Times Cryptic Jumbo No 1372 – 23rd March

I enjoyed this Jumbo a lot. A good smattering of gentle, easily digestible, clues to provide some helpful checkers but with some tasty chewier morsels too.  Thank you, setter, for 38 minutes of enjoyable solving. How did everyone else like it?
P.S. I’m having to prepare this and schedule it for publication in advance  as I will be walking in Mallorca on the day, so apologies for any delay in responding to comments.

Definitions underlined in italics, Abc indicating anagram of Abc, deletions like this and [] other indicators.

1 Trip merrily in dance music of the 1990s (7)
BRITPOP – The dance is a BOP. Insert [in] an anagram [merrily] of trip.
5 Men pulling trains, perhaps? You’ll find them in Scotland (8)
HEBRIDES – I’m sure we’re all sufficiently  LGBT aware these days, to see that a transgender man might get married in a traditional wedding dress… HE BRIDES being the cryptic result. The Hebrides, of course, are a group of Islands to the west of the mainland, but part of, Scotland. Funnily enough, we had one of them, Tiree, in my latest QC to blog.
9 Dance spotted in puzzle (6)
JIGSAWJIG (dance) SAW (spotted). I always start with the straight edges. How about you?
13 Talc’s article wanted for such attention, in brief? (6,6,4)
TENDER LOVING CARE – Take TALC and remove the A [article wanted] to get T.LC., an abbreviation for our answer [in brief].
14 Party politics at sea moving ahead, so all concluding (4,2)
STAG DO – I loved this one. It’s the final letters [concluding] of politicS aT seA movinG aheaD sO. Nothing to do with “party politics”, of course!
16 Conservative PM once lacking leadership, old Con cross (8)
ORTHODOX – The PM once is nORTH, (Lord North was PM from 1770 – 1782), without his first letter [lacking leadership]. Add O (old) DO (con someone) and X (cross). Very clever.
17 Miles away from a ranch — miles away! (4)
AFAR – A nice witty surface. A ranch is A FARm – take the M (miles) away from the end to get your answer.
18 Done in accessing corner in this domestic chore (9)
HOOVERING – Put OVER (done) IN inside [accessing] HOG (corner – as in corner the market).
20 Hunk of sweetmeat? (8)
BEEFCAKE – Double definition, second cryptic – if you had a cake made of beef it might be a sweet meat.
21 Change about a hundred for a difference (11)
ALTERCATION – Take an ALTERATION (change) and put it [about] C (a hundred) to get the argument caused by a difference of opinion, perhaps.
24 Shape central, eg quadrilateral (9)
RECTANGLE – Anagram of [shape] central, e.g..
25 Flower, grey lines perhaps round the edge (8)
PRIMROSEPROSE (grey lines perhaps) [round] RIM.
26 A welcome shower? (4)
HAIL – Neat concise double definition. Are hail showers ever welcome? Not if you are caught out in one without an umbrella, as far as I’m concerned.
29 Hammer close to a bar for field event? (3,4,4)
CAR BOOT SALE – A nicely misdirecting definition. It’s an anagram [hammer] of close to a bar.
31 Details causing much head scratching? Then tough! (5-6)
NITTY-GRITTY – If you have nits in your hair you might be NITTY and do much headscratching. Add GRITTY (tough) and you’ve got all the details.
33 Greek philosophy derived from pagan theory (11)
PYTHAGOREAN – Anagram of [derived from] pagan theory.
36 Idle barge, one taking extra work (11)
38 Youth centres in Leicestershire and Kent (4)
TEEN – Take the middle letters of [centres in] LeicesTErshire [and] KENt.
39 One criticising salesman and traveller (8)
REPROVERREP (saleman) [and] ROVER (traveller).
41 Mediator has to try and gamble — little point (2-7)
GO-BETWEENGO (try) [and] BET (gamble) WEE (little) N (point of the compass).
44 Fire at bird, producing lead (5,1,5)
45 Possible boiler trouble (3,5)
HOT WATER – If your water was very hot it might boil.
48 Inspired by crude matter, newspaper producing four-letter word (9)
TETRAGRAM – The answers has an anagram [crude] of matter with RAG (newspaper) inside [inspired].
49 Author unknown, all works lacking initial (4)
ANON – All the works of an authour are known has his/her cANON. Drop the first letter [lacking initial] to get the prolific unknown writer.
50 Support overwhelming seed in West London contest? (4,4)
BOAT RACE – No not seed as in tennis and Wimbledon, but a different West London sport. BRACE (support) surrounding (overwhelming) OAT (the seed). This annual rowing race between Oxford and Cambridge is tomorrow. I’m a light blue man, myself, but my wife is a dark blue. Luckily I will be away and thus avoid any arguments.
52 Backtracking southeast European runs off (6)
ELOPESSE (southeast) POLE (European) all reversed [backtracking].
53 A bigot retired with game of rugby in a mess (2,5,3,6)
AT SIXES AND SEVENS – Combine A, SEXIST (bigot) reversed [retired] AND [with] SEVENS the smaller-team-sized version of rugby.
54 Never what the bold show (2,4)
NO FEAR – Double definition, second cryptic.
55 Poets, say, in European catalogues (8)
ELEGISTS – Put E.G. (say – for example) [in] E (European) LISTS (catalgues).
56 Weary old bowler, perhaps, trapping us (7)
EXHAUSTEX (old) HAT (bowler, perhaps – a DBE) with US inside [trapping].

1 Base saw British uprising (6)
BOTTOMMOTTO (saw, as in adage) B all [uprising].
2 Light lifted in fleeting image (6)
IGNITE – Another upwards clue – here a reverse hidden in fleETING Image.
3 They happen to see father embracing females only, zero males (9)
PHENOMENA –  See PA (father) outside [embracing] HEN (females only, as in hen party) O (zero) MEN (males).
4 Series of cushioned blows? (6,5)
PILLOW FIGHT – Cryptic definition.
5 Queen’s residence, where Welsh corgi ends on covers of Vogue (4)
HIVE – Not Her Maj! Last letters of WelsH CorgI [ends] [on] outside letters of [covers of] VoguE’ Lovely.
6 Censorship withdrawn, intro cut from film perhaps that’s sentimental and sweet (8,3)
BANOFFEE PIE – Well I guessed this from the definition and checkers. But how to parse it? It’s BAN (censorship) OFF (withdrawn) wEEPIE (film perhaps that’s sentimental) without the first letter [intro cut from]. I’ve never had banoffee pie, I hope I never meet one, But I can tell you, anyhow, I’d rather throw than eat one. [with apologies to Gellet Burgess].
7 Existence driving people? (11)
INCARNATION – I think I’ve seen this one before. IN CAR (driving) NATION (people).
8 Soil brilliant thing for fungus (9)
EARTHSTAREARTH (soil) STAR (brilliant thing). I hadn’t heard of or seen this fungus, but it is rather well-named.
10 Current fashion to stop river causing a blockage (2,3,3)
IN THE WAYIN (current) with HEW (fashion) inside [to stop] TAY (the Scottish river famous for its railway bridge disaster immortalised in this poem by the poet William McGonagall).
11 Husband, perhaps, provided in Antichrist gone mad! (11,5)
SIGNIFICANT OTHER – Take an anagram of Antichrist gone [mad] and insert IF (provided).
12 Villain picked up weapon that’s about right (5,2)
WRONG UN – The parsing of this had me baffled for ages thinking “picked up” was either a homophone or reversal indicator, but it’s neither. Put WON (picked up) GUN (weapon) [about] R (right).
15 Try out travels around islands popular with holidaymakers (8)
TOURISTY – Anagram of Try out [travels] [around] IS (islands).
19 Material cost is cut (8)
LACERATELACE (material) RATE (cost). Simple but neat.
22 Mad to split prize (8)
CRACKPOT – And similarly… CRACK (split) POT (prize).
23 Frighten — leaving one embarrassingly exposed? (5,3,5,3)
SCARE THE PANTS OFF – Double definition, second cryptic. It is a strange expression, isn’t it?
27 Putting down sheets, fifty certainly sound (8)
LAYERINGL (fifty, in roman numerals) AYE (certainly) RING (sound).
28 Dress up for game (4)
BRAG – Another upwardly mobile answer. Dress is GARB. Write it in from the bottom up.
30 Nation in love with king, perhaps (4)
OMANO (=0, love) [with]  MAN (king, perhaps – in chess).
32 Ideas, however, tactless in the extreme (8)
THOUGHTSTHOUGH (however) with the outside letters of TactlesS [in the extreme].
34 Capsize transparent vessel (8)
OVERTURNOVERT (transparent) URN (vessel).
35 Church body doing little to contain downward acceleration, in self-contemplation (5-6)
NAVEL-GAZING – NAVE (church body – the main part of the church) and LAZING (doing little) outside [to contain] G (the force of gravity, which gives falling things a downward acceleration of 9.8 m/s2).
36 Tramp, prowler doffing cap, is noble (11)
MARCHIONESSMARCH (tramp, tramp, tramp the boys are marching…) lIONESS (prowling cat) without her first letter [doffing cap].
37 After party, artist has to sketch a cross (11)
LABRADOODLELAB (party) RA (artist) DOODLE (sketch). A cross between a labrador and a poodle.
40 The way repairer mends a leotard with marks in it (4,5)
ROAD METAL – Anagram of [mends] a leotard with M (marks) [in it].
42 Ordinal with tenet that’s controversial (9)
TWENTIETH – Anagram  [that’s controversial] of with tenet.
43 Victory secured by leader, a terrible old Irish statesman (2,6)
DE VALERA – V (Victroy) inside [secured by] Anagram [terrible] of leader, a.
44 Freezing point for bird (7)
BITTERNBITTER (freezing) N (point of the compass).
46 Opener taking gold – that’s rich! (6)
GATEAUGATE (opener) AU (atomic symbol for gold).
47 Guy heading for Tianjin in China (3,3)
TEA SETTEASE (guy) [heading for] – i.e. first letter of, Tianjin
51 Route I don’t know (4)
PASS – Double definition.

5 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo No 1372 – 23rd March”

  1. Rather vanillaish Jumbo, I thought. DNK BRITPOP, EARTHSTAR, & BANOFFEE PIE (which ODE has under ‘banoffi’; it does look like one to avoid). I’m very embarrassed to have to come here to find out how LOI STAG DO works; it was just totally opaque to me.
  2. This must have been easy as I completed it in just over half my usual time at 47:47. EARTHSTAR was a new one on me. Thanks for the pic John. Hope you’re enjoying your walking in the BALEARICS, and Happy Birthday! Thanks to the setter and yourself. BTW, we had OBAN as a small port in last week’s 15×15 Saturday puzzle and Hebrides in this one, Oban being one of the main gateways to the Inner Hebrides.
  3. 30:50. I found this mostly fairly easy, but I got stuck on a few at the end.
    A transgender man is unlikely to get married in a wedding dress. A transgender woman probably would, but then you would not refer to her as a he-anything. I think this is just a cross-dressing clue.
    We had ‘bag’ for ‘corner’ the other day, which triggered some discussion. I thought (and think) it was wrong, but HOG seems just about OK in an oblique sort of way.
    1. Yes. I see what you mean. I find this hard to navigate. So a transgender man is a woman who became a man? So a he bride is a cross-dressing man. Got it. Which makes me wonder if his bride also has a train.

      Edited at 2019-04-07 04:12 pm (UTC)

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