Times Cryptic No 28194 – Saturday, 22 January 2022. Call that funny?

The names of the comedian at 3dn and the manager at 6dn may be unfamiliar to solvers outside the sceptered isle, likewise the answer at 25ac. Otherwise this was a normal Saturday assignment, I thought. 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 Retreating sailors protected by Irish front line (6)
ISOBAR – turn AB=able bodied (seaman) + OS=ordinary seaman back to front, and put them in IR=Irish. The definition relates to lines on a meteorological chart.
5 Cook cut round plant brought to a mature woman (8)
BABUSHKA – BAK(e) around BUSH, followed by A.
9 Problem at retirement at home as I’m on for working (8)
INSOMNIA – IN + anagram (for working): AS IM ON.
10 Goods in from overseas having considerable weight (6)
IMPORT – double definition.
11 Fruit plant soils weren’t loam (10)
WATERMELON – anagram (soils): WERENT LOAM. “Soils” as an anagram indicator is worth an eyebrow raise, I think.
13 Maybe single mother becomes prayer leader (4)
IMAM – I=one, MAM=mother.
14 Beer leads to madness in local discotheque (4)
MILD – leading letters of the last four words.
15 Devout student in times past collecting old Christian sayings (10)
THEOLOGIAN – THEN=in times past, collecting O + LOGIA=sayings. A student of the devout, not necessarily a student who is devout.
18 Vegetables are supposed to be this well done (4,3,3)
GOOD FOR YOU – double definition.
20 Germ linked to eastern seaside resort (4)
BUDE – BUD=germ + E. It’s in the west of course – tricky setter.
21 Fish leaving river — cost measured in lives? (4)
TOLL – T(r)OLL=fish.
23 Unconventional Olympian climbers potentially falling thus? (3,3,4)
OFF THE WALL – cryptic hint: it seems the home of the Greek Gods was an acropolis on Mount Olympus, so I guess there were walls to fall off.
25 Butcher’s fine cuts secure starter for Indian (6)
SHUFTI – SHUT=secure. Insert F=fine, and append I. “Butcher’s hook” is Cockney Rhyming Slang for “look”, and “shufti” likewise is/was military slang.
26 Renouncing faith in second year after ex-drinkers outside bar (8)
APOSTASY – A.A.=ex-drinkers, outside POST. Append S=second + Y=year.
28 What will punter do to acquire new set at any cost? (4-4)
HELL-BENT – a punter? HE’LL BET! Insert N=new.
29 Holy man residing here has made spicy butter (6)
ASHRAM – anagram (spicy): HAS + RAM=butter.

2 An apostle not entirely visible in Chinese republic (3,6)
SAN MARINO – AN MAR(k) in SINO=Chinese.
3 Support or express contempt for Knotty Ash comedian, not funny (7)
BOOKEND – BOO=express contempt + KEN D(odd) was the Knotty Ash comedian, As to whether he was funny, I couldn’t possibly comment.
4 Carried aboard British ships, Sandinista finally took flight (3)
RAN – (sandanist)A ‘aboard’ R.N.
5 Immature, getting in middle of clubland fight (5)
BRAWL – RAW in (clu) BL (and).
6 Man, not the Messiah, on cold Irish water? He managed (5,6)
BRIAN CLOUGH – this might be hard for those who didn’t know Brian Clough, a successful manager of Derby County and Notts Forest Football Clubs.

Still, you may remember from The Life of Brian, that BRIAN was “not the Messiah  – he’s a very naughty boy”. C=cold, of course, and a LOUGH is an Irish lake.

7 Trying to excise mass — no significant growth (7)
SAPLING – SA(m)PLING = trying.
8 Suffering regular losses, upset farmer lacks destiny (5)
KARMA – hidden backwards in f A r M e R  l A c K s.
12 Create as legend heartless moggy, hostile, running amok (11)
MYTHOLOGISE – anagram (running amok):  MO(g)GY + HOSTILE.
16 City bank devoid of capital (3)
ELY – (r)ELY. A chestnut. As remarked before, Ely is a city because of its cathedral, not its size.
17 Spanish region with a mostly luxurious island area (9)
ANDALUSIA –AND=with + A (literally) + LUS(h)=luxurious + I=island + A=area. It took a while to see the wordplay. I was looking for an anagram of ISLAND + A = LU, with the LU impossible to explain!
19 Threatening to have party for graduate experiencing sorrow (7)
DOLEFUL – BALEFUL loses BA and adds DO. Cute.
20 Get intoxicated long after beer has run out (7)
BEWITCH – ITCH after B(r)EW.
22 So dramatic, with lunar eclipse at last revealing earth’s shade (5)
OCHRE – spelled out by the last letters of each word.
24 Go hungry, retaining little energy: address that here? (5)
27 Eggs from hen — six delivered for picking up? (3)
OVA – sounds like OVER. Cricketing clue of sorts.

22 comments on “Times Cryptic No 28194 – Saturday, 22 January 2022. Call that funny?”

  1. Brian Clough surely was the messiah for Nottingham Forest in the seventies. And wasn’t Ken Dodd’s heyday also in the seventies? Is the setter giving clues to his age, or that of the solvers?
    Thanks to Brnchn for parsing DOLEFUL for me. The rest parsed nicely. Particularly liked HELL-BENT
  2. This took me forever, mostly offline. NHO Knotty Ash, and biffed BOOKEND; later confirmed that I NHO the comedian either. Fortunately I remembered SHUFTI, and BUDE was vaguely familiar. I’m not sure that ‘devout student’ works as a definition; a theologian need not, I suppose, be devout, but certainly doesn’t study the devout; that’s a job for the sociologist or psychologist. Wasn’t it BRIAN CLOUGH that Eric Idle parodied (I think in the Yangtze River sketch)? [On edit: Yes: “Well, you must remember, David, er, that these, er, goalies — especially Wilson, and on occasion Gordon West of Everton — are romantics, er, they’re dreamers, er, the Yangtse’s a symbol for them, er, for them it evokes, er, David, a temporal as well as a, er, spiritual continuity.”] I liked GOOD FOR YOU, but COD to DOLEFUL.

    Edited at 2022-01-29 07:55 am (UTC)

  3. Nice blog, brnchn
    I knew Clough, and with the crossers didn’t need to know K Dodd, though I think I’m sorry I didn’t know him from experience. The one I liked best was Doleful, after the penny dropped. Before that it was the one I liked least.
  4. Another NHO Knotty Ash, and couldn’t expand on a hopeful Ken D. Had heard of Ol’ Big Head, and Bude rang a faint bell. Missed the parsing of doleful, so thanks for that – excellent clue.
    Speed climbing is now an Olympic sport, on manufactured ‘climbing walls’ in gyms, so present-day Olympians can miss a hold and fall off the wall.
    Liked BEWITCH best.
  5. …I left the Knotty Ash conundrum unsolved, though I got the answer nonetheless. BRIAN CLOUGH seemed vaguely familiar, and SHUFTI is one I’ve learned from hanging around here.

    Edited at 2022-01-29 04:24 am (UTC)

  6. No problem with Knotty Ash. I had relatives in Liverpool, of which Knotty Ash is a suburb. I also lived in Liverpool for a couple of years and saw Ken Dodd in cabaret at a club. He had the whole audience in stitches all evening without once resorting to ‘blue’ humour. So, yes, he was funny.
    Obviously no problem with Brian Clough.
    My father who spent time in North Africa in the army during WWII, came back with several foreign words, one of which was SHUFTI.
    My first instinct on seeing ‘clubland’ was: Pall Mall.
    Thank you, Bruce for ISOBAR, DOLEFUL and ANDALUSIA.
    1. Similar source of SHUFTI for me, with my father in the RAF in north Africa in WW11. He’s also been useful for ‘erk’,’glasshouse’ and ‘NAAFI’ which have made appearances in these puzzles.
  7. Finished and correct in 85 minutes but with ISOBAR (couldn’t see where the SO came from and still can’t). THEOLOGIAN, TOLL, APOSTASY and SAPLING needing the blog to fully understand.
    BIFD DOLEFUL and HELL BENT so again needing the blog to see the wordplay.
  8. 27 minutes. Good fun in the main, but I found the SW a bit tricky. COD to GOOD FOR YOU, not that I necessarily always believe it to be the case, particularly with sprouts. HELL-BENT was a great clue too, and any crossword that references both Ken Dodd and Brian Clough is worth doing. I tied myself in knots with THEOLOGIAN, which was disappointingly simple, by trying to tie it in with Q, the supposed source of sayings added to Mark’s gospel by Matthew and Luke. Sometimes too much knowledge isn’t helpful. Enjoyable. Thank you B and setter.
  9. No problems with this pleasant effort, once I managed to spell Andalusia correctly..
    I loved 6dn, and it is nice to see the best ever football manager referenced. Much easier to throw money at the game, as the likes of Man C or Man U do, than it is to simply build a great team as Clough managed to do, more than once. I know he was the best because I got talking to Alan Durban in a restaurant in Spain once and he told me so.
    1. I was nearly thrown by spelling Andalucía correctly, as it is here in Spain. I had to revise it to the anglophone version of course.
  10. Bang on 29 minutes with T(r)OLL LOI. Liked BOOKEND. I once went to see Ken Dodd in Middlesbrough Town Hall and had to take the kids home half way through. He went on until 1am! Brian Clough once opened our school sports day when he was at Sunderland. Charlie Hurley was with him. A biffed THEOLOGIST held up ANDALUSIA. SW took longest. Liked HELL BENT. Fun puzzle! 29:00. Thanks setter and Bruce.
  11. Found this enjoyable and fairly straightforward; knew the GK. I liked Ken Dodd’s jokes; his inheritance tax planning was a bit last-minute but perhaps showed his comic timing. And Brian Clough probably was the best at managing resources; Peter Taylor helped.
    LOI was TOLL which I was not absolutely sure about.
    Finished over lunch.
  12. Scuse late arrival. Storm = power cut.
    Was going great guns on this, from FOI 9ac’s anagram INSOMNIA. But then smugness comes before a stumble because I ground to a halt in the north-west. Just couldn’t figure 1ac, 14ac, 2d nor 3D, so it’s a DNF for me. Darn it.
  13. The SW did for me – doleful and toll were the fish (or trolls) that got away. Liked hell-bent. Thanks for the blog.
  14. The South-West was heavy going, with 21ac TOLL and 18dn DOLEFUL the culprits.

    FOI 5dn BRAWL

    (LOI) 28ac HELL BENT!

    COD 3dn BOOKEND – saw Doddy live at Blackpool Pier c.1962. Absolutely hilarious – we were hurting! He just wouldn’t get off the stage! Never enjoyed his singin’, mind.

    WOD 6dn BRIAN CLOUGH The Messiah! I shot a commercial at Highbury c.1980 with him and Arthur Lowe for Parker Pens. ‘Young man, young man!’

    The Watermelon Man was bizarre for its time!

    Edited at 2022-01-29 05:55 pm (UTC)

  15. I’m another who was doing OK until I hit the SW corner. But got there in the end once the penny dropped with DOLEFUL. I hesitated over DOOMFUL before I finally saw the parsing. 46 minutes. Ann
  16. 13:22. I had no idea about Knotty Ash and got the Dodd reference from ‘comedian, not funny’. I felt at the time that this was probably unfair and some of the above comments confirm it, but that’s how I did it.
    I took ‘Olympian climbers’ to be a sports reference rather than anything god-related.
    BUDE is where we were supposed to be after Christmas but I got Covid so we stayed in London 🙁

    Edited at 2022-01-29 06:45 pm (UTC)

  17. I very much enjoyed being able to finish this, though it took 75 minutes. Lots of references I knew nothing about, but the wordplay made them solvable (BRIAN CLOUGH, for example) and many answers which I found, let us say unexpected, when I did find them. But I was able to parse almost everything (and should have been able to parse the two I couldn’t). LOIs were DOLEFUL (which started life as the unlikely DOLIENT) and then SHUFTI and finally HELL-BENT.
    This puzzle has a similar flavour to those we’ve seen all the last week, although of course, being a week old, it was the first of them.

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