Times Cryptic Jumbo 1532 – 25th December

I don’t really remember too much about this. Maybe I was stuffed full of turkey and/or a bit tipsy at the time, but we’ve had so many other Jumbos between it and now, belatedly, as usual, writing this blog. I remember being a bit miffed at having to solve one that there is no prize for so as to do the blog. Well I never win anyway, so no difference, really.  I was also a little disappointed that there were no seasonal references, but it is a perfectly good Jumbo as Jumbo’s go. The setters have my constant admiration for the stamina shown in compiling them! A lot of this was really quite easy and I see from my notes I was all but finished in 30 minutes, but the last 10 took my time to 43:40. The one I had to look up in the end was the unknown skin disease. My quote about it in the blog below is from the website Rare Disease Database. Enough said on that then. I liked the bridge surface at 21A – wasn’t there some scandal last year about players refusing to play against a pair that had been found cheating? 26A, 29A [On edit: interesting to see cyclical symmetry as a wordplay device here], 35A and 7D got approving ticks too. Thank-you setter. How did everyone else like it?

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

1 Cross-channel prank possibly making sopranos livid (7,6)
POISSON D’AVRIL – “making” (sopranos livid)*. French for April Fool.
8 Briefly to join monarch on the warpath? (9)
ATTACKINGATTACh (join) “briefly”, KING (monarch).
13 Bit of film, very loud, not soft. It features a face (5)
CLIFFCLIp (bit of film with the P (soft) turning to FF (fortissimo; very loud)
14 Old man hurrying to secure shed that’s coming down (11)
PARACHUTINGPA (old man; dad) RACING (hurrying) outside HUT (shed).
15 One fan receiving page offering data? (5)
INPUTI (one) NUT (fan) “receiving” P (page).
16 Gratified, in recent days, to be apprehended by US cop (9)
FLATTEREDLATTER (in recent days) inside FED (US cop).
17 Long talk from salesman exuding pressure (4)
ITCHpITCH (talk from salesman) without the P (pressure).
18 Rejected objections delivered with persistence (8)
STUBBORN – BUTS (objections) “rejected” -> STUB, BORN (delivered).
20 Put off that woman, as it happens, avoiding island (6)
SHELVESHE (that woman) LiVE (as it happens) “avoiding” I (island).
21 Endless rumour about bridge players, excellent ones? Lack of reports would be better (2,4,2,4,4)
NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS – This took rather longer to parse than to biff. NOISe (rumour) “endless”, “about” NEWS (North East West South; bridge players), GOOD (excellent) NEWS (ones; the bridge players again).
24 Unexpectedly cheers up getting left in tomb (9)
SEPULCHRE – “Unexpectedly” (cheers up)* with L (left) inside.
26 See how you like having that drunk in the vicinity (2,5)
SO THERESOT (drunk) HERE (in the vicinity). Nice definition.
27 Oscar for each actor starting off dramatic work (5)
OPERAO (Oscar in the NATO phonetic alphabet) PER (for each) Actor “starting off”.
29 Worker in the field is a tiresome sort about recycling CERN equipment (6,6)
BORDER COLLIEBORE (tiresome sort) “about” COLLIDER (CERN equipment) “recycled” -> DERCOLLI. Clever. Border Collies are commonly used as sheepdogs, hence the “worker in the field” and “recycled” indicates what you get when you write the word out in a circle but start in a different place – in this case the D.
31 Badly focused plan worked, securing island (10)
MISAPPLIEDMAP (plan) PLIED (worked, as in plied ones trade) “securing” IS (island).
33 Consumed about half of that money getting prepared (2,3,5)
AT THE READYATE (consumed) “about” “half of” THat, READY (money)
35 Assist with getting out boy chef’s first chicken cooking equipment (5,7)
FIELD KITCHENFIELD (assist with getting out, e.g. by catching or running out – very good!) KIT (boy) Chef “‘s first” HEN (chicken). I knew of it as the location of the equipment rather than the equipment itself.
38 Martial art to finish in knock-out (5)
KENDOEND (finish) “in” K.O. (knock-out).
39 Mostly irritable, taking charge in restricted situation (3-4)
RAT-TRAP – “Mostly” RATTy (irritable) RAP (charge).
40 Report of crime plan, describing systematic order (9)
SYNTACTICSYN, sounds like SIN (crime) TACTIC (plan).
42 Readily adopt shorter steps? (4,2,4,6)
TAKE IN ONES STRIDE – Double definition, the second a cryptic hint.
44 Wheeled vehicle taking out a duck — this one? (6)
SCOTERSCOoTER (wheeled vehicle) without one of the Os (a duck). From the RSPB.. “The common scoter is an all dark seaduck, the male is totally black and the female lighter, with a pale face. They are often seen as large bobbing rafts offshore, or long straggling lines flying along the coast.”
47 Predisposition to complete enclosure in front of the yard (8)
TENDENCY – END (complete) ENC. (enclosure) “in” “front of” The Yard
49 Cross, I will leave country (4)
SPANSPAiN (country) without the I.
50 Gasbag opening after heading away from aerial feature (9)
LOUDMOUTHMOUTH (opening) “after” cLOUD (aerial feature) with its “heading away”.
52 Storyline relinquishing hot pace (5)
TREAD – Our third deletion in a row… ThREAD (storyline) without the H (hot).
53 Not missing a show, anyway (2,3,6)
AT ALL EVENTS – Double definition, the first a cryptic hint. I’m not sure I’ve seen that before; isn’t “In Any Event” more common?
54 Leading figure accepting one element of climb (5)
STAIRSTAR (leading figure) “accepting” I (one).
55 Cross with version of the rodeo offering unconventional elements (9)
HETERODOXX (cross) after “version of” (the rodeo)*.
56 Sadly rejected unusual decision to take English and French dish (6,7)
SALADE NICOISE – ALAS (sadly) “rejected” -> SALA, “unusual” (decision)*, E (english).
1 They won’t fight provided India’s participating in treaties (9)
PACIFISTSIF (provided) I (India in the NATO phonetic alphabet) in PACTS (treaties).
2 Sexual activity adopted by one couple to reproduce (7)
IMITATEIT (sexual activity) inside I (one) MATE (couple).
3 A fever, reduced vastly after treatment — it’ll release tension (6,5)
SAFETY VALVE – (A fever vastly)* “after treatment”.
4 Linen, note, thin, like certain sheets, not soft (6)
NAPERYN (note) pAPERY (like certain sheets) without the P (soft).
5 Location for flying staff going to capital in pursuit of a European (9)
AERODROMEROD (staff) ROME (capital), after A E (European).
6 Cool — radios ahead to identify financial difficulty (12)
RECEIVERSHIPHIP (cool) after RECEIVERS (radios).
7 This clue should be worked out with a note pad (6,4)
LAUNCH SITE – (this clue a n)* “worked out”. Nice surface and deceptive definition.
8 Dry river — bring assistance round (4)
ARIDR (river) with AID (assistance) “around”.
9 Awkward reform of power, discussing dropping leader — it’s a matter of balance (9,7)
TIGHTROPE WALKINGTIGHT (awkward), “reform of” (power)*, tALKING (discussing) “dropping leader”.
10 Member supporting Celsius scale (5)
CLIMBLIMB (member) under C (Celsius).
11 Mischief getting part of mine to collapse (7)
IMPLODEIMP (mischief) LODE (part of mine; seam of ore to be extracted).
12 Become skilled and prosper, with tablets to deliver (3,4,4,2)
GET ONES HAND INGET ON (prosper) ES (ecstasy tablets) HAND IN (deliver). I know of “Keep ones hand in” but hadn’t heard this expression.
19 Particular US city that is upset about gamble? (8)
ESPECIAL – LA (US city) I.E. (that is) “upset” -> EIAL, “about” SPEC. (gamble; abbreviation for speculation).
22 Wilt with day turning unfortunate (5)
DROOPD (day) POOR (unfortunate) “turning” -> ROOP.
23 Article on fruit or vegetable is dramatic stuff (3,6,7)
THE CHERRY ORCHARDTHE (article) CHERRY (fruit) OR CHARD (vegetable). The play by Anton Checkhov.
25 Religious hardliner turned up and hurried to suppress it (7)
PURITAN – “turned” UP -> PU, RAN (hurried) outside IT.
28 Description? Here’s mine about article supporting energy (7)
EPITHETPIT (mine) “about” THE (article again) “supporting” E (energy).
29 Widespread urge to wrap stone in some embroidery? (7,6)
BLANKET STITCHBLANKET (widespread) ITCH (urge) wrapping ST (stone).
30 Boozy girls finally had respite, tucking into coffees (8)
LADETTES – “Finally” haD respitE in LATTES (coffees).
32 After broadcast, left with new holiday reading material (7,5)
AIRPORT NOVELAIR (broadcast) PORT (left) NOVEL (new).
34 Source of infection turning up in tranquil ocean (1,4)
E COLI – Reverse hidden, “turing up” in tranquIL OCEan.
36 Repetitive tunes and hint about new microphone enthralling us (6,5)
TRANCE MUSICTRACE (hint) about N (new), MIC (microphone) about US.
37 Blurry spirals with eye inflammation (10)
ERYSIPELAS – “Blurry” (spirals eye)*. Never heard of it. “Also known as St. Antony’s Fire, Erysipelas is an infection of the upper layers of the skin (superficial). The most common cause is group A streptococcal bacteria, especially Streptococcus pyogenes. Erysipelas results in a fiery red rash with raised edges that can easily be distinguished from the skin around it. The affected skin may be warm to the touch.
40 Overlooked Democrat pursuing extra work (9)
SIDELINEDD (democrat) after SIDELINE (extra work)
41 Concern about deity’s slow-moving steed (9)
CARTHORSECARE (concern) about THOR’S (deity’s).
43 Most helpful equipment to go round mountains (not summit) (7)
KINDESTKIT (equipment) round aNDES (mountains), without the first letter.
45 Wave turned over fellow in swimming suit (7)
TSUNAMI – MAN (fellow) “turned over” -> NAM, in “swimming” (suit)*.
46 Marine explorer heads for home upsetting daughter and her brother? (6)
HUDSON – “Heads for” Home Upsetting Daughter, SON (her brother).
48 Senior figure identified in articles in two European countries (5)
ELDER –  “THE” is the article again, but this time in Spanish (EL) and German (DER).
51 Unidentified bloke from European island (4)
MANXMAN (bloke) X (unidentified), from the Isle of Man. I’ve never heard it referred to as a European Island before.

7 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1532 – 25th December”

  1. Gave up on FIELD KITCHEN. I’m missing something on BORDER COLLIE. On the one hand, it’s my understanding that one can’t make an anagram out of letters that aren’t in the clue, and COLLIDER isn’t. On the other hand, DERCOLLI isn’t the reverse of COLLIDER, which would be legitimate. So in what non-anagram, legitimate sense is DERCOLLI a ‘recycling’ of COLLIDER that IDERCOLL or LIDERCOL isn’t?
    1. Both good questions, Kevin. Border Collies are commonly used as sheepdogs, hence the “field worker”, but if you are not familiar with sheep-farming you might not know that. As for DERCOLLI, “recyling” is intended to mean shuffling letters around cyclically, i.e. keeping the same order of letters, but starting in a different place. Think of writing the letters out in a circle and, in this case, starting at the D. Blog updated to explain.

      Edited at 2022-01-08 07:34 am (UTC)

      1. Sorry; I was unclear. I got BORDER COLLIE, long before I parsed it. I just had the one question, where the key word is ‘legitimate’. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this device in a clue, but I gather that IDERCOLL, LIDERCOL, etc. were all possible, but just wouldn’t produce a solution here?
        1. Ah yes. I see. Yes IDERCOLL and LIDERCOL are also possible recyclings, but as with an anagram you need the one that produces a solution. It is unusual, I think. I have seen it before, but only ever with the front letter moved to the back or vice versa.

          Edited at 2022-01-08 07:45 am (UTC)

          1. “‘Front to back’ or ‘back to front'” is not the same as “start from any letter” (of a word that isn’t in the clue).
    2. The “recycling” device is more usually seen as “cycling”, in my experience. Rarely pops up in the Times (there was an instance in September’s Club Monthly) but is more frequent in the Guardian, though even there people have commented on whether there’s much distance between this and an indirect anagram.
      1. Thanks, John. Frankly, I can’t see much of a distance. I say it’s spinach, and I say the hell with it.

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