Times Cryptic Jumbo 1562 – 18th June

I thought this was an excellent fun Jumbo with lots of quirky definitions and ingenious wordplay. Not too hard, with plenty of easier clues to get you going, but a few chewier bits. It took me 42:45 – close to an average time for a Jumbo for me, so the difficulty was just right. It’s had to pick a favourite clue, but I liked 17A, 43A, 48A, 51A , 13D,  24D, 36D and 47D among others. Thank-you setter! How did you all get on?

Definitions underlined in bold italics, (Abc)* indicating anagram of Abc, {deletions} and [] other indicators.

1 Key aide: very few could afford one with forty-eight hours off (4-3,4)
FIVE-DAY WEEK – (Key aide v few)* [could afford]. A bit of an unusual anagram indicator to start.
7 Was witness to suffer detention? (6)
BEHELDBE HELD (suffer detention).
10 A US military hospital losing its second nurse (4)
AMAHA M.A.{S}.H (US military hospital), [losing] S (second).
14 Environmentalists, disapprovingly, to use empty cistern for recycling (7)
ECONUTS – (to use c{ister}n)* [empty] [recycling].
15 Calls round with drink (5,2)
RINGS UPRING (round) SUP (drink).
16 Bloomer, ultimately encouraging fan to invade pitch (7)
SPIGNEL – [ultimately] encouraginG faN inside, [to invade], SPIEL [pitch]. A herb also known as baldmoney. I’d never heard of it.
17 King being trapped by horse having reared in southern China (9,4)
SMOTHERED MATE – A sneaky definition! A finish in chess where the King is checkmated by a knight and the King has no square to move to. MOTHERED (reared) [on] S (southern) MATE (me old China).
18 Eccentricity of relatives repeating verses every so often (9)
KINKINESSKIN KIN (relatives) [repeating], vErSeS [every so often].
19 The capital’s Circle Line about to be withdrawn (5)
ACCRAARC (line that’s part of a circle) CA (circa; about) reversed [withdrawn] -> ACCRA. Capital of Ghana.
21 Note short bad-tempered ape used for lab research? (10)
MICROSCOPYMI (3rd note of the scale) CROS{s} [short] (bad-tempered COPY (ape).
23 A little blue in demeanour, is querulous (6)
RISQUE -Hidden [in] demeanouR IS QUErulous.
25 End of play or film — lute playing (4,4)
FULL TIME – No, not the sort of play you see in the theatre. (film lute)* [playing].
26 One doing good work first, welcome among factory personnel earlier (14)
PHILANTHROPISTOP (opus; work) IST (1st; first), after HI (welcome) [among] PLANT (factory) HR (personnel) [earlier]. A bit Ikean that one.
29 Porter, not up in Scotland, touring Sandhurst (7)
DOORMANDOON (down; not up, in Scotland) outside, [touring], RMA (Royal Military Academy; Sandhurst).
30 Band leader’s tweet to press, backing men (4,5)
PIPE MAJORPIPE (tweet), JAM (press) [backing] -> MAJ, OR (Other Ranks; men);
31 Yank’s courage (5)
PLUCK – Double definition.
32 Character an old letter once used by mapmakers (5)
ETHOSETH (old letter) OS (Ordnance Survey; mapmakers). Eth (/ɛð/, uppercase: Ð, lowercase: ð; also spelled edh or eð), known as ðæt in Old English, is a letter used in Old English, Middle English, Icelandic, Faroese (in which it is called edd), and Elfdalian. It pronounced so that it rhymes with the first syllable in the word “feather.” Thorn and eth are used interchangeably to represent both voiced and unvoiced “th” sounds (the sound at the beginning of “the” is voiced; the sound at the end of “with” is unvoiced).
34 Shares for auditors in the city (9)
STOCKHOLMSTOCK (shares) and HOLM, which sounds like [for auditors] HOME (in).
37 It’s a deal that includes reform of Euro (5,2)
YOU’RE ONYON (that) [includes] [reform of] (euro)*.
39 Potter character’s return links with short quiz being organised (8,6)
SQUIRREL NUTKIN – (return links qui{z})* [being organised]. Subject of this tale by Beatrix Potter.
41 Accessory when snapping various creatures together, for blokes crossing lake (4,4)
ZOOM LENSZOO (various creatures together), MEN’S (for blokes) [crossing] L (lake).
43 With an extra royalty cheque initially coming back, the writer’s rich! (6)
CREAMYAn Extra Royalty Cheque [initially], [coming back] -> CREA, MY (the writer’s). Most inventive. Nice one!
44 Open to attack when seaworthy? (10)
ASSAILABLEAS (when) SAILABLE (seaworthy?).
45 Sum small child has completed (3,2)
TOT UPTOT (small child) UP (completed).
48 Split — but not the bill, presumably (2,1,6)
DO A RUNNER – Double definition, the second a whimsical cryptic hint.
49 Oliver and Mack perhaps rub it in (5,3,5)
TWIST THE KNIFE – (Oliver) TWIST (from Dickens), (Mack) THE KNIFE (from The Threepenny Opera).
51 Palace one’s dwelling in deserted, time to move (7)
VATICANI (one) [in] VACANT (deserted) moving the T [time to move] -> VATCAN. Another clever piece of wordplay.
52 Italian constitutional body has boycotted hearing (7)
CLAUDIOC{onstitutiona}L [body has boycotted] AUDIO (hearing). “Body has boycotted” – nice one.
53 Claws: little ones (7)
NIPPERS -Double definition.
54 Complete degree (4)
RANK – Double definition.
55 Not moving back, I parked behind, between poles (6)
STASIS – I SAT (parked behind) [back] -> TASI, [between] S S (south poles).
56 Argument with the Italian visiting celebrity: I’m astounded! (5,4,2)
WORDS FAIL MEWORDS (argument), IL (the, in Italian) [visiting] FAME (celebrity).
1 Delivers one a plant (7)
FREESIAFREES (delivers) I (one) A.
2 One bowed out of awkward love-in with cool Liberal (11)
VIOLONCELLO – [awkward] (love-in cool l)*, using L for liberal.
3 Ready to roll? (5)
DOUGH -Double definition, if a little raw in part.
4 TV show you and son prepare to attend (3,5,8)
YES PRIME MINISTERYE (you) S (son) PRIME (prepare) MINISTER (attend).
5 Nymph looked back on chance with regret, reflecting over years (8)
EURYDICEDICE (chance) after RUE (regret) [reflecting] -> EUR, outside [over] Y (years). Eurydice was wife of Orpheus… When she died after stepping on a snake, he visited the Underworld and was allowed to bring her back to the surface if he walked in front of her and didn’t look back. But, alas, he tragically did. You can read more about it here.
6 Make awkward progress on a graph: nothing OK, somehow (8-3)
KANGAROO-HOP – (on a graph O OK)* [somehow], with O for nothing.
7 Mean to maintain tango beat (5)
BASTEBASE (mean) outside, [to maintain], T (tango in the NATO alphabet).
8 Bound to miss start after grappling with field event (3,4,3,4)
HOP SKIP AND JUMP – I biffed this, but now I have to work it out… HOP (bound) SKIP (miss) JUMP (start) [grappling] AND (with).
9 See that Carol is down (6)
LOSINGLO (see) SING (carol).
11 Political philosopher from US, one men quote erroneously (11)
MONTESQUIEU – (US I menquote)* [erroneously], with I  for one. “Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesque, 18 January 1689 – 10 February 1755), generally referred to as simply Montesquieu, was a French judge, man of letters, historian, and political philosopher“.  I vaguely remembered the name, but not how to spell it.
12 Get all outspoken in Rome? (4,3)
HOLY SEE – Sounds like WHOLLY SEE (get all).
13 Ridiculously cheap, fashionable pastry cases from somewhere in Asia (8)
FILIPINOIP (1 penny; ridiculously cheap) IN (fashionable), inside FILO (pastry) [cases].
20 Goddess of the pictures, heading down for cup tie? (7)
ARTEMISART (pictures) SEMI (-final; cup tie) moving the first letter, [heading down], -> EMIS.
22 Boy requiring uniform collected clothes (5)
CALUM – U (uniform) [clothed in] CALM (collected).
24 Those of a certain age, longing to shun society, part with property (16)
THIRTYSOMETHINGSTHIR{s}TY (longing) without the S [to shun society], SOME (part) THINGS (property).
25 Following primitive instincts, turns and twitches? (7)
FIDGETSF (following) ID (primitive instincts) GETS (turns?). GETS seems a bit of  a stretch, but the dictionary has “reach or cause to reach a specified state or condition”.
27 Proceeds to analyse, first and foremost, one of two books (7)
TAKINGS – First letters of, [first and foremost] To Analyse, KINGS (one of two books of the bible).
28 Misbehaving like a competent card player? (2,2,4,6)
UP TO ONES TRICKS – Double definition, the second a cryptic hint.
31 Satisfied after fruit drop (7)
PLUMMETPLUM (fruit) MET (satisfied).
33 Flyer put up in around trading centre (5,6)
HOUSE MARTINHOUSE (put up) IN, [around] MART (trading centre).
35 Girl always thanks cook finally when rising (5)
KATYAAY (always) TA (thanks) cooK [finally], [rising].
36 Light in women’s loo wired badly (5,6)
ORIEL WINDOW – (in w loo wired)* [badly], with W for women’s.
38 Fish I caught having chosen appropriate equipment all round (8,3)
ELECTRIC EELI C (caught), inside ELECT (chosen) REEL (appropriate equipment), [all round].
40 Drink taken from seat, one in Paris church (3,5)
RUM PUNCHRUMP (seat) UN (one in French) CH (church).
42 A club closed by the taxman once, scene of killing (8)
ABATTOIRA BAT (club) TO (closed; like a door) IR (Inland Revenue; taxman once… now HMRC after merger with HM Customs and Excise).
43 Body’s state: one likely to be rotten at the top! (7)
CADAVERAVER (state) under CAD (one likely to be rotten) [at the top]. Another nice one.
46 Something given urgency: case of importance (7)
PRESSIE – Ha! We have to separate “given urgency” – very sneaky. PRESS (urgency) and outside letters of [case of] I{mportanc}E.
47 Maybe get granny out of bunk — no tender hugs! (6)
UNKNOT – Hidden in, [hugs] bUNK NO Tender. Lovely!
49 Race has to be arranged with IT (5)
THAIS – (has IT)* [to be arranged].
50 Letter from abroad: one to seal well, we understand? (5)
KAPPA – Sounds like, [we understand], CAPPER (one to seal well).

6 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1562 – 18th June”

  1. DNK SPIGNEL, SMOTHERED MATE, PIPE MAJOR, SQUIRREL NUTKIN, KANGAROO HOP, FULL TIME. I had a ? at turns=GETS at 25d. It was Orpheus who looked back, all right–I’d forgotten the story–but EURYDICE was looked back on. What I questioned was the ‘nymph’ part; she was a mortal, after all. I liked YOURE ON.

    1. Eurydice: Thanks. I’ll extend the definition to include the ‘on’ and correct my comment. I see this site says she was a nymph, and Wikipedia says she was an Auloniad, but I too thought she was mortal.

  2. 2hrs 22mins in several sessions, the last of them this morning, and still well placed at 56 in the leaderboard. DNK SPIGNEL and others that rang only very faint bells. LOI SMOTHERED MATE which luckily put VIOLINCELLO right for me. I liked YOU’RE ON and DOORMAN. Many thanks for the blog

  3. I got through this eventually but didn’t find it easy and on completion I had so many queries about parsing and definition I didn’t have the energy to go back and try to resolve them, so thanks for the blog, John.

    Amongst my queries were were EURYDICE as a nymph, and the wordplay in STOCKHOLM as I didn’t realise until coming here that the second part was intended as a homophone. I can’t get myself exercised about homophones that don’t work for me because we have to accept that not everyone pronounces everything as we as individuals do, but I would mention that I have always pronounced the L in Stockholm.

  4. I thought this was an excellent jumbo, with plenty of clues that would cheer up Verlaine on a Friday, and squeezed in under the hour. I thought we were on for a pangram, or even that rather rarer item the double pangram, but we’re missing the X.
    CLAUDIO, with its clever lift and separate makes it as my favourite. SMOTHERED MATE last in because I had VIOLINCELLO and smithered mate isn’t a thing.

  5. Lots of interesting clues here and very enjoyable though I couldn’t get SPIGNEL or PRESSIE. Also many more I needed blog to fully understand. Blog also disabused me of my mistaken notion that eth was always voiced and thorn unvoiced! Pondering the nymphness of Eurydice and who looked at whom brought to mind what was for a long time my favourite movie- Black Orpheus(1959)- an updated retelling of the Orpheus /Eurydice myth during Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. Best known for its beautiful soundtrack.

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