Zabadak (z8b8d8k) wrote in times_xwd_times,
Zabadak
z8b8d8k
times_xwd_times

Times Cryptic 26434 - June 9, 2016: Mostly harmless

Not particularly difficult this one, but I stretched it out to nearly 29 minutes by allowing concentration to drift at the end of a busy day. It’s pretty stolid, workmanlike stuff, with a couple of smiles along the way (I quite liked 4) but no serious heffalump traps to stumble into and no obscurities (unless, of course, you don’t know different). There are a couple of agent nouns and one comparative that, although perfectly formed, look as though they may have been created just to fill in a couple of spaces ending in R.
Here’s how I dozed my way through: clues, definitions, ENTRIES

Across
1 Member of the unprivileged classes needs a following — now's the time  (6,3)
COMMON ERA  What we used to call AD, “now” being the last two thousand years or so since the birth of Common.. Place an A to follow your silver spoon lacking COMMONER and introduce a space. These days we let such people marry future Kings.
6 Bit of land needing order, wicked place  (5)
SODOM  BCE city famous for being naughty enough to warrant total destruction. A bit of land is a SOD (so is being rained on by fire and brimstone) the needed order the one of Merit, abbreviated to OM
9 Sort of cover one aunt knitted  (7)
TONNEAU  looks like an anagram, is, of ONE AUNT. Used to be the open rear part of a topless car, and by extension came to mean its detachable cover.
10 Dreadful rooms one of the two kings abandoned  (7)
PARLOUS  The rooms are PARLOURS, in which for our purpose the second R (King) is abandoned.
11 Gambler first to last? Such will misuse money  (10)
PECULATORS  Shift the front end of Speculator to the back, and you get people who misuse money
12 Expression of surprise about line in song  (4)
GLEE  GEE is your expression of surprise, a contraction of Common, L the line you find a place for. Turns out glees as songs have a far older history than I thought – mid 16th century – and not just cloying American TV shows.
14 Watercourse runs into part of camp  (5)
TRENT  As easy as they come: R(uns) into TENT
15 Exhausted cricketer, first out, entering crude pavilion?  (9)
SHATTERED   A bATTER with his first letter gone introduced to a SHED, which might pass for a crude (cricket) pavilion and often does.
16 Asked to protect bird having a problem walking maybe  (9)
BOWLEGGED I’d expect a hyphen or space. Insertion of OWL, bird into BEGGED, asked. A condition that might/not affect walking, hence the maybe.
18 Player touring America — not all of it  (5)
GAMER. Not all of tourinG AMERica.
20 Record with old identifying symbol (4)
LOGO. Record LOG, plus O(ld)
21 Hesitation to go on holiday with bad weather? One holds back  (10)
RESTRAINER  Holiday{ REST, badweather RAIN (from a certain perspective), plus hesitation: ER
25 Faced with future, maybe, saint becomes most nervous  (7)
TENSEST  Future is one example of a TENSE, saint the familiar ST
26 Feeling a glow by the fireside? (7)
ATINGLE  “by the fire side” translates to AT INGLE
27 Democrat a left-winger challenged (5)
DARED:   again quite easy, D(emograt), A RED (left winger)
28 Fabled member approaching death, casual, one drifting away  (9)
LEGENDARY. Member: LEG, death: END, casual AIRY, remove the 1
Down
1 Clue to all the workers' unions being distressed  (3-2)
CUT UP  A clue for “all the workers unions” could well be CUT UP? Which would give T(rades) U(nion) C(ongress)
2 Fellow holding dance, not half, upset one of two bands?  (7)
MANACLE  The journey from manacle to band looks quite a trek, but with fellow giving MALE and half a dance being a CAN can,  together with a reversal instruction *upset" the options are limited. Perhaps we are talking of the cable tie variety.
3 Communication shared with the public exposed character  (4,6)
OPEN LETTER  Exposed: OPEN, character: LETTER
4 No longer last? Jump for joy  (5)
EXULT You are meant to infer that a one-time ULT(imate) is an EX ULT (it is no more, it has ceased to be)
5 Sign impedes worker in the East End (9)
AMPERSAND   Our cheeky East Ender drops the aitches from hAMPERS hAND, impedes worker &c
6 Unhappy note — and another  (4)
SORE  The two required notes are SO (a needle puling thread) and RE (a drop of golden sun). I thought there were many, many options here, but really only one that worked
7 Duke with posh car becomes more whimsical (7)
DROLLER  D(uke) with ROLLER for posh car.
8 Stingy person keeps material on roof, not one to be trusted  (9)
MISLEADER  Stingy person, MISER, hoards LEAD, roof material as in Pb.
13 Inactivity of party man leading country  (10)
STAGNATION A male party-goer could easily be a STAG, and NATION is the equivalent of country
14 Listed as 'banned', former character initiating donations  (9)
TABULATED   Banned TABU, former: LATE, initiating Donatios D. In the form of a table is adequate for “listed”.
15 Like bits of speech from head of school, say — ridiculous  (9)
SEGMENTAL Head of school is of course S, for example EG, ridiculous MENTAL in the modern argot. The underlining of the definition here is prompted by Kevin - thanks!  Only Dog is prefect.
17 Driver of vehicle getting on in risky enterprise  (7)
WAGONER  place ON for  - um – on into WAGER, risky enterprise unless, of course, youv’e learned how to gamble responsibly.
19 Staff meeting Arab ruler outside university in the capital  (7)
MANAGUA, capital of Nicaragua, formed from MAN: staff (verb) AGA: Arab ruler and U(niversity appropriately assembled
22 Sound and smell outside front of works  (5)
TWANG onomatopoeic word, formed from TANG to include front of Works, here just W
23 Prepare to change one of the vitamins, being tall and thin  (5)
REEDY  The vitamins inside the word READY (prepare) are A, D, and E change one of them to a lucky selection, A to E
24 It's crazy when drug's put in alcoholic drink  (4)
MEAD   Crazy provides MAD, insert E(cstasy)
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