mohn (mohn2) wrote in times_xwd_times,
mohn
mohn2
times_xwd_times

Jumbo 1275

I found this one of the toughest Jumbos in recent memory. There were half-a-dozen unknowns for me, as well as a number of synonyms (e.g. faze=floor, poppy=catchy) that I eventually hit upon more by a process of elimination than anything else. I wasn't a fan of any of the &lits but there were some creative bits of wordplay (e.g. the "two sons" in 44A, the alphabet reference in 52D) to enjoy. Not going to lie, though - this was rather a slog for me.



Definitions are underlined, * = anagram, {} = omission

Across
1 At Cannes, a seafront, I confess, with a dismal prospect (11)
UNPROMISING - UN (At Cannes, a) + PROM (seafront) + I + SING (confess)
7 Pen used to check spelling test? (5,6)
MAGIC MARKER - cryptic indication where one needs to read spelling as in casting spells, i.e. MAGIC, rather than writing out the letters in a word, and one checking a test would be a MARKER
13 Blundering, in the reverse of singular valour (7-2)
DERRING-DO - ERRING (Blundering) in reversal of ODD (singular)
14 Self-importance put on by sergeant major from Belfast? (7)
DONNISM - DON (put on) + NI SM (sergeant major from Belfast?)
15 Little support for driving on motorway, ultimately (5)
TEENY - TEE (support for driving) + {o}N {motorwa}Y (on motorway, ultimately)
16 Linguistic term from SW, perhaps, used by the writer (6)
TONEME - TO NE (from SW, perhaps) + ME (the writer). The implication is that if something is coming from SW (southwest) then it is going TO NE (northeast). Chambers: "(in a tone language) a phoneme which can be distinguished from another only by its particular intonation".
17 Author has girl with hood visiting Badger’s place (8)
SMOLLETT - MOLL (girl with hood - hood in the sense of a gangster) in SETT (Badger's place)
18 Brief drink at the bar (7)
RUMPOLE - RUM (drink) + POLE (bar), with the definition in the nounal sense of a lawyer and the answer the main character in John Mortimer's various Rumpole of the Bailey books
20 Lovers on boat breaking up at the last second — why? (3,3,3,3,5-3)
THE OWL AND THE PUSSY-CAT - (UP AT THE LAST SECOND WHY)*. Good surface.
23 Percy with time to grab teaspoon (7)
HOTSPUR - HOUR (time) around TSP (teaspoon), to give the nickname of the medieval English nobleman Sir Henry Percy
24 Expulsion from sports stadium when pursuing rock band (7)
REMOVAL - REM (rock band) + OVAL (sports stadium)
26 A lark, gallivanting round quiet Indian city once (7)
LASHKAR - (A LARK)* around SH (quiet). I'm assuming the definition is referring to the fact that Lashkar is now part of the city of Gwalior rather than a city in its own right.
28 Clubs wearing light blue (4)
RACY - C (Clubs) in RAY (light)
29 Abnormal perception not a thing exploited or embraced (8)
ESPOUSED - ESP (Abnormal perception) + O (not a thing) + USED (exploited)
32 A cynic apt to corrupt leadership (9)
CAPTAINCY - (A CYNIC APT)*
35 Sketch of food shop near smart end of village (9)
DELINEATE - DELI (food shop) + NEAT (smart) + {villag}E (end of village)
36 Seductive on the outside, at any rate a minor goddess (3-5)
SEA-NYMPH - S{eductiv}E (Seductive on the outside) + ANY + MPH (rate, i.e. miles per hour)
37 Sound from stage floor (4)
FAZE - homophone of PHASE (stage)
39 Dance with fiddles: an outlet for childish desires? (7)
TOYSHOP - TOYS (fiddles) + HOP (Dance), and a mildly cryptic definition
41 At home, order constrains husband to be brief (2,5)
IN SHORT - IN (At home) + SORT (order) around H (husband)
44 Jack and two sons cornering experienced militants (7)
JIHADIS - J (Jack) + II (two) + S (sons) around HAD (experienced)
45 Doing everything in fifties to stop Sicilian gangland skirmishing: no good! (3-7,3-7)
ALL-SINGING ALL-DANCING - LL (fifties) in (SICILIAN GANGLAND)*, + NG (no good)
49 Horse Napoleon got on, first of all? (7)
MARENGO - MARE (Horse) + N{apoleon} G{ot} O{n} (Napoleon got on, first of all), to give the name of Napoleon's best-known horse. An &lit, though the "first of all" has to make solid use of the question mark in order to justify being part of the definition.
50 A number beat rival regularly making a bloomer (8)
AUBRETIA - A + nUmBeR bEaT rIvAl (number beat rival regularly). The most popular spelling of aubrieta, for which Chambers has: "A plant of the purple-flowered Mediterranean genus Aubrieta of trailing cruciferous plants, much grown in rock-gardens, etc".
51 Half served after tea, and whisky after that? (6)
CHASER - CHA (tea) + SER{ved} (Half served)
53 Operettist Henry, creator of 20 covers (5)
LEHAR - LEAR (creator of 20, i.e. the writer of The Owl and the Pussycat) around H (Henry)
54 Expert: one dealt with Cockney’s claim (3,4)
OLD HAND - 'OLD (Cockney's claim) + HAND (one dealt)
55 Demanding porridge and fish (9)
GRUELLING - GRUEL (porridge) + LING (fish)
56 On dress, perfume becomes evocative? (11)
REMINISCENT - RE (On) + MINI (dress) + SCENT (perfume)
57 Rugby players, nameless, prepare to moon? (11)
DROPKICKERS - DROP K{n}ICKERS (nameless, prepare to moon). I'd be really surprised if this was in the top 20 of anyone's mental list of rugby players.


Down
1 Something fresh about to be tried with fruit (6)
UPDATE - UP (about to be tried, i.e. in court) + DATE (fruit)
2 Woefully short payment to landlord is disturbing, as an aside (15)
PARENTHETICALLY - REN{t} (short payment to landlord) inside (is disturbing) PATHETICALLY (Woefully)
3 Producer of powerful number: there’s nothing more catchy, perhaps, gripping millions (5,5)
OPIUM POPPY - O (nothing) + PIU (more, i.e. in musical notation) + POPPY (catchy, perhaps) around M (millions)
4 Portion of veg nicely served up. Swede? (4)
INGE - hidden reversed in vEG NIcely, to give (Wikipedia): "a given name in various Germanic language-speaking cultures. In Swedish and Norwegian, it is mostly used as a masculine, but less often also as a feminine name, while in Danish, Estonian, Frisian, German and Dutch it is exclusively feminine." I don't recognise any of the famous Inges listed in that entry, though if it's a shortened form of Ingemar then that would open up the field somewhat.
5 Fee, mostly, is what one works for (4-5)
IRON-MINER - FE{e} (Fee mostly) gives us the chemical symbol for iron
6 Time for ministerial broadcast — from gallery, with luck (7)
GODSLOT - GODS (gallery) + LOT (luck)
7 Chemist taking aim in brawl, see (9)
MENDELEEV - END (aim) in MELEE (brawl) + V (see)
8 Light top for girl dressing (5)
GLINT - G{irl} (top for girl) + LINT (dressing)
9 Proclaims new constitution (9)
COMPRISAL - PROCLAIMS*. Ugly word.
10 Shot in arm acts as a protection for one’s back? (12)
ANTIMACASSAR - the wordplay leads to (IN ARM ACTS AS A)* This originally had "arms" in the clue instead of "arm", leading to the plural ANTIMACASSARS which is one letter too long, though it was subsequently corrected. The definition presumably refers to the back of one's chair rather than one's own back.
11 Glance up, striking warning note to trespassers? (4,3)
KEEP OUT - reversal of PEEK (Glance), + OUT (striking)
12 Short song, penned by leftist, that U2 did with The Who (6)
RHYMED - HYM{n} (Short song) in RED (leftist)
19 Novel last from author, one in top form? (8)
CLARISSA - {autho}R (last from author) + I (one), in CLASS A (top form?), to give Samuel Richardson's most famous offering
21 A French girl covering kilometres without a break (7)
UNLUCKY - UN (A French) + LUCY (girl) around K (kilometres), where the definition requires this meaning of break - (Chambers): "A good chance, an opportunity".
22 Lack of allure or energy’s affected Saint (8)
GREYNESS - ENERGY'S* + S (Saint)
23 The girl to work on newspaper with Yankee passing on features (8)
HEREDITY - HER (The girl) + EDIT (to work on newspaper) + Y (Yankee)
25 Grandma’s tips on jam: no additives; sterilise jars (5)
MOSES - jaM: nO additiveS; sterilisE jarS (tips on jam: no additives; sterilise jars), to give the (now dead) American folk artist
27 Angus’s old neighbour’s family tease Spanish female recruit (15)
KINCARDINESHIRE - KIN (family) + CARD (tease, in the sense of combing) + INES (Spanish female) + HIRE (recruit), to give a county that was adjacent to the county of Angus in the days before council areas
30 Rent for which eg nine pounds raised more than enough (7)
OPENING - hidden reversed in eG NINE POunds
31 Fare includes vehicle for returning group of stars (5)
DRACO - DO (Fare) around reversal of CAR (vehicle), to give the constellation known as the Dragon
33 Sailor playing jape on female supposedly in Rome once (4,4)
POPE JOAN - PO (Sailor, i.e. Petty Officer) + (JAPE ON)*, to give (Chambers): "A mythical female pope"
34 Popular article to yearn to charge for eventually (2,3,4,3)
IN THE LONG RUN - IN (Popular) + THE (article) + LONG (to yearn) + RUN (to charge, presumably in the sense of "An iPhone 8 will probably run you over $1,000")
38 Fan scoffing Hershey’s primarily, most of selection boxes? (10)
CHOCOHOLIC - COOL (Fan) around H{ershey's} (Hershey's primarily), being boxed by CHOIC{e} (most of selection). An &lit, with an awkward surface and dodgy definition - Hershey's barely qualifies as chocolate.
40 No one can be treated with soup so? (9)
POISONOUS - (NO I (one) SOUP SO)*, and another &lit, this time with a rather oblique definition
42 Confess, finally, and slate is clean? (9)
SANDBLAST - {Confes}S (Confess, finally) + AND + BLAST (slate)
43 Addressing criticism (7-2)
TALKING-TO - if you are addressing someone, then you are TALKING TO them
45 A supporter acting inappropriately for patriarch (7)
ABRAHAM - A + BRA (supporter) + HAM (acting inappropriately)
46 Corrected announcement of PM’s arrival? (7)
AMENDED - if PM (i.e. the afternoon) has arrived then AM has ENDED
47 Starter leaving taste that’s more satisfying? (6)
AMPLER - {s}AMPLER (Starter leaving taste)
48 Benelux city offends: one’s leaving for good (6)
BRUGES - BRUISES (offends) with I'S (one's) being removed and replaced by G (good)
50 Not hard, writing about Gide, perhaps (5)
ANDRE - {h}AND (Not hard, writing) + RE (about), to give the first name of (among others) French author ANDRE Gide
52 Reject a couple after I have embraced most countries (4)
JUNK - JK (a couple after I, i.e. in the alphabet) around UN (most countries, i.e. United Nations)


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