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September 19th, 2019

Times 27460 - hope you approached it 3

Time taken: 16:56. I found this quite difficult and ground to a halt for a while with two left (28 across and 6 down). I was surprised to see so many scores better than mine, so maybe I fell into a few well-laid traps.

I'm writing this fairly late at night here and if I have made a mistake or something needs to be cleared up, I probably will not be able to edit this until early afternoon UK time, so check the comments to see if questions have been answered.

Away we go...

Across
1 I have joined in support, receiving something to chew over (8)
INDUCTEE - IN, TEE(support) containing CUD(something to chew) reversed
5 Doctor joins boat for capital (6)
MOSCOW - MO(doctor) and SCOW(boat)
9 Local people’s unusually big heads (3)
PUB - first letters of People's Unusually Big
10 Politicians resolve to dishearten ordinary people, — and nearly succeeded later (11)
REPUBLICANS - the outside letters of ResolvE, then PUBLIC(ordinary people), AN(AND, nearly), S(succeeded)
12 Failure to win game that’s raised to shut one out (10)
DRAWBRIDGE - DRAW(failure to win), BRIGHT(game)
13 Post spread by word of mouth (4)
JAMB - sounds like JAM(spread)
15 I had been concerned, short of energy, for a way to prove myself (2,4)
ID CARD - I'D *I had) then CARED(contented) missing E(energy)
16 Poor innings: one’s out for 9 (3,4)
INN SIGN - anagram of INNINGS (since 9 is PUB)
18 Pure English penned by member of church — only the first article appears (7)
ANGELIC - E(english) inside ANGLICAN(member of church) with the second AN removed
20 Take holiday somewhere near Indian state (2,4)
GO AWAY - near the Indian state may be the GOA WAY
23 Huntsman’s strip (4)
PEEL - double definition
24 An independent thinker, like Ariel finally? (4,6)
FREE SPIRIT - At the end of The Tempest, Ariel is freed
26 Entire rota is to be changed, you can bet on it (11)
TOTALISATOR - TOTAL(entire) then an anagram of ROTA,IS
27 Dance, nothing to swell blood pressure (3)
BOP - 0(nothing) inside BP(blood pressure)
28 A doctor in residence perhaps pulled back hospital screen (6)
PURDAH - A. DR(doctor), UP(in residence, perhaps) all reversed then H(hospital)
29 Came earlier and hunted food (8)
PREDATED - double definition

Down
1 Some claim pedestrians get in the way (6)
IMPEDE - hidden in claIM PEDEstrians
2 Expert sort of radio operative (3,4)
DAB HAND - a DAB radio HAND(operative)
3 By using brain, convention latches on to cold beer that’s brewed (10)
CEREBRALLY -RALLY(convention)  after C(cold) and an anagram of BEER
4 Coppers stride out with pride in force (6,2,5)
ESPRIT DE CORPS - anagram of COPPERS, STRIDE
6 Regretful woman is oppressed by sacred text (4)
OTIS - IS under OT(old Testament). My last one in - the reference is to "Miss Otis Regrets")
7 Man dealing with one piece of bread (7)
CHAPATI - CHAP(man), AT(dealing with) then I(one)
8 Small piece of fowl split between two? (8)
WISHBONE - cyptic definition
11 Encouraging line enclosed by speculator, one after money (7,6)
BEGGING LETTER - EGGING(encoraging) L(line), inside BETTER(speculator)
14 Not hindered, as forgetful picnickers may be? (10)
UNHAMPERED - double definition
17 Behave outrageously, seeing river bed higher (4,2,2)
CAMP IT UP - CAM(river), PIT(bed), UP(higher)
19 Bigger kitchen utensil announced (7)
GREATER - sounds like GRATER
21 In car boot, half empty, a broken tumbler (7)
ACROBAT - anagram of CAR, BO(o)T, A
22 An irrational boss comes across as foolish (6)
STUPID - PI(irrational number) inside STUD(boss)
25 Request enjoyment? Not certainly (4)
PLEA - PLEASURE missing SURE(certainly)

Times Quick Cryptic No 1443 by Mara

No bear traps here, but for some reason I was two minutes outside my target at 17m.  It was probably my LOI 9a that was primarily at fault, and maybe some of you suffered similarly.  The print on my copy was smudged and I kept reading old bowler rather than bovine, and I got fixated on O{ld} HAT (bowler) knocked over (reversed), and wondered if TAHO was a word I should know, meaning ‘game over’, before the penny dropped.

Thanks Mara for what should have been an easy puzzle.

Across
Barrier and enclosure wet (6)
DAMPEN – DAM (barrier) and PEN (enclosure).
Container of wine a waiter finally found in small restaurant (6)
CARAFE – A (a) and R ({waite}R finally) found inside CAFÉ (small restaurant).  It was probably too many of these (carafes of wine) at my weekend reunion that are to blame for my slower than usual QC solves this week!
8 Flyer, puffed up thing full of boastful talk? (3-3,7)
HOT-AIR BALLOON – A cryptic clue for the flying vehicle, the BALLOON being a puffed up thing, and HOT-AIR being boastful talk.
9  Old bovine knocked over, end of contest (4)
KAYO – My last one in – O{ld} and YAK (a bovine animal) all reversed (knocked over). Kayo or KO is defined in my Chambers as a ‘knock-out’, which would certainly end a boxing contest!
10 Sender of goods abroad, old beer (8)
EXPORTER – EX (old) and PORTER (a type of beer).
11 Queen carried by wings of great bird (6)
GANNET – The Queen refers to ANNE, who is carried (contained in) G{rea}T (wings of, meaning outside letters).
13 Slippery stuff country reported? (6)
GREASE – Sounds like (reported) Greece – the country.
15  Fellow player met me at a gathering (4-4)
TEAM-MATE – Anagram (gathering) of [MET ME AT A].
17  Smack friends the wrong way (4)
SLAP – PALS (friends) reversed (the wrong way).
19  Daft timing, she cooked a very late meal (8,5)
MIDNIGHT FEAST – An anagram (cooked) of [DAFT TIMING, SHE].
21  Ruined, that girl taken in by father (6)
DASHED – SHE (that girl) inside (taken in by) DAD (father).
22  Boat loaded with most of new basket (6)
PUNNET – PUNT is the boat, inside which is inserted (loaded) NE{w} (most of new).  A PUNNET is a small shallow basket for fruit such as strawberries.

Down
Fragrance in a capital city for Italians (5)
AROMA – A (a) and ROMA (what the Italians call what we call Rome).
Military unit also into strategy (7)
PLATOON – TOO (also) into / inside PLAN (strategy).  PLATOON originates from the French Peloton (ball or knot of men) which is most often heard these days when referring to the chasing pack of riders trying to catch the breakaway leaders in the Tour de France.
4 Negative word embraced by politician, ordinarily (3)
NOR – Hidden word in {politician}N, OR{dinarily}.
Bubbly hypochondriac’s audible complaint? (9)
CHAMPAGNE – sounds like (audible) sham pain, which may be just what a hypochondriac complains about
Person reigning over you all, the leader by all conclusions (5)
RULER – Final letters (by all conclusions) of {ove}R {yo}U {al}L, {th}E {leade}R.
7  Fine drops – spray has those (7)
FLOWERS – F{ine} and LOWERS (drops).  The definition refers to a spray of flowers.
10 Separated garden set to be redeveloped (9)
ESTRANGED –  Anagram (to be redeveloped) of [GARDEN SET].
12  Country girl seen after mother gets up (7)
AMERICA – MA (mother) reversed (gets up) and ERICA (girl).
14  Nearest winds coming from one direction (7)
EASTERN – Anagram (winds) of [NEAREST].
16  Day: the short period of time (5)
MONTH – MON{day} and TH{e} (short).
18  Channel in Australia is legendary (5)
AISLE – Hidden answer in {australi}A IS LE{gendary}.  I’m trying to resist a comment about the fifth test here!
20  Best garment (3)
TOP – Double definition.
I ended up not enjoying this one very much, the clues too often feeling like the fairly bland fare that is the staple of weekend Jumbos, but I can't say it didn't beat me: I got woefully bogged down in the NE, not being able to see 8dn, 12ac, 16ac, 6dn or my LOI 5ac for the life of me for ages. Apparently your solving brain just shuts down on you sometimes! The horrid words DENTATE finally hove into view, which made ODESSA gettable (very annoying that we had essentially the same clue within recent memory), and put BRANDISH within reach. I grudgingly accepted that LANCASHIRE was a really fun clue and biffed in TABLOID without parsing, to post a very unsatisfactory time indeed.

What I did like: COD 25ac which was an excellent marriage of surface and cryptic, the brio of the presentation for the fairly simple 5dn, and "in clandestine manner" as an anagrind. Thank you to the setter and here's hoping I get my cryptic mojo back sooner rather than later... could be worse of course, I could be off the boil with a Times Cryptic Crossword Championship only a few short weeks away!

1 Part of journey left, including northern region (7)
LAPLAND - LAP L AND [part of journey | left | including]

5 Paper ticket covering first of our breaks (7)
TABLOID - TAB [ticket], + LID [covering] (which) O{ur} "breaks"

9 Right party for fool? (3)
CON - double def

10 Party given limited quota of famous people? (11)
CELEBRATION - or alternatively CELEB RATION, a "limited quota of famous people"

11 Girl's instant control on aircraft (8)
JOYSTICK - JOY'S TICK [girl's | instant]. FOI.

12 Port sent further back, without tips (6)
ODESSA - {p}ASSED O{n} [sent further], reversed, first and last letters removed. We've had a very similar clue not that long ago, it was hard to "see" then, and it's still hard now.

15 End bitten off pasty, smallest amount (4)
WHIT - WHIT{e} [pasty, as in complexion, with the last letter removed]

16 Way to bank money, people formerly taxing cheese! (10)
LANCASHIRE - LANE [way] to "bank" CASH IR [money | people formerly taxing]

18 Nonsense jokes associated with Punch (10)
CODSWALLOP - CODS [jokes], associated with WALLOP [punch]

19 Storage space got rid of (4)
SHED - double def

22 Old Greek bronze captures Greek goddess, almost entirely (6)
THEBAN - TAN [bronze] "captures" HEB{e} [Greek goddess, missing last letter]

23 Country in recent test (8)
PASTORAL - PAST ORAL [recent | test]

25 Where one's going on date, is it rude to pinch person's behind? (11)
DESTINATION - (ON DATE IS IT*) ["rude"], to "pinch" {perso}N

27 Nice tea chest finally put away (3)
EAT - {nic}E {te}A {ches}T

28 The French all there to scoff good Italian food (7)
LASAGNE - LA SANE [the French | all there] to "scoff" G [good]

29 Old poet, a little salacious, pens erotica (7)
SPENSER - hidden in {salaciou}S PENS ER{otica}

DOWN
1 Muscle tightening in rugby player, long conversation ensuing? (7)
LOCKJAW - LOCK JAW [rugby player | long conversation]

2 Supporter for women plying trade in clandestine manner (5,6)
PANTY GIRDLE - (PLYING TRADE*) ["in clandestine manner"]

3 A bed bagged by officer for US writer (6)
ALCOTT - A + COT [bed] "bagged" by LT [officer]

4 Lovely dresser originally fit for office (10)
DELECTABLE - D{resser} + ELECTABLE [fit for office]

5 VAT on article? Blow me! (4)
TUBA - TUB [vat] on A [article]

6 Awful din in loud display (8)
BRANDISH - (DIN*) ["awful"] in BRASH [loud]

7 Sash for brim, odd bits trimmed off (3)
OBI - {f}O{r} B{r}I{m}

8 Equipped with serrated edge in hollow, dug in (7)
DENTATE - DENT ATE [hollow | dug in]

13 Fragments scattered in mess, at that point buried (11)
SMITHEREENS - (IN MESS*) ["scattered"], (with) THERE [at that point] "buried"

14 Jumping through hoops perhaps, bachelor fills in puzzle, second to last (10)
ACROBATICS - BA [bachelor] "fills in" ACRO{S->}TIC, having moved its S (for second) to the end

17 Promising appreciation of music, being into jazz (8)
SWEARING - EAR [appreciation of music], "into" SWING [jazz]

18 Kremlin directed a jerk in the wrong direction (7)
CITADEL - reversed LED A TIC [directed | a | jerk]

20 Muscle you need to lift register and large papers (7)
DILATOR - reversed ROTA L ID [register | large | papers]

21 This second hundred comes in one (2,4)
AT ONCE - TON [hundred] "comes in" ACE [one]

24 Shave couple by the ears? (4)
PARE - homophone of PAIR [couple]

26 Lives with son’s relative (3)
SIS - IS [lives] with S [son]