January 5th, 2019

Times Cryptic Jumbo No 1357 - 22nd December

I found this a very enjoyable Jumbo with lots of entertaining clues and clever surfaces; rather better than 28A and not a 22D. For once, there were no words I didn't know, although there is some knowledge of mathematics required which may not be familiar to some. In all this took me about 50 minutes, so was pretty much in my goldilocks zone for a Jumbo (although such locks that I have are grey not gold). CLOUT my LOI and as for clue of the day... plenty to choose from, but I opt for the concise and clever ELEVATOR. Thanks setter! How did you all like it?
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Jumbo 1358

Happy New Year to all my readers!

I am not sure whether it was Christmas overindulgence or not being on the setter's wavelength but this one took me longer than it should have done. I needed to check 44D, but I do vaguely recall it from a past puzzle.

1 BOGUS - BUS = coach, around O.G. = own goal = blunder by defender
4 ABIDJAN - ABID(e) = put up with, JAN(uary) = few weeks
8 PAPARAZZO - P.A., P.A. = a year, repeated, RAZZ = kid, O(ld)
13 INITIATES (TEST, A, N(ew) I, I, I)*
14 SEWING MACHINE - SWING = jazz, around E = energy, ME = note, around A CHIN = a punch
15 ELECTRO - hidden reversed in shORT CELEbrity
16 GOLDWYN - GWYN = actress, favourite of royal, around OLD = familiar
17 EULOGIA - GOALIE* around U(nited)
18 POCKET-HANDKERCHIEF - POCKET = appropriate, HAND = give, K(ing), E.R. = queen, CHIEF = most important
21 NIGH - NIGH(t) = stay in hotel
23 AILANTHUS - LIANA*, THUS = like this
25 TE-HEED - TE = note, HEED = note
26 METTLE - sounds like METAL = lead
28 EXPERIMENTAL - EX = out of, PERI(l) = danger, MENTAL = mad
30 STREETWISE - STREET = a way, WE around IS
33 STOPPING BY - STOPPING = plugging, BY = times
34 AIRPORT NOVEL - AIR = bearing, PORT = left, NOVEL = fresh
37 ABBESS - AB = muscle, BE = act as, S.S. = bodyguard
39 RIYADH - H(ot), DAY = date, I = one, R = romeo, all reversed
42 TONK - KNOT = turks head, perhaps, reversed
43 LOCK STOCK AND BARREL - LOCK = forward (rugby), STOCK = merchandise, AND = adding, BARREL = vat
46 TOUGHIE - TUG = yank, around O = oscar, HIE = hurry
47 RACQUET - R.A.C. = motorists, QUE = that in French, (cour)T
48 OPEN DAY - OP = work, END = objective, AY = indeed
51 UP-HELLY-AA - UP = at college, HE'LL = the chap's going to, alternate letters in pYjAmAs
52 SANTANDER - SAN = health resort, TAN = function, DER = RED = radical, reversed
53 TURNKEY - TURN = go off, KEY = principal
54 OWNED - (d)OWNED = drunk

1 BOILERPLATE - BOILER = chicken, PLATE = dish. Also cryptically as a down clue BOILER is put on PLATE which could be the instruction to assemble a chicken dish
2 GRIPE - G(ood), RIPE = ready
3 SAINT BERNARD PASS - SPAS, around AINT A RD = isn't a road, itself around BERN = Swiss capital
4 ANTIOCH - A, N.T. = books, I.O.C. = Olympic bigwigs, H = hotel
5 ISSIGONIS - I = one, (SIGN IS SO)*. The inventor/designer of the Morris Minor
6 JUST LIKE THAT - double definition, the second mildly cryptic
7 NEWSWORTHY - NEW = a stranger, SWOR(e) = cursed, THY = your
8 PINON - PIN ON = attach to
9 PAMPERED PAM = girl, P = pee, ERE = before, D(aughter)
10 RACILY - RAY = light, around C.I. = Jersey etc, and L(arge)
12 OVERACHIEVE - O(ld), VERA, EVE = ladies around C(hances) and HI = welcome
19 CALYPSO - hidden in sCALY PSOriatic
20 HEELTAP - HEEL = list, TAP = milk. This answer was in Jumbo 1348 which I also blogged, and although the wordplay split the solution the same way the cryptics were different
22 MEET ONES WATERLOO - MEET = tournament, ONES = singles, WATER = weaken, LOO = can
24 HUMANE - HUE = shade, around MAN = chap
27 HENRY V - HEN = female, R.V. = interpretation of the bible, around Y = unknown
29 NIBLICK - NIB = tip for writer, LICK = light coat
32 NIGHTCLUBBER - NIGHT sounds like KNIGHT = piece, CLUBBER = striker
33 SHANTY TOWNS - SHAN'T = I'm not going to, YTS around OWN = have
36 GANTT CHART - (THAT GRANT, C(heque))*
38 BANTUSTAN - BAN = prohibition, TN = Tennessee, around US = American and T.A. = volunteers
40 A FAST BUCK - double definition, the first cryptic as does are female deer or rabbits, and bucks are males
41 HOMELAND - HOD = scuttle, around MELAN(choly) = black dog
44 DROSHKY - DOSH = ready, around R = queen, KY = commonwealth state (Kentucky, not Kenya, I think)
45 THALIA - hidden in truTH A LIAbility
47 RUDER - RUD(d)ER = helm
49 DOYEN - DO = note, YEN = long
  • brnchn

Times Cryptic No 27234 - Saturday, 29 December 2018. Happy belated New Year.

With New Year falling between the puzzle and this, its blog, I wish everyone all the best for 2019.

One of my plans for the coming year is to do the Times Crossword on paper rather than online, to get rid of that malicious timer and those random typos, but good luck to those of you who do it the other way!

I tackled this one on paper and found it slow going, but I thought I was going to be able to get there until I came to a halt at the intersection of 9ac and 8dn. Bah! Still, there was much to enjoy before then. Thanks to the setter. My clue of the day was 27ac.

Clues are in blue, with definitions underlined. Answers are in BOLD CAPS, then wordplay. (ABC*) means 'anagram of ABC'. Deletions are in [square brackets].

1 Stop driving in top gear? (8)
PULLOVER: to stop driving, you PULL OVER (4,4).

9 Is in French folk tale collector’s brief to find fabled wolf (8)
ISENGRIM: IS, EN (French for “in”), GRIM[m] (dropping the final letter of the brothers Grimm). I’ve never heard of this creature, but Isengrim did appear in the Club Monthly in March 2013 and in Mephisto in 2009, so some few souls who do those challenging puzzles may remember!

10 Legendary ruler getting racket on ball (4)
ODIN: O is the ball, DIN is the racket. Odin is a Norse god.

11 No English composer's works will be fine (12)
SATISFACTORY: SATI[e]’S the composer, FACTORY is the works.

13 A mat? It could be this (6)
TATAMI: it’s a Japanese mat. It “could be” an anagram of (A MAT IT*), too. For me it was a pure guess where the “M” went, but I got lucky. One chance in three. This word has come up nine times before in TftT, but has generally been clued in a way that helped with the spelling!

14 Old policeman's way to block dodgy dealer (8)
LESTRADE: ST is the “way”. Put it inside a “dodgy” anagram of (DEALER*). For me the fact that Lestrade is fictional is more significant than his age! He’s probably the most common Scotland Yard Detective Inspector in the Sherlock Holmes stories.

15 Little beast returning from dissolute revels (7)
LEVERET: reverse (“returning”) hidden answer “from” [dissolu]TE REVEL[s].

16 Problem for athlete with running spikes (7)
CRAMPON: CRAMP would be a problem. ON could be running. I’ve never seen one, but a crampon could I assume have several spikes.

20 Hit big tree (3,5)
BOX ELDER: BOX as in “box one’s ears”, then ELDER as in “elder brother”.

22 Face of girl guide, a sentimental sort? (6)
GUSHER: G is the face of the G[irl], USHER is the guide.

23 Repetitive sound by model of Ford car (12)
TAUTOLOGICAL: the Ford Motor Company established itself by making  the model T AUTO. Sound arguments should be LOGICAL. Join where indicated, please.

25 Victim of murderer clever in hearing (4)
ABEL: sounds like ABLE.

26 Where to find crude artwork competition (8)
OILFIELD: an artwork might be an OIL. The competition would be the rest of the FIELD.

27 Stare at both sides of chewy dish? (3,5)
EYE CANDY: EYE (to stare at) “C” AND “Y” (the “sides” of C[hew]Y).

2 Inappropriate European's left behind to make waves (8)
UNDULATE: UNDU[e}] minus the “E” for European that’s “left”; then LATE (behind).

3 Leeds playing with ball, not getting trophy (8,4)
LONSDALE BELT: anagram (“playing”) if (LEEDS BALL NOT*). The helpers suggested the first word, and then the second word drops out. I’d never heard of this trophy, but could get the answer from the wordplay.

4 Measure of potential fury about a polemical writer (8)
VOLTAIRE: VOLT (measure of electrical potential), IRE (fury), all “about” the letter “A”. He was given to polemics against Christianity, it seems.

5 Endless danger with only fried food (7)

6 Old-fashioned sweetheart's somewhere in France (2,4)
LE MANS: LEMAN is an archaic word for sweetheart. It’s come up in TftT a number of times before, but rang no bells with me.

7 Shipment out of top vessel (4)
ARGO: the shipment could be [c]ARGO. The vessel would have been Jason’s.

8 Celestial fire’s fuel in rising star (8)
EMPYREAN: a theatrical star might be a NAME. A funeral PYRE is a fire which in this case "fuels" the reversed ("rising") NAME. The answer was another unknown. (Thanks to isla3 for clearing up my total confusion about how this one should be parsed!)

12 I'm leaving Indian dish — I’m grateful for fishy one (12)
TARAMASALATA: TARA (British for “I’m leaving”), MASALA (Indian dish), TA (I’m grateful). A dish made of fish roe.

15 Drink in freedom, without hesitation (8)
LIBATION: LIB[er]ATION without the “ER”.

17 Rocky ridge with ice is a killer (8)
REGICIDE: anagram (“rocky”) of (RIDGE ICE*).

18 Eve hard to move with “Love is in the air” (8)
OVERHEAD: anagram (“to move”) (EVE HARD O*), where the “O” is “zero” or “love”.

19 Group ordered to pack kit (7)
BRIGADE: BADE “packing” RIG.

21 Most of toy soldiers in ancient monument (6)
DOLMEN: DOL[l], MEN. It’s a megalithic tomb.

24 Picked up unappealing fruit (4)
UGLI: sounds like “ugly”.

Sunday Times 4831, 30 December 2018, by David McLean — A Saucerful of Resects

A gentle offering, with evenly paved surfaces slick enough to trip you up as to the cryptic parsing. I have a two or three quibbles, but no major complaint—nothing nearly so troublesome as my problems with the postal service, here and/or in France, which I ramble on about (again) quite irrelevantly below.

It’s going to be a big day for blogs, so I hope this doesn’t get slighted in the shuffle.

I do (sanamgra)* like this, and italicize anagrinds in the clues. Five of ’em this time!

 1 Talk about a long story (4)
SAGA — GAS<— + A
 4 European gripped by bad splenetic disease (10)
PESTILENCE — (splenetic + E)*
 9 Negligent first couple of reports by teacher (6)
REMISS — RE[-ports] + MISS. As Keriothe confirmed the last time it came up on my watch, female schoolteachers are still called “Miss” over there in Merrie Olde. Quaint.
10 Idiot husband wearing golf trousers? (8)
CLOTHING — DBE. “Idiot” is CLOT, + H[usband] + IN, “wearing”  + G[olf]
11 A child star upset with all in chorus? (2,3,3)
AS ONE MAN — A SON (“child”) + NAME (“star”) <— (“upset”) Not sure why there is a question mark.
13 Strange old jerk pursuing old flame (6)
14 Awfully indecent and best-limited inclinations (10)
TENDENCIES — (indecent + [-b]ES[-t])*
16 Couple I encountered from the East? (4)
ITEMOne of the Wise Men got lost? I + MET<—
17 Chances of dying do soar at the front (4)
ODDSHow true!
18 European dominance upset grasping American leader (10)
MACEDONIANAnd that’s a kind word for the leader I’m thinking of…! (dominance + A)* Second clue with “upset” in the wordplay, a “redundancy” one, at least, of the setter team at The Nation would want to “correct.” On the other hand, it makes a connection between “grasping American leader” here and “child star” above, which seems apt.
20 Relish October’s final on which the cup rests (6)
SAUCER — SAUCE + R. If memory serves, this was my LOI, for no clear reason.
21 Investment minister has secured in error (8)
MISTAKENOr so (s)he says! MI(STAKE)N
23 Miss when in Madrid, part of Essen, or Italy (8)
SENORITA — But this doesn’t mean she’s a teacher.
24 Release hawk on Lahore’s outskirts (3,3)
LET OUT — L[-ahor]E + TOUT
26 When one might suffer an awful shock? (3,4,3)
BAD HAIR DAY — Static electricity could be at fault!
27 Instrument animal knocked over (4)

 2 Good performer’s excellent service (3)
ACE — Double Definition.
 3 Side with a band that’s heard (5)
ALIGN — A + “line” (“heard”). Underline “with”? But you generally need to add “with” to “align,” in this sense, too,
 4 Chap with letters after name welcoming graduate (7)
POSTMAN — POST is “after” and N “name,” with a Master of Arts in between. It took me too long to separate “letters” from “after name.” By the way, my postal carrier (a man, as it happens) just came by, and I am very upset that he had no Canard Enchaîné for me. I haven’t gotten an issue since the one for novembre 28. Their distributor changed the packaging to little plastic envelopes that tend to get stuck together so that stacks of several for all over the country get sent to one person. Meanwhile, they are pushing their new digital edition, for overseas subscribers only, but it requires paying for a whole new abonnement. I’ve talked to the USPS and written to the Canard repeatedly…
 5 Position that Oscar holds? Deputy (6-2-7)
SECOND-IN-COMMAND — Clever. “Oscar” is O in the NATO alphabet, the second letter in the word COMMAND.
 6 Those who press to see the Queen in restraints (7)
IRONERSWhy? She isn’t doing anything! IRON (ER) S. This is the weakest part of the puzzle, just pure filler. Has anyone ever used this word or heard it used? Surely there’s a more elegant term for those who press clothes.
 7 African playing the piano all round India (9)
ETHIOPIAN — (the piano + I[ndia])*
 8 Kind of second-rate pants one must wear (11)
CONSIDERATE — (second-rate + I)*
12 One likely to snap at those driving over limit (5,6)
SPEED CAMERA — Cryptic Definition.
15 Child host ordered to become washing-up helper? (9)
DISHCLOTH — (Child host)* Slightly cryptic definition, hence the question mark (used to be called a “quirk” in the Nation copy department; I wonder if I could get away with that here… And exclamation points were “sclams”!)
18 Cocktail party at centre held by midget (7)
MARTINI — M ([-p]ART[-y] )INI. Surface-wise, it isn’t clear whether the midget is holding the party or the centre. Also merely surface-wise, it is now widely considered offensive to refer to any particular smallish person as a “midget,” as we all know. Yet you still hear terms such as “moral midget.”
19 Showcase sample of pop in Underworld song (7)
DISPLAYAnother band I haven’t heard of?! DIS (P[-op]) LAY. Seems “Dis” has been a popular reference in our puzzles lately, the devil knows why.
22 Rhubarb served up following a cold ham (5)
ACTOR — “Rhubarb” is ROT <— served up, after A C.
25 Do drugs lead to untold sadness and woe ultimately? (3)
USEMy answer is, “Not necessarily.” I thought this clue was a little faulty, until Kevin pointed out how it works.
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