June 14th, 2021

Astarte1

QC 1895 by Teazel

OK please move on everybody. Nothing to see here. Thanks to Teazel, my oldest adversary I believe, for a gentle Monday-morning stroll.

FOI was 1A. A lot of clues went in sequentially after that, with LOI being 21D as you might expect. A couple of clues caused hiccups in the smooth sequence, one example being 15D which gets my COD award for reminding me of my favourite underground girl.

Definitions are underlined in bold italics.
Everything else is explained just as I see it as simply as I can.

Across
1 Language making sober actor struggle (5-5)
SERBO-CROAT - straight anagram: 'making SOBER ACTOR struggle'.
8 Cleric is hopeless at first in dance (6)
BISHOP - IS + H (Hopeless 'at first') 'in' BOP (dance).
9 Bird seen round loch is quail (6)
FLINCH - FINCH (bird) 'seen round' L (loch).
10 Some sweet nature, but it is liable to erupt (4)
ETNA - hidden word: 'some' sweET NAture.
11 To limit error, confirms flight (6,2)
CHECKS IN - CHECK (limit) + SIN (error).
12 Large hole right at side of case (6)
CRATER - CRATE (case) + R (right) at its side.
14 Perhaps straw one is easily taken in (6)
SUCKER - cryptically a sucker could perhaps be a straw.
16 Spare man ordered this to go on pasta perhaps (8)
PARMESAN - straight anagram: SPARE MAN 'ordered'.
18 Article about the most prolific author? (4)
ANON - AN (indefinite article) + ON (about). There is a lot more written material in the world by ANON(ymous) than by any single known writer.
20 Swordsman who puts up a barrier (6)
FENCER - double definition.
21 Fruit drinks, just short, filled with ice (6)
JUICES - JUSt 'short' 'filled with' ICE.
22 Little number donned always? This is the only chance (3,2,5)
NOW OR NEVER - NO (abbreviation for 'number', therefore 'little') + WORN (donned) + EVER (always).
Down
2 Be no longer first (5)
EXIST - EX (no longer) + IST (first).
3 Memorised last of story in the bar, drunk (2,5)
BY HEART - Y (last of storY) 'in' BHEART (anagram ('drunk') of THE BAR).
4 Catch bluebottle (3)
COP - double definition, bluebottle being a slang term for a police officer.
5 Away three months or so, when it’s cheaper (3,6)
OFF SEASON - OFF (away) + SEASON (three months or so).
6 Feeble king to use his brain (5)
THINK - THIN (feeble) + K (king).
7 To perform on stage, I have to be brisk (6)
ACTIVE - ACT (to perform on stage) + IVE (I have).
11 One turned to reach the wine (9)
CORKSCREW - cryptic definition.
13 Harvest worker extremely prone to break back (6)
REAPER - PE ('extremely' PronE, i.e. the letters at the extremes of the word) 'breaking' REAR (back).
15 Check girl underground gets drinking bowl (7)
CHALICE - CH (check, as in Chess) + ALICE, a girl who famously followed a white rabbit down a hole and ended up underground.
17 Waterproof being worn is red (5)
MACON - MAC (waterproof) + ON (being worn). Well OK, you do get red wines from Mâcon in Burgundy, but you get whites as well, so the clue might have been better with a 'could be' or a 'possibly'. Bonne santé anyway.
19 Before end of parade, medals far too heavy (5)
OBESE - OBES (medals, specifically Orders of the British Empire in this case) before E (end of paradE).
21 Take top off slightly open pot (3)
JAR - aJAR (slightly open) with the 'top' removed in this down clue.
New RCA
  • vinyl1

Times 28003 - Yes, another man's Persian.

Time: 23 minutes
Music: Natalie Merchant, Tiger Lily

This was interesting. I had to look around for my first one, and unfortunately my first entry turned out to be wrong, as I found out when I was trying to finish.   The bottom went in fairly easily, although I had to check the anagram letters of schadenfreude very carefully to make sure I was right.   I biffed and then erased bravura, only to  come back in five minutes and parse it.   I erased the momble cemablo, put in thesaurus, and then remembered the right word.    My LOI was the annoyingly elusive belief.

No, I don't have an LP of Tiger Lily - it doesn't exist.   I ventured forth to the barbershop yesterday, not knowing what to expect, and much to my surprise my two barbers were still at their posts, cutting hair.   Since one is 84, and the other is 79, I was a bit worried, but they have been cutting my hair for over 50 years and I wanted to keep the streak going.   After getting rid of my pandemic ponytail, I decided to go to a charity shop where I have gotten good deals in the past.   The lady volunteers had gussied up the shop, and I was afraid that might mean higher prices, but the CD display said 4 for $1, so I picked up a few things to listen to in the car.

Across
1 Supporter about to enthuse briefly before United’s brilliant display (7)
BRAVURA - B(RAV[e])U)RA.
5 Verbal report of one missing glossy coating? (7)
LACQUER - Sounds like LACKER.
9 Flexible directions for entering illuminated residence (9)
LITHESOME - LIT + H(ES)OME.
10 Ancient Asian country’s means of communication? (5)
MEDIA - Double definion.
11 Ghostly atmosphere finally invading republic to the west (5)
EERIE - EIR([atmosphher]E)E backwards.
12 Wordbook the governor’s brought into house (9)
THESAURUS - T(HE'S)AURUS, an astrological house, which we haven't had for a while.
13 A briny-sounding dish, something tackled by soldiers in training (7,6)
ASSAULT COURSE -  Sounds like A SALT COURSE.
17 Ultimately hesitate and defer such misguided gloating (13)
SCHADENFREUDE -  Anagram of [hesitat]E AND DEFER SUCH.
21 One tells where a schoolkid may be, with a set of books (9)
INFORMANT -  IN FORM + A NT.
24 A doctor probing eyes, we hear, and feet (5)
IAMBI - I(A MB)I.   As usual - couldn't we have a cretic or a molossus, just for variety?
25 Like some old Peruvians ready to broadcast? (5)
INCAN - IN CAN.
26 Mushy journalist tires boss out (3,6)
SOB SISTER - Anagram of TIRES BOSS.
27 Cheese the old soldiers provided with good game (7)
GRUYERE -  G RU + YE + RE, a compendium of cryptic cliches.
28 Complaint demanding attention by a guerrilla leader (7)
EARACHE - EAR + A CHE.
Down
1 Disguise the nature of feminine opinion (6)
BELIEF - BELIE F.
2 Consequences of a fine period of work at Harrow, primarily (9)
AFTERMATH - A F TERM +  AT H[arrow].   In the US, we had World History after Math, but that wouldn't work in the UK.
3 Rituals the French introduced, serving no purpose (7)
USELESS - USE(LES)S.
4 After a fight, go for a change of direction (5-4)
ABOUT-TURN - A BOUT, TURN.
5 Superior, say, tucking into pork pie (5)
LIEGE - LI(E.G.)E.
6 Keyboard instrument Melba and co recollected (7)
CEMBALO - Abagran of MELBA and CO.
7 Subservient to a French communist revolutionary (5)
UNDER - UN + RED upside down.
8 Cook run into by duke’s open car (8)
ROADSTER - ROA(D)STER.   More commonly, roaster refers to what is cooked!
14 Rotating platform finally built by high-class sailors on board (9)
TURNTABLE -  [buil]T + U R.N. + TABLE.
15 Hurt, I came falteringly, having joint pain (9)
RHEUMATIC -  Anagram of HURT I CAME.
16 Ambitious individual initially employed in a period of growth (8)
ASPIRING -  A SP(I[ndividual])RING.
18 Confuse reigning monarch in endless peril (7)
DERANGE - D(ER)ANGE[r], with a rather lose literal, IMO.
19 It makes one girl extremely eager to support college (7)
UNIFIER -  UNI + FI + E[age]R, not the Queen this time.
20 Drill first of recruits in section (6)
PIERCE -  PIE(R[ecuits])CE.
22 Light shawl originally fashionable in central Manchuria (5)
FICHU -  F[ashionable] I[n] [man]CHU[ria].
23 Man, say, overcome by a passage in church (5)
AISLE - A + ISLE, an escapee from the Quickie.