Times Cryptic Jumbo 1610 – 22 April 2023. Not 17 or 51

Hello all.  This felt a bit different to the average beast, with a few unusual devices in the mix.  When writing it up I did also notice lots of cryptic definitions and double definitions (five of each at a quick count but I haven’t double-checked).  I finished in under an hour but was concentrating pretty well throughout.  Good fun – thanks setter!

Definitions are underlined in the clues below.  In the explanations, quoted indicators are in italics and I’ve capitalised and emboldened letters which appear in the ANSWER.  For clarity, I omit most link words and some juxtaposition indicators.

1a Mundane arguments for backing organization of agents (7)
PROSAIC PROS (arguments for) + the reversal of (backing) CIA (organisation of agents)
5a More than one error in small volume is infuriating (8)
CLANGERS CL (small volume) + ANGERS (is infuriating)
9a Penny taken in by French writer’s university position (6)
CAMPUS P (penny) inside (taken in by) CAMUS (French writer)
13a As result of performance on this, I queue in audition? (12,4)
INTELLIGENCE TEST — I queue sounds like (… in audition) IQ
14a Demon capturing rook, leading to mate (6)
FRIEND FIEND (demon) around (capturing) R (rook)
16a Caught out in the open? Just the opposite (8)
COVERTLY C (caught) + OVERTLY (out in the open).  Just the opposite of “out in the open”, that is
17a Combined centres in almost accidental way (4)
MODE — The concatenation of the middle letters of (combined centres in) alMOst acciDEntal
18a Like some music that, with initial repetitions, may be adapted for harpsichord (9)
RHAPSODIC — The answer with the first two letters, RH, duplicated (with initial repetitions) can be anagrammed to give (adapted for) HArPSIChORD
20a Classify as invalid after I had turned unhealthy-looking (8)
DISALLOW After ID (I had) reversed (returned) is SALLOW (unhealthy-looking)
21a Holder of position replaced, reprocessed, reorganized (11)
PREDECESSOR REPROCESSED, anagrammed (reorganised)
24a Philosopher and noble talked intermittently (9)
ARISTOTLE ARISTO (noble) + alternate letters of (… intermittently) TaLkEd
25a In backward class, join top performers (8)
MAESTROS — In reverse (backward) SORT (class) plus SEAM (join)
26a Family with daughter, good-natured sort (4)
KIND KIN (family) + D (daughter)
29a Specialist knowing how to treat elders, for example (4,7)
TREE SURGEON — A cryptic definition
31a Doctor to charge NHS, be less than honest? (11)
SHORTCHANGE — Make an anagram of (doctor) TO CHARGE NHS
33a As far as possible, coat flask ahead of time (11)
FURTHERMOST FUR (coat) + THERMOS (flask) preceding (ahead of) T (time)
36a Rapid succession of passes that may lead to scoring goal? (5,6)
SPEED DATING — A cryptic definition
38a As part of architectural essentials, what’s more? (4)
LESS — It’s part of architecturaL ESSentials,  Less is more, so it’s said.
The surface is apt since (as I learned in a recent puzzle) this phrase is associated with the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
39a Uniform officer put together for fellow sharing quarters (8)
FLATMATE FLAT (uniform) + MATE (officer)
41a One whose home is in a state, surrounded by water (9)
TASMANIAN — Another cryptic definition
44a Without wife, at sixes and sevens? Not eating enough? (10) (11)
UNDERWEIGHT — Around (without) W (wife), UNDER EIGHT (at sixes and sevens?)
45a Concert I watch as person entitled to expect something (8)
PROMISEE PROM (concert) + I + SEE (watch)
48a Behind pool of money: let it be split, at last! (9)
FUNDAMENT FUND (pool of money) + AMEN (let it be) + spliT at last
49a One feature of skirt that attracts attention (4)
AHEM A HEM (one feature of skirt)
50a Abraham Lincoln, initially, rebuilt palace (8)
ALHAMBRA — An anagram of (… rebuilt) ABRAHAM with Lincoln initially
52a Starting point for big win, though lacking leaders (6)
ORIGIN — fOR bIG wIN, but without the first letters (though lacking leaders)
53a Important IT role is new for teenager given new order (8,8)
SOFTWARE ENGINEER IS NEW FOR TEENAGER anagrammed (given new order)
54a Facility in middle of hospital entrance (6)
TALENT — The answer is central to (in middle of) hospiTAL ENTrance
55a Does, for example, have it in leather (8)
DEERSKIN — A double definition
56a Like fingers, but without hands passing over face (7)
DIGITAL — The second part of the clue refers to clock hands passing round a clock face, so not analogue
1d One likely to succeed, when finally put in charge (6)
PRINCE — The last letter of (… finally) wheN put in PRICE (charge)
2d Size of book, a volume penned by doctor, extremely abridged (6)
OCTAVO A and V (volume) inside (penned by) dOCTOr without the outer letters (extremely abridged)
3d Medical practitioner needs to go to France with substance (9)
ALLERGIST ALLER (to go, to France) + GIST (substance)
4d Measure of coolness about female player securing prominence (5,6)
CHILL FACTOR C (about), F and ACTOR (player) around (securing) HILL (prominence)
5d Rubbed it in hands (4)
CREW — Two definitions; crew = crowed
6d Presenters with a warning about food king’s tucked into (11)
ANCHORWOMEN AN OMEN (a warning) around (about) CHOW (food) which has R (king) inside (tucked into)
7d With leader in Guardian, say, crush inferior competition (6,5)
GUTTER PRESS — The first letter of (leader in) Guardian + UTTER (say) + PRESS (crush)
8d Reviving spiritual instruction’s pressing (9)
RESURGENT RES (spiritual instruction’s) + URGENT (pressing)
10d Ran in and stopped (8)
ARRESTED — Another double definition
11d Mixing up of insecticides is not empirically based (16)
12d Attachment to vehicle that’s sped and is overturned (7)
SIDECAR — The reversal of (… overturned) RACED (sped) and IS
15d Our confidant reveals end of scandal over job (8)
GATEPOST — –GATE (end of scandal) above (over) POST (job),  Refers to “between you, me and the gatepost”
19d Intimate location for marriage announced, say, with love (5,3)
ALTER EGO ALTER, which sounds like (… announced) ALTAR (location for marriage) + EG (say) + O (love)
22d Prodigal‘s faults we must change (8)
WASTEFUL FAULTS WE needs to be anagrammed (must change)
23d Like top US deputy, having evil power in relation to housing (4-12)
VICE-PRESIDENTIAL VICE (evil) + P (power) + RESIDENTIAL (in relation to housing)
27d Moving cautiously after doctor, getting up from bed (8)
DREDGING EDGING (moving cautiously) after DR (doctor)
28d Which person covering area gives order to stop? (4)
WHOA WHO (which person) around (covering) A (area)
30d Part of our capital also hoarded, but only part (4)
SOHO — alSO HOarded, but only part
32d Passed, having finished and understood (8)
OVERTOOK OVER (finished) and TOOK (understood)
34d Repeated experience swallowing stimulant makes one carefree (8)
RELIEVED RELIVED (repeated experience) taking in (swallowing) E (stimulant)
35d In ideal way, mother embracing two sons as leader of tributes (11)
TOASTMASTER TO A T (in ideal way) and MATER (mother) surrounding (embracing) S S (two sons).  The two sons are inserted separately, which isn’t explicitly indicated
36d His job allows him to overlook church (11)
STEEPLEJACK — A cryptic definition
37d Record on one page how paper may be controlled (11)
DISCIPLINED DISC (record) + I (one) + P (page) + LINED (how paper may be)
40d Highly-strung supporter of one kind of artist (9)
TIGHTROPE — A final cryptic definition
42d Finding 17 or 51 in state becoming more mature (9)
AVERAGING AVER (state) + AGING (becoming more mature).  17a = mode; 51d = mean
43d World‘s response when Conservative rises to the top (8)
CREATION REACTION (response) when C (Conservative) rises to the top
44d Frank‘s father coming in immediately after time (7)
UPFRONT FR (father) going inside (coming in) UPON (immediately after) + T (time)
46d Protest appearing in article, differently stressed (6)
OBJECT — There are two definitions here, but the answer for each is pronounced with the stress in different places (differently stressed)
47d Pub count incomplete — one can hold many pints (6)
BARREL BAR (pub) + RELy (count) missing its last letter (incomplete)
51d Represent base (4)
MEAN — Our final pair of definitions

6 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1610 – 22 April 2023. Not 17 or 51”

  1. It’s difficult to remember one’s experience after a fortnight has passed, but I noted on my copy that despite starting well in the NW segment I found this harder than average. For all that, I have no answers marked with an asterisk to indicate that I resorted to aids so I must have slogged my way through to a successful conclusion eventually.

    There were two clues I didn’t fully understand, one being 38ac where I didn’t get the ‘less is more’ reference, so thanks for that, Kitty. The other was 36ac where I was looking for something more than a cryptic definition because as it stands I don’t think it’s a very good one. Reviewing it now and having been assured by the blog that I didn’t miss anything, I can’t help but think that the clue might have been improved by the omission of the word ‘goal’.

    1. I didn’t look too closely at the time, interpreting “scoring goal” as “the goal of scoring”. Of course that that doesn’t really work with “which could lead to” – unless, I suppose, you interpret that as “which could lead to achieving”. I agree with you and keriothe that it would have been better to sacrifice the “goal”.

  2. Unusually for a Jumbo, there were no DNKs. All in all, a fairly bland Jumbo, with no outstanding clues, although I did put a check by 11d PSEUDO-SCIENTIFIC as an impressive anagram.

  3. 2hrs 10mins so, yes, harder than mean/mode. LOIs 5ac and 5dn CLANGERS and CREW, both of which I liked, including belatedly seeing how CREW worked. Similarly enjoyed the PDM for “Does” in 55ac (the plural of Doe, a deer, a female deer). It has caught me before and no doubt will again. I liked TOASTMASTER.

    I noted your unexplained correction, Kitty, to the enumeration at 44ac. The “list view” on my phone showed UNDERWEIGH, ie one letter short, was that it? It threw me for a moment. I find the “list view” particularly good for the final quick check through

    1. 44a – yes, the enumeration is given – online, at least, in both the club and paper versions – as (10), which would be the cause of the list view displaying UNDERWEIGH. Naturally I only noticed when writing up the blog.

  4. I liked this one. Quite chewy, and some nice touches. The rhapsodic/harpsichord device is very neat.
    Like jackkt I was a bit baffled by the word ‘goal’ in 36ac. The clue kind of makes sense as is but would be better without it.

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