therotter (therotter) wrote in times_xwd_times,
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Times Quick Cryptic No 1373 by Joker

A nice puzzle as always by Joker, which I was happy to complete in a sub-target 9 minutes, helped by seeing the two long anagrams very quickly.  SERENDIPITOUS is one of those favourite words that is never quite at the tip of my tongue when I need it, so I’m going to make it my WoD and try to overuse it today to make it stick.

There is an (accidental I am sure) cockney football striker’s NINA in the sixth rank if you search for it, but I can detect no other theme in today’s puzzle.

Thanks Joker, and you lot in anticipation of your comments.

Across
1         West Side Story heroine, fine for Romeo in criminal group (5)
MAFIA – The West Side Story heroine is MARIA (younger sister of the Sharks gang leader).  As instructed, take out the R{omeo} and replace with F{ine} to get the criminal group.  I have to admit to reversing this clue when first entering the answer, but 2d quickly showed me the error of my ways.
4  Headless corpse’s certainly set back long journey (7)
ODYSSEY – {b}ODY’S (corpse’s, headless, i.e. drop the opening letter) and YES (certainly) reversed (set back) to give ODYSSEY (Chambers defines it rather poetically as a long wandering!)
8 Relevant European language together with English (7)
GERMANE – GERMAN is the European language, followed by E{nglish}.
Dart gets cry of pain on arrival (5)
ARROW – OW (cry of pain) placed after ARR{ival}.
10 Domestic party finding a target outside to exploit conflict  (5-7)
HOUSE-WARMING – HOMING (finding a target, as in a homing beacon guiding a missile), containing USE (exploit) and WAR (conflict).
12 Restrained around queen, arranged in ranks (6)
TIERED – TIED (restrained) ‘around’ ER (Queen).
13  Street band in sequence (6)
STRING – ST (street) and RING (band).
16  Worry about printer going wrong (12)
PERTURBATION – Anagram (going wrong) of [ABOUT PRINTER].
18  Map book a veteran sailor’s returned (5)
ATLAS – A (a) and SALT (term for a veteran sailor, as in ‘old salt’) reversed (returned).
20  Advocate with professional attitude (7)
PROPOSE – PRO (professional) and POSE (attitude).
21  Picture harbour with fish (7)
PORTRAY – PORT (harbour) and RAY (fish)
22  Ceaselessly shows support for artist (5)
EASEL – Hidden in (shows) {c}EASEL{essly}.

Down
1         What could identify criminal idiot that has used a gun (3,4)
MUG SHOT – MUG (idiot) and SHOT (used a gun).
Oracle, note, left ruler distraught (7,6)
FORTUNE TELLER – Anagram (distraught) of [NOTE, LEFT RULER].
3  A labyrinth intended, we hear, for surprise (9)
AMAZEMENT – A (a) MAZE (labyrinth) MENT (sounds like MEANT – intended we hear).
4  Working East and WEST agreement not reciprocated (3-3)
ONE-WAY – ON (working) followed by E{ast} and W{est} and AY (agreement).  Neat clue!
5 Vote for shortened annual period (3)
YEA – The annual period is a YEA{r}, shortened by dropping the last letter.
6  See disruption unfortunately discovered by accident (13)
SERENDIPITOUS – Anagram (unfortunately) of [SEE DISRUPTION].
7  New method to get over a boring person (4)
YAWN – N{ew} and WAY (method) all reversed (to get over).
11  Addictive drug encountered head-on when smashed (9)
METHADONE – MET (encountered) followed by an anagram (smashed) of [HEAD-ON].
14 Affectedly polite chap – a slippery character (7)
GENTEEL –  GENT (chap) followed by EEL (slippery character)
15  Falls down with unknown ailment (6)
DROPSY – DROPS (falls down) and Y (unknown character – often used to represent the unknown element in a formula).  For those interested, DROPSY is an old fashioned term for ailments or conditions that result in the accumulation of watery fluid in any part of the body, now usually referred to as Oedema.
17  Wall holding back water pressure is moist (4)
DAMP – A DAM is the wall holding back water, followed by P{ressure}.
19  Title rising is supported by queen (3)
SIR – IS (is) reversed (rising) and supported by R{egina} (queen).
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