johninterred (johninterred) wrote,

Times Cryptic Jumbo 1472 - 12th December

Compliments of the season to you all!   A fairly gentle Jumbo here from two  weeks ago but with a bit of sting in the tail.  34A had me scratching my head and resorting to aids.. an unknown word with less than obvious wordplay crossing with a word, 26A, I wouldn't have spelt that way. Otherwise all good stuff, all done in less than 40 minutes. Favourites included 1A, 15A and 25D.

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

1 Plan whiskey during vigil, fully alert (4-5)
WIDE-AWAKE - IDEA (plan) W (Whiskey in the NATO phonetic alphabet) in WAKE (vigil).
6 Cook hot flan? You bet (3,4)
NOT HALF - [Cook] (hot flan)*
10 Charlatan's about to cover start of tough subject (5)
MATHS - SHAM (Charlatain) [about] -> MAHS [to cover] [start of] Tough.
13 First of trout caught by Paddy's lure (7)
TEMPTER - [First of] Trout [caught by] TEMPER (Paddy). Ignore the sneaky capital!
14 Box against Home Counties in Scottish centre (2,3)
TV SET - TV always gets me as 2-letter word, but I saw it eventually! V (versus; against) SE (South East; Home Counties) [in] ScoTTish [centre].
15 You can see one in zoo barking at gorilla (9)
ALLIGATOR - [barking] (at gorilla)*. Great surface.
16 It's a wonder anything could grow there! (7,7,2,7)
HANGING GARDENS OF BABYLON - Cryptic Definition - One of the 7 wonders of the ancient world, which may, or may not have existed.
17 Build up a team by phone (6)
ACCRUE - Sounds like [by phone] A CREW (team).
18 Regularly show up vulgar cook, at last, with one’s exotic dish (8)
SOUVLAKI -  Alternate letters [Regularly] of ShOw Up VuLgAr, cooK [at last] I (one).  A popular Greek fast food.

Image from BBC Good Food
I think I might add this recipe from BBC Good Food to my book of recipes and try it soon.
19 Jerk splits stone, affecting his eyesight (7)
OPTICAL - TIC (jerk) inside [splits] OPAL (stone).
22 Left before service talk's prominent feature (7,3)
LANTERN JAW - L (left) ANTE (before) RN (Royal Navy; the senior service) JAW (talk).
23 Girl encountering an adder? That goes on in unseasonal weather (6,6)
INDIAN SUMMER - DI (girls) AN SUMMER (adder) after [goes on] IN.
27 It could supply mast, either sort (5)
BEECH - Cryptic Definition. BEECH wood could be used to make a ship's mast and produces mast - "the fruit of forest trees, such as beech, oak and chestnut, especially as food for pigs." Fortunately I knew that secoind meaning. It was a Mast Year this year, I'm told. How do the trees communicate to co-ordinate? (Or do they?).
29 Old Ford's ideal, right for advancement (7)
PREFECT - Has anybody here driven one of these? Take PERFECT (ideal) and "advance" the R (right) -> PREFECT. Read all about them here.
30 Band hero a bundle of nerves (8)
GANGLION - GANG (band) LION (hero).
32 One’s second strip of carpet lifted (6-2)
RUNNER-UP - RUNNER (strip of carpet) UP (lifted). Very sneaky definition!
34 Indian shelter made from porous material I raised (7)
WICKIUP - I was completely stumped by this and used aids to get the answer - I've never heard or seen the word before, have you? Furthermore I didn't know the first part of the wordplay either... it's WICK (porous material) I UP (raised). One-nil to the setter with that one.
36 Letters from Crete about large pile of rocks (5)
TALUS - I didn't know this one either, but at least the wordplay was clear. TAUS (letters from Crete) [about] L (large). "A sloping mass of rock fragments at the foot of a cliff", say the dictionary as the second meaning after the bone in the ankle.
39 Painter's tool sticks covering first of long shades (12)
ROLLERBLINDS - ROLLER (painter's tool) BINDS (sticks) [about] [first of] Long.
41 Who pulls teeth, perhaps, in privileged seclusion? (5,5)
IVORY TOWER - Double definition, the first a cryptic hint. IVORY = teeth, TOWER = someone who pulls.
44 Note name visiting smart MO in US (7)
TECHNIC - TE (note before DOH) and N (name) [visiting] CHIC (smart). An american spelling of "technique". A new one on me.
46 Seriously cut off location in fens (8)
SEVERELY - SEVER (cut off) ELY (location in the fens). Ely's cathedral is known as "the ship of the fens" and can be seen from many miles away in each direction. Here it is as seen on a walk in June this year from 18 miles away in Suffolk.
48 Heritage prison set back within Londonderry's walls (6)
LEGACY - CAGE (prison) [set back] -> EGAC [within] the outer letters [walls] of LondonderrY.
50 North Korean warships went off to block progress (5,1,7,2,3,5)
THROW A SPANNER IN THE WORKS - (North Korean warships went)* [off]. Nice anagram!
53 Food and spirit for each old region of UK (9)
PEPPERONI - PEP (spirit) PER (for each) O (old) NI (Northern Ireland; region of the UK).
54 Ground taken back at end of Victorian era (5)
ARENA - Reverse hidden [taken back] [at end of] VictoriAN ERA.
55 Classic struggle to obtain books with silver (7)
VINTAGE - VIE (struggle) outside [to obtain] NT (New Testament; books) AG (Atomic symbol for silver).
56 Dirty mark or marks scorch clothes (5)
SMEAR - SEAR (scorch) ouside [clothes] M (marks).
57 In tent, try revolutionary hot dairy product (7)
YOGHURT - GO (try) [revolutionary] -> OG, H (hot) [in] YURT (tent).
58 Most colourful hi-vis top Victor discarded (9)
YELLOWEST - YELLOW vEST (hi-vis top) without the V (Victor) [discarded].
1 Charming woman with yen (5)
WITCH - W (with) ITCH (yen).
2 Country friar respecting people (9,8)
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - DOMINICAN (friar) RE (respecting) PUBLIC (people). MER at RE for respecting, but Chambers "have reference to", so that's OK.
3 Feature a time-consuming testimony (9)
ATTRIBUTE - A TRIBUTE (testimony) [consuming] T (time).
4 A top-class European capital stars (6)
AURIGA - A U (top class) RIGA (European capital - of Latvia). The constellation of Auriga, the charioteer, is a new one on me.
5 Predict more staff will need to keep extremely alert (11)
EXTRAPOLATE - EXTRA (more) POLE (staff) outside [will need to keep] the outside letters [extremely] of AlerT.
6 In broadcast, recognises joint slump (4-4)
NOSE-DIVE - NOSE sounds like [in broadcast] KNOWS (recognises) DIVE (joint).
7 Drama queen, a Titian representation (7)
TITANIA - (a Titian)* [representation]. Queen of the fairies in a Midsummer Night's Dream, as we all surely know.
8 After a bit, I tweet "Job for pathologist" (11)
ANATOMISING - I SING (tweet) [after] AN ATOM (a bit).
9 Spooner's claptrap displayed aloft at its peak (4-5)
FULL-BLOWN - Spoonerism of BULL (claptrap) FLOWN (displayed aloft).
10 Margaret has rather a lot of data (7)
MEGABIT - MEG (Margaret) A BIT (rather a lot). Hmm. Not convinced by A BIT = rather a lot, but it could just be an understatement.
11 Write off sum (5)
TOTAL - Double Definition, the first as in the result of a bad car crash.
12 Lies initially among unfamiliar company: they’re breathtaking! (10)
STRANGLERS - Lies [initial] [among] STRANGERS (unfamiliar company). Breathtaking. Ho ho!
17 A German tabloid points up unscripted remark (2-3)
AD-LIB - A BILD (German tabloid) [points up] -> DLIB. Bild is the best-selling European newspaper.
20 Company wife and male go arm in arm, somehow forming union (6-3,8)
COMMON-LAW MARRIAGE - This was easier to solve than to parse. It is CO (company) and (w(ife) male go arm in arm)* [somehow].
21 Sharpshooter frets about missing bullseye at the end (6)
SNIPER - REPINES (frets) [about] -> SeNIPER [missing] bullseyE [at the end].
24 Spot what's found in warmer water? (6)
NOTICE - Double definition, the second a cryptic hint.... if the water is warm, what you find in it is NOT ICE.
25 Nice place to sleep in the dark (5)
UNLIT - French (in Nice) for a place to sleep is UN LIT. Very neat!
26 What Persian did when cut round top of ear? (6)
MEOWED - MOWED (cut) [about] first letter [top] of Ear. It took me ridiculously long to see this, not being familiar with that spelling. Or that's my excuse, anyway. Persian, of course, being a type of cat.
28 Ambassador defends English enclosure (5)
HENGE - H.E. (His Excellency; Ambassador) outside [defends] ENG. (English).
31 Linen a traveller picked up in city (6)
NAPERY - A REP (travelling salesman) [picked up]-> PER [in] N.Y. (New York; city). I learnt this word only recently... in another crossword, of course!
33 Meticulous old man at home putting up posts (11)
PAINSTAKING - PA (old man) IN (at home) STAKING (putting up posts).
35 Popular impromptu piece moved automatically (11)
INVOLUNTARY - IN (popular) VOLUNTARY (impromptu piece).
37 Bouquet for one impresses pair (5)
SPRAY - SAY (for one) outside [impresses] PR (pair).
38 Samples for child sure to involve piano (10)
PROTOTYPES - PRO (for) TOT (child) YES (sure thing), all outside [to involve] P (piano).
40 What has occurred before Conservative supports sponsors (4,5)
BACK STORY - TORY (Conservative) underneath [supports] BACKS (sponsors).
42 Take down unstable ring for sport (3,4,2)
TAE KWON DO - (take down)* [unstable] O (circular letter; ring).
43 Nearly interrupt suspect like peeping Tom? (8)
PRURIENT - All but last letter [nearly] of (interrupt)* [suspect].
45 Close to crossing river? Time for resolution (3,4)
NEW YEAR - NEAR (close to) [crossing] WEAR (river (mostly) in Co. Durham)
47 Fifth to abandon Tuvalu, swimming round a new island group (7)
VANUATU - (tuvalu) without it's 5th letter [fifth to abandon] [swimming] [round] A N (new).
49 Scoop! Liberal gets push first (6)
SHOVEL - SHOVE (push) L (Liberal). Nice surface.
51 Not much change in Mumbai plant incorporating gym (5)
RUPEE - RUE (plant) [incorporating] P.E. (gym).
52 Exhausted writer gets in the way (5)
SPENT - PEN (writer) [gets in] ST (Street; the way).

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