Jumbo 946 – No bones to pick here

A straightforward offering this time with no stinkers or difficult vocabulary. That which was lesser known was fairly easily clued. Big thumbs up to 55A for the “fighting weight” pairing, however again it was fairly obviously clued. 16A was a decent anagram for three large-ish words and the surface was decent. Maybe I imagined this, but there seemed to be a number of double defs, more than the average.

6 GOOD SAMARITAN – A MAN around RITA (woman) after GOODS (her property). Definition “he didnt pass by” refers to the biblical story.
13 VALET – VALE=goodbye (dir)T . Car is perhaps superfluous, and the surface would survive without it also.
14 KNIFE EDGE – KNI = fluid backwards, FEED = take solids, GE = say, back. Def = precarious position.
15 RELIANT – RANT = tirade, about ELI = prophet.
16 KNEE HIGH TO A GRASSHOPPER – (photograph enrages sheik)* – Def = tiny.
18 OMISSION – O MISS (appeal to teacher) ION = best(No 1) to reverse. Def = exclusion
20 CAST IRON – CON (argument against) around ASTIR (bustling about)
21 ELECT – double def
23 SEE OUT – double def
24 BIG BEN – cryptic double def – pretty weak whichever one you want to call it
25 POOP SCOOP – PO OP (work both ways) SCOOP (exclusive) for the walkers’ accessory – I assume this is mainly dog walkers ??
28 ON THE QUIET – (not quite)* about HE=ambassador. Def=secretly
29 GENE – GEN = genesis = first book, E=english.
30 DELAYED – use of the witty concept “DEYALED” for thrown out of US university makes this a fun clue !!
32 THAWING – THING = enthusiasm, around A W(ife).
34 COUP – CO UP = business in profit
35 QUARTER DAY – I assume this refers to xmas day (which is not quite the word christmas on its own) being one of the four quarter days for rent etc. “Wordplay” has Quarter as mercy.
38 MOONSTONE – I am not a fan of outright general knowledge clues like this, although it is easy enough with checkers. It refers to the book by WILKIE COLLINS, which I only found on looking up after.
39 TRIVET – TRI-VET for triple-checking ! The definition is a type of stand
40 MADE UP – double def
43 SCENT – sounds like SENT
45 GAWKIEST – WAG=shake, reversed, then (kites)*
47 LAVENDER – AV=book in LENDER=library
49 GO DOWN LIKE A LEAD BALLOON – LIKE=admire, A LEAD BALLOON=one of the first fliers (different pronunciation of LEAD), after GO DOWN=descent
52 WHITHER – H=husband in WITHER=decline, def=where to.
53 SCHOOLING – S=son, COOLING=losing enthusiasm, about H=hard, for def=lessons
54 MAGMA – MAG=journal, M=million, A=article.
55 DUKE ELLINGTON – nice pairing with fighting weight = DUELLING TON, outside K(nif)E, for the band leader
56 DISMANTLE – MAN=chap entering (listed)*

1 LOVE KNOTS – Love as in zero, hence no knots=no speed would be still.
2 SELF EVIDENT – (field events)*
3 LATCH – hidden in chanceL AT CHurch
4 MAKE GOOD – A KEG = a lot of beer in MOOD=sullen temper.
5 SHINTO – SHINTY changing the last for the religion. One which is not 100% obvious which of the two is the answer, but in this case it is fairly likely.
6 GRETA GARBO – (rage Bogart)* for a common entrant in crosswords, I guess because of the order of the letters/checkers
7 OLD PRETENDER – OLD=getting on, PRE-TENDER=not yet soft. James is the pretender to the throne, or potential James III
8 SPENSER – SENSE, R around P(oem) for the poet.
9 MARCHING ORDERS – double def, the first one slightly whimsical.
10 RELAPSE – PALER=more faint, falling over, then S(ever)E, def=return of illness.
11 TEA CEREMONY – cryptic def
12 NETT – T=tonnes, TEN=a number, lifted for reversed as is used for down clues.
17 STUPIDLY – PUTS=positions, reversed, then IDLY=lazily for STUPIDLY=in a thoughtless manner.
19 SOUVENIRS – (no viruses)*
22 WISEACRE – WISE sounds like WHYS=questions, then ACRE=plot of land.
25 PRESUMED – RESUMED=taken up again, after P=power
26 SILVER AGE – (elvis)* then RAGE=fury
27 SURGEON GENERAL – SURGE ON=keep hurrying, GENERAL=normal
28 OPTIMIST – PT=part, I, in O(ld) MIST=film
31 JUST LIKE THAT – double def
33 A BONE TO PICK – double def, one slightly cryptic
36 DREADNOUGHT – (got a hundred)*
37 TINSELTOWN – (wont listen to)*
41 PARENTAGE – PAGE=piece of text around ARENT=are not for ones origins.
42 CABBAGES – CAB=vehicle, BAGE(l)S=bread rolls, left out. definition refers to the Head of cabbage.
44 TROCHEE – TREE= elder, perhaps, around O(ld) CH(urch). Bit of a loose definition (SERVICE) as any word with a long syllable then short one would work.
46 WHITSUN – (swithun)*
48 TAXIED – TAXED=burdened, with I as passenger!
50 LEMMA – L=line, then EMMA=book for the proposition
51 AWED – A=article, WED=united

5 comments on “Jumbo 946 – No bones to pick here”

  1. A quick 47′ for me, with virtually no clues flagged. I got SHINTO from the checkers, not knowing of shinty until reading the blog; thanks for that. I wasted some time at 49ac, putting in ‘go over like…’, which is, I think, how we say it across the pond.
  2. 42 minutes here, but I managed to type SHINTU. Grr.
    As so often with Jumbos, I whizzed through most of this but then got bogged down on the last half dozen or so clues. I wonder why this happens.
    I’m not sure I’d describe 38 as an “outright general knowledge clue”. With M_O_S_O_E and “gem” in the clue you don’t need to have heard of the novel. Which, incidentally, is a cracking read.
    1. I think the point is the lack of wordplay to counter the GK. I dont think that the presence of the checkers changes things, it just makes it easy to guess, but the bottom line is either you know the reference or you dont. If it was a clue on its own without the grid the GK would be paramount.

      I am one of those people who prefers that the puzzle is all about the words and the cunning of the cluing, with an absolute minimum of outside knowledge required. It is a difficult line to define the boundary between what is vocabulary and what is factual knowledge, but in a utopian world, all people should be on a level footing. It would kill me to think a grid was not finishable without knowing the first name of a 19th century politician!

      This aim would prevent accusations that the puzzle is too white middle class, or that there is too much “science” or too many cricket references. Clearly in reality this is nigh on impossible, but it is a dream nonetheless.

      1. As a general rule I agree with you – I hate clues that require specific knowledge to solve them, but I’d include obscure vocabulary in this. I don’t mind arcane GK or vocabulary (in fact it’s nice to learn new things) but I think the setters should make sure there’s another way into the clue that doesn’t require knowledge of similarly arcane stuff.
        So, in today’s daily puzzle I don’t mind “Point at surrealist lawman” for EARP because, although I’ve never heard of Jean Arp, there’s enough there to guess the answer as long as you’ve heard of Wyatt Earp, which seems a reasonable expectation.
        Practically speaking this clue seems in the same category to me, because you can get from gem to MOONSTONE without having heard of Collins. Matter of taste of course, and I wouldn’t argue that it’s a particularly good clue.
  3. 22:40 for me.

    I’m not sure how to justify “descent” = GO DOWN (or G0-DOWN?) in 49a.

    I for one would not want to restrict setters’ use of GK in any way.

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