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October 11th, 2019

Times Quick Cryptic No 1459 by Wurm

A good Friday workout from Wurm today, with plenty of cleverness and deception. I enjoyed this a lot, but I suspect some of our less experienced solvers (and maybe even some of our more experienced ones) will struggle to unravel some of the trickier clues . My favourites include 11A, my LOI, 5D and, my clue of the day, 2D. I finished in 5:44, but it felt harder than that. Thank you Wurm for the entertainment. How did everyone else get on?Read all about it...Collapse )

TImes 27,479: Holy Island, Batman!

Greetings from a big house in Northumberland, where I am having to learn how to do crosswords (a) in the morning and (b) the worse for wear by many glasses of wine again. Our group is heading to Lindisfarne soon, where I did consider doing the "solve and blog the crossword before the tide goes out" challenge, but I couldn't be sure of the wi-fi situation out there. I'm sure it will be lovely even without my nose buried in a laptop anyway.

Fortunately for my creaking head this was a relatively straightforward puzzle, though with a few sly little tricks up its sleeve to raise a smile. My FOIs were 8ac quickly followed by 13ac, LOI the somewhat unfamiliar 16ac. This was the kind of crossword whose hardest bits may have been a bit easier for a Literae Humaniores graduate, appropriately enough given that my alma mater appeared in the QC today. Favourite clues probably some of the smile-raising devices in e.g. down clues like 5dn, 6dn and 19dn, but actually let's say 4dn because it turned out to be the most fun to write up the parsing for below.

Anyway I've got to take a shower in preparation for moving out. Hope you're all keeping and solving well!

ACROSS
1 Advance cast picked up after rest (12)
BREAKTHROUGH - homophone of THREW [cast] after BREAK [rest]

8 Drawer retiring greengrocer gleefully stocks (2,5)
EL GRECO - hidden reversed in {greencr}OCER GLE{eefully}. "Drawer" as in "one who draws"

9 There's no change at all in these organs (7)
OVARIES - or, looked at differently, 0 VARIES - there is no change at all

11 Corps in retreat — I note they served with honour (7)
EMERITI - reversed REME [corps] + I TI [I | note]

12 Disturb the thing set in stone (7)
AGITATE - IT [the thing] "set in" AGATE [stone]

13 One in account knocked back port (5)
EILAT - I [one] in reversed TALE [account]

14 Beg urgent reforms for pioneering pressman? (9)
GUTENBERG - (BEG URGENT*) ["reforms"]. The inventor of the printing press

16 Fought about indeed turning hawk-like (5-4)
ARGUS-EYED - ARGUED [fought] about reversed YES [indeed]

19 Hit band pocketing millions (5)
SMASH - SASH [band] "pocketing" M [millions]

21 Cool drink the setter had without flavour (7)
INSIPID - IN SIP I'D [cool | drink | the setter had]

23 Vehicle back ready for battle in part of ship (7)
YARDARM - reversed YARD [vehicle] + ARM [ready for battle]

24 Only women answer about universal entities in philosophy (7)
NOUMENA - "NO MEN" A [only women | answer] "about" U [universal]

25 Pass or cross through tip of Easter Island (7)
EXCRETE - X [cross] "through" E{aster} CRETE [island]

26 Host's place, after dealing with criticism (12)
REMONSTRANCE - MONSTRANCE [host's (as in holy communion) place], after RE [dealing with]

DOWN
1 So what beings periodically give people a hand? (3,4)
BIG DEAL - B{e}I{n}G{s} + DEAL [give people a hand, in Bridge say]

2 Writer, say, English are inclined to defend say (7)
ELEGIST - E LIST [English | are inclined] "to defend" EG [say]

3 Royal wrapping the present on purpose (9)
KNOWINGLY - KINGLY [royal] "wrapping" NOW [the present]

4 Cries of surprise rising in commotion (3-2)
HOO-HA - reversed AH! OOH! [cries of surprise]

5 Something in the air helping speech (7)
ORATION - O RATION [something in the air = oxygen | helping]

6 Sneer, maybe, from British king, a symbol of authority (7)
GRIMACE - GRI [British king, as in George the First] + MACE [symbol of authority]

7 Merge foolishly with Etonian group of egoists (2,10)
ME GENERATION - (MERGE + ETONIAN*) ["foolishly"]

10 Creep hard to put in jail is a big hitter (12)
SLEDGEHAMMER - EDGE H [creep | hard] "to put in" SLAMMER [jail]

15 What child may want: spin around Britain's capital in hurry (5,4)
TEDDY BEAR - EDDY [spin around] + B{ritain} in TEAR [hurry]

17 Greet us waving, perhaps? (7)
GESTURE - (GREET US*) ["waving"], &lit

18 Big cheese and more crackers after drink (7)
SUPREMO - (MORE*) ["crackers"] after SUP [drink]

19 Old Arab people hospitalised? (7)
SARACEN - RACE [people] in SAN [ergo, laterally, "hospitalised"]

20 Sculpture made in great institutions of learning (7)
ACADEME - (MADE*) ["sculpture"] in ACE [great]

22 Play area becoming small for tots (5)
DRAMS - take DRAMA [play] and turn the final A [area] to S [small]