November 20th, 2019

Times Quick Cryptic 1487 by Pedro

Not easy for me, resorting to the downs to get anywhere, and ending up with my worst time in a while. I thought that all four long answers were difficult to get, despite seeing how they worked, and 19ac was the first of these to fall. I had to look more than twice to figure out 4dn and 16ac (quite tricksy) and 21ac is one of those words I've seen but never bothered to look up (shameful, I know).

COD to 18dn - I now normally solve on the Northern Rail service to work, so this one ticked all the right boxes!

Definitions underlined.

Across
1 Military leader straddling horse, recalled in pottery? (7)
CERAMIC - CIC (Commander-in-Chief, military leader) containing (straddling) MARE (horse) reversed (recalled). I didn't immediately think of the acronym, biffed it, then got side-tracked on a Google search with Combat Information Centre and Counter Intelligence Corps!
5 Lines known by the expert (5)
ROPES - cryptically defined as things known by the expert, and taught to a newbie, as in 'shown the ropes'.
8 Ill-fated pair connected in error (8-5)
ACCIDENT-PRONE - anagram of (in error) PAIR CONNECTED.
9 Common tree seen around University (7)
POPULAR - POPLAR (tree) containing (seen around) U (university). Hmm... slightly different meanings in my book.
10 I had nothing invested in it, being a fool (5)
IDIOT - I'D (I had), then O (nothing) inside (invested in) IT.
11 Each expert will consume dessert? (6)
APIECE - ACE (expert) containing (will consume) PIE (dessert, in some cases).
13 Memorable description of successful fielders? (6)
CATCHY - a cryptic-y hint. Successful fielders catch a lot of balls, and so are catchy. Writing this feels like explaining an already bad joke!
15 Piece of music displayed in order on door (5)
RONDO - hidden in (displayed in) ordeR ON DOor.
16 Mythical creature, gold in the middle? Not quite (7)
CENTAUR - AU (gold) inside (in) all-but-the-last of (not quite) CENTRe (the middle).
19 Good to indicate, after burglary, where something’s cracked (8-5)
BREAKING-POINT - G (good) and POINT (indicate), after BREAK-IN (burglary).
20 Scotsman’s to know an indication (5)
TOKEN - TO KEN (to know) in Scots dialect (Scotsman's).
21 Slander male in a variety of lunacy (7)
CALUMNY - M (male) inside an anagram (variety) of LUNACY. Had to look this up to confirm.

Down
1 Pain from running, perhaps — affected after covering run (5)
CRAMP - CAMP (affected) containing (covering) R (run).
2 Group of journalists attending party where guests arrive (9,4)
RECEPTION DESK - DESK (group of journalists, as in 'the sports desk') on (attending) RECEPTION (party).
3 Way left to produce scaled-down version (5)
MODEL - MODE (way) and L (left).
4 Bird call receiving an answer (6)
CANARY - CRY (call) containing (receiving) AN and A (answer).
5 Papa, enthralled by antique item, getting a copy (7)
REPLICA - P (papa, phonetic alphabet) contained in (enthralled by) RELIC (antique item), then A.
6 Civilian romps wildly, displaying narrow outlook? (13)
PROVINCIALISM - anagram of (wildly) CIVILIAN ROMPS. I thought of 'parochialism' first, but that's not thirteen.
7 We engaged in changing style in a pleasant manner (7)
SWEETLY - WE contained (engaged) in an anagram of (changing) STYLE.
11 A Balkan resident embracing British circus performer (7)
ACROBAT - A CROAT (a balkan resident) containing (embracing) B (British).
12 Start work to study adopting security measure (5,2)
CLOCK ON - CON (to study) containing (adopting) LOCK (security measure).
14 South Carolina, uncommonly nice and picturesque (6)
SCENIC - SC (South Carolina), then an anagram of (uncommonly) NICE.
17 Friend from Newcastle, perhaps, in mountain country (5)
NEPAL - Newcastle being in the North-East, my pal (friend) from there is my 'N.E. PAL'.
18 Easily annoyed a couple of times aboard railway (5)
RATTY - A and TT (couple of times) contained by (aboard) RY (railway).

Times 27513 - botanical, ornithological, and what Daddy wouldn't buy me.

Plenty of plant and animal life in this amusing but gentle puzzle today, with a couple of more obscure trees or flowers guessable if you didn't know them. I was a bit surprised to see the chap at 10a appearing, I hadn't realised he had died in 2012. Or I'd just forgotten.

Just a reminder, as a few commenters last week seemed to miss spotting some anagrams: a word I've marked in italics is the anagrind, or anagram indicator; the anagram fodder or anagrist is shown (IN BRACKETS)*.


Across
1 Barking individual, East End success? (3-3)
BOW-WOW - A WOW from BOW being an East End success.
4 Opera produced by crew on river (8)
FALSTAFF - STAFF (crew) on the River FAL as in Falmouth, Cornwall.
10 Astronaut packing some punch, it's implied? (9)
ARMSTRONG - If my ARM is STRONG I may be packing a punch.
11 Brilliant silver-blue combo? (5)
AGLOW - AG (Ag, silver), LOW (blue, down).
12 Activity of browser in operating system, so mad? (6,8)
WINDOW SHOPPING - WINDOWS (op system) HOPPING (mad). This tastes of chestnut for me.
14 Pack zero pastry cases (5)
TAROT - TART (pastry) has O (zero) in.
16 Tiny brain? Reptile with it going after half of mine! (9)
MICROCHIP - MI(ne), CROC (reptile), HIP (with it).
18 Part of flower trimmed, as going to seed (9)
MIDSTREAM - here flower = river. (TRIMMED AS)*.
20 Relish stripping gold from Pinochet, say? (5)
GUSTO - AUGUSTO Pinochet, Chilean dictator d. 2006, has AU (Au, gold) removed.
21 Aquatic game birds (5,3,6)
DUCKS AND DRAKES - Double definition, the first being a game based on skipping stones across calm water.
25 Mark of a writer in community, inconclusive (5)
COLON - COLONY is inconclusive.
26 Aim to be in Paris, beginning to experience some urban life? (5,4)
PLANE TREE - PLAN (aim) ÊTRE (French verb 'to be') E (beginning to experience). Plane trees are often found in London and other urban streets and along roadsides especially in France. The Trojan Horse was allegedly made from plane tree wood.
27 Drunken employee originally breathalysed, perhaps couldn't stand (8)
DETESTED - D E (original letters of drunken employee) TESTED (breathalysed perhaps).
28 What may be diagnosed by doctor initially poking tongue? (6)
MALADY - D for doctor inside the MALAY tongue.
Down
1 Overheard invite to nudist club? Hang on a minute! (4,4,2)
BEAR WITH ME - Sounds like BARE WITH ME ha ha.
2 Female with place in the Middle East (5)
WOMAN - W (with) OMAN (Middle East country).
3 Published letters seen as settlement some way off (7)
OUTPOST - OUT (published) POST (letters).
5 Old king overwhelmed by past trouble (5)
AGGRO - GR (King George, any of six) has AGO (past) around it.
6 Utensil finally wiped, meat assumed to be cleaner (7)
SHAMPOO - SPOO(N) has HAM inserted.
7 A nail hammered like that in tree (9)
AILANTHUS - (A NAIL)*, THUS (like that). A fast growing tree also known as the Tree of Heaven.
8 Turkey perhaps unpalatable, by the sound of it (4)
FOWL - Homophone for FOUL = unpalatable.
9 Don't fool everyone fed starter of mulligatawny soup (8)
CONSOMME - If you don't fool everyone you can still CON SOME, then insert M first letter of mulligatawny.
13 Padding plus the story, no way necessary for a rewrite? (10)
UPHOLSTERY - Anagram of (PLUS THE ORY)*, the ST of story being removed, no ST = no way.
15 Swimmer studied, missing a certain style (3,6)
RED MULLET - RE(A)D = studied, missing the A; MULLET a certain hairstyle. Delicious when filleted, fried or BBQ.
17 Joker entered, having failed grammar, claiming top mark (8)
COMEDIAN - A bit weird, this one; I think it is COMED IN as 'failed grammar' for CAME IN, with A (top mark) inserted.
19 Cash received cheers college (7)
TAKINGS - TA (cheers), KINGS (College Cambridge, for example).
20 Daisy: elderly relative endlessly swigging beer, embarrassingly (7)
GERBERA - GRA(N) = elderly relative endlessly; insert (BEER)*. Gerbera is a genus of plants in the Asteraceae family, with large colourful flowers. It was named afer a German chap Traugott Gerber (1710-1743) who was a pal of Linnaeus.
22 Fruit horse possibly ignored at first (5)
APPLE - Dapple means having patches of a different colour from a background, often applied to horses and used as a noun for such. So, 'horse possibly'. DAPPLE ignored at first = APPLE.
23 Serving of Dhansak or Madras, Indian dish (5)
KORMA - A hidden dish in DHANSA(K OR MA)DRAS, two more spicy Indian dishes.
24 Assistance required to cover top of charcoal burner (4)
ACID - AID (assistance) has C top of charcol inserted. Some acids can burn, but most don't.