Pip Kirby (pipkirby) wrote in times_xwd_times,
Pip Kirby
pipkirby
times_xwd_times

Times 26781 - food for thought and eye candy?

Another rather off-beat but enjoyable puzzle, I thought, of typical 'midweek' medium difficulty, with no central theme but a good sprinkling of tasty foodie bits and some words to relish. I took me about 25 minutes to finish and sort out the reasons why; getting both long down clues at the sides made it much easier to fill in the gaps. There is nothing I had to look up, except to check my idea for the parsing of 3d was correct, at the end. No chemistry lessons, antelopes, plants or birds today.

Definitions underlined.

Across
1 Pole in American airspace (5)
SINUS - S (south pole), IN US. Nice definition.
4 Oxford grammarian and publisher offering course (5,4)
ONION SOUP - C.T.Onions, chap who edited the 4th edition of the OED; OUP = Oxford University Press.
9 Swimmer embarrassed by hairstyle (3,6)
RED MULLET - RED = embarrassed, MULLET = silly hairstyle.
10 Actress in Georgia with black men (5)
GABOR - GA = Georgia, B(lack), OR = men. Zsa Zsa Gabor, glamorous pre-war Hollywood actress from Hungary who had no less than 9 husbands.
11 Old Egyptian at that point holding sailor back (6)
THEBAN - THEN (at that point) holds BA = AB reversed. Chap from Thebes, Egypt. If you thought Thebes was in Greece, you were right, there are two of them.
12 Somewhat petty complaint rejected in break (8)
SMALLISH - ILL reversed inside SMASH.
14 Risky vehicle departs after diversion on boundary (5,4)
HEDGE FUND - HEDGE = boundary (well it could be EDGE but that doesn't account for the H; a hedge can be like a fence). FUN = diversion, D(eparts). If you haven't been watching BILLIONS on Sky Atlantic, get the DVD set, it's brilliant. I'd give AXE Capital all my dosh to mind.
16 Stove cool for second time (5)
AGAIN - AGA = stove, IN = cool, with-it.
17 Country run by prominent Russian banker? (5)
RURAL - R(un), URAL = Russian river.
19 We go ninth after switch in wide position (2,3,4)
ON THE WING - (WE GO NINTH)*.
21 Delay allowed returning books about small snail (8)
ESCARGOT - GRACE = time allowed; reverse it, insert S = ESCARG: add OT for books.
22 Writer who’s posh leaving Bedfordshire town on M1 (6)
MILTON - MI = M1; LUTON = Bedfordshire town loses U = posh. We once had a long wait in transit at Luton Airport and we made the error of going into the town to shop; don't do it. Posh, it ain't.
25 Magistrate contributing to bizarre evening (5)
REEVE - Hidden word in BIZAR(RE EVE)NING.
26 Series from suicidal novel blocked by Universal (1,8)
I CLAUDIUS - (SUICIDAL)* (anagrind 'novel') with U inserted.
27 Salesman still has time to collar people for rebate (9)
REPAYMENT - REP (saleman) AY (still), T(ime), insert MEN = people.
28 English army getting back to front shows spirit (5)
ETHOS - E (English), HOST = army, bring the T to the front.

Down
1 One picking up litter from field (9-6)
STRETCHER-BEARER - Cryptic definition.
2 New Critic losing head gets push (5)
NUDGE - N(ew), Critic = JUDGE, loses head J.
3 Wurst from Brownshirts convention? (7)
SAUSAGE - I did know this was the German for sausage. The Brownshirts, the paramilitary wing of the Nazi Party, were called in German 'Sturmabteilung' usually abbreviated to SA. And then, USAGE = convention.
4 Exclusively working with vergers in Ledbury (4)
ONLY - ON = working, LY = 'vergers' or outside letters of Ledbury.
5 Linda occasionally gets in close to cow (10)
INTIMIDATE - LINDA occasionally, i.e. alternate leters of LINDA, = I D. Insert into INTIMATE = close.
6 Endlessly making claims about woman (7)
NIGELLA - Making claims = ALLEGING, delete the end letter G then reverse. Does she actually cook, I wonder? Here's one I (or my Home Economist) made earlier.
7 Get bag and boil it to prepare parts required (9)
OBBLIGATI - (BAG BOIL IT)*. Italian musical term for instrumental bits which mustn't be omitted.
8 Reproduction Stonehenge assembled in capital (15)
PARTHENOGENESIS - Insert (STONEHENGE)* into PARIS, a capital city.
13 Transport gold to Alabamian settlement (10)
AUTOMOBILE - AU (Au, gold symbol), TO, MOBILE (port city in Alabama). I was surprised, on checking that Alabamian is the more usual adjective, preferred to Alabaman. I don't know why I was surprised, really.
15 Involving muck but little brass? (4-5)
DIRT-CHEAP - Cryptic definition.
18 Clear criminal linked to New York theft (7)
LARCENY - (CLEAR)*, anagrind 'criminal', NY.
20 Irrational, copper being brought in before hedonist (7)
EPICURE - ERE = before; insert PI (pi, irrational number) and CU (Cu, copper). I think I am an epicure, but I don't think I am a Hedonist. Perhaps I just need more practice.
23 Member's part in Parliament ultimately wasted? (5)
THIGH - It took me annoyingly long to see this and 28a, my last 2 in. T = Parliament ultimately; HIGH = wasted, e.g. on drugs.
24 Map course in vessel circling lake (4)
PLOT - POT around L.
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