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I needed cheering up after a disappointing (well, bad) round of golf in the rain. This puzzle cheered me up no end! It took 25 minutes, around my usual leisurely speed, with quite a few smiles. I did have to check 13a at the end, having got him from wordplay, and wasted too long at 25a trying to justify BANZAI or even BONSAI before seeing dog was the definition, not the shouting out bit. 19d put me in mind of Sunday's miraculous and superb Solheim Cup victory by Europe's lady golfers, watching the glamorous Morgan PRESSEL missing a few putts, and gobsmacked, bizarrely clad Americans having to un-gloat when they looked odds on to win. And City lost to Norwich! The Aussies lost the test but keep the Ashes... Bournemouth and Southampton both won... time to open a decent bottle of red, like the 5a I am; not kist off any more.

1 Ukrainian port where poetic works have a certain appeal (6)
ODESSA - ODES have SA = sex appeal. A nice place, I believe, but still on my bucket list.
5 Sensualist’s place accommodating Yankee pub (8)
SYBARITE - SITE = place, accommodates Y and BAR. Sybaris was a port city in ancient Greek times, in what is now Italy; the wealthy inhabitants knew how to party, laze about and spoil themselves rotten.
9 Old countryman, chap with ship in Scottish port (8)
ASSYRIAN - AYR has SS for ship inside, then IAN is our chap.
10 Furious, receiving French wine in cheap paper (6)
RAVING - the cheap RAG has VIN inserted.
11 Think it out — and return to captivity, as it were? (10)
DELIBERATE - well, if you DE-LIBERATE someone, it could mean sending them back to jail, I suppose.
13 First work by English portrait and historical painter? (4)
OPIE - OPus 1 = first work, E for English; John Opie was an English painter known for portraits and historical works.
14 Large chest son included in equipment (4)
KIST - KIT has S included. KIST is an old Scottish word for a coffer or cist / chest.
15 Sounding good in Brussels, report of bogus old American (10)
EUPHONIOUS - EU (in Brussels), PHONI sounds like phoney, bogus; O(ld), US.
18 Daunting, action on green being imminent? (3-7)
OFF-PUTTING - I've just been OFF PUTTING at the golf club, even three-putting, and getting wet to boot.
20 Culturally pretentious leader dismissed by political group (4)
ARTY - PARTY loses its P.
21 Precious box, say, Republican set aside for wife (4)
TWEE - a box TREE has its R replaced by a W.
23 Fickle bloke in fashionable Tory district at last (10)
INCONSTANT - STAN, our bloke, goes inside IN, CON, and T = district at last.
25 Dog unknown man recalled with peremptory cry (6)
BORZOI - Z ROB = unknown, man, reversed = BORZ, OI a peremptory cry as in OI watchit mate. A borzoi is a kind of elegant, hairy, greyhound-type dog of Russian origin.
26 Husband in public transport area welcoming black primate (8)
BUSHBABY - BUS = public transport, BAY = area, as in loading bay; insert H and then B for black. Bush babies, not always hyphenated, are small nocturnal primates with big eyes.
28 Woman, heading off to visit sickly chapelgoer (8)
WESLEYAN -  LESLEY, our woman, loses her L then goes inside WAN meaning sickly.
29 Spirited girl’s hide-out on sloop-rigged vessel (6)
HOYDEN - a HOY is the vessel so rigged, DEN is the hide-out. I only knew what a hoyden is because she has appeared not long ago in a crossword.

2 Doubt detectives contradict sheriff, ultimately (9)
DISBELIEF - DI'S, BELIE, F the end of sheriff.
3 Designer’s catalogue of animal accommodation (7)
STYLIST - a STY LIST being a catalogue of porcine residences.
4 Fine setting for Labrador primarily — and boxer (3)
ALI - A1 = fine, insert L = first letter of Labrador. Boxer as in Muhammad Ali.
5 A woman’s set up supplying laxative (5)
SENNA - Reverse of ANNE'S. For avoidance of doubt over senna's use, I can only quote the NHS UK website entry: "Senna is a natural laxative made from the leaves and fruit of the senna plant. It is used to treat constipation (difficulty pooing)."      Lots of random people today; that's IAN, STAN, ROB, LESLEY and ANNE so far
6 Farm building housing damaged regal or other instrument (6,5)
7 Pasta Victor served in bar finally with garlic mayonnaise (7)
RAVIOLI - R end of baR, AIOLI = garlic mayo has V inserted.
8 Circular paintings yours truly wouldn’t put up! (5)
TONDI - I'D NOT (yours truly wouldn't) reversed. A TONDO is a round painting or sculpture, derived from Italian rotondo.
12 Choose right urban area to secure one form of energy (11)
16 Character recently abandoning collector’s hobby (3)
PHI - Greek letter. PHILATELY loses LATELY = recently.
17 Powerless to protect a cardinal? That’s insupportable! (9)
UNTENABLE - UNABLE has the cardinal number TEN inserted.
19 Nancy’s ready by fire, wanting a savoury biscuit (7)
PRETZEL - PRET = French for ready; ZEAL = fire, loses its A. Nancy isn't a random woman here, it's a city in France.
20 Bill gets embraced by a model? That’s the stuff! (7)
ATTABOY - A TOY has the TAB = bill inserted.
22 Complete dump, by the sound of it (5)
WHOLE - sounds like HOLE = dump.
24 Murderer concealing first of bodies in shack (5)
CABIN - CAIN our murderer has B first of bodies inserted.
27 Note sending up prophet’s book (3)
SOH - HOSEA is an OT prophet and book, often abbr. to HOS.


( 54 comments — Leave a comment )
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Sep. 18th, 2019 05:58 am (UTC)
I was on the road today so somewhat handicapped by the fine but blustery weather.
I note the Wild Colonial Boy has arrived to replace Lord Galspray at long last.

I unhappily shoved in an ENEMA in at 6dn and sort of gave up!




Norwich won courtesy of the unspeakable OTAMENDI and United won as 'Poggs' didn't take the penalty.

Didn't we have RAVIOLI recently with almost the same clue?

Edited at 2019-09-18 05:59 am (UTC)
Sep. 18th, 2019 10:34 am (UTC)
Shoving in an enema would do little to cheer me up either.
RE: DNF - ulaca - Sep. 18th, 2019 12:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
RE: DNF - ulaca - Sep. 18th, 2019 01:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: DNF - horryd - Sep. 18th, 2019 02:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 18th, 2019 06:03 am (UTC)
Zipping along nicely, then once again stopped by two clues, 27d and 29ac, at 14' or so. Somehow I could only think of SOL, although I entertained DOH for a moment; took all that time to come up with SOH, and then the H gave me HOYDEN, which I just couldn't remember (and DNK HOY). Biffed WESLEYAN. DNK OPIE. KIST only because it came up recently. Difficulty pooing? Does bladder trouble cause difficulty going wee-wee?
Sep. 18th, 2019 06:26 am (UTC)
This felt tougher than yesterday's, but at 31 minutes only took me a teensy bit longer to complete.

I was lucky with my GK, especially for HOYDEN, but the wordplay must have been kind elsewhere, as I didn't know OPIE, KIST or TONDO. Knew BORZOI from the webcomic Questionable Content, which features a magnificent example called Cosmo, so that might count as a bit of Ninja Turtling...

FOI 1a ODESSA, LOI SOH as I was waiting for 26a BUSHBABY to confirm that Hod hadn't written any books, as I know he's in the Bible, too. COD 11a DE-LIBERATE.
Sep. 18th, 2019 06:44 am (UTC)
I'm not sure I've actually come across a borzoi, but there's the Knopf colophon, and the dog in Saki's "Cousin Teresa": Cousin Teresa takes out Caesar,
Fido, Jock, and the big borzoi.
(no subject) - gothick_matt - Sep. 18th, 2019 07:24 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - vinyl1 - Sep. 18th, 2019 10:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gothick_matt - Sep. 18th, 2019 04:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 18th, 2019 06:28 am (UTC)
Around 30 minutes. I thought the same as our Shanghai correspondent about RAVIOLI, and also ODESSA. I'm sure our local bus stations have BUS BAYS so I'd have parsed 'public transport area' as a single entity, but having checked the dictionaries I can't find it listed. NHO OPIE. KIST dredged from the depths of memory.

Edited at 2019-09-18 06:29 am (UTC)
Sep. 18th, 2019 10:36 am (UTC)
As a bus enthusiast, a "bus bay" is a concept that I've never encountered. It's a usually a stand, other than North of the Border, where it's a stance.
(no subject) - jackkt - Sep. 18th, 2019 11:16 am (UTC) - Expand
Bus Bays - philjordan - Sep. 18th, 2019 01:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 18th, 2019 06:34 am (UTC)
Found that crossword a bit mixed. All seemed easy but there was no way to figure out BORZOI unless you had heard of the dog (you guessed it - I am a cat lover). And the combined checker for SOH and HOYDEN beat me as the latter was unknown. But hey ho. I need to improve my GK!
Sep. 18th, 2019 06:57 am (UTC)
I failed with HOYDEN, not knowing either the spirited girl or the vessel. I plumped for HAYDEN, with the Australian cricketer Matthew Hayden in mind, so not only do I have the disappointment of failure, I’m now thinking about Aussie cricketers as well. Harrumph!
Sep. 18th, 2019 07:17 am (UTC)
I seem to remember that's exactly how I failed on HOYDEN the first time it came up for me, back in a May Sunday Times puzzle. Back then I hadn't heard of Chris Hoy; today I didn't know the vessel, but at least I'd remembered the spirited girl!
Sep. 18th, 2019 06:58 am (UTC)
It occurred to me yesterday that I hadn’t seen any qualifying puzzles yet this year. A quick web search found mention of the qualifying format changing this year but I couldn’t find any detail. Anyone got any info on this?
Sep. 18th, 2019 07:03 am (UTC)
Re: Championship
Most recent post by David Parfitt on the matter (10th September):

Hi all. The plan is still to launch in September, so I hope to be able to finally confirm full details here very shortly. We should still be able to give you more notice than we used to for contestants entering the Sudoku Championship (we used to confirm qualifiers in mid-July and Finals Day took place in mid-September), so there should be a reasonable amount of time to arrange your visit to London.
Re: Championship - pootle73 - Sep. 18th, 2019 07:04 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Championship - jackkt - Sep. 18th, 2019 07:06 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Championship - penfold_61 - Sep. 18th, 2019 12:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Championship - pootle73 - Sep. 18th, 2019 04:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 18th, 2019 07:04 am (UTC)
Lots to cope with today. Unknowns sprinkled throughout; a wider than welcome choice between MOTZOI, YORZOI, BOBZOI (amusing misdirection?), NOJZOI, BORZOI etc without a pin handy to help; and then a mysterious rogue blog. However, cope I did.
Sep. 18th, 2019 07:25 am (UTC)
Fun puzzle. Like others found most of it straightforward but had to look up OPIE to verify wordplay and BORZOI to check the spelling.

I've given up playing golf in the rain in favour of a G&T in the clubhouse
Sep. 18th, 2019 07:31 am (UTC)
For I desired mercy and not sacrifice
19 minutes, with LOI SOH, despite Hosea 6:6 being one of my favourite verses to quote, even if 'hesed' is untranslatable. Apart from KIST, which I guessed right, all the vocabulary and general knowledge required today was within my range, even OPIE, so I can declare this crossword a good thing. COD to the STYLIST. Thank you Pip and setter.
Sep. 18th, 2019 07:34 am (UTC)
24 minutes
I plodded through this never confident that I wouldn't be tripped up by the setter. NHO KIST, Hos or OPIE. RAVIOLI again as Horryd points out (and ANECDOTAL twice yesterday).
Sep. 18th, 2019 08:19 am (UTC)
As well as the roll call in the answers (not forgetting CAIN), we had Nancy, Victor, Bill...

Had to work out (nho) TONDI and KIST. Did not parse WESLEYAN. Am reading a book about HOSEA at the moment. Delayed by thinking the Scottish port must be OBAN. Liked ATTABOY and HOYDEN.

17'52”, thanks pip and setter.
Sep. 18th, 2019 08:29 am (UTC)
13:02. I was slightly surprised to come through this unscathed, given the number of funny words. I thought HOYDEN was a bit mean, but the spirited girl meaning has become familiar to me over the years of doing these things.
Sep. 18th, 2019 09:29 am (UTC)
A few unknowns were derived from wordplay with fingers crossed; TONDI, KIST, OPIE. HOYDEN was vaguely remembered from a previous puzzle. Otherwise a steady enjoyable solve. I biffed YOICKS at 25a, but couldn't parse it, then ELECTRICITY gave me the final I, and the penny dropped. 23:36. Thanks setter and Pip.
Sep. 18th, 2019 09:29 am (UTC)
Half the clues slipped in very quickly, the other half took some pleasurable rumination. Good to see words like Hoyden and Attaboy. It had to be Wesleyan, but I couldn't see why - so thanks for explaining.
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