ulaca (ulaca) wrote in times_xwd_times,
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times_xwd_times

Times 27133 - A Tribute to Dame Frances Margaret

This was the antithesis to Saturday's magnificent beast. That's not to say that it didn't have merits of its own, but that they were not of the order of mind-bending intricacy displayed by that puzzle. A bit of a movie theme in this one - all referencing well known works of considerable merit in their own genres. I wouldn't be surprised if there were not one or two PBs today. I snuck under 15 minutes - a feat almost as rare as the English top order scoring runs.

ACROSS

1 Cycle on the side of a drop and court disaster (4,3,1,4)
RIDE FOR A FALL - RIDE FOR (on the side of) A FALL; I'd never heard of this - only 'head for a fall'
9 Very fine short name for a hedgehog? (5)
SONIC - SO NIC[e]; a sonic hedgehog (which I also hadn't heard of) is a protein that is encoded by the SHH gene. Who said sciency types had no sense of humour?
10 Fully discuss party no longer in the game (6,3)
THRASH OUT - THRASH (party - 'Roger's having a thrash at his place') OUT (no longer in the game - sadly, Manchester United until they, um, change direction)
11 Organ stop in list (8)
REGISTER - double definition; REGISTER is 'any of the stops on an organ as classified in respect of its tonal quality'
12 Appear in an excited state after parade (4,2)
SHOW UP - UP after SHOW
13 Poisonous liquid in alcohol taken by him at the end (8)
METHANOL - [hi]M ETHANOL; I am told by the fount of all knowledge that 'consuming ethanol alone can cause coma and death', so both liquids can be fatal, though METHANOL clearly fataler
15 Watchword of guy painting in retirement (6)
MANTRA - MAN ART reversed
17 In goal blocking shot (6)
TRENDY - END in TRY
18 Female changed, then sat on the fence (8)
FALTERED - F ALTERED
20 Standards concerning rector (6)
PARSON - PARS ON
21 Rank reduced, so resign (4,4)
STEP DOWN - STEP (rank) DOWN (reduced); I think we need to get from RANK to STEP via a three-point turn through LEVEL ('this is the final step in the career ladder' - thanks to Collins synonym generator)
24 Musical passage in film (5,4)
ANNIE HALL - ANNIE (musical) HALL (passage) - my favourite Woody Allen: 'The medium enters in as a condition of the art form itself'. Nice.
25 Fool about to produce gunpowder ingredient (5)
NITRE - NIT RE
26 Out of harm's way, insane criminals (4-8)
SAFE-CRACKERS - SAFE (out of harm's way) CRACKERS (insane)

DOWN

1 Stage right, Oscar to play guitar (7)
ROSTRUM - R O STRUM
2 Please understand term gent now misused when feeding dog (4,3,2,5)
DONT GET ME WRONG - anagram* of TERM GENT NOW in DOG
3 Concentrate following commander, American (5)
FOCUS - F OC (Officer Commanding: 'the commander of a sub-unit or minor unit (smaller than battalion size), principally used in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth') US
4 Betrayed the trust of lecturer after treat misinterpreted (6,2)
RATTED ON - TREAT* DON
5 Plant in bogland across river (4)
FERN - R in FEN
6 Fail to win compassion, become disillusioned (4,5)
LOSE HEART - LOSE HEART; compassion is one of my least favourite words in the English language owing to its tendency to be used as a purr word signifying in-groups (eg compassionate v Thatcherite)
7 What may be a comfort to one who's just retired? (3-5,6)
HOT-WATER BOTTLE - nice cryptic definition; tip to novice solvers: see 'retired' think 'bed-e-byes'
8 More work! (6)
UTOPIA - quirky definition, since Sir (for Prots) or Saint (for RCs) Thomas More's best known (Latin) work was Utopia; his English-language A Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation, written at the end of his life, is something of a treat
14 Group of stars with capital attorney (9)
ANDROMEDA - AND (With) ROME DA
16 Leader of revolt having measure of power over revolutionary count (3,5)
WAT TYLER - WATT RELY (count, as in 'Can I count on you?')
17 Picture which involves work (3,3)
TOP HAT - OP in THAT; Top Hat is the best known Astaire/Rogers vehicle, with songs by Irving Berlin, some sharp humour and even sharper dance sequences
19 Housekeeper died: ravens flying about (7)
DANVERS - D RAVENS*; referencing the lady played by the Aussie Dame who wasn't very nice to Olivia de Havilland's kid sister
22 Fear of god? (5)
PANIC - tongue-in-cheek clue, requiring only a smidgen of Saturday's antiquarian knowledge; in a different morphological universe, by analogy with Pyrrhic (relating to Pyrrhus), for example, Panic might mean relating to Pan (or 'of Pan')
23 Club's male champion (4)
MACE - M ACE
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