Jumbo 884 – 14th August 2010 – O, what a prat !

Yet again I get an excellent Jumbo to blog. At 45 minutes it took about half as long again as my average solve but all of the difficulty was down to clever clueing rather than obscure facts. Every clue is well constructed and we have the bonus of two genius double definitions (12d and 48d). 1d was my last in and I really wish I’d spent a little more time over it. I’d vaguely heard of Prado but couldn’t justify the DO bit (idiot!)

Thanks to the setter

1 PASSENGER –  RE,GAP around NESS all rev. How’s that for a convoluted start?
6 DROPS – two defs
13 AESOP – A then P[r]OSE rev
14 RECOUNT – another double def
15 ANIMATION – 1 M(ile) in A NATION
16 OVER THE HILL – OVERT HE H[eart] ILL. What a superb clue
17 MAKES A SCENE – two more defs, one slightly oblique (“what a director does”)
18 BOD,M,IN – a beastly Cornish town
19 UNCHOSEN – [l]UNCH + (ONE’S)*
21 AGOUTI – A GI around OUT. Another beastly clue, a bit of a crossword favourite
25 ADDITION – EDITION with AD replacing E
26 MAN IN THE STREET – two defs, one whimsical (hazard to motorists)
28 DREAD – included in tabloiD READership
29 USURER – SURE in UR. This one took me a while to work out as I was blinded by the UR in the middle rather than the one on the outskirts. I thought at first it was UR in USER (one that takes interest) &lit and was about to complain that that was a pretty weak def for USER and that it wasn’t USER in UR but the other way round. Just so you know what I’m banging on about, here’s the clue – “One takes interest in old city, indeed”. I’ll move on now
30 BATON ROUGE – BAT ON (stay in) + ROUGE (Bordeaux). This week’s cricket clue beautifully disguised
33 ATTRACTION  – TA rev, RT (right) rev , ACTION
35 SEACAT – CA (circa) in SEAT. Two clues in a row that use a longer abbreviation than usual
36 SENOR – R[epublican] ONES all rev
40 PARAFFIN– RAF,F[light] in PAIN
42 LEAVES – two defs, rocket here being the lettuce
43 SQUAD CAR – QUAD in SCAR . Panda cars are smaller cars used for general duties by the British police, so called because they used to be painted black and white
44 BRAHMS – BAH! around [wagne]R then MS (manuscript)
50 ORIGINAL SIN – 1 GIN in ORALS + 1,N(ote)
53 PRO,BING – Bing as in Crosby
54 PARIS – PiAf then SIR rev
55 RETSINA – [c]ANISTER rev. This week’s “must be a chestnut but I haven’t seen it before”
56 TENSE – TENS,E[ffect]. TENS is Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator, a device which delivers small electrical pulses to the body in an attempt to ease pain

1 PRADO – P,RA,DO . A “famous” gallery in Madrid and this week’s wrong answer. I took the literal TO to make PRATO. There is a town in Italy called Prato and it has a gallery – if only I could make the word “prepare” disappear from the clue I may have a case.
2 SUSPENDED SENTENCE – purists may quiver a little but I think this is superb. “This is an alternative to a period in pris—-“
4 GIRDER – RED RIG rev . Man U are an American-owned merchandising company who also play football in a red strip. Having G?R?E? I couldn’t get away from GARTER (supporter) for a long time but couldn’t justify it. There is a general rule that if you can’t explain it, there’s a good chance you’ve got it wrong.
6 DOUBLE HEADER – two definitions, neither of which I knew. It’s a train that uses two locomotives to pull a long or heavy train and it’s two baseball games played between the same teams on the same day. Guessed correctly once all the checkers were in place
8 SHACK – H in SACK. Note for beginners: an apostrophe doesn’t always indicate what the surface suggests. Here, “Fire’s hot inside”, should be read as “Fire HAS hot inside”
9 REIN,STATE – this week’s easy clue
11 LOIRE – LO, I(ndustrial) R(evolution), E
12 RUNNER – superbly spotted double def “Shoot the messenger” . A runner can be a horizontal branch from the base of a plant which produces buds. Well played that setter!
18 BY AND LARGE – or LIE and BARGE as Spooner’s deceitful bully would do
22 THE TURN OF THE SCREW – a cryptic-ish definition
23 GO BUST – BUS in GO,T. “Red single-decker” must be lifted and separated to give the definition “not get out of the red”.
24 OTHER RANKS – O(ld) TANKS around HERR. This answers the solvers’ question of “why does soldiers =OR?”
27 JUDOISTS – (JOUSTS I’D)* . I never leave any clues out of my blogs, but I was sorely tempted with this one!
31 OUTLAY – the producer of the largest number of eggs will OUTLAY all the others
32 SECOND TO NONE – SECOND then ON (working) in TONE
36 STAIR CARPET – nicely done cryptic def with a flying theme  “One rolled up for flight and prepared for landing”
37 STRUCK UPON – OPUS (work) rev around TRUCK then (japa)N. Another one needing untangling. I bet nobody got this just from the cryptic
39 LUSITANIA – two elaborate ones in a row. US in LIT (landed) then AN I(sland) (antigu)A. giving us the very plausible surface of “Ship carrying us landed on an island close to Antigua”
45 PILFER – PILE around F(rancs) then R(and)
46 FIZ(z),GIG – a frivolous or coquettish girl.
48 START – another masterly double def “Jump lead”
49 ALTER – (LATER)* you know I said  that 9d was this week’s easy clue? I’ve changed my mind
51 (dy)NASTY

3 comments on “Jumbo 884 – 14th August 2010 – O, what a prat !”

  1. Also really enjoyed this puzzle.

    There is a minor UK sporting version of “double header”. If you compete for a (track and field) athletics club in the regional leagues rather than the elite British Athletics League, you quite often go to meetings that reduce the number of officials needed by combining matches from two different divisions (maybe Southern League Divisions 1 & 5), when the host club has teams in both divisions. These fixtures are also called “double headers”.

  2. Thanks for your excellent summary: I tend to do the Jumbo much more often than the weekday ones, and then nibble away over the next couple of days… Really enjoyed this one, although wasn’t altogether clear about how some of the clues worked. Really appreciated your clarification! Nothing worse than seeing I’d got it right but still not being sure exactly why… Can be so frustrating.
    May not be many comments in response to the Jumbos, but I bet there are a lot like me who are very grateful.
    Thanks again!
    1. Thank you, and you’re welcome.

      The low turnout for Jumbos is unfortunately inevitable. Because it’s a prize crossword it would be wrong of us to post the answers before the entry deadline and, after almost two weeks from publication to blogging, the puzzle is probably a dim and distant memory to most.

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