Times Cryptic No 28218 – Saturday, 19 February 2022. Eclectic but not eccentric.

The answers here seem to come from a vast array of subject matter areas, but none of them beyond the solver’s ken, I hope. I found the north-west corner much the hardest. 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 A person connected with something — with God? (6)
WALLAH – W=with + ALLAH. An Indian word.
5 View from on high shows coastal feature (8)
9 Expert doomed to receive medicine (8)
INFORMED – you’re IN FOR=doomed to receive + MED. ‘Expert on that subject’ is perhaps stronger than ‘informed on it’, but it’s in the same direction. Doomed to receive trouble, for example.
10 Aircraft maker gets cross replacing European packaging (6)
BOXING – change the E in BOEING to an X.
11 Vacated town houses to maintain pub (6)
TAVERN – T(ow)N ‘houses’ AVER=maintain.
12 Drink in haste, stumbling around brewery’s entrance (8)
ABSINTHE – anagram (stumbling): IN HASTE + B.
14 Racket-maker has £500 following mistake (6,6)
HOWLER MONKEY – a HOWLER is a big mistake; a MONKEY is apparently £500.
17 Animated character with pair of bachelors breaking law after row (6,6)
BARNEY RUBBLE – BARNEY=row + RULE=law, with 2 x B=bachelor inside.
20 Some Asians live surrounded by gods (8)
22 You said it conceals copper’s shrewdness (6)
23 Artificial flowers at zoology exhibits (6)
ERSATZ – hidden.
25 Car travels around dropping off university book reviewers (8)
26 Frank to draw out around 10 pence (8)
EXPLICIT – ELICIT ‘around’ X + P.
27 Royal Navy did without large piece of Tyrolean gear? (6)
DIRNDL – DID ‘without’ i.e. outside R.N. + L=large.

2 Temper of one Armstrong, perhaps, during conversation? (6)
ANNEAL – in conversation, sounds like ‘A NEIL’.
3 Can complete transformation save a bit of money? (5,6)
LOOSE CHANGE – LOO=can + SE(A) CHANGE=complete transformation. Take out an A as instructed.
4 Writer‘s pen ultimately writing with style (9)
HEMINGWAY – HEM IN=pen + G=writing, ultimately + WAY=style.
5 Time in agenda adjusted to see part of a circuit (3,4)
AND GATE – anagram (adjusted): AGENDA + T. A logical component in computer circuits.
6 Puzzle inspector (5)
REBUS – double definition, the second a fictional detective.
7 Over the phone, prepares to fire crew member (3)
COX – over the phone, sounds like COCKS.
8 Hencoop dismantled by day, to get ready for wet weather? (8)
PONCHOED – anagram (dismantled): HENCOOP + D.
13 Run question in a different way — I don’t follow! (3,8)
NON SEQUITUR – anagram (in a different way): RUN QUESTION. I would have said this means ‘it doesn’t follow’, but I guess it’s much the same thing.
15 Biblical kingdom with no area given in Numbers (3-6)
MOB-HANDED – MOAB without the A + HANDED=given.
16 Month on island reportedly bamboozles cleaning lady (8)
JANITRIX – JAN + I + sounds like TRICKS. I always raise an eyebrow slightly at seeing these gender-specific nouns still in use.
18 Raises bitter social climber (7)
19 Large volume of water is inverted and exposed to high heat (6)
SEARED – I think the idea is to ‘invert’ the word order of RED SEA.
21 A jail erected to hold unknown Victorian soldier? (5)
ANZAC – A + CAN=jail backwards, containing Z=unknown. Not just Victoria obviously – New Zealand and the other Australian States too.
24 Bucket without a lid spells trouble (3)
AIL – PAIL without the P.

22 comments on “Times Cryptic No 28218 – Saturday, 19 February 2022. Eclectic but not eccentric.”

  1. I edited a story yesterday about the crackdown on journalists in the territory Jammu and Kashmir that cited The Kashmir Walla (no “h” in our transliteration) and I thought of this puzzle.
    Didn’t know the detective, but it’s a great name for one. (What nationality might that be?)
    I didn’t know MONKEY either.
    JANITRIX is in Finnegans Wake: “For her passkey supply to the janitrix, the mistress Kathe.”

    Edited at 2022-02-26 02:16 am (UTC)

    1. REBUS is a real Russian surname, it seems. I suppose it’s not implausible that a wandering Russian might wind up with a detective descendant in Edinburgh, but now of course I can only think of Sean Connery playing Ramius in The Hunt for Red October!

      Edited at 2022-02-26 09:44 am (UTC)

  2. I don’t have a time for this, as I went offline and finished over lunch, but it took a while. Didn’t care for JANITRIX. Didn’t care much for BARNEY RUBBLE, either. DNK MONKEY. WALLAH was my LOI (or POI, I forget): I remembered the punka wallah (the man who pulls the rope to operate the overhead fan) in ‘Passage to India’. I think 13d is to be read as the nonseq speaking. COD to LOOSE CHANGE.

    Edited at 2022-02-26 02:34 am (UTC)

  3. I didn’t care much for Barney Rubble either- such a weak character. He needed to stand up to Fred more.

    I wasted a great deal of time doing a ‘can complete’ anagramatical transformation in 3d, which yielded PLOME ACCENT. The loose change ‘cent’ in this provided an incentive to keep trying to parse it- until sanity prevailed.

    I considered nho MARITRIX as an alternative to nho JANITRIX, but the latter looked a better bet, and so it proved. 24:54

    Edited at 2022-02-26 02:45 am (UTC)

  4. Bruce, you have a minor slip in 3dn, it’s LOO (can) rather than LOOS (cans). Only noticed because it was a clue I hadn’t managed to parse.
  5. Like Bruce, I found the NW corner very difficult.
    WALLAH was my LOI but I also struggled with INFORMED, HEMINGWAY, LOOSE CHANGE and HOWLER MONKEY. I have never heard of 5D: AND GATE.
    At least 27ac fell into my lap, so to speak. Mum was Austrian and had a DIRNDL.
    In 22ac I had ACUITY for a while
    I thought PONCHOED was a little strained as was JANITRIX. The latter is an ugly word I think.
    In 2d, the Armstrong I thought of first was Lance, especially as the European road racing season is about to kick off.
    COD to ANZAC for the use of a ? after “Victorian soldier”.

    Edited at 2022-02-26 06:47 am (UTC)

  6. I was another who bunged in ACUITY without thinking too much about it, and had to take it out again later. I wonder if younger solvers have even seen the Flintstones…its original series ended in 1966. The equivalent for me would be a show from the 1920s or so.
    1. You can still watch the Flintstones today, on one or more of the myriad TV channels that you and I never look at ..
  7. Sadly not. Just over 50 minutes. I constructed AND GATE as LOI and then checked to see what it was. COD to MOB-HANDED with a smile in the direction of BARNEY RUBBLE. Good puzzle, but I wasn’t keen on PONCHOED and had to think twice about JANITRIX. Even Janitor isn’t a word I would ever use, with caretaker and concierge covering that territory. Thank you B and setter.
  8. Not overly keen on this one, which felt rather as if the grid-setting software was having a bit of an off-day. Ponchoed? Janitrix? Hands up who has ever used either of these words? Nor is my daily conversation regularly sprinkled with dirndls, absinthe or ersatz airscapes ..

    Janitor/trix feels like a Creeping Americanism, but in fact isn’t although much more used there nowadays, as opposed to UK’s caretaker (which is unisex, note 🙂 )

  9. The only problem I had in the NE was PONCHOED which was a very late entry. I’m quite familiar with NAND, NOR, OR, EXCLUSIVE OR and AND GATES as they were a big part of my early electronics training. I’ve also watched a lot of the REBUS episodes on TV. ACUITY held up SEARED. I think WALLAH was one of my last ones in. LOOSE CHANGE also held me up. No trouble with RUBBLE. I actually remembered DIRNDL this time! 39:38. Thanks setter and Bruce.
  10. FOI 12ac ABSINTHE, LOI 9ac INFORMED approx 55 minutes later. Some interesting clues and answers: Smiled at BARNEY RUBBLE, NHO AIRSCAPE though it’s perfectly logical, as, I guess, is PONCHOED. Enjoyable. Thanks to setter and blogger.
  11. Near-perfectly aimed at my 1 hour limit it seems, as I scraped in in 59 minutes. Enjoyed HEMINGWAY the most; great surface.

    I have a fair chunk of HEMINGWAY on my shelves, and also, I think, all of the John REBUS novels. I see there are at least a couple more in the pipeline, so that’s something to look forward to…

  12. 22:55. I found this tricky, and wondered slightly at PONCHOED and JANITRIX. A bit forced somehow.
  13. By far the most difficult Saturday puzzle for a long time, IMO. I happened to know AND GATE, which I thought would have puzzled many, thought PONCHOED strained and cleaner for JANITRIX an unfair stretch, though the latter made easier aa it appeared that the puzle would be a pangram. Gave up early, just aa well as NHO 14a, 17a or 15ď!

    Did any crossword fans notice what seems to be a remarkable coincidence in Friday’s Times? On p27, Peter Brookes’s cartoon plagiarises “A Whiter shade of Pale” whereas a later page is devoted to the obituary of its composer.

  14. This took me a long time. I was (eventually) suprised to find janitrix ,ersatz and dirndl are real words. Loved Barney Rubble though

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