ulaca (ulaca) wrote in times_xwd_times,
ulaca
ulaca
times_xwd_times

Times 26653 - Braying Blumenthals

I thought this was a very pleasant little number, which I completed in 24 minutes with the unseen but immanent assistance of Hilarius of Poitiers, as I semi-biffed my last one, the plant at 9 across. While some clues had smuggled themselves into the grid after making a mad dash for it from the Quickie, one or two others (most notably 12 across) were chucked in without full understanding of the wordplay, so hopefully by the time I finish writing this up I will have got everything sorted.

If not, I am confident that both those in the expensive seats in the City and the Rhinebeck Estate and those in the cheap seats Down Under - not to mention those who pulled a few erhu strings to pull off a guanxi gatecrash in Shanghai - will put me straight. It's always kind of refreshing - even pleasant in a slightly masochistic way, and I believe we all have our slightly masochistic side - when the role of putting me straight is performed by someone other than the person to whom I was spliced 25 years ago this July.

ACROSS

1. FARM - 'till'; initial letters of Feel Angry Raiding Merchant.
4. REDECORATE - 'again do up property'; RE (note) + DECO RATE (cost of certain type of art?).
9. CORNFLOWER - 'blooming thing'; FLOW (WOLF reversed) in CORNER. If you don't think a corner is a shot, just ask David Seaman.
10. HOUR - O in HUR (Ben, as immortalised by Chuck Heston).
11. STRIKE - a clue embued with a certain whimsy where the literal is 'impress'. Strikes always put me in mind of the 1970s, when the wonderfully named Sid "Wheel" Weighell was tasked with leading the National Union of Railwaymen. One has to wonder how many stoppages might have been averted if only negotiations with t'management had involved Rowan Atkinson, Jim Broadbent and co.
12. TWOPENCE - 'limited cash'; PEN in TWOC + E. Twocking is apparently the extremely obnoxious act of *Taking Without Owner's Consent* his or her motor. There is of course only one remedy for those who indulge in this activity.
14. FERN - FER (REF returned) followed by [grow]N.
15. OUTPATIENT - anagram* of UP TO ENT AT ('travelling' is here performing the anagrindational role) around I.
17. CHARIOTEER - Mr Hur from No. 10a is the 'driver' - you wouldn't want to twock his wheels, I reckon; CHA + RIOTER around E (European capital).
20. TREK - [repor]T + RE (about) + K (king).
21. SPEEDIER - you have to channel Yoda to see how this works, as you need to look forward rather than back to secure the P (parking) in the 'more squalid', aka SEEDIER. To enter not difficult; to see not quite so easy.
23. BALZAC - C + AZ + LAB all reversed. I hang my head when I admit that my first thought was Bovary.
24. NOUS - NO US (absence of American). There are still some Guardian readers out there trying to shoehorn TRUMP in.
25. TRUCULENCE - 'pugnacity'; U + LEN (Murray, perhaps, to help organise the strikes) + C in TRUCE.
26. SUPERSEDED - 'replaced'; SUPER (superintendent) + SEDED (sounds like CEDED). Don't you love it when the wordplay hands the spelling of an easily misspelled word to you on a plate. Other setters please note, especially when clueing AIREDALE.
27. TERM - Hilary (named after the 4th century Hilarius of Poitiers, evidently a Frenchman with a sense of humour) is what the term running from Jan to March is called at God's Own University; I am given to understand that over at the Fenland Poly they use the prosaic Lent.

DOWN

2. APOSTLESHIP - Paul (né Saul) - apostle to the Gentiles (and indeed to the Jews as well); A POST on LE SHIP.
3. MONSIGNOR - 'Catholic priest'; MOOR (fell) around N + SIGN.
4. RELIEVO - ELI in REVO (reversed OVER: 'upset about') gives another word for relief in its sense of projection of figures from a flat ground.
5. DOWN TO THE GROUND - 'absolutely'; an expression mainly found in collocation with 'suit'.
6. CORDOBA - DOB in CORA (similar vintage as LEN).
7. ACORN - A + CO + R[etaining] + N[ourishing].
8. EERIE - [b]EER (pint perhaps) + IE (that is).
13. CONVEYANCER - CONVEYANCE above R.
16. INTELLECT - LET + CLIENT* ('stew' doing the grinding).
18. OPIATES - O + PI[r]ATES; I don't think I've come across ROVER as pirate (it can also refer to his/her conveyance).
19. REBOUND - or RE-BOUND.
21. SONGS - G in SONS; I'm surprised this got into a Quickie, let alone escaped from one.
22. EQUIP - E + QUIP; 21 down's cousin - they made their break for freedom together.
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