November 13th, 2019

Times 27507 - not '1 across'd for too long

I found this fairly easy going, starting with 1a and 1d, always a good plan if they spring to mind quickly. A mild ER followed at the definition of 1a, I thought it was closer to 'confuse' or 'fool' than cheat, but dictionaries say it can mean either. I like doing that to opponents at bridge, but I don't cheat. I thought a slow bowler in cricket would be trying to 1a a batsman, but he wouldn't be cheating either. Anyway, it's a jolly good puzzle with some wit and nothing to scare the horses; it took me about 20 minutes. 1a and 4d get my CoD awards, because I like fun words with Z's in (unless they're in Polish, where there aren't many words without).

Across
1 Cheat black American — drink outside rear of hotel (9)
BAMBOOZLE - B (lack) AM (erican) BOOZE (drink) insert L = rear of hotel. A jolly sort of a word, origin apparently unknown but it was recorded in use much more in the 1700s than nowadays.
6 Composer has change of heart seeing German river (5)
WESER - Baron Carl Maria Friedrich Ernst von WEBER, the composer not the barbeque chap, has his B changed to an S, the Weser being a river in NW Germany.
9 Dark end of mall in part of industrial estate (5)
UNLIT - industrial UNIT has L the end of mail inserted.
10 Petty thief left with dangerous criminal, we hear (9)
LARCENIST - L for left, ARCENIST sounds like ARSONIST.
11 Those honourably discharged, one after army corps backed appeal (7)
EMERITI - REME a British army corps, is reversed, IT = appeal, I.
12 Variable bit of punk now neglected (7)
UNKNOWN - Hidden word, in P(UNK NOW N)EGLECTED.
13 Riding fan got on badly, moving back and forth (5,3,6)
TOING AND FROING - (RIDING FAN GOT ON)*.
17 Amphibious troops choose to cut men in charge, producing power (14)
THERMOELECTRIC - A bit convoluted, this wordplay. I think it goes: THE RM (Royal Marines) ELECT inside OR (choose cuts men) IC (in charge).
21 Fashion associated with posh doctor occasioning offence (7)
UMBRAGE - U (posh) MB (doctor) RAGE (fashion, as in all the rage).
23 Something positive about Ben’s element (7)
SULPHUR - PLUS reversed, then HUR as in Ben Hur. The official British spelling is now SULFUR, not just in America, the RSC changed it in 1992. Sulfur is the 10th most abundant element in the universe and the 5th most, by mass, on / in the Earth.
25 Understanding crowd (9)
GATHERING - Double definition.
26 Bitter account to deliver! (5)
ACRID - AC (account) RID (deliver, as in "who will rid me of this...")
27 Suspect youth leader replacing drug in Kansas City? (5)
DODGY - Y replaces E (drug) in DODGE a city in Kansas.
28 Terrible shortage limiting introduction of powerful ammo once (9)
GRAPESHOT - (SHORTAGE P)*
Down
1 Dark-haired beast going around trap (8)
BRUNETTE - BRUTE goes around NET (trap).
2 Skirmish in Maine, on the sheltered side (5)
MELEE - ME (abbr. for MAINE), LEE the sheltered side of e.g. an island.
3 Blooming ordeal reportedly, projecting beam (9)
OUTRIGGER - OUT (blooming, in flower), RIGGER sounds like RIGOUR (ordeal).
4 Unspecified multitude laid up in the heavenly city? (7)
ZILLION - ILL (laid up) inside ZION.
5 Organ very loud? Musicians’ Union installed protection for listener (7)
EARMUFF - EAR (organ) FF (very loud) has MU (Musicians' Union) inserted.
6 Create run, wanting to be outside (5)
WREAK - WEAK (wanting) has R inserted. HAVOC is usually wreaked.
7 Sniper who shot one with floating assets? (9)
SHIPOWNER - (SNIPER WHO)*
8 Appraising man on board … (6)
RATING - Double definition.
14 occupied fellow, initially wearing monk’s apparel (9)
INHABITED - ED (fellow) is IN HABIT (wearing monk's apparel).
15 Outstanding Liverpudlian singer primarily tackling early swing (9)
OSCILLATE - OS (outstanding abbr.) CILLA (Ms Black, as in what's ya name and where d'ya come from?) T E (primarily tackling early).
16 Approve current review newspaper boss accepted (8)
ACCREDIT - AC (current) CRIT (review) insert ED(itor).
18 Opportunity created by old writer in Greek capital (7)
OPENING - O(ld), PEN, IN G(reek).
19 The Spanish commander consuming new Italian dish (7)
LASAGNA - LAS (the Spanish), AGA (commander) insert N.
20 Strong-featured, and wearing a wig? (6)
RUGGED - Double definition, one meaning 'wearing a rug', two ways to pronounce RUGGED.
22 Take-off always including elevated material (5)
APERY - AY (always) has REP (material) reversed inserted.
24 Stern leader of regiment entering mess (5)
HARSH - R enters HASH.