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

Times 26,657: Down With The NHS

A second puzzle in a row done by me, in defiance of human physiology and all else that is holy, first thing in the morning; but once more this left me with loads of change from a 10 minute time, so I won't complain too hard.

This was the sort of puzzle that I think of as very Roganesque (though I stress I have no inside information to lead me to believe it's by the editor himself) - highly intricate construction leading to smoothly deceptive surfaces of remarkable concision. A bunch of the down clues in particular caught my eye: 2dn, 4dn, 5dn, 15dn are all very very clever and the surfaces are beautiful. 8ac also gets an honourable mention just for having caught me, fair and square, in its trap: (1) "That's not a US town!" (2) "Okay, I guess it is a US town too, but hmm anyway." (3) "D'oh!"

There has been some discussion on the club forum already about whether 18dn might be too much of a stretch, and I think I would, in my professional capacity, tend to concur that a GUI is not the act of interfacing with the graphics by the user, but the graphics that are being interfaced with. But it's still quite early and perhaps I have no idea what I'm talking about. So I'll just say thanks to the setter, plus ask them, what have you got against the NHS? 7dn + 17dn + 14ac, don't try to claim there wasn't some kind of agenda here!


1 In this sort of voting, job often involves delivery (6,6)
POSTAL BALLOT - POST [job] + A LOT [often] involves BALL [delivery]
8 One housed in semi: feller in US town (7)
HALIFAX - I [one] housed in HALF [semi] + AX [feller in US]
9 Description of playful Sir Hugo? (7)
ROGUISH - (SIR HUGO*) ["playful"], semi-&lit
11 Presentation of image less stuffy — almost plain (7)
PRAIRIE - P.R. [presentation of image] + AIRIE{r} [less stuffy, "almost"]
12 Sweat-covered man in middle of field finding shamrock? (7)
TREFOIL - REF [man in middle of field], covered by TOIL [sweat]
13 Confirm demise of vessel after shelling (3,2)
INK IN - {s}INKIN{g}
14 Random opium use not ultimately causing rash (9)
IMPETUOUS - (OPIUM USE {no}T*) ["randomly"]
16 Dolphins enjoy poking elderly relative affectionately (9)
GRAMPUSES - USE [enjoy] poking GRAMPS [elderly relative, affectionately]
19 Some knocked back tea — one guzzled port (5)
GENOA - reverse hidden in {te}A ONE G{uzzled}
21 Jumbo the setter’s set mostly to trap people (7)
IMMENSE - I'M [the setter's] + SE{t}, to trap MEN [people]
23 Husband welcome, since brave (4-1-2)
HAVE-A-GO - H AVE AGO [husband | welcome | since]
24 Sailor who Roman knight would make legendary king (7)
TARQUIN - TAR [sailor] + QUI [who, "Roman"] + N [knight]. Lucky this didn't begin "sailor whom Roman", or it would have had to be TARQUEMN
25 Defiant remark: it follows comforting one (2,5)
SO THERE - SO [it follows] + THERE [comforting remark, as in "there, there"]
26 Young stand-in priest, purged of sin, insincere fellow (6,6)
PRINCE REGENT - PR [priest] + IN{sin}CERE + GENT [fellow]


1 Fish appearing in dock reversed shortage (7)
POLLACK - LOP [dock] reversed + LACK [shortage]
2 Son with slight temperature avoids food colouring (7)
SAFFRON - S [son] + AFFRON{t} [slight (that) T for temperature "avoids"]
3 Tensions exist in a European novel (9)
ANXIETIES - (EXIST IN A E*) ["novel"]
4 Overenthusiastically toasted end of graduation in Lancaster? (5)
BURNT - {graduatio}N in BURT [Lancaster, actor]
5 Cut grey lining in case where pins are laid (3-4)
LEG-REST - GRE{y} lining LEST [in case]
6 Regularly used coercion, force, on foreign banker (7)
ORINOCO - {c}O{e}R{c}I{o}N {f}O{r}C{e} O{n}
7 Polish GP isn’t, unfortunately, everything you’d wish for (8,4)
SHOPPING LIST - (POLISH GP ISN'T*) ["unfortunately"]
10 Asserts much more than control (4,4,4)
HOLD SWAY OVER - HOLDS [asserts] + WAY OVER [much more than]
15 Quickly giving compere stick if introductions mixed up (9)
POSTHASTE - HOST PASTE [compere | stick] Spoonerised
17 One who digs dirt concealed by a doctor (7)
ADMIRER - MIRE [dirt] concealed by A DR
18 Swan interacting with mouse? New for a bird! (7)
PENGUIN - PEN [swan] + GUI [interacting with mouse, in a G{raphical} U{ser} I{nterface}] + N [new]
19 Dance music in Lent is too much (7)
GAVOTTE - in GAVE [Lent] is O.T.T. [too much]
20 Rat seen moving extremely close (7)
NEAREST - (RAT SEEN*) ["moving"]
22 German I note raised boy (5)
ERNIE - EIN RE [German I | note] raised
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