September 2nd, 2021

  • glheard

Times 28072 - mind your P's

Time taken: 8:07.

I'm curious about this one - the early times coming in are fast indeed, but I think the clever wordplay in this offering may be more to the taste of the seasoned, quick and early solvers. I was taken by surprise by 1 across, a six-letter word with four P's in it.

I have a great deal of admiration for this puzzle, the surfaces are excellent and there are some well-hidden defitnitions to go with the wordplay. I've highlighted a few of my favorites in the blog.

I'll check back in with a postscript tomorrow to see how everyone did.

Postscript: there have been a few suggestions that there is a typo in 25 across and it should be golf instead of gold. That makes sense, to me I got a giggle out of the clue becuase Gold Club is a notorious adult entertainment establishment.

Away we go...

Across
1 Farewell sign of a lieutenant? (3,3)
PIP PIP - a star as a mark of rank is also a PIP, so a lieutenant would have two of them
5 Endure work, getting call to retire (4,4)
LAST POST - LAST(endure), POST(work)
9 Erode cover for ducks on English river (4,4)
WEAR DOWN - DOWN(what ducks are covered in) next to WEAR(English river)
10 How soldiers may move part of foot (6)
INSTEP - and soldiers may move IN STEP
11 Number dressing a queen in Asian garment (6)
SARONG - SONG(number) surrounding A, R(queen)
12 Popular young actors, say, playing part in support (8)
BRATPACK - anagram of PART inside BACK(support)
14 I am leaving to find out how long Rossini opera lasts? We'll see (4,4,4)
TIME WILL TELL - Loved this clue - if you were finding out how long the Rossini opera was you would TIME WILLIAM TELL.  Remove I,AM
17 Go straight over rocks, following troops (4,4,4)
MEND ONES WAYS - another fantastic clue - DONE(over), SWAYS(rocks) after MEN(troops)
20 Goods for which no responsibility is taken? (4-4)
DUTY-FREE - cryptic definition
22 Amazingly nice and extremely desirable? (6)
EDENIC - an all-in-one, anagram of NICE and the outer letters of DesirablE
23 Polish once again getting snub (6)
REBUFF - polish once again could be to RE-BUFF
25 Field of play gold club keeps clear (8)
GRIDIRON - G(gold), IRON(golf club) containing RID(clear)
26 Be short of fuel? Submarine out of south has tons (8)
UNDEREAT - UNDERSEA(submarine) missing S(south) then T(tons)
27 Frenchman's natter with person kept inside? (6)
GASCON - GAS(natter) and CON(person kept inside prison)
Down
2 Emetic plant product secreted by overripe cactus (6)
IPECAC - hidden inside overrIPE CACtus
3 Dry up petrol supply, going by claims (11)
PURPORTEDLY - anagrm of DRY,UP,PETROL
4 Vessel touring lake with minute tiller? (9)
PLOUGHMAN - PAN(vessel) containing LOUGH(lake) and M(minute)
5 Archer has this desire to show reverence (7)
LONGBOW - LONG(desire) and BOW(show reverence)
6 Victor welcomed by Islamic group is a divinity (5)
SHIVA - V(victor) inside SHIA(Islamic group)
7 Raised energy to make balletic step (3)
PAS - reversal of SAP(energy)
8 Check place one's locked up potent biological unit (4,4)
STEM CELL - STEM(check) CELL(place one's locked up)
13 Pastries one prepared with French art in these? (11)
PATISSERIES - anagram of PASTRIES then I(one) and ES(art in French)
15 Baking ingredient in vegan line manufactured (9)
LEAVENING - anagram of VEGAN,LINE
16 Empty coupe, next to Fiat, an azure colour (8)
CERULEAN - external letters of CoupE, then RULE(fiat) and AN. Another great surface.
18 Trickery requiring present transport to be on time (7)
SLEIGHT -  SLEIGH(a transport that contains presents at Christmas time), next to T(time)
19 Carriage wheels broken by learner in Escort (6)
GIGOLO - GIG(carriage), then O,O(wheels) containing L(learner)
21 Sack one likely to get fired (5)
RIFLE - double definition
24 Cultivate a habit in American English (3)
USE - US(American), E(English)

Times Quick Cryptic No 1953 by Orpheus

How is your knowledge of Dutch portraitists, Indian transport systems or Caribbean capitals?  You’ll need them all for this puzzle from Orpheus.  I completed this comfortably inside 11 minutes, and knew all the General Knowledge except the Dutch portraitist, which was gettable, but needed checking after completion.

I have to give my COD to 12d despite the use of the bra = supporter old chestnut, with FOI 1d.  Thanks Orpheus.


Across

1  Friend carrying artist’s old sunshade (7)
PARASOL – PAL (friend) around (carrying) RA’S (artist’s) and O{ld}.
5  Reportedly wander round capital (4)
ROME – Sounds like (reportedly) ROAM (wander round).
7 State originally lauded in a lot of papers (5)
REALM – L{auded} (originally) inside REAM (lot of papers – a ream is defined as between 480 and 500 sheets of paper).
8  Source of grapes, fish and sour-tasting liquid (7)
VINEGAR – VINE (source of grapes) and GAR (fish, similar to a pike).
10 Bird of prey biting head off chicken (3)
OWL – fOWL (head off chicken).
11  Officiating priest sporting new bracelet (9)
CELEBRANT – Anagram (sporting) of N{ew} and [BRACELET].
13  Pay to take up residence (6)
SETTLE – Double definition.
14  Destructive type left at rear of London museum (6)
VANDAL – L{eft} after V AND A (London museum, the V & A – Victoria and Albert).
17  What pupils should pay? A strain, by the sound of it (9)
ATTENTION – Cryptic clue (pupils should pay attention) together with a homophone (by the sound of it), ATTENTION sounds like A TENSION (a strain).
19  Reduced price for salad ingredient (3)
COS – COS{t} – price reduced = drop the last letter.
20  Northern woman’s childminders (7)
NANNIES – N{orthern} and ANNIE’S (woman’s).
22 Girl from Addis Ababa initially eating egg (5)
ANITA – A{ddis} A{baba} (initially) containing NIT (egg).
23 Extreme anger? It’s the fashion (4)
RAGE – Double definition.
24  Possible runner’s articles about obstruction at Wimbledon (7)
ATHLETE – A and THE (articles) surrounding (about) LET (obstruction in tennis, or at Wimbledon).


Down

West Indian Capital or Vigo, possibly? (4,2,5)
PORT OF SPAIN – Cryptic hint or double definition maybe? – PORT OF SPAIN is the capital city of Trinidad and Tobago (in fact where I joined my first ship in January 1971).  Vigo is a city and port in the NW of Spain, so is an example of a Port of Spain.
Again share out genuine sale item (7)
REALLOT – REAL (genuine) and LOT (sale item).
3  Army officer in house on short break (9)
SEMICOLON – COL{onel} (army officer) inside SEMI (house) and ON (on).
Animated quartet captured by Dutch portraitist (6)
LIVELY – IV (four, quartet) inside LELY (Sir Peter Lely, Dutch portraitist).
5 Manage to move at speed (3)
RUN – Double definition..
6 Molten rock mother found crossing top of gorge (5)
MAGMA – MAMA (mother) containing G{orge} (top of …).  Hands up those who first thought of lava?
9  Eternal task diverting a venomous reptile (11)
RATTLESNAKE – Anagram (diverting) of [ETERNAL TASK].
12  Indoctrinate supporter swimming off Hunstanton? (9)
BRAINWASH – BRA (supporter) IN WASH (swimming off Hunstanton).  The Wash is a rectangular bay and estuary at the north of East Anglia, and Hunstanton is a town on its coast.
15  Refuse to go to seed (7)
DECLINE – Double definition.
16  In Florida’s borders, strange site for a carnival (6)
FIESTA – F{lorid}A (Florida’s borders) containing an anagram (strange) of [SITE].
18  Vehicle used in India, not over Georgia (5)
TONGA – NOT reversed (over) to give TON and GA (Georgia).  A TONGA is a light, two-wheeled vehicle used in India.
21  Frozen matter encountered in Arctic exploration (3)
ICE – Hidden answer found in {arct}IC E{xploration}.
verlaine

Times 28,073: Strictly For The Local Birds

I found this medium-tricky, but perhaps for the wrong reasons: the parsings are almost universally simple (by and large, "put X in Y"), but the grid is quite ungenerously laid out, with numerous double unches, combining with some esoteric vocab (17dn!) to create a good few speedbumps. My LOIs were 13ac crossing 4dn; it didn't help that I really wanted 4dn to be ANECDATA, and I rolled my eyes when I realised what the groanworthy definition was really leading to. And 13ac is also barely a synonym for "baby" - just a rather unlikely term of endearment, yes? Hmph and hmph again, I say.

I always quite like -ish clues so I appreciated 5dn. Thanks for Fridaying us up, setter!

Definitions underlined, (ABC)* indicating anagram of ABC, {} deletions and [] other indicators.

Across
1 Farm labourer holding hearts in game (8)
PHEASANT - PEASANT holding H
9 Lusty creature in a Roman street for local birds (8)
AVIFAUNA - FAUN in A VIA. FOI
10 State secrets held in British workshop? (4)
BLAB - B LAB. "State" as in "utter", here
11 Moaning endlessly in Cabinet about the Opposition? (12)
INCONSOLABLE - IN CONSOLE about LAB
13 Simplified language broadcast for baby (6)
PIGEON - homophone of PIDGIN
14 Quick way round two problems with electricity (8)
SHORTCUT - electrical SHORT + power CUT
15 Gin neat when skipping tonic (7)
GENTIAN - (GIN NEAT*)
16 Slander girl in drinking establishment (7)
BESMEAR - ESME in BAR
20 U-boat damaged, initially holed in a north German route (8)
AUTOBAHN - (U-BOAT*) + H{oled} in A N
22 It’s free to be immersed in river in Knock (6)
DERIDE - RID [free] immersed in DEE
23 Applaud those running across street in Derbyshire town (12)
CHESTERFIELD - CHEER FIELD [applaud | those running], across ST
25 Foot, intact to start with, seen by a doctor (4)
IAMB - I{ntact} by A M.B.
26 Scottish island returned to king whose role is telling (8)
NARRATOR - reversed ARRAN + TO R
27 Memorial has significance probed by character abroad (8)
MONUMENT - MOMENT probed by NU
Down
2 Problems filling hole up where land slopes (8)
HILLSIDE - ILLS filling HIDE [hole up]
3 Versatile stadium boxer whipped (12)
AMBIDEXTROUS - (STADIUM BOXER*)
4 Gossip and argument against lawyer one gets crush on (8)
ANACONDA - ANA [gossip] + CON [argument against] + D.A.
5 Lose brightness like small mountain lake? (7)
TARNISH - a TARN is a small mountain lake, so something like that is TARN-ISH
6 The writer is appearing in knockout garment with sash (6)
KIMONO - I'M ON [the writer is appearing], in K.O.
7 Muzzle small bear that's devoured rook (4)
CURB - CUB devouring R
8 Voracious female in staff restaurant closing early (3-5)
MAN-EATER - MAN [staff] + EATER{y}
12 PM's counterpart entered Miami given order (4,8)
ANTE MERIDIEM - (ENTERED MIAMI*). Long for AM
15 Are such blows seen in good jousting practice? (8)
GLANCING - G LANCING, semi-lit
17 Member states made no changes in old Arabian port (8)
EUDAEMON - E.U. + (MADE NO*)
18 Tree feller an elected council member (8)
ALDERMAN - ALDER MAN [tree | fellow]
19 Costume seen immediately following tango? (7)
UNIFORM - Uniform follows Tango in the NATO phonetic alphabet
21 A match in Zoroastrian writings collection (6)
AVESTA - A VESTA [a | match]
24 Bible book shows last character in generation (4)
EZRA - Z [last character] in ERA