Times Bank Holiday Cryptic Jumbo 1608 – 10 April 2023

Hello again. I had a little trouble getting going with this one, but once under way I made steady progress until after an hour or so I had just two clues left, 49dn and 52ac, that took another minute or three to polish off. No complaints, I enjoyed it all and thought it well up to standard.

Please, do feel free to ask questions or comment as required.

This was a Bank Holiday Jumbo, published on the Monday, but the solution is published the same day as the Saturday one (ie last Thursday) so I will do the same with this blog.

I use the standard conventions like underlining the definition, CD for cryptic definition, DD for a double one, *(anargam) and so forth. Nho = “not heard of” and in case of need the Glossary is always handy

1 Provide  with some flexibility (6)
SUPPLY – A dd.
4 Those spotted in historical Croatian region? (10)
DALMATIANS – A cd. There once was a Kingdom of Dalmatia .. central Europe is rather a tricky area, but maybe it is now part of Croatia. It lay along the Adriatic coast, and included Dubrovnik.
10 Preserve licence, say, for dog (5)
CANID – CAN (preserve) + ID, eg a licence. Any member of the family canidae.
14 A bloke carrying boy round drink (9)
AMERICANO – ERIC (random boy) in A MAN, + O (round). What I would call “coffee.” How our American cousins have managed to get their name attached to it, is a mystery to me.
15 Godfather in agreement, perhaps, with important oil supplier (7,6)
NODDING DONKEY – NODDING (in agreement, perhaps) + DON (godfather) + KEY (important). I associate nodding donkeys with Texas, but they are ubiquitous – there are some here in England..
16 Disinfected blister I left to shrink (7)
STERILE – hidden, in bliSTER I LEft
17 Car manufacturer close to Oxford, one intending to import first of Ladas (7)
DAIMLER – (oxfor)D, + L(adas) in AIMER, one intending. Daimler really just a badge, for many years, not a manufacturer. Owned, along with Jaguar and Landrover, by an Indian company now, Tata Motors
18 Dissertation originally by old maestro, dramatised (7)
OVERDID – O(ld) + VERDI (maestro) + D(issertation)
19 That criticism was just  some advice to headgear’s buyer? (2,3,3,4,4,2)
IF THE CAP FITS WEAR IT – A dd, one of them jocular
21 Second  before now (4)
BACK – another dd
24 Ship returning banks on European currency (5)
KRONA – ON in ARK, rev.
26 Knowledge gathered about fall in old French province (8)
LORRAINE – RAIN(fall) in LORE, knowledge. Alsace and Lorraine are both interesting areas.. especially if you like food, wine and beer. Lorraine was a region of France untill recently, and now forms part of Grand Est
27 Sloe gin, a strange motor fuel! (8)
GASOLINE – *(SLOE GIN A). An American word, that means petrol.
29 Serve grotty stuff and give the game away? (4,3,4)
DISH THE DIRT – A dd I suppose, so should I underline the first bit?
30 One’s as stupid, apparently, when news is slow (5,6)
SILLY SEASON – *(ONES AS). I am so old I can remember when The Times was a newspaper of record, dedicated to informing its readers impartially about world affairs. How very far we have descended, since then
32 Sticky bat compiler wielded (11)
35 Put down location of bench in sporting arena (6,5)
SQUASH COURT – SQUASH (put down) + COURT, location of eg the magistrate’s bench..
37 Embarrassed: like you, reportedly? (8)
SHEEPISH – like a ewe, reportedly..
39 Sneakiness evident if loading lorry with last of merchandise (8)
ARTIFICE – IF in an ARTIC (lorry) + (merchandis)E
40 See you grabbing tail of sleek otter (5)
TARKA – (slee)K in TARA (see you, goodbye) to make the otter immortalised by Henry Williamson. “Tara” always reminds me of Cilla Black.
43 Heading off, poach bird (4)
TEAL – (s)TEAL. A rather pretty duck.
44 Exaggerate awfully witty Orwellian oath (3,2,2,4,1,6)
LAY IT ON WITH A TROWEL – *(witty Orwellian oath) .. or so I hope, I haven’t checked the anagrist
47 Emotional teacher’s first lecture (7)
TEARFUL – T(eacher) + EARFUL, a talking to or lecture. The ones Alex Ferguson gave his players as manager of Man U were called “hairdriers.”
48 Samples in vegetables eyed, first of swedes eaten (7)
TASTERS – S(wedes) in TATERS, your veg.
50 A way past disagreement on reflection, initially (2,5)
AT FIRST – RIFT (disagreement) reversed, in A ST, a way.
51 For each family conflict, gesture old pretender (6,7)
PERKIN WARBECK – PER (for each) + KIN (family) + WAR (conflickt) + BECK, your gesture. As in “Beck and call,” presumably short for beckon.

Warbeck claimed to be Richard, one of the “Princes in the tower.” That is highly unlikely, but not totally impossible. Once captured he confessed to being an imposter, and (like another pretender, Lambert Simnel) was surprisingly well treated by Henry VII, one of our most impressive monarchs.

52 Arguably, what might grip opera lover about a show from the ’80s (5,4)
MIAMI VICE – A, in MIMI VICE. Mimi is the heroine of the Puccini opera,.  La bohème. A strange clue, not sure if it quite works for me. As for Miami Vice, I expect it is a TV crime programme of some sort. Never seen it.
53 Nothing in eastern half of country, Switzerland (5)
ZILCH – (bra)ZIL + CH, the initials of the official Latin name for the country, Confoederatio Helvetica. I knew it from childhood stamp collecting, I think their international car registration is CH as well.
54 Semi-intelligible character wanting land redistributed: do nothing about that (6,4)
DONALD DUCK – DO + *(LAND) + DUCK, nothing. He has a star on the Hollywood walk of fame, apparently ..
55 Broadcast dark period piece (6)
KNIGHT – sounds like “Night.” As perfect a homophone as one can get..
1 Laugh initially nailed by halfwits, instant comedy (9)
2 High-sounding holy shrouds on canvas (11)
PRETENTIOUS – RE (on) + TENT (canvas), in PIOUS, holy
3 Remove from church where US city is icebound (7)
LAICISE – LA (US city) + IS in ICE. Strange clue, strange word.
5 Nothing consumed by hungry duck (5)
AVOID – O in AVID, keen, hungry
6 Characteristic of chaps crossing perfect stretch of water (5,6)
MENAI STRAIT – AI (perfect) in MENS’ TRAIT. That stretch of water between the Welsh mainland and Anglesey.
7 Game involving king in victories that are tight? (11)
TIDDLYWINKS – K(ing) in TIDDLY WINS, tight and tiddly both being euphemisms for drunk.
8 Song in a code relating to hives (8)
APIARIAN – ARIA (song) in A PIN, a code for your credit card. Another strange word, nho but I had heard of apiaries and apiculture, which my son-in-law is into.
9 Miss warning: “broadcast on air” (9)
SIGNORINA – SIGN (warning) + *(ON AIR)
10 Herb, Charlie and Romeo (6)
CLOVER – C(harlie) (NATO alphabet) + LOVER, your Romeo. I would not call clover a herb myself, but Collins says: “Herb: a seed-bearing plant whose aerial parts do not persist above ground at the end of the growing season; herbaceous plant,” which probably covers it
11 Women wanting fig leaves for plant (5,6)
NAKED LADIES – a dd of sorts, I guess. This is a name for several different plants.
12 Sober plug for spirit (5)
DRYAD – DRY (sober) + AD, your plug.
13 Nine of diamonds? (8,4)
BASEBALL TEAM – Presumably a baseball team has nine players in it?
20 Ordinal throwing relationship in river (8)
FORTIETH – TIE (relationship) in FORTH, a well known Scottish river despite being only 29 miles long. Apparently there is one in Tasmania too, but we won’t go there ..
22 Holding underwater device with all toes, maybe, look up (7)
KEEPNET – TEN (how many toes we have) + PEEK (look), all reversed.
23 Current failure has United team in first position going the wrong way (5,3)
POWER CUT – U(nited) + CREW (team) inside TOP (first position) – all reversed. You need good spatial awareness for this ..
25 Insect has taken fly off gazelle, say (8)
ANTELOPE – ANT (an insect this time, not just a worker) + ELOPE, to fly off, as regularly portrayed by Georgette Heyer 🙂 … though they seldom get so far as Gretna Green
28 Tailored suit, dull coats for musician (8)
FLAUTIST – *(SUIT) in FLAT, dull. My daughter was a flautist, and a good one too, if I say it myself.
29 Matter dropped when top side hammered (7)
31 Old Middle Eastern leader a long way off grabbed by sailor with effort, after capsizing (6,6)
YASSER ARAFAT – all reversed: AFAR in TAR (sailor) + ESSAY (effort)
33 More than 35 imperial gallons of oil  in a pickle (4,1,6)
OVER A BARREL – A dd assuming, as I have, that a barrel of oil is 35 (proper) gallons
34 Alloy wheels stolen, be furious! (6,5)
35 Last of vermouth in drink drunk on the rocks, perhaps? (11)
SHIPWRECKED – (vermout)H in SIP (drink) + WRECKED, one of an apparently unlimited number of euphemisms for drunk. See 7dn
36 Enduring war, tragically futile (11)
38 Drunk welcome beyond Devon etc (9)
SWALLOWED – SW (SW of England, land of discontent) + ALLOWED, welcome, at a pinch. Golly this setter does have a thing about drinking!
41 Share fortune soldiers locked up with key (9)
ALLOTMENT – LOT (fortune) + MEN (soldiers, but should that be “persons” now?) inside ALT, a key like DEL and ENTER that catches me out every time
42 Plunge has sea bird catching a fly, say (8)
45 Punk with green hair brushed up (7)
RUFFIAN -NAIF (green) + FUR (hair) rev. Three definitions there, and somehow they seem a little forced to me. Just me I suppose. I am sure Collins is gung ho on all three.
46 Piscatorial, maybe, and cold? (6)
47 Stone to kill, sent skywards (5)
TOPAZ – TO + ZAP, rev.
49 Plant philosopher pulled up (5)
SUMAC – a reference to Albert Camus, well known Algerian goalkeeper and part-time philosopher.

Author: JerryW

I love The Times crosswords..

7 comments on “Times Bank Holiday Cryptic Jumbo 1608 – 10 April 2023”

  1. DNF
    Didn’t get BACK, somehow, and NHO KEEPNET.
    In Japan, ‘American’ (amerikan, アメリカン) means weak coffee from lightly roasted beans. In the US, what would grip Mimi is a vise; I thought maybe ‘arguably’ was a homophone indicator, but I see now that the UK spelling is ‘vice’. Where I come from, it’s the shoe that fits; I dithered between CAP and HAT, but CAP somehow seemed likelier. ARAFAT died in 2004; does that make him old?

  2. I can’t recall anything about this now, but my hard copy has few workings-out and no queries indicated so I assume I found this quite straightforward.

  3. Enjoyed this one a lot. Economical clueing and, I thought, just about right in terms of difficulty.

  4. An average-difficulty Jumbo I thought, finishing in 40:56. Plenty of clues to enjoy, though. I liked BASEBALL TEAM (thinking curse of Scotland at first), GASOLINE and SHEEPISH best. But 3 pink squares – I had a careless SIGNORITA at 9D, mixing my inadequate Spanish and Italian, and HAT instead of CAP for 19A. Grr. Coincidentally, I had photographed a TEAL for the first time the day before this crossword was published. Thanks Jerry and setter.

  5. I had BASEBALL CARD, which threw me for a bit. Still think it’s a better answer!

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