Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1359

Okay, now we’re catching up a bit. Here’s my completed grid for Sat 29th Dec’s puzzle, along with explanations of my solutions. This wasn’t as much of a nightmare as Boxing Day’s horror show but still had its moments. At least I can justify nearly all of my solutions. Onwards!

Across clues

1. When Barnet manager let the side down? (3,4,3)

Answer: BAD HAIR DAY. Solution riffs on barnet being another word for “hairdo”.

6. Alternative band added clause to include new musician for handling crank? (5,7)

Answer: ORGAN GRINDER (i.e. “musician for handling crank”). Solution is OR (i.e. “alternative”) then GANG (i.e. “band”), then RIDER (i.e. “clause”) wrapped around N (a recognised abbreviation for “new”), like so: OR-GANG-RI(N)DER.

14. Score twice for final outcome (3,6)

Answer: NET RESULT. Solution satisfies both “score twice” – how both NET and RESULT are both words for “score” – and “final outcome”.

15. Energy powder knocked back for striking effect (5)

Answer: ECLAT (i.e. “striking effect”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation for “energy”) followed by CLAT (i.e. “powder knocked back”, i.e. the word “talc” reversed), like so: E-CLAT.

16. Obsolete former colour (no longer used) (7)

Answer: EXTINCT (i.e. “obsolete”). Solution is EX (i.e. “former”) and TINCT (an obsolete transitive verb meaning to tint or to dye, i.e. “colour (no longer used)”).

17. Awful, flaky model’s a creature of legend (10,7)

Answer: ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN (i.e. “creature of legend”). Solution is ABOMINABLE (i.e. “awful”) and SNOWMAN (i.e. “[snow]flaky model”).

18. The end for, e.g. Speedy Gonzales, small and mischievous (5)

Answer: ELFIN (i.e. “small and mischievous”). Solution is EL FIN, or “the end” in Spanish, as The Fastest Mouse In All Mexico would say it.

19. Ally using encryption to conceal weapon pointed towards west (7)

Answer: COMRADE (i.e. “ally”). Solution is CODE (i.e. “encryption”) “concealing” MRA (i.e. “weapon pointed towards west”, i.e. the word ARM reversed – setters like using clues like “westward” when reversing all or part of across clues, and “up” for down clues), like so: CO(MRA)DE.

21. Poorly rates unknown substitute (6)

Answer: ERSATZ (i.e. “substitute”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “poorly”) of RATES, followed by Z (i.e. “unknown” – setters often use this to represent X Y or Z in a solution), like so: ERSAT-Z.

22. Access divinity programme (8)

Answer: RECOURSE (i.e. “access”). Solution is RE COURSE (i.e. “divinity programme”, RE being Religious Education).

24. Heading off, speechless with anger, having taken it? (7)

Answer: UMBRAGE, which is to take offence at something. Solution is UMB (i.e. “heading off, speechless”, i.e. the word “dumb” with the initial letter removed) followed by RAGE (i.e. “anger”).

26. One is after revolutionary massage – they’re heavenly! (8)

Answer: CHERUBIM, which, as any art aficionado knows, are winged children who smoke ciggies, like on the sleeve of Van Halen’s 1984 album (i.e. “they’re heavenly”). Solution is IM (i.e. “one is”, i.e. a contraction of “I am”) placed “after” CHE (i.e. “revolutionary”, specifically Che Guevara) and RUB (i.e. “massage”), like so: CHE-RUB-IM.

27. Commercial division’s directionless (6)

Answer: ADRIFT (i.e. “directionless”). Solution is AD (i.e. “commercial”) followed by RIFT (i.e. “division”).

30. Student of form favoured dog, maybe, following the races excitedly (8,3)

Answer: TEACHER’S PET (i.e. “student of form favoured”). Solution is PET (i.e. “dog, maybe”) “following” an anagram (indicated by “excitedly”) of THE RACES.

32. Identify as communist when union’s being held under siege (11)

Answer: BELEAGUERED (i.e. “under siege”). Solution is BE RED (i.e. “identify as communist”) “holding” LEAGUE (i.e. “union”), like so: BE-LEAGUE-RED.

33. Addiction to horse? This gear might be appropriate (6,5)

Answer: RIDING HABIT, which satisfies both “addiction to horse”, and, with horses in mind, “this gear might be appropriate”.

35. Oil company adjusted ratios for better distribution system (11)

Answer: TOTALISATOR, which is “a system of betting in which the total amount staked is divided among the winners in proportion to the size of their stake”, i.e. “better distribution system”. Solution is TOTAL (i.e. “oil company”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “adjusted”) of RATIOS, like so: TOTAL-ISATOR.

37. Comedy creator previously getting the bird (6)

Answer: GODWIT (i.e. “bird” – just done a Google Image search. It does indeed look like a bird.) Solution is WIT (i.e. “comedy”) with GOD (i.e. “creator” – I’ll let you argue that one among yourselves) placed “previously”, like so: GOD-WIT.

38. Tall plant from Tennessee containing spliff (4,4)

Answer: TREE FERN (i.e. “tall plant”). Solution is TN (the state code of “Tennessee”) “containing” REEFER (i.e. “spliff”), like so: T(REEFER)N.

39. Pub worker maybe taking order for spirit (7)

Answer: PHANTOM (i.e. “spirit”). Solution is PH (i.e. “pub”, specifically Public House) followed by ANT (i.e. “worker”) and OM (i.e. “order”, specifically the Order of Merit), like so: PH-ANT-OM.

42. Dodgy viagra no good, causing severe damage (8)

Answer: RAVAGING (i.e. “causing severe damage”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “dodgy”) of VIAGRA followed by N (a recognised abbreviation of “no”) and G (ditto “good”), like so: RAVAGI-N-G.

44. U.S. weapon China introduced to Vietnam (6)

Answer: NAPALM, a highly-flammable jelly used in bombs and flamethrowers most famously used during the Vietnam War (i.e. “U.S. weapon”). Solution is NAM (i.e. “Vietnam”) with PAL (i.e. “China” – in cockney rhyming slang, “china plate” is “mate”) “introduced” inside, like so: NA(PAL)M.

46. More dull, crushing bores cornering you in the Louvre (7)

Answer: OBTUSER (i.e. “more dull” – a word worthy of an editor’s red pen if there ever was one). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “crushing”) of BORES “cornering” TU (i.e. “you in the Louvre” – the French for “you” is “tu”), like so: OB(TU)SER.

48. Private meal from which duke’s excluded (5)

Answer: INNER (i.e. “private”). Solution is DINNER (i.e. “meal”) with the D removed (i.e. “from which duke’s excluded” – “d” being a recognised abbreviation for “duke”).

49. Talking rook might be one! (12,5)

Answer: CONVERSATION PIECE. Solution plays on “rook” being a chess piece. I’ll admit this made me smile when I got it.

51. Commercial watchdog to pass judgment generally (2,1,4)

Answer: AS A RULE (i.e. “generally”). Solution is ASA (i.e. “commercial watchdog”, specifically the Advertising Standards Agency) followed by RULE (i.e. “pass judgment”). For some reason this took me until nearly the end of the puzzle before I finally got it.

52. Number’s occurring with frequency (5)

Answer: OFTEN. Solution satisfies both “number’s” – i.e. “of ten” as hinted at by the possessive apostrophe – and “occurring with frequency”).

53. Aggravate complaint, swallowing pill regularly (9)

Answer: DISPLEASE (i.e. “aggravate”). Solution is DISEASE (i.e. “complaint”) “swallowing” PL (i.e. “pill regularly”, i.e. every other letter of the word PILL), like so: DIS(PL)EASE.

54. Horse has position behind second in field, being as far from start as finish? (12)

Answer: EQUIDISTANCE (i.e. “being as far from start as finish”). Solution is EQUID (i.e. “horse”) followed by I (i.e. “second in field”, i.e. the second letter of the word “field”) and STANCE (i.e. “position”).

55. Prominent Greek in favour of America possessing Middle East (10)

Answer: PROMETHEUS (i.e. “prominent Greek”). Solution is PRO (i.e. “in favour of”) and THE US (i.e. “America”) “possessing” ME (i.e. “Middle East”), like so: PRO-ME-THEUS.

Down clues

1. Tale of Ratty’s home, perhaps; and where the bread’s kept? (4,7)

Answer: BANK ACCOUNT. Solution satisfies both “tale of Ratty’s home, perhaps” and “where the bread’s” – i.e. money – “kept”.

2. Pointlessly correct to the same thing (5)

Answer: DITTO (i.e. “the same thing”). Solution is DIT (i.e. “pointlessly correct”, i.e. the word “edit” with E – a point on the compass – removed) followed by TO.

3. Yank stuff in a camera out (9)

Answer: AMERICANA (i.e. “Yank stuff”). “Out” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IN A CAMERA.

4. Stable worker cornered by rake is a dish (7)

Answer: ROULADE (i.e. “dish”). Solution is LAD (i.e. “stable worker”) “cornered by” ROUE (i.e. a rogue or “rake”), like so: ROU(LAD)E.

5. A set of steps with bee in flower (7)

Answer: ASTILBE (i.e. “flower” – whenever I see a solution is going to be a plant, animal, port or musical term I swallow my pride and allow myself to use a solver when needed, which was the case here. If the setter has to go deep into the dictionary to bail themselves out of a tight corner, then I have no qualms about using a solver to root out the solution.) Solution is A STILE (i.e. a set of steps) “with bee [B] in”, like so: A-STIL(B)E.

7. Revised version of Blue Fur Moth – A Practical Guide (4,2,5)

Answer: RULE OF THUMB (i.e. “a practical guide”). “Revised version” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of BLUE FUR MOTH.

8. Fall on mutual’s holding after rise (6)

Answer: AUTUMN (i.e. “fall”). “Holding” suggests the solution is hidden in the clue, with “after rise” also suggesting the letters need to be reversed, like so: O(N MUTUA)L.

9. Lower arms when queen enters, then you must rise (8)

Answer: GUERNSEY (i.e. a “lower” – bear with me here: Guernsey is a breed of dairy cattle => when cattle moo they are said to “low” => a Guernsey is said to be a “lower”). Solution is GUNS (i.e. “arms”) with ER (i.e. “queen”, specifically Elizabeth Regina) placed inside (i.e. “enters”), then followed by EY (i.e. “you must rise”, i.e. the letters of “ye” backwards), like so: GU(ER)NS-EY.

10. This setter and latest in endless series of editors getting vintage spirits down (2,3,8)

Answer: IN THE DOLDRUMS (i.e. “down”). Solution is I (i.e. “this setter”) followed by NTH (i.e. “latest in endless series”) then EDS (i.e. “editors”) “getting” OLD (i.e. “vintage”) and RUM (i.e. “spirits”), like so: I-NTH-ED(OLD-RUM)S.

11. Half of food in kebab’s condemned (4,3)

Answer: DONE FOR (i.e. “condemned”). Solution is FO (i.e. “half of food”, specifically the first half of the word “food”) “in” DONER (i.e. “kebab”), like so: DONE(FO)R.

12. Leftist holding a metal event full of despised creatures (3-8)

Answer: RAT-INFESTED (i.e. “full of despised creatures”). Solution is RED (i.e. “leftist”) “holding” A TIN (i.e. “a metal”) and FEST (i.e. “event”), like so: R(A-TIN-FEST)ED.

13. Determined leader of Arabs not in Iran’s camp (10)

Answer: PERSISTENT (i.e. “determined”). Solution is PERSIS (i.e. “leader of Arabs not in Iran’s”, which means remove the first letter of “Arabs” from “Persia’s” – Persia being the former name of Iran) followed by TENT (i.e. “camp”), like so: PERSIS-TENT.

20. En masse, holding caps? (3-6)

Answer: MOB-HANDED. Solution satisfies both “en masse” and “holding caps”, specifically a mob cap, a kind of hair-protector.

23. Rex’s X-ray perhaps put in this private language (3,5)

Answer: PIG LATIN (i.e. “private language”). When I got my first computer – an Atari XEGS no less, look it up – there was a programming exercise in the accompanying book that described how pig Latin worked. You’d move the first letter of each word to the end and add “ay” to the end, e.g. Igpay Atinlay. I admit I’m being overly pedantic, but surely Rex would be “Exray” in pig Latin? Okay, okay, I’ll get back in my oxbay.

25. Your lug on top is grubby (6)

Answer: EARTHY (i.e. “grubby”). Solution is THY (i.e.ye olde “your”) with EAR (i.e. “lug”) placed “on top”, like so: EAR-THY.

26. Frightfully pacy horse pulled up, seeing rodent (8)

Answer: CAPYBARA (i.e. “rodent”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “frightfully”) of PACY followed by ARAB (i.e. a breed of “horse”) reversed (i.e. “pulled up” – this being a down clue), like so: CAPY-BARA.

28. Irish woman set up needles (9)

Answer: IRRITATES (i.e. “needles”). Solution is IR (a recognised abbreviation of “Irish”) then RITA (i.e. “woman”) then TES (i.e. “set up”, i.e. the word “set” reversed – again this being a down clue), like so: IR-RITA-TES.

29. Beat politician with legislation arising (6)

Answer: WALLOP (i.e. “beat”). Solution is POL (a recognised abbreviation for “politician”) followed by LAW (i.e. “legislation”) and then whole lot then reversed (i.e. “arising” – again this being a down clue), like so: WAL-LOP.

31. Staying execution to have a few drinks?  (7,6)

Answer: HANGING AROUND. Solution satisfies both “staying” and “execution” – i.e. hanging – “to have a few drinks” – i.e. a round.

33. Bring up tiger rug, tattered and munched (11)

Answer: REGURGITATE (i.e. “bring up”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “tattered”) of TIGER RUG followed by ATE (i.e. “munched”), like so: REGURGIT-ATE.

34. Article to knock Brussels – habitual response meant to make one feel better (11)

Answer: THERAPEUTIC (i.e. “meant to make one feel better”). Solution is THE (i.e. “article”) followed by RAP (i.e. “knock”) then EU (i.e. “Brussels”) and TIC (i.e. “habitual response”).

35. Drunken tenants had a ball in the afternoon (3,7)

Answer: THE DANSANT, which was a tea dance held in summer afternoons, i.e. “ball in the afternoon”. Not my cup of tea, thanks. “Drunken” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TENANTS HAD.

36. Not letting up, note decoded? (11)

Answer: REMORSELESS (i.e. “not letting up”). Solution is RE (i.e. “note” as in the do-ray-me scale, “ray” being an anglicised version of “re”) followed by MORSELESS (i.e. “decoded”, a pun hanging on Morse code).

40. Ideal state’s ending up with fate in control bypassing human intervention (9)

Answer: AUTOPILOT (i.e. “control bypassing human intervention”). Solution is AUTOPI (i.e. “Ideal’ state’s ending up”, i.e. “Utopia” with the last letter placed first) followed by LOT (i.e. “fate”).

41. A thousand pounds on small underwear (8)

Answer: KNICKERS (i.e. “underwear”). Solution is K (i.e. “a thousand”) then NICKER (i.e. “pounds”) then S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”).

43. Pacific nation head installing alternative technology in universities (7)

Answer: VANUATU (i.e. “Pacific nation”). Solution is VAN (i.e. “head” – van is a recognised abbreviation of “vanguard”) followed by AT (a recognised abbreviation of “alternative technology”) placed in U and U (ditto “universities), like so: VAN-U(AT)U.

45. Spanish performer runs after dull performance (7)

Answer: MATADOR (i.e. “Spanish performer”). Solution is MAT (i.e. “dull”) followed by ADO (i.e. “performance”) and finally R (i.e. “runs after” – r being a recognised abbreviation of “runs” used in cricket), like so: MAT-ADO-R.

46. Tree climber, work very good, picked up amount of money (7)

Answer: OPOSSUM (i.e. “tree climber”). Solution is OP (i.e. “work”, i.e. short for “operation”) then OS (i.e. “very good”, picked up” – i.e. the word “so” reversed – this being a down clue) then SUM (i.e. “amount of money”).

47. Woolly right embraced by African nation after rejecting left (6)

Answer: ANGORA (i.e. “woolly”). Solution is ANGOLA (i.e. “African nation”) with L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) is replaced with R (ditto “right”).

50. “Skip advertisement” pressed by Apple consumer (5)

Answer: EVADE (i.e. “skip”). Solution is AD (i.e. “advertisement”) “pressed” into EVE (i.e. “Apple consumer”), like so: EV(AD)E. This was another clue that made me smile when I got it. Well played.

 

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