jackkt (jackkt) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times Cryptic 26252

I completed all but 27ac, 28ac and 26dn in 25 minutes but then took nearly as long again to crack the remainder. And after that I didn’t really know what the problem had been apart from my usual brain freeze that sets in when I have done well on a puzzle and there are only a couple more answers needed to finish in good time.

When it came to blogging there was quite a lot to think about so I wouldn't say the  puzzle was easy by any standards but I'm not sure what to expect from other solvers. I wonder how many completing on-line will have an error at 18ac.

Deletions are in curly brackets and indicators in square ones

1 CONVERGES - A straight definition and a cryptic one suggesting if one were to CON (look at) VERGES one may see 'wayside flowers'
9 CORDOBA - COR (my!), DOB (birthday), A (ace). And take your pick from the city in Spain or the one in Argentina.
10 ESTATES - STATE (say) inside {si}ES{ta}
11 FLORA - L (left) inside FORA (ancient marketplaces)
12 RECIPIENT - I (one) inside RECIPE (feature of cookery), NT (books - New Testament)
13 ENTENTE - ENT+ENT (medical departments - Ear Nose & Throat), {negotiat}E
15 EAGER - EA (each), GER{man} (European) [not half]
17 REBEL - B (bishop) inside REEL (dance)
18 GOT IT - A straight definition is preceded by vaguely cryptic one. There's scope for a biffing error here as 'get it' so nearly fits until one notices the past tense 'became'. The straight definition 'you understand'  might fit either answer although it seems to me marginally more suitable for the wrong one!
19 TEDDY - T{he}, EDDY (whirlwind). Deletion of 'he' is indicated by 'sweeping away the male'.
20 PRESSIE - PRESS (hug), IE (that is)
23 HEARKENED - HEAD (top teacher) encloses RE (Religious Education) which in turn encloses KEN (boy). A bit of a Russian doll, this one. I'm more familiar with the answer spelt without the first 'E'.
25 ASCOT - {m}ASCOT (magic source of help supposedly). 'When maiden goes off' indicates the deletion of 'm'.
27 AVARICE - A, VICE (wicked inclination) encloses A+R (king). As the clue suggests, the legendary King Midas is an example of someone afflicted with this particular vice.
28 ELEVENS - The definition was clearly 'teams' but the remainder of the clue was a mystery until I twigged that 'a couple of' 11s make 22 which combined with 'catch' give us the title of the novel by Joseph Heller that has passed into the language as a term meaning 'an impossible situation'.
29 EXTRAVERT - EXTRA (more), VERT (green). Once again I'm more used to an alternative spelling of the answer i.e. 'O' for 'A'.

1 CHEERY - CH (child), E'ER (always), {Frida}Y
2 NOTICEABLE - NOT ABLE (incapable) encloses ICE (dangerous drug)
3 ESTOPPEL - Anagram [unruly] of PEOPLE encloses ST (good person - saint)
4 GESTE - Hidden in {stran}GEST E{xpedition}. This is another of those words I only know from crosswords, along with 'conte' of similar meaning.
5 SCATTERED - Anagram [peculiarly] of ACT inside anagram [terribly] of DESERT. It's unusual to have two separate indicators.
6 PROFIT - PRO (publicist - Public Relations Officer), FIT (deserving)
7 POLO - A straight definition (game) is preceded by a cryptic reference to the explorer Marco Polo.
8 PARAKEET - PET (cat?) encloses A, RAKE (thing in the garden)
14 NATIONWIDE - Anagram [travelling] of I WAN{t} TO DINE. The deletion of a 'T' is indicated by 'spending time'.
16 GATEHOUSE - Anagram [designed] of SO HUGE encloses ATE (goddess)
17 REPEATED - REED (grass) encloses PEAT (organic material)
18 GYMKHANA - GYM (James said - sounds like Jim), KHAN (Eastern ruler), A. 'Introduce' means 'come before' here.
21 SETTEE - SET (some tennis), T{h}EE (you) with 'won't want hard' indicating the 'H' is to be deleted. I'd normally expect a reference to old language when 'thee' and 'thou' etc appear.
22 IDLEST - L (learner) inside ID EST (that is)
24 ADAPT - AD (notice), APT (fitting)
26 CUES - Two straight definitions
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