23,584 – tough for me

Solving time 13:10

Slow progress at first, with most of my answers at the bottom. Then gradually got going. Quite a few two-word phrases to be given the “lift and separate” treatment. Lots of interesting wordplay in this, so a round of applause to the setter.

Across
1 BE(TATE)ST – top = best
9 C(ASTIR)ON
10 C.O.= conscientious objector,LOUR
12 BATT(y),LEG,ROUND
15 HA(b)IT,I
16 KNIFE-EDGE – FEED = fuel in (e.g. ink)<=
18 ROA(D)M,O,VIE – nicely worked &lit.
20 AP(PRO,CHABL(is))E – {wine => Chablis} makes a nice change from red, tent, asti and other standards – “friendly expert” is a lift and separate example.
24 TRIL=”trill”,BY
25 DID,A/C,TIC
27 U.N.,DERPI=pride*,N
 
Down
1 B(l)ACK
3 T(RIB=tease)ALISM(an)
4 SHOSTAKOVICH – K.O. in (chavs is hot)*. Took longer than it should have done, as I first thought of Tchaikovsky, a near miss subject to some transliteration variations. Corrected post-comment.
6 AMOUR = “a moor”
7 P(ROF=for<=)UNDIT,Y
8 WOR(LDWEA=(lad we)*)RY – lift and separate again for “poor lad”
11 DELIBE=(bile in Ed.)<=,RATION.
13 T(HE,RE)AFT,E.R. – William Howard Taft is one of those ‘unknown’ presidents who’s used sometimes. Watch out for Polk of the same ilk. Lift and separate “next man”
14 D.I.=Detective Inspector,SAP=vigour/energy,POINT=(on tip)*
17 EX(CUL(PA)T)E – a “Russian doll” clue.
22 ST.,OP. This time, “cut out” stays together, providing the def.

6 comments on “23,584 – tough for me”

  1. After about 15 mins I was stuck in the bottom right corner and took ages to sort it out.

    I had S,NIP (as in nip and tuck) for 22dn at first, which didn’t help. I still don’t get the wordplay for 23dn. How does forward = on? (assuming it’s ICON)

    1. Dictionary example for ‘on’ is “we drove on towards London”. First thing I thought of was the rugby verb “to knock on”.
  2. Although my time wasn’t particularly fast (11:13), I felt a lot happier about it than my comparable times yesterday and the day before. No particular hang-ups, though I should have been faster with TRILBY (which I initially wanted to be TRILLO) and ORBIT. A very good puzzle.
  3. It is always a relief to find that the X-word hares at least got troubled into double figures when one like this takes quite a time to get done. However – it was worth persevering as it is a quality item.

    Only a handful of easies here:

    5a Pair of hands required to get fruit (6)
    PAW PAW. Always reminds me of one of Baloo’s songs in Disney’s Jungle Book movie.

    19a Provide vehicle to carry tons east (5)
    CA TE R

    26a Rubbish tucked into roll (6)
    ROT ATE.

    2d Undertaking part of quesT AS Knight (4)
    TASK

    21d Troops scrap revolutionary course (5)
    OR BIT

    23d Admired person in charge forward (4)
    IC ON. As simple as in charge = IC and forward = ON.

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