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Times 27,401: 16ac, Boris Johnson, Please

A fairly straightforward puzzle if you could get on its likeable and humorous wavelength. I mostly did, with a few caveats: a careless WATCHWORD as my FOI left me puzzling about how my LOI 1dn could possibly be WIPED, and likewise I'd bunged in OFF-THE-CUFF for 13dn after starting in on ODD-MAN-OUT which obviously was on a hiding to nothing. Third time lucky though!

My COD was 7dn once I realised that it really was talking about two *different* types of flight - I'd only needed the stairsy type to enter it on my first pass.

Many thanks to the setter: have a good weekend, everybody!

ACROSS
1 Crowd chat conjured up in slogan (9)
CATCHWORD - (CROWD CHAT*) ["conjured up"]

6 Odd bits of grub given to prisoner in his camp? (5)
GULAG - G{r}U{b} given to LAG [prisoner]

9 Something freely given? That is taken by force (7)
PRESSIE - I.E. [this is], taken by PRESS [force]

10 Line written by church composer is ghastly (7)
CHARNEL - L [line] written by CH ARNE [church | composer]

11 Franchise needing guidance when two characters have swapped positions (10)
DEALERSHIP - swap two characters in LEADERSHIP [guidance]

12 Illustration rendered by ace printing unit (4)
PICA - PIC [illustration] rendered by A [ace]

14 Daggers the Spanish brought into form of evil magic? (5)
OBELI - EL [the (Spanish)] brought into OBI [form of evil magic]

15 Dispute involving four dukes? (9)
FISTFIGHT - cryptic def, a "duke" being a fist

16 Advice to man with cat in performance, leading to a benefit (4,5)
TURN AGAIN - TURN [performance], leading to A GAIN [a | benefit].
"Turn again, Dick Whittington, thrice Mayor of London..."

18 Irritable computer whizz? (5)
TECHY - double def, though I'd normally spell one of these "tetchy" myself...

20 Aim of mountaineers? Not all of them came back (4)
ACME - hidden reversed in {th}EM CA{me}

21 The French male wearing false hair and dress shows a bit of freedom (6,4)
WIGGLE ROOM - LE [the (French, male)] wearing WIG + GROOM [false hair + dress]

25 Nothing in Italian city, little good for holiday activity? (7)
TOURING - O [nothing] in TURIN [Italian city] + G ["little" good]

26 What has cups next to stinking bottle? (7)
BRAVERY - BRA [what has cups] next to VERY [stinking, as in "stinking rich" I guess]

27 Dirty job involving spades (5)
DUSTY - DUTY [job] involving S [spades]

28 One club maybe for a bachelor? (9)
SINGLETON - double def. A singleton is the holding of one card of a suit in Bridge.

DOWN
1 Made the grade as a priest in ceremony? (5)
COPED - double def. A priest in a ceremony may be wearing a cope.

2 Adolescent as a born troublemaker originally, growing up (7)
TEENAGE - reverse all of E.G. A NEE [as | a | born] + T{roublemaker}

3 Very funny chair with style ill conceived (10)
HYSTERICAL - (CHAIR + STYLE*) ["ill conceived"]

4 Maidens perhaps seen as headless sweethearts (5)
OVERS - {l}OVERS ["headless" sweethearts]. Cricketing maidens, that would be.

5 Emily? Endlessly unsteady, having got thus in pub (9)
DICKINSON - DICK{y} ["endlessly" unsteady] + SO [thus] in INN [pub]

6 Learner in school dressed to attract? (4)
GLAM - L [learner] in GAM [school].
Well worth remembering both POD and GAM for school in these parts.

7 What comes at end of different flights (7)
LANDING - cryptic def. Flights as in stairs, or voyages by plane: both end in landings!

8 Courage of everyone imprisoned in tower (9)
GALLANTRY - ALL [everyone] imprisoned in GANTRY [tower]

13 Unconventional, like a newly escaped convict? (3-3-4)
OFF-THE-WALL - a (very!) newly escaped convict may have just jumped down from the prison wall.

14 Old statue, after renovation, survived (9)
OUTLASTED - (OLD STATUE*) ["after renovation"]

15 Ruddy huge birds (9)
FLAMINGOS - FLAMING OS [ruddy | huge (as in outsize)]

17 Gossip is associated with us after hard drink (7)
RUMOURS - OURS [associated with us] after RUM [hard drink]

19 Most stuffy little room in which son hides (7)
CLOSEST - CLOSET [little room] in which S [son] hides

22 Bigwig with silver set up in the country (5)
GABON - reverse all of NOB + AG [bigwig + silver]

23 A Yankee probing fellow of a bygone civilisation (5)
MAYAN - A Y probing MAN [fellow]

24 Ruth affected by pockmarks, we hear? (4)
PITY - homophone of PITTY [pockmarked]

Comments

( 57 comments — Leave a comment )
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kevingregg
Jul. 12th, 2019 12:18 am (UTC)
11:10
Faster than I expected, especially for a Friday, although the last couple had me worried. Took a while to remember PRESSIE (silly word); GLAM LOI. 'Flight' always means stairs here, so I didn't even think of the airplane type. I raised an eyebrow at TECHY, but assumed that as always Chambers would authorize the spelling. Didn't know about the cat, but I recognized the TURN AGAIN, so assumed he had one.
jackkt
Jul. 12th, 2019 12:58 am (UTC)
18ac
And I'd spell the other one TECHIE!
kevingregg
Jul. 12th, 2019 01:50 am (UTC)
Re: 18ac
Same here; I found TECHY a misspelling of both 'tetchy' and 'techie'; but as I said, I bet Chambers will save the setter's proverbial.
RE: Re: 18ac - jackkt - Jul. 12th, 2019 03:18 am (UTC) - Expand
horryd
Jul. 12th, 2019 02:02 am (UTC)
America First
PRESSIE (prezzie) at 9ac is not a silly word! It is oh so very Ozinglish like cozzie, lezzie and Yessie!

Smithy '223 all out'!? Now for them Kiwis!

This Crossie is English - with limited international appeal. The black cat was Whittington's best mucker and often gets equal billing.

FOI 7dn LANDING - agreed 'Flight' always means stairs.

LOI 1dn COPED - I usually avoid priests vestments.

COD 15ac FISTFIGHT

WOD 3dn HYSTERICAL

Time: just on 40 minnies





Edited at 2019-07-12 02:05 am (UTC)
vinyl1
Jul. 12th, 2019 02:31 am (UTC)
Solved in 30 minutes...
...with considerable difficulty surrounding the 'coped/pressie/dealership' segment. Most of it was pretty easy, and I put in 'techy' with a shrug. There were many biffs: see 'Emily', put in 'Dickinson'. I couldn't make anything of the Whittington clue, but the cryptic was perfectly clear.
jerrywh
Jul. 12th, 2019 07:22 am (UTC)
Re: Solved in 30 minutes...
*You* may see Emily and put in Dickinson, but around these parts, we dun't have much truck with furrin poets, nohow ..
paul_in_london
Jul. 12th, 2019 02:38 am (UTC)
Just at the hour mark, with the last ten minutes staring at 1d, 9a, and 11a.
I had the same two spelling questions with Techy; I also paused at Acme - I think of it as the tip top of a category where there are other examples, so the English side may be the acme of ODI competitors, but since a mountain only has one top I'd call it an apex before I'd get to acme.
guy_du_sable
Jul. 12th, 2019 03:44 am (UTC)
Great minds…
I had WATCHWORD and WIPED too, for a while. TURN AGAIN had to be the answer, so I waited until after completion to figure that out… ("Oh, a real cat. Not a whip!" Such an imagination I have…)
jackkt
Jul. 12th, 2019 04:51 am (UTC)
Very enjoyable, but this one came with a sting in its tail for me as I was stuck forever with DEALERSHIP and FLAMINGOS outstanding so that I put the puzzle aside as a DNF and resumed after a nap when both answers came to me.

DNK CHARNEL as 'ghastly' but was aware of 'charnel house' as something to do with death (it's a vault for dead bodies or bones) so having constructed the answer from wordplay I went for it with some confidence.

No problem with Dick Whittington and his pussy cat, both subject to much saucy innuendo during the pantomime season.
sawbill
Jul. 12th, 2019 07:06 am (UTC)
30 minutes with two left
Ran out of time with COPED and DEALERSHIP left. Didn't like TECHY. COD to the birds.
jerrywh
Jul. 12th, 2019 07:25 am (UTC)
Fairly straightforward for a Friday. Like others, if someone wrote techy for either meaning, I would correct their spelling for them. Whatever Collins might say. And I do a lot of walking and climbing, but I have never yet acme'd anywhere..

Edited at 2019-07-12 07:26 am (UTC)
keriothe
Jul. 12th, 2019 09:12 am (UTC)
ACME isn’t a verb here though is it?
(no subject) - jerrywh - Jul. 12th, 2019 09:14 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - keriothe - Jul. 12th, 2019 09:26 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kevingregg - Jul. 12th, 2019 01:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
boltonwanderer
Jul. 12th, 2019 07:25 am (UTC)
"Hope" is the thing with feathers
24 minutes. LOI PICA, having had an unsatisfactory dalliance with Aida. I was also unhappy with the TECHY spelling, but there were no alternatives. Back down Rue Morgue Avenue, I also only knew of the CHARNEL house but not the adjective. COD to WIGGLE ROOM with an honourable mention to Emily DICKINSON, who came third in my list of known Emilys, behind Bronte and the other one, whenever I may find her. Easyish for Friday. Thank you V and setter.

Edited at 2019-07-12 07:29 am (UTC)
gothick_matt
Jul. 12th, 2019 07:46 am (UTC)
I had most of this done in 25 minutes, but gave up a quarter of an hour later, having been stumped by the NW corner. I also had WATCHWORD before I had CATCHWORD, but I'd also managed to stuff up 2d with PRETEEN before I corrected it to TEENAGE, and then I got completely hooked on CONCESSION for "franchise" at 11a, wondering whether I still had the end of 2d wrong.

It didn't help that I couldn't see why 1d would be COPED, having never heard of a cope.

I still can't think of a place where I would use "as" for "e. g.", but I'm clearly being a bit dim today.

Fiddlesticks!

Edited at 2019-07-12 07:50 am (UTC)
keriothe
Jul. 12th, 2019 09:17 am (UTC)
Collins gives the example ‘capital cities, as London’. That’s gobbledygook to me, but it’s in the dictionary so [shrug].
(no subject) - vinyl1 - Jul. 12th, 2019 11:28 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gothick_matt - Jul. 12th, 2019 03:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Hard cheese - verlaine - Jul. 12th, 2019 06:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
myrtilus000
Jul. 12th, 2019 08:03 am (UTC)
Mayan! I feel like a woman!...
30 mins with yoghurt etc.
20 mins for the easy stuff, then 10 more for Pressie and LOI Coped.
Like Matt above - I have an MER about as=EG. I don't think I've seen it before and I don't get it.
With regard to song lyric opportunities today, there were many: Rumours, Obeli Obelada, or maybe some Glam or Dusty or Elvis Pressie? But I went with Shania.
Thanks setter and V.
kevingregg
Jul. 12th, 2019 08:22 am (UTC)
Re: Mayan! I feel like a woman!...
P is often silent, as /eg in 'pneumonia'.
Re: Mayan! I feel like a woman!... - myrtilus000 - Jul. 12th, 2019 08:40 am (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: Mayan! I feel like a woman!... - keriothe - Jul. 12th, 2019 09:18 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Mayan! I feel like a woman!... - kevingregg - Jul. 12th, 2019 10:39 am (UTC) - Expand
Like/ For example - guy_du_sable - Jul. 12th, 2019 05:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
z8b8d8k
Jul. 12th, 2019 08:53 am (UTC)
Without this, there is nought
This was a joyous experience, if very brief for me in just over 11 minutes. It took much longer to find the DICKINSON words (above) my choir sang a couple of years ago in a specially commissioned setting, quite possibly its only performance.
I was thinking, as I solved, Verlaine will be miffed at having such an easy set to blog on a Friday, but it seems the humour rather softened the blow.
Were the dodgy spellings in there just to tease, d'ye think? TECHY, W(R)IGGLE ROOM, PRESSIE all look as if they come from Wile E Coyote's ACME dictionary.
There's a Shakespeare quote nagging at the back of my brain which might justify AS for eg, but it refuses to surface. Sorry.

A bit more of that particular DICKINSON:

I wished a way might be
My Heart to subdivide --
'Twould magnify -- the Gratitude --
And not reduce -- the Gold --

Which is a posher way of saying thanks to V and setter
guy_du_sable
Jul. 12th, 2019 05:19 pm (UTC)
Wiggle Wiggle
WIGGLE ROOM is in Merriam-Webster, whereas its near-doppelgänger with a R inserted ain't. It's not that it's an Americanism: Collins only has the former, not the latter.
Chambers gives WRIGGLE ROOM as a variant of WIGGLE ROOM.


Edited at 2019-07-12 05:20 pm (UTC)
john_dun
Jul. 12th, 2019 08:54 am (UTC)
Having negotiated the bulk of the puzzle, I was left with C_PED, and was torn between COPED and CAPED. I plumped for CAPED as a priest might be wearing a CAPE for a ceremony, totally forgetting that they have COPES. Drat! I have no idea how I knew Emily DICKINSON, but she wasn't a surprise when she appeared from the wordplay. RUMOURS and TURN AGAIN held me up. 34:55 WOE. Thanks setter and V.
oliviarhinebeck
Jul. 12th, 2019 09:04 am (UTC)
I thought this was going to be a quickie but in the end I had some tidying up to do after falling for the "watchword" trap and then someone typed in "acne" at 20a (almost didn't catch that). 12.50

Edited at 2019-07-12 09:05 am (UTC)
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