Pip Kirby (pipkirby) wrote in times_xwd_times,
Pip Kirby

Times Championship 2015: Grand Final, puzzle three (Times 26289)

After last week's black run, this one I found more like a red, mostly straightforward with a few tricky moguls in the SW corner. The parsing of 22a was not clear to me until jerrywh kindly directed me to an archaic usage in Collins. I also look forward to our members 'across the pond' commenting on 15a.
That's the end of my nine weeks of 'blog when ready' luxury; next week, we're back to the normal Wednesday morning panic. And a Happy New Year to all our readers.

1 ENDEMIC - ENC. = enclosed; insert DEMI = half; D native.
5 BAD TRIP - Double definition, one referring to taking LSD, one about football.
9 LIVERYMAN - LIVER = organ, (MANY)*; D guild member.
10 MUFTI - Double definition, one an Islamic scholar, one an army term used for 'out of uniform', the latter originally derived from the former because off-duty officers in the early 1800s used to wear a robe and tasselled hat which resembled Arab dress. Or so Wiki tells me.
11 LETTERS PATENT - LETTER = landlord, SENT = posted; around PAT = TAP (bathroom fixture) reversed; D official documents.
13 LAY WASTE - If lay people waste it, it's not the clergy who are throwing it away; D wreck.
15 MISSAL - Allegedly it sounds like MISSILE as pronounced by Americans; D book.
17 PICKLE - Double definition.
19 DRAGOMAN - DRAGON = fierce woman, engages MA = master (of arts); D guide, a chap often found in crosswordland.
22 ORIENT EXPRESS - EXPRESS = state, as in 'say', and the Orient Express chugged across Europe. I struggled to see the other part, until jerrywh directed me to the archaic meaning of 'orient' as 'rising', presumably because the sun rises in the east.
25 RHEAS - My LOI and a great little clue. HEARS = tries, the R is 'diverted' to the front; D creatures trapped on land, flightless birds in South America.
26 HEY PRESTO - (THE OSPREY)*; D surprise!
27 TRAPPER - REP PART = theatre role; all reversed; D one seeking ermine, perhaps.
28 HOT SEAT - Whimsical cryptic definition.

1 ELLE - (B)ELLE = topless beauty, D magazine.
2 DEVILRY - DRY = boring, insert EVIL = nastiness; D mischief.
3 MERIT - M = mark, TIRE = flag, raised = ERIT; D desert, as in get your just deserts. Not 'just desserts', which is often seen and more tasty.
4 COMMENTS - COTS = shelters, insert M MEN for a thousand people; D observes.
5 BANISH - NI = IN, reversed, i.e. 'coming back home'; insert into ('drunk') BASH = party; D drive off.
6 DEMEANING - (IN ENDGAME)*; D infra dig.
7 RAFTERS - R = first portion of rice; AFTERS = puddings; D beams.
8 POINT-BLANK - POINT = end of pencil, BLANK = cut, as in cut someone dead; D very close.
12 KLEPTOCRAT - Cryptic definition, plenty of examples spring to mind.
14 ALL ENDS UP - ALLEND(E) = deposed president (of Chile), shortly; SUP = drink; D completely. Actually Allende was just about to be deposed by the CIA-backed junta, but shot himself with an AK47 first, so I suppose he deposed himself.
16 TRIPTYCH - TRIP for journey, and TYCH sounds like tick = second; D joined panels.
18 CHIMERA - Big Ben is a CHIMER, on a grand scale; A; D fantastic piece of imagination. Another regular visitor to XWL.
20 MUST-SEE - MUSE = inspiration, insert TSE = T S Eliot, poet initially; D not to be missed.
21 WETHER - WEATHER could be snow maybe, delete A, D sheep. A ram relieved of his wedding tackle.
23 EGRET - Today's hidden word, reversed in FLUT(TER GE)NTLY, D flyer.
24 LOUT - L = school finally, OUT = dismissed, as in cricket of course; D hooligan.
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