Times Cryptic Jumbo 1547 – 25th March

This was a lovely entertaining Cryptic Jumbo. Just how they should be. A lot of fun with plenty of inventive cluing and witty definitions and wordplay, yet not too difficult, although I see my last handful of answers took about 10 of my 41 minutes solve. Ticks of appreciation and exclamation marks of surprise all over my copy so it’s hard to single out any favourite clues, but maybe the “sun follower” tickled me most. Or maybe the one who “sits on throne”. Thank-you clever setter and more like this please, editor! How did you all get on?

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

1 Unsuccessful with money? This’ll get you a raise! (9)
SOURDOUGHSOUR (unsuccessful, as in went sour) DOUGH (money).
6 One’s back with writer touring about in hired vehicle (7)
MINICAB – I’M (One’s) [back] -> MI, NIB (writer) [touring] CA (circa; about).
10 Start in college of western America where pupils are trained? (5)
FOCUS – [Start on] College, OF all reversed [western] US (America). Nice misdirection with the definition.
13 Possessing joint, tested nudge theory, perhaps (7)
ELBOWED – Double definition, the second a cryptic hint.
14 Punishment not unknown in west country town (7)
PENANCEPENzANCE (west country town) without the Z [not unknown].
15 Regarding who sits on throne? (7)
LOOKINGLOO KING (who sits on throne). That made me laugh.
16 It’s made in lab, I tell agency cryptically (11,8)
GENETICALLY MODIFIED – (made in lab I tell agency)* [cryptically]. A neat semi-&lit.
17 Island floors (3)
KOSKO’S (knocks out; floors).
18 Refuse tablets to take orally (6)
ESCHEWES (ecstasy tablets) CHEW (take orally).
20 Exhausted, due to change in unique selling point (4,2)
USED UP – (due)* [to change] [in] USP (unique selling point).
21 Prisoner, not “caught” in a manner of speaking, in nick (9)
CONDITIONCON (prisoner), DIcTION (manner of speaking) without the C [not caught; as recorded in cricket score book]. Clever!
23 Two US states beset by inconsistent man’s rule (10)
PATRIARCHYRI (Rhode Island) AR (Arizona Arkansas), (two US states) [beset by] PATCHY (inconsistent). Thanks Kevin for putting me straight.
25 Cough and rasp, as unwell? A case for mummy! (11)
SARCOPHAGUS – (cough rasp as)* [unwell]. This made me laugh as well.
29 Appeal of returning to low pub (5)
OOMPH – MOO (low like a cow) [returning] -> OOM, PH (Public House; pub).
30 Objections got well covered up (8)
OBSCUREDOBS (objections) CURED (got well).
31 Strand marine creature, last but one straying westward (8)
SEASHORE – SEAHORSE (marine creature) moving [straying] the second S [last but one] backwards  [westwards] -> SEASHORE.
34 What’ll make for tidy life? Not messing around! (8)
FIDELITY – [make for] (tidy life)*. Loved the definition.
36 Implying only one gender counts, consciousness-wise? (8)
MENTALLYMEN (only one gender) TALLY (counts). No I’d better not say anything about the surface reading or I might get cancelled.
37 A bit of work that’s key for raising capital? (5)
SHIFT – Double definition, the second a witty cryptic hint… “for raising capital” – very good.
39 Criminal I arrested on purpose (6,5)
RAISON D’ETRE – (I arrested)* [criminal]. This made me smile too.
41 Customer’s out of line, though outwardly so rational (10)
SCIENTIFIC – More clever wordplay. It’s ClIENT (customer) without the L [out of line] IF (though), with SIC (so) outside [outwardly].
43 Pooh Bear in plastic, not right being on novelty watch? (9)
NEOPHOBIA – (Poo bear in)* without the R [not right], [plastic]. That’s a little convoluted, I think and a wacky surface, but entertaining.
45 Company’s importing sound equipment for stand-ups (6)
COMICSCO’S (company’s) [importing] MIC (sound equipment).
47 Show audience programme beforehand (6)
APPEAREAR (audience) with APP (programme) in front [beforehand].
49 Beverage to take in back to front (3)
TEA – More cleverness…. EAT (take in) with the last letter moved to the front [back to front] -> TEA.
50 Under the circumstances, I’m open to offers! (3,6,10)
ALL THINGS CONSIDERED – Double definition, the second a cryptic hint.
52 National symbol that can get you down (7)
THISTLE – Another double definition with the second a cryptic hint.
53 One to bat — watch stroke (7)
EYELASH – Sneaky definition! EYE (watch) LASH (stroke).
54 During work duties, I carouse (7)
ROISTERI in [during] ROSTER (work duties).
55 Stopped working around mid-evening and had a meal (5)
DINEDDIED (stopped working) [around] [mid-] eveNing. I like it.
56 Miss Havisham‘s dresses tell all when discovered (7)
ESTELLA – Hidden in dresES TELL All [when discovered]. Guess who did Great Expectations for English ‘O’ level? I might have struggled with this if I hadn’t.
57 Mark house and pass on (9)
SEMICOLON – Another neat one. SEMI (house) COL (pass) ON.
1 Band who had Christmas hit broadcast rode with Santa? (8)
SLEIGHEDSLEIGHED sounds like [broadcast] SLADE [band who had Christmas hit], this one.
2 Head covering, apparently worn on top in city (5)
URBANtURBAN (head covering) without the first letter [apparently worn on top]. Inventive.
3 Sensible, with gravity? (4-2-5)
DOWN-TO-EARTH – Double definition, second a cryptic hint.
4 Jack abandoning boat and gathering up fish to leave port (6)
UNDOCKjUNK (boat) without the J [jack abandoning], outside, [gathering up], COD (fish).
5 Flailing about, loses speech — a non-starter (8,4)
HOPELESS CASE – [Flailing about] (loses speech a)*.
6 Sun follower looked rich (7)
MONEYEDMON (Monday; Sun; Sunday follower) EYED (looked). Sun follower – Lol.
7 Officer and soldiers confined to station — one’s gone upstairs (3,6,6)
NON COMPOS MENTISNON-COM (officer), MEN (soldiers) in [confined to] POST (station), I’S (one’s). I liked this one too.
8 Trust one in suit to have means of paying (6,4)
CREDIT CARDCREDIT (trust) CARD (one in suit).
9 Taurus and Leo displaying common character? Solid gold! (7)
BULLIONBULL (Taurus) LION (Leo) overlapping [displaying common character] -> BULLION.
10 Banishes darkness from swamp lands (11)
11 Hang around sides of playing surface for curling (9)
CRINKLINGCLING (hang around) outside, [sides of], RINK (playing surface); which is indeed a playing surface for curling.
12 Registers omen hanging over child (5,2)
SIGNS ONSIGN (omen) above, [hanging over], SON (child).
19 Alleged medical blunders (7)
CLAIMED – (medical)* [blunders].
22 Eddy, rejecting kiss in embrace of rascal, was frolicking (8)
CAVORTED – Easier to biff than to parse, it’s VORTEx (eddy) without the X [rejecting kiss] in CAD (rascal).
24 I’m not sure this is a secret (3,5,3,4)
YOU NEVER CAN TELL – Double definition, the second a cryptic hint.
26 Unaccompanied royal’s autobiography? (3,2,3)
ONE BY ONE – Same again – Double definition, the second a cryptic hint.
27 Detective‘s dodgy hustle (6)
SLEUTH – [dodgy] (hustle)*.
28 Chest — one troubled by it, audibly? (6)
COFFER – Sounds like COUGHER [audibly].
32 First of rods I dropped into frozen hole (7)
ORIFICE – [First of] Rods I [dropped into] OF ICE (frozen).
33 Without uniform level, ambassador’s surrounded by fools (12)
PLAINCLOTHESPLAIN (level),  HE (His Excellency; title for ambassador) [surrounded by] CLOTS (fools).
35 Told tale about tipsy male, cunning and bold (11)
LIONHEARTED – Another one tricky to parse… LIED (told tale) [about] ON (tipsy?) HE (male) ART (cunning).
37 Puck’s back issue? (7,4)
SLIPPED DISC – Double definition, the first a cryptic hint via ice hockey.
38 What may be achieved by nail file (10)
ATTACHMENT – Double definition, the first a cryptic hint – you nail things together.
40 Number one coming up with sequence of three notes penned in quarantine (9)
ISOLATION – NO I (number one) [coming up] -> ION, outside SO LA TI (sequence of three notes) [penned in].
42 Framework for crossword — hard pitch in US (8)
GRIDIRONGRID (framework for crossword) IRON (hard). An American Football field.
43 No fan of rock and roll, presumably, on paper? (7)
NOTATEDNOT A TED (no fan of rock and roll).
44 Busy person’s picked up mask inside to buy (7)
BELIEVEBEE (busy person) with VEIL (mask) reversed, [picked up], -> LIEV [inside].
46 Mother’s covered a mark with make-up (7)
MASCARAMA (mother) above, [covered], A SCAR (mark).
48 Retreat from remains of cigarette butt (6)
ASHRAMASH (remains of cigarette) RAM (butt, as one might do with a battering ram).
51 Mammal after a time switching sides (5)
RATEL – LATER (after a time) swapping the R and L [switching side] -> RATEL, the honey badger often found in crosswords

9 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1547 – 25th March”

  1. I’ve got checks (all right, ticks) for COD candidates by a number of clues, of which maybe RAISON D’ETRE is my favorite. DNK USP. I had a ? at ESTELLA, since Miss Havisham is Estella’s guardian; Estella–assuming her name is Havisham, we’re never told–would be Miss Estella Havisham. But between Miss Havisham’s death and Estella’s marriage to Drummle, she would have been Miss Havisham.
  2. I’m always relieved when the blogger has a question mark in the same place I had!
    “On” as per Ch. is “on the way to being drunk (slang)”. Should have looked it up at the time.
    Of course I had other question marks which is why I come to this site – and for which I am most grateful.
    Many thanks to blogger and setter.
    Have a nice day.
    1. Thanks for looking that I up. I meant to go back and do so myself, but forgot.
  3. I enjoyed this, and finished in 65:24, but I have an extremely careless NON CORPUS MENTIS! Where the hell did that come from!! Doh! Thanks setter and John.
  4. Not very hard but very enjoyable. Lots of witty and inventive clues. Thank you setter.

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