Times Cryptic No 28188 – Saturday, 15 January 2022. Not all Greek to me.

The double Homeric reference was a delight. Obviously it wasn’t all Greek, though both answers were among my last few in. 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 Quick to provoke (6)
PROMPT – double definition.
5 City reluctant at first to host a philanderer (8)
9 The fourth terrible Tory row about European retreat (5,5)
IVORY TOWER – IV=the fourth + anagram (terrible): TORY ROW, about E=European.
10 Horseman emerging from wings close at hand (4)
NIGH – (k) NIGH (t).
11 One cursed Havana: the Marxist displays (8)
ANATHEMA – hidden in (Hav) ANA THE MA (rxist).
12 Onerous job of the Chancellor? (6)
TAXING – cryptic hint. Taxing is only a part of the Chancellor’s job, surely?  In fact my first thought was TRYING, and it seems the head of the Chancery court is a Chancellor, so that seemed fair enough until I got to 7dn.
13 The Iliad’s beginning, in Homeric language (4)
IOTA – a cryptic definition; using the Greek alphabet (as Homer did, of course), ‘Iliad’ starts with the letter IOTA.
15 Barking girl sued for money once (8)
GUILDERS – anagram (barking): GIRL SUED.
18 Unhappy individual welcoming time in commercial area (8)
DOWNTOWN – DOWN + OWN, welcoming T.
19 Spoken part giving you something to get your teeth into? (4)
ROLL – sounds like ROLE=part, when spoken. A nice surface, I thought.
21 Crown of Henry VIII (6)
HEIGHT – H=Henry + EIGHT. I can’t think of a sentence where ‘crown’ can exactly replace ‘height’. Any offers?
23 The things that get you down (8)
FEATHERS – well, of course! Goose or duck down, for example. Cryptic definition, clearer than 13ac.
25 Came to head of KGB in trouble (4)
WOKE – K in WOE.
26 Endless cheating: a case for the doctor? (10)
27 Picture of wounded crossing bridge to the west (8)
SNAPSHOT – SHOT=wounded, crossing SPAN backwards (to the west).
28 Last to look around at work (4,2)
KEEP ON – PEEK around + ON.

2 Cowardly Charlie fleeing creature of ill omen (5)
3 Writer of note I want to be roughed up (4,5)
MARK TWAIN – MARK=note + anagram (roughed up): I WANT.
4 Swayed by an idiot, as count and countess are (6)
TITLED – TIT=idiot + LED=swayed, as in ‘easily led’.
5 Unfailing growth, somehow an easy target (3-7,5)
6 Wheel on dog and beat it (4,4)
TURN TAIL – TURN=wheel + TAIL=dog.
7 Seize woman who must remain anonymous? (5)
8 Where troops must put their trust, as a rule? (2,7)
IN GENERAL – cryptic hint.
14 No news on old rogue being without help (2,4,3)
ON ONE’S OWN – anagram (rogue): NO NEWS ON O(ld).
16 Unknown quantity of diamonds and heroin ship carried (4,5)
DARK HORSE – D + HORSE=heroin, carrying ARK.
17 Way to meet cost of parking at hotel (8)
FOOTPATH – FOOT=meet cost + P + AT + H.
20 Good news about Homer descendant, a composer (6)
BARTOK – BART (Simpson, son of Homer) is OK, ho ho. Answer obvious, parsing elusive!
22 Encourage retired boxer to smuggle in drugs (3,2)
GEE UP – PUG (retired), smuggling E + E. Resist the urge to write in EGG ON without thought!
24 Antiquated transport system needs new head (5)
RETRO – R + (m)ETRO.

30 comments on “Times Cryptic No 28188 – Saturday, 15 January 2022. Not all Greek to me.”

  1. I biffed IVORY TOWER, DARK HORSE, & BARTOK, parsing post-submission. Never did get NIGH. And it took me an embarrassing amount of time to see IOTA; as Bart’s forebear would say, D’oh! Liked TITLED & ADULTERATE (is it the same setter who gets the initial and final letters by using ‘case for/of’?).

    Edited at 2022-01-22 06:39 am (UTC)

  2. …but beaten by IOTA. I failed to see the wood for the trees and put IONA for want of anything better.
    LOI: IOTA….
    Plus Marks to NIGH and FEATHERS.
    Double Plus Good for the cheekiness of TITLED.
    Thank you linesmen, thank you ballboys, thank you Bruce and thank goodness The Ashes are over.

    Edited at 2022-01-22 06:30 am (UTC)

    1. I had all but 13ac in 33 minutes, which is quite quick for a Saturday, but I also failed on IOTA, missing the point entirely. In the end I didn’t put anything, assuming a classical reference unknown to me and just looked it up. I don’t recall ever seeing IOTA as the equivalent of I before and am not even sure that I knew it.
      1. We often seem to post similar times, Jack, and exhibit similar reasoning. IOTA never occurred to me.
        1. It’s comforting to see I wasn’t alone. I’m not sure I’d have got it (finally) if IOTA (in the sense of ‘tiny amount’) didn’t show up often in the NYT.
          1. Same for me, everything except iota on the saturday, which is unusual as i usually take all week.
  3. 26 minutes, with LOI the clever IOTA. RHS quicker than left, although ADULTERATE took its time. LOTHARIO and FEATHERS were straightforward enough but pleasing clues, and ANATHEMA a good hidden. COD to the naughty TITLED. Thank you B and setter.
  4. Well, I must be sure to have that breakfast again! I don’t know what was in it but after it this was pretty much a write-in for me, which has never happened before. Twenty minutes, start to finish. FOI 1ac PROMPT, LOI 13ac IOTA. So, either a spectacular breakfast, or this was spectacularly easy. Either way, it was spectacularly satisfying! Thanks to setter and blogger.
  5. I very much enjoyed the Homeric clues, though I did wonder if GLISAN was a composer I’d never heard of before BARTOK came to mind. As for others last one in was IOTA, with a pleasing PDM. 26:52
  6. 26 minutes here; by other comments it seems I was helped along by once doing an evening class in (modern) Greek, even though I doubt I could remember all the Greek letters in their alphabetical order these days, let alone speak any… I did enjoy the Homerics, but I think ANNE X was probably my COD.
  7. I didn’t get either homer answer but looked them up on line- I cannot understand why, given all answers are freely available online, you continue with this pretence and wait for the following Saturday to publish the blog- the number of comments received for Saturday’s blog is a fraction of the comments from the weekdays. Cheats can cheat with or without this site if that’s what they want to do!
    1. Nobody is pretending anything. As you say, cheats can cheat but that’s no reason for TfTT to assist them. The weekend puzzles are subject to competition rules set by The Times and we choose to respect that.
  8. Like many, IOTA was my last one in after some cogitation. Loved the BARTOK clue. Took a while to see how NIGH worked. Enjoyable puzzle. 30:12. Thanks setter and Bruce.
  9. Could height = crown of a hill? An enjoyable 41:09 for this Crossword. Saw IOTA from the crossers before the cryptic clicked. I liked DARK HORSE and BARTOK
  10. I went to see the Elgin marbles last Saturday and took the puzzle with me to solve on the train. The paper original is now lost but I remember finding this accessible and enjoyable.
    IOTA was probably LOI but, inspired by my recent Greek experience, not a problem. I also liked BARTOK very much.
    TITLED reminded me of the problems people have talking about Titleist golf balls. Over many years I have heard the wrong pronunciation frequently.
  11. I was amazed that few were even comfortable with 23ac – IOTA!
    23 minutes with my LOI 28ac KEEP ON truckin’

    FOI 14dn ON ONES OWN


    WOD 25ac WOKE

    My best Saturday for a long, long time!

  12. DNF. I failed on IOTA. The clue is pretty much just a straight definition, a possibility that didn’t occur to me. And the first letter of ‘the Iliad’ is T anyway. Harrumph.
    1. To give him credit, it may not be TAU in the Greek, but it’s not IOTA either. Is that a NU I see?

      (I’m a G-NU … cue Flanders and Swann)

  13. Well said blogger! 13ac did seem to defeat or delay so many of the few who have showed up. It would be preferable if Saturday did not have the lottery prize and Sunday did. I miss the Snitch on a Saturday. It would bring the crowds back. Iota my COD. WOD Retro.
  14. 53 minutes and very enjoyable. IOTA was only temporarily a problem but the O and the A helped me see the light, after I couldn’t think of a language called ?O?A (not that there might not be one). My LOIs were the SE corner, so BARTOK (delightful clue) and then KEEP UP?, no ON, which then gave me RETRO (R?T?U was obviously not going anywhere). COD to ANNEX.
  15. Good time for me

    PDM on IOTA after a 2 minute tank. IONA was itching to jump in there but perseverance was rewarded for a change. So obvious when you see it but so difficult when you can’t

    Superb anagram for the LOW HANGING FRUIT — must confess to being one of the few business-speak words I regularly use though I’m always appalled at myself when I do

    Re the comment about delaying the blog, I always do the puzzle a week late so can post a comment after I’ve done it, but I can see there’s a contrary view

    Thanks Bruce and Setter

    1. dvynys, ref the anonymous comment about Saturday blogs, you may like to see my reply above.
  16. I share the blogger’s misgivings about height and think a boxer is a different breed from a pug, but why complain when I twigged both….. eventually, as the puzzle was a joy, so thanks to setter and blogger. FOI guilders, LOI iota, COD, so many but joint prize to iota and Bartok. Didn’t parse nigh, but it’s plain enough when you see it.
  17. Hello all
    Long time lurker here. Buffing my skills pre-sign-up.
    I have a question: I’m aware of SNITCH and the relative difficulty of weekday crosswords. But I generally tend to do the Saturday puzzle (job, kids, tiredness etc). Could anyone let me know where Saturday sits in terms of difficulty?
    Any thoughts welcome. Thank you!
    Lurks McGinty
    1. Hi Lurks, don’t hesitate to sign up!

      For difficulty, Saturdays are midway – harder than mellow Mondays, but easier than fierce Fridays.

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