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April 29th, 2019

Times Quick Cryptic 1340 by Breadman

7 minutes and as my solving time suggests I found this one very easy  apart from one parsing which I explain in more detail in the blog. Breadman has set us only 15 puzzles since the end of September 2015 and was rarely sighted during the first two years, but he's become more of a regular now, this being his 6th QC this year and it's still only April.

Here's my blog...Collapse )
This is an eminently Mondayish sort of puzzle that will terrorise no horses. Indeed, even donkeys and mules - as it were - are likely to find that fear is not the primary emotion with which they are dealing when they come to grips with this offering. Actually, 1 across may well be the toughest clue; so if, like me, you start elsewhere, then you may be at a fractional advantage. Anyway, enough of me - well, no, actually, I was about to say that this took me 15 minutes. However, I expect some very fast times from the like of mohn, Keriothe and the other speedsters. Away we go...   

ACROSS
1 Female hit hard by awful film swindle (8)
FLIMFLAM - F (Female) anagram* (indicated by awful) of FILM LAM (hit hard); I sort of knew the nonsense meaning but not the swindle one. I've lived a sheltered life.
6 Dissenting group dropping original lawsuit (6)
ACTION - [f]ACTION
9 Pub with short lease, empty (6)
BARREN - BAR REN[t]
10 Set off from Berkshire college in time (8)
DETONATE - ETON in DATE; sorry, but for me, who used to live in the area, ETON will always be in  BUCKS
11 Numerous staff close to embassy (4)
MANY - MAN [embass]Y
12 Film everyone in wide thoroughfare (4,6)
WALL STREET - ALL in W STREET
14 Periodical trouble working around ornamental tree (8)
MAGNOLIA - MAG (periodical) reversal (around) of AIL (trouble) ON (working)
16 Play's length also reviewed (4)
LOOT - L TOO reversed: I know Joe Orton wrote it, but that's the sum of my knowledge of this piece
18 Pretty good food, reportedly (4)
FAIR - sounds like FARE
19 Scrooge has English note hidden in top drawer? (8)
EBENEZER - Eben-Ezer means the stone of help in Hebrew and is the place where the Israelites and the Philistines went at it hammer and tongs on a number of occasions. I only mention this because I have no idea how the clue works.Thanks to Kevin for the parsing (though since it is a shoo-in as finalist of The Biff of the Year Show, it will be of only academic interest for many): E (English) N (note) in BEEZER (top drawer, as in the PG Wodehousian sense of ‘What ho, Jeeves, that wag really is rather beezer!’). BEEZER can also - apparently - mean nose, person or chap, most attractive and ‘an extreme example of its kind’.
21 Point out top equestrian (10)
SHOWJUMPER - SHOW (point out) JUMPER (top)
22 Overpriced close (4)
DEAR - double definition (DD)
24 Ready for posting? Private, ultimately, in a mad rush (8)
STAMPEDE - STAMPED (ready for posting) [privat]E
26 Number heading off fool my younger sibling (3,3)
OUR KID - [f]OUR (heading off) KID (I fool you not)
27 Small vehicle, a black Beetle? (6)
SCARAB - S CAR A B
28 Work on mock trial (5,3)
DUMMY RUN - DUMMY (mock, as in, on trial as a prototype) followed by RUN (work)

DOWN

2
Monk astride large beast (5)
LLAMA - L in LAMA
3 Slightly drunk warden, silly clown (5-6)
MERRY-ANDREW - MERRY (slightly drunk) WARDEN* for the name first given to a clown or buffoon in the 17th century 
4 Volatile fellow rounding on one preferring his own company (4,4)
LONE WOLF - FELLOW* around ON; I always think of Lone Wolf McQuade, which is odd, as I have never seen the film. 
5 Pot from medieval times? BC? (6-3,6)
MIDDLE-AGE SPREAD - MIDDLE AGES pre-AD
6 Performer's skill is evident at the end (6)
ARTIST - ART IS [eviden]T
7 Loaf in old money? (3)
TIN - a tin can refer to the loaf as well as the tin in which it is baked, which may cause some confusion in a bakery if you've just hired someone with no previous experience from the local Jobcentre. Or perhaps a lot of fun...
8 Honest one managed to win (2,3,4)
ON THE NOSE - HONEST ONE*; in betting parlance, this means to win only, i.e. no place
13 Wave hat in race for skaters in New York? (6,5)
ROLLER DERBY - ROLLER DERBY; well, yes, if you were asked to come up with a pithy name a for a roller-skating tournament in Central Park, you might choose Roller Derby, though I remain to be convinced that you will win 
15 Indifferent in a way to quote raised (9)
APATHETIC - A PATH (way) CITE reversed
17 Valuable family piece the man and I left in vault? (8)
HEIRLOOM - HE I L in ROOM
20 Splendid agent aboard coach going north (6)
SUPERB - REP in BUS all reversed
23 Farewell to the French about to depart (5)
ADIEU - DIE (to depart) in AU ('to the' in French if you are speaking masculine)
25 Cause harm to planet, not the first in system (3)
MAR - MAR[s] (S - the first letter in system - is deleted)