Cityish Alt-ish Fortyish (verlaine) wrote in times_xwd_times,
Cityish Alt-ish Fortyish
verlaine
times_xwd_times

Times 26,261: Revenge of the Shrinking Violet

I see everyone's already going strong in the comments, and you've been waiting long enough, so no preamble, I'll just postamble below! Thanks setter for an enjoyable Friday puzzle.

Across
1 PICK OFF - identify and eliminate: PICK [tool] + OFF [substandard]
5 CREAM - triple def: take top off / the best / unguent
9 HORDE - crowd: homophone of HOARD [stock up, "according to reports"]
10 LIONHEART - 21 (i.e. Angevin) LION [cat] + HEART{h} [fireside, "tailless"]
11 STIPEND - cleric's income: TIP END [(two separate) limits] set on S [second]
12 PARQUET - hard flooring: PAR [standard] + QU{i}ET [soft "one having been removed"]
13 LUMINOSITY - lustre: IT "stops" ({o}MINOUSLY*) ["bats", "losing old"]
15 BEAK - double def: magistrate / bill
18 ROAD - course: reverse of O.R. [men "backing"] + AD [promotion]
20 PERSIFLAGE - banter: PER SE [essentially], IF LAG [if | jailbird] confined
23 BLOOMER - a flower: and some might toast a (bready) bloomer
24 CRINGED - drew back: C{a}RING ["having no answer", sensitive] + ED [pressman]
25 STILL LIFE - a work of art: STILL [even so] + LIFE [biography]
26 COVEN - in which spelling (i.e. casting spells) is normal: COVEN{ant} [agreement "to exclude a set of a books (i.e. A NT)"]
27 EXERT - make good use of: EX{p}ERT [maestro "when piano's unavailable"]
28 TOPSPIN - way to vary flight: TOP [better] + reverse of NIPS [darts "reflecting"]

Down
1 PER DIEM - daily: PERM [forecast] about DIE [to end]
2 CHEYENNE - tribe: CHE [revolutionary] + reverse of NEY [marshal "raised"] + N{ativ}E ["case of"]
3 OILED - drunken: "contingent from" 9, 10 i.e. {hor}DE LIO{heart} "repelled"
4 FOOTPATHS - trails: (OF TOP HATS*) ["wearing"]
5 COHERE - to appear consistent: H.E. [ambassador] admitted to CORE [centre]
6 ERASURE - cancellation: SURE [inevitable] after ERA [long time]
7 MOTET - vocal work: MOTE [a wee bit] + T{edious} ["at first"]
8 WHISTLER - artist: reverse of REL [relative "turning up"] at end of WHIST [game]
14 SPEARMINT - plant: SPEAR [run through] + MINT [unused]
16 KNEADING - treatment from physio, perhaps: homophone of NEEDING ["announcer's" calling for]
17 A FAIR COP - admission on being arrested: (A PAIR OF C{riminals'} ["first"]*) ["botched"]
19 ACONITE - source of poison: A CITE [a | call] to admit ON [possible]
21 ANGEVIN - from old French province: A{irme}N ["evacuated"] + (GIVEN*) ["bubbly"]
22 AMULET - talisman: reverse of T.A. ["mounted" volunteers] clutching MULE [cross]
23 BASTE - to grease joint: T [time] in BASE [depot]
24 CHEAP - shoddy: CAP [headgear] HE [that man] is wearing
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