Times Cryptic Jumbo No 1617 – 27th May 2023

My turn to blog the Jumbo again already? With three bank holidays this month they’ve come thick and fast! I found this one relatively 1A but fun, finishing in an sub-average time of just over 35 minutes. As always with a good Jumbo, some educational clues and neat surfaces. The beat poet at 44A had come up elsewhere recently but took me a while to remember as did the Swiss canton at 15A and the mammals at 56A and I didn’t know the alternative name for the musical note at 48D. I was unconvinced by 37 D but liked 41D and, my favourite, 10D. Thank-you setter. How did you all get on?

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

1 Unusual Scots MP fibbed about Siamese perhaps being not involved (13)
UNCOMPLICATEDUNCO (Unusual in Scots) MP LIED (fibbed) about CAT (Siamese perhaps).
8 I teach juggling with set principle of style (9)
AESTHETIC – ( I teach set )* [juggling].
13 Discourage animal eating turnip’s top (5)
DETERDEER (animal) outside Turnip [‘s top]. It’s slugs my wife needs to discourage with her seedlings.
14 Inferior cheese is months old — consume with gin, perhaps? (9)
MOUSETRAPM (months) O (old) USE (consume) TRAP (gin). Gin and cheese? No thanks. I prefer wine.
15 Chap keeping Swiss canton’s travel business (7)
TOURISMTOM (man’s name; chap) outside URI’S (Swiss canton’s). I reverse engineered the canton from the answer, but then remembered it.
16 Musician playing in recitals includes Tippett’s last two pieces (12)
CLARINETTIST – ( in recitals )* [playing] including TipeTT [‘s last two pieces]. Michael Tippett was one of the foremost English composers of the 20th Century.
17 Leader’s alarm perhaps with state of climate? But there’s no answer (10)
BELLWETHERBELL (alarm) WE{a}THER (state of climate) without the A (answer).
18 Consternation of saint hugged by two girls (6)
DISMAYS (saint) between DI and MAY (two girls).
19 Puzzle of a wrong mark and right mark for oral presentation (8)
ACROSTIC – Sounds like A CROSS (wrong mark) and TICK (right mark) [for oral presentation]
21 Give a sermon with power and range of influence (6)
PREACHP (power) REACH (range of influence).
24 Slow treacle flowing in a river (10)
DECELERATE – ( treacle )* [flowing] in DEE (a river).
26 Strong declaration in favour of those abandoning the centre position (12)
PROTESTATIONPRO (in favour of) T{hos}E [abandoning the centre] STATION (position).
29 Horse galloped around ring (4)
ROANRAN (galloped) round O (round letter; ring).
30 Tricked out of diamonds after tea dance (8)
CHACONNECHA (tea) CONNE{d} (tricked) without the D (diamonds).
31 Educated people fired by it are coming back (8)
LITERATILIT (fired), IT ARE [coming back] -> ERATI.
34 Support alcoholic drink? Nearly all not drinking (8)
TEETOTALTEE (golf ball support) TOT (alcoholic drink) AL{l} [nearly].
35 Short-lived insect — he mates initially in record time (8)
EPHEMERAHE M{ates} [initially], in EP (Extended Play record) ERA (time). I knew the word but not that it referred to an insect.
36 Send a telegram with anger (4)
WIREW (with) IRE (anger).
39 Calm northern valley of great beauty in poetic evening sunset colour (4-8)
EVEN-TEMPEREDN (northern) TEMPE (valley of great beauty), in EVE (poetic evening) RED (sunset colour). Fortunately I remembered Tempe from a previous crossword.
40 Fish with a nice wild sparkle (10)
BRILLIANCEBRILL (fish) ( a nice )* [wild].
43 Fuss about name surrounded by female and male enthusiasts? (6)
FANDOM – A double inclusion – ADO (fuss) about N (name), in F (female) M (male).
44 Alcoholic drinks with a lot of ice beat writer (8)
GINSBERGGINS (alcoholic drinks) BERG (a lot of ice). He came up recently in another crossword but I can’t track down where.
45 What’s in a can of beer? Weight I would gain (6)
WIDGETW (weight) I’D (I would) GET (gain). In those funny cans that add gas when you open them.
49 What newspapers want academic craft? (10)
READERSHIPREADER (academic) SHIP (craft).
51 Madly irate lunatic with unclear speech (12)
INARTICULATE – ( irate lunatic )* [madly]
53 National poet’s got backing in India more than once (7)
ISRAELI – LEAR’S (pet’s) reversed [got backing] -> SRAEL, in I I (India more than once).
54 Fraud has Charlie and Tanya consistently left short (9)
CHARLATANCHARL{ie} A{nd} TAN{ya} all without their last two letters [consistently left short]. Nice one. I don’t think I’ve seen that wordplay device before.
55 One having to complain about girl (5)
NAOMI – I (one) MOAN (complain) [about] -> NAOMI.
56 Second French cathedral throws out daughter with a mammal (9)
MONOTREMEMO (second) NOTRE {da}ME (French cathedral) without the D (daughter) and A. Monotremes are an order of mammals including echidnas and platypuses.
57 Chambers perhaps with entries for second and note optional (13)
DISCRETIONARYDICTIONARY (Chambers perhaps) including S (second) and RE (note).
1 Open University took chances during study that’s set up (9)
UNDECIDEDU (University) with DICED (took chances) in DEN, [set up] -> NDECICED.
2 Weapon category including uranium and tritium primarily (7)
CUTLASSCLASS (category) including  Uranium Tritium [primarily]. No. Not nuclear weapons.
3 Slightly spoil spirit for the whole year (10)
MARGINALLYMAR (spoil) GIN (spirit) ALL (whole) Y (year).
4 Allowed to hold naughty child, one clinging on forcefully (6)
LIMPETLET (allowed) outside IMP (naughty child).
5 Where to hear a major Roman poet supporting emperor’s retinue? (5,7)
COURT MARTIALCOURT (emperor’s retinue) MARTIAL (Roman poet). “Marcus Valerius Martialis (known in English as Martial; March, between 38 and 41 AD – between 102 and 104 AD) was a Roman poet born in Hispania (modern Spain) best known for his twelve books of Epigrams, published in Rome between AD 86 and 103, during the reigns of the emperors Domitian, Nerva and Trajan. In these poems he satirises city life and the scandalous activities of his acquaintances, and romanticises his provincial upbringing. He wrote a total of 1,561 epigrams, of which 1,235 are in elegiac couplets. ” Of which I’ve read… 0.
6 Prize short willow, perhaps on a southern river (8)
TREASURETRE{e} (willow, perhaps) [short], A S (southern) URE (river). The river is in Yorkshire. I’ve crossed it on the A1 more times than I care to remember.
7 A place for the rest of pupils either end of dining-room (4)
DORM – Either of the first or last letters…. D OR M. The surface suggests a money saving opportunity for struggling boarding schools.
8 Be sensitively aware of increase in price (10)
APPRECIATE – Double definition.
9 Item of furniture’s alight (6)
SETTLE – Double definition, the second as in landing.
10 Height on river wave — such a one could damage locks (12)
HOUSEBREAKERH (height) OUSE (river) BREAKER (waves). A bit of a cheeky definition. And another river one of which is in Yorkshire, but there are several more. The longest is the Great Ouse. From Syresham in Northamptonshire, the Great Ouse flows through Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk to drain into the Wash and the North Sea near Kings Lynn.
11 Perhaps piece of chicken’s off with temperature going over (5)
THIGHT (temperature) [over] HIGH (off).
12 Remove pinches rum in school (13)
COMPREHENSIVE – (Remove pinches)* [rum].
20 Rage after Sir takes time for one more rum (8)
STRANGER – S{i}R -> STR [takes time for I, one] ANGER (rage). Clever wordplay.
22 I am appearing in a country film (9)
ANIMATIONI’M (I am) in A NATION (country).
23 Announce concert including the French in Channel Islands (8)
PROCLAIM – A second double inclusion. PROM (concert), outside LA (the in French) in CI (Channel Islands).
25 Cold meat on sale finally with Christmas coming up is a slow mover (9)
CHAMELEONC (cold) HAM (meat) salE [finally], NOEL (Christmas) [coming up] -> LEON.
27 Fitting garment with the necessary skill (8)
SUITABLESUIT (garment) ABLE (with the necessary skill).
28 Company representative has residence and second pad (8)
COMPRESSCO (company) MP (representative) RES (residence) S (second).
29 An element of resistance with King Arthur’s father taking girl into marketplace (13)
RUTHERFORDIUMR (resistance) UTHER (King Arthur’s father), DI (girl) in FORUM (marketplace). Rurtherfordium is a transuranic element. A synthetic element, it is not found in nature and can only be made in a particle accelerator. It is radioactive; the most stable known isotope, 267Rf, has a half-life of about 48 minutes.
32 Opponents met wrangling for delay (12)
POSTPONEMENT – (opponents met)* [wrangling].
33 What aids preservation for rare tiger all over the place (12)
REFRIGERATOR – (for rare tiger)* [all over the place].
37 House band making only one side of an LP? (10)
SEMICIRCLESEMI (house) CIRCLE (band). Hmm. I’m not really convinced by the definition. Aren’t both sides of an LP full circles?
38 Indistinct slur concealing a new instruction to musicians (10)
DIMINUENDODIM (indistinct) I{n}NUENDO (slur), losing one N ( a new)
41 End of English eleven one short with time up in test (9)
EXTREMITY – E (English) X (ten – eleven one short), TIME [up] -> EMIT in TRY (test). Cleverly worked. The X could also be XI (eleven) without the I (one).
42 Who painted only at sea in shades like crimson and scarlet? (8)
REYNOLDS – (only)* [at sea] in REDS (shades like crimson and scarlet). Joshua Reynolds was was an English painter who specialised in portraits. John Russell said he was one of the major European painters of the 18th century.[1] He promoted the “Grand Style” in painting which depended on idealisation of the imperfect. He was a founder and first president of the Royal Academy of Arts, and was knighted by George III in 1769.
46 Cereal managed in Angola without key nitrogen (7)
GRANOLARAN (managed) in {An}GOLA without the A (musical key) and N (Nitrogen).
47 Rise high like magpie circling rook (6)
ASPIREAS (like) PIE (magpie) [circling] R (rook). I was a little surprised by this but I see the definition used is marked as ‘Literary’ in the ODE.
48 Note good trap needed for seal (6)
SIGNETSI (note) G (good) NET (trap). I didn’t know ‘si’ was another name for the note ‘ti’.
50 Island a Republican managed (5)
ARRANA R (Republican) RAN (managed).
52 Boy eats right sort of fat (4)
LARDLAD (boy) [eats] R (right).

8 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo No 1617 – 27th May 2023”

  1. I never did parse EXTREMITY, and it took me forever to see how DIMINUENDO worked. GINSBERG shows up in 1618.

    1. Ah. That explains why I couldn’t find it when I did a search. I must have solved it here first and remembered it coming up again when I did the blog.

  2. I don’t time Jumbos but I wrote ‘mostly easy’ on my printout and there a very few workings-out to suggest I was delayed by much.

    I also thought SEMICIRCLE was odd but I guess we are supposed to ignore that an LP has two playing sides and think of it as any other circular object e.g. like a cake, which if you cut down the middle you are left with two sides, left and right, each the shape of a semicircle. Not very convincing, but it was the only way I could justify it with misgivings.

  3. A steady solve. Like Jackkt, I didn’t like the semicircle much.
    So SI = TI = TE .. why don’t musicians just pick one and settle on it?

    1. Different languages or dialects, I think. I tried researching it once but it all became too complicated.

  4. just under two hours, which is fine for me. I don’t seem to have made any notes at all, but I know I didn’t know UNCO, TEMPE and SI. Enjoyed the blog. Many thanks

  5. Pretty gentle one. I can’t see any problem with ‘one side of an LP’. A disc has a front and back side, but also a left and right side. The existence (and more common use) of one does not invalidate the other.
    I was a bit puzzled by EPHEMERA, which I thought was necessarily a plural, but the wordplay was crystal clear.

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