Times Cryptic Jumbo 1623 – 1 July 2023

Hello again. This Jumbo I thought was a little easier than average, except for one or two problems I had finishing off the NW corner. However, there are some really neat clues here, and our setter is clearly adept at building good and distracting surface readings, of which there are many. Look at some of the early down clues, for example.
So I really enjoyed solving this, one of the best Jumbos I remember. What did you think?

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

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 Engineers haul back shell (6)
TRACER –  RE and CART, reversed. I had trouble in this NW corner and it took me time to stop thinking about cowrie shells and similar..
5 Small amount of liquid food put before prisoner (7)
9 A racket precedes wild riot in slaughterhouse (8)
ABATTOIR – A + BAT (racket) + *(RIOT). One of those things I suppose we need but prefer not to think about …
13 The very antithesis of Lethe as a literary device (6,2,13)
STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS – Lethe being the river of forgetfulness. There are five rivers in Hades and the other four, should you ever reach there, are the Acheron, the Styx, the Cocytus, and the Phlegethon..
14 A lot of covet and run to get hitched? That gives cover (8)
ENVELOPE – ENV(y) (covet) + ELOPE. We Heyerites are more than familiar with Gretna Green and elopement ..
15 Very serious musical ability where birds live (7)
EARNEST – EAR (musical ability) + NEST, where most birds live. Or birdboxes, as we call them in these parts 🙂
16 European authorised to bring out (6)
ELICIT – E + LICIT, legal.
17 Who might find ore of sort with copper for smelting? (10)
20 Indecisive and daft girl twice accepting hearts (12)
SHILLYSHALLY – H, inserted twice into SILLY SALLY, your daft girl. I would have said shillyshally was a verb, not an adjective, but not for the first time, Collins disagrees..
23 Bullets retained by retiring commandos (4)
AMMO – hidden, rev., in cOMMAndos
24 Repudiate record sounding weak (8)
DISCLAIM – DISC + LAIM, sounds like LAME and a kosher homophone if ever there was one
26 Problem breaks revolutionary northern English yarn (8)
CHENILLE – CHE (the world’s most famous revolutionary, or terrorist, depending on point of view) + ILL (problem) in N(orthern) E(nglish). I was vaguely aware of chenille as a fabric, but not a yarn although it is the first definition in Collins
29 Constantly changing sequence of cabbage I cook with range (12)
KALEIDOSCOPE – KALE + I DO (Mrs W is “doing” a lamb fillet, as I write) + SCOPE, range. Did we all have one of these as children, and did they keep us amused for about 2 mins, tops?
30 Perhaps unsettle disturbed oldies once (10)
32 Character actor’s words have singular sympathy (10)
KINDLINESS – KIND (character, sort) + LINES (actor’s words) + S
34 Study backed name and identity of birds from the north (12)
SCANDINAVIAN – SCAN (study) + N + ID rev., + AVIAN, of birds.
36 Utensil for lifting nits and parasites (3,5)
EGG SLICE – EGGS (nits are lice eggs) + LICE. Never seen or used one of these, apparently they are just a spatula
38 Failing to start barrier around pit in area of raised land (8)
EMINENCE – MINE (pit) inside (f)ENCE. A rather poetical name for a hill or hillock
39 Priest’s relation of thing hard to pass through needle in sermon? (4)
LAMA – Well, I puzzled over this one a bit. I think the idea is that camels can’t easily pass through the eye of a needle, (Matthew ch19, v16-30) and a LLAMA is a camelid, a close relative of the camel. And your Tibetan priest sounds like one. It just felt like one step too far. But I got there ..
41 Novel garment tailored as befitting minister’s function (12)
43 With less hair, pelt is rubbish (10)
BALDERDASH – BALDER (less hair) + DASH, pelt, rush. A nice word, balderdash..
44 Language of British English — right English used in Britain? (6)
BERBER – B(ritish) + E(nglish) + R(ight); + E inside BR, also British..
46 Laundering capital is out of fashion (7)
WASHING – WASHING(ton), ton = fashion, or used to. One for the Heyerites
48 Projection starting price has to shoot up (8)
SPROCKET – SP (starting price) + ROCKET, to shoot upwards. I would have said a sprocket was a wheel with teeth on it, but Collins says it also refers to a tooth itself. Hmf.
50 Possibly lip-read chronic emotion? An aid to eavesdropping (11,10)
DIRECTIONAL MICROPHONE – *(LIPREAD CHRONIC EMOTION). A clever 21-letter anagram .. huge anagrams are not my strongest suit, but fortunately you can nearly always biff them, when you have a crosser or two.
51 Steamship has loaded bananas first in a profitless venture (4,4)
52 Film I and others back (7)
WESTERN – WE (I and others) + STERN (back). Not a difficult clue, but elegant.
53 Lines in recipe tending not to give milk (6)
DRYISH – RY (railway lines) in DISH, recipe.
2 Manufacture singles — that uses vinyl, perhaps (5)
RESIN – Hidden (which took me ages to spot!) in manufactuRE SINgles. Nor was I aware of vinyl as a resin.
3 Turns on cast foundation (11)
CORNERSTONE – CORNERS (turns) on TONE (cast, hue)
4 Considered a red nose funny (8)
5 Pinched part of foot around top of toe (5)
STOLE – T(oe) in SOLE, part of a foot
6 Vague relative needs care at heart (7)
7 Secret agent upset to become the focus of attention (6,5)
8 Suitable position in life is fine without husband (5)
NICHE – H(usband) in NICE (fine)
9 A Pole, regularly godly, in charge of the papacy (9)
APOSTOLIC – A POST (pole) + gOdLy + IC
10 Division in church exists in the middle of Wales (5)
AISLE – IS (exists) in (w)ALE(s). Another elegant surface reading
11 Fearful agitation of idiot parent being given the runaround? (11)
TREPIDATION – *(IDIOT PARENT) .. and another!
12 Drop in at home as in the past (7)
INSTILL – IN (at home) + STILL (as in the past)
18 Calling after sheep running wild (9)
RAMPAGING – RAM (sheep) + PAGING (calling)
19 Attempts something before do in Italian city (7)
TRIESTE – TRIES (attempts) + TE, a note before DO, a deer, a female deer…
21 Most urgent — one minute to intervene in a dispute (9)
IMMEDIATE – I + M(inute) + MEDIATE, to intervene in a dispute
22 Suggesting what shops do about parking (8)
SPELLING – P(arking) in SELLING, what shops do. Spelling something more or less equates to suggesting it, though i would say that (eg) spelling disaster was stronger than just a suggestion
25 Place to brood after constant tiffs — see enemies all around here (5,4)
CROWS NEST – C + ROWS (tiffs) + NEST, a place to raise a brood. The word “Enemies” in the clue would appear to be superfluous, since you can just as easily see friends from one, or just land etc.
27 Girl seen around Mallorcan city or Canaries one (3,6)
LAS PALMAS – PALMA, capital of the Balearics, in LASS (girl), to make the capital of the Canaries. Neat!
28 Try-out taking days for the second new member of group (8)
ADDITION – AUDITION, with the second letter replaced by DD, days.
31 Most of legal party caught overturning supplement to will (7)
CODICIL – LICI(t) (legal) + DO + C, all reversed
33 Duke is parliamentarian editor tore to pieces? (11)
DISMEMBERED – D(uke) IS MEMBER (of parliament) + ED.
34 Unwise passages in sound in area of Cornwall (6,5)
SCILLY ISLES – Sounds like SILLY AISLES. As indeed it does. I had always thought of the Scilly Isles as somehow separate from Cornwall. I suppose when Orkney & Shetland secede, they will be next .. off to join the Channel Isles perhaps.
35 Valley police department set up conservative saying goodbye (11)
VALEDICTORY – VALE (valley) + CID (police department) rev., + TORY, conservative.
37 European rambling sees wild plant in the Alps (9)
EDELWEISS – E + *(SEES WILD). I read once that the Swiss were amazed that anyone would want to write a famous song about such an undistinguished plant. Though it looks nice enough to me.
40 Having several feet oddly part-toed (8)
TETRAPOD – *(PART TOED). Having four feet, to be more precise. The words foot and feet in a clue always make me nervous, in case they refer to those ghastly iambic trophes or similar.
42 At least three in Italy could be late (7)
OVERDUE – I am guessing that DUE in Italian is two… but as befits a blogger I have just looked it up to confirm that it is. So OVER DUE is a multilingual way of saying more than two.
43 Attract worker holding a lot of responsibility (7)
BEGUILE – GUIL(t) (responsibility) in BEE, your industrious worker
45 Page taken from directory (5)
RECTO – hidden, though not very much, in diRECTOry. The one that isn’t VERSO.
47 Tendon with supporting function (5)
SINEW – SINE (function, the ratio of the opposite side of a given acute angle in a triangle to the hypotenuse) + W, with
48 Father has new and attractive woman (5)
SIREN – SIRE (father) + N(ew)
49 Odds of rugby game not starting (5)
EVENS – (s)EVENS (rugby game). Strange, that odds can be evens.

Author: JerryW

I love The Times crosswords..

6 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1623 – 1 July 2023”

  1. I didn’t care much for this one, if I recall correctly. I’ve got “feh” written by several clues, to indicate dissatisfaction with the surface: breaks …yarn? changing sequence of cabbage ? I did like 43ac BALDERDASH.

  2. Easy. Completed in one session. Like our blogger I also looked twice at SHILLYSHALLY not being clued as a verb, but that was my only query.

  3. I also found this on the easier side, taking just a few seconds over 30 minutes. I was rather puzzled by LAMA but concluded it had to be that with similar reasoning to Jerry. LOI ELICIT fixed the error I had with INSTALL (which wouldn’t parse) rather than the correct answer INSTILL. I also tried to make REGARD work for 1A (it fits the wordplay) until I saw TRACER. TRIESTE was my COD. Thanks Jerry and setter.

  4. 1hr 12mins, good and quick for me. KINDLINESS caused me some trouble until character=kind finally clicked. Like others, I balked at 20ac. It gave me a shillyshally moment. (There. That must be how it works as an adjective.)

    I liked “unsettle” as the definition for DECOLONISE, and BALDERDASH and SOUPCON but COD to WESTERN for its elegance, as Jerry puts it

  5. One typo at SCANDANAVIAN, damn. And I had ANTELOPE for 14A

    Needed help with KALEIDOSCOPE. Didn’t like the defintion, surely the tube itself is the K-scope, not the “changing sequence”

    I think the key to the LAMA clue is “relation of”, indicating a homophone, so LAMA=LLAMA. But its a convoluted clue.


Comments are closed.