Jumbo 23:02 – easy but good

Solving time 23:02

I’m pretty sure this is my post-op best for a jumbo. I had a flying start in the NW corner with 1A rapidly followed by all its ‘dangling’ down answers, and all the acrosses starting from letters in 1D. Then things calmed down a bit, with this set of answers giving surprisingly little checking-letter help elsewhere. As I’m not as quick, and/or not so confident in my memory as I used to be, I’m jotting down more ideas next to clues than I used to. So for some clues below, I can identify something that got me thinking the right way. I’ve also included a few clues that I really liked. It was ironic given my recent experiences that 23 and 35 were the last two clues I solved.

14 LOG TABLES – loved this for “wooden furniture” and the schoolroom nostalgia. Those too young to be nostalgic can read about them here. The older ones can get an even stronger burst of nostalgia from the picture of the well-worn book at the end – C. Godfrey and A. W. Siddons – names you’d forgotten too!
17 CENTRE OF ATTENTION – wordplay in the answer, leading to the “tent I assembled” in the clue.
22 CRU(S,A)DER – another very nice clue, with a hint of &lit as this is the right religious warrior for holding a Saracen leader.
26 EX.,e.g.,(E,S)IS – interpretation of Biblical texts in particular, so another clue that fits very nicely.
33 PRO,FAN(I,TIE)S. My scribblings show PRO____, so I’d guessed the def and beginning of the wordplay.
35 B(ASSET=plus (noun),H=horse)OUND
39 DI(ssatisfa)CTION
44 C,ATNIP=Pinta rev. – milk=pinta from “Drinka Pinta Milka day”, a slogan those nostalgic about log tables will remember. Penned by some famous author who used to work as an ad copywriter if I remember right.
49 PRO,ME,THE U.S.,UNBOUND – a very good charade, with America = “the US” a nice bit of variety. A play by Aeschylus, or Shelley’s version.
51 THIEVES – cryptic definition punning on Cockney Rhyming slang – half-inches = pinches = thieves (vb.), and the expression “thick as thieves”. Great stuff.
53 SHO(e),WE,DOFF – nearly a classic – it’s just the ‘unfinished’ that gives the game away a bit.
54 CONTRA(D,I)CTED – contracted = caught, of diseases
55 MA(IS,ONE)TTE – my initial idea here was ___ISI___ -on the right track but not quite right. Matte = flat? – COD def says matte = matt which is “dull and flat”
1 POLICEWOMAN = (i.e. cop, law, no m)* – very nice anag &lit. Watch out for “involved” in this kind of clue.
5 UPS,TATE – intriguing to have gallery=Tate rather than ‘the Gods’, just after 4D for which BALCONY was the answer.
12 NITTY,GRITTY – I’m sure I’ve seen other clues with the “witty rhymes” trick, but it worked for a while.
13 INSTA(L,ME)NT – L = 31, q.v.
23 BI(O)AS,SAY. I’d written ____ASSAY here so had another def. and one end of wordplay pair, made easy when your better half works in a hospital lab.
28 (j)OB,S(e)CURITY – “apart from first and second” is a nice variation on clues with minor subtractions from words.
29 BI(GEN)D – part of a car or similar engine
33 PANT,HEIST,I,C = “having total belief” seems to match the ‘rare’ def in COD – worshipping or tolerating all gods.
34 SPREAD = paste,EAGLE = excellent golf score – in scribblings, I had SC_____ based on i.e. = sc., (a dead end), but also _____EAGLE
35 BRAINCHILD – cryptic def.
41 COMPOSED – another cryptic def. Scribble note this time is an arrow to the word ‘score’, with ‘MUSIC’ at the end of it.
43 A(U)CTIONED – note this time is just an underlining of the U in ‘university’.
46 CO(UPON)S – I’m pretty sure the initial C from CARLYLE was already there – hence the note CRETE/COS – though CYPRUS/COS might have been more accurate.
47 GOT,HIC – not a useful note here – I underlined the answer in ‘as some GermANS WERe’, optimistically ignoring both the def and the house rule about surplus words in hidden word ‘hiding places’. But didn’t write this in the grid.

One comment on “Jumbo 23:02 – easy but good”

  1. Another in the run of very fun Jumbos. I didn’t record a solving time for this, but it was three pints long.

    I think I was of the last generation (high school from 1982-1987) where pocket calculators were not readily available, and maths books had log tables with the dreaded “use interpolation” square.

    The book “Best Seller! The Life and Death of Eric Pode of Croydon”, from the radio show “The Burkiss Way” by Andrew Marshall and David Renwick had a table of “Uselessarithms” where you could look up your number by row, column and then third digit.

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