Times Cryptic Jumbo 1635 – 16 September 2023. Cryptic cocktail party (crackpot laity?)

Hello everyone.  Sorry this blog is a little late.  The trouble with leaving things until the last minute is that sometimes that minute turns out not to be the best minute.  Done piecemeal, so no idea of time, and took a couple of shortcuts along the way.  It seemed harder when doing than when writing up, which isn’t surprising as my brain is all over the place at the moment.

There are some touches here I thought really neat, for example the exchange at meeting in 33d.  Lots of cryptic definitions, a couple of cocktails (an alternative drink is available in 41d) and a party or two to enjoy.  Thanks setter!

Definitions are underlined in the clues below.  In the explanations, quoted indicators are in italics, specified [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 In retrospect, reveals cuts a long way down (9)
MISERABLE BARES (reveals) in reverse (in retrospect …) goes into (cuts) MILE (a long way)
6a Parking in a side street, nearly managed to get free of traffic (13)
PEDESTRIANISE P (parking) + IN A SIDE STREEt nearly anagrammed (managed)
13a Country regularly dismissed Freud, really (5)
RURAL — On removal of alternate letters (regularly dismissed) fReUd, ReAlLy
14a Proposes changing king and tyrant (9)
OPPRESSOR PROPOSES anagrammed (changing) + R (king)
15a Bank even holding concession back (7)
DEPOSIT TIED (even) holding SOP (concession) all reversed (back)
16a Instructional film for union of gold-diggers? (3,2,5,1,11)
HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE — Cryptic definition
18a Where plane flies and displays speed (8)
AIRSPACE AIRS (displays) + PACE (speed)
20a Lady is twice affected by this kidney treatment (8)
DIALYSIS — An anagram of (… affected) LADY IS IS (is twice)
21a Drive to install green furnishings (5)
DECOR DR (drive) having inserted (to install) ECO (green)
23a Strip art going down quickly? (6)
DIVEST DIVEST could be an archaic way of saying “are diving” – thou art going down quickly
24a Losing out, wants to see every other pair going native in US? (6)
SIOUAN — loSIng OUt wANts missing alternate pairs of letters (every other pair going)
25a Goodness or, conversely, bad behaviour includes one’s initial deterioration (9)
CORROSION COR (goodness) + OR reversed (conversely) + SIN (bad behaviour) which includes One’s first letter (initial)
28a Cocktail — or bigger animal’s other end? (6,4)
HORSE’S NECK — … because a horse is bigger than a cock and its neck is not at its tail end.  Brandy, ginger ale and a twist of lemon peel, apparently
29a Liberate at no cost (4)
FREE — Double definition
30a Golf in November, chosen for lack of action (7)
NEGLECT G (golf) in N (November) and ELECT (chosen)
32a Uncooked food is sent back, when the fellow tucks in (7)
SASHIMI IS reversed (sent back); AS (when) and HIM (the fellow) goes inside (tucks in)
34a You’ve always selectively looked through coloured section (4)
UVEA — Part of (… selectively) yoUVE Always
35a Turned to assist staff with spike of ice (10)
DIAMANTINE — Reversed (turned) AID (to assist) + MAN (staff) + TINE (spike)
38a Basis for web pages, hardly contentless, with forward extension (9)
HYPERTEXT HardlY without inner letters (contentless) + PERT (forward) + EXT (extension).  The HT of HTML and HTTP
39a Flirted almost randomly, which isn’t important (6)
TRIFLE — An anagram of (… randomly) FLIRTEd without the last letter (… almost)
40a Reinforcement for low-level digital protection (6)
TOECAP — Cryptic definition
43a Recall most of way out stuff (5)
SERGE — Reverse (recall) all but the last letter of (most of) EGRESs (way out)
45a Order half of card-carrying actors to enter staged scene (8)
SEQUENCE Half of EQUity (card-carrying actors) going inside (to enter) an anagram of (staged) SCENE
47a Fraternity man welcomes retired personnel (8)
BRETHREN BEN (man) takes in (welcomes) RET (retired) and HR (personnel)
49a Antagonism to PC joining the wrong party? (9,13)
POLITICAL INCORRECTNESS — Definition plus whimsical interpretation
52a Who found a way to treasure a liberal and an arts graduate? (3,4)
ALI BABA A LIB (a liberal) and A BA (an arts graduate?)
53a “Putting on airs!”, I pompously interjected, making comeback with a nasal tone (9)
ADENOIDAL LADIDA (putting on airs) with ONE (I pompously) inserted (interjected), all reversed (making comeback)
54a Style of page with answer in final letter, in triplicate (5)
PZAZZ P (page) with A (answer) in ZZZ (final letter, in triplicate)
55a Changing one’s mind for the better? (13)
PSYCHOTHERAPY — Cryptic definition
56a Lead in edible parts of asparagus and cabbage (9)
SPEARHEAD SPEAR and HEAD (edible parts of asparagus and cabbage)
1d Arrange to move up lake above northern delta that’s often flooded (9)
MARSHLAND MARSHAL (arrange) raising its L (to move up lake) above N (northern) and D (delta)
2d Keen on running water, if about substitutes for hard drink (11)
SCREWDRIVER S[h]REWD (keen) on RIVER (running water) if C (about) replaces (substitutes for) H (hard)
3d Turn over Norse hero (5)
ROLLO ROLL (turn) + O (over)
4d Involvement of Marco and Ben? (8)
BROMANCE — Anagram of (involvement of) MARCO and BEN
5d Tear up yen after former loss of currency (6)
EXPIRY RIP (tear) reversed (up) and Y (yen) after EX (former)
6d Exposed to risk, facing future tooth decay? (10)
PRECARIOUS PRECARIOUS (facing future tooth decay?)
7d Record one Roman statesman’s written about Arabian concerned with punishment (12)
DISCIPLINARY DISC (record) + I (one) + PLINY (Roman statesman) is around (written about) AR (Arabian)
8d Never completed, certainly luxurious, more than needed (7)
SURPLUS SURe (certainly) and PLUSh (luxurious), each missing last letters (never completed …)
9d Inspection of space in microwaves? (5,9)
RADIO ASTRONOMY — Cryptic definition
10d Commend article on reverse of double pages (7)
APPLAUD A (article) on backwards (reverse of) DUAL (double) and PP (pages)
11d Supplying information during struggle to limit disastrous cut (11)
INSTRUCTIVE IN (during) + STRIVE (struggle) around (to limit) an anagram of (disastrous) CUT
12d Selection of fare at steakhouse? (4)
EATS Selection of farE AT Steakhouse?
17d Coarse man about to snare dark lady (8)
BRUNETTE BRUTE (coarse man) around (about) NET (to snare)
19d Tries desperately to get into deprived seat (9)
POSTERIOR — An anagram of (… desperately) TRIES to get into POOR (deprived)
22d Title‘s six seconds matter (8)
VISCOUNT VI (six) + S (seconds) + COUNT (matter)
25d Nothing left in neck after cutting fabric (8)
CHENILLE NIL (nothing) and L (left) in CHEEk (neck, impudence) on removal of the last letter (after cutting)
26d Played along for start of toccata — sitting here? (5,4)
ORGAN LOFT — Anagram of (played) ALONG FOR + the first letter (start) of Toccata
27d Way to get rid of bead collection? (14)
ANTIPERSPIRANT — Cryptic definition
28d What keeps son repeating secret? (4-4)
HUSH-HUSH HUH (what) contains (keeps) S (son) – repeating
31d Victim of Achilles‘ heel is wretched one in confined area (12)
PENTHESILEIA — Anagram of (… wretched) HEEL IS plus I (one) between (in) PENT (confined) and A (area).  Had to check this one!
33d Prosecute urgent matter with exchange at meeting being better (11)
SUPERIORITY SUE (prosecute) and PRIORITY (urgent matter) with the E and P swapped where they meet (with exchange at meeting)
36d Bang up smart vehicle, dilapidated one absorbing energy (11)
INCARCERATE IN (smart) + CAR (vehicle) + CRATE (dilapidated one) taking in (absorbing) E (energy)
37d Subtraction operation applied to column (10)
DISCECTOMY — Cryptic definition
41d Small beer made water-resistant? (4-5)
PINT-SIZED PINT (beer) + SIZED (made water resistant?)
42d Unwaveringly faithful rabbi — not his impostor! (4-4)
TRUE-BLUE — Rabbi Blue, the real one rather than a false one, would be the TRUE BLUE
44d Words to live by? Hardly! (7)
EPITAPH — Cryptic definition.  I would like mine to be “I’m fine”
46d As Iago, exposed in the earlier cost to Moor (7)
QUAYAGE QUA (as) + iAGo without outer letters (exposed) in YE (the earlier)
48d Party during peak — for the most part people believe them (6)
CREDOS DO (party) in (during) CRESt (peak) for the most part
50d Animal Crackers, part one (5)
TAPIR — Anagram of (crackers) PART I (one)
51d Basically accompany America’s top couple, hosted by their second-in-command (4)
VAMP AMerica’s first two letters (top couple) inside (hosted by) VP (their second-in-command).  Chambers: A simple and uninspired improvised accompaniment (music)

8 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1635 – 16 September 2023. Cryptic cocktail party (crackpot laity?)”

  1. I remember how much I enjoyed this puzzle until I was left with two clues unsolved, resorted to aids and saw the answers expected of us. Both were so obscure that they have never appeared before in the TfTT era (not even in a Mephisto puzzle) and few, other than scholars of Greek mythology and medics, could be expected to know: PENTHESILEIA and DISCECTOMY. Ridiculous!

    1. I’m with you on DISCECTOMY, but PENTHESILEIA came to me almost immediately–once I had a checker or two–although I would have (mis)spelled it without its final I. I expect I won’t be alone; I’m certainly not a scholar of Greek mythology.

  2. If I recall, I found this quite unenjoyable. DNK ROLLO, DISCECTOMY, HORSES NECK, PZAZZ(!), no doubt others I’ve forgotten. I had no idea how TRUE-BLUE worked, and still don’t: rabbi=true? Discuss.

    1. Rabbi Lionel Blue, most famous (to me) for his frequent sermons in the Thought-for-the-Day slot on Radio 4

  3. I had nothing in after 10 minutes, and I had other things to do that day, so I printed it off and did it on paper just picking it up from time to time and doing a bit and putting it down again. So I don’t have a time, but it took a long while. It was hard.

    Several DNKs constructed from wordplay. SIOUAN, DISCECTOMY and QUAYAGE looked possible, even probable, but UVEA and PENTHELISEIA looked totally not. So I’m not surprised that PENTHELISEIA was my undoing, with the S and L the wrong way round. Still pleased to have everything else right.

    I never parsed DIVEST or ADENOIDAL I liked the “exchange at meeting” in SUPERIORITY. Elsewhere, lots of ticks throughout on my paper copy. Special mention to AIRSPACE, EXPIRY, CORROSION, APPLAUD and my favourite the (Animal crackers part one) TAPIR.

    It has PZAZZ but it’s not a pangram; I can’t see a J?

    Blog much appreciated. Many thanks

  4. ‘Good morning Peter, good morning Sue, and good morning everyone’.
    I found this tricky, and having fought my way through it I spoiled it with a silly typo. Bah humbug.

  5. Like Jack, I’d never heard of the two words that he says are very obscure, but I disagree with some of the commenters: DISCECTOMY was obvious. I should have thought it was general knowledge that -ectomy meant removal of, as in appendectomy, gingivectomy, etc. Then one simply has to consider the CD nudge towards the vertebral column. Funny how the mind works: I’d made a note to find out from the blog how two of the clues parsed, and they are now very easy. I’m ashamed to say that one of them was a hidden.

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