mohn (mohn2) wrote in times_xwd_times,
mohn
mohn2
times_xwd_times

Quick Cryptic 605 by Rongo

I must confess to rather a lot of biffing in this puzzle, though obviously having to write a blog for it meant that the parsing had to be faced at some point. A couple of words from slightly off the beaten track (8A and 6D) but generally a pleasant solve involving accessible vocabulary rather than a gruelling Monday workout scouring the farthest reaches of Chambers. Thanks, Rongo.

The puzzle can be found here if the usual channels are unavailable: http://feeds.thetimes.co.uk/puzzles/crossword/20160704/17050/

Definitions are underlined.

Across
1 Heavy book about anger, small and boring (8)
TIRESOME - TOME (Heavy book), about IRE (anger) + S (small)
5 Hot gold left in takings from robbery? (4)
HAUL - H (Hot) + AU (gold, i.e. the chemical symbol) + L (left)
8 Honey collector arranged Asia trip (8)
APIARIST - anagram of (arranged) ASIA TRIP. I.e. a beekeeper
9 Ditch defence seen on outskirts of Montserrat (4)
MOAT - MO{ntserr}AT (outskirts of Montserrat, i.e. the outer letters of the word "Montserrat"). Though constructions such as "outskirts" usually refer to just the first and last letters of a word, they can also (as in this case) refer to a number of letters at the beginning and end.
11 Air transport moving the police, right? (10)
HELICOPTER - anagram of (moving) THE POLICE R (right)
14 Excitement until going round sides of helter-skelter (6)
THRILL - TILL (until) around H{elter-skelte}R (sides of helter-skelter, i.e. the first and last letters of the word "helter-skelter")
15 Encourage female to replace head of staff list (6)
FOSTER - ROSTER (staff list), with F (female) replacing the first letter (head)
17 Seen in Durham, bass adores diplomat (10)
AMBASSADOR - hidden (Seen) in DurhAM BASS ADORes. The surface presumably references a singer rather than a fish.
20 Brown tail of shark in aquarium (4)
TANK - TAN (Brown) + {shar}K (tail of shark, i.e. the last letter of the word "shark")
21 Height from position seeing lake for the first time (8)
ALTITUDE - ATTITUDE (position) but with L (lake) replacing the first T (time). I initially thought the parsing of this was some manipulation of the word "latitude".
22 Identity of second Santa helper (4)
SELF - S (second) + ELF (Santa helper)
23 One who unevenly paints nude on the run? (8)
STREAKER - double definition, the second most often seen at sporting events


Down
1 What changed melting of ice caps, eg? (4)
THAW - anagram of (changed) WHAT
2 Control for horses and half of antlered deer (4)
REIN - REIN{deer} (half of antlered deer, i.e. half ot the word "reindeer"). The "deer" in the clue kind of telegraphs how to reach the answer - I wouldn't have objected to something a bit more oblique.
3 Son adjusted semi-rural art style (10)
SURREALISM - S (Son) + anagram of (adjusted) SEMI-RURAL
4 Fragmented picture of Biblical patriarch (6)
MOSAIC - double definition, the second the adjective meaning (Chambers) "Of or relating to Moses"
6 Person losing faith in a job turned to food? (8)
APOSTATE - A + POST (job) + ATE (turned to food?) The slightly odd way of clueing ATE is for the sake of the surface. When I was a teenager, I read and reread (many times) the fantasy works of David Eddings, in which there was a character called Zedar the Apostate, and the word has remained in my head since. Unfortunately, when I tried reading the books again a couple of years ago (i.e. in my early 40s), they had retained none of the appeal that I had enjoyed at the time - perhaps not an uncommon occurrence.
7 Suited to books read aloud, careless rubbish lacking substance? (8)
LITERARY - homophone of (read aloud) LITTER (careless rubbish) + AIRY (lacking substance)
10 Train driver’s crazy reason for acting (10)
LOCOMOTIVE - LOCO (crazy) + MOTIVE (reason for acting)
12 Unfinished map book isn’t distorting sunken land (8)
ATLANTIS - ATLA{s} (Unfinished map book, i.e. the word "atlas" without its last letter) + anagram of (distorting) ISN'T
13 Court hearing about bread product (8)
TRIBUNAL - TRIAL (hearing) about BUN (bread product). Perhaps to provide a ruling on the age-old "Is a hot dog a sandwich?" conundrum.
16 Putting everything in gamble, it may require some fancy footwork (6)
BALLET - ALL (everything) in BET (gamble)
18 Initially, jeweller’s usually not keeping worthless stuff (4)
JUNK - first letters of (Initially) Jeweller's Usually Not Keeping
19 Women’s ability for music or sport (4)
WEAR - W (Women's) + EAR (ability for music), with the definition to be read as a verb
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