Times Jumbo 1097

Posted on Categories Jumbo Cryptic
Having said last time that I was on a long streak of decent, straight down the middle Jumbos, this was noticeably more difficult than that, without being a real beast. I should also add it was certainly better than average in quality, particularly in the well-crafted and occasionally deceptive surfaces.

With Jumbos, which attract a far smaller audience than daily puzzles, I generally confine myself to discussion of answers which I think are a) less straightforward for inexperienced or non-UK based solvers, or b) especially elegant / questionable. In other words, unless it’s an exceptionally interesting puzzle, the coverage is unlikely to be 100%; however, as always, if a particular clue is not discussed, please feel free to raise it in comments for explanation or discussion.

12 VAGRANT – VirginiA, GRANT.
13 GOSPELLER – SPELL in GOER. Monty Python rolled out all the classics last night, including Eric Idle asking “Your wife…is she a goer?”
17 TAXI DRIVER – Time, [XI in (ARRIVED)*].
19 HIGH COMMISSION – Commonwealth members have a High Commission in London rather than an embassy.
22 EGOMANIA – ExistinG, ROMANIA. I spent ages thinking OMAN was the state and thus not being able to explain the IA.
25 DUPLICATOR – (ALargePRODUCTI)*, as in “running off” copies.
26 NITRE – reverse hidden, divERTINg. A perfect example of the surface leading you away from the right sort of “slow match“.
29 WHEW – HE(man) in With, With. I think we had discussion in another blog recently about the fine distinction between PHEW and WHEW.
34 FORESIGHT – Restrictions in FOE, “SITE”.
35 SPENCERS – PENCE, Rupees in S.S. (i.e. on board a ship, as it were). A spencer is one of those articles of clothing which, let’s be honest, most of us only ever encounter in crosswords. See also: various carriages, plants, foodstuffs…
40 RENDEZVOUS – [Z ED.]rev. in (NERVOUS)*. The unknown is almost always x, y or z. When it’s not n. Or another letter.
42 BEHIND – EH(“what?”) in a BIND.
44 BEDSTRAW – BEDS, Time, RAW. Like most plants which aren’t incredibly obvious, an unknown to me.
49 ALPHABET SOUP – cryptic def. Soup containing alphabet-shaped pasta so kids can learn literacy skills while eating healthily; see also alphabetti spaghetti, which I remember from childhood.
53 SLIGO – (GIRLS)rev., Old. Not one of the first places I’d think of if I was asked to name a port somewhere in the world, but it definitely fits the bill.
54 ASPARAGUS – PARAGUay in ASS. Neat work by the setter to spot three-quarters of a South American country and its potential use.
55 OUTSIZE – OUT(impossible), “SIGHS”. I always love a self-referential surface, even if this Jumbo was merely quite tough, not impossible.
1 HEGEL – Greek in HEEL. Nice surface. Hegel featured in Monty Python’s Philosophy World Cup, which also put in an appearance last night.
2 PLASTICITY – [LAST in PI], CITY. City is almost a generic term for a football team…City, United, Rovers etc.
3 ARTFORMS – FORM in PARTS without the Piano. “Previous=form” in the criminal slang sense, i.e. “He’s got previous for theft / form for burglary”.
4 AEGIS – G.I. in (SEA)rev. Familiar to all classicists and long-tern cryptic solvers.
7 I’LL SAY – ILL(=badly) is indistinguishable from I’LL if you ignore the apostrophe, which crosswords always do.
8 CARRIAGE RETURN – CARRIAGE(coach), RETURN(bend); now usually just called the RETURN key, of course, because most keyboards aren’t actually typewriters, so don’t actually have a carriage.
20 GOLDENROD – [OLDEN River] inside GOD. One which I had heard of, though possibly due to the car which broke the land speed record rather than the plant…
23 STRIP CLUBS – STRIP(what footballer wears), CLUBS(suit of cards); this sounds very much appropriate for your modern footballer.
27 TOSCANINI – TOSCA(the musical work), In inside N.I., i.e. Northern Ireland. The TOSCA/TOSCANINI relationship is an old friend to setters.
31 ANSWERED – (N,S,W,E) inside A RED. I don’t normally like the “take some compass points” clues, but this is a neat – and precise – twist on that device.
33 OSTENTATIOUS – (TITUSOATESNO)*. Again a beautifully crafted surface meaning which has no connection with the cryptic answer.
34 FIREBRATS – [Black RAT] in FIRES. Another gap in my knowledge which was filled entirely from wordplay: pests from the same family as silverfish.
41 VERY LIGHT – using the wordplay inherent in the flare gun invented by Mr Very.
43 ONE BY ONE – more whimsy, based on Her Maj’s habit of referring to herself via the impersonal pronoun. It has, of course, being suggested that if she followed the modern practice of photographing herself with her phone, such a picture would be a “onesie”.
45 DEICIDE – 1 in DECIDE(=”judge”); originally, Juggernaut was one of the names given to Krishna in Sanskrit, so his destruction would be deicide. The modern sense comes about from the huge wagon carrying an image of the god which was liable to crush the unwary under its wheels at festivals.
50 HOSEACHOSE, A. Book of the Old Testament, knowledge of which is always useful in these puzzles.
52 BRIG – Book, RIG, as in “cooking the books”.

5 comments on “Times Jumbo 1097”

  1. 52 mins, and I agree that this wasn’t one of the easier Jumbos. It’s interesting that you didn’t feel that the DEVASTATOR/REPRESENTATION crossers were worthy of discussion because they were my last ones in. I also didn’t know FIREBRATS and that was definitely a potential momble.
  2. I’m very jealous that you got to see the Pythons, Tim.
    I can’t remember much about this but I did it it all correct in 36m, which suggests something only a wee bit trickier than average. Mind you I have an all correct submission but I’m not on the leaderboard, which suggests I must have cheated for something. I can’t for the life of me remember what.
  3. Got one wrong, typo in 47dn.. anyway never mind the crossword, how were the Pythons?
    1. Brilliant night. It cost quite a lot of money and effort, and was worth every bit of it. I couldn’t help feeling that the critics who said “this is just a load of old men revisiting their greatest hits” simply didn’t grasp why that might be a good thing. Also nice to see that they appeared to be enjoying it as much as we were.
  4. Initially wrote in elasticity but corrected it later,otherwise solved this in about 5hrs.

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