Times Cryptic Jumbo 1620 – 10 June 2023. Routinely picking initials

Hi all.  No time for this as I was on holiday, panting in the shade.  It didn’t strike me as too difficult, just a few things to verify when writing up the blog.  I’m in need of convincing that 23d works but found lots to enjoy including 24a, 35d and 44d.  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 Saucy stuff from press — old man’s weekend article? (7)
PASSATA PAS (old man’s) + SAT A (weekend article?)
5a Expression of surprise after room stripped of English fabric (8)
CHAMBRAY AY (expression of surprise) after CHAMB[e]R (room) without (stripped of) E (English)
9a Jolly exploit entertains mathematician (6)
FERMAT RM (jolly – slang for a royal marine) which FEAT (exploit) surrounds (entertains)
13a Security barrier? Oddly argue this causes civilian casualties (10,6)
COLLATERAL DAMAGE COLLATERAL (security) + DAM (barrier) + oddly ArGuE
14a Ill-humour, depression borne by Councillor (6)
CHOLER HOLE (depression) held in (borne by) CR (Councillor)
16a I halt gym exercises, being totally powerful (8)
ALMIGHTY I HALT GYM is anagrammed (exercises).
I initially included “being” in the definition, i.e. the being who is totally powerful, but that would really need to be the Almighty.  I think being works ok as a link word and almighty can mean invincible, so have gone with that idea.
17a Tone reflected as a prelude to foxtrot? (4)
ECHO — Two definitions, the second referring to the NATO alphabet
18a Castle wall’s sound, abutting Caithness town field (9)
BAILIWICK — The castle wall is a BAILEY; its sound is like the first part of the answer, BAILI, which is abutting WICK (Caithness town)
20a Starts to examine Sunday papers over coffee (8)
ESPRESSO — The first letters of (starts to) Examine Sunday + PRESS (papers) + O (over)
21a A total absence of both seriousness and core attractiveness? (4,7)
ZERO GRAVITY — Two intertwined definitions, which I can’t underline separately: having no seriousness or having no attractiveness gravitationally, towards the core.  I would normally only underline the latter as the “proper” definition but never mind!
24a Time to leave street party — it’s getting louder and louder (9)
CRESCENDO — T (time) departing from (to leave) CRESCEN[t] (street) + DO (party)
25a Manufacturing facility which might make a packet (8)
SHIPYARD — A cryptic definition.  A packet (short for packet boat or packet ship) travels at regular intervals on a fixed short route, originally for the conveyance of mail
26a Retired PM trimming our excess fat (4)
FLAB — Reversed (retired), BALF[our} (PM) removing (trimming) OUR
29a Ban boyfriend, totally gutless — a dark horse (5,6)
BLACK BEAUTY BLACK (ban) + BEAU (boyfriend) + TotallY without its inner letters (gutless)
31a Hope you recover poor long lost ewe (3,4,4)
GET WELL SOON — An anagram of (poor) LONG LOST EWE
33a Shanty house on wheels? (7,4)
ROLLING HOME ROLLING HOME is the name of a sea shanty; it could also describe a house on wheels
36a Fan can view Amex crowd celebration (7,4)
MEXICAN WAVE — Make an anagram of (fan) CAN VIEW AMEX
38a Kind husband quitting brief (4)
SORT — H (husband) is quitting S[h]ORT (brief)
39a Fiancée, poorly, injected with fluorine drug (8)
CAFFEINE — An anagram of (… poorly) FIANCÉE is injected with F (fluorine)
41a Heartless Ebeneezer pops into golf club bar (9)
BRASSERIE — Without the middle letters (heartless) EbeneezeR goes inside (pops into) BRASSIE (golf club)
44a Vacancy: not very noble boring profession (11)
ACCOUNTANCY — [v]ACANCY, not V (very), with COUNT (noble) going inside (boring)
45a US locality slum marginalising southern gangsters (8)
HOODLUMS HOOD (US locality) + SLUM moving S to the end (marginalising southern)
48a Tasking RAF Tornado to escort operation (4,5)
SKIN GRAFT — TaSKING RAF Tornado is guarding (to escort) the solution
49a Bank‘s answer lacking heart  (4)
RELY REpLY (answer) without the middle letter (lacking heart)
50a Maybe anger gripping Head of Circus Smiley? (8)
EMOTICON EMOTION (maybe anger) holding (gripping) the first letter (head) of Circus : )
52a Prompts Morag finally to feature in candid paintings (6)
NUDGES — The last letter of (… finally) MoraG inside (to feature in) NUDES (candid paintings)
53a Troubled monk was neglected in confessions (16)
54a Indiscipline of kiss stolen by members of the congregation (6)
LAXITY X (kiss) inside (stolen by) LAITY (members of the congregation)
55a Chemical hailed occasionally by associate of H Jekyll (8)
ALDEHYDE — Regular letter of (… occasionally) hAiLeD by E HYDE (associate of H Jekyll)
56a Sculptor starts to explore purchasing stone from Germany (7)
EPSTEIN — The initial letters of (starts to) Explore Purchasing + STEIN (stone from Germany)
1d Dad caught mum on Nintendo’s first video game (3-3)
PAC-MAN PA (Dad) + C (caught) + MA (mum) + Nintendo’s first
2d Beguiling dancer who made John lose his head? (6)
SALOME Cryptic definition
3d For example Ms Turner upset and ill, taking potassium as a painkiller (9)
ANALGESIC EG (for example) and LANA (Ms Turner) reversed (upset) + SIC[k] (ill) removing (taking) K (potassium)
4d Spy called in over European biological weapon (5,6)
AGENT ORANGE AGENT (spy) + RANG (called) in O (over) E (European)
5d Still getting stomach upset? That’ll be the shellfish (4)
CLAM CALM (still) with the middle two letters transposed (getting stomach upset)
6d US CIA lad you trained in daring fashion (11)
AUDACIOUSLY US CIA LAD YOU anagrammed (trained)
7d Bishop: morning drinking around 50 is bewildering (11)
BAMBOOZLING B (Bishop) + AM (morning) + BOOZING (drinking) around L (50)
8d Harry, Guy, Abram — rugby regulars in dust-up (4-5)
ARGY-BARGY — Alternate letters in (… regulars) hArRy, GuY, aBrAm – RuGbY
10d Honourable to include note related to race (8)
ETHNICAL ETHICAL (honourable) containing (to include) N (note)
11d Rich guy Illuminati role I’m playing (16)
12d Bird fed northern warder (7)
TURNKEY TURKEY (bird) with the insertion of (fed) N (northern)
15d Visiting Berlin (Ger) I eschewed underwear (8)
LINGERIE — The answer is inside (visiting) BerLIN (GER) I Eschewed
19d Very large, very British upper-class Conservative old dish (4,4)
OSSO BUCO OS (very large) + SO (very) + B (British) + U (upper-class) + C + (Conservative) + O (old)
22d Bubbly, beer, cigs? They’re frozen (8)
ICEBERGS — An anagram of (bubbly) BEER, CIGS
23d Right pressure indicator mostly in another case showing this measure of inflation? (6,5,5)
RETAIL PRICE INDEX — Rpi mostly in another case leads is to RPI, and thence the answer.
When solving I just assumed we were dealing with abbreviations and didn’t stop to doubt i = indicator.  But doubt it I should have.  Nor is pi pressure indicator, my second thought.  I even checked to see if Rpi could be Right pressure indicator, but no.  So I remain confused as to what in the clue is showing that we need the first letters of these words
27d Knight, a new knight, wearing brimless cap (8)
BANNERET A, N (new) and N (knight) inside (wearing) BERET (brimless cap)
28d Information about loch and valley (4)
GLEN GEN (information) around (about) L (loch)
30d Work with needles, turning cap of tattoo ink (4)
KNIT — Reversed (turning), the first letter (cap) of Tattoo and INK
32d Former partner, rising baronet, stole outside reference work (8)
TEXTBOOK EX (former partner) and the reversal of (rising) BT (baronet) with TOOK (stole) outside
34d Waif from Indian state to wander off (2,6)
GO ASTRAY GOA STRAY (waif from Indian state)
35d Sister of Anne Boleyn I met roughly around the end of October (5,6)
EMILY BRONTE — An anagram of (… roughly) BOLEYN I MET around the last letter (end) of OctobeR
36d Compromise when seeking a middle-of-the-road outcome? (4,7)
MEET HALFWAY — A literal “middle-of-the-road” outcome could be to MEET HALFWAY
37d The great old man Cagney endlessly tours NYC district (11)
CHARLEMAGNE CAGNEy without its last letter (endlessly) goes around (tours) HARLEM (NYC district)
40d Passionate Catalan, if aroused (9)
FANATICAL — An anagram of (… around) CATALAN, IF
42d A part of this paper occasionally? (9)
SOMETIMES SOME (a part of) + TIMES (this paper)
43d Discrimination ruling in court (8)
JUDGMENT — A double definition
44d London side roads going north, following a river (7)
ARSENAL LANES (roads) reversed (going north) after (following) A and R (river)
46d Formerly carrying second century candlestick (6)
SCONCE ONCE (formerly) underneath (carrying) S (second) and C (century)
47d Sons in workers organisation displaying harmony (6)
UNISON S (sons) in UNION (workers organisation)
51d Zeus’s daughter seen within walls of Egyptian city (4)
HEBE — The answer is seen within the outer letters (walls) of tHEBEs (Egyptian city)

10 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1620 – 10 June 2023. Routinely picking initials”

  1. 23d – best I can do is R (right) + (most of) pig = pi, in another case = PI => RPI

    Chambers has this under the entry for pig “a device that is propelled through a pipeline or duct by pneumatic, hydraulic or gas pressure, for clearing, cleaning, tracking or scanning purposes, etc”. Seem like a stretch? Try today’s jumbo…

    Anyway I was 30m for this one but as usual with jumbos I was done in by a typo, in this case TURMKEY

  2. I had been going to dispute AY as an expression of surprise (5ac) as I thought it was one of agreement and AH would be surprise, but I now see the dictionaries sanction it.

    I was also puzzled by exactly how the RPI thing worked, not that I had a problem getting the answer.

  3. As usual, recollection a bit dull after a fortnight. I wrote ‘reasonably straightforward’ but noted several DNKs, including 1a and 1d – my ignorance, I fear! COD – ‘EMILY BRONTE’. As for 23d I didn’t notice the problem until seeing your analysis, but now agree that I can’t quite see a ‘sound’ parsing. As always, thanks and appreciation.

  4. Just a smidgin over the hour, so at the quicker end of the range for me. At 23dn I just took I for indicator, but I agree it doesn’t work. I loved LouWeed’s PIG suggestion but, as he says, that really is a stretch.
    I liked HOODLUMS with the S in SLUM “marginalised” and CLAM from “calm” with an upset stomach.
    DNK BANNERET, ALDEHYDE, without form at the front, or that Thebes was in Egypt.
    LOI CLAM (and COD perhaps) which I kept going back to, fighting off the urge to settle for CRAB.
    Many thanks for the blog

  5. This was such a whiz for me, completing in 33.35, I failed to realise that I had not sorted out the wordplay for 23d. I still haven’t, sorry!

  6. If you search for “pi pressure indicator”, you’ll find a number of unrelated sites that use this abbreviation, so it does seem to exist in the world – personally I’d prefer such things be in one of the usual dictionaries or else it’s the start of a slippery slope.

  7. Is there still a meet up scheduled today at The George? I can’t find any information, yet have it in my diary.

  8. LONDON MEETING NEXT SATURDAY. We are having a London get together on Saturday 24th June from 11:30 at The George, Borough High Street, Southwark, Greater London, SE1 1NH. All are welcome. Your Weekend Quick Cryptic Compilers and several TfTT bloggers and regular commenters will be there. We are also expecting Mick Hodgkin, the Times Puzzles Editor, Richard Rogan, Times Crossword Editor and Pete Biddlecombe, Sunday Times Crossword Editor and founder of Times for The Times to drop in. The George no longer allows tables outside to be booked so some of us will arrive earlier than 11:30 to bag a couple of tables at the back on the right hand side of the courtyard. There could be up to 20 of us in total. Do come along if you can.

Comments are closed.