Quick Cryptic 2671 by Mara

Crazy numbers of double definitions today (no fewer than six!) so you’ll either click or you won’t. Also three hiddens and a couple of anachronistic “yous”; all done with Mara’s customary smoothness. It took me a bang average 08:10 and I enjoyed it: how did you all get on?

Definitions underlined in bold

1 Game’s ending pal! (4)
MATE – the first of the many double definitions gets us underway. A game of chess can end in MATE; “hello MATE/pal”.
3 Number of grains behind you (8)
THOUSAND – SAND for grains, coming after (“behind”) THOU for “you”.
9 Person putting clothes on cabinet (7)
DRESSER – double definition #2. Being a DRESSER used to be a specific job in theatre (Collins: “a person employed to assist actors in putting on and taking off their costumes”). Maybe it still is, any thesps about?
10 Something that pulls loom(5)
TOWER – double definition #3. If you pull/tow something (eg a trailer behind your car) then you are a TOWER, and if you are very tall then you TOWER/loom over other people. It took me a while to see that second definition because of the change of vowel sound, sneaky.
11 Spillage of paint not appropriate (5)
INAPT – anagram (“spillage”) of “paint”.
12 Four off, about to cause uproar (6)
FURORE – anagram (“off”) of “four”, followed by RE for “about”.
14 Sporting event elegant and arty, he gathered (6,7)
HENLEY REGATTA – anagram (“gathered”, no me neither) of “elegant arty he”. Rather Brit-centric: HENLEY REGATTA is a rowing event held on the Thames every summer. In my experience it would  all be a lot more fun if they allowed bookmakers in the Stewards’ Enclosure.
17 Emphasise result of demand exceeding capability? (6)
STRESS – double definition #4, the second one a little loose (hence the ?).
19 Animal more affected by ’eat? (5)
OTTER – ah, the good old deletion of the voiceless glottal fricative. [h]OTTER.
22 Machine that’s black installed in part of plant (5)
ROBOT – B for “black” inside (“installed in”) ROOT (“part of plant”). The word ROBOT was coined by Karel Čapek in his 1920 play RUR (standing for Rossumovi Univerzální Roboti  – in English, Rossum’s Universal Robots). The robots in RUR aren’t “machines”, as they are in the clue, they are synthetic organic humans who rise up against their manufacturers and kill them. Skynet, anyone?
23 Contrary way — how Edward Lear worked? (7)
INVERSE – Edward Lear wrote quite a lot of nonsense poetry and so he “worked” IN VERSE. Geddit? It took me a moment to get this because my first thought of Lear’s work was as a painter.
24 Youth, ten, eager to develop (8)
TEENAGER – anagram (“to develop”) of “ten eager”. Since all you had to do was swap the n and the e, I’d be surprised if this one detained many people for long.
25 Not as much found in holes, surprisingly (4)
LESS – hidden inside “hoLES Surprisingly”.
1 Dark having arisen, mysterious thing the witching hour (8)
MIDNIGHT – MID is “dim” upwards, so = “dark having arisen”. Then add NIGHT as an anagram (“mysterious”) of “thing”, et voila. In folklore, the time when dark supernatural forces were most prevalent.
2 Article cheers Greek character (5)
THETA – THE is “article”, TA is “cheers” (for “thank you”).
4 English county: old US president donning new shirt here (13)
HERTFORDSHIRE – As Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn pointed out to each other once she had conquered her tendency to drop her voiceless glottal fricatives, “In Hertford, Hereford and Hampshire, hurricanes hardly happen”. Gerald FORD is today’s “old US president” and he is surrounded by (“donning”) an anagram (“new”) of “shirt here”. Hands up if you briefly wondered which shire county had an ABE in it.
5 Thorough, say (5)
UTTER – double definition #5.
6 Taking the most pessimistic view, tort was shocking (2,5)
AT WORST – anagram (“shocking”) of “tort was”. I was taught the Law of Tort by the late great Tony Weir, who did tend to take a pessimistic view of humanity.
7 Fuel in front of vehicle flaming up (4)
DERV – I was dimly aware of DERV as a fuel but have never really known what it is. It turns out just to be diesel, the word an acronym derived from Diesel-Engine Road Vehicle. “Front of vehicle” = V, RED = “flaming”, all reversed (“up”).
8 Fly with some characters in jet set, several (6)
TSETSE – hidden in “jeT SET SEveral”.  TSETSE flies were regular characters in books I read as a child about adventures in Africa; they were greatly feared because their bite could give you sleeping sickness, which sounded very glamorous. TSETSE actually means “fly” in Tswana, a Bantu language, so “tsetse fly” is a pleonasm.
13 Head in hands, still bald! (8)
HAIRLESS – H is “head in hands” (ie the first letter of “hands”), followed by AIRLESS for “still”. Very neat and my COD.
15 Important absence of diagram? (7)
NOTABLE – if there’s NO TABLE, there’s an “absence of diagram”, ho ho.
16 Furrow where nothing gets planted in orchard (6)
GROOVE – a GROVE is apparently an “orchard” (Collins says only in American English, Chambers says in both, so there you go). Insert an O for “nothing” (“nothing gets planted”).
18 Additional text ratified in part (5)
EXTRA – our third hidden, inside “tEXT RAtified”.
20 Figure runs into you (5)
THREE – R for “runs” (cricket notation), into THEE for “you”.
21 Small stones in bottle? (4)
GRIT – double definition #6 brings up the rear. A rather good one, I thought. “Bottle” as in nerve, pluck.

72 comments on “Quick Cryptic 2671 by Mara”

  1. We’ve been in Derbyshire for a couple of days, but that was too short, both for the trip and the crossword 😅 All done and dusted in 8:25, with ticks for NOTABLE and GRIT.
    FOI Mate LOI and COD Hairless
    Thanks Mara and Templar

    Today’s biggie defeated me, after a possible PB yesterday. Penny’s Law strikes again 😅



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