vinyl1 (vinyl1) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times 26983 - "Trains it down on the quarter past.....

Time: 41 minutes
Music: Stan Getz, Sweet Rain

Well, I thought this was going to be a quick one.   I started off at a gallop so to speak, and put in the whole NW corner with scarcely a pause.   I filled in a few more, opened up a new front at the bottom, and everything was rolling.   Then I began to slow down, and became completely stuck.   There were things I didn't know, and words that mean entirely differet things in the UK and the US.   Worst of all, my printout had cut off the clue for 27, and I had written it in by hand leaving out a crucial word.

My difficulties had to be tackled one by one, and eventually yielded.  Some of the clues were quite clever, and required close analysis.   The clues for 'Flaubert', 'evocative', 'Senna', and 'chargehand' were particularly good, although others may have their own favorites.   I will point out the UK/US problems as I eludicate the individual clues.

1 Rush to have surgery on neck (6)
GALLOP - GALL + OP.  'Gall' = 'neck' = 'effrontery', but 'neck' is UK-centric.
5 Food rating badly received (8)
GRILLADE - GR(ILL)ADE, where I nearly put the momble 'guillide'.
9 Caught teacher of religion and head showing ill-temper (10)
CRABBINESS - C + RABBI + NESS, a starter clue.
10 What's very popular with oenophiles, principally? (4)
VINO - V + IN + O[eniphiles]
11 Writer's problem with tyre: taxi firm called in (8)
FLAUBERT - FLA(UBER)T, showing the Times is keeping up with the times.
12 What might have enabled drivers to communicate, seeing road junction? (6)
CARFAX - Double definition, one jocular.  However, while in the UK 'carfax' is a road junction in Oxford, in the US it is a company that sells you a report on the history of the used car you are considering for purchase.
13 Shop soiled? Not so, the reverse (4)
DELI - [so]ILED backwards.
15 Woman's not affected by European Union till now (8)
HEREUNTO - HER + EU + anagram of NOT.
18 Promise man bread with this starter (8)
COVENANT - COVE + NAN + T[his].   If you biffed 'forecast' with those crossers, you should have been forced to reconsider by the cryptic.
19 Wild animal centre being spoken of (4)
HART - Sounds like HEART
21 Moroccan dish with name in English (6)
TAGINE - TAG + IN + E, more correctly spelt 'tajine', but then the cryptic wouldn't work.
23 Start to swot a month before exam — that's most clever (8)
25 Early showings of Falling In Love: mediocre movie (4)
FILM - F[alling] I[n] L[ove], M[ediocre]
26 Workman indicted after pinching short length of material (10)
CHARGEHAND - CHARGE(HAN[k])D,  Well, I think it's 'hank', if 'material' can be stretched to include yarn and twine.
27 We're told much-loved explorer does appear here (4,4)
DEER PARK - Sounds like DEAR +  (Mungo) PARK.
28 Apartment suitable for the family taken by an Italian (6)
PADUAN - PAD + U  + AN.   Much more difficult if you leave out the 'an'!

2 Trouble crossing Peru, oddly, some time in spring (5)
APRIL - A(P[e]R[u])IL
3 Socialist mostly concerned with ceremony supporting left (9)
LABOURITE - L + ABOU[t] RITE.   Definition is a little loose, but lets keep politics out of the blog.
4 Strait-laced journalist prepared to be fired (6)
5 Swimmer ultimately floundering: where is that wretched rescue vessel? (5,5,5)
GREAT WHITE SHARK - anagram of [flounderin]G WHERE IS THAT + ARK
6 I smoke, holding nose to block out oxygen: that's dangerous (8)
INSECURE - I(N[o]SE)CURE, where I actually used the cryptic instead of biffing.
7 Offal, small portion with top sliced off (5)
LIVER - [s]LIVER.   I was delayed because I thought 'small' would be S.
8 Rovers team agreed to recruit players, right? (9)
14 Reminiscent of Morse's last case (9)
EVOCATIVE - [mors}E + VOCATIVE, a brilliantly deceptive clue.
16 Such eggs a Dutch hen abandoned? (9)
17 During holiday, Leonard and I head for ancient Spanish city (8)
VALENCIA - VA(LEN)C + I + A[ncient], a bit of lift and separate.
20 Suffering setback, boxer facing arrest and jail (4,2)
BANG UP - PUG + NAB upside down.
22 Turkish city is on lake, we're told (5)
IZMIR - sounds like IS + MERE.  I was caught out by this in the past, but unlike some I seem to still be able to pick things up.   Don't hold me to that!
24 Former driver about to leave Riviera town, heading north (5)
SENNA - [c]ANNES upside-down, another fellow who has come up before.
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