brnchn (brnchn) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times Cryptic No 27696 - Saturday, 20 June 2020. Fast start.

This looked for a while like an opportunity for a personal best. I wrote in clue after clue … then, two-thirds of the way through, I hit the wall. How do you all go? My only gripe is the obscure 4dn, where I couldn’t tell from the wordplay whether the unchecked second letter was an A or an E. 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 {curly brackets}.
1 Place name to mark round mount (7)
TOPONYM – TO (from the clue), M (mark), round PONY.
5 Restriction on movement of dog— nowhere near common (6)
CURFEW – CUR (dog), FEW (nowhere near common).
8 Get one who’s in debt taking in new man of property (9)
LANDOWNER – LAND (get), OWER (one in debt) ‘taking in’ N (new).
9 Chest covered by father’s jacket (5)
PARKA – ARK ‘covered by’ PA.
11 Composer’s right to abandon humorous work (5)
12 Having gone without can? (9)
ABSTINENT – ABSENT ‘without’ (i.e. outside) TIN. The whole clue is wordplay, the last word is not part of the definition. On edit: I think isla3 is right; "can", as in "beer can", is indeed part of the definition too.
13 Put in water and gently boiled after a delay of seconds (8)
IMMERSED – SIMMERED with the S delayed.
15 Did cure set lad in order? (6)
SALTED – anagram (‘in order’) of SET LAD. Wikipedia assures me you cure meat by salting it.
17 Torturer is beginning to tremble after feeling sorrow (6)
SADIST – SAD (feeling sorrow), IS (from the clue), T{remble}.
19 Note worn-out spirits or low spirits (8)
DOLDRUMS – D (musical note), OLD (worn-out), RUMS (spirits).
22 Uluru’s place: rock as a ritual (9)
AUSTRALIA – anagram (‘rock’) of AS A RITUAL.
23 Copy three notes (5)
MIMIC – MI (a musical note), MI again, and C.
24 Kindle returned some week overdue (5)
EVOKE – backwards hidden answer (‘returned’, ‘some’).
25 What’s about to be planted in pot with a tropical tree (9)
JACARANDA – CA (about) ‘planted in’ JAR (pot), AND (with), A (from the clue).
26 Stupid person in school is a pain (6)
27 Canal Street clubs won’t open to admit unknown investigator (7)
ANALYST – {c}ANAL, ST{reet}, with Y (unknown) ‘admitted’. The C on CANAL is the ‘clubs’ that ‘won’t open’ it.

1 Splash article around some very elevated rival mastheads here? (4,5,4)
TALL SHIPS’ RACE – anagram (‘around’) of SPLASH ARTICLE.
2 Around north-east, rebuilding M1 put lots of cones here (7)
PINETUM – anagram (‘rebuilding’) NE MI PUT. I was unsure whether this was a real word or a furphy, but at least it looked a bit like ARBORETUM.
3 Somebody unimportant — or the chief? (2-3)
NO-ONEDiary of a Nobody? Or, the No. One Boss Man? A double definition, in other words.
4 Crew ate gutted eastern fish (8)
MENHADEN – MEN (crew), HAD (ate), E{aster}N. I harrumphed at this unknown answer because ‘to crew’ as opposed to ‘the crew’ would make it MANHADEN instead. I had to look it up.
5 Worries over small pet (6)
CARESS – CARES ‘over’ S{mall}.
6 Reprove about stiffly formal, logical operation (9)
REPRIMAND – RE (about), PRIM, AND (AND is an operator in Boolean algebra, a form of mathematical/computer logic)
7 Very serious sign of what is to come (7)
EARNEST – double definition.
10 Bad accident with stain that won’t dry (13)
14 Again appearing divided about good trick set up (9)
RESURGENT – RENT (divided) about G RUSE backwards.
16 Italian food free of charge on account, I note (8)
FOCACCIA – F.O.C (free of charge), ACC. (one of several abbreviations for account), I, A (musical note).
18 Misrepresent sordid gossip about thug’s head found in well (7)
DISTORT – double nesting: DIRT (sordid gossip) around SO (well) around T (thug’s head).
20 Armed criminal with no good lady, heartless like a female? (7)
UNMANLY – {g}UNMAN (armed criminal), L{ad}Y. The definition is tongue-in-cheek, hence the question mark.
21 High priest takes pilgrimage up for prophet (6)
ELIJAH – ELI, HAJ backwards.
23 Yacht haven keeping out November seas (5)
MARIA – MARI{n}A:  lunar ‘sea’ is a MARE, plural MARIA. I guessed it was something like that, and put it in on faith, then looked it up for your blog.

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