Cityish Alt-ish Fortyish (verlaine) wrote in times_xwd_times,
Cityish Alt-ish Fortyish
verlaine
times_xwd_times

Times 27,347: The (Good Kind Of) Agony In The Garden

Well I thought this was a thoroughly marvellous puzzle, with virtually every clue having something something exceptional or interesting about it. The only clue I marginally didn't care for, was 17ac, because I was worried that I might not have found the right synonym for "punch" in the first half, but even there the great surface made it all worthwhile. I guess the barely cryptic and cross-referential 27ac may irk some purists, but personally I loved it. I was tempted to give clue of the day to 6dn because a "triple homophone" feels like some kind of setting achievement, but 16dn edges it for me, with a brilliantly groanworthy misleading definition slotting perfectly into a superbly crafted surface. Chapeau, setter, chapeau!

12 entirely enjoyable minutes on the clock for me, and as I write the second midnight solver appears to have just staggered across the line in almost 40, so I have the feeling this might prove to be a tester. Let me know how you all enjoyed the experience...

ACROSS
1 Objective of criminal carrying weapon (8)
BALANCED - BAD [criminal] "carrying" LANCE [weapon]. That's objective as an adjective, not a noun.

9 Opera, one performed without me love! (8)
IDOMENEO - I [one] + DONE [performed] "without" ME + O [love]

10 Letting go right before audience, person who flourishes (6)
WAIVER - homophone of WAVER [person who flourishes]. Thank goodness only one of these words fits, or else I'm sure I wouldn't have known which to enter.

11 Sort of track something boring, if listened to (3-7)
ALL-WEATHER - homophone of AWL WHETHER [boring | if]

12 It may stand in the way, note (4)
STET - in ST [the way], TE [note]

13 He met Agnes sneakily in the garden (10)
GETHSEMANE - (HE MET AGNES*) ["sneakily"]. My, and I expect keriothe's, FOI.

16 Act to help penurious soldier, 20, to catch Irish girl (4, 3)
POOR LAW - P.O.W. [soldier, imprisoned (the answer to 20ac)] to "catch" ORLA [Irish girl]

17 Punch back of leg and hide (3,4)
BOX CALF - BOX [punch] + CALF [back of leg]

20 Given time, one’s inclined to accept one’s daughter (10)
IMPRISONED - I'M PRONE [one's | inclined] to "accept" I'S [one] + D [daughter]

22 He passed on watch in return for old coin (4)
OBOL - OB. [he passed on] + reversed LO [watch]

23 Alias agent used in part of this country (4,6)
EAST ANGLIA - (ALIAS AGENT*) ["used"]

25 What the righteous have initially got going, gradually (6)
NOSING - the righteous have NO SIN, + G{ot}

26 Cold War leader’s fall within a month ... (8)
ANDROPOV - DROP [fall] within A NOV [a | month]

27 ... a lift to his opposite number? (8)
ELEVATOR - simply enough what Andropov's opposite number during the Cold War, or any other American, might call a lift.

DOWN
2 After a hellish experience, refusing to drink old liqueur
AMARETTO - after A MARE [a | hellish experience], TT O [refusing to drink | old]

3 Daredevil coming up, briefly, to perform again (10)
ADVENTURER - ADVENT [coming] + reversed RERU{n} [to perform again]

4 Something to blow about, primate’s handling large fine (3,7)
COR ANGLAIS - C ORANG'S [about | primate's] "handling" L A1 [large | fine]

5 These linguists are keen gardeners? (7)
DIGLOTS - if you DIG LOTS, you're probably a keen gardener. Probably.

6 Came by bike? Or by boat? Or motorway, if picked up?
RODE - not sure if I've ever seen a triple homophone before! Of, in this case, ROWED [came by boat] and ROAD [motorway].

7 Girl is deaf, missing tips (6)
ANTHEA - {c}AN'T HEA{r}

8 The solver emphatically in good form? (8)
YOURSELF - if you are feeling YOURSELF, you are feeling in good form.

14 Potentially dangerous steps end with cowards running (5,5)
SWORD DANCE - (END + COWARDS*) ["running"]

15 Old bags one put in train, turning up somewhere in Pacific (10)
MICRONESIA - CRONES I [old bags | one] "put in" reversed AIM [train]. I've fallen into the Micronesia/Macronesia trap before now so had to parse this one very carefully, I can tell you!

16 Damage shower, adjusting cold tap: endless grief (5,3)
PRICE TAG - (C TAP GRIE{f}*) ["adjusting..."]. Damage shower as in, something that shows you "the damage", as in to your wallet!

18 Give impression of being keen on probe (4,4)
LOOK INTO - if you LOOK like you're INTO something, you're giving the impression of being keen on it

19 Rarely seen clasps can bind? (7)
ENSLAVE - (SEEN*) ["rarely"] "clasps" LAV [can]

21 Latin local glad as opponent’s showing up (6)
POSADA - hidden reversed in {gl}AD AS OP{ponent}. This is a Spanish-speaking, not a Roman, inn.

24 Shots that some doctors give, bending over (4)
NIPS - some "doctors" provide SPIN, which you will need to reverse here.
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