November 25th, 2020

Times 27831 - Greeks, heroes and Greek heroes

I began this not feeling especially sharp, but was surprised to find I had it all done and dusted in 21 minutes without any significant pauses, starting with 1a, 6a and 6d, ending with the SW corner and the only unknown-but-it-probably-exists 19d. Nothing special to note but it did send me off to Wiki to investigate the life of the Mexican cactus-eating bug. I would get out more, but Mr Hancock says not now.

1 Lid turned on standard ovenware item (8)
STOCKPOT - STOCK (standard) POT = TOP (lid) reversed.
6 Everyone into wicked tune (6)
9 At some stage note error also needs correction (6,2,5)
10 Most striking stuff in certain wines (6)
TANNIN - Most of "TANNING" = striking.
11 Old Roman god guards unknown ship for hero (8)
ODYSSEUS - O (old) DEUS (Latin for God), insert Y (unknown) SS (ship).
13 Murderous graduate given hearing stopped by police (10)
MATRICIDAL - MA (graduate) TRIAL (hearing) insert CID.
15 Why maiden comes to make most important point? (4)
NODE - If MAIDEN has NO DE we get MAIN = most important.
16 Old Greek lacking craft to make crossing (4)
SPAN - If SPARTAN an old Greek lacks its ART (craft) we get SPAN.
18 Monarch in Balmoral perhaps, and mountainous Welsh location (10)
CAERPHILLY -  ER (monarch) in CAP (a Balmoral is a sort of cap) then HILLY for mountainous. Place best known for its cheese, which I find too crumbly and sour.
21 Advantage is seized by partners on the side (8)
EDGEWISE - EDGE (advantage) then IS between W and E (bridge partners).
22 Greek sailors dropping with effect of sun's rays (6)
CRETAN - CREW (sailors) drops the W(ith) then TAN for effect of rays.
23 Man chasing solution, endlessly in bind, shows spirit (5,2,6)
CREME DE MENTHE - HE (man) at the end of CEMENT (bind) which has REMED(Y) (solution endlessly) inside.
25 Reportedly, fuel needed for one taking flight across seas (6)
PETREL - sounds like PETROL. Petrels are a family of seabirds which only return to land to breed.
26 Tree forced flat to sprawl among scattered pears (8)
ESPALIER - LIE (sprawl) inside (PEARS)*. A tree forced to grow in two dimensions along a wall or wires. I remember my Dad planted several along wires when I was a child and I couldn't really see why.
2 Drunk getting up thanks stateside lawyer bringing food (7)
TOSTADA - SOT reversed, TA (thanks) DA (US lawyer). Tostada is a Latin American dish, usually a fried tortilla. They have some in Tesco.
3 25 pence that was cost to include name for principal heir (5,6)
CROWN PRINCE - CROWN (old five shilling piece hence 25p) PRICE (cost) insert N for name.
4 Review harshly constrains each piece expressing praise (5)
PAEAN - PAN (review harshly) insert EA(ch). A hymn or poem of praise, Greek παιών.
5 Doubled weight in time long ago (7)
TWOFOLD - T (time) W (weight) OF OLD (long ago).
6 Corporation to fail — botched entry from board (5,4)
BELLY FLOP - BELLY = corporation, FLOP = fail. As off a diving board.
7 Survivor at Sodom among several others (3)
LOT - hidden slightly in SEVERA(L OT)HERS.
8 Out of water, area reduced to dust? (7)
AGROUND - A(area) GROUND to dust.
12 Emotional period with gospels etc in back streets (11)
SENTIMENTAL - LANES reversed (back streets) = SENAL, insert TIME (period) NT (gospels etc.).
14 Mexican insect found in black rock enclosing ravine (9)
COCHINEAL - COAL (black rock) has CHINE (ravine) inserted. Apparently you need about 150,000 females of these subtropical S. American insects to make a kilo of the cochineal or carmine dye. Must be a tedious job collecting them as they live on cacti.
17 Stalk Spanish hero on the rise after exercises (7)
PEDICLE - PE (exercises) EL CID reversed.
19 Interpreter say in Oxford college finishing early (7)
EXEGETE - EG (say) in EXETE(R) college. I got it purely from wordplay then checked it existed later.
20 Eve and Abel at oddsdo not disturb (5,2)
22 Talk can be this engaging at first, appearing in person (5)
CHEAP - Put E into CHAP.
24 Musical talent demands attention (3)
EAR - double definition.