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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

( 58 comments — Leave a comment )
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sotira
Jul. 12th, 2019 09:21 am (UTC)
14:04 … like a nice stroll through a lovely flat minefield. Safely negotiated, but not without the odd fright. I couldn’t quite remember the odd word for 'school' and nearly put GLAD at 6d (thinking 'glad rags), but I left it a while and gam emerged from somewhere.

Another long delay at the end with DEALERSHIP, looking for a verb for a long while.

I normally only deploy my Wily pic after a fail, but …. ACME :-)
keriothe
Jul. 12th, 2019 09:37 am (UTC)
Some of us will never forget GAM after the OPHOD/OGHAM championship debacle of whichever year it was.
keriothe
Jul. 12th, 2019 09:25 am (UTC)
12:26. This was an odd experience for me: I had almost all of it done in under five minutes and then spent over 60% of my ultimate solving time on two clues. Or rather three, since my main problem was another hastily-biffed WATCHWORD. I don’t think I’ve heard of a CATCHWORD before. Catchphrase yes.
Once I finally revisited that one I struggled with COPED, being unconvinced by the primary definition and in possession of a memory that seems to reject ecclesiastical terms along with books of he bible.
Anyway I got it all sorts out eventually. No complaints: I thought the TECHY spelling a bit odd and I always wonder about ‘as’ for EG but they’re both in one or other of the usual dictionaries.
harmonic_row
Jul. 12th, 2019 10:31 am (UTC)
Catchword - hmm.
Techy - hmm.
W[r]iggle room - hmm.
As = e.g. - hmm
Coped = made the grade - hmm.
28 mins. Thanks v.
guy_du_sable
Jul. 12th, 2019 05:23 pm (UTC)
This is the Wiggle Room, the Wriggle Room is down the hall…
topicaltim
Jul. 12th, 2019 10:41 am (UTC)
17:58
I didn't find too many bits of this hard, but the bits that were, well they really were. I had to trust that TECHY existed as an alternative for tetchy, as it was at least better than my original stab of HACKY. I was another who was tempted by GLAD for a long time but thought better of it. And it took me a long time to see the DEALERSHIP device.

CATCHWORD was a write-in for those of us who had too much time on our hands in the early 90s and devotedly watched the BBC word-based game show of the same name. Interestingly, I've just Googled it, having not thought about it for many years, and I discover that the runner-up in the final series has a name with some resonance in these parts...
sotira
Jul. 12th, 2019 11:42 am (UTC)
quizes
Nice. So that's Dean, yourself, Pete B and Magoo have all been on TV quiz shows. Any others?
Re: quizes - horryd - Jul. 12th, 2019 01:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: quizes - sotira - Jul. 12th, 2019 03:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: quizes - horryd - Jul. 12th, 2019 04:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Hard cheese - verlaine - Jul. 12th, 2019 07:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Hard cheese - sotira - Jul. 12th, 2019 07:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
RE: quizes - megistias - Jul. 13th, 2019 09:26 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: quizes - sotira - Jul. 13th, 2019 09:37 am (UTC) - Expand
84801442
Jul. 12th, 2019 12:49 pm (UTC)
Nuts
Would have been a PB by more than 4 mins at 19:48, except I've never heard of GAM so went for GLAD as in glad rags.

Think COPED is more 'just about managed' than 'made the grade' (which would be more like 'COPED well')....

Oh well

Edited at 2019-07-12 12:55 pm (UTC)
keriothe
Jul. 12th, 2019 02:25 pm (UTC)
RE: Nuts
I had this problem with COPED. I can imagine someone saying ‘he coped but didn’t quite make the grade’, a sentence in which they are almost opposites!
davidivad1
Jul. 12th, 2019 01:07 pm (UTC)
QC report
I had a look at this over lunch and nearly managed to finish it. It had a Sunday feel to me (not Dean obviously).
FOI was TECHY and I thought that can't be right but can't be anything else. I plumped for CAPED at 1d and that clashed with CONCESSION at 11a. To my shame the only Emily I could think of was the Pink Floyd one, even after thinking of Dicky for the first bit; must improve my ninjaturtling. And 16a had to end in AWARD so I failed on that one.
Now I must research the difference between Wriggle Room and the other one.
David
mauefw
Jul. 12th, 2019 02:32 pm (UTC)
10m 16s, finishing on COPED after taking a while to spot the double meaning. TE(t)CHY was an odd one, but I think I've come across WIGGLE ROOM more than WRIGGLE ROOM.
verlaine
Jul. 12th, 2019 07:04 pm (UTC)
I agree - wriggle room clearly makes sense but I would've said that wiggle room is now what people actually say.
eniamretrauq
Jul. 12th, 2019 03:52 pm (UTC)
COPED went in LOI as a ‘has to be’ but I agree that made the grade is def not COPED, and of course I’ve no idea what a cope is. Having assumed the D at the end, DEALERSHIP slotted in and all done. However all that took me beyond the 50 min mark. My knowledge of printing units was also rather lacking, as I assumed it must be en or em until the A appeared. COD = Cat of the Day.
kevin_from_ny
Jul. 12th, 2019 03:53 pm (UTC)
Pretty straightforward today, and I entered COPED despite not remembering that priests wear them. So a bit of a biff, as was TURN AGAIN as I don't know the story of that fellow and his cat. Happy weekend, all, and regards.
horryd
Jul. 12th, 2019 04:34 pm (UTC)
Dick Whittington and his Cat
Poor Kevin! Alas Cinders, America doesn't have Pantomime. Shame! But put it BEHIND YOU! There's The Big Bad Wolf on at the White House Theater for another couple of seasons Boooo! Hiss! etc etc
special_bitter
Jul. 13th, 2019 04:05 pm (UTC)
25:23. Commenting late because I went out for a few drinks last night. I found this tricky in parts and found myself scratching around the grid and revisiting some parts several times. 1ac and 12ac were unfamiliar. My eyebrow was also raised at the techy spelling. I thought priest was P and completely failed to parse coped. I also mis-parsed 28ac, wondering how a ton was a club.
corymbia
Nov. 18th, 2019 12:37 am (UTC)
PB
No problem with pressie for antipodeans. Though I think wriggle room may be commoner in these parts than wiggle room. The Wiggles are on children’s TV .
Chuffed with 13 mins for this.
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