Times Cryptic No 28128 – Saturday, 6 November 2021. Everything old is old again.

This felt like one from the archives. Lots of references to things long since lost. I thought I caught a whiff of fustiness at 24dn, 5dn, and particularly the reference to the blonde bombshell at 27ac!

23ac and 2dn vied for the title of most obscure answer, but I gave the win to 23ac – such an unlikely looking word!

Still, all good fun. 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 Pole has millions invested in bank (6)
CAMBER – M in CABER = the pole tossed at Highland games.
5 Arrive with noise to welcome in ace entertainer (8)
9 Substituted one material with another — hint of decay? (8)
REPLACED – REP + LACE + D=D(ecay). “Hint” is an odd way to say “first letter of”.
10 One who famously tried being holy, no longer with us (6)
PILATE – PI=holy + LATE.
11 Stone that covers a stick (4,2)
STAY ON – ST=stone, YON=that, covering A.
12 Holiday destination with a hundred men gathered by northern boundary (8)
CORNWALL – C=a hundred, OR=men, N=northern, WALL.
14 Maybe maiden beginning to smile got ring and married veiled? (12)
OVERSHADOWED – OVER (cricket reference), S from S(mile), HAD=got, O=ring, WED.
17 Pink York gent out horse-riding (4-8)
PONY-TREKKING – anagram (out) of PINK YORK GENT.
20 Female, old and obstinate, making concentrated effort (8)
22 One violently against right-winger (6)
NEOCON – NEO = anagram (violently) of ONE + CON=against.
23 Sounder of warning up to now about hospital (6)
SHOFAR – SO FAR, around H=hospital. An unlikely looking word: Wikipedia says it’s  an ancient musical horn, typically made of a ram’s horn, used for Jewish religious purposes.
25 Be in step in fortress when confronting the enemy (4,4)
KEEP TIME – KEEP + TIME. Why is time the enemy? To quote my own blog from last time I didn’t know: the innocent and the beautiful have no enemy but time (William Butler Yeats).
26 Reportedly cheer up seaside resort (8)
BRIGHTON – ‘reportedly’, sounds like BRIGHTEN.
27 Union with Diana in royal family (6)
TUDORS – T.U. = (trade) union, Diana DORS=long forgotten, surely.

2 Fury of a college teacher being cut short (6)
ALECTO – A LECTO(r). I tried AREADE(r), but that looked unlikely. I wasn’t confident colleges have lectors (some do, it appears), but the answer looked much more plausible.
3 I’m not the person who will have this meat well done! (5,3,3)
BULLY FOR YOU – cryptic hint. I suspect this expression may not be known to all. More fustiness?
4 Speed over old city carrying prisoner who has a tale to tell? (9)
RACONTEUR – RATE=speed, over CON + UR.
5 Old books firm cuts into small pieces (7)
6 Doctor, a gloomy type (5)
MOPER – M.O. + PER=a, as in two pounds per ride.
7 Operator was first to get up (3)
DEL – LED, turned “up”. A calculus reference.
8 Sick English among workers in overseas islands (8)
13 Caught out as an Oxford type misplaced? (5-6)
WRONG-FOOTED – a quaint reference to Oxford shoes.
15 Lamenting changes, getting into a row (9)
ALIGNMENT – anagram (changes) of LAMENTING.
16 It’s different, being under informal head? Not something to worry about! (2,6)
NO BOTHER – OTHER=different, under NOB.
18 Hide from child’s family (7)
19 Old monarch, kind to be on top (6)
FORMER – FORM=kind, ER=monarch as always.
21 Proud walk of good person — something groovy (5)
STRUT – ST=saint, RUT=something grooved.
24 Tiresome job that’s unhealthy (3)
FAG – double definition. “Fag” as “drudgery” feels dated. Is it still used in the UK? “Fag”= “cigarette” is definitely unhealthy.

22 comments on “Times Cryptic No 28128 – Saturday, 6 November 2021. Everything old is old again.”

  1. A couple of DNKs–CAMBER, DEL–and a couple of surprises: SHOFAR was easy enough, since I knew the word, but struck me as more Mephisto material. And I don’t get the warning part; my only experience of a shofar was the rabbi blowing it on Rosh Hashanah. And I didn’t expect Diana DORS to make an appearance; I tried to get DI into the solution for a while. I liked STAY ON.
  2. I learned of PONY-TREKKING fairly recently. It must have been in some crossword.
    This I remember as a gentle ride through some diverting terrain.

    My impression is that referring to time as “the enemy” is a proverbial usage that antedates the line from Yeats. One origin story, FWIW, is found at https://wordhistories.net/2017/01/13/how-goes-the-enemy/
    “The colloquial phrase How goes the enemy? means What is the time? Its origin was explained in the text where it is first recorded, published in the Brighton Gazette, and Lewes Observer (Sussex) of 26th October 1826:”

    Edited at 2021-11-13 03:15 am (UTC)

  3. I thought there was some clever cluing here.
    Thanks, Bruce for explaining DEL and STAY ON.
    COD TUDORS and PILATE but the latter gets the nod.
    I have seen time as the enemy here before, maybe in your previous blog, Bruce.
    Gosh, yes, wasn’t Diana Dors THE blond bombshell!
    No problem with SHOFAR as I’ve come across it before.
  4. Carole Lombard, Diana Dors, Jayne Mansfield, Marilyn Munro, Kim Basinger, Pamela Anderson, Kate Upton – enough! My COD 27ac TUDORS. My time 17:27

    Edited at 2021-11-13 05:41 am (UTC)

  5. … as Sean Connery might have said. I haven’t written a time down, so I was neither slow nor fast. LOI was the fury, which I immediately checked on completion. The Fury I know best is Billy. I’m stuck halfway to paradise. But I did know DEL, although we always called it nabla in Schrödinger’s equation and used curl and div for Maxwell’s in my sixties Physics days. I had COD as BULLY FOR YOU and the appearance of that particular Diana, long remembered not forgotten, in the TUDORS made that second choice. What once was lusty is fusty. You’ve made a happy man feel very old, B. Thank you for the blog though, and to the setter.Good stuff.

    Edited at 2021-11-13 08:08 am (UTC)

  6. Thanks John, you took Connery’s words right out of my grasp!
    Schrödinger’s cat has ever been one of my pet concepts. If we ever get another cat I will call it Nabla ∇. Billy Fury! aka Ron Wycherley from Dingle! Buried (Mill Hill) aged just 42 from a heart attack – famously failed to top the charts.

    FOI 1ac CABER

    LOI 11ac STAY ON

    COD 2dn ALECTO


    13dn WRONG-FOOTED reminded me wrongly of ‘One Foot in the Grave’- Meldrew!

    No time recorded here either.

  7. ….by having to cheat for the NHO NEOCON at the end, which spoiled what would have been a sub-10 minute solve. COD SHOFAR (Bolton Wanderer got in first !)
  8. I had to construct SHOFAR and ALECTO from wordplay, but sailed through the rest of the puzzle in 17:30. 27a brought back memories of the Two Ronnies sketch she appeared in:-)
  9. All this talk of Sean Connery reminds me that the only Lektor I can think of was in From Russia with Love.
    I was defeated by the fury thinking it could be Alectu; had to look it up.
    And I had NORMAN at 19d, with a question mark; that prevented TUDORS.
    SHOFAR was new to me.
    Let’s call it a learning experience overall.
    1. Although I never justified the AN of Norm. I was duped by the D in Tudors looking like half of Di rather than a quarter of Dors.
  10. Once again biffed lots of this, eg 9, 11, 27ac, 6, 7d… Answers that fit but no idea why. 90 minutes overall. FOI 16d NO BOTHER – which is ironic given my experience of the rest of it. LOI 9ac but it’s one of the many guesses. Will read and hopefully learn from today’s comments.
    1. Good plan. I’ve found that when I can see the answer but don’t understand the cryptic, it’s good value to go to the blog to help learn how it worked!
  11. Under 50 minutes, so not bad at all. Completely missed the maths ref at 7ac, simply taking Operator to be the DEL keyboard key. DNK SHOFAR and reluctant to believe it was a word and write it in from the cryptic. Fair enough. But I’m ashamed to admit I wrote in TUDORS with a shrug without remembering Diana
  12. 6:55. I knew ALECTO and SHOFAR rang a very vague bell (or sounded a very vague horn) but DEL was completely unknown.
  13. I enjoyed this very much – maybe because it was old-fashioned, like me. DEL was the only unknown, although one of the first in because of the simple clueing. 23 minutes. Ann
  14. 45 minutes for a very strange crossword with a number of rather vague-sounding clues which were quite solvable nonetheless (WRONG-FOOTED, for example, where I was subsequently surprised to discover that all the crossing letters were actually correct). No problem with SHOFAR, but on my LOI, ALECTO, I wasn’t quite sure whether the L shouldn’t be an R (and whether a rector might not be a university professor, since I think that in the US a lector would be a lecturer, and in Germany the Rektor of a university is its president, and so a professor as well). Well, I did make the correct choice at the last minute, fully expecting a pink square which did not materialize.
  15. Amazing what you can find out on Wikipedia, and being tempted to go there is one of the joys of cryptic crosswords.
    FOI pony-trekking, COD neocon, LOI Tudors, which is the main reason I came here: although I was born in the same decade as the lady, I couldn’t believe the answer I had put in the grid! Definitely some dated references, as our blogger noted, and I also agree thta there was some clever clueing, which I enjoyed.
    Also 👍 for our blogger for providing clearly explained parsing which will be particularly helpful for beginners (some of whom try the Saturday Crossword on the dubious notion that it is easier than most in the Times) who struggle with IN always being home, ER for ruler or monarch etc. I was sorry to see a recent QC where people had visited the site “for inspiration” and though the blogger had commented on a surfeit of chestnuts, he/she took too little time (IMO) to explain the crosswordese.

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