Zabadak (z8b8d8k) wrote in times_xwd_times,
Zabadak
z8b8d8k
times_xwd_times

27670 Thursday, 21 May 2020 Kill'd i' the Capitol

I’m not sure whether I found this tricky because it is, or because I was tackling it after a long and unusually busy day. You will see that there were several clues which I only really worked out after submission: perfectly fair but not very yielding. There’s no “hidden” clue today, reversed, alternate letters or otherwise, to provide light relief. It didn’t help that 1ac, so often the key to getting started, has at least one perfectly plausible alternative, or that the innocuous four letters at 20ac look as if they could be almost anything.
I will, as I often do, rashly suggest that the vocab lacks obscurity, which only really means that I know the words and the allusions. Unless you count one element’s abbreviation, there’s no Science, no Sports, and lots of Arts.
I have to give my CoD to the pre-flood operation.
The rest of my comments, with clues, definitions and SOLUTIONS, are…
[...here]

Across

1 Put out pole with end disappearing in river (6)
DEPOSE So not EXPOSE, then, which was my first (reasonable) try, but the same wordplay, a POST without its end in the river DEE
4 Stout knocked back with cheese? That's the stuff! (7)
TAFFETA Stout is FAT and the cheese is FETA. The first is “knocked back”
9 Inclined to be mendacious (5)
LYING Two definitions, with “to be” merely filling the hole between them. For lie as incline, Chamber has “lean”. Leaning: inclined is close enough
10 Royal house near castle mostly dilapidated (9)
LANCASTER The red rose faction in the Wars of the Roses, providing three kings: Henry IV (both parts), Henry V and Henry VI. Most of NEAR CASTLe is in anagram form, “dilapidated”
11 One with negative response wins against a second person, right? (9)
GAINSAYER A confection of wins: GAINS plus A plus second person: YE plus R(ight)
12 One of Caesar's last words, the beast! (5)
BRUTE According to the bard, Caesar’s last words were “Et tu Brute? Then fall Caesar!” Pick out the one that means beast. Shakespeare was displaying a knowledge of Latin and punning, but not history, which records Caesar either dying wordlessly or speaking Greek, καὶ σύ, τέκνον, “and you, son?”. Brute is the vocative case of Brutus, foremost amongst the assassins.
13 Country became backward, finishing with nothing (4)
TOGO Useful that Togo appeared just yesterday as a contributor to Bogota. Here, in its own right, it’s represented by became: GOT backwards plus O, nothing
14 Special gear enthusiast brought to plant, having crossed yard (5,5)
FANCY DRESS The enthusiast is FAN, the plant is the unassuming CRESS, and Y(ar)D provides the filling that it “crosses”
18 Using a tool to shift support across hole (10)
SHOVELLING I think this is support: SLING “across” (same idea as above) HOVEL for hole, as in a miserable place to dwell.
20 Inadequate side dish (4)
FLAN Inadequate is simply saying the word doesn’t reach its end, the word being FLANK. I’m guessing this is a good place to find today’s pink squares
23 Ending in jail, I am afraid of getting no answer — am I there for ever? (5)
LIFER An &litish sort of clue. Ending in jail is, of course, L, I am afraid of is I FEAR from which you take the A(nswer)
24 A rescue organised outside very quiet capital (5-4)
UPPER CASE Hands up all those who wasted time going though the Big Boys Book of Capital Cities, or the Even Bigger Boys Book of Currencies, before accepting the shift key version. An anagram (organised) of A RESCUE surrounding PP for music’s very quiet
25 Cold girl getting degree, the heartless student you study with (9)
CLASSMATE Perhaps I’d best not say who this reminds me of, in case she does crosswords. C(old) girl: LASS gets an MA degree and ThE heartless. Great surface
26 Material in bathroom in short supply? (5)
TOILE Much simpler than I thought. The euphemistic bathroom gives TOILET, which is supplied short
27 Cuts of meat go bad aboard ship (7)
SADDLES ADDLE is go bad, and is placed “aboard” SS for ship
28 A ceremony rendered by speaker correctly (6)
ARIGHT  Today’s first homophone, (“rendered by speaker”) of A RITE for a ceremony

Down
1 Representatives providing instruction to get rid of barriers (9)
DELEGATES A version of delete used in proofreading and conventionally represented by δ, DELE precedes GATES for barriers. I only worked this out post solve.
2 Mostly professional gang in pre-flood operation? (7)
PAIRING References Noah’s preparation for the deluge by organising animals (except the ones he was going to eat) in twos. A professional gang would be a PAID RING, but you only need most of the PAID bit. A long time dawning for me
3 Most wise and godly person having a long time inside (6)
SAGEST Our godly person (Noah again?) is a S(ain)T, enclosing AGES for a long time
4 A number of men giving voice in concert (5)
TENOR Of which select group I are one. We have a random number, TEN, plus the O(ther) R(anks) men. Time lost here
wondering why I wasn’t looking for a plural
5 Lorries in boring county (8)
FLATBEDS Possibly rude, and certainly inaccurate, with respect to Bedfordshire: happy days watching the gliders for Dunstable Downs, or on the White Lion slopes of Whipsnade.
6 Go mad in hospital department building in need of oxygen (7)
ENTHUSE The hospital department is almost always ENT (ear, nose and throat if you never knew) and the building is a HOUSE for which the O(xygen) is removed
7 A weird roofless home for bird in US (5)
AERIE The UK spelling being normally EYRIE. EERIE for weird loses its “roof” and is appended to the A
8 Mess about before social event or cooperate? (4,4)
PLAY BALL I got the PLAY for mess about a long time before deciding that the social event was a BALL, not helped much by reading cooperate as corporate
15 Covers food in tin with ordinary salt (8)
CANOPIES Another unparsed before submission, but I think the tin CAN is with OS for ordinary Seaman/salt covering PIE as a representative food
16 Most genuine from the time of leading others (9)
SINCEREST from the time: SINCE, others: REST
17 Gentleman with power rising in authentic act of revenge (8)
REPRISAL Gentleman: SIR with P(ower) rises inside authentic: REAL
19 Discourteous old worker squashing females (7)
OFFHAND O(ld) worker: HAND “squashing” two F(emale)s. Probably risks prosecution
21 Top man in his field, perhaps, spouting? (7)
LEAKING The field is a LEA, and the top man in it is the LEA KING
22 To roar out? That could suit me (6)
ORATOR An anagram (out) that doesn’t look as if is could be, of TO ROAR
23 Needs to be casual in speech (5)
LACKS Our second homophone (in speech) of LAX
24 Mountains in pictures, miles away (5)
URALS The mountains in this case are pictures: MURALS without the M(iles)
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