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

Times 26829 - we like relevant surfaces

This didn't seem much harder than Monday's puzzle this week, it took me 19 or 20 minutes to decipher to my satisfaction; all the more enjoyable because many of the clues have clever surfaces which, while involving the usual wordplay tricks, also relate to their answers with a modicum of wit. If it had been a bit harder, it would have been up there with my all time favourites.
The setter must be a different chap from Monday's as we've got the same philosopher appearing again, albeit clued differently.
I began with 1a and 1d, and finished with the SW corner, especially liking the definition of 25a, which gets my CoD award.

Across
1 Disco near Bath accommodating 150 (9)
NIGHTCLUB - NIGH = near, TUB = Bath, insert CL = 150. I have been known to go to nightclubs, but not to discos, they aren't synonymous, but there you are.
6 Reason heads of LEAs offer grants is controversial (5)
LOGIC - Initial letters of 'LEA' and the next 4 words.
9 Retiring in order, mainly, to pen note (5)
TIMID - TID(Y) = in order, mainly; insert MI = a note.
10 I have to follow wretched court order (9)
DIRECTIVE - DIRE = wretched, CT = court, I'VE.
11 One who studies a line in some way (7)
ANALYST - A L(ine) into ANY = some, ST = way.
12 State is defending Republican support for plants (7)
TRELLIS - R goes into TELL = state, IS.
13 The best hundred soldiers twice accepting poor deal (5,2,2,5)
CREME DE LA CREME - C (hundred) REME (soldiers), appears twice with (DEAL)* in the middle.
17 Finished article opposite can be sold legally (4-3-7)
OVER-THE-COUNTER - OVER = finished, THE = article, COUNTER = opposite.
21 Overly curious about for example a buttonhole (7)
NOSEGAY - NOSY around E.G, A.
23 Firm to consume beer to control depression (2,5)
AL DENTE - DENT = depression, inserted into ALE = beer. firm as in barely cooked pasta.
25 Dispose of reserve, cutting bank? (9)
SCRAPBOOK - SCRAP = dispose of, BOOK = reserve; fun definition.
26 Canter around top of Grampian range (5)
RIDGE - RIDE = canter, around G. Not the strongest clue.
27 Carrying no passengers regularly seems petty (5)
EMPTY - Alternate letters of s E e M s P e T t Y.
26 Political group to right wise, so to speak, to embrace role (4,5)
TORY PARTY - TO, R, Y Y (sounds like wise), insert PART = role.

Down
1 Bird which interrupts new union chapter (8)
NUTHATCH - THAT = which, inserted into N, U, CH.
2 Delta follows it a short distance into Georgia (5)
GAMMA - A MM (millimetre) inside GA. Third and fourth letters of Greek alphabet.
3 Fluffy toy camiknickers, English, displayed in pub (5,4)
TEDDY BEAR - A teddy is some sort of cheeky female apparel, I believe, although camiknickers sounds even cheekier. Then insert E into BAR = pub.
4 Landlord briefly hugs poster girl who's feisty (7)
LADETTE - Insert AD into LETTE(R) = landlord briefly.
5 Retired hatter, I believe, can stock priest's headgear (7)
BIRETTA - Hidden reversed in H(ATTER I B)ELIEVE.
6 Philosopher left old Anglicans hosting king (5)
LOCKE - L(eft), O(ld), CE = Anglicans, insert K for king.
7 Craft crossing loch on annual check finds diver (9)
GUILLEMOT - GUILE = craft, insert L for loch, add MOT being an annual roadworthiness exam for vehicles in the UK.
8 Contents of board that's said to make you smile (6)
CHEESE - Cryptic definition. Say cheese. Seems to be out of fashion.
14 What happens in autumn — bar the start — to earwig (9)
EAVEDROP - LEAVES DROP in the Autumn.
15 Stumble carrying drinks for journey there and back (5,4)
ROUND TRIP - TRIP = stumble, after a round of drinks.
16 Angers guy upended in dull vegetation (8)
GREENERY - GREY = dull, insert a reversed RENE being a chap from Angers in France..
18 Ring paper about unknown farm store (7)
HAYLOFT - HALO = ring, FT = paper, the pink one; insert Y an unknown variable.
19 Joke here in the middle? (7)
CRACKER - Well 'that's a cracker' can be a good joke, and you might find one in a Christmas cracker.
20 Scrubbing top, doctor put on extremely intimate garment (6)
ONESIE - BONES is your doctor, decapitated; I E = extremes of intimate; another garment of which I have limited knowledge.
22 Stay to catch very soft fish (5)
GUPPY - GUY = stay, as in guy rope; insert P P = very soft.
24 Record low promotion among Northern Irish (5)
NADIR - AD = promotion, inserted into N IR.
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