brnchn (brnchn) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times Cryptic No 27666 - Saturday, 16 May 2020. The mellow mists of May.

My brain was in a fog, so my solving time was off the chart. Nothing to do with COVID, thankfully! The puzzle wasn’t easy, but I don’t think there’s anything that should frighten the horses once the mist clears. Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle.

Notes for newcomers: The Times offers prizes for Saturday Cryptic Crosswords. This blog is posted a week later, after the competition closes. So, please don’t comment here on the current Saturday Cryptic.

Clues are blue, with definitions underlined. Deletions are in [square brackets].

1 Wobbly teeth about to rot could be thus described? (10)
PRECARIOUS – delightful pun. Dental decay is caries, of course.
6 Writing about one's girl (4)
MISS – MS (manuscript) ‘about’ I’S. First one in.
10 Horse has to be killed? Horse escapes (7)
MUSTANG – the mustang MUST [h]ANG. I liked this too.
11 Talk of some corn in grass (7)
HEARSAY – EARS of corn in HAY.
12 Traveller set off, one showing despair going around (9)
SIGHTSEER – anagram (‘off’) of SET in SIGHER.
13 Agreed about coating tip for fencing in Asia (5)
KENDO – OK ‘about’, ‘coating’ END. It’s a traditional Japanese martial art, which descended from swordsmanship and uses bamboo swords and protective armour.
14 Turner, for one, makes inquiries vocally (5)
PRIZE – sounds like “pries”. The Turner Prize is awarded annually for visual art.
15 Flannel in little time eaten by dog (5,4)
SWEET TALK – WEE T[ime] in STALK. Close to home, this: flannels are among the many things our dog likes to chew!
17 Bird close to warming duck's back (9)
NIGHTHAWK – NIGH (close to), THAW (warming), [duc]K.
20 Claim this used to be a law? (5)
EXACT – an EX ACT, as it were.
21 Part of geranium below flower cluster (5)
UMBEL – hidden.
23 Pass on dirt cut by gutless ecological polluter (6,3)
DIESEL OIL – DIE (pass on), SOIL ‘cut by’ E[cologica]L.
25 Male cat keeps cold in a wind (7)
HELICON – HE (male), LION ‘keeping’ C. That’s ‘wind’ with a long I meaning to coil, not with a short I meaning a breeze, as the context would suggest. One of the setting tricks I always enjoy. On edit: looking up "helicon", I realise it's a wind instrument. So "wind " in the clue would have a short "I".
26 Stand in lounge in awful daze, as Spooner has it (7)
FIREDOG – a DIRE FOG, per Rev. Spooner. We’ve seen this word twice in recent weeks, so it went in quickly.
27 Bank charge brought back after resistance (4)
REEF – FEE ‘brought back’ after R.
28 I'm amazed about key mixer in drink (4,6)
MALT WHISKY – MY (I’m amazed!) around ALT (a key) and WHISK.

1 Felines leading around family members (5)
PUMAS – UP (leading) turned ‘around’, then MAS (mothers, or specific family members). I found this strangely hard to see.
2 Heard you must leave one synagogue, oddly mellow (9)
EASYGOING – anagram (‘oddly’) of I (one) SYNAGOG[u]E. U sounds like ‘you’, so it leaves the anagram.
3 Separately, people stop maintaining temperature in building (9,5)
4 Entrance painter with head of sylph (7)
INGRESS – INGRES (the painter), S[ylph].
5 Throw junk behind junk removed from tips (7)
UNHORSE – HORSE (junk, aka drugs), ‘behind’ [j]UN[k]. A very neat clue!
7 Stock complaint received by popular playwright (5)
IBSEN – see playwright (5), think IBSEN! I slowed myself down by looking for IN---, rather than I---N. BSE is the animal disease (stock complaint).
8 Variety of blue, edible leaves shoot up (9)
9 Following sign, doctor creates her diagnosis of consumption? (6,8)
MARKET RESEARCH – MARK (sign), anagram (‘doctor’) of CREATES HER. Another nicely misleading definition.
14 Detain criminal retailer, a clerical fellow (9)
16 A flipping low number preserve reptiles (9)
ANACONDAS – A, then ‘flip’ SAD (low) + NO (number) + CAN (preserve).
18 Notice and study prosecutor's further words (7)
ADDENDA – AD, DEN, DA. Monkey see, monkey solve?
19 Look over suit — it may have a slimming effect (4-3)
KEEP-FIT – PEEK (look, ‘over’), FIT (suit).
22 Part of Hull for one politician on the rise (5)
BILGE – E.G (for one), LIB (politician) all ‘on the rise’.
24 Tired of starter of lamb — like an omelette? (5)
LEGGY – L[amb], EGGY. I didn’t know this usage of LEGGY, but the wordplay was clear.
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
← Ctrl ← Alt
Ctrl → Alt →
← Ctrl ← Alt
Ctrl → Alt →