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

TImes 26,681: Pink Eye In The Morning, Solvers Take Warning

A beautifully set puzzle here, absolute cryptic economy combined with terrific surfaces across the board. I was really impressed by the synergy between wordplay and definition parts in multiple places - 14ac, 21ac, 2dn, 3dn, 4dn, oh, I could keep on going. Can't even complain much about the TLS quotient either, as we have gorgeous George, Isak Dinesen, Shakespearean histories and a legendary jazzman making cameo appearances here. I wish I hadn't tackled this post-pub as probably could have done with a clear head, but my wife is off to Morocco tomorrow morning so I've got a week of abstemiousness ahead of me, had to get them in while I could, resulting in an unlucky-for-some time of 13 minutes today.

LOI was that regular encounter in crossword puzzles (not so much in the real world any more, as far as I know?) HYDRO. Loads of contenders for clue of the day but I'll give it to the lovely, smooth-surfaced charade at 14ac. Three cheers for the not at all 11ac or 27ac setter!


1 Thinks about one’s exploits (7)
MISUSES - MUSES [thinks] about I'S [one's]
5 “Land”: good advice if this is damaged? (7)
WINGTIP - WIN G TIP [land | good | advice], semi-&lit. Referring to the wing tip of a plane, not to a shoe, probably.
9 Panda or cat playing with polar bear’s tail (6,3)
PATROL CAR - (CAT + POLAR {bea}R*) ["playing"]
10 Fleece blooming clean! (2,3)
DO OUT - DO [fleece] + OUT [blooming]. Unfamiliar to me, though I recognise DO UP.
11 Render “disjointed” maybe with it? Hardly (5)
UNHIP - a HIP is a join, to UN-HIP would be to render dis-jointed. Maybe!
12 Maybe caution’s unlikely where work’s picked up? (9)
BOOKSTALL - BOOK [maybe caution (in a sporting context)] 'S TALL [unlikely]
14 CCTV unit one joins to formulate viewers’ complaint (14)
17 Say nothing: fuss reveals condition (5,2,7)
STATE OF AFFAIRS - STATE O FAFF AIRS [say | nothing | fuss | reveals]
21 Be injected with elbow out? (3,4,2)
GET SHOT OF - double def, more or less (get shot of penicillin, vs get shot of unwelcome person)
23 Come by home with vicious dog (5)
INCUR - IN [home] with CUR [vicious dog]
24 Historically, love to do origami? (2,3)
OF OLD - O [love] + FOLD [to do origami]
25 Found cipher kit in a note (9)
ORIGINATE - O RIG IN A TE [cipher | kit | in | a | note]
26 Part I required for a VIP (7)
27 Dreadful article: Times hits back (7)
ABYSMAL - A BY [article | times] + LAMS reversed [hits "back"]


1 Parent with sullen look making plan (3,3)
MAP OUT - MA [parent] with POUT [sullen look]
2 Armstrong chats excitedly on leaving moon (7)
SATCHMO - (CHATS*) ["excitedly"] + MO{on} - Louis Armstrong, not the moon-suggested Neil
3 Big woolly Liberal’s joy, Pope having reformed (6,3)
SLOPPY JOE - SL [Liberal] + (JOY POPE*) ["having reformed"] - in my household a sloppy joe is something you eat, but it also seems to be a big jumper
4 Payment of 100k to be in crime identikit (4,7)
SICK BENEFIT - C K [one hundred | K] + BE in SIN E-FIT [crime | identikit]
5 Duke abandoning minor conflict (3)
WAR - WAR{d} ["minor", with D abandoned]
6 Some dressed — unusually, on reflection? (5)
NUDES - hidden reversed in {dres}SED UN{usually} &lit
7 Prostitute grabbing prisoner got up as Henry IV (3-4)
TWO-PART - TART [prostitute] grabbing POW reversed [prisoner "got up"]
8 Harsh hiding Scrabble letters among foreign ones (8)
PITILESS - TILES [Scrabble letters] hidden among PIS [foreign letters]
13 Picture no longer having travelling fair around (3,2,6)
OUT OF AFRICA - OUT OF [no longer having] + (FAIR*) ["travelling"] + CA [around]. 1986 Meryl Streep film of the book.
15 Sex with flair: what a goer has? (9)
VIABILITY - VI [sex, as in the Roman number] + ability [flair]
16 One’s defensive error leads to defeat for the line (8)
ISOGLOSS - I'S O.G. [ones | defensive error] leads to LOSS [defeat]. An isogloss is a line on a map dividing, e.g. places where they pronounce "scone" correctly from places it rhymes with stone.
18 Boy topping class in music or poetry? (3,4)
ART FORM - ART [boy, as in Arthur] topping FORM [class]
19 Take back allegation about heads (7)
RECLAIM - CLAIM [allegation] (which) RE [about] heads
20 English author’s goldmine? (6)
ORWELL - OR WELL [gold | mine]
22 Screen series for audience in hotel (5)
HYDRO - homophone ["for audience"] of HIDE ROW [screen | series]
25 Cockney’s hollow word of encouragement (3)
OLE - a Cockney says 'ole for hole
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