Right, now. Clearly a lot of today’s discussion will revolve around the pros and cons of the new site, like not working at midnight, so I solved on the newspaper site, which the new site very, very closely resembles. It took me 22 minutes to make it disappear with the last letter going in. I like to copy and paste the clues to avoid missing any, which can hazardously be done if you elect to print the grid. Empty, of course: haven’t yet found a print progress button. I may well have been slowed by fretting about the new look. In the interests of science, I filled in the club site grid when it turned up, and am currently waiting for my 4 minutes (that’s how slowly I type) to turn into something nearer 22 so as not to cheat. I’ll let you know if anything works.
As for the puzzle, it felt laden with an almost complete compilation of single letter generators, and an above average representation of Scottish territory. I’ll let you all share where the sticking points were today, though I have done what I can to explain.
Update: I have submitted, and pressed the bright blue button, but I’m apparently still in progress with 0% completed. I’ve also been rechristened to Zabadak2, but I think that’s a glitch in transferring my registration. I can’t reclaim Zabadak because there’s already someone with that name in the club. I wonder who?
Here are the clues, definitions and SOLUTIONS and lots of extra words.
1 Cabbage served by short bloke with hair in a tangle (8)
KOHLRABI An anagram of BLOK(e) and HAIR. A German adaptation of Italian terms for cabbage and turnip, apparently.
5 Gangster with sons in Paris that give the game away (6)
SQUEAL A gangster is always AL (Capone), here tagged on to the end of S(ons) and French for that, which is QUE. Those are, I think, the bits, but that “in” messes up the construction.
10 Primate in sporting venue, one standing in for duke (5)
LORIS The sporting venue is LORDS, home of cricket, with D(uke) removed and 1 replacing.
11 Cow maybe crossing loch with a native of Ayrshire, perhaps (9)
LOWLANDER No one apparently knows what precisely constitutes the Scottish lowlands, but Ayrshire figures in descriptions. Here, your cow is a LOWER, embracing L(och), and the AND coming from the sneaky “with”
12 Promotion of English verse welcomed in great joy (9)
ELEVATION E(nglish) V(erse) in ELATION, great joy.
13 Brusque ambassador abandoning the Irish language (5)
TERSE H(is) E(xcellency) the ambassador is removed from THE, and ERSE for the Irish language is tacked on
14 Time old working lawyer employed in city (7)
NOONDAY O(ld) ON (working) DA (lawyer, District Attorney) within N(ew) Y(ork)
16 Reprimand makes student finally leave weeping (6)
EARFUL Weeping gives TEARFUL, remove the last letter of student
18 Satellite given award by Reagan, perhaps? (6)
OBERON A moon of Uranus. The award, the OBE, not normally in the gift of POTUS, even RON Reagan
20 Loyal type that is a constructor of courses (7)
BRICKIE BRICK: loyal type, IE that is. Nice definition.
22 Tranquilliser, one taken with hesitation after work (5)
OPIUM OP for work, I for one, UM for hesitation, tastefully arranged
23 Call a good worker a shrew? (9)
TERMAGANT The wordplay eliminates misspelling, call: TERM, A, G(ood), worker: ANT. Thank you setter.
25 Curiously narrow, wet, and currently eroded (9)
WATERWORN Chambers says it has a hyphen, but it looks like one of those words made up by poets to fit the scansion. An anagram (curiously) of NARROW WET.
26 Sort of pulley not working right? (5)
IDLER Not working IDLE plus R(ight)
27 Informal valediction from a couple of extras (3-3)
BYE-BYE A bye is a score in cricket when everybody misses the ball.
28 Art works head removed from river mouth, receiving thanks (8)
STATUARY Yer actual river mahf is the ESTUARY, from which the first letter is removed and TA for thanks is inserted
1 Dispatch, briefly, chap where cats traditionally fought? (8)
KILKENNY Dispatch gives KILL, which is shortened. KENNY is today’s random male.
“There once were two cats of Kilkenny
Each thought there was one cat too many
So they fought and they fit
And they scratched and they bit
Till (excepting their nails
And the tips of their tails)
Instead of two cats there weren’t any!”
Just one version of the origin of the tenaciously fighting Kilkenny cats, a phrase embedded now in Southpark.
2 Gang locked up in Norwich or Derby (5)
HORDE Today’s hidden. Can you spot it?
3 Lawrence can marry Dot, surprisingly, in the old county (4,3,8)
ROSS AND CROMARTY T E Lawrence adopted the name ROSS, and the rest is an anagram of CAN MARRY DOT.
4 Persecutor repressing most of family in massive way (7)
BULKILY your persecutor is a BULLY, taking in KIN with a bit missing.
6 One risking knockout given big drink reported a better roll (7-8)
QUARTER FINALIST I believe a big drink is a QUART, and I believe ER FINA LIST sounds like a finer list. A better roll. Call me credulous if you will.
7 Bird fish in European river avoid (5,4)
EIDER DUCK Your fish is an IDE, found in a E(uropean) R(iver). Avoid translates to DUCK.
8 Way to cut turnover of proper food store (6)
LARDER Way gives R(oa)D, which is surrounded by REAL for proper reversed (turnover).
9 Stab of pain, note, restricting footballer (6)
TWINGE Today’s random (sol-fa) note is TE (a drink with jam and bread), and the footballer is on the WING.
15 Where some were once confined, changing to blue tie (9)
OUBLIETTE An anagram (changing) of TO BLUE TIE. Some clues just look like anagrams.
17 It blows with exceptional fury ultimately around compound (8)
WESTERLY W for with, the last letters of exceptional fury, all embrace ESTER for compound.
19 Off making case for current whim (6)
NOTION Well, of course, off is NOT ON, and I is the standard for electrical current. It just is.
20 First part of piece initially testing Beecham, for example (7)
BARONET I didn’t know Sir Thomas was so elevated, but we live and learn. The first part of a piece of music is BAR ONE, and the first letter of testing is, um, T.
21 Sign of neglect we found among horse breeders, originally? (6)
COBWEB Your horse being a COB, and breeders originally is B stick in WE for, um, we.
24 Cry of Cockney hunting in part of Clackmannanshire? (5)
ALLOA A town in CLACK….. HALLOA is a version of the hunting call more often heard as HALLOO, mispronounced as ever by our resident Cockney.