Times Cryptic Jumbo 1605 – 25 March 2023. The royal icing on the cake

Hi all.  No strict time for this due to (first session) falling asleep (no reflection on the puzzle – it was bed time!) and (second session) a cute cat needing attention.  Roughly speaking, the difference between it taking a little less than an hour and rather over was a handful of clues which I found a bit of a handful, containing between them as they did quite a few NHOs.  I was pleased indeed to get them.

After all that I had of course made a silly error, one of those somewhere between a spelling mistake and a typo.  You know the kind of thing: you know perfectly well how to spell Manhattan, but your fingers merrily input a ten at the end (a common enough suffix) and your brain doesn’t flag it as wrong because, well, it doesn’t look wrong enough.  Not in a down entry, anyway.

Happily, in a Jumbo I don’t mind that kind of slip so much as the time is only to give me a guide for the blog intro.

I liked lots of clues, particularly 43d (as alluded to in the blog heading).  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 Belted out ditty about drink (7)
SANGRIA SANG (belted out) + AIR (ditty) backwards (about)
5a Person who “liberates” a bit of Assam? (3,4)
TEA LEAF — A tea leaf Is Cockney Rhyming slang for a thief; the answer could literally be a bit of Assam (for example, hence the question mark)
9a Returning half-sober answer on occasion (2,5)
AT TIMES — The reversal of (returning) SEMITT (half-sober) and A (answer)
13a Very ill-informed GP rationing shot (3-8)
14a Ruthless examination for PhD? (5,6)
15a New Year in French style for southern African native (5)
NYALA NY (New Year) + À LA (in French style – French for “in the manner of”)
16a One putting down every single English philosopher (7)
ALLAYER ALL (every single) + AYER (English philosopher)
17a Unobtrusive observation of Prince devotee by sleuth (4,2,3)
HALF AN EYE HAL (prince) FAN (devotee) by EYE (sleuth)
18a Sort out details, and finish off letters (3,3,2,3,5,3,2)
DOT THE IS AND CROSS THE TS — Another definition plus literal interpretation
23a Oddity of bachelor eschewing intemperance (8)
EERINESS — B (bachelor) is not appearing in (eschewing) [b]EERINESS (intemperance)
25a Film about life and work in British Isles, initially convincing (6)
BIOPIC OP (work) in B (British) I I (isles) + initially Convincing
27a Articulate girl yearned for believer in spirits (7)
ANIMIST — A sound-alike of (articulate) ANNIE (girl) MISSED (yearned)
30a Reviewed notable books in turn (5)
PIVOT VIP (notable) reversed (reviewed …) + OT (books)
32a A Scottish dear concealing accident, half-cut in Corsican port (7)
AJACCIO A JO (Scottish dear) around (concealing) ACCIdent, half-cut.
Not a port I knew, so I was very glad I have met the Scottish dear before in crosswords!
33a Supervisory body recalling both pistol and round (9)
REGULATOR — We are reversing (recalling) in turn both LUGER (pistol) and ROTA (round)
35a Salt introduced to processed cereals and veg (9)
CALABRESE AB (salt – able seaman) inserted in (introduced to) an anagram of (processed) CEREALS
36a Dim male relative content to leave alligator (7)
UNCLEAR UNCLE (male relative) + AlligatoR losing the middle letters (content to leave …)
37a Soppy people ultimately shed tears (5)
DRIPS — The last letter of (ultimately) sheD + RIPS (tears)
38a Temporary Head of IT coming on board during semester (7)
INTERIM — The first letter (head) of It entering (coming on board) IN (during) TERM (semester)
40a Tell dog to follow sappers (6)
RETAIL TAIL (dog) to follow RE (sappers)
41a Leash may wound terrier (8)
SEALYHAM LEASH MAY anagrammed (wound)
44a Impulsive peer group producing something out of nothing (11,10)
48a Weary workforce that upholds standards (9)
FLAGSTAFF FLAG (weary) + STAFF (workforce)
50a Dickens sold in Wick without front covers (3,4)
OLD NICK — sOLD iN wICK missing the first letters (without front covers)
53a Reform in pursuit of constant faith (5)
CREDO REDO (reform) following (in pursuit of) C (constant)
54a Mysterious magician let out (11)
55a Alcoholic beverage is found in her office, sadly (5,6)
IRISH COFFEE IS found in an anagram of (… sadly) HER OFFICE
56a Provide nourishment for bear (7)
SUSTAIN — A double definition
57a Informal evening turned into regret for entourage (7)
RETINUE NITE (informal evening) reversed (turned) and inserted into RUE (regret)
58a Loves assimilating the lines for Shakespearean role (7)
OTHELLO O O (loves) taking in (assimilating) THE and LL (lines)
1d Lying on back finally makes you ache (6)
SUPINE — The last letters of (finally) makeS yoU + PINE (ache)
2d Daughter endlessly teasing upwardly mobile miser (7)
NIGGARD D (daughter) and RAGGINg (teasing) without the last letter (endlessly …), all in reverse (upwardly mobile, in a down entry)
3d Without introduction, congregate to play Caribbean music (9)
REGGAETON Without introduction, cONGREGATE anagrammed (to play).
This style of music, not to be confused with reggae, was one of my NHOs
4d Sample ultra-romantic fragrance (5)
AROMA — Take the answer from inside (sample) ultrAROMAntic
5d Sustenance for tramps (5,3)
TRAIL MIX — A cryptic definition; tramps = walks.
(I had tramps = walkers, but much prefer Jackkt’s interpretation below)
6d Fittingly, apartment lay empty (5)
APTLY APT (apartment) + LaY without its centre (empty)
7d Admitted removing case of Lenten wine (7)
ENTERED — Taking the outside letters away from (removing case of) lENTEn + RED (wine)
8d Fine, delicate wind instrument in black box (6,8)
FLIGHT RECORDER F (fine) + LIGHT (delicate) + RECORDER (wind instrument)
9d Ace sundial transformed area in Spanish autonomous community (9)
ANDALUSIA A (ace) + SUNDIAL anagrammed (transformed) + A (area)
10d Letter and article on former reservists (5)
THETA THE (article) + TA (former reservists)
11d Real men swooning over slim, wealthy film star (7,8)
MARLENE DIETRICH REAL MEN anagrammed (swooning) above (over) DIET (slim) + RICH (wealthy)
12d Prescient woman getting Victor out of harsh southern sierra (7)
SEERESS — After removing V from (getting victor out of) SE[v]ERE (harsh), S (southern) + S (sierra)
19d Unaccompanied male carrying garden tool for personal security (7)
HOSTAGE STAG (unaccompanied male) inside (carrying) HOE (garden tool)
20d Up before the beak after a grand battle (9)
AGINCOURT IN COURT (up before the beak) after A and G (grand)
21d Ran off after Turpin regularly messed about (7)
TRIFLED FLED (ran off) after TuRpIn regularly
22d Well-travelled Florentine gives Puccini clothes (8)
VESPUCCI — giVES PUCCIni surrounds (clothes) the answer, Amerigo Vespucci.
I’m glad he was a hidden!
24d Norris and I leave out rum for rebels (15)
REVOLUTIONARIES — An anagram of (… rum) NORRIS and I LEAVE OUT
26d Professional writer in bar (9)
PROSCRIBE PRO (professional) + SCRIBE (writer)
28d Tedious book containing intellectual’s original research (8)
TIRESOME TOME (book) containing Intellectual’s first letter (original) and RES (research)
29d Educational functionary runs away with cake decorator (7,7)
CAREERS OFFICER CAREERS (runs) + OFF (away) + ICER (cake decorator)
31d Simple dons produce lace and silk (7)
TABARET BARE (simple) goes inside (dons) TAT (produce lace)
34d Plant starts to grow elegant red blooms over time (7)
GERBERA — The first letters of (starts to) Grow Elegant Red Blooms above (over) ERA (time)
39d Explosive project in part of NYC (9)
MANHATTAN — Two definitions, the first referring to the Manhattan project.
I’ve spent some time in Los Alamos, including a summer as a student working at the lab (not on anything explosive though)
42d Left fashionable fool wearing extremely outlandish garment (9)
LOINCLOTH L (left) + IN (fashionable) and CLOT (fool) inside (wearing) the outer letters of (extremely) OutlandisH
43d Royal icing (8)
REGICIDE — A cryptic definition, with icing meaning killing
44d Puts up with singular idiots losing diamonds (7)
SUFFERS S (singular) + [d]UFFERS (idiots) losing D (diamonds)
45d Drew attention to combat operations moving north (7)
SPOTLIT TILT (combat) and OPS (operations) reversed (moving north).
Some people on Fifteensquared use TILT for Thing(s) I Learned Today.  One of mine is tilt meaning to joust … [edit] except that it isn’t! – see the first comment below from Kevin
46d Required New England Democrat to interrupt fuel supply (7)
NEEDFUL NE (new England), then D (Democrat) inside (to interrupt) an anagram of (… supply) FUEL
47d About to throw up over jacket (6)
BOLERO RE (about) and LOB (to throw) in reverse (up) + O (over)
49d Briefly spotted extinct bird in part of Polynesia (5)
SAMOA — Without the last letter (briefly) SAw (spotted) + MOA (extinct bird)
51d Northern European’s pronounced stoop (5)
DEIGN — A homophone: DANE (northern European) is pronounced
52d Oddly withdrawn, Warhol interrupts retired fine artist (5)
KAHLO — Having removed odd letters (oddly withdrawn), wArHoL goes inside (interrupts) the reversal of (retired) OK (fine)

23 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1605 – 25 March 2023. The royal icing on the cake”

  1. I think CALABRESE was my only DNK; I think I thought it was a style of cooking (chicken Calabrese?). ‘Corsican port’ should have been a gimme, but I needed JO to remind me of the name. VESPUCCI was a nice hidden. Kitty, surely you know of Don Quixote tilting at windmills? LOI by a long shot, and COD, REGICIDE.

    1. Argh, of course I know about Don Quixote tilting at windmills! No idea why that didn’t come to mind.

    2. I’ve heard of Don Quixote tilting at windmills but I’ve never come across ’tilt’ on its own as a word meaning ‘combat’.

          1. ODE sv tilt: (historical) a combat for exercise or sport between two men on horseback with lances; a joust.

  2. Another Jumbo completed in one sitting which suggests I found it reasonable straightforward, but I needed aids for two unknowns, AJACCIO and TRAIL MIX. Re the latter, I had in mind ‘tramps’ meaning walks rather than walkers. REGGAETON was also unknown but easy enough to deduce.

  3. 7d. Is entered the same part of speech as admitted?
    As always many thanks to both setter and blogger.
    My comment is the same as my comment to Saturday’s cryptic and will surely reveal my inability to find the proper synonym! And my thanks are sincere in all cases:)

    1. Your query about ‘entered/admitted’ is an interesting one and the only support I can find in the usual sources is in Collins (online) in the American listings which has enter – to get (a person etc) admitted.

      An example that may work : ‘I received his application to take part in the event and I entered / admitted him’. I’m still not wholly convinced, but perhaps somebody can think of something better?

      1. To me this doesn’t work. It’s like the distinction between ‘lent’ and ‘borrowed’. You can construct sentences in which the overall sense is the same (‘money lent should be repaid’) but there is a fundamental distinction based on who is doing the lending/borrowing/entering/admitting.

        1. There is no such distinction in the Collins example: I admitted him/I entered him. Unless you take the causative/non-causative distinction to be fundamental. Mind you, I don’t like the clue much.

          1. Where is that? I can’t find it. The relevant definition in Collins is ‘to allow to enter’.

              1. Ah I see, sorry. ‘Get a person admitted’ is in my view fundamentally different to ‘admit a person’. If I get a person admitted I am necessarily not the person doing the admitting.

    2. I think jackkt’s example works, but only just. It still jars, but i can’t think of anything better

    3. I didn’t question this and think the sense Jackkt has supplied works ok.

      It is in Chambers: definition 7 of enter (transitive verb) is “to admit”.

  4. A DNF after 2 hours 20 minutes. I had to do a wordsearch to get my LOI, the NHO TABARET. But I had unknowingly already come unstuck with my invention of TRAIL PIE to feed the tramps at 5dn. Still, it’s good when such inventions do actually work – like ANNIE MISSED at 27ac. I liked TEA LEAF (the liberator) and (B)EERINESS. COD to REGICIDE

    1. I might have added TABARET to my NHOs. I think it is probably a BHO (barely heard of) – but as we’ve seen, I don’t even know what I do and don’t know!

  5. I got through this unscathed but there is some strange stuff in it. AJACCIO is a double obscurity of the kind I particularly dislike, even if I remembered JO from past crosswords (possibly Mephisto).
    I have never heard of SPONTANEOUS GENERATION so the fact that it doesn’t mean ‘producing something out of nothing’ didn’t bother me unduly, but it doesn’t.
    ROYAL ICING, on the other hand, is brilliant. I wonder if it’s been done before.

  6. Laughed at regicide. Nothing particularly remarkable otherwise, a steady solve.
    Jo = girlfriend is a familiar word, I didn’t know it was Scottish particularly.

    1. I knew Jo (didn’t it come up a while back?) from the Burns poem, ‘John Anderson, my Jo, John’; where it doesn’t mean ‘girlfriend’!

  7. As a child with wanderlust but not yet the means to act on it, I used to read the section in the Telegraph showing expected temperatures for various places around the world, and I seem to remember Ajaccio being one of the first – if not the first – entries in that list. For whatever reason it stuck. It’s where Napoleon was born.

    Also, re 45D, from “A Game of Thrones” (p.311): “Ned walked with the king to the jousting field. He had promised to watch the final tilts with Sansa.”

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