Times Cryptic Jumbo 1555 – 7 May 2022

Hello everyone.  This felt like a very well balanced puzzle in terms of difficulty: the distribution of filled answers stayed even as I solved, and my pace remained steady.  All very enjoyable too.  Thanks setter!

As I failed to get the letters of 15a in the right order at the first attempt I can’t claim a finish under exam conditions.  Having said that I definitely wasn’t solving under exam conditions – I had just returned from celebrating a friend’s birthday and so was in merry mood, if somewhat tired.  (And emotional?  Perhaps, perhaps…)

All of this took me 53 minutes.  Usually I try to solve fully as I go along, but when writing up the blog, I did spot at least one (8d) which had slipped in half-parsed.

Definitions are underlined in the clues below.  In the explanations, quoted indicators are in italics, explicit [deletions] are in square brackets, and I’ve capitalised and emboldened letters which appear in the ANSWER.  For clarity, I omit most link words and some juxtaposition indicators.

1a I’m sure I can whizz through elevated motorway (2,7)
NO PROBLEM PRO (whizz) goes in (through) NOBLE (elevated) + M (motorway)
6a Noise made tapping bread and butter (3-1-3)
PIT-A-PAT PITA (bread) and PAT (butter)
10a Says good things about somewhat grouchy pessimist (5)
HYPES Somewhat groucHY PESsimist
13a Photo session at farm? There’ll be sniping here (8,5)
SHOOTING RANGE SHOOTING (photo session) + RANGE (farm)
14a Mainly during classes, before end of school (2,7)
IN GENERAL IN (during) + GENERA (classes) + the end of schooL
15a Badly hit area is old Roman province (7)
RHAETIA — An anagram of (badly) HIT AREA
16a Taps into theatre to make money once (7)
DRACHMA C and H (taps) going into DRAMA (theatre)
17a Shabbily treated compiler’s going to America with his boss (3-4)
ILL-USED ILL (compiler’s) US (America) + ED (his boss)
18a Novel generated unpleasant whiff around America, needing change (6,6)
MADAME BOVARY MADE (generated) and BO (unpleasant whiff) around AM (America) + VARY (change)
20a Cavorting belle — a dish in scantily clad state (10)
DESHABILLE — An anagram of (cavorting) BELLEA DISH
23a British cooking ingredient for American cook (5)
BROIL BR (British) + OIL (cooking ingredient)
24a Peacenik, observe: doctor, Scot or Latin type (9)
COLOMBIAN CO (conscientious objector: peacenik) + LO (observe) + MB (doctor) + IAN (Scot)
25a You said cleric punches good swimmer? That’s bizarre (7)
SURREAL U (you said); RR (cleric) goes inside (punches) + SEAL (good swimmer)
26a Wife irrational after drink, in a state (11)
MISSISSIPPI MISSIS (wife) + PI (irrational) after SIP (drink)
28a It gets oxygen round big home refurbished with loan (11)
HAEMOGLOBIN BIG HOME LOAN anagrammed (refurbished)
30a Not feeling popular, one overwhelmed by life? (11)
INSENTIENCE IN (popular) + I (one) inside (overwhelmed by) SENTENCE (life?)
32a Safe time to welcome teacher, a Potter character (5,6)
PETER RABBIT PETER (safe) and T (time) around (to welcome) RABBI (teacher)
34a Westerly Parisian street contains place to sleep over in trip that won’t cost the earth (7)
ECOTOUR — The reversal of (westerly) RUE (Parisian street) contains COT (place to sleep) and O (over)
36a Costly sparkler is what malingerer has picked up? (9)
CHAMPAGNE — Sounds like (… picked up) SHAM PAIN (what malingerer has ?).  As the toast goes, “Champagne for my real friends; real pain for my sham friends!”
38a Empty delta with dropping water (5)
DRAIN D (delta) + RAIN (dropping water)
39a Cash for Roman trustees I’m moving around (10)
SESTERTIUM TRUSTEES IM anagrammed (moving around)
41a Old King Edward, say, cuts caper, getting bump (12)
PROTUBERANCE O (old) and TUBER (King Edward, say) goes inside (cuts) PRANCE (caper)
45a Boozing, wanting constant stimulation (7)
AROUSAL — [c]AROUSAL (boozing) lacking (wanting) C (constant)
46a Indian’s oven has brown opening (7)
TANDOOR TAN (brown) + DOOR (opening)
47a Fish submerged in drink in sea-change (5-2)
SHAKE-UP HAKE (fish) submerged in SUP (drink)
49a Sausage course sandwiched by Italian beer (9)
PEPPERONI PPE (course) sandwiched by PERONI (Italian beer)
50a Assistant crime-fighter engaged by PM, with boy ludicrously involved (5,8)
HEATH ROBINSON ROBIN (assistant crime-fighter, of Batman) inside (engaged by) HEATH (PM) and SON (boy)
52a What indicates requirement of energy in old vehicle (5)
CARET E (energy) in CART (old vehicle)
53a Earn dime? I’m going to work in restaurant (7)
DESERVE D[im]E with I’M removed (going) + SERVE (to work in restaurant)
54a Charlie maybe playing golf in crowd (9)
CONCOURSE C (Charlie) + ON COURSE (maybe playing golf)
1d Treatment for the gullible son excluding alcohol bottles (7)
NOSTRUM S (son); NO RUM (excluding alcohol) surrounds (bottles) it
2d Something to weigh up for Polish politicians (4,3,4)
PROS AND CONS PRO (for) + SAND (polish) + CONS (politicians)
3d Group turned around business before the New Year (5)
OCTET CO (business) reversed (turned around) + TET (the New Year)
4d Some dialogue on item of unmentionables turned up in old script (6,1)
LINEAR B LINE (some dialogue) + BRA (item of unmentionables) reversed (turned up)
5d Damage in memory on the rise (3)
MAR RAM (memory) written upwards (on the rise)
6d Write name on sign, a mystical symbol (9)
PENTAGRAM PEN (write) + TAG (name) + RAM (sign, Aries)
7d What toddlers do, having temperature: get angry, losing head (6)
TEETHE T (temperature) + sEETHE (get angry) without the first letter (losing head)
8d Soldier to seek returns on gold, holding one piece? He’ll do some probing (7,12)
PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR PRIVATE (soldier) + INVEST (to seek returns on) and OR (gold) around (holding) I (one) and GAT (piece)
9d Ferociously catty Middle Eastern runner gets hot (7)
TIGRISH TIGRIS (Middle Eastern runner) + H (hot)
10d What rider needs to deal with some pressure (9)
HANDLEBAR HANDLE (to deal with) + BAR (some pressure)
11d Initially very brash, Pearl somehow gets to chill out, for example (7,4)
PHRASAL VERB — The first letter of (initially) Very and BRASH PEARL anagrammed (somehow)
12d Arsenal gutted, overrun by blue side (5)
SALAD ArsenalL without its inner letters (gutted) is inside (overrun by) SAD (blue)
16d What may create neurotics in India and Pakistan? (10,9)
DEVELOPING COUNTRIES — A reverse clue: an anagram of (DEVELOPING) COUNTRIES may create NEUROTICS
19d I continue to ponder frames for part of window (7)
MULLION I, which MULL ON (continue to ponder) goes around (frames)
21d Duke topped another one (9)
ELLINGTON — wELLINGTON (duke) without the first letter (topped) creates another duke
22d Happening upon dance music style (3-3)
HIP-HOP HIP (happening) + HOP (dance)
23d Uneven quality of sponges covering trees (9)
BUMPINESS BUMS (sponges) around (covering) PINES (trees)
24d Fire, or what’s left of it that is in hollow container (7)
CASHIER ASH (what’s left of [fire]) and IE (that is) in ContainerR without its inside letters (hollow…)
25d Flog small bottle after removing article (7)
SCOURGE S (small) + COUR[a]GE (bottle) without (after removing) A (article)
27d Current coating of cheese gets better — it shouldn’t be melting! (3,3)
ICE CAP I (current) + the outer letters (coating) of CheesE + CAP (better)
29d Perhaps one inclined to embrace daughter’s lover (7)
LEANDER LEANER (perhaps one inclined) around (to embrace) D (daughter)
31d Broadcast capturing hearts? Bung in a crowd-pleaser (4,7)
SHOW STOPPER SOW (broadcast) containing (capturing) H (hearts) + STOPPER (bung)
33d Crazily, Eritrea bans the crossword puzzle, perhaps (5-6)
BRAIN-TEASER — An anagram of (crazily) ERITREA BANS
35d Tardily woke Liberal seen in month in public (9)
OVERSLEPT L (liberal) seen in SEP (month), all in OVERT (public).  Hmm, how best to describe this type of clue without mentioning the R word?
37d Attendant admitting illicit act in holy residence (9)
PARSONAGE PAGE (attendant) taking in (admitting) ARSON (illicit act)
40d Having lifted obstacle, go across new town (7)
TELFORD — After reversing (having lifted) LET (obstacle), FORD (go across)
42d One’s blown asset, allowing idiot in (7)
BASSOON BOON (asset) containing (allowing … in) ASS (idiot)
43d Charge made by swans in river (7)
EXPENSE PENS (swans) in EXE (river)
44d An unending job for fixer, in the main (6)
ANCHOR AN + CHORe (job) without the last letter (unending …)
45d Gelatinous substance not quite a flavour-enhancer (5)
ASPIC —   Missing the last letter (not quite) A SPICe (a flavour-enhancer)
48d Fighter entering a ring in China (5)
AMIGO MIG (fighter) going inside (entering) A and O (ring)
51d Noise made by drunk here, classically (3)
HIC HIC means here in Latin (classically)

5 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1555 – 7 May 2022”

  1. I’m afraid I don’t remember much about this one and the almost total absence of notes and workings-out on my hard copy suggests I found it reasonably easy.

    My only MER was the definition at 12dn where I thought ‘side’ for SALAD was rather too flimsy.

    We seem to be missing the blog for Jumbo 1554 from the May Day Bank Holiday Monday. I’m not sure who was on duty that day.

    1. Couldn’t you have guessed? Just posted a quick blog for 1554, but moved it back to the appropriate place in the timeline.

      1. Ah, I see. I had used Search and also checked the Dashboard before posting that I couldn’t find it. Will take a look at it now anyway.

  2. Comfortably below 100 minutes. Held up most by 39ac where I knew SESTERCES, which I couldn’t make fit, and did not know a thousand of them was a SESTERTIUM. Lots of friendly enjoyable clues like PIT-A-PAT, BROIL AND BUMPINESS. Nice Jumbo

  3. Missed a lot these-SHAKE-UP, HEATH ROBINSON, INSENTIENCE,and PHRASAL VERB. Still I knew I could come here and find out what stumped me. Thanks,Kitty, for great informative blog!

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