Times Cryptic No 28428 – Saturday, 22 October 2022. The Jelly Roll Blues.

My eye quickly fell on 10ac. Isn’t “jelly” too obvious? Of course it is! Actually my FOI was 24dn.

The bottom half was much easier than the top, and my last four in were 6dn, 7dn and 1ac/3dn where a crossing letter needed repair to finish things off. Overall, quite challenging, I felt, but good fun.

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 About to crack? This may be called for (7)
RESOLVE – RE=about + SOLVE=crack (a crossword clue!)
5 Give in short extract with book (7)
SUCCUMB – SUC(K)=to extract (the sap, for example) + CUM=with, in Latin + B=book.
9 Gather whiskers responsible for pain (9)
HEARTACHE – HEAR=gather + (mous)TACHE=whiskers.
10 Food that might wobble when still? (5)
ASPIC – AS=when + PIC=still (photograph).
11 Declaration that binds me and you together, for example? (13)
PRONOUNCEMENT – cementing pronouns – something you do every day!? Nice clue!
13 Relaxed, having large charity to support (4-4)
LAID-BACK – L=large + AID=charity + BACK=support.
15 Keep company’s top of the range Datsun, finally passed on (6)
HOBNOB – HOB=the thing on top of the cooking range + (Datsu)N + OB.=passed on (obituary).
17 Man abandoning plot for all his books? (6)
OEUVRE – (man)OEUVRE=plot. Tricky to spell that word!
19 Row of houses? (8)
DOMESTIC – two meanings.
22 Endure the unpleasant cocktail that’s consumed right across Russia (4,3,4,2)
GRIN AND BEAR IT – GIN AND IT=cocktail involving vermouth. Insert R=right and, later, BEAR=Russia, metaphorically.
25 Port kept in oak, as originally recalled (5)
OSAKA – backwards (‘recalled’), hidden (‘kept in’).
26 Whose twin somehow is never spotted (4-5)
27 Dickensian school match! (7)
PODSNAP – POD=school (of whales) + SNAP!=that’s a match! I didn’t know the character, from Our Mutual Friend, but he sounds suitably Dickensian!
28 US island escape? Initially wonderful time there! (3,4)
KEY WEST – KEY=a computer key, ESC for example + W(onderful) +EST=Eastern Standard Time (U.S.), since Key West is in Florida.
1 German banker’s text to personnel to identify themselves? (4)
RUHR – R  U  H.R.? , as the text message might say.
2 Dog delivering bite, after jumping up, that is (4,3)
SHAR PEI – SHARP=biting + I.E. backwards (‘jumping up’).
3 Going topless, lit up fundraiser (5)
LOTTO – (B)LOTTO=lit up (with alcohol).
4 Intrude by stealth, or chance, after straying (8)
5 Irish-born novelist back on the radio (6)
STERNE – sounds like STERN. Laurence Sterne.
6 Male casualty in US I look after (9)
CHAPERONE – CHAP=male + E.R.=U.S. emergency room + ONE=I, me, myself.
7 Lots of egg shell’s left at the end of the day (7)
UMPTEEN – Humpty (Dumpty) is traditionally portrayed as an egg. If we leave his shell off, that produces UMPT. Follow that with EEN=evening.
8 Like Abba’s ratings in a two-part series? (4-2-4)
BACK-TO-BACK – what you see is what you get. As said in the comment below, the ratings here are ABs=able seamen. Nothing to do with ABBA’s chart positions.
12 A say in revamp of pub: good role, mostly (5,5)
BLOOD GROUP – (PUB GOOD ROL-)*. Drop the last letter of ‘role’ (mostly).
14 Navy fur wraps to acquire as new? (4-5)
16 Section of canal carrying warning on subject of tug? (8)
FORELOCK – FORE=warning to golfers + LOCK=section of canal.
18 Bath for one slow to remove last item of clothing (7)
UNITARD – UNI=the one at Bath, for example + TARD(Y).
20 Acrobatic little singers etc exercised with it while holding note (7)
TITMICE – MI=a note, in an anagram (‘exercised’) of (ETC IT)*. They are birds – I wouldn’t have guessed that!
21 Police officer happy after promotion? Makes sense (4,2)
23 Yard, with men, has turned riotous (5)
ROWDY – YD=yard + W=with + OR=(service)men, all ‘turned’ backwards.
24 Kid in France I found on street (4)
JEST – JE=I, in French + ST=street.

26 comments on “Times Cryptic No 28428 – Saturday, 22 October 2022. The Jelly Roll Blues.”

  1. This took me quite a while, probably over 40′, HOBNOB, CHAPERONE, & UNITARD my last ones in. DNK UNITARD. I never did figure out SUCCUMB.

  2. “Acrobatic” is apparently a description applied routinely enough to the tiny tweeting TITMICE that adding the word to the clue would be a helpful hint to anyone who knows that, while no doubt distracting to one who doesn’t.

    It took a minute to see how UMPTEEN worked.

  3. 74m 10s: A real test for me with several clues with question marks against them. Thanks, therefore, Bruce, for SUCCUMB, OEUVRE, KEY WEST, LOTTO, BACK TO BACK and UMPTEEN. Even after reading your decode, Bruce, it took me a while to ‘see’ UMPTEEN.
    I see two clues with ABBA references: 8d of course, and BORN AGAIN. As people may know, there is an Aussie ABBA tribute band with the perfect name of Bjorn Again!
    We’ve had the clue and solution for 19ac- DOMESTIC- elsewhere recently.
    COD: GRIN AND BEAR IT and PRONOUNCEMENT. I really like the idea of pronoun cement!

    1. Same here: defeated by most with this one! Very original clueing ( I think!); especially liking PRONOUN CEMENT.

  4. I liked this but found it very difficult. Failed to get OEUVRE although I could see how the clue worked-very clever.
    And HOBNOB and CHAPERONE also defeated me.

  5. Afterthought
    A good friend of mine who used to run a dog & cat kennel facility used to be very wary of SHAR PEIs. They could be quite aggressive as they were bred as guard dogs. They have suffered in recent years from breeding practices which have resulted in them acquiring numerous medical conditions.

  6. A relatively fast solve for me, sub one hour, which I assumed meant it was easy-peasy to most of you. Taken aback by the comments to the contrary. I may finally be improving! Having said that, I scratched my head over 5Ac SUCCUMB, 15ac HOBNOB, and 27ac PODSNAP – never read any Dickens. And 20d TITMICE. They were guesswork and I needed this blog to explain. Recognised DOMESTIC from a recent puzzle. Thanks to all.

  7. 49 minutes. The dog delayed me and this made it harder to solve the intersecting clues. I simply cannot get that breed and several others of foreign origin to stick in my brain.

  8. A long slog with SUCCUMB and UMPTEEN remaining unparsed. Took me 55 minutes and may make me late for a choir rehearsal for a concert tonight. There’s something about the Times cryptic that makes me unwilling to leave it unfinished…

  9. I am ever disconcerted that the Saturday Puzzle is so light on comments. I know the various reasons for this, but feel a bit more support for the blogger would be
    for the better.

    LOI 15ac HOBNOB(s) which are also delicious oaten biscuits back in Blighty.
    WOD 2dn SHAR-PEI

    And at 20dn TITMICE we don’t even get a Limerick!

    1. I agree the lack of comments is sad. The main reason in my view is having to wait a week to comment but there’s no way around that.

    2. Thanks for the thought! As the blogger, I’m very relaxed about the level of comments. A week is a long time in crosswords. But, always delighted with the feedback we get.

  10. Didn’t like: Bath for one= UNI , or lit up = blotto. Lit up = excited, not drunk and equating a city to something in the city is silly, using that methodology “Bath for one” could equal: bridge, road, shopping centre or whatever.

  11. If the clue for DOMESTIC is a double definition, I can’t see any reason for the question mark. I don’t think “row” by itself means DOMESTIC. It’s specifically an argument in a home (“of houses”). I can see “domestic” cluing (by example) ROW, but not the other way round. Biddlecombe called this clue (sans a question mark) a DD when it came up in a Sunday I blogged, so I broke the underline—but then I added that the first part seems to have to lean on the second to make total sense. Honestly, it still looks more like a CD to me.

  12. Found this really tricky only managing around two-thirds before checking the much-needed blog. Didn’t know the dog, TITMICE, or that ‘lit up’ meant drunk. Didn’t understand parsing of ADDS UP – could someone please explain the first ‘AD’ – I understand the DS + UP bit. Liked HOBNOB. Many thanks for the blog. I learned a lot today!

      1. Many thanks – feeling very stupid as I had thought ‘promotion’ referred to ‘up’ leaving ‘happy’ as ‘ad’ which clearly didn’t make any sense… Thanks for sorting this out.

  13. Late to post, but the plea for comments requires a response. This took me so long to complete, over several sessions, that I missed the submission deadline! 17A, 14D and the NHO PODSNAP were the culprits – except that I had heard of him, since I’d read Our Mutual Friend some 40 years previously, and loved it! BORN AGAIN was arrived at somewhat graphically a few minutes after lights out on Wednesday night by Mr Ego, which jolted both of us into wakefulness, and then OEUVRE and PODSNAP fell. I have to admit it was a great puzzle, and fairly clued – my brain was at fault, not the setter.

  14. Crikey this slowed me down. Ploughed through over the weekend between hanging sheets of plasterboard.
    LOI TITMICE which I didn’t know but couldn’t be anything else with all the crossers.
    COD HOBNOB because of course ‘top of the range’ had absolutely nothing to do with its quality and completely had me.

    Waited the whole week to understand SUCCUMB, OEUVRE, ADDS ON, FORELOCK despite seeing the answers fairly quickly.

    Resorted to aids for DOMESTIC which wouldn’t come, but is an excellent double def. I hadn’t seen before.

    Thanks setter and blogger.

  15. I wondered if I’d ever finish after putting in several answers that I couldn’t parse. Managed to make sense of them all eventually, but didn’t twig how BLOOD GROUP worked until post solve! OEUVRE and UNITARD last 2 in. 26:50. Lovely puzzle. Thanks setter and Bruce.

  16. All said already: really clever and devious puzzle that meant I had to cheat to finish. Loved PRONOUNCEMENT, JEST, OEUVRE and BORN AGAIN. But having spelled RHUR incorrectly made the parsing impossible!

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