August 22nd, 2020

Jumbo 1453

Very, very straightforward. I did not time myself but I pretty well completed this from top left to bottom right without stopping. I think I only went back afterwards to check 21A was correct.

My favourites are 39D for the clever clue construction and 48D for the definition.




ACROSS
1 Opener in Irish county's team (9)
CORKSCREW – CORKS = Irish county’s, CREW = team

6 Marvellous evening meal down by a piano (5)
SUPER – SUP{p}ER = evening meal

9 Gullible person said to require assistance when distressed (7)
SUCCOUR – sounds like SUCKER = gullible person

13 Confines or rather restricts maiden (5)
AMBIT – A BIT = rather, around M = maiden

14 Leave military formation in radioactive dust cloud (4,3)
FALL OUT – double definition, the second referring to FALLOUT

15 Revolutionary princess rises up behind (2,7)
IN ARREARS – INAR = RANI = princess, reversed, REARS = rises up

16 Vanishing cream consumer? (8,3)
CHESHIRE CAT – cryptic definition. Presumably cream consumer as the cat that got the cream is supposed to be happy, therefore smiling

17 Untimely error a Cornishman corrected (11)
ANACHRONISM – (A CORNISHMAN)*

18 Savage to devour rook and chicken portion (6)
BREAST – BEAST = savage, around R = rook

19 Hard material found in two clubs (8)
IRONWOOD – IRON, WOOD both (golf) clubs

21 Tablet provided with article about fabulous bird (6)
TROCHE – THE = article, around ROC = fabulous bird. Just needed to check which type of tablet this meant for my own edification

25 One mistakenly printed in bold (8)
INTREPID – (PRINTED IN)*

26 Faintest star is this to my knowledge (2,3,2,1,3,3)
AS FAR AS I CAN SEE – double definition

28 Fat politician consumed by booze (5)
AMPLE – ALE = booze, around M.P. = politician

29 Hard work associated with an identifying phrase (6)
SLOGAN – SLOG = hard work, AN

30 Inside spread little money about congregation (10)
CENTREFOLD – CENT = little money, RE = about, FOLD = congregation

33 Noblewoman about ready to reform Republican fantasist (10)
DAYDREAMER – DAME = noblewoman, around READY*, R = Republican

35 Heard musical bouzouki-playing here? (6)
GREECE – sounds like GREASE = musical

36 Oriental verse reporting shrill sound made by dove? (5)
HAIKU – sounds like HIGH = shrill, COO = sound made by dove

38 Serious measure to change unpopular work period (9,5)
GRAVEYARD SHIFT – GRAVE = serious, YARD = measure, SHIFT = change

40 Maybe oil one found in desert to harbour's east (8)
PORTRAIT – PORT = harbour, RAT = desert, around I = one

42 Scottish fellow coming in shaved bald nut (6)
ALMOND – {b}ALD around MON = Scottish fellow

43 What might get me in post corruptly? (8)
NEPOTISM – (ME IN POST)*

44 Right to support the monarch (6)
PROPER – PROP = support, E.R. = the monarch

47 Chimpanzee, missing first note, so plays fiddle (5,6)
PONZI SCHEME – (CHIMP{a}NZEE, SO)*

50 Say Ransome's behind bit of capital raised (7,4)
ARTHURS SEAT – ARTHURS = Ransome’s, SEAT = behind

52 Tedious don is with Greek poet wasting hour (9)
WEARISOME – WEAR = don, IS, {h}OME{r}

53 Fruit when cut keeps good colour (7)
PIGMENT – PIMENT{o} = fruit, around G = good

54 Note British Romeo brought to First Lady (5)
BREVE – B = British, R = Romeo, EVE = first lady

55 Knight breaking legs in Cornish village (2,5)
ST AGNES – STAGES = legs, around N = knight

56 Persecuted boffin abandons grand Italian location (5)
TURIN – TURIN{g} = persecuted boffin

57 Harbour man soaked (9)
MARINATED – MARINA = harbour, TED = man

DOWN
1 Fun ignoring odds: score first-class century (5)
CRAIC – even letters in sCoRe, AI = A1 = first-class, C = century

2 Renewed plea about property — try vainly to settle debt (3,5,2,3,4)
ROB PETER TO PAY PAUL – (PLEA ABOUT PROPERTY)*

3 Arrange things on stage and explain situation (3,3,5)
SET THE SCENE – double definition

4 Improvement achieved in Bible class? (6)
REFORM – R.E FORM = Bible class

5 Joker perhaps is match for any character (4,4)
WILD CARD – double definition

6 One making meteoric progressat Bisley? (8,4)
SHOOTING STAR – double definition

7 Mathematician to say graph needs modification (10)
PYTHAGORAS – (TO SAY GRAPH)*

8 Artist consuming little island dish (5)
RAITA – R.A. = artist, around AIT = small island

9 One can wind up eating this (9)
SPAGHETTI – cryptic definition

10 Bear out box containing Golden Fleece and ring (11)
CORROBORATE – CRATE = box, around OR = golden, ROB = fleece and O = ring

11 Aleppo man in houses of certain Arabs (5)
OMANI – hidden in AleppO MAN In

12 Continue to suppose parking unavailable (6)
RESUME – {p}RESUME = suppose

18 Dressing to conceal equipment constitutes crime (10)
BRIGANDAGE – BANDAGE = dressing, around RIG = equipment

20 Network girl coming north for Circle Line? (8)
DIAMETER – RETE = network, MAID = girl, all reversed

22 Trojan Horse for example making one tense? (10,7)
HISTORICAL PRESENT – double definition

23 Girl's mother creates oppressive atmosphere (6)
MIASMA – MIAS = girl’s, MA = mother

24 Nut collector close to birch unearthed supply (4-6)
HEAD-HUNTER – {birc}H, UNEARTHED*

27 Sit one Oxbridge staffer in capsized ship (8)
POSEIDON – POSE = sit, I = one, DON = Oxbridge staffer. From the book (and film) The Poseidon Adventure.

31 Vatican right about small shock (6)
TREMOR – ROME = Vatican, RT = right, all reversed

32 Here's the difference between buying and selling (6,6)
PROFIT MARGIN – (not even very) cryptic definition

34 Right-hand men coming round to impressive speaker (11)
RHETORICIAN – R.H. = right-hand, ERIC, IAN = men, around TO

36 Borscht, on us, prepared as seasonal treat (3,5,3)
HOT CROSS BUN – (BORSCHT ON US). No longer just for Easter – an extended seasonal treat that seems to arrive on shelves in January

37 Counter-agent: Napoleon's man in England? (10)
SHOPKEEPER – double definition. England as “a nation of shopkeepers” is attributed to Napoleon

39 Daring disco dancing — with au pair? (9)
AUDACIOUS – (DISCO, AU, AU). Cleverly using “au pair” to suggest au twice

41 Distinctive theory about alternative meteorological line (8)
ISOTHERM – ISM = distinctive theory, around OTHER = alternative

45 Leads to instrument found in ship (6)
SPAWNS – S.S. = ship, around PAWN = instrument

46 Spread in book complete (6)
BUTTER – B = book, UTTER = complete

48 One bounds area between two American cities (5)
NYALA – N.Y. = American City, A = area, L.A. = American city

49 Turn out for Louis I in European court (5)
EJECT – E = European, JE = I for Louis (who is presumably French), CT = court

51 Be likely to cross river in general direction (5)
TREND – TEND = be likely to, around R = river
  • brnchn

Times Cryptic No 27744 - Saturday, 15 August 2020. Lift, separate … and seek enlightenment

This flowed steadily for the most part. There seemed to be more clues than usual that required one to “lift and separate” common phrases into individual words, but on review perhaps not. All went smoothly until I was left with only 27ac, and no hint of enlightenment. Eventually I looked it up. Well done if you got it from wordplay, without knowing the answer! 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 {curly brackets}.

Across
1 Is it paste produced in this plant? (8)
SHAMROCK – a little pun about paste as fake diamonds.
5 Crone's smile entertaining lord soldiers deserted (6)
BELDAM – BEAM ‘entertaining’ L{or}D, after OR (soldiers) ‘deserted’. BELDAM is a word that’s appeared previously, but I had to look it up to satisfy myself it really means ‘hag’. It seems such a nice descriptor!
10 Butter perhaps old farmer gives politician (6,9)
RAMSAY MACDONALD – the RAM is the butter, SAY is perhaps, Old MacDONALD had the farm.
James Ramsay MacDonald (12 October 1866 – 9 November 1937) was the first Labour Prime Minister of the UK.
11 Who believes there is no God witnessing crime? (7)
ATHEIST – did you witness the crime? Were you AT the HEIST?
12 Parrot — friend keeps it on island (7)
IMITATE – I for island, MATE or friend ‘keeping’ IT.
13 Press involved in backing outlet for novelist (8)
TURGENEV – URGE in VENT backwards. I constructed this from wordplay and thought, “this looks plausible; even perhaps vaguely familiar”. And so it should have been! I blogged the same answer with quite similar wordplay in March.
15 Brightest star in Norwegian band penning album (5)
ALPHA – LP in A-HA (a Norwegian band, obviously, since I always believe the setter!)
18 Leading by goal, change things drastically (5)
UPEND – UP (leading), END (goal).
20 Too brash in design, it's felt, with tassel (8)
TARBOOSH – anagram (in design) of TOO BRASH. A hat like an upside-down flower pot, with a tassel. Made of felt, obviously … see the comment in 15ac.
23 Choking smoke beginning to burn Basil? (7)
POTHERB – POTHER, B{urn}. DNK this meaning of ‘pother’.
25 Mischievous goddess one flat-out in drawing room? (7)
ATELIER – ATË is the Greek goddess of mischief, delusion, ruin, and folly. The LIER might be flat on the floor, say. A room where an artist draws, not where Virginia Woolf entertained!
26 Speech rewrite's moving result? (6,2,7)
CHANGE OF ADDRESS – double definition – both a little contrived, perhaps.
27 One rolls over in sudden awakening (6)
SATORI – take I (one), and add ROTAS (rolls). Then turn the whole thing over!

In the Zen Buddhist tradition, satori is commonly translated as enlightenment. It refers to the experience of “seeing into one's true nature”.
28 Brilliant light installed in tree (4-4)
FIVE-STAR – VESTA in FIR.

Down
1 Amusing person makes you laugh uproariously (6)
SCREAM – straight-forward double definition.
2 Accommodation for poor soul has me troubled (9)
ALMSHOUSE – anagram (troubled) of SOUL HAS ME. You need to lift-and-separate POOR SOUL.
3 Studies at home, grade revised externally (7)
READING – anagram (revised) of GRADE round IN (home).
4 Traveller round sun bed the writer occupies (5)
COMET – COT (bed) is to be occupied by ME. Again, lift-and-separate SUN BED.
6 Ace quote about old times turned up in curious collection (7)
EXOTICA – A (ace), CITE (quote), around O (old) and X (times); all turned upside down. Separate OLD TIMES.
7 This writer would read up on anecdotes, hunting deity (5)
DIANA – I’D backwards (read up), then ANA (anecdotes).
8 Old-fashioned Peter out with Victor, tucking into food (8)
MEDIEVAL – DIE (peter out, with or without a capital P), and V for Victor, all in MEAL.
9 Successful person a Greek character always follows (8)
ACHIEVER – A, CHI (Greek character), EVER.
14 Tablet to be smashed in corner (8)
NOTEBOOK – anagram (smashed) of TO BE, in NOOK (corner). I was a bit dubious about the definition. To me an iPad is a tablet, a MacBook Air is a notebook.
16 Causing nuisance, shut up about access to field (9)
PESTILENT – PENT (shut up) around STILE (access to field).
17 Gold adds interest to patronage (8)
AUSPICES – AU (gold), SPICES (adds interest).
19 Doctor over limit on river boat (7)
DREDGER – DR, EDGE, R (river).
21 Late deliveries expected (7)
OVERDUE – OVER (6 or 8 deliveries in cricket), DUE (expected).
22 Our leading lady as herself — in rubber? (6)
ERASER – E.R. AS E.R. (herself).
24 Food browned perfectly, seconds having been consumed (5)
TOAST – cooked perfectly would be “done TO A T”, consuming S (seconds).
25 Craftsman on the fiddle a dull one (5)
AMATI – A MAT I (one). According to Wikipedia, Amati is the last name of a family of Italian violin makers who lived at Cremona from about 1538 to 1740. Their importance is considered equal to those of the Bergonzi, Guarneri, and Stradivari families.