ulaca (ulaca) wrote in times_xwd_times,
ulaca
ulaca
times_xwd_times

Times 26761 - No reel problem

It's good to be back after my three-week sojourn in England and Germany, a trip that went pretty well all things considered, even if I did book the family into a pension in Leipzig for a tennis tournament that was taking place 300km away. Well, imagine the confusion if there were two places in England called Liverpool!

This puzzle was very much in the median range of Monday efforts, I thought, finishing with 13a - a dance I both know and have actually trod. Most memorably at the Oxford Country Dancing Society many moons ago, when it was a distinct pleasure to indulge in the Terpsichorean arts with the lasses from the secretarial colleges and the John Ratcliffe Hospital. But enough of all that and on with the job at hand...

31 minutes.

Post-blog note: there are several recommendations for best TV commercial in the discussion below, including a belter from the land of the long white cloud. Here's one for the animal lovers from Iberia: https://youtu.be/qEQhLDEmJXM

And I couldn't take time to edit without mentioning K's incredible sub 5-minute solve, out-Magooing the great man himself. Would anyone believe me if I had a premonition that he would find this one to his liking?

ACROSS

1. PROWLING - PROW + LING.
5. CURSED - S in CURED.
10. CATECHISM - IS + M after E in CATCH.
11. CHILD - L in CHID.
12. REIMS - E in RIMS.
13. EIGHTSOME - sounds like ATE + SUM.
14. OVERINDULGED - anagram* of DEVOUR GIN LED.
19. PHILOSOPHERS - OP + H in P + HI + LOSERS. Realism is a particularly mind-boggling approach to the art/science of describing/determining the essence of things.
22. IDENTICAL - a nice hidden. I was trying to work IKE in.
25. STONE - a brilliant is a type of diamond, I believe. If you move from south to north-east, you could code it as S-TO-NE.
26. HARRY - I liked this a lot: Harry of course brings up the rear in the idiom 'every Tom, Dick and Harry'.
27. TIMPANIST - TIM[e] + P[i]ANIST.
28. POTTER - besides making cups and bowls and stuff, a very good snooker player will reach 147 by potting 36 balls, ending with the black. I think my best break remains 22.
29. WARTHOGS - I liked this too, but mainly because it reminded me of my Dad, who would refer to male swimwear as 'togs', when he wasn't calling it a 'bathing suit'. Oh, and 'trunks' also got mentioned in dispatches, or is my memory running away with me? Anyway, it's WAR followed by H in TOGS.

DOWN

1. PICAROON - sounds like PICK A RUNE.
2. OFTTIMES - I like this word a lot. It's certainly more euphonious and rhythmical than 'frequently'. O + FT + TIMES.
3. LOCKSMITH - I also like this clue, so the holiday has definitely done its job of making me less curmudgeonly. It plays of course on the double meaning of 'pick'.
4. NOISE - I in NOSE.
6. UNCUT - a reference to the erstwhile practice of producing books with pages with untrimmed edges binding them together.
7. SUITOR - SUIT + OR.
8. DODDER - [han]D + ODDER.
9. SMUGGLES - 'run' for 'smuggle' is a crossword fallback. SMUG + LEGS*.
15. DELICATE - CA (about) in D + ELITE (flower, AKA cream or elite).
16. EN PASSANT - AN APTNESS*, with 'as an anagram' featuring as the anagram indicator.
17. GERONIMO - IM in OREGON*. I never knew this chap was from Mexico, and I always imagined he was a chief, when in fact he wasn't.
18. ASBESTOS - BEST in A SOS.
20. BISHOP - B + O in SHIP* for the chess piece ('man on board).
21. SECRET - RE in SECT.
23. THYME - time is the great healer.
24. LEMMA - L + EMMA for the handy little word used in linguistics as well as maths.
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