September 25th, 2019

Times Quick Cryptic 1447 by Teazel

A toughie from Teazel, which kept me occupied for almost twice as long as usual. About half went in without much trouble, but scattered all over the grid, and the rest took a bit of staring at. Even then I had to stop the clock before parsing a couple. I'm going to blame some usages that are on the periphery of my knowledge at best, and a couple of cryptic hints that are nearly always trouble for me.

Good to be challenged, I'm sure you'll agree. COD to the stand-out 6dn.

Definitions underlined.

1 Equipment that can always let you down (9)
PARACHUTE - cryptic definition, needing all the checkers before I saw it.
6 Greek character died in wet earth (3)
MUD - MU (Greek character) and D (died).
8 Weakling gets full benefit of operation (7)
MILKSOP - MILKS (gets full benefit) and OP (operation). I was ignorant of this word until today; a 'soft, unadventurous, or effeminate man', according to Chambers.
9 Direct the steering, then leave river (5)
CONGO - CON (direct the steering) and GO (leave). Another DNK, from conduct. Looking it up reminds me that I have heard of the conning tower on a ship, but didn't make this leap at the time.
10 Turning to broadsheet, like an old tiger (5-7)
SABRE-TOOTHED - anagram of (turning) TO BROADSHEET.
12 Detective left in the US in exchange (6)
SLEUTH - L (left) in an anagram (in exchange) of THE US.
13 Warp belt’s fastening (6)
BUCKLE - double definition.
16 Sick, far gone, ended in paradise (6,2,4)
GARDEN OF EDEN - anagram of (sick) FAR GONE ENDED.
19 Start working with group (5)
ONSET - ON (working) and SET (group).
20 Such a speech is a tonic (7)
KEYNOTE - double definition with a cryptic tinge. A keynote, or tonic, is the first note of a scale.
22 A state in America, none in particular (3)
ANY - A and NY (state in America).
23 One creating explosion when roster observed to be the wrong way round (9)
DETONATOR - ROTA (roster) and NOTED (observed) reversed (the wrong way round).

1 Self-importance of parent banking millions (4)
POMP - POP (parent) containing (banking) M (millions).
2 Again let free (7)
RELEASE - RE-LEASE (again let).
3 Company on small Greek island (3)
COS - CO (company) and S (small).
4 Cheeky at university — shame (6)
UPPITY - UP (at university) and PITY (shame).
5 Pen that is put in envelope (9)
ENCLOSURE - double definition. Chambers has 'that which is enclosed, esp. in an envelope'.
6 To chew noisily gets one thrown out of German city (5)
MUNCH - MUNiCH (German city) with the letter I (one) excluded (thrown out).
7 After entrance, fail to make final desperate effort (2-2-3)
DO-OR-DIE - DOOR (entrance) and DIE (fail). Desperate indeed.
11 Withdrew and negotiated again (9)
RETREATED - to treat is to negotiate, thus RE-TREATED is negotiated again.
12 Son nearly cut a lady from Italy (7)
SIGNORA - S (son), all-but-the-last letter from (nearly) IGNORe (cut), then A.
14 Fortification on strike: no entry! (4,3)
KEEP OUT - KEEP (fortification) and OUT (on strike).
15 Severe reprimand for firework (6)
ROCKET - double definition, the first of which yet another DNK for me.
17 Precarious run: one shown on satellite TV (5)
RISKY - R (run), I (one) and SKY (satellite TV).
18 Lecherous look from king when speaking (4)
LEER - sounds like (when speaking) "Lear" (king).
21 That there is Yvonne, oddly (3)
YON - odd letters only from YvOnNe.

Times 27465 - not beyond the pale

A moderate, rather anodyne puzzle today, nothing remarkable to note for me, it took 20 minutes or so. Liked the definition at 15a and the surface of 20a.

1 Misses collecting out-of-date sea awards (4,6)
GOLD MEDALS - GALS = misses, has OLD and MED inserted.
6 Get shot of front third of country garden (4)
EDEN - SWEDEN, a country, loses its front third.
10 It makes chairs more comfy? Not initially (5)
OSIER - COSIER loses its initial C.
11 Coach turns, then departs with each Tory minister (9)
SUBDEACON - BUS is reversed, D(eparts), EA(ch), CON (Tory).
12 Risk catching a bug, working in official capacity (8,6)
IMPERIAL GALLON - IMPERIL (risk) has A inserted, then GALL = bug, ON = working.
14 State lucky to be evacuated altogether (7)
UTTERLY - UTTER = state, L(uck)Y.
15 Firm to eat and drink to get around depression (2,5)
AL DENTE - DENT = depression, goes into ALE the drink.
17 Notice guest forgets what's needed for guide (7)
ADVISOR - AD = notice, VISITOR (guest) loses its IT.
19 More than one covering opposing side at the start (7)
FACINGS - FACING = opposing, S(ide).
20 Canine experts study sudden growth in claws (6,8)
DENTAL SURGEONS - DEN (study), TALONS (claws) has SURGE inserted.
23 Devoted daughter polished, maybe, harnesses roughly (9)
DEDICATED - D(aughter), EDITED (polished) insert CA (circa, roughly). Some would query whether editors polish, or more often, water down and eviscerate.
24 Spotting, not missing, decorating job (5)
ICING - NOTICING (spotting) has NOT missing.
25 Police wagon overturned (4)
YARD - DRAY reversed; New Scotland Yard.
26 Astounded, like WWII pilots during sorties? (6-4)
GOGGLE-EYED - Cryptic double definition.
1 Leave wife suppressing large flush (4)
GLOW - GO (leave) W (wife) insert L (large).
2 Heard fair grounds briefly repeating theme (9)
LEITMOTIV - Sounds like, LEIT - light, fair; MOTIV = motive, grounds, briefly.
3 Carmakers there made a mess of client surveys (6,8)
4 A lot refuse to admit it's on the way up (7)
DESTINY - DENY (refuse) insert ITS reversed. That's your lot.
5 Book marks found in city plant (7)
LOBELIA - OBELI (daggers, in printing) inside LA (city).
7 Design for transfer tied up (5)
DECAL - LACED, tied, reversed.
8 Simple numbers oddly seen to be absorbing Poles (2-8)
NO-NONSENSE - NO, NO (numbers, twice), (SEEN)* has NS (poles) inserted.
9 Perhaps pale chevalier died abroad, catching cold (8,6)
HERALDIC DEVICE - (CHEVALIER DIED C)*. A pale in heraldry is a vertical band e.g. on a shield.
13 Tow American over on D-day? Sadly, he pays for it? (5,5)
SUGAR DADDY - DRAG US (tow American) is reversed, then (DDAY)*.
16 One idiot, about time, breaking city cipher (9)
NONENTITY - The city NY has ONE inserted then NIT with T inserted, inserted. Russian Doll time.
18 Retired teacher loves eating dry food (7)
RISOTTO - SIR = teacher, reversed = RIS, O O (loves) has TT (dry) inside.
19 Tree gathering inspired by say branch supporter (7)
FIREDOG - FIR (tree) then EG (say) has DO (gathering) inserted. A firedog is a metal support for burning logs in a fireplace.
21 She avoids Irish playwright reversing in the pits (5)
NADIR - Nadir means the lowest point of something. The Irish playwright SHERIDAN has SHE removed then is reversed.
22 Ran without staff over the hill (4)
AGED - MANAGED (ran) has MAN (staff) removed.