October 12th, 2019

Jumbo 1403

This blog has more verbose explanations of solutions than most of mine, as there were a couple of tortuous ones and I could not think of any more succinct way to explain them (1A, 22A, 31A, 41A in particular). I think I would have to take 41A as my favourite for the last part of the wordplay, although I did like 19A and the definition in particular. Given that I knew this was one I needed to blog on so needed to understand in a bit more detail it was not a smooth solve, but it was good to finally get everything clear in my mind.

At the point this appears online I should be in hospital recovering from a hip replacement so any responses to queries or corrections needed may be a bit delayed.

Thank you all for the good wishes and the confirmation regarding 1A. Home again after only 2 nights in hospital, but now the hard work begins to get fully mobile again.

1 SEDAN - S.E = South Eastern = maybe Kentish, DAN = tribe (although I can't find that word as a definition in my oldish version of Chambers both DAN and TRIBE can be classification divisions)
4 SMOKING GUN - SMOKING = harmful addiction, GUN = NZ expert
9 ABROAD - A, BROAD = far=reaching
15 THE WIZARD OF OZ - double definition, the first mildly cryptic
16 TUMBRIL - TUM = corporation, BRIL(l) = fish
17 PERINATAL - PAINTER*, AL(l) = everyone
18 ASHEN - AN = article, around SHE = that woman
19 LIQUID PARAFFIN - LIQUID = running, P(riso)n, around AFFAIR*. I like the definition as "evacuating agent"
22 ON TOP OF - although the solution was easy to see from checking letters I took some time to work out the justification and had to resort to the dictionary to confirm. The definition is "having mastery over". The wordplay is N = new and TOP = spinner, and OOF = money = the necessary, placed around these
25 ROUNDHOUSE - ROUND = circuit, HOUSE = put up. A roundhouse would be a circular maintenance facility in a railway yard with a turntable at the centre to allow engines to be directed to bays
30 HATER - H = hot, (w)ATER = drink
31 TAILPIPE - the ashen individual would be a PALE TYPE leading to the Spoonerism TALE PYPE which sounds like TAILPIPE
32 PERICLES - PERIL = danger, around C = 100, ES = tablets
35 MASTIFFS - MS = writing, around A STIFF = a body
36 READJUST - READ = register, JUST = at the last moment
37 MARIA - AIR = appearance, A.M. = before noon, all reversed
39 DO ONES HEAD IN - DOONE'S = Lorna's, HEAD = boss, IN = at the office
41 PUT A STOP TO - PUT = position, AS TO = respecting, P.T.O. = request to see back. Took some untangling to get the wordplay
45 BARGAINING CHIP - BAR GAINING CHIP = possible side effect of brawl
48 CATTY - C = charlie, AY = always, around T.T. = dry
49 OPERAGOER - OP = P.O. = sailor, reversed, ERA = time, GO "ER" = express hesitation
51 GLORY BE - GLOBE = planet, around RY = tracks
53 CRYSTAL PALACE - CRY = call, STALL = stop, around PA = dad, ACE = super
54 CHATTIEST - C.H. = companion, ATTEST = witness, around I = one
56 MECHANISED - ME(n), CHASED = stalked, around N.I. = province
57 RALLY - R(e)ALLY = extremely
1 SPLITS - double definition
3 NICER - REIN = control, around C(omrade), all reversed
4 SQUALID - SQUA(d) = band, LID = hat
5 ONE-UPMANSHIP - ONE = person, UP = eager, MAN SHIP = form crew
6 INTERWAR - TRAINER* around W = wife
7 GREEN - double definition
8 UNINTENDED - UN = an = the French part, INTENDED = engaged = the English part
10 BEDFAST - BED = DEB = girl coming out, reversed, FAST = quickly. Not a word I am familiar with
11 OFF-THE-PEG - double definition
12 DOZEN - DOZE = drop off, N = note
13 HALLE ORCHESTRA - cryptic definition
20 UNDER FIRE - double definition
21 FOOTPADS - FOOT = to pay for, PADS = accommodation
23 FORESHADOW - FORE = warning from driver, SHADOW = the person behind
24 ARCHIMEDES - ARES = Greek god, around CHIME = sound as a bell and D = died
26 OUT OF THIS WORLD - double definition
28 AXIOMATIC - A, XI = team, O.M. = order, AT = visiting, I = international, C = clubs
29 SPEEDIER - SEEDIER = more off, around P = page
33 LORD PRIVY SEAL - LORD = peer, PRIVY = can, SEAL = shut up
34 AUTUMN CROCUS - AUTUMN = fall, CU = copper in the alternate letters of CuRiOuS
38 MARBLE CAKE - cryptic definition
42 JACOBEAN - JEAN = Frenchman, around A COB = a horse
44 TRY IT ON - double definition
46 NIGGARD - NIG = GIN = spirit, reversed, GARD = DRAG = bore, reversed
47 NEATLY - NEARLY = almost, with the first letter of racket replacing the last
48 CACHE - C = cold, ACHE = pine
50 ABASH - A.B. = seaman, ASH = remains
52 OXTER - hidden in fOX TERrier
  • brnchn

Times Cryptic No 27474 – Saturday, 5 October, 2019.

This was at the easier end of Saturday puzzles. The combination of the creative device at 1ac (my favourite clue) and my fanciful biff at 2dn held me up near the end. Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle.

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.

1 Medic becoming enmeshed in sex scandal (4)
DIRT – DR and IT twine round each other. Unusual!

3 Use different words for average verbal altercations (10)
PARAPHRASE – PAR (average), A PHRASE (verbally) sounds like ‘affrays’ (altercations).

10 Rather vulgar dons work with affected modesty (9)

11 Someone short of time heading off from sports field (5)
TITCH – T (time), [p]ITCH.

12 Tired old couple filling pot (7)
OUTWORN – O (old), then TWO in URN.

13 Inclined to drink wine, not whiskey (6)

15 At random, notice a new kind of film (8,7)

18 Court refused to give orders to intelligence agency (15)

21 Singer hiding at football match after retirement (6)
LINNET – TEN-NIL would certainly be a hiding. Retiring=write it backwards.

23 One wrongly claiming loan shark hides money (7)
USURPER – P (penny) in USURER.

26 Unlimited time in the past for last phase of cricket? (5)
IMAGO – IM from inside [t]im[e], AGO. Cricket here is an insect, not a ball game.

27 Protected her eldest, snarling (9)
SHELTERED – (HER ELDEST*), ‘snarling’.

28 Symbol of French monarchy surely fled after revolution (5-2-3)
FLEUR-DE-LYS – (SURELY FLED*), ‘after revolution’.

29 Regularly applauds sign of positivity (4)
PLUS – every second letter of a-P-p-L-a-U-d-S.

1 Drops Arab leader of alarming intemperance (10)

2 Novelist initially failing to get out of bed (5)
ROUST – decapitating Proust. There was a novelist Parise, but ‘arise’ wouldn’t fit.

4 Chap nearer us oddly entering hole-in-the-wall club (9)
ATHENAEUM – HE (chap), N-A-E-U (nearer us, oddly) all entering ATM.

5 Gulf Times probing idiot (5)
ABYSS – BY ‘probing’ ASS.

6 According to Spooner, catch sight of the female firebrand (7)

7 Caught out every time, can't con iconic film director (9)
ANTONIONI – drop all the c’s from -AN’T -ON I-ONI-.

8 Genuine cases of economic hindsight (4)
ECHT – outside letters of E[conomi]C H[indsigh]T. A German word with only four letters seems like an anomaly!

9 Plant first half of mint and second half of sage (6)
MIMOSA – MI[nt], MO (second), SA[ge].

14 Riyadh ends riots in waterless compounds (10)

16 Start hesitating hopelessly after husband leaves (9)
INSTIGATE – (-ESITATING*) ‘hopelessly’.

17 Swindle corporation and see insulting behaviour (9)
CONTUMELY – CON (swindle), TUM (corporation), ELY (see).

19 Dictator's private bitterness (7)
RANCOUR – sounds like (“dictator’s”) RANKER (private).

20 Inanity, initially taken for sharpness (6)

22 Liking some of Calcutta's temples (5)
TASTE – hidden answer.

24 Danger for every single learner (5)
PERIL – PER (for every), I (single), L (learner).

25 Following outburst, turned up and spat (4)
TIFF – F (following), FIT (outburst).

Sunday Times Cryptic 4871, 6 X 2019, by David McLean — In good form

Me, I’ve had a cold since last Saturday, but this puzzle is hale and hearty, and its wit could’ve cheered you up if you’d caught a chill with the onset of the season mentioned in 15. Today in Brooklyn promises to be sunny and to warm up a bit, so I want to schedule this soon and get some fresh air.

I worked this at my usual unhurried, deliberative Saturday evening pace, and was pleased to see everything quite clearly, until my LOI, 9. The answer was obvious, but a key part of the parsing wasn’t. Only others in the non-UK contingent, I imagine, will have had the same experience.

I am happy that my “namesake” Guy Joao has been cleared by the Scottish police, who eventually realized (well after the contrary was broadcast by French and international media) that he isn’t the one with a “criminal past” whom the French police have sought for eight years now.

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

 1 Car, say, one with plenty of gas? (10)
 7 It is one reactionary English publication (4)
GAME — E + MAG <=
 9 Does a criminal past lead to strife? (8)
PERFORMS — PER, “a” + FORM, “criminal past” + S[-trife]  I finally found the relevant definition, in Collins, of FORM as “a criminal record” (strictly British!), but in my perplexity I had sent a message to our esteemed editor, Peter Biddlecombe, who offered this interesting background information: “OED seems to confirm my impression that ‘form’ as ‘criminal past’ comes from sport, especially horse racing, in which form is a horse’s level of performance, and a ‘form guide’ shows records of past performances. The sporting version goes back more than 200 years, but the criminal version only about 60, from the citations.” My Googling “form” and “criminal past,” before I found the definition, turned up references to employers’ background checks. Though I’d heard of racing forms, I was just assuming that one’s past encounters with the law would be shown on some official form. For Word Reference Forum, FORM has a wider scope, as it “can mean record or reputation. If a person ‘has form‘ it means the person has a well-founded reputation for being or doing something. He has form as a long-time critic and did not miss this opportunity.” But someone queried the forum about the phrase ”he’s got form for,” citing this example from a convo between two cops: “He’s got form for assault, theft, a couple of other armed robs.” Apparently this sense of the term is not uncommonly heard in British police procedurals. I also found a citation from a book called Frozen, by one Lindsay Jayne Ashford: “I mean, if he’s got form for living off immoral earnings, he’s going to be on file anyway.” (I’m sure this isn’t news to most of you! Sorry to be a 1a!)
10 A table on a train (6)
ABOARD — A table, a board
11 Good man repelled by constant affairs (6)
EVENTS — EVEN, “constant” + ST<=
13 Liqueur a popular retired crossword compiler doesn’t finish (8)
ANISETTE — A + IN, “popular”<=, SETTE[-r]
14 Often reflect on turning slightly red? (4-2-6)
LEFT-OF-CENTRE — (Often reflect on)*  Hey, no red-baiting allowed! I’m pretty far left, so don’t consider such a locution an insult—which nullifies its usually intended effect.
17 One tip: pool is fantastica great place to start (4,8)
POLE POSITION — (One tip: pool is)*  I’d heard this phrase, but only used figuratively, as I didn’t know that (Wikipedia) “in motorsport the pole position is the position at the inside of the front row at the start of a racing event.” It goes to the driver who does best in the preceding trials. Give the best driver an advantage? Guess he earned it…
20 State protocol or a document containing it (8)
21 Young minister announcing NHS statistics, perhaps (6)
CURATE — “Cure rate.”  Not at all sure a CURATE must be young, though one definition is an assistant to a priest. He might have started later in life (which reminds me of the argument of those who supported Proust for the Goncourt Prize in 1919 that the foundation’s charter stipulated that it was to reward “young talent”—not necessarily a young person).
22 Shock a maiden with essentially adult paintings from the East (6)
TRAUMA — A + M(aiden) + [-ad]U[-lt] + “paintings,” ART <=
23 Limb caught in a register, I’d be worried by that (8)
ALARMIST — A L(ARM)IST  Me, I’d know better.
25 European visiting a hospital after hostel is very well (4)
YEAH — E(uropean) comes to A H(ospital) after Y, “hostel” (YMCA, or YWCA)
26 DD is one goliath bust! (10)
THEOLOGIAN — (one goliath)* Doctor of Divinity (not a hard science). Collins says “goliath” can be uncapped, but I really wouldn’t advise it.

 2 Ever vow to change? (first of inquiries in survey) (8)
OVERVIEW — (Ever vow + I)*
 3 High? Not at work! (3)
OFF — Shh, don’t tell the boss! DD
 4 Extra small habits (5)
MORES — MORE, “Extra” + S(mall)
 5 Clue spa differently for Tatler’s readers, perhaps (7)
UPSCALE — (Clue spa)*
 6 Stuff cash in thy bloomers (9)
HYACINTHS — To foil muggers? (cash in thy)*
 7 Work? I really must achieve something more! (2,3,6)
GO ONE BETTER — ”Work,” GO + ONE BETTER, “I really must”
 8 Mass revolutionary anger that Boris ultimately deserves (6)
MERITS — Tell me about it! M(ass) + IRE<= + [-tha]T [-Bori]S
12 Pretty poor in bed? Feel without mojo initially (3,2,2,4)
NOT UP TO MUCH — NOT UP, “in bed” + TO(M)UCH
15 Save for a season in America, go to pieces (4,5)
FALL APART — Autumn aside…
16 Noble Italian crook returned item of value (8)
CONTESSA — CON, “crook” + ASSET<=  (an Italian noble, rather)
18 Irreverent supporters seen on end of terrace (7)
PROFANE — PRO + FAN + [-terrac]E
19 Broadcast programme of inferior quality (6)
COARSE — “Course”
21 Conservative liberal drinking bitter in drag (5)
24 Face flipping Magnus Carlsen? You must be drunk! (3)
MUG — G(rand)M(aster) swallowing U, for “You”