November 2nd, 2020

Astarte1

QC 1735 by Breadman

Back again this week after missing my slot two weeks ago. Many thanks to jackkt who sat in for me. The reason for my absence was the untimely death of my mother. I honestly do take all your good wishes and condolences as read so please do not comment unless you really feel you want to. The only reason I mention it here is that I have this community to thank for providing the ideal music for the committal of my mother's body. Several weeks ago I got involved in a discussion on this blog about Sergei Rachmaninov and to cut a long story short I was introduced to a wonderful version of his Vespers and All-Night Vigil by oldblighter. The Nunc Dimittis from that work was the perfect accompaniment for that part of the service so I want to say a big thank you to all of you and particularly to oldblighter for making the service a truly memorable occasion for my family (virus restrictions meant nobody else could be there of course) and me.

Right. Back to the crossword. I found this to be of medium difficulty but maybe I was just out of the groove after missing the last one. But having looked through it again I think, no, there were definitely some clues that were a bit more difficult than the normal Monday QC. 1A, 18A and 10D for instance might have been able to slip in at the easy end of a Monday 15x15. Many thanks to Breadman for a skillfully composed intro to the week.

I think my FOI was the double definition at 5A, LOI was 1D and COD I have to give to 18A in memory of Jill Masterson on the weekend in which Sean Connery died. As I understand it though this must be pure coincidence as I think the puzzle was probably set just a little in advance of the news of his death.

Some of you may notice that I am trying a bit harder this week to explain even the most basic of crossword currency. This is because on my last blog I noticed a comment from someone who was not familiar with the abbreviations of S for son and D for daughter, and I realised that sometimes we bloggers take a little too much for granted particularly in the QC where some people really are trying to get to grips with cryptics for the first time.

I didn't get time to look past on Friday to see what everybody made of the 15x15 but I really enjoyed it and I imagine there were some enthusiastic responses. I found the scenery in the SW corner particularly beautiful.

Definitions are underlined and everything else is explained just as I see it as simply as I can.

Across
1 Disease affected legs, lower part first (8)
SHINGLES - SHIN (lower part of leg (going first)) + GLES (anagram ('affected') of LEGS).
5 Go away and sing some jazz (4)
SCAT - double definition. SCAT as in 'get out of here', and also as the sort of jazz singing at which Ella Fitzgerald used to excel.
8 Mark, good person, regularly patient (5)
STAIN - ST (saint, good person) + pAtIeNt 'regularly'.
9 Son and dad, covered in blood, become furious (2,5)
GO SPARE - S (son) + PA (dad) 'covered in' GORE (blood).
11 Viewer, the first person in auditorium (3)
EYE - sounds like 'I' (first person 'in auditorium').
12 Set up his tables wrong (9)
ESTABLISH - straight anagram ('wrong') of HIS TABLES.
13 Attempt to obtain one pound hat (6)
TRILBY - TRY (attempt) 'obtaining' I LB (one pound).
15 Bishop organised church meal (6)
BRUNCH - B (bishop) + RUN (organised) + CH (church). My eyebrow was about to raise because I thought the wrong tense was being used (RUN as opposed to RAN) but then I realised that use of the passive voice makes it OK, as in "The church meal was ORGANISED = was RUN by the Bishop". 
18 Genuine gold female found in loft, not the first (9)
AUTHENTIC - AU (chemical symbol for gold) + HEN (female) 'found in' aTTIC (loft, but not the first letter).
19 Paddle round a river (3)
OAR - O (ROUND) + A + R (river).
20 Suspend pet, with a guilty look (7)
HANGDOG - HANG (suspend) + DOG (pet).
21 Asian country dismissing cases of Hindu bias (5)
INDIA - 'dismiss' the 'cases' of hINDu bIAs and you have IND + IA = INDIA.
22 Made error accommodating ruminant animal (4)
DEER - hidden word: maDE ERror 'accommodating'.
23 Musical group embraces new age, advertising online (6,2)
BANNER AD - BAND (musical group) 'embracing' N (new) + ERA (age).
Down
1 Doubt South American kissed briefly, as you say (7)
SUSPECT - S (south) + US (American) + PECT (sounds like PECKED (kissed briefly) 'as you say').
2 Informant inside that is angry (5)
IRATE - RAT (informant) 'inside' IE (that is).
3 Reddish lolly, a sweet snack? (11)
GINGERBREAD - GINGER (reddish) + BREAD (lolly - both slang terms for money).
4 Wounded GI and the unknown pensioner might be so old (6)
EIGHTY - EIGHT (anagram of GI + THE ('wounded')) + Y (unknown - one of x, Y and z, the letters commonly used to represent unknown quantities in algebraic expressions).
6 Old brass instrument Caroline mostly played (7)
CLARION - anagram of CAROLINe (Caroline 'mostly').
7 Maybe canines in part of golf course on Thursday (5)
TEETH - TEE (part of golf course) + TH (Thursday).
10 Removal of U-boat drawing (11)
SUBTRACTION - SUB (U-boat) + TRACTION (drawing (as in dragging)).
14 Concentrated at home on future perhaps (7)
INTENSE - IN (at home) + TENSE (future 'perhaps', an example of a TENSE).
16 Difficult to get hold of a particular Bible for US university (7)
HARVARD - HARD (difficult) 'getting hold of' A RV (Revised Version, a particular translation of the Bible).
17 Spot Greek character crossing junction (6)
STIGMA - SIGMA (Greek letter or 'character') 'crossing' T (a type of junction).
18 Companion in A&E, with daughter, felt sore (5)
ACHED - CH (Companion of Honour) 'in' A and E + D (daughter).
19 Stranger died in north European river (5)
ODDER - D (died) 'in' ODER (north European river).