May 4th, 2020

Astarte1

QC 1605 by Hurley

Thank goodness this was an easy one. My Macbook screen is on the blink (literally) and my head is aching with trying to see the words through a blur of flickering lines and flashing colours. Add to that my normal visual difficulties and you can understand why I am very grateful to Hurley for giving me a puzzle that meant I was able to spend the minimum of time peering through the mess on my screen. Most of the answers were write-ins thanks to a large number of double definitions, hidden words, anagrams and charades.

Please excuse any mistakes or omisssions worse than usual as it really is quite difficult to see what is going on in front of me.

FOI was 1A and LOI was 1D which for some reason I didn't see until everything else was in. I think that will also be my COD.

Sorry, I'll have to leave you there. I'm off to arrange some strong analgesia.

Definitions are underlined in italics and everything else is explained just as I see it as simply as I can.

Across
1 Bachelor, thorough, gets trophy for plant (9)
BUTTERCUP - B (bachelor) + UTTER (thorough) + CUP (trophy).
6 Decrease in finance: stop filming (3)
CUT - double definition.
8 Unfashionable job in faraway place (7)
OUTPOST - OUT (unfashionable) + POST (job).
9 After leader’s changed, feels anxiety about approaches (5)
NEARS - FEARS (feels anxiety about) with 'leader' (first letter) changed.
10 Married lady treated in absurd way (5)
MADLY - M (married) + ADLY (anagram of LADY ('treated')).
12 Cut the Spanish metal (6)
NICKEL - NICK (cut) + EL (Spanish definite article).
14 Behind mountains, intended, we hear, to form new organisation (13)
REARRANGEMENT - REAR (behind) + RANGE (mountains) + MENT (intended, MEANT, 'we hear').
16 Outlaw born with exactly what’s needed (6)
BANDIT - B (born) + AND (with) + IT (exactly what's needed).
17 Dance can go wrong (5)
CONGA - anagram ('wrong') of CAN GO.
19 Bring up commendation, but not initially (5)
RAISE - pRAISE (commendation) with first letter removed.
20 Popular old routine? Not accurate (7)
INEXACT - IN (popular) + EX (old) + ACT (routine).
22 From Idaho, tidings recently announced (3)
HOT - hidden word: 'from' idaHO Tidings.
23 Finding record old? Extremely (9)
DISCOVERY - DISC (record) + O (old) + VERY (extremely).
Down
1 On internet it helps to find reserve currency of past (8)
BOOKMARK - BOOK (reserve) + MARK (currency of past (in Germany before the Euro)).
2 Young child’s drink (3)
TOT - double definition, and one of the oldest chestnuts on the tree.
3 Wood, European, thin (5)
EBONY - E (European) + BONY (thin).
4 It punished old Roman, just short of ten stories for listeners (3-1-4-5)
CAT-O-NINE-TAILS - CATO (old Roman) + NINE (just short of ten) + TAILS (sounds like TALES, i.e. stories 'for listeners').
5 Criticise long dash (7)
PANACHE - PAN (criticise) + ACHE (long).
6 One adapting to surroundings of clean home, transformed (9)
CHAMELEON - anagram ('transformed') of CLEAN HOME.
7 Trial match (4)
TEST - double definition.
11 Drink at first for playwright (9)
DRAMATIST - DRAM (drink) + AT IST (at first).
13 Coy about drink with Lieutenant, cunning (8)
STEALTHY - SHY(coy) 'about' TEA + LT (drink with lieutenant).
15 Unexpectedly heard about editor’s girl with distinctive hair? (7)
REDHEAD - RHEAD (anagram of HEARD ('unexpectedly')) 'about' ED (editor).
17 Conservative referring to party’s belief set (5)
CREDO - C (conservative) + RE (referring to) + DO (party).
18 Chief, playfully mischievous (4)
ARCH - double definition.
21 Part of prayer? Yes (3)
AYE - hidden word: 'part of' prAYEr.
New RCA
  • vinyl1

Times 27655 - However, in Kilmacrennan......

Music: Bach Cello Suites, Jano Starker
Time: 22 minutes

Well, here we have it, another easy Monday.    As usual, I came home in about my usual time with no particular difficulties, just getting a little stuck at the end, before suddenly seeing the obvious enabled me to write in my last two answers and finish.   I'm sure our faster solvers will offer blazing speed - I see that there are already two times under 10 minutes at this early hour.   Fortunately, I was able to spend most of my time today on Mephisto, which proved a bit more challenging.

For those of you who have some extra solving time on your hands, we have a special treat tonight.   One of our commenters, Mr David Crooks, a solver from Scotland, has tried his hand at puzzle creation, and has come up with a rather challenging puzzle that requires some knowledge of Scottish matters.   Here is the downloadable PDF url: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DDe_ZikINu-5po9riGrHyy027YA3wJq7/view?usp=sharing

I ask that you not discuss the puzzle Mr Crooks has kindly provided in tonight's comments, in order to give others a fair chance to have a go.   If there is enough interest, I may blog it.

Across
1 Draws more doubtfully in direction of the Catholic faith (9)
ROMEWARDS - Anagram of DRAWS MOIRE.
6 Very obviously calling, and loud always initially? (5)
VOCAL -First letters of V[ery] O[bviuosly\ C[alling] A[nd] L[oud].   An &lit, of a sort.
9 Secure like you and me, taking flight with him? (7)
PEGASUS - PEG + AS US, with a rather vague literal.
10 Put with confidence in hospital department, deteriorate (7)
ENTRUST - ENT + RUST.
11 Conclude it’s worse to leave port (5)
INFER - INFE[rio]R.
13 Almost dead, one inspiring start of recovery: it’s on the line (9)
NUMERATOR -NUM[b] + ERATO + R[ecovery], where the muse of poetry turns up in math.
14 Live amid twice as much furniture (6,3)
DOUBLE BED - DOUBLE(BE)D.
16 Beg aloud for something to eat (4)
PREY - Sounds like PRAY, where the word order makes clear which version of the homonym is the correct answer.
18 Endured one wind from the north, not a second (4)
BORE - BORE[a s|.
19 Tick off pair I put in detention (9)
REPRIMAND - RE(PR I)MAND
22 Avert corrosion in submarine, large (9)
UNDERSEAL - UNDERSEA + L - wear the answer is a verb to match the literal.
24 Credit card at last found in market returned (5)
KUDOS - SO([car]D)UK backwards.   This Homeric Greek word is singular, neutral, and undeclineable.   It also had a digamma in Homer's day, "kudwos", which is why the first syllable is long.  
25 Some weeks after the start, I get busy (2,3,2)
ON THE GO - [m]ONTH + EGO.
26 Rejected Britain: serve one foreigner (7)
KUWAITI - UK backwards + WAIT + I.
28 Preferred Lycra trimmed in colourful fashion (5)
REDLY - Hidden in [prefer]RED LY[cra], a pretty lame word, although I'm sure it's in the dictionary. 
29 Can anyone set about creating nuisance? (9)
ANNOYANCE - Anagram of CAN ANYONE.
Down
1 Traveller told tales, then came back (7)
REPLIED - REP + LIED, a Quickie clue.
2 As simpleton, face attack (3)
MUG - Triple definition, a crossword cliche.
3 Artless wife mooching around in loafers (8)
WASTRELS -  Anagram of ARTLESS W.
4 Plant secretion extremely rare? Wrong (5)
RESIN - R[ar]E + SIN.   I nearly biffed "rosin" before chcking the cryptic.
5 Angry son joined forces (7,2)
STEAMED UP - S + TEAMED UP.
6 Keen follower has to change round books (6)
VOTARY - V(OT)ARY.
7 Cannot demur, getting to change order (11)
COUNTERMAND - Anagram of CANNOT DEMUR.
8 Communion the very thing, trapped by disease supposedly (7)
LITURGY - L(IT)URGY.   The "lurgy" was an imaginary disease in an episode of the Goon Show.
12 Water supply may be sickener: alternative one seen (11)
FLUORIDATED - FLU + OR I DATED.  
15 An appropriate cry of delight, seafood turning up — here? (9)
BARCELONA - AN OLE, CRAB upside-down.  
17 In a Sinatra song, the same Scots stars (5,3)
MILKY WAY - M(ILK)Y WAY.  
18 Bachelor party I held in our room (7)
BOUDOIR - B + OU(DO I)R.
20 Regardless of small mine in river (7)
DESPITE - DE(S PIT)E.
21 Touchy follower has run in unhindered (6)
FREELY - F(R)EELY, from "touchy-feely".
23 Tree cover perhaps said to generate correspondence (5)
LIKEN - sounds like LICHEN
27 One’s charged right away from press (3)
ION - I[r]ON.