Times Cryptic No 28505 — All good things…

48:12, so this is the harder puzzle I’ve been waiting for. Very tricky in places, though I tended to feel dumb rather than smart when the penny finally dropped, almost as if the penny fell right onto my head.

1 Backers singing about god in Luxor (6)
CHORUS – C (about) + HORUS (god in Luxor)

Should have just biffed this one! I was overthinking and trying to get RA in there.

5 Vital bit of gear arrived shortly before opening of mine (8)
9 Chap has mistakenly begun to restrict pulse (4,4)
MUNG BEAN – MAN around anagram of BEGUN
10 Master satisfied to retire for the present (3,3)
PRO TEM – PRO (master) + MET reversed

This was a penny bonk moment because I had considered TEM/MET from the beginning and rejected it as not a word. I wasn’t thinking of the Latin phrase because I thought NOW had to be in the answer.

11 Left in river beginning to expire, he’s put out (8)
DEPORTEE – PORT in DEE + first letter of EXPIRE
12 Shows off pens, perhaps 1000 collected (6)

Forgot about this sort of pen.

13 Standard / bore (8)
ACCEPTED – double definition

As in the past tense of ‘bear’, although I don’t normally think of ‘bear’ and ‘accept’ as being synonymous. Chambers has “endure, tolerate”. Now, ‘accept’ and ‘tolerate’ are synonymous, but not to my mind in the sense of ‘endure’. Shrug.

15 Receding flow of water over stone (4)
OPAL – LAP + O (over) reversed
17 Egyptian believer collared when speaking (4)
COPT – homophone of COPPED

This took millennia because I thought we wanted a homophone of CAUGHT.

19 Harassed policemen losing months of time when mammals appeared (8)
PLIOCENE – anagram of POLICEMEN – M (months)

An era.

20 Decorate lady’s cloak in orderly fashion (6)
TRIMLY – TRIM (decorate) + L{ad}Y

Trawled for ‘trim’. (No jokes, please.)

21 Logical bloke, he’s one to be welcomed (8)
22 Token overthrow of rulers feasible (6)
23 Prepare insufficiently maybe for one style of bowling (8)
24 Writer tries introducing current term of interest (8)
ESSAYIST – ESSAYS (tries) around I (current) + T (term of interest?)

Help? (Kevin explains that ‘term’ = ‘terminal’ = last letter.)

25 Wife and I had to purchase device (6)
2 Those struggling to grasp university having work stack up here? (8)
HOUSETOP – anagram of THOSE around U + OP

The chimney-stack, of course.

3 Served up beer no-one’s consumed within district (8)
REGIONAL – LAGER reversed around NO + I
4 Dubious citizen turning up in peculiar places (9)
SCEPTICAL – CIT reversed in anagram of PLACES

I didn’t know CIT for ‘citizen’.

5 Possibly failure to affirm / what corrupt tennis player should earn? (8,2,5)
CONTEMPT OF COURT – double definition, one tongue-in-cheek

I don’t really know the legal sense here exactly, but I get the idea.

6 Squiffy contestants finally given ratings (7)
SCREWED – last letter of CONTESTANTS + CREWED (given ratings)

This took me a very long time to see. I didn’t know ‘squiffy’ meant ‘tipsy’ and I didn’t know ‘screwed’ meant ‘tipsy’. In any case, ‘given ratings’ is an excellent definition.

7 Take good notice of / nurse (6,2)
ATTEND TO – double definition
8 Particular period allocated by fate (4,4)
TIME SLOT – TIMES (by) + LOT (fate)

As in “3 by 4”. Tough one.

14 Slap person tailing gumshoe? (9)
15 Hindrance alumni deal with, not Keble’s first (8)
OBSTACLE – O.B.S (alumni) + TAC{k}LE
16 Against endless search for survivors from the past (8)
17 Seconder, being out of order, denied full expression (8)
18 A biblical extract that’s intractable (8)

As in “fifty a pound”. Took me forever to see.

19 Pour scorn on medicine, old vacuous remedy (7)
PILLORY – PILL + O + R{emed}Y

73 comments on “Times Cryptic No 28505 — All good things…”

    1. Thank you! I’m sure somewhere in the recesses of my mind I knew term = terminal, but it feels fresh to me now.

  1. 22m

    I don’t know if the setter was just trying to be misleading, but I suspect they have no idea what they’re talking about in regards to 19ac. The Pliocene period was only a couple of million years ago and obviously mammals were well established by then.

    Otherwise a nicely tricky puzzle

  2. 22:29
    I saw ‘god in Luxor’ and biffed OSIRIS, making a mental note to go back to see how it worked, and of course misplaced the note, so it was still there to make HOUSETOP impossible (it was my POI, followed immediately by CHORUS). I spent too long thinking of ‘gear’ as clothes, and ‘pens’ as an inclusion indicator. DNK SCREWED=drunk, but fortunately did know ‘squiffy’. COD maybe to 8d TIME SLOT, which I only parsed after submitting. ‘by’=TIMES and ‘a’=PER in one puzzle; tricky setter.

    1. I had OSIRIS in mind, but left it blank just in case, which turned out lucky when HOUSETOP clicked.

  3. Hard to think of one of these clues where either the cryptic or the definition didn’t give me something to pause over. I think that’s a good thing for a Friday puzzle. thanks, +J and setter

  4. 64 minutes. About half of the time spent at the end on SCREWED, which I didn’t know for ‘Squiffy’ and SWANKS – no excuses for taking too long to see the relevant sense of ‘pens’. Slow, but at least everything parsed and no pink squares.

  5. Filled in steadily until completely stuck at the end due to ignorance. SCREWED – wouldn’t personally say it meant squiffy; and SWANKS – if asked I’d say swank wasn’t a real, dictionary word, and if it was it wasn’t a verb. Alphabet trawl gave screwed, liked the crewed part, then swanks was obvious.
    Otherwise quite enjoyed it, particularly regional, time slot and pillory.

    1. I was okay with SWANKS as a verb (and so are the usual sources) but I shared your misgiving about ‘squiffy / screwed’. However the dictionaries have ‘screwed’ = drunk / tipsy etc so it’s evidently okay. Can’t say I’ve ever heard it though. If told somebody was screwed I’d think they had been obstructed, thwarted, stymied etc.

      35 minutes for this one which I found generally inventive and interesting to solve. Regarding 13ac I think ‘bore / ACCEPTED’ is okay in the sense of ‘put up with’: He didn’t like the decision but he bore / accepted it with good grace.

  6. 56 minutes. A few MER as others have mentioned. The quartet of SCREWED, SWANKS, TIMESLOT, and PRO-TEM (my L4I) took far too long. But nice to have something chewy to start the weekend (well, it’s only Thursday here in California, so my weekend is a day away). I did know Squiffy meant drunk, but I didn’t know SCREWED did. CREWED as “given ratings” was very misleading to make it even harder, and I was looking for a word like “ranked” or “marked.”

  7. 14’52”, insomnia seems to inspire me.

    ACCEPTED LOI after a steady solve. Trusted the wordplay for SCREWED, which has several other meanings, some of which have been mentioned. Haven’t come across SWANKS as a verb before.

    In an English court when giving evidence one has to swear on the Bible or ‘affirm’, i.e. promise to tell the truth. Not to do this would leave you in contempt of court, a very serious matter.

    Thanks jeremy and setter.

  8. « Goodbye to my Juan, goodbye, Rosalita,
    Adios mis amigos, Jesus y Maria;
    You won’t have your names when you ride the big airplane,
    All they will call you will be “DEPORTEEs”

    My LOI.
    I figured there was some British law lingo involved in the definition for CONTEMPT FOR COURT, entered it without the slightest hesitation.
    I’ve eaten MUNG BEANS. It’s been quite a while…

    BTW, Jeremy, in the html after running the script, if you divide the Across from the Down clues with a close-body tag (I can’t put this in here without messing up the comment) and an open-body tag, without closing and opening a new table, the columns will be aligned in the Down portion the same way they are for the Across (with no bigger left indent). Not that it matters, of course, to anybody other than former typesetters.

      1. A brief glance at the HTML shows that each down clue is adjusted to be 98.8333% width, or something like that.

        1. When starting my blog entries, I make a few quick adjustments to the html that the script produces. The very simple way that I found to have the columns lined up (the indentation on the left) is what I described, or tried to. I don’t need to look at the numbers you mentioned, which are generated only after the html is saved on our site—they are not in the html the script itself produces. That’s what I do my little tinkering with.
          But never mind…

        2. It is, I think, a quirk of the editor that if you somehow change the size of the table or columns while editing it adds extra markup setting the width of the columns (and sometimes the height of the rows). I find it annoying when that happens and resort to copying the HTML into another editor, editing and pasting back., which is a bit messy. I’ll have to add looking at that to my list of things to investigate for the site.

    1. Interesting HTML tweak. I’ll have to try it and maybe update the script that generates the HTML.

      1. This column misalignment happens for me if I didn’t make the alteration. I also see the increased indent on Ulaca’s blog this week, but Pip’s and George’s are OK—I don’t know if they changed anything or if the script works differently on different systems or in different browsers. Vinyl’s Times 28495 blog has the columns misaligned, but below “Down” there is less of a left indent for the clues—go figure.

    2. Great song. Cisco Houston’s my favourite version so far. Haven’t come across Woody’s yet.

  9. Some kindle couthie side by side,
    And burn thegither trimly;
    Some start awa wi’ saucy pride,
    An’ jump out owre the chimlie …

    40 mins mid-brekker. All fair enough, but I never really warmed to it.
    Thanks setter and PJ.

  10. 36 minutes, held up art the end with ACCEPTED and LOI SCREWED, which I’m still convincing myself about but can be nothing else. Thank you Only Connect for the Luxor God. I thought that mammals abounded once the dinosaurs disappeared 65 million years ago and that the pliocene was more recent, but solving the anagram was enough to convince me otherwise. I see Trevor Chappell’s doing the bowling. Decent puzzle but I didn’t find it too tough.. Thank you Jeremy and setter

  11. Not so hard as all that. No hold ups, just a mer at the incorrect pliocene. Surely “man” rather than “mammal” was intended? Also I would regard screwed as coming several stages after merely being squiffy. By then, you have to hold on to something to stay upright … don’t ask me how I know this

    1. I noted that Chambers has ‘screwed = tipsy’ which seemed rather specific and more akin to ‘squiffy’ than ‘drunk’ as in Collins. SOED has ‘screwed’ as ‘partly intoxicated, tipsy’.

        1. Thanks, Jerry. I only mentioned it because I was surprised by what I found once I started investigating the reference books . As mentioned in my original comment I have never heard of ‘screwed’ referring to any state of drunkenness before today.

  12. Good puzzle. One error. Time Sent for Time Slot. I had Exportee instead of Deportee for a while. H-u-x – – p looked unlikely to reveal itself so I spotted my error.

    COD: Time Slot.

  13. 72 mins. Completely hung up my last four in, the pair of crossers, CHORUS and HOUSETOP, and SCREWED and SWANKS. Rather like our blogger, I kicked my self when I finally saw the light. Pretty tough today. DNK PLIOCÈNE or COPT but got there somehow.

    I liked EYESHADOW and WIDGET.

    Thanks pj and setter.

  14. 13:56. One or two slightly surprising synonyms as others have noted, but I had no problem with bore = accepted. I tried writing in the answer to 3D in 4D at first which made a mess of my paper copy, but otherwise no problems. LOI DEPORTEE. COD to EYESHADOW. Thank-you Jeremy and setter.

  15. Thought this was going to be a stinker after looking blankly at the list of clues, but settled in to a steady solve. LOI ACCEPTED. Struggled with spelling of PLIOCENE as learned it as PLEIOCENE. COD SCREWED.

    36 mins

  16. Beaten by the NW corner: missing HOUSETOP, MUNG BEAN (clever now I see it) and SCEPTICAL. I figured the latter must be correct, but NHO CIT so didn’t quite dare write it in. Enjoyed the rest of it, though wasn’t convinced by SCREWED or TRIMLY. Liked COPT and SWANKS.

  17. I made good headway at first but got bogged down, particularly in the bottom half. I’m another who biffed OSIRIS for 1a, making 2d impossible to solve. I thought 8d must be SCREWED, but I was slow to see how CREWED was indicated, and I failed to parse TIME SLOT properly even though it was an early solve. It looked like some dubious & lit to me.
    38 minutes

  18. I struggled with 2dn and 1ac, partly because I was another EXPORTEE for a while, and I eventually used aids for 1dn and immediately regretted it because it was really quite simple. 51 minutes for a puzzle that I felt was going a bit better than this until I had the problems with 2dn and 1ac. A bit unsure on the MUNG bean and just hoped; and trimly = in orderly fashion doesn’t seem quite right to me, although as usual in my innocence Jeremy’s ‘No jokes please’ goes over my head.

  19. 09:38, so obviously on the wavelength. As already observed, some slightly off-centre definitions (I don’t count PLIOCENE, where happily I wasn’t informed enough to think it was wrong); TRIMLY certainly looks odd, but never felt wrong, and when it came to SCREWED, I’ve always thought it says something about stereotypes of national character that you can add -ED to almost any word in English to mean “inebriated”.

  20. 8:54 but somehow I failed to spot a very obvious typo (RAGIONAL) when checking my answers. Not for the first time and not for the last I wonder why I bother.
    No complete unknowns today but whatever the dictionaries say, nobody uses SCREWED to mean drunk these days, if they ever did.
    Like topicaltim I had just the requisite level of ignorance to get PLIOCENE comfortably without seeing any problem with it.

  21. Didn’t solve a clue until ANTIQUES and PILLORY, then got COPT. After a long fallow spell with nothing else solved, UNDERARM opened up the SE and I began to make progress. REGIONAL and HOUSETOP then opened up the NW and I got moving again. ACCEPTED eventually arrived and left me with 6d and 12a. after more cogitation I saw SCREWED and the correct pens then gave me SWANKS. Phew! 32:39. Thanks setter and Jeremy.

  22. Some obscure but enjoyable clueing. Devilishly devious or deviously devilish?
    COD HOUSETOP – brilliant!

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

  23. In the Georgette Heyer oeuvre a CIT is a non-gentry resident of a big city – i.e. one who is in trade and lives there year-round, not just in the fashionable seasons. I was another who was looking for a second E in PLIOCENE. Apparently “pleiocene” is the American spelling – an unusual instance where Americans add rather than subtract a letter. 22.09

  24. 30:07. Same issue over PLIOCENE as others. Of course mammals did appear in the Pliocene era, but the same could be said for any era in the previous 200 million years so I agree it is likely a mistake, though what was intended I am less certain. “Humans” would be equally controversial.

  25. DNF – I put the non-existent ‘dung bean’ rather than the unknown MUNG BEAN, thinking that Dan was our man… in retrospect I suppose a dung bean isn’t a very tasty prospect.

    COD Housetop

    1. Ah. In “fifty a pound” you have homed in on the two words that don’t matter. It’s fifty a pound / fifty per pound. so a=per

      Oops, plusjeremy had already replied when I wasn’t looking

  26. I was under 25 mins for this tricky puzzle, satisfying given the relatively high SNITCH but managed to blow it at the last with a wretched typo in hpusetop. Spent too long trying to shoehorn Osiris into 1ac.

  27. A laborious 40’46, with a tired brain not making obvious connections. For example on 16D, I thought of V and CON for AGAINST, but not ANTI. With the H and the S fitting temptingly, I nearly bunged in THEBES for Luxor. It was Egyptian Thebes, wasn’t it? Can’t be bothered to Google. Work calls.

  28. 47:44. A respectable (for me) finish to a bad week. FOI ATTEND TO and then I hopped randomly round the grid to finish with HOUSETOP, after finally spotting that “those” was an anagram, and CHORUS, discarding Ra. ACCEPTED was a hard DD but once I had it I was ok with it. I waited ages before writing in the very odd TRIMLY. I liked the wordplay for SCREWED

  29. 7m 52s and felt a bit longer, as pretty much every clue required a bit of thinking to confirm – no biffs or write-ins today.


  30. 59:38

    Behind the curve today but just inside the hour – I was another with EXPORTEE rather than DEPORTEE which held up finishing with HOUSETOP.

    I also thought of NICT and CORT before finally landing on COPT.

  31. I biffed my way through this with no great enthusiasm.

    TIME 14:37

  32. 33 mins. Another one who immediately thought OSIRIS fits and had to come back later for a different god. CAMSHAFT caused most difficulty as I was trying to start with COG.
    Thought ACCEPTED clue was a bit weak.

  33. I haven’t seen “cit” for “citizen” before and I’m not sure why a “Camshaft” is a vital bit of gear, as opposed to just a bit of gear – is it because it is moving?

  34. Did this in the car on a 150 ml round trip to a memorial service in between navigating. I saw Jeremy’s comment on the blog intro about difficulty, so was expecting it to be trickier than it actually was. No unknowns, though I started off with CORT for the Egyptian until COPT came to mind, but only after PERVERSE made it a write-in. I took PLIOCENE on trust, and only because it was an anagram did it go in correctly – I also thought it was always spelled with an extra E. Everything else went in slowly but surely and again, like yesterday’s, I enjoyed teasing it out, though I would say today’s was easier. Was going to add my bit about any past participle in English standing for drunk with the right inflection and preceded by ‘absolutely’ or ‘completely’, but I see Topical Tim got in there first.

  35. Enjoyable 53 minutes. It was the ‘pro-tem’ ‘screwed’ ‘timeslot’ crossings that held me up.

    I had no idea when the Pliocene was, so that went in easily.

  36. 57:11, a tricky but enjoyable puzzle. I initially thought I wasn’t going to get very far with it, but gradually things fell into place. I spent about 10 minutes at the end alphabet trawling for C-U-O-, couldn’t think of any word at all, but once I saw COUPON I thought it was a really neat clue. EYESHADOW was another cracker. Thanks b & s.

  37. A really enjoyable puzzle, with several searching clues, completed in 36 minutes. Had similar problems to others with SCREWED and PLIOCENE, and rescued on 1ac by Only Connect.
    Thanks to Jeremy and other contributors.

  38. Had the R and S of 1ac and couldn’t get RA out of my mind for ‘god of Luxor and working far too long on ‘- – – RAS’. Tried OSIRIS much later, obviously to no avail. Also spent far too long trying to shoehorn something from ST-EWED. DNF. Screwed by NW corner. Lots to like nonetheless.

  39. I started this in earnest yesterday evening after a long day of driving, and thought it was difficult. Did half of it, and completed it today. One error- I initially entered TIDYLY at 20, and then when I was unable to find that in Chambers, solved 15d, 16d, 22 and 24, before realising it was TRIMLY.
    A tough, but enjoyable puzzle. COD 2d

  40. Unusually for me I crunched through this one so quickly (albeit a day late) that I had to resort to reading the actual paper to fill my journey. Thanks for the blog.

  41. I found this quite moderate for a Friday puzzle (no time to do it on Friday, though) and completed it in 40 minutes. A quite enjoyable puzzle though, where every clue required a bit of thought. My god in Luxor was of course going to be RA, but the crossers and the unlikelihood of …RAS finally pointed the way to HORUS. The COPT in 17ac was on the tip of my tongue, or perhaps typing finger, but took ages to show himself in his or her full glory. Hard to say which clue I liked best, but REGIONAL is a candidate.

  42. 36.50 . Not disappointed as I thought this was a harder traditional Friday puzzle. The SW corner was almost my undoing with antiques and trimly providing the problems.

  43. Gave up just over the halfway mark, with biffing in GOTT for 17a , which completely spoilt me for 17 and 18d. Never thought of the clumsy word TRIMLY either, despite the LY being obvious. Happy to have seen CHORUS, MUNG BEAN, PRO TEM , EYESHADOW ( my COD) and CONTEMPT OF COURT straight away (plus others), but thrown off the scent with the slightly odd synonyms ( SCREWED for tipsy, ACCEPTED for bore, etc). Not too bad for me for a higher Snitch rating.

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