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

Times 26901 - TCC heat 2 puzzle 2 - not done (Mistress) quickly enough?

The fifth in the series I'm coping with on Wednesdays (only 4 more to go) and IMO the hardest yet, not least because it requires some general knowledge as well as some smart wordplay. We've had a recent clue for the answer to 26a so it came to mind quickly, but the TCC Big Day was before that so it might have stumped a few non-scientists. As a one-time scientist who only ever studied one Shakespeare play (for O Level) TMOV which wasn't a history play, parsing 3d presented a challenge, although getting the answer from wordplay was easy enough, It took me just on the 20 minutes but I admit I had to look up 3d to get an explanation afterwards.



Across
1 Maybe that family member supporting sister with nothing to hide (8,7)
RELATIVE PRONOUN - 'that' being an example of a relative pronoun; RELATIVE = family member, PRO = supporting, NUN = sister, insert O = nothing. Once I had the P from 5d this was a cinch from the enumeration.
9 Clipped dog that's made better all round (9)
CURTAILED - CURED = made better, around TAIL = dog, follow.
10 Old Chinese coins left in sofa returned (5)
TAELS - Reverse SEAT = sofa, insert L. I don't know how I knew this, but it did ring a bell.
11 Those elected first to make demand (6)
INSIST - 'INs' are those elected, IST = first.
12 At back of witch's place observe one authorised to receive money (8)
ENDORSEE - I vaguely remembered ENDOR was some place to do with a witch in the Bible, and SEE = observe, but the answer came to mind before the reasons why.
13 Name given to stranger who offers a cursory greeting? (6)
NODDER - N for name, ODDER = stranger. Perhaps it's an &lit,, I'm never sure about that.
15 Likelihood of one looking for gold not finding it? (8)
PROSPECT - A PROSPECTOR looks for gold; remove the OR = gold.
18 Old bar staff taking candles across street (8)
TAPSTERS - Insert ST into TAPERS
19 Star is attractive but heartless, a “queen” (6)
PULSAR - with all the checkers in I first thought QUASAR which is another type of star, but it wouldn't be parsed, so I went for PULSAR as PULLS = is attractive (like a magnet, perhaps, not as in pulling the girls?) drop an L to make it heartless, add A R(egina).
21 Fellow with dog taken short hangs around good shrub (8)
MANGROVE - MAN is the fellow, ROVE(R) is the dog taken short, insert G(ood). From watching Sir Attenborough I thought a mangrove was more of a tree than a shrub, but that would be 6d.
23 Division brought by hesitation after thirty days (6)
SEPTUM - SEPT(ember), UM = hesitation. The thing that divides the nostrils into nostrils.
26 Nothing written about sort of current needed for scientific apparatus (5)
LINAC - NIL reversed, AC current; short for Linear Accelerator, as noted recently in another puzzle.
27 Financial problem posed by brief season (9)
SHORTFALL - A SHORT FALL would be a brief season Stateside.
28 Awful stir: gent so irate makes complaint after bad meal? (15)
GASTROENTERITIS - A fantastic anagram of (STIR GENT SO IRATE)* which once I twigged it ended in *T*S hence probably an ITIS, I saw quickly.

Down
1 Behaviour after game must preclude a row (7)
RUCTION - RU = game of rugby union, (A)CTION = behaviour precluding A.
2 Primate is following God for the most part (5)
LORIS - IS follows LOR(D). A primate common in SE Asia and crosswords, usually the Slow variety.
3 Doll maybe you distort finally, squeezing body parts (9)
TEARSHEET - My LOI because I didn't know the literary reference and had to fool around with the wordplay and T*A*S*E*T. The word play goes THEE = you, T = distort finally, stick EARS in between T and HEE. No doubt everyone except me knew that Doll Tearsheet was a prostitute under Mistress Quickly's wing in Henry IV part II. And I though it was Dickens who went in for silly names.
4 Base in small community from which convict’s escaped (4)
VILE - A LAG = convict escapes from a VIL(LAG)E.
5 Fastidiousness comes from editor stuck in room (8)
PEDANTRY - Stick your ED into a PANTRY.
6 Unfashionable game generates cost (5)
OUTGO - OUT = unfashionable, GO is a game. I'm not sure if OUTGO here is a permitted verb, as 'to cost'; I thought the relevant noun was OUTGOING and usually pluralised.
7 Shout of approval accompanying flowering plants and shrubs (9)
OLEASTERS - OLÉ = shout of approval, ASTERS are daisies, and OLEASTERS are shrubs.
8 Unfortunately, short answer to problem doesn't exist! (2,5)
NO SWEAT - A bit weird the definition here. Anagram of (ANSWE TO) where answe is a short answer and unfortunately is the anagrist. I guess if you say 'no sweat.' you can mean no problem. Thanks to jackkt and others below for correcting my definition.
14 Depression's limiting quiet individual, they’ll testify (9)
DEPONENTS - DENT = depression, insert P and ONE.
16 Hat, sort we use in storm? (9)
SOUWESTER - Cryptic double definition, a waterproof hat and a southwesterly gale.
17 It's always cold, climbing — help not half needed when falling into it! (8)
CREVASSE - EVER C = it's always cold; reversed = CREV..E, insert ASS(ist) = help not half.
18 Female voice raised when there's delay (4,3)
TIME LAG - Reverse GAL, EMIT = female, voice.
20 City developer redeveloping our slum (7)
ROMULUS - (OUR SLUM)*, brother of REMUS. City developer indeed.
22 Kitchen item stuffs centre of marrow with something very cold (5)
RICER - R R = centre of marrow; insert ICE. Our ricer makes nice fluffy worms of potato out of cooked spuds, but there may be other uses?
24 Publication shows discretion with writer's final piece included (5)
TRACT - Insert R = writer's final piece, into TACT = discretion.
25 The present time offers zilch (4)
NOWT - NOW, T(ime).
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