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April 1st, 2019

Times Quick Cryptic 1320 by Breadman

Solving time: 8 minutes. I hesitate to say this was easy but my timing indicates that I found it so. I think the clue construction is mostly straighforward but there could be a few pieces of GK that some won't be familiar with.

Today's setter, Breadman , has produced only 14 puzzles to date but seems to be appearing more frequently now. He set only 1 puzzle each in 2015 and 2016, and 2 in 2017. Last year he gave us 5 but this year he has already matched that with another 5 and it's still only 1st April . Writing the date has just reminded me to check for something in the puzzle to mark the occasion, but if it's there I can't see it.


As usual, all comments are welcome and I will attempt to answer any queries not covered in the blog.

Here's my blog...Collapse )
In my last blog, I mentioned that I had an important announcement to make and today that announcement is made: after seven years and 200 puzzles blogged (today is my 200th), I have decided to hang up my cruciverbal spurs and put myself out to grass. Metaphorically, of course.

This is no spur-of-the-moment thing, though, as I have been coming to the realisation recently (not least through the good offices of a number of contributors to this blog, plus lurkers) that I have, not to put too fine a point on it, passed my sell-by date. Yes, CS Lewis, in response to a question about his politics, said that, if he could, he would belong to the Stagnancy party, but my inability (unwillingness?) to move with the times has clearly upset a lot of people and the best thing, I feel, would be to pass the mantle onto a new Elisha.

I have also become aware of my failing intellectual powers: in just my last blog alone, I made an embarrassing blunder about Lady Caroline Lamb and misparsed a clue that I feel sure I would have sailed through when I started out as a blogger. The crossword community (not excepting the setters) simply deserves better.

But, I suppose the single most important reason that I have made my decision is the offence my attempts at humour have caused to a number of people - predominantly, though not exclusively, from the comments I have received both on this blog and through PMs, Australians. When I started blogging in April 2012, I had a vision - to take the stuffiness out of the crossword business: to make it the kind of pursuit that could be enjoyed my everyone, not just bearded male CAMRA members dissecting clues at a Betters and Sloggers convention.

But now I acknowledge I went too far in my desire to be different, which took on something of a life of its own, as I sought ever new ways of making an impression, as the firmament of crossword bloggers was adorned by those I had to acknowledge to possess a superiority both in technical and entertainment value.

Anyway, enough of all this mea culpa. The puzzle's the thing! And so for the final time I offer up my reflections on this, as I have said many times, most Mondayesque of offerings.

ACROSS

1 It might even do this to a Low Churchman! (7)
INCENSE - A sort of double-layered cryptic definition, INCENSE being the kind of thing that might make a low churchperson very angry
5 Go off service provided by firm making cinema fare (7)
POPCORN - POP (go off) CO (firm) RN (Royal Navy - service)
9 Dash back for form of identification (3)
PIN - NIP reversed
10 Part of speech delivered by agent plugging point of view (11)
PREPOSITION - REP in POSITION
11 Old record unspecified people must keep in Pusey’s study (8)
THEOLOGY - O LOG in THEY; Pusey, along with Keble, Newman and others, was a leading figure in the decidedly non-low church Oxford Movement
12 Group of three taking air around centre of Uxbridge (6)
TRIUNE - [uxb]RI[dge] in TUNE (air)
15 Wood, writer of plays and critical commentaries (4)
SHAW - a SHAW is a copse and GB SHAW a playwright, who a former girlfriend of mine called April wrote a PhD thesis on
16 Society woman linked to wise men — JPs generally (10)
MAGISTRACY - S[ociety] TRACY (woman) following MAGI
18 Criminal netted hare potentially facing extinction (10)
THREATENED - anagram* of NETTED HARE
19 Part of church where downloads are picked up? (4)
APSE - sounds like APPS
22 Cloud identified by press employee a short time back (6)
NIMBUS - reversal of SUB (sub-editor) MIN (abbreviation for minute)
23 Cheap accommodation always offered in coach (8)
STEERAGE - EER in STAGE
25 Place spy outside English royal house (11)
PLANTAGENET - PLANT (place, as in 'plant evidence') E in AGENT
27 Language used by some Africans in Djibouti? (3)
IBO - hidden in [dj]IBO[outi]
28 Girl and boy in Spanish warship (7)
GALLEON - GAL LEON (Spanish boy's name, meaning 'lion')
29 Poem European leaders wrote at last, overcoming block (7)
ECLOGUE - CLOG (block) in EU (the first two letters of EU[ropean]) E (last letter of [wrot]E); thge most famoud ECLOGUES were written by Publius Virgilius Maro, one of which in particular, by appearing to refer to the coming birth of Jesus, elevated the author of the Aeneid to a kind of Righteous Among the Nations status and landed him a job showing Dante around the nether regions in arguably the greatest poem ever written.

DOWN

1 Force this person to go about quietly in new suit (7)
IMPETUS - SUIT* around P in ME
2 Lamp-holder made by mad uncle involved with bar (11)
CANDELABRUM - MAD UNCLE BAR*
3 Asian friend in centre of Newcastle (6)
NEPALI - PAL in NE1 (the postcode for Newcastle city centre)
4 Eternally happy European beginning to survey marshy regions (10)
EVERGLADES - EVER GLAD E S[urvey]
5 Stomp lumberingly at first into school (4)
PLOD - L[umberingly] in POD
6 In a religious house it’s of the greatest importance (8)
PRIORITY - IT in PRIORY
7 Broad sash 27 rejected (3)
OBI - reversal of the answer to 27d
8 Artilleryman loses head visiting city convent (7)
NUNNERY - [g]UNNER in NY
13 Repellent university batsman finally seeking umpire’s decision? (11)
UNAPPEALING - U (university) [batsma]N APPEALING
14 Amateur detective permitted to meet aunt in Paris (10)
DILETTANTE - DI LET TANTE (French word for aunt, immortalised in the phrase 'la plume de ma tante')
17 French loaf son snatched from visitor in temper (8)
BAGUETTE - GUE[s]T in BATE (temper)
18 Device for securing wine — a small drink? (4-3)
TENT-PEG - TENT (wine - red from Spain) PEG (a small drink of wine or spirits, esp of brandy or whisky and soda)
20 Cavity in the old house in the Spanish quarter (7)
EYEHOLE - YE ('the' old, as in Ye Olde Cake Shoppe) HO (house) in EL ('the' in Spanish) E (quarter)
21 Unendingly sick, with fast pulse (6)
LENTIL - LENT (fast) IL[l]; the other day I was playing a game in which I had to say whether, if I was having my last meal on earth, I would choose lentils or a gooseberry fool. No contest, really!
24 Opposed to introduction of animal trap (4)
AGIN - A[nimal] GIN (trap)
26 A boring thing everyone talked of (3)
AWL - sounds like 'all'

And that's it. It's been a lot of fun, and I look forward to continuing to comment from the sidelines.