brnchn (brnchn) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times Cryptic No 27408 - Saturday, 20 July 2019. All the lonely people …

Today’s puzzle is packed full of brilliant clues. Well done, setter! I got the four 15-letter answers fairly early, but even they didn’t 9ac re the rest of the answers. I was at a bit of a *loss* with 13ac, as noted below, but the rest was delightful. My last one in will be 22dn, when I get there!

I do indeed fancy this setter’s work, although I can’t comment on their dog. My only request for next time is a more upbeat theme song to echo in my head as I write the blog!

On with the show. Clues are blue, with definitions underlined. Answers are in BOLD CAPS, then wordplay. (ABC*) means ‘anagram of ABC’. Deletions are in [square brackets].

1 Distinguish between two types of split (4,5)
TELL APART: TELL=split, as in spill the beans. APART=split asunder. I saw the second word at once, but had to search for the first.

6 Fed on fabrication that concludes the debate! (3,2)
END OF: anagram (fabrication) of (FED ON*).

9 Generous grouse shooter may squeal (4,3,4,4)
GIVE THE GAME AWAY: double definition, replete with whimsy.

10 Ring back in no more than fifty-nine seconds? (6)
NIMBUS: SUB-MIN reversed (back).

11 Not fair when superior virtually eclipses career (8)
BRUNETTE: BETTE[r] “eclipses” RUN. The definition fits neatly into the surface.

13 People written to no longer having to stop new casino (10)
COLOSSIANS: obviously an anagram (new) of (CASINO*), “stopped” by a word meaning “no longer having”.  If you were familiar with St. Paul’s various letters, this might have been a write-in. My first effort was COLOSTIANS, but that rang no bells (either). I eventually had to look it up, and I’m at a bit of a loss as to why “no longer” or “no longer having” is LOSS.

14 Short step for man (4)
STAG: the step is a STAG[e].

16 Stratagem an instant success in WWII (4)
MOVE: MO=instant, V.E.=success in WWII.

17 Let one quite quietly correct grasping people (10)
IMPEDIMENT: I (one), MP=mezzo-piano=quite quietly, EDIT=correct “grasping” MEN=people. The definition is as in “let or hindrance”.

19 Following punch, after something for leaning on, by George! (8)
LAMPPOST: Chambers has LAMP as slang for “punch”. POST is obviously “after”. The George in question is of course Formby, and you probably know the song.

20 Avoids runners, keeping right (6)
SKIRTS: SKIS are runners, “keeping” RT as a less usual but setter-friendly abbreviation for “right”.

23 Adorable plays with unnamed stars (9,6)
ANDROMEDA NEBULA: anagram of (plays with) (ADORABLE UNNAMED*).

24 Doctor close to Eleanor? (5)
RIGBY: RIG for “doctor”, BY for “close to”. A Beatles song.

25 Endlessly proclaim Irish politicians fake (7-2)
TRUMPED UP: TRUMPE[t] “endlessly”, D.U.P. Oh, the irony.

1 Can hosts become cross? (5)
TIGON: TIN “hosts” GO. “Become” as in “go blue”.

2 If you fancy this setter, you may also have to tolerate a different one! (4,2,4,2,3)
LOVE ME, LOVE MY DOG: delightful cryptic definition, playing on two meanings of “setter”.

3 Selflessness that’s really at heart platitude (8)
ALTRUISM: AL=[re]AL[ly] “at heart”, TRUISM.

4 Jump with blade to cut line (4)
AXEL: AXE=blade to cut, L. Cunning that “cut” is for once not telling us to put something inside something else.

5 Cheering cup fan’s taken ride around, close to skipper (3,7)
TEA DRINKER: anagram (around) of (TAKEN RIDE*), then [skippe]R. The definition is presumably a reference to this poem by William Cowper.

6 Are Leavers not disheartened by Britain’s future status? (6)
EXEUNT: after Brexit, Britain will be EX-EU. NT is N[o]T, “disheartened”. The answer is commonly used as a stage instruction. The wordplay made me smile.

7 Entirely because of article, crushed (4,2,3,6)
DOWN TO THE GROUND: DOWN TO=because of, THE=an article, GROUND=crushed.

8 Smart Kensington postcode written in letters for boxer (9)
FLYWEIGHT: FLY=smart; W8 or, in letters W-EIGHT, is a Kensington postcode.

12 What’s contained in chemical it must establish? (6,4)
LITMUS TEST: hidden answer, and an &lit. definition (see glossary).

13 Material appeared hard in earth (9)
CAMELHAIR: CAME=appeared, then H=hard in LAIR=earth.

15 Note in contract for firing agent (4-2-2)
PICK-ME-UP: ME in PICK UP (contract, measles for example).

18 Mysterious spot round well bores (6)
SPOOKY: O=round and OK=well both “bore” SPY.

21 Go up with champ at last for European trophy (5)
SCALP: SCALE with P from [cham]P replacing E from E[uropean].

22 Capital city of this country backed by its airline (4)
BAKU: UK “backed” after BA, the UK airline. Baku, as I now know, is the capital of Azerbaijan.
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