Times Cryptic No 27876 – Saturday, 16 January 2021. Reds under the bed?

We have a famous communist in today’s grid. It reminded me of an exchange in the 1983 Australian election campaign. Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser said that if a Labor government was elected, “people would be better off keeping their money under the bed”. Opposition leader Bob Hawke’s dismissive response was: “but you can’t put your money under the bed… that’s where the commies are.”

But the puzzle … middle of the road. No obscure general knowledge but lots of fun. Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle. Let’s take a look.

Notes for newcomers: The Times offers prizes for Saturday Cryptic Crosswords. This blog is posted a week later, after the competition closes. So, please don’t comment here on the current Saturday Cryptic.

Clues are blue, with definitions underlined. Deletions are in {curly brackets}.

1 I’m obliged to prevent daughter producing old coat (6)
TABARD – TA=thanks=I’m obliged, BAR=prevent, D=daughter.
4 Immaculate Adonis ultimately boasting flat stomach? (8)
SPOTLESS – S from (Adoni)s, POTLESS=no pot=flat stomach.
10 My husband wears decorative trinkets (5,4)
FANCY THAT – H=husband ‘wearing’ FANCY=decorative + TAT=trinkets. I always like these tiny definitions!
11 Vagabond, Romeo no more (5)
ROVER – R=Romeo, in the NATO alphabet. OVER=no more.
12 From Rome once I travel on east (3)
EGO – GO ‘on’ (following) E. Its a Latin word meaning “I”, so “from Rome once”.
13 Red toner stirred in a great deal, then blue (4,7)
LEON TROTSKY – anagram (‘stirred’) of TONER in LOT=great deal, then SKY=blue. I’m not sure this clue quite works: ‘a great deal’ ought to be LOTS, or A LOT. Still, another tiny definition of a famous communist!
14 Put your foot in it, in a manner of speaking? (6)
BROGUE – double definition: a shoe, or an accent.
16 Greek character, little bit behind Olympian, originally (7)
OMICRON – O(lympian) ‘originally’, then MICRON. A micron is an old term for 10-6 metres.
19 A scream from fellow physician? (7)
COMEDIC – or a CO-MEDIC, get it?
20 Sailor: guy boarding vessel? On the contrary (6)
RATING – TIN=vessel ‘boarding’ RAG=tease=guy, as opposed to the other way round.
22 Likely to give up one’s money: about 75p? (11)
ACQUIESCENT – ACE’s=one’s; CENT=money. Put all that around the outside of QUI(d), since 75p is three quarters of a pound. It took me a while to parse that!
25 By the sound of it, awfully good food (3)
PIE – sounds like PI=awfully good.
26 “Appear”, I sense, covers it (5)
ARISE – hidden in appeAR I SEnse. An unusual form of clue, where part of the definition is used in the wordplay. I’ve marked the whole clue as definition, but without great confidence! Perhaps the definition is just “it”?
27 During computer studies, I connect first (9)
INITIALLY – IN IT=during computer studies, I ALLY=I connect.
28 Figure ending in prison: you upset about that? (8)
THOUSAND – THOU=you, then SAD=upset, about N from (priso)N.
29 Main issue: fall of Nixon, for example? (6)
SEASON – SEA=main, SON (or daughter)=issue. Fall=the American word for autumn, as an example of the answer. Nixon may be in our minds as a comparison point for the Orange One, but he’s just here as a recognisable American.

1 Top banks rotten — something to chew over? (6)
TOFFEE – TEE=shirt=top, banking (=on either side of) OFF=rotten.
2 Humanitarian group entering Turkish port, one of a couple beaten (5,4)
BONGO DRUM – N.G.O ‘enters’ BODRUM, a new place for me!
3 Third of July: a house not quite set up for August? (5)
ROYAL – L from (ju)L(y), A, (house of) YOR(k), all reversed (‘set up’).
5 Europe: its bigot surprisingly lower middle class (5,9)
PETIT BOURGEOIS – anagram (surprisingly) of EUROPE ITS BIGOT. I hemmed and hawed over how to spell the answer!
6 In case of theft, miscarriage of justice is criminal (9)
TERRORIST – ERROR IS, in T…T from T(hef)T.
7 The King has supporter of members guillotined (5)
ELVIS – PELVIS decapitated.
8 Inside pipe, vessel getting lost (8)
STRAYING – TRAY in SING. I raised an eyebrow at the idea that a tray is a vessel, but if you chase through the dictionary you might get from one to the other since a tray is … used for holding or carrying articles …, and a vessel is a utensil for holding something.
9 Ring stuck in pocket, mitigate possible cause of embarrassment? (7,7)
WHOOPEE CUSHION – HOOP in WEE=small=pocket, CUSHION=mitigate.
15 Very good quality rendition of song: lied has succeeded (9)
GODLINESS – anagram (rendition) of SONG LIED + S=succeeded.
17 Sound cricket shots for openers (4-5)
RING-PULLS – RING=sound, PULLS=cricket shots.
18 At once broke having invested gold — one going under (8)
OCEANAUT – anagram (broke) of AT ONCE with AU=gold ‘invested’.
21 American briefly supporting little boy, African (6)
KENYAN – KEN is the boy, YAN(k) is the American.
23 Capital left with population of ghost town? (5)
QUITO – QUIT=left, O=the number of people in this ghost town.
24 Double page at last in binder (5)
TWINE – TWIN=double, E from (pag)E.

29 comments on “Times Cryptic No 27876 – Saturday, 16 January 2021. Reds under the bed?”

  1. ….LEON TROTSKY ? He got an icepick that made his ears burn” (The Stranglers : “No More Heroes”)

    I wasn’t sure, in retrospect, why this was my slowest correct solve in some months – especially since the “vessel” that Bruce refers to in 8D was my only real query, and the reason I eventually biffed it. I actually needed three sittings to complete the puzzle.

    TIME 29:42

    1. Have seen No More Heroes done live – just awesome!

      I wonder if any of the other Heroes from the song have ever appeared in the crossword?

  2. Another who liked it, but found it tricky… a wavelength thing, no queries at all. Whoopee cushion/acquiescent/Quito/oceanaut/thousand all resisted stoically, but LOI season took a few moments at the end to parse.
  3. Struggled for over an hour with this, but enjoyed it immensely. Possibly wouldn’t have if I hadn’t finished. Saw that 15d was an anagram of ‘song lied & S’ and got GOLDINESS for good quality, and took far too long to see the correct arrangement. I also found I couldn’t spell the lower middle class. Liked QUITO.
  4. I simply gave up as 9dn WHOOPEE-CUSHION didn’t work for me. (is this not a semi-&Lit) with ‘Ring’ up front. I will be off to the brand new IKEA in Shanghai next week, to check ’em out. It’s right by the Jin Ang Temple!

    At 23dn Porto isn’t QUITO is it!

    Thus, I completely lost interest in the rest of the puzzle.


    Edited at 2021-01-23 02:55 am (UTC)

  5. Typed WHOOPEY for some reason. DNK OCEANAUT (thought they were aquanauts), BODRUM of course. This was a tough one.
  6. as pointed out yesterday in the QC this is not a 37:49 – but a DNF. I’m with you on aquanauts!
    1. I’ve always thought ‘DNF’ was odd when one in fact filled all the squares. I mean, I finished, just finished badly. But wotthehell.
  7. My time was off the scale, but at least I completed the grid without resort to aids.

    I think my only unknown was BODRUM, but BONGO DRUM was pretty much a write-in once a couple of checkers were in place.

    I was also doubtful about TRAY as a vessel and ‘sing’ from PIPE was on the edge. That was another answer that went in from definition quite easily, and in fact I’m having a problem now remembering which clues eluded me for so long.

    Edited at 2021-01-23 06:28 am (UTC)

    1. Chambers has (v.i.) To speak or sing, esp in a high voice

      Edited at 2021-01-23 06:56 am (UTC)

      1. Thanks. I suspected ‘sing’ would be lurking somewhere. I’m familiar with ‘piping up’ especially in a discussion situation where somebody suddenly speaks after a long silence but I don’t recall hearing ‘pipe’ used literally to mean ‘sing’. One lives and learns!
  8. …I used aids for TOFFEE and LEON TROTSKY.
    I thought it was a good but stiff test.
    FANCY THAT was my COD.
  9. All correct but I don’t remember that much a week later. I don’t consider “micron” to be “an old term” since we use it all the time in the semiconductor industry. Although we are down at nanometers mostly these days.
    1. It is because it is not an SI unit.. Collins says: “a unit of length equal to 10–6 metre. It is being replaced by the micrometre” .. adding four letters, and thus a retrograde step imo
      1. At the risk of appearing bolshie, as an engineer I much prefer any measurement that is an SI unit preceded by nano/micro/milli/kilo/mega/giga than any measurement that isn’t e.g. cubits, miles, inches, decilitres, microns, angstroms, thous, fahrenheit, centigrade and all the rest. The French got it right, in this instance.
  10. 49 minutes. I’ve never heard of the one going under at 18d and is a TRAY really a vessel? Then, understanding why Tricky Dicky was name-checked in SEASON occupied me for too long. I’d only be embarrassed if people thought I’d ever actually bought a WHOOPEE CUSHION. COD to BONGO DRUM although it would have been FANCY THAT but for the fact that Mrs BW and I honeymooned in BODRUM, a beautiful place. Thank you B and setter.
  11. I also found this one tough. I wondered about tray as vessel with raised eyebrows too. Still it was satisfying to get to the end, and even more satisfying to check the solution this morning and find I was all correct. I had difficulty with spelling the Hoi Polloi, but got there eventually with the help of the rest of the clues. The underwater adventurer seemed vaguely familiar. Bodrum was unknown and assumed from wordplay. A laggardly 51:37. Thanks setter and Bruce.
  12. I agree with John Dun above-tough and satisfying to get to the finish. My first couple of sessions totalling 50 minutes saw 20 clues solved. FOI PETIT BOURGEOIS gave a lot to work with.
    LOI just before 3pm was the hard-to-parse ACQUIESCENT. It’s amazing how the 3pm kick-off deadline forces in the last few.
    Share feelings about TRAY. COD to FANCY THAT as I didn’t go to Bodrum for my honeymoon.
  13. 22:15. I was puzzled by the reference to Tricky Dicky, taking a while to convince myself he was just a random American. DNK the one going under, but it had to be. Lots of lovely clues. I liked RING PULLS, QUITO, COMEDIC and RATING in particular. Thanks Bruce and setter.

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