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

Times 26,321: Braine Box

If ever I sing the praises of a crossword too effusively, it normally gets slapped down with multiple mutterings of "huh, some good clues but it wasn't all THAT", so I'm going to do this particular puzzle a favour by saying I found it slightly on the ordinary side, which by the laws of equal and opposite reaction should see a robust defence of its virtues in the comments. I don't think I had any particular issues, but I don't know, a lot of the surfaces looked just a bit too much like crossword clues?

On the plus side, this was on the easier end of the spectrum, which worked for me as I'd just come in from a double bill of swirly 4AD miserabilists Daughter and Pixx at the Kentish Town forum, with several Doom Bars and an equal number of JD&Cs (for balance) in me, so I was glad to be able to polish it off in about 6 minutes. The classicist in me was glad to observe plenty of clues suggesting the setter might have had similarly misspent schooldays: actual Latin in both 11ac and 12ac, and then 2dn, 5dn... Also some pleasing literary references at 5ac, 17ac, and in what is my personal COD 14ac, for neatness and also because the work in question is near the top of my reading pile (I'm working my way down this list, as a kind-of-sort-of New Year's Resolution).

Not much else I can remember wanting to report except that I struggled on the spelling of 25ac for a silly amount of time, but then I *was* rather drunk. Thank you setter, and I'm sorry if get unfairly belligerent towards crosswords in my cups!

1 FOSSIL - fogeyish old thing: S S [smalls] in FOIL [protective clothing]
5 PARDONER - he had a tale to tell (in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales): PARDON [come again] meeting E.R. [Queen]
9 GALICIAN - Spanish: ALICIA [woman] within G N ["borders of" G{abo}N]
10 VANITY - self-love: in {go}VAN IT Y{ields}
11 GOTHIC - old-fashioned type: GOT HIC [picked up | here "in ancient Rome"]
12 CATEGORY - class: CAT EGO [animal | I "once"] observed by RY [railway]
14 ROOM AT THE TOP - literary work (by John Braine), double def with: attic
17 TOWER HAMLETS - London area: TOWER [one pulling] + S [{bird}S "ultimately"] after HAMLET [play]
20 IRISHMAN - national: IRIS MAN [flag | staff] situated outside H [hospital]
22 CASUAL - not concerned: CAL{l}: [to phone "briefly"], ringing reverse of USA [America "from the east"]
23 COMELY - attractive: COME{D->L}Y [L{ady} "initially" replacing daughter (i.e. D) in play]
25 FAEROESE - Atlantic islanders: homophone of PHAROAH EASE ["sound" old Egyptian ruler | and calm]
26 CEREBRAL - intellectual: CEREAL [corn possibly] restricting BR [British]
27 YONDER - over there: Y [homophone of why ("say")] + N [knight] plunged into ODER [river]

2 ORATOR - e.g. Cicero: O [old] + R [{flai}R "finally"] coming to A TOR [a | peak]
3 SMITHEREENS - fragments: SMITE N S [strike | poles] around HERE [this place]
4 LOINCLOTH - garment: LO IN CLOTH [look | wearing | clergy]
5 PANACEA - universal remedy: ACE [one] in PANA{ma} [country "mother abandoned"]
6 RIVET - bolt: R [resistance] over I VET [current | surgeon]
7 OWN - double def of: admit / personal
8 EXTERIOR - outside: EX [divorcee] + T{e}E{n} ["regularly"] taking RIO R [port | right]
13 GREASY SPOON - snack bar: (PARSON GOES*) ["mad"] about Y ["opening of" Y{ucky}]
15 TREACHERY - disloyalty: TEACHER [pedagogue] with Y [yen] to limit R [Republican]
16 FOURSOME - quartet: FOR [pro] going over SO ME [notes], about U [university]
18 MINDFUL - taking heed: MIND FU{e}L [object to | power supply "wasting energy"]
19 PARSEE - Indian monotheist: PA [father] on R [river] + SEE [Oxford, say]
21 MAYOR - council leader: R [runs], MAYO [one of 20's (i.e. Irishman's) counties] first
24 EWE - wool producer: homophone of YOU [the present solver "talked of"]
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