Times Cryptic Jumbo No 1642 – 4th November

I found this Jumbo a bit tricky in parts, taking just over an hour to complete and I had to use aids to find one strange word. I didn’t find it as much fun as some other recent Jumbos, but maybe I just got out of bed the wrong side when I solved it two weeks ago. There were a couple of unknowns as usual, and some slightly odd surfaces but it was the stretchy definitions and wordplay, some of which seemed a little loose, that added to the difficulty. The SE corner held my up the most.  Thank-you setter. How did you all get on?

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

1 What’s becoming green in tap regularly (7)
DECORUMECO (green) in DRUM (tap regularly).
5 An officer grabbing weapon is causing panic (8)
ALARMISTARM (weapon) IS, in A LT (lieutenant; officer)
9 Honour brief desire to produce dagger (6)
OBELUSOBE (honour) LUS{t} [brief] (desire).
13 An obsession one has to ensure a word is initially spelled correctly? (1,3,2,4,6)
A BEE IN ONES BONNET – Cryptic definition based on an obsession to make sure Bonnet is spelled with an initial B (bee). I think!
14 Inquisitive on vacation after seeing that small swimsuit! (6)
COSSIE – ‘COS (because; seeing that) S (small), I{nquisitive}E [on vacation].
16 Kindly be inclined in good time to give out answer (8)
TENDERLYTEND (be inclined) E{a}RLY (in good time) without the A (answer).
17 God, seeing Eden’s downfall, reflecting (4)
ZEUS – SUEZ (crisis; Eden’s downfall) reversed. Nice one.
18 Joker’s beaten partner’s king (9)
PRANKSTER – (partner’s K)* [beaten]. In what game of cards might that surface meaning happen?
20 German engineer, one outside Grand Hotel with a port (8)
BENGHAZIG (grand) H (hotel in the NATO phonetic alphabet) A, in BENZ (German engineer) I (one). German engineers drink port? I didn’t know that. Lol.
21 Occasionally sitting in the veranda? No, nightly (4,3,4)
EVER AND ANON – Hidden in thE VERANDA NO Nightly. Not a phrase I am familiar with. Nice hidden.
24 Blocks money order, leading to lack of books at high school (9)
MONOLITHSMO (money order) NO LIT (lack of books) HS (high school).
25 Court official is upset when getting stick (8)
TIPSTAFFTIP (upset)  STAFF (stick). A word I’ve only ever seen in crosswords.
26 Slip passed on after it’s been returned (4)
BOOBOB (obit; passed on) after BO (the same) [returned].
29 Fumed after party at university put off (11)
DISCOURAGEDDISCO (party) U (university) RAGED (fumed).
31 Prince’s friend’s bloomer, caught by storm in New Zealand (11)
ROSENCRANTZROSE (bloomer), C (caught) RANT (storm) in NZ (New Zealand). A character in Hamlet who always appears alongside Guildenstern.
33 Realised elm needs replanting in the country (in shade) (7,4)
EMERALD ISLE – (realised elm)* [needs replanting]. Rather an oblique definition.
36 Timid person’s exploit to speak of and celebrate (11)
MILQUETOASTMILQUE, sounds like MILK (exploit), TOAST (celebrate). NHO this and needed a wordfind to get it.
38 Small piece of music, any one of just six, evidently (4)
NOTENOT E, leaving the six notes ABCDFG to pick from. Somewhat elliptical.
39 Boxer maybe as eyes gouged I’d condemned (5,3)
GUIDE DOG – (gouged I’d)* [condemned]. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a boxer as a guide dog.
41 Stand for body that’s round say and containing more fat? (9)
BUTTERIERBIER (stand for dead body) round UTTER (say). I was surprised to find this was a word. I would have said “more buttery”.
44 Meeting upset good number (3-8)
GET-TOGETHERGET TO (upset) G (good) ETHER (anaesthetic; number).
45 Needle in water removing gallons for time (8)
IRRITATE – Replace the G (gallons) with T (time) in IRRIGATE (water). I couldn’t make sense of that surface, but maybe I just don’t have the power of imagination required.
48 With full mug of coffee for knocking back after loaf (4-5)
MOON-FACEDMOON (lounge about; loaf), DECAF (coffee) [knocking back] -> FACED.
49 Leave no longer just what you want (4)
EXITEX (no longer) IT (just what you want). IT as in what is in fashion and hence desirable… but not to me – I’m no fashionista!
50 I agree to extract lead from each mine (4,4)
VERY WELL – {e}VERY (each) without the first letter, WELL (mine). We’ve had well = mine elsewhere recently but I still don’t like it.
52 Mischief from The Gunners, quietly leaving trophy (6)
RASCALRA (Royal Artillery; The Gunners), SCAL{p} (trophy) without the P (quietly).
53 Book fair after so long? Goodness! (8,2,6)
FAREWELL MY LOVELYFAREWELL (so long) MY (goodness!) LOVELY (fair). The novel by Raymond Chandler. It was made into a film of the same name in 1975. I’d never heard of it. Nice clue, though.
54 Secretary receives steadfast backing, mostly, for receiving bribes (6)
PAYOLA – LOYA{l} (steadfast) [mostly] [backing] -> OYAL, in PA (secretary).
55 In the midst of wrongdoing, property gets developed (8)
GESTATEDESTATE (property) in middle letters of wronGDoining. A bit of an odd surface.
56 Problem queen gets dispensing with formalities (7)
SUMMARYSUM (problem) MARY (queen).
1 Lack of soil below delta (6)
DEARTHD (delta) EARTH (soil).
2 Assisting actor maybe in line that needs to be spoken (6)
CUEING – Sounds like QUEUING (in line).
3 Muddle her allies create (5,4)
RAISE HELL – (her allies)* [muddle].
4 One not content with single job having second working barge (11)
MOONLIGHTERMO (second) ON (working) LIGHTER (barge).
5 Couple in bar turning round, making you jump (4)
AXEL – AXLE (bar) turning around the last couple of letters -> AXEL and ice-skating jump.
6 Short books about splitting up piloted (11)
ABBREVIATEDB B (two books) RE (about), in AVIATED (piloted).
7 Vessel with big hole’s one letting water escape? (11)
MINESWEEPERMINE’S (big hole’s) WEEPER (one letting water escape).
8 Pastries dumped in freezing shower most likely to go off (9)
SLEEPIESTPIES (pastries) in SLEET (freezing shower). Wacky surface.
10 Ordered to grasp stick as means of obstruction (8)
BLOCKADELOCK (stick) in BADE (ordered).
11 Film star also painting, for a change (4,5,2,5)
LAST TANGO IN PARIS – (star also painting)* [for a change].
12 Admit use of bad language hasn’t ended (5,2)
SWEAR INSWEARIN{g} (bad language) without the last letter.
15 Nuisance having to accommodate pilots being stretched for fuel (8)
PARAFFINRAFF (pilots) with the last letter again [stretched] in PAIN (nuisance).
19 Planet Mercury for instance, that’s mostly methane (5,3)
MARSH GASMARS (planet) HG (chemical symbol for mercury) AS (for instance). Sadly, Mercury is not one of the Gas giants. Nice clue, though.
22 Hint at the outset someone’s doing me wrong (8)
SMIDGEONS{omeone} [at the outset], (doing me)* [wrong].
23 Until you assent to otherwise, showing nothing off (16)
UNOSTENTATIOUSLY – (Until you assent to)* [otherwise].
27 Light year, perhaps, minus space and time: a fashionable expression (4,4)
BUZZ TERMBUZZ  (Light year [minus space] -> Lightyear) Buzz Lightyear, the main character in the film Toy Story,  TERM (time). Clever but a little too abstruse for my liking.
28 Document from court cases for whenever important (4)
WRIT – Outside letters of WheneveR ImportanT.
30 Even things in cloakroom picked up and not put down(4)
ORAL – Every other letter in cLoAkRoOm reversed -> ORAL.
32 European city’s food variable, note, and seconds revolting! (8)
SALZBURGGRUB  (food) Z (variable) LA (note) S (seconds) all reversed.
34 EU accede to reform: a throw of the dice? (5-3)
DEUCE-ACE – (EU accede)* [to reform]. A new term for me.
35 Green light, maybe, that motorist hopes to avoid? (11)
ENDORSEMENT – Double definition, the second a cryptic hint.
36 August publication, then November, provided at minimal cost abroad (11)
MAGNIFICENTMAG (publication) N (November in the NATO phonetic alphabet) IF (provided) I (one) CENT (minimal cost abroad). Positively Ikean in construction.
37 Incumbent upon you, indeed, to be very busy (2,2,3,4)
UP TO THE EYESUP TO (incumbent upon) THEE (you) YES (indeed).
40 Take water from earth — dyed, curiously (9)
DEHYDRATE – (earth dyed)* [curiously].
42 Fitness to chase record, the first requirement for a competitor? (5,4)
ENTRY FORMENTRY (record) FORM (fitness).
43 Left party to beat up bouncer of course (4,4)
GOLF BALLL (left) LAB (party) FLOG (beat) all [up].
44 Fool somersaulting over ditch is a sucker (7)
GUMDROP – MUG (fool) [somersaulting] -> GUM, DROP (ditch). Something you suck, I suppose. I thought it was just lollipops our American cousins referred to as suckers.
46 No longer nurse a lonely heart, say, if looking up old dramatist (6)
SENECASEN (State Enrolled Nurse, a former nursing qualification), ACE (a single card in the hearts suit; lonely heart, say) [looking up] -> ECA.
47 Like soil often put in church yard primarily (6)
CLAYEYLAY (put), in CE (Church of England) Y{ard} [primarily]. I had to squint hard to see how this one worked. My LOI. It is an unlikely looking word, I think.
51 Made off, following light (4)
FLEDF (following) LED (light).

9 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo No 1642 – 4th November”

  1. DNF
    I never got COSSIE or BUTTERIER (ugly word). DNK ENDORSEMENT. Never parsed A BEE, although I didn’t try very hard to.
    Milk toast is, or was, toast dipped in hot milk, something given to an invalid, and by extension a weak, timid person. “Caspar MILQUETOAST” was a comic strip from the 30s to the 50s (I think I saw one once), the title character being such a person. I’ve never heard of a GUMDROP being referred to as a sucker; I think the clue just means that one sucks on one. I think the definition of MARSH GAS is “that’s mostly methane”.
    I have “feh” written in the margins by several ugly surfaces (e.g. 39ac, 46d); this has been the case with a few of the recent Jumbos, and I wonder if it’s the same setter.

    1. Thanks. NHO the comic strip. Definition for MARSH GAS updated… not sure how I missed that. I too had misgivings about some of the surfaces – I do like them to read naturally.

  2. Much of this was straightforward but after quite a long haul I was left with 3 or 4 unsolved dotted around the grid and used aids to nudge my brain into action. MILQUETOAST and SENECA were my last two in.

  3. I never got to grips with this one. Lots of short goes adding up, in the end, to more than 3 hours on the clock.

    And then one pink square at 17ac. For “God” I had DEUS instead of ZEUS. In reverse it gives SUED. I guess I had supposed that this was how some Eden bloke had been brought down, by being sued. The moment I saw the pink square I knew what it should have been.

    I constructed MILQUETOAST from crossers and wordplay coupled with a sense that I had seen the word before. I don’t know where. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Kevin’s comic strip. I thought it must be here, but a search afterwards did not come up with any previous appearances. A few not (fully) parsed. Glad to find the EXIT, my COD

    Thanks for the blog

  4. Sad that the despicable colonial savagery of scalping can still be seen as trophy gathering (52 across).

    1. I think the native Americans were at it long before the colonists arrived, but I agree it’s despicable.

  5. 1:37:00

    This was another tough one for me and I also needed aids to finish. Neither ROSENCRANTZ, MILQUETOAST nor BUZZ TERM came to me, and BUTTERIER only went in after long deliberation and no idea as to the parsing.

  6. Fairly horrific. One wrong ‘un which should very definitely have been in the province of my partner in crime. I blame her entirely. Also one time waster with “onesie” for 14a, which in hindsight I can’t see how I originally justified. All in all a pretty unsatisfying solve.

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