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

Times 27,551: Cor Blimey Luv A Duck

A very enjoyable, demotic-heavy puzzle that I didn't find *too* hard thanks to a high biffability factor, but was by no means too mimsy for its Friday slot. My favourite clue was 23dn - where do you think I first learned of the allure of a black top hat? - especially as it didn't yield up its gleaming silver penny too quickly.

I've expatiated more than usual in the clue-parsings so I'll keep the preamble brief for once! My thanks to the setter for a great Bertrand (if I may be permitted to coin a CRS?)

1 On which knives may be drawn in both Lancashire and Yorkshire? (11)
CHEESEBOARD - we begin with a cryptic def, nothing to do with the Wars of the Roses, Lancashire and Yorkshire here being two types of cheese, succumbing to the diner's eager cuts.

7 Pulse of boy after being knocked over (3)
DAL - LAD reversed. My FOI.

9 Lug case left by old president (5-4)
SHELL-LIKE. SHELL L by IKE [case | left | old president]. "A word in your shell-like", as our American friends probably have never heard anyone say.

10 Loot regularly hidden by idiot Egyptian resident? (5)
NILOT - L{o}O{t} "hidden" by NIT

11 Contribution towards ultra-cheap passage (7)
TRACHEA - hidden in {ul}TRA-CHEA{p}

12 Poor Muslim is on diesel — hospital needed (7)
DERVISH - IS on DERV, with an added H. Do all dervishes have to whirl or is that just an option for them?

13 Secret initially suppressed in public (5)
OVERT - {c}OVERT with its block knocked off.

15 Persistent girl stuffing shelled crustacean (9)
OBSTINATE - TINA "stuffing" {l}OBSTE{r}, which is a nice wordplay spot by the setter.

17 £25 includes charges for returning minute new handle? (9)
PSEUDONYM - PONY [twenty-five nicker] "includes" reversed DUES [charges] + M

19 Board’s strategy number eleven? (5)
PLANK - ENID, the other other day, left me wise to this clue's game. "PLAN K" would be strategy number eleven in an alphabetised list, and probably rubbish, if it came From Outer Space.

20 Regulars in shore leave getting blotto in port (2,5)
LE HAVRE - ({s}H{o}R{e} LEAVE*) ["getting blotto"]

22 Bound dictionary with half-ruined contents (7)
OBLIGED - OED [dictionary] "containing" BLIG{hted}. LOI, on a prayer, as I didn't see how BLIG was half-ruined until just now, in fact.

24 Senior Cockney grabbed that girl (5)
ELDER - or 'ELD 'ER, back in Laandon Taan.

25 Upped sticks in ground by unopened house (9)
EMIGRATED - GRATED [ground] by {s}EMI

27 Pooh’s chum moving his tail down (3)
LOW - I think of Pooh's chum as WOL but in fact it is OWL who must move his "tail" to make a word for what Eeyore usually is. Confusing!

28 Girls gee you up flagrantly (11)

1 A function that begins explanation informally? (3)
COS - as in COSINE, double def with 'COS as in BECAUSE.

2 Servants in attendance extremely upset, as behind procedure? (5)
ENEMA - MEN [servants] in A{ttendanc}E, the whole reverse. A procedure enacted upon one's bum, posterior or derriere.

3 Kind husband has brooded about one coming down on the head at Eton once? (4,3)
SILK HAT - ILK H [kind | husband] has SAT [brooded] "about". The toffs are back in power for the foreseeable, I hear, so it's silk hats all round I guess. My icon cannot help but approve.

4 Musical gear having trouble within a short radius? (9)
BRIGADOON - RIG + ADO [gear | trouble] within BON{e}. Again this had to be the answer, but I only just worked out that it was a bony radius I was looking for; my initial sluggish thought process only extended as far as BOUND, to which BON{d} was probably close enough.

5 Correct interpretation of noon? (5)
AMEND - noon is, pun-tastically, A.M. END (and P.M. START)

6 Old coins from revolutionary republic found in improvised explosive device (7)
DENARII - IRAN [republic] found in IED, the whole reversed. But you didn't really need to bother working any of that out given the crossers and the "old coins" definition.

7 First Buddhist artist to capture a creature, reportedly (5,4)
DALAI LAMA - DALI [artist] "to capture" A, + homophone of LLAMA in some pronunciations.

8 Minor issue not admitted during working hours (8,3)
LATCHKEY KID - a nice cryptic def. Latchkey kids have to let themselves in while the 'rents are at work.

11 Promote lie when spinning large media illusion (6-5)
TROMPE-L'OEIL - (PROMOTE LIE*) ["spinning"] + L. I'm listening to the Pixies album Trompe le Monde right now in this clue's honour.

14 War paint certainly used in English borders — a form of woad (3,6)
EYE SHADOW - YES [certainly], "bordered" by E{nglis}H + (WOAD*) ["a form of..."]. I didn't bother to parse this when I saw the first word must be E_E, frankly.

16 Gossiping fool with zero vitality (9)
SHMOOZING - SHMO + O ZING [fool | zero | vitality]. I feel like I might have seen a clue very like this one recently? It would have been harder if I hadn't, especially as I would spell both SCHMOOZE and SCHMO with a "C" personally.

18 Differ over making unlimited contribution to sad song (7)
DIVERGE - {o}VE{r} "contributing" to DIRGE

19 Port or beer in school dance with a twist at the end (7)
PALERMO - ALE [beer] in PROM [school dance], but "twisted at the end" into PRMO.

21 King Edward fencing short, timid eastern ruler (5)
EMEER - ER [King Edward] "fencing" MEE{k} ["short" timid]. Not a word you see often, except in crosswords, where it should spring to mind quite readily with a bit of experience.

23 Mum has to dress up some gloomy youth? (5)
GOTHS - SH + TOG [mum | to dress], all reversed. My early-90s self feels personally attacked by this clue.

26 Tory hard-liner is dirty, having lost it after split (3)
DRY - D{i}R{t}Y, losing IT, but non-consecutively. As opposed to WETS, who will presumably have been purged along with the non-silk hats now that Bostin Boris reigns supreme!
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