November 16th, 2020

Astarte1

QC 1745 by Wurm

Pretty much a standard Monday puzzle, with most of the Across answers going in sequentially which made the Down answers even more straightforward. Many thanks to Wurm for a gentle and enjoyable start to the week. How did the rest of you find it?

FOI was 1A as you would expect and LOI similarly was 22D. COD as usual goes on qualities such as neatness and smoothness of surface rather than difficulty and plausible candidates were 11, 14 or 15D. I think I will go for the last of these because of the novel (well, novel to me anyway) subdefinition of EX.

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

Across
1 Applaud catch that's rubbish? (8)
CLAPTRAP - CLAP (applaud) + TRAP (catch).
6 New beer knocked back in style (4)
ELAN - N (new) + ALE (beer) 'knocked back'.
8 Shakespeare nasty about Romeo (4)
BARD - BAD (nasty) 'about' R (Romeo in phonetic alphabet) brings us to the Bard of Avon.
9 First course study with French department (8)
CONSOMME - CON (study) + SOMME (French department). Consommé (with an aigu accent added to the SOMME bit) being a clear soup and therefore a first course.
10 Carer she misled in fact-finding (8)
RESEARCH - straight anagram ('misled') of CARER SHE.
12 Comprehensive with no spare places? (4)
FULL - double definition.
13 Benefit sheltering theologian in breeze (6)
DODDLE - DOLE (benefit) 'sheltering' DD (Doctor of Divinity, theologian).
16 Write critical assessment on Panorama? (6)
REVIEW - RE (on) + VIEW (panorama).
17 Small vehicle showing damage (4)
SCAR - S (small) + CAR (vehicle).
18 Bumpkin holding hearts in game (8)
PHEASANT - PEASANT (bumpkin) 'holding' H (hearts).
21 Tea bag so explosively causes destruction (8)
SABOTAGE - straight anagram ('explosively') of TEA BAG SO.
22 The setter's rich source (4)
MINE - double definition.
23 Supreme creator gets racket on ball (4)
ODIN - DIN (racket) on O (ball) gives ODIN, the Norse mythology version of the supreme creator.
24 Race generating more than local interest? (8)
NATIONAL - double definition, 'National' being a common abbreviation of the Grand National, the famous annual horse race held at Aintree. And if something is of NATIONAL interest then it is of more than just local interest.
Down
2 Rental contract to satisfy without pressure at first (5)
LEASE - pLEASE (to satisfy) without P (pressure) at first.
3 Shell in Aleppo detonates (3)
POD - hidden word: 'in' AlepPO Detonates.
4 Fast driver expert in Rolls-Royce (5)
RACER - ACE (expert) 'in' RR (Rolls-Royce).
5 Leopard one breathless catching horse? (7)
PANTHER - PANTER (one who is 'breathless') 'catching' H (horse).
6 Game is on TV — fee to be arranged (4,5)
ETON FIVES - straight anagram ('to be arranged') of IS ON TV FEE.
7 Animal savaged Edinburgh's foremost author (1,1,5)
A A MILNE - anagram of ANIMAL ('savaged') + E (Edinburgh's foremost).
11 Bedcover has colour that is turning blue (9)
EIDERDOWN - RED (colour) + IE (id est, that is) 'turning' + DOWN (blue as in 'feeling blue')
14 Where one grows fruit or vegetable (7)
ORCHARD - OR + CHARD (vegetable).
15 Describe partner that was unattractive (7)
EXPLAIN - EX (partner that was) + PLAIN (unattractive).
19 Personage finally opening show? (5)
EVENT - E (personagE 'finally') + VENT (opening).
20 Assassin hiding in town in Japan (5)
NINJA - hidden word: 'hiding in' towN IN JApan. The whole clue could also be a reasonable description of a NINJA so this doubles as an &lit clue.
22 Low feeling daughter ignored (3)
MOO - MOOd (feeling) with D (daughter) ignored. The definition here is LOW as in the sound that cattle make ("The cattle are LOWing...").