Jumbo 669 – religion and deletions / One month in …

Solving time: 18:55

A good selection of answers here, and some interesting clues. Quite a bit of religion – a creed, baptism, apostle, heretic, and Vishnu and his equivalent of nectar too. Also some interesting “delete these chunks of these words” clues.

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14 OP(ENOU(gh))T – first exotic deletion
15 F,REEDOM=(mode,ER)<=
16 A,R(T,IS)AN
20 IN,C(LINE)D – “running down” = def.
24 REGIMENTAL SERGEANT MAJOR = (General, ammo range jitters)*
27 PU = up<=,E,BLO(kes)
29 TIN TAG,ELCASTLE=(seal Celt)*
36 JA(LAPENOPEP=(pep one pal)<=)PER
39 GIDE,ON РAndré G = Fr. author and diarist
48 TRADER = (re,dart)<=
56 TERMINI – anag. of misisters with s=succeeded removed twice
7 (c)REDO. Usual sections of Mass for beginners’ notebooks: Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Benedictus, Agnus Dei. Not common references in cryptics but maybe worth jotting down if they’re not familiar. Sections of the Requiem Mass are another story, and remind me of a word spotted in Chambers yesterday. Sometimes you think “Why on earth would you need a word for that?” The word was trental – a series of thirty requiem masses.
8 SIMON PETER – (more in step)* – a good find.
10 CAT AND MOUSE – scanner’s function = Computer-Assisted Tomography
12 NONE – I think – seems like a nicely misleading cryptic definition
19 A TAP, IN CH.
21 AMRITA – nectar or other vital fluids in Indian religion. Rama = an incarnation of Vishnu. So an &lit.
29 TOLL,GATE – “road up North” from “???? Gate” as street name in places like York
32 BAPTISM OF FIRE – cryptic def
35 (h)AVOC,(h)AD,(h)OPE,A,R – any horse = any H
37 (th)E,(th)UG,(th)EN,(th)E
44 HUNG,ARIAN – The “Arian heresy” was one of the earliest sources of division in Christianity, about 1100 yers before Luther and Calvin.
51 (l)ISLE
52 (p)ARTS

One month in
It’s now a month since the change from my single-handed blog to one written by a team. I hope our readers are as pleased by the change as I am – you now get comments on an extra three puzzles a week, a nice range of “userpics” to brighten things up, and we haven’t missed our 9 pm deadline once – I don’t think we’ve missed 8 pm either. So here’s a public vote of thanks to the rest of the team.

8 comments on “Jumbo 669 – religion and deletions / One month in …”

  1. Perhaps you would like to explain 12D for us dunces (if there are any around here apart from me)?

    I also didn’t understand 2D to which the answer appears to be FEEDING FRENZY. Is this a phenomenon associated exclusively with fish, or am I missing something (very likely)?

    1. FEEDING FRENZY: there is a fish meaning which I guess is the original one. See the entry in Collins.

      NONE: I’m possibly as much of a dunce as anyone else – I’m not 100% sure that my explanation works. I think “is one with” means “is the same thing as”, and that the joke is that “one with zero” is arguably TEN. (I have a nasty feeling that someone may be able to justify NINE as an answer!)

  2. I am quite confident that the expected interpretation is that ONE with “no NE” is O (or zero). However, I agree that there is every chance of a good justification of NINE somehow – as well as other justifications like yours.
    1. Too polite, Mr M – by the “simplest explanation is usually the one intended” principle, you’re right and I’m wrong.
  3. I put NONE as the answer to 12d, but wasn’t 100% confident. I think you’re right with your explanation of the cryptic definition though. I can’t think of any justification for NINE as the answer (although it might just work if it was a clue for 9d…)
  4. Yes, you are all doing a great job. Only trouble is that we might get the idea that harder=better because the focus is so often on the personal achievement of either the setter for wonderfully difficult and convoluted clues or the solver who gets a big kick out of solving quickly. We still need the easy puzzles to encourage newcomers and others who won’t come within a million miles of this website – let’s never forget that
    1. that’s my job! the relatively beginner solver working on the easiest of them all… namely, The Sunday Times. I try to be pretty explicit about the stuff I learn which is probably all v. old hat to the “speed merchants”.
      1. I guess the fact that we try to explain the toughest clues diverts attention from the easier ones. Writing easy puzzles without making them really dull for the experts is difficult. To the setters who manage it, I tip my hat.

        If people ask me which of the daily papers has the hardest crossword, I tell them that any of the Times, Guardian and Indie can be the toughest of the three. The Telegraph and FT seem to be intended to be a bit easier, just in case there are beginners here who are really struggling and want something easier for a while. But they have no blogs as far as I know. If there are any would-be bloggers out there, those two puzzles deserve some coverage!

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