Pip Kirby (pipkirby) wrote in times_xwd_times,
Pip Kirby
pipkirby
times_xwd_times

Times 27189 - more of a cat's breakfast.

I enjoyed this one. It has some novel wordplay, only two anagrams, a couple of cats, no obscure antelopes or plants, a bit of French geography, and a reference to one of my favourite bands. It took me around 25 minutes to do and parse before writing this up. As usual I was prompted to look up origins of things afterwards, on my endless search for new trivia to absorb for quizzes, so forgive me if I waffle on here and there. Maybe I'll have a waffle for breakfast tomorrow  instead of 29a.



Across
1 Naughty Zulus stop talking! (6)
IMPISH -  The IMPI (or an IMPI) are (is) a band of Zulu warriors; SH ! = stop talking.
4 Hiccup interrupting, say, Persian talk (8)
CHITCHAT - A Persian, say = CAT, insert HITCH = hiccup.
10 Because of every other character leaving jobless, take industrial action (4,5)
DOWN TOOLS - Because of = DOWN TO, O L S = alternate letters of j O b L e S s.
11 One creeping on round, sheepish? (5)
OVINE - O = round, VINE = one creeping.
12 Be deceiving: a protracted row starts (6,5)
STRING ALONG - A LONG = a protracted; STRING = row.
14 Dish in constant use, ultimately (3)
PIE - PI = constant, π; E = use ultimately. The other day I foolishly asked Alexa to tell me π to 1000 decimal places, I had to tell her to shut up before the end. But she knows! Try it if you're lonely or can't sleep.
15 Asylum seeker to cater for again, mostly, embracing universal good (7)
REFUGEE - RE-FEED would be to cater for again; delete the D (as in mostly) and insert U ang G for universal good.
17 Queen's issue clear, one requiring king's backing (6)
KITTEN - Regulars know that Queen in puzzles often refers to a lady cat. Clear = NETT, I, K, all reversed.
19 Back of garden behind houses in French city (6)
NANTES - Your NATES are your buttocks, from the Latin plural, insert N being the back of garden. I went to a few six lettered French cities ending in S, (Cannes, Rennes, Vannes, Tarbes, Troyes, Amiens...) before seeing why  it was Nantes, which is France's sixth largest city, on the Loire, a thriving place and pleasant enough to visit.
21 Introduce first of paratroopers, then withdraw (7)
PRECEDE - P(aratroopers), RECEDE = withdraw. My hair withdrew 40 years ago.
23 That girl's pa has lost weight? (3)
HER - FATHER = pa, no longer has FAT, so has lost weight.
24 Lip, with cheek very close (4,3,4)
NECK AND NECK - Both lip and cheek can mean neck.
26 Cash in silver, instantly withdrawn (5)
WONGA - Reverse AG = silver, NOW = instantly. Apparently (says Wiktionary) Wonga derives from wongar or wangar, Romany word for coal, and coal itself was also used as a slang word for money in the 18c and 19c.
27 Complex, getting neighbouring Greek island to squeeze in (9)
BYZANTINE - BY = neighbouring, ZANTE is a lovely Greek island (also known as Zakynthos), insert ("squeeze'') IN. The complex meaning seems to derive directly from either the architecture (many mosaics) or the complex layers of government which existed in the Byzantine Empire.
29 Breakfast is not a sausage, also refusing alcohol, in mess (8)
OMELETTE - O = not a sausage, nothing; TT = refusing alcohol, inside MELÉE = mess. I don't much like this definition, an omelette is not exclusively, or even mainly, a breakfast dish. The spelling -ette is the usual British and omelet is more American, although both are permitted either side of the ocean it seems. A rather strange clue IMO.
30 Place where a long tooth shortened, by the way (6)
STATUS - ST = street, way; A TUS(K).

Down
1 Asian runner getting taste for work (8)
INDUSTRY - The river INDUS runs 2,880 km through Asia, and TRY = taste.
2 Influence someone £0.01 overdrawn? (5)
POWER - Well if someone is a P OWER they owe someone else a penny, I suppose, so are that overdrawn.
3 Some dipso then? (3)
SOT - Hidden in DIP(SO T)HEN.
5 Cushion can keep foot warm? (7)
HASSOCK - A foot which HAS SOCK should be warmer.
6 Interpret ideas, however ahead of the pace (7-4)
THOUGHT-READ - However - THOUGH, TREAD = pace. Not sure the definition is quite on the money.
7 Rug is cheaper one I replaced (9)
HAIRPIECE - an anagram at last. (CHEAPER I I)*.
8 Ancient city, above all, unfinished (6)
THEBES - Above all = THE BEST, unfinish it.
9 Heart of gold in fellow (6)
MORALE - OR = gold inside MALE.
13 About to appear, sense of anticipation overwhelming a singer (11)
NIGHTINGALE - NIGH = about to appear, a TINGLE could be of anticipation, insert A (i.e. A is overwhelmed).
16 Bouquet guy found in Bordeaux, perhaps? (9)
FRAGRANCE - RAG = guy, tease, insert into FRANCE where Bordeaux definitely is.
18 Liking snakes, we must be crazy (8)
WEAKNESS -  (SNAKES WE)*.
20 After pillage, save brass instrument (7)
SACKBUT - SACK = pillage, BUT = save, as in but for, save for. Seen a few times before.
21 Square food item topped, article covered (6)
PIAZZA - a PIZZA is a 'food item topped' and it covers A an article.
22 Band still in fashion? On the contrary (3,3)
THE WHO - Well, I still like them,at least the original band's stuff if not the reconstituted version. I even use the intro to 'Won't get fooled again' as a ring tone, to annoy Mrs K. If they were out of fashion and forgotten and someone mentioned them, I guess you might say 'THE WHO?' At least I think that's where the setter is going with this. EDIT thanks to Paul below, we now see there's even more to this, or at least a proposal to that effect. Very clever.
25 Number in team half lost after capsizing, survive (5)
EXIST - Put SIX (a number) into TE(AM) = team half lost, then capsize or reverse it all. E(XIS)T.
28 Fastener, one with screw loose? (3)
NUT - Double definition, one whimsical.
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