jackkt (jackkt) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times Cryptic 26504

Once again on a blogging day I wasn't really on form and needed 90 minutes to complete this one. 1ac and 2dn eluded me until the last minute and being such long answers this really held me up. There are one or two rather vague definitions and several that are slightly tongue-in-cheek but I have no complaints. 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 Party transgression — it gets concealed by prudent statesman (12)
WISCONSINITE - CON (party - Conservatives) + SIN (transgression) + IT contained [concealed] by WISE (prudent). I worked out the answer from wordplay then felt a right wally for looking it up expecting to find it had a special meaning to do with US politics, only to realise that of course it's nothing more than a person from the state of Wisconsin!
9 Gordonstoun's principal pursuing delicate matter (5)
THING - THIN (delicate), G{ordonstoun) [head]. This is a posh school in Scotland famously attended by various royals at various times.
10 Texas city favouring couple or not, search ends (4,5)
FORT WORTH - FOR (favouring), TWO (couple), {o}R +  {no}T + {searc}H [ends]
11 Craft transporting child is lighter? (8)
ARSONIST - ART (craft) containing [transporting] SON (child) + IS. Not the usual meaning of "lighter".
12 Barber shop with no work to declare (6)
SHAVER - SH{op} [with no work), AVER (declare). Not the usual meaning of "shaver".
13 Fluid around it the whole time (8)
DURATION - Anagram [fluid] of AROUND IT
15 US author has to print that (6)
RUNYON - RUN (print - as a newspaper might run a story), YON (that)
17 Shambles in border behind tree (6)
MAYHEM - MAY (tree - hawthorn), HEM (border)
18 Essential getting elected, then great time for a U-turn! (8)
INTEGRAL - IN (elected), then LARGE (great) + T (time) reversed [for a U-turn]
20 Go like a commercial vehicle? (6)
VANISH - VAN-ISH (like a commercial vehicle). One for the Uxbridge English Dictionary.
21 Motion forward, also deviating (8)
PROPOSAL - PROP (forward - rugby), anagram [deviating] of ALSO
24 Female welcomed by entire cast, then it backfires for the Egyptian queen (9)
NEFERTITI - F contained [welcomed] by anagram [cast] of ENTIRE, then IT reversed [backfired]
25 Punch a fragile thing (5)
CHINA - CHIN (punch), A
26 Overly embellished, rather moderately! (6-6)
PRETTY-PRETTY - PRETTY (rather), PRETTY (moderately)
1 Take the plunge embracing lake in brown swamp (7)
WETLAND - WED (take the plunge) containing [embracing] L (lake) contained by [in] TAN (brown). A Russian doll clue.
2 Blades everywhere on this skin, wolf gutted as misery compounded (5,4,5)
SWISS ARMY KNIFE - Anagram [compounded] of SKIN W{ol}F AS MISERY. "Gutted" indicates the deletion. Several of this implement's standard tools are not actually blades but we get the idea. With only the last checker of the first word in place for ages I was convinced it would start with "grass". A somewhat bizarre surface reading here!
3 Mouthpiece for instrument (5)
ORGAN - Two definitions, the first being a term for newspaper or other similar publication
4 Liking vessel, regularly boarding ship first (4,4)
SOFT SPOT - OFT (regularly) inside [boarding] SS (ship - Steam Ship),  POT (vessel)
5 Fiddler supposedly taking part in Wagner opera (4)
NERO - Hidden [taking part in] {Wag}NER O{pera}. As the legend has it, Nero played the fiddle whilst Rome burned although the instrument was not invented until several hundred years after his death.
6 Perimeter of site below you around private residence (4,5)
TOWN HOUSE - THOU (you) contains [around]  OWN  (private), then S{it}E [perimeter]
7 Night duty is had very rarely in work (9,5)
GRAVEYARD SHIFT - Anagram [rarely] of IS HAD VERY contained by [in] GRAFT (work). If unsure, as I was, about "rarely" as an anagrind,  think "unusually".
8 Swimmer working for legendary boatman (6)
CHARON - CHAR (swimmer - fish), ON (working). The bloke who ferried the dead to the underworld.
14 Fund manager in trouble at first, confident in the end (9)
TREASURER - T{rouble} [at first], then SURE (confident) in REAR (end)
16 Greatness alternatively in hatred (8)
ENORMITY -  OR (alternatively) in ENMITY (hatred). I lost time here thinking "alternative" as anagrind and "in hatred" as the grist.
17 Emotional / leaving home (6)
MOVING - Two definitions
19 Sailor inspired by composer, soothing music (7)
LULLABY - LULLABY - AB (sailor) contained  [inspired] by LULLY (composer).  Rameau last time I blogged and Lully today. Great stuff - here's a taster!
22 Horse seen from uppermost part of pear tree (5)
PACER - P{ear} [uppermost part of],  ACER (tree). We had this recently with reference to athletics. This time it's about racehorses.
23 PM in a hole, by the sound of it? (4)
PITT - PITT - Sounds like "pit" (hole) -  Disraeli last time and Pitt today!
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