brnchn (brnchn) wrote in 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.

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 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)
29 Having no match, with Lords wholly rejected? (8)
PEERLESS – double definition, the too second fanciful for me to underline.

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)
11 Gripping, powerless to hold record (13)
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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