guy_du_sable (guy_du_sable) wrote in times_xwd_times,
guy_du_sable
guy_du_sable
times_xwd_times

Sunday Times Cryptic 4857, June 30 2019, by Robert Price — Fences of Eden

It’s alright, Ma… I can make it. When I worked this last Saturday, with pleasantly surprising ease, I was, mercifully, in an air-conditioned room at St. Francis College, right around the corner from my flat (sans climatisation), at the evening’s Left Forum Plenary—I must admit, though, that I was mainly there for the AC… (I was happy to know that my friend Delphine got through the previous day all right in le Gard, where the temperatures reached a never-before-recorded-in-France—in any month—45.9ºC, or almost 115ºF.)

There was only word that I didn’t know, and that was in a clue, not an answer. My biggest problem was trying to parce 7d post-solve before dispelling the hallucination that the word between the quotemarks was “Oil.”

I do (sarmgana)* like this, and italicize anagrinds in the clues.

ACROSS
 1 Remaining? No more! (4)
OVER — DD
 4 Live tennis shot in advance (10)
BEFOREHAND — ”Live” is BE and the stroke a FOREHAND. We had a similar tennis clue earlier that week, if memory serves.
 9 Men fed horse first to enrage another equid (6)
ONAGER — ”Men” being the old standby, O(ther) R(anks), which swallows a “horse,” NAG, and E[-ngage]
10 Sales for everyone wearing suits (8)
AUCTIONS — A(U)CTIONS, U being the rating Universal, “for everyone,” and the kind of ACTIONS here being legal ones
11 Short bloke with hair styled something like a cabbage (8)
KOHLRABI — Serge Gainsbourg, peut-être ? (blok[-e] + hair)*
12 Discard top of swimsuit? See, that’s disgusting! (6)
SLOUGH — Prude! S[-wimsuit] + LO + UGH
13 Keeping Status Quo waiting on the phone (7,3,4)
HOLDING THE LINE — DD. I guess the capitals could mean this is supposed to be a reference to a Brit rock band I’d never heard of before.
16 Damaged enamel? It’s mints being too sweet (14)
SENTIMENTALISM — (enamel? It’s mints)* In 1932, in an essay about Joyce’s Ulysses, Carl Jung wrote: “Sentimentality is the superstructure erected upon brutality.” (Just thought I’d throw that in…)
20 Several footballers going to the ground, needlessly (6)
DIVERS — DD. I had to resort to Wikipedia—“In association football, diving is an attempt by a player to gain an unfair advantage by falling to the ground and possibly feigning an injury, to give the impression that a foul has been committed” (but most of y’all probably know that!)—because I suspected that my first thought (a dishonest player might “take a dive”—throw a game—for a payoff) missed a football-specific sense.
22 Yet to lock in support for Notre Dame? (8)
BUTTRESS — Very timely, as just a couple weeks ago it was announced that only 9 percent of the funds pledged for restoring the cathedral have been received. “Yet” is BUT, next “to” TRESS, or “lock” (with “in” just a connection to the DBE).
24 Mixed veg and Brie covering a waffle (8)
VERBIAGE — (veg + Brie + a)*
25 Country houses start to confiscate gum (6)
CHICLE — CHI(C)LE. Whence the brandname Chiclets.
26 Six-footer women not allowed to scamper (4,6)
STAG BEETLE — STAG, “women not allowed” + BEETLE, “to scamper.” (The top result on the Google search page offers the definition “make one’s way hurriedly or with short, quick steps.”)
27 The first habitat lacked enough fences (4)
EDEN — To keep the serpent out? Hidden. As paradise so often is… or even must be.

DOWN
 2 Painter very excited about new hotel (3,4)
VAN GOGH — V(ery) AGOG around N(ew) + H(otel). A rusty revolver thought to be the one with which he killed himself was recently AUCTIONed off in Paris, for the ungoghly price of €162,000.
 3 Uplifting beverage fit for the Queen (5)
REGAL — LAGER<=
 4 Uncivilised nature of pub is shown in yeasty froth on liquor (9)
BARBARISM — BAR (“pub”) + IS (‘is”!) are inside—a new one to me—BARM, “yeasty froth on liquor”
 5 Worried about fine jewellery losing its centrepiece (7)
FEARING — F(ine) + EAR[-r]ING
 6 Stacks of wrenches (5)
RICKS — DD
 7 God alters intro to “Oi!” in greeting commoners (3,6)
HOI POLLOI — H(OIPOLLO)I, Apollo having dropped “A” for OI. Literally, “the many.” “Oi!” is an exclamation meaning various things in various languages, including several varieties of English—most relevantly here, perhaps, working-class and Cockney slang.
 8 Twelve having bother getting in shape (7)
NONAGON — NO(NAG)ON. With the word-insertion clue disguised as part of the def.
14 Puppies annoy one leaving droppings (9)
LITTERBUG — ”Puppies” being a LITTER and “annoy” meaning BUG… If I really must spell it out!
15 Suffering? Try toothbrush, perhaps? (9)
HEARTACHE — ”Try” is HEAR, and “toothbrush, perhaps” is, uh, (mus)TACHE. I’ve never grown one, for precisely this reason.
17 Obvious occasion to carry a passport? (7)
EVIDENT — EV(ID)ENT
18 Nut in case most generous (7)
NOBLEST — ”Nut” is NOB and “in case” LEST
19 Maureen’s in Alsace, she makes wine … (7)
MOSELLE — MO’S + ELLE (“in Alsace, she”)
21 … but without love for wine (5)
SOAVE — A job’s a job… S(O)AVE
23 Approval to demolish the front and rear (5)
RAISE — [-p]RAISE
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