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August 31st, 2019

Times Cryptic Jumbo 1396 - What about Toto?

What a lovely puzzle this was with plenty in the way of cleverness, wit and neat definitions, the mark of a pucker Times crossword puzzle.  Thank you setter.

It took me about 50 minutes so the cleverness made it slightly harder than average, I'd say.  First in was EGAD, last was PESSIMIST.

Clues are in blue with the definition undelined.  Anagram indicators are in bold italics.

Notation:

DD: Double definition

CD: Cryptic definition

DDCDH: DD/CD hybrid where a straight definition is combined with a cryptic hint.

&Lit:  "all in one" where the entire clue is both definition and wordplay.

(fodder)* denotes an anagram of the letters in the brackets.

Rounded brackets are also used to add further clarity

Squiggly brackets {} indicate parts of a word not used

Deletions are struck out

Square brackets [] expand an abbreviation or shortening like N[orth]


Across

1

Asian deity placed river by a river in Asia (11)


BRAHMAPUTRA - BRAHMA, PUT, R[iver], A

7

Battle line's cut in retreat (6)


FLIGHT - FIGHT cut by L[ine]

10

With Bill following, say "I'm shocked!" (4)


EGAD - AD[vertisement] following E.G.

14

Worry for each kind of wine knocked back (7)


PERTURB - PER then BRUT reversed

15

Set off, with a way to cross river (7)


AROUSED - A, R[oa]D around OUSE.  Take your pick from the one in Yorkshire or the one in Sussex.  Yeah, I chose Yorkshire too.

16

Steward to go off, returning on time for resolution (7)


JANITOR - ROT reversed after JAN 1 ("time for resolution", ooh, that's clever).  The setter probably thought he/she could fool us with a word that's mostly used by Americans.  And he/she probably would have gotten away with it, if it hadn't been for that pesky Scooby-Doo.  And Hong Kong Fuey.

17

Secretly touring some countries in wild fashion (13)


INCONTINENTLY - INLY (a new word on me) around CONTINENT

18

Service dispatched, carrying ace stuff (9)


SACRAMENT - SENT around A[ce] CRAM

19

House staff do twirls (5)


TUDOR - reversal of ROD, UT (the same note as DO but it isn't also a deer so couldn't go in the song).

21

In the main, it's outstanding publicity with name on the right (10)


PROMONTORY - PROMO, N[ame], TORY, neat definition.

23

Jet circles area, quiet or loud? (6)


FLASHY - FLY around A[rea], SH

25

Without hesitation, making free drink (8)


LIBATION - LIBerATION

26

Power to hurt a biologist, not European chemist (14)


PHARMACOLOGIST - P[ower], HARM, A, eCOLOGIST

29

One's very sharp at English exam, amazingly (7)


MEATAXE - (at E[nglish] exam)*

30

Hopeless sort of computer game is included in trial (9)


PESSIMIST - SIM IS in PEST.  I assume that "hopeless sort" is the def and "of" a slightly awkward link word, rather than pessimist just being indicated by "hopeless" with "sort of computer game" giving us SIM.

31

Possessing urge, laugh? This creature might (5)


HYENA - YEN in HA

32

Filling of jam, plenty or enough? (5)


AMPLE - hidden in jAM PLEnty

34

Like certain characters in drug affair (5,4)


UPPER CASE - UPPER, CASE

37

Recover or recovered like books? (7)


REBOUND - DDCDH

39

Caring too much to evict and reprove criminal (14)


OVERPROTECTIVE - (to evict reprove)*

41

Fashionably petite and fit one, that Parisian (8)


BOUTIQUE - BOUT, I, QUE

43

Feel anger for one half of match, we hear? (6)


BRIDLE - sounds like BRIDAL

44

Rock star isn't in school (2,8)


ST TRINIANS - (star isn't in)*

45

Follow is about right for this (5)


TRAIL - TAIL around R[ight].  &Lit I reckon.

48

Government supporter in charge, in fact (9)


STATISTIC - STATIST, I[n], C[harge]

49

Stepping on court game's dividing lines (6,7)


DOUBLE SPACING - DOUBLES, PACING

51

Bow's straight with recording for a dance (3-4)


ONE-STEP - Honest if you're a cockernee ('ONEST), E.P.

52

Youngster redeveloping the London borough (7)


LAMBETH - LAMB, (the)*

53

Desire this person has to be caustic (7)


EROSIVE - EROS, I'VE

54

It's formed by a group of signatories? (4)


NATO - hidden in sigNATOries.  Clever.

55

Caught fabric in drawer (6)


CRAYON - C[aught], RAYON.  Ah, that sort of drawer!

56

Person seeking return in cattle pen (11)


STOCKHOLDER - DDCDH

Down

1

Maybe John's fitting in again, given time (7)


BAPTIST - APT in BIS + T[ime]

2

Enchanting remark from a villain wearing a pair of undergarments (11)


ABRACADABRA - CAD in A BRA x2

3

Think of the late or early period in speech (5)


MOURN - Sounds like MORN

4

Clip up court robes if high official there (6,10)


PUBLIC PROSECUTOR - (clip up court robes)*

5

Landed up penning composer's moving account? (8)


TRAVELOG - GOT reveresd around RAVEL

6

Addresses a set of lines in mail briefly (11)


APOSTROPHES - A then STROPHE in POS{t}.  Not the most common meaning of apostrophe.  A strophe is summat to do with Greek poetry and that.

7

Suspect roughly apprehended in case of felony (5)


FISHY - ISH in F{elon}Y

8

Below River Test, one last character with lots of works? (14)


INDUSTRIALIZED - INDUS, TRIAL, I, ZED

9

"Hello, sailor" is appropriate (6)


HIJACK - HI JACK.  Love it

11

Nearly go out and attack poor child (11)


GUTTERSNIPE - GUTTER (as in candle), SNIPE

12

Mimic US writer, an unknown Kansan (7)


DOROTHY -DO, ROTH, Y.  Who else's immediate thought was "help, I don't know any Kansans!"?

13

Fashionable label brought back maybe crude design (8)


INTAGLIO - IN, TAG, reversal of OIL

20

Artist to draw depressing image of existence (3,4)


RAT RACE - R[oyal] A[cademician], TRACE

22

I'm grateful to get recurrent pain in bones (5)


TARSI - TA, R[epetitive] S[train], I[njury].  I hope we've all learned by now that the singular of Tarsi, Tarsus, is already a plural itself.

24

Hospital worker puts up with wood that's cut (11,5)


PORTERHOUSE STEAK - PORTER, HOUSES, TEAK

25

Smoker to get over source of discomfort (7)


LUMBAGO - LUM, BAG, O[ver].  If ye didnae ken, a lum is a Scots word for a chimbley.

27

Time to move inelegantly in pants (7)


TWADDLE - T[ime], WADDLE.  Pants as in rubbish.

28

I collect PayPal transfers in fury (14)


APOPLECTICALLY - (I collect paypal)*.  I love the way the anagrind is seamlessly woven into the surface reading.

31

Home cover's included fairly (7)


HABITAT - HAT around A BIT

33

The last word in divine pickle (11)


PREDICAMENT - AMEN in PREDICT.  I admire clues where the part of speech of a word differs between the surafce reading and wordplay element or def (DIVINE IN THIS INSTANCE)

35

Judge turned up on pitch (5)


RATER -reversal of RE TAR

36

Leader of air force about to release bold lady (11)


ADVENTURESS - A{ir}, DURESS around VENT

38

Quail if nude modelling without right attributes (11)


UNQUALIFIED - (quail if nude)*

40

Moderate starter of pâté the only thing I consumed (8)


PALLIATE - P{até}, ALL I ATE.  Another of those smart "different parts of speech" clues.

42

Blasted husband loves making a fuss (8)


BALLYHOO - BALLY, H[usband], O, O

43

One's blown bonus eating goose (7)


BASSOON - BOON around ASS

46

Clothing on show (7)


LEGWEAR - LEG (on side in cricket), WEAR

47

Proust novel's dull quality (6)


STUPOR - (proust)*

49

Legendary friend, one who wanders up (5)


DAMON - NOMAD reversed. Damon and Pythias is a legend illustrating the Pythagorean ideal of friendship.  I didn't know that.  You probably did.

50

A couple of leaves, or as many as you want (1,4)


A GOGO - A, GO, GO

That was a challenge. It took me a long time to get more than the odd answer here and there around the grid. Then I reflected on what a problem in hierarchies might be, and (aha) got 5dn. From there, the whole RHS fell out quickly. The LHS was still a grind, but it yielded in the end.

Overall, I felt this puzzle required more lateral thinking and less ‘mechanical’ solving than usual. Well done, setter!

There were lots of nice clues, but perhaps my favourite was the elegantly simple 22ac, which I needed helpers to see.

Clues are blue, with definitions underlined. Answers are in BOLD CAPS, then wordplay. (ABC*) means ‘anagram of ABC’. Deletions are in [square brackets]. The blog is in Times New Roman font, as part of a gentle campaign to urge the club site to use a font in which it is easier to tell one’s stem from one’s stern – ref. 10ac.

Across
1 Bill's in area by water, and in Rome once or Paris (6)
DOCKET – the DOCK is of course by the water, although that took time to come to me. ET was Latin (in Rome once) for ‘and’, and still is in French (in Paris now). I spent time trying to put AC in something or other, without success.

4 Carol keeps man for breeding (8)
SPAWNING – PAWN in SING. SING came to mind immediately and I had the W, but Will or Walt wouldn’t fit.

10 Stern woman in diverting books (9)
FUNDAMENT – DAME in FUN NT (books).

11 Furnish home needing to be settled (5)
INDUE – IN, DUE. Not a word I would use, and not one whose meaning I was sure of. As it turns out, it can mean ‘furnish’.

12 A little dough in tart, mostly (3)
SOU – ‘tart’ is SOU[r].

13 Lend a hand to turn key, showing distinction (11)
DIACRITICAL – AID ‘turned’, then CRITICAL. Diacritical marks like accents and çedillas distinguish the pronunciation of a letter.

14 Rug welcoming queen's left in accommodation (6)
WIGWAM – WIG (‘rug’), WA[r]M.

16 Managed to import charming object from Africa (7)
RWANDAN – RAN ‘importing’ WAND. From a specific part of Africa in this case.

19 Pet is something obtained by student body (7)
MASTIFF – M.A. (obtained by student), STIFF (body).

20 Copper's collected by miners revealing practice (6)
NUDISM – N.U.M. ‘collecting’ DI’S.

22 Rush or twig falling to pieces (3,8)
GET CRACKING – GET (twig), CRACKING (falling to pieces). Obvious once you see it.

25 Building extension in awful place near Bow? (3)
ELL – hell (or ’ell, in the East End) is the awful place in question. An ELL or EL is an L-shaped wing of a house.

26 Remark upon parting with gold-plated cube (5)
ADIEU – DIE plated with AU.

27 Might priest be evil in this city? (9)
ISLAMABAD – is a lama bad? No, surely not!

28 Right back about to stop generating discussion (8)
TRENDING – RT ‘back’, ENDING.

29 Author's place for putting in speech (6)
GREENE – golfers putt on the green. ‘In speech’ signals a sounds-like clue.



Down
1 Took in fare rises on buses, losing exterior calm (6)
DEFUSE – FED (took in fare) ‘rises’, giving DEF, then [b]USE[s] loses its exterior.

2 Thinker regularly quick in filling most of puzzle (9)
CONFUCIUS – UCI (even/regular letters of ‘quick in’), ‘filling’ CONFUS[e].

3 African native, one about to quit cold country (5)
ELAND – [ic]ELAND is the country. Not for sale, if anyone asks!

5 Fisherman caught main problem in hierarchy (5,9)
PETER PRINCIPLE – St. PETER was a fisherman. PRINCIPLE sounds like (‘caught’) PRINCIPAL (main). If you don’t know this delightfully cynical proposition, read about it here.


6 Heard rubbish isn't allowed, or a bit of pants? (9)
WAISTBAND – sounds like (‘heard’) WASTE BANNED. My FOI.

7 Reduced charge for Bengali's family (5)
INDIC – the Bengali language is one of the Indic family.

8 Grand government's ousting top troublemakers (8)
GREMLIN – G[rand], [k]REMLIN.

9 Militants prepared dynamite for car (3,4,7)
RED ARMY FACTION – anagram (‘prepared’) of (DYNAMITE FOR CAR*).

15 Bread collection with hot drinks (4-5)
WHIP-ROUND – W[ith], HIP, ROUND. The bread here is money.

17 Pretend to break up, as getting dumped (9)
DISSEMBLE – DISS[as]EMBLE.

18 Old lady broaching issue is a Leaver (8)
EMIGRANT – GRAN ‘broaching’ EMIT.

21 Bob is shilling put on shelf (6)
SLEDGE – S, LEDGE.

23 Experience one drug then another, showing some guts (5)
TRIPE – TRIP (experience one drug), E (another drug).

24 Leg twisted on person playing (5)
GAMER – GAM (leg), RE (on) ‘twisted’.

If memory serves, this wasn’t heavy lifting. But we were reminded (at least twice) of a topical matter so weighty it might make one want to resort to OPIUM or at least pay a visit to a SOMMELIER, and which has surely created more than one INSOMNIAC. (It’s now Thursday and I have to copy-edit an article about this headache.) There are other echoes of the CORRIDORs of power. I’ve been playing the abovementioned album now, but only in my head. “Last time to make plans!” sings the “Government Man.” “Facts all come with points of view / Facts don’t do what I want them to /… / Facts go out and slam the door…”

My only quibble is that I can’t quite make 17 strictly… match the definition. The substitution test seems to fail here.

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

ACROSS
 1 My soldiers must restrict free passage (8)
CORRIDOR — You and what army? COR(RID)OR
 5 A female in dress on which animals may be seen (6)
SAFARI — S(A)(F)ARI
 9 Term of high esteem Spanish dude embraces (8)
SEMESTER — S (esteem)* R
10 Leave, as a drag queen might do after a gig? (6)
DECAMP — CD. Ha ha.
12 A number of poppies? (5)
OPIUM — CD. Makes you numb… A sense you only see in crosswords.
13 Insist upon head showing precision (9)
EXACTNESS — ”Insist upon” is EXACT + NESS is “head”
14 Pianist done playing without soprano’s permission (12)
DISPENSATION — (pianist done + S)*
18 Royal once tangled up in printer cable (6,6)
PRINCE ALBERT — (printer cable)* The anagrind is a bit unusual, when looked at closely. “Printer cable,” untangled, gives you the answer. So to say the answer is tangled up in “printer cable” tells you that “printer cable” is an anagram.
21 Smile more after tickling a steward of Burgundy? (9)
SOMMELIER — (Smile more)*, amusing anagrind
23 Cream cake finally containing few calories (5)
ELITE — [-cak]E + LITE
24 Like flipping large paintings of stars (6)
ASTRAL — AS + L(arge) ART<=
25 Snooty boss (8)
SUPERIOR — DD
26 Reminders for key tasks Republican leader ignored (6)
ECHOES — E is the “key,” + CHO[-r]ES
27 Time one devises a plot to snare politician (8)
THATCHER — T + HATCHER (“one devises a plot”—“to snare” being just connective tissue)

DOWN
 1 Curse abrupt chap’s way of behaving (6)
CUSTOM — CUS[-s] + a fellow named TOM
 2 What almost half of us wanted to do on the ocean (6)
REMAIN — RE + MAIN. Almost half of those of you who bothered to vote, that is.
 3 I often can’t go out when I want (9)
INSOMNIAC — CD
 4 Poem the vicar reworked is too forceful (12)
OVEREMPHATIC — (poem the vicar)*
 6 Actor in rep (5)
AGENT — DD
 7 Fellow about to be saved by a trained medic (8)
ACADEMIC — CA, circa or “about,” held by A + (medic)*
 8 What model says he’s doing at work in August (8)
IMPOSING — CD, I’M POSING
11 Royal Academy member wins MP’s constituency (12)
GAINSBOROUGH — GAINS, “wins” + BOROUGH
15 A chap carrying on with English male in Deal (9)
AGREEMENT — A G(RE)(E)(M)ENT (“on” being RE). Easier to imagine two guys “carrying on” in a town by that name than in a “deal” in the sense of the answer… though there has certainly been a lot of carrying on lately about a certain hypothetical deal…
16 Had to go after a Pole, one walking away from party? (8)
APOSTATE — ”Had” is ATE, coming after A POST. A quirk at the end because it’s a DBE.
17 Don’t go and overlook marriage, they said (8)
MISMATCH — ”miss match.” Yawn…. But if things “don’t go” (together) they “mismatch”? You’d more normally hear that they “are mismatched” or simply “don’t match.”
19 Stop at home, having got in some Bass (6)
FINISH — F(IN)ISH. Deceptive capitalization, for the third time here—are we meant to think of the brand of ale?—and unflagged DBE.
20 Artist about to put on brew for one holding cup? (6)
BEARER — BE(RA<=)ER
22 Use a rubber with Times puzzle ultimately (5)
ERASE — ERAS[-puzzl]E