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Quick Cryptic 741 by Pedro

13 minutes with 15dn/20ac being the last to fall. The long clue at 8ac could prove the key to faster times as it provides many crossing letters including the first letter of the long 9dn which helps a lot. Some of the vocabulary isn't the simplest - neither is some cluing but it is very fair which gives this a satisfying feel. Thanks Pedro.

ACROSS

1. Backpack - essential for a hiker? Support (BACK), group (PACK).
5. Span - a period - a span of years. The letter 'I' leaves SPAiN.
8. New South Wales - a part of Australia which is very biffable from (3,5,5). Information (NEWS), released (OUT) linked to (sitting alongside) an anagram (abused) of LAWS HE.
10. Hello - greeting. He will - he'll (HELL), love (O).
11. Austere - harsh. Anagram (is rough) of SEA TRUE.
12. Repair - make improvements to. Attitude (AIR) shown by salesman (REP).
13. Despot - tyrant. Remove blemishes from DE-SPOT.
16. Portion - serving. Queen (R this time - not ER) tucks into elixir (POTION).
18. Ahead - in the lead. Article (A), homophone (on the radio) of caught (HEArD) dismissing the 'R' for Republican.
20. Swashbuckling - gallant. In quiet (SH) put WAS to get SWASH then weak at the knees (BUCKLING).
21. Eats - swallows. Non vegetarian foods (mEATS) skipping the starter letter.
22. Hysteria - wild excitement. Anagram (erupting) of THIS YEAR.

DOWN

1. Bunch - group. Some bread (BUN) given to church (CH).
2. Cowslip - flowering plant. Border (LIP) with cattle (COWS) overhead.
3. Photo finish - exciting climax? (P)lumpton, anagram (damaged) of HOOF IN THIS.
4. Catnap - sleep. Soldier (ANT) rolled over (TNA) inside better (CAP).
6. Pulse - double definition.
7. Nascent - beginning. New (N), climb (ASCENT).
9. Waste Basket - bin. Anagram (fluttering) of (S)pider, WEB AT STAKE.
12. Riposte - witty reply. One (I) online comment (POST) both put inside about (RE).
14. Premier - first. Not sure why but this word play struck me like a recipe - so here goes - take one sea at Calais (MER) give it an upsurge so that it becomes REM then place the finished article inside jetty (PIER).
15. Injury - harm. Deliberating on court case (IN JURY).
17. Roast - cook meat for example. Run (R), oven (OAST - as in oast houses once used to dry hops).
19. Dogma - principle. Mother (MA) chasing (after) pet (DOG).

Comments

jackkt
Jan. 10th, 2017 05:22 am (UTC)
The long 8ac was my first one in, so as suggested above, that helped a lot, but on the other hand the long 20ac was my last one in and that hindered progress in the lower half and in the end I completed in 10 minutes.

I agree with our Shanghai correspondent about WASTE-PAPER BASKET. This reminds me that in my last employment some bright spark came up with the idea of doing away with W-PBs which used to sit comfortably under each desk and we were required to accumulate unwanted materials and items on our desk-tops and then take them to a selection of wheelie bins on the landing about 50 yards away. I wonder if this sort of thing has become common practice now?

Edited at 2017-01-10 05:23 am (UTC)
kevingregg
Jan. 10th, 2017 06:33 am (UTC)
WASTE (-PAPER) BASKET
WASTE BASKET seemed (seems) fine to me; I wonder if there's a transpondular difference (I'm Murcan, I assume that horryd, like Jack, is from another place).