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May 13th, 2019

Times Quick Cryptic 1350 by Mara

Solving time: 11 minutes. I had some difficulty getting going with this one and several longer answers (such as 1ac) needed most of their checkers before I could bring them to mind.


As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions and substitutions are in curly brackets} and [anagrinds, containment, reversal and other indicators in square ones]

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A very enjoyable Monday offering, which helps to exorcise the memory of Friday's bestial offering (excellent though it was after its own fashion). Lots of nice stuff here. I needed three stabs at 8a, essaying 'Baring Sea' and 'Barent Sea' (close but no corona), but apart from that everything slipped into place pretty seamlessly, enabling me to break the 24-minute barrier. But will anyone, I wonder, break the 4-minute barrier?

ACROSS

1 Neurotic ignoring cold snaps as usual (7)
ROUTINE - anagram* of NEUROTI[c]
5 Empty carriage destined to take away a joiner (6)
CEMENT - C[arriag]E ME[a]NT
8 Creatures overcoming resistance with each lot of cold water (6,3)
BERING SEA - R in BEINGS EA
9 Kindling catches on (5)
TWIGS - double definition (DD)
11 Uninhibited person, say, on end of pier (5)
RAVER - AVER [pie]R
12 Thankless spy and head of security greeting teacher (9)
MAHARISHI - MA[ta] HARI S[ecurity] HI
13 Representative from state capital holding small article (8)
SALESMAN - S in SALEM AN; capital of Oregon - not a lot of non-Americans know that, and probably quite a few of them too
15 Beam left at home by Lawrence initially (6)
LINTEL - L IN TEL (Thomas Edward Lawrence, AKA Lawrence of Arabia, who receives sympathetic treatment in Hannah Arendt's magnificent, and ever relevant, book The Origins of Totalitarianism)
17 Posh fur fit for purpose (6)
USABLE - U SABLE
19 Drink that's exceedingly short, say (8)
VERMOUTH - VER[y] MOUTH (say)
22 Painful sensation of deer crossing English stream (9)
HEARTBURN - E in HART (as in 'As pants the hart for cooling stream when hunted in the chase') BURN
23 Get rid of brushwood (5)
SCRUB - DD
24 Long period beginning in November (5)
YEARN - YEAR N[ovember]
25 Spy about right in capital of Asian country (9)
ARGENTINA - R in AGENT IN A[sia]
26 Arrest reversed during crisis at surgery (6)
STASIS - reverse hidden
27 University plugging dissertations in ancient Greek (7)
THESEUS - U in THESES for the founder of Athens, though I think he might disown its modern incarnation

DOWN

1 Frightful Tory here? But so is a poet (6,7)
ROBERT SOUTHEY - TORY HERE BUT SO*; Byron 'dedicated' his marvellous epic satirical poem Don Juan to this fellow, who had a little too much of the turncoat and the opportunist about him for Byron's taste. One of his tastier lines in that Dedication calls him 'A scribbling self-sold soul-hired scorned Iscariot'. Southey did indeed, like his fellow 'Laker' Wordsworth, become less radical as he got older, so Frightful Tory serves as a secondary definition.
2 Sort out middle section of tune with composer (7)
UNRAVEL - [t]UN[e] RAVEL
3 Private meal with no starter (5)
INNER - [d]INNER
4 Rogue may tease a mug (4,4)
EASY MEAT - MAY TEASE*
5 Man with no end in sight, repeating certain steps (3-3)
CHA-CHA - CHA[p] twice
6 Religion in Wiltshire regularly occupying various imams (9)
MITHRAISM - [w]I[l]T[s]H[i]R[e] in IMAMS*
7 Place under collar for punch (7)
NAILSET - NAIL (collar as in what the police do with a suspect) followed by SET (place)
10 Tell all lighter Greeks to conserve energy (5,3,5)
SPILL THE BEANS - SPILL (lighter - most recently seen by me being lit by Charlton Heston in Major Dundee - a film which did much to secure the Peckinpah legend as a genius/nutjob before he really had done enough to warrant securing such a legacy) E in THEBANS
14 Adriatic port targets problem with locks (5,4)
SPLIT ENDS - SPLIT (as in Hadjuk) ENDS (as in targets)
16 Conveyed cases almost once a week (8)
SENNIGHT - NIGH in (conveyed by) SENT; 'once' here conveying the sense 'in days gone by'. SENNIGHT is one of those words which, if truth be told, was invented by (on edit: or should that be ‘for’?) crossword compilers. Any more examples?
18 Hard worker supporting architect (7)
ADAMANT - ADAM ANT; Robert Adam was responsible, among other things, for Pulteney Bridge in Bath
20 Universal acclaim for lift (7)
UPRAISE - U PRAISE
21 Fifty per cent of dumb animals making money (6)
DUCATS - DU[mb] CATS
23 Divine smell, for example (5)
SENSE - DD

Times Quick Cryptic 1351 by Teazel

I found this pretty tough (especially the SW) but I was solving on paper, in lovely weather, sitting by a lake. I’ll be interested to see other comments as I suspect the setting/distraction added to the time. My solve drifted, slowly, along like this:

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