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August 7th, 2019

Times Quick Cryptic 1412 by Des

This had a different feel from the usual QC fare, and I took a while to get into it. I got almost nowhere with the NW corner on first pass, and had to look several times at the longer answers before pennies started dropping. Particular difficulties for me were 17ac (where the answer and parsing were tricky) and 5dn (for which the answer was obvious from checkers, but the parsing had to wait) both of which I biffed with a shrug. Overall, I'd say it's tough.

Definitions underlined.


Across
1 Every so often, setting a mean mark! (6)
STIGMA - every other letter from (every so often) SeTtInG a MeAn.
4 Requirement to keep dry, now you’ve landed (6)
NETTED - NEED (requirement) containing (to keep) TT (teetotal, dry)
8 Cool art forms part of index (7)
LOCATOR - anagram of (forms) COOL ART. Apparently, the page numbers under the headings in an index are known as locators. Makes sense, but was new to me.
10 Old king held back by lese-majesty (5)
JAMES - reverse hidden in (held back by) leSE-MAJesty.
11 Journalist trapped in vehicle that has cones all round it? (5)
CEDAR - ED (journalist) surrounded by (trapped in) CAR (vehicle).
12 Denies a Yankee, eg, has been entertained by Poles (7)
NAYSAYS - A, Y (Yankee in the phonetic alphabet) and SAY (eg) all inside (entertained by) N and S (north and south, poles). I've seen 'say' = 'eg' before, but not the other way round.
13 Stormont House’s leader altered extreme position (9)
NORTHMOST - anagram of (altered) STORMONT and the first letter of (...'s leader) House.
17 Fighter in Canadian feature knocking out Lawrence (7)
STRIVER - removal of (knocking out) 'Lawrence' from ST. lawrence RIVER (Canadian feature). I thought this was a stinker, as I didn't realise I was looking for a river, haven't heard of this particular river, and struggled to make the asociation between 'fight' and 'strive'.
19 Regretting replacing first of scooters with large truck (5)
LORRY - sORRY (regretting), replacing the 's' (first of scooters) with 'L' (large).
20 A ring or chain in water (5)
ATOLL - A and TOLL (ring). A chain of islands in the sea.
21 Dawn insures convertible (7)
SUNRISE - anagram of (convertible) INSURES.
22 In Dallas, Carol dated sailor (6)
LASCAR - hidden in (in) dalLAS CARol. Another new bit of (antiquated) vocabulary for me, but a super clue!
23 Cosmetics on faces of the old, not exactly right, somehow (6)
TONERS - first letters from (on the faces of) The Old Not Exactly Right Somehow.

Down
1 Note doctor brings comfort (6)
SOLACE - SO (note, from the sol-fa scale, do-re-mi, etc.) then LACE (doctor, as in doctor/lace/tamper with a drink).
2 Are they organised by CID in Montrose? (8,5)
INCIDENT ROOMS - anagram of (organised) CID IN MONTROSE. The whole thing is a sort of cryptic definition, but it falls short of being an &lit. due to the slightly clunky contruction of the anagrind. Still a contender for COD though.
3 More experienced, but could make erratum (7)
MATURER - anagram of (could make) ERRATUM.
5 Experience for the French going on transport (5)
ENJOY - EN (French for going on, as in travelling by, as in voyage en train) then JOY (transport, as in rapture). I would not be surprised if I've got the wrong end of the stick.
6 What prisoners do when pub closes, repeatedly (4,5,4)
TIME AFTER TIME - TIME (what prisoners do) and AFTER TIME (when pub closes).
7 Stop Des first! (6)
DESIST - DES and 1ST (first). Cunning, and I suppose a bit irresistable for this setter.
9 Farmers organised statue of God outside church (9)
RANCHEROS - RAN (organised) and EROS (statue of god, in this case the Greek god of love) containing (outside) CH (church). My LOI, despite having the right explanation for the parsing, and seeing 'ranchers' early on, but finding myself a letter short.
14 Golden light round Florida resort (7)
ORLANDO - OR (golden, from heraldry), LAND (light), and O (round). I have subsequently discovered that this meaning of 'light' or 'alight' (to dismount or land after a journey) literally means to make light (less heavy). Nice.
15 Go for a boat trip, touring south (6)
ASSAIL - A and SAIL (boat trip) containing (touring) S (south).
16 French schools, or else youth clubs — initially — reformed (6)
LYCEES - anagram of (reformed) ELSE and the first letters from (initially) Youth Clubs.
18 Roman road circling two lakes and country house (5)
VILLA - VIA (Roman road) containing (circling) two Ls (lakes).
I enjoyed this one, it has a few chestnuts like 16d and 24a (apart from 10d) and is pleasantly witty in places. The chap at 27a did ring a faint bell, once I had the options before me, and 18d made me think about my first bike, which I used to call a RAAH-LEIGH so definitely not a homophone. A middle of the road 25 minutes before looking up the German guy.




Across
1 Have old German force backing law-enforcers (7)
POSSESS -  SS, the Schutzstaffel, follows POSSE a bunch of law-enforcers.
5 Appointment involves carrying one very small case (6)
DATIVE - DATE has I and V inserted.
8 Rescinds remaining acts (9)
OVERTURNS - OVER = remaining, TURNS = acts.
9 Island's cry for help going round in the morning (5)
SAMOS - There are some 227 inhabited islands in Greece, yet we find SAMOS turning up for the second time this week. Coincidence or the same setter? SOS = cry for help, around AM = in the morning.
11 Bread stick goes into this (5)
LOLLY - Double definition, lollies have sticks in.
12 One beset by dreadful sorrow, the first person to be causing concern (9)
WORRISOME - I goes into (SORROW)* then add ME.
13 Streaks of butter round black fish (8)
MARBLING - RAM = butter, reverse it = MAR, B(lack), LING a fish.
15 Footballing cheat — start to think “transfer”? (6)
DIVERT - A footballer who cheats is a DIVER looking for a penalty; add T(hink).
17 Feature at extremity of garment is a surprise (4-2)
TURN-UP - Double definition, some trousers have turn-ups.
19 Rude learner is in place of worship, about to be ejected (8)
CHURLISH - Place of worship = CHURCH, eject the C (about), insert L and IS.
22 In a row, army officer left home: one needed to listen (9)
COLLINEAR - join together COL (army officer), L(eft), IN, EAR = one needed to listen. Why isn't it just spelt CO-LINEAR? Strange language, English.
23 Directors on the side of money? (5)
HEADS - Double definition, bosses and heads or tails.
24 Old Italian bread around duck in river (5)
LOIRE - LIRE was Italian money, insert O(ld).
25 Writer in Holy Land situation producing an enormous amount (9)
SQUILLION - QUILL, an old writer, inserted into SION. Etymology of squillion is said to be 'fanciful, 1940s'.
26 Drink makes one get shaken up before the end of day (6)
WHISKY - A WHISK could shake up a drink, I suppose, and adding Y the end of day does the trick.
27 German mathematician, curiously blithe about arithmetic? (7)
HILBERT - R for arithmetic, one of the three R's, inserted into (BLITHE)*. If you hadn't heard of David Hilbert, 1862 - 1943, you'd have to fiddle around with the anagram letters, R and the checkers until it looked likely.

Down
1 Blast a compiler, not having succeeded — terrible puzzle is that! (13)
PROBLEMATICAL - (BLA T A COMPILER)*, the S being removed = not having succeeded.
2 Excellent room for wine, not cold, below street level (7)
STELLAR - ST = street, (C)ELLAR = room for wine, not cold. LEVEL seems superfluous except for the sense of the surface.
3 Guard heading off — leaving this exposed? (5)
ENTRY - SENTRY loses its S.
4 Celebrate, having caught gang cheating (8)
SCREWING - SING = celebrate has CREW = gang inserted.
5 Hot feeling? Gentleman plunges into river (6)
DESIRE - SIR goes plunging into the river DEE.
6 Witness has ordeal, I note, losing heart (9)
TESTIFIER - TEST = ordeal, I, FI(V)ER = note losing heart.
7 Escape with a move so disorderly? (7)
VAMOOSE - (A MOVE SO)*. Derived from Spanish vamos, let's go. For me it means to leave in a hurry, escape is a bit of a stretch.
10 Wood cut, the wetness proving tricky (5,8)
SWEET CHESTNUT - (CUT THE WETNESS)*.
14 Incompetence, a condition that brings out the nit-picker? (9)
LOUSINESS - Well, if you had nits, you'd maybe pick at them, and nits are the eggs of lice.
16 All-embracing love, during hugging (8)
THOROUGH - THROUGH (during) hugs O.
18 Explorer who is audible in mass meeting (7)
RALEIGH - Today's debatable homophone; does Sir Walter really sound like RALLY? How was he pronounced in 1600?
20 Picture in one publication with extreme characters being carted off (7)
IMAGINE - I = one, MAG(AZ)INE; the A and Z "extreme characters" are removed.
21 Lively female that is upset over squalid accommodation (6)
FEISTY - F(emale), IE (that is) reversed, STY = squalid accommodation.
23 Onset of hunger with everyone needing to eat a type of meat (5)
HALAL - H(unger), ALL swallows A.