January 15th, 2020

Times Quick Cryptic 1527 by Tracy

I had a hard time getting started, flitting around the grid, and a hard time finishing, with several gaps in my knowledge. Probably my slowest solve for a few months! Hope you found it considerably closer to your wavelength or, like me, enjoyed the challenge.

Definitions underlined.

1 Southwark infirmary for men only? (4,8)
GUYS HOSPITAL - cryptic definition. And (the first word was) my LOI, as I was trying to think of a nickname for the Royal Hospital for Chelsea Pensioners.
9 Anger about female bringing weapon (5)
RIFLE - RILE (anger) containing (about) F (female).
10 Do without it, as ban involved (7)
ABSTAIN - anagram of (involved) IT AS BAN.
11 Sold illicitly from sack by stage (7)
BOOTLEG - BOOT (sack) and LEG (stage).
12 Subject of article — me! (5)
THEME - THE (article) and ME.
13 Working spell without delay (2,4)
ON TIME - ON (working) and TIME (spell).
14 Dictator in regiment's HQ receiving head of state (6)
DESPOT - DEPOT (regiment's HQ) containing (recieving) the first letter (head) of State.
17 Wife leaving joiner for church officer (5)
ELDER - wELDER (joiner) after the 'w' (wife) is removed (leaving).
19 Lucky dip bishop organised, backing nevertheless also required (4,3)
BRAN TUB - B (bishop), RAN (organised) and a reversal of (backing) BUT (nevertheless). DNK this phrase.
21 One who wrote nonsense about the kid, perhaps (7)
LEATHER - LEAR (Edward, one who write nonsense) containing (about) THE. Another DNK - a soft leather and a plausible origin for the phrase 'kid gloves'.
22 Better run island, one in the Bay of Naples (5)
CAPRI - CAP (better), R (run) and I (island).
23 Staightforward procedures involving one in poor health (5,7)
PLAIN SAILING - PLANS (procedures) containing (involving) I (one), then AILING (in poor health).

2 Open University head under pressure (7)
UPFRONT - U (university), then FRONT (head) after (under) P (pressure).
3 Gain an advantage over nervous marshal at once (5,1,5,2)
STEAL A MARCH ON - anagram of (nervous) MARSHAL AT ONCE. Yet another DNK.
4 Fruit: love assortment (6)
ORANGE - O (love) and RANGE (assortment).
5 Game in which castle, perhaps, should be moved (4,3,6)
PASS THE PARCEL - anagram of (should be moved) CASTLE PERHAPS.
6 Find and copy (5)
TRACE - double definition.
7 Tolerant of knight that is breaking fast (7)
LENIENT - N (knight, chess notation) and IE (that is) contained by (breaking) LENT (fast).
8 Bed starts to creak — replace its base (4)
CRIB - first letters of (starts to) Creak Replace Its Base.
13 Partly coincide as regards circuit (7)
OVERLAP - OVER (as regards) and LAP (circuit).
15 Take undue advantage of don covering at university (3,4)
PUT UPON - PUT ON (don) containing (covering) UP (at university).
16 Peninsula in Russian region son overlooked (6)
IBERIA - sIBERIA (Russian region) with the 's' (son) missing (overlooked).
18 Wee drink ahead of a play (5)
DRAMA - DRAM (wee drink) and A.
20 I must go in club that offers inducement (4)
BAIT - I surrounded by (must go in) BAT (club).

Times 27561 - TCC Heat 1 #2 - get your just desserts.

Under peaceful 'exam type' conditions this took me exactly another 19 minutes, so with last week's I have exactly 22 minutes of the hour remaining to do #3. Not too bad, although I should have been faster; I was held up at the end by finding the word that fitted all the checkers at 17a before seeing it was an anagram, and by re-visiting 2d (q.v. below) because I couldn't parse my first saintly answer.

1 Monstrous hound, far roaming, brought about Baskerville’s end (7-2)
UNHEARD-OF - (HOUND FAR E)*, the E from the end of Baskerville.
6 One graduate’s avoiding cake, a Cuban export (5)
RUMBA - The soggy cake RUM BABA loses one of its BAs.
9 Managed to return thank-you letter (5)
DELTA - LED (managed) reversed, TA (thank you).
10 Drug-taking experience embraced by shy youth (9)
11 Minister to put on touching shyness (7)
RESERVE - Bit vague on this one, I think it must be RE (touching, about) SERVE (minister to).
12 Sailor joins party workers in the middle? (7)
ABDOMEN - AB (sailor) DO (party) MEN (workers).
13 More than one bid from directors is thrown out (4,2,3,5)
GOES BY THE BOARD - Double def., one prosaic one an idiom.
17 Butcher introduces game for bar? (14)
DISCOURAGEMENT - (INTRODUCES GAME)*. A nice anagram whish took me a while to spot.
21 Study country’s Article 50 (7)
23 Splendid secretary who’s been in the family a long time? (7)
25 Bird’s audible celebration of cat’s passing? (9)
KITTIWAKE - Sounds like a WAKE for a Kitty or cat.
26 Getting ready to drop litter? (2,3)
IN PUP - not very cryptic def.
27 Dig garden’s first exposed borders (5)
NUDGE - NUDE (exposed), insert G (garden's first).
28 Timber producer occupied court, close to accused (9)
SATINWOOD - SAT IN = occupied, WOO (court) D (close to accused). I feel I've seen this very clue before.
1 University angered cooks lacking the required seniority (8)
2 Dominance saint possesses (5)
HOLDS - HOLD (dominance as in has a hold over...) S for saint. For some reason I wrote in HALOS until I failed to explain it.
3 Shelled haricot bean disintegrated without oxygen (9)
4 Course designers ultimately admitted to waste (7)
DESSERT - S (end of designers) goes into DESERT (waste).
5 Incinerator’s features to include receptacle for ashes (7)
FURNACE - FACE has URN inserted.
6 Fleet inspector retires following censure (5)
RAPID - RAP (censure), DI reversed.
7 Computerised application in trouble after millions join up (4,5)
MAIL MERGE -  M (millions) AIL (trouble) MERGE (join up).
8 Hearty complaint from gang in Arbroath (6)
ANGINA - Hidden in G(ANG IN A)RBROATH. Too many deep fried Mars Bars eaten there perhaps.
14 State seizing Grand Duke settled abroad (9)
EMIGRATED - EMIRATE (state) insert G for grand, add D for duke.
15 Campaign speech in the course of which people cleared out (9)
OPERATION - People cleared out = P E, insert into ORATION (speech).
16 Bound leaves up, with page slotted in (8)
STRAPPED - DEPARTS = leaves, reversed = STRAPED, insert P for page.
18 Server’s receipts significantly increased (7)
UPLOADS - Something UP LOADS could be significantly increased.
19 Swell fellows standing in for us during holiday month? (7)
AUGMENT - MEN replaces US in AUGUST.
20 Rung any old number that’s announced (6)
SPOKEN - SPOKE (rung) N.
22 Lock-keeper’s slow decline (5)
SLIDE - Double def., as in hair slide.
24 Sponge falls over (5)
DIPSO - DIPS (falls) O(ver).