November 4th, 2020

Times Quick Cryptic 1737 by Mara

Nice and easy. Only the SW put up a little resistance, and I had to guess the first meaning at 21dn.

Definitions underlined.

Across
1 Comedian in panic, I'm occasionally laid back (5)
COMIC - hidden in (in) paniC I'M OCcasionally when reversed (laid back).
4 Drink after drink for champion (7)
SUPPORT - PORT (drink) after SUP (drink).
8 Odd mountains behind street (7)
STRANGE - RANGE (mountains) behind  ST (street).
9 Store money, did you say? (5)
CACHE - sounds like (did you say) "cash" (money).
10 Understand clubs, for example, do the same thing (6,4)
FOLLOW SUIT - FOLLOW (understand) and SUIT (clubs, for example).
14 Payment subsequently withdrawn, including last part of commission (6)
RENTAL - reversal of (withdrawn) LATER (subsequently) containing (including) the last letter (last part) of commissioN.
15 Story about equine female from Scotland (6)
LASSIE - LIE (story) surrounding (about) ASS (equine).
17 Undecided where one might throw a ball? (2,2,3,3)
UP IN THE AIR - cryptic hint.
20 Cut on outside by blade reversed, so accurate (5)
EXACT - outermost letters of (on outside) CuT on AXE (blade) reversed.
22 Sticky stuff, plate fairly edible? (7)
GOODISH - GOO (sticky stuff) and DISH (plate).
23 Ghost creeps eerily round back of apartment (7)
SPECTRE - anagram of (eerily) CREEPS surrounding (round) the last letter (back) of apartmenT.
24 Composer left in temper when rejected (5)
ELGAR - L (left) in RAGE (temper) reversed (when rejected).

Down
1 Play with acts for all the actors! (4)
CAST - anagram of (play with) ACTS.
2 Spot former European currency (4)
MARK - double definition.
3 Certainly not a Tory boy, soldier possibly (9)
CONSONANT - CON (Tory), SON (boy), and ANT (soldier, possibly).
4 Cold-blooded fish occupying dirty home (6)
STEELY - EEL (fish) inside (occupying) STY (dirty home).
5 Shortly, choose image (3)
PIC - remove the last letter from (shortly) PICk (choose).
6 Certainly old, refocus after treatment (2,6)
OF COURSE - O (old) and an anagram of (after treatment) REFOCUS.
7 It's ten, we suspect, for a decade (8)
TWENTIES - anagram of (suspect) IT'S TEN WE.
11 Tiring, I saw more failing with low grade (9)
WEARISOME - anagram of (failing) I SAW MORE, and E (low grade).
12 American in resort tailored garment (8)
TROUSERS - US (American) contained by (in) an anagram of (tailored) RESORT.
13 Item ain't terribly close (8)
INTIMATE - anagram of (terribly) ITEM AIN'T.
16 Hunting dog heading for big, big bird (6)
BEAGLE - first letter of (head for) Big, then EAGLE (big bird).
18 Phone group of criminals? (4)
RING - double definition.
19 Some perch, a remarkable fish (4)
CHAR - hidden in (some) perCH A Remarkable.
21 Make lace: stuff of poor quality (3)
TAT - double definition. Tatting is the process of making lace.

Times 27813 - A Rake's and Pilgrim's Progress feature today; do not despond when in Berkshire!

Today the UK Parliament is discussing another lockdown to start tomorrow. I, and several hundred thousand others, have signed a petition arguing for our golf courses to be kept open (albeit playing only in pairs and with no beer and sandwiches afterwards). I'm fingers-crossed for a sensible outcome and for a win for Sleepy Joe without too much legal posturing afterwards by you know who. It's a Big Day. So my mind was a little distracted when I tackled this one.
Nevertheless I found I had it done in 17 minutes, with not too much longer needed to tease out all the parsing. 19a was my LOI and 18a my CoD as it took the longest to parse.

Across
1 Goddess not totally passionate, cold inside (6)
HECATE - HEATE(D) has C for cold inside. She was the Greek goddess of magic and spells.
4 Tied horse into winter vehicle (8)
SHACKLED - HACK (horse) inside SLED (Winter vehicle).
10 Cry, being fat (7)
BLUBBER - double definition.
11 Grander novel produced by detective writer (7)
GARDNER - (GRANDER)*. Reference to Erle Stanley Gardner, writer of the Perry Mason books,  not to be confused with one of my favourite writers, Martin Gardner (the Annotated Alice, etc.).
12 Clan's symbol, mostly something carried (4)
TOTE - mostly TOTEM.
13 Rob ended career (10)
OVERCHARGE - OVER (ended) CHARGE (career).
15 Pioneering shopkeeper attaching value to natural fabric (9)
WOOLWORTH - Attach WORTH to WOOL to get Frank Winfield Woolworth, d. 1919.
16 Sound made by learner involved in row (5)
SPLAT - Insert L into SPAT = row.
18 Nice, request being put out to a bestower of gifts (5)
SANTA - PLEASANT (nice) loses PLEA (request), then A. Nice meaning nice for a change, not 'let's think French'.
19 Mix as zany lassie, one with company around being entertained (9)
SOCIALISE - Insert CO reversed into (LASSIE I)*.
21 Brought to face charges, man being brought in is familiar (10)
ACCUSTOMED - Insert TOM (a man) into ACCUSED.
23 Not expensive — 20 per cent off — good deal! (4)
HEAP - CHEAP loses one of five letters to give HEAP, a lot, a good deal.
26 First stage of relay with a big noise being introduced (7)
LEADING - LEG (stage of relay) has A DIN inserted.
27 Celebrations with relations expected to come first (7)
PARTIES - PAR (expected, as expected), TIES (relations).
28 More troubled by exam, becoming most withdrawn (8)
REMOTEST - (MORE)* then TEST = exam.
29 Keen to embrace good retro music (6)
REGGAE - EAGER (keen), insert G for good, reverse all (retro).
Down
1 Hotel with quite special uniform? (5)
HABIT - H (hotel) A BIT (quite, fairly).
2 Member of aristocracy leads part of NI in preparation for event (9)
COUNTDOWN - COUNT (aristocrat) DOWN (County in N. Ireland).
3 This musical instrument has upset neighbour (4)
TUBA - ABUT (neighbour) reversed.
5 Painter having house with courtyard (7)
HOGARTH - HO (house) GARTH (a courtyard with a cloister around it).
6 Vehicle in this style wanted by Scotsman, one in order? (10)
CARTHUSIAN - CAR (vehicle) THUS (in this style) IAN (our usual Scot). A Catholic closed order of both nuns and monks founded in 1084 by theologian Bruno of Cologne.
7 Solitary individual, I must bring two sides together (5)
LONER - L, ONE = I, R.
8 Insect ultimately wrecked tree with bole suffering (3-6)
DOR-BEETLE - (D TREE BOLE)*, the D from end of wreckeD. Fat bluish beetle also called a dung beetle.
9 Motorist's club (6)
DRIVER - double definition, car driver, golf club.
14 This water's wrecked garment (10)
SWEATSHIRT - (THIS WATERS)*.
15 One moaning about idiot who sings when tipsy? (9)
WASSAILER - Insert ASS into WAILER.
17 One girl sadly without sex appeal hanging around for client? (9)
LOITERING - insert IT (sex appeal) into (ONE GIRL)*.
19 Berkshire town's sheds (7)
SLOUGHS - Slough is a famous, or infamous, town in Berkshire, so Slough's.
20 Frightening member of tribe? Pray, if losing heart (6)
CREEPY - CREE (member of US native tribe) PY (pray losing ra).
22 Appeal made by church member (5)
CHARM - CH(urch) ARM.
24 Food on either side of street trail (5)
PISTE - PIE (food) has ST(reet) inside.
25 Bank of Scotland being courageous, but not very? (4)
BRAE - BRAVE loses its V(ery). A hillside by a river in bonnie Scotland.