May 26th, 2021

Times 27987 - a Scottish symphony and a thing of beauty.

A terrific crossword, in my view, medium to hard, with a few unusual words, some misleading surfaces, a Scottish flavour in a few clues and a couple of familiar chestnuts. 32 minutes for me with a bit of unscrambling afterwards. As a Periodic Table buff (bore?) it's a chance to bang on a little about a very rare element.

1 Perhaps the lorry left paper off (7)
ARTICLE - lorry = ARTIC (articulated truck), LEFT loses FT the Financial Times of London.
5 Current measure in Soho upset cleaner (7)
SHAMPOO - AMP (current measure) inside (SOHO)*.
9 Girl's back impeding soldier's view from premises (9)
SYLLOGISM - this one gave me some trouble, I had to work out a word that fitted (which I knew but not its exact meaning) then find out if it indeed had something to do with logical deductions from 'premises'. GI'S = soldier's; insert that into MOLLY'S (girl's) reversed. Thank Aristotle for starting all that stuff off.
10 African expresses disapproval with India (5)
TUTSI - TUTS = expresses disapproval, I for India. I vaguely remembered the Tutsi and Hutu were tribes in Rwanda and Burundi with a long history of killing each other, but I couldn't write you an essay on it. As Arsenal shirts now encourage us to "visit Rwanda" I assume it's now died down, but I'm in no hurry to go.
11 Squirm on TV and lie about dummy act (13)
13 Respect quartet I left in town (8)
CIVILITY - IV (quartet) I L inside CITY (town).
15 Hide needlework display in Edinburgh (6)
TATTOO - double definition. This year's Edinburgh Military Tattoo is on in August, tickets are on sale.
17 Notice dispute off course (6)
ADRIFT - notice = AD, RIFT = dispute.
19 Youths with it claim Yankee title (8)
LADYSHIP - LADS (youths) HIP (with it) insert Y for Yankee.
22 Popular paper by leaderless authority's beyond words (13)
INEXPRESSIBLE - IN (popular) EXPRESS (a newspaper) IBLE ('authority' without its B). I had to think how to spell the ending, IBLE or ABLE, but then BIBLE was the only authority type thing I could think of. So it was -IBLE.
25 Green where spring water comes from, seen travelling west (5)
NAIVE - given I had N*I*E, this was biffable, then I saw we were talking about the town of EVIAN-les-Bains in SE France where a so-named brand of bottled water allegedly comes from. Travelling west = reversed.
26 Old writers briefly endure dealing with technique (9)
STYLISTIC - STYLI = old writers, the Latin plural of stylus. STIC(K) = briefly endure.
27 Deposit, say, posh pharmacist in Hebridean stack (4,3)
LUMP SUM - At first I was off in search of Hebridean sea-stacks of rock with funny names. I guess that was our setter's intention! Then I started again and saw U (posh) MPS (pharmacist, Member of the Pharmaceutical Society) is inside LUM a Scottish word for chimney or stack, as in 'lang may your lum reek', (which a Scots friend actually said to me on a Christmas card).
28 Coach line supporter (7)
SLEEPER - as you take the SLEEPER coach train to Edinburgh, you can see your rail track is supported by SLEEPERs. Double definition.
1 An orchestra's on top of that (4)
ALSO - A, LSO = London Symphony Orchestra.
2 Clean up the fourth Mediterranean city (3,4)
TEL AVIV - Reverse VALET = clean up, add IV = the fourth.
3 Start to chop tree without a top (5)
CROWN - C (start to chop) ROW(A)N = tree without A.
4 English judge inspires fighter to leave country (8)
EMIGRATE - E (English) RATE (judge) insert MIG (Russian fighter plane).
5 Like Simon or Herb (6)
SIMPLE - Simple Simon met a pieman, and Collins has "simple - noun archaic; a plant, esp a herbaceous plant, having medicinal properties".
6 Collector opposed mine, right away (9)
ANTIQUARY - ANTI = opposed, QUARY = quarry (mine) losing an R.
7 Group punching glib country fan (7)
PATRIOT - glib = PAT, as in "learnt off pat"; insert TRIO a group.
8 Old one's in to raise work with puny margins for drug supplier (5,5)
OPIUM POPPY - O (old) I in PUMP (raise) OP (work) PY (margins of puny). Once I had O***M this was a biff and I hope I have deciphered how it works, I had a few versions that nearly work.
12 Random "Notes on a Small Island" seen in Circle Line (10)
OCCASIONAL - CC (notes) A S(mall) IONA (an island in Scotland) all inside O L (circle line).
14 Occupants of house provided in scruffy 28 (4,5)
LIFE PEERS - IF (provided) inside an anagram of the answer to 28a. q.v.
16 They reflect action sure to curb traffic primarily (4-4)
CATS-EYES - CASE (action) has T (traffic primarily) inserted then YES = sure.
18 Element of watery discharge swamping part of UK (7)
RHENIUM - RHEUM (watery discharge) has NI (Northern Ireland) inserted. Rhenium (element 75) is a heavy metal used in alloys in jet engine exhausts, it is one of the rarest on earth and the last stable one to be discovered (in 1925).
20 Lift remains of drink (7)
HEELTAP - double definition. We've had this recently so it came to mind more readily that it might otherwise have done.
21 Flies before noon found in deep litter (6)
JETSAM - JETS (flies) A.M. (before noon). I liked the definition 'deep litter', it took me a while to see it was two words together, not just litter meaning rubbish or puppies.
23 Bung joint in bloke's case (5)
BRIBE - RIB (joint of beef) inside B E (case of bloke).
24 Run under superb service tree (4)
ACER - ACE (superb service) R. Tree of maple family.