July 22nd, 2020

pianokids

Times Quick Cryptic No 1662 by Mara

Introduction

13:06, keeping with my new tradition of doing 2-3 times worse on my blog days than on other days. Solid puzzle.

Postscript: After completing the blog, I realize there are many many many double definitions and anagrams in this puzzle. I think I was not expecting this, which might explain why I wasn't on the right wavelength.

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Times 27723 - Stretched to the limit.

I found this difficult, and rather frustrating. When I did get the answers to some of the clues, I was much more in 'I suppose so' mode than 'of course, that's clever'. In fact I thought several - 1a, 17a, 24a, 15d, for example - were a stretch too far, definition wise. Also, we had General Knowledge; the old name of an airport that few outside of Ireland may have heard of, a city requiring knowledge of F1 racing to identify, a fictional game, an obscure prewar artist, and a man's name defined simply by 'fellow', another by 'singer'. However, some of the clues were very good; I liked 1d when I eventually saw it, vague definition or not; likewise the constructions of 5d and 7d.
I'll be interested to see what others made of it. Is this a setter we haven't seen before? It felt like it.


Across
1 Understood what’s ahead of Daniel, heading off to join the navy? (2,2,3)
GO TO SEA - Well the Book of Hosea follows Daniel in the Protestant OT, so I suppose it can be considered "ahead of" as further into the text, rather than behind, in a convoluted way. GOT = understood, then HOSEA loses his H.
5 Bumming around, thank God, at home, before golf (7)
CADGING - CA (around), DG (Deo Gratia, thanks be to God), IN (at home) G for golf. I don't know whether the same meanings apply in non-UK regions, but to 'bum' e.g. a cigarette is to ask for one with no immediate intention of returning the favour.
9 Lend, going crazy with a loan for everyone! (3,3,3)
ONE AND ALL - (LEND A LOAN)*.
10 This diary is not, oddly, about people (5)
IRISH - Reverse 'this diary is' and take alternate letters; s I y R a I d S i H t. Random 'people' or nationality for a definition.
11 City’s hotel in short somewhere for a chap to go (5)
GHENT - H for hotel in GENTS (somewhere for a chap to go) shortened.
12 In pilgrims’ airport, drink is cheap (9)
KNOCKDOWN - KNOCK being once an Irish airport, now properly named Ireland West, 20 km from the village of Knock and in the middle of not much else in County Mayo, where Catholic pilgrims go to visit a shrine in pilgrimage; DOWN meaning drink, as a verb.
13 Reputation state bank gets from customer (8,5)
STANDING ORDER - STANDING (reputation) ORDER (state, as in the state of untidiness or otherwise).
17 However classy my side’s boldness, say nothing! (6,4,3)
BUTTON YOUR LIP - BUT (however) TONY (classy?) OUR (my side's) LIP (boldness). Does ton-y mean having tone, having class?
21 The English punt and scrap in seven-a-side game (9)
QUIDDITCH - QUID (English translation of the Irish PUNT), DITCH (scrap). Computer graphics generated game in the Harry Potter series of movies, based on the books.
24 Turnip chopped with one’s stuffing: what could be fresher? (5)
NEWIE - a NEEP is a Scottish turnip; chop the P and insert W(ith) I (one). I've never heard this word used for a fresher or indeed in a wider sense in place of 'newbie', but Webster's says it was first used in 1832.
25 Where you’d have seen GP turning in referral, ominously (5)
IMOLA - hidden in REFERR(AL OMI)NOUSLY; small city in Italy where the San Marino F1 Grand Prix often takes place, as opposed to Monza where the Italian GP is usually held. I've only watched it on TV.
26 Not popular: as one penning trendy verse? (9)
UNINVITED - UNITED (as one) has IN V(erse) inserted.
27 Devices for shutting up after caging very loud woodpeckers (7)
YAFFLES - FF (very loud) goes into YALES as in Yale locks. Yaffles being woodpeckers appeared in another puzzle I blogged recently, and I was surprised then how few solvers knew it; should do better this time.
28 Artist, one overdoing it, placed on stretcher (7)
RACKHAM - RACK (stretcher) HAM (one overding it, over-acting). Arthur Rackham was a famous illustrator of children's books in the 1930s.
Down
1 Lots of eggs eaten by just one revolting fellow (6)
GEORGE - One egg EGG has ROE lots of eggs inside, and all is reversed or revolting, to give our random chap.
2 Wealthy travellers, alien, descended on by NY gang (3,3,3)
THE JET SET - ET the alien is after THE JETS the NY gang along with the Sharks in West Side Story.
3 Singer, needing no introduction, recalled material from the Highlands and Islands (7)
SINATRA - Material from the Scottish Highlands is TARTAN; lose the first T (need no introduction), add IS for Islands, reverse it all. To get one of a few million singers our setter could have chosen to clue.
4 Regrettably, miss promotion after top grade, always (9)
ALACKADAY - A (top grade), LACK AD (miss promotion) AY (always). Not a word I'd really know, but I knew LACKADAY which means the same, and just added the A.
5 Little room, inside case, for musical instrument (5)
CELLO - CELL for little room and O being inside the "case" of FOR. I wanted LOO to come into it somehow, but the penny wasn't to be spent.
6 Kid not prepared to eat last of sister’s toast (5,2)
DRINK TO - Insert R (last of sister) into (KID NOT)*. Toast as a verb.
7 Jones needing a single shot? (5)
INIGO - IN ONE GO or IN 1 GO would be a single shot. Mr Jones the early architect chap.
8 Bloodthirsty guards suspended fast (2,6)
GO HUNGRY - GORY (bloodthirsty, at a stretch) has HUNG (suspended) guarded inside. Surely gory means bloody, not bloodthirsty?
14 Argue hint could be more suggestive (9)
NAUGHTIER - At last a straightforward clue. (ARGUE HINT)*.
15 Thief’s a charmer, but less of a dazzler? (9)
DIPSWITCH - A thief is a dip, and a charmer is a witch, so a DIP'S A CHARMER = DIPSWITCH. It's the dipped headlights which are less of a dazzler, not the switch which causes them to be dipped...
16 Resignation statement in University Times, it being all over (8)
UBIQUITY - I QUIT (resignation statement) goes inside U BY (times).
18 A great time is had with leftover rum (7)
ODDBALL - Have a BALL, have a great time; after ODD = leftover. As in 'finished all but the odd drop' perhaps.
19 Desire cleaner for the school holidays (4,3)
LONG VAC - LONG (for) = desire, VAC as in vacuum cleaner.
20 Uproar after daughter’s dropped old woman (6)
BELDAM - BEDLAM = uproar, place of such; the D moves down or is 'dropped'. A beldam is an old lady as a belsire is an old man. From French, abbr. of belle dame. I knew that my belle mère or belmère was my French mother-in law so it followed I could see what a beldam was.
22 Pot mostly in the air: I refuse to fill it (2-3)
IN-OFF - An IN-OFF is one sort of scoring pot in billiards and an unwanted pot in snooker. My thought on this is NO (I refuse) going inside (R)IFF for 'the air mostly', or maybe IFF(Y) meaning up in the air?
23 Sort of square, man’s tie (5)
TRUSS - T square has RUSS a random chap as in Russ Conway (remember him?) added.