December 19th, 2020

Penf

Times Cryptic Jumbo 1471 - The one where I can't think of a clever title

I'm guessing this was of roughly average difficulty.  I was watching football on the telly at the same time as solving so my time of just over an hour isn't really a reliable guide.  Writing up the explanations it struck me that there were rather a lot of insertion type clues.

I didn't nail 1a on first pass meaning that CAMELOPARD was my first in and KAPPA my last.

Anyway, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.

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

Bag deposited outside hotel building (5)

SHACK - SACK outside H[otel]

4

Old animal arrived with short stride by a road (10)

CAMELOPARD - CAME, LOP{e}, R[oa]D.  Not a camel / leopard cross (how would that work?) but an old name for a giraffe.

9

Stylish agent, one hiding with two females (6)

SPIFFY - slight odd cryptic grammar but it's I F[emale] F[emale] "hiding" in SPY.  New word on me.

14

Stuff offered by singing family in G&S (9)

TRAPPINGS - TRAPP, IN, G (&) S.  It appears that the musically gifted members of the Von Trapp family, as immortalised in The Sound of Music, were known as the Trapp Family Singers.

15

Psychologist — he dances madly around showing a perverse delight (13)

SCHADENFREUDE - FREUD in (he dances)*

16

Sudden movement to overtake met with commotion (7)

PASSADO - PASS, ADO. PASSADO is fencing terminology, noted as obsolete in my Chambers app.

17

Dazzle done with, wife having taken commanding position (9)

OVERWHELM - OVER, W[ife], HELM

18

Showed unhappiness with two-wheeled vehicle (5)

MOPED - DD

19

Cheeky youngster? The person administering corporal punishment's the head (14)

WHIPPERSNAPPER - WHIPPER'S, NAPPER the last bit being slang for bonce, (see Any Old Iron)

22

Speech from e.g. 10 Downing Street (7)

ADDRESS - DD

25

Proposed place for hospital facility (3,7)

PUT FORWARD - PUT, FOR, WARD

27

Edible spread in exceptionally neat pub, say (6,6)

PEANUT BUTTER - (neat pub)*, UTTER.  Jam, marmite or salad cream?  All delish, IMHO.

30

Country's leader's moving along showing sense (5)

TASTE - STATE with the leading S shuffling along a bit

31

Sage laid out an unrealistic scientific concept (5,3)

IDEAL GAS - (sage laid)*.  On Wikipedia I understood as far as "An ideal gas is a theoretical gas..." and then got lost.

32

Daughter facing school had to explode (8)

DETONATE - D[aughter], ETON, ATE

35

A sailor's reported for acts of violence (8)

ASSAULTS - Sounds like "a salt's"

36

A king facing west, king with Eastern maiden on old Japanese hanging (8)

KAKEMONO - A K[ing] reversed, K[ing] E[astern] M[aiden] ON O[ld].  A Japanese picture or peice of calligraphy on a roller.  We've probably all seen one but didn't know it had a name.

37

What's obvious all through time (5)

OVERT - OVER, T[ime].  Definition not at one end of clue alert!

39

Badge of knights or lesser mascot in new display (7,5)

MALTESE CROSS - (lesser mascot)*

41

Undersupplies damage places like London (10)

SCARCITIES - SCAR, CITIES

43

Painter of article discovered among church brass (7)

CHAGALL - A in CH[urch] GALL (gall as in cheek / brass neck).  If you want to see some Chagall stained glass windown for nowt nip along to All Saints' Church in Tudeley, Kent.  I'm guessing Jerry has done so.  Worth a trip.

45

See folk in Parliament (5,9)

LORDS SPIRITUAL - CD.  Collective noun for Bishops who sit in the House of Lords, not a rendition of Swing Low Sweet Chariot from a group of rugby lads who've gone to the cricket.

48

Snooker feature in Christmas season (5)

MASSE - hidden.  For those of you watching in black and white it's a sort of swerve shot.

49

Dry period unending in country with sierra (9)

WATERLESS - TERm in WALES, S[ierra]

51

Boys returning outside prison creating shocking incident (7)

SCANDAL - LADS reversed around CAN

53

Dreamy types in broadcast with intellectuals (13)

SCATTERBRAINS - SCATTER, BRAINS

54

Old party-goer, having no booze around, good mixer in company? (9)

EXTRAVERT - EX, RAVER in T[ee]T[otal]

55

Artist, top man working in garden? (6)

RAKING - R[oyal] A[cademician]. KING

56

Tricky to greet all in a brisk movement (10)

ALLEGRETTO - (to greet all)*, Ninja-turtled from The Wombles' Minuetto Allegretto

57

Bishop in car somewhere en route to heavenly destination? (5)

LIMBO - B[ishop] in LIMO

Down

1

Exercises to get little girl holding position standing on head (3-3)

SIT-UPS - SIS[ter] around a reversal of PUT

2

Numbers working in hospitals (13)

ANAESTHETISTS - CD (a number being someone who numbs).  A few years ago when my elder daaughter, then 14, had to be "put under" the anaesthetist offered her a 3-way choice between gas, an injection and the big hammer.

3

Greek character not completely Greek, apparently (5)

KAPPA - hidden

4

Northern half of country — region for song (7)

CANZONE - CAN{ada}, ZONE

5

Must consider changes, being taken amiss (12)

MISCONSTRUED - (mustconsider)*

6

US city girl hugging star (3,5)

LAS VEGAS - LASS around (hugging) VEGA

7

I've no time for that quiet little wood (5)

PSHAW - P[iano], SHAW

8

Embarrassed over hotel making mistake that detracts from the main issue (3,7)

RED HERRING - RED, H[otel], ERRING

10

Fire stemmed in the middle of historical construction (7)

PYRAMID - PYRe, AMID

11

Celebration curtailed — bit left inside being most dull (9)

FRUMPIEST - FIESTa around RUMP

12

End of July, crop-growing area — farmer's beginning to go out for produce (5)

YIELD - {jul}Y, then FIELD without F{armer}

13

Like people calling, maybe — after time becoming serious threat (5,2,3,4)

ENEMY AT THE DOOR - AT THE DOOR after (time is the) ENEMY.  I needed checkers before I decided on DOOR over GATE

20

Established action to get around editor (9)

PROCEDURE - PROCURE around ED

21

Piano, working again, perhaps, I must leave ready (8)

PREPARED -P[iano], REPAiRED

23

Audition centres arranged with new set (6,4)

SCREEN TEST - double anagram, (centres)*, (set)*

24

It's about a pupil and much more (10)

OPHTHALMIC - CD

26

Reporters in time crossing street, meeting fans (7-7)

WHISTLE-BLOWERS - WHILE around ST[reet], BLOWERS

28

Medical specialist’s diary is found in old city book collection (9)

UROLOGIST - LOG IS in UR, O[ld] T[estament]

29

With this, spray lens with care? (8)

CLEANSER - (lens care)*.  Definition not at one end of clue alert!

33

Dire cameraman misrepresented Hollywood's ideal? (8,5)

AMERICAN DREAM - (dire cameraman)*

34

Agree right away — very good perfume makes one lustful (12)

CONCUPISCENT - CONCUr, PI[ous], SCENT.  Great word.

38

Having three parties in vexatious situation brought around in due course (10)

TRILATERAL - TRIAL around LATER

40

Financial dealer has no bucks, taken in by mischievous action (4,5)

LOAN SHARK - (has no)* in LARK

42

Examiner of idiots not totally kind (8)

ASSESSOR - ASSES, SOR{t}

44

King James Bible established a new language, now outdated (7)

AVESTAN - A[uthorised] V[ersion], EST[ablished], A, N[ew].  The language of the Zoroastrian scripture.  I wonder how you say "my hovercraft is full of eels".

46

German gentleman served up cooked dish (7)

RISOTTO - reversal of OTTO, SIR

47

Legendary spinner of cotton maybe getting old (6)

CLOTHO - CLOTH, O.  Some Greek mythology nonsense.

48

Male employer — a thoughtful type (5)

MUSER - M[ale], USER

50

One river or another offering current for duck (5)

RHINE - RHONE I'm very careful about the RHINE / RHONE distinction having come a cropper once in the championships.  Without the crossing middle vowel it's not trerribly obvious which way round this is supposed to work, but RHONE gives up its O (crossword classic duck) for I (crossword classic current).

52

Use a face covering” — that's what we hear (5)

AVAIL - sounds like A VEIL.  Topical.

  • brnchn

Times Cryptic No 27846 - Saturday, 12 December 2020. Lost for words.

In the quiz category “crosswords as a foreign language”, I did quite poorly on vocabulary this week! The answers at 2dn and 6dn have both come up occasionally before, as has the word for “seaweed” in the wordplay of 2dn. I remembered none of them. Must try harder!

Still, there was lots to enjoy! 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 Plan for putting on weight (9)
PROGRAMME – PRO=for, GRAMME is the weight. So, gram is still spelt -MME in England?
9 Elderly relative mentioned Christmas a little bit (7)
GRANULE – Ho Ho Ho. Gran is the relative, of course, and Yule sounds like (when mentioned) ULE.
10 College head redistributed poor TVs (7)
PROVOST – anagram of (redistributed) POOR TVS.
11 Critically examine subject of Hardy novel about Diggory’s heart (5)
JUDGEJude the Obscure is the novel. Insert G from the heart of (dig)G(ory).
12 Quilt we’d ironed badly (9)
EIDERDOWN – anagram of WED IRONED (badly).
13 One clothed in a nudist camp has words with vile men stripped down (7)
TEXTILE – TEXT is the words, then vILe mEn stripped down (i.e. without the outside letters). I didn't know nudists described other people thus.
15 Caesar Augustus’s private Roman island originally (5)
CAPRI – take the first letter of each word. A nice historical reference, since apparently Augustus did indeed go there, as did his successor Tiberius.
17 Small rag garment (5)
SMOCK – S=small, MOCK=rag. It took me an alphabet trawl to work out what sort of ragging this was.
18 Good old army spirit (5)
GHOST – G=good, HOST=archaic word for army.
19 Note diamonds worn by European relative (5)
NIECE – N=note, ICE=diamonds. Insert E=European.
20 Mean area, old enough to forget its beginning (7)
AVERAGE – A=area, (o)VERAGE=old enough.
23 Endless auto rage about badger when reversing over a very big one (9)
GARGANTUA – AUT(o) + RAG(e) around NAG=badger, all reversed.
25 Acknowledge galleon’s first broadside (5)
GRANT – G=G(alleon), RANT=broadside.
27 Green approach is just course of action (7)
FAIRWAY – FAIR=just, WAY=course of action.
28 Unknown resin mostly found by Zulu half in river (7)
ZAMBEZI – Z=a mathematical unknown, AMBE(r) is the resin, Z=Zulu in the NATO alphabet, I=half of I(n).
29 Yacht clubs located in American islands (9)
CATAMARAN – C=clubs, AT=located in, AM=American, ARAN=a group of three islands at the mouth of Galway Bay. Not to be confused with the Isle of Arran!

Down
1 Stroke beneath young dog or cat’s paw (6)
PUPPET – PUP=young dog, PET=stroke. Kudos setter, juxtaposing cat and dog this way.
2 Old unpleasant smell with cheese and seaweed in the wind? (4,6)
OBOE D'AMORE – O=old, B.O.=unpleasant smell, EDAM=a cheese, ORE= (an unfamiliar word for) seaweed. I didn't remember the instrument either, and found it hard to see until I realised there might be an apostrophe involved!
3 Attachment OK for car when moving (4,4)
ROOF RACK – anagram of (moving) OK FOR CAR.
4 German possibly supporting Mark and Maxim (5)
MOTTO – M=mark, OTTO=a German, possibly. Otto von Bismarck springs to mind.
5 Say piece of poetry about creepy-crawly in rose (9)
EGLANTINE – E.G.=say, LINE=piece of poetry about ANT=creepy-crawly.
6 Ruin bar playing cards vocally (6)
BANJAX – BAN=BAR, JAX=vocally, sounds like JACKS. Another piece of crossword vocabulary I’d forgotten.
7 Money flowing out of London indexes at first (4)
QUID – (LI)QUID=flowing. Take out first letters of L(ondon) I(ndexes).
8 Forceful, keeping macho types in check (8)
VEHEMENT – VET=check, keeping HE-MEN.
14 Isolated situation I’ve to worry about (5,5)
IVORY TOWER – anagram (about) of IVE TO WORRY. I debated whether an ivory tower is isolated, and decided I was confusing isolated with solitary. A group in an ivory tower would still be isolated from the outside world!
16 Public praise gay prince coming out (9)
PANEGYRIC – anagram (coming out) of GAY PRINCE.
17 Look up celebrity homosexuals being mentioned (8)
STARGAZE – STAR=celebrity, GAZE=when mentioned, sounds like GAYS. Were looking up at the skies, not the celebrities.
18 Plant eucalyptus maybe around key managed island (8)
GERANIUM – GUM=eucalyptus maybe, around E=a musical key, RAN=managed and I=island.
21 Horn covering obscuring male rhino’s head (6)
ANTLER – ANTLE=(M)ANTLE, with the M(ale) obscured, R=R(hino)’s head.
22 Like bamboo over northern gorge (6)
CANYON – is bamboo CAN-Y? Decide for yourself! Anyway, O=over, N=northern.
24 Right impression of suspect equipment upgrade (5)
REFIT – R=right, E-FIT=impression of suspect.
26 Host’s crazy banning British (4)
ARMY – (B)ARMY without the B(ritish). Ah, what is an Australian summer without the cricket crowd singing, We are the army, the barmy barmy army?

Sunday Times Cryptic No 4933 by David McLean — Take it easy on the curves…

What
    a
      tonic
        for
          my
            nerves…

I indicate (man as rag)* like this, and italicize anagrinds in the clues.
ACROSS
 1 Country girl on booze university … (8)
PORTUGAL — PORT, “booze” with GAL, “girl” + U(niversity) attached
 5 lectured for worst performance grading? (6)
ORATED — zer0-RATED
 9 Royal papers about popular Conservative leader (8)
PRINCESS — PR(IN)(C)ESS
10 A tendency to ring son that’s not working (6)
ABSENT — Lay off, Dad! A B(S)ENT
12 Description of socialism in business doctrine (5)
CREDO — C(RED)O
13 USA union forced to adopt first of mandates in accord (9)
UNANIMOUS — (US union + M)*
14 Hairy and light-skinned part of the hand (5-7)
WHITE-KNUCKLE — WHITE, “light-skinned” + KNUCKLE… Seems the adjective dates at least as far back as the 1970s and is often applied to amusement park rides. From how your hands look when you’re hanging on to something for dear life, typically in some sort of vehicle, as to the steeering wheeeeeeel of a car in a 27.
18 A district, attractive and gaining recognition (5-7)
AWARD-WINNING — A + WARD, “district” + WINNING, “attractive”
21 Couple of rounds coming from the pitcher? (9)
BASEBALLS — CD
23 A despicable type back to pinch one half crown? (5)
TIARA — A RA(I)T <=“back” The question mark is there because a tiara is only sometimes, not always, semi-circular, whereas crowns are always full circles.
24 You could say 45 minutes? (6)
RECORD — DD, and both Ds together plausibly make a CD (but how can I add a second, unbroken underline?). You could say 45, or you might say 33 or 78. (Right, Vinyl?) The second definition is the RECORD of what went down at an organizational meeting, “minutes.” The CD (by example) would be a reference to the quickest time so far achieved in some hypothetical competition. The previous 45-minute Guiness World Record for a 10K race while pushing kids in a double stroller was soundly beaten in October this year by an Ontario man, who clocked in at 36:06.
25 Teacher and principal picked up for naughty acts (8)
MISCHIEF — MIS, “teacher” or “miss” + CHIEF, “principal” The first part might be “picked up” as the word “miss” by hearing, but the second would have to be “picked up” as meaning “principal” by sight.
26 Crimes religious types won’t keep quiet (6)
ARSONS — [-p]ARSONS
27 Small child rubbishes driving proficiency sites (8)
SKIDPANS — S(mall) + KID, “child” + PANS, “rubbishes” Had to guess at this, but my first guess was close, SKIDPADS—no idea why I thought of that. But it’s a synonym of the answer. A circular area of flat pavement used for various tests of a car’s performance as well as of a driver’s. What I learned today.

DOWN
 1 Office secretaries with case for company (6)
PAPACY — P(ersonal) A(ssistant) twice + C[-ompan]Y I might have biffed AGENCY if I had been (hah) in a hurry—but that wouldn’t parse. Not another general term for an office of some sort but a very particular office.
 2 One up around front of Argos could be a looter (6)
RAIDER — R(A)IDER… “one up” meaning one mounted on a horse
 3 Change! He couldn’t out of habit! (9)
UNCLOTHED — (He couldn’t)*
 4 One aimed to shoot broadcast as full satire (7,5)
ASSAULT RIFLE — (as full satire)* I would hope you would aim before pulling the trigger…
 6 Religious scholar with gas head of teaching avoided (5)
RABBI — RABBI[-t] With “gas” meaning “yak,” “yap,” “jaw,” “yammer”… Hey, I think I’ve finally made sense of the surface. The RABBI is afraid he’ll embarrass himself if he meets the head of his educational establishment right now. Phew
 7 Time that bloke goes for full treatment (3,5)
THE WORKS — T(ime) + HE, “that bloke” + WORKS, “goes”
 8 I’m one that hates grass turning up outside of trial (8)
DETESTER — DE(TEST)ER is “grass” or REED<=“turning up” with TEST, “trial” inside
11 Travelling supporter? (7,5)
WALKING STICK — CD
15 French article on edict poor, but not in the view of The Observer (9)
UNNOTICED — UN, “French article” + (on edict)*
16 Dress crab and earn capital abroad (8)
CANBERRA — (crab + earn)* Anagrind of the Week.
17 Bag up footwear in cloth covers? (8)
CASSOCKS — ”Bag” or SAC<=“up” + SOCKS, “footwear”
19 Pet wearing a coat (6)
PATINA — PAT, “Pet” + IN, “wearing” + A
20 Bosses ignoring Republican blunders (6)
GAFFES — Not my bosses! GAFFE[-r]S A gaffer is the head electrician on a film set (among other things… not even mentioning Joe Biden), but, more relevantly here, it’s also British slang for “boss,” “foreman” or “old man.”
22 Group of beats performing for a powerful businessman (5)
BARON — Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs and Corso sell out! BAR as a measure of music, “Group of beats” + ON, “performing”