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.




Across
1 Lid turned on standard ovenware item (8)
STOCKPOT - STOCK (standard) POT = TOP (lid) reversed.
6 Everyone into wicked tune (6)
BALLAD - ALL inside BAD
9 At some stage note error also needs correction (6,2,5)
SOONER OR LATER - (NOTE ERROR ALSO)*.
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.
Down
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)
LEAVE BE - (EVE ABEL)*.
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.