Some people get all the fun... After the super VE Day Anniversary crossword two weeks ago, today I have the bonus of blogging a crossword from Alfie. Not a prolific setter here (under that pseudonym at least), but every previous crossword he/she has set for us has had some element of alphabetical magic. I wont spoil your fun by describing what I found in today's just yet...
It seemed about average difficulty to me with maybe a surfeit of anagrams, but I didn't mind that. My only problems were a carelessly biffed DRUM ROLL at 11D to start with and wondering how I could make a word starting with PIANO at 23A. I finished in just under 5 1/2 minutes - about average for me. Thank you Alfie! So how did you all get on?
And talking of bonus fun... Many people here have bemoaned the fact that there are no Quick Crosswords in the weekend papers. So, for those who are interested, you can find my modest attempt to fill the gap this weekend with A Quick Crossword by Johninterred. If you follow the link you will find an image of the puzzle plus links to a PDF version to print and an interactive version. There is also a blog explaining the answers. Enjoy (I hope)!
Meanwhile back to today's answers...
Definitions underlined in bold italics, (Abc)* indicating anagram of Abc,
deletions and  other indicators.
|4||Supported — or retreated? (6)|
|BACKED - Double definition|
|7||Greeting school quintet (4-4)|
|HIGH-FIVE - HIGH (school) FIVE (quintet)|
|8||In Cyprus, settlers find apple (6)|
|RUSSET - Hidden in CypRUS SETtlers.|
|9||Link jam, surprisingly, with starter of unappealing spam (4,4)|
|JUNK MAIL - Anagram [surprisingly] of (link jam u
|10||Fish around lake, being at a loose end (4)|
|IDLE - IDE (fish) [around] L (lake).|
|12||Second refusal by old college to provide game (8)|
|MONOPOLY - MO (second; moment) NO (refusal) POLY (old college).|
|15||People giving up, heading from our IQ test, confused (8)|
|QUITTERS - Anagram of (
|18||Right about America’s corrosive influence (4)|
|RUST - RT (right) [about] US (America).|
|20||Fleeing from concoction of methanol (2,3,3)|
|ON THE LAM - [concoction of] (methanol)*. Our third anagram already.|
|22||My French diary recalled an Asian nomad (6)|
|MONGOL - MON (my in french) LOG (diary) reversed [recalled] -> GOL.|
|23||Upright, not upper class, old expert musician (8)|
|VIRTUOSO - VITUO
|24||Flesh mostly to freeze in tight corset (6)|
|BODICE - BOD
|1||Place false statement before head of university (4)|
|LIEU - LIE (false statement) U [head of] university.|
|2||Sake? This can make you most unsteady! (8)|
|SHAKIEST - (Sake This)* [make]. I guess if you drank a lot of sake you might start to stagger.|
|3||Royal Artillery’s turned up in dark to surrender weapons (6)|
|DISARM - RA'S (Royal Artillery'S) [turned up] -> SAR [in] DIM (dark).|
|4||Live at home, outside evacuated regional capital (6)|
|BERLIN - BE (live) IN (at home) [outside] R
|5||Price of firm’s time (4)|
|COST - CO'S (firm's; company's) T (time).|
|6||Gems editor’s penning lamer after revision (8)|
|EMERALDS - ED'S (editor's) outside [penning] (lamer)* [after revision].|
|11||Dilapidated slum door, something beaten alone (4,4)|
|DRUM SOLO - [Dilapidated] (slum door)*.|
|13||Yell, losing head, producing blade (3)|
|14||Took heart from freebie given to European political party (6,2)|
|PERKED UP - PERK (freebie) E (European) DUP (Democratic Unionist Party; political party).|
|16||Gradually develop passion for climbing: very English! (6)|
|EVOLVE - LOVE (passion) reversed [climbing] -> EVOL V (very) E (English).|
|17||Go after sex appeal in heavenly body (6)|
|SATURN - TURN (go) [after] SA (sex appeal).|
|19||Fruit revealed by lifting nail gun (4)|
|UGLI - Hidden [revealed by] [lifting] nail gun -> nUG LIan.|
|21||Heads for America — Palm Springs — enjoying recess (4)|
|APSE - First letters of [Heads of] America Palm Springs Enjoying.|
And now to what I think is hidden in the grid...
I'm not sure I've got this entirely right, but.... Reading through the across clues the answers contain an alphabetical sequence:
4A has the letters ABCD and E
7A has FGH and I
9A has JKLM and N
12A has O and P
15A has QRST and U.
Well 16A has RST and U again and then 23A has the V, but for the W, X, Y and Z you have to read the clues at 23A and 24A... and even there there is no W. I guess there wasn't room for VERY WAXY ZEBRA at the bottom of the grid.
Is there anything I've missed? Still. 3 words containing 5 different consecutive letters in the alphabet and one with 4 all in the same grid, covering almost all of the alphabet in sequence is pretty good going. Thank-you again Alfie for the bonus fun!
Update: Thanks to jabche for pointing it out...
All the across clues in fact contain consecutive letters, so to add to the above:
8A includes RSTU
10A inludes D and E
18A includes RSTU
20A includes LMNO
22A also includes LMNO
23A includes RSTUV
and 24A includes BCDE
Well done Alfie!