Times Cryptic No 28332 – Saturday, 02 July 2022. Circling the (d)rain?

Here in eastern Australia we apparently had more rain in four days last weekend than London does in a year! Chateau B. is still above water, happily.

Nice to see a puzzle with a reference to ABBA, while they are making their virtual reappearance on stage, even though our household would rather you gave us that old time rock ‘n roll!

This puzzle had things that needed reflection. I particularly liked 27ac, where I expected the writer to be a pen … wrong there. I didn’t know the required meaning of the answer at 19dn, and struggled to get 18 and 27ac. How did you all get on?

Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle.

Note for newcomers: The Times offers prizes for Saturday Cryptic Crosswords. This blog is for last week’s puzzle, posted after the competition closes. So, please don’t comment here on this week’s Saturday Cryptic.

Definitions are underlined. (ABC)* means anagram of ABC, with anagram indicators italicised.

1 Preferring Abba’s first number greatly reduced? (5,3,1,4)
GOING FOR A SONG – GOING FOR=preferring + A = “ABBA’S” first + SONG = number.
8 Westbound vessels give way (4)
SNAP – PANS ‘westbound’.
9 What’s maybe coming from Italy: spice? (10)
SPECIALITY – (ITALY SPICE)*. I think the whole clue is definition, although spices are obviously not limited to Italy.
10 Painter incorporating three-foot lines on board (8)
HALYARDS – HALS ‘íncorporating’ YARD.
11 Increased rental spoken of (6)
HIGHER – sounds like (‘spoken of’) HIRE.
13 Roll has no flipping filling — little inducement to eat (3,7)
BON APPETIT – NO ‘flipping’ in BAP=roll + PETIT=little. I wouldn’t think of the expression as an inducement, myself.
16 It takes some effort to blow a bar over (4)
TUBA – A + BUT=bar, all ‘over’.
17 Switch of sides in movie business (4)
FIRM – change L to R in FILM.
18 Get stuck in cave in undulating hill (6,4)
BUCKLE DOWN – BUCKLE=cave in + DOWN=undulating hill.
20 Artist and others associated with lady (6)
ETCHER – ETC=and others + HER=lady.
22 Troops attempt to secure serviceman’s archive (8)
REGISTRY – RE=troops + GI’S=serviceman’s + TRY=attempt.
24 Order at office meeting (10)
INJUNCTION – IN=at office (for once, not at home!) + JUNCTION=meeting.
26 Theatre in which audience begins to gather (4)
REAP – A=audience ‘begins’, in REP=theatre.
27 Tolerable latitude from US writer in eclectic novel? (6,7)
1 Tree expert‘s data on each felled trunk is ultimately lost (11)
GENEALOGIST – GEN=data +EA=each + LOG=felled tree + IS + (los)T. Clever definition.
2 Spotted papa once dropping hint (5)
3 Case containing posh wines brought up here? (9)
GASTROPUB – BAG ‘containing’ U=posh + PORTS=wines, all ‘brought up’.
4 Disturbed spells of cricket and tennis (7)
OVERSET – OVER=a spell in cricket + SET=ditto for tennis.
5 Slow-witted gumshoe remains outside (5)
APISH – ASH outside PI.
6 Constrained old boy with cap guarding exit (9)
OBLIGATED – O.B. + LID ‘guarding’ GATE.
7 Contracted growth seen from time to time (3)
GOT – odd letters of GrOwTh.
12 Bow legs are awkward, limiting energy for physical effort (5,6)
14 A meanie sent round text on hotel’s “poor accommodation” (9)
ALMSHOUSE – A LOUSE, ‘sent round’ MS=text  + H=hotel.
15 Doctor electing to inject drug, appealing to viewers (9)
TELEGENIC – (ELECTING + E)*. E as usual is the setter’s drug of choice.
19 Warm liqueur (7)
CORDIAL – double definition. I had no idea ‘cordial’ could mean ‘liqueur’! Chambers tells me it’s an American usage.
21 Muscles essential to correct imbalance (5)
RECTI – hidden.
23 Father Brown’s last warning (5)
SIREN – SIRE=father + (brow)N.
25 Forty Winksa cert for tipster (3)
NAP – double definition. I didn’t know a nap was a cert, although obviously it had to be so! It derives from the card game Napoleon, apparently.

23 comments on “Times Cryptic No 28332 – Saturday, 02 July 2022. Circling the (d)rain?”

  1. 29:12
    DNK HALYARD, and tried to make LANYARD fit, which wasted some time; I was also slow, to my annoyance, in seeing ‘doctor’ as anagrind. DNK NAP=cert, but with ‘forty winks’ and N_P, that hardly mattered. I didn’t think about it at the time, but I suppose BON APPETIT can be equivalent to e.g. ‘Dig in!’, a signal to start eating, and in that sense an inducement.

    1. In sailing, Kevin, a rope is never just a rope It’s usually defined by its purpose as in, for example, HALYARD (for hoisting sails) and ‘sheet’ (for attaching to sails to control them).

      1. A painter being a rope on a boat too had me confused until I thought of Hals.

  2. 29m 47s so no problems at all. I didn’t know OVERSET or RECTI but otherwise it was all good.
    I, too, didn’t know of that meaning of CORDIAL
    ALMSHOUSE, BON APPETIT and SIREN were very good but COD to (p)IMPLY.
    Thanks, Bruce. I’m very pleased you still have your head above water. Here in NZ, I’ve seen some distressing images on TV of livestock in Australia virtually under water.

  3. I didn’t actually parse BON APPETIT, just wrote it in without a second thought—but pretty sure I would’ve remembered BAP (eventually). Was also blissfully untroubled by any question about the second definition of NAP, and I’ve only now found the relevant definition in Collins.
    But I got ’em all right!

  4. All correct for me. My time is over 2 hours which usually means I did most of it in 30 minutes and then came back later to finish the stragglers. Didn’t know RECTI, but it was hidden. I knew the sense of NAP although not necessarily as a cert but as the best tip of the day the tipster in the newspaper had. I also thought the definition of BON APPETIT was a bit weird.

  5. 31 minutes. Unknowns were RECTI and OVERSET meaning ‘disturb’, both of which were easily arrived at. I too tried LANYARDS at 10ac and was on the verge of using aids to confirm LANS as a painter, but fortunately I suddenly thought of Frans HALS, whose most famous painting The Laughing Cavalier I have seen many times in The Wallace Collection in the West End, and then I remembered HALYARD as a rope.

  6. 20 minutes with LOI ETCHER. I vaguely remembered HALYARDS and then could see the associated artist laughing away. COD to GOING FOR A SONG, in fond memory of Arthur Negus. Enjoyable puzzle. Thank you B and setter.

  7. Finally finished this on Tuesday after several fruitless sessions before the pennies started – well, hardly dropping, more trickling down. Could not get in the groove. Nothing horrendously difficult, either. I was just too slow to work through/ figure out where the cryptic was pointing. Would quibble over APISH for slow-witted, and took a long time to come up with BON APPETIT because, round these parts, a roll’s just….a roll!

  8. There were some traps in this for me. STOP at 8a stopped me getting 1d for a very long time. I see LANYARDS noted at the side of my solve; but I realised it didn’t work and thought of Hals. I too have visited the Wallace Collection a number of times, sometimes just to go to the café/restaurant. But it’s worth going upstairs to see The Cavalier.
    An enjoyable puzzle where I solved the bottom half quickly but struggled at the top.
    And another GASTROPUB clue -which I recall was in the Sunday Times clue writing contest not too long ago.

    1. My many happy hours spent exploring the Wallace Collection were in the late 1960s /early 1970s, long before the courtyard was covered over and the arrival of the posh restaurant/ cafe that friends have since told me about. I was a student at a college literally across the road for 4 years, and Hertford House (which houses the collection) was a pleasant place to while away time between lectures etc.

  9. Some tricky stuff. I had LANYARDS at first, but fortunately rethought it. Took a while to see REAP. OVERSET went in with a ?? ALMSHOUSE and ETCHER were last 2 in. 30:18. Thanks setter and Bruce.

  10. All completed in 69 minutes with three needing the blog to fully parse: SPECIALITY which I still don’t quite see and think I needed the crossers, BUCKLE DOWN I did get the DOWN bit and on reflection should have seen cave in/BUCKLE and IMPLY again I should have seen.

    Favourites: GENEALOGIST because I parsed this as I read the clue and CORDIAL for its clever DD.

  11. There are no comments about 9a (apart from ALFWEARD) so i’m assuming that everyone else is happy with it? To me the definition is terrible as it includes nothing that relates to the answer.

    1. I agree it’s a bit odd, but Bruce’s hint of misgivings in his blog covered my own. Italian cuisine includes many speciality dishes involving spices some of which are grown there, so it all sort of hangs together. Of course if it didn’t have the anagram to lead us to the answer that would be a different matter.

    2. I’m not sure I see the objection. A spice from Italy (saffron, say) might be described as a SPECIALTY. The wording is a bit clumsy but the clue is effectively equivalent to ‘Italian spice, for example’.

  12. 10:43, but with LANYARD. HALYARD and Frans HALS are both at the edges of my knowledge, so neither occurred to me. I just assumed there must be an artist called LANS I hadn’t heard of. Drat.

    1. Wot he said, to a ‘T’. Even though I remember ‘The Laughing Cavalier’ well, I had forgotten who painted him!

  13. Half an hour for all but 10a, then ten minutes and I gave up and put in LANYARDS. The right answer was ungettable for me, sadly, as I’d heard of neither Hals or HALYARDS.

  14. 43 minutes. Fortunately I couldn’t recall a painter named LANS, but knew there was another 4-letter one ending in S, and an alphabet trawl finally reminded me of HALS and HALYARDS. For 20 ac, for a while I had ETALER as some unknown kind of artist, but that would have ruined ALMSHOUSE, so I managed to correct that as well. Otherwise an enjoyable, even if not outstanding puzzle.

  15. Sailed through in 8:12 and fortunately thought of the ‘Laughing Cavalier’ chappie quickly. I’m aware of a few folks who unfortunately didn’t…

  16. Hard slog for me…not ‘getting’ the required definitions, which were well hidden. Would have been faster had I not entered Stop at 8a (which I thought an equally good answer), which held me up on the more-easily parsed GENEALOGIST. I too agree that spice is not necessarily just a SPECIALITY of Italian food ( so a bit vague). Happily, tomorrow is another day! (Not an Abba song?)

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