Times Cryptic No 28302 – Saturday, 28 May 2022. Don’t need the dictionary …

Straightforward vocabulary here, except perhaps for the musical instruction at 25A and the slightly unfamiliar answer at 1D. My last few solved were in the NW corner, but yielded to thought. 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 this week’s Saturday Cryptic.

Clues are blue. Definitions are underlined. (ABC)* indicates anagram of ABC, with anagram indicators italicised.

1 Soft skin binding books (6)
FLABBY – BB=2 x books, in FLAY.
4 Old boy, like boor in back street, pushes in (8)
OBTRUDES – OB + RUDE in ST backwards.
10 Craftsmen increasingly important in small spaces (9)
ENGRAVERS – GRAVER in ENS=small printers’ spaces. (EMS are bigger.)
11 Chance intrepid leader’s missing (5)
LUCKY – (p)LUCKY. A chance/lucky encounter, for example.
12 Gaining ground she put husband in losing position (7,3,4)
GETTING THE PUSH – GETTING=gaining + (SHE PUT H)*. Losing employment, not losing a race.
14 Person hauling loom (5)
TOWER – double definition.
16 Comic character, one of five joining race around lake (9)
HARLEQUIN – HARE around L=lake, + QUIN.
18 Willing tip to bring sporting advantage (4,5)
GAME POINT – GAME=willing + POINT=tip.
20 Beg last of Oxford dons to shut up (5)
CADGE – (oxfor)D ‘dons’ CAGE=to shut up.
21 Has complete understanding, with hindsight? (5,9)
KNOWS BACKWARDS – cryptic hint.
25 Scorer’s very “detailed” attack (5)
ASSAI – ASSAI(L)=attack, ‘de-tailed’. Assai is a musical instruction meaning very, so it’s something that might be added by the composer (‘scorer’).
26 Hoodwink impressionable candidate (9)
CONTENDER – CON=hoodwink + TENDER=impressionable (of a tender age).
27 Proud, contrary attempt to break rank (8)
ARROGANT – GO=attempt. Put it backwards(contrary), in ARRANT.
28 Crooked old partner has absconded to the borders (6)
1 Female crew put in fashion goods for transport (10)
FREIGHTAGE – F=female + EIGHT=(rowing) crew, in RAGE=fashion.
2 Troubling care reports not opened by bishop on time (5)
ANGST – (b)ANGS + T.
3 Portable heater in warm country briefly turned on (7)
BRAZIER – BRAZI(L) + RE=on, ‘turned’.
5 Artist taken in by Garbo’s charms (5)
BOSCH – hidden.
6 Engineers on circuit secure drained sink again (7)
RELAPSE – RE=Royal Engineers + LAP=circuit + S(ecur)E.
7 Dog chewed up dad’s unopened lunch, swallowing hard (9)
DACHSHUND – (DADS -UNCH H)*. ‘Lunch’ loses its first letter; ‘hard’ loses all but the first.
8 Fabulous river bears you might catch (4)
STYX – sounds like STICKS=bears.
9 Chinese art best unframed if hung freely (4,4)
FENG SHUI – (-ES- IF HUNG)*. This time, ‘best’ loses first and last letters.
13 Variant non-U creeds not officially restricted (10)
15 More prudent coastal state trapped wolf (9)
17 Taciturn stoic regularly going in late (8)
RETICENT – TI=STOIC, regularly, going in RECENT=late.
19 Sunshade under pressure popping (7)
PAWNING – P=pressure + AWNING. Going to a pawn shop.
20 Striking means of locating milk supplier? (7)
COWBELL – cryptic definition.
22 Sometimes streaky British painter? (5)
BACON –  Francis Bacon (b. 1909) was the painter.
23 Revived you with kiss after wine (5)
REDUX – RED=wine (but I’d prefer a Pinot Gris, thanks!) + U=you + X=kiss.
24 After Berliner’s agreement, go to French island (4)
JAVA – JA=yes + VA=go. Aren’t we cosmopolitan?


25 comments on “Times Cryptic No 28302 – Saturday, 28 May 2022. Don’t need the dictionary …”

  1. I found this straightforward with a time of 30 mins. But I mistyped ENGRAVERS as ENVRAVERS and didn’t spot it since it was my LOI. An enjoyable solve though.

  2. 23:46
    No real problems, other than spelling DACHSHUND and not knowing ‘popping’. I liked the surfaces in 20ac (Oxford dons) and 6d (drained sink).

  3. Another pangram, which helped with LOI BRAZIER. ‘Popping’ was new to me, so thanks to brnchn for confirming its definition. DACHSHUND could have been GREYHOUND or WOLFHOUND until the upper checkers arrived. 21:59

  4. No real problems here. I thought the two artists, 22d BACON and 5d BOSCH were QC material but this was pleasant.
    Do ENS and ’ems’ only appear in crosswordland?
    Thanks Bruce!

    1. ENs and EMs occur all the time in my job. Sometimes, for example, I like to explain to someone why their hyphen should be an endash.

  5. I was happy to remember (figure out) the spelling of DACHSHUND sans aids. GETTING THE PUSH was new (I’ve worked at the same place for 36 years, and don’t expect to have firsthand experience of that). “Popping” for PAWNING took a minute to come.

  6. 33 minutes. According to many sources (including Brewer’s) ‘pop / pawn’ is what’s being referenced in the folk song Pop Goes The Weasel with ‘weasel’ being CRS for ‘coat’ – ‘weasel and stoat’, or according to other theories it was a type of flat-iron used by hat makers or some sort of spinner’s wheel. Anyway the item, whatever it was, was pawned at the end of the working week to buy drink – hence the reference in the lyric to The Eagle pub. in City Road

    1. A standard 50 minute Saturday solve for Mr. Meldrew

      FOI 24dn JAVA
      LOI 2dn ANGST
      COD 8dn STYX
      WOD 9dn FENG SHUI

      7dn DACHSHUND is from the German badger dog. Sausage dogs were specifically bred to hunt badgers, an early Victorian Sunday afternoon, family spectator sport, particularly in Leicestershire, prior to limited over cricket!

    2. I, too, guessed POP = PAWN, from the wordplay in this enjoyable puzzle, then looked it up. I learnt “Pop goes the weasel” as a child, and have believed for 80 years that it was a nonsense nursery rhyme that, like some others, had been set to music.
      https://wordsforlife.org.uk/activities/pop-goes-the-weasel/ suggests I was not alone. I’m too old to remember Anthony Newley well.

      I’d forgotten the second verse, but remember reference to an eagle. With strictly TT Methodist parents, I had no hope of guessing what this meant, and I suspect they had no idea either!

      Your information has the ring of truth and I am sure it is correct, so many thanks. One of my greatest delights from crosswords is learning little snippets of information, sometimes useful, always interesting, such as this.

  7. I found this tough in the NW, needing 38 minutes overall. GETTING THE PUSH was an excellent clue that took me a while to read correctly. LOI was ANGST. COD to KNOWS BACKWARDS. Yep, ‘Pop goes the weasel’ made PAWNING a write-in. Anyone else admitting being old enough to remember Anthony Newley’s jazzed-up version of the nursery rhyme? Thank you B and setter.

    1. Yup! It was playing my mum’s 45 of Anthony Newley’s song on my little record player when I was a child that taught me that popping was pawning. My other favourites of her records were Jailhouse Rock, and Bernard Cribbins singing Hole in the Ground 😀

      1. Peter Sellers ‘Hard Day’s Night’? Even worse ‘owt from Frankie Vaughn! Cringeworthy!

        1. I liked Frankie Vaughan. They wouldn’t let me behind that green door either.

      2. I remember my mother disapproving of the Cribbins song because it ended in the murder of the chap in the bowler hat.

  8. Like others here, I didn’t know popping for pawning, nor assai as a musical term. Been dealing in ens and ems my whole working life. Enjoyed the PDM of 14ac. Done and dusted in the usual one-hour window. An enjoyable outing. Thanks to both setter and blogger. Apologies can’t add comment to the various musical refs; before my time!

  9. No problems, didn’t keep the paper so no record.
    Was of the opinion that REDUX 23d was not an English word, so looked it up.
    Enjoyed TOWER at 14a being verb and noun and with different pronunciations… I’ll say no more.

  10. LOI ANGST after ENGRAVERS. I probably got home in under an hour so this was at the easier end for me.
    DNK ASSAI. Some good clues and generally fun.
    A school friend of mine’s mother was secretary of the Frankie Vaughan fan club. House full of FV stuff. He liked The Beatles.

  11. 50 minutes, so I found it a bit tricky. My first version of 21 ac was LEANS BACKWARDS, but WOMANISER settled that. My LOI was ANGST, after having first biffed and then understood ENGRAVERS, but for me that’s a German word and I have to remind myself that it has spread to English, too. Otherwise an enjoyable puzzle, harder than recent Saturday puzzles, I think.

  12. Had a good start in the NW, starting with TOWER which led to BRAZIER, FLABBY and FREIGHTAGE. ANGST and GETTING THE PUSH were last to go in. Liked KNOWS BACKWARDS. Having Templar Redux on the Tftt site helped with 23d. Dithered with the spelling of the sausage dog! 21:23. Thanks setter and Bruce.

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