jackkt (jackkt) wrote in times_xwd_times,
jackkt
jackkt
times_xwd_times

Times Cryptic 26858

My intermittent run of bad solving times continues with this one on which I spent 90 minutes and failed to complete without resorting to aids although there was only one answer that defeated me. And once again as I compiled the blog I wondered what on earth could have delayed me for so long. I imagine the usual suspects will report sub-10 minute solving times particularly if they've had a classical education, but I have to say I found it rather stuffy and dull.

As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions are in curly brackets} and [anagrinds, containment, reversal and other indicators in square ones]


Across
1 Caption rewritten to protect leader of Lords Spiritual (8)
PLATONIC - Anagram [rewritten] of CAPTION containing [to protect] L{ords} [leader]. SOED: Of love, a relationship, etc.: of a purely spiritual character, not sexual. With reference to the Greek philospher.
9 Old warrior pilots circling raised ground (8)
ACHILLES - ACES (pilots) containing [circling] HILL (raised ground). Another Greek.
10 Butter in hospital leaving taste less refined (8)
INTRUDER - {h}INT (taste) [hospital leaving], RUDER (less refined)
11 House physician makes chief executive powerless (8)
RESIDENT - {p}RESIDENT (chief executive) [powerless]. Collins advises that in North America, a 'resident' is a physician who lives in the hospital where he or she works while undergoing specialist training after completing his or her internship.
12 He wrote line about good companion (10)
LONGFELLOW - L (line), ON (about), G (good), FELLOW (companion). Perhaps most famous as the author of The Song of Hiawatha.
14 Medical man with drill causing misery (4)
MOPE - MO (medical man), PE (drill). I wasn't familar with this as a noun but it's in all the usual sources.
15 Heroic lover with piercing sidelong look (7)
LEANDER - AND (with) contained by [piercing] LEER (sidelong look). More Greek mythology.
17 Gag first couple from Lebanon, smuggled in after (7)
SILENCE - LE{banon) [first couple] contained by [smuggled in] SINCE (after)
21 Military alliance in collision at once (4)
NATO - Hidden in {collisio}N AT O{nce}
22 Oily substance from tree put in ground with nitrogen (10)
TURPENTINE - Anagram [ground] of TREE PUT IN and N (nitrogen)
23 Joint ruler and poet wanting start on time (8)
TETRARCH - T (time), {p}ETRARCH (poet) [wanting start]. Roman and Italian stuff now.
25 Charming area within reach across river (8)
ADORABLE - A (area), DO-ABLE (within reach) containing [across] R (river). This was the one for which I resorted to aids. As  90 minutes loomed on the clock I was still missing the answer at 24dn and therefore the second checker, when I became fixated on possibilities such as 'amenable' and 'affable' and decided it was time to put myself out of my misery by looking up all the options that fitted.
26 Column only remaining in support for bridge (8)
PILASTER - LAST (only remaining) in PIER (support for bridge). Classical architecture now.
27 Cynic — one involved in swindle — means to inherit (8)
DIOGENES - I (one) contained by [involved] DO (swindle), GENES [means to inherit]. Yet more Greek.
Down
2 One's honour in life less if solitary (8)
LONESOME - ONE'S + OM (honour] in L{if}E [less if]
3 Flavouring rib and leg with salt (8)
TARRAGON - TAR (salt), RAG (rib), ON (leg)
4 English lecturer raised point (4)
NODE - E (English) + DON (lecturer) reversed [raised]
5 Dodgson right in tune with literature initially (7)
CARROLL - R (right) in CAROL (tune), L{iterature} [initially]
6 Author secretly wore tights to dance (5-5)
GHOST-WRITE - Anagram [to dance[ of WORE TIGHTS
7 Material from Derbyshire depressed chap (4,4)
BLUE JOHN - BLUE (depressed), JOHN (chap). I've never heard of this.semi-precious mineral aka Debyshire Spar but the wordplay was helpful.
8 You could say we admitted to sick satire (2,2,4)
AS IT WERE - WE contained by [admitted to] anagram [sick] of SATIRE
13 Old prince at graveside finally choosing body (10)
ELECTORATE - ELECTOR (old prince), AT, {gravesid}E [finally]. George I was Elector of Hanover before taking the English throne.
15 Row about books possibly disheartened retired printer (8)
LINOTYPE - LINE (row) contains [about] OT (books) and P{ossibl}Y [disheartened] and reversed [retired]
16 Cleverly sculpted statue likely to be hollow (8)
ASTUTELY - Anagram [sculpted] of STATUE, L{ikel}Y [to be hollow]
18 One million central to assets — that's a rough guess (8)
ESTIMATE - I (one) + M (million) contained by [central to] ESTATE (assets)
19 Opening cold beer, expose rabble (8)
CANAILLE - C (cold), the NAIL (expose) is contained by [opening] ALE (beer). Another unknown although it appeared without comment from me in 2010.
20 Golden vegetable seen in cultivated land (7)
ORCHARD - OR (golden), CHARD (vegetable)
24 Game found by river — deep but not wide (4)
POLO - PO (river), LO{w} (deep) [not wide]. The answer became obvious once I had first checker from looking up 'adorable', but before that I could only think of faro and ludo. Edit: Out of embarrassment  have removed the rubbish I wrote about deep and wide previously, and thanks to ulaca for so gently pointing out my error.  I'd understood that part of the clue whilst solving but went off  on a different tack when writing the blog.   
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