therotter (therotter) wrote in times_xwd_times,
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Times Quick Cryptic No 1388 by Teazel

I am filling in for Rolytoly today, who is on holiday at the moment – I know not where!  Roly will do the next two Thursdays after he gets back. 

I found that I wasn’t on the wavelength today for this puzzle from Teazel, and took 17 minutes, two over my target.  My first pass through the across clues didn’t fill many squares, and I needed to dot about a bit to make any progress.  9a was my LOI and COD – a well disguised anagram, and I also liked 8d.

Enjoy your break Roly, and we look forward to seeing you back next week.

Across
1         Fish that swells you up? (7)
BLOATER – Cryptic clue to the fish that is smoke dried, and traditionally hails from Yarmouth.
Oxygen, for example, just a hint? (7)
ELEMENT – Double definition, the first by example and the second referring to a trace or smidgeon of a thing.
9 Person’s extreme elation breaks out (7)
TOENAIL – Anagram (breaks out) of [ELATION].  Despite the ugliness of the answer, I like this clue!
10  Eastern, rockier-sounding land (7)
Estonia – E{astern} and STONIA (sounds like stonier – rockier sounding).
11 Advantage of clipping front of boundary shrubs (4)
EDGE – The boundary shrubs are a {h}EDGE, with the aitch dropped (clipping front).  To have an EDGE is to have an advantage.
12 Strangely certain it is complicated (9)
INTRICATE – Anagram (strangely) of [CERTAIN IT].
14 Broccoli sample from rustic a lab re-sent (9)
CALABRESE – Hidden in (sample from) {rusti}C A LAB RE-SE{nt}
16  Catch small horse (4)
SNAG – S{mall} and NAG (horse).
17  Current is most important, I state (7)
TOPICAL – TOP (most important) followed by I (I) and CAL{ifornia} (state).
20  Smooth fellow, a powerful athlete (4,3)
IRON MAN – IRON (smooth) and MAN (fellow).  An IRON MAN can be either a man of extraordinary strength, or a winner of an endurance test comprising of surfing, swimming and running events (both Australian in common usage) or (when a single word - IRONMAN) a long distance triathlon race consisting, usually, of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and a 26.2-mile run.
21  Cuts roughly round extremely loose dog hairs (7)
HACKLES – HACKS (cuts roughly) outside of (round) L{oos}E (extremely loose, i.e. first and last letters).
22  African party enters ten year rental agreement (7)
TENANCY – ANC (African National Congress – African party) between (enters) TEN (ten) and Y{ear}.

Down
1         Toffee spread with whisky (12)
BUTTERSCOTCH – BUTTER (spread) and SCOTCH (whisky).  This clue wouldn’t work with whiskey, as whiskey isn’t SCOTCH!
2  Exercise in muddy lagoon – it shouldn’t be missed (4,4)
OPEN GOAL – P{hysical} E{xercise} (exercise) inside (in) an anagram (muddy) of [LAGOON].
3  What awful weather! (4)
THAW – Anagram (awful) of [WHAT].
4  Engineers take forty days to ease off (6)
RELENT – RE (Royal Engineers) and (take) LENT (forty days).  LENT is the name given to the forty days of fasting in the Christian religion between Ash Wednesday and Easter.
5 Woman threshed grain (8)
BEATRICE – BEAT (threshed) and RICE (grain).
Intend to be average (4)
MEAN – Double definition, the second referring to the mathematical MEAN.
Come here for a holiday? (6,6)
TRAVEL AGENCY – Cryptic definition with mis-direction pointing you to a holiday resort, rather than the place one might go to procure a holiday.
12  One doctor picked up infestation on head of envoy, the idiot! (8)
IMBECILE – I (one) MB (doctor – Bachelor of Medicine) followed by LICE (infestation) reversed (picked up) on E{nvoy} (head of).
13  A boy lifting title, unanimously (2,3,3)
AS ONE MAN –  A (a) SON (boy) and NAME (title) reversed (lifting).
15  Join up two points on catalogue (6)
ENLIST – E{ast} and N{orth} (two points – of the compass) on LIST (catalogue).
18  Kiss Gregory? (4)
PECK – Referring to the famous actor Gregory Peck.
19  Continue being a thug (4)
GOON – GO ON (continue), when concatenated makes a GOON (thug)
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