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

Times 26,903: Fighting Words

I found this not the hardest of Friday puzzles - done on the move so I don't have an exact time, but in the region of 7, 8 minutes? - but a very likeable one, with lots of innovative wordplay and satisfying surfaces. Cryptically I really liked "notes" for TIME in 2dn, and the clever Bible allusion in 7dn, but my COD is 13dn which is a simple anagram but just a great surface casting our minds back to Andrew Mitchell's Plebgate incident. Was it really 5 years ago now? Cripes!

First one in was the slightly chestnutty-flavoured 1ac, LOI the well concealed double def at 16dn after 17ac's Q arrived and made it pretty clear what word needed to precede the obvious "UP". I'm finding myself without that much else to say about what was just a very entertaining and well put together crossword: thanks setter! Perhaps we *will* have to argue about whether MR BEAN is indeed a sufficiently eminent personage to grace a Times crossword, just to make up the wordcount, after all...

1 Done in the style of curious old warning (6)
ALARUM - A LA [done in the style of] + RUM [curious]
5 Groom guarding enclosure for money (8)
CURRENCY - CURRY [groom] "guarding" ENC [enclosure]
9 Range in which writer figures (8)
PENNINES - PEN NINES [writer | figures]
10 Red blubber that woman slices (6)
CHERRY - CRY [blubber] that HER [woman] "slices"
11 Girl’s forte getting savings account for daughter (6)
LOUISA - LOU{d->ISA}. Forte is "loud" in music; replace its D for daughter with an ISA (Individual Savings Account).
12 Home appropriate for the richer (2,6)
IN POCKET - IN POCKET [home | appropriate]
14 Insects and rat on grain containers (12)
GRASSHOPPERS - GRASS [rat] on HOPPERS [grain containers]
17 Not entirely fit trade, making flannel (12)
EQUIVOCATION - EQUI{p} VOCATION ["not entirely" fit | trade]
20 Pretend that degree is fake, bizarrely (4,2,2)
MAKE AS IF - MA [degree] + (IS FAKE*) ["bizarrely"]
22 Brother returning in poor TV show (2,4)
MR BEAN - BR reversed [brother "returning"] in MEAN [poor]. Is Mr Bean dead, and if he isn't can he really be in a Times puzzle? What are the rules for fictional people?
23 With this one’s closer to nude model? (6)
LESSON - if one has LESS ON, one is closer to being nude.
25 Reptile and amphibian getting left in cargo (8)
BOATLOAD - BOA [reptile] + TOAD [amphibian] getting L [left] in
26 One needing guard, perhaps, to start shooting (4,4)
OPEN FIRE - double def. An open fire would need a fire-guard.
27 Band vote for parade (6)
SASHAY - SASH AY [band | vote for]

2 Take cover from inflatable mattress picked up? (3,3)
LIE LOW - homophone of LILO [inflatable mattress "picked up"]
3 Management notes how long spent watching movie? (7,4)
RUNNING TIME - RUNNING [management] + TI ME [(two) notes]
4 A twin moans dreadfully in close contest (4,1,4)
MANO A MANO - (A MOAN MOAN*) ["dreadfully"]. You have to convert "twin moans" into the appropriate anagram fodder first.
5 Clay, perhaps, brought by small spades into college (7)
CASSIUS - S S [small | spades] "into" CAIUS [college]. Cassius Clay aka Mohammed Ali.
6 Going back through park? Pop over (5)
RECAP - REC [park] + PA reversed [pop "over"]
7 One arriving on day six, or the day before (3)
EVE - double def. Biblical Eve was created on God's busy sixth day, before he rested on the seventh.
8 Stays, generally, well prepared, on track (8)
CORSETRY - COR SET [well! | prepared] on RY [track]
13 Only a fool would assume this “pleb” scandal resolved (3,3,5)
CAP AND BELLS - (PLEB SCANDAL*) ["resolved"]
15 Our MP was one for arranging campaigns on drug issue (5,4)
OPIUM WARS - (OUR MP WAS I*) ["for arranging"]
16 Prepare to scrap pay (6,2)
SQUARE UP - double def.
18 Upset body organising football legend’s friendly (7)
AFFABLE - FA reversed ["upset" body organising football] + FABLE [legend]
19 Desert padre as hearse turns up, dropping off regulars (6)
SAHARA - alternate letters of {p}A{d}R{e} A{s} H{e}A{r}S{e}, reversed
21 Where commandments received, breaking one leads to fine (5)
SINAI - SIN [breaking one (of the aforementioned commandments)] leads to A1 [fine]
24 We go round it daily (3)
SUN - double def.
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