October 28th, 2020

Times 27807 - It's all Greek to me, but tant pis.

I'm expecting to see a sub-100 snitch for this one, as it took me somewhere near a PB to complete. The word play was so exact that even the more obscure words like 10a, 11a, 15d, 16d could be worked out if you weren't familiar with them. Certainly a puzzle for Quick Cryptic solvers to have a go at. Good work, Mr Setter, even if not a tough challenge for a Wednesday.




Across
1 Cavalry is pressing round flank (9)
IRONSIDES - IRONS (is pressing) around SIDE (flank).
6 Glower from club regular, not the first (5)
EMBER - MEMBER loses M.
9 Back-to-back, various graduates dance (5)
SAMBA - MAS backed against BA.
10 Second-hand German missile decayed (9)
VICARIOUS - V1 (German missile) CARIOUS (decayed, as in teeth). I had a vague idea what this word meant, but couldn't have told you exactly.
11 Argives initially invading pain an old Greek (7)
ACHAEAN - A (Argives initially) inside ACHE then AN. One of the four main types of early Greeks, along with Ionian, Dorian and Aeolian.
12 Report framing left-winger’s apathy (7)
BOREDOM - insert RED into BOOM.
13 As thief may be, and trapeze artist occasionally? (6,2,3,3)
CAUGHT IN THE ACT - double definition.
17 Fruit taken by river vessel diverts animals (14)
HIPPOPOTAMUSES - HIP (fruit) PO (River Po) POT (vessel) AMUSES (diverts). Cue discussion about more than one hippo being hippopotami. Both are valid.
21 Native American soldier turned horse in a circle (7)
ARAPAHO - PARA (soldier) reversed, then H in A O.
23 Bliss in getting back having sacked a great city (7)
NINEVEH - HEAVEN IN (bliss in) all reversed then loses (sacked) A.
25 Pirate very shortly at sea in armed vessel (9)
PRIVATEER - (PIRATE VER)*, where VER = very shortly.
26 Perished outside Luxor, finally preserved as mummy? (5)
DRIED - R of LUXOR inside DIED.
27 Shade offered by some forest in Germany (5)
TINGE - Hidden word in FORES(T IN GE)RMANY.
28 Lovely surprise? (9)
BOMBSHELL - Double definition, one being a pretty person I assume.
Down
1 Example given by ancients originally (8)
INSTANCE - (ANCIENTS)*.
2 Go round twice at speed (5)
OOMPH - OO (round twice) MPH (miles per hour = speed).
3 Transport bound for moon? Small steps with it? (9)
SPACESHIP - S (small) PACES (steps) HIP (with it).
4 Welshman drinking French wine cold, as was Leonardo (2,5)
DA VINCI - DAI (Welshman) insert VIN (French wine) C (cold).
5 Instrument in boat capsized under fire (7)
SACKBUT - SACK (fire) TUB (boat) reversed.
6 Deposing leader in panic is blunder (5)
ERROR - TERROR (panic) loses T.
7 Sticks in America an advantage with crops (9)
BOONDOCKS - BOON (advantage) DOCKS (crops, makes less).
8 Continue to suppose parking not required (6)
RESUME - PRESUME loses P.
14 Nonconformist group associated with heretic (9)
UNITARIAN - UNIT (group) ARIAN (heretic). I'm sure someone religious can explain Arian better than I; something to do with being a Christian but not accepting Jesus as the Son of God? Arius started Arianism apparently, in Alexandria.
15 Community workers side with morphing, vengeful trio (9)
EUMENIDES - EU MEN (Community workers) (SIDE)*. Greek goddesses of vengeance.
16 Plant key beneath reptile house (8)
ASPHODEL - ASP (reptile) HO (house) DEL (key on keyboard). In our neck of the woods, or moorlands, asphodels have yellow spiky flowers.
18 Saw person wandering in empty pub (7)
PROVERB - ROVER (person wandering) inside P(U)B.
19 So much French spirit causes outburst (7)
TANTRUM - TANT (means so much or so many in French) RUM (spirit).
20 Tear a strip off floor covering (6)
CARPET - double definition.
22 Plant's core yielded base for tequila (5)
AGAVE - A (central letter, core, of PLANT) GAVE (yielded).
24 Duck carried in evil air (5)
VOICE - Insert O (duck) into VICE (evil). AIR used as a verb here.