mohn (mohn2) wrote in times_xwd_times,
mohn
mohn2
times_xwd_times

Quick Cryptic 585 by Mara

A gentle start to the week, I think, with no recondite vocabulary or complex constructions. No doubt solvers will be grateful to have an all-correct under their belts as a confidence booster for the stiffer challenges ahead ...

The puzzle can be found here if the usual channels are unavailable: http://feeds.thetimes.co.uk/puzzles/crossword/20160606/16233/

Definitions are underlined.

Across
1 Mexican hat grey with skin of rhino! (8)
SOMBRERO - SOMBRE (grey) + R{hin}O (skin of rhino, i.e. the first and last letters of the word "rhino"). Aficionados of headgear and/or Mexico may be spoiled for choice here, but I could not name you another Mexican hat so the answer immediately came to mind after reading the first two words of the clue.
5 Couple’s time out (4)
ITEM - anagram (out) of TIME
8 A hole, something wrong with America (5)
SINUS - SIN (something wrong) + US (America). Thank goodness there wasn't a hyphen in there.
9 A few among meerkats, ever alert (7)
SEVERAL - hidden in (among) meerkatS EVER ALert
11 Traitorous act ultimately fair (11)
TREASONABLE - T (act ultimately, i.e. the last letter of the word "act") + REASONABLE (fair). This was clued similarly in a Jumbo last year as "Criminal act in the end OK"
13 Have dinner in attempt to find agreement (6)
TREATY - EAT (Have dinner) in TRY (attempt)
14 Fish found on the sea bed? (6)
KIPPER - extended definition making use of the fact that the slang word kipper means someone sleeping, which they could well be doing on a bed. Though I knew kipper as a smoked herring, Chambers tells me that it can also be a salmon.
17 Bridge, I fear, damaged — emergency service required (4,7)
FIRE BRIGADE - anagram of (damaged) BRIDGE I FEAR
20 One voting system in chaos, make one's mark (7)
IMPRESS - I (One), + PR (voting system, i.e. proportional representation) in MESS (chaos)
21 Passive passage from Sartre nicely recalled (5)
INERT - hidden reversed (passage from ... recalled) in SarTRE NIcely
22 Girl attending a festival (4)
GALA - GAL (Girl) + A
23 Heavy weight on board, whale food (8)
PLANKTON - PLANK (board) + TON (Heavy weight)


Down
1 Very very average! (2-2)
SO-SO - SO (Very) + SO (Very)
2 Fellow consumed eastern sea creature (7)
MANATEE - MAN (Fellow) + ATE (consumed) + E (eastern). Also known as the sea cow.
3 Create plebs, unusually decent (11)
RESPECTABLE - anagram of (unusually) CREATE PLEBS
4 Fight is dividing the others (6)
RESIST - IS inside (dividing) REST (the others)
6 Beat broth that needs a stir (5)
THROB - anagram of (that needs a stir) BROTH
7 Happy about bulb — not the first — becoming tree (8)
MULBERRY - MERRY (Happy) about {b}ULB (bulb - not the first, i.e. the word "bulb" without its first letter), for the tree whose leaves are favoured by silkworms
10 Victory sign, justification (11)
VINDICATION - V (Victory) + INDICATION (sign)
12 Heavy defeat to be had in Turkey? (8)
STUFFING - double definition, the second mildly cryptic in that the capitalised Turkey is intended to make you think of the country rather than the unfortunate bird that is often cooked with Paxo on the inside
15 One's donated here (7)
PRESENT - double definition
16 Listen afresh, it's glittering stuff (6)
TINSEL - anagram of (afresh) LISTEN. What with STUFFING, PRESENT, and now TINSEL as consecutive answers, something of a Christmas theme going on in this section of the clues.
18 Disgust, as outcast knocked over (5)
REPEL - reversal of (knocked over) LEPER (outcast)
19 School memo written up (4)
ETON - reversal of (written up) NOTE (memo)
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  • 24 comments

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