ST Jumbo 4256 (Sun 23 Dec) – Wild goose chase

Solving time: 20 mins, one mistake (30ac)

A bit of a Christmas theme running through this puzzle (available here), but the grid is horrible, with (e.g.) several six-letter words with just two checked letters. There are also two editorial shockers (5dn and 17dn), with the usual caveat that I might have made a mistake.

This is a fairly swift blog, partly as it’s my third jumbo blog in three days but mostly because I’m having a Magpie trauma today (it being the penultimate day of a month). Anyone wanting to share the pain can sample this month’s free issue from here.

* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.

Across
1 DISC + ON SO LATE – decent wordplay but given this answer, and with so many options, DISC was a strange choice of word for 1dn.
14 MAGI + CARTS
15 BE + GUM – a Muslim woman of high rank in India or Pakistan.
18 T[ank] + ERSE
19 IGNEOUS; (I GO E + SUN)*
30/41dn GOOSE FLESH – I didn’t know this phrase and (given the inadequate checking: ??O?E) couldn’t get the first word. Perhaps, given the Christmas theme, I should have.
31 YOLANDE; (NO DELAY)*
33 HOLLY + HOCK
34 SYNDICATION; (INSANITY DOC)*
46 CON (= ‘gull’) + CEDE (= “SEED”)
49 STEADFAST; (DATES)* + FAST
51 MELCHIOR; (HOMERIC + L)*
60 TIBET; BE (= ‘live’) in TIT
66 TABULATES; (BUT A SLATE)* – ‘makes a table’ is a very weak definition, as the answer is from the same root.
69 BRANDY BUTTER; (BUT TRENDY BAR)* – good anagram.

Down
2 SCAR[e] + ABS
3 O (= ‘of first’) + PINES
5 LIMB + E Рbut Limbe is not, and never has been, the capital of Cameroon, which is Yaound̩. Perhaps the setter was thinking of Lome, capital of Togo?
6 TIGHT (double definition) – all three words can mean ‘drunk’.
7 BARBER (cryptic definition)
10 HOG + NOSE (= “KNOWS”) – a hognose is an American snake.
11 RAMESES; (SEE MARS)*
12 SCARECROWS; (CREW OSCAR’S)*
17 PANAMA HAT; (A PATH MAN)* [sic] – yet another faulty anagram. I suppose you could argue that ‘abandoned’ can be abbreviated by ‘a’, as in ‘Sunderland 0a0 Fulham‘, but it’s not in any dictionary I can find and anyway ‘abandoned’ is clearly intended as the anagram indicator.
20 [w]ASSAIL
23 HORMONE; (MOORHEN)* – is ‘constituent’ supposed to act as the anagram indicator here?
24 MANILLA; rev. of (ALL IN + AM)*
26 HELGA; H + (A LEG)*
27 RED COD; (DEC)* in ROD
32 ACE + R
37 COMPASS – ‘to box the compass’ means to make a complete turnaround in opinion.
38 TRUFFLE; RUFF in (LET)*
39 C(AJ)OLE – refers to Old King Cole.
45 FAT HEN – a plant also known as goosefoot. A guess for me.
51 MACHAIR; (I MARCH + A)* – a Scottish word for a low-lying grassy area.
55 DES(S)ERT
57 ORMOLU; (ROOM)* + L + U
59 I VIED
62 ARSON (cryptic definition) – not sure this quite works (‘Faulty ignition’).
64 STIR (double definition) – ‘jug’ and ‘stir’ both mean ‘prison’.

2 comments on “ST Jumbo 4256 (Sun 23 Dec) – Wild goose chase”

  1. In desperation I wonder if “having need” is supposed to indicate that something (i.e. the 9th letter) is missing? I can’t see another reason for these words as the clue, if it’s a faulty anagram, would work (or not work) just as (in)effectively without them.
  2. I had similar problems justifying clues, and checking letters – also stumped by ??o?e – leading to shelving the crossword and bemoaning my lack of brainpower.
    If the oversights are indeed mistakes then this is a poor show by the setter and editor since this has surely got to be one on the most attacked crosswords in the Jumbo year. For the occasional solver having a Jumbo “on the go” over Christmas is part of the festivities.
    — SMillsy

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