September 18th, 2019

Times 27459 - Banzai ! *rty-**rty sun-kist hedonists - that's the stuff! More or less.

I needed cheering up after a disappointing (well, bad) round of golf in the rain. This puzzle cheered me up no end! It took 25 minutes, around my usual leisurely speed, with quite a few smiles. I did have to check 13a at the end, having got him from wordplay, and wasted too long at 25a trying to justify BANZAI or even BONSAI before seeing dog was the definition, not the shouting out bit. 19d put me in mind of Sunday's miraculous and superb Solheim Cup victory by Europe's lady golfers, watching the glamorous Morgan PRESSEL missing a few putts, and gobsmacked, bizarrely clad Americans having to un-gloat when they looked odds on to win. And City lost to Norwich! The Aussies lost the test but keep the Ashes... Bournemouth and Southampton both won... time to open a decent bottle of red, like the 5a I am; not kist off any more.

1 Ukrainian port where poetic works have a certain appeal (6)
ODESSA - ODES have SA = sex appeal. A nice place, I believe, but still on my bucket list.
5 Sensualist’s place accommodating Yankee pub (8)
SYBARITE - SITE = place, accommodates Y and BAR. Sybaris was a port city in ancient Greek times, in what is now Italy; the wealthy inhabitants knew how to party, laze about and spoil themselves rotten.
9 Old countryman, chap with ship in Scottish port (8)
ASSYRIAN - AYR has SS for ship inside, then IAN is our chap.
10 Furious, receiving French wine in cheap paper (6)
RAVING - the cheap RAG has VIN inserted.
11 Think it out — and return to captivity, as it were? (10)
DELIBERATE - well, if you DE-LIBERATE someone, it could mean sending them back to jail, I suppose.
13 First work by English portrait and historical painter? (4)
OPIE - OPus 1 = first work, E for English; John Opie was an English painter known for portraits and historical works.
14 Large chest son included in equipment (4)
KIST - KIT has S included. KIST is an old Scottish word for a coffer or cist / chest.
15 Sounding good in Brussels, report of bogus old American (10)
EUPHONIOUS - EU (in Brussels), PHONI sounds like phoney, bogus; O(ld), US.
18 Daunting, action on green being imminent? (3-7)
OFF-PUTTING - I've just been OFF PUTTING at the golf club, even three-putting, and getting wet to boot.
20 Culturally pretentious leader dismissed by political group (4)
ARTY - PARTY loses its P.
21 Precious box, say, Republican set aside for wife (4)
TWEE - a box TREE has its R replaced by a W.
23 Fickle bloke in fashionable Tory district at last (10)
INCONSTANT - STAN, our bloke, goes inside IN, CON, and T = district at last.
25 Dog unknown man recalled with peremptory cry (6)
BORZOI - Z ROB = unknown, man, reversed = BORZ, OI a peremptory cry as in OI watchit mate. A borzoi is a kind of elegant, hairy, greyhound-type dog of Russian origin.
26 Husband in public transport area welcoming black primate (8)
BUSHBABY - BUS = public transport, BAY = area, as in loading bay; insert H and then B for black. Bush babies, not always hyphenated, are small nocturnal primates with big eyes.
28 Woman, heading off to visit sickly chapelgoer (8)
WESLEYAN -  LESLEY, our woman, loses her L then goes inside WAN meaning sickly.
29 Spirited girl’s hide-out on sloop-rigged vessel (6)
HOYDEN - a HOY is the vessel so rigged, DEN is the hide-out. I only knew what a hoyden is because she has appeared not long ago in a crossword.

2 Doubt detectives contradict sheriff, ultimately (9)
DISBELIEF - DI'S, BELIE, F the end of sheriff.
3 Designer’s catalogue of animal accommodation (7)
STYLIST - a STY LIST being a catalogue of porcine residences.
4 Fine setting for Labrador primarily — and boxer (3)
ALI - A1 = fine, insert L = first letter of Labrador. Boxer as in Muhammad Ali.
5 A woman’s set up supplying laxative (5)
SENNA - Reverse of ANNE'S. For avoidance of doubt over senna's use, I can only quote the NHS UK website entry: "Senna is a natural laxative made from the leaves and fruit of the senna plant. It is used to treat constipation (difficulty pooing)."      Lots of random people today; that's IAN, STAN, ROB, LESLEY and ANNE so far
6 Farm building housing damaged regal or other instrument (6,5)
7 Pasta Victor served in bar finally with garlic mayonnaise (7)
RAVIOLI - R end of baR, AIOLI = garlic mayo has V inserted.
8 Circular paintings yours truly wouldn’t put up! (5)
TONDI - I'D NOT (yours truly wouldn't) reversed. A TONDO is a round painting or sculpture, derived from Italian rotondo.
12 Choose right urban area to secure one form of energy (11)
16 Character recently abandoning collector’s hobby (3)
PHI - Greek letter. PHILATELY loses LATELY = recently.
17 Powerless to protect a cardinal? That’s insupportable! (9)
UNTENABLE - UNABLE has the cardinal number TEN inserted.
19 Nancy’s ready by fire, wanting a savoury biscuit (7)
PRETZEL - PRET = French for ready; ZEAL = fire, loses its A. Nancy isn't a random woman here, it's a city in France.
20 Bill gets embraced by a model? That’s the stuff! (7)
ATTABOY - A TOY has the TAB = bill inserted.
22 Complete dump, by the sound of it (5)
WHOLE - sounds like HOLE = dump.
24 Murderer concealing first of bodies in shack (5)
CABIN - CAIN our murderer has B first of bodies inserted.
27 Note sending up prophet’s book (3)
SOH - HOSEA is an OT prophet and book, often abbr. to HOS.