Jerry (jerrywh) wrote in times_xwd_times,
Jerry
jerrywh
times_xwd_times

Times Crossword 26,085

Solving Time: I'm standing in for Pip today. This took me almost 30 minutes; but how much of that is down to me, and how much to the crossword is not clear. It certainly didn't feel as if it were a pushover, and had some neat clues and some tricky ones




cd = cryptic definition, dd = double definition, rev = reversed, anagrams are *(--), homophones indicated in ""

ODO means the Oxford Dictionaries Online



Across
1 despot - DES (small boy) + POT (cannabis, a drug). It seems to be a (fairly recent?) convention that any shortened male name - Ron, Ed, Les - is clued as "small boy." Small in the sense of curtailed presumably, and boy as indicator for male. I'm happy to accept the convention, but it does look a little bit strange to me
4 bedstraw - (BU)D in BEST (first) + RAW (green). Not the first plant that comes to mind, but green = raw was an early try and the rest followed
10 workforce - *(OK FOR CREW). A clever, misleading clue
11 cavil - (E)VIL (base), with the E replaced by CA (about, ie circa)
12 commonplace - COMMON (plain) + L(ake) in PACE (speed).
14 ago - dd. One trying would have A GO.
15 scarify - a triple definition: to scratch the surface of (eg, a lawn); to wound ("With harsh criticism" says Collins) and jocularly, to scare. "Scarified" came up earlier this year.
17 lead-in - LEAD (metal) + IN, (covered by). Collins says "the connection between a radio transmitter, receiver, etc, and the aerial or transmission line"
19 superb - PER (for one) in SUB, transport both ways
21 cringed - C(onservative) + RINGED, what we do to birds, or in fact any wild animal whatsoever that we can lay our hands on these days, if TV wildlife programmes are anything to go by
23 tup - PUT (place) rev. A tup is a ram, an uncastrated male sheep
24 respectable - RE (on) + SPECTACLE, with the C (100) replaced by B(owled)
26 drawn - (MOTHE)R in DAWN (birth)
27 Dover sole - VERSO (the reverse side of a coin, ie not the obverse) in DOLE (benefit)
29 amethyst - THY (Your, old) in *(MATES)
30 exempt - X (times) + ME (setter) rev., in EP (record) + T(ime) Where would we be without LPs, CDs but especially, EPs?


Down
1 downcast - what fledglings do is to CAST DOWN, rev. And nothing to do with learning to fly as I initially imagined
2 scram - S(ociety) + CRAM (force)
3 off - dd. Off and On being cricketing sides, & feeling a bit off today is in fact how I currently am (just overindulgence so self-inflicted) ie below par
5 eyeball - sounds like "I bawl"
6 secretariat - AI (first-class) RATER (assessor), both rev. in SECT (party). Some might remember the horse of that name
7 revealing - REV (clergyman) + EALING. Last time I looked, Ealing was in West London but I think it probably refers to healing, a la Cockney. Not 100% on that mind you, as it implies that one is not quite sound yet.. - that is because healing is "making sound," thanks Galspray
8 willow - ILL (badly) in WOW, variation in pitch usu. coupled with flutter
9 trophy - (A)TROPHY (decline)
13 olive branch - a cd. - No, OLIVE (green) + BRANCH (faction).. very clever clue, especially now I see it! Thanks mc
16 aquaplane - A + QUA (as described. Examples here) + *(PANEL). Apparently aquaplanes are like snowboards only on water: ie, what you use if you can't quite manage proper skis. I only knew the motoring meaning of the word
18 adherent - HE (man) in AD (commercial) + RENT (charge for letter)
20 besides - BE(D)SIDES. Raised a smile..
21 cleave - C(lubs) + LEAVE (will, as in bequeath). Cleave being one of those interesting words that also means its own opposite
22 stadia - AT in AIDS, both rev.
25 broom - B(ishop) + MOOR (fell) rev. A neat clue
28 Rex - (A)RE(A) + X (cross)
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