ulaca (ulaca) wrote in times_xwd_times,
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ulaca
times_xwd_times

Times 27373 - I fear the Geeks, even when they bring Gifs

Kαλως ηρθατε from sunny Naxos, where me and the missus are having a well-deserved rest away from the stresses of Hong Kong, reminding ourselves in the land where democracy was hatched just how far the land we call home has to come.

This was a pleasant little number whose Quickie-esque credentials were challenged only by a tricky wordplay/definition combo at 13a. Having stumbled there (and not helping myself by failing to see 7d), I came home in a little over 20 minutes.

Having already put paid to four of the longest books on the ‘world’s longest book list’ (Dance to the Music of Time, Infinite Jest (minus the footnotes), Clarissa and War and Peace), I have decided to bite the bullet and tackle In Search of Lost Time on this trip. I have warmed up by jumping the gun and starting it a bit early, greatly enjoying the first volume (Swann’s Way – surprisingly laugh out loud funny in places) but finding the second volume (Swann in Love) rather too, well – you guessed it – long for my taste. Without further to-do…

ACROSS

1 Where you might find Emma, destined never to meet her beau? (2,3,5)
ON THE SHELF – an extended cryptic definition, requiring knowledge of the Austenian oeuvre

6 Protégé of Fenland warrior, no longer here (4)
WARD – [Here]WARD, the most famous (only famous?) Wake and one of the leaders of the resistance to those pesky Normans

10 One critical about Papa’s barber? (7)
SNIPPER – P in SNIPER

11 Here one may end with bitterness and cries of pain (7)
GALLOWS – GALL OWS; I think we are in semi-&lit country

12 Tight-lipped Home Counties arty type has no answer (9)
SECRETIVE – SE (home counties) CRE[a]TIVE

13 Recharge, repositioning bits in the brain (2,3)
UP TOP – if you muck about with (reposition) TOP UP, you get the answer, no gimme in itself

14 Hardline Tories Sun ignored in unimportant articles (5)
DRIES – [sun]DRIES; back when I was a lad, you had two parallel descriptors of the major parties, one formal, the other informal: Conservatives/Tories and Labour/Socialists. While Tories has gone from strength to strength, Socialists appears to be on the endangered list.

15 Troubled son used Soho lodging place (9)
DOSSHOUSE – anagram* of S USED SOHO

17 Jingoistic individual having stupid row with German (9)
WARMONGER – ROW GERMAN*; I think the setter can just about get away with this clue so long as s/he doesn’t mention the war.

20 Duck from the east about to snuff it (5)
EIDER – reversal of RE DIE

21 Called back, finding large lump (5)
GNARL – L in RANG

23 Heroin found on press in train once (4,5)
IRON HORSE – HORSE (slang word for heroin) after IRON

25 Sound of a sneeze heard? That’s in dispute (2,5)
AT ISSUE – ATISHOO!

26 Disastrous main event? (7)
TSUNAMI – cryptic definition

27 Bet knocked back? I’m sometimes fuming! (4)
ETNA – ANTE reversed

28 Aggressive Finn rudely snarling (10)
UNFRIENDLY – FINN RUDELY* (snarling is the envelope-pushing anagram indicator)

DOWN

1 Island supporting penniless old folk’s refuge (5)
OASIS – OA[p]S IS (abbreviation of island)

2 Birdwatcher throttling me, getting increasingly jumpy (9)
TWITCHIER – I in TWITCHER

3 Struck dumb, maybe, but showing no emotion (14)
EXPRESSIONLESS – extended cryptic definition verging on double-definition territory

4 Put under pressure, rushed to get ‘A’ for university (7)
HARRIED – HURRIED with A for [u]

5 Mermaid is so very merry! (7)
LEGLESS - extended cryptic definition verging on double-definition territory

7 A part of the body that’s stirring (5)
AFOOT – A FOOT; yes, that easy, but I was trying many weird things such a ‘alung’ and even ‘elbow’

8 Insult a nobleman on air and suddenly depart (9)
DISAPPEAR – sounds like DISS A PEER, which one might do if one met Jeffrey Archer

9 Second chamber full of titters? It’s a shambles (14)
SLAUGHTERHOUSE – S LAUGHTER HOUSE; a shambles is an unusual word for an abattoir

14 Denigrate DA wronged in mix-up (9)
DOWNGRADE – DA WRONGED*

16 A foreign worker sheltering communist on way north? That’s devious (9)
UNDERHAND – RED reversed in UN (French for one) HAND

18 Chap from Conakry sanguine answering guards (7)
GUINEAN – hidden in [san]GUINE AN[swering] is the capital of Guinea

19 List including duck and fowl (7)
ROOSTER – O in ROSTER

22 ET, an enthralling tale (5)
ALIEN – LIE in AN

24 Woman serving up unknown fruit (5)
EMILY – Y LIME reversed
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