Times Cryptic 28889 — My American is showing

35:27. Distinctly off the wavelength here, and I had the sense throughout that this was a particularly British puzzle. At the very least, I often felt like I didn’t know what a word or a bit of wordplay meant, and more often than not, I was right. Commenters can let me know if they agree or not.

In any case, a very enjoyable puzzle. You always know if it’s fair if you can finish a puzzle where you don’t know handfuls of words!

1 Got up to make deliveries, which may be under arrangement? (8)
ROSEBOWL – ROSE (got up) BOWL (to make deliveries)

An arrangement of roses, perhaps.

5 Boot[’s] fit needing nine regularly (6)
WELLIE – WELL (fit) + (needing) every other letter of (regularly) NINE
9 Disagreement heretic enters into versus church (8)
VARIANCE – ARIAN (heretic) in (enters into) V (versus) + CE (church)
10 Tenant without cover for expense (6)
LESSEE – LESS (without) first and last letters of (cover for) EXPENSE
12 Feature of jacket [has] lines cut by someone clumsy (5)
LAPEL – L L (lines) around (cut by) APE (someone clumsy)
13 Able to live in many places [using] EU railway to choose mostly (9)
EURYTOPIC – EU + RY (railway) + TO + PICK (choose) without the last letter (mostly)
14 Crates / preparing to take off with other holidaymakers? (7,5)
PACKING CASES – one definition, one description
18 Is bass cornet playing [in] this? (5,7)
BRASS SECTION – IS BASS CORNET anagrammed (playing)
21 After noise of display very loudly regret backing driver (9)
CHAUFFEUR – after homophone (noise) of SHOW (display), FF (very loudly) + RUE (regret) reversed (backing)
23 Girl[’s] wrath and anger oddly vanishing (5)
IRENE – IRE (wrath) + (and) ANGER with odd-numbered letters removed (oddly vanishing)
24 Medicine man [using] fake article (6)
SHAMAN – SHAM (fake) AN (article)
25 Lock by only pier (8)
BUTTRESS – TRESS (lock) next to (by) BUT (only)
26 Higher following small meal (6)
SUPPER – UPPER (higher) after (following) S (small)
27 During interval half of cast, note, needed a drink (8)
THIRSTED – half of CAST + E (note) in (during) THIRD (interval)

Here THIRD is a musical interval.

1 Does twist? Bolero often follows this (6)
RAVELS – A reference to “Ravel’s Bolero“.
2 One who’s drafted isn’t taking against longhand (6)
SCRIPT – CONSCRIPT (one who’s drafted) – (isn’t taking) CON (against)
3 Listen carefully to sounds [of] brooks around middle of glen (2,3,4)
BE ALL EARS – BEARS (brooks) around VALLEY (glen) without the first and last letters (middle of)

This one might have taken me ten minutes to parse! The ‘middle of glen’ = LE red herring is truly devious. But if we’re being fair, ‘Listen carefully to sounds’ is not exactly a Ximenean definition.

4 One staying behind in person? (12)
WICKETKEEPER – cryptic definition (‘in person’ = person who is in = batter)
6 Perhaps meet five out of seventeen (5)
EVENT – five consecutive letters out of SEVENTEEN
7 Call which people hope to make with letters? (4,4)
LAST POST – those wishing to put letters in the mail want to catch the final (LAST) mail collection (POST)

LAST POST is a bugle-call.

8 Worry king’s trapped by duty (8)
EXERCISE – ER (king) is (‘s) in (trapped by) EXCISE (duty)

I had this one for ages from the wordplay, but couldn’t see ‘worry’ = EXERCISE.

11 Magnetic problem with recording north upright up the pole (5-7)
PRINT-THROUGH – NORTH UPRIGHT anagrammed (up the pole)

I did not for a moment suspect that ‘up the pole’ means ‘drunk’ or ‘crazed’.

15 Church musician upset his rector (9)
CHORISTER – anagram of (upset) HIS RECTOR
16 Counters scuba failing amid rising waters (8)
ABACUSES – SCUBA anagrammed (failing) in (amid) reversal of (rising) SEA (waters)
17 Pumice, perhaps light, which forms moving blobs (4,4)
LAVA LAMP – LAVA (pumice, perhaps) LAMP (light)
19 Took food back to consume best (6)
DEFEAT – FED (took food) reversed (back) + EAT (to consume)
20 Recycled rubbish female has left daughter (6)
REUSED – REFUSE (rubbish) – (has left) F (female) + D (daughter)
22 Peel off fine red pigment (5)
FLAKE – F (fine) LAKE (red pigment)

Not a pigment I knew!

66 comments on “Times Cryptic 28889 — My American is showing”

  1. 90 minutes with 2 errors RAVELS and PRINT-THROUGH.

    Worry in Collins
    7 (transitive) To move as specified, esp by repeated pushes: they worried the log into the river
    I suppose this is a sort of exercise
    Exercise in Collins
    6 (often passive) To occupy the attentions of, esp so as to worry or vex: to be exercised about a decision

  2. This did seem a little quirky. You may be American and have never played the game, and I may be British and played for years, but you managed to parse 4 down, which was more than I could do! 7 down also befuddled me, as I couldn’t understand why people would be embracing their demise.

    EURYTOPIC, LAVA LAMP and PRINT THROUGH were unknown to me. I reckon your parsing of 3 down must be right, even though most people would bung in the answer from ‘listen carefully to.’

    35:10, giving me my first all correct Monday-Friday for an embarrassingly long time.

    1. A little surprised that LAVA LAMP was unknown as they were very fashionable household items during the 60s and 70s. Also they’ve had something of a revival in recent years and Amazon offers pages and pages of them.

      1. And, as you well recall, huge lava lamp displays were part of the decor in the HQ of Number 2 on The Prisoner.

      2. Just looked them up and never seen one in my life. Must have missed them in The Prisoner each time I viewed that ‘n all.

        1. Well you certainly didn’t miss much with lava lamps, so count yourself lucky. I gather they were also associated with hippies and pot-smoking but plenty of aspiring trendies went for them too.

          1. dear Jacky and Lindsayo re the answer oner…the I in the clue is one… British upper class speak followed by R for resistance. Anne Bradford has oner as a blow.. sorry predictive text can’t cope with jacktt!

          2. They often featured on pub shelves behind or alongside the optics back in the days of ‘mine host’-type establishments. Despite their undoubted kitschiness they did have a mesmerising effect.

  3. No exact time, but around 50 minutes. NHO PRINT-THROUGH or EURYTOPIC, both making their first appearances in the TfTT era apparently. The latter was a straightforward IKEA job, but I was not helped with PRINT-THROUGH by missing that it was an anagram. Since I didn’t know the literal I could only pick the most likely looking options that fitted the checkers. I never heard of ‘up the pole’ meaning ‘drunk’ but one can’t be expected to know them all. I’d have said it was a bit crazy or slightly mad, but nothing extreme.

    I missed some of the word-play in BE ALL EARS having been distracted by LE as ‘middle of glen’.

  4. A few of these threw me so much that I succumbed to the illusion that some other clues were much more recondite than they turned out to be. EURYTOPIC left a sulfurous whiff of Mephisto. I knew PRINT-THROUGH (from experience) but inked in BLEED-THROUGH in a moment of soon-regretted distraction. “Up the pole,” eh? I’ll have to remember that one. For BE ALL EARS, “to sounds” had me looking for a homophone, and I feel it was put in just to confuse us.

    I think “preparing to leave” is PACKING and “other holidaymakers” must be CASES, though I don’t really get the latter part.

    1. It troubles me as well. I’m onside with Jeremy’s explanation but ‘with other holidaymakers’ doesn’t seem to fit. I’m happy with ‘preparing to take off’ = packing cases and can’t figure out what the other bit is there for. ‘Preparing to take off on holidays’ would have been fine with me.

      1. The majority of the holidays where I have been away from home have not needed a suitcase or similar. We simply loaded the car with stuff, or quite often, a rucksack (not heard of them lately).

        It may be of relevance that ‘crate’ is slang for an aircraft, probably Air Force usage, and maybe goes back to the 1914-18 war. Famously armchair warriors were satirised sixty or so years ago in ‘Beyond the Fringe’ with the phrase “going up in a crate and popping over to Bremen”, i.e. to do the unpleasant thing we don’t seem to need to do any more.

      2. ‘On holidays’ would spoil the surface, which is supposed to be referring to aeroplanes, which don’t go on holiday. I suspect ‘with other holidaymakers’ was added at some point by setter or editor because ‘preparing to take off’ is a bit vague for ‘preparing to go on holiday’. The clue is a bit clunky as a result IMO.

    2. I took ‘preparing to take off with other holidaymakers’ to indicate the plural PACKING CASES, but I don’t think it’s the best of clues.

  5. At last! An F! After several days of annoying DNFs! In 35.15 which seemed like a good time for me on the day. I’m indebted to Jeremy for seeing the shortened valley in BE ALL EARS and explaining to this reasonably well-versed cricket follower about the ‘in’ person – clever clue. I missed that PRINT-THROUGH was an anagram so kept slogging away at it once I saw the likely through part. NHO the term, likewise EURYTOPIC but the latter’s clue was generous. FOI WELLIE, LOI FLAKE and its unknown pigment. Liked CHAUFFEUR, LESSEE, THIRSTED and LAPEL among others, enjoyable puzzle.

  6. Maybe the opposite of Guy, I made pretty quick progress on this finding it fairly straightforward for a Friday. I did have to construct EURYTOPIC from the instructions and didn’t really parse WICKETKEEPER which I now see is quite clever. PACKING CASES didn’t really work for me, I had “package” for a while, thinking of that type of holiday.

    However came a cropper on PRINT THROUGH which I’d never heard of and could make little sense of the clueing, even with all the checkers. DNF.

    Thanks Jeremy and setter.

  7. I dreamt I saw thee, robed in purple Flakes,
    Break amorous through the clouds, as morning breaks
    (Lamia, Keats)

    After 35 mins pre-brekker I couldn’t be bothered alpha trawling for Flake as I had already struggled with Wicketkeeper, Print-through and Eury-whatsit.
    Maybe I should have known Lake and Wicketkeeper is clever.
    Ta setter and PJ

  8. Maybe I got up on the wrong side of the bed (anyone know the origin of that idiom?) this morning but having hacked my way through this one in 50′ I feel the need for a new tag: “DNE = did not enjoy”. I found the surface readings variously chaotic (21ac, 11d) vaguely unpleasant (20d), syntactically flawed (9ac, 19d), and/or borderline nonsensical (2ac, 7d). Tired tropes at every turn: kings, girls, daughters, oddly, regularly … only Eton was missing. Not one clue here that made me smile.

    1. Agreed on 19d. There is always somebody here – always – who will insist that ‘took food’ = ‘fed’ is absolutely fine and dandy, but really: it isn’t.

      1. Let me be that person! One can feed at the top table, or a pig can feed at a trough.

        This sense is in Collins (under ‘feed’): ’12. (also intr; foll by on or upon) to eat or cause to eat.’

        1. I’ll happily be the other other person: I can’t honestly work out why FED for took food (or the other way round) is an issue. If you like, I’ll argue the case until you’re fed up with it!

  9. 16:54. Stuck for a few minutes at the end by REUSED and my LOI PRINT-THROUGH, resorting to an alphabet trawl as I hadn’t twigged it was an anagram. NHO EURYTOPIC, and couldn’t parse LESSEE looking for an 8-letter word missing its ends to leave that as the answer. Once more I fell for the kerning problem with base cornet even after being puzzled by the surface meaning of a “bass comet”, until I saw the anagrist was 1 letter short. I loved WICKETKEEPER and EVENT. Thanks Jeremy and setter.

  10. DNF, back in OWL (One Wrong Letter) club with a silly invented ‘wickerkeeper’ rather than WICKETKEEPER – thanks for the explanation, as I didn’t see how it worked at all (‘in person’ for a batter was clever). My only vague logic was wicker as in a wicker chair, which might support (‘stay’) someone’s behind…

    Didn’t parse LESSEE or the middle bit of BE ALL EARS; pieced together the unknown EURYTOPIC from wordplay; had to trust that a PRINT-THROUGH is some sort of magnetic problem; NHO of lake as a red pigment, so FLAKE went in with a shrug.

    Thanks setter and blogger.

    COD Chorister (not a particularly special clue, just one that gave me a wry smile as it’s something I’m familiar with…)

  11. Another mediocre effort timewise (11:04) annulled by a fat fingered typo (ssript).

    NHO PRINT-THROUGH (needed all the crossers) or EURYTOPIC.


  12. 40 mins. I could paraphrase johninterred’s comments above almost to the letter!

    EURYTOPIC, are you kidding me?

    Anyway, thanks Jeremy for the explanations.

  13. Gave up on the hour, beaten by DEFEAT (wouldn’t have seen ‘fed’ for ‘took food’ in a month of Sundays) and – to my shame – WICKETKEEPER. Don’t even have the excuse of not being British for failing to see that one. Obv DNK EURYTOPIC, but it fitted the wordplay so went in with a shrug.

  14. 29.31 with my now persistent problem with the timer. I didn’t parse all the answers and ‘Eurytopic’ was a fingers crossed punt from the wordplay: (I correctly assumed that ‘Euelopic’ was unlikely’).

  15. 74m 38s
    I appear to be the only one here, thus far, who is puzzled by 8d EXERCISE. ER = King? The last ER was a Queen and the current monarch is CR. What am I missing?

    1. I’m with Martin. I guess that’s the clueing, but without some indication it’s not really excluding many letters. There have been English and Scot Kings named Alfred, Charles, David, Edward, Francois, George, Henry, Indulf, James, Kenneth – so only B excluded and we’re a third of the way through the alphabet.

      1. Thank you, Paul. IMHO, the clueing is too vague.
        Mmm! King Boris has a certain ring to it, n’est-ce pas? :-))

  16. 30:02

    Loved this puzzle. Great day to be a cricket loving musician who worked in a recording studio.

    SE corner caused most trouble with LOI DEFEAT.


    Thanks setter and Jeremy

  17. 30 mins with a little help from my friends. Bit of a curates egg this one, some very simple clues to go with EURYTOPIC, the very clever WICKETKEEPER, and my LOI, the very obvious to anyone except me, REUSED.

    1. Well it is not obvious to me: the mantra is reduce,reuse, recycle. Recycle to me is not reuse and is only one up from landfill.
      Sermon over sorry

      1. One of the definitions of ‘recycle’ in ODE is ‘use again’. It gives the example ‘he reserves the right to recycle his own text’.

    1. Edwardus Rex (Imperator!) was the title for VII and VIII. There have been other kings than Charles III!

  18. DNF, both 20 & 19d REfUSED to come, and DEFEATed me.
    DNK 11d PRINT THROUGH, nor 13a EURYTOPIC, but sorted them out.
    Mis-parsed 3d BE-ALL-EARS; clever, as was the 4d Wicketkeeper.

  19. Oh dear! Sorry everyone, but I thought this was another in a recent series of Friday Easies: even the unknown EURYTOPIC and the surmised PRINT THROUGH didn’t hold me up long. 14.05, though obviously I didn’t parse BE ALL EARS.

  20. 31:25 – some good clues among the unknowns, the unparsed and the biffs. Would never have seen the valley in BE ALL EARS, so thanks for the explanation.

    On edit: Deleted a point about a clue and blog explanation, both of which I had misread.

      1. I would – if I could ever find a quibble that made the remotest sense on rechecking the clue and the explanation!

  21. Revealed a couple along the way (RAVELS and DEFEAT) then wished I hadn’t as they were gettable if only I’d persevered… Anyway, enjoyed learning a few things, e.g. meaning of EURYTOPIC and the plural of abacus. Couldn’t parse BE ALL EARS, EVENT or WICKETKEEPER – many thanks for explanations. COD WICKETKEEPER, now that it’s been explained 😆

  22. 38 minutes. Entered the unknown EURYTOPIC and PRINT-THROUGH from wordplay and didn’t parse BE ALL EARS or PACKING CASES. A not very satisfactory way to complete an enjoyable puzzle, but like ulaca, I was happy to have my first all green Monday-Friday for several weeks.

  23. I agree with everyone who is singing the praises of WICKETKEEPER, very clever and the parsing defeated me, but as I say ad nauseam with respect to CDs, probably boring people who are familiar with my gripe, how much better a clue it would have been with this as part of a regular one. EURYTOPIC probably won’t feature much in my vocabulary. 33 minutes. Can’t see why anyone has a problem with ‘best’, and agree that 7dn is borderline meaningless.

  24. Like several others I failed to spot ‘north upright’ was an anagram. Cleverest clue for me was the setter finding the right section of the orchestra for the bass cornet! (Is there such an instrument? I suspect not.)

  25. I suspected WICKETKEEPER from the off, but didn’t put it in until the penny dropped for “in person.” Very good! ROSEBOWL was FOI. EURYTOPIC had to be assembled from wordplay. I hadn’t heard of PRINT THROUGH, but spotted the anagrist, and checkers gave me THROUGH so there wasn’t an alternative to PRINT. LESSEE was LOI after a struggle to parse it. 24:07. Thanks setter and Jeremy.

  26. This Brit former village cricketer never parsed wicket keeper precisely, so thanks Jeremy!

    As with JD above, EURYTOPIC assembled, I thought it was pretty straightforward cluing, same experience on PRINT THROUGH. DEFEAT was my LOI after inserting and removing letters until I got a likely answer!

    A more than reasonable 17:52.

  27. I took 32 minutes. For a while I thought I was on for a good time but then I slowed down. Finally put together EURYTOPIC but then had a complete blank on 4dn and must have spent 10 minutes fiddling round with it and was on the point of giving up when suddenly I saw the last part of the word could be KEEPER and then it was like ooooohhhhhhhh!!!
    Thanks setter and blogger

  28. Excellent puzzle and delighted to have been on the wavelength and come home in a very respectable 18:54.

    Thx for the parsing of BE ALL EARS (could not get beyond centre of glen as you mention). Had fingers crossed for FLAKE (NHO lake) and am baffled by PRINT THROUGH but anagrind was generous.

    WICKETKEEPER needed all the checkers but what a brilliant clue.

    Thx Jeremy and setter

  29. 33:26. Pleased with that. With the daily ups and downs my 33 minutes today is roughly half my 59 mnutes yesterday for a similar snitch level. DNK PRINT THROUGH. Or EURYTOPIC where the hardest thing was actually believing the word, when the wordplay was so straightforward. It can’t be that simple…. EU railway must be SNCF or….
    COD WICKETKEEPER – “in person”, wow, they won’t be able to use that one again, we’ll all remember it

  30. 34:01

    Mostly OK – NW went in very quick plus various other acrosses towards the bottom. Slow to fill in NE, never heard of the pigment plus three in the SE were troublesome. LOI REUSED

    Thanks J and setter

  31. Finished but with a typo. Like everyone else I’d never heard of EURYTOPIC but the wordplay was generous. I knew about PRINT THROUGH. Not only can it be a problem in recording studios, but also with magnetic tape backups. You are meant to unspool the tape and rewind it at least once a year. Couldn’t see the ALLE since I was sure “middle of glen” was the LE leaving AL dangling. I liked the Bolero one, and the WICKETKEEPER. But what on earth does “heretic enters into versus church ” mean in the surface reading for VARIANCE?

  32. 17:14. I found that hard, and didn’t enjoy it, but that’s because I’m tired and grumpy after an exhausting week.
    My last in was PRINT THROUGH, an expression I didn’t know indicated by a term for ‘drunk’ that I’ve never come across before, so it took me ages to spot that it was an anagram.

  33. This was a puzzle where I started fast and finished slow, suggesting I was not too impressed by some of the clues. But this mild feeling of dissatisfaction was made up for by some very clever clueing elsewhere in the puzzle. I did it in three bites, total time approx. 45 minutes.
    Thanks to jeremy and other contributors.

  34. DNF after 30 minutes

    Just couldnt see the w/p or definition for the first word of the PRINT thing. The CASES clue really was weak imho but the KEEPER clue was fab and a few other good ones as well

  35. I’m familiar with ‘up the spout’, meaning mild chaos and ruin: “plans for tonight went up the spout when… ” so I assumed this was a version, and so didn’t think it needed to connect specifically to ‘drunk’.

  36. 77 mins. quite tricky, but really well constructed puzzle – loved EURYTOPIC as it came out of the wordplay quite easily. LOI REUSED.

  37. As others, several NHOs here: PRINT THROUGH, EURYTOPIC ( and EXERCISED with that definition). I did marginally better on this than most Friday offerings, but failed to spot the very clever cluing for WICKET KEEPER. Had heard of Crimson Lake, so that went in with a shrug, and especially liked CHAUFFEUR and RAVELS ( even though I didn’t get it!)


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