Times Cryptic Jumbo 1577 – 24th September

This one is a middle of the road Jumbo Cryptic, I think, with plenty of straightforward clues to give you some checkers and a few less common words to boost your vocabulary. 1A was my FOI despite being the first of my unknowns. Once I got to the downs the first 12 all dropped in on the first pass but there were a few that slowed me down after that. I finished in 36 1/2 minutes, which is a bit faster than average for me. I liked the travelling dog, the edible wood and the not-so-busy afternoon best. Thank-you setter. How did you all like it?

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

1 Muse, when given info, probing twitch causing malformation (11)
TERATOGENICERATO (Muse) GEN (info) in, [probing], TIC (twitch). A new word to me… “ Of, relating to, or causing malformations of an embryo or a fetus
7 Set up area to have meal outside (6)
LAUNCHA (area) with LUNCH (meal) [outside].
10 A joke about being doddery (4)
GAGAA GAG (joke) [about].
14 Actor in America: act’s ending with popular love verse (7)
USTINOVUS (America) acT [‘s ending] IN (popular) V (verse). I see Peter Ustinov died as long ago as 2004.
15 Overact as radio geek with modern technology increased? (3,2,2)
HAM IT UPHAM (radio geek) IT (modern technology) UP increased. Learn all about Ham Radio here.
16 Number joining the woman outside work that no-one would fancy ? (2-5)
NO-HOPERNO (number) HER (woman) [outside] OP (opus, work). A horse-racing term. The meaning of fancy here is “willing to bet on”.
17 Sculptor as one to fashion government offices (13)
PROCONSULATES – (Sculptor as one)* [to fashion].
18 Former English politician (one in a hundred) getting let-off (9)
EXEMPTIONEX (former) E (English) MP (politician), I (one) [in] TON (a hundred). A neat 5-parter of an assembly pack.
19 Draw sketches maybe moving around church (5)
TRACE -ART (sketches, maybe) [moving round] -> TRA, CE (church).
21 Film about old school is exposing hater of marriage (10)
MISOGAMISTMIST (film) [about] O (old) GAM (school). Not a word I knew, but fairly obvious.
23 What may sound like iron temperament (6)
METTLE -Sounds like METAL (iron). Aren’t we being deprived of a “?” to indicate a definition by example?
25 What’s falsely portrayed about Queen brings conflict (8)
FRICTIONFICTION (what’s falsely portrayed) [about] R (Regina; queen).
26 Daughter is going to gig with blokes, event ultimately producing upset (14)
DISCONCERTMENTD (daughter) IS CONCERT (gig) MEN (blokes) evenT [ultimately]. A new word for my vocabulary.
29 Woman in the course of time to become mean ? (7)
AVERAGEVERA (woman) in AGE (the course of time). As I remember from my maths, other sorts of average are the median and the mode.
30 Not favouring Eastern jewellery for presents (9)
OFFERINGSOFF (not favouring) E (eastern) RINGS (jewellery).
31 Reptile with label turning yellow (5)
GATOR – TAG (label) [turning] -> GAT, OR (golden yellow).
32 Drunk this evening? That’s not on! (5)
TIGHTT{on}IGHT (this evening) without the ON.
34 They have offensive weapons ? They must be charged (9)
BATTERIES -Double definition, both cryptic.
37 Grumble with the old woman down below (7)
MAUNDERMA (old woman) UNDER (down below). Another new word for me. I’ll have try using it when I might have used “chunter” and see if people know what I mean.
39 Computer feature , from being uninitialised, expanded? (4-4,6)
READ-ONLY MEMORY – The abbreviation {f}ROM [unitialised], [expanded]. Nice one.
41 Have a bit of time with girls — that’s sweet (8)
MOLASSESMO (a bit of time) LASSES (girls), with a cryptic definition.
43 Tears apart the character finally appearing as substitute (6)
ERSATZ -( Tears )* [apart] Z (the final character in the alphabet).
44 A series of points suggesting one should sign up? (6,4)
DOTTED LINE – Cryptic definition. Nice one.
45 Time to go to India to find enchantress (5)
HOURIHOUR (time) I (India in the NATO phonetic alphabet).
48 Instrument in a workplace knocked over by travelling dog (9)
BALALAIKA -A LAB (workplace) [knocked over] -> BALA, LAIKA (travelling dog). Read all about the instrument here and the space-travelling dog here.
49 Prisoners OK for being disciplined, not beyond being controlled (13)
CONSTRAINABLECONS (prisoners) TRAINABLE (OK for being disciplined). Trainable like a dog, I suppose.
51 Engineers facing gales maybe — procedures to start again? (7)
REWINDSRE (Royal Engineers) WINDS (gales, perhaps).
52 Statement of personal ambition to pen lines revealing malice (3,4)
ILL WILLI WILL (statement of personal ambition) outside, [to pen], L L (line and another line).
53 Country peasants ultimately embraced by public schoolboy without end (7)
ESTONIA – peasantS [ultimately] [embraced by] ETONIA{n} (schoolboy) [without end].
54 Plant seen in old vessel, round to the left (4)
OKRA – ARK ( old vessel) O (round letter) [to the left] -> OKRA. Also known as ladies fingers.
55 What’s expected — disciple becoming minister (6)
PARSONPAR (what’s expected at golf if you are a professional) SON (disciple). I was slightly surprised by son = disciple, but it is in Chambers.
56 Log — wood that can be eaten ! (6,5)
MINUTE STEAKMINUTES (log of points from a meeting) TEAK (wood). Nice surface – ha ha.
1 Elephantine yell of loose woman losing head (7)
TRUMPET – {s}TRUMPET (loose woman) [losing head].
2 New realisation brings excuse (11)
RATIONALISE -[New] (realisation)*.
3 Dance with zest and love (5)
TANGOTANG (zest) O (round letter; zero; love).
4 Call a person to allocate belfry duty? (4,7,1,4)
GIVE SOMEONE A BELL – Double definition, the second a cryptic hint.
5 Sort of philosopher‘s province, greeting cant (8)
NIHILISTNI (Northern Ireland; province) HI (greeting) LIST (cant; tip).
6 Violent ma got fierce and suffered badly (4,2,5)
CAME TO GRIEF – [Violent] (ma got fierce)*. Oh no! I put “COME” rather than “CAME” in for the first word. Stupid boy.
7 Car plant (5)
LOTUS – Double definition. I visited “the spiritual home of Lotus Cars”, The Bird in Hand in Norfolk, just down the road from the headquarters, on a recent walk. I rather like the look of the new Evija, but 0-186mph in 9.1s sounds more than a bit scary. Sorry. I digress.
8 Disagreeable incident when a Parisian worker carrying requests meets head (14)
UNPLEASANTNESSUN (a Parisian; a in French) ANT (worker), [carrying] PLEAS (requests), NESS (head).
9 Report of triumph over one of two in autumn game (6)
CONKER -Sounds like, [report of], CONQUER (triumph). Anyone for conkers? I’ve seen some beauties this autumn.
11 A bit of the argument intended to be heard in scheduled meeting? (11)
APPOINTMENTA PPOINT MENT, sounds like POINT (bit of the argument) MEANT (intended) [to be heard].
12 A right row or “do” (7)
ARRANGEA R (right) RANGE (row).
13 Sailors taking time to produce cargo? (8)
SHIPMENTSHIPMEN (sailors) T (time).
20 Competitor, not entirely intelligent, ranting (7)
ENTRANT – Hidden in, [not entirely], intelligENT RANTing.
22 Scottish officer? A Scot with little hesitation (5)
MACERMAC (a Scot) ER (little hesitation). “(in Scotland) an official who keeps order in a law court“. I first came across this in recent Polygon puzzle.
24 Tell a person off in no uncertain way, but don’t remove computer? (3,7,4,2)
LET SOMEONE HAVE IT – Double definition, the second a cryptic hint.
25 Praise female — second (7)
FLATTERF (female) LATTER (second of two).
27 Fighters hurting, climbing at foot of hill (7)
TOREROS -SORE (hurting) [climbing] -> EROS, below TOR (hill).
28 People in the same school class maybe rose with importance unexpectedly (14)
CONTEMPORARIES – (rose importance)* [unexpectedly].
31 Abandoning hotel, fiend has smashed dish (7)
GOULASHG{h}OUL (fiend) without the H (hotel), (has)* [smashed].
33 One whose work might result in a fiasco (11)
GLASSBLOWER – Cryptic definition – a fiasco is an Italian glass bottle.
35 Cornish tourist in ME upset police force (5)
EMMET – ME [upset] -> EM, MET (Metropolitan police force).
36 Stir with dire men out to create political movement wanting land grab? (11)
IRREDENTISM – (Stir dire men)* [out]. I’d never heard of this, but the checkers helped. My SLOI.
38 Gap outside old city, source of bloody riot (11)
DISTURBANCEDISTANCE (gap), [outside] UR (old city) [source of] B{loody}. Splitting of “bloody riot” required.
40 Go around in public, ultimately keen to stop criticism (8)
OUTFLANKOUT (in public), [ultimately] {kee}N inside, [to stop], FLAK (criticism). My LOI.
42 One in Somerset location left operating sporting event (8)
BIATHLONI (one) [in] BATH (Somerset location), L (left) ON (operating).
43 Stop gambler somehow losing pounds, ending with nothing (7)
EMBARGO – (gamb{l}er)* [losing pounds] [somehow], O (0; nothing).
46 Short piece specially placed on ’orse — it may ease swelling (3,4)
ICE PACK – [short] ({p}iece)*, {h}ACK ({h}orse).
47 Busiest afternoon accommodates it? Yes and no! (6)
SIESTA -Hidden in, [accommodates] BuSIEST Afternoon. Nice one.
49 Mark part of body (5)
COLON -Doubled definition, the first a punctuation mark.
50 Among partners in game had to be bottom (5)
NATESATE (had) in N-S (partners in bridge). Clever. A “bottom” in duplicate bridge is when you and your partner score worst on a hand compared to all the other partnerships playing the same cards as you.

5 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1577 – 24th September”

  1. DNK MACER, ‘fiasco’, or GIVE … A BELL. At 4d I confidently put in GIVE SOMEONE A RING, where it remained for some time. I would have thought that BATTERIES have only defensive weapons.

  2. Also didn’t know MACER as such but I’m aware the part a ‘mace’ plays in many a ceremony and official function so it was not much of a stretch.

    I solved this in two sittings but needed aids for OKRA (should have got it) and to unscramble the anagram of PROCONSULATES.

  3. Just over one and a half hours, around my average time, but with two wrong. I am struggling to be all correct lately. At 21ac I put a Y in the middle of NHO MISOGAMIST having constructed it with GYM for school. Annoying, as I know GAM and I clearly remember it causing discussion at a couple of outings a while ago. But then I went and spelled the bally dog wrong (LEIKA?). When I was a kid, my mate Graham next door, his dad worked for LOTUS. I didn’t know then how cool that was

  4. I found this pretty straightforward in spite of the higher-than average funny-word count. However it turns out that I can’t spell a word – IRREDENTISM – I thought I could spell, so didn’t check against the anagram fodder. Grr.

  5. Found this about medium.
    Thank you for the link to that scary Lotus, John. I seriously question the claim that it is as good around town as it is on the track.. who wants to tackle London traffic in a car where your head is a foot off the ground? And would the boot really take all of the Tesco shop?
    Having said that, the Lotus Elan my friend still owns is a pussycat of a sports car and comfortable to drive..

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