vinyl1 (vinyl1) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times 27127 - Syracuse, not Thebes

Time: 30 minutes, more or less, interrupted by a phone call from my brother
Music: Stan Getz, Reflections

I just happened to notice that this was a Bank Holiday puzzle, and was fearing the worst.  Fortunately, it was quite easy except for a couple of entries.   Even if you are familiar with 'lemma' in logic or mathematics, you may not know its secondary meaning of  a subject heading.    And if you are an 'overseas solver', you may be hard pressed to come up with 'Roedean'.   How did I do it?   Fortunately, I am enough of an Anglophile to have heard of the gorgeous young ladies with posh accents who might be found emerging from a Chelsea tractor in Mayfair.

Most of the puzzle was quite easy, and the defintions are obvious enough to allow a lot of biffing.  That's pretty much what I did with some of the longer clues.

Now for a bit of policy, odious as that is.   We are here to discuss the crosswords in the Times of London.   Any sort of discussion arising from the actual clues and answers is pretty much fair game.   However, off-topic comments on politics and other such controversial subjects are not required, and egregious offenders will be told in no uncertain terms to stop.  I believe many of the commenters are under the illusion that this is a private little club of fifteen or twenty people, but TfT is in fact read by thousands.   Before you post, please consider whether what you have to say is on-topic and of interest to the general solving public.

1 Nasty odours — that's disgusting bread! (9)
6 Course of a good person holding firm (5)
9 Slippery customer in group that's dancing (7)
10 See maiden being put off by head of faculty in school (7)
ROEDEAN - RO[m]E + DEAN.   I'm not sure if solvers who have never heard of the school could get it from the wordplay - comments?
11 Victor appears to be most important in call (5)
VISIT - V IS IT, where 'victor' refers to the NATO alphabet.
13 Greek tyrant insidiously bad, one beginning to lash out (9)
DIONYSIUS - Anagram of INSIDIOUSLY - I - L[ash].   Many solvers will biff, especially if they know Greek history.
14 National figure in America needing staff (9)
16 The old man needs two assistants (4)
PAPA - PA + PA, i.e. Personal Assistant, a UK-ism that nearly everyone knows by now.
18 Fusses about drink (4)
SODA - ADOS backwards.
19 Overworking, Carol catches what can be caught (9)
STRAINING - S(TRAIN)ING.  Surprisingly, I got the envelope easily, but couldn't think of TRAIN for longest time.
22 Study of chin is agreeable (9)
CONGENIAL - CON + GENIAL.  A play on two different roots.   The 'genial' ithat means 'amenable' comes from the Latin 'genialis', 'festive', while the 'genial' that means 'pertaining to the chin' comes from the Greek 'geneion', 'chin'. 
24 Lexicographer's beginning with novel headword (5)
LEMMA - L + EMMA, crosswordland's second most favored novel.
25 Trance is back, one knocking son out (7)
REVERIE - REVER[-s,+I]E, a simple letter-substitution clue.
26 Follower of artistic style, pop, as it changed (7)
DADAIST - DADA = anagram of AS IT.
28 Yen after study to make dosh (5)
READY - READ + Y, a bit of a chestnut.
29 Boy clear and always poetic, becoming an imitator of Shakespeare? (9)
1 Hears confession of hers: is Rev ultimately devious? (7)
SHRIVES - anagram of HERS IS [re}V - I hope everyone knows the word.
2 Cat not wanting piano as musical instrument (3)
UKE - [p]UKE, oh, that meaning of 'cat'.
3 Bitty food melts away, isn't to be eaten (8)
4 Encouraged to be purified with head obscured (5)
URGED - [p]URGED - two letter removal clues that are almost adjacent, and it's even the same letter!
5 A funny brother, exceptional person who has “a whale of a time”? (9)
HARPOONER - HARPO + ONER.   I tried to make an anagram of 'brother', and I'll bet you did too!
6 Primate I listened to repeatedly (3-3)
AYE-AYE - sounds like I, I, a popular primate in crosswordland.
7 Male circle is broken with female finally out in priestly system (11)
CLERICALISM - Anagram of MALE CIRCLE IS - [femal]E, a clue well-suited for biffing.
8 Fish — is one netted in that country? (7)
TUNISIA - TUN(IS I)A,  a nicely deceptive clue where many solvers will look for a fish as the answer.
12 Scrutinise noise over a Roman way somewhere in Europe (11)
15 Avoid accepting points — there's obscurity here (9)
MISTINESS - MIS(TINE, S)S - where one point is on a fork and the other one is on the compass, winning COD from me for clever wordplay.
17 Man maybe cut short in trick move (8)
DISLODGE - D(ISL[e])ODGE.   Curiously they have never used Henry Cabot Lodge in these sorts of clues.
18 Dog kept by wise person is better protected (7)
20 Hard worker needing good support in the house? (7)
GRAFTER - G + RAFTER, a word that has entirely different meanings in the UK and the US.  The Times is a UK newspaper, so we get the UK meaning.
21 Shop to take risk with minimal light? (6)
BETRAY - BET + RAY, one ray being presumably not much in the way of illumination.   No point in wagering a fish, I suppose.
23 Optical device functioning gets one fooled (3,2)
LED ON - LED + ON, in different senses.
27 Rocks in circle, odd ones invisible (3)
ICE - [c]I[r]C[l]E, one escaped from the Quickie.
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