October 10th, 2020

Penf

Times Cryptic Jumbo 1461 - To Saint Joseph of Arimathea, the patron saint of tinsmiths

This puzzle kept me occupied for about 55 minutes, longer than normal so something must have been tricky.  First in was LAMB and last was DIE HARD. My square bracket keys took a right hammering typing up the blog so it seems there were a lot of abbreviations at play.

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 U[nited];


Across

1

One may expand broadcast quiz (3,4)


AIR PUMP - Air, pump

5

Guy stranded without employment? (5,3)


BEACH BUM - CD based on the strand / beach equivalence

9

Not many backed retaining old centre of Hull — that’s sad (6)


WOEFUL - FEW reversed around O[ld], {h}UL{l}

13

Madly imperil secret plan, dispatching one undercover operator (7,9)


SCARLET PIMPERNEL - (imperil secret plan)*

14

It’s not really a souvenir of the Parisian experience (4,2)


DEJA VU - I've already told you it's a CD

16

One picks the French to invest in part of industry? (8)


SELECTOR - LE in SECTOR

17

Source of meat initially modified in research centre (4)


LAMB - M{odified} in LAB[oratory]

18

Nagged, having concern about new quantity of grain? (9)


HENPECKED - HEED around N[ew] PECK (of which there are four in a bushel)

20

Metal worker preserves it in casing in March (8)


TINSMITH - TINS, IT in M{arc}H

21

A constant matter about to be adopted by a US city business course (11)


ACCOUNTANCY - A, C (the speed of light), COUNT, C[irca] in A N[ew] Y[ork].  Almost as complicated as accountancy itself.

24

Medical specialist in Paris to go with main point (9)


ALLERGIST - ALLER, GIST

25

Stifling any sense of air, time and energy, except when outside (8)


TUNELESS - T[ime], E[nergy] in UNLESS

26

Record of payment providing backing for objections (4)


STUB - BUTS reversed

29

Vital current — not electric current — in mortal bodies, possibly (11)


BLOODSTREAM - (mortalbodies) (I being the symbol for current).  How quaint to have two anagrams with an I stripped out of the fodder.

31

Feeling of home — it’s recalled in feature of cathedral city (11)


DOMESTICITY - ITS reversed in DOME, CITY

33

Fake very soon scaled down, university subsequently getting involved (11)


INAUTHENTIC - IN A TICk around U[niversity] THEN

36

Enchant with a lot of sensation? There’s a cost (8,3)


ENTRANCE FEE - ENTRANCE, FEEL

38

Article dismissed by a European source (4)


GERM - GERMan

39

Larger part of river includes one form of water (8)


MOISTURE - MOST, URE around I

41

Sign of winter? Many people adopting hairstyle protecting wearer ultimately (9)


HOARFROST - HOST around AFRO around {weare}R

44

Reveal all Earth is following food article (4,3,4)


DISH THE DIRT - DIRT after DISH, THE

45

Tormented and unfeeling, hogging seats near the front? (8)


HARROWED - GARD around ROW E

48

Article in Spanish justifying online study (1-8)


E-LEARNING - EL, EARNING

49

Rabbit not coming forward round end of garden (4)


CONY - COY around {garde}N

50

Hoping I will participate in a period of growth (8)


ASPIRING - I in A SPRING

52

City girl calling in medic (6)


MADRID - MAID around D[octo]R

53

Give up and offer a free cake? (5,2,3,6)


THROW IN THE SPONGE - DDCDH.  I'm more familiar with towels being checked than sponges, but then I don't watch any boxing.  I like the cryptic hint element of this, shades of car salesemen throwing in a set of floor mats. Is any part of this peculiarly British?

54

Place to slightly shift commitment (6)


PLEDGE - PL[ace], EDGE

55

Plan sending back some puddings for one year (8)


STRATEGY - reversal of TARTS then E.G. Y[ear]

56

Democrat attack involving that man repelled conservative (3-4)


DIE-HARD - reversal of D[emocrat], RAID around HE

Down

1

Making no changes without singular source of temporary help (6)


ASSIST - AS IS around S[ingular], T{emporary}

2

Recover after injection of illegal drug? Come off it! (6)


REALLY - RALLY around E[cstacy].  Is come off it a Britishism?

3

United, note, more daring but losing lead — that’s less fortunate (9)


UNLUCKIER - U[nited], N[ote], pLUCKIER

4

Supportive influence that may be not partisan (6,5)


PATRON SAINT - (not partisan)*.  Did you know that ice skating, disappointing children and bearded ladies had their own patron saints?  Of course you did.

5

Naval prison has transport to release indefinite number (4)


BRIG - BRInG

6

First star, rich, with yacht gutted, heads for his marina, having brainwave (5,6)


ALPHA RHYTHM - ALPHA,

7

Foolish to run a quantity of water into the sack (4-7)


HARE-BRAINED - HARE then RAIN in BED

8

Not fair, misprinting a clue and hint (9)


UNETHICAL - (a clue hint)*

10

About to interrupt unhappy poet with cheers for lyrical work (8)


OPERETTA - RE in (poet)*, TA

11

Genuine onions, feted after modification — becoming this? (12,4)


FRANKENSTEIN FOOD - FRANK, (onions feted)*. A semi &Lit I guess.  GM and that.

12

Country railway bringing in uniform for washing (7)


LAUNDRY - LAND, R[ailwa]Y around U[niform]

15

Investigations start to identify lodges as accommodation for Queen (8)


INQUESTS - I{dentify}, NESTS around QU[een]

19

Abuse is matter dealt with criminally (8)


MISTREAT - (is matter)*

22

Speculation publication reflected on kitschy jewellery (8)


GAMBLING - MAG[azine] reversed on BLING

23

A significant point for sightseers in three different cities (10,6)


CLEOPATRAS NEEDLE - CD. Pais, London and, er, somewhere else.

27

Cry with pity about English in German city (8)


BAYREUTH -  BAY (as in houuuuuuuuuund), RUTH around E[nglish].  Wikipedia says it's a town rather than a city, but what do they know?

28

Start of chat with police officer’s on record (4)


DISC - C{hat} with D[etective} I[nspector]'S put on the front

30

Old-fashioned, overlooking small charge (4)


DUTY - DUSTY missing S[mall]

32

American subject not entirely uninteresting, having embraced a spy (4,4)


MATA HARI - MATH, ARI{d} around A.  I assume it's ARID.  Seems like a bit of a Thesauraus u-turn via dry.

34

Drunk in middle of week? Lush endlessly mysterious (8)


ESOTERIC - SOT in {w}EE{k}, RICh

35

Scathing over soft drink — not something to be swallowed (7,4)


CAUSTIC SODA - CAUSTIC, SODA.  For the benefit of our American cousins SODA in the UK only means soda water.  Other carbonated soft drinks are generally called pop or just fizzy drinks.

36

Flying in the plane behind European jumbo (11)


ELEPHANTINE - (in the plane)* after E[uropean]

37

Unoccupied toilet observed in a bit (2,1,5,3)


AT A LOOSE END - LOO SEEN in A TAD.

40

Supports popular weapon (9)


SLINGSHOT - SLINGS, HOT

42

Sense initially employed when going about small scamp’s inheritance (3,6)


FEE SIMPLE - FEEL, E{mployed} around S[mall] IMP.  Without getting too technical this is a permanent and absolute tenure in land with freedom to dispose of it at will, especially in full fee simple absolute in possession a freehold tenure, which is the main type of land ownership (continued on page 76)

43

Looking to trap large bird (8)


STARLING - STARING around L[arge]

44

Imagine challenge, avoiding a big cat climbing (5,2)


DREAM UP - DaRE, PUMA reversed.

46

Contend girl’s name should be taken up for city (6)


VIENNA - VIE, ANN reversed.  Freezing breath on the window pane.

47

America’s first intent to acquire is not in dispute (6)


AGREED - A{merica}, GREED

51

Runs from random check (4)


STAY - STRAY without R[uns]
  • brnchn

Times Cryptic No 27786 - Saturday, 3 October 2020. Quick, quick … it’s Saturday.

This was definitely easier than your usual Saturday! I did enjoy the humour in some of the clues. My LOI was 24dn, where I had a bit of a blank about Glasgow banks. Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle. Let’s take a look.

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}.Add your introduction here
Across
1 Rid oneself of sin? This woman won’t (3-5)
SHE-DEVIL – SHED EVIL? I guess she won’t.
5 A report of playwright on the beach? (6)
ASHORE – A (George Bernard) SHAW is ashore, we hear.
10 One who’s uncomfortable, absentee from school perhaps (1,4,3,2,5)
A FISH OUT OF WATER – humorous double definition.
11 Rotten placement? That’s discouraging (3-7)
OFF-PUTTING – OFF is rotten, PUTTING is placement.
13 Join police around end of June (4)
MEET – the MET add the E from the end of junE.
15 School acquiring oddly neglected Scarlatti score (7)
SCRATCH – the even letters of sCaRlAtTi are CRAT. Put them in SCH.
17 Allegation by old flame will make you cry (7)
EXCLAIM – EX=old flame, CLAIM=allegation.
18 Stolen ring returned in spring (3,4)
HOT POOL – HOT is stolen, LOOP is reversed.
19 Bamboozled, as a bat may be? (7)
STUMPED – double definition, the second our cricketing reference du jour.
21 Auditor’s humble appearance (4)
MIEN – sounds like MEAN.
22 A nurse covering up daughter's conduct (10)
ADMINISTER – A, MINISTER=nurse, ‘covering’ D.
25 Old and cowardly, with an absence of bounce (2,6,7)
NO SPRING CHICKEN – NO SPRING=absence of bounce, CHICKEN=cowardly.
27 Book that might be written by Defoe? (6)
DANIEL – an Old Testament book, surely not written by DANIEL Defoe.
28 Excessive anger, leaving university too young (8)
UNDERAGE – UNDUE RAGE loses one of its two U’s for university.

Down
1 Spices up The Times? (7)
SEASONS – double definition: the first a verb, the second a noun.
2 Priest regularly dropping bits of éclair (3)
ELI – odd letters of ÈcLaIr.
3 Anxious the exercising may cause great fatigue? (10)
EXHAUSTION – anagram (‘exercising’) of ANXIOUS THE.
4 Realise time’s running out for northerner (5)
INUIT – INTUIT loses on of its T’s for time.
6 Broadcast not originally by Empress of Blandings? (4)
SOWN – the Empress of Blandings is a fictional SOW, featuring in P.G.Wodehouse novels. Add the N at the start of Not.
7 Foolishly threaten cop? You might find yourself here (2,3,6)
ON THE CARPET – anagram (‘foolishly’) of THREATEN COP.
8 Slip between the sheets? (7)
ERRATUM – cryptic definition. I’m dubious about this. The erratum is actually on the page of the book, surely. It’s the Errata List that’s between the sheets.
9 Member of nobility considers swallowing tablets (8)
COUNTESS – COUNTS ‘swallows’ E’S.
12 Some might say it’s Adam or I, grammatically speaking (5,6)
FIRST PERSON – double definition.
14 Study cites ruins in Byzantine state (10)
SCRUTINISE – anagram (‘in Byzantine state’) of CITES RUINS.
16 Incomplete clue for party? (4-4)
HALF-DONE – because DO is half of DONE.
18 A close relation? Do him in if misbehaving (7)
HOMINID – anagram (‘if misbehaving’) of DO HIM IN.
20 Send mad Commie back, row initially avoided (7)
DERANGE – DER=RED (Commie) ‘back’, then {r}ANGE (row), skipping the initial letter. Thanks to the many bloggers who pointed out my blind spot here!
23 How spam comes from South America in the past (5)
INCAN – doesn’t Spam, the food in a can, deserve a capital S? Anyway, the INCANs were certainly South American.
24 Attention! Bishop turning up in Glasgow bank (4)
BRAE – B for Bishop. EAR for attention. All ‘turning up’.
26 Squawking Antipodean I ignored in chain store (3)
KEA – IKEA is the chain store, of course. The answer is a New Zealand parrot.

Sunday Times Cryptic No 4923 by Robert Price — Not so fast!

I worked this while watching the season premiere of Saturday Night Live, and as my eye casually swept over the new clues, I first saw LENTO, which I should have taken as a watchword. Right after that, I recognized one of my favorite painters, which gave me 10, and then, with just the B and the U, I got BOUGAINVILLEA and right after that, with only the L, and before parsing, I flashed on ELECTROCUTION! And so it went. The time elapsed between start and finish would be hard to say, but whenever I turned back to the puzzle, I saw another answer with little effort. STET and TESTATE were put in with parsing put off till later (I rarely do that, at least on purpose). When only a few blanks were left, I got to the double definition for SLIP and had to think a little longer (DDs are often what hold me up the longest), so I put the puzzle aside, and when I returned to it, all soon seemed clear and I thought I had finished. But then I was trying to come to terms with the definition for FLIGHT ARCS (sic!). Which was there because I had unthinkingly and overconfidently put in a wrong answer for DEBATERS, one so off the wall that i’m not even going to tell y’all what it was (no one else will have put that in, I’m sure). I hadn’t even checked the anagram! (SNL was a gas.)

I indicate (a ragman’s)* like this, and italicize anagrinds in the clues.

ACROSS
 1 Force blonde to dress in front of the plane (6,4)
FLIGHT DECK — F(orce) + LIGHT, “blonde” + DECK, “dress”
 6 Drop underwear (4)
SLIP — DD
 9 Step one in turning traitors (5)
STAIR — R(I)ATS<=“turning”
10 Put money on an artist becoming rasher (4,5)
BACK BACON — BACK, “put money on” (see 20) + BACON, “an artist” (Francis, who could be very rash indeed)
12 Speaking about cert being beaten is shocking (13)
ELECTROCUTION — EL(cert)*OCUTION “Cert” is strictly a Britishism, in the sense of something deemed a certainty, like a particular horse’s winning a race, as found in the phrase “a dead cert” (one mustn’t beat a dead cert. Ha). The surface seemed odd before I remembered that.
14 Fragment an archaeologist might clean the drops off (8)
POTSHERD — (the drops)*
15 Mostly fruit the French crush (6)
MANGLE — MANG[-o] + LE, “the [in] French”
17 Pirate’s last encounters brought back treasure (6)
ESTEEM — [-pirat]E + MEETS<=“brought back”
19 Glad lots of petrol stores finally perish (8)
THANKFUL — Yay—to hell with fossil fuels! T(H)ANKFUL, “tankful” keeping [-peris]H
21 Policemen in favour of helping inequality (13)
DISPROPORTION — That’s even their original and main purpose, some say. DIS, “policemen” (Detective Inspectors) + PRO, “in favour of” + PORTION, “helping”
24 Give directors a hand making timber (9)
CLAPBOARD — CLAP, “a hand” + BOARD, “directors”
25 Fast disc played slowly (5)
LENTO — LENT, “fast” (for observant Catholics before Easter) + O, “disc”
26 Tart has bottom pinched. Leave it alone! (4)
STET — ST[-rump]ET But it’s too tempting… My COD, because it was the hardest to parse. And the surface is delightful.
27 Press modern health resorts to limit training runs (10)
NEWSPAPERS — NEW, “modern” + SPAS, “health resorts” bounding PE, “training” + R, “runs”

DOWN
 1 Not liable to run like the wind (4)
FAST — DD
 2 Most silly hobbies begin life here (7)
INANEST — IN A NEST, “hobbies” being a kind of bird
 3 Creature of rocky shores or beach (9,4)
HORSESHOE CRAB — (shores or beach)*
 4 They argue debts are misrepresented (8)
DEBATERS — (debts are)*
 5 About two times over what is needed to make chocolate (5)
CACAO — CA, “about” or circa, twice + O, “over”
 7 Conservative admitted to weakness in heavy defeat (7)
LICKING — LI(C)KING “Liking” may not be the first synonym that comes to mind for “weakness”; “admitted” as in “admitted to hospital.”
 8 Christmas tree feature that’s long to wind up (4,6)
PINE NEEDLE — LONG, “pine” + NEEDLE, “to wind up” or tease
11 Bloomer made by a violin a bugle disguised (13)
BOUGAINVILLEA — (a violin a bugle)* When the plant was discovered in Rio de Janeiro in the 1760s by French botanist Philibert Commerson, he selflessly named it after a friend, the sailor Louis de Bougainville. (Admittedly, “Commerson” does not evoke much.)
13 Software aims to include cool extra sections (10)
APPENDICES — APP, “software” + END(ICE)S, “aims” with “cool” inside
16 Game at first, con artist enters the underworld (8)
CHARADES — C, “at first, con” + HA(RA)DES
18 Leaving will prove a trifle gutless (7)
TESTATE — TEST, “prove” + T[-rifl]E
20 Intended to protect one’s centre back (7)
FINANCE — FI(N)ANCE
22 Romeo’s departing expression leaving stage (5)
PHASE — PH(R)ASE What an excellent surface!
23 Banks stood up for auditors (4)
ROWS — “rose”
New RCA
  • vinyl1

Mephisto 3136 - Old quarterback's quandary?

This Mephisto was pretty easy for a Don Manley, with a good number of the clues having a somewhat obvious answer.  I think I did about two-thirds of it without even opening Chambers.   The vocabulary is not as difficult as usual, and there were only a few answers that I didn't know.   We don't record times for Mephisto, but I finished all but a single entry in the first three movements of Mahler's Fifth Symphony - I was listening on CD because I hate to be interrupted while working a Mephisto.

I then went to bed, and solved the holdout clue while sleeping - when I woke up, I knew what the answer must be.   I looked it up in Chambers, and there it was.  You won't have a very fast time if you have to sleep eight hours to solve a single clue, but you may dream a dream like that of H. C. Earwicker and encounter all kinds of unusual vocabulary. 

Across
1 Splinter of china dumped in street (5)
SPALT - S(PAL)T,    Splinter as a verb, to break off fragments of wood with an axe.
6 Soft stuff, unpleasant matter in hair (6)
PAPPUS - PAP + PUS.......the hair of a plant, that is.
10 Wild companion? This writer’s fine (8)
CHIMERIC - CH + I'M + ERIC, a fine that hasn't come up for a while.
11 Rector — he may look silly in some painting (12)
STEREOCHROME - S(anagram of RECTOR HE)OME.
12 Say, baddie is returning — gets Mac’s reprimand (5)
TARGE - E.G. RAT backwards, not the Shakespearean sort of targe. 
13 In the rain you may have this wine (5)
MACON - MAC ON, of course.   I biffed the answer, but I didn't see how the cryptic worked until days later.
14 Slavery of bumpkin having no end (4)
YOKE - YOKE[l], a Quickie clue  makes an appearance. 
16 Island’s terrible morality putting outsiders off (6)
RIALTO - anagram of [m]ORALIT]y. 
18 Bedchamber game to get the Parisian female (6)
RUELLE - R.U. + ELLE, very simple if you trust the cryptic.
19 Wear down with work? Put money on lubrication being needed (6)
BETOIL - BET OIL
21 Girl entering church chambers (6)
CELLAE - C(ELLA)E.
25 A Leftie interpreted in an old-fashioned way (4)
ARED - A + RED.   From OE raedan, which was more general than the modern-day "read".
27 Language about love somehow irregular (5)
EROSE - ER(O)SE.
28 What’s evident in lovely art of yesteryear’s darling (5)
YARTO - hidden in [lovel]Y ART O[f], an archaism properly indicated.
29 Snootier man’s upset about libertarian form of education (12)
MONTESSORIAN -  Anagram of SNOOTIER MAN'S, which should be easy because we just had Montessori in the daily puzzle.
30 Something plated that could be seen in a reptile (8)
PEARLITE - Anagram of A REPTILE.
31 Irritated when public library gets squeezed — there’s a row (6)
SPLORE - S(P.L.)ORE - an escapade in Edinburgh. 
32 Artist remains on stage (5)
MANET - I didn't see this, then I realized it was a Latin stage direction - manet, he remains, the opposite of exit, he goes out.
Down
1 Fellow to stay in Scotland with Balmoral resident? (6)
SISTER - SIST + E.R., as in sister city or something along those lines.
2 Fit sign for boggy locations (8)
PETARIES - PET + ARIES, they're peat bogs.
3 Wicked baronet, a liar on the wrong path (12)
ABERRATIONAL - anagram of BARONET, A LIAR.
4 Disease? Religious ritual will banish it (5)
LURGY - L[it]URGY.....a made-up disease, but still a disease.
5 Aussie soldier smuggles wine into company (6)
CHOCKO - C(HOCK)O, a chocolate soldier. 
6 Thiefwho finds him in identity parade? (6)
PICKER - Double definition, quite simple.
7 Fish gets little exercise — water inadequate (5)
PERAI - PE + RAI[n], a.k.a. the pirhana. 
8 Like some birds favouring small space with song on single short note (12)
PROCELLARIAN - PRO + CELL + ARIA + N.  I boldly put this in without any crossing letters, and was rewarded.
9 Element of operatic performance I’m missing in cinemas somehow (5)
SCENA - anagram of C[i]NE[m]AS.   Not a great clue, but simple enough.
13 Grimace of timid creature not wanting strangeness (4)
MOUE - MOU[s]E, strangeness in subatomic physics, that is.   But what does a mouse know about quarks?
15 Tree carries label — what you see in nursery, say? (8)
PLANTAGE -  PLAN(TAG)E.
17 Support maybe for man of stone, ferocious person no end (4)
TIGE - TIGE[r], the base of a statue. 
20 Idle old girl with little energy for games ultimately (6)
LAESIE - LA9(-s,+E)SIE, a letter-replacement clue giving another Scots word.
21 Scar — it can make a sort of fold (6)
CRISTA - Anagram of SCAR IT.
22 Green campaigner Umberto meets a group of teachers (6)
ECONUT - ECO + NUT, a write in for most solvers.
23 Famous British film involving politician in contests (5)
KEMPS - KE(MP)S.   My LOI.   These contests take place in Scotland, of course.
24 Inspiration shown by poets in greatest romances (5)
ESTRO -  hidden in [great]EST RO[mances].
26 Task to acquire a place for holy Muslim burial (5)
DARGA - DARG + A,   Yes, a Scottish task.