jackkt (jackkt) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times Cryptic 26480

50 minutes for this one  which was enjoyable enough to solve but when I came to blog it I was struck by a run of very general definitions that spoiled the feel of it for me. On the other hand the wordplay is all very sound and this should enable solvers to work out less familiar answers and nail specific ones where definitions are vague. Here's my blog...

 As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions are in curly brackets} and [anagrinds, containment, reversal and other indicators in square ones]
1 Token bit of poetry penned by MA (7)
MODICUM - ODIC (of poetry - ode) contained [penned] by MUM (MA). According to the usual sources a modicum is a small amount or portion so I'm not quite sure where "token" comes in. Admittedly a token amount is small too but it also carries other overtones which don't appear to be part of the definition of the clued word.
5 Thus journalist needs to accommodate excellent item of furniture (4,3)
SOFA BED - SO (thus) + ED (journalist) containing [needs to accommodate]  FAB (excellent). Our first very general definition.
9 Welsh courtier routed now, badly (4,5)
OWEN TUDOR - Anagram [badly] of ROUTED NOW. Grandfather of Henry VII, the first Tudor king.
10 University very surprised to suffer a 50% cut (5)
ASTON - ASTON{ished} (very surprised) [50% cut]. A former technical college in Birmingham that evolved into an elite College of Advanced Technology. Another very general definition for an institution that I'd suggest is not particularly well-known outside specific academic circles.
11 Man’s savings scheme account (5)
ISAAC - ISA (savings scheme - Individual Savings Account), AC (account). Another very general definition.
12 Fall in love and start to despair? (4,5)
LOSE HEART - Two sound, contrasting definitions
14 Type to lead prayer, old rector's ending as one with many bits of paper (5,9)
STAMP COLLECTOR - STAMP (type), COLLECT (prayer), O (old), {recto}R [ending]
17 Large vehicle has this accelerator modified — one gets going (7,7)
CHELSEA TRACTOR - Anagram [modified] of TH{i}S ACCELERATOR [one - i - gets going]. Another general definition. At least it doesn't say "modern" but we could argue about "large" if we've nothing better to do.
21 Goddess I presented with a plant (9)
ARTEMISIA - ARTEMIS (goddess), I, A. I didn't know the plant but fortunately I remembered the goddess. Another general definition.
23 Place of conflict needs a time for reflection (5)
ARENA - AN ERA (a time) reversed [for reflection]
24 Public declaration has display of flags, no hesitation (5)
BANNS - BANN{er}S (flags) [no hesitation - er]. Banns are read out in church to give notice of forthcoming marriages.
25 Scoffing, having little time for eating food (5,4)
SWEET CORN - SCORN (scoffing) containing [eating] WEE (little) + T (time). Another very general definition.
26 Intellectual Cockney said to be sort of arch (7)
EYEBROW - As Bert, the Cockerney chimney sweep might say: "igh brow" (intellectual)
27 Unhappy is good person about perverted types (7)
SADISTS - SAD (unhappy), IS, ST (good person - saint) reversed (about)
1 But French soldiers restricted indigenous people (6)
MAORIS - OR (soldiers) contained [restricted] by MAIS (but, French)
2 Leader of Conservatives, when in Parliament, got into a mould (3-4)
DIE-CAST - C{onservatives} [leader] + AS (when) contained by [in] DIET (parliament). Edit: on much later reflection following a comment from tyrotim below I think the definition is  more likely intended to be "got into a mould" (vb. past tense).
3 Animals having a search inside underground tunnels (9)
CATACOMBS - CATS (animals) contain [having inside] A + COMB (search)
4 Note girl is bourgeois (6-5)
MIDDLE-CLASS - MIDDLE-C (note), LASS (girl). The best result for "note" I have seen in a long time.
5 He must dissociate separately from county gentleman (3)
SIR - S{h}IR{e} (county) [he must dissociate separately]
6 Ostentatious female with leather? (5)
FLASH - F (female), LASH (leather)
7 Italian in British company has skill in minor role (3,4)
BIT PART - IT (Italian) in BP (British company), ART (skill)
8 Wreck teeth biting key (8)
DENATURE - DENTURE (teeth) containing [biting] A (key - music). The singular can cover the plural apparently.
13 Sell a parson new devices to cut down on energy bills? (5,6)
15 Dance, then collapse, bewitched (9)
ENCHANTED - Anagram [collapse] of DANCE THEN
16 Hurry from senior staff room, then walk slowly (8)
SCRAMBLE - SCR (senior staff room - Senior Common Room), AMBLE (walk slowly)
18 Being less than completely independent, enter an agreement (7)
ENTENTE - Hidden in [being less than completely] {independ}ENT ENTE{r}
19 I wake up lacking energy — that's troublesome (7)
ONEROUS - ONE (I), ROUS{e} (wake up) [lacking energy]
20 One heading off, entering pubs somewhere in London (6)
BARNES - {o}NE [heading off] contained by [entering] BARS (pubs). SW13 in the London Borough of Richmond. I'm not sure how well-known this is outside the UK (or London for that matter), and once again the definition is a bit general.
22 Endless unhappiness for one who’d give nothing? (5)
MISER - MISER{y} (unhappiness) [endless]
25 Spotted / gnome (3)
SAW - Two definitions, the second being a saying or adage
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