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
  • brnchn

Times Cryptic No 27342 - Saturday, 04 May. A saucy little 17.

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.