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Times Quick Cryptic 1069 by Tracy

I've been doing this QC blogging malarkey on an alternate Friday basis for over 6 months now and, I have to say, I enjoy it immensly. The QC was something that enticed me to doing the 15x15 Times Crossword again after many years of abeyance. A chance to learn the tricks of the trade I never fully understood before and an entertaining experience in its own right. And now I've come to appreciate that it is an art in itself - to introduce newbies to the ways and means of a cryptic crossword, but without dumbing down. A very difficult balance to tread, but I think our team of expert setters do it beautifully. It is a testament to that, that so many experienced solvers come here not just to warm up for the more difficult main puzzle, but for the enjoyment of the QC in its own right. So, while I might, nowadays, count myself as one of the aforementioned experienced solvers, finishing this on average in about 6 1/2 minutes, it is great to stop and smell the roses as I write the blog and appreciate our setters' skills, wit and sense of humour.

If you are here to learn and improve (like I did) then welcome! Do not 12d if you find it difficult and get stuck. Our bloggers are here to help. All comments and questions welcome!

As for today's...  A nice middle-of-the-road puzzle from Tracy today, taking me close to an average time. I didn't find it easy to get started and there were one or two clues that made me stop and think, making it all the more enjoyable. But there are plenty of straight-forward ones that got me going, particularly the two long across clues. Did you find it the same? A number of really nice surfaces here, not least my COD 19d. Thanks Tracy - lovely job, as they say around here.

Definitions underlined in italics, (ABC)* indicating anagram of ABC, {} deletions and [] other indicators.
See the answers here...Collapse )

Bank Holiday Jumbo 1316

Well this was a nice meaty puzzle for Easter Monday, full of clever stuff.  I didn't record an exact time but I certainly took over an hour to wrestle this into submission so it was definitely harder than average.

First in was SETTLE DOWN, last was DANDY.  Definitions are undelined, hopfully the explanations all make sense.

Closing date for entries was Wednesday so I see no harm in scheduling this to appear on Thursday.  Hopefully folk looking for the blog for 1315 won't be confused.



Russian girl turned away from wife: such a flaming cheek! (5)

AGLOW - OLGA reversed next to W[ife], nothing to do wuth impertinence


Still did not pay each other’s bills? (6,4)



Humiliated when implicated in lying (6)

ABASED - AS inside ABED (lying down)


First two elements needed in travelling around, very often (2,3,4)

ON THE HOUR - HE[lium] and H[ydrogen] in ON TOUR.  I may not be much of a scientist but I do know that H and He are at the top of that chemical league table thingy.


Matter for debate involving ie Exodus Ten (qv) (5,8)

VEXED QUESTION - (i.e. exodus ten qv)*


Regret returning musical compositions for something inferior? (7)

EUROPOP - RUE reversed then OP OP.  I don't think anyone is going to try and argue that Europop is superior music.


Pine used to be sort of tree associated with style (5,4)



Wine-maker bottling spirit in miniature (5)

TOKAY - KA in TOY as in small dog.  Ka was the ancient Egyptian concept of vital essence or spirit.  The definition must be referring to the grape as it seems we now spell the wine producing region Tokaji.


Early solution amazingly is popular — or dim (10,4)

PRIMORDIAL SOUP - (is popular or dim)*.  Nice definition.


Body part I displayed on greeting athlete’s achievement (7)

HIPBONE - ONE (I) on (invariably after in an across clue) HI & P[ersonal] B[est]


Ace being in bar with VIP, and fit to drive (10)



Maybe lean in, clutching a barrel that’s bottomless (12)



Spots the writer’s article being withdrawn (5)

NAEVI - I'VE AN reversed.  New word for me.  It's the plural of naevus, a congenital growth or blemish.


Any more messing and finally they will bring on the cavalry! (8)

YEOMANRY - (anymore)* + {the}Y


Row, chasing husband outside entrance to tavern, smashed (6,2)

STAVED IN - DIN after T{avern} in SAVE.  Hands up everyone who was trying to force an H in there somewhere.


Whistle to secure hospital blanket (5-3)

CATCH-ALL - H[ospital] in CAT-CALL


Rather fine judge briefly lives in New Hampshire (8)

THINNISH - THINk + IS in N[ew] H[ampshire]


Best forty Latin sounds (5)

EXCEL - sounds like XL off of Roman numerals


Colony Magnus developed features in magazine (5,7)

AGONY COLUMNS - (colony magnus)*


Primarily liking to fill stomach, to wit ... (10)

GLUTTONOUS - L{iking} in GUT + TO NOUS.  Nice &Lit.


Nuts with plum and date, nice all shelled (7)

LUNATIC - pLUm aNd dATe nICe


Literary award for engaging fellow? (3,6,5)

MAN BOOKER PRIZE - a man booking someone would be a fellow engaging them, innit.  I caused myself problems by putting THE BOOKER PRIZE first.


Director’s level of interest in extremes of cinema (5)

CAPRA - A[nnual] P[ercentage] R[ate] in C{inem}A.  I think APR is used internationally


British students, on reflection, just brilliant! (9)

SUNBRIGHT - B[ritish] N[ational] U[nion] (of) S[tudents] reveresd then RIGHT for just.  Not a word you hear every day and it doesn't seem to be in all the dictionaries.


Back row’s accommodating second sitting (7)

SESSION - NOISE'S reversed around S[econd]


Whiskers do remain, having withdrawn from shaving (7,6)

SWIZZLE STICKS - SWIZZLE (do as in swindle) then STICK and Shaving


Equine stuffing husky, race being broadcast (9)

HORSEHAIR - soundee-likee for HOARSE HARE


Girl has returned to proper governess (6)

DUENNA - ANN reversed after DUE (as in care and attention).  A word I've only ever seen in crosswords


Peter, minus pants, showing a bit of chest (10)

EPISTERNUM - (Peter minus)* with pants being the anagrind.  The episternum is a bone between the clavicles


President impressed by judge’s long opening (5)

FJORD - (Ex-president Gerald) FORD around J[udge].  Beautiful plumage.



Highpoint of a sailor’s meeting with brother (6)

APOGEE - A P[etty] O[fficer] + GEE as in blimey.  Old hands will have been trying to construct something like ATARFR or AABBRO


A line a chap added to volume for US author’s rep (8,5)

LITERARY AGENT - A R[ailwa]Y A GENT after LITER (US misspelling of litre)


Young Women’s charity (5)

WHELP - W{omen's] + HELP


Small receptacle for grain or grass (7)

SHOPPER - S[mall} HOPPER, grass as in informant


Cast having insufficient resolve (5,5,2)

THROW LIGHT ON - THROW + LIGHT ON (as in this blog is a bit light on humour)


Meekly removing leader, with scant regard for economy? (8)



Go west, crossing eleven southern states (5)

DIXIE - DIE around XI


Sort of hairline fracture was poked underneath with one (6,4)

WIDOWS PEAK - (was poked)* under W[ith] I.  Very elegant lift & separate (hairline fracture)


Wait here, maybe, kitchenware payment being held up (3,4)

BUS STOP - reverals of POTS SUB


Black mass comes together to raise something with foul content (5,4)

STINK BOMB - reversal of B[lack] MOB KNITS


Those at core of rowdyism incurring fine (5)

DANDY - This one nearly had me beaten but all was fine and dandy in the end.    The middle letters of rowdysim are D AND Y


Floundering, but they reach almost the end row (4,3,7)

BURY THE HATCHET - (but they reach the)*


Endless malt whisky drunk with a lot of syrup (9)

MAWKISHLY - (malt whisky)*


Keep wrapper from butter, with or without manufacturer’s label? (3-5)

OWN-BRAND - OWN + B{utte}R + AND


Make last move to the fringes when casting vote (10)



Stroke fawn below head (5,5)



Two blokes and a bird erected compound in China (5,9)



Picture lover with doctor, one struggling to retain self-esteem (9)



Conservative party to set about a quiet exploit (4,2,2)

CASH IN ON - C[onservative] + IN ON (party to) around a SH (as in shhhh!).  More lovely lift & separate and that old setters' trick of changing the sense of a word between surface and cryptic (here "exploit" being a noun in the surface reading but a verbal definition)


Zoo had corgi originally associated with TV film (6,7)

DOCTOR ZHIVAGO - (zoo had corgi tv)*


Where warfare, as it were, is in the making? (5,7)

FIELD KITCHEN - CD based on the premise that war fare is made in a field kitchen.  A cheeky bit of Guardianese there, just about excused with "as it were".


Pullover in need of a wash perhaps, that was given a spin (7,3)

HUMMING TOP - DD, one whimsical.  I'm pretty sure I had a humming top as a small boy buy I didn't know that's what it was called


After one-nil reverse, I help devastated Reds fan, probably (9)

OENOPHILE - ONE O reversed then (i help)*


Bread brought up of use when catching rabbit (8)

FOUGASSE - OF reversed and USE around GAS.  What we have here is a flat, French bread product usually from Provence and often leaf-shaped.


Turkish port with retro Australian bar featured in books (7)

TRABZON - Reversal of OZ BAR in N[ew] T[estament].  I used knowledge of the football team Trabzonspor to lead me to the likely answer


Stand Sunday lunch, perhaps, but not a drink (7)



Used up some older units (6)

INURED - reverse hidden (more neat L&S)


Checked out in days, with luggage (5)

CASED -D[ays} with (no word order implied) CASE


Rattles one’s jewellery? (5)



Bundle, not entirely secure, fellow’s opened (5)


Times Quick Cryptic No 1068 by Izetti

A touch on the harder side today from Izetti, which is to say probably average for Izetti, and there was indeed some typical tricksiness going on. Some nicely unusual wording as well - If I'd seen a couple of the answers cold, I couldn't have told you remotely what 18d was, and I would have given a different definition for 20ac. I was also left staring at 16d for a couple of minutes at the end, which pushed me correspondingly over my target. Eight-or-so anagrams might have helped provide a decent entry if some of the clueing elsewhere was on the harder side (although 10d was my 2nd last one in), so all in all, a well-balanced puzzle - many thanks to Izetti!

1 Former lover having requests cries (8)
EXCLAIMS - EX (former lover) CLAIMS (requests)
5 Stylish little bird with tail hidden (4)
CHIC - CHICK (little bird) with tail letter hidden.
8 Trips made by drunkard rolling over outside old city (5)
TOURS - TOS (SOT/drunkard, rolling over/reversing) outside UR (old city - a cryptic crossword staple).
9 Loner in sports ground, learner needing exercise (7)
RECLUSE - REC (Sports ground - another staple) L(earner) needing USE (exercise)
11 Supports politicians giving accounts of what happened earlier (11)
BACKSTORIES - BACKS (supports) TORIES (politicians)
13 Musical dramas are so fantastic when piano is included (6)
OPERAS - Anagram (fantastic) of ARE SO with P(iano) included
14 A day given opening — now on calendar? (6)
ADVENT - A D(ay) given VENT (opening) - with reference to advent calendar opening.
17 Temporary pavilion so unstable, sheltering Rex (11)
PROVISIONAL - anagram (unstable) of PAVILION SO, sheltering/covering R(ex)
20 Hospital official who could give Ron meal (7)
ALMONER - anagram (could give) of RON MEAL. If pushed, I would have said this was a giver of alms, but it now more commonly refers to a hospital aftercare worker, originally being someone who also organised payment of the medical bill.
21 Candle that a person gets hold of (5)
TAPER - hidden: "thaT A PERson" gets hold of the answer. Interesting etymology - same as paper: a corruption of the Latin "papyrus", a very versatile plant whose pith could make both paper and the wicks for candles, with the root providing a fuel and all manner of tableware.
22 Fiddler supposedly with refusal to entertain the Queen (4)
NERO - NO (refusal) to entertain ER (the Queen)
23 Most exciting preliminary contest involving fantastic side (8)
HEADIEST - HEAT (preliminary contest) involving an anagram (fantastic) of SIDE.
1 Poet denied king food (4)
EATS - KEATS (poet) denied K. The singular "eat" exists but is rarer.
2 Fall apart, having cold and noise in stomach? (7)
CRUMBLE - C(old) and RUmBLE (noise in stomach)
3 Group of coots in Asia flying (11)
ASSOCIATION - anagram (flying) of COOTS IN ASIA
4 Confused situation with nothing right in church service (6)
MORASS - O (nothing) R(ight) in MASS (church service) - same idea as "marsh".
6 Sixty minutes with one beautiful female (5)
HOURI - HOURI (60 min) with I (one). A bird of paradise, so to speak, last appearing in a QC on the 16th March. johninterred, who blogged the puzzle, provided a useful link to here.
7 Oily liquid ruining eco-store (8)
CREOSOTE - anagram (ruining) of ECOSTORE
10 Odd creation modified and harmonised (11)
COORDINATED - Anagram (modified) of ODD CREATION. This held me up for a bit, as I failed to consider O going between C_O.
12 Arrive shortly on flat territory and grumble (8)
COMPLAIN - COME (arrive), shortly = dock the tail; PLAIN (flat territory)
15 Pill, see, could be this shape (7)
ELLIPSE - anagram (could be this) of PILL SEE, with pills often being elliptical.
16 Go through church under mass of stonework? (6)
PIERCE - CE (Church of England) under PIER (mass of stonework).
18 Shell of yellow hue on French sea (5)
ORMER - OR (yellow hue - as in golden) on MER (French sea) - abalone/sea snail, the creature and/or shell.
19 Exclamation of annoyance when daughter meets rodent (4)
DRAT - D(aughter) RAT (rodent).
My Polish mother-in-law was considering the relative merits of dogs and, so the possibly apocryphal story goes, couldn’t decide between a Coolie and a Damnation. I’d like to think that the memory of that tale mitigates my otherwise pathetic first mistake, an inability to spell the dog needed in the grid, but of course it doesn’t. I have no excuse whatever for my second pink square, a simple typo that evaded my close check of my completed grid. Otherwise 17 and a half minutes, another average time, for a rather entertaining puzzle, which threatened but eschewed obscurity with such as Persian governors, old criminals and biblical vessels. Maybe the French month is new to some, but is a familiar enough word with crustacean connections.
Here I knit up the ravelled sleeve of care with clues, definitions and SOLUTIONS highlighted.


1 Seek Democrat’s favour? Back workers’ representatives in print (7)
WOODCUT You might WOO a D(emocrat) to secure his vote, with the backing of the TUC (which of course gives CUT)
5 Ship giving tough guy new start (7)
CRUISER One of those Change the First Letter to Another Unspecified Letter clues: fortunately, you start with tough guy BRUISER
9 Lively animal at dogshow’s opening? (9)
DALMATIAN Lively signals the anagram, ANIMAL AT Dogshow is the grist. As it happens, most Spotty Dogs I have known, including the one belonging to the Woodentops (6 minutes in) have been pretty lively, so the &lit works just fine
10 Noise from cellar nags intermittently (5)
CLANG Could be any old noise, but it’s derived from CeLlAr NaGs.
11 After workout, equine star one on form perhaps (13)
13 Torn about old information unit (8)
ROENTGEN Torn: RENT circles O(ld) and adds information GEN. Full marks if you remembered that a Roentgen is a measure of exposure to X-rays or gamma rays. Bonus points if you know it’s been superseded by the Sievert or the Rem.
15 Group needing 4 for a score (6)
SEPTET Subtract the answer to 4 (spoiler alert) from 20, then remember what the term for seven players is.
17 Irritated, bring back study about biblical vessel (6)
NARKED  Biblical vessel? Could it be the ARK? DEN is a useful synonym for (a) study, which you “bring back” about the floating zoo.
19 Good! Relative permitted trial (8)
GAUNTLET Easy stuff. G(ood) AUNT LET. A trial if you run it.
22 Out of touch in collective (not English) in charge of a Party (13)
INCOMMUNICADO Collective: COMMUNE (knock off the English) I(n) C(harge) A party: DO. Just work doggedly through and assemble the bits.
25 Fourth bird making a group? (5)
CROWD I like this one. I) crow A, 2) crow B 3) crow C, so 4)?
26 Wrong colours disheartened Persian governor (9)
PROCONSUL Stop trying to remember satraps, khans and such. You only need the PersiaN for its shell. Add COLOURS and present them “wrong” for the right answer. And no, there never was an Anticonsul.
27 Not suitable for evening out? (3-4)
NON-IRON Doesn’t need decreasing.
28 Glasses I picked up at outset wanting attention (7)
EYEWEAR Sounds like (picked up) I – no arguments there, then – plus “at the outset” Wanting and EAR for attention


1 Our group circulates papers over extensive area (4)
WIDE Our group is WE (I believe especially in bridge) and ID the papers encircled.
2 Evasive, he passed on national symbol in conversation (7)
OBLIQUE OB is an acceptable abbreviation for obit, he died. LIQUE is an acceptable (if not a real word) soundalike for LEEK, the Welsh national vegetable.
3 Girl lover’s initially got in mind (5)
CLARE Lover initially is, um, L. Needs to be placed into CARE for mind
4 Cardinal, fine, welcoming Rome’s capital support of course (8)
THIRTEEN Fine is THIN, the capital of Rome is, um, R, and the support of (golf) course id a TEE
5 Clergyman’s inspiring time in Geneva area? (6)
CANTON Much amusement can be had in ecclesiastical circles with the rank of CANON (though it’s quite hard to fire one). This one ”inspires” T(ime) for the local government unit in Switzerland
6 Lack of interest in vessel used in North Carolina formerly? The reverse (9)
UNCONCERN Right, this is not vessel URN inside N(orth) C(arolina) ONCE, but the other way round.
7 Settle perhaps accepting equipment brought up typical of island (3-4)
SEA-GIRT Settle might suggest SEAT equipment RIG. Invert the latter within the former. Here’s an example of the word used in Milton’s Comus:
.....Neptune besides the sway
Of every salt Flood, and each ebbing Stream,
Took in by lot 'twixt high, and neather Jove,
Imperial rule of all the Sea-girt Iles
8 Unpredictable country doctors use OTT gear (5,5)
ROGUE STATE “Doctor(s)” USE OTT GEAR, which looks like a fairly desperate anagram.
12 Religious female published Channel Islands study (10)
FRANCISCAN F(emale) (which I thought initially was Fran) published: RAN C(hannel) I(slands) study, this time SCAN
14 Article on amphibious troops: I stick up for time in France (9)
THERMIDOR Confusingly the 11th month of the French Revolutionary Calendar (August-ish), made up of three 10 day weeks. Article: THE,  amphibious troops R(oyal) M(arines), I: I. Stick “up” DOR
16 Singer from Italian port trying out new example first of all (8)
BARITONE BARI the Italian port, site of the only known poison gas attack (unintended) of WWII. Add the initial letters (first of all) of Trying Out New Example.
18 Rising vehicle business supported by American native (7)
RACCOON CAR your vehicle that “rises”, CO(mpany) and supported by: ON.
20 Having secured agreement, miss energy inspection (4-3)
LOOK-SEE Miss: lose) E(nergy) secures agreement: OK
21 Old criminal’s new direction blocked by sleuth (6)
TURPIN New direction is TURN, sleuth is PI (as in Magnum)
23 Buffalo needs housing away from others (5)
ALONE Today’s hidden, in buffALO NEeds
24 Slight noise from eating, no longer quiet (4)
SLUR Stop looking for a small noise, you want a good, healthy, noisy SLURP before removing its P for quiet.

Times 27009 - aarrr, Jim lad, avast ye!

What larks! Three quarters of this little beauty done in under fifteen minutes, with occasional recourse to a sip of the grog. The north-west corner was looking odd, with a two-letter word ending in V and another V lurking in 1a. I re-checked 6d in case I'd made a typo, the anagram was clear enough. Then I dimly remembered my Merchant of Venice for O Level and popped in 4d. Back to 9a. I'm not keen on that as a two-letter word ending in V, but it had to be, unless the answer was a regnal number. I didn't know the phrase, but it fits the word play. The light dawned on 1a, once I saw the double definition. Leaving us with 2d, H_A_T. Only one thing it could be, but as I write this a completely satisfactory explanation escapes me.
The other three-quarters of the puzzle I thought was witty in places, notably 8d, but not difficult.

Definitions underlined, anagrinds in italics.

1 Break up in manifest cold (6)
SHIVER - double definition. The expression 'shiver me timbers' dates back a few hundred years before Robert Newton in Treasure Island, where the word 'shiver' has the meaning 'break up' or shake apart, as in a cannonball or large wave hitting a ship. And if you're shivering, you're manifesting being cold.
5 Give woodwork final smoothing, receiving time and a half (5-3)
STAND-OFF - SAND OFF = final smoothing of the woodwork, insert T for time. Stand-off being a rugby term for one of the two half-backs, the one who is not the scrum half.
9 Fall asleep in wagon, very voyeuristic viewing (3-5,2)
CAR-CRASH TV -  CART = wagon, insert CRASH for fall asleep, and V for very. I didn't know the term, but I see it is in Collins and not only applied to scenes of cars getting totalled, although YouTube has no shortage of those. Somehow I don't think of TV as a two-letter word, more of an abbreviation, or the internet domain name for Tuvalu. Which used to be a Pointless answer.
10 Pipe suddenly lowered for sounding (4)
DUCT - Sounds like 'ducked' = suddenly lowered. Duck!
11 In fight, large Italian twisting blade (8)
STILETTO - SET TO = fight, insert L IT reversed (twisting).
12 Put off woman and survive without one (6)
SHELVE - SHE = woman, L(I)VE = survive, remove the I.
13 Religion, but no Mass, for Scots girl (4)
ISLA - ISLAM loses its Mass.
15 To wed money, they say, can be a bloomer (8)
MARIGOLD - MARI sounds like marry, GOLD = money.
18 Cherries, see, covered in fungi (8)
MORELLOS - Insert LO = see, into MORELS a tasty kind of mushroom.
19 Pressure on buzzer creates alert (4)
BEEP - Add P for pressure to BEE for buzzer. Seen this before recently, probably on a Sunday.
21 A Sikh has one billion fish (6)
BANGLE - B for billion, ANGLE verb to fish. All Sikhs have a bangle or KARA, one of the five K's.
23 Concerned with opening blade, I trust (8)
RELIANCE - RE = concerned with, then insert I into LANCE = blade.
25 Some beef? Wrong to eat horse (4)
SHIN - Insert H for horse into SIN = wrong.
26 A detective story, the ultimate gift for cellist? (3,4,3)
HIS LAST BOW - Double definition, one a suggestion. Conan Doyle published a collection of Sherlock Holmes stories under this title. Not sure why our setter chose a cellist, as Sherlock played the violin!
27 Not happy to travel regularly on such rubber? (5-3)
CROSS-PLY - CROSS = not happy, PLY = travel regularly. Do cross-ply tyres still exist on new cars? Maybe in India.
28 Old guard losing heart a total failure (6)
TURKEY - TURNKEY loses its N, i.e. middle letter or heart.

2 Enthusiasm of boxer finally ready to mate? (5)
HEART - MY LOI because I couldn't parse it to my satisfaction. My current explanation of this is a little woolly, something to do with being ON HEAT = being ready to mate and R (boxer finally) being inserted. But there's no 'ON' and HEAT alone doesn't. mean ready to mate. I suppose 'to mate' could be doing double duty, meaning 'mate' the R with the HEAT? Explain.
3 Dither, as everyone is caught up in active moving (9)
4 Head from court case over to business centre (6)
RIALTO - (T)RIAL = court case without 'head', add TO. 'What news on the Rialto?' says Salanio to Salarino in the MoV, Act 1, talking business.
5 Son indifferent about husband, I emphasise in my case, as one dealing with children (15)
SCHOOLMISTRESSY - Messy wordplay for a clumsy old word. S for son, insert H for husband into COOL = indifferent, then insert I STRESS into MY.
6 Warning notice avoids funny lines (8)
ADVISORY - (AVOIDS)*, RY = (railway) lines.
7 Magistrate seizes duke in quick move (5)
DODGE - Insert D into DOGE.
8 Apparently that of Helen being a thousand ships? (4,5)
FACE VALUE - &lit. Witty, if it's original.
14 Struggling actor hems old garment (9)
16 Rock, overturning large table across front of room (9)
GIBRALTAR - BIG reversed (overturning large), ALTAR = table, insert R(oom).
17 In public he rubbished safe sort of investment (4-4)
20 Be very eager to employ Liberal, one that’s flexible (6)
PLIANT - PANT = be very eager, insert L and I.
22 Kind of an Einstein? Not I (5)
GENUS - Einstein was a GENIUS, remove the I (not I).
24 Cut part of bulb (5)
CLOVE - Double definition.
I’m here in a cameo appearance today, filling in for william_j_s, who is on holidays. Good luck to him. My usual beat is the Saturday Cryptic, where I have a week to do the blog, so today will be an interesting change of pace!

I see there are 24 clues as against the typical 28 to 30 in the regular 15 by 15 puzzle, so only slightly smaller. Luckily for me today wasn’t one of those days where I had a blackout over the last few clues, so I finished fairly quickly for me in 8:21. My clue of the day was 14ac, which has a nicely disguised anagram, and an elegant surface to the clue.

Thanks to Orpheus for a very enjoyable puzzle.

Clues are in blue, with definitions underlined. Answers are in BOLD CAPS, followed by the wordplay. (ABC*) means 'anagram of ABC', with the anagram indicator in bold italics. Deletions are in {curly brackets}.

1 Outrageous advert in tortured prose outside university (12)
PREPOSTEROUS: an anagram of PROSE including POSTER (“advert”) and U (“university”).

9 Sources of information chap in goal rejected (5)
MEDIA: the random chap is ED, and he’s inside AIM backwards (“rejected”).

10 Porridge ingredient originally offered at breakfast, perhaps (7)
OATMEAL: O is the first letter (“originally”) of “offered”, then AT, and MEAL (“breakfast, perhaps”).

11 Heavyweight certain to display shaven head (7)
TONSURE: a TON is heavy, SURE is certain, all giving that hairstyle once adopted by monks.

12 Spy given information during army’s retreat (5)
AGENT: GEN is information, inside AT, since TA backwards (“retreating”) is the army.

14 Doctor teaches it, concerned with beauty (9)
AESTHETIC: an anagram of (TEACHES IT).

18 Trap moggy next to church (5)
CATCH: CAT being the moggy, CH being the church.

20 Part of book for cathedral clergy (7)
CHAPTER: a double definition. The second is an assembly of the canons of a cathedral, according to Chambers.

21 Souvenir from Maine not damaged by this compiler (7)
MEMENTO: ME is the code for Maine, ME refers to the compiler, and NTO is an anagram of NOT.

23 Death notice covering Republican’s sphere of action (5)
ORBIT: OBIT around R for Republican.

24 Unusual in Surinam, Med: late warm spell (6,6)

2 Superfluous revolutionary and German worker (9)
REDUNDANT: a straightforward assembly job: RED is a revolutionary, UND is German for “and”, and an ANT is almost always a worker in crosswords.

3 Paltry sum teachers invested in vegetables (7)
PEANUTS: NUT is the (National Union of) Teachers, inside (invested in) PEAS.

4 Way one brags about article? I am surprised! (5,3,5)
STONE THE CROWS: this was my last one in, but once I remembered that “way” is often ST for “street”, I saw where it was going! ST (way), ONE (literally), CROWS (brags), with THE (an article) inside.

5 Exceptionally wide, perhaps (5)
EXTRA: another double definition, the second being today’s cricketing reference.

6 Poem that’s outstanding when read aloud? (3)
ODE: sounds like OWED (“outstanding”).

7 Greet son with a stringed instrument (6)
SALUTE: S for son, A (literally), LUTE (stringed instrument).

8 Show great agitation, breaking top off TV control (5)
EMOTE: break the R off REMOTE.

13 Volatile former partner worthy of quoting (9)
EXCITABLE: your EX followed by CITABLE.

15 Players entertaining Aussie native in café (7)
TEAROOM: the players being a TEAM, with a ROO inside.

16 Rascal beginning to ingest breaded prawns (6)
SCAMPI: a SCAMP with the I from the start of “ingest”.

17 Fantastic-sounding place to light a fire! (5)
GRATE: sounds like GREAT.

19 Ultimately foolish woman upset dye (5)
HENNA: H is the last letter of “foolish”. Add ANNE (a random woman) written backwards (“upset”) .

22 Bad name Greek character finally earned? (3)
MUD: MU is a Greek letter, and D is the last letter (“finally”) of earned.


Times Cryptic 27008

A little on the tricky side at times but there were enough straightforward clues here to provide checkers to help with the more difficult ones. I completed the grid with everything parsed in 38 minutes.

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Times Quick Cryptic 1066 by Flamande

We are used to references from setters based on times of year/seasons. It would be interesting to know if setters are aware of which number their puzzle will be allocated. I suspect not as I couldn’t find any reference to Hastings or Harold (12dn references King Alfred but I don’t think this counts) in QC 1066. Apart from this slight disappointment, thanks go to Flamande for this puzzle which was in good QC style - completed in 8 minutes (quite quick for me) but enough of interest to work out when piecing the word plays together for the blog.

COD 11ac, LOIs 16dn then 23ac.

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QC 1065 by Teazel

Last time I was sitting in this seat I referred to the little game that the crossword gods seem to play with us when the mood takes them where they taunt us with answers that are literally under our noses. Such as the FELT TIP PEN I once found myself inking in with that very implement.

Then the very next day, as I recall, along came a very enjoyable main puzzle in which the last down clue was VERLAINE. And in fact that very gentleman came forward to say that that had been his LOI for the day. Which seemed to kind of reinforce my thesis, until I realised that from what I know of that gentleman's abilities, he tends to just write them in in clue order anyway. So of course that would have been his LOI.

Then came the sublime 26,999, in which the same gentleman was namechecked in one of the clues, but in which many other pleasant surprises lurked for those of us who got to the end.

A few days later I then found myself in court, with my brief running a bit late. So what would I be doing to while away the waiting time but solving number 27,003. And there I found several clear but oblique examples of those capricious deities gently mocking my situation. There was the need to define a SUIT as an ACTION (on the way to the final answer of ACTON). There were the AREOPAGITES, who were cryptically members of a 'high' court, and although I was in the County Court I was seeking leave to enforce my action in the High Court as a belt and braces to my main intent. And finally, of course, there was the answer BRIEFEST, which, although it had nothing to do with lawyers in either the definition or the cryptic, still had a 'BRIEF' winking out at me from her hiding place in the grid whereas in real life she was nowhere to be seen!

It was all looking a bit spooky to me. But then my brief turned up, I got everything on my Court Order shopping list, the mockery seemd to fade away, and I was left with nothing more than a vague sense of having been involved in a Carl Jung synchronicity anecdote.

Then came my gig today and... nothing in the least referential to my current situation turned up.

So all I can say is:

1. Don't know what my real time was as I was doing it at the same time as packing a bag to get out of the house and go away.
2. Thought it was medium difficulty and so probably would have taken me about 9-10 minutes.
3. FOI 8A.
4. LOI 1A (nice anagram and although obvious I couldn't immediately see it and had to come back to it).
5. COD 8D just because the straightforward cryptic and surface appealed to me, along with the Shakespearean allusion that it tripped in my mind.

So, 15D, this was a very enjoyable puzzle with quite a few clues that I had to look at more than once although everything was definitely very fair game for a quickie. Nice cluing from Teazel and many thanks.

Definitions are underlined, and everything else is explained just as I see it.

1 Adjust shattering moves (10)
STRAIGHTEN - anagram of SHATTERING ('moves').
8 Set of dishes for religious ceremony (7)
SERVICE - double definition (dishes as in dinner SERVICE)
9 Sign left by one supporter (5)
LIBRA - a Crossword Land supporter is usually a PROP, a FAN, a TEE (for golfers) or, as here, a BRA.  L (left) + I + BRA gives a sign. Sign of the zodiac, that is, and I add that as an afterthought as I wonder is it just me, or are there far fewer astrologers around these days? Recalling my youth, it seems to me that all the tabloid newspapers used to be stuffed with astrological supplements whereas nowadays they don't really get a mention. Have we all as a society become much more rational? Or have they all gone online or something? Or maybe all the 'celebrity' astrologers have just died (not being able to have foreseen and predicted their own demise, which I guess if they had done might have brought them some degree of posthumous additional celebrity)?
10 Miranda’s internal state (4)
IRAN - hidden in MIRANda.
11 Adolescent that is way the smallest (8)
TEENIEST - TEEN (adolescent) + IE (that is) + ST (way).
13 Countryman’s sport with short bat (6)
RUSTIC - RU (sport, Rugby Union) + STICk (a 'short' bat).
14 Edward backed our diversion (6)
DETOUR - DET (Edward (TED) 'backed') + OUR.
17 In compartment, I attempt to secure a foot treatment (8)
PODIATRY - POD (compartment) + I + TRY (attempt) 'securing' A.
19 Used to be a sort of wolf? (4)
WERE - double definition, one slightly cryptic. You used to be a WEREwolf once, WEREn't you? OK, it doesn't quite come out grammatically but it makes the point I think.
21 Dark lake one goes round (5)
UNLIT - UNIT 'going round' L (lake).
22 Here you may find aircraft hovers around a river (7)
HANGARS - HANGS (hovers) around A + R (a river).
23 Spot on a car cutely sorted (10)
ACCURATELY - anagram of A CAR CUTELY ('sorted').
2 Hard inside, handles menaces (7)
THREATS - TREATS (handles) with H (hard) inside.
3 A song coming up, one from an opera (4)
ARIA - A + RIA (song 'coming up' in this Down clue).
4 Bloke in hot spring talking (6)
GEEZER - homophone of GEYSER (hot spring).
5 Having gifts, ten dealt out (8)
TALENTED - anagram of TEN DEALT ('out').
6 Peer shows no belief, oddly (5)
NOBLE - NO + the 'odd' bits of BeLiEf.
7 Teachers hold vital tools for comprehensive entry (6,4)
MASTER KEYS - MASTERS (teachers) 'holding' KEY (vital).
8 Rider’s parting shot? (7,3)
STIRRUP CUP - cryptic definition, STIRRUP CUP being the drink (shot) served to members of a hunt once they are mounted and ready to ride to the 'fell and cruel hounds'. (Viz. "When mine eyes did see Olivia first, methought she purged the air of pestilence. That instant was I turned into a hart, and my desires, like fell and cruel hounds, e'er since pursue me." Or words to that effect. Sorry, one of my favourite lines in all of Shakespeare and if I had half an excuse to get it in... well, I was going to. So there.
12 Enormous American soldier acting badly (8)
GIGANTIC - GI (American soldier) + anagram of ACTING ('badly').
15 Finished everything? Take this garment off? (7)
OVERALL - OVER (finished) + ALL (everything), giving a garment that you might wear while doing some work, and which you might then take off when it is ALL OVER. A rare example of a clue where the definition is not (or does not include) either the first or the last word of the clue.
16 King showing some heart — hurrah! (6)
ARTHUR - hidden in heART - HURrah.
18 Greek character in mouth of river (5)
DELTA - double definition.
20 Make garment perhaps new in outfit (4)
KNIT - N (new) in KIT (outfit).

Times 27007

Time: 35 minutes
Music: Brahms, Violin Concerto, Kogan/Kondrashin

Despite my reasonable time, I suspect this was a difficult puzzle.   There were many obscurities you need to know, especially in the clues where both the literals and the cryptics are a bit tricky.   Fortunately, I have seen 'alameda', 'esse', and 'Actaeon' several times before in previous puzzles.  However, I suspect 'pourboire', 'secondo', and 'calends' may be new, and will prove difficult for those who don't know them.

I can't think of anything else to say, and for once don't even have an allusive title for the blog.   You'll have to get by on the bare bones for once, although most solvers will find the puzzle itself meaty enough.

1 Fur seen in country with cool interior … (10)
CHINCHILLA - CHIN(CHILL)A, a chestnut, but well-disguised.
6 … being included in one’s selection (4)
ESSE - hidden in [on]E'S SE[ction], a stock word in US puzzles, but not often seen in cryptics
9 Consular agent advances date once familiar to Romans (7)
CALENDS - C.A. + LENDS, often spelt Kalends, the only Latin word with a 'K'.
10 Member of duo taking boy round City function (7)
SECONDO - S(E.C.)ON + DO.   This apparently applies to Italian meals, but you don't need to know that.
12 Fellow given time to receive oxygen at a height (5)
ALOFT - AL(O)F + T.   I biffed this one, and figured it out much later.
13 Head accommodating over wine for mogul (9)
POTENTATE - P(O TENT)ATE, where 'tent' is a wine that is only served in crossword puzzles.
14 Completely finished deliveries and swindled comic at hotel (4,3,4,4)
OVER AND DONE WITH - OVER (in the cricket sense) + AND + DONE WIT + H.
17 One thus will hurry to be insistent (3,4,4,4)
PUT ONES FOOT DOWN - double definition, one referring to a lead-footed driver.
20 Tip from tedious person about one going with flow (9)
POURBOIRE - POUR + BO(I)RE, a French word that has apparently made its way into use among English speakers
21 Person with rod initially lashing out in fury (5)
ANGER - ANG[l]ER.   I just biffed this, and it took a long time to figure out how the cryptic worked.
23 Walk down alley, to begin with, after a game (7)
ALAMEDA - A + LAME + D[own] A[lley], an obscure word with a tough cryptic.
24 A horse ultimately kept in London district — a hunter (7)
25 Unpretentious-sounding carriage (4)
MIEN - Sounds like MEAN, in its root meaning.
26 Like some missiles — type crossing top of high mountains ? (5-5)

1 Exultant sound made by spaniel upset bear (4-1-4)
COCK-A-HOOP - sounds like COCKER, + POOH upside-down.  My Aunt Betty was very keen on Cocker Spaniels, but I never cared for them.
2 Dome-shaped dwelling I see during journey (5)
IGLOO - I + G(LO)O, an obvious literal for once!
3 Curbable prisoners responsive to instruction (13)
4 Popular drink one duke finds tasteless (7)
5 State of roast regularly served up in rented house (7)
LESOTHO - LE([r]O[a]S[t] upside-down)T + HO.
7 Romanians could get in a state in Italy (3,6)
SAN MARINO - anagram of ROMANIANS, known to boy stamp collectors everywhere.
8 Grind away before sealing arrangement with bank (5)
ERODE - ER(O[ver] D[raft])E
11 Leader of midland county primarily involved with arts centre (13)
CONCERTMASTER - anagram of O[f] M[idland] C[ounty] + ARTS CENTRE.
15 Finally leave on excursion with mature followers (9)
ENTOURAGE - [leav]E [o]N + TOUR + AGE.
16 Old peasant managed church bar (9)
18 Dashes up with a companion to get healthy food (7)
SPINACH - NIPS upside-down + A CH, i.e. a Companion of Honour.
19 Old couple embracing in French outdoors (4,3)
20 Secretary has pounds invested in American song (5)
PSALM - P.S. + A(L)M, where it is Personal Secretary, not Personal Assistant.
22 Envious member of political party (5)
GREEN - simple double definition, my FOI.
Elegant is the first word that springs to mind to describe this appealing Jumbo, which I rattled through inside of a quarter hour, that is to say about 1.5 Jasons.

First-Ones-In 16ac and 17ac in rapid succession, LOI 32dn as "prevent" for "stop" sprang to mind early on based on the crossers but it took me a fair bit longer to understand the tricksy re-punctuation required by the wordplay.

Clue of the Day candidates include 34ac for the audacity of re-envisioning FOREKNOWLEDGE as six separate consecutive particles, 34dn for the clever definition part well-concealed by the surface reading, and 36dn for ingenious use of "audience's left".

I was definitely a big fan of the literary feel of this puzzle, what with Shakespeare, Thoreau and Pushkin making appearances, along with Romanovs, Romans and Fates, as well as the really obvious TLS refugee at 54ac. I tip my distinctive short-brimmed hat with a sharp snap to the back of the brim to our excellently Svengali-esque setter... and I'm sorry the blog was late again! I'll work out how Google calendars work before next time, I promise.

1 Anything on Friday is stressful (7)
FRAUGHT - AUGHT [anything] on FR [Friday]

5 Approach sheep seen during ramble (8)
STRATEGY - TEG [sheep] seen during STRAY [ramble]

9 A measure of power returning to old capital (6)
OTTAWA - A WATT reversed [a measure of power "returning"] to O [old]

13 Try to remember woman involved with money orders (4,2,4,6)
DRAW ON ONES MEMORY - (WOMAN + MONEY ORDERS*) ["...involved with..."]

14 Former politician’s good with greeting (6)
GANDHI - G AND HI [good | with | greeting]

16 Perjury is brief but not fine (5)
LYING - {f}LYING [brief, losing its F for fine]

17 Men being silly fools, mostly all together (2,5)
EN MASSE - (MEN*) ["being silly"] ASSES{s} [fools, "mostly"]

18 Lie attached to account given by current mathematician (9)
FIBONACCI - FIB ON ACC [lie | attached to | account] given by I [current]

19 Embarrassed about English pamphlet being withdrawn (9)
RETRACTED - RED [embarrassed] about E TRACT [English | pamphlet]

21 Chemical spy used against soldiers (7)
REAGENT - AGENT [spy] used against RE [soldiers]

22 Rule from abroad shunned by FO (5)
REIGN - {fo}REIGN [from abroad, without the FO]

23 Manage getting out of bed for start of delivery (3-2)
RUN-UP - RUN [manage] getting UP [out of bed]

25 Need exit built both sides of parking to be appropriate (9)
EXPEDIENT - (NEED EXIT*) ["built"] on either side of P [parking]

27 Returned cotton fabric, concerned with how lords are dressed (7)
ERMINED - reversed DENIM RE ["returned" cotton fabric | concerned with]

29 What keeps up publishers’ output schedules, mostly to assist frequency (9)
BOOKSHELF - BOOKS [schedules] + HEL{p} ["mostly" to assist] + F [frequency]

31 Material dug up, bobby’s got it inside where bodies were burnt (6,7)
COPPER PYRITES - COPPER [bobby] has got IT inside PYRES [where bodies were burnt]

34 Early intelligence going to English king today left border (13)
FOREKNOWLEDGE - FOR E K NOW L EDGE [going to | English | king | today | left | border]

35 Tasty food shop, overflowing but needing work (9)
DELICIOUS - DELI [food shop] + C{op}IOUS [overflowing, without its OP = work]

37 Tsar’s family roam about some weeks soon after the revolution (7)
ROMANOV - (ROAM*) ["about"] + NOV [some weeks soon after the revolution]
I think the revolution part refers to the October Revolution of 1917, although confusingly this is also known as the November Revolution (if you date it by the Gregorian calendar) and Tsar Nicholas II was actually toppled by the *February* Revolution of that year!

39 Where to apply the acne cream immediately (2,3,4)
ON THE SPOT - double def

42 Work in proper atmosphere (5)
OPERA - hidden in {pr}OPER A{tmosphere}

43 Is preoccupied, missing nine Roman goddesses of destiny (5)
FATES - F{ix}ATES [is preoccupied, missing its IX = "nine Roman"]

45 Tell what can happen in a close election (7)
RECOUNT - double def

47 Building over a street hard beside Sussex river (9)
OASTHOUSE - O A ST H [over | a | street | hard] beside OUSE [Sussex river]
Not to be confused with the Yorkshire River Ouse!

49 Smuggler initially gets us nicked by Bow Street policeman (9)
GUNRUNNER - G{ets} U{s} N{icked} by RUNNER [Bow Street policeman]

50 Ring artist producing impossible illusion (7)
CHIMERA - CHIME RA [ring | artist]

52 Sore heads on utterly lairy chaps, extremely ratted (5)
ULCER - U{tterly} L{airy} C{haps}, E{xtremely} R{atted}

54 Novel type of hat (6)
TRILBY - double def
The novel is by George du Maurier (grandfather of Daphne) and one of the big bestsellers in the 1890s.

55 Plant that has beautiful ladies weeping (4-4-8)
LOVE-LIES-BLEEDING - differently punctuated, LOVELIES BLEEDING [beautiful ladies | weeping]

56 Judge — one who’s pulling back, half-heartedly (6)
REGARD - DRA{g}GER reversed and with only one central G [one who's pulling, "back", "half-heartedly"]

57 Rent isle going free in south-eastern Ireland (8)
LEINSTER - (RENT ISLE*) ["going free"]
The southeastern quadrant of Ireland below Ulster, and to the cartographical right of Connaught and Munster.

58 Justify time on western Scottish isle (7)
WARRANT - T [time] on W ARRAN [western | Scottish isle]

1 Nipper, one who’s mastered the violin has to grumble after ... (7,4)
FIDDLER CRAB - FIDDLER [one who's mastered the violin] has CRAB [to grumble] after

2 ... violin maker’s answer on dull one (5)
AMATI - A [answer] on MAT I [dull | one]

3 State who might be on my mind as a singer? (7)
GEORGIA - cryptic def referring to the popular song often associated with Ray Charles.

4 Upset women leave forgotten northern play with male leads (3,9,2,6)

5 Indignant sons joined forces (7,2)
STEAMED UP - S [sons] + TEAMED UP [joined forces]

6 Famous Roman wanting ancient region of Iraq overthrown (5)
REMUS - SUMER reversed [ancient region of Iraq "overthrown"]

7 Reasonable state of anger at end of game (9)
TEMPERATE - TEMPER [state of anger] AT + {gam}E

8 Silly mistake introducing Irish high-level browser (7)
GIRAFFE - GAFFE [silly mistake] introducing IR [Irish]

10 Get damp over outside of wet weather shoe (7)
TRAINER - RET reversed [get damp "over"], outside of RAIN [wet weather]

11 Habit of speech used by a duke (9)
ADDICTION - DICTION [speech] used by A D [a | duke]

12 Experts showing fiasco on aid abroad (11)

15 Unwell after a beer with papa, drunk turned to whisky — admit that’s hard to take (1,6,4,2,7)
A BITTER PILL TO SWALLOW - ILL [unwell] after A BITTER [a beer] with P [papa] + SOT reversed [drunk "turned"] to W ALLOW [whisky | admit]

20 Oven that’s too darn complicated (7)
TANDOOR - (TOO DARN*) ["complicated"]

21 Republican has to draw out Democrat in a smaller state (7)
REDUCED - R [Republican] has EDUCE D [to draw out | Democrat]

24 Poet needing to promote stock (7)
PUSHKIN - PUSH KIN [to promote | stock]

26 Flower beginning to turn on unwanted plant (5)
TWEED - T{urn} + WEED [unwanted plant]. The time-honoured "river" meaning of flower, obviously.

28 Moorcock mostly shot for fine skin (7)
MOROCCO - (MOORCOC{k}*) ["shot"]

30 Book for lido? Not right day (5)
FOLIO - FO{r} LI{d}O, the R [right] and D [day] having been subtracted

32 Stop press conference, for example (7)
PREVENT - differently punctuated, P.R. EVENT [press conference, for example]

33 America writer a superhero: admirer releasing book (7)
THOREAU - THOR [a superhero] + {b}EAU [admirer, minus its B for book]

34 One sending out jets to shoot warplane (11)
FIREFIGHTER - FIRE FIGHTER [to shoot | warplane]

36 Audience’s left outside following problem for actors (5,6)
STAGE FRIGHT - STAGE RIGHT [audience's left] outside F [following]

38 Revolting cup holds very little in (9)
MUTINYING - MUG [cup] holds TINY IN [very little | in]

40 Toaster’s empty, meal’s not begun — this could hit one hard (9)
TRUNCHEON - T{oaste}R + {l}UNCHEON [meal "has not begun"]

41 Wrong hexadecimal symbol used in top academic computer (9)
PROCESSOR - PRO{f->C}ESSOR [top academic, with the "wrong hexadecimal symbol" in it]

44 What to do after dropping off small saddle (7)
SLUMBER - S LUMBER [small | saddle]

46 Fuel tube in heart of reactor get to eaten away (7)
CORRODE - ROD [fuel tube] in CORE [heart of reactor].
Some pretty technical reactor terms here, plus I'm not sure the definition part isn't a typo, hmm.

48 Arrogance of hospital director (7)
HAUTEUR - H AUTEUR [hospital | director]

51 I had that thing about Oscar being a fool (5)
IDIOT - I'D IT [I had | that thing] about O [Oscar]

53 Church, trendy, with a service for teatime, perhaps (5)
CHINA - CH IN [church | trendy] with A

Mephisto 3005 - Tim Moorey

Another different sized grid, and another theme... of looking for April Fools in the grid.  It took some searching, but the hint that 14 across was relevant got me there.  There are two cuckoos hidden in the grid - RAIN in 1 down and ROAD in 13 down.

Overall this was rather fun, a pretty quick solve and I think I spent almost as long looking for the theme as I did on the clues.

Definitions are underlined.

Away we go...

1 Novel, excellent symphony (13, three words)
BRAVE NEW WORLD - BRAVE(excellent) and then Dvorak's NEW WORLD symphony
10 Not good being short of clubs in card game (5)
RUMMY - CRUMMY (not being good) missing C(clubs)
12 Does perhaps rush around (4)
DEER - REED(rush) reversed
14 Leaving the Borders, drive away birds (4)
ANIS - remove the outside of BANISH
15 Conservative newspaper for a girl (5)
CINDY - C, INDY(Independent newspaper)
17 Work on attic starting with cases brought in (9)
TOCCATINA - anagram of ON, ATTIC containing C(ases)
18 Tricky point of bow, one for the royals (5)
NODUS - NOD(bow), then US is the royal first person
20 Two chaps and Ted laughed so (6)
HE-HEED - HE, HE(two chaps), ED(Ted)
22 See preamble (11, three words)
HUNT THE GOWK - indication of the April Fool's Day theme
23 Little right in flipping vacuous opera (6)
ERNANI - R in the reverse of INANE
25 Miss end of Martinu slow movement (5)
LASSU - LASS(miss), (Martin)U
26 Very abbreviated show, free once (9)
30 Avoid endless wine in French summer (5)
EVITE - VI(n) in ETE
31 Heartless ship’s officer set out (4)
BOUN - remove the middle of BOSUN
32 Roger cracks joke in lively party (4)
RORT - R(Roger) inside ROT(joke)
33 Mark’s daughter wearing hat (5)
34 Popular call by journalist covering a go-between (13)
INTERMEDIATOR - IN, TERM then EDITOR(journalist) containing A

1 Serious complaint from genius following on record (10, two words)
BRAIN FEVER - BRAIN(genius), F(following), EVER(on record)
2 Scottish list is full, nothing omitted (4)
RUND - ROUND(full) missing O
3 English writer not quite right? Not quite (4)
AMIS - AMISS(not quite right) missing the end
4 Reported boat race in small islands (5)
EYOTS - sounds like EIGHTS(boat race)
5 Odd piece about Mad Hatter not normally staged here (11, two words)
EPIC THEATRE - anagram of PIECE containing an anagram of HATTER
6 Open up northern city school (10)
WINCHESTER - WIN(open up in a coal mine), CHESTER(northern city)
7 Drug agency spent a week about heroin missing (4)
WADA - HAD A W reversed missing H
8 What critics write about roving wives (7)
REVIEWS - RE, then an anagram of WIVES
9 Left me to trap East African rhino (5)
LEONE - L, ONE(me) containing E for African currency
11 See preamble (10)
SCOTTICISM - pointing at HUNT THE GOWK being a Scottish term for April Fools
13 Bird flying around north east between two rivers (10)
ROADRUNNER - anagram of AROUND,NE between R and R
16 Ram on one Andean plateau (4)
PUNA - PUN(ram) on A
19 Twist and turn mouse (7)
DUNNART - anagram of AND,TURN
21 Mouldy old stock hidden? Not completely (4)
HOAR - HOARD missing the end
24 Rush about Yorkshire racecourse (5)
RIPON - RIP(rush), ON
25 Advanced in short slow passages (5)
LENTI - LENT(advanced), I
27 Boy of four getting nothing right (4)
IVOR - IV(four), O, R
28 Politician a little tired in club no longer (4)
POLT - POL(politician), T(ired)
29 Terribly loud board contest (4)
LUDO - anagram of LOUD
8:31. This was a pretty straightforward puzzle, but a lot of fun to solve. Lots of great clues but 3dn is a particular highlight.

So many thanks to Harry, and here’s how I think it all works…

Definitions are underlined, anagrams indicated like (THIS)*, anagram indicators like this.

1 Small biting insect or mite, perhaps
SMIDGE - S, MIDGE. I’m not sure what the word ‘perhaps’ is doing here, since ‘mite’ seems a direct synonym for SMIDGE to me.
5 Piece of key informant’s confession?
BISHOP - B (key), I SHOP.
9 Being beyond reproach, you won’t get beef from her!
SACRED COW - two definitions, one whimsical.
10 European staff
11 Maiden pursued for information in hearing
CHASTE - Collins gives ‘to pursue persistently and energetically in order to obtain results, information, etc’ as one of the definitions of ‘chase’. I think if I were using it in this sense I would say ‘chase up’, but people use words in many different ways, and the lexicographer’s task is to record those that become ‘standard’ (however you define that slippery term, or whichever other slippery term you use in its place). I was going to say ‘thankless task’, but I for one am very grateful to them. Aaaaanyway, this specific meaning is needed for the surface reading.
12 A few men enthralled by combination of rings?
ONE OR TWO - OR (men) contained in ONE-TWO, a boxing (hence ‘of rings’) combination. Nice clue, that I thought for a minute might have something to do with Wagner. The absence of the word ‘interminable’ prompted me to consider alternatives.
14 Rubbly waste ground is rutted
DETRITUS - (IS RUTTED)*. I realised from this clue that I didn’t really know what DETRITUS meant. I thought it just meant general waste (and of course that’s how it’s often used), but it derives from the Latin for ‘rub off’ and specifically refers to material (particularly rocks) worn away from a larger mass. Aren’t dictionaries great?
16 It’s wet and windy in North Yorkshire
OUSE - CD. I have vivid memories of a week-long walking holiday in North Yorkshire when I was a kid. It poured with rain more or less every day and it was absolutely brilliant. I learned the truth of the phrase ‘no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes’, and my parents learned the truth of the less commonly-seen phrase ‘good clothes cost a bloody fortune’.
18 Army entertainer?
19 Do a duet badly with tenor that’s past it?
21 European Society welcomed by Bojo in his schooldays?
ESTONIAN - E(S)TONIAN. We try to avoid politics on this blog, so I will refrain from saying anything about our utterly disgraceful embarrassment of a Foreign Secretary other than that he is an OE.
22 Wife taken in by Romeo with a place abroad
RWANDA - R(W), AND (with), A.
24 Where one might see Tommy eating pickle
26 Hip-hop dude holds topped veg for street vendor
BARROW BOY -B-BOY (hip hop dude) containing mARROW. This takes me back to listening to Afrika Bambaataa records in a friend’s bedroom in the 80s. I didn’t really get the music then, but we all tried the moves. I could do the caterpillar (backwards and forwards, mind), and the braver individuals could manage some approximation of the headspin, but no-one of my acquaintance ever managed the windmill. I came to appreciate the music a little later in life, and I have very recently felt a glow of parental pride in my daughter’s appreciaton of A Tribe Called Quest.
27 Having obtained plug, ask for plug - ultimately one’s no good
BAD EGG - BEG (ask for) contains AD (plug), pluG.
28 Bullfighter involved in store robbery
TORERO - contained in ‘store robbery’

2 Naughty movie is such rubbish
MISCHIEVOUS - (MOVIE IS SUCH)*. This clue is a thing of beauty. Speaking of things of beauty…
3 Love love love?
DUCKS - this is an absolute masterpiece. ‘Love’ is the definition, in a ducks/my darling/honey/my lover/chuck [delete according to preference] sort of way, and then ‘love love’ gives two nil scores (ducks, loves, strikes out) for the wordplay. Bravo!
4 He and I are two guys into remoulding steel
ELEMENTS - MEN contained in (STEEL)*. He and I being helium and Iodine, of course. Another great clue.
5 One who’ll deliver over in Derby
BOWLER - two definitions, one possibly slightly cryptic because although a bowled ball is a ‘delivery’ in cricket I’m not sure that it’s used as a verb like this. But I am no expert so probably wrong.
6 Paramount head nervous about a star collapsing
SUPERNOVA - (Paramount, NERVOUS)*, A.
7 Before heading to Leeds, look here for fuel?
OIL - OI!, Leeds.
8 Possible result of The Donald getting in via The Bush?
ACROSS COUNTRY - of course the result would have been the same if The Donald had not got in, but it would have been a different country.
13 What might be found by duo working together at sink?
WASHER-DRYER - interesting clue: there isn’t really a definition, but it’s pretty clear what’s intended.
15 After stampeding, our steers turned up in the end
17 Go off the best solicitor in the business?
20 Item subject to inflation following a crash
23 Woman that could slow traffic?
AMBER - DD. You have to slow down to stop, I guess.
25 Time is, for more than one person, up
ERA - reversal (up) of ARE (is, for more than one person).
Some were forecasting a special showing for this millennial puzzle No. 27,000, but as far as I can see it’s business as usual, unlike the Verlaine special No. 26,999 the day before. It took me a pleasant half hour or so to solve on paper. The only unusual feature was the high number of double (and triple!) definitions.

My clue of the day was 4ac, with a mention for 20dn which I found hard to see!

Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle.

Clues are in blue, with definitions underlined. Answers are in BOLD CAPS, followed by the wordplay. (ABC*) means 'anagram of ABC', with the anagram indicator in bold italics. Deletions are in {curly brackets}.

1 Character of science magazine (6)
NATURE: double definition.

4 Small prehistoric circle within borders of certain area of Europe (8)
SCHENGEN: S (small), then CN (borders of “certain”) around HENGE. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_Area

10 In Australia, English stone said to be in fruit (11)
POMEGRANATE: a complete “sounds like” (said to be) clue. POME from POMMIE (with the final E voiced, being “English” in Australia), then GRANATE from GRANITE.

11 Superior batsman has his eye in? (3)
ORB: answer hidden in {superi}OR B{atsman}. An exception to the norm, in that the definition is not at the beginning or end of the clue. Here the definition is inboard, because it’s followed by “in” to tell us there’s a hidden answer.

12 Unimaginably high and not fully dressed (7)
TOPLESS: double definition.

14 Chap got on, given guidance (7)

15 Perhaps foot modest Christmas bill for this? (8,6)
STOCKING FILLER: another double definition, here the first one whimsical.

17 Victims of war suffered when power station fails (4,10)
LOST GENERATION: yet another double definition, the second one whimsical, and the first one described here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_Generation.

21 Skull with front modified, something dangerously unstable (7)
URANIUM: CRANIUM with the C replaced by a random U.

22 Amateurs having no energy to move round island (7)
SUMATRA: (AMAT-URS*). No E since we have no energy.

23 Slide and almost lose control of car (3)
SKI: SKI{d}.

24 Note enclosed in a pullover exchanged for jumper (4-7)
POLE VAULTER: TE (note) inside (A PULLOVER*).

26 For Diana, for example, hard to remove hair braid? (8)
HUNTRESS: H (hard), UNTRESS (remove braids?).

27 It is surprising I promise to give this (2,4)
MY WORD: and yet another dd, this one without whimsy.

1 A relatively favourable employer? (8)
NEPOTIST: cryptic definition, since nepotists employ their relatives (duh).

2 Cat to mouse: no use escaping (3)
TOM: TO M{o use}, where the omitted “o” represents the “no”, in “no use”.

3 Charity event that is no fashion show! (3,4)
RAG WEEK: a cryptic definition, I suppose.

5 Carbon damage, very displeasing for PR campaign (5,9)
CHARM OFFENSIVE: C (carbon) / HARM (damage) / OFFENSIVE (displeasing). We’ve had this phrase recently. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superficial_charm#Charm_offensive

6 No time for duck to catch seabird? It’s endless (7)
ETERNAL: {t}EAL around TERN.

7 Ransack Google — entire name missing, a pseudonym (6,5)
GEORGE ELIOT: (GOOGLE E-TIRE*), where N for name is missing from the anagram.

8 Diarist’s criticism of thin wine? (6)
NOBODY: and another dd. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Diary_of_a_Nobody

9 A measure of traffic has to get through spreading green slime (9,5)
PASSENGER MILES: PASS (get through), then (GREEN SLIME*). A measure used by airlines in particular.

13 Approving calling for action likely to bring retaliation (11)
PROVOCATION: PRO (approving), VOCATION (calling).

16 Odd, unlike MPs arriving to vote? (8)
UNPAIRED: dd number seven or so. Second definition arises because “paired” MPs don’t have to vote. Not sure “unlike” is accurate ... the MPs who have to vote are surely precisely the unpaired ones? D’oh – of course it’s a triple definition. Score one for the setter!

18 One on coach perhaps runs into lorry (7)
TRIPPER: R (runs) in TIPPER.

19 In a line, start to manoeuvre our defensive resources (7)
ARMOURY: A RY (railway) around M{anoeuvre} and OUR.

20 A coup, getting school place first (6)
PUTSCH: PUT (place) / SCH{ool}.

25 Grass up: right conduct for Confucius (3)
TAO: OAT upside down. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tao#Confucian_interpretations

Quick Cryptic 1064 by Joker

Managed to make this one take 10 minutes, but it's hard to see why, given how most of the parsings seem to be X + Y. A bit of a quibble with 9ac, but nothing particularly sneaky. The only one to need much thought in the parsing was 23 ac, but it was easily biffed first. I anticipate some above-average times..?

3 Paper ties tear badly (8)
TREATISE - anagram (badly) of TIES TEAR
7 Approached artist for something to make a picture with (6)
CAMERA - CAME (approached) + RA (Royal Academician,i.e. artist)
8 Conservative pamphlet’s become shorter (8)
9 Island nation bans a whisky (4)
MALT - MALTA minus A. Technically if it 'bans' A, it should be MLT
10 Structural rod is not quite level (3)
TIE - Level is TIER, not quite complete.
11 Show daughter is nearby (8)
13 Vagrant’s lost millions in trick (4)
TRAP - TRAMP minus M for millions
15 Partly swollen stye in part of the eye (4)
LENS - hidden word swolLEN Stye
17 Angled to include home that’s completed (8)
FINISHED - FISHED with IN inside
19 Fool’s not left with girl? (3)
ASS - Girl is LASS, minus L for left
22 Further a London orchestra (4)
ALSO - A + LSO (London Symphony Orchestra)
23 Initially moved a boring plant with long-lived orange flower (8)
MARIGOLD - M + A + RIG (boring plant, as in oil rig) + OLD. Took a while to spot this. I always panic when it's anything to do with plants, not being any kind of gardener. RIG is a nicely hidden element.
24 Large mass of party rejected number of votes cast (6)
DOLLOP - DO (party) + POLL backwards
25 Witches struggle in a city (8)

1 Hanger-on in airborne soldiers’ base? (8)
PARASITE - PARA (airborne soldier) + SITE
2 Man in charge around court is frantically active (6)
HECTIC - HE + IC (in charge) all around CT. 'Frantically' looks suspiciously like an anagrind, so wasted some time trying to make an anagram of 'active'.
3 Audibly changed direction in diplomatic understanding (4)
TACT - Sounds like ('audibly') TACKED
4 Genius that is returning playing tennis (8)
EINSTEIN - EI (that is, backwards) + anagram (playing) of TENNIS
5 Object sailor has to receive (6)
TARGET - TAR is a sailor, GET is receive
6 Bag a quick bite to eat, but not beginning to nibble (4)
SACK - SNACK without N (first letter of nibble)
12 Unsatisfactory film development on the side (8)
14 Great dislike of a particular interpretation (8)
16 Like the oceans seal’s swimming around in (6)
SALINE - anagram ('swimming') of SEAL with IN in.
18 Means of securing unravelling pleats (6)
STAPLE - anagram ('unravelling') of PLEATS
20 Milk pudding son wants earlier (4)
21 Whirl round headless toy bear (4)
EDDY - TEDDY minus the head.
A puzzle that could turn out to be a bit Marmitey I suspect - there is some truly audacious and ingenious cluing in here, but full enjoyment may depend on tolerance for quirky homophones, slightly Libertarian envelope-pushing and not one but two clues that felt to me like the wordplay was topsy-turvy (6dn and 18ac, the latter of which I'm still too tired to completely understand - help!)

Admittedly I was probably not in the best frame of mind for it, having (a) this week just started a new job in Bromley that is very promising but has an early start, necessitating a punishing 6am wakeup call every morning and (b) yesterday evening having returned from a viewing of Bergman's utterly depressing 1963 film "Winter Light" about, as so many of them are, the deafening silence of God in the face of human suffering. I did it on paper in an unexciting time, let's say about quarter of an hour, much of it spent at the end thinking that 18ac had to be CURTAIL even though that did seem very weird, but that 16dn probably couldn't be PALIKIR, the mighty capital of the Federated States of Micronesia, no matter how much I love knowing its name for quiz purposes.

The clues that didn't baffle my exhausted brain are very brilliant though and I think this puzzle probably has many more potential laugh-out-loud moments as average, and also satisfied my interesting vocab and erudite GK requirements (I very much liked the Debussy clue, and the Italian tenor too, made me feel very classical). Thumbs up to the setter - so what did everyone else think?

1 Blue shed on hill (8)
DOWNCAST - CAST [shed] on DOWN [hill]

5 Stores spoken of somewhere in SW London (6)
BARNES - homophone of BARNS [stores "spoken of"]

10 Car maintenance business? It doesn't make much (7,8)
SERVICE INDUSTRY - car maintenance is SERVICE, business is INDUSTRY, as a whole phrase a SERVICE INDUSTRY doesn't generally produce goods

11 Trash rough sketch after fuss (10)
FLAPDOODLE - DOODLE [rough sketch] after FLAP [fuss]

13 Italian tenor losing line in musical (4)
GIGI - GIG{l}I [Italian tenor (Beniamino), losing his L for line]
Hope this clue didn't remind anyone else of the epoch-shatteringly bad Bennifer movie...

15 Invitation to copy talks without constraint (4,3)
LETS RIP - sounds like "LET'S RIP", which could be an invitation to copy software or what have you

17 Small seals close to shore showing cunning (7)
SLEIGHT - SLIGHT [small] "seals" {shor}E

18 Dock replacing terminal with large screen (7)
CURTAIN - CURTAIL [dock] replacing its last letter with... um, N for large? Think I'm missing something

19 An agreement earlier in the day to back religious figure (7)
MADONNA - AN NOD AM [an | agreement | earlier in the day] reversed

21 German playwright has British cast to be authentic
ECHT - {br}ECHT - German playwright (Bertolt) losing his BR for British

22 Meeting, not for reorganising plant (10)
MIGNONETTE - (MEETING NOT*) ["for reorganising"]

25 Only a little time at the top for this officer? (6-2-7)
SECOND-IN-COMMAND - humorously misconstrued, if you only spend a single second in command, you've been a very short time at the top

27 Bolts used for front parts of cars (6)
DASHES - double def

28 Maybe Cupid’s period of influence precious, we say (8)
REINDEER - homophone of REIGN DEAR [period of influence | precious, "we say"]

1 Such extremely penetrating new fluid is what bowl contains (7)
DISHFUL - S{uc}H "penetrating" (FLUID*) ["new"]

2 County, in short, that’s declared? (3)
WAR - the country is WARwickshire, and war is something that gets "declared"

3 Cooked sliced ham about right for a December festival
CHILDERMAS - (SLICED HAM*) ["cooked"] about R [right]

4 Deal with old shirts piled up (3,2)
SEE TO - O TEES [old | shirts] reversed

6 Row away from river to get fit (4)
AGUE - A{r}GUE [row, losing its R for river]

7 What vanilla has? Very close! (7,2,2)
NOTHING IN IT - {va}NIL{la} has NIL in it

8 Pen on table for writer of elegance (7)
STYLIST - STY [pen] on LIST [table]

9 America’s masculine representation, one for export (5,3)
UNCLE SAM - (MASCUL{i}NE*) ["re-presentation", after I has been "exported" out of the equation], &lit or semi-&lit

12 Sweet white wines no great shakes? (11)
AFTERSHOCKS - AFTERS HOCKS [sweet | white wines]

14 Top player’s aim, playing with England (7,3)
LEADING MAN - (AIM + ENGLAND*) ["playing"]

16 Listener's commonly getting the shakes in small cup (8)
PANNIKIN - homophone of PANICKIN' ["listener's" commonly, getting the shakes]

18 Needing evening out, stopped around mid-afternoon (7)
CREASED - CEASED [stopped] about {afte}R{noon}

20 One changes finale in Debussy piece, but not the opening (7)
AMENDER - END [finale] in {l}A MER [Debussy piece, "but not the opening"]

23 Recess in cliff-side road, corner half obscured (5)
NICHE - {cor}NICHE [cliff-side road, losing half the word COR{ner} from the start]

24 Competitive, the last to move up, one of two that could be capped (4)
KNEE - KEEN [competitive], with the last letter moving up into second position. Knees come in pairs and can have kneecaps or even be kneecapped.

26 Measure of land is for more than one (3)
ARE - the plural form ["for more than one"] of IS

Times Quick Cryptic No 1063 by Tracy

I know we bloggers tend to repeat ourselves overly much, but I’m not going to apologise for doing it again here.  This is a lovely crossword puzzle, with some excellent surfaces, hidden subtleties, disguised definitions and pure, concise clueing.  Often, when solving, and in the rush to complete, it is possible for Solvers to miss some of the beauty that lies in the Setter's art.  Whilst Blogging, we are forced to look back, to understand and explain or account for every word in the clue, and as a result, we are forced to revisit and appreciate these sometimes hidden or under-appreciated gems.  That is why I like to blog, but I wouldn’t want to do it every day!

As examples, look at how cleverly Tracy has hidden the definition in 8a, how succinct are 17a and 2d, and the misdirection in 7d.  Lovely!

This took me 11 minutes to complete, and about 90 minutes to fully appreciate.  Thanks Tracy.

Excessively sentimental message shortened(4)
TWEE – The shortened message is a TWEE{t}.  A tweet apparently is a message posted on Face-Twitt or something, which is itself to do with ‘new meejia’ and a worldwide interweb social networking site thing
3  Information given before summit in bureaucratic language (8)
NEWSPEAK – Information given is NEWS with PEAK as the summit.  NEWSPEAK is the language of Oceania in Orwell’s 1984, designed to limit the freedom of thought of the masses, and promoted by the ‘Inner Party’.
Perhaps a recital to be broadcast (7)
ARTICLE – Definition by example here, using the indefinite article as the example.  Easy anagram (broadcast) of [RECITAL].  A beautifully hidden definition contributing to this excellent surface.
10  Struggles to accept western opinions (5)
VIEWS – Struggles gives us VIES, into which is inserted (to accept) W{estern}
11  Sergeant Major cultivated?  Rubbish, a know-it-all (11)
SMARTYPANTS – S{ergeant} M{ajor} plus ARTY (cultivated) and PANTS (rubbish).  Reminds me of a funny story about a Regimental Sergeant Major in the Marines that I once worked for, but he still intimidates me after 40 years, so I’ll say no more.
13 Square Italian dish containing anchovies, primarily (6)
PIAZZA – PIZZA (Italy’s most famous dish) containing A{nchovies} (primarily)
15 Timetable information ringed by a District Attorney (6)
AGENDA – GEN is the information, inside (ringed by) A and D{istrict} A{ttorney}
17  Forced, prisoners exercised (11)
CONSTRAINED – CONS are the prisoners and TRAINED serves for ‘exercised’
20  Girl in care, I suspect (5)
ERICA –Anagram of [CARE I] (with suspect acting as the anagrind)
21  A modern resort?  You wish! (5,2)
DREAM ON – Anagram (resort) of [A MODERN].  Resort here is the transitive rather than the intransitive verb or noun, i.e. to change the order of, rather than to have recourse to, or in reference to a ski resort for example!
22 Legendary knight in a cell, not free (8)
LANCELOT – Sir Lancelot du Lac from the Arthurian legend.  Anagram of (free) [A CELL NOT]
23  Reportedly lazy superstar (4)
IDOL – Sounds like (reportedly) IDLE (lazy)

1 Part of church school – one removed faulty step (8)
TRANSEPT – To school is to TRA{i}N (one removed) with an anagram of [STEP] (faulty).  I am led to believe that the TRANSEPT is that part of a church that crosses the nave, or the main part of the building
Run more (5)
EXTRA – Two word clue = double definition (invariably).  In this case, it also provides our nearly obligatory cricket reference.  An EXTRA in cricket is a run scored by a means other than the batsman hitting the ball and is also referred to as a ‘sundry’.  EXTRA also means more – think Oliver Twist – “Please Sir!  I want some more / extra”
Release former partner, almost lacking emotion (6)
EXEMPT – EX is former partner, and (almost = drop last letter) EMPT{y}.  Empty could mean ‘lacking emotion’, as in having nothing inside.  I’m not entirely satisfied with this, but I think it is right.  To EXEMPT is to release from obligation.
5  Discount kindness as a redeeming feature (6,5)
SAVING GRACE – A discount would be a SAVING, and GRACE a type of kindness.  Put them together and one gets a compensating virtue or redeeming feature (apart from the more specific theological meaning of the phrase).
6  Individual, first off, has me engaged, a US poet (7)
EMERSON – The individual is a {p}ERSON (first off) with ME engaged (inserted).  The answer refers, I think, to Ralph Waldo E., but there are other potential candidates.
7 Peck: his last is first in sequence (4)
KISS – {pec}K (his last), followed by IS (is) and S{equence} (first in)
9  Zimbalist originally wearing necktie in a moving picture (7,4)
CITIZEN KANE – Z{imbalist} (originally) in (wearing) an anagram of [NECKTIE IN A] (the anagrind here is moving, but moving could also serve as part of the definition if doing double-duty) to give the famous Orson Welles debut film / picture.  A Zimbalist is a player of the ‘cimbalon’ – it helps knowing that, doesn’t it?
12 Principal character in a line (8)
CARDINAL – CARD is the character, followed by IN (in) A (a) and L{ine}
14  Movement round university where lots go (7)
AUCTION – Movement gives ACTION (as in the movement of events in a drama, novel, etc. which can be described as the ACTION) and this surrounds (round) U{niversity}.
16  Diligent American leaving for workshop (6)
STUDIO – Diligent gives us STUDIO{us} (American leaving) to leave our answer.
18  Wayfarer with small number on loco (5)
NOMAD – NO (small number or No.) on MAD (loco).  Wayfarer is a traveller, usually on foot, so NOMAD fits the definition nicely.
19  Touch lucky, at first, after charge (4)
FEEL – FEE is the charge ‘after’ which comes L{ucky} (at first)

Times 27004 - in wordplay we trust

Solving time: 10:47, and there were three answers where I had to trust the wordplay alone, one of which was a nail-biter.  Nothing too outrageous or scary here, a lot of good wordplay and fun to be had.

Definitions are underlined in the clues.

Away we go...

1 Amassed a fortune, as Oppenheimer's team did (4,1,4)
MADE A BOMB - double definition, the second based on J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Manhattan project
6 Be leader in fashion with Italian suit (5)
BEFIT - BE, F(ashion), IT
9 Disturbed wild gelding (7)
NIGGLED - anagram of GELDING
10 Good question by French female, briefly a writer (7)
GASKELL - G, ASK(question), ELL(e) - the first of mine from wordplay alone, though the name sounded plausible. Elizabeth Gaskell, biographer of Charlotte Bronte
11 One sorry about daughter becoming less civil (5)
RUDER - RUER(one sorry) about D
13 Attendants in hospital department nowadays? (9)
ENTOURAGE - ENT(hospital department), OUR AGE(nowadays)
14 Like a killer’s single crime initially featured in magazine (9)
ARSENICAL - I(single), C(rime) in ARSENAL(magazine)
16 Stop limping (4)
HALT - double definition
18 Dirty farm building, with nothing moved inside (4)
SOIL - SILO(farm building) with the O in this inside
19 Repeatedly mentioning computers etc given low grading? (9)
ITERATING - IT(computers) getting an E RATING
22 Playwright having drink with performer missing start of rehearsal (9)
DRAMATIST - DRAM(drink) then ARTIST missing R(ehearsal)
24 Gong finally sounded, interrupting dinner, say (5)
MEDAL - (sounde)D inside MEAL(dinner)
25 Crampon primarily used by supple mountaineer (7)
CLIMBER - C(rampon), LIMBER(supple)
26 One way to cook food, grand with pepper (7)
GRIDDLE - G(grand), RIDDLE(pepper)
28 One who’s generous with fellow men (5)
DONOR - DON(academic fellow), OR(military men)
29 Gives to heirs with no difficulty (5,4)
HANDS DOWN - double definition

1 Island folk pursued by dangerous sea creature (7)
MENORCA - MEN(folk), ORCA(dangerous sea creature). The one I was most worried about since I've heard of MINORCA and MAJORCA, but not MENORCA
2 Like indigenous houses (3)
DIG - hidden in inDIGenous
3 Flaps, performing in a role at start of show (8)
AILERONS - anagram of IN,A,ROLE then S(how)
4 Maybe pensioner could drive, taking regular breaks (5)
OLDIE - alternating letters in cOuLd DrIvE
5 Piano piece, opening in short musical entertainment (9)
BAGATELLE - GATE(opening) in BALLE(t)
6 Degree question university set in extremely simple language (6)
BASQUE - BA(degree), then Q(question), U(university) in S(impl)E
7 Unkempt beards are, if not kept in check (4,2,1,4)
8 Everything in trial is unbelievable in the extreme (7)
TALLEST - ALL(everything) in TEST(trial)
12 End of journey from foreign terminal, skirting Iran's borders (11)
DESTINATION - DE(from, in French), then STATION(terminal) containing I(ra)N
15 Youngster tailed by one clever old commander (9)
CHILIARCH - CHIL(d), then I, ARCH(clever) - the third of my wordplay alone clues, a leader of a thousand men
17 Amassing newfangled sources of power (3,5)
18 Enticed up-and-coming dandies around city (7)
SEDUCED - DUDES(dandies) around EC(city) all reversed
20 Brass over edge of porthole on old sailing vessel (7)
GALLEON - GALL(brass), then (porthol)E, ON
21 One giving needle or gas? (6)
JABBER - double definition, gas being hot air here
23 Animal, possibly from Bangkok, extinct, reportedly (5)
TIGON - sounds like THAI GONE
27 Performers discovered unknown operatic intros (3)
DUO - first letters in Discovered Unknown Operatic
I enjoyed this moderately straightforward puzzle. I think it has a nostalgic, Empire feel to it, you couldn't call it a theme exactly but knowledge of subcontinent currencies and carriages was helpful. As was some acquaintance with a Greek judge, a medieval jacket more often known by other names and an obscure breed of horse. But I have no complaints, all those answers can be teased out from wordplay and dropped in with reasonable confidence. Unusually, there is only one anagram.

25 minutes. Definitions underlined, anagrinds in italics.

1 Buzzer’s high-pitched sound, quietly ignored by beadle (9)
BUMBLEBEE - Mr Bumble was the nasty beadle in Oliver Twist. BEEP loses its P and follows.
6 Model backed by a fabulous writer (5)
AESOP - POSE, A, reversed. Fable writing chap.
9 Cancel regular payment, getting round creditor (5)
SCRUB - CR(editor) inside SUB.
10 Conspirator, one causing fascination? (9)
INTRIGUER - Double definition.
11 Part of Ulster a gouty Frenchman recollected (6,9)
COUNTY FERMANAGH - (A GOUTY FRENCHMAN)*. Beautiful part of the world, which I used to visit in the 1970s but not without some trepidation as there were chaps with guns around.
13 Emphasis placed on police officer’s affliction (8)
DISTRESS - DI = policeman, STRESS = emphasis.
14 Show-off taking problem round university (6)
POSEUR - Insert U into POSER = problem.
16 Return of fantastic regiment protecting one part of Nigeria (6)
BIAFRA - FAB returned = BAF, insert I (one) add RA (artillery regiment). After seceding in 1967 and then losing the horrendous civil war, Biafra is still part of Nigeria although a 'government in exile' apparently exists in London.
18 Support from beneath, needing identification (8)
UNDERPIN - UNDER = beneath, PIN as in Personal Identification Number for cash machines or online banking.
21 Reportedly talked round those having a row? That makes you merry! (3,4,3,5)
ONE OVER THE EIGHT - Sounds like 'won over the eight' i.e. persuaded the rowing crew. Apparently the phrase is of military origin, ca. 1925, based on 8 beers being 'enough'. Beer was a bit weaker then, but all the same...
23 Second medal for one replacing old tree (6,3)
SILVER FIR - SILVER = second medal, not gold for first; FOR has its O replaced by I = one.
25 Suit Italian leader abandoned for old jacket (5)
ACTON - ACTION = (law) suit, Remove the I (Italian leader). Originally an anglicisation of arqueton or aketon worn under armour, I think an Acton jacket came to mean a short doublet type jacket, but I can't find much else about it. Mrs K thought there was a chap (Lord Acton?) for whom it was named, but I think not.
26 Brief expression of contempt about a Mexican plant (5)
YUCCA - YUC(K), C (about) A.
27 Short article by cricketer in London area (9)
BATTERSEA - BATTER is a cricketer. SE, A..Where is the SE coming from? Battersea is SW11 so it's not the 'London area'. EDIT As ulaca was first to point out, I was fixated on BATTER, it's BAT plus TERSE (short) plus A for area. Doh.
1 Fundamental, thus to support rise of upper classes (5)
BASIC - B, A = AB (upper classes) reversed; SIC Latin for thus.
2 Position of noble son settled in large tent (11)
MARQUESSATE - Insert S(on) and SAT (settled) into MARQUEE.
3 Seafood bishop fed to confused monarch (7)
LOBSTER - B for bishop inserted into LOST ER confused monarch.
4 Least extensive celebration in Berlin, starting with cheese (8)
BRIEFEST - BRIE is cheese, FEST German for a celebration.
5 Forcefully acquire gold held by former abstainer (6)
EXTORT - Insert OR (gold) into EX TT = former abstainer.
6 A contemptible person at Oxford initially, notedly restless (7)
AGITATO - A, GIT, AT, O)xford). Musical term.
7 Individual forks out pounds for old French coin (3)
SOU - SOUL loses its L.
8 One in lofty position astride heavy horse (9)
PERCHERON - A PERCHER could be one in a lofty position, ON = astride. For a recent birthday Mrs K gave me a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle bought for £3 in a charity shop; its subject was 16 or so breeds of horses illustrated on a plain white background. Too much white space to be fun to do, but one of them was a Percheron, so it wasn't a total waste of time as I didn't know the word before.
12 Members of High Court live over it, surrounded by attendants (11)
AREOPAGITES - ARE = live, O = over, PAGES = attendants, insert IT. I had to look it up, but no doubt Verlaine won't need to. All to do with a 1C Greek judge chap who was converted to Christianity.
13 Hesitantly name tinker with evidence of debt (9)
DUBIOUSLY - DUB = name, Christopher SLY the tinker chap in The Taming of the Shrew, insert IOU = evidence of debt.
15 Hermit’s tedious task, filling a set of books (8)
ANCHORET - A, NT (set of books), insert CHORE a tedious task.
17 German four in broadcast going over French holiday region (7)
RIVIERA - Reverse AIR and insert VIER as in eins, zwei, drei, vier.
19 Raise tax invested in European shelter (7)
ELEVATE - Insert VAT (UK value added tax) into E, LEE = shelter.
20 Judge in Pennsylvania with second-class house (6)
PREFAB - REF = judge, insert into PA, add B for second class. Prefabricated small house prevalent in UK after WWII.
22 Heavyweight finally driving a two-wheeled vehicle (5)
TONGA - TON = heavyweight, (drivin)G, A. A Tonga or Tanga is a horse drawn vehicle in India, Pakistan or Bangladesh.
24 Reportedly be short of 100,000 rupees (3)
LAC - Sounds like LACK = to be short of. LAC also spelt LAKH as in Indian currency.

Quick Cryptic 1062 by Marty

This was one of those puzzles that I found tricky whilst solving, but then having written up the blog I can't really figure out why.  No obscurities (other than, possibly, the heather in 3d - but then we were given all the letters in cross checkers so that was hardly going to be a problem), no dodgy definitions, and no whimsical cryptics requiring you to be on the setter's wavelength.  All in all, solid fare but I found it quite a challenge.
I'll be interested to see whether I was alone in my travails, or if some of the rest of you also found it curiously resistant.
So without further ado - other than to record grateful thanks to Marty - here's how I think it all works...

Definitions underlined:  anagrams indicated by *(--): omitted etters indicated by {-}
1 She’s not entirely above the law (5)
ETHEL - Hidden in (not entirely) abovE THE Law - and well hidden too, I thought: spent some time looking at this clue trying to justify EDICT...
7 I have arrived dead on time? You, one hears,
unprepared (9)
IMPROMPTU - I'M PROMPT (I have arrived dead on time) + U (sounds like - one hears - YOU)
9 Bear the onset of bankruptcy before downfall (5)
BRUIN - B (the onset of Bankruptcy) comes 'before' RUIN (downfall)
10 My amusing exercises here? (9)
GYMNASIUM - *(MY AMUSING) with "exercises" indicating the anagram
11 Use a needle having three points? (3)
SEW - The answer comprises three 'points' of the compass - South, East and West
12 Assigns new labels to right food additives (9)
RENUMBERS - R (right) + E NUMBERS (food additives)
14 Insult by English copper journalist grilled (9)
BARBECUED - BARB (insult) + E (English) + CU (copper) + ED (journalist)
16 Diamonds one found next to church (3)
ICE - I (one) 'next to' CE (Church - of England)
18 Pay Harris for repairs: I can fix locks (9)
HAIRSPRAY - *(PAY HARRIS) with "for repairs" signalling the anagram
20 Bungling in record time (5)
INEPT - IN + EP (record) + T (time)
21 Unusual thing: good to have this for one’s
? (9)
NIGHTGOWN - *(THING) - with "unusual" signposting the anagram - + G (good) + OWN (to have)
22 Fellow crossing street blowing hard (5)
GUSTY - GUY (fellow) wraps around (crossing) ST (street)

1 Yours truly lifted head to carve (6)
EMBOSS - ME reversed (yours truly lifted) + BOSS (head)
2 Party raising the temperature in Parliament? (5-7)
HOUSE-WARMING - cryptic steer from Parliament being the House
3 Heather Lake’s bra and pants? (8)
LINGERIE - LING (a type of heather) + ERIE (lake - one of the "great" ones)
4 Old primate, a quiet celebrity on the up (6)
APEMAN - A P (a quietly) + NAME reversed (celebrity on the up)
5 State of S English county appalling at first (4)
IOWA - IOW (Isle of Wight - Southern English county) + A (Appalling at first)
6 Buzz monsieur to go with us for a dip (6)
HUMMUS - HUM (buzz) + M (abbrev. Monsieur) + US
8 Champions, excited, wire reps in NZ (12)
PRIZEWINNERS - *(WIRE REPS IN NZ) with "excited" suggesting the anagram
13 Undid gym pants getting dirty (8)
MUDDYING - *(UNDID GYM) with "pants" pointing to the anagram
14 He turns up in tie, late (6)
BEHIND - HE reversed (he turns up) 'in' BIND (tie)
15 Completely remove our pot that’s broken (6)
UPROOT - *(OUR POT) with "broken" signalling the anagram
17 Sweetheart hypothetically, in part, crude (6)
EARTHY - Hidden in (in part) sweethEART HYpothetically
19 Stuff son consumed (4)
SATE - S (son) + ATE (consumed)

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