Times Cryptic Jumbo No 1587 – 3rd December

I thought this the best Cryptic Jumbo we’ve had for ages – full of entertaining clues of which there are too many to pick a favourite.  It was also quite  chewy in places and took me an hour and 4 minutes – about 20 minutes longer than average. Thank-you setter! How did you all get on?

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

1 Vexed question, so one you’ll address to yourself? (9)
SOLILOQUY – ( q so i you’ll )* [vexed], with Q for question and I for one. Thanks to keriothe for correcting my parsing.
6 Man with the minimum required to make it (8,5)
SKELETON STAFF – Cryptic definition.
13 A red or white mark intended to deceive (5)
MACONM (mark) A CON (intended to deceive).
14 Preserving substance of books ten and eleven penned by a poet (abridged) (11)
ANTIOXIDANTNT (New Testament; books) IO (looks like ten) XI (eleven in Roman numerals), all inside, [penned by], A DANT{e} (poet) [abridged]. Phew! Impressive construction!
15 Western moral theory oddly dismissed (5)
OATER – mOrAl ThEoRy [oddly dismissed]. A new term for me. “Western film” (featuring horse-riding cowboys and Indians), 1946, American English , from oat, as the typical food of horses, says Etymonline.
16 Farm worker unexpectedly passes empty sheds here (11)
SHEPHERDESS – [unexpectedly] ( p {asse} s sheds here )* – passes being without its middle letters [empty].
17 Staggered start by journalist, very slow at first (11)
DUMBFOUNDEDDUMB (very slow) FOUND (start) ED (journalist).
18 One thus about to flee from a certain belief (7)
ISLAMICI (one) SIC (thus) [about] LAM (to flee).
20 Special buckets perhaps for wrenches (7)
SPRAINSSP  (special) RAINS (buckets).
21 Hotel axes description of some compounds (7)
HYDROXYHYDRO (hotel) X,Y (axes on a graph).
23 To prepare for major conflict , he’d flog water pistols, ridiculously (3,4,3,4,2,3)
LET SLIP THE DOGS OF WAR – ( he’d flog water pistols )*. Very funny. The quote is a phrase spoken by Mark Antony in Act 3, Scene 1, line 273 of English playwright William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: “Cry ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of war.” … as we all know, of course. Ahem. Well at least I knew it even if I had no idea where it came from!
27 Supporter with cups boasting endlessly (3)
BRABRA{g} (boasting) [endlessly].
28 Pet in need of attention, cast to the margins (6)
DEARIEEAR (attention) with DIE (cast; mould) outside [to the margins].
29 Sound amplifier leaves: very quiet without it! (6)
PREAMP –  PP (very quiet) outside [without it] REAM (quantity of sheets of paper; leaves).
31 Good bread to have with wine — fancy, and white ? (9)
GHOSTLIKEG (good) HOST (bread to have with wine at mass) LIKE (fancy).
34 Paddy with a note for Clement (9)
TEMPERATETEMPER (paddy) A TE (note).
35 What’s essential to take to neutralise chemical substance (6)
KETONE – Hidden in, [essential to], taKE TO NEutralise.
36 Alive ? No colder (6)
ASWARMAS WARM (no colder).
39 Doctor has tip for Aunt Sally (3)
MOTM.O. (doctor) [tip for] AunT. A witty remark.
40 PM passing on work (5,2,3,9)
DEATH IN THE AFTERNOONDEATH (passing on) IN THE AFTERNOON (PM).  Ernest Hemingway’s book about bullfighting. I see it gives its name to a cocktail, invented by Hemingway, of absinthe and champagne. Yes, that sounds deadly.
42 Pressure to pursue key for return of property once (7)
ESCHEATESC (key) HEAT (pressure). I’ve come across this word in crosswords before.
43 Help a councillor with a backward rural region (7)
ARCADIAAID (help) A CR (councillor) A, all reversed [backward].
45 Upright and sensible, chasing ambition (7)
ENDWISEEND (ambition) WISE (sensible).
47 Shops conveniently situated by one: small row (11)
PATISSERIESPAT (conveniently; at exactly the right moment) I (one) S (small) SERIES (row). I’d not come across that meaning of PAT before.
49 An appetiser and an inspiration: it hurts, to be without that (5-6)
AMUSE-BOUCHEA MUSE (an inspiration), BE outside, [without], OUCH (it hurts).
51 Finish best at regatta, perhaps, or almost (5)
OUTRO -OUTRO{w} (best at regatta) [almost]. No. Not OUTDO, which was my initial thought.
52 Dull, if hot, and fine, a curiously predictable spring (3,8)
OLD FAITHFUL – ( dull if hot f a )* [curiously]. The famous geyser in Yellowstone National Park. Nice surface.
53 Bill ’s father maintaining position (5)
FLIERFR (father) [maintaining] LIE (position of a golf ball).
54 Daniel and Nathaniel do make one, however not Gwen and Jen (8,5)
FEMININE RHYME – Cryptic Definition. “A rhyme between stressed syllables followed by one or more unstressed syllables (e.g. stocking / shocking, glamorous / amorous ).“. Ah. So that’s what it means.
55 Layer of rocks, to the left near large plant (5,4)
ROYAL FERN – ( layer of )* [rocks], NR (near) [to the left] -> RN.
1 Houses rendered late, as workers not fully trained ? (11)
SEMISKILLEDSEMIS (houses) KILLED (rendered late – ha ha).
2 Briefly need hot drink and litre of milk (7)
LACTEALLAC{k} (need) [briefly] TEA (hot drink) L (litre).
3 Some fare well, uncharacteristically, after downsizing (5)
LUNCH – Hidden in, [after downsizing], welL UNCHaracteristically. Nice one.
4 One extending leg , taking bike, tears around church (10)
QUADRICEPSQUAD (bike), RIPS (tears) [around] CE (church). MER at the definition being singular and answer plural. They are a group of muscles, surely?
5 Star, yet to explode, releases gas (7)
YATTERS – ( star yet )* [to explode]. Another cheeky definition.
6 Charity event : boy very evidently embarrassed when pennies collected go missing (9,4)
SPONSORED WALKSON (boy) SO RED (evidently embarrassed) including P (pennies) WALK (go missing). Nice one.
7 After revolution, survive murder and onset of great wickedness (9)
EVILDOING – LIVE (survive) [after revolution] -> EVIL, DO IN (murder), [onset of] G{reat}.
8 Old scholar featuring in The Times letters (7)
ERASMUSERAS (the times) MUS (Greek letters).
9 With fuel exhausted, article locked in safe (3,2,3,4)
OUT OF THE WOODOUT OF WOOD (fuel exhausted), THE (article) [locked in].
10 Flood that’s to be expected, one may hear? (4,5)
SNOW UNDER – Sounds like, [one may hear], ‘S NO WONDER (that’s to be expected). The dropping penny made me laugh.
11 Did something about rearing delinquent youth (5)
ACTED – CA (about) [rearing] -> AC, TED (delinquent youth).
12 Female with a light cape in a storm finding protection against lightning (7,4)
FARADAY CAGEF (female ),  A DAY (light) C (cape) [in]  A RAGE (storm).
19 Complaint he conveys when entertaining one (7)
MALAISE – A double inclusion – I (one) inside AS (when) all inside MALE (he).
22 Essential to play one close to All Blacks in NZ region, on reflection (9)
OBBLIGATOI (one) [close to] {al}L, B B (blacks) [in] OTAGO (NZ region) all reversed. Clever
24 A cut arm: it might turn out so ? (9)
TRAUMATIC – ( a cut arm it )* [turn out]. Nice semi-&lit.
25 Ultimately tough, a type of rugby mostly representative of E Wales town (7)
HARLECH – [Ultimately] {toug}H, A, R L (Rugby League) [mostly] ECH{o} (representative of E in NATO phonetic alphabet).
26 Yellow strip lined with new sort of material (7)
ORGANZAOR (yellow) GAZA (strip) with N on the inside, [lined with].
30 Wound that bled, etc, after constant fighting (7,6)
PITCHED BATTLEPI (constant, 3.1415926535…) ( that bled etc )*.
32 Rested up before dawn of day, stunned (7)
TASERED – SAT (rested) [up] -> TAS, ERE (before) [dawn of] D{ay].
33 Gesture in vain , indicating place to park the Rover? (3,2,3,4)
BAY AT THE MOON – Double definition, the second an amusing cryptic hint.
34 Finally got confession from American culprit, covering against theft ? (6-5)
TAMPER-PROOF – [Finally] {go}T, AM PERP (confession from American culprit – ho ho!) ROOF (covering).
37 European national entering sneakily, a day earlier (11)
MONTENEGRINMON (a day)  ( entering )* [sneakily]. Not the careless MONTENEGRAN I entered leaving me with a pink square.
38 English friend outside, present in spirit ? (10)
ETHEREALLYE (English) ALLY (friend) [outside] THERE (present).
40 Be not quite as smart in rebuke (5,4)
DRESS DOWN – Double definition.
41 Means to use scenery, as ordered (9)
NECESSARY – ( scenery as )* [ordered].
43 Indian manager taking a 34 across a river (7)
AMILDARA MILD (temperate; answer to 34 across) A R (river). An unknown for me, and my LOI.
44 Rock formation shaking, but with vibration removed (7)
AQUIFER – This was really hard to parse. Is this right? AQUIVER (shaking),  with the voiced V replaced by the unvoiced F [with vibration removed] -> AQUIFER. That’s rather tricky! I’ve never seen that device before. Have you?
46 Maybe italicise letters following US company policy (7)
INCLINEINC (US company) LINE (policy).
48 Symbol depicting bear trampling maiden (5)
TOTEMTOTE (bear; carry) on top of, [trampling] M (maiden).
50 Rubbish left by old earth excavator (5)
OFFALOFFA (King of Mercia who created the dyke; old excavator), L (left).

15 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo No 1587 – 3rd December”

  1. DNK QUAD (bike), AMILDAR, FARADAY CAGE. I thought clueing PREAMP with ‘amplifier’ was less than ept. 54ac FEMININE RHYME is barely cryptic. And we have yet another example, at 11d, of Teddy Boys being delinquents; setters just won’t learn, it seems. No problem with QUADRICEPS, which is both singular and plural. I parsed AQUIFER as John did; the vowels and R, though, are still voiced. You’ve come across PAT, John, in Hamlet: When Claudius is praying, Hamlet says, “Now might I do it pat. …” I liked 23ac LET SLIP… and 39ac MOT.

  2. I found this very hard and by the end I was using aids quite liberally to finish off some of the RH side clues.

    I managed ETHEREALLY but was unable to complete the parsing. I had a T unaccounted for as I was fixated on present = HERE.

  3. Been a bit over-crossworded lately, and never got round to doing this one. Looking at some of the clues and answers now, I think I have saved myself quite a lot of time!

    1. Quite probably. I’m looking forward to your unpicking of 1588 as I’ve got a lot of question marks in my notes!!!

  4. Abandoned after an hour with 20 per cent done. I saw another answer straight away when I looked back at it just now, and was tempted to carry on, but it didn’t take me long to decide again to write this one off. Great blog though. Educational

  5. Thanks for the blog John. I found this quite tough and took 1:44:29 to get it all wrapped up and parsed apart from 44d – good effort there! Pretty sure I’ve never seen that in a clue before.

    I just have a mild quibble with 9d as I’ve always thought the expression is “out of the woods” but the answer was clear enough.

    1. Thanks. Now you come to mention it, I, too, had a MER at 9d being in the singular, but I neglected to say so in the blog.

      1. ODE has ‘out of the wood (or woods)’, but the example sentences it gives all have ‘woods’.

        1. Now I come to check, Collins gives both as well. I can’t recall ever hearing it in the singular though.

  6. I’m well behind on jumbos at the moment so only just got round to this. I found it tricky but not terribly so: it took me about half an hour.
    Small point but I don’t think 1ac is semi-&Lit. ‘Address to yourself’ is the definition and the rest is wordplay.
    I’ve never seen OUT OF THE WOOD as a singular either.

  7. John, nothing to do with this crossword, but my comment will reach you: where can I find a blog of the Weekend Quick Cryptic 65, The Geese are Getting Fat, by you? And so far as remember the original contained various other links, and I can’t now find it.

    1. Hi Wil. Thanks for the interest in the Weekend QC. It is one of my favourites. See here. You may like to bookmark the link there to the index of all the crosswords for future reference.

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