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February 25th, 2019

Times 27283 - Live from Avignon!

Time: 27 minutes
Music: Bach, Goldberg Variations, Glenn Gould

I didn't think this puzzle was going to be difficult at first, as I filled in the whole left side starting from 1 across.   However, things got considerably more interesting on the right side, and I had to biff a number of answers without being very sure how they worked.  However, the Times website gives me a 'Congratulations!', so I must have good instincts.   As usual, getting up to flip the record addled my brain enough for me to be instantly able to see the remaining answers when I returned.

In the end, this was a perfectly serviceable Monday puzzle, competent but not brilliant.   Nothing stands out as terribly obscure or tricky, although I still have a few clues to parse as I do the blog; some research may be required.

Across
1 Cast touring Jersey, say, looking displeased (8)
SCOWLING - S(COW)LING.   I thought 'Jersey, say' was going to be C.I., but no.
9 Satisfactory to correspond with Bill (8)
ADEQUATE - AD + EQUATE, where 'with' indicates 'after' - in a classical language, the case of 'Bill' would indicate which meaning the preposition has.
10 Illicit global union left a load of rubbish (8)
UNLAWFUL -  U.N. + L + AWFUL.
11 Confine false allies holding company back (8)
LOCALISE - anagram of ALLIES around CO backwards.
12 Within them, one Yorkshireman keeps rolling (2,3,5)
IN THE MONEY - hidden in [with]IN THEM, ONE Y[orkshireman].   I admit, I never saw the hidden until I came to write up this clue in the blog, but just biffed it.
14 Fuel for heating drink (4)
COKE - A double definition, and a good one.
15 The writer with a home as close as possible (7)
MEANEST - ME + A NEST, with 'close' in the sense of stingy.
17 Polish put up with intrusive female in pursuit of power (7)
PERFECT - P + ER(F)ECT.   Another one I never saw.
21 All those attending walk on air (4)
GATE - Sounds like 'GAIT'.
22 Scots, short of a pound appealed to Jock's compatriot (10)
CALEDONIAN - CAL[l]ED ON IAN.   Presumably, the Scots language, although I've never heard it called this.
23 Last two bits of pickle in clandestine spread (8)
COVERLET - COVER([pick]LE)T.
25 Policies adopted by army with no time for purity (8)
HOLINESS -  HO(LINES)S[t], where an army is again a 'host'.   This has confused some beginners, since English contains two words spelled and pronounced 'host', one from Middle French 'hospites', innkeeper, and this one, from Latin 'hostis', army.
26 Rebel church leader disliking work among vacuous people (8)
ANTIPOPE - ANTI + P(OP)E.   Of course, which one is the rebel depends on which one you support.   At one point, you could take you pick from among three of them.
27 Reviews chalky uplands at end of trip (8)
RUNDOWNS - RUN + DOWNS.
Down
2 Satisfy head of corporation as soon as French wine's imported (8)
CONVINCE - C + ON(VIN)CE.
3 Gradually become less persuasive dancing in the raw (4,4)
WEAR THIN - Anagram of IN THE RAW.
4 News two thirds of Ulster’s picked up (4)
INFO - OF N.I upside-down.  The clue confusingly refers to the fact that only 6 out of the 9 counties of Ulster are in Northern Ireland, a bit of pedantry that most setters would dispense with.     Our nitpicking may be getting to them.
5 Measures neck, leg and top of shoulder (7)
GALLONS - GALL + ON + S[houlder], where both 'gall' and 'neck' have the slang sense of 'effrontery'.
6 Feel unfit to take charge of coastal vantage point (6,4)
BEACHY HEAD - BE ACHY + HEAD.   I had to search my brain to bring this up, but I remembered it eventually.  It's probably located in the UK, but I have no idea where.
7 Merry monarch entertaining friends abroad in nightwear (8)
CAMISOLE -  C(AMIS)OLE.
8 Undesirable housing principle blocked by workers (8)
TENEMENT -  TENE(MEN)T, which has tenants living in it, not tenets.
13 Source of strain when wound up? (7,3)
MUSICAL BOX - Cryptic defintiion, a 'music box' here in the US.
15 Eastern trio facing gaol, admitting one's a trickster (8)
MAGICIAN - MAGI + C(I)AN.   Not a great clue, because 'mage' and 'magician' share the same root and are closely related.
16 Prompt report of busy boat crew (8)
ACTIVATE - Sounds like ACTIVE EIGHT.
18 Provide ventilation for shelters and leave Spanish Steps (8)
FANDANGO - FAN + DAN + GO, with a disguised literal OK, let's try again, F(AND)AN + GO.   A 'dan' is a place where martial arts are practiced, not a shelter in any conceivable sense.
19 Top-class youngster makes quick progress (6,2)
CRACKS ON - CRACK SON.
20 Small, more supple snake (7)
SLITHER - S + LITHER.
24 Bottomless side dish, sweet or savoury (4)
FLAN - FLAN[k], where a flan can be either a caramel dessert or the British version of quiche.

QC 1295 by Hurley

Another skeletal blog from me this week I am afraid. Too much going on in real life for me to spend much time on it. Gradually managing to clear my backlog of 15x15s I am glad to say as I thought I was losing my appetite for them (down to about 10 now from 20).

This was a medium difficulty puzzle with straightforward cluing, no question marks and all pretty much according to Hoyle. Thank you to Hurley for a good ten-minute work out with the morning lifesaver.

FOI was 1A, LOI was 12D I think (so obvious that I couldn't see it at first) and COD goes to 5A as being the most succinct and economical clue on offer IMHO.

No readings on the NATRAF (Nina And Theme Radar And Filter).

Definitions are underlined, and everything else is explained just as I see it in the simplest language I can manage.

Across
1 Acts badly after work at keyboard getting the same parts? (8)
TYPECAST - anagram of ACTS ('badly') = CAST, put after TYPE (work at keyboard).
5 Produced money, we hear (4)
BRED - homophone for BREAD (slang for money, as in "Hey, don't be such a real heavy breadhead, Man!")
9 Custom from American era (5)
USAGE - US (American) + AGE (era).
10 Personal target leading to footballer’s error (3,4)
OWN GOAL - almost a double definition, a personal target possibly being one's 'OWN GOAL'.
11 Coming in holding that isn’t regularly amusing (12)
ENTERTAINING - ENTERING (coming in) 'holding' TAIN (ThAt IsN't 'regularly').
13 TV feature perhaps recalled in tuneful air, eastern (6)
AERIAL - reversed ('recalled') hidden word: tunefuL AIR EAstern.
15 Warn about edges of route in overcrowded area (6)
WARREN - WARN 'about' RE (edges of RoutE).
17 Unexpectedly gave a car next, spending too much (12)
EXTRAVAGANCE - straight anagram ('unexpectedly') of GAVE A CAR NEXT = EXTRAVAGANCE.
20 Advance payment showing sincerity (7)
EARNEST - &lit. + double definition. The first definition of EARNEST in this context is 'advance payment', which incidentally implies an intention to pay the remainder (thus 'sincerity'). So EARNEST means a type of 'ADVANCE PAYMENT', and also 'SHOWING SINCERITY' but also means 'ADVANCE PAYMENT SHOWING SINCERITY'.
21 Introduction of secure, healthy, source of gas (5)
SHALE - I think this is what all the fracking controversy is about isn't it? Getting gas from shale? Anyway, cryptically it is S (introduction of Secure) plus HALE (healthy, as in 'hale and hearty').
22 Guy from Egypt he obliges (4)
THEO - hidden word: EgypT HE Obliges.
23 Find beer possibly as favour (8)
BEFRIEND - straight anagram ('possibly') of FIND BEER = BEFRIEND.
Down
1 He could be tough, lacking love? (4)
THUG - anagramatic &lit. Anagram of TUGH (TOUGH 'lacking' O (love)) = THUG, and then the whole is a possible definition of a THUG.
2 Shellfish that’s uncooked put into empty pan (5)
PRAWN - RAW (uncooked) in an 'empty' PaN'.
3 Sweet having me in calmer race, somehow (5,7)
CREME CARAMEL - straight anagram of CALMER RACE ('somehow') with ME inside.
4 Unruffled sound from cow in south (6)
SMOOTH - MOO (sound from cow) in STH (south).
6 Having climbed moor? That is right, it’s more spacious (7)
ROOMIER - ROOM = MOOR ('climbed' in this down clue) + IE (id est, that is) + R (right)
7 Tipping hat, one overseeing man, hard-working (8)
DILIGENT - DIL = LID (hat) 'tipping' + I (one) + GENT (man).
8 Nasty stain mars a chair arm initially — protective cloth found (12)
ANTIMACASSAR - anagram ('nasty') of STAIN MARS A + C + A (Chair Arm 'initially').
12 MP should get back in here (4,4)
SAFE SEAT - cryptic definition. An MP should manage to get back into a SAFE SEAT at an election.
14 One working no longer referring to Scottish island (7)
RETIREE - RE (referring to) + TIREE (Scottish island). I have a personal gripe with words like RETIREE and ATTENDEE. I know these words are in general usage but they annoy me because to me 'ER' (or 'OR') has always been a nominative suffix and 'EE' an accusative or dative suffix. Thus a mortgagor mortgages property to a mortgagee. An employer employs an employee. A payer pays money to a payee and so on. The result is that I religiously refer to people going to conferences as attenders and people who are retiring as retirers (unless, I suppose, they are being forced to retire against their will) and get funny looks from everybody.
16 Disconcert painter, non-drinker, extremely likable (6)
RATTLE - RA (painter, member of the Royal Academy of Arts) + TT (teetotaller) + LE ('extremely' LikeablE).
18 Pursue ornament with engraving (5)
CHASE - double definition.
19 Care for those experiencing niggling delays at first (4)
TEND - Those Experiencing Niggling Days 'at first' (i.e. initial letters).