June 16th, 2021

Times 28005 - right on the money.

This was one of those puzzles, for me, where the entry points are slow to arrive, then the answers come thick and fast, until you're left with a couple of obstinate ones (2d, 4d) which in this case took half as long as all the rest. It took me half an hour, with a few still to be fully dissected when it came to writing this up. I thought it was witty and fair and a fine example of the setter's art, with only one full-blown anagram.


Across
1 Find different plugs to heat generating station (4,4)
WIND FARM - (FIND)* inside WARM = to heat.
6 Original ally seen to cross border (6)
PRIMAL - RIM (border) inside PAL (ally).
9 Ragged person in Comedy Store? (8,5)
LAUGHING STOCK cryptic definition, where store = stock.
10 Perhaps like Sinbad, sailor put inside escaped (6)
FABLED - AB = sailor inside FLED = escaped.
11 Conservative on track in Bow Street? (8)
CRESCENT - C (Conservative) RE (on) SCENT (track). I like "Bow Street" as the definition for crescent.
13 Scottish head meets the Spanish composer in city (10)
HEIDELBERG - HEID = Scottish for head, EL = the Spanish, Alban BERG the composer.
15 Seconds in plenty with tenderloin put in place (4)
LIEU - assemble the second letters of the words pLenty wIth tEnderloin pUt. The surface doesn't make a lot of sense.
16 Republican coming into club causes terror (4)
BRAT - R inside BAT for club.
18 Hare and hounds shown in daily — Charles ecstatic initially (5,5)
PAPER CHASE - PAPER = daily, CHAS for Charles, E first letter of ecstatic.
21 Progress slowly with polar explorer almost formless (8)
INCHOATE - INCH = progress slowly, OATES the explorer is incomplete. What a nice word inchoate is, I shall use it more often.
22 Important food not fresh, saving little money (6)
STAPLE - STALE (not fresh) has a P for penny inserted.
23 Having influential friends like Elsie, Lacie and Tillie? (4-9)
WELL-CONNECTED - as all Alice IW fans (like me) know, the dormouse told Alice and the other tea party guests a story about three sisters so-named who lived at the bottom of a treacle well. https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~rgs/alice-VII.html
25 Is it smoking jacket that becomes one? (6)
BLAZER - witty cryptic, ha ha.
26 Travel day after day in desire for rare commodity (4,4)
GOLD DUST - GO (travel) D D (day after day) inside LUST (desire).
Down
2 I'm going to run away from border in disgrace (3,4)
ILL FAME - this was my LOI as I had ILL *A*E while searching for a suitable word for ages. Eventually I saw that the border is FRAME and it loses its R, after "I'm going to" = I'll. Is ILL FAME a real expression? I'd never heard it.
3 Twin meeting wife gives incomprehensible speech (6,5)
DOUBLE DUTCH - DOUBLE  twin, DUTCH = wife, colloquially.
4 Chap does away with companion over veiled threat in bed (5)
APHID - this was my next to LOI, but it's a good clue, I was just slow to see it. CHAP loses CH to give you AP, and HID = veiled, and aphids are a "threat in (e.g. a flower) bed".
5 Visual aid designed for single pupil (7)
MONOCLE - cryptic definition.
6 Weak team member one transferred by coach? (9)
PASSENGER - rather obvious double definition.
7 Bachelor's last words, popularly, in an artificial language? (3)
IDO - well a bachelor at the altar has to say "I do" and after that he's no longer a bachelor. IDO is an artificial language, we've seen it before quite recently.
8 Quiz one about point that's not straightforward (7)
ASKANCE - ASK (quiz) ACE (one) insert N for north.
12 Callous lord cheated outrageously (4-7)
COLD-HEARTED - (LORD CHEATED)*.
14 Club performer having stateside cops respond for audience (3,6)
LAP DANCER - My fav clue of the day. The LAPD being "stateside cops" and ANCER sounds like answer = respond.
17 Restoration novel in authentic setting (7)
RENEWAL - NEW (novel) inside REAL (authentic).
19 Old coin, Chinese one with note in typical moneybox? (7)
PFENNIG - a PIG or piggybank is a typical moneybox; insert money! A FEN is a Chinese coin, 1/100 of a yuan, and N for a note.
20 One seen at dusk endlessly following sun stroke (7)
SOLIDUS - SOL (sun) I (one) DUS(K) (dusk endlessly). The /.
22 Son having a nightmare sees skeleton (5)
SHELL - S for son, HELL for nightmare.
24 Girl needing a way to escape reptile (3)
LIZ - LIZARD loses A RD = a road.


Times Quick Cryptic 1897 by Joker

A bit of slang I didn't know (5dn), but this didn't really hold me up. Otherwise, staple fare finished comfortably within target. After a second look, I thought there might have been something fishy going on (if only Pequod had turned up in the checkers), but nothing has emerged to me as a clear Nina. It will be interesting to see if the hive mind can find one...

Definitions underlined.


Across
1 Small bird box dispute (7)
SPARROW - SPAR (box) and ROW (dispute).
5 Backed local voting area appeal (4)
DRAW - reversal of (backed) WARD (local voting area).
7 Ocean of southeast Asia, primarily (3)
SEA - SE (southeast) and the first letter of (primarily) Asia.
8 Cute rare flying animal (8)
CREATURE - anagram of (flying) CUTE RARE.
10 Employ specialist to remove piano (5)
EXERT - EXpERT (specialist) after removing (to remove) 'p' (piano). I had to exert all of my brain cells in finding a way to make this pass the word substitution test.
11 Rich soup — food to get embarrassed about (7)
CHOWDER - CHOW (food) then RED (embarrassed) reversed (about).
13 Cola is served up in informal gathering (6)
SOCIAL - anagram of (served up) COLA IS.
15 Calm observed around queen, note (6)
SERENE - SEEN (observed) containing (around) R (Regina, queen), then E (musical note).
17 What keeps out water from paintings by family members (7)
OILSKIN - OILS (paintings) and KIN (family members).
18 British state is rather dull and uninteresting (5)
BLAND - B (British) and LAND (state).
20 Saint in charge with a large church (8)
BASILICA - BASIL (saint), IC (in charge), and A.
22 Coldness at the heart of policemen (3)
ICE - central letters from (at the heart of) polICEman.
23 Live without daughter and without difficulty (4)
WELL - dWELL (live) removing (without) 'd' (daughter).
24 Draw a veil over old America, very unpleasant (7)
HIDEOUS - HIDE (draw a veil over), O (old), and US (America).

Down
1 Removal of older person’s allowance after suspicion (10)
SUSPENSION - PENSION (older person's allowance) after SUS (suspicion).
2 Area yielded plant of the aloe family (5)
AGAVE - A (area) and GAVE (yielded).
3 Frightful racket car produces here? (9)
RACETRACK - anagram of (frightful) RACKET CAR.
4 Unfortunate person to throw up after whiskey (6)
WRETCH - RETCH (to throw up) after W (whiskey)
5 Party time hit (3)
DOT - DO (party) and T (time). I did not know the slang 'to dot' meant 'to hit', but the clue is very forgiving of such ignorance.
6 Shorten a game (7)
ABRIDGE - A and BRIDGE (game).
9 Lonely end to the working week, going on for ever (10)
FRIENDLESS - FRI (Friday, end to the working week), and ENDLESS (going on forever).
12 Where chess players meet, heading for drink? (9)
OVERBOARD - cryptic hint. Chess players would meet over a (chess)board, and 'drink' is slang for 'sea'.
14 Company with unfortunate legal picture (7)
COLLAGE - CO (company) and an anagram of (unfortunate) LEGAL.
16 Make wealthy leaders of English nobility remain in city homes (6)
ENRICH - first letters from (leaders of) English Nobility Remain In City Homes.
19 Friend with a note to pass (5)
AMIGO - A, MI (note), and GO (pass).
21 Unwell young mare loses coat (3)
ILL - fILLy (young mare) without the first and last letters (loses coat).