vinyl1 (vinyl1) wrote in times_xwd_times,
vinyl1
vinyl1
times_xwd_times

Times 27007

Time: 35 minutes
Music: Brahms, Violin Concerto, Kogan/Kondrashin


Despite my reasonable time, I suspect this was a difficult puzzle.   There were many obscurities you need to know, especially in the clues where both the literals and the cryptics are a bit tricky.   Fortunately, I have seen 'alameda', 'esse', and 'Actaeon' several times before in previous puzzles.  However, I suspect 'pourboire', 'secondo', and 'calends' may be new, and will prove difficult for those who don't know them.

I can't think of anything else to say, and for once don't even have an allusive title for the blog.   You'll have to get by on the bare bones for once, although most solvers will find the puzzle itself meaty enough.






Across
1 Fur seen in country with cool interior … (10)
CHINCHILLA - CHIN(CHILL)A, a chestnut, but well-disguised.
6 … being included in one’s selection (4)
ESSE - hidden in [on]E'S SE[ction], a stock word in US puzzles, but not often seen in cryptics
9 Consular agent advances date once familiar to Romans (7)
CALENDS - C.A. + LENDS, often spelt Kalends, the only Latin word with a 'K'.
10 Member of duo taking boy round City function (7)
SECONDO - S(E.C.)ON + DO.   This apparently applies to Italian meals, but you don't need to know that.
12 Fellow given time to receive oxygen at a height (5)
ALOFT - AL(O)F + T.   I biffed this one, and figured it out much later.
13 Head accommodating over wine for mogul (9)
POTENTATE - P(O TENT)ATE, where 'tent' is a wine that is only served in crossword puzzles.
14 Completely finished deliveries and swindled comic at hotel (4,3,4,4)
OVER AND DONE WITH - OVER (in the cricket sense) + AND + DONE WIT + H.
17 One thus will hurry to be insistent (3,4,4,4)
PUT ONES FOOT DOWN - double definition, one referring to a lead-footed driver.
20 Tip from tedious person about one going with flow (9)
POURBOIRE - POUR + BO(I)RE, a French word that has apparently made its way into use among English speakers
21 Person with rod initially lashing out in fury (5)
ANGER - ANG[l]ER.   I just biffed this, and it took a long time to figure out how the cryptic worked.
23 Walk down alley, to begin with, after a game (7)
ALAMEDA - A + LAME + D[own] A[lley], an obscure word with a tough cryptic.
24 A horse ultimately kept in London district — a hunter (7)
ACTAEON - ACT(A [hors]E)ON.
25 Unpretentious-sounding carriage (4)
MIEN - Sounds like MEAN, in its root meaning.
26 Like some missiles — type crossing top of high mountains ? (5-5)
SHORT-RANGE - S(H)ORT + RANGE.

Down
1 Exultant sound made by spaniel upset bear (4-1-4)
COCK-A-HOOP - sounds like COCKER, + POOH upside-down.  My Aunt Betty was very keen on Cocker Spaniels, but I never cared for them.
2 Dome-shaped dwelling I see during journey (5)
IGLOO - I + G(LO)O, an obvious literal for once!
3 Curbable prisoners responsive to instruction (13)
CONSTRAINABLE - CONS + TRAINABLE.
4 Popular drink one duke finds tasteless (7)
INSIPID - IN SIP + I + D.
5 State of roast regularly served up in rented house (7)
LESOTHO - LE([r]O[a]S[t] upside-down)T + HO.
7 Romanians could get in a state in Italy (3,6)
SAN MARINO - anagram of ROMANIANS, known to boy stamp collectors everywhere.
8 Grind away before sealing arrangement with bank (5)
ERODE - ER(O[ver] D[raft])E
11 Leader of midland county primarily involved with arts centre (13)
CONCERTMASTER - anagram of O[f] M[idland] C[ounty] + ARTS CENTRE.
15 Finally leave on excursion with mature followers (9)
ENTOURAGE - [leav]E [o]N + TOUR + AGE.
16 Old peasant managed church bar (9)
HINDRANCE - HIND + RAN + C.E.
18 Dashes up with a companion to get healthy food (7)
SPINACH - NIPS upside-down + A CH, i.e. a Companion of Honour.
19 Old couple embracing in French outdoors (4,3)
OPEN AIR - O P(EN)AIR.
20 Secretary has pounds invested in American song (5)
PSALM - P.S. + A(L)M, where it is Personal Secretary, not Personal Assistant.
22 Envious member of political party (5)
GREEN - simple double definition, my FOI.
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