May 16th, 2020

Times Cryptic Jumbo No 1437 - 2nd May

I don't keep a record of my solving times for the Jumbo, but this was surely my quickest at just 24:30 on the clock. For once there were (to me) no unknown words or General Knowledge apart from the author at 50A and the definition at 52A, which must have helped. Nearly all the ticks on my copy are against down clues... 12D was my favourite, but I also liked the big group of stars at 20A, 22D with its hint of another politican and the homophone at 26D. Thanks-you generous setter. How did everyone else get on?

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  • brnchn

Times Cryptic No 27660 - Saturday, 9 May 2020. Donner und Blitzen!

Well, is 8dn a thundering good clue, or am I thunderstruck? I can make no sense of the definition, so I suspect there’s a British usage I’m not familiar with. If you know anything, please share!

Otherwise this was an enjoyable number, of familiar Saturday degree of difficulty. I struggled a little with 21ac and 9dn until the lights came on. 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. Deletions are in [square brackets].

1 Unhappy experience of duke who makes confessions? (6)
DOWNER – D, OWNER (as in “owning up”).
4 Song writer introduces taste (8)
PENCHANT – PEN ‘introduces’ CHANT.
10 After a change of side, laundry appliance becomes less sturdy (9)
SPINDLIER – on the right, a spin drier. On the left … well, you know the rest. There are two Rs in drier, but you only need to change sides once, of course - don't get over-enthusiastic.
11 Answer in favour of new extension to stage (5)
APRON – A (answer), PRO (in favour of), N (new).
12 What’s jumping in puddle ever done? Showing immaturity (14)
UNDERDEVELOPED – anagram (‘jumping’) of PUDDLE EVER DONE.
14 Forward movement mostly not relying on gills? (5)
LUNGE – LUNGE[d]. Being lunged would be an alternative to being gilled.
16 Souls come to play here? (9)
COLOSSEUM – anagram (‘to play’) of SOULS COME. Do gladiatorial contests count as playing?
18 Fanatic bottling anger with Black Forest safety measure? (9)
FIREBREAK – FREAK (fanatic) ‘bottling’ IRE and B (black)
20 Improper way to have head deferred (5)
OUTRE – ROUTE with R (the head) ‘deferred’.
21 Film story which hopes to increase funds? (7,7)
DEPOSIT ACCOUNT – DEPOSIT (film), ACCOUNT (story). I sidetracked myself by expecting “film” to be a movie title.
25 Announcement of top-level takeover in three lines (5)
HAIKU – sounds like “high coup”.
26 Strained at, like vat full of gas? (9)
TALKATIVE – anagram (strained) of AT LIKE VAT.
27 11 turned in engineer of an iPad (8)
PINAFORE – backward hidden answer (“turned in …”). Engineerinitially suggested an anagram, but on more careful reading, the answer pops out.
28 Slowly, an enlisted man gets into trouble (6)

1 Invalidate detective’s rank, given fine instead of time (10)
DISQUALIFY – DI’S QUALITY, with (‘given’) F for fine instead of T for time.
2 Odd obstruction in current day (5)
WEIRD – WEIR (obstruction in current), D.
3 Behind Cockney Trotter’s back (7)
5 Lofty home where Providence is in view (5)
EYRIE – R.I. (Providence is the capital of Rhode Island), in EYE.
6 Fakeish-sounding soft leather (7)
CHAMOIS – sounds like “shammy”. Is that a word? Actually, I looked it up, to discover it is a word, but only as an alternative spelling of “chamois”. Nothing to do with “sham” meaning “fake”. On edit: interestingly, Collins says chamois the animal is pronounced SHAMWHA, but the oiled leather is indeed pronounced SHAMMY.
7 Workers secured by a welcome deal (9)
8 Thunder had a hum, initially ignored (4)
TANK – [s]TANK would be “had a hum”, as in “smelled unpleasant”. What has “tank” to do with “thunder”. I can find no trace of a thunder tank! Explanations welcome. On edit, philjordan and Gothick_Matt have pointed me to Chambers, which has: tank as To travel (esp to drive) at great speed or relentlessly.
9 Cable involving blue (Conservative) know-all (8)
WISEACRE – WIRE ‘involving’ SEA and C. An Americanism that took a while to come to mind.
13 Modern author to write finally among Brown and company (7,3)
UMBERTO ECO – TO and [writ]E inside UMBER + CO.
15 Owner upset footless oversized countryman (9)
NORWEGIAN – anagram (upset) of OWNER, then GIAN[t].
17 Pleasant area in one Oxford college supporting learner (8)
LIKEABLE – L (learner), then KEBLE around A[rea].
19 Anonymous old poem book lifted illness misery (7)
BEOWULF – B (book), then FLU WOE backwards (‘lifted’).
20 Monster demanding source of windfalls? (7)
ORCHARD – ORC, HARD. Literally, windfalls as from fruit trees.
22 Frame taken from Monmouthshire village to Bury (5)
INTER – well, my ignorance of Monmouth villages was total, but I was confident of the answer! I now know TINTERN, famous for its Abbey, is in Monmouthshire. Drop the outside letters to give INTER.
23 University do a number on drugs (5)
USING – U, SING (do a song/number).
24 Don’t talk work, which talking this is (4)
SHOP – SH, OP. Clever clue!