December 3rd, 2020

Linus van Pelt
  • z8b8d8k

27838 Thursday, 3 December 2020 Pink lemonade

I felt I made heavier weather of this than it warranted, taking a neat 23 minutes, but since that’s less than three Vs it may be more taxing that that. There are also an appreciable number of single mistake entries, though I can’t see a likely candidate for a common error.
I’ll give credit to the setter for making sure the musical term in 3d is the process of reaching a loud noise rather than the more common solecism of the loud noise itself, though I suspect that’s one of the error in language that will become accepted through much use. Otherwise, and with the probable exception of 1ac, there is little to tax the vocabulary of most of this company, and in a few cases the wordplay borders on the simples.
I have produced a rundown of the entries and how to get there, with clues, definitions and SOLUTIONS.
Across
1 Tree so great shelters the old woman (6)
SUMACH You can be forgiven for not knowing this tree, even if it is “any tree or shrub of the genus Rhus, esp R. coriaria; the leaves and shoots used in dyeing.” I can’t find any previous appearance even in MCS  and Mephisto. So trust the wordplay: you know the old woman is MA and scratch around for SUCH as equivalent to “so great”, then assemble. Apparently, some varieties of sumac(h) fruit can be ground and used to make a form of pink lemonade
4 One coming in to cite holy writ, the result of division (8)
QUOTIENT I (one) is entered into cite: QUOTE and NT will do for the (back end) of holy writ.
10 Two sides bordering study covered in pleasant flowering plant (6,3)
GOLDEN ROD So not Aaron’s rod, then. Two sides are L and R, placed either side of study: DEN and then planted in GOOD for pleasant.
11 Exist as a dissenter in the party (5)
BEANO If you act as a dissenter you would BE A NO.
12 Face a revolutionary’s self-assurance (7)
PANACHE I got the revolutionary first, because it’s almost always Ernesto Guevara , known to his mates as CHE. PAN is slang for face, and the A is there in plain sight.
13 Situation for highest-level worker? (7)
ROOF-TOP Barely cryptic definition.
14 Polish novel given English translation finally (5)
SHEEN See novel, think Rider Haggard’s SHE. Add E(nglish) and “finally” translatioN.
15 Metal objects in club with damage through use reportedly (8)
IRONWARE a golf club, and the sound (reportedly) of WEAR for damage though use.
18 Gent, sorry when falling short, working to be sturdier (8)
STRONGER Much easier than I thought. An anagram (working) of GENT SORRY with the Y chopped as it falls short.
20 Old king left some of the food offered by butcher? (5)
OFFAL You old king is OFFA, he of the dyke, add L(eft)
23 Truck carrying litres for one who likes a drink or two? (7)
TIPPLER The truck is a TIPPER, the inserted L comes from L(itres)
25 Dodgy cult with unique feature for those buying into it (7)
SUSPECT Cult is SECT and the rest put into it is Unique Selling Point
26 Football club has managed to save money in Switzerland? (5)
FRANC  Still used in Switzerland, so no messing about with “former”. The F(ootball) C(lub) has RAN for managed saved.
27 Discovered part of Peru near the desert (9)
UNEARTHED Well hidden in PerU NEAR THE Desert
28 Time in coastal location where wild flowers can prosper? (3-5)
SET-ASIDE Part of the Common Agricultural Policy in Europe meant that farmers were paid not to grow stuff on set-aside land leaving it open to nature’s own efforts. Just put T(ime) into SEASIDE as the simplest of coastal locations, and add a hyphen
29 Number bunked off in gutless endeavour (6)
TWENTY Take the guts from TRY for endeavour, and you get TY. Insert WENT for bunked off.
Down
1 Highlight what PA would ask boss to do before email? (8)
SIGNPOST I suppose this means that, before the boss retreats into the daily trawl through emails, the PA would ask them to sign to snail mail stuff so that they could entrust it to the pillar box. Or maybe our setter has electronic signing in mind: don’t email until you do. Maybe.
2 This writer leads the way, penning good collection (7)
MELANGE This writer: ME comes before the way: LANE with a G(ood) inserted.
3 Second race, with number two going badly as the roar goes up? (9)
CRESCENDO First take out the number 2 (letter) of RACE, then run the remains and SECOND through your randomiser (going badly).
5 Hundreds in Europe sadly having no exercise and lacking good food (14)
UNDERNOURISHED An anagram (sadly) of HUNDREDS IN EUROPE. [I forgot to mention that you need to remove the PE from the end of EUROPE - because it "lacks exercise" - before throwing the letters into the mixer. Thanks Vinyl]
6 Out putting label on ducks (5)
TABOO That meaning of out. Label: TAB plus two 0’s masquerading as letters.
7 Bringer of law, measure that performer must follow (7)
ENACTOR EN is the measure (of type space) and performer is ACTOR
8 One band or another being heard (6)
TROUPE What it says it is, sounding a lot like TROOP
9 See nerd undergo big change in place fostering new ideas? (8,6)
BREEDING GROUND Another long anagram (change) of NERD UNDERGO BIG. Both Collins and Chambers prefer the term as an environment generating undesirable rather than the more anodyne “new” developments. Universities are a breeding ground for the corona virus – who’d have thought it?
16 Forest's team in domestic fixture (9)
WOODSCREW Quite literally something which fixes in domestic (and of course other) situations. It’s just forest’s: WOOD’S team: CREW
17 Running behind time, heading off with great excitement (8)
ELATEDLY I assume this is just BELATEDLY beheaded.
19 For prominent one on board, tribute entertaining political leader (7)
TOPMAST A political leader is what our current PM might like to be. Tribute: TOAST is what we need to “entertain” him with. Whatever keeps him happy.
21 Soldiers shut up in the bog get spruced up? (7)
FRESHEN  Soldiers RE plus shut up: SH placed in bog: FEN
22 County workers in a number of offices? (6)
STAFFS Short for the county of Staffordshire, and also the people who occupy several offices.
24 Place offering food for preacher John — without end (5)
LOCUS Preacher John is the Baptist, who dined healthily on LOCUSTs and wild honey. Remove the end from the crunchy bit of his diet.
RolyToly

Times Quick Cryptic No 1758 by Teazel

A couple of tricky bits in this very neatly-worded puzzle from Teazel - at nine minutes it took a minute longer than Tuesday's done just beforehand. Good, concise clues with smooth surfaces made for a lovely solve, notably in the anagrams at 1d, 6d and 12d. The SE held me up a bit, and I needed to think about 12d and 16d in order to reduce down to one the options for the forgotten 24ac. Good stuff - many thanks to Teazel!


Across
1 Calmer, therefore different (7)
SOOTHER - SO (therefore) OTHER (different)
5 Miserable sounding, what the wind did (4)
BLEW - sounds like BLUE = miserable/down
7 Friend regularly looking embarrassed (3)
RED - f R i E n D "regularly"
8 Records go — in weaving this? (8)
TAPESTRY - TAPES (records) TRY (go/attempt)
10 Body temperature, roughly (5)
TORSO - T(emperature) OR SO (roughly)
11 Fixed small issue finally: healthy again (7)
SECURED - S(mall) E (issuE "finally") CURED (healthy again)
13 Have a holiday, and leave me alone (2,4)
GO AWAY - double definition
15 Crossing major road, eye problem is a frustration (6)
STYMIE - STYE (eye problem) crosses MI (M1/major road). I didn't know stymie as a noun, but it predates the verb: originally from golf, where one's putting angle is obstructed by the opponent's ball.
17 Company splashing money around, not practising this (7)
ECONOMY - CO(mpany) has an anagram (splashing) of MONEY around. The definition refers back to the first half of the clue.
18 Allow a daughter to join US college (5)
ADMIT - A D(aughter) to join MIT (US college)
20 Fellow goes out with instructions (8)
MANDATES - MAN (fellow) DATES (goes out with)
22 Only half rate this beast (3)
ASS - "Only half" of ASSess (rate)
23 Marathon record broken by Briton at last (4)
LONG - LOG (record) broken by N (britoN "at last")
24 Disgracefully dismiss money: that is, rupees (7)
CASHIER - CASH (money) I.E. (that is)  R(upees). I'd forgotten the existence of this military term (I'm fairly sure it's cropped up as a double definition with the more usual sense of cashier), and was surprised this is what it means - I think I'd have said it was something like coerce/press-gang.
Down
1 Start siege, developing plans (10)
STRATEGIES - anagram (developing) of START SEIGE
2 Instruct British to avoid frontier (5)
ORDER -B(ritish) to avoid bORDER (frontier)
3 One cooking in jacket, tricky problem (3,6)
HOT POTATO - double definition
4 Engineers finished meal (6)
REPAST - RE (engineers) PAST (finished)
5 Vehicle endlessly crowded? (3)
BUS - "endlessly" BUSy (crowded)
6 Part of hearing involves a murder (7)
EARDRUM - anagram (involves) of A MURDER.
9 Man with a message tries out short part of speech first (10)
ADVERTISERanagram (out) of TRIES ; ADVERb (part of speech) goes first, short = dock the tail.
12 Purging of emotions has racist converted (9)
CATHARSIS - anagram (converted) of HAS RACIST.
14 A noisy short party offering fruit (7)
AVOCADO - A VOCAL (noisy, "short") DO (party)
16 Spiritual seeker uses my wand no end (6)
MYSTIC - MY STICk (wand, "no end")
19 One cripple over in US resort (5)
MIAMI - I (one) MAIM (cripple) over = reverse
21 Starts to delve into ground, doing this (3)
DIG - "Starts" to Delve Into Ground
verlaine

Times 27,839: Enough Of Your Sass

Mostly straightforward for a Friday though there were a couple of unusual vocabulary words and some interesting cryptic devices to push my time firmly over the 5 minute solve mark. FOI 1ac, LOI 23ac with a cry of "jacta est!". WOD 15ac which I always think ought to mean "mournfully" due to Too Much Classical Education. I thought the more fun and challenging clues were mostly in the lower half of the grid and particularly liked 28ac; always great to see punctuation used as a cluing device, and the surface paints an attractive picture as well, so that's my clue of the day. My thanks to the setter, and a merry Christmas season to all of the rest of you at home!

ACROSS
1 Temple, a divine one, toured by old man (6)
PAGODA - A GOD, "toured" by PA

5 Fresh sailing just off the south coast of England? (8)
INSOLENT - if you are IN (the) SOLENT, you are somewhere near the Isle of Wight

9 E.g. stealing bit of crockery with a single dirty spot (10)
DISHONESTY - DISH with ONE STY

10 Hood to intimidate moll, ultimately (4)
COWL - COW + {mol}L

11 Attendant's uniform in my bank (8)
COURTIER - U in COR! TIER

12 Turkish hostelry welcomed by pilgrim — a retreat (6)
IMARET - hidden in {pilgr}IM A RET{reat}

13 Cheese not lasting long, for the most part (4)
BRIE - BRIE{f}

15 King leaves great conductor very regally (8)
MAESTOSO - MAEST{r}O + SO

18 German's a mug or a genius (8)
EINSTEIN - EIN STEIN [German's a | mug]

19 Decisive blow spinning ruminant round (4)
KAYO - reversed YAK + O

21 Part of hands holding small book (6)
PSALMS - PALMS holding S

23 Blue put on a green space, which is random (8)
ALEATORY - TORY [blue] put on A LEA

25 Person returned to office after business school (4)
COMP - MP after CO

26 Backing one-pound operas is foolish (10)
BLITHERING - reversed 1LB + THE RING [(Wagnerian) operas]

27 Two versions of this person's books about to arrive (8)
IMMINENT - I'M [this person is] + MINE [this person's] + NT

28 One on the pull at Christmas — the Queen? (6)
DASHER - DASH [-] + E.R. "Dasher" as in one of Santa's reindeer

DOWN
2 A fighter, old ally abroad (5)
AMIGO - A MIG O

3 Quality of alien with soldiers clutching the head (9)
OTHERNESS - OR "clutching" THE, + NESS

4 A Welsh girl possibly penning English epic (6)
AENEID - A + ENID "penning" E. Enid was the wife of Geraint in Arthurian legends, so pretty Welsh.

5 Case: it involves singular person on the fiddle? (15)
INSTRUMENTALIST - INSTRUMENTAL + IT "involving" S

6 Lazybones fencing yard in daring jumper (8)
SKYDIVER - SKIVER "fencing" YD

7 Fabric a group of stars used to hem cape (5)
LYCRA - LYRA "hemming" C

8 State evidence of recent clothes-shopping trip? (3,6)
NEW JERSEY - double def

14 Minor star playing in very poor conditions (9)
RAINSTORM - (MINOR STAR*)

16 Alternate representation of Turkestan (4,5)
TAKE TURNS - (TURKESTAN*)

17 Able to feel bliss, even not very upset (8)
SENSIBLE - (BLISS E{v}EN*)

20 Routine drug overdose (6)
METHOD - or METH O.D.

22 Renaissance painter is cheeky in speech (5)
LIPPI - homophone of LIPPY

24 Hastened, say, to return in Sierra? (5)
RANGE - RAN + reversed E.G. [say]