Pip Kirby (pipkirby) wrote in times_xwd_times,
Pip Kirby

Times 26505 - After Elizabeth, indeed.

I don't know yet whether I woke up thicker than yesterday, or this was hard. I certainly struggled to get going, littering bits of the grid with a few of the easier solutions, instead of the usual more orderly progression. It took me the bones of an hour and I have to say, I didn't enjoy it as much as I usually enjoy tricky puzzles; had it not been a blog day, I'd probably have given up and read someone's entertaining blog.
On review, there are only two words I didn't know and one expression I found obscure, but some of the word play verged on the tedious, I thought. The redeeming feature for me was 11a - as far as I know, an original and witty clue to an everyday word.

1 KANSAS - KAN sounds like prison (CAN), SAS are crack troops; D State. My FOI, closely followed by 4d.
5 GENERATE - GEN = information, E = evidence, initially, RATE = judge; D produce.
9 MAY APPLE - I had the notion it was some sort of apple, from early on, but I'd never heard of a May apple. Eventually I guessed it from the wordplay and then found it - more usually spelt as one word - and it's not an apple at all, it's a mandrake or whatever. MAPLE = tree, around YAP = bark.
10 WEEVIL - WEE = tiny, VIL(E) = horrid, truncated; D bug.
11 POSTER - Elizabeth 1 died in 1603, so the years after would be POST ER. D bill. If this is the first time this has appeared, it's brilliant IMO.
12 FUNCTION - F = force, UNION = agreement, insert odd letters of CUTS = C T; D work. A bit clunky.
14 BATTLEGROUND - BAT = cricketer, T = left finally. LEG = stage, ROUND = applause, put at the end. D = field. Another clunky bit of wordplay.
17 PROOF-READING - PROF = academic, insert O (old), READING is a university (one of many!); D correcting scripts. The definition gives the answer away, saving you from the need to run through a list of universities.
20 BESSEMER - This is an obscure answer with a dodgy bit of wordplay? BEE = worker maybe, 'hole over' must be MESS reversed, and R = entrance to roadway; D engineer. I remember the 'Bessemer Converter' was invented by this chap, for converting pig iron to steel, so I suppose he was an engineer, amongst other things. I think 'MESS' for HOLE could be something like 'help us out, we're in a hole here' where mess would be a fair synonym.
22 LITTER - Ah, a double definition, at last, as in a litter of pups, and cat litter which cats 'go' on. Not in my house, they don't, they go on my vegetable plot.
23 SEX-POT - Tempting to think the definition could be 'wife, once', but that would be non-PC. No, the wife once is EX, inserted into SPOT = pickle, and the D is dish, another not very PC expression still used in crosswords.
25 LIMBER UP - CLIMBER is mountaineer, avoid cold = delete his C, UP = at great height; D train. Or it could be &lit.
26 KNIGHTLY - K for king, NIGHTLY = regularly in the dark (!), D chivalrous.
27 TESTER - SET = class, repelled = TES, TER(M) = almost all of time at school; D examiner.

2 ACAJOU - Start wth A. Then a Louisiana native is a CAJUN (although I thought this was the food not the people eating it). Delete the N (nameless). Insert O for round, D wood. I knew acajou was the French for 'cashew' but it's also apparently a name for a variety of mahogany.
3 SMARTY-BOOTS - Anagram of MOST BOYS with ART = skill, 'intrinsic' i.e. inserted. I knew of smarty-pants but had never heard smarty-boots, perhaps it's a Northern thing. I had to have B-O-S before believing it was the answer.
4 SUPERSTAR - (PASTURES)*, R (right); D top performer.
5 GLEEFUL - GUL(L) = fool, shortly, insert FEEL = appear, reversed = upset; G (LEEF) UL; D happy.
6 NO-WIN - Hidden in K(NOWIN)GLY; D a hopeless situation. Easy once you see it, but until then, annoying. The enumeration misprint 3,2 instead of 2,3 didn't help.(thanks sawbill for reminding me to mention it).
7 RYE - Double definition; grain some whiskies use, and coastal town in East Sussex.
8 TRICORNE - Another one I couldn't get until I had crossers. TRIE(D) = put on, briefly, around CORN = ears; D hat. I'd never seen it spelt with a final E in English although I see it is a fair alternative.
13 THOUGHTLESS - Double definition, one whimsical (philosopher without thoughts) one 'so remiss'.
15 GUILLEMOT - GUILE = cunning, insert L for large, reverse TOM = cat; D bird. Easy once you have it ending in M-T.
16 TREE FERN - T(YCOO)N = tycoon's case, insert REEFER a drug-filled cigarette, D plant. Fortunately I knew what a reefer was, from a mis-spent youth.
18 AURALLY - A, U(nion), RALLY = march; D so we hear.
19 SECURE - S(hilling), ECU (foreign coin), RE (on); D safe. The European Currency Unit was never a note or coin, but there was once a small French coin called an écu, I guess that's what the setter intended.
21 MOTET - M for mass, O(C)TET is a composition which loses its C (start of curious); D vocal piece. Dreaming up OCTET as a sort of composition is best done once you know the answer to the clue.
24 PEG - P for piano, EG for say, D fix.
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
← Ctrl ← Alt
Ctrl → Alt →
← Ctrl ← Alt
Ctrl → Alt →