Times Bank Holiday Cryptic Jumbo 1535 – 3 January 2022. Happy New Rhubarb

Hello everyone.  The year is becoming less new, but I hope it is proving happy for you.

I solved this on my phone in bed, gently falling asleep, but still the grid was full in around half an hour.  I don’t race the clock but am pretty sure I’ve never solved a Jumbo faster than that.  Naturally I managed to spoil it all by making a silly spelling error.

While solving my mood was mainly sleepiness plus surprise that it was all so tractable, so I have little else to add here, but I have jotted a few comments by individual clues below.  Many thanks setter!

Definitions are underlined in the clues below.  In the explanations, quoted indicators are in italics, explicit [deletions] are in square brackets, and I’ve capitalised and emboldened letters which appear in the ANSWER.  For clarity, I omit most link words and some juxtaposition indicators.

1 Small home in the middle of Glamorgan (5)
MINOR IN (home) is in the middle of GlaMORgan
4 I am leading queen into tea — an impossible dream (7)
CHIMERA IM (I am) before (leading) ER (queen), both going into in CHA (tea)
8 Cruel oppressor of soldiers trapped between hills (9)
TORMENTOR MEN (soldiers) trapped between TOR and TOR (hills)
13 Aware of arguments against Conservative debt records (9)
CONSCIOUS CONS (arguments against) + C (Conservative) + IOUS (debt records)
14 Go-cart happily crashed? Concerning how this looks (13)
15 Ham left unused by function (7)
OVERACT OVER (left unused) by ACT (function)
16 What measures flow encountered in a lake mostly (7)
AMMETER — MET (encountered) in A MERe (lake) without the last letter (mostly)
17 Worked in steel able to be drawn into wire (7)
TENSILE — An anagram of (worked) IN STEEL
18 Fruitful interaction smashing socialist frontiers (5-13)
21 Accommodation in archaeological sites (4)
DIGS — A double definition
23 Mine utterly, I admitted, is in a poor way (9)
PITIFULLY PIT (mine) and FULLY (utterly) with I inserted (admitted)
25 The setter after knowledge — nothing for recipe for life, perhaps (6)
GENOME ME (the setter) after GEN (knowledge) and O (nothing)
26 Chaperone expected girl back (6)
DUENNA DUE (expected) + ANN (girl) reversed (back)
28 One whose pics are grotesque and scare rich naturists when stripped (12)
CARICATURIST — sCARe rICh nATURISTs without outer letters (when stripped)
30 Hurry pudding perhaps where plates can be taken by fast finishers? (10)
RACECOURSE RACE (hurry) + COURSE (pudding perhaps).  At time of solving I thought the plates in the definition referred to photos, taken when there is a photo finish.  Unconvinced by that in the light of day, I investigated and found that a plate is a light racing horseshoe.  Then a friend pointed out that plates can be trophies, and I would put my money on this being the intended meaning.  Place your bets below
33 London, say, is Marx’s first subject of his book (10)
CAPITALISM CAPITAL (London, say) + IS + Marx’s first letter
34 Again give out warning sign one second before salute (12)
REDISTRIBUTE RED (warning sign) + I (one) + S (second) + TRIBUTE (salute)
37 Optical lab equipment — number dead to be returned (6)
ETALON NO (number) and LATE (dead) is to be reversed (returned).  A new word for me, although I did know about (and have memories of answering exam questions on) the Fabry-Pérot interferometer, which appears to be essentially the same thing
39 Attitude of man heading up church (6)
STANCE STAN (man) preceding (heading up) CE (church)
40 Formatted text in page before a newspaper strike had advert removed (9)
PARAGRAPH P (page) + A + RAG (newspaper) + RAP (strike) + H[ad] with AD (advert) removed
42 Scruff needing new mirror (4)
NAPE N (new) + APE (mirror).  The surface here made me smile
43 Banned chemical initially shared with Chelsea Football Club? (18)
CHLOROFLUOROCARBON — Chelsea Football Club shares its initials, CFC, with the answer.  Speaking of memories, there was a large spray-painted “CFC” on a wall by my old school playground for years, and I always assumed it was a reference to the medium used until I became aware of the second possibility
46 Try catching the ling (7)
HEATHER HEAR (try) around (catching) THEWeird to see our old friend “ling” in plain sight in the clue instead of being part of the answer!
47 Obsessive, yes, suffering break down (7)
ANALYSE ANAL (obsessive) + YES anagrammed (suffering)
48 Agency transport (7)
VEHICLE — Two definitions
50 See company returning a small sofa, in short a thing to watch (5,8)
VIDEO CASSETTE VIDE (see, Latin) + CO (company) reversed (returning) + A + S (small) + SETTEe (sofa) without the last letter (in short).  My parents still have a few of these, but I would struggle to find a working video player now!
51 Very urgent, I have to accept court order (9)
DIRECTIVE DIRE (very urgent) and IVE (I have) with the insertion of (to accept) CT (court)
52 Say, Oregon and Washington‘s net worth’s staggering! (9)
NORTHWEST NET WORTHS anagrammed (staggering)
53 Perhaps club losing three seconds cost series (7)
COTERIE — Without thee S’s (losing three seconds), CO[s]T [s]ERIE[s]
54 Smallest son seen in millstream (5)
LEAST S (son) is seen in LEAT (millstream)
1 Routines on computer busy with integrated circuit, as may be easily seen (11)
MACROSCOPIC MACROS (routines on a computer) + COP (busy, slang) + IC (integrated circuit)
2 No new cents and euros initially coined for a specific occasion (5)
NONCE NO + N (new) + C (cents) and the first letter of (… initially) Euros
3 Putting in a new order clarifies actions unusually (16)
4 Laugh as little time left in tedious job (7)
CHORTLE — T (little – abbreviation of – time) and L (left) in CHORE (tedious job)
5 Where many Falklanders are missing English, tons invading at once (9)
INSTANTLY IN STANL[e]Y (where many Falklanders are) without E (missing English), with T (tons) inserted (invading)
6 Who might study moths flying on gloomiest night, ultimately (12)
ENTOMOLOGIST — An anagram of (flying) ON GLOOMIEST + the last letter of (… ultimately) nighTThis was my careless error – “entymologist” even though the fodder is clear and I do know the right spelling
7 Yum-Yum, a favourite I perform in operetta after pressure (10)
APPETISING A + PET (favourite), I and SING (perform in operetta), after P (pressure)
8 Dynamic individual initially got involved in row (5)
TIGER — The first letter of (initially) Got involved in TIER (row)
9 Feedback concerning first part of play being performed (8)
REACTION RE (concerning) + ACT I (first part of play) + ON (being performed)
10 Gas more than ever needs to be produced (6)
ETHANE — To produce this embedded answer from the clue we need a source that contains it, which in this case is morE THAN Ever
11 Careful planner‘s account on getting into wreck of Titanic (9)
TACTICIAN AC (account) once inserted into (on getting into) an anagram (wreck) of TITANIC
12 Wheeling smoothly, this bird gets fish (6,5)
ROLLER SKATE ROLLER (bird) + SKATE (fish).  Does this definition quite match with the answer?  I would have it as roller skate = wheel smoothly or roller skating = wheeling smoothly
19 What sticks up on land? Blooming oil-seed rape, perhaps (7)
OUTCROP OUT (blooming) + CROP (oil-seed rape, perhaps)
20 Instrument I’m cutting in a part that’s turned up (7)
TIMPANI IM inside (cutting) the reversal of (… turned up) IN + A + PT (part).  The definition should be instruments, I think
22 Like books originally set out by subject? (16)
AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL — A cryptic definition
24 Small fib about not drinking before start of lunch (6)
LITTLE LIE around (about) TT (not drinking, teetotal) before the first letter (start) of Lunch
27 Delicious drink at hand keeping cold temperature (6)
NECTAR NEAR (at hand) containing (keeping) C (cold) and T (temperature)
29 Italian dish with crisp bottom but not the sides (7)
RISOTTO — cRISp bOTTOm missing the outer letters (but not the sides)
31 One of the docks runs pub in central region (7)
RHUBARB R (runs) + BAR (pub) in HUB (central region)
32 Poem tenderly composed — a moving undertaking? (12)
REDEPLOYMENT POEM TENDERLY anagrammed (composed)
33 Vulgar lad seen regularly outside inclines to be barefaced (5-6)
CLEAN-SHAVEN CHAV (vulgar lad) and sEeN regularly go around (outside) LEANS (inclines).  Chav is derogatory slang, defined by Chambers as “Someone who appears to have access to money but not necessarily to taste”
35 Eastern and northern Chinese people unite for beneficial change (11)
ENHANCEMENT E (eastern) and N (northern) + HAN (Chinese people) + CEMENT (unite)
36 Not loving one Italian grabbing queen wildly excited about tango (10)
UNROMANTIC UNO (one, Italian) around (grabbing) R (queen) + MANIC (wildly excited) around (about) T (tango).  I feel moved to point out that you can be loving without being romantic – of course, it is one perfectly valid definition, so I am now further moved to point out that this is not a quibble with the clue!
38 One showing appreciation of a very quiet music hall comedian (9)
APPLAUDER A + PP (very quiet) + LAUDER (music hall comedian, Harry Lauder)
40 Food aerated by yeast perhaps rose up (9)
PROVENDER PROVEN (aerated by yeast perhaps) + RED (rose) reversed (up).  I think the “perhaps” is there because this would normally be “proved”
41 Want game for children in beach area (8)
SHORTAGE TAG (game for children) in SHORE (beach area)
44 Heads of old British poetry (7)
OBVERSE O (old) + B (British) + VERSE (poetry)
45 Noisy movement beginning with horns over oboes sounding harshly (6)
WHOOSH — An acrostic of (beginning) With Horns Over Oboes Sounding Harshly.  Does “beginning” work grammatically as the indicator here?
47 Something valuable in a small collection (5)
ASSET A + S (small) + SET (collection)
49 Country in feature article (5)
CHINA CHIN (feature, of the facial kind) + A (article, of the grammatical kind)

11 comments on “Times Bank Holiday Cryptic Jumbo 1535 – 3 January 2022. Happy New Rhubarb”

  1. I tend to find the seasonal inundation of extra crosswords rather gruelling, but I did get round to this and thought it one of the easier ones,though none the worse for that.

    I agree you can be loving, without being romantic, it’s usually called being a man. The ones to watch out for are those who are romantic without loving ..

    CFC seems to be quite a common abbreviation .. for example not just Chelsea but Celtic, Cowdenbeath, Chesterfield ..

  2. I had a backlog of Jumbo puzzles over the holidays and approached this with some trepidation after at least one of the others turned out to be an absolute beast, but this was mostly straightforward. I shared your misgivings, Kitty, over ‘instrument = timpani’. The standard set consists of four kettledrums. The singular would be ‘timpano’.
    1. Collins has timpani as “pl n (sometimes functioning as singular)” so I guess it’s allowable.
  3. Not that easy, but not a bad time for me at just under an hour and three quarters, but with a misspelled CARICATURIST (with an A instead of the first I) despite it being clearly laid out in the clue. A pity, after taking such care with the CFC. I must rely again on my dispensation that allows one pink square in a Jumbo
    1. Sorry for not replying before. I will ping a reminder email to V – hopefully 1534 will appear before too long.
  4. Thanks for the blog explaining RACECOURSE and CLEANSHAVEN, ones I didn’t parse.


  5. Thanks for the blog. I also wondered about 12d but I think the definition must be “wheeling smoothly this”, otherwise “this” would be redundant?

    Edited at 2022-01-16 05:14 pm (UTC)

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