January 25th, 2020


Times Cryptic Jumbo 1419: Godownly Knows

Apologies for the delay on this one - I'd almost finished writing it up before I was haled off to a bar followed by a drunken party, and you wouldn't have gotten any sense out of me at the end of proceedings last night.

I very much enjoyed the Shakespearean miscreant knowledge required for this one (bastardly Edgar and roguish Nim) which sat well with a slightly elevated flavour throughout. Thanks to the setter! 13dn is almost as ridiculous as the ALMA-ATA clue the other day, though it does have the advantage that you can just fill it in from the crossers without any idea at all what it's going on about.

Hope you liked it too, and just remember, to paraphrase Heidi Klum on Project Runway, one day you're an inspector, and the next day you're an out-spector!

1 Name — a girl’s, by the sound of it (7)
MONIKER - homophone of MONICA

5 Flyer produced by petulant Head (9)
CROSSBILL - a bird that is the sum of CROSS [petulant] + BILL [head]

10 Sword Europeans found outside gym (4)
EPEE - E E found outside PE

14 Rugby players — 75% of them? (5-8)
THREE-QUARTERS - this must be a position in rugby I guess?

15 Picking up little brat going walkabout (9)

16 Back soldiers at start of this temporary transfer (10)
SECONDMENT - SECOND MEN [back | soldiers] + T{his}

17 Terence, Leo and I contrived to campaign politically (11)
ELECTIONEER - (TERENCE + LEO + I*) ["contrived"]

18 Boy — head of class, as it happens (5)
CLIVE - C{lass} + LIVE [as it happens]

19 Army corps’s pressing need largely beginning to expedite rebirth (10)
RESURGENCE - RE'S URGENC{y} + E{xpedite}

21 A new aim holding back a SW African state (6)
ANGOLA - A N GOAL, holding A back till the end

23 Policy declaration of teams in turmoil (9)

25 Western poem originally naming Anglo-Saxon god (5)
WODEN - W ODE N{aming}

26 Failed to find “glove” in dictionary (7)

28 Gloucester’s son’s directions accepted by noble poet (6,7)
EDMUND SPENSER - EDMUND'S [Gloucester's son in King Lear] + N S "accepted by" PEER

31 Deal with prime disturbance of the cuticle (9)

33 Secret flight bound to disturb fellows in film (9)
ELOPEMENT - LOPE [bound] + MEN [fellows] in E.T. [film], not quite sure where the "disturb" comes in. Probably just another containment indicator.

35 Making little impact where security may be found around tiller (13)
UNDERWHELMING - UNDER WING [where security may be found] around HELM

37 Implement he recognised in Paris after decades with university (7)
UTENSIL - IL [he, in French] after TENS [decades] with U

38 A sorcerer may practice it, partly to be a hardman (5)
OBEAH - hidden in {t}O BE A H{ardman}

40 Like delicious drink only initially imbibed by random centaurs (9)
NECTAROUS - O{nly} "imbibed by" (CENTAURS*)

42 Lasciviousness originally rare at East Sheen? (6)
LUSTRE - LUST + R{are} + E

44 Part of army finally serving in Europe, perhaps (10)

46 Extol Labour leader feeding black horse? (5)
BLESS - L{abour} "feeding" BESS [Dick Turpin's sooty mare]

48 The writer’s one shedding tears about small naval vessel (11)
MINESWEEPER - MINE WEEPER [the writer's | one shedding tears] about S

50 Dishonest activity practised by carpenters? (10)
CHISELLING - double def

52 Fruit can deteriorate ultimately, inspiring rage (9)
TANGERINE - TIN {deteriorat}E, "inspiring" ANGER

53 Examine attorney more protractedly about male spreader of gossip (13)

54 1950s youth going over English millennium building (4)
DOME - reversed MOD + E

55 Onlooker volunteers to feed unpopular police officer? (9)
SPECTATOR - T.A. [volunteers] to feed {in}SPECTOR - if he's unpopular he's not IN. Bit libertarian maybe...

56 Private room in hospital used by leader of city corporation (7)
SANCTUM - SAN + C{ity} + TUM

1 A widow’s gift could possibly — so to speak (4)
MITE - homophone of MIGHT

2 One overwhelmed by new organ composition, like Grieg (9)
NORWEGIAN - I "overwhelmed by" (NEW ORGAN*)

3 Hope for success, but ruin one’s piano recital? (4,4,7,7)
KEEP ONE'S FINGERS CROSSED - humorous overliteral reading

4 Canon upset about contribution to team’s score (7)
ROUNDER - ROUND [canon] + reversed RE [about]

5 Basis of cereal a person formerly consumed (11)
CORNERSTONE - CORN ONE [cereal | a person], with ERST [formerly] "consumed"

6 Public argument about Hutton’s first poor return? (9)
OVERTHROW - OVERT ROW about H{utton}

7 Soiree regularly gatecrashed by American girl (5)
SUSIE - S{o}I{r}E{e}, "gatecrashed by" U.S.

8 Shimmering effect encountered at first in relaxed scenic ride (11)
IRIDESCENCE - E{ncountered} in (SCENIC RIDE*)

9 Literary island identified by a set in Los Angeles? (6)
LAPUTA - A PUT [a | set] in L.A.

11 Instruction book on old card game (7)

12 Decorate artist brought up in part of UK (9)
ENGARLAND - reversed R.A. in ENGLAND. Not to be confused with what Blighty supporters shout at football matches.

13 Bomb eastern warehouse, heavy and lacking buoyancy? (2,4,4,1,4,7)
GO DOWN LIKE A LEAD BALLOON - apparently a GODOWN (Malay gudang) is indeed an "eastern warehouse" in barred-puzzle-vocab-land. But of course like me you just biffed this answer in from the enum, didn't you?

18 Accomplished Liberal turned out to take part (7)

20 Put up with outcome, entertaining daughter on river (7)
ENDURED - END, "entertaining" D on URE

22 Early Stone Age hero regularly landed on this once (8)
EOLITHIC - {h}E{r}O + LIT on HIC [this, in Latin]

24 Like nuns, perhaps, knowing about revised rites (8)

27 Characters in steamship meticulous about speeds (5)
TEMPI - hidden reversed in {steamsh}IP MET{iculous}

29 Creature makes lowing sound on top of escarpment (5)
MOOSE - MOOS on E{scarpment}

30 Trainee in breeding establishment overlooking hospital department (7)
STUDENT - STUD overlooking E.N.T.

32 They’re versed in the law, getting poets beheaded (7)

34 Atmospheric layer primarily recognised in eccentric peer’s photo (11)
TROPOSPHERE - R{ecognised} in (PEER'S PHOTO*)

36 Camera accessory selection finally sold in more stylish setting (11)

37 Member briefly in football team, not subject to restrictions (9)

39 Skill required to fix both taps on floating platform? (9)
HANDCRAFT - H AND C [hot and cold = both taps] on RAFT

41 Top man at Camelot, we hear, throughout a dark period? (9)
OVERNIGHT - homophone of OVER-KNIGHT, I guess!

43 Reported malefactor? Shakespearean corporal? It means the same thing (7)
SYNONYM - homophone of SINNER NIM [Falstaff's chum in Henry IV]

45 Archer hugging climber at last on island where climbers are trained (7)
TRELLIS - TELL "hugging" {climbe}R, on IS

47 Brainbox principally interested in taxonomic group (6)
GENIUS - I{nterested} in GENUS

49 Exam I entered among others (5)
RESIT - I "entered among" REST

51 Englishman in Oz absorbing start of royal concert (4)
PROM - POM "absorbing" R

Times Cryptic Jumbo 1420 - 11th January 2020

Bleary-eyed greetings from London.  I found this jumbo unproblematic (no 17a) although I didn't know the US writer, the poison or the oration and only dimly recalled a few other things.  My one error was a typo which, not being a competition solver, I didn’t give the full two hoots about.  Only a single small hoot, perhaps a small cry of pain (48a).  I enjoyed what the setter did in 17a, but my favourite was the neat &lit at 51a.

In a weird coincidence, two answers not commonly seen in the wild had crossed my path very shortly before solving.  The 1a material was worn by a character in a book and the 33d quibbler featured in an article on the BBC news website.  (These “weird coincidences” are of course as common as anything due to the number of things that there are.)

Enough of my ramblings – to the puzzle, then over to you.  And not to forget to say thank you to the setter!

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  • brnchn

Times Cryptic No 27564 - Saturday January 18th 2020. Hard, not hard.

This was a slow solve for me, but really there isn’t anything fearsome involved. The clue of the day for me was the elegant 5dn. 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].

1 Tell-tale phone call taken earlier (7-6)
WHISTLE-BLOWER – WHISTLE (call), BLOWER (phone – a rather dated expression, wot?)
8 What bowlers aim for: leg side to start with (4)
PINS – PIN (leg), S[ide] “to start with”. So, not a cricketing clue ... ten-pin bowling!
9 Strain shown by Sun worker in print department (10)
TYPESETTER – TYPE (strain), SETTER (sun). True, the sun also rises …
10 Dealer caught by dogged police officer? (8)
CHANDLER – C (caught), HANDLER (a police officer in the dog squad). A ships’ chandler for example, not Raymond.
11 Outburst from one brought into commerce (6)
13 Cheat within short time, being fickle (10)
16 Pot for reheated meat and vegetables (4)
HASH – double definition. The first is marijuana, not a cooking pot.
17 Language restriction from Speaker (4)
THAI – sounds like TIE.
18 Writer, intense, on taking in NI peninsula (10)
RICHARDSON – RICH (intense), ON, taking in ARDS. I didn’t know either the author or the geographical place. Luckily my better half looked over my shoulder at the helpers and said, ‘Richardson’.
20 Echo in violent anger demands floral tribute (6)
WREATH – E (echo) in WRATH.
22 Melancholy men reversed in top gear (8)
SOMBRERO – SOMBRE, OR backwards. Gear on the top of your head, is what we’re talking about.
24 What makes chicken opt for secure road crossing? (10)
CHECKPOINT – (CHICKEN OPT*). I scratched my head over the definition, but it must be a reference to border crossings like the infamous Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin.
26 Trick allows second duke to escape old magistrate (4)
DOGE – the trick is a DO[d]GE.
27 Space probes face constant thundering in explosive aftermath (8,5)
MUSHROOM CLOUD – MUSH (face), ROOM (space), C (constant), LOUD (thundering). Assemble as instructed.

1 Prepare to leave who in charge for restructure? (5,6)
WEIGH ANCHOR – (WHO IN CHARGE*), ‘for restructure’.
2 English author briefly upset European one (5)
IBSEN – NESBI[t], briefly, upset. I searched past blogs, and this wordplay has occurred more than a few times. And, to quote one of our previous bloggers, ‘I was able to get the playwright from just the initial I’.
3 Betting system is a lottery endlessly manipulated (9)
TOTALISER – (IS A LOTTER-*), ‘manipulated’.
4 Fab guy from south takes minute inside shops (7)
EMPORIA – AI, ROPE taking M[inute] inside, all reversed (‘from the south’).
5 Great composer? Hear hear! (5)
LISZT – in the wordplay , the first ‘hear’ tells us that this is a ‘soundslike’ clue, and the second HEAR = LISTEN = LIST (archaic or poetic)! Another where the answer was rather biffable, but this time I had to think hard to get the wordplay.
6 Doctor was there with daughter for turning point (9)
WATERSHED – (WAS THERE D*), ‘doctored’.
7 Fast runner third in original Marathon we hear? (3)
ROE – the third letter of Marathon is R. In the original Greek alphabet, that letter was called RHO, which (we hear) sounds like ROE. As to whether roe deer run fast, ask the setter!
12 Party lost cool about university being opposed (11)
14 Ridiculously rich with gas and oil, heartless rulers (9)
OLIGARCHS – (RICH GAS O-L*), ‘ridiculously’. OIL is ‘heartless’.
15 Shocking deception almost secures gold carpet (9)
TRAUMATIC – TRIC[k] secures AU (gold) MAT.
19 Luggage English mislaid in old Italian town (7)
CASSINO – CAS[e]S are luggage, IN, O[ld].
21 Somewhat touchy person really wired (5)
HYPER – hidden answer.
23 Set to transmit commercial in Brazilian city (5)
25 Do part badly, rest initially avoiding damage (3)
HAM – HA[r]M is damage.