guy_du_sable (guy_du_sable) wrote in times_xwd_times,
guy_du_sable
guy_du_sable
times_xwd_times

Sunday Times Cryptic 4961, by Dean Mayer — 4-CD Set! All Hits!

Wonderful puzzle! When I finally arrived at the “part of Botswana” at the end, I felt that I could have, should have, gotten it first, if I’d only taken the time; after all, it’s mainly an anagram… Oh, well. The other three longest ones had to wait for some crossers too, but those were all CDs, which are often the last I get, you know.

I’m writing this up just after working it, on Sunday morning—well, early afternoon—which must be a first.

I indicate (a granma’s)* like this, and italicize anagrinds in the clues.


ACROSS
 1 Part of sleeve or belt (4)
CUFF — DD
 3 Old piano parts newly arranged for Aida, perhaps (5,5)
GRAND OPERA — (arranged)* split by O(ld) P(iano)
10 Drawing of polar bears? (6,9)
ANIMAL MAGNETISM — CD. I laughed out loud! It’s “polar” that make this priceless. Opposites attract!
11 Baby, age about 1, back at home (9)
MINIATURE — M(I, “one”)(IN<=“back at home”)ATURE
12 Living beyond 100, show evidence of age? (5)
CRUST — C, “100” + RUST, “Living” in the sense of your earned daily bread
13 While sound returns, extremes of volume contained (4,2)
EVEN AS — SANE<=“returns” holding V[-olum]E
14 Running out of stock? (8)
STAMPEDE — CD… We had this answer two weeks ago, in the last one I blogged.
17 Feeling thrilled about new relationship (8)
SENTIENT — SE(N)(TIE)NT… SENT, “thrilled” surrounding TIE, “relationship” + N(ew)
19 Way to hold speed back — brake (6)
RETARD — R(RATE<=)D… “Way” being R(oa)D
22 Sort of knife that is found after surrender (5)
BOWIE — I(d) E(st) follows BOW, “surrender”
23 Set about penning short study on French values (9)
TREASURES — SET<=“about” corraling REA[-d] + SUR, French for “on”
24 Force used when lifting is a problem? (5,10)
STORE DETECTIVES — CD
25 Continued to protect air force (10)
CONSTRAINT — CON(STRAIN)T
26 Dessert left in cooler (4)
FLAN — F(L)AN

DOWN
 1 Dismal church members missing? (9)
CHARMLESS — Attendance is constantly falling… CH(urch) + ARMLESS
 2 Pottery cracking in wall (7)
FAIENCE — F(AI, “A-one”)ENCE… and suddenly I had Serge Gainsbourg singing in my head the lament of the ticket-puncher in the Métro: “Et sous mon ciel de faïence / Je ne vois briller que les correspondances…
 4 A disturbance behind us (6)
RUMPUS — RUMP, “behind” + US
 5 Leaves broken leg caught in traps (8)
NEGLECTS — N (leg)* E(C)TS
 6 Not necessarily correct (14)
OVERCOMPENSATE — CD… to correct when it’s not necessary to—cryptic by force of tangled syntax
 7 Record one specific food lover (7)
EPICURE — EP, “record” + I, “one” + CURE, “specific”… Yes, the latter is also used as a noun in this context (in both US and UK parlance). There is still no specific for Covid-19.
 8 A private message? It’s welcome (5)
ADMIT — A + D(irect) M(essage) + IT
 9 Muddy lakes and earth around dry part of Botswana (8,6)
KALAHARI DESERT — (lakes + earth)* encompass ARID, “dry”—which, while not technically part of the definition, gives a nudge in the right direction (though I wasted time trying to fit TT in somehow).
15 Likely heir to endless suffering (6,3)
ELDEST SON — (to endless)* Anagrind of the Week!
16 Adult into country music? A curse (8)
ANATHEMA — AN(A)THEM + A… Something you abhor is ANATHEMA to you, but the word also means, as here, “a formal curse by a pope or a council of the Church, excommunicating a person or denouncing a doctrine.”
18 Force unit to cover wide urban development (3,4)
NEW TOWN — NEWTO(W)N… This has dictionary status—I had to check.
20 Newcomer runs into a challenger (7)
ARRIVAL — A R(R)IVAL
21 River always going in two directions (6)
SEVERN — (S)EVER(N)
22 Simple soul, thus (5)
BASIC — BA, the “soul” in Egyptian mythology + SIC, “thus”… We’ve seen BA here before, but I knew it already. To be precise, it’s the principal part of the multiplex Egyptian soul, the one personified as a bird, which will take flight after death… a lovely concept.
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  • Times Quick Cryptic 1987 by Joker

    Lots of unusual vocabulary, but only one that left me competely reliant on wordplay and checkers (21ac). Perhaps not quite as pithy, original, or…

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    Well this puzzle is 13d with good things, I think; two types of wine, an antelope, a capital city I knew, and an egg cell which reminded me of my…

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