November 16th, 2019

Jumbo 1408

Mostly straightforward but I do have an issue with the definition in 31A - more detail below. Hopefully someone can provide more support. I don't have any particular favourite among the other clues.

1 COSTA RICA - COST = charge, A(f)RICA = continent
6 STEWPOT - TOP = leading, WETS = Tory moderates, all reversed
10 DUCAT - DUCT = tube, around A = area
13 TENUOUS - TENS = decades, around U = university, (n)O(t) and U = university again
14 INERTIA - TER(r)AIN* around I = one
15 ROLLMOP - ROLL sounds like ROLE = part, MOP = cleaner
16 WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN - double definition, the second mildly cryptic
17 ADO - alternate letters in bAnDbOx
18 LOCALE - LOCAL = watering hole, (gazell)E
20 TELEDU - T.U. = trade union, around E = European and LED = prompted. I have come across this word on crosswords before
23 MORATORIUM - MUM = old lady, around ORATORI(o) = choral work
25 REED BUNTING - RED = colourful, BUNTING = flags, around E = eastern
29 INTRO - INTO = knowledgeable about, around R(achmaninoff)
30 TRANSACT - T.T. = races, around RANSAC(k) = rifle
31 CLAYMORE - C(ontractor), LAY = put down, MORE = additional. I have a problem with the definition here as I can't find anything suggesting a claymore as a pipe. A pipe bomb for the anti-personnel mine definition of claymore also does not seem reasonable as I believe a claymore mine sends a shrapnel-filled bomb into the air to then explode. I can't find any other word to fit the wordplay in the clue and checking letters
34 SHREWISH - SH = quiet, WISH = desire, around R.E. = soldiers
36 SPILLAGE - (expose)S, PILLAGE = depredation
37 OCTET - O = old, CT = Connecticut, ET = film
39 HANDICAPPER - HANDY sounds like HANDY = practical, CAPPER sounds like KAPPA = Greek character
41 RITORNELLO - (TRIO OR)* around NELL = girl
43 FOSTERAGE - FO(r), STAGE = part of theatre, around E.R. = leading lady
45 HAUNCH - HUNCH = suspicion, around A
47 TWINGE - TWIN = Remus, perhaps, GE = E.G. = for example, reversed
49 LEI - LEI(sure) = rest
50 HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD - double definition
52 NINEPIN - NINE sounds like NEIN = no in German, PIN = device for identifying
53 EPICARP - EARP = Wyatt, around PIC = film
54 AVIATOR - A(scend), VIA = by way of, TOR = rocky peak
55 STEAL - S = second, TEAL = duck
56 MASONRY - MARY = woman, around SON = close relative
57 INTEGRATE - IN = current, TEG = sheep, RATE = charge
1 COTSWOLD - COTS = sleeping places, W(elcomed), OLD = elderly
2 SINGE - SINE = function, around G(rub)
3 AMONTILLADO - A, MON = day, TILL = up to the time of , A DO = a party
4 ISSUED - ISSUE = children, D = duke
6 STEEPLE - STEP = action, LE = the in French, around E = English
7 EXTRACURRICULAR - EXTRA = additional, CIRCULAR* around UR = old city
8 PEACEMAKER - PACEMAKER = heart stimulator, around E = European
9 TURNOUT - double definition
10 DELINQUENCY - (CINDY, LEN)* around QUE = that in Paris
11 CAMPANILI - CAM = river, PAN = vessel, IL = the in Italian, I = one
12 TYPHOON - TYCOON = magnate with C = key removed and replaced by P = quiet and H = hotel
19 CROFTER - CR = creditor, OFTER = with greater frequency
22 CONTESSA - CO = firm, NA = AN reversed, around TESS = Hardy character
24 MISAPPREHENSION - MI'S = intelligence agency's, APPREHENSION = arrest
26 BILBERRY - (BRIBE, L(o)R(r)Y)*
27 GHETTO - GET TO = arrive at, around H = horse
28 KITSCH - KIT'S = Christopher's, CH = church
32 ORTOLAN - ORTON = British dramatist, around L.A. = US city
33 FAIT ACCOMPLI - FAT = stout, around I = one, ACCOMPLI(ce) = crony
37 OVERWEENING - OVER = about, WING = projecting part of house, around E,E and N = quarters
38 SPEECHLESS - double definition
42 GENDARME - GEN = information, DAME = titled woman, around R = runs
43 FILINGS - FLINGS = chucks, around I = one
44 ANTONYM - ANTONY = roman general, M(en)
46 UNITARY - UNI = college, TRY = test, around A(cclaimed)
48 STUART - START = set about, around U = uniform
51 EXTRA - EX(i)T = doorway, R.A = Burlington House

Times Cryptic No 27504 - Saturday 9 November 2019. The deuce of a puzzle.

I suspect this was a hard one. It’s hard for me to be sure because I had a very full weekend, but after looking at it several times in free intervals, I only had 9ac and 20dn.

My clue of the day was 18dn for the cunning reference to Boz! My LOI was 13ac, where I didn’t know the answer and constructed a plausible alternative. Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle.

Clues are blue, with definitions underlined. (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 Pass to a defender, bringing some whistling? (8)
FEEDBACK – FEED to the [full]BACK. The whistling here is from the speaker system, getting feedback from the mikes.
5 City’s keeper initially not prepared to accept defeat (6)
KRAKOW – K[eeper] ‘initially’, RAW (not prepared) ‘to accept’ KO (knockout/defeat).
8 Cover painful swelling that’s got in conclusion to very rough game (5,5)
RUGBY UNION – RUG (cover), BUNION ‘that’s got’ [very]Y.
9 Chance that meeting with bachelor might be quick (4)
RISK – if you add B for bachelor, you get BRISK.
10 Am an hour in a van commuting to work (3,3,2,6)
OUR MAN IN HAVANA – ‘commution’ (AM AN HOUR IN A VAN*). The work was by Graham Greene.
11 Relative’s very modest salary (7)
GRANDPA – GRAND (very), PA[y] (‘modest’ salary). The wordplay here puzzled me a bit. GRAND doesn’t quite seem like VERY, and ‘modest’ seems a doubtful way to say ‘take the last letter off’? I await the wisdom of the comments! Thanks to vinyl1, I now get it. A grand ($1,000) p.a. is indeed a very modest salary these days.
13 Brother penning old verse one would see for a bit (7)
LORIMER – LOR (‘brother’!), ‘penning’ RIME (old verse). A lorimer made bridle parts apparently. Since I didn’t know that, I couldn’t decide between this answer and the made-up BORIMER, constructed via BR (brother) ‘penning’ O (old) and RIME (verse).
15 Journey for pleasure to take years: not practical? (7)
GADGETY – GAD (journey (v.) for pleasure). GET (take), Y (years).
18 Playmaker’s rating sustained (7)
OSBORNE – OS (rating, as in Ordinary Seaman), BORNE (sustained, as in ‘not to be borne’).
21 Benefactor, loudly derogatory, clashing with him (5,9)
FAIRY GODMOTHER – F (loudly, as a musical direction), then ‘clashing’ (DEROGATORY HIM*).
22 Composer affronted not to be fully backed (4)
ORFF – reverse (‘backed’) hidden answer (‘not to be fully’).
23 One deposited in a tall tree unfortunately put with a lot of bees? (10)
ALLITERATE – (‘unfortunately’) makes an anagram of (I A TALL TREE*). Very subtle definition! To add, 'bee' here is referring to the letter, not the insect, so a lot of bees could be alliteration: beaded bubbles winking at the brim.
24 Small catch: there’s no bouquet! (6)
STENCH – S (small), TENCH (a fish, so possibly a catch).
25 Most cleaned out for this medical procedure? (4,4)
SKIN TEST – SKINT would be cleaned out, so SKINTEST would be most so.

1 A few chains in need of a clip? (7)
FURLONG – if your FUR is LONG, it may need a clip.
2 Hang around with prize pair regularly in the country! (9)
3 Loudly cheer “bravo” along with pop stars (3,4)
BOY BAND – BOY said ‘loudly’ sounds like BUOY (in England at least, not in the USA, where I gather it’s pronounced BOO-EY; does anyone know why?), B for ‘bravo’, AND (with).
4 Where guests miraculously got wine, without money for wine shop (7)
CANTINA –CANA (where the wedding was),  outside (‘without’) TIN.
5 Fruit-eaters not finishing junk a kiosk flogged (9)
KINKAJOUS – (JUN- A KIOSK*) ‘flogged’.
6 Carriage? Are demanding one for transport (3,4)
AIR TAXI – AIR (carriage, as in he has a confident air/carriage), TAX (are demanding), I (one).
7 Leg in different ways visible to the audience? (7)
ONSTAGE – ON (leg side in cricket), STAGE (leg in cycling for example).
12 US stars of rock and country making ready (5,4)
14 One in Tea Party to advance career (5,4)
MARCH HARE – MARCH (advance), HARE (career).
16 Originally a way to contain disagreement arising (2,5)
AT FIRST – A ST ‘containing’ RIFT ‘arising’.
17 Monster guitar solo maybe opening gig — not closing number (7)
GRIFFIN – RIFF, GI[g], N (number).
18 The Dickens version of Newgate or Marshalsea? (3,4)
OLD NICK – Newgate and Marshalsea were both OLD NICKS, closed over a century ago. The definition is a euphemism for the Devil. Not sure where the ‘The’ disappeared to.
19 I disapprove of that thin sort of logic (7)
BOOLEAN – BOO (I disapprove), LEAN (thin). Boolean algebra – see here.
20 Strangest film about Southern Ireland recalled (7)
EERIEST – ET ‘about’ S EIRE all ‘recalled’.