jackkt (jackkt) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times Cryptic 27770

I felt I did quite well to finish this in 31 minutes as there were several unknown words or meanings along the way, but somehow it all came together reasonably easily.

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 Spades have lodged in the ground (4)
SOWN : S (spades), OWN (have)
3 Being spiteful about bridge couple — charming (10)
BEWITCHING : BITCHING (being spiteful) containing [about] EW (bridge couple)
10 Indistinguishable dialect in broadcast (9)
IDENTICAL : Anagram [broadcast] of DIALECT IN
11 Provider of beer that's less fattening (5)
LOCAL : LO-CAL (less fattening- allegedly!). A pub in one's local vicinity.
12 Soviet minister gets second great deal over extracting erbium (7)
MOLOTOV : MO (second), LOT (great deal),  OV{er} [extracting erbium]. Politician and diplomat, his name his remembered widely in connection with a type of improvised incendiary device known as the 'Molotov cocktail', a term invented by the Finns.
13 President's cut, receiving a wound (6)
TRAUMA : TRUMA{n} (president) [cut] containing [receiving] A. The original medical meaning of the term that's now come to mean 'shock'.
15 Lavish volume of drink with large kebab, too, ordered (6-5,4)
COFFEE-TABLE BOOK : COFFEE (drink), anagram [ordered] of L (large) KEBAB TOO
18 Unfortunately, we'd Irish setters who control all we do (3,5,7)
THE WEIRD SISTERS : Anagram [unfortunately] of WE'D IRISH SETTERS. I knew these as The Three Witches in Macbeth because they came up recently.  This from Wiki covers the definition here: The Three Witches, also known as the Weird Sisters or Wayward Sisters, are characters in William Shakespeare's play Macbeth. They hold a striking resemblance to the three Fates of classical mythology, and are perhaps intended as a twisted version of the white-robed incarnations of destiny.
21 Good article about my one hymn (6)
GLORIA : G (good) + A (article) containing [about] LOR (my!) + I (one). 'Lor!' as a variation on the more familiar 'Cor!' = 'My!' is a Bunterism. Gloria in excelsis is a familiar example of a hymn of praise.
23 What holds water in a raised lock, not following English river (7)
AQUIFER : A, QUIF{f} (raised lock - hair) [not following - f], E (English), R (river). A water-bearing stratum of permeable rock. Didn't know this one.
26 Cosmetic used in Madras nowadays (5)
HENNA : Hidden [used] in {c}HENNA{i} (Madras nowadays). Naughty setter giving us an indirect hidden word!
27 Kicks gin to get going (9)
BOOTSTRAP : BOOTS (kicks), TRAP (gin). Collins advises that if you 'bootstrap' an organization or an activity, you set it up or achieve it alone, using very few resources. This was news to me!
28 Have a meal with holiday money (5,5)
BREAK BREAD : BREAK (holiday), BREAD (money)
29 Almost an admission some of us exist for sport (4)
WEAR : WE AR{e} (admission some of us exist) [almost]
1 Earthquake activity exists in half of built-up area (10)
SEISMICITY : IS (exists) contained by [in] SEMI (half), CITY (built-up area). How appropriate, coming one week to the day after my house was shaken to its foundations by the great Leighton Buzzard quake. We had another one early yesterday morning but it was very mild compared with the first. I wondered at the time whether it was an aftershock but it was over in a flash and more like somebody had dropped something heavy nearby so I couldn't be sure, however it was reported by the BBC later in the day.
2 Roll with end of loaf (5)
WHEEL : W (with), HEEL (end of loaf). SOED advises that 'heel' can be the remains or end part of anything, such as the crust of a loaf, the rind of a cheese, etc. More news to me!
4 Miner and former Conservative mostly drinking wine (9)
EXCAVATOR : EX (former) + TOR{y} (Conservative) [mostly] containing [drinking] CAVA (wine)
5 Means of entry during rental period (5)
INLET : IN (during), LET (rental period). Thinking of the coastal feature I wasn't sure about the definition here, but then thought of plumbing, inlet pipe, inlet valve etc which seems a better fit.
6 Picture educational establishment with convict for member (7)
COLLAGE : COL{leg}E (educational establishment) becomes COLLAGE when LAG (convict) replaces 'leg' (member). Replacing three letters in order to change only one of them is a novel idea I think.
7 Trouble means taking in youth with a scooter (9)
INCOMMODE : INCOME (means) containing [taking in] MOD (youth with a scooter). SOED advises:  a mod was a young person, especially in the 1960s, belonging to or associated with a group aiming at stylishness and smart modern dress. Frequently  contrasted with rocker. They rode scooters whilst rockers rode motorbikes.
8 A delay over celebration (4)
GALA : A + LAG (delay) reversed [over]
9 Figure university is in bad condition (6)
STATUE : U (university) contained by [in] STATE (bad condition)
14 New York speciality to grate into curd cheese (10)
SKYSCRAPER : SCRAPE (grate) contained by [into] SKYR (curd cheese - an Icelandic speciality, apparently)
16 100 in clear section of road is perhaps working for many? (9)
FREELANCE : FREE (clear), then C (100) contained by [in] LANE (section of road)
17 Strictly routine is one making others go to work on an egg, severally (5,4)
BOSSA NOVA : BOSS (one making others go to work), AN (a), OVA (egg, severally). The popular TV dancing competition Strictly Come Dancing is often referred to simply as Strictly. Its name is a combination of the film title Strictly Ballroom and the earlier TV ballroom dancing show Come Dancing which ran from 1949 to 1998. 'Severally' because 'ova' is plural of course.
19 Flag with damage carried by European vessel (7)
EARMARK : MAR (damage) contained [carried] by E (European) + ARK (vessel)
20 Put down   drink (6)
SQUASH : Two meanings
22 Slow walker ignoring learner driver's signal (5)
AMBER : AMB{l}ER (slow walker) [ignoring learner - l]. The middle signal on traffic lights.
24 Comedy clubs cutting price of going (5)
FARCE : C (clubs) contained by [cutting] FARE (price of going - travelling)
25 Fish young bear has found hard to eat (4)
CHUB : CUB (young bear) contains [to eat] H (hard)
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