Pip Kirby (pipkirby) wrote in times_xwd_times,
Pip Kirby
pipkirby
times_xwd_times

Times 26391 - first Championship Qualifier published 20 April 2016

Apparently as the regular Wednesday blogger I am in line to blog this as well as the 1963 retro puzzle 230363 which appeared that day. Now the answers are published I expect there is little call for explanations, and for me this one held no controversy, but I'll oblige for anyone who is interested. It took me 15 minutes at the time and no doubt there are much tougher tests to come for those trying to qualify.


Across
1 SPOUSE - Small, PO, use = benefit; D other half.
4 EXHIBIT - Ex = previous, insert B I into HIT; D show.
9 OUTER - A router is a network device, without its R it's outer = perpheral.
10 REFUSENIK - (KNIFE USER)* D someone who refues to cooperate. Unusual to see refuses in the clue and almost in the answer.
11 CRACKDOWN - DOWN = losing, before that is CRACK = try, D getting tough.
12 ENEMY - Reversed hidden in WH(Y MEN E)NTHUSE, D opponent.
13 AVER - SAVER is a cheap fare, delete S, D declare.
14 MALT LIQUOR - MALT(A) = holiday island, LIQUOR sounds like 'licker' i.e. one tanning or beating another; D a beer?
18 HATCHET JOB - HATCH = opening, JOB = position, insert E T = extreme letters of expert; D devastating attack.
20 CHIC - US city is CHICAGO, loses AGO = past; D style.
23 CHUFF - CUFF = strike, insert H for short hours, D sound like train.
24 GHOST TOWN - G for good, HOST = crowd, T = theatre's entrance, OWN = to have, D There's no-one there.
25 TRICKLING - TRICKING = cheating the cops, insert L = start to leave, D going slowly.
26 BAIZE - insert AI = first class, Z = variable, into BE: D material.
27 PIE-EYED - PIE sounds like PI = awfully good, EYED sounds like I'D; D very drunk.
28 LESSER - LESSON = example, delete ON = working, ER = RE, about, reversed; D inferior.
Down
1 SLOWCOACH - COACH = trainer, after S LOW (second, base); D snail.
2 OATCAKE - BOAT = packet, as in Steam Packet; delete the B = unopened; CAKE = clot; D biscuit.
3 SHRIKE - A SHRIEK is a piercing cry; rearrange the ending, D bird.
4 ELFIN - NILE is a flower (river), reverse and insert F; D small and delicate.
5 HYSTERIA - (SAY REITH)*; D panic.
6 BANDEAU - AND (also) inside BEAU (boyfriend), D what woman might wear.
7 TOKAY - T = time, OKAY = yes, D sweet wine, from Hungary.
8 ARROGANT - GO = attempt, flip = OG, insert into ARRANT a synonym for 15d, D conceited.
15 THOROUGH - THROUGH = due to, insert O = eating a duck; D full.
16 RACONTEUR - Insert N (new) into (EUROCRAT)*; D source of anecdotes.
17 SHIFT KEY - cryptic definition, related to your keyboard.
19 TAURINE - (IN A RUT)*, E = close to cattlE; D like a bull.
21 HOODIES - HOODS are gangsters; insert I E being regular letters of dives; D items of clothing.
22 STABLE - STALE = flat, insert B for bachelor, D well balanced.
23 CUT UP - Double definition.
24 GRIND - N for name inserted into GRID = part of crossword; D chore.
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