astartedon (astartedon) wrote in times_xwd_times,
astartedon
astartedon
times_xwd_times

QC 1485 by Joker

Another easy Monday puzzle. I think the FOI was 1A, and LOI was 5D, but once again, as with the last one I blogged, not because that was the most diffcult clue but just because it happened to be the last one that I came upon in a fairly random hop around the grid. COD was difficult to determine as usual with no particular clue standing out for difficulty so I'll go for the one I found most entertaining, which was 13A. Many thanks to Joker for another entertaining puzzle.

I am blogging this just after getting back from a highly enjoyable weekend at Stratford-on Avon, so I really don't have time to write very much, and my head is still buzzing with the brilliance of the production of King John that I saw on Saturday night. This is one of Shakespeare's least-performed plays and I had never seen it before (although I had read it and enjoyed it and found it difficult to understand why it was not more popular). I am one of those typical bookworms who has always more enjoyed reading Shakespeare than watching it, but last night's performance was outstanding and quite simply one of the best things I have ever seen on the stage. I can highly recommend it if you haven't seen it.

Definitions are underlined and everything else is explained just as I see it in the simplest language I can manage.

Across
1 Inflammation I insist is circulating outside United States (9)
SINUSITIS - anagram of I INSIST ('circulating') 'outside' US (United States).
6 Cost of penny cereal (5)
PRICE - P (penny) + RICE (cereal).
8 Fare collector caught on tube with old queen (9)
CONDUCTOR - C (caught) + ON + DUCT (tube) + O (old) + R (Regina, queen).
9 Indian lute is brought back by sailor (5)
SITAR - SI (IS 'brought back') + TAR (sailor).
10 Discharge from English mother country (9)
EMANATION - E (English) + MA (mother) + NATION (country).
12 Supporting a Mountie, perhaps, with free study (6)
RIDDEN - RID (free) + DEN (study).
13 Another drink could be reason for cancelling football match? (6)
REFILL - if the REF was ILL, might you cancel the football match?
16 Chap tried getting drunk really inexpensively (4-5)
DIRT-CHEAP - straight anagram ('getting drunk') of CHAP TRIED.
18 Some treasure trove appearing from the past (5)
RETRO - hidden word ('some'): treasuRE TROve
19 A box with insipid artificial sweetener (9)
ASPARTAME - A + SPAR (box) + TAME (insipid).
21 Scrap put right in outhouse (5)
SHRED - R (right) 'in' SHED (outhouse).
22 European MP is sent out for vacancy (9)
EMPTINESS - E (European) + MP + anagram ('out') of IS SENT.
Down
1 Hide away in south-eastern Greek island (7)
SECRETE - SE (south-eastern) + CRETE (Greek island).
2 Good for dieters, regularly needed in undoing feasts? (6)
NONFAT - take regular letters from uNdOiNg FeAsTs.
3 Diving apparatus son got on Caribbean island (5)
SCUBA - S (son) + CUBA (Caribbean island).
4 Mostly carry young child (3)
TOT - 'mostly' TOTe (carry).
5 Grip left in odd storage space on ship (12)
STRANGLEHOLD - L (left) 'in' STRANGE (odd) + HOLD (space on ship).
6 Working outraged past student (12)
POSTGRADUATE - straight anagram ('working') of OUTRAGED PAST.
7 Trespasser at home initially turned more disrespectful (8)
INTRUDER - IN (at home) + T ('initially' Turned) + RUDER (more disrespectful).
11 I’m one having volunteers to run copier (8)
IMITATOR - IM (I'm) + I (one) + TA (territorial army - 'volunteers') + TO + R (run).
14 European millions getting iron ruler (7)
EMPRESS - E (European) + M (millions) + PRESS (iron).
15 Staid, sitting down when the last one rises (6)
SEDATE - SEATED (sitting down) with D ('the last one') 'rising' to third place in this down clue.
17 Expression of surprise over soldier’s dog (5)
CORGI - COR (expression of surprise) 'over' (in this down clue) GI (soldier).
20 Narrowly defeat Philip (3)
PIP - double definition: to narrowly defeat ('pip at the post') and a contraction of the male name Philip (as in, for example, Philip Pirrip, the protagonist of Dickens's Great Expectations).
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