Cityish Alt-ish Fortyish (verlaine) wrote in times_xwd_times,
Cityish Alt-ish Fortyish

Times 26,603: Lord of the Wrongs

I, and others if the Club Forum is anything to go by, found this quite arduous in places - i.e. exactly what I'm looking for a Friday puzzle, excellent work setter! Of particular difficulty, if memory serves, were 11ac where I couldn't see the very important "to" for the trees; 14dn, where I had no idea what was going on but fortunately it couldn't have been anything else from the checkers; and most of all 7dn, where Gandolfo very quickly rang a bell, but of course I entered it as CASTLE GANDOLFO, leading to a long time scratching my head over how the wordplay of 15ac could *possibly* lead to ACCENT. At least I was fortunate enough to have little trouble with the (dodgy?) homophone at 25ac, having once known a very handsome Burmese cat going by that name. Anyway, it all took me perilously close to the 15 minute mark beyond which I start to feel like I'm letting everyone down.

Definitely some kind of Nina at work in the fifth and eleventh columns: could this be a milestone puzzle and has the setter even signed his name to this one for once? We may never know for sure. Anyway I'm going to submit quickly now as LiveJournal has been reporting "intermittent problems" to me all morning as I'm worried that this post may be lost to the aether forever if I push my luck. Have a lovely crossword-fuelled festive weekend this weekend and enjoy your 20ac and 23dn (okay, maybe it's only in my vegan house that that constitutes an acceptable Christmas dinner). Ho ho ho!


1 Chap in great trouble having to catch European bird (7,5)
PAINTED SNIPE - TED [chap] in PAINS [great trouble] having NIP E [to catch | European]

9 Hard cutting tragic role for operetta composer (5)
LEHAR - H [hard] cutting LEAR [tragic role]

10 Mother alarmed when shunted about in jam (9)
MARMALADE - MA [mother] + (ALARMED*) ["shunted about"]

11 Damage to include a length of old coastal defence (8)
MARTELLO - MAR TO [damage | to]: include ELL [a length of old]

12 Sadist’s outside with strong desire for pain (6)
STITCH - S{adis}T [its "outside"] with ITCH [strong desire]

13 Hearing sound of bell on puss (8)
CATCHING - CHING [sound of bell] on CAT [puss]

15 Make figures half responsible for blocking street (6)
SCULPT - CULP{able} ["half" responsible], blocking ST [street]

17 First light never begins for blind (6)
AWNING - {d}AWNING [first light "never begins"]

18 Son gets on with everything except gym kit (4,4)
WALL BARS - S [son] "gets on" W ALL BAR [with | everything | except]

20 Do wrong breaking into reserved wine (6)
SHERRY - ERR [do wrong] breaking into SHY [reserved]

21 Reckon wrongly and nearly omit to come to a conclusion (8)
MISJUDGE - MIS{s} ["nearly" omit] + JUDGE [come to a conclusion]

24 Giordano’s composed in a rather overblown style (9)
GRANDIOSO - (Giordano's*) ["composed"]

25 Excellent price reported for imported ice cream (5)
KULFI - homophone of COOL FEE [excellent price "reported"]

26 Ought the Queen note somebody on which her sword rests? (8,4)
SHOULDER BONE - SHOULD E.R. B ONE [ought | the Queen | note | somebody]


1 Critical speech revealed by microphone below boom? (7)
POLEMIC - MIC [microphone] below POLE [boom]

2 Levy on departures, hence taxi and train are badly used (11,3)

3 Number of runs acquired by the English (5)
THREE - R [runs] "acquired by" THE E [the | English]

4 Throw away fish savoury item (8)
DUMPLING - DUMP LING [throw away | fish]

5 Standard choice of starters on naff menu (4)
NORM - N OR M, as in the choice between N{aff} or M{enu}'s starter

6 French lake — it has fish taken all over for scientific examination (9)
PRACTICAL - reverse of LAC IT CARP [French lake | it | fish "taken all over"]

7 Where the Pope may be wrong as to Golden Calf? (6,8)

8 Rubbish cut by editor — he’s beginning to be very good (3-3)
RED-HOT - ROT [rubbish] cut by ED + H{e}

14 Hymn referred to as old, end-of-the-century? (9)
HUNDREDTH - The "Old 100th" is a famous hymn tune; and if a century is a hundred things,
the "hundredth" is the last of them.

16 Am lifting well-boring plant, ancient garden annual (8)
MARIGOLD - reverse of AM [am "lifting] + RIG [well-boring plant] + OLD [ancient]

17 Appoint a second operator, perhaps (6)
ASSIGN - A S SIGN [a | second | operator, perhaps]

19 Unproductive anger follows set going wrong (7)
STERILE - RILE [anger] follows (SET*) ["going wrong"]

22 Card game Jack’s leading — no pressure (5)
JOKER - {p}OKER [game... "no pressure"], that J [Jack] is leading

23 Bento full — with this in it? (4)
TOFU - hidden in {ben}TO FU{ll}, something you might indeed find in a bento box...
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