Times Cryptic No 28104 – Saturday, 9 October 2021. Is the sun over the yardarm?

More mention of underwear than typical, I thought. Never mind, if we break out the rum, I’m sure the thought will go away! I liked the artful construction of 1ac, and the devious definition of 19dn. 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 Witch one harpy riled on journey back in idealised life (11)
HAGIOGRAPHY – HAG + 1 + GO backwards + anagram (riled) of HARPY.
7 Parody secret language where English eschewed (3)
COD – COD-e is the secret language.
9 Primitive, the French blokes, and others round about (9)
10 West Indian music good to appear in newspaper article (5)
RAGGA – RAG + G + A.
11 Old Indian copper lacking restraint pulled over tree (7)
ANNATTO – ANNA + OTT backwards. An anna was 1/16 of a rupee.
12 Undersized person consuming port to grow hugely (3,4)
13 Roman brother killed flightless birds chasing rook (5)
REMUS – EMUS after R.
15 Missionary imposing penalty for beheading (9)
17 Smart one from Stirling tracks fraud (9)
CHICANERY – CHIC + ANE=Scottish word for ‘one’ + RY=crosswordland abbreviation for ‘railway’ a.k.a. ‘tracks’.
19 Hotel recalled periodically in or near Asian city (5)
HANOI – H=hotel + I-n O-r N-e-A-r, backwards (recalled).
20 Grace for one seen in action as discussed (7)
DEBATED – W. G. Grace was a batsman, so BAT in DEED.
22 Pound to fill a poem with it (1,2,4)
24 One used to think of black cats and dogs (5)
BRAIN – B for black + RAIN.
25 Gift of money returned we hear? That’s a surprise! (9)
BAKSHEESH – BAK sounds like BACK + SHEESH = expression of surprise.
27 Cut in contributions to the Treasury uncovered (3)
AXE – t-AXE-s.
28 Star out last is dispersed in thick cloud (11)
ALTOSTRATUS – anagram (dispersed) of STAR OUT LAST.

1 Shade that’s raised in Beaulieu House (3)
HUE – backwards, hidden.
2 Pick up from a penetrating depression (5)
3 Place in old French art for murderer in mythology (7)
ORESTES – REST in O + ES. Tu es in French would be thou art in English.
4 Underlying reason to limit beer supply? (9)
5 City between two rivers frozen (5)
POLAR – L.A. between PO, the Italian river, and R, the generic river.
6 This we can say about your underwear? (1-6)
Y-FRONTS – we can certainly say the letter Y is at the FRONT of your, but it took me a while to see it.
7 Thinking nothing having drunk gin and tonic outside (9)
COGNITION – O=nothing, with an anagram (drunk) of GIN + TONIC outside.
8 Disturbing end with Lear getting to rule? (4,3,4)
DRAW THE LINE – anagram (disturbing) END WITH LEAR.
11 Scoundrel in Canberra regularly repeated mumbo-jumbo (11)
ABRACADABRA – c-A-n-B-e-R-r-A regularly gives ABRA. CAD is in ABRA + ABRA.
14 Not topless in club, finding rope that controls movement (9)
MAINBRACE – IN BRA is not topless. Put that in MACE.
16 Ridicule pirates going about with conspirator (3,6)
GUY FAWKES – GUY=ridicule + FAKES=pirates around W.
18 Social worker meets upwardly mobile girl — dish? (7)
ANTENNA – ANT=worker, ANNE upwards.
19 Moorish plant in Jableh finally loading pistol? (7)
HEATHER – jable-H in HEATER=pistol. Devious definition.
21 Socialite with appeal making entry on left side (5)
DEBIT – DEB=socialite, IT=(sex) appeal.
23 Public upset when vase goes missing (5)
26 Husband given arsenic suffers (3)
HAS – H=husband, As=arsenic.

36 comments on “Times Cryptic No 28104 – Saturday, 9 October 2021. Is the sun over the yardarm?”

  1. I liked 24a when I saw how it worked. LOI was a tree I’d never heard of: would it be ANNATUO or ANNATTO, having OUT or OTT as reversed ‘without restraint’? Went with the correct one for no better reason than without & out sounded a bit repetitive.
    The definition in 3d ‘murderer in mythology’ doesn’t narrow the field much. Didn’t every character in Greek mythology murder someone? With the O start and S end I biffed Oedipus at first until ELEMENTAL appeared.
    Thanks for the parsing of OVERT, Brnchn. 31:25

    Edited at 2021-10-16 01:36 am (UTC)

    1. “ Didn’t every character in Greek mythology murder someone?”
      True dat! And/or were murdered.

      Edited at 2021-10-16 04:33 am (UTC)

  2. Didn’t know the Indian copper, but that didn’t prove a show-stopper.
    I’m sure I first heard of Guy Fawkes from a song on John Lennon’s first solo album that he ended with “Remember the Fifth of November!”

    Edited at 2021-10-16 02:20 am (UTC)

    1. The anna (made from pies!) was on all the Indian stamps we feverishly collected as kids!

      Guy Fawkes night, November Fifth, was our equivalent of Haloween which was largely celebrated in Scotland – we never did. Bonfires, Guys, parkin and fireworks – jumping-jacks; Catherine Wheels; sky-rockets and bangers! Such dangerous fun, in the days before public displays and the Reverend Lancaster of Kimbolton.

  3. That’s my official time, anyway, but it includes time taken clearing cache because the cursor stuck, so that I was typing ensuing letters in the same square, so probably just under 20′. It happened before, and Customer Service recommended clearing cache as I recall, and it worked. But it isn’t working with today’s puzzle, which I finally printed out and solved by hand.
    Anyway, DNK ANNATTO, biffed AUGUSTINE and forgot to parse it. I thought MAINBRACE was two words. COD to OVERT.
  4. – the lost artisan skills shall return, when the cursers of the world freeze for ever! The MAINBRACE is there to be spliced!

    11ac ANNATTO trees are to be found all around Annotto Bay, Jamiaca

    FOI 1dn HUE

    LOI 22ac A LA MODEM


    19ac HANOI one of my favourite cities – the food, people and history

    My Time – hardly important on the week-end

  5. 34 minutes with ANNATTO the only unknown, or possibly just forgotten. But the wordplay was helpful as I knew ANNA as a unit of Indian currency learned from collecting stamps as a child.
    1. Yes, i remember from then rupee=16 annas, anna= 4 pice : the only other currency which wasn’t decimal.
  6. Like Corymbia I started out with Oedipus in 3d but then changed it of course.
    Thanks, Bruce for Y FRONTS and OVERT.
    Reggae, yes, but NHO RAGGA nor of ANNATTO.
    FOI: HUE (not the city in Vietnam)
    COD: MAINBRACE. I did like “not topless” = IN BRA.
  7. …of Canterbury and not Hippo though, so not an angel but an Anglican. 25 minutes with the unknown tree LOI. I spent a lot of time on the cloud too, looking at the ice cream castle from up and down before seeing it, even if it was only an illusion. COD to Y FRONTS. Good puzzle. Thank you B and setter.
  8. Was this a tough one? It felt so. Took several goes over four days to finally get the pieces to fit. I just couldn’t get into the setter’s way of thinking, and still have several answers that are pure biffs, Y-FRONTS for one. FOI 1d HUE. Managed a further ten before grinding to a halt. Another session saw me stumble on for further three or four. Finally, after several more short but torturous bursts, LOI the NHO ANNATTO at 11ac. I confess to a time that’s too embarrassing to even estimate, and the use of aids to get me over the finish line.
  9. I found this a real struggle but that’s why I do them. Finally gave up at ANNATTO and ORESTES – I didn’t get within a mile of French art being ES – which is brilliant and I hope I’ll remember the device. Onwards and upwards!
  10. Keriothe – Baksheesh is traditionally a small gift of money to children or a tip (to a waiter or servant). The bribery bit appears from when the British Eighth Army and the Carry-On Films hijacked the word. I’m afraid you have it the wrong way round and not the setter. ANNATTO was to be my COD! What to do!?

    Annatto is an orange-red food coloring or condiment made from the seeds of the achiote tree (Bixa orellana), in tropical regions in South and Central America. Hardly obscure as it is responsible for 70% of the world’s natural red food dye – Mexican turmeric/ saffron/ paprika.

    Hagiography and Chicanery are a particularly useful words.

    Edited at 2021-10-16 09:29 am (UTC)

    1. I’m not sure how I have it the wrong way round when what I said is entirely consistent with what you said!
      1. Lord K. You stated baksheesh was clearly a bribe: the setter and Mr Pedwardine noted it was a gift. In my book it is a gratuity given for service, post-event: whereas a bribe arrives pre-event. The two are hardly consistent. Meldrew

        Edited at 2021-10-16 04:29 pm (UTC)

        1. No I didn’t! I said that’s how I have heard it used, which is true. I didn’t and don’t question the original meaning.
          1. You originally wrote- ‘I’ve heard or used it’ and not simply ‘heard it used’. True? This implies that you had indeed questioned the original!

            Edited at 2021-10-16 06:46 pm (UTC)

            1. No it doesn’t. That’s just the meaning the word has always had for me. It’s the way I’ve heard it, and also the way I would used it, although it’s not a word I use habitually.
              1. Chicanery is after all a useful word! What contortions to avoid an apology! Pretzel words!
                1. What utter nonsense. If you think I was questioning the original meaning of the word what do you think I meant by ‘euphemism’?

                  Edited at 2021-10-17 08:39 am (UTC)

  11. I got all this correct apart from ANNATTO.
    I have to agree with keriothe, it is a terrible clue.
    My parsing was OI at the end reversed (pulled over) with a word for copper also reversed (policeman) lacking first and last letters -lacking restraint; hence a very doubtful AGNATIO.
    The rest of it was fun and I was delighted to get BAKSHEESH early.
  12. ….ANNATTO from the wordplay, despite thinking it was a liqueur rather than a tree. Maybe I was thinking of Amaretto. Whatever else I was thinking of, my brain seemed to be only about 75% efficient, and I took ages to remember the Mickey Spillane slang use of heater, while HANOI took far longer to work out than it should have done.

    TIME 15:31

    1. my old man’s favourite tipple – AMARETTO di Saronno – I believe the liqueur Ancho Reyes from Chile, is derived from Annatto – I’m not sure if it’s kept behind Northern optics – between the Green Chartreuse and the Noilly Prat Extra Dry? – cheers!

      Will be watching the Leicester – United clash sarternoon – go you Reds!

      Edited at 2021-10-16 11:15 am (UTC)

  13. 14:35. ANNATTO is a terrible clue IMO (a double obscurity and ‘lacking restraint’ is arguably ambiguous) but the tree rang a vague bell so I managed to solve it.
    BAKSHEESH has always meant bribery when I’ve heard or used it. Perhaps it’s just become commonly used as a euphemism.
    1. Glad you thought the same about the tree. I blame my parents for failing to introduce me to stamp-collecting 🙂
  14. Nice one. Loved the underwear. And no speed-solving for me on a Saturday, or ever, as a matter of fact, so not bugged by ANNA/ TTO, even though there are more than one trees on the planet. Just for the moment anyway.

    Thanks brnchn, and setter for a fun solve.

  15. No real, problems with this, conquered in just under 17 minutes.
    ANNATTO I knew as a dye, and figured it had o come from something that might as well be a tree. Plus I thought the clue was fair enough, assuming you knew the anna bit, that and the pie being the only old Indian coins I can instantly recall.
    I liked the inventive Y-FRONTS, and the not topless device: at least the setter thought of something else to clue the two bras in the adjacent clue.
  16. Count me in the non-philatelic camp who’s never heard of the obscure anna, and doesn’t know common plants, let alone obscure ones. So there was one clue I was never going to solve, even with outrageous guessing. Otherwise a pretty good puzzle. Which all star6ed so well – quite liked FOI hagiography.
    1. That’s one definition of the word in British English, according to Collins. More generally, it means a trick, a hoax, and in Irish slang, a fraud, a hoaxer. “To cod” is also to tease. I can’t help you with the etymology, though.
        1. Chambers, Collins and the Shorter Oxford are all available as apps.

          I use Chambers most because its search function is better.

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