Times Cryptic No 28278 – Saturday, 30 April 2022. Who will buy my bright red roses?

A regulation Saturday challenge, done in perhaps slightly under regulation time. 11D stretched my knowledge of Covent Garden – do they sell roses there? 14A amused me, and 15D stretched my vocabulary. 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. Definitions are underlined in bold italics. (ABC)* indicates an anagram of ABC, with the anagram indicator underlined in the clue like this. Deleted letters are in (brackets). Any hidden answers are in red.

1 One taking pleasure from attack on Georgia lawman? (8)
GADABOUT – GA=Georgia + DA=lawman + BOUT.
5 Standard flash measurement used in astronomy (6)
PARSEC – PAR=standard + SEC=flash.
9 Catholic keeps backing Republican supporter, one joining in conflict (3,5)
WAR BRIDE – take R=Republican + BRA=supporter, turn it all backwards, and put it in WIDE=catholic, as in “catholic interests”. I liked the surface of the clue.
10 Refrain from song unavailable (3,3)
LAY OFF – LAY=song + OFF=unavailable.
12 Musical quartet has worried about retiring (5)
EVITA – ATE=worried. Put it ‘about’ IV=quartet, and turn it around (‘retiring’).
13 Again water dry earth, ground close to hedge (9)
REHYDRATE – anagram (ground): DRY EARTH, then E from (hedg)E.
14 Lots of wives knocked down here? (5,7)
DUTCH AUCTION – ho ho. DUTCH is London slang for wife, but apparently not rhyming slang.
18 Moving camera with metal casing fell over (4,1,7)
CAME A CROPPER – COPPER is the metal, ‘casing’ (CAMERA)*.
21 Finished next, penning a note to increase demands (2,3,4)
UP THE ANTE – UP=finished + THEN=next ‘penning’ A +TE=note.
23 Unbecoming pressure on N America to sever relations (5)
INAPT -N.A.=North America + P=pressure, ‘severing’ IT=solver-speak for sexual relations.
24 Mean devil entering lift (6)
SKIMPY – IMP=devil ‘entering’ SKY=lift, as when hitting a ball.
25 Illustrious companion, a pilot, runs off (8)
PALATIAL -PAL=companion + A +T(R)IAL=pilot.
26 Figures showing one ton in quarters (6)
DIGITS -I=one + T=ton, in DIGS=quarters/accommodation.
27 Worked on material, irritated after satirist cleared out (8)

1 Group’s leader had dressed formally (6)
2 Head of state in Irish parliament to go off line (6)
DERAIL -ER=Her Majesty, in DAIL-Irish Parliament. I always have a blank about how to spell Dáil.
3 Marine fish, a food not fully digested in Hebridean isle (9)
4 Drawing attention to consequence of batsman’s poor form? (12)
UNDERSCORING – a cryptic hint, referring to cricket.
6 A minor charge for allotment (5)
7 Irregular cops uneasy about organised raid (8)
8 Face fine when brewing stimulant (8)
11 Support at Covent Garden for Shaw’s play? (3,5,4)
THE APPLE CART – cryptic hint: Covent Garden used to have a fruit and vegetable market. Is it still there?
15 Crackling relating to small hole in humbug (9)
CREPITANT – RE=relating to + PIT=small(?) hole, in CANT.
16 Doomed defendant brought about lawyer’s end (8)
17 Broadcasting session unstarted after the speaker keeled over (8)
EMITTING – ME=speaker, ‘keeling over’ + (S)ITTING.
19 Exile elected to office rising in party (6)
BANISH -IN=elected, ‘rising’, in BASH.
20 Impassive detective much taken aback (6)
STOLID – DI + LOTS, ‘taken aback’.
22 Climbing record broken by unknown resident abroad (5)
EXPAT -TAPE=record, ‘climbing’, ‘broken by’ X=unknown.

28 comments on “Times Cryptic No 28278 – Saturday, 30 April 2022. Who will buy my bright red roses?”

  1. Covent Garden still exists as a market having moved to Nine Elms in 1974 and prefaced its name with ‘New’. The main old market buildings were preserved and redeveloped as a shopping and entertainment centre.

    I found the puzzle quite hard and needed 47 minutes to complete it.

    1. I should have added that the opening scene of Shaw’s play Pygmalion (also the musical My Fair Lady) takes place at Covent Garden market where Eliza Doolittle is a flower seller. It all ties in nicely with the clue.

      Edited at 2022-05-07 07:25 am (UTC)

  2. I found this hard. My time is over 10 hours which means I obviously gave up and came back the next day. There were several clues where it was unclear which end of the clue was the literal, which often leads to a PDM when you realize what is going on.
  3. 5-6 minutes of that time was taken up by 25ac; a long time to think of PALATIAL, and more time to accept it. Which I don’t. DNK BARRA, didn’t get the Covent Garden bit.
    1. Barra is the island in the Hebrides where scheduled flights (DHC Twin Otter) land on the beach. To land there is on my bucket list as is to take the world’s shortest scheduled passenger flight from Westray to Papa Westray (or v.v.) in Orkney. On paper 2mins. About 25-40 seconds in the air between the islands.
  4. “A regulation Saturday challenge”? Yes, I’ll buy that. My notes say “Good; no problems”.
    The one query I had was over PALATIAL, so thanks for the decode, Bruce.
    I see that in 23ac and 26ac IT is clued differently which I think clever.
    The use of ACCUSED in 16d reminds me of the clearly biased(!) Scouse joke: What do you call a Scouser in a three-piece suit? The Accused.
    Thanks, Bruce.

    Edited at 2022-05-07 07:31 am (UTC)

  5. ….and trotted through in 29 minutes – I must have been on the wavelength. The only thing that really threw me was dutch auction, as I knew the second word was auction – then it hit me, Duchess of Fife, that’s a wife! That’s one theory, at least. Fortunately, I knew Covent Garden was a fruit and veg market in the 18th and 19th century.

    1. ‘Dutch’ as a term for a wife predates the existence of the title, so it’s not really even a theory.
  6. 35 minutes, refusing to put in EMITTING and WAR BRIDE until I’d parsed them. COD to the latter, along with DUTCH AUCTION. CREPITANT only rang the faintest of bells after I’d constructed it. How you feel after too many pancakes maybe? Solid puzzle. Thank you B and setter.
  7. 34 minutes, despite a few question marks along the way. CREPITANT is a great word; I’ll pop it next to “crepuscular” on my revision list…

    Listening to Very Good, Jeeves on the way back from my hols yesterday would’ve been more helpful if I’d done it the week before, as in The Inferiority Complex of Old Sippy, Sippy’s office is next to a seedsman’s dealership, and Wooster says that he “prowled around Covent Garden among the spuds and cabbages for twenty minutes or so” outside it at one point.

    1. If you haven’t listened to them already I’d thoroughly recommend Stephen Fry’s versions of the Jeeves and Blandings books. I also love Jonathan Cecil’s recordings of Wodehouse.
      1. It was Cecil’s Very Good, Jeeves I was listening to! I’ll give Stephen Fry a try, too, ta.
        1. Isn’t he great? Fry is even better. Very Good, Jeeves is one I haven’t listed to yet, I will get to it.
  8. I started well getting the top half fairly quickly. The bottom half took much longer.
    Wasn’t sure about all the parsings e.g. WAR BRIDE.
    My big problem was 15d. I saw CANT but not the small hole. Pits up north tend to be large. CREVICE made small by removing the first and last letters was the only thing I could think of; so I invented CREVICANT. Did not know CREPITANT but now vaguely remember a French word.
    Mostly enjoyable Saturday fare.
    1. … feels like one of those words I know mostly from these crosswords.

      Looking back, I see it’s come up a handful of times over the years.

    2. You should try using strong/hard stainless steels underwater. 316 SS doesn’t corrode, but harder/stronger steels like 17/4 PH tend to pit – tiny little holes of corrosion.
  9. 64 minutes and for once all parsed although I did have question marks against a couple of clues as I was not sure until reading the blog that I had parsed them correctly.

    WIDE = Catholic was a bit of a guess as I didn’t know the connection and still don’t quite understand it.

  10. No serious problems. NHO CREPITANT, but with the checkers it was solvable. A MER at 25A PALATIAL being defined as Illustrious.IMO the two are quite different beasts – palatial meaning ‘like a palace’ and usually referring to a building or part of one, with the suggestion of grand and expensive. I would use illustrious in the context of ‘well thought of’, ‘of great reputation’ and referencing a person or an institution. A gangster’s Essex pile might well be palatial, but certainly not illustrious!
  11. 8:15. Didn’t know CREPITANT, but it was solvable even if ‘small’ is a bit odd in a definition of PIT. Collins and Lexico say precisely the opposite! ‘Sumptuous’ for PALATIAL also seems a bit iffy to me but it didn’t cause me a problem.

    Edited at 2022-05-07 12:29 pm (UTC)

    1. ‘Sumptuous’? I’d be fine with that, but the clue has ‘illustrious’.
  12. 28 minutes. Not too many hold-ups but I had the same doubts about PALATIAL as others. CREPITANT, or rather “crepitation(s)”, is well known in medical speak as the crackles heard when listing to the lungs of someone with eg heart failure or pneumonia and “crepitus” is the clunking / grinding which may be heard and felt when moving the joints of someone with bad arthritis. I took PIT as in a “pitted surface” and yes, “It’s in…” in the sense of a ‘small hole’.

    I liked BARRACUDA and the def of WAR BRIDE.

    Thanks to Bruce and setter

  13. Doh! That must have substituted itself in my mind from the Chambers definition.
    1. I can see “eat at” as “worry” but can’t think of examples of just”eat” by itself.
    2. Chambers definition 6 of “eat”: To upset, irritate or worry (informal)

      I agree that it deserves to go with “at”.

  14. Crept in under the half hour with CREPITATION LOI. I also had to assemble it from the instructions. GOWNED went in first. PARSEC was a write in from my teenage passion for devouring Sci Fi books by Arthur C Clark, Isaac Asimov and many others. PALATIAL took me a while to parse. Thanks setter and Bruce.
    1. Almost but not quite. Not knowing crepitant, I inserted an abbreviated pinhole into 15D, inventing ‘crepinant’.

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