Times Cryptic Jumbo 1539: The Crossword Your Crossword Could Smell Like

I thought this a very superior specimen of the Jumbonic art, lots of really good lift-and-separates and surfaces with the definition part well and misleadingly concealed within.

The first row went pretty much straight in (enumeration is such a boon) but it was the top half that held out against me the longest, with 16ac, 3dn and 6dn being slowest to give up their secrets.

Many things to like but special mention to the delightful 26ac (Harry Hotspur in the land of the Inuits! I’d watch that movie), the truly brilliant anagrist/anagrind/definition triple combo at 41dn and the sheer elegance of 50dn – not a single word wasted in that clue.

Many thanks to the good setter!

Definitions underlined, (ABC)* indicating anagram of ABC, {} deletions and [] other indicators.

1 Brief success then pain, collapsing after race (5,2,3,3)
FLASH IN THE PAN – (THEN PAIN*) after FLASH. I suppose this means “race” as in “move quickly”, but I’m not 100%
8 Last drink, and what’s said to precede it? (7,2)
BOTTOMS UP – BOTTOM [last] + SUP [drink], semi-&lit
13 Vote not yet in post (5)
ELECT – double def, second as in “president elect”
14 Sorcerer, on reflection, wearing habit adapted for hot country (3,6)
THE GAMBIA – reversed MAGE “wearing” (HABIT*)
15 Sacred buildings where patriarch receives queen (7)
MOSQUES – MOSES “receives” QU
16 Commercial openings for musical extracts ready to be sung (12)
MERCHANTABLE – M{usical} E{xtracts} R{eady} + CHANTABLE
17 Stimulant from way back hoarded by a medic in East (10)
ADRENALINE – reversed LANE “hoarded” by A DR IN E
18 Unloaded suite partner collected (6)
SEDATE – S{uit}E + DATE [partner]
19 Accountant registers around 100 reliable sellers (4,4)
CASH COWS – C.A. SHOWS “around” C
21 Put meat in coating of fire (6)
FLAMBE – LAMB in F{ir}E, &lit
24 Oscar in condemned prison cell briefly remains there (10)
26 Percy moving south stops northerners giving chase (2,3,7)
IN HOT PURSUIT – HOTSPUR, with some latitude given to the position of his S, “stopping” INUIT
29 African hovel and its interior (4)
HUTU – HUT + {h}U{t}
30 Spiny fish Scotsman’s thrown back eaten by piscivore (3,5)
SEA SNAIL – reversed IAN’S “eaten” by SEAL. Not at all sure about the “fish” part
31 I cut to vet being televised (2-6)
ON-SCREEN – ON{e} + SCREEN [vet]
34 Landing fish in middle of night (8)
35 Be left to enter (4,4)
COME INTO – double def. First one as in “come into an inheritance”
36 Bloke‘s cloak shortened (4)
39 Instrument restricting power remained part of sound system (6,6)
RECORD PLAYER – RECORDER “restricting” P(ower) LAY
40 Itinerant setter on constant watch for guidebooks (10)
43 Spots lady on vacation, 54 (6)
RASHLY – RASH [spots] + L{ad}Y. The 54 is not the lady’s age but 54ac
44 Direction given shortly after reversal of current cuts (5,3)
EDITS OUT – SOUT{h} after reversed TIDE
45 Fuel cell used regularly fades first (6)
DIESEL – {c}E{l}L after DIES
49 Digital guide an enhancement for reference books (5,5)
THUMB INDEX – THUMB [digital] INDEX [guide]
51 A church training learner having left animated and with insight (12)
PERCEPTIVELY – PER CE PT [a | church | training] + {l}IVELY
53 Vigorously steer west of British port (3,4)
CON BRIO – CON [steer] to the left of B RIO
54 Rejected 80% of smaller veg without thinking (2,7)
ON IMPULSE – reversed MINO{r} + PULSE
55 Cajun stew pot overturned — boy goes short (5)
GUMBO – reversed MUG + BO{y}
56 A lackey sent off across road for teatime treat (5,4)
LARDY CAKE – (A LACKEY*) “across” RD
57 Genial tenor embracing left winger who shares his outlook? (7,6)
KINDRED SPIRIT – KIND SPIRIT [genial | tenor] “embracing” RED
1 Footloose graduates working for man in lodge (9)
2 Introduction of virtual reader arranged as stated (7)
AVERRED – (V{irtual} READER*)
3 Begin life in France and post damning report (7,3)
HATCHET JOB – HATCH [begin life] ET [in France, and] JOB [post]
4 One colonist after another with head down, swimming (6)
NATANT – two ANTS, the first slightly disarranged
5 Ornate chair Charlie graded (12)
6 Slack line with first items for airing (8)
PLAYLIST – PLAY [slack] + L(ine) 1ST
7 Knight bachelor breaking American hearts (4)
NUBS – N + B “breaking” US
8 Investor not liking to approach with resolution (4,4,2)
BEAR DOWN ON – BEAR [investor] DOWN ON [not liking]
9 Musician at first enthralled by lighter fiddle (6)
TAMPER – M{usician} “enthralled” by TAPER [lighter, for e.g. a candle]
10 Old couple touring ruined castle finding event hard to negotiate (8,4)
11 S American announcement of secession from oil-rich state (5)
SAUDI – S(outh) A(merican) U(nilateral) D(eclaration of) I(ndependence)
12 Bill any number within grounds for delivery service (5,8)
20 Weigh up Tory marginal, minister’s base (8)
CONSIDER – CON(servative) SIDE [as an adjective] {ministe}R
22 Spooner’s domestic spy finds evidence of forced entry? (5,4)
23 Prepare for action, or relax? (6,2)
LOOSEN UP – double def. You loosen up before vigorous exercise… or not
25 At climbing aboard vehicle, turns and falls (9)
CATARACTS – reversed AT “aboard” CAR, + ACTS
27 Pinch over £500, leaving 1000 in expenses fund (3,5)
PIN MONEY – PIN over MON{k}EY [as in 20 ponies]
28 Workshy, contemptuous son’s departed for days (8)
29 Unusually chirpy recital much too fussy (13)
32 Fruit punch served up by men in boat (12)
33 Notably quiet dons unable to speak, last two denied right (2,10)
IN PARTICULAR – P(iano) “dons” INARTICULA{te} + R(ight)
37 Feeling the effects of being up for too long? (6-4)
SADDLE-SORE – cryptic def which relies on the meaning of “up” that is “mounted on a horse”
38 Report of increased industrial action beginning (8,2)
STRIKING UP – if industrial action has increased then STRIKING is UP
41 Pay lots of jockeys, getting sole complaint (9)
42 Artless witticism sleuth first overheard? (8)
HOMESPUN – PUN after homophone of HOLMES
46 Ship‘s pilot keeping mum on return trip (7)
STEAMER – STEER “keeping” reversed MA
47 Greek market stocking last of woven fabric (6)
ANGORA – AGORA “stocking” {wove}N
48 Tag on a very soft object (6)
APPEND – A PP END [a | very soft | object]
50 Harmful narrowing in part of bone (5)
ULNAR – hidden in {harmf}UL NAR{rowing}
52 Flashing signal to land close to mark (4)
WINK – WIN [to land] + {mar}K

One comment on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1539: The Crossword Your Crossword Could Smell Like”

  1. Many thanks for the usual informative blog: I too enjoyed this Jumbo and learned that a snailfish is also known as a sea snail. 12dn though is surely the opposite of a delivery service, namely a collection facility. Jeffrey

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