Times Cryptic No 28164 – Saturday, 18 December 2021. Happy Christmas!

Times Cryptic No 28164 – Saturday, 18 December 2021. Happy Christmas!

This blog appears on Christmas Day, so solvers’ attention may be elsewhere! This puzzle should have been a good way to ease into the season. Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle. How did you all get on?

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

1 English poet not going as far as Burns? (8)
BROWNING – jocular reference to sun-bathing, perhaps. Not much of that in London at this time of year!
6 They could be out with rep (6)
TROUPE – anagram (could be): OUT + REP. Definition relating to repertory theatre.
9 Forecast return of European unspoken composition for voice or piano (13)
PROGNOSTICATE – reversal (return) of E=European + TACIT + SONG + OR + P.
10 Knife worn with tips reversed (6)
DAGGER – RAGGED, with ‘tips reversed’.
11 Top soldier in anti-aircraft defence (8)
APOLOGIA – POLO=top + GI=soldier, in A.A. The definition is a defence, in writing.
13 Dashing jet-black hue, less hot for navy man (10)
BLUEJACKET – anagram (dashing): JET + BLACK + (h)UE, ignoring H=hot.
15 Identical twin’s a meanie, somewhat (4)
SAME – hidden in (twin)S A ME(anie).
16 Returning birds, a thousand lost, are blown across the sky (4)
SCUD – DUC(k)S, ‘returning’.
18 Job equality corporation provides on maternity leave? (10)
POSTPARTUM – POST=job + PAR=equality + TUM=corporation. A new mother might or might not be on maternity leave, so I suppose that’s why there’s a question mark.
21 Layabout’s habitual route round cemetery? (8)
DEADBEAT – like a policeman’s beat, the cemetery patrol might be the DEAD BEAT.
22 Motorcyclist maintaining maximum speed is to go on (6)
BICKER – according to Einstein’s theory, nothing can go faster than C, the speed of light. Put that C in BIKER.
23 Wow supporter of Israel but not unknown painter (13)
25 Spirit yielding name to current age, … (6)
PERIOD – PERNOD changes its N to an I=the symbol for electrical current.
26 … one such near decade’s end curtailed grand desire (8)
YEARNING – YEAR NINE is near the end of a decade. Drop the E and add G=grand.

2 Royal Academy help a struggling artist (7)
RAPHAEL – R.A. + anagram (struggling) of HELP A.
3 Misguided man has to rove about in baffled wonder (5-6)
WRONG-HEADED – GAD=rove about HE=man, all in an anagram (baffled) of WONDER.
4 Successful competitor missing wide part of target (5)
5 Breathing aid genetically modified, when inserted on request (3,4)
GAS MASK – AS=when in G.M. + ASK.
6 Both sons leave the thing here without pause, having no mop! (4,2,3)
7 Essentials for reproduction: volume in old amp (3)
OVA – O=old + V=volume + A=amp (ampere, not amplifier).
8 Umpire misrepresented maiden’s great worth (7)
PREMIUM – anagram (misrepresented) of UMPIRE + M=maiden.
12 Leaderless rabbles start off the disturbance in bar (11)
OBSTRUCTION – (m)OBS + T(he) + RUCTION. It took me a while to see what ‘leaderless rabbles’ were about.
14 Get software run with what purpose? (9)
APPREHEND – APP + R + EH=what? + END=purpose. A string of standards!
17 Crack squad almost on top of immorality (7)
19 To meet, for example, it’s fine inside (7)
SATISFY – ’TIS + F(ine), inside SAY.
20 Last from menu to make more presentable still on the plate? (7)
22 A place’s living occupants, born with very little (5)
BIOTA – B=born + IOTA=very little. ‘Not an iota’!
24 Letter from Web access company being set up (3)
PSI – ISP=internet service provided, ‘set up’.

12 comments on “Times Cryptic No 28164 – Saturday, 18 December 2021. Happy Christmas!”

  1. I enjoyed this a lot. I was going like a train for a while but the last 5 or 6 clues took ages.
    BROWNING, SCUD and DEADBEAT were all good but COD to PERIOD.
    Thanks for explaining APOLOGIA and YEARNING, Bruce. I solved both but couldn’t parse them.
    Hope your Christmas is a good one, Bruce. Here in the Bay of Plenty it’s in the mid 20s with blue skies, a bluish/turquoise sea and a pleasant SE breeze.
  2. We’ll be burning here today, not browning if we go out. Forecast 43, expected to break the record temperature for Christmas day. I’d rather be in the Bay of Plenty, or even the great wen.
    I liked the poetic surface of 16a.
  3. When I went to check my solution, I found that I hadn’t entered PERIOD and was paused at 13’+. PERIOD was definitely a problem, as I was thinking of ghosts and such, not liquor. Then I thought of PERI, but couldn’t deal with the OD. Anyway, I finished. I liked APOLOGIA (for POLO) and WRONG-HEADED. It’s about 12 here, with tomorrow’s high forecast to be 6; still, I’ll take 6 over 43 any day. Merry Christmas, all.
  4. Very hard work and somewhat stodgy, I thought. I ran out of steam after an hour as I was stuck in the SW corner and used aids to find DEADBEAT, CREVICE and PERIOD. Usually I would have looked up one of them and tried to finish from there but I had lost interest by that time.
  5. Done in between putting the turkey in and prepping the canapes

    Couple of typos but I’m not counting today

    Probably a quickish time for me. Some of the harder ones (DEADBEAT) sprang to mind and I even managed to get the tricky PERIOD (good clue) as my LOI with only 2 minutes of alpha trawling

    Festive greetings to one and all — thank you for your company over the year

  6. ….but I needed to cheat to finish it off, having NHO ISP, and thus being unable to discount “IHP” without checking.

    I only parsed WRONG-HEADED afterwards. Apart from my COD, I also enjoyed BROWNING, DEADBEAT, THIN ON TOP and OBSTRUCTION.

    TIME 23:25 with a cheat

  7. I cheated and did this yesterday, via my Tardis, as knew I would be too busy cooking dinner for many today.
    re GRATE a place for nuts might refer to ‘nuts’ of solid fuel rather than chestnuts. When we had a closed solid fuel burner it burnt coal nuts which were supposed to be better and less messy than real coal.
    I spelt MYNAH MINAH so am in the corner with the D hat on.

    Edited at 2021-12-25 12:26 pm (UTC)

  8. I FOI 15ac SAME, LOI 22d BIOTA though I confess NHO. 45 minutes start to finish, in spite of spending too long trying to shoehorn AMBROSIA into 11ac – I assumed anti-aircraft was ack-ack until I thought of shortening even that. So, I got APOLOGIA, without understanding why – soldier? – but because it fitted. Also found 9ac too complicated to work out the how of PROGNOSTICATE. Thanks to setter and blogger. And merry Christmas!
  9. Almost forgot last Saturday’s puzzle which detained me for 47 minutes.

    FOI 4dn INNER


    COD 25ac PERIOD


    23ac Impressionist painter of the day Paul Signac – The Port at Sunset etc.

  10. I didn’t think of PERIOD so put NERIAD without parsing it fully (because it doesn’t parse). So one wrong.
  11. Surprised at negative comments, but we’re all different. FOI troupe COD period, and LOI wrong-headed with only WONDER parsed

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