Times Cryptic No 28362 – Saturday, 6 August 2022. Iechyd da!

I saw 1ac and thought this might be the Cardiff Times crossword. Oh wait – the Cardiff Times doesn’t exist any more, I gather! Anyway, lovely clue, but not necessarily Welsh.

Actually my FOI was 10ac, not 1ac. My LOI was 22ac, and nothing between was brain-bending. Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle. How did you all get on?

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 Two essentials for roasting a dragon? (8)
SPITFIRE – you might need a SPIT and a FIRE for roasting anything as big as a dragon. Cute!
6 Raid nabbing Charlie, a rogue (6)
SCALLY – C for Charlie in SALLY. Short for ‘scallywag’, I guess, but new to me.
9 Odd being surplus to requirements, as seaman may be (13)
EXTRAORDINARY – EXTRA=surplus + ORDINARY=type of seaman.
10 Cell entrance confining this writer (6)
GAMETE – GATE confining ME.
11 “Stomach” in local language, capital letter dropped (5,3)
INNER MAN – INN=local + (G)ERMAN=a language.
13 Rotten Médoc, awfully pretentious (10)
DECOMPOSED – (MEDOC)* + POSED=pretentious (at a stretch perhaps).
15 A large number killed (4)
SLEW – two meanings.
16 Emptiness of poet, nothing going right (4)
VOID – OVID, with O=nothing moved to the right.
18 Plenty of old strippers endlessly abused, ending in poverty (10)
PROSPERITY – (O STRIPPER-)* + (povert)Y.
21 Object to being without home: urged to move (8)
22 An insect — specifically, one from the Middle East? (6)
SCARAB – SC=abbreviation for ‘scilicet’, meaning ‘specifically’ + ARAB=Middle Easterner. I think of it as a random gold object in a pyramid, but of course it’s a model of a beetle.
23 Son in digs bringing in girl for sport (13)
25 Confirm Aldeburgh about to show chaotic scenes (6)
BEDLAM – backwards, hidden.
26 Weight on novelist demanding in the extreme (8)
STERNEST – ST=stone, on STERNE=the novelist.
2 Warn of English obstructing PR guru (7)
3 European thrilled to upset the champion (5-6)
4 Silly place to find MDMA? (5)
INANE – MDMA could be IN AN E(cstasy) tablet.
5 Swear GI slyly listens in (7)
6 Barely make a splash? (6-3)
SKINNY-DIP – cryptic definition.
7 Triumphant cry of Carmen astride horse? (3)
AHA – The A.A. are the ‘carmen’, ho ho. Insert H=horse.
8 Expose gamble by one forecasting fall of dictator? (3,4)
LAY BARE – LAY=gamble, as in laying a bet. BARE sounds like ‘bear’, someone who thinks the stock market will drop.
12 Land for native tribe in doubt (11)
RESERVATION – two meanings.
14 A churchwarden’s fantasy? (4,5)
PIPE DREAM – cryptic definition. Note: A “church warden” is a type of pipe. If you fantasise while smoking it, that might whimsically be a pipe dream! Originally, I think the expression referred to opium smoking.
17 Manage some lines in abridged dictionary (7)
19 Heavy responsibility embraced by EastEnders star? On the contrary (7)
ONEROUS – ‘ERO=east end star, in ONUS.
20 Charge then drop back, dispersed by this? (4,3)
TEAR GAS – TEAR=charge. SAG=drop. Reverse it.
22 The stones make alarming sound, putting last couple off (5)
24 Trouble with the landlord’s offering, I hear (3)
AIL – sounds like ALE.

15 comments on “Times Cryptic No 28362 – Saturday, 6 August 2022. Iechyd da!”

  1. Many thanks for parsing AHA! I didn’t understand the obscure opera reference at all. Now I can properly savor it. A real “aha” moment. 26:15

  2. 23:42
    Pretty straightforward. LOI DNK SCALLY. MDMA appeared in a recent puzzle, so I knew it this time. A SCARAB isn’t (just) a model of a beetle, it’s a beetle. I liked 18ac PROSPERITY.

  3. 60m 41s
    I struggled with this one. LOI were SCARAB and SCREE plus PRESAGE.
    Yes, I would normally say SCALLY plus wag.
    14d. Sorry, Bruce, don’t understand how PIPEDREAM becomes a churchwarden’s fantasy.
    CODs to SPITFIRE, BEGRUDGE (‘being without home’) and AHA (‘Carmen’…very good!)
    Thanks, Bruce.

    1. A “church warden” is a type of pipe. If you fantasise while smoking it, that might whimsically be a pipe dream! Originally, I think the expression referred to opium smoking.

  4. 27 minutes. I missed the second bit of wordplay in LAY BARE as the misdirection in the surface had me thinking of falling dictators rather than falling share prices so I never made the connection with the stock market and its stags and bulls and bears.

  5. 39 minutes finishing with INNER MAN. COD to SPITFIRE. I have heard of the INNER MAN being replete after a big meal. SCALLY was a term used freely in Liverpool in my time there. A good challenge, I thought. Thank you B and setter.

  6. We had just reached the end of our cruise
    Back from Norway’s incredible views
    So I sat on our ship
    At the end of our trip
    And figured out all of the clues

  7. A tough one for me, in parts, at least. Things went smoothly until they didn’t; I stalled badly with a few to go. Couldn’t figure out 11 & 22ac (didn’t know the SC abbreviation), or 7 & 8d – though now it’s been explained, I wish I’d got 7d; it’s quite funny! Spent ages trying to make an anagram of “native tribe” at 12d, mislead by “in doubt”, and NHO of 10ac GAMETE. Enjoyed the portion I completed, but not my best showing. Thanks, setter and blogger.

  8. Just over 30 mins

    But with INNER EAR. Couldn’t parse it and it didn’t fit the definition but I’m not sure I’ve encountered INNER MAN and there were a couple of others I struggled to parse (PIPE DREAM AHA and LAY BARE)

    Nice crossword

    Thanks setter and Bruce

  9. A week ago I was on holiday on the South Coast and this was a pleasant distraction.
    Problems were BEGRUDGE and 11a which I could not decode; I had INNER BAG.
    Did not parse AHA which I now see is very clever.

  10. 53 minutes. I couldn’t parse LAY BARE either and took an unreasonably long time to see the not very hard RESERVATION.

    Favourites were SKINNY-DIP and AHA.

  11. 53 minutes, and it took me that long to catch on to the deceiving references like barely making a splash and the car-men of AHA. I vaguely remembered that a churchwarden was a pipe, but I never did fully parse INANE or LAY BARE (which dictator?). For 22dn I kept wanting to put in SIREN, but fortunately couldn’t make the wordplay work for that. Enjoyable and manageable puzzle.

  12. I’m another INNER EAR, never having heard of INNER MAN, although I assumed it was wrong since the second part of the wordplay didn’t work. No problem for me with LAY BARE (although LAY OPEN was tempting for a moment). Nor INANE. I lived in the UK long enough to know about the AA (and the RAC for a future puzzle).

  13. Enjoyed it but in a rush , so had to have help with the last couple ( end of INNER ? and PROSPERITY, which I just couldn’t see. As others, loved the misdirections, especially AHA and INANE (my first one in).

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