Times Cryptic 28848 – Sat, 24 Feb 2024. Flying, while flying.

Not many GK challenges in this, apart from the clown. I did it on a plane, at the double, almost literally – my time was 17′ 47″, compared with 33′ 04″ last week. Easy to focus inside the tin can.

Thanks, setter. Very enjoyable.  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.

1 Returned message before e.g. wheat gets cut (4,4)
ETON CROPNOTE returned, CROP (wheat, for one of many examples).
6 Fish sandwiches about right for online troublemaker (6)
HACKERHAKE sandwiches C (about) + R.
9 United fan, after reversal, I note is crazy for change (13)
REVOLUTIONISEREVOLU=U LOVER after reversal + anagram (crazy) I NOTE IS.
10 Short cut to enter highest value in array of data (6)
MATRIXTRIm to enter MAX.
11 This creates resistance to hearts getting broken (8)
RHEOSTAT – anagram (getting broken) TO HEARTS. It’s a long time since I last heard that word!
13 Idiot visibly embarrassed about my state in public (2,2,6)
15 Pretentious political group losing face (4)
16 Knocked back, this stuff’s high grade wine (4)
ASTIIT’S [an] “A”, you might say, meaning “high grade”, written backwards (knocked back).
18 One perhaps high up a tree I’m shaking behind entrance to orchard (5-5)
OPIUM-EATER – anagram (shaking) UP A TREE IM behind Orchard.
21 Searches for info about receiving current deliveries (8)
GOOGLIESGOOGLES (searches for information about …) receiving I (symbol for electrical current). The answer is a cricketing term.
22 By the sound of it, bring up jewellery (6)
BROOCHsounds like BROACH.
23 An inside job? (6,7)
PRISON OFFICER – cryptic definition.
25 Pay special attention to opening of security lock (6)
26 Request has delicacy in eastern US city (8)
ENTREATYE (eastern), TREAT (delicacy) in NY.
2 Eccentric ran in to perform — this may bring the house down (7)
TORNADO – anagram (eccentric) RAN in TO DO (to perform).
3 Going on and on still to the north, grinned excitedly (5-6)
NEVER-ENDINGEVEN (still) to the north – meaning backwards since this is a down clue – then anagram (excitedly) GRINNED.
4 The French king catches chill (5)
RELAXREX (king) catches LA (“the”, in French).
5 Aussie native turned up best gold rings (7)
POTOROOTOP (best) turned up, OR (gold), OO (rings). Potoroos are distant relatives of kangaroos.
6 This obstructs current cleaner getting flipping furious (6,3)
HOOVER DAMHOOVER (cleaner), MAD flipping.
7 Foreign character is affectedly stylish? Not half! (3)
CHIhalf of CHI-CHI.
8 Agent with case of legitimate wrong is appealing (7)
ELEGANT – anagram (wrong) AGENT+LE. The LE is the case of LegitimatE.
12 Rascally clown has fright, entertaining American that’s uncomfortable (11)
SCARAMOUCHESCARE entertaining AM + OUCH. I knew the name – just. Read about him here.
14 As I see it, rising stars will show smiley faces, say (9)
EMOTICONSTO ME (as I see it), rising + ICONS (stars).
17 Throwing event in society by trendy place (4,3)
19 Where goods for retail may be coming (2,5)
IN STORE – two definitions.
20 Passage right through bar (7)
EXCERPTR through EXCEPT (bar).
22 Suit provided, about to get into speculative venture (5)
BEFITFI (IF, about) to get into BET.
24 Feeling when seeing red coat from Rome one’s put on (3)
IREI (one) + RE (“coat” of RomE).

17 comments on “Times Cryptic 28848 – Sat, 24 Feb 2024. Flying, while flying.”

  1. 54 minutes, but I’ve no idea now why I needed so long as I have every few workings in the margins of my printout. The only tricky word, SCARAMOUCHE, came to mind easily enough from checkers and wordplay although I couldn’t have told you what it meant.

    Edit: I overlooked POTOROO when writing the above. That really was a problem for me.

  2. I sing “SCARAMOUCHE, SCARAMOUCHE, will you do the fandango?” with my friends in the Humans Against Music karaoke group when everyone takes the stage for the “Bohemian Rhapsody” grand finale every third Sunday (on the first Sunday, our wrap-up is the short & sweet—and much simpler!—theme to Three’s Company). GOOGLIES was a guess, and POTOROO seemed one, though the critter must have shown up here before.

  3. 36:18
    I don’t remember what slowed me down, although I only parsed SCARAMOUCHE post-submssion, and never parsed EMOTIONS. NHO POTOROO. To stress something is to call attention to it, not to pay attention to it.

  4. I didn’t make notes for this, which suggests that I finished late at night. There were some nice PDMs – ETON CROP, for instance. I think it was one of those where there were no unknowns, but the definition was often obscure eg 18a ‘One perhaps high’, or 3d, ‘chill’. It can’t have been too bad, however, as I have only one margin jotting for an anagram.

  5. Done, in a time I forgot to note but I’d guess maybe 45 minutes? I also, unusually, didn’t write my notes at the time, so in hindsight…NHO 5d POTOROO but figured out from the clue. I had the same thought as Kevin Gregg about STRESS at 25ac. Otherwise, no real problems in a steady solve. I doubt anyone could come across SCARAMOUCHE without Queen taking over their brain… Thanks, all.

  6. It would have been helpful if I could spell the ridiculous BROOCH, which will always look wrong. But I can’t, generating a spike of coral in a sea of emerald.

  7. 55 minutes. Much easier than last week but still felt slow. 6d should have been a write-in – I’ve stood on it – but I was fixated on types of dam so it took an age. The last three were HOOVER DAM, HACKER and a biffed CHI. Thanks branch.

  8. No time but about 45 minutes. Got completely stuck in the NW at the end despite all the problematic clues containing lots of familiar words. Once I twigged the NHO POTOROO the CROP TORNADO and the RECORD all fell quickly into place

    Thanks all

  9. Didn’t know POTOROO, couldn’t tell you what kind of hairstyle an ETON CROP is, and only knew SCARAMOUCHE thanks to Queen. No real problems otherwise.

    Thanks setter and blogger.

    FOI Ire
    LOI Googlies
    COD Prison officer

  10. The return of the gentle Saturday crossword. The Aussie was unknown but clearly signposted, but the resistance creator was a leap of faith in the anagram fodder. Thank you for explaining EMOTICON.

  11. Ooops! My life is full of coincidences! I have a seven-month-old kitten, who I let out at night ( much to the annoyance of my law-abiding neighbours) and who has begun to bring me “gifts” every morning. Normally those are mice or rats, but today, I’m ashamed to say, it was a rather mangled POTOROO. I was at pains to identify it, but sat down to the crossword, when “Voila!” there was my answer…
    COD to POTOROO .


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