May 3rd, 2021

Astarte1

QC 1865 by Pedro

I went through this completely sequentially, from top to bottom then left to right. Either I was on that mysterious 'wavelength' or Pedro was being especailly kind to us for the bank holiday weekend. Only you can tell me which it was and I look forward to reading your comments. Many thanks to Pedro (who I don't think I have blogged before? Certainly not more than once or twice anyway) for a gentle start to the week.

Following my comments above I don't really need to say that my FOI was 1A and LOI 19D. But there, I've done it anyway. I think my COD was 11A which took slightly longer than the others to go into the grid.

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

Across
1 Militia crazy to jettison leader (4)
ARMY - bARMY (crazy) 'jettisoning leader'. Unless, of course, you are in the Barmy Army following the English Cricket team around the world (when allowed to do so).
3 I’m supporting exercises, right? Wrong (8)
IMPROPER - IM (I'm) + PRO (supporting) + PE (exercises) + R (right).
8 Church provided most of item for baptism — material for gown? (7)
CHIFFON - CH (church) + IF (provided) + FON ('most of' FONt, 'item for baptism').
10 Prosper — not, say, going backwards (3,2)
GET ON - NOT + EG (say) all 'going backwards' (i.e. reversed).
11 About to move round striker in later game (6,5)
RETURN MATCH - RE (about) + TURN (to move round) + MATCH (cryptically a 'striker').
13 Desire a bit of sunshine in most of the days of November (6)
THIRST - S (a bit of Sunshine) 'in' THIRTy ('most of' the THIRTY days in November).
15 A second court case will liberate one of the stars (6)
ASTRAL - A + S (second) + TRiAL (court case 'liberating' I (one))
17 Anti-regalia, possibly, being against class distinction (11)
EGALITARIAN - straight anagram ('possibly') of ANTI REGALIA.
20 A bishop not entirely sharp? These assist with calculations (5)
ABACI - A + B (bishop) + ACId (if ACID is sharp, then ACI is 'not entirely' sharp).
21 Pens, say, recreated a connection in the mind (7)
SYNAPSE - straight anagram ('recreated') of PENS SAY.
22 Article put behind sailors in drink (8)
ABSINTHE - THE (definite article) 'put behind' ABS (Able-Bodied Seamen, or sailors) + IN.
23 Fool left in bed (4)
CLOT - L (left) 'in' COT (bed).
Down
1 Precise account supported by clergyman (8)
ACCURATE - AC (account) 'supported by' CURATE (clergyman). As this is a down clue CURATE is 'underneath' AC and therefore 'supports' it.
2 Damp fog — nothing visible in that (5)
MOIST - it's that least favourite Susie Dent word again. O (nothing) 'visible in' MIST (fog).
4 Note on area identifying low points (6)
MINIMA - MINIM (a note of two beats as I remember it) 'on' (i.e. 'above' in this down clue) A (area).
5 A hart rising after injury, quite fit (5,2,4)
RIGHT AS RAIN - straight anagram ('after injury') of A HART RISING.
6 One throwing a jug (7)
PITCHER - double definition.
7 Area of frozen water? Heading away from edge (4)
RINK - bRINK (edge with the heading taken away).
9 People here are often told to go to blazes (4,7)
FIRE STATION - cryptic definition.
12 Resonant scheme supported by man (8)
PLANGENT - PLAN (scheme) 'supported by' (i.e. 'above' in this down clue) GENT (man).
14 Cold areas? One cold area turning up here (7)
ICECAPS - I (one) + C (cold) + ECAPS (SPACE (area), reversed, i.e. 'turning up' in this down clue).
16 Equipment given to school is trashy stuff (6)
KITSCH - KIT (equipment) + SCH (school).
18 The writer’s heading for Pamplona, taking on the Spanish force (5)
IMPEL - I'M (the writer's) + P (heading for Pamplona) + EL ('the' in Spanish).
19 Asian island language used by programmers (4)
JAVA - double definition.
New RCA
  • vinyl1

Times 27967 - Let me check....

Time: 40 minutes
Music: Beethoven, Emperor Concerto, Schnabel/Galliera

This one was difficult in my book, although some may find it otherwise.   The answers persistently turned out to something I was not expecting at all, and the cryptics involved some obscure usages and some abbrevations I had to look up in Chambers.   But by a combination of teasing my way through the cryptics, and biffing the evident answers, I did manage to finish.

I suspect that bold biffers will be relatively more successful in this puzzle, while those who ponder every element of the clue will be working through many possibilities but not getting anywhere.   We shall see.

Across
1 Revile harmful gas American imported (4)
CUSS - C(US)S.   CS gas I had to look up.
4 Pompous leader has tattoo after first month on vessel (10)
PANJANDRUM -  PAN + JAN + DRUM.   This is drum as a verb, and tattoo as a verb, the tattoo derived from 16th-century Dutch rather than the one that comes from 19th-century Tahitian.
9 Cooking fish after commotion in front of guest (4,6)
STIR FRYING - STIR + FRY IN G[uest].
10 Due to kill first fly (4)
WING - [o]WING, with both fly and wing as verbs.
11 Cleric entertaining nonconformist leader shot at table (6)
CANNON - CAN(N[onconformist])ON, a shot in billianrds or snooker.
12 Desperate horse close (8)
HAIRLESS - H + AIRLESS, with the slang meaning of hairless that I had to look up.
14 Harrow playboy? (4)
RAKE - Double definition.
15 A solemn proposal brought about love's consummation (10)
APOTHEOSIS - A PO THE(O)SIS, where po = po-faced.
17 Ride in this buggy cut off (10)
DISINHERIT - Anagram of RIDE IN THIS.
20 A lot of tennis outfits (4)
SETS - Double definition.
21 Dig in remains of fruit said to bring disease (8)
BERIBERI - I believe this sounds like BURY BERRY, and has nothing to do with rib = dig - but I could be wrong!
23 Pitiful debilitating affliction like case of lurgy (6)
MEASLY -  M.E + AS + L[urg]Y.   M.E. = Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, among other things.
24 Person having very little money left (4)
SOUL -  SOU + L.
25 Hotel goes frantic accommodating one's religious disciplines (10)
THEOLOGIES - Anagram of HOTEL GOES + I.
26 Trendy daughter is presented poorly (10)
INDISPOSED - IN D IS POSED.
27 Tramp is some hiker travelling westward (4)
TREK - backwards hidden in [hi]KER T[ravelling].
Down
2 Animal mutated with truer colouring (11)
ULTRAMARINE -  Anagram of ANIMAL + TRUER.
3 Ground, i.e. Regent's Park, given national status (9)
SERENGETI - Anagram of I.E. REGENT'S.
4 Dad bags country house's top fish (7)
PIRANHA - P(IRAN, H)A.
5 Nothing stored in bulk following Arab's call for consideration? (15)
NEIGHBOURLINESS - NEIGH + B(O)URLINESS.
6 An effusive talk masking one's pain (7)
ANGUISH - AN + GU(I)SH.
7 Assemble notes for broadcast (5)
RAISE - Sounds like Res.
8 Amount put up to house a grand priest (5)
MAGUS - M(A,G)US, sum upside-down.
13 Vet relishes flexing arm (11)
SHIRTSLEEVE - Anagram of VET RELISHES.
16 Offensive cackle breaking on street (9)
ONSLAUGHT - ON S(LAUGH)T.
18 Load intercepted by English lieutenant remains in vessel (7)
HEELTAP - HE(E LT)AP, the dregs at the bottom of a glass, which I vaguely recalled.
19 Toppled tyrant ultimately disgraced, beheaded (7)
TUMBLED - T + [h]UMBLED.
21 Principles I lowered for singers (5)
BASSI - BASIS with the I moved down.
22 Global song in parts (5)
ROUND - Double definition.