Jumbo 763 – June 21 2008 – Much marvelousness

Posted on Categories Jumbo Cryptic

Over the last few months the Saturday Jumbos having been absolute crackers and this was no exception. I can heartily recommend them to anyone who hasn’t really given them a good go. They take a good bit longer than the dailies but are well worth the investment. There was plenty of trickiness here and very few gimmes, which led to a total time of 1hr 13m (my first ever single-sitting Jumbo solve). On writing this blog I realised there were one or two clues which I thought were a bit dodgy, but hey, who cares? Due to having nothing better to do with my time, I’ve done all the clues again, reproduced the clues and highlighted the definitions

1 TH(WACK)ING – WACK being an informal greeting in Liverpool “All right Wack, ‘ow’s it goin’ lah?”
  Article about Scouser’s mate striking (9)
6 SAPID being DIP AS rev
  Pleasant to swim when doing backstroke (5)
9 CHIPPER – double def, ‘Chips’ being the proper word for french fries, often confused with crisps in America
  Cheerful employee in fast-food joint (7)
13 EX TRA[-it]
  Minor actor in old feature – it has been withdrawn (5)
14 SEVERAL – well hidden
  Some participants in Christmas Eve rally (7)
15 G(ROUNDS)EL – suggesting “GEL” is the plummy English way of pronouncing “GIRL”. A really easy weed to grow. Belongs to the botanic family Asteraceae so I suppose Daisy is just about acceptable
  Daisy, posh girl nibbling sandwiches (9)
  Asian leaders (but only one European) assembled in Italian town (11)
17 TROUSERLESS – double def, the “slacks” being trousers. I say !
  Slacks off so, like actors in farce sometimes (11)
18 PEG OUT – I can only see a definition here – anyone help? Edit: Thanks to Tony Sever in comments who points out that a peg can be a short measure of, eg, whisky thus rendering the clue a passable &lit
  Drop unconscious (3,3)
19  NOT ARIES – arf arf
  Legal experts born under one of eleven zodiac signs? (8)
21 ENMITY – M1 in TYNE*
  Antagonism as motorway is routed through Tyne development (6)
25 SANCTION – double def
  Confirm penalty (8)
26 MICHAELMAS TERM – a terrible cryptic def. Lucy Cavendish is an unfamous college at Cambridge University, fall is autumn and Michaelmas is the name of the term running from Sept/Oct to Christmas in Cambridge (and Oxford). Utter pants!
  Fall for Lucy Cavendish? (10,4)
28 CON(T)E – I can’t find anything on the whole interweb that links ‘conte’ with ‘story’. The question mark suggests there may be something clever going on though. 
  Story’s thread initially apparent in regular shape? (5)
29 ME RELY – an easy one at last
  Just bank on me (6)
30 WHOLESALER -(HOW A SELLER)* very nice
  How a seller can become retailer of large quantities (10)
33 AUSTE[-n] + R(L)ITZ – one of Napoleon’s wins
  Nameless writer left sheltering in hotel in battle (10)
35 FUN[-d] RUN
  With financial reserve a bit short, organise event to raise money (3,3)
36 PO(SE[-t])D – pod in this case being a school of dolphins, whales, porpoises or peas
  Assumed set is wasting time in school (5)
38 STATE OF AFFAIRS – double def, one whimsical
  Situation in land noted for illicit relationships (5,2,7)
  Wild Comanche riders (8)
42 GEN TRY – very clever indeed, ‘dope’ being information and ‘crack’ being an attempt
  Upper class types using dope and crack (6)
43 [-c]LIMBER UP
  Train mountaineer to ignore cold, heading for higher point (6,2)
44 BE(A N 1)E
  Hat, a new one worn by worker (6)
47  A RC HIM E DEAN – the chap who supposedly shouted ‘Eureka!’ (or ‘ΕΥΡΗΚΑ!’ to be smart-arsed) when he discovered the principle that an object immersed in a fluid is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by the object
  Like a man of principle, English cleric backs a Roman Catholic male (11)
50 S(PACE F)LIGHT – nicely built up
  Rate of progress fine in delicate journey to another planet? (5,6)
52 SWIVEL GUN – a cannon on a stick
  Weapon – a revolver? (6,3)
53 LEAD OFF – suggesting ‘lead off’ could be a clue for DEAL
  Initiate deal? (4,3)
54 NORMA[-l] – another mention for Penfold’s mum. Norma is on Peter’s list of opera you need to know the name of. Now we also know it’s by Bellini
  Line from conventional Bellini opera (5)
55 PIKELET , being (LEEK)* in PIT[-ta]. Pikelet is a small fish that likes a bit of crumpet
  Crumpet and cooked leek in bread? No ta (7)
56 SCARF – being FRAC[-a]S rev.
  Hoo-ha about mislaying a square of fabric (5)
57 TORCHIERE being (HERETIC OR)*. It’s a tall lamp
  Heretic or nonconformist see the light (9)
1 TREFA being the first letters of ‘the rabbinate examine food ascertaining’. Pretty clever &lit. Trefa is food forbidden under Jewish law
  Leaders of the rabbinate examine food, ascertaining it is so? (5)
2 WITH EGG ON ONES FACE – I like a clue that makes me laugh
  Looking ridiculous after carelessly consuming chocolate at Easter? (4,3,2,4,4)
3 COAL SCUTTLE being C + (LAST TO CLUE)* ‘nuts’ was used in the same way earlier this week in the daily crossword
  Compiler’s first and, bizarrely, last to clue a container for nuts (4,7)
  Mental hospital situated in centre of Fontainebleau (6)
  Official, note, having control of new soldiers (8)
6 SARS A PA RILL A, sars being severe acute respiratory syndrome
  After nasty virus, old man jumps into a stream, wanting a drink (12)
  Indicator to airman seeking land (5,5)
8 DOGGO – take no action = DO O with two ‘goods’ kept
  Take no action, keeping goods hidden away (5)
  See supporter smile with satisfaction after kick infield (5-4)
  Topless Italian entertains dimwits (11)
11 PA’S S(enil)E
  Assistant’s extremely senile, no longer with it (5)
12 RE L(unch) IS H
  Sauce on top of lunch is hot (6)
  After hunt, one’s carried in old coach (4-6)
20 SHE P(HER)D, tender being one who tends
  Tender female paid to accommodate another one (8)
  Play Elgar’s Enigma variations with these (3,5,9)
23 FOR MAL – read all about Malcolm Muggeridge here
  Supporter of Mr Muggeridge was officially recognised (6)
  First hint of redness in cheek – is that rash? (10)
27 GRATEFUL – more whimsicality
  Appreciative, given such an adequate supply of coal? (8)
31 LONDON – double def
  Home of Cockney writer (6)
  Pole lodging with Welshman (12)
  Singled out item of angling equipment in which I caught fish (8,3)
36 PACKED LUNCH – Lacked punch
  Switching starters, went without alcoholic drink in meal at midday? (6,5)
37 SALMONELLA being ONE in (SMALL)* + LA
  Nasty bug I caught in unusually small US location (10)
39 FLY WEIGHT – apparently some people believe that WEIGHT sounds like WAIT, but I don’t
  Small, aggressive man causing delay at the airport it’s announced (9)
  Annoyed about a book being made available (3,5)
  Reserves were prone to drink (4,2)
46 REEFER being REF E’ER rev
  Judge always done up in close-fitting garment (6)
48 CLINK – nice one, jug and clink being slang terms for the slammer
  Sound made when hitting glass and jug (5)
49 ERNES – contained in ‘prefer nesting’ – nice use of ‘boxes’
  Certain birds prefer nesting boxes (5)
51 TRADE – E DART rev
  Rise of European missile business (5)

2 comments on “Jumbo 763 – June 21 2008 – Much marvelousness”

  1. 28:47 here (I can’t remember what held me up).

    I wasn’t too taken with “daisy” for GROUNDSEL, or with “Mr Muggeridge” for MAL (did anyone ever call him by the shortened form of his forename?), but otherwise didn’t have any objections – in particular I had no objection to MICHAELMAS TERM (just an old-fashioned Times clue, and entirely acceptable to this old-fashioned Times solver) or to WEIGHT sounding like WAIT (it certainly does in the world of crosswords).

    I took 18A to be a rather loose & lit: drop = PEG (as in a “peg” of whisky); OUT = “unconscious”; PEG OUT = “drop unconscious”.

    CONTE (28A) is defined in Chambers (2003) as “a short story (as a literary genre)”. Isn’t that OK – or have I misunderstood what you’re getting at? (I admit the question mark seems unnecessary – perhaps it was accidentally displaced from 18A?)

    1. Thanks for your comments, Tony. I think you’re right about the peg of whisky. I don’t yet possess a Chambers and the online version doesn’t have CONTE listed at all, so thanks for that explanation too. I think I was so relieved that the Muggeridge was the only one I knew it didn’t register that the shortened form was a little off. As far as the WEIGHT/WAIT issue is concerned, it’s just an old grumble of mine that about half the soundalikes don’t in my accent. I don’t have any objections to MICHAELMAS TERM as an answer, I just wasn’t too keen on the way it was clued, having never heard of Lucy Cavendish plus the fact that the term also stretches to winter.

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