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March 23rd, 2019

Jumbo 1370

A fun and fairly straightforward puzzle with a few odd words and constructions to spice things up. Though it's not something that necessarily affects the solving experience, there did seem to be a larger proportion of clues than normal where the definition was at the beginning. FOI 1A, LOI 27A, COD 4D for the smile.

Definitions are underlined, anagram = *, omission = {}, double definition = dd, cryptic definition = cd


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Joy and bliss for me – another Saturday that I could finish without tearing of hair or beating of breast, without spending too much time in a state of 15ac. The NE corner was the last to go in. I thought 7ac was delightful. Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle, with a delightful flavour of whimsy and irony.

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

Across
1 I'm a threat to all, promiscuous cleric said (5,6)
LOOSE CANNON: LOOSE=promiscuous, CANNON sounds like (“said”) CANON=cleric.

7 Member of Parliament's a dish: bachelor knocked out (3)
OWL: [b]OWL. I normally don’t have much time for contrived collective nouns, but “a Parliament of owls” is well enough known to make this definition delicious.

9 Act foolishly, hurling most abuse (4,5)
MESS ABOUT: anagram (“hurling”) of (MOST ABUSE*).

10 Wife visiting North American railway town (5)
CREWE: a CREE is a North American. Insert W for wife. I didn't know Crewe is/was a railway town, but the wordplay convinced me.

11 Director of further education in damaging U-turn (7)
FELLINI: F.E. for further education, LLINI is IN ILL backwards (“U-turn”).

12 Pointless filibuster I leadenly can deliver (7)
STERILE: hidden answer (“delivered”).

13 Originally Ottoman fort half seen on numerous occasions (5)
OFTEN: fiddly parsing: O[ttoman] (“originally”), FT (fort), [se]EN (“half”).

15 Blissful state? Teacher doesn’t like it (9)
IGNORANCE: double definition, the second cryptic and a bit whimsical.

17 Passing Sian frolicking in river (9)
TRANSIENT: anagram of (SIAN*) “frolicking” in TRENT.

19 Bungling writer’s back, overcome by drink (5)
INEPT: NEP is PEN backwards, inside IT, an old-fashioned drink.

20 Say again: educated Liberal must go (7)
ITERATE: [l]ITERATE without the L[iberal].

22 If nurse is sick, one makes tea (7)
INFUSER: anagram of “sick” (IF NURSE*).

24 A Dickensian quirk? (5)
TWIST: double definition, the first being Oliver of course.

25 Somehow lure a girl, a freedom fighter? (9)
GUERRILLA: an anagram, “somehow”, of (LURE A GIRL*).

27 Retired academic gives signal of assent (3)
NOD: DON “retiring”.

28 One contemptuous of bards, and where they lie at rest? (5,6)
POETS’ CORNER: or, split differently, a POET SCORNER? It (but of course, not he) is in Westminster Abbey.

Down
1 Scottish smoker depressed, having to give up golf (3)
LUM: g[LUM] being depressed, without G[olf].

2 Resort to stuffing oddly oily bird (5)
OUSEL: USE in O-L-, the odd letters of OiLy.

3 Joy’s story recalled home full of love (7)
ELATION: ELAT is TALE “recalled”, then put O (love) in IN (home).

4 Australian with roots in Lincoln? (9)
ABORIGINE: ORIGIN in ABE.

5 Lines of attack rejected (5)
NOTES: the “rejected” attack is SET ON, backwards. “Lines” might be notes, as in “I dropped them a line”.

6 Kind of family that’s equivocal, putting university back (7)
NUCLEAR: equivocal is UNCLEAR. Move U for university as instructed.

7 Old piece of furniture niece destroyed, following instructions (9)
OBEDIENCE: O for old, BED is furniture, then IENCE is an anagram of (NIECE*) “destroyed”.

8 Interrogator may use this … or let deceit run riot? (3,8)
LIE DETECTOR: an anagram “running riot” of (OR LET DECEIT*).

11 Suffering from cold, TV interviewer attacked by dog (11)
FROSTBITTEN: David FROST was the interviewer, perhaps BITTEN by a dog.

14 Dealing with gas and ship’s propeller? (5,4)
TRADE WIND: TRADE=dealing, WIND=gas. The propellor of 19th century square-riggers bound to the Antipodes.

16 Crazy quality of Brazil, perhaps (9)
NUTTINESS: at first glance this looks like a double definition, but since CRAZY doesn’t seem to be the same part of speech as NUTTINESS, perhaps it’s just a cryptic definition.

18 Celebrated lamb producer in new venture (5-2)
START-UP: STAR=celebrated, TUP=bearer of lambs.

19 Conclude nothing can get to grips with northern hell (7)
INFERNO: INFER=conclude, O=nothing, all gripping N=northern.

21 Dog beginning to bound away, a born hunter (5)
EAGLE: the dog is a [b]EAGLE.

23 Sage quickly engulfing lake (5)
SOLON: SOON=quickly, L=lake. I knew SOLON by name, but no more. Turns out he was one of the “seven wise men of Ancient Greece”.

26 Make known dictator’s successor (3)
AIR: sounds like HEIR. (On edit: might sound like "heir" when listening to dictation.)