Times Cryptic Jumbo 1675 – 25 May 2024. ‘Twas brillig …

Hello everyone.  Sorry to be a little late on parade.  (I have kept the blog at an earlier timestamp so that it still appears before Penfold’s blog of 1676.)  All is busy busy at the moment and I am very much in need of my upcoming holiday.

Fortunately this didn’t cause me any headaches.  It took me 53 minutes and any unknowns, such as the 21a cardinal, were easily deduced.  All enjoyed as usual – thanks setter!

Definitions are underlined in the clues below.  In the explanations, most 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 Toast last drink (7,2)
BOTTOMS UP BOTTOM (last) + SUP (drink)
6a “The Greatest” wingers from Goodison stand in a row (5)
ALIGN ALI (“The Greatest”) + outer letters of (wingers from) GoodisoN
9a Stay twenty four hours in Paris, very new surroundings (7)
SOJOURN JOUR (twenty four hours in Paris) with surroundings of SO (very) and N (new)
13a Iceberg rolls, killing one Cape diver (5)
GREBE — [ic]EBERG turns over (rolls) taking out (killing) I (one) and C (Cape)
14a Vivid chart recalled Channel Islands (7)
GRAPHIC GRAPH (chart) + reversed (recalled) CI (Channel Islands)
15a Wandering in pursuit of black bird (9)
BRAMBLING RAMBLING (wandering) after (in pursuit of) B (black)
16a Cheap accommodation ultimately dodgy; the loo shut off (5,6)
YOUTH HOSTEL — The last letter of (ultimately) dodgY + an anagram of (… off) THE LOO SHUT
17a Bar nicely renovated hosting European male hip hop act (6,5)
PUBLIC ENEMY PUB (bar) + NICELY anagrammed (renovated) around (hosting) E (European) and M (male)
18a Republican lodged in a bogus religious retreat (6)
ASHRAM R (Republican) lodged in A and SHAM (bogus)
19a Subjects against abandoning senses of rights and wrongs? (8)
SCIENCES — CON (against) abandoning [con]SCIENCES (senses of rights and wrongs)
21a Senior churchman once a reformed character (3,3)
NEW MAN John Henry NEWMAN was a 19th century cardinal
25a Brilliant Independent covering church feature (8)
INSPIRED IND (Independent) surrounding (covering) SPIRE (church feature)
26a Somehow thinks wife cheated, invoking puzzled query (4,3,7)
WHAT THE DICKENS — An anagram of (somehow) THINKS W (wife) CHEATED
28a Some Rt Hon gentleman getting minimal coverage down under (5)
THONG Some rT HON Gentleman
29a Empty beer jug for tea maker (6)
BREWER BeeR without its inner letters (empty …) + EWER (jug)
30a Book of verse, indeed, just opened by idiot (6,4)
VANITY FAIR V (verse), AY (indeed) and FAIR (just) with insertion of (opened by) NIT (idiot)
33a Cover tip of finger in fresh guacamole (10)
CAMOUFLAGE — The first letter (tip) of Finger in an anagram of (fresh) GUACAMOLE
35a Cave reached when crossing river (6)
GROTTO GOT TO (reached) when crossing R (river)
36a I must visit doctor, working somewhere in the field (3-2)
MID-ON I must go into (visit) MD (doctor) + ON (working)
38a Strangle Will in chaotic hand-to-hand combat (3-2,9)
40a Blood sport, day one: endless avarice (8)
PEDIGREE PE (sport) + D (day) + I (one) + endless GREEd (avarice)
42a Walked daintily around ground (6)
MINCED — Double definition
43a Greek god sat for artist, covering one leg (8)
POSEIDON POSED (sat for artist) covering I (one) + ON (leg)
44a Formal accessory page Henry wears fitting perfectly (3,3)
TOP HAT P (page) plus H (henry) is inside (wears) TO A T (fitting perfectly)
47a Inspirational sister moved priest with task (11)
TERPSICHORE — An anagram of (moved) PRIEST + CHORE (task)
50a Teller of tellers? (4,7)
BANK MANAGER — Cryptic definition
52a Four opening large uniform chest producing a lot of money (9)
LUCRATIVE IV (four) going inside (opening) L (large), U (uniform) and CRATE (chest)
53a Under control, remove phosphorous and boron from copper zinc alloy (2,5)
IN CHECK — We remove P (phosphorous) and B (boron) from [p]INCH[b]ECK (copper zinc alloy)
54a Idiot stealing article from continental port (5)
TWERP — Taking (stealing) AN (article) from [an]TWERP (continental port)
55a Continue film franchise (5,2)
CARRY ON — Two definitions
56a Element of technical language judge dismissed (5)
ARGON — [j]ARGON (technical language) with J (judge) dismissed
57a Deeply troubled auditor men tediously cut down to size (9)
TORMENTED — AudiTOR MEN TEDiously cut down to size
1d Loose goods stored in compartment (5)
BAGGY G G (goods) stored in BAY (compartment)
2d Treating Sheffield chums to a classic performance at The Crucible? (3,7,2,5)
3d Maybe sweaty husband enters having too much on his plate? (11)
OVERHEATING H (husband) enters OVEREATING (having too much on his plate?)
4d In America, civilians perhaps turning up to register for the dole (4,2)
SIGN ON NON-GIS (in America, civilians perhaps) backwards (turning up)
5d Complain about neckwear Charlie’s wearing in rehearsal (8)
PRACTICE CARP (complain) reversed (about) + TIE (neckwear) which C (Charlie)’s inside (wearing)
6d Vulnerable area which mother didn’t bathe? (8,4)
ACHILLES HEEL — A cryptic definition: the reason Achilles’ heel was vulnerable was because when his mother dipped him in the River Styx she held him by one of his heels which stayed dry.  There is also an embedded precise definition (underlined)
7d Legal disqualification of secretary in Machu Picchu? (10)
INCAPACITY PA (secretary) in INCA CITY (Machu Picchu?)
8d Arrest former pupil, a rich and powerful man (5)
NABOB NAB (arrest) + OB (old boy: former pupil)
9d Said to include one working in position (9)
STATIONED STATED (said) to include I (one) and ON (working)
10d A wry BBC joke turned out to be a bit of nonsense (11)
JABBERWOCKY A WRY BBC JOKE anagrammed (turned out).  Of course the lovely thing about Jabberwocky is that it makes perfect sense.  Hence some of its “nonsense” words – notably chortled – are now standard English.  [I just mistyped English as Ebligh – now that really is nonsense!]
11d Join a trade union (5)
UNITE — Two definitions
12d City of Northern Aragon’s premier painter? (6)
NAGOYA N (Northern) + Aragon’s first letter (premier) + GOYA (painter)
18d Helen’s lover to box out of bounds nobleman (10)
ARISTOCRAT — pARIS TO CRATe (Helen’s lover | to | box) without the first and last letters (out of bounds)
20d Quiet whiskies reportedly bringing on sentimentality (8)
SCHMALTZ — Sounds like (… reportedly) SH (quiet) MALTS (whiskies)
22d Old king wildly threatened with large axe briefly (9,3,5)
ALEXANDER THE GREAT — An anagram of (wildly) THREATENED with LARGE AXe briefly
23d Coarse abuse upset labour clergyman (6)
VERBAL LAB (labour) and REV (clergyman) reversed (upset …)
24d Sharp alpha male, whimsical Australian mostly on the inside (10)
ASTRINGENT A (alpha) and GENT (male), with all but the last letter of (… mostly) STRINe (whimsical Australian) on the inside
27d Considers sounding out routes to the summit (6,2)
WEIGHS UP Sounding out WAYS UP (routes to the summit)
31d In my opinion, low-down character of Shakespeare’s work (6)
IMOGEN IMO (in my opinion) + GEN (low-down)
32d African on CBS rubbished English philosopher (7,5)
FRANCIS BACON AFRICAN ON CBS anagrammed (rubbished)
34d Wasteful convent initially failing to collect tax by first of April (11)
UNNECESSARY — nUNNERY (convent) without the first letter (initially failing) taking in (to collect) CESS (tax) by the first of April
36d Met Estonian’s renovated split-level home (11)
MAISONNETTE MET ESTONIAN‘s anagrammed (renovated)
37d Penny and Heather admitting Daisy is laying it on a bit thick, perhaps (10)
PLASTERING P (penny) and LING (heather) admitting ASTER (daisy)
39d Cut sauce which has been thickened (9)
REDUCTION — Double definition
41d Dismal signal from conductor (8)
DOWNBEAT — Another double definition
45d Style of writing with a tendency to lean to the right? (6)
ITALIC — Cryptic definition
46d One likes to drag small donkey over river (6)
SMOKER S (small) + MOKE (donkey) over R (river)
48d Competitive driver, one in fancy car (5)
RACER ACE (one) in RR (Rolls Royce: fancy car)
49d Last character used to symbolise the resistance? (5)
OMEGA — Two definitions.  Omega is the symbol of the unit of electrical resistance, the ohm
51d Quick police operation featuring Robocop finally (5)
RAPID RAID (police operation) featuring the last letter of (… finally) RobocoP

7 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1675 – 25 May 2024. ‘Twas brillig …”

  1. I found this neat and mostly fairly straightforward, although, unsurprisingly, I’d never heard of the hip-hop band, it not being the sort of music I would ever listen to. Fortunately PINCHBECK had come up recently (in the 15×15 on 22nd May), which helped with IN CHECK. Oddly, it was the straightforward SCIENCES that held me up for ages at the end. I liked the surface for THE DUCHESS OF MALFI. Thanks Kitty and setter.

  2. Mostly straightforward but with SCIENCE as my LOI for some reason. I had to return to it many times. I also like the surface for THE DUCHESS OF MALFI and got the reference to The Crucible in Sheffield. It’s known world wide as the home of the Word Snooker Championships but not perhaps as a venue for performance of classic plays, but they do that too.

  3. I got my plays mixed up and bunged in THE DUCHESS OF MALTA, not looking carefully enough at the anagrist. DNK the hip-hop band, of course, or the crucible reference. DNK VERBAL or MID-ON. I thought 11d and 45d were pretty poor clues.

  4. No problems with this. Nice to see Public Enemy appear here. When will we see NWA or the Wu-Tang Clan, I wonder.

  5. Disliked ‘Ground’=MINCED. Grinding and mincing are not the same by any means, despite the American term ‘ground meat’ for mince.

    1. Setters can’t be blamed for using definitions in the source dictionaries. Collins has: mince – chop, grind, or cut into very small pieces. SOED has: mince – cut up or grind (esp. meat) into very small pieces (LME).


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