jackkt (jackkt) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times Cryptic 27368

My solving time was 38 minutes with several unknowns for which I had to rely on 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 Decay beginning to show in hideous couple (9)
DISREPAIR - S{how} [beginning] contained by [in] DIRE (hideous), PAIR (couple)
6 Cheat cold seeping into unfinished dwelling (5)
HOCUS - C (cold) contained by [seeping into] HOUS{e} (dwelling) [unfinished]. I didn't know this word in its own right, but apparently it's just an abbreviated form of 'hocus-pocus', which I did know.
9 Figure of one stone, perhaps, with front obscured (5)
EIGHT - {w}EIGHT (stone, perhaps) [with front obscured].  I think this is a variation on the 'fill in the missing word' type of clue that The Times generally avoids, with 'one' substituting for the blank space. For those who aren't familiar with Imperial units, 1 stone = 14 pounds. On edit, kevingregg offers an alternative parsing: " I took the definition in 9ac to be 'Figure', with 'one stone, perhaps' providing WEIGHT". I agree this is possible, but if he was thinking along those lines I wonder why the setter didn't simply put "Figure of stone, perhaps with front obscured".
10 Greeting crew members with fish (9)
HANDSHAKE - HANDS (crew members), HAKE (fish)
11 An aspiration to entertain ambassador in Californian city (7)
ANAHEIM - AN, then AIM (aspiration) containing [to entertain] HE (ambassador). Displaying my higgerance I will reveal that I'd never heard of this place but I now understand that it's the location of the original Disneyland.
12 Interpreter for example appearing in late summer in France (7)
EXEGETE - EX (late), EG (for example), ÉTÉ (summer, in France). Another word unknown to me, and its first 15x15 appearance in the TftT era.
13 Rock festival featuring Queen? (7,7)
DIAMOND JUBILEE - DIAMOND (rock),  JUBILEE (festival).  I don't think Queen played at the Her Maj's Diamond festivities but they famously did so at The Party at the Palace in 2002 to celebrate her Golden Jubilee.
17 Complaint in sheikdom — unease to spread (10,4)
21 Expert thus securing a flat (7)
PROSAIC - PRO (expert), SIC (thus) containing [securing] A
23 Flighty African needs daily porridge (7)
SUNBIRD - SUN (daily - newspaper, sister to The Times),  BIRD (porridge - prison sentence). Another unknown, and another first appearance in a 15x15.
25 One allowed carrier in kit: something for soap etc (6,3)
TOILET BAG - I + LET (allowed) + BA (carrier - British Airways) contained by [in] TOG (kit). I thought at first that 'carrier' was cluing BAG which left me wondering how to account for 'kit' in the clue and 'to' in the answer. I think 'kit' as a noun equates with 'togs' rather than 'tog' which is a single piece of kit, but taken as verbs one can 'kit or tog oneself out' so the substitution works in that context.
26 Confuse theologian introduced to beer (5)
ADDLE - DD (theologian) contained by [introduced to] ALE (beer)
27 Yankee, ridiculously idle, has to give up (5)
YIELD - Y (Yankee), anagram [ridiculously] of IDLE
28 Fanatic to survive bracing term at sea (9)
EXTREMIST - EXIST (survive) containing [bracing] anagram [at sea] of TERM
1 Detective Inspector Morse ultimately tough on southern reactionaries (8)
DIEHARDS - DI (Detective Inspector), {Mors}E [ultimately], HARD (tough), S (southern)
2 Disgraceful mark time erased in letter to Greeks (5)
SIGMA - S{t}IGMA (disgraceful mark) [time erased]. A version of this clue turned up in another (non-Times) puzzle over the weekend so my answer went straight in.
3 Course incomplete with reason given in confidence (5,4)
ENTRE NOUS - ENTRE{e} (course) [incomplete], NOUS (reason)
4 Embarrassed because news boss engages amateur (7)
ASHAMED - AS (because) + ED (news boss) containes [engages] HAM (amateur e.g. radio ham)
5 Little man with money recited poem (7)
RONDEAU - RON (little man), DEAU sounds like [recited] "dough" (money)
6 Leader abandons modest expedition (5)
HASTE - {c}HASTE (modest) [leader abandons]
7 One to blend in drink with energy-packed fruit (9)
CHAMELEON - CHA (drink - tea), MELON (fuit) containing E [energy-packed]
8 Small study about headless sheep in northern kingdom (6)
SWEDEN - S (small), {e}WE (sheep) [headless], DEN (study)
14 Brute concealing old record is to put things straight (9)
APOLOGISE - APE (brute) containing [concealing] O (old) + LOG (record) + IS
15 Hint Tunisian criminal gave at last (9)
INSINUATE - Anagram [criminal] of TUNISIAN, {gav}E [at last]
16 Boring race gives no decisive result (4,4)
DEAD HEAT - DEAD (boring), HEAT (race)
18 Carriage cutting horse in two — it's gruesome (7)
MACABRE - CAB (carriage) contained by [cutting...in two] MARE (horse)
19 Understanding current things differently (7)
INSIGHT - I (current), anagram [differently] of THINGS
20 Eating too much, mole covered in pimples (6)
SPOTTY - SPY (mole) containing (eating) OTT (too much - over the top)
22 Up to each person (5)
AHEAD - A (each), HEAD (person)
24 Lemur visible in thin drizzle (5)
INDRI - Hidden [visible] in {th}IN DRI{izzle}. My final unknown and another first appearance in a daily 15x15, although it was in a Sunday Times puzzle in 2013.
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