August 14th, 2019

Times Quick Cryptic 1417 by Oink

This isn't the daftly easy one I was hoping for after several days of tricky puzzles, but it wasn't too difficult either. Only 10ac may be an unfamiliar word to new solvers (it comes up frequently - remember it!). My favourite is 18ac for the craftily hidden definition and excellent surface reading.

Is it just me, or has the device at 13dn shown up much more frequently lately? I recall seeing it a couple of weeks ago and thinking how clever it was, so this might just be an example of the Baader-Meinhof phenomonen.

And has our setter forgotten something this week? I can't see it; answers on a postcard, please...

Definitions underlined.

1 One in no hurry to whizz round north (5)
SNAIL - SAIL (whizz) containing (around) N (north).
4 Poor man’s university featuring in the Sun? (6)
PAUPER - U (university) inside (featuring in) PAPER (e.g. The Sun).
9 Badger I treated for cut (7)
ABRIDGE - anagram of (treated) BADGER I.
10 Zoo unceremoniously caging leopard (5)
OUNCE - hidden in (...caging) zoO UNCEremoniously.
11 Initially politician easily wins seat (3)
PEW - first letters of (initially) Politician Easily Wins.
12 Leak from European delegation (8)
EMISSION - E (european) and MISSION (delegation).
15 Keep quiet about sex? No problem (4,7,2)
DONT MENTION IT - DON'T MENTION (keep quiet about) and IT (sex).
17 Tiny creatures of the deep, a hundred on board (8)
PLANKTON - TON (a hundred) on PLANK (board).
18 My dog’s had a heart transplant! (3)
COR - CuR (dog) with the middle letter changed (had a heart transplant).
20 Scottish landowner, one wreathed in fat (5)
LAIRD - I (one) inside (wreathed in) LARD (fat).
22 Ancient advertisement for the police (3,4)
OLD BILL - OLD (ancient) and BILL (advertisement).
23 It’s a hot spring, man said (6)
GEYSER - sounds like (said) "geezer" (man).
24 Beg Penny to go first (5)
PLEAD - P (penny) and LEAD (to go first).

1 Impressed by English dash (8)
STAMPEDE - STAMPED (impressed) and E (english).
2 Weapon found in famous school in East End (5)
ARROW - hARROW (famous school), dropping the initial 'h' (how it might sound in the east end of London).
3 Romeo appearing in tatty denim, alas (6,3)
LADIES MAN - anagram of (tatty) DENIM ALAS.
5 Head of ambassadorial party making trouble (3)
ADO - first letter (head) of Ambassadorial then DO (party).
6 Bridge? It’s a card game (7)
PONTOON - double definition.
7 Ruminants heading north for grass (4)
REED - DEER (ruminants) reversed (heading north).
8 Notice manner in which chess game may end? (11)
RESIGNATION - double definition.
13 Barely enter the water? (6-3)
SKINNY-DIP - crytic definition, i.e. enter the water 'barely' (with no clothes on).
14 Set off round lake, a little frightened (8)
STARTLED - STARTED (set off) containing (around) L (lake).
16 Put an end to fun frolicking with Lily (7)
NULLIFY - anagram of (frolicking) FUN with LILY.
18 Country that’s cold, by all accounts (5)
CHILE - sounds like (by all accounts) "chilly" (cold).
19 Report left in toilet (4)
BLOG - L (left) inside BOG (toilet).
21 Cut out adviser every now and then (3)
DIE - every other letter from (every now and then) aDvIsEr.

Times 27429 - the Marmite crossword?

I loved this one. It's quirky. Some of you probably hated it. It's that kind of puzzle, I think. No dodgy words, a few smart definitions (6a, 13d, 17d for example), and only a couple of quibbles (didn't much like the def. in 11a, for one). You need to be old enough to know what's going on at 15d. It took me 20 minutes, average for me, with 6a my LOI once I stopped thinking about Her Majesty's unscheduled bedroom visitor.

Compliments to the setter. I love Marmite too.

1 Drew up school notice about bible studies (8)
PREPARED - PREP school, AD around RE.
6 Queen’s stalker's quip retracted? About time! (6)
TOMCAT - MOT = quip, as in "bon mot", reversed, CA = about T time.
9 Shower that's painful in delicate extremities (6)
DOUCHE - OUCH that's painful, inside D and E the extremes of delicate. Another bit of French.
10 Canal maybe, wide, Wear and Tay somehow combined (8)
11 Woman briefly recalled what may be top of volcano (4)
ISLE - ELSI(E) is reversed; I think the setter here is saying an island could be of volcanic origin, its above-sea part being the top of a volcano, as in Hawaii or the Canaries. Seems a weird way to pick a definition for this simple answer.
12 Instruction to butcher to be dismissed (3,3,4)
GET THE CHOP - Double definition, one whimsical.
14 Warning sign on entrance: “No English here” (3,5)
RED LIGHT - RE = on, DELIGHT = entrance, delete the E for English.
16 A very old wife's state (4)
AVOW - A V(ery) O(ld) W(ife).
18 Architect’s engineers blocking adversaries at bridge (4)
WREN - Re the Englineers, go into W and N, parts of opposite teams in bridge, i.e. N / S and E / W.
19 Add zip to green pants in special exhibit initially (8)
ENERGISE - (GREEN)* followed by I S E the initial letters of in special exhibit.
21 Their lunch is wild and abandoned? (2,3,5)
22 Peter has a following in the home counties (4)
SAFE - A F(ollowing) inside SE the South-East of England. The origin of PETER meaning safe apparently dates back to the 1600s and is vaguely connected to St Peter having the keys to the gates of Heaven, allegedly.
24 State capital almost calm during brief salute (8)
HONOLULU - I think this is LUL(L) inside HONOU(R). I thought right away of a state capital ending in U then worked out the parsing, I hope.
26 Handy American juice promoting energy (6)
USEFUL - US = American, FUEL has its E moved forward.
27 Bug transmitters in trustee's banks (6)
TSETSE - SETS could be transmitters, I guess, although I'd think of them more as receivers. Insert SETS into T E the 'banks' of trustee.
28 Colouring or baking agent lacking in a filling pudding (8)
DYESTUFF - DUFF would be a filling pudding; into that you can put YE(A)ST.
2 Really old oak trees survive principally — on these (5)
ROOTS - Initial letters of really old oak trees survive.
3 Ready meal needed batter, as Spooner might have said? (6,5)
PACKED LUNCH - Spooner might have said "lacked punch".
4 Again bring in fruit, no good at first (2-6)
RE-ENGAGE - the fruit GREENGAGE has its G dropped.
5 Where local sports fans head? Absolutely (4,2,3,6)
DOWN TO THE GROUND - Double definition, one as in "it suits you down to the ground".
6 Put out your old clothes and the rest (6)
TETCHY - Your old = THY, which 'clothes' ETC = and the rest.
7 Pollute nearly all the planet (3)
MAR - nearly all of MARS.
8 A paper turns up containing a device that's similar (9)
ANALOGOUS - A, then the paper here is the SUN, it's reversed and contains A LOGO.
13 Nick record fee on these deviously (6,5)
15 Bound over to accept old copy that's inaccurate (9)
ERRONEOUS - SURE = bound, as in 'bound to be...'. Reverse it = ER US, insert RONEO an old format of copying machine (pre Xerox) or verb from using it.
17 Shed many layers there (8)
HENHOUSE - Hens lay, in a henhouse.
20 Pull a couple of lines on river (6)
ALLURE - A, L, L, URE the river.
23 Mess up surface of front edge of sail (5)
FLUFF - the leading edge of a sail is the LUFF, and F is the surface of front.
25 Expose yogurts, ignoring the odd bits (3)
OUT - y O g U r T s.