January 13th, 2021

Times Quick Cryptic 1787 by Joker

DNF - hopefully for technical reasons regarding 18ac. I'm sure you'll let me know if I'm missing something... [On edit, looking at the leaderboard, it seems I'm in good company!]

Otherwise a puzzle of average difficulty. I didn't get 1ac straight away and ended up swiping through clues to find some easy pickings before returning to the less obvious ones. I'm a big fan of 11dn (both the clue and it's solution), but my COD vote goes to the original and funny 11ac!

Definitions underlined.

Across
1 Unruly argument in open discussion meetings with Liberal left (4-3-3)
FREE-FOR-ALL - FREE (open), FORA (plural of 'forum', discussion meetings), L (liberal), and L (left).
8 Kidnap a French duke in outskirts of Brest (6)
ABDUCT - A, then DUC (French duke) contained by (in) the first and last letters (outskirts) of BresT.
9 Sound quality of Britain reduced in time (6)
TIMBRE - BR (Britain, abbreviated (reduced)) contained by (in) TIME.
10 One mostly loved thought (4)
IDEA - I (one), and all-but-the-last letter of (mostly) DEAr (loved). Took a while to see the 'dear' bit.
11 Tanning facility located centrally in resort island, luring frumps? (8)
SOLARIUM - central pairs of letters from (located centrally in) reSOrt isLAnd luRIng frUMps.
12 Dandy around university runs business department (6)
BUREAU - BEAU (dandy) containing (around) U (university) and R (runs).
14 Better, except when editor’s replacing short part (6)
EXCEED - EXCEpt with ED (editor) replacing 'pt' (short part).
16 Brilliant group of puppies following good year (8)
GLITTERY - LITTER (group of puppies) after (following) G (good), then Y (year).
18 Noticed small cuts (4)
SOWN - no idea. I'm tempted to say that the clue and solution do not match here, perhaps due to an editing hiccough, but I also know that I am very stupid sometimes. I entered SAWS on the grounds that SAW (noticed) + S (small) = cuts, but got the dreaded pink squares and couldn't (can't) see an alternative interpretation.
SAWS - SAW (noticed) and S (small). Now corrected after an earlier mishap (see comments below).
20 Unproductive noble, by the sound of it (6)
BARREN - homophone of (by the sound of it) "baron" (noble).
21 Medicine man with counterfeit article (6)
SHAMAN - SHAM (counterfeit) and AN (article).
22 Some rubbish appears wet for recycling (10)
WASTEPAPER - anagram of (for recycling) APPEARS WET.

Down
2 Fanatical attack captures bishop (5)
RABID - RAID (attack) containing (captures) B (bishop).
3 Australian bird, a sort of teal, is mimic (7)
EMULATE - EMU (Australian bird) with an anagram (sort) of TEAL.
4 Not at home in Tynemouth (3)
OUT - hidden in (in) tynemOUTh.
5 Important transport link cut by hostile heavy guns (9)
ARTILLERY - ARTERY (important transport link) containing (cut by) ILL (hostile).
6 The French half murder Madagascan native (5)
LEMUR - LE ('the' in French) with half of MURder.
7 Gamekeeper’s beginning to stir up birds (6)
GROUSE - first letter of (...'s beginning) Gamekeeper, then ROUSE (to stir up).
11 Eastern US is mad for sweet wine (9)
SAUTERNES - anagram of (is mad) EASTERN US.
13 Loud PA broadcast put on a bigger system (6)
UPLOAD - anagram of (broadcast) LOUD PA.
15 Source of starch fool put in Spanish fizz (7)
CASSAVA - ASS (fool) inside (put in) CAVA (Spanish fizz).
17 Short time in drag for cast (5)
THROW - HR (hour abbreviated, short time) inside (in) TOW (drag).
19 Sea creature in western sound (5)
WHALE - W (western) and HALE (healthy, robust, sound).
21 View scene regularly omitted (3)
SEE - odd letters from (regularly omitted) ScEnE.

Times 27873 - light and dark, hard and soft.

One of those puzzles which has loads of straightforward clues and a few really tricky ones, with a couple of obscurities at 13d and 16d. I fell into a bear trap at 26a, but climbed out in time to escape being cloddish, although I didn't much like that either. Nice to see a French person of note cropping up, and strange to see 15a again so soon, obviously different editors at work.
5a, of course, is my clue of the day.



Across
1 Stunned response around high ground reduced for some time (6)
AWHILE - AWE (stunned response) around HIL(L).
4 They keep watch, perhaps, aboard ship (8)
STICKERS - TICKER (watch, perhaps) inside SS for ship. I suppose stickers keep things in place.
10 Revolutionary support about to be attached to dresses (11)
ROBESPIERRE - ROBES (dresses) PIER (support) RE (about). Revolting French chap, Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre, 1758-1794.
11 Extra work? (3)
RUN - double definition, the first a cricket reference.
12 Photo leading to surprised comment about large instrument (7)
PICCOLO - PIC (photo) then L in COO (surprised comment).
14 Shirt’s back occupied by most of succinct descriptive comment (7)
EPITHET - TEE (shirt) reversed around PITH(Y) = most of succinct.
15 Damaging material in the environment one can pick up? (5,9)
NOISE POLLUTION - cryptic definition, I'm not allowed to tell you where it appeared very recently in case it helps you win a prize.
17 Much older partner lends character, somehow (6,8)
CRADLE SNATCHER - (LENDS CHARACTER)*.
21 Is question on radio about parking in town? (7)
IPSWICH - IS, sounds like WHICH, with P for parking inserted. County town of Suffolk.
22 Live in hitherto untouched tower (7)
MINARET - ARE (live) inside MINT (untouched).
23 Classic character: tense, almost to the end (3)
TAU - Greek T; almost TAUT.
24 Old man, fanatic about missile briefly, not backing emergency device (5,6)
PANIC BUTTON - PA (old man) NUT (fanatic) with ICB(M) inserted, NOT reversed.
26 Gazpacho, say, showing little change? That would be stupid (8)

CLODDISH - I fell into a trap with this one, I wonder who else did? I first put in CHILDISH thinking it was a homophone for CHILL DISH, childish to me could mean stupid. That gave me the Italian art ending in I so I just thought, okay, usually O but maybe a plural version.

So it is not 'childish'. It's COLD DISH with the COLD changed to CLOD, which explains why it says  'little change' in the surface. But I wasn't keen on cloddish as a word to mean stupid either.

27 US writer in recording backing European nation (6)
PEOPLE - LP with POE inside, reversed, add E.
Down
1 Poison left to rise up in a wine unopened (8)
ATROPINE - A , PORT (left) reversed, (W)INE. I could go on about the chemistry of atropine, it's interesting (to me), but I'll let you look it up in Wikipedia.
2 Writer’s rating limiting University centre (3)
HUB - HB pencil has U in the middle.
3 Learner is not a little flexible (7)
LISSOME - L, IS, SOME = not a lttle.
5 Agricultural partner was responsible for these detailed figures (5,5,4)
THREE BLIND MICE - De-tailed, ha ha! The farmer's wife was she, who did it with a carving knife.
6 One dispenses with finally being taken in by church obscurity (7)
CHEMIST - H (with finally) in CE (church) MIST (obscurity).
7 After change of heart, married alternative sensual woman (5,6)
EARTH MOTHER - (HEART)*, M(arried), OTHER (alternative).
8 Possessing reason for one to accommodate fool (6)
SANITY - SAY = for one, insert NIT for fool.
9 Lad keeping it working: are French workers to stay idle? (3,2,4,5)
SIT ON ONES HANDS - SON insert IT = SIT ON: ON (working) ES (you are, tu es) HANDS (workers).
13 Shady image, representation of Horus and Cairo with minimum of colour (11)
CHIAROSCURO - (HORUS CAIRO C(olour))*, if you're vague about what it is, and interested enough, check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiaroscuro
16 Cotton fabric: there’s concern after losing a large amount (8)
CRETONNE - CARE loses A = CRE, TONNE = large amount. My LOI and needed Mrs K to confirm it was a thing.
18 Day rent fell? (7)
DRIPPED - D (day) RIPPED (rent).
19 Cut on head: not upset? Absolutely (7)
TONSURE - NOT upset = TON, SURE = absolutely.
20 Better information requiring strategy to make switch? (3-3)
TIC-TAC - TACTIC is switched.
25 Point(er)? (3)
TIP - double definition of point/pointer. A TIP can be a point of e.g. a pencil, or a pointer in the right direction, i.e. a hint.