mohn (mohn2) wrote in times_xwd_times,
mohn
mohn2
times_xwd_times

Quick Cryptic 715 by Orpheus

Not a difficult one from Orpheus today, meaning I had to reluctantly return to Christmas shopping rather sooner than perhaps I might have liked (though the upside of online shopping is that I often end up buying stuff that I myself would like, so that the value of the order will exceed the threshold for free shipping). No particularly complex cryptic constructions but, even though we've seen the device used in 23A before, I like it nonetheless. Thanks, Orpheus.

The puzzle can be found here if the usual channels are unavailable: http://feeds.thetimes.co.uk/puzzles/crossword/20161205/20767/

Definitions are underlined.

Across
3 Practise on undertaker’s vehicle (8)
REHEARSE - RE (on, in the sense of "with reference to") + HEARSE (undertaker's vehicle)
7 Prevent an area producing fruit (6)
BANANA - BAN (Prevent) + AN + A (area)
8 Blooming action required in tiddly-winks! (8)
FLIPPING - double definition, the first a mild expletive, the second literal. I can't find tiddlywinks hyphenated in any of the usual sources but, spelling aside, I'm assuming the game is familiar to all, even if one can't tell a boondock from a Penhaligon.
9 Complain, parking at east end of estate, perhaps (4)
CARP - P (parking) to the right (at the east end) of CAR (estate, perhaps, i.e. a station wagon as some people know it)
10 Info supplied by senior officer, briefly (3)
GEN - Gen. is an abbreviation (briefly) for General (senior officer)
11 Customer’s urn comes adrift (8)
CONSUMER - anagram of (adrift) URN COMES
13 Half of them taking degree? That’s novel (4)
EMMA - {th}EM (Half of them, i.e. half the letters of the word "them") + MA (degree, i.e. Master of Arts). The majority of the books in Crosswordland are copies of Jane Austen's Emma and Rider Haggard's She.
15 Motorway circling a large West African country (4)
MALI - MI (Motorway) around (circling) A + L (large), to give the country in which one can find Timbuktu
17 Lofty declaration of model at work? (8)
IMPOSING - a model at work might state I'M POSING
19 News about union leader’s sister? (3)
NUN - NN (News, i.e. the abbreviation for new, twice) about U (union leader, i.e. the first letter of the word "union")
22 Some are altogether genuine (4)
REAL - hidden in (Some) aRE ALtogether
23 Girl embraced by parents in TV programme (8)
PANORAMA - NORA (Girl) in (embraced by) PA + MA (parents), to give the BBC current affairs series that may not be familiar to overseas solvers (though Wikipedia tells me there is a programme of the same name in Poland)
24 Strike in snack bar? (6)
BUFFET - double definition
25 Pig chap always used for celebration (8)
HOGMANAY - HOG (Pig) + MAN (chap) + AY (always), to give us New Year's Eve in Scotland


Down
1 He wooed many, initially counting as a star (8)
CASANOVA - C (initially counting, i.e. the first letter of the word "counting") + AS + A + NOVA (star)
2 A politician visiting key American college grounds (6)
CAMPUS - A + MP (politician), inside (visiting) C (key, in the musical sense) + US (American)
3 Floating structure right behind (4)
RAFT - R (right) + AFT (behind)
4 Musical carrier’s device for securing locks? (8)
HAIRGRIP - HAIR (Musical) + GRIP (carrier), with the slightly oblique definition referring to locks in the sense of hair (Goldilocks, dreadlocks, etc). All the usual sources define a grip as a travelling bag, hence "carrier". Musicals in Crosswordland are either Hair, Evita, or Cats, in the main, with the occasional Gigi or Annie thrown in for variety.
5 A large tree growing on high mountains (6)
ALPINE - A + L (large) + PINE (tree)
6 Unhappy about new seaside feature (4)
SAND - SAD (Unhappy) about N (new)
12 Look after chief, popular with army (8)
MAINTAIN - MAIN (chief) + TA (army, i.e. Territorial Army, now the Army Reserve) + IN (popular)
14 Cannibal’s mother — of tidier appearance (3-5)
MAN-EATER - MA (mother) + NEATER (of tidier appearance). I was amused by the surface, though a bit of Googling revealed that Hall and Oates used the non-hyphenated spelling (not supported by any of the usual sources) for their 1982 single of the same(-ish) name. In related news, whilst wandering the streets of Whitby last week I found an outdoor shop called Hall and Coates.
16 Sneak attending class? (6)
INFORM - if one was attending class, then one could be described as being IN FORM
18 Conflict associated with trouble for Cockney spouse? (6)
STRIFE - a reference to the Cockney rhyming slang for wife (spouse) being "trouble and STRIFE"
20 Pudding ingredient originally steamed in the past (4)
SAGO - S (originally steamed, i.e. the first letter of the word "steamed") + AGO (in the past)
21 Very young child born in creek (4)
BABY - B (born) in BAY (creek)
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