rolytoly (rolytoly) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times Quick Cryptic No 1648 by Trelawney

I can't remember the last time I crept in under the 5 minute mark so I'd put this right at the gentle end of things. I don't really keep track of the setters' various difficulty levels but this certainly tallies with Jack's table the other day - there was a range of views regarding the tougher puzzles, so I'll be interested to see if there's more of a consensus when it comes to an easier one. Anyway, if I have a general stumbling block it's a tendency to sit staring blankly at the last clue, but I was spared that possibility by my LOI (15d) being almost the same as a clue yesterday. Many thanks to Trelawney!

1 A desire to burn borders of pretty country (9)
PYROMANIA - PY ("borders" of PrettY) ROMANIA (country)
6 Style of music found in Saskatchewan (3)
SKA - "found in" saSKAtchewan
8 Deduce nitric oxide produces large fire (7)
INFERNO - INFER (deduce) NO (Nitric Oxide)
9 Stealing a broadsheet newspaper? (5)
THEFT - The FT (broadsheet newspaper)
10 Agitator beginning to tire Russian coin producer? (12)
TROUBLEMAKER - T ("beginning" to Tire) ROUBLE (Russian coin) MAKER (producer)
12 Crazy to consume energy drink made from honey (4)
MEAD - MAD (crazy) to consume E(nergy)
13 Course change is reversed (4)
TIDE - EDIT (change) reversed
17 Can't Tenerife change surfing destination? (8,4)
INTERNET CAFE - anagram (change) of CANT TENERIFE - as in surfing the web. A few years ago I had the joy of wandering around central Madrid looking in vain for an internet cafe. It was after a wedding all-nighter, my phone was dead and I couldn't remember the name of my hotel, much less where it was. I also found it a surprisingly hard concept to mime the few times I tried to ask someone if they knew of one. A couple of passing fellow guests saw me sitting in a square in the midday sun and came to say hello, otherwise I'm not quite sure what I'd have done.
20 Cockney friend's crockery (5)
CHINA - double definition: CHINA PLATE = rhyming slang for MATE (friend)
21 Predate horribly tedious bureaucracy (3,4)
RED TAPE - anagram (horribly) of PREDATE
23 Lady's petition (3)
SUE - double definition
24 Drink with dark beer fan (9)
SUPPORTER - SUP (drink) with PORTER (dark beer)

1 Self-righteous person parking oddly (4)
PRIG - P a R k I n G "oddly"
2 Official character witness (7)
REFEREE - double definition
3 Spoil sheep that's upset (3)
MAR - RAM (sheep) upset = reverse.
4 Improvise a bit of food (6)
NOODLE - double definition. I wasn't aware of the first: originally a jazz term for improvising, now used more broadly.
5 Gold cat with a twitch that's involuntary (9)
AUTOMATIC - Au (gold) TOM (cat) with A TIC (a twitch)
6 Smooth top of scaly vegetable (5)
SLEEK - S ("top" of Scaly) LEEK (vegetable)
7 A second bird at the back of the ship (6)
ASTERN - A S(econd) TERN (bird)
11 Dress up an untidy tunnel (9)
UNDERPASS - anagram (untidy) of DRESS UP AN
14 Obstinate doctor fainted (7)
DEFIANT - anagram (doctor) of FAINTED
15 Talk about unfinished piece of sports equipment (6)
DISCUS - DISCUSS (talk about), unfinished = dock the last letter.
16 Go off on one extremely large excursion (3,3)
LET RIP - LE ("extremely" LeT) TRIP (excursion)
18 Stumble on last bit of vile rubbish (5)
TRIPE - TRIP (stumble) on E (last bit of vilE)
19 Tolerate ecstasy in drinking establishment (4)
BEAR - E(cstasy) in BAR (drinking establishment)
22 Somewhat assiduous pair of people (3)
DUO - "somewhat" assiDUOus
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