Times Cryptic 28832

Solving time: 32 minutes

I didn’t find this hard but there were some devious definitions and naughty humour that put me in mind of a certain Sunday Times setter who used to contribute regularly to our discussions in the days when I was starting out at TfTT.

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 Pallor of one confined by previous head (9)
I (one) contained [confined] by PAST (previous) + NESS (head)
6 In this Siberian forest you might catch predator (5)
Sounds like [you might catch] “tiger” (predator)
9 Time to go and twist a bit? (7)
T (time), WIDDLE (go – urinate)
10 Decide on artist to depict vengeful daughter (7)
ELECT (decide on), RA (artist). Note that ‘on’ belongs with ‘decide’ here, so the usual rule regarding placement in an Across clue doesn’t apply. Electra conspired with her brother to kill their mother.
11 Go on foot in a westerly direction (3)
PAY (foot e.g. the bill) reversed [in a westerly direction]. Talk too much.
12 Sheet anchor (11)
Cryptic with reference to sheets of paper.  ‘Sheet anchor’ is actually a nautical term for a strong anchor for use in an emergency. A clever concise clue.
14 Raise charge after a year (6)
PA (a year – per annum),  RENT (charge)
15 Abandoning Charlie, crowd heading in the right direction (2,6)
{c}ONCOURSE  (crowd) [abandoning Charlie]
17 I hear schedule has Frenchman making comeback (8)
LIST (schedule), then RENE (Frenchman) reversed [making comeback]
19 Gamble on soldier protecting bishop in place of execution (6)
GI (soldier) + BET (gamble) containing [protecting] B (bishop). A gibbet was originally a gallows but later it came to mean an upright post with a projecting arm from which the bodies of criminals were hung after execution.
22 Fellow constituent behind the bar (11)
COUNTER (bar), PART (constituent)
23 This, in Cicero’s day,   a sign you’ve had too much to drink? (3)
Two meanings. Cicero was Roman so ‘This, in Cicero’s day’ indicates the Latin word for ‘this’. Oh for the joys of learning to decline the various forms of the word, especially when chanted out loud by a class of 11 year olds – hic, haec, hoc etc. The genitive plural never failed to give rise to sniggers around the classroom: horum, harum, horum.
25 Uneasiness of those from Penang, might one say? (7)
Sounds like [might one say] “Malays” (those from Penang). I believe Americans pronounce it ‘Maylay’, as did Noël Coward when performing his song Mad Dogs and Englishmen, to scan and to get the internal rhyme:

In the PhilippinesThere are lovely screensTo protect you from the glare.In the Malay StatesThere are hats like platesWhich the Britishers won’t wear.At twelve noonThe natives swoonAnd no further work is done.But mad dogs and EnglishmenGo out in the midday sun.

27 Express demanding sacking of Conservative leader (7)
Anagram [sacking] of C (conservative) LEADER. After finishing the puzzle I spent far too long thinking about the parsing here before realising it was an anagram.
28 Still around to defend Republican’s effrontery? (5)
EVEN (still) reversed [around] containing [to defend] R (Republican)
29 Individual’s dreadfully insolent gesture at first (9)
Anagram [dreadfully] of INSOLENT G{esture} [at first]
1 Shame to have husband caught short (5)
PITY (shame) containing [to have…caught] H (husband)
2 One in charge of light drinker pocketing £1000 (7)
SIPPER (light drinker) containing [pocketing] K (£1000). Another that presented parsing problems as I was considering ‘one in charge of light’ as the definition and wondering if ‘light’ might be a type of boat like a ‘lighter’.
3 Doing one’s own thing  daily (11)
Two meanings – the second being The Independent on-line newspaper.
4 Release old film about backbencher? (6)
EX (old), then ET (film) containing [about] MP (backbencher?)
5 Wife engaging in extreme bad language (8)
W (wife) contained by [engaging in] SEARING (extreme – intense)
6 Place for drivers there from time to time (3)
T{h}E{r}E [from time to time]. Our golfing clue of the day.
7 A number having wage cut by half in Bury (7)
{wa}GE [cut by half] contained by [in] INTER (bury)
8 A natter with MP about accommodation (9)
Anagram [about] of A NATTER MP
13 Conceited cities gloat appallingly (11)
Anagram [appallingly] of CITIES GLOAT
14 Complain anew about English PC (9)
Anagram [anew] of COMPLAIN containing [about] E (English). Police Constable.
16 Perfect advice for a peeping Tom? (8)
PEER LESS (advice for a peeping Tom?)
18 One having a row in unfinished part of kitchen (7)
SCULLER{y} (part of kitchen) [unfinished]
20 How one can learn Times has courage (2,5)
BY (times), HEART (courage)
21 Pass Chinese academic (4,2)
HAN DON (Chinese academic)
24 Uncle Andrew keeping off the drugs (5)
Hidden in [keeping] {un}CLE AN{drew}
26 Leader of Republic deposed, creating anger (3)
{e}IRE (republic) [leader…deposed]

76 comments on “Times Cryptic 28832”

  1. 6:23 – found this fun and romped through it. I was trying to make something with DIMMER for the one in charge of the light. I do not usually like cryptic definitions but I thought PAPERWEIGHT was clever.

  2. 26:19
    I was slow to see how a number of clues worked: I took ‘I hear’ as a homophone indicator, even though I had ENER; took me forever to see the light. Same for DECLARE which took me so long to see that it was an anagram that it was my LOI.

  3. I tried to do something with T + WEE before I saw that WIDDLE was probably a UK euphemism. Don’t think I’ve encountered that before.

    I was also puzzled by the parsing of DECLARE. The full anagrind would seem to be “demanding sacking”—“demanding” is what threw me, anyway. I was trying too long to think of something to remove a C from—or maybe a pun DE-CLARE, though there’s no “Conservative leader” with the last name Clare (there was only the American CLARE Booth Luce)!

    1. I spent ages post-solve trying to justify DE-CLARE or possibly DE, C, LARE as the parsing at 27ac.

    2. Charles Hawtrey played Private Widdle in Carry on Up the Khyber. I believe we British thought it was funny at the time.

  4. A fail. I missed DECLARE was an anagram, thinking ‘sacking’ was a deletion indicator and eventually putting in an unparsed DICTATE. A pity, as I otherwise found this not too hard. I liked the PITHY PAPERWEIGHT.

    1. Think I alternated between DICTATE and DECLARE four or five times before the anvil dropped.

      1. I’m glad I didn’t think of DICTATE or choosing between it and DECLARE might have added a lot to my solving time.

  5. Good to know I wasn’t alone in being baffled by LOI DECLARE, TBH I didn’t know it was an anagram until Jack pointed it out. 24.52, quite a bit of which was spent on that last one where for a while I had DICTATE (yeah, I know…) because it fitted with the crossers. Didn’t know concourse meant crowd, guessed IRE until shown Eire in the blog. COD for me was PAPERWEIGHT but there were some other clever ones like TWIDDLE, SKIPPER and YAP. I was helped by TAIGA also being in this morning’s Age/SMH, clued with the same device.
    On edit: Just saw BR’s post, snap!

  6. Nice piece of setting for DECLARE, very clever to disguise the anagrind and anagrist so effectively. In my case it took me from about a 13-minute solve to 18:19.

    But I got a pink square for LISTENET anyway, completing a hat-trick of typo-ruined solves. Faulty keyboard I reckon.

    Noel Coward’s song always reminds me of Ashes Tests at the WACA. English fans determined to “catch a few rays” on their trip down under, transitioning through alarming shades of red as the day wears on, with nothing but mid-strength lager to mitigate the damage. Usually prompts me to book another appointment with the dermatologist.

    COD to PAPERWEIGHT which I was lucky enough to spot straight away.

    Thanks Jack and setter.

    1. English tests at the WACA now only a memory, sadly. I did four or five Ashes tours Down Under, but the grounds are now all so huge – with the possible exception of the one in Sydney, where I’ve never been – that the appeal has rather disappeared. A shame, as I always enjoyed those tours and I love Australia, but southern hemisphere cricket for me is now in South Africa and New Zealand where the grounds are more like – well – cricket grounds.

      Your point about the sunburnt Poms is taken: utter madness by visitors who would do well to learn from their hosts on that point. It horrifies me (a Pom) to see my countrymen taking their lives in their hands in such a completely avoidable manner. Slip, slap, slop! It’s the only way to go.

      1. Having attended more than thirty Tests at the WACA I’m not particularly sorry to see the back of it. It had the worst facilities of any venue I’ve been to. We just excused it because of the exhilirating cricket that was produced by that pitch and outfield. The new ground is a hundred times more comfortable and they’ve done a pretty good job of replicating the pitch conditions.

        Why did you leave the SCG (“the one in Sydney”) off your itinerary? It’s the only major Test ground in Australia that doesn’t use drop-in pitches now, and the one that most retains the feel of a cricket ground. It’s also the most visually appealing of the Australian grounds, especially the old heritage stands.

        1. It was nothing deliberate. My commitments back in the north just meant that my tours – actually half tours – had to end before Christmas. So I’ve also never seen cricket at the MCG. I take your point about facilities at the WACA, and I don’t doubt what you say about the new stadium, but it’s the sheer size of the place that puts me off. The re-development at the Adelaide Oval ruined a lovely ground in my opinion, again because of the size of the place and the distance between the bat and the viewer in the higher parts of the stand. All of which said, I can’t even guarantee to myself that I won’t turn up for future Ashes encounters. As I say, I love Australia, and I rate Perth as my favourite of the state capitals. Rule nothing out!

  7. I’m another who’s glad I didn’t think of DICTATE, as bunging DECLARE in unparsed as LOI let me finish in a tad under 15 minutes, which is my quickest time in a few months, I think. Held up a bit by that one and, as usual, my awful geography, which meant MALAISE wasn’t the simple write-in it should have been.

  8. Very enjoyable – like yesterday, I felt in the zone for the most part, bogging down towards the end but only needing a few minutes after pausing for breakfast. Unlike more thoughtful solvers, I missed the anagram and cheerfully biffed DECLARE. Would have been 3 mins or so faster were it not for a typed MALIASE messing up 26d, and had COUNTERPOINT in my head (symptom of Radio 4-itis) delaying completion of 22a. Finished with a quick alpha-trawl to get the Chinese=HAN connection, 24:58.

  9. If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone, …
    (If, Kipling)

    30 mins pre-brekker and should have been quicker. Great crossword. I liked Sheet Anchor among others. Spent far too long on Skipper and couldn’t parse Declare.
    Ta setter and J.

    1. Ah that was it! I made a mental note whilst solving to comment on CLEAN, but then couldn’t recall where I’d put my mental notebook.

      Great clue.

  10. 11:50. Held up for a while at the end by my last two YAP and SKIPPER. I’m glad I didn’t think of dictate for 27A, but I did spot that it was anagram quite quickly. Thanks Jackkt and setter.

  11. 28 minutes with LOI HAND ON. I enjoyed this, particularly PAPERWEIGHT, TWIDDLE AND PEERLESS. Thank you Jack and setter.

  12. I took exactly 27 minutes, started slow but speeded up a lot at the end. Then finally DECLARE just went in unparsed, aha so it was an anagram of c-leader!
    Thanks setter and blogger

  13. 14:07 with the NW corner needing a major revisit before I could finally slay the TAIGA, my LOI.

    COD to the snigger-inducing TWIDDLE. I know my level.

    However, I also gave myself a pat on the back for getting YAP in good time. There was a time I would have been trawling synonyms for them things on the end of yer legs, but today I spotted the ‘foot the bill’ meaning sooner rather than later. Likewise, ‘having a row’ is much more likely to lead me to oarsmen than before.

  14. 52m 03s
    Like many an imperial army I had trouble on the NW Frontier.
    In 11ac I became obsessed with YAK. In 2d, like Jack, I read it as ‘one in charge of light, and in 3d with ‘daily’, I was thinking of ‘char’.
    Thanks, Jack. Were you thinking of Dean M in your intro? 12ac ‘PAPERWEIGHT’ strikes me as a typically concise Dean clue.

    1. Yes. He posted here for a long time as Anax and has retained that id for occasional replies to comments on his Sunday puzzles. TBH I thought he had blogged for us too, but as he’s not mentioned in the Former Blogger list I assume I must have misremembered that.

      1. Not a blogger, no, but a fairly regular commenter at one time.
        I am aware that he sets for the daily cryptic as well as the Sunday; this could well be one of his.

  15. Flying today, no known reason, 8’39”.

    The other challenging broadsheet very often has references to micturition, is this a creeping malaise (sic) or a policy?

    Thanks jack and setter.

    1. I had a classmate of Ukrainian extraction Michael “Mick” Turyshyn. Unfortunately(fortunately?) in those days we didn’t know micturition meant voiding the bladder.

  16. 7:36. This was a classic breeze-block: I was comfortably on for a sub-5-minuter but then my last three nearly doubled my time. If I had remembered exactly where Penang is, or been more able to get panang out of my head, I’d have been a lot quicker. Likewise if I had associated ‘part of kitchen’ (rather than a completely separate room) with ‘scullery’ or if I had been able to parse DECLARE. I’m glad I didn’t think of DICTATE, it would certainly have slowed me down.
    Fun puzzle.

  17. 14.55. Would have been comfortably under 10 minutes but for DECLARE, which I only parsed post-entry. My first thought had been DICTATE, which didn’t help, and I tried quite hard to remove CON from something, but ultimately decided DECLARE fitted the definition better.

    Fun puzzle. DECLARE was really very good, and TWIDDLE made me laugh.

    Thanks Jack and setter.

  18. 10:50
    I wrote DICTATE under the puzzle to see if I could make it fit, but eventually spotted the switcheroo in wordplay components.

    When they whispered: “Napoleon pays Josephine’s rent”
    “Nonsense!” said Bonaparte,
    “She lives on her own, apart,
    In her own APARTMENT.”

  19. Just over 15 minutes.

    Nearly biffed a silly ‘codefendant’ for 22a, thinking of ‘bar’ in a legal sense, and was glad I didn’t; didn’t know sheet anchor as a nautical term so PAPERWEIGHT went in with a bit of a shrug; took a long time to see that APARTMENT was an anagram; and for 5d tried to make an anagram of ‘extreme + w’ for a while, thinking ‘bad’ was the anagrind and ‘language’ the definition, before getting SWEARING.

    Thanks setter and blogger.

    FOI Pithy
    LOI Parent
    COD Declare

  20. I liked this, not hard but elegant and some some fine clues and good surfaces.
    Failed to parse the excellent DECLARE, just glad I never thought of dictate.

  21. 15:45

    This felt on a similar level to yesterday with no unknowns and generally helpful cluing. For a while I thought I was on for an almost unheard of sub-10 but it got away from me at the end.

    DECLARE did for me time-wise as like others I was somewhat slow in noticing the anagram. Otherwise no problems.

    Hopefully something a bit meatier tomorrow.

    Thanks to both.

  22. 28′ LOI DECLARE which I parsed post solve. Very enjoyable puzzle and like others enjoyed the conciseness of PAPERWEIGHT as well as having a soft spot for PASTINESS. POI TAIGA which I didn’t know I knew until I knew it… from somewhere? Thanks Jackkt and setter.

    1. I know TAIGA from doing these, and specifically from numerous times where it has appeared as a homophone of ‘tiger’. The first time this happened to me I had never heard of the forest region and the clue (‘one maybe heard in this forest’ – puzzle 24806) didn’t even give an indication of what it was a homophone of!

      1. I’m pretty sure I read about it years ago. But it came to mind as “Tay-ga” so it took a few moments for the homophone to drop.

  23. 27:19 with almost 10 mins on 9 across spent. A penny drop moment.


    Woody Allen:
    “I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work; I want to achieve immortality through not dying. I don’t want to live on in the hearts of my countrymen; I want to live on in my APARTMENT.”

  24. Thought I’d finished in 18:56 but realised I’d fallen into the DICTATE trap. 11A was the last one in, as I originally put ‘yaw’ instead of ‘yap’ on the flimsy pretext that when a boat yaws it goes in a different direction to when it pitches – it never really made sense though.

  25. Worrying about DECLARE added much in my 18.25, until it was suddenly blindingly obvious. Otherwise, yes, very much an ST puzzle, with the UTI in the NW frontier (cue Private Widdle again) and the lisping husband caught short, and then the laconic and not actually annoying CD for PAPERWEIGHT.
    I wonder if the crossing of LISTENER and PEERLESS is just coincidental? A snippet from Richard Morrison, music critic of this parish:
    “I’m sorry Mr Bernstein,” I burbled, “but I work for The Times in London and I’ve been waiting two days to talk to you about Candide.”
    Bernstein paused, then switched on a broad smile. “Oh, The Times,” he said in a mocking English accent. “Second best crossword in the world.”
    I clutched at this straw. “What’s the best?” I asked. “The Listener’s,” he replied. It was my lucky day. “You mean the BBC magazine?” I said. “I worked for that too.”
    Bernstein looked momentarily interested. “OK, come to my hotel in an hour.”

  26. 26:35

    Like many others, missed the parsing of DECLARE and fortunately didn’t think of any alternative. Pretty fast on the RHS, but LHS revealed its secrets more slowly. Enjoyed the L3I, TWIDDLE, PITHY and YAP.

  27. Held up by the same last pair as Johninterred. A very enjoyable puzzle – TWIDDLE and YAP (eventually) made me chuckle.

    TIME 9:57

    * This could very easily be taken for a Dean Mayer clue, and the concise surfaces throughout would possibly support that view

  28. Why did so many people (me included) have trouble with the parsing of DECLARE? I suppose because the anagram is beautifully concealed and the probable ‘de’ at the start of the word suggests a sacking or removal of some sort. I made heavy weather of this and couldn’t get SKIPPER because I was stupidly thinking that £1000 was a grand or g. So Y_ _ was a problem and I was slow to see that meaning of foot. Time was ticking on and eventually I used aids for the two in the top L and entered DECLARE with a shrug. 49 minutes.

    1. I think both of those points, plus the unusual (but perfectly fair) indicator ‘sacking of FODDER’. Had it been ‘replacement of’ I suspect I’d have cottoned on.

  29. 18.31 It took a while to view YAP from the right direction, and to opt for DECLARE rather than DICTATE, having missed the anagram.

  30. 1a PASTINESS took ages for the penny to drop. Grrr!
    Doh! Declare is (C+LEADER*). Double grrr.

  31. My fastest for many a year in 12 min. and supposed it would be park-walk-worthy to all. Didn’t go back to parse ‘on course’ and ‘ire’. But while it’s nice to get a fast time it all seemed, well, a bit of a paper-weight.

  32. 18:30 – similarly mystified by the what-else-could-it-be DECLARE, but only really slowed by unaccountably failing to notice ON COURSE, my LOI, was clued as two words.

  33. Not sure why, but NW quadrant delayed me, with 1ac LOI. I knew it was -INESS, but couldn’t see the front bit. A steady solve, with a bit of application needed to get home. COD was the Chinese academic.

  34. Found this trickier than yesterday. Finished under the hour but needed blog both to understand PAPERWEIGHT and to parse DECLARE. Only vaguely heard of TAIGA and now know the correct pronunciation. Many answers were biffed then parsed (LISTENER, PARENT, APARTMENT, NERVE, YAP). Favourite clue was LOI TWIDDLE (doesn’t take much to make me smile). Many thanks Jack.

  35. The times posted so far suggest this was a lot easier than I made it, eventually crossing the line in 49.43. I’m glad I didn’t think of DICTATE for 27ac, which enabled me to persevere with the parsing of DECLARE. Eventually I saw the light, or to be specific the anagram, and was able to admire a fine example of the setter’s art.

  36. 22:28. This all went in very nicely except for my last two: like others, I struggled with DECLARE but I was saved by seeing the anagram; and then 11ac with a fruitless alphabet trawl for Y-something-P before I isolated the definition and it fell into place.
    I liked LISTENER and HAND ON

  37. 20:46

    Good fun. I liked PAPERWEIGHT. DECLARE and YAP and I hadn’t realised that CONCOURSE could mean crowd.
    Thanks to Jack and the setter.

  38. 23 mins. I also bunged in DECLARE unparsed. I think it was the word ‘demanding’ that confused me.
    COD YAP and TWIDDLE. Obviously very unAmerican.

  39. 23’40”
    Good early pace, checked slightly two furlong pole, ran on well….

    …..but I have to admit to biffing declare; only saw the anagrind in hindsight.
    This was a very elegant, clever and enjoyable puzzle; many thanks to the setter and Jack.

  40. Great puzzle, took a bit longer as eyes suffering after playing golf in a cold gale. 29 minutes LOI DECLARE. TWIDDLE and PAPERWEIGHT were best.

  41. 12.09

    Loved YAP and PAPERWEIGHT. Excellent puzzle as others have said. Re-reading The Glass Palace so MALAISE a write in which helped – that was a nice clue too

  42. As a proud member of the SCC it was an enjoyable solve, 23a was new to me so I learned something new.

    Stay safe and travel

  43. My clock says 39 minutes. It was quite an enjoyable puzzle with many well-disguised clues. DECLARE is utterly superb — an anagram that almost no one saw (I didn’t either, of course).

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