Times Cryptic No 28158 – Saturday, 11 December 2021. Wot, no cricket clue? 18ac!

Barring rain, day three of the second Ashes test will be underway in Adelaide soon after this blog appears. Never mind last week’s result in the first test, we all enjoyed the Saturday puzzle, I’m sure! Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle. How did you all get on?

Note 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 this week’s Saturday Cryptic.

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

1 Agree to go to court about support given to graduate scientist (9)
SUBSCRIBE – SUE=go to court. Insert B.SC.=science graduate + RIB=support. To ‘subscribe to’ (an opinion, for example) would be to  ‘agree to’ it, so I don’t think ‘to’ is part of the definition.
6 Ends of regular English poetry by the writer may show this feature (5)
RHYME – last letters of (regula)R (Englis)H (poetr)Y + ME=this writer.
9 Part of government occupying ground in London? (5)
LORDS – double definition. House of Parliament, or cricket ground.
10 Disease outbreak restricts source of rash covering the skin (9)
11 One of the sights to take in? (7,8)
OPTICAL ILLUSION – cryptic definition. Take in=deceive.
13 Recalled icy area will involve a lot of adjustment for clothing (8)
KNITWEAR – RINK, recalled. Insert TWEA(k)=adjustment.
14 Runs after large fish one moves on wheels (6)
SKATER – SKATE + R. “Skater” without qualification suggests “ice skater” to me, but the wheeled skaters are possibly more common these days.
16 Bleep out exclamation about most of bridge players (6)
CENSOR – COR about East, North, and South. West is missing.
18 Boil treated with acid? That’s fiendish (8)
DIABOLIC – anagram (treated): BOIL+ACID. According to Chambers, ‘diabolic’ and ‘diabolical’ are both adjectives, with different meanings. The first literally refers to Satan, the second to metaphorical unpleasantness. Learned something new!
21 Replacement government? Country releasing first enthusiastic reaction (8,7)
STANDING OVATION – STAND IN=replacement. GOV=government. (N)ATION=country. Nice clue.
23 Car salesman left company at the end, offering email response (9)
AUTOREPLY – AUTO + REP + L + (compan)Y.
25 Line adopted by all in complaint (5)
BLEAT – L=line, in BEAT=all in.
26 Odd bits of wine in river — port? (5)
TAWNY – W(i)N(e) in TAY.
27 Soon to feel unhappy about engaging in work (9)

1 Almost all volunteers initially covered by so many shots (5)
SALVO – AL(l) + V(olunteers), inside SO.
2 Born sun-tanner I fancy is a shade of brown (5,6)
BURNT SIENNA – anagram (fancy): B + SUNTANNER + I.
3 Profitable scheme remains limited by County Council? That’s painful (4,3)
CASH COW – ASH=remains inside C.C., + OW. A cash cow is a rather specific form of profitable business.
4 Hypothetical matter? I cope with gossip (5,3)
IDEAL GAS – I + DEAL=cope + GAS=gossip. A concept in physics.
5 Wait up till late, finally getting something to eat (6)
EDIBLE –BIDE=wait, turned upside down, add (til)L + (lat)E.
6 Resist going with fishy food for deer (7)
ROEBUCK – ROE=fishy food, BUCK=resist.
7 Vegetable that would come up in 31 days (3)
YAM – turn MAY upside down.
8 Curious sorceress, turned up, pocketing money (9)
ECCENTRIC – EC(CENT)RIC: turn CIRCE=sorceress upside down, and insert CENT, right way up.
12 Wise, I note, to count information contained in it (11)
INTELLIGENT – I + N=note + TELL=count + GEN, in IT.
13 Gives up dessert as a first action (4-5)
KICK-START – KICKS=gives up (a habit perhaps) + TART=dessert.
15 See Times probing public rumour, producing a lot of information (8)
KILOBYTE – LO=see + BY=times in KITE=public rumour, as in ‘fly a kite’. A kilobyte doesn’t seem like a lot of information at all, in these days of gigabytes and terabytes.
17 Organised Parisian airport to receive article from Berlin (7)
ORDERLY – DER=the, in German, inside ORLY.
19 British risk losing good fruit plant (7)
20 Hurry to buy what might be seen as kitchen equipment? (4,2)
SNAP UP – PANS=the kitchen equipment, produced by turning SNAP UP. Are these clues where the answer itself is a cryptic clue becoming more common?
22 Negative comment about Times is smart (5)
NATTY – NAY around 2 x T.
24 City reduced rescue service for motorist? (3)
TOW – TOW(n).

31 comments on “Times Cryptic No 28158 – Saturday, 11 December 2021. Wot, no cricket clue? 18ac!”

  1. ….which was put to to bed in a few seconds over my target. Not much to be said really.

    TIME 10:18

  2. A leisurely 48 minutes in bed.

    FOI: a DIABOLIC(al) start at 18ac

    LOI 4dn IDEAL GAS – one that has no smell?

    COD 9ac LORDS

    AOD 6dn ROEBUCK – also cricketer

    WOD 3dn CASH COW

    Not much to add really. Next!

    1. I thought Peter Roebuck was also an excellent writer on cricket. His book on his 1983 county season with Somerset, when Richards and Garner were also in the team, “It Never Rains” , was very good.

      Edited at 2021-12-18 02:41 am (UTC)

  3. “Straightforward” say my notes.
    I agree with you, Bruce, about KILOBYTE. “Lot of information”?
    COD: KNITWEAR. I liked “a lot of adjustment”.
    My notes also say that solving the puzzle was spoilt by an abject collapse by England in the First Test. I’m expecting much of the same this evening,
  4. I couldn’t parse LOI BLEAT and was therefore reluctant to put it in. How could BEAT mean ALL, after all? So a thorough re-examination of all the crossers….yes, they seem fine…then an alphabet trawl only yielding BLEST, which failed on both parsing and definition counts. So BLEAT entered with fingers crossed. Seems so obvious once explained by our blogger! Thanks Brnchn.
    I liked all the cricket related answers STANDING OVATION ( Labuschagne) CASH COW ( twenty-twenty) DIABOLIC ( English batting ) OPTICAL ILLUSION ( English batting)
  5. A half-hour, most of it offline at lunch. I had the same thought as Bruce and Martin about KILOBYTE. COD, at least it’s the only clue I checked, to OPTICAL ILLUSION.
  6. Enjoyed OPTICAL ILLUSION but cannot remember much else about the puzzle. Now for today’s …
  7. INTELLIGENT, IF not quite sublime
    This was solved in an ORDERLY time
    No DIABOLIC test
    And this is the end of my RHYME
  8. Done and nearly all dusted in just about the half-hour. I particularly liked STANDING OVATION and AUTOREPLY along with the mix of Physics and Chemistry in the IDEAL GAS. EDIBLE and KILOBYTE were both tricky. I ‘m not sure a KITE, even after being flown, can be called a rumour rather than a try-on. Damn. Malan’s just out. Good puzzle. Thank you B and setter.

  9. Straightforward .. I thought 14ac made a rather definite statement about an activity that involves no wheels at all, as often as not.
  10. An enjoyable 50 minutes or so. FOI RHYME and, in no particular order, LOIs the 13s KNITWEAR and KICKSTART. Liked both
  11. No problems for me. I was allocated 7 KILOBYTES of storage on Newcastle University’s IBM 360/67 in the first term of my Computing course at Durham in 1969. Even then I struggled to fit my programming projects into it! All done and dusted in 22:40. Thanks setter and Bruce.
  12. LOI IDEAL GAS, not something I knew. Made reasonable progress on this. An early biff of BURNT ORANGE was careless and time consuming. Late in were SUBSCRIBE, EDIBLE and KILOBYTE.
    Enjoyable fare. Finished before 3pm.
  13. I can see this new feature getting a good airing by the SCC over in QCland ‘This puzzle is utter gibberish – too hard! etc’. I would like to be the first to complain about this ridiculously ‘woke’ feature.
    I was intrigued to find that 4dn an ‘Ideal Gas’ is but a theoretical gas. What a gas! My COD however goes to 13ac KNITWEAR. My time was 10:45

    Edited at 2021-12-18 12:11 pm (UTC)

    1. I didn’t notice this until you mentioned it; but why indeed are we now given this option? Why not a ‘praise’ as well?
      Did you think that an ideal gas would be real?
      1. Praise was already an option in ‘Like’.

        I cannot be dealing with a ‘theoretical gas’ at my age! Geography is my strong suit, not Chemistry – the wrong chemistry alas. I knew that ‘Classical Gas’ was invented by Mason Williams over a week-end back in ’67. Have you managed a catch-up on Popeye yet?

        1. ‘Like’ and its set of icons are reactions to the posting; I assumed that ‘complaint’ is intended for adverse reactions to the clue, and as you suggest, those are often enough voiced already.
          At my age, non-theoretical gas is the problem.
      2. Just to be clear the new option is a general one across Live Journal and nothing to do with TfTT. It is not intended to be used frivolously. Here’s their statement:

        Dear Friends,

        You can now easily report spam and dangerous content in entries and comments, specifically content about drug trafficking and manufacture, provoking suicide and methods of committing it, as well as pornographic materials with minors.

        Edited at 2021-12-18 01:05 pm (UTC)

        1. Thanks, Jack. I imagine that would explain why I can’t complain about my own posting (although I could ‘Like’ it).
  14. FOI 6ac RHYME, LOI 5d EDIBLE an enjoyable 45 minutes later. Didn’t quite get the why of 13ac, nor 15d – this blog needed for that – but everything else made sense. Thanks to setter and blogger.
  15. isn’t “reduced” in 24d doing double duty?
    A city is not a town, but it could be a reduced town?
    Then reduce town to give tow?
      1. We crossed. We are in agreement over the clue and the dictionaries confirm your definition, but there are exceptions e.g. Ely which is a city but has only around 20,000 inhabitants. The small town where I live has double that.
        1. I wouldn’t call it an exception, just another meaning. A city can be a large town or a town with a cathedral, the seat of a bishop or whatever.
      2. @keriothe I’m not sure i agree with that.
        A city has a cathedral.
        Anyway, thanks for the response.
        1. That’s one definition of a city, but it’s not the only one. There are numerous cities in the UK without cathedrals, and some towns with.

          Edited at 2021-12-19 01:06 pm (UTC)

    1. Cities and towns come in various sizes although some dictionaries define ‘city’ as a large town I’ve never seen ‘town’ defined as a small city.

      The parsing is as Bruce has blogged and there is no double duty.

  16. 13:53. No dramas with this, I don’t remember much about it. I remember thinking ‘agree’ for subscribe was a bit odd.

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