vinyl1 (vinyl1) wrote in times_xwd_times,
vinyl1
vinyl1
times_xwd_times

Times 27955 - The gum-chewing dogs, say??

Time: 29 minutes
Music: Bizet, L'Arlesienne Suites, Morel, Royal Opera House Orchestra

Well, I admit, I'm not usually expecting a challenging puzzle on Monday.   But this one had some elusive answers, and perhaps some over-clever wordplay, so I suspect some solvers may struggle.   Unfortunately, the SNITCH is out of operation right at the moment, so I can't check - I'm sure Starstruck will take care of this shortly.

I was off to a good start by writing in the long answers at both the top and the bottom, which usually gets you going on this grid pattern.   But then I was thoroughly stuck, not being able to use any of the starting letters across the top.   Instead, I had to go chestnut-hunting around the grid, only to come up with a mighty small harvest.   There are some really off-the-wall wordplay tricks here, things that you might expect in Mephisto.

Across
1 Plastic they only peel off (12)
POLYETHYLENE - Anagram of THEY ONLY PEEL, my FOI.
8 Charge for tablet (7)
LOZENGE - I just biffed this while solving, but now I understand - it's a heraldic charge, a device on a shield.
9 Seek dull job with hospital doing longest possible shift in fabrication (7)
UNTRUTH - HUNT RUT, with H (Hospital) moved the maximum possible distance.
11 Like sandstone doubly covered in basilicas’ bricks (7)
SILICIC - [ba]SILIC[as br]IC[ks], another very tricky cryptic.
12 Going down without right piloting (7)
DRIVING - D(R)IVING, where without might be either an enclosure indicator, or a deletion indicator.
13 Always in poetry that is strange (5)
EERIE - E'ER + I.E., the only simple clue in the puzzle.
14 Cooks fruit in packet, perhaps (9)
STEAMSHIP - STEAMS HIP.
16 Supporters mostly run restaurant (9)
BRASSERIE - BRAS + SERIE[s], not quite a chestnut.
19 Poorer fretted outside society (5)
WORSE - WOR(S)E.
21 Drifting, your setter’s in a bar (7)
AIMLESS - A(I'M)LESS.   Less is the equivalent of bar in the sense of without, except for.
23 Newspapers got round belonging to state (7)
PROFESS - PR(OF)ESS.
24 What canines have lair and can dine without noise? (7)
DENTINE - DEN + TIN + [din}E, with the Mephisto-like letter-removal indicator.
25 Having powerful weapons, some Israel cunningly concealed in turn (7)
NUCLEAR - Backward hidden in [Is]RAEL CUN[ningly].
26 Script producer has to check court document with Her Majesty (12)
SCREENWRITER - SCREEN + WRIT + E.R.
Down
1 Parking car heavy on petrol — gallons gone for you (7)
PUZZLER - P + [g]UZZLER, which for many of us might be puzzled!
2 Oxford college relocated in Clare (7)
LINACRE - Anagram of IN CLARE, simple if you know the college, which is not one of the more famous ones.
3 What could make one sexier? Rec fitness equipment (9)
EXERCISER - Anagram of SEXIER + REC.
4 Harry’s husband, plump, no Romeo (5)
HOUND - H + [r]OUND.
5 Element burning with smell when current is put into it (7)
LITHIUM - LIT + H(I)UM.
6 Promote foreign drama about novelist (7)
NOURISH - NO(URIS)H.   Leon Uris was a big bestseller 60 or 70 years ago, but is probably forgotten today.
7 Bolt rear pads around material applied to walls (12)
PLASTERBOARD - Anagram of BOLT REAR PADS.
10 Drunken bully is very stressing (4-8)
HIGH-PRESSURE -  HIGH + PRESSURE, where bully should be treated as a verb.
15 Something illuminating lid? (3-6)
EYE-OPENER - Double definition.
17 Calendar girl initially nude and clothed (7)
ALMANAC - ALMA + N[ude] A[nd] C[lothed].
18 Unproductive anger after ship’s back without navy (7)
STERILE - STE[rn] + RILE.   I was looking for ire for a long time, and then rage, but rile it is.
19 Picture of timber (7)
WOODCUT - A very terse cryptic definition.
20 Wild animals came by ’orse, reportedly (3,4)
ROE DEER - Sounds like RODE 'ERE.
22 Mug in set gets smashed (5)
STEIN - Anagram of IN SET.
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  • 45 comments

  • Times 27,971: Primate, Marmite

    This felt strangely easy considering the trickiness of the vocabulary - 10ac and LOI 15dn are both spelled completely differently to how they are in…

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    An enjoyable, neat crossword from Tracy to end the week. I generally find I catch his wavelength quite quickly and I did so again today. After my…

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