jackkt (jackkt) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times Cryptic 27416

A mostly excellent puzzle but I didn't find it easy and needed 2 minutes short of an hour to complete it. Great examples today of an &lit clue and a cryptic each of the highest quality.

As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions and substitutions are in curly brackets} and [anagrinds, containment, reversal and other indicators in square ones]

1 Report holes being punched in crevice (5,4)
RIFLE SHOT - Anagram [being punched] of HOLES contained by [in] RIFT (crevice)
6 Index finger perhaps where one has a hand? (5)
POKER - Two definitions of sorts. The card game meaning is obvious and I suppose the index finger would the likeliest to use for poking something, as long as it's not a fire!
9 Staff keeping close to gourmet in French restaurant (7)
CANTEEN - CANE (staff) containing [keeping] {gourme}T [close]. EN (in, French)
10 Appropriate money, one million up front (7)
IMPOUND - 1 (one), M (million), POUND (money)
11 Judge and godly type meeting (5)
TRYST - TRY (judge), ST (godly type)
12 A hook at the back splitting top sail (9)
SPINNAKER - A + {hoo}K [at the back], contained by [splitting] SPINNER (top)
13 Nation remains in turmoil that everyone can see cracks (8)
SURINAME - U (everyone can see - film classification) is contained by [cracks] anagram [in turmoil] of REMAINS. Wiki advises this is the smallest sovereign state in South America. I lost a lot of time on this one, possibly because if I knew the name of the country I didn't know it ended in E.
14 Goddess marrying that male and Egyptian god (4)
HERA - HE (that male) + [marrying] RA (Egyptian god). A name from the outer reaches of my knowledge of Greek myths and legends.
17 Natural olfactory sensor, evidently always at the front? (4)
NOSE -  N{atural} O{lfactory} S{ensor} E{vidently} [always at the front]. An excellent example of the &lit clue.
18 Jargon written about kitchen equipment in contract (8)
COVENANT - CANT (jargon) containing [written about] OVEN (kitchen equipment)
21 Topping riddle: about the fourth from Sphinx (9)
PEPPERONI - PEPPER (riddle - e.g. with bullets), ON (about), {sph}I{nx} [the fourth from...]. A rather loose definition as it's a traditional food in its own right. Would we accept CHEESE clued as 'topping'?
22 Amendment, one being carried (5)
RIDER - Two meanings
24 Image daubed on spear (7)
PERSONA - Anagram [daubed] of ON SPEAR
25 Not for losers, it breaks European record (7)
ELITIST - IT is contained by [breaks] E (European) + LIST (record)
26 Skirts of raffia, that fibre (5)
RAYON - R(affi}A [skirts of], YON (that). An initial MER here at RAYON described as a fibre rather than a fabric, but SOED advises it is "any of a class of fibres and filaments made of or from regenerated cellulose; fabric or cloth made from such fibres". So that's all right then.
27 Structure associated with sick peoplethe rack? (9)
STRETCHER - A definition and a cryptic hint with reference to the instrument of torture
1 Solo needing some practice, rarely uplifting (5)
RECIT - Hidden [some] and reversed [uplifting] in {prac}TICE R{arely}. On RÉCIT the SOED advises: Music. A passage or composition for a solo voice or instrument. I have never heard of this before, not that it's much of a leap from 'recital, recitative' etc.
2 Pretending function complicated, shift political camp (5-5,5)
FANCY-DRESS PARTY - FANCY (complicated), DRESS (shift),  PARTY (political camp). I liked the definition at first glance, but on closer inspection I can't make any sense of the surface.
3 Flat object's thrown hard for sport (8)
EVENTING - EVEN (flat), T{h}ING (object) [thrown hard]
4 Considerable fine (8)
HANDSOME - Two meanings with barely the width of a cigarette paper between them.
5 Quite dark, first of those books for women? (6)
TWILIT - T{hose} [first of], WI LIT (books for women). I'm aware of the term 'chick lit' so I can't be completely sure that 'wilit, wi lit or wi-lit' doesn't exist as some alternative form of literature written by or marketed at women (or even wimmin), but as I can find no evidence of it I'd guess the idea here is that WI LIT might be read by members of the Women's Institute when they are not making jam or singing 'Jerusalam'.
6 Spike prodding metal pulled from furnace, very hot (6)
PIPING - PIN (spike) is contained by [prodding] PIG (metal pulled from furnace). SOED has PIG as: An oblong ingot of metal (now usu. iron or lead) from a smelting furnace. Very hot water apparently that 'pipes' or 'sings' as it boils.
7 A lip-smacking snack? (7,8)
KNUCKLE SANDWICH -  or a smack in the chops. A great cryptic clue!
8 Bird basted, roaster cooked after oven cleared out (9)
REDBREAST - Anagram [cooked] of BASTED R{oast}ER  [oven cleared out]. 'Oast' being a kiln or oven for drying hops.
13 Polish player, winger (9)
SANDPIPER - SAND (polish), PIPER (player)
15 Performer carrying bomb, bully (8)
DOMINEER - DOER (performer) containing [carrying] MINE (bomb)
16 Religious student, he is apprehended by whippersnapper (8)
HEBRAIST - HE, then IS  contained [apprehended] by BRAT (whippersnapper)
19 Lament flash inside head (6)
BEMOAN - MO (flash - moment) contained by [inside] BEAN (head)
20 Nation featured between covers of riotous book (6)
ROMANS - OMAN (nation) contained by [featured between] R{iotou}S [covers of]
23 Turner Prize contradicting itself: so protesting, every second (5)
ROTOR - [p}R{ize}, {c}O{ntradicting}, {i}T{self}, {s}O, {p}R{otesting} [every second]
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