Pip Kirby (pipkirby) wrote in times_xwd_times,
Pip Kirby

Times 27195 - TCC Heat 1 number three. Humbled again.

Oh dear. I began this with high hopes, not of finishing in the 3 minutes or so remaining within my theoretical hour, but at least getting it right in 20 minutes. It started well, I had about two-thirds of it done in ten or eleven minutes, and felt pleased with seeing some of the longer clues like 12a and 21a as well as taking a correct punt on 19d. Then we went off the rails; I hastily bunged in RIO GRAND for 17d, which caused a few problems, not least with 26a. Then I thought, hang on, it ought to be GRANDE, must be wrong.
Left after thirty-odd minutes with 4a, 7d and 5d, with 4a being probably something WEB, I chewed the pencil for another long minute before seeing MENTORING and MOB. Guessed LAKKA (spelling it wrongly) and guessed 4a correctly although not an expression I'd heard. So, all in all, a disaster, darling.
Anyway here are the correct answers and my attempts at explaining them.
Well done to all those who did this in under 20 minutes, I thought it was the hardest of the three in Heat 1.

1 Wife leaving farm building knocked on the head? (6)
COSHED - A COW SHED is your building, drop the W for wife.
4 Fool in fat group coordinated online (5,3)
FLASH MOB - I didn't know this expression and only made a lucky guess as I didn't understand the wordplay either. I now see it is FLAB for FAT, around SHMO, a variant of SCHMO which apparently is a Yiddish word for fool, especially in USA. Yiddish and poetry are two wide gaps in my otherwise reasonably wide GK.
10 Meat and drink obtained by Ben maybe, crossing street (4,5)
RUMP STEAK - RUM = drink, PEAK = Ben, mountain in Scotland, insert ST for street.
11 Article returned by fellow is an unexpected gift (5)
MANNA - MAN = fellow, NA = AN reversed; as in Manna from Heaven.
12 Sanctuaries with oil desecrated in movement against religion (14)
SECULARISATION - (SANCTUARIES OIL)*. Quickly spotted and unravelled with S and C in place.
14 Management notice time is short (5)
ADMIN - AD = notice, MIN = short time.
16 Resourceful monarch lay in foul environment (9)
VERSATILE - VILE = foul, insert ER and SAT = lay.
18 A lot of work left, mostly for unnamed hero (9)
PORTFOLIO - PORT = left, FO = mostly for, LIO(N) = unnamed hero.
20 Trivial affront son brushed off (5)
LIGHT - SLIGHT loses its S.
21 Call about individual rolling round pub before dash to get sedative (14)
PHENOBARBITONE - Complicated wordplay, but easy to biff. Call = PHONE. insert ONE reversed (ENO) then BAR (pub) and BIT (dash).
25 Lively row lacking any extreme language (5)
HINDI - SHINDIG = row, loses its first and last.
26 Always wearing fur that could be split (9)
SEVERABLE - EVER inside SABLE = fur. Easy once I'd established S*V- instead of S*N-.
27 Women’s team has got established in part of New York (4,4)
WEST SIDE - W SIDE insert EST for established.
28 Heading off, hobbled with little energy — cramp? (6)
IMPEDE - (L)IMPED, E for energy.

1 Dodgy dealers entertaining people, quick to get involved (4-6)
CARD-SHARPS - CARDS = entertaining people, SHARP = quick, involve sharp into cards.
2 Copper's grabbing a maiden climbing tree (5)
SUMAC - CU'S = copper's, insert A M, reverse all.
3 Greek character's record still regularly being played (7)
EPSILON - EP = record, S I L = regular letters of still, ON = being played.
5 Hundreds of thousands of Indians wanting needs to be heard (5)
LAKHS - Oh dear. I vaguely remembered there was something called a LAK for a unit of 100,000 rupees, we've had it before. And it sounds like LACKS = needs. But I spelt it wrongly.
6 Island’s Sanskrit sayings arts graduate collected (7)
SUMATRA - For ages I was trying to put something Sanskrit into BA or MA to make the island. But it's not so. MA goes into SUTRA which I should have clocked having like all naughty schoolboys seen the KARMA SUTRA a long time ago.
7 Advising chaps on journey having left university behind (9)
MENTORING - MEN = chaps, TOURING loses its U. I should have got this faster, as it's what I used to do, for small businesses.
8 Duck served in club — one may have gravy (4)
BOAT - O for duck inside BAT for club. A meal without gravy, like a meal without wine, is like a day without sunshine, IMO.
9 Censure for five, outwardly genuine (8)
REPROVAL - REAL = genuine, insert PRO = for, V = five.
13 I may forecast what's coming, if I can get a hearing (7,3)
WEATHER EYE - Weather eye sounds like whether I  = if I.
15 Car with county folk doing business (9)
MERCHANTS - MERC = car, as in Mercedes-Benz; HANTS = Hampshire. Neat one.
17 River I love that's wonderful — this one in North America? (3,5)
RIO BRAVO - R= river, I, O = love, BRAVO = that's wonderful. Alternative name for the Rio Grande.
19 Enjoyment ends for some strict believers (7)
FUNDIES - the FUN DIES when enjoyment ends. Apparently fundie is a nickname or abbr. for a (Christian) Fundamentalist. I guessed it.
20 Garland presented to neat county (7)
LEITRIM -  LEI = garland, as in Hawaii, TRIM = neat. Leitrim is a rather sad little county, one of the three Ulster counties in the Republic of Ireland. EDIT I have given you duff guff, I just looked it up on Wiki as, in spite of having lived in Ireland for 14 years until 1988, I couldn't remember the name of the county town (Carrick-on-Shannon) and it's not in Ulster, it's in Connaught. The three Ulster counties in the Republic are, of course, Cavan, Monaghan and beautiful Donegal.
22 Established plot involving poisonous element (5)
BASED - BED = plot, holds AS, or As, chemical symbol for arsenic.
23 Terrible boredom without party game (5)
OMBRE - Remove DO = party from boredom, then you have (BOREM)*. Card game originating in Spain.
24 Woodcutter set about hard wood (4)
SHAW - SAW has H inserted. Shaw is an old name for a small wood or coppice.
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