Times Cryptic Jumbo 1520 – 2nd October 2021. Initially Identical Iterations

Hello, and Happy Caturday.

This was a DNF for me, thanks to CUT CAPERS, but I was very pleased to get the rest without aids.  After a good start I ground to a crawl for a while before getting moving again.  I enjoyed SIMPLE HARMONIC MOTION and loved the surface of TOTAL (happy memories of doing fun maths), while other entries were more “fun” to grind out (I’m looking at you TRIPHENYLMETHANE!).  IMHOTEP seemed simultaneously to feel very unlikely and to ring a slight bell, if that’s possible, so in he went – but only once all the checkers were there.  For MAHSEER, NUNCLE and AWETO I had to totally trust the wordplay.  Then there were the ones which I knew but doubt I’d have managed to recall without the help of the wordplay, like the second word of TABLEAU VIVANT and TRAGUS.  This is one of the things I really like about cryptics.  Thank you setter!

At the end I even noticed the hidden feature.  Did you?

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 Religious claim is thrown out (7)
ISLAMIC CLAIM IS anagrammed (thrown out)
5 Where one may find hot spices — hot not cold — readily (2,1,5)
IN A HURRY IN A [c]URRY (where one may find hot spices) – with H instead of C (hot not cold)
9 Weaken one politician with broadcast (6)
IMPAIR I (one) + MP (politician) + AIR (broadcast)
13 What leads to colours in fall? Crown cover around New York has northeast eclipsing south (16)
TRIPHENYLMETHANE TRIP (fall) + HELMET (crown cover) around NY (New York) + HA[s] with NE instead of S (northeast eclipsing south)
14 Hearing organ’s part in tango make sweet backing (6)
TRAGUS T (tango) + SUGAR (make sweet) reversed (backing)
16 Rascal with Irish accent, not British (5)
ROGUE — [b]ROGUE (Irish accent) without (not) B (British)
17 Managed most of palace retinue’s resentment (7)
RANCOUR RAN (managed) + most of COURt (palace retinue)
18 One only separating in Louisiana to annoy Louis XIV (3,6)
ROI SOLEIL SOLE (only) and I (one) inside (separating) ROIL (in Louisiana to annoy).  Another where partial recall, a smidge of French, wordplay and checkers were all needed
19 Bury Malian unclothed among other things (5,4)
INTER ALIA INTER (bury) + mALIAn without outer letters (unclothed)
21 Current EU politician getting round popular old chancellor (7)
IMHOTEP I (current) and MEP (EU politician) around HOT (popular)
22 Playwright capturing all the rage about mad cow disease (5)
IBSEN IN (all the rage) around (about) BSE (mad cow disease)
23 After a change to the final ordering, goes out live (5)
EXIST — With the last two letters swapped (after a change to the final ordering), EXITS (goes out)
25 Typical EU out of control — they have branches in Australia (9)
EUCALYPTI TYPICAL EU anagrammed (out of control)
27 Hertfordshire village a short way east of railway (7)
ELSTREE STREEt (a short way) to the right (east) of EL (railway)
29 Dog — retired always going after right one (9)
RETRIEVER RET (retired), then EVER (always) going after R (right) and I (one)
31 Check bank document’s replacement (13)
REINSTATEMENT REIN (check) + STATEMENT (bank document)
34 Still show nave vault a bit damaged (7,6)
TABLEAU VIVANT NAVE VAULT A BIT anagrammed (damaged)
35 Work on and off switch for siren (9)
TEMPTRESS TEMP (work on and off) + TRESS (switch)
37 Note falsehoods going about like false names (7)
ALIASES A (note) + LIES (falsehoods) going around (about) AS (like)
39 Civil engineer needs resistance in a soil to settle (9)
ASCERTAIN CE (civil engineer) and R (resistance) in A and STAIN (soil)
42 Make amends towards an individual (5)
ATONE AT (towards) + ONE (an individual)
43 Woollen footwear perhaps is striking (5)
SOCKS — Two definitions
45 Son Tommy upset about papa’s sign of disease (7)
SYMPTOM S (son) + TOMMY anagrammed (upset) around (about) P (papa)
47 Thrilled about a ram for religious ritual (9)
SACRAMENT SENT (thrilled) around (about) A (a) and CRAM (ram)
49 Point to a missile advanced across river bank (9)
ARROWHEAD AHEAD (advanced) goes around (across) R (river) and ROW (bank)
50 A very dishonourable man in the centre of Wood Green (7)
AVOCADO A + V (very), then CAD (dishonourable man) in the middle letters (centre) of wOOd
52 Old Mexican investigator chasing a final letter (5)
AZTEC TEC (investigator) following (chasing) A and Z (final letter)
54 Inflammation is rife in tissue in spleen, primarily (6)
IRITIS — The initial letters of (… primarily) Is Rife In Tissue In Spleen
55 Plant type of breakfast perhaps coming from Asia to Europe (16)
INTERCONTINENTAL INTER (plant) + CONTINENTAL (type of breakfast)
56 What fool called Lear‘s sister and called regularly (6)
NUNCLE NUN (sister) + regular letters of (… regularly) CaLlEd
57 No saint — certainly Romeo, though this one might deny it (8)
NAYSAYER — A charade of NAY (no), S (saint), AYE (certainly) and R (Romeo)
58 Tubercular university lecturer returning with a lot of fat (7)
NODULAR U (university) and DON (lecturer) reversed (returning) + a lot of LARd (fat)
1 Written avoiding rules? Trainee penning lie mostly needs attention (11)
INTERLINEAR INTERN (trainee) containing (penning) LIe mostly + EAR (attention)
2 Remaining airlines’ business losing following (5)
LYING — [f]LYING (airlines’ business) without (losing) F (following)
3 Preserved meat given up by one who can tell the future is fish (7)
MAHSEER HAM (preserved meat) written in reverse (given up) + SEER (one who can tell the future)
4 Principal uneasy over scheme, something governing body moves (7,7,6)
5 Cardinal’s twiddling a sort of chain (6,3)
ISLAND ARC CARDINALS anagrammed (twiddling)
6 Attacked caterpillar always will escape the onset initially (5)
AWETO Always Will Escape The Onset initially
7 I shush rep being unruly in director’s office (9)
USHERSHIP I SHUSH REP anagrammed (being unruly)
8 Potato disease resistance in being acquired protects tuber finally (4,3)
RING ROT R (resistance) + IN + GOT (acquired) encloses (protects) tubeR finally
10 Inventor surrounded by old stuff set up (7)
MARCONI IN (surrounded by), O (old) and CRAM (stuff), all reversed (set up)
11 Gross rage is out of order for assailant (9)
AGGRESSOR GROSS RAGE is anagrammed (out of order)
12 Brilliant place to finish in here, avoiding pressure (11)
RESPLENDENT PL (place) and END (to finish) in [p]RESENT (here) without (avoiding) P (pressure)
15 Clear damage on electronic component with direct oscillation (6,8,6)
SIMPLE HARMONIC MOTION SIMPLE (clear) + HARM (damage) + ON + IC (electronic component: integrated circuit) + MOTION (direct)
20 Time to acquire? Save up for washing machine (4-3)
TWIN-TUB T (time) + WIN (to acquire) + BUT (save) reversed (up)
21 Balkan region once badly run with imam regularly ignored (7)
ILLYRIA ILLY (badly) + R (run) + ImAm with alternate letters removed (regularly ignored)
24 Falls around church? It can put one’s arm out (7)
TRICEPS TRIPS (falls) around CE (church)
26 Included map showing home station (5)
INSET IN (home) + SET (station)
28 Carpets woven in ranges of colour (7)
SPECTRA CARPETS anagrammed (woven)
30 Indian dish of husked bran with fat (5)
RAITA — With the outer letters removed (husked), bRAn wITh fAt
32 Fit to grasp English acting (7)
INTERIM IN TRIM (fit) holding (to grasp) E (English)
33 Perhaps blight turned some of the rose yellow (7)
EYESORE — In reverse (turned), some of thE ROSE YEllow
34 An exchange of words travelling on last train (11)
TRANSLATION — An anagram of (travelling) ON LAST TRAIN
36 Grand mushrooms rising broad and flat, billions must be about (11)
SPECTACULAR CEPS (mushrooms) reversed (rising) + TA[b]ULAR (broad and flat), with B (billions) changed to C (about)
38 Raid home with dogs inside having eaten nought (9)
INCURSION IN (home) + CURS (dogs) + IN (inside) containing (having eaten) O (nought)
40 Bound to harvest green buds (3,6)
CUT CAPERS CUT (harvest) CAPERS (green buds)
41 Rain beats violently, but one’s staying dry (9)
ABSTAINER RAIN BEATS anagrammed (violently)
44 Noticed millions doing evil in place of deal making? (7)
SAWMILL SAW (noticed) + M (millions) + ILL (evil)
46 Fanatical about knight with a female to worship (7)
MADONNA MAD ON (fanatical about) + N (knight) + A
48 Spider scuttled to end up under article (7)
ARANEID RAN (scuttled) + DIE (to end) reversed (up), all under A (article)
51 Female novelist, note, unknown years after men (5)
ORCZY C (note), Z (unknown) and Y (years) after OR (men)
53 Measure a line integral (5)
TOTAL TOT (measure) + A + L (line)

15 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1520 – 2nd October 2021. Initially Identical Iterations”

  1. Congrats on teasing this one out, Kitty; you did a lot better than I did. I got through it eventually but with increasing reliance on aids as I realised it contained far too many obscurities – words I didn’t know at all and clues where having identified the answer one way or another I was unable to unravel the wordplay. At times it felt more like the rare occasions I have attempted Mephistos, a type of puzzle I find utterly unsatisfying which is why I never even look at them these days.

    I was interested to be reminded that CUT CAPERS appeared in this one, which might explain why it came so readily to mind when it turned up in a 15×15 earlier this week and CAPERS was in the QC on the same day.

    1. Thanks Jack. I do enjoy barred puzzles, but they are a different beast and I like them for different reasons. I’m not tempted by Mephisto and the like while puzzles like the Listener exist. (I was recently obliged to do an EV without an endgame, and would definitely not have bothered with it were it not mine to blog.)
  2. I was tempted to give up but persevered since I’d precious little else to do. NHO ISLAND ARC, or AWETO, let alone TRIWOTSIT. If it was like this every week I’d take up another pastime. I quite liked IMHOTEP though.
  3. I ended up enjoying this one once I realised that it would be pointless to try and solve it without aids and treated it like a Mephisto. ORCZY, for instance, is impossible to solve if you haven’t heard of the writer, and TRIMETHYLDOODAH is very close to impossible to construct from the wordplay. So I didn’t bother.
  4. Only the dyestuff needed assistance to finally unscrew, the other relative obscurities either within my ken (like the Scarlet Pimpernel baroness and the Egyptian architect(?))) or yielding to wordplay, such as the Sun King, the improbable fish and the spider. It did push my time to a tick under 55 minutes.

    I wish I’d spotted the NINA, an absolutely astonishing achievement of the setter’s sublime skill.

    1. Could someone explain the Nina please? I see that the across clues all begin with the same letter on each line, is that it, or is there more to it?
      1. I’m also stumped by this. I never spot Ninas, but I can usually find them if someone points out that there is one!
        1. The feature I spotted was just that: the across clues on each row begin with the same letter. I’m not sure if I would call that a nina as such – I think of that as specifically a hidden word or message – which is why I hedged with “hidden feature”.
          1. Thanks Kitty. Doesn’t seem much of a feature: I’d have expected the first letters to at least spell something. Over-picky no doubt!
  5. Managed it without aids except for 13ac, which is just taking the widdle, surely. My do-a-few-and-come-back-later approach to jumbos is especially useful on occasions like this.
    Not all that enjoyable though, if I’m honest, a bit too much of a grind.
  6. I really enjoyed this one. I finished in a good time for me — 1:42:42 — and only messed up once with IN A CURRY.
    I do not recall using aids at all. Some may have gone in without quite total understanding, but generally I found that where the vocab was pushing at the boundaries, or beyond, the wordplay was kind; eg TRAGUS NHO but T + SUGAR backwards is something I was happy to go with. Even TRIP… the”fun” clue at 13ac was eminently doable with diligence and plenty of crossers. The components were not difficult.
    I’m well satisfied. It’s a shame about the dodgy curry. I really do think we should be allowed one mistake in a puzzle as big as a Jumbo.
    Thank you kitty and setter
  7. Completed, including the spectacular 13a, a clue so great I have shared with non-crossword fans. I got it early by seeing NY and NE at the end, and deciding it must be an organic chemical. That led to PHENYL and various checkers brought it home.

    I had to cheat on ORCZY :C=note, I don’t like that device in an obscure word.”note” can be ABCDEF plus Do Re etc, which seem to have multiple spellings as well (me, mi, te, ti etc). Along with unknown (x,y,z) thats just too many things to try.

    Other NHOs were gettable, which is part of a well-judged puzzle: TRAGUS, TABLEAU VIVANT, MAHER etc

    Knew IMHOTEP from Year 7 History, our teacher said he was the first individual whose name is known because of a skill, ie not a king or ruler.


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