Times Cryptic No 28260 – Saturday, 11 April 2022. Show me the shape of your money!

This was easy bar the last few in the north-east. I knew I’d seen the answer to 10A before, but even after I got that, it took ages to see the wordplay … a delightful device! I struggled with the wordplay at 6D too, although that answer was obvious. 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. Any hidden answers are in red.

1 Announced shopkeeper’s earner, (also not so nice or little!) (7)
GROSSER – sounds (‘announced’) like GROCER. Three definitions, if I’m reading it right: earner = a nice little earner of the kind Arthur Daley liked so much; not so nice = more unpleasant; or not so little = more overweight. Setter, you spoil us!
5 Nothing in set of clothes is wasted (3,2,2)
OUT OF IT – put another “O” in OUTFIT.
9 What to do with envelopes, each carried by different postmen? (5,4)
STEAM OPEN – anagram (different): POSTMEN, with EA=each inside. How do you steam open an email?
10 Coin that was rectangular? Normal shape for coin! (5)
OBANG – an old oblong Japanese gold coin. The wordplay is: O=round=normal shape of a coin + BANG=slang name for an exclamation mark. We’ve seen colons and even semicolons used before, but this is the first time I’ve seen an exclamation mark used like this!
11 Summer featured days on the turn, shorter (5)
ADDER – backwards (‘on the turn’) hidden (‘shorter’) answer.
12 A lot of wine with curry — by chance, neither finished (9)
BALTHAZAR – BALT(i) = curry, HAZAR(d) = chance.
14 Writers were emotional, upset by US jails (4-6,4)
FELT-TIPPED PENS – FELT=were emotional + TIPPED=upset + PENS=US jails.
17 Game had by for example snowboarders (3-2-3-6)
PIG-IN-THE-MIDDLE – ‘snowBOARders’ has BOAR in the middle, you see.
21 Source thus claiming government department’s in fits (9)
SPASMODIC – SPA=source + SIC=thus, ‘claiming’ MOD.
23 Chap roughly repelled bloodsuckers (5)
CECIL – C=roughly + LICE ‘repelled’.
24 Sounded thrilled: and so to the end, off and on (5)
OOHED – alternate letters (‘off and on’) of s-O—t-O—t-H-e—E-n-D.
25 One prompts backward solicitor: speak! (4,2,3)
SPIT IT OUT – I=one + TIPS=prompts, all ‘backward’, then TOUT.
26 Peninsula that might be Burmese poking into a bit of China (7)
YUCATAN – CAT=Burmese for example, inside YUAN=Chinese coin. (I’m not sure if it’s a coin these days, but historically it was. Its still money, obviously.)
27 Drink, uninteresting, altered internally with spice (7)
GINGERY – GIN=drink + G(RE)Y, ‘altered internally’.

1 Gossip is good when appropriate (6)
GASBAG – G=good + AS=when + BAG=appropriate, as in confiscate.
2 EU minister opening function turned up late (7)
OVERDUE – E.U. + REV ‘opening’ DO, all ‘turned up’ in this down clue.
3 Helping person out of Asian tram (9)
SAMARITAN – anagram (out of): ASIAN TRAM.
4 Almost the whole nation cast out again (11)
REPUBLISHED – REPUBLI(c)=nation + SHED=cast.
5 Private’s pained expression, close to exhaustion (3)
OWN – OW=that hurt + (exhaustio)N.
6 What bit possibly can be over by Thursday? (5)
TOOTH – TOO=(can be) over, as in over-heavy + TH=Thursday. I struggled with the wordplay here. I’d be happy if anyone has another explanation!
7 Exhausted state of female on drinking spree? (7)
FRAZZLE – F=female + RAZZLE=drinking spree.
8 Dynamic economy initially is right to reform (8)
TIGERISH – anagram (to reform): E (from economy) IS RIGHT.
13 Yummy sauce something recommended less for kids these days (3-8)
15 Working out what dockers might have done (9)
DEDUCTION – I’m calling this a cryptic hint, on the basis that a docker here might dock your pay, unlike the dockers who work on the waterfront.
16 Yankees involved with sports plot with agents (3,5)
SPY STORY – anagram (involved): Y Y (Yankees, plural) SPORTS.
18 Vivid reaction from drunk after endless Merlot? (7)
GRAPHIC – Merlot is a GRAP(e). HIC is what a drunk might do.
19 Sugar drop about to take effect (7)
20 Flamboyant if unattractive topless hosts it’s understood (6)
GLITZY – ITZ sounds like IT’S. Put it in (u)GLY.
22 Film about day centre (5)
25 Function that could be deadly? (3)
SIN – double definition: trig function, or deadly sin of the religious type.

24 comments on “Times Cryptic No 28260 – Saturday, 11 April 2022. Show me the shape of your money!”

  1. Worked out DETAILING for 15d, thinking it was clever, though the definition was a little loose. Deduced DEDUCTION after forced to reconsider by checkers.
    Thanks to our blogger for parsing OBANG! ( I never knew an exclamation mark was a bang!), and for 1a which I can now fully appreciate. Thanks also to our setter.
    1. Me too. DETAILING seemed close enough to everything in the clue. Until the checkers were impossible.
  2. Thank you, Bruce. I made heavier work of this than perhaps I should have. So thank you, particularly, for OBANG and TOOTH. I just didn’t see the hidden reverse in 11ac nor have I ever heard of BANG as an exclamation mark.
    The device in 23ac -SNOWBOARDERS- was a surprise. I’m more used to the phrase ‘piggy-in-the-middle’.
    My favourites were DEDUCTION and REPUBLISHED.
  3. DNK RAZZLE, DNK BALTHAZAR, DNK PIG-IN-THE-MIDDLE and never figured out how it worked. Never got TOOTH or OBANG. Thought of TOOTH but didn’t see how too=over; and it actually doesn’t, it can = over-, a prefix not a word. (I wouldn’t expect ‘un’ in a clue to mean NOT.) NHO BANG, and NHO OBANG. Normally Japanese words in transliteration don’t end in -ng. Not to mention the obang wasn’t rectangular; it had no angles.
    1. …but apart from that it was a successful solve..🙂 I also had no idea on TOOTH and OBANG for all the same reasons!
    2. The OED redirects obang to OBAN. But then says: “An oblong gold coin with rounded corners, formerly current in Japan and now used on special occasions in offerings or gifts; the sum of money represented by this, equal to ten kobangs”
  4. I solved this in 43 minutes after walking Penny, our daughter’s dog who was with us for the weekend. I didn’t know of BANG for exclamation mark, which made the clue incomprehensible. I could see that O, the right shape, was round and I thought I remembered that either BANG or OBANG was a coin but I wondered if there was a play on Oblong that I was missing. We always played PIGGY IN THE MIDDLE, which would have got COD but not as a PIG. So COD to OUT OF IT. Penny was no help, not even on the coin. Thank you B and setter.
  5. 36m, so not too bad for me, with FOI 1d and LOI the obvious COD 10a, which I’m surprised I managed to parse at the time.
  6. As Kevin said. Wanted T___H to be TENTH ie “possibly a bit”. Thought I was on the money there but obvs couldnt parse the TEN bit. Gave up on the half hour and used a word checker for the coin but even then had no idea what the answer was. Not a good sign

    Enjoyed it until the last pair of crossers and dare I say it, think OBANG wasn’t a great clue. Even with the initial O it would have been a general knowledge question not a cryptic

  7. Managed this until LOI, OBANG, which I eventually used a wordfinder for. I then saw the parsing straight away, but didn’t know the coin. 34:58 with the rest parsed. I saw ITZ as a homophone too. Thanks setter and Bruce.
  8. Not easy at all in my view. I got TOOTH (unparsed and can now only just see how it should work) but OBANG was way beyond me.
    DETAILING at 15d was a hold-up, but I corrected it. I still failed to get CECIL and GLITZY.
    I liked GINGERY for the PDM moment.
  9. Quite liked this one.
    Had heard of obangs, but not of bang in this context. It is in Lexico as a “North American computing” term.
    Which helps to explain the origin also of the interrobang..
    Pig-in-the-middle is just plain wrong, it is “piggy” all the way
    1. Yes, come to think of it, I had an advantage there, being a geek. The North American computing term spread rapidly out to the rest of the world alongside the internet—UUCP “bang paths“, the shebang, so forth—and I was immersed in that culture in the early nineties.
  10. 14:22. Fortunately OBANG seemed vaguely familiar, because I had no idea about the wordplay. Never heard an exclamation mark called that.
    In 6dn I read it as over=TOO. I don’t have a problem with clueing a prefix with a word like this.

    Edited at 2022-04-16 08:37 am (UTC)

  11. The first half dozen went in fairly quickly, starting with YUCATAN and OUT OF IT, then a long, slow slog to the finish, ending with PIG-IN-THE-MIDDLE and OBANG, neither of which I was able to parse, so thank you, Bruce, for the long-awaited explanations. Those ‘words in the centre of other words clued as examples’ get me every time! Thanks too to the setter for some nice PDMs.
  12. New GK for me in OBANG and BALTHAZAR, and lots of cryptic devices still to learn: DNK ‘involved’ signified an anagram, had not thought of ‘tout’ as solicitor nor ‘summer’ as an ADDER (both obvious now), and totally caught out by PIG IN THE MIDDLE! Thoroughly enjoyed, but way off being able to solve without the help of the blog. No matter, I will persist. Loving the process. Thanks all.
  13. Two points. Firstly, The coin is rectangular, so why the question mark in the first part of the clue? More generally, if there is a really obscure word as an answer, it’s simply not fair to have an equally obscure word play. The crossword editor should have jumped on that.
    1. Must say I agree. I got lucky in that OBANG was vaguely familiar but this is a poor clue IMO.
    2. I also agree about the double obscurity re OBANG. I didn’t mind the question mark though as I’d say it’s meant to be taken in the context of the whole clue where I think it’s needed to make some sort of sense of the surface reading in which the square coin is being contrasted with normal round shape.
  14. Well, OBANG defeated me. I must have seen it before somewhere because I was going to put it in, but I absolutely couldn’t justify it from the wordplay, so I changed FRAZZLE to FRIZZLE and wrote in ORING, thinking this might be a variant of the Scandinavian øre. Not really fair, so not too disappointing.
  15. I struggled in the NE. I didn’t understand the wordplay for TOOTH so worried it might be TEETH (with equally incomprehensible wordplay). OBANG I’d never heard of and bunged it in as the most likely combination of letters. I’d forgotten that ! can be “bang”. If you ever programmed in BCPL, where ! was the way you indexed arrays, we said “pling”. I have no idea why, but our lecturer on compilers was Martin Richards who invented BCPL and wrote the original compilers, so I guess we just picked it up from him.

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