January 13th, 2020

Astarte1

QCC 1525 by Trelawney

I am pretty sure I have never met Trelawney before on this blog, so good morning to you and thank you very much for this offering which I think would have become my PB if I had done it sitting down properly and concentrating, which I very seldom do as I am always doing something else at the same time, as was the case today.

Practically all the clues were write-ins although as often happens with me with QCs my mind snagged on the easiest clue that leapt to my eye which was 6A for my FOI. LOI was 12D. COD for me was probably 23A. As usual there is no clue that really stands out for difficulty so I normally go for the reassuring feel of a smooth surface.

Definitions are underlined, and everything else is explained just as I see it as simply as I can.

Across
1 Leader of Tories in posh headgear? Well I never! (5,4)
FANCY THAT - T ('leader' of Tories) in FANCY HAT (posh headgear).
6 Gangster loses one item of clothing (3)
CAP - CAPone (gangster) 'losing' ONE.
8 Wrong note, right singer (5)
TENOR - TENO (anagram ('wrong') of NOTE) + R (right).
9 Algeria destroyed symbols of royalty (7)
REGALIA - straight anagram ('destroyed') of ALGERIA.
10 Girl with record, we hear, that’s something comparable (8)
ANALOGUE - sounds like ('we hear') ANNA (girl) + LOG (record).
11 Vulgar puritan is beheaded (4)
RUDE - pRUDE (puritan) 'beheaded'.
13 Meander to restored cathedral (5,4)
NOTRE DAME - straight anagram ('restored') of MEANDER TO. Sadly, of course, not yet restored in reality.
16 Bring back enthusiastic opera singer (4)
DIVA - AVID (enthusiastic) reversed ('brought back').
17 Leaders of drinking society drink vintage liquor for melancholy (8)
DOLDRUMS - D + S (leaders of Drinking Society) 'drinking' OLD RUM (vintage liquor).
20 Service person putting iodine in join (7)
SOLDIER - I (chemical symbol for the element iodine) 'in' SOLDER (join).
21 Starts to acquire cheap tops off rugby player (5)
ACTOR - initial letters ('starts to') Acquire Cheap Toys Off Rugby. A nice misdirection as the answer has nothing to do with playing Rugby.
22 Sneaky on a regular basis? No! (3)
NAY - take out 'regular' letters from sNeAkY.
23 Big guns badly stuck in main road (9)
ARTILLERY - ILL (badly) 'stuck in' ARTERY (main road).
Down
1 Result of putting lots of dough in the kitty? (3,3)
FAT CAT - cryptic definition. If you put a lot of dough (money) into a kitty (kitten) you may well end up with a FAT CAT.
2 Assassin infiltrating town in Japan (5)
NINJA - hidden word: towN IN JApan.
3 Department in minor seaside town (8)
YARMOUTH - ARM (department) 'in' YOUTH (minor).
4 Detective flying our helicopter (7,6)
HERCULE POIROT - straight anagram ('flying') of OUR HELICOPTER. Funnily enough I heard David Suchet giving an address from the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula on Radio 4 yesterday morning.
5 Got up, put on a white robe (4)
TOGA - TOG (GOT reversed (i.e. 'up' in this down clue)) 'put on' A.
6 Promote growth of civilisation (7)
CULTURE - double definition.
7 Scheme with alien world (6)
PLANET - PLAN (scheme) + ET (alien).
12 Foul game (8)
HANDBALL - double definition. A HAND BALL is a foul in Association Football, but not, of course, in Rugby Football or, indeed, in the game of HANDBALL.
13 Vet only reused something new (7)
NOVELTY - straight anagram ('reused') of VET ONLY.
14 Inventor is done with invention (6)
EDISON - another straight anagram ('with invention') of IS DONE.
15 Aid for smoking, herring primarily having gone missing (6)
ASTRAY - AShTRAY (aid for smoking) with H (Herring primarily) 'having gone'.
18 A French match is separate (5)
UNTIE - UN (French indefinite article) + TIE (match).
19 Fix a Baltic city (4)
RIGA - RIG (fix) + A gives the capital of Latvia on the Baltic coast.
New RCA
  • vinyl1

Times 27559 - How about starting with a trilobite?

Time: 21 minutes
Music: Mozart, Piano Sonatas, Eschenbach.

The easy Monday puzzle is back, and if I had correctly identified the literals of a few of the clues in the NW I would have had a very good time.  Unfortunately, I struggled a little at the end, after racing through most of the puzzle in about ten minutes.   'Cambrian', 'busking', and 'anagrams' were the ones that gave trouble, but they fell quickly once I got the first one.

I had a little trouble working on a new computer, so I ended up typing in the across section twice.   It's all good now....I hope!

Across
1 Eccentric chap, a Welshman (8)
CAMBRIAN - CAM + BRIAN.   Is Ian a Welshman?   No!
6 Stout Russian teacher originally in old college (6)
PORTLY - PO(R[ussian] T[eacher])LY
9 So hard entering union circles, ultimately! (4)
THUS - T(H)U + [circle]S.
10 Disparager’s bad name sons endure (10)
MUDSLINGER - MUD + S + LINGER.
11 Burrowing rodent in short programme, broadcast internally around India (7,3)
PRAIRIE DOG - PR(AIR(I)ED)OG, which most solvers will biff.
13 Stagger back, giving lecherous look (4)
LEER - REEL backwards, a chestnut.
14 Strike a pose and rise to speak, for example? (8)
ANAGRAMS - of which STRIKE A POSE and RISE TO SPEAK is indeed an example - a very cleverly hidden one.
16 Lively grammarian’s voice? (6)
ACTIVE - Double definition, a very simple one.
18 Like layer of skin partially under microscope (6)
DERMIC - Hidden in [un]DER MIC[roscope].
20 With misgivings, like one in a French cathedral city (8)
UNEASILY - UN E(AS I)LY. another one most solvers will biff.
22 Soldier captures leaders of old brigade in desert (4)
GOBI - G(O[ld] B[rigade])I.
24 Vehicle reversed by man wearing gem, not of the highest standard (10)
SUBOPTIMAL - BUS backwards + OP(TIM)AL.
26 Just cause, providing venue for outdoor entertainment (10)
FAIRGROUND - FAIR + GROUND.
28 A small number backing WWII alliance (4)
AXIS - A + SIX backwards.
29 Destructive lout beginning to lurk behind London museum (6)
VANDAL - V AND A + L[urk].
30 Representing Nepal, the largest living land animal (8)
ELEPHANT - anagram of NEPAL, THE.
Down
2 Notice from this source inspiring Queen’s devotion (9)
ADHERENCE - AD + H(ER)ENCE.
3 Transport chief performing in the street? (7)
BUSKING - BUS + KING.
4 Doctor in Iowa, one for feet (5)
IAMBI - IA (MB) I.
5 Be about to drop off teacher going north (3)
NOD - DON upside-down.
6 German count’s friend’s final resting place (9)
PALSGRAVE - PAL'S GRAVE,
7 Linger unhappily at stern of boat in lock (7)
RINGLET - anagram of LINGER + [boa]T.
8 Loyal subject, say, tucking into pork pie (5)
LIEGE - LI(E.G.)E, my FOI, one of the very easy clues.
12 Dry fellow rising to interrupt (7)
DISTURB -  BRUT SID upside down.
15 Lancaster ground inherited from one’s forebears (9)
ANCESTRAL - anagram of LANCASTER.
17 European bishop replaced by very unrefined individual (9)
VULGARIAN - (+V,-b)ulgarian, a very simple letter-substitution clue.
19 After a month in Paris, man claims right to be hotel manager (6,1)
MAITRE D - MAI + T(R)ED, where Ted is just an ordinary bloke this time.
21 Roll a companion leaves on plate? (7)
SPINACH - SPIN + A CH.
23 Japanese port’s extremely obvious alias (5)
OSAKA - O[bviou]S + AKA, a bit of an &lit, as the clue is indeed extremely obvious.
25 Cleric cut daughter going to centre (5)
PADRE - PARED with the D moved to the centre.
27 Ancient city on eastern river (3)
URE - UR + E, another very easy one.