mohn (mohn2) wrote in times_xwd_times,
mohn
mohn2
times_xwd_times

Quick Cryptic 645 by Orpheus

A crossword that I found slightly easier than average, which is not unwelcome for a Monday morning. For those with no interest in gardening, 9D may come as an unpleasant sting in the tail - if you've never heard of the answer then you may struggle to guess the letter ordering, with even the correct version looking a little strange. As someone whose knowledge of plants has come mainly from the contents of my parents' garden, I was lucky that said garden contains a specimen of the answer (which is popular with the blackbirds). Thanks, Orpheus.

The puzzle can be found here if the usual channels are unavailable: http://feeds.thetimes.co.uk/puzzles/crossword/20160829/18046/

Definitions are underlined.

Across
1 Very thin person employed to train runners? (8)
BEANPOLE - double definition, with a deceptive surface attempting to put you in mind of athletes rather than runner beans
5 Flightless birds exhibited in innumerable museums (4)
EMUS - hidden (exhibited) in innumerablE MUSeums. In Crosswordland, you rarely have to venture beyond emu or rhea if "flightless bird" is in the clue, though the surface here might make you think of (extinct) moas.
8 Does it dispense rough justice in leaps and bounds? (8,5)
KANGAROO COURT - extended definition alluding to the usual mode of locomotion of kangaroos. The exact same clue appeared in Jumbo 1149 last year and I believe Orpheus is also a Jumbo setter - hmm.
10 Relax about one’s further examination (5)
RESIT - REST (Relax) about I (one)
11 Aerial made by worker a girl rejected (7)
ANTENNA - ANT (worker) + reversal (rejected) of ANNE (a girl)
12 Sound location for fish (6)
PLAICE - homophone (Sound) of PLACE (location)
13 Woman wearing a kid’s first waterproof jacket (6)
ANORAK - NORA (Woman) inside (wearing) A + K (kid's first, i.e. the first letter of the word "kid")
16 Mass meeting following game in the country (7)
RURALLY - RALLY (Mass meeting) following RU (game, i.e. Rugby Union)
18 Park keeper loses head, displaying fury (5)
ANGER - {r}ANGER (Park keeper loses head, i.e. the word "ranger" without its first letter)
20 Girl introduces distant object, an old bike (5-8)
PENNY-FARTHING - PENNY (Girl) + FAR (distant) + THING (object), and the third of our random female names for the day. Having said that, Penny can be a man's name, at least in the US. Further, a bit of Googling tells me that Anne is a man's name in Frisian. Nora, however, seems to be resolutely female all over the globe.
21 Affectedly dainty sound made by small bird, mostly (4)
TWEE - TWEE{t} (sound made by small bird, mostly, i.e. the word "tweet" without its last letter)
22 Cheese eaten by habitual drunkard unknown for temperance (8)
SOBRIETY - BRIE (Cheese) inside (eaten by) SOT (habitual drunkard) + Y (unknown, as in a mathematical equation)


Down
1 Tradesman Charlie once followed, able to come first? (5)
BAKER - apparently some early phonetic alphabets began Able, Baker, Charlie (as opposed to the Alfa/Alpha, Bravo, Charlie encountered nowadays). Chambers indicates that phonetic letters can be either capitalised or not, so the lower-case "able" may be deceptive but not unfair.
2 Forgetfulness of men wandering in large continent (7)
AMNESIA - anagram of (wandering) MEN in ASIA (large continent)
3 In a businesslike manner, almost (11)
PRACTICALLY - double definition
4 Sponge a twerp stood up on end of bath (6)
LOOFAH - reversal (stood up) of A FOOL (twerp), + {bat}H (end of bath, i.e. the last letter of the word "bath")
6 Early in the day for poet, say, to lament? (5)
MOURN - homophone (say) of MORN (Early in the day for poet, i.e. a poetical word for morning)
7 Determined defender’s reversal of progress (7)
SETBACK - SET (Determined) + BACK (defender, as in football for example)
9 Tree on coast, possibly, or shrub? (11)
COTONEASTER - anagram (possibly) of TREE ON COAST. Perhaps a word on the rise - after appearing in a Times puzzle in 2007, COTONEASTER disappeared from view for the best part of a decade until re-emerging in May of this year in a Jumbo, and now again today. A shrub that isn't necessarily pronounced the way you might think, its name derives from the Latin for quince. If you've never heard of it, then the anagram might not be the most helpful clue but at least you'll get to enjoy a game of Guess Which Vowel Goes Where.
12 Airborne soldier standing on favourite part of fortification (7)
PARAPET - PARA (Airborne soldier) + PET (favourite)
14 Period when students raise funds for music? (7)
RAGTIME - as per Chambers, rag is "Riotous festivity, esp and orig of undergraduates (now, in British universities, associated with the raising of money for charity)", so the period when this occurs could be described as RAG TIME (though the actual expression used would probably be Rag Week)
15 Energetic person upset a lot in party (6)
DYNAMO - reversal of (upset) MANY (a lot) in DO (party)
17 Stove not initially in fashion (5)
RANGE - N{ot} (not initially, i.e. the first letter of the word "not") in RAGE (fashion, perhaps most often seen in the phrase "all the rage")
19 Floor-covering laid on by Warwickshire school (5)
RUGBY - RUG (Floor-covering, though the hyphen seems unnecessary) on BY. I couldn't name you another school in Warwickshire but, with the checkers and wordplay, the county was arguably a superfluous bit of info anyway. One of the sports which takes its name from the school is Rugby League, which was born on this day in 1895.
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