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.
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
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)