February 10th, 2021

Times Quick Cryptic 1807 by Orpheus

Due to considerable difficulty breaking into the NW corner, and a couple of other spiky clues, I finished in a respectable but above average time. I thought some of the anagrams (and indicators) were lovely. I only had to look up one piece of vocabulary post-solve. Did anyone else go searching for 27dn early on...?

Definitions underlined.

Across
1 Continental fellow in Scotland perhaps, carrying twisted fibre (8)
EUROPEAN - EUAN (fellow in Scotland, perhaps) containg (carrying) ROPE (twisted fibre).
5 Live with copper — 27, possibly (4)
CUBE - BE (live) with CU (copper).
7 Longing to remove initiator of political clean-up (4)
URGE - pURGE (political clean-up) missing its first letter (to remove initiator).
8 Going on for ever about unidentified person outside (8)
EXTERNAL - ETERNAL (going on forever) containing (about) X (unknown person).
9 Sentimental type initially involved with Marconi (8)
ROMANTIC - anagram of (involved) the first letter of (initially) Type and (with) MARCONI.
11 Religious female going backwards and forwards (3)
NUN - palindromic (going backwards and forwards) religious female.
13 Rodney relaxed over there (6)
YONDER - anagram of (relaxed) RODNEY.
16 Get even with archdeacon in maturity (6)
AVENGE - VEN (Venerable, honorific for archdeacon) in AGE (maturity).
18 Greek character returned and dined (3)
ATE - ETA (Greek character) reversed (returned).
19 Sound money getting father something to suck (8)
LOLLIPOP - sounds like (sound) "lolly" (money) then POP (father).
20 A chap crossing Morecambe, maybe, one from the States (8)
AMERICAN - A MAN (a chap) containing (crossing) ERIC (Morecambe, maybe).
22 Knowledgeable about Shintoism? Not entirely (4)
INTO - hidden in (not entirely) shINTOism.
23 Responsibility of bachelor abandoning extra benefit (4)
ONUS - B (bachelor) removed from (abandoning) bONUS (extra benefit).
24 Change too much? About time to retire! (8)
OVEREDIT - OVER (about) and TIDE (time) reversed (to retire).

Down
1 Key question about king’s personal attendant (7)
EQUERRY - E (random musical key) and QUERY (question) containing (about) R (Rex, king). Tricky stuff.
2 I’m in surrogate ruler’s section of army (8)
REGIMENT - I'M inside REGENT (surrogate ruler).
3 English reader, a Liberal, relating to voters (9)
ELECTORAL - E (English), LECTOR (reader), A, and L (liberal). This was my missing vocab; a lector is a church reader or university lecturer.
4 Obsessive person in teachers’ union (3)
NUT - National Union of Teachers (teachers' union). Solidarity.
5 Vivid red vehicle belonging to this compiler (7)
CARMINE - CAR (vehicle) and MINE (belonging to this compiler). Not your everyday colour but familiar enough, to me at least.
6 Like invigorating air beginning to boost activity at Epsom? (7)
BRACING - first letter of (beginning to) Boost, then RACING (activity at Epsom).
10 Confront Helen, a GLC eccentric (9)
CHALLENGE - anagram of (eccentric) HELEN A GLC.
12 University man receiving old writing implement still in wrapping (8)
UNOPENED - U (university) and NED (man) containing (receiving) O (old) and PEN (writing implement).
14 A Roman senator originally abandoned one on the river (7)
OARSMAN - anagram of (abandoned) A ROMAN and the first letter from (originally) Senator. My first thought was that I needed a Roman senator xOARSMAN missing his first. Thankfully not.
15 Just rewards — puddings. by the sound of it (7)
DESERTS - sounds like (by the sounds of it) "desserts" (puddings).
17 Take advantage of former plan to tour India (7)
EXPLOIT - EX (former) and PLOT (plan) containing (to tour) I (india, phonetic alphabet).
21 Imitate a dove? Goodness me (3)
COO - double definition.

Times 27897 - 162 filled in squares of satisfaction

I loved this puzzle; it had, for me, the perfect mixture of interesting words, clever wordplay, only one anagram, and nothing too obscure; a couple of plants, an animal, a Greek chap, a bit of CRS, and so on. We're snowed in again, so lockdown doesn't seem so bad as going out is not an attracive option, although the dog disagrees. Amazon has brought me three more large jigsaws to keep me busy.
I hope you enjoy it too, or can forgive me for banging on, if you felt differently.



Across
1 Smack on behind produces lingering sensation (10)
AFTERTASTE - AFTER (behind) TASTE (smack).
6 Found plough removed from Parisian fortress (4)
BASE - BASTILLE loses TILL (plough). I can see found = base as in "it was founded on / based on..."
8 Gentle exercise taken with a climber (5,3)
SWEET PEA - SWEET (gentle), PE, A.
9 Butcher's chestnut horse should be returned (6)
GANDER - Reverse of RED NAG. Butcher's (hook) CRS for look = gander.
10 Pot for reheated meat and vegetables (4)
HASH - Double definition.
11 With villain seen at Parliament, shelter on bridge (10)
WHEELHOUSE - W, HEEL (villain) HOUSE (Parliament).
12 Hanging about in short undies no good (9)
LINGERING - LINGERI(E), NG = no good.
14 Landmark seen in Australian port after docking (5)
CAIRN - CAIRN(S). Port in north-east of Australia. Worth a visit, maybe, on the way to dive the GB Reef.
17 River taking sulphur to Sumerian city-state (5)
STOUR - S (sulphur, which is now spelt sulfur), TO, UR (one of many city-states in the Sumer civilisation; the one you've heard of). There are 5 River Stours in England, and one in New Zealand, at least.
19 Miserable chap tucking into toast (9)
CHEERLESS - Insert LES (a chap) into CHEERS (a toast).
22 Corner at 90 — that needs precise approach (5,5)
RIGHT ANGLE - well, you'd need to come in at the right angle, for a precise approach.
23 Lout beginning to cause mayhem when officer leaves (4)
CHAV - C (beginning to cause) HAV(OC) remove OC = officer (commanding). A chav is a "lower class anti-social male dressed in flashy sports clothing", although I have seen some chavs who are quite well behaved and social, if not well dressed.
24 One suit makes a Scottish outfit (6)
HEARTS - Reference to the Edinburgh football team Heart of Midlothian FC, usually known as Hearts.
25 Plant key behind reptile house (8)
ASPHODEL - ASP (reptile) HO (house) DEL (key on keyboard). A common plant in these pages.
26 Viewer's sore as regularly sat by set? (4)
STYE - Alternate letters of S a T b Y s E t.
27 Dismal expression to consume small one being humbled (6,4)
LOSING FACE - A LONG FACE being a dismal expression, insert S(mall) and I.
Down
1 Hard to crack clues say rewritten for tragic author (9)
AESCHYLUS - H for hard, inside (CLUES SAY)*. Greek chap who wrote tragedies.
2 Agent's ultimate motivation is betrayal (7)
TREASON - T (end of agent) REASON (motivation).
3 Parasite in record dispute over millions (8)
TAPEWORM - TAPE (record), ROW(dispute) reversed, M. I wonder how many more years setters will talk about taping for recording and EP and LP for records? But there again, vinyl does have a following!
4 Wind through blades creates unseen danger (5,2,3,5)
SNAKE IN THE GRASS - SNAKE (wind), IN THE (through), GRASS (blades of).
5 Becomes hard to follow case of European political theorist (6)
ENGELS - E..N (case of EuropeaN) GELS (becomes hard).
6 Swine upset everyone after scrap where house calls made (5,4)
BINGO HALL - BIN (scrap), HOG reversed, ALL.
7 Poet having to write in ship on turning turtle (7)
SPENSER - PEN (write) inside reversed RE (on) SS (ship). My FOI, just because it was the first clue I happened to read.
13 Lovelorn cowboy on lake shows tactless behaviour (9)
GAUCHERIE - GAUCHO our cowboy, loses O (lovelorn), on Lake Erie.
15 Kingmaker needs tree for English country home (9)
NASHVILLE - you could write this in from the definition, if you spotted that; to parse it you have to know that Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, was so known, as during the Wars of the Roses he had a big hand in restoring Edward IV and then Henry VI to be King. Then you replace the E in NEVILLE with ASH for tree. And know that Nashville is the home of country music, of course.
16 Play safe with hammer (5,3)
PETER PAN - PETER (slang for safe), PAN (hammer, criticise).
18 Move across to pack explosive in missile system (7)
TRIDENT - RIDE (move across) inside TNT (explosive). I'm not sure why 'across' is needed.
20 Greek character embraced by female creature (7)
ECHIDNA - CHI (Greek letter) inside EDNA (a female person). The echidna or spiny ant-eater lives only in Australia and New Guinea and its four variants and the platypus are the only egg-laying mammals. I only knew that because I was reading about them on Wiki recently when Platypus cropped up in a puzzle.
21 One held in contempt to stop call for decoration (6)
TASSEL - ASS (someone held in contempt) inside TEL (call).