Times Cryptic Jumbo 1523 – Saturday 23rd October 2021

Hello again. This Jumbo I thought was middle-of-the-road, in terms of difficulty, though there are one or two clues I have still to parse… 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

Across
1 Blood component: paternal grandmother stores litres (6)
PLASMA – L(itres) in PA’S MA.
4 Distinctive little car reversed, then one put forward (10)
INIMITABLE – MINI (little car) rev., + I + TABLE (put forward, eg a motion at the party conference). Minis not nearly as small as they once were, mind
10 Irrational to be covered with deep brown colour (5)
SEPIA – PI (an irrational number) inside SEA (deep)
14 Popular as soldiers showing hypocrisy? (9)
INSINCERE – IN (popular) + SINCE (as) + RE (soldiers, the Corps of Royal Engineers)
15 Tropical hunter in sight departs, subdued, moving left to right (10,3)
SPECTACLED OWL – SPECTACLE (sight) + D(eparts) + LOW (subdued) with the L moved to the right .. strictly the spectacled owl is neotropical, ie confined to the Americas, both tropical and temperate.
16 Somewhere to sleep on Spring day in the shade? (7)
APRICOT – APR I (spring day) + COT, somewhere to sleep.
17 Ghastly building the writer spotted in broadcast (7)
EYESORE – sounds like “I SAW
18 Art making money, maybe, for Frank? (7)
EARNEST – as in “earnest thou a sufficiency?” I like the idea of this clue but not so keen on the incorrect capital F.
19 Creature changing supply date with account at zero (4-6,8)
DUCK-BILLED PLATYPUS –Β  DUCK (zero) + BILL (account) + *(SUPPLY DATE). Tricky to parse but fortunately, easy to biff! There are few animals in this world, more strange and wonderful than a platypus..
21 Poor to welcome Liberal found wanting in Barnet? (4)
BALD – L(iberal) in BAD (poor)
24 Hawk-headed god is here ultimately to give boost (5)
RAISE – RA + IS + (her)E. A bit muddy on Egyptian mythology, but fortunately we didn’t really need to know what shape RA was/is
26 Eleanor clenches fist having knocked out posh outlaw (3,5)
NED KELLY – D(u)KE, (fist, having knocked out posh) in NELLY, ie Eleanor. Another one easier to biff than to parse. Dukes is Victorian CRS, from “Duke of Yorks, forks,” forks meaning fingers. Apparently. According to Collins. A write-in no doubt, for our Antipodean contingent
27 Song about knave, knight and rustic (8)
ARCADIAN – CAD (knave) in ARIA (song) + N, a knight in modern chess terminology. Apparently Arcadia was a district of the Peloponnese, regarded by the classical Greeks as an ideal of rustic contentment
29 Prisoner taking small measure into port finds useful device (11)
CONVENIENCE – CON (prisoner) + EN (small printing measure) in VENICE, your port
30 Justification for being in Paris? (6,5)
RAISON DETRE – a CD.
32 American comic keeping coins in supplies to audience (4,7)
PHIL SILVERS – SILVER (coins) in PHILS, sounds like fills, ie supplies as in to fill an order. I remember Phil Silvers as Sgt Bilko, in a mediocre US comedy show of my youth.
35 Sarah is backing craftsman sending out current work (5,6)
SILAS MARNER – SAL IS (Sarah is) rev., ie backing, + MAR(i)NER, a craftsman in the nautical sense with i, current, removed. A novel by George Eliot.
37 Drunk round Dorset town turns and leaps on ice (3,5)
TOE LOOPS – POOLE (Dorset town) in SOT (drunk), all rev. I just knew watching Torvill & Dean would come in handy one day
39 Divine topped flan sent over with meal one quietly leaves (8)
SUPERNAL – SUP(p)ER (meal with one P removed) + (f)LAN rev. Supernal is an unusual word but easy to derive from more familiar superior or suernatural. It is the antonym of “infernal.”
40 Gallantry award announced for show director (5)
EMCEE – sounds like MC, the military cross.
43 Christmas without the Spanish? (4)
NOEL – NO EL, ho ho
44 Deathly reminder left with estate in Usk unfortunately peeved surgeon (5,3,10)
SKULL AND CROSSBONES – L(eft) + LAND (estate) in *(USK) + CROSS (peeved) + BONES (surgeon). Yet another much easier to biff than to parse
47 Exploit quality of rocks but not diamonds? (7)
HARNESS – HAR(d)NESS, a quality of rocks, with D(iamonds) removed.
48 Elite news boss beaten (7)
CREAMED – CREAM (elite) + ED(itor)
50 Mean church in Ely cleaned out diocese (7)
EPARCHY – PAR (mean, ie average) + CH(urch), in E(l)Y (Ely, cleaned out).
51 Listing for balance β€” something pronounced on slope? (4,9)
BANK STATEMENT – well a statement on a bank is pronounced on a slope, I suppose
52 Small character parts for those on the rise? (9)
ASCENDERS – a DD
53 Flower rook dropped into red wine (5)
TRENT – R (rook) in TENT, a Spanish red wine beloved of setters. The “flower” being of the riverine type
54 Unrevised version opening with American conscript (5,5)
FIRST DRAFT – FIRST (opening, initial) DRAFT (US conscript)
55 Those bringing rain in unknown quantity entering Hell (6)
HYADES – Y (unknown quantity, along with X and Z) in HADES (hell). Collins: “daughters of Atlas, placed in theΒ  sky by Zeus: as stars they were thought to be bringers of rain.” For the more prosaic, a cluster of several hundred stars in the constellation of Taurus.

Down
1 Fool around Greek character on spacecraft (9)
PHILANDER – PHI (Greek character) + LANDER (spacecraft) Ever since my teenage years I have felt sorry for Michael Collins, condemned to go round and round the moon, watching Armstrong and Aldrin in the LANDER or lunar module, have all the fun on the surface down below.
2 Movement encapsulating summertime with artist in reverie (11)
ABSTRACTION – BST (British Summertime, which finished just a week ago) and RA (artist, a Royal Academician) in ACTION (movement). Confusingly, or perhaps cleverly, abstraction is itself an art movement.
3 ICBM in a modified personnel carrier (7)
MINICAB – *(ICBM IN A)
5 Relative close to collapse in French city (5)
NIECE – (collaps)E in NICE, a nice French city
6 Great work in spare time transformed church (11)
MASTERPIECE – *(SPARE TIME) + CE (church)
7 Sports supporter, over the summer, getting no supper? (11)
TEETOTALLER – TEE (sports supporter, ha ha) + TOTALLER (summer). Does the definition quite work? A teetotaller does sup, after all, but is just a bit more selective about what, than (say) me.
8 In passing through on vacation, we’re going outside? (2,3,3)
BY THE BYE – T(hroug)H in bye bye (“We’re going”)
9 Funds erstwhile auditor needed for hearing (9)
EXCHEQUER – sounds like “ex checker,” the erstwhile auditor
10 Fortified wine gets female on right lines (6)
SHERRY – SHE (someone presenting as female) + R(ight) + RY (railway lines). Sherry is one of the great drinks of the world, sadly underappreciated these days, but correspondingly excellent value for those who do
11 Person regularly given rope to restrain alien workers (11)
PROLETARIAT – PeRsOn (person regularly) + ET (favourite alien) in LARIAT (rope, as used by Roy Rogers etc).
12 Give out scores on radio? (5)
ALLOT – Sounds like “A lot,” ie scores and scores ..
13 Pressure at variance in satellite is causing trouble (12)
PESTILENTIAL – P(ressure) + *(SATELLITE)
20 Put at risk peace-making counsel? (8)
ENDANGER – ie END ANGER, make peace ..
22 Desperate character sure to look silly as ballet performer (7)
DANSEUR – DAN (desperate character) + *(SURE). Not sure why being a danseur would be any better than being a dancer..
23 Island explorer discovers magical plant (8)
MANDRAKE – MAN (Isle of) + DRAKE (explorer, including being the first Englishman to lay eyes on the Pacific Ocean). Mandrake is an inoffensive little plant, which suffers from the misfortune that its roots contain pwerful hallucinogens.
25 Rising sound involving rock band is coming out (8)
EMERSION – REM (rock band) in NOISE, all reversed. Emersion being the antonym of immersion, and not a cryptic reference to Emersion, Lake & Palmer πŸ™‚
28 Underground worker nursing unfortunate fashion designer (8)
MILLINER – ILL (unfortunate) in MINER, your underground worker.
29 One used to wind and sunburn after eclipses (7)
CAPSTAN – CAPS (eclipses) + TAN (sunburn). Easy, provided you pronounce wind in the right way ..
31 Alumnus, only one lacking in discipline, gets redundancy (12)
OBSOLESCENCE – OB (old boy, alumnus) SOLE (only) + SC(i)ENCE (discipline, one lacking)
33 One freelanced working in European location (3-2-6)
ILE-DE-FRANCE – *(I + FREELANCED). The most populous region of France, centred as it is on Paris
34 South African custom satisfied when eating a seasoned product (7,4)
SAUSAGE MEAT – SA (South African) + USAGE (custom) + A in MET (satisfied). Is sausage meat necessarily seasoned? Discuss ..
35 Saint Peter housing Eastern Hemisphere’s clock (11)
SPEEDOMETER – E DOME (Eastern hemisphere) in S Peter (Saint Peter). Clock being a slang expression for ones velocimeter.
36 Point RC overturned in precise obligation to give liturgical statement (6,5)
NICENE CREED – E RC (point RC) rev. in NICE (precise) + NEED (obligation)
38 Fish on Welsh river after son provides rod (9)
PIKESTAFF – PIKE (fish) + S(on) + TAFF, a Welsh river that rises in the Brecon Beacons and joins the Severn, at Cardiff.
41 Bacon and the like to try in stews, then soups to start with (9)
ESSAYISTS – ESSAY (to try) + the first letters of In Stews Then Soups
42 Signal after bombing everyone understood (3,5)
ALL CLEAR – ALL (everyone) CLEAR (understood)
45 Flattering words from lovelorn boy touring Antrim town (7)
BLARNEY – LARNE, an Antrim town in B(o)Y, love lorn
46 Appeal after county provides little accommodation (6)
BEDSIT – BEDS (county, ie Bedfordshire) + IT, a reference to appeal surely found only in crosswords these days: Collins: “It girl: a rich, usually attractive, young woman who spends most of her time shopping or socializing”
47 Hot needing rather loose garment (5)
HABIT – H(ot) + A BIT, meaning rather, I think
49 Character of no great stature in Cold War fiction (5)
DWARF – hidden in colD WAR Fiction

Author: JerryW

I love The Times crosswords..

23 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1523 – Saturday 23rd October 2021”

  1. Some DNKs as always: LOI EPARCHY, POI bLARNEy, EMERSION, HYADES. Didn’t mark any clue as COD.
  2. The Phil Silvers Show mediocre? Surely not. It’s generally considered a classic and way ahead of its time when other US sitcoms were in cosy ‘Honey, I’m home!’ territory. But we all have our tastes of course πŸ™‚
  3. Medium difficulty, I thought, but somehow I managed to type in THE LOOPS in spite of putting the unknown answer in from wordplay. Drat.
    I’ve never heard of PHIL SILVERS and this clue contains one of my bugbears: an indirect homophone. There is nothing in the answer that sounds like ‘fills’ and I don’t you can just pretend there is. I recognise this is a minority view, but in any event it made me sufficiently unsure that I had to look the comedian up before submitting.
    1. I must say–well, I don’t really have to, but–that I was quite surprised to see Phil Silvers show up here. We always watched Bilko when I was a child, but still.
  4. ….that this took 57:54 but, since entering a 5 letter answer takes up to 10 seconds due to the deplorable speed of the site, it was probably just north of half an hour in brain time.

    I liked “no supper”, Bilko (sorry Keriothe), TOE LOOPS, and BLARNEY, but COD goes to APRICOT.

    1. No apology needed! Like I say I know from past occurrences that I’m more or less the only person who is bothered by this. I have heard of Bilko, by the way, but know absolutely nothing about the character other than the name, including (until now) who played him.
      1. The later Hanna/Barbera cartoon “Top Cat” was based on the characters from The Phil Silvers Show. It worked pretty well.
        1. Also of note perhaps is that one of the writers on the show was Neil Simon who later went on to a glittering career as playwright.
        2. Top Cat derived from the Phil Silvers Show? I never knew that either. As for the original, I remember it being in the schedule and only ever watched a few minutes before deciding it was not for me… so “mediocre” fits my memory of it.
          1. Didn’t Top Cat even have a cartoon Phil Silvers turn up now and again? I thought so, anyway. It was a long time ago …
          2. It’s interesting how tastes differ as I would I by no means consider myself a fan US sitcoms (MASH, Friends, Frasier for example are as nothing to me), but The Phil Silvers Show (aka Sgt Bilko) just hit the spot at a certain phase of my life.

            Edited at 2021-11-06 02:56 pm (UTC)

  5. Comfortably within the two hours so yes a medium one. I managed to successfully construct two NHOs β€” EPARCHY and HYADES β€” but I still looked them up to check before submitting. Lots of good stuff. I liked APRICOT, BANK STATEMENT, SPEEDOMETER and TEETOTALLER but COD to the sneaky EARNEST.
    I never liked the character, Sergeant Bilko, so never really watched it but the consensus surely is that it was a classic
  6. EPARCHY and HYADES were unknowns for me too, but I managed to construct them before checking their actual existence. Didn’t bother to parse the DBP, as it was fairly obvious from the enumeration. Similarly SKULL AND CROSSBONES only needed a partial parsing before it went confidently in. The SPECTACLED bit of our feathered friend needed all the crossers and was one of my last entries. An enjoyable puzzle. 66 and a bit minutes. Thanks setter and Jerry.
  7. EARNEST: did not parse correctly was trying EARN + EST.
    I just learnt Dukes=fists a couple of weeks ago, so that was handy for NED KELLY.
    I had AGRARIAN for rustic, which fitted the checkers and the definition nicely, before backtracking.
    I’ve learnt SAL=Sarah from crosswords, but have never known any Sarah’s who call themselves Sal.

    “King of Quires SUPERNAL” – only time I’ve heard this word

    NHO EPARCHY HYADES DANSEUR TRENT

    Edited at 2021-11-06 10:53 am (UTC)

    1. It’s been said here a couple of times–and I’m surprised Jerry hasn’t commented yet–that comments of any sort about current puzzles are to be avoided. Even seemingly anodyne remarks like ‘today’s was hard/easy’ are not welcome by those who haven’t yet approached today’s.
    2. As Kevin says, PLEASE don’t comment on other puzzles, especially prize ones with no solution yet.
    3. Hilaire Belloc:

      Some years ago you heard me sing
      My doubts on Alexander Byng.
      His sister Sarah now inspires
      My jaded Muse, my failing fires.
      Of Sarah Byng the tale is told
      How when the child was twelve years old
      She could not read or write a line.
      Her sister Jane, though barely nine,
      Could spout the Catechism through
      And parts of Matthew Arnold too,
      While little Bill who came between
      Was quite unnaturally keen
      On ‘Athalie’, by Jean Racine.
      But not so Sarah! Not so Sal!
      She was a most uncultured girl
      Who didn’t care a pinch of snuff
      For any literary stuff
      And gave the classics all a miss.
      Observe the consequence of this!
      As she was walking home one day,
      Upon the fields across her way
      A gate, securely padlocked, stood,
      And by its side a piece of wood
      On which was painted plain and full,
      BEWARE THE VERY FURIOUS BULL
      Alas! The young illiterate
      Went blindly forward to her fate,
      And ignorantly climbed the gate!
      Now happily the Bull that day
      Was rather in the mood for play
      Than goring people through and through
      As Bulls so very often do;
      He tossed her lightly with his horns
      Into a prickly hedge of thorns,
      And stood by laughing while she strode
      And pushed and struggled to the road.
      The lesson was not lost upon
      The child, who since has always gone
      A long way round to keep away
      From signs, whatever they may say,
      And leaves a padlocked gate alone.
      Moreover she has wisely grown
      Confirmed in her instinctive guess
      That literature breeds distress.

        1. I think Hilaire Belloc was pointing you in exactly that direction, only a bit more subtle than you John!

          Of its kind, this poem is a masterpiece.

  8. I too thought this a middle of the road Jumbo, but none the worse for that. A few gems as usual and a few unknown or virtually unknowns too (HYADES was the only real DNK). I loved Pa’s Ma in 1A, MASTERPIECE, TOE LOOPS and the hidden DWARF among others. I finished in the NW corner – LOI APRICOT. By the way, Jerry, I parsed BANK STATEMENT as STATEMENT (something pronounced) after (on) BANK (slope). Thank-you Jerry and setter.
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