ulaca (ulaca) wrote in times_xwd_times,
ulaca
ulaca
times_xwd_times

Times 28105 - Blood! Death! War! Rumpy-pumpy!

I thought this crossword was fun, quirky, not too easy and a little left-field. Several words which are more familiar with other meanings, and one word which could probably stand as a shibboleth test to determine who are the 'sexists' among us.

I am proud to say I failed the test, but then I hate all '-isms' - the coinages, not what they signify. To me, use of such verbiage tends to lead to censorship and the abolition of thinking (not to mention, dissent), and that - for someone living in Hong Kong in an increasingly closed and moribund society - is something that is truly disturbing...

31:10

ACROSS

1 Bird house originally opened by American writer (6)
HOOPOE - HO O[pened] POE (Crosswordland's most popular 19th US writer - I prefer Hawthorne of the essays and tales)
5 One and only constant is spy chief’s impropriety (8)
SOLECISM - SOLE C IS M
9 Shammer’s way to interrupt beggar’s declaration? (8)
IMPOSTOR - ST in I'M POOR
10 Very narrow lane in depressed area (6)
VALLEY - V ALLEY
11 Blow wind instrument outside back of inn (6)
BUNGLE - [in]N in BUGLE; 'blow' (verb) as in 'cock up'
12 Huge deficit borne by firm at Leicester initially (8)
COLOSSAL - LOSS in CO A[t] L[eicester]
14 Tumbled over boarding train with possible classmate (12)
SCHOOLFELLOW - FELL (tumbled) O (over) in ('boarding') SCHOOL (train) W (with)
17 Confront oarsman making progress in water (12)
BREASTSTROKE - BREAST (confront as in 'breast the storm') STROKE (person who determines how many strokes per minute, say, a group of oarspeople will perform)
20 Discontinue honour associated with that in French monarchy (8)
QUEENDOM - END (discontinue) OM (Order of Merit > honour) after QUE ('that' in French)
22 Like Pat’s deliveries after all? Not entirely (6)
POSTAL - POST (after) AL[l]; a reference to children's TV character, 'Pat the Postman'
23 Disreputable son lacking energy to swallow drug (6)
SLEAZY - S E (drug) in LAZY; a Times crossword is like a Vestal Virgin without her gown if it doesn't include a drug or cricketing reference - preferably, both
25 Women’s group left with drunk around dusk (8)
TWILIGHT - WI (Women's Institute) L (left) in TIGHT (drunk)
26 Representative in court? Try one at random (8)
ATTORNEY - you need an anagram* of TRY ONE AT to obtain this member of the lego-judicial industry
27 A winner in odd parts of this Pacific island (6)
TAHITI - A HIT in T[h]I[s]

DOWN

2 Element primarily identified in outstanding parent (6)
OSMIUM - I[dentified] in OS (outstanding) MUM (parent); one of the names Brian Blessed (AKA 'Richard IV') must have called his non-firstborn son Edmund; along with Osmund, Edgar and Edna...
3 In quiet Irish waterway, jointly use cutter (11)
PLOUGHSHARE - P LOUGH SHARE
4 Leap — then react badly (9)
ENTRECHAT - THEN REACT*; a ballet move, I believe
5 Teacher meeting commanders in hot oppressive wind (7)
SIROCCO - SIR OC (officer commanding) CO (commanding officer); funny to name a wind after a car, but there you are
6 Plane taking off and touching down? (5)
LEVEL - LEVEL is a palindrome, so the same going up and coming down; plane and level are adjectives meaning flat
7 Mostly chilly passage through mountains (3)
COL - COL[d]; I used to say that this was the type of clue even an Australian could get, before I was severely reprimanded and threatened with an evening binge-watching Neighbours
8 Novel way to betray high-class furniture maker (8)
SHERATON - SHE (the HR Haggard book which has been immortalised by crossword setters) RAT ON (to betray); Thomas Sheraton was on of the Big Three British furniture designers of the 18th century, along with Thomas Chippendale and George Hepplewhite. Hepplewhite has entered oblivion, presumably because no hotel chain or group of strippers was named after him.
13 Craftsman unexpectedly visits her mill regularly (11)
SILVERSMITH - VISITS HER M[i]L[l]*
15 Mark made by one progressing in Oxford, perhaps? (9)
FOOTPRINT - a nice cryptic definition with an Oxbridge reference to keep the colonials on their toes
16 Racehorse spy allowed to catch river fish (8)
TROUTLET - R (river) in TOUT (racehorse spy) LET (allowed); a TOUT is ‘a person who spies on racehorses so as to obtain betting information to sell’ (Collins)
18 It set up a test on extremely hardy grass (7)
TIMOTHY - TI (it reversed) MOT (test of vehicle roadworthiness) H[ard]Y; 'a perennial European grass (Phleum pratense) with dense, cylindrical spikes of bristly spikelets, widely grown for hay'
19 Prestige of a Communist revolutionary in Connecticut (6)
CACHET - A CHE in CT
21 Senior member’s passionate desire to support party (5)
DOYEN - DO (party) YEN (passionate desire)
24 A board-game for two players in the past (3)
AGO - A GO (Japanese board game)
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  • Times Quick Cryptic 2012 by Mara

    Introduction DNF, thanks to 11 Down (my parsing remains questionable). Solutions Across1   Difficult situation spinners turned around (4)…

  • Times 28143 - no stone unturned.

    A rapid solve for me with nothing unknown or uncomfortable. Unusually, two and a half homophones. Not as much fun as some recent Wednesdays, but…

  • Times Cryptic 28142

    Solving time: 33 minutes, and as this would suggest I found it quite straightforward. I needed a confidence-builder after some of the difficult 15…

  • Times Quick Cryptic No 2011 by Tracy

    As your regular Tuesday blogger Chris is away for a while, I've come off the substitutes' bench to fill his slot today. When I printed out…

  • Times Quick Cryptic 2010 by Orpheus

    Solving time: 9 minutes. Maybe some tricky clues here. As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions and substitutions are in…

  • Times 28141 - Sunil Havaskar?

    Mondays appear to have been ramped up a bit recently, with this one coming in at around my true NITCH. (The actual number is lower, but that's mainly…