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

Times 26,291: Come As You Are, As You Were, All Ye Faithful

Being stricken with the seasonal lurgy and requiring nothing in my stocking besides Lemsip and echinacea this year, I took this congenial puzzle at a gentle pace and only just came in inside of the double Magoo. But Christmas is no time for competition, it is for carols, crackers and community spirit. Much love to all of you, the leisurely and the infuriatingly quick alike.

FOI 11ac shortly followed by 21ac; some trickier stuff in the down clues, 3dn being the last one in being not a knot I was well acquainted with, combined with some intricate wordplay. Likewise 18dn and 19dn, didn't know the casserole or the composer, though fortunately the required answers were all very obvious.

Ho ho ho then and an extra ho for the setter, who definitely must have been on Santa's nice list this year. Merry Christmas one and all!

Across
1 SPLITTING - leaving: SPLIT [port] before TING [sound of bell]
6 SARUM - being in Salisbury: finding S.A. RUM [it | odd]
9 MANOR - country house: MAN O R [staff | duck | R{esponsibilities} "at first"]
10 STAGEHAND - one changing flats: (HAD AGENTS*) ["running all over the place"]
11 AMNESIA - inability to remember: (A NAME IS*) ["awkward"]
12 HUMDRUM - vanilla: HUM [smell] comes with DRUM [barrel]
13 HIP REPLACEMENT - joint operation: (HELP PAIR*) ["struggling"] + CEMENT [to fix]
17 PADDINGTON BEAR - Peruvian visitor: PADDINGTON BAR [station | pub] entertains E [east]
21 HOARDER - collector: HARDER [not so easy] to take in O [old]
23 PRODUCE - cause: PRO DUCE [in favour of | Mussolini]
25 PROXIMATE - next: PRIMATE [human, perhaps] eating OX [beef]
26 NOTED - marked: NOTE{pa}D [portable computer "father's lost", i.e. minus PA]
27 LEGIT - right and proper: LEG IT [run away]
28 ARTILLERY - military weapons: ILL [badly] blocking ARTERY [main road]

Down
1 SYMPATHY - compassion: SHY [chary] about reverse of TAP MY ["returning" to knock | my]
2 LINEN - fabric: LINE [range of commercial goods] with N [new]
3 TURK'S HEAD - fancy tie: TURK{i}SH [from Izmir, say - "not one", i.e. minus I] + EA [each] + D [diamonds]
4 INSTALL - place ready for use: IN [home] has STALL [delay]
5 GRAPHIC - giving explicit details: (RAG*) ["dreadful"] on PHI [character of Greek] + C [clubs]
6 STEAM - old locomotives: TEAM{<-<-<-<-S} [groups "promoting society"]
7 REARRANGE - switch: REAR RANGE [behind | cooker]
8 MADAME - an address in Paris: MADAME {bovary} [Flaubert novel's "been half written"]
14 PLAY ALONG - cooperate: PLAY A LONG [sport | article | drawn out]
15 MONSOONAL - very wet and windy: MON SOON [day | shortly] before A L [a | {squal}L's "ending"]
16 FRIENDLY - double def of: China (i.e. China plate, mate) must be so; and, like Tonga? (Tonga being the Friendly Islands)
18 NIRVANA - sheer bliss: reverse of NAV{<-<-<-A}RIN [lamb casserole "served up" "with heart saved till last"]
19 TIPPETT - composer: TIP PET T [predict success of | favourite | "first piece of" T{alented}]
20 CHAPEL - location of altar: APE [primate] following CH [church] + L [line]
22 DRIFT - state of indecision: D [daughter] getting over RIFT [split]
24 UNTIE - free: {a}UNTIE [BBC's "not the answer", i.e. minus A]
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