February 10th, 2020

New RCA
  • vinyl1

Times 27583 - A game for Captain Jinks?

Music: Mendelssohn, Scotch Symphony, Gibson/ScNO
Time: 29 minutes

I can't really figure out if this was difficult or easy.   As I solved, I got the impression that some might find the clues difficult, but that I was on the wavelength.   I did get a little stuck after finishing the NW quadrant and having nearly nothing else, but once I got a few crossing letters I advanced very briskly - for me.   Even the UK-centric SE corner didn't really slow me down, and I finished in a fairly decent time.   Experienced solvers will probably do fairly well.   I did biff a number of answers, and will have to figure out the cryptics as I go along.

Across
1 Posh females and others in pub that serves food (6,3)
BUFFET CAR - B(U FF ETC)AR, my FOI.
6 Reminder about university being complacent (5)
PROUD - PRO(U)D, my LOI.   'Complacent' is not exactly 'proud', but close enough.
9 Sick bird sounded wrong (7)
ILLEGAL - Sounds like 'ill eagle', a bit of a chestnut.
10 With pride, she loses in brawling (7)
LIONESS - Anagram of LOSES IN.
11 Design on cent’s piece coined for particular occasion (5)
NONCE - hidden in [desig]N ON CE[nt], just biffed by me.
12 Where coals are not hot, mix with others (9)
INTEGRATE - IN T[h]E GRATE
13 Snake in alien surroundings — through water it sped (1-4)
E-BOAT - E(BOA)T.  I hope you didn't biff U-boat.  Before John Culshaw produced the Solti Ring for Decca, he was in the RAF attempting to blast E-boats out of the water from a Swordfish.
14 Northern location where cool writer joins ship (9)
INVERNESS - IN VERNE SS.
17 Sweetheart given break to find mangetout (5,4)
SUGAR SNAP - SUGAR + SNAP.   I had forgotten what a mangetout is, and had to wait for some crossing letters.
18 Bones in bag next to top drawer? (5)
SACRA - SAC + RA, where our old friend the distinguished artist is rather obliquely clued.
19 Server misses one playing pool game (5,4)
WATER POLO - WA[i]TER + anagram of POOL.   I biffed, and did not even realize 'pool' was not part of the definition - which it easily could be.
22 Learner in military group not exactly bright (5)
UNLIT - UN(L)IT, a relief from the usual chestnut.
24 Maybe two for one in Bury (7)
INTEGER - INT(E.G.)ER.
25 Not keen on what some doctors do in delivery method (3-4)
OFF-SPIN - OFF + SPIN, what spin doctors do.  I just knew this would be a cricket clue, but I still needed a few checkers.  We'll see how the UK solvers do with the baseball clues.
26 Eponymous heroine saves island home for birds (5)
EYRIE - EYR(I)E.
27 Comic, Eagle, keeping one enlightened (5,4)
ERNIE WISE - ERN(I)E + WISE.   After a lttle experience, I am wise to Mr Wise, and can just about biff him.
Down
1 Black knight pens song for Scottish child (5)
BAIRN - B(AIR)N.
2 Smoke keeps breathing organ working in Chinese system (5,4)
FALUN GONG - FA(LUNG ON)G.   If you thought 'smoke' was 'fog', you lose. 
3 Moth circles round American helicopter (9)
EGGBEATER - EGG(BEAT)ER - I think.   I couldn't make heads or tails of the cryptic, and just biffed the obvious answer.   However, upon researching the matter, I find that 'egger' or 'eggar' is a type of moth.   That leaves the explanation of the 'beat' element, which I will have to offer up for comments.  For the correct explanation, see the very first comment.
4 In this way, one’s sure to have an impact (9,6)
COLLISION COURSE - A somewhat jocular cryptic definition, I believe.
5 Might it be that sister? Poor nun in trouble! (8,7)
RELATIVE PRONOUN - RELATIVE + anagram of POOR NUN.   The DBE is clearly indicated by the question mark.
6 Verifying which six must leave tip? (5)
PRONG - PRO[vi]NG.
7 Piano used in old time musical presentation (5)
OPERA - O(P)ERA.
8 Tummy trouble in dreadful days without drink (9)
DYSPEPSIA - DYS(PEPSI)A, when the enclosing letters are an anagram of DAYS.
13 Former wife involved in dancing this reel (9)
ERSTWHILE - Anagram of W + THIS REEL.
15 Trouble keeping English quiet in governmental sort-out (9)
RESHUFFLE - R(E SH)UFFLE.   Maybe this should lead to a New Deal!
16 Oil producers lie and cut pay anyhow (9)
EUCALYPTI - anagram of LIE and CUT PAY.
20 Cheap booze, no good, upset teacher (5)
TUTOR - ROT[g]UT upside-down.
21 Rascal having non-British accent (5)
ROGUE - [b]ROGUE.
23 Under emotional pressure in past? (5)
TENSE - double definition, where the DBE of the literal is again indicated by a question mark.
Astarte1

QC 1545 by Mara

This was a very straightworward offering made up mostly of the more obvious clue devices. By my quick reckoning there were four straight anagrams, three of them longer answers, giving a large number of checkers straight off. Then there were another five double definitions, with only one cryptic definition among the ten. Add on a few tops and tails and hidden words and a couple of first and last letter compositions and you have a recipe for a dish of the most digestible alphabetti spaghetti on the menu. Thank you Mara for a puzzle that I hope will be a confidence booster for the less experienced among our readers.

FOI was 6A, LOI was 16D. My COD goes to 10A, an anagram for a change, for the smooth surface and also because in this puzzle the anagrams were unusually some of the more difficult clues on offer.

Sorry, I can't say much more as I am in the middle of trying to pack to leave early in the morning for a flight to Florence for a (roughly) 30-year anniversary of our honeymoon. So I must love you and leave you and see you in a couple of weeks.

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

Across
1 Large tank destroying megastore (9)
GASOMETER - straight anagram ('destroying') of MEGASTORE.
6 Cat book unfinished (3)
TOM - TOMe (book) 'unfinished'.
8 Second figure behind is wet (7)
MOISTEN - MO (second) + IS + TEN (figure).
9 Girl in song at Christmas? (5)
CAROL - double definition.
10 Broadcast precedes rant in part of magazine (6,6)
CENTRE SPREAD - straight anagram ('broadcast') of PRECEDES RANT.
12 Kind teacher, your perfect educator initially (4)
TYPE - Teacher Your Perfect Educator 'initially'.
13 Bird dropping head a short distance (4)
INCH - fINCH 'dropping head'.
17 Eccentric dating serene actresses (12)
TRAGEDIENNES - straight anagram ('eccentric') of DATING SERENE.
20 Article cheers Greek character (5)
THETA - THE (definite article) + TA (cheers). Last time I did this blog someone commented that they weren't very familiar with the Greek alphabet so I'll just mention that theta is letter number 8.
21 Bird entering weakest relationship (7)
KESTREL - hidden word: 'entering' weaKEST RELationship.
23 Success dealt a blow (3)
HIT - double definition.
24 Taken away, goat was asleep (9)
KIDNAPPED - KID (goat) NAPPED (was asleep).
Down
1 Seen in spring, a memorable match (4)
GAME - hidden word: 'seen in' sprinG A MEmorable.
2 His cooking, extremely cold (7)
SHIVERY - SHI (anagram of HIS ('cooking')) + VERY (extremely).
3 Police force from the Continent, all concluding (3)
MET - last letters ('all concluding') of froM thE continenT.
4 Caring offer (6)
TENDER - double definition.
5 Quality of TV signal, first class (9)
RECEPTION - another double definition.
6 Short letter sent, partially read? (5)
TERSE - hidden word: 'partially read' letTER SEnt.
7 Complaint uniting two females (6)
MALADY - MA + LADY (two females).
11 European politician in Noah's temporary home — fun place? (5,4)
THEME PARK - MEP (Member of European Parliament) 'in' THE ARK (Noah's temporary home).
14 Get brighter uniform in different parcel (5,2)
CLEAR UP - U (uniform) in CLEARP (anagram of PARCEL).
15 Pain, one produced by needle? (6)
STITCH - double definition, second one cryptic.
16 Good and bad (6)
WICKED - double definition. I believe that if you are more down with the kidz than I am you will know that sometimes they use words to mean the opposite of their usual meaning, as in for example 'wicked' and 'sick'.
18 On the ball, shimmying later (5)
ALERT - straight anagram ('shimmying') of LATER.
19 Tramp left in shell (4)
PLOD - L (left) in POD (shell).
22 Main character in audition? (3)
SEA - sounds like ('in audition') C (character).