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January 24th, 2019

Times Quick Cryptic No 1273 by Orpheus

Comfortably inside 12 minutes for me, so at the easier end of the spectrum, and certainly nothing to frighten the horses here, unlike yesterday - which I found hard.  The Welsh name at 21a may give pause for thought, and parsing 5d cost me a few seconds, but all-in-all this was a very fair puzzle from Orpheus, who has charmed me with his neat surfaces.

My CoD and WoD go to MAYHEM.

1  Block benefit covering married pub employee (7)
BARMAID – BAR (block) and AID (benefit) covering (including) M{arried}.  I’m not sure of the modern political correctness of referring to BARMAIDs and BARMEN – shouldn’t they all be classed as BARTENDERS these days?
Soft sweet? An unsatisfactory compromise (5)
FUDGE – Double definition, the first referring to the sugary soft toffee-like substance, and the second to the deal that our PM tried to push through parliament last week.
8  Oddly cheery native’s tendency towards infidelity (5-4,4)
SEVEN-YEAR ITCH – Anagram (oddly) of [CHEERY NATIVE’S].  There has been no such tendency in the 48 years of my marriage – Mrs Rotter wouldn’t allow it!
Take over from magistrate, about 51 (7)
RELIEVE – The magistrate is a REEVE containing (about) LI (fifty one in Roman Numerals)
10  Eg Daphne’s quiet massage (5)
SHRUB – SH (quiet) and RUB (massage).  Daphne is an example of a shrub from the family Thymelaeaceae, which has an improbable number of vowels!
11 Maker of ceramicsHarry, possibly(6)
POTTER – Another double definition, this time the second definition refers to the main protagonist in the children’s books written by JK Rowling
13  One’s bound by others to put up a fight (6)
RESIST – I’S (one’s) bound by (contained within) REST (others)
15  Get bigger medal at last, but react gruffly (5)
GROWL – GROW (get bigger) and {meda}L (at last).
16  Clap a very quiet youth outside university (7)
APPLAUD – A (a) and PP (very quiet from musical notation) followed by LAD (youth) surrounding (outside) U{niversity}.
19  Marksman’s activity has quick-witted son in fits (13)
SHARPSHOOTING – SHARP (quick-witted) and S{on} and HOOTING (in fits).
20  Elegance of ancient writing-instrument (5)
STYLE – Another DD.  This time the second definition refers to a pointed instrument for writing on wax tablets.
21  Your’s truly’s supporter, extremely wacky Welsh girl (7)
MYFANWY – MY (yours truly’s) FAN (supporter) and W{ack}Y (extremely indicating first and last letter).  MYFANWY is a popular girl’s name in Wales derived from the Welsh word for ‘beloved’.

1 More infamous military HQ overlooking river (5)
BASER – BASE (military HQ) and R{iver}.
Possible Trotskyist doing the rounds? (13)
REVOLUTIONARY – Cryptic definition.
Girl primarily arranging nightly entertainment around N Ireland (5)
ANNIE – First letters of (primarily) A{rranging} N{ightly} E{ntertainment) around (containing) N I{reland}.
Make lower enclosure by river (6)
DEEPEN – DEE (one of the many rivers bearing that name) and PEN (enclosure)
Predict sound made by class in low stream (7)
FORESEE – I had trouble parsing this initially, until my penny drop moment.  It’s a homophone, sounding like class 4C, which would be a class in a low stream in any school in any book from my childhood, although I’m not sure that modern schools allow such derogatory terms and separatist notions such as streaming.
6 Resolve to put off motorway race (13)
DETERMINATION – DETER (to put off) M1 (motorway) and NATION (race – of people).
Show former husband one part of harness (7)
EXHIBIT – EX (former) and H{usband} with I (one) and BIT (part of harness).  I was worried initially that the H might have been double defined, but actually, EX works perfectly well for ‘former’ without having to define what is being referred to.
11  Winged horse in Winnipeg as usual (7)
PEGASUS – Hidden answer in {winni}PEG AS US{ual}
12 Overshadow East European absorbing extracts from films. (7)
ECLIPSE –  E{ast} and E{uropean} surrounding (absorbing) CLIPS (extracts from films).
14  Confusion getting woman on edge (6)
MAYHEM – MAY (woman) and HEM (edge).
17 Certification only initially accepted by senior academic (5)
PROOF – O{nly} (initially) inside (accepted by) PROF{essor} (senior academic)
18  Child’s word for pet, extremely gangly, with tail (5)
DOGGY – G{angl}Y (extremely) with DOG (tail - as in follow).

Times 27256: I called it!

Solving time: 20:05

I commented on yesterday's puzzle that we are due for a stinker, and it would just so happen that it is my turn. And we got it! I am usually under 12 minutes, and this one took me just a scratch over 20 minutes, and much of that scratching was on my poor head, though I think I have just about everything parsed now as I get ready to start the blog.

What made it so difficult? Well after seeing some unusual letters, I thought it was going to be a pangram... but far from it, there is no J, W or Z! There is a mix of unusual words and unusual definitions that make things tricky.

First definitions are underlined in clues.

Away we go...

1 Glass slipper may become this (7)
TUMBLER - double definition - one who slips may tumble
5 Backing ace to eclipse enemy cook ultimately in this? (7)
BAKEOFF - reversal of FAB(ace) containing FOE(enemy) and the last letter of cooK
9 A topic ill fitted for parties? (9)
10 Trouble’s besetting one for so long (5)
ADIOS - ADO'S (trouble's) containing I(one)
11 Do books acclaim hiding place? (5)
AUDIT - PLAUDIT(acclaim) missing PL(place) - "do books" in finiancial terms
12 Invalid awfully close to you filled in forms (9)
NULLIFIED - anagram of the last letter of yoU with FILLED and IN
14 Tart to put up with some Yankee rave (4,5,5)
ACID HOUSE PARTY - ACID(tart), HOUSE(put up), PART(some), Y(Yankee). I'll assume the setter has been to more of these than I have.
17 General initially aiming to oppose governors? (6-3-5)
ACROSS-THE-BOARD - first letter in Aiming, then if you oppose governors you CROSS THE BOARD
21 Fail to get up, turning huntsman’s gun on duck (9)
OVERSLEEP - another long reversal, this time of the hunter (D'ye ken John) PEEL'S, REV(gun, run an engine hard), O(duck in cricket)
23 Tremble, as weakened at heart (5)
QUAKE - QUA(as), then the middle letters of weaKEned
24 Relations well and truly “cornered”? (5)
NOOKY - double definition, the second a little cryptic, with cornered being in a nook
25 German diet of cake and dates uncommonly good (9)
BUNDESTAG - BUN(cake) then an anagram of DATES, G(good)
26 Uplifting day in which something is to happen soon (7)
DOFFING - This was my last in.... D(day) and when something is to happen soon it is in the OFFING. Uplifting as in "DOFFING one's cap"
27 Did appropriate article following broadcast (7)
ANNEXED - AN(article), then sounds like NEXT(following). "Did appropriate" means "Did assume control of"

1 Formal attire which sailor turning up wears (3,3)
TOP HAT - THAT(which) containing PO(petty officer) reversed
2 Sweet person treating you gets large round in (7)
MELODIC - MEDIC(person treating you) containing L(large) and O(round)
3 Region of Lima awkwardly situated (9)
LATITUDES - L(Lima in the NATO alphabet) then an anagram of SITUATED
4 Arising from assertion, no certifiable case (11)
RECONNOITRE - hidden reversed in asseRTION NO CERtifiable. "Case" meaning to check out the conditions, presumably with nefarious intent
5 Unit in area getting time off (3)
BEL - BELT(area, as in "green belt") missing the last letter, for the unit of sound intensity
6 Military buff (5)
KHAKI - cryptic definition
7 Actor in green room’s beginning to accept one (7)
OLIVIER - OLIVE(green), R(oom) containing I(one) for the actor Laurence OLIVER
8 Dates for the pious in no way movable feasts! (4-4)
FAST-DAYS - another double definition with a hint of the cryptic. It wouldn't be a feast if it was a FAST and it also wouldn't be moveable
13 Sales rep messing about with Asian native (6,5)
LESSER PANDA - anagram of SALES,REP contaiing AND(with)
15 US student president’s concert piece (4,5)
PROM QUEEN - PROM(concert), QUEEN(piece in chess). Popular victim in scary movies
16 A single mum staff nurses abandoned (8)
MAROONED -  ONE(a single) inside MA(mum), ROD(staff)
18 Stagger race start and run through quickly? (4,3)
REEL OFF - REEL(stagger), OFF(start of a race)
19 What drivers pay men to lift trailer cab, mostly (4,3)
ROAD TAX - OR(men, soliders) reversed, then AD(advertisement, trailer), TAX(i) (cab)
20 Neptune, maybe, or Earth, each grand when orbited (3,3)
SEA GOD - SOD(Earth) containing EA(each), G(grand)
22 Every so often, mislay stash brought up for engravers (5)
STYLI - alternating letters in mIsLaY sTaSh, reversed
25 Betjeman’s first mistake defending Slough (3)
BOG - first letter in Betjeman, then OG(own goal, mistake defending)