Times Cryptic No 28410 – Saturday, 1 October 2022. Sonnet stew.

There were a few unknowns here, including the sonnet and the stew, but all of them solvable. 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 Peevish person obtaining consensus (5-5)
CROSS-PARTY – CROSS=peevish + PARTY=person. The definition would be as in “cross-party/consensus proposal”, perhaps.
6 A short riddle that’s unbelievable (2,2)
AS IF – A + SIF(T)=to sieve/riddle.
10 Following vote chairman keeps back, this brings relief (5)
OXFAM – Chairman MAO, ‘back’, ‘keeps’ X=vote + F=following.
11 One leaving something in the kitchen covered in strontium, a killer (9)
STRANGLER – take a TR(I)ANGLE from the kitchen/percussion section of the orchestra, and cover it with SR=strontium. I didn’t know Sr for strontium, but I knew S for sulfur/sulphur, so it wasn’t a surprise.
12 It’s wild fun now debating, but prove incompetent (2,5,7)
14 Salvage only half complete? I expected this to be over (7)
15 Woman serving in bad mood: service charge now withdrawn (3-4)
PEW-RENT – WREN=woman serving in the military; in PET=bad mood. Never heard of the answer. To do with church services.
17 Pre-record pretentious stuff, a vocal item (7)
CANTATA – CAN=pre-record + TAT=pretentious stuff + A.
19 Sheets to be taken in hang loosely in passage (7)
20 Pay regard to talent and conventional behaviour (14)
RESPECTABILITY – RESPECT + ABILITY. Obvious, once you see it.
23 Astrologer is to join group of believers in a few weeks (9)
24 One negative effect that’s associated with station (5)
IDENT – I + DENT. I didn’t know IDENT is a word. It’s the thing the radio or TV station plays.
25 Saw badly formed germ (4)
SEEDI seed him wiv me own eyes, guv!
26 Parent wrong about principal form of sonnet (10)

What is a Petrarchan sonnet? I didn’t know, but I found this, which may ring a bell.

Emma Lazarus: The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
1 Dog food (4)
CHOW – Two meanings. Almost three, if you think ‘dog food’ is ‘chow’.
2 In quieter months, ashore with lad (3-6)
OFF-SEASON – OFF SEA=ashore. SON=lad.
3 Twice sold me a dud: not again! (4,3,4,3)
4 More endearing quality? Or lack of one? (7)
ABSENCE – absence makes the heart grow fonder.
5 Prominently show small rug in residence (5,2)
THROW UP – THROW = small rug + UP=in residence at university. Throw up on a display screen, not throw up in the gutter!
7 Hearty stew fed to him, last to turn up (5)
SALMI – reverse hidden answer. It’s come up before. Of course I didn’t remember that, but once I had a helper I could see what the answer must be,
8 Assemble men, say, to visit priest (10)
FOREGATHER – OR=men (not officers) +  EG=say, ‘visiting’ FATHER.
9 “X”, a man lately honoured in many countries (7,7)
UNKNOWN SOLDIER – X=an unknown + SOLDIER=man. “Late” meaning “dead”. You could read the whole clue as definition.
13 Risky, facing imminent tooth trouble? (10)
PRECARIOUS – Caries is tooth decay, so if you’re “pre-carious” … you see where it’s going!
16 People rowing with each other, one getting the wrong anniversary perhaps (9)
EIGHTIETH – EIGHT=people rowing with each other + I =one + (THE)*
18 Step into A&E, Fred (7)
19 Sea creature to chuck back without its tail (7)
LOBSTER – LOB=chuck + STER(N)=back.
21 Money from S America used as sweetener in parts of EU (5)
SUCRE – Ecuadorian currency until 2000. Also, the French word for sugar.
22 Temperature inside star is to stupefy (4)
STUN – T in SUN.


24 comments on “Times Cryptic No 28410 – Saturday, 1 October 2022. Sonnet stew.”

  1. You’re a month out Brnchn, though it felt like it took a month to complete. I found it a tough
    43 minutes. I stewed over the nho last one in SALMI ( a hidden backward- doh!). And thanks for parsing STRANGLER, as I’d forgotten the orchestral percussion sense of ‘kitchen’.

  2. 64m 30s. That were ‘ard for me! Many queries and obscurities so thank you, Bruce for SEED, LASAGNE, SUCRE, LASAGNE, STRANGLER (Like Corymbia I had forgotten that meaning of kitchen), SALMI, CANTATA and OXFAM. However:
    – I think ‘to be taken in’ is superfluous in LASAGNE, isn’t it?
    – CAN (in CANTATA) for pre-record sounds a bit dubious to me.
    – In 25ac is that SEED as in the ‘germ’ of an idea?
    Other observations:
    – Thank you for the full Emma Lazarus. I had to look up ‘sonnets’ to find PETRARCHAN.
    – I know that SUCRE is sugar in French but I also know it as one of the two capitals of Bolivia along with La Paz.
    Thanks, Bruce!

    1. Lasagne is sheets to be eaten (taken in).
      Did you Google ‘Petrarchan sonnet’? That should work.

      1. D’oh! I get it now!
        I looked up ‘sonnet’ in Wikipedia and read through the entry till I came to a word that I could make fit!

    2. “To be taken in” means “to be eaten.” I can’t see any other purpose those words would be serving there.
      “Seed” and “germ” are directly synonymous in the sense of “a source of development or growth.” Of course either term can be applied to ideas, as well as to many other things.
      I don’t see any problem with “can” for “pre-record.” Canned laughter is pre-recorded.

  3. DNF: couldn’t figure out 15ac.
    No problem with PETRARCHAN (‘principal form of sonnet’ was something of a giveaway), but I never knew that the Statue of Liberty inscription was from a sonnet, let alone a Petrarchan one. I liked EIGHTIETH.

    1. Somehow I thought of WREN for ‘woman serving’ quite quickly – I guess it helped being British – and then had to come up with a 3-letter word for ‘temper’.

      1. Whereas I thought of PET quite quickly, and never thought of WREN, which I did sort of know.

  4. I resorted to aids after an hour for SUCRE, PEW-RENT (NHO), and PETRARCHAN (NHO). I didn’t get the definition of THROW UP at the time but I think I can see it now though not quite as in the example in the blog.

    1. I didn’t find the required definition for THROW UP in any dictionary, but figured, what the hell…

      1. Chambers has
        throw up
        1. To erect hastily
        2. To show prominently, to reveal

        The second definition seems to fit precisely.

        1. Ha! Of course. I nearly added, above, “It’s probably in Chambers.” Which I don’t have, of course. If I don’t find something, I’d wager good money it’s in Chambers.

  5. I enjoyed this. Had a fast start but a very slow finish. LOI was PEW RENT, one of several unknowns that were worked out. NHO of SALMI for example.
    I couldn’t remember anything about Petrarch but I knew the name. Thank you for the sonnet above -enjoyed reading it and then recognising the famous bit.
    I also struggled with IDENT and FOREGATHER.

    1. Similarly didn’t know the well-known lines were from this sonnet.Thanks for printing it in blog- especially appropriate now with so many desperately moving around the world.

  6. Smooth sailing until I hit choppier waters with my last half-dozen or so. I got the answers but couldn’t figure the parsing of 10, 11 (forgot the kitchen/percussion section thing again!), 24ac & 21d, plus NHO 26ac nor 7d. Even so, somehow managed to complete in my average 60 minutes or so. Hurrah for guesswork. Thanks, blogger.

  7. I found this really difficult apart from a couple of clues that got me off the ground. DNF as couldn’t find a word to fit 15A. I was convinced PET was involved, but never thought of WREN and couldn’t even decide what the definition was, since ‘withdrawn’ suggested a reverse. Being a hyphenated word meant that I couldn’t resort to aids, so had to wait a week for the answer! Terribly frustrating!

  8. 31 minutes, no major problems although 1dn is 3dn. Honestly, what a chestnut. Was a bit uncomfortable with up = in residence, but OK I suppose: brnchn convinces me.

  9. Feeling a bit happier about this now that I see some seasoned solvers struggled with it! I do think reverse hiddens of unknown words is a bit much, and archaic words like FOREGATHER should be buried by now…but I refused for once to throw in the towel and resort to the blogs just to move on with it, and was somewhat rewarded for my hard work . Liked LASAGNE and PRECARIOUS. DNF 😕

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