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

Times 27,455: Live Free Or Dipole

I am suffering from blogger's glum because I'd completed a fairly extensive write-up of this one... which got eaten beyond my powers of retrieval when I clicked on the "Post" button. Such is life! I seem to recall asserting that this was the very definition of a "wavelength puzzle", with the early SNITCH numbers being decked out in both angry reds and soothing greens. With a number of answers getting written straight in, and after yesterday's beast, I thought this might be a very gentle one, but I got well bogged down in the second half.

In the Clue of the Day stakes, 2dn was very cute and I am duty-bound to give massive props to the triumvirate of classical clues, especially 16dn and 23d, but I think my favourite was 27ac as I've gotten really into eels lately. Did you know for instance that the Loch Ness Monster may in fact have been a giant eel based on DNA evidence recently retrieved from the waters? Or that a new species of eel was recently discovered with the highest voltage yet recorded, a truly shocking 860V? Thanks then (for the second time) to the sinuous-minded setter for an excellent Friday offering. And I hope this posts properly this time as I'm not going to type out all my best eel anecdotes three times in the same day!

ACROSS
1 Browning expert is good health professional (11)
TOASTMASTER - double def, kinda, of somebody who is expert at making toast, or somebody who is expert at making toasts ("your very good health!")

7 Renounce piece of meat (3)
CUT - double def

9 Sort of garden abandoned to Caliban (9)
BOTANICAL - (TO CALIBAN*) ["abandoned"]

10 Moulds are amusing — man impressed (5)
FUNGI - FUN [amusing] + G.I. [man impressed (into the US army)]

11 Live broadcast recommending a large jar (7)
AMPHORA - AM [(I) live] + homophone of FOR [recommending] + A

12 Leader of group rowing sent to back area after hotel meal (4,3)
HIGH TEA - a "group rowing" is an EIGHT; send its leading letter to the back to make IGHTE, add an A for area to the end and an H for hotel to the front...

13 Covered, having undergone a criminal check (5)
CASED - double def. The obscurer second part is as in, "casing the joint".

15 The King’s estate bringing honour to country (9)
GRACELAND - GRACE [honour] to LAND [country]. The King as in Elvis of course.

17 Europeans on moon altered particles, in theory (9)
MONOPOLES - POLES (Europeans) on (MOON*) ["altered"]. According to my handy live in physicist, a monopole is a magnetic north pole without an associated south pole, or vice versa; such a thing is not known to exist but theoretically it could!

19 Poor people feel this secure at church (5)
PINCH - PIN [secure] at CH [church]

20 Withdraw in wrong order in remote country (7)
OUTBACK - BACK OUT [withdraw], topsy-turvied

22 Racing home perhaps? (3,4)
THE FLAT - double def

24 Fast one taking secretary in (5)
APACE - ACE [one] taking P.A. [secretary] in

25 High-flown weapon — nearly a cluster of them? (9)
BOMBASTIC - BOMB [weapon] + A STIC{k}. Per the internet, "a stick" can mean "the structure to which a set of bombs in a bomber aircraft are attached and which drops the bombs when it is released."

27 Fishy-sounding place (3)
ELY - homophone of EELY [fishy]

28 Second-hand story of Pope’s toe? (5,6)
URBAN LEGEND - URBAN was a pope and he probably had a toe at the END of his LEG, or so a man in a pub once reliably informed me.

DOWN
1 This boat unwieldy? Objection overturned (3)
TUB - reversed BUT [objection]

2 Be a nuisance, wanting tea say not in a mug? (3,2)
ACT UP - T [tea, say] in A CUP, i.e. "not in a mug"

3 Time to embrace many times over (7)
TENFOLD - T ENFOLD [time | to embrace]

4 Port Gabriel, for one (9)
ARCHANGEL - double def. Is there actually a Port Gabriel anywhere that anyone knows of?

5 Italicise “Hard earth cultivated” (5)
TILTH - TILT [italicise, in a way] + H [hard]

6 Being in flight, not agree say to turn back for son (7)
REFUGEE - to not agree is to REFUSE. Replace its S [son] with reversed E.G. [say, "to turn back"], for a "being", as in an individual, in flight or fleeing. Whew!

7 Place limits on prison transport (9)
CONSTRAIN - or CONS' TRAIN [prison transport]

8 Various stuff in rear of loft — it hasn’t had to be sorted (4,3,4)
THIS AND THAT - {lof}T + (IT HASN'T HAD*) ["to be sorted"]

11 Roughly overturned sideboard brought round at house (11)
ACCOMMODATE - reversed CA [roughly] + COMMODE [sideboard] "brought round" AT

14 Refuge from horrible scary aunt (9)
SANCTUARY - (SCARY AUNT*) ["horrible"]

16 One cat breaks away, almost — touch wood (5,4)
ABSIT OMEN - I TOM [one | cat] "breaks" ABSEN{t} [away, "almost"]. YAY LATIN CLUES

18 In French town, dead level (7)
PLATEAU - in PAU [French town], LATE [dead], Pau is a place that seems to do above averagely well out of cryptic crosswords.

19 Dignitary could be said to be on time? (7)
PRELATE - if one is pre-late, then one is presumably on time!

21 Last of milk infant brought up, producing spit (5)
KEBAB - {mil}K + reversed BABE [infant]

23 Flower, deep in the ground, no forget-me-not! (5)
LETHE - this is a classical cryptic definition, so in theory right up my alley, but it was still my LOI by miles. Lethe was a river, i.e. a flow-er, in the Underworld, famed for its powers to induce forgetfulness in dead souls of their earthly lives. Given how extensive an alphabet trawl I needed to undertake before I finally hit upon it, it seems its reputation is not unwarranted!

26 Fish not bought on credit (3)
COD - double def, where the second part is C.O.D. [cash on delivery]
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