glheard (glheard) wrote in times_xwd_times,
glheard
glheard
times_xwd_times

Times 27340 - not my cup of 14

Time taken: 20:46 - and with that, one silly typo, so if you are looking for a chance to get on the leaderboard well ahead of your blogger, today is an exceptional day.

With all apologies to the setter, as this is a good crossword, with some fine clues and all of the wordplay works: it seems for a third time in a row I am going to have a quibble. The last two daily puzzles I blogged both had errors in the wordplay, leading to headache-inducing days (and in one case, corrected clues in the online version of the puzzle). This one uses my least favorite cryptic crossword convention twice - clueing a non-English proper noun as an anagram. This renders a clue as an exercise in hopeful letter-juggling.

I see some of my contemporaries have very quick times indeed today, but I struggled.

The first definition in each clue is underlined.

Away we go...

Across
1 Start to devise style in office (4-4)
OPEN-PLAN - OPEN(start), next to PLAN(devise)
5 A small fishing boat returned every time (6)
ALWAYS - A then S(small), YAWL(fishing boat) reversed
10 To do nothing and go back to risk regret is barely credible (3,4,2,2,4)
TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE - crafty wordplay here - TO, then DO, O(nothing), and GO all reversed then TO, BET(risk), RUE(regret)
11 Striking style of film, Renoir work of art is fun (10)
RECREATION - remove film NOIR from RENOIR, then CREATION(work of art)
13 When to pen court decrees (4)
ACTS - AS(when) containing CT(court)
15 Hat comes adrift with open carriage (7)
PHAETON - anagram of HAT and OPEN
17 Old sultan’s envy, perhaps, about a young man (7)
SALADIN - Envy is a deadly SIN, containing A, LAD(young man)
18 Might piano add second instrument for gripping effect? (7)
FORCEPS - FORCE(might), P(piano), S(second)
19 Resolved to include mint, say, in Australian beer (7)
SHERBET - SET(resolved) containing HERB(mint, say). Been a long time since I've heard this slang, but it was most commonly used in a band name, best known for Howzat
21 Fell back in space (4)
ROOM -  MOOR(fell) reversed
22 Make public concert attendance around middle of July (10)
PROMULGATE - PROM(concert), GATE(attendance) surrounding the middle of jULy
25 Chinese space shot means quarantine (9,6)
TIANANMEN SQUARE - anagram of MEANS,QUARANTINE
27 Check reversing speed in road (6)
RETARD - RATE(speed) reversed in RD(road)
28 Records judge is for hanging (8)
TAPESTRY - TAPES(records), TRY(judge)

Down
1 Yield more than rock (7)
OUTCROP - if you yield more than, you OUT CROP
2 I make good, to some extent (3)
EGO - hidden inside makE GOod
3 Landed respectable neckwear given by daughter (10)
PROPERTIED - PROPER(respectable), TIE(neckwear), D(daughter)
4 Warm approval is out of place for vetting of books (5)
AUDIT - the warm approval is a PLAUDIT, remove PL(place)
6 Made up a story and was heartless (4)
LIED - LIVED(was) missin the middle letter
7 Charm of rogue flanked by a couple of supporters (11)
ABRACADABRA - CAD(rogue) surrounded by two of A BRA(supporters)
8 Walks over younger member of family (7)
STEPSON - walks over is STEPS ON
9 Giant company supported by America admits defeat (8)
COLOSSUS - CO(company) over US(America) containing LOSS(defeat)
12 Bad actor vainly looking at the future (11)
CLAIRVOYANT -  anagram of ACTOR,VAINLY
14 Sign up for the famous indecent film covering canines? (4,6)
BLUE PLAQUE -  cryptic double definition (and my downfall, since it is BLUE PLAQEE in my grid). A sign advertising an indecent filme might be a BLUE PLAQUE... and it is also the result of rubbing a piece of tape on your teeth to see where you haven't cleaned properly. It has been pointed out in comments that this is probably meant to be "Sign up for the famous" = BLUE PLAQUE (usually circular), and the wordplay is BLUE(indecent), PLAQUE(film covering canines).  This seems more plausible, though BLUE PLAQUE is not in Collins or Chambers,
16 Conrad’s novel motors on in chaos (8)
NOSTROMO - anagram of MOTORS,ON - novel by Joseph Conrad
18 Help to include right author (7)
FORSTER - FOSTER(help) containing R(right) for the author E. M. FORSTER known for A Room With A View amongst others
20 Three changed in multiplication with about that amount (7)
THEREBY - anagram of THREE, then BY(in multiplication with)
23 Madness of king over leaving country (5)
MANIA - remove R(rex, King), O(over) from ROMANIA(country)
24 Just stylishness gets left out (4)
FAIR - FLAIR(stylishness) missing L(left)
26 Cunning regularly displayed by parrots (3)
ART -  alternating letters in pArRoTs
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