johninterred (johninterred) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times Quick Cryptic No 1389 by Izetti

A typically smooth and entertaining puzzle from Izetti for us today. One or two trickier clues, but I raced through this faster than usual in just over 4 1/2 minutes. I enjoyed the lovely surfaces for 15A and 6D in particular, but COD goes to the nice semi&lit at 14A. Trying to explain 4D gave me a bit of fun, though. Fortunately I live far enough away not to have to follow the advice of keeping my pets and children indoors. Sorry. I digress. As for the crossword as a whole.. great stuff, and a paragon of the QC genre! Well that's what I think... how did you all get on?

Definitions underlined in bold italics, (Abc)* indicating anagram of Abc, deletions and [] other indicators.

1 Old country female comes down to entertain the Queen (8)
FLANDERS - F (female) LANDS (comes down) outside [to entertain] ER (Her Majesty the Queen).
5 Bitterness of everyone after end of squabbling (4)
GALL - ALL (everyone) [after] [end of] squabblinG.
8 If about to stay, you’ll find a warm spot in winter (8)
FIRESIDE - FI (if reversed; [about]) RESIDE (to stay)
9 Heather uses loveless language (4)
LING - The language is LINGo. Lose the O (= 0 = love) at the end [loveless].
11 Matters son mismanaged — lots of different things (10)
ASSORTMENT - (Matters son)* [mismanaged].
14 You will need some beef for this! (6)
EFFORT - Lovely semi-&lit, where the whole clue is the definition, but only part of it the wordplay - in this case it's a hidden word, indicated by [some] beEF FOR This.
15 Heartless sir grabbing woman — one may be on thin ice! (6)
SKATER - Remove the middle letter of SiR [heartless] and insert [grabbling] KATE (woman). Nice surface.
17 To English, Scottish game very embarrassing (3-7)
TOE-CURLING - TO E (English) CURLING (Scottish game). Curling, if you haven't come across it, is a sport in which players slide stones on a sheet of ice towards a target area which is segmented into four concentric circles. It originated from Scotland. Don't try this on thin ice, those stones are heavy.
20 Impolite and cross, by the sound of it (4)
RUDE - sounds like [by the sound of it] ROOD (cross).
21 Despot in car, an unreliable one, mostly (8)
AUTOCRAT - AUTO (car) and an unreliable one could be called a CRATe, all but the last letter [mostly].
22 District I had found in home counties (4)
SIDE - I'D (I had) in S.E. (south-east; aka home counties)
23 Nuts who'd contrived closure of business? (8)
SHUTDOWN - (Nuts who'd)* [contrived].
1 Instrument's condition when given case of iron (4)
FIFE - IF (condition) inside [given case of] FE (chemical symbol for iron)
2 A biblical city with a distinctive quality (4)
AURA - A UR (bibclical city) [with] A.
3 Tragic suitors, sad, thrown into confusion (10)
DISASTROUS - (suitors, sad)* [thrown into confusion].
4 Newspaper perused, we hear, by chief (6)
REDTOP - RED sound like [we hear] READ (perused) [by] TOP (chief).This name for sensationalist tabloid newspapers came up before in a QC in one from Mara in April. There has been a local story about a pet snake that has gone missing which got reported in one of the aforementioned papers thus. I rest my case.
6 It's eaten? That's wrong — it's drunk (8)
ANISETTE - (it's eaten)* [that's wrong]. Another lovely surface that had me chuckling. [Edit: I appear to be in the minority in knowing this word. Read all about the differnet varieties of this drink here].
7 Boats less substantial beginning to sink to the bottom (8)
LIGHTERS - Take LIGHTER (less substantial) and put [beginning to] Sink underneath [to the bottom].
10 Keeping under surveillance a top man determined to get outside (7,3)
STAKING OUT - A KING (top man) surrounded by STOUT (determined) [to get outside].
12 Measures teachers changed (8)
HECTARES - (teachers)* [changed].
13 Not working, finished being hurt (8)
OFFENDED - OFF (not working) ENDED (finished).
16 Stagnant swamp in Berkshire town (6)
SLOUGH - Double definition. Come friendly bombs...
18 Three performers from choir turned up (4)
TRIO - reverse [up] hidden [from] in denruT RIOhc.
19 Name of man ending in some Asian countries (4)
STAN - A lovely witty one to finish... Double definition. Second definition as in PakiSTAN, KyrgyzSTAN, UzbekiSTAN etc
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