Times Cryptic Jumbo 1517 – 11th September

I think this excellent Jumbo crossword is a great demonstration that a crossword doesn’t have to be full of trickery to be fun and satisfying. I was all but finished in under 30 minutes but I had plenty of fun along the way, with over a dozen ticks of appreciation on my copy. As usual, though, there were a handful of clues that held me up at the end including the clever cryptic 7A and the unknown phrase at 34A. It’s hard to pick a favourite, but the groanworthy 36D has the biggest tick. Thank-you setter. How did you all like it?

Definitions underlined in bold italics, (Abc)* indicating anagram of Abc, deletions and “” other indicators.

1 Little woman pregnant — me too! (4,3,4)
JOIN THE CLUBJO (Little woman) IN THE CLUB (pregnant). Great clue to start with. Jo, of course, is the principal character in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.
7 Turner exhibition here? (11)
PLANETARIUM – One of my last  in. A cryptic definition referring to planets turning, or orbiting about the sun, as you might see in a PLANETARIUM.
13 Put on a brave face and continue to attend regularly? (4,2,11)
KEEP UP APPEARANCES – Double definition, the second a cryptic hint, APPEARANCES meaning attendances.
14 Gross wreck (5)
TOTAL – Double definition.
15 Score when expected to get century, after setback (6)
NOTATE – E.T.A. (Expected Time of Arrival; when expected) TON (century), all reversed, “after setback” -> NOTATE.
16 Picture teacher’s stolen (8)
HEADSHOTHEAD’S (teacher’s) HOT (stolen).
17 Drink, case of which is important (7)
WHISKEY – Outside letters, “case”, of WhicH, IS KEY (important).
19 A charity preserving woodland briefly mentioned earlier (9)
AFORESAIDA, AID (charity) outside, “preserving”, FORESt (woodland) “briefly”.
21 Time that’s nervous for a batsman, intense I suspect (8)
NINETIES – (intense I)* “suspect”.
23 Undesirable order, some Christmas boxes (4)
ASBO – Hidden in, “some”, ChristmAS BOxes.
25 Spy a lady’s partner? (5)
AGENTA, GENT (lady’s partner).
27 European was obliged to admit error when turned over (6)
DANISHHAD (was obliged) outside, “to admit”, SIN (error) “turned over” -> DANISH.
28 As beer may be from Barcelona, Man United importing English (4-6)
HOME-BREWEDHOMBRE (Man in Spanish, e.g. from Barcelona) WED (United), “importing” E (English). Nice one, painting an image of the footballers taking a tray of cans of Boddies on the plane to an away match in Spain.
30 Exchange rate isn’t something to toy around with (5,3)
TRAIN SET – “Exchange” (rate isn’t)*.
31 Commercial building that could be very quiet? (8,6)
SHOPPING CENTRE – A reverse cryptic… shoPPing “centre” is PP (very quiet). I liked it.
34 O, I can help everyone! (9,5)
UNIVERSAL DONOR – Cryptic Definition. I didn’t know the term so had to look up phrases starting “universal” in the dictionary. A UNIVERSAL DONOR has blood type “O negative”, which can be used in a transfusion of blood to someone of any blood type. Now that I understand I think I’d have been tempted to clue this with a dash instead of a comma.
35 Dope found in lorry containing certain type of silver (8)
ARGENTICGEN (dope) “found in” ARTIC (lorry). Silver in di- or tri-valent form rather than univalent (argentous) as any inorganic chemist should know.
38 Not entirely comfortable in bind where pointed items inserted (10)
PINCUSHIONCUSHy (comfortable) “not entirely”, “in” PINION (bind by tying up or holding the arms or legs).
40 Lovely guess (6)
DIVINE – Double definition. That’s a beaut.
41 First degreethat’s invigorating (5)
TONIC – Double definition, the first as in the first note or degree of the musical scale.
43 Group of girls drink loudly (4)
BEVY – Sounds like BEVVY (drink), “loudly”.
44 Rise unexpectedly in simple psalm (8)
MISERERE – (rise)* “unexpectedly” “in” MERE (simple). The name for Psalm 51, famously set to music by Gregorio Allegri during the reign of Pope Urban VIII, probably during the 1630s, for the exclusive use of the Sistine Chapel. It is famous for it’s top C for the soprano in the second part of each verse. You can listen to it here. I’m not a great fan of how it’s performed these days… too many verses without variety… and it turns out the modern version with the top C is a musicological mistake! Hear all about it and how it should be done here and how the error came about here. I much prefer this earlier version. Oops. I went down a bit of a rabbit-hole there. Sorry.
45 Author has last character poking succulent fruit on the turn (5,4)
EMILE ZOLA – ALOE (succulent) LIME (fruit) “in the turn” -> EMIL EOLA. Insert Z (last character) “poking”.
48 Direct effects on raids carrying on (7)
INROADS – (on raids)* “carrying on”. If the raids carry on the direct effects would be to make inroads. A sort of semi-&lit, I think.
49 Wet earth beside river rounded by runner perhaps on some island (8)
BERMUDANMUD (wet earth) after, “beside”,  R (river), “rounded by” BEAN (runner perhaps). My sister used to play a game with her and my kids called the “Beans” game. She would shout out the name of a type of bean (e.g runner, broad, jumping) and the kids would have to act it out.
50 Free, escape into Parisian street (6)
RESCUEESC (label on the escape key on a keyboard) “into” RUE (street in Paris).
53 Expression of triumph after question voiced in furore (3-2)
HOO-HAHA (expression of triumph) “after” HOO, sounds like, “voiced”, WHO? (question). That made me smile.
54 Rotten article finished, watch Far From the Madding Crowd? (3,3,6,5)
OFF THE BEATEN TRACKOFF (rotten) THE (article) BEATEN (finished) TRACK (watch). Lovely definition. Fortunately you don’t have to have read the book or watched the movie to solve the clue.
55 Old comedian imagined heathland near Wolverhampton in conversation? (6,5)
DUDLEY MOORE – There’s no such heath, hence the “imagined”… DUDLEY (place near Wolverhampton) MOORE, sounds like MOOR (heathland) “in conversation”.
56 Explain disastrous realisation (11)
RATIONALISE – “Disasterous” (realisation)*.
1 Nudge inspiring family to take a role seriously (6,5)
JOKING APARTJOG (nudge) “inspiring” KIN (family) A PART (role). A nicelt concealed definition
2 Still batting forward, opener dismissed (5)
INERTIN (batting) pERT (forward) “opener dismissed”. Caught in the slips, perhaps?
3 25 across, one of eighteen of course concealing decay (7)
TRUSTEE – i.e. AGENT… TEE (one of eighteen of course) “concealing” RUST (decay). We don’t often get clue cross-references in the Jumbo.
4 Biblical character entering battle, Saul (4)
ESAU –  Hidden in, “entering”, battlE SAUl.Brother of Jacob, he was the hairy one.
5 Observation of speech in border town in England (3-7)
LIP-READINGLIP (border) READING (town in England). I liked the “border town in England”, but wasn’t deceived into thinking Berwick-on-Tweed, for example.
6 Getting on train, issue remaining there? (8,6)
BOARDING SCHOOLBOARDING (getting on) SCHOOL (train)… where you send your son or daughter away for education.
7 Illegal practice cooking eggs (8)
POACHING – Double definition. I liked the idea of illegally cooked eggs.
8 Royal meeting lucky person, topless (5)
ASCOTmASCOT (lucky person) “topless”. Another neatly hidden definition.
9 Wheels going spare — before being absent (9)
ELSEWHERE – (wheels)* “going spare” ERE (before).
10 Star key, look (6)
ALTAIRALT (key next to the space bar) AIR (look). Altair is the brightest start in the constellation Aquila the Eagle.
11 Responsibility must be shared for why one can’t dance? (2,5,3,2,5)
IT TAKES TWO TO TANGO –  Double definition, second a whimsical cryptic hint. Ho ho.
12 Spoil girl and cook (11)
18 Post penetrating block from below, smooth quality (8)
BALDNESSSEND (post) “penetrating” SLAB (block) reversed, “from below”. A bit of a slippery definition.
20 Surgeon may go home? Gosh that signified a battle! (9,8)
OPERATION OVERLORDOPERATION OVER (surgeon may go home) LORD (gosh). That made me giggle.
22 Lousy dunce punched by alumnus (3-3)
TWO-BITTWIT (dunce) “punched by” OB (old boy; alumnus).
24 Most ephemeral celebration of cheese? (8)
BRIEFEST – More fun here…. it’s BRIE (cheese) FEST (celebration). Ha ha.
26 Drunk taken out before party (6,2)
TANKED UP – (taken)* “out” DUP (Democratic Unionist Party).
29 Person with similar job in house across the street? (8,6)
OPPOSITE NUMBER – Double definition, second a cryptic hint.
32 Plant that’s red again going to seed (8)
GARDENIA – (red again)* “going to seed”.
33 Recess cold, a pet’s wrapped up (6)
ALCOVEC (cold) inside A LOVE (pet), “wrapped up”.
34 Novel bluish, end up without an outlet for it? (11)
UNPUBLISHED – “Novel” (bluish end up)*.
36 Reportedly, canine unreliable for soup (4-1-6)
COCK-A-LEEKIECOCK-A-LEEKIE sounds like, “reportedly”, COCKER (spaniel; canine) LEAKY (unreliable). It scored 5/5 on the johninterred groanworthy scale.
37 Nowhere near lama, priest lost (5,5)
MILES APART –  (lama priest)* “lost”.
39 Welcome attack in shower of pellets (9)
HAILSTORMHAIL (welcome) STORM (attack).
42 Check my clothes, I’m clueless! (6,2)
SEARCH ME – Double definition.
46 Choose artist, complex woman (7)
ELECTRAELECT (choose) RA (artist). “In neo-Freudian psychology, the Electra complex, as proposed by Carl Jung in his Theory of Psychoanalysis, is a girl’s psychosexual competition with her mother for possession of her father. In the course of her psychosexual development, the complex is the girl’s phallic stage; a boy’s analogous experience is the Oedipus complex.
47 Scene around a large residence (6)
PALACEPLACE (scene) “around” A.
49 Quite yellow, old comic (5)
BUFFOBUFF (quite yellow) O (old). A comic actor in Italian opera.
51 American animal, fleece on one (5)
COATICOAT (fleece) I (one). A South American animal related to the racoon.
52 Third note, second note (4)
MEMOME (third note) MO (second). Nice one to finish with.

8 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1517 – 11th September”

  1. If memory serves, I found this a tough one. POI NOTATE, LOI BALDNESS. I didn’t check as many COD candidates as John, but I did like JOIN THE CLUB, NOTATE, HOME-BREWED (I got this ages before I figured out how it worked), ELSEWHERE. DUDLEY MOORE an ‘old comedian’? He died in 2002.

    Edited at 2021-09-25 06:52 am (UTC)

    1. Yes, and given the fact that people have to be dead to qualify for inclusion it seems a bit harsh.

      More generally, at 21ac, is the idea that the batsman’s score is approaching the century? If so, it seems a bit weak to me.

      Edited at 2021-09-25 07:01 am (UTC)

      1. Yes. The phrase “nervous nineties” is something I seem to recall being regularly used in cricket commentaries.
        1. Ah, okay. I don’t follow cricket and hadn’t realised it was an accepted expression. Thanks. My last involvement with the game was at school when there was never a danger of anyone scoring anything approaching 100!
  2. When I saw the blog was up, I had a look to see if I’d tried this one, and found it was 99% complete. Turns out I’d given up on 34a and had intended to come back but didn’t. After a minute’s thought, I bunged in DONOR with no idea why and it turned out to be correct. All correct in 39:03 but I won’t be in the prize draw. I can’t have found it too difficult as I usually take up to 90 minutes on these jumbos. Thanks setter and John.
  3. ….including our blogger, since it took me nearly 55 minutes. A very enjoyable puzzle. It took me ages to parse the clever HOME-BREWED, which John should have spotted quickly given that it’s one of his interests.

    Plenty of ticks on my copy, but COD to COCK-A-LEEKIE.

  4. 25:35. No problems apart from the unknown UNIVERSAL DONOR. It took me a while to work out the second word.
    I don’t really understand how ‘direct effects’ equates to INROADS, other than rather loosely.
    1. I wasn’t convinced by this clue either. “Direct effects OF raids carrying on” might sort of work as a definition, but with “on” the surface doesn’t seem to make sense. At least it is clearly an anagram of “on raids”, but, in retrospect, I think maybe something went wrong with the clue.

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