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

Times 26,795: Bar Flies

Hello from New York! As a bit of fun this week, and because the changes to the Crossword Club mean that none of us know whether we're coming or going anyway, I did this puzzle as a four-way joint effort with my new crew of Paul, Sandy and Jeremy, sat outside Pete's Tavern with pints in our hand outside Gramercy Park. With hindsight the pints and general lack of commitment to concentration may not have been the best idea, as this was a bloody hard crossword and took us well over 20 minutes to put paid to, but I reckon we can actually consider it to be only a little over 5 minutes each, i.e. blazingly fast, well done team.

FOIs 9ac but there wasn't much plain sailing to be had after that. 17ac took way too long for our collective of bleary sots, as we argued and argued over whether it was definitely going to be word beginning with THEO-. The intersection of 2dn and 11ac seemed really quite obscure - I remembered both the French satirist Boileau as a footnote to my study of Moliere for French A-level, and the "leaning condensers" which weren't in fact called that from chemistry lessons of a similar vintage, but Sandy in particular was vocal in his incredulity about LIEBIG being a word. None of us could see a word related to stone in _A___U_T, and I'm afraid to say, with 20 minutes on the clock already, an executive decision was made to look at possibilities in Crossword Solver so that we could spend less time starting at a hot laptop and more on drinking cool beer. Leaving the Malaysian province completely unknown to any of us the LOI; very straightforward given the wordplay and the final K, but before then there had been a lot of discussion over whether it could possibly be PARTE?

There was general agreement at the end that the brilliant 7dn was our COD, but there was a lot of very creative and lateral cluing on offer here. When even the double definitions make you think "gosh, that's very clever" then you are onto a good thing: round of applause to the setter. How nice of management to usher us into the new Club format and its unfamiliar controls gently, with some lighter fare to help us find our bearings. Or not, as the case may be!

Across
1 Reserve a bike, mostly for certain type of sport (7)
SUBAQUA - SUB A QUA{d} [reserve | a | bike, "mostly"]
5 Medical graduate saving lives after fitting initiation (7)
BAPTISM - BM [medical graduate] "saving" IS [lives] after APT [fitting]
9 Hardline rep slammed flirtatious male (11)
PHILANDERER - (HARDLINE REP*) ["slammed"]
10 Those who advocate further decoration (3)
BAR - double def. Is it a "further decoration" because a single heraldic bar is a fess, and bars proper appear more multiply? Thanks to those who pointed out the correct explanation - a bar is added to a medal for repeated acts of heroism.
11 Old chemist’s invention of considerable importance (6)
LIEBIG - LIE BIG [invention | of considerable importance]
12 Track around entrance to park by pool becoming stony?
BANKRUPT - RUT [track] around P{ark} by BANK [pool]
14 Land in one piece to perform Mass (6,7)
UNITED KINGDOM - UNITED KING DO M [in one | piece | to perform | mass]
17 Religious texts construed as a hint, no less (13)
THESSALONIANS - (AS A HINT NO LESS*) ["construed"]
21 Home occupied by politician before becoming spoiled (8)
PAMPERED - PAD [home] "occupied by" MP ERE [politician | before]
23 From right and left, cheers popular hit (6)
ATTAIN - AT TA ["from right and left", cheers] + IN [popular]
25 Regularly eclipsed in fast conditions (3)
IFS - I{n} F{a}S{t}
26 Physics master from staff in boarding school: German (11)
SCHRODINGER - ROD IN [staff | in] "boarding" SCH GER [school | German]
27 Glasses you returned with article in jug (7)
EYEWEAR - reverse of YE [you "returned"] + A [article] in EWER [jug]
28 Leaves producer assisting with censorship? (3,4)
FIG TREE - cryptic definition. A fig tree produces fig leaves which conceal the shame of nudes in classical art.

Down
1 Yield with grace (6)
SUPPLY - double def
2 Author of Brewer’s simple guide in two languages? (7)
BOILEAU - to make tea, boil water; or BOIL EAU in Franglais.
3 Survives the heat, perhaps, but also weakens (9)
QUALIFIES - double def
4 What opera fans want to see first hand? (4)
AIDA - if a hand is an AID, "first hand" could be AID A.
5 Loud criticism something that prevents torture (10)
BARRACKING - BAR RACKING [something that prevents | torture]
6 Asian state’s king wearing crown (5)
PERAK - R [king] "wearing" PEAK [crown]
7 Hip hop’s coming home! (7)
INBOUND - IN BOUND [hip | hop]
8 Tread water maybe initially when flood rescue needed? (4,4)
MARK TIME - M{aybe} + ARK TIME ["when flood rescue needed"]
13 There will be manoeuvring to oust one leader (10)
BELLWETHER - (THERE W{i}LL BE*) ["manoeuvring"]
15 Close call after finding that principal has left (4,5)
NEAR THING - {u}NEARTHING [finding "that principal has left"]
16 Dear old man getting upset in a moment (2,1,5)
AT A PRICE - reverse of PA [old man "getting upset"] in A TRICE [a | moment]
18 Seems an unusual way to come together (2,5)
EN MASSE - (SEEMS AN*) ["unusual"]
19 Shock spread over time (7)
STAGGER - double def
20 False regret follows quest, commonly (6)
UNTRUE - RUE [regret] follows 'UNT [quest, "commonly"]
22 Female care is left to the top nurses (5)
ELSIE - hidden reversed in {car}E IS LE{ft}
24 Mistake to leave without finishing (4)
GOOF - GO OF{f} [to leave, "without finishing"]
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