guy_du_sable (guy_du_sable) wrote in times_xwd_times,
guy_du_sable
guy_du_sable
times_xwd_times

Sunday Times Cryptic 4859, Bastille Day 2019, by David McLean — Very light

Sitting by a fierce fan on this first day of the latest US heat wave, I’m very glad that this one is so easy to write up. It also seems calculated to make me wish I were at the beach.

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





ACROSS
 1 This bad habit can be thrilling (4-6)
NAIL-BITING — DD
 7 Convention full of people, I’m told (4)
PACT — ”Packed”
 9 Swimmer navy doctor saves close to port (8)
STURGEON — S([-por]T)URGEON. Adding to the nautical flavor of the surface, “navy” also narrows down “doctor” to the one on a ship, as in the Royal Navy in the Age of Sail, but also as early as 2nd-century Rome. (We’re still by the sea in the next two clues…)
10 Cloud over boat moored in Denmark (6)
DARKEN — D(ARK)EN
11 Swift pint after walk by the seashore (6)
PROMPT — PROM + PT
13 Worried to enter flipping boozer in bad condition (6-2)
BEATEN-UP — The “boozer” is a PUB, which, “flipping,” includes EATEN, “worried”
14 Tell the group in disarray to do this? (4,8)
PULL TOGETHER — (tell the group)* &lit
17 I consider it wrong to conceal new fling (12)
INDISCRETION — Well, if you have an open marriage… (I consider it)* + N
20 Important law abruptly overturned by judge (8)
CRITICAL — CRITIC, “judge” + LA[-w]<=
21 Bird circling head of Iberian horse (6)
HEROIN — HERO(I)N
22 Fish trap on river gathering the odd fish? (6)
WEIRDO — WEIR, “fish trap on river” + DO, “gathering”—is “the” supposed to be part of the definition?
23 Article put out on home brewing (2,3,3)
IN THE AIR — ”Article” being THE, “put out” being AIR, and both being attached to IN, “home”
25 A kind of light fitting (4)
VERY — DD. One of my last ones in, though I thought of the answer immediately. The first definition rang just a faint bell (“a pyrotechnic signal in a system of signaling using white or colored balls of fire projected from a special pistol”)—I must have seen it here once—and the sense of the second was slightly elusive. Adding emphasis to a noun, VERY means “exact, particular”—as in the very word wanted, le mot juste… But “fitting” seems less intense; I might say someone’s remarks on some occasion are “fitting,” meaning not inappropriate, but applaud someone else’s intervention as being absolutely right on, the very thing that needed to be said. Nuance.
26 One providing warning via illuminating point? (10)
LIGHTHOUSE — CD. Near as I can make out, that’s all this is. “Point” is part of the names of many lighthouses, a point being a narrow strip of land that reaches into the sea. (Lighthouse Beach, on Fire Island, used to be my favorite getaway…)

DOWN
 2 Lotion fat nurse applied liberally! (8)
AFTERSUN — (fat nurse)*
 3 Christmas starts to leave one ragged (3)
LOR — First letters of last three words. “Christmas!” as an exclamation. Short for “Lord!” Where I come from, you might hear “Lordy!”
 4 Clumsy relations entertaining writer sent up (5)
INEPT — IT<=,”relations,” hosts PEN<=
 5 Some feel bong is backward and inferior (7)
IGNOBLE — I prefer vaping. Reverse hidden
 6 Gangster shot dead by chap who’s been collared? (9)
GODFATHER — GO, “shot” + D, “dead” + FATHER, “chap who’s been collared” (priest)
 7 Reporter apt to distort cause of crime (11)
PERPETRATOR — (Reporter apt)*
 8 In hearing, vet provides settlement, of a sort (6)
CHEQUE — ”Check”
12 I’m so utterly stupid on many levels (11)
MULTISTOREY — (I’m so utterly)*
15 Group of Conservative thinkers from Winchester? (3,6)
OLD SCHOOL — Winchester being literally an “old school.”
16 Guards surrounding irregulars at front lines (8)
POLICIES — POLIC(I)ES
18 Foreign article about cutting support for flogging (7)
SELLING — ”Foreign article about” = LE<= , interrupting “support,” SLING. EL is a foreign article too, cierto, but “about” also helps the surface…
19 Don’t move and chill to a certain degree (6)
FREEZE — DD
21 Start playing chart success on X-Factor (3,2)
HIT IT — HIT, “chart success” on IT, that certain sexy something
24 I like love (3)
EGO — E.G. + O
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