

  4. 39 minutes with remarkably few workings-out on my copy.

    I loved the homophone at 8dn but completely missed the anagram element at 1ac having read the clue as a cryptic, wondered why the word ‘pie’ was there, and moved on never to return to it.

  5. Astros make many FIELD TRIPs
    To observe every PARTIAL ECLIPSE
    This manifestation
    At syzygy, as the light dips

    1. Excellent! You’ve reminded me of a long-forgotten ambition to shoehorn syzygy into a verse.
      I’ve had a crack at a triolet; see below, or rather, NOCIC below !

  6. Pottered at this over several days. Charivari was new to me but nice word. Loo roll , halitosis and Leicestershire all made me chuckle when the penny dropped. Enjoyable

  7. I wrote 2d straight in as we had a very similar clue for ALTAR the day before.

    Like jacktt I also assumed 1ac was a cryptic definition. I made a note to check whether pie was purely for surface, or referring to the rare but googleable spaghetti pie!

  8. I timed this very precisely for once: 34 minutes. Which I suspect means it was at the easier end of the spectrum. FOI 1ac SPAGHETTI, LOI 16d AESTHETE, which caused me the longest headscratch since my Bible knowledge is negligible. Was chuffed to get 15ac CHARIVARI, a word I can only have learned from here at some time – no doubt jackkt knows when! And DEFO – I’d have sworn it was a word I’d learned from Aussie soap Neighbours… 13ac LEICESTERSHIRE proved a challenge to a non-English accent. Clever, though. Enjoyed this one. Thanks to all.

    1. SB, there’s no magic involved checking the archive. Although the positions may vary by device, on a PC or laptop there’s a search field indicated by a magnifying glass next to one’s user name at the top of the page (type the word and key Enter), or a little further down, RH of the screen, there is a field with a big Search button next to it.

      More refined site-specific searches are available via Google but the in-house facility is fine for most purposes.

      1. Ah-hah! Two things learned: how to search and that CHARIVARI comes up approx once a year. Oh, and three: that jackkt isn’t a memory magician after all! Thank you.

  9. I thought this was going to be difficult when I started, but once I got going, it proved to be fairly straightforward and very enjoyable. I particularly liked the cheeky LEICESTERSHIRE, LOO ROLL and the brilliant ‘foul pants’. ‘Defo’ was perfectly familiar to me, suggesting it is British rather than Aussie, but it needed the D crosser to come up with the answer. CHARIVARI fortunately encountered here on at least two occasions, although I believe last time it was defined as a rowdy song, so I needed the cryptic to bring it to mind. FOI 1A, LOI SANDSTONE, with an excellent surface. Many thanks to setter and Branch.

  10. Liked this, not v hard.
    We used to eat horsemeat in France, the Chevaline is a stall at every market; but were banned by my daughter from bringing any back with us. Though we did sneak a bit in occasionally.
    Charivari, in the old days of Punch magazine it was a regular feature. I never did know what the word meant!

    1. A criminal investigation after the Montreal World’s Fair in 1967 showed that a lot of horsemeat was unwittingly consumed by the public. My wife was particularly upset to realize all the hamburgers and pizza she ate that summer likely contained meat from her favourite beloved animal. I just felt oh well I didn’t get sick and a good number of cattle got a stay of execution.

  11. 30’50”
    Smartly away, stayed on gamely.

    I enjoyed this very much; so many fine clues make me reluctant to single any out.
    Some slick surfaces and clever clueing resulted in many satisfied aha s !
    Bravo/a setter and thank you Bruce.

    A triolet seems odd to me,
    It has but two rhymes, B and A.
    The tri- to me suggests a three,
    A triolet seems odd to me.
    I’d like to see, perhaps, a C,
    No C I see and so I say,
    A triolet seems odd to me,
    It has but two rhymes, B and A.

      1. Thank you Guy and Astro-Nowt.
        I came to the conclusion that if the three* lines that are not repeated do not explain something abstruse or liable to misinterpretation in the first two, this odd little verse form could turn into something repetitive and trite.
        So, what with juggling the above with finding rhymes and trying to shoehorn it into the iambic tetrameters (just about achieved, I think) that Wikipedia suggested, I completely overlooked the obvious; the first line does indeed appear thrice.
        * oh, there’s another thrice.

  12. 32 minutes, the last two of which were spent searching for a better answer to 4dn than TRIPLET (fortunately the search was successful). This puzzle was not too hard, judging by my time, but quite enjoyable. My CODs would be HALITOSIS and ENTRÉE, of course.

  13. Didn’t parse LEICESTERSHIRE and hadn’t heard of DURRELL or TRIOLET, but not too tricky otherwise.

    FOI Alamo
    LOI Partial eclipse
    COD Halitosis

  14. I don’t pronounce Leicestershire as ‘less to shear’ (less to sher). You can be pretty sure that if the clue had been the other way round the rhotic speakers would have moaned. I have always thought that people are much too fussy about homophones: less to shear/sher/shyer and in my opinion the clue is fine.

    Is a duel a fight to the death (11ac)? What is the ‘with it’ doing in 17ac?

    1. In 17ac, I think the new alignment refers to the celestial pair being in a partial eclipse, hence the “it” as a backward reference.

  15. Found this harder than most: gave up on DWINDLE, DEFOE (should have waited for the D crosser to appear ) and INSOLVENT – couldn’t bring to mind another word for thinner ! Also CHARIVARI only vaguely heard of, but would have cracked if I’d had more patience, as I knew Mata’s name would be included in it somehow. Next time I’ll endeavour to savour the ride and enjoy more PDMs which I should have gotten.

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