jackkt (jackkt) wrote in times_xwd_times,
jackkt
jackkt
times_xwd_times

Times Cryptic 27182

After yesterday's really easy puzzle (solved by me in 17 minutes!) we have another one today which delayed me only 25 minutes, and 5 of those can probably be accounted for by my being on blogging duty. In one respect this might be considered even easier as there is nothing comparable here with the HERDWICK googly that was bowled at 1ac yesterday. I wonder if The Times have decided to give us all an easy week in order to lull competitors at Saturday's championships into a false sense of security. If so, I expect they'll drop a bombshell on Saturday and make the prize puzzle a stinker to try to unsettle them just before they go in.

As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions and substitutions are in curly brackets} and [anagrinds, containment, reversal and other indicators in square ones]

Across
1 Seething cauldron, one that may spatter you (4,5)
RAIN CLOUD - Anagram [seething] of CAULDRON I (one)
6 Cardinal scoffed, did you say? (5)
EIGHT - Sounds like [did you say] "ate" (scoffed)
9 Firm City fan, one full of caffeine? (4,3)
COLA NUT - CO (firm), LA (city), NUT (fan). SOED:  any of the seeds of the cola tree, which contain caffeine and theobromine and are used medicinally and in the manufacture of soft drinks.
10 Intended to secure new funds (7)
FINANCE - FIANCÉ (intended) containing [to secure] N (new)
11 Oscar promoted to head of house: bravo! (3)
OLÉ - The O (oscar) in LEO (house - sign of the zodiac) is moved to the front [promoted] to give us the Spanish expression of approval that's especially associated with bull-fighting and flamenco dancing
12 Transforming NHS centres: a bewitching woman (11)
ENCHANTRESS - Anagram [transforming] of  NHS CENTRES A
14 Gas is therefore being recalled, GP admits (6)
GOSSIP - GP contains IS + SO (therefore) reversed [recalled]. This clue belongs in a Quickie as GP has not been clued separately. This sort of thing seems to be increasingly common these days, with 'duck' = 'duck', 'late' = 'late' etc.
15 Back absorbing English programme to return (8)
REAPPEAR - REAR (back) containing [absorbing] E (English) + APP (programme)
17 Prevailing wisdom in anti-war circles (8)
DOMINANT - Hidden in {wis}DOM IN ANT{i-war}. The containment indiator is [circles].
19 Book of Baudelaire’s is at this point abridged (6)
ESTHER - EST (Baudelaire’s 'is'), HER{e} (at this point) [abridged]. Book of the Bible and oratorio by Handel.
22 Mark has a nice way of speaking (5,6)
ACUTE ACCENT - A, CUTE (nice), ACCENT (way of speaking). We've had two of them in consecutive clues above.
23 Plumbing fixture fitting too exactly, on reflection (3)
TAP - PAT (fitting too exactly) reversed [on reflection]
25 Midsummer’s day, perhaps: a romantic prospect? (3,4)
HOT DATE - A straight definition preceded by a cryptic one.
27 Escape from Bali in this manner? (4,3)
BAIL OUT -  A hybrid clue with BALI as an anagram of the first word in the answer and the anagrind [OUT] as the second word
28 Her Majesty “repelled” by First Lady. That’s official (5)
REEVE - ER (Her Majesty) reversed [repelled], EVE (first lady). Any of various local or regional officials with varying levels of authority.
29 Starts to skip and prance, justifiably chipper (9)
SPRIGHTLY - S{kip} + P{rance} [starts], RIGHLY (justifiably). I wondered if our friends across the Atlantic would know this meaning of 'chipper' , but SOED advises that they invented it in the mid 19th century!
Down
1 Page priest: his second run out (5)
RECTO - RECTO{r} (priest) [second run out]
2 Saint renouncing silence? There’ll be a complaint! (7)
ILLNESS - {st}ILLNESS (silence) [saint renouncing]
3 Kind of store  / in which to spend a penny? (11)
CONVENIENCE - Two definitions
4 Scientific study, to which landlords raise their glasses (6)
OPTICS - Two definitions. The second meaning was unknown to some on a previous outing but since then it has cropped up a few times.
5 Demoralised? Fed up? Take weed every now and then! (8)
DEFEATED - FED (reversed) [up], EAT (take), {w}E{e}D [every now and then]. I lost time here thinking 'deflated' which to my mind fits the definition a little better than 'defeated'.
6 Time for Beano editor to show up (3)
EON - Hidden in [to show] {bea}NO E{ditor} reversed [up]
7 I refuse to feed waterfowl of Italian port (7)
GENOESE - NO (I refuse) contained by [to feed] GEESE [waterfowl]
8 Money man rues Republican rate being revised (9)
TREASURER - Anagram [revised] of RUES R (Republican) RATE
13 Person declining printer’s job? (11)
TYPESETTING - TYPE (person), SETTING (declining). The industry has been transformed by technology so a question mark is necessary.
14 What Don might be to babe in arms, perhaps (9)
GODFATHER - Cryptic definition with reference to Mafia bosses and baby-naming ceremonies
16 Underwear thieves picked up (8)
KNICKERS - Sounds like [picked up] "nickers" (thieves)
18 Foreign policeman crashing into emu (7)
MOUNTIE - Anagram [crashing] of INTO EMU, always remembering the Times is a UK newspaper!
20 Quickly call, ringing up a lot (7)
HOTFOOT - HOOT (call) containing [ringing] OFT reversed [up]
21 Parliamentarian finding honour in French waters (6)
MEMBER - MBE (honour) contained by [in] MER (French waters)
24 This is where the young go / mad (5)
POTTY - Cryptic definition followed by a straight one
26 Unmarried man, and his companion in the boozer? (3)
ALE - {m}ALE (man) [unmarried] in a clue that conjures up a rather depressing image of the unmarried man. In my experience there's never been a shortage of married men in boozers.
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