Times Cryptic No 28140 – Saturday, 20 November 2021. Saturday satisfaction.

A comment on a recent Saturday blog suggested some solvers like to do the Saturday puzzle as a good practice ground for their cryptic skills. This definitely should have fit the bill. Not easy, not too hard … Goldilocks! 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 Dog chasing down butterfly (11)
7 Worthless, having little impact, mostly (3)
BUM – BUM(p)=little impact.
9 Short piano piece one picks up with one’s partner (9)
CHOPSTICK – CHOPSTICK(s) is a piano piece. You need two of them to eat Chinese, although I have an Indian friend who always asks for a spoon and fork.
10 Place of mine visited by sailor (5)
POSIT – O.S. in PIT.
11 Formerly restricted to nine tons after gamble with weight (7)
BETWIXT – BET=gamble + W=weight + IX=nine + T.
12 Belgian defence finally forgiven after scoreless draw? (7)
WALLOON – WALL + 0-0=draw + (forgive)N.
13 Kids the solver with abbreviation for “pants”? (5)
YOUNG – YOU are the solver. N.G.=no good (or pants, in the UK).
15 Spare time to pass on boxes to send abroad (9)
EXTRADITE – EXTRA=spare + DIE=pass on, ‘boxing’ T=time.
17 Like invalid ticket, perhaps, got free? (9)
UNCLIPPED – double definition. Clipping tickets sounds very old fashioned these days.
19 Composer died in prison (5)
20 Left car briefly by park in Toulouse? (7)
LAUTREC – L + AUT(o) + REC. The artist, not the city.
22 Fool laced with rum all one can get in larder for example? (7)
ROOMFUL – anagram (laced) of FOOL + RUM.
24 Current applied to RAM, causing malfunction (3,2)
ACT UP – A/C=(alternating) current + TUP=an intact ram.
25 Singular, the way broadcaster’s engaged, describing his profession? (9)
SHOWBIZZY – S=singular + HOW=the way + BIZZY sounds like BUSY.
27 See what, on river, might be bank (3)
ELY – (r)ELY=bank (on).
28 Can declare voting system is functioning (5,6)
STATE PRISON – STATE=declare + P.R.=proportional representation=voting system + IS + ON=functioning.

1 Two shakes getting you dry? (3)
SEC – two definitions. The first a short time, the second a dry wine.
2 Up towards rear of boat, keeping watch (5)
ALOFT – AFT keeps LO.
3 Novelist: one’s leaving chorus to the end (7)
LESSING – SINGLE’S=one’s. Move SING=chorus to the end. Now I’ve written it, it looks tricky!
4 Up to middle of week, Dicky is at sea (5-4)
WAIST-DEEP – W=Wednesday, as in the middle of M T W T F week + AIST=anagram (dicky) of IS AT + DEEP=the blue sea.
5 Quiz team at table to one side (5)
ASKEW – ASK + EW=East-West partnership at bridge.
6 Priest crossing China arrives at island (2,5)
LA PALMA – LAMA crosses PAL.
7 Giving a cut above and round arm (9)
BESTOWING – BEST=a cut above. O=round. WING=arm.
8 Actor, also potentially one ideal to men? (7,4)
MATINEE IDOL – anagram (potentially) of I=one + IDEAL TO MEN.
11 Request for permission heard to have holiday paid for? (2-4-5)
14 Wild coypu turn away from coast (9)
UPCOUNTRY – anagram (wild) of COYPU TURN.
16 Both obligation and woe mostly recalled by English royal symbol (5,4)
TUDOR ROSE – DUT(y) + SORRO(w), both ‘recalled’, then E=English. Read the assembly instructions carefully!
18 One runs up back street and bursts in (7)
IRRUPTS – I + 2 x R + UP + ST ‘back’. Again, read carefully!
19 Force to open pub after host closes early (7)
CROWBAR – CROW(d)=host. BAR=pub.
21 Conspirator who made rent bills up (at least three) (5)
CASCA – two or more AC’S + another AC makes at least three accounts=bills. Turn ACSAC up, to get the answer. This will be Casca, a conspirator in the Shakespeare play. I’m not sure if he rent Caesar’s toga or his skin – or both!
23 Puzzles having steps you might pick up (5)
FAZES – you might pick up that it sounds like PHASES=steps.
26 Old marshal not coming down for long (3)
YEN – Marshal NEY moves N=not down to then end. On edit:I had a mental block here! First I mis-spelled NEY as NYE, then with that sorted, my view of the word-play fell in a heap. It must be that ‘not coming down’ indicates ‘coming up’, which for this down clue means spelled backwards.

23 comments on “Times Cryptic No 28140 – Saturday, 20 November 2021. Saturday satisfaction.”

  1. Found that very tricky, and as you say many cryptics you’ve got to read carefully, and some wordy clues to boot. e.g. I think the marshal in 26 dn is NEY, and all the other words except long reverse him. Similarly waist-deep was hard to parse – I decided W was week, else middle is doing double-duty. Completely missed that Casca rent something/one, and wondered why rent bills particularly. Lessing was obvious, not least as her obituaries have been all over the place, but also tricky to parse, as was Tudor Rose.
    All in all a decent workout. Thanks Bruce and setter.
  2. One chopstick is a bit unlucky in these parts. I have Indian friends who use chopsticks – they also play it on the piano, with one finger each! So there!

    FOI 1dn SEC

    LOI 25ac SHOWBIZZY – darlinks!

    COD 8dn MATINEE IDOL – at random Victor Mature

    WOD 25ac SHOWBIZZY! Danny la Rue; Shirley Bassey; Graham Norton; Ted Ray; Jack Lane.

    Decent puzzle that kept me bizzy for an hour.

  3. Found this tough- not at all Goldilockish. Had YOUTH instead of YOUNG for the kids at 13a for a long time, wondering how TH could be a ‘pants’ abbreviation, until a blessing seeing Lessing set me right.
    I also wanted to crowbar ALERT into 2d, thinking the definition would be ‘keeping watch’. Great misdirection by the setter. CHOPSTICK was my COD, when I finally got it after abandoning attempts to adapt ‘concertstuck’ as the shortened piano piece.
    All fine in the end at 41:46, which I see was the average time taken. Does this include neutrinos, I wonder?
  4. I went off leaderboard, I forget why or when. Failed to parse WAIST-DEEP, LESSING. I’m still not sure about WAIST-DEEP; as corymbia says, ‘middle’ is used for WAIST, which leaves the W. Does W stand for ‘week’? It’s probably in Chambers; every other letter is. Liked SWALLOWTAIL & EXTRADITE, didn’t care much for SHOWBIZZY.
    1. I wondered about this at the time. We are told what not to do but not what to do. Going up is one possibility but there are others. A question mark may have covered this?
      1. What other possibilities are there in a down clue?
        I found this hard, it took me 26:52.
        I think the definition in 11ac is ‘formerly restricted to‘. ‘Confined or restricted to’ is one of the definitions of ‘between’ in Collins.
  5. I found that very hard.
    Even after you’ve explained it, Bruce, I find it hard to parse LESSING and WAIST DEEP.
    I’m with Kevin in not really liking SHOWBIZZY.
    We’ve had TUDOR ROSE elsewhere recently.
    I was fixated on YOUTH for 13ac until the penny dropped.
    Did like the somewhat hidden anagram in 22ac and thought 19d had a nice surface.
    Mental block with BETWIXT.
  6. I found that very tricky. I managed to parse LESSING. Had to confirm CASCA existed after deriving. Lots of mental gymnastics required. CHOPSTICK LOI. 45:39.
    1. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but CASCA is a fairly minor character in the play (the only other conspirator I can think of–there are eight–besides of course Cassius and Brutus, is Cinna). One might feel that this is a bit obscure.
      1. If you can’t achieve lasting fame by murdering an emperor, what can you do?! Casca delivered the first wound on Caesar.

        The play has many details wrong .. it lists eight assassins, whereas in fact there were many more. Sixty apparently, and the names of about 20 survive. There were two Brutuses, and two Cassiuses, if that is the word. So actually you already know six of them!

  7. A volcano IRRUPTS on LA PALMA
    And astronomers aren’t getting calmer
    They’re WAIST-DEEP in dust
    And their telescope’s bust
    No wonder there’s so much BUM karma
  8. … my way into STATE PRISON. 39 minutes, held up by having got WAIST HIGH rather than DEEP. I was sailing the high seas, bobbing up and down like this. LOI SHOWBIZZY. I’was never sure if an UNCLIPPED ticket was invalid, but it was always disconcerting if it didn’t get clipped when going on to the platform. Chopsticks are still an instrument of torture to me. In the days when they’d give you a spoon if you ordered soup for starter, I’d always do so and then keep it for the rest of the meal. Good puzzle. Thank you B and setter.
  9. ….needed me to stretch my imagination, and take things too much at face value. It didn’t matter because my LOI was “ABOUT” at 2D and my 14:26 was worthless. I wasn’t helped at the start by entering “blue” at the start of 1A. All in all, a dispiriting experience, though I thought STATE PRISON was decent.
  10. I was on a train to Preston last Saturday and nobody clipped my ticket. Someone checked it so that went in my answer at least until 18d IRRUPTS.
    My FOI was UPCOUNTRY. YOUTH at 13a was another error and it made LESSING very hard to find; a hard clue. I also had WAIST HIGH for a time. MY LOI was the unknown CASCA just as we were leaving Wigan.
    So I had a very satisfied feeling with the puzzle done before my journey’s end; enjoyed it.
  11. Failed. Just couldn’t make any headway on this, but will endeavour to learn from everyone’s comments. Sigh.
  12. How can ‘pulling teeth in a nice way’ be a thing? Pull the other one! COD/WOD Showbizzy.

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