Times Cryptic 28956 – Saturday, 29 June 2024. On yer bike!

I enjoyed this. An interesting tidbit about old bikes! 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 Tradesman accommodating a person’s husband’s old bike (10)
The name is because first generation bicycles had wooden wheels with steel tyres. Shudder!!
6 In Strasbourg, who quietly makes a sarcastic gibe? (4)
QUIPQUI (“who” in Strasbourg, since they are French), P.
Are quips necessarily sarcastic?
9 Storm arising from key politician interrupting trial (7)
TEMPESTE (a musical key) + MP interrupting TEST.
10 Rough up an old sailor in sound (7)
Chambers says a salt is (especially) an experienced sailor.
12 An ancient country imports it as a provider of heat (10)
13 In favour of reducing support (3)
15 Attraction of every part of a Yorkshire river (6)
16 Leader of jaguars spotted cat heading off unknown risk (8)
JEOPARDYJaguar + lEOPARD + Y (unknown).
18 Lining up for vinaigrette, perhaps? (8)
DRESSING – two definitions: soldiers on parade, or making salads.
20 Resort having edge in Italy originally (6)
23 Hit hosted by school, a musical (3)
LAM – hidden.
24 What some school leavers may hope for, almost entirely one-sided (10)
UNILATERAL – when they finish school, they may hope to go to UNI LATER. Then ALL (entirely, almost).
26 Woman in bar — start of embarrassing howler (7)
BANSHEEBAN, SHE, start of Embarrassing.
27 Breed of dog right for an underground worker (7)
28 Assistant’s proposal, sending head of army to front (4)
AIDEIDEA, sending A to front.
29 European left university visitor lacking time and energy (10)
I assumed “left” would be L. That led nowhere. Only when I saw GUEST did the penny drop.
1 Finally invest in extra memory storage space (4)
BYTE – T in BYE (an extra at cricket).
2 Not a talking bird left — so-called! (7)
3 Oddly, she bred pigs at first in quiet part of London (9,4)
SHEPHERDS BUSH – anagram (oddly) of SHE BRED Pigs in SHUSH.
4 Like stars mostly missing on lake (6)
5 One tests former partner, a 27 (8)
In Times crosswords, small numbers expressed in arabic numerals are often cross-references, in this case to the COLLIER at 27 ac.
7 Seizer of power taken in by loan shark (7)
USURPER – P taken in by USURER.
8 Possibly Mac’s benefactor, ultimately busy with microphone (10)
In Scotland or Ireland, MacDougall means “son of Dougall”.
11 Could it be an elder’s part, to snore away thus? (5,4,1,3)
SLEEP LIKE A LOG – cryptic hint about elder trees.
14 Is Trotter able to get a supporter for light holders? (10)
CANDELABRA – CAN DEL (Del Trotter, a character in the sitcom Only Fools & Horses) + BRA.
17 Protagonist in drama — quite unlike Leander! (8)
ANTIHERO – Leander loves Hero, of course.
19 Rats, maybe, not very visible ultimately with trace of dark in fur (7)
ERMINEDVERMIN (not “very”) + visiblultimately + a trace of Dark.
21 Assume this person’s opposed to MDMA (7)
22 Good luck symbol firm introduced to staff (6)
MASCOT – CO intoduced to MAST.
25 Dash off fleetingly to get cheese (4)
BRIE – BRIEFLY, with FLY off.
I saw the cheese quickly, but took ages to see the wordplay!


14 comments on “Times Cryptic 28956 – Saturday, 29 June 2024. On yer bike!”

  1. 13:51
    An easy one. I had the same query about QUIP; not a query, actually, an objection. I think Del Trotter has come up before; in any case, I inferred his existence.

    1. To my surprise the first definition of QUIP in Collins is ‘a sarcastic or cutting remark; gibe’.

        1. Well obviously it is, even if that meaning isn’t familiar to you and me. Collins didn’t just make it up. The OED entry suggest it’s old, perhaps now outdated: ‘originally: a sharp, sarcastic, or cutting remark, esp. one cleverly or wittily phrased. Later more generally: any clever, witty, or humorous remark; a witticism, an epigram.’

  2. Not quite so easy for me as for others, but I got through it in 39 minutes with the last 5 spent on ANTIHERO which went in only as a word that fitted as I didn’t remember enough about Leander.

    SOED has quip A verbal equivocation; a quibble. L16.
    Collins has the same but says it’s archaic

  3. Even I’d put this down as an easy one, done in 20 minutes with no hiccups. Had the same thought about quip; despite the dictionary definitions, seems most usage these days signifies a witty response. Thanks, all.

  4. Thanks for the blog.

    My notes say it was fairly straightforward but ANTIHERO took a while.

    However, I still don’t quite get 11d, and what sleep is doing in the cryptic hint. I could see a sleeper being a log (a part from an elder) but not sleep.

    I must be looking at this from the wrong angle, what am I missing?

  5. DNF, defeated by ANTRACITE (I invented ‘Anthealite’ in desperation).

    No major challenges otherwise, though I didn’t know enough about Leander to fully understand how ANTIHERO worked.

    Thanks branch and setter.

    COD Shepherds Bush

  6. I thoroughly enjoyed this as there were unknowns even PATRONYMIC residing somewhere in the depth of my mind.
    My only query was NOMINAL as I always thought the bird was MYNA. I was also slightly puzzled by the wordplay for SLEEP LIKE A LOG but saw the ‘elder’ connection and moved on.
    My favourite was CANDELABRA and I did need the blog to see the parsing of BRIE.

  7. 26.42 Much easier than usual but I typoed the ANTIHERE/PERTUGUESE crossing for a pink square and two errors. Thanks branch.


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