Jumbo #681/27 Jan – Fluky

Solving time: 16:38, one idiotic mistake

This was probably the easiest Jumbo for some time (though I have missed a few recently); I raced through most of it before being held up by a few clues at the end which I’m sure I’d have got faster if less tired, and if I hadn’t been solving on the back of a fag packet (well, piece of paper) as I couldn’t get the interactive veresion to work and didn’t have access to a printer. I wouldn’t be surprised if certain speed demons cracked this in close to, or even under, 10 minutes.

The notes below are brief, in accordance with the recent change to Jumbo blogging policy. Requests for explanations to other specific clues are welcome, as would be an explanation of 36dn.

* = anagram.

13 AUTHORIZED VERSION – this is the spelling according to Chambers but the Z is unchecked; would the alternative spelling -ised be permissible?
38 FORECASTLE – which is often abbreviated to FO’C’SLE, i.e. reduced by 40% of its letters.
41 MUNRO – cryptic definition, a munro is a ben (mountain) over 3000 feet.
44 APPROACH – the golf shot after a drive (though on the rare occasions I play, my drives are normally followed by a fruitless search for the ball and then another drive).
54 THE OLD MAN OF THE SEA – apparently a mythological figure who accosted Sinbad the Sailor.
5 DIE-CASTING – one cryptic, one normal definition.
10 ANCHOR – I thought this, didn’t write it in because I didn’t get the wordplay, then forgot it. When I came back to it, I decided it had to be SC (= scilicet = that is) inside A + ??? (= fluke), giving the name of a TV Presenter. ASCROW was my ridiculous guess, which I will blame on tiredness. A fluke is, of course, the barbed part of an anchor.
20 GEORGE BERNARD SHAW; G[ood] + (BEGORRAH READS NEW)* – excellent anagram, my favourite clue. ‘Begorrah’ is an Irish expression meaning ‘by God!’.
36 RHODE ISLAND – I don’t get the second half of the clue. The clue is “Part of America between Maine and California” (5, 6). Any offers? [See comments: thanks to linxit.]
39 SAPIENTLY – I don’t really get this either. A pun on homo sapiens?
47 MOB CAP – ‘a woman’s indoor morning cap with puffy crown, a broad band, and frills’ (Chambers).

5 comments on “Jumbo #681/27 Jan – Fluky”

  1. Think state abbreviations, and you’ve got (a)Me,RI,Ca. I puzzled over that for a while too.
    1. Ah! What a great clue. And Rhode Island really is between Maine and California (sort of!) so I won’t even moot whether a question mark was needed. Thanks Andy.
  2. I pretty sure AUTHORIZED VERSION is what’s expected for 13a and that AUTHORISED VERSION would be disallowed – which is why the setter and editor felt that the unchecked Z was acceptable. I’m also pretty sure that 39d is based on the fact that the (Latin = classical) species name for modern man is Homo sapiens. (16:03 – a reasonable time but hardly spectacular)
  3. This raises an interesting question. A web search will show that Authorised Version crops up a fair amount of the time as well, so how much do we cruciverbalists rely on Chambers as the Gospel (pun intended!). Not everyone solving this puzzle will have access to Chambers (indeed, many solvers will pride themselves on not having to refer to a dictionary at all to solve a crossword).

    Therefore, I think both should be allowed, especially as Chambers states that authorized and authorised are the same thing. More importantly for me personally, I ALWAYS use an S because I don’t agree with the AmericaniSation of the English language.

    1. It’s got nothing to do with Americans really, but most of the time Z is correct. It all depends on whether the word contains the Greek suffix ‘ize’ or the French suffix ‘ise’. This
      explains the difference.

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