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I ended up not enjoying this one very much, the clues too often feeling like the fairly bland fare that is the staple of weekend Jumbos, but I can't say it didn't beat me: I got woefully bogged down in the NE, not being able to see 8dn, 12ac, 16ac, 6dn or my LOI 5ac for the life of me for ages. Apparently your solving brain just shuts down on you sometimes! The horrid words DENTATE finally hove into view, which made ODESSA gettable (very annoying that we had essentially the same clue within recent memory), and put BRANDISH within reach. I grudgingly accepted that LANCASHIRE was a really fun clue and biffed in TABLOID without parsing, to post a very unsatisfactory time indeed.

What I did like: COD 25ac which was an excellent marriage of surface and cryptic, the brio of the presentation for the fairly simple 5dn, and "in clandestine manner" as an anagrind. Thank you to the setter and here's hoping I get my cryptic mojo back sooner rather than later... could be worse of course, I could be off the boil with a Times Cryptic Crossword Championship only a few short weeks away!

1 Part of journey left, including northern region (7)
LAPLAND - LAP L AND [part of journey | left | including]

5 Paper ticket covering first of our breaks (7)
TABLOID - TAB [ticket], + LID [covering] (which) O{ur} "breaks"

9 Right party for fool? (3)
CON - double def

10 Party given limited quota of famous people? (11)
CELEBRATION - or alternatively CELEB RATION, a "limited quota of famous people"

11 Girl's instant control on aircraft (8)
JOYSTICK - JOY'S TICK [girl's | instant]. FOI.

12 Port sent further back, without tips (6)
ODESSA - {p}ASSED O{n} [sent further], reversed, first and last letters removed. We've had a very similar clue not that long ago, it was hard to "see" then, and it's still hard now.

15 End bitten off pasty, smallest amount (4)
WHIT - WHIT{e} [pasty, as in complexion, with the last letter removed]

16 Way to bank money, people formerly taxing cheese! (10)
LANCASHIRE - LANE [way] to "bank" CASH IR [money | people formerly taxing]

18 Nonsense jokes associated with Punch (10)
CODSWALLOP - CODS [jokes], associated with WALLOP [punch]

19 Storage space got rid of (4)
SHED - double def

22 Old Greek bronze captures Greek goddess, almost entirely (6)
THEBAN - TAN [bronze] "captures" HEB{e} [Greek goddess, missing last letter]

23 Country in recent test (8)
PASTORAL - PAST ORAL [recent | test]

25 Where one's going on date, is it rude to pinch person's behind? (11)
DESTINATION - (ON DATE IS IT*) ["rude"], to "pinch" {perso}N

27 Nice tea chest finally put away (3)
EAT - {nic}E {te}A {ches}T

28 The French all there to scoff good Italian food (7)
LASAGNE - LA SANE [the French | all there] to "scoff" G [good]

29 Old poet, a little salacious, pens erotica (7)
SPENSER - hidden in {salaciou}S PENS ER{otica}

DOWN
1 Muscle tightening in rugby player, long conversation ensuing? (7)
LOCKJAW - LOCK JAW [rugby player | long conversation]

2 Supporter for women plying trade in clandestine manner (5,6)
PANTY GIRDLE - (PLYING TRADE*) ["in clandestine manner"]

3 A bed bagged by officer for US writer (6)
ALCOTT - A + COT [bed] "bagged" by LT [officer]

4 Lovely dresser originally fit for office (10)
DELECTABLE - D{resser} + ELECTABLE [fit for office]

5 VAT on article? Blow me! (4)
TUBA - TUB [vat] on A [article]

6 Awful din in loud display (8)
BRANDISH - (DIN*) ["awful"] in BRASH [loud]

7 Sash for brim, odd bits trimmed off (3)
OBI - {f}O{r} B{r}I{m}

8 Equipped with serrated edge in hollow, dug in (7)
DENTATE - DENT ATE [hollow | dug in]

13 Fragments scattered in mess, at that point buried (11)
SMITHEREENS - (IN MESS*) ["scattered"], (with) THERE [at that point] "buried"

14 Jumping through hoops perhaps, bachelor fills in puzzle, second to last (10)
ACROBATICS - BA [bachelor] "fills in" ACRO{S->}TIC, having moved its S (for second) to the end

17 Promising appreciation of music, being into jazz (8)
SWEARING - EAR [appreciation of music], "into" SWING [jazz]

18 Kremlin directed a jerk in the wrong direction (7)
CITADEL - reversed LED A TIC [directed | a | jerk]

20 Muscle you need to lift register and large papers (7)
DILATOR - reversed ROTA L ID [register | large | papers]

21 This second hundred comes in one (2,4)
AT ONCE - TON [hundred] "comes in" ACE [one]

24 Shave couple by the ears? (4)
PARE - homophone of PAIR [couple]

26 Lives with son’s relative (3)
SIS - IS [lives] with S [son]

Comments

( 41 comments — Leave a comment )
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kevingregg
Sep. 20th, 2019 01:53 am (UTC)
24:55
I had pretty much the same opinion of the puzzle as V did; generally tending to meh. Started slow--FOI SHED--and ended slow, with TABLOID, BRANDISH, & DENTATE I think being my last ones. DNK LOCK, and wondered if there was such a thing as BACKJAW. I wasted too much time thinking 6d would have an F, and that 22ac would have an O.

Edited at 2019-09-20 05:51 am (UTC)
vinyl1
Sep. 20th, 2019 02:29 am (UTC)
I had difficulty getting started, and...
....only had a few in after ten minutes, so 32 minutes was not a bad time for me. I liked the 'celeb ration', an excellent idea!
jackkt
Sep. 20th, 2019 06:12 am (UTC)
Like vinyl1 I had a problem getting going, in fact losing at least 5 minutes before spotting LASAGNE as my FOI. But after that I was surprised how steady my progress was and things started to flow as I built each answer on a checker from the previous one.

As my target half-hour approached I had 4 answers missing in the NE quarter but perservered and finished on 36 minutes, which I rank as a success after a poor beginning.

I thought the standard of setting was fine.

Edited at 2019-09-20 06:12 am (UTC)
gothick_matt
Sep. 20th, 2019 06:33 am (UTC)
I had the same problem making my way into the NE as others, but apart from that I made fairly steady progress, with FTOI (First Tentative One In!) 9a CON helping me spot FOI 3d PANTYGIRDLE and getting me started on the NW corner, and working my way around anticlockwise from there.

Finished off by BRANDISHING a DENTATE TABLOID in LANCASHIRE at around the 45 minute mark.
pootle73
Sep. 20th, 2019 06:51 am (UTC)
17:16
I’ve just started solving via the Crossword Club this week and when it told me average time for this was 27 minutes I thought it was going to be tough. I was therefore pleased and surprised to find myself in 5th place a mere point behind Verlaine (not that I know what that point means).

Like Verlaine I found the NE the most difficult area, finishing with DENTATE. I had one gripe today which was the clueing of PAST as ‘recent’. Clearly the past doesn’t have to be recent so am I missing something here?
jackkt
Sep. 20th, 2019 09:00 am (UTC)
Re: 17:16
But surely there's no denying that 'recent' is 'past' so the clue has it the right way round. I'd agree that 'past' clueing 'recent' would be wrong.
Re: 17:16 - pootle73 - Sep. 20th, 2019 09:55 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: 17:16 - mauefw - Sep. 20th, 2019 11:23 am (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: 17:16 - keriothe - Sep. 20th, 2019 11:22 am (UTC) - Expand
sawbill
Sep. 20th, 2019 06:53 am (UTC)
23 minutes
No real problems but a little clunky in places. Liked CELEBRATION (although I was fixated on A LIST for a while). I was also stuck on WAN for pasty until I did an alphabet trawl.
johninterred
Sep. 20th, 2019 06:54 am (UTC)
Unlike some, I enjoyed this a lot, maybe because I passed through a shower of falling pennies. I liked the CELEB RATION, the cheese, the brass instrument and the bottom pinching. Seeing the SNITCH I thought I'd still be solving by now, but it all went in steadily. LOI ACROBATICS. 13:31
sotira
Sep. 20th, 2019 07:04 am (UTC)
16:00 … on the bright side, verlaine, it does give some of us a rare chance to say "I went faster than verlaine!"

The above may be clouding my judgment somewhat, but I did enjoy the puzzle. PANTY GIRDLE and DESTINATION are both terrific.
pootle73
Sep. 20th, 2019 08:27 am (UTC)
I see this is nicely reflected by the SNITCH, with your personal NITCH of 89 compared to Verlaine's of 224!
(Anonymous)
Sep. 20th, 2019 08:18 am (UTC)
DNF
Undone by 16AC. Went down a rabbit hole of people formerly taxing before SMILE for "cheese". Thought there might have been a financial district ending in MILE. Also missed the subtlety of 21D, just sticking a C in AT ONE and thinking it a poor clue.

Thanks Blogger and Setter.
boltonwanderer
Sep. 20th, 2019 08:21 am (UTC)
Mrs Kirkham's cheesy puzzle
I quite enjoyed this. 37 minutes with LOI ODESSA despite its recent appearance. I can't make PANTY GIRDLE COD without sounding kinky, and the same problem applies with pinching a date's bottom despite the great surface it presents. (That's enough, Ed.) In any case COD has to go to LANCASHIRE, back in the First Division where we belong. A cause for CELEBRATION, not that I'm allowed to drink until the cavern from the two less than successful hours in the dentist's chair earlier in the week has healed up. The NE was tough, with the serrated edges of DENTATE a further painful reminder. But a good puzzle. Thank you V and setter.
ulaca
Sep. 20th, 2019 08:48 am (UTC)
Hubris dealer wither?
With SIS and ODESSA, I was thinking we were getting a bit of deja vu, which cheered me up no end (noticing this, I mean), as only a while ago I did the same crossword twice in three weeks, enjoyed it each time, and hadn’t a clue I’d done it before.

If it makes you feel a bit better, V, I had to come here to get the parsing of TABLOID, so you still have your uses.
oliviarhinebeck
Sep. 20th, 2019 09:10 am (UTC)
I thought it was the fact that I have to ration my solving time on a Friday that was having an inhibiting effect but I see quite a few others had trouble getting started. No complaints about the puzzle though - I enjoyed it. I was very slow to see what was going on with EAT - perhaps because we had "dug in" at 8d so I wasn't convinced by "put away" in 27a. So I spent time trying to make "the" (French tea) work. Nope. 22.57
harmonic_row
Sep. 20th, 2019 09:48 am (UTC)
30 mins without rushing. Nice puzzle. The snitch is surprisingly high fir this one, I thought. Thanks v.
horryd
Sep. 20th, 2019 09:56 am (UTC)
Friday special
at 28 mins (under half an hour) for a Friday is special for Old Meldrew. (Ever nearer to Lord Verlaine, but not the hem of his garment.)

Went from left to right, totally on the wavelength for once.

FOI 28ac LASAGNE

LOI 20dn DILATOR

COD 8dn DENTATE (Denticulation is the subject of a forthcoming book of mine! I'll fetch me coat!)

WOD 13d SMITHEREENS (Simpson's little Smithers!)

As per The Hon. Harmonic-Rowe, Mr. Snitch is rather uppity today.



Edited at 2019-09-20 01:15 pm (UTC)
pipkirby
Sep. 20th, 2019 10:23 am (UTC)
to whit
Another who found this easier than the snitch suggests; 23 minutes beginning with LASAGNE and moving steadily north and east. Surprised to see ODESSA again so soon.
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