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

Times 26469 - wakey wakey!

Apologies for a slightly late posting. It would have been better if we had bedded down on a mattress in the cellar amid the racks of St. Emilion waiting patiently for me to live long enough to drink them at their best; instead we braved it upstairs with fans whizzing but unable to do more than toss and turn in 28 degrees all night (it touched 39 during the day yesterday). Accordingly, I was slow to start and sluggish at solving this, which I suspect on a cool Monday would be a piece of cake. It took me 28 minutes, of which the easy-once-you-see-it 21a and the *I*E of 8d took me the last ten.
Now it's done, I think it's a fair medium weight puzzle with good if sometimes clunky use of the usual wordplay tools and nothing too obscure. Jimbo would probably say 'vanilla.'

Across
1 CUBE - CUB for little creature, E = face of eight; D nine, 3 cubed. Well, 3 cubed is 27, not 9, see discussion below (robrolfe and linxit).
3 ESCARPMENT - EST = French for is, insert CARP for beef and MEN for pieces; D inclination.
10 MACEDONIA - AIM = end, reversed = MIA, insert ACE DON for great scholar; D land. Either a Greek province or a former Yugoslav Republic.
11 RURAL - R = one river, URAL = another river; D country.
12 TANTARA - TAN = beat, TA-RA = so long, (not TA-TA in this case); D trumpet blast.
13 EQUIPE - E E = sides from ElsewherE, insert QUIP = crack; D team, French.
15 PROMETHEUS BOUND - PRO = for, ME = Middle East, THE US = America, BOUND = certain (to): D tragedy. Greek play probably by Aeschylus.
18 STOCKBROKER BELT - Cryptic definition, London related. Do other big cities have stockbroker belts, as such?
21 PRUNED - RUN = race, inside PE = sports, D = day; D cut. Simple but it took me too long.
23 OPEN AIR - D exposed; O ! Pen air ! would be the exhortation.
26 CHEAT - C = cold, HEAT = the opposite; D sharper, as in card sharp(er).
27 WHITEWASH - WHIT = a bit, SH = quiet, insert AWE (dread) reversed; D cover-up.
28 MUSICOLOGY - O LOG = oxygen chart, inserted into MUS = SUM reversed (back problem), ICY = chill; D subject.
29 CHIP - D counter; C = one hundred, HIP = happening (it's happening, man!).

Down
1 COME TO PASS - CO = commander, MET= police, OP = work, ASS = fool; D to take place.
2 BACON - BAN = embargo, insert CO for firm; D meat.
4 SUNBATHER - SUN = (news)paper (not much news in it though), THE = article, inside BAR = omitting ("all bar the favourite"); D he wants to get brown, or melanoma perhaps.
5 AGAPE - AGA for Muslim military chief, PE = EP reversed; D love for Christians; I haven't looked it up but I remember it from schooldays as the word used in Greek versions of the bible for 'love' as in the love of man for God and vice versa, as opposed to brotherly love (phileo).
6 PERTURB - a BRUT REP could be a salesman of dry bubbly; reversed = rebuffed; D upset.
7 ENRAPTURE - An anagram at last. (REPEAT RUN)*: D transport.
8 TILE - 'Fin de siècle' = E, LIT = literature, 'revolutionary' - reversed; D e.g. Trilby. TILE is apparently a nickname for a proper hat. It took me a long spell of alphabet-surfing to plump for it even though the wordplay suggested it.
9 IDEATE - I DATE = I see, insert E = ecstasy; D picture in the mind.
14 EDITORSHIP - (POST I HIRED)*; D &lit.
16 ODOURLESS - Anagrams like buses now. (EUROS SOLD)*, D unable to be detected.
17 UNKNOWING - D in the dark, hidden word in P(UNK NOW IN G)ARISH.
19 KINETIC - CITE = quote, reversed, supports KIN = loved ones; D moving, as in kinetic energy.
20 REEFER - Double def; 'it's hand crafted for smoking' i.e. a joint; and a sort of jacket.
22 DOWEL - DO WELL = succeed, lose one L; D peg.
24 ABASH - A BASH = a party; D makes you show up.
25 SCUM - S M = case of sadism, insert CU; D nasty film.
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