Times Cryptic Jumbo 1552 – 23rd April

I found this a satisfying Jumbo to complete with some masterful complex wordplay, whimsical definitions and neat surfaces to admire. Quite a few single letter deletions, I thought, so my strikethrough button in the editor got plenty of use. I was all finished bar 4 answers after 37 1/2 minutes, but then took another 7 minutes for the last 4. I had most trouble with my LOI, 30A, having no idea the answer had blue eyes and only the crossing 20D got me to the right answer. My two other unknowns of the day were the slope and the Shakespearean constable. So about a par experience for me. Quite a few appreciative ticks on my copy – I liked 15A, 43A, 47A, 2D and 6D (once I’d parsed them!), 5D and 11D best. Thank-you setter! How did you all get on?

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

1 Tiny warship and its type of weaponry? (9)
SUBATOMICSUB (warship) ATOMIC (type of weaponry). That will be a Trident submarine then.
6 Grunt by my pet (5)
CORGICOR (my!) GI (grunt; a low-ranking soldier).
9 Starts to steal drink (5,2)
TAKES UPTAKE (steal) SUP (drink).
13 Make one’s way into international bar (5)
INGOTGO (make ones way) [into] INT (International).
14 Novelist’s card nobody returned (7)
SIMENONSIM (card for mobile phone) NONE (nobody) [returned] -> ENON. The prolific Belgian author and creator of Inspector Maigret.
15 Suggestion of anger in such farm birds? (4-5)
FREE-RANGE – A reverse cryptic. You might might clue ‘ANGER’ as an anagram of ‘RANGE’, i.e. FREE RANGE.
16 Serious in backing sorcerer to make idol (6,5)
GRAVEN IMAGEGRAVE (serious), IN [backing] -> NI, MAGE (sorcerer).
17 Like balls from pace bowler to be inflexible (4-3-4)
HARD-AND-FAST – Double definition – the first a cryptic hint.
18 Out of order, the black sheep of the aircraft industry? (6)
RAMJETJET (black) RAM (sheep) [out of order] -> RAMJET. Hmm. Not convinced by the definition. A RAMJET is “a form of airbreathing jet engine that uses the forward motion of the engine to produce thrust“. Have I missed something?
19 Nine most extraordinary remarks (8)
MENTIONS – (Nine most)* extraordinary.
21 Painter rejecting objections, and eviscerating them (6)
STUBBS – BUTS (objections) [rejected] -> STUB and then the outside letters of the same ButS [eviscerating them]. Clever wordplay.
25 Make people a gift (8)
DONATIONDO (make) NATION (people).
26 Weakling’s outsize piece of school uniform? (3,5,6)
BIG GIRLS BLOUSE – Double definition, the second a cryptic hint.
28 Basket-maker more comfy when free of cold (5)
OSIERcOSIER (more comfy) without, [free of], the C (cold).
29 Check on drunkard, swallowing last of alcoholic drink (6)
SCOTCHCH (check in chess notation) after [on] SOT (drunkard) [swallowing] [last of] alcoholiC.
30 Blue-eyed pet I put in invariable chair suffering constant interruption (7,3)
SIAMESE CATI [in] SAME (invariable) SEAT (chair) outside [suffering interruption] C (constant). My last one in. I never knew they had blue eyes.
33 In hotel, a little soldier is resident (10)
INHABITANTIN H (hotel in the NATO phonetic alphabet) A BIT (little) ANT (soldier).
35 A special gift of story books, good ones (6)
TALENTTALE (story) NT (New Testament; books, good ones).
36 Hood not the ultimate in official dress, I note (5)
ROBINROBe (official dress) without the last letter, [not the ultimate], I N (note).
38 Some of a cyclone caused devastation: one way to reduce cost? (7,2,5)
ECONOMY OF SCALE -(some of cyclone)* [caused devastation].
40 Takes in better paper (8)
FOOLSCAPFOOLS (takes in) CAP (better, as in outdo).
42 Assassin, vicious type, finally replaced by our side (6)
BRUTUSBRUTe (vicious type) replacing the final letter [finally replaced] by US (our side).
43 How eleven may appear, but not all at once (3,2,3)
ONE BY ONE – Double definition, the first a cryptic hint. Nice one.
44 Vehicle returns to collect Australian and Austrian (6)
MOZART – TRAM (vehicle) [returns] -> MART, outside [to collect], OZ (Australian).
47 Criminal dealing, mere trickery (11)
LEGERDEMAIN – (dealing mere)* [criminal]. Nice surface.
50 Please don’t die, right? Plot surprise for young hero (6,5)
OLIVER TWISTO LIVE (please don’t die) R (right) TWIST (plot surprise). That made me smile when I parsed the biffed answer.
52 Candidate’s proposal taken to study (9)
CONTENDERCON (study) TENDER (proposal).
53 Not following, escape from gang, having unpleasant expression (7)
LEERINGfLEE (escape) without the f [not following], RING (gang).
54 Head off trouble that’s afoot in marriage (5)
UNIONbUNION (trouble that’s afoot) (ho ho) without the b [head off].
55 Embarrassed about skin blemish: it’s not at all fair (7)
SWARTHYSHY (embarrassed) [about] WART (skin blemish). Nice whimsical definition.
56 Indecisive poet? (5)
NOYES – Double definition, the first a cryptic hint NO/YES (indecisive). That will be Alfred Noyes then.No I haven’t read anything he wrote. I’m surprised I even remembered the name!
57 From detectives, a couple of observations: watched but not followed (9)
DISOBEYEDDIS (detectives), first two letters of [a couple of] OBservations, EYED (watched). Cleverly constructed to make a great surface.
1 Almost mean to wound (5)
STINGSTINGy (mean) [almost].
2 Game British land forces shielding bomb, our hydrogen being explosive (6,2,9).
BEGGAR MY NEIGHBOUR – I biffed this. I’d better try and parse it now… B (British) ARMY (land forces) outside [shielding] EGG (bomb), (our H being)* [explosive]. Blimey!
3 Man allowed to feature in reel, in full detail (2,3,6)
TO THE LETTERHE (man) LET (allowed) [to feature in] TOTTER (reel; stagger).
4 Eccentric is on attack, holding up motorway (6)
MISFIT – IS [on] FIT (attack) under [holding up] M (motorway).
5 One with teeth a bear was fighting (8)
COMBATEDCOMB (one with teeth) (ha ha) A TED (teddy bear).
6 Standard of performance of clubs right after a single time at ground (7,5)
CONCERT PITCH – Another I biffed but have to parse now… It’s C (clubs), R (right) [after] ONCE (a single time), T (time), PITCH (e.g. football or cricket ground) .
7 Hurry over to practise (3,7)
RUN THROUGHRUN (hurry) THROUGH (over; finished).
8 Conclude announcer’s wearing mink (5)
INFER – Sounds like [announcer’s] IN FUR (wearing mink).
9 Subject nearly fools ordinary folk (3,6)
THE MASSESTHEMe (subject) [nearly] ASSES (fools).
10 Actor also dug ground after church (4,7)
KIRK DOUGLAS – (also dug)* [ground] [after] KIRK (church).
11 Night visitor’s pleasant attitude diminished (5)
SANTA – Hidden in pleaSANT Attitude [diminished].
12 City finally failing to give instruction to players (6)
PRESTOPRESTOn (city) [finally failing].
18 As editor, I’m to relaunch magazine (5,5)
RADIO TIMES – (As editor I’m)* [to relaunch]. Another neat surface.
20 One coming in with tea tray has shoes back to front (8)
STRAINERTRAINERS (shoes) with last letter moved to the font [back to front]. Cute misleading definition.
22 Resilience of black cat, getting home again with skill (17)
BOUNCEBACKABILITYB (black) OUNCE (cat) BACK (home again) ABILITY (skill). Is there really such a word? It’s not in my copy of Chamber.
23 Stays firm, determined to maintain resistance (6)
CORSET – CO (firm) SET (determined) outside, [to maintain], R (resistance). Another sneaky definition.
24 In general mix-up, English officer breaks valuable Chinese vase (7,3)
MELTING POTE (English) LT (lieutenant; officer) inside, [breaks], MING POT (valuable Chinese vase).
27 As it swings, shut gate for drunk (2,3,3)
TO AND FROTO (shut, like a door) AND (type of logic gate) (for)* [drink]. More clever wordplay here.
31 Meat making anything but stomach turn? (6)
MUTTONNOT (anything but) TUM (stomach) reversed [making… turn] -> MUTTON.
32 A comedy of defective-sounding breakdown crew? (6,6)
FAWLTY TOWERS – FAULTY (defective) [sounding] -> FAWLTY, TOWERS (breakdown crew using a tow truck).
34 With surprising expression, settled across compact extra cushion (7,4)
BOOSTER SEAT – How does this work? I biffed this one too… BOO (surprised expression), SAT (settled) [across] TERSE (compact).
36 Practical instruction for securing a lift? (4,2,5)
RULE OF THUMB – Double definition, the second a cryptic hint.
37 Politicians welcoming Indian to set down specifications for picture (10)
SCREENPLAYSNP (Scottish National Party; politicians) [welcoming] CREE (Indian), LAY (set down). Are you still allowed to call Cree Indians?
39 Out of sea, dry yet? Not now (9)
YESTERDAY – [out of] (sea dry yet)*. Another whimsical definition.
41 Freed to seize power, one is treated heartlessly perhaps (8)
UNPITIEDUNTIED (freed) outside [to seize] P (power) I (one).
45 In physical geography, upward slope (6)
GLACIS – Reverse hidden, [in… upward] in phySICAL Geography.
46 Shakespearean constable and a couple by the roadside? (6)
VERGES – Showing my literary ignorance again… Double definition. The former is a character in Much Ado About Nothing… “Verges is a long-standing member of the Messina Watch. He is the assistant to Dogberry the Master Constable. His role is to ensure that the ordinary members of the watch are given their orders and carry out their duties as expected of them.” …is what I found on Google.
48 Cake, a single gram brought up (5)
GENOA – A ONE (single) G (gram) [brought up] -> GENOA.
49 Island is notorious if temperature drops (5)
ARRANARRANt (notorious) without the t [temperature drops].
51 Tough to keep one properly adjusted (5)
TUNEDTED (tough, hmm…) outside [to keep] ‘UN (one).

13 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1552 – 23rd April”

  1. I think the definition is ‘the black sheep of the aircraft industry’. The order should be sheep-black (ram, jet), but it isn’t.
    1. Interesting suggestion. I like your parsing, but aren’t ‘black and ‘sheep’ doing double duty in your parsing? And why should a Ramjet be a black sheep of the industry? Intriguing.

      Edited at 2022-05-08 07:00 am (UTC)

      1. A Ramjet isn’t a black sheep; if it were called a Jetram, it would be.
  2. I read this as C[lubs]+ONCE (a single time) + RT (right) + PITCH; i.e., there’s no separate ‘time=T’.
    1. Yes. That works. But how do you account for ‘time’ in the clue then?
      1. As I said, ONCE is ‘a single time’, so there’s ‘time’ taken care of. Whereas your parsing has ‘time’ twice.
  3. I can’t remember much about this, or any Jumbo, but I evidently had trouble coming up with BOOSTER SEAT & SWARTHY. 22d has a! next to it, to which I might add another ! here. DNK GLACIS, barely remembered BIG GIRLS BLOUSE, which I DNK when it appeared recently. ‘Shakespearean constable’ immediately triggered ELBOW, which of course wouldn’t work; it took a while to recall the right constable. The Bible may be referred to as ‘the good book’, by those who think it is, but no one refers to e.g. Genesis or Acts as a good book. I don’t think the late, lamented Dorsetjimbo did the Jumbos, but he regularly objected strenuously to setters’ categorizing Teddy boys as hoodlums (which setters continue to do, as here).

    Edited at 2022-05-08 03:18 am (UTC)

    1. I too thought of dorsetjimbo when I saw that clue and I always agreed with him on that point.
  4. No problems with this. DK GLACIS and I’ve never read or seen Much Ado so I needed the other definition there. I agree with Kevin about ‘good books’, and the interpretation of RAMJET, although I don’t know why one would be considered the black sheep of the industry.
    Didn’t someone say of Alfred NOYES ‘no noise annoys’ like his poetry, or something along those lines? I’m sure I remember reading or hearing that somewhere but can’t find any reference to it.
  5. Noyes’ The Highwayman popped up on our school curriculum several times in my teenage years ; it was also a popular subject for choral and solo recitations.
    1. The answer made me think of Noye’s Fludde which is not related to the write in question at all, but is an opera by Benjamin Britten.

      Edited at 2022-05-08 07:02 am (UTC)

      1. And Britten’s opera was based on the 15th century medieval Mystery or Miracle play from the Chester cycle of tradesmen guilds’ performances. This one was created and acted by the town’s water-drawers..

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