Times Cryptic No 28668 – Saturday, 29 July 2023. Salsa beat.

Apparently, when dancing a salsa, the tempo is quick quick slow, quick quick slow.  This puzzle was a bit like that for me. There were numerous clues that were marginally harder than the QC, and others that needed a significant pause for thought. My last two in were 9ac and 3dn, in the NW corner, which both needed more than a little examination. 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. {Curly brackets} mark omitted letters.

1 Mournful medic lancing boil? (6)
4 Big wave concerning navy doctor? (7)
SURGEONSURGE=big wave + ON=concerning.
9 Calls canon corpulent (5)
ROUND – this puzzled me considerably – as it turns out, because of my musical ignorance. With the helpers, it was obvious ROUND=corpulent. But for the rest? It seems a canon is a repeating melody, and some canons are called ROUNDs. Frère Jacques  and Row, row, row your boat apparently are rounds.

On edit: Peter W wisely suggests below that it may be a triple definition, with CALLS meaning ROUND, as in a doctor’s roun.

10 One proposing exercise to iron man (9)
11 Strippers stir aunts into action (9)
12 Pity actor entering empty stage (5)
SHAME – HAM entering SE = empty S{tag}E.
13 Top primate with Times (4)
APEX – APE=primate + X=times.
14 Singer retired in the year after uptight publicity (5,5)
PRIMA DONNA PRIM +AD + ONNA=ANNO (year), retired.
18 Tender name, differently expressed (10)
ENDEARMENT – (TENDER NAME)*. A literal definition.
20 Month-old sauce (4)
MAYOMAY=month + O=old
23 Fibre in beans is alarming (5)
SISAL – hidden in bean(s is al)arming.
24 Nice ladies mostly bottling pickles (9)
WHOLESOMEWOME{N} mostly, bottling HOLES=pickles. (Another fine mess you’ve go me into, Stanley)
25 Reveal verse that hurt Peter (9)
VOUCHSAFEV=verse + OUCH=that hurt! + PETER=safe.
26 Journey east for rhubarb (5)
27 Contents of crisp fish croquette (7)
RISSOLEcontents of {c}RIS{p} + SOLE.
28 Order kind gent to skip introductions (6)
INDENT – {k}IND {g}ENT to skip introductions.
1 Diminishment of head doctor over time (9)
SHRINKAGESHRINK=head doctor (ho ho) + AGE=time.
2 Free to follow twinkling cop abroad (7)
MOUNTIEMO=twinkling + UNTIE=free.
3 Papa abandoning priggishness for vulgarity (6)
RUDERY – {p}RUDERY. This looked like the answer, but is it really a word?
4 Bodies brought up in this part of Greece (5)
SAMOSSOMAS=bodies (of animals or plants), brought up.
5 Bookmakers etc exhaled vocally right next to the action (8)
RINGSIDE – RING=bookmakers’ enclosure + SIDE=sounds like ‘sighed’.
6 Shake up an inert board (7)
7 Bear cub rested regularly after noon (5)
NURSE – N=noon +  cUb ReStEd,  regularly.
8 Physicist’s anxiety over memory (8)
ANGSTROM – ANGSTROM=(read only) memory.
15 Acted as counsellor to lively teen dorm (8)
16 In unity people finally sought redemption (9)
ATONEMENT – AT ONE=in unity + MEN + {sough}Tfinally.
17 Promotion of short volume about friend and husband (8)
BALLYHOO – BOO{k}, short, about ALLY=friend + H=husband.
19 Talk about event in field with sons (7)
DISCUSS – DISCUS=field event + S=sons.
21 Past drug offence raised worry (7)
AGONISE – AGO=past + NIS=SIN, raised, E=drug.
22 Reportedly ate at home, a necessity for setting (6)
PECTIN – reportedlyPECKED‘ + IN=at home.
23 Break off very bad contracts (5)
SEVER – SEVER{e} shortly = very bad.
24 Individual in school with hard booze (5)
WHALE – W=with + H=hard + ALE=booze.

18 comments on “Times Cryptic No 28668 – Saturday, 29 July 2023. Salsa beat.”

  1. I did this in 23 minutes, which is fast for me, so pretty easy. My LOI was AGONISE I know little about ANGSTROM other than the fact there is a unit named after him (0.1nm and also the diameter of a hydrogen atom, I believe). With the accents, his name is actually Ângström, although having worked for a Swedish company at one point, Â is not A with an accent but is a separate character at the end of the Swedish alphabet, which consists of A-Z followed by Å, Ä, and Ö making 29 letters. I didn’t think that VOUCHSAFE meant reveal, more to be willing to allow something, but it’s one of those words that I know exists but would be hard pressed to define accurately.

  2. Is 9ac a triple definition? With also “Calls” meaning “Round”. (Chambers: “A series of calls made by a doctor, postman etc”)

  3. I went offline at 30′ with WHALE, PECTIN, & WHOLESOME to do, and I have no idea how long it took me to get them. DNK this def of VOUCHSAFE, DNK the Navy version of SURGEON, DNK the redemption sense of ATONEMENT. I also thought whales came in pods or gams not schools, but ODE says ‘…fish or aquatic mammals’. Like Peter W, I took 9ac to be a triple definition; indeed, I think it has to be. I liked MOUNTIE.
    PS RUDERY is in ODE.

  4. I knew 9ac was a triple definition but was unable to think of an example where ROUND = calls, so thanks for clearing that up. Also unexplained was RING = bookmakers, since I didn’t know the required usage. NURSE = bear had me stumped too, but I saw it immediately this morning before coming here.

    30 minutes exactly.

  5. I thought this was going to be easy but I ground to a halt with 3 unsolved and proceeded to chew over them on and off for the rest of the afternoon. The Greek option I took at University stretched to the place but not the philosophy of mind and body, so I couldn’t enter without checking. Could someone please explain what indicates the answer is SAMOS and not SOMAS? As I read the clue it is unclear which is reversed. Clearly missing something.
    I was also reluctant to enter ROUND, obvious as it was, unparsed, so thank you for that.
    Mo for twinkling was too clever for me so I fiddled about with a possible word for an exotic policeman ignoring the New World where I spent most of my youth. 🙄 Well it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t mess up at least one clue.

    Fun as always. Thanks setter and branch

    1. In 4dn: Bodies brought up in this part of Greece (5)

      You can easily read “bodies” [brought up] as a reversal instruction.

      If you try to reverse the other end I think the word “in” gets in the way … you’d be saying [brought up] “IN this part of Greece”, which doesn’t give you (just) the letters you’re looking for.

  6. 35m 34s
    Like Jack, I didn’t know RING = bookmakers.
    You mentioned some clues being near to QC level, Bruce. I thought APEX was one such.
    In 24ac “Nice ladies…” had me trying to fit DEMOISELLES or MADAMES into the available spaces.
    4d: NHO SOMAS.
    Thanks, Bruce!

  7. 35 minutes. FOI 23ac SISAL, and a steady if scattered fill-in followed. No real head scratching, though 27ac RISSOLE triggered a bit of a Sixties frozen-food flashback. I expect 26ac TRIPE had a similar effect on some! Thanks to setter and blogger.

  8. Having been away last weekend at a festival, camping, I ended up doing this on Wednesday as a catch-up session, so more recently recalled than usual. My main problem was with 4A 7D crossers, my LOsI. I didn’t know a navy doctor was referred to specifically as a surgeon and was looking for the definition at the other end of the clue. Also I failed to realise noon was N, which I should have known, even after getting the URSE, which of course made me think of ‘that’ kind of bear! SHRINKAGE also caused some problems, which it shouldn’t have. The bottom half was done well before the top. I wish we could lose the awful ENTRAIN; almost as bad as ‘de-plane’.

    1. As usual, same problems as you, alto_ego, being unable to drop the ‘urse’ = ‘bear idea and didn’t twig that n could be short for noon, and not knowing that a ship’s doctor is called a surgeon. Didn’t see the clever “head doctor” not meaning ‘d’, so SHRINKAGE took a while also. As branch said, some clues were pretty easy (APEX, SHAME, MAYO and SISAL) and many more needed a fair bit of tweaking (WHOLESOME, VOUCHSAFE – NHO with this meaning! – and MOUNTIE). I’m with you on these awful words like entrain and even RUDERY! NHO RING as bookmakers, nor SOMAS as bodies, but was pleased to remember ANGSTROM. Of medium difficulty for me.

  9. DNF, not knowing SAMOS or somas.

    Biffed PRIMA DONNA, didn’t get the ROUND triple definition, and didn’t realise that VOUCHSAFE could mean reveal. Don’t really like RUDERY as a word.

    Thanks setter and blogger.

    COD Wholesome

  10. All but ROUND, MOUNTIE, SAMOS and PECTIN done in 45 minutes. After an hour I took a long break and then these last four went straight in. Seemed fairly typical for a Saturday. Thanks to branch and setter.

  11. Like most I missed the triple in ROUND.
    I think I have heard of Captain Surgeons, or was it Commander Surgeons, so thought the navy might use this word. I once knew a doctor who was a bachelor of churugery or something very similar. He had practised during WWI so he is no longer with us.

    1. I messed up my reply somehow, but CHIRUGIO – hard C, pronounced like a K – is Italian for surgeon. Was your friend Italian? Italian comes from Latin, but not sure surgery existed in Roman times, not before the anatomical investigations of Leonardo da Vinci in the 15th or 16th century.

  12. Very pleased to register a first Saturday finish! LOI was WHALE, after finally separating ‘nice’ from ‘ladies’ (and making up all sorts of French words) to get WHOLESOME. Very slow on NOMINATOR as I’ve not come across ‘exercise’ as an anagram indicator before. Angstrom and Samos were known to me but hesitated over VOUCHSAFE for reveal. ‘Enough of your rudery’ is a family catchphrase so this made me smile. I was definitely over the hour mark but it was time very enjoyably spent. Thanks for the blog branch.

    Edit – had wondered what the ‘calls’ was doing in 9a – thanks for explanation above

  13. Relatively benign, taking nearly 24 minutes.
    NATURISTS are not necessarily strippers: I believe the ideal is not to bother getting dressed at all, thus avoiding the tedious business of choosing what to wear and walking in the rain without getting anything that matters wet. Can make frying bacon a bit hazardous.

  14. 1 hour precisely
    One pace throughout, alas, a very slow one !
    However, I enjoyed this WHOLESOME offering of TRIPE and RISSOLEs, and like a bit of BALLYHOO. Tripe is still very much part of a standard diet in these parts.
    Rissole = croquette ? The former pastry and the latter breadcrumbs, are they not? But this is an idle quibble; I liked the clue a lot. It got me thinking about ‘All panjandrums are doo-dahs, but all doo-dahs are not necessarily panjandrums’ but I cannot remember the standard example of this.
    Thank you Bruce and setter; great fun.

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