Times Cryptic No 28392 – Saturday, 10 September 2022. Flying blind?

I got off to a “flying” start on this one, by biffing an ill-considered guess in 11 across. That shrouded the NW corner in fog until the answer to 1 down forced a review! Despite that, this was quite an accessible offering, perhaps a bit harder than recent Saturdays but without any clue I’d rate undoable or unknowable. 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 Stop spending more — better to pursue career? (6-3)
CHARGE-CAP – CHARGE=career + CAP=to better/surpass/outdo.
6 Draw in incomplete circle, following revolving target (5)
FOCUS – SUC(k)=draw in + O=circle + F=following, all ‘revolving’.
9 Fret, having left me back in Dutch town (7)
HAARLEM – HAAR=fret (sea fog) + L + EM=me, ‘back’.
10 Mass of paper — missing rupees — held in band (7)
REQUIEM – take QUI(r)E=paper (a twentieth of a ream), missing R=rupees, and put it in R.E.M., the 1980s rock band.
11 Glower when motorist slows down (5,5)
BRAKE LIGHT – cryptic definition. Obvious, really. To quote the song, the trouble with Fred is, he’s too hasty.
12 Cry from pet setter here that was painful (4)
MEOW – ME=setter here (this puzzle) + OW.
14 Rushed into blunder defending primate (5)
ORANG – RAN=rushed, inside O.G.=blunder by defender (own goal).
15 One’s honour-bound to suffer and carry on! (9)
MISBEHAVE – I’S (one’s) in MBE=honour + HAVE=suffer (COVID, say). Carry on, as in boys behaving badly!
16 Raven protected from cold, disoriented after flying (3-6)
JET-LAGGED – JET=raven + LAGGED (like a water pipe).
18 Proceed, as in “proceed against” (5)
SEGUE – E.G.=for example=as, inside SUE=proceed against.
20 Brother close to kinsfolk: that means something to pop! (4)
CORK – COR=brother! + (kinsfol)K. Clever.
21 Isn’t going to have to cross unknown slum area (10)
SHANTYTOWN – SHAN’T=not going to + OWN=have, ‘crossing’ Y=an algebraic unknown. PS: as Nigel points out in his comment, this leaves an extra T unexplained. Explanations welcome!
25 With the purpose that’s appropriate? (2,5)
IN ORDER – two meanings.
26 Did Punch end, unexpectedly, with prominent feature? (7)
CHINNED – CHIN=prominent feature + (END)*.
27 Part of log needed for gate (5)
ENTRY – two meanings: enter into a ledger, or enter into a garden.
28 One’s concerned with gander, escape curtailed, being returned? (9)
ZOOKEEPER – RE=concerned with + PEEK=look=take a gander + OOZ(e)=escape. All reversed! PS: on edit, it’s worth discussing the definition. I think it’s meant to be an &lit., although a gander is not the most obvious animal for a zookeeper to worry about!
1 One not fighting hard — a problem at heart one you live with (5)
COHAB – C.O.=consciencious objector=one not fighting + H=hard + A + (pro)B(lem). Not a word I knew.
2 State the way different graduates do it? (7)
ALABAMA -À LA=in the manner of + BA + MA.
3 A score to settle long ago led to disorder (6,4)
GOLDEN GOAL – (LONG AGO LED)*. If either team scores a goal during extra time, they win and play stops.
4 Groom, one with several functions (5)
COMBI – COMB=groom + I=one.
5 Tea breaks shortened, and not for free (9)
PURCHASED – CHA=tea ‘breaks’ PURSED=shortened, as with ‘pursed lips’.
6 Lists of things answered in message overheard (4)
FAQS – sounds like FAX, obviously. Not how I would have pronounced FAQs=frequently asked questions. Nor would I have had the S at the end!
7 Fancy clock that sounds ace (7)
8 Not all sport broadcast at unspecified venue (9)
SOMEWHERE – SOME=not all + WHERE=sounds like WEAR=sport.
13 Miser associated originally with seedy northern locality (10)
14 Mind one has something to aim for (9)
OBJECTIVE – OBJECT=mind (as in, well I mind) +I’VE=one has.
15 The minute gear changes accompanying variable cycling speed (9)
MEGAHERTZ – (THE M GEAR)* +Z=another algebraic unknown. The M in the anagram is for minute.

Megahertz would previously have been called megacycles (per second), so the definition is fair enough.

17 Emerge to get rid of those who’ve shown up (7)
TURNOUT – a triple definition. Kudos, setter! Turn out for an event, turn out the rubbish, the total attendance.
19 Adult joke with courage periodically recalled (5-2)
GROWN-UP – PUN + W=with + cOuRaGe, all ‘recalled’.
22 Latin course essential for Verona choirmaster (5)
NACHO – hidden.
23 Bottom’s new appearance, involving donkey’s head (5)
NADIR – N=new + AIR=appearance, ‘involving’ D(onkey).
24 Important time to act as summer turns chilly at last (1-3)
D-DAY – ADD=act as summer. Turn that round and add (chill)Y.

22 comments on “Times Cryptic No 28392 – Saturday, 10 September 2022. Flying blind?”

  1. Nice tricky puzzle, either that or I was way off the wavelength. Found lots of the parsing hard to figure even when the answer was obvious e.g. SEGUE and FOCUS took a bit of working out. I think since it’s “Lists ” in 6dn not “List” the S on the end of the answer is OK, though I also don’t pronounce FAQ as fack. I’d expand the parsing of OG to be blunder defending – defending is way too meaningful to be a link word.

  2. Thanks for the blog. I ‘solved’ 21 across the same as you, but
    there’s still a ‘t’ unclued! Any suggestions? Tricky but enjoyable puzzle.

  3. 54m 54s Thanks Bruce for a pleasant blog. I found there was some tricky stuff in this.
    First of all, I agree with you there’s an unexplained T in SHANTYTOWN.
    Thanks, though, for SEGUE and FOCUS.
    LOI: TURNOUT but I took a very long time to solve MEGAHERTZ so thanks again.
    There was much to like here including ZOOKEEPER, ALABAMA and OBJECTIVE and I liked ‘breaks in 5d.
    I had another query with ‘summer’ = ADD but I’ll take your word for it that it’s OK.
    What I don’t think is OK is that words like COHAB are now acceptable.
    Another mer at FAQs. I’ve never heard them referred to as ‘fax’. I’ve always referred to them as F. A. Qs.
    Lastly, the inclusion of REQUIEM was timely, if unintended. I have been playing solemn music since I heard that Her Majesty had died, starting with Mozart’s REQUIEM.

  4. I vaguely remembered LAGGED from somewhere. POI the UK-centric CHARGE-CAP and LOI the sporty GOLDEN GOAL. Too bad about the spilled T!

  5. I don’t have a time for this, as I finished it offline over lunch, but it was a long time. DNK CHARGE-CAP, GOLDEN GOAL. Glad to find I’m not alone in my pronunciation of FAQ. I didn’t notice the T problem in SHANTYTOWN, and thought I’d parsed it OK. CODs to MISBEHAVE and SEGUE.

  6. When it came to parsing SHANTY TOWN I remembered that T is a type of cross (aka a tau cross) which we have had before and it’s in Collins) so I used that to account for the missing T. But the problem with that (and I didn’t notice this whilst solving) is that it would leave us without a containment indicator so whichever way you look at it the clue appears to be faulty.

    I also wasn’t entirely happy with with 1ac as I only knew ‘price cap’ – who could avoid hearing about it these days ? Collins advises that CHARGE-CAP related specifically to the controversial Community Charge (aka The Poll Tax) which arrived in the news c1989, came into force and was abandoned in 1993, a very brief period a long time ago. ‘Stop spending more’ seems the wrong way round as definition as, if anything, CHARGE-CAP means stop (someone) charging more.

    I failed on FAQS as I also have never heard it pronounced “fax” only as F.A.Qs. Is it coincidence I wonder that the X we need to imagine to make that clue work is the same letter that would have given us a pangram if it had appeared in the grid.

  7. No time as I decided not to as I found it detracted from the enjoyment and the pressure of the clock probably added to my solving time.
    Anyway, I ended with 18ac unsolved so a DNF. I’d never heard of the word and didn’t see the WP.
    I didn’t know HAAR = fret so half BIFD.
    ZOOKEEPER went in from checkers. And having read the blog only half understand it.
    BIFD TURN OUT from the last definition not seeing the other two that are now obvious. And D-Day also unparsed.
    I also noted the ‘T’ unaccounted for in SHANTYTOWN and see Jackkt has maybe.

  8. Much of this was beyond my particular pale. Especially COHAB and CHARGE CAP. I had a half parsed SAHIB at 1d which did not help; but looking at COHAB now it still doesn’t look right- it must be in the dictionary. I don’t recall the term Charge Cap and would not associate it with not spending more.
    MERSEYSIDE, MISBEHAVE and GOLDEN GOAL were in the unsolved queue snaking around my grid.
    Not my best performance.

  9. I wondered about the extra T in SHANTYTOWN too. Also not heard FAQS pronounced that way. Took a while to parse FOCUS. Liked GOLDEN GOAL. 32 minutes. Thanks setter and Bruce.

  10. Not over keen on this one. Disliked the FAQs and the shantytown is plain wrong. Do zoos have geese? I thought that was farms. Some inelegant and contrived surface readings, eg 10, 26 & 28ac, 1, 8, 19dn. Hmph..

    1. Have to agree with your “Hmph” JerryW: not a PDM-type solve! (Not that I did, anyway – several vacant lots on my grid! – (FOCUS?, SEGUE -NHO that meaning – CHARGE-CAP andHAARLEM oh dear). Better luck tomorrow, hopefully .

  11. I live in silicon valley and I’ve never heard anyone pronounced FAQs as “fax”. I tried without success to justify PMQ. And surely MEGAHERTZ would have been megacycles per second, a frequency not a count. I see on the clock that this took me 1 hour and 20 minutes, but I don’t remember if that was a real time, or that I was doing other things and came back to it. But I do remember it being trickier than normal.

  12. Really struggled in the NE, FAQs was a penny-drop moment, and I never did work out FOCUS so thanks for that.

  13. In 13d are we saying that “associated” and “originally” are anagram indicators? If they are there not very good ones and if not what are they doing in the clue and where is the real anagram indicator? Any help appreciated

    1. ‘Originally’ is the anagram indicator; in the sense of ‘arranged novelly’ which is fair enough. You can see I put that word in italics to flag its function.

      ‘Associated with’ is saying you have to use both MISER + SEEDY to get the anagram fodder.

  14. Cupla points…

    # The G at the end of ORANG is the first letter of “goal” in “own goal”. And also the first letter of GOAL in 3 down.

    # The missing ‘t’ in 21 across might be explained by this…
    Chambers has:
    t- or t’ an obsolete shortened form of “to” before a vowel
    So, “to have” is “to own” which becomes “t’ own”.
    But then we seem to need the “to” to be doing double-duty in “Isn’t going to” and in “to have”. That said, the “to” in an infinitive is often understood. So one might say that “have” means “to own”.

  15. One letter wrong, as charge cap an unknown (living in Sydney for the last 45 years). I had change cap for 1 across, thinking a spending reduction could be a change in a capital expenditure, together with some muddled thinking relating a change of headgear to switching careers.

  16. Shan’t = isn’t going to
    Y = unknown
    T = to
    Own = have
    I don’t see a problem with that, am I wrong?

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