Cityish Alt-ish Fortyish (verlaine) wrote in times_xwd_times,
Cityish Alt-ish Fortyish
verlaine
times_xwd_times

Times 27,449: Surface Pro

There's nothing *too* elaborate about the cluing in this puzzle, providing one can handle multiple flipped containment indicators (knife left cuts, &c), but the surfaces are all so smooth that it is quite often difficult to make out where the definition ends and the wordplay begins, so I imagine the SNITCH isn't going to sink far below its current intimidating level of 141.

An unusual preponderance of homophones here - rarely anyone's favourite type of clue, I imagine, but these were all excellent, and 6dn was I think my LOI and a great PDM. Lots of treasurable moments, including "trembling post-coitally", the great lift-and-separate problems like "unit of time", "dotty relative", "channel surface"; but I think I'll give my COD award to 4dn which is such a limpid surface. Bravo to the setter for this proper Friday puzzle!

ACROSS
1 Playing role subtly, one moves the masses (10)
TROLLEYBUS - (ROLE SUBTLY*) ["playing"]

6 Beater caught hunted creature (4)
HART - homophone of HEART [beater]. Woe betide any inveterate biffer who just bunged in HARE!

8 Precise sort of knife left cuts (8)
STICKLER - STICKER [knife], (which) L [left] "cuts"

9 Show ability to take off party food (6).
CANAPE - or, alternatively CAN APE, as in "they can ape", "they show ability to take off (as in, mimic)".

10 Paper bags over old soldiers (4)
FOOT - FT [paper] "bags" O O [over | old]

11 Trembling post-coitally, without way to hide emotion (4,2,4)
PLAY IT COOL - (PO{st} COITALLY*) ["trembling"]. Remove ST [way] from the anagrist before grinding.

12 Tough on one mum protects (9)
RESILIENT - RE [on] + I [one] (which) SILENT [mum] "protects"

14 Slip home, by the sound of it (5)
GAFFE - homophone of GAFF [home]. I really wanted this to be LAPSE even though I am not a member of the Sami people.

17 Raise the rate to screen Sky (5)
ETHER - "screened" in {rais}E THE R{ate}

19 Break down piece by Spanish composer (4,5)
FALL APART - PART [piece], by [Spanish composer] Manuel de FALLA

22 Debussy's opening with E flat, cutting a section (10)
DEPARTMENT - D{ebussy} + E + {a}PARTMENT [flat, "cutting" A]

23 Stop suffering on the phone (4)
WHOA - homophone of WOE [suffering]

24 Literary heiress left capital around (6)
PORTIA - PORT [left] + reversed A1 [capital]. Merchant of Venice, innit.

25 Short cut from port, once in motion (4,4)
ETON CROP - (PORT ONCE*) ["in motion"]

26 Picked up hamper for country club (4)
BLOC - homophone of BLOCK [hamper]

27 Vehicle passes through rock in a line (10)
TETRAMETER - TRAM [vehicle] "passes through" TEETER [rock]

DOWN
1 Specialised unit of time? Request this in Paris (4,5)
TASK FORCE - T + ASK FOR + CE [time | request | this, in Paris]

2 Ring operator, ringing round and hinting at trouble (7)
OMINOUS - O [ring] + MINUS [operator] "ringing" O [round]

3 Something dotty relative with tablets brought over (8)
ELLIPSIS - reverse all of SIS + PILL E [relative + (two) tablets]

4 Interest rising then lowering keeps home cheap (7-8)
BARGAIN-BASEMENT - reversed GRAB [interest], + ABASEMENT [lowering] "keeps" IN [home]

5 Staff taking time out — in other words, a possible skive? (6)
SICKIE - S{t}ICK [staff, taking out T = time] + I.E. [in other words]

6 Give acclaim, receiving small gesture of welcome (9)
HANDCLASP - HAND CLAP [give | acclaim], "receiving" S [small]

7 Criticism which goes over actors’ heads? (7)
REPROOF - and it is a REP ROOF that goes over actors' heads... *groan*

13 Not giving in, ruined castle defends island (9)
INELASTIC - IN + (CASTLE*) ["ruined"] "defends" I [island]

15 One who may snare you with record including music on piano (9)
ENTRAPPER - ENTER [record] "including" RAP P [music (on) piano]

16 “Heap” and “lot” could be about right for this? (8)
PLETHORA - (HEAP + LOT*) ["could be..."] "about" R [right], semi-&lit

18 Official work clothes for plant (7)
TREFOIL - REF [official] (which) TOIL [work] "clothes"

20 Initially, female becoming hot and dry (7)
ATHIRST - AT {f->H}IRST; Take AT FIRST [initially], and turn the F [female] into H [hot]

21 Channel surfing's primary feature (6)
STRAIT - S{urfing} + TRAIT [feature]
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