Times Cryptic No 28176 – Saturday, 1 January 2022. Happy New Year, one week in.

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
This was a pleasant way to start 2022. It took a while to get a toehold – thank you, 26ac and 7dn – but then the bottom half flowed smoothly, and the top half followed. My L2I were 1dn (delightful clue) and 9ac (not so much hard as elusive). 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 the current Saturday Cryptic.

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

1 Means of cutting journalist’s article, Wednesday’s leader (7)
HACKSAW – HACK’S + A + W(ednesday).
5 Attacks best or worst drink little by little (5,2)
BEATS UP – BEAT=to best/worst an opponent + SUP=drink little by little. At first there seemed to be superfluous words in the clue, but on review they all have a role.
9 Retiring US operative given close screening (9)
DEFENDING – FED=US operative, ‘retiring’ + ENDING=close.
10 Check pressure in drum (5)
11 Retro game incorporating third of cards in deck (5)
ORLOP – (ca)R(ds) in POLO, ‘retro’. The word play was clear, but I didn’t know that an orlop is a deck of a ship.
12 Part of suite coveted by idle academic? (4,5)
EASY CHAIR – ho ho. A lounge suite, for instance.
13 How food benefits Tintin, our curious associate (13)
NUTRITIONALLY – anagram (curious): TINTIN OUR, + ALLY.
17 Preoccupation of guard after period of leave (7,2,4)
ABSENCE OF MIND – ABSENCE = period of leave + OF + MIND=guard.
21 Comrade keeps a travelling choir confined? (9)
PAROCHIAL – PAL ‘keeps’ A + anagram (travelling): CHOIR.
24 New father ultimately made request to be mum (5)
FRESH – FR=father + (mad)E + SH=be quiet.
25 One contrarily slicing odd bits of pine nut (5)
PECAN – ACE backwards in PN from PiNe.
26 Sobriquets by which police are known in station? (9)
NICKNAMES – again, ho ho.
27 Animosity continued, tribunal failing to reach conclusion (7)
28 Was aching jockey finally brought home? (7)
YEARNED – (jocke)Y + EARNED.

1 What could make hounds bay? (6)
HUDSON – hounds is an anagram of the answer. (What could make … ?). And, it’s a bay.
2 Buffet before course that those in shirtsleeves may prefer? (9)
CUFFLINKS – CUFF=buffet + LINKS = (golf) course.
3 Tabloid tipping the best place for summer holiday? (7)
SUNSPOT – SUN=a tabloid + TOPS=the best, ‘tipping’. In this part of the world, a sunspot sounds more like skin cancer than a holiday destination!
4 Road marking magician’s base in fairy story? (5,4)
WHITE LINE – (magician)N in WHITE LIE.
5 Invalid vehicle in which to travel northward (5)
BOGUS – GO ‘travelling north’ in BUS.
6 Day in a prison on the continent (7)
7 Brown pigment more likely to percolate, might you say? (5)
SEPIA – sounds like SEEPIER, you might say,
8 Sporting players astride fine horses (8)
PALFREYS – anagram (sporting): PLAYERS F.
14 Hot on the trail, keen after report of crowded pub heard (2,4,3)
IN FULL CRY – sounds like INN FULL, + CRY=keen.
15 Social charmer specifically introduced to youngsters on staff (6,3)
LADIES MAN – I.E.=specifically in LADS, + MAN.
16 Player to grab power one agent’s given up (8)
BAGPIPER – BAG=grab + P=power + I=one + REP ‘up’.
18 Bottle-only party? That’s impractical (2,3,2)
NO CAN DO – no explanation needed?
19 Home lover cheers young royal (7)
20 Joined the hunt, impressed? (6)
CHASED – double definition.
22 Dangerous substance from chemical company once transported by navy (5)
RICIN – I.C.I. lives on in crosswords, and here goes into R.N.
23 Private selection of perennials picked up (5)
INNER – hidden, backwards, in (pe)RENNI(als).

26 comments on “Times Cryptic No 28176 – Saturday, 1 January 2022. Happy New Year, one week in.”

  1. Indeed a pleasant stroll. The two 1s went straight in, then only a slight delay on ABSENCE and BAGPIPER at the end. Wondered (showing extreme density) if a white was a fairy. And my idea of a sunspot is a black spot on the surface of the sun slightly larger than the earth, so likewise hardly a holiday destination. A MER at confined for parochial; Chambers suggest more specifically confined within narrow limits.
    I liked the corny NO CAN DO and lots of the surface readings: Check pressure in drum the pick.
  2. Fellow solvers and crosswording geeks
    (And my allies who hate things with beaks)
    I’m going off on a boat
    And my laptop won’t float
    I’ll be back in a couple of weeks
  3. Yes, I enjoyed this, too but the last 5 or 6 clues took all of 20mins. I’m afraid I don’t see the connection in 20d between CHASED and impressed. There must be a meaning there I don’t know.
    Toyed with Siena and Ochre for 7d before I remembered the pigment is sienna.
    Thank you, Bruce!
    1. Chasing is etching, and I see the dictionaries include embossing, either of which would create an impressed image.
    2. It’s all too technical for me, but Brittanica says:

      chasing, metalwork technique used to define or refine the forms of a surface design and to bring them to the height of relief required. The metal is worked from the front by hammering with various tools that raise, depress, or push aside the metal without removing any from the surface (except when the term chasing, instead of the more appropriate term chiselling, is used to describe the removal of surplus metal from objects after casting).

      So, not a million miles from etching, even if not exactly the same.

  4. Like Martin, I was unaware of the engraving meaning of “chasing”, but an alphabet trawl only revealed PHASED as an alternative to CHASED, so in it went as LOI with fingers crossed. NO CAN DO was excellent, but could be done. 19:16

    Edited at 2022-01-08 06:07 am (UTC)

  5. I have next to no notes, and don’t remember this well, but I was puzzled by drum=peel, and still am. Also wondered about SUNSPOT, thought it must be an Anglicism, but it’s not in ODE. We had SEPIA=seepier a couple of years ago; not universally well-received. Liked NO CAN DO.
  6. I don’t keep a record of my 15×15 times other than can be found by searching through TfTT blogs but I think at 24 minutes this is one of my fastest solves of a Saturday puzzle. It was a welcome relief at a time when I was struggling to keep up with the run of Christmas/New Year specials some of which proved decidedly tricky.
  7. Kevin, mind your ps and qs and rs!

    FOI 18dn NO CAN DO nice’n’easy

    LOI 16dn BAGPIPER – not my kinda music

    COD 1dn HUDSON – great anagram!

    WOD 22dn RICIN beware of castor beans!

  8. Done in around an hour, I think – I didn’t make my usual notes post-completion, and my memory of it has disappeared in the post-new-year fog. FOI was 5d BOGUS, I recall that much. NO CAN DO was familiar from another crossword in the last year or so, but still amused me when I remembered. Enjoyable, and an encouraging start to a new year of mental challenge. Thanks, all.
  9. 26 minutes, though I was nearly scuppered at the end not by anything as odd as the PALFREYS on the ORLOP deck, but by my simple inability to spell ABSENCE. Luckily I’ve at least realised over the years that it’s one of those oddly troublesome words for me, and took a second look.
  10. My FOI was NICKNAMES, my candidate for COD. My last two were CUFFLINKS and the unknown ORLOP.
    Finished just after 2pm, so not too long overall.
    PALFREYS another NHO derived from wordplay. DEFENDING also caused me problems.
    This was enjoyable fare for a Saturday.
  11. 11:46. Not too hard, but I was unsure about DEFENDING (definition seemed a bit loose) and CHASED. The latter (impress/etch/chase) still seems like a bit of a three-point turn in a thesaurus but then I’m no expert in the subject.
    If you spend any time in Canada you will come across the HUDSON’s Bay Company, originally a fur trading outfit, now a retail store, and the producer of some iconic Canadian merchandise.

    Edited at 2022-01-08 10:23 am (UTC)

    1. Chase properly means to impress, or specifically to press into, not to etch. So not really a 3-point turn. Etching is scratching or cutting or eating into the surface. Chasing is the technique which used to be used — maybe still is in very high end design — in silver working to create images, for example on the side of a tea pot, or to put a ribbed design around the rim of a tray.

      Edited at 2022-01-08 06:04 pm (UTC)

      1. None of the usual dictionaries seem to agree with you: they all indicate some version of cutting for ‘chase’:
        Collins: cut a groove
        Lexico: engrave (metal, or a design on metal)
        Chambers: decorate (metal) by engraving
        Mind you the Encyclopedia Britannica entry quoted by brnchn above suggests that cutting isn’t involved: chasing is specifically not etching! Who knows, I’m inclined to give the setter the benefit of the doubt.

        Edited at 2022-01-08 08:14 pm (UTC)

      2. Yes but coming back down to earth, plumbers chase pipes into a wall, by cutting a groove …
  12. 55 minutes. A good one. I could not get into the top half at all at first. Got almost all the bottom half before working up from there. A personal MER at 5ac BEATS UP: I don’t think SUP is to drink little by little. That’s SIP. Two different words. When the pub closes, you sup up which means you down the rest of your pint and leave; you don’t sip it. I have of course looked this up. I think I have discovered one of those fairly rare occasions where all the dictionaries have got it wrong. Elsewhere I did like NICKNAMES and NO CAN DO
  13. ….and I did it in 10:10 just before retiring at 1 am. I enjoyed the preoccupation in a form seldom seen, the aching jockey, the invalid vehicle, and the nifty anagram at 1D. However COD to NO CAN DO.
  14. The bottom was easier than the top, and the unusual Orlop was hardest of all. I liked the cryptic defiintions.
  15. Orlop a write in for lovers of the Aubrey/Maturin series. If only I was an expert on everything else *pulls Georgette Heyer book off the shelf*

    Most done in 20 but needed another 8 to finish the NE where I hesitated over BEATS UP for some time for the same reason as our earlier correspondent. Not my favourite clue but plenty of other ones to love (HUDSON and NO CAN DO)

    Thanks Bruce and setter

      1. My daughter loved Horn-blower (loves I should say) but I happily buy into the hype around O’Brian’s series as I’ve read them all multiple times and will happily do so again. Flaws of course and sounds like he was not the nicest man, but even so

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