May 30th, 2020

  • brnchn

Times Cryptic No 27672 - Saturday, 23 May 2020.

This was fairly easy for a Saturday. It was distinguished by some very clever anagram indicators that took me time to see, and some clever usages I had to look at twice. LOI was 9ac, where I struggled to see the necessary lifting and separating. Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle.

Notes for newcomers: The Times offers prizes for Saturday Cryptic Crosswords. This blog is posted a week later, after the competition closes. So, please don’t comment here on the current Saturday Cryptic.

Clues are blue, with definitions underlined. Deletions are in [square brackets].

Across
1 When horse is gone, cut round top field (6)
MEADOW – MOW around [H]EAD.
5 Steal coin in collecting dish (8)
PECULATE – ECU in PLATE. The ECU (in capitals) was a precursor to the Euro; écus were various French coins; take your pick!
9 Reduced form of fruit waste (8)
FIGURINE – FIG | URINE.
10 Never returning old novel — a year afterwards (3-3)
ONE-WAY – O | NEW | A | Y.
11 Run with a porky footballer (6)
GOALIE – GO | A | LIE.
12 Whatever is peculiar to New York? (8)
ANYTHING – it’s peculiarly … A *N.Y.* THING!
14 What we must have to get wage — marginal brightness? (6,6)
SILVER LINING – the marginal brightness is of course the SILVER LINING on the cloud. I’m not sure why I need a silver lining to get my wages – what’s that about? On edit: thanks to aphis99: AG is silver, which WE must have to give W-AG-E.
17 Chain Japanese dog in filthy place — it’s odd that (7,2,3)
STRANGE TO SAY – RANGE | TOSA (Japanese fighting dog), in STY.
20 Bar limiting sailors in cap on drink (5,3)
SCREW TOP – STOP ‘limiting’ CREW.
22 Falling down like an idiot, circling right round (6)
DROOPY – DOPY ‘circling’ R | O.
23 Blackcurrant liqueur cut with a substance like cinnamon (6)
CASSIA – CASSI[S] | A. I didn’t know the plant but did know of the drink and trusted the wordplay.
25 Nurse brought in a shirt for one who’s present (8)
ATTENDEE – TEND ‘brought in’ to A | TEE.
26 Make light of gloomy drama (8)
DOWNPLAY – DOWN | PLAY. Nice clue.
27 Hanker after going round to listen (6)
HARKEN – anagram (‘after going round’) of (HANKER*). This was one of the anagram indicators I looked twice at to be sure.

Down
2 Inventor has raised fish with upped numbers (6)
EDISON – IDE | NOS, each separately reversed.
3 Travels twice as quickly to use return repeatedly? (6-5)
DOUBLE-SPACE – DOUBLES | PACE. Use the return key repeatedly to produce a document, perhaps a draft, with every second line blank to let you write in comments.
4 After scrap, English point out something loser might raise (5,4)
WHITE FLAG – WHIT | E | FLAG.
5 Herald quietly agrees to travel around (7)
PRESAGE – P (quietly), then an anagram (‘to travel around’) of (AGREES*). Another tricky anagram indicator.
6 China rabbit’s about right (5)
CRONY – CONY ‘about’ R. My first thought was GRASS, but that came from GAS, which was the wrong sort of ‘rabbit’.
7 Rest, as when king’s away (3)
LIE – LI[K]E.
8 Making every effort, son missed out in education (8)
TRAINING – [S]TRAINING every sinew!
13 One in hotel, say, finally free no more? (11)
HONEYMOONER – a nice cryptic definition. On edit: thanks again to aphis99 for explaining how this one works. It's a literal definition, and the wordplay is H for hotel | ONE | Y (say, finally) | anagram (‘free’) of (NO MORE*).
15 Like a desperate attempt to survive drop (4-5)
LAST-DITCH – LAST (survive), DROP (ditch).
16 Separated at least three felines going head to head over nothing (8)
STACCATO – two or more cats backwards giving STAC, then another CAT, and finally O (nothing).
18 Attempt outside work, initially in arty garden design (7)
TOPIARY – TRY ‘outside’ OP I[n] A[rty].
19 Species present in region of interest (6)
SPHERE – SP (abbreviation for ‘species’), HERE.
21 Follow time line for trains (5)
TRAIL – T[ime], RAIL.
24 Function without energy and go badly wrong (3)
SIN – SIN[e] is the trig function.