Jumbo 1252 February 25, 2017

Sorry for the late posting, the dog ate my homework.

This puzzle took me roughly an hour, which would suggest average difficulty, but I had a very undignified three errors.  Three!  One was just a typo, whereas the other two were classic cases of “if you can’t parse it, it’s probably wrong”.

Incidentally, I only started on the Jumbos a bit over a year ago, which means I have lots of unsolved ones to go back to on the club site.  So whenever I have something important to avoid, I go back and do an old one.  I mention this because it’s become obvious to me that the level of difficulty of the Jumbos is significantly higher than it was say two years ago.  Has anyone else noticed?  Right, just me then.  Let’s get on with it.

(On edit, I’ve just done Jumbos 1254 and 1255 and they’re both pretty easy, so ignore that previous paragraph).

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 Kirk‘s bridge team seen first? (6,5)
CELTIC CROSS – CELTIC (team) + CROSS (bridge)
7 Forestalls pranks one head’s stopping (11)
ANTICIPATES – ANTICS (pranks) “stopping” I (one) + PATE (head)
13 Star‘s language (but not used in speech) (5)
ALGOL – Double def
Second def refers to a programming language.  This is one of the ones I (a programmer) got wrong.
14 Proved false, switching one note for another in rebate (7)
REFUTED – REFUND (rebate), switching TE (a note) for N (note)
15 Adding to script with no start and finish (9)
EXTENDING – {T}EXT (script, with no start) + ENDING (finish)
16 Pound invested in this fund could lead to spiteful feud (5,4)
PETTY CASH – “investing” L (pound) would make it PETTY CLASH (spiteful feud)
17 At home, clatter interrupting discourse is excessive (10)
INORDINATE – IN (at home) + DIN (clatter) “interrupting” ORATE (discourse)
20 Order panel for church, enclosing rector’s last letter (7)
OMICRON – OM (order) + ICON (panel for church) “enclosing” R (rector’s last)
22 Tower on the Thames, say? (7)
TUGBOAT – Cryptic def
A tower in this case being something that tows.
24 Peculiar dialect of lower Nile region? (7)
25 Flier, a man of honour, forgoes his first drink (8)
NIGHTJAR – {K}NIGHT (a man of honour, foregoing his first letter) + JAR (drink)
My second error.  I had NIGHTCAP.  Not sure how I parsed it.  Probably didn’t, in fact.
26 Method of making product does perform particularly well? (14)
The second def is a whimsical reference to rabbits and their proclivity for reproduction.  A doe being a female rabbit.
28 Male in basic footwear, artist’s attire (5)
SMOCK – M (male) in SOCK (basic footwear)
29 Capital city of West Coast admits its country park’s closing (6)
LUSAKA – LA (city of West Coast) “admits” USA (its country, ie LA’s country) + K (park’s closing)
30 Bunk bed’s sides framing one timber beside another (10)
BALDERDASH – BD (bed’s sides) framing ALDER (one timber) beside ASH (another timber)
33 Self-indulgent doctor ultimately tendered his notice (10)
HEDONISTIC – [D (ultimately tendered) + HIS NOTICE]*
35 Coating material contracts set back company (6)
STUCCO – CUTS (contracts), reversed (set back) + CO (company)
37 Cultivate tidy habit (5)
DRESS – Triple def
39 Refuse associated with autumn work (7,3,4)
DECLINE AND FALL – DECLINE (refuse) AND (associated with) FALL (autumn)
The work in question being the novel by Evelyn Waugh.
41 Separate item editor first sent back (8)
DECOUPLE – DE [ED (editor) reversed (sent back)] + COUPLE (item)
44 Catty, being a very long time in queue (7)
LEONINE – EON (a very long time) in LINE (queue)
45 Hannibal speaking on first of elephants he chooses (7)
ELECTOR – E (first of elephants) + LECTOR (sounds like LECTER, as in hannibal Lecter)
46 Graduate cut into surplus (7)
BALANCE – BA (graduate) + LANCE (cut into)
47 Agreeable situation wherein Peace may flourish? (3,2,5)
BED OF ROSES – Double def
The second def references the Peace rose, a well-known cultivar.
49 Less organised killjoys might like to do it at Brighton (9)
SCRAPPIER – Double def
So a kill joy might like to SCRAP the PIER at Brighton.  Dunno what good that would do them.
53 Was candidate, given the push, turned upside down? (9)
RANSACKED – RAN (was candidate) + SACKED (given the push)
54 In choppy ocean, it’s a potential killer (7)
55 Incomplete grill in chassis of superb little banger (5)
SQUIB – QUI [incomplete QUIZ (grill)] in SB (chassis of SuperB)
56 Polyester is intricate to convert (11)
57 Rural industry branching out? (4,7)
TREE SURGERY – Cryptic def
And not a great one, unless I’m missing something.
On edit:  Of course it’s a double definition (thanks Mohn).  Still not a great one.
1 Restrictive practice has Liberal in party leaving London? (9)
CLAMPDOWN – L (Liberal) in CAMP (party) + DOWN (leaving London?)
Old railway terminology, apparently.  “Down” trains go from London, “up” trains go to London, regardless of geography.
2 Express train operative the one to divert strike? (9,9)
3 Decorative work popular with amateur (5)
INLAY – IN (popular) + LAY (amateur)
4 Players being clapped out at close of play (7,4)
CURTAIN CALL – Cryptic def
And a good one, imho.
5 In contents of coffee, trace something like cream (3-5)
OFF-WHITE – WHIT (trace) in OFFE (contents of cOFFEe)
6 Congress and love, small things not to be missed? (7,5)
SITTING DUCKS – SITTING (congress) + DUCK (love) + S (small)
7 Thousands of orthopaedic cases etc (3,2,5)
AND SO FORTH – Hidden (indicated by “cases”) in (thousANDS OF ORTHopaedic)
8 Rush, full of energy, upping pace (5)
TREAD – TRAD [DART (rush) reversed (upping)] “full of” E (energy)
9 Badly drained duct already fixed (3,3,5)
10 One smoker lights grass, displacing 1000 in country (9)
PANATELLA – TELL (grass) displacing M (1000) in PANAMA (country)
11 Weight-bearing metal ringer (4)
TWIN – TIN (metal) “bearing” W (weight)
12 Keeling over, hot servicemen expire, sadly (4)
SIGH – H (hot) + GIS (servicemen) all reversed (keeling over)
18 Leading expert due in to adjust outgoings, in part (7,11)
19 Shrub like this needs a container at first (8)
ACANTHUS – A + CAN (container) + THUS) like this
And this was my typo.
21 Republican worried about knowledge being picked up again (7)
RETAKEN – R (Republican) + ETA [ATE (worried), reversed (about)] + KEN (knowledge)
23 Skilful display from Democrat party abroad breaking record (3,5)
TAP DANCE – D (Democrat) + ANC (African National Congress, so “party abroad”) “breaking” TAPE (record)
27 He’s given a warning to consult with nurses (8)
ASSIGNEE – A + SIGN (warning) “nursed” by SEE (consult with)
28 Avoid getting up at end of school programme (8)
SCHEDULE – SCH (school) + EDULE [ELUDE (avoid) reversed (getting up)]
31 Bird tucking head under left wing (7)
REDPOLL – POLL (head) under RED (left wing)
Not sure who uses “poll” for “head”, but apparently someone does.
32 Complaint that feels too contrived? (8,4)
34 Master admitting help needed identifying bones perhaps (8,3)
SKELETON KEY – Double def
Second def suggests a key or guide to help identify the bones in a picture or diagram of a skeleton.
36 Taxes to excess drove Rubens demented (11)
38 Defaced timbers retain liquid splashed in bathroom (10)
AFTERSHAVE – AFTERS [“defaced” RAFTERS (timbers)] + HAVE (retain)
40 What nomads do, and do repeatedly carrying home (9)
ITINERATE – ITERATE (do repeatedly) “carrying” IN (home)
42 Ten brace shot in Fenland location, appallingly (9)
EXECRABLY – [X (ten) + BRACE]* in ELY (Fenland location)
43 Standing before European twerps got up (8)
PRESTIGE – PRE (before) + STIGE [E (European) + GITS (twerps)] reversed (got up)
48 Briefly set, I spoke several times (5)
RADII – RADI [“briefly” RADIO (set)] + I
Spoke, as in radius (think bicycle), “several times” indicating the plural form.
50 This person’s affected puzzle (5)
POSER – Double def
51 Stay for end of knees-up (4)
PROP – PRO (for) + P (end of knees-up)
52 Regularly used “ruined” for “ruin” (4)
UNDO – Alternate letters (regularly used) of (rUiNeD fOr)

3 comments on “Jumbo 1252 February 25, 2017”

  1. Found this one a bit harder than usual, though I can’t remember what held me up – maybe 27D, with its succinct definition and unobvious wordplay. I’ve whacked in NIGHTCAP instead of NIGHTJAR in the past and the lingering embarrassment has ensured I inspect the wordplay closely when a potentially similar situation arises (like here). In 43D, I thought that a git was a rather stronger word than a twerp but it turns out that Chambers has both “A fool” and “A bastard” in its definitions of git, which gives some scope for confusion if you call someone one.

    I wonder if 57A was intended to be a double definition, with the second being a DBE (“branching off” being perhaps an act of tree surgery), but at the time I probably put it in mainly on the checkers.

    I stopped keeping a record of my Jumbo solving times last summer, but my impression is that the puzzles have been getting slightly easier over time – that may, of course, be due to me maybe getting slightly faster over time. But I do think it takes a while to get used to doing Jumbos, as you have to concentrate for ~3 times as long as a 15×15, plus you may well have to dig out phrases longer than anything you’ll find in a 15×15.

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