jackkt (jackkt) wrote in times_xwd_times,
jackkt
jackkt
times_xwd_times

Times Cryptic Number 26552

I needed more than an hour for this one but as 60 minutes approached, when I might sometimes have decided to cut my losses,  I was still confident that I could solve it without reference to aids and I was really pleased that I persevered and eventually managed to do so. There were a few gifts along the way but I felt the majority of clues were quite chewy in one way or another. 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 Not European, yet poet comes round at intervals (2,5)
BY TURNS - BURNS (poet) contains [comes round] Y{e}T [not European]
5 In socks that are rinsed? (5)
HOSED - Two definitions of sorts although I think the second leads more naturally to "hosed down".
9 Am about to monitor missing answer (5)
GONNA - This is a homophone of "gone" (missing) followed by A (answer) with [monitor] as the sound-alike indicator. Mctext (below) has this as GO{a}NNA (monitor- lizard) [missing answer], which I suspect is more likely to be what the setter had in mind, though I think my version works too.
10 Orgiastic and noisy, I must be drunk (9)
DIONYSIAN - Anagram of AND NOISY I with [drunk] as the anagrind. I'd tend more to associate the Roman equivalent "bacchanalian" with orgies, but what would I know?
11 Brother’s in control: keep away (7)
REFRAIN - FRA (brother - friar) in REIN (control). I wasn't too sure of the definition here as "refrain" usually means to stop doing something, but apparently it can also mean to hold someone back from doing something and I suppose in that sense it is keeping them away.
12 Safely store sulphur beside plant, cropped (7)
SHEATHE - S (sulphur), HEATHE{r} (plant) [cropped]
13 Brings takeaway home, having to work hard (3,5,2)
GET STUCK IN - GETS (brings), TUCK (takeaway - well "food" anyway), IN (home)
15 Big beasts latest to broadcast (4)
GNUS - Sounds like [broadcast] "news" (latest), unless one has fallen under the spell of Flanders and Swann.
18 Set up a capital — or two states (4)
RIGA - RIG (set up), A. Or alternatively RI (state #1 - Rhode Island), GA (state #2 - Georgia). An unusual clue with one definition and a choice of wordplay. Having the definition in the middle is also a bit unusual.
20 Entering fine games field always brings state of excitement (5,5)
FEVER PITCH - F (fine), EVER (always),  PITCH (games field)
23 Be defeated in competition and snap? (5-2)
CLOSE-UP - LOSE (be defeated) in CUP (competition). I thought of "snap shut" at first but of course we're talking photography here.
24 Participant in French/English wedding has clearance (7)
LEGROOM - A straight but somewhat loose definition of the answer and a cryptic one that gives us LE GROOM as participant in wedding conducted in Franglais or Frenglish.
25 Silent, not one to interrupt what joiner does: woodwork (9)
MARQUETRY - QU{i}ET (silent) [not one] is contained by [to interrupt] MARRY (what joiner does)
26 A Welsh girl or Chinese? (5)
ASIAN - A, SIAN (Welsh girl)
27 Little girl’s back and stomach on front, swollen (5)
TUMID - TUM (stomach), DI (little girl) reversed [back]
28 Miss very keen on voices (7)
AIRSHOT - AIRS (voices), HOT (very keen)
Down
1 Pope half suitable for welfare (7)
BENEFIT - BENE{dict} (Pope) [half], FIT (suitable)
2 Conservatives still on the up, keeping separate (3,5)
TEA PARTY - YET (still) reversed [on the up] containing [keeping] APART (separate), with "Conservatives" referring to a US political movement just for a change.
3 Gas attack announced, and taking place (5)
RADON - Sounds like [announced] "raid" (attack), ON (taking place)
4 One needled drunk, pierced with cold quill (5,4)
SCOTS PINE - SOT (drunk) contains [pierced with] C (cold), SPINE (quill)
5 Tomboy’s Orkney retreat (6)
HOYDEN - HOY (Orkney - an island in the group), DEN (retreat). It took me ages to dredge this word up from memory, one that I learned from crosswords years ago but have not seen for ages. Or so I thought, as on checking I found that it's only appearance in TftT records was in a Quick Cryptic last February when I also had problems remembering it.
6 Mostly quiet and not up to it, I have a place on the board (7)
STILTON - STIL{l} (quiet) [mostly], NOT reversed [up...]. A rather cheesy cryptic definition.
7 Caught hiding in sand? I never learn (5)
DUNCE - C (caught) contained by [hiding in] DUNE (sand)
8 Seaweed’s energy expended by a motor-home on a run (4-4)
AGAR-AGAR - A, GARAG{e} (motor-home) [energy expended), A, R (run)
14 In moving cart, big cat, no way a queen (9)
CLEOPATRA - LEOPA{rd} (big cat) [no way - road], in an anagram [moving] of CART
16 One Robert that is sort of being nice to start with (8)
SCHUMANN - SC (that is - scilicet), HUMAN (sort of being), N{ice} [to start with]. Robert Schumann, composer (1810-1856)
17 Happier to arrange to install grand inscription (8)
EPIGRAPH - Anagram [arrange] of HAPPIER contains [to install] G (grand)
19 Coarse fabric is rum stuff (7)
GROGRAM - GROG (rum), RAM (stuff). Has Mr Corbyn's "ram-packed" made it to the on-line dictionaries yet, I wonder?
21 Follower of philosopher, but with haziness (7)
THOMIST - THO' (but), MIST (haziness). Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
22 Part of speech some teenager understands (6)
GERUND - Hidden [some] in {teena}GER UND{erstands}
23 Arrive on time in old plane (5)
COMET - COME (arrive), T (time)
24 Hen in brief losing weight (5)
LAYER - LA{w}YER (brief) [losing weight]
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