February 8th, 2021

Astarte1

QC 1805 by Izetti

Very enjoyable puzzle with quite a few anagrams or anagram elements that were well signposted. One MER at 15D but no doubt someone will point out why I am wrong. FOI was 1A and LOI (I think) was 20A. I could see the anagram but the answer didn't strike me as a particularly standard phrase so I hesitated to insert it even though it couldn't really be anything else. COD was 7D both for the clever definition and for reminding me of Ronnie Barker's FORK 'ANDLES. Many thanks to Izetti for an entertaining Monday offering.

Definitions are underlined and everything else is explained just as I see it as simply as I can manage.

Across
1 Fuel company with a shortfall finally (4)
COAL - CO (company) + A + L (shortfalL 'finally').
3 Song in church provided by a new boy (7)
CHANSON - CH (church) + A + N (new) + SON (boy).
8 Ready-made red carpet I supply, brilliant for inside (13)
PREFABRICATED - anagram of RED CARPET I ('ready-made') with FAB (brilliant) 'inside'.
9 Couple turning noisy, left out (3)
DUO - lOUD (noisy) 'turning', i.e. reversed, with L (left) removed.
10 Time to meet French friend, someone learning language (5)
TAMIL - T (time) + AMI (French for 'friend') + L (someone learning, as in an L-driver) gives this Sri Lankan and southern Indian language.
12 Junior tearaway, ultimately having no urge to reform (7)
YOUNGER - tearawaY 'ultimately' + anagram ('to reform') of NO URGE.
14 Month to go to a golf course in America (7)
AUGUSTA - AUGUST (month) + A gives the Augusta National Golf Course, the home of the US Masters Golf Tournament, known simply as Augusta whenever golf is the topic of conversation.
16 Admirer's initial longing to construct a letter (5)
AITCH - A (Admirer's initial) + ITCH (longing).
17 Fate of some plotters (3)
LOT - hidden word: 'some' pLOTters.
20 Cruel guys Tom’s mistaken for bad people (4,9)
UGLY CUSTOMERS - straight anagram ('mistaken') of CRUEL GUYS TOM'S.
21 A name is confused, memory being lost (7)
AMNESIA - straight anagram ('confused') of A NAME IS.
22 Bishop, experienced and fearless (4)
BOLD - B (bishop) + OLD (experienced).
Down
1 Rambling up to cafe to get a hot drink (3,2,3)
CUP OF TEA - straight anagram ('rambling') of UP TO CAFE.
2 Top chap expecting traps (4)
APEX - hidden word: chAP EXpecting 'traps'.
3 Lad underneath vehicle shows bottle (6)
CARBOY - BOY (lad) 'underneath' (in this down clue) CAR (vehicle).
4 Gathering in university entertained by comical aunt dancing (12)
ACCUMULATION - anagram ('dancing') of COMICAL AUNT 'entertaining' U (university).
5 One sober person in view to avoid action (3,5)
SIT TIGHT - I (one) + TT (teetotaler, sober person) 'in' SIGHT (view).
6 Signal before entrance to every junction (4)
NODE - NOD (signal, as in 'give the nod to') + E (entrance to Every).
7 Supporters of wicked things (12)
CANDLESTICKS - cryptic definition. You have to flip your mind from 'wicked' meaning 'bad' to 'wicked' cryptically potentially meaning 'having a wick'. Well, candles have wicks and they can be supported by the answer so there you go.
11 A good measure introduced by fellow who went on long expedition? (8)
MAGELLAN - A + G (good) + ELL (an old measure equal to 45 inches) 'introduced by' MAN (fellow) gives the famous Portuguese explorer who 'went on a long expedition' to try to discover the Spice Islands (although he was killed in battle before getting there).
13 Herd suffering with encroaching river given new shelter (8)
REHOUSED - anagram of HERD ('suffering') with OUSE (river) 'encroaching'.
15 NW state unfortunately ends with black lava (6)
ALASKA - ALAS (unfortunately) + K + A ('ends of' blacK lavA). My eyebrow is creeping upwards as I don't believe this is correctly clued by 'ends with black lava', but this is surely what is intended.
18 Beast turning up — turning up in the morning (4)
PUMA - PU ('turning' UP) + MA (AM, ante meridiem, reversed, i.e. 'turning up' in this down clue). A clever use of two different cryptic meanings of 'turning up'.
19 Model again getting embarrassed over nothing (4)
REDO - RED (embarrassed) 'over', again, in this down clue, O (nothing).