Times Cryptic Jumbo No 1652 – 1st January 2024

I thought this first Jumbo of 2024 Jumbo a little harder than usual, with the left-hand side trickier than the right – I finished with the SW and then NW corners in 56:25. Lots of witty and tricky clues, of which 47A was my pick. Thank-you entertaining setter. How did you all get on?

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

1 Letters from strapping lads to New Statesman (9)
GLADSTONE – Hidden in [letters from] strappinG LADS TO NEw. I was rather slow at spotting this was a hidden answer.
6 Send kind of file for researcher (7)
POSTDOCPOST (send) DOC (kind of file).
10 More mature message mourning late monarch (5)
RIPERR.I.P ER (message mourning late monarch). Nice one.
13 Royal gets salad put on bagel? It’s a current rule (4,3)
OHMS LAWO (zero; bagel) HM (his/her majesty; royal) SLAW (salad). Ohm’s Law, V = IR, states the relationship between Voltage (V), Current (I) and R (resistance)… hence a “current rule”. Ho ho.
14 I need to think, entering attraction in London gallery (7)
VERANDAER (I need to think) in V AND A (Victoria and Albert museum; London attraction).
15 Marine creature in autumn time round some whales (7)
OCTOPODOCT (October; autumn time) O (round letter) POD (some whales). I didn’t know this alternative name for an octopus.
16 Citizen keeps working, dealing with current kind of art (19)
NONREPRESENTATIONALON (working) RE (dealing with) PRESENT (current), in NATIONAL (citizen).
17 Greek goddess returns as character in The Oresteia? (3)
ETA – ATE (Greek goddess) [returns] -> ETA, the Greek letter, The Oresteia being a Greek tragedy.
18 Foil wrapping from supermarket that is holding cored yam (6)
STYMIEST (outside letters of supermarket) Y{a}M (without its middle letter) IE (that is).
20 Prepare miners for combat in depressed region (6)
ARMPITARM (prepare  … for combat) PIT (miners). A place regarded as very unpleasant.
21 Extremely gloomy mounted policeman stops one spinning around (9)
GYROSCOPE – Outside letters of G{loom}Y, COP (policeman) in, [stops], ROSE (mounted).
23 Made new fashion navy instead, oddly (10)
MODERNISEDMODE (fashion) RN (navy), alternate letters of InStEaD
25 Instruction from journalist? Current story holds answer (11)
EDIFICATIONED (journalist) I (current, as in Ohm’s Law (q.v.)), A (answer) in FICTION (story).
29 Provocative artist forbidding cycling (5)
ERNST – STERN (forbidding) [cycling the letters] -> ERNST.
30 For mum and dad, first article’s delayed before delivery (8)
PRENATAL – PARENTAL (for mum and dad) delaying the first A -> PRENATAL. Clever.
31 Reported holes in old-fashioned bags (8)
BREECHES – Sounds like BREACHES (holes).
34 Men on board determined to follow old red vessel (5,3)
CHESS SETCHE (Che Guevara; old red) SS (ship; vessel) SET (determined).
36 Time lag reforms, accepting head of institution’s regulation (3,5)
AGE LIMIT – First letter of Institution in (time lag)* [reforms].
37 Cheers by Sampdoria’s no.1 thus for Italian linesman (5)
TASSOTA (cheers), first letter of Sampdoria, SO (thus). Lineman as in poet…. this one.
39 Adopt sexist hiring policy, given time slot for meeting (11)
APPOINTMENTAPPOINT MEN (sexist hiring policy) T (time).
41 Queen Mother leaves African from fabulous kingdom (10)
RURITANIANR (regina; queen) {ma}URITANIAN (African) without the MA (mother).
43 Go and nick fancy undies for cold-blooded killer (4,5)
KING COBRA – (Go nick)* [fancy] BRA (undies). Cold-blooded as the snake is a reptile.
45 Test this person’s reason (6)
MOTIVEMOT (annual car roadworthiness test) I’VE (this person’s).
47 Perhaps keeper’s better catching header from defender? (6)
FINDER – First letter of Defender in FINER (better). My LOI. Keeper as in “finder’s keepers”. Tricky!
49 Group staying dry and hot? How delightful! (3)
AAHAA (Alcoholics Anonymous; group staying dry) H (hot).
50 Rogue in kindergarten began giving offence (8,3,8)
BREAKING AND ENTERING – (in kindergarten began)* [rogue].
52 Bird getting behind ape in admiration (7)
EMULATEEMU (bird) LATE (behind).
53 Mind ringing a hotel in gulf state (7)
BAHRAINA H (hotel in the phonetic alphabet) in BRAIN (mind).
54 With energy, married couple perhaps do this? (7)
EMBRACEE (energy) M (married) BRACE (couple). Semi-&lit. Nice.
55 Return from India, packing cases for 19 and Lapland (5)
YIELDI (India in the phonetic alphabet) inside the outside letters of Y{aound}E (the answer to 19D) and L{aplan}D. I hadn’t solved 19d first, and this gave me a start on the anagram.
56 Hard to climb flipping frame of Eiffel Tower! (7)
STEEPLESTEEP (hard to climb), and outside letters of E{iffe}L [flipping] -> LE.
57 Gift yours truly wrapped in blue taken into part of hospital (9)
ENDOWMENT – A Russian doll clue. ME (yours truly) in DOWN, all in ENT (Ear Nose and Throat; crosswordland’s favourite hospital department)
1 My healthy food provides it (8)
GOODNESS – Double definition.
2 Superhero saving British Indian’s soul (5)
ATMAN -{b}ATMAN (superhero) without the B (British).
3 Plain or veldt, if seen abroad (4-7)
SELF-EVIDENT – (veldt if seen)* [abroad]. Neat surface.
4 Running down, covering area by River Forth (6)
ONWARDA (area) R (river) in (down)* [running].
5 Spy seller I’ve thrashed, having hit record merchant (5,7)
ELVIS PRESLEY – (Spy seller I’ve)* [thrashed].
6 Maybe spin round a cut vegetable (7)
PARSNIPPR (spin) [round] A, SNIP (cut).
7 Folk hero sorry that man’s imprisoned in orient following transgression (6,3,6)
SINBAD THE SAILOR – I biffed this with the enumeration and checkers. it’s SIN (transgression) BAD (sorry) and HE’S  (that man’s) in TAILOR (orient). Tailor as in adapt. I was slightly dubious but  it’s in ODE as a definition for “orient”.
8 Two medics claiming a triumph with hip fixing device (7,3)
DRAWING PINA WIN (a triumph) in DR and GP (two medics), IN (hip).
9 Public official moving over for Frank Sinatra? (7)
CROONER – CORONER (public official) moving the first O (over) -> CROONER.
10 Throw small, uncovered, tailless reptile (11)
RATTLESNAKERATTLE (throw) S (small) NAKE{d} (uncovered) without the last letter.
11 Argentinian leader eats course with starter of Italian meat (9)
PEPPERONIPPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics; course) in PERON (Argentinian leader), [start of] Italian.
12 Auditor’s studied record for bureaucratic business (3,4)
RED TAPERED sounds like READ (studied) TAPE (record).
19 Dane travelling with you in the capital (7)
YAOUNDE – (Dane you)* [travelling]. Yaoundé is the capital of Cameroon, as I’m sure you knew, but I didn’t.
22 Foot beginning to ache? Peasant is put out (8)
ANAPAEST -A word I learnt from a crossword last year, I think.
24 Ability to draw game with craft, capturing piece of 34 (15)
DRAUGHTSMANSHIPMAN (piece of Chess Set (answer to 34A)) in DRAUGHTS (game) SHIP (craft).
26 Temperature in water, not good for bug (8)
IRRITATE -I’ve seen a similar clue for this  recently elsewhere. It’s T (temperature) in IRRI{g}ATE (water) without the G (good). Ah yes it was Jumbo 1642 which I also blogged.
27 Child raised question for absent guest (2-4)
NO-SHOW – SON (child) [raised] -> NOS, HOW (question).
28 South of foreign sea, spies ancient kingdom (6)
MERCIAMER (French of sea) CIA (spies).
32 Save pop group from America hours, initially (7)
HUSBANDH (hours) US BAND (pop group from America).
33 Newspaper covered MP in Barking displaying short-sightedness (12)
IMPROVIDENCEI (newspaper), (covered MP in)* [barking].
35 Son and enchantress get on where callers are received (11)
SWITCHBOARDS (son) WITCH (enchantress) BOARD (get on).
37 Complaint of one appearing regularly in court? (6,5)
TENNIS ELBOW – Cryptic definition.
38 Newly assess president adopting line that’s noteworthy (10)
REMARKABLEREMARK (newly assess), L (line) in ABE (Abraham Lincoln; president)
40 Room at the Top writer has grand scene’s outline (9)
PENTHOUSEPEN (writer) THOU (thousand; grand) S{cen}E [‘s outline].
42 Paper bags clothes dealers split into pieces (8)
FRAGMENTRAGMEN (clothes dealers) in FT (paper).
43 Starts off knowing nothing, admitting really bad behaviour (7)
KNAVERY – Initial letters of Knowing Nothing Admitting, VERY (really). Nice deception with “admitting” not, for once, being an inclusion indicator.
44 Empty beer jugs for those who might fill them? (7)
BREWERSB{ee}R [empty], EWERS (jugs).
46 Roughly cutting wood, European gets snack (7)
TEACAKECA (circa; roughly) in TEAK, E (European).
48 Mean, finally, to expel ambassador (6)
INTENDIN T{he} END (finally) without the HE (His Excellency; ambassador).
51 A Gershwin tune leaves a Parisian in a bad mood (5)
IRATEIRA (A Gershwin, George’s older brother)  T{un}E without UN (a in French).

7 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo No 1652 – 1st January 2024”

  1. DNF: I never got 30ac, because, I now see, I misspelled ANAPAEST, putting the AE in the wrong syllable. The setter likes first/last letters: 21ac extremely gloomy, 55ac cases for 19, 56ac frame of Eiffel, 40d scene’s outline 51d tune leaves [un]. I like PRENATAL; wish I’d seen it.

  2. I think I did this in one session and had only one query: orient = TAILOR. I didn’t find a direct link (thanks for quoting one in the blog, John) but more or less explained it via the synonyms in common: adjust/align.

  3. 1 hour 52 minutes, so not very fast. The clues seemed to need a lot of construction work which made for a steady methodical solve. I lIked VERANDA (where the V&A wasn’t the Tate) and EMULATE.

    Too many Jumbos? John, you have posted your comments on the next Jumbo (1653) on the blog of the last one (1651)

  4. It was lucky that I was able to biff 7D with a few checkers, as it took me some time to understand your explanation even with the example of ‘adapt’, so fixated was I on orient meaning east. Just a very clever clue. Took two or three leisurely sessions with both of us and I don’t have the other copy of the clues, so may not have all the queries, but I certainly failed to parse PRENATAL, so another clever one. On the whole, it was a very satisfying solve, coming as it did around the holiday, when there’s a bit more time to think about the more abstruse clues. Thanks, John and setter.

    1. I can see your point. “…fancy item of underwear” would have been more accurate but a less smooth surface.


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