Jumbo 754 (Sat 3 May) – One of those days?

Posted on Categories Jumbo Cryptic
Solving time: 15:39

I believe Peter recorded a new Jumbo PB for this puzzle. I didn’t find it quite that easy, although probably easier than average. I don’t think I had any significant hold-ups, just no real speed either.

* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.

5 HARASS; rev. of (S + SARAH) – is Sally really a diminutive of Sarah? These days I think it’s probably a name in it’s own right; I’ve never met a Sally who’s actually called Sarah.
14 CURT + AILMENT – nice charade, my penultimate entry.
15 THE GAME IS UP (two defs, one cryptic) – ‘the beaters’ as in ‘those who are beating the opposition’. [Wrong – see first comment.]
19 SOP + RANI – another good charade.
23 A SPIRE – I liked this (“…finish of steeplechase?”).
28 GET IT IN THE NECK – this went in straightaway, even though I’d never heard of torticollis (a neck injury or condition). If I’d thought harder, I might have realised that ‘-collis’ means ‘of the neck’ (‘collar’ comes from collum which is Latin for ‘neck’).
38 DEVO[n] + TE
39 LIVINGS + TON – ‘benefice’ can mean ‘a church living’. I didn’t know this and spent a while looking for possible alternatives.
43 COLOUR + SERGE + ANTS – nice surface.
49 EXOTICA; rev. of AXE around OTIC
53 KNOCK + ON + WOOD – ‘Grow old’ for KNOCK ON is excellent.
54 LIE-DOWN – a superfluous ‘the’ in the definition, as here, never feels quite right to me.
55 PE(SET)A – ‘put’ is subtly included here as a key part of the wordplay, but it didn’t fool me for too long because ‘old’ looked an unlikely definition. A more devious setter might have clued PEA as something like ‘garden plant’, to make the solver try to put a word for ‘old money’ inside a word for ‘garden’.
56 STATU(TE)S – the second use of ‘note’ = TE, which is slightly weak.

1 [c]RICKETS – ‘this’ here is superfluous (cf 54ac).
2 STRONG POINT – very clever (“Fort(e)”), and daring to omit a question mark but I think it’s fair. Apparently ‘forte’ in this sense is French, not Italian (as the musical term), so should be pronounced to rhyme with ‘port’, but I think you’d get some funny looks.
3 BO[y] + ATT(R)AIN – difficult construction which took me a while to see.
7 AS + TROPHY + SI (rev. of IS) + CIST – nicely broken down again, although ‘cist’ is hard. I confess to not considering the wordplay to this or the previous clue when solving.
9 BRA + V.A.D. + O – Voluntary Aid Detachment, apparently.
12 EX + POS[t]URE
13 LENT (double definition) – my last entry.
20 ALIGHT (double definition)
21 WIN + SOME – not exactly sure how WIN = ‘finishing first’; I think you have to read it as a verbal noun (gerund?), but even then it’s a stretch for me.
26 ONE OF THESE DAYS – nicely contrasted with ‘one of those days’.
31 TOXINS; OX in TINS – this surely needs a question mark.
40 G + ROUND (= ‘o’) + NUT (= ‘head’)
41 ECOL[i] + ABEL – very good clue apart from the link-word ‘but’, of which I’m not a fan.
42 IN POCKET; (COIN KEPT)* – another superfluous ‘the’, this time as part of the anagram indicator.
50 IRON (hidden) – not so keen on this one (“Their only contribution to the club”).

3 comments on “Jumbo 754 (Sat 3 May) – One of those days?”

  1. I think the “beaters” reference is to game beaters, those muppets who disturb grouse so they will fly into the air and be shot to death by men with guns – hence, after the beaters have done their work, the game is up (in the air).
    1. Thanks Anax – I remember thinking that I might have missed something here, and indeed I had.
  2. 5A: According to the Chambers names section, Sal and Sally really are diminutives of Sarah, though I’ve never heard ‘Sally’ used this way either.

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