April 13th, 2019

Jumbo 1373

Nothing unusual to report in this one apart from a couple of definitions that I was unaware of.

I am not sure whether the date of publishing this puzzle was intentional given 28A.

Apologies for any typos - this was written up in haste.

1 CELL PHONE - CELL = cadre, P = pressure, HONE = sharpen up
6 SOBER - SO, BE(a)R = endure
9 CHECK-UP - CUP = let blood, around HECK = expression of surprise. I was not aware of that definition of CUP, although I was aware of the spa treatment of cupping which appears to be related
13 DENIM - DNIM = MIND = care, reversed, around E = European
14 PROVOKE - PROVE = show, around OK = permissible
15 DIPHTHONG - the central E of ENCYCLOPEDIA is sometimes shown as Æ, a diphthong
17 DISGRUNTLED - DIED = deceased, around GRUNT = US soldier, and L = left
18 SCARAB - initial letters of S(acred) and C(reature), ARAB = Egyptian. The whole clue is the definition
19 INFRARED - FIND* around RARE = how some cook steak
21 GRAVEL - G(ood), RAVEL = composer
25 AVERAGED - (r)AVER = partygoer, AGED = grew old
26 INDIRECT SPEECH - IN, DIRE = terrible, CT = court, SPEECH = language
28 LEAVE - LE = the in French, AVE = welcome. The puzzle was published the day after Brexit was supposed to happen
29 CANTER - CAN = is able to, TE(a)R = go quickly
30 CATALEPTIC - CAT = tiger, ALE = beer, PIC = photo, around T = tons
33 CODSWALLOP - CODS = fish's, WALLOP = batter
35 THRUSH, THRU = during, in America, SH = quiet
36 PURGE - P = power, URGE = press
38 LENDING LIBRARY - L = line, ENDING = finishing, LIBRA = sign, RY = railway
40 WATERLOO - double definition - the second cryptically referring to the song by the Swedish group ABBA
42 BRIEFS - BRIE = cheese, initial letters of F(or) S(ellers)
43 GONDOLAS - (D (= delta), LAGOONS)*
44 DIVERT - DIVE = low bar, RT = right
47 INSUPERABLE - IN, SABLE = fashionable fur, around UP = in high state and E.R. = queen
50 ROMANTICISM - ROMANISM = Catholicism, around TIC = involuntary response
52 APOCRYPHA - APPROACH*, around Y = unknown
53 IMPASSE - I.E. = that is, around MP = parliamentarian and ASS = fool
54 OFTEN - (s)OFTEN = relent
55 BATHTUB - BATH = spa, TUB = vessel
56 SOGGY , S = small, (m)OGGY = cat
57 TREASURER - (RE-ARREST, U(niversity))*
1 CEDAR - hidden reversed in favouR A DECiduous
3 POMEGRANATE - POM = small dog, E.G. = for instance, RAN = raced, ATE = consumed
4 ORPHAN - alternate letters in oN oAtH, PRO = for, all reversed
5 EMOTIONS - EM OT = TO ME reversed, I = one, ON = touching, S = son
6 SLOANE RANGER - (LORNA ENRAGES)*. Do these still exist - I recall it as an Eighties/Nineties classification
7 BREADFRUIT - BREAD = cash, FRUIT = benefit
8 RIDES - (b)RIDES = marrying women
9 COPYRIGHT - COPY = ape, RIGHT = immediately
10 EATING APPLE - EATING = what consumers like, ALE = beer, around PP = very quietly
11 KNOLL - KNO(w), (J)(i)LL
12 PAGODA - P = quiet, A = area, around A GOD = a deity
18 SMALL-SCALESALE = act of selling, around MALLS = shopping centres and C = caught
20 DAEDALUS - DAED = DEAD reversed, AL(l), US = American
22 ELECTORAL REGISTER - ELECt = chosen, ORAL = exam, REGISTER = set down
23 PENCIL - PL = place, around NICE*
27 ANNOYING - (t)ANNOYING = talking over PA system. I had not seen tannoy a verb before but it is in Chambers
31 ASHRAM - ASH = tree, RAM = sheep
32 CHOREOGRAPHY - CHORE = task, O = round, GRAPH = plot, (nurser)Y
36 PRECIPITOUS - PRECIOUS = valuable, around PIT = stone
37 PRINCELING - PRINCE = pop singer, LING(er) = loiter
39 GASTROPUB - (TOP GRUB)* around AS = what
41 MARMOSET - MAR = month, MO = second, SET = group
45 BICARB - BIB = protection for baby around CAR = vehicle. The definition is "what helps to raise" in baking
46 ANNEXE - AN, (in)N, EXE = river
48 SHOOT - double definition
49 BRASS - BRASS(ie) = old fashioned (golf) club
51 MANOR - MAR = spoil, around NO = number
  • brnchn

Times Cryptic No 27318 - Saturday, 06 April. What’s a Grecian Urn?

All done on the morning of, so not outrageously hard. Still, harder than the week before. Fortunately, I had the luxury of doing it on paper, not on a phone, and so, again fortunately, don’t have a time. It all went fairly smoothly except for the south-west corner, in particular 19ac and 23ac. They were my last two in.

I always struggle with the long clues involving assembling random pieces, particularly when I don’t know the answer I’m looking for, but with 23ac I saw the theatre after a while, and then had an “aha” moment when I saw the sacred part! There it was: an ode, but no connection to what a Grecian earns.

I also didn’t know the answer for 19ac, and had to struggle with the wordplay. My clue of the day was 2dn, for the elegant wordplay. 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 Boycott is no way to face discrimination (9)

6 Panic, grabbed by fanatical army (5)
ALARM: hidden in fanatic(AL ARM)y.

9 Freedom-fighter’s actions inept — I am worried (15)
EMANCIPATIONIST: anagram (“worried”) of (ACTIONS INEPT I AM*).

10 Muscles relax, about to let oneself down (6)
ABSEIL: ABS (muscles), EIL=LIE backwards=relax “about”.

11 Preach, or otherwise censure (8)
REPROACH: anagram (“otherwise”) of (PREACH OR*).

13 Analysed range of perception dog nearly had in colour (6,4)
BROKEN DOWN: KEN (range of perception), DO[g], all inside BROWN (colour).

14 Poet’s dry, but sounds visionary (4)
SERE: sounds like SEER.

16 Stink in river that’s frightening (4)
REEK: R for river, EEK.

17 Entirely unopened, white wines which may be placed in bed (10)

19 Told to go round capturing Ice Age in painting (8)
SEICENTO: SENT (told to go) + O (round), all “capturing” ICE.

I struggled for some time trying to think of a three-letter word for “Ice Age”! The key is to realise you need to separate “Ice” and “Age”.

Seicento is Italian for 600 but, oddly, in this context refers to the 1600s. Presumably the millennium is taken for granted. The seventeenth century must have been big for Italian art, but don’t press me for details! You can see for yourself here.

20 Diagnostician perhaps right person to see about infestation (3,3)
DRY ROT: DR (doctor, or diagnostician), YROT=TORY i.e. right(wing) person “about”.

23 In theatre, compere retains vigour to introduce sacred verse (3,2,10)
ODE ON MELANCHOLY: ODEON (theatre), MC (compere) “retaining” ELAN, HOLY.

Apparently one of five odes composed by Keats in the spring of 1819, along with "Ode on a Grecian Urn", "Ode to a Nightingale", "Ode on Indolence", and "Ode to Psyche". I didn’t know it.

24 Rhythm is just keeping time (5)

25 One stops diver unintentionally moving fast with energy across river (6,3)
SAFETY NET: the river TYNE inside an anagram (“moving”) of (FAST E*). I’m not quite sure how to read the definition. If they dive, wouldn’t it be intentional? But, you get the gist. Acrobat artists or high wire performers, for example.

1 For example, Julius Caesar’s works in Latin (5)
OPERA: Julius Caesar is an opera, and “opera” is Latin for the noun “works”.

2 I’m happier now I recognise St Thomas: say so on Facebook? (5,4,4,2)
THAT’S MORE LIKE IT: “That’s (Sir Thomas) More”. I’ve never liked any part of Facebook, but “liking it” is what you do there.

3 Skilful composer makes records (8)
ARCHIVES: an ARCH composer, IVES may have been.

4 Cheeky fellow, one in African force (4)
IMPI: IMP, I. A Zulu word.

5 A team of Scots make good parents (10)

6 “Riding a pig” day (6)

7 Suggesting no actor involved in this? (8,7)
ANIMATED CARTOON: one of those clues with the roles reversed. The answer is suggesting an anagram (“animated”) of (NO ACTOR*).

8 Unique, unlike Andersen’s little girl (9)
MATCHLESS: reminding us of The Little Match Girl, a short story by Hans Christian Andersen

12 Notice sister working with no finesse (10)
ADROITNESS: AD (notice), then an anagram (“working”) of (SISTER NO*).

13 Tour show in pubs across the north — decline to go up motorway (9)
BARNSTORM: BARS around N, ROT “going up”, M for motorway. Strange word, that. Perhaps originally referring to stunt flying?

15 Easier way to get a number one? (5,3)
SHORT CUT: double definition, the second referring to the size of comb you ask the barber to put on the hair clippers.

18 Pulse, that is, one on the head (6)
BEANIE: a BEAN is a pulse, IE meaning “that is”.

21 Hear hard men are thrown out of short meeting (5)
TRYST: TRY (hear), then remove H OR from S[hor]T.

22 Young trumpeter’s signal that’s short and loud (4)
CALF: CAL[l], F. The trumpeter here is an elephant, of course.

Sunday Times Cryptic 4845, 7 April 2019, by Robert Price — Pour me another one!

Well, that went down easily, a very smooth blend with some vivid, if uncomplex, notes, which left me with a warm feeling inside.

I am just back from the fantastic Guggenheim show of the heretofore-unsung pioneering heroine of abstraction, Hilma af Klint, and then sharing a pizza with my sculptor friend David, briefly back in his old SoHo stomping grounds (though this part is now called NoHo) and staying for a couple weeks in a $15,000-a-month apartment one of his rich collector friends has on the market now. So I hope no one minds that I’m getting to this a little later this week, but I had to have a second Remy Martin.

I do (argnasam)* like this, and italicize anagrinds in the clues.

 1 Soldier going this way is unbriefed? (8)
COMMANDO — CD. We all know that “going commando” means doing without underpants, but there seems to be no consensus on where or when the term originated.
 5 Ruddy green used in sketch again! (6)
REDRAW — ”Ruddy” being RED and “green” being RAW, I bet no one had to go back to the drawing board on this one.
 9 Current craft beer stores, offering a choice (1,2,5)
A LA CARTE — ALE, “beer,” “stores” AC (“current”) and ART, “craft.”
10 A posh couple’s nanny (2,4)
AU PAIR — A + U (upper-class, “posh”) + PAIR
12 Bloated stomach, wind periodically expelled (5)
TUMID — TUM + every other letter of wInD
13 Students should read this old morning tabloid (4,5)
14 Are film icons pitching in these? (12)
INFOMERCIALS — &lit. (are film icons)*
18 Tennis match associated with oversized shorts (5,7)
MIXED DOUBLES — MIXED is “associated” and “oversized shorts” are drinks, DOUBLES (great time savers. Ha).
21 Dish to accompany a poet’s mutton chops (9)
SIDEBURNS — SIDE is the accompanying dish, and the poet is BURNS.
23 On a telephone call for work (5)
KNEAD — Sounds like “need,” or “call for.”
24 Maybe cricket’s stylish division (6)
INSECT — IN is “stylish” and SECT “division.”
25 What not to ask a lady about Italian traditions (8)
HERITAGE — HER(IT) AGE. Does anyone here deem this a passé sexist trope? Just kidding, let’s not start…
26 Putting a stop to topless relaxation (6)
EASING — Prudes! [-c]EASING
27 Rambles close to canal welcomed by swimmers (8)

 1 Hunted for an auditor that’s not corrupt (6)
CHASTE — ”Chased”
 2 Bad atmosphere some teams aimed to overturn (6)
MIASMA — Hidden rev.
 3 A forbidden drinking party? Crazy! (9)
 4 Perform, working in a film starring Nicole Kidman as host (2,3,7)
DO THE HONOURS — DO is “perform,” and “working” is ON, which is in(serted into) THE HOURS, which does indeed star Nicole Kidman, though it is actually Julianne Moore who plays the host(ess) (one of two in the film; the other is played by Meryl Streep) who is planning a party for her hubby though having difficulty in putting down the book by VIrginia Woolf (Kidman) about a woman in a similar situation (Mrs. Dalloway. I’ve read the book, but haven’t seen the movie). I don’t think this clue is wordy or over-specific at all, but a rather elegant fusion of wordplay and definition that nevertheless keeps the two parts strictly separate.
 6 Supply crack online? (5)
EQUIP — CD, “E(lectronic)-QUIP,” har har
 7 Gather fruit is to make a comeback (8)
 8 Guard in combat gear (8)
WARDRESS — Not a DD, as “war dress” is two words. Enumeration counts.
11 This biographer styled small jobs “wee” (5,7)
JAMES BOSWELL — (small jobs “wee”)* Who else?!
15 Reminder, itemised bill has tip added (9)
CHECKLIST — Obviously an American restaurant… CHECK + LIST, “tip” as in “tip over”
16 Love letter is prone to leave things out (8)
17 Former wives restrict comic duo’s outgoings? (8)
19 Not the first sign great service is under threat (6)
20 Runs off with large sum? We do (6)
ADDERS — [-l]ADDERS, “runs” in stockings, that is. Grammatical infelicity disconnects the second from the first sentence, hinting at what’s up.
22 Black fleece worn by a famous artist (5)
BACON — B(A)CON. Rasher artist? The punkish Francis favored black leather jackets, but I can imagine him swanning around in something more plush.