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September 20th, 2019

Quick Cryptic 1444 by Hurley

A gentle workout today, though I overthought 4 down because of a common 15x15 trigger word. 6 minutes for me.

Across
1 Finally wheel in lots of compost (5)
MULCH - L (last letter of wheel) inside MUCH
4 Improve cutting edge of small instrument in from France (7)
SHARPEN - S (small) + HARP + EN (French for in)
8 Fans in a train embracing singer (7)
SINATRA - hidden word: fanS IN A TRAin
9 John’s English, imprecise (5)
LOOSE - LOO (John) + S + E
10 Go-between, tidy earner, I’m excited (12)
INTERMEDIARY - anagram ('excited') of TIDY EARNER IM
12 You heard about top Greek mathematician (6)
EUCLID - EU (you, 'heard') + C + LID
13 Boy following college agreement (6)
UNISON - UNI (college) + SON (boy)
16 Rishi trained reservist’s dog (5,7)
IRISH TERRIER - anagram ('trained') of RISHI, then TERRIER (reservist). Terrier is an informal name for a member of the British Territorial Army.
18 Trade union recalled offence, capital (5)
TUNIS - TU (trade union) + SIN backwards
20 Island very behind time cut off (7)
ISOLATE - I + SO + LATE
21 Look to mature nobles (7)
PEERAGE - PEER + AGE. Nobles collectively are the peerage.
22 Very small golfers’ support provided by New York (5)
TEENY - TEE + NY

Down
1 Devious smile is weapon (7)
MISSILE - anagram ('devious') of SMILE IS
2 Eccentric minority’s bizarre fencing ritual (7,6)
LUNATIC FRINGE - anagram ('bizarre') of FENCING RITUAL
3 Greeting hill girl with no guarantee of result (3,2,4)
HIT OR MISS - HI + TOR + MISS
4 Flower section found in forest amenity (6)
STAMEN - hidden word: foreST AMENity, In the 15 x 15, 'flower' nearly always means river (something that flows)
5 By the sound of it, everyone’s hand tool (3)
AWL - sounds like ALL
6 Spectator upset with rain delay (13)
PROCRASTINATE - anagram ('upset') of SPECTATOR RAIN
7 Ultimately drawn to the traditional Christmas (4)
NOEL - Last letters of drawN tO thE traditionaL. Arrgh, Christmas clues already! It's not even October!
11 Private hotel on lively Rome street (9)
INNERMOST - INN + (anagram ('lively') of ROME) + ST
14 Run over on regular basis, see army’s place for young (7)
NURSERY - NUR (run backwards) + alternate letters of SeE aRmY.
15 Spat, extremely prevalent conflict (6)
STRIFE - ST (extremes of 'spat') + RIFE
17 Short distance seeing favourites upset (4)
STEP - PETS backwards
19 When speaking, catch sight of the drink (3)
SEA - sounds like 'see'