Times Cryptic Jumbo 1645 – 25 November 2023. Fear of Santa

Hi all.  I can’t give any real assessment of this as crosswording has had to fit around life.  Solving was done in pre-bed sleepy snatches, and blogging done later in a bit of a rush.  I have a dim memory of using aids anyway, I think for COMPENDIOUS and maybe another.  Thanks to the setter – I hope to be more awake for your next one!

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 Case made for mummy’s confinement? (11)
SARCOPHAGUS — Cryptic definition
7a Land using stone passage we hear (7,4)
EMERALD ISLE EMERALD (stone) + ISLE, a homophone (… we hear) of AISLE (passage)
13a Engineer reminds open branch to get guard dog (9,8)
DOBERMANN PINSCHER — Make an anagram of (engineer) REMINDS OPEN BRANCH
14a Conservative member of the House of Lords rebuffed toady (5)
CREEP C (Conservative) + PEER (member of the House of Lords) reversed (rebuffed)
15a Journalist having something to learn by holding papers back (6)
EDITOR ROTE (something to learn by) holding ID (papers), all reversed (back)
16a Dallas Cowboy‘s dispute with Republican (8)
WRANGLER WRANGLE (dispute) + R (Republican)
17a Criticise manoeuvre moving ring in glittering array (7)
PANOPLY PAN (criticise) + PLOY (manoeuvre) shifting the O (moving ring)
19a Large settlement of rank furthers claims (9)
FRANKFURT — oF RANK FURThers claims the answer
21a Repeatedly bomb China (8)
EGGSHELL EGG (bomb) + SHELL (bomb), hence “repeatedly bomb”
23a Clubs inspired by United in the past (4)
ONCE C (clubs) taken in by (inspired by) ONE (united)
25a One involved in endless task that is boring vocal group (5)
CHOIR I (one) inside (involved in) CHORe (task that is boring) without the last letter (endless …)
27a Top gangster struggled without cover (6)
HOODIE HOOD (gangster) + vIEd (struggled) missing its outer letters (without cover)
28a Trap left criminal corporation without millions (7,3)
LOBSTER POT L (left), [m]OBSTER (criminal) and POT (corporation) without M (millions)
30a Careless fielders at cover dropping ball (8)
SLIPSHOD SLIPS (fielders) + HO[o]D (cover) missing an O (dropping ball)
31a Present that’s small: maybe a foot? (8,6)
STOCKING FILLER — Two meanings
34a Topic has Labour developing fear of being hemmed in (14)
CLAUSTROPHOBIA — An anagram of (… developing) TOPIC HAS LABOUR
35a Host introducing song with welcome for musician (8)
MARIACHI MC (host) bringing in (introducing) ARIA (song) + HI (welcome)
38a Unhappy person reduced masculine subject matter (10)
MALCONTENT — Without the last letter (reduced) MALe (masculine) + CONTENT (subject matter)
40a Charity’s first to move east to set up accommodation (6)
ENCAMP MENCAP (charity) with its first letter moved to the right/east
41a Try to persuade prisoner to avoid scorn (5)
TEMPT — CON (prisoner) leaving (to avoid) [con]TEMPT (scorn)
43a Moderate support terminated prematurely (4)
EASE EASEl (support) missing the last letter (terminated prematurely)
44a Disciplinarian‘s right to stop unruly inmate (8)
MARTINET R (right) going into (to stop) an anagram of (unruly) INMATE
45a Bribe small number disrupting series (9)
SWEETENER WEE (small) and TEN (number) interrupting (disrupting) SER (series)
48a Scene involving figures primarily in office during crisis (7)
DIORAMA — The initials of (primarily) In Office during DRAMA (crisis)
49a Animal puppet (8)
CREATURE — Double definition
50a Vehicle in which one would arrive late? (6)
HEARSE — Cryptic definition
53a Sex appeal of older men perplexes her initially (5)
OOMPH — First letters of (… initially) Of Older Men Perplexes Her
54a Aide is not upset about newspaper’s transfer of ownership (17)
DENATIONALISATION AIDE IS NOT anagrammed (upset) around (about) NATIONAL (newspaper)
55a Very bright child reportedly drowned (3-8)
SUN-DRENCHED SUN, homophone of (… reportedly) SON (child) + DRENCHED (drowned)
56a Union member backing protest about time and space for rest breaks? (7,4)
SITTING ROOM GROOM (union member) going after (backing) SITIN (protest) around (about) T (time)
1d Team produces unexpected results? (4,7)
SIDE EFFECTS SIDE (team) + EFFECTS (produces)
2d Key books in religious studies: his speciality? (5)
RABBI A (key) and BB (books) in RI (religious studies)
3d What’s fitting for rower from Harvard or Yale we’re told? (7)
OARLOCK — Sounds like (… we’re told) OR LOCK (or Yale).  “From Harvard” indicates a N American term
4d Leader deceived about office finally (4)
HEAD HAD (deceived) around (about) officE finally
5d Taxonomic groups split into individuals of similar age (10)
GENERATION GENERA (taxonomic groups) + an anagram of (split) INTO
6d Literary genre almost fits iconic scene in novel format (7,7)
SCIENCE FICTION Almost FITs and ICONIC SCENE anagrammed (in novel format)
7d Anagram aligns with edges of eligible fodder (8)
ENSILAGE — Just follow the instructions: anagram ALIGNS with the edges of EligiblE
8d Some number subtracted from lower number (5)
ETHER — N (some number) subtracted from [n]ETHER (lower)
9d Killer returned and cut down European in citadel (9)
ACROPOLIS ORCA (killer [whale]) reversed (returned) + POLISh (European) without the last letter (cut down …)
10d Becoming fairly good (6)
DECENT — Two definitions
11d What slows up journey having dropped off Bobby? (8,9)
SLEEPING POLICEMAN — Literally, the answer could be a policemen (bobby) who has dropped off to sleep
12d Person no longer having to accommodate issue? (5-6)
EMPTY-NESTER — Cryptic definition
18d Game associated with US includes quiet period of heightened activity (4,4)
RUSH HOUR RU (game) and OUR (associated with us – the capitalisation is misleading) includes SHH (quiet)
20d A ridiculous ban on women’s lib includes old lady and elusive creature (10,7)
ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN A + an anagram of (ridiculous) BAN ON WOMENS LIB includes MA (old lady)
22d Get lost, missing first suitable walk (4,2)
HOOF IT — Without the initial letter (… missing first), [s]HOO (get lost) + FIT (suitable)
24d Gathering welcomes little male chauvinist? Hardly (8)
FEMINIST FEST (gathering) takes in (welcomes) MINI (little)
26d One opposing current measures is tortured to some extent (8)
RESISTOR — MeasuRES IS TORtured to some extent
29d Get ready to put TV channels into effect? (6,8)
ACTION STATIONS — Definition plus literal interpretation
32d Secures Greek fruit (8)
GRAPPLES GR (Greek) + APPLES (fruit)
33d Way to secure deal for instrument (6)
SPINET ST (way) around (to secure) PINE (deal – wood)
34d Committee introduces conclusion in dutiful summary (11)
COMPENDIOUS COM (committee) precedes (introduces) END (conclusion) in PIOUS (dutiful)
36d Lay to rest strange cases for one new breach in rules? (11)
INTERREGNUM INTER (lay to rest) + RUM (strange) contains (cases) EG (for one) and N (new)
37d Attendant‘s vehicle, right outside, to the rear of church property (10)
MANSERVANT VAN (vehicle) with RT (right) outside goes after (to the rear of) MANSE (church property)
39d Great Dane wrecked open-air restaurant (3,6)
TEA GARDEN GREAT DANE anagrammed (wrecked)
42d Bankrupt’s case undoubtedly involves owing money (8)
INDEBTED BankrupT‘s outer letters (case), which INDEED (undoubtedly) includes (involves)
46d Insect eating through round sea cucumber (7)
TREPANG GNAT (insect) taking in (eating) PER (through), all in reverse (round)
47d State hospital opening up in due course (6)
LATHER H (hospital) inserted into (opening up) LATER (in due course)
49d Shell company originally needed Switzerland (5)
CONCH CO (company) + originally Needed + CH (Switzerland)
51d Horny individual maybe picked up mocking refusal (5)
RHINO — Sounds like (… picked up) WRY NO (mocking refusal)
52d Hide structure from one following advice (4)
TIPI I (one) following TIP (advice)

3 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1645 – 25 November 2023. Fear of Santa”

  1. One session of 90 minutes for this, but I used aids for the unknown TREPANG as my LOI. It has appeared only once before, in a Sunday puzzle 5 years ago when I didn’t contribute to the discussion, so can’t be sure I did the puzzle.

    I had a query about ENSILAGE which I took to be a verb and therefore ‘fodder’ would need to be too. I wasn’t sure that it could be, then I found that it could, but then I found that it means ‘feed with fodder’ whereas ENSILAGE I took to mean to make silage out of something other. On further investigation I found that ENSILAGE can be a noun defined by Collins as ‘a less common name for silage’. This would appear to resolve the problem except that it still doesn’t look like a noun to me!

  2. Not a bad time – 90 minutes – but with one wrong: I somehow entered EMPTY-LETTER instead of EMPTY-NESTER, for reasons that must have seemed good to me at the time.

    Otherwise all good stuff. We had ENSILAGE in a Jumbo last year. That doesn’t necessarily mean I will remember it, but I had picked it up in my comments then and so it was there when I needed it now. I liked SWEETENER and EDITOR.

    Thank you Kitty for the blog

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