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

Times 27,485: Copularity Pontest

I completed this comfortably inside of 10 minutes, but it could have been quicker if I hadn't entered 10ac as "COPULA", which left the intersecting down clues a lot harder to make head or tail of! When the impossible has been eliminated, whatever remains, however probable, must be the truth, so the light did eventually dawn.

This felt to me like an absolutely irreproachable crossword in the modern style, with a battery of the latest cryptic tricks resulting in perfect surfaces and not a few laughs; the GK (literally in one case) was also pitched at an excellently erudite level, while never stooping to obscurity. I really liked the wordplay in both 24 and 25ac, but full marks to the definition parts of 11dn and 27ac too, and their seamless marriage into the cryptic. 13/10 to the setter, would solve again.

ACROSS
1 Such as Chesterton, maybe, entertaining with his stirring article (8)
EGGWHISK - E.G. G.K. [such as | (Gilbert Keith) Chesterton, maybe], "entertaining" W HIS [with | his]

5 Can pocket valuable? Hardly! (6)
TINPOT - TIN [can] + POT [pocket]

9 Seafood etc barman mostly prepared (8)
CRABMEAT - (ETC BARMA{n}*) ["prepared"]

10 Carbonated drink bottles finished round roof (6)
CUPOLA - COLA [carbonated drink] "bottles" UP [finished]

12 Toy bear’s in bunk (12)
FIDDLESTICKS - FIDDLE STICK'S [toy | bear's]

15 He passed on book two in series of books (5)
OBIIT - B II [book | two] in O.T. [series of books]

16 Cancels course if ill, unable to return displays (9)
NULLIFIES - Hidden reversed in {cour}SE IF ILL UN{able}

18 Jailed by judge, ex-pupil’s assisted crime (6,3)
INSIDE JOB - INSIDE [jailed] by J O.B. [judge | ex-pupil]

19 Stop at sea to tell some tales? (3,2)
LIE TO - double def

20 Designates perimeter of park especially for winter sport (5,7)
SPEED SKATING - (DESIGNATES P{ar}K*) ["especially"]

24 Running without queen’s backing (2,1,3)
IN A ROW - reversed W/O RANI [without | queen]

25 Cried several times over, with husband involved in plot (8)
BOOHOOED - O O O O ["several (four) times", over], with H [husband] "involved"], in BED [plot]

26 Partner of old politician getting into film for free (6)
EXEMPT - EX [partner of old] + MP [politician] "getting into" E.T. [film]

27 Biased when accepting Houses of Parliament as constitutional asset? (8)
ASHPLANT - ASLANT [biased] when accepting H.P. [Houses of Parliament]. I didn't know that an "ashplant" was a walking stick, but such would certainly prove an asset while going on a "constitutional".

DOWN
1 Watch Italian sides being eliminated after football upset (4)
ECCO - reversed {s}OCCE{r} [football]

2 Get stuck into the butter! (4)
GOAT - or GO AT [get stuck into]. The butter as in "the creature that butts".

3 Awkward when first on diet of meat sandwiches? (3-6)
HAM-FISTED - 1ST [first], "sandwiched" by HAM-FED [on diet of meat]

4 What’s amusing by reputation? (8,4)
STANDING JOKE - JOKE [what's amusing] by STANDING [reputation], &lit I guess

6 Time to leave to pick up cold tongue? (5)
INUIT - IN{t}UIT [to pick up, minus T for time]. "Cold tongue?" as in "language spoken in a cold region"

7 Banned for plagiarism in second edition (10)
PROSCRIBED - PRO [for] + CRIB [plagiarism] in S ED. [second | edition]

8 Radio station’s run repeated broadcast (10)
TRANSISTOR - (STATION'S R R*) ["broadcast"]

11 Ringer that’s incorporating end for our now cordless sockets (12)
BELLYBUTTONS - BELL YON'S [ringer | that's] "incorporating" BUTT [end]. The sockets left by our cut umbilical cords!

13 In short, “garish” is appropriate for style of French king (5,5)
LOUIS SEIZE - LOU{d} ["in short", garish] + IS SEIZE [is | appropriate]

14 King and I set makes for cracking musical (4,2,4)
KISS ME KATE - (K I SET MAKES*) ["for cracking"]

17 Move inch by inch? (6-3)
ISLAND-HOP - an "inch" being an island, a lovely cryptic def

21 Band ultimately mean to raise flag (5)
DROOP - {ban}D + reversed POOR [mean]

22 What’s oddly featured by satellite state (4)
IOWA - W{h}A{t} by IO [satellite (of Jupiter)]

23 Approach of mine having commercial appeal (4)
ADIT - AD IT [commercial | appeal]. "Of mine" as in "in a mine".
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