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September 11th, 2019

Times Quick Cryptic 1437 by Oran

Apologies for the terse blog - not much time for pursuits recently with changes at work and an increasingly complex house renovation... This was a fine puzzle - thanks Oran - a little on the harder side, I'd say. After a flying start, I was bogged down a bit by the left hand side, but can't see a reason in hindsight! LOI the plant (naturally), COD to 6dn, although I suspect it might prove a bit marmitey.

Definitions underlined.

Across
1 American navy in Naples moved north (13)
PENNSYLVANIAN - anagram of (moved) NAVY IN NAPLES, then N (north).
8 Huge birthday meal? Deal with the candles! (4-3)
BLOW-OUT - cryptic / double definition.
9 Drinker reflected about something to smoke (5)
TOPER -  reversal of (reflecting) RE (regarding, about) and POT (something to smoke).
10 Plant that’s unusual astounded Reg (6-6)
ADDERS-TONGUE - anagram of (unusual) ASTOUNDED REG.
12 Shaking booty next to head of your younger partner (3,3)
TOY BOY - anagram of (shaking) BOOTY, then the first letter (head) of Your.
14 Become more compassionate, perhaps, or arrogant (6)
UPPITY - cryptic definition - UP PITY (become more compassionate, perhaps).
17 Some cruets apparently brought back for chemist (7)
PASTEUR - reverse hidden (some... brought back) in cRUETS APparently.
19 Around six fifty, complain (5)
CAVIL - CA (circa, around), VI (six, roman numerals), and L (fifty, more roman numerals).
20 River, one west of North Dakota, America (5)
INDUS - I (one) in front of (west of) ND (North Dakota), and US (America).
21 Riotous party in joint with drink (5-2)
KNEES-UP - KNEE (joint) and SUP (drink).
22 Direction was rated poorly (8)
EASTWARD - anagram of (poorly) WAS RATED.
23 Deadly reptiles decapitated insects (4)
ASPS - remove the first letter from (decapitated) wASPS (insects).

Down
1 Plumbism oddly appearing in the locals (4)
PUBS - every other letter from (oddly) PlUmBiSm.
2 Number any do, possibly twelve (7)
NOONDAY - NO (number), then an anagram of (possibly) ANY DO.
3 Nick a result? (5)
SCORE - double definition.
4 News of the French cricket match (6)
LATEST - LA (the, in French) and TEST (cricket match).
5 Case prepared for holiday? Exciting! (6-6)
ACTION-PACKED - ACTION (case) and PACKED (prepared for holiday?)
6 So about to drop litter, the swine! (2,3)
IN PIG - if so (i.e. in pig), one of the porcine ilk is 'about to drop litter'.
7 They’re for gentle decline, rather than going downhill fast (7,6)
NURSERY SLOPES - cryptic definition.
11 I cap rate, revised for a hefty fee (2,1,5)
AT A PRICE - anagram of (revised) I CAP RATE.
13 Supervised and completed cut (7)
OVERSAW - OVER (completed) and SAW (cut).
15 Provides, at home, underclothes (7)
INVESTS - IN (at home) and VESTS (underclothes).
16 Selling agent, maybe, even more hard up? (6)
BROKER - double definition.
18 Teams close to abyss on fateful day in Rome (5)
SIDES - last letter of (close to) abysS, and IDES (fateful day in Rome).
If I had to pick one adjective to describe this puzzle, I'd say, straightforward. There is one word at 18a I didn't know beforehand, but it's deducible from the anagram fodder and the meaning. The rest is fair wordplay, some of it QC level, and I expect to see some fast times and a low SNITCH. If someone can explain 24a better, please do. But I enjoyed it, while it lasted, which wasn't very long. My CoD would be 4d for the smooth surface.


Across
1 House publication with colleague's final tribute (6)
HOMAGE - HO = house, MAG = publication, E = end of colleague.
4 Traveller given licence to go on major road (7)
MIGRANT - GRANT on end of the M1.
9 The old man, looking hot, shaved (5)
PARED - PA is RED hot.
10 Strong suspicion, it's said, must be dealt with (6,3)
IRONED OUT - IRON = strong, ED OUT sounds like DOUBT = suspicion.
11 Procession of a woman and nasty fellow in church (9)
CAVALCADE - A, VAL (random woman), CAD (nasty fellow) inside CE = Church.
12 Test of political division putting British off (5)
TRIAL - TRIBAL loses its B. Three years ago I'd have queried 'of political division' meaning tribal, but now it feels somehow more appropriate.
13 Fox eats a nasty creature (4)
TOAD - TOD is a word for a FOX, insert A. I don't think toads are nasty creatures, we have a family of them living near our back door in a drain cover thing and they're quite cuddly.
14 Escape takes all day — it's nice to get outside (10)
DECAMPMENT - DECENT = nice, insert AM PM i.e. all day.
18 I'm holiest cleric, primarily exercising art of sermonising (10)
HOMILETICS - (IM HOLIEST C)*, the C = cleric primarily. Not a word I've ever used, but I guessed it from the HOMILY route / root.
20 Pick up body part by hospital (4)
HEAR - EAR on Hospital.
23 German woman departs to see swindler (5)
FRAUD - FRAU, D(eparts).
24 Caught in a bad act, ensnared by weird sister showing charm (9)
FASCINATE - A SIN = a bad act, insert C for caught > ASCIN, insert that into FATE; I presume here FATE is one of the three sisters / daughters of Ananke, who weaved things like destinies, but why they are weird I don't know.
25 Storm about proposal at meeting? Order must be kept (9)
COMMOTION - C (about) OM (order) MOTION (proposal at meeting).
26 Dosh foreign character keeps at home (5)
RHINO - Greek letter RHO keeps IN = at home.
27 Daughter is ecstatic making protest (7)
DISSENT - D IS SENT (ecstatic).
28 Farm needing good pasturage (6)
GRANGE - G, RANGE = pasturage.

Down
1 Hard work followed by drink and game (9)
HOPSCOTCH -  H(ard), OP (work), SCOTCH (drink). My FOI.
2 A Gypsy heading north through European region (7)
MORAVIA - A ROM = a gypsy, singular of Roma, heading north = MOR A, VIA = through. It's the Easternmost province of what is now called Czechia.
3 Tribe sits on smart person seen as a pest (6)
GADFLY - GAD was one of the 12 tribes of Israel. Gad himself was the seventh son of Jacob, by Leah's handmaiden Zilpah, apparently, so handmaidens must have been fair game in those days.No worse than Anne Boleyn I suppose. FLY = smart. So I think here the definition is being applied to a person rather than just the annoying insect.
4 Animal imitates the noise of another, having minimal energy (5)
MOOSE - Our MOOSE imitates a cow so MOOS, add E = minimal energy.
5 Mammal to worry about fruit? The opposite (5,3)
GREAT APE - the opposite, in that the fruit GRAPE goes around EAT = worry.
6 Surprisingly, age is no worry (7)
AGONISE - (AGE IS NO)*.
7 Youngster, a learner unqualified (5)
TOTAL - TOT, A, L.
8 Wire that's flimsy insulated by paper wrapping at home (8)
FILAMENT - LAME (flimsy, as in lame excuse) is wrapped by IN = at home, wrapped by FT the newspaper. F(I(LAME)N)T.
15 Blaming statement from book-keeper and swearing? That's not right (8)
ACCUSING - AC = account, statement from book-keeper; CURSING loses its R for Right.
16 Little maids from school possibly see mother coming out (9)
THREESOME - (SEE MOTHER)*. Reference the song in The Mikado: "Three little maids from school are we / pert as a school-girl well can be / filled to the brim with girlish glee ..." to which YUM-YUM says "Everything is a source of fun (chuckle)". Enough said.
17 Happy boys in game with yours truly (8)
GLADSOME - LADS = boys, inside GO a game, add ME.
19 Bad atmospheres spread about by mass media editor denied (7)
MIASMAS - Anagram of (MASS M(ed) IA)* where the ED is "denied". The plural of the Greek word miasma should be miasamata, but I expect dictionaries allow a sloppy, Anglicised, miasmas.
21 Joy's husband, for example, no Romeo (7)
ELATION - RELATION loses its R for Romeo. Is a husband a relation?
22 Reflect on one bishop being hugged by a thousand soldiers (6)
MIRROR - I (one) RR (bishop) inside M (a thousand) OR (ordinary ranks).
23 Met with coffee maybe when turning up (5)
FACED - DECAF coffee reversed.
24 Misleading action is weak, by the sound of it (5)
FEINT - sounds like FAINT.