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

Times 26877 - TCC Qualifier heat 1 - Not the New Testament then.

A cunning puzzle for the Championships, I thought, not too difficult as a first round test but with a couple of places where you can easily get one letter wrong; I see only 30 of 88 contestants got 100% on this one so perhaps that's why. Apart from some basic Welsh geography and musical terms there's no heavy duty general knowledge so it is a fair test of solving skills not quizzing skills. It took me just over the 20 minutes with no use of aids, but in exam conditions so not parsing everything, I expect I'd have messed up.
Thanks to Mohn2 for the java update, it worked fine on its first outing once I'd followed the extra bit in the instructions when using a Chrome browser.

Across
1 Clean bottom lip, following medic (6)
DREDGE - DR = medic, EDGE = lip.
4 Warmer place in Wales (8)
CARDIGAN - Double definition.
9 Lack of honesty old city avoided? That’s not possible (2,3,2)
NO CAN DO - NO CANDOUR would be lack of honesty, delete the UR, our usual old city.
11 Organ that is held in each hand, further back (7)
EARLIER - EAR = organ, I.E. = that is, inside L and R.
12 Language family don’t allow, excessively outspoken (5)
BANTU - BAN = don't allow, TU sounds like TOO, excessively.
13 Needs, somehow, to insert line, tricky without stopping (9)
ENDLESSLY - Anagram of (NEEDS L)* then SLY = tricky.
14 Staggered — so getting teeth knocked out, possibly? (10)
GOBSMACKED - Double definition, one whimsical.
16 Superior type seems noisome and obviously bourgeois, initially (4)
SNOB - Initial letters of Seems Noisome Obviously Bourgeois.
19 Old soldier on back in agony: stretcher found? (4)
YOGI - Y = back in agony; O(ld), GI = soldier. At first I had YOGA thinking it was a better definition, but couldn't parse it; perhaps this was one of the little errors people could make in haste.
20 Weakness — old empire builder quick to conceal it (10)
INCAPACITY - INCA = old empire builder, PACY = quick, insert IT.
22 Monarch in clothes, striking (9)
BATTERING - BATTING = IN, as in cricket, insert ER = monarch.
23 Old firefighter in commercial broadcast (5)
ADAIR - AD = commercial, AIR = broadcast. A reference to Paul 'Red' Adair, famous oil well firefighter who died in 2004 aged 89. If you'd never heard of him, or forgotten, the wordplay was obvious.
25 Gag vacuously lame, considering skirting round it? (7)
SILENCE - LE = vacuously lame, insert into SINCE = considering.
26 A set of books inspired by remarkable island capital (3,4)
SAO TOME - SOME here = remarkable, as in 'that was some catch'. Insert A OT being Old Testament. I of course had the New one at first making 18d unsolvable. Sao Tome the capital of Sao Tome & Principe, has a surprisingly large 71,000 population. Well, it surprised me.
27 Dark liquid drunk by Osage leader, native American bottles (8)
CREOSOTE - CREE is the native American, insert O and SOT = drunk.
28 Promise I've given? I don't believe it! (2,4)
MY WORD - Double definition, one exclamatory.

Down
1 Traveller on beach in shade, European plagued by insects (4,5)
DUNE BUGGY - DUN = shade, E(uropean), BUGGY = plagued by insects.
2 Is one’s time up in Labour now, then? (2-3)
EX-CON - I think this is a sort of double definition, 1. being an EX-CON means you've served your time, 2. no longer a Conservative so joined Labour perhaps.
3 After a couple of drinks, well game! (3,5)
GIN RUMMY - GIN, RUM = a couple of drinks, MY ! exclamation = well!
5 Protein-rich food source, a new green bean to eat beginning to disagree with us (8,5)
ABERDEEN ANGUS - Insert D (beginning to disagree) into (GREEN BEAN)* then add US.
6 Lift not working, service called in, so mended (6)
DARNED - Not working = DEAD, lif it = DAED, insert RN = service.
7 Slides sliding off, it separates (9)
GLISSANDI - Musical slides. Insert SA = sex appeal, or 'IT', into (SLIDING)*.
8 Terminals in nine ready, five plugs wired (5)
NERVY - Insert V (five) into the first and last letters of NinE ReadY.
10 Cocky model on cover, if with slight flaw (13)
OVERCONFIDENT - (ON COVER IF)* add DENT = slight flaw.
15 Beauty smuggling a gun, short piece (9)
BAGATELLE - BELLE = beauty, insert A GAT, a Gatling gun.
17 Squeeze bone dry, if soused (9)
BOYFRIEND - (IF BONE DRY)*. When did you last hear someone describe their bloke this way? Me neither.
18 Can, a container of liquid drunk by bird (8)
LAVATORY - LORY is a small parrot like bird, insert A VAT. US slang for the loo.
21 Rallying mid-morning? Not quite (6)
TENNIS - Nearly TENNISH so nearly mid morning.
22 Lowest degree, like that (5)
BASIC - BA = degree, SIC Latin for thus, like that.
24 Back with vitality in abundance (1,4)
A GOGO - AGO = back, GO = vitality.
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