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

Times 27,569: Hit Me With Your Tickling Stick

I found this a little bitty, with some quite easy numbers intermingled with strange foreign-isms, including 3dn which is one of the most wilfully obscure clues in recent memory. I did very much enjoy the penny-drop moment of the cryptic def at 11dn and the cameo by Mussolini, who I learned in a quiz I was hosting only last night, tried to get Italians to switch from pasta to rice, to stop importation of expensive foreign semolina flour. The monster. Where else but crosswords would Il Duce rub shoulders with Doddy, too?

Just booked my tickets for the 43rd Annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in Stamford CT at the end of March. If you're on that side of the USA around then, you should definitely drop by?

1 Just when pearl of wisdom can be testing? (8)
ASSAYING - AS SAYING [just when | pearl of wisdom]

6 Seabird leaving home has little hesitation to get fish (6)
PUFFER - PUFF{in} has ER

9 Attack from the rear to capture a Pacific island (4)
GUAM - reversed MUG to "capture" A

10 Shout with pain, with heart maybe leading to caution in game (6,4)
YELLOW CARD - YELL OW [shout with pain], with CARD [heart maybe]

11 Superior one joining up with four others (5,5)
GREAT LAKES - cryptic def, the four others being Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario.

13 Mood of small son confronting ’umungous lout? (4)
SULK - S confronting 'ULK. My FOI.

14 Turn of old French actor performing after end of war (8)
ROTATION - O TATI ON [old | French actor (Jacques) | performing], after {wa}R

16 Something very cold about lord close to you, dictator (2,4)
IL DUCE - ICE [something very cold] about LD + {yo}U

18 Once in a blue moon, old master goes wrong, turning out bad art (6)
SELDOM - (OLD MASTER*) ["goes wrong"], evicting (ART*) ["bad"]

20 Light piece of verse that facilitates communication (8)
LANDLINE - LAND LINE [light | piece of verse]

22 Acknowledge hospital is having trouble (4)
HAIL - H + AIL [trouble]

24 One addict, I fancy, could show this (10)
DEDICATION - (ONE ADDICT I*) ["fancy'], semi-&lit

26 Have nothing to do with hermit-style holiday? (5,5)
LEAVE ALONE - or, if you take your LEAVE ALONE, you are doing it hermit-style.

28 Abdomen, soft little protuberance (4)

29 Load of church silver, holy books missing (6)

30 The old man's entertaining celebrity baddies (8)
DASTARDS - DAD's "entertaining" STAR

2 Starting point for endeavour in which maybe four succeeded, reportedly? (6,3)
SQUARE ONE - a square obviously has four sides but beyond that I don't really see how it's "maybe four". ONE though it certainly a homophone for WON.

3 Game leader departing with a word of appreciation in Asian city, once (4-3)
ALMA-ATA - {h}ALMA + A TA. This is the former name for Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan. A defunct name for an obscure (apologies Kazakhs) foreign place being clued with reference to an obscure old game? Almost needless to say, my LOI.

4 Group of jolly dimwits set up a happy scene (5)
IDYLL - hidden reversed in {jo}LLY DI{mwits}

5 Superior-sounding female set (3)
GEL - double def, of two homographs that are by no means homophones.

6 Put on airs ridiculously, like a French author (9)
PROUSTIAN - (PUT ON AIRS*) ["ridiculously"]

7 United around military leader and single-minded (7)
FOCUSED - FUSED around OC [Officer Commanding/Officer in Charge]

8 Register of leaderless soldiers with inadequate function (5)
ENROL - {m}EN + ROL{e}

12 Fired-up type, source of illumination (7)

15 This writer's means of communicating with article heartlessly direct (9)
IMMEDIATE - I'M [this writer's] + MEDIA [means of communicating] + T{h}E [article, "heartlessly"]

17 Criminal, in my opinion, had finally obeyed the law? (9)

19 Heading north, attacked to achieve rescue (7)
DELIVER - upside down REVILED [attacked]

21 Girl seeing bird, one in meadow (7)

23 Leading character abroad captured by female photographer (5)
ALEPH - hidden in {fem}ALE PH{otographer}

25 Game with boxes, present finally emerging (5)
CHESS - CHES{t}S, removing the last letter of {presen}T

27 Funny comedian ignoring the first of three daughters (3)
ODD - Ken {d}ODD, minus the first of his 3 D's. Was Doddy funny or odd? Feel free to debate below the line.
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