April 25th, 2020

Jumbo 1433

I don’t have much to add to the blog – a normal Saturday Jumbo. I might quibble with the definition in 22D and had to check the solution to 31D. I would probably have to give the CoD to 50A for the construction of the clue.


1 Calculates total, coming round to disagreeing (2,4)
AT ODDS – ADDS = calculates total, around TO

5 Complex character is up for review by reference book (7)
OEDIPUS – O.E.D. = reference book, (IS UP)*

9 Rock tune, say, keeping daughter rocking (8)
UNSTEADY – (TUNE SAY)* around D = daughter

13 Who were the two in the green cornfield, Will? (One not a large donkey!) (2,3,1,5,3,3,4)
IT WAS A LOVER AND HIS LASS – not L ASS = large donkey. From Shakespeare.

14 Behind, race along, protected by this? (4,4)
SEAT BELT – SEAT = behind, BELT = race along

15 The speck of land to amaze the world (7)
ROCKALL – ROCK = amaze, ALL = the world

16 Almost get up to peer (6)
ARISTO – ARIS(e) = get up, TO

17 Cleans up with win here (10)
SWEEPS = cleans up, TAKE = win

20 At start of month, advice about offering from restaurant range (8,4)
MARITIME ALPS – MAR 1 = start of month, TIPS = advice, around MEAL = offering from restaurant

23 Heartless Scotsman playing, a seaside feature (4)
PIER – PI(p)ER = Scotsman playing

24 Greedyguts extremely glad about the chap waiting on us? (8)
GOURMAND – G(la)D around OUR MAN = chap waiting on us

26 Was a Provost in Cambridge giving orders? (8)
RANKINGS – RAN KINGS = was a Provost in Cambridge

29 Reason for acquittal? The cynical moving to secure it (12)

30 Old writer intended to be unbiased (4-6)
OPEN MINDED – O = old, PEN = writer, MINDED = intended

32 Imaginary benefits of luxury items? (5,5)
FANCY GOODS – FANCY = imaginary, GOODS = benefits

34 Counterpart of electric blue? (8,4)
SHOCKING PINK – cryptic definition

36 Uniform for boys’ clubs perhaps — observe back first (4,4)
ETON SUIT – ETON = NOTE = observe, reversed, SUIT = clubs, perhaps

38 Heraldic motto, one accepted by a king (8)
ARMORIAL – A, R = king, MORAL = motto, around I = one

39 With no hesitation rejected what’s a tiny bit elementary (4)
MUON – NO UM = no hesitation, reversed

41 Out of doors show resolute mien wavering (3,2,7)

43 A short Aussie bloke is caustic (10)
ASTRINGENT – A, STRIN(e) = Aussie, GENT = bloke

44 Mush! but not moving (6)
STATIC – double definition

46 A run forward in wood left one shaken (7)
TIMBREL – TIMBRE = TIMBER = wood with the R moved forward, L = left

48 These days I sleep rough outside, under them? (8)
PLEIADES – (I SLEEP)* around A.D. = these days

50 Filling belt, not easy at first if expanded (5,7,3,6)
BACON LETTUCE AND TOMATO – B(e)LT is the abbreviation where the removes e is the first letter of easy

51 Some religious worries overwhelming rector finally (8)
BROTHERS – BOTHERS = worries, around (recto)R

52 Spiritual authority has no solid ground, we hear (4,3)
HOLY SEE – sounds like WHOLLY SEA = no solid ground

53 Goodness less than nothing for bloke (6)
GEEZER – GEE = goodness, ZER(o) = nothing


2 Sudden pain not good for one stranded (5)
TWINE – TWIN(g)E = sudden pain. Stranded here means made of strands.

3 Sensible, where the fox goes to sleep? (4-2-5)
DOWN-TO-EARTH – double definition

4 Such an account makes one nervous? (8)
SUSPENSE – cryptic definition. As an accountant I know that suspense accounts hold items that no-one is sure what to do with, so they can make one nervous about the accuracy of the book-keeping!

5 Anything to protect wings of little nestling (5)
OWLET – OWT = anything, around L(ittl)E

6 Welshman recited poetry of all kinds (7)
DIVERSE – DI sounds like DAI = Welshman, VERSE = poetry

7 Separate, if not entirely firm (4,7)
PART COMPANY – PART = not entirely, COMPANY = firm

8 From clinic, volunteers get man sacked (5)
SANTA – SAN = clinic, T.A. = volunteers. Sacked here means with a sack.

9 Pad out raised armrest (9)
UPHOLSTER – UP = raised, HOLSTER = armrest = rest for arms

10 Russian band covers area (5)
SASHA – SASH = band, A = area

11 Old people receive a note to get check-up (11)
EXAMINATION – EX = old, NATION = people, around A MI = a note

12 Sat around to receive equipment, missing one item for office (7)
DESKTOP – DESOP = POSED = sat, reversed, around K(i)T = equipment

18 Fish: I help, turning and cutting a little piece (9)
WHITEBAIT – WHIT = a little piece, around TEBAI = I ABET = I help, reversed

19 A case, half the same fruit (7)
AVOCADO – A, VOCA(tive) = case, DO = the same

21 Broadcaster ignoring us spoke about forty-five minutes? (5,4)
RADIO FOUR – RADI(us) = spoke, OF = about, (h)OUR = forty-five minutes? Three-quarters of (the word) hour

22 Greek character buried in second tomb (8)
MONUMENT – MOMENT = second, around NU = Greek character. Are tomb and monument the same?

25 Put back in control over country (9)
REINSTATE – REIN = control, STATE = country

27 One naive politician that’s heard out hunting (9)
GREENHORN – GREEN = politician, HORN = that’s heard out hunting

28 Can opener call with advantage? (4-4)
RING-PULL – RING = call, PULL = advantage

31 Mystic theologian the rack tortured (7)
ECKHART – (THE RACK)*. Apparently Meister Eckhart (1260-1328) was a mystic theologian. Never heard of him I’m afraid, but the anagram and the checkers made it fairly obvious.

33 Join one group of workers up in state (11)
CONNECTICUT – CONNECT = join, I = one, CUT = T.U.C. = group of workers, reversed

34 Regular disorder in city slammer (11)

35 Little dog beginning to examine stone, say, in fruit (11)
POMEGRANATE – POM = little dog, E(xamine), GRANATE sounds like GRANITE = stone. It does in this case.

37 Femme fatale sovereign arrests time after time (9)
TEMPTRESS – T = time, EMPRESS = sovereign, around T = time

40 Pound grand for penning one criminal without end (8)
LIFELONG – L = pound, I = one, FELON = criminal, G = grand

42 Be stopping spin expert, heading off for Number Ten in a year (7)
OCTOBER – (d)OCTOR = spin expert, around BE

43 Very attentive king, visiting too briefly (3,4)
ALL EARS – ALS(o) = too, around LEAR = king

45 Happy to ignore good books for short story (5)
CONTE = CONTE(nt) = happy

47 Equal contest that’s ready to ignite (5)
MATCH – triple definition

48 Minister to go quietly over brief at intervals (5)
PADRE – PAD = go quietly, alternate letters in bRiEf

49 Be worn out before swallowing possibly lethal quantity (5)
ERODE – ERE = before, around O.D. = possible lethal quantity

  • brnchn

Times Cryptic No 27642 - Saturday, 18 April 2020. Mediterranean Gothic Crossroads.

This was something of a battle. I enjoyed the challenge, except perhaps when I stalled over my last two outstanding, the Mediterranean 14ac and the Gothic 4dn. If I’d known the shared letter where they met, I may have got them both fairly quickly, but I didn’t … and I didn’t!

For the rest, I enjoyed the small triumphs of cracking each clue. How did you all go? Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle.

Notes for newcomers: The Times offers prizes for Saturday Cryptic Crosswords. This blog is posted a week later, after the competition closes. So, please don’t comment here on the current Saturday Cryptic.

Clues are blue, with definitions underlined. (ABC*) means ‘anagram of ABC’. Deletions are in [square brackets].
1 Hoodwinks detective with naughty piece of intrigue (10)
6 Care and affection boxing a cosmetic product (4)
TALC – T.L.C. (tender loving care) ‘boxing’ an A.
10 Most of second drink (5)
11 Side of real bacon chopped up (9)
BARCELONA – anagram (‘chopped up’: REAL BACON*).
12 Penned by novelist, put out fake safety guide (5,5,4)
GREEN CROSS CODE – GREENE is the novelist. PUT OUT is ‘cross’. COD is ‘fake’. Assemble as instructed.
14 Rashid once put in list (7)
ROSETTA – SET in ROTA. I assumed Rashid was a person, not a place, and I could see a multitude of ways to read the wordplay, so this clue was too hard for me. Kudos to those who knew it was a port in the Nile delta.
15 Bill in valley is worth seeing? (7)
17 Ready to consume drink, eating dip (2,5)
AL DENTE – ALE ‘eating’ DENT.
19 African men from Wales and Scotland? (7)
IVORIAN – IVOR is the Welshman, and IAN as usual is the Scotsman.
20 Book one's vehicles, close by after turning right (8,6)
TRISTRAM SHANDY – I’S | TRAMS | HANDY, after TR (RT, ‘turned’).
23 Proving smarter than vamp exposing clothes (9)
OUTFOXING – FOX ‘clothed’ by OUTING.
24 Terror the French revolutionary is to drive forward (5)
IMPEL – IMP (terror), EL (LE, ‘revolutionary’).
25 Recognise obsessive specialist from the east (4)
KNOW – WONK, ‘from the east’.
26 Started diet — it gets broken with nuts (10)
INSTITUTED – anagram (‘broken’: DIET IT NUTS*). It takes some care to work out which letters to use in the anagram!

1 One maybe fired youngster on track? (4)
COLT – double definition: guns, then racehorses.
2 No increase before first of December is made official (9)
NOTARISED – NOT A RISE (no increase), D{ecember}.
3 Switching iPods, entertain the idea each person has a lot (14)
PREDESTINATION – anagram (‘switching’: IPODS ENTERTAIN*).
4 Fiddle around in piece of Gothic fiction (7)
REBECCA – REBEC (fiddle), CA (around). I’d never heard of the string instrument, and although I knew of the novel, I couldn’t have said it was Gothic.
5 Passengers look over area in part of deck (7)
CARLOAD – LO (look) over A (area), in CARD. That sort of deck!
7 Drive past houses in great quantities (1,4)
A GOGO – AGO (past) houses GO (drive).
8 The fickle English, digging into fruit after tea (10)
9 As insolent as it could be eye-catching (14)
SENSATIONALIST – anagram (‘could be’: AS INSOLENT AS IT*).
13 Defence playing worst during counterattack (10)
BREASTWORK – anagram (‘playing’: WORST*) inside BREAK. A break seems slightly different from a counterattack, but they’re not that far apart, necessarily.
16 In poker, stakes pool of money in area of ignorance (5,4)
BLIND SPOT – BLINDS | POT. Both are poker terms.
18 Keep up home, retaining old hedging (7)
EVASION – EVAS (SAVE, ‘kept up’ in this down clue), then IN retaining O.
19 Understanding son during brief stay at hotel? (7)
INSIGHT – S inside I (one) NIGHT.
21 Keen on securing right start (5)
INTRO – INTO securing R.
22 Busy learner entering school, perhaps (4)
PLOD – L entering POD. Two slang words for a police officer.

Sunday Times Cryptic 4899, by Robert Price — On the (short)wavelength

Has it already been two weeks since I last blogged? Seems like only yesterday… Although the time before mid-March seems long ago and far away. Hope you’re all well and staying safe. I’m writing this up at the eleventh hour before it goes live, the last one I’ve had to work online, as I am happily in possession of a brand-new printer. But I don’t have any notes about my solving experience to look back on. My LOI might very well have been 1, though there’s nothing really hard about it.

The clue referred to in my headline is one of a few here with somewhat unusual anagrinds, and the clue after it uses one of my favorite cryptic ploys.

I indicate (anargasm)* like this, and italicize anagrinds in the clues.

 1 What a shopper might do to grab stuff and dash (10)
SMATTERING — S(MATTER)ING, “shop” as in the sense of ratting out one’s partners in crime
 7 Team’s heading off court (4)
 9 Cheeses said to give you wind (6)
BREEZE — No proof that this is a Covid-19 risk! “bries”
10 Horse for one desperate to depart (8)
TETRAPOD — (to depart)*
11 Dance judge that is introducing a Latin number (4)
12 Special way to enter competition, used by seeds (4,6)
OPEN SESAME — OPEN, “competition” + SESAME, “seeds”
14 How Soviet radar’s been broadcast (9,5)
SHORTWAVE RADIO — (How Soviet radar)* Pretty neat &lit; radar does indeed employ shortwave frequencies.
16 Clashing statements harm poets, perhaps? (5,9)
MIXED METAPHORS — (harm poets)* for METAPHORS, which means MIXED METAPHORS is “harm poets”
19 Edification intended in speech by gambler (10)
BETTERMENT — “better” “meant”
21 Urgent command to clear court (4)
DIRE — Bomb threat? DIRE[-ct]
22 After party, ruffian wanting a rumpus (8)
BALLYHOO — BALL, “party” + Y[-a]HOO
24 Fret about the wings in navigating part of an airfield (6)
HANGAR — HA(N[-avigatin]G]AR Took a minute before the proper sense of “fret” came back to me, for HAAR, cold sea fog
25 Show tolerance (4)
PLAY — DD That’s “tolerance” as PLAY in the sense of (Collins) “freedom of or scope or space for movement,” as for a mechanism or a rope.
26 Cleaners put off by toilets (10)

 2 Two fish cut by small pointed tool (11)
MARLINSPIKE — MARLIN + S(mall) + PIKE A new word for me.
 3 As a result of whistle-blower, the mineral deposit’s protected (9)
THEREFORE — THE and ORE (“mineral deposit”) guarding REF (“whistleblower”)
 4 Level of experience around old university (4,3)
 5 If all else fails, the grand tour will end here (2,3,4,6)
IN THE LAST RESORT — A CD accompanies the straight def. I was reluctant to write—er, type—this in at first because I know the expression as “as a last resort.”
 6 Degenerate daughter is excluded from visit (2,2,3)
 7 Where ships are docked and legends recounted (5)
QUAYS — “Keys” in the telling (by many folks, at least), “legends” in the sense of guides to symbols on a map
 8 Fleece tucked under a bustle (3)
ADO — A over DO, “Fleece” in the sense of “con”
13 Domestic visa term and when it’s renewed (11)
MAIDSERVANT — (visa term and)*
15 Chap who’s desperate to get in air after a ducking (9)
AVOIDANCE — A + “after” it, VOI(DAN)CE, VOICE for “air” encasing Desperate Dan. I must’ve heard this hombre’s name somewhere, though I’ve certainly never seen the British comic where he appeared, The Dandy.
17 Demonstrated how empty hand cream could be recycled (7)
MARCHED — Not enough sanitizer to go round? (h[-an]d cream)* The anagrind straddles the anagrist! Have we ever seen that before?
18 Sort of pot one throws (7)
20 Hard to believe, City finally score! (5)
TALLY — TALL, “hard to believe” + [-cit]Y Is “City” supposed to be read as a plural, in the surface? Sounds ungrammatical.
23 Utterly boring device one holds to the ear (3)
ALL — “awl”