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

Times 27,467: Champy Days Are Here Again

Can it really be? December 7th? Jeepers, I hope that flying over from San Francisco for a long weekend then will be within my price range. In any case, this felt like a championship-strength puzzle designed to put the appropriate fear back into is; I did not succeed in submitting inside the 10 minute mark, but I reckon I could probably get three of these done in an hour, and that's the main thing, isn't it?

Some very neat clues in here, marrying a slightly increased cryptic deviosity level from the usual with highly effective surface reading. Well done to the setter and I very much hope I will be matching wits with you and your ilk again a couple of months hence! In the meantime, I'll also be in London the weekend after next, if anyone wants to do a preparatory recce of The George...

ACROSS
1 Doctor’s case? There’s one spare (3,2,5)
BAG OF BONES - the case of a doctor could be the BAG OF a BONES; or, more conventionally, a BAG OF BONES is a very thin person, or "one spare".

6 Some pickle, maybe, only just opened? (4)
AJAR - A JAR could be some pickle; AJAR is, I was reliably informed as a youth, when a door is not a door.

9 Cross of bronze with ring, on backwards (7)
TANGELO - TAN [bronze] + reversed O LEG [ring | on]. A tangelo is a cross between a tangerine and a pomelo, or something like that anyway.

10 Procedure by arresting officer employing violence (7)
CUFFING - by the standards of this puzzle at least, a straightforward double definition.

12 One might be left in this list (5)
LURCH - one might be left in the LURCH, and it's also a synonym for list.

13 Interrupting work, managed to catch one’s butterfly (6-3)
ORANGE-TIP - "interrupting" OP [work], RAN [managed] to GET I [catch | one]. My first one in, basically just from the enum and def, with much gratitude.

14 Rat to watch on grain container, one flitting about (11,4)
GRASSHOPPER MIND - GRASS [rat] + MIND [to watch] on HOPPER [grain container]

17 This hung over diner at feast — from cold sodas we laced (5,2,8)
SWORD OF DAMOCLES - totally biffed SOI. (FROM COLD SODAS WE*) ["laced"]

20 Was transformed by make-up girl from East African state (9)
SWAZILAND - (WAS*) ["transformed"] by reversed ("from East" to west) DNA LIZ [(genetic) make-up | girl]. I tried SWAHILIAN for size for a few seconds but it had the problem of being nonsense.

21 Tip of twenty-five pounds: a pony? (5)
EQUID - {twenty-fiv}E + QUID [pounds]. Definition by example.

23 Jubilant cry, finding track in earth? (5,2)
GLORY BE - RY [track] in GLOBE [earth?]. Neither TALLY HO or GIDDY UP fit the bill, but third time lucky.

24 Material of gold, not initially cut into strip abroad (7)
ORGANZA - OR [gold] + N{ot} "cut into" GAZA [strip, abroad]

25 Some retired female’s particular niche (4)
APSE - hidden reversed in {femal}E'S PA{rticular}

26 Like one who’s still available, but not off-the-shelf (10)
SPINSTERLY - cryptic def. A spinster is unmarried (still available), but "on the shelf".

DOWN
1 Propane perhaps but not a nerve agent, however (6-3)
BOTTLE-GAS - Propane comes in bottles but the owner of a thesaurus might expect a "bottle"-gas to be a "nerve" agent. Wrongly alas!

2 One who’s passed on answer abandoning approach (5)
GONER - GO NE{a}R [approach, removing its A for answer]. LOI, submitted with 90% certainly from the crossers, with just a small twinge of DEVONPORT-style mounting panic.

3 Lively old person tied up holds part of a chain? (5,2,1,5)
FRESH AS A DAISY - reversed SERF [old person tied] + HAS A DAISY [holds part of a chain]

4 Drink sadly not coming with starter (7)
OLOROSO - {d}OLOROSO [sadly], minus its "starter"

5 Take in French lesson, quiet for final seconds (7)
ENCLASP - EN [in (French)] + CLAS{s->P} [replace the final S (seconds) of CLASS (lesson) with P (quiet)]

7 It can’t be left alone (5,4)
JOINT WILL - cryptic def. One leaves a will, but one cannot leave a joint will on one's own.

8 A clue to short lass’s build (3,2)
RIG UP - cryptically, GIR{l} is a "short lass", and could be indicated by RIG UP. My first thought was BIG UP but this proved yet another non-starter.

11 Person on rowing team cut by blade? (6,2,5)
FIGURE OF EIGHT - an EIGHT is a rowing team and a person is a FIGURE. The blade here is an ice skate I think, and not as I initially fondly imagined a musketeer's swishing rapier.

15 Old woman, behold, in a sense peculiar (9)
ANOMALOUS - MA LO [old woman | behold!] in A NOUS [a | sense]

16 Kids ready to demolish something with dates in (4,5)
DESK DIARY - (KIDS READY*) ["to demolish"]

18 Dreadful earful preceding Penny’s sudden outburst (5-2)
FLARE-UP - (EARFUL*) ["dreadful"] preceding P [penny]

19 Not known for accepting military decoration, etc (3,2,2)
AND SO ON - ANON [not known], for "accepting" DSO [military decoration]

20 Letter making case for Sophocles? (5)
SIGMA - As every classicist kno, sigma is the Greek letter that begins and ends the name "Sophocles"

22 Like part of arm of satellite, left to drop (5)
ULNAR - take LUNAR [of satellite], and "drop" its L [left] down a couple of notches.
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