27406 Thursday, 18 July 2019
A struggle for me, midnight solving not necessarily to blame, extending to all but 32 minutes and producing an improbable but annoyingly pink error. As disclosed, I have some minor quibbles with several of the clues, but it’s more than possible I’m just being picky. I am, however, inclined to the opinion that there are no wilful obscurities in this display, for which credit and thanks to the setter. 21a I only parsed while preparing this entry, and little 1a was my last in because I
couldn’t see the hidden in plain sight “with”.
I present my findings and Boris-level meanderings with clues, definitions and SOLUTIONS thus displayed
1 Backing horse with an appreciable amount (4)
MUCH Time taken to justify this. It’s that “with” that’s the unconsidered trifle, which of course translates to CUM (Latin) found in place names such as Chorlton-cum-Hardy (Manchester) or Shingay-cum-Wendy (Cambs), and in degrees summa cum laude. Anyway, add to the H(orse) and reverse (backing)
3 Farm animals of various colours, around fifty held in reserve (10)
STOCKPILED Farm animals are stock, and if multicoloured might be PIED. Stick in more Latin, L for 50
10 Old boy on express entering part of Ireland’s capital (7)
NAIROBI The word order is tricky, but O(ld) B(oy) goes on the back end of AIR for express (air ones opinions) and the construction as a whole is entered into N(orthern) I(reland)
11 Banned act top in sport (7)
OUTPLAY A charade of banned: OUT and act: PLAY. Top in sport is a verb phrase here.
12 Eg. Panamanian chap in a near miss at sea (7-8)
SPANISH-AMERICAN There’s an anagram here, indicated by “at sea”. Your required letters are CHAP IN A NEAR MISS. Is a Panamanian a S-A?. Depends on how you Google it. Wiki says S-As are Spanish descent US citizens, as distinct from Spanish speaking migrants from Latin America. Panama itself is (mostly) Spanish speaking, but with a considerable ethnic mix. I’d have said Panamanians were Latin Americans. But what do I know?
13 Tipple that comes in pairs? (6)
SHORTS Is a tipple more than one short. It is here, and shorts come in pairs
14 Complaint from serviceman backed by Republican in US state (8)
MIGRAINE The serviceman is GI, backed (reversed) by R(epublican) and place in MAINE, your US state.
17 Indulgence? European in communist city forgetting it (8)
LENIENCY E(uropean) is found in LENIN, undoubtedly a communist, and CITY without IT completes the entry.
18 Shot, or dram, boy’s swallowed back (6)
SNIPED is the answer, and it’s NIP for dram in DES for boy (shortened male names are often clued as boy), reversed. You have to assume the “back” refers only to the boy. Iffy
21 Such people deserve respect, primarily in services (7,8)
WARRANT OFFICERS An &lit, I think. Deserve gives WARRANT, and R(espect) primarily finds its way into OFFICES, equivalent to services as acts of worship, or possibly as lavatories: take your pick. I lost a lot of time trying to think of a WO who was also a DR
23 In the company of Doctor in Distress (7)
AMONGST And wouldn’t you know, here’s a military officer who’s also a Dr, in this case an MO, immersed in ANGST for distress. Doctor in Distress as capitalised is one of a series of 60’s comedies starring Dirk Bogarde as Dr. Simon Sparrow
24 Carrier making earlier entry with misplaced aspiration (7)
HOLDALL Earlier entry is OLD HALL. Misplace the H(aspiration)
25 Departs, mad about motorists and their sport? (4,6)
DRAG RACING D(eparts) plus RAGING mad surrounds the RAC, the other motoring association in the UK
26 Provocative Kentish couple yet to be identified (4)
SEXY Kentish gives you SE, because that’s where Kent is, and X and Y are our unidentified couple.
1 Considers getting to grips with home's unattractive points (7)
MINUSES Considers MUSES, and home IN comfortably gripped.
2 Foreign god elevated in prominent feature in ethnic quarter (9)
CHINATOWN A prominent feature in most people is their CHIN. The foreign (Norse/Asgardian) god is WOTAN (Wagner’s Ring spelling), to be “elevated” and inserted
4 Making 50% reductions, tailor child's exercise regime (3,3)
TAI CHI. Knock off half of TAIlor and CHIld’s
5 I must chop pieces at bottom of dog dish (4,4)
CHOW MEIN Oddly enough, I recently queried whether protesting Koreans defiantly eating tradition dog meat might be eating chow mein, and this wordplay is not a million miles away. Dog is CHOW, and pieces are (chess) MEN, which I chops into.
6 Hierarchical rule first announced under first Pope (5,9)
PETER PRINCIPLE “the theory that members of an organization, etc, are generally promoted to posts one stage above their level of competence”, so I suppose it’s a rule about hierarchy. PRINCIPLE, which sounds like principal: first, is found under PETER, apostle and traditionally first Bishop of Rome.
7 Shade reversed in optical illusion (5)
LILAC Todays (reverse) hidden, in optiCAL ILlusion
8 Unopened Eye penned by poet one respected in class (7)
DOYENNE “the most senior (female) and most respected member of an academy, diplomatic corps, class, or profession”. EYE loses its opening E, and tucks into poet John DONNE
9 Perverse defender doing badly? Team's boss has only one answer (3,2,3,6)
DOG IN THE MANGER Neat, if perverse definition. DOING badly give the DOG IN, then Team’s boss is THE MANAGER, removing one of the A’s. Those of you with extensive and critical knowledge of football can make up your own jokes.
15 Curse devil found with head lowered (9)
IMPRECATE Devil is IMP, found (verb) is CREATE, drop the C down the rankings
16 High church from South making no progress (8)
ECSTATIC Church in these things is often CE (of England), which viewed from the south gives EC. Making no progress: STATIC
17 Plain member of parliament in saddle? (7)
LOWLAND You cant stretch MP or TD to fit, but the collective noun for OWLs is parliament. Saddle gives LAND as in burden with.
19 Demonstrate upcoming range in home improvements (7)
DISPLAY Another upcoming reversal, this time of ALPS (range) in DIY home improvements if no making work for the working man to do.
20 National force in a part of Africa suppressing base (6)
AFGHAN a bunch of whom improbably shone in the Cricket World Cup F(orce) finds its way into A GHANA with its final A missing, believed suppressed
22 Girl in Resistance initially has trouble getting up (5)
RHODA Boy (girl?) did I struggle with this eventually misentering the improbable RHONA for no reason I can now imagine. I began with in Resistance initially for IR, added a reversed ADO and Imagining IRODA was a name which I then confused with IRONA the Robot Maid. Eventually I worked out that Resistance is R without the qualifying “initial”, which instead separates the H from Has. Somehow the N survived uncorrected.