Times Cryptic No 28236 – Saturday, 12 March 2022. No lack of spirit here.

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
I thought I detected more humour than usual in this offering. 17ac made me smile, and 15dn had a light touch. New setter, or just a sunny day? We’ve finally had some sunshine in these parts in recent days, after much, much rain in the weeks before … but Chateau BNC has stayed well above water, thanks for asking.  Thanks too 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. Any hidden answers are in red.

1 Fashionable rental, presenting view of bay (5)
INLET – IN=fashionable + LET=rental. An unfamiliar use of ‘let’, for me at least, but it’s in the dictionary.
4 Deficiency that may presage long winter in Canada? (9)
SHORTFALL – in North America, autumn is ‘fall’.
9 Stiff, traditional drawers use this to avoid unsightly lines (3,6)
SET SQUARE – SET=stiff + SQUARE=traditional.
10 Characters at either end eye native American (5)
AZTEC – A+Z=the characters at either end of the alphabet + TEC=(private) eye.
11 Rouse tribes in revolt (6)
BESTIR – anagram (in revolt): TRIBES.
12 Author, not the first, trapped by agency standards (8)
14 Like hardened criminal found with diamonds? (3-6)
RED-HANDED – anagram (criminal): HARDENED + D. Our first literal definition.
16 Play area found by tot (5)
17 Run into dog’s dinner here? (5)
INCUR – definition plus jocular hint. The dog’s dinner might end up IN the CUR.
19 Pants for gents in Alaska to wear? (4,5)
LONG JOHNS – JOHN=gents, in Alaska or elsewhere in the U.S. It’s wearing LONGS=pants for. Our second literal definition.
21 A European capital divided by river port (8)
ABERDEEN – A + BERN ‘divided by’ DEE.
22 Members once used to communicate this way, seeking to get better? (3-3)
TIC-TAC – and now a cryptic definition. It was a form of semaphore used by bookmakers. The betters here are the bookies’ customers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tic-tac .
25 This setter’s a brute oddly lacking colour (5)
IMBUE – I’M (a) B(r)U(t)E.
26 Lancaster damaged in descent? (9)
ANCESTRAL – anagram (damaged): LANCASTER.
27 Publication of novel’s followed by book and film (9)
NEWSSHEET – NEW’S + SHE + ET. Every setter’s go-to book and film.
28 Substitute for axes (5)
PROXY – PRO=for + X + Y.

1 Serving minister’s investment cornering naval hardware produces rebellion (15)
INSUBORDINATION – IN=serving + ORDINATION=investment, ‘cornering’ SUB.
2 Plant, mostly forgotten, occupied by organised labour (5)
LOTUS – LOS(t) ‘occupied by’ TU.
3 Parisian who comes in late plastered — on this? (7)
TEQUILA – QUI=’who’ in Paris, ‘coming in’ an anagram (plastered): LATE.
4 Do computers up (4)
SCAM – MACS ‘up’.
5 Having a surfeit of equestrianism taking precedence (10)
OVERRIDING – another jocular hint.
6 Was Browning celebrated with presentation of a cup? (7)
TOASTED – double definition. Perhaps ‘was browning’ is not quite the same part of speech as the answer, but the contortion was needed to fit the surface of the clue.
7 Consequences of following subject in Washington? (9)
AFTERMATH – AFTER=following + MATH=mathematics, in Washington or elsewhere in the U.S.
8 Want a platform? I demand end of poverty in an ineffectual manner (15)
13 Being eligible for full fare, note price downgrade (10)
15 Biscuit ingredient as mixed by Spooner that’s seen on collar (6,3)
DICKEY BOW – do the standard Spooner transformation on BICKIE DOUGH.
18 Right to add more seasoning? (7)
REDRESS – again, a definition plus jocular hint.
20 Volunteers get together to eat (5,2)
23 Body temperature (approx.) (5)
TORSO – T=temperature + OR SO=approx..
24 Authentic dramatist, German, not British (4)
ECHT – (Bertold) (Br)ECHT. A German, or perhaps Yiddish, answer.

24 comments on “Times Cryptic No 28236 – Saturday, 12 March 2022. No lack of spirit here.”

  1. DNK TIC-TAC, DICKEY BOW, or ‘bickey’, for that matter, which made 15d my LOI. The setter uses the same device ‘in Canada?’/’in Washington?’/’in Alaska’ rather a lot; also ‘Parisian who’.
  2. I got to the LOI 22a realising that it was a pangram missing only a V. Therefore VIA-TIC must be the required last answer. Some betting term in England perhaps? A wager made on credit? Alas no!
    An otherwise pleasing 16:22

    Edited at 2022-03-19 01:45 am (UTC)

  3. Wouldn’t the definition in 1 Across just be ” bay” and not “view of bay”?
    1. Maybe so. But then, I don’t know what ‘view of’ is doing in the clue.

      Edited at 2022-03-19 02:42 am (UTC)

      1. My two penn’rth is that once you have worked it out, you have a view of the answer, i.e. the bay.
  4. Forgot to look up TIC-TAC, but figured TIC-TOC was lacking in Ks, and remembered the game played on chalkboard or paper… This was after I put the paper copy away, though…
    And I still don’t understand the non-definition part of the clue.

    Edited at 2022-03-19 03:51 am (UTC)

    1. I think it’s just a cryptic definition. The betters or punters are the bookmakers’ customers. Tic-tac was used presumably to coordinates the odds different bookies offered to the betters.
      1. Oh, it’s one of those (supposedly) cryptic definitions that depend on the solver not immediately getting the intended sense of one of the words or phrases (here, “get better”). OK. So the “tic-tac” system would tout odds that would draw in gamblers.
  5. Mostly straightforward I thought, but I found the SW tricky.
    Thanks, Bruce, for LONG JOHNS (very good!), TIC TAC and REDRESS.
    LOI: ABERDEEN/DICKEY BOW. I thought it was ‘dickie bow’ but that wouldn’t have worked with ABERDEEN, of course.
    Yes, INCUR amused me, too, but COD to AFTERMATH.
    Glad you don’t have webbed feet, Bruce! And trust you haven’t had an infestation of snakes and spiders.
  6. 39 minutes, ending with the final decision as to how to spell DICKEY-BOW, once the granite city was spotted. I liked PROXY, TORSO and LONG JOHNS but COD to LACKADAISICALLY for the PDM when I realised what platform it was. Here’s another piece of useless and pointless knowledge. I first knew of the TIC TAC man from Educated Evans, a TV series in the fifties starring Charlie Chester, based on an Edgar Wallace novel from much earlier again. Thank you B and setter.
  7. Quite liked this but found it difficult in the SW corner thanks to the poor clue 15dn.. Since it is obviously bickie, I assumed it would therefore be dickie, which made 21ac hard to spot..
  8. Another for whom the Granite City provided the required spelling of DICKEY BOW. INLET was FOI, ECHT finished the job. 21:26. Thanks setter and Bruce. Glad to hear you didn’t get wet feet!
  9. Sub 20 minutes!! Oh, my goodness…After a run of failures to complete, that is beyond satisfying. (Please don’t tell me it was easy-peasy and burst my bubble.) FOI 1ac INLET, followed by steady progress to LOI 6d TOASTED, which made me laugh when the penny dropped. Might even make that my COD. Thanks to setter and bloggers for the lessons.
  10. 12:45. Having DICKIE BOW slowed me down a fair bit. I thought TIC-TAC was a bit obscure for a cryptic definition like this.
    1. I thought the definition was just plain wrong. I might be wrong, but I always thought tic-tacking was about bookies protecting themselves from losses, rather than attracting punters. Before pre-post betting and widespread communications like interwwwebs and mobile phones, bookies actually had to calculate their own odds. If they got it a bit wrong they lost big-time. So when betting opened 30-odd minutes before a race the lesser bookies in the flat would like to (need to) know the odds the superior bookies on the rails were offering, in case they got burnt. Plus the changes as betting progressed, in case there was a big plunge on a horse that everyone *knew* was going to win (racing is bent).
      In passing – people were disparaging greyhound racing the other day as boring, but it’s one of the purest sports in the world. The dogs don’t have a jockey on their back getting the strategy wrong or *horrors* pulling them up; and they don’t overthink it and psyche themselves out lie humans can. But I’m biased – I don’t really follow the dog racing, but love them as pets – got two greyhounds at the moment.
      1. I had a vague thought along similar lines but I was a bit hazy about exactly what TIC-TAC was and thought that in a broad sense communication between bookies was aimed at attracting custom. But as you say it was presumably more aimed at not attracting the wrong sort of custom.
        I agree with you about greyhound racing, it’s a fun evening out.
  11. Add me to the long list of people who could not spell DICKIE BOW.
    Otherwise I found this reasonably straightforward and enjoyable.
    1. According to SOED the tie is a ‘dicky bow’ and a biscuit is a ‘bicky’ with ‘bikky’ as an alternative spelling. I wrote in the answer with a shrug merely because it fitted.
  12. 29:53. Good to come in under the half hour. I’m another with my DICKIE BOW making ABERDEEN impossible until it finally clicked. I liked TORSO and TEQUILA
  13. Had to use aids for 24d, hadn’t heard of the answer, hadn’t heard of the dramatist.
  14. Didn’t get many on my first pass of acrosses apart from INLET but slowly sped up

    Same as others on DICKEY BOW but thought it was a tremendous Spoonerism with a big smile on the PDM

    Also thumbs up to LACKADAISICALLY TEQUILA and ECHT but particularly TIC-TAC which was my clue of the day as I remembered to watch the Gold Cup yesterday and was rewarded with a brilliant last couple of furlongs

    Thanks Bruce and setter

  15. I was another one held up by putting DICKIE BOW for a time. It’s a really poor clue when there is more than one correct spelling and the clue offers no way to tell which is correct. Of course, in this case you have to find the right spelling to finish the crossword, which I eventually did.
  16. Not only does RED HANDED meet the wordplay (anagram of HARDENED+D) and the literal meaning (“criminal found with diamonds” is “caught red handed”) but also you are “red handed” if your hand of cards is all diamonds. Just a thought as to another interpretation.

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