Times Cryptic No. 28357, 1 August 2022

Here I am, subbing for Ulaca once again as he jaunts around the capitals and fleshpots of Europe. (nb: I am guessing here, I just know he is in Europe).

This crossword I thought was like too many of my recent solves: easy to get started, rather harder to finish. It felt a bit more tricky than a Monday crossword ought to be, thanks to one or two clues such as 6 and 8 and 20dn. Nevertheless I really enjoyed it, and liked the slick surface readings. How did you get on?

I use the standard TfTT conventions like underlining the definition, CD for cryptic definition, DD for a double one, *(anargam) and so forth. Nho = “not heard of” and in case of need the Glossary is always handy

1 Deny one plugs hit record at first (8)
DISCLAIM – I (one) in DISC (record) + LAM (hit)
9 Hostility from states no one’s backing (8)
AVERSION – AVERS (states) + ION (no. 1, backing)
10 Fake sign of unpaid bill in English club (8)
SPURIOUS – IOU (unpaid bill) in SPURS, an English Club, albeit their lineup is nothing if not international in nature. Still, Harry Kane is home grown
11 Untidy person content to leave India for European country (8)
SLOVENIA – (untidy person) + I(ndi)A
12 Charmed in brief period before spring (10)
SPELLBOUND – SPELL (brief period) + BOUND (spring). I would say a spell may or may not be brief, but Collins says “an indeterminate, usually short, period of time”
14 Returned garments displaying blemish (4)
SPOT – TOPS (garments) reversed
15 Cordial but not popular? One may blow up (7)
GRENADE – GRENAD(in)E. Grenadine is pomegranate syrup.
17 Executive’s helper to keep teasing model (7)
PARAGON – PA (executive’s helper) + RAG ON, to keep teasing
21 Ship moving slowly out of lake (4)
ARGO – (l)ARGO. Argo being a mythical ship used in a quest to recover the equally mythical Golden Fleece. As portrayed in a rather wonderful film, Jason and the Argonauts, with special effects by the great Ray Harryhausen
22 Ancient disheartened by present day possibly is prepared (2,3,5)
AT THE READY – A(ncien)T (ancient, disheartened) + THERE (present) + *(DAY)
23 Something elementary in Reagan campaign slogan? (8)
ELECTRON – ELECT RON, ha ha .. which they duly did.
25 Tail pinned to cuckoo (3,5)
26 How one may serve in Germany and with marines after a long time (8)
UNDERARM – UND (In Germany, and) + ERA (a long time) + RM (the Royal Marines). One may also bowl that way, though neither is normally well received..
27 Explanations of say French art welcomed by lovers once (8)
EXEGESES – EG (say) + ES (French art) inside EXES, lovers once.

Why is “Es” French art? Good question, which dictionaries won’t answer. It is art as in “thou art,” ie “are.” And the familiar form of “You are” in French is tu es. It turns up often enough to be worth memorising. As for exegeses, the word is usually seen in connection with explanatory religious tracts and commentaries.

2 Blue movie of Hitchcock’s right to go after terror (8)
IMPROPER – IMP (terror), + ROPE (Hitchcock movie) + R (right).

I hadn’t heard of the Hitchcock film, which sounds very interesting, but the wordplay was kind. I was also curious about how “blue” came to mean improper. Sadly nobody knows for sure.. but see this erudite article on the subject.

3 Bells ring only up to noon during visit (8)
CARILLON – RI (ring, only up to noon, ie lacking the N(oon) and G), inside CALL ON (visit). Tricky! Though I confess I bif’d it
4 Truant‘s old boring tool cases (4)
AWOL – O (old) in AWL, a tool for boring. Absent WithOut Leave, a military offence.
5 In Paris, my sister picked up a rubber (7)
MASSEUR – sounds (allegedly) like “ma sœur,” French for my sister.
6 Cryptic indication of Sally or Jack’s rank (6,4)
SECOND MATE – this one took me a while to parse, and initially I was tempted by “second rate.” S + ALLY, cryptically indicates second + mate, or friend. The result being a maritime rank, such as a jolly jack tar may hold.
7 Favourable result — reverse of home leg in capital city (8)
WINNIPEG – WIN (favourable result) + NI (home, reversed) + PEG (leg). Winnipeg is the capital of Manitoba.
8 United fans excited by rising score in tie? Quite the opposite! (8)
UNFASTEN – U(nited) + *(FANS) + NET, reversed. Net = score as in score a goal, or find the net, perhaps
13 When one may get a nasty shock? (3,4,3)
BAD HAIR DAY – a cd. Shock as in a shock of hair…
15 Showing appreciation of a quantity of ashes? (8)
GRATEFUL – a grate full of ashes ..
16 The very bright edges of earring and garish extra decorations (8)
EGGHEADS – E(arrin)G + G(aris)H + E(xtr)A + D(ecoration)S.
18 Account sort code with money staked externally (8)
ANECDOTE – *(CODE), inside ANTE, money staked. “Sort code” rang a bell with this retired banker..
19 Soldiers take steps to secure new weaponry (8)
ORDNANCE – OR (soldiers, “other ranks”) + N(ew) inside DANCE, take steps ..
20 How amazing to be welcomed by host one meets (5,2)
STONE ME – hidden, rather neatly, in hoST ONE MEets ..
24 Unemployed compiler given hand-out, short of nothing (4)
IDLE – I (ie the setter) + D(o)LE, a handout without the O

Author: JerryW

I love The Times crosswords..

65 comments on “Times Cryptic No. 28357, 1 August 2022”

  1. 7:06 – slow start but fast finish. EXEGESES from wordplay, and biffed WINNIPEG and CARILLON from definition. Rope is definitely worth a look!

  2. Fast start but slow finish. Time 52 minutes.

    COD 10ac SPURIOUS and not SPECIOUS!
    WOD 20dn ‘STONE ME,’ – Tony Hancock’s standard exclamation!
    ‘At least my mother’s gravy used to move around a bit!’

  3. 16:10
    I didn’t know Hitchcock’s film, and biffed from IMP. I couldn’t see how RI worked in CARILLON, and I was clueless about SECOND MATE, biffing from ‘Jack’s rank’. I was surprised at how quickly I spotted STONE ME, as I’m usually quite obtuse with hiddens, and this was a good one. We’ve had ‘French art’ rather too often. And this setter also gives us ‘in Germany and’ and ‘In Paris, my sister’ (which I took at first to be just MA). I liked EGGHEADS.

    1. There is a TV quiz show in UK called ‘Eggheads’. It pitches a team of experts ‘The Eggheads’ against a team of lesser of mortals, who inevitably lose. It is disjointed, indescribably slow and dull. Even though the questions are decent enough, the multiple choice format grinds ever on.
      ‘Mastermind’ and ‘University Challenge’ are so much better IMHO. Even ‘Countdown’!

      1. EGGHEADS has recently switched to Channel 5, with only 4 players per team to allow time for the commercial break. It might be bearable if somebody treated Jeremy Vine to a new scriptwriter.

        1. It’s become unwatchable, with so much blather and so few questions, and the newest Egghead so far up his own backside about how clever he is – even more annoying than CJ who at least had entertainment value. The only possible reason I’d tune in occasionally now would be to see the lovely Judith.

  4. I knew Hitchcock’s ROPE. Not sure if I’ve ever seen it, but I know it takes place in real time with very long shots. WINNIPEG wasn’t the first capital to come to mind! 31 minutes in total, finishing with the tricky UNFASTEN. STONE ME took too long to see, too busy trying to justify BEATS ME.

  5. 33 minutes. SPELLBOUND was a much more recognisable ‘movie of Hitchcock’s’ than ROPE at 2d, which went in only semi-confidently from the def. LOI was SECOND MATE, for which I almost put “second rate” too. My (lame) excuse for not getting it earlier is that I associated ‘Sally’ with bell-ringing, or CARILLON, after the clue a couple of weeks ago.

    My comment on EXEGESES would be “… the word is most usually seen in connection with crosswords”, but maybe I should get out more.

  6. 28 minutes. My solving experience here was the opposite of Jerry’s in that I found it hard to get started (I must have read at least ten clues before I found my first answer) but after that it all fell steadily into place.

    What with the heavily signalled Rope and Spellbound nearly passing under the radar I wondered for a moment if a Hitchcock theme was developing, but sadly it came to nothing.

  7. 17 minutes. Nice to finish one after last week’s workouts!

    Rope is a fantastic film, by the way.

  8. I found this rather the other way around: difficult to get started with, but not too bad to finish. I left a lot of blank space in the top half, then found the bottom half much easier going. Finished the south with EXEGESES, a word I learned, appropriately, from an episode of Inspector Morse (Day of the Devil, where Lewis learns the phrase “exegeses on ancient grimoires” and baffles Strange with it, IIRC.)

    At that point the coffee had apparently kicked in, as had some extra crossers, and I found the top half much easier to finish. I think IMPROPER came last. I’ve never seen Rope, but I was at least aware of it… 34m all told.

  9. A mostly orderly solve up ending up in the NW, where I spent a while thinking the English club meant a solution starting with E – after fixing that (33m) I quickly sorted IMPROPER (movie vaguely known) and DISCLAIM…
    …but never managed CARILLON – a word I suspect was not entirely unknown to me – just 98% unknown. Thought “ring only up to noon” must be RIN, got frustrated, gave up at 40m. Thanks J and setter

  10. 25 mins with a slow start and then sped up
    Couldn’t parse 3d and 6d
    27a was a bit tricky as well
    I liked 20d, very well hidden

  11. 32 minutes with LOI SECOND MATE. COD to GRATEFUL. I biffed CARILLON with all crossers in place. An enjoyable puzzle. Thank you Jerry and setter.

  12. A 50% success rate on biffs: CARILLON I knew to be a word though the cryptic was opaque to me (thanks Jerry) but SECOND RATE, entered equally without justification, left me in the pink. 33m of enjoyment, though, from this nice puzzle, with COD naturally 10a – nice to see the mighty Lillywhites getting a mention when both crossword and sports pages seem obsessed with the Red Devils. Looking forward to an exciting season under Maestro Conte who has assembled the makings of a top squad.

    Thanks setter and blogger both.

  13. 14:29 I like the device at 3D now Jerry has explained it – better than my own parsing which was “up to noon” = first half of the word. I neglected to go back and parse SECOND MATE after biffing it. LOI EXEGESES. I liked GRATEFUL and STONE ME. Thank-you Jerry and setter.

  14. 22 minutes but second mate was guessed rather than worked out. Similarly didn’t see the pinned to origin of end point which was a bit dumb really. But a very enjoyable puzzle with my COD being exegeses. Thx setter and blogger.

  15. DNF – another ‘second rate’ here. Didn’t understand how it worked at all, and with all the checkers I just bunged it in. Rats.

    Enjoyed this otherwise. Nice to see “English” in a clue not giving the letter E in SPURIOUS.

    1. I fell for it and biffed ‘specious’ with e and c covering English Clubs which left me failing to get CARILLON as I had ‘visit’ as ‘call in’ and made up a word to fit the rest. I didn’t know CARILLON anyway.

      That all cost me a very slow (hence late night comment) but satisfying ‘pass’. Instead a still mainly satisfying DNF.

      Thanks all.

      I’m in awe of any times under 20 but GLH’s 7 minutes!?!? 😳 Chapeau!

  16. Another fast starter and slow finisher here. 50 mins but with distractions. Now ensconced in Friend’s house in London after a tortuous journey yesterday including 3 hours on the M25.

    Anyway, glad to finish with LOI GRATEFUL for some reason.

    I liked PARAGON and AT THE READY.

    Thanks Jerry and setter.

  17. Brain AWOL until ELECTRON kicked in and then things started moving at last. In addition to SPELLBOUND and ROPE there’s another nod to Hitchcock in WINNIPEG. It comes at the beginning of the 1935 version of the 39 Steps when Robert Donat asks Mr. Memory how far Winnipeg (he pronounces it “Winnipig” in the absurdly clipped accent of that era) is from Montreal. 18.12

  18. 37 mins. Much time spent trying to figure out what turned out to be GRATEFUL while not realising I’d typed RLECTRON. Well I now know what GLABROUS means. Some tricky stuff in the NW, not Mondayish at all…

  19. 44 minutes on a puzzle that presented more difficulties than it should really. Slow to see Spurs and the bells, where I couldn’t remember the word. Couldn’t think what went with SECOND and wanted it to be name.

  20. It all started so well – but ended up as a bit of a 13 Dn
    Guilty of a second rate attempt 6 down.
    I was defeated by Carillon and resorted to Word Wizard so DNF- but love the clue now I see how it works! I have not seen that word play before

  21. 20:46. I knew CARILLON but was a bit hazy about the spelling, trying to slot in an I where it wasn’t needed. Rest seemed rather straightforward.

    1. I have also heard it as CARILLION. Isn’t there one in Newcastle and most German and Low Countries towns?

      1. Yes, there is a modern carillon tower at the Civic Centre in Newcastle – decidedly though, as elsewhere, minus the second I.

        1. Indeed! However, l find that carillion is far more onomatapaec than carillon. No chime or charm! Meldrew

        2. There is a carillon in Loughborough which is visible from miles around. It contains a great number of bells.

  22. Trying to complete the Monday’s biggie every week now… Managed most clues today although several answers were biffed and I needed the blog to parse (many thanks Jerry). Spent a very long time trying to work out how the ‘ndi’ of India equated to being content… doh, rookie error! Very enjoyable learning this new skill which is seriously challenging my brain to think flexibly…
    Very much enjoyed ELECTRON and PARAGON. Thanks all.

  23. Got this one out but some tough vocab- thought EXEGESES sounded most plausible but wordplay would have supported EGESEXES which doesn’t sound totally implausible. NHO CARILLON but wordplay was unambiguous.

  24. I found this tough. After scanning the early across clues and seeing nothing, I switched to the downs and got my first entry with SECOND MATE. I ended up with a largely unfilled NW corner, which I managed to complete only after consulting a list of synonyms for ‘deny’ for 1ac.
    A rather pathetic hour to finish (with a bit of help).

    I was not keen on an unsignalled abbreviation at 4d. That rules out one particular setter, who objects to the practice.

    1. Ha, the opposite for me, no doubt we would do much better as a team..
      AWOL is an acronym not an abbreviation, not sure if that matters, not knowing the setter concerned

      1. According to OED, an acronym is ‘an abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as a word’. AWOL is therefore both an abbreviation and an acronym. All acronyms are abbreviations, though the reverse does not apply.

        Back to the puzzle. Enjoyable, but I scored a second rate DNF.

        1. Well, I suppose any acronym is going to be shorter than the phrase it refers to, so must be considered abbreviated. You win.
          Personally though I regard abbreviations as a truncation of a particular word or phrase, and acronyms as different, being formed only from the initial letters of same… I’m probably wrong

  25. A curious crossword this in the fact that people seem evenly split over starting slowly and finishing quickly, or the reverse of that. I went some way down the crossword before finding an answer, and gathered pace towards the end.
    Finished in 44.45 but with a wrong answer in my LOI 27ac. I can’t get the cryptic use of ‘French Art’ as ‘es’ into my head even though I’ve seen it used before.
    Like Meldrew, my mind immediately went to Tony Hancock on seeing STONE ME or Anthony Aloysius Hancock to give him his full title. I dare say many younger solvers may not know of him, but I’m sure his ‘Hancock Half Hour’ recordings are still available to listen to. ‘Sunday Afternoon at Home’ and ‘Wild Man of the Woods’ spring to mind as wonderful examples of his craft.

    1. His fullest title was Anthony Aloysius St John Hancock. I posted a link to a scene from The Blood Donor in yesterday’s ST comments.

      1. Quite right Jack, I’d forgotten the St John part of his name (pronounced ‘Sin Jun’ as you know). Although The Blood Donor is possibly his best remembered work and was a televised production, I think most Hancock devotees would consider his ‘Ancocks ‘Alf hour’ radio productions to be his funniest. The ‘East Cheam Drama Festival’ was another classic that springs to mind. Hancocks biggest mistake was his acrimonious split with Sid James. What a great legacy of his work he left us with however.

  26. 9:11. I started slowly, sped up in the middle and then slowed down again for the last few. NHO the Hitchcock movie.

  27. A second rate performance here too. 9:22 in vain. COD UNFASTEN (my LOI as it happens, a great PDM).

  28. Enjoyed this but failed to get UNFASTEN and PARAGON. Further to Hitchcock’s film ROPE ,the two murderers were supposedly originally based on wealthy Americans, Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, who considered themselves intellectually superior to their peers -and thus could be called EGGHEADS. Also BAD HAIR DAY brought to mind poor Tippi Hedren in Hitchcock’s The Birds who suffered while shooting the film by having repeated takes of actual birds thrown into her elegantly styled upswept coiffure.

  29. 23.03
    Sharper than usual for a Monday and very enjoyable. In a reverse of some folk’s experience, I started slowly but gradually gathered pace.

    SPURIOUS, UNDERARM and BAD HAIR DAY all made me smile. Something the EGGHEADS on TV never did. An insufferably smug bunch in my far from humble opinion.

    Thanks to Jerry and the settee

    1. Whilst I’m always grateful for my settee, I did, of course, mean setter.

      1. It’s possible to edit comments, and on our new site even after someone has replied.

        1. Thanks, Guy. I had seen that before and thought it a very good idea, but it obviously hadn’t registered.

  30. No time today as I tackled the puzzle while watching the Commonwealth Games cycling – quite enough multi-tasking thank you very much.
    I agree with Jerry’s assessment of the puzzle which had a few more tricky elements than the standard Monday fare.
    2 d “improper” Needed the imp from (little) horror – which has appeared few times in Times puzzles and is worth sticking in the memory banks – then a vague recall of the Hitchcock movie to complete the clue.
    7 d Isn’t Ottawa the capital of Canada and if so are we going to have consider Canadian State capitals under the banner of Capital Cities? Whatever, the cryptic elements only pointed one way
    Liked the structure of 6 d “second mate”
    Thanks to Jerry for the blog and to setter

    1. While the U.S has states, Canada has provinces. Manitoba ,of which Winnipeg is the capital, is one of ten provinces. In the north are also three territories- Yukon, Nunavut, and the Northwest Territories. Plus there’s the National Capital Region, consisting roughly of Ottawa and Gatineau, a separate jurisdiction from Ontario and Quebec.

  31. I’m currently reading The Nine Tailors, so got rather ‘hung up’ on sally for a while! Gosh, it’s a bit gruesome.
    As we have a CARILLON in our town, I had no trouble biffing that, although I couldn’t fully parse it. I was pleased to work out EXEGESES, and thanks to seeing it before, I even know what it means now. Also only know the film Rope from here.
    COD Bad hair day
    So all bells, if not whistles, today! 32 minutes.
    Thanks all 😊

  32. I thought this was a puzzle of the highest quality. Too many good clues to mention them all, but I would choose 23a, 25a, 6d, 16d and 18d as my favourites.
    Account sort code is just genius.
    Thank you very clever setter. I loved it.

  33. DNF after 40 minutes, but at least in an original manner: SECOND FACE, having no idea what that might be, FACE because I was assuming Jack to be a card. And although I now he can be a sailor, strangely enough my OED (I subscribe to the online premium one) does not give this meaning! And as for separating S ALLY into second mate, isn’t that going just a bit too far? Otherwise some nice clues, but also some leaving much to be desired. I would have liked ELECT RON except that I didn’t, when I had the chance. Must have a look at ROPE when I get a chance.

  34. Catching up after a weekend away, I was surprised to find that I came in at 85 on the leaderboard for this one. I’m usually way below the 100 mark if I leave the puzzle until the afternoon it’s published! AWOL was FOI.
    I then romped around the grid finishing with SECOND MATE. Another 30 seconds of proof reading saw me over the line at 19:34. Thanks setter and Jerry.

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