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March 13th, 2019

Times Quick Cryptic 1307 by Hurley

Anagrams abound, which makes for an accessible grid. And nothing really obscure either (except possibly 8ac and 4dn), so I hope to see some satisfied customers today. There are some nice, cryptic-y, sideways definitions to enjoy here, my favourite being 11dn - thanks Hurley.

Definitions underlined



Across
1 Competitive activity could yield cigar — grand! (4,6)
DRAG RACING - anagram of (could yield) CIGAR GRAND.
8 Noticed spades, multi-coloured (5)
SPIED - S (spades) and PIED (multi-coloured, like a horse, magpie, etc.).
9 Supply to the full at sea, it's fantastic (7)
SATIATE - anagram of (fantastic) AT SEA IT.
10 Fiddling taximeter — that could lead to penalties! (5,4)
EXTRA TIME - anagram of (fiddling) TAXIMETER.
12 Baking stolen (3)
HOT - double definition.
13 Mike leaving wood finds river (5)
TIBER - take M (mike) away from (leaving) TImBER (wood).
15 Have same opinion: an excessive desire must be cut (5)
AGREE - A GREEd (an excessive desire) without the last letter (must be cut).
17 Criticise sleep on return (3)
PAN - reversal of (of return) NAP.
18 Principal lecturer's claim disheartened Oscar (9)
PROFESSOR - PROFESS (claim) then OscaR without its inside letters (without its heart, disheartened).
20 Plain about account for ham (7)
OVERACT - OVERT (plain) surrounding (about) AC (account).
21 Gave talk, producing part of wheel (5)
SPOKE - double definition.
22 Revised rent decree that puts people off? (10)
DETERRENCE - anagram of (revised) RENT DECREE.

Down
1 It could hold sweet drops one's set to move around (7,5)
DESSERT SPOON - anagram of (to move around) DROPS ONES SET.
2 Boxer on street celebrity roll (1-4)
A-LIST - ALI (boxer) then ST (street).
3 One might make catch, some hero, dashing? (3)
ROD - hidden in (some) heRO Dashing.
4 Showcase, industrial, displaying dairy product (6)
CASEIN - hidden in (displaying) showCASE INdustrial.
5 Written comment about king made after upset in Cathedral (5,4)
NOTRE DAME - NOTE (written comment) surrounding (about) R (Rex, king), then an anagram of (after upset) MADE.
6 Long way off about the originator (6)
FATHER - FAR (long way off) surrounding (about) THE.
7 Be lent geezer at work — no fast mover! (6,6)
GENTLE BREEZE - anagram of (at work) BE LENT GEEZER.
11 A loan peer arranged, one moving up? (9)
AEROPLANE - anagram of (arranged) A LOAN PEER.
14 In poem bishop replaces second hat (6)
BONNET - sONNET (poem) but with B (bishop) replacing 's' (second).
16 German author's attempt overlooks English theory, half completed (6)
GOETHE - GO (attempt), E (English), and the first half of (half completed) THEory.
19 Reject with contempt ultimately useless banal stuff (5)
SCORN - last letter of (ultimately) uselesS then CORN (banal stuff).
21 Title seems ideal, respectful first of all (3)
SIR - first letters of (first of all) Seems, Ideal and Respectful.
Starting at 1a, I sped through the top half then lower left of this one on a PB schedule, then the opposite of 13d happened. I slowed down to cope with a couple of unknown or obscure words at 20a and 13d put in purely on wordplay, but still finished in a respectable 16 minutes.
An enjoyable but somewhat inconsistent puzzle, some clues very sraightforward (1a, 12a, 14a, 2d, 17d) and a few quite tricky. 8d may hold up a few who aren't familiar with An Lár in the Emerald Isle but it was a gift for me. I'm not crazy about the randomly named 'man' at 6d or the 'fellow' at 24d, but at least we haven't got 'journalist' clueing the first two letters of 6d.

Across
1 Mo’s back! (6)
SECOND - Double def; MO = second, brief bit of time, SECOND = back as in support a candidate.
4 Sad endeavour to secure run for American singer (8)
BLUEBIRD - BLUE = sad, BID = endeavour, insert an R.
10 Pie cooked by French priest, an enjoyer of good food (9)
EPICUREAN - (PIE)*, CURÉ = French priest, AN.
11 Arab artillery invading islands without question (5)
IRAQI - Two I's = islands, insert RA and Q.
12 Propose article on music, meeting challenge (3,3,8)
POP THE QUESTION - POP music, THE an article, QUESTION = challenge. A write-in I thought.
14 Content, but extremely hazy about download? (5)
HAPPY - H Y about APP = download.
16 Dutch painter left with worker, one making plea (9)
APPELLANT - Karel APPEL was a Dutch painter; L, ANT = worker.
18 Haughty nature of knight entering plant with sons (9)
ALOOFNESS - Another one biffed then parsed. ALOE = plant, insert OF N (knight in chess), add S S for sons.
20 Bird identified by a good friend in Paris (5)
AGAMI - All good cruciverbalists know their birds, antelopes and odd mammals, don't they? Or they do it from wordplay and assume AGAMI must be a bird. It is, a S. American type of heron, consisting of A, G, AMI = French for friend.
21 Dodgy presentation of light sauce? (6-8)
WINDOW-DRESSING - WINDOW = light, DRESSING = sauce.
25 Live with wooded area around (5)
DWELL - Insert W for with into DELL.
26 English cleric backing new plant? (9)
EVERGREEN - E, REV reversed, GREEN = new.
27 Staid old lady, but about to relax at the front (8)
MATRONLY - MA and ONLY (=but) have TR inserted, the T and R being initial letters of To Relax.
28 Back in resort, siblings find somewhere to eat (6)
BISTRO - Today's hidden word, reversed in RES(ORT SIB)LINGS.

Down
1 In Peel's day he mistreated a dozy kid? (10)
SLEEPYHEAD - (PEELS DAY HE)*.
2 Primate's mischievous child overwhelmed by church (5)
CHIMP - IMP follows CH. Simples.
3 Wicked US city accepting anything once! (7)
NAUGHTY - NY has AUGHT inserted. Aught is a adaption of naught = nothing, to mean anything, in use for centuries e.g. the Bard wisely wrote, as you may recall, "Ay me! For aught that ever I could read, could ever hear by tale or history, the course of true love never did run smooth".
5 Move suddenly east after a breather (5)
LUNGE - E after LUNG a 'breather'. Seen this clue elsewhere very recently, can't recall if T, ST or Guardian.
6 Man in charge of army journal's last description of decree (7)
EDICTAL - ED a random man, IC = in charge of, TA = army, L = last letter of journal. Not a common word but simply means pertaining to edicts.
7 Lover upset a sailor of Arabian origin (9)
INAMORATA - all reversed: A, TAR (sailor), OMANI (of Arab origin).
8 Tabloid, possibly, not unknown in lower chamber (4)
DAIL - DAILY = tabloid possibly, lose the 'unknown' Y; the lower house of the Oireachtas, Ireland's parliament, the upper being the Seanad. I lived in Dublin for many years so this came easily to mind, but maybe not so for those further away.
9 In the main it constitutes a seismic convulsion (8)
SEAQUAKE - A not very cryptic definition.
13 Dispatch oxygen round Herts town, gradually increasing speed (10)
STRINGENDO - Regulars will know that Herts town often means TRING, surround that with SEND and O for oxygen. Musical term meaning what it says above, in Italian literally 'clutching'.
15 Well-known Republican feeding dog where otolaryngologists work (9)
PROMINENT - I thought, it can't just be President? And it wasn't. R goes into POM(eranian dog), then those ear nose and throat chaps work IN ENT.
17 Rich confections —the old man’s samples (8)
PASTRIES - PA'S = the old man's, TRIES = samples. Simples too.
19 Opera in which priest is bitten by dog? (7)
FIDELIO - FIDO bites ELI the priest. Beethoven's only opera, premiered in 1805.
20 Spear produced by stupid person, say, leading to fine? (7)
ASSEGAI - When I was a youth (a Mod, not a Ted, Jimbo), I terrorised cats and streetlamps with catapults, home made crossbows and ASSEGAIS made of sticks and string, the word has stuck in my memory. ASS = stupid person, EG = say, A1 = fine.
22 Excited cry over Lenin's first revolutionary device (5)
WHEEL - WHEE ! + L(enin). Simples again.
23 Bungling writer brought up in centre of Linlithgow (5)
INEPT - PEN reversed inside IT the central letters of that Scottish place.
24 Fellow US attorney visiting a medium (4)
ADAM - DA goes into A, M for medium. Not an award winning clue, with a random chap's name as an answer.