March 26th, 2020

Linus van Pelt

27622, Thursday, 26 March 2020 Having nothing else to do...

Thursday, 26 March 2020
I’ll tell you what, I haven’t done this in a mort of years, but I went straight through the clues in presented order and emerged breathless in 9.24, which included my mandatory check for typos, which others might wish to emulate given the majority in the current rankings who have at least one error. It did mean that some of the down clues went in with scant regard for the clues, so I had do them properly while preparing my elucidations, but they weren’t difficult.
I’m still enjoying the business of having nothing much else to do at the insistence of Her Majesty’s Government. Guilt free b*ggerallery is a fine gift to be savoured, at least until it becomes a dam’ nuisance, and I have a plentiful supply of crosswords to fill any number of the unusually forgiving minutes with sixty seconds worth of simple fun. Most of them will be harder than I found this one.
Stay well everybody.
Clues, definitions and SOLUTIONS are thus presented.



ACROSS
1 Family member’s containers taken across lake by crew (8)
CLANSMAN Containers are CANS, which you then take “across” L(ake) and add the verbal version of crew, MAN
9 Swedish physicist’s torment, having reduced capital (8)
ÅNGSTRÖM The apostrophe s on physicist means you’re looking for who it is, and fortunately I’m familiar with this one. Torment becomes ANGST, and the capital, ROME, is reduced by one letter. Anders gave his name to a unit of measurement equal to one ten-billionth of a metre. For the time being, please keep at least 20,000,000,000Å away from anyone else.
I was helped in solving this by Anders turning up in a very recent crossword, but I can’t for the life of me say where.
10 German fellow, abstemious type, wearing pair of spectacles (4)
OTTO Not all Ottos are German, and not all Germans are called OTTO, but quite a few are. Von Bismarck for one. Our abstemious Tee Totaller, or TT, wears a representation of spectacles formed by two Os 
11 Arrive with a harvester — and have a terrible fall! (4,1,7)
COME A CROPPER A simple charade, assuming a harvester is represented by someone who crops.
13 Old way to introduce a popular decree (6)
ORDAIN O(ld) R(oa)D introduces A and IN (popular). Introduce here Is not an inclusion indicator
14 Avoidance of champ inspired by eastern girl (8)
ESCHEWAL Our random E(astern) girl is SAL. Insert CHEW for champ
15 Abandon doctor, sheltering horse he lost (7)
FORSAKE Let’s say doctor (the verb) translates to FAKE, then we can insert HORSE but without its H and E
16 Princes, for example, demanding author’s share of profits (7)
ROYALTY Are authors expecting a share of the profits necessarily demanding? Just their right, I would think. Anyway, there it is
20 Female spy taking in new peer (8)
VISCOUNT The only one which took a while to twig, because the female is not she, her, hen or anything of the sort, but the random one named VI. Followed by SCOUT for spy, with N(ew) inserted
22 Old maid of diminutive size swigging whiskey (6)
TWEENY Of a lower degree of domestic service, a between-maid. Of diminutive size TEENY taking in NATO Whiskey
23 Proper setting for further allotment (12)
REALLOCATION REAL for proper, LOCATION for setting
25 High-flyer in Navy plugging point repeatedly (4)
ERNE An eagle whose natural habitat is the crossword. The repeated point is E(ast) and the NAVY intervening (plugging) is RN
26 Demanding old flame once treading the boards (8)
EXACTING Old flame (once, if you like) is EX, trading the boards ACTING
27 Old Italian’s endless faith in English jail (8)
ETRUSCAN Endless faith is TRUS(t) , placed in an E(nglish) CAN, slang for jail



DOWN
2 Libertine reluctant to go on a Spanish river (8)
LOTHARIO Reluctant is LOTH, add A (in plain sight) and Spanish for river, RIO
3 Like some of Stravinsky’s music — so nice, Callas recollected (12)
NEOCLASSICAL “Recollected” commends you to the anagram form, for which you use the letters of SO NICE CALLAS. Igor’s neoclassical phase began in around 1920, but I can’t find a single instance of Callas singing his music. Someone will prove me wrong, but not I think Maria herself: “I'm not very keen on Stravinsky. I don't really like modern music. ... I don't really even approve of Puccini. Mine is the nineteenth century.”
4 Russian port’s odd, turning fellow sailors back ultimately (8)
MURMANSK You get MUR from turning RUM, or odd, around, MAN from fellow, and the S and K from  the ultimate letters of both sailors and back
5 Representation of an elf initially said to evoke water nymphs (7)
NAIADES A composite anagram (representation) where you have to work out that the letters are AN, E(lf) and SAID before throwing them up in the air and hoping they land in the right order
6 A niece regularly eating fish — and mushroom for example (6)
AGARIC The one I know is the fly agaric, the archetypal red mushroom with white spots, but it is a generic term for (among other things) fungi with gills. Take the odd letters of A nIeCe and insert a fish, in this case a GAR
7 Control farm animal upset about start of rainstorm (4)
GRIP Upset your PIG and stick in the front end of Rainstorm
8 A second gathering assembled unethically (8)
AMORALLY A in plain sight, second MO, and gathering RALLY
12 Inclination of a revolutionary head to support homework (12)
PREPAREDNESS Maybe a slightly loose definition, but it works. Homework, and any fule kno, is PREP, here supported by A in plain sight, revolutionary: RED, and head: NESS
15 Perennial plant not many associated with disease (8)
FEVERFEW A plant I happen to know. Not many: FEW and disease: FEVER
17 Part of target, securing free escort (8)
OUTRIDER In archery, for example, the concentric coloured rings are each divided into inner and outer. We have the OUTER, and shove in RID for free.
18 German dance craze abandoned by head of major African state? (8)
TANZANIA A German dance craze might be TANZ MANIA, drop te head of Major
19 Funny way Guyanese extremists managed to get caught (7)
STRANGE Way is ST(reet) this time, with the first and last letters of GuyanesE, and RAN for managed trapped inside
21 Posh sun-hat adapted principally for an idyllic place (6)
UTOPIA U for posh (Mitford) TOPI for sun-hat, and A from the front of Adapted. From Thomas More book, no a generic ideal but unlikely place
24 The first person a state prosecutor married (4)
ADAM Of course. A in plain sight, DA for your state prosecutor, and M(arried)
RolyToly

Times Quick Cryptic No 1578 by Izetti

I found this quite tough, and fared very similarly to yesterday's, which is to say a DNF around the 17 minute mark, all following a bruising hour with yesterday's 15x. I was feeling my enthusiasm for puzzles wane a bit towards the end, if you want a shoddy excuse. I was supposed to be going on an exciting holiday tomorrow as well. (Yes, boo hoo for me, like there aren't bigger concerns out there.) So I'm not best equipped to comment on the enjoyability of this puzzle, but everything seemed to be in the top-notch working order that we've come to expect from Izetti - many thanks!

Across
1 Inferior cow girl catches cold (5-5)
LOWER-CLASS - LOWER (cow - as in a low-er, a thing that lows/moos) LASS (girl) catches/holds C(old)
8 Valuable coin found in item of food (7)
RAREBIT - RARE (valuable) BIT (coin). Is there anything on Earth that's rare and isn't valuable? (Anything not unpleasant, that is.)
9 Animal fancied occupying the back of your house (5)
RHINO - IN (fancied/fashionable) occupying R ("back" of youR) HO (abbrev. for house)
10 One going round hospital in pain (4)
ACHE - ACE (one) round H(ospital)
11 Dad has system of paying — such is his family duty (8)
PARENTAL - PA (dad) RENTAL (system of paying)
13 Manage to secure superior type of vehicle (5)
COUPE - COPE (manage) to secure U (superior, vs. non-U/inferior). I gave up on this, unable to see past CAUSE, which was clearly wrong.
14 Fellow ejected from chapel, the German high-up in congregation (5)
ELDER - CHAP (fellow) ejected from CHAPEL leaves EL ; DER (the, German)
16 Declare times in statistical information (8)
AVERAGES - AVER (declare) AGES (times)
17 Crew said something at Chiswick in boat race (4)
EYOT - is pronounced/said as EIGHT (crew, in rowing). Variant spelling of "ait", a small island, especially in a river. The Chiswick Eyot is the halfway mark in the Boat Race. I also gave up on this - got the sounds-like-eight bit, but the spelling could have been a few things, and I'd already given up on 13ac.
20 Taking newspaper (5)
THEFT - The FT (newspaper). "Taking" as a noun.
21 Fantastic eagle in descent (7)
LINEAGE - anagram (fantastic) of EAGLE IN
22 Sour disposition of US men, prigs being awkward (10)
GRUMPINESS - anagram (being awkward) of US MEN PRIGS
Down
1 This girl is hugged by sailor, naturally (5)
LORNA - "hugged" by the letters of saiLOR NAturally
2 Chaps who should know what's in store (12)
WAREHOUSEMEN - cryptic definition, the literal referring to men anticipating, the cryptic to warehouse stock.
3 King with honour producing garment (4)
ROBE - R (Rex/king) with OBE (honour)
4 All the changes of a deadly nature (6)
LETHAL - anagram (changes) of ALL THE
5 Hidden under lots of loose rocks is Edmund (8)
SCREENED - under SCREE (lots of loose rocks - especially on a mountainside) is NED (Edmund)
6 Bakery — I'd chat about one of its products maybe (8,4)
BIRTHDAY CAKE - anagram (about) of BAKERY ID CHAT
7 Model and artist turned up to make a bit of money (6)
DOLLAR - DOLL (model) and AR (RA = artist, "turned up")
12 Margaret, a very good type, a right “superperson” (8)
MEGASTAR - MEG (Margaret) A ST. (a Saint/very good type) A R(ight). In my (dubious) haste when solving, I misparsed the good type as "a star".
13 Sings about Hampshire (6)
CHANTS - C (Circa/about) HANTS (Hampshire)
15 Commotion in place of rest left in the morning (6)
BEDLAM - BED (in place of rest) L(eft) AM (in the morning).
18 Rows with ferocious beasts, not good (5)
TIERS - TIgERS (ferocious beasts, minus the G for good)
19 Some frantic person opposing something (4)
ANTI - "some" of frANTIc
verlaine

Times 27,623: With A Shrug

This didn't take an awfully long time, and what it did take was mostly taken up in MERs over just what the last 4 words of 11ac were doing, and whether TERN (when not a bird) or ARP are words anyone has actually used in the past half-century. I did like 18ac a fair bit, I'm a sucker for that kind of word thing, but too many things just "went straight in" for my Fridayfied tastes. FOI 1ac, LOI 12ac, WOD 27ac (pursued by a bear). My thanks to the setter! Our daily crosswords are more important than ever in the New World Order...

ACROSS
1 Where cars wait — a road is normal (8)
STANDARD - STAND A RD [where cars wait | a | road]

5 Location for play people without exception remember (6)
RECALL - REC ALL [location for play | people without exception]

10 Drink that’s good found in New England area? (5)
NEGUS - G found in NE US

11 Lions come running _;_ this is the end (9)
SEMICOLON - (LIONS COME*) ["running"]

12 American substitute porter, perhaps welcoming group of three visiting (9)
ALTERNATE - ALE [porter, perhaps] "welcoming" TERN AT [group of three | visiting]

13 Second time to give recurring phrase (5)
MOTTO - MO T TO [second | time | to]

14 Musician with history including activity during the Blitz (7)
HARPIST - HIST "including" ARP [Air Raid Precautions]

16 Cross at hosts for displaying charm (6)
AMULET - MULE [cross] (that) AT "hosts"

18 Getting on? That’s not about getting on (6)
AGEING - AG{re}EING. Take a word for "getting on" (as in, famously), subtract a word for "about", leaving a word for "getting on" (as in, in years).

20 Writer of plays about a person like Vermeer (7)
PAINTER - (Harold) PINTER about A

22 Trip abroad, oddly to see what Pope wears (5)
TIARA - T{r}I{p} A{b}R{o}A{d}

23 Cutting rotten carcass with it (9)
SARCASTIC - (CARCASS + IT*) ["rotten"]

25 Concert one performs vocally is likely to turn out well (9)
PROMISING - PROM I SING

26 Picture latter half of a trip to Santiago? (5)
IMAGE - {pilgr}IMAGE

27 Go off former European Union? Nicest on the outside (6)
EXEUNT - EX E.U. N{ices}T

28 Write numbers in a chain (8)
PENNINES - PEN NINES [write | numbers]

DOWN
1 Star cricketer, that man Brown? (8)
SUNBATHE - SUN BAT HE [star | cricketer | that man]

2 Worry gangster has got in (5)
ANGST - hidden in {g}ANGST{er}

3 Tied in factories with change leading to a loss of living things (15)
DESERTIFICATION - (TIED IN FACTORIES*)

4 Turn on again and relax with creative activity (7)
RESTART - REST with ART

6 Banning of former contact (15)
EXCOMMUNICATION - EX COMMUNICATION

7 Where people grow things for sharing (9)
ALLOTMENT - double def

8 See new sign of agreement over City (6)
LONDON - LO N + reversed NOD

9 Animal in a cell — a second has been regularly raised (6)
AMOEBA - A MO + reversed {h}A{s} B{e}E{n}

15 Get angry about blasted Margo’s fuss (9)
RIGMAROLE - RILE [get angry] about (MARGO*) ["blasted"]

17 Biscuits or nuts (8)
CRACKERS - double def

19 Casual chat and drink after work with son (6)
GOSSIP - SIP [drink] after GO [work] with S

20 Clothing caught by épée awfully near point (7)
PERIGEE - RIG "caught" by (EPEE*)

21 Important one goes through papers? (6)
STAPLE - double def

24 Couple, the first on the wagon (5)
TWAIN - T{he} on WAIN