jackkt (jackkt) wrote in times_xwd_times,
jackkt
jackkt
times_xwd_times

Times Cryptic 27782

My solving time was off the scale but somewhere in the region of 80 minutes as I lacked some of the required GK. I expect our aspiring champions will have sailed through it but I shall be more interested to find out how others got on, and whether it was just me having a bad day? I had a few quibbles along the way which I shall mention below.

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.

Across
1 Picture of Carol at home, repeatedly plugged by the artist (6,2,3,4)
SINGIN IN THE RAIN : SING (carol), IN+IN  +IN (at home, repeatedly) containing [plugged by] THE + RA (artist). The song first appeared in the late 1920's and pre-dates the movie by at least 23 years.
9 Doctor who's bad with old x-ray: do ring practice! (6-3)
SHADOW-BOX : Anagram [doctor] of WHO'S BAD,  then O (old), X (x-ray - NATO alphabet - something I forgot myself last week!). I think we have a problem with grammar here because 'ring practice' is a nounal whereas the answer is a verb. To fit with 'ring practice' the answer would need to be 'shadow boxing'. Many thanks to bletchleyreject for being the first to point out that 'do' is part of the definiton which I have now indicated in the clue above.
10 University no place for one free of attachment (5)
UNPEG : U (university), NP (no place), EG (for one). Unknown to me, but Collins and the Oxfords advise that NP stands for 'no place of publication', presumably in book catalogues, however I'm not sure that justifies using it to clue 'no place'.
11 The Times: can it manage reverses? (6)
EPOCHS : SH (can it! - be quiet!) + COPE (manage) [reverses]
12 Fresh trouble and strife occasioned by the same? (3,5)
WAR BRIDE : A cryptic definition relying on  'trouble and strife' as CRS for 'wife' in addition to its literal meaning which might include 'war'. 'War bride' is defined by Collins as 1. a woman who marries a serviceman about to go overseas in wartime, and 2. a woman who marries a foreign serviceman and goes to live in his country. I assume 'fresh' just implies newly married, which is fair enough.
13 What's just sweet to the ear? (6)
DESERT : Sounds like [to the ear] "dessert" (sweet - pudding). As in the saying 'receiving one's just deserts' but I've never come across it in the singular in this context.
15 Mount very retrograde operation against one from America (8)
VESUVIUS : V (very), USE (operation) reversed [retrograde], V (against), I (one), US (from America)
18 Guilty of a fumble, tripping close to ball (8)
BLAMEFUL : Anagram [tripping] of A FUMBLE {bal}L [close]
19 From dark heap picked up a sort of acid (6)
NITRIC : Sounds like [picked up] "night" (dark), "rick" (heap - hay rick)
21 Boy's engaging ME strip, casting article in Serpentine (8)
ZIGZAGGY : ZIGGY (boy) containing [engaging] G{a}ZA (ME strip) [casting article - a]. It took me a while to realise that ME stands for Middle East.
23 Old kingdom is under obligation to drop first one, then the other (6)
WESSEX :  {o}WES (is under obligation to) [drop first one - first letter], SEX (the other - nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more!)
26 Pointed to spot, clutching hip (5)
SPINY : SPY (spot) containing [clutching] IN (hip - with it]
27 Pole with heart ringing Spanish girl's number (9)
NINESCORE : N (pole) + CORE (heart) containing [ringing] INES (Spanish girl). We had the alternative 'Inez' only last week and a discussion here to remind us that both spellings exist. ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY!!!
28 Have more than one bowler as an all-rounder? (4,7,4)
WEAR SEVERAL HATS : Cryptic definition
Down
1 Our lot, blue at the extremities, are freezing! (7)
SUSPEND : US (our lot) contained by ​[at the extremities] SPEND (blue - spend extravagantly, squander)
2 Little tree giving up nothing? One silver nutmeg, at first (5)
NGAIO : 0 (nothing) + I (one) + AG (silver) + N{utmeg} [at first] all reversed [up]. A New Zealand tree with a name taken from Maori. I've known since word since childhood via the writer Ngaio Marsh, creator of the Chief Inspector Alleyn series of mysteries.
3 Engine horn is or should be blown with energy (4,5)
IRON HORSE : Anagram [should be blown] of HORN IS OR E (energy)
4 African heart-throb girls must turn up to show! (4)
IGBO : Hidden [to show] and reversed [up] in {heart-thr}OB GI{rls}
5 Are demanding to be given new offshore location? (3,5)
TAX HAVEN : TAX (are demanding), HAVE (be given), N (new)
6 Cross into western half of Europe, second-rate out-of-town area (5)
EXURB : X (cross) contained by [into] EUR{ope} [western half], B (second-rate). SOED: A district outside a city or town, esp. a prosperous one beyond the suburbs. Another unknown word.
7 Pair filmed briefly moving part of roadie's kit? (9)
AMPLIFIER : Anagram [moving] of PAIR FILME{d} [briefly]
8 In northern lands, 16 grand found in raw gold (7)
NUGGETS : U (16dn - universal) + G (grand) contained by [in] N (northern) + GETS (lands). Bordering on a DBE because although some dictionaries say 'especially gold', nuggets can be other metals or materials.
14 Has torn about in a rage, prematurely ending state of bliss? (7-2)
SHANGRI-LA : Anagram [torn] of HAS containing [about] ANGRIL{y} (in a rage) [prematurely ending]. Originally a mountain paradise in James Hilton's novel Lost Horizon, but now part of the language in its own right.
16 Bath, say, girl left clutching small blanket (9)
UNIVERSAL : UNI (Bath), say), VERA (girl) containing [clutching] S (small), then L (left). Yet another random city or town that happens to have a university, but at least it makes a change from Reading. I doubt that the average person is even aware that these places have universities although it 's a fairly safe bet that they would. 'Blanket' as in 'blanket coverage'.
17 Russian writer, having invited press in, opening up (8)
TURGENEV : VENT (opening) reversed [up] contains [having invited...in] URGE (press)
18 Rumour saying one might go through deal (4,3)
BUZZ SAW : BUZZ (rumour), SAW (saying). 'Deal' being a type of wood.
20 Thus crew initially without a steer? (7)
COXLESS : C{rew} [initially] OX-LESS (without a steer). &lit.
22 In one area old country has abandoned pit (5)
ABYSS : ABYSS{inia} (old country) [in + i (one) + a (area), abandoned]
24 Out of the mouth appeared a tongue (5)
SHONA : Sounds like [out of the mouth] "shown" (appeared) "a". Another unknown.
25 Lump of skin: hurry to conceal odd bits (4)
KNUR : {s}K{i}N {h}U{r}R{y} [conceal odd bits]
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