rolytoly (rolytoly) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times Quick Cryptic No 1468 by Pedro

You know you've competed in a classy pub quiz when your ability to apple bob in an outsize bucket nets your team enough points to win, and you wake up in your clothes with a choice of how and when you might wish to deal with a potential hangover. I spent a bit of time looking at 1ac, wondering if it was an optimistic or a pessimistic outlook. Remained undecided, moved on, admired a number of the surfaces - 12ac seemed pertinent, had I been in charge of a car - and eventually managed to solve a clue at 18ac: perhaps an optimist's description of aching in places you previously didn't know to exist? I clicked on that nice 'Reveal Grid' option before too long just so I could diligently bring you the parsing, herewith. Probably a very good puzzle that looks to be on the trickier side - many thanks to Pedro!

1 50% healthy, not completely fine at first (4)
HALF - HALE (healthy) not completely = dock the last letter; F (Fine at first). Nice!
4 Church the Italian put in primary area (8)
BASILICA - IL (the, Italian) put in BASIC (primary ) A(rea)
8 You won’t be caught napping with this (8)
INSOMNIA - cryptic definition, and the answer is also obscure to my current circumstances.
9 Support walk, heading off … (4)
ARCH - MARCH (walk) deduct the heading.
10 long walk to reach Eastern Kinross, initially (4)
TREK - Clues with ellipses should be read like lengthier Donald Trump tweets: profound when read as a whole but perfectly intelligible in their own right. Or something like that...
11 Church title recalled when including a couple of Saints and Bishop? (8)
CHESSMAN - CH(urch) NAME (title) recalled = reversed, insert SS (a couple of Saints)
12 Ruin part of garden when reversing? I’m expected to pay (6)
DEBTOR - ROT (ruin) BED (part of garden), reverse. Have to say, some very nice clues so far. Doesn't seem particularly easy when coming cold at the answers.
14 Fame about now, heading for notoriety (6)
RENOWN - RE (about) NOW, N ("heading" for Notoriety). Lovely.
16 Many shops recognised item of hardware (8)
CHAINSAW - CHAINS (many shops) SAW (recognised)
18 Secures new muscles (4)
NABS - N(ew) ABS (muscles)
19 Virus containing note getting illicit payment (4)
BUNG - BUG (virus) contains N(ote). The OED says: criminals' slang, etymology unknown, but possibly from the idea of to put forcibly. The etymology for this is described as 'echoic'. I suppose it is.
20 Spider rain had disturbed, securing cover initially (8)
ARACHNID - anagram (disturbed) of RAIN HAD, securing/holding C (Cover "initially")
22 Reduced order? Mine will become dilapidated (8)
DECREPIT - DECREE (order), reduced = dock the tail; PIT (mine).
23 Little kindergarten’s opening in seven days (4)
WEEK - WEE (little) K (kindergarten’s "opening"). Sennight is a nice word - we still use fortnight in a non-computer game context, don't we?

2 A popular plant for a racecourse (7)
AINTREE - A ; IN (popular) ; TREE (plant)
3 Female to startle in a dress (5)
FROCK - F(emale) to ROCK (startle)
4 Prohibit regular extraction from brain? (3)
BAN - regularly extract the letters from BrAiN. Nuff said.
5 Concern in South Carolina over line that's frightening? (9)
SCARECROW - SC (South Carolina), insert CARE (concern) over/above ROW (line)
6 Article is probing hero’s love affair (7)
LIAISON - LION (hero) probed by A (article) and IS
7 Drink companies start to advertise (5)
COCOA - if a CO is a company, then two are COCO ; A ("start" to advertise)
11 Fraudulent player keen to support comical character (4-5)
CARD-SHARP - SHARP (keen) to support/prop-up CARD (comical character).
13 Pooh’s friend is about right to set off (7)
TRIGGER - TIGGER (Pooh’s friend) goes about R(ight)
15 We swallow the bait, hogging second spot on the Net (7)
WEBSITE - WE ; BITE (swallow the bait, literally and figuratively) hogs S(econd)
17 Home, seeing us in garden (5)
HOUSE - to HOE = to garden, insert US
18 Skill, by the sound of it? Definitely not (5)
NOHOW - sounds the same as KNOW-HOW (skill)
21 Agreement with no power in law (3)
ACT - PACT (agreement), deduct the P for power.
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