March 9th, 2019

Jumbo 1368

Nothing contentious here although parts of 2D may have caused issues for overseas solvers. No clue stands out as a particular favourite, but if I had to choose one it would probably be 36A or 43A

1 MALINGERED - MALIGNER = person traducing with N and G swapped, ED = editor
6 HOT CROSS BUNS - HOT = stolen, CROSS = to thwart, BUS around N = any number. I know they were for the Easter bank holiday, but now the seem to appear in the shops soon after Christmas!
14 SOLOIST - SO = very much, LOST = at sea, around I
15 REPLICA - REP = agent, LI = fifty-one, CA = thereabouts
16 CHANCEL - CHANCE = risk, L(ocation)
17 LAIN - L.A. = US city, IN = at home
18 BROWSE - sounds like BROWS = summits
20 CERULEAN - CLEAN = pure, around EUR = URE = river, reversed
25 DAWDLES - DALES = valleys, around W(in)D
26 ENTWINES - ENT*, WINES = drinks
27 EVER SO - E(ngland), OVERS*
31 LIBRETTI - hidden reversed in twITTER BILingually
34 CANOODLE - CAN (p)OODLE = is dog able
36 WINDOW SHOPPING - WINDOWS = bays, HOPING = wishing, around P = parking
39 EXCITE - EXIT = gateway, around C = caught, E(nsign)
41 JEWS HARP - JEW = believer, SHARP = keen
43 UPRIGHT - double definition, the second mildly cryptic referring to different versions of piano
46 LAW OF DIMINISHING RETURNS - LOAF*, around W = wife, DIMINISHING = sinking, RETURNS = is recalled
47 ROOTLESS - ROOTLES = digs, around S(taying)
48 SHYEST - hidden in marSHY ESTuary
49 PIAF - PI = Greek character, A, F = fine
53 AVIGNON - AVION = plane, in French, around G(erma)N
54 OMINOUS - (rome)O, MINUS = without, around O = love
56 REALGAR - REAL = concrete, GAR = RAG = roof tile, reversed. I was not aware of that definition of RAG
57 PRESS RELEASE - PRESS = petition, RELEASE = drop
1 MISPLACED - M = mike, IS PLACED = has qualified for a medal
2 LOLLIPOP WOMAN - LOLLIPOP = Kojak's favourite, W(estern), OMAN = state. The first part is easy for those of a certain age, but possibly not for younger solvers, and the whole may be unfamiliar to overseas solvers. A lollipop woman looks after children crossing a road outside a school with a round sign on the top of a pole (the lollipop) as a warning to traffic to stop
3 NAIF - NIF = FIN(n) = N European, reversed around A = area
4 ENTERPRISINGLY - ENTER SINGLY = arrive alone, around (ap)R(il)
5 ERR - alternate letters in bEaReR
7 OBIT - O = old, BIT = coin
8 CHAPERONED - CHAD = African republic, around PERON = deposed president and (thre)E
9 ON COURSE - double definition
10 SLAVE-DRIVER - SAVED = rescued, around L = learner, RIVER = runner
11 UNCANNIER - (d)UNCAN = unfortunate king, NIER = REIN = control, reversed
12 SOLD - S = spades, OLD = of considerable age
13 UPPERCUT - UPPER = stimulant, CUT = nicked
19 WASHED-UP - double definition
21 EN BLOC - ENOC = CONE = bollard, reversed around BL(okes)
22 STAIR-ROD - S = son, TROD = walked, around AIR = strain
23 REVOKING - REVO = OVER = left, reversed, KING = ruler
28 WITHOUT RESERVE - WITHOUT = not using, RESERVE = book
29 SECRETLY - SECRETARY = office worker with L = left replacing A R(un)
32 TRIGGER FINGER - T(exas), RIGGER = oil worker, FINER = better, around (appearin)G
35 OUT OF BOUNDS - OUT OF BONDS = without ties, around U = uniform
37 PARITY - PARTY = litigant, around I
38 SET IN STONE - double definition
40 COWARDICE - COWARD = dramatist, I = one, initial letters in C(alled) E(rnest)
42 ADHESION - HAD*, ESION = NOISE = racket, reversed
44 TASK FORCE - TASK FOR C.E. = civil engineer's job
45 VIOLENCE - (IN LOVE)*, C.E. = church
50 WASP - double definition, the second referring to the acronym for White Anglo-Saxon Protestants
51 MISS - double definition
52 IAMB - I AM = the writer's, B = book
55 SKA - (ala)SKA = US state
  • brnchn

Times Cryptic No 27288 - Saturday, 02 March 2019. Snakes on a plane.

This was a fly-by-night effort. In other words, I did it on an inter-city flight on my way home from a long meeting.

Under the circumstances, it went reasonably quickly – at least I finished before we landed. It was probably harder than the week before, but mercifully it was free from unknown answers clued by other unknowns. A plus for doing it later in the day was that I could use the iPad app for the Times newspaper, and avoid worrying about internet access.

I snaked my way around the grid, basically from left to right or bottom to top, so the last to yield was the NE corner, with 5ac and 7dn exposing gaps in my general knowledge. I was also reluctant to commit to 8dn – forgive the pun, but the clue seemed a bit thin. The clue of the day for me was definitely 1dn, with its imaginative “letterplay”! Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle.

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 Fruit satisfied in fall (7)

5 Place to set free American skunk (7)
POLECAT: (PLACE TO*) is “set free”. Didn’t know a polecat is, or at least is called, a skunk. In my ignorance, I imagined it would be a cat! Still, with the anagram and the helpers, it was obvious enough.

9 Forgers concerned with one article in museum (11)
SMITHSONIAN: SMITHS=forgers (of metal), ON=concerned with, I=one, AN=article.

10 Letter recently ignored in stamp collecting (3)
PHI: PHI[lately].

11 Mass of eggs, but not the first year in bird sanctuary (6)
AVIARY: [c]AVIAR=mass of eggs, “not the first”; Y=year.

12 Comic show needs help over name (8)
COMEDIAN: COME=show, AID “over”, N=name.

14 Father rows with son about celebrity’s wicked cruelty (13)

17 Making accusations about mostly unlawful politician (13)
RECRIMINATORY: RE=about, CRIMINA[l]=unlawful (mostly), TORY=politician.

21 I’m after gold that’s fake (8)
IMPOSTOR: IM, POST=after, OR=gold.

23 Only partially sanguine about money (6)
GUINEA: hidden answer.

25 There’s a point to this law needing reform (3)
AWL: (LAW*) “reformed”.

26 Popular — till people will show resentment (11)
INDIGNATION: IN=popular, DIG=till (the soil), NATION=people.

27 Completely or nearly closed account (7)
TOTALLY: TO=nearly closed, TALLY=account.

28 Note port light on front of German boat (7)
DREDGER: D=(musical) note, RED=port light, GER= “front of” GER[man].

1 Mischievous child cuts leg off its first unit (6)
PASCAL: “cut the (right) ‘leg’ off” the R of RASCAL, to produce PASCAL. An imaginative device ... well done setter! (On edit, to explain further: it’s a visual clue. Write down a capital R, and erase the line that points down towards 4 o’clock on the watch dial. That leaves you with a capital P. Voila ... you've changed RASCAL to PASCAL!)

2 One sacked after university abandons resistance (7)
UNIFIED: UNI, FI[r]ED. Dropping the R is “abandoning resistance”.

3 Graduate severe about one current leading teacher (9)
MAHARISHI: MA, HARSH around I=one, followed by I=current. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was a guru to the Beatles among others.

4 Pack’s expelled a communist (4)
TROT: take a T[a]ROT pack, and expel the A.

5 Original clock face has proper gold on it (10)
PRIMORDIAL: PRIM=proper, OR=gold, DIAL=clock face. All assembled as indicated.

6 Organ adds energy for fast movement (5)
LUNGE: LUNG, E=energy.

7 Cut wood, framing picture in deal successfully (7)
COPPICE: PIC[ture] inside COPE=deal successfully. Apparently a coppice is regularly trimmed, or “coppiced”. Another thing I didn’t know!

8 Most fine chicks could be at risk in this? (8)
THINNEST: could chicks really be in danger of falling out of a thin nest, or is this just whimsy?

13 Chap, though elderly, plays regularly in several ways (10)
MANIFOLDLY: MAN=chap, IF=though, OLD=elderly, LY=even letters of plays.

15 Inject copper into deformed toenail (9)
INOCULATE: CU=copper in (TOENAIL*) “deformed”.

16 Annoying train, it runs irregularly (8)
IRRITANT: (TAIN IT R*) “irregularly”, where R=runs is our cricket cameo of the day.

18 Company scheme limits one crew member (7)
COPILOT: CO=company, PLOT=scheme “limiting” I=one.

19 What a jerk’s doing never rising before monarch? (7)
YANKING: YAN=nay “rising”=never, KING=monarch.

20 One not allowing large headline (6)
BANNER: double definition.

22 Small bag for art (5)

24 Old were furious when right’s lost (4)