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April 4th, 2018

Quick Cryptic 1062 by Marty

This was one of those puzzles that I found tricky whilst solving, but then having written up the blog I can't really figure out why.  No obscurities (other than, possibly, the heather in 3d - but then we were given all the letters in cross checkers so that was hardly going to be a problem), no dodgy definitions, and no whimsical cryptics requiring you to be on the setter's wavelength.  All in all, solid fare but I found it quite a challenge.
I'll be interested to see whether I was alone in my travails, or if some of the rest of you also found it curiously resistant.
So without further ado - other than to record grateful thanks to Marty - here's how I think it all works...

Definitions underlined:  anagrams indicated by *(--): omitted etters indicated by {-}
Across
1 She’s not entirely above the law (5)
ETHEL - Hidden in (not entirely) abovE THE Law - and well hidden too, I thought: spent some time looking at this clue trying to justify EDICT...
7 I have arrived dead on time? You, one hears,
unprepared (9)
IMPROMPTU - I'M PROMPT (I have arrived dead on time) + U (sounds like - one hears - YOU)
9 Bear the onset of bankruptcy before downfall (5)
BRUIN - B (the onset of Bankruptcy) comes 'before' RUIN (downfall)
10 My amusing exercises here? (9)
GYMNASIUM - *(MY AMUSING) with "exercises" indicating the anagram
11 Use a needle having three points? (3)
SEW - The answer comprises three 'points' of the compass - South, East and West
12 Assigns new labels to right food additives (9)
RENUMBERS - R (right) + E NUMBERS (food additives)
14 Insult by English copper journalist grilled (9)
BARBECUED - BARB (insult) + E (English) + CU (copper) + ED (journalist)
16 Diamonds one found next to church (3)
ICE - I (one) 'next to' CE (Church - of England)
18 Pay Harris for repairs: I can fix locks (9)
HAIRSPRAY - *(PAY HARRIS) with "for repairs" signalling the anagram
20 Bungling in record time (5)
INEPT - IN + EP (record) + T (time)
21 Unusual thing: good to have this for one’s
retirement
? (9)
NIGHTGOWN - *(THING) - with "unusual" signposting the anagram - + G (good) + OWN (to have)
22 Fellow crossing street blowing hard (5)
GUSTY - GUY (fellow) wraps around (crossing) ST (street)


Down
1 Yours truly lifted head to carve (6)
EMBOSS - ME reversed (yours truly lifted) + BOSS (head)
2 Party raising the temperature in Parliament? (5-7)
HOUSE-WARMING - cryptic steer from Parliament being the House
3 Heather Lake’s bra and pants? (8)
LINGERIE - LING (a type of heather) + ERIE (lake - one of the "great" ones)
4 Old primate, a quiet celebrity on the up (6)
APEMAN - A P (a quietly) + NAME reversed (celebrity on the up)
5 State of S English county appalling at first (4)
IOWA - IOW (Isle of Wight - Southern English county) + A (Appalling at first)
6 Buzz monsieur to go with us for a dip (6)
HUMMUS - HUM (buzz) + M (abbrev. Monsieur) + US
8 Champions, excited, wire reps in NZ (12)
PRIZEWINNERS - *(WIRE REPS IN NZ) with "excited" suggesting the anagram
13 Undid gym pants getting dirty (8)
MUDDYING - *(UNDID GYM) with "pants" pointing to the anagram
14 He turns up in tie, late (6)
BEHIND - HE reversed (he turns up) 'in' BIND (tie)
15 Completely remove our pot that’s broken (6)
UPROOT - *(OUR POT) with "broken" signalling the anagram
17 Sweetheart hypothetically, in part, crude (6)
EARTHY - Hidden in (in part) sweethEART HYpothetically
19 Stuff son consumed (4)
SATE - S (son) + ATE (consumed)
I enjoyed this moderately straightforward puzzle. I think it has a nostalgic, Empire feel to it, you couldn't call it a theme exactly but knowledge of subcontinent currencies and carriages was helpful. As was some acquaintance with a Greek judge, a medieval jacket more often known by other names and an obscure breed of horse. But I have no complaints, all those answers can be teased out from wordplay and dropped in with reasonable confidence. Unusually, there is only one anagram.

25 minutes. Definitions underlined, anagrinds in italics.

Across
1 Buzzer’s high-pitched sound, quietly ignored by beadle (9)
BUMBLEBEE - Mr Bumble was the nasty beadle in Oliver Twist. BEEP loses its P and follows.
6 Model backed by a fabulous writer (5)
AESOP - POSE, A, reversed. Fable writing chap.
9 Cancel regular payment, getting round creditor (5)
SCRUB - CR(editor) inside SUB.
10 Conspirator, one causing fascination? (9)
INTRIGUER - Double definition.
11 Part of Ulster a gouty Frenchman recollected (6,9)
COUNTY FERMANAGH - (A GOUTY FRENCHMAN)*. Beautiful part of the world, which I used to visit in the 1970s but not without some trepidation as there were chaps with guns around.
13 Emphasis placed on police officer’s affliction (8)
DISTRESS - DI = policeman, STRESS = emphasis.
14 Show-off taking problem round university (6)
POSEUR - Insert U into POSER = problem.
16 Return of fantastic regiment protecting one part of Nigeria (6)
BIAFRA - FAB returned = BAF, insert I (one) add RA (artillery regiment). After seceding in 1967 and then losing the horrendous civil war, Biafra is still part of Nigeria although a 'government in exile' apparently exists in London.
18 Support from beneath, needing identification (8)
UNDERPIN - UNDER = beneath, PIN as in Personal Identification Number for cash machines or online banking.
21 Reportedly talked round those having a row? That makes you merry! (3,4,3,5)
ONE OVER THE EIGHT - Sounds like 'won over the eight' i.e. persuaded the rowing crew. Apparently the phrase is of military origin, ca. 1925, based on 8 beers being 'enough'. Beer was a bit weaker then, but all the same...
23 Second medal for one replacing old tree (6,3)
SILVER FIR - SILVER = second medal, not gold for first; FOR has its O replaced by I = one.
25 Suit Italian leader abandoned for old jacket (5)
ACTON - ACTION = (law) suit, Remove the I (Italian leader). Originally an anglicisation of arqueton or aketon worn under armour, I think an Acton jacket came to mean a short doublet type jacket, but I can't find much else about it. Mrs K thought there was a chap (Lord Acton?) for whom it was named, but I think not.
26 Brief expression of contempt about a Mexican plant (5)
YUCCA - YUC(K), C (about) A.
27 Short article by cricketer in London area (9)
BATTERSEA - BATTER is a cricketer. SE, A..Where is the SE coming from? Battersea is SW11 so it's not the 'London area'. EDIT As ulaca was first to point out, I was fixated on BATTER, it's BAT plus TERSE (short) plus A for area. Doh.
Down
1 Fundamental, thus to support rise of upper classes (5)
BASIC - B, A = AB (upper classes) reversed; SIC Latin for thus.
2 Position of noble son settled in large tent (11)
MARQUESSATE - Insert S(on) and SAT (settled) into MARQUEE.
3 Seafood bishop fed to confused monarch (7)
LOBSTER - B for bishop inserted into LOST ER confused monarch.
4 Least extensive celebration in Berlin, starting with cheese (8)
BRIEFEST - BRIE is cheese, FEST German for a celebration.
5 Forcefully acquire gold held by former abstainer (6)
EXTORT - Insert OR (gold) into EX TT = former abstainer.
6 A contemptible person at Oxford initially, notedly restless (7)
AGITATO - A, GIT, AT, O)xford). Musical term.
7 Individual forks out pounds for old French coin (3)
SOU - SOUL loses its L.
8 One in lofty position astride heavy horse (9)
PERCHERON - A PERCHER could be one in a lofty position, ON = astride. For a recent birthday Mrs K gave me a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle bought for £3 in a charity shop; its subject was 16 or so breeds of horses illustrated on a plain white background. Too much white space to be fun to do, but one of them was a Percheron, so it wasn't a total waste of time as I didn't know the word before.
12 Members of High Court live over it, surrounded by attendants (11)
AREOPAGITES - ARE = live, O = over, PAGES = attendants, insert IT. I had to look it up, but no doubt Verlaine won't need to. All to do with a 1C Greek judge chap who was converted to Christianity.
13 Hesitantly name tinker with evidence of debt (9)
DUBIOUSLY - DUB = name, Christopher SLY the tinker chap in The Taming of the Shrew, insert IOU = evidence of debt.
15 Hermit’s tedious task, filling a set of books (8)
ANCHORET - A, NT (set of books), insert CHORE a tedious task.
17 German four in broadcast going over French holiday region (7)
RIVIERA - Reverse AIR and insert VIER as in eins, zwei, drei, vier.
19 Raise tax invested in European shelter (7)
ELEVATE - Insert VAT (UK value added tax) into E, LEE = shelter.
20 Judge in Pennsylvania with second-class house (6)
PREFAB - REF = judge, insert into PA, add B for second class. Prefabricated small house prevalent in UK after WWII.
22 Heavyweight finally driving a two-wheeled vehicle (5)
TONGA - TON = heavyweight, (drivin)G, A. A Tonga or Tanga is a horse drawn vehicle in India, Pakistan or Bangladesh.
24 Reportedly be short of 100,000 rupees (3)
LAC - Sounds like LACK = to be short of. LAC also spelt LAKH as in Indian currency.