November 14th, 2020

Penf

Times Cryptic Jumbo 1466 - Noddy goes to Princeton

This started out looking like it was going to be the easiest Jumbo I'd blogged, as I got about half way across the grid top left towards bottom right in a clean sweep.  But there were a few tricker clues lurking in the grid and I slowed down.  Nevertheless I still finished in about 30 minutes, parsing everything I went, so this was definitely as the easier end of the spectrum. First in was A TALE OF A TUB and last was MEN IN GREY SUITS, mainly because I hadn't marked the word breaks clearly enough (see below).

Any lurkers give us a wave!

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[niform];



Across

1

Swift’s bathtime story? (1,4,2,1,3)


A TALE OF A TUB - CD

7

Young animal was taking food to effect a transformation (6)


PUPATE - PUP ATE

10

Gasper — holding new one in the mouth (4)


FANG - FAG (fag and gasper are UK slang for cigarette) around N[ew]

14

Suffer, and fail to reach destination? (7)


UNDERGO - DDCDH

15

Cows produce it: change the name (7)


METHANE - (the name)*.  Natural gas is methane, and it is becoming increasingly common for bio-methane made from cow "waste" to be injected into local gas networks.

16

Two big beasts clash for the gold (7)


BULLION - BULL and LION sharing an L

17

The coming Utopia makes one tense (6,7)


FUTURE PERFECT - er, FUTURE, PERFECT.  I'm not really sure how else to explain this.

18

Boring cricket? But it could lead to an explosion (4,5)


SLOW MATCH - DDCDH. If a cricket match were proceeding slowly it might be boring (except to purists).

19

Admirer unveils boxing programme again (5)


RERUN - hidden

21

Majority of ship separating two creatures (5,5)


LIONS SHARE - SS (according to taste SS can stand for SteamShip, Screw Steamer or Single-screw Steamship) in LION, HARE.

23

Source of energy, damming river flow (6)


STREAM - STEAM (you know, the stuff that powers single-screw steamships) around R[iver]

25

Bore behind pipe in US street (4,4)


MAIN DRAG - DRAG after MAIN (e.g gas, water).  I didn't know main drag was an Americanism.  I've used it myself.

26

Designing to remove a Spanish king is fine by shadowy officials (3,2,4,5)


MEN IN GREY SUITS - MEaNING, REY, SUITS. I made this difficult for myself by marking the word breaks so that it looked like ?E? / I?G?E? / S?I?S.  What on earth could the middle word be? INGLES? INGRES?

29

Loathing one’s grot, removing decay, clean all around (7)


DISGUST -  I'S Grot in DUST

30

Twitchy movement in sweet grass skirt (9)


PETTICOAT - TIC in PET, OAT

31

Simpleton tending to drift into sleep? (5)


NODDY - DDCDH

32

Confines doctor in island (5)


AMBIT - MB in AIT

34

Half of college heads at school or university (9)


PRINCETON - PRINC{ipals}, ETON

37

After fast, no stomach to eat meat (7)


BRISKET - BRISK, EaT

39

Game of tennis wonderful practice for string player (6-8)


DOUBLE-STOPPING - DOUBLES, TOPPING.  Something to do with violins and that, presumably.

41

Small group of families America turned back at frontier (8)


SUBORDER - U.S. reversed, BORDER

43

Muddle up little shepherdess’s name: that amuses baby (4-2)


PEEP-BO - BO PEEP muddled up

44

Preacher concerned with order of candidates for examination (10)


REVIVALIST - RE, VIVA LIST

45

Alice is wounded in the guts (5)


ILEAC - (Alice)*

48

Feeling of revulsion as certain N American people spasm regularly (3,6)


THE CREEPS - THE CREE, {s}P{a}S{m}

49

Cabbage ordered since he doesn’t eat (7,6)


CHINESE LEAVES - (since he)*, LEAVES.  One of my abiding memories of Hong Kong is watching the locals eat pak choi with chopsticks.They very dextrously manage to fold it into a mouthful-sized parcel.

51

Returning home with a spring in one’s step? (7)


INBOUND - DDCDH

52

Rodents a horror in boarding school on winter nights? (7)


DORMICE - DORM ICE.  Brrrr.

53

Makes bigger uniform and boasts (7)


UPRATES - U[niform], PRATES

54

Good year evens out for artist (4)


GOYA - G{o}O{d}Y{e}A{r}

55

Encouragement to start fires (4,2)


LETS GO - DD

56

Emperor who condemns king he hangs (7,4)


GENGHIS KHAN - (king he hangs)*


Down

1

Supplier of water showing nerves maybe, receiving fine for missing volume (7)


AQUIFER - AQUIVER with F[ine] replacing V[olume].  When I worked for one of the big water companies "aquifer to tap" was essential jargon.

2

Documentary evidence of car time-lags (5,6)


AUDIT TRAILS - AUDI, T[ime], TRAILS

3

Prolonged hesitation with nothing to conceal is a mistake (5)


ERROR - ERRR around O

4

Hither and thither troops patrol and film freely (4,6,2,4)


FROM PILLAR TO POST - (troops patrol film)*.  When I spotted this one I was hoping for an Aztec Camera nina but it wasn't to be.

5

Endless grave misery headed off for another day (8)


TOMORROW - TOMb, sORROW

6

Cutting water into stone arousing conflicting emotions (11)


BITTERSWEET - BITTER, WEE in ST[one].  Cheeky.  When I spotted this one I was hoping for an Everything but the Girl nina but it wasn't to be.

7

Long line’s broken in factory (5)


PLANT - PANT broken by L[ine]

8

Recreation area suggesting super ale? (8,6)


PLEASURE GROUND - reverse clue whereby SUPER ALE could be clued as PLEASURE (fodder) GROUND (anagrind)

9

Also for kicking? (2,4)


TO BOOT - DDCDH

11

Anonymous informer’s short sentence (1,6,4)


A LITTLE BIRD - DDCDH.  A short prison sentence would be "a little bird".

12

Travelling player short of nothing in dress material (7)


GINGHAM - GoING, HAM (actor)

13

Mark put in wedge is for climber (8)


CLEMATIS - M[ark] in CLEAT, IS

20

I am sure to bound excitedly (2,5)


NO DOUBT - (to bound)*

22

British out of custom found on one half of island (5)


HAITI - HABIT missing B[ritish], I.  Half in a loose rather than precise sense, with HAITI of course one of the two sovereign nations forming the island of Hispaniola (the other being Dominican Republic).

24

Attend boxing match? The president has to equivocate (4,5,3,4)


BEAT ABOUT THE BUSH - BE AT A BOUT, THE, BUSH

25

Motorway I would come down away from the coast (7)


MIDLAND - M[otorway], I'D, LAND

27

Hospital worker putting out one for extremely hungry swindler (7)


SHYSTER - SISTER with I replaced by H{ungr}Y

28

In vicious pitilessness, do roar (5,4,5)


SPLIT ONES SIDES - (pitilessness do)*

31

Oxygen needed for energy in elevated Spanish city (7)


NAIROBI - reversal of IBERIAN with O[xygen] replacing E[nergy]

33

Favourite son athlete watched over (4-4,3)


BLUE-EYED BOY - BOY after BLUE, EYED

35

About twenty-four days, possibly, in holiday island? (5)


CAPRI - C[irca], APRI{l} (four-fifths of a thirty day month)

36

Volunteers new short story I confess very gripping (11)


TANTALISING - T[erritorial] A[rmy], N[ew], TAL{e}, I SING

38

Organ voluntary’s beginning to cut into ladies’ fingers (6,5)


KIDNEY VETCH - KIDNEY, V{oluntary}, ETCH.  Aren't there already enough names for this? OKRA, BINDI...

40

Wood supplier getting a blaze going in chimney (8)


LABURNUM - A BURN in LUM

42

Replacement cleric’s unusual deviance (4-4)


VICE-DEAN - (deviance)*

43

Looking sadly on ostensibly good drawing (7)


PITYING - PI, TYING

46

Play’s begun? Gets knitting (5,2)


CASTS ON - DDCDH

47

Buyer in French department (6)


VENDEE - DD

49

In Madagascar, God is a sort of cult (5)


CARGO - hidden.  A cargo cult is a type of religion in certain South Pacific islands.  New one on me.

50

Love pocketing initially unwanted coins (5)


EUROS -U{nwanted} in EROS

  • brnchn

Times Cryptic No 27816 - Saturday, 7 November 2020. Nice and easy.

This was a smooth solve. I printed it after 11am, and finished before noon (while watching reporting on the US Election, moving along about as fast as grass grows). There were only a few vocabulary testers; the standout was 7dn, where I wasn’t certain of either the answer or the building block  in the wordplay. I particularly liked 20ac. 14ac was a very unusual clue: I think it has two separate definitions, as well as wordplay! 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}.
Across
1 Service mechanic makes a terrific mess (9)
ARTIFICER – anagram (mess) of A TERRIFIC.
6 Stole small vehicle from missing traveller (5)
SCARF – S for small, CAR, F is ‘from’ missing ‘rom’ = gypsy/traveller.
9 Deny advance, for example (7)
GAINSAY – GAIN for advance, SAY meaning for example.
10 Face palace attendant wasting time (7)
COURIER – take T out of COURTIER. The answer is a type face.
11 It happens the day before with books (5)
EVENT – EVE, N.T.
12 Prototype flyer I found in Hampshire river bed (4,5)
TEST PILOT – TEST is the river, PLOT is the (garden) bed. Insert an I. The answer is the tester, not the craft being tested.
14 She is leaving children to take action (3)
SUE – I think this clue has two definitions: a woman’s name, and an action at law. In between, the wordplay says to take IS off ISSUE. I’ve never seen that structure before!
15 Versatile players left twice during a game (3-8)
ALL-ROUNDERS – A, L twice, ROUNDERS.
17 Astute fleet moved wide, circling heart of battle (5-6)
QUICK-WITTED – QUICK is fleet, then anagram (moved) of WIDE, circling TT from the heart of ‘baTTle’.
19 Get into the red circle, joining our side (3)
OWE – O is the circle, WE is our side.
20 Relation interrupting child’s birthday, then grandma’s? (9)
EIGHTIETH – the child has its EIGHTH birthday interrupted by TIE=relation to give grannie her EIGHTIETH.
22 Irish boy embraces becoming landowner (5)
LAIRD – LAD embraces IR for Irish.
24 Rose may clamber over this river in Brief Lives (7)
TRELLIS – R for river in TELL for brief (brief the staff, for example), then IS for lives.
26 Salt, the basis of shift worker’s pay, might one say? (7)
NITRATE – one might say it sounds like NIGHT RATE.
27 Check round spruce initially to find this? (5)
RESIN – REIN or check, around S from spruce.
28 Tedious job to study origin of meteors in Plough (9)
TREADMILL – READ and M{eteor} in TILL.

Down
1 Fever limits entry to Rotten Row (5)
ARGUE - R is the ‘entry’ to Rotten. Put it in AGUE.
2 Reported experiment with paper boat long ago (7)
TRIREME - sounds like (‘reported’) TRY REAM.
3 Urgently promote secure number (4-5)
FAST-TRACK - FAST is secure, as in ‘make fast’. TRACK is a number on a music album, for example. ‘Urgently’ seems a bit strong in the definition, but the concept is right.
4 After a rewrite, stale lyrics become clear (11)
CRYSTALLISE - anagram (‘after a rewrite’) of STALE LYRICS.
5 Give a lift to my fabulous bird (3)
ROC - lifting/reversing COR = ‘my’
6 Significant fall sees son with swelling (5)
SLUMP - S for son with LUMP.
7 Lead character in Jaws missing: they can sweat! (7)
AXILLAE - MAXILLAE are jawbones. AXILLAE are armpits.
8 What's in store for English society in gallery (9)
FORETASTE - FOR from the clue, E for English, S for society in TATE, the gallery.
13 Do brief alteration (5-6)
SHORT-CHANGE - DO as in ‘cheat’. Otherwise, explanation hardly required.
14 Appropriate goal secured by Sybil, say (9)
SEQUESTER - QUEST for goal, in SEER.
16 Due to land being cultivated it's bumpy in places (9)
NODULATED - anagram (‘being cultivated’) of DUE TO LAND.
18 French artist originally snubbed opening (7)
INGRESS - INGRES is the artist. The final S is Snubbed, ‘originally’.
19 Paper folding in old Baltic city? This writer’s upset (7)
ORIGAMI - O for old, RIGA is the city, I'M upset.
21 Section of foot — a long claw (5)
TALON - hidden answer.
23 Live and thrive, lacking nothing (5)
DWELL - DO WELL, without the O.
25 Establish series of games (3)
SET - double definition.