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March 19th, 2019

Times Quick Cryptic 1311 by Tracy

Having gone wrong at 7dn I deservedly enter the hallowed halls of the SCC today. When I finally realised what had happened, the rest, with some relief, fell into place with the clock on 17 minutes. Loi 1dn - which rather tells the story of a tussle all around the grid. Some clues could have been clued more easily, so expect a challenge but also look out for some very clever stuff in here. Thanks Tracy.

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Times Cryptic 27302

45 minutes. The left side went in easily enough and many of the clues might have appeared in a QC without causing too many problems, but I struggled a little more with some on the right, especially 5dn with its unknown monkey.

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Cryptic 27303 - Temping for Pip

No, your eyes aren't deceiving you.  I'm standing in for Pip while he attends to some personal stuff.  Normal service will be resumed shortly.  I haven't done one of these since the Club severed its relationship with the TLS so I'm a bit rusty, but never mind.  This took me about 18 minutes, parsing as I went along except for one instance.  There was nothing unfamiliar or outre although there was one word which took a bit of dredging.  Answers in BOLD CAPS.  Definitions in italics underlined. I've forgotten how to change the colour code so the clues aren't highlighted in a blue hue - apologies.

Across
1.  Leer from monster having left for run (4)
OGLE  Change the R in "ogre" to an L.
4. Having patriotic sentiment in Rise and Fall (10)
INTONATION If you have that feeling you are "into nation".
9.  Homes apt to be given makeover on air (10)
ATMOSPHERE  Anagram (given makeover) of "homes apt" with RE=on.
10.  Sound of French pop duo (4)
PAIR.  Sounds a bit like "pere"=pop en Francais.
11. Persuasive businessman? (6)
COGENT  The company gent.
12.  State in which goodish priest keeps house (8)
OKLAHOMA  OK=goodish.  LAMA=priest containing HO=house.
14.  Star brought back in luggage van (4)
VEGA From the Lyra constellation.  Reversed in [lugg]AGE V[an].
15.  Simple edit to revise maximum going rate?  (5,5)
SPEED LIMIT  Anagram (revise) of SIMPLE EDIT.
17.  Crooked chemist with use for printed notepaper? (5,5)
SHEET MUSIC  Anagram (crooked) of CHEMIST and USE.
20.  Heard brass instrument (4)
LUTE  Homophone.  I know not everyone does but I do pronounce it the same as "loot"=brass=money.
21.  One hundred and two swimmers finding little nipper (8)
CRAYFISH  C=100.  RAY and FISH are the 2 swimmers.
23.  Second mount carries prophetic significance (6)
MOMENT  MT containing OMEN. At first I got a bit too cute with this and thought that the definition was "significance" as in Hamlet's "enterprises of great pitch and moment", which would have made MO=second with MT having some kind of prophetic EN in the middle. NOT.  If I hadn't been blogging I might have just left it at that, but as it was I had to account for that pesky EN which called for a complete re-think.
24..Alpha male causing scrap (4)
ATOM  This made me laugh.  A with the belligerent cat.
25.  Vessel comes to shore in smashing location (6,4)
BOTTLE BANK  BOTTLE=vessel.  SHORE=bank.
26 Peripatetic dealers, coming in handy, fix disk?  (10)
DEFRAGMENT  I haven't done this in a very long time so it took a few beats for it to surface.  DEFT=handy containing RAGMEN, the dealers - Steptoe & Son in the UK and Sanford & Son in the US.
27.  Stop heading for takeaways?  (4)
DIET  AndLIt.  DIE=stop.  T[akeaways].  And of course you cut out the fast food if you're trying to drop a few pounds.

Down
2.  Poor area losing hospital wants good number for meeting (3,8)
GET TOGETHER  Remove the H from G[H]ETTO and add G and ETHER=number.
3.  River keeps running at speed, being clear (9)
EXONERATE  The River EXE containing ON=running with RATE=speed.
4.  Naval mine, not large, used by American force (7)
IMPETUS  Remove the L from [L]IMPET=mine (the kind that sticks magnetically below the waterline to an enemy vessel) and add US.
5.  Bad tweet bothers chap leaving Conservative authority (3,6,4,2)
THE POWERS THAT BE Anagram (bad) of TWEET BOTHERS [C]HAP (leaving out the C).
6.  Annoyed as essential to assimilate Latin at the outset (7)
NEEDLED  NEEDED=essential containing first letter in Latin.
7.  Maybe comma adding nothing to one publication (5)
IMAGO  A COMMA is a kind of butterfly and this is its adult stage.  1 mag=publication O.
8.  Woman not completely common (5)
NORMA is NORMA[L]=common.
13.  This is to preserve ancient name in reorganisation (11)
MAINTENANCE Anagram (reorganisation) of ANCIENT NAME.
16.  Scots girl and mum reaching wicked city (9)
ISLAMABAD ISLA=girl with MA and BAD=wicked.
18.  Sent down sewer's product Irishman picked up on corner (7)
MAILBAG  If you were sent down for a stretch in prison you might be obliged to sew these.  LIAM=Irishman reversed with BAG=corner.  I first read this as "comer" which confused things briefly.
19.  Kept appointment with fate in legendary town (7)
CAMELOT  CAME with LOT=fate.  And now I've got that wretched song in my head.
21.  Reportedly blackened vegetable (5)
CHARD Sounds like "charred".
22.  Indian potato following is rather cold (5)
ALOOF  ALOO=potato with F=following.