jackkt (jackkt) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times Cryptic 27476

I completed this in 39 minutes which is good going for me at the moment. There are some very good clues and I especially liked  20ac and 25ac although the latter will probably cause consternation amongst those not old enough to remember Tommy Steele and his teeth performing Hold it, Flash Bang Wallop! and other gems of  1960s British musical theatre.

As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions and substitutions are in curly brackets} and [anagrinds, containment, reversal and other indicators in square ones]

1 Brave face on prisoner (8)
CONFRONT : CON (prisoner),  FRONT (face) in accordance with the convention that 'A on B' = 'BA', and with 'brave' here meaning endure or face (danger or unpleasant conditions) without showing fear (SOED).
5 Prominent critic of game strip (6)
RUSKIN : RU (game - Rugby Union), SKIN (strip). John Ruskin (1819-1900).
8 Train? There's one in a minute (3)
AIM : I (one) contained by [in] A + M (minute)
9 Skill of a doctor of fitness turning out fine female? (10)
ADROITNESS : A, DR (doctor), O{f} [turning out fine], {f}ITNESS [turning out female]
10 This year's upsetting panic (8)
HYSTERIA : Anagram [upsetting] of THIS YEAR
11 Set loose without testing, right away (6)
UNTIED : UNT{r}IED (without testing) [right away]
12 Polish round back for gemstone (4)
OPAL : LAP (polish) + O (round) reversed [back]. The first bit was news to me  but SOED has 'lap' as a verb meaning 'to polish with a lap' and defines 'lap' as a noun as 'a polishing tool of a special shape, coated or impregnated with an abrasive substance'.
14 Spy criminal taking hack at hotel? Norman Bates, perhaps (10)
PSYCHOPATH : Anagram [criminal] of SPY, then CHOP (hack), H (hotel). In case anyone managed to miss it, Norman Bates, is the eponymous character in  Hitchcock's 1960 film 'PYSCHO' and its countless sequels and spin-offs. It was based on a book by Robert Bloch.
17 Publication of record learning about United States in recession (10)
DISCLOSURE : DISC (record), LORE (learning) containing [about] US (United States) reversed [in recession]
20 People working together 10am - noon? (4)
TEAM : TE{n} AM (10am) [- (minus) noon]. Very clever !
23 Notwithstanding that used in medical practice (6)
METHOD : THO (notwithstanding that) contained by [used in] MED (medical)
24 Ship's propeller with power supply trouble (8)
MAINSAIL : MAINS (power supply), AIL (trouble). My LOI having wasted time thinking 'P' for 'power' and 'screw' for 'propeller', neither of which worked once the checkers started to arrive.
25 Bit of a literal interpretation of a musical based on Kipps? (10)
THREEPENCE : A straight definition with a very cryptic hint. A 'bit' is a coin as in 'threepenny bit', 'sixpenny bit', 'two-bob bit' etc. Kipps is a novel by H G Wells that was adapted as a musical for both stage and screen called Half a Sixpence which if interpreted literally = 3d.
26 Unkind expelling European people in general (3)
MAN : M{e}AN (unkind) [expelling European]
27 Dog that's a boon, following bachelor (6)
BASSET : B (bachelor), ASSET (boon)
28 Deep state formed phony MI6 (8)
HYPNOSIS : Anagram [formed] of PHONY, SIS (MI6 - Secret Intelligence Service)
1 Instruct boy about old passengers on a bus? (9)
COACHLOAD : COACH (instruct), LAD (boy) containing [about] O (old)
2 First class seed raised attractive plant (7)
NEMESIA : A1 (first class) + SEMEN (seed) reversed [raised] . A plant unknown to me. I struggled to find an explanation of 'attractive' here, assuming the setter is not just expressing a fondness for this particular flower, and the only thing I can come up with is that according to SOED its name is derived from the Greek nemesion catchfly, suggesting perhaps that it may attract insects in the same way as buddleia is known to attract butterflies.
3 Stern about editor that's set up proof-corrector (6)
READER : REAR (stern - of ship) containing [about] ED (editor) reversed [set up]
4 Suspicion so continued over self-regarding youth (9)
NARCISSUS : SUS (suspicion) + SIC (so) + RAN (continued) reversed [over]
5 Make later improvements to crumbling outer surfaces of church (7)
RETOUCH : Anagram [crumbling] of OUTER, C{hurc}H [surfaces]
6 Confectionery jar is where sportspersons like to get their hit (5,4)
SWEET SPOT : SWEETS (confectionery), POT (jar). The point at which a tennis racket, cricket bat etc makes the most effective contact with the ball.
7 Go over one detailed description penned by National Trust (7)
INSPECT : I (one), then SPEC (detailed description) contained [penned] by NT (National Trust)
13 Warning device in flight, say, is to get engaged in conflict (4,5)
LOCK HORNS : HORN (warning device) contained by [in] LOCKS [flight, say]. Another meaning of 'flight' to add to the ones discussed here last week, this time with reference to a series of locks on a waterway such as a canal, which serves the same purpose as a flight of stairs in facilitating progress to a higher or lower level.
15 Clarinet playing Debussy's last piece naturally (9)
CERTAINLY : Anagram [playing] of CLARINET, {debuss}Y [last piece]
16 House 1000 antelopes in areas of South Africa, once (9)
HOMELANDS : HO (house), M (1000), ELANDS (antelopes). Collins advises that 'Homelands' were regions within South Africa in which black South Africans had a limited form of self-government.
18 Immobility of passenger ship when line fails upset island (7)
INERTIA : {l}INER (passenger ship) [when line fails], AIT (island) [upset]
19 Abnormal pieces, with tons for scrap (7)
ODDMENT : ODD (abnormal), MEN (pieces - chess), T (tons)
21 Problems exist over European student mobility system (7)
ERASMUS : SUMS (problems) + ARE (exist) reversed [over]. Wiki advises that the Erasmus Programme (EuRopean community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students) is a European Union student exchange programme established in 1987.
22 Where unwary beach holidaymaker's food goes? Shut up (6)
INTERN : IN TERN - after being pinched by a seagull! Probably unfair to terns as I don't think they are the scavengers that infest holiday resorts .
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