Times Cryptic Jumbo 1665 – 30 March 2024. Buffalo don’t buffalo me!

Hello all.  This took me almost exactly an hour.  Although I’ve taken longer, seldom have I been so surprised to complete with no errors: this was sprinkled with entries for which I’d had to rely on the wordplay or (less of an issue) with unfamiliar wordplay components.

My most doubtful entry was BEND (51d) – I didn’t think of heraldry so the definition made no sense and I was expecting to have missed something obvious.  But actually I was more surprised when writing this up at just how many unfamiliar words there were.  I suppose I’m not phased when coming across things I don’t know because I’m used to it!

Thanks to the setter for the challenge.

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 Gave funds due after death (7)
ENDOWED OWED (due) after END (death)
5a Matter about buffs showing self-assertive behaviour (9)
PUSHINESS PUS (matter) around (about) SHINES (buffs)
10a Old and regularly unsteady (4)
USED Regularly UnStEaDy
14a Sabotage drink mixed for sports activity (13)
SKATEBOARDING — An anagram of (… mixed) SABOTAGE DRINK
15a Friend grabbing horse to annoy marsupial (9)
PHALANGER PAL (friend) grabbing H (horse) + ANGER (to annoy)
16a Who’ll study DNA of cat found next to one burial chamber (10)
GENETICIST GENET (cat) found next to I (one) + CIST (burial chamber).  A genet is not a true cat, but a catlike animal.  (I was sure I’d made a similar comment before in one of my blogs here, perhaps about a civet rather than genet.  I have just checked and I was right about the civet but wrong about it being here: it was in an EV puzzle in another place.)
17a Chartreuse drunk with round can be risky (11)
TREACHEROUS — An anagram of (drunk) CHARTREUSE with O (round)
18a Dictator is human, no saint (5)
PERÓN PER[s]ON (human) without S (no saint)
19a It’s old Piglet running round in a flap (10)
EPIGLOTTIS — An anagram of (… running round) ITS O (old) PIGLET
21a Capital provided by lender, Saudi, perhaps (unlimited) (6)
ANKARA — The concatenation of bANK (lender) and ARAb (Saudi, perhaps) without outer letters (unlimited)
23a Scotland’s odd about case for players (9)
ORCHESTRA ORRA (Scotland’s – a Scottish word for – odd) around (about) CHEST (case)
25a Own up to hiding millions in part of mine (5)
ADMIT — The answer is hiding M (millions) in ADIT (part of mine)
26a Keen to make out in popular nightclub (3,4)
HOT SPOT HOT (keen) + SPOT (to make out)
28a Angel perhaps trapping Devil, which might provide relief (13)
BACKSCRATCHER BACKER (angel perhaps) around (trapping) SCRATCH (Devil)
31a Agreed to change society for tons raising no objection? (9)
CONTENTED CON[s]ENTED (agreed) replacing S with T (to change society for tons)
33a What can be used to conceal cigarette smell by doctor (5,4)
SMOKE BOMB SMOKE (cigarette) + BO (smell) + MB (doctor)
35a A feature of Jamaica to regularly squander heaps on a large scale? (4,9)
BLUE MOUNTAINS BLUE (to regularly squander) + MOUNTAINS (heaps on a large scale?).  I’m not sure about “regularly” which isn’t backed up by the dictionaries I checked – could someone not blue all their money as a one-off?
37a Approve of sellers, not very European (7)
ENDORSE — [v]ENDORS (sellers) not V (very) + E (European)
38a Work with convulsive twitch of the eye (5)
OPTIC OP (work) + TIC (convulsive twitch)
40a Company supply outside idiot dealing with knowledge acquisition (9)
COGNITIVE CO (company) + GIVE (supply) outside NIT (idiot)
42a Female pointer to produce litter (6)
FARROW F (female) + ARROW (pointer).  Since farrow can also be a litter, “to produce” could alternatively be a link rather than part of the definition
44a Fed up with mousetrap, perhaps, remove (7,3)
CHEESED OFF CHEESE (mousetrap, perhaps) + DOFF (remove)
46a Egyptian’s spirit stated to be broken (5)
KAPUT KA (Egyptian’s spirit) + PUT (stated)
48a Not secret, MP being involved in dispute (11)
CONTRETEMPS NOT SECRET, MP being anagrammed (involved)
50a Who’ll do a lot to deliver domestic energy? (10)
POWERHOUSE — To POWER HOUSE could mean to deliver domestic energy
52a Backing prison to hold Arab narcissist (9)
EGOMANIAC — Reversing (backing) CAGE (prison) containing (to hold) OMANI (Arab)
53a The responsibility of tiny ones is far from past (2,2,3,6)
UP TO THE MINUTE — A whimsical secondary indication: if something is UP TO someone it is their responsibility; THE MINUTE could refer to tiny individuals
54a Red wine’s having great effect, knocking out petty officer (4)
TENT — [po]TENT (having great effect) removing (knocking out) PO (petty officer)
55a Communication system that’s great help when working (9)
TELEGRAPH GREAT HELP when anagrammed (working)
56a Road split by a grand little plant (7)
RAGWEED RD (road) having inside (split by) A, G (grand) and WEE (little)
1d Smallest, not large bearing (4)
EAST — [l]EAST (smallest) without (not) L (large)
2d Awful matricide is completely opposed (9)
DIAMETRIC — An anagram of (awful) MATRICIDE
3d Book big attraction all the same for the foolish? (5,6,4,2,5)
WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD — This is referring to “fools rush in where angels fear to tread” … I suppose if the fools are rushing in then it must be a big attraction for them, regardless of whatever it is that is keeping the angels away
4d Novice upset to be nipped by device for cutting rock (7)
DIORITE TIRO (novice) upwards (upset) going inside (to be nipped by) DIE (device for cutting)
5d Parking truck, one long part of the operation? (11)
PARTICIPANT P (parking) + ARTIC (truck) + I (one) + PANT (long)
6d Suspicion of serious error with steering gear reported (9)
SCINTILLA — Sounds like (… reported) SIN  (serious error) with TILLER (steering gear)
7d Valuable brick home acquired (5)
INGOT IN (home) + GOT (acquired)
8d Wrote up hemistichs in part avoiding strong words (11)
9d Thoroughly explore musical ability in school (6)
SEARCH EAR (musical ability) in SCH (school)
11d Notice ring — right on a married woman (7)
SIGNORA SIGN (notice) + O (ring) + R (right) + A
12d Partly refurbished arms TA’d test in place (9)
DARMSTADT Partly refurbisheD ARMS TAD Test
13d Be wrong working mine having no Thatcher OK? (4,7,5,6)
18d The Sun reported charge on public transport (7)
PHOEBUS PHOE here sounds like (reported) FEE (charge); it’s on BUS (public transport)
20d Buffalo in river area for all to see (7)
TAMARAU TAMAR (river) + A (area) + U (for all to see)
22d Fabric sun hat turned out no good (8)
SHANTUNG SUN HAT anagrammed (turned out) + NG (no good).  I’d meant to come back to this and actually forgotten about it, or it would have added to my uncertainty.  I suppose there weren’t too many other workable combinations, and the right answer looked more plausible than THANSUNG
24d Money taken by shop for pastry (8)
TURNOVER — Two definitions
27d Old diva wanting bread but no tea (5)
PATTI — [cha]PATTI (bread) but without (but no) CHA (tea).  Adelina Patti
29d Clubs — noisy and dim (5)
CLOUD C (clubs) + LOUD (noisy)
30d Regular patron of some in cast (7)
HABITUE A BIT (some) in HUE (cast)
32d Give up on eating small sweet (7)
DESSERT DESERT (give up on) taking in (eating) S (small)
34d Like action of yeast in French loaf with mineral left right out (11)
BIOCHEMICAL B[r]IOCHE (French loaf) with MICA (mineral) and L (left); R (right) is taken out
36d Computer’s hex device (11)
MICROSWITCH MICROS (computer’s) + WITCH (hex)
37d In effect one is organised and methodical (9)
EFFICIENT IN EFFECT I (one) is anagrammed (organised)
39d A pectoral fashioned for monarch (9)
CLEOPATRA A PECTORAL anagrammed (fashioned)
41d One million letters are with university for a swindle (9)
IMPOSTURE I (one) + M (million) + POST (letters), then [a]RE with U (university) in place of (for) A
43d In a poor state, narrowly losing at cricket? (3-4)
RUN-DOWN — Two indications
45d Refrain initially featuring our Rupert and Pooh? (7)
FORBEAR Initially Featuring Our Rupert + BEAR (Pooh?)
47d Reduced manoeuvre in street is hard (6)
STRICT — Without the last letter (reduced) TRICk (manoeuvre) in ST (street)
49d Tons in solar radiation get initially attacked by a wasp (5)
STUNG T (tons) in SUN (solar radiation) + Get initially
51d Ordinary black curtains (4)
BEND B (black) + END (curtains).  A bend is a type of ordinary in heraldry

4 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1665 – 30 March 2024. Buffalo don’t buffalo me!”

  1. Lots of unknowns here: CIST, DIORITE, TAMARAU (or did we have this once?), PATTI, PHALANGER. I biffed 3d from the W; the book, incidentally, is Forster’s novel of that name. 13d is an impressive anagram.

  2. I had lots of notes and queries in the margins but I think I resolved most of them eventually on the day. There were several unknown words or meanings that I took on trust and never got round to looking up after the event.

    I had one error that I am now unable to account for, MACROSWITCH instead of MICROSWITCH at 36dn. I used at one time to write macro scripts for manipulation of data that that were triggered by a button or key command, so that’s probably what I had in mind, but I doubt this would have been termed a MACROSWITCH. However I never heard of MICROSWITCH either.

    To my shame I used aids for my LOI after an unsuccessful alphabet trawl, but I have absolutely no idea why I was unable to think of TURNOVER as a type of pastry.

  3. I read 24d as almost a triple definition. Money taken = TURNOVER. Shop = TURN OVER [e.g. shop someone to the police]. Pastry = TURNOVER.


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