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March 8th, 2019

Quick Cryptic 1304 by Joker

So I'm in another French alpine hotel with sub-dialup WiFi speed, and because the Times page took so long to refresh I almost ended up blogging yesterday's, which would have been interesting. Another straightforward one, 6 minutes for me. Not sure about 2dn, but everything else is pretty fair.

Across
1 So a post office for each area is a drama? (4,5)
SOAP OPERA -  SO + A + PO (post office) + PER (for each) + A (area)
6 Down south in these times (3)
SAD - S (south) + AD (these times, anno domini)
8 Completely correct Conservatives (5)
RIGHT - triple definition. And these days, an oxymoron. (ooh, bit of politics...)
9 Close up by one concerning marine mammal (3,4)
SEA LION - SEAL (close up) + I + ON
10 Lift a lever to reset (8)
ELEVATOR - Anangram ("reset") of A LEVER TO
11 Armada stopped early to run away (4)
FLEE - FLEET without the T
13 Prestige suits — and what paid for them? (6,5)
CREDIT CARDS - CREDIT (prestige) + CARDS (suits)
17 500 sheets? Manufacturer backed turning out a thousand (4)
REAM - Manufacturer is MAKER, write backwards, take out K (a thousand)
18 Newspaper writer on beer (8)
REPORTER - RE (on) + PORTER (beer). I don't think I knew what porter was until I started doing crosswords. No one seems to drink the stuff these days.
21 Three linked works I record in test (7)
TRILOGY - I LOG (record) inside TRY
22 Little time after incentive to put on a burst of speed (5)
SPURT - Incentive is SPUR, little time is T
23 Catch a number returning (3)
NET - TEN backwards
24 Wretchedly unhappy blame rise in disorder (9)
MISERABLE - Anangram ("in disorder") of BLAME RISE

Down
1 Observed holding chromium mask (6)
SCREEN - SEEN with Cr (Cromium) inside
2 Butcher takes head off fish (5)
ANGLE - I'm guessing this is MANGLE without the first letter, but I'm not sure that's a particlarly satisfactory synonym for butcher
3 Public rooms in hospital away from the centre (8)
OUTWARDS - OUT (public) + WARDS
4 Pretty lenient on you in the past, certainly (4,2,3,4)
EASY ON THE EYES - EASY ON (lenient) + THEE ('you' in the past) + YES
5 Just open a container (4)
AJAR - self explanatory
6 Second murdered expert (7)
SKILLED - S + KILLED
7 Idiot's guide provided by university lecturer (6)
DONKEY - DON + KEY
12 Drunken reveller changing side finally on merry-go-round (8)
CAROUSER - CAROUSEL changing the L to R, i.e. changing side
14 One with no illusions is alert to change (7)
REALIST - Anangram ("to change") of IS ALERT
15 Expert needs weight for elementary particle (6)
PROTON - PRO (expert) + TON
16 Twist and turn to set down outside hotel (6)
WRITHE - Set down is WRITE with H inside
19 Request a free ride in Northumbria (5)
THUMB - Hidden word NorTHUMBria
20 Market upsurge or crash? (4)
BOOM - double definition