September 4th, 2021

  • jerrywh

Times Cryptic Jumbo 1513 - 21 August 2021

Hello again. This Jumbo I thought was harder than some we have seen lately; a bit of a pig in fact, though in a nice way, of course. It took me two sessions to solve, and there are several I couldn't parse; let us hope they come to me while I do the blog. What did you think?

Please, do feel free to ask questions or comment as required. We are all friends here..

I use the standard TfTT conventions like underlining the definition, CD for cryptic definition, DD for a double one, *(anargam) and so forth. Nho = "not heard of" and in case of need the Glossary is always handy



Across
1 Supports sailors circumnavigating island in secret (10)
BACKSTAIRS - BACKS (supports) + I(sland) in TARS (sailors). Backstairs: "involving intrigue or scandal; secret" Collins) .. referring to the stairs which large houses had for the use of servants, and those who wished to go unseen. "Backstairs Billy" is a character frequently referred to in Private Eye as a member of the Royal Household. Probably better not to ask how he got that name..
6 Possible description of home in homage, a redeeming feature (6,6)
SILVER LINING - this is one I only now see: Ag = silver, and in homage, the home is lining it: HOM(AG)E. Crafty..
14 Large insect covering a short distance (7)
MAMMOTH - A MM (short distance, 0.03937") inside MOTH, your insect du jour
15 Fish struck in the side (7)
WHITING - HIT (struck) inside WING (side). A fairly innocent clue that for some reason took me a while to find. Fortunately I only knew one fish with 7 letters, beginning with W.
16 Climbing aid? It’s a fiddle securing slope (7)
CRAMPON - RAMP (slope) inside CON (fiddle)
17 Initial figure reduced by half for attractive instrument (4)
LUTE - So, this is CUTE (attractive) with the initial C reduced from 100 to 50, ie L in Roman numerals. Very tricky, but fortunately the identical device was used only a day or two ago in one daily cryptic or another..
18 Cry of surprise in autumn abroad, losing last of blossoms (6)
FLORAL - LOR, a cry of suprise, though you probably need to be in the Georgette Heyer fan club to be familiar with it. Inside FAL(L), what Americans call Autumn, logically enough
20 Loud type of jazz, not without heart (8)
STRIDENT - STRIDE + N(o)T. Stride piano jazz: "A piano style characterized by single bass notes on the first and third beats and chords on the second and fourth." .. which means nothing at all to me. I learn that Mrs Mills used the technique.
24 Make a meal of ingratitude? (4,3,4,4,5,3)
BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS ONE - A cryptic definition
25 Essence of chess: to sanction capturing pieces? That’s the essential part (7)
ELEMENT - (ch)E(ss) + MEN (pieces) inside LET (sanction). I guess an element of the whole is essential to it, but the definition could have been kinder.
26 Disdaining to take in operatic cycle after receiving note (8)
SNEERING - N(ote) inside SEE RING, the Wagnerian operatic cycle I have never dared to watch. Opera is all downhill after Carmen, for Philistine me. I tend to think of it just as a browser ..
27 Scoundrel’s wife needing support (6)
WEASEL - W(ife) + EASEL
29 Cold and nasty dank old garage, associated with intrigue (5-3-6)
CLOAK-AND-DAGGER - C(old) + *(DANK OLD GARAGE)
31 Pilot show, say, in stupid series (5,3)
DUMMY RUN - DUMMY (stupid, as a noun) + RUN (series, eg a run of bad luck)
34 Organ song bearing fruit? On the contrary (8)
MELODEON - ODE (song, eg Ode to Billy Joe, though usually just a poem nowadays) inside MELON, a fruit. I could have sworn a melodeon needed two Ls, but no. Perhaps I was thinking of a mellotron..
36 Beer’s not cool — gutless drunks converted to become this? (5-4,5)
STONE-COLD SOBER - *(BEERS NOT COOL + D(runk)S) .. not sure what to underline as there is no actual definition, though the direction is perfectly clear.
39 Take contents from a French collection of suits (6)
UNPACK - UN (a in French) + PACK, a collection of (playing card) suits
41 One hopes to discover former Priest retaining lessons of history? (8)
EXPLORER - LORE (lessons of history) inside EX PR(iest).
43 It’s what laureate receives, bloke granted (7)
CHAPLET - CHAP (bloke) + LET (granted). A chaplet is a small wreath worn on the head. Some laureates do get them no doubt; but I don't think Nobel or Poet ones do. Nobel prizewinners have to make do with a medal and a good payday.
46 Radio waves and so on providing entry for company in revised recent computer game list (15,8)
ELECTROMAGNETIC SPECTRUM - hmm, golly. I think it is C(ompany) in *(RECENT COMPUTER GAME LIST). But life is too short to check up.
47 Fluttering lids seen in dalliance? (8)
IDLENESS - *(LIDS SEEN)
48 Managing minor employee in control of security number (6)
COPING - PIN (security number) inside COG, your minor employee
49 Audience’s first objection backing brass instrument (4)
TUBA - A(udience) + BUT, rev.
53 Nonsense — I should replace article — here’s a minor adjustment (7)
TWIDDLE - TWADDLE (nonsense) with the A replaced by I
54 Childhood dreams occur thus? (7)
INFANCY - IN FANCY
56 Foolishness in a year will have fool incarcerated (7)
INANITY - NIT (fool) in IN A Y(ear)
57 Party subordinate with yen to cover the old foreign policy hypothesis (6,6)
DOMINO THEORY - DO (party), + THE O(ld) inside MINOR + Y(en)
58 One tweets: “Shift European capital — opening for reinvestment” (10)
BUDGERIGAR - BUDGE (shift) + RIGA (Latvian capital) + R(einvestment)

Down
1 Dickens character needing a lot of ale, being a busy figure (9)
BUMBLEBEE - BUMBLE (Dickens character, from Oliver Twist) + BEE(r) (a lot of ale). Most bumblebees I've seen appear pretty calm and laid back.
2 Get very heated — a lot of bother involved in old aircraft fuel (4,2,3,4)
COME TO THE BOIL - it is *(BOTHE(r)), in COMET (old aircraft) + OIL (fuel). So: COMET(OTHEB)OIL
3 Broadcast interrupted by new interference (4)
SNOW - N(ew) in SOW (broadcast)
4 After bagging Munro, say, experts continue to nurse part of foot (8,6)
ACHILLES TENDON - HILL (Munro say) in ACES TEND ON (experts continue to nurse). Though technically, all Munros are defined not as hills but as mountains, over 3,000ft.
5 Bank controversy (3)
ROW - DD
7 One getting second after one first in race gets flag (4)
IRIS - I (one) + R(ace) + I + S(econd). Flag = Iris, as chestnutty as it gets
8 Having a dull time — herbivorous, say, and swallowing last of meat (10)
VEGETATING - mea(T) in VEG EATING (herbivorous say)
9 English church encircled by current fence (8)
RECEIVER - E(nglish) + CE (church) inside RIVER (current)
10 Statement from owner of paper about Democrat’s rallying cry in US? (1,4,1,5)
I HAVE A DREAM - D(emocrat) inside I HAVE A REAM, ha ha. I expect nobody needs reminding that this is from a speech by Martin Luther King, one of the very great men of history.
11 Sadly time’s up without you heading off — that’s thoughtless (9)
IMPETUOUS - (y)OU, inside *(TIMESUP)
12 Note framed by giant percussion instrument (4)
GONG - N(ote) inside GOG, our mythical giant du jour alongside his mate Magog, who apparently was originally only the country that Gog came from, but was later conflated into being another giant
13 Making shift, daughter is joining second daughter in box (8)
DISLODGE - D(aughter) + IS, + another D in LOGE (box)
19 Has to gather round piano in bar — unknown emotional piece (8)
RHAPSODY - Another tricky one: P(iano) inside HAS, all inside ROD, + Y (uknown). So R(HA(P)S)OD+Y
21 “Run bearing rump”? The opposite: it’s “run baring rump” (6)
STREAK - R(un) inside STEAK, rump steak in this instance. I don't much mind streaking (by others) but I sometimes wish the protagonists were more shapely than, in the main, they tend to be. Bring back Erica Roe.
22 Coven, perhaps, subsequently holding ghastly rite (8)
THIRTEEN - *(RITE) in THEN (subsequently). Covens don't have to have thirteen members, though apparently it is a number they like to aim for if the recruitment policy goes to plan. And women only, is that sexist or what?
23 Comfortable seat in play area on ship (8)
RECLINER - REC (play area) + LINER (ship) .. QC escapee
28 Government investment? Quiet dancing club is undecided (6,8)
PUBLIC SPENDING - P (quiet) + *(CLUB IS) + PENDING (undecided). Wishful thinking here, firstly that public spending is an investment, second that pending things will get decided, rather than quietly forgotten ..
29 One arriving, about to dump office machine (8)
COMPUTER - PUT (to dump) inside COMER (one arriving). Does PUT = DUMP? discuss ..
30 Manage Japanese sandal, extended (3,5)
GET ALONG - GETA (Japanese sandal. No, me neither) + LONG (extended)
32 Agitated one is beginning to blame burglar for causing uproar (6-7)
RABBLE-ROUSING - *(ONE IS B(lame) BURGLAR). Cleverly constructed clue!
33 A competition to store grain in seed container (5-3)
ACORN-CUP - CORN (grain) inside A CUP (competition)
35 Notice oddly shaped flowering plant (11)
DICOTYLEDON - *(NOTICE ODDLY). A grouping of c200,000 plant species. The Wikipedia article on the subject is (somewhat) more interesting than you might think..
37 Observation in support of singular quantity of material (6)
SWATCH - S(ingular) + WATCH (observation)
38 Part of car, as it happens, not initially complete (10)
EXHAUSTIVE - EXHAUST (part of car) + (l)IVE (as it happens, not initially)
40 Communist committee to believe almost all about old African tyrant (9)
PRESIDIUM - IDI (Amin, African tyrant) inside PRESUM(e). Always spelt it praesidium, myself, because that is its Latin root. But words translated from another language with a different lettering system, such as Greek or Cyrillic, are often tricky.
42 Hire after receiving elevated quote? That’s not saying much (8)
RETICENT - CITE, reversed (elevated quote, this being a down clue) inside RENT (hire)
44 Literary hero some way misrepresented in first couple of translations (3,6)
TOM SAWYER - *(SOME WAY), inside TR(anslations). I remember reading this when I was about 11, and being deeply envious of the freedom he was able to enjoy.
45 Feeling the blues rhythm without much stress (8)
DOWNBEAT - DD, though re the second one, that is an assumption on my part. "Unmusical" is a pale and inadequate description of what I am.
50 Boss with a lot of scholarship (4)
STUD - STUD(y)
51 A group of aviators soaring a great distance (4)
AFAR - RAF, A reversed, ie soaring .. down clue, again
52 Supporting justice? Fine attitude (4)
FAIR - F(ine) + AIR (attitude, mien)
55 Solver’s early days? Half of that is forgotten (3)
YOU - Another clever clue to finish off with. It is YOUTH, with TH (half of that) removed.


  • brnchn

Times Cryptic No 28068 - Saturday, 28 August 2021. Make no mistake!

There were some very clever definitions here; 13ac was my favourite! Is the definition in 18ac really doing double duty as part of the wordplay? If so, we should declare an amnesty since the clue is so nicely crafted!

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 Some blood not English: a simple mistake? (4)
TYPO – TYP(e) O is the blood group.
3 Sanction naughty boy, lip given a brief curl (10)
IMPRIMATUR – IMP + RIM + A + TUR(n). Always confusing that ‘sanction’ has two opposite meanings: to allow, or to bar.
9 Heading away from capital on motorway, they get the shakes (7)
MARACAS – M + (c)ARACAS.
11 Nothing current in old transmission (7)
PODCAST – O + DC=direct current, in PAST.
12 Marx discussing royalty, the main killer (9)
HARPOONER – HARPO (Marx) + ON + ER.
13 Former scorer missing a run (5)
MAKER – MA(r)KER = scorer (of metal, not of music). Former (n) = one who forms!
14 A tiny piece and others covering naked back said to bring luck (5,7)
WHITE RABBITS – WHIT + BITS covering BARE, back. Apparently to bring luck one is to say white rabbits first thing in the morning on the first of the month.
18 Gander trembled, facing his killer? (8,4)
BUTCHERS HOOK – SHOOK facing BUTCHER. CRS.
21 Complete eccentric forgetting name (5)
UTTER – (n)UTTER.
22 Spending more francs in account (9)
REFLATION – F in RELATION.
24 One in bed having some lover be naked (7)
VERBENA – hidden answer.
25 Getting on with broadcast about a sort of dancing (3-4)
OLD-TIME – OLD=getting on, EMIT about.
26 They explain poor sex: it’s shattering (10)
EXPOSITORS – anagram (shattering) POOR SEX ITS.
27 Trim nails back (4)
SNIP – PINS back.

Down
1 Male, warlike type, holding a chopper (8)
TOMAHAWK – TOM=male (cat) + A + HAWK=warlike type.
2 Painter has left it around? (8)
PORTRAIT – PORT=left + IT, around RA.
4 People eating very tiny thing (5)
MESON – MEN eating SO.
5 One selling farmland that can be brought back into use (9)
REPARABLE – REP=salesperson, ARABLE.
6 For a change, dad’s at a museum: whose? (6,7)
MADAME TUSSAUD – anagram (for a change) of DADS AT A MUSEUM.
7 Appreciated it’s hot inside military vehicles (6)
THANKS – H=hot (tap), inside TANKS.
8 Doing a turn in club (6)
ROTARY – double definition.
10 Hand-to-hand fighting at these crowded lodgings (5,8)
CLOSE QUARTERS – double definition, the second more a cryptic hint.
15 Agreeing article can fit at the back, held together with string (9)
ACCORDANT - A=article + CAN +(fi)T, holding CORD. I wasn’t quite sure the wordplay exactly described how to assemble the letters.
16 Will exercise, moving to violin (8)
VOLITION – anagram (moving) TO VIOLIN. Is exercise part of the definition, or just a filler?
17 Superficial need to be thrown into large bin (4-4)
SKIN-DEEP – anagram (thrown) of NEED, in SKIP.
19 Left rival to support kind of light actor? (6)
LUVVIE – L=left + VIE to support UV.
20 Get excited, foothold centrally defective (4,2)
STIR UP – STI(r)RUP.
23 A number eating large meal (5)
FLOUR – L in FOUR.