Times Cryptic Jumbo 1643 – 11 November 2023

Hello again. This Jumbo I thought was fairly easy, with no nho’s at all, and a steady solve in under an hour. 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 In favour of National Trust, getting round quickly (6)
4 One adding type of fertiliser including iodine and gold (10)
COMPOSITOR – I(odine) in COMPOST, + OR (gold). I liked the surface misdirection..
10 Soldier returning in vehicle in Havana? (5)
CIGAR – GI rev. in CAR.
14 Plant I weed less is all over the place (9)
EDELWEISS – *(I WEED LESS). I remember reading that the Austrians were unhappy with the song when the Sound of Music came out, thinking it oversentimental and wishy-washy, and that edelweiss was an unremarkable flower, not worth such a fuss. Wikipedia says that they like it a lot more now that the film attracts more tourists to Austria than Mozart does ..
15 Weapon material is rank (5,8)
LANCE CORPORAL – LANCE (weapon) + CORPORAL, material, as in corporal punishment I suppose. I would use corporeal myself
16 In part, thespian is touring player (7)
PIANIST – Hidden, as above.
17 Overwhelm small dam (7)
SMOTHER – S(mall) + MOTHER, dam
18 Slander about drug carrier endlessly returning by New York (7)
CALUMNY – CA (about), + MUL(e) rev., + NY. Drug mules appear on the news now and again, usually tourists protesting their innocence..
19 Dull transoceanic journey where one shouldn’t get run down (10,8)
PEDESTRIAN CROSSING – PEDESTRIAN (dull) + CROSSING, what one does on oceans.
21 Booster, say, with millions put in post (4)
JAMB – M(illions) in JAB. I seem to have had dozens of the things, over the past few years.
24 Dart, perhaps, to tear the number “4” from board (5)
RIVER – RIVE (to tear) + (boa)R(d). The IV in the answer and 4 in the clue made this tricky to parse
26 Pounced on a doctor with uniform removed (8)
AMBUSHED – A + MB + U + SHED, a neat charade clue
27 Nice grassy areas surrounded by pine (8)
PLEASANT – LEAS (grassy areas) in PANT (to pine for)
29 Roman poet has sections with no page in which people fight (7,4)
MARTIAL ARTS – MARTIAL + (p)ARTS. Marcus Valerius Martialis, known as Martial, said to be the inventor of the epigram.
30 Arranged a late lunch I imagine (11)
32 Drunken order for brass hats (4,7)
HIGH COMMAND – HIGH (drunken) + COMMAND (order)
35 Figure with many faces or icon heads arranged oddly (11)
ICOSAHEDRON – *(OR ICON HEADS). Icosahedra are regular solids with 20 equilateral triangular faces.
37 Ability to work out odd menu with a spicy character (8)
39 Tungsten mass perhaps gone for scrap (5,3)
WRITE OFF – W (tungsten, chemical symbol thereof) + RITE (eg a mass) + OFF, gone.
40 Who brought us prize book in Christmas wrapping? (5)
NOBEL – B(ook) in NOEL
43 Egyptian cross at Nut, Khonsu and Horus’s origins (4)
ANKH – first letters of At, Nut, Khonsu and Horus. the last three all being Egyptiand gods or goddesses
44 Main qualm that limits UK’s ability to move to the right? (7,11)
CENTRAL RESERVATION – CENTRAL (main) + RESERVATION (qualm). What dual carriageways have. UK is a necessary addition since some misguided countries drive on the right.
47 Entertainer’s rubbish on seaside promenade (7)
PIERROT – PIER, a seaside promenade, and ROT, a pier
48 Throne Chinese dynasty’s threatening (7)
LOOMING – LOO (throne, slang word for a lavatory) + MING, the last Han Chinese dynasty between 1368 and 1644
50 What are often dropped  both sides of Harwich? (7)
AITCHES – I wasn’t quite sure what to underline here, but it seems to work as a DD.
51 Unfortunately overrates true discoveries of value (8-5)
52 Repeated a couple of points about land free from prejudices (9)
ENLIGHTEN – LIGHT (land, alight) in two ENs, points of the compass. “Free” is a verb in this context
53 Peevish note written by pen (5)
TESTY – TE (note: a drink with jam and bread) + STY, a pen, usually for pigs
54 Blow about past number returning penniless (5-5)
STONY-BROKE – BY (past) + NO, both rev. in STROKE, a blow
55 Girl’s pretty halting initially in Scandinavian (6)
DAPHNE – P(retty) + H(alting), in DANE, your Scandinavian
1 Who took children’s dish and ladle (one’s coming a bit late) (4,5)
PIED PIPER – PIE (dish) + DIPPER (ladle) with the I moved back one letter. Perhaps not the happiest of surface readings
2 Man — not Charlie — rushed port repeatedly (4,3,4)
OVER AND OVER – (c)OVE (man) + RAN (rushed) + DOVER (port). Another tricky clue to parse
3 No countrymen admit wearing formal attire outside (7)
TOWNIES – OWN (admit) in TIES, formal attire, one of the least useful bits. I read (in The Times) that Prince William never wears one; but a quick google search shows otherwise
5 What’s green and round in its present state (5)
6 Collie’s paws ruined bed linen (11)
7 Fault heard with plate on quiet gear system (11)
SYNCHROMESH – SYN (fault, heard) + CHROME (plate) + SH, quiet. I learnt to drive on an old Ford with no synchromesh, which made double-declutching necessary. Gearboxes have come on a lot since then, thank heavens.
8 Speculate chap needs increase in pay (8)
THEORISE – THEO, random chap, + RISE
9 Where crown may conceal trouble with origin over channel (4,5)
ROOT CANAL – ROOT (origin) + CANAL) channel. Just writing it in made me feel queasy
10 A prune served up under copper dome (6)
CUPOLA – CU (copper, Cu) + A LOP (a prune), rev.
11 Letter about a right cold dish mostly being mixed spices (5,6)
GARAM MASALA – A R(ight) in GAMMA, + SALA(d), most of a cold dish.
12 Put down again for broadcast (5)
13 Queen given choice fruit (8,4)
20 Wild boar are left living among trees (8)
22 Bird attacked another one (7)
BITTERN – BIT TERN. Two birds in one clue, I hope Astro_Nowt doesn’t see that!
23 I am inclined to follow girl from Near East region (8)
GALILEAN – GAL + I LEAN, or am inclined. Galilee is a large region in Northern Israel and Southern Lebanon, and not a very happy place at present I expect.
25 Pass passenger vehicle with daughter (8)
RAILCARD – RAILCAR (passenger vehicle) + D(aughter). I have one, being a Senior Citizen these days
28 Policemen outside work go after nearly all drinks (8)
ALCOPOPS – AL(l) (“nearly all”) + OP (work) in COPS, the police.
29 Fixation about house plant (7)
MAHONIA – HO(use) in MANIA, a fixation. I had heard of mahonias, just barely. Mrs says they are a bush with yellow flowers, and apparently we have several in the garden.
31 Stun with Stafford stable, not streets beyond one’s pocket (12)
UNAFFORDABLE – (st)UN + (st)AFFORD + (st)ABLE, cunning: sll the streeets have to go..
33 Willing footballers who mind business on the park? (11)
GEMEKEEPERS – the program that takes a crossword off the screen and renders it into the neat tabular form that our blogs take, also faithfully reproduces any errors or typos. I leave this one in place, to remind me to try to proofread better in future. It is of course GAMEKEEPERS: GAME (willing) + KEEPERS, those unfortunate footballers who get blamed for every defeat but get little credit for a victory. The definition here is a little strange, gamekeepers being mainly concerned with the wilder parts of an estate rather than a park as such. But it isn’t actually wrong..  a deer park, for example, may need gamekeeper attention.
34 Hide science from mistaken Margot Doyle (11)
DERMATOLOGY – *(MARGOT DOYLE). I did like this definition, though. Nho anyone called Margot Doyle, although apparently there are six on LinkedIn
35 Bury railway has a river between the lines (11)
INTERLINEAR – INTER (bury) + LINE (railway) + A + R(iver)
36 Box of buns from waffle store (6,5)
RABBIT HUTCH – RABBIT (waffle) + HUTCH (store).. I wasn’t sure about hutch = store. But Collins says “to store or keep in or as if in a hutch,” which covers it I guess.
38 Rears cute funny animals (9)
41 Years ago full-length trousers included inside of red (4,5)
LONG SINCE – LONGS (full-length trousers) + INC(luded) + (r)E(d). Another slightly strange definition but that is actually the first definition of longs, in Collins
42 Dagger twirls oddly in fight (8)
STILETTO – T(w)I(r)Ls, in SET-TO, a fight
45 Iguana roaming about top of the island (7)
ANTIGUA – T(he) in *(IGUANA). Neat clue, this one
46 Lively, loud and dangerous (6)
FRISKY – F (loud, a music abbreviation) + RISKY, dangerous
47 What child might do to cute animal is unimportant (5)
PETIT – a child might PET IT. (wouldn’t we all?). I thought petit was just French for small. But Collins, which our setter seems to have absorbed very well, says “of little or lesser importance”
49 Like moussaka with feta? Good smell (5)
GREEK – G(ood) + REEK, smell

Author: JerryW

I love The Times crosswords..

4 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1643 – 11 November 2023”

  1. A couple of DNKs–SYNCHROMESH, MAHONIA–a couple of failures to parse–RIVER, OVER AND OVER, GARAM MASALA–and one error, where I flung in ISOCAHEDRON. A fairly meh sort of Jumbo.

  2. I noted this one a ‘dead easy’ with only one answer I wasn’t sure about, ICOSAHEDRON, where I used aids to fill in the gaps. I can’t recall now, but I don’t think I would have failed to spot HEDRON so I’d guess I was checking between ICOS or ISOC. Other than that, I solved it without a problem in one session lasting under an hour.

  3. A really speedy (for me) 66 minutes. Mostly nice straightforward stuff.

    NHO MAHONIA or the “store” meaning of “hutch” but they didn’t trouble me for long. Enjoyed STILETTO with “set-to” and OASIS with “as is”. I liked CENTRAL RESERVATION and LOO MING and particularly liked the clever UNAFFORDABLE device. And then NOBEL! Another Christmas clue already, but at least (courtesy of you, Jerry, a couple of days ago) I am now well set up with the names of Santa’s reindeer.

    Many thanks for the blog

  4. This was definitely easy and a PB at 31:52.

    Mahonia is sometimes called Oregon Grape due to the purple fruit. I’ve got a Mahonia x Media “Winter Sun” which as the name suggests looks great at this time of year and really brightens up an otherwise fairly dull border.

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