johninterred (johninterred) wrote in times_xwd_times,
johninterred
johninterred
times_xwd_times

Times Quick Cryptic No 1429 by Tracy

Another neat QC from Tracy for our delectation today. Not too easy with plenty to make you think, but nothing too obscure, I reckon. Some lovely smooth surfaces and witty wordplay, with several worthy of the 15x15. I did enjoy the luvvy at 12A, the father-of-the-bride speech at 18A and the rubbish clue at 21A, for example - not to mention several of the Down clues too. 6:50 for me, which is somewhat over target. Thanks, Tracy. How did you all get on? I don't expect anyone complaining, as we had the other day, that it was too easy! All comments and queries welcome.

Definitions underlined in bold italics, (Abc)* indicating anagram of Abc, deletions and [] other indicators.

Across
1 Nevertheless returned to cover separate social event (3,5)
TEA PARTY - YET (nevertheless), when it is reversed [returned] gives us TEY. Use it [to cover] APART (separate), i.e. put the latter inside the former. Not the easiest of clues to start with.
5 Friendly with member (4)
WARM - W (with) ARM (member). Member for arm or leg comes up quite often.
8 Ill-tempered woman ignoring a sign (5)
VIRGO - The ill-tempered woman is a VIRaGO. Remove [ignoring] the a to get the star-sign. My LOI once I got the V from 1D. It wasn't the first word for ill-tempered woman that sprang to mind.
9 Initially find American to be in genuine denial (7)
REFUSAL - Take the first letter [initially] of Find, add US (American) and insert into [to be in] REAL (genuine).
11 Argument in bank (3)
ROW - Double definition; the second as in a tier or bank of seats in a theatre or sports arena.
12 Club official, person much valued at end of year (9)
TREASURER - A famous actor after a long career can be referred to as a national TREASURE (person much valued). Add the last letter of [end of] yeaR.
13 A grand on top (2,4)
AS WELL - I'm sure we've had this recently. A neat example of the setter's trick of ignoring the enumeration of the answer (2, 4) in the wordplay... A SWELL (grand) is (1, 5).
15 Like Steve Austin on island cornered by writer (6)
BIONIC - I couldn't remember who he was but the wordplay came to my rescure. It's ON I (island) inside [cornered by] BIC (writer; the french make of pens). Now I remember... the Bionic Man.
18 A speech about daughter's deep love (9)
ADORATION - A ORATION (speech) outside [about] D (daughter). Nice surface invoking the image of the speech of the father of the bride at a wedding. Now don't be pedantic and say it should be AN ORATION. You need to separate the "a"and "speech" in the wordplay.
19 Everybody in a large lake (3)
ALL - We need two abbreviations here. A L (large) L (lake).
20 Excuses made by the Parisian to fine female carrying son (4,3)
LETS OFF - Another setter's trick to be aware of. The definition (and answer) here is a verb, but in the surface reading it is a noun. LE (the Parisian, i.e. "the" in french), TO F (fine) F (female) outside [carrying] S (son).
21 Rubbish can be left in large receptacle at the end (5)
BILGE - I liked this surface too. The wordplay is L (left) inside [in] BIG (large) with the last letter of receptaclE [at the end]. I hope you don't find this blog a load of bilge.
22 Cautious fighting by Dempsey, ultimately (4)
WARY - WAR (fighting) and [by] the last letter of DempseY [utimately]. The pugilist referred to is Jack Dempsey, also known as the Manassa Mauler.
23 Elected to add flavouring available (2,6)
IN SEASON - IN (elected) SEASON (add flavouring). Very neat.
Down
1 Pub having area for small restaurant (7)
TAVERNA - I was over-thinking this trying to replace an "s" with an "a" (having area for small) in a word for a pub. But it's not that. It's just TAVERN (pub) and [having] A (area) - small is part of the definition.
2 Missile, not wide, with top missing (5)
ARROW - nARROW (not wide) without the first letter [with top missing]. Top missing as we are writing words down the grid now. With yesterday's plural version clued in a similar way, you could be forgiven a sense of déjà vu!
3 Moan — all do it when off drink (11)
AMONTILLADO - Our first anagram (Moan - all do it)*. A dry Amontillado is my favourite style of sherry.
4 Sailor needing to achieve objective (6)
TARGET - TAR (sailor, jolly Jack) GET (achieve).
6 One failing to gain a place in final — so rancorous (4-3)
ALSO-RAN - Hidden in finAL - SO RANcorous
7 Minutes before oral, damaged back tooth (5)
MOLAR - M (minutes) [before] (oral)* [damaged].
10 Popular tale about quiet Hebridean island (11)
FASHIONABLE - Don't be misled, like I was initially, into thinking "Popular tale" is the definition. Take the FABLE (tale) and put it [about] SH (quiet) IONA (Hebridean island).
14 Wodehouse character in court, unsmiling mostly (7)
WOOSTER - WOO (court) STERn (unsmiling) without the final letter [mostly]. Hello Bertie.
16 Irish girl in place of learning lacking good name (7)
COLLEEN - COLLEgE (place of learning) without the "g" [lacking good] N (name).
17 Petty quarrel at home making ex-pat's light midday meal (6)
TIFFIN - TIFF (petty quarrel) IN (at home). A meal taken by the British Raj originally referring to afternoon tea, but later adopted to mean luncheon.
18 Permit inexperienced leader to drop out (5)
ALLOW - Yet another letter deletion, here directed by [leader to drop out]. i.e. remove the first letter from cALLOW (inexperienced). Another great surface.
19 Reference book sadly includes typos at the start (5)
ATLAS - ALAS (sadly) [includes] first letter of Typos [at the start].
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