Times Cryptic 27068

times_xwd_times
, 19 jun 2018 at 01:00

This one took me 38 minutes and was notable mainly for its lack of anagrams - there are only three in all, and the first doesn't  appear until 28ac. Also there are two 'substitution' clues, which is a little unusual. The vocabulary is mostly straightforward with the only real unknown (at 6dn) requiring some GK that I was lacking, but the wordplay was helpful.

As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions and substutions are in curly brackets} and [anagrinds, containment, reversal and other indicators in square ones]

Across
1 Raving person has love for a man in broadcast message (5)
ROGER - R{-a +0}GER (raving person / man...) [has love for a]. Roger and out!
4 Celebrity died catching wild animal, right? (9)
STARBOARD - STAR (celebrity) + D (died) containing [catching] BOAR (wild animal)
9 Quiet town, one I hesitate to say that’s dangerously unstable (9)
PLUTONIUM - P (quiet), LUTON (town), I (one), UM (I hesitate to say). This part of the world seems in favour at the moment. We had Luton & Dunstable last week and Beds, the county where they are located was in the same puzzle. And a couple of months ago we had Dunstable clued as 'industrial town' which raised a few eyebrows, including mine since I live not many miles away and it's not a description I would recognise.
10 Football, ultimately maybe a German game? (5)
LOTTO - {footbal}L, OTTO (maybe a German)
11 Having secured facility on smartphone, you had talked freely (6)
YAPPED - YE'D (you had) contains [having secured] APP (facility on smartphone). We had 'yappy' only yesterday!
12 Drink to be knocked back in autumn? It's a sporting option (4,4)
FREE BALL - BEER (drink) reversed [knocked back] contained by [in] FALL (autumn)
14 Elaborate accommodation for king, one in exile? (10)
EXPATRIATE - EXPATIATE (elaborate - on a topic) contains [accommodation for] R (king)
16 Mark brought by corporal punishment? Son avoids that (4)
TICK - {s}TICK (corporal punishment?) [son avoids that]
19 Hesitation to get into meditation when lectures should be attended? (4)
TERM - ER (hesitation) is contained by [to get into] TM (meditation - Transcendental Meditation). Not an abbreviation I've met before but it's in the usual sources.
20 One of two books, very serious, written by the French (10)
CHRONICLES - CHRONIC (very serious), LES (the, French). The Old Testament contains two Books of  Chronicles. The absence of a comma between 'the' and 'French' may cause some concern after Verlaine's recent comments, but it seems to crop up almost every other day and doesn't bother me at all.
22 Loud murderer with yen for ostentation (8)
FRIPPERY - F (loud), RIPPER (murderer), Y (yen)
23 Coat officer gashes when falling over (6)
STUCCO - OC (officer) + CUTS (gashes) reversed [falling over]. Hm. Does 'falling over' count as a reversal indicator in an Across clue?
26 Female shows spite rejecting male (5)
ALICE - {m}ALICE (spite) [rejecting male]
27 Little fellow, the German who takes a quick break? (9)
WEEKENDER - WEE (little), KEN (fellow), DER (the, German). Another missing comma!
28 Lake in garden transformed foreign city once (9)
LENINGRAD - L (lake), anagram [transformed] of IN GARDEN
29 See, previously, army of abstainers taking alcohol (5)
SARUM - SA (army of abstainers - Salvation Army, noted for their views on temperance), RUM (alcohol). Sarum was the old city of Salisbury, a 'see' in the same sense as the more familiar Ely.
Down
1 Agent always intended to avoid a financial transaction favouring customer (9)
REPAYMENT - REP (agent), AY (always), ME{a}NT (intended) [to avoid a]. A slightly dodgy definition perhaps, as customers making mortgage repayments to banks don't necessarily feel the transaction is in their favour.
2 Bad-tempered type, initially getting behind (5)
GRUMP - G{etting} [initially], RUMP (behind)
3 Sound of Aussie beast encountered in small enclosed space (8)
ROOMETTE - ROO (Aussie beast), METTE sounds like "met" (encountered), Not a word I knew but 'dinette' and 'kitchenette' are familiar enough so it didn't seem unlikely once arrived at via wordplay.
4 Wrong to swallow hard bone (4)
SHIN - SIN (wrong) containing [to swallow] H (hard)
5 Respect and acknowledge reduced allowance (10)
ADMIRATION - ADMI{t} (acknowledge) [reduced], RATION (allowance)
6 Missile not quite right for old British soldier (6)
BULLER - BULLE{t} (missile) [not quite], R (right). I imagine this is Sir George Buller (1802-1884) apparently famous for his part in the Crimean war, but I never heard of him and there are other military candidates of the same name according to Wiki disambiguation.
7 What's authentic about upcoming broadcast related to insurance business (9)
ACTUARIAL - ACTUAL (what's authentic) containing [about] AIR (broadcast) reversed [upcoming]
8 Amusing turn daughter's put on (5)
DROLL - D (daughter), ROLL (turn)
13 One coming off drugs, having "a bit of a chest" (10)
WITHDRAWER - WITH (having), DRAWER ("a bit of a chest"). I haven't managed to find this defined with specific reference to drugs in any of the usual sources, but 'withdrawal' is, so it's not much of a stretch.
15 Arrangement that does for NI patriot? (9)
PARTITION - Anagram [arrangement] of NI PATRIOT. The defintion is &lit.
17 A smirk so naughty when receiving good present with a hug? (9)
KISSOGRAM - Anagram [naughty] of A SMIRK SO containing [receiving] G (good). I had to research these activities when explaining another clue recently so I know there is more than one spelling of this, but the variable letter is checked today and the answer is derived from anagrist, so there's little room for error.
18 Girl's hair the result of a bad hair day? (8)
DISTRESS - DI'S (girl's), TRESS (hair)
21 Piano learner has found out about organ (6)
SPLEEN - SEEN (found out) contains [about] P (piano) + L (learner)
22 Swing that sees weak Right being ousted by Left (5)
FLAIL - F{-r +L}AIL (weak / swing) [Right being ousted by Left]
24 Tree making church gloomy, almost (5)
CEDAR - CE (church), DAR{k} (gloomy) [almost]
25 Joint in handle, one coming loose (4)
WELD - W{i}ELD (handle) [one coming loose]