Jumbo 1247 January 21, 2017 – Gobbledegook, codswallop and bunkum…

…it’s as if the setter had anticipated my blog!

As I recall, I got through most of this one quite quickly.  Then slowed to a crawl for the last few to finally record a time of 53:30, which is about average for me for a Jumbo.

The recalcitrant ones (STEARIN, TOE-PIECE, PIETIST, IXION and GUANACO) were brought to heel one at a time.  All were unknowns, but being able to solve them eventually made this a satisfying challenge.  Thanks setter.

Also needed all the checkers for BENEFACTRESS, though it looks pretty straightforward in hindsight.

Here’s how I parsed it all…..

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 Snags in inspector’s maxims about vehicle theft, primarily (13)
DISADVANTAGES – DIS (Detective Inspector’s) + ADAGES (maxims) “about” VAN (vehicle) + T (theft, primarily)
Not really synonyms in my book, but my book’s not a dictionary.
8 Show annoyance about good resort serving eggs? (9)
FROGSPAWN – FROWN (show annoyance) “about” G (good) + SPA (resort)
13 Daggers bishop plunged into old priest (5)
OBELI – B (bishop) in O (old) + ELI (priest)
Three crossword standards assembled to form a crossword standard.  Nice work.
14 Sack needed by deadpan alien: it smothers the flames (4,7)
FIRE BLANKET – FIRE (sack) + BLANK (deadpan) + ET (alien)
15 Number one team backing king who suffered perpetual revolution (5)
IXION – NO (number) + I (one) + XI (eleven, team in soccer or cricket) all reversed (backing)
Didn’t know the name, but this is the guy who was sentenced by Zeus to be bound to a winged fiery wheel for eternity.  Presumably with time off for good behaviour.
Oh, and now I see he was referenced by Ishmael in Moby Dick, which I was sure I had memorised word for word.  Must have skipped a page.
16 Rich confection made by titled woman entertaining right set? (5,4)
LARDY CAKE – LADY (titled woman) “entertaining” R (right) + CAKE (set)
Not really a thing here in Australia, but I’ve heard of them somewhere.
17 National emblem finally stuck behind shelter (4)
LEEK – K (finally stuck) behind LEE (shelter)
Interesting choice of national symbol.  Not surprisingly they seem to be trending more towards the red dragon these days.
18 Branch temporarily unattracted by open fire? (8)
OFFSHOOT – OFF (temporarily unattracted by) + SHOOT (open fire)
20 Tramp taking in a French king? Nonsense (6)
BUNKUM – BUM (tramp) taking in UN (“a” in French) + K (king)
21 Poisonous plant beginning to damage a thin lady’s hedge, sadly (6,10)
DEADLY NIGHTSHADE – D (beginning to damage) + (A THIN LADYS HEDGE)*
Not to be confused with less deadly nightshades such as potatoes and tomatoes.  True story.
24 Recipients of letter saint distributed after festival (9)
GALATIANS – (SAINT)* after GALA (festival)
“A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Galatians”.  Yeah, rings a bell from somewhere in my misspent youth.
26 Head off lizard initially clambering over hoofed mammal (7)
GUANACO – GUANA [head off IGUANA (lizard)] + C (initially clambering) + O (over, in cricket)
Great pets iguanas.  Not so sure about guanacos, having never heard of them.
27 Sulked — and swabbed half-heartedly (5)
MOPED – MOPPED (swabbed) with only one P in the middle (half-heartedly)
I recall hiring a moped in London in the early 80’s, but that has nothing whatsoever to do with this clue.
29 Regret accepting British university’s input (12)
CONTRIBUTION – CONTRITION (regret) accepting B (British) + U (university)
31 What protects driver from snakes with Indian name (10)
WINDSCREEN – WINDS (snakes) + CREE (Indian) + N (name)
33 A dead loss! He can’t even jump? (3-7)
NON-STARTER – Double definition
A non-viable enterprise and a horse that doesn’t jump, as in commence a race.  See also “horses that Galspray has bought shares in over the years”.
35 Old chap in apt environment, one with Teutonic leanings (12)
GERMANOPHILE – O (old) + PHIL (chap) in GERMANE (apt)
38 Ingredient of some medicines in Cheshire’s infirmaries (5)
RESIN – Hidden in cheshiRES INfirmaries
39 Typical example of Eastern holy book (7)
EPITOME – E (Eastern) + PI (holy) + TOME (book)
40 Pop in with fish and chips (9)
CARPENTER – CARP (fish) + ENTER (pop in)
42 Growth vagrant had views of, covering round face (4-6,6)
FIVE-OCLOCK SHADOW – (HAD VIEWS OF)* “covering” O (round) + CLOCK (face)
44 Where some wise men traditionally lived and obtained meat? (6)
GOTHAM – GOT (obtained) + HAM (meat)
Some wise men?  Batman maybe, but Robin was a bit young to be considered wise.  Surely they don’t mean Commissioner Gordon or Chief O’Hara?  Almost makes me wonder if they’re talking about a different Gotham.
47 Fence Scottish raider put round City area (8)
RECEIVER – REIVER (Scottish raider) round EC (city area)
49 Most unlikely to endure? (4)
LAST – Double def
As in “I’d be the last one to criticise the setter, but…”
50 Man with fish mostly from an Italian island (9)
SARDINIAN – SARDIN [SARDINE (fish) mostly] + IAN (man)
52 Overhead line in area frequently used by poets (5)
ALOFT – L (line) in A (area) + OFT (“frequently”, as used by poets)
53 Agnostic peacekeepers exist, willing to be heard (11)
UNBELIEVING – UN (United Nations, peacekeepers) + BE (exist) + LIEVING [homophone (to be heard) for LEAVING (willing)]
Leaving = willing in the sense of bequeathing.
54 A girl thus returning Miguel’s valediction (5)
ADIOS – A + DI (girl) + OS [SO (thus) returning]
55 Smashed up Helen’s place, stabbing a couple of blokes (9)
DESTROYED – TROY (Helen’s place) “stabbing” DES and ED (a couple of blokes)
Wonder if the setter considered “Smashed up a few blokes (9)”?
56 Steer carelessly between stakes, collecting mail from here? (5,8)
POSTE RESTANTE – (STEER)* between POST (stake) and ANTE (stake)
Ah, I remember Post Restante.  Is there still such a thing?
1 Idly draw spying device in WWII weapon (9)
DOODLEBUG – DOODLE (idly draw) + BUG (spying device)
2 A constituent of tallow processed in East Riding originally (7)
STEARIN – (IN EAST R)*, where R is Riding, initially
3 Woman on sailing vessel a cricketer’s shot (5-6)
DAISY-CUTTER – DAISY (woman) on CUTTER (sailing vessel)
Remember when batsmen used to hit the ball along the ground?
4 A female cook describing a public brawl (6)
AFFRAY – A + F (female) + FRY (cook) “describing” A
5 Abrupt manner of head supporting introduction of this language (9)
TERSENESS – NESS (head) “supporting” T (introduction of This) + ERSE (language)
6 Having eaten hastily, I sanction pompous jargon (12)
GOBBLEDEGOOK – GOBBLED (eaten hastily) + EGO (I) + OK (sanction)
Possibly my COD.
7 Timid type minded by youth leader breaking into jazz (7-3)
SCAREDY-CAT – CARED (minded) by Y (Youth leader) “breaking into” SCAT (jazz)
8 Openings for farriers at key Essex forge (4)
FAKE – First letters (openings) of Farriers At Key Essex
9 Taken from unvarying parts of the Mass? That’s unusual (3,2,3,8)
OUT OF THE ORDINARY – OUT OF (taken from) THE ORDINARY (unvarying parts of the Mass)
As in the Ordinary of the Mass, the parts of the text that stay the same for every Mass.
10 Westminster’s southern European nationals (5)
SWISS – SWIS (SW1’s or Westminster’s) + S (southern)
11 State of region briefly identified in song (7)
ARIZONA – ZON [ZONe (region) briefly] in ARIA (song)
12 Failure to appear canned at Eton, perhaps, around noon? (3-10)
19 Oberon’s queen almost starts to understand Mustard-seed’s element (8)
TITANIUM – TITANI [TITANIA (Oberon’s queen) almost] + UM (starts to Understand Mustard)
Was also implicated with Magneto in a rob-ber-y, that was due to happen at a quarter to three in the Main Street.
22 Problem about climbing subtropical tree (5)
SUMAC – SUM (problem) + AC [CA (circa, about) climbing]
23 A fluttery type, Miss London SE5! (10,6)
CAMBERWELL BEAUTY – Camberwell is London SE5
And a camberwell beauty is a butterfly.  North Americans call them mourning cloaks.  Actually you can call them what you like, they still won’t come.
25 Fish taken around in small inner sleeves (7)
LININGS – LING (fish) around IN + S (small)
28 Baked dish is consumed by abstemious Lutheran reformer (7)
PIETIST – PIE (baked dish) + IS “consumed by” TT (tee-total, abstemious)
A quick google tells me they are often confused with Puritans.  I’m often confused on my own.
29 Footballer, perhaps, about to cut money for protégé (6,7)
CENTRE FORWARD – RE (about) to “cut” CENT (money) + FOR + WARD (protege)
Why the “perhaps”?  Are there centre forwards that aren’t footballers?
30 Taking to Elgar’s first composition, something to grip Oxford? (3-5)
TOE-PIECE – TOE (First letters of Taking To Elgar’s) + PIECE (composition)
On edit, that’s TO + E (Elgar’s first) + PIECE (composition).  Thanks Kevin.
The Oxford required here is a type of shoe.  Never heard of a toe-piece, and I can’t really find a definition that fits the clue, despite spending upwards of fifteen seconds researching it on Google.  Here’s your chance to rescue the blog….
32 Complaint about northern player? She provides financial support (12)
BENEFACTRESS – BEEF (complaint) about N (northern) + ACTRESS (player)
Good clue, took me ages to crack it for some reason.
34 Dance upset Old King Cole, including fiddling, ultimately (5)
TANGO – O (old) + NAT (King Cole) including G (fiddling, ultimately) all reversed (upset)
Hard to lift and separate a phrase like Old King Cole, but that’s what you have to do.  Clever stuff.
36 Main variety of modern paint (11)
37 Lettuce and beer tucked into by daughter, 20 (10)
CODSWALLOP – COS (lettuce) + WALLOP (beer) “tucked into by” D (daughter)
Didn’t know “wallop” for beer, but the cross-reference to 20ac (bunkum) was helpful.
40 Angry, getting sack for lively exchange of views (9)
CROSSFIRE – CROSS (angry) + FIRE (sack)
You probably didn’t hear about the phone call between our PM and the US President.  A lively exchange of views, apparently.
41 Recount memories about cars used by Civil Engineer (9)
REMINISCE – RE (about) + MINIS (cars) + CE (Civil Engineer)
43 Dangerous, having you around here in Paris! (7)
VICIOUS – VOUS (French for “‘you”) around ICI (French for “here”)
I know approximately eleven French words.  Fortunately, these were two of them.
45 West Indian bats in a hat, pinching a single (7)
HAITIAN – (IN A HAT)* “pinching” I (a single)
Ah, Richie Richardson.  Now there was a bat in a hat.
46 British rapscallion’s stout shoe (6)
BROGUE – B (British) + ROGUE (rapscallion)
48 Bury apprentice abandoning north in the end (5)
INTER – INTERn (apprentice) abandoning N (north)
“In the end” to make it clear which N we’re abandoning.
51 An educationist in retirement, possibly? (4)
ABED – A + BED (Bachelor of Education)

18 comments on “Jumbo 1247 January 21, 2017 – Gobbledegook, codswallop and bunkum…”

  1. Judging from the club forum, lots of pro’s misspelled 6d; I came close, but fortunately the Y I would normally use to spell the word didn’t look right, and I twigged to EGO. On the other hand, I did misspell OBELI as ‘oboli’, which looked fine, so it wasn’t until I’d vast swatches of time on 2d that I finally saw the light. I have a note in the margin expressing dissatisfaction with many of the surface readings; e.g. 14ac, 25ac, 31ac, … I’m impressed, Galspray, that you knew the names of the Police Commissioner and Chief of Police.
    1. Are you kidding Kevin? Seared into my brain as an eight-year-old, when it was easily my favourite TV show. Not sure anything’s quite taken its place since!


      1. I didn’t get a chance to tackle this puzzle but I’m another for whom the Adam West Batman programme remains a happy childhood memory. I remember the bubble gum cards fondly, and watching old episodes (not to mention the feature film) is a joy, especially as the intentional adult humour hits the spot.
        1. Ah, the cards! Wonder where my old ones are now.

          And you’re right about the adult humour. As camp as a row of tents, not that a young Galspray or Penfold would have got that at the time.

  2. 20m, but with GOBBLDIGOOK. I wasn’t sure how to spell it so followed the wordplay, with I GO OK for ‘I sanction’.
    Small point but at 36dn you have PREDOMINANT as an anagram of PREDOMINANT, G.
    I read a theory about the Orange Mussolini’s call whereby he heard that Turnbull was the leader of the Liberal Party so assumed he was talking to some bleeding-heart leftie and acted accordingly. Disturbingly believable and darkly amusing.
    1. Thanks K, fixed now.

      That’s a funny and, as you say, plausible story about Turnbull and Trump. Complicated by the fact that Turnbull is despised within his own party as a “bleeding-heart leftie”, but only in the sense that all things are relative.

      Regarding GOBBLEDIGOOK, is there a name for an answer that is cleverer than the intended solution, without actually being correct?

  3. Thought this was on the easier side, with the unknown PIETIST and the unknown definition for GOTHAM (The Wise Men of Gotham is apparently a thing) given helpful wordplay. Can’t help with TOE-PIECE, I’m afraid, as the only thing I associate it with is skiing (where it holds the boot in place at the toe and hence is in the ballpark of the clue’s definition), but I wouldn’t have thought that was an Oxford shoe-compatible activity. Have been caught out before by alternate spellings of things like GOBBLEDEGOOK, thingumajig, etc so made sure I came up with a parsing I was happy with – I was sorely tempted by keriothe’s but that interpretation didn’t seem to fit the feel of the rest of the puzzle.

    Though my wanderlust era finished nearly a decade ago – and hence this intel isn’t current – I made use of POSTE RESTANTE on a couple of occasions during that time. It worked well in Kunming but poorly in Kigali, which was the opposite to what I was expecting. Another leg of those travels took me to South America, where I encountered the llama/guanaco/alpaca/vicuna – couldn’t tell one from another, but merely knowing their existence as words helps in Crosswordland from time to time.

    1. I assumed that Galspray was being facetious, but just in case, Gotham, Nottinghamshire; see Wikipedia, sv Wise Men of Gotham.
  4. Toe-piece: “the forward part of the device fixed to a ski to grip a ski boot, for either water skiing or snow skiing” (Collins)

    .. though you would have to be much braver than me to go skiing in Oxfords. As I now see Mohn2 has already said..

    1. Yes Jerry, that was the only definition I could find as well. Doesn’t really fit the clue does it?
  5. Having got CAMBERWELL,it was easy to guess BEAUTY with ‘miss’ in the clue and checkers,though l’ve never heard of it.Saw guanacos while watching a wildlife programme the other day.Ong’ara,Nairobi.
  6. Just noticed: The parsing is TO E (taking TO + E (Elgar’s first)+ PIECE (composition); ‘Taking’ just an instruction to, ah, take.
    1. Thanks Kevin, amended now.

      Funny how convincing Taking To Elgar was for TOE. You see what you expect to see, I guess.

  7. Thanks for the entertaining blog on what I found not too difficult a puzzle. While your explanation for GUANACO certainly works, I read it at the time as “initially clambering over” giving CO as the first letters in both cases.

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