jackkt (jackkt) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times Cryptic 26354

I found this one quite hard in places and spent an hour on it by which time I had been stuck on the final two answers long enough to be bored with them so I looked them up and technically did not finish. After the eloquence on display in some recent blogs this will be rather short and to the point but may at least free up some time for other activities!

As usual deletions are in curly brackets and indicators in square ones. I'm also including a few more definitions these days to assist the increasing number of newer solvers attempting to make the transition from the Quick Cryptic.

1 MARSH TIT - MARS (is ruining), then T (time) inside HIT (popular song)
5 CREPES - REP (traveller) inside CES (these, French)
9 INFANTRY - IN, FAN (cool), TRY (experiment)
10 UNROLL - UN (peacekeeper - really?), ROLL sounds like [we hear] "role" (function)
12 RUB SHOULDERS -  A figurative phrase defined by "meet socially" plus a literal hint
15 TAROT - TOT (drop - e.g. of whisky) contains [keeping] A (ace) + R (king)
16 LIFE TABLE - LIFTABLE (likely to be plagiarised) containing [content's] E{nlightening} [principally]. I can't say I'd ever heard of this defined in SOED as: a table of statistics relating to expectation of life
18 AXMINSTER - X (ten) + MINS (minutes) inside {b}AT{h} [centre], RE (about) reversed [head back]. The town in N.E. Devon is famous for its carpets.
19 BRAVE - B (bachelor), RAVE (party). Definition: with bottle - slang
20 INTERROGATOR - IN TERROR (panic-stricken) containing [carrying] GAT (gun) + O (round)
24 SLEIGH - From the definition "ride through snow" this might have been "sledge" but the remainder of the clue tells us the answer is a homophone [you say] for "slay" (ice - slang for "kill" at least in America [in the Rockies])
25 BILLHOOK - In Spoonerese this would be HILL BOOK (volume on fell-walking?). Definition: I'll prune
26 YANKEE - Two definitions, a bet and a Unionist soldier at the time of the American Civil War, though the term is also used more widely and sometimes perjoratively
27 ANCHORED - CHORE (job) inside [secured] AND (with)

1 MAIN - I inside [introduced to] MAN (bishop perhaps - chess). Definition: cardinal - important, pre-eminent
2 RIFT - {d}RIFT (tenor - theme running through an argument, for example) [misses introduction]. Definition: lack of harmony
3 HINDUSTAN - HIN{t} (suggest [briefly]), DUST (cloud of pollution), A, N (northern)
4 IRRESOLUTION - I, ERR (make a mistake) reversed [over], SOLUTION (answer to crossword)
6 RENAL - REAL (material) contains [incorporates] N (name). Definition: associated with organ i.e. kidneys
7 PROVERBIAL - PAL (friend) contains [to keep] ROVER (dog) + B (black) + I (one)
8 SELF-SEEKER - A straight definition and a cryptic hint
11 CONFIRMATION - CO (business) then FIRM (steady) inside NATION (country)
13 STRAVINSKY - STAV{e} (set of notes [brief]) contains R{hapsody} [start of], IN, BLUE (sky). I'm not entirely convinced by "stave" as "set of notes" because it's actually the set of five lines on which musical notes are written. Is a sheet of paper a piece of writing?
14 PROMETHEAN - PROM (concert), ETHE{r} (number - anaesthetic [shortened]), A, N (note). This was my first failure, but since I had PROM?T?EAN I really should have got the answer if for no other reason than it's a word I'd vaguely heard of and it would have fitted the checkers and space available. I didn't know what it meant though, other than something to do with Prometheus, as I'm afraid my knowledge of his exploits is limited entirely to his fate of being chained to a rock, so I had no chance of linking his name to "daringly original", the definition given here.
17 TABBOULEH - Anagram [tossed about] of BLUEBOAT, H (hard). My second failure and another example of a particular bugbear of mine, the anagram of a foreign word that you either know or you don't. With all the checkers in place I suppose the position of the second B was guessable but the remaining three vowels might have gone anywhere. SOED describes it as: A Syrian and Lebanese salad made with burghul, parsley, onion, mint, lemon juice, oil, and spices.
21 ROGUE - G{reek} [leader] inside [implicated in] anagram [new] of EURO. The surface reading may amuse those of a Brexit persuasion!
22 POOR - PO (naval officer - Petty Officer), OR (men - army, Ordinary Ranks)
23 SKID - S (small), KID (child). After the rigours of 14 and 17, the final three Down clues appear to have escaped from the Quickie desk providing an example of a useful hint for newbies that it's sometimes possible to get a foothold in the SE corner where the setter may have run out of steam.
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