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June 20th, 2019

I found this on the tough side, taking a pleasingly alliterative (anumertive?) 32.32 to complete, though Love Island was burbling in the background courtesy of Mrs Z and may hae been a disturbance to the path of smooth solving. There’s more than a touch of the transatlantic in this one, depending on how you count the American stuff, but that’s offset by some Yoruba,  Scots, French, Spanish and Mandarin. Latin, too, if you count today’s mountain-dwelling quadruped.
I'd like to think we have a nod in the direction of the 50th anniversay of Apollo 11's landing, with 16ac, and indeed "eleven" in 14ac, but if that's not intentional, permit me to nod anyway.
Credit to the setter for some rather pleasing surfaces throughout and a decent challenge.
My reasoning lies below, with clues, definitions and SOLUTIONS.



Across
1 Expecting furious nurses to be irritated about hospital (4,5)
WITH CHILD A matryoshka clue to begin with. “Nurses” and “about” are your containment indicators, so H(ospital) goes inside ITCH (to be irritated) goes inside WILD (furious)
6 Tailless mountain goat found in dry region (5)
TIBET Your IBEX loses its tail and hides in TT, short for teetotal or dry. Satisfyingly, a species of ibex is found in Tibet.
9 Beef tender and firm at point which cut by daughter (7)
COWHERD  The firm is CO, and then “at point which” indicates WHERE, cut the final E, add D(aughter)
10 Dope men smuggled in pouch (7)
SPORRAN SP is short for Starting Price, and can mean dope or gen in the phrase “what’s the SP?”, similar to “what’s the bottom line?”.  Add our favourite men, the O(ther) R(anks) and RAN for smuggled
11 Charm displayed by top Brit, every second (3)
OBI A West African word for a fetish or charm, useful in Scrabble. Every second letter of tOp BrIt
12 Speaking well of video, cooing dreadfully (2,4,5)
IN GOOD VOICE I think the “of” is redundant, except for surface. “Dreadfully” tells you it’s an anagram of VIDEO COOING
14 Neighbours to come about eleven? (6)
BESIDE I took ages (actually, truth be told, until now) to realise that the to has to attach to neighbours to make the definition work. Come about BE, eleven: SIDE, as in footie or cricket.
15 After arrest, fail to find weapon (4,4)
NAIL BOMB As improvised by Agnes Nutter (witch) in Good Omens if you were able to catch the excellent recent adaptation for TV. Arrest is NAIL, and fail is BOMB, I think more US than British English
17 Unify with European left? Somehow, that’s not typical of the Dutch! (8)
UNWIFELY There ain’t a lady livin’ in this world as I’d swap for me dear old Dutch. An anagram (somehow) of UNIFY+W(ith)+E(uropean)+L(eft)
19 Cockney’s to listen to the hits broadcast: what’s to stop him? (6)
EARWAX Gor blimey Miry Poppins, ‘ere’s me droppin me Haitches again like a proper gent what’s born wivin the sahnd of Bow bells an’ no mistike. So that’s ‘EAR for listen, then. Add WAX, which you might think was the spelling of whacks, hits, if heard on the wireless.
22 Card game’s to promote alternative to setter? (4,7)
JACK RUSSELL The card’s the JACK, the games R(ugby) U(nion), promote is SELL. It’s a dog, as is the setter, though if I was offered a JR in exchange for my gundog, I think I’d not see it as an alternative, unless I was tired of waiting for my setter to massacre rats.
23 Passes some task on after retiring (3)
OKS, which apparently is okay for okays, though I think it looks wrong. Reverse hidden in taSK On
25 A note to send off that may get one’s blessing? (7)
ATISHOO A is –um– A, the note is TI (cue Sound of Music) and send of is SHOO. ‘S’neezy clue
27 I want a rook to fly like a dove (7)
ANTIWAR Fly is the anagram indicator, the material being I WANT A R(ook)
28 Like flattery for example to interleave with work (5)
SOAPY I think we’ll have to call this a riffle clue. Take the SAY (“for example”) cards out of your Lexicon set, then the OP (short for opus, work) pair, and shuffle them with a riffle action. Yay!
29 Following a breather, performing grand exercise regime (5,4)
FALUN GONG This is a real “follow the wordplay” clue, unless you’re familiar with variations of qigong. So: F(ollowing) A breather: LUNG performing: ON and G(rand). Chuck it in and thank your lucky stars it’s not an anagram.



Down
1 Out to lunch, ace ladies put out cold sandwiches (5)
WACKO I think you have to assume “ladies” is WC. A(ce) is sandwiched by said WC and KO for “put out cold”. Took me a long time to justify the obvious answer.
2 Those out of the country have to visit relations (7)
TOWNIES I.e. those not in the country(side) Have gives you OWN, which “visits” TIES for relations.
3 Game in boarding school subject to delay (6,2,3)
CHEMIN DE FER  Worked backwards from the solution to fathom the wordplay. IN is “boarding” school subject CHEM(istry) and DEFER for delay.
4 Trendy? Don’t fancy anything this colour! (6)
INDIGO So it’s IN for trendy, then DIG 0 (nothing) for don’t fancy anything.
5 Scrapping ad spoils broadcast (8)
DISPOSAL A simple enough anagram (broadcast) of AD SPOILS
6 Heads of two hundred orchids, all the same (3)
THO Another Americanism (or, Chambers says, poetic) composed of the first letters of two hundred orchids.
7 Irish and Polish turning to Mexican food (7)
BURRITO IR(ish) and RUB for polish reversed and given TO to complete
8 Volatile person can put up radical fight (9)
TINDERBOX Can is the TIN bit, DER is from red, radical “put up”, and BOX is fight.
13 Old language, very alluring at dances (6,5)
VULGAR LATIN  Latin after it stopped being Classical and not just, for example, “et sanguinem infernum”. The collection of letters, V(ery) ALLURING AT “dances”.
14 Bags of waste English girl’s put outside (4,5)
BLUE JEANS Although jeans and bags are both trousers, I’m not wholly convinced that jeans are bags, but heigh ho. BLUE (separate etymology from the colour) can be a verb, to squander, hence waste. E(nglish) has today’s only random female, JAN put outside, with her ‘S for company
16 Bishop presumably remaining longest on board launch (8)
BLASTOFF Possibly more US again without a space or hyphen, but in most of the sources. Our B(ishop) is LAST OFF so staying longest on board.
18 What we can hear: cheers welcoming one in Kansas City! (7)
WICHITA I played around with KC as part of the wordplay until disabused by circumstance. I know Wichita from the permanently on-line lineman, but not that it’s the largest city in Kansas. WICH is an impression of which (what) as heard. Cheers is TA, and I (one) is welcomed by both.
20 Directory of people with houses around Cornwall? (4,3)
WHO’S WHO The venerable directory of the great and good. W(ith) and two HO(uses) surround SW, which is where Cornwell is.Could almost be seen as an &lit
21 In September in Washington it must ... happen (6)
BEFALL. The ellipsis is significant, a blank to be filled in. September in Washington must BE FALL, yet another bit of US-speak
24 Woolly gesture of indifference (5)
SHRUG A (sort of) double definition, though as a shrug has more in common with a wrap or scarf, I’m not sure woolly (a cardigan or jumper in my wardrobe) quite works.
26 Conclusion to match, indeed, that’s cut and dried (3)
HAY The last letter of matcH plus AY for indeed.

Times Quick Cryptic No 1378 by Tracy

Good quality puzzle from Tracy, somewhere around the average difficulty mark. I finished a few seconds under my target with a few unparsed. Not too much in the way of obscurity, but there are a couple of obscure etymologies, and there was a good bit of interesting vocab to add to the nice surfaces. Very good fun - many thanks to Tracy!


Across
1 A thrash in large town is a disaster (8)
CALAMITY - A LAM (a thrash) in CITY (large town). Etymology obscure, with many tempted to link it to Latin for straw (calamus), but see here.
5 Enjoyable day in pool (4)
FUND - FUN (enjoyable) D(ay)
9 Beginning to anticipate win, once more (5)
AGAIN - A (beginning to Anticipate) GAIN (win)
10 One that's stoned, endlessly outspoken after a party (7)
AVOCADO - VOCA ("endlessly" VOCAL/outspoken) after A DO (a party)
11 Can, given time, and elected (3)
TIN - T(ime) and IN (elected)
12 Terribly pleased about a new walkway (9)
ESPLANADE - anagram (terribly) of PLEASED about/around A N(ew)
13 Celebrity appearing in satire, now nervous (6)
RENOWN - "appearing" in the letters of satiRE NOW Nervous
15 Braved winds bravely, say (6)
ADVERB - anagram (winds) of BRAVED. This is a DBE, hinted at by the word "say", as explained in the excellent new glossary. My LOI, it wasn't biffed (or BIFD) so much as BIFC (bunged in from checkers). At least, I didn't go back and re-read the clue with little else that would fit _D_E_B. Nothing else, according to Crossword Solver, but they've somehow forgotten about "adweeb" (same idea as asleep or aback, if one is taken adweeb one is taken to a state of dweebdom).
17 Genuine article secured by relative, not quite 100 (9)
AUTHENTIC - THE (article) secured by AUNTI ("not quite" AUNTIE/relative) C (100).
19 Catch sight of tailless sow (3)
SEE - "tail-less" SEED (sow). As in to sow/seed the land.
20 Leaves company after return of Italian explorer (7)
TOBACCO - CO. (company) after TOBAC (Cabot/Italian explorer, "returns"/reverses). I gave up racking my brain for Italian explorers after Polo and Columbus and moved on. I remember a restaurant task on the (UK) Apprentice a few years ago where the team came up with a menu/decor theme celebrating famous Britons. Pride of place was given to Columbus, and there was utter disbelief all round come the grand opening. "But his name's Christopher! That's English!" Easy to mock, though; I've a feeling I thought Cabot was Portuguese before solving this, which I (possibly) wouldn't have done had I known his non-anglicised name, Giovanni Caboto.
21 Tolerate fat? Not initially (5)
ALLOW - TALLOW (fat), "not initially".
22 Boss getting rid of one restaurant worker (4)
CHEF - CHIEF (boss) getting rid of I (one)
23 Something that may be added or removed? (8)
APPENDIX - nice cryptic (double) definition: added to book, removed from body.

Down
1 Escort a damaged vessel (7)
COASTER - anagram (damaged) of ESCORT A.
2 Pounds get paid to master (5)
LEARN - L (pounds) EARN (get paid)
3 Reckon why men adjusted spanner (6,6)
MONKEY WRENCH - anagram (adjusted) of RECKON WHY MEN. There are lots of theories about the etymology of this, including non-key wrench (as opposed to the earlier key wrench), and being invented by the otherwise unknown Mr Monckey. Both implausible, as explained by World Wide Words, with the likeliest answer being the simplest: it looks a bit like the face of a monkey (or at least it does in the drawing they have).
4 Vagrant, male lying in bunker (5)
TRAMP - M(ale) lying in TRAP (bunker)
6 Ignorant, a female in Paris about a conflict (7)
UNAWARE - UNE ("a", feminine in French/Paris) about A WAR (a conflict)
7 Radio-controlled aircraft finished across river (5)
DRONE - DONE (finished) across R(iver)
8 Kowtow, as a violin pupil might? (3,3,6)
BOW AND SCRAPE - cryptic hint. A very low bow facilitated by drawing one's foot back out along the ground, hence the "scraping". Kowtow is a similar idea in reverse, literally meaning to knock one's head on the ground.
14 Striking number heading chart (7)
NOTABLE - NO. (number) heading/coming above TABLE (chart)
16 Polish see British uprising get bigger (7)
BEESWAX - BEES (SEE B(ritish), uprising/reversing) WAX (get bigger)
17 A dry, mostly freezing cold, upper room (5)
ATTIC - A, TT (tee-total/dry), ICY (freezing cold) "mostly"
18 Run into very quiet group of soldiers (5)
TROOP - R(un) into TOO (very) P (piano/quiet)
19 Small boy devouring a cold dish (5)
SALAD - S(mall) LAD (boy) devouring/taking in A
Is it Monday already? I jest, the days of the Friday puzzle usually being the toughest of the week are long behind us. This was a gentle crossword that will please those looking for good jumping-on points for graduating from the QC to the 15x15. My LOI, and COD, was 1dn; I thought this was nicely misleading, with the mention of Poles making me sure I was looking for NS inside something else, resulting in INSURERS or similar; well played, setter. Such familiar faces as NORMA and RHINO must become part of every hardened solver's arsenal, and likewise many of the abbreviations herein will serve the would-be regular 15x15 solver well. And that, I think, is all I have to say. Have a good weekend everyone!

ACROSS
1 Unable to get on topic, men bail out (12)
INCOMPATIBLE - (TOPIC MEN BAIL*) ["out"]

9 Assemble before empty court (5)
ERECT - ERE C{our}T

10 Unaware, left island blocking patent (9)
OBLIVIOUS - L I "blocking" OBVIOUS

11 Antenna limits radio telephony along major roads (8)
ARTERIAL - AERIAL "limits" RT

12 Miss transporting large old bishop everywhere (6)
GLOBAL - GAL "transporting" L O B

13 Game frequently interrupts society dance (8)
SOFTBALL - OFT "interrupts" S BALL

15 Save visibly embarrassed Europeans getting married (6)
REDEEM - RED [visibly embarrassed] + E E [(two) Europeans] getting M

17 Teacher ignoring note put weight on (6)
STRESS - MISTRESS "ignoring" MI

18 Johnny-come-latelies stumped in high-class roles (8)
UPSTARTS - ST in U PARTS

20 Some hide mate married on the rebound (6)
DEWLAP - reversed PAL WED

21 One wearing medals running funny business (6-2)
GOINGS-ON - I "wearing" GONGS + ON [running]

24 Find the lady maybe, daughter hiding in trailer with haystack (4,5)
CARD TRICK - D hiding in CART with RICK

25 It may charge money (5)
RHINO - double def

26 Divert RAF importing what keeps firm afloat (6,6)
PROFIT MARGIN - (RAF IMPORTING*) ["divert..."]

DOWN
1 They cover Poles in charge of room facing north (7)
ICECAPS - I/C [in charge of] + reversed SPACE

2 Dearth of screws spoiled clothing unit (5,2,7)
CHEST OF DRAWERS - (DEARTH OF SCREWS*) ["spoiled"]

3 Drive second to right (5)
MOTOR - MO TO R

4 Sort of farmer employing cook for fetching (8)
ADORABLE - ARABLE [sort of farmer] "employing" DO [cook]

5 Capri for one is nearly all rented out (4)
ISLE - IS LE{t}

6 Maximum efforts make flat worst! (5,4)
LEVEL BEST - LEVEL [flat] + BEST [worst, as in beat; a notorious pair of words that can be synonyms OR antonyms]

7 Pelican alongside zebra? That's cheating (6-8)
DOUBLE-CROSSING - two types of British road crossings

8 Shelter a poor area bringing in yen (6)
ASYLUM - A SLUM "bringing in" Y

14 Make mess of most of top pitch (9)
BESPATTER - BES{t} + PATTER

16 Small pot preserving queen's tooth (8)
SPROCKET - S POCKET "preserving" R

17 Win over French nobleman in match (6)
SEDUCE - DUC in SEE

19 Setting time's free in most quarters (7)
SUNDOWN - UNDO [free] in S, W, N [(three of the four) quarters]

22 Finish off standard musical work (5)
NORMA - NORMA{l}. Bellini opera well known in both crossword and classical music circles.

23 Hum very loudly after returning home (4)
NIFF - FF after reversed IN