brnchn (brnchn) wrote in times_xwd_times,
brnchn
brnchn
times_xwd_times

Times Cryptic No 27978 - Saturday, 15 May 2021. Omigod, I’m surprised.

Surprised, that is, that I took so long with 20ac, where the answer wasn’t “omigod”. 19dn also took longer than it ought, but I smiled at the answer. A generous run of double definitions in the middle of a very Saturdayish number. 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 Take covering off books Henry introduced to relative (8)
UNCLOTHE – OT (Old Testament=books) + H=Henry in UNCLE.
5 One responsible for issue with a winning number (2,4)
AU PAIR – a + winning + number = A + UP + AIR (song). Responsible for issue=children. A nice clue.
9 Go off high ground to the west (3)
ROT – TOR backwards.
10 Having pets, fur and vomit is spread round area (11)
FAVOURITISM – anagram (spread around) of FUR VOMIT IS + A=area.
12 Greek siren sports behind most of Greek temple (10)
PARTHENOPE – PARTHENOn + P.E.

Parthenope was one of the Sirens in Greek mythology. She was the daughter of the god Achelous and the Muse Terpsichore.
13 Is one awfully tough, without love? (4)
THUG – anagram (awfully) of TOUGH minus O=love.
15 Very passionate about loincloth one’s taken off (3-3)
RED-HOT – RE=about, DHOTI minus I=one.
16 Fish sandwiches to regurgitate (4,3)
TROT OUT – TROUT is the fish, sandwiching TO.
18 Theoretically, capital keeps leading man in order (1,6)
A PRIORI – A1 = capital, keeping PRIOR = the leading man in a religious order. Like 5ac, I saw the answer long before the wordplay.
20 I'm surprised by fellow doing spells in resistance (6)
OHMAGE – OH = I’m surprised, a MAGE does spells. I wasted time trying to find something along the lines of OMIGOD.
23 Songwriters using enclosed rhyme scheme (4)
ABBA – double definition, although it seems strange to call ABBA songwriters rather than a band. Benny and Bjӧrn did most of the writing.

The second definition is to do with poetry. I found this from John Milton in Wikipedia:
How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth, A
Stolen on his wing my three and twentieth year! B
My hasting days fly on with full career B
But my late spring no bud or blossom shew'th. A
24 Watcher and wiretapper, say, spy us abroad, catching name (5,5)
AGENT NOUNS – AGENT = spy, NOUS = us, in France, catching N = name. The definition is a DBE (see glossary), since watcher” andwiretapper” are of that type.
26 Popular legend maintaining Noah is at sea (11)
FASHIONABLE – anagram (at sea) of NOAH IS, in FABLE.
27 I'm off for a run (3)
BYE – double definition, the second cricketing.
28 Partners with stake in French city (6)
NANTES – ANTE in N + S.
29 Having no match, with Lords wholly rejected? (8)
PEERLESS – double definition, the too second fanciful for me to underline.

Down
1 Ground in Peru is still green (6)
UNRIPE – anagram (ground) of IN PERU.
2 Camp where one may sleep by lake (7)
COTERIE – COT is where one may sleep, ERIE is the lake.
3 Unable to receive calls for free (3,3,4)
OFF THE HOOK – double definition, the first reflecting old telephone technology.
4 Compare badly with what strippers ultimately do (4,7,2)
HAVE NOTHING ON – another double definition.
6 Soldiers requiring some ammunition (4)
UNIT – hidden.
7 Hearing this, we hear a hanky's required! (7)
ATISHOO – sounds like A TISSUE.
8 English resort's scandal involving male beasts? (8)
RAMSGATE – RAMS-GATE, you see.
11 Gripping, powerless to hold record (13)
UNPUTDOWNABLE – UNABLE holding PUT DOWN.
14 Seize butterfly perched on new grass coming up (10)
COMMANDEER – COMMA is the butterfly, N is new, REED is backwards.
17 Dad drops bottles very loudly, getting flammable substance (8)
PARAFFIN – PA, RAIN drops, getting FF.
19 What a judge has, one with a deep voice (7)
ROBESON – a judge has ROBES ON.
21 Back from fishing, discover carp (7)
GRUMBLE – G from fishing, RUMBLE = discover.
22 Give an appraisal of Jenny? (6)
ASSESS – another double definition, the second jocular, if you are prepared to grant that Jenny the donkey is an ass-ess.
25 Unopened cream of the healthier variety (4)
LITE – drop the E from ELITE.
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