vinyl1 (vinyl1) wrote in times_xwd_times,
vinyl1
vinyl1
times_xwd_times

Times 27487 - A Picasso in the works!

Time: 66 minutes
Music: Oliver Nelson, Blues and the Abstract Truth

I don't know about you, but I found this very clever and very tough.   If you don't pay careful attention to the cryptics, you won't get anywhere, because the literals are pretty well concealed.   I might have been a little tired from today's golf, but even if I were fresh and rested I don't think I would have done very well.   The SNITCH shows that most solvers found this pretty difficult.   My main problem was getting started, and after twenty minutes I had only a few answers.   Once you have a few crossers, then you may be able to pick up steam - which I did, only to get stuck again in all four corners.    In the end, I had only one answer I couldn't parse, and I may discover how that one works as I write the blog.

Across
1 Spring tax returns for Picasso? (8)
SPANIARD - SPA + DRAIN backwards.
5 Reproductive organ of fish feels oddly deficient (6)
CARPEL - CARP + [f]E[e]L[s], not to be confused with carpal.
9 Small ducks ruined patch of ground (3)
LOT - LO[s]T, as a building lot.
10 Splendidly accoutred drunk embracing mean one thus (11)
CAPARISONED - CA(PAR I SO)NED.  'Caned' is evidently an obscure UK slang expression, as I had supposed.
12 Ultimately frantic perhaps as jockeys refuse to go on these (10)
SCRAPHEAPS - Anagram of [franti]C PERHAPS AS.   I spotted the defintion early on, but had a hard time finding the cryptic.
13 Master mariner wearing breeches inside out (4)
BOSS - B(O.S)S, where the inside of breeches is 'out', so don't use it!
15 Leaders of party salute your revolutionary spirit (6)
PSYCHE - P[arty] S[alute] Y[our] + CHE, a straight translation of Latin into Greek.
16 Drop unbounded passion for EU nation (7)
ROMANIA - [d]RO[p] + MANIA.  I was afraid 'EU' was part of the cryptic, and it would turn out to be a country from some other continent.
18 One's favourite American drive (7)
IMPETUS - I'M + PET + US, my FOI.
20 Without a pair of spectacles, kiss and cuddle something wicked! (6)
CANDLE - CAN[oo]DLE, a simple letter-removal clue for a literal using a chestnutty concealment technique.
23 Complaint coming from Isaac Newton (4)
ACNE - hidden in [Isa]AC NE[wton].
24 Jumping beans, a meal for Jack (4,6)
ABLE SEAMAN - anagram of BEANS, A MEAL to give us the full version of AB!
26 Treated Uncle Tom, being doctor (5,6)
LOCUM TENENS - anagram of UNCLE TOM + ENS, a Latin word meaning 'being', widely used in philosophy.   A 'locum tenens' just means a substitute, but has come to be associated with the medical profession, since doctors can't very well go on vacation and tell their patients to wait until they return.
27 Join old man, heading some way back (3)
ADD - DAD, with the initial letter moved to the middle, as it would be 'all the way back' if the end was meant.
28 Fury engulfing English crown (6)
WREATH - WR(E)ATH.
29 Lug instrument and books round room (8)
OTOSCOPE - OT + O + SCOPE.  I suspected early that 'lug' would turn out to be 'ear', but not in so literal a sense.
Down
1 Climbing southern mountains with husband in plaster (6)
SPLASH - S ALPS upside-down + H.
2 Star of panto was leaving wings with resolution (7)
ANTARES - [p]ANT[o] [w]A[s] + RES.   I saw early on that Antares would fit, but only discovered it was in fact the answer much later.
3 Weakness of urban housing control (10)
INCAPACITY - IN (CAPA) CITY.   I'm not sure of this one, but CAPA is a control point in QMS.    I'm sure glad I'm retired and don't have to go to management training seminars any more.
4 Deplorable fellow stops fermenting Pilsner beer (13)
REPREHENSIBLE - HE inside an anagram of PILSNER BEER.
6 Too early? Stop regularly (4)
ALSO - [e]A[r]L[y] S[t]O[p].
7 Buccaneer less angry aboard working barge (7)
PONTOON - P[irate] + ONTO + ON.
8 Albatross heard above head of superstitious sailor and his guide (8)
LODESTAR - sounds like LOAD + S[uperstitious] TAR.
11 Criminal charge for tough guys in court is getting closer (13)
RAPPROCHEMENT - RAP + PRO + C(HE-MEN)T.
14 Supply insane sum to retain a literary assistant (10)
AMANUENSIS - Anagram of INSANE SUM, the closest we're going to get to a chestnut today.
17 Refuse to sanction pallid policeman at first (8)
DISALLOW - D.I. + SALLOW, our old friend the Detective Inspector.
19 Flamboyant style long crushed by censure (7)
PANACHE - PAN + ACHE.
21 Delay arresting university doctor over complaint (7)
LUMBAGO - L(U M.B.)AG + O, one I biffed and then analyzed.
22 Third of troopers, say, retreat, upset and nervous (2,4)
ON EDGE - [tr]O[opers] + E.G. DEN upside down.
25 Belch while keeling over (4)
EMIT - TIME upside down, where belch has a metaphorical sense, as in 'belching smoke'. 
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