Times Cryptic Jumbo 1557 – 21st May

I found this a Jumbo of average difficulty with plenty of straightforward clues to give checkers for the trickier ones. It took me just over 35 minutes. As usual there were a couple of words I didn’t know – the dog and the plant, but the wordplay was clear enough. I was vaguely disappointed that 28A turned out not to be STINKY, but I did enjoy 36A, 43A, 24D, the “what angel has” at 25D and my LOI 11D. Thank-you setter! How did everyone else get on?

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

1 Bead on fastener for nut (9)
SCREWBALLBALL (bead) [on] SCREW (fastener).
6 Ride wave ahead of ship (13)
ROLLERCOASTERROLLER (wave) [ahead of] COASTER (ship).
13 Lift maintained by bra is extraordinary (5)
RAISE – Hidden in [maintained by] bRA IS Extraordinary.
14 Formality, warning for drivers in court once (4,7)
STAR CHAMBERSTARCH (formality) AMBER (warning for driver).
15 Piano parts over before a dramatic work (5)
OPERAP (piano) inside [parts] O’ER (over) [before] A.
16 Crunchy food in vessel served with puree of apricots (6,5)
POTATO CRISPPOT (vessel) [puree of] (apricots)*.
17 Protestants against stealing a bread roll, saints (11)
ANABAPTISTSANTI (against) outside, [stealing], A BAP (bread roll), STS (saints).
18 Having lost land, Ireland and USA sacked a massive continent (7)
EURASIAIREland [having lost land] and USA -> (ire usa)* [sacked], A.
20 See good, soft, skin on sausage (7)
GLIMPSEG (good) LIMP (soft) and outside letters of [skin on] SausagE.
21 Personage listless then? (7)
NOTABLENO TABLE (listless). Ho ho.
23 One of Jerome Kern’s smouldering looks after this? (5,4,2,4,4)
SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES – Cryptic definition… and a lovely song. Listen to my favourite version of it paired with another Jerome Kern classic, “Can I forget you”, sung by Sylvia McNair accompanied by André  Previn here, which I first heard while stuck in a traffic jam on the M25 in the pouring rain.
27 Puck is merely prodded initially (3)
IMPIs Merely Prodded [initially].
28 Cloth wrapping metal, rank (6)
RATINGRAG (cloth) [wrapping] TIN (metal). Seeing metal being wrapped to get “rank” my first thought was STINKY, but it was not to be.
29 Shrivelled up thing is in shower (6)
RAISINIS [in] RAIN (shower).
31 One admits present giver losing heart (5,4)
FRONT DOORFRONT (present) DOnOR (giver) [losing heart].
34 What I said when I pootled off with minimum of pretence? (6-3)
TOODLE-PIP – (I pootled)* [off], [minimum of] Pretence. Semi-&lit.
35 Warmer for pig’s ears? I’m not interested (2,4)
SO WHATSOW HAT (warmer of pig’s ears). I think we’ve had this at least once elsewhere recently. Ah yes. It was here.
36 One location for a start, with beach all round? (6)
ISLANDI (one),  Location [for a start] with SAND (beach) [all round]. Very neat &lit.
39 Harm with strike on the counter (3)
MAR – RAM (strike) reversed, [on the counter] -> MAR.
40 Why should I tell you the name of a plant? (4-4-3-8)
MIND-YOUR-OWN-BUSINESS – Double definition. Mind-your-own-business or baby’s tears, Soleirolia soleirolii,  is a creeping perennial with tiny rounded leaves. I’d not heard of it.
42 Recalled pictures perhaps with fungi in ranges of colours (7)
SPECTRAART (pictures perhaps) CEPS (fungi) [recalled] -> SPECTRA.
43 US president is very keen on hugs (7)
MADISONIS enveloped by MAD (very keen) ON [hugs]. James Madison was the 4th president.
45 Most ill at ease, I’d see outline of ghost that’s shapeshifting (7)
EDGIEST – Anagram of (I’d see [outline of] ghost)* [shapeshifting]. A novel anagrind, for those who collect such thins.
47 Time when house connects district to old city (7-4)
QUARTER-HOURQUARTER (district) HO (house) UR (old city).
49 Repeating a little, our dodgy dish (11)
RATATOUILLE – (a a little our)* [dodgy].
51 Prophet respected, no way ending in gutter (5)
AUGURAUGUst (respected) without the ST [no way], [ending in] gutteR. I liked the inventive “no way”.
52 Commotion about one drink Buddhist gets cheap (1,4,1,5)
A DIME A DOZENADO (commotion) [about] I (one) MEAD (drink) ZEN (Buddhist).
53 Zoroastrian in capital city turning tail (5)
PARSI – PARIS (capital city) reverse last two letters [turning tail] -> PARSI.
54 Be a pig — while a stallion? (3,4,1,5)
EAT LIKE A HORSE – Double definition, the second a cryptic hint.
55 By inference, maybe honest trial without dispute (2,7)
NO CONTESTNO CON (honest) TEST (trial).
1 Empty puzzle, tantalising thing? (11)
STRIPTEASERSTRIP (empty) TEASER (puzzle). A bit of an odd definition, I thought.
2 Celebrate finding upright character in schedule (7)
ROISTERI (upright character) [in] ROSTER (schedule).
3 Gathering last of rice, I didn’t quite get that grain (5)
WHEATWHAT? (I didn’t quite get that) [gathering] [last of] ricE.
4 While very cold, I consumed first of daiquiris, mixed (10)
ASSOCIATEDAS (while) SO (very) C (cold) I ATE (consumed) [first of] Daiquiris.
5 Record claiming a steering mechanism is doing little (7)
LOAFINGLOG (record) [claiming] A FIN (steering mechanism).
6 Those perhaps working for a hotel inspector, ties knotted (13)
RECEPTIONISTS – (inspector ties)* [knotted]. Nice deception with the need to split “hotel inspector”.
7 Dog possesses article, and licks around it with love (5,4)
LHASA APSOHAS (possesses) A (article), LAPS (licks) [around it], O (0, love). Read about this dog breed from Tibet here. I didn’t remember it, may have heard about this breed before, probably in a crossword.
8 Welcome them briefly, a couple (7)
EMBRACE – ‘EM (them) [briefly] BRACE (a couple).
9 Never interact, only when circulating (9,3)
CERTAINLY NOT – (interact only) [circulating].
10 A naval officer says they’re infidels (9)
APOSTATESA P.O. (Petty Officer) STATES (says).
11 Bags of Scottish tenacity rarely evident with Scots first of all (5)
TREWS – Initial letters of Tenacity Rarely Evident With Scots [first of all]. My LOI, being slow to spot the acrostic indicator.
12 Person clearing the way, announcing emotional islander? (4,7)
ROAD SWEEPER – Sounds like [announcing] RHODES WEEPER (emotional islander).
19 Second constant, not first, relating to a bone (7)
STERNALS (second) eTERNAL (constant) [not first].
22 Makeshift construction short in diameter, joiner crossing the drink (9)
BRICOLAGEBRIdGE (joiner) without the D, [short in diameter], [crossing] COLA (drink). A word I only vaguely remembered.
24 Buy from another company, being courteous to engineer? (9)
OUTSOURCE – (courteous)* [to engineer].
25 What angel has, foxy dresses with some style (7)
SHARPLYHARP (what angel has) with SLY (foxy) outside [dresses]. Nice one.
26 Stop repeating phrase (7)
REFRAIN – Double definition.
30 Item on executive’s desk with a knock-on effect? (7,6)
NEWTONS CRADLE – Cryptic definition.
32 Using tongue it is turned over, passing flavour around (7)
TASTING – IT’S [turned over] -> STI, with TANG (flavour) [around].
33 Match where both sides may play away? (4,8)
OPEN MARRIAGE – Cryptic definition.
34 What goes from 42nd to 47th by 49, for example (5,6)
TIMES SQUARETIMES (by) SQUARE (49, for example, 7 squared). The area in Manhattan between 42nd and 47th streets.
37 Serve mud pie? (4,3,4)
DISH THE DIRT – Whimsical cryptic definition.
38 Second note put in score, tremulous (10)
SUPERTONIC – (put in score)* [tremulous]. The note after the tonic in a scale.
40 Bones at times are almost breaking (9)
METATARSI – (at times are [almost])* [breaking].
41 Hose perhaps submerged in river? (9)
UNDERWEARUNDER (submerged in) WEAR (river in Co. Durham that passes through Durham and Sunderland).
43 North African upland so described? (7)
MOORISH – Double definition, the second a cryptic hint.
44 Surfer — spot one finally coming up in river, briefly (7)
NETIZENZIT (spot) onE [finally], [up in] NENe (river) [briefly]. The river Nene rises in Northamptonshire and flows approx. 100 miles to The Wash.
46 Inversion of some integral, needlessly elaborate (7)
ENLARGE – Reverse hidden [inversion of some] in intEGRAL NEedlessly.
48 Worry stone under tooth missing crown (5)
ANGSTST (stone) [under] fANG (tooth) without its top letter (this is a down clue) [missing crown].
50 Release pressure in loveless marriage (5)
UNPINP (pressure) in UNIoN (marriage) without the O [loveless].

4 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1557 – 21st May”

  1. I didn’t know SMOKE was a Jerome Kern song. I know it from The Platters’ version. NHO the plant. DNK NEWTON’S CRADLE (knew the thing, not the name); NEWTON looked likely enough, but I thought of BRIDGE as well as CRADLE, and finally looked it up. I took ’empty puzzle’ to be P[uzzl]E, which caused some delay. I liked OPEN MARRIAGE.

  2. I completed this in one session so it must have been fairly straightforward.

    I didn’t know the plant or the ‘makeshift construction’. and I loved the clue to ISLAND. It’s strange that the only three answers I have marked up for comment all intersect!

    Thanks for the link to Smoke Gets In You Eyes which has always been a favourite and I didn’t know this version. Kern always worked with a lyricist, in this case Otto Harbach, so he deserves a credit too.

    1. The biologist François Jacob famously characterized evolution as a kind of bricolage (tinkering). (Evolution and tinkering. Science 196:1161-1166, 1977)

  3. I liked this one. I did most of it this morning after finding I’d only done 40 percent first time round. I don’t know why. It all seemed to go in quite well. But I messed up on 23dn BRICOLAGE by constructing a similar but nonexisting word, and anyway couldn’t spell AUGUR (which I could have, if I’d stopped to parse it). I liked STARCH AMBER

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