July 17th, 2021

Penf

Times Cryptic Jumbo 1506 - two jumps in a week

This was, IMHO, a Jumbo of average difficulty, with a smattering of tricky bits to keep us on our toes. I was done and dusted in about 45 minutes.  In writing up the blog I noticed that there were quite a few clues of the type that I mark as DDCDH, a Double Definition / Cryptic Definition hybrid, where a stright definition is combined with another that might be called whimsical.  You'll see what I mean when we get to them.

First in was HIGH AND DRY and last was CINCTURES

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 ED[itor]


Across

1

Abandoned like person in tree escaping flood? (4,3,3)


HIGH AND DRY - DDCDH, with the first definition being the straight one...

6

Trade modest? This could make you stop (7,5)


TRAFFIC LIGHT - DDCDH ...and this time the second

14

Lords call, forgetting it matters (9)


VISCOUNTS - VISit, COUNTS

15

One hurrying about to get vehicle reversing (5)


RACER - RE, CAR reversed

16

Tot tucked into Eastern meat dish having no yen for fruit (7)


SATSUMA - SUM in SATAy.  I guess the most common satay is chicken, but I dare say there are non-meat alternatives.

17

Missing letters (8,9)


ABSENTEE LANDLORDS - CD

18

Problems bringing horse aboard ship (5)


SNAGS - NAG in SS (S[crew] S[teamer] or S[team]S[hip] according to taste.

19

Diplomacy is restricting Conservative plans (7)


TACTICS - TACT, IS around C[onservative].  Little mint anyone?

21

Daughter in the role of the female who is in a hurry? (6)


DASHER - D[aughter], AS, HER

22

Foreign girl working in a store (8)


SENORITA - (in a store)*

24

Record kept by good Parisian coming to a city in Italy (7)


BOLOGNA - LOG in BON, A

26

Offer applause, then mouth “rubbish!” (8)


CLAPTRAP - CLAP, TRAP

27

Get angry about very loud activity at card table? (6)


RIFFLE - RILE (get as in make) around FF (music).  One of those shuffles where alternate cards fall together at the corners... that only other people can do perfectly.

30

What insistent disputant wants? Amen! (3,4,4)


THE LAST WORD - DDCDH ...second def is straight...

32

Crucially influential period in America's capital in the Depression (11)


DETERMINANT - TERM IN A{merica} in DENT

33

The French girl, kind-hearted, providing money (5,6)


LEGAL TENDER - LE, GAL, TENDER

35

Professional in finance, fellow with silver, invested in what looks like a winner (4,7)


BANK MANAGER - MAN, AG (chemical symbol)

37

Game needing energy — boy doesn't give up (4,2)


GOES ON - GO, E[nergy], SON

38

People looking to buy something? Time for hard plugs maybe (8)


STOPPERS - SHOPPERS with T[ime] replacing H[ard]

39

Brief month left — try to make a protest maybe? (7)


DECLAIM - DEC[ember], L[eft], AIM

42

One unpleasant woman backing revolution, not saying much (8)


TACITURN - I CAT reversed

44

Feature of progressive female seen as fearsome (6)


OGRESS - hidden

46

Blessing I found in Oxford RAF location (7)


BENISON - I in BENSON, an RAF base in Oxfordshire.  Who knew?

48

Pike ultimately bound to get away (5)


ELOPE - {pik}E, LOPE

49

Exploiting something, being top earner? Nothing suitable (6,3,4,2,2)


MAKING THE MOST OF IT - MAKING THE MOST, O, FIT

51

Indian sage, one with new order (7)


GOANESE - (sage one)*

52

Saw maiden forming an attachment with German guy? (5)


MOTTO - M[aiden], OTTO

53

First person among new leaders is a female (9)


ESMERELDA - ME in (leadersis)*

54

Heaven as specified aim of the proverbial chicken? (3,5,4)


THE OTHER SIDE - DDCDH ...first def is straight...

55

Look at oneself, seeing bad points, etc, with anger finally admitted (10)


INTROSPECT - (points etc)* around {ange}R


Down

1

Try approach with murderous intent? (4,1,4,2)


HAVE A STAB AT - DDCDH ...first def is straight...

2

Sudden winds coming in August sometimes (5)


GUSTS - hidden

3

A background support is coming (9)


AMOUNTING - A MOUNTING

4

Fellows accommodating indispensable animals (7)


DONKEYS - DONS around KEY

5

What old shoes may be — disposed of in charity shop, we hear? (7)


RESOLED - sounds like RE-SOLD

7

Called to mind being embarrassed about evensong's opening prayer (11)


RECOLLECTED - RED around E{vensong} COLLECT

8

Coat with valuable material is craze (6)


FURORE - FUR, ORE

9

At home, female family member is one who won't give way (8)


INSISTER - IN, SISTER

10

I sit up on stool — alternative configuration for meditation? (5,8)


LOTUS POSITION - (i sit up on stool)*

11

Fish and fleshy fruit French friend's obtained for start of dinner (7)


GOURAMI - GOURD with AMI replacing D{inner}

12

One leaving school unwanted books, easy to read? (11)


TRANSPARENT - TRAiN, SPARE, N[ew] T[estament]

13

Wonderful batting partnership — view it from here? (10)


GRANDSTAND - GRAND, STAND (cricket, last wicket stand etc.)

20

Fellow army officer getting about three miles further south (9)


COLLEAGUE - COL[onel], LEAGUE (exactly how far it is depends on whether you're a sailor, an ancient Roman, French, Spanish or a poet).

23

Warren maybe in seaside location (8)


HASTINGS - DD.  Warren Hastings was a former Governor-General of India

25

Something “flowery” in which wild animal conceals head (6)


ANTHER - pANTHER

26

Certain animals in endless routine task — information held in computer? (8)


CHORDATA - CHORe, DATA.  I looked this up but having no knowledge of phylums, protochordates and notochords I still don't know what they are.

28

RAF signal confusingly given in a mixture of languages (9)


FRANGLAIS - (RAF signal)*.  Good old Miles Kington.  "The trouble with French is that there are far too few English words in it".

29

Proper journalist should get put in the picture (6)


PRIMED - PRIM, ED[itor]

31

Everyone supporting old Greek city lost ultimately, bringing the most desirable outcome (3,3,3,4)


ALL FOR THE BEST - ALL, FOR, THEBES, {los}T

33

Land and stop to be heard, becoming frivolous (11)


LIGHTWEIGHT - LIGHT, homophone of WAIT

34

Agent opposing a former gang member being given new ID in book? (11)


REPAGINATED - REP, AGIN, A, TED[dy boy]

35

Extra reading for one filling empty seat? (2-8)


BY-ELECTION - BYE (extra in cricket), LECTION

36

One admonishes soldiers on battle site having rushed into middle of battle (11)


REMONSTRANT - R[oyal] E[ngineers], MONS, RAN in {ba}TT{le}

40

Bands with recent music horrible — forget 'em! (9)


CINCTURES - (recent music)* without EM.  Knowing that the French call a seat-belt a CEINTURE instead of the more logical le seat-belt was more of a hindrance that a help, TBH.  My Chambers app says it's a girdle or belt.

41

Significant performance, very good, that’s included rapid sort of movement before (8)


PREMIERE - PI[ous] around R[apid] E[ye] M[ovement], ERE

43

Test said to lie within revolutionary piece of church music (7)


CHORALE - ORAL in CHE (Guevara)

45

Ambassador and bishop getting observed outside drinking establishment (7)


SHEBEEN - H[is /er] E[xcellency], B[ishop], with SEEN outside.

46

Possibly Amelia's mistake (7)


BLOOMER - DD

47

Is sparing politician to visit runners (6)


SKIMPS - M[ember of] P[arliament] in SKIS

50

Phoney female heading a London school (5)


FALSE - F[emale], A L[ondon] S[chool of] E[conomics]

  • brnchn

Times Cryptic No 28026 - Saturday, 10 July 2021. Ain’t Misbehavin!

Here in our locked-down city, it was nice to have a Saturday crossword to tackle. All went smoothly. I liked the appearance of Fats Waller, and welcomed meeting the three words I didn’t know. 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 Mediterranean islander in prison with army officer (8)
MAJORCAN – MAJOR, CAN.
5 Burn most of music at church (6)
SCORCH – SCOR(e), CH(urch).
10 Reject third of yarn twisted on the outside (5)
SPURN – R from yaRn in SPUN.
11 Clumsily misused walkway crossing road (9)
AWKWARDLY – anagram of (misused) WALKWAY + RD.
12 Dull time touring university in Alabama in the morning (9)
MATUTINAL – MATT ‘touring’ U, IN, AL(abama).
13 Lizard finally feeling all right about crossing City area (5)
GECKO – (feelin)G + EC=city of London + KO=OK ‘about’.
14 Person travelling to ancient city is German (7)
TOURIST – TO + UR + IST=‘is’ in German.
16 Little bird soldier kept in Cornish resort (6)
BUDGIE – GI in BUDE.
18 Appearance of commercial opening (6)
ADVENT – AD + VENT.
20 Holding key, somehow define old Turkish title (7)
EFFENDI – F is the key, in an anagram (somehow) of DEFINE.
22 Worry about electoral system for thirty days (5)
APRIL – AIL ‘about’ P.R. I feel I’ve seen this clue recently!
23 National firm once caught importing large antelope (9)
ICELANDIC – ICI was the firm, followed by C for caught. Insert ELAND.
25 Wonderful person unexpectedly met abroad (9)
DREAMBOAT – anagram (unexpectedly) of MET ABROAD.
26 Dance composed by business graduate after game (5)
RUMBA – RU is the game, MBA is the degree.
27 Father seen around at send-up (6)
SATIRE – SIRE around AT.
28 Waller starts to take on cattle, keeping animals for slaughter (8)
FATSTOCKFATS Waller, then first letters of Take On Cattle Keeping. First ‘vocabulary expansion’ clue! 

Down
1 Fellow diner putting hot water on tea (8)
MESSMATE – MESS = hot water, MATÉ=the (Paraguayan) tea.
2 Judge takes female relative for pleasure trip (5)
JAUNT – J + AUNT.
3 Strange upset after gang followed the French primate (4-6,5)
RING-TAILED LEMUR – RING=gang, TAILED=followed, LE=‘the’ in French, MUR=RUM upset.
4 Son dividing silver isn’t commonly in opposition (7)
AGAINST – put S in AG + AINT.
6 Diplomat’s accusation over plants choking river (6,9)
CHARGÉ D’AFFAIRES – CHARGE=accusation, DAFFS=plants ‘choking’ AIRE.
7 Process of tailoring brightly coloured suit (9)
REDACTION – RED + (court) ACTION.
8 Way in which poor Amy enters farm store (6)
HAYMOW – anagram of (poor) AMY in HOW. Second ‘vocabulary expansion’ clue!
9 Blue dog in US space station (6)
SKYLAB – SKY + LAB
15 Experienced people keeping peace on river (9)
UNDERWENT – UN peacekeepers + DERWENT.
17 Tacky bloke reportedly on addictive drug (8)
GIMCRACK – GIM sounds like Jim + CRACK=the drug. I’ve obviously never heard GIMCRACK spoken – I assumed it had a hard G!
19 Neptune’s satellite’s interval discharging energy (6)
TRITON – TRI-TON(e)=(musical) interval, minus E=energy.
20 Old German prince dropping round with a complex woman? (7)
ELECTRA – the German is an ELECTOR. Remove the (round) O, add an A. From Greek mythology via Jungian psychology.
21 Golfing assistants ignoring European’s coarse yarn (6)
CADDIS – CADDI(e)S. Third ‘vocabulary expansion’ clue! I vaguely remembered the caddis fly, but didn’t know it as a yarn.
24 Thickhead finally sacked by boss (5)
DUMBO – (sacke)D + UMBO.
March 26, 2021

Sunday Times Cryptic 4963 by David McLean — Not amateur hour

…with maestro McLean displaying his usual level of 7 (and I’m glad there are no Spoonerisms), presenting us with two deftly executed &lits amid a plethora of other excellent clues, which all seem fairly 2 after all, when the penny finally drops. My only quibble is that a few of the surfaces do not paint a clear picture.

My cryptic-creating friends Joshua Kosman and Henri Picciotto (formerly at The Nation, now producing the Out of Left Field cryptics blog via Patreon) have published a new e-book, Word Salad, “the most comprehensive guide to cryptic crosswords ever published in the United States. There are dozens of chapters on cryptic clueing, with hundreds of examples, preceded by a big-picture introduction and followed by a tour of the cryptic scene in North America and the debates that liven it up. The intended audience ranges from the cryptic newbie to the seasoned constructor. Will Shortz, crossword editor for The New York Times and public radio’s puzzle-master, writes: ‘Solving cryptic crosswords is one of the joys of my life, and I don’t know of any better or more entertaining introduction to the puzzle than this book.’ Word Salad is in an e-book format (epub) that can be read on just about any device. You can purchase it here.”

I indicate (snag a ram)* like this, and italicize anagrinds in the clues.


ACROSS
 1 Ready for the future? (4,3)
NEST EGG — CD, playing with the sense of “Ready” as cash on hand
 5 Group in the know about attack (3,4)
SET UPON — SET, “Group” + UP ON, “in the know about”
 9 Top player first to be sent off pitch (3)
TAR — [-s]TAR
10 Server wear seen in hosts needs fixing (6,5)
TENNIS SHOES — (seen in hosts)* This surface seems a bit opaque.
11 Scamp dashes to net a kipper (14)
WHIPPERSNAPPER — WHIP(PER, “a”)S + NAPPER, “kipper”
13 Grass arresting officers abroad grilled again? (8)
REHEATED — I doubt if that weed is any good RE(HEAT)ED… “The HEAT” being one of our colorful Yank expressions for the fuzz, coppers, Johnny Law…
15 A question and answer about liberal state (6)
ALASKA — A(L, “liberal”)ASK+ A, “answer”… This state isn’t particularly “liberal.”
17 Delighted benches Conservative angered (6)
HUFFED — [-c]HUFFED “Delighted” is a strange subject for the verb “benches,” and an equally odd adjective for “benches” as a noun. Though “benches” is a neat way to put the C out of play, I don’t see any other sports reference here. Paul_in_london (figuratively) has alerted me to a bit of British parliamentary slang that I’m now trying to wrap my head around. I was sure I was missing something… about sports!
18 Plant training volunteers around Stirling? (4,4)
PEAT MOSS — PE, “training” (physical education) + AT<= “Volunteers [Territorial Army] around” + MOSS, last name of the race car driver Stirling—not surprisingly, my LOI.
20 Am I certain this dispersed adders? (14)
ARITHMETICIANS — (Am I certain this)* Ironically enough, in light of the anagrist, I bunged in MATHEMATICIANS at first, so had to rethink for STRAIGHTFORWARD.
23 Passable food tucked into by partygoers (11)
TRAVERSABLE — T(RAVERS)ABLE
24 Tribe discovered in Thai wilderness (3)
IWI — Hidden A social unit among the Maori
25 Petrifying women in America involved in drugs (7)
MEDUSAS — MED(USA)S, where MEDS = “drugs” + “America” is USA, inside
26 Where corporation is in bother over British boys (7)
ABDOMEN — A(B)DO + Men, for “boys”

DOWN
 1 The Tory won after a landslide? Remarkable! (10)
NOTEWORTHY — (The Tory won)* Remarkable anagrind of the week!
 2 Direction that’s easy to follow (15)
STRAIGHTFORWARD — DD… could even be seen as a CD
 3 Scoff all is in ruins apart from Belgium (3,2)
EAT UP — [-b]EAT UP… B being Belgium’s international vehicle registration code
 4 Dope tires stoned groups of high people (8)
GENTRIES — GEN, “Dope” (probably from “general information”) + (tires)*
 5 Sport in which runners are stood on? (6)
SKIING — CD
 6 Inspection by nuns possibly finds guinea pig (4,5)
TEST PILOT — TEST, “Inspection” + PI(ous) LOT, “nuns possibly”… I am a TEST PILOT for Joshua and Henri’s outlandish contraptions.
 7 Poor Spoonerisms fail to display this (15)
PROFESSIONALISM — (Spoonerisms fail)* &lit!
 8 London hospital making good northern grub (4)
NOSH — The G(ood) in the renowned GOSH (Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children) becomes N(orthern).
12 Improvised performance in WI event? (3,7)
JAM SESSION — One of the most famous civic-minded activities of the Women’s Institute was making fruit preserves. From https://iwm.org.uk: “In 1939, realising that much of the fruit from the summer’s bumper harvest might be wasted unless it were made into jam, WI’s headquarters secured sugar supplies direct from the Ministry of Food. WIs across the country gathered in surplus fruit from gardens and allotments or growing wild. In their first wave of jam making, it is estimated that the WI saved 450 tons of fruit from rotting.”
14 A department head might have it (9)
ADEPTNESS — A + DEPT, “department” + NESS, “head”… and another &lit!
16 Bit of backbone shown by green energy supporter (8)
VERTEBRA — Go team! VERT, “green” + E(nergy) + BRA, “supporter”
19 When coming across inspiration is funny (6)
AMUSES — A(MUSE)S
21 Church split by concerning democratic dogma (5)
CREED — The C of E is cleft by RE, “concerning” and then we have D for “democratic” (as a party affiliation).
22 Piece of paper? (4)
ITEM — CD
New RCA
  • vinyl1

Mephisto 3176 - The turning of the screw!

This puzzle was a strange mixture of perfectly straightforward, quite simple clues with a few that were almost impossible.   I nearly managed to finish, but got stuck in the end, and had to phone a friend.   Fortunately, I was able to reach the great Verlaine, and he was able to give me the word I needed to finish - off the top of his head, of course. 

When I started the blog, there were about five or six that I couldn't explain, but now I have managed to cover everything.   Some of the explanations seem a bit fat-fetched, so perhaps someone can suggest some simpler explanations. 

Across
1 Joiners being outwardly dismal as before (8)
ENTRISTS - EN(TRIST)S, where ens is a term escaped from philosophy.
6 Scottish law’s reputation once best in House (4)
LOSH - LOS + H.  Losh is a Scottish interjection that is probably equivalent to law, definition 5, another surprised interjection.   LOS is an archac word for praise, from Latin laus, and best is apparently used to indicate the first letter of house.
10 White cop beat up Native American (8)
OTCHIPWE - Anagram of WHITE COP, the tribe often called the Chippewa, which is much easier to pronounce.
11 As relating to slip road repair? (10)
TARSEALING - Anagram of AS RELATING.
12 Criminal gang sustaining racket over in island (8)
TRINIDAD - TRI(DIN backwards)AD.
14 Wine bottle sommelier keeps in rotation (5)
MOSEL -Backwards hidden in [bott]LE SOM]elier].
16 White manouevred cue balls (8)
BUCELLAS -  Anagram of CUE BALLS.
17 Happy place not ready for therapy (4)
SHEN - [go]SHEN.  How go equals ready is an interesting question, which is not resolved by consulting Chambers.
18 Book with school basics: sounds like it’s not too hot (4)
BRRR - B + the three Rs.
19 Appealing top ballet dancer ends with trio for Strictly (8)
PETITORY - PETIT + [tri]O + [fo]R + [Strictl]Y.
24 Eddy’s golf drive (5)
GURGE - G + URGE.
25 Bully not quite headless chicken (8)
COWARDLY - COW + [h]ARDLY.
26 Scheme belongs to a lady? They’ll flatten it (10)
PLANISHERS - PLAN IS HERS.
27 I’m sharing a chum's ill-feeling (8)
ACRIMONY -  A CR(I'M)ONY.
28 Turkey has range of knowledge about concealing term in slammer (4)
NERK - K(R)eN backwards, where R is the term(ination) in SLAMMER.
29 County with fish and some beef for Scottish folk (8)
ANGLESEY - ANGLE + SEY - another Scots dialect word.
Down
1 Bury hospital department needing oxygen to be given by doctor (6)
ENTOMB - ENT + O + MB.
2 Flush returns with WC tool (9)
TURNSCREW - Anagram of RETURNS and WC.
3 American male involved in run for joining lodge ultimately? (6)
RUSHEE - R(US HE)[lodg]E, a clever &lit.
4 Taken aback with Sun cutting put on front page (8)
STARTLED -  S + TART + LED, and not STAR + something. 
5 Bright scanty skirts fashionable (5)
SHINY - SH(IN)Y, as in somewhat shy of a full serving.
6 Network in a cell essential for disciplining (5)
LININ - Hidden in [discip]LININ[g]. 
7 Oozing sex appeal, waitress with large bust could be one (11)
SWEATER GIRL - Anagram of WAITRESS + LARGE minus S.A. - of course!
8 Female masks bright red coarse fabric (6)
HERDEN - H(anagram of RED)EN.   I have to admit, bright is the most far-out anagram indicator yet. 
9 Heavy pitching on board strained dead exhausted staff (11, two words)
LABOUR FORCE - LABOUR + FORCE[d].     Yes, one definition of labour is the heavy pitching or rolling of a ship.  
13 They’d put off the orders put out (9)
DEHORTERS -  Anagram of THE ORDERS.
15 Struggling Liberal drifts in (8)
BATTLING - BATT(L)ING - in cricket you're in, in baseball you're up.
18 Baron, upper-class John penning history primarily (6)
BUCHAN -  B + U + C(H[istory]AN, another &lit, apparently.   It is not clear who is meant, since John Buchan was not primarily a historian.
20 Union losing resistance in county seat (6)
TUSHIE - TU + SHI[r]E. 
21 Formal votes prove right away to be insubstantial (6)
YEASTY -  YEAS + T[r]Y.
22 African country’s grand head of village (5)
MALIK - MALI + K.
23 American after all, term for something sheep stuck on? (5)
GRAMA - [somethin]G + RAM + A[american].   An &lit - US sheep-pasture grass.