Cityish Alt-ish Fortyish (verlaine) wrote in times_xwd_times,
Cityish Alt-ish Fortyish
verlaine
times_xwd_times

Times 27,095: A-Solving We Will Go

Any nagging suspicions that the Times 15x15 have been leaning towards the gentle side of late are unlikely to have been defused by this puzzle - the top left corner having all gone pretty much straight in for me, I was able to finish it on paper in 5 and a half minutes, only the white giving me a moment's pause at the end, wine not being my personal tipple and anagrams of foreign words being a touchy subject in some parts.

The cluing is impressively concise and there are some nice misleading touches in the wordplay, but with more than a few borderline chestnuts this did feel like an expanded QC at points. Nothing wrong with that of course, they're all quality Times Crosswords, Monday or Friday, big or small. COD to the excellent anagram and smooth surface at 5dn, and many thanks to the setter!

1 Flying stunt cut — nothing in it (4)
LOOP - LOP, O in it

4 British soldiers began without resolution, going west (6,4)
DESERT RATS - STARTED without RES, read from right to left

9 Withdrawal of touching drawing (10)
RETRACTION - RE TRACTION [touching | drawing]

10 Almost broke cover (4)
SKIN - SKIN{t}

11 One refusing to acknowledge some yarn (6)
DENIER - double def
Denier is "a unit of weight by which the fineness of silk, rayon, or nylon yarn is measured, equal to the weight in grams of 9,000 metres of the yarn and often used to describe the thickness of hosiery"

12 Present Queen holds a view that's disguised (8)
GIVEAWAY - GAY [queen] holds (A VIEW*) ["that's disguised"].
A rare sighting of a "queen" in a crossword that doesn't clue ER, R or QU.

14 Rough projection of Conservative newspaper (4)
CRAG - C RAG [Conservative | newspaper]

15 Merchant to supply white wine (10)
MONTRACHET - (MERCHANT TO*) ["supply"]. This is supply as in "in a supple way", a sometimes-seen anagram indicator that is probably one of the cleverest. Much classier than "pants", too.

17 Rogues copy Hitchcock character (10)
REPROBATES - REPRO BATES [copy | Hitchcock character]. The unimpeachably filial Norman Bates from Psycho.

20 Busy with leader of party out for change (2,2)
UP TO - (P{arty} OUT*) ["for charge"]

21 Some trust a gnat eventually to stop moving (8)
STAGNATE - hidden in {tru}ST A GNAT E{ventually}

23 Detain working student (6)
INTERN - double def

24 Nag man to adopt a change of direction (4)
MARE - MA{l->R}E. Left becomes right; nag as in a horse, not to pester.

25 Depressed on holiday, son collapses (10)
BREAKDOWNS - DOWN on BREAK + S

26 Helper overcoming fear finds machine taking money (4,6)
CARD READER - CARER overcoming DREAD

27 They may have it after motion, one's recollected (4)
NOES - (ONE'S*) ["recollected"]

DOWN
2 Excessively serious English composer's appearing in public (11)
OVEREARNEST - E ARNE'S appearing in OVERT. Thomas Arne, 1710-1778, best known for a little number called Rule Britannia.

3 One calling to support unfinished harbour vessel (9)
PORRINGER - RINGER to support POR{t}

4 Good form last month nothing unusual (7)
DECORUM - DEC O RUM [last month | nothing | unusual]

5 Avoiding work whilst engaged in plays (8,3,4)
SWINGING THE LEAD - (WHILST ENGAGED IN*) ["plays"]

6 Exceed time limit for survey (3,4)
RUN OVER - double def

7 Not straight like part of SW London (5)
ASKEW - AS KEW, home of the famous gardens

8 Cheerful address to a lad overheard (5)
SUNNY - homophone of SONNY

13 Stripper bringing wrong tone into a country house (5,6)
AGENT ORANGE - bringing (TONE*) ["wrong"] into A GRANGE

16 Noble not up for launch preparation (9)
COUNTDOWN - COUNT DOWN [noble | not up]

18 Walk by brother to gather berries (7)
BRAMBLE - AMBLE by BR

19 Second fiddle is one making a hum (7)
STINKER - S TINKER. Hum as in pong.

21 Small tree French writer’s climbed (5)
SUMAC - CAMUS from bottom to top.

22 Drying equipment is lighter after top’s removed (5)
AIRER - {f}AIRER
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