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

Times 26925 - TCC Final final (#3) - if you can't explain it, it's almost certainly wrong.

Having already used up my allocated hour and more on the first two Finals puzzles (see previous Wednesdays' blogs) I wasn't expecting this to be easy, and it wasn't. Even if I had been there and tackled this one first on the day, I wouldn't have finished it in time. It began well enough with answers dropping in nicely from the NE corner down and across, until I was looking at mainly the SW corner unfinished and the long 1d; even when that fell into place I stared at 17a and 21a for an age. Once again my titfer is off to those who completed this in decent time and avoided the bear traps at 11a and 28a.

Definitions underlined, anagram fodder (in brackets)* and anagram indicators in italics.

Across
1 Key rings unable to be brought up (5)
TABOO - TAB = key, O O = two rings.
4 Frantic chase with army ducking shots (6-3)
CAMERA-SHY - (CHASE ARMY)*
9 Not including design leaving a waste product (9)
EXCRETION - EX = not including, CREATION = design, remove the A.
10 Asian dog covering miles (5)
TAMIL - Insert M into TAIL
11 Getting unseated, mounted fighter's lost face (6)
OUSTER - I'd never heard of OUSTER as a noun, so my first effort was OUSTED, but then I decided the mounted fighter was a JOUSTER not a jousted so went for the right answer with fingers crossed.
12 Tag game outside involved tariff (8)
GRAFFITO - GO = game, outside (TARIFF)*.
14 Loudly entering drunk, sense I might get duped (4,5)
SOFT TOUCH - SOT = drunk, insert F = loudly, TOUCH = sense.
16 Like this young lady from East African port (5)
LAGOS - SO = like, GAL = young lady, from East = reversed; Lagos being a West African port.
17 Plaintiff's back behind person who won't be appealing? (5)
FRUMP - I tried too hard with this one thinking of legalese for plaintiff and such guff, but it's easier than that; F = plaintiff's back i.e. last letter, RUMP = behind.
19 Like to dig into top grub prepared here? (9)
GASTROPUB - Insert AS = like, into (TOP GRUB)*. Definition the whole clue, or just 'here'.
21 Go off a person in party giving a twirl (8)
ROTATORY - ROT = go off, A TORY a person in a party. I spent too long trying to get DO for party into it somewhere.
22 Periodically, varsity hymn gets a complaint (6)
ASTHMA - Alternate letters of v A r S i T y H y M n A.
25 Give a lift to European and others around (5)
ELATE - E = european, ET AL = the others, reverse them = around.
26 Bourbons knocked back by this general: a vulgar, boring soldier (9)
GARIBALDI - GI = soldier, insert (boring) A RIBALD = a vulgar. Signor Garibaldi and a thousand or so chums sailed south and attacked the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies ruled by the Bourbons in 1860. Question; is it a coincidence that both Garibaldi and Bourbon are names for tasty biscuits?
27 British are out to block harsh brickbat (9)
RASPBERRY - My LOI and rather inelegant parsing I think; RASPY meaning harsh, insert B ERR for British 'are out'.
28 Writer quite slowly knocking out leading article (5)
DANTE - Well of course I saw D*N*E and put in DONNE the bell tolling chap. Then remembered the rule mentioned in my headline. Know any other writers, Pip? Even a dreaded poet? ANDANTE means rather slowly, musically, of course, knock off the AN.

Down
1 We're short of tailored clothing that's tight (3,5,3,4)
THE WORSE FOR WEAR - These long multiple word clues are usually the easy starters, but for me this one wasn't. Once I realised what the definition was, I got the answer in then deciphered the 'why'. TIGHT in the sense of drunk; (WE'RE SHORT OF)* followed by WEAR = clothing as a noun.
2 Funds in Madison County (5)
BUCKS - A double definition, funds in Madison, capital of Wisconsin, being dollars = BUCKS, and the English county abbreviation. I see there are in fact 23 USA cities or towns called MADISON and eleven Madison Counties, and it's nothing to to with the 'Bridges of ... ' movie that Mrs Pip is very fond of.
3 Fail to limit fare before passing through duty-free? (7)
OVEREAT - O VAT could be duty-free; insert ERE = before. A neat clue, l liked it because for once I twigged it quickly.
4 Cold sauce for prune (4)
CLIP - C for cold, LIP for sauce.
5 Upset stomach in the end for Burger King fan (10)
MONARCHIST - (STOMACH IN R)*, the R from end of Burger. What a cool surface.
6 Tee off straight, feeling pity for others once (7)
RUTHFUL - TRUTHFUL would be straight, knock off the T, an old fashioned word meaning RUEFUL. Nothing wrong with it as a word, but not as commonly used as its opposite, ruthless.
7 Calling for cuts on winning résumé (7-2)
SUMMING-UP - I think this is SUMMONING = calling for, cut the ON out, and UP = winning.
8 A single chicken sandwich (6,9)
YELLOW SUBMARINE - Very droll. YELLOW = chicken, cowardly, a SUBMARINE is a submarine-shaped giant roll or sandwich (mainly in USA but I suspect creeping into UK eateries). Rather banal Beatles single of 1966, on which a whole equally banal movie was based.
13 Chirpy Australian doctor on a run after shift (10)
BUDGERIGAR - Need a 10 letter Australian bird, mate? Has to be budgerigar or kookaburra. Then work it out; BUGDE = shift, RIG = doctor, alter, fix; A R(un).
15 Fliers in tropics giving clue for bananas (5,4)
FRUIT BATS - Well I can see BATS = bananas, crazy. Can FRUIT be a synonym for clue? Fruit for thought, as in food for thought? Let me know.
18 What might season reportedly be, after fuss? (7)
POTHERB - If you knew a POTHER means a fuss, then this was easy. I didn't, and I am not convinced herbs 'season' things, as do spices, salt, pepper etc. And B = reportedly be, fair enough. It went in last along with the raspberry and a grunt of 'well maybe'.
20 Did rebel call the wrong way? It'll prove a bloomer (7)
ROSEBUD - ROSE = rebel, DUB = call, reverse it = the wrong way.
23 Treasure for Paris Commune Le Havre's seized back (5)
HELEN - Our hidden reversed clue, in COMMU(NE LE H)AVRE.
24 Sally hasn’t got over fight (4)
FRAY - FORAY = sally, drops its O for over.
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