Times 25553: Anything but a 1dn
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Solving time: 18:08

Phew! Got an easier one on blogging day after harder than usual puzzles on Monday and Tuesday. A pretty standard effort I found with a few bits of tricky wordplay holding me up in the NE corner. Only two bits of vocab were unknown (25ac, 4dn), but the wordplay landed them.

Across
1. BUSHCRAFT. Reverse CH (Companion) inside BUS and RAFT.
6. ANGUS. ANGUIS{h} minus the I (one needing release).
9. SUNLESS. {spiceles}S + UNLESS (if not).
10. WALPOLE. Reverse LAW + POLE (European). Def = PM many years ago.
11. A,LACK.
13. STEAMSHIP. S (second), TEAMS (side’s), HIP (bit of a cheer). S.S. Great Britain is now a major tourist attraction in Bristol.
14. DIS,CUSSED. DIS is a standard for the underworld.
16. BASS. Two meanings: the singing voice and the fish.
18. HIND. Two meanings: the female deer and the adjective (as in ‘hind leg’).
19. OLD MASTER. Anagram: art models. What Romanian mothers burn in their ovens when the police arrive.
22. THE SOLENT. SOLE (fish) inside THEN (after that) + T{rawler}.
24. ADD-ON. AD (notice), DON (member of university, aka JAFA).
25. PAISANO. AS (when) reversed inside PAIN (agony) + 0 (love). Even the US Oxford doesn’t give this meaning of the Spanish for ‘peasant’. But it’s in Chambers: someone from the same town ... hence a friend.
26. TOADISH. A DI (little woman) inside TOSH. Did try to justify ‘toryish’ as our annoying Shadow Treasurer was screaming his box off, as always, on the radio during the solve.
28. RUMMY. Two rather obvious meanings. Paradoxically rummy is one of the least peculiar card games. Makes cribbage seem like quantum mechanics.
29. DEMEANOUR. {hostil}E and MEAN inside DOUR. The def is ‘look’.

Down
1. BASTARD. STAR inside BAD. May have offended some solvers, though it’s a term of endearment down here.
2. SIN. SI{g}N.
3. CHECKOUT. Two meanings, the first usually split into two words.
4. APSIS. A, PS (note at end of letter) IS. I quote: “either of two points on the orbit of a planet or satellite that are nearest to or furthest from the body around which it moves”.
5. TOW-HEADED. Anagram: dead hot we. “And in walked Tom the ostler with hair like mouldy hay”.
6. AFLAME. A, FAME inc L (litres). ‘Drinking’ is the indicator of inclusion.
7. GOOD-HEARTED. Because it’s found in the centre of {din}GO OD{dly}. Bet I wasn’t the only one looking at the letters from DiNgO.
8. STEPPES. STEPS (walks) inc PE (exercise).
12. ABSENTEEISM. Anagram: it means bees.
15. STONE COLD. TONE inside SCOLD.
17. MAHARAJA. Reverse: a jar, a ham.
18. HOTSPUR. HOUR (time) inc TSP (teaspoon, a little medicine). Another drink-type inclusion indicator. Sir Henry Percy, aka Harry Hotspur. Well known from Henry IV Pt 1.
20. RANCHER. RAN (controlled) + {ar}CHER. Ref to the long-running radio series The Archers, the theme from which every English person of a certain age can hum at the drop of a hat.
21. ROTARY. ROT + {v}ARY.
23. TOTEM. TOT + reversal of ME.
27. I,DO. This was in a fairly recent Graun puzzle where I learned that it’s a development of Esperanto.

Times 25541: Don’t fret!
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Solving time: 21:48

Taking a leaf out of Jack’s book, I decided to take this one as slowly as possible. But it wasn’t all that difficult. There’s still one I can’t parse (26ac) and await revelations from the “community” (yuk!).

Across

1. MADEIRA. MADE, I{sland}, R{ight}, A.

5. AGITATO. A, G{ood,} 1 (one), T{ime}, AT, O (=Oval). Let’s hope Australia has such a thing later in the month eh?

9. LEVITATED. Anagram: let TV idea.

10. PIPIT. P{iano}, I, PIT.

11. COLON{y}. Which can be used like this: to break a sentence.

12. RETALIATE. Reverse I LATER, ATE (scoffed).

13. PRE(POSSE)SSING.

17. AFRICAN VIOLET. I CAN (I preserve) + VIOL; all inside A FRET. One of the few fretted instruments I don’t play.

21. COPYRIGHT. COY (modest), RIGHT (sounds like ‘write’, to author) inc P for ‘power’.

24. THROW. TH{e}, ROW.

25. DEL(H)I. Today’s dead giveaway.

26. INITIALLY. Has to be the answer, but I have no idea how it works. All help gladly received.

27. SL(E)IGHT.

28. TANKARD. T{avern} + anagram: drank a.

Down

1. MALI(CE).

2. DEVELOPER. Two literals: real estate and photography.

3. INTENSE. ‘See’ and ‘saw’ are different tenses of the same verb. Liked this one best.

4. AFTERNOON. Anagram: a front one.

5. AUDIT. A, U{niversity}, DIT (Morse Code for E).

6. IMP,ALAS. The Chevvy of said name was always my favourite.

7. ALPHA. The key here is the ‘A’ (before ‘star’), where Alpha is the international radio sign for that letter. Then think: Alpha Centauri or Alpha Crucis, etc.

8. OUTWEIGH. Hear: out way.

14. SHINTOIST. Anagram: this is not.

15. INTER ALIA. A cryptic def. If we include ‘and others’ the class of said things is not exhausted.

16. BAR CODES. Another cryptic def.

18. CUR(L)ING.

19. LATVIAN. Anagram: valiant. “There was a young lady from Riga …”, etc.

20. SWAYED. Hidden.

22. PULSE. Two literals.

23. G(R)IST.


Times 25529: Voici l’Anglais avec son sang-froid habituel
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Solving time: 27:44

Third puzzle this week I’ve found quite difficult; particularly, in this case, on the left-hand side — though with a few simpler clues on the right to compensate. Wonder if it’s the puzzles or just my head cold?





Across
1 BACKCHAT. B{l}ACK CAT; insert H (horse). The literal is ‘lip’.
5 SCARAB. SCAR (craggy outcrop) + AB (tar, sailor).
10 NÎMES. N {new}, reversal of SEMI (house).
11 LANDOWNER. LANE+R inc DOWN (paradoxically a hill).
12 INTUITIVE. I’VE after INUIT, inc T.
13 SCONE. Two meanings; the biscuity cake and the place famous for its coronations, each with its own pronunciation ... or two.
14 TOP-HOLE. T{he} OP; and HOLE sounds like ‘whole’ (complete).
16 SCHOOL. Anagram of SOHO inc C{entral} and L (for ‘line’).
18 INSE(C)T. Traces of DBE here; though note the question-mark.
20 CURTSEY. CURT (uncivil), S{ervant}, reversal of YE (the old).
22 AZTEC. A and Z (extremists), TEC (investigator).
23 THUMBNAIL. Where Tom is Tom Thumb.
25 GRIMINESS. GRIM (stern), 1, NESS (head).
26 CHARM. Two meanings.
27 TEENSY. TEE (as in driving, golf); S{chool} inside NY
28 GRAND,SON. Sounds like ‘Sun’.


Down
1 BANDITTI. BAN (bar); sound-alike for DITTY (song).
2 COMET. ME in COT.
3 CASH IN ONE’S CHIPS. Two meanings, one more literal (‘fail finally’).
4 ALL-TIME. LT (lieutenant) in A, LIME.
6 CROSS THE RUBICON. Anagram: to scrub her coins.
7 RANCOROUS. The board RAN (the) company (CO); anagram of ‘sour’.
8 BURDEN. Two meanings again.
9 ANGELS. A + {e}NGELS. Sadly, my last in.
15 PINSTRIPE. P (pressure), anagram of ‘priest in’.
17 CYCLAMEN. AM in CYCLE; N (northern). Finally! A plant I’ve heard of.
19 TITTER. TT (tee-totaller) inside TIER.
20 CRUISER. C (conservative), {b}RUISER.
21 GADGET. {heedin}G, AD, GET (purchase).
24 AMASS. A (article) in A + MSS (manuscripts).


Times 25523: Third Qualifier
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As the convention has it, no specific time for this. Simply to say, I found this the hardest of three by far. This may have to do with completing the 1973 puzzle first and then readjusting to the current style. Whether or no, the top left was the last corner to fall.





Across
1 BOLIVAR. OLIV{e} in BAR. Simon Bolívar, Venezuelan patriot.
5 BEWITCH. C inserted into BE WITH.
9 SONG CYCLE. S{oft} + ON CYCLE (pedalling), inc G. Def: piano’s accompaniment to this.
10 PRIAM. 1 in PRAM.
11 ISAAC. 1, A inside SAC. Def: youth almost sacrificed.
12 ANECDOTAL. Anagram: a lot dance.
14 NOT A HAPPY BUNNY. A cryptic def. referring to the ladies of the Playboy Club.
17 PATERNITY LEAVE. LEAVE{s} (tea) after anagram of ‘in a pretty’. My first in, though from the def at first.
21 ALLOWANCE. ALAN inc LOW, C{apabl}E.
23 KENYA. KEY, A (area) inc N.
24 THOR,N.
25 POT,BOILER.
26 REFLATE. Or ‘Ref ... late’.
27 RENT ACT. REACT inc NT.

Down
1 BUSK,IN. Wearing=IN. Never heard of the footwear. Another problem in this corner.
2 LONG-AGO. LOO inc N, GAG.
3 VICE-CHAIR. VC (medal) inc ICE (sweet), HAIR (covering for head).
4 RECLAMATION. RATION (allowance) inc E, CLAM.
5 BEE. Sounds like ‘be’ (live).
6 WIPED. DEW inc PI; all reversed.
7 TRISTAN. TRIST{e}+AN.
8 HIMALAYA. H (hard), LAY (song) inc IM A (ace) + A. Looks odd without the final S. No?
13 EMPTY NESTER. Two defs, the second alluding to nests, eggs and clutches thereof.
15 BREAK,DOWN. BREAK (sounds like ‘brake’), DOWN (swallow).
16 S,PLATTER.
18 TELL OFF. ELL (length) inside TOFF.
19 VAN,ILL,A.
20 PAR,ROT. My COD for the simplicity and the &lit.
22 WAND,A. A reference to the film in which Kevin Kline hears ‘Portia’ as ‘Porsche’. Setters to note.
25 PIE{r}.


Times 25517: ‘I never a-touch dem’
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Solving time: 32:37

Got through three-quarters of this quite quickly, then ground to a complete halt in the NE corner (aka the Beta Quadrant). Had to guess a few answers then (FIREWOOD in particular) and put them on hold for a post-solve parsing. Finally, I thought 19ac had me done for. In fact, I’m still not sure it’s right.





Across
1 SPLASH. LPs (reversed) + ASH.
5 PIFFLING. PI (Greek character), F (female), FLING (cast). Hope I’m not the only one who thought of turning to their Euripides in desperation.
9 DOG HANDLER. ROD (staff) reversed, including G (good) + HANDLE (name). One of several sly literals.
10 GAMY. GAM (school of whales etc.), Y (year). (And here I spare you the relevant lines of dialogue from Yellow Submarine).
11 THANK-YOU. HANKY (one that’s blown in) inside TOU{r}.
12 WESSEX. SEW reversed + SEX (knowledge, in the Biblical sense).
13 ARIA. Starting letters of April Running Into August. Ref to ‘Summertime’ from Porgy and Bess.
15 SNOWDROP. Move the S (singular) in NOW DROPS (experiences current reduction).
18 OFFSHOOT. O from {br}O{ke}, FF (very loud), SHOOT (snap, as in photography).
19 AWED. If not ‘a single’, then A WED? The literal is ‘mouth open’ ... I think.
21 NEWARK. NEW (not used) + {p}ARK. Held up here because a glitch in the printer made the ‘not’ look like ‘riot’.
23 RUSTLE UP. RUSTLE (take stock) + UP (before the beak).
25 THRU. THRU{st}. Informal for ‘through’ (by way of).
26 HIT THE SACK. HIT (triumph) + THE SACK. I assume ‘being dismissed’ stands for ‘getting THE SACK’; or we shall have complaints about parts of speech.
27 BRAKE PAD. Anagram of ‘a kerb + P’; AD (trailer).
28 WANDER. WAN (weak) + DER{v}.


Down
2 POOCH. Included reversed in ‘coacH CO_OPts’.
3 ATHENIANS. Anagram: inn has tea.
4 HENRY V. V{arsit}Y, R{reru}N, E{ac}H, all reversed.
5 POLYUNSATURATED. Anagram: adult you parents.
6 FIREWOOD. IRE (heat perhaps), W (wife); all inside FOOD (board). The def is given as a semi-&lit.
7 LAGOS. LAG (prisoner), OS (outsize).
8 NUMBER ONE. NUMB; ERE (before) including ON (leg, cricket). The def is ‘old-fashioned arch’ — main, chief, principal. I’ll say it again: there are far too many meanings of the word ‘arch’; and they always fool me.
14 REFRESHER. RE (comes after DO in sol-fa), FRESHER (student). The literal is ‘course’.
16 DEADLY SIN. Anagram: send lady 1. The indicator is the always-wonderful ‘pants’.
17 BOOKS,HOP. Where works are stored.
20 ESCHEW. ESC (top left on the keyboard), HEW (cut).
22 AMUCK. {I} AM ’UCK (Finn).
24 UNCLE{an}. Slang word for a pawnbroker.


Times 25511: Purely academic
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Solving time: 55:02 So, for me at least, a hard slog. Almost came to grief in the SE corner with four answers missing after 40-ish minutes. And still have one parsing to work through. Might need some help with that one.
Across
1 STEEL BLUE. It’s an anagram of ‘see bullet’.
6 BOWLS. Two literals.
9 OLDEN. Included reversed in ‘spurNED LOver’. Def = ‘past’.
10 PICTORIAL. Sounds like ‘picked Oriel’.
11 DWELL ON. WELL inside DON.
12 TRYPSIN. PS (additional notes) inside TRYIN’. Never heard of it, despite my passing knowledge of the pancreas and its functions.
13 WITH A GOOD GRACE. Two defs, the first (‘monastery meals should begin so’) more cryptic than the second. (And, to be even more cryptic, I will be at about 4:00pm this afternoon.)
17 VICE CHANCELLOR. A cryptic definition. They now call themselves Presidents or CEOs because the overseas ‘market’ apparently doesn’t understand why they can’t speak to the head honcho.
21 PRETEEN. PEN (writer) inc RETE (network of vessels in the body). And no, I didn’t know that either.
23 TUMBREL. Reverse the last bit of ‘tumbLER’.
25 REMAINDER. REINDE{e}R inc MA.
26 TRUCE. Reverse CURT + {endors}E.
27 TANS,Y.
28 GOLD,CREST. ‘Lightweight’ because it’s very small.
Down
1 SHOWDOWN. This is the one I don’t quite get. Suspect it has to be ’OW D{o} inside SHOWN (broadcast). As for the statesman ... ??
2 ENDUE. Take the {wate}R out of ENDURE (brook, put up with).
3 LEND-LEASE. Anagram: ‘allies need’, minus 1.
4 LEPANTO. This is LET O{n}, inc PAN.
5 EXCITED. C (Conservative) inside EXITED (went).
6 BOOZY. OZ (ounce) inside BOY.
7 WHIMSICAL. WHI{p} + M{u}SICAL.
8 SILENT. I{nfants} + L inside SENT.
14 TRIBESMAN. M (maiden) deleted from TRI{m}; BES{t} MAN.
15 RHEUMATIC. Sounds like ‘room, attic’.
16 DROLLEST. Reverse LORD; LEST (in case).
18 HANG,DOG.
19 NATURAL. RU (reversed) inside NATAL.
20 SPIRIT. RI (scripture) inside TIPS (reversed).
22 EDIFY. IDE{a} reversed; F{or} Y{outh}.
24 ROUGE. Move the G (downwards) in ROGUE.


Times 25493: On the flat or over the sticks?
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Solving time: 24:17

Found the bottom half easier and started in the SW, proceeding anti-clockwise. A few giveaways today (24ac, 26ac, 4dn, 21dn & 23dn perhaps). Most of the rest require a bit of working out.





Across
1 INTIMIDATE. I{relan)D inside INTIMATE.
6 GANG. Two defs; ‘go’ in Scots dialect.
9 WINDJAMMER. WIND (snake), JAMMER (cause of blockage).
10 INTO. Hidden in the clue.
12 CROSS-COUNTRY. CROSS (peevish), COUNT (nobleman), RY (railway). I shivered at the memory of cold mornings in nought but shorts and singlet.
15 GUATEMALA. U (university) + [MET (encountered), A reversed] inside GALA (festivities).
17 OUTDO. OUT (not in), DO (party).
18 PIECE. As in ‘pieces of eight’. ‘Castle perhaps’ to both signal the DBE and excuse the fact that it’s strictly a rook. (No correspondence from Colonels will be entered into.)
19 UNTUTORED. Anagram: turned out.
20 OPERA-GLASSES. A cryptic def that could easily have led to FIELD-GLASSES depending on the type of flats you first think of.
24 {h}OOPS.
25 IG,NOBILITY. Reverse GI (soldier).
26 YARD. Reverse DRAY.
27 SANDALWOOD. S (son), AND (with), ALW (anag. ‘law’), OO (rings), D (daughter).


Down
1 IOWA. IONA with W (western) for N (knight, chess).
2 TEN,D. D for old pence.
3 MAJOR-GENERAL. MAJOR (what Americans and some others do when specialising at university), GENERAL (regular).
4 DUMAS. MU (Greek letter) in SAD (unhappy), all reversed.
5 TRENCH,ANT.
7 ANNOTATORS. Anagram: on a star not.
8 GOODY-GOODY. Triple def.
11 RUN-OF-THE-MILL. Re-split as RUN OF THEM, ILL.
13 EGYPTOLOGY. GYP (pain), TO, LOG (enter), all inside E{arl}Y.
14 GAME,KEEPER. Bridge is a type of GAME. A ring is a KEEPER (as in napkin ring).
16 AQUILEGIA. EG + 1 inside AQUILA (capital of Abruzzi; strictly l’Aquila).
21 S,WORD. The S from {ib}S{en}.
22 VI{r}GO.
23 EYED. Sounds like the crossword fish, ‘ide’.


Times 25481: Once a Jolly Drifter ... Always a Jolly Drifter
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Solving time: 22:23

I was fearing a stinker after a couple of easy days. And a brief look at the clues seemed to confirm my suspicion. But once started (with the simple 9ac), all went well, ending in the SW. The slight antipodean theme helped.


Across
1 BESPOKE. Two meanings. ‘Indicated’ as in ‘The Bentley in the driveway bespoke money’.
5 BOSCH. Sounds like ‘bosh’.
9 AMIGO. A, MIG (fighter plane), O{ld}.
10 TASMAN SEA. Anagram #1: as Smetana. Separates the rest of New Zealand from its West Island.
11 LETHEAN. Le, The, An. (Articles in Englench.) Got this hot on the heels of a discussion of the Greek word aletheia which some take to be connected.
12 NANNIED. Annie is our little orphan. Inside {lo}ND{on}.
13 PHLEGMATIC. Anagram #2: place might.
15 SEES. A palindrome.
18 NOSE. Enough said? (Though POSY was my first guess.)
20 SCALE MODEL. Anagram #3: some called. Chuckled at the def for this one.
23 B,LADDER.
24 SIGNORE. Pass the S from IGNORES to the front.
25 CAMEL HAIR. Anagram #4: like a charm; minus the K.
26 LEASE. Included in the clue. (Must be Newcastle NSW?)
27 SYNOD. S (second), Y (year) + DON reversed.
28 NIGERIA. NIGER + I{r}A{q}.


Down
 1 BRISTOL. BRIL{l} (fish) inc S{ailor} and TO.
 2 STONE-AGE. ONE (cardinal number) inside STAGE (step).
 3 OFTEN. Delete the S from SOFTEN (moderate, verb).
 4 ESSENTIAL. Two meanings.
 5 BRAWNY. BRAW (Scots for ‘fine’) + NY (a city).
 6 SISTINE. SISTE{r} inc IN (home). Of the popes called Sixtus.
 7 HOAR,D.
 8 TAILSPIN. TAILS (dogs, verb), P (from P{ell-mell}) + IN.
14 ASCERTAIN. A, S, CERTAIN (firm).
16 SOLDERER. L inside reversal of REREDOS (screen).
17 SMUGG(L)ER.
19 SWAGMEN. Reverse NEWS, insert AGM (meeting).
21 DIORAMA. DIOR (Christian from 19ac in 25476), then M (mass) inside AA (areas).
22 ADD,LED. (Light-emitting diode).
23 BACKS. Sounds like ‘Bax’ (Arnold).
24 SPRIG. =‘Shoot’; delete the N from ‘spriNg’ (well).

Times 10300, retro puzzle, May 1963
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Solving time: About 30 minutes

Don’t like the retro puzzles much; but it’s at least an indication of how times have changed in the cruciverbal world since I was about to come up to my 11th birthday when unsignalled anagrams, absent literals, quotation completions and general puns were fair game. Didn’t bother with the timer.

The Club site does not include today’s (actual) first qualifier; but says it’s “available online as a pdf”. If I can find it, then I’ll post a blog when the qual. period closes; which I assume will be next Thursday 23rd May. If not ... not.



Across
1 BUBBLES. A famous painting by Millais from the 1860s. Used to see this on visits to the Lady Lever Gallery. Well worth the trip if you’re into the Pre-Raphs.
5 BAGGAGE. A rather dated and derogatory term for a cheeky gal.
9 YARDS. Two defs; one given by a customary adjective.
10 ELEVENSES. Rather assumes that one breakfasts at 9:00. Those were the days.
11 ON THE SPOT. I suppose a reference to the phrase ‘spot on’.
12 TENSE. Two defs again; the first slightly loose.
13 TUBBY. Two jokes — one about the shape of the boat, the other about the shape of the rower.
15 ORPINGTON. Two defs. This bit of history explains one of them.
18/19 BREAKNECK SPEED. Where ‘late’ = dead.
21 AS,SAM.
23 VIRGINALS. On the assumption that there were wise and foolish virgins in the parable (Matthew 25:1-13).
25 PUNCTILIO. An unsignalled anagram.
26 AM,ICE. Not sure how the civil engineer figures here. But someone will know.
27 EXPOSES. Two defs (one loose); or cryptic def?
28 KNOT,TED.


Down
1 BOY,COTT. And just about a year before Geoff’s test debut (31st May 1964). Little did they know!
2 BIRD-TABLE. Another pun.
3 LISLE. A kind of thread (twist). If ‘addicted’ is an anagram indicator, it’s an interesting one. Any of our regulars doing the Twist in 1963?
4 SHEEPCOTE. A kind of distraction clue assuming we might take ‘flock’ as a verb.
5 BREST. Cf ‘breast’?
6 GREETINGS. More humour.
7 ARSON. {p}ARSON.
8 EASTERN. Had to Google this to be sure. It’s all here.
14 YOKEMATES. A pun on ‘yolk’ and there’s no literal!
16 POKERWORK. Another pun.
17 THERAPIST. Ditto.
18 BRAN-PIE. Husky (substance) = BRAN + ‘bird’ = PIE. Dipper?
20 DI(STEN)D.
22 SUN-UP. In fact?
23 VALES. Another def by adjective. Vales are depressions.
24 IDAHO. Where ‘make’ is probably the indicator.

Times 25457: Diet of coffee, tea, apples & pears
Tele
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Solving time: 28:09

Not a difficult puzzle, but with a few harder clues on the right-hand side. Helped here by a couple of repeat answers from recent puzzles. Am now persuaded by Jim and Ulaca et al that there’s not much point these days in omitting answers, so I’m omitting this policy. Besides, it always takes me ages to decide which ones to leave out, so I’m sparing myself the effort.


Across
1 DECAF. Reverse ‘faced’ (dealt with). Our first repeat from a recent puzzle, though it’s still under wraps so I can’t give the reference.
4 GAMESOME. GAS (talk) inc ME, O (old) & ME again. Has anyone ever heard this word used?
8 EDUCATIONALIST. Anagram: to lunatic ideas.
10 SOLICITOR. Cryptic def. And a good advertisement for their suppression.
11 AMOUR. A, MOUR{n}.
12 NIACIN. Sounds like ‘nigh a sin’.
14 CHAP,PIES. (I’m sparing you the joke about the gay Eskimo.)
17 DIOCESAN. Anagram: Deacon is.
18 CICERO. CI{r}CE (enchantress), reverse OR (men).
20 WORMS. Two literals. One a ref to Martin Luther and the Diet/Edict of Worms.
22 COCKROACH. Spoonerism: Rock Coach.
24 A PLACE IN THE SUN. Two literals, one a slight joke.
25 LACROSSE. Included in the clue.
26 POMES. E (English) inside POMS. Fruits including apples and pears.


Down
1 DRESSING DOWN. Another double literal.
2 C,HURL. ‘Shy’ as in chuck, throw, etc.
3 FRANCHISE. H (husband) IS inside FRANCE. With both ‘allowed’ and ‘permit’, LET seemed to be on the cards. No?
4 GRITTY. Yet another double literal.
5 MONARCHY. MY! including ON{e}, ARCH (cunning).
6 SOL-FA. I suppose this counts as a cryptic def. Hear ‘do’ as the start of the scale: do, re, mi ... etc.
7 MUSCOVITE. M (maiden), US (American); then COVE (bloke, archaic/dated) inc IT.
9 ARISTOPHANES. Anagram: thespian soar.
13 APOCRYPHA. Cryptic def. (Canon = the list of books accepted as genuine). Our second recent appearance (Monday of last week).
15 PRIORSHIP. PRIOR (earlier), S (saint), HIP — referring perhaps to the peculiar practice of revering the bones of the saints as relics. Given the number of bones in the body and the number of saints, there must have been plenty to go around.
16 PAN,CREAS{e}. PAN is slang for the face. (Reading the whole column, 4dn & this, gave me a shudder; a very painful condition I can assure you.)
19 SCON(C)E. The kind of candle holder that’s attached to a wall with a bracket. So not strictly a stick.
21 ST,AIR. AIR = ‘look’ as in ‘a jaunty air about him’. (See 26ac.)
23 ASSAM. ASS (wally, idiot), AM (in the morning).


?

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