Times Cryptic Jumbo No 1647

I thought this a none-too-tricky Jumbo Cryptic, despite the smattering of words I didn’t know and some rather old-fashioned or foreign girl’s names (THORA, RITA, EUNICE and IRINA). I wonder if the setter was greeting his/her great aunts by using their names in the puzzle? The unknown words I had to verify before submitting were the reindeer-skin boots, the Swiss mountain, the gap left by a cutter, the herbaceous plant and the obscurely named alloy. LOI ORACHE after TOUCHSTONE. In all it took me just over 28 minutes. How did you all get on? Thank-you setter.

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

Across
1 Man in vehicle by court primarily delivering building material? (9)
CEDARWOODED (man) in CAR (vehicle), WOO (court) [primarily] D{elivering}.
6 Dog with quick wits that is brought from the east (4,3)
SHAR PEISHARP (with quick wits), I.E. (that is) [from the east] -> EI.
10 Woman originally housing soldiers in old volunteer force (5)
THORAH (housing) [originally] OR (Other Ranks; soldiers), in TA (Territorial Army; old volunteer force).
13 Song, and in French, digested by a girl (7)
ARIETTAET (and, in French) in A RITA (girl).
14 Church council looking into heresy, no doubt (5)
SYNOD – Hidden in hereSY NO Doubt.
15 Informers Swiss hero pursues, as mentioned in speech (9)
TELLTALESTELL (William Tell; Swiss hero) TALES, sounds like TAILS (pursues).
16 Brutal purge in which massive cuts were made in a dark period? (3,5,2,3,4,6)
THE NIGHT OF THE LONG KNIVES – Double definition, the second a cryptic hint.
17 Suit bishop wore finally at a south coast resort (6)
BEHOVEB (bishop in chess notation) {wor}E [finally] HOVE (south coast resort). A bit of an archaic word.
18 Reindeer-skin boots principally for one’s kin, surprisingly (8)
FINNESKO –  F{or} [principally] (one’s kin)* [surprisingly]. A new word for me.
19 Solicit alms with soldiers — gunners, to be sure (7)
BEGORRABEG (solicit alms) OR (Other Ranks; soldiers) RA (Royal Artillery; gunners).
22 Self-righteous tailors randomly caught by microphone (10)
MORALISTIC – (tailors)* [randomly] in MIC (microphone).
23 Like some calm weather, but opposed to coming round on visits (12)
ANTICYCLONICANTI (opposed to),  ON in CYCLIC (coming round).
27 Old boy with son backing antisocial youth (5)
YOBBO – OB (old boy) BOY (son) [backing] -> YOBBO.
29 Distraught, losing right to arrest a zealot (7)
FANATICF{r}ANTIC (distraught) without the R (right), but including, [to arrest],  A -> FANATIC.
30 Like some believers, cite this in translation (8)
THEISTIC – (cite this)* [in translation].
32 Sporting type’s wife taking break by the French river (8)
WRESTLER W (wife) REST (break) LE (the in French) R (river).
34 Skilled craftsman’s perch over in Irish islands (7)
ARTISAN – SIT (perch) [over] -> TIS, in ARAN (Irish islands).
36 Inflexible Democrat on Swiss mountain (5)
RIGIDRIGI (Swiss mountain) D (Democrat). I’d never heard of the mountain, but it had to be that.
39 Gratifying at first to welcome member during trial (5-7)
HEART-WARMINGT{o} W{elcome} [at first] ARM (member), in HEARING (trial).
41 Standard Shakespearean clown (10)
TOUCHSTONE – Double definition, the second a character in As You Like It.
44 Big cat beginning to paw part of flowering plant (7)
PANTHER – [Beginning to] P{aw} ANTHER (part of flowering plant).
46 Teaching union’s nightmare: it may be about Brazil (8)
NUTSHELLNUT’S ((Former) teaching union’s) HELL (nightmare). A bit of a cheeky misleading definition, but I wasn’t fooled. Incidentally, the NUT became the National Education Union (NEU) after merger with the Association of Teachers and Lecturers in 2017, so it really merits some indication in the clue that it doesn’t exist any more.
48 Eg armadillo’s plates going from back to front (6)
ANIMAL – LAMINA (plates) reversed. An armadillo, of course, is an animal that has plates.
50 Stupid, compared with a couple of brief political policies? (2,5,2,3,5,6)
AS THICK AS TWO SHORT PLANKS – Double definition, the second a cryptic hint.
53 Panel team designed, giving identification on door? (9)
NAMEPLATE -(Panel team)* [designed].
54 Russian girl, one at home in Burlington House (5)
IRINAI (one),  IN  (at home) [in] RA (Royal Academy; Burlington House).
55 Gap left by cutter observed at entrance (3,4)
SAW GATESAW (observed) GATE (entrance). A new phrase on me.
56 Part of Canada our country invested in over there (5)
YUKON UK (our country) in YON (over there).
57 It’s fine for example to go outside and meet (7)
SATISFY – ‘TIS (it’s) F (fine) in SAY (for example).
58 One dispatches ungulates crossing east part of this ancient city (9)
DESTROYERDEER (ungulates), [crossing]  last letter of [east part of] {thi}S TROY (ancient city).
Down
1 Cunning service personnel appearing in court (5)
CRAFTRAF (service personnel) in CT (court).
2 Act uncompromisingly: make another trip round difficult obstacle (5,1,4,7)
DRIVE A HARD BARGAINDRIVE AGAIN (make another trip) round HARD (difficult) BAR (obstacle).
3 Getting back from river late for a change (9)
RETRIEVAL – (river late)* [for a change].
4 Roman poet lowers head, finding herbaceous plant (6)
ORACHE – HORACE (Roman poet) moving the first letter downwards [lowers head] -> ORACHE. I didn’t remember coming across this plant before, but it was in a Jumbo cryptic only a few weeks ago, on 21st October.
5 Former princess’s place and character (11)
DISPOSITIONDI’S (former princess’s) POSITION place.
6 A woman overwhelmed by offspring’s composition (8)
SONATINASON (offspring) on top of [overwhelmed] A TINA (woman).
7 Deal with daughter wearing a formal garment (7)
ADDRESSD (daughter) in A DRESS (formal garment).
8 Way old register is kept ultimately for medical specialist (11)
PATHOLOGISTPATH (way) O (old) LOG (register) IS {kep}T [ultimately]. A neat bit of construction.
9 Bilge Lily turned out, in badly formed characters (9)
ILLEGIBLY – (Bilge Lily)* [turned out].
10 Pupil mostly to keep on at producing alloy (7)
TUTENAGTUTE{e} (pupil) [mostly] NAG (keep on at). “A nickel silver containing about 45 percent copper, with varying proportions of nickel and zinc and often smaller amounts of other metals “. I’d never heard of it… and I have a degree in Metallurgy and Materials Science!
11 Some poor lovelorn wooer of Catherine the Great (5)
ORLOV – Hidden in poOR LOVelorn. Read all about him here.
12 A standpoint limiting sibling’s aid (10)
ASSISTANCESIS (sister; sibling) in  A STANCE (standpoint).
17 Uneven universal politician in past (5)
BUMPYU (universal) MP (politician), in BY (past).
20 Blow-by-blow account of London marathon, possibly? (7,10)
RUNNING COMMENTARY – Cryptic definition.
21 Handy American source of power English brought up (6)
USEFULUS (American), FUEL (source of power) with the E (English) moved up to the front -> EFUL.
24 Fine point involving diamonds initially touted in New York (6)
NICETYICE (diamonds) T{outed} [initially], in NY (New York).
25 Genuine upset about top of solid beam (5)
LASER –  {top of] S{olid} in REAL (genuine) reversed, [upset], -> LAER.
26 Struggle to produce a little music (6)
STRAIN – Double definition.
28 Assault where film actors may be working (5)
ONSETON SET (where film actors may be working).
31 Girl of pleasant disposition supporting Brussels (6)
EUNICEEU (Brussels) NICE (of pleasant disposition).
33 Evocative of short dresses in modern setting (11)
REMINISCENTMINIS (short dresses) in RECENT (modern).
35 Does it weigh more than an ounce? Yes and no (4,7)
SNOW LEOPARD – The best I can do by way of describing this is it is a bit of a whimsical cryptic definition based on the dual definition of OUNCE as a weight and a SNOW LEOPARD (which weighs more than an ounce).
37 Live to prosper, though lacking love (5)
DWELLD{o} WELL (prosper) without the O (zero; love).
38 Fellow rested extremely comfortably in priest’s office (10)
CHAPLAINCYCHAP (fellow) LAIN (rested) C{omfortabl}Y [extremely].
40 A day old Turkic ruler heard son’s foreign language (9)
AFRIKAANSA FRI (day) KAAN, sounds like KHAN (old Turkic ruler), S (son).
42 Bloomer made by tabloid upset about womaniser (9)
SUNFLOWERSUN, RE (about) WOLF (womaniser) [upset] ->FLOWER.
43 Sexual abstinence enjoys benefit at last in Westminster, say (8)
CHASTITYHAS (enjoys) benefiT [at last] in CITY (Westminster, say). Hmm. I’m not sure I can make sense of the surface here.
45 Instrument popular around island: it keeps one’s thatch in place (7)
HAIRPINI (island) in HARP (instrument) IN (popular).
47 Urbanites acknowledge having connections outside (7)
TOWNIESOWN (acknowledge) in TIES (connections).
49 Way a group of agents identifies stagnation (6)
STASISST (street; way) A SIS (Secret Intelligence Service; group of agents).
51 Cats originally kept in Siberian city (5)
TOMSKK{ept} in TOMS (cats).
52 Weapon European leader kept in box (5)
SPEARE{uropean} in SPAR (box).

5 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo No 1647”

  1. I felt the number of obscurities and oblique definitions rather spoiled my enjoyment as I had so many clues marked up to investigate after the event. I might expect 3 or 4, but there were 8 here, and I had to go to three dictionaries before being able to verify SAW GATE as constructed from wordplay and checkers. Having said that, I only needed to resort to aids once in the course of solving to come up with FINNESKO.

  2. DNF
    I gave up on FINNESKO & TUTENAG, and put in SAW GATE with a shrug. I didn’t know that a SNOW LEOPARD was the same as an ounce, which made the clue pretty much incomprehensible. DNK the Alp. All in all, not a fun Jumbo.

  3. Just under the hour for a Jumbo that was satisfyingly meaty yet doable, I thought, until I saw the pink square for a daft mistake with THEASTIC for THEISTIC.

    I had successfully constructed FINNESCO and TUTENAG from crossers and wordplay, but they are such bizarre words I had to look them up to check before pressing submit. A sad relapse from the live-dangerously regime I have been trying to follow. In line with that regime, for the other unknowns I was happy just to keep my fingers crossed. There were some neat clues too. I liked DESTROYER, RUNNING COMMENTARY, SUNFLOWER and SATISFY

    Many thanks for the blog

  4. Not difficult, but an awful lot of clues that required reliance on wordplay and crossed fingers on submission: the boots, the mountain, SAW GATE, the plant, the alloy. Quirky.

  5. Tantalisingly close to my 40 minute target, but ending up at 41:38 due to the unknown TUTENAG, which went in on a wing and a prayer.

    Pretty sure I’ve seen FINNESKO somewhere before, with a clue about Finn and Eskimo I’m not part of or something like that.

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