February 26th, 2020

Times Quick Cryptic 1557 by Hurley

A couple of unknown meanings for me at 1ac, 14dn and 18dn meant I had to wait for a few checkers there, but otherwise a nice, workaday puzzle.

Definiitons underlined.

1 Former pupil, retainer, watchful (9)
OBSERVANT - OB (Old Boy, former pupil) and SERVANT (retainer, apparently a family's long-serving servant).
6 Regularly upbeat, much-liked (3)
PET - everyother letter from (regularly) uPbEaT.
8 Duck famous navigator (5)
DRAKE - double definition.
9 Worry, after backing one child’s contact (7)
LIAISON -AIL (worry) reversed (after backing), I (one), and SON (child).
10 Doctor sent girl, reliable (8)
STERLING - anagram of (doctor) SENT GIRL.
11 Run away from fight and cry noisily (4)
BAWL - 'r' (run) removed from (away from) BrAWL (fight).
13 Group, dynastic, needing reform, obsolete ultimately (9)
SYNDICATE - anagram of (needing reform) DYNASTIC and the last letter of (ultimately) obsoletE.
16 This relation’s gibe, not the first (4)
AUNT - tAUNT (jibe) missing the first letter (not the first).
17 Feature of website game — hope for shake-up (4,4)
HOME PAGE - anagram of (for shake-up) GAME HOPE.
20 Plant leased before truce? Not right (7)
LETTUCE - LET (leased) then TrUCE minus the 'r' (not right).
21 Family in street with no money (5)
SKINT - KIN (family) inside ST (street).
22 Coming back unprepared for conflict (3)
WAR - reversal of (coming back) RAW (unprepared).
23 Pioneer somehow crossing Poles — he may get income for life (9)
PENSIONER - anagram of (somehow) PIONEER containing (crossing) Nand S (north and south, poles).

1 Getting on, love large service of food (6)
OLDISH - O (love), L (large), and DISH (service of food).
2 Urbane, put money aside to cover university (5)
SUAVE - SAVE (put money aside) surrounding (to cover) U (university).
3 Wine series linguist embraces (8)
RIESLING - hidden in (...embraces) seRIES LINGuist.
4 Confused notice at canal, or the pond (8,5)
ATLANTIC OCEAN - anagram of (confused) NOTICE AT CANAL. As in, 'across the pond' referring to North America.
5 Initially tense, hesitant and wary, become more relaxed (4)
THAW - first letters of (initially) Tense, Hesitant, And, and Wary.
6 Opening excerpt (7)
PASSAGE - double definition.
7 Story about no good muddle (6)
TANGLE - TALE (story) surrounding (about) N (no) and G (good).
12 Show at Erskine displaying leisure equipment (5,3)
WATER SKI - hidden in (...displaying) shoW AT ERSKIne.
13 Spanish man clutching at politician? (7)
SENATOR - SENOR (Spanish man) containing (clutching) AT.
14 Immature depiction of everyone in Jersey, say? (6)
CALLOW - ALL (everyone) inside COW (Jersey, say). So that's what that means...!
15 Delicious drink close by impressing court (6)
NECTAR - NEAR (close by) containing (impressing) CT (court).
18 Foreign article about position of golfer’s ball (5)
ALIEN - AN (article) surrounding (about) LIE (position of golfer's ball). This is quite far down the list of dictionary meanings for 'lie', but it's not too difficult to guess.
19 Rising slander over penny tip (4)
DUMP - reversal of (rising) MUD, then P (penny).

Times 27597 - second TCC semi-final puzzle

I'm surprised 42 of 80 got this all right, I struggled with some of it for quite a while, taking well over my permitted 20 minutes, and the parsing was tricky. Maybe people had more time for it, as last week's was easier. I'll be interested to see what SNITCH makes of it.

1 Incredible temperature detected in a measurement at sea (10)
6 Problem with glasnost, oddly, recalled (4)
SNAG - alternate letters of glasnost reversed, t S o N s A l G.
9 I think firm must leave someone in privileged position (7)
INSIDER - I CONSIDER loses the CO = firm leaves think.
10 Old boy suffers setback in India, country offering woeful interjection (7)
ICHABOD - I had no idea what ICHABOD meant, but stuffed it in from the wordplay and being sure the checkers were correct. I (India) CHAD (country) insert OB reversed. Apparently Ichabod was a Hebrew biblical chap and used in a sentence it means 'the glory has departed'. I shan't be using it often.
12 Greasy stuff in meat recipes sadly lacking energy (10)
SPERMACETI - (MEAT RECIP S)* where recipes loses an E. A sperm whale can have up to 1900 litres of this waxy stuff in its head cavity, apparently. The name comes from a mistaken belief of old that the substance was congealed sperm; I'd have thought 1900 litres was a ridiculous amount of sperm, even for a whale.
13 Start to veer away from evil rocks (3)
ICE - VICE loses its V start of veer. ICE as in 'on the rocks'.
15 Foolish behaviour of idealists with no sort of memory (6)
ANTICS - ROMANTICS lose their ROM = read-only memory.
16 One shows bit of rump with little hesitation? About right! (8)
STREAKER - STEAK (rump) + ER (hesitation), insert R for right.
18 Description of rubbish stock mostly offered in bargain? (8)
DETRITAL - TRIT(E) = stock, mostly, inside DEAL. Not a word I'd seen, but obviously an adjective from detritus.
20 Establishment dishing out love drug (6)
STATIN - STATION loses O for love.
23 An ’orrible place a bit beyond the yard (3)
ELL - double definition, one being cockney Hell, one being an ancient measure; I remember my father (a master tailor) telling me an ell of cloth was 45 inches.
24 Very bad and very good intelligence? Very bad (10)
VILLAINOUS - Assemble; V (very) ILL (bad) A 1 (very good) NOUS (intelligence).
26 Spoil good welfare, having reversed plan (7)
DIAGRAM - All reversed; MAR (spoil) G (good) AID (welfare). A chestnut, I think.
27 Insect from another world found by DNA expert (7)
CRICKET - My NTLOI. Francis CRICK was one of the co-authors of the original paper on the DNA double helix, and ET = extra-terrestrial. As a chemist of yore, I should have twigged it sooner.
28 Performs in parties full of energy (4)
DOES - A party is a do, insert E into DOS.
29 One after the other destined, it’s said, for detention (10)
1 Shrub, or a flower in Africa, chopped (4)
ANIL - A NIL(E), a flower chopped. indigofera suffruticosa, from which we get the dye indigo.
2 Possible little drop of spirits for Spooner to get drunk (7)
TOSSPOT - the Rev. Spooner would say POSS. TOT I suppose. I hadn't realised that on the many occasions I'd called someone a tosspot, meaning a silly-billy, it also meant a habitual drunkard, but the derivation of that original meaning is clear enough.
3 Working for a foreign character, always being below expected grade (13)
UNDERACHIEVER - UNDER (working for) A CHI (Greek letter) EVER (always).
4 Start of demolition in built-up area that is on the Indian Ocean (6)
DURBAN - D(emolition), URBAN. I kept wanting to insert D into something to make e.g. Madras, but it isn't that.
5 Sweet little letter containing crossword compiler’s admission? (8)
NOISETTE - Insert I SET into NOTE. My FOI.
7 Dash after writer in club (7)
NIBLICK - NIB (writer), LICK (dash). An obselete golf club equivalent to a nine-iron today.
8 Seriously religious friend, agog after conversion (3-7)
11 Cosmetic treatment that brings a bigger shock? (4,9)
HAIR EXTENSION - Cryptic definition.
14 One who is this still needs a crash helmet, being unsentimental (10)
HARDHEADED - another cryptic definition.
17 Big money — millions pocketed — for salespeople (8)
TALLYMEN - TALL (big) YEN (money) insert M (millions). A MER at this, I thought tallymen counted things, they weren't salesmen. I must have been wrong.
19 Farmland? Something money’s put into over time (7)
TILLAGE - TILL (something money's put into) AGE (time).
21 Animal that’s wild and short turning up in Cheddar? (7)
TRUCKLE - This one needed a bit of lateral thinking for me. I knew a truckle is a big wheel shaped lump of cheese, not necessarily Cheddar. To get one, join ELK (wild animal) and CURT (short) and reverse it all.
22 A huge hapless chap, awfully inept in company (6)
GAUCHE - (A HUGE C)*, where the C is CHAP withouth HAP i.e. hapless.
25 As you were about to abandon way through town? (4)
STET - Stet being Latin for 'let it stand'. STREET (way through town) loses its RE (about).