jackkt (jackkt) wrote in times_xwd_times,
jackkt
jackkt
times_xwd_times

Times Cryptic 27104

Just like yesterday I needed the best part of an hour to solve this one and took ages to get started -  it was 7 minutes before I managed to write in my first answer (22ac). There are a couple of unknown words here as indicated in the blog but also several meanings that I was unaware of.

As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions and substitutions are in curly brackets} and [anagrinds, containment, reversal and other indicators in square ones]

Across
1 Cut off as required, keeping curled hair (8)
BLOCKADE - BADE (required) containing [keeping] LOCK (curled hair)
9 Root finally cracked Belgian concrete (8)
TANGIBLE -  {roo}T [finally], anagram [cracked] of  BELGIAN
10 Contradiction in terms that's unacceptable (1,3,4)
A BIT MUCH - A straight definition of a coloquial expression preceded by a cryptic hint with 'a bit' and 'much' being opposites
11 What an unkind person swallows, being boozer (8)
ALEHOUSE - A LOUSE (an unkind person) contains [swallows] EH (what). Apart from being a habitual drinker, 'boozer' is slang for 'pub'.
12 Gong sounded to an extent intrusive (10)
MEDDLESOME - MEDDLE sounds like [sounded] "medal" (gong - more slang), SOME (to an extent)
14 Whiskey taken before degenerate conduct (4)
WAGE - W (whiskey - NATO alphabet), AGE (degenerate), ass in conduct / wage a war
15 Something deceptive about valley turning a shade of green (7)
CELADON - CON (something deceptive) containing [about] DALE (valley) reversed [turning]. My first unknown word today, this is a greyish shade of green and also a type of porcelain glazed to that colour.
17 Duke socialite introduced in club lost money (3,4)
BAD DEBT - D (duke) + DEB (socialite) contained by [introduced in] BAT (club). Money that cannot be recovered. I remember controversy here long ago about 'bat' being clued by 'club' and/or vice versa but it passes almlost every week without comment now. I had written that I'm not sure how well known 'deb' / 'debutante' for 'socialite' is beyond these shores, but having checked on Wiki I see that debutante ceremonies featured at one time in the US social calendar too. Formal presentation of  'debs' to the monarch was abandoned here in 1958.
21 Play concert with introduction deferred (4)
ROMP - {p}ROM (concert) + P [introduction deferred]
22 Straight over table (5,5)
ABOVE BOARD - ABOVE (over), BOARD (table). Basic stuff.
23 Fiction that has Scandinavian girl run in undergarments (8)
LINGERIE - INGE (Scandinavian girl) + R (run) contained by [in] LIE (fiction)
25 New article popular — such fine material (8)
NAINSOOK - N (new), A (article), IN (popular), SO (such), OK (fine). I didn't know this cotton fabric but I followed the assembly instructions in the clue and  arrived at it successfully. This appears to be its first time in a 15x15 since TftT was founded but it was in two Jumbos only a few weeks apart in 2010.
26 Burnt fragments have reddish colour (8)
NUTBROWN - Anagram [fragments] of BURNT, OWN (have). This has had only one previous appearance, in 2007, but then it was alternatively spaced as  NUT BROWN. Collins lists it as one word but Chambers and ODO require a hyphen.
27 Star relinquishing power gives snarl (8)
ENTANGLE - {p}ENTANGLE (star) [relinquishing power]. 'Snarl' as in 'snarl-up' meaning 'entanglement'.
Down
2 Syrian neighbour curses in shelter (8)
LEBANESE - BANES (curses) contained by [in] LEE (shelter). According to Collins 'bane' can only be singular but as part of the wordplay that doesn't really matter.
3 Rogue artist defending the episcopal dignity (8)
CATHEDRA - CAD (rogue) containing [defending] THE, RA (artist). In this sense it's the office or rank of a bishop. I knew the word as in 'ex cathedra' but not what it means on its own.
4 Onset overlooked in unspecified health problem (4)
AGUE - {v}AGUE (unspecified) [onset overlooked]
5 Intoxicant more than Olympian consumes (7)
ETHANOL - Hidden in [consumes] {mor}E THAN OL{ympian}
6 Incurable as warhorse cut in middle of winter (10)
INVETERATE - VETERA{n} (warhorse) [cut] contained by [in] {w}INTE{r} [middle]. An informal meaning of 'warhorse' here as a person who has been through many battles or struggles.
7 Stubborn alumnus expected to harbour traitor (8)
OBDURATE - OB (alumnus - Old Boy), DUE (expected) containing [to harbour] RAT (traitor)
8 Building workers dividing opinion (8)
TENEMENT - MEN (workers) contained by [dividing] TENET (opinion)
13 Activist in port feeding dreadful race row (3-7)
ECO-WARRIOR - RIO (port) contained by [feeding] anagram [dreadful] RACE ROW
15 She takes wheel in traffic queue (8)
CAROLINE - O (wheel) contained by [in] CAR LINE (traffic queue). I've seen O clued by ''round' and 'egg' many a time but I don't recall it as 'wheel'.
16 Hard-skinned alien creature coming from below (8)
LAMINATE - ET (alien) + ANIMAL (creature) reversed [coming from below]. I'd have thought 'hard-skinned' defined 'laminated' but I may be open to persuasion...
18 See leader once said to be corrupt (8)
DIOCESAN - Anagram [corrupt] of ONCE SAID. More church matters.
19 Disallows screwdriver, say, used by supporter in pub (3,5)
BAR STOOL - BARS (disallows) , TOOL (screwdriver, say). More pub matters.
20 Senior woman settled with money invested (7)
DOYENNE - DONE (settled) containing [with] YEN  (money) [invested]
24 Daughter in torment at last finds means (4)
DINT - D (daughter), IN, {tormen}T [at last]. 'By dint of ' (by means of) is rare or obsolete according to SOED but I knew it well enough.
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