astartedon (astartedon) wrote,
astartedon
astartedon

QC 1245 by Izetti

Oh dear, I think I made a bit of a meal of this one. Managed it in 10 minutes but I feel as though I should have been posting a PB down around the 6-minute mark. All the clues were going in pretty easily and then I snagged on the final 3 or 4, with every one turning out to be a smack on the head job. I think it was just my speed vertigo (referred to several months ago in this blog) that slowed me down. Sometimes when I think I'm going well (by my own standards) and that a good time might be coming up my brain freezes. I'm sure it happens with a lot of people, and I am also sure that it is something that will disappear with experience and practice.

But hey! Many thanks to Izetti for a challenge that proved for me to be tougher than at first appeared. It was fun, with 1A going in straight off the bat. 5D was my LOI in spite of the fact that I could feel in my bones that SAILOR was the definition and that the Henry we were talking about was the eighth one, but the cogs didn't mesh immediately so I moved on and came back to it later. Foolish child. I am also ashamed of not getting 19A straight off, chemist that I am, and I think that my COD has to be that or the aforesaid 5D, with 19A pinching it for the smoother surface and clever definition.

Deploying my NATRAF (Nina And Theme Radar And Filter) yielded no results.

Definitions are underlined and everything else is explained just as it appears to me in the simplest language I can muster.

Across
1 Enjoyable experience of a big swimmer from a previous era? (1,5,2,1,4)
A WHALE OF A TIME - A WHALE (big swimmer) + OF A TIME (from a previous era - as when we describe a film or book or similar work that seems a bit dated as being 'very much OF ITS TIME').
8 A knight with additional decoration somewhere in Northern Ireland (6)
ANTRIM - A + N (knight as abbreviated in chess) + TRIM (additional decoration) gives the northern Irish county.
9 Hesitation about time of abstinence? Back down (6)
RELENT - RE (hesitation (ER) reversed (about)) + LENT (time of abstinence). As when I asked somebody the other day if they were ready for Christmas and they told me "No, we're giving it up for Lent".
10 Gloomy, having eaten hard fish (4)
SHAD - SAD (gloomy) having 'eaten' H (hard).
11 Any number in peculiar top hats and skimpy female attire (3,5)
HOT PANTS - N (any number (algebra)) 'in' HOT PATS: an anagram ('peculiar') of TOP HATS.
12 What sounds like common bird sound (5)
CHEEP - homophone for CHEAP (common).
13 Old car not starting creates fury (5)
ANGER - an old car is a BANGER, and if it doesn't start it becomes ANGER.
15 Pair to perform at front of one church in rehearsal (8)
PRACTICE - PR (pair) + ACT (to perform) + I (one) + CE (church (of England)).
17 Boy comes to end of the big book (4)
TOME - TOM (boy) + E (end of thE).
19 I? I love to eat (6)
IODINE - can you see the underlining? It's very small isn't it? I is the chemical symbol for iodine, element number 53 in the periodic table. I + O (love) + DINE (to eat) = IODINE.
20 Pussy is crossing avenue — caution! (6)
CAVEAT - CAT (pussy) 'crossing' AVE (avenue).
21 Insincere toad sadly thinking of no one else? (13)
INCONSIDERATE - straight anagram of INSINCERE TOAD. I really liked this because it worked so well on the surface and in the solution. I even considered it as a COD, but for all its smooth surface it was in the end a pretty straightforward anagram.
Down
2 Female just on the scene, turning up with honoured companion (5)
WENCH - NEW (just on the scene) 'turning up' (i.e. reversed in this down clue) gives WEN. Add on CH (Companion of Honour, therefore 'honured companion') gives the solution.
3 Shorten a span (7)
ABRIDGE - A + BRIDGE (span).
4 Wood used in model-making (3)
ELM - hidden word: modEL Making.
5 Sailor Henry's was a Spanish Catherine (5,4)
FIRST MATE - Henry VIII's first mate was Catherine of Aragon, a 'Spanish Catherine'.
6 A US lot losing heart unfortunately in Oklahoman city (5)
TULSA - anagram of A + US + LT (LoT 'losing heart').
7 Bloke receiving Communion finally in church (7)
MINSTER - MISTER (bloke) 'receiving' N (CommunioN finally).
11 Joy has to keep quiet and languishes (9)
HAPPINESS - to solve this HAS must 'keep' (i.e. hold inside) P (quiet) and PINES (languishes) giving HAPPINESS.
12 Vehicle with nothing on? That's funny! (7)
CARTOON - CART (vehicle) + O (nothing) + ON.
14 Manage to communicate, that's clear (3,4)
GET OVER - double definition. As in getting a point over and getting over a hurdle.
16 Cloth seen in porch in Oxford (5)
CHINO - another hidden word: porCH IN Oxford.
18 This writer has a set of religious books planned (5)
MEANT - ME (this writer) + A + NT (New Testament, a set of religious books).
20 Hero in police department (3)
CID - as in El Cid. I think originally 'Cid' meant 'Lord'. But I think this became his nickname and how he was known eventually, and he became quite a battlefield hero. So I think in the end Cid equates happily to hero. Almost a double definition except CID in the police sense is an acronym not an actual word.
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