guy_du_sable (guy_du_sable) wrote in times_xwd_times,
guy_du_sable
guy_du_sable
times_xwd_times

Sunday Times Cryptic 4841, 10 March 2019, by David McLean — A barking good puzzle!

There were no “meh” moments, just much merriment. I particularly liked the definitions so well hidden in plain sight for 1A, !0A and 21A. Definitions elsewhere were sneaky in other ways (“School of note”). I was quite taken with 28, which evokes the surreal transformation of part of a river into the bloom of a plant. Slick surfaces throughout.

I do (nasagarm)* like this, and italicize anagrinds in the clues.



ACROSS
 1 One’s really commercial, making final billion (6)
ADVERB — ADVER[T]B. Here a word meaning “commercial” changes its final letter to B(illion)…
 5 Friendly parent heading off for church (6)
CHUMMY — …and that’s “Mummy” removing her head for CH(urch).
 9 Grown men unknown to welcome a flattering (9)
ADULATORY — ”Grown” is ADULT, “men” the timeworn OR (“other ranks”), taking in (“welcoming”) A.
10 Hold on to power with son as a leader (4)
STOP — TO + P(ower) following S(on). This was my LOI, as I didn’t suspect that “to” was simply handing me half the answer (and was not part of the defintion).
11 Governments panic with last of referendums (6)
STATES — Here “panic” is a noun. “I was in a panic…” or “I was in a STATE over my test results,” with (referendum)S for the plural. Governments panicking, and talk of referendums, have been very much in the news.
12 This is a hazard for swingers, of course (4,4)
SAND TRAP — Get yourself tested regularly! CD. That’s a golf course, of course.
14 Guys curse what they might get themselves into (8)
MENSWEAR — A semi-&lit, you might say, as you need “Guys” from the wordplay to see the definition as well.
16 River one’s come across twice (4)
ISIS — I’s, two times. I must have learmed some time ago (here) that the stretch of the mighty Thames where Oxfordians row is, strangely, known by the name of an ancient Egyptian goddess, but at first I wanted IBIS (alas, there is no such river), a bird you might find on the Nile.
18 Greasy or dirty (less satisfactory) (4)
OILY — [-s]OILY 
19 Seize Yorkshire town for pearl-adorned queen (8)
ARROGATE — Sounds like Harrogate, with the Pearly Queen signaling Cockney pronunciation
21 Yo, this is the start of something! (4,4)
YEAR ZERO — The brief greeting at the beginning is an abbreviation for the answer. Brill!
22 One barking? That’s what you call me? (6)
SETTER — DD
24 Red fish you dropped (4)
TROT — TRO[-u]T
26 A bad girl swiped one’s biscuit (9)
GARIBALDI — (A bad girl + I)*
27 White’s fourth blunder creates consternation (6)
TERROR — [-Whi]T[-e] + ERROR
28 White-tipped parts of a flower? (6)
RAPIDS — CD. You will find “flower”, flow-er, meaning “river” exclusively in cryptic puzzles, of course, but I like this clue a lot.

DOWN
 2 Set a limit for what an angler might do? (4,3,4)
DRAW THE LINE — DD
 3 Might broker do this with market finally 100 per cent up? (5)
ERUPT — &lit, with (marke)T + PURE ( “100 per cent”) <— . I originally had EXULT, until corrected by MartinP, and, although LUXE was’t the most obvious equivalent of “100 per cent,” I still find my answer more appropriate for what a broker might do when the market is way up. Major eyebrow raise, actually, at this.
 4 More blaring from support ship that’s close to Dover (8)
BRASSIER — BRA (“support”) + “that’s” (that is, id est, IE) + R (“close to Dover”)
 5 Clubs attempting to ban bit of tasteless shouting (6)
CRYING — C(lubs) + [-t]RYING
 6 Tipping over pint, guest must be smashed (9)
UPSETTING — (pint guest)*
 7 First of martins circles low (3)
MOO — M(artins) + O O (“circles”)
 8 School of note to rear novices in a new way (13)
CONSERVATOIRE — (to rear novices in)* …and a cryptic definition.
13 Robin could be described as one’s secret informer (1,6,4)
A LITTLE BIRD
15 Violently strike wry author of heavenly words (9)
SKYWRITER — (strike wry)* I rather like the cryptic definition. The pilot writing, however, is often not the author of the words briefly seen in the empyrean.
17 Bit of sports equipment in Ford saloon? (8)
CROSSBAR — ”Ford” as in CROSS, “saloon” as in BAR. What makes this surface plausible is thinking that the drinking establishment might be found in a movie directed by John Ford.
20 Book creep held in hands (6)
LEDGER — L(EDGE)R, with “hands” being L(eft) and R(ight)
23 Sheep swallowing half of lily flower (5)
TULIP — TU(LI[-ly])P
25 Regret being naughty, but not bad ultimately (3)
RUE — RU[-d]E
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