Pip Kirby (pipkirby) wrote in times_xwd_times,
Pip Kirby

Times 26679 - all you could wish for, and a gazelle

About 25 minutes of amusement for me with this delightful puzzle, nothing unknown, a less obscure than usual "safari animal", a cricket reference, lots of word truncation clues, nothing too UK-specific I think. All in all a fine example of the art of setting; what more can I say? No chemistry, but you can't have everything.

I am experimenting with adding the clues and definitions underlined, so let me know if it needs more tweaking.

1 Fast runner in leading position backed, covered by stake (8)
ANTELOPE - POLE reversed inside ANTE
5 Endlessly put off covering a mark and smear (6)
DEFAME - DEFE(R), insert A M(ark).
8 Without yen, very little money (3)
TIN - TINY = very little, remove the Y(en).
9 Architect listened to great applause for modernising (10)
RENOVATION - REN sounds like WREN the architect, then OVATION = great applause.
10 Jacks in the drink: it’s bitter (8)
ABSINTHE - ABS for JACKS, sailors, IN THE.
11 Playwright pulling back from boundary (6)
BARRIE - BARRIER = boundary, pull off the back. J M Barrie.
12 Was told to ignore Resistance leader (4)
HEAD - HEARD = was told, ignore the R.
14 In drink, German is beside himself (10)
DISTRAUGHT - DRAUGHT = drink, insert IST = German for 'is'.
17 Conjuror’s rueful remark, losing his stick occasionally?
NOW AND THEN - &lit: A conjuror's rueful remark being 'no wand, then'.
20 Bird’s tight feeling in stomach? (4)
KNOT - Double definition.
23 User of acid as anaesthetic about to be arrested (6)
ETCHER - ETHER being an anaesthetic, insert C = about.
24 Unlike you, in play I act badly (8)
25 In the shade, running water and glass that’s got left out
BURNT UMBER - BURN = running water, TUMBLER = glass has the L out.
26 Grassy area is a little piece of greenery short (3)
27 Go round one place several times (6)
TRIPLY - TRY for go, around I PL = one place.
28 Jargon on lease reinterpreted (8)
LEGALESE - LEG side - ON in cricket, (LEASE)*.

1 Incorrectly rank hat as lambskin (9)
ASTRAKHAN - (RANK HAT AS)*, typically used for warm hats.
2 Land fish: is one going to tuck in? (7)
TUNISIA - TUNA a fish, insert IS I.
3 Speaker’s cat catching a rook (6)
LARYNX - A R(ook) inside LYNX = cat.
4 God, number one of that name? I believe in them all (9)
PANTHEIST - PAN a God, THE IST = the first, number one.
5 Coupling a disadvantage as pair finally go for run (7)
DRAWBAR - A DRAWBACK is a disadvantage, substitute R for the CK = pair finally go for run.
6 Outlaw’s skill: poultry beheaded at end of day (5,4)
FRIAR TUCK - FRI = day, then ART = skill, (D)UCK for poultry beheaded.
7 Shark not female, like 6 (7)
MONKISH - A MONKFISH is an ugly looking fish in the shark family; Delete the F(emale). Monkish, i.e. like Friar Tuck.
13 Walk quietly up, skirting unusual threat from this? (5,4)
DEATH TRAP - PAD = walk quietly, set reversed around (THREAT)*. &lit, of a sort.
15 Losing footing, go down hard on board? It’s not beyond
TREATABLE - TREA(D) = go hard down on, losing D, TABLE = board.
16 Tickle bird, badly worried (9)
TITILLATE - TIT = bird, ILL = badly, ATE = worried.
18 Commander right about alternative to Hamlet, period (7)
OCTOBER - OC = commander, officer commanding, R = right; insert TO BE as in Hamlet (or not to be).
19 Too dry and hot unfortunately for visitor to Oz (7)
DOROTHY - (TOO DRY H)*, the H for hot, Dorothy as in the Wizard of Oz, no Australian climate involved.
21 Part of prison: a cell extended for engine casing (7)
22 Practise fighting soldiers: no comfort here (6)
SPARTA - SPAR = practise fighting, TA = soldiers.
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