Times Cryptic Jumbo 1600 – 18 February 2023. All square

Hi everyone, and welcome to Jumbo 40 squared.  If you laid all the grids out in one big square it would have dimensions of 920 x 920.  With roughly 30 clues per puzzle, the total would be somewhere in the region of 48,000 clues.  Edit: except that as JerryW points out below there are of course about 60 clues in a Jumbo, so that’s 96,000-odd clues.  Even the champion solvers would need several solid days to get through those, and I’m not even going to try to calculate the blog hours!

Happily we enjoy these one at a time.  A multi-session solve, so no time to report, but it would have taken me over the hour I think.  I started well but slowed a bit towards the end.  I hadn’t parsed 13a until settling down to write the blog but it clicked pleasingly just as I got to it.  Nor had I quite figured out 44d to my satisfaction, although the answer was clear, but again it all made sense when I needed it to.

Entertaining as always – thanks setter!

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 Hunt finally to wander, heading off for big cat (7)
TIGRESS — The Last letter of (… finally) hunT + dIGRESS (to wander) without its first letter (heading off)
5a Children, note, cornered by a sudden attack — scorpion? (8)
ARACHNID CH (children) and N (note) inside (cornered by) A RAID (a sudden attack)
9a Bringer of news almost entirely surrounded by crowd (6)
HERALD Almost ALl (entirely) in (surrounded by) HERD (crowd)
13a Inflation measure covered (in another case) in afterpiece (6,5,5)
RETAIL PRICE INDEX — Contained within (covered … in) afteRPIece is the usual abbreviation of the answer, but in lower case rather than capitals (in another case)
14a Preparing to drive, say, carrying large old politician (6)
ATTLEE AT TEE (preparing to drive, say) containing (carrying) L (large)
16a Pay for poet to give up first popular piece (8)
STANDARD STAND (pay for) + bARD (poet) leaving out the first letter (to give up first)
17a New Zealander winning originally, cracking K2 (4)
KIWI — The first letter of (… initially) Winning inside (cracking) K II (K2)
18a Men keeping fine automobile back to get vehicle accessories (4,5)
ROOF RACKS ROOKS (men) containing (keeping) F (fine) and CAR (automobile) reversed (back)
20a Body of water — repeatedly it swirls around, repeatedly (8)
TITICACA IT is reversed (swirls) twice (repeatedly …) followed by CA (around) twice (repeatedly)
21a Young woman in European country, subordinate worker on schooners etc (11)
GLASSBLOWER LASS (young woman) in GB (European country) + LOWER (subordinate)
24a Converted girl has to accept a new life eternal here? Not quite (7-2)
SHANGRI-LA — An anagram of (converted) GIRL HAS containing (to accept) A and N (new)
25a Old man leading revolution briefly, catching a city dweller (8)
PARISIAN PA (old man) before (leading) RISINg (revolution) without the last letter (briefly) surrounding (catching) A
26a Reiki initially involved in life energy (4)
BRIO — The first letter of (… initially) Reiki inside (involved in) BIO (life)
29a Honest admen corrupted at the very least (3,4,4)
AND THEN SOME HONEST ADMEN anagrammed (corrupted)
31a Indicating rationale for joint deficiencies? (8,3)
POINTING OUT — A possible reason for joint deficiencies could be that the mortar in them – the POINTING – is OUT
33a Earlier, rebuke elf, one with a compulsion to stay home? (11)
AGORAPHOBIA AGO (earlier) + RAP (rebuke) + HOB (elf) + I (one) + A
36a One foresees careering into cavalry (11)
CLAIRVOYANT — An anagram of (careering) INTO CAVALRY
38a Watches emergency exits, always on the edge (4)
EYES EmergencY ExitS, the outer letters of each word (always on the edge)
39a Large animal knocked over tree, stifling agonised groan (8)
KANGAROO — The reversal of (knocked over) OAK (tree) around (stifling) an anagram of (agonised) GROAN
41a Show host adopting nothing regal, in a ridiculing style (9)
MOCKINGLY MC (show host) taking in (adopting) O (nothing) + KINGLY (regal)
44a Creative function wrong from the outset? (8,3)
ORIGINAL SIN ORIGINAL (creative) + SIN (function)
45a Unhappy about US shop-owner turning over tree (8)
SYCAMORE SORE (unhappy) around (about) the reversal of (… turning over) MACY (US shop-owner)
48a Ballet favourite heading for Rome and America, going round Hong Kong (9)
PETRUSHKA PET (favourite) + the first letter of (heading for) Rome + USA (America) going round HK (Hong Kong)
49a Declined to dismiss match official no longer in top condition? (4)
USED — [ref]USED (declined) removing (to dismiss) REF (match official)
50a Start of summer — immediately autumn and sign of winter? (8)
SNOWFALL — The first letter (start) of Summer + NOW (immediately) + FALL (autumn)
52a Copper kitchen utensil (6)
PEELER — Two definitions
53a Explorer going to platform with unknown flower (11,5)
LIVINGSTONE DAISY LIVINGSTONE (explorer) + DAIS (platform) + Y (unknown)
54a One’s opening call is coming up (6)
RISING IS (one’s) inside (opening) RING (call)
55a Biased individuals helped to lose source of aggression (3-5)
ONE-SIDED ONES (individuals) + [a]IDED (helped) without (to lose) the first letter (source) of Aggression
56a Space probe, very old, having a long time in planetary tour finally (7)
VOYAGER V (very) + O (old) + AGE (a long time) in the last letters of (… finally) planetarY touR
1d Bird in this way mobbing rook, gaining height (6)
THRUSH THUS (in this way) surrounding (mobbing) R (rook) + H (height)
2d Meal in France no longer excluding last cake (6)
GATEAU TEA (meal) in GAUl (France no longer) without the last letter (excluding last)
3d Divine goal to eliminate a burst — of this? (4-5)
EVIL-DOING DIVINE GO[a]L without (to eliminate) A anagrammed (burst)
4d Oversight, Shostakovich’s first in previous works (11)
SUPERVISION Shostakovich’s first letter in PREVIOUS is anagrammed (works)
5d Keen to dodge losing love (4)
AVID AV[o]ID (to dodge) losing O (love)
6d Song title that could generate recipe mania? (8,3)
AMERICAN PIE — The answer can be anagrammed to give (that could generate) RECIPE MANIA
7d After oats? It’s encouraging for horse (7-4)
8d Cricket body with lots of pages about English courses for summer? (3,6)
ICE CREAMS ICC (cricket body) and REAMS (lots of pages) around (about) E (English)
10d Quietly heading away, stifling anger completely (8)
ENTIRELY — gENTLY (quietly) without its first letter (heading away) around (stifling) IRE (anger)
11d Novel repairs etc on historic house placed under a notice (1,9,6)
A CLOCKWORK ORANGE WORK (repairs etc) + ORANGE (historic house) under A and CLOCK (notice)
12d Doctor, not so important, ignoring student, one treating wounds (7)
DRESSER DR (doctor) + [l]ESSER (not so important) ignoring L (student)
15d Permanent way guarded by prisoner and soldier (8)
CONSTANT ST (way) surrounded by (guarded by) CON (prisoner) and ANT (soldier)
19d Chap leading a search in cave (8)
CATACOMB CAT (chap) ahead of (leading) A COMB (a search)
22d Exploit key item of dressing used in A&E (8)
ESCAPADE ESC (key) + PAD (item of dressing) used in A & E
23d Youngster in care to steal from record company: anxiety for costume designer (8,8)
WARDROBE MISTRESS WARD (youngster in care) + ROB (to steal from) + EMI (record company) + STRESS (anxiety)
27d Is harder to get rid of than unfashionable corset (8)
OUTSTAYS OUT (unfashionable) + STAYS (corset)
28d Cancel Unionist veto about Democrat (4)
UNDO U (Unionist) + NO (veto) around (about) D (Democrat)
30d Husband getting over a Times spoof (4)
HOAX H (husband) + O (over) + A + X (times)
32d Seeing one, Schuman’s gone to pieces (8)
INASMUCH I (one) + SCHUMAN‘s anagrammed (gone to pieces)
34d That chap — cold and hot within a period of 24 hours, suffering localised pain (8)
HEADACHY HE (that chap) + C (cold) and H (hot) inside A DAY (a period of 24 hours)
35d Elevated activity using gold in extravagant creations (11)
AERONAUTICS AU (gold) in an anagram of (extravagant) CREATIONS
36d Tetchy Liberal offered encouragement in a seated position (11)
CROSSLEGGED CROSS (tetchy) + L (Liberal) + EGGED (offered encouragement)
37d Composer very supportive of harmonica playing, putting in extra note (11)
RACHMANINOV V (very) under (supportive of) an anagram of (… playing) HARMONICA including (putting in) an extra N (note)
40d Development promoted for one terminus? (9)
GESTATION EG (for one) reversed (promoted …) + STATION (terminus?)
42d Indian river: I twice run off around delta — twice (9)
IRRAWADDY I + R R (twice run) + AWAY (off) around D D (delta – twice)
As curryowen and Kevin Gregg point out in the comments, the river is actually in Myanmar
43d Expect first diagram to be curtailed (6,2)
FIGURE ON FIGURE ONe (first diagram) removing the end (to be curtailed)
44d Apparently practicable to take The Times? (2,5)
ON PAPER ON (practicable) + PAPER (The Times?)
46d Painful sensation when carrying six flags (6)
PAVING PANG (painful sensation) when around (carrying) VI (six)
47d One trifling in soft bed (6)
PLAYER P (soft) + LAYER (bed)
51d Boss curtailed analysis (4)
STUD — Without the last letter (curtailed) STUDy (analysis)

9 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1600 – 18 February 2023. All square”

  1. I was puzzled by IRRAWADDY clued as Indian River. I always thought it was in Burma?

    1. Thanks. Clearly I didn’t check the river and just took the setter’s word for it. I’ll add a note above.

  2. Curryowen was right to be puzzled; the river’s in Burma, all of it. I biffed a couple and never figured out how to parse them: ROOF RACKS, RETAIL PRICE INDEX, GATEAU.

  3. This one came as a huge relief after the beast served up the previous Saturday. My print-out shows minimal workings-out suggesting the answers came quite easily. The only unknown answer was LIVINGSTONE DAISY, but each part was solvable with the aid of checkers and put together the words made a plausible name for a flower.

  4. 1 hour 46 minutes on the clock, so it still earned me some speed points. At the time, though, I abandoned it with three left. When I looked again last night the first two – ESCAPADE and SYCAMORE – went in almost straight away, and the third – the awkward anagram for INASMUCH – didn’t hold out too long. I needed the blog. In particular, thanks for GATEAU, Kitty. It reminds me that gatto means cat in Italian but I’m sure you know that

  5. I really liked this and thought it quite elegant and neat. I failed to parse 2dn but now you explain it Kitty, I love the clue … cod.

    I hardly like to mention it, but your maths is awry. There are 60 clues on average in a jumbo, so 1600 jumbos is some 96,000 clues… it makes me ponder on how much time I have spent solving crossword clues, over the years: about 55 years of daily cryptics, and lots more jumbos, concise and other miscellaneous crosswords like the Week, Private Eye, TLS etc etc … after all that brain exercise, if I do end up with dementia I shall be seriously annoyed ..

    1. Oops! Thanks Jerry – I have updated the intro. I can only do maths with letters and squiggles; actual calculations (or even counting it seems!) are often beyond me …

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