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February 9th, 2018

Times 26,957: Inna Gadda Da Vida

I did this likeable puzzle on paper while feeling woozy from eating one too many Oreos, alright, alright, quite a few too many Oreos, and in such a sugar-discombobulated state my time on the timer was a shade over the 9 minute mark. FOI was 20ac, LOI 22dn once the L in 21ac became available.

As crosswords go it's simply but effectively clued but with a nice sprinkling of wit and surfaces that make you think "ooh, that's clever". As you will know if you are long-time reader I really like clues that seem aware of their context and as such I really enjoyed 26ac, 5dn and 19dn which are all above averagely "crosswordy"; I'll give 19dn my Clue of the Day award, by a nose.

The long answers around the edge were also all interesting phrases and tantalisingly close to being thematic with one another. Compulsory minor quibble to avoid looking like a complete brown-noser: 25ac is a bit archaic and/or a barred puzzle type word - cursory investigations make me believe its modern meaning is something completely different than "stink". But overall, much enjoyed, and many thanks to the setter!

1 Joy seemingly from sweets one's found in row of shops (5,8)
FOOL'S PARADISE - FOOLS [sweets] + I'S [one's] found in PARADE [row of shops]

9 Something uplifting from rubbish men (5)
ROTOR - ROT O.R. [rubbish | men]

10 Expel university staff, mostly cutting charge (9)
RUSTICATE - U STIC{k} [university | staff "mostly"] cutting RATE [charge]

11 Refusal to inhabit Bel Air curiously impractical (10)
INOPERABLE - NOPE [refusal] to inhabit (BEL AIR*) ["curiously"]

12 Lawyer’s right to prolong rest, wanting one (4)
LIEN - LIE {i}N [to prolong rest, "wanting" I (one)]

14 Heartless demagogue made choice to be loyal (7)
DEVOTED - D{emagogu}E + VOTED [made choice]

16 Flipping veteran sneakily conceals trap (7)
ENSNARE - hidden reversed in {vet}ERAN SNE{akily}

17 Marks in sum docked, after number's very low (7)
NOMINAL - M IN AL{l} [marks | in | sum "docked"], after NO [number]

19 Gather in most of tough clothing (7)
HARVEST - HAR{d} VEST ["most of" tough | clothing]

20 Speaker's blunt and cross (4)
ROOD - homophone of RUDE [blunt]

21 Diner's complaint, given pink articles used in bodega? (10)
SALMONELLA - SALMON [pink] + EL LA [two Spanish grammatical articles]

24 Restriction initially withdrawn for take-off (9)
IMITATION - {l}IMITATION [restriction, "initially withdrawn"]

25 Stink outside of malodorous object returns (5)
MIASM - reverse all of M{alodorou}S + AIM [object]

26 Trouble is to do with anagram helper (4,9)
GOOD SAMARITAN - (IS TO DO + ANAGRAM*) ["trouble..."]

1 Offer put in exchanged for refund: it's an enticement (9,5)
FORBIDDEN FRUIT - BID [offer] put in (FOR REFUND IT*) ["exchanged..."]

2 Wrong note is better (5)
OUTDO - OUT DO [wrong | note]

3 Windy river, confined in another river (10)
SERPENTINE - R PENT [river | confined] in SEINE [another river]

4 Show resistance, then support strike (3-4)
AIR-RAID - AIR R [show | resistance] then AID [support]

5 Pardon a crack about bishop (7)
ABSOLVE - A SOLVE [a | crack] about B [bishop]

6 Heading for insolvency again, one has a large bill (4)
IBIS - I{nsolvency} + BIS [again]

7 Get rid of animal, in decline after a period (9)
ERADICATE - CAT [animal] in DIE [decline], after ERA [a period]

8 Primitive criminal alarmed, then arrested by old lady (11,3)
NEANDERTHAL MAN - (ALARMED THEN*) ["criminal..."] arrested by NAN [old lady]

13 Scientist and epicure missing grand opening of restaurant (10)
ASTRONOMER - {g}ASTRONOME [epicure "missing" G for grand] + R{estaurant}

15 A beastly noise in verse, with Carol scatting (9)
VAMOOSING - A MOO [a | beastly noise] in V with SING [verse | Carol]

18 Element's gripping during overtures (4-3)
LEAD-INS - LEAD'S [element's] gripping IN [during]

19 Day aboard boat with maiden, no relative to know? (7)
HOMONYM - MON [day] aboard HOY [boat] with M [maiden]

22 Rested in spare time (5)
LEANT - LEAN T [spare | time]

23 Drop round for sweet food (4)
SAGO - SAG O [drop | round]

Quick Cryptic 1024 by Mara

Sorry this is a bit late. I overslept, Friday being the new Saturday in this house. 8 minutes for me this morning. This is a good demonstration of the wonderful and infinite world of anagrinds, i.e. words indicating the presence of an anagram. As you see they can be convoluted, gathered, poor, sliding, strange, desperate, fancy or complicated. And when you think you've seen them all, they will come up with a new one.

1 Note down the highest score ever? (6)
RECORD - double definition
4 A peak volume (6)
8 Credit quote convoluted: it involves going through hoops (7)
CROQUET - CR (CREDIT) + anagram ('convoluted') of QUOTE
10 Figure seen on middle of sofa regularly (5)
OFTEN - middle of 'sofa' is OF, figure is TEN.Thrown by the word 'regularly' which normally commands us to go looking at alternate letters
11 A couple of kings happy to retire for real (5)
PUKKA - A + KK + UP all backwards
12 Dog lead (7)
POINTER - double definition
13 Vegetable gold, black and green, I gathered (9)
AUBERGINE - AU is gold B is black, the rest is an anagram ('gathered') of GREEN I
17 Poor Jack is in depressed condition (7)
LOCKJAW - anagram ('poor') of JACK, inside LOW (depressed)
19 Risk sliding around close to crevasse, for one going down mountain (5)
SKIER - Anagram ('sliding') of RISK, around E (close to, i.e. end of, 'crevasse')
20 Square, primarily, in proper solid shape (5)
PRISM - S (first letter of 'square') inside PRIM.
21 Report result of tight vote? (7)
RECOUNT - double definition
22 Unlikely flier, one strange bird! (6)
PIGEON - PIG (unlikely to fly) + Anagram ('strange') of ONE
23 Evaluate female equine? (6)
ASSESS - Female ass. I guess we put this as a cryptic definition

1 Intervening in desperate scrap, judge finally sums up (6)
RECAPS - anagram ('desperate') of SCRAP with E (judge finally) 'intervening'
2 Grandfather maybe witnessing activity of bored employee? (5-8)
3 Regret overheard gibe, and waffle (7)
RHUBARB - LOI for me. RHU- sounds like RUE ('overheard'), BARB is jibe
5 I wander uphill to see native New Zealander (5)
MAORI - I ROAM backwards ('uphill' for a down clue)
6 Latest out, umpteenth I fancy (2-2-3-6)
UP-TO-THE-MINUTE - anagram ('fancy') of OUT UMTEENTH I
7 Holding tureen is complicated (6)
TENURE - anagram ('complicated') of TUREEN
9 Outstanding spinner has trophy, perhaps, to lift (3-6)
TOP-DRAWER - spinner is TOP, trophy is REWARD, lifted (backwards)
14 Small animals in nonconformist groups (7)
15 Mistake students raised (4-2)
SLIP-UP - Students are PUPILS raised (backwards)
16 Gaol's opening: despicable type is free! (6)
18 Massive job mujaheddin must keep up (5)
JUMBO - hidden word, backwards jOB MUJaheddin