Jumbo 1227 September 17, 2016 – Cryptathon

Have to admit to having struggled with this one.  Took well over an hour, had to look a couple up for confirmation and still managed to get the French composer wrong.  I think it was a toughie, but that might depend on how good you are at twigging to a cryptic definition.  No less than eight of them in this puzzle, which seems like it should be some sort of record.

Now some people hate a cryptic def, whereas some see them as the apogee of the setter’s art.  To me it’s simply a case of there being good ones and bad, and the best examples are often the most memorable of clues.

Of today’s bunch, I thought BUTTERFLY EFFECT was superb, OPTICAL ILLUSION not so much, while the others fell somewhere in between.  I’ve ranked them here in descending order of brilliance.  Not for any particular reason, it’s just the sort of thing I do to waste valuable time:

1. Butterfly effect
2. Loaded question
3. Identity parade
4. Starting gun
5. Computer dating
6. Magic carpet
7. Every mother’s son
8. Optical illusion

Purely a matter of opinion of course, and I’d love to hear yours.  Let’s go…

Clues are reproduced in blue, with the definition underlined.  Anagram indicators are bolded and italicised.  Then there’s the answer IN BOLD, followed by the parsing of the wordplay.  (ABC)* means ‘anagram of ABC’.

1 Feature of rugby boot in bag (8)
RUCKSACK – RUCK (feature of rugby) + SACK (boot)
5 Run after criminal, an armed man (6)
FENCER – R (RUN) after FENCE (criminal)
9 Duke to look round, dropping Times in censure (7)
DEPLORE – D (Duke) + EXPLORE (look round), dropping the X (times, as in multiplication)
14 Collector beginning to pant, greeting delayed catalogue (11)
PHILATELIST – P (beginning to plant) + HI (greeting) + LATE (delayed) + LIST (catalogue)
15 Covering up for a fabulous trip (5,6)
MAGIC CARPET – Cryptic def
The carpet is of course a covering, and a magic one would take you ‘up’.  A fabulous trip indeed.
16 One with informal dealings going to a Mediterranean island (5)
IBIZA – I (one) + BIZ (informal for business, or dealings) + A
Apparently this place is to England as Bali is to Australia.  The less said about that the better.
17 One who wrote article about gold in one form and another (7)
THOREAU – THE (article) about OR (gold) + AU (gold)
18 More in new rocks for one in rock business? (4-5)
19 Tradesman is good, but working less hard (7)
GLAZIER – G (good) + LAZIER (working less hard)
20 Agitation of admirals seeing development of storm? (9,6)
Admirals being butterflies, the reference being to the oft-cited (over-cited?) concept that a butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon may ultimately lead to a tornado in Texas.  Very clever clue don’t you think?
22 Claim docking tail repelled aquatic mammal with reasonable rapidity (10)
ALLEGRETTO – ALLEG{E} (claim, docking tail) + RETTO [otter (aquatic mammal), repelled]
23 A grave involving mark put on a pedestal (6)
ADMIRE – A + DIRE (grave) involving M (mark)
25 Search most of lake, heading for bank (4)
COMB – COM{o} (most of lake) + B (heading for bank)
28 Unhappy evidence of poor pheasant plucking? (4,2,3,5)
DOWN IN THE MOUTH – Double def, the second one cryptic
Cue the pheasant plucker’s song, never fails to amuse.  I imagine that only the poorest of pheasant pluckers would end up with down in their mouths, but what would I know?  I’ve never plucked a pheasant.
On edit:  As Keriothe points out, it’s more likely to refer to whoever subsequently eats the poorly-plucked pheasant.
30 Sea and trees represented in various bits of the picture (8)
32 French composer is taken aback, being included among various English names (8)
MESSIAEN – SI (is, taken aback) included among (E + NAMES)*
Didn’t know this guy, and I assembled the letters in the wrong order.  So shoot me.
34 Where someone who’s got out of line is in line? (8,6)
An offender gets out of line, so they put him in one of these lines.  Not a bad clue.  Can’t help thinking of Kramer’s memorable identity parade appearance in one Seinfeld episode.
37 Rather glib about Society in historical times (4)
PAST – PAT (rather glib) ‘about’ S (Society)
38 Essay about aim in following fashion (6)
TRENDY – TRY (essay) ‘about’ END (aim)
39 Small flame: airman needs to land (5,5)
PILOT LIGHT – PILOT (airman) + LIGHT (land)
43 You won’t see a lot of credibility in it (7,8)
Might have missed something here, but it strikes me as a fairly weak cryptic.  Which means yeah, I’ve probably missed something.
45 Smell odd after day without incident (7)
HUMDRUM – HUM (smell) + RUM (odd) after D (day)
47 I leave contest after receiving non-consecutive notes, being uninformed (9)
IGNORANCE – I + GO (leave) + RACE (contest) ‘receiving’ N and N (non-consecutive notes)
49 Element knocked back and mostly damaged (7)
SULPHUR – SULP [plus (knocked), reversed] + HUR{t} (mostly damaged)
I have no faith in this parsing as I have no idea in what sense knocked can mean plus.  Or how knocked back can mean sulp.  Would someone be kind enough as to enlighten me?
On edit:  Enlightenment has arrived, delivered by Mohn2.  Of course it’s PLUS = ‘and’, knocked back.
51 Maybe demonstrated material (5)
SATIN – SAT IN (demonstrated, maybe)
52 Connoisseurs cooing drunkenly about bouquet (11)
COGNOSCENTI – (COOING)* ‘about’ SCENT (bouquet)
53 Tub-thumper in pub stirred monster resistance (11)
BARNSTORMER – BAR (pub) + (MONSTER)* + R (resistance)
54 Window mesh used in one of the strings? (7)
LUNETTE – NET (mesh) in LUTE (one of the strings)
Didn’t know this one, but I’m sure it’s come up before.
55 Separate period of weekend with alcohol unavailable (6)
SUNDRY – SUN (Sunday, period of weekend) + DRY (alcohol unavailable)
56 Be less than complete without article from Berlin (8)
UNDERCUT – UNCUT (complete) ‘without’ DER (article from Berlin, as in German for ‘the’)
1 Knockout producing tears? (7)
RIPPING – Double def
2 Judicial speciality having edge in everything covered by comment from beak? (8,3)
CRIMINAL LAW – RIM (edge) + IN + ALL (everything) covered by CAW (comment from beak, as in a sound made by a crow)
One of today’s better clues.
3 Intense when welcoming a female on a ship? (9)
SEAFARING – SEARING (intense) ‘welcoming’ A + F (female)
4 Cumbrian initially resettles there, moving somewhere across the Pennines (7-2-6)
CHESTER-LE-STREET – C (Cumbrian initially) + (RESETTLES THERE)*
Known only to me as a cricket ground, where Australia lost an Ashes Test on a recent tour.  The result was reported widely in Australia, which will come as a surprise to some who frequent this site.
6 Request agreement in support of reduction in target (8)
ENTREATY – TREATY (agreement) ‘in support of’ EN{d} (reduction in target)
7 What match programmes get used for? (8,6)
A play on ‘match programmes’.  Not bad.
8 Street child offering cake after performance in India? (10)
RAGAMUFFIN – MUFFIN (cake) after RAGA (performance in India)
9 Study about church clearly lacking core body’s fairness (7)
DECENCY – DEN (study) ‘about’ CE (church) + C{learl}Y (clearly ‘lacking core’)
10 Be critical of including one old key holder (5)
PIANO – PAN (be critical of) including I (one) + O (old)
11 Atomic expert candid about power: “I’m here to see change” (11)
OPPENHEIMER – OPEN (candid) ‘about’ P (power) + (I’M HERE)*
12 Universe about to come into being (8)
ENTIRETY – RE (about) to ‘come into’ ENTITY (being)
13 Car fuel going up, confining millions (4)
LIMO – LIO [oil (fuel), going up] ‘confining’ M (millions)
20 Baseball player, say, making strike (6)
BATTER – Double def
21 One blooming commotion reduced around church in Advent, primarily (7)
FUCHSIA – FUS{s} (commotion reduced) ‘around’ CH (church) + IA (in Advent, primarily)
22 Provide another manuscript for American cartoonist (6)
ADDAMS – ADD A (provide another) + MS (manuscript)
24 All affected by the Oedipus complex? (5,7,3)
EVERY MOTHER’S SON – Cryptic def
I don’t think it quite works.  I know the expression, meaning all men, but just being a mother’s son doesn’t imply being affected by an Oedipus complex does it?  Or are we meant to read mother’s son as “mummy’s boy”?  Maybe it works.
On edit: Kevin helpfully reminds us that Freud decided that this complex is universal, ie it affects every mother’s son.
26 Are you still worth a fortune?” (6,8)
Are you still loaded?  Yep, that’s a loaded question alright.  Ranked number 2 on my list for today.
27 Stick with job after most of plan goes astray (6)
CEMENT – {pla}CEMENT [job, after pla (most of plan) goes away]
29 I will participate in one party and movement? That’s daft (7)
IDIOTIC – I in I (one) + DO (party) + TIC (movement)
31 Forward plan sees department losing top 25% (6)
VISION – {di}VISION (department, losing top 25%, ie the first two letters)
33 One goes off before others go off (8,3)
STARTING GUN – Cryptic def
Spotted this one quite quickly, against the run of play.  Does that make it better or worse?
35 Ace flying microlight following set of instructions (11)
36 Sport elevated one in error, accepting dodgy tale (4,6)
REAL TENNIS – RENNIS [elevated sinner (one in error)] ‘accepting’ (TALE)*
A sport I’ve never played.  I think you have to be rich.
40 Mineral the writer found in first catalogue? (9)
LIMESTONE – ME (the writer) in (LIST ONE) first catalogue?
41 Support Australia, reversing most of demand regarding houses (8)
ZODIACAL – [AID (support) + OZ (Australia)], reversing + CAL{l} (most of demand)
42 Factory ban involving one in no great pressure (8)
MILLIBAR – MILL (factory) + BAR (ban) ‘involving’ I (one)
44 Oxford college lecturer’s foremost in area (7)
LINACRE – L (lecturer’s foremost) + IN + ACRE (area)
Ah, good old Linacre.  The list of Oxford colleges that I’ve never heard of must be slowly diminishing.
46 Live in hitherto unused religious tower (7)
MINARET – ARE (live) in MINT (hitherto unused)
48 Head of squadron entering base where fliers land (5)
ROOST – S (head of squadron) entering ROOT (base)
50 Instrument tuned slightly high? Not initially (4)
HARP – {s}HARP (tuned slightly high, without the initial letter)

8 comments on “Jumbo 1227 September 17, 2016 – Cryptathon”

  1. Well, I just went through all your answers, Galspray, and my copy agrees with them (sighs of relief in Oz), but I was scored at 580. Ah well, as the poet said. In the US, an identity parade is called a lineup; and in US and UK law, the presumption is of innocence, so I would have thought the folks in the lineup aren’t necessarily out of line. DNK RUCK, but then I don’t know rugby. Didn’t understand IGNORANCE, so ta for that; I also didn’t understand ‘knocked back’, though, so I can’t help you out. As for EVERY MOTHER’S SON, though, I think I can: If you buy into Freud’s speculations, and I see no reason why you should, the Oedipus complex IS universal. COD to BUTTERFLY EFFECT.
    1. Kevin, I think 580 means two wrong in a Jumbo, so it must be a typo in a crossing letter?

      Remember the letter will be corrected in your solution and will appear in black instead of blue, not always that easy to spot.

      Edited at 2016-10-02 07:24 am (UTC)

      1. Just went through my printed copy again, and no errors. Go figure. There have been occasional complaints on the club forum of similar scoring errors, or what the complainant at least saw as scoring errors.
  2. Good point re Freud Kevin. Rings a bell from one of the pop-psychology subjects I studied decades ago. Can you imagine Freud being part of your social circle? “What, Sig’s gonna be there? That’s it, I’m not going. That guy just makes me uncomfortable”.

    Had the same thoughts as you about the IDENTITY PARADE regarding the presumption of innocence. But I guess the actual offender might be in the lineup, and there is a question mark, and we are a very forgiving bunch, so I’m finding the setter not guilty on this occasion.

    On edit: I tried several times to post this as a reply to Kevin’s comment, but it failed to appear. So apologies if multiple instances of this comment suddenly appear, and apologies to Kevin if he receives multiple notifications.

  3. Found this one of about average difficulty and enjoyment, with LINACRE the only unknown and the rash of cryptic definitions being entered with a shrug (I’m not a big fan generally). The PLUS in SULPHUR is the “and” in “knocked back and”.

    The way that errors are “highlighted” in the Crossword Club is a constant source of confusion – it’s much clearer in the format used on the Times website itself. However the software on the Times website is very laggy for Jumbos (at least on my machine) whereas it’s fine on the Crossword Club.

  4. I only got round to this yesterday so it’s quite fresh in my mind. It took 38m, which counts as quite difficult.
    I was slowed down a bit at 32ac, where an 8-letter French composer beginning with M can only be MASSENET, right? Fortunately 29dn IDIOTIC got me back on track before too long and I’ve at least heard of MESSIAEN, even if I wouldn’t have been able to spell him without the checking letters.
    I have plucked many pheasants but never ended up with down in my mouth. I think the clue is referring to whoever subsequently eats the pheasant, although if it was still covered in feathers they probably wouldn’t, would they?

    Edited at 2016-10-02 10:13 am (UTC)

    1. Thanks K, good point.

      And it must have been MASSENET who made me think there was a MASSINEE, which is what I actually entered.

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