July 10th, 2021

Times Cryptic Jumbo 1505 - 26th June 2021. Pounds, Shillings and Expense

Hi all.  I left this until the last minute, and with post-work bleariness setting in am not feeling chatty.  I found it a Jumbo of medium difficulty, though I didn’t quite manage to finish without recourse to aids, having a mental block with the Native American in 45d.  Actually I’m pretty happy with that, as there are a few of other places I could easily have fallen short.  Thanks to the setter.


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  • brnchn

Times Cryptic No 28020 - Saturday, 3 July 2021. Martial Arts, or Music?

For me, this crossword had a very unusual feel. I stalled about 80% finished, and after I eventually found plausible answers for every clue, I had a long list of puzzling things to work through.

Happily, everything made sense in the end, but I would never have believed there was a Brazilian martial art featuring dance and music, or a Cambridge boat crew called Blondie! (Not to be confused with the pop group Blondie, whose lyrics I could never make out either. I just discovered she was singing: Soon found out, had a heart of glass. All these years, I thought it was about Superman!)

Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle. How did you all get on?

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.

[Read more ...]Clues are blue, with definitions underlined. Deletions and commentary are (in brackets).
Across
1 Remove cream, curdled (4,3)
PICK OFF – PICK=cream (of the crop), OFF=curdled.
5 Lover, on leaving a country in fact, missing every second (7)
FANATIC – A + NATI(on)=country, in FC=the odd letters of FaCt.
9 My better worker filed beautifully? (9)
MANICURED – the man I cured = my worker, now better. Very tricky.
10 Father out of bed, as device making breakfast? (3-2)
POP-UP – self-explanatory; like a toaster.
11 Nothing in old money for European runner (5)
LOIRE – O in LIRE=old Italian currency.
12 Something sweet I pulled out of a sticky pie before cooking (5,4)
TIPSY CAKE – take out an I, then make an anagram of (cook) A ST-CKY PIE.
14 Worker on organ, cosmetic surgeon? (8,6)
FEATURES EDITOR – a worker on a newspaper, and whimsically a plastic surgeon.
17 As characters here (initials), positioned thus? (14)
ALPHABETICALLY – a definition by example really, since the words in the clue are so ordered.
21 Tackle issue about wagon for frontiersman (3,6)
KIT CARSON – KIT=tackle + SON=issue, around CAR=wagon. Here’s the wiki version of his story.
23 Cambridge crew losing first classic (5)
OLDIE – the crew is (G)OLDIE. The famous boat race features the men’s and women’s Blue Boats of Oxford and Cambridge. There is also a race between the reserve crews. The men’s reserve crews are Isis, for Oxford, and Goldie, for Cambridge. The women’s reserve crews are Osiris, for Oxford, and Blondie, for Cambridge. Learnt something new!
24 Ignoring every other part, turn exact handle (5)
TREAT – every second letter of TuRn ExAcT.
25 Host current monarch (9)
PRESENTER – PRESENT=current + ER.
26 Appear happy after sales talk (5,2)
PITCH UP – PITCH=sales talk, UP=happy.
27 Unconvincing South American setter drops in (7)
SUSPECT – S=south, US=American, PECT(in)=setter. As with past crosswords, I was slow to get from South American to S-US!

Down
1 Spot member occupying mansion (6)
PIMPLE – MP in PILE.
2 Racket in decent condition put away (7)
CONFINE – CON=racket, FINE=in decent condition.
3 Giant bullied Hearts players (9)
ORCHESTRA – ORC=giant, anagram (bullied) of HEARTS.
4 Creative works penned by English novelist succeeded, initially (3,8)
FOR STARTERS – ART penned by FORSTER, + S=succeeded.
5 Rage following another defeat, all kicking off (3)
FAD – first letters.
6 Arctic fleet? (5)
NIPPY – double definition.
7 Spar, a post most hollow at sea (7)
TOPMAST – anagram (at sea) of A POST M—T. (The mast is ‘hollow’).
8 Mafia boss, one in time for martial art (8)
CAPOEIRA – CAPO + I in ERA. Is this even a word? Yes!

Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics, and music. It was practiced by enslaved Africans in Brazil at the beginning of the 16th century.
13 Answer more questions around start of interrogation, showing no emotion (11)
PASSIONLESS – to answer more quiz questions, you might need to PASS ON LESS. Insert I=start of Interrogation.
15 Ignoring leader in reshuffle, shift around each Tory minister (9)
DEACONESS – drop the R=leader of reshuffle, from DRESS=shift, and put what’s left around EA(ch) + CON.
16 Baseball player put champions in first place (8)
BACKSTOP – BACKS=champions, TOP=in first place. Isn’t BACKSTOP a rounders position rather than baseball?
18 Item originally found in plain case (7)
PATIENT – I(tem) in PATENT.
19 Wayward lassie ultimately into drink? (7)
LADETTE – the last letters of (waywar)D (lassi)E, in LATTE.
20 Writer of nonsense needing books picked up (6)
LEARNT – Edward LEAR, NT books of the Bible.
22 Letter a problem, initially dropped? (5)
AITCH – Wot, no cockneys ’ere? Normally that’s how we drop aitches in the Crossword, but here A HITCH gets the treatment in a matter-of-fact way.
25 Spot Dickens character (3)
PIP – double definition: dice cubes, or Great Expectations.