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

Times 26,885: Popular Beat Combo in Purpler Blog Combat

I'm going to play the sleep deprivation "get out of jail free" card that I didn't play yesterday on this one to explain my unprepossessing time on a puzzle that should have been right up this blogger's personal alley - certainly I can't think of any other excuse for staring at 17ac and thinking "David... Conip?". Likewise, 19dn was my LOI, though I can partly justify that by the fact that after one false start I'd tidied up my previously correct 23ac to BRAHMS, as your unconscious brain will do, and neither The BUSTLES nor The BASALTS sold many records during their careers.

I did think that this was a largely impeccable Friday puzzle, requiring the solver's brain to run the gamut from the aforementioned pop culture and 2dn (why does that word show up so often in crosswords these days?) to the full-on fust of 2dn, 5dn, 7dn, gods and kings and queens and philosophers. The surfaces are great (1ac for a start), the definitions often brilliantly misleading (9ac, 27ac, 18dn) and overall I had the strong impression I was in the hands of a setter who totally understands how crosswords works - thanks, whoever you may be! Perhaps someone will quibble minorly about the anagrind in 23ac, or the fact that Winner for "director" may be a bit past its use-by-date now, or wonder if ambient music is really definitionally free of beats, or remark that 22dn seemed familiar (was it in a championship puzzle a year or two back), but I shall refrain.

I'll nominate 12ac as my COD as I like its innovative use of blogger shorthand for cryptic ends, but there were quite a few candidates today. And now I am off to Derbyshire (not far from 1dn, probably) for the weekend to read the collected works of Jane Austen (writer of 1dn Park) aloud while dressed in bonnets, as you do. Have a lovely weekend everyone, wrap up warm, see you next week!

ACROSS
1 The writer limited personal catastrophe (8)
MELTDOWN - ME LTD OWN [the writer | limited | personal]
5 Criminal snatching too much material (6)
COTTON - CON [criminal] "snatching" OTT [too much]
8 Retired lecturer gives green light (3)
NOD - reversed DON ["retired" lecturer]
9 Perhaps ennoble any person finding royal favour at first (4,6)
ANNE BOLEYN - (ENNOBLE ANY*) ["perhaps"]
10 Perceived as carrying much weight in diamonds (8)
FATHOMED - FAT HOME D [carrying much weight | in | diamonds]
11 Despicable British bishop breaking silence, indeed (6)
SHABBY - B B [British | bishop] "breaking" SH AY [silence | indeed]
12 Bottom left corner unseen in country paradise (4)
EDEN - {sw}EDEN ["bottom left corner (= southwest, = SW) unseen in" country]
14 Question came up after lunatic returned plant (6,4)
DAMASK ROSE - ASK ROSE [question | came up] after MAD reversed [lunatic "returned"]
17 Musician involves keen crook in decline (5,5)
DAVID BOWIE - AVID BOW [keen | crook] in DIE [decline]
20 Horse, observed outside wood (4)
SHAW - H [horse], SAW [observed] "outside"
23 Creator undoes harm in soul (6)
BRAHMA - (HARM*) ["undoes"] in BA [soul]
24 Patrolman on way shows new face (8)
STRANGER - RANGER [patrolman] on ST [= street = way]
25 Criminal presumably able to hold up store (10)
SHOPLIFTER - cryptic def, playing on the old "who is the strongest thief?" joke...
26 Left cuts excellent boxer (3)
ALI - L [left] "cuts" A1 [excellent]
27 Evil looks good put next to certain Roman deities (6)
GLARES - G [good] put next to LARES [certain Roman deities]
28 Short message recalled about hospital fundraiser (8)
TELETHON - NOTELET reversed [short message "recalled"] about H [hospital]

DOWN
1 Woman's work never done in this Notts town (9)
MANSFIELD - a woman's work is, presumably, never done in a MAN'S FIELD
2 Guzzling girl due after draining coffee cups (7)
LADETTE - D{u}E, that LATTE [coffee] "cups"
3 Cavalryman dispatches one over fierce woman (6)
DRAGON - DRAG{o}ON [cavalryman "dispatches one over (= O)"]
4 Film director not last to capture old Siouan native (9)
WINNEBAGO - WINNE{r} [Michael, film director, "not last"] + BAG O [to capture | old]
5 Wealthy man angry about EU split (7)
CROESUS - CROSS [angry] "about" E and U separately
6 Work to provide meaningful options in other words (9)
THESAURUS - cryptic def
7 Feature of city traffic in considerable volume (7)
OMNIBUS - double def
13 Local resident shows love for daughter in New Edinburgh (9)
NEIGHBOUR - (E{d->O)INBURGH*) ["new", "love (= O) for daughter (= D)"]
15 Emerge bearing child close to natural philosopher (9)
ARISTOTLE - ARISE [emerge] "bearing" TOT L [child | "close to" {natura}L]
16 Edited alert to include donation sent up after king (9)
EDWARDIAN - ED WARN [edited | alert] "to include" AID reversed [donation "sent up"]
18 Mister Solo animated after a little hesitation (7)
AEROSOL - (SOLO*) ["animated"] after A ER [a | little hesitation]
19 Mostly ambient musical combo (7)
BEATLES - BEATLES{s} ["mostly" ambient]
21 Motorbike was taken by husband? Nonsense! (7)
HOGWASH - HOG WAS [motorbike | was] taken by H [husband]
22 Writer's block that's endless (6)
BARRIE - BARRIE{r} [block "that's endless"]
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