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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

plett11
Jan. 10th, 2017 01:55 pm (UTC)
About average difficulty for me today with a 17 minute solve. Last 2 in were 5a and 6d - I'd never really thought about where pulses 'lived' before. It took me a while to figure out the parsing of 4d but got there eventually and had to parse 20a after biffing. COD 15d.