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June 29th, 2019

Times Cryptic Jumbo No 1387 - 15th June

Today's Jumbo is a bit harder than usual, I think, with a number of quite chewy bits that got me grinding my teeth. Some devious definitions and tricky wordplay in places held me up at times, but added to the enjoyment when the pennies finally dropped. About 70 minutes in total.Thanks setter. How did you all get on?

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I tackled this puzzle “fresh” (if that's the word) off an overnight flight from tropical climes, but happily there was nothing here to cast me into wintry despair. The oddest clue was 23ac, which was well beyond my general knowledge. Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle.

Let’s get to it! 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 Desire dealing with Hades? (5,4)
DEATH WISH: “dealing” (anagram) of (WITH HADES*). Literal definition.

6 Scratch twit regularly? These will do (5)
CACTI: alternate letters of sCrAtCh TwIt.

9 Score during period of play (10,5)
INCIDENTAL MUSIC: cryptic definition.

10 Signs people should go for vegetables (6)
GREENS: green lights, or green vegetables.

11 Carelessly wearing horseshoes daily? Not the answer (8)
SHODDILY: SHOD (wearing horseshoes - or any other sort of shoes, I daresay), then D[a]ILY.

13 Fairly resistant to upsetting food after meat’s off (10)
METASTABLE: (MEATS*) are “off” (an anagram), then TABLE (food). The answer is a concept from chemistry or physics, I gather.

14 Girl’s keeping new belt (4)
ZONE: N[ew] in ZÖE.

16 Hard entering pig as exhibit (4)
SHOW: H[ard] in SOW.

17 What gay chap will do tango a step ahead? (10)
PREFERMENT: he will PREFER MEN, by definition. Attach T for tango.

19 Searching outside area in pursuit of ghosts (8)
HAUNTING: HUNTING “outside” A[rea].

20 Agree to deceive copper, right (6)
CONCUR: CON, CU, R.

23 Epic fantasy gets millionth serial broadcast (3,12)
THE SILMARILLION: “broadcast” (anagram) of (MILLIONTH SERIAL*). Never heard of it! Brutal to clue it as an anagram.

24 Coffee time’s interrupted recently (5)
LATTE: T (time) in LATE.

25 Surviving a lot of wash capsizing cutter (6,3)
COPING SAW: COPING (surviving), SAW=WAS[h] “capsizing”.


Down
1 Surrey town has queen and king go visiting as a tourist (5)
DOING: DO[rk]ING is in Surrey.

2 Former standard ministry test covering local spirit in Rome’s ruins? (7,8)
ANCIENT MONUMENT: ANCIENT (former), MOT (standard ministry test) “covering” NUMEN. On edit, thanks to comments below for making me aware that an archaic meaning of “ancient” is “standard”, so FORMER “STANDARD”.

3 Teacher is embraced by heterosexual bon vivant (8)
HEDONIST: DON IS “embraced by” HET.

4 People in the north losing fine pubs (5)
INNS: [f]INNS.

5 Prime minister with bluff character in novel (10)
HEATHCLIFF: HEATH, CLIFF.

6 Reluctant to talk about medical farce, perhaps (6)
COMEDY: COY “about” MED.

7 Pass on bread mixed with my fries? (4,2,4,5)
CASH IN ONE’S CHIPS: double definition, the second whimsical.

8 Cite hefty changes as a reason for leaving? (5,4)
ITCHY FEET: “changes” (anagrams) (CITE HEFTY*).

12 Wrongly copy Martin O’Leary, perhaps? (10)
PATRONYMIC: “wrongly” (anagram) (COPY MARTIN*). The O’ indicating “son of” is what makes O’Leary a patronymic – so, a definition by example.

13 Gas used in white wine plant (9)
MOSCHATEL: CHAT (gas) in MOSEL. A white wine I would have spelled MOSELLE. DNK the plant, as usual.

15 Bear with wild cat killing ten in New York area (8)
BROOKLYN: BROOK (bear), LYN[x].

18 Walk in street and trip (6)
STRIDE: ST, RIDE. The “and” is just a filler, but it threw me for a while.

21 Low energy holds back what regeneration will do (5)
RENEW: backwards hidden answer (“holds back”).

22 Raised French meat as farm produce (4)
CROP: the meat is PORC, “raised”.