brnchn (brnchn) wrote in times_xwd_times,
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brnchn
times_xwd_times

Times Cryptic No 27972 - Saturday, 8 May 2021. Another of life’s little mysteries?

This went fairly quickly until I found myself staring at 19dn in frustration. It could only be what it was, but why!? Was it going to be another of those inexplicable clues, like the one a week or two ago? No!! When I finally, much later, saw what was going on, it was a delight! Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle. How did you all get on?

[Read more ...]Notes for newcomers: The Times offers prizes for Saturday Cryptic Crosswords. This blog is posted a week later, after the competition closes. So, please don’t comment here on the current Saturday Cryptic.

Clues are blue, with definitions underlined. Deletions are struck through.


Across
1 Children’s amusement to come out at the end of spring (4-2-3-3)
JACK-IN-THE-BOX – cryptic definition.
8 Stuff concluded each time (7)
OVEREAT – OVER, EA=each, T.
9 Cook, perhaps, better back at home (7)
CAPTAIN – CAP=better, TA=AT ‘back’, IN=at home.
11 Soothing words remain in the memory? On the contrary (7)
BROMIDE – ROM in BIDE, so not BIDE in ROM … on the contrary.
12 Admit us for sport here? (7)
STADIUM – anagram (for sport) of ADMIT US. The definition is literally the whole clue.
13 Video maybe looking back, by visiting foreign resident (5)
EXPAT – EPAT=TAPE ‘back’, X=by ‘visiting’.
14 Rocky hurt by man one shouldn’t trust? (5,4)
URBAN MYTH – anagram (rocky) of HURT BY MAN. A slightly awkward definition, unless I’m misreading it.
16 Bursting with life — only there’s a large catch (9)
YELLOWFIN – anagram (bursting) of W LIFE ONLY.
19 Doubt and unease in equal measure (5)
QUALM – hidden answer.
21 Defender’s regret, perhaps, to have ambition (3,4)
OWN GOAL – OWN=have, GOAL=ambition.
23 Hand over tax I owe? Not at first (7)
OVATION – O=over, VAT=tax, I as itself, first letters of Owe Not.
24 Crime writer’s conclusion to book worrying (7)
KEATING – K from booK ‘finally’, EATING as in, “what’s eating you”.
25 Building’s bar area storing large quantity of beer? (7)
ROTUNDA – ROD + A storing TUN = 216 gallons … a lot of beer indeed!
26 Warning is hollow — a bait, otherwise (6,6)
CAVEAT EMPTOR – CAVE, A, TEMPT, OR=otherwise.

Down
1 Heartless pranks on pensioner one picked on (3,4)
JOE SOAP – heartless JOkES, then O.A.P. Didn’t know this expression.
2 Helmsman, crossing bridge finally, first to get on (7)
COEXIST – COX=helmsman ‘crossing’ E from bridgE ‘finally’, then IST=first.
3 Popular article by expert revealing all (2,3,4)
IN THE BUFF – IN=popular, THE=an article, gramatically, BUFF=expert.
4 Credit’s what you give correct answers! (5)
TICKS – double definition.
5 Solve old jumbo you’ve picked up? (7)
EXPLAIN – EX=old, PLAIN sounds like PLANE. Does the clue rate a ‘perhaps’ to signal that ‘jumbo’ is just an example of a plane, or is the question mark enough?
6 Lack of transparency — and compassion — when handling bill (7)
OPACITY – O=zero + PITY is a complete lack of compassion. Insert AC=bill.
7 Jargon taken down — an unknown amount to work out (12)
GOBBLEDYGOOK – GOBBLED=taken down, Y is the unknown, GO OK is to work out.
10 I’m messing with chap? No, many! (12)
NYMPHOMANIAC – anagram of IM CHAP NO MANY. Another literal definition!
15 Performing with idol in Birmingham: that takes some beating! (5,4)
BONGO DRUM – ON=performing + GOD=idol, all in BRUM.
17 Motorists commandeering stern of cruise ship: that we’ve never understood! (6,1)
LINEAR A – the cruise ship is a LINER. Put AA=Motorists’ Association around the final R. Linear A and Linear B were two ancient scripts found on Minoan clay tablets. Linear B has been identified as a form of Greek, but Linear A is still a mystery.
18 Treat with powerful agent organised in European zoos (7)
OZONISE – anagram (organised) of IN E ZOOS. Ugly word!
19 Band give shows — and live! (7)
QUARTET – once I had the helpers to exclude ‘quintet’, the answer could only be this. A delightful PDM (see glossary) when I realised that both ‘give’ and ‘live’ show IV = four = a quartet!
20 A story, and not one to pass on legally (7)
ALIENOR – A, LIE, NOR=and not.
22 Commentator’s not in time for West Ham’s match (5)
LIGHT – allegedly how LATE might be pronounced in West Ham.
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