Pip Kirby (pipkirby) wrote in times_xwd_times,
Pip Kirby

Times 26805 - trickier than a magicians' megafest

I like a challenge. I enjoyed most of this, it has some excellent clues with nice PDMs. Looking at it now I've finally got there, nearly an hour, with the use of a solver for one clue and an exposed ignorance of the Old Testament, I'm sure some of the Old Hands will not have struggled as I did. 1a is a brilliant clue, but I couldn't see it for the life of me. 16d I eventually clocked, although it's a word I didn't know existed; I was confounded by pencilling in EBay for 21a ! It parses, but too commercial for a weekday no doubt. How did you all find it? Tricky, or with (a fav quote) "as much talent for disguise as a giraffe in dark glasses trying to get into a ‘Polar Bears Only’ golf club."

1 Weight, energy and speed unaltered (8)
EMPHASIS - E(nergy), MPH (speed), AS IS = unaltered. I'd forgotten the mph thing, I didn't have the H in, just the S blank S, and it took me an age to see. But no complaints.
9 Time you Yankee chaps reflected! (3,5)
THE ENEMY - Not sure, but here's a stab. THEE = you, NEM = men, chaps reversed, Y = Yankee. I looked up quotes including this phrase (time is the enemy) and there are many, but I can't see the obvious stand-alone one. Useless. Maybe time to hang up the blogging boots!
10 To get around that, I live separately (3,2,3)
ONE BY ONE - ONE (I), BE (live), insert YON (that).
11 Seasoned pro players initially have had a look at sides (8)
PEPPERED - Insert P P (initial letters of pro players) into PEERED (had a look at).
12 Truck in dip, labouring, one responsible for road hold-ups (4,6)
14 What’s spread evenly among UN: parts of alliance (4)
NATO - Alternate even letters of uN pArTs Of.
15 Gradually manoeuvre taxi in reverse — and forwards (4,3)
BACK ROW - Reverse all of WORK CAB.
17 Chap following wobbly lines (7)
STROPHE - To be in a STROP is to throw a wobbly; HE = chap. One of those poetry things I know zero about, but the word sounded like something to do with lines, given an apo-strophe 'goes between' to separate things.
21 Facility where drugs may be picked up (4)
EASE - Yes, I know, it was stupid. I was getting my E's at EBay. But it just sounds like E's.
22 Fabulous female, male hosts help to spoil one (4,6)
MAID MARIAN - Another one where I was trying hard to get 'something MAIDEN' and looking for someone from Greek mythology until I had the R from 18d. MAN = male, insert AID, MAR (spoil), I.
23 One’s deflated as a result of this competition? (5,3)
PRICE WAR - Nice cryptic definition. Might even be &lit.
25 Inspiring person to go for gold, clinching win finally (8)
ANIMATOR - Insert N (win finally) into AIM AT (go for), OR = gold. Topical clue at the end of the World Championships.
26 Official, being bold, cut down on staff (8)
MANDARIN - MAN = staff, DARIN(G) = bold, cut down.
27 Old people collectively righted a wrong (5,3)
THIRD AGE - (RIGHTED A)*. When do I get to the Fourth Age? Feel I'm there already, today.

2 Oil, basil, an omelette needs for serving up (4,4)
MONA LISA - She's hidden reversed in B(ASIL AN OM)ELETTE. Not an anagram of OIL BASIL after all.
3 It’s not in practice sound for a cook book (8)
HABAKKUK - One of the more obscure books of the OT. I thought I had heard of most of them but I had to search for words ending K blank K to get it. I think this goes: practice = HABIT,
It's not in = HAB; A KKUK sounds like a cook. Old Habakkuk seems a bit of a mystery man, only mentioned in two verses and no biog at all, unlike the other minor prophets; I won't forget him though.
4 Pack that’s way over weight (4)
STOW - ST (way) O(ver) W(eight).
5 Close to beaches, note, litter increases (4-3)
STEP-UPS - S = close to beaches, TE = note as in do re mi, PUPS = litter.
6 Spy doing tweets to his boss? (7,3)
PEEPING TOM - The spy's (Bond's) boss was M, so TO M; PEEPING for doing tweets.
A bit weak I thought.
7 7 Glower from aristocrat caught in swindle (4,4)
REAR LAMP - EARL inside RAMP = swindle.
8 One my Dr’s treated? (8)
13 You surprise me when I tell you to! (4,2,4)
UPON MY WORD - Double definition, I think.
15 Buzzer round’s beginning quiz that’s held in pub (4,4)
BEER PUMP - BEE = buzzer, R(ound's), PUMP = quiz.
16 Copper ring, polished on the outside, with padding? (8)
CUSHIONY - CU = copper, SHINY = polished, insert O = ring. It is a word, I checked, but it sounds more like something from the Uxbridge dictionary to me, as in ISIHAC (the best radio 4 programme around, for overseas listeners' enlightenment)
18 In custody as required, having run for days (2,6)
ON REMAND - Change the D in ON DEMAND to an R.
19 Principal wish is not considered (8)
HEADLONG - HEAD = principal, of a school; LONG (for) = wish (for).
20 Lively sextet refuse request, ultimately (7)
VIBRANT - VI = sextet (six), BRAN = refuse (Kelloggs may disagree), T = request ultimately.
24 Girl I judge is in a state.
FIJI - FI (ona) = girl, I, J(udge) is in.
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
← Ctrl ← Alt
Ctrl → Alt →
← Ctrl ← Alt
Ctrl → Alt →