Times Cryptic Jumbo 1537 – 15th January

As I solved this the Saturday before last and remembered to use my solution as the framework for the blog I thought, “but it’s only a week since I published my last Jumbo blog”. Well we have had two bank holiday extras in between that one and this, so the Jumbo bloggers’ next turns come around a lot quicker at this time of year. As for this one, I finished it in just under an average time in 37:51 despite an unusually large number of (to me) unknowns, including 3 of the first 6 answers. But there are plenty of easier clues to provide checkers to help with the wordplay. Clues I particularly enjoyed include 1A (nice choice of anagrind), 29A (apposite surface), 7D (nice image), 8D (great definition) and 49D. Thank-you setter! How did you all get on?

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

1 Note orbiting traveller here? (6)
PHOBOSP.S. (postscript; note) “orbiting” HOBO (traveller). Phobos is a moon of Mars.

Photo from NASA / JPL-Caltech / University of Arizona
5 Star about to introduce a new work (7)
CANOPUS – A second astronomical clue. CA (about) N (new) OPUS (work). Canopus is the brightest star in the southern constellation of Carina and the second-brightest star in the night sky.
9 Hint of consternation with horse facing a huge buffalo (8)
CARABAOS – My first unknown… and not the last! “Hint of” Consternation, ARAB (horse) A OS (outsize; huge). The carabao is a domestic swamp-type water buffalo native to the Philippines.
13 Enter drudge — he wrote one novel, a Victorian story (5,3,9,4)
UNDER THE GREENWOOD TREE – (Enter drudge he wrote one)* “novel”. The book by Thomas Hardy first published in 1872.
14 This writer with acidity — it is something with a nasty smell (8)
MEPHITISME (this writer) pH (acidity) IT IS. Another unknown for me. The dictionary says “(archaic)  A noxious or foul-smelling gas or vapour.”
15 Insecticide desperate man put down in row (7)
LINDANE – I didn’t know this one either! DAN (desperate man; see here) in LINE (row). “A synthetic organochlorine insecticide, now generally restricted in use owing to its toxicity and persistence in the environment.
16 Despises saints penning hackneyed stuff (6)
SCORNSS and S (saints) “penning” CORN (hackneyed stuff).
17 Fellow with a bit of an edge you’d rather not meet? (4,6)
GRIM REAPER – Cryptic definition.
20 Fellow losing head, writer with position that you wouldn’t have anticipated (12)
HAPPENSTANCEcHAP (fellow) “losing head”, PEN (writer) STANCE (position).
23 Help here, off and on, to provide sword (4)
EPEE – Alternate letters, “off and on”, of hElP hErE.
24 Creative type in firm, initially managing problem (8)
COMPOSERCO (company; firm), “initially” Managing POSER (problem).
26 Drinks with sharp content with making of new businesses (8)
STARTUPSSUPS (drinks) outside, “with … content”, TART (sharp).
29 A controversy about extension to home? (12)
CONSERVATORY – (A controversy)* “about”. I’ve heard that, contrversially,  the rules are changing to allow more changes without having to seek planning permission. See here.
30 Rambling as miserable person, the German in Germany’s capital (10)
MEANDERINGMEAN (as miserable person) DER (the, in German) IN Germany “‘s capital”.
32 Work backstage maybe and create a fuss (4,1,5)
MAKE A SCENE – Double definition, the first a cryptic hint.
34 Bishop, say, wanting whisky and something sweet (12)
BUTTERSCOTCHB (bishop)  UTTER (say) SCOTCH (whisky… the real stuff without an E in it).
36 Resolves to conceal one’s actions to destroy gods (8)
DEICIDESDECIDES (resolves) “to conceal” I (one).
38 Number to be found in old city entertained by crazy fellow (4,4)
CUBE ROOT – A double inclusion… BE “found in” UR (old city), all in COOT (crazy fellow; as in daft as a…). As 3 is to 27.
39 Feathered friend turning, finding very little (4)
DRIB – BIRD (feathered friend) “turning” -> DRIB. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it in the singular and without its companion DRABS.
41 French lass produced white wine around lunchtime? (12)
MADEMOISELLEMADE (produced), MOSELLE (white wine) “around” I (one; one pm; lunchtime).
43 A guy to care inordinately and behave maturely! (3,4,3)
ACT YOUR AGE – (a guy to care)* “inordinately”. A novel anagrind to me.
44 Something loopy that can be a pain (6)
STITCH – Double definition, the first a bit of a stretch, I think.
46 A bit of money, gold, right for one in fabled race (7)
CENTAURCENT (a bit of money) AU (gold) R (right). The creature from Greek mythology with the upper body of a human and the lower body and legs of a horse. Read all about them here.
48 Looking smart, attractive girl keeps within reach (in want of husband) (8)
DANDYISHDISH (attractive girl) outside, “keeps within”, hANDY (within reach) without the H, “in want of husband”.
50 Does the business, vote by vote, and shows little enthusiasm (4,7,3,7)
GOES THROUGH THE MOTIONS – Double definition, the first a cryptic hint. A lewder setter might be tempted to omit the “vote by vote”.
51 Gets hold of bits of music (8)
SNATCHES – Double definition.
52 Start to swim as a boat may be ruined (7)
SCREWED – “start to” Swim CREWED (as a boat may be).
53 World of mum, at home after party (6)
DOMAINMA (mum) IN (at home) “after” DO (party).
2 Husband with zero value in his home? (5)
HOUSEH (husband) O (0; zero) USE (value).
3 Educationist joins dictionary publisher in special rooms (11)
BEDCHAMBERSB.ED (Bachelor of Education; educationalist) CHAMBERS (dictionary publisher).
4 Support the heartless king who walks as if he owns the place? (8)
STRUTTERSTRUT (support) ThE “hearless” R (Rex; king).
5 Fish and lettuce, nothing hard to be swallowed (5)
COHOSCOS (lettuce) outside O (0; nothing) H (hard). Familiar to me only through croswords. “The Coho salmon is one of the five Pacific salmon species. Coho salmon are also known as silver salmon or “silvers”.
6 Woman ultimately one to laugh, not the first critical soul (7)
NIGGLER – WomaN “ulimately”, gIGGLER (one to laugh) “not the first”.
7 Hot food on plane? That’s unrealistic (3,2,3,3)
PIE IN THE SKY – Double definition, the first a cryptic hint.
8 Delivery man, worker perhaps in African country initially (5)
SANTAANT (worker, perhaps) “in” S.A. (South Africa; African country) “initially”. Quirky definition.
9 Neighbourhood of Bishop Bill provides intimacy (9)
CLOSENESSCLOSE (neighbourhood of bishop) NESS (bill; e.g. Portland Bill). “A cathedral close is the area immediately around a cathedral, sometimes extending for a hundred metres or more from the main cathedral building. In Europe in the Middle Ages, and often later, it was usually all the property of the cathedral and under the bishop or cathedral’s legal jurisdiction rather than that of the city.
10 Some crossed Iran making return journeys (5)
RIDES – Reverse hidden, “some … making return”, in crosSED IRan. -> RIDES.
11 Mayor taking umbrage, sort to get upset (11)
BURGOMASTER – (umbrage sort) * “to get upset”. I’ve come across burgermeister before, but not this form of the word.
12 Huge canoe at sea — Channel Islands coming up (7)
OCEANIC – (canoe)* “at sea”, C.I. (Channel Islands) “coming up” -> IC.
18 Unscrupulous person in respect of procedure relating to will? (9)
REPROBATERE (in respect of) PROBATE (procedure relating to will).
19 Gaseous fuel, on paper, looking bad (7)
PROPANE – (on paper)* “looking bad”. Another anagrind that’s new to me.
21 Soldier was introduced to Her Majesty — something definitive (9)
PARAMETERPARA (soldier) MET (was introduced to) ER (Her Majesty). Odd definition, but it fits with “a defining characteristic”.
22 Hit and run in careless manner (8)
25 French native shown to have endless serenity (9)
PROVENCALPROVEN (shown) CALm (servenity) “endless”.
27 Ruler kept under by deity in charge is showing fear (9)
PANICKINGKING (ruler), “under” PAN (deity) I.C. (in charge).
28 Live mostly in very good old military post (8)
PRESIDIORESIDe (live) “mostly”, “in” PI (very good) O (old). Another new word for me.
31 Plant giving a closet a new look (7)
ALECOST – (a closet)* “a new look”.
33 Procedure with unclaimed property in small estate — deceive fellows involved (11)
ESCHEATMENTEST (small; abbreviation for, estate) outside CHEAT (decieve) MEN (fellows).
34 Hard-hitting speaker booked to give message? (5-6)
BIBLE-BASHER – Cryptic definition.
35 Where officers meet — evidently not a mess! (7,4)
ORDERLY ROOM – Double definition, second a cryptic hint.
37 Son has funny trousers — they have weights attached (4,5)
SASH CORDSS (son) (has)* “funny” CORDS (trousers). Not the most helpful of definitions!
40 Little boy preceded by French maid in ribboned headgear (8)
BONNETEDTED (little boy) “preceded by” BONNE (French maid). Never heard of the French maid.
42 Opposing dope as substance to fight off disease (7)
ANTIGENANTI (opposed to) GEN (dope).
43 A demonstration with heads held high? (3,4)
AIR SHOW – Cryptic definition. Well I guess you have to look up to see it.
45 Come out in church with mitre on? (5)
HATCHHAT (mitre) “on” CH (church).
47 Words showing intelligence — any number thrown in (5)
NOUNSNOUS (intelligence) outside N (any number).
48 Like St Paul’s march maybe Dean originally set up (5)
DOMED – like the cathedral… DEMO (march, maybe) Dean “originally”, “set up” -> DOMED.
49 Food gives us hiccups? Only a bit! (5)
SUSHI – Hidden, “only a bit”, in giveS US HIccups.

7 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1537 – 15th January”

  1. I have no notes on this one, other than DNK CARABAOS and LOI 33d (which I DNK either, actually). I also didn’t (don’t) get the NESS of CLOSENESS. San Francisco has a huge PRESIDIO, which is now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and which definitely should be part of any tourist’s itinerary. https://www.presidio.gov/
    1. You know of course that NESS is a headland in crosswords. Is the problem here that BILL is less familiar as a headland? Our blogger gave us Portland Bill. I know Selsey Bill. There, that’s two
      1. Thanks. ‘Bill’ =headland was completely unknown to me (of course, I should have looked up Portland Bill).
        1. To be fair, it was BILL = Ness that Kevin hadn’t come across. But as you mentioned it… Even though the iconic lighthouse is now gone due to the ravages of the sea, Orford Ness is well worth a visit for its amazing landscape and the remnants of and museums about its atomic weapons research history. See here for a taste.

          Edited at 2022-01-29 10:53 am (UTC)

          1. Yes but I was replying to Kapietro’s comment…

            Interesting blog about Orford Ness John. I have been there, but my abiding memories are that it was big, cold, and wet. Birds seem to like the most desolate places

  2. About average time for me too, but in my case that means 1:39:26. There were indeed several unknowns to construct from the wordplay. This can be fun, and very satisfying when you get it right. But I messed up on one — 28dn PRESIDIO where I constructed ARESIDIO. I did not see PI for “very good” and went with A1 instead. Never mind. The kapietro variant of the rules allows one pink square in a Jumbo. So another triumph

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