william_j_s (william_j_s) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times Quick Cryptic 1547 by Orpheus

These are quite devious clues in which several parts have been handpicked for their ambiguity. This made for a tricky but ultimately satisfying solve. There are also some minor obscurities, but these are balanced by eminantly gettable wordplay.

A pleasant stroll up and back down the garden path.

Definitions underlined.

1 Instrument of torture little Tom’s gang used (10)
THUMBSCREW - THUMB'S (little Tom's) and CREW (gang).
8 Mean woman in bad temper, blowing top? (7)
AVERAGE - VERA (woman) surrounded by (in) rAGE (bad temper) missing its first letter (blowing top).
9 Cap soldiers had at Kitchener’s offensive, initially? (5)
SHAKO - first letter from (initially) Soldiers Had... etc. Thank goodness this was clued transparently; had this been a straight definitional crossword I would have had no chance.
10 Take a dekko — and see all right (4)
LOOK - LO (see) and OK (all right). Likewise; NHO.
11 Asian joke involving a retired nurse once (8)
JAPANESE - JAPE (joke) containing (involving) A and a reversal of (retired) SEN (State Enrolled Nurse, nurse once). If it's your first time seeing this acronym, you have my sympathies. Nurse may also clue just EN or SRN/RN ((State) Registered Nurse).
13 Labrador, say, starts to gobble grub outside peacekeepers’ party? (6)
GUNDOG - first letters from (starts to) Gobble and Grub containing (outside) 'UN DO' (peacekeeper's party).
14 Drunk beginning to braise game (6)
BLOTTO - first letter of (beginning to) Braise, then LOTTO (game).
17 A teacher receiving US vocalist in Oxon town (8)
ABINGDON - A and DON (teacher) containing (receiving) BING (Crosby, US vocalist).
19 Some of them market a 19th-century novel (4)
EMMA - hidden in (some of) thEM MArket.
21 Company absorbing revolutionary statement of belief (5)
CREDO - CO (company) containing (absorbing) RED (revolutionary).
22 Skill of old wife employed in section of media (7)
PROWESS - O (old) and W (wife) inside (employed in) PRESS (section of media).
23 Unusually hot steam starts to ruin this temperature regulator (10)
THERMOSTAT - anagram of (unusually) HOT STEAM with the first letters of (starts to) Ruin and This.

2 Worked in garden before private dance (7)
HOEDOWN - HOED (worked in garden) with OWN (private). This didn't quite click at the time, but 'my own...X'  / 'my private...X' works fine.
3 Man turned up, crossing a defensive ditch (4)
MOAT - TOM (man) reversed (turned up) and surrounding (crossing) A.
4 Playground amenity was set up by diocese (6)
SEESAW - WAS reversed (set up) then SEE (diocese).
5 Mischievous like Charlie, disrupting mass meeting (8)
RASCALLY - AS (like) and C (charlie) contained by (disrupting) RALLY (mass meeting).
6 Texture of fabric you and I have spoken of (5)
WEAVE - sounds like (spoken of) "we've" (you and I have).
7 Happen to arrive at route through mountains (4,2,4)
COME TO PASS - COME TO (to arrive at) and PASS (route through mountains).
8 Loyalty for example accepted by coalition (10)
ALLEGIANCE - EG (for example) inside (accepted by) ALLIANCE (coalition).
12 Predatory mammal some go on about? (8)
MONGOOSE - anagram of (about) SOME GO ON.
15 Tone down a painting technique (7)
TEMPERA - TEMPER (tone down) and A.
16 Ornamental bobble a couple of dogs required (6)
POMPOM - repetition of (a couple of... required) POM (pomeranian, breed of dog).
18 Clumsy writer held up by computer technology (5)
INEPT - PEN (writer) reversed and inside (held up by) I.T. (computer technology).
20 Disadvantage the Spanish suffered originally (4)
LOSS - LOS ('the' in Spanish) plus the first letter of (originally) Suffered.
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