Times Cryptic No 28212 – Saturday, 12 February 2022. Bottoms up.

Quite a lot of drinking references today, but luckily you should be able to solve it despite any 24ac. 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.

1 One gathers exercise stretches back (6)
4 Hitch cables to rocks (8)
OBSTACLE – anagram (rocks): CABLES TO.
10 Porcelain bottom of mug with area damaged (9)
CHINAWARE – CHIN = bottom of mug/face + anagram (damaged): W=with + AREA.
11 Artist working in opera house abroad (5)
MONET – ON=working, in MET=opera house.
12 Landlocked people being sensible keeping naval forces? (3,8)
SAN MARINESE – SANE=sensible, around MARINES=naval force.
14 Broadcast appearance (3)
AIR – double definition.
15 Supporter of glass company plant (7)
COASTER – CO(mpany) + ASTER=plant.
17 Young professional pup, one working in yen and euro (6)
YUPPIE – anagram (working) PUP + I=one, all inside Y=yen + E=euro.
19 Volume perhaps a couple of pints over (6)
QUARTO – QUART=2 pints + O=over. A book size.
21 Slowly filter into bar returning for a drinking session (5-2)
BOOZE-UP – OOZE in PUB ‘returning’.
23 A large, black religious garment (3)
ALB – A + L + B.
24 Fact fee fret funny further fruit? (11)
AFTEREFFECT – anagram (funny): FACT FEE FRET. A quirky, alliterative surface.
26 I am back with friend in French city (5)
MIAMI – I’M (back) + AMI (French).
27 Gets all one can from fish drink (9)
MILKSHAKE – MILKS=gets all one can. HAKE=fish.
29 Revolutionary yearning to get new European state capital (8)
CHEYENNE – CHE=the revolutionary. Yen=yearning. N=new. E=European. Capital of Wyoming, pop. 65,000.
30 Both sides needing feet pruned on my shrub (6)
MYRTLE – MY + RT=right (standard abbreviation) + LE(ft). Prune the FT off LEFT, you see.

1 Carrier of some oak cask currently being returned (8)
RUCKSACK – backwards hidden answer.
2 Like his eagle, first Roman emperor is this after October (5)
AVIAN – (Oct)AVIAN is the emperor.
3 On the up, exist for a long time (3)
ERA – ARE backwards (‘up’).
5 Article in vicar’s home is jug for beer supply (7)
BREWERY – EWER replaces A in BR(a)Y. Referring to a satire about the Vicar of Bray.
6 Piano in broadcast Prom with a forte designed to beat fiddles? (6-5)
TAMPER-PROOF – anagram (broadcast): PROM + A + FORTE + P=piano.
7 Isn’t able to tolerate changing key for learner in singing piece (9)
CANTABILE – CAN’T ABIDE, changing the key of D to L for learner.
8 Urge using tons for hours to squeeze out under pressure (6)
EXTORT – EXHORT replacing H=hours by T=tons.
9 Criminal charge that is right for weapon that is used to attack (6)
RAPIER – RAP=criminal charge + I.E. + R.
13 Choice of temperature in beer supported by Esher’s last local (11)
ALTERNATIVE – T in ALE + R from (Esche)R + NATIVE.
16 Hint at introduction of absolutely stupid measure (9)
ADUMBRATE – A(bsolutely) + DUMB + RATE.
18 White wine is palest somehow bottled in southeast (8)
SPÄTLESE – anagram (somehow): PALEST, in S.E. You have to imagine the umlaut.
20 Turk’s short sentence that’s overturned and finally annulled (7)
OTTOMAN – a MOTTO is a short sentence. ‘Overturn’ it, and add AN(d). Took me ages to see the wordplay.
21 Only just see after pub (6)
BARELY – BAR=pub, ELY=episcopal see.
22 Volunteers leading Royal Marines and Air Corps? This is on the way (6)
TARMAC – T.A. were volunteers, R.M. are the Royal Marines, A.C. are Air Corps.
25 Annoy a court, not very careful about details (5)
EXACT – (v)EX A CT=court.
28 Bashful’s hot wearing Sleepy’s coat (3)
SHY – H=hot in S(leep)Y.

19 comments on “Times Cryptic No 28212 – Saturday, 12 February 2022. Bottoms up.”

  1. I thought this was relatively straightforward but with some clever clues.
    Thanks Bruce, especially for BREWERY and OTTOMAN. Both puzzled me, especially “and finally annulled” in 20d.
    My favourite clues were 1ac,REAPER, for the use of ‘stretches’ and SAN MARINESE.
    Belated PS: I thought there were a few QC-type clues here: 14ac, 23ac,28d

    Edited at 2022-02-19 05:48 am (UTC)

  2. Actually, more like 20′, as I once again had to deal with cursor freeze (happened again today; seems like a Saturday thing). Fairly middle-of-the-road puzzle, I thought, although I only parsed TAMPER-PROOF & AFTEREFFECT post-subission.
  3. Mostly excellent puzzle. Had to guess AVIAN – heard of Octavian but didn’t know he was first, always thought Caesar, J. was – you know, after crossing the Rubicon and overthrowing the republic.
    My one bugbear is the surface reading of 24a aftereffect – that’s got to be the second worst clue of the decade in the Times. Otherwise very nice.
  4. I might have convinced myself that I got 100% on this, but looked back at my copy and found that I had guessed SPATSELE, although now SPATLESE looks slightly more probable (besides happening to be correct).

    Like Rob, I don’t think the alliteration justifies the incoherent surface for AFTEREFFECT. Was our setter under the infffffffluence?

    Edited at 2022-02-19 04:46 am (UTC)

  5. Once again I’ve lost my printout of a weekend puzzle so I have to go from memory.

    I think I finished within my half-hour target but definitely remember AFTEREFFECT was my LOI and I thought the clue stank. SAN MARINESE took a bit of working out too.

    SPATLESE was no problem because by the time I studied German I was of drinking age and I made a point of learning the names of all the different grades of German wine. This one is made from fully ripe grapes picked late in the season.

    Edited at 2022-02-19 06:47 am (UTC)

  6. I have to admit I had no idea what people from San Marino were called, and I immediately (from “sane”) realized that was what we were talking about so had ot work that one out. That’s about all I remember. Weekend crosswords are hard if you solve them online with nowhere to note clues that were especially good or bad. And a week later…whatever.
  7. 28 minutes.. LOI was the simple QUARTO. I didn’t know SPATLESE and needed all crossers to sort out the anagram. Are those residents really called SAN MARINESE? COD to BREWERY, WOD to ADUMBRATE and reverse of the week to RUCKSACK. Good fun. Thank you B and setter.
  8. I was early on the SPATLESE but late getting to CHEYENNE which was LOI.
    MIAMI FOI and I had a difficult first session getting just 9 clues. I came out strongly in the second half and was finished before the 3PM kick-offs..
    A few queries en route, like how to parse BREWERY and MYRTLE. CHINAWARE parsed but seemed odd.
    I agree there were some QC level clues in here, but plenty of tougher ones.
  9. I rather gave up on this one after I checked my guess of SPATSELE and found out I’d jumped the wrong way. I might not have got it right even if I’d known what language I was choosing from, given that I don’t know any German.

    I did carry on regardless, and in the end finished with a question mark at 5d after 47m. I had heard of The Vicar of Bray, as it turns out, but only once or twice before, I think, and then only in crosswords, so I didn’t spot it at the time.

  10. 19.14, so an average kind of crossword for me. I was quite amused by the alliterative clue, though I skip-read it as Fact free fret which nearly made sense. Our setter nearly managed an alphabetical list of disconnected F-words: in my boo, it goes down as an almost-clever.
    I’d like to be reminded of what the worst clue of the decade was.
  11. Scuse late arrival – I got distracted by the beautiful post-storms weather.
    FOI RUCKSACK at 1d, LOI 2d’s AVIAN – which took some working out! Overall verdict: very fair and interesting clueing. Scratched my head before remembering the word ADUMBRATE for 16d. A good work-out completed in just under an hour.
  12. 45 minutes, but not hard and with many excellent clues to counteract the alliterative one. The decade is still quite young — this is already the SECOND worst? In my book it takes the gold medal; fool’s gold, of course.
  13. Spelt chinawear wrong so DNF. Bray=”vicars home” is ridiculous IMHO. Also didn’t like San Marinese and after effect much ,so all in all, not too happy 🙁
    1. I didn’t get that bit, either. Had quite forgotten about it.

      Edited at 2022-02-19 11:44 pm (UTC)

    2. Funnily, I mindlessly misspelled CHINAWARE too. When I finally focussed on 9dn, ignoring the”helper”, it set me right!

      Edited at 2022-02-19 11:49 pm (UTC)

  14. 25:05 but with a careless OTTAMAN and I had to check the SPATLESE. Thanks setter and Bruce.

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