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

Times 27,503: Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Solved

A mostly QC-level Friday puzzle, stuffed with chestnuts and sitters, presumably to give people the necessary confidence to sign up for the Champs next month. Which, to be fair, you all should.

Still suffering from post-flu exhaustion I lost a minute or two at the end starting at U_O_I_I_E unable to see the only possible word staring me in the face, but even for a sick man this was largely without speedbumps. COD to 4dn for the clever play on various types of Mass. Thanks setter!

1 Expert about to break best form of digital security (6)
TOECAP - reversed ACE [expert] "to break" TOP [best]

5 Home Office fight to keep Queen's English trailer (8)
HORSEBOX - H.O. BOX [Home Office | fight] "to keep" R'S E [Queen's | English]

9 Refuse vessel originally donated in settlement (4,4)
TURN DOWN - URN [vessel] + D{onated}, in TOWN [settlement]

10 Computer fit to be installed in Times (6)
TABLET - ABLE [fit] "to be installed in" T T [(two) times]

11 Berlin agreement to protect tailless wild cat (6)
JAGUAR - JA [Berlin agreement] + GUAR{d} [to protect, "tailless"]

12 Like a hair shirt? Remove yours at the outset (8)
SCRATCHY - SCRATCH [remove] + Y{ours}

14 Old figure? MCC has a few! (5,7)
ROMAN NUMERAL - cryptic def, MCC being a collection of three Roman numerals

17 In which Thor must rend ground? (12)
THUNDERSTORM - (THOR MUST REND*) ["ground"], semi-&lit

20 About to furnish Arab table full of dates (8)
CALENDAR - CA LEND AR [about | to furnish | Arab]

22 Wall in green, at shed (6)
IMMURE - IMM{at}URE [green, "shedding" AT]

23 Graduates gather round old British tree (6)
BAOBAB - BA BA [(two) graduates] "gather round" O [old], + B [British]

25 Show ID to protect old solicitor (5,3)
POINT OUT - PIN [ID] "to protect" O [old], + TOUT [solicitor]

26 Tiny tree, gnarled for yonks (8)
ETERNITY - (TINY TREE*) ["gnarled"]

27 Trainee's heading off for a profitable job (6)
EARNER - {l}EARNER [trainee, with "heading off"]

2 Funny (not the first) thing astronomer looks into (6)
OCULAR - {j}OCULAR [funny, "not the first (letter)"]

3 Church carries on with limited money agreement (11)
CONCURRENCE - CE [church] "carries" ON + CURRENC{y} ["limited" money]

4 Broadcast quiet Mass in appropriate city? (9)
PROGRAMME - P [quiet] + GRAM [mass] in ROME [appropriate city for holding a Mass]

5 Help boy, offering practical experience (5-2)
HANDS-ON - or HAND SON [help | boy]

6 Revolver to go off above soldiers (5)
ROTOR - ROT [to go off] above O.R. [soldiers]

7 Withdraw European books (3)
EBB - E [European] + B B [(two) books]

8 Catch bird interrupting deliveries (8)
OVERHEAR - RHEA [bird] "interrupting" OVER [deliveries]

13 The right doctor assembled emergency room gauge (11)
THERMOMETER - THE R MO MET E.R. [the | right | doctor | assembled | emergency room]

15 Ten men with current force in Brussels turned up, to find eg Henry? (9)
UXORICIDE - X O.R. + I C.I.D. [ten | men (with) current | force] in reversed EU [Brussels]

16 Hotel contributed to rustic game (8)
PHEASANT - H [hotel] "contributed to" PEASANT [rustic]

18 Difficult spot in which to turn left (7)
STROPPY - SPY [spot], in which reversed PORT [left]

19 Actors on tour platoon picked up (6)
TROUPE - homophone of TROOP [platoon]

21 A pal in New York tipping one crude source (5)
DUBAI - reversed A BUD [a | pal in New York] + I [one]. Crude as in oil

24 Drill to polish up (3)
BUR - reversed RUB [polish]
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