March 31st, 2021

Times 27939 - forty shades of green.

An ecological flavour to today's crossword, I thought, which I found of moderate difficulty with nothing especially obscure or controversial to it. A green gemstone, an eco-charity, things festering and biodegrading nicely, and a country's Chancellor where the next incumbent may well be a Green, it seems. Not quite forty shades, I agree, but just thought I'd give you an earworm as well.

1 Resolution from British, united after reverse (8)
BACKBONE - BACK (reverse) B (British) ONE (united).
5 Fine organic compound's gradually become bitter (6)
FESTER - F (fine) ESTER (organic compound, of an acid radical joined to an alcohol, e.g. ethyl acetate).
9 Having turned back, swimmer out of wind (3)
LEE - EEL reversed.
10 Left standing on public view, naked (11)
OUTSTRIPPED - OUT (on public view), STRIPPED (naked).
12 Just right profile of monarch seen here? (2,3,5)
ON THE MONEY - cryptic definition, on the bank notes.
13 Second hazard close to Scylla (4)
BETA - BET (hazard, risk) end of ScyllA.
15 Asian mountaineer eats her partner's sandwiches (6)
SHERPA - hidden as above.
16 Held good girl in school (7)
COHERED - HER in COED school.
18 Stone Age love dismissed by books (7)a green precious stone, birthstone for August.
PERIDOT - Age = PERIOD, lose the O (love); OT (books).
20 Immoderate display of leg on demand (6)
WANTON - WANT (demand) ON (leg, as in cricket).
23 Harrow wine stored here, maybe (4)
RACK - double definition.
24 Historic rent then due in six hours? (7,3)
QUARTER DAY - cryptic definition.
26 Wake on high, having passed over? (6,5)
VAPOUR TRAIL - cryptic definition, with misdirection towards funereal thoughts.
27 Two promising words in contrived language (3)
IDO - "I DO" = promising words; IDO being an artificial language derived from Esperanto for everyone to speak; apparently about 100 people worldwide do, when they meet up annually.
28 Paper's previous boss went on and on (6)
LASTED - the LAST EDitor would be the paper's previous boss.
29 Most peculiar doctor that is retreating in one direction (8)
WEIRDEST - Inside WEST place DR I.E. reversed.
1 Vote upsetting to Liberal and another party (6)
BALLOT - All reversed, TO, L (Liberal), LAB(our).
2 Teacher briefly trained house's first champion runner (7)
CHEETAH - (TEACHE)* plus H for house, TEACHE being teacher briefly.
3 Odd bod and I agreed to break up, naturally (10)
4 Guardian for one needing to rely on charity (8,5)
NATIONAL TRUST - a NATIONAL newspaper, TRUST = to rely on.
6 Cross character in formal attire getting up to go (4)
EXIT - X (cross character) inside TIE reversed.
7 Jacket, etc, that motorist's in most often? (3,4)
TOP GEAR - double definition, one cryptic.
8 Dismisses detective from NE town? (3-5)
RED-CARDS - REDCAR being a town in NE England, DS = detective sergeant. Sends off!
11 Fighting resistance where RAF can't, sadly (6,7)
14 Opportunity to wind up German leader, perhaps (10)
CHANCELLOR - CHANCE (opportunity), ROLL (wind up) reversed.
17 Favour reduction of violence initially during outrage (8)
APPROVAL - R O V (initial letters of reduction of violence) inside APPAL = outrage.
19 Instructions to follow prophet, holding image skyward (7)
RECIPES - SEER (prophet) reversed with PIC reversed inside.
21 Vintage shed erected, with familiar roofing (3-4)
OLD-TIME - EMIT (shed) reversed, with OLD (familiar) on top.
22 Infantry under 50% of army? Never! (2,4)
MY FOOT - (AR)MY = MY, FOOT = infantry.
25 Protrude over centre of green fibrous plant (4)
JUTE - JUT (protrude) E (gentre of grEen).

Monthly Club Special 20,246: Waqford Squeers

Some great words around the edge of this one: not quite a perimetric pangram but not too far away either. I liked it all but particularly enjoyed 13dn (a brain area dear to all of our hearts), the cryptic jiggery-pokery at 22dn and some of the ambitious charades. My thanks to the setter: now for me to get a headstart on 20,247 so I can feel like a proper April Fool on the appropriate day for it...

1 Forced to hide a month abroad she wouldn’t be “missed” (6)
MADAME - MADE, to "hide" A M. Abroad, it's a mademoiselle who gets "missed"

4 University visits drop off, according to champion of old poetry (8)
DOUZEPER - U "visits" DOZE, + PER [according to]. One of the twelve peers of Charlemagne

10 Cut dead old ends off, having turned up something that smells (4-5)
SNUB-NOSED - SNUB [cut dead] + (O ENDS*)

11 What finishes off army for good — plus old militias (5)
FYRDS - {of}F {arm}Y {fo}R {goo}D {plu}S

12 A handle shielded from the wind material exposed to the elements (1,2,5,6)

14 Old runner’s major slip: not the first (5)
OWLER - {h}OWLER. Runner as in smuggler

16 Dealer out of dope, briefly left in charge, turned corrupt (9)
INFLICTOR - INF{o} L I/C + reversed ROT

18 Ache one aims to shift restricted blood flow (9)

20 A home for gnomes concealing case of gold (5)
AURIC - A {z}URIC{h}

21 With toes like birds’, can’t I do as bats, and mean to push last forward? (14)
ANISODACTYLOUS - (CAN'T I DO AS*) + LOUSY [mean] pushing its last letter to the front

25 Once ashore, trailer loaded with large article (5)
ALAND - AD "loaded" with L AN

26 Set on backing fancier NZ fieldworker (3-6)
GUM-DIGGER - reversed MUG + DIGGER, as in "one who digs" = "one who likes"

27 Rarely paid much for filling up cattle enclosures (8)
FEEDLOTS - FEE'D LOTS. Cattle enclosures for filling up the cattle, i.e. where concentrated feeding takes place

28 Assembly’s voice on reflection with some weight earlier (6)
KGOTLA - reversed ALTO, with KG earlier.

1 Gracious man’s act of self-harm, one roughly involving initiation in rites? (10)
MYSTAGOGIC MY STAG O.G. I C [gracious! | man's | act of self-harm (own goal) | one | roughly]

2 Party, one often accompanying ER at opening of annual parliament (5)
DOUMA - DO [party] + UM [one often accompanying "er", as in "um, er..."] + A{nnual}

3 Dutch title of hymn rendered poetically always (7)

5 See rising mould, and film that’s well established? (5)
OLDIE - reversed LO! + DIE [mould]

6 Turning up never-endingly in attic, coppers and flutes (7)
ZUFFOLI - reversed I{n} LOF{t} FUZ{z}

7 Fire devotee for ultimately petty breaches in due course (9)
PYROLATER - PRO [for] "breached" by {pett}Y, + LATER

8 Revive, dismissing one who may send off letter from the ME (4)
RESH - {ref}RESH, the referee being "one who may send off"

9 Writing poorly, perceiving abnormally upsetting stammer (8)
PSELLISM - MS ILL ESP, all reversed

13 Sibling emperor putting down European with a piece of his mind? (6,4)
BROCA'S AREA - BRO CAESAR, putting E(uropean) to the end, + A. Brain region linked to speech and language

15 Landlords at first start losing it when housing bill slashed (9)
LACINIATE - L{andlords} + IN{it}IATE, "housing" AC

17 Fathom being, primarily, both slack and firm on the inside? It’s a teaser (4-4)
FLAX-COMB - F(atho)M B{eing}, with LAX and CO within

19 Some personal ad is passed over, being in a niche area? (7)
APSIDAL - hidden reversed in {persona}L AD IS PA{ssed}

20 No longer making up any gibe when rattled (7)

22 Forgotten deck, the lower one of two maybe now hotel (5)
DIGHT - DIGIT [two, maybe] with the "lower" I becoming H(otel)

23 Anything that’s revolting found in books (5)
OUGHT - UGH! [that's revolting!] found in OT

24 Homeless child has question for one endowing property (4)
WAQF - WAIF has Q for I