therotter (therotter) wrote in times_xwd_times,
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times_xwd_times

Times Quick Cryptic No 1403 by Mara

13 minutes for me, with a couple of hold-ups for parsing (23a and 3d), but a very nice puzzle from Mara.  No themes or NINAs that I can spot, but maybe Mara had a thirst when setting in the heat, needing a BOTTLE-OPENER to get at his STOPPERED ALE.

Nice to be back after a short break where RolyToly filled in for me.  How did you all get on?

Across
1         Hilarious beyond value? (9)
PRICELESS – Double definition.
Expression of contempt when son leaves party (3)
BAH – The party is a BA[s}H, with the S{on} taken out as instructed.  BAH is an expression of disgust or contempt.  What I hadn’t appreciated was that the famous ‘Bah humbug!’ expression was originally spoken by Ebenezer Scrooge in Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’.  If asked to attribute the expression, I would probably have picked Billy Bunter or similar character from my childhood.
8 Backing up, very cold outside and in (7)
POPULAR – POLAR gives us the very cold, which is outside (inside of which) is UP (reversed, or backing).
Remote route redirected (5)
OUTER – Anagram (redirected) of [ROUTE].
10  Bravery, key perhaps, in possession of drinker? (6-6)
BOTTLE-OPENER – BOTTLE is bravery, and a key is an example of an OPENER (perhaps).  In these days of ring-pull cans and screw-top bottles, drinkers rarely need a BOTTLE-OPENER, but they may have struggled to survive without one during my youth – how else does one open a ‘party-eight’?
12 Carry enormous animal (4)
BEAR – Another double definition…
13 People are competitive (4)
RACE – …and another one.  That’s three DDs and we are only half way through the across clues!
17  Dallas diva or wayward Catalan artist… (8,4)
SALVADOR DALI – Anagram (wayward) of [DALLAS DIVA OR]
20  …his stand comfort and love primarily? (5)
EASEL – Salvador Dali (previous answer, and subject of this one) would have used an EASEL as an artist (probably, hence the question mark).  Here it is derived from EASE (comfort) and L{ove} (primarily).  This is an example of connected clues (connected by the ellipses) which actually works, and of which I approve, so well done Mara!
21  Pirates disturbed trail (7)
TRAIPSE – Anagram (disturbed) of [PIRATES].
23  Lease back half of Swiss property? (3)
LET – This one took me longer to parse than to solve.  The Swiss property is a CHALET, the back half of which is our answer.  Of course, not all chalets are Swiss, hence the question mark.
24  Hit me (6,3)
NUMBER ONE – and one further DD to complete the across clues!

Down
1         Just beat time in the end for small flute (4)
PIPE – To PIP is to just beat someone or something, and in this case it is followed by {tim}E (in the end), to give the name for a whistle or flute.
Beg one extra having scoffed half of plum (7)
IMPLORE – One extra is I MORE, which has ‘scoffed’ (contains) the front half of PL{um}
Fish tails in the rice bowl (3)
EEL – Tails (last letters) in {th}E {ric}E {bow}L.  Cleverly disguised clue this one.
4 Profitable job student hasn’t started (6)
EARNER – The student is a {l}EARNER (hasn’t started means drop the first letter).
5  Poor dope with strep, bunged up (4)
STOPPERED – Anagram (poor) of [DOPE] and [STREP]. 
6  Keep playing cricket?  Give it a twirl! (5)
BATON – Cryptic definition for the drum-major’s knobbly stick.  To BAT ON would be to keep playing cricket.
7  Hospital overlooking a peculiar African city (6)
HARARE – H{ospital) over (overlookinhg) A (a) and RARE (peculiar), to give the capital of Zimbabwe.
11  Jack, boy in weatherproof material (9)
TARPAULIN –  TAR (Jack, as in sailor) plus PAUL (boy) and IN (in).  A TARPAULIN is strong linen that has been waterproofed, especially with TAR, which is the origin of TAR for sailor, so this clue is slightly self-referential, or even incestuous.
14  Pacy solo almost fluffed in Caribbean ballad (7)
CALYPSO – Anagram (fluffed) of [PACY SOL]{o} (almost indicates to drop the last letter of SOL{o}).
15  A rise in addition (2,4)
AS WELL – A rise could be A SWELL.
16  Two cats beat it! (3-3)
TOM-TOM – Cryptic definition for the hand drum.
18  Audible programme for composer (5)
LISZT – sounds like (audible) LIST (programme).
19  Month up and exhausted initially, give up (4)
CEDE – DEC{ember} reversed (month up) and E{xhausted} (initially).
22  Cap removed from white drink (3)
ALE – {p}ALE is ‘white’, with the initial letter (cap) removed to give the drink.
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