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Jumbo 989

This took me longer than usual - around 35 minutes, though I had several interruptions so I can't give an accurate estimate. I'm not sure whether the timing reflects the difficulty of the puzzle, or the presence of a lively 11-year-old visitor! As usual, * indicates an anagram.


Across
1 ABYSSINIAN CAT - ABYSS + IN, + INCA + T around A
8 ELDERSHIP - 'ELD ("common" pronunciation of held) + ER (letters on UK pillar boxes since Elizabeth became Queen) + SHIP
13 CELLO - CELL, + O (i.e. zero, not one)
14 LA DOLCE VITA - (vacillated + o)*. "Bed of roses" here has the metaphorical meaning of an easy or comfortable situation
15 VOTER - from ventuRE TO Vilify, reversed
16 DUODECIMO - DUOMO, around ICED (reversed)
17 SUMP - SUM + P
18 SHANGHAI - HANG in SH, + AI. HANG here has the contemporary meaning, as in "just hanging"
20 UNSEAT - UN'S + EAT
21 COLOSSUS OF RHODES - CO + (sold houses for)* + Small. The definition is "wonder", not "small wonder"!
24 DUMP TRUCK - mud (reversed), + RUCK, around PT (= physical training)
26 LEAN-TOS - LEAN + TOSh
27 PUT ON - not up (reversed). "Present" here is in the sense of to stage or perform a show
29 WOMEN'S LIBBER - (miners below, +B)*
31 WALL-TO-WALL - W, + ALL TOW ALL
33 TEA-SERVICE - TEASER + VICE
35 HOUSE SPARROW - USES surrounded by HOP + ARROW
38 ISSUE - tISSUE
39 RIBBONY - RIB + BONY
40 MEANS TEST - M, + EST + EST around AN
42 GRANDSTAND FINISH - GRAND + STAND + FINISH (which sounds like Finnish)
44 EMBLEM - MELBa (as in Dame Nellie Melba, the soprano), reversed, after EM (printing term for a space)
47 TOADFLAX - TO + AD + F + LAX
49 WART - last letters of neW areA manageR ouT
50 OLD FLAMES - a rather neat double definition
52 EASEL - EASE + L
53 ENGLISH PALE - (helping seal)*. I hadn't previously come across this term, which means a part of Ireland that was once controlled by the English government. It turns out it's the origin of the phrase "beyond the pale"
54 MANGE - MANGEr
55 TEDIOUSLY - (outside)* + LobbY
56 GORDON BENNETT - END in BENT, following (General) GORDON. For those who aren't UK natives: the phrase GORDON BENNETT is often used to express surprise, incredulity or exasperation

Down
1 ARCHDRUID - ARCHeD, + RU (Rugby Union), + ID (identification, clued by "badge").
2 YELLOWS - cryptic definition. A newspaper (broadsheet or otherwise) turns yellow if exposed to the sun
3 STONE MARTEN - (man on street)*
4 NELLIE - LENt, reversed, + LIE. I wonder if this alludes to Nellie Melba, as in the clue to 44ac?
5 AUDIOBOOK - clue refers to 23dn, GULLIVER'S TRAVELS. I wasn't too keen on this clue, unless I've missed something
6 COLD-SHOULDER - COLonel, + RED (reversed) around SHOULD
7 THERMOSTAT - hidden in neTHERMOST ATtachment
8 EPIC - E (ecstasy), + PIC (photograph, = shot). I wasn't keen on "Blown up" as the definition of EPIC
9 DEATH OF A SALESMAN - a nice cryptic indication of the play by Arthur Miller
10 RAVEN - cRAVEN
11 HITCHED - HITCH + EDitor
12 PARKINSON'S LAW - PARK, + SONS in IN-LAW
19 ASHTRAYS - AS + HiT + RAYS
22 HIPPO - HIPPOcrates
23 GULLIVER'S TRAVELS - L + LIVER'S, in GUT, + RAVEL'S
25 MAMMALS - M + A MM + ALSo
28 TEA TREE - ThEATRE + E
29 WATLING STREET - W, + (long + interstate)*
30 BACKBONE - BACK, + ONE (= I) under tuB
32 BODY-SNATCHER - (r + by not chased)*. Burke and Hare were infamous body-snatchers in Edinburgh in the 1820s
34 EMEND - orientatioN in E MED (East Mediterranean)
36 ASSEMBLYMAN - ASSEMBLY + M + AN
37 GOD-FEARING - FE (Fe, chemical symbol for iron), in GO + DARING
40 MUSCOVADO - MUSCOVy + ADO. I'm ambivalent about "Shortage in Russia once" to indicate MUSCOV
41 TIME-SHEET - (these emit)*
43 AMASSED - AM + AS, + DES (reversed)
45 LE MONDE - LEMONaDE
46 ADVERB - eVER in AD + B
48 FOLIO - initial letters of French Open Light Italian Opera
51 EGGY - EG + Good + daY

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
jerrywh
Aug. 4th, 2012 07:58 am (UTC)
I found this difficult, and completed it in several stages.
Re 56ac: the OED marks it as "Brit. colloq." but this phrase is rather a puzzle, the eponymous Bennett being a New York newspaper publisher, though confusingly best known for sponsoring several European motor races, eg the Gordon Bennett Trophy in Ireland. There is an interesting and authoritative article about the phrase, here

53ac, which I had not come across before, turns out also to be interesting etymologically. The OED says "The theory that the origin of the phrase relates to any of several specific regions, such as the area of Ireland formerly called the Pale ... is not supported by the early historical evidence and is likely to be a later rationalization." The WWW article about it is here.

Edited at 2012-08-04 08:09 am (UTC)
helenougham
Aug. 4th, 2012 04:22 pm (UTC)
Thanks
I'm glad I wasn't the only one to find this difficult! Thanks for the update on "beyond the pale".
kevingregg
Aug. 4th, 2012 06:22 pm (UTC)
Not sure how long this took me, as is often the case with Jumbos, where I do them in bits. One wrong; at 20ac I could only think of 'nag' for 'worry', and reluctantly entered 'unsnag'. DK 40d, 42ac (knew 'grandstand play'), 47ac. I must have heard of the English Pale somewhere, but I know I knew the Pale of Settlement, the region of eastern Poland and western Russia where Jews were permitted to dwell before the revolution.
jon88
Aug. 5th, 2012 03:16 pm (UTC)
I've never had more ?s on a crossword (happily, all of my guesses were correct). Thanks for all of the enlightenment. One tiny oops: 56 has to be NET in BENT (goal to stop criminal).
helenougham
Aug. 6th, 2012 10:34 am (UTC)
NET
Thanks jon88 for pointing out my slip with 56ac - you're quite right, it should have been NET, not END, in BENT. I ascribe this to my instinctive aversion to sports-related terms...
tony_sever
Aug. 5th, 2012 10:45 pm (UTC)
If it's any consolation, Helen, I made even heavier weather of it than you did, finishing in 39:27.

Some nice clues - I particularly liked 9dn (DEATH OF A SALESMAN).

I was quite happy with "shortage in Russia once" for MUSCOV in 40dn, but I agree that 5dn (AUDIOBOOK) seems weak - either that or we're both missing something. (Answer to your question about 4dn: not on your Nellie! ;-)
sghanson
Aug. 6th, 2012 12:46 pm (UTC)
This was a new experience for me as my 19 year old daughter showed an interest and we solved it together as a teaching exercise. Her Facebook comment later was that there is a place in Hell reerved for cryptic compilers!

However, she did get the answer to the last clue (8D), and has shown some interest since so I have hopes that she will continue to learn.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )