November 18th, 2019

New RCA
  • vinyl1

Times 27511 - A loud and heated discussion!

Time: 23 minutes
Music: Aretha Franklin, Aretha Gold

We are back to easy Monday, albeit with a couple of amusing potential headlines.   The best one was the 'Digress Debate' at the 'Noisy Parthenon', but I also liked 'Ignominy Bureau Taming Maverick!'     I suppose a 'Smart Encounter' at the 'Adonis Embassy' might also have some political potential, but the royals will have to deny any involvement.

I spent the day as a vendor at a record fair, with rather mediocre results, and tonight's musical selection was my sole purchase.  Those were the days, fifty years ago, when exciting new music came out nearly every week - they really had talent to burn.   Well, on to the blog.....

Across
1 Go off at a tangent regarding son in lodgings (7)
DIGRESS - DIG(RE S.)S
5 Key points involving cricketer in discussion (6)
DEBATE - D E(BAT)E, our old friend D major (or minor) and East and East.
8 Poverty unfortunately sees dinner reduced (9)
NEEDINESS - Anagram of SEES DINNER.
9 Head abandons lecture about a Cuban leader, sad to say (5)
ALACK - [t]AL(A C[uban])K, one most solvers will biff.
11 Loud like Parker, initially ignored in the centre (5)
NOISY - NO(I[gnored]SY, from Nosy Parker, who has never been successfully tracked down by language sleuths.
12 Equality acceptable about that time in Greek temple (9)
PARTHENON - PAR (THEN) ON.
13 No one in gym is jumping? Shame (8)
IGNOMINY - Anagram of NO 1 IN GYM.
15 Office sweetheart seen around outskirts of Uttoxeter (6)
BUREAU -B(U[ttoxete[R)EAU, another one most solvers will biff.
17 What Kate went through, thanks to Mike in Gateshead? (6)
TAMING - TA + M IN G.   I had always been hold that words like 'Gateshead' could not be used to clue G in the Times puzzle, but apparently they can.
19 Nonconformist fellow touring state (8)
MAVERICK - M(AVER)ICK, our random fellow.
22 Assault prompting inapt reaction in old northern street (9)
ONSLAUGHT -  O N S(LAUGH)T....well, not if we laugh at your feeble assault.
23 Pleasant-tasting juice this writer had (5)
SAPID - SAP I'D.
24 Ingenious sting! (5)
SMART - Double definition.
25 Confrontation Descartes maybe recalled, involving European noble (9)
ENCOUNTER - EN(COUNT)ER, where the enclosing letters are RENE backwards.
26 Comely youth, one entering quarters after a party (6)
ADONIS - A DO N(I)S.
27 English male singer with yen for diplomatic office (7)
EMBASSY - E + M + BASS + Y
Down
1 Acted in unison adapting obloquies (13)
DENUNCIATIONS - anagram of ACTED IN UNISON.   I unfortunately confused 'obloquies' with 'obsequies' while solving, so I needed all the crossing letters.
2 Style of architecture old lady found around Clerkenwell area? (7)
GRECIAN - GR(EC 1)AN.
3 Fruit raised by unknown woman (5)
EMILY - LIME upside-down + Y, today's random woman.  Emily, meet Mick!
4 Wide-ranging task for the cleaners (8)
SWEEPING - Double definition.
5 Aspiration of Parisian father (6)
DESIRE - DE + SIRE.
6 Where outrigger principally is kept in city on river? (9)
BOATHOUSE - B(O[utrigger]ATH + OUSE, a fine &lit.
7 Student artist at home, protected by support on course (7)
TRAINEE - T(RA IN)EE, a compendium of cryptic cliches.
10 Race established by understanding friar with Yankee hat (8,5)
KENTUCKY DERBY - KEN +| TUCK + Y + DERBY.   We've got a Friar Tuck around here somewhere....
14 Island fellow with headgear of yellowish-brown colour (9)
MANHATTAN - MAN + HAT + TAN.
16 Imitative work made of shining glass — German I gathered (8)
PASTICHE - PAST(ICH)E, my LOI, as I was sure it must end in -icle.
18 Hot stuff assembled for the audience? (7)
MUSTARD - Sounds like MUSTERED.
20 Drive shown by one politician in France and America (7)
IMPETUS - I MP + ET + US, don't let the word order fool you, it's in France, 'and'.
21 Going out for example on ship (6)
EGRESS - EG + RE + SS.
23 Firework son left briefly on top of bonfire (5)
SQUIB - S + QUI[t] + B[onfire], my FOI, surprisingly.
Astarte1

QC 1485 by Joker

Another easy Monday puzzle. I think the FOI was 1A, and LOI was 5D, but once again, as with the last one I blogged, not because that was the most diffcult clue but just because it happened to be the last one that I came upon in a fairly random hop around the grid. COD was difficult to determine as usual with no particular clue standing out for difficulty so I'll go for the one I found most entertaining, which was 13A. Many thanks to Joker for another entertaining puzzle.

I am blogging this just after getting back from a highly enjoyable weekend at Stratford-on Avon, so I really don't have time to write very much, and my head is still buzzing with the brilliance of the production of King John that I saw on Saturday night. This is one of Shakespeare's least-performed plays and I had never seen it before (although I had read it and enjoyed it and found it difficult to understand why it was not more popular). I am one of those typical bookworms who has always more enjoyed reading Shakespeare than watching it, but last night's performance was outstanding and quite simply one of the best things I have ever seen on the stage. I can highly recommend it if you haven't seen it.

Definitions are underlined and everything else is explained just as I see it in the simplest language I can manage.

Across
1 Inflammation I insist is circulating outside United States (9)
SINUSITIS - anagram of I INSIST ('circulating') 'outside' US (United States).
6 Cost of penny cereal (5)
PRICE - P (penny) + RICE (cereal).
8 Fare collector caught on tube with old queen (9)
CONDUCTOR - C (caught) + ON + DUCT (tube) + O (old) + R (Regina, queen).
9 Indian lute is brought back by sailor (5)
SITAR - SI (IS 'brought back') + TAR (sailor).
10 Discharge from English mother country (9)
EMANATION - E (English) + MA (mother) + NATION (country).
12 Supporting a Mountie, perhaps, with free study (6)
RIDDEN - RID (free) + DEN (study).
13 Another drink could be reason for cancelling football match? (6)
REFILL - if the REF was ILL, might you cancel the football match?
16 Chap tried getting drunk really inexpensively (4-5)
DIRT-CHEAP - straight anagram ('getting drunk') of CHAP TRIED.
18 Some treasure trove appearing from the past (5)
RETRO - hidden word ('some'): treasuRE TROve
19 A box with insipid artificial sweetener (9)
ASPARTAME - A + SPAR (box) + TAME (insipid).
21 Scrap put right in outhouse (5)
SHRED - R (right) 'in' SHED (outhouse).
22 European MP is sent out for vacancy (9)
EMPTINESS - E (European) + MP + anagram ('out') of IS SENT.
Down
1 Hide away in south-eastern Greek island (7)
SECRETE - SE (south-eastern) + CRETE (Greek island).
2 Good for dieters, regularly needed in undoing feasts? (6)
NONFAT - take regular letters from uNdOiNg FeAsTs.
3 Diving apparatus son got on Caribbean island (5)
SCUBA - S (son) + CUBA (Caribbean island).
4 Mostly carry young child (3)
TOT - 'mostly' TOTe (carry).
5 Grip left in odd storage space on ship (12)
STRANGLEHOLD - L (left) 'in' STRANGE (odd) + HOLD (space on ship).
6 Working outraged past student (12)
POSTGRADUATE - straight anagram ('working') of OUTRAGED PAST.
7 Trespasser at home initially turned more disrespectful (8)
INTRUDER - IN (at home) + T ('initially' Turned) + RUDER (more disrespectful).
11 I’m one having volunteers to run copier (8)
IMITATOR - IM (I'm) + I (one) + TA (territorial army - 'volunteers') + TO + R (run).
14 European millions getting iron ruler (7)
EMPRESS - E (European) + M (millions) + PRESS (iron).
15 Staid, sitting down when the last one rises (6)
SEDATE - SEATED (sitting down) with D ('the last one') 'rising' to third place in this down clue.
17 Expression of surprise over soldier’s dog (5)
CORGI - COR (expression of surprise) 'over' (in this down clue) GI (soldier).
20 Narrowly defeat Philip (3)
PIP - double definition: to narrowly defeat ('pip at the post') and a contraction of the male name Philip (as in, for example, Philip Pirrip, the protagonist of Dickens's Great Expectations).