Times Cryptic Jumbo No 1662 – 9th March

Quite a challenging Jumbo with lots of clever clues and inventive wordplay- too many to pick a favourite. The most fun I’ve had with a Jumbo for ages. It took me about 1hr 10 minutes – over 50% longer than my typical time for a Jumbo. From the style, I think this is the work of our Monthly Club Special setter. Great stuff. Thanks clever setter. How did you all get on?

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

1 One used to hang out with actor, English, in block (7,3)
CLOTHES PEGTHESP (thespian; actor) E (English) in CLOT (block). Nicely misleading  definition.
6 Type answer by hand primarily: some often do (4,1,5,2)
MAKE A HABIT OFMAKE (type) A (answer) H{and} [primarily] A BIT OF (some). A bit of an elaborate construction. Tricky!
14 Meaning of clue missing first and last bit (9)
INTENDING – {h}INT (clue) without its first letter, ENDING (last bit). I got the word from checkers and definition first and reverse engineered the clever wordplay.
15 Rock and a sharp double bend beyond summit (5)
TOPAZTOP (summit) A Z (sharp double bend).
16 Cooking sausage perhaps of unknown length, stopping the one who’d measure it? (7)
SIZZLERZ (unknown in algebraical equations) L (length), in SIZER (the one who’d measure it).
17 One large in legend, still current in reduced form (10,7)
ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN – More cleverness. YET (still) I (current) is a short name [in reduced form] for the ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN.
18 One clinging to another’s audible echo in part (5)
LEECH -Hidden in audibLE ECHo.
19 Title ultimately associated with this country, way back (7)
DUKEDOM – Last letter of associateD, UK (this country), MODE (way) reversed -> EDOM.
21 Crime fast overwhelming Ireland (6)
PIRACYIR (Ireland) in PACY (fast).
22 Being messed about with hurt aged relative (8)
DAUGHTER – [being messed about with] (hurt aged)*. Nice anagrind and of course we have to separate “aged relative” to get the definition. Super clue.
24 Safari, for example, where you see giraffe? (7)
BROWSER – Double definition…. Safari being a web browser.
26 Find fault with exercises: not drinking “just in case” a big mistake? (8)
PETTIFOGPE (exercises) TT (teetotal; not drinking) IF (just in case) OG (own goal; big mistake). Another elaborate construction, but satisfying to find all the pieces fit together.
27 In recession, banks attempt sort of economic policy (4-2)
STOP-GO – POTS (banks) reversed -> STOP, GO (attempt).
30 Very hard to admire politician turning holy, somehow (4,5-2)
LIKE BILLY-OHLIKE (admire) LIB (liberal; politician) [turning] -> BIL, (holy)* [somehow]. I grew up knowing the term as “like billy-ho”.
32 Fresh water source that is employed in country pursuits? (5-6)
GREEN-WELLIEGREEN (fresh)  WELL (water source) I.E. (that is).
33 Those receiving orders etc from The Times to accept no tip (7,4)
HONOURS LISTNO in HOURS (The Times), LIST (tip).
35 Does work for another grammar school, entertaining crowd with ceremony (11)
GHOSTWRITESHOST (crowd) W (with) RITE (ceremony), in GS (grammar school).
37 Female bishop, visiting for a month (6)
SHEBATSHE (female) B (bishop) AT (visiting).
38 Sweetener applied to tongue mostly useless (8)
BUNGLINGBUNG (sweetener; bribe) LING{o} (tongue) [mostly].
39 Do this — and attempt to maintain routine’s backfiring? (7)
DISTURB – RUT’S (routine’s) in BID (try) -> BRUTSID, all reversed -> DISTURB. Yes that would stop me maintaining my routine.
42 New function, outwardly the same, linked? (2,6)
IN TANDEMN (new) TAN (tangent; trigonometric function) in IDEM (the same).
44 Policeman’s case for arresting corporal (2,4)
PC PLODCPL (corporal) in POD (case for seeds).
46 What can hasten the appearance of spare tyre? (7)
BLOWOUT – Cryptic definition. Nice one. If you have a blowout meal it might contribute to weight gain around the middle, and if your car tyre has a blowout, you would need to use your car’s spare tyre. If you have one. My car has run-flat tyres and no spare.
48 Clay, later black, one’s used to build defence (5)
ALIBIALI (Muhammed Ali, formerly known as Cassius CLAY), B (black) I (one).
49 Advice to claim payback without losing it (4,3,3,3,4)
DON’T GET MAD GET EVEN – Cryptic definition.
51 Sit on completed story (7)
OVERLIEOVER (completed) LIE (story).
52 With no more to give back: nothing, note (3-2)
ALL-IN – NIL (nothing) LA (note) [back] -> ALL-IN.
53 Female caught sliprail after collapsing (9)
PRISCILLA – (c (caught) sliprail)* [collapsing].
54 Cooler? One might be now about farm vehicles! (9,3)
EXTRACTOR FAN – Double definition, the second a cryptic hint. If you are no longer an aficionado  of tractors, and hence cooler about them, you might be an EX TRACTOR FAN.
55 As one’s missing coat, winter did sound harsh (10)
INTEGRATED – {w}INTE{r} [missing coat; without the outside letters], GRATED (sounded harsh).
1 Brothers: one did for the other an Alice band, bizarrely (4,3,4)
CAIN AND ABEL – (an Alice band)* [bizarrely]. Abel was murdered by Cain, as I’m sure you know from your bible studies.
2 Concluding notes, some tortuously written up (5)
OUTRO – Reverse hidden in tORTUOsly.
3 Husband regularly penned ribaldry as rhetorical device (9)
HENDIADYSH (husband), alternate letters of pEnNeD rIbAlDrY aS. The expression of a single idea by two words connected with ‘and’, e.g. nice and warm, when one could be used to modify the other, as in nicely warm. A new word on me!
4 One gripped by panic beneath singular part of windmill (4,3)
SAIL ARMS (singular), I (one) in ALARM (panic).
5 Urge to go crazy and drink (3,4)
EGG FLIPEGG (urge) FLIP (go crazy).
7 Coming up with sanction — and feeling bad (11)
APPROACHINGAPPRO (sanction) ACHING (feeling bad).
8 City with confusing arrangement of paths for cycling gets complaint (6)
ECZEMA – Tricky! EC (City; Postcode for City of London) MAZE (confusing arrangement of paths) [cycling; i.e. cyclically rotating the letters] -> ZEMA. Fair enough, but just one step removed from an indirect anagram which isn’t.
9 Dwelling uselessly on health resorts, one raised cries of approval (8)
HOSANNASHO {use} (dwelling) without the “use”, [uselessly] SAN SAN (health resorts) with the second reversed [raised] -> SANNAS. Blimey! Positively Machiavellian wordplay! Not out of place in a Monthly Club Special… Hmm I think I might know who our setter is for this.
10 Toy coming to life with kick, a long way after (4,9)
BUZZ LIGHTYEARBUZZ (kick) LIGHT YEAR (a long way). The clue originally said “a long time after”, but has been corrected some time since publication.
11 Most unlikely to try being entirely inclusive? (7)
TALLESTALL (entirely) in TEST (try).
12 Too jolly lot? There’s uproar about that (11)
FURTHERMORE – Love the lift and separate for the definition! THE RM (Royal Marines; jolly lot) in FURORE (uproar).
13 A touch short, heave with some difficulty (2,1,7)
AT A STRETCHA TAST{e} (touch) [short], RETCH (heave).
20 Criticise and moan, picking up the last bent pins (5-4)
KNOCK-KNEEKNOCK (criticise), KEEN (moan) moving the final letter upwards -> KNEE.
23 A number of romantic novels go astray (4,4)
LOVE SONG – (novels go)* [astray].
25 Touching one’s left hand restricts pleasure (6)
RELISHRE (touching), I’S (one’s) in LH (left hand). Hmm. RE for touching seems a bit of a stretch.
26 Hissing sound that’s alarming we hear build (8)
PHYSIQUE – Lovely homophone! PHYS (sounds like FIZZ; hissing sound) IQUE (sounds like EEK; that’s alarming).
28 Party council, endlessly courteous, turned problem round (9)
POLITBUROPOLIT{e} without the last letter, RUB (problem) [turned] -> BUR, O (round letter).
29 City’s rival solvers entitled to be heard (6)
UNITED – Another great homophone… U (sounds like YOU; solvers) NITED (sounds like KNIGHTED; entitled).
31 I go in carelessly with valuable plant (13)
BOUGAINVILLEA – (I go in valuable)* [carelessly].
33 Light work made of royal revolution once previously (3,8)
HMS PINAFORE – A Gilbert & Sullivan operetta, hence “light work”.  HM (His Majesty; royal) SPIN (revolution) AFORE (once; archaically i.e. previously).
34 After climbing, you catch smoke on mountain above a city abroad (11)
TEGUCIGALPA – What? A bizarre word that would be at home in the Monthly Club Special. And wordplay to match. U (you) GET (catch), [climbing], -> TEGU, CIG (cigarette; smoke), ALP (mountain) A. Bravo!
35 Cutter is craft for holding group in (10)
GUILLOTINELOT (group) IN, in GUILE (craft).
36 Edits leader in Times, with article way below par (11)
SUBSTANDARD – Assemble as instructed. SUBS (edits) T{imes} [leader] AND (with) A (article) RD (road; way). I think our setter’s been shopping in IKEA again.
40 Vehicle that’s swift and small left permanent mark (6,3)
SPORTS CARS (small) PORT (left) SCAR (permanent mark).
41 Pendulum clock component that’s exactly round (8)
DEADBEATDEAD (exactly) BEAT (round, like a policeman’s). My LOI with aids. I’d never heard of it.
43 Go up to plug explosive old weapon (7)
TRIDENTRIDE (go up; up as in on a horse) in TNT (explosive).
45 Page replacing second, third or sixth in addenda, awfully hard to read (7)
DEADPAN – Take ADDENDA, replace either the 2nd, 3rd or 6th letters (D) with a P (page) -> (apdenda)* [awfully]. Very inventive. You did manage to work it out out rather than just biffing it, didn’t you?
46 Broadcast rock after reflecting greatly (3,4)
BIG TIME – EMIT (broadcast) GIB (rock; rock of Gibraltar) all reversed -> BIG TIME.
47 Not just, in fact not even a pretty face? (6)
UNFAIR -Double definition the second a cryptic hint – UN FAIR.
50 Uncultivated land lord’s kept in check (5)
VELDTLD (lord) in VET (check).

12 comments on “Times Cryptic Jumbo No 1662 – 9th March”

  1. DNF I threw in the towel at 41d; NHO DEADBEAT. By that time I was sick of the puzzle. I had ‘legit?’ by 8d, as it looked like an indirect anagram to me. TEGUCIGALPA hardly bizarre to a Murcan solver, as we (anyway in California) study Latin America a bit (who can forget Lake Titicaca?). I knew HENDIADYS from Shakespeare, who uses it a lot. DNK GREEN-WELLIE, STOP-GO, SHEBAT. MER at the def of LOVE SONG: what does ‘a number of romantic’ mean? Well, I know what it means, but can one say it? All in all, I found far too many of the clues rebarbative; I’ve got ‘feh’ written by a dozen of them.

    1. I agree that ECZEMA looks like an indirect anagram (or at least contains one).

      Also nho DEADBEAT in that sense, and according to Chambers it should have a hyphen when referring to the clock component.

      1. I’ve seen the wordplay device for ECZEMA before. “Cycling” the letters is more prescriptive than an anagram as the order of the letters stays the same. As I said in the blog, I think its OK, but an indirect anagram is not.

  2. From the notes I made at the time I seem to have been preparing myself to write a very long critique of this puzzle, but with the passage of time my frustrations with it have receded and I don’t feel the need to stir them up again. John’s blog has dealt admirably with all the technical points and Kevin has expressed his dissatisfaction in measured tones, so nuff said.

  3. DNF, love Kevin’s description of the clues as ‘rebarbative’. The hardest one in a long time for me.

  4. I rarely tackle the Jumbos these days, but have done a couple recently. This one was pretty tough! I stuck at it although having assembled the city, I did have a Google to see if it existed! I noted the error in 10d, but having gone back to check my answers, the clue seems to have been changed and now reads: Toy coming to life with kick, a long way after (4,9). 66:35. Thanks setter and John.

  5. 34dn Did anyone else have the (to me exotic and unheard of) city given a pink square in the Crossword Club yesterday but cleared today?
    I confess that I thought it an unfair clue for an ex-Londoner like me so I checked the spelling before submitting. No doubt a technical DNF.

    1. How odd. Of course I wrote the blog before the answers were published and checked the spelling of the city (which I’d never heard of either) aligned with the wordplay when I did so. All green for me when I checked.

      1. There was a typo (TEGICIGALPA)in the original solution which was spotted and corrected on Thursday with the correct solution printed in the paper and used for the prize draw. But anyone checking their solutions on Thursday morning may have seen a pink square erroneously. Apologies.


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