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Times Quick Cryptic No 1483 by Tracy

Well I must have been on Tracy’s wavelength today, because I completed this in 7m 4s, which is probably a PB when all parsing is included.  I expect to see some very fast times quoted as a result.  That isn’t to say that this QC is easy!  There is some sticky parsing (2 and 7d), and I think an error in 22a that may cause some hold-ups.  I’d be delighted to be proven wrong on 22a, but I can’t think of any other way to explain it.  Please let me know your thoughts and times.


Across

One expecting Bottom here in play (6-2-2)
MOTHER-TO-BE – Anagram (in play) of [BOTTOM HERE]
Greatly delight church member (5)
CHARM – CH (church) and ARM (member)
9 Tried to, working in a US city (7)
DETROIT – Anagram (working) of [TRIED TO]
10  Later step developed a constituent of gunpowder (9)
SALTPETRE – Anagram (developed) of [LATER STEP].  I think we have had this or a similar clue a couple of times recently.
12 Appearance of couple heading off (3)
AIR – The couple with the heading (first letter) removed is a {p}AIR.
13 Cambridge blue perhaps wore pants on river (5)
ROWER – Anagram (pants) of WORE followed by R{iver}.  Oxford and Cambridge students are awarded their respective ‘blues’ (dark or light respectively) by playing sport for their colleges at the highest level in a specific sport.  Rowing is one of those sports that can lead to the award of full blues.  For more information, google ‘blue university sport’.
15 Start working with group (5)
ONSET – ON (working) and SET (group).
17  Mature and wise?  Not initially (3)
AGE – {s}AGE means wise, but the first letter is dropped (not initially).
18  Reveal love in declaration of intent (9)
MANIFESTO – To MANIFEST something is to reveal it, and this is then followed by O (love) to give the name of the published intentions of all our aspiring political parties at the moment.
20  Stretch of Devon river full of vessels (7)
EXPANSE – The Devon river is the EXE which is full of PANS (vessels).
21  Long tiring walk for vagrant (5)
TRAMP – Double definition
22  Willing retainer?  Mellows, for example (10)
GAMEKEEPER – GAME (willing) and KEEPER (retainer).  Unless I am missing something, I think this is an error in the early edition of the crossword that I solved, which may have been corrected in later versions (I’ll check in the morning).  My interpretation is that this should be referring to Oliver Mellors rather than Mellows.  Oliver Mellors was the GAMEKEEPER in D.H. Lawrence’s novel entitled “Lady Chatterley’s Lover”.  I am unaware of a literary (or otherwise) gamekeeper with the name of Mellows.

Down

Agricultural machine marked spruce badly (12)
MUCKSPREADER – Anagram (badly) of [MARKED SPRUCE]
Follow the man leaving the bar (5)
TRAIL – T{he} (the man, i.e. HE leaving THE) and RAIL (bar).  A little convoluted this, I thought, for a QC.
Wood used by barrel maker (3)
ELM – Hidden inside {barr}EL M{aker}.
Objective of potential lover, until now? (2,4)
TO DATE – A potential lover might desire TO DATE, which also means up until now, so a double definition.
5  Gambler leaving richer (6,3)
BETTER OFF – BETTER (gambler) and OFF (leaving).
6  Gold discovered in extensive marsh (6)
MORASS – OR (gold) inside (discovered in) MASS (extensive).
Soldier’s charge account set up around start of October (5,7)
STORM TROOPER – STORM (charge) and REPORT reversed (set up) outside O{ctober} (start).
11  I pray, forlornly, about sultanate’s burning desire? (9)
PYROMANIA – Anagram (forlornly) of [I PRAY] outside OMAN (Sultanate).
14  Gives birth: wife lends a hand (6)
WHELPS – W{ife} and HELPS (lends a hand).
16  Queen cross over East wing (6)
ANNEXE – ANNE (our Queen in this clue) and X (cross) and finally (over) E{ast}.
19  Note coming from small plucked instrument (5)
SHARP – S{mall} and HARP (plucked instrument).  A SHARP is a note raised a semitone in music.
21  Draw level, right away (3)
TIE – TIE{r} – remove the R (right away) from TIER (level).
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