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June 6th, 2019

More TLS stuff in this one than some of you will be comfortable with, so I’ve added some extra high and low culture just to be even more annoying. Barely a scrap of sciency stuff anywhere in sight.
You might be forgiven for scratching around for the full alphabet as some of the higher scoring letters turn up but Q and X are missing.
I trundled through this in just over 17 minutes, hesitating only over my last in at 14 across, which I should have seen more readily.
I have taken the liberty of placing clues in italics, definitions in underlined italics, and solutions in BOLD CAPITALS

Across
1 Taken to court about smear that’s continuing(9)
SUSTAINED Taken to court: SUED surrounds STAIN for smear
6 Drinkjust less — only halves — in front of papa(5)
JULEP Take the front halves of JUst LEss and add the front of Papa. Better, in my opinion, take mint leaf, bourbon, simple syrup, and crushed ice, mix and serve.
9 Streambroadcast following down time(7)
AIRFLOW I wasted time with this trying to make an anagram of stream follow D for down, but it’s broadcast: AIR, F(ollowing) down time: LOW. The “time”, is, perhaps, not strictly necessary, but makes for a better surface
10 Playwright has Romeo fencing?(7)
BARRIER Well, he has Peter Pan fencing, anyway. J M BARRIE plus the NATO Romeo.
11 Upset if gun rusts?(5)
FUNGI Rust is a fungus that attacks wheat, one of the things you look for when roguing in a seed crop. Here, it’s an anagram (upset) of IF GUN
12 Say what you thinkto be smarter than leading clobber (3,4,2)
OUT WITH IT A charade of be smarter than: OUTWIT plus clobber: HIT
13 Notice article making one very angry(8)
SEETHING Simple. SEE THING.
14 Wisdom, say, not an expected thing(4)
NORM Pass me the stupid hat. I immediately thought NORMAN Wisdom, the darling of ultra Communist Albania (sic), and tried to remember if he’d ever played the part of a forman (which isn’t even spelt right). Added many ticking seconds to my time until I just took the AN (which is not…) off his forename.
17 Facilitate rental agreement, saving pounds(4)
EASE Rental agreement LEASE. Save,or knock off, the £
18 IR webcam disturbed cheery clerk(8)
MICAWBER The Dickensian optimist from David Copperfield, somehow captured in the disturbed, confused form of an IR WEBCAM, which he shouldn’t have been.
21 Russian impresario given good hour in Live Aid broadcast(9)
DIAGHILEV If you  know not the name, start with the G(ood) H(our) and sprinkle the letters of LIVE AID around until something that looks like a Russian impresario emerges. Perhaps most (in)famous for staging Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring in 1913, and for being the lover of Nijinsky (the ballet dancer, not the horse)
22 Openup about antipodean isle?(5)
UNZIP UP is given in plain sight, insert N(ew) Z(ealand) I(sland)
24 Colourful displayof artist in east London?(7)
RAINBOW An artist in east London is an RA IN BOW
25 Attendant eats too much soup(7)
POTTAGE Too much is OTT, which the attendant PAGE ingests. I’m more familiar with the single T version, but either is OK
26 Very familiarwith supporterless North London landmark(5)
PALLY Alexandra Palace is “the People’s Palace” in Haringey, built in 1873 and again in 1875, surviving (somehow) to this day as a magnificently unlikely piece of living British heritage. I sang there once in a scratch choir at one of its many reopenings. It housed the original BBC TV broadcasting antenna (see Dr Who, The Idiot’s Lantern). Anyway, everyone knows it as Ally Pally. For our “supporterless” purpose, remove the Ally
27 Widespread bird split by hill range(9)
PARTRIDGE Fair enough, they turn up almost everywhere, trying not to get shot. Split: PART, hill range: RIDGE

Down

1 Island’s cut back workforce(5)
STAFF The island is Staffa, from which you cut the back. Again, the “back” is not strictly necessary, but pretty.
2 Dogchewed up grannie’s slipper(8,7)
SPRINGER SPANIEL Clearly an anagram “chewed up”. GRANNIE’S SLIPPER has the requisite 15 letters.
3 Nothing left? OK(3,5)
ALL RIGHT I once got into an argument with my primary school teacher (must have been Mr Downing) about whether it was alright to write all right alright. We carried on until there was nothing left to say, which was therefore all right.
4 Recently-discoveredisland — refusing to go ashore (3-5)
NEW-FOUND The island of Noufunland without its go ashore land
5 Chap seen outside bar entrances(6)
DEBUTS Our first random bloke is DES, and the bar he takes in is all BUT
6 Yank wearing leather jacket(6)
JERKIN Yank wearing translates directly to JERK IN
7 One who painted bird somewhere in Bedfordshire(8,7)
LEIGHTON BUZZARDis the setter’s go to Bedfordshire town with 15 letters, and has turned almost as often as it does in the Leighton Buzzard Observer – even at least once in the MCS. For the “one who painted”, you can have either Edmondor Frederic, both of whom produced rather drippy works in semi-rafaelite style. The bird is perhaps more familiar.
8 Get two men in for each worker on reduced hours(4-5)
PART-TIMER We have our next two random blokes, ART and TIM, in PER for each.
13 Drug constituent turned up in police operation(5,4)
SPEED TRAP The drug is SPEED, and the constituent PART is upended
15 Crawler in support guarding time with dignitary(3,5)
PIT VIPER The support is a PIER, which “guards” T(ime) and VIP for dignitry
16 What supports running later bus(8)
BALUSTER An anagram (running) of LATER BUS
19 Caught partner getting fat(6)
CHUBBY HUBBY is an affectionate term for husband in the lower orders (so I believe). Put C(aught) on the front
20 Picturelocal set up with vulgar inside (4-2)
BLOW-UP The local PUB is inverted and houses LOW for vulgar. Blow-up as a picture came to public notice with the 1966 film of the same name with David Hemmings and several skinny lovely ladies. I wasn’t quite old enough to see it in the cinema, more’s the pity.
23 Get annoyed with girl after exercise(5)
PEEVEAnd our random miss to finish with. EVE follows PE for exercise

Times Quick Cryptic No 1368 by Izetti

A bit easier than average, I'd say, and certainly so for an Izetti: I came in with a bit of change from eight-and-a-half minutes, and that included a minute staring dumbly at 2d, for no particular reason. Nothing much in the way of obscurity, but some typically neat clues - much enjoyed, many thanks to Izetti!



Across
1 Demon going wrong with his excessive pursuit of pleasure (8)
HEDONISM - Anagram (going wrong of DEMON with HIS. Not necessarily an excessive pursuit, although that's now the usual usage. As originally espoused by Aristippus, however, it was the much more noble aim of deriving pleasure from all circumstances, pleasant or adverse, and exercising control rather than excess.
5 Bird beginning to create racket (4)
CROW - C (beginning to Create) ROW (racket)
8 Huge car may be actor's reward (5)
OSCAR - OS (outsize = huge) CAR
9 Dish in sink getting in the way (7)
LASAGNE - LAG (sink) getting in LANE (way)
11 Thrown into meanest type of accommodation (11)
MAISONNETTE - Anagram (thrown) of INTO MEANEST. I'd have spelt this with one "n", but I see both are allowed. How long before an enterprising developer/estate agent comes up with a "luxury mezzaninette"?
13 Cope with time on isle (6)
MANAGE - AGE (time) on MAN (isle of __)
14 Wood in piece of furniture gets dented (6)
BASHED -ASH (wood) in BED (piece of furniture)
16 Girl with quiet speech drying up (11)
EVAPORATION - EVA (girl) with P (quiet) ORATION (speech). As a noun, as in the drying up of a puddle.
18 Coldness of manner of former company head (7)
ICINESS - ICI (former company) NESS (head)
19 Beastly sound nearby — escape finally inside (5)
NEIGH - NIGH (nearby) E (escapE, "finally") going inside.
20 On loan for a period before Easter (4)
LENT - double definition. Lent, or Lenten, is an old word for Spring, from the Germanic for "long" from the lengthening days.
21 Socialist land gives warning of danger (3,5)
RED LIGHT - RED (socialist) LIGHT (land, as in to alight)

Down
1 Funny person making particular bird sound (4)
HOOT - double definition
2 Mad to continue churning out paper records? (13)
DOCUMENTATION - anagram (churning out) of MAD TO CONTINUE.
3 Men rush in, go berserk in one sort of residence (7,4)
NURSING HOME - anagram (berserk) of MEN RUSH IN GO
4 Bar one type of vehicle (6)
SALOON - double definition.
6 Logical, going against the ideas of left-wingers? (5-8)
RIGHT-THINKING - cryptic-ish hint.
7 Feeble-sounding objectives for periods off work maybe (8)
WEEKENDS - WEEK = weak/feeble "sounding", ENDS (objectives)
10 Revolutionary Stalin as one evoking horror? (11)
SENSATIONAL - anagram (revolutionary) of STALIN AS ONE. Such as sensationalist journalism, peddling shock/horror/disgust.
12 Noble adult at first involved in risk (8)
IMPERIAL - A (Adult, "at first") involved in IMPERIL (risk)
15 Lashes out when there is trouble (6)
HASSLE - anagram (out) of LASHES
17 After end of business, building is closed (4)
SHUT - after S ("end" of businesS) goes HUT (building)
Well I don't know about you lot, but I thought this was too easy for the Friday slot that is categorically no harder than any of the other days on average according to management... capping off a very easy week. 1ac went in straightaway from "very softly... thumb (9)", LUCID came a second later, and we were off to the races with clues that were invariably wittily and prettily clued, but equally rather straightforward in their wordplay.

I will say that this was pretty much a model easyish Times crossword, with great surfaces everywhere you look and an inventive way with its containment indicators, but it's a shame that some of the more interesting stuff was lost to me in my flurry of biffing - I didn't feel much need to double-check what was going on with EGG TIMER, REVEILLE, GROUNDSHEET, HERRING GULL, THESAURUSES etc given a crosser or two. COD to 21dn whose surface tickled my ribs very pleasantly. And overall this puzzle was pleasant indeed, just not for quite long enough! Thanks to the setter and to the image of porcine cheese-munching jockeys (another excellent one)!

ACROSS
1 Very softly swathed in rings and fur, like a primate's thumb (9)
OPPOSABLE - PP [very softly] "swathed in" O O [(two) rings] + SABLE [fur]. FOI.

6 Intellectually bright, left university to join police (5)
LUCID - L U [left | university] to join CID [police]. SOI.

9 Tenth muse initially failing to inspire (7)
ENTHUSE - {t}ENTH {m}USE

10 Men paid to perform for one after retirement (7)
GIGOLOS - GIG [to perform] + reversed SOLO [for one]

11 Remove contents of round tower (3)
TUG - reversed GUT [remove contents of]

12 Seabird messing up girl's head in Yorkshire port (7,4)
HERRING GULL - ERRING [messing up] + G{irl}, in HULL [Yorkshire port]

14 Conflict is very common on street (6)
STRIFE - RIFE [very common] on ST [street]

15 Porcine jockeys love cheese (8)
PECORINO - (PORCINE*) ["jockeys"] + O [love]

17 About to ring apple-picker with incorrect wake-up call (8)
REVEILLE - RE [about], to "ring" EVE [apple-picker] with ILL [incorrect]

19 Fashionable babywear on sale, three-quarters off (6)
SNAPPY - NAPPY [babywear] on S{ale}

22 Folk with spring birthdays welcoming what's in these books (11)
THESAURUSES - TAURUSES [folk with spring birthdays] "welcoming" {t}HES{e}

23 Zero in, turning attention away from earl (3)
NIL - reversed IN, plus {ear}L (having lost EAR = attention)

25 Mythical creature speaking amusingly, tail before face (7)
GRIFFIN - RIFFING [speaking amusingly], moving its last letter to pole position

27 Polished table leg, antagonising hosts (7)
ELEGANT - hidden in {tabl}E LEG ANT{agonising}

28 Face granny, extremely close (5)
MUGGY - MUG [face] + G{rann}Y

29 Elaborate purge repressing returning former reservists (9)
EXPATIATE - EXPIATE [purge] "repressing" reversed T.A. [former reservists]. Somewhat saddening that this seems to always have to be qualified with "former", now it's been the "Army Reserve" since 2014. No one would kick up a stink about AL needing to be specified as a former gangster, or TREE as a former actor, would they? Though I guess plenty of people might happily ditch the archaisms entirely...

DOWN
1 Obvious floating voter (5)
OVERT - (VOTER*) ["floating"]

2 Grass covering a German kitchen garden (7)
POTAGER - POT [grass] covering A GER [a | German]. LOI, solely due to being an unfamiliar word.

3 Exotic haircuts of a Commonwealth nation (5,6)
SOUTH AFRICA - (HAIRCUTS OF A*) ["exotic"]

4 Tired king wearing busby inside out (6)
BLEARY - LEAR [king] wearing B{usb}Y

5 Device for boiler say ultimately needing set-up instructions (3,5)
EGG TIMER - E.G. [say] + {needin}G + reversed REMIT [instructions]

6 Member oddly ignoring allergy (3)
LEG - {a}L{l}E{r}G{y}

7 Briefly soothe copper with fifty one gallstones? (7)
CALCULI - CAL{m} ["briefly" soothe] + CU [copper] + LI [fifty one]

8 Random duels upset Peel, for one (9)
DESULTORY - (DUELS*) ["upset"] + TORY [Peel, for one]

13 Stout female dons acquire camping equipment (11)
GROUNDSHEET - ROUND SHE [stout | female] "dons" GET [acquire]

14 Plan to sabotage regattas on first of May (9)
STRATAGEM - (REGATTAS*) ["to sabotage"], on M{ay}

16 Prof finally learning about boring north-eastern city (8)
FLORENCE - {pro}F + LORE [learning] + C [about] "boring" NE [north-eastern]

18 Opportunity to see rival faction (7)
VIEWING - VIE [rival] + WING [faction]

20 Slate, silver, turning up on each ancient landmass (7)
PANGAEA - PAN [slate] + reversed AG [silver] on EA [each]

21 Was repelling wife with revolting skin like a kipper (6)
ASLEEP - {w}AS [losing its W = wife] + rising PEEL [skin]

24 Lissome, and happy to go topless (5)
LITHE - {b}LITHE [happy, "to go topless"]

26 Leaders of France, enthusiastic yet slightly mad (3)
FEY - F{rance} E{nthusiastic} Y{et}