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So here it is my turn again to blog the Jumbo. Hooray! On the plus side, I get 2 weeks to complete the blog. On the minus side, I do the blog not knowing if I've got everything correct... 100% submitted, but will I get the dreaded "With errors" tag? Lol. I hope not, but I got this response with all 3 other prize crosswords I entered the weekend this was published!  Today's (or maybe 2 weeks ago's as you read this) was nicely positioned as not too hard so that people run out of energy or time and give up (which has occasionally happened to me), but with plenty of sweet nougat to savour*. I had to trust to the wordplay for 1A, but otherwise there no unknowns - just some tricky clues. I liked 24A, 52A, 2D, 12D and 23D, but my COD goes to my last one in - 22D. VIP... what a brilliant bit of wordplay! Thanks to our setter for 49 minutes (for me) of entertainment. How did you all like it?

*I'm in trouble. The Missus left a box of nougat which I thought she had aready opened on the desk in the study and I had some while composing this blog. Apparently it was a meant to be a present for an elderly relative! Oops!

Definitions underlined in italics, (ABC)* indicating anagram of ABC, {} deletions and [] other indicators.

Across
1 Unfunny art park regularly shows something outstanding in white (7)
NUNATAK - Alternate letters of UNdUnNy ArT pArK. An unknown word to me. I looked it up to find it's a mountain top that is surrounded by an ice-field.
5 Father’s returned with little desire for food (8)
APPETITE - AP (pa = father, returned) PETITE (little).
9 Chap has shortly to cut weight (6)
GRAHAM - GRAM (weight) including HA{s} [shortly].
13 Physics device compresses matter in a strange way (4,12)
MASS SPECTROMETER - (compresses matter)*. Read all about what it does here.
14 Woody material needs straightening with edges removed (6)
LIGNIN - You need to find the word for straightening first and then remove the 'edges' (first and last letters) thus - {a}LIGNIN{g}.
16 Dutiful round patient’s place in hospital that is not empty (8)
OBEDIENT - O (round) BED (patient's place in hospital) I.E. (that is) N{o}T (emptying - removing middle letter of, not).
17 An objection over large orchestral piece? (4)
TUBA - A BUT (an objection) reversed [over], with a cryptic definition.
18 I flirt awfully after tea — something that could get one suspended? (9)
CHAIRLIFT - CHA (tea) with (I flirt)* [awfully] [after].
20 Form of soya planted in river that’s no longer running (3,2,3)
OUT OF USE - The River is the OUSE. Plant some TOFU (form of soya) in it.
21 Public speaker, warm and adept (11)
TOASTMASTER - TOAST (warm) MASTER (an adept).
24 Not giving in, city guards survive one (9)
INELASTIC - Nice misdirection on the definition! IN EC (city), inserting [guards] LAST (survive) I (one).
25 Taking on a lecturer without work — half time (8)
ADOPTION - A DON (lecturer) outside [without] OP (work) TI{me} ([half] time).
26 Crack bringing head of safety into aircraft (4)
JEST - Put [head of] S{afety} in JET (aircraft). Nice surface.
29 Philharmonic took in composer audibly a lover of French timbres? (11)
PHILATELIST - This is a beaut - nothing to do with the quality of the sound the orchestra makes, timbres being the french word for a stamp...Combine PHIL (common abbreviation of Philharmonic) ATE (took in) and LIST (sounds like - [audibly] LISZT) to get a stamp collector.
31 Notes country is keeping one Conservative and tame (11)
DOMESTICATE - DO ME (notes) STATE (country) [keeping] I C (one Conservative).
33 Get annoyed with aim for decoration (11)
NEEDLEPOINT - NEEDLE (get annoyed) [with] POINT (aim).
36 Leave — it holds wild panic for one who’s involved (11)
PARTICIPANT - PART (leave) and IT (it) including [holds] [wild] (panic)*.
38 Twisting old street in Paris — and what one needs to buy there (4)
EURO - O (old) RUE (french for street) reversed [twisting].
39 Overstep the mark and move twelve inches back, right? (2,3,3)
GO TOO FAR - GO (move) A FOOT (twelve inches) reversed [back] R (right). Another neat surface.
41 American male working where ships unload in remote country (9)
BOONDOCKS - I think this is ON (working) DOCK (where ships unload) [in] BOS (American man's name) - there are, according to this, 5000 more popular boy's names, but there has been an upsurge in popularity recently. I wonder why? Or have I parsed this wrong? This BO (american male) ON (working) DOCKS (where ships unload). Thanks to Kevin and Jerry for a better parsing than my original.
44 Sportsman leapt the net excitedly (11)
PENTATHLETE - (leapt the net)* [excitedly].
45 Memorise poem for discussion (8)
CONVERSE - CON (memorise) VERSE (poem). I intially thought this was a bit dodgy, but, on checking my Chambers, apparently 'converse' can be a noun too.
48 Crossing a line in pursuit of writer of farces (9)
TRAVERSAL - TRAVERS (writer of farces) A L (line). Ben Travers "was an English writer. His output includes more than twenty plays, thirty screenplays, five novels, and three volumes of memoirs. He is best remembered for his long-running series of farces first staged in the 1920s and 1930s at the Aldwych Theatre. Many of these were made into films and later television productions.". I can't say I know any of them. I tried for some time to find an answer including Brian Rix. Wrong farce writer!
49 Word no peacekeepers needed (4)
NOUN - NO UN (peacekeepers).
50 Heaven is being trapped in a row of shops (8)
PARADISE - IS [being trapped in] PARADE.
52 A bachelor told to go away (6)
ABSENT - A B (bachelor) SENT (told to go).
53 I sing idiot patter, arranging conjuring tricks (16)
PRESTIDIGITATION - (I sing idiot patter) * [arranging]. Literally fast moving of the fingers.
54 Worker in house or outbuilding (4-2)
LEAN-TO - ANT (worker) [in] LEO (house of the zodiac).
55 Old soldier about to finish Territorial Army feud (8)
VENDETTA - VET outside [about] END (finish) + TA (Territorial Army).
56 Colour of a red elm when worked (7)
EMERALD - (a red elm)* [worked].

Down
1 Some variation, perhaps, in bedroom — both upside down? (6)
NIMROD - NI (in upside down) MROD (dorm upside down). The most famous of Elgar's Enigma Variations.
2 New monster turned up, killing English military designer (6)
NISSEN - This is fun. The monster is NESSIE. Take N (new) and add her reversed [turned up] losing [killing] the final E (English). The designer is, of course, the one famous for the eponymous huts.
3 A routine gets to be fixed over singer’s vocal range (9)
TESSITURA - I knew the word from it's definition, but had to work at the wordplay... Take A RUT (a routine) and IS SET (gets to be fixed) and turn it all [over].
4 Unfortunately it’ll betoken a four-dimensional concept (5,6)
KLEIN BOTTLE - (it'll betoken)* [unfortunately]. A Klein Bottle is "a one-sided surface which, if traveled upon, could be followed back to the point of origin while flipping the traveler upside down.". Interestingly we had it's simpler cousin, the Mobius Strip appreared in a rather fine Quick Crossword just recently.
5 Singer taking part in abysmal Tosca (4)
ALTO - Hidden in abysmAL TOsca.
6 Sticking out in favour of underground rave (11)
PROTUBERANT - PRO (in favour) TUBE (underground) RANT (rave).
7 Final statement is exam — at least as far as these clues go? (3,4,4)
THE LAST WORD - Jocular cryptic reference to 51d.
8 Cutting song after resistance during number (9)
TRENCHANT - R (resistance) in TEN (number) with CHANT (song) [after].
10 American line is to complain bitterly with Republican over a Democrat (8)
RAILROAD - RAIL (complain bitterly) R (Republican) O (over) A D (Democrat).
11 Be uncertain with short tapestry on a zodiac subject (4,2,3,7)
HANG IN THE BALANCE - Shorten HANGIN{g} (tapestry) and add THE BALANCE (Libra - the sign of the zodiac).
12 Check up on men having second egg to begin with (7)
MONITOR - This made me smile... my son likes 2 eggs for breakfast, but not this sort! MO (a second) NIT (egg) and then OR (Other Ranks - men).
15 Careful with parking for university being critical (8)
CAPTIOUS - This is a substitution clue... Careful is CAUTIOUS. Replace the U (university) with P (parking) to become carping.
19 Vegetable with unknown feature put in dutchie regularly (8)
ZUCCHINI - Oo er. A Transatlanticism. Hello to all our friends across the pond! Z (unknown, like X and Y in a 3-D world) CHIN (feature) in dUtChIe [regularly].
22 VIP’s a bit out of date? (8)
SIXPENCE - My last one in... and oh so clever! SIX (VI in roman numerals... which I guess is also out of date) + PENCE (P) to get an obsolete "bit" (coin). A clear COD!
23 Name eater associated originally with sardine? (13,3)
MEDITERRANEAN SEA - This is proper clever too! It's an anagram [originally] of (name eater sardine)*... and a 16 letter &lit! I've not had any sardines in ages. But its not really the time of year here to throw some on the barbie - unlike Down Under.
27 Surprise event is had with European paper (8)
TREATISE - TREAT (surprise event) IS [with] E (European).
28 Bird seen in sky, big owl? Tit? (4)
KIWI - Very funny. We take the middle letters of sKy bIg oWl tIt to get the NewZealand bird.
30 Rod has beer around ten (4)
AXLE - ALE (beer) [around] X (ten).
32 Dying to tease in bank? (8)
MORIBUND - RIB (tease) [in] MOUND (bank)
34 Rugby player — he’s unknown to see forwards (8)
PROPHESY - PROP (rugby player) HE'S Y (unknown).
35 Fees often do upset snobbish (6-5)
TOFFEE-NOSED - (fees often do)* [upset]. Where does that odd phrase come from? This may help.
36 Skydiver has ruined haircut in times gone by (11)
PARACHUTIST - (haircut)* [ruined] [in] PAST (times gone by).
37 Not working in musical show I have to follow troupe’s lead (11)
INOPERATIVE - IN OPERA (musical show) T{roupe} ['s lead] I'VE (I have) [to follow]
40 Rather obese on account of swilling lager (9)
OVERLARGE - OVER (on account of) [swilling] (lager)*. Nice surface.
42 Scorn girl’s passion after a year (9)
DISPARAGE - Di's (girl's) P.A. (per annum - a year) RAGE (passion) [after].
43 Obscure large cask turning up for fruit (8)
HAZELNUT - HAZE (obscure) L (large) NUT (tun - large cask [turning up]).
44 Difficulty is mine, following everything (7)
PITFALL - PIT (mine) F (following) ALL (everything).
46 Compound’s a mix of calcium, sulphur, lithium and iodine (6)
SILICA - Anagram [a mix of] of Ca (calcium) S (sulphur) Li (Lithium) and I (Iodine). It pays to know your chemical element symbols here!
47 Wrote how sheep are sometimes treated (6)
PENNED - Double definition.
51 Girl taking a university exam (4)
VIVA - VIV (girl) A. Gosh. That takes me back. I had a viva for my M.Phil. degree in, (gulp), 1980. How can it be that long ago?

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
kevingregg
Dec. 1st, 2018 01:02 am (UTC)
BOONDOCKS
I'd say it's BO (name) ON (working) + DOCKS. Never heard of Bos, surprised it made 5001. On edit: but in effect that's your parsing, too, no? except you've got a superfluous S.

Edited at 2018-12-01 01:04 am (UTC)
johninterred
Dec. 1st, 2018 07:59 am (UTC)
Re: BOONDOCKS
Thanks Kevin.... it should have said DOCK rather than DOCKS in the parsing, now corrected. Your parsing looks a valid alternative, but Bo is a Scandinavian rather than American name, is it not?

Edited at 2018-12-01 08:03 am (UTC)
kevingregg
Dec. 1st, 2018 08:18 am (UTC)
Re: BOONDOCKS
Diddley is hardly a Scandinavian name! And most American names aren't, anyway; Kevin's Irish, after all (although I'm not). As I said, I've never heard of a name Bos, but I have Bo; and maybe more to the point, I don't see how you get inclusion from the clue.
(Anonymous)
Dec. 1st, 2018 09:03 am (UTC)
RE: Re: BOONDOCKS
You nay well be right. I saw "in" as a containment indicator, but it could just be filling. Your parsing, which treats it as such, is certainly less clunky. As for American men's names, i bow to your superior knowledge.
johninterred
Dec. 1st, 2018 09:46 am (UTC)
Re: BOONDOCKS
Sorry. That was me not logged in on my phone.
jerrywh
Dec. 1st, 2018 10:23 am (UTC)
Re: BOONDOCKS
Isn't "Bo" just US slang? ODO says: "US informal. Used as a friendly form of address."
Sure you would know better than me!
But I'm pretty sure Mr Diddley (who I greatly admire) was not christened Bo. Or Diddley, come to that.. in fact: Ellas Otha Bates, I discover
kevingregg
Dec. 1st, 2018 10:42 am (UTC)
Re: BOONDOCKS
If you were christened Ellas Otha Bates, wouldn't Bo Diddley seem a bit more appealing? I associate Bo with Southerners--and I suspect it's a variant of Beau, with the same association.
jerrywh
Dec. 1st, 2018 10:49 am (UTC)
Re: BOONDOCKS
.. which makes the correct parsing BO (Am. male) + ON (working) + DOCKS (where ships unload), that is how I parsed it, anyway
kevingregg
Dec. 1st, 2018 11:19 am (UTC)
Re: BOONDOCKS
Yeah, I can live with that. It's BO + ON + DOCKS, anyway; the question is, is it BO (American male, generic) or BO (name of an American male). ODO and ODE say it's a vocative: Yo, bo; wassup? I was thinking of the name Bo. I've got 5 bucks that says I'm not going to bet any of it on which reading was in the setter's head.
johninterred
Dec. 1st, 2018 03:46 pm (UTC)
Re: BOONDOCKS
Thanks, guys. Blog updated.
kevingregg
Dec. 1st, 2018 03:00 am (UTC)
DNK NUNATAK, TESSITURA, or KLEIN BOTTLE, but the combination of wordplay and checkers pretty much settled the matter. LOI NIMROD; I have a note in the margin, "Elgar?", so I guess it was vaguely known to me; I'm not a fan. I missed the anagram at 23d, and wondered about the definition; another clue wasted on me. COD 22d.
jerrywh
Dec. 1st, 2018 10:43 am (UTC)
Enjoyed this one, just the right level of difficulty I thought.
23dn brought back happy memories of a sardinade attended in Collioure, many years ago (a sort of communal barbecue involving sardines/pilchards) ..

I am not keen on Americanisms like zucchini appearing without their origin being mentioned. Our colonial cousins have plenty of crosswords of their own, this one is the Times of London .. We are all getting too globalised, this crossword needs some sort of "world heritage site" protection I think :-)
kevingregg
Dec. 1st, 2018 11:32 am (UTC)
ZUCCHINI
I agree with Jerry. (Although I wouldn't much mind if all cricket-related clues disappeared.) As a Murcan, I'm glad enough to see US-related clues appear, if indicated as such. (I'm sure Jerry doesn't mind having to be expected to know 'state' indicating RI, NY, CA, etc.) But having learned--painfully, probably--'courgette', and learned to expect it, this being a Times puzzle, it doesn't do me much good to have those expectations undermined.
jerrywh
Dec. 1st, 2018 11:42 am (UTC)
Re: ZUCCHINI
Don't mind anything American at all, including zucchini, just so long as its overseas origin is stated or hinted at .. otherwise, it is like cluing Der or Les as "the" without any hint that it is foreign
john_dun
Dec. 1st, 2018 12:42 pm (UTC)
I managed to get 15d wrong. It was my LOI and I was feeling weary after an 80 minute battle with the rest of the puzzle, quite a few of which were unknowns requiring some googly input. I did manage to interpret BOONDOCKS as BO ON DOCKS, with Bo being a US name, familiar from the Dukes of Hazard. Going back to CAPTIOUS, I misinterpreted parking as a containment indicator and finished up with CAUTIOUS. No trouble with ZUCCHINI and managed to conjure up the KLEIN BOTTLE. A toughie for me. Thanks setter and John. Now to start on today's puzzles.
mohn2
Dec. 1st, 2018 05:43 pm (UTC)
Though the Jumbo blogs have historically been published on Saturday, the solution for a given puzzle is published on the Crossword Club on the Thursday before that Saturday, giving a couple of days to check if you have a dreaded sub-600 score.
johninterred
Dec. 1st, 2018 09:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks. That's good to know to avoid future embarrassment.
(Anonymous)
Dec. 1st, 2018 09:52 pm (UTC)
LOI NIMROD from checkers as l could not parse it. This was a toughie IMO.
Ong'ara,
Nairobi.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )