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January 16th, 2019

Quick Cryptic 1267 by Orpheus



I stared for an age at my LOI 22ac, as I was playing around with 'c' (start of concert), 'r' (right) and some sort of word reversal (back). And I had a mistake at 17ac after submitting (A for the first E), which will teach me to read more than the first two words of a clue. No other hiccups, so I'd say a nicely balanced quicky - thanks Orpheus.

Definitions underlined.

Across
1 Abrasion requiring care ultimately after fight (6)
SCRAPE - last letter of (ultimately) care after SCRAP (fight).
4 Distinctive clothing right for inclusion in speaker’s gift? (4)
GARB - R (right) inside (for inclusion in) GAB (speaker's gift).
9 Part played by civil engineer keeping mug for stew (9)
CASSEROLE - ROLE (part played) next to CE (civil engineer) containing (keeping) ASS (mug).
10 Tall grass in East Sussex resort (3)
RYE - double definition.
11 Healthy food reportedly goes for a song (12)
GREENSLEEVES - GREENS (healthy food) with a homophone of (reportedly) "leaves" (goes).
13 Masseur’s set of matches? (6)
RUBBER - double definition. I had never before heard of the second meaning, but apparently a rubber can be a contest or series of games.
15 Supernatural creature eatin’ greedily, do we hear? (6)
GOBLIN - sounds like (do we hear?) "gobbling" (eating greedily), when said with the terminal velar nasal replaced by an alveolar one (dropping the 'g')!
17 French girl produced wine around island (12)
MADEMOISELLE - MADE (produced) and MOSELLE (wine) around I (island).
20 Hammer possibly left out as well (3)
TOO - TOOl (hammer, possibly) missing the final letter 'l' (left out).
21 Get over and confer with others (9)
NEGOTIATE - double definition.
22 Frolic putting start of concert right back (4)
ROMP - PROM (concert) with its first letter (start) all the way to the end (right back).
23 Strange story about European mollusc (6)
OYSTER - anagram of (strange) STORY around E (European).

Down
1 Splinter group’s way to take in City (4)
SECT - ST (street, way) surrounding (to take in) EC (city (of London)).
2 Part of stair in tower is eroded (5)
RISER - hidden in toweR IS ERoded.
3 Make advance decision, shaking pet with red fur (12)
PREDETERMINE - anagram of (shaking) PET and RED, followed by ERMINE (fur).
5 Appearance of a competitor, by the sound of it (7)
ARRIVAL - homophone of (by the sound of it) "a rival".
6 Godsend, having flashy jewellery round eastern ship (8)
BLESSING - BLING (flashy jewellery) around E (eastern) and SS (ship).
7 Husky-sounding Arab, possibly (5)
HORSE - homophone of (-sounding) "hoarse" (husky).
8 Chap cultivated lonely vet in kindly way (12)
BENEVOLENTLY - BEN (chap) and an anagram of (cultivated) LONELY VET.
12 More punctual theatre employee? (8)
PROMPTER - double definition.
14 Brush seen outside top journalist’s sleeping-place (7)
BEDROOM - BROOM (brush) around (seen outside) ED (editor, top journalist).
16 Travel on horseback across grand elevation (5)
RIDGE - RIDE (travel on horseback) around (across) G (grand).
18 Endure, consuming energy to the smallest extent (5)
LEAST - LAST (endure) around (consuming) E (energy).
19 Legal successor’s manner, so to speak? (4)
HEIR - sounds like (so to speak) "air" (manner).

Times 27249 - One for the record?

This took me a leisurely 19 minutes, having started without delay with the long 1a and 1d to make it flow smoothly. I suspect there will be some single figure times as even I found it straightforward. Nothing very memorable but I think 25a gets my CoD vote for joining two words beginning with (or actually without) the same letter.




Across
1 Making poor naughty chaps include extra time (14)
IMPOVERISHMENT - Naughty chaps are IMPISH MEN, insert OVER = extra, add T at the end.
9 Will writer seek alternative link? (9)
SOLICITOR - SOLICIT = seek, linked to OR = alternative. Nice concise surface.
10 Wait and leave course, needing to lose weight (5)
SERVE - SWERVE loses its W(eight). Serve as in serve at table.
11 Unwell following Greek restaurant (5)
GRILL - GR(eek), ILL.
12 I’m left with one French female to harass (9)
IMPORTUNE - IM = I'm, PORT = left, UNE = French for one, feminine.
13 Bridge bid concluded as wanted from the outset (8)
INTENDED - INT = 1 No Trump, ENDED = concluded.
15 Get by in G&S show with two vocal changes (4,2)
MAKE DO - The MIKADO changes two letters, I to A and A to E.
17 Ancient Greek — one on island that has a name (6)
IONIAN - I (one) ON, I (island), A, N(ame).
19 Sent a message about ancient city given a little relief? (8)
TEXTURED - Insert that old chestnut city UR into TEXTED.
22 Settle data speed after accumulator’s voided (9)
ARBITRATE - AR = accumulator, voided; BIT RATE = data speed.
23 People of hot Australian area (5)
HAUSA - H = hot, AUS, A(rea). People not from Oz but Africa, mainly Nigeria.
24 Oxygen is absorbed by three hundred current bacteria (5)
COCCI - C, C, C = three hundred, insert O(xygen) and add I = current. Plural of coccus; any bacterium with a generally round or oval shape, as opposed to rod shaped bacilli or spiral shaped ones.
25 Attacker of Xmas revelry deficiency — there’s never whiskey (9)
ASSAILANT - WASSAIL and WANT lose their W letters = whiskey in NATO phonetic alphabet.
26 Scrap handout, grumble misguided (5-3-6)
ROUGH-AND-TUMBLE - (HANDOUT GRUMBLE)*.

Down
1 Write my name if I’m able in nice flowing smallness (14)
INSIGNIFICANCE - SIGN = write my name, IF, I CAN = I'm able, insert all of that into (NICE)*.
2 Left note in the keeping of former reader (7)
PALMIST - Insert L(eft) and MI (note) into PAST = former.
3 See boozer losing head, speaking loudly (5)
VOCAL - LOCAL = boozer loses its L, after V = vide, see.
4 One complaining strongly about alien shopkeeper? (8)
RETAILER - Insert ET the alien chestnut into RAILER one who rails or complains.
5 Son heading rubbish band (6)
STRIPE - S(on), TRIPE = rubbish.
6 Racist men unfortunately behaving unlawfully (9)
MISCREANT - (RACIST MEN)*.
7 Key routine to manage raising? (7)
NURTURE - E (key), RUT (routine), RUN (manage), all reversed. Raising here is doing the definition and the instruction to reverse, I think.
8 Stock present for Washington PM finally forgot (8,6)
HEREFORD CATTLE - HERE (present), FOR, DC (Washington), ATTLE(E) = PM with final letter omitted.
14 Note, connecting the green wire is almost a disaster (4,5)
NEAR THING - N(ote), EARTHING = connecting the green wire.
16 Last days of the year were relaxing no more (8)
DECEASED - DEC(ember), EASED = were relaxing.
18 Italian opera mounted in Havana company? (7)
NABUCCO - CUBAN reversed, CO(mpany). Opera by Verdi originally called NABUCODONOSOR, from the Italian for Nebuchadnezzar, I'm not surprised he changed it to something even more catchy.
20 Rhum baba running short, bringing in queen’s pudding ingredient? (7)
RHUBARB - RHU, BAB = Rhum Baba running short; insert R for queen.
21 Hat country divided by boaters? (6)
PANAMA - Double definition, one referring to the canal. 
23 Three lines that Mike cut in the middle (5)
HAIKU - Central letters of t HA t m IK e c U t. Should be 17 syllables, three phrases, in Japanese.