brnchn (brnchn) wrote in times_xwd_times,
brnchn
brnchn
times_xwd_times

Times Cryptic No 28080 - Saturday, 11 September 2021. The fun of the familiar!

What a change from the previous week! The consensus on that puzzle was, too many obscurities, too little fun.

I was very in tune with Phil J’s view of what makes a good puzzle: Why do people do the Times Crossword? My personal expectation is to find cleverness, trickery, misdirection, and humour — all of these factors being produced in a manner that provides enjoyment. Exactly.

This week was fun. It had nothing beyond our ken, although the diamond facet at 11ac was a new thing to me. FOI was 1ac, leading quickly to 1dn, 2dn and 3dn – a gentle start! The pad at 15ac eluded me for a while. My clue of the day was the delightful 16dn.

Thanks, setter – a very enjoyable puzzle. How did you all get on?

Notes for newcomers: The Times offers prizes for Saturday Cryptic Crosswords. This blog is posted a week later, after the competition closes. So, please don’t comment here on the current Saturday Cryptic.

[Read more ...]Clues are blue, with definitions underlined. Deletions and commentary are in (brackets).
Across
1 Lowest point of dinar suffering a run (5)
NADIR – anagram of DINAR (suffering a run).
4 Increasingly grey wolves will get some protection (9)
PACKAGING – PACK=wolves, AGING=increasingly grey.
9 Place for rest of hams uncured by chance (9)
GREENROOM – GREEN = uncured. I dithered over ROOM=chance, as in chance of/room for error. Not a perfect match perhaps. Certainly actors, however talented, may rest in the greenroom.
10 Assume for argument one is needed in support (5)
POSIT – I=one, in POST.
11 A facet of diamond surplus which is looming in South Africa? (5,8)
TABLE MOUNTAIN – learn something new every day: the large, flat facet on top of a well cut diamond is the TABLE facet. The surplus is a MOUNTAIN.
14 Government backed shutting up Liberal video journal (4)
VLOG – L in GOV, backed.
15 Pad appropriate to house us at home without Oscar (10)
PINCUSHION – PINCH housing US, IN outside/without O=Oscar.
18 Asks in gent with moving and charming quality (10)
TAKINGNESS – anagram of ASKS IN GENT (moving). An awkward word, I thought.
19 Formerly working with chief engineer (4)
ONCE – ON=working, C.E.=chief engineer.
21 Go nicely and dance without me, my mischievous child (6,7)
EXCUSE ONESELF – EXCUSE (ME) is the dance, ONE’S=my, ELF=mischievous child.
24 Foreign Office abandoning overseas rule (5)
REIGN – FOREIGN=overseas. Take out F.O.=Foreign Office. Odd to see ‘overseas’ turn into ‘foreign’, when that target word already appears elsewhere in the clue!
25 One who might have fought with pride? (9)
GLADIATOR – cryptic definition. I thought they fought one lion at a time, not the entire pride at once, but I am no expert.
27 What’s splendid to ripen in a kitchen cupboard (9)
PAGEANTRY – AGE in PANTRY.
28 Create bridge to carry weight (5)
SPAWN – W in SPAN.

Down
1 Pessimism, for example, during Christmas scene (10)
NEGATIVITY – E.G. in NATIVITY.
2 Some fondues can be outstanding (3)
DUE – hidden.
3 Shoot the organiser? (6)
RUNNER – double definition.
4 Support for proposal to meeting (9)
PROMOTION – PRO=for, MOTION=proposal to meeting. Support of the marketing kind, perhaps.
5 Spice put in after cold rum? Not right (5)
CUMIN – C=cold, (r)UM, IN.
6 Judge a piano flatter? (8)
APPRAISE – A, P=piano, PRAISE.
7 Inability to feel popular, with one imprisoned by court decision (11)
INSENTIENCE – IN=popular. I=one, imprisoned by SENTENCE=court decision.
8 Rock music hit number two in chart (4)
GOTH – GOT=hit, as in hit the target. H=number two (letter) in cHart.
12 Delay in appointment for accountant’s job (11)
BOOKKEEPING – KEEP in BOOKING.
13 Bury referee brought up using protein (10)
INTERFERON – INTER=bury, REF backward, ON.
16 Conventional occurs regularly to Shelley, perhaps (9)
CUSTOMARY – CUS from oCcUrS (regularly), TO MARY.
17 Reptile growing large in area with nothing around opposing? (8)
ANACONDA – A=area + NADA=nothing, around CON=opposing.
20 Careless about failure (6)
REMISS – RE=about, MISS=failure.
22 Little, not large spot (5)
SIGHT – S(L=large)IGHT.
23 Lean forward (4)
PROP – double definition. Prop against the wall; prop forward in rugby.
26 Time over Western Australia? It’s two in Perth (3)
TWA – T=time, W.A. No, no – that Perth is in Scotland, not Australia, since that's the dialect for the answer.
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