jackkt (jackkt) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times Cryptic 27326

Solving time: 55 minutes. All but one answer in the NW went in very easily but I struggled through most of the remainder of the puzzle. There were several unknowns either in answers or wordplay and as with the puzzle I blogged last week I made the wrong choice with one answer when required to assemble an unknown foreign name from wordplay

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]

1 Hear cuckoo and another bird (4)
RHEA - Anagram [cuckoo] of HEAR
4 WASP, say, taking the vote of a Conservative after dockers have struck twice? (10)
POLLINATOR - POLLIN{g} (taking the vote of) + A + TOR{y} (Conservative) [after dockers have struck twice - 'dock' as in 'cut short']. A well-signalled definition by example and use of capital letters designed to mislead with reference to White Anglo-Saxon Protestants although capitals are no longer strictly necessary for that meaning. Helpful wordplay and placement of a checker prevented misspelling as 'pollEnator' which I'd probably have gone for in other circumstances.
9 Go mad with support for musical fiddler after stroke (3,3,4)
HIT THE ROOF - HIT (stroke), THE ROOF (support for musical fiddler). If I Were a Rich Man and all that.
10 Dog runs round large seal (4)
PLUG - PUG (dog) contains [runs round] L (large). We had PUG yesterday as a pugilist.
11 Briefly went in water outside English Channel resort (6)
DIEPPE - DIPPE{d} (went in water) [briefly] contains [outside] E (English)
12 Bearded grain produce Queen is into (8)
WHISKERY - ER (queen) contained by [is into] WHISKY (grain produce), or if you prefer, R (queen) contained by WHISKEY
14 Isaiah represents divinity (4)
ISIS - IS (Isaiah), IS (represents). Perhaps the best known Egyptian goddess.
15 Promise to hide drinks in football kit? (10)
SPORTSWEAR - SWEAR (promise) contains [to hide] PORTS (drinks)
17 Praising European Union planning in detail? (10)
EULOGISTIC - EU (European Union), LOGISTIC (planning in detail). Nobody mention the B word!
20 Adapted for radio a while ago, Mann’s first novel (4)
EMMA - This one baffled me for a while but then I found that for most of the first half of the 20th century ('a while ago') the British Army radiotelephony spelling alphabet used the word 'Emma' to represent the letter M (clued as  'Mann's first'). During the Great War it was changed to 'Monkey' but then reverted to 'Emma'  and from 1956 to the present day it has been the more familiar, Mike.
21 Given mission to enter cell, avoiding outside guard (8)
SENTINEL - SENT IN (given mission to enter), {c}EL{l} [avoiding outside]
23 A little exhibition is expected to charge (6)
IONISE - Hidden in [a little] {exhibit}ION IS E{xpected}
24 Sleep, and rise finally after twelve? (4)
DOZE - DOZ (twelve - abbreviation of 'dozen'), {ris}E [finally]
25 Muslim chief in fine family is to have another brood? (5,5)
THINK AGAIN - THIN (fine), AGA (Muslim chief) contained by [in] KIN (family)
26 Plant boy’s brought round moved grandpa (10)
SNAPDRAGON - SON (boy) contains [brought round] anagram [moved] of GRANDPA
27 River central to Chatham dockyards and Rochester (4)
TYNE - Middle letters of [central to] {cha}T{ham}, {dock}Y{ards}, {a}N{d}, {roch}E{ster}
2 Sushi on ice, a strange item of oriental cuisine (6,5)
HOISIN SAUCE - Anagram [strange] of SUSHI ON ICE A. Delish with shredded duck!
3 A new betting hint regarding course leader (9)
ANTIPASTO - A, N (new), TIP (betting hint), AS TO (regarding). The appetiser course or hors d'oeuvre.
4 Move round City in a mass of people (7)
PRECESS - EC (city - of London) contained by [in] PRESS (a mass of people). Unknown to me, but it means to rotate like a spinning body such as a planet or gyroscope.
5 Oh, OK, owl goes round hunting but are you any different? (4,4,7)
LOOK WHO'S TALKING - Anagram [goes round] of OH OK OWL, STALKING (hunting). The first three words just scream ANAGRAM!
6 French police officer cuts interior visit (7)
INFLICT - FLIC (French police officer) contained by [cuts] INT (interior). Another unknown to me, I found that flic is "a mispronounciation of the Yiddish slang Flige (fly) meaning spy then police, incorporated into French by the Yiddish population in Paris". Nasty things can be visited upon people.
7 Thin material in Cicero cut over English (5)
TULLE - TULL{y} (Cicero) [cut], E (English).  Another item beyond my ken was that Cicero, aka  Marcus Tullius, can be referred to in English as 'Tully'. Before I discovered that, I was going to query 'cut' being used to indicate deletion of three letters.
8 Girl embracing golf as a game (5)
RUGBY - RUBY (girl) containing G (golf - NATO alphabet - the standard one this time!)
13 Understand embassy is allowing visitors back in? (11)
READMISSION - READ (understand), MISSION (embassy)
16 Friday even, for example, could be a little cavalier (9)
WEEKNIGHT - WEE (little), KNIGHT (cavalier). 'Even' is sometimes used in poetry to mean the latter part of the day.
18 Cause of blast, perhaps one key US gunpowder ingredient (7)
IGNITER - I (one), G (key), NITER (US gunpowder ingredient - as opposed to 'nitre', the UK spelling). Another word for fuse or detonator.
19 Stylish range in yellow (7)
CHICKEN - CHIC (stylish), KEN (range  - of knowledge). Two slang words for 'cowardly'.
21 Faces second date in Rome (5)
SIDES - S (second),  IDES (date in Rome)
22 Peruvian city’s zoo originally in area to preserve, on reflection (5)
NAZCA - Z{oo} [originally] contained by [in} A (area) + CAN (preserve) reversed [on reflection]. I didn't know the city and I made the wrong choice by picking TIN for 'preserve' to arrive at NIZTA which doesn't really look any less likely a name than the actual answer.
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