jackkt (jackkt) wrote in times_xwd_times,
jackkt
jackkt
times_xwd_times

Times Cryptic 27374

I needed only 28 minutes for this so I'd rate it as quite easy and would expect much faster times from our regular speed-merchants.


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]

Across
1 Sonata, perhaps, large in sound — one of the later movements? (9,4)
MOONLIGHT FLIT - MOONLIGHT (sonata, perhaps), then L (large) contained by [in] FIT. A definition so cryptic I doubt the answer could possibly be deduced without reference to the wordplay. Beethoven's Sonata in C# minor takes its nickname from the first movement which has been likened to the effect of moonlight shining upon a lake. That movement is on my (fairly short) list of pieces of  'classical' music that I would be happy never to hear again.
8 Very good to avoid moronic boss (4)
STUD - STU{pi}D (moronic) [very good - pi - to avoid]. As all regular cryptic solvers know this refers to knobbly protruberances, often decorative, such as one might find on a shield for example.
9 Sailor chasing duck, suggesting absence of duties (4-6)
ZERO-RATING - ZERO (duck), RATING (sailor). A technical term for the absence of tax liabilities (duties) on certain goods or services.
10 Nice line taken by one beginning on astronomy in Oxford college (8)
LIKEABLE - L (line), I (one), then A{stronomy} [beginning] contained by [in] KEBLE (Oxford college). I'm not sure if this college is particularly well-known beyond these shores, but for me it was more accessible than the obscure Homerton College Cambridge which featured here very recently, because KEBLE was a regular competitor on University Challenge in the days when I followed it closely.
11 Curtailed complex argument in school (6)
HARROW - HAR{d}(complex) [curtailed], ROW (argument). Yet another educational establishment but somewhat nearer my own Alma Mater which was a  separate day school but on the same hill and run by the same board of governors so that we shared a number of their facilities.
13 High, high point? It gives a buzz in recreation (7,3)
HUMMING TOP - HUMMING (high - on a high, full of activity), TOP (high point)
16 Keen on India article being dumped by international body (4)
INTO -  I (India), N{a}TO (international body) [article  - A - being dumped]
17 A duck eating a catch (4)
NAIL - NIL (a duck) containing [eating] A. The police might nail or catch a killer, for example.
18 One adding sentence in Gershwin number (10)
SUMMERTIME - SUMMER (one adding), TIME (sentence - as  received after being nailed for a crime). Gershwin came up in the QC blogged by me yesterday, along with Oscar Peterson. I nearly put up a link to his performance of this piece but I didn't like his interpretation. Here's a simple yet brilliant version by Jascha Heifetz.
20 Unreliable character’s beginning on witness stand (6)
WEASEL - W{itness} [beginning], EASEL (stand)
22 Control, say, brought into sport recently (8)
REGULATE - EG (say) contained by [brought into] RU (sport - Rugby Union), LATE (recently)
24 China’s upset after Russia’s leader tucked into their Chairman’s liqueur (10)
MARASCHINO - R{ussia} [leader] + anagram [upset] of CHINA'S contained by [tucked into] MAO (their - China's - Chairman)
26 Listening, means to check for bad weather (4)
RAIN - Sounds like [listening] "rein" (means to check). Rain gets a bad press.
27 Insurance details, perhaps for specific little picture? (3,5,5)
THE SMALL PRINT - THE (specific - definite article), SMALL (little), PRINT (picture). 'Terms and conditions apply'.
Down
1 Pass entrance exam in unusual show of actual merit (11)
MATRICULATE - Anagram [unusual show of] ACTUAL MERIT
2 Love story about Democrat — it’s a classic? (5)
OLDIE - 0 (love), LIE (story) containing [about] D (Democrat)
3 Dog swallowing unknown quantities? One’s an idle creature (9)
LAZYBONES - LAB (dog - labrador) containing [swallowing] Z Y (unknown quantities), then ONE'S. Here's a link to 'Lazybones', a song by Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer.
4 Covering man carrying weapon (7)
GARMENT - GENT (man) containing [carrying] ARM (weapon)
5 Light rent reduced with support of church (5)
TORCH - TOR{e} (rent) [reduced], CH (church)
6 Schedule includes a lot from bombastic leader of service (9)
LITURGIST - LIST (schedule) contains [includes] TURGI{d} (bombastic) [a lot from...]
7 Ready in less than minute? (3)
TIN - TIN{y} (minute) [less than...]. 'Tin' and 'ready' are slang terms for money.
12 Harry Potter most about one person displaying spectacles? (11)
OPTOMETRIST - Anagram [harry] of POTTER MOST containing [about] I (one). I feel a discussion coming on about the different roles of those who work in eye-care, but I plan not to go there.
14 Exploits fish to make dairy drink (4-5)
MILK-SHAKE - MILKS (exploits), HAKE (fish). Currently in the UK the political protester's fashionable weapon of choice.
15 People like you to look adult, not callow again, ultimately (4,5)
PEER GROUP - PEER (look),  GRO{wn}-UP (adult) [not callow again, ultimately]
19 Following marriage, one moved elsewhere — being inclined to fight? (7)
MARTIAL - MARITAL (marriage) becomes the answer when I (one) is  moved elsewhere
21 Powerless mass accepting military leader’s stand-in (5)
LOCUM - LUM{p} (mass) [powerless] containing OC (military leader)
23 Labouring under really grim illness at the outset — this one? (5)
LURGI - L{abouring}, U{nder}, R{eally}, G{rim}, I{llness} [at the outset]. Chambers debunks the theory that this word for an undefined illness was invented by Spike Milligan and his fellow-writers on The Goon Show, and also sanctions spelling it with an I instead of a Y, something I have never seen before.
25 Diplomatic behaviour, heading off legislation (3)
ACT - {t}ACT (diplomatic behaviour) [heading off]
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