brnchn (brnchn) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times Cryptic No 27390 - Saturday, 29 June 2019. Out of my depth.

So, this ended the easy run of recent weeks with a vengeance! Lucky for me, I saw that early enough to concede defeat and use reference materials. A shout out to all who did it “bare hands”.

Here’s how I think it all worked. Definitions underlined, (ABC)* indicating anagram of ABC, {} deletions and [] other indicators.

1 Great old bovine pleasure-seeker (8)
EPICURUS – EPIC, URUS. I could see what was going on but didn’t know either the bovine or the philosopher, although the adjectival form of his name is familiar enough.

5 Maybe shanty hasn't finished in time (6)

9 Phaeton's alternative for this? (8)
STANHOPE – “alternative” [anagram] of (PHAETONS)*. This answer’s come up before, sometimes clued as an anagram, sometimes not.

10 Keep feature some reporter ruthlessly rejected (6)
TURRET – reverse hidden answer. Nicely disguised definition: a “keep” is a fort here.

12 We're told to look angrily for egg white (5)
GLAIR – sounds like GLARE. Not a word I knew, though I guessed it from the wordplay, after rejecting STAIR. Again, it’s come up before.

13 Heading for victory, were poor moves to create defeat? (9)
OVERPOWER – “moves” [anagram] (V WERE POOR)*, where V is the heading for V{ictory}. One could perhaps read the whole clue as a literal definition.

14 Planned designs, with atlas showing decorative feature (7,5)
STAINED GLASS – “planned” [anagram] (DESIGNS ATLAS)*.

18 Rot expressed about intriguing people (12)
PUTREFACTION – PUT [expressed, as in “well put”], RE [about], FACTION [intriguing(!) people].

21 Sharp character from abroad, a tradesman (9)
CHISELLER – CHI [character from abroad, as usual meaning from Greece], SELLER [arguably a trades-man, although possibly not a tradesman!].

23 Award frequently picked up (5)
ALLOT – when “picked up” in conversation, sounds like A LOT.

24 Bachelor enters dressed or stripped (6)

25 Person in charge locks maiden in gaol (8)
CHAIRMAN – HAIR [locks] M [maiden], all in CAN.

26 Deposing Liberal, exploit trouble for national leader (6)
MIKADO – MI{l}K [exploit], ADO [trouble].

27 Novel's plot comprehended by a lady (4,4)
ADAM BEDE – BED [plot] “comprehended” by A DAME. I didn’t know the novel. It was George Eliot’s first, apparently.

1 Kind of dash by recruit or officer (6)
ENSIGN – in typesetting, an EN dash is, as one might suspect, shorter than an EM dash. To SIGN could be to recruit.

2 Book's account, one that's surprising (6)
ISAIAH – ISA [some sort of English savings account], I [one], AH! [that’s surprising!].

3 Guide to form true with these (9)
USHERETTE – “form” [anagram] (TRUE THESE)*.

4 Vain academic welcomed by college board (12)
UNPROFITABLE – UNI welcomes PROF, followed by TABLE. “Vain” seems rather stronger than “unprofitable”, but I suppose the meanings overlap enough.

6 Provide banter for surfers? (5)
EQUIP – internet surfers might try to amuse with an E-QUIP, geddit? Becoming a chestnut.

7 Aunt Sally's blemishes brought up by bishop, say (5,3)
STRAW MAN – STRAW=WARTS “brought up”. A bishop, say, is a chess MAN. I blinked a little at the idea that Aunt Sally, bless her, would be a man!

8 Officially attest this implies pay will be no better (8)
NOTARISE – so my new salary package is NOT A RISE?

11 Leave monster concealed in famous mount (6,6)
DESERT ORCHID – DESERT [leave], ORC [monster], HID [concealed]. An English racehorse, apparently. Another unknown to me.

15 Love big and small changes in worldview? (9)
GLOBALISM – “changes” [anagram] (O BIG SMALL)*. [As usual, O=zero=love].

16 Fancy dispensing with US alcohol range (8)
SPECTRUM – S{us}PECT [“fancy”, minus “US”], RUM.

17 American writer with half-hearted work, one ruminates (8)
STEINBOK – STEIN [Gertrude, the author], BO{o}K [“work”, half-hearted!]

I got that it was a bok, and admired the “half-hearted” device, but didn’t know the beast. It seems not to have appeared before in Times for the Times. The only kind thing I can say is that STEINBOK sounds more plausible than TWAINBOK, FROSTBOK or whatever!

19 Burnt meat stored in empty fridge (6)
FLAMBE – LAMB in F{ridg}E.

20 Bearing case, abandoning home (6)
STANCE – the case is an {in}STANCE, and the abandoned home is IN.

22 Note penetrating conclusion is correct (5)
EMEND – ME “penetrating” END.
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