Times Cryptic 28964


Solving time: 35 minutes

Mostly straightforward but I had a MER at a couple of definitions along the way.

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]. “Aural wordplay” is in quotation marks. I usually omit all reference to juxtaposition indicators unless there is a specific point that requires clarification.

1 Location for Burning Man spotted around mountain range (8)
PYRE (location for burning man), then SEEN (spotted) reversed [around]
5 Film hero shunning Ben catches steamship with a soldier (6)
{Ben} HUR (film hero) [shunning Ben] contains [catches} SS (steamship) + A. Judah Ben Hur was in a novel by Lew Wallace published in 1880, first filmed in 1907 and 5 or 6 times since then.
8 One working to get B+ in chemistry, say (3)
I (one), ON (working).  My AI assistant advises that B+ refers to a Boron ion that has lost one electron. Too technical for this blogger, but the answer was easy to deduce.
9 Pass close to celebrity and express disapproval well (7-3)
TICKET (pass), {celbrit}Y [close to…], BOO (express disapproval). All is well / tickety-boo. Although not definitive, the leading theory suggests this is of Hindi origin from the phrase “thik hai babu” (ठीक है, बाबू) which translates to “It’s alright, sir”. British soldiers in India during the Raj may have picked it up and brought it back to Britain.
10 Retired? Put it in new resume (8)
IT contained by [in] anagram [new] of RESUME. SOED: Honourably discharged from service; (of a former office-holder, esp. a professor) retired but allowed to retain his or her title as an honour.
11 Just missing out on bronze and uranium in river (6)
U (uranium) contained by [in] FORTH (Scottish river). A reference to medals awarded e.g. at the Olympics. Bronze medal winners come third.
12 Point of banquet not having starter (4)
{f}EAST (banquet) [not having starter]. Point of the compass.
14 Mastermind of heavy metal band, originally, then Queen (10)
RING (band), LEAD (heavy metal), ER (Queen)
17 Bug nearly put on band member in recital (4,6)
STAG{e} (put on) [nearly], then aural wordplay [in recital] : BEETLE / “Beatle” (band member)
20 Help witch periodically? It’s a long story (4)
{h}E{l}P {w}I{t}C{h} [periodically]
23 Curry gets cold, very cold (6)
BALTI (curry), C (cold)
24 After French wine, drink ale at first then head for spicy meal (8)
VIN (French wine), then D{rink} + A{le} [at first], LOO (head – lavatory). Coming after 23ac I wonder if the setter was awaiting an Indian take-away at the time.
25 Without any green entry books, unfortunately (5-5)
Anagram [unfortunately] of ENTRY BOOKS. ‘Green’ as slang for money seems to have originated in the US with the greenback dollar. In the UK we had green pound notes for many years but I don’t recall ever hearing them referred to by colour.
26 Awful to forget Liberal struggle (3)
VI{l}E (awful) [to forget Liberal)
27 Ignore this covering on road (6)
STET (ignore this) containing [covering] RE (on). ‘Stet’ is a typographical instruction to cancel a correction or deletion.  Literally it means ‘let it stand’.
28 Mostly icy mountain cuts through Australian state (8)
IC{y} [mostly] + TOR (mountain) contained by [cuts] VIA (through). I’m not sure a tor ever qualifies as a mountain; it’s more of a rocky peak or hill.
1 Very valuable publicity? Neat! (9)
PR (publicity – Public Relations), ICELESS (neat – not necessarily, just iceless!)
2 Team gets irritated following striker’s finish (7)
{strike}R [’s finish], ANGERS (gets irritated – he angers easily)
3 Fool returning home with another (6)
IN (home) reversed [returning], TWIT (with another – fool)
4 Hard to find gripping 90’s newspaper article (9)
ELUSIVE (hard to find) containing [gripping] XC (90)
5 Detestable European stopping collection for a busker? (7)
E (European) contained by [stopping] HATFUL (collection for a busker?)
6 Sandwich consumed after pitcher put down (9)
SUB (sandwich – submarine), JUG (pitcher), ATE (consumed)
7 Pet also pummelled Peter, perhaps (7)
Anagram [pummelled] of PET ALSO
13 Poet right to change line, for balance (9)
Anagram [to change] of POET RIGHT
15 Resentment with stock market debut — large one — in part of Turkey (9)
GALL (resentment), IPO (stock market debut), L (large), I (one). IPO is jargon for Initial Public Offering aka a stock launch.
16 Musical recap, OK or terrible? (4,5)
Anagram [terrible] of RECAP OK OR
18 Movement of time went quickly with model (7)
T (time), RAN (went quickly), SIT (model)
19 Make secret cell beneath church supporting essence of Lent (7)
{L}EN{t} [essence of…], CRYPT (cell beneath church)
21 Friend to declare carry-on (7)
PAL (friend), AVER (declare)
22 Beginning of solution to stuffy room announced (6)
Aural wordplay [announced]: ADVENT / “add vent” (solution to stuffy room)

72 comments on “Times Cryptic 28964”

  1. Loved this. I knew 1a would be something like a crematorium for location of Burning Man but Pyre took a while to spring to mind. Liked Hussar and Tickety-Boo. My avatar meant 16d was a write in. And Victoria, I’m standing in it!
    Thanks Jack and setter.

  2. thanks, jack. I agree that green for money is pretty American; on the other hand, in the US you’d probably say Stone-Broke

  3. For PALAVER, I didn’t know before that the hyphenated “carry-on” could be a noun meaning a fuss or commotion and not only a piece of luggage.

  4. Fairly straigthforward, with my LOI STREET since I waited for all the checkers since I didn’t see how the wordplay worked until after I’d submitted. Took time to get PYRENEES since I was sure that I would have to lift and separate “Burning” and “Man” but it turned out not.

    1. I really wanted “location for Burning Man” to be PLAYA, but knew that was not to be.

  5. 22:08
    I don’t think I’ve ever heard ‘green’ for money, other than ‘the long green’, which feels rather dated. It took me a while to get EMERITUS, which is ironic, since I am one. FOURTH was my LOI: it took a long time before I thought of the river. I learned PALAVER ages ago, from a comic book, and it was a verb meaning ‘parley, discuss’; and I can never remember what the other meaning is.

    1. Great puzzle.
      I’ve heard the expression “Green Perfume” before, in the context of someone flashing the cash in order to attract a mate.

  6. About 70 minutes. Slowed by SW corner I have never heard of BALTI for curry and initially had ARCTIC.
    NHO STAG BEETLE I saw BEETLE but put in STAG but could not parse. I reluctantly put in STREET which to me wasn’t even a clue as all I saw was TREE in ST so I couldn’t even get a definition.
    Thanks to Jack for clearing up the parsing.

  7. 29.29, enjoyable puzzle. The south-west held out the longest with STREET and TIGHTROPE in last. STREET was one of several, including TICKETY-BOO and GALLIPOLI, where Jack’s work was much appreciated. In the original version of ‘Money (That’s What I Want)’ Barrett Strong says give me that lean green…

    From Desolation Row:
    Here comes the blind commissioner
    They’ve got him in a trance
    One hand is tied to the TIGHTROPE walker
    The other is in his pants
    And the riot squad they’re restless
    They need somewhere to go
    As Lady and I look out tonight
    From Desolation Row

  8. And not by eastern windows only,
    When daylight comes, comes in the light,
    In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly,
    But westward, look, the land is bright.
    (Say not the struggle nought availeth, Arthur Hugh Clough)

    25 mins pre-brekker. I liked it. Neat and tidy, with a touch of humour and no unusual words or vocabulary. B+ in chemistry was very neat.
    Ta setter and J.

  9. 14.30
    Excellent, with plenty of musical references.
    Potential earworms of the day: VICTORIA for Kinks and Fall fans, HATEFUL for The Clash, VINDALOO for those in a footie frame of mind..

  10. 13:23. Loved it. Some great clues. I liked RINGLEADER, PRICELESS, VINDALOO, ADVENT and TIGHTROPE best. Thanks Jackkt and setter.

  11. Not at the races today. Couldn’t for the life of me see my LOI, even though I’d worked out that it began with R. Biffed PYRENEES and ION with no clue as to what was going on. It had all started so well……

    TIME 13:18

  12. 38 minutes with LOI HUSSAR. The Burning Man reference was wasted on me, never having heard of it before. I’d have given PYRENEES COD if I’d known it. I’d also never heard of money referred to as GREEN. making STONY-BROKE just an anagram to be solved with crossers. Are setters encourged to road test their Americanisms on Brits? Otherwise this was a terrific puzzle. COD to PRICELESS. Thank you Jack and setter.

    1. American slang for dollar bills : “folding green”. That and the Burning Man reference helped to give this puzzle an American slant, which I don’t think I’m alone in finding unwelcome.

      1. I wondered if Burning Man was a sign that we should begin to expect one post-1995 cultural reference every day. Then we’ll get two, then…
        Back when there were useful things you could buy for five or ten cents, “folding money” – as in ‘you’ll pay for this, and it’s gonna be folding money’ – meant not two-bit or cheap, the way we use ‘four figures’ or ‘five figures’ today. Folding green has a nice sound to roll around on your tongue, doesn’t it?

  13. 18’41”, steady solve, which meant VICTORIA LOI as last clue read. Really liked PRICELESS, nho IPO, and thanks for explaining the origin of TICKETY-BOO.

    There are now so many toileting references in the puzzles that I look out for them.

    Thanks jack and setter.

  14. 11:50. I whizzed through most of this but then got seriously becalmed in the NW corner. If I had spotted one of three or four devices in those clues I’d have shaved several minutes off my time. But being bamboozled like that is what it’s all about, and I thought this was very good.

  15. 21:25
    All done in about 12 minutes aside from the (for me) tricky NW. I took ages to piece together the anagram for EMERITUS and then they fell in order, with PYRENEES last in.

    ION went in on wordplay and checkers but I needed the blog for elucidation. Otherwise no unknowns and much more Monday-ish fare.

    Thanks to both.

  16. 40 mins, very enjoyable. Slightly held up on my LOI, EXCLUSIVE as I’d rather carelessly bunged in GANGLEADER at 14 ac. Doh. Once I saw the error, all was done and dusted.

    I liked TICKETY-BOO, thanks Jack for the explanation, interesting, FOURTH & VINDALOO. I also thought the setter may have been at their local curry house!

    Thanks Jack and setter. Pass the chutney, please.

  17. Loved this, with the elegant 1d my favourite PDM. For a long time I thought I would struggle to finish, but a succession of satisfying aha’s, most accompanied by a smile and nod to the setter, got me over the line in just over the half hour. This is why I do these puzzles. Thank you, superb setter.

    Thanks also to Jack for the excellent blog. Green for money is undeniably US, but globalised (for me anyway) in the ‘mean, mean green’ of the O’Jays brilliant ‘For the Love of Money’, which is a great earworm for the morning.

  18. Just under half an hour, eventually ending with EXCLUSIVE where I failed to separate ’90s’ and ‘newspaper’ for a long time.

    I relied on wordplay for ION; the wordplay for TICKETY-BOO was helpful as there are various ways of spelling it; I’m more familiar with ‘stone-broke’ rather than STONY-BROKE but the anagrist made it clear; and I biffed GALLIPOLI once I had enough checkers (and I didn’t know IPO as stock market debut anyway).

    Thanks jack and setter.

    FOI Hussar
    LOI Exclusive
    COD Emeritus

  19. Nice puzzle, easy for a Tuesday, 14 minutes, no quibbles. Liked GALLIPOLI although I’d thought it was somewhere in the Crimea.

  20. I actually found this quite hard work, though with admiration for the cleverness of such as PR ICELESS and STREET, which initially I tried to justify as TARMAC. I rather fell into the setter’s struggle-traps, trying to remember a 90’s newspaper, and where Burning Man takes place (Summerisle?). All done in 22.47, which suggests I was off this wavelength.

  21. It took for ever to “get” iceless=neat in biffed 1d Priceless. DOH! I took neat as meaning no water, the ice doesn’t stop the neatness til it melts.
    OK with green-money in Stony Broke. For some quaint reason I assume that Americans still refer to “frogskins” for dollar notes, but I think this was a 50s phenomenon.

  22. 43:52
    Entertaining puzzle. Without having googled it to check, I would imagine palaver is derived from something to do with words (Spanish palabra = word, bearing in mind that b and v are sort of interchangeable).
    Thanks, jack.

    1. I checked my Chambers app (even quicker than Google) and it confirms it’s from the Portuguese palavra.

  23. 37:20

    Good puzzle. I found it quite a challenge, particularly the north-west, with PYRENEES taking an age. I needed Jack to explain the “neat” in PRICELESS (COD), which seems ridiculous now. Almost had STAR NEEDLE for STAG BEETLE with Star(r) being nearly a band member, and needle meaning bug. As Eric Morecambe would say : the right words not necessarily in the right order.

    Thanks to Jack and the setter.

  24. At just under 20′ this hit the mark for me. Very enjoyable, nice mix of GK and humour. Thanks Jackkt and setter

  25. 19:40

    Terrific puzzle, thanks setter.
    Would have been on for a cracking time (for me) at sub 17’ but for LOI STREET, which I finally entered unparsed.


    Thanks Jack for the blog.

  26. 24:40

    Can’t say it was a struggle particularly, everything seemed to come together quite well. Minor corrections for GANGLEADER and STIPULATE (6d) but I did miss the parsing of 1d – very good.

    Thanks Jack and setter

  27. Re the Americanism ‘green’ for money;

    “I’ve got a pocket full of pretty green,
    I’m going to put it in the fruit machine,
    I’m going to put it in the jukebox,
    It’s going to play all the records in the hit parade”

    Lyrics to the track ‘Pretty Green’ by The Jam, which is where I first heard the term ‘green’ meaning money.

  28. Great puzzle, but it had me stumped in several places until inspiration eventually arrived. ENCRYPT was a long time coming as I entered ENCH for the first bit of word play, until I saw how STREET worked and lifted and separated cell beneath church. GALLIPOLI took a lot longer than it should have. A biffed DANSAC held up TIGHTROPE until further inspiration struck. Thoughts of the Wicker Man delayed 1a, but PRICELESS finally arrived and opened up the NW. Great clue! NITWIT was FOI and STREET and ENCRYPT finished the job. 29:59. Thanks setter and Jack.

  29. 24 mins. Whizzed through this until I hit the buffers with F-U-T- and FAULTY and FRUITY didn’t work. Needed a bit of lateral thinking to put an H at the end.
    Don’t you have BALTIS in America? Staple fare here.

  30. 7:17 A little bit harder than yesterday’s offering, with some good clues, though rather too many immediately biffable for my taste (STAG-BEETLE, TRANSIT, etc. I think I’ve heard of GREENBACKS meaning money, but never GREEN on its own. I was thinking along golfing lines. Much as I enjoyed the likes of Quadrophenia at the time, is there a rock opera which doesn’t sound cringeworthy with the benefit of hindsight? I admired the clues for FOURTH and PRICELESS, but my COD goes to TICKETY-BOO.

  31. 33 minutes. Looking back, I can’t see why I took so long, because nothing presented any real problems. Wanted, for no good reason, 1ac to be Abednego just because he was a burning man. Like Jack, rather unconvinced by tor = mountain in 28ac. Add vent rather nice.

  32. Finished just under the hour mark. Needed help parsing PYRENEES (thought it was PYRE plus a man’s name and ‘Nees’ wasn’t one I’d heard of!) and ION (absolutely no clue about the B+). Favourite clue had to be VINDALOO. Thanks all.

  33. 26:51 – Found this quite knotty in places and I was pleased – and surprised – to find I had finished under the half hour. Very inventive and classy, I thought.

  34. 28 minutes. I didn’t know the money / finance references in the clues for STONY-BROKE and GALLIPOLI and found the NW corner quite difficult with PYRENEES my LOI. A satisfying puzzle which repaid the effort to work out the at times tricky parsing.

  35. Found this fairly tricky, particularly in the NW corner, where I was barking up the wrong tree with PYRENEES, couldn’t work out PRICELESS and didn’t have a clue about ION until the I went in, though still didn’t understand it. Many were bifd after getting the clue the wrong way around initially, so chapeau to the setter for clever misdirection. COD to STONY BROKE; it took an age to unravel the anagram.

  36. MER at ADVENT which does not really mean ‘become’. It means to come towards, or arrive at. Or come into existence.

    Palaver C18: from Portuguese palavra talk, from Latin parabola parable; originally applied by Portuguese traders in W Africa to discussions with local inhabitants. Not quite Spanish but close

  37. Like most others, I thought this was a splendid crossword. Particularly enjoyed TICKETY-BOO and STREET. Thanks, setter!

  38. 35:07 very good time for me

    Was on route home back from Estonia, but still struggled with BALTIC. It’s not particularly cold either, not like my first effort, ARCTIC.

    Just saw the blog and that Iceless=neat, brilliant. Would never have parsed STREET, though, my LOI.

  39. Great puzzle. Didn’t know that neat could mean without ice, just thought it meant without a mixer or water. My raised eyebrow has been lowered.
    As a scientist I really enjoyed ion, but ticketyboo just pipped it as COD for me.

    1. I think ICELESS works because if you order say a whisky the barperson will often ask “Neat? Or on the rocks?”. So in that sense they are alternatives.

  40. 45.08 so definitely not one of my better days. Done in two goes with the LH side giving me nightmares till I finally got stag beetle , then transit and recognised tightrope was an anagram. LOI street. Nothing really braintwisting but a struggle.

    Good puzzle though.

  41. A very enjoyable puzzle, even if I did doze off in mid-solve. Nothing to add to previous comments.
    Thanks to jackkt and other contributors.

  42. 30:45. found this a very smooth solve, nothing too hard, not too many write-ins. thanks!

  43. 36.55 A similar time to yesterday though I mostly found this to be much easier. I was stuck for about ten minutes in the NW until I got PRICELESS then PYRENEES, ION and LOI RANGERS fell immediately. Since Burning Man is a thing I had incorrectly assumed that the words needed to be separated. Very enjoyable though. Thanks Jack.

  44. 25’45”
    Went a good steady gallop but failed to quicken.

    All justified bar priceless, which took a while after stopping the clock; I think what baffled me was the fact that I drink neither gin nor malt whisky neat, but the one without ice, and the other with, are unthinkable. Also I was thinking neat was a/the definition, as in ‘that Euclidean proof is so neat it’s priceless’.
    Two classic puzzles in a row; both of which reminded me of happier days in The Copper Kettle in the 90s.
    Many thanks to setter and Jack.

  45. Hello, delighted to have discovered this blog. Was hoping someone could help explain the ICELESS = Neat. I thought it was to do with a drink being served ‘neat’ i.e without water or ice, but, looking a Jack’s explanation, I think I am missing something?
    Thank you,

    1. Sorry if I’ve confused the issue, Bill, but what I meant was that neat means as it comes out of the bottle. Iceless means without ice but then if you add water, dry ginger or any other mixer you are not taking the drink neat. So just to clarify, I think the definition in the clue is a bit dodgy.

  46. 25 minutes – very enjoyable – didn’t parse Street as dnk Stet – Tickety Boo my favourite.

  47. Did 28963 a horrible dnf. 28964 pb 23 mins. Just when I thought to give up! Thanks to setters and bloggers


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