October 31st, 2019

Times Quick Cryptic No 1473 by Izetti

An example of 'the Don' (Izetti) being up to his usual high standard, and taking me above 20m (just!) due mostly to some thorny parsing (which is invariably included in my quoted times).  Maybe I should be revising my target range from 10-15 minutes to 15-20 minutes?

This QC requires a smattering of mild GK (general knowledge), which I was fortunate enough to possess, despite my lack of a classical education.  There was nothing unknown (for me) or unfair here, just some good clueing that demanded thought, and some neat surfaces.

FOI – PALACE, COD 13a (I’d love to know if the double duty is deliberate – see below) and WOD – DEICIDE.  Thanks Izetti.  Over to you, my dear readers.

Across
1  China has fantastic residence for ruler maybe (6)
PALACE – PAL (china, as in china plate = mate = pal from Cockney Rhyming Slang) and ACE (fantastic).
4  What to expect from member of family becoming minister (6)
PARSON – PAR (what to expect, e.g. from golf – the expected score for a hole) and SON (member of family).
8 Excuse criminal no more (7)
CONDONE – CON (criminal) and DONE (no more).
10  Like many a roof, bound to be penetrated by hail ultimately (5)
TILED – TIED (bound) containing (penetrated by) {hai}L (ultimately, last letter).
11  Tulip surprisingly bright in display? (3,2)
LIT UP – Anagram (surprisingly) of [TULIP].
12 Historian understood by you and me (7)
TACITUS – TACIT (understood or implied) and US (you and me).  Publius Cornelius TACITUS is considered to be one of the greatest of Roman historians.
13  Vehicle black and dirty, not an attractive gem? (9)
CARBUNCLE – CAR (vehicle) and B{lack} followed by UNCLE{an} (dirty) and drop the last two letters – not an.  The clue can be seen as a straight definition where a CARBUNCLE is a fiery-red precious stone.  However, the clue is cleverly (possibly accidentally) constructed to allow the words ‘not an’ to appear to be doing double duty, first as the instruction to drop the AN from UNCLEAN, and second as a part of the definition if we think about an alternative use for CARBUNCLE as an architectural monstrosity or eyesore.  I have highlighted the double duty words to illustrate this interpretation.  The word was used in this sense by Prince Charles in his ‘monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend’ speech relating to a plan for a modern extension to the National Gallery. That plan, by Peter Ahrends was subsequently scrapped and an alternative was built in 1991.
17  Sign in entrance letting number in (7)
PORTENT – PORT (entrance) containing TEN (letting number in).
19  We hear no sound from a horse (5)
NEIGH – Sounds like (we hear) NAY (no).
20  Revolutionary number left heading west (5)
LENIN – NINE (number) and L{eft} reversed (heading west).
21  Resolve to imprison one for a type of murder (7)
DEICIDE – DECIDE (resolve) containing (imprisoning) I (one).  DEICIDE is the killing of a God.
22  Second piece of open country gets protection (6)
SHEATH – S{econd} and HEATH (open country).
23  It may see some balls in nets returned? (6)
TENNISAnagram (returned) of [IN NETS] inside a cryptic clue.  On edit, thanks to Vinyl (see below), A simple reverse hidden (some, returned) in {ball}S IN NET{s}

Down
1  Choice the French relish (6)
PICKLE – PICK (choice) and LE (the in French).
2  I felt uncaring somehow in group of political extremists (7,6)
LUNATIC FRINGE – Anagram (somehow) of [I FELT UNCARING]
3  Hard to penetrate metal – here’s an axe (7)
CHOPPER – H{ard} inside (penetrating) COPPER (metal).
5  One about to shelter under a dry space in building (5)
ATTIC – I (one) and C (about / circa) beneath (sheltering under) A (a) and TT (dry – tee-total).
6  To discipline’s unusual: there is evidence of disagreement (5,8)
SPLIT DECISION – Anagram (unusual) of [TO DISCIPLINE’S]
One may barely enjoy being in a holiday camp (6)
NUDIST – Cryptic definition playing on the use of ‘barely’.
Handed over part of hospital that’s rotten (9)
ENTRUSTED – ENT (part of hospital – Ear, Nose and Throat department) and RUSTED (rotten).
14  I’d dance around as a character in satire (7)
CANDIDE – Anagram (around) of [I’D DANCE].  CANDIDE is the eponymous lead character in Voltaire’s satirical novella.
15  Splinters of wood in sheds (6)
SPILLS – Double definition, the first referring to the thin strips of wood used for lighting a fire (noun), the second to spill or shed something (verb).
16 Acclamation in church always before start of sermon (6)
CHEERS – CH{urch} followed by E’ER (poetic contraction of EVER / always) before (start of) S{ermon}.
18  Some patterns taken for painter (5)
ERNST – Hidden in {patt}ERNS T{aken}, referring to the German painter and dadaist Max ERNST.
  • glheard

Times 27496 - double maths!

Time taken: 13:22. That is a little over my average, and there was some head scratching and letter trawling for the last two in but I think I understand everything.

There's a few bits of general knowledge that were thankfully in my range.

We are in one of those strange weeks where the USA has not ended daylight savings so the puzzle doesn't appear until an hour later than I expect. All will be back to whatever passes for normal next week.

Away we go...


Across
1 Something since cured with last of medicine in tablet (8)
PASTILLE - something since cured would be PAST ILL, then the last letter of medicinE
5 Unsparing curbing of habit by party from the right (6)
BRUTAL - RUT(habit) inside LAB(party) reversed
10 Getting one's teeth into calculations? (6-9)
NUMBER-CRUNCHING - cryptic definition
11 Evil trait initially absent in enduring celebrity (10)
IMMORALITY - remove the first letter of Trait from IMMORTALITY(enduring celebrity)
13 One of four Hindu texts in five days (4)
VEDA - hidden in fiVE DAys
15 Attention required in class — might one be leaning on desk? (7)
FOREARM - EAR(attention) inside FORM(class)
17 Last bit of green wiped away, colour toenails maroon (7)
ISOLATE - remove the last letter of greeN from TOENAILS and form an anagram
18 Brother welcome among females (7)
HEAVENS - AVE(welcome) inside HENS(females)
19 On your bike, take the wrong route? (3,4)
GET LOST - double definition
21 National relationship mentioned (4)
THAI - sounds like TIE(relationship)
22 Write page in prayer where one has a little freedom? (4,6)
OPEN PRISON - PEN(write), P(page) in ORISON(prayer)
25 Appear in total control — with deck hand? (4,3,3,5)
HOLD ALL THE CARDS - if your hand is the deck you would HOLD ALL THE CARDS
27 Infusion all there is after this, oddly (6)
TISANE - SANE(all there) after alternating letters in ThIs
28 American steps in Spooner's love dance? (5,3)
BUNNY HOP - Spoonerism of HONEY BOP(love dance)

Down
1 High priest in power working to get over disagreement (7)
PONTIFF - P(power), ON(working) then TIFF(disagreement)
2 Problem needing solution originally, let me think (3)
SUM - first letter in Solution then UM(let me think)
3 Way of shifting reserve vessel (10)
ICEBREAKER - double definition for the group activity and the boat
4 Establishment purveying beer: diet? (5)
LOCAL - LO-CAL(diet)
6 Career people (4)
RACE - double definition
7 Second artist covers dinosaur (11)
TRICERATOPS - TRICE(second), RA(artist), TOPS(covers)
8 Crack found in sled in several cases? (7)
LUGGAGE - GAG(joke, crack) inside LUGE(sled)
9 Shooting game in Ireland that's time-consuming? (8)
HURTLING - HURLING(game in Ireland) containing T(time)
12 I strike up, moving La Scala? (5,6)
MARIA CALLAS - an all-in-one clue. Wordplay is I, RAM(strike) all reversed then an anagram of LA,SCALA
14 Native of Central America, don't question my ability to act with you! (5,5)
COSTA RICAN - CO-STAR? I CAN!
16 Coat under slip taken down in error (8)
MISSPELT - PELT(coat) under MISS(slip)
18 Potter’s much fancied attempt, perhaps, to become wizard (7)
HOTSHOT - a pool player might like a HOT SHOT
20 Nose put out gets into better shape (5,2)
TONES UP - anagram of NOSE PUT
23 Pandit upending gas-filled vessel (5)
NEHRU - reversal of HE(helium gas) inside URN(vessel). The first Prime Minister of India was Pandit Jawaharlal NEHRU
24 Clumsily touch knight — instead of this? (4)
PAWN - PAW(clumsily touch), N(knight in chess)
26 Some cheer, a hooray? (3)
RAH - another all-in-one, hidden in cheeR A Hooray