johninterred (johninterred) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times Quick Cryptic No 1479 by Teazel

A delightful Friday puzzle from Teazel today with some elegant surfaces, witty wordplay and a modicum of trickiness in places, and great fun to blog. It helps if you know your Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, British Prime Ministers and 19th century artists, but nothing too tricky, I hope. I liked the smooth surfaces of 22A, 3D, 4D and 13D, among others, and the cryptic 21A and 10D - my COD for the unusual device. The helpful checkers should assist those who are puzzled by it. At just under 5 minutes, this was below average time for me. Thank-you Teazel! How did everyone else get on?

Definitions underlined in bold italics, (Abc)* indicating anagram of Abc, deletions and [] other indicators.

1 Notice troubled situation (4)
SPOT - Double definition.
4 After brawl, dismiss one that may be on your back (8)
RUCKSACK - RUCK (brawl) SACK (dismiss), with a mildly cryptic definition.
8 Fear will collapse, getting security software (8)
FIREWALL - (Fear will)* [collapse]. A firewall can also be a hardware device on a network. It is a basic component of cybersecurity. If you have a broadband router to connect to the internet, it will be running firewall software to protect your home network from attack. Is there much of this attacking about about? You bet! Have a look at this, for example. Sorry. I digress.
9 Number returning to a centre of revolution (4)
AXIS - SIX (number) A [returning] -> A XIS. A MER (Minor eyebrow raise) at this. I would expect the wordplay to mean "Reverse a number and add A". "A number returning to centre of revolution" instead would have averted the twitching. For a cracking 15x15 clue for this word see 16A  here, and the explanation in the comments as to why it is so clever.
10 Look into corpse covered in gore (6)
BLOODY - LO (look) inside [into] BODY (corpse). Nice surface but no thanks. I'm no pathologist.
11 Wrongly blamed for uproar (6)
BEDLAM - [Wrongly] (blamed)*.
12 Decent PM’s opening words? (4,9)
GOOD AFTERNOON - Another nice surface with a cryptic definition. It's nothing to do with the start of a speech in parliament, of course. GOOD (decent) AFTERNOON (PM).
16 Head lost in fight with English PM (6)
ATTLEE - Second PM clue in a row, but this is the other meaning. bATTLE (fight) without the first letter [head lost] E (English). Clement Attlee was Prime Minister from 1945-1951.
17 Snobbish name received by glove puppet (6)
SNOOTY - N (name) inside [received by] SOOTY (glove puppet). Sooty first appeared on TV well before I was born, and is still going!
19 Very long sentence in biography (4)
LIFE - Double definition.
20 Got rid of a sitting member, a horror of mine (8)
FIREDAMP - FIRED (got rid of) A MP (sitting member). Firedamp is a generic name for flammable gasses found in mines.
21 Artist you would get a peep out of? (8)
WHISTLER - Cryptic definition. The artist being James Whistler.
22 Speaking, go over and over part (4)
ROLE - Sounds like [speaking] ROLL (go over and over). A lovely surface. The best way to learn one's lines, methinks, although it's many years since I had to.
2 Greek character has a large medicine bottle (5)
PHIAL - PHI (Greek character) A L (large).
3 Operetta delights one, or otherwise (3,10)
THE GONDOLIERS - (delights one or)* [otherwise]. Another lovely surface. The operetta, as I'm sure you know, is by Gilbert and Sullivan. Whether it delights one or not depends on whether one is a G&S fan, I guess.
4 Prepared to study history at last (5)
READY - READ (study) historY [at last]. I liked this too.
5 Liberal in concern, showing quality of character (7)
CALIBRE - LIB (Liberal) [in] CARE (concern).
6 On one’s feet with regularity giving instruction to bank (8,5)
STANDING ORDER - STANDING (On one's feet) with ORDER (regularity). Order for "with regularity" seems a bit of a stretch, but the answer is clear from the definition and first part. I checked and the dictionary does have "a regular or suitable arrangement" as a definition, so I guess that's OK. I see I parsed it wrong initially. Thanks Kevin.
7 Smart travel round a city (7)
CHICAGO - CHIC (smart) GO (travel) [round] A.
10 This shot an important person (3)
BIG - The sort of shot -> BIG SHOT. An unusual clue type these days, fill in the blank, with the blank being replaced by "This".
13 Big bird cost Richard — quite a lot (7)
OSTRICH - Hidden [quite a lot] in cOST RICHard. Nicely disguised.
14 Anxious as part of guitar not quite complete (7)
FRETFUL - FRET (part of guitar) FULl [not quite] (complete).
15 No sound from horse heard (3)
NAY - Sounds like NEIGH (sound from horse) [heard]. We had the reverse of this just last week!
17 More certain resistance stops one taking legal action (5)
SURER - R (resistance) inside [stops] SUER (one taking legal action).
18 Asian team finally breaks through the last batsmen (5)
TAMIL - teaM [finally] inside [breaks through] TAIL (the last batsmen).

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