johninterred (johninterred) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times Quick Cryptic No 1549 by Pedro

A nice quick crossword to end the week from Pedro. One or two tricky bits of wordplay, I think, but I readily got several answers from the definitions first and then worked out the wordplay. All done and dusted for me in under 5 minutes. We've got a few examples of the need to "lift and separate" today (23A, 7D and 14D), where you need to avoid the misdirection to find the definition by splitting a combination of words. As someone said in a comment on one of the 15x15 blogs earlier in the week where they were bamboozled by the setter like this, "Redoubling my resolve to read each clue as a succession of single words as a result." My LOI was 14D, which was one of them. The clues I liked most were 23A  and 4D. Lovely-jubbly stuff. Thanks Pedro. How did everyone else like it?

Definitions underlined in bold italics, (Abc)* indicating anagram of Abc, deletions and [] other indicators.

1 Article amongst electrics is going into decline (9)
WITHERING - THE (article) [amongst] WIRING (electrics).
6 Fool girl, losing pound (3)
ASS - lASS (girl) [losing] the L (pound).
8 Smallest musical note presented with hesitation (7)
MINIMUM - MINIM (musical note = 2 crotchets or half a semi-breve) [presented with] UM (hesitation).
9 Guide our group, leading that woman (5)
USHER - US (our group) in front of [leading] HER (that woman).
10 Elated with care, in a bed, though not thinking clearly (6-6)
ABSENT-MINDED - SENT (elated) [with] MIND (care) [in] A BED.
12 Celebration if taken over by French is awesome at the outset (6)
FIESTA - IF reversed [taken over] -> FI [by] EST (French is) and first letter of Awesome [at the outset].
13 Turn up with line about power or force (6)
COMPEL - COME (turn up) [with] L (line) outside [about] P (power).
16 Break that’s rough on ministries (12)
INTERMISSION - [rough] (on ministeries)*.
19 A scoundrel returned to snatch one crown (5)
TIARA - A RAT (scoundrel) [returned] -> TARA outside [to snatch] I (one).
20 I see GB in disarray and English beset with hostile forces (7)
BESIEGE - (I see GB)* [in disarray] [and] E (English).
22 Amount of light ready on odd occasions (3)
RAY - Alternate letters of ReAdY [on odd occasions].
23 Susan cries out, dropping end of blue flower (9)
NARCISSUS - Not a blue flower, ha ha. Were you thinking "Nile" too? Anagram of  (Susan cries)* [out] after removing [dropping] the last letter [end of] bluE.
1 Women’s group taking on politician, a weak fellow (4)
WIMP - W.I. (Women's Institute; women's group) [taking on] MP (politician).
2 A number competent? That’s credible (7)
TENABLE - TEN (a number) ABLE (competent).
3 Man upset after chopping a tree (3)
ELM - MaLE (man) [chopping] the "a" -> MLE. Reverse from down to up [upset] -> ELM.
4 I’m at rear of Barlinnie, welcoming new prisoner (6)
INMATE - IM AT [rear of] BarlinniE [welcoming] N (new). HMP Barlinnie is the largest prison in Scotland. Nice surface.
5 A lot of stuff, I sense, can be sticky (9)
GLUTINOUS - GLUT (A lot of stuff) I NOUS (sense).
6 A plant initially concealed a plant pest (5)
APHID - A Plant [initially] HID (concealed).
7 Good man with rustic source of lemon dessert (7)
STRUDEL - Not a lemon dessert. Ha ha again. ST (saint; good man) [with] RUDE (rustic) and first letter of [source of] Lemon.
11 Please record “thank you” at home (9)
ENTERTAIN - ENTER (record, as in a journal) TA (thank you) IN (at home).
12 Waste fried food (7)
FRITTER - Double definition.
14 In favour of saints supporting church operation (7)
PROCESS - Not "church operation". PRO (in favour of) SS (saints) after [supporting] C.E. (Church of England; church). My last one in.
15 Row involving Dr Wood (6)
TIMBER - TIER (row) outside [involving] MB (bachelor of medicine; doctor).
17 Sycophant now putting article higher (5)
TOADY - Take TODAY (now) and move the A up one letter [putting article higher] -> TOADY.
18 Confusion where soldiers eat (4)
MESS - Double definition..
21 Go downhill: avoid losing pressure (3)
SKI - SKIp (avoid) without the [losing] P (pressure).
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