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April 15th, 2019

Times Quick Cryptic 1330 by Mara

On reflection this seems pretty straightforward but for some reason I needed 12 minutes (2 over my target 10) to unravel it all. If anything requires further explanation, please ask.

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Times 27325 - Settlements Abounding

A rare excursion under 20 minutes for me, so easy, but perhaps not as easy as I made it, since it had very little sciency stuff. No, looking at it again, I'd say this was pretty darned easy. Apologies to anyone who was done by ACRE or PRENUPS or whatever, and no aspersions aimed towards the setter, as this was a very enjoyable run-out and hopefully a graduation opportunity for fledgling solvers seeking to give their wings a good flap and take to the sometimes rarefied air of the main cryptic.

ACROSS

1 Finger problem exhibited by party pooper (4)
TYPO - hidden in[par]TY PO[OPER]
3 Fail to criticise a suggestion about power (10)
DISAPPOINT - P (power) in DIS (variant of diss) A POINT
9 Completed a couple of lines on average (7)
OVERALL - OVER A LL
11 Confident when taken to court about source of revenue (7)
ASSURED - R[evenue] in AS (when) SUED
12 Living area accommodating French art gallery (7,6)
HOUSING ESTATE - HOUSING (accommodating) ES (French for '[you (s)] are' - as in 'Tu EStrès méchant') TATE
14 Emperor backs a follower of another one (5)
RASTA - reversal of A TSAR; besides carrying a ghetto blaster a RASTA traditionally reveres Haile Selassie, erstwhile Emperor of Ethopia
15 A nice long novel can be relaxing (9)
CONGENIAL - anagram* of A NICE LONG
17 Stimulate boxer to eat large starter (5,4)
SPARK PLUG - SPARK L in PUG
19 Reserves place for supplier of ham that's appetising (5)
TASTY - TA (Territorial Army, renamed Army Reserve in 2014 after Gareth Keenan had done irreparable harm to the body's reputation STY
21 Real sociable type's a help for builder (8,5)
CONCRETE MIXER - CONCRETE (real) MIXER (sociable type); not the sort of clue they'd give you if you were an aspirant to Bletchley Park duties
24 Fortress initially constructed with ornate detail (7)
CITADEL - C[onstructed] DETAIL*
25 Running races after rocket: that’s guts! (7)
VISCERA - VI (a rocket developed by the Nazis) RACES*
26 Take weight off Green politician in bandage (10)
DECOMPRESS - ECO MP in DRESS
27 Turning, smack annoying flier (4)
GNAT - TANG reversed; 'tang' as in 'You've given quite a smack to your spaghetti alla puttanesca'

DOWN

1 Also spotted singer keeping book cleaner (10)
TOOTHBRUSH - TOO (also) B (book) in THRUSH (spotted singer)
2 Union rules schools introducing new uniform (7)
PRENUPS - N U in PREPS; prenups should be banned and couples forced to have joint bank accounts instead
4 Having no base in Paris he meets soldier in pub (9)
ILLOGICAL - IL (in Paris 'he') GI in LOCAL
5 Stockpile a lot of documents head of army sent in (5)
AMASS - A (a) A (head of 'arm') in MSS (manuscripts/documents)
6 Frank often replaces these collector's items (7,6)
POSTAGE STAMPS - a cryptic definition (CD); franking is a means of replacing the good old stamp, which can be valuable enough to collect
7 Someone in acre with capital? (7)
ISRAELI - another CD; ACRE is in northern Israel
8 Flap over Dorothy lifted (2-2)
TO-DO - reversal of O (over) DOT (abbreviation of Dorothy)
10 A milkman doing trips for beasts in general (6,7)
ANIMAL KINGDOM - A MILKMAN DOING*
13 Miss school drama article placed for son in trust (4,6)
PLAY TRUANT - PLAY (drama) AN instead of S in TRU[s]T
16 Original shots, say, drunk by locals (9)
NEGATIVES - EG in NATIVES
18 Frugal, like soccer team having had to spend pounds (7)
ASCETIC - AS (like) [Glasgow] CE[l]TIC sans the L
20 Observed transporting nine tons in square (7)
SIXTEEN - IX T in SEEN for the number that is 4x4
22 One who regrets imprisoning Liberal head of state? (5)
RULER - L in RUER; an escapee from the Quickie
23 Dispatched two varieties of diamonds (4)
ICED - ICE D; 22's accomplice...