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

Times 27359: Land of Hope and Gloriana, Victoriana, 'toriana

Once again far from the hardest puzzle of the week, but the schedulers were on to a winner if they were looking for a blogger likely to pleased by the TLS-y contents of this grid. We have a pair of lovers from Greek myth, one 18th century philosopher and one playwright, and some neck-biting and thigh-slapping Victorian vampire and outlaw fiction. All sorts of good stuff in other words, and some nicely whimsical wordplay too, of which I think the simple but pleasing 25ac tickled my fancy the most. Very nice indeed setter, and thank you!

ACROSS
1 Pass close to Awatere Fault (6)
ELAPSE - {awater}E + LAPSE [fault]. The Awatere Fault is a real thing on New Zealand's South Island.

4 Watch government bringing in muscle (8)
SPECTATE - STATE [government] "bringing in" PEC [muscle]. First one in.

10 Green light in spare room (9)
CLEARANCE - double def. Last one parsed, as I frantically searched for a word or words for "green light" (LEA something?) inside a word for "thin"...

11 Body part up on sort of cross (5)
THIGH - HIGH [up] on T [sort of cross]

12 Second European to travel through Spanish city (7)
SEGOVIA - S E GO VIA [second | European | to travel | through]. Wasted time thinking about MORAVIA (nowhere near Spain)

13 Attention brought to monk on line in Essex? (7)
EARLDOM - EAR [attention] brought to DOM [monk] on L [line]. The Earl of Essex is quite well known to Elizabethan aficionados.

14 Blockhead with additionally busy diary to announce? (5)
MORON - homophone of MORE ON, which is what you have if you have an additionally busy diary.

15 Military equipment manufactured in real time (8)
MATERIEL - (REAL TIME*) ["manufactured"]. A familiar word to participants in the Champs! I still tried MITRAILLE for size first, somehow.

18 Le Fanu? Who scandalised the educational establishment? (8)
SHERIDAN - a highly literary clue, requiring the solver to remember the first name of SHERIDAN Le Fanu (author of pioneering Victorian vampire novella Carmilla) and to recall that Richard Brinsley SHERIDAN wrote "The School for Scandal" (in the 1770s or thereabouts).

20 Firms given answer making drink from beans (5)
COCOA - CO CO [(two) firms] given A [answer]

23 Dream about restraining one drunk fighting civilians (7)
MILITIA - reversed AIM [dream], "restraining" I LIT [one | drunk]

25 Greek hero recognised in Florida and Georgia? (7)
THESEUS - or THE SE US, the southeastern US

26 Does this accurately describe old city bar? (5)
URBAN - UR BAN [old city | bar], semi-&lit

27 One admiring literary family to blow top (2,4,3)
DO ONE'S NUT - or DOONES NUT, one adoring the Doone clan from Richard Doddridge Blackmore's 1869 novel "Lorna Doone".

28 Stews, with son stuck in politically volatile areas (3,5)
HOT SPOTS - HOTPOTS [stews], with S [son] stuck in

29 French cheeses discussed for picnic (6)
BREEZE - homophone of BRIES [French cheeses]; a picnic as in a walk in the park.

DOWN
1 Steps taken to make an apology? (6-2)
EXCUSE-ME - double def, as an excuse-me is also a dance in which one gets to change one's partner.

2 One settles score as compared with English in rage (7)
AVENGER - V E [as compared with | English] in ANGER [rage]

3 Scribe translating verse in vacated cellar (9)
SCRIVENER - (VERSE IN C{ella}R*). Given the tenor of the rest of this puzzle, I'm surprised the setter didn't use "Bartleby" as the definition!

5 Anointed priest rubbished Calvinist doctrine (14)
PREDESTINATION - (ANOINTED PRIEST*) ["rubbished"]

6 Provide entertainment and grub without support (5)
CATER - CATER{pillar} [grub, minus PILLAR = support]

7 Song complete that’s elevated one assisting 25 (7)
ARIADNE - ARIA [song] + reversed END [complete]. Ariadne's role in abetting Theseus is much celebrated in song, story and paint.

8 Disinter old philosopher (6)
EXHUME - EX HUME [old | philosopher (David, who could out-consume Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel)]

9 Love being by sea with musicians, it’s something with pull (3-5,6)
ONE-ARMED BANDIT - O NEAR MED BAND IT [love | by | sea | musicians | it]

16 Court instrument always finding criminal? (9)
RACKETEER - RACKET [(tennis) court instrument] + E'ER [always]

17 Recorder would accommodate this tortuous test case (8)
CASSETTE - (TEST CASE*) ["tortuous"]. Last one in, due to _A_S_T_E proving surprisingly daunting.

19 Prince with one and only — a tasty swimmer! (7)
HALIBUT - HAL + I BUT [prince | one | only]

21 Absolve Gaunt beginning to suffer in church (7)
CLEANSE - LEAN [gaunt] + S{uffer} in CE [church]

22 Attack in surfacing French submarine? (6)
AMBUSH - very nicely hidden reversed, in {frenc}H SUBMA{rine}

24 Not so fast! (3-2)
TON-UP - reverse cryptic, "ton, up" being a clue for NOT
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