jackkt (jackkt) wrote in times_xwd_times,
jackkt
jackkt
times_xwd_times

Times Cryptic 26534

This one took me far too long over several sessions and there were at least two clues where I had to rethink the parsing several times before coming up (I hope) with the goods. There were quite a few very tricky clues but these were offset by enough easier ones to keep things moving along, however I came close to resorting to aids more than once. 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]


Across
1 Mental suffering can, leading to great piece of art (8)
PAINTING - PAIN (mental suffering), TIN (can), G{reat} [leading to...]
6 Eccentricities of queen annoy society (6)
QUIRKS - QU (queen), IRK (annoy), S (society)
9 Number fifty-six is lost from your present mission? (4)
SONG - SO{LVI}NG (your present mission) [fifty-six (LVI) is lost]
10 Shore creature caught with right bait swimming near Channel island (6,4)
HERMIT CRAB - HERM (Channel island), anagram [swimming] of C (caught) + R (right) +  BAIT
11 Amphibian jet car goes haywire in fluid tank (10)
NATTERJACK - Anagram [goes haywire] of JET CAR in anagram [fluid] of TANK. A type of toad. Having anagram within anagram and two anagrinds is quite a rare construction.
13 Officer briefly seen in naval prison (4)
BRIG - Two definitions, the first an abbreviation of Brigadier. BRIG as a type of ship comes up quite regularly but I don't recall seeing it as a ship's prison before. I knew it from somewhere however - "Take him to the brig!" sounds very familiar.
14 Professor of knowledge we care about is accepted (8)
WISEACRE - IS contained [accepted] by anagram [about] of  WE CARE. I needed to insert an imaginary comma between "about" and "is" to spot the parsing here. I think this is a know-all who flaunts dubious knowledge rather than professor in any academic sense.
16 Weigh up topless girls son’s chasing (6)
ASSESS - {l}ASSES (girls) [topless], S (son)
18 Blue diamonds one’s kept in home are stolen? (6)
INDIGO -  D (diamonds) + I (one) inside [kept in] IN (home) + GO (are stolen). Perhaps if you leave valuables unatteded in the street they go / are stolen.
20 A little land’s needing two gates bolted (8)
ANDORRAN - AND (gate #1 - logic),  OR (gate #2), RAN (bolted). The apostrophe S is an essential part of the definition here. The terminology took some tracking down but having found the reference I'm not unfamiliar with the concept.
22 What bookie offers ultimately to defraud bad betters (4)
ODDS - Last letters [ultimately] of {t}O, {defrau}D, {ba}D, {better}S
24 How to choreograph a ballet being staged? (4,2,4)
STEP BY STEP - Two definitions of sorts or even &lit perhaps?
26 One saving object again to look quickly over (10)
GOALKEEPER - GOAL (object), RE-PEEK (again to look quickly) reversed [over]
28 Former city politician has a change of heart (4)
TROY - TO/RY (politician) with its middle letters switched [change of heart]
29 Worry about large old piece of broccoli (6)
FLORET - FRET (worry) contains L (large) + O (old)
30 Lad found carrying weapon in Norfolk town (8)
YARMOUTH - YOUTH  (lad)_ containing [carrying] ARM (weapon)
Down
2 A holiday offers naught for a hobbyist’s interest (9)
AVOCATION - A, V{a}CATION (holiday) with 0 instead of its first A [naught for A]. Not a word I knew.
3 Almost needs to fasten loose garment (7)
NIGHTIE - NIGH (almost), TIE (fasten)
4 Fabulous flower died taken from wild orchid (5)
ICHOR - Anagram [wild] of ORCHI{d} [died taken]. The liquid that's said to flow through the veins of the Greek gods.
5 Fish in newspaper served up (3)
GAR - RAG (newspaper) reversed [served up]
6 What can draw one in like our easy cryptic with a bit of grit? (9)
QUICKSAND - QUICK (like our easy cryptic - allegedly, others may beg to differ), SAND (bit of grit)
7 Indium-copper conductor is a source of difficulty (7)
INCUBUS - IN (indium), CU (copper), BUS (conductor - computing). I've been caught out by bus conductors before and was ready for it this time.
8 Dull colour is something motorists want to go, some say? (5)
KHAKI - Sounds like [some say] "car key" (something motorists want to go). Today's oldest chestnut.
12 Transparency shown by excellent gallery (7)
ACETATE - ACE (excellent), TATE (gallery). I'm more familiar with this word in connection with early gramophone recordings but it's also a transparent plastic film used in photography.
15 Signs of age shown by quarrels over payment in court (5,4)
CROWS FEET - ROWS (quarrels) + FEE (payment) in CT (court)
17 A pact goes wrong: this one takes the blame (9)
SCAPEGOAT - Anagram [wrong] of A PACT GOES
19 Insult art endlessly? That’s narrow-minded (7)
INSULAR - INSUL{t} + AR{t} [endlessly]
21 Italian dish is extreme, eaten by half of Rome (7)
RISOTTO - IS +OTT (extreme - over the top) in [eaten by] RO{me} [half of...]
23 Comic sent up Liberal peer (5)
DROLL - L (liberal) + LORD (peer) reversed [sent up].
25 Steep wave on river is a problem for some ships? (5)
BORER - BORE (steep wave - e.g. the Severn bore), R (river). This is an insect that eats away at wood so was perhaps a problem at one time for galleons and other wooden ships.
27 Work steadily at college once, avoiding second (3)
PLY - P{o}LY (college once) [avoiding second - letter]
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