Times Cryptic 28862


My solving time was 34 minutes but with one error which I shall detail in my blog. Other than that this was an excellent and interesting puzzle and not too difficult.

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 Edge has broken some pieces of glass instrument (8)
PIP (edge) contained by [has broken] PANES (some pieces of glass). This was my last one in and I went wrong with ‘bagpipes’ although I was unable to justify it from wordplay. Having seen the correct answer I understand PANES but remain unsure of the reasoning behind PIP. I can only think that in a competition one may ‘pip someone at the the post’ and thereby be said to have had the ‘edge’ but I can’t see how that makes ‘pip’ and ‘edge’ synonymous. Perhaps there’s a better example to be had?
6 Sweating perhaps, potting a red (6)
MOIST (sweating perhaps) containing [potting] A. Red in politics, Mao also had his Little Red Book. 
9 A moralist with navy pants in charitable organisation (9,4)
Anagram [pants] of A MORALIST NAVY
10 French figure behind British sculpture (6)
BR (Britiash), ONZE (French figure – eleven)
11 Misfire in defeat, accidental (4,4)
FALL (defeat) , FLAT (accidental – musical notation)
13 Fresh sandwiches are prepared with first of processed cheese (10)
CHILLY (fresh) contains [sandwiches] anagram [prepared] of ARE + P{rocessed} [first of…]
15 Alcoholic drink for a king’s nicked (4)
Contained [nicked] by {fo}R A KI{ng}. Usually associated with Greece, Turkey, and the Middle East.
16 Flower on end of tennis racket (4)
{tenni}S [end], CAM (flower). The River Cam flows through Cambridge.
18 Twist that’s baffling written in English (10)
Anagram [baffling] of WRITTEN IN, E (English). I’ve seen an almost identical clue somewhere very recently but maybe not in The Times.
21 Minister once said to misbehave (8)
Anagram [to misbehave]of ONCE SAID. As a noun this is usually the Bishop of a diocese.
22 Live with desire and feel connected (6)
BE (live), LONG (desire)
23 Important clothes we do, right for working? (5,8)
Cryptic. PRESSING (important) contains [clothes] anagram [for working]  of WE DO R (right). & lit. Thanks to Nigel F-H and Bletchers for pointing out that I had omitted the wordplay here. Once again I failed to consult my annotated print-out when compiling the blog. ‘Cryptic with no wordplay’ had been my original verdict on this one but I had gone back to the clue post-solve, spotted what was going on and marked up the clue accordingly. Then I forgot about it!
25 Day extremely full of disagreements, ready for bed (6)
D{a}Y (extremely) containing [full of] ROWS (disagreements)
26 Car reversing in fast bringing medicinal product (8)
MINI (car) [reversing] contained by [in] LENT (fast)
2 Courts offering protection to American country (7)
ATRIA (courts) containing [offering protection to] US
3 As are mum and dad, running this way and that? (11)
Cryptic. An error here lost me time as I originally put ‘palindromes’ which would have been perfectly acceptable, but I had to change it in order to accommodate DIOCESAN at 21ac.
4 Smoother, fifth design? (5)
PLAN (design) E (fifth – letter of the alphabet) – ‘PLAN A’ having been the first design
5 Ungodly imbibing last of drink — isn’t that enough? (7)
SINFUL (ungodly) containing [imbibing] {drin}K [last of…]. The definition is reflexive. ‘Having a skinful’ is UK slang for having too much to drink.
6 Vessel in my hands on film (9)
MINE (my hands), LAYER (film)
7 Long pole, gilded article? (3)
A (definite article) contained by OR [gilded]
8 Launch escapade in flier (7)
SKY (launch), LARK (escapade)
12 It’s strong material that has my support in Scottish town (4,7)
FOR TWILL (strong material) I AM ( that has my support). It sits on the shores of Loch Linnhe, not far from the foot of Ben Nevis.
14 Musical, musical bunch! (9)
HAIR (a different musical), SPRAY (bunch of flowers)
17 Happy golfer just off the green? (7)
A vaguely cryptic hint supports the literal here. I’m not up on golf, but my AI assistant advises: A chip shot in golf is a low-trajectory shot played with minimal distance in the air. It’s designed to get the ball rolling quickly on the green towards the hole, similar to a putt but from a slightly farther distance off the green.
19 Clear, after ascent, exercise unfinished — bit of a climber? (7)
NET (clear – after tax) reversed [after ascent], DRIL{l} (exercise) [unfinished]
20 Figure serving up seasonal drink soon (7)
NOG (seasonal drink) + ANON (soon) reversed [serving up]
22 Broad-shouldered beast, what only child has that’s been raised (5)
NO SIB  (what only child has) reversed [raised]
24 One had to leave woman alone? Gosh! (3)
W{I’d}OW (woman alone?) [‘one had’ to leave]

56 comments on “Times Cryptic 28862”

  1. 23 across is also ‘pressing’ (important) around an anagram (for working) of ‘we do r(ight)’.

  2. 1ac. ‘Edge’ also a verb in this context but you edge a win whereas you pip a competitor so still maybe not quite a definition…

    1. Collins has for “edge”: “Informal | to defeat in a contest by a narrow margin | often with out.

  3. I liked this plenty. There were two or three things I had to stretch a bit to remember (like yer SKINFUL), which is always salutary.

  4. A fail with the same error as our blogger. I knew it was wrong but nothing else presented itself and I didn’t have the energy or patience to do an alphabet trawl. Annoying to miss out as I would have been happy to have solved this.

    I parsed POWER DRESSING as: PRESSING (‘Important’) containing (‘clothes’) anagram (‘for working’) of WE DO R (‘we do right’), which, with the cryptic def, would make the clue a nice &lit.

    I looked at FORT WILLIAM as FOR TWILL I AM, or Yoda speak for I AM FOR TWILL = ‘strong material that has my support’, which is probably what Jack was getting at.

    1. Sorry if my explanation of FOR TWILL I AM wasn’t clear. I don’t have the benefit of Yoda speak so wasn’t able to make that comparison.

      I have added to the blog re POWER DRESSING.

  5. Was just about to make the same point about FORT WILLIAM. Really enjoyed this but found a lot of it tough, finishing in 40.44 and just happy to complete it. I too went for PALINDROMES (not -ic) and consequently struggled with LOI DIOCESAN. Thanks to Jack for explaining several, such as FALL FLAT, PANPIPES (I too started with bag) and POWER DRESSING. So RAKI was a hidden, SPRAY meant bunch of flowers, it all looks easy now! Some terrific clues here, among them MAOIST, SKINFUL and PALINDROMIC.

  6. 14:09, with a touch of concern at the end as I didn’t know that meaning of FLAT. One to remember. Nice puzzle.

    Thanks Jack & setter.

  7. I thought this was harder than yesterdays but I actually finished faster in 25:39.
    Yes flats and sharps being accidentals was cunningly clued! My LOI was actually one of the easier ones DIOCESAN. I almost put BAGPIPES for 1ac but luckily thought twice.
    Thanks Jack and setter

  8. 14’05”, including taking the same path as jack and others with PALINDROMIC.

    PANPIPES was LOI, does it exist in the singular? Didn’t parse WOW or PLANE.

    A recent survey found that there are 546 ways of saying ‘drunk’ in the English language. Some may be more challenging than ‘having a skinful’.

    We had 2 cm of rain yesterday and it is still raining. Fortunately we live at the top of a hill.

    Thanks jack and setter.

  9. 59m 38s
    I found that a very satisfying puzzle although it took me a record time to record my first solve which was 22ac BELONG after 8m 35s.
    Thanks, Jack, especially for 24d WOW.
    Didn’t know DIOCESAN could be a noun as well.

  10. 11:34. LOI MAOIST failing to think of that sort of red until I got MINELAYER. Like Jackkt I wasted some time trying to get BAGPIPES to fit 1A. COD to SKINFUL…. which I might have on Thursday when I visit the St Neot’s Beer Festival (aka Booze on the Ouse). Thanks Jackkt and setter.

  11. My heart aches, and a Drowsy numbness pains
    My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk, …
    (OTA Nightingale, Keats)

    35 mins pre-brekker, but well worth the extra push to get to LOI – once I saw Pipes, I wrote in Bag and immediately crossed it out and wrote Pan. Otherwise, very neat and tidy. Two ticks, Fort William and Power Dressing.
    Ta setter and J.

  12. Even after I double checked, I still believed PALENDROMIC was the right spelling, so a dumb DNF for me. Really liked POWER DRESSING and MAOIST though.

  13. 41 minutes with LOI RAKI. Held up by having entered PALINDROMES, which I was thnking of making my COD. Not now, I’m not that good a loser. That honour is going to MAOIST and SKINFUL jointly. Quite a tough one today, I thought. Thank you Jack and setter.

  14. 33:30. I’m another who had BAGPIPES and PALINDROMES for a while. I’m relieved to have rethought the first; the second just had to change, although I had a momble of DIOCESAN in at first to accommodate the S. Nice one. I liked MAOIST and FORT WILLIAM

  15. About 25 minutes.

    Biffed SALVATION ARMY; only vaguely remembered RAKI; didn’t know DIOCESAN as a noun; had forgotten spray as a bunch of flowers for HAIRSPRAY; for 12d, for a while I had enough checkers in place to think it could be ‘Just William’… then luckily I got FALL FLAT (having first thought that might be an anagram of ‘in defeat’), which pointed me towards FORT WILLIAM.

    Thanks setter and blogger.

    FOI Scam
    LOI Skylark
    COD Caerphilly

  16. No time as liaising on and off with builders, maybe 35′ ish (maybe more..). Always thought 26ac was spelled LINaMENT and had to force myself to follow the wordplay (even then assuming it was an alternative spelling)… Also had “sinkful” for a while before the Sally Army forced a change. My musical blind spot meant I tried FALL Foul, before SKYLARK came to my rescue. And I just saw Plan E being the fifth iteration of Plans A, B, C and D (if that’s what is meant in the blog).

    Seems the setters have moved from Lanarkshire and up the west coast in their tour of Scotland, they could have picked better weather…

    Thanks Jackkt and setter

    1. Yes, I hoped I had indicated how ‘PLAN E’ worked but I’ve now extended the blog entry to make it clearer.


  17. 13:55 but with one error. There is only one possible instrument that fits _A_P_P_S, right? Wrong. In my defence my train was arriving at Vauxhall so I was in a rush to finish the last few clues, ending with DIOCESAN.
    I thought this was a very good one. Just the right level of trickiness.

  18. 35 mins, though sadly with the BAGPIPES error. A really good challenge, I thought; stretching without being over-difficult. Liked NONAGON, BISON and PALINDROMIC.

  19. A whole hour and one minute but glad to finish all correct. Like Jack and others I had to shuffle DIOCESAN and PALINDROMIC to fit everything in. FOI RAKI. Thank you for parsing PANPIPES LOI

  20. Neither BAGPIPES nor PALINDROMES occurred to me, though they were the last two in. PALINDROMIC only seems obvious when you’ve solved it, mum and dad having a rather different function according to Larkin.
    I did like FOR TWILL I AM, where a former boss of mine runs a hotel. While mine is the driest place in the UK, I believe Ft Wm is the wettest, though you wouldn’t think either was true at present.
    Like Gerry Murphy, I had to steel myself to submit with LINIMENT strictly from the wordplay: it still looks wrong.
    I’m indebted to Jack for sorting out WOW: only the fact that nothing else went between two Ws persuaded me to submit it.

    1. I agree re liniment, it feels wrong, but I think we are all misled by our memories of the Great Man:

      What is it women do in men require? The LINEAMENTS of gratified desire

    2. There is heated competition for the wettest place in the UK, but Snowdon and Seathwaite (Lake District) are the bookies favourites at present, so I hear. I have been heavily rained on at both places, less so on Ben Nevis, but I concede that this is not definitive proof

  21. 28.04

    Held up considerably by the NE corner until MINELAYER made me see red.
    Very enjoyable puzzle, thanks.

  22. 44:57

    Found the second half of this quite hard to complete, mainly around the four long ones meeting in the centre, but was convinced that 18a might begin/end with ENG somehow so completely missed the anagram until the very end. Needed CAERPHILLY to break the deadlock going through a mental list of cheeses. Managed to justify PANPIPES ok, but on the whole, a disappointing performance.

    Thanks Jack and setter

  23. Seems like a high degree of errors today (24/64 on the Snitch site) – wonder if that’s BAGPIPES or LINAMENT?

  24. This was a stop-go puzzle for me, with periods of hectic biffing interspersed with long periods of inaction, especially in the SW and NE corners. It took a long time to twig that 21ac had nothing to do with deacons. Eventually crawled over the line in 48 minutes. In retrospect I agree the clues were fair, though it didn’t always seem so at the time, as some of the parsing took a while. Agree with the comments above about PIP and EDGE.
    Thanks to jackkt and other contributors.

  25. Well my DNF was the foxing BAGPIPES, and although I can’t spell liniment (I would write linnement) I followed the instructions that time.
    On edit I thought I was answering Amoeba, sorry.

    1. No problem – yes it seems from comments here that BAGPIPES is the most likely culprit. LINIMENT nearly got me as I was thinking of LINAMENT.

  26. 5m 37s. I was another who put BAGPIPES initially, but fortunately made the change when I couldn’t get bages to mean anything.

    CAERPHILLY was my favourite.

  27. Going: Heavy/heavier in places.

    Barely broke into a trot……
    …..but lit a cheroot and settled in for the long haul, finishing exhausted but with all parsed.
    I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge; thank you setter and Jack.
    Now back to the Soft/Heavy in places going of Cheltenham…

  28. I found that tough! Started with PLANE and got about halfway though without too much trouble but then hit a wall and had to drag the remaining answers out kicking and screaming. PALINDROMES held up HAIRSPRAY(which I hadn’t heard of), as I put in DIOSCEAN at 21a, until I squinted at it and realised it should be DIOCESAN. That confirmed HAIR and SPRAY then had to be. That was LOI, just after MAOIST. Liked SKINFUL and FORT WILLIAM where I spent a few days being eaten by midges, most of which appeared by White Spout at the top of Glen Nevis. A particularly sluggish 48:31. Thanks setter and Jack.

  29. I agree with Jack on just about everything except “not too difficult” (but including the BAGPIPES, so a DNF). My only excuse is that my clock, unlike his, says 59:47 so despite not being able to parse 1ac, I clicked on “submit” just to stay under the hour. I did assume PIP would be the edge and if I had somehow thought of PANPIPES I would have known why it was right. Still, I took only 2/3 of the time I needed yesterday. These are splendid puzzles with lots of interesting, unusual and challenging clues. But easy they are not. COD to POWER DRESSING (or FOR TWILL I AM).

  30. I actually found this considerably easier than yesterday’s puzzle, so I’m at odds with the Snitch – one man’s meat etc. Slightly disappointed that an early possibility (just the second letter to go on) of some vintage Parmigiano became a much milder Caerphilly, but at least that one parsed. In fact I managed to parse everything today, even the accidental part of Fall Flat, so some signs of improvement. Favourite was Intertwine, for the pdm. Invariant

  31. A woeful day, having to resort to aids in the end, not helped by having PALINDROMES which meant I couldn’t even see the anagram at 21a. I can only conclude that I simply wasn’t on the wavelength, as I couldn’t work out MINELAYER, INTERTWINE – btw, Jacktt, the anagram is of ‘written’, E and ‘in’ – you missed out the ‘in’ in your blog. I thought I was looking for ‘written’ in ‘Eng’. Nor did I get PANPIPES (or even BAGPIPES) or PLANE. Yet while I thought it was fiendish, others finished without problems, so I guess that’s down to me. It’s a rare occasion, though, on which I simply give up. Hoping for a better tomorrow…

  32. Well I got there, though I would not class this as particularly easy. I did think of both bagpipes and panpipes, and settled for the latter on the grounds that it did actually parse…
    Fort William is a lovely place

  33. Hard to tell if this was tough or I was tired, as the 1/3 which stumped me overnight went directly in in the morning. Except for Caerphilly, which I didn’t know so it didn’t go in at all. Same Bagpipes “doesn’t fit but nothing else does either” as others. Nice puzzle, setter. thnkx, jack

  34. I was out all day and have only just done it. After playing chess all day and getting thoroughly soaked at lunchtime I wasn’t in a fit state to do it well and took 56 minutes, falling into all the traps. At 1ac I thought I’d learnt a new word for pieces of glass: bages. Was even worse than all those people who put palindromes: I not only did so but then misspelt it as diosecan and didn’t even notice my error, so the down clue that needed an s had a c and slowed me down. And I couldn’t understand how WOW worked but entered it and then forgot to return to it to see why. Dreadful all round.

  35. Relatively new cryptic crossworder here, using this as a good learning opportunity. I got OAR for 7d based on my other solves, but can someone explain how “gilded” becomes “OR”?

    1. Welcome. OR is the chemical symbol for gold, so when A (article) is gilded it is covered in gold and gives us O{A}R.

        1. Sorry, my mistake! OR is gold in heraldry. It’s standard cryptic crossword fodder for gold and possibly more used that AU.

          1. Ah that makes more sense! Thanks for the help. Learning all these references is super interesting

  36. Same problems as others, but never even got close to PANPIPES! Too distracted by the fiendish clue words, I guess. Loved FOR TWILL I AM, and CAERPHILLY for the PDMs. Overall, an unsatisfactory solve, in that in my haste, I looked up a half dozen, then biffed in the answers, and “reverse-engineered” to understand. But it’s still learning, of a sort.


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