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April 19th, 2018

Times 27016 - we'll do our best

Solving time: 14:27.  Probably should have been a lot faster but I was held up by a few crafty definitions. Definitions so crafty that I suspect this will not be a puzzle for the biffers.

The early appearance of a K, X and Y in the grid made me think this could be a pangram, but it was not.

First definitions are underlined in the clues

Away we go...

Across
1 What artist does is attractive (5)
DRAWS - double definition. Yes, I know not all artsists draw.
4 Obliged to survey Englishmen on vacation (8)
BEHOLDEN - BEHOLD(survey) then E(nglishme)N
8 Queen's night attire simply the best? (3,4,7)
THE CATS PYJAMAS - the queen is THE CAT, and the nightwear is PYJAMAS.
10 Genuine theft, real criminal (9)
HEARTFELT - anagram of THEFT,REAL
11 Contrary old soldier, mother's mate from abroad (5)
AMIGO - O, GI, MA all reversed
12 Present playing cards for the individual (2,4)
ON HAND - ON(playing, as in "on stage"), HAND(cards for the individual)
14 Be marked, cut by one German with sword (8)
SCIMITAR - SCAR(be marked) with I, MIT(German, with) inside
17 Artillery arriving by parachute, presumably causing a bit of a splash? (8)
RAINDROP - I liked this one - the artillery could be the RA IN DROP
18 Nurse, close to despair in scoundrel's grip, fled unclothed (6)
CRADLE - (despai)R in CAD(scoundrel) then the middle letters of fLEd
20 Pants son's wearing split more than once (5)
GASPS - S(son) inside GAPS(more than one split)
22 Person applying pressure on branch to supply cheese (9)
LIMBURGER - URGER(person applying pressure) with LIMB(branch)
24 Penchant, eg. for arresting police inspectors (14)
PREDISPOSITION - PREPOSITION(for, for example), containing DIS
25 Mineral is extracted from fluid epoxy resin (8)
PYROXENE - remove IS from EPOXY,RESIN and shuffle
26 Springtime sound from insect, perhaps (5)
MAYBE - MAY(springtime) then sounds like BEE

Down
1 Bottle after bottle? (5,7)
DUTCH COURAGE - an all-in-one since DUTCH and COURAGE can also mean bottle individually.  Well at least I thought they did, concensus on the forum is that it is a cryptic definition based on needing to hit the bottle to get it. Maybe I shouldn't have done that before solving.
2 Lakeland setting for youth leader (5)
AKELA - hidden inside lAKELAnd - leader of cub scouts
3 Small furry animal, extremely 7, spruced up (9)
SMARTENED - S, MARTEN(furry animal) then the outside letters in EMACIATED(answer to 7 down)
4 Vehicle that is top of range is less available (6)
BUSIER - BUS, IE, R(ange)
5 Rick and Henry always succeeded on course (8)
HAYSTACK - H(the unit henry), AY(always), S(succeeded), TACK(course in yachting)
6 Soft fabric supplier from America completely revolutionised (5)
LLAMA - AM, ALL all reversed
7 Eastern spies with yoked clothing wasted (9)
EMACIATED - as in wasted away... E, then CIA(spies) inside MATED(yoked)
9 Caterer found bananas for lengthy sporting event (4,2,6)
TOUR DE FRANCE - anagram of CATERER,FOUND
13 Shock solution's risky, Superman from time to time admitted (4,5)
HAIR SPRAY - HAIRY(risky) containing alternating letters inf SuPeRmAn
15 Mum going round university in Paris arranged a place for Joey (9)
MARSUPIUM - the pouch... MUM surrounding U inside an anagram of PARIS
16 Company porters attending church merge in (8)
COALESCE - CO, ALES(porters), CE(church)
19 The author's facade's put on (6)
IMPOSE - I'M(the authot's), POSE(facade)
21 Loner's curious since travelling north (5)
SADDO - ODD(curious), AS(since) all reversed
23 Harsh year, marked by pollution (5)
GRIMY - GRIM(harsh), Y(year)

Times Quick Cryptic No 1073 by Hurley

Some meaty and harder to spot anagrams in this offering from Hurley.  My brain must be tuned to potential anagrams, because I see them even when they aren’t there, which can waste a lot of time.  For instance, in 8a, if STROLL is seen as the possible Anagrind, [SE RIVER] could be the Anagrist, and there are at least three possible answers.  Unfortunately, none of them fit with what would then have to serve as the definition – RELATIVE.  A few more seconds lost chasing the illusive anagram.  Or in 3d, where there are two possible Anagrinds, but no obvious Anagrist.  And ‘broadcast’ in 5d – is that signalling an anagram too?

Despite the distractions and misdirections, I finished this inside 11 minutes, so I think at the easier end of the spectrum, with nothing too obscure or difficult.  Certainly easier that yesterday's offering.  There is a possible extended NINA (literally) in the penultimate row, but I’m sure that I am also seeing things here that don’t really exist.

Thanks to Hurley.  I hope you all enjoyed it.

Across
1  Cup tie score upset Brussels fan?  No! (11)
EUROSCEPTIC – Anagram (upset) of [CUP TIE SCORE].  A definition-by-denial – a EUROSCEPTIC would not be a fan of Brussels.
8  Relative in southeast river stroll (7)
SAUNTER – The relative is an AUNT who is inserted (in) S{outh}E{ast} R{iver}
Office clerk maybe initially fallible is later extremely reliable (5)
FILER – First letters of (initially) F{allible} I{s} L{ater} E{xtremely} R{eliable}.  Good misdirection by using ‘extremely’ in the list of words, which usually would point to first and last letter of either the preceding or subsequent word.
10  Referring to pursuit: selling to customers (9)
RETAILING – RE (referring to) TAILING (pursuit).  I have a slight issue with the definition part – surely wholesaling (the common counterpart to retailing) is also selling to customers, but the customers of wholesalers are traditionally retailers, and the customers of retailers are in turn consumers.  IMHO I think the clue would have been better if the definition were ‘selling to consumers’.
12  Brass instrument without a container (3)
TUB– TUB{a} brass instrument without ‘a’
13 Returning writer cut brother’s son? (6)
NEPHEW – PEN (writer) reversed (returning) and HEW (cut).  The question mark is because a NEPHEW might equally likely be a sister’s son.
15  Some minibar Riesling for Scottish dramatist (6)
BARRIE – Hidden inside (some) {mini}BAR RIE{sling}.  Referring to Sir James Matthew Barrie, OM, creator of Peter Pan, who gave his rights to the Peter Pan works to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children before his death.
17  Male editor’s name for water (3)
MED – M{ale} ED{itor}.  The water referred to is the MED{iterranean sea}
18  Anvil one’s recycled – from the country (9)
SLOVENIAN –Anagram of [ANVIL ONE’S] (with recycled acting as the anagrind)
20  Cold atmosphere at new stone mound (5)
CAIRN – C{old} plus AIR (atmosphere) plus N{ew}.
22  Liquid needed for theatre – a clean-up (7)
TREACLE – Hidden in {thea}TRE A CLE{an-up}.  I don’t dispute that it is a liquid, but it is a viscous one.
23  Acceptable means of payment from cricket side – a lender absorbs it finally (5,6)
LEGAL TENDER – There are several pairs of sides in cricket; batting and fielding or in and out, but this refers to the sides of the field, LEG and off.  So we have LEG (cricket side) plus A LENDER (a lender) which absorbs {i}T (finally)

Down
1 European vote result – only half rejoice (5)
EXULT – E{uropean} X (vote) {res}ULT (only half!}
Being irritable, deserter, note on Scottish Loch (9)
RATTINESS – A deserter in Crosswordland is invariably a RAT, TI is the seventh note in the solmization system, and the Scottish Loch is its most famous – Loch NESS
3  Arrange extremely intense troop movement? (6)
SORTIE – To arrange is to SORT, followed by (extremely) I{ntens}E (i.e. first and last letters).
4  Regularly tell off mischievous child (3)
ELF – Alternate letters (regularly) from {t}E{l}L {o}F{f}.  I worried about the mischievous part of the definition, but my Chambers gives ‘A mischievous or fairy-like being, esp a child, so it passes the dictionary test.
1960s satellite broadcast to inform celeb (7)
TELSTAR – TEL (sounds like – broadcast – tell) (inform) and STAR (celeb).  TELSTARs 1 and 2 were launched by NASA in July ’61 and May ’62 respectively as communications satellites.  They both still orbit the earth, although are now no longer functional.
6  Bar, a nice base, served up American drink? (9,3)
CARIBBEAN SEA – Anagram (served up) of [BAR, A NICE BASE].  I think there may be some dispute over America’s ownership of the said Sea that justifies the question mark, although it is indubitably close to the Americas.
7 Manorial cost unfortunately very large (12)
ASTRONOMICAL – Anagram (unfortunately) of [MANORIAL COST]
11  Wine at finish in Kentish town (9)
GRAVESEND – The wine is GRAVES (from the sub-region of that name in the Bordeaux area) and finish is END.  GRAVESEND is an ancient town just 21 miles from the centre of London, and in the County of Kent, hence Kentish Town, and its name probably has nothing to do with burials, coming rather from graaf-ham (home of the reeve).  It was certainly known as GRAVESHAM at the time of the Domesday Book.
14  Quietly including superfluous material (7)
PADDING – P (quietly) and ADDING (including).
16  Very formal at first – neckwear for sentimental guy (6)
SOFTIE – Very gives SO, F{ormal} (at first) and TIE (neckwear)
19  Such entertainment: motoring (2-3)
IN-CAR – Double definition?  It’s a type of entertainment system and might describe someone motoring.  Or is it an &Lit?  Answers on a postcard please.
21  Love Northern Ireland lake (3)
NIL – N{orthern} I{reland} L{ake}