Times Cryptic Jumbo 1615 – 13 May 2023. That Don’t Impresario Me Much

Hello everyone.  After a good start I tired a little and had to take a break.  A bit more than an hour in total, but probably technically a DNF anyway: I had a typo, but while I was searching for the mistake I tested alternate spellings for the unknown impresario at 7d, and didn’t recall whether my original arrangement of vowels had been right.  There were a few NHOs in the mix, so I was happy enough with that.

I didn’t have any standout favourite clues but noted some clever anagrams and various other nice touches.  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 Chemical process? Whip article away from critical study (9)
CATALYSIS CAT (whip) + AN (article) taken away from [an]ALYSIS (critical study)
6a MD’s style? With energy, MD needs brain activated to work (7,6)
BEDSIDE MANNER With E (energy), MD NEEDS BRAIN anagrammed (activated to work)
13a Simplistic North America likely to shock, ousting leader (5)
NAIVE NA (North America) + lIVE (likely to shock) removing the first letter (ousting leader)
14a Recalled musical success with theatre adopting right authority (11)
PREROGATIVE — The reversal of (recalled) EVITA (musical), GO (success) and REP (theatre) taking in (adopting) R (right)
15a Urban greenery needing a warm coat (5)
PARKA PARK (urban greenery) + A
16a Paid me back: old character’s considered good about that (11)
REMUNERATED ME reversed (back): RUNE (old character) and RATED (considered good) goes outside that (about that)
17a Strength in the lashes when fluttering (11)
HEALTHINESS IN THE LASHES when anagrammed (fluttering)
18a Secretary receiving an expert cure (7)
PANACEA PA (secretary) containing (receiving) AN ACE (an expert)
20a Item of poetry allowed after masterstroke (7)
COUPLET LET (allowed) after COUP (masterstroke)
21a Military leader to be heading for Rome in a month (7)
OCTOBER OC (military leader, Officer Commanding or Officer in Charge + TO BE + the first letter of (heading for) Rome
23a Ardennes? A great visit — brought about by this? (5,1,6,7)
I just about ground this out with the help of the checkers; the abbreviation TGV is not unfamiliar but I didn’t know what it stood for
27a Minute almost needed to get ready (3)
TIN TINy (minute) without the last letter (almost).  Ready money
28a Holy man blocking temptation shows distinction (6)
LUSTRE ST (holy man) inside (blocking) LURE (temptation)
29a Legal statement is flexible, one having been moved back (6)
PLAINT PLIANT (flexible) with I (one) having been moved back to earlier in the word
31a Flag put back before lecture is to disappear (9)
EVAPORATE PAVE (flag) reversed (put back) before ORATE (lecture)
34a Animal secretion increasingly seen to rotate in ring (9)
PHEROMONE MORE (increasingly) is seen going backwards (to rotate) in PHONE (ring)
35a Leg mostly surrounded by other legs is shining (6)
GLEAMS LEg without the last letter (mostly) surrounded by GAMS (other legs)
36a Stop recalling passion in case (6)
PERIOD — We are reversing (recalling) IRE (passion) in POD (case)
39a Some further airtime for African music (3)
RAI — The answer is embedded in (some) furtheR AIrtime
40a Indication of closure, as pilfering female pinching article confesses (4,3,3,4,5)
WHEN THE FAT LADY SINGS WHEN (as), THEFT (pilfering) and LADY (female) around (pinching) A + SINGS (confesses)
42a Mysterious shout still perhaps observed around tango (7)
CRYPTIC CRY (shout) + PIC (still perhaps) observed around T (tango)
43a Brief comment about Minister held back team (7)
EVERTON NOTE (brief comment) around (about) REV (minister) all reversed (held back)
45a Herb ungrateful daughter planted in rings (7)
OREGANO REGAN (ungrateful daughter, of King Lear planted in O O (rings)
47a Trampled turf not gone, still retrievable (11)
UNFORGOTTEN — An anagram of (trampled) TURF NOT GONE
49a Not something you can see being developed by rival outlet (11)
ULTRAVIOLET — An anagram of (developed by) RIVAL OUTLET
51a A lot of shadows behind one house in the North (5)
IGLOO — All but the last letter of (a lot of) GLOOm (shadows) after (behind) I (one)
52a Lavender bed? It may be excessively flowery (6,5)
53a Thai people live in Bangkok and Yangon ultimately (5)
KAREN ARE (live) in the last letters of (… ultimately) BangkoK and YangoN.  The Karen people are an ethnolinguistic group in Myanmar and Thailand
54a American novel‘s representation of sheltered year (3,10)
THE DEERSLAYER — An anagram (representation) of SHELTERED YEARNovel by James Fenimore Cooper, prequel to the more widely known The Last of the Mohicans
55a Several years without unpleasantness, not seeing one rotting (9)
DECADENCE DECADE (several years) + N[i]CE (without unpleasantness) lacking (not seeing) I (one)
1d Shifted intercept on a line moving to the middle (11)
CENTRIPETAL — An anagram of (shifted) INTERCEPT + A + L (line)
2d The writer is restricted by lacking vitamin (7)
THIAMIN I AM (the writer is) inside (restricted by) THIN (lacking)
3d Extra bedtime story for a particular group? (3-2)
LIE-IN LIE (story) + IN (for a particular group – namely the in group)
4d Transport boss to drink, thus requiring impounding of vehicle (10)
SUPERCARGO SUP (to drink) + ERGO (thus) with insertion of (requiring impounding of) CAR (vehicle)
5d One doubts church can take part, as originally presented externally (7)
SCEPTIC CE (church) and PT (part) with SIC (as originally presented) externally
6d Terrifying family appearing with daughter in winter sport (13)
BLOODCURDLING BLOOD (family) + D (daughter) in CURLING (winter sport)
7d Had vigil arranged to enshrine end of supreme impresario (9)
DIAGHILEV — An anagram of (… arranged) HAD VIGIL guarding (to enshrine) the end of supremE
I didn’t know Sergei Diaghilev so unravelling his name was troublesome
8d Copying it involves chap securing it (7)
IMITANT IT contains (involves) MAN (chap), in turn containing (securing) IT
9d Judge ousting Liberal in vote: constituency’s source of sudden exit (8,4)
EJECTION SEAT J (judge) replacing (ousting) L (liberal) in E[l]ECTION (vote) + SEAT (constituency)
Straw poll: would you normally say “ejection seat” or “ejector seat”?
10d Person with job application having nothing in support (9)
APPOINTEE APP (application) + O (nothing) + IN + TEE (support)
11d Take care of note, money-bag not opening (5)
NURSE N (note) + pURSE (money-bag) without the first letter (not opening)
12d Development of US careers brought about a new peace of mind (11)
REASSURANCE — An anagram of (development of) US CAREERS put around (brought about) A and N (new)
19d Lively horse crossing North Mexican river (3,4)
CON BRIO COB (horse) around (crossing) N (north) + RIO (Mexican river)
22d Club rugby player receiving cheers making squad (9)
BATTALION BAT (club) and LION (rugby player) taking in (receiving) TA (cheers)
24d Australian effrontery, dismissing me in hard times (9)
AUSTERITY AUS (Australian) + TE[me]RITY (effrontery) dismissing ME
25d Excellent blokes probing officer’s complaint (7)
AILMENT AI (excellent) + MEN (blokes) inside (probing) LT (officer)
26d Most of story about Channel Island is describing rising heat (7)
THERMAL Most of TALe (story) around (about) HERM (Channel Island)
30d Mural in convent: reworked that less nearer the ceiling (3,4,6)
THE LAST SUPPER — An anagram of (reworked) THAT LESS + UPPER (nearer the ceiling).
Funny, for such a famous mural I could not have told you its location
32d What superintendent should do, no longer bothered by religious office (7)
OVERSEE OVER (no longer bothered by) + SEE (religious office)
33d Be avoiding shift to wheat-farming perhaps and fail (4,1,7)
COME A CROPPER — BE avoiding [be]COME A CROPPER (shift to wheat-farming perhaps)
34d Air-stunt chap leaving rear of zeppelin, possibly? (11)
PARACHUTIST — An anagram of (… possibly) AIRSTU[n]T CHAP leaving the last letter (rear) of zeppeliN
37d Misbehaving is unnoticed? Stop (11)
DISCONTINUE — An anagram of (misbehaving) IS UNNOTICED
38d Mostly stupid old man, mostly stupid in an individual way (10)
IDIOPATHIC — All but the last letter of (mostly) IDIOt (stupid) + PA (old man) + mostly THICk (stupid)
40d Swallowed river in entire oasis (5-4)
WATER-HOLE ATE (swallowed) and R (river) in WHOLE (entire)
41d English agree to retain English naval force for ever (9)
ETERNALLY E (English) + TALLY (agree) keeping (to retain) E (English) and RN (naval force)
43d Is French or Italian article seen in luxury resort? (7)
ESTORIL EST (is, French) + OR + IL (Italian article).
Another one for which I had to rely on the wordplay – the resort in Portugal is a bit upmarket for me!
44d Marked down as absent from Eastern delta (7)
NOTATED NOT AT (absent from) + E (Eastern) + D (delta)
46d Feel bad, with bird losing foremost flying aid (7)
AILERON AIL (feel bad) + hERON (bird) without the first letter (losing foremost)
48d River’s ending in lake? Not so (5)
FALSE FALS (river’s) + the last letter of (ending in) lakE
50d Avoided abandoning Mum in a distressed state (5)
IRKED — [sh]IRKED (avoided) leaving (abandoning) SH (mum)

4 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1615 – 13 May 2023. That Don’t Impresario Me Much”

  1. DNK LION–figured it was the name of a team–or PLAINT in the required sense; or RAI. Pretty straightforward; like Kitty, I found no COD candidates. I say ‘ejector’, and wrote it in or started to, until I saw it would leave an empty square.

  2. I wrote ‘hard’ on my printout but resorted to aids only once, at 1dn where I was unable to unravel the anagram even with all the checkers in place. I didn’t know the word, however having looked it up I realised that I learnt its opposite, centrifugal, at school over 60 years ago and have remembered it ever since.

    ESTORIL was the only other unknown answer but there were a few other meanings or shades of meaning I needed to look up after the event.

    I lost time wanting 52ac to be PURPLE PROSE but I was unable to justify it or think past it until the missing checkers had fallen into place.

  3. A hard one. I originally abandoned it 92 per cent done after more than two hours. Coming back to it this morning, I took another 20 minutes to finish off the last six: PERIOD, IDIOPATHIC, ULTRAVIOLET, PURPLE PATCH, SUPERCARGO and NOTATED.

    None particularly difficult, but DNK PURPLE PATCH in this sense (PROSE, yes, but I thought a purple patch was something else), SUPERCARGO (from wordplay, but baffled by the definition) or IDIOPATHIC (but I started with IDIO(t) and the rest followed). I liked TIN(y).

    I would say ejector seat. We’ve had this before. As I remember it, “ejection seat” is the “proper” name, used by people in the industry, but the rest of us say ejector seat.

  4. I’ve just done this today, which gives me the pleasure of going straight to your blog. Thanks Kitty. 7dn didn’t impresario me either. Happily, an internet search typing “impresario” followed by a random name starting with DA and ending with EV found the fellow.

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