jackkt (jackkt) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times Cryptic 27704

Solving time: 36 minutes. This is my 450th blog of 15x15 puzzles - the first having been posted on 23rd November 2007. I remember sweating blood over the early ones but the process became much easier over time as I got used to what I was trying to do and difficulties with presentation and formating were resolved by the introduction of the template script. I'm not sure my solving times have improved a lot since those days but  I don't concern myself too much about that, quoting them mainly for the encouragment of slower solvers who might otherwise feel over-awed when seeing the times posted by our speed merchants. I found today's puzzle quite gentle.

As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions and substitutions are in curly brackets} and [anagrinds, containment, reversal and other indicators in square ones]. I usually omit all reference to positional indicators unless there is a specific point that requires clarification.

1 Only two revolutionaries brutally killed (9)
BUTCHERED : BUT (only), CHE + RED (two revolutionaries)
6 Shining helmet worn by copper travelling west (5)
LUCID : LID (helmet) outside [worn by] CU (copper) reversed [travelling west]. For crossword purposes 'lid' can be a hat or substantial head-covering of any sort.
9 Wanting best position in race run round (7)
ELITISM : SIT (position) contained by [in] MILE (race) all reversed [round]. I'm not sure whether 'run' belongs with 'race' or with 'round' in the parsing, but it really doesn't matter.
10 Shoot dead leaders in rally at Lusaka (7)
LATERAL : LATE (dead), then R{ally} A{t} L{usaka} [leaders]. Collins has this as 'a branch, leaf, or bud that grows out from the side of a stem or trunk' - an offshot in other words.
11 Company lacking trade at the outset in recession (5)
TROOP : POOR (lacking} + T{rade} [at the outset] reversed [in recession]
12 Home to fox, fish and one residing here? (9)
EARTHLING : EARTH (home to fox), LING (fish)
13 Ancient blubber and bone one processed (5)
NIOBE : Anagram [processed] of BONE I (one). In Greek mythology Niobe was a daughter of Tantalus whose children were slain after she boasted of them and although turned into stone she continued to weep. A rare example of anagram where part of the anagrist (the 'I' in this case) has to be deduced from the clue.
14 Serving vessel first in cruel sea about to founder (9)
SAUCEBOAT : Anagram [to founder] of C{ruel} [first] SEA ABOUT
17 Ambitious person has trouble with father over time (9)
CAREERIST : CARE (trouble), then SIRE (father) reversed [over], T (time)
18 Work in Greek island European parliament backed (5)
ILIAD : I (island), then DAIL (European parliament - lower Irish assembly) reversed [backed]
19 Modern home for Englishman in city (9)
NEWCASTLE : NEW (modern), CASTLE (home for Englishman). As in the saying 'An Englishman's home is his castle'.
22 Service in French is for an artist (5)
ERNST : RN (service - Royal Navy) contained by [in]  EST (French 'is')
24 Set aside weapon carried in E-boat? (7)
EARMARK : ARM (weapon) contained by [carried in] E + ARK (boat)
25 Schoolboy is son missed by Baltic citizen (7)
ETONIAN : E{s}TONIAN (Baltic citizen) [son - s - missed]
26 Central idea in article by this compiler (5)
THEME : THE (article), ME (this compiler)
27 Sentimental, recollected losing cat (9)
NOSTALGIC : Anagram [recollected] of LOSING CAT
1 Mariner at the end seen in worst French port (5)
BREST : {marine}R [at the end] contained by [seen in] BEST (worst - defeat)
2 Flag officer supports right one entering service abroad? (9)
TRICOLOUR : R (right) + I (one) + COL (officer) contained by [entering] TOUR (military service abroad)
3 Locks picked by those experiencing scarcity in Barnet? (9)
HAIRPIECE : Cryptic definition with reference to CRS 'Barnet Fair' = hair.
4 Self-destructive character in tale rough-sounding Poles related (15)
RUMPELSTILTSKIN : RUMPEL sounds like [sounding] "rumple" (rough), STILTS (poles), KIN (related). He's a dwarf in a German folktale who aids the king's bride on condition that she give him her first child or guess the dwarf's name. She guesses correctly and in his rage he destroys himself. (Collins)
5 Doctor reunited with slimmer problem due to withdrawal (8,7)
DELIRIUM TREMENS : Anagram [doctor] of REUNITED SLIMMER. Withdrawal from dependence on alcohol or drugs. Also the name of a rather good Belgian beer.
6 Liberal attending religious place that's closer (5)
LATCH : L (liberal), AT (attending), CH (religious place - church)
7 That's amazing soldier in Pembroke for example (5)
CORGI : COR (that's amazing!), GI (soldier). There are two recognised breeds of corgi apparently, Pembroke and Cardigan.
8 An achievement to restrict luminescence over the moon (9)
DELIGHTED : The cryptic version to be read as 'de-lighted'. On edit: I see now that my interpretation of the first bit was too whimsical and something of a stretch; it's more straightforward wordplay - DEED (achievement) containing [to restrict] LIGHT (luminescence). Many thanks to Angus Walker for pointing this out.
13 Century in midday match: result foregone conclusion? (2,7)
NO CONTEST : C (century) contained by [in] NOON (midday), TEST (match)
15 Brew infused with Australian fruit upset writer (5,4)
EMILE ZOLA : ALE (brew) contains [infused with] OZ (Australian) + LIME (fruit), all reversed [upset]
16 Finding position, drop airtight container into region at sea (9)
ORIENTING : TIN (airtight container) contained by [drop...into)  anagram [at sea] of REGION
20 More severe misery to involve vergers in Reims (5)
WORSE : WOE (misery) contains [to involve] R{eim}S [vergers - letters at the edges]
21 In the beginning Adam reported temptation as moderate (5)
ABATE : A{dam} [in the beginning], BATE sounds like [reported] "bait" (temptation)
23 Workers organised to run in short jacket (5)
TUNIC : TU (workers organised - Trades Unions), NIC{k} (run in - arrest) [short]

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