Pip Kirby (pipkirby) wrote in times_xwd_times,
Pip Kirby

Times 26949 - oh God it's Scottish but not a God

To say I struggled with this would be an understatement. As usual, ninety per cent of it went in pleasantly in fifteen minutes or so. I was left with a few blanks scattered around the grid, notably at 9a, 13a, 23a and 4d. I suddenly saw how 23a worked, having been trying wrongly to reverse the whole word. Then 4d was sorted with uxorial aid. I had never heard the expression (now obselete I guess) used in 9a, but what else could it be? But 13a, totally evaded me. I am ashamed to say I had to resort to crosswordsolver.org to check my guess from wordplay. In my opinion obscure Scottish dialect words with no current usage should not be answers in the world's best daily crossword, but maybe that's because I'm not Scottish. We did try haggis, neeps and tatties last week, but we shan't be making that an annual event either. I like a drop of a good malt though and the golf courses are pretty good.

1 Councillor keeps coins out of circulation (6)
CROWNS - CR = councillor, OWNS = keeps.
5 Search and take from island for armed soldier (8)
RIFLEMAN - RIFLE = search and take from, MAN as in the Isle of.
9 Gay arrest traditionally undertaken by women (4-6)
PINK-COLLAR - As mentioned in the blurb above, I didn't know this variation of blue-collar and white-collar, but eventually decided it must have been once used as an acceptable term, if not nowadays. COLLAR colloquially means arrest, and PINK pride is Gay pride so pink must mean gay.
10 Dodge Oscar in Strand (4)
PLOY - O for Oscar, inserted into PLY for strand, as in wool.
11 Virtually useless, I've dropped out (2,6)
IN EFFECT - INEFFECTIVE = useless, drop the IVE.
12 Edison with eccentric characters working for same goal (6)
13 In Scotland, divine drop of essence added to bath (4)
SPAE - Add E from Essence to SPA = bath. I was looking for a Scottish God or a dialect word meaning holy. But apparently it means to tell the future, divine in that sense. See above for this week's rant.
15 Wary learner gets stuck into jumbo after six (8)
VIGILANT - VI = six, GIANT = jumbo, insert L.
18 Commiserated as Tory Party came first (8)
CONDOLED - Go down a snake if you first thought CONSOLED. CON = Tory, DO = party, LED = came first. Ive never seen it as a verb, it's usually 'give condolcences', but no reason why not.
19 Come across notes, second turned over (4)
MEET - ME and TE are tonic notes, reverse the TE.
21 Sportsperson who might make pounds? (6)
FENCER - Cryptic DD, a fencer could build a pound to keep sheep in for example.
23 Coins with wrong edging recalled — disorder results (8)
NEUROSIS - Wrong = SIN, reverse it and insert EUROS = coins. Took me too long as I was thinking disorder in the sense of entropy or chaos, and trying to insert some coins which were also reversed. Overthinking.
25 Tool for trimming notices picked up (4)
ADZE - homophone, sounds like ADS = notices.
26 Cross Yellow River to the west to make complaint (7,3)
CHICKEN POX - CHICKEN = yellow, cowardly; PO = river in Lombardy, X = cross.
27 Save to join forces, pocketing rupees ruthlessly (8)
BRUTALLY - BUT = save, except; ALLY = join forces; insert an R for rupees.
28 Good man killed after reversing railway vehicle (6)
MARTYR - RY = railway, TRAM = vehicle, reverse all. Nice definition and easy to think the def. was a vehicle and good meant G.

2 Step down, freeing son to take command (5)
REIGN - RESIGN = step down, lose the S.
3 All those running after train in northern city (9)
WAKEFIELD - I put in FIELD for all those running, and went through my limited repertoire of cities oop north; Shef, Hudders, Chester, then wondered if Wakefield was indeed a city not a town. As WAKE could just about mean 'TRAIN'. Apparently Wakefield has been a city since 1888, so up till now I have been underestimating its glory.
4 Hot fruit loaf, only one left (6)
STOLEN - I thought Stollen was a sticky pastry thing, but Mrs K assures me it could be called a fruit loaf. Delete one of the L's.
5 Weight ratio needs revision in Einstein's theory (8,7)
RELATIVE DENSITY - Insert (NEEDS)* into RELATIVITY, a fascnating subject on which Albert Einstein had two theories, Specific and General, dealing with different topics. RD is the ratio of the density of a substance to the density of a standard, usually water for a liquid or solid, and air for a gas.
6 Leave hard-water deposit beside provincial lake (8)
FURLOUGH - FUR deposits in your electirc kettle, and a LOUGH is a lake in Northern Ireland, as opposed to a loch in Scotland.
7 Narthex possibly housing public displays (5)
EXPOS - You don't need to know that a Narthex is a church porch, this isn't the Mephisto; the answer is a hidden word NARTH(EX POS)SIBLY.
8 Skipping gap between two articles on church (9)
AVOIDANCE - VOID being a gap goes between A and AN then CE for church.
14 Food bound to be consumed by traveller under pressure (9)
PROVENDER - P for pressure, ROVER = traveller consumes END = bound. End as in limit.
16 One taking off criminal on parole grabbing maiden (9)
17 Caller troubled guards in charge of minister (8)
CLERICAL - Insert IC (in charge) into (CALLER)*.
20 Union men originally supporting place to drop off rubbish (6)
BUNKUM - U M initial letters of union men, after BUNK a place to drop off i.e. sleep.
22 Contrasting temperatures worry trickster (5)
CHEAT - C for cold and H for hot, EAT for worry.
24 Once a key constituent in vote opposed radical youth at first (5)
IVORY - Initial letters of In Vote Opposed Radical Youth.
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