November 18th, 2020

Times Quick Cryptic 1747 by Joker

DNF after staring at 2dn for a couple of minutes then giving up. I usually talk myself out of giving up when thinking that it's a word I just don't know, as that's quite unusual in the QC. But this time I was right.

I also paused at 10ac (plants are not a strong point) and 8dn (to admire the clue). Thanks to Joker.

Definitions underlined.

Across
6 Grim at all times in southeast (6)
SEVERE - EVER (at all times) in SE (southeast).
7 Fur belonging to myself after earl, oddly (6)
ERMINE - MINE (belonging to myself) after odd letters from (odly) EaRl.
9 Man, say, in Paisley (4)
ISLE - hidden in (in) paISLEy.
10 Shrub with red or white flowers — unusually red alone (8)
OLEANDER - anagram of (unusually) RED ALONE.
11 Brief respite with time for papa to recover (8)
RETRIEVE - REpRIEVE (brief respite) with T (time) instead of (for) 'p' (papa).
13 Indifferent emergency appeal gains nought (2-2)
SO-SO - S.O.S. (emergency appeal) and O (nought).
15 Co-operating group assembling Brexit, Labour or Conservative leaders (4)
BLOC - first letters from (assembling... leaders) Brexit, Labour, Or, and Conservative.
16 Still on the sea bed around California and Maine (8)
BECALMED - BED containing (around) CAL (California) and ME (Maine).
18 Paraffin oil’s odd treatment for sore knee (8)
KEROSENE - anagram of (odd treatment for) SORE KNEES.
20 A mostly concrete neighbourhood (4)
AREA - A, and all-but-the-last letter from (mostly) REAl (concrete).
21 Fool in hospital left ecstasy — bother (6)
HASSLE - ASS (fool) in H (hospital), L (left) and E (ecstasy).
22 Coarse east European taking Victor for British (6)
VULGAR - bULGAR (east European) with V (victor) instead of (for) 'b' (British).

Down
1 What mollusc inhabits ocean’s lower regions? (8)
SEASHELL - SEA'S (ocean's) and HELL (lower regions?).
2 Rue eroticism that’s deviant and only superficially attractive (12)
MERETRICIOUS - anagram of (that's deviant) RUE EROTICISM.
3 Unscramble lyric after a month (6)
DECODE - ODE (lyric) after DEC (a month).
4 The Queen always up for respect (6)
REVERE - ER (the Queen) and EVER (always), all reversed (up).
5 Formerly working with civil engineer (4)
ONCE - ON (working) and C.E. (civil engineer).
8 Short word some feel bally son omitted to send back (12)
MONOSYLLABLE - hidden in (some) a reversal of (to send back) feEL BALLY SON OMitted.
12 Contend with immoral behaviour, shunning clubs (3)
VIE - VIcE (immoral behaviour) missing the (shunning) 'c' (clubs).
14 Bony eel takes cooking (8)
SKELETAL - anagram of (cooking) EEL TAKES.
16 Barley regularly ends in new ale and beer for him? (6)
BREWER - every other letter from (regularly) BaRlEy, and the last letters from (ends in) neW, alE, and beeR.
17 Quit after Conservative split (6)
CLEAVE - LEAVE (quit) after C (Conservative).
19 Former partner with morning paper (4)
EXAM - EX (former partner) and AM (morning).

Times 27825 - chestnuts and tough nuts to crack.

This took me well over an hour and I'm still wondering about how 2d works. There is a mix of easy or familiar clues, with some oblique definitions and unusual words - 19a and 15d for example. I am 4d about the answer to 4d, too.
Good luck to those attempting the TCC on Saturday; I'll take a run at the puzzles at leisure but I can't be tempted to be in a hurry. It's a pity we're covid-struck; I was intending to make it to the George this year. Perhaps 2021 will see us liberated.


Across
1 Driver, say, hit back and forth? (4,4)
GOLF CLUB - FLOG (hit) back, CLUB (hit) not back.
6 Celebrity currently featuring in musical, not finished (6)
RENOWN - Apparently there is a musical called RENT which is loosely based on La Bohème, (which I do like). I hate all musicals so have never heard it, but had vaguely heard of it. Into REN(T) put NOW.
9 Ship ready to be launched possibly in US port (6)
NEWARK - NEW ARK, self explanatory.
10 Light plane that's inclined to transport dignitary (4,4)
REAR LAMP - RAMP (inclined plane) insert EARL.
11 Bowl over, with very hot ball trapping opener in test (4)
STUN - the SUN in a way is a very hot ball, insert T for test opener.
12 Drinking suffered, last of pubs boarded up (10)
WASSAILING - WAS AILING = suffered, insert S = last of pubs.
14 Composer put line in short song: riff not requiring one (4,4)
CARL ORFF - CARO(L) a short song; insert L (line) add R(I)FF. German chap who wrote Carmina Burana etc.
16 Having taken some hemp as smuggler, search me! (4)
PASS - hidden in HEM(P AS S)MUGGLER. PASS as in e.g. Mastermind questions I don't know.
18 See spinners spinning (4)
SPOT - TOPS reversed. Chestnutty.
19 Full of goodness, cook tripe (8)
FLUMMERY - Well, it took me a while to decipher why this is what it is. FRY = cook, LUMME! an old expression or exclamation = goodness!. I'd heard the expression lumme! but never seen it spelt (I'd have guessed LUMMY!) Flummery is an oat based dessert but can also mean humbug language.
21 Coarse show embodying extremes of evil (10)
INDELICATE - insert E(vi)L into INDICATE = show.
22 All those on stage thrown off (4)
CAST - chestnutty double definition.
24 Head for Google: previous search one supposedly forgot quickly (8)
GOLDFISH - G(oogle); OLD: FISH (for) = search (for). Goldfish allegedly swim around their bowls not remembering they've been round before. I don't believe it; my little tropical fish knew for sure where the rocks were.
26 Mighty Egyptian, huge deity (6)
OSIRIS - OS (outsize) IRIS (another deity).
27 Grab succeeded, as you’d expect (6)
SNATCH - S(ucceeded), NATCH slang for naturally.
28 Philosophical novel one ends eg with hint of realism (8)
RESIGNED - (I ENDS EG R)*, the I = 1, one, the R from realism.
Down
2 Clearly evident, spectrum lacking in orange and green (5)
OVERT - well, this is not clear to me. I can see O for orange and VERT for green. But 'spectrum lacking in' suggests a word losing IN to give the O or OVERT. Something to do with the introvert to extrovert spectrum? Or a visible spectrum ROYGBIV loses its O and G? I'm writing nonsense.
EDIT as pointed out below, orange loses RANGE to leave O, then VERT. I was being too scientific about my spectra, range is a fair synonym in a more general sense.
3 Queen allowed to wear embroidered felt, soft fabric (11)
FLANNELETTE - into (FELT)* you place ANNE (a Queen) and LET (allowed).
4 Cool evangelist, friendly (8)
LUKEWARM - I would debate whether cool means lukewarm, to me that's warmer than cool, it's tepid. Cool is below ambient, lukewarm is at or above. But LUKE was an evangelist, and WARM means friendly here.
5 Similar item of furniture introduced to curious father and bride (5,2,1,7)
BIRDS OF A FEATHER - (BRIDE FATHER)* => BIRD ... FEATHER, insert SOFA.
6 Shakespearean character inspiring a film actor later taking bigger role (6)
REAGAN - REGAN (King Lear's middle daughter) has A pt in to get old Ronnie, cowboy film star and 40th President.
7 Duck in long river, dropping tail (3)
NIL - NILE loses E. Nil means zero, as does a duck in sport. There's also a real duck called a nil, I know not whether that's a coincidence or the reason we call zero, nil, a duck.
8 Wolf — more experienced packs in country (9)
WOMANISER - I had a long think about nine letter countries before realising it wasn't. WISER (more experienced) has a country OMAN inside.
13 Tasty punches to the face? (3-8)
LIP-SMACKING - literal cryptic definition.
15 Lengthy item calling to the lower house: planner upset about that (9)
ALPENHORN - Insert HO (house) into (PLANNER)*. Clever definition, of a long instrument for calling to the 'lower' i.e. cow.
17 Many use rum on bananas (8)
NUMEROUS - (USE RUM ON)*.
20 By the sound of it, language perfect (6)
FINISH - sounds like FINNISH. Perfect as a verb.
23 Attack winger (5)
SNIPE - double definition, our old friend winger for a bird.
25 Mark Fox turns up (3)
DOT - TOD reversed; tod is an ancient name for a male fox. Another chestnut.