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January 30th, 2019

Quick Cryptic 1277 by Marty

There's a tongue-in-cheek tone to these clues that I enjoyed a lot while solving. The surfaces readings are witty and sensible at the same time, which is the highest acheivement for a setter in my book. I think there may me some consternation at the number of random names required, though, especially at 3dn where the name is the answer! Add a smidgen of tricky-ish wordplay (13ac - how many last letters?), some difficult vocabulary (14dn), and we have a comfortable amount of head-scratching to do today. 4dn was far from my LOI, because I guessed it from checkers, but I only worked out the sneaky wordplay on blogging.

Definitions underlined.

Across

1 Relate to wounded bear ... (8)
TOLERATE - anagram of (wounded) RELATE TO.
5 not that tears help its suffering at first (4)
THIS - first letters of (at first) Tears Help Its Suffering.
7 Comb, note, regularly chosen for musical instrument (4)
OBOE - every other letter from (regularly chosen) cOmB nOtE.
8 Young rich lend extravagantly (8)
CHILDREN - anagram of (extravagantly RICH LEND.
9 Drinking game after end of parties (8)
SWILLING - WILLING (up for, game) after last letter (end) of parties.
11 Stray, right after hesitation (3)
ERR -  R (right) after ER (hesitation).
13 One in the eye ultimately for rude girl (6)
RETINA - last letters of (ultimately) foR and rudE, then TINA (girl).
16 Purpose of French Bull, Lion or Crab, for example (6)
DESIGN - DE ('of' in French) and SIGN (of the zodiac, bull/lion/crab for example).
18 Two couples, speaking in favour (3)
FOR - sounds like (speaking) "four" (two couples).
19 Not feeling pressure in very close finish (4,4)
DEAD HEAT - DEAD (not feeling) and HEAT (pressure).
20 Unexpectedly, nude lad’s to get off horse (8)
UNSADDLE - anagram of (unexpectedly) NUDE LAD'S.
22 Following cross going into the goal (4)
NEXT - X (cross) surrounded by (going into) NET (goal).
23 Long sentence in biography? (4)
LIFE - double definition.
24 Some skint here, daily owing money (2,3,3)
IN THE RED - hidden in (some) skINT HERE Daily.

Down
1 Pocket in short pants (7)
TROUSER - all but the last letter of (short) TROUSERs (pants).
2 Investigate family trapped in toilet, closed (4,4)
LOOK INTO - KIN (family) surrounded by (trapped in) LOO (toilet) and TO (closed, as in 'pull the door to').
3 Man, superior one, and blunt (9)
ARCHIBALD - ARCH (superior), I (one), and BALD (blunt).
4 Old priest: perhaps Miguel’s the one (3)
ELI - EL ('the' in spanish (perhaps Miguel's)) and I (one).
5 Boy goes out to get cuddly toys (7)
TEDDIES - TED (boy) and DIES (goes out, as a fire would).
6 Sort of lettuce you see little of in the main (7)
ICEBERG - whimsical double definition. One can famously only see a small proportion (little) of these when they're in the sea (main).
10 Sponsor rebuilt great pond (9)
GODPARENT - anagram of (rebuilt) GREAT POND.
12 A pint courtesy of Paddy? (4,4)
RICE BEER - cryptic definition requiring us to think of a paddy field rather than an Irish pal.
14 Having arranged fee, find an address in Turkey (7)
EFFENDI - anagram of (having arranged) FEE FIND. A title (or address) of respect or courtesy in Turkey.
15 Not when the golf club was fashionable, though (4,3)
IRON AGE - a very oblique cryptic definition. Iron was 'fashionable' then, but not irons (golf clubs).
17 Added comments to approving gesture when touring gallery (7)
NOTATED - NOD (approving gesture) surrounding (when touring) TATE (gallery).
21 Welshman’s daughter: excellent (3)
DAI - D (daughter) and A1 (excellent).

Times 27261 - a curate's egg time.

This took me 33 minutes and a few more while blogging to decipher some of the more obscure parsing. I finished feeling slightly irritated rather than elated. If you read the below, you'll get my drift. Apologies in advance to the esteemed setter, if my gripes are not in order and I've missed the point here and there; it wouldn't be the first time.
19a gets my CoD award, although I have a sneaky feeling I've seen that UED entry before.



Across
1 Feeble old man, by Thursday at home (5-4)
PAPER-THIN - PA = old man, PER = by, TH(ursday), IN = at home. I think, as in a feeble excuse.
6 Indian title of book one’s holding back (5)
SAHIB - B(ook), I HAS = one's holding; all reversed.
9 Football team with mass appeal deliver (7)
MANUMIT - The resurgent Man United, = MAN U, M(ass), IT = appeal. An archaic word meaning to set free from slavery; I got it from the word play then it rang a faint bell.
10 Dog, as it happens, getting back on couch (7)
BEDEVIL - BED = couch, LIVE = as it happens, reverse that.
11 American hosts cool, reclining in mess as usual (5)
SNAFU - FAN reversed inside US. Well known military acronym from 'situation normal all fucked up', or 'all fouled up' when it needed censoring.
12 Alternative cure handy for major complaint (3,3,3)
HUE AND CRY - (CURE HANDY)*.
13 ... but if south-facing, becoming much brighter (5)
UNLIT - &lit. If it had S facing i.e. on the front, it would be sunlit.
14 Hard toenails troubled one in the shower (9)
HAILSTONE - H(ard), (TOENAILS)*.
17 Displaying craft gift not enough? (9)
UNDERHAND - I suppose, crafty as in sly, underhand. I'm not sure this works very well for the second definition 'gift not enough' which I think is the idea of under-handing something being to give less than was expected?
18 Suffering: force for good later in composer (5)
GRIEF - Edvard GREIG has his last G turned into an F.
19 A number of volunteers, note, commanded army? (9)
TENTACLED - TEN (a number) TA (volunteers) C (note) LED (commanded) leaves you with 'army' as a definition, (from the Uxbridge English dictionary of course, hence the ? mark), 'having (lots of) arms'.
22 Mature person, hiding the grey, to be honest (3,2)
OWN UP - GROWN UP loses the GR.
24 Agent who gets back from sultanate with traveller (4,3)
REPO MAN - REP for traveller, OMAN the sultanate. A REPO MAN reposseses things.
25 Demanding one stops person having sex change? (7)
EXIGENT - A person having a sex change could be an EX GENT (groan). Insert I = one stops.
26 Member greatly respected long after the event? (5)
DOYEN - DO = event, YEN (for) = long (for).
27 Freshness augmented by a brother’s flavouring (9)
SASSAFRAS - SASS = cheek, freshness; A, FRA'S; FRA being an Italian term for a friar or monk. Obscure answer with obscure word play. If you knew sassafras was a kind of tree bark based infusion, you were home dry, otherwise you had to guess.
Down
1 Big felines getting in step I am thinking (5)
PUMAS - Another slightly dodgy bit of word play methinks. UM = I am thinking, goes into PAS = step. I hear people being interviewed every day saying UM far too often, but I don't think there is much thinking going on while they say it.
2 Was bothered by volume having increasingly narrow endpiece (9)
PINTAILED - PINT = a volume, AILED = ws bothered by. A pintail is a kind of duck with a pointed tail, so the word presumably means having such a shaped endpiece. I am underwhelmed by this clue.
3 A sweet accompaniment with dance, almost complete (3,6)
RUM BUTTER - RUMB(A) = dance almost, UTTER = complete. We always have brandy butter with our Christmas Pud, but I see no reason why rum butter wouldn't be as good.
4 Popular verse about teacher got top press billing (3,3,9)
HIT THE HEADLINES - HIT = popular, HEAD teacher inserted, LINES = verses.
5 Count on supervised girl being of high intellect? (5-10)
NOBLE-MINDEDNESS - Another clue I am tepid about. NOBLE for count, fine. MINDED for supervised, fine. NESS is apparently a rare or old forename, male or female, north of the border, but IMO too obscure for use in this way. Or am I once again losing the plot?
6 State prosecutor getting tabloid coverage (5)
SUDAN - DA the prosecutor gets covered by the SUN our leading tabloid organ.
7 Shrink with a vocation causing mayhem (5)
HAVOC - Hidden word, (WIT(H A VOC)ATION.
8 Tinned meat from cow — and grouse (5,4)
BULLY BEEF - BULLY = cow, BEEF = grouse.
13 Superior fruitcake boy’s kept to himself? (9)
UNUTTERED - U = superior, upper class; NUTTER = fruitcake; ED is our boy.
15 Miss warning put out on air (9)
SIGNORINA - SIGN = warning (well, perhaps), (ON AIR).
16 Runner who must find way round rotten tree in race, gutted (9)
ORIENTEER - O = round, (TREE IN RE)*, where RE = race gutted.
20 Garment frequently dropping off, could one say? (5)
NAPPY - More UED thinking, nappy invented to mean sleepy. Is a nappy really a garment?
21 A note in which a managing director’s put up someone for promotion (5)
ADMAN - A, N(ote), insert A, MD reversed. Admen aren't 'for promotion', they create promotion materials. I was an Adman, but I didn't feel that was what 'I was for'. I was an adman to make money and to meet (and often hire) interesting people. Sorry, pedant's corner has arrived.
23 Goes on green after driving off? (5)
PUTTS - Is there any more to this than a slightly cryptic definition, the number of putts being the number of 'goes' when you reach the green? If so, it's not the best clue ever.