Times Cryptic Jumbo 1569: Zut Alors!

Pretty much the best Jumbo I can recall in recent times, with loads of truly devious stuff intricately clued. I loved a lot of the hard-to-spot definition parts: takes orders from, fancy that’s wrong, drive to entrance, Nice white, reserve place, willing female, mate to duck, put his foot down, counter person, as a shock, spotted best friend, beauty of lake and river. So many absolute zingers in one puzzle, truly we are being spoiled!

I almost came a cropper at the crossing of 44ac and the furrin 29dn, but eventually limped over the line. COW maybe to 34ac for the limpid surface, but I’ve got to give major props to finding GCHQ IN A TRACKSUIT as anagram fodder. Nice job, setter.

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

1 Trophy competed for once lad’s done with rap music (8,3)
ADMIRALS CUP – (LAD + RAP MUSIC*). Last held in 2003
7 Where Rosemary and Iris may go until bedtime? (7,4)
POTTING SHED – cryptic def. Rosemary and iris are two types of flower, which are put in the potting shed until it’s time to plant them in a flowerbed
13 Some music track accompanying film on aristocrat (7,3,7)
COUNTRY AND WESTERN – RY [track] + AND [accompanying] + WESTERN [film] on COUNT [aristocrat]
14 River where Mississippi is crossing delta (5)
INDUS – Mississippi is IN U.S.; crossing D
15 One’s closing on criminal finally going straight (6)
LINEAR – I has NEAR [closing on], on {crimina}L
16 Takes orders from US agent, returning diamonds (8)
DEFROCKS – reversed FED + ROCKS. As in “removes holy orders from”
17 Carry a couple of speakers — it’s a question of destination (7)
WHERETO – homophone of WEAR TWO [carry | a couple]
19 Lap dance blunder (5,4)
ROUND TRIP – ROUND [dance] + TRIP [blunder]
21 Perhaps with walkers on street, one should stop motorists (3-5)
RED-LIGHT – double def with the red light of a red light district; where one might find streetwalkers
23 Shrub, one found by river (4)
ACER – ACE found by R
25 Mountain lake of a height one on foot can handle (5)
TAHOE – A H(eight) “handled by” TOE [one on foot]
27 Old governor in whom rested blame (6)
SATRAP – SAT [rested] + RAP [blame]
28 Hold up small bouquet (10)
BUTTONHOLE – double def with the “intercept and detain” meaning
30 Cunningly led us on: I fancy that’s wrong (8)
31 I walk on ice, turning you mad (3,4,7)
OFF ONE’S TROLLEY – ONE STROLL [I | walk] on OFF [ice, as in two ways gangsters kill people], plus reversed YE
34 Drive to entrance of church with weapon, causing anger (5,9)
CHARM OFFENSIVE – CH with ARM, + OFFENSIVE [causing anger]
35 Nice white girl, observe, with short spear (3,5)
VIN BLANC – VI [girl] + N.B. [observe!] with LANC{e}. That’s Nice as in the capital of the French Riviera, and white as in a wine
38 Made over five hundred European visits without protesting (10)
40 Liberals on lookout for a hero in the Great War (6)
CAVELL – L and L on CAVE! [look out!, in Latin]
41 Party involves one not drinking as previously (5)
DITTO – DO involves I TT
43 Admired one’s having nothing to do with a dictator? (4)
IDOL – homophone of IDLE [having nothing to do]
44 Reserve place for farm animal, regularly taken inside (4,4)
FORT KNOX – FOR OX, with T{a}K{e}N inside
45 Willing female volunteers in experiment, one run by hosts (9)
TESTATRIX – T.A. in TEST, and then I “hosted” by R(un) X [by]. “Willing” as in making a will
48 Re-engage, presumably, after finally playing volley? (7)
GUNFIRE – UN-FIRE [re-hire someone let go] after {playin}G
49 Who’s ties turned out most gawdy? (8)
SHOWIEST – (WHO’S TIES*). But isn’t it “gaudy”?
50 Lines of WWI troops cut down on the way (6)
STANZA – ANZA{c} [of WWI troops – it can be an adjectival form as well as a singular noun] on ST(reet)
53 Mate to duck out of duty initially, and degenerate (5)
DRAKE – D{uty} + RAKE
54 Versatile player getting drug into GCHQ in a tracksuit, somehow (5-6,6)
55 Inexperienced goalie: one must take care of course (11)
GREENKEEPER – GREEN [inexperienced] + KEEPER [goalie]
56 Standard films shown after a light feast (2,6,3)
ST DAVIDS DAY – ST(andar)D + VIDS shown after A + DAY [light]
1 Account by famous face never-ending, did judge put his foot down? (11)
ACCELERATED – AC by CELE{b} + RATED [did judge]
2 Keen for us to enter Merchant Navy (5)
MOURN – OUR [for us] “entering” M.N.
3 County’s brand of football ultimately brought win (7)
RUTLAND – R.U. + {brough}T + LAND [win]
4 Sinking spades, kill plants (4)
LAYS – SLAY [kill], with the S sinking to the bottom
5 Track card: the PIN’s changed (6,4)
6 High-level meeting might end swiftly (5,9)
POWER BREAKFAST – POWER [might] + BREAK [end] + FAST [swiftly]
7 After false bottom for case, and zip? (8)
POSTCODE – POST [after] + COD [false] + {cas}E. Zip as in zipcode
8 Upset that key is removed from lock (5)
TRESS – {d}{is}TRESS
9 Here’s an idea for cooking with a new wok (1,4,4)
10 Counter person’s resistance, as I for one recalled (6)
GEIGER – R E.G. I E.G. [resistance | as | I | for one] reversed
11 This old teacher’s home outskirts of Glenties? Potentially (5-6,6)
HEDGE-SCHOOL MASTER – (OLD TEACHER’S HOME + G{lentie}S*). Glenties is in Ireland, and so were these underground Catholic schools, making this a fine exemplar of the semi-&lit
12 It’s impolite to search through notes during home repairs (11)
DISCOURTESY – SCOUR TES [search through | notes] during D.I.Y.
18 Slight split appearing beneath middle of floorboards (8)
BRUSHOFF – RUSH OFF [split] beneath {floor}B{oards}
20 Posh chap quaffed beer when talking about estate persistently (2,4,3,4,4)
UP HILL AND DOWN DALE – U PHIL + homophone of DOWNED ALE, around LAND [estate]
22 Used folder uniquely when mounting demos (6)
INURED – hidden reversed in {fol}DER UNI{quely}. As in “got used to”, “got inured to”
24 Around November, fragments of bud come as a shock? (8)
UNCOMBED – around N, (BUD COME*)
26 Film about when rugby official’s becoming most distant — at three o’clock? (8)
EASTMOST – E.T. around AS T.M.O.’S [television match official]. Three o’clock being how you refer to directly east using clockface notation
29 Group that has lately been rolling off our neighbour’s tongue? (8,6)
NOUVEAUX RICHES – cryptic def. People who are rolling in it, but only lately, in the language of England’s neighbour France
32 Old French taxes extended? Or cut at the end (8)
TAILLESS – TAILLES with an extension of the S
33 Frenchman’s head suitably clad? Or missing something? (6)
BEREFT – F{renchman} clad, appropriately, in a BERET
34 Spotted best friend bearing down on goal — just tops! (8,3)
CARRIAGE DOG – CARRIAGE [bearing] + D{own} O{n} G{oal}. Dalmatians were often trained to trot alongside carriages, in days of yore
36 Transported from Cyprus: a hot cross bun ingredient? (5,6)
37 Boy in black tie departs, abandoned (10)
JETTISONED – SON in JET [black] TIE D(eparts)
39 Grand mechanical procedure’s what Parisian finds bizarre (9)
GROTESQUE – G(rand) + ROTE’S [mechanical procedure] + QUE [what, in Paris]
42 Witness, only on kerb, never wholly crossing roundabout? (8)
ONLOOKER – ONL{y} O{n} KER{b}, “crossing” O
46 In clothes worn by archaeologist, but only outside (7)
ATTIRED – TIRED [worn] by A{rchaeologis}T
47 Cohabiting, as it happens, fashionable (4-2)
LIVE-IN – LIVE [as it happens] + IN [fashionable]
49 Cut corners in slalom, maybe, having reduced speed (5)
SKIMP – SKI [slalom, maybe] + M.P.{h}
51 Broadcast nearby, marketing beauty of lake and river (5)
NAIAD – homphone + NIGH + AD
52 Fuel somewhat undervalued (4)
DERV – hidden in {un}DERV{alued}

4 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1569: Zut Alors!”

  1. Weird thing about this puzzle – the Times site plagued me to complete it by putting a link to it after every Concise I solved for over a week, so eventually I capitulated and solved it and it was the toughest one for ages. But now it’s not even appearing on the site and doesn’t even come up on a search.

    I think it took me over 40 minutes, when I can normally do these in 20-25.

  2. Pretty much the hardest Jumbo I can recall in recent times. I got through most of it before eventually losing interest and resorting to aids for half-a-dozen answers just to complete the grid. It’s off-putting to have so many clues where the answer is fairly easily attainable but the wordplay is at least partially unfathomable. I read the blog to looked up the parsings that baffled me, so thank you for that, V, but my interest didn’t extend to raking through it all again two weeks later.

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