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

Times 26,609: Memory of a Free City

A straightforwardish (but entirely solid) puzzle to mark the last Friday of 2016. I did it on a train on the way to a Highgate pub crawl and stopped the timer at 8 minutes 50; on the way back it would presumably have been more like 50 minutes 8.

Possible clue to the setter's identity at 2dn, who can say? I enjoyed the brace of Shakespearean females and the couple of classical references - 4dn had a pleasing surface but I'll give my last COD of 2016 to 23ac, because not only did it send me into a Heinrich Schliemann reverie on first reading, it also sent me off to a Wikipedia article to find out what happened to Danzig to make it a "city once". A crossword in which I learn something new is a great crossword. Anti-COD to 18dn, not because there's anything wrong with the clue, but because the word RISIBLE seems to be coming up in crosswords with peculiar frequency recently, or am I just going crazy? Oh, and my LOI was 10ac, slightly embarrassing given that it's essentially the same clue (one part of it, anyway) I submitted as my contribution to the Christmas Turkey...

Many thanks to the setter and all others involved in making 2016 another fabulous year for the crossword puzzling art. Have a great new year everyone, see you all in 2017!

Across

1 Inappropriately dump clever piece of advice (3-3)
FLY-TIP - FLY [clever] + TIP [piece of advice]

5 Soldier spies, having infiltrated staff as trickster (8)
MAGICIAN - GI CIA [soldier | spies], having infiltrated MAN [staff]

9 Backward boy, fool, messed about (8)
TINKERED - reverse of DEREK NIT ["backward" boy, fool]

10 Man who may wield the axe? (6)
FELLER - play on FELLER meaning both "chap" and "one who fells"

11 Beautiful heiress left a single article (6)
PORTIA - PORT 1 A [left | a single | article]

12 Bird from S American capital briefly seen with artist (8)
CARACARA - CARACA{s} [(Venezuelan) capital "briefly"] + RA [artist]

14 Simple men act inappropriately, being out of line? (12)
MISPLACEMENT - (SIMPLE MEN ACT*) ["inappropriately"]

17 Baddie, assessed by good person, protested (12)
DEMONSTRATED - DEMON [baddie] + RATED [assessed] by ST [good person]

20 Upholds company involved in tricks (8)
CONFIRMS - FIRM [company] involved in CONS [tricks]

22 Having rows, looking angry after match (6)
TIERED - RED [looking angry] after TIE [match]

23 Excavation in which to find an unknown buried city once (6)
DANZIG - DIG [excavation] in which to find AN Z [an | unknown]

25 Bit of bread with poison bird swallowed (8)
BANKNOTE - BANE [poison], KNOT [bird] swallowed

26 Condemn place of crime and swoop, removing leader (8)
DENOUNCE - DEN [place of crime] + {p}OUNCE [swoop, "removing leader"]

27 General occupying specific US territory (6)
CUSTER - "occupying" {specifi}C US TER{ritory}

Down

2 Learner wants excellent academic made available (4, 2)
LAID ON - L [learner] + A1 DON [excellent | academic]

3 Magazine involved in satire to do something different for a while (4, 4, 3)
TAKE TIME OFF - TIME [magazine] involved in TAKE-OFF [satire]

4 What you expect with group of students - idiot getting stuck in mountain (9)
PARNASSUS - PAR [what you expect] with NUS [group of students], ASS [idiot] "getting stuck in"

5 Decoration goes around one getting first in chemistry exam (7)
MEDICAL - MEDAL [decoration] goes around 1 + C [one | "first in" C{hemistry}]

6 Energetic person engaging female assistant for menial tasks (5)
GOFER - GOER [energetic person] engaging F [female]

7 Feature of mountain? It's mostly chilly (3)
COL - COL{d} ["mostly" chilly]

8 Be taken in by complete rogue (8)
ABERRANT - BE taken in by ARRANT [complete]

13 Funny women do incense me unfortunately (11)
COMEDIENNES - (DO INCENSE ME*) ["unfortunately"]

15 Suffering from rigidity, jazz fan needs something invigorating (9)
CATATONIC - CAT [jazz fan] + A TONIC [something invigorating]

16 Unhappy miss, having been stood up, laid into boyfriend? (8)
DESOLATE - LOSE reversed [miss, "having been stood up"], inlaid in DATE [boyfriend]

18 Hilarious bishop is rising in anger (6)
RISIBLE - B IS reversed [bishop | is, "rising"] in RILE [anger]

19 Being listened to, group will become calm (6)
SETTLE - homophone of SET'LL ["being listened to", group will]

21 Rescue one missing female in play (5)
REGAN - REGA{i}N [rescue, "one missing"]

24 Rush endlessly to see live exhibition (3)
ZOO - ZOO{m} [rush "endlessly"]
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