Pip Kirby (pipkirby) wrote in times_xwd_times,
Pip Kirby
pipkirby
times_xwd_times

Times 27477 - nothing to be afraid of, or 7d.

An enjoyable 21 minutes without rushing, 3d being the only obscure answer which I did vaguely know but had to dredge from the grey depths. I'm usually floored by Scottish dialect words but both of those in here were familiar. While drafting this report I found myself straying idly into Wikipedia to learn more about 4ds and 7d. I'll have forgotten it all tomorrow. You may not have heard of the pastime at 10a but the wordplay is pretty obvious.

The blurb about entering the TCC is still appearing daily, so I assume this means they haven't sold all the tickets? I found the bit about "more than £2500 to be won across three ability groups" a major turn-off, IMO making a mockery of the idea of a merit based competition.

Across
1 Promoter of change, one leaving country in company of actors (8)
CATALYST - CAST = company of actors, insert (I)TALY = one leaving country.
5 When speaking, caught sight of a predator (6)
SPIDER - Sounds like "spied a". We've had SPIDER recently, similarly clued, but I can't just remember when.
9 Sacked constables gathered round first of remote rock formations (8)
OUTCROPS - OUT (sacked) COPS have R (first of remote) inserted.
10 Monstrous female knocked back game on ship (6)
OGRESS - ERGO is a long established board game. Reverse it and add SS for ship. EDIT some below prefer the parsing GO for the game, RE for on, SS for ship, which I can see is less demanding as far as board game knowledge goes.
12 Dispersed, as licensed trade could be (13)
DECENTRALISED - (LICENSED TRADE)*.
15 Partly useful — narrow like some bones (5)
ULNAR - the ulna bening the longer of the two bones in the forearm; hidden word in USEF(UL NAR)ROW.
16 Dread voiced? Manage to accept conclusion of this forecast (9)
HOROSCOPE - HORO sounds like HORROR = dread, then COPE = manage, then insert S = conclusion of thiS.
17 Waste material produced by club after fight (5,4)
SCRAP IRON - SCRAP = fight, IRON = (golf) club.
19 Stick used by extremely brittle Muslim prince’s widow (5)
BEGUM - B E (extremes of brittle) GUM (stick). An Urdu word derived originally from Turkish; familiar too as a surname, as in Shemima Begum who was recently in the News, being a teenage Isis bride trying to return to the UK.
20 Overseas leader’s note misinterpreted race’s torment (13)
CONCERTMASTER - C (note) then (RACES TORMENT)*. The leader, first violininst, of an orchestra, more usually called just the leader in UK, but derived from KONZERTMEISTER in German,
22 Voucher scam taking in publisher (6)
COUPON - CON (scam) has OUP (Oxford Univ. Press) inserted.
23 Sports contest initially banned in most of Leinster town (8)
BIATHLON - B I = initial letters of banned in, ATHLON = most of Athlone, a large town in central Ireland on the River Shannon.
25 Isotonic solution chap brought into function (6)
SALINE - AL, a chap, is borught into SINE, a trig. function.
26 King trapped in vessel leads to banner headline (8)
STREAMER - R for king goes into STEAMER.
Down
1 Precipitate downfall of brash hangers-on in court (10)
CLOUDBURST - LOUD (brash) BURS (hangers-on) go into CT for court. BUR is a less usual spelling of BURR.
2 Small child’s drink (3)
TOT - Double definition.
3 Old metalworker alternatively employed in seagoing vessel (7)
LORINER - OR (alternatively) goes into LINER a seagoing vessel. The Worshipful Company of Loriners is one of the ancient Livery companies of the City of London, makers of metal horse tackle; the word is derived from Latin LORUM meaning bridle.
4 Police officer, one demanding payment for engine booster (12)
SUPERCHARGER - SUPER being a senior cop, and CHARGER being one asking for payment. Someone has taken the trouble to write a Wiki article explaining how a supercharger differs from a turbocharger, I glazed over quite quickly but you might find it fascinating: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supercharger .
6 Stars secure as you and me? (7)
PEGASUS - PEG = secure, as verb; AS US.
7 Old battleship from Aden at sea in dry period (11)
DREADNOUGHT - DROUGHT has (ADEN)* inserted. There have apparently been 10 Navy warships so named, since 1553, the latest being a class of submarine.
8 Baby food from river, one in South Wales (4)
RUSK - R for river, the River Usk being found in South Wales.
11 Musician caught by Liberal painter digesting popular film (12)
CLARINETTIST - C (caught) L (Liberal) ARTIST (painter); the artist then digests IN (popular) and ET (the movie).
13 Narrow American abandoning stock covered by agreement (11)
CONTRACTUAL - CONTRACT - narrow, as verb: USUAL (stock) loses its US.
14 Old woman in dam near barking dog (10)
WEIMARANER - WEIR (dam) has MA (old woman) inserted, then (NEAR)*, barking being the anagrind. Weimaraners are beautiful silver-grey-brown hunting dogs, I'd like one but I'm too old to exercise one enough. So we've got a 15 year old wire-haired fox terrier instead, who can do 100 yards on a good day.
18 Game taking place over in borders of Pakistan (7)
PONTOON - Twenty-one, vingt-et-un, pontoon, names for the same card game, which we used to play for money, along with brag, in secret places at school. P N the borders of Pakistan, insert ONTO (taking place) O (over).
19 Little creature regularly baited around Orient (7)
BEASTIE - B I E the alternate letters of baited, around EAST. As in the 'tim'rous beastie' in Rabbie Burns poem 'To a Mouse',
21 Book theatre turns (4)
ACTS - double definition.
24 Scottish smoker cross about being abandoned by English (3)
LUM - a MULE is a cross, 'about' = ELUM, then remove the E. Scottish word for a chimney, often found in crosswordland; I learnt it from a Scottish pal in France who at Hogmanay kept wishing me 'may yer lum aye reek,'
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