Times Cryptic Jumbo 1567 – 23rd July

I found this Jumbo quite a gentle giant without too many unknowns or wordplay that had me scratching my head, finishing in about 32 1/2 minutes. I did discover, though, that I didn’t know the correct meaning of 32D, what the nine at 54A were of or the gardening problem at 17A. I also had to check 12D to see if I’d guessed right as I didn’t know the Siberian city. Several appreciative ticks on my copy. COD to 31A for the entertaining surface and definition, but I liked 36D too. How did you all get on?

Apologies for any delay in replying to comments as I will be travelling from Suffolk to Perthshire over most of today… an estimated 7 hour drive. Yuk.

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

1 Secretly listen to dad turning back on women’s group (7)
WIRETAP – PATER (dad) [turning back] -> RETAP, after WI (Women’s Institute; women’s group).
5 Destroyed city conveyance horse brought in (8)
CARTHAGECARTAGE (conveyance) with H (horse) [brought in]. As I learned  here, Carthage was destroyed by the Romans in the Third Punic War. But you knew that already, didn’t you?
9 Neighbour‘s a music maker performing around India (6)
ADJOINA DJ (music maker) ON (performing) [around] I (India in the NATO phonetic alphabet).
13 Deep, airy complex piece of music: A Dreamy Event (5,3,8)
RAPID EYE MOVEMENT – (Deep airy)* [complex], MOVEMENT (piece of music). Cheeky definition.
14 Weekend service cut aid for travellers (3,3)
SAT NAVSAT{urday} (weekend) NAV{y} (the senior service) both [cut].
16 Perfect croupier’s CV condensed? (5)
IDEAL – A croupier’s CV might say I DEAL. Condense into a single word.
17 Difficult to criticise what gardeners avoid (7)
HARDPANHARD (difficult) PAN (criticise). Not a word I knew, but the wordplay and checkers made it obvious. Our garden is all hardpan at the moment with the lack of rainfall this spring and summer.
18 We love users willy-nilly (9)
OURSELVES – (love users)* [willy-nilly]. “We” doesn’t include the BOFH. As nominal sysop for this site, I’m still in training to reach Simon’s dizzy heights. You’ve been warned! (just kidding).
19 Great faith sacrificing first sporting success (5,4)
GRAND SLAMGRAND (great) {i}SLAM (faith) without the first letter [sacrificing first].
21 Pig‘s surplus weight (7)
GLUTTONGLUT (surplus) TON (weight).
22 Shut up Polish plant (5)
SHRUBSH (shut up) RUB (polish). Shut up as in imprisoned in a cold frame, I guess.
23 Slender female in river, doing backstroke? (5)
ELFINF (female) [in] NILE (river) reversed [doing backstroke; ha ha] -> ELFIN. Love it.
25 Punter, jobless, securing one in Greece (9)
GONDOLIER – A double inclusion. ON DOLE (jobless) [securing] I (one), all [in] GR (Greece). Do they punt in Greece, I wonder?
27 Start to pen letter, a gratifying one (7)
PLEASER – [start to] Pen, LEASER (letter; landlord).
29 Nearly dispatch old carrier’s measure once (9)
KILOCYCLE – [Nearly] KIL{l}, O (old) CYCLE (carrier). The unit now known as Kilohertz (KHz).
31 Bird stalks parasite that may be piercing cherry (8,5)
COCKTAIL STICKCOCK (bird) TAILS (stalks) TICK (parasite). Another cheeky definition and entertaining surface. My COD.
34 Fair act that needs some looking into? (7,6)
CRYSTAL GAZING -Cryptic definition. Hmm. It’s the ball that is looked into, but whatevs.
35 Call Italian husband a father of IT? (9)
HOLLERITHHOLLER (call) IT (Italian) H (husband). Herman Hollerith was the inventor of the punched card. I remember in the early 1970s filling in FORTRAN coding forms that were converted into punched cards to be run on the mainframe at Teesside Polytechnic. With an edit-compile-test loop of 2 weeks typos were really annoying.
37 Berlin quartet visiting inlet’s coastal area (7)
RIVIERAVIER (4 in German; Berlin’s quartet) [visiting] RIA (inlet). I didn’t know RIA “a long, narrow inlet formed by the partial submergence of a river valley”, but I do now. And I remembered it when it came up in a Quick Cryptic earlier this week.
39 Stepping around hot sewer’s work (9)
THREADINGTREADING (stepping) [around] H (hot).
42 Nigerian bread not available without strain (5)
NAIRAN/A (not available) outside [without] AIR (strain; tune). The currency of Nigeria which is divided into 100 kobos. A Naira is currently worth 0.002 pounds sterling. Not so much bread – more like a crumb.
43 Driver‘s unlimited theatre activity (5)
URGER – [unlimited] {s}URGER{y} (theatre activity). I wasn’t fooled into looking for some dramatic activity.
45 Leaves silver in fit of insanity (7)
FOLIAGEAG (chemical symbol of silver) [in] FOLIE (fit of insanity). Folie was a new word in English for me, although it turns out I didn’t know what it meant in French either.
47 Fuelled tanks in city out of necessity (9)
NEEDFULLY – (fuelled)* [tanks] [in] NY (New York; city). “Fuelled tanks” – very droll.
49 Sailor spoils hotel and marine grassland (4,5)
SALT MARSHSALT (sailor) MARS (spoils) H (hotel in the Nato phonetic alphabet).
50 Old car, one of many sent out by local star (7)
SUNBEAM -Double definition, the second a cryptic hint. I saw and photographed one at the Bedford Festival of Motoring last month.
52 Glossy material from head of news area (5)
NACRE – [head of] N{ews} ACRE (area). Aka mother-of-pearl.
54 Set of nine English notes repaid regularly (6)
ENNEADE (English) N, N (notes), rEpAiD [regularly]. I knew the word but not what it was nine of… The Ennead was a group 9 Egyptian deities.
55 During beating, writer settled for paying too much (16)
OVERCOMPENSATINGOVERCOMING outside PEN (writer) SAT (settled). Coming back to this on a second pass I filled in the answer from the checkers without re-reading the clue.
56 Go round to dispose of deal (6)
TREATYTRY (go) [round] EAT (dispose of).
57 Perhaps bowler owned equipment to conserve energy (8)
HEADGEARHAD (owned) GEAR (equipment) outside, [to conserve], E (energy). Not a cricketer, of course.
58 Head of engineering impressed by modest digital skill (7)
SLEIGHT – [Head of] E{ngineering} inside, [impressed by], SLIGHT (modest).
1 Queen’s in Surrey town with tiny king for what’s five days typically (7,4)
WORKING WEEKR (Regina; queen) [in] WOKING (Surrey town), WEE (tiny) K (king). Another clever definition.
2 Resistance, with Europeans acquiring dearer unit in Delhi (5)
RUPEER (resistance) E, E (Europeans) [acquiring] UP (dearer).
3 Strolled to outskirts of Deptford with light (7)
TODDLEDTO [outskirts of] D{eptfor}D, LED (light-emitting diode; light).
4 Nut with natural poison yielding in eastern battle of wits? (13,7)
PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE -I biffed this, but will have to work it out now… PSYCHO (nut) LOGICAL (natural) WARFAR{in} (poison) [yielding in], E (eastern). Nice one.
5 Shooter arrived with press article (9)
CAMERAMANCAME (arrived) RAM (press) AN (article). No guns involved here, unless it was a flashgun.
6 Accelerate sketch show briefly: put on pressure (3,2)
REV UPREVU{e} (sketch show) [briefly], P (pressure).
7 Weird Munch oil engages posh people like the Borrowers? (9)
HOMUNCULI – [Weird] (Munch oil)* [engages] U (posh). Never read or watched The Borrowers. Is it any good?
8 Armed vessel‘s tackle snaring a French sub finally (7)
GUNBOATGO AT (tackle), [snaring] UN (a in French) {su}B [finally].
10 Raise small prize bloomers (7)
DRAWERS -Reverse, [raise] S (small) REWARD (prize). Not a bunch of flowers, of course, but the other sort of bloomers.
11 Old customs involving French wine recalled: we like to taste it all! (9)
OMNIVORESO (old) MORES (customs), [involving] VIN (French wine) [recalled] -> NIV. I’m one of those.
12 After November, ski with Boris potentially here? (11)
NOVOSIBIRSKNOV (November) (ski Boris)* [potentially]. Novosibirsk is the most populous city in Siberia. Nice surface, but I’m not sure I’d choose to go there for the skiing.
15 New mate and sleeping partner, having united, draw these up? (10,10)
PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENTS -[New] (mate sleeping partner u)*, with the U from United. I don’t have one. Do you?
20 Legally going topless a lot (7)
AWFULLY – {l}AWFULLY (legally) [going topless]. That made me laugh.
21 Cut African flower up on Greek character’s Italian food (7)
GNOCCHI – CONG{o} (African flower; river) [cut], [up] -> GNOCCHI (Greek character).
24 American wears this nearly new kit specially in church (7)
NECKTIENE{w} [nearly], (kit)* [specially] [in] CE (Church of England).
26 Gag miserable type abandoning wife (5)
RETCH – {w}RETCH (miserable type) without [abandoning] the W (wife).
28 Oriental festival at end of autumn (7)
EASTERNEASTER (festival), [end of] {autum}N. I liked the surface of this. A reference to this, perhaps?
30 Old key put on a pedestal (5)
EXALT – Oh no! I had a failed transposition from my paper copy here. I knew the answer was EXALT and entered EXACT online. Grr. EX (old) ALT (keyboard key).
32 Related measure about to split Anglicans (7)
COGNATETANGO (dance measure) [about] -> OGNAT, inside, [to split] CE (Church of England; Anglicans). I thought the word meant knowledgeable, but I was wrong.
33 Sign at the start (7)
INITIAL – Double definition.
34 Wary maiden in big top show reportedly kissed (11)
CIRCUMSPECTM (maiden in cricket scorebook) [in] CIRCUS (big top show) PECT [reportedly] PECKED (kissed).
36 Hefty boxer, and why he gave it up (11)
HEAVYWEIGHT – (why he gave it)* [up]. Nice one!
38 Old poet loses right before local amateur cop (9)
VIGILANTEVI{r}GIL (old poet) without the R [loses right], ANTE (before). And another careless transposition from my paper copy online – I entered VIGILANCE online. Double drat!
40 Encouraged study involving ship on river (9)
REASSUREDREAD (study), [involving] SS (ship) URE (river in Yorkshire).
41 Mine host‘s cool northern ring (9)
INNKEEPERIN (cool) N (northern) KEEPER (ring). I DNK that meaning for keeper… “a plain ring worn to preserve a hole in a pierced ear lobe; a sleeper.”
44 Standing up, rave about a politician (7)
RAMPANTRANT (rave) [about] A MP (politician).
46 Composer drinks vodka primarily with last of white port (2,5)
LE HAVRELEHAR (composer of The Merry Widow inter alia) outside, [drinking], V{odka} [initially], [last of] {whit}E
48 Flourish what supporter eats? (7)
FANFARE – A FAN (supporter) might eat FAN FARE. Ha ha!
51 Daughter leaves knotty loop in rope (5)
NOOSENO{d}OSE (knotty) without the D (daughter).
53 Stick around with Heather (5)
CLINGC (circa; around) LING (heather).

5 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo 1567 – 23rd July”

  1. I think this has come up before, but gondoliers don’t punt, they use an oar.

  2. I think HOLLERITH was my only DNK, although it took me forever to recall SUNBEAM. I thought (think) SATNAV was one word, so the 3,3 enumeration at 14ac stumped me for a while. It was news to me about the gods, but ENNEAD means a set of nine, nine whatevers. No problem with CRYSTAL GAZING: the act requires some looking into=some gazing. I liked PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENTS.

  3. I was away when I did this in Yorkshire. No wi-fi. I did it on paper, as and when. It was pleasingly doable but I don’t have a time. DNK HOLLERITH or ENNEAD, but relied on the cryptics. I came unstuck on the also unknown NOVOSIBIRSK where I got the O and the Is in the middle all mixed up. Lots to like.

    I hope your long drive goes well, Johninterred. We have just done SW London to Robin Hood’s Bay and back, taking two days each time, with hotels half way. We do like a nice hotel

  4. Missed a few.

    “Sewer’s work” had me beaten, was only thinking of the other type of sewer.
    COGNATE had that hidden “tango” which I didn’t see.
    And missed EXALT, did not see key=ALT.
    These three intersected each other, maybe one would have opened up the others.

    I got PSHYCO + LOGICAL, but did get the second word, NHO warfarin

    Also, at 14a, I figured that a 3,3 ending in V, an “aid to travellers” just had to be MAG LEV. This messed up several other clues in the NE corner.

    Went to Bletchley Park today, where Hollerith features.

    Cryptic Jumbo seems miles harder today (Aug 6).

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