June 6th, 2020

Penf

Times Cryptic Jumbo 1441 - not a palindrome of Ipswich

This was fairly standard Jumbo fare I thought, and there's nothing wrong with that.  It took me about 50 minutes all told.  First in was AIR RAID and last was the WOOD part of the ANEMONE.  There are a number of Britishisms which I'll try and explain for our overseas solvers.

If any of my explanations don't make sense then feel free to ask for further elucidation..

Clues are in blue with the definition undelined.  Anagram indicators are in bold italics.

Notation:

DD: Double definition

CD: Cryptic definition

DDCDH: DD/CD hybrid where a straight definition is combined with a cryptic hint.

&Lit:  "all in one" where the entire clue is both definition and wordplay.

(fodder)* denotes an anagram of the letters in the brackets.

Rounded brackets are also used to add further clarity

Squiggly brackets {} indicate parts of a word not used

Deletions are struck out

Square brackets [] expand an abbreviation or shortening like N[orth]


Across

1

Car part collected in metropolis, familiarly (5,4)

BRAKE DRUM - RAKED in BRUM, a colloquial term for Birmingham (West Midlands, not ALABAMA)

6

White knight bitter having rescued itinerant earlier (7)

ALBUMEN - N (chess notation for knight) preceded by BUM in ALE

10

Taking portside tack, a gamble for ship (5)

SLOOP - POOLS (UK betting on football results) reversed.  Anyone know any sloops other than John B?

13

Attack Irish resistance in a charity (3,4)

AIR RAID - IR[ish] R[esistance] in A AID

14

Old actor in series about political extremists (7)

CHAPLIN - CHAIN around P{olitica}L

15

Strip featuring London university, fully established (4-3)

WELL-SET - WELT around L[ondon] S[chool of] E[conomics]

16

Seemingly forever, while stock temporarily unavailable? (4,3,4,4,4)

TILL THE COWS COME HOME - DDCDH.  Is this expression peculiarly British? Is there an equivalent in America, Oz, India, Kenya?  It's also the title of the autobiography of the delightful Sara Cox, who is from Bolton (qv.)

17

Energy coming from exercising quietly (3)

PEP - P[hysical] E[ducation], P[iano]

18

Do leave church (6)

FLEECE - FLEE, C[hurch of] E[ngland]

20

Carnivorous plant requiring warmer moisture (6)

SUNDEW - SUN (warmer), DEW.  It lures, captures and digests insects, small birds and mammals and the odd unwary hiker.

21

Applying pressure, rough up characters in central Lisbon, finally (9)

SANDBLAST - S AND B (from {li}SB{on}), LAST

23

Slug sandwiches infiltrating Spanish tapas starters, frantic! (10)

DISTRAUGHT - DRAUGHT around (sandwiching) I{nfiltrating} S{panish} T{apas}

25

Last of four cracks disappear after fix that's cosmetic (4,7)

NAIL VARNISH - {fou}R in VANISH after NAIL.  My daughter is doing a degree in cosmetic science and through her I've learned that "cosmetic" has a very specific legal definition when it comes to regulation of production, packaging, advertising etc: A "cosmetic product" shall mean any substance or mixture intended to be placed in contact with the various external parts of the human body (epidermis, hair system, nails, lips and external genital organs) or with the teeth and the mucous membranes of the oral cavity with a view exclusively or mainly to cleaning them, perfuming them, changing their appearance and/or correcting body odours and/or protecting them or keeping them in good condition.

29

Fullall holes? (5)

ROUND - DD, one golf-based

30

Keeper on second team originally unknown (8)

STRANGER - RANGER on (after in an across clue) S[econd] T{eam}

31

Location of pavement, incidentally (2,3,3)

BY THE WAY - DDCDH

34

Garment to criticise, notice twists in it (4,4)

KNEE SOCK - KNOCK around SEE reversed

36

Very cold, having unfastened zip (8)

FREEZING - FREE, ZING

37

Top cake's back with fewer calories (5)

ELITE - {cak}E, LITE

39

Try to win European woman's heart with single flower (4,7)

WOOD ANEMONE - WOO, DANE, {wo}M{an}, ONE.  if you can never remember whether it's anenome or anemone all you need to do now is remember the wordplay in this clue.

41

One would be transported by this musical after various dances (5,5)

SEDAN CHAIR - HAIR after (dances)*

43

See fabric stuffed in bag (9)

BRIEFCASE - (see fabric)*.  You wait ages for an anagram and two come along at once.

45

Fight to get sheep onto public transport (4-2)

BUST-UP - TUP on (after) BUS

47

Common tease, darling turning back (6)

VULGAR - reversal of RAG, LUV

49

Ace in pontoon essential (3)

ONE - hidden

50

Turn from the shadows - and cheer up? (4,2,3,6,4)

LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE - DDCDH

52

Commie figure in vehicle to the left? (7)

MARXIST - reversal of SIX in TRAM

53

Prisoner wearing hat for work in the field (7)

TILLAGE - LAG in TILE (a word for hat you only see in crosswords these days)

54

Looking back, I delivered packages perfect for African capital (7)

NAIROBI - A1 in a reversal of I BORN

55

First performance not entirely good, correct program (5)

DEBUG - DEBU{t}, G[ood]

56

I regret snatching it back, a huge area of land (7)

EURASIA - reversal of I RUE around S[ex] A[ppeal], A

57

Car insurance carried excess? (5,4)

SPARE TYRE - DDCDH


Down

1

Damn rotten, start of mission (5-3)

BLAST-OFF - BLAST, OFF

2

Borrowing rate one pound a month (5)

APRIL - A[nnual] P[ercentage] R[ate], I, L for pound as in LSD as in Libra, Solidus, Denarius

3

Sat with delicate pantslike knickers? (11)

ELASTICATED - (sat delicate)*

4

More claret — the same served up? (6)

REDDER - RED and RED reversed. The QM is doing a lot as claret seems to be doing double duty - as part of the definition and providing the first half of the wordplay. Complete crap.  It's just a palindrome.  Thanks to Keriothe.

5

Delicate operation adding dash of ginger in my curries, or otherwise (12)

MICROSURGERY - G{inger} in (my curries or)*

6

A plank in sea, collected (7)

AMASSED - A, ASS in MED

7

Team no world-beaters unfortunately, relegation finally accepted (6,9)

BOLTON WANDERERS - (no world beaters)* around {relegatio}N.  A very clever clue but a sad one.  Bolton, once one of the top teams in the country, have hit hard times on and off the pitch and have been tumbling down the leagues, due to a combination of points deductions and the inability to pay top players.

8

Formal clothes to get a day before important case (6,4)

MONKEY SUIT - MON, KEY, SUIT

9

Force man to keep wife in Crawley, say? (3,4)

NEW TOWN -  NEWTON (force man, geddit?) around W{ife}

10

What might be used as capital punishment in wood (6,5)

SILVER BIRCH - SILVER, BIRCH.  "The birch", being a rod (not necessarily from a birch tree) applied with force to the shoulders, back or buttocks, was a form of corporal punishment

11

Channels Iago hopes to manipulate (9)

OESOPHAGI - (iago hopes)*

12

Sound of one gently stepping in bread and butter (3-1-3)

PIT-A-PAT - PITA, PAT

19

Bon vivant, Argentine ultimately still missing tango (7)

EPICURE - {argentin}E, PICtURE (T for Tango omitted)

22

To kill queen, cold tea served up (8)

MASSACRE - reversal of E.R. C[old], ASSAM

24

Counting number — sixty legs on those? (3,5,7)

TEN GREEN BOTTLES - number as in song. Green bottles, being flies, being insects, have six legs each. TGB is Britain's shorter, more sober version of 99 bottles of beer.

26

On a cruise, five of you initially getting on (8)

VOYAGING - V, O{f} Y{ou} AGING

27

Tomboy in Scottish island lair (6)

HOYDEN - HOY, DEN.  I recalled this word from previous puzzles.

28

European city where two vessels capsized (6)

KRAKOW - reversal of WOK, ARK.  Neat.  I've never been but I understanbd it's a beautiful city.

32

Trouble in faction expressing sorrow (7)

WAILING -AIL in WING

33

Part of horse where hamstrings injected with measure of fluid (12)

HINDQUARTERS - HINDERS around QUART

35

Supporter tipping out hot drinks (11)

SCAFFOLDING - Reversal of OFF (out) in (drunk by) SCALDING.

37

Channel for waste a ship put out into river (7,4)

EXHAUST PIPE - (a ship put)* in EXE

38

US maestro, one carrying a crop? (4,6)

COLE PORTER - DDCDH

40

Pub rogue beginning to open up a shade (5,4)

OLIVE DRAB - reversal of BAR, DEVIL, O{pen}

42

When one's not working on the house, shed put up (4,4)

FREE TIME - FREE, EMIT reversed

43

Hiding between the sheets, menace came out (7)

BLOOMED - LOOM (menace) in BED (hiding between the sheets)

44

A school set up, and support — child taken care of (7)

ADOPTEE - A, POD reversed, TEE

46

Some actress met an American composer (7)

SMETANA - hidden.  Don't be fooled, he was Czech.

48

Nation everyone can see on borders of Georgia? (6)

UGANDA - U (film classification) on G AND A, the first and last letters on Georgia.  True story, my uncle met Idi Amin in Abu Dhabi.

51

White as a Welshman? (5)

IVORY - DDCDH in the style of the Uxbridge English Dictionary

Times Bank Holiday Cryptic Jumbo 1442 - 25 May

This Jumbo was a proper workout to keep us busy on a Bank Holiday instead of getting too close to others on the beach. I had a meagre 12 answers after reading through all the clues first time and I began to worry if I was going to be able to complete it. Hard, but very rewarding with some cracking clues. I did need help to check the name of the mountain at 41D as it could have been a different spelling and had to check several other unknowns to validate I'd got them right from the wordplay. In all it took me about twice my usual solving time finishing all parsed in 1hr 39 minutes.... with a sense of satisfaction. Phew! Thank-you setter. More like this please. How did everyone else get on?

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  • brnchn

Times Cryptic No 27678 - Saturday, 30 May 2020. Sunshine and sweet treats.

This was fairly easy for a Saturday; two weeks in a row. Even so, my first one in was wrong and had to be fixed later!

I also had a few general knowledge gaps. I’d never heard of the confectionery, at least by that name, and found it hard to believe it was real.  Augustan drama was also new to me.


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].

Across
1 Fail to answer question but get through (4)
PASS – double definition. Pass a quiz question (although there, passing is more a matter of choice than a failure to answer, perhaps), or pass an exam.
4 Stay in Bordeaux for example? Capital! (5,5)
BATON ROUGE – to BAT ON is to stay in at cricket. Bordeaux wine is red, or ROUGE. The answer is the capital of Louisiana.
9 Mouth that is opened by monarch reveals dry area (4,6)
GOBI DESERT – GOB | ID EST, opened by ER. It still always come as a surprise to see id est written in full. Only in the crossword!
10 City move I keenly backed, after downsizing (4)
KIEV – backwards hidden answer (‘backed’, ‘after downsizing’).
11 Reconciled in agreement with daughter (6)
ATONED – AT ONE (in agreement), D. An obsolete usage, according to Chambers.
12 Proceeds north within each circle, and back to Dundas (8)
EARNINGS – N in EA | RING, then [Dunda]S.
14 Dullard one battered in chippy outside Lima (4)
CLOD – L (Lima, in the NATO alphabet), in COD. It took me a while to realise a ‘chippy’ would be a fish-and-chip shop. British usage, no doubt.
15 Scots soldier bombed spacecraft (10)
HIGHLANDER – HIGH (bombed, on alcohol or drugs), LANDER (of the lunar kind). I assume you can be a highlander without being a soldier, but the Highlanders are a Scottish battalion, and were previously a regiment.
17 Some housing benefit? And soup? (4,6)
DAMP COURSE – two rather off-beat definitions, although certainly it’s a good idea to have damp courses in a house.
20 Where machine-gun might be placed in safe retreat (4)
NEST – another double definition.
21 Prepare to fire at two ducks or another bird (8)
COCKATOO – COCK | AT | O-O.
23 Blame accepted by doctor given a drink (6)
GRAPPA – RAP accepted by GP, then given an A.
24 Heard solvers grow together as fighting force (4)
UNIT – ‘heard’ as YOU KNIT.
25 Bloom shows full desire uncontrollably (5-2-3)
FLEUR-DE-LIS – anagram (‘uncontrollably’) of (FULL DESIRE*).
26 Guard on landing party backing commerce across pond (10)
BALUSTRADE – BAL from LAB[our] ‘backing’, U.S. (across pond), TRADE.
27 One made to pluck hot stuff from mouth? (4)
LUTE – sounds like LOOT (‘hot’ stuff). (Could ‘hot stuff from mouth’ be FOUL language, I wondered? Silly idea!)

Down
2 Drink bringing trouble after morning at checkout (11)
AMONTILLADO – AM | ON TILL | ADO: morning | at checkout | trouble.
3 Spare sauce but no dressing for this (6-3)
SKINNY-DIP – SKINNY | DIP: spare | sauce.
4 Wide measurement being diameter in pants? (7)
BREADTH – D in BREATH.
5 Slammed sheer garbage: top Augustan drama (3,7,5)
THE BEGGAR’S OPERA - anagram (‘slammed’) of (SHEER GARBAGE TOP*). Apparently, King George I was so full of himself he called himself “Augustus”. Unknown to me, but thence “Augustan drama”.
6 Unrefined person sure to succeed (7)
NATURAL – double definition. Natural sugar, or natural sportswoman.
7 Something nasty afoot has leader deserting alliance (5)
UNION – BUNION without its leader.
8 Rocker frame attached to legs cut from piano (5)
ELVIS – PELVIS, again without its leader. A jailhouse rocker, needing to be lifted and separated from the osseous frame.
13 Slap in theatre repeating as arranged (11)
GREASEPAINT – anagram (‘arranged’) of (REPEATING AS*). Ah, the roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd!
16 Confectionery modelled on praline (9)
NONPAREIL – anagram (‘modelled’) of (ON PRALINE*). With the helpers what else could it be? I DNK the confectionery by this name at all, but know it well by the name of “hundreds and thousands”.
18 Excluded group admits nothing (3,2,2)
OUT OF IT – O in OUTFIT.
19 Be ready with foil, perhaps, having nearly finished wrapping cloth up (2,5)
EN GARDE – ENDE[d] ‘wrapping’ GAR (RAG, up).
21 Endless goodness in cake fragment? (5)
CRUMB – take CRUMBS (goodness!) and dock its tail. (It took some time to realise that I needed a virtual exclamation mark in the wordplay!)
22 What central heating problem might bring? (5)
CHILL – C.H. (central heating), ILL (problem).

Sunday Times No 4905, by Robert Price — Masked and Antonymous

(The actual title of the 2003 Bob Dylan film directed by Larry Charles is a bit redundant, methinks.)

With a long one going in early on and only one slightly unusual word here, this was a smooth and steady solve last week, savored while I watched some old movie on YouTube. What stood out, besides that one word, were a couple of anagrinds that looked like maybe the most unusual and creative we’d seen for a while. (One of them, however, I was making out to be more unusual than it is.)

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

ACROSS
 1 Island swamp retreating to leave an arid region (4,6)
GOBI DESERT — I BOG<=“retreating” + DESERT, “to leave” No mirage, we were also here the day before!
 6 Learner dismissed by pottery expert (4)
DEFT — DE[-l]FT
 9 Catty utterance from a girl, that hurts (5)
MIAOW — MIA, “a girl” + OW, ‘that hurts”
10 Riddle about pie filling? It’s mostly meat (9)
PEPPERONI — PEPPER, “riddle” + ON, “about” + [-p]I[-e] MER, as “riddle” means (Collins) “to pierce or perforate with numerous holes” and PEPPER “to shower or pelt with many small objects’; if you say, “the report was riddled with errors,” I still see holes but the sense is close to an example given for a definition of PEPPER, “to sprinkle liberally, to dot”—although the definition for RIDDLED with the former example is “to fill or pervade,” not quite the same.
12 An affair with a lover that’s somewhat edgy (1,3,2,3,4)
A BIT ON THE SIDE — CD, my first (or second?) one in.
14 Stretch a legend, almost to becoming absurd (8)
ELONGATE — (A LEGEN[-d] TO)* Though the unscrambled anagram isn’t an absurdity at all, of course, but a perfectly legible word, I guess the function of the last two words was clear to everyone.
15 Top student to get nice little job (6)
EARNER — [-l]EARNER ”Top” meaning “behead.”
17 Attendance money received by the French ambassador (6)
LEGATE — LE is “the[,] French” and GATE is “attendance money,” a somewhat odd phrase that will never be an answer in a crossword.
19 Metal churns filled by chaps making cheese (8)
EMMENTAL — (Metal)* with MEN, “chaps,” inside
21 Bishop and religious group row about stray dog (6,7)
BORDER TERRIER — B(ishop) + ORDER + T(ERR)IER
24 Garment first to be stripped off in fitting rooms (9)
APARTMENT — ([-g]arment)* walled in by APT
25 Jar smashing by the sound of it (5)
GRATE — “Great”
26 Action tantrums brought about (4)
STEP — PETS<=“brought about”
27 Like War and Peace, finally sent in by someone unknown (10)
ANTONYMOUS — [-sen]T inside “anonymous,” “by someone unknown” Nothing very strange about this word; the root is everyday, but I’m not sure I’ve ever come across the adjective in the wild.

DOWN
 1 Grand parliamentarian clutching a brolly (4)
GAMP — G(A)MP Though a Yank, somehow I knew this.
 2 Well performed trick produces a show of confidence (7)
BRAVADO — ”Brava!” is “well performed” (for kudos directed at a female) + DO is “trick”
 3 Where ministers often go drinking with cryptic setter (7,6)
DOWNING STREET — Hobnobbing with friends in high places, eh, Bob? DOWNING, “drinking” + (setter)*
 4 Games incorporating leading backs (8)
SUPPORTS — S(UP)PORTS
 5 Lush climbing plant in fresh soil (5)
REPOT — TOPER<=“climbing”
 7 Wear one rose on working clothes (7)
EROSION — I,“one,” inside (rose on)* I thought this was another unusual anagrind; “working” the anagrist “clothes”—in the sense of covers, disguises, masks—the answer! Aha! However, as Adrian Cobb points out below, a more straightforward explanation was at hand.
 8 A poet upset by annoying poster paper supplier (6,4)
TOILET ROLL — ELIOT<=“upset” + TROLL, “annoying poster” (My local supermarket still has a shortage of the usual brands; crazy.)
11 A wintery elegy broadcast in an excruciating way (3-10)
EYE-WATERINGLY — (A wintery elegy)*
13 Sweets bulge trousers according to Spooner (5,5)
JELLY BEANS — ”belly jeans”
16 Old lady feeding swimmer a revolting drink (8)
AMARETTO — OTTER A<=”revolting” has swallowed MA
18 European centre for dress material (7)
GERMANE — GERMAN, “European” + [-dr]E[-ss]
20 One sure to blow rent on a party (7)
TORNADO — TORN, “rent” + A DO, “a party” (If it’s not blowing, of course, it’s not a tornado.)
22 Relationship that is limited by money (3-2)
TIE-IN — T(I.E.)IN
23 County borders (4)
BEDS — DD I was wondering for a bit if there is a HEMS County, before I remembered that this is slang the abbreviation (thanks, Jackkt!) for Bedfordshire and figured out that the “borders” are BEDS in the sense of a kind of (DBE) flower bed. LOI