jackkt (jackkt) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times Cryptic 27434

I needed 55 minutes for a technical DNF. I found this a mixture of the very easy and the quite tricky plus two unknowns (at 5dn and 6dn) which I eventually gave up on and resorted to aids.

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 Produced note before the signal to stop (8)
FATHERED - FA (note), THE, RED (signal to stop)
6 Coin in large pot (6)
COPPER - Two meanings, the second being a large receptacle for boiling water, usually for cooking or laundry. Originally merred at 'copper' in the singular for 'coin' but then I thought 'Spare a copper, guv?' and it all became clear.
9 Painter needing one paper getting another on first (13)
EXPRESSIONIST - EXPRESS (one paper), I (another - paper), ON, 1ST (first).  The Daily Express has been around forever and the I newspaper was discussed here quite recently. It started life as a cut-down version of The Independent but has since become...er...independent.
10 Laughing Stalin set about military leaders (6)
JOCOSE - JOE (Stalin) containing [set about] CO'S (military leaders). "During the Wohr", as Uncle Albert used to say, the Man of Steel was referred to almost affectionately as 'Uncle Joe'. In view of what we know now this might seem amazing, but at the time it was more about survival - "my enemy's enemy is my friend" and all that.
11 Fancied slogan for subversive reporter? (8)
IMAGINED - Alternatively spaced this might be read as "I'M AGIN (the) ED(itor)", which sounds vaguely subversive
13 Desperate need to put a Bible in the post (10)
STARVATION - A + RV (Bible - Revised Version) contained by [in] STATION (post)
15 Horse to follow flawlessly finding way through? (4)
PATH - PAT (flawlessly - off pat), H (horse). 'Heroin' rather than the quadruped, I think.
16 Better writing from woman husband shunned (4)
EDIT - EDIT{h} (woman) [husband shunned]. An edit may not actually be better than the orignal but the idea is that it should be.
18 Weird artist associated with opera in China (10)
PARANORMAL - RA (artist) + NORMA (opera) contained by [in] PAL (China - plate, CRS for 'mate')
21 Dry skin from here one might take off (8)
AIRSTRIP - AIR (dry), STRIP (skin)
22 Protein excess ends in muscle expansion (6)
GLUTEN - GLUT (excess), {muscl}E {expansio}N [ends]
23 Changing pants idea is so cool (13)
DISPASSIONATE - Anagram [changing] of PANTS IDEA IS SO
25 Railway out of extremely pleasant place with canals (6)
VENICE - VE{ry} NICE (extremely pleasant) [railway out]. 'Birmingham' wouldn't fit.
26 Journalists in tea-shop occasionally drink (8)
ESPRESSO - PRESS (journalists) contained by [in] {t}E{a}S{h}O{p} [occasionally]
2 Strange tales about firm that once flavoured beer (7)
ALECOST - Anagram [strange] of TALES containing [about] CO (firm). Aka 'costmary' this is an aromatic perennial plant.
3 Physician in box carried by massive animals (11)
HIPPOCRATES - CRATE (box) contained [carried] by HIPPOS (massive animals)
4 Former Kent player always up to conserve energy (5)
REEVE - EVER (always) reversed [up] containing [to conserve] E (energy). I nearly made a right prat of myself over the parsing of this clue as I wrote a long screed about a cricketer called REEVE who has never played for Kent, only Sussex, Warks and Somerset, and isn't dead so he wouldn't qualify for a Times crossword anyway. The explanation is of course that it's a reference to the actor (player) Christopher Reeve whose most famous role was Superman, aka Clark Kent.
5 Kid has repaired one African garment (7)
DASHIKI -  Anagram [repaired] of KID HAS, I (one). One of my unfavourite types of clue in which an obscure foreign word is served up as an anagram. Eventually resorted to aids for this one. If anyone's interested, SOED defines this as 'a loose brightly coloured shirt or tunic, originally from W. Africa'.
6 Old European to sing about good in humans (3-6)
CRO-MAGNON - CROON (sing) contains [about] G (good) itself contained by [in] MAN (humans). More obscurity necessitating another visit to the dictionary (Collins, this time) where I found this: 'an early type of modern human, Homo sapiens, who lived in Europe during late Palaeolithic times, having tall stature, long head, and a relatively large cranial capacity'.
7 Homer's initial appears in irrational letter to Greeks (3)
PHI - H{omer} ['s initial] contained by [appears in] PI (irrational)
8 Plea for short dash to provide medical help (7)
ENTREAT - EN (short dash - punctuation), TREAT (provide medical help)
12 Persistent nuisance lucky to avoid fine (11)
IMPORTUNATE - IMP (nuisance), {f}ORTUNATE (lucky) [to avoid fine]
14 Sweetener when wise man loses head over rotten meat (9)
ASPARTAME - {c}ASPAR (wise man - one of the Magi) [loses head], anagram [rotten] of MEAT. At first I thought the AS was clued by 'when' which gave me some problems sorting out the next section of parsing, but I got there eventually.
17 Decrease in expected wind level (7)
DWINDLE - Hidden [in] {expecte}D WIND LE{vel}
19 Sally ready to embrace East German (7)
RIPOSTE - RIPE (ready) contains [to embrace] OST (East - German)
20 Eternal fool to accept point by setter? (7)
AGELESS - ASS (fool) contains [to accept] GEL (setter) + E (point - of compass)
22 Set to reach maturity, needing to shed weight (5)
GROUP - GRO{w} UP (reach maturity) [shed weight]
24 Runner at last conquers Karakoram peak (3)
SKI - {conquer}S [at last], K1 (Karakoram peak). I biffed this of course as 'runner /ski' comes as second nature now.  I had no idea what the rest of the clue was about until I looked up 'Karakoram'.
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