February 7th, 2020

Quick Cryptic 1544 by Wurm

I liked this a lot, and I would say it is pitched just right for a QC. Lots of anagrams, but some with a little added complexity. My favourite is 18ac.

Across
1 Turn to hold mug and a tumbler (7)
ACROBAT - Turn is ACT with ROB + A inside
5 Exquisite having been cooked lightly (4)
RARE - double definition
7 Fast U-boat bags slow ship (3)
TUB - hidden word - fasT U-Boat
8 Game casserole almost ruined (8)
LACROSSE - anagram ('ruined') of CASSEROL (i.e. casserole 'almost')
10 Republican is greeting Hindu sage (5)
RISHI - R + IS + HI. A word I only know from doing crosswords
11 Ridicule pool man swimming (7)
LAMPOON - anagram ('swimming') of POOL MAN
13 Stolen trophy and dish (6)
HOTPOT - HOT + POT
15 Peg out to follow rotter, golfer’s attendant (6)
CADDIE - DIE after CAD
17 Mild Liberal embraced by setter? (7)
CLEMENT - L for Liberal inside CEMENT. 'Setter' is an interesting clue word with a range of very different meanings. The commonest is to indicate the guy writing the clue and denotes ME or I. There's also the dog (red setter etc), the sun (which sets), and also as here cement or concrete etc.
18 Iranians at last in American airspace (5)
SINUS - S (last letter of IRANIANS) + IN + US. Nice definition.
20 Suppress line in novel (8)
STRANGLE - STRANGE with L inside
22 Scapegoat retaining such personal pride (3)
EGO - hidden word: scapEGOat
23 Crook from north in sack (4)
BEND - N inside BED
24 Performer one at rest moved around (7)
ARTISTE - anagram ('moved around') of I AT REST

Down
1 What could follow quake adapted for a sketch (10)
AFTERSHOCK - anagram ('adapted') of FOR A SKETCH
2 Puzzle about public transport (5)
REBUS - RE + BUS
3 Indian cooking style needs extra American port (9)
BALTIMORE - BALTI + MORE. Somewhere I used to live and the setting of the acclaimed drama 'The Wire', which if anything makes the place look nicer than it is.
4 Deal with fishing gear (6)
TACKLE - double definition
5 Animal that jumps in river with two ducks (3)
ROO - R + O x 2
6 Tortured person first to divulge answer (7)
RESPOND - anagram ('tortured') of PERSON plus D
9 Emphasis rude censor modified (10)
UNDERSCORE - anagram ('modified') of RUDE CENSOR
12 Scot cleaned out in tightest financial investigation (5,4)
MEANS TEST - SCOT 'cleaned out' is ST, insert into MEANEST
14 Fresh letters in support (7)
TRESTLE - anagram ('fresh') of LETTERS
16 Letter to Greeks — about time — becomes disgrace (6)
STIGMA - SIGMA with T inside
19 Can't do without Geordie news bosses? (5)
NEEDS - NE (northeast i.e. Geordie) + EDS
21 Dry run cancelled — help! (3)
AID - ARID minus R for run.