March 21st, 2020

Jumbo 1428

I don’t have much to add to the blog below – a standard Saturday Jumbo. I think that the clue to 16A could be made a little more accurate, but it is not really a problem.

ACROSS
1 Singer, one acknowledging applause before time? (9)
BOWERBIRD – BOWER = one acknowledging applause, BIRD = time (in prison)

10 Soft cheese a woman takes in bed (7)
RICOTTA – RITA = woman, around COT = bed

13 Vehicle I’d used to carry books? It carries blood! (7)
CAROTID – CAR = vehicle, O.T. = books, I’D

14 Shade encountered in Milanese piazzas (5)
SEPIA – hidden in milaneSE PIAzzas

15 Old boxer given permit that’s legally transferrable (9)
ALIENABLE – ALI = old boxer, ENABLE = permit

16 It’s unremarkable, but prep school pupils feared having it? (7,2,5,4,5)
NOTHING TO WRITE HOME ABOUT – mildly cryptic second definition, which I think would have been better with boarding school rather than prep school as the latter was not always a residential establishment

17 Run into pole — fast! (6)
STAVE = pole, around R = run

18 Projecting column I coated in stucco (8)
PILASTER – PLASTER = stucco, around I

19 No one’s pad in Albert Square is so disgusting (7)
NOISOME – NO, I’S = one’s, ‘OME = pad in Albert Square

22 Money suitable for securing game and starchy food (10)
BREADFRUIT – BREAD = money, FIT = suitable, around R.U. = game

23 European woman, one coming ashore with bag (12)
NETHERLANDER – NET = bag, HER = woman, LANDER = one coming ashore

27 Place where a stripper briefly appears? (5)
LOCUS – LOCUST(t) = stripper

29 Caustic wordplay by man of breeding (7)
PUNGENT – PUN = wordplay, GENT = man of breeding

30 Prevent retiring daughter concealing her archaeological find (8)
POTSHERD – POTS = STOP = prevent, reversed, HER, D = daughter

32 A French lad ringing about a lack of logical thinking (8)
UNREASON – UN = a (French), RE = about, A, SON = lad

34 Cooked most tropical fruit (7)
APRICOT – TROPICA(l)*

36 Strip firearm (5)
RIFLE – double definition

39 Vehicle thief collects favourite political candidate from afar? (12)
CARPETBAGGER – CAR = vehicle, PET = favourite, BAGGER = thief

41 Belittled and frustrated, the writer’s at home in this (10)
DIMINISHED – DISHED = frustrated, around I’M IN = the writer’s at home

44 Liberal academic given employment (7)
PROFUSE – PROF = academic, USE = employment

46 The domain one abandoned sadly for Macbeth’s Cawdor? (8)
THANEDOM – (THE DOMA(i)N)*

48 Present old footballer with ring in retirement (6)
BESTOW – BEST = old footballer, O = ring, W = with

50 Become agitated carelessly removing one’s clothing from washing machine? (3,4,8,2,1,5)
GET ONE’S KNICKERS IN A TWIST – double definition, the second mildly cryptic

53 Surprisingly happy with old car and rejected books (9)
APOCRYPHA – (HAPPY, O, CAR)*

54 Hang about in south coast resort before run (5)
HOVER – HOVE = south coast resort, R = run

55 Popular view voiced by Republican, a provoker of action (7)
INCITER – IN = popular, CITE sounds like SIGHT = view, R = Republican

56 High-flyer changes sides — what a bore (5)
EAGRE – EAGLE = high flyer, with L = left replaced by R = right, so sides changed

57 For a seamstress they’re not entirely unnecessary (7)
NEEDLES – NEEDLES(s) = unnecessary

58 Assuasive English gang girl that is not without heart (9)
EMOLLIENT – E = English, MOLL = gang girl, I.E. = that is, N(o)T

DOWN
1 Meaty product of Berkshire philosopher? (5)
BACON – double definition, the first mildly cryptic referring to the Berkshire breed of pigs

2 Best to reconnoitre plot? Nothing could be more awful (5-4,8)
WORST-CASE SCENARIO – WORST = best, CASE = reconnoitre, SCENARIO = plot

3 Recovered stored information? It’s what the Lab did? (9)
RETRIEVED – double definition, the second mildly cryptic referring to the dog breed, the Labrador Retriever, often shortened to Labrador or Lab

4 Once disgraceful gibe delivered in pub (6)
INDIGN – INN = pub, around DIG = jibe

5 Girl’s status and character (11)
DISPOSITION – DI’S = girl’s, POSITION = status

6 Final send-off for heretic connected with bank (8)
RIPARIAN – R.I.P. = final send-off, ARIAN = heretic. As a fisherman I should have got this one sooner – as it was it was one of my last ones in

7 Bird identified by lieutenant, one wearing outdoor garment (4,3)
COAL TIT – COAT = outdoor garment, around LT = lieutenant and I = one

8 Her chap set out to secure current post at school (11)
TEACHERSHIP – (HER CHAP SET)* around I = current

9 A former country with popular old king? It’s what Anatolia was (4,5)
ASIA MINOR – A, SIAM = former country, IN = popular, O = old, R = king

10 Judge given notes in largely Carthaginian language (7)
PUNJABI – PUNI(c) = Carthaginian, around J = judge and A, B = notes

11 Forbidden book, not acceptable in Chinese philosophy (5)
TABOO – TAO = Chinese philosophy, around BO(ok) where OK = acceptable and has been removed

12 Lover demanding attention in parts of the West (10)
SWEETHEART – (THE WEST)* around EAR = attention

17 Prophetess lives over by lake (5)
SIBYL – SI = IS = lives, reversed, BY, L = lake

20 A Scottish honour, tho Forester held it, unexpectedly (5,2,3,7)
ORDER OF THE THISTLE – (THO FORESTER HELD IT)*

21 Loses footing absorbing last of info for Cambridge exam (6)
TRIPOS – TRIPS = loses footing, around (inf)O

24 Secure by intimidation in text or tweet (6)
EXTORT – hidden in tEXT OR Tweet

25 Hate airline coming over house by river (5)
ABHOR – AB = B.A. = airline, reversed, HO = house, R = river

26 Lavishly supply short man with alcoholic drink (6)
REGALE – REG = short man, ALE = alcoholic drink

28 Kid influenced by power or moral force, we hear (5)
SUEDE – sounds like SWAYED = influenced

31 Shabby-sounding provider of starch in Scotland (6)
TATTIE – sounds like TATTY = shabby

33 Singer’s dark period buffeted by wind (11)
NIGHTINGALE – NIGHT = dark period, IN GALE = buffeted by wind

35 Decorative work of one in hard-wearing trousers on lake (11)
CHINOISERIE – CHINOS = hard-wearing trousers around I = one, ERIE = lake

37 Finance demise that hurt (5)
ENDOW – END = demise, OW = that hurt

38 Rascal initially scaring head girl? (10)
SCAPEGRACE – S(caring), CAPE = head, GRACE = girl

40 British painter’s fancy brooch (9)
BREASTPIN – B = British, PAINTER’S*

42 The writer would clean it out just the same (9)
IDENTICAL – I’D – the writer would, (CLEAN IT)*

43 Books about court actions? (8)
RESERVES – RE = about, SERVES = (tennis) court actions

45 Disconcert peacekeepers, at no time raising resistance (7)
UNNERVE – U.N. = peacekeepers, NERVE = NEVER = at no time with R = resistance moved up

47 Everyone taking in salmon and strong drink (7)
ALCOHOL – ALL = everyone, around COHO = salmon

49 A shade 4, changing second name to Oscar (6)
INDIGO – INDIGN = 4 (down) with N = name, changed to O = Oscar

51 Heavyweight key locking up husband’s skimpy beachwear (5)
THONG – TON = heavyweight, G = key, around H = husband

52 Card call-girl carries round (5)
TAROT – TART = call-girl, around O = round
  • brnchn

Times Cryptic No 27612 - Saturday, 14 March 2020. Everything you could ask for.

This puzzle was much easier than the previous week, with starterclues like 24dn and 26dn, followed by meatier things that covered a broad range of general knowledge, but were guessable if you didn’t know. The clue of the day was clearly 18dn, with its original format!  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].
Across
1 Copper — touch wood — to create stylish impression (3,1,4)
CUT A DASH – CU (the chemical symbol for copper), TAD (a touch), ASH (wood).
5 Steer carelessly at first in rail freight wagon (6)
BOXCAR – OX (steer), C (carelessly, at first), ‘in’ BAR (rail).
10 Race has large numbers touring African republic (8,7)
THOUSAND GUINEAS – THOUSANDS (large numbers) ‘touring’ GUINEA (the republic).
11 Stargazer in company wicked to deny moon (10)
COPERNICUS – CO[mpany], PERNIC[io]US (wicked, ‘denying’ IO).
13 Wake in Fenland? Here refused place in hospital (4)
WARD – Hereward was the Wake in question, and his Fenland base was in East Anglia. Remove HERE to leave WARD. I put this in from definition and helpers, and only remembered the historical reference while writing this.
15 Notice news boss consuming a pint’s altered (7)
ADAPTED – AD, ED (notice, news boss) is ‘consuming’ A, PT (pint).
17 Incarcerated in Swaleside, his cell burst open (7)
DEHISCE – hidden answer (‘incarcerated’). A botanical term I know only from crosswords.
18 Play has mother paroxysmal outside Globe (3,4)
THE ROOM – (MOTHER*) ‘paroxysmal’ outside O (globe). Harold Pinter’s first play.
19 Traveller of low degree witches followed regularly (3,4)
ICE FLOE – spelled out by alternate letters of ‘witches followed’. Delightful definition.
21 Iodine in decay gives dazzling display (4)
RIOT – I, the symbol for iodine, in ROT.
22 Moving entrance from child in care returning to connect (10)
DRAWBRIDGE – DRAW is ‘ward’ returning; BRIDGE is ‘connect’.
25 Hidden from public scrutiny with summer over? (5-3-7)
UNDER-THE-COUNTER – those who sum or count are summers or counters. If one is above you, you’re UNDER THE COUNTER. Ho ho.
27 Woody perhaps the one she loves? (6)
HERMAN – music, maestro, please:

Frankie and Johnny were sweethearts oh Lordy how they did love
Swore to be true to each other true as the stars above
He was HER MAN he was doing her wrong

None of that has anything to do with Woody Herman, although he was a jazzman.
28 Where mob’s run amok, alcohol found (4-4)
HOME-BREW – (WHERE MOB*), ‘run amok’.

Down
1 Monstrous order about snatching alien expert (7)
CETACEA – ET (alien), ACE (expert), ‘snatched’ by CA (about).
2 Company, they say, almost shut having imported tungsten (3)
TWO – TO (almost shut, as of a door or window), ‘importing’ W (the chemical symbol for tungsten or wolfram). Two’s company, three’s a crowd.
3 Freedom to act is restricted by tortuous doctrine (10)
DISCRETION – IS ‘restricted by’ (DOCTRINE*), ‘tortuous’.
4 Saint favoured sits on excellent holy mountain (5)
SINAI – S (saint), IN (favoured), AI (excellent).
6 Book collection about British India, passing comments (4)
OBIT – OT (book collection) ‘about’ B (British) I (India). Cunning definition.
7 Dish made with lettuce the emperor hasn't grown? (6,5)
CAESAR SALAD – my parents used to indicate the archaic by saying, “when Adam was a boy”. Here, it’s while CAESAR’S A LAD.
8 Those left on team to hold United in second half (7)
RESIDUE – RE (on), SIDE (team) to hold U. I think ‘in second half’ is harmless filling to improve the surface of the clue.
9 Devilish ideas about horned beast in Christian emblem? (5,3)
AGNUS DEI – (IDEAS*), ‘devilishly’, holding GNU.
12 Put husband — no spring chicken — in temporary accommodation? (11)
PLACEHOLDER – PLACE (put), H (husband), OLDER (no spring chicken).
14 Her Majesty held by our Greek revolutionary communists (5,5)
KHMER ROUGE – HM (Her Majesty), ‘held by’ (OUR GREEK*), ‘revolutionary’.
16 Demo in Scots river establishes political initiative (8)
DEMARCHE – MARCH in DEE.
18 Having finished boring task? (7)
THROUGH – Wow, this is a mind bender. I think the first two words are definition (I’m through = I’m finished), and the whole clue is an alternative definition (I’ve finished boring this piece of wood = I’m through to the other side).

I debated how to categorise the clue. In an &lit, the whole clue is definition when read one way and wordplay when read another way. In a semi-&lit. clue, I believe the whole clue is wordplay and only part of it is definition. Here, half the clue is definition, and the whole clue is another more cryptic definition. Perhaps it’s a semi-demi-&lit.?
20 English bishop plugging the old argument — it may be raised (7)
EYEBROW – E (English), YE (old form of ‘the), ROW (argument), ‘plugged’ by B (bishop).
23 Somewhat mad to have scouse mate round (5)
WACKO – WACK (scouse term for mate, which I didn’t know but guessed easily enough), O (round).
24 Whale with teeth decapitated Spanish poet (4)
ORCA – the poet was [l]ORCA.
26 Sailor in mountain lake endlessly (3)
TAR – the lake is a TAR[n].