April 12th, 2021

QC
  • jackkt

Times Quick Cryptic 1850 by Oink

I completed all but 15ac within 7 minutes but then needed another 2 minutes, eventually resorting to an alphabet trawl, to come up with the answer.

FOOTNOTE: I recommend that anyone who has their sights on graduating to the 15x15 or just stretching their solving skills should tackle today's example.

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Ulaca de Milo
  • ulaca

Times 27949 - Chestnut Season

Maybe that's being a bit unfair, but the eponymous protagonist of one of Dickens' least read books and a certain part of a church do seem to be popping up with great regularity. Not that I'm complaining (much), as this proved to be a very palatable start to the week - the kind of thing we get used to and, largely, I think, welcome, before the stiffer challenges later in the week and indeed at weekends. 21 minutes.



ACROSS

1 Work unit given backing by illustrious French city (8)
GRENOBLE - ERG reversed NOBLE
5 Endlessly awkward old South American cowboy (6)
GAUCHO - GAUCH[e] O
10 Vehicle protector is light, used around posh part of Canada (9,6)
VANCOUVER ISLAND - U (posh) in VAN COVER IS LAND
11 Showing amusement about wren’s initial chirping (10)
TWITTERING - W[ren] in TITTERING
13 Possibly Hamish’s second country dwelling (4)
SCOT - S COT (cottage)
15 Greek character’s crumbling pen outside farm store (7)
EPSILON - SILO in anagram* of PEN
17 A famous surgeon, one of the top people (1-6)
A-LISTER - A LISTER; Mr Lister is the go-to crossword surgeon
18 Daughter meeting Dickensian character’s skivvies (7)
DRUDGES - D RUDGES (Barnaby); skivvies can be menial workers as well as men's undies
19 English Queen entertaining politician, or another monarch (7)
EMPEROR - MP in E ER OR
21 Copy card game, briefly (4)
CRIB - CRIB[bage]
22 Current cricketer’s runs welcomed by side (10)
SLIPSTREAM - SLIPS (slip is a fielding position in the great game) R in TEAM
25 Unaware travellers in Aden born in Ascot, surprisingly (9,6)
INNOCENTS ABROAD - ADEN BORN IN ASCOT*
27 Team assembled by the Spanish, no less (6)
ELEVEN - EL (the in Spanish) EVEN (even and no less can be used - though hardly interchangeably - to indicate surprise or admiration, as in 'We got a letter from Spielberg no less', 'You might hear from Spielberg even')
28 Large plant seabird observed crossing sandbank (4,4)
TREE FERN - REEF in TERN

DOWN

1 Handed over to host too much in dance (7)
GAVOTTE - OTT in GAVE
2 European broadcasting for a very long time (3)
EON - E ON
3 Ring lecturer to register unknown branch of dentistry (10)
ODONTOLOGY - O DON TO LOG Y (unknown)
4 Reportedly one departing for bar (5)
LEVER - sounds like 'leaver'
6 Part of church Liberal abandoned by mistake (4)
APSE - [l]APSE
7 Cooked meats home help carved on lake (11)
CHARCUTERIE - CHAR CUT ERIE (the setter's favourite great lake)
8 Senior citizen’s long-standing form of rest (7)
OLDSTER - OLD REST*
9 Father acting, not son? It’s a façade (8)
FRONTAGE - FR (father) ON [s]TAGE
12 Carefree attitude a nice cousin cultivated (11)
INSOUCIANCE - A NICE COUSIN*
14 Gifted girl’s place at top? That’s open to question (10)
DISPUTABLE - ABLE after DIS PUT
16 Young bird stuck at first in trap on heather (8)
NESTLING - S in NET LING (either heather or a fish in Crosswordland)
18 Refuse to go downhill (7)
DECLINE - double definition (DD)
20 Artist on island framing publicity notice fast (7)
RAMADAN - RA AD (publicity notice) in MAN
23 Model question (5)
POSER - DD
24 Spots in part of East London, as locals may pronounce it? (4)
ACNE - sounds like 'ackney (AKA Hackney), me old chinas!
26 Mineral aggregate originally rife in outskirts of Odense (3)
ORE - R[ife] in O[dens]E