Times Cryptic No 28445 — C’est la fête! – Times for The Times (2023)

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Times Cryptic No 28445 — C’est la fête! – Times for The Times (1)Author &nbsp plusjeremyPosted on 11th November 2022 at 1:44 AM11 November 2022Categories Daily Cryptic

Hello! I am honored to be one-half of the new Friday blogging crew. As some of you know, I am currently finishing my Master’s in mathematics here in New York, so it’s been weeks since I’ve attempted a puzzle. Thankfully, this was a gentler affair, as Fridays go. I noticed that my anagram game is not quite where it was, which could have helped my time. But I’m content with 23:37, especially as I notice there are many scores with errors on the leaderboard.

1Anglican character has idiot getting in stew (9)
6Glue ear’s picked up and measured (5)
PACED – homophone of PASTE
9Beefeater, market trader or squealer heading home? (7)
TOOTSIE – reference toThis Little Piggy
10Fish around island proving source of energy (7)
11Greeting that boy will love (5)
12Dear — a thousand for instrument that’s not the largest (4,5)
14Lumière’s partner and child (3)
SONson et lumière

Son et lumière (show)

I thought perhaps this was a reference to Lumière fromBeauty and the Beast. Now I realize I think I was thinking of Mrs. Potts and Chip. In any case,C’est la fête is the official Disney translation of “Be Our Guest”.

15Way of getting fit name, a nicest variety (11)

I prefer calisthenics, but I highly recommend watching about ten seconds of this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3tetm2d6qY

17Arranged diamonds in elaborate decoration (11)

This anagram took me forever.

19Singular dad’s resort (3)
SPA – S + PA
20Creates spaces to accommodate sexual identity (9)

No comment from me about the fitness of the definition of GENDER.

22Backing for official nabbing team’s dodgy dealer? (5)
FIXER – REF around XI, reversed
24Charge bloke and partner in restaurant? (7)
26Gem pedlar emerging from behind pockets (7)
EMERALD – hidden reversed (“from behind pockets”) in PEDLAR EMERGING
27Discharge a lot leaving hospital with you and me (5)
28Creator of lines, dissolute chap penning bad poem meets resistance (4,5)
ROPE MAKER – RAKE around anagram of POEM + R
1Hear of snag in contract (5)
CATCH – triple definition
2Sell now after adjustment indicating effect of inflation? (7)
SWOLLEN – anagram of SELL NOW
3All sides except West admit defeat, mostly settled (9)
ENSCONCED – E + N + S (no W) + CONCED(E)
4Tip exceeding funds available? (11)
5Go out live: revolutionary start for broadcast (3)
EBB – BE reversed + first letter of BROADCAST
6Second of spoons incorrect — not with fork (5)
PRONG – second letter of SPOONS + WRONG – W
7Tea ready — and one gets bread (7)

PAT as in a easy/ready answer

8Hurry after some food: a habit in Arab world (9)

A long one-piece Arab garment.

13Peach with skins served up, and rest of refreshment? (6,5)
14One hitting on record producer who’s driving force behind Kids in America? (6,3)
SOCCER MOM – homophone of SOCKER + MOM?

I guess MOM is a producer because she’s produced kids?

16Labour’s conclusiongovernment must call an election now (3,2,4)
END OF TERM – double definition

I confess I don’t really know what either of these means, and I can’t really find their meaning online. Help?

18No cigar processed without chemicals (7)
ORGANIC – anagram of NO CIGAR
19Beer/ belly after working out? (3-4)
SIX-PACK – double definition
21Released by wingers, Arsenal shot comes close (5)
NEARS – anagram {a}RSENA{l}
23Easy with this to make movie stars’ demands? (5)
25Slip into Ferrari every so often (3)
ERR – {f}E{r}R{a}R{i}
  1. I think the first definition for END OF TERM must refer to pregnancy. At the end of a political official’s time in office, a vote is held.

    My LOI was CALLANETICS, after trying for too long to make “cal(l)isthenics” work, and finally cheating to check the spelling (my second guess was right). “Calisthenics” seems more a real word, with Greek roots and all, whereas the answer word is more arbitrary, just tacking a suffix onto someone’s name. -NETICS makes it sound modern, I guess. NHO, of course. I wonder how many here have… Also didn’t know DISHDASHA before.

    Pretty darned clever, overall. 14 is genius, for one. Not a legendary Friday bear, but a good workout.


  2. Soccer Mum did for me. Of course in America she’s a Mom! Doh!
    TOOTSIE was very good.


    1. Sitting here feeling quite dumb
      I also essayed soccer mum
      Still don’t get all the clue
      Which is why I feel blue
      And it broke a long streak. Bum, bum, bum!


  3. Nearly completed a Friday puzzle, which would be a first. I had HITCH (= snag, =contract) for CATCH which made a mess in the NW.

    Also tried to make Calisthenics work somehow, and had to Google alternatives. Also had DASHDISHA. Couldn’t parse SOCCER MOM. And for “released by wingers” was convinced wingers=birds somehow.



    1. on the subject of 21d: Arsenal will be Christmas champions if they beat Wolves tomorrow.


  4. This one was only moderate for a Friday, although I had never heard of callanetics and dishdasha, but the cryptics were clear enough. I just barely remembered son et lumiere, so it seemed like it must be right. I don’t think the end of term clue quite came off, however it was meant. The clue for catch was actually a triple – hear, snag, and contract, as in contract a cold.

    Time: 38 minutes.


  5. 17:36, but an unnoticed typo–a checker, of course, so 2 errors for the price of one.
    LOI CALLANETICS, NHO of course. I read END OF TERM as Guy did, though I thought that the setter specifically had Parliament in mind, when dissolution occurs at the end of a 5-year term and a new election must be called. I can’t think of any better explanation of ‘producer’ than Jeremy’s. I put in RIDER without thinking, forgetting that I had recently learned the relevant meaning here. I also put in EMERALD and forgot to parse it.


  6. 46 minutes but I had MUM at 14dn. I had noted ‘in America’ indicating US usage but had assumed that was a reference to SOCCER which is the favoured named for the game on the other side of the pond. Of course it’s English English for it too (derived from Association Football) but anyone here who calls it that now is liable to be treated with derision.


    I came up with TOOTSIE at 9ac for no other reason than it fitted the checkers but I didn’t write it in until I had used Chambers Wordsearch to confirm it as the only word that did so. It was some time later that the penny dropped.


  7. Also a bit bemused by MOM = producer; and unthinkingly entered MUM not MOM to boot. Saved my blushes for an unfilled tootsie – didn’t see it on first run through and forgot to go back to it. Only knew the squealing piggy, never knew the beefeater or trader, so trying to make a charade rather than seeing the cryptic definition.
    Despite my egregious errors it was another excellent puzzle. Thanks setter and new blogger.


    1. Good point. I wondered if it might be MUM iso MOM.


  8. 39m 13s The third puzzle in a row I really enjoyed and one where I felt I was on the same wavelength as the setter.
    I did, though, think that all the 3-letter clues were very easy.
    In 9ac, what dictionaries give Beefeater and market trader as definitions of TOOTSIE? I’ve never heard those definitions…or am I missing something completely?
    I’m familiar with dishdash but not with DISHDASHA. Nor have I ever heard of CALLANETICS but both were gettable.
    I’m guessing many of those with errors will have put MUM for MOM in 14d despite the American reference. I guess things are different in Alaska; wasn’t it Sarah Palin who once referred to ‘hockey moms’?
    And a belated welcome to +Jeremy!


    1. This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home, this little piggy had roast beef, … as Jeremy indicated.


      1. Of course, thanks Kevin. I was right: I had missed something, even though I know the rhyme well enough. Staring me in the face!


      2. Thank-you – I remember the rhyme now, too. I did know the beef-eater and the market trader. Though I thought he was a market porker, being sold for bacon and ham; and that a beef-eater ate beef while a Beefeater wore a funny costume at the Tower.


  9. A 54 minute DNF. I had the N and T the wrong way round in the NHO CALLANETICS (like Guy I was thinking of a variant of “callisthenics”) and had zero idea about TOOTSIE which I bunged in as a no more than a guess.

    Loved SOCCER MOM, even more so with the authentic US spelling.

    Thanks to setter and thanks & welcome to Jeremy


  10. As kingfishers Catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
    As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
    Stones ring; …

    25 mins mid-brekker. Not keen on the Tootsie, Dishdasha nor Mom/mum. But made up for by the excellent Coordinated, Six-pack and (Easy) Rider.
    Thanks setter and PJ.


  11. Welcome Jeremy. I didn’t find this easy and never got SOCCER MOM. Still am missing something on ‘record producer’ equalling MOM.


    1. Lift and separate. ‘on record’ indicates the homophone of ‘socker’.


      1. Thanks. Of course it is. I was caught up trying to add something to ‘producer’ to get MOM. Not my favourite clue.


  12. Very slow start, picking off a few 3 and 5-letter solutions, before finally gaining some momentum, enjoying it quite a lot. and finishing all but 9a in around 32m. For ten minutes I had CINCH at 1d (why is that a snag? – think I had a “senior moment”) I couldn’t find any word to fit the grid, and eventually went for emergency Somali brekkie..

    …even that didn’t do the trick for another 5 mins or so, but I eventually tried CATCH, and guessed TOOTSIE from the checkers, no inkling of why it might possibly be correct. I’ve *never* been so surprised to see a green tick. 45:47 – thanks setter, welcome Jeremy as our new part-time Friday blog-meister.


  13. Beaten by this one with 1d—which I wasn’t sure might be CINCH—and 9a still to get. In my defence, it’s been a very long time since I’ve heard This Little Piggie


  14. 34 mins so not hard for a Friday but…. I’m another MUM. Well, of course I’m not a mum, I’m a father, but you know what I mean. I saw the TERM bit as Kevin did. TOOTSIE bunged in like Jack, the only word that fit, and never parsed. DISHDASHA entered from the cryptic.

    Definite WOD ENSCONCED, as I am most days with the crossword and my coffee in the morning.

    Thanks and well done Jeremy on your first Friday.


  15. Pleased with having TOOTSIE as POI, not completely parsed (thanks to all who helped work this out), like others I fell down with SOCCER MOM, being from London. Tough to have an unchecked letter there. Otherwise about 23′.

    Thanks jeremy and setter.


  16. 11:58, but another MUM. I still don’t understand the clue. I can’t believe ‘producer’ is meant to be a standalone indicator for MOM, but even if you accept the idea that a mother ‘produces’ kids, it would indicate MUM in an English crossword. If all the words after ‘producer’ are the definition, there’s no indication of the word MOM in the wordplay. What am I missing?


    1. My problem exactly


    2. >What am I missing?

      The fact that a soccer mom is a thing but a soccer mum isn’t?


  17. Well I thought if the kids were in America the mum probably was as well, and SOCCER MOM is a common expression over there. However, the clear cryptic at 15a led me to CALLATENICS and a DNF.


  18. I don’t think soccer mum is a thing. The phrase exists only in Murcan, where mums don’t exist.

    Anyway, throughly enjoyed this as I actually do some Callanetics and have spent enough time in the GCC to know about dishdashas. LOI TOOTSIE took ages but the PDM raised a smile.

    Thanks setter and welcome Jeremy!


    1. Yes I accept that SOCCER MUM isn’t a thing (as Collins and Chambers confirm) but I can’t see any wordplay indication for the word MOM in the clue.


  19. After a disappointing couple of DNF days, this was a real encouragement as completed in 9.32 with just a silly fat finger EESCONCED typo which is about as good as I can get for a more challenging one.

    Liked TOOTSIE.

    On to next week with a spring in my step.

    Thanks for taking on the blogging duties Jeremy and thanks setter


  20. 18 minutes. I managed to force myself to write SOCCER MOM despite having to use two verboten words. I only saw the brilliance of TOOTSIE after the event but it still gets COD. I didn’t know DISHDASHA and needed the crossers to be certain. I toyed with CALISTHETICS, trying in vain to make it fit. Excellent Friday puzzle. Thank you Plus J and setter.


  21. Mostly straightforward, some nice clues.. loved the tootsies.
    But I *very* much disliked 14dn, mum vs mom. Which coincidentally, I got wrong…


  22. 45 mins for a stop start effort
    Several answers went in OK but struggled with the parsing especially 9a
    Not sure why 24a needs a restaurant; could be any location


  23. Made errors and didn’t enjoy it. ‘Mom’ as producer doesn’t convince me, and I’d never heard of ‘callanetics’. Thankfully, The Grauniad puzzle was a cracker.


  24. Welcome Jeremy, very big blog boots to fill (or as there are two halves I guess it’s just one blog boot) but you have done admirably. I think you and I were two halves of the Monday QC blog weren’t we? Having left that gig I usually just hang out here now although there were lots of good ‘friends’ back there. And having stopped blogging I just don’t seem to get around to posting much any more.

    Anyway, welcome, a good crossword to kick off with and a fine blog. As everybody else says, I loved TOOTSIE and SOCCER MOM.



  25. Actually, reading back it seems not everybody liked SOCCER MOM. I guess I just liked it because it came quickly to me and I knew to spell it the American way so felt good about avoiding a trap.


  26. Tripped up on ENGENDERS where I carelessly bunged in ENGINEERS.

    In the version of This Little Piggy that I grew up with, the third one had ‘bread and butter’ so couldn’t make the clue work. I guessed there must be another verse I never knew. Turns out my family has been spreading fake news.

    Otherwise very enjoyable puzzle. Liked SIX-PACK and BEAUTY SLEEP.

    Thanks plusjeremy and setter


  27. Even though all the checkers were there and the wordplay suggested it was the answer, I still had to look up DISHDASHA to make sure that there was such a thing. SOCCER MOM seemed a bit vague although I suppose it’s OK, just didn’t lift and separate properly, and TOOTSIE was a bit of a mystery since it’s many years since I knew the nursery rhyme, even if I did know it anyway. 50 mins. Some nice clues, answers pleasant to get after being initially misled.


  28. 14:28

    Knowing the American singer who styles herself Soccer Mommy certainly helped with 14d, although the “producer” bit feels a bit flaky.

    There seemed to be an awful lot of lifting and separating needed, but that’s one of the devices I like in a puzzle. Examples include record producer, glue ear, gem pedlar, beer belly.

    I didn’t know DISHDASHA or CALLANETICS but the wordplay was helpful.


  29. 35 minutes with a wrong MUM for 14d. Given the number of seasoned solvers who made the same error, I don’t think it was a clear clue. DISHDASHA and CALANETICS both unfamiliar. It was a long time before I entered CATCH because I thought the clue indicated a homophone. It was only when I saw what ‘squealer heading home’ indicated that I got TOOTSIE,giving me confidence to enter CATCH (my LOI).


  30. 25 mins. Fortunately was pretty sure that they don’t have Mums in America.
    Only vaguely heard of a DISHDASHA, needed all the help for that.



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