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

Times 26,709: Taking Down Particulars

I'm standing in for pipkirby today so I'll keep things short and sweet. I did this funny and ingenious puzzle on paper, in 9 minutes and 18 seconds according to stopwatch, so by no means a walk in the park compared to its two predecessors this week. FOI was 23dn which jumped straight out at me, LOI 2dn which is at least straightforwardly clued, but I won't be the only one to have struggled with the definition part.

Of particular note, not one, not two, but three clues where something has to go inside something else and then inside something else again: the title of this blog was almost going to be "March of the Matryoshka" until I noticed the 12ac/11dn meta-double-def. I'll nominate 11dn as my Clue of the Day for cleverness and economy. Many thanks to the brilliant setter for making me question my axiom that Friday is always the best day of the crosswording week. And talking of which, I'm sure you'll have an unusually good Friday this week with the blog in Pip's capable hands. See you all in 9 days!

Across

1 Supporter penning a line on cricketing trophy for writer (10)
JOURNALIST - JOIST [supporter] "penning" A L [a | line] on URN [cricketing trophy]
6 Bird hissing back, not half! (4)
IBIS - reverse of SIBI{lant} [hissing "back", "not half"]
9 Sticky food, say, including piece of chicken munched by friend (7, 3)
CHEWING GUM - E.G. [say] "including" WING [piece of chicken], "munched by" CHUM [friend]
10 List staff that everyone can see (4)
MENU - MEN U [staff | that everyone can see]
12 Record score broken by one male in particular (14)
DISCRIMINATING - DISC [record] + RATING [score] "broken by" I M IN [one | male | in]
14 One live broadcast from West European peninsula (6)
IBERIA - I BE [one | live] + reversed AIR [broadcast "from West"]
15 Plant shoot died, one in meadow (7)
BUDDLEIA - BUD D [shoot | died] + I in LEA [meadow]
17 Brother keeping mum (8)
TRAPPIST - cryptic def (for a monk who has taken a vow of silence)
19 Searcher, try and look (6)
GOOGLE - GO [try] and OGLE [look]
22 Ideal state to always always stay up then? (5-5, 4)
NEVER-NEVER LAND - if you NEVER NEVER LAND you "always always stay up"
24 Shade in colour certainly retro (4)
ECRU - hidden reversed in {colo}UR CE{rtainly}
25 Asian set out to maintain reputation amid challenge (7)
VIETNAMESE - (SET*) ["out"] "to maintain" NAME [reputation], amid VIE [challenge]
26 Abandoned building (4)
SHED - double def
27 Good luck, lock's opening ancient city secured by key (3, 3, 4)
ALL THE BEST - L{ock} + THEBES [ancient city], "secured by" ALT [key]

Down

1 Raise flag (4)
JACK - double def
2 Retinue surprisingly not having the same parents (7)
UTERINE - (RETINUE*) ["surprisingly"]. Uterine means "born of the mother but not having the same father".
3 Secure ships, cutters (4, 8)
NAIL CLIPPERS - NAIL [secure] + CLIPPERS [ships]
4 Register those in the vanguard in Germany in art gallery (6)
LOGGIA - LOG [register] + G{ermany} I{n} A{rt}
5 In team I am indebted - debatable (8)
SPURIOUS - in SPURS [team], I.O.U. [I am indebted]
7 Quickest way to drop priest into Roman well (7)
BEELINE - ELI [priest] into BENE [Roman (i.e. the Latin for) well]
8 Resentful criticism from those downtrodden and spoiled? (4, 6)
SOUR GRAPES - grapes are trodden down to make wine, but these are sour ergo spoiled.
11 Particular type of car hire (4, 2, 6)
HARD TO PLEASE - HARDTOP LEASE [type of car | hire]
13 Huge vessels, large troughs actually, all beginning to feed swine (3, 7)
OIL TANKERS - L{arge} T{roughs} A{ctually} "to feed" OINKERS [swine]
16 Peculiar concoction of ale and spice (8)
ESPECIAL - (ALE + SPICE*) ["concoction"]
18 Bad jingle? (7)
ADVERSE - a jingle is a verse in an advertisement, i.e. an AD VERSE
20 Italian certainly not donning some layers (7)
GENOESE - NO [certainly not] "donning" GEESE [some layers]
22 Something to do with an egg that's hit the road (4, 2)
BEAT IT - One thing to do with an egg is BEAT IT
23 Most courageous removing bra, item of underwear (4)
VEST - {bra}VEST [most courageous, "removing BRA"]
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