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May 11th, 2019

Jumbo 1378

A lot of longer solutions in this one in a grid of 26 Across clues and 28 Down which I think is the lowest number of clues I have had to type up.

There were a number I liked, especially 48A and 2D, but also weaker ones where I think 12D is a bit loose and 7D does not quite work.

1 ECONOMICAL WITH THE TRUTH - double definition, the first cryptic with ECONOMICAL = a good husband and TRUTH = verity
13 CUDGEL - CUD - something to chew on, GEL = setter
14 RAT-A-TAT - RAT = grass (rat on), around TATA = so long
15 NECKLINE - NECK = sink (as in drink), LINE = fill
16 THE SEYCHELLES - (CHEESE THEY SELL)* with one E = European removed
18 TINGLY - TIN = metal, (u)GLY = hideous
20 CADAVEROUS - CAD = rotter, AVERS = claims, around OU(rs)
21 AS TIME GOES BY - A, S = small, TIME = bird (as in jail time), GOES BY = relies on
24 INSIST - IN = home, S = point (south), IST = first
28 LUSTRE - sounds like LUSTER = one with strong desire
30 TWO-HORSE RACE - cryptic definition
33 STRYCHNINE - SCH = school, around TRY = sample, NINE = (a) square
35 LAYS TO - hidden in isLAY STOrnoway
37 ACTRESSY - AC = account, TRES = very in French, S(p)Y
38 SASHAY - SASH = band, AY = always
40 SECOND FIDDLE - SECOND = back, FIDDLE = doctor
41 GALSWORTHY - GALS = maybe misses (girls), WORTHY = dignitary
43 ZSA ZSA - alternate letters in hAt SiZe, reversed and repeated. Zsa Zsa Gabor was a famous Hungarian, but I am not sure whether this was meant to refer to the name as typical of the country
45 HISTORY IS BUNK - H = henry, (BUYS INTO RISK)*. A quotation from Henry Ford
48 JAUNDICE - JUN = month, around A(ffecting), DICE = those with spotty faces
49 ATISHOO - sounds like A TISSUE = a hanky
51 DICTUM - DIC = CID = investigators, reversed, TUM = corporation
52 THOUSAND ISLAND DRESSING - double definition, the second cryptic with THOUSAND = k and ISLAND = key
2 CRUX - CRU = vintage, X = times (multiplication)
4 MALTESE - MALE = chap, around TES = notes
5 CUR - CUR(t) = short. I think this is how it works as I can't think of a word CUR? meaning tail
6 LATICES - LAT(e) = after hours, ICES = cold dishes
7 IN THE SADDLE - I = one, NT = collection of books, HES = fellow's, ADDLE = muddled(or should it be muddle?)
8 HOTEL - if the N in Arnhem is November in the phonetic alphabet, then the next letter is H = HOTEL
9 HANDSOME - HAND = to give, SOME = a few
10 TACIT - hidden reversed in sophisTICATion
11 UPLANDERS - U = university, PL = place, ANDERS = swede
12 HANDLEBAR MOUSTACHE - cryptic definition assuming that someone in the saddle is on a bike or motorbike. I would normally expect that to refer to a horse rider
17 EPOXY RESIN - ERE = before, around POXY = pants, S = son, IN = wearing
19 BAD NEWS TRAVELS FAST - cryptic definition where NEWS = the latest and TRAVELS FAST = careers
22 TANDOORIS - TAN = function, DOOR = opening, IS = one's
23 GALLUMPHS - (L(iberal), MP LAUGHS)*
25 TORCHWOOD - TWO = pair, around OR = gold and CH = chain, O = round, (ce)D(ar)
27 EVANESCED - EVAN = welshman, ESC = key, ED = journalist
32 SCISSORS KICKS - SCISSORS used for cutting out and KICKS = excitement
34 WAR MEMORIAL - WARM = kind, EMO = 'OME = cockney home, RIAL = money for Iranian
36 SFORZANDO - SF = Irish party, OR = men, Z = end letter, AND = with, O = word of appeal
41 GRYPHON - (cracklin)G, RY = line, PHON(e) = call
42 WOULD-BE - WOULD sound like WOOD = small forest, BE sounds like BEE = insect
44 AMISS - AMIS = friends in Nice in French, with the last letter repeated
46 SWAMI - SWAM = was crawling, I = one
47 QUIN - (s)QUIN(t) = strabismus
50 ODD - OD = gorge = overdose, D = delta
Another typical Saturday, I’d say. No plants, no animals, just an obscure sauce. I’m deeply sceptical about the complaint at 9dn. It seems to follow the principle of, “give a dog a bad name”!

Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle. On with the blog!

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 Escorted by an idiot, as duke and duchess are? (6)
TITLED: TIT (idiot), LED (escorted).

4 Wallops Liberal moving to the right? Rubbish! (8)
COBBLERS: CLOBBERS, moving the L (liberal) to the right.

10 Bishop I love getting a bit reactionary? Details here (7)
BIODATA: B (bishop), I, O (love), DATA = A TAD (a bit) backwards (“reactionary”).

11 Silence on radio as very bright female chucked out (4,3)
DEAD AIR: DEAD (very, as in “dead/very lucky”), [f]AIR without the “F”. Surprisingly, to me at least, “bright” is the first definition Chambers lists for “fair”.

12 Charge for ring (4)
TOLL: double definition.

13 A sonnet for turbulent times (10)
AFTERNOONS: anagram (“turbulent”) of (A SONNET FOR*).

15 Chance result of Times expert going by Tube (2-7)
BY-PRODUCT: BY (times), PRO (expert), DUCT (tube).

16 Beat policemen heading back by river (5)
TEMPO: TEM = MET (policemen), “heading back”, PO = a river in Italy.

18 Sat around, having eaten old man’s grub (5)
TAPAS: TAS = SAT “around”, “eating” PA (old man).

19 Soldier’s daughter retreats in confusion (6,3)
DESERT RAT: D (daughter), anagram (“in confusion”) of (RETREATS*).

21 Novel extremely lively to begin with (10)
ORIGINALLY: ORIGINAL (novel), L[ivel]Y (“extremely” lively).

23 Auntie to take two books about Europe on vacation (4)
BEEB: B (first book), E[urop]E (Europe “on vacation”), B (second book).

26 It’s true, Seth occasionally has a funny feeling up north (7)
STAUNCH: ST = SeTh “occasionally”, A, ‘UNCH (hunch). I wasn’t aware they dropped aitches up north. Is something else going on?

27 Put heads together to make this dish (3,4)
NUT LOAF: NUT and LOAF can each mean “head”.

28 Common to see biplane flying round east? (8)
PLEBEIAN: anagram (“flying”) of (BIPLANE*) around E (east). I had to pause and think about how this answer might be spelled.

29 Confirm where international cricket fan might be? (6)
ATTEST: why, he or she is AT a TEST of course.

1 Foot of Everest? I’m sure yeti lives here? (5)
TIBET: T = “foot” of [everes]T, then “I BET” = I’m sure.

2 Advice on fluffy dog from Spooner? I’m off! (6-3)
TOODLE-PIP: do the usual Spooner thing to POODLE TIP.

3 Some upset chihuahUAS Exasperate a hairy man (4)
ESAU: backwards (“upset”) hidden answer (“some”).

5 Strange time to admit army scrap (7)
ODDMENT: ODD (strange), T (time), all “admitting” MEN (army).

6 Matron’s rib broken? This might solve the problem (10)
BRAINSTORM: anagram (“broken”) of (MATRONS RIB*).

7 Revolutionary sailor inspired by old English muse (5)
ERATO: O (old), E (English), “inspires” TAR (sailor). Then it’s all reversed (“revolutionary”).

8 Become very worried about sons getting into beer (6,3)
STRESS OUT: RE (about), S+S (two sons) “getting into” STOUT (beer).

9 Staff did a runner, I hear, leading to complaint (3,3)
MAN FLU: MAN (staff), FLU sounds like FLEW (“I hear”).

14 Does this tell you what’s wrong with Conservative nieces misbehaving? (10)
CONSCIENCE: this is a strange clue!

The answer is obvious, and at first I carelessly thought the wordplay was: CONS (Conservative - this abbreviation is in Chambers), then an anagram (“misbehaving”) of (NIECES*). But of course that has one too many S's and one too few C's.

A better suggestion, thanks to jackkt, is CON (Italian for “with”, as in “con brio”), and then add C (Conservative) to the anagram fodder, giving (C NIECES*); but “con” by itself isn't in any of my English language dictionaries with this meaning.

At the risk of sacrilege, is it possible the setter had a blind spot?

15 Last drink? Your very good health! (7,2)
BOTTOMS UP: BOTTOM (last), SUP (drink). The answer was so obvious, it was hardly worth parsing.

17 The sauce of these two girls! (5,4)
MARIE ROSE: two random girls, to make a sauce I’d never heard of. Fortunately, I couldn’t think of any other names to fit the helpers.

19 Money companion’s invested in play (7)
DRACHMA: CH (companion) in DRAMA (play).

20 Very fast stretch of water (6)
SOLENT: SO (very), LENT (fast).

22 Silly way Emma begins (5)
INANE: Emma, of course, begins IN AN E.

24 Become British, getting picture from police? (5)
BEFIT: B (British), E-FIT (picture from police).

25 A singer engaged in dubious activity? (2,2)
AT IT: or, spaced differently, A TIT.