Solving Time: 55 minutes
Not much to say for myself except I was waylaid by a 32 page tome and a 500lb canary loose in Slough. Apart from that, the appearance of some old favourites should make for some fast times amongst the cognescenti. Others, like me, will just have to plough their way through.
||TINSMITH = TIN for “can” + M
|odel inside THIS*
||BAROQUE for “highly ornate” with the O for “ring” removed = BARQUE
||FLAXEN = LAX for “loose” in FEN for “slough”. My last in. I thought it could be Slemon loosely clued.
||VELOCITY = V
|ehiclE + LOCALITY for “district” minus it’s AL (Capone) for “gangster”. AL is a perennial favourite of The Times for any newcomer.
||Deliberately omitted. I’m expecting an orgy of complaint.
||PAR for “equality” + S
|ought inside COWLEY = COW-PARSLEY, Anthriscus sylvestris, not to be confused with cow daisies, although I did for a time.
||TRI ENNI (“try any”) for “check out whatever” + A for area = TRIENNIA
|d for “flirted endlessly” reversed = EYOT, not an Island, but any island, particularly in a river. More assumed knowledge for crossword solvers.
|s for “I bother (with) no end” reversed = SUFI.
||I’M OLDER for “this writer is senior” containing P for power = IMPOLDER, literally, to make into a polder, being a tract of low land, esp. in the Netherlands, reclaimed from the sea or other body of water and protected by dikes. So now you know.
||(TART + CHOICE)* = THEOCRATIC
||CARP = CARP
||D for daughter + AY for always + BREAK for “time off” = DAYBREAK
||BRIDGE, a double definition, the first a reference to the famous piece of military engineering.
||ATTEST = SETT for “badger’s burrow” inside T.A.(Territorial Army) for “volunteers” all reversed. I’ve been eagerly awaiting the reappearance of sett since 1995. Once bitten…
||STRAY for “wander” containing GG for “good(plural)” and L for left = STRAGGLY
||IN for “popular” + LAY for “song” = INLAY
||XTO for “unknown to” appearing in COMEDIES* = SEXTODECIMO, the book size I always struggle to remember, and today was no exception, not helped by thinking it must be semi-something. It’s sixteen leaves (32 pages) in Latin.
||INNOCENT = CONNI
|e reversed + ENT for Otolaryngology Department.
||HAVE WHAT IT TAKES, a double definition, the second a variant on the “Where does a 500lb canary sit” joke.
||ALL for “a couple of lines” inside BAD for “naughty” = BALLAD
||ROC = ROC
||UP THE POLE sounds like “Up the poll!”. I haven’t heard this expression for mad since my youth.
||SHE for “novel” (as in Rider Haggard) +
|stooL + LACKING for “needing” = SHELLACKING
||ROUGH for “thuggish” + CAST for “players” = ROUGHCAST. An external plastering technique frequently employed on timber framed houses (according to Wiki), which would explain the supporters.
||SPACE-BAR, a cryptic definition
||Deliberately omitted. Er… pungent criticism expected.
||ELGAR* = REGAL, a small portable reed organ of the 16th & 17th centuries.
||BEE, a d.d., a nurse bee being one of the positions workers aspire to and a buzzer being a generic bee. Wednesday is wax production, Friday is drone feeding…