August 26th, 2020

Times Quick Cryptic 1687 by Mara

I raced through this one, helped by plenty of double definitions and opportunities to biff. I did pause on blogging at 16dn thinking that some double duty was afoot, and at 5dn wondering if the fruit developed from top to bottom or vice versa.

I liked 13ac - my COD.

Definitions underlined.


Across
1 Left going in terribly straight to produce shiner (9)
STARLIGHT - L (left) inside (going in) an anagram of (terribly) STRAIGHT.
6 Fashionable joint (3)
HIP - double definition.
8 Alight, boogie! (3,4)
GET DOWN - double definition.
9 Put swimmer on the phone? (5)
PLACE - sounds like (on the phone) "plaice" (fish, swimmer)
10 Might one organise the classroom? (12)
SCHOOLMASTER - anagram of (organise) THE CLASSROOM.
12 Passed fingers over material (4)
FELT - double definition.
13 As lute starts, organ starts too (4)
ALSO - first letters (starts) from As Lute Starts Organ.
17 Somewhere for the players to hear script that's rewritten (9,3)
ORCHESTRA PIT - anagram of (rewritten) TO HEAR SCRIPT.
20 Don't spend penny on brush (5)
SKIMP - P (penny) at the end of (on) SKIM (brush).
21 Former lover, large specimen (7)
EXAMPLE - EX (former lover) and AMPLE (large).
23 Fish skin, but no head (3)
EEL - pEEL (skin) without the first letter (with no head),
24 Try getting fit for game (4,5)
TEST MATCH - TEST (try) with MATCH (fit).

Down
1 Herb, guru (4)
SAGE - double definition.
2 For example, the recital's pitiful (7)
ARTICLE - anagram of (pitiful) RECITAL.
3 Sign in trouble, ominously (3)
LEO - hidden in (in) troubLE Ominously.
4 Lanky, like a group of criminals might you say? (6)
GANGLY - cryptic hint. Gang-ly might be a way to describe the actions of a large group of criminals (or gang).
5 Leader, first of those on hand? (3,6)
TOP BANANA - cryptic hint. Bananas grow in groups called 'hands'.
6 Middle card (5)
HEART - double definition.
7 Little time invested in ropey novel, creative work (6)
POETRY - T (abbreviation for (little) time) inside (invested in) an anagram of (novel) ROPEY.
11 Under pressure to answer, perhaps, immediately (2,3,4)
ON THE SPOT - double definition.
14 Darling goes after bargain a bit (7)
SNIPPET - PET (darling) after SNIP (bargain).
15 Sweet animal picked up by the ears? (6)
MOUSSE - sounds like (picked up by the ears) "moose" (animal).
16 Capital in Asia then, Seoul (6)
ATHENS - hidden in (in) asiA THEN Seoul.
18 On top of elevated location, caught cold (5)
CHILL - C (caught) at the start of (on top of) HILL (elevated location).
19 Yours truly shut up network (4)
MESH - ME (yours truly) and SH (shut up).
22 This person is underlining a point (3)
AIM - I'M (this person) beneath (underlining) A.

Times 27753 - a tail of Peter Rabbit.

A bit of a Curate's Egg for me, this one. Almost all of it went in and was understood in 15 minutes, but a few stubborn clues had to be biffed and deciphered (or possibly not, at 11a) at the end. I liked the double meanings of 'sinks' in the surface at 28a, and 'back' in 15d.





Across
1 One canon I'd recalled for festival (6)
DIWALI - All reversed: I LAW I'D.
4 More genial Liberal let down by the Speaker (8)
MELLOWER - ME (the Speaker) L (liberal) LOWER (let down).
10 Song and dance among endless Christmas turns (7)
LULLABY - All reversed: BALL (dance) inside YUL(E).
11 Non-English issue about to be packed for delivery (7)
DICTION - DI(RE)CTION loses its RE, where RE means 'issue about', literally 'the thing', in Latin not English. At least, that's my guess, I await a better solution from someone wiser. EDIT better solution, EDITION = issue loses E and has C inserted. Credit Guy de Sable, first to comment.
12 Discover limits of executives' pay (4)
ESPY - First and last letters of ExecutiveS PaY.
13 Escape, pinching fanciful tree decoration? (5,5)
FAIRY LIGHT - FLIGHT (escape) insert AIRY (fanciful).
15 Replace budgie food picked up after half-hearted late feed (9)
SUPERSEDE - SUPPER loses a P, then SEDE sounds like SEED that budgies eat. Go to the naughty step if you put in SUPERCEDE, which ought to be right, given that CEDE means yield, but isn't.
16 Go for higher denomination cash in recession (3,2)
SET ON - SET on as in beat up. NOTES reversed.
18 A bible in US city for bookworm, perhaps (5)
LARVA - A Revised Version in Los Angeles. L A RV A.
19 Stray owls seen heading for recreation ground (9)
OWNERLESS - (OWLS SEEN R)*, the R from recreation.
21 Old Spanish silver, gallery's property (4,6)
REAL ESTATE - REALES (old Spanish silver) TATE (gallery).
23 Present society leading the way (4)
SHOW - S (society) HOW (the way).
26 Discharge PM with large following in home counties (7)
SPITTLE - Pitt (ex PM or two) L (large) inside SE (home counties).
27 Donor somehow keeps workers' group booming (7)
OROTUND - TU (workers' group) put into (DONOR)*.
28 Rower hitting front of yacht sinks here, maybe (8)
SCULLERY - SCULLER + Y(acht).
29 Recording equipment orbiting globe for space intruder (6)
METEOR - O (globe) in METER = recording equipment.
Down
1 Luscious currants primarily filling bun with sweetness (5)
DOLCE - L C (initial letters of luscious currants) inside DOE = BUN. BUN originally meant a rabbit's tail then broadened to BUN and BUNNY = DOE a female rabbit.
2 Background of PC that's prepared for hanging? (9)
WALLPAPER - double definition.
3 Stuff youngster carries round (4)
LOAD - LAD has O (round) inserted.
5 What’s found inside vendor sent back (7)
ENDORSE - hidden word in V(ENDOR SE)NT.
6 Flat shortage with curious result (10)
LACKLUSTRE - LACK (shortage) (RESULT)*.
7 Screw, prison's second in annexe (5)
WRING - R (second letter of prison) in WING (annexe).
8 Musical excerpts for which versatile singer not required? (9)
RINGTONES - (SINGER NOT)*.
9 Line up in entry to perform pirouette (6)
GYRATE - RY (line, railway) reversed inside GATE (entry).
14 Attractive Exmoor heroine heading off, crazed (10)
ORNAMENTAL - (L)ORNA (DOONE, eponymous heroine) MENTAL (crazed).
15 Sister nursing case of cruel, painful back condition (9)
SCLEROSIS - SIS(ter) has CL (case of cruel) then SORE reversed (painful back) inserted.
17 Injured bird leaves stormy Outer Hebrides for shelter in wood (4,5)
TREE HOUSE - (OUTER HE ES)* where HE(BRID)ES loses the letters of bird.
19 Last longer than exhausted enemy leader in conflict (7)
OUTWEAR - OUT (exhausted) then E (enemy leader) in WAR.
20 Fancy sex turning up in middle of day! (6)
NOTION - IT (sex) reversed inside NOON.
22 Vale in Provence long swathed in gold (5)
ADIEU - Vale is Latin for goodbye, Adieu is French. DIE (die for = long for) inside AU (gold).
24 Leggy bird, one proceeding with difficulty? (5)
WADER - double definition, someone wading through something may be proceeding with difficulty.
25 Put up with drill (4)
BORE - double definition: put up with in past tense. We had this not long ago.