Jumbo 770

Which was indeed 770, not the 771 I originally stated. This seemed like hard work at the time (73 mins) though there are quite a few clues that seem to merit explanation.

1 A NIM,AL(F)ARM – we have another work by the same author at 46 and half of one at 8, but no more, so not an Orwell themed puzzle.
14 BY TURNS = “bite earns”
15 GLASGOW – move the L in “gas, glow” = neon, light
16 NUTMEGS – soccer slang for “kicks the ball through the gap between the opponent’s legs”
27 GR.=gross,ETNA = hothead liable to erupt
39 SLOVAK = “slow vac”
47 SIGN AWAY – didn’t really understand this, and Tony asks about it. Clue: “Write letters that are effective, as far as letters go?”. To “sign away” is “to dispose of or lose by or as if by signing a document”, which I can’t really match to the clue except that when you sign a document you write letters. I think, on about the fourth attempt after much reflection, that the “effective as far as letters go” part is about the person who receives these letters in the document being the person who receives whatever is signed away. I don’t understand Tony’s desire for a hyphen as “letters-go” isn’t something I recognise. Any further offers?
49 C(arr)Y,S(hor)T – anatomically, a cyst is a sac or pouch, i.e. bag
53 LEU,B(N)IZ – biz = “business” = trade
54 UN = ‘an exotic’ = unusual version of ‘an’,K(NOW)N.
1 AR=Argon=gas(BORE)TUM=corporation – an old Times trick
3 AIRE = “air” as in “walk on air” – an English river = flower
5 RAG – 3 defs – mock, paper that’s poor, students’ excuse to misbehave
8 DOWN(AND)OUT – maybe a shred more of Orwell here – reminded me of “Down and out in Paris and London”
21 GLUT=surplus,EN=measure
22 D,AGES=’turns yellow’ (of paper),TAN=brown
29 BA=A.B. (= jack) rev., BUSH=scrub,KA=spirit – from ancient Egypt – often seen as ‘genius’ in barred grid puzzles – babushka = a Russian granny
33 A,S.(BEST)O.S.
35 PLANT=works,A,GENET=Fr. playwright – a name which I think I learned from Monty Python – certainly recognised none of the plays when I looked him up.
37 RAFFLE(s) – the gentleman cat-burglar who gave his name to a Singapore hotel.
38 TH.(ESEAGUL = leagues*)L – a play by Chekhov, which I had heard of
42> I,MIT = “German with”,A,TOR = rot (=bull) rev.
49 BE(D.A.)ZZLE – ’embezzled’ = xwd whimsy for “put in bezzle”
50 B,LOW – fluff = blow = bungle an opportunity
51 AKIN = Nik(it)a, rev. – Nikita was Krushchev’s first name.
52 O(X)EN – neat = cattle = oxen, “rum one” = anag. of one.

13 comments on “Jumbo 770”

    1. 24000 will appear next Saturday (prize puzzles are blogged a week after the event). Last Saturday’s could turn up any time today (or even tomorrow). Weekend blog entries tend to make a more leisurely appearance than their busy weekday counterparts.
  1. Shouldn’t it be 770 (which printed funny for me, I had to write a few clues in by hand)?
    1. Yes, I think 770 is the next Jumbo to be blogged. I found it an absolute nightmare and probably spent about four hours on it over seven days and still ended up with two unsolved (22 and 68). Having seen the answer to 68 I should have got it but was hampered by having put DIGITALIS instead of DIGITALIN (never ‘eard of it) at 44. After this ordeal I decided not to bother with Jumbo 771; life’s too short!
  2. By the way, today’s Saturday puzzle – 24000 – is very challenging and interesting. Some terrific clues. Well worth a go for those who don’t normally bother with it.
      1. I agree too, and I’ve got to blog it next week. And I have to admit I’m still stuck on 26ac!
  3. I found this decidedly tough going (38:11), but most enjoyable for all that, with several first-rate clues.

    I’m a little uneasy about the clue to 47A (SIGN AWAY), as I feel it needs a hyphen (letters-go) for the sense of the clue, though that would of course destroy the surface reading. I don’t think I recall seeing a hyphen omitted like this before in a crossword clue – but maybe my memory has failed me. Or maybe this is a continuation of the tendency to do away with hyphens where dinosaurs like me would have put them in the past. (Or perhaps there’s an entirely different explanation of the clue anyway. I await Peter’s take on it with interest.)

  4. The idea is that if you sign something away you let it go by writing letters. However, if the clue was published as you quote it then I’m not surprised you are confused, as it makes no sense! It should be “effective as letters go” not “as far as letters go”. Don’t have the puzzle to hand so can’t check this


      1. Perhaps that makes my point clearer. (Or perhaps not.) A “letter-go” would be someone or (in this case) something that lets go, and would conventionally require a hyphen, as would (say) “passer-by”.

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