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February 7th, 2018

Quick Cryptic 1022 by Teazel

Not too tricky, but no pushover either - I thought this was a very good QC. In particular I felt it gave newcomers exposure to a number of frequently recurring conventions / tricks of the trade, so a good puzzle for those moving along their learning curve.

1ac highlights an abbreviation that always causes me to harrumph somewhat (although it's a fairly low level harrumph), and I bang on about this in an attempt to assist newcomers in my explanation of the clue (old hands should skip this bit as it will be quite tedious). I also treat 4d and 17d as potential learning experiences for newer solvers, so the same observation applies with regard to the seasoned campaigners.

I had not come across the phrase which is the answer to 3d, but post solve research indicates it is not that unusual. In any event, the cluing was pretty generous so no problem there. Also, the second definition in 14d caused me to pause for a while. Other than that, a reasonably smooth solve that I'd rank as probably pretty straightforward for experienced solvers but quite tricky for newer players.

Thanks as ever to Teazel for an enjoyable puzzle.

Definitions underlined: DD = double definition: anagrams indicated by *(--): omitted letters indicated by {-}

Across
1 Painter departs, returning wise (5)
DEGAS - D (abbrev. Departs) + SAGE reversed (returning wise). D for Departures (or in this case Departs) - and A for Arrivals for that matter - crop up from time to time in crosswords, and are regarded as legitimate abbreviations for use by the setter. Must admit when I first started tackling cryptics and came across these particular abbreviations I thought they were a bit dodgy, leading me to repeat the oft heard lament of the newcomer that "well on that basis seems like setters can use the first letter of pretty much any word as an abbreviation..." This issue never totally goes away - indeed T for Town triggered some debate amongst a number of highly experienced solvers in yesterday's blog of Sunday Times puzzle 4784. But, at a pragmatic level, I would urge newcomers to acknowledge (for better or worse!) that these abbreviations are in use and to learn them accordingly.
4 English singer included in my official mission (7)
EMBASSY - E (English) + BASS (singer) 'included in MY'
8 With end of fingers, squeeze round a vegetable (7)
SPINACH - S (end of fingerS) + PINCH (squeeze) 'round A'
9 Section of door and piece of window left (5)
PANEL - PANE (piece of window) + L (left)
10 Doing badly, is our hope: some national motto!
(2,3,2,5)
IN GOD WE TRUST - *(DOING) - with "badly" signalling the anagram - gives us IN GOD, + WE TRUST (our hope), giving us the official motto of the USA. Apparently it was nearly the (somewhat more loquacious) phrase "Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God", championed by Franklin and Jefferson. If anyone is interested, there's quite an intriguing account of all this to be found here https://www.thedailybeast.com/in-god-we-trust-doesnt-mean-what-you-think-it-does
12 Cartoon dog tending to pry? (6)
SNOOPY - The cartoon beagle is backed up with a slightly cryptic secondary definition regarding a tendency to be a nosey parker
13 Boss is right to go after mistake (6)
GAFFER - R (right) comes 'after' GAFFE (mistake)
16 To be clear, moved with no orders (2,5,5)
IN OTHER WORDS - *(WITH NO ORDERS) with "moved" signposting the anagram
18 Measure the announced route (5)
WEIGH - Sounds like (announced) WAY (route)
20 Long period at the top of eg show business (3,4)
BIG TIME - BIG (long) + TIME (period)
21 One running away receives small support (7)
BOLSTER - BOLTER (one running away) 'receives' S (small)
22 In short autumn month wife did some cleaning (5)
SWEPT - W (wife) 'in' SEPT (short autumn month)


Down
1 Be contemptuous towards teacher — and send her
packing
(7)
DISMISS - DIS (slang short form for 'disrespect') + MISS (teacher)
2 Getting worse at skiing? (5,8)
GOING DOWNHILL - Neat DD
3 Buys Irishman a drink, and refuses any change (6,3)
STANDS PAT - STANDS (buys a drink for) PAT (Irishman). I'd never actually come across the phrase "to stand Pat", but the cryptic wordplay really couldn't lead anywhere else - particularly after a couple of affirmatory crosscheckers came in.
4 Slavishly copies city gardens (6)
ECHOES - EC (city) + HOES (gardens). EC for city (the City of London) derives from the postcode for the area: this is another crossword 'chestnut' that is likely to bemuse newcomers - forget it at your peril!
5 British at work strike (3)
BOP - B (British) + OP (work)
6 Religious programme strangely forges passion (5,2,6)
SONGS OF PRAISE - *(FORGES PASSION) with "strangely" indicating the anagram. Long running UK TV show, probably unknown beyond these shores but the definition and fairly obvious anagram indicator will hopefully have enabled an educated guess for overseas solvers (and local heathens)
7 Finally buy beer in university (4)
YALE - Last letter (finally) of buY + ALE (beer)
11 Purchasing power of earnings law agrees must be
adjusted (4,5)
REAL WAGES - *(LAW AGREES) with "must be adjusted" being the anagram indicator (and they don't get much clearer than that!). The concept underlying the Big Mac Index - sort of...
14 Considerately treat relation (7)
RESPECT - DD, the first being fairly obvious, the second somewhat less so, until one thinks of "in relation to" / "with respect to"
15 One in the club, married, remains smouldering (6)
MEMBER - M (married) + EMBER (remains smouldering)
17 Cornish sailor’s mop? (4)
SWAB - SW (Cornish - i.e. south west) + AB (sailor). Tip for newcomers: this clue highlights rather nicely the significance of question marks in clues. South West (or SW) does not inevitably flow from 'Cornish', as the SW could also be pointed to by Devon, Somerset or (at a pinch) Dorset: however, the question mark is effectively saying "maybe / perhaps", enabling the clue to work properly.
19 Almost loathe bowler, for one (3)
HAT - HAT{E} (almost loathe)
Another cracking Wednesday puzzle to blog; unravelling some of the parsing took a bit of the old
lateral thinking, although there was plenty of scope for BIFD. [I once heard speak the good Dr de Bono, he is still with us, aged 84, one of two candidates I can come up with when I'm asked to name a famous Maltese person. The other one is a snooker player.]
I confess to having to look up 12a for confirmation and enlightenment at the end, although he was guessable, and also to check the real connection between GLEE and the answer to 8d my LOI. My CoD is 13a because I stared it for ages wondering how the SCREAM came into it, then a Doh! moment arrived and it was obvious. 25 minutes and a few more to do the post mortem.
I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did, thank you Mr Setter.

Across
1 Help for viewer turning over colossal gypsum exhibits (8)
SPYGLASS - Well hidden reversed in COLO(SSAL GYPS)UM.
5 A great success, not using public house as place for reception (6)
ATRIUM - A TRIUMPH loses its pub i.e. PH as on OS maps.
10 Am endlessly pressed — ideally making this comment? (2,4,3,6)
MY LIPS ARE SEALED - Bun in the answer then work out the fodder, (AM PRESSE IDEALLY)* drop the D as 'endlessly pressed'.
11 Double whiskey formerly had after last of port (7)
TWOFOLD - T (last of port), W (whiskey), OF OLD (formerly).
12 Italian dramatist performing one at the end of The Archers? (7)
GOLDONI - ON = performing, I = one, after GOLD I can only see as the bullseye on the target therefore the 'end' archers are aiming for. There's no-one in Ambridge of that name, as far as I know, and I know them all, as Mrs K is addicted. Apparently GOLDONI was a noted Italian playwright.
13 A consequence of murders: scream (8)
OFFSHOOT - Doh! OFFS = murders, HOOT = scream, as in 'she's a hoot / a scream'.
15 Bones bend when put back (5)
SACRA - Reverse of ARC AS = bend when. The sacrum is a triangular bone at the base of the spine.
18 Grey governess of Acton (5)
AGNES - Agnes Grey the first novel written by Anne Brontë under the pen name Acton Bell. Agnes was a governess, obviously.
20 Men after sailor’s rum (8)
ABNORMAL - AB = sailor, then two blokes, NORM and AL.
23 Italy’s star man left goalie floundering (7)
GALILEO - (L GOALIE)*.
25 Grab boy’s pants, infant’s costume (7)
BABYGRO - (GRAB BOY)*. Babygro is a Trademark, but now seems to have crept into dictionaries as a generic.
26 Frequently banged up, I’m finally free at the eleventh hour (2,3,4,2,4)
IN THE NICK OF TIME - If I were IN THE NICK OFT, I'd be frequently in jail. Add IM and (FRE)E.
27 Wicket will accommodate your spin (6)
GYRATE - YR = your, insert into GATE = wicket.
28 Reacted angrily, being stood up (8)
BRISTLED - Double definition.

Down
1 Arab, maybe, taking up our online edition? (6)
SEMITE - Reverse E-Times being the online edition of our paper.
2 React to pain, perhaps, failing to complete delicate catch (9)
YELLOWFIN - YELL OW! = react to pain, perhaps; add FIN(E). Catch as in yellowfin tuna.
3 Computers from China, on reflection, best (7)
LAPTOPS - PAL = China, mate, reverse it add TOPS = best.
4 The way a hand becomes steady (5)
STAID - ST(reet), AID = a hand.
6 Runs to stop rat on one’s garden frame (7)
TRELLIS - TELL = rat on, insert R, add IS (one's). Derived from the Latin TRILIX, not named after Mrs Trellis of North Wales, our frequent correspondent to ISIHAC.
7 Current, unending depression round White House (5)
IGLOO - I = current, GLOO(M) = unending depression,There's a topical Trump joke here, waiting to be cracked, but I can't just put it together.
8 Something akin to glee, seeing red port, large (8)
MADRIGAL - MAD = seeing red, RIGA a Baltic port, L(arge). GLEE, aside from the usual meaning, also can refer to part song and be a synonym for madrigal singing.
9 Build up layer, inserting cube (8)
HEIGHTEN - Insert EIGHT, two cubed, into HEN, a layer.
14 Passion, maybe, from speaker, over the moon (8)
ORATORIO - ORATOR = speaker, IO = a moon of Jupiter. Passion as in e.g. Bach's works.
16 Barbecue daily, with quiz (9)
CHARGRILL - CHAR = daily, cleaner, GRILL = quiz.
17 Raising racket sport with judge (8)
JANGLING - J for judge, ANGLING a sport.
19 With no financial problems? That’s not to be sniffed at! (7)
SOLVENT - Double definition, the second one whimsical, or advisory.
21 Turns away from experts in bible study? (7)
REBUFFS -  R.E. BUFFS wold be those experts.
22 Harry to close what’s left of joint? (3-3)
DOG-END - DOG = harry, pursue; END = close.
24 After selling up I should leave (5)
LATER - RETAIL = selling, reverse and remove the I.
25 Odd bits of blackberry one found in tub in nursery? (5)
BAKER - Take the alternate letters of B l A c K b E r R y and get one of the three men in a tub, the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker.