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June 17th, 2019

QC 1375 by Teazel

Average difficulty for me. Would have probably been about the 8-minute mark had I not got held up slightly by 14A (see below) which was my LOI.

FOI was 9A and COD goes to 5D. Not the most elegant of surfaces perhaps, but a pleasing clue overall particularly for me with the flashback to my Law of Conservation of Matter-defying motorcyclist (see below again). Many thanks to Teazel for an enjoyable 10-minute tussle.

Definitions are underlined and everything else is explained just as I see it as simply as I can.

1 Allocates such dreadful tee-shirts and jeans (6,7)
CASUAL CLOTHES - straight anagram ('dreadful') of ALLOCATES SUCH.
8 Countryman sees game-bird losing height (7)
PEASANT - PhEASANT (game bird) 'losing' H (height).
9 Skin lotion not rejected by monarch (5)
TONER - TON (NOT reversed, i.e. 'rejected') + ER (monarch).
10 It’s easy to be a little angel? (1,5,2,4)
A PIECE OF CAKE - if the sort of cake you have is an ANGEL cake, then 'a little angel' could be a a cryptic definition for a piece of it.
12 A bad mark for this sort of clue (6)
ACROSS - A + CROSS (bad mark).
14 Strode round rural area (6)
DORSET - straight anagram ('round') of STRODE. I am not entirley convinced by 'round' as a sufficient anagrind I have to say although I think I have probably seen it before. Certainly OK as an indicator for reversal or inclusion, but that is not what we have here. Then again if you look at STRODE in isolation it pretty much jumps out at you as an anagram of DORSET, so maybe the seasoned solver won't mind too much. Besides, I suppose if I just swallow my objection and quietly add it to my vocabulary of anagrinds, then the next time it comes up it'll just be a 10A.
17 Wild flower grew up beside pet (3,4)
DOG ROSE - ROSE (grew up) beside DOG (pet).
19 Animal runs into pipe (5)
HORSE - R (runs) 'into' HOSE (pipe).
20 Jump over tomb (5)
VAULT - double definition.
21 Perfect French dessert (7)
PARFAIT - PARFAIT is French for perfect.
22 Fat person’s pudding (4-4)
ROLY-POLY - double definition. One of my favourite puddings at school (served with warm syrup!).
23 Instrument once used in daily recital (4)
LYRE - hidden word: daiLY REcital.
1 Headgear on back of the head (4)
CAPE - CAP (headgear) 'on' (in this down clue) E (back of thE). HEAD in the sense of a headland, as in 'Cape of Good Hope'.
2 A fish that’s biting (7)
SNAPPER - fairly obvious?
3 “A day, long time” — proverb (5)
ADAGE - A + D (day) + AGE (long time).
4 Ship’s tailor? (6)
CUTTER - a tailor does quite a lot of cutting.
5 Suddenly and unexpectedly lacking a couple of presents (3,2,7)
OUT OF NOWHERE - OUT OF (lacking) + NOW + HERE (a couple of presents - as in Fatboy Slim's "Right Here, Right Now!"). Reminds me of those humorous extracts the insurance industry releases from time to time from statements made to them following accidents. I heard one once where a driver showed a touching faith in the possibility of spontaneous incarnation by claiming "The motorcyclist came out of nowehere...".
6 Dye Anne Hathaway originally used up (5)
HENNA - ANNE + H (Hathaway 'originally' used) reversed (i.e. 'up' in this down clue).
7 Dramatic work by pavement artists? (6,7)
STREET THEATRE - cryptic definition.
11 Worker completed transfer (4,4)
HAND OVER - HAND (worker) + OVER (completed).
13 Grow rapidly, and drive ram away (5,2)
SHOOT UP - SHOO (drive away) + TUP (ram).
15 Such bacon uneven in quality? (7)
STREAKY - double definition.
16 A friend? Only on paper (3,3)
PEN PAL - cryptic definition.
18 Good rule to mix up thin porridge (5)
GRUEL - straight anagram ('to mix up') of G (good) + RULE.

Times 27379 - Citrus deluxe!

Time: 28 minutes
Music: Dvorak, Symphony 7, Davis/LSO

This is a fairly easy Monday puzzle, well-suited to biffing.   As I begin to write the blog, I have parsed fewer than half the clues, but I can probably figure them out as I go along.   There were one or two tricky answers where you might have to rely on previous solving experience to get home, but other than that it is pretty clear sailing.   Skilled solvers should post fast times.

Here at Times for the Times, we are moving forward.   Regular readers will have noted our new Jumbo blogger, Kitty_404, who is taking over for Mohn2.    While he is one of our top solvers and best bloggers, Mohn2 has a very demanding job and is no longer able to devote as much time to crosswords and TftT as he might wish.   Besides his activity as a blogger, Mohn2 was also instrumental in developing and improving the script nearly all the bloggers use to generate blog skeletons, which saves the bloggers a lot of time and many mistakes.   I would like to offer my thanks to Mohn2 for all the time and support he has given to the TftT.

On another front, former blogger JerryWh has kindly offered to help with some needed improvements to the blog.    Jerry and I have already finished and posted the new Times for the Times Glossary, and he has volunteered to work on fixing the sorely out-of-date information in 'About this Blog', which has not been changed in about 10 years and is thoroughly obsolete.   This will take a little more time, but we hope to have something ready soon.

Now, for the puzzle....

1 Calm, provided defended by fleet (6)
PACIFY - PAC(IF)Y, where I wasted a lot of time trying to make a noun.
4 Process of character identification, magic? (8)
SPELLING -  Double definition, where spelling a word involves identifying the characters in it.
10 Crumbling and remote gothic landmark (5,4)
11 Half-hearted stuff for parent (5)
MATER - MAT[t]ER, either Latin or public school slang.
12 Warmer knickers under trousers (3)
SUN - Hidden in [knicker]S UN[der].
13 Calculus papers ending on van, in principle (6,5)
KIDNEY STONE - K(ID, [va]N)EYSTONE.   Fortunately, we had 'calculi' as an answer about two weeks ago - hope you did that one!
14 Youthful nurse? (6)
TENDER - Double definition, as in 'tender years'.
16 Tramp seen half cut alongside first of innumerable gin bottles (7)
TRAIPSE - TRA(I[nnumerable])P + SE[en], which caused me to reconsider 'limestone' going down.
19 Plan to get captain finally onto pitch (7)
PATTERN - PATTER + [captai]N
20 Figure proceeded to rip apart teddy, removing stuffing (6)
22 European nationals claiming officer beat retired author (4,7)
IRIS MURDOCH - IRIS(CO, DRUM backwards)H, one nearly every solver will biff.
25 Blade cutting head from pig (3)
OAR - [b]OAR
26 Reportedly big jar (5)
GRATE - sounds like GREAT.
27 Anger dissipating about narrow, narrow escape (4,5)
NEAR THING - NEAR(THIN)G, where the enclosing letters are an anagram of ANGER.
28 Measure of radiation, not energy almost entirely kinetic? (8)
ROENTGEN - anagram of NOT ENERG[y], a write-in from the definition.
29 Knowing fury, daughter (6)
1 Fine maybe after twisting in breaking elbow (6)
PUNISH - PU(NI)SH, with 'twisting' as a reversal indicator for IN.
2 Function clear, belt secured (9)
COTANGENT - CO(TAN)GENT, one that I boldly biffed with only a single checker.
3 Rare for me, walks taken at regular intervals (5)
FREAK - F[o]R ]m]E, [w]A[l]K[s].
5 Showing plan, rates, I note, subject to change (14)
6 Story about fiery spirit, flaky stuff (9)
LIMESCALE - LI(MESCAL)E.   I did wonder for a bit if 'limestone' was the answer, but could not recall a 'meston'.
7 Opening in new trousers rather obvious, initially (5)
INTRO -  I[n] N[ew] T[rousers] R[ather] O[bvious] - yes, it's obvious!
8 Heard old Hollywood actress, one working on plot? (8)
GARDENER - sounds like GARDINER.   There are apparently dozens of actresses with this surname, but Ava Gardiner is probably the intended target.
9 Official sort of order for fruit (8,6)
MANDARIN ORANGE -  MANDARIN + ORANGE, i.e. the Orange Order.
15 Most fanciful case of supplement supporting paper in decline (9)
DREAMIEST - D(REAM)IE + S[upplemen]T.
17 Frequent points are bandied about (9)
18 Dog salivating, Pavlov starts with bell (8)
SPRINGER - S[alivating] P[avlov] + RINGER, as in a Springer Spaniel.
21 Cold day: like to get up? (6)
FRIGID - FRI + DIG upside-down.
23 Picture every second of film era (5)
IMAGE - [f]I[l]M + AGE
24 Come up with opening (5)
HATCH - double definition, as in hatch a plot.