Times Cryptic No 28068 – Saturday, 28 August 2021. Make no mistake!

There were some very clever definitions here; 13ac was my favourite! Is the definition in 18ac really doing double duty as part of the wordplay? If so, we should declare an amnesty since the clue is so nicely crafted!

Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle. How did you all get on?

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.

[Read more …]Clues are blue, with definitions underlined. Deletions and commentary are in (brackets).

1 Some blood not English: a simple mistake? (4)
TYPO – TYP(e) O is the blood group.
3 Sanction naughty boy, lip given a brief curl (10)
IMPRIMATUR – IMP + RIM + A + TUR(n). Always confusing that ‘sanction’ has two opposite meanings: to allow, or to bar.
9 Heading away from capital on motorway, they get the shakes (7)
11 Nothing current in old transmission (7)
PODCAST – O + DC=direct current, in PAST.
12 Marx discussing royalty, the main killer (9)
13 Former scorer missing a run (5)
MAKER – MA(r)KER = scorer (of metal, not of music). Former (n) = one who forms!
14 A tiny piece and others covering naked back said to bring luck (5,7)
WHITE RABBITS – WHIT + BITS covering BARE, back. Apparently to bring luck one is to say white rabbits first thing in the morning on the first of the month.
18 Gander trembled, facing his killer? (8,4)
21 Complete eccentric forgetting name (5)
22 Spending more francs in account (9)
24 One in bed having some lover be naked (7)
VERBENA – hidden answer.
25 Getting on with broadcast about a sort of dancing (3-4)
OLD-TIME – OLD=getting on, EMIT about.
26 They explain poor sex: it’s shattering (10)
EXPOSITORS – anagram (shattering) POOR SEX ITS.
27 Trim nails back (4)
SNIP – PINS back.

1 Male, warlike type, holding a chopper (8)
TOMAHAWK – TOM=male (cat) + A + HAWK=warlike type.
2 Painter has left it around? (8)
PORTRAIT – PORT=left + IT, around RA.
4 People eating very tiny thing (5)
MESON – MEN eating SO.
5 One selling farmland that can be brought back into use (9)
REPARABLE – REP=salesperson, ARABLE.
6 For a change, dad’s at a museum: whose? (6,7)
MADAME TUSSAUD – anagram (for a change) of DADS AT A MUSEUM.
7 Appreciated it’s hot inside military vehicles (6)
THANKS – H=hot (tap), inside TANKS.
8 Doing a turn in club (6)
ROTARY – double definition.
10 Hand-to-hand fighting at these crowded lodgings (5,8)
CLOSE QUARTERS – double definition, the second more a cryptic hint.
15 Agreeing article can fit at the back, held together with string (9)
ACCORDANT – A=article + CAN +(fi)T, holding CORD. I wasn’t quite sure the wordplay exactly described how to assemble the letters.
16 Will exercise, moving to violin (8)
VOLITION – anagram (moving) TO VIOLIN. Is exercise part of the definition, or just a filler?
17 Superficial need to be thrown into large bin (4-4)
SKIN-DEEP – anagram (thrown) of NEED, in SKIP.
19 Left rival to support kind of light actor? (6)
LUVVIE – L=left + VIE to support UV.
20 Get excited, foothold centrally defective (4,2)
23 A number eating large meal (5)

16 comments on “Times Cryptic No 28068 – Saturday, 28 August 2021. Make no mistake!”

  1. I knew a rabbit’s foot supposedly brings luck, didn’t know a whole WHITE RABBIT did. (But as Lambert, Hendricks, & Ross say, “…a rabbit’s foot will bring luck; but they’re much more lucky, luckier natch when the rabbit’s attached”.) I actually biffed MAKER, only parsing post-submission; I took ‘missing a run’ to mean that A R were to be deleted, and of course could think of no word to delete them from. I wondered about ‘exercise’ in 16d, and still do; will=volition, an exercise of will is an act of volition. Liked BUTCHER’S HOOK.

    Edited at 2021-09-04 01:41 am (UTC)

    1. Apparently to bring luck one is to say “white rabbits” first thing in the morning on the first of the month.
      1. Yes, it was a common saying at one time, along with ‘a pinch and a punch for the first of the month’ which was responsible for a lot of what would now be termed physical abuse in school playgrounds.
  2. Very nice puzzle. Also didn’t know about white rabbits, both that and butcher’s hook needed most of the checkers. But both well-crafted clues. Earworm of the day: Grace Slick & Jefferson Airplane. No troubles with volition, not really knowing its precise meaning – I would have agreed with Kevin but wasn’t certain. Chambers says: “2. The exercise of the will, or the result of this” so I think the clue is OK.
    PODCAST and ROTARY last two in, taking forever to see the definitions, and trying to squeeze I or AC into podcast.
  3. 29 minutes. LOI was OLD-TIME. I thought it was a good one, definitely worth an IMPRIMATUR. COD to HARPOONER but there was much to enjoy. MAKER was also excellent. I wouldn’t have said WHITE RABBITS as a child, but an early girlfriend did. I’ve just spent ten minutes trying to remember which one. I think this demonstrates why my times are getting slower. Thank you Bruce and setter.
  4. FOI 6d – which tells of a fruitless read through the acrosses. But MADAME TUSSAUD provided the key to the door and progress was steady thereafter until the LOI: 22ac’s REFLATION. Some tricksiness in getting there, mind. NHO MESON, don’t really understand MAKER, nor LUVVIE. But completed – with guesses – in 45 mins. Thanks, setter and blogger.
  5. ….IMPRIMATUR, but I’d already lost the will to live by that stage. Most of my difficulties were self-inflicted in fairness (terribly tardy start, and I was woefully slow to spot REPARABLE and MADAME TUSSAUD) but NHO ACCORDANT. I’m not sure why I took so long to parse PORTRAIT, but I didn’t enter it until I had. This took me well over my target, and I thought it was a bit of a pig.

    FOI UTTER (my 9th clue)
    LOI MAKER (convinced I needed a composer)
    TIME 27:28

  6. Yes, an excellent puzzle and very enjoyable. If there is double-duty going on in 18ac it doesn’t bother me as it’s a quality clue, probably the best of a very good bunch.
  7. I quite enjoyed this puzzle, but I’ve forgotten most of the details of the solve now. I wanted to put an I in REPARABLE. I think I finished with ACCORDANT. 26:18. Thanks setter and Bruce.
  8. 19:12. Tricky one, but very enjoyable.
    I wouldn’t call the device in 18ac double duty because BUTCHER is indicated completely separately by ‘his killer’. This only makes sense by reference to the rest of the clue but this is just like a semi-&Lit where the definition is technically just something like ‘this’.
  9. Vaguely I knew about the white rabbits thing, but being 70 and never said it yet, and still considering myself lucky, I will give it no houseroom.

    But the Jefferson Airplane song, White Rabbit, is a feature of my youth and a truly wonderful song. Don’t click on the link above, instead find the recorded version here. .. have a nice drink, or even something stronger if you are that way inclined, and then put it on your very best hifi setup, at maximum volume. And I mean maximum .. 🙂

  10. I had to make a guess at MAKER but had no trouble with the WHITE RABBITS. It was a monthly utterance in our house when I was a child. 40 minutes. Ann
  11. ROTARY and MAKER were my last two in and needed a good 5 minutes. Just couldnt nail the wordplay or definition even with R_T___. I had MAKER but took a while to understand its relation to the literal.

    Was in danger of slowing to a stop at times but just about kept a trickle of answers coming

    Liked TYPO and many others

    Not sure I knew what IMPRIMATUR meant — do now

    Thanks Bruce and setter

  12. Not that easy. 5 dn Occitan, never heard of it, worked it out by logical arrangement of letters in ‘action c’. Liked 7 dn Fin as part of bass being a fish as opposed to a musical tone. 24 dn Emu a bit mean, because it was derived from a ‘cryptic clue within a cryptic clue’ i.e you had to guess which primate (lemur) as well as which bird (have noticed that the current compositor goes in for this sort of stuff)

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