Times Cryptic No 28116 – Saturday, 23 October 2021. Who’s who?

There were people here who were clear enough from the wordplay, but I looked them up aftrwards out of curiosity. Overall, a pleasant solve. I liked 12ac.

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). Add your introduction here

1 Ban on singing in theatre momentarily retracted (6)
OMERTA – backwards hidden answer. Clever definition – the Mafia have this code as a ban on “singing”!
4 Consider cut in part of book (4,4)
10 He may be on the end of a cross termagant’s raving (6,3)
TARGET MAN – anagram (raving) of TERMAGANT.
11 Maxim or Henry quitting information superhighway (5)
TENET – take ‘h’ out of THE NET.
12 What many commuters do to secure good ready money (7,7)
WORKING CAPITAL – many commuters WORK IN (the) CAPITAL=London. Insert G for good.
14 Chemist Boots’ opening during festival (5)
NOBEL – B(oots) in NOEL. Alfred Nobel, famous for the prizes.
16 Italian red meat course nearly cooked (9)
LAMBRUSCO – LAMB, anagram (cooked) of COURS(e). “Red meat” sucked me in for a while, but eventually I saw that the answer is a red wine!
18 Poor side in Peru wanting new playmaker (9)
EURIPIDES – anagram (poor) of SIDE I(N) PERU.
20 Like a party hat or fleece coat from Isaac (5)
CONIC – CON, I(saa)C.
21 Royal house engaged in retail in scenic area (9,5)
YORKSHIRE DALES – house of YORK, then HIRED inside SALES.
25 One who philosophised on what comes from the east (5)
HEGEL – LEG = on, at cricket. EH=what? All ‘from the east’. First cricket clue.
26 Opera pioneer — he abandons affected theatricals (9)
SCARLATTI – anagram (affected) of T(he)ATRICALS.
27 Conquered hiding place where Daniel is taken (8)
BESOTTED – BESTED, hiding OT. The answer was much more obvious than the wordplay! The story of Daniel was in the Old Testament, but the clue has nothing to do with lions’ dens.
28 Wrap-around garment‘s grand and not equally twisted (6)
SARONG – G=grand, NOR and not, AS=equally; all ‘twisted’.

1 Expose one swapping partners in kind of ball (10)
OUTSWINGER – OUT=expose, SWINGER=partner swapper. Second cricket clue.
2 Fears removing outer layer will reveal slip (5)
3 Perhaps patients without pressure, which prevents any issue (3,4)
THE PILL – THE ILL might be patients. Insert P for pressure.
5 Event for women with 50 per cent reduction on a beauty product (5)
HENNA – take the first half of HEN N-ight, add A.
6 Current rabbit cages providing more amusement (7)
WITTIER – put I for (electrical) current in WITTER.
7 Lapse from this person in grasping maths ratio (6,3)
VENIAL SIN – I am the person. Put me in VENAL, add SIN-e ratio.
8 Speaker’s set down mnemonic method (4)
ROTE – how did they set it down? They wrote! My first thought was write sounds like rite, but that doesn’t work.
9 In South Dakota, person devoid of charms ran (8)
SMUGGLED – a MUGGLE, in Harry Potter, is a non-magician. Insert them in S.D.
13 Striking hard criminal using harsh language (10)
15 Polish up drafts for either of two US novelists (9)
BURROUGHS – RUB “up”, ROUGHS. As in rough drafts of any novel by William S. or Edgar Rice Burroughs.
17 One getting wind about bad hearing (8)
MISTRIAL – the MISTRAL is a strong, cold, northwesterly wind that blows from southern France into the Mediterranean. Insert I.
19 Small cake or a little fish? (7)
PIKELET – ho ho. Not a fish.
20 Cover up in fancy lace — it’s seen in façade (7)
CEDILLA – LID “up” in an anagam (fancy) of LACE. It’s the tail under the C in façade, but you probably knew that.
22 Taking things quickly, takes repast briefly (5)
23 Sozzled after leaving bachelor’s house (5)
24 I see Jack is one with Jezebel for a partner (4)
AHAB – AH, I see: AB is the sailor.

52 comments on “Times Cryptic No 28116 – Saturday, 23 October 2021. Who’s who?”

  1. This took me an hour; FOI was 2d, which suggests the difficulty I was having. I did biff YORKSHIRE DALES from the D_L, but otherwise it was a slog. DNK OUTSWINGER or PIKELET. At 5d I put in HENNA, but couldn’t parse it since I could only think of HEN PARTY (I looked it up afterwards). When I finally twigged to ‘Italian red’, I tried to make an anagram of MEAT COURS. I liked HEGEL, WITTIER (LOI), but COD to OMERTA.
    1. Join you with ERROR as my FOI, Kevin. For once I was near you in completion time as well: 66m 46s
  2. My time working in Central London – 25 years. Also worked in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Bangkok, Singapore, Sydney and Kingston – another 25 years. My time working on two sessions of 25 minutes! – much enjoyed ’em all!

    FOI 1dn OUTSWINGER – from Lords

    LOI 1ac OMERTA – not usually sung by ‘The Sopranos’

    COD 23ac BLOTTO – hello!

    WOD 19dn PIKELET ‘poor man’s crumpet’

    16ac LAMBRUSCO (yer frizante rosso) is fine if drunk ‘a locale’ but it does not travel! 21ac YORKSHIRE DALES was a write-in – Dalesfolk do not travel far either.

    Edited at 2021-10-30 04:36 am (UTC)

  3. The Harry Potter allusion was lost on me; I just assumed that MUGGLE was a variant of ‘mug’. (Looking it up just now, it would appear that that’s where Rowling got it.)
  4. Another crossword for the cricket-loving wino classics scholars. Slow going until about the twenty-minute mark when LAMBRUSCO fell, releasing the remainder steadily. With the T crosser I biffed RIGOLETTO as the opera, but had fun trying to parse it. CEDILLA forced a rethink to the more tractable SCARLATTI. Thanks Brnchn for the VENIAL parsing ( I got the SIN bit)
  5. 47 minutes with the last 5 spent on the LOI BESOTTED.

    My unknowns were TARGET MAN and MUGGLE, but then my only experience of Harry Potter was watching the first film to see what all he fuss was about and deciding it wasn’t for me.

    Are party hats CONIC? Some may be, but not the majority, surely?

    There was a whole tribe of Scarlattis, Alessandro being the opera man. His son Domenico is associated with the development of keyboard music, which is more to my taste.

    Edited at 2021-10-30 05:02 am (UTC)

  6. I found this hard, especially the NE corner, but with some very enjoyable clues. My query is with 8d: Is ROTE really a mnemonic method? I associate rote learning with learning by heart and not by using, say, a pattern of letters.
    I had other queries but you have explained VENIAL SIN, HENNA, BESOTTED, HEGEL, SARONG very well, Bruce, so thank you.
    COD: BESOTTED with podium places to WORKING CAPITAL and CEDILLA.
  7. …deceiving me, grieving me, leaving me blue. No, I really enjoyed this but was 45 minutes, with LOI HENNA. Joint CODs to TARGET MAN (Wanderers have got one who’s sensibly already anticipating the total ban on heading) and HEGEL, who emerged from the application of a dialectical argument with myself. SARONG was clever too. Thank you B and setter.
  8. Had NATTIER which significantly held up CHEW OVER. That then confirmed VENIAL though the parsing continued to elude me as I was still fixed on grasping being the containment indicator

    The definition for BESOTTED emerged from the depths as my POI but it was MISTRIAL which totally bambooozled me. When I conceded defeat and used a wordfinder I ignored MISTRIAL on the basis it was a word I didn’t recognise. Still puzzled I read the blog and only then was there a very loud thump as the small denomination coin landed. Whoops!

    Nice puzzle. Liked both 1s and LAMBRUSCO

    Thanks Bruce and Setter

  9. A return to the super-tricky after last week’s respite, as far as I’m concerned. This one required both more advanced cryptic skills than mine and a breadth of GK that sent me to the reference books. Suffice to say, aids were used to enable completion in around 90 minutes. FOI 2d ERROR, LOI 11ac TENET – and I just figured out the wordplay! Hah! Unlike SARONG. Huh? Thanks to bloggers for the continuing lessons…
  10. 18:11. I thought this was a good one if I remember rightly.
    WORKING CAPITAL is not ‘ready money’, but this error has been made in the past so I was ready for it.
    I didn’t know SCARLATTI wrote operas but it turns out he didn’t, his dad did (thanks jackkt). I’m another fan of the son’s keyboard stuff.
    1. Working Capital is ‘ready money’ to the man in Crossword Street and obviously not Wall Street.
      Re-target man – I’m a fan of Rossi, Betegga, Altobelli, Schillaci, Meazza and Piola – ‘il convertitore di croci’.
      1. There is no such thing as an ‘everyday usage’ for WORKING CAPITAL. It’s a purely financial/accounting term.
        1. Collins: “Working capital is money available for use immediately, rather than money invested…”
          Which seems ready enough to me.
          1. That is 1) wrong and 2) (I’m glad to say) not Collins. COBUILD is odd at times and that is a very confused definition. ‘Money which is invested in land and equipment’ is… not really money.

            Edited at 2021-10-30 12:05 pm (UTC)

            1. COBUILD – for the man in the street, is an acronym for Collins Birmingham University International Language Database and like K ‘is odd at times’, and enjoys confusion. Nice one Jerry! But watch this space!
            2. COBUILD is a dictionary for learners of English as a foreign language; its definitions are, appropriately enough, in a simplified English, although one hopes they’re not actually incorrect.
              1. Considering the nuances of ‘Working Capital’-‘Net Working Capital’ and ‘Operating Capital’, I wonder how Lord Keriothe might improve on what seems to most – the setter/editor Collins-Jerry-Kevin-Pedwardine et al – a seemingly reasonable clue? :-

                What many commuters do to secure good ready money (7,7)

                My father was a banker and they often get it wrong!

              2. Indeed. OK perhaps ‘wrong’ is a bit harsh but in this case the simplification is confusing, because it uses ‘money’ in a very broad sense to mean assets or wealth generally, rather as you might say ‘my money is invested in my house’. The definition here (‘money which is available for use immediately, rather than money which is invested in land or equipment’) can’t be referring to ready cash, because if it’s invested in land it clearly isn’t that. But on the face of it ‘money which is available for use immediately’ does look like a reference to cash.
                Cash is usually (but not always) one component of WORKING CAPITAL but it’s no good as a definition.

                Edited at 2021-10-30 01:02 pm (UTC)

            3. Sorry K, but do I find that very patronising.

              This from Collins Online, and not from cobuild:

              working capital in Finance
              (wɜrkɪŋ kæpɪtəl)
              (Finance: Corporate)
              Working capital is money available for use immediately, rather than money invested in land or equipment.

              or from the “British English part:

              “that part of the capital of a business enterprise available for operations”

              Or perhaps you prefer Chambers Dictionary:

              “Short-lived assets and liabilities … which arise from day-to-day operations”

              Or the OED:

              ” working capital n. the part of the capital of a business, organization, etc., that is available for use, (now) esp. for day-to-day trading operations;”

              [.. on edit. The various responses above seem to have arrived after my response, including Keriothe’s. I will let the above stand, because it is what I thought, but will hope to remain friends…]

              Edited at 2021-10-30 01:23 pm (UTC)

              1. The first definition is from COBUILD, which is always the first definition you see on the Collins website (and I see now is repeated further down: ‘COBUILD Key Words for Finance’). The Collins Dictionary definition is further down, and like the other definitions you cite it refers to short-term assets and liabilities. These might include cash but WORKING CAPITAL absolutely does not mean just cash. To the extent the COBUILD definition suggests that it does, it is wrong, or at best misleading.

                Edited at 2021-10-30 01:30 pm (UTC)

                1. So what is “the part of the capital of a business, organization, etc., that is available for use, (now)” (OED) except cash??

                  No need to reply, I have had more than enough of this

                  1. Short-term debtors and creditors and inventory.
                    I’m a qualified chartered accountant and have worked in finance for over 25 years. It’s surreal to have people telling me that WORKING CAPITAL is just cash. It isn’t.

                    Edited at 2021-10-30 01:35 pm (UTC)

                    1. It didn’t say cash.It said “ready money.” “funds for immediate use” (Collins, British English not Cobuild

                      Absolutely my last word.

                      But not yours, I am thinking

                      Edited at 2021-10-30 01:43 pm (UTC)

                      1. If the question is whether ‘ready money’ means ‘cash’ then I will happily agree to disagree and leave it at that.

                        Edited at 2021-10-30 03:09 pm (UTC)

                        1. “Y’know, readies; lolly; greens; wads; cabbage; Mazumah; or if you wants the proper legal terminology me’Lud – Sponduliks’
                          – ‘Flash’ Harry (George Cole) ‘The Great St. Trinian’s Train Robbery’ 1966.
                        2. ‘Working capital’ notably absent from that otherwise quite comprehensive list… 😉
                        3. But still, after all that, the answer to clue, m’Lud!?

                          Edited at 2021-10-30 11:07 pm (UTC)

                    2. And what is the situation if there are no assets (as such), other than cash – as happens a lot in the States? CPA
                  2. Cash is “money in coins or notes, as distinct from checks, money orders, or credit.”
                      1. “Ready money” is the definition K expressed his quibble about. The definition of “ready money” is “money in the form of cash that is immediately available.” WORKING CAPITAL is not defined by “cash.”
  11. 28 mins.

    Good challenge. The Daniel clue took me a few mins to figure out.

    Thanks, b.

  12. I found this tough and took 37 minutes to finish with one wrong. A careless RITE instead of ROTE. Disappointing after managing to work out several unknowns. Thanks setter and Bruce.
  13. ….which I thoroughly enjoyed. Besides my COD, I particularly liked OMERTA, TARGET MAN, WITTIER, AHAB, and my LOI when I parsed it afterwards.

    TIME 18:46

  14. I looked at this on the train to Crewe and back last Saturday. It seems I had three unsolved when I got home.
    Having NATTIER at 6d was a big problem. Once WITTIER occurred too me CHEW OVER was no problem. VENIAL SIN POI and HENNA LOI unparsed. Monday’s Only Connect had a question involving Venial, Venal and Vernal -which I was able to breeze through thanks to this puzzle.
    I thought Conquered was a strange synonym for BESOTTED but went with it. I now know better. CONIC unparsed.
    A good puzzle for a train journey.

  15. Just under the hour so quite tricky. A number unparsed so thanks for the explanations B. LOI BESOTTED, which took a while see why it was what it was, if you see what I mean. LAMBRUSCO didn’t fly in either as I would have expected it to. I liked 13d.

    Thanks B and setter.

  16. Is everyone happy with lotto = house?
    Housey housey is alternate name for bingo, but not plain old “house”
  17. Very happy; as the cry of ‘House’ in ‘Housey Housey’ (from which it derives) ends proceedings.
  18. I was done and dusted in 17:21 minutes with 1ac Omerta as my COD. However under the circumstances my COD has to go to 12ac Working Capital – a fun clue indeed!
  19. Shoot, I thought I had finished this, but it looks like I conked out halfway thru the LAMBRUSCO.
    As a kid, I read all of Edgar Rice BURROUGHS’s Tarzan and John Carter of Mars series. Later, starting with Naked Lunch and the ensuing “trilogy,” I consumed most of William’s œuvre.

    Edited at 2021-10-30 11:30 pm (UTC)

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