rolytoly (rolytoly) wrote in times_xwd_times,
rolytoly
rolytoly
times_xwd_times

Times Quick Cryptic No 1428 by Mara

Tricky enough today from Mara. I only had five of the acrosses on a first read over (8,9,10,17,19), and would have been slower than the 11-and-a-half minutes it took me to DNF had it not been for a few helpful anagrams. I was left staring at 21ac at the end, but my patience for staring blankly at cryptic crossword clues was wearing rather thin after yesterday's 15x15 puzzle, done (after a fashion) just before this. So not much hanging around before clicking on the answer. But a very well crafted puzzle with lots of variation and some lovely surfaces, my favourites being 11ac, 22ac, 2d, 3d and 4d. Good stuff - many thanks to Mara!

Across
1 Plant after day is OK (12)
SATISFACTORY - FACTORY (plant) goes after SAT (Saturday = day) IS
8 Companion welcoming secretary of a RC leader (5)
PAPAL - PAL (companion) welcomes PA (secretary). RC = Roman Catholic.
9 Roll filled with a fowl for the oven (7)
ROASTER - ROSTER (roll) filled with A
10 Grass over lovely Cambridge Backs (3)
RYE - the "back" letters of oveR lovelY cambridgE
11 Latest run for paper (9)
NEWSPRINT - NEW (latest) SPRINT (run). Can mean an actual newspaper, but now more often refers to the cheap newspaper-type paper itself.
13 Dog carried back by big rocket (5)
CORGI - "carried back" in the letters of bIG ROCket
14 Caught in trap, illicit profit made (5)
LUCRE - C(aught) inside LURE (trap) makes the answer - definitions don't always come right at the start or end of clues.
16 Old article in complex meant to be shabby (4-5)
MOTH-EATEN - O(ld) THE (article) in an anagram (complex) of MEANT
17 Musical performance that may go either way? (3)
GIG - "going either way" is a cryptic description of a palindrome
19 Attempt to nail one record in series of three (7)
TRILOGY - TRY (attempt) to nail I (one) LOG (record)
21 Heard of charming apartment! (5)
SUITE - is heard the same as SWEET (charming). Yup, so it is.
22 Stirring espresso, don't — use this? (12)
DESSERTSPOON - anagram (stirring) of ESPRESSO DONT. A semi-&lit clue (see glossary for &lit), with the definition here referring back to the cryptic. I don't know that it's especially gauche to use a dessertspoon to stir an espresso, but it would have to be a stirringly large espresso.

Down
1 Wonderful agent takes us up (5)
SUPER - REP has/takes US, up = reverse.
2 Very sensitive poets roaming over island, endlessly (3-6)
TOP-SECRET - anagram (roaming) of POETS over CRETe (island, "endlessly")
3 Great Depression: 'flu spreading? (13)
SPLENDIFEROUS - anagram (spreading) of DEPRESSION FLU. The OED calls the word's current usage colloquial and humorous, which sounds about right, but its first citation dates from 1475 with a straight sense of resplendent.
4 Old weapons in unopened graves (6)
ARROWS - BARROWS = graves, unopened = dock the first letter. I remember the zombiesque barrow-wights from reading Lord of the Rings as a kid: a mount of earth or stones over early graves. More often seen in place names for hills - from Germanic, originally meaning mountain, from the same idea as "berg", but "applied, as the date becomes later, to lower eminences." Nicely put, OED.
5 Bouncers spit: mortal sin, unfortunately (13)
TRAMPOLINISTS - anagram (unfortunately) of SPIT MORTAL SIN. I needed most of the checkers for this particular anagram.
6 Rubbish peak to climb (3)
ROT - TOR (peak) climbing/reversing
7 Produce book, penning ultimate in ghoulish twist (6)
WRITHE - WRITE (produce book) penning/containing H ("ultimate" in ghoulisH)
12 Popular icon got dressed up in disguise (9)
INCOGNITO - IN (popular), anagram (dressed up) of ICON GOT
13 Something flashing across the sky, then nothing: regain consciousness (4,2)
COME TO - COMET (something flashing across the sky) then O (nothing)
15 Tenacious horse: famous name carrying you (6)
STAYER - STAR (famous horse) carrying/holding YE (you). News to me, but doesn't require an excessive leap of logic. I'd want to clarify before betting on one, though - it might also mean a horse with a tenacious attachment to the starting gate.
18 Politician needing info about Religious Education (5)
GREEN - GEN (info) about RE
20 Something cold seen during Antarctic expedition (3)
ICE - "seen during" the letters of AntarctIC Expedition
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