jackkt (jackkt) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times Cryptic 26402 - y'ere 'tis

Some of this was quite hard. I  solved all but one clue (28ac) in 30 minutes but after a further 10 I gave up and cheated to find a word that I have never heard of and has not come up before. It's a technical scientific term though, which should please Jimbo and others who are less keen on some of the arty stuff that appears daily and I generally favour (see 18dn), so I'm not complaining.

As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions are in curly brackets} and [indicators in square brackets]

1 Very good lake crossed by birds and other fliers (2-6)
CO-PILOTS - PI (very good) + L (lake) contained in [crossed by] COOTS (birds)
5 Regions suffering setback with introduction of a tyrant (6)
SATRAP - PARTS (regions) reversed [suffering setback) containing [with introduction of] A. This came up in Jeff Pearce's most recent ST puzzle and was fresh in my mind.
10 Anger about home, awkward, not half - it lets in water (4,5)
RAIN GAUGE - RAGE (anger) contains [about] IN (home) + GAU{che} (awkward [not half]. Not a very helpful cryptic definition!
11 Fellow with inner power is the symbol of a nation (5)
MAPLE - MALE (fellow) contains [with inner] P (power). A slightly dodgy definition as it's the maple leaf that's Canada's national symbol, not the tree itself, as illustrated by the image on their flag.
12 Flap that's not right for take-off (4)
SKIT - SKI{r}T (flap [not right]). "Take-off" as in parody, for example.
13 In concerts I observe people with legitimate expectations (9)
PROMISEES - I + SEE (observe) in PROMS (concerts)
15 One is 'Mr Opera' possibly? (10)
IMPRESARIO - I (one), anagram [possibly] of IS MR OPERA. &lit.
17 Frenchman's material? (4)
JEAN - Two definitions
19 The stick American English gets (4)
CANE - Hidden [gets] in {Ameri}CAN E{nglish}
20 Phony communicator offering formula for rubbish joke? (4,6)
SPIN DOCTOR - The formula offered is: SPIN i.e. reverse DOCTOR to get  ROT (rubbish) + COD (joke)
22 Desolate area with a wild animal crossing street (9)
WASTELAND - W (with), A, ST (street), ELAND (wild animal)
24 Way line emerges from poet (4)
PATH - P{l}ATH (poet [line emerges from]). Sylvia Plath (1932-1963).
26 Region's publication (5)
TRACT - Two definitions
27 Individual conveyed by motorist towards the sea (9)
DOWNRIVER - OWN (individual) contained in [conveyed by] DRIVER (motorist)
28 Plant by river in pattern on the box (6)
RASTER - R (river), ASTER (plant). SOED has this as: A usually rectangular pattern of parallel scanning lines as in the display on a cathode-ray tube etc. This explains the "box" reference which is slang for TV. I simply didn’t know this word and only completed the grid by using aids to find it. The wordplay "plant" wasn't very helpful.  I checked and confirmed that it hasn't come up before except recently as a wrong answer derived from wordplay and mentioned by one of my colleagues. Whether he knew the word exists as in today's answer was not clear.
29 Family member making the sound of a big star (8)
GRANDSON - GRAND (big), SON sounds like "sun" (star)

1 Blaspheme in the absence of saint or priest (4)
CURE - CUR{s}E (blaspheme [in the absence of Saint]). We have to imagine the acute accent in the answer.
2 Get ready to listen - there can be awful panic with pressure, OK? (5,2,4,4)
PRICK UP ONE'S EARS - Anagram [awful] of PANIC PRESSURE OK. Easy to biff as long as one remembers that crosswords nearly always use "one's" in preference to "your" in such sayings.
3 They stand to gain property on a river (8)
LEGATEES - LEG (on - cricket), A, TEES (river)
4 He has left historic parliament: that's a blow (5)
TRUMP - T{he} RUMP (historic parliament [he has left]). The original was in 1648 but there was another in 1659.
6 A slowing down when politician gets in a sort of depression (6)
ARMPIT - A, then MP (politician) inside [gets in] RIT (slowing down - music - ritardando)
7 Vast enterprise deviously penetrated by English agents (15)
REPRESENTATIVES - Anagram [deviously] of VAST ENTERPRISE containing [penetrated by] E (English)
8 Criticise attempt to secure tricky sale making amusing remark? (10)
PLEASANTRY - PAN (criticise) contains (to secure) anagram [tricky] of SALE, TRY (attempt)
9 College fellow keeps All Saints Day, having been raised in a bygone age (8)
DEVONIAN - DEAN (college fellow) encloses [keeps] 1 NOV (All Saints Day) reversed [raised]
14 What one of the children, as Spooner would have it, is very dull? (10)
DITCHWATER - A Spoonerism of "which" (what), "daughter" (one of the children). I thought for a moment that we were missing a homophone indicator, but of course a Spoonerism is a spoken error so "as Spooner would have it" also fulfils that role. The definition is a reference to the saying "as dull as ditchwater".
16 Commends a very quiet hour of prayer (8)
APPLAUDS - A,PP (very quiet - music - pianissimo), LAUDS (hour of prayer)
18 Composer's great achievement sitting on poetic island (8)
COUPERIN - COUP (great achievement), ERIN (poetic island). There was a whole dynasty of Couperins, but Francois (1668-1733) is probably the best known for his keyboard works and concertos.
21 Mild person not in religious group, one having been put out (6)
GENTLE - GENT{i}LE (person not in religious group [one having been put out])
23 Daughter: one who should pay widow's share (5)
DOWER - D (daughter), OWER (one who should pay)
25 St Paul's man having traumatic experience with church lapsing (4)
WREN - WREN{ch} (traumatic experience [church lapsing]), with reference to Sir Christopher Wren who designed St Paul's Cathedral
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