June 11th, 2020

Times Quick Cryptic No 1633 by Teazel

Teazel has come up with some very succinct clueing, all nicely parsed, in this morning’s puzzle, which entertained me for just 12 minutes (well inside my target range).  I suspect there will be some quick times, as there is nothing too difficult or obscure here.

FOI was RITE and I worked steadily through the grid, without being held up unduly by any of the clues.  I liked the device at 22a (SIGNPOST), and smiled at the idea of the exhausted kangaroo, and at the poor boy or girl left uncollected on date night.  With BELOW PAR and OUT OF BOUNDS I thought we may be seeing a golfing theme, but I can't discover any more.

Thanks Teazel.  I hope you all enjoyed this.

Across

1  Proper sounding form of service (4)
RITE – We start today’s adventure with a homophone (sounding) which sounds like right (proper)
3  Rap elbow nastily, a bit unwell (5,3)
BELOW PAR – Anagram (nastily) of [RAP ELBOW].
8 Lizard lays egg in heath (7)
MONITOR – NIT (egg) inside (in) MOOR (heath), to give the name of a genus of very large lizards (MONITOR).  They get the name, apparently, because folklore believes them to give warning of the presence of crocodiles – who knew that?
10  Advice about extremely unusual flower (5)
TULIP – TIP (advice) surrounding (about) U{nusua}L (extremely meaning take first and last letter).  For once, a flower isn’t a river, and is one with which I am familiar.
11  Stood up on date?  That’s rather rude (8-3)
UNCALLED-FOR – Cryptic hint at the answer – if one were UNCALLED-FOR one might have been stood up on a date.
13 Insect, I wager, is metamorphosing (6)
EARWIG – Anagram (metamorphosing) of [I WAGER].
15  Design for floor covering (6)
FORMAT – FOR (for) and MAT (floor covering).  Efficient!
17  Bird’s time for sleep, buffeted by wind? (11)
NIGHTINGALE – NIGHT (time for sleep) and IN GALE.  If one were IN a GALE, one might well be buffeted by the wind!
20  Put on scales women’s rowing team shortly (5)
WEIGH – W{omen’s} and EIGH{t} (rowing team – shortly indicates to drop the last letter).
21  Eating nothing, following a painful little wound (7)
FASTING – F{ollowing} (allowable single letter abbreviation) and A (a) and STING (painful little wound).
22  One standing armed at the crossroads? (8)
SIGNPOST – Cryptic definition to a traditional signpost, which has arms pointing out the available destinations.
23  Desire is bringing wife and husband together (4)
WISH – W{ife} and H{usband} conjoined (brought together) by IS (is).

Down

1  Weird Times leader was speculated about (8)
RUMOURED – RUM (weird) and OUR ED.  As we are all contributors to or consumers of The Times, it seems reasonable to refer to the Times leader as OUR ED{itor}.
Medicine working to stop twitch (5)
TONIC – ON (working) inside (stopping) TIC (twitch).
4  Attention new edition deserved (6)
EARNED – EAR (attention – remember it, it comes up regularly) and N{ew} and ED{ition}.
Not to be approached, like an exhausted kangaroo? (3,2,6)
OUT OF BOUNDS – Cryptic wordplay – an exhausted kangaroo might also be OUT OF BOUNDS.
6  Flipping insolence, ghastly for traveller to shrine (7)
PILGRIM – LIP (insolence) reversed (flipping) and GRIM (ghastly).
7  Some polypropylene is of poor quality (4)
ROPY – Hidden answer (some) in {polyp}ROPY{lene}.
Not leaving work behind, in a manner of speaking?  (7,4)
TALKING SHOP – Cryptic definition.
12  That glen is to collapse eventually (2,6)
AT LENGTH – Anagram (to collapse) of [THAT GLEN].
14 Making a call, may one have this in one’s ears? (7)
RINGING – Cryptic clue.
16  County’s employees, ultimately industrious (6)
STAFFS – STAFF (employees) and {industriou}S (ultimately).
18  Plea from Somali bishop (5)
ALIBI – Hidden answer (from) in {som}ALI BI{shop}.
19  Said to take advantage of sheep (4)
EWES – We started with a homophone, so we’ll finish with one – sounds like USE (take advantage of).

Times 27688 - more than you ever wanted to know about Ohio

Time taken: 8:46. Given that we had three relatively straightforward puzzles this week I was prepared for a stinker, but it did not happen. There's some good clues in here, I particularly like when words I have a habit of misspellng get clued with clear wordplay that puts every letter in place.

Well, except for 1 across, though I managed to get that correct for a change.

I hope everyone is staying safe and sane! My little town is a bit of a mess at the moment, with an influx of tourists, ans the remnants of some pretty intense protests. Asheville made the news as a place where the police destroyed medical supplies and cut up water bottles that were for protesters.

Away we go...

Across
1 Travelling US area, Turk delivers cabbage dish (10)
SAUERKRAUT - anagram of US,AREA,TURK
7 Unqualified character on the staff (4)
FLAT - double definition, the staff being musical
9 Time one secures a new opening for Indian cooking (8)
TANDOORI - T(time), I(one) containing A, N(new), DOOR(opening)
10 Jester initially impressing court in northern city (6)
YORICK - the first letters of Imperessing Court in the city of YORK
11 Fish served by maid primarily in reception room (6)
SALMON - first letter of Maid inside SALON(reception room)
13 Calming report of woman with phobia (8)
SOOTHING - sounds like SUE(woman) and THING(phobia)
14 Light-bearer’s container held back by former queen (6-6)
CANDLE-HOLDER - CAN(container), then HELD reversed, OLD(former), ER(queen)
17 Cuts fish by loch, adopting duke’s crooked posture (12)
LOPSIDEDNESS - LOPS(cuts), IDE(fish), and NESS(loch) containing D(duke)
20 Old hat banned by doctor penning poem (8)
OUTMODED - OUT(banned) then MD(doctor) containing ODE(poem)
21 Rocky island in southern Irish county (6)
SKERRY - S(southern) then county KERRY
22 Hamlet’s odd theory mostly about Polonius’s entrance? (6)
THORPE - anagram of THEORY missing the last letter containing the first letter of Polonius. Got this from wordplay (isn't he a swimmer?), it is an archaic name for a village
23 Old man from the east with little desire for food? (8)
APPETITE - PA(old man) reversed, and PETITE(little)
25 Contemptuous cry about Liberal claptrap (4)
BLAH - BAH(contemptuous cry) surrounding L(liberal)
26 Fisher’s alarm went off at sea around east of Humber (10)
TRAWLERMAN - anagram of ALARM,WENT surrounding the last letter of humbeR
Down
2 Gelatinous substance produced by a fish more than once (4-4)
AGAR-AGAR - A, GAR(fish) repeated
3 Journalist covering current Muslim festival (3)
EID - ED(jounralist) surrounding I(current)
4 Noted canonical hour, by the sound of it (5)
KNOWN - sounds like NONE(canonical hour)
5 Nob accommodating old Italian poet (7)
ARIOSTO - ARISTO(nob) containing O. Got this from wordplay - Ludovico ARIOSTO, author of Orlando Furioso
6 Dog’s plaything originally designed in SW resort (3,6)
TOY POODLE - TOY(plaything) then the first letter of Designed in the resort POOLE
7 Promotion of article supporting ancient city in EU country (11)
FURTHERANCE - THE(article) under UR(ancient city) in FRANCE(EU country)
8 Obscure place to shop, having note for daughter (6)
ARCANE - ARCADE(place to shop) with N(note) replacing D(daughter)
12 Novel 1,760-yard hike consuming a couple of days (11)
MIDDLEMARCH - MILE(1760 yards), MARCH(hike) containing two D's(days)
15 Suitable former exercise regime any number accepted (9)
EXPEDIENT - EX(forner), PE(exercise), DIET(regime) containing N(any number)
16 Russian empress in dire straits over article (8)
TSARITSA - anagram of STRAITS followed by A(article)
18 Popular girl to west of Ohio? (7)
INDIANA - IN(popular), DIANA(girl). The western border of Ohio is entirely with Indiana. Near Cincinnatti there is a three-way border with Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana
19 In Columbus he lacked a measure of corn (6)
BUSHEL - hidden inside columBUS HE Lacked. Columbus is the capital of Ohio and almost directly north of where I live (highway 23 passses through Asheville and Columbus, so I can make it there in three turns)
21 Rose’s part in Sophocles’s Antigone finally overcoming friend (5)
SEPAL - last letters of sophocleS antigonE then PAL(friend)
24 Expedition missing out top of Umbrian peak (3)
TOR - TOUR(expedition) without the first letter of Umbrian
verlaine

Times 27,689: A 1ac, a 1dn and a 5dn walk into two hostelries...

After a couple of weeks of verdurous green as far as the eye can see over at the Crossword Snitch, I was naturally hoping that this would be the day that the Thunderer would come down on my head like a ton of bricks: alas, in the event this didn't take me that much longer than the admittedly tricky-by-its-standards QC. Perfectly good crossword with some suitably Timesy words - 11ac, 14ac, 24ac, 1dn, 6dn, 20dn et al but the horses have still never had it so good.

Favourite clue by a distance was the cleverly misleading 13ac; I also always like seeing 16dn show up in a puzzle because of the time Sybil Fawlty herself quite literally sized me up on a bus in Wandsworth with the words "ooh, you're tall, aren't you?"

ACROSS
1 US broadcaster pinching round bum (4)
HOBO - HBO [US broadcaster that is an acronym for "Home Box Office"] "pinching" O [round]

3 Vessel always must keep covered in festival (7,3)
PANCAKE DAY - PAN AY must "keep" CAKED

10 Place of refuge, maybe spot in the country (7)
DENMARK - DEN + MARK

11 Retort from male writer after a drink (7)
ALEMBIC - M BIC [as in biro] after ALE

12 Metal, type likely hollow and portable, for work in church (4,6,5)
LEAD KINDLY LIGHT - LEAD [metal] + KIND [type] + L{ikel}Y + LIGHT [portable]. LOI due to unfamiliarity but the wordplay was generous.

13 Direct translation of nothing in books (6)
ORIENT - RIEN [(French) translation of "nothing"] in O.T.

14 Cold area between two hostelries in the shade (8)
CINNABAR - C [cold] + A between INN and BAR

17 It's hard to walk intoxicated with rage (4,4)
HIGH WIRE - HIGH W/ IRE

18 Unhappy in boozer, about to hit the roof (4,2)
BLOW UP - LOW in reversed PUB

21 Sailor's curving, aromatic bananas (15)
CIRCUMNAVIGATOR - (CURVING AROMATIC*)

23 Caught in something afoot? This is shocking (7)
SCANDAL - C in SANDAL

24 Piece of Whitman — it's essentially about poem (7)
SESTINA - hidden reversed in {whitm}AN IT'S ES{sentially}

25 Coming off horse, perhaps, in retreat (10)
WITHDRAWAL - double def. Horse as in heroin

26 Lacking definition, not very fit (4)
AGUE - VAGUE [lacking definition] minus V for very

DOWN
1 Covered earlier clothing left for gentleman (7)
HIDALGO - HID AGO [covered | earlier] "clothing" L

2 Dressing musicians, no spring chickens (9)
BANDAGING - BAND + AGING

4 Doing a solicitor's work in a royal capacity (6)
ASKING - or else AS KING

5 Clergyman rested south of cove (8)
CHAPLAIN - LAIN south of CHAP

6 More killings to upset government expert (14)
KREMLINOLOGIST - (MORE KILLINGS TO*)

7 Correct girl coming out, huge when undressed (5)
DEBUG - DEB [girl coming out] + {h}UG{e}

8 Unknown Berlin figure: I'm not sure he has a craft (7)
YACHTER - Y ACHT ER [unknown | Berlin figure = 8, in German | I'm not sure]

9 Man stopping and we would, somehow, for men in pain (7,7)
WALKING WOUNDED - KING [(chess)man] "stopping" (AND WE WOULD*)

15 London area and South Herts town a must for The Archers (9)
BOWSTRING - BOW + S + TRING

16 Silk fabric cut completely from the bottom (8)
PRUNELLA - PRUNE [cut] + reversed ALL [completely]

17 One producing reports saying something cutting (7)
HACKSAW - HACK [one producing (news?) reports] + SAW [saying]

19 Carrying mature wine on top (7)
PORTAGE - AGE [mature], PORT on top

20 Would-be dry people holding clothing for sacred works (6)
AVESTA - AA [= Alcoholics Anonymous] "holding" VEST. The sacred texts of Zoroastrianism

22 Cook's pan (5)
ROAST - double def