Galspray (galspray) wrote in times_xwd_times,
Galspray
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times_xwd_times

Jumbo 1227 September 17, 2016 - Cryptathon

Have to admit to having struggled with this one.  Took well over an hour, had to look a couple up for confirmation and still managed to get the French composer wrong.  I think it was a toughie, but that might depend on how good you are at twigging to a cryptic definition.  No less than eight of them in this puzzle, which seems like it should be some sort of record.

Now some people hate a cryptic def, whereas some see them as the apogee of the setter's art.  To me it's simply a case of there being good ones and bad, and the best examples are often the most memorable of clues.

Of today's bunch, I thought BUTTERFLY EFFECT was superb, OPTICAL ILLUSION not so much, while the others fell somewhere in between.  I've ranked them here in descending order of brilliance.  Not for any particular reason, it's just the sort of thing I do to waste valuable time:

1. Butterfly effect
2. Loaded question
3. Identity parade
4. Starting gun
5. Computer dating
6. Magic carpet
7. Every mother's son
8. Optical illusion

Purely a matter of opinion of course, and I'd love to hear yours.  Let's go...

Clues are reproduced in blue, with the definition underlined.  Anagram indicators are bolded and italicised.  Then there's the answer IN BOLD, followed by the parsing of the wordplay.  (ABC)* means 'anagram of ABC'.
Across
1 Feature of rugby boot in bag (8)
RUCKSACK - RUCK (feature of rugby) + SACK (boot)
5 Run after criminal, an armed man (6)
FENCER - R (RUN) after FENCE (criminal)
9 Duke to look round, dropping Times in censure (7)
DEPLORE - D (Duke) + EXPLORE (look round), dropping the X (times, as in multiplication)
14 Collector beginning to pant, greeting delayed catalogue (11)
PHILATELIST - P (beginning to plant) + HI (greeting) + LATE (delayed) + LIST (catalogue)
15 Covering up for a fabulous trip (5,6)
MAGIC CARPET - Cryptic def
The carpet is of course a covering, and a magic one would take you 'up'.  A fabulous trip indeed.
16 One with informal dealings going to a Mediterranean island (5)
IBIZA - I (one) + BIZ (informal for business, or dealings) + A
Apparently this place is to England as Bali is to Australia.  The less said about that the better.
17 One who wrote article about gold in one form and another (7)
THOREAU - THE (article) about OR (gold) + AU (gold)
18 More in new rocks for one in rock business? (4-5)
MINE OWNER - (MORE IN NEW)*
19 Tradesman is good, but working less hard (7)
GLAZIER - G (good) + LAZIER (working less hard)
20 Agitation of admirals seeing development of storm? (9,6)
BUTTERFLY EFFECT - Cryptic def
Admirals being butterflies, the reference being to the oft-cited (over-cited?) concept that a butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon may ultimately lead to a tornado in Texas.  Very clever clue don't you think?
22 Claim docking tail repelled aquatic mammal with reasonable rapidity (10)
ALLEGRETTO - ALLEG{E} (claim, docking tail) + RETTO [otter (aquatic mammal), repelled]
23 A grave involving mark put on a pedestal (6)
ADMIRE - A + DIRE (grave) involving M (mark)
25 Search most of lake, heading for bank (4)
COMB - COM{o} (most of lake) + B (heading for bank)
28 Unhappy evidence of poor pheasant plucking? (4,2,3,5)
DOWN IN THE MOUTH - Double def, the second one cryptic
Cue the pheasant plucker's song, never fails to amuse.  I imagine that only the poorest of pheasant pluckers would end up with down in their mouths, but what would I know?  I've never plucked a pheasant.
On edit:  As Keriothe points out, it's more likely to refer to whoever subsequently eats the poorly-plucked pheasant.
30 Sea and trees represented in various bits of the picture (8)
TESSERAE - (SEAS + TREES)*
32 French composer is taken aback, being included among various English names (8)
MESSIAEN - SI (is, taken aback) included among (E + NAMES)*
Didn't know this guy, and I assembled the letters in the wrong order.  So shoot me.
34 Where someone who's got out of line is in line? (8,6)
IDENTITY PARADE - Cryptic def
An offender gets out of line, so they put him in one of these lines.  Not a bad clue.  Can't help thinking of Kramer's memorable identity parade appearance in one Seinfeld episode.
37 Rather glib about Society in historical times (4)
PAST - PAT (rather glib) 'about' S (Society)
38 Essay about aim in following fashion (6)
TRENDY - TRY (essay) 'about' END (aim)
39 Small flame: airman needs to land (5,5)
PILOT LIGHT - PILOT (airman) + LIGHT (land)
43 You won't see a lot of credibility in it (7,8)
OPTICAL ILLUSION - Cryptic def
Might have missed something here, but it strikes me as a fairly weak cryptic.  Which means yeah, I've probably missed something.
45 Smell odd after day without incident (7)
HUMDRUM - HUM (smell) + RUM (odd) after D (day)
47 I leave contest after receiving non-consecutive notes, being uninformed (9)
IGNORANCE - I + GO (leave) + RACE (contest) 'receiving' N and N (non-consecutive notes)
49 Element knocked back and mostly damaged (7)
SULPHUR - SULP [plus (knocked), reversed] + HUR{t} (mostly damaged)
I have no faith in this parsing as I have no idea in what sense knocked can mean plus.  Or how knocked back can mean sulp.  Would someone be kind enough as to enlighten me?
On edit:  Enlightenment has arrived, delivered by Mohn2.  Of course it's PLUS = 'and', knocked back.
51 Maybe demonstrated material (5)
SATIN - SAT IN (demonstrated, maybe)
52 Connoisseurs cooing drunkenly about bouquet (11)
COGNOSCENTI - (COOING)* 'about' SCENT (bouquet)
53 Tub-thumper in pub stirred monster resistance (11)
BARNSTORMER - BAR (pub) + (MONSTER)* + R (resistance)
54 Window mesh used in one of the strings? (7)
LUNETTE - NET (mesh) in LUTE (one of the strings)
Didn't know this one, but I'm sure it's come up before.
55 Separate period of weekend with alcohol unavailable (6)
SUNDRY - SUN (Sunday, period of weekend) + DRY (alcohol unavailable)
56 Be less than complete without article from Berlin (8)
UNDERCUT - UNCUT (complete) 'without' DER (article from Berlin, as in German for 'the')
Down
1 Knockout producing tears? (7)
RIPPING - Double def
2 Judicial speciality having edge in everything covered by comment from beak? (8,3)
CRIMINAL LAW - RIM (edge) + IN + ALL (everything) covered by CAW (comment from beak, as in a sound made by a crow)
One of today's better clues.
3 Intense when welcoming a female on a ship? (9)
SEAFARING - SEARING (intense) 'welcoming' A + F (female)
4 Cumbrian initially resettles there, moving somewhere across the Pennines (7-2-6)
CHESTER-LE-STREET - C (Cumbrian initially) + (RESETTLES THERE)*
Known only to me as a cricket ground, where Australia lost an Ashes Test on a recent tour.  The result was reported widely in Australia, which will come as a surprise to some who frequent this site.
6 Request agreement in support of reduction in target (8)
ENTREATY - TREATY (agreement) 'in support of' EN{d} (reduction in target)
7 What match programmes get used for? (8,6)
COMPUTER DATING - Cryptic def
A play on 'match programmes'.  Not bad.
8 Street child offering cake after performance in India? (10)
RAGAMUFFIN - MUFFIN (cake) after RAGA (performance in India)
9 Study about church clearly lacking core body’s fairness (7)
DECENCY - DEN (study) 'about' CE (church) + C{learl}Y (clearly 'lacking core')
10 Be critical of including one old key holder (5)
PIANO - PAN (be critical of) including I (one) + O (old)
11 Atomic expert candid about power: "I'm here to see change" (11)
OPPENHEIMER - OPEN (candid) 'about' P (power) + (I'M HERE)*
12 Universe about to come into being (8)
ENTIRETY - RE (about) to 'come into' ENTITY (being)
13 Car fuel going up, confining millions (4)
LIMO - LIO [oil (fuel), going up] 'confining' M (millions)
20 Baseball player, say, making strike (6)
BATTER - Double def
21 One blooming commotion reduced around church in Advent, primarily (7)
FUCHSIA - FUS{s} (commotion reduced) 'around' CH (church) + IA (in Advent, primarily)
22 Provide another manuscript for American cartoonist (6)
ADDAMS - ADD A (provide another) + MS (manuscript)
24 All affected by the Oedipus complex? (5,7,3)
EVERY MOTHER'S SON - Cryptic def
I don't think it quite works.  I know the expression, meaning all men, but just being a mother's son doesn't imply being affected by an Oedipus complex does it?  Or are we meant to read mother's son as "mummy's boy"?  Maybe it works.
On edit: Kevin helpfully reminds us that Freud decided that this complex is universal, ie it affects every mother's son.
26 "Are you still worth a fortune?" (6,8)
LOADED QUESTION - Cryptic def
Are you still loaded?  Yep, that's a loaded question alright.  Ranked number 2 on my list for today.
27 Stick with job after most of plan goes astray (6)
CEMENT - {pla}CEMENT [job, after pla (most of plan) goes away]
29 I will participate in one party and movement? That's daft (7)
IDIOTIC - I in I (one) + DO (party) + TIC (movement)
31 Forward plan sees department losing top 25% (6)
VISION - {di}VISION (department, losing top 25%, ie the first two letters)
33 One goes off before others go off (8,3)
STARTING GUN - Cryptic def
Spotted this one quite quickly, against the run of play.  Does that make it better or worse?
35 Ace flying microlight following set of instructions (11)
ALGORITHMIC - A (Ace) + (MICROLIGHT)*
36 Sport elevated one in error, accepting dodgy tale (4,6)
REAL TENNIS - RENNIS [elevated sinner (one in error)] 'accepting' (TALE)*
A sport I've never played.  I think you have to be rich.
40 Mineral the writer found in first catalogue? (9)
LIMESTONE - ME (the writer) in (LIST ONE) first catalogue?
41 Support Australia, reversing most of demand regarding houses (8)
ZODIACAL - [AID (support) + OZ (Australia)], reversing + CAL{l} (most of demand)
42 Factory ban involving one in no great pressure (8)
MILLIBAR - MILL (factory) + BAR (ban) 'involving' I (one)
44 Oxford college lecturer's foremost in area (7)
LINACRE - L (lecturer's foremost) + IN + ACRE (area)
Ah, good old Linacre.  The list of Oxford colleges that I've never heard of must be slowly diminishing.
46 Live in hitherto unused religious tower (7)
MINARET - ARE (live) in MINT (hitherto unused)
48 Head of squadron entering base where fliers land (5)
ROOST - S (head of squadron) entering ROOT (base)
50 Instrument tuned slightly high? Not initially (4)
HARP - {s}HARP (tuned slightly high, without the initial letter)
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