vinyl1 (vinyl1) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times 27235 - At last, a blog we can post!

Time: 40 minutes
Music: Coltrane, Both Directions at Once

I thought this was a bit on the tricky side for a Monday, particular in its use of highly secondary meanings of words.   There was a lot going on in many of the clues, and even if you biff the answer you may spend some time figuring out how it works.    Since I solved the puzzle, I found it quite enjoyable, but others may differ

If you haven't heard of tonight's music, well, no one had until quite recently.   On March 6, 1963, the Coltrane Quartet played a session at Van Gelder's studio that resulted in about two hours worth of prime material.   This session contains some of the Quartet's finest work from when they were at the peak of their powers, but was never released.....until now.

1 Vessel settled — on board, crew starts to bail out (9)
STEAMBOAT -  S(TEAM + B[ail] O[ut])AT.   Seeing the B,O sequence, I suspected this would turn out to be some kind of boat, but it took a while to figure out what.
6 Turns back, having no time for puzzle (5)
REBUS - REBU[t]S, an obvious biff, but the cryptic is tricky, since 'back' looks like a reversal indicator.
9 Return for one challenge (7)
10 Humourless fast leading to a meal (7)
11 Ready container filled with women’s material (5)
TWILL - T(W)ILL, where ready = money, as usual.   I wasted a lot of time with R,Y.
12 Dubious in nature, containing hint of confusion? (9)
UNCERTAIN - anagram of IN NATURE + C[onfusion], a nice &lit.
14 All left needing to escape poor area (3)
SUM - S[l]UM.
15 Newspaper hurrying to provide holiday option (4-7)
TIME-SHARING - TIMES + HARING, a relatively straightforward one.
17 Every answer not right, sadly — puzzle’s last occasion to celebrate (3,5,3)
NEW YEARS EVE -  anagram of EVE[r]Y ANSWER + [puzzl]E, an obvious biff.
19 A lot of significance in match (3)
PIT - PIT[h], where 'match' is a verb, and has the sense of 'put up against'.
20 Major counting exercise involving body responsible? It’s generally agreed (9)
CONSENSUS - C(ONS)ENSUS.   I'm not sure about ONS - Office of National Statistics?  Anyway, the obvious answer.
22 Ancient priest, theologian, absorbing a lot of damage (5)
DRUID - D(RUI[n])D, DD = Doctor of Divinity.
24 Stoppage of trade thus restricts business degree (7)
EMBARGO - E(MBA)RGO, a bit of a chestnut.
26 Head of Government keeping nothing hidden, getting minimal coverage (1-6)
G-STRING - G[overnment) + ST[o]RING, another obvious biff, and my FOI.
27 French author switching couple of characters shows courage (5)
NERVE - VERNE, with a swap of V and N.
28 Evidence of burning stairs, with one about to enter (9)
1 Place its said for great deal? (5)
SIGHT - sounds like SITE, with meaning number 13 of 'sight'.
2 Wanting the best position in race after turning up (7)
ELITISM -  M(SIT)ILE, all upside down, another probable biff.  Again, the meaning of 'sit' is way down the list.
3 Fine rain and shelter will be limiting to plant (9)
4 How the solver’s performance may be judged — ready? (2,4,5)
ON YOUR MARKS - double definition, where presumably your puzzle will be graded by studying the marks scribbled on your copy.
5 Surface belly up? (3)
TOP - POT upside-down.
6 Monarch establishing a line? (5)
RULER - double definition, the king and yardstick.
7 Asian holiday spot entertaining English may be Indian (7)
BENGALI - B(ENG)ALI, another one I biffed and then saw.
8 Identify indefinite number in view when men behave badly? (4,5)
13 Fine grains in damaged crates — badger us to turn up (6,5)
CASTER SUGAR - anagram of CRATES + RAG US upside-down.
14 Is leaving Muslims to gather stones for protection from harsh light (9)
SUNSCREEN - SUN(SCREE)N[is].   If you wasted time with [is]LAM, you are not alone.
16 Point in article on City almost entirely based on hearsay (9)
ANECDOTAL - AN + EC + DOT + AL[l], another obvious answer.
18 Success gaining attention about British drinking venue (4,3)
19 Studying around University is falling a lot (7)
21 Strange upturn in passion in middle of week (5)
EERIE - [w]E(IRE upsdiedown)E][k]
23 A number really like working with computers? (5)
DIGIT - DIG I.T.   If you remember "I Dig Rock and Roll Music", you'll realize how unlikely a sentiment this clue contains!
25 No opening for idle fool (3)
OAF - [l]OAF
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