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Times 27040 - a little off the sides

Solving time: 18:47. That's pretty slow for me, and there's some tricky stuff in here, but I don't know if I have ever agonized over an answer like I have 1 down. The second word seemed to fit part of the clue, but I had a hard time trying to pick over the words that fit in the first part of the answer, and plumped for one triggered by another one in the clue.  The good news is that I came back as correct, the bad is that I still have no clue whatsowever as to how the clue works.

Definitions are underlined in the clues... away we go!

1 Startle, prepared to keep ace and not lead (4,1,4,4)
TAKE A BACK SEAT - TAKE ABACK(startle) then SET(prepared) containing A(ace)
9 It may get endless representation (5)
IMAGE - nice clue - remove the last letters from It MAy GEt
10 Message’s tenor we may hear described (9)
VOICEMAIL - and a tenor may be a VOICE, MALE
11 Think shop needs rebuke (10)
12 No time for jokes — strap on leg (4)
JESS - remove T from JESTS(jokes). Got this from wordplay, it is the strap on the leg of a hawk. Last seen in the daily Times in 2007 (back when I was a mere occasional commenter) and the Saturday Times in 2008
14 Get cash for proper detached place, not large (7)
REALISE - REAL(proper) then ISLE(detached place) missing L
16 Republic extremely embarrassed, withdrawing current coins (7)
DENARII - the Republic of IRAN, and E(mbarrasse)D reversed, then I(current)
17 At heart, regrets nothing in Spanish island (7)
GRENADA - the middle of reGREts then NADA(nothing)
19 Burden of work papers (7)
20 Just open a container (4)
21 Fruit and meat including starter of rice for Chinese runner (5,5)
PEARL RIVER - PEAR(fruit), and LIVER(meat) containing R(ice). Got this from wordplay, it is also called the Canton River
24 People arrest smooth boy over a little bling (9)
MEDALLION - MEN(people) containing OIL(smooth), LAD(boy) all reversed
25 Maxim’s garden feature? (5)
GNOME - double definition for a witty saying and a think you might stick in the garden
26 Ma and Granny worried about Junior, a disillusioned playwright (5,5,3)
ANGRY YOUNG MAN - anagram of MA and GRANNY surrounding YOUNG(Junior)

1 Old broadcaster’s second trailer for good stuff on compiler (5,9)
THIRD PROGRAMME - I think I have this sorted out... THIRD PROGRAMME was an old radio station.  So THIRD would be trailing second, then PRO(for), G(good), RAM(stuff), ME(the compiler of this crossword).
2 Frolic about, holding a pen (5)
KRAAL - LARK(frolic) reversed containing A
3 Land almost nothing, after a West Indian lands one (10)
AZERBAIJAN - ZER(o) after A, then BAJAN(West Indian) containing I(one)
4 Injurious commercial, very Irish (7)
5 Came together and kept busy at the guillotine? (7)
KNITTED - double definition, referencing the crowd in front of the guillotine bringing their knitting to do between executions
6 Like some spuds? I had to speak (4)
EYED - sounds like I'D
7 Agreed toe is deformed somewhat (2,1,6)
8 Doctor percussing a lot who will get you looking better (7,7)
PLASTIC SURGEON - anagram of PERCUSSING,A,LOT, though the defintion is up for debate
13 Simple game won’t come to an end — I go to bed (10)
SNAPDRAGON - the game of SNAP will DRAG ON
15 Queen cross with regiment holding up drink (9)
ALEXANDRA - X(cross), AND, RA(regiment) under ALE
18 Useful feature to order any time (7)
AMENITY - anagram of ANY,TIME
19 Managed to support some good books: here, The Castle? (7)
OTRANTO - RAN(managed), TO under OT(good books). Got this from wordplay and thought it might have been a physical castle, but it is a book by Horace Walpole. OK, it appears there is a physical castle from comments, but the question mark seems to indicate that the clue is referring to the book.
22 Rev Vicar’s first study, say (5)
VROOM - V(icar) ROOM(study, for example)
23 Bullet hit pest (4)
SLUG - triple definition!


( 50 comments — Leave a comment )
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May. 17th, 2018 12:57 am (UTC)
Biffed a few, and probably just as well, as eg I DNK Bajan. Biffed 1d as well, helped by a recent discussion here of UK/US spelling differences; George's parsing sounds good to me. At 5d I suspect the setter may have been thinking of Madame LaFarge specifically; I was, anyway. COD to IMAGE.

Edited at 2018-05-17 01:24 am (UTC)
May. 17th, 2018 04:00 am (UTC)
Re: 24:41
Defarge monsieur.
Re: 24:41 - kevingregg - May. 17th, 2018 05:10 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: 24:41 - (Anonymous) - May. 17th, 2018 07:51 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - oliviarhinebeck - May. 17th, 2018 10:46 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kevingregg - May. 17th, 2018 11:09 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 17th, 2018 12:58 am (UTC)
Time: 65 minutes, and all correct!
But I didn't have a clue about 'jess', and my parsing of 1 down was overly simplistic - your 500 lines of COBOL code is a goodie for the compiler! But at least I am enough of an Anglophile to know of the BBC Third Programme, so I was quite confident of my answer. But how do you spell Azerbaijan? Very carefully, especially if 'Bajan' doesn't mean much to you.

Fortunately, there was a lot of stuff we see every day: Otranto, denarii, Grenada, snapdragon....
May. 17th, 2018 02:16 am (UTC)
28 minutes, rewarded by my attempt to solve yesterday's oldie by being able to write in KRAAL. A slightly old-fashioner feel to this one, I thought, but the setter must get credit for working AZERBAIJAN into a puzzle.
May. 17th, 2018 03:46 am (UTC)
I deduced THAT THIRD trailed SECOND as in any competition.

COD 22dn VROOM (Remember John Kent?)

45 minutes but DNF as I had 12ac as FESS (FESTS of the joke type!) JESS should have been obvious.

May. 17th, 2018 04:36 am (UTC)
One point on the blog, OTRANTO is a 'physical' castle and it features in several places on the Wiki page for the port. Unfortunately I didn't know that (nor the town despite its many appearances in past puzzles as mentioned above by vinyl1) so I had to rely on wordplay for the answer. Other unknowns were BAJAN and PEARL RIVER but I still finished within my target half-an-hour with 1 minute to spare.

The THIRD PROGRAMME was the BBC's classical music station before it was renamed BBC Radio 3 in 1967. Regulars may have noticed that I am not overkeen on 'old' (or 'former') with reference to things in the past but I think in this clue something along those lines is fully justified as the answer is a bit obscure, especially, I imagine, for overseas solvers.

Edited at 2018-05-17 04:39 am (UTC)
May. 17th, 2018 04:48 am (UTC)
29m 34s
Thank you, George, for your parsing of 1d. THIRD PROGRAMME had to be the solution and I'm old enough to remember it but I had no idea how the clue worked until I read your blog.
COD for me was GRENADA. I was silly enough to spend time looking for a Spanish island.
Never heard of JESS.
Another sad day: Ray Wilson, elegant left back of 1966-and-all-that fame has died.
May. 17th, 2018 06:50 am (UTC)
59 minutes and 30 seconds! FOI 6d EYED after nothing much else sprang to mind, then dotting about trying to knock off any easy ones before I got enough crossers to build momentum. LOI 3d AZERBAIJAN—glad I see I'm in good company not knowing BAJAN.

Also glad that KRAAL came up recently, as I didn't know it before this week. (I've just started reading another of my crossword-inspired novel choices, She, so it's possible I'll encounter the word again before the week is out, but I'm only up to the bit where they hit the African coast...)

COD 17a GRENADA for the misdirection, though a mention in dispatches for JESS for its "strap on leg". Luckily I knew the falconry term. WOD SNAPDRAGON.

Edited at 2018-05-17 06:56 am (UTC)
May. 17th, 2018 07:43 am (UTC)
Bajan is basically another way of saying 'Barbadian'. Known to cricket fans...
May. 17th, 2018 07:16 am (UTC)
25 minutes
Excellent crossword and such concise clues taking up less than two thirds of the available space. JESS, IMAGE and GRENADA were my trio of CODs.
May. 17th, 2018 07:24 am (UTC)
Jess walking in the rain
40 mins with a croissant and Gin&Lime marmalade (hoorah).
You wait ages for a Kraal, then two come along at once (albeit one delayed from 1977).
A gentle solve with nothing to excite the horses - except, perhaps the oily lad in his medallion. Ugh.
Now I will always know how to spell Azerbaijan. Or one way, anyway.
Thanks setter and G.
May. 17th, 2018 07:50 am (UTC)
I've never heard of THIRD PROGRAMME but I thought of THIRD as 'second trailer' quickly so evidently I was briefly on the wavelength.

I'm not sure I'd have got JESS but for the fact there was a pest controller using a hawk on the office block next to where I work last week and one of my colleagues referred to the JESS on its leg (he actually said Jesse).
May. 17th, 2018 08:04 am (UTC)
Easy again .. I suppose that nowadays we would call it the Third Program?
May. 17th, 2018 08:08 am (UTC)
Don't look back in anger...
...I heard you say. At least not today. 18 minutes, same as yesterday on the Championship qualifier. I'm getting delusions of adequacy again. I didn't know JESS, which was a guess from crossers and jests. In my hurry to break 20 minutes, I didn't bother to parse DENARII or THIRD PROGRAMME which were clear from literal and crossers. Never heard of PEARL RIVER, which I did properly construct. I realised why REALISE after biffing it. Here's a first for me. I'm giving COD to an anagram, ANGRY YOUNG MAN which was a neat clue. Thank you George and setter

Edited at 2018-05-17 08:18 am (UTC)
May. 17th, 2018 10:15 am (UTC)
Re: Don't look back in anger...
John Osborne was surprisingly good as a villain in Get Carter.
Re: Don't look back in anger... - john_dun - May. 17th, 2018 12:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 17th, 2018 08:31 am (UTC)
22:49. I was on target for sub 20 mins but then got stuck in Azerbaijan. I just couldn’t see it. I didn’t give serious consideration to Z being a candidate for the missing second letter.

COD Azerbaijan. Nice surface and unexpected.
May. 17th, 2018 08:33 am (UTC)
Just over 10 minutes. Quite a lot from wordplay today, which I always like: JESS, PEARL RIVER, OTRANTO, the spelling of AZERBAIJAN (I knew BAJAN fortunately). Funny to see KRAAL again so soon.
I was just thinking of the ‘tricoteuses’ in general rather than a particular person.
The professional association of 8dns is called BAAPS. No seriously.

Edited at 2018-05-17 08:34 am (UTC)
May. 17th, 2018 08:40 am (UTC)
Those were the days: Home Service, Light Programme, Third Programme.....Only knew of OTRANTO from the Gothic novel, dnk GNOME in that sense. LOI IMAGE.

12'36”, twenty seconds faster than yesterday. Are there many others who don't send it in because of potential stress?

Thanks gl and compiler.
May. 17th, 2018 08:55 am (UTC)
I don't send it in because of the stress that would be caused through not being good enough!
(no subject) - ulaca - May. 17th, 2018 09:50 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pootle73 - May. 17th, 2018 11:51 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - john_dun - May. 17th, 2018 12:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
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