guy_du_sable (guy_du_sable) wrote in times_xwd_times,
guy_du_sable
guy_du_sable
times_xwd_times

Sunday Times Cryptic No 4891, 23 II 2020, by David McLean — It’s apposite day!

Happy Leap Year! I’m glad last month had an extra day, as I needed some time to catch up…

What struck me about this puzzle was that among the generally quite straightforward and succinct definitions were a handful (12, 26, 4, 13…) that did not exactly define the answer, even by example, but rather alluded to an aspect of it. Of course, this is standard operating procedure (“flyer” or “singer” for any old bird, for example). Perhaps what made me think about this kind of definition a little longer in the case of this puzzle is that there is one clue here made up entirely of such a definition, sans any discernible wordplay, and which I cannot in good conscience call a CD; it just seems to somewhat obliquely describe the desired object, lacking any feint, comical or otherwise, at any other sense. (As you may recall, Keriothe abandoned the puzzle two weeks ago because of a clue to which he had a similar reaction.) If there is any part of 7 that is simply too clever for me to see, I am sure some kind soul will let me know below.

I indicate (ragnasam)* like this, and italicize anagrinds in the clues.

ACROSS
 1 Programme cooker, putting rump inside (6)
AGENDA — AG(END)A
 5 Produce box filled with quince at last (6)
CREATE — CR([-quinc]E)ATE
 9 Fruit on elm gone in a storm (4,5)
OGEN MELON — (on elm gone)*
10 Couple one encountered bound for port (4)
ITEM — I + MET<=“bound for port”
11 A servant knocked around by husband again (6)
AFRESH — This kind of thing, sadly, happens far too often… A + H(usband) + SERF<=“knocked around” (On closer investigation, it seems the husband is just standing there…)
12 One needing props to pass the ball and then prevent movement (8)
CROSSBAR — CROSS, “to pass the ball” (football) + BAR, “prevent movement”
14 British force boarding rather quiet puffer (8)
BLOWFISH — B(ritish) + LOW(F)ISH
16 Potentially bad forecast captain rejected (4)
OMEN — NEMO<=“rejected” An omen can augur good or ill, actually—though the adjective “ominous” is always baleful.
18 Two notes can get you a piece of furniture (4)
SOFA — Sounds like a deal! SO + FA
19 Suited work secretary repulsed by spot (8)
APPOSITE — OP (“work”) PA (personal assistant, “secretary”) <=“repulsed” + SITE, “spot”
21 Lark or duck with an internal bill (8)
ESCAPADE — ESCAP(AD)E
22 King tucks into unhealthy-looking croissant? (6)
PASTRY — PAST(R)Y
24 Foreign capital aficionado slowly collects (4)
OSLO — Hidden
26 At sea, aim at land one’s spotted (9)
DALMATIAN — (aim at land)*
27 One who is trying not to eat quickly (6)
FASTER — DD
28 Think highly of events European backed (6)
ESTEEM — MEETS+E <=“backed”

DOWN
 2 Old golf woes diverted blithe companions (11)
GOODFELLOWS — (Old golf woes)*
 3 Relative peace finally found in resort (5)
NIECE — NICE is the French resort town, where [-peac]E is to be found
 4 A jolly church tune in which one finds comfort? (8)
ARMCHAIR — A + RM (“jolly,” for Royal Marine) + CH(urch) + AIR, “tune”—I suppose not all armchairs are very comfy, hence the quirk?
 5 High-flyer right to support Tory party (6)
CONDOR — CON, “Tory” + DO, “party” + R
 6 English Socialist leader admits campaign issues (9)
EMISSIONS — E(MISSION)S
 7 What one might push firmly in before driving? (3)
TEE
 8 Foolishly, bold and cheeky lad going walkabout (13)
BLOCKHEADEDLY — (bold + cheeky lad)*
13 Mole on Ohio pasture that could destroy crops (5,6)
AGENT ORANGE — AGENT, “Mole” + O(hio) + RANGE, “pasture”
15 Do you fancy a fight after whiskey nightcap? (4,5)
WHAT ABOUT — No, it always mellows me out… A BOUT, “a fight,” preceded by W(hiskey, NATO alphabet) + HAT, “nightcap?”
17 Piano track with Snoop on as well as U2? (8)
SPYPLANE — ”Snoop,” SPY, on P(iano) + LANE
20 One who helps to support resistance marauder (6)
RAIDER — R(esistance) + AIDER
23 Penniless family taken in by good person (5)
SKINT — S(KIN)T This was a pretty easy Sunday, I thought, which seems confirmed by this word’s having appeared (with a similar clue) in Wednesday’s QC.
25 Main of steak entrecôte after starters (3)
SEA — First letters
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