Times Cryptic No 28457 — Pass the pie

28:29, which suggests I found this difficult, though I imagine most of you will have found this gentle for a Friday. I think I was off the wavelength: most of the answers were easier than I was trying to get them to be.

Around here we are all enjoying Thanksgiving festivities. I’m trying to eat human-sized portions, and generally succeeding.

1 Songbird which circles Scottish island (8)

Not our last island of the puzzle.

5 East End success for setter, say? (3-3)
10 Design of house in Dorset our failing (5,4)
11 Daughter to fall and bleed (5)

‘Bleed’ as in to remove the blood from.

12 Passing through Amritsar, an Indian queen (4)
RANI – hidden
13 Receiver has thrown kit into a river (9)
15 Sailor with coat, first man to reach surface (10)

In the states we usually just call this TARMAC.

17 Piece of hose / hit hard (4)
SOCK – double definition
19 Vehicle, not quite reaching moon (4)
20 Gas applied to metal in kitchen device (6,4)

I semi-biffed this one, and hadn’t known of ‘waffle’ in the sense ‘to go on and on’ = GAS.

22 Characteristic trait shaped Scottish island (9)

Our last island.

24 Love hurting after rejection (4)
EROS – SORE reversed
26 Trustworthy typeone’s been fired? (5)
BRICK – double definition
27 Very much / without humour (9)
SERIOUSLY – double definition
28 Old lady and man in assembly (6)

Here ‘man’ means ‘piece on the chessboard’.

29 Couple of body parts in horse? (8)
1 Possessing hearts, card laid on top (4)

A ‘card’ is a witty person.

2 Incredible ascent performed having taken wrong direction in park (6,4-5)

Far more straightforward than I thought it was!

3 Highly important / songbird (8)
CARDINAL – double definition
4 Greeting triumphant expression while keeping watch (5)
6 Many dogs missing summit (6)
7 With a notorious spy novel, it’s been overlooked in local enquiry? (5,4,6)

This is a great definition, ‘local’ meaning pub.

8 Rare issue put wife at bottom of class (10)
9 Show not taking a minute for star (3,5)

I’m pretty sure I have this right, READ = ‘show’ as in, the sign reads/shows ‘Slow Children at Play’. The confusing bit is that I originally thought ‘show’ was the definition and I’d heard of the show and heard of the star so the answer went in immediately.

14 Collector’s item in US city filling empty satchel on seat (5,5)
STAMP ALBUM – TAMPA (in Florida) in S(atche)L + BUM
16 USA’s real upset with Moscow’s fashion? (1,2,5)
A LA RUSSE – anagram of USA’S REAL
18 Kind of info 24 got about university (8)

Tricky lift-and-separate!

21 Winger is wearing coat (6)
23 Ground corn is offloaded from this (5)
25 Pouch completely empty, by the way (4)
CYST – C(ompletel)Y + ST

59 comments on “Times Cryptic No 28457 — Pass the pie”

  1. A bit tricky, and hard to finish – too many NHO Scottish islands and NHO birds involved. Except of course INCH is common, CARDINAL came after a while, and I think SISKIN has appeared before. Liked the 2 long downs and EAST END not meaning a dropped H, slight MER at NUT as body part deciding it must mean head. Couldn’t parse RED, so thank-you for that.
    COD What’s your poison?

  2. 19:57
    A very un-Fridayish puzzle; I’m surprised that Verlaine did it in his average time. Some QC-type clues (e.g. RANI, SOCK). Like Jeremy, I didn’t know the relevant meaning of WAFFLE, and biffed it. I biffed a lot, actually: the ROPE-TRICK, WHAT’S YOUR POISON, RED DWARF, STAMP ALBUM, EARTH, and ran off to the gym without trying to parse them. I still don’t get RED.

  3. Oops!—forgot to parse RED DWARF… so thanks!
    Not too taxing for a holiday evening (over here).

  4. I didn’t like this one at all. With three obscure birds, two of them intersecting, this felt like a setter taking revenge on behalf of the team for recent comments by our anti-bird contingent! And why not throw in a pair of cross-referenced clues with answers intersecting so if you hadn’t got the Across answer it would make the Down clue nigh on impossible?

    I completed the grid in an hour having resorted to aids four times.

    1. I meant to say that my POI was EROS and LOI GENEROUS, and that I was not best pleased by their intersection and cross-reference; and as you say, GENEROUS is next to unsolvable without EROS.
      As for the birds, I was surprised at first when you characterized CARDINAL as obscure, but then it is a New World bird (and the mascot of a US baseball team). We’ve had SISKIN a couple of times, once quite recently. WHINCHAT is a bird of a different color; although I somehow knew it, getting it before I got the wordplay.

      1. I got GENEROUS first and then used that to get EROS. I realized it would end OUS and that led to GENEROUS and then I took the U out again.

  5. Found the LHS pretty easy apart from 1a and 4d, but struggled mightily on the right. Eventually got some purchase after alpha-trawling POISON from the crossers, and spending too much time trying to make the East End = dropped H device fit 5a.

    However I ran out of steam and available time before finishing, didn’t get WUNDERKIND or (the very obvious) SOCK. 43m fail, thanks PJ and setter .

  6. 47m 48s
    I found a lot to like in this one, especially 2d and 7d which were cleverly hidden anagrams. I also liked the two types of Scottish island and the various birds. A friend of mine in Maryland occasionally posts photos of Cardinals online.
    Re 15ac in NZ and in Australia we usually just call this TARMAC as well! It’s also the term commonly used for the area occupied by aircraft and aircraft servicing equipment at airports.
    My late wife and I, when we lived in Sydney, once went to a dog rally which was advertised as ‘OODLES of Poodles’
    Thank you +J for WITH, the RE(A)D in RED DWARF, and for EARTH.
    Like Jack and Kevin I wasn’t too fond of the intersecting clues in 18d and 24ac.

    1. I think all anglophones usually use TARMAC, but the name derives from a bloke called MacAdam, and Scots persons are often known simply as Mac, so that is pretty fair to my mind.
      On edit, oops, hadn’t seen the below bits.

  7. Enjoyed this one, bar the two intersecting clues as already mentioned.
    We call it tarmac here in England as well.. which is fair enough, because tarmacadam was not invented by a Mr McAdam, as one would expect. All he did was crush stone to make a road surface. The idea of adding the tar came from someone completely different (patented by Edgar Hooley, in 1902, I discover).

  8. 51 minutes, with ten or fifteen of them spent figuring WHINCHAT out. Grateful that I’d only recently tried to put SISKIN into my big list o’ crosswordy words only to find that it was already there, as that helped it stick in my mind.

    1. My ‘big’ list of “crosswordy words” is now thousands long – no b/s! So I’m now having to decide whether it would be better to erase it altogether/start again/neither of the above. I do often add a word I think I haven’t seen before, but…

  9. 36 mins but too many NHO
    Once I got 1a and 5a things went in quickly but struggled on 16d and 24a as I was thinking kind was a type

  10. 42 mins but at least all present and correct. Agree with the comments above, especially re the crossers. Hence LOsI EROS and GENEROUS. SISKIN bunged in from a recent recollection.

    Quite enjoyable though, I thought. I loved the local enquiry, WUNDERKIND and WAFFLE IRON.

    Can’t wait to see a-n’s comment!

    Thanks pj and setter.

    1. The number of birds that appear
      Is way more than chance, it is clear
      It drives me round the bend
      I don’t wish to offend
      But a feather obsession is queer

      1. A deep-seated aversion for a bird
        Leaves me groping for a suitable word –
        They’re just feathery lizards with wings ,
        Cute chirpy colourful things –
        To resent them quite patently absurd.

        1. In truth, it’s not birds that I hate
          It’s their frequency here that’s not great
          And hence much resented
          No wonder I get in a state

  11. 16:29. Held up in the NW by the birds, but CARDINAL finally gave me the last checker to spot the unknown WHINCHAT. I biffed a couple (RED DWARF and EARTH) and lazily came here to find the parsing. I liked the two long ones INDIAN ROPE TRICK and WHAT’S YOUR POISON. Thank-you setter and Jeremy.

  12. Waiting with bated breath for Astro_nowt’s coruscating verse today. 50m for me and it felt a slog. Thanks for explaining all, Jeremy.

  13. 32.15. Held up on ‘cardinal’ for no good reason except that I was stuck on British songbirds.

  14. Yes of course the house is the house of Tudor. Thanks alto_ego.

    Now my original post seems to have gone. Not that it matters really.

    1. The ‘house’ referred to is the house of Tudor, the rose being a combination of the Yorkshire and Lancashire red and white roses.

  15. A good challenge, finally completed in 23′. Held up in NW, did not realise 2d was an anagram until now. Got ATTRIBUTE, hence tried to find another named island to fit in 1ac…..so WHINCHAT LOI.

    A family story says that my great grandfather wrote the song Daddy Wouldn’t Buy Me a Bow-Wow, but sold the idea for a few drinks.

    Thanks jeremy and setter.

  16. I would have been a lot quicker on this if I had not spent the whole puzzle missing the INDIAN ROPE TRICK and looking for an anagram of ‘ascent performed’ instead. Even when Indian looked like the only possible first word I didn’t get the answer. Once the penny dropped, the last 2, 19A and 28A, went in immediately. Also failed to parse EARTH and RED DWARF, though I bifd the latter fairly early on. Happy with the birds, and eager to see Astronowt’s contribution – always fun! Agree it’s not a specially difficult Friday and no actual unknown words, but all the better for that.

  17. 12:34

    Not very Friday-ish then. I biffed the same clues as Kevin plus WUNDERKIND which made it all a bit unsatisfactory and I agree with jackkt that having intersecting cross-referencing clues was out of order.

  18. Some tricky stuff with some easy ones too. WITH went in first with BOW-WOW not far behind. Liked INDIAN ROPE TRICK and WHAT’S YOUR POISON. Seriously held up by LOI, WHINCHAT. 31:10. Thanks setter and Jeremy.

  19. Like many, found the LHS easier than the right. Put ‘sincerely’ rather than SERIOUSLY, which hampered me no end. Gave up after 40 mins with 8 words missing. Irritated that I didn’t get ADDRESSEE.

  20. 44 minutes. Yet again, I started off with a “This is Friday so it’s going to be tough” mindset, before a few started going in. Easy to say once solved but I liked the references to a ‘Scottish island’ and seeing our three feathered friends, even if I only know two of them from crosswords.

    Our setter has HID a NON MERCI in the grid. I’ll say thanks, to both setter and Jeremy, anyway.

  21. I found this a bit of a struggle. I knew 7d was anagram-based, but it was ages before I got it, fooled by the deceptive defintion. Eventually half a dozen recalcitrant clues yielded and I reached the end without resorting to aids, which I thought I might have to do at one point. CARDINAL (which I remembered as a bird) led to WHINCHAT, ALOHA to ADDRESSEE, and MAKING to SISKIN (dimly remembered).
    50 minutes.

  22. 45m, of which about 10 were spent looking for those d…ed birds in the NW. Otherwise not to knotty, even with another b….y bird in the SW. I’m beginning to sympathise with Astro-nowt (who must soon be running out of ideas on matters poetic and ornithological).

  23. No sign of AstroNowt, who I suspect is lying down in a darkened room. I finished in 10:19 but had another goddam typo. Didn’t much enjoy it, though I thought MOPE was a nice little clue.

  24. Just over an hour for me, with NHO WHINCHAT and A LA RUSSE, both worked out and entered with bated breath. Didn’t parse RED DWARF fully, but for an amateur cosmologist, it was obviously the answer. Thanks +J and Setter.

  25. I got the two long ones fairly quickly from the enumeration (and I was onto the slightly obscured definitions in both cases). That led to the left hand side filling in easily, and the right was harder. My last ones in were SISKIN and ATTRIBUTE, having carelessly put JERKIN in (as the coat, the rest of the clue made no sense. Once I got attribute, I noticed my error and fixed that. Fun crossword. I live in the US so CARDINAL was pretty much a write-in even though it might count as obscure in the UK. I didn’t know the WHINCHAT but the wordplay was generous, although I still crossed my fingers when I submitted since it is an odd looking word (although I know a CHAT is a bird so maybe not too odd). I know SISKIN only from crosswords.

  26. 30 mins
    Didn’t like the 24a crossing with 18d, a bit too Guardianish for me. In the end I got GENEROUS before EROS. Otherwise enjoyable

  27. I also thought the birds were the setter’s revenge! I could not parse Red Dwarf so thank you. LOI addressee and oodles which were actually very easy but I took ages to get them.

  28. 22’15” I found this easier than yesterday’s which had a much lower Snitch. 18D gave a rare example of a clue referring to another, in which I got the second answer before the first. GENEROUS helped me get EROS rather than t’other way round. The surrealist artrist André Breton collected waffle irons. Moules à gaufres in French. There were scores of them when the contents of his flat went on sale. Don’t ask me why, I suppose they were just weird objects. Only saw belatedly after reading comments what DESIGN OF HOUSE refers to. There was me thinking about cottages with mullioned wondows. Neat. Thanks.

  29. Slow to begin with but eventually got a start on the right hand side then worked my way round clockwise, finishing in the top left (apart from the 18d/24a pair, which were my last 2 in). Thought of GENEROUS first, which gave me EROS. All done in 9:24.

  30. AFAIK the island of INCH (1ac) is in Ireland, not Scotland. The Scottish island is called Inch Kenneth.

    1. ‘Scottish island’ needn’t be referring to a specific place name. SOED defines ‘inch’ as: A small island. Freq. in Scottish place names.

  31. 50:44, generally found it quite hard. As with many others, enjoyed anticipating AstroNowt’s bird displeasure, which didn’t disappoint! I thought 7dn was excellent, and liked 8dn too. Always happy to complete Friday in less than an hour even though the snitch is not too scary. Thanks setter & Jeremy.

  32. Friday gristle, so, pleased to have completed. I’ve haunted this place long enough to know there would be comments about the bird life.

    5ac was a challenge – I got mired in dog day .
    Thanks for the parsing of RED DWARF

    Short clues often challenge me more, I liked 1d WITH.

    OH has a copy of Larousse , the ‘a la Russe ‘ recipes are mostly root veg based (potato ) herring and herbs …

    Thank you to blogger and setter ( should I say ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ or / and ‘Come on England ‘ 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 ) .

  33. 24:26
    I enjoyed this though it did seems a litle strange, with themes threatening to bust out all over. WHINCHAT was new to me but fair enough. Two top class anagrams I thought.

    Thanks to Jeremy and the setter.

  34. 46 minutes and surprisingly, correct despite the many unknowns which went in on a wing and a prayer (or rather, many wings and prayers). NHO WHINCHAT, SISKIN, the assembly sense of MAKING. And I couldn’t parse RED DWARF, but it had to be that. COD to WHAT’S YOUR POISON, of course.

  35. I found this one hard. DNF after several visits during the day adding up to more than an hour. Beaten by the crossing birds at 1ac and 3dn. “Crossing” isn’t the only adjective I can think of. Never mind

  36. Watched football most of the day including Englands depressing display. Went on to this to try and cheer myself up.
    No recorded time, but would guess at an hour. At least I finished with all correct and fully parsed. 1dn followed by 1ac were my LOIs. Tried for a long time to fit CHITCHAT into 1ac, before WITH put paid to that notion. No idea what a WAFFLE IRON is, but the clue was clear.

  37. Very late but that’s another complete week! Thought I was in trouble here but they eventually all fell-like others couldn’t solve GENEROUS until I saw SORE, not helpful. LOI CARDINAL after a trawl. WINCHAT also dredged from somewhere. Not the most taxing week according to the snitch but no complaints from me. Very satisfied. Thanks blogger and setter.

  38. 29.00 so not so swift. Good puzzle with SE corner the most trouble. Never managed to parse red dwarf, so glad to see the explanation.

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