April 22nd, 2020

Times Quick Cryptic 1597 by Teazel

Apart from a couple of slightly unsatisfying clues in the downs (I'm looking at you 4 and 18), I found this a fair and enjoyable mid-week test. There are lots of clues with self-referential definitions or semi-&lit-ishness, which not only slowed me down when solving, but makes it difficult to know where to underline in order to best explain the workings. Newbies/lurkers: just ask if anything is unclear.

Definitions (sort of) underlined.

3 Awaken love in cunning plan (5)
ROUSE - O (love) in RUSE (cunning plan).
7 Dog beginning to burrow great hole on course (6)
BEAGLE - first letter of (beginning to) Burrow, then EAGLE (two under par, great hole on golf course).
8 Briefly, priest always — does this? (4)
PRAY - PR (abbreviation of (briefly) priest) and AY (always).
9 Child has grand liking for such gentle treatment (3-5)
KID-GLOVE - KID (child) with G (grand) and LOVE (liking). I'm more familiar with this as a plural noun, but the adjectival meaning ('kid-glove treatment') makes sense too. Again, though, it is difficult to see a clear definition to underline (perhaps such? Or gentle?) so I'll just pass it by breezily and hope no-one notices...
10 Sort of hammer sharp nail (4)
CLAW - double definition.
11 Kent town fed up, we hear, producing old-fashioned advertising (8,5)
SANDWICH BOARD - SANDWICH (Kent town) and a homophone of (we hear) "bored" (fed up).
15 Cooling down rioter, fearing collapse (13)
REFRIGERATION - anagram of (collapse) RIOTER FEARING.
16 To do with the ear, some notice (4)
OTIC - hidden in (some) nOTICe.
18 Foolishly misreads what officers carry (4,4)
SIDE ARMS - anagram of (foolishly) MISREADS. A side arm is not necessarily a gun; a truncheon or TASER will do.
20 Firm welcomes one with a greeting (4)
CIAO - CO (company, firm) contains (welcomes) I (one) and A. Used as both 'hi' and 'bye'.
21 Shrewd expression of disapproval, entering turbulent sea (6)
ASTUTE - TUT (expression of disapproval) contained within (entering) an anagram of (turbulent) SEA.
22 Right to affirm mad person (5)
RAVER - R (right) and AVER (to affirm).

1 Table I replaced in church: that’s just like some priests (8)
CELIBATE - anagram of (replaced) TABLE I inside CE (church).
2 In the past, good to be expectant (4)
AGOG - AGO (in the past) and G (good).
3 Clergyman giving approval? Withdrawing it? (8)
REVOKING - REV (clergyman) and OK-ING (giving approval).
4 Head going off to purge press (4)
URGE -  remove the first letter from (head going off) pURGE. To paraphrase Pauli, this clue is not even easy.
5 Top piece translated in Virgil, say (4,4)
EPIC POET - anagram of (translated) TOP PIECE.
6 A father’s taken up artistic movement (4)
DADA - reversal of (taken up) A DAD (a father).
12 Woman priest, one on board (8)
DIRECTOR - DI (woman) and RECTOR (priest).
13 Greeting Yorkshire racecourse, arriving in this? (5,3)
HIRED CAR - HI (greeting) and REDCAR (Yorkshire racecourse).
14 One sharing with me has opportunity to finish board game (8)
ROOMMATE - ROOM (opportunity) and MATE (finish board game).
17 Fool races round West Indies (4)
TWIT - TT (races) surrounding WI (West Indies).
18 Black-marketeer that would upset the elite (4)
SPIV - reversal of (upset) VIPS (very important people, the elite).
19 Book variety performances (4)
ACTS - double definition.

Times 27645 - one term or another

I took a gentle 29 minutes for this pleasant puzzle, parsing as I went along. There were no real unknowns, although 7d is not a word I'd often seen and 15d is a word that looks as if it was invented for the crossword. I suspect someone in a hurry could post a single digit time and our usual speed kings go under 5 minutes. Explaining 21a properly worried me a little, but I enjoyed 16a the most for its witty definition. Unusually, there is only one anagram clue, at 17d.

1 Is hotel involved in chart error? (6)
MISHAP - MAP = chart, insert IS and H for hotel.
4 Illogical argument against getting married? (8)
CONFUSED - CON (argument against) FUSED (married).
10 Time to abandon unbiased and clear computer system (6,3)
NEURAL NET - NEUTRAL (unbiased) loses its T, NET = clear.
11 Spar joining front half of ship to rear (5)
SHAFT - SH(ip), AFT (rear of ship).
12 Sent material made an impression with staff (10,4)
REGISTERED POST - REGISTERED = made an impression with, POST = staff.
14 Expression of surprise about recording getting top position? (5)
ALPHA - AHA ! around LP old recording.
16 Something worn for going out, good in nearby shopping centre (9)
NIGHTGOWN - NIGH (near) TOWN (shopping centre), insert G. Going out as in going to sleep.
18 End of serenade — wordless singing — my German is a battle (2,7)
EL ALAMEIN - E (end of serenade) LA LA (wordless singing) MEIN (German for mine). Instantly biffed as soon the German for mine comes to mind. Jawohl.
20 Second, then less specific date reference (5)
MONTH - MO(ment) = second, Nth = less specific (than second).
21 Mike expert initially modifies: hearing OK now? (10,4)
MICHAELMAS TERM - MICHAEL (Mike) MASTER (expert) M (initially modifies). The parsing is easy enough, but explaining the definition may not be. Michaelmas term is (at Oxford) the Autumn term, so named for the feast of St Michaeland All Angels on Sept. 29th. So not "now". However the judicial system also uses these terms (Michaelmas, Hilary, Trinity) for periods when trials can be held, so I assume that's what our setter is intending by "hearing OK now". Other thoughts welcome.
25 Flower: item for sale by our group (5)
LOTUS - LOT (item for sale) US (our group).
26 Corruption? Small decrease after leader’s deposed (9)
SEDUCTION - S for small, DEDUCTION has its D removed. EDIT or if you prefer, as proposed below, REDUCTION has its R removed. Either works for me.
27 Friendly lad displacing new guy to embrace one (8)
SOCIABLE - SON (lad) loses N, then CABLE = guy, insert I for one.
28 Be very critical of accepting odd bits of talk, brooking no argument (6)
FLATLY - FLAY (be very critical) has odd letters of T a L k inserted.
1 Pitman inspires awe as a capturer of thoughts? (4-6)
MIND-READER - MINER = pitman, insert DREAD = awe. No shorthand needed.
2 Weapon a Parisian dropped being pierced (5)
STUNG - STUN GUN (weapon) loses the final UN = a in French.
3 Body of water in addition almost filling region (4,3)
ARAL SEA - AREA (region) has ALS(O) = 'in addition, almost' inserted. When I was at school, the Aral Sea was the fourth largest inland body of water in the world, somewhere over there in the southern USSR. Now it's dried up into 2 very much smaller lakes between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan and a huge dry seabed. Not global warming, but Soviet irrigation schemes did the damage.
5 Unusual uproar after loss of silver (5)
OUTRE - OUTRAGE (uproar) loses AG, Ag, silver. Outre in French without the accent means 'besides', but outré means excessive, I think in English it means bizarre or unconventional, hence unusual.
6 One very particular about things in song and dance fund (7)
FUSSPOT - FUSS (song and dance) POT (fund).
7 Ship carrying pale blue soft material (9)
SWANSDOWN - SS (ship) has WAN inserted, then DOWN = blue.
8 Information a little upsetting (4)
DATA - A TAD reversed. My FOI.
9 They sense poet’s beheaded after capturing old Queen in revolutionary way (8)
ANTENNAE - (D)ANTE = poet beheaded, insert Queen ANNE reversed; (D)ANT(ENNA)E.
13 Well-off, linking those people to individual in one US city (2,3,5)
IN THE MONEY - I, NY = one US city, insert THEM (those people) and ONE (individual).
15 Photograph capturing an island in it, being especially good at keys? (9)
PIANISTIC - AN IS inside IT all inside PIC.
17 Satellite many misinterpreted to have jagged edge all round (8)
GANYMEDE - (MANY)* inside (EDGE)*. Our first and only anagram is a double one. Ganymede is the largest moon of Jupiter, first noted by Galileo Galilei in 1610. He must have had better eyesight than I have.
19 Inability to talk quietly, interrupting exclamation over continent (7)
APHASIA - P (quiety) inside AH ! (exclamation), ASIA.
20 American I caught in bad French show (7)
MUSICAL - US, I, C, inside MAL French for bad.
22 Support a bit of leisure — after relaxation (5)
EASEL - L a bit of leisure, after EASE = relaxation.
23 US-born poet upset John? Not entirely (5)
ELIOT - JOHN in America = TOILET, reverse that and delete the initial T ('not entirely').
24 Promotes eradicating source of Government benefit (4)
PLUS - PLUGS (promotes) has the G from government erased.