brnchn (brnchn) wrote in times_xwd_times,
brnchn
brnchn
times_xwd_times

Times Cryptic No 27438 - Saturday, 24 August 2019. Above my pay grade?

That was a challenge. It took me a long time to get more than the odd answer here and there around the grid. Then I reflected on what a problem in hierarchies might be, and (aha) got 5dn. From there, the whole RHS fell out quickly. The LHS was still a grind, but it yielded in the end.

Overall, I felt this puzzle required more lateral thinking and less ‘mechanical’ solving than usual. Well done, setter!

There were lots of nice clues, but perhaps my favourite was the elegantly simple 22ac, which I needed helpers to see.

Clues are blue, with definitions underlined. Answers are in BOLD CAPS, then wordplay. (ABC*) means ‘anagram of ABC’. Deletions are in [square brackets]. The blog is in Times New Roman font, as part of a gentle campaign to urge the club site to use a font in which it is easier to tell one’s stem from one’s stern – ref. 10ac.

Across
1 Bill's in area by water, and in Rome once or Paris (6)
DOCKET – the DOCK is of course by the water, although that took time to come to me. ET was Latin (in Rome once) for ‘and’, and still is in French (in Paris now). I spent time trying to put AC in something or other, without success.

4 Carol keeps man for breeding (8)
SPAWNING – PAWN in SING. SING came to mind immediately and I had the W, but Will or Walt wouldn’t fit.

10 Stern woman in diverting books (9)
FUNDAMENT – DAME in FUN NT (books).

11 Furnish home needing to be settled (5)
INDUE – IN, DUE. Not a word I would use, and not one whose meaning I was sure of. As it turns out, it can mean ‘furnish’.

12 A little dough in tart, mostly (3)
SOU – ‘tart’ is SOU[r].

13 Lend a hand to turn key, showing distinction (11)
DIACRITICAL – AID ‘turned’, then CRITICAL. Diacritical marks like accents and çedillas distinguish the pronunciation of a letter.

14 Rug welcoming queen's left in accommodation (6)
WIGWAM – WIG (‘rug’), WA[r]M.

16 Managed to import charming object from Africa (7)
RWANDAN – RAN ‘importing’ WAND. From a specific part of Africa in this case.

19 Pet is something obtained by student body (7)
MASTIFF – M.A. (obtained by student), STIFF (body).

20 Copper's collected by miners revealing practice (6)
NUDISM – N.U.M. ‘collecting’ DI’S.

22 Rush or twig falling to pieces (3,8)
GET CRACKING – GET (twig), CRACKING (falling to pieces). Obvious once you see it.

25 Building extension in awful place near Bow? (3)
ELL – hell (or ’ell, in the East End) is the awful place in question. An ELL or EL is an L-shaped wing of a house.

26 Remark upon parting with gold-plated cube (5)
ADIEU – DIE plated with AU.

27 Might priest be evil in this city? (9)
ISLAMABAD – is a lama bad? No, surely not!

28 Right back about to stop generating discussion (8)
TRENDING – RT ‘back’, ENDING.

29 Author's place for putting in speech (6)
GREENE – golfers putt on the green. ‘In speech’ signals a sounds-like clue.



Down
1 Took in fare rises on buses, losing exterior calm (6)
DEFUSE – FED (took in fare) ‘rises’, giving DEF, then [b]USE[s] loses its exterior.

2 Thinker regularly quick in filling most of puzzle (9)
CONFUCIUS – UCI (even/regular letters of ‘quick in’), ‘filling’ CONFUS[e].

3 African native, one about to quit cold country (5)
ELAND – [ic]ELAND is the country. Not for sale, if anyone asks!

5 Fisherman caught main problem in hierarchy (5,9)
PETER PRINCIPLE – St. PETER was a fisherman. PRINCIPLE sounds like (‘caught’) PRINCIPAL (main). If you don’t know this delightfully cynical proposition, read about it here.


6 Heard rubbish isn't allowed, or a bit of pants? (9)
WAISTBAND – sounds like (‘heard’) WASTE BANNED. My FOI.

7 Reduced charge for Bengali's family (5)
INDIC – the Bengali language is one of the Indic family.

8 Grand government's ousting top troublemakers (8)
GREMLIN – G[rand], [k]REMLIN.

9 Militants prepared dynamite for car (3,4,7)
RED ARMY FACTION – anagram (‘prepared’) of (DYNAMITE FOR CAR*).

15 Bread collection with hot drinks (4-5)
WHIP-ROUND – W[ith], HIP, ROUND. The bread here is money.

17 Pretend to break up, as getting dumped (9)
DISSEMBLE – DISS[as]EMBLE.

18 Old lady broaching issue is a Leaver (8)
EMIGRANT – GRAN ‘broaching’ EMIT.

21 Bob is shilling put on shelf (6)
SLEDGE – S, LEDGE.

23 Experience one drug then another, showing some guts (5)
TRIPE – TRIP (experience one drug), E (another drug).

24 Leg twisted on person playing (5)
GAMER – GAM (leg), RE (on) ‘twisted’.
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