Times Cryptic No 28464 – Saturday, 3 December 2022. A walk on the mild side

I zipped through this: top left, bottom right, bottom left, home. Hardy a pause but several smiles. LOI was 15ac, only because of my lack of geographic knowledge. I enjoyed 16dn and the inheritance at 4dn. 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. I use italics to mark anagram indicators in the clues, and ‘assembly instructions’ in the explanations.

1 Pleaded to adopt bird with curved limbs (3-6)
6 Tricks mum by returning cigarette (5)
MAGIC – MA + CIG returning.
9 Gym equipment advocates reduced stomach (7)
BARBELL – BAR=legal advocates + BELL(Y).
10 Filled theatre with rented audience in the end (7)
REPLETE – REP=theatre + LET + (audienc)E.
11 King cut grassy meadow (3)
LEA – King LEA(R).
12 Edited the exams to cover historic card game (5,4,2)
14 Become stupid, briefly, like Frankenstein? (6)
GOTHIC – GO=become + THIC(K). The definition refers more to the book than the character, I think.
15 Move to a lower place in Belgium (8)
17 Second video game about European astronaut (8)
19 Layers of desserts from the east — Arabia primarily (6)
STRATA – TARTS from the east (backwards) + A(rabia).
22 Earnest talk disturbed cold-blooded creature (11)
23 Towards the back of vessel, not the front (3)
25 Regret returning to follow former chemist (7)
PASTEUR – PAST=former + RUE=regret, returning.
27 People surrounding United Nations official once (7)
TRIBUNE – TRIBE surrounding U.N.  Official in ancient Rome.
28 Material that’s dangerous to walk over backwards? (5)
DENIM – MINED backwards.
29 Music fan ran into a show outside hotel (9)
METALHEAD – MET=ran into + A + LEAD=show outside H=hotel. I hesitated at “show” = “lead”, but I suppose you could say “show/lead the way”.
1 Youngster left to cause confusion (5)
2 Call for hostilities with tirade (7)
3 Choose part of film containing limitless vice — it’s a shocker! (8,3)
ELECTRIC EEL – ELECT=choose + REEL=part of film, containing (V)IC(E).
4 Man’s inheritance supports party, a brilliant gathering (6)
GALAXY – GALA=party + XY (chromosomes)=man’s inheritance! (Women have XX chromosomes). Brilliant, I thought.
5 Mysterious body of sailor found beneath 500 ships (4,4)
DARK STAR – D=500 + ARKS=ships + TAR=sailor.
6 Brit head over heels for messy hairdo (3)
MOP – POM=Brit. I thought that was an Aussie expression. It must have gone mainstream.
7 Tear in limb upset man-eating monster (7)
GRENDEL – LEG=limb, REND=tear in (LEG)*
8 Drink loads, in conclusion (5,4)
CREAM SODA – REAMS=loads, in CODA=conclusion.
13 Old patent getting Hello in a bad place (4,3,4)
14 Toledo ports agree to box up creature (9)
GASTROPOD – reverse hidden answer (box, up).
16 Fish doctor’s opening strange piece of kit (4,4)
BASS DRUM – BASS=fish + D(octor) +RUM.
18 Trains a poorly skilled worker (7)
20 Generally, a promotion includes rug with one-third off (2,1,4)
AS A RULE – A + SALE includes RU(G). (One-third off).
21 13 dads and a singer (4,2)
PAST IT – PAS + TIT. The definition is ‘13’, referring back to the answer to 13dn.
24 Run into nurse and get a lot of attention (5)
26 One steering to avoid hard wooden thing (3)

17 comments on “Times Cryptic No 28464 – Saturday, 3 December 2022. A walk on the mild side”

  1. Yeah, the chromosomes in the clue for GALAXY made this the Clue of the Week for me.
    I wonder when we’ll see that device again.

  2. 34m 52s
    I agree with you, Bruce, and with Guy. GALAXY is brilliant. Definitely COD.
    Other very good clues: OVER THE HILL and GASTROPOD.
    I also wonder about show=lead in METALHEAD.
    Found this puzzle enjoyable but LEA and ARTISAN were a bit chestnutty.
    LOI: GRENDEL. Never ventured into Beowulf.
    Thought for the Day: Could not a BOJO be another term for a ‘messy hairdo’?
    Thanks, Bruce!

  3. 12:16
    I only parsed OVER THE HILL & AS A RULE after submitting, and never figured out AFT. COD to GALAXY, of course, but I also liked GASTROPOD. Not one of your challenging Saturday puzzles.

  4. 36 minutes. NHO GRENDEL but worked it out. MER at the definition of ELM which seemed a bit lazy. MER also at show/LEAD at 29ac, but I’m now happy with the example given in the blog.

    I missed {r}AFT as the vessel at 23ac which would have been responsible for another MER, but now I come to think of it we have had it before and it provoked some discussion though I forget what conclusion was reached, if any.

    I got the TEXAS part of TEXAS HOLD ‘EM but never having heard of the game I was unable to make any sense of the rest of the clue.

  5. COD to GALAXY of course. Makes a change from “axes” as wordplay for XY. No problem with the few unknowns/forgottens, so all green for me. I’m not sure what geographical knowledge you were lacking at 10A to make it your last in.

    Seeks a DARK STAR in a GALAXY
    METALHEAD in my youth
    Don’t laugh, it’s the truth!
    But now I am PAST IT you see

  7. 12:43, so yes, rather on the easy side, but enjoyable nonetheless. I wonder where you might get a job as a fish doctor. COD to the hired claque surface at 10A. Thanks Bruce and setter.

  8. I never remember how long these Saturday crosswords take me, so no time.

    Like one or two others, I was unsure about show=lead in METALHEAD, but the blogger’s explanation makes sense. TEXAS HOLD EM took quite a while to come, and I couldn’t have told you which exact monster GRENDEL is. I don’t think I parsed OVER THE HILL either, but it was clear enough.

    COD Galaxy

  9. I was quite chuffed with myself for working out the anagram for NHO 12A. Unfortunately, I got it wrong – putting in TEXAS HOLD ME, which meant a MER at the unparseable CREME SODA. I didn’t find this as easy as the rest of you, but I thought it was pretty fair (until finding I’d failed!). I did make heavy weather of the anagram of 22A, partly owing to confidently predicting it would end in ATE and struggling to place the K. I was also slow to recall Pac Man, never having got into video games – I think that’s more male territory (she asserts in defence). Also, I got OVER THE HILL as soon as I worked out PAST IT rather than the other way around. I quailed massively at ‘former chemist’, only to find that even I had heard of this one. COD to my LOI, the well-disguised GASTROPOD.

  10. I did this one yesterday, as the top lines of the review suggested it was easy. Pretty straightforward, but enjoyed the clues to GALAXY and WATERLOO. I guess an XX genotype won’t be so useful for crosswords. Saw DNA being used recently, and would think RNA would also be useful.
    By the way, my account photo doesn’t seem to accompany my name in comments. Am i doing something wrong?

  11. Took me 1 hour 10 mins but I got there. Last one in was Grendel. Never heard of it. Nor the card game also new to me but easy enough to work out. Looked up to check

  12. This is definitely more my ‘level’, (she admitted ), but did not get METALHEAD, even with all the crossers, or WATERLOO (Geography not my strong point) …but happy to have worked out the rest within 40 minutes. Very much liked GALAXY (a PDM), and GASTROPOD – a cleverly disguised reverse hidden.

Comments are closed.