April 23rd, 2020

Linus van Pelt

27646 Thursday, 23 April 2020 Cry God for Harry, England and St George....and Shakespeare

A step up from the week’s earlier offerings, this one pushed me hard for 27’ 44” of lockdown, nothing much else to do time. I am expecting quite a few blank looks around the place, especially with the cooler at 4 down which has nothing to do with prisons, maybe the French writer better known as a delicious, if expensive, meal at 11, the bony bit on a hornbill at 17, and (you cannot be) serous at 27. I’m sure there will be others to add to that list, but they’re the ones that stretched my vocab to its limit and required much trust to be place in the wordplay and the crossing letters. Even then, the one that caused me most trouble was the very last clue, which turns out to be quite easy but didn’t readily succumb to my word-charming incantations.
My meanderings can be found below, with clues in italics, definitions in underlined italics and SOLUTIONS in bold capitals
[Click to open]

1 Shoot commercials over by entrance to major conference venue (7)
POTSDAM The 1945 conference between the “Big Three”, USSR, USA and UK represented initially by Stalin, Churchill and Truman, at the Schloss Cecilienhof in Potsdam to the SW of Berlin, designed to work out what to do with Germany. To work out what to do with the clue, turn shoot into POT, (turn) over ADS for commercials, and add the first letter of Major.
5 Disorganised old citizen retiring after tea (7)
CHAOTIC Familiarly enough, tea is CHA. The put O, and only then “retire” CITizen
9 Disclosure of major crisis mostly dire in the end (9)
EMERGENCE Knock the end off (mostly) EMERGENCY (major crisis) and take on the end of dirE
10 Delay getting seat in choir (5)
STALL Two definitions, the second confirmed by any choirboy and Chambers “fixed seats in the choir of a church, generally of carved wood”
11 Holiday accommodation ultimately rented by male French writer (13)
CHATEAUBRIAND François-René, vicomte de…, on his own cognisance, “the greatest lover, the greatest writer, and the greatest philosopher of his age”, roughly the first half of the C19. It is possible, I suppose, that your holiday accommodation might be a CHATEAU, BRIAN might be your random male, the last letter of rented is definitely D. Tack it on the end.
The steak is (probably) named after him.
13 Name of one with no trust initially in God? (8)
IDENTITY  So you have I for one, then No Trust initially for the NT, only those letters to be poked into DEITY for God
15 Possible carrier’s responsibility? (6)
PIGEON You’ll have heard of a carrier pigeon, and the rest of the clue is a colloquialism “ writing up this blog is my pigeon”
17 Bony protuberance in hornbill caught like that in Paris (6)
CASQUE C(aught) like that: AS, that in Paris (ie in French) QUE. Cross your fingers and hope the hornbill recognises it.
19 Unknown in top pub, a very large rodent (8)
CAPYBARA Unknown usually X, Yor Z, this time Y. CAP from top, either verb or noun, BAR from PUB, and the A is given for free. A monstrous (but rather cute) guinea pig.
22 Social awkwardness of a youth (not women) in Montana (13)
MALADJUSTMENT If you know MT ids the standard abbreviation for Montana, it helps. Into it, squeeze A LAD (youth) and JUST MEN (no women)
25 One who has depressing experience losing daughter (5)
OWNER A sneaky definition. Leaves you with depressing experience: DOWNER from which you can lose the D(aughter)
26 Complaint of elderly relative that is opposed to entering church (9)
GRIEVANCE Another clue where the wordplay doesn’t quite do what you expect. GRAN is your elderly relative, that is opposed to gives you IE and  V, which do the entering, then church is just tagged on the end, as C( of) E
27 Like serous membrane — more than one, by the sound of it (7)
PLEURAL “serous membrane: a thin membrane, moist with serum, lining a cavity and enveloping the viscera within, such as the peritoneum or pericardium”. So there you go. Pleurae are the versions that cover the lungs that you really only notice if you contract pleurisy, which can be very painful. Believe me. Our answer is the adjectival form and sounds like plural, more than one.
28 Young woman crossing river with festoon of flowers (7)
GARLAND You need to spot that the innocuous “with” is part of the wordplay, contributing AND to GAL “crossing”  R(iver)

1 Leader of House gets installed in seat — what a relief! (4)
PHEW More church seating, this time a PEW. Inset leader of H(ouse)
2 Sweet substance a chameleon originally left in woody plant? (7)
TREACLE Thank goodness the woody plant is just a TREE. Insert A C(hameleon) and L(eft)
3 Follow graduate’s code of beliefs (5)
DOGMA Follow: DOG and graduate: MA. Also very high on my list of quirky films I like.
4 Sadly not Henry’s first time for the cooler (8)
MONTEITH “Large 17c or 18c bowl, usually of silver, fluted and scalloped, for cooling punch-glasses (said to be named from a fantastical Scot who wore his cloak so scalloped)”. Does anyone have one?  The wordplay’s a bit tricky too, our first anagram (“sadly”) du jour, made up of NOT H(enry’s first) TIME. I needed all the checkers and some hope. Last turned op in 2009, when the clue was maybe slightly more helpful: “Silver bowl — extraordinary hit with composer (not Verdi)”
5 On telephone, stop money order (6)
CHEQUE a nice, simple homophone to make up for the previous clue
6 Folly bust dairy, unfortunately (9)
ABSURDITY “Unfortunately” and anagram of BUST DAIRY
7 Carry around not quite all of every toasted bun (7)
TEACAKE Carry translates to TAKE, and most of EACh for every gets included
8 Scot’s scam squeezing Welshman and male compatriot, say (10)
CALEDONIAN So. Scam is CON. Your random Welshman is ALED (as in Jones the Snowman) and your random (but nearly always) Scottish compatriot is IAN. Assemble
12 Simpleton finally given reduced earnings on deck (10)
NINCOMPOOP Finally giveN plus INCOME for earnings reduced by one letter, and POOP for the deck. No sniggering at the back.
14 Is leaving this beneath Queen’s old newspaper (9)
THUNDERER Nickname for The Times since about 1830. Start with THIS, remove the IS like it says. Beneath then gives UNDER, and at 94 plus 2 days the Queen is still ER
16 Fighting hard in capturing head of legion (8)
BATTLING At last, a cricket reference. On who is in is BATTING. Insert the head of Legion
18 Cut short Hamlet’s rest? (7)
SILENCE The Prince of Denmark’s last words (apart from O, O, O, O (Sic)) are “the rest is silence”.
20 Feeler put out by worker upset girl (7)
ANTENNA Your worker is an ANT (true in crosswordland), backed up by Proverbs 6.6 berating slackers and other lie-a-beds: “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!”. Then add ANNE, your random girl, "upset"
21 Amusing lass like Candida, for example? (6)
FUNGAL If you know Candida is a fungus, you’ll breeze this one. Amusing lass: FUN GAL.
23 Young swimmer always seen around lake (5)
ELVER Specifically a young eel, here EVER for always including L(ake)
24 Paid actor supplying cues (4)
FEED A double definition, though I nearly in desperation put in LEAD, which doesn’t work

Times Quick Cryptic No 1598 by Oink

A middling-difficulty puzzle from Oink that I managed two minutes under target. I found this good quality and fun when solving but a couple of the clues look a bit shaky on closer inspection (I'm looking at you, 23ac and 11d) - I would have added 19ac to those two as well, but I see they originally had distinct meanings. The rest was an enjoyable stroll with nothing of obscurity and some good twists on the chestnuttier clues such as 2d. So many thanks to Oink, who gets the porcine reference in early at 6ac.

1 Burst into tears in paper shop (9)
STATIONER - anagram (burst) of INTO TEARS
6 Corner house with garden at the front (3)
HOG - HO. (house) with G (Garden "at the front")
8 Engineer in USSR, a chap from Moscow? (7)
RUSSIAN - anagram (engineer) of IN USSR A
9 Blog resists accommodating trolls (5)
OGRES - accommodated in the letters of bOG RESists. A task we thankfully have little need for hereabouts.
10 Famous school rejected by daughter (5)
NOTED - NOTE (Eton/school, rejected/reversed) by D(aughter)
12 Very little drunk (6)
TIDDLY - double definition. Etymology obscure, but I see a "tiddlywink" is also an unlicensed pub or pawnshop.
14 Loss of detective inspector’s looks (13)
DISAPPEARANCE - DI'S (detective inspector’s) APPEARANCE (looks)
16 Used to be a delinquent, high on drugs (6)
WASTED - WAS (used to be) TED (delinquent - well, disputably!)
17 Dad’s at back, making something to eat (5)
PASTA - PA'S (dad's) TA (at, "back")
19 Old doctor who’s after your blood? (5)
LEECH - double definition. The OED says the two meanings were originally distinct (the first deriving from Old Germanic for health) but grew together due to the former's extensive use of the latter, memorably seen here.
20 Essential Tyneside editor gets flu treated (7)
NEEDFUL - NE (Tyneside) ED(itor) gets an anagram (treated) of FLU
22 Have lunch with tenants occasionally (3)
EAT - t E n A n T s "occasionally"
23 Person loved by kinghe dishes out the lolly! (9)
TREASURER - double definition. Originally the person entrusted with managing the king's revenues. Edit: see Vinyl's comment below.

1 Love song composed about Bill (8)
SERENADE - SERENE (composed) about AD[vert] (bill)
2 Girl going topless, the idiot (3)
ASS - LASS (girl) going "topless"
3 I struggled, choked by climber? (5)
IVIED - I VIED (I struggled)
4 Absence somehow contented Anna (3-10)
NON-ATTENDANCE - anagram (somehow) of CONTENTED ANNA
5 Make new demand on brotherhood of monks (7)
REORDER - RE (on/about) ORDER (brotherhood of monks)
6 Difficult words to learn? Bad luck! (4,5)
HARD LINES - HARD (difficult) LINES (words to learn)
7 Catch your breath when grabbed by doctor (4)
GASP - AS (when) grabbed by GP (doctor)
11 Will’s statement rubbished (9)
TESTAMENT - just about an anagram (rubbished) of STATEMENT
13 Tell Her Majesty to become a shopkeeper (8)
RETAILER - RETAIL (recount/tell) ER (Her Majesty)
15 Criticism of marijuana’s very fashionable (7)
POTSHOT - POT'S (marijuana's) HOT (very fashionable)
17 Lean on the papers (5)
PRESS - double definition
18 Run off with high jumper, you say? (4)
FLEE - sounds the same ("you say") as FLEA (high jumper). So if a flea was the size of a human, could it really jump over the Eiffel Tower? You can read more than you'd ever wish to know about the matter right here.
21 Airmen heading north for miles (3)
FAR - RAF (airmen) heading north. As in miles/far away.

Times 27,647: Poe Pourri

Not very Fridayish this one, with a bit of a pared-down Cryptic Jumbo feel to it, but I did appreciate it a bit more after writing up the parsings - there are some mischievous definition parts, a couple of rather good &lits, and I'll give my COD to the oft-neglected last down clue of the puzzle. My compliments to the chef! Though Eton Mess would have made a better dessert after starter and main of 18 and 16dn...

1 Doctor wears campaign medal in clothing store (8)

5 Music and endless fun in the London area (6)
POPLAR - POP + LAR{k}. Points for cluing this differently than the usual way, I guess...

8 Hotel chain needs houses (3)
INN - "housed" in {cha}IN N{eed}. FOI

9 Triple-echo interfered with surveillance equipment? (10)
HELICOPTER - (TRIPLE-ECHO*). I was faintly disappointed that "triple-echo" turned out not to mean just E E E.

10 Student attire bringing French fashion into English clubs? (4,4)
ETON SUIT - TON [French fashion] into E SUIT [English | clubs?]. Perhaps disturbingly I only got to SUIT after thinking hard about MESS and then CROP.

11 Servile follower duke engaged in Dorset town (6)
POODLE - D engaged in POOLE. I haven't been following the UK news as closely lately, so is Boris Johnson still Trump's poodle, or are various members of the cabinet Boris' poodle, or is it poodles all the way down?

12 With effort carry round pole — getting breather (4)
LUNG - LUG [with effort carry] around N

14 Son is in a position to give help (10)

17 Organisation taking role in recycled energy? (5,5)
GREEN PARTY - PART in (ENERGY*), semi-&lit

20 Impressive eastern prince seen occasionally (4)
EPIC - E + P{r}I{n}C{e}

23 Droll nonsense — could it bring the house down? (3,3)
DRY ROT - DRY [droll] + ROT [nonsense]

24 Drink one to limit bone disease (8)
BERIBERI - BEER I to "limit" RIB

25 Not well, turned to tuck into simple food options (4,2,4)
BILL OF FARE - ILL OFF [not well | turned] "tucked into" BARE

26 Ottoman officer edges away from infidel (3)
AGA - {p}AGA{n}

27 British planes on time in southeast make low attack (6)

28 Artist took the stage, being filmed (2,6)
ON CAMERA - or ON CAME R.A. The biggest excitement I got from this crossword was the frisson of hitting submit just in case it was IN CAMERA, but that means something rather different of course.

1 Chess player slow giving in token (5,4)
WHITE FLAG - WHITE [chess player] + FLAG [slow]. Definition as in, a token signifying giving in, which is rather nice.

2 Capital once managed by board (7)
RANGOON - RAN by GO ON. Now Yangon, Myanmar.

3 Not thinking about what constitutes make-over (6)
REHASH - RASH [not thinking] about EH? [what]

4 Case rotten under dish in salt water (6,3)

5 Son on time to start with nudges actor? (7)
PROMPTS - S, with PROMPT [on time] to start with. Took a long time to disabuse myself of the notion that "time" would be just T, which I suppose makes this this a rather clever clue.

6 Irishman with anger about appearing in supporting role (9)
PATRONAGE - PAT with RAGE about ON [appearing]. My brain got a bit stuck on ENTOURAGE but the definition is another clever one, leading to a role that provides support from above, not below.

7 Fibre replaced Lycra in crop tops (7)
ACRYLIC - (LYCRA*) + I{n} C{rop}

13 Irregular mostly out to install Left? (9)
GUERRILLA - (IRREGULA{r}*) "installing" L, &lit

15 Generally where schools are located? (2,3,4)
IN THE MAIN - that's the main as in the sea, and schools as in fish.

16 Note in enclosure kept secret a tasty morsel (9)

18 Savoury dish, lightly cooked, cut into (7)
RAREBIT - RARE [lightly cooked] + BIT [cut into]

19 Staff coming around, but this would require filling (7)
POTHOLE - POLE coming around THO

21 High-ranking ecclesiastic not yet dead, can one infer? (7)
PRELATE - if you are PRE-LATE, you are presumably not yet dead.

22 Spooky group keeping people up in House of Usher? (6)
CINEMA - CIA [group known for its "spooks"], keeping reversed MEN in, and a cinema is a house of entertainment in which you'd find an usher plying their trade.