ulaca (ulaca) wrote in times_xwd_times,
ulaca
ulaca
times_xwd_times

Times 26941 - Bolt in the Tail?

I thought this was a fine specimen of the Monday puzzle, with a particular resonance for me, as 23 across are the very words used to describe my sporting endeavours as a callow six-year-old by Mr Entiknapp, the games master at Christ Church School, VW. A little bit for everyone - the linguist, the scientist and, of course, the classical armaments expert, as well as a lot of double definitions. Well, my classical pedigree - not to mention, my crossword skills - was not enough to get me over the line at 15 down, where I couldn't think of the required word for 'shelf' or indeed 'flap', and never saw that the reversal indicator could cover the whole clue. No Old Baileys, though - I was beaten by a better man (or woman) on the day. For the record, I had all bar 15 down in 24 minutes, and struggled on for another six before throwing in the towel and taking recourse to 'aids'. COD for me, wearing my linguist hat, must be 10 across. I'm always a sucker for a function word (e.g. a preposition or a conjunction) being clued as the literal, and here for once I was onto the setter's ruse pretty sharpish. Only to be defeated by the bolt-chucker. A metaphor for life, perhaps.

ACROSS

1 Wind was single flute, perhaps? (9)
WINEGLASS - anagram* of WAS SINGLE
6 Iberian character, Spaniard’s back in hat (5)
TILDE - [spaniar]D in TILE
9 Dissimilar to cricketer perhaps, not cricket? (15)
UNSPORTSMANLIKE - I think this is a quirky double definition, but I am open to offers.
10 In front of both reactors and incinerators, waste bags (6)
DURING - initial letters ('front') of R[eactors] and I[ncinerators] in DUNG
11 As one wearing tie, proceed to the left (8)
TOGETHER - GO reversed in TETHER
13 Show after bend what's in front of the driver (10)
WINDSCREEN - WIND + SCREEN
14 Device that destroys a great deal (4)
BOMB - DD
16 Island, not very far (4)
INCH - DD
17 Almost all numbers to sort out — that's about a hundred to decipher (10)
UNSCRAMBLE - AL[l] + NUMBERS* around C
19 A worry Hardy character bears without end (8)
TAILLESS - A + ILL in TESS; Collins has 'misfortune; trouble' for the noun 'ill'
20 Is this hotter than a smoking jacket? (6)
BLAZER - cryptic definition
23 Burning like something hot? (2,4,2,7)
AS KEEN AS MUSTARD - another incendiary CD
24 Small dog’s head, black (5)
DINKY - D[og] + INKY
25 Grandee at fancy restaurant in the open air (3,6)
TEA GARDEN - GRANDEE AT*

DOWN

1 Twisted injury(5)
WOUND - DD
2 An oldie lacking resilience without backbone (2,6,7)
NO SPRING CHICKEN - if something lacked elasticity, it would be lacking in
resilience, and if someone is without backbone they are chicken
3 Gracious virtue(8)
GOODNESS - DD
4 Key Largo's ultimate voice (4)
ALTO - ALT + [larg]O; ESC and ALT are fast acquiring chestnut status
5 Nelson has come around, in state of semi-consciousness (10)
SOMNOLENCE - NELSON COME*; I'm mot quite sure how this works, but perhaps 'around
in' are operating in cryptic tandem to say 'mix that lot up, mate - but not the "come"!'
6 One following another into accident and emergency (6)
TANDEM - as in 'ride tandem'; the 'into' appears to have entered into the spirit
of things, and is saying 'you'll find what you want inside the next words!'
7 Something clarified about crew on call in Bedfordshire town (8,7)
LEIGHTON BUZZARD - LARD ('something clarified') around EIGHT ON and BUZZ
8 Awful old English king secured by rope (9)
EXECRABLE - EX + E + [R in CABLE]
12 Nut to rip off part of the engine (10)
CRANKSHAFT - CRANK + SHAFT (slang for 'cheat / rip off')
13 Bracelet that’s right for sweater? (9)
WRISTBAND - is there more than this than meets my eye? It seems just a CD to me
15 Shelf inside a flap that's raised in old weapon (8)
BALLISTA - SILL ('shelf' as in window sill) reversed in A TAB
18 Agent keeping general quiet (6)
SLEEPY - LEE in SPY; 'quiet' as in sleepy village
21 Bolted boxes gathering gas (5)
RADON - DO in RAN
22 Measure of length in each book (4)
EMMA - MM in EA
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