September 7th, 2020

Astarte1

QC 1695 by Tracy

This week we are back in the nursery with a very easy puzzle. Pretty much all the answers went in in sequence without much thought and the only thing that held me up (as usual) was my poor reading eyesight.

FOI was 7A and LOI was 15D (one of the few that didn't go in first time). As usual I have not awarded COD on degree of difficulty but on other aspects and this week I have chosen 7A simply because I like the definition so much. 16A was also elegant.

Although the puzzle was easy several of the clues were very pleasing so many thanks to Tracy for engineering that difficult combination.

Definitions are underlined and everything else is explained just as I see it in the simplest language I can manage.

Across
7 Nasty predator may show little sign of grief (8)
TEARDROP - straight anagram ('nasty') of PREDATOR gives a neat definition.
8 Servant: male help (4)
MAID - M (male) + AID (help).
9 Sign of injury from run in country (6)
SPRAIN - R (run) in SPAIN (country).
10 Speed in heats, uncommon (5)
HASTE - straight anagram ('uncommon') of HEATS.
11 Pass round sticky stuff (3)
GOO - GO (pass) + O (round).
12 Chess piece left in class (6)
CASTLE - L (left) in CASTE (class).
14 Novel hat (6)
TRILBY - double definition, referring to the late 19th century novel by George du Maurier.
16 Alternative route after start of digging? (6)
DETOUR - D (start of Digging) + anagram ('alternative') of ROUTE. The whole clue also amounts to a reasonable definition of the answer making this an &lit.
18 Guard southern passageway (6)
SENTRY - S (southern) + ENTRY (passageway).
19 Old vessel, unlit, heading off (3)
ARK - dARK (unlit) minus its heading.
20 Initially glimpsed weaving machine in partial darkness (5)
GLOOM - G (initially Glimpsed) + LOOM (weaving machine).
21 Stoat in mere, swimming (6)
ERMINE - straight anagram ('swimming') of IN MERE.
23 Conceited, sticks around (4)
SMUG - GUMS (sticks) 'around' (i.e. reversed).
24 Sport in Los Angeles annoyed English (8)
LACROSSE - LA (Los Angeles) + CROSS (annoyed) + E (English).
Down
1 Model short-term office worker, delayed (8)
TEMPLATE - TEMP (short-term office worker) + LATE (delayed).
2 Song from Callas, perhaps needing no introduction (4)
ARIA - Maria Callas, one of the most famous opera singers ever, certainly needs no introduction, and without one she becomes ARIA.
3 Bang bell cast in iron (6)
FRINGE - RING (bell) 'in' FE (Fe being the chemical symbol for iron).
4 Result of winning stroke (6)
UPSHOT - UP (winning) + SHOT (stroke).
5 Neglect? Ring embassy (8)
OMISSION - O (ring) + MISSION (embassy).
6 Healthy, some golf in Edinburgh (4)
FINE - hidden word: 'some' golF IN Edinburgh.
13 Utter nothing in between (8)
THOROUGH - O (nothing) 'in' THROUGH (between).
15 Titled lady one's seen in pubs (8)
BARONESS - ONES (one's) in BARS (pubs).
17 Take a long walk with thriller writer, right to the top (6)
RAMBLE - [Eric] AMBLER (thriller writer) with R (right) moving to the top in this down clue.
18 Outline of small two-master (6)
SKETCH - S (small) + KETCH (two-masted vessel).
20 Match in Georgia, then Maine (4)
GAME - GA (Georgia) + ME (Maine).
22 Low northern celestial body (4)
MOON - MOO (low, as in the sound made by a cow) + northern.
New RCA
  • vinyl1

Times 27763 - In the loop

Time: 19 minutes
Music: Bob Marley, Babylon By Bus

Another easy Monday, despite the grid having so many long answers - I was definitely on the wavelength,    The only one I wasn't sure of was the lake up in the Lake District, which any UK solver is very likely to know, but I had to figure out from the cryptic.   I could have biffed aggressively, but I wanted to work out the cryptics and be sure.   I just had a bit of trouble at the end with emcee, where it would have been useful to have had a good grasp on what compere means.

I would like to remind all commenters that they should not be posting the answers to any other of today's puzzles, including all Times puzzles, and for that matter any puzzle from any paper.   You should also not reveal the answers from any prize puzzle that has not yet closed.   I don't like having to delete posts from legitimate commenters, so please don't do this!

Across
1 Svengali-like figure arty types installed (8)
RASPUTIN - R.A.S + PUT IN, where you might think "arty" is an anagram indicator, rather than a clever way to indicate R.A.
5 Two graduates introducing book about old African tree (6)
BAOBAB - BA(O)BA + B.
9 Don’t object so much? That’s stupid (8)
MINDLESS - MIND LESS, a starter clue.
10 Way to plug advantage in Tea Party location (6)
BOSTON - BO(ST)ON.
12 Occasional spell for women in singular golf game in leisure facility (8,4)
SWIMMING POOL - S(WIMMIN)G + POOL.  A wild cryptic for an obvious answer.
15 Small marsupial’s time to settle for the night (5)
ROOST - ROO'S + T.
16 Worthy objects calling for a libation to be prepared (9)
NOTABILIA - Anagram of A LIBATION.
18 Celebrity from South America entertaining a sailor (9)
SUPERSTAR - S + U(PER)S + TAR.   Another wild cryptic that is not really needed.
19 Fine fabric produced by large detached territory (5)
LISLE - L + ISLE.
20 Wrongly blame a Latino’s enthusiasm for dance (12)
BALLETOMANIA - Anagram of BLAME A LATINO.
24 Fellow disposing of books at end of stage show (6)
EVINCE - [stag]E + VINCE[nt].
25 Like some songs mixed choirs originally performed tastefully (8)
STROPHIC -  Anagram of CHOIRS + P[erformed] T[astefully]
26 Pursued, being grimly persistent (6)
DOGGED - Double definition.
27 Day Welsh girl adopts English milk supplier (8)
FRIESIAN -FRI + E + SIAN.
Down
1 Spirit initially prevailing in 17th-century parliament (4)
RUMP - RUM + P[revailing].
2 Function popular when visiting the Home Counties (4)
SINE - S(IN)E.
3 Liberal in overcoat embracing wife on a Cumbrian lake (9)
ULLSWATER - UL(L)S(W,A)TER.   Unusually, two separate enclosures.
4 Introduction of ideas perhaps in race to secure house (12)
INSEMINATION - IN(SEMI)NATION.
6 Surrounded by part of team on green (5)
AMONG - hidden in [te]AM ON G[reen].
7 Unfathomable? A Midsummer Night’s Dream isn’t (10)
BOTTOMLESS - Double definition, one allusive and jocular.
8 Music director refused to allow songs to be heard (10)
BANDLEADER - sounds like BANNED LIEDER.
11 Sound of footsteps of old PM with queen on pitch (6-6)
PITTER-PATTER - PITT + ER + PATTER.
13 Eg cockapoo, grumpy about being confined to bed (10)
CROSSBREED - CROSS  + B(RE)ED.
14 Forcing learners to keep up exercise in Advent (10)
COMPELLING - COM(PE,LL)ING.
17 Pugnacious bachelor taking girl round Greek island (9)
BELLICOSE - B + ELLI(COS)E.
21 Compere picked up award for gallantry? (5)
EMCEE - Sounds like MC, the Military Cross.
22 Language used by violent youth ultimately on main road (4)
THAI - [violen]T [yout]H + AI.
23 Possibly Smiley’s one deception (4)
ICON - I + CON.