Times Cryptic 28890 – Saturday, 13 April 2024. L’Arc ne triomphe pas.

I did myself no favours by putting ARC at 14 ac as my opening shot, thinking ARCH as in archbishop would mean (high) ranking. Eventually 14 dn forced me to reconsider. From there, all went well.

Thanks, setter. How did all you solvers get on with this one?

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 After editing used to bin a little from speech (9)
SOUNDBITE – anagram (after editing): USED TO BIN.
6 American natives start to clap opening of drama (5)
9 In deep fall, fruit was satisfying (7)
10 Wrong to keep ahead at roundabout in city (7)
TORONTO – TORT (wrong, in a legal sense) to keep ON (ahead, in the sense of “please, go on/ahead”) + O (roundabout).
11 City wall has almost shrunk (5)
LHASA – hidden (shrunk).
12 Nothing but cries of pain about the Serious Fraud Office: like this? (2,7)
AS FOLLOWS – ALL “OWS” (nothing but cries of pain), about SFO.
14 Bow, rank being reduced (3)
TIE – TIEr reduced.
15 Bursting from covert, a deer panicked unnecessarily? (11)
OVERREACTED – anagram (bursting): COVERT A DEER.
17 In pink clothes small opening with no body visible (11)
19 Vehicle broken down, back falling off (3)
BUS – BUStback falling off.
20 Triumph for female going next in line (9)
SUCCESSOR – SUCCESS (triumph), fORfemale going.
22 Recording verb one dictionary rejected (5)
VIDEO – VI, DEO = O.E.D. rejected.
24 Barrier’s resistance weakening (7)
26 I had turned over a New Statesman (7)
IDAHOAN – I, DAH=HAD turnedO (over), A, N (new).
As usual, I was slow to realise “statesman” = “American”.
27 Forcibly seize snooker equipment from reporter (5)
WREST – sounds like (from reporter): REST, as used in snooker.
28 Not yet properly cooked, one claims? (9)
PRETENDER – TENDER when properly cooked, so before that, PRE-TENDER.
1 Pressure to open secure lock in part of plant (5)
SEPALP to open SEAL.
2 Howl grievously, worried after opera is given up (7)
ULULATEULUL=LULU (an opera by Alban Berg), given up + ATE.
3 Making appearance, strangely enamoured (9)
DEMEANOUR – anagram (strangely): ENAMOURED.
4 Inside ourselves black bird is swallowed, not through the mouth (11)
5 One not long hatched possibly walked off away from lake (3)
EFTLEFT, away from L (lake).
6 See drivers picked up woman (5)
CAROLLO (see!), R.A.C. (drivers’ association), picked up.
7 Partner not a left-wing type? (7)
CONSORT – not left-wing, so perhaps a CON SORT.
8 Fighting Puritans using clubs, dies in agony (9)
IRONSIDESIRONS (golf clubs), anagram (in agony): DIES.
13 Fear old fire may explode in dire emergency (3,4,4)
FOR DEAR LIFE – anagram (may explode): FEAR OLD FIRE.
14 Undistinguished types man such a ship? (4-5)
Undistinguished or undistinguishable types, since they are identical twins!
16 Make light of a patriarch delayed coming round (9)
18 Firm punishment announced for Charlie (7)
COCAINECO (firm), CAINE sounds like (announced) CANE.
I’m clearly lacking in knowledge of recreational drugs. I didn’t know what sort of Charlie this was.
19 Town providing duke’s overnight accommodation? (7)
21 Turn out European winner, having no alternative (5)
EVICTE, VICTOR having no OR.
23 One has depressing experience, losing daughter (5)
25 Pain as Arab country has borders reduced (3)

14 comments on “Times Cryptic 28890 – Saturday, 13 April 2024. L’Arc ne triomphe pas.”

  1. I finished this over lunch, so I have no time for it; looking at it now, it doesn’t seem that difficult. I took the ‘see’ of 6d to be the initial C of CACTI, which of course got me nowhere. 17ac INCORPOREAL has a rather odd surface. LOI EFT, which used to be a NYT chestnut. I liked TIE and SUCCESSOR.

  2. NHO TWIN-SCREW. No problem, though. Not sure I’ve ever heard CHARLIE in that sense. (My friends have usually been more into cannabis.)

  3. This was heavy going and I needed aids for the ULUL part of ULULATE . I’ve no doubt I have met the word before but its meaning evidently didn’t stick. I knew I was looking for a 4-letter opera to reverse but LULU didn’t come to mind although I was aware of it and even on one occasion tried to sit through it on record. I didn’t get far with that adventure!

    I also gave on alphabet-trawling T?I?-SCREW, which I knew only too well, but I’d simply run out of steam by that stage.

    1. I have a vague feeling we’ve had ULULATE before.There’s an example–the only one I know–of ululation in Lawrence of Arabia, where the women cheer their men on as they head off to attack Aqaba (about 140 minutes into the movie).

      1. Yes, leaving Mephistos and Jumbos aside, ULULATE has come up 3 or 4 times over the years, always defined with reference to howling. I blogged one puzzle myself but never commented on it as a problem so perhaps the wordplay was clearer to me on those occasions.

      2. Near the end of the film, The Battle of Algiers, when the Algerians have finally achieved victory and gained independence from France there’s a scene of a huge mass of women ululating joyously.

  4. Done, sort of – had to resort to aids to finish it, which supplied INCORPOREAL, IDAHOAN and TWIN SCREWS. NHO first and third and just didn’t think of the second. I must remember that statesman trick. I have a wee smiley face jotted at 7d CONSORT which tickled me. Overall, about an hour, including looking-up time. Thanks, all.

  5. I found this one much easier than usual, finishing in one sitting in about an hour. LOI for me was Toronto, not sure why, really (although I missed, yet again, TORT for wrong). I was pleased I remembered EFT (which was 2nd LOI) which at least got my away from being fixated on ERR or ERROR or variations of for 10ac.
    Enjoyed the puzzle, a few head scratchers at first, but all became clear when I worked them out.

  6. Thought 14d TWIN SCREW was green paint, but no; 1) we’ve had it before, and 2) it’s in wiktionary. Liked 12a AS FOLLOWS just for being complicated. 26 IDAHOAN was a test which I passed with flying colours!

    1. “Twin screw” is definitely not “green paint”. The Shorter Oxford has:

      twin-screw adjective & noun (a) adjective having twin screws; spec. (of a ship) having two screw propellers on separate shafts rotating in opposite directions, to counteract the tendency to lateral vibration; (b) noun a twin-screw ship.

  7. 38 very enjoyable minutes. There was nothing impossibly hard, but many very amusing and subtle clues, of which my favourites were TWIN-SCREW, AS FOLLOWS (all ow!s, there are more boring ways to clue that), OWNER. As for IDAHOAN, I interpreted “statesman” not as “someone from the States”, but more specifically as someone from a particular state, the state of Idaho. Nice puzzle.

  8. 24.24 but with an increasingly desperate TAIL-SCREW despite …being a TWIN. Won’t forget that one next time

    ULULATE no problem (a lot of it in Greek O-Level) nor Charlie though never partaken

    Thanks setter and Bruce

  9. Thank you for the explanation of “all ows” in 12ac AS FOLLOWS. I think because the SFO part was quite clear, I’d not fully understood/appreciated about taking “nothing but cries of pain” as one phrase.

    Interesting to see that for EFT (5d), the definition -and possibly the surface as well- emphasises the particular stage of the newt’s life-cycle. (Rather than just having eft as another word for newt).


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