Times Cryptic No 28602 – Saturday, 13 May 2023. Wordplay Workshops

I had to think hard about some of this wordplay. Perhaps it qualifies for a master class, not a regular workshop! 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. Italics mark anagram indicators in the clues, and ‘assembly instructions’ in the explanations.

1 Beetle that is Egyptian? (6)
SCARAB – SC=the abbreviation for “that is” that I know only from these crosswords! + ARAB.
5 Started, and ended, arrogant (6-2)
JUMPED-UP – JUMPED=started + UP=ended. Cute!
9 A sentimentalist leaving behind note with a bouquet (8)
AROMATIC – A ROMANTIC, leaving behind N=note.
10 Tips for future nun to become a member of order (6)
ENJOINfuturE nuN (right-most tips of each word) + JOIN=become a member of.

In a legal sense, to enjoin is to prohibit. In broader use, it can also mean to order.

11 Freudian concept — suggestion from Greedy Nan in briefest form? (8)
SUPEREGO – this was an unknown. I eventually saw that it was “SUP ERE GO”, but I’d never heard of Greedy Nan. It’s from a nursery rhyme:

“To bed! To bed!” says Sleepy-head
“Tarry awhile,” says Slow
“Put on the pan,” says Greedy Nan
“We’ll sup before we go.”

12 Poetess of note appearing outside a quiet pub (6)
SAPPHO – SO outside A + P + PH.
13 All on web, unexpectedly, as store’s goods may be? (3-5)
OWN-LABEL – (ALL ON WEB)*. I know this concept as “own brand”, but the anagram gave the answer.
15 Weakness in following a set of rules (4)
FLAW – F=following + LAW=set of rules.
17 Having a certain Wisdom: it might be Norman? (4)
ARCH – Norman arches are definitely a thing, I discovered, but I think the first half of the clue is more like a hint than a definition.
19 Brief delay: outlaw’s in the city! (2,6)
ST ALBANS – STALL=delay (brief) + BANS=outlaws.

It has a cathedral, so it’s a city.

20 Last item on agenda maybe introduced to cut down small tree (6)
BAOBAB – AOB (any other business) = last item on agenda, introduced to BABY=small, cut down.
21 Fail to go straight out of town, ultimately: defer (8)
REOFFEND – (OF N DEFER)*, Only use the last letter (ultimately) of towN.
22 What’s over well before lass returns, round one (3,3)
OIL RIG – O=round + I=one, before LRIG=GIRL, returning.
23 Way to address legendary cricketer outside a sporting event (4,4)
24 Point of stream’s becoming plain (2-6)
NO-FRILLS – N=north (point of the compass) + OF + RILL’S.
25 Being essential to cognoscenti, typically (6)
ENTITY – hidden in cognoscENTI  TYpically.
2 Where our case left to go around? (8)
CAROUSEL – (OUR CASE L)*. Whole clue is definition.
3 In sea shanty, a word or two to tempt thirsty sailors down? (8)
RUMBELOW – RUM + BELOW. That should get their attention!
4 Wood casks placed end to end around here, not outside (9)
BUTTERNUT – BUTT + TUN, around hERewithout the outside letters.
5 Complicated task called for a judge who’s versatile (4,2,3,6)
6 Game I observe well covered in black cloth? (7)
PINBALL – I + NB=observe well, covered in PALL=black cloth.
7 Mounting rings way above pillar, and more hanging down? (8)
DROOPIER – DROO=O + O (rings) + RD=way(road), all mountingabove PIER=pillar.
8 Restrict old PM’s contribution to debate? (8)
PENN’ORTH – PEN=restrict + NORTH=Lord North, Prime Minister 1770-1782.

Chambers has: pennyworth (also pennorth) – an unsolicited remark expressing one’s opinion. I think you can spell it with or without the apostrophe.

14 Flag hoisted, soldiers had to disappear (9)
EVAPORATE – EVAP=PAVE (flag) hoisted + OR=soldiers + ATE=had (food).
15 Infectiously egged on by fellow with no vowels in Scrabble (8)
FLYBLOWN – (ON BY F-LL-W)*. Clever anagram indicator. In fact, clever clue all round.
16 There’s line for you always in autocue: loud indicator of pitch (4,4)
ALTO CLEF – change both U’s to L’s in A-TOC-E, then add F=loud. Clever, again.
17 Pro involved in a satire to invite trouble (3,3,2)
ASK FOR IT – FOR=pro, involved in A + SKIT.
18 Study dark period for German province (8)
CONNACHT – CON=study + NACHT=German for ‘night’. It’s in the wet of Ireland.
19 Error mostly keeping with a greeting in a foreign language (7)
SWAHILI -SLIp=error, mostlykeeping W=with + A + HI.

21 comments on “Times Cryptic No 28602 – Saturday, 13 May 2023. Wordplay Workshops”

  1. I found this the toughest for some time. A brilliantly challenging puzzle. A pity there’s no snitch for Saturdays. It felt like a Friday.
    My hat comes off for FLYBLOWN, SWAHILI and CONNACHT. My last in, by some distance, was ENJOIN which I had to convince myself did actually make sense. And thank you Brnchn for the parsing of BAOBAB, which I couldn’t.

  2. Under an hour; a tough one, indeed. I had no idea what was going on with SUPEREGO, not knowing who Greedy Nan was. And since I DNK AOB, I couldn’t figure out BAOBAB: I thought of A (last item on agenda) in BOB (cut), and thought of nothing for AB. Also DNK RUMBELOW. Biffed BUTTERNUT, JACK OF ETC., FLYBLOWN, parsed post-submission. GRACE is the only cricketer I know, but I didn’t know he was a doctor. I especially liked PINBALL, CONNACHT, & FLYBLOWN.

    1. If you only knew one cricketer, it would have to be Don Bradman. You’re trapped by the specialist category of “cricketers who appear in the Times Crossword”.

      1. NHO Bradman. I knew of Grace (no idea how) before I ever tried a Times crossword.

  3. Definitely brilliant and challenging. Loved it. I was with Kevin thinking A was in BOB and not knowing who Greedy Nan was. Rumbelow also NHO, and pall as black cloth, or that Connacht was in the wet part of Ireland. And since I’m not musical, one wrong: AUTO CLEF, glossing over why the word always was in the clue. Ooops.

  4. All filled in correct, though I had no idea about Nan or AOB. Never heard RUMBELOW either, looked that up. Thank ye kindly!

  5. 70 minutes but all correct and no use of aids other than after the event trying to understand the relevance of Greedy Nan and failing.

    BAOBAB came up last month and gave me grief on that occasion so at least this time I recognised it after assembling it from wordplay. Fortunately I knew AOB.

    An almost identical clue to EVAPORATE came up very recently but it’s not showing up in a TfTT search so it must have been in The Guardian.

  6. Really liked this one, clever… nho rumbelow, or of the nursery rhyme, but the clues were solvable anyway.
    Enjoin is one of those interesting words that can mean its own exact opposite ..

  7. 76m 04s Very hard for me. Thank you Bruce for enlightenment, especially with REOFFEND, ENJOIN, SUPEREGO and FLYBLOWN. REOFFEND was my LOI and I spent 16mins on it. It all started off so well with SCARAB and CAROUSEL going straight in.
    It took a long time but I got great satisfaction from persisting with it without using aids such as Word Wizard; about as much satisfaction as I remember a good Catholic confession used to give!
    PENNORTH was a very good clue but COD to DRAG RACE. A nice quote from the good doctor: After being bowled first ball Grace simply replaced the bails and took guard for the next delivery saying “They came to see me bat, not you bowl”!

  8. 18:25, with a few minutes at the end scratching my head over FLYBLOWN and BAOBAB. I’ve no idea why it took me so long to get AOB from ‘last item on agenda’.
    NHO RUMBELOW (other than as a surname), and although I remember the rhyme in question I had forgotten all about Greedy Nan so SUPEREGO went in with a shrug.

  9. 😢👎Frustratingly nothing except JUMPED UP, FLAW and ARCH in NE and SW corners, in spite of living five miles from ST ALBANS, so it was partly a matter of being on holiday as I am rather than a particularly tough crossword as indeed it was. Completed NW and SE, thouugh NHO Greedy Nan, SC for IE or BAB for SHORT. Having prepared hundreds of Agendas, had no problem with AOB for Any Other.Business. Does anyone know why SC = that is? Thanks Brnchn for partial elucidation.

  10. “in the wet of Ireland”…..

    A marvellously appropriate typo for a notoriously rainy country

  11. I spent many hours over the whole week nibbling away at this, and still managed to complete only two-thirds. After a long run of successful Saturday puzzles, I feared I’d suddenly lost the knack! But, reading the comments here has given me heart that it was indeed a tricky one. With, for me, a number of NHOs. I needed this blog for explanations of 10, 11, 12 17, 21 ac – and like others I went awry with 20 ac. Got AOB, and got BAOBAB, but couldn’t understand how it came from BOB for cut down. Answer? It didn’t! And the downs at 7,8, 14 and 16 defeated me. I still don’t understand 7 down, actually, even with the explanation. Oh dear! Thanks to blogger for the lesson and setter for the test.

  12. Butternut confused me till I checked it was a tree. In my mind it’s a squash that I cook with. Some great clues here.
    Satisfying to complete. It takes me and my husband several days but we get there

  13. Funnily enough I ended up on the same last 2 as keriothe though in 3 times as long!
    Thanks blogger for the explanation for SCARAB (which I just thought was an egyptian beetle, so couldnt see anything cryptic in the clue) and BAOBAB where I thought the last item on agenda was A, cut down was BOB, and I was left with AB for small which I could only speculate was a bra size or something!!
    Anyway thanks setter for a nice puzzle and blogger for the elucidation / enlightenment.

  14. After assembling many NHOs, I was hoping to be able to propose an acronym ACBNIW, All Correct But No Idea Why, but my lack of German let me down, thinking NICHT instead of NACHT.

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