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November 12th, 2018

Times Quick Cryptic 1220 by Tracy

My solving time was 6 minutes. I almost hesitate to suggest that I think most solvers will find this accessible and there may be few, if any, complaints about its level of difficulty.

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Times 27193 - Epic Fails

To be honest, I was well stuffed by this one, albeit beaten by two rare words and one where I was looking for the wrong bit of underwear. Yes - one of the those days. The rest took me around 40 minutes and contained one of the great all-time words, beloved of Antipodeans. A lot of nice stuff here, I thought - just too much for my little brain.

ACROSS

1 Arrangement for art-house distribution (5-3)
SHARE-OUT - anagram* of ART-HOUSE
6 Instructions on what's regularly used by chippies (6)
RECIPE - RE (on) C[h]I[p]P[i]E[s]
9 Chap's rear squeezed into short item of underwear: laugh uncontrollably (6)
CORPSE - [cha]P in CORSE[t]
10 Old person, heading off towards port reportedly, finding shellfish supplier? (4,4)
ROCK POOL - [c]ROCK POOL (slang term for the city where the Scousers play; alternatively, as Jack points out, the rather more prosaic, albeit accurate, parsing is 'sounds like POOLE', the pleasant place that once was - and still ought to be - in Dorset)
11 A rodent from tail to head is so long (2-2)
TA-RA - reversal of A RAT
12 Secret group I dismissed, right away (10)
CLASSIFIED - CLASS I FI[r]ED
14 Defamed a journalist backing press changes (8)
ASPERSED - PRESS* in A ED; didn't know it could be a verb - only ever heard them being cast
16 Hit, throwing stone in brawl (4)
RUCK - [st]RUCK (STRUCK with the ST thrown away)
18 Project with European material (4)
JUTE - JUT E
19 Former duke enters Cambridgeshire city in joyful fashion (8)
ELATEDLY - LATE D in ELY
21 Expert's way accepted by Pamela and Daisy (4,6)
PAST MASTER - ST in PAM ASTER
22 Composer's brief to supply modern music (4)
RAVE - RAVE[l]
24 Obedient tot gets back into good book (8)
BIDDABLE - reversal of ADD in BIBLE
26 Down under, real scandal about injecting fluid (6)
DINKUM - INK in MUD reversed
27 Motif at entrance to this art museum (3,3)
THE MET - THEME T[his]
28 Thus row hasn't finished about accommodation cost in Italian resort (8)
SORRENTO - RENT in SO RO[w]

DOWN

2 Ensnare a smoker (5)
HOOKA - HOOK A
3 Substitute set to appear after second match almost finished (11)
REPLACEMENT - CEMENT after REPLA[y]
4 Gloomy director's position in theatre? (8)
OVERCAST - setter whimsy, since the director lords it over the cast
5 Punishes sailors with contaminated fresh tea (4,3,8)
TARS AND FEATHERS - TARS (sailors) AND (with) FRESH TEA*
6 Drivers one's seen on motorway showing unacceptable prejudice (6)
RACISM - RAC IS M
7 What group of scouts mostly raised perhaps? (3)
CAP - PAC[k] reversed to give a nice all-in-one for what they do when they meet their elders and betters. If only...
8 Successfully tested class, securing good grade in French language (9)
PROVENCAL - PROVEN A in CL
13 Long suffering soldiers mostly exhausted, invading European country (11)
FORBEARANCE - OR BEA[t] (exhausted, dead beat) in FRANCE
15 Prudish girl attracted to Mennonite sect, without question (9)
SQUEAMISH - Q in SUE AMISH
17 Political reformer enlisted by US socialists in area of N America (8)
LABRADOR - RAD in LABOR for a part of Canada; cunning that
20 Songbird to flutter, chasing rail (6)
BARBET - and not 'barbat', which is a central Asian lute (or was when someone still played it); I'd just bought my tickets for the racing at Sha Tin and still couldn't see past fluttering eyelashes. Tsk!
23 Very mature red ultimately missing in cellar (5)
VAULT - V A[d]ULT
25 Monk last to leave part of cathedral (3)
DOM - DOM[e]; not all cathedrals have domes, but some do, which is good enough for me