September 19th, 2020

Jumbo 1458

I think this was a reasonable Jumbo, although some of the parsing was a bit of a struggle when writing this up, with 20D and 52D becoming clearer as I went through the puzzle again.

I liked the German in 13A, and the construction of 50A. I don’t fully understand 27A and 29A at the moment – any other interpretations welcome.



ACROSS
1 Biting as Arctic’s winds (9)
SARCASTIC – (AS ARTICS)*

6 Supplier of ecstasy to be our sponsor, it’s said (7)
BACCHUS – sounds like BACK US = be our sponsor

10 Superior rating given to second-rate back (5)
ABBOT – A.B. = rating, followed by B = second-rate and TO reversed together

13 With energy, note, old German chaser’s a stayer (7)
ENDURER – E = energy, N = note, DURER = old German chaser (as in engraver)

14 Explosive start setting one back a bit (5)
NITRO – INTRO = start, with I = one, moved back

15 Close one’s rubbish bin — huge odour after emptying! (9)
NEIGHBOUR – (BIN, HUGE, O{dou}R)*

16 Seize chance to stop working with metal piping? (6,5,3,4,2,3)
STRIKE WHILE THE IRON IS HOT – STRIKE = stop working, WHILE THE IRON IS HOT = with metal piping

17 Big cat seeing gap, quietly escaping into yard, briefly (6)
COUGAR – COUR(t) = yard, around GA(p)

18 Old statesman rarely any take to at first (8)
KENYATTA – (ANY TAKE T{o})*

19 One selling joints in bar in Montmartre, not cheap (7)
BUTCHER – BUT = bar, CHER = not cheap, in Montmartre

22 Lots of ladies, perhaps, one visiting old grandmother of Samuel (10)
JOHNSONIAN – JOHNS = lots of ladies (lavatories), perhaps, O = old, NAN = grandmother, around I = one

23 Bearing wine: unfamiliar accompaniment to duty-free purchase? (7,5)
AIRPORT NOVEL – AIR = bearing, PORT = wine, NOVEL = unfamiliar

27 Foreign drama that’s painful under any conditions (5)
NOHOW – NOH = foreign drama, OW = that’s painful. I am not sure whether painful should also be part of the definition as NOHOW would normally mean not under any conditions?

29 In line, getting reading to be picked up (7)
QUEUING – sounds like CUEING = reading (as a prompter?). I think

30 Motivating force behind religious teaching one runs in SE Asia (3,5)
RED RIVER – R.E. = religious teaching, DRIVER = motivating force

32 Capital Radio presenter blocking call and not available (8)
NDJAMENA – NAME = call, around D.J. = radio presenter, N.A. = not available

34 Be effective after all, maybe, protecting large layer of skin (7)
CUTICLE – CUT ICE = be effective, around L = large

36 Students gathering for one drink (5)
NEGUS – N.U.S. = students, around E.G. = for one

39 Folk with primitive homes: all deserve modernising with WC (4-8)
CAVE-DWELLERS – (ALL DESERVE, WC)*

41 One in haste cut sticks to deliver huge blows (10)
HURRICANES – HURRI(er) = one in haste, CANES = sticks . Thanks to dcrooks for the reply explaining that a better parsing is HURR{y} = haste, I = one, CANES = sticks

44 Writer embracing year performing as poet (7)
BYRONIC – BIC = writer, around YR = year and ON = performing

46 Appropriate to put on a very loud alarm (8)
AFFRIGHT – A, FF = very loud, RIGHT = appropriate

48 Soft, ultimately tuneless humming (6)
SPONGY – {tuneles}S, PONGY = humming

50 Do colours? I polish crucifix ring fits inside, to be exact (3,4,2,3,5,4,2)
DOT ONES IS AND CROSS ONES TS – DO, TONES = colours, I, SAND = polish, CROSS = crucifix, O = ring, NESTS = fits inside. Superbly constructed, even though the surface reading is not that smooth

53 Rocket, perhaps, that has wartime success within reach? (9)
VEGETABLE – V.E. = wartime success, GETABLE = within reach

54 Triumphant cry on clinching record, that’s followed by “Bravo” (5)
ALPHA – AHA = triumphant cry, around LP = record

55 Shakespearean jester, one sharing top billing with duke (7)
COSTARD – CO-STAR = one sharing top billing, D = duke

56 Period before series concluded (3-2)
RUN-UP – RUN = series, UP = concluded

57 Repeat xray that’s distorted on one side (2,5)
EX PARTE – (REPEAT, X)*

58 Vanquish, having finished with commanding position (9)
OVERWHELM – OVER = finished, W = with, HELM = commanding position

DOWN
1 Mends fencing in king’s colours (5)
SKEWS – SEWS = mends, around K = king

2 To be cavalier with good horse, very hurried training required (4,9,4)
RIDE ROUGHSHOD OVER – (GOOD HORSE V{ery} HURRIED)*

3 Language review is a frank assessment, primarily (9)
AFRIKAANS – (IS A FRANK A{ssessment})*

4 Reading, perhaps, absorbing personnel in cast (6)
THROWN – TOWN = Reading, perhaps, around H.R. = pesonnel

5 Kind of legal position for player in case (11)
CONSIDERATE – ONSIDE = legal position for player, in CRATE = case

6 I’ll be seeing you around Thursday, in passing (2,3,3)
BY THE BYE BYE-BYE = I’ll be seeing you, around TH = Thursday

7 Way to make up yarn of note, not the first time (7)
CROCHET – CRO{t}CHET = note

8 Deliver one international player to each sporting official (11)
HANDICAPPER – HAND = deliver, I = one, CAP = international player, PER = each

9 One visibly upset crossing mountain, meeting British person descending it? (9)
SKIBOBBER – SOBBER = one visibly upset, around K1 = mountain, and B = British

10 Seeing a crime being committed possibly, but not believing (7)
ATHEIST – AT HEIST = seeing a crime being committed, perhaps. I have seen several very similar clues to this word over the years

11 Some raised cash to oblige assassin (5)
BOOTH – hidden reversed in {cas}H TO OB{lige}

12 Act utterly crazily — not unknown to be upset (4,6)
TURN TURTLE – TURN = act, UTTERL{y}*

17 One living in southern US around early summer (5)
CAJUN – CA = around, JUN = early summer

20 Individual’s own urge to confront hosts gets to look stupid (4,3,2,4,4)
HAVE EGG ON ONES FACE – this was a bit of a struggle to put together. I make it HAVE = own, EGG ON = urge and FACE = confront, around (hosting) ONES = individual’s

21 Where we learn which of our neighbours is special (6)
UNIQUE – UNI = where we learn, QUE = which, of our (French) neighbours

24 Leave time to visit trendy, small bars (6)
INGOTS – IN = trendy, GO = leave, T = time, S = small

25 New, excellent service gets you to Scottish destination (5)
NAIRN – N = new, A1 = excellent, R.N. = service

26 Wheels put together with track one assembled (3,3)
KIT CAR – (TRACK, I)*

28 Open country show — hope grandma will attend, finally (5)
WEALD – final letters of {sho}W {hop}E {grandm}A {wil}L {atten}D

31 Flat, shell-like blocks in need of water? (6)
DREARY – DRY = in need of water, around EAR = shell-like

33 Winning the lot, Bill tends to get emotional (1,5,5)
A CLEAN SWEEP – AC = bill, LEANS = tends to, WEEP = emotional

35 Shiftless viewer specifically into YouTubers? (5,6)
COUCH POTATO – cryptic definition relying on tubers being potatoes (but quite weak I think)

37 Weakling is first, say? Nothing odd in that (5)
SISSY – alternate (even) letters in iS fIrSt SaY

38 Copper, corrupt, one has arrested by senior underworld investigator in suit? (5,5)
SCUBA DIVER – CU = copper, BAD = corrupt, I’VE = one has, all enclosed by SR = senior

40 Sporting saxe blue cape not such a crime! (9)
EXCUSABLE – (SAXE BLUE C (=cape))*

42 Wife, under arrest in Grammar School, with a sharp object (6,3)
COPING SAW – COP = arrest, IN, G.S. = Grammar School, A, W = wife

43 A viewer of EastEnders Christmas special? (5,3)
MINCE PIE – double definition, the first from Cockney rhyming slang for eye

45 Reflected on points put by, say, Cork Express (7)
NONSTOP – NO = ON reflected, N,S = points – TOP = cork

47 Stuff in the end not just a source of amusement (7)
FUNFAIR – {stuf}F, UNFAIR = not just

49 Autopsy check’s far from complete, mind (6)
PSYCHE – hidden in {auto}PSY CHE{ck}

51 Cross when hearing match lost (5)
TIGON – sounds like TIE GONE = match lost

52 Instant good advice to follow up in place of evil? (5)
SODOM – MO = instant, DOS (as opposed to don’ts) = good advice, all reversed. We have a Sodom Lane in our village!
  • brnchn

Times Cryptic No 27768 - Saturday, 12 September 2020. Que sera, sera.

A puzzle with middle of the road difficulty, but much to enjoy, including three nice homophones. Some nice hints of fate and eternity at 9ac and 3dn, but my favourite was 24ac which made me LOL, as they say these days. 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 Rising corporation given backing in old America (8)
MUTINOUS – TUM=corporation of the abdominal kind, backing. Then,  IN O{ld} U.S.
6 Sharp agent raking in pile (6)
SNAPPY – SPY ‘raking in’ NAP.
9 What must be paid for after brief smack? (6)
KISMET –  MET=paid, after KIS{s}, briefly. Cue Doris Day: Whatever will be, will be.
10 Doctor to repeat work in theatre (8)
OPERETTA – ‘doctor’ (anagram of) TO REPEAT.
11 Barrack comedian, throwing stone (4)
JEER – JE{st}ER, throwing away the ST.
12 Firing up kiln, ending in explosion (10)
ENKINDLING – ‘explosion’ (anagram) of KILN ENDING. An old-fashioned looking word, I thought.
14 Dealer's henchman preferring pound to note (8)
RETAILER – is a RETAINER really a henchman? He/she sounds much more upright than that to me! Anyway, change the N for note to an L for pound.
16 Force landed, making stealthy getaway (4)
FLIT – F=force, LIT=landed.
18 Sounds made by critical little bird down under (4)
KIWI – homophone of KEY WEE. Very neat!
19 Board's imperfection only partial, it's said (8)
KNOTHOLE – if it’s only partial, it’s NOT WHOLE. Another nice homophone.
21 Phoney lord desecrated pyramid, perhaps (10)
POLYHEDRON – ‘desecrated’ (anagram of) PHONEY LORD.
22 I won't, casually, when opening curtains (4)
NOPE – hidden answer ‘curtained’ by (i.e. inside) ‘wheN OPEning’.
24 VIP's paltry payment? (8)
SIXPENCE – VI=six, P=pence. Delightful!!
26 Prevents Turkey's premier entering States (6)
AVERTS – T from Turkey in AVERS.
27 In recession, delay securing pitch for international (6)
GLOBAL – LOB=pitch in GAL=LAG backwards.
28 Lectures bound to discuss work matters (4,4)
TALK SHOP – TALKS=lectures, HOP=bound.

Down
2 Join military detachment close to base (5)
UNITE – UNIT=detachment, E is the close of basE.
3 Government finally admitted to corruption going on and on (11)
IMMORTALITY – T from {government}T in IMMORALITY.
4 Honestly worried, in private (2,3,3)
ON THE SLY – ‘worried’ (anagram, nicely disguised, of) HONESTLY.
5 Keep owing more, on strike in affluent area (11,4)
STOCKBROKER BELT – STOCK=keep, BROKER=owing more, BELT=strike.
6 More rigid articulated bones (6)
STERNA – sounds like STERNER. Plural of STERNUM.
7 Reverence and worship expansive at first (3)
AWE – first letters of each word.
8 Latin poet's broken promise (9)
POTENTIAL – ‘broken’ (anagram of) LATIN POET.
13 Sinister sportspeople? (4-7)
LEFT-HANDERS – cryptic definition. I banged in LEFT-WINGERS at first, but 19ac forced me to think again.
15 Leader from media abandoning case to retreat northward (9)
EDITORIAL – {m}EDI{a} (abandoning case), TO, LAIR=retreat ‘northward’.
17 Humiliation of Democrat on personal trip (8)
DOWNFALL – D=Democrat, OWN=personal, FALL=trip.
20 Group of sailors cutting timber for ship's core (6)
KERNEL – RN=group of sailors, cutting KEEL.
23 Primate having too much work to retire (5)
POTTO – OTT OP, all ‘retiring’.
25 Local turned up with book (3)
PUB – PU=UP ‘turned’, B=book.