Pip Kirby (pipkirby) wrote in times_xwd_times,
Pip Kirby
pipkirby
times_xwd_times

Times 27783 - Children in Need time again.

At last, this Wednesday's child is not full of woe; I enjoyed this somewhat more challenging puzzle, with scope for biffing but some tricky parsing afterwards. 11a is timely, as the BBC and Countryfile get going with their annual pleas for money, although this year we'll be a-rambling in social distance mode, if at all. I had to do some Googling to explain all of 16d, featuring avian obscurities, but otherwise it was fair play I thought. My CoD is 24a for the unusual construction.

Just a guide, for anyone new: definitions are underlined, anagram indicators in italics, anagram fodder (in brackets with)*.


Across
1 Just clever, having no need of book (5)
RIGHT - BRIGHT = clever, loses B.
4 Problem backing the French — quite without oomph — in raunchy US show (9)
BURLESQUE - RUB (problem, as in there's the rub) backing = BUR, LES (the French) QU(IT)E loses IT.
9 It fixes where you find crossword, say, with some speed (9)
PAPERCLIP - find this in the PAPER (or E-paper), CLIP = speed, as in 'at a fair clip'.
10 Refugee with no time at all for material (5)
EXILE - TEXTILE (material) loses both Ts.
11 One gets ready for taking these steps to provide relief? (9,4)
SPONSORED WALK - Cryptic definition, where 'ready' = money.
14 Dispute ignoring opening of firm (4)
TIFF - STIFF = firm, loses S.
15 Zero energy around start of play — becoming too energetic? (10)
OVERACTIVE - O VERVE = zero energy, insert ACT I being the start of a play.
18 Hymn producing historic shock? (4,2,4)
ROCK OF AGES - cryptic definition.
19 Finished disguise, except the front (4)
OVER - COVER = disguise, loses its front.
21 Mother’s absurd dressed in beachwear (7,6)
BERMUDA SHORTS - (MOTHERS ABSURD)*.
24 Embellish even choices from garden? (5)
ADORN - from the word gArDeN you can choose any of A, D OR N as even letters.
25 Principled purchases in market rated adversely (4,5)
FAIR TRADE - FAIR (market) (RATED)*.
27 What writer might need in opening of knightly valour (3-6)
INK-BOTTLE - IN, K(nightly), BOTTLE = valour. It's a long time since I opened an ink bottle, although there is still one in my drawer awaiting my yet-to-win Montblanc fountain pen prize from Murdoch Towers. So far only Cross ballpoints, which are more use anyway.
28 Story gripping one in the very first episode (5)
PILOT - PLOT, insert I.
Down
1 Tale of a debt collector, maybe, involving island warehouse (10)
REPOSITORY - REPO STORY could be a tale of a debt collector, insert I for island. REPO being short for a repossession man.
2 Opening section of book cut up (3)
GAP - PAGE is cut then reversed (up).
3 Bird hurried after half of this (6)
THRUSH - TH(is), RUSH as an adjective, e.g. a rush job.
4 City area sadly variable with little good in it (9)
BELGRAVIA - (VARIABLE)* then insert G. Posh bit of London, Embassy-land.
5 Resistance, with support, absorbing pressure without delay (5)
RAPID - R(esistance), AID (support), insert P for pressure.
6 Support an entry for Chaucer in “Early English Style” (8)
ELEGANCE - E E for Early English; insert LEG (support) AN, C(haucer).
7 Lives dangerously after living once on river of molten metal (11).
QUICKSILVER - QUICK (living, as in the quick and the dead), (LIVES)*, R for river. Another name for mercury, which freezes at -38.9 ⁰C so is molten metal at room temperature and pressure.
8 Some pristine development held up as Paradise (4)
EDEN - hidden reversed in PRISTI(NE DE)VEOPMENT.
12 Business site, apparently no longer postponed, encountering obstruction (6,5)
OFFICE BLOCK - If it's ON ICE, it's postponed, so if it's OFF ICE, it's no longer postponed. To which add BLOCK for obstruction.
13 Looking back, covering a lot of historic city in particular (10)
RETROSPECT - TRO(Y) = a lot of historic city, insert TRO into RESPECT where in 'in respect of' = 'in particular'.
16 Have another look at bird by a quarry (2-7)
RE-EXAMINE - Apparently REE is a old name for the reigh or male reeve bird... follow that with X (by, times) and A MINE for a quarry. It's not in Chambers online (ree) but is elsewhere https://www.lexico.com/definition/ree
17 A lot of sadness about hospital department in Italian resort (8)
SORRENTO - SORRO(W) goes around ENT the ear, nose and throat department.
20 Try to get off with trophy, seizing lid (4,2)
CHAT UP - CUP has HAT (lid) inserted.
22 Soldiers retaining force would be inappropriate (5)
UNFIT - UNIT (soldiers) has F for force inserted.
23 Opening for independent political party coming up in Asian island (4)
BALI - all reversed, I (initial letter of independent) LAB (pol. party).
26 A couple of fifties provides the sum (3)
ALL - A, L, L. Hardly a cryptic clue.


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