vinyl1 (vinyl1) wrote in times_xwd_times,
vinyl1
vinyl1
times_xwd_times

Times 26935

Time: 47 Minutes
Music: Mahler, Symphony #9, Levine/Philadelphia Orchestra

When I started at 1 across, I thought this was going to be very easy indeed.   I did go at blazing speed for a while, only to get thoroughly stuck with 2/3 of the puzzle complete.   This was in part due to a wrong answer - I found 'minimal' a very convincing answer for 18 down, fitting both the cryptic and the definition perfectly, but unfortunately it was quite wrong, as I discovered when I saw 'extractor fan'.   The other problem was the use of words that while not obscure, are not often used- 'patchily', ethnical'?   Most people would say 'patchy' and 'ethnic', and let it go at that.   I also have some serious doubts about my LOI, which I will get to in due couurse.

Overall, I would be  inclined to rate this as an easy-to-moderate puzzle, with just one or two possible quibbles.   If I had been the editor, I probably would have sent several clues back for revision or replacement.



Across
1 Wild, like a kangaroo? (7,3)
HOPPING MAD - Double definition, one jocular.
7 Sunscreen and singlet I put on (4)
TOPI - TOP + I, where you need to know what kind of hat a 'topi' is.
9 Proper to fix name of race (8)
ETHNICAL - ETH(N)ICAL.
10 For unruly lot, hard to get into subject of parable (6)
SHOWER - S(H)OWER.   This was my LOI.   The cryptic works well enough, but I don't see how a 'shower' can be an 'unreuly lot' - a shower of invective?   A shower of missiles?   Either I am not seeing something, or the clue has gotten garbled.   Comments invited.  My ignorance of 50s UK slang got me into difficulties here, but the usage is fully explicated in the comments below.
11 Olympic sportsman who joins panels? (6)
FENCER - double definition, although fences do not necessarily involve panels, and you have to do more than join them or your fence will fall over.
13 A grass mutates like this into a weed (8)
SARGASSO - anagram of A GRASS + SO.
14 Posh accent that gets Parliament going! (6,6)
QUEENS SPEECH - douible definition - you can't get more posh than ER herself!
17 One no longer keen on farm machinery that does away with steam (9,3)
EXTRACTOR FAN - Double definition, one, 'EX TRACTOR FAN', jocular.
20 Girl, cold, losing pounds in odd places (8)
PATCHILY - PAT + CHI[l]LY.   A random girl, and neither C nor ICY makes this a little difficult, especially since 'in odd places' suggests either an anagram or every other letter.
21 Sailor comprehending what ocean is, turning dial (6)
SPEEDO - O(DEEP)S, all backwards, with our old friend the Ordinary Seaman.   The thing next to the tacho, and not the abbreviated bathing suit.
22 Drop off tin with leak (6)
SNOOZE - SN + OOZE, perfectly simple, and I still couldn't get it for a very long time.
23 Back in the morning, queuing at this station? (8)
MAINLINE - AM backwards + IN LINE.   Not a branch line, presumably, although this term probably has different meanings in various countries.
25 A very short book (4)
AMOS - A MOS[t], book of the Bible, of coruse.
26 Unavoidable shortly to do favour for a politician (10)
OBLIGATORY - OBLIG[e] A TORY.


Down
2 Trying to escape joining in a marathon? (2,3,3)
ON THE RUN - Double definition, and a very simple one.
3 Hurt as I dropped vessel (3)
PAN - PA[i]N
4 Improved new freezer (5)
NICER - N + ICER.
5 Effete type weaving silk into unruly hair (7)
MILKSOP - M(anagram of SILK)OP
6 Confuse with combination of noise and dirt (9)
DISORIENT - Anagram of NOISE, DIRT.
7 Hard worker on heroin a danger on computer (6,5)
TROJAN HORSE - TROJAN + HORSE in different slang senses.
8 Under pressure, let out imploring word (6)
PLEASE - P + LEASE.
12 Bright guy means to lift in a couple of hundred pieces of fuel (6,5)
CLEVER CLOGS - C(LEVER)C + LOGS, a UK-centric slang phrase that vaguely rang a bell over here.
15 Start blazing row, full of feminine emotion (3,4,2)
SET FIRE TO - SET (F IRE) TO
16 One with a tale to tell finished interrupting queen (8)
PARDONER - PARDON + E.R, although you are more likely to say 'pardon' when you start interrupting Correct parsing is actually PAR(DONE)R, as first pointed out by Lou Weed.
18 Very poor baby, small, uncovered (7)
ABYSMAL - hidden in [b]ABY SMAL[l].
19 Chap grabs glass that girl’s left: I’m not sure there’s much wine in it (6)
MAGNUM - MA(G[lass]N + UM, a rather busy clue that most solvers will just biff.
21 Confess about part finally in police operation (5)
STING - S([par]T)ING.
24 Random allocation of large amount (3)
LOT - double definition, and another easy one.
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