October 7th, 2020

Times 27789 - my postilion has blown it!

A pleasant and not too tricky Wednesday this week, which has a good mix of easy clues, and some interesting words. Well, interesting in the sense that, with time to fill, one can potter off into Wiki or Google to investigate more; e.g. any of 1a, 10a, 21a, 22a, 1d, 7d, 20d, if one was not familiar with their origins or details.





Across
1 Instrument that accompanied mail, deployed on short trip ultimately (4,4)
POST HORN - (ON SHORT P)*, the P being trip ultimately. A valveless horn like a bugle but rounded, used by postilions on mail coaches. Before seeing the anagram, I was off looking for a sort of HARP.
5 Woman with capacity to be realistic (6)
VIABLE - VI (woman) ABLE (with capacity).
8 In college, Heather meets posh boy speaking only one tongue (10)
UNILINGUAL - UNI (college) LING (heather the plant) U (posh) AL (a boy).
9 One of two giants swigging first of rum — a diluted type (4)
GROG - GOG as in Gog and Magog, giants in various Biblical and folklore tales; insert R (first of rum) to get grog which was watered-down rum issued daily to sailors.
10 Financial crash involving dome by Hants resort? (5,3,6)
SOUTH SEA BUBBLE - DD, the second whimsical definition being based on Southsea near Portsmouth having a dome. I only recently read a book about the Georgian monarchs and the saga of this scandalous affair. Perhaps BJ can persuade a new Chinese version of the South Sea Company to take over the growing National Debt, much as this one did in 1720.
11 Greek character circles ship, beginning to survey frame (7)
CHASSIS - CHI (Greek letter) around A SS (a ship) S (beginning to survey). I think this should read 'circles a ship' but the editor seems to have missed it.
13 Again decline drinks, with smoke briefly put round (7)
RELAPSE - LAPS (drinks) inside REE(k). Reek can mean to smoke or give off fumes, as well as meaning to smell nasty. Edinburgh was known as "Auld Reekie" apparently for both of these reasons.
15 Solvent one takes to Tyneside (7)
ACETONE - ACE (one) TO NE (North East). Acetone, or more scientifically propanone, is the simplest ketone.
18 Crazy about Kelly? Completely bowled over! (7)
STUNNED - NUTS 'about' is STUN, add NED (Kelly the Australian outlaw). At first I thought this was about the White House CoS General John Kelly who was recently quoted as "stunned" to hear about a female Republican Congress member publicising a private DJT phone call to a military widow for propaganda purposes. American politics today, you couldn't make it up.
21 US church member sat in yard casually with coffee (6-3,5)
LATTER-DAY SAINT - LATTE (coffee) (SAT IN YARD)*. You can be a LDS or Mormon anywhere worldwide, not just USA, there's even a LDS temple in the Isle of Man, I know a nice family who belong.
22 Type size some myopic academics required (4)
PICA - hidden word in MYO(PIC A)CADEMICS. A measure of type size, details of which vary from UK to USA, like gallons do.
23 Eg pianist’s assistant gripping book? (4-6)
PAGE-TURNER - double definition.
24 Additional drink council leader knocks back on returning (6)
CHASER - C (council leader) HAS (knocks back, drinks) ER (RE, on, reversed).
25 Policeman demanding dope from Parisian carrying weapon (8)
GENDARME - GEN (dope) DE (from, French) has ARM (weapon) inserted.
Down
1 Sort of acid acceptable around most of vast country (7)
PRUSSIC - PC (acceptable, to snowflakes at least) has RUSSI(A) inserted. Prussic acid is a old name for hydrogen cyanide, which in pure form is a liquid boiling at 25.6⁰C, and not to be trifled with unless you're a professional poisoner.
2 Fan replacing marks with pence to lay down? (9)
STIPULATE - STIMULATE (fan, as in fan the flames perhaps) has its M replaced by a P.
3 Pinnacles reached by hospital rowing crews (7)
HEIGHTS - H (hospital) EIGHTS (rowing crews).
4 Move backwards, using right exit (7)
REGRESS - R(ight), EGRESS = exit.
5 Broadcasting on TV, value a dish (3-2-4)
VOL-AU-VENT - (ON TV VALUE)*.
6 Lab rage impaired academic study (7)
ALGEBRA - (LAB RAGE)*. I liked algebra, but never did get the hang of matrices.
7 One with pride in Sir Tristram’s birthplace, we hear? (7)
LIONESS - homophone reference to Sir Tristram de Lyones, who features in the Morte d'Arthur legend.
12 Fashionable ring worn by northern publican (9)
INNKEEPER - IN (fashionable) N (northern) KEEPER (ring).
14 Senior citizen’s boarding-house on European river (9)
PENSIONER - PENSION (boarding-house) E(uropean) R(iver). As long as I get paid, or get a discount for being one, you may call me either.
16 Pass over part of meal — it’s not very warm (7)
COLDISH - COL(pass) DISH (part of meal).
17 Giants inspiring current paintings (7)
TITIANS - TITANS has I inserted.
18 Sort of cat, one housed in identical quarters (7)
SIAMESE - SAME (identical) insert I (one) E,S,E (quarters).
19 A Continental waterway lacking security (7)
UNSOUND - UN (French for 'a') SOUND (waterway).
20 Put off, finally having dye to wash away (7)
DETERGE - DETER (put off) G E (last letters of havinG dyE). Not a verb much used, but a detergent deterges dirt.


Times Quick Cryptic 1717 by Izetti

Not the easiest Izetti, in that I needed to look twice at several of these before cottoning on, and didn't feel confident enough at any point to do much biffing (I did biff 12dn, though, and barely even read 6dn). At just over my target time, though, this was certainly no beast. I hope you enjoyed it too.

Kudos for the clever anagram at 19ac, and 20dn which I needed to cross my eyes to solve.

Definitions underlined.

Across
1 Remodelled sports ground a second time (6)
RECAST - REC (recreation ground, sports ground), a, S (second) and T (time).
4 Had meal at back of pub? That's natural (6)
INNATE - ATE (had meal) at the back of INN (pub).
8 Ann's voice, sort proving tricky in discussions? (13)
CONVERSATIONS - anagram of (proving tricky) ANNS VOICE SORT.
10 Bit of food delivered to church (5)
PIECE - PIE (food) and (delivered to) CE (Church of England, church).
11 Little girl, as one doing nothing in a brilliant way (7)
VIVIDLY - short version of (little) VIVian (girl), then IDLY (as one doing nothing).
13 Describes as evil different characters from Des Moines (9)
DEMONISES - anagram of (different characters from) DES MOINES.
17 An Italian poet's musical movement (7)
ANDANTE - AN and DANTE (Italian poet).
18 Tree that goes high up into the sky (5)
PLANE - double definition.
19 So Nana and Grannie could be very old people (13)
NONAGENARIANS - anagram of (could be) SO NANA and GRANNIE. Great find!
21 Nymphs being dull and awfully sad (6)
DRYADS - DRY (dull) with an anagram of (awfully) SAD.
22 Surely that could be denied (6)
INDEED - anagram of (that could be) DENIED.

Down
1 Formula ready for use city area gets brought in (6)
RECIPE - RIPE (ready for use) with EC (city (of London) area) inside (gets brought in).
2 Argued prisoner should get looked after (9)
CONTENDED - CON (prisoner) gets TENDED (looked after),
3 Female is capsizing in something riddled with holes (5)
SIEVE - EVE (female) and IS all reversed (capsizing).
5 Residents show up, going in opposite directions (7)
NATIVES - EVITA (show) reversed (up) inside (going in) N and S (north and south, opposite directions).
6 A party creating a fuss (3)
ADO - A and DO (party).
7 Attempts to participate in games — say, skittles (6)
ESSAYS - hidden in (to participte in) gamES SAY Skittles.
9 Number in competition observed going round (9)
SEVENTEEN - EVENT (competition) with SEEN (observed) surrounding it (going round).
12 Malign a girl initially praised, turning nasty (9)
DISPARAGE - anagram of (turning nasty) A, the first letter of (initially) Girl, and PRAISED.
14 To catch horse, frenzied dame ran (7)
MANAGED - anagram of (frenzied) DAME surrounds (to catch) NAG (horse).
15 Mother and boy cursed (6)
DAMNED - DAM (mother) and NED (boy).
16 After drinks editor gets made fun of (6)
TEASED - TEAS (drinks) and ED (editor).
18 Former president is human being without the first bit of sense (5)
PERON - PERsON (human being) missing the 's' (first letter of (first bit of) sense).
20 No pay, no work? No! (3)
NAY - No pAY, minus (no) 'op' (opus, work).