Times Cryptic Jumbo 1638 – 7 October 2023

Definitely on the easier side, this one. I had it all done and dusted inside 30 minutes, very unusual for me even to get it all done in one session, never mind as quickly as that.

.. Or, maybe, I am just coming on song in time for the Times Crossword Championships, which are taking this very day, in London? Ha, dream on Jerry. Still, my very best wishes and good luck go to all of the Championship contenders today. Don’t forget, The George is open all day for commiserations/analyses/congratulations.

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 Woman entertaining cricket side in Italian city (6)
VERONA – ON (the leg side in cricket, as if you didn’t know already) in VERA, a lady. I’m not sure where Verona is and I haven’t been there, but it didn’t matter because I knew there are Two Gentlemen from there.
5 Piece of writing originally studied in father’s day (7)
PASSAGE – S(tudied) in PA’S AGE.
9 Independence of a university man receiving high honour (8)
AUTONOMY – OM (high honour) in A U TONY
13 Suffer verbal abuse?  A stranger on a bus may ask to (2,4,5,3,4,3)
14 Objections of experts holding trial (8)
PROTESTS – TEST (trial) in PROS, experts, of one sort, or another.
15 Comfortless role in school sickbay (7)
16 Like a coward, react noisily to sudden pain (6)
17 Uncommonly loud surgical appliance, one used in Algerian port (10)
STENTORIAN – STENT (surgical thingy) + I in ORAN. No Algerian ports came to mind, but the STENT and a crosser or two sorted it.
20 Old method of punishment avoiding spades and drill, say (7,5)
DUCKING STOOL – DUCKING (avoiding) + S + TOOL, perhaps a drill.
23 Dress Mickey’s mousy girlfriend talked of? (4)
MINI – sounds like “Minnie.” And not Olive Oyl as initially occurred to me
24 Son making fun of ornamental needlework (8)
26 His sonata endlessly contrived to amaze (8)
29 Docker yearns to meet equestrian? Not so, at first (12)
LONGSHOREMAN – LONGS + HOR(s)EMAN. An American term for a docker.
30 Looking into Irish lineage, one gets shot (10)
32 Servant girl disturbed diner in wine store, right away (10)
34 Single state of Society playwright arresting second gangster (12)
SPINSTERHOOD – S(ociety) + S(econd) in PINTER, + HOOD, a gangster.
36 For example, a woman’ll collect good thin porcelain (8)
EGGSHELL – EG + G(ood) + SHE’LL. I’m such a pleb I think of emulsion paint, rather than china.
38 Manxman possibly, one dogged by malicious defamation (8)
39 Sort of test covering a defensive water-filled ditch (4)
MOAT – A in MOT (test)
41 Incompatibility of trendy crook thus meeting granny at church (12)
INCONSONANCE – IN + CON + SO + NAN + CE. An Ikea clue
43 Composer briefly hemmed in by bounder’s dog (10)
ROTTWEILER – WEIL(l) in ROTTER, a bounder or cad. Kurt Weill, composer of The Threepenny Opera.
44 Current taking explorer from one side to the other (6)
ACROSS – AC (current) + ROSS. James Clark Ross, well-known Arctic and Antarctic explorer. There is a wide range of things named after him, including a crater on the moon, a sea, an ice shelf, a mountain, a seagull and a species of seal.
46 Film brought back to plug old injury in back of head (7)
OCCIPUT – PIC, rev., in O(ld) CUT
48 Sour woman taking chap round north-east (8)
VINEGARY – NE (northeast) in VI (a woman) + GARY (a chap)
50 Issue a challenge that’s involved hero that’s now performing at Bayreuth? (5,4,3,2,3,4)
THROW ONES HAT IN THE RING – *(HERO THATS NOW) + IN THE RING, Wagner’s Ring Cycle being something of a Bayreuth speciality.
51 One offering to be more affectionate (8)
TENDERER – DD, I guess
52 Furtiveness of duck taking time in quiet environment (7)
STEALTH – TEAL (duck) + T(ime) in SH, quiet
53 A piece of cake daughters received in hand-out (6)
DODDLE – DD in DOLE, a handout
2 Something that glows at the end of three months? (5)
EMBER – as in September, or Nov or Dec.
3 Exceptional? Not in status (11)
OUTSTANDING – OUT (not in) + STANDING, status
4 Reference initially understood in the whole of Jerusalem (8)
ALLUSION – U(nderstood) in ALL SION
5 Wartime captives transfixed by unknown part of Wales (5)
POWYS – Y (unknown, along with X and Z) in POWS, prisoners of war.
6 Family member’s measures, old and new (7)
STEPSON – STEPS (measures, dances) + O + N
7 Fellow embracing Roman law, an Egyptian citizen (11)
8 He painted sailors in east of France (5)
ERNST – RN (sailors) in EST, French for East
9 Country bloke in sports stadium having change of heart (9)
ARGENTINA – GENT (bloke) in ARENA, with the E changed to I.
10 Worn out Rechabite thrown into Scottish river (5)
TATTY – The Scottish river is evidently the Tay, as it isn’t the Dee, so the TT must be a Rechabite, and so it is. Being of pretty much the opposite persuasion, there was no way I would know that; fortunately, it didn’t matter
11 Like a branch of philosophy misrepresented in a plot once (3-8)
NEO-PLATONIC – *(IN A PLOT ONCE). There is a lengthy Wiki article on Neoplatonism, and I am doing you a favour by not providing a link to it, believe me ..
12 Second note about a woman member of Cosa Nostra (7)
MAFIOSO – A FI in MO + SO. Fi being short for Fiona; the only mention I can recall was in Four Weddings and a Funeral.
18 In Herts town, worry over cut of clothes (9)
TAILORING – AIL + O(ver) in TRING, one of very few Herts towns I knew. It is at one end of The Ridgeway, one of Englands national trails that I have walked, twice.

Having trouble equating AIL and worry, at least in a substitution.

19 Dissolute males involved in current exam (7)
IMMORAL – MM (males x2) in I (current) + ORAL (exam)
21 Perception of minor employee no one can set up (9)
COGNITION – COG, the minor employee, + NO.1 TIN rev.
22 As harvest is in autumn, it’s understood (8)
25 Friend of fellow member with girl about ten (9)
COMPANION – CO-MP, with IO in ANN, a girl. IO = 10, is that OK? Presumably it is.. they do look similar, after all.
27 Ultimately many poets can somehow give an offbeat performance? (9)

Collins: “Syncopation: the quality that music has, when the weak beats in a bar are stressed instead of the strong ones.”

28 People demanding payment for battery boosters (8)
31 Examine pitch initially during cricket, perhaps (7)
INSPECT – P(itch) in INSECT, eg a cricket.
33 Shamed donor hides outside entrance to United’s ground (11)
34 Sadly reveal split in tableware, perhaps (6,5)
SILVER PLATE – *(REVEAL SPLIT). Not much of that in our house.. I think there may be a candlestick or two, somewhere
35 One that hovers, smelling rat at first in offer (11)
HUMMINGBIRD – HUMMING (smelling) + R(at) in BID (offer)
37 Squire at lower level in country road bv river (9)
LANDOWNER – DOWN in LANE + R(iver). Not the finest surface reading today!
40 Bird-keeper pale woman’s located in South Dakota (8)
SWANHERD – WAN (pale) + HER in SD.
42 Canoodle on moor — in formal wear! (7)
NECKTIE – NECK (canoodle) + TIE, moor
43 Further hearing set up in a while outside Rhode Island (7)
RETRIAL – LATER, rev, containing RI.
45 Thus you and I originally recognised a broadcaster? (5)
SOWER – SO + WE + R(ecognised)
47 Bags  patients? (5)
48 Make an impression supporting head of vehicle plant (5)
VETCH – V(ehicle) + ETCH, to make an impression
49 Equipment used by the Spanish star (5)

Author: JerryW

I love The Times crosswords..

3 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1638 – 7 October 2023”

  1. I didn’t care much for this one as I recall. The setter seems inordinately fond of random guys and gals: VERA, VI, GARY, ANN, FI, TONY, & ADRIAN. DNK SMOCKING, or, of course RECHABITE. We’ve had IO clued by ‘ten’ before; a couple of times, I think.

  2. Mostly very easy but I got bored with the final unsolved clue as an hour came onto the clock, and looked it up only to kick myself and wish I had persevered. This was the second time within a couple of weeks that ACROSS had eluded me as my LOI and I kicked myself on that occasion too. Remember the puzzle when the clue was defining it with reference to the column heading?

  3. O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
    Alone and palely loitering?

    54:56. At last a sub-60-minute Jumbo, an outlier from my current 2 or 3 hour norm. Just what I needed. Held up most, I guess, but not much, by ALEXANDRIAN where LEX didn’t register with me till afterwards and Adrian was well hidden among the other fellows Alan Alex and Ian. From a close field, I’ll pick COD VINEGARY for the random couple Vi and Gary, and WOD DODDLE because it was.
    My thanks to Setter and Blogger

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