Jumbo 706

Solving time: about 25 mins

Solved this at the airport or on the plane a fortnight ago and then forgot to keep it, so the time is a guesstimate. Some nicely done long anagrams and partial anags in this one.

16 ST MARTIN IN THE FIELDS – (and this minister left)*. The church in Trafalgar Square which is apparently the “architectural blueprint” for many American churches.
21 DAR(WIN IS)T – dart = move quickly = “race”.
29 POSIT(ively)
30 IM,M,ANENT – anent = old word for ‘about’
34 GR(A.V.)IT,AS
36 HIBERNAL – Bern in hail* – new word to me but fits the pattern of vernal and aestival
39 ENCHANTMENT – from the proverb or saying ‘distance lends enchantment’
49 (l)IVY
50 DECONTEXTUALISATION – (anxieties a lot cut)* in don.
5 GOSSIP COLUMN – (miss coupling so)*
7 YOU NEVER CAN TELL – One of Shaw’s “Plays Pleasant”, it turns out.
22 DOMINANT – in music, ‘dominant’ is the name for the pitch a perfect fifth above the tonic. Other similar names in major scale order: tonic, supertonic, mediant, subdominant, dominant, submediant, leading note, tonic. Very clever for those who know enough, probably a very annoying clue for those who don’t. I’m supposed to know enough and it was still one of my last answers if not the last.
24 DENNIS=sinned<=,THE MEN,ACE
27 NE(R.N.)ST – who turns out to be a physicist (though his Nobl prize was for Chemistry.)
32 MAUDLIN = “Magdalen” – the Oxford college whose name doesn’t sound like Mary M.
35 I HAVE A DREAM – (ever, a maid ah)*
43 T,R(I)UMP,H
46 MATT.,INS – which is at dawn in the cycle of canonical hours, before prime.
51 ILEUS – a lack of passge caused by an obstruction in the bowel, so the clue is arguably an &lit.

3 comments on “Jumbo 706”

  1. Thank you for your helpful comments Peter.

    Personally I found this a very “obscure” puzzle, and 30A and 39A illustrate this, as well as others. I think 22D should have been banned; I could have set a question on advanced physics with as much justification!

    I still do not understand the wordplays in 17A and 45A (although I did the trivial thing of guessing the answers correctly). Any explanation would be appreciated.

    Philip C

    1. 17A – “Gee!” and “Gracious!” are exclamations meaning about the same thing, and G=gee is the first letter = “head” of Government.

      45A – you’re in good company, as I’ve been asked by e-mail about this one already. One of the old Times xwd tricks you gradually learn is {time = “enemy” or “the enemy”}, which I guess is an old colloquialism. It survives in Chambers under ‘enemy’, in the expression “how goes the enemy?”, meaning “what time is it?”. So this is just a punny cryptic def based on this knowledge.

      22D I wouldn’t quite ban – given N?R?S?, service = R.N. seems pretty obvious, so N?S? must be the “comfortable home”, for which “nest” seems fairly straightforward. But that’s from a background of doing Azed and the like, where finding words you don’t know from wordplay is an important skill to have.

  2. Thank you again.

    However, you have misread the clue number I was grumbling about. This was 22D not 27D. (I didn’t have to think about NERNST!


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