Times 27909 - we have mad cow disease, but no complaints.

I buzzed through this in twenty minutes or so, going off piste a couple of times at 5d and 8d, having a grumble about 13a and being slightly surprised, but not delayed, at 23a. I liked the homophone clue at 2d (for once!) and raised my hat when I finally saw how my LOI 5d worked. No red text today as no hidden word clue, and no plants or antelopes to worry about.

1 Dropped a stock complaint food shop rejected (8)
ABSEILED - A, BSE (stock complaint, bovine spongiform encephalopathy), DELI reversed.
9 Flyer left in drier houses (8)
AIRLINER - AIRER (drier) has L and IN inserted.
10 Sailor's beginning with a bucket initially and mop (4)
SWAB - Initial letters of Sailor's, With A Bucket.
11 Artistic movement wasting time with this case (12)
13 Star devouring liqueur? It's a slippery slope (3,3)
SKI RUN - KIR (liqueur?) inside SUN (star). KIR is however definitely not a liqueur, it's an apéritif cocktail made by mixing white wine with cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) or a similar fruit spirit. Invented by Monsieur Kir, the one time Mayor of Dijon. We've had this issue before on my watch.
14 Hawker originally flies a recluse across Cape (8)
FALCONER -  F (originally flies) A, LONER (recluse), insert C for cape.
15 Withdraw Home Counties game against good Roma (7)
GYPSIES - all reversed; SE (home counties) I SPY (verbal game), G(ood). Roma are an itinerant people originally from North India, now almost everywhere, who don't much like the term gypsies.
16 Waterproof paints with ink ground (7)
OILSKIN - OILS (paints) (INK)*.
20 Tricky meeting involving priest and chapter (8)
DELICATE - DATE (meeting) has ELI the priest and C inserted.
22 Leading European twice acquiring posh rug (6)
TOUPEE - TOP (leading) EE (European twice) insert U for posh.
23 Embrace German repeatedly downing stein in secret (6-6)
HUGGER-MUGGER - HUG (embrace) GER GER insert MUG for stein. I thought hugger-mugger meant in a state of confusion, but it can also mean in secrecy apparently.
25 Spout English with German (4)
EMIT - E for English, MIT being German for with. Second time in three days for 'mit' for with.
26 This writer's wife invested in old money that mustn't be touched (4,4)
LIVE WIRE - I'VE (this writer's) W(ife) both inside LIRE for old money.
27 Driver allowed tablets to be hidden in spirit on way back (8)
MULETEER - LET (allowed) E E (tablets of ecstasy) inside RUM (spirit) reversed.
2 Shop ineffectively as stated every fortnight (8)
BIWEEKLY - sounds like "buy weakly". A witty and accurate homophone, I thought.
3 Awkward Eastern doctor has to tweet under curtain (12)
EMBARRASSING - E (eastern) MB (doctor) ARRAS (curtain) SING (tweet).
4 Lots of Swiss here walk round university hospital (8)
LAUSANNE - Insert U and SAN (university, hospital) into LANE (walk).
5 Split wood: remove to the periphery (4,3)
DASH OFF - I had options for this, initially I thought DEAL for wood and OUT for remove to the periphery. But the checkers soon said it had to be DA*H *F* so a rethink arrived at DASH OFF meaning split, leave quickly. I think it's ASH (wood) inside DOFF as in doff your hat.
6 Frank's very dry with a learner (6)
BRUTAL - BRUT as in dry champagne, A L(earner).
7 Opposed to conservationists blocking artificial insemination (4)
ANTI - NT (National Trust) inside AI.
8 Abridge article about Arabian craft (8)
TRIMARAN - I think this is TRIM (abridge) AN (article) about AR for Arabian, although I don't recall seeing AR as that abbr. before. I was off on a DHOW at first.
12 Pass over most recent turbulence at sea (12)
CROSSCURRENT - CROSS = pass over, CURRENT = most recent.
15 One who's sponsored idol given stick crossing line (8)
GODCHILD - GOD (idol) CHID (given stick), insert L for line.
17 Essential current books by big revolutionary (8)
INTEGRAL - I (current) NT (books) LARGE reversed = big revolutionary.
18 Glorify ladies cavorting in middle of audience (8)
IDEALISE - (LADIES)* inside the middle letters of aud IE nce.
19 Wish to avoid second Republican mass for another one (7)
REQUIEM - REQUIRE (wish) loses its second R, then M for mass.
21 Help to finish a French chicken (6)
AFRAID - A, FR(ench), AID (help).
24 Present golf foursome approaching second in Wentworth (4)
GIVE - G for golf, IV for four/some, E the second letter of Wentworth, a posh golf course near London.

Times Quick Cryptic 1817 by Felix

I was pleased to end up with a pretty quick time in the end, worrying as I solved that I might need a lot more general knowledge than I have. Luckily, though, most of it is not required in order to get the answers. Lots of anagrams to get some letters in the grid, which also usually helps. I enjoyed all of the short and pithy clues, but can't choose between 12dn and 14dn for COD. Hope you enjoyed the challenge too.

Definitions underlined.

1 Again starts Religious Education, arithmetic, taking in English (7)
RESUMES - R.E. (religious education) then SUMS (arithmetic) containing (taking in) E (English).
5 Strike part of sleeve (4)
CUFF - double definition.
7 Cross after the French becoming sloppy (3)
LAX - X (cross) after LA (the, in French).
8 One again inert, due to move (8)
REUNITED - anagram of (to move) INERT DUE.
10 Actress Jessica appearing in Shaft and Yentl (5)
TANDY - hidden in (appearing in) shafT AND Yenti. The first unknown person that I did not really need to know.
11 Constituent of tar: part primarily used by people (7)
BITUMEN - BIT (part), first letter of (primarily) Used, then MEN (people).
13 Empty tin in tank (6)
VACANT - CAN (tin) inside VAT (tank).
15 Ale not surprisingly found in shed (4-2)
LEAN-TO - anagram of (surprisingly) ALE NOT.
17 Storm as NY photo is doctored (7)
TYPHOON - anagram of (... is doctored) NY PHOTO.
18 An American taking in golf in Scottish region (5)
ANGUS - AN and US (American) containing (taking in) G (golf, phonetic alphabet).
20 German composer’s pal chasing small girl (8)
SCHUMANN - CHUM (pal) after (chasing) S (small), then ANN (girl).
22 Stefan, every so often, waves (3)
SEA - every other letter from (every so often) StEfAn.
23 Shock as spectacular feat is left unfinished (4)
STUN - STUNt (spectacular feat) missing its final letter (unfinished).
24 At the back, Charlie Lunnon held firm, tho’ was caught finally (7)
ENDMOST - last letters from (finally) charliE lunnoN helD firM thO waS caughT.  I suppose the definition could be at either end of this clue! The second unknown person for me - I assume not an actual person, as a cursory Google search reveals no-one of note?

1 Subject of certain theories, complicated yet trivial (10)
RELATIVITY - anagram of (complicated) YET TRIVIAL.
2 Boy carrying short axe for German once (5)
SAXON - SON (boy) containing (carrying) all-but-the-last letter of (short) AXe.
3 After wedding, join Roy Martin dancing (5,4)
MARRY INTO - anagram of (dancing) ROY MARTIN. Another unkown person! Again, my ignorance did not stop me solving the clue, but I maybe missed the intended mental image of the prolific musician dancing at a party.
4 Painter picked up cigarette ends (6)
STUBBS - sounds like (picked up) "stubs" (cigarette ends). Finally, a person it would have been helpful to know, or at least what they did for a living; George Stubbs painted lots of horses.
5 Charlie greeting character from abroad (3)
CHI - C (charlie, phonetic alphabet) and HI (greeting). The 22nd letter (character) of the Greek alphabet.
6 Privileged citizen mean ref sent off (7)
FREEMAN - anagram of (sent off) MEAN REF.
9 Conservative coming in second, being far from reliable (10)
INCONSTANT - CON (conservative) inside (coming in) INSTANT (second).
12 Pretend an eccentric was boring (9)
TREPANNED - anagram of (eccentric) PRETEND AN. I will never forget this meaning after listening to a BBC R4 documentary with some crazies from the 60s who performed the procedure on themselves in order to get high.
14 Ape, Siamese perhaps, or parrot? (7)
COPYCAT - COPY (ape) and CAT (Siamese perhaps).
16 Dangerous guns: a few scaled back (6)
UNSAFE - hidden in (...scaled back) gUNS A FEw. I thought we were looking for a reverse hidden here, but I suppose we are to take 'scaled back' to mean 'limited' or 'contained'.
19 Enthusiasm to blow over at the outset (5)
GUSTO - GUST (to blow) and the first letter of (at the outset) Over.
21 Rook stuck in a French vase (3)
URN - R (rook, chess) inside (stuck in) UN (a, in French).

Times Quick Cryptic 1816 by Joker

You wait for a solve exactly 9 seconds over taget and two come along in a few weeks. Some of this was spent mulling over 12ac  - let me know if I'm missing something here. Hats off to the two long definitions at 9 and 16dn with 9dn winning COD - 16dn had a rather simpler cryptic.

The definitions are underlined.

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  • jackkt

Times Cryptic 27908

My solving time of 55 minutes is evidence that I didn't find this at all easy despite there being a handful of clues that would not be out of place in a Quick Cryptic. There's some tricky stuff to balance this however and one or two clues that were easier to solve than to explain in the blog.

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  • vinyl1

Times 27907 - Wilco (The Album)

Time: 16 minutes
Music: Bax, Tintagel, Boult/LPO

Another easy Monday, but I biffed so many I'm going to be spending a lot of time figuring out the cryptics as I write the blog.   There are also a number of points I will have to research.   So maybe this shouldn't have been so easy, or maybe we don't need the cryptics.   Well, at least we have a crypt.   There were not many actual chestnuts, although experienced solvers will know decaf/faced, the two sailors in Addis Ababa, the goat with no corn, and the upside-down help in India. 

Since we had Bax last week, I pulled out the Lyrita LP of his tone poems.   These are fine performances by Sir Adrian Boult, highly recommended if you like English-style classical music. 

1 Very naughty boy outside a court, having arrived with large beast (8,5)
BACTRIAN CAMEL - B(A CT)RIAN + CAME + L, referring to Monty Python's Life of Brian.
8 Bird's nest is one being very high (4)
SOUP - SO + UP.   Fortunately, I didn't biff coop.
9 Meat pie, served with coffee, sent back, looking anaemic (5-5)
10 Start to accept fish in sea abroad seem diseased? (8)
11 Fox should cover conflict once in progress (6)
TOWARD - TO(WAR)D, where the "in progress" meaning of toward is obsolescent, although maybe not obsolete.
13 Combine with two sailors in an investment producing capital (5,5)
ADDIS ABABA - ADD IS(ABAB)A.  An ISA is a UK investment; here in the US we have the IRA, but that acronym was already taken over there.
16 Data coming back relating to an Ulster region (4)
INFO - OF N.I.  Northern Ireland is six out of the nine counties in Ulster, so it is properly called an Ulster region.
17 Sudden blast son's taken in belly (4)
18 Trio snatching at Scots hooligan were menacing (10)
20 Snooker break is met with difficulty in the end (6)
STYMIE - Anagram of IS MET + [difficult]Y.
22 Shoot the breeze with blonde in attempt to manipulate (8)
GASLIGHT - GAS + LIGHT, as modern language comes to the Times.   We'll be back to bishops and barristers shortly, however.
24 He painted bishop with bad back gulping too much cold water (10)
BOTTICELLI -  B (OTT ICE) LLI, whichis ill backwards. 
26 Bottomless river associated with Parana's source (4)
DEEP - DEE + P[arana] - fortunately, you don't need to know who or what Parana is.
27 Direction Strehler originally provided in Aston theatre adaptation? (4-5-4)
EAST-NORTH-EAST - Anagram of S[rehler] + ASTON THEATRE - you don't need to know who Strehler is, either!
1 Shilling taken from chest with another in economic cycle (4,3,4)
BOOM AND BUST - BO[s]OM AND BUST.    Inflation and deflation, or something like that.
2 Goat denied grain comes to island (5)
CAPRI - CAPRI[corn]. 
3 Abhorrent ruling to imprison reversed before magistrates (9)
4 Empire once so small and insubstantial to overturn (7)
ASSYRIA - AS + S + AIRY upside-down.
5 Weep over pint in church cellar (5)
6 Malicious trick takes in hospital for now (9)
7 Some colliers are buried (3)
LIE - Hidden in [col]LIE]rs.
12 Royal seen among tree ferns ordered snack (11)
REFRESHMENT - Anagram of TREE FERNS containing HM.
14 Hints from close friends (9)
INTIMATES - Double definition.
15 Economist with German husband supporting second president (4,5)
19 Artillery regiment with gun elevated in routine (7)
REGULAR - RA + LUGER upside-down.
21 One whose time is done in City, working with cross to bear (2-3)
EX-CON - E(X)C + ON.
23 Home help sent up country (5)
INDIA - IN + AID upside-down.
25 Mineral source almost disappeared from Pacific state (3)
ORE - ORE[gon[e]], an obvious biff.

QC 1815 by Orpheus

A crossword that is notable for the near-absence of one of the staple clue types of the Quickie: as far as I can see there is only one anagram (including clue elements as well as whole clues) in the whole puzzle. FOI was 1A and LOI was 9D because although I was sure I had heard of this it was on the periphery of my knowledge and I wanted to give it a final interrogation before inserting it. My COD was probably 8A for the misdirection mentioned in the blog.

Many thanks to Orpheus for a gently teasing start to the week.

Definitions are underlined, and everything else is explained just as I see it as simply as I can.

1 Old provincial governor finally senses an ambush (6)
SATRAP - S ('finally' senseS) + A TRAP (an ambush).
4 Mellow sound made by farm animal in south (6)
SMOOTH - MOO (sound made by farm animal) 'in' STH (south).
8 Disputed claim initially about balls bowled in test (13)
CONTROVERSIAL - C (Claim 'initially') + ON (about) + OVERS (balls bowled) 'in' TRIAL (test). Nice misdirection because the surface could lead you to think about balls being bowled in a test (match) as the definition of OVERS in that clue element but in fact 'test' is part of the overall cryptic.
10 Alter the last word at end of screed (5)
AMEND - AMEN (the last word) + D (the end of screeD).
11 Aussie native’s short word for male fowl (7)
ROOSTER - ROO'S ([kanga]roo's, Aussie native's) + TERm (term = word, so without the last letter it is a 'short' word).
13 Plot involving a legendary archer’s sidekick (9)
SATELLITE - SITE (plot) 'involving' A + TELL (legendary archer, although I would say that technically William Tell was a crossbowman. An archer is defined as 'somebody skilled with bow and arrow' which is not the same thing, but I don't suppose we care.).
17 Levelling out late in the day (7)
EVENING - double definition.
18 Woman identified in ghastly diatribe (5)
LYDIA - hidden word: 'identified in' ghastLY DIAtribe.
19 March exhibition (13)
DEMONSTRATION - double definition.
21 Complete set of books kept in European republic (6)
ENTIRE - NT (New Testament, a 'set of books') 'kept in' EIRE (European republic).
22 Early settler finally relaxed and fished (6)
ANGLED - ANGLE (an early settler) + D ('finally' relaxeD).
1 Thus American spies left an informal gathering (6)
SOCIAL - SO (thus) + CIA (American spies) + L (left).
2 Broadcast game, behold, in US state (9)
TENNESSEE - TENNIS (game) + SEE (behold) when said out loud (broadcast) sounds like TENNESSEE.
3 Gave vent to anger in commercial (5)
AIRED - IRE (anger) 'in' AD (commercial).
5 Italian physicist taking brandy on island (7)
MARCONI - MARC (a type of brandy produced from grape skins left over from wine production) + ON + I (island). Marc varies greatly in quality (as of course does wine) but the good stuff is a particular favourite of mine. Most commonly you get Marc de Bourgogne and Marc de Champagne, and these French products are roughly equivalent to grappa from Italy. For crossword beginners it might be worth mentioning that MARC sometimes comes up in cryptics as cluing for WASTE or REFUSE or similar, reflecting the fact that it is made from the leftovers. I just tried to think of a sample clue using MARC and came up with this one (which would only work as a down clue):
School waste washed up by sea in France (7)
Not the best clue in the world, but I hope it gives an illustration.
6 Sash originally bought in old India (3)
OBI - B (Bought 'originally') 'in' O (old) + I (India, from phonetic alphabet or common abbreviation).
7 Mountaineer forks out pounds for a term at Oxford (6)
HILARY - Sir Edmund HILLARY was a mountaineer (of Everest fame). If you 'fork out' one of the Ls (pounds) you are left with HILARY, the term we would currently be in if we were up at Oxford. The others are Michaelmas and Trinity. The name of Michaelmas Term is the same at Cambridge although the others are called simply Lent and Easter.
9 Signaller’s device weighing practically nothing? (4,5)
VERY LIGHT - double definition. A Very Light is another one of those nautical things (like earings, sheets, cleats and cringles) that deckhandiana will be able to tell you about. I believe they are bright flares that you can use to draw attention to yourself when lost at sea, or if you prefer you can save them up and use them (a bit like footballers and racing drivers use bottles of Champagne) to draw attention to yourself when celebrating after you have won a race.
12 Exercise machine reforming team drill (9)
TREADMILL - straight anagram (the first (and only?) today!), 'reforming' TEAM DRILL.
14 Bar coated with the right solvent (7)
THINNER - INN (bar) 'coated with' THE R (right).
15 Stick one’s nose in, hearing gong? (6)
MEDDLE - sounds like MEDAL (gong).
16 Woman breaks record, being the worse for wear (6)
CANNED - ANNE (woman) 'breaking' CD (record). CANNED is one of the euphemisms for 'drunk' (the worse for wear) that Polly doesn't use in her famous Fawlty Towers speech attempting to alert Basil 'subtly' in front of bemused guests to the fact that their chef is hopelessly drunk in the run-up to evening service: "He's POTTED... the shrimps... He's SOUSED... the herrings... He's PICKLED the onions and he's SMASHED the eggs IN HIS CUPS, UNDER THE TABLE." I suppose she could have added "He's CANNED the sardines.
18 Study Latin at first and make money (5)
LEARN - L (Latin 'at first') + EARN (make money).
20 Encountered leaders in Middle Eastern territory (3)
MET - M + E + T ('leaders' in Middle Eastern Territory).
  • glheard

Mephisto 3155 - Tim Moorey

Greetings barred-grid fans.

I'm writing this up having just learned of the passing of Jim Biggin. Jim and I started blogging the daily puzzle the same week in 2007, and in May 2008 Jim started in the Mephisto rotation, which was a four-person team at the time. By the end of 2008 Jim was doing every other Mephisto after the_od left, and then when Peter B joined the Sunday Times it became Jim taking the even numbered Mephistos and me the odd numbered ones up until 2020.

I'll miss his comments (especially our mutual rage over being accused of being stuffy, elitist and unhelpful in Mephisto blogs) and our occasional hysterical email correspondences when we were trying to line up times we were going to be away from the internet.

Fun puzzle from Tim Moorey, which I solved largely from the bottom up.

In Mephisto, definitions (the most direct of which is underlined) can be confirmed in Chambers, so I will focus on the wordplay here. Away we go....

1 West African’s ready in school indeed after dropping round (4)
CEDI -  COED(school) and I(indeed) missing O(round)
4 Ill with a stab wound from weapon in Rome (8)
BALLISTA - anagram of ILL and A STAB
9 Manage Yorkshire area land (8)
RUNDALES - RUN(manage) the Yorkshire DALES
11 Cordial about club twills (10)
CASSIMERES - CASSIS(cordial drink) surrounding MERE(club)
12 Curses keeping party member well back for Europeans (8)
BOSNIANS - BANS(curses) containing IN(party member), and SO(well) reversed
15 Instruments not loud? Get different ones (5)
LUTES - FLUTES(instruments) missing F(loud) for another instrument
16 Off-white in spring returning? Not so (4)
ECRU - SOURCE(spring) reversed minus SO
17 Action around English river in Indian vessels (8)
PATAMARS - PAS(action) surrounding the TAMAR river
18 Youngster put his shirt on horse? Ends with the bookmaker! (8)
TEENAGER - TEE shirt with NAG(horse) and the last lettesr of thE bookmakeR
20 Spurs for example start on goal with Son finishing (4)
EGGS - EG(for example), the first letter of Goal and S(son)
22 One point is vertical at sea (5)
APEAK - A(one), PEAK(point)
25 Fellow with a wife meets a young girl briefly? They can’t be trusted (8, two words)
FAUX AMIS - F(fellow), and A, UX(wide) then A, MISS(young girl) missing the last letter
26 Long forgotten, caught child on tape recorder (10)
DICTAPHONE - remove L(long) from an anagram of CHILD,ON,TAPE
27 Resort village in Greece to get new diggers (8)
SPADEMEN - SPA(resort), DEME(Greek township), N(new)
28 Noble earl behind border district (8)
MARCHESE - E(earl) after the MARCHES (border district)
29 Card digits spoken of (4)
TOSE - sounds like TOES(digits)
1 Mostly difficult to decipher English poet (6)
CRABBE - CRABBY(difficult to decipher, of handwriting), missing the last letter, then E(English) for the poet George CRABBE
Edit: had the wordplay incorrect - difficult to decipher is CRABBED and English is part of the definition
2 Court pieces excited one not wanting to devolve more power (11)
3 Heads to roll, police lack genetic data carrier (5)
IDANT - CID(police) and WANT(lack) both missing the first letter
4 Count that’s supporting polls in by-election and suchlike (5)
BASIE - IE(that is) underneath the first letters in By-election And Suchlike
5 Boss has institution for publicity in part of Ireland (8)
LEINSTER - LEADER(boss) with INST(institution) replacing AD(publicity)
6 Article about ball-game again (6)
ITERUM - ITEM(article) surrounding RU(rugby union, ball game)
7 Flipping hookers wrecked game plan (9)
STRATAGEM - TARS(hookers) revsersed, then an anagram of GAME
8 Stupid people to get second estimate (6)
ASSESS - ASSES(stupid people), S(second)
10 Trips emerge disastrously for fisherman (11, two words)
PETER GRIMES - anagram of TRIPS,EMERGE. A fisherman in a poem from 1 Down made into an opera by Britten
13 Desire for one way to meet Charles (9)
STREETCAR - STREET(way) and CAR(Charles)
14 Boarding head right away gives a tip (8)
LAGNAPPE - LAG(boarding, second definition in Chambers), then NAPPER(head) missing R(right)
18 Vehicle hit them, according to reports (6)
TANDEM - sounds like TANNED 'EM(hit them)
19 Not entirely agreeable covering a do on ships (6)
NAUTIC - NICE(agreeable) missing the last letter, containing A UT(do)
21 Without date and without giving property title to a Scot (6)
SASINE - SA(sine anno, without date) and SINE(without)
23 Out of place, go off last part of Greek drama (5)
EXODE - remove PL(place) from EXPLODE(go off)
24 Girl one’s seen in black (5)
JANET - AN(one) inside JET(black)

Sunday Times 4942 by David McLean

7:21. A pretty straightforward puzzle this week from Harry, but a quirky one, with some unusual vocabulary (1ac, 18ac, 4dn) and some quite oblique definitions. I remain puzzled by one clue – 6dn – where I seem to be missing something, so any ideas welcome. Otherwise all good fun. I think my favourite clue is 22ac: there is something very neat about indicating one word with another single word which actually means something completely different if you read it literally.

Definitions are underlined, anagrams indicated like (TIHS)*, anagram indicators are in italics.

1 Top American telly
BOOB TUBE - DD. I only knew one of the definitions here but one is enough!
5 Repeal a French act
UNDO - UN (a French), DO.
8 I’m told boatmen go sailing
CRUISE - sounds like ‘crews’.
9 Sad after autumn trip?
FALL DOWN - or, er, DOWN after FALL.
10 Bit of earth on tree shoot
FIRE - FIR, Earth.
11 They help people understand words in Polish sign
GLOSSARIES - GLOSS, ARIES (sign of the zodiac).
12 Give lift to con
TAKE FOR A RIDE - I’m going to classify the first part of this clue as wordplay, because you wouldn’t really say you were taking someone for a ride if you were just giving them a lift, but if you want to call it another definition I won’t sue.
16 Road of Bones
HARLEY STREET - CD, ‘bones’ being a term for a doctor, particularly a surgeon. The only time I’ve frequented this street it was for dental reconstruction work which involved the removal of a small piece of bone from my hip a very large quantity of money from my bank account.
18 Backslider such as Buzz Aldrin?
MOONWALKER - again, I’m not sure whether to classify ‘backslider’ as cryptic or not, but it doesn’t really matter. The moonwalk is a dance move made famous by Michael Jackson that involves sliding backwards on your feet in such a way that it looks from the movement of your legs like you should be going forwards. I used to be able to do it.
20 I fled foreign land
IRAN - or I RAN.
21 Blow striking person
22 Lampshade?
EYELID - CD. Because ‘lamp’ is a word for the eye, and your eyelid shades it. Very neat!
23 Going back 14 minutes is great
MEGA - reversal of AGE (the answer to 14dn), M.
24 Weak royal judgement
1 Air a BBC broadcast on new theatre
2 Possibly sheepish old climber
OVINE - O, VINE. I don’t know why ‘possibly’.
3 Perhaps 7 years in the 18th century?
THE AGE OF REASON - from Wikipedia: ‘The age of reason is the age at which children attain the use of reason and begin to have moral responsibility. On completion of the seventh year a minor is presumed to have the use of reason.’ Also a term for the Enlightenment.
4 Love being sat on by fit comic
BUFFO - BUFF (fit), O. A term from Italian opera.
5 A rude Wren dances in this
6 Might I be one necking booze?
DOWNER - I don’t understand this clue. The best I can think of is that the first words refer to the fact that you might refer to this clue – a down clue – as a DOWNER. But I’m not entirely convinced. Edit: see my comment below: DOWNER can refer to a depressing person (rather than just a depressing experience), who might be drowning their sorrows. I think that's what is intended here.
7 Medical professional paid to make puss better?
PLASTIC SURGEON - CD. No, ‘puss’ is a word for the face, do grow up. The professional body for such practitioners is called BAAPS, yes really, I don’t see what’s funny about that, see me after class.
13 Plant employee China ceases holding
ECHINACEA - contained in ‘employee China ceases’.
14 For instance, a revolutionary period
AGE - reversal of EG, A.
15 Threatening guys passing with no trouble at all?
MENACING - MEN, ACING (as in a test).
17 Black cat swagger
19 Vessel drawing out of foremost of seaports
KETCH - take Seaports from sKETCH.
20 One with terribly nice old folk

Times Cryptic Jumbo 1482 - 6th February

A rather middle-of-the-road Jumbo, I thought; many of the clues clues wouldn't be out of place in a Quick Cryptic, I suspect. But, as usual, there are still a couple of unknowns to expose my general ignorance and some entertaining clues, such as 29A, 34A and 54A... and more, albeit with a couple of MERs too. Good fun. Thank-you setter! How did you all get on?

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  • brnchn

Times Cryptic No 27900 - Saturday, 13 February 2021.

There was some very clever wordplay here, but nothing to stretch the solver’s general knowledge. So, I expect success stories, perhaps achieved slowly. The number of exotic wordplay indicators struck me as unusual, with particular mention for 16ac. Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle. How did you 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.

Clues are blue, with definitions underlined. Deletions are in {curly brackets}.
1 Shabby party dress emerged, inside out (3-5)
DOG-EARED – DO=party, GEAR=dress, E(merge)D with the “inside out”.
5 Aussie state nurses rest in the heat (6)
SIESTA – hidden answer, “nursed”.
9 Son involved in accident filling in new form wrongly (8)
MISSHAPE – S=son in MISHAP=accident, then E=“filling” in nEw.
10 PM ready to drive off on course, keeping left? (6)
ATTLEE – AT TEE=ready to drive a golf ball, “keeping” L=left.
12 What runner with handicap does is significant (7,6)
CARRIES WEIGHT – double definition.
15 Inappropriate female introduced to squad (5)
UNFIT – F=female in UNIT.
16 Find terms of legacy weird (9)
UNEARTHLY – UNEARTH=find, L(egac)Y=“terms” of the word. This is an unusual usage to mean the outside letters, but Chambers has as definition 16: a limit, boundary (archaic).
17 Solid shell of turtle breaking down rapidly (9)
STEADFAST – TE=“shell” of t(urtl)e, “breaking” SAD=down. Then, FAST=rapidly.
19 Second regular migrant back on board (5)
STERN – S=second, TERN=a (migratory) bird.
20 Unreliable way of painting people unlikely to be “detailed” (13)
TEMPERAMENTAL – TEMPERA=way of painting (with egg yolk), MEN=people, TAL(L)=unlikely, as in a tall story.
22 Flower buds preserved for larks? (6)
CAPERS – double definition: cooking ingredients, or fun and games.
23 Threatening relative outside home (8)
25 Precise moment (6)
MINUTE – double definition: minute detail, or just a little minute.
26 Man barred from execution, inevitably (8)
PERFORCE – take MAN out of PERFOR(MAN)CE. It took me a while to see the wordplay!

1 No firm going to produce resistant wall feature? (4,6)
DAMP COURSE – double definition: horse racing, or building construction.
2 Turned up to give talk (3)
GAS – SAG=to give, as in give way. Turn it up.
3 One doesn't believe in theft (7)
ATHEIST – the people involved in the theft were AT (the) HEIST.
4 Argued contrarily as topless relations advanced (12)
EXPOSTULATED – (S)EX=relations, POSTULATED=advanced (an idea, for example).
6 Possibly two or three for one in Bury (7)
INTEGER – EG=for one, in INTER=bury.
7 Extremely large spots itch horribly, most in patches (11)
SPLOTCHIEST – anagram (“horribly”) of L(arg)E SPOTS ITCH.
8 Fell over line making intricate jump (4)
AXEL – AXE=fell (a tree), L=line.
11 Recent burst in ladies troubled delegate to local authority (12)
DECENTRALISE – anagrams (“burst” / “troubled”) of RECENT LADIES, one inside the other.
13 Consider training pet for uncle (7,4)
REFLECT UPON – anagram (“training”) PET FOR UNCLE.
14 Year in company great, on the whole (2,3,5)
BY AND LARGE – Y=year in BAND=company, LARGE=great.
18 Something shameful done in uprising, the speaker admitted (7)
DEMERIT – TIRED=done. Turn it upside down, and insert ME. “Shamed” seems stronger than “demerit”, but near enough, I’m sure.
19 Singular lady's providing force for lawman (7)
SHERIFF – S=singular, HER=lady’s, IF=providing, F=force.
21 Penny extracted from villain's fraud (4)
SCAM – take P out of SCAMP.
24 Seaman from south shunned by despot (3)
TAR – I think this is a matter of taking S=south out of TSAR.