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February 15th, 2018

There’s a fair bit of religion is this one, which made it easier for me if annoyinger to others. Perhaps the most likely bone of contention is the Bible story at 14d, beloved of both schoolboys who (used to?) know where all the naughty bits are to be found and of artists who know a good excuse for soft core porn when they see it.
In the course of 20 minutes, I managed to create one pink square through a careless not-properly-parsed entry, but otherwise found few hold ups, the most hold uppy being in the South East corner. A pleasant enough solve, then, with the pretty 24a earning my nomination for CoD, with a side order of 22d just for mentioning the mighty Spurs and the team from whom they nicked their manager.
Oh, yes, I almost forgot:. Clues, definitions, SOLUTIONS


1 Pass on music, performing key records (3,4,5)
POP ONE’S CLOGS A cheerful one to start with, one of the many euphemisms for die. The music is POP, performing is ON, the key is ESC (top left) and records LOGS.
9 Shell that is fired from an unlikely source! (5)
CONCH There is a slight, but not critical blurriness about this one. The (sea) SHELL is derived from “firing”  the IE (that is) from CONCHIE, short for conscientious objector, who would be an unlikely source of the sort of shell you’d fire from a 5.5 inch gun howitzer, which I think I could still successfully do.
10 Mason not having drink with jazz singer (3-6)
DRY WALLER Not the secretive sort, just the sort that actually builds things. Not having a drink: DRY. Jazz singer: Fats WALLER
11 Old plaque languishing years in obscurity (8)
OPAQUELY O(ld) anagram (languishing) of PLAQUE and Y(ears).
12 “Grateful” recipient, because helped initially by God (3-3)
ASH-PAN The tray under the grate (ho-ho). Because: AS, H(elped) initially, God: PAN.
13 Trifle to bolt when there’s some to be eaten (8)
FLEABITE My error, with too many Es. Only now do I see how it works, as I had assumed Some to be eaten was BITE and I can’t spell FLEA. So really it’s some: A BIT “eaten” by bolt: FLEE. Careless, sorry.
15  Religious book it’s essential to plan my holiday around (6)
HYMNAL Some of you will be glad not to root around in your list of obscure OT prophets. Instead it’s hidden (essential to) in pLAN MY Holiday backwards (around)
17 Judge way of addressing relative smart (6)
JAUNTY Just J(udge) plus one of the variations on what one calls one’s parent’s sister, AUNTY.
18 Staff officer’s underwear: button it with a twist, finally (5,3)
BRASS HAT Underwear: yup, its BRAS, followed by a setter’s temptation to scatology neatly resisted in this season of Lent by cluing it as button it: SH plus A plus (twis)T. Well done!
20 As foremost of Magi, perhaps, lives far from the others? (6)
WISEST If you remember your nativity plays (an indecently short time ago this year’s day-after-Ash-Wednesday) the Magi, or wise men, came from the East, so our far away candidate IS in the WEST.
21 Creep from floor, point, and rise (8)
KOWTOWER an anglicised version of the Chinese for bow to the floor given an agent –ER. Floor: KO (what boxers do even if not Chinese) point W(est) (making a second appearance in two clues) and rise: TOWER.
24 Are Godot’s cast waiting here? (5,4)
STAGE DOOR: I like this one: an anagram (cast) of ARE GODOT’S with a pleasingly self referential feel to it.
25 Type of work that is providing current (3-2)
SCI-FI That is: SC (short for scilicet, “namely”) plus that is: IE (again, see 9) providing: IF and (electrical) current: I.
26 Rows of plain stone, on order, can hardly wait (6,6)
GARTER STITCH, hyphenated in my Chambers, but not here. The word “stitching) after “plain” is to be understood, as that’s what our answer is, in knitting. The Order is the most noble one of the GARTER (honi soit, and all that) stone is ST, and can hardly wait gives ITCH


1 Methodically shoot film: fine turned up very loud (4,3)
PICK OFF  Or “to cause to 1ac”. Film: PIC, fine: OK (reversed) and very loud: FF
2 Kept a sauce and last of brandy specially: time to bake? (7,7)
PANCAKE TUESDAY Arriving two days late, but an anagram (specially) of KEPT A SAUCE AND plus (brand)Y. In my house, it was time to fry, but I suppose you could bake if you didn't mind missing out on the tossing bit..
3 Vessel turned up carrying pardon for statesman (5)
NEHRU First Prime Minister of India. EH (pardon) in an upturned URN
4 Group from earth settled on Mercury finally (8)
SODALITY Earth: SOD (stop sniggering at the back) plus settled ALIT plus (Mercur)Y
5 Places where you can pick up loaf? (4)
LAYS Can be either noun or verb, sounds like LAZE (loaf).
6 Artificial body parts useless as legs, certainly (5,4)
GLASS EYES An anagram (useless) of AS LEGS plus certainly: YES
7 It’s hardly dressing down, having make-up near to hand? (4,2,3,5)
SLAP ON THE WRIST A low level telling off. Make-up: SLAP, “near to hand” for the rest.
8 Engineer’s brief alarm about career (6)
BRUNEL If alive today would be undoubtedly giving Elon Musk a run for his money. Brief alarm BEL(l) surrounding career: RUN.
14 Woman with university degree about to become David’s wife (9)
BATHSHEBA A favourite, it’s-alright-it’s-in-the-Bible-honest subject for artists down the ages, since David first talent-spotted her while she was bathing. I’ve only just realised I didn’t parse this one (too distracted, perhaps) but it’s BATH (university) BA (degree) surrounding SHE, the eternal woman.
16 Mail worker set our letters on postbox (8)
ARMOURER Sneaky definition. Set gives you ARM (I suppose as in arm/set a bomb), our gives - um - OUR, and the letters on a UK postbox are (since 1952?) ER.
17 Worshipping a particular way, I pray in different languages (6)
JEWISH The two languages are French and English.
19 Small lake sort of makes for dull film (7)
TARNISH I think we’re meant to think of a sort of small lake being tarn-ish.
22 Heads for Tottenham versus Southampton — easily the one to watch (2,3)
TV SET Derived from the first letters of words 3 to 7 of the clue. Who am I to disagree?
23 Hint that litre will go in jar (4)
JOLT Hint gives JOT via the tiny Hebrew letter yod (and the Greek iota) to mean something very small. Include L(itre).

Times Quick Cryptic No 1028 by Joker

Very nice puzzle from Joker. I came in a notch under my target ten but it felt harder than that when solving and a few were bunged in unparsed. Lots of good clues - I particularly liked the update to the curate's egg at 5d, the bad bridge designer at 11d, and the double definition at 11ac. The two long clues at the top and bottom also both worked very well, and these, along with that trickier 11ac/d crosser, rather directed the flow of things. Much enjoyed - many thanks to Joker!

1 Getting on with building somewhere to stay (8,5)
BOARDING HOUSE - BOARDING (getting on [a plane, etc.]) with HOUSE (building)
8 Polluting car stops working with just half of fuel (6)
DIESEL - DIES (stops working) with EL (half of fuEL). I suppose this definition would have raised eyebrows a couple of decades ago.
9 Scoop small and humble dwelling (6)
SHOVEL - S(mall) HOVEL (humble dwelling)
10 Short tum-tum for percussion instrument (4)
BELL - BELLY= tummy = tum-tum, "short" the final letter.
11 General prevalence of money (8)
CURRENCY - double definition, and a very nice one.
12 Easy to understand cold king in Shakespeare play (5)
CLEAR - C(old) LEAR (king in Shakespeare play)
13 Political organisation to some extent loses the left (5)
PARTY - PARTLY (to some extent) loses the L(eft)
15 Ran quickly — grabbing donkey under constant strain (8)
HARASSED - HARED (ran quickly) grabbing ass (donkey)
17 Some comedian backed protest (4)
DEMO - "some" of the letters in cOMEDian "backed"
19 Part of the eye that’s concerning can start to atrophy (6)
RETINA - RE (concerning) TIN (can), start to A(trophy). Tin for Can is a type of misnomer, which cropped up in a discussion in the 15x puzzle last week. Wiki's entry is worth a look: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misnomer
20 Intelligent British like wet weather (6)
BRAINY - B(ritish) RAINY( wet weather)
21 Act of putting over excellent situation (13)
SUPERPOSITION - SUPER (excellent) POSITION (situation). The curiouser and curiouser world of nature, eh? In quantum physics, superposition describes how a particle exists in many places and in different states at the same time until it is observed, when it immediately becomes sharply defined - Schrödinger thought this idea ridiculous, hence his absurdist idea of a cat being both dead and alive in a box until you open it up and look. What is known is that superposition happens, it's completely crazy, and we don't know really have a clue what that's telling us about the nature of reality.
2 Exist to chase round girl? (5)
OLIVE -  LIVE (exist) to chase/come after O (round)
3 Decide to tackle a crossword a second time? (7)
RESOLVE - or re-solving a crossword.
4 Unlucky Jill has lost Jack (3)
ILL - Jill loses J(ack)
5 Snail, perhaps, having good parts when cooked (9)
GASTROPOD - anagram (cooked) of GOOD PARTS.
6 A person going after Australian sea air (5)
OZONE - ONE (a person) going after OZ (Australian). Using ozone (O3) to describe fresh air (where oxygen is O2) is another misnomer. As the OED says, ozone was "formerly supposed to have a tonic effect and was erroneously believed to be present in fresh air".
7 Reorganisation of SkyTech Limited (7)
SKETCHY - anagram (reorganisation) of SKYTECH
11 Pack instrument for one with bad designs for bridge? (9)
CARDSHARP - CARDS (pack) HARP (instrument). "Bridge" is the card game in the definition, and the thing you cross in the surface reading..
12 Stately home abroad serving up two teas and ultimate in tiramisu (7)
CHATEAU - The two teas are CHA and, er, TEA, and then the ultimate letter in tiramisU.
14 Incandescent tirade about squandered aid (7)
RADIANT - RANT (tirade) going about an anagram (squandered) of AID.
16 Quick-moving US soldier gets in beer (5)
AGILE - GI (US soldier) goes in ALE (beer)
18 Run after chap for fruit (5)
MANGO - GO (run) after MAN (chap)
20 Transport is mostly broken (3)
BUS - BUSt (broken, mostly)