March 11th, 2021

Linus van Pelt

27922 Thursday, 11 March 2021 In which Eve gets the blame (again).

How about if I say I found this slightly easier than my average, clocking in at 17.53? It does contain a few community pet peeves, with race and nation regarded as equivalents (though it does clue an appropriate word), the assumption that cockneys are not aspirational, a rather unusual word which may be new to some, and an item of priests’ attire that the laity get confused about and, of course, a couple of birds just to annoy limerick writers.
But there’s some decent clues in the thing, including a good scattering of anagrams, the one for the first clue being particularly useful for making sure you can spell it. No hidden today, no homophone (dodgy or otherwise) and no every other letter clue, just to prove it can be done.
I have italicised the clues, underlined the definitions, and BOLDLY CAPITALISED the solutions.



Across
1 Groups at sea moving cargo ship alee (13)
ARCHIPELAGOES An anagram (moving) to start with, using CARGO SHIPS ALEE. Perhaps the slightly odd “alee” is a bit of a giveaway.
8 Short trip — female's eaten cheesy food (4)
TOFU Since it’s made from bean curd, I would say only the appearance is cheesy. Shorten your trip: TOUr, and make it eat F(emale).
9 Man's symbol is such rubbish — painter lacking skill primarily involved (10)
TRIPARTITE The technical term is a triskelion, dis – um – armingly defined by Chambers as  “a figure consisting of three radiating curves or legs, as in the arms of the Isle of Man”. No matter, it’s got three parts, and the wordplay gives rubbish: TRIPE with painter: ARTIST minus S(kill) primarily involved, ie included.
10 Make slight adjustments to great piece of music (4-4)
FINE TUNE  A great piece of music might be a fine tune. Please note the setter avoided the stray A that I’ve just put in. Credit where due.
11 Cast to include unusual material (poor stuff) (6)
SHODDY Cast is SHY, include ODD for unusual, for our answer. As well as being an adjective, shoddy is a noun for poor quality material or cloth.
13 Vulgarity of Eastender's jollity outside hotel (10)
EARTHINESS All Eastenders drop their haitches in popular myth, so their jollity, or HEARTINESS is unaspirated but includes H(otel)
16 Bad folk not half getting the bird (4)
RUFF I assume the bad people are RUFFIANS, so cut them down to half their size. The one we’re looking for to accommodate 21d is the (infamous ruff cockney) sandpiper
17 Wartime colonel no leader, ineffective (4)
LIMP Colonel Blimp first emerged in the inter war years in a David Lowe cartoon, but took on a life of his own as a reactionary establishment figure making often preposterous statements. Today’s (or is it already yesterday’s) Gammon characters are pretty much direct descendants. The Powell and Pressburger version, in The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp is a rather more sympathetic figure, embodying (un)common decency. All we need to do is the remove name’s leader, the B.
18 In a language accessible to a few — hence pride may be hurt (10)
ENCIPHERED The Colonel Blimp in me still thinks it looks better taking a Y, but since it’s an anagram (may be hurt) of HENCE PRIDE it can’t (and Chambers agrees)
20 Stage in development of some workers at home getting sign of approval (6)
INSTAR So “the form of an insect between moult and moult” or more precisely of an insect (such as an ant) larva. You may not know this, so rely on the wordplay, where at home gives IN and a sign of approval is a STAR (because tick doesn’t work).
22 University given commendation, put at a higher level (8)
UPRAISE U(niversity) and PRAISE for commendation
24 Had a pork-pie reluctantly? (3,4,3)
ATE ONE’S HAT A cryptic suggestion, pork pie being (as well as a CRS lie) a smallish hat. Reluctantly because a) you promised to do so if you were proved wrong and b) they usually taste horrible and are hard to chew.
26 Nibblers taking bit from the front of clerical garment (4)
MICE The bit you take from the AMICE - a strip of linen or a furry hood or a cloak or wrap (ask your local priest) – is the front A.
27 Fails to hold secret, separate, social occasions (6,7)
DINNER PARTIES This is constructed from fails: DIES, secret: INNER and separate PART. The first “holds” the other two. I spent time working that out because dinner and parties are also separate social occasions and I wanted the clue to make sense.



Down
1 Revolutionary crowd, one interrupting a race, creating outrage (11)
ABOMINATION You should know by now that “revolutionary” means reversed. So your crowd is MOB/BOM, your one is I, and both “interrupt” A NATION. Nation and race are not the same thing, discuss. Unblimpishly, please.
2 Reason radioactive substance is boxed (5)
CAUSE Even I know that a radioactive substance might well be Uranium. Put its symbolic U in a box or CASE.
3 Meddling, confusing virtue with sin (9)
INTRUSIVE I like this as an anagram (confusing). It uses VIRTUE and SIN.
4 Onset of enmity has you, red-hot, turning up making wicked stare (4,3)
EVIL EYE So the onset of envy is E, you is/are YE, and red-hot produces LIVE, all of which gets “turned up”. Chambers lists burning and other hot things under live
5 One President or another turning crazy in a second (5)
ADAMS John was the 2nd and his son John Quincy the 6th POTUS. Turn (reverse) MAD for crazy in A and S(econd)
6 Contract somehow exposes our national church (9)
OUTSOURCE That sort of contract. Exposes gives OUTS, and the rest is OUR C(hurch of) E(ngland)
7 Rested part of the weekend (3)
SAT -urday
12 Disagreements in terrible residence, very loud inside (11)
DIFFERENCES Surprisingly (it looks too long) an anagram (terrible) of RESIDENCE and FF for very loud (music).
14 I had to bypass hole in urban area in rain (3,2,4)
TIP IT DOWN  A matryoshka. I (ha)D bypasses (goes round, I suppose) PIT for hole. both enclosed in TOWN for urban area.
15 Opera star being tricky — one creates divisions (9)
SEPARATOR Another anagram (being tricky) of OPERA STAR
19 Pay that is horrible — there's mutinous activity about that (5,2)
COUGH UP That is horrible translates to UGH, and COUP for mutinous activity is placed about it.
21 Hesitation about temptress as partner for 16? (5)
REEVE Mrs Ruff (see 16a). Hesitation, when it’s not um, is ER. Reverse (about) it, and add, EVE once again calumniated as a temptress. I cherish a commentry on Geneis which avers that Eve should have rebuffed the snake using "the sacred and imperishable words of Scripture". Pity the Gideons hadn't got round to palcing a copy in her bedside table.
23 Confession of one fancying men and women in poetic pieces (5)
IAMBI The Times gets a bit woke with the confession I AM BI from the person doubling their chances of a date on a Friday night. I will resist the temptation to write up the blog in iambic pentameters.
25 A bit of a creature with egg hatching out (3)
TAD Well, it had to be once the T and D were in place, and I used time wondering whether we had to find a way of removing “pole”. Instead, let the taddie reach its adult form as a TOAD and remove the egg shaped letter, exercise for the student to guess which one.
RolyToly

Times Quick Cryptic No 1828 by Joker

I finished just outside my target time, as I dithered at the end over what vowel could best be stuck in the middle of 21d. Three 'Unlucky!' signs and a couple of increasingly confused guesses later, I clicked on the Check Grid option and saw I had a typo at 4d. So not fully parsed (or checked) before submission, it's safe to say, although my initial answer was correct. And a charming little clue it turned out to be. Before all that kerfuffle I was held up at 6d, which I needed for 13ac and 20ac. A fine puzzle with a broad range of clue types and an array of good surfaces - many thanks to Joker!

Across
1 Send part for actor as an afterthought (10)
POSTSCRIPT - POST (send) SCRIPT (part for actor)
7 Failure of a person nearer losing head (5)
LOSER - cLOSER (nearer, "losing head")
8 Pope is quiet concerning argument (7)
PONTIFF - P (piano - quiet) ON (concerning) TIFF (argument)
10 One French eleven embarrassed about power still running? (9)
UNEXPIRED - UNE (one, French) XI (eleven) RED (embarrassed) about P(ower)
12 Couple from Petworth (3)
TWO - "from" the letters of penTWOrth
13 Coordinated part of shoe (6)
INSTEP - not a double definition, as IN STEP = coordinated is two words.
15 Beetle is small vehicle with a boot at the front (6)
SCARAB - S(mall) CAR (vehicle) with A and B (Boot "at the front")
16 Be frightened of losing female attention (3)
EAR - FEAR (be frightened of), losing F(emale)
17 Rip up root for processing as a source of scent (9)
POTPOURRI - anagram (for processing) of RIP UP ROOT
20 Returned nails highly favoured for scrap (7)
SNIPPET - SNIP (pins = nails, "returned") PET (highly favoured)
22 A marathon in company with others (5)
ALONG - A, LONG (marathon). Along / together / in company with others.
23 Gambler reportedly intended enrichment (10)
BETTERMENT - BETTER (gambler) MENT = reportedly/sounds like MEANT (intended)

Down
1 Sheriff’s group’s attitude about James’s end (5)
POSSE - POSE (attitude) about E (jameS's "end"). I'm glad to learn the original meaning of the term: "The population of able-bodied men above the age of fifteen in a county whom the sheriff may summon to repress a riot, pursue felons, etc." (OED). (Short for posse comitatus, literally the possible/potential group of comites, or group of companions.)
2 Cars happen mostly to get broken up here? (9)
SCRAPHEAP - not quite an &lit clue (see 21d), as the "here" is not part of the wordplay. An anagram (to get broken up) of CARS and HAPPEn (happen, "mostly")
3 Half-hearted meal is exceptionally good (5)
SUPER - SUPPER = meal, half-heartedly = remove one of the central letters.
4 Uniform’s needed in Royal Navy career (3)
RUN - U(niform) is needed in RN (Royal Navy). I had RRN, grr!
5 One who decorates mooring rope (7)
PAINTER - double definition, the second completely unknown to me.
6 Dull nature of film including noisy and empty scenes (10)
CLOUDINESS - CINE (of film) including LOUD (noisy), and then SS ("empty" SceneS)
9 I forgo debt in difficulties — something that may cross a line (10)
FOOTBRIDGE - anagram (in difficulties) of I FORGO DEBT. Line as in a railway line.
11 Tamper with a note to get degree (9)
DOCTORATE - DOCTOR (tamper with), A, TE (note, do-re-mi, etc., also spelt TI)
14 Disturbed islander losing large fish (7)
SARDINE - anagram (disturbed) of ISANDER (islander, "losing L(arge)")
18 Private coach starts to travel using the orbital road (5)
TUTOR - "Starts to" Travel Using The Orbital Road
19 Kangaroos need time to sleep (5)
ROOST - ROOS (kangaroos) need T(ime)
21 Tap put another way? (3)
PAT - &lit, where the whole clue is both cryptic wordplay and a literal definition: PAT = tap, reversed or "put another way"; and a pat is a tap, put (i.e. defined) another way. Very nice!
verlaine

Times 27,923: Say Hello, Wavelength Goodbye

A tough wavelength to get on for me, with many definitions being obfuscated or somewhat lateral, meaning that I quite often had to solve via the process of wondering "could the answer possibly be this?" and then squinting at the clue until the pieces started to feel like they could make sense. Some unusual abbreviations, multiple instances of cryptically relevant possessive 'Ses and a rather odd (I though) spelling of elbowroom meant this had an air of intransigence that it was delightful to finally surmount. Well done setter on supplying a properly beastly Friday puzzle!

ACROSS
1 Leaves a tip — which they all have each in their own way (8)
ICEBERGS - Iceberg lettuces are salad leaves, and all icebergs have a tip

6 Ornament to raise to one’s ear (6)
BROOCH - homophone of BROACH [to raise]

9 Respected source, all the same to female (4-7-2)
WELL-THOUGHT-OF - WELL, THOUGH TO F. FOI, largely from enumeration

10 Like the beach? Go out on it maybe in journey regularly (6)
PEBBLY - EBB [go out, on the beach] in PLY [journey regularly]

11 Check on spare glove (8)
GAUNTLET - LET [check, as in hindrance] on GAUNT [spare, as in thin]

13 Watch actor in church: good on-line clip! (7,3)
CLOTHES-PEG - LO! THESP in CE + G. A clip found on a washing line

15 One prepared for posting to West Country, ultimately amenable (4)
EASY - S.A.E. [one prepared for posting] (written from east to) west, + {countr}Y

16 Top police officers advancing caught mobster (4)
CAPO - take the A.C.P.O. [Association of Chief Police Officers] and move C(aught) to the start. LOI

18 Curse founder’s lack of vision with these (10)
BLINDFOLDS - BLIND [curse, as in "eff and blind"] + FOLD [founder, as in go out of business] 'S

21 Looks on in wonderment, as kids in playground did? (8)
SEESAWED - SEES [looks on] + AWED [in wonderment]

22 Row of motorists following as escorts (6)
FRACAS - the R.A.C., "escorted" by F(ollowing) AS

23 Tea, then bed: that would have done for James (9,4)
GUNPOWDER PLOT - GUNPOWDER [tea] + PLOT [bed]. That's James VI

25 Corruption in Strasbourg politician reversed for now (3,3)
PRO TEM - ROT in reversed M.E.P.

26 With abandoning dubious ideals, war not waged? (8)
SALARIED - (IDEALS {w}AR*). Not that I really know the difference between
"salaried" and "waged"

DOWN
2 Jelly maker to go round with others? (7)
COWHEEL - or CO-WHEEL. I hope people don't still make jelly for e.g. children's parties by boiling up an actual ox's foot

3 Measure of cloth weaver’s placed under black bags (4-7)
BELL-BOTTOMS - ELL [measure of cloth] + BOTTOM'S [(Shakespearean) weaver's], under B(lack). Bags as in trousers

4 Hint: about 12 short (5)
RATTY - RAY [hint] about T(ee)T(otaller). Short as in short-tempered

5 Substitute having lifted silver trophy’s heading for pub (7)
STOPGAP - reverse AG POT'S [silver | trophy's] + P{ub}

6 Resented, but moved to accept as right (9)
BEGRUDGED - BUDGED [moved] "accepting" E.G. R [as | right]

7 Ring daily? That would be ...? (3)
OFT - O [ring] + FT [daily paper The Financial Times]. If you are ringing someone daily, you are doing it oft(en)

8 Charlie holds out for funds (7)
COFFERS - C(harlie) OFFERS

12 Kind of cross summer’s a dry one (11)
TEETOTALLER - a TEE or T is a kind of cross, a TOTALLER is one who sums or a summer

14 Barge to tie up, finding space to move in (9)
ELBOWROOM - ELBOW [barge] + reversed MOOR [tie]. Not even a hyphenated enumeration, really?

17 One getting back around half five seeing red (7)
AVENGER - ANGER [seeing red] "around" {fi}VE

19 Salts appearing in ten days — March 15th? (7)
IODIDES - 10 D(ays) + (the) IDES (of March)

20 Conscript close to firefight feared being shot (7)
DRAFTEE - ({firefigh}T FEARED*)

22 Savage bits of detail are flagged up (5)
FERAL - hidden reversed in {detai}L ARE F{lagged}

24 Egg noodle (3)
NIT - double def, as in headlice and twit respectively