Times Cryptic Jumbo 1513 – 21 August 2021

Hello again. This Jumbo I thought was harder than some we have seen lately; a bit of a pig in fact, though in a nice way, of course. It took me two sessions to solve, and there are several I couldn’t parse; let us hope they come to me while I do the blog. What did you think?

Please, do feel free to ask questions or comment as required. We are all friends here..

I use the standard TfTT conventions like underlining the definition, CD for cryptic definition, DD for a double one, *(anargam) and so forth. Nho = “not heard of” and in case of need the Glossary is always handy

1 Supports sailors circumnavigating island in secret (10)
BACKSTAIRS – BACKS (supports) + I(sland) in TARS (sailors). Backstairs: “involving intrigue or scandal; secret” Collins) .. referring to the stairs which large houses had for the use of servants, and those who wished to go unseen. “Backstairs Billy” is a character frequently referred to in Private Eye as a member of the Royal Household. Probably better not to ask how he got that name..
6 Possible description of home in homage, a redeeming feature (6,6)
SILVER LINING – this is one I only now see: Ag = silver, and in homage, the home is lining it: HOM(AG)E. Crafty..
14 Large insect covering a short distance (7)
MAMMOTH – A MM (short distance, 0.03937″) inside MOTH, your insect du jour
15 Fish struck in the side (7)
WHITING – HIT (struck) inside WING (side). A fairly innocent clue that for some reason took me a while to find. Fortunately I only knew one fish with 7 letters, beginning with W.
16 Climbing aid? It’s a fiddle securing slope (7)
CRAMPON – RAMP (slope) inside CON (fiddle)
17 Initial figure reduced by half for attractive instrument (4)
LUTE – So, this is CUTE (attractive) with the initial C reduced from 100 to 50, ie L in Roman numerals. Very tricky, but fortunately the identical device was used only a day or two ago in one daily cryptic or another..
18 Cry of surprise in autumn abroad, losing last of blossoms (6)
FLORAL – LOR, a cry of suprise, though you probably need to be in the Georgette Heyer fan club to be familiar with it. Inside FAL(L), what Americans call Autumn, logically enough
20 Loud type of jazz, not without heart (8)
STRIDENT – STRIDE + N(o)T. Stride piano jazz: “A piano style characterized by single bass notes on the first and third beats and chords on the second and fourth.” .. which means nothing at all to me. I learn that Mrs Mills used the technique.
24 Make a meal of ingratitude? (4,3,4,4,5,3)
BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS ONE – A cryptic definition
25 Essence of chess: to sanction capturing pieces? That’s the essential part (7)
ELEMENT – (ch)E(ss) + MEN (pieces) inside LET (sanction). I guess an element of the whole is essential to it, but the definition could have been kinder.
26 Disdaining to take in operatic cycle after receiving note (8)
SNEERING – N(ote) inside SEE RING, the Wagnerian operatic cycle I have never dared to watch. Opera is all downhill after Carmen, for Philistine me. I tend to think of it just as a browser ..
27 Scoundrel’s wife needing support (6)
29 Cold and nasty dank old garage, associated with intrigue (5-3-6)
31 Pilot show, say, in stupid series (5,3)
DUMMY RUN – DUMMY (stupid, as a noun) + RUN (series, eg a run of bad luck)
34 Organ song bearing fruit? On the contrary (8)
MELODEON – ODE (song, eg Ode to Billy Joe, though usually just a poem nowadays) inside MELON, a fruit. I could have sworn a melodeon needed two Ls, but no. Perhaps I was thinking of a mellotron..
36 Beer’s not cool — gutless drunks converted to become this? (5-4,5)
STONE-COLD SOBER – *(BEERS NOT COOL + D(runk)S) .. not sure what to underline as there is no actual definition, though the direction is perfectly clear.
39 Take contents from a French collection of suits (6)
UNPACK – UN (a in French) + PACK, a collection of (playing card) suits
41 One hopes to discover former Priest retaining lessons of history? (8)
EXPLORER – LORE (lessons of history) inside EX PR(iest).
43 It’s what laureate receives, bloke granted (7)
CHAPLET – CHAP (bloke) + LET (granted). A chaplet is a small wreath worn on the head. Some laureates do get them no doubt; but I don’t think Nobel or Poet ones do. Nobel prizewinners have to make do with a medal and a good payday.
46 Radio waves and so on providing entry for company in revised recent computer game list (15,8)
ELECTROMAGNETIC SPECTRUM – hmm, golly. I think it is C(ompany) in *(RECENT COMPUTER GAME LIST). But life is too short to check up.
47 Fluttering lids seen in dalliance? (8)
48 Managing minor employee in control of security number (6)
COPING – PIN (security number) inside COG, your minor employee
49 Audience’s first objection backing brass instrument (4)
TUBA – A(udience) + BUT, rev.
53 Nonsense — I should replace article — here’s a minor adjustment (7)
TWIDDLE – TWADDLE (nonsense) with the A replaced by I
54 Childhood dreams occur thus? (7)
56 Foolishness in a year will have fool incarcerated (7)
INANITY – NIT (fool) in IN A Y(ear)
57 Party subordinate with yen to cover the old foreign policy hypothesis (6,6)
DOMINO THEORY – DO (party), + THE O(ld) inside MINOR + Y(en)
58 One tweets: “Shift European capital — opening for reinvestment” (10)
BUDGERIGAR – BUDGE (shift) + RIGA (Latvian capital) + R(einvestment)

1 Dickens character needing a lot of ale, being a busy figure (9)
BUMBLEBEE – BUMBLE (Dickens character, from Oliver Twist) + BEE(r) (a lot of ale). Most bumblebees I’ve seen appear pretty calm and laid back.
2 Get very heated — a lot of bother involved in old aircraft fuel (4,2,3,4)
COME TO THE BOIL – it is *(BOTHE(r)), in COMET (old aircraft) + OIL (fuel). So: COMET(OTHEB)OIL
3 Broadcast interrupted by new interference (4)
SNOW – N(ew) in SOW (broadcast)
4 After bagging Munro, say, experts continue to nurse part of foot (8,6)
ACHILLES TENDON – HILL (Munro say) in ACES TEND ON (experts continue to nurse). Though technically, all Munros are defined not as hills but as mountains, over 3,000ft.
5 Bank controversy (3)
7 One getting second after one first in race gets flag (4)
IRIS – I (one) + R(ace) + I + S(econd). Flag = Iris, as chestnutty as it gets
8 Having a dull time — herbivorous, say, and swallowing last of meat (10)
VEGETATING – mea(T) in VEG EATING (herbivorous say)
9 English church encircled by current fence (8)
RECEIVER – E(nglish) + CE (church) inside RIVER (current)
10 Statement from owner of paper about Democrat’s rallying cry in US? (1,4,1,5)
I HAVE A DREAM – D(emocrat) inside I HAVE A REAM, ha ha. I expect nobody needs reminding that this is from a speech by Martin Luther King, one of the very great men of history.
11 Sadly time’s up without you heading off — that’s thoughtless (9)
IMPETUOUS – (y)OU, inside *(TIMESUP)
12 Note framed by giant percussion instrument (4)
GONG – N(ote) inside GOG, our mythical giant du jour alongside his mate Magog, who apparently was originally only the country that Gog came from, but was later conflated into being another giant
13 Making shift, daughter is joining second daughter in box (8)
DISLODGE – D(aughter) + IS, + another D in LOGE (box)
19 Has to gather round piano in bar — unknown emotional piece (8)
RHAPSODY – Another tricky one: P(iano) inside HAS, all inside ROD, + Y (uknown). So R(HA(P)S)OD+Y
21 “Run bearing rump”? The opposite: it’s “run baring rump” (6)
STREAK – R(un) inside STEAK, rump steak in this instance. I don’t much mind streaking (by others) but I sometimes wish the protagonists were more shapely than, in the main, they tend to be. Bring back Erica Roe.
22 Coven, perhaps, subsequently holding ghastly rite (8)
THIRTEEN – *(RITE) in THEN (subsequently). Covens don’t have to have thirteen members, though apparently it is a number they like to aim for if the recruitment policy goes to plan. And women only, is that sexist or what?
23 Comfortable seat in play area on ship (8)
RECLINER – REC (play area) + LINER (ship) .. QC escapee
28 Government investment? Quiet dancing club is undecided (6,8)
PUBLIC SPENDING – P (quiet) + *(CLUB IS) + PENDING (undecided). Wishful thinking here, firstly that public spending is an investment, second that pending things will get decided, rather than quietly forgotten ..
29 One arriving, about to dump office machine (8)
COMPUTER – PUT (to dump) inside COMER (one arriving). Does PUT = DUMP? discuss ..
30 Manage Japanese sandal, extended (3,5)
GET ALONG – GETA (Japanese sandal. No, me neither) + LONG (extended)
32 Agitated one is beginning to blame burglar for causing uproar (6-7)
RABBLE-ROUSING – *(ONE IS B(lame) BURGLAR). Cleverly constructed clue!
33 A competition to store grain in seed container (5-3)
ACORN-CUP – CORN (grain) inside A CUP (competition)
35 Notice oddly shaped flowering plant (11)
DICOTYLEDON – *(NOTICE ODDLY). A grouping of c200,000 plant species. The Wikipedia article on the subject is (somewhat) more interesting than you might think..
37 Observation in support of singular quantity of material (6)
SWATCH – S(ingular) + WATCH (observation)
38 Part of car, as it happens, not initially complete (10)
EXHAUSTIVE – EXHAUST (part of car) + (l)IVE (as it happens, not initially)
40 Communist committee to believe almost all about old African tyrant (9)
PRESIDIUM – IDI (Amin, African tyrant) inside PRESUM(e). Always spelt it praesidium, myself, because that is its Latin root. But words translated from another language with a different lettering system, such as Greek or Cyrillic, are often tricky.
42 Hire after receiving elevated quote? That’s not saying much (8)
RETICENT – CITE, reversed (elevated quote, this being a down clue) inside RENT (hire)
44 Literary hero some way misrepresented in first couple of translations (3,6)
TOM SAWYER – *(SOME WAY), inside TR(anslations). I remember reading this when I was about 11, and being deeply envious of the freedom he was able to enjoy.
45 Feeling the blues rhythm without much stress (8)
DOWNBEAT – DD, though re the second one, that is an assumption on my part. “Unmusical” is a pale and inadequate description of what I am.
50 Boss with a lot of scholarship (4)
51 A group of aviators soaring a great distance (4)
AFAR – RAF, A reversed, ie soaring .. down clue, again
52 Supporting justice? Fine attitude (4)
FAIR – F(ine) + AIR (attitude, mien)
55 Solver’s early days? Half of that is forgotten (3)
YOU – Another clever clue to finish off with. It is YOUTH, with TH (half of that) removed.

Author: JerryW

I love The Times crosswords..

11 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1513 – 21 August 2021”

  1. I approached 46ac as it seems Jerry did, surveying what appeared to be anagrist and going for it; I did, though, check post-submission. GETA are traditional (though still much worn) wooden sandals raised about an inch above the ground. I learned of STRIDE piano from comments here by Jackkt. DNK DUMMY RUN. I have “def?” in the margin at 1d; I suppose I had the same thought as Jerry about their busyness.
  2. …. isn’t “Oh Lor’ !” from the same source as “Cripes !” and “Yaroo !”, the Billy Bunter books of my youth ? I’ve never felt any inclination to read Georgette Heyer, but I’ve certainly met the phrase often enough.

    Jerry is correct about the “reduced by half” ploy used for LUTE. It was fresh in my mind from a recent 15×15 (possibly ST) but also turned up in the Independent Cryptic in the same week.

    LOI SILVER LINING (but not quite COD)
    TIME 35:59

  3. I understand that stride jazz piano had its origins in the bars and speakeasies of America and the thumping bass was needed so that the music could be heard above the general hubbub.

    Certainly all the pioneers and greatest exponents of the style were American and most of them black.

    In its simplest form stride found its way to the UK as a sort of pub-piano style as performed excellently by Mrs Mills, Russ Conway and the like but they were not in the same class as the American greats partly because there was no element of improvisation in their performances – they played the same things exactly the same every time whereas with greats like Fats Waller and James P Johnson you’d never know what was coming next.

    The last great in my book was Ralph Sutton who died in 2001 and I regret that I didn’t take the one opportunity I had to see him play live when he was touring the UK shortly before his death. The best currently around that I’m aware of is the American Judy Carmichael though much of her output might be classified more as traditional jazz.

    As to the crossword, I didn’t find it too difficult but I failed to parse cUTE -> LUTE.

    Edited at 2021-09-04 06:19 am (UTC)

      1. Many thanks for the link, Jerry. I didn’t know that track. I must see if the recording has been reissued. [Edit: amazingly I have just bought the original LP on vinyl for only £5.99 inc P&P]. The second side features another jazz pianist called Jess Stacy who I never heard of so I look forward to learning more about him].

        Edited at 2021-09-04 01:32 pm (UTC)

  4. A steady solve in 40 minutes. I liked the 50% reduction, and the &littish STONE COLD SOBER. I suppose if you wanted to underline a definition, it would be just “this”.
  5. 32:31. I didn’t find this particularly hard.
    Clueing DICOTYLEDON with an anagram is not cricket if you ask me. I remembered it from past puzzles but was still a little unsure about where to put the I and Y.
    1. It’s an interesting point. To me, dycotiledon looks very, very wrong. Not sure why, maybe those latin lessons finally delivered some value, or not. But these situations will recur regularly, so a feel for what words look right, and which ones look wrong, is a useful thing to have..
      1. It’s such an odd word anyway that DYCOTELIDON doesn’t look an awful lot more wrong than DICOTELYDON to me. But DI- is clearly more likely so I felt reasonably confident in it.
        As it happens (and based on Chambers) there aren’t any words that start DYC.

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