Times Cryptic Jumbo 1669 20/04/2024

I worked my way through this in 2 sessions but that was down to other commitments rather than difficulty. It was a tidy solve in that I was able to complete whole blocks of the grid at a time leaving no stragglers to be dealt with later. I found a couple of clues difficult to explain in words although I am in no doubt as to how they are supposed to work, so please bear with me. 

There were no unknown words but I had to check a few meanings after the event in order to write the blog.

As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions and substitutions are in curly brackets} and [anagrinds, containment, reversal and other indicators in square ones]. ]. “Aural wordplay” is in quotation marks. I usually omit all reference to juxtaposition indicators unless there is a specific point that requires clarification.

1 Too old? True, about fifty (6)
O (old), VERY (true) containing [about] L (fifty)
4 European, before spring, mainly trained in ropy footwear (10)
E (European), SPA (spring), DRILLE{d} (trained) [mainly]
10 One emperor backed follower of another (5)
A (one ), TSAR (emperor) reversed [backed]
14 With stiff upper lip, there’s nothing I demand, squalidly housed (9)
0 (nothing) + I + CALL (demand), contained by STY [squalidly housed]
15 Innocence not so much seen in barrister’s first feeble point (13)
LESS (not so much) contained by [seen in] B{arrister} [‘s first] + LAME (feeble) + NESS (point – headland)
16 Imagined odds of perfect finish (7)
P{e}R{f}E{c}T [odds of…], END (finish)
17 Get around or above it at sea (7)
Anagram [at sea] of ABOVE IT
18 Fit singular form of Buddhist mystical text, you might think (7)
If you might think that the word ‘Tantra’ (Buddhist mystical text) were to follow the rules of second declension Latin nouns it would be a plural that in its singular form would be TANTRUM. In fact Tantra is from Sanskrit and I have no idea as to the workings of that language. It’s above my  pay grade to be expected to explain clues like this!
19 Strangely, read and act no play after Chekhov? That’s a tragedy (6,3,9)
ANTON (Chekhov), anagram [strangely] of READ ACT NO PLAY
21 Scottish group‘s contribution to Gaelic language (4)
Hidden in [contribution to] {Gaeli}C LAN{guage}
24 Fool one by one in strike (5)
I (one), then I (one) contained by [in] DOT (strike)
26 Clear stuff from what we hear at church and pass on (8)
ORGAN (what we hear at church), DIE (pass on). This is very fine translucent muslin.
27 Two possibilities for movement found in recreational space (8)
PLAY and ROOM (two possibilities for movement)
29 Half-hearted pledge about favourite I have that’s on a par with rivals (11)
COM{m}IT (pledge) [half-hearted pledge] containing [about] PET (favourite), I’VE (I have)
30 Don’t leave religious group for what looks like just another branch (5,6)
STICK IN SECT (don’t leave religious group)
32 Doctor clad a rich infant cutely, initially, in what’s fashionable and pink? (7,4)
Anagram [doctor] of CLAD A RICH, then I{nfant} + C{utely} [initially]. I didn’t know this, but it had to be.
35 Bring in vino in part of house for this activity? (4,7)
NET (bring in – earn after tax) + ASTI (Italian vino) contained by [in] WING (part of house). The definition is reflexive.
37 Hypothesis initially dropped by the firm, open to checking (8)
T{h}E [H-ypothesis initially dropped], STABLE (firm)
39 Yearly cost of accommodation in relation to older pair (8)
PA (yearly – per annum), RENTAL (cost of accommodation)
40 Gather after a celebration in church (5)
A, MASS (celebration in church
43 Order to dismiss or fire all but the last (4)
SHOO{t} (fire) [all but the last]
44 Reverse a fixed routine in killing, destroy our violent disruption of society (8,10)
A + RUT (fixed routine) [reversed] contained by [in] CULL (killing), anagram [destroy] of OUR VIOLENT
47 A version of Bible included in set for Cambridge University (7)
A + RV (version of Bible – Revised Version) contained by [included in] HARD (set)
48 What may be taken innocently with unknown treatment (7)
THE RAP (what may be taken innocently), Y (unknown)
50 Part of poetic line appearing ahead of time in film part (7)
FOOT (part of poetic line), AGE (time)
51 Absurdly, he preselects a competitor in race (13)
Anagram [absurdly] of HE PRESELECTS A
52 Some cut is altogether peculiar to tailor (9)
Anagram [peculiar] of SOME CUT IS
53 Nincompoop concealing past that’s deeply alarming (5)
ASS (nincompoop) containing [concealing] BY (past)
54 Therapist stole gripping film (6-4)
SHRINK (therapist), WRAP (stole – scarf, shawl)
55 Silly damn emergency — totally evacuated state capital (6)
S{ill}Y + D{am}N + E{mergenc}Y [totally evacuated]
1 Food routes Osage and Hopi interchanged (9)
Anagram [interchanged] of OSAGE HOPI. Two Native American tribes.
2 Personality problem exemplified by Gregory? (11)
3 With no leaders, elect her in speaker’s position (7)
{e}LECT + {h}ER + {i}N [with no leaders]
5 Authority to pronounce part of essay’s OK (3-2)
Hidden in [part of] {es}SAY’S O{k}
6 Feel divided about values — not half, producing this? (11)
AMBIENCE (feel as in the character of a place) contains [divided about] VAL{ues} [not half]. Reflexive.
7 Financial doctrine having Americans go round the bend? (11)
Anagram [round the bend] of AMERICANS GO
8 Call set up including one who gave noble service (8)
NAME (call) + GEL (set) reversed and containing [including] I (one)
9 English learner getting shock treatment before exam in this kind of college (9)
E (English), L (learner), ECT (shock treatment – Electroconvulsive therapy), ORAL (exam). In the USA, a body of electors chosen by the voters who formally elect the president and vice president.
10 Revolting kind of behaviour  on the increase (6)
Double definition.
11 I blunder in transaction with a part of Africa (6,5)
I + ERR (blunder) contained by [in] SALE (transaction), ONE (a)
12 A state in Eastern US, in short, upset another in East (5)
A, MASS (state in Eastern US, in short) reversed [upset]
13 Over an ordeal about love, happy one is combative (12)
GLAD (happy), I (one), A (an), TRIAL (ordeal) containing [about] 0 (love)
20 Highly dangerous conflict appropriate for boxer? (8)
A definition and a cryptic hint. Apart from the literal meaning of a fight between dogs this is also a fight between aircraft at close quarters.
22 Security worker turned over this ID (7)
GATEMAN (security worker) reversed [turned over]
23 James, say — name used on continent for European schools (8)
GYM sounds like [say] “Jim” (James), N (name), ASIA (continent). Germany has these, as do some other Continental states.
25 In which monarch no longer detains old Conservative government minister? (8)
 ER (monarch no longer) contains [detains] O (old) + C (Conservative), all contained by [in] THAT (which)
28 Brief struggle to secure grand after deductions (8)
VIE (struggle) contains [to secure] G (grand) + NETT (after deductions). Vignette: a short descriptive account, anecdote, or essay. Brief: A short account or summary.
29 Selectively arranges  some of the cloth? Doesn’t sound like it (7)
Two meanings. The clue relies on heteronyms i.e. words identical in spelling but distinct in sound and meaning, as indicated here by ‘Doesn’t sound like it’. They are also different parts of speech. Curate (vb): to be in charge of selecting, arranging, and presenting material for an art exhibition or museum. Curate (noun): a member of the clergy / cloth.
31 Confine as in protest, unfriendly state of affairs (6,2,4)
KETTLE  (confine as in protest – a police tactic for controlling crowds during demonstrations), OFFISH (unfriendly)
33 It’s awful ‘cos it’s rude and tacky, ultimately? (11)
Anagram [awful] of ‘COS IT’S RUDE, then {tack}Y [ultimately]
34 President having enough academic jobs for all the boys (11)
A cryptic hint gives us a CHAIR PER SON
35 Awed comment about footwear facility, right? One can move things along with it (11)
WOW (awed comment) containing [about] HEEL BAR (footwear facility), R (right)
36 Creativity of gifted travellers in one country (11)
MAGI (gifted travellers – gold, frankincense, myrrh) contained by [in] I (one) + NATION (country)
38 She washes area surrounding Hollywood strip (9)
LA (area surrounding Hollywood – Los Angeles), UNDRESS (strip)
41 In honest fashion on account of being with bank (9)
SINCE (account of), RELY (bank)
42 Series about small person — one finishing up in the theatre? (8)
SER (series) containing [about] TITCH (small person). Surgery.
45 Guy upset about crazy fool’s study of mysterious visitors (7)
Anagram [upset] of GUY, containing [about] anagram [crazy] of FOOL. Flying saucers.
46 French author securing power in university position (6)
CAMUS (French author) containing [securing] P (power)
47 Stocking article and book (5)
HOSE (stocking), A (article). A book of Old Testament.
49 From what we hear, this is why you seize a desert plant (5)
Aural wordplay [from what we hear]: Y-U / “why you”,  C C (C’s) / “seize”, then A.  A fun clue to finish on.

4 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1669 20/04/2024”

  1. LOI THEOCRAT, which I failed to parse. Also failed to parse CURATES. ‘Altogether’ in 52ac seems superfluous.

  2. I also NHO “Radical Chic” but it had to be that.

    42d detained me for ages because (yet again) I got stuck thinking about thespians, probably because my daughter is one. I think that was my LOI.

    Also NHO “Reaganomics” but once I worked out it didn’t end in “ism”, it had to be that. I am old enough to remember him, so it made sense. Although I couldn’t remember whether it was AE or EA in his name, which caused a problem later.

    I agree with your parsing of “Tantrum”, thinking that it was implying the same plural / singular construction as in 23d, my COD (being called James). I’ll be interested to see if anybody can come up with a better suggestion.

  3. This was easier than it seemed: it felt quite tricky but I finished it in a little over 20 minutes.
    Some nice witty clues in here. I particularly liked TANTRUM (which I think parses exactly as you describe) and the very clever YUCCA.
    I was also puzzled by the entirely extraneous altogether.


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