Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1563

A medium strength puzzle this week, and a decent one save for a couple of clues that got up my nose. To be fair these didn’t overshadow matters too much, and the puzzle did offer the kind of steady progression I always like. Plus, it’s always good to learn new things.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a recent Jumbo has buggered off to Glastonbury with your tickets then you might find solace in my Just For Fun page, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the things. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks again for the kind words and help. It’s always interesting to hear how other solvers fared once their pens are stilled. Till next time, stay safe out there kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. Fixed source of light in church before onset of darkness (7)

Answer: CLAMPED (i.e. “fixed”). Solution is LAMP (i.e. “source of light”) placed “in” CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England) and followed by D (i.e. “onset of darkness”, i.e. the first letter of “darkness”), like so: C(LAMP)E-D.

  1. Cajoled at home, not showing one’s face? Little good in that (9)

Answer: INVEIGLED (i.e. “cajoled”). Solution is IN (i.e. “at home”) followed by VEILED (i.e. “not showing one’s face”) once wrapped around or having “in” G (i.e. “little good”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “good”), like so: IN-VEI(G)LED.

  1. Impish maiden removed from demonstration? (4)

Answer: ARCH (i.e. “impish”). Solution is MARCH (i.e. “demonstration”) with the M removed (indicated by “maiden removed from…” – M being a recognised abbreviation of “maiden” used in cricket).

  1. Bounders to hop around, going to and fro repeatedly (13)

Answer: BOUSTROPHEDON (i.e. “going to and fro repeatedly” – over to Chambers: “(of ancient writing) alternately from right to left and from left to right”). “Around” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of BOUNDERS TO HOP. Wordplay was reasonably obvious, but it took a brute force of my Chambers once I’d had enough intersecting letters.

  1. Smooth and white flower sitting at rear of a workplace (9)

Answer: ALABASTER (i.e. “smooth and white”). Solution is ASTER (i.e. “flower”) placed after or “at rear of” A and LAB (i.e. “workplace”, short for laboratory), like so: (A-LAB)-ASTER.

  1. Funny fellow with an unusual allure at end of street (4,6)

Answer: STAN LAUREL (i.e. “funny fellow”, one half of Laurel and Hardy). Solution is AN and an anagram (indicated by “unusual”) of ALLURE both placed after or “at end of” ST (a recognised abbreviation of “street”), like so: ST-(AN-LAUREL).

  1. By ravines we turned back, everything leading to a communications barrier (7,4)

Answer: CHINESE WALL (i.e. “communications barrier” – and so to Chambers again: “the strict demarcation barrier which must exist between eg the corporate finance and investment advisory departments of a bank, etc in order to ensure that privileged information available to one department is not available to the other and so prevent conflicts of interest arising”). Solution is CHINES (i.e. “ravines” – a new one on me, apparently derived from the Old English word for a cleft) followed by WE reversed (indicated by “turned back”), then ALL (i.e. “everything”), like so: CHINES-EW-ALL.

  1. Beastly types making money across the Channel (5)

Answer: EUROS. Solution satisfies “beastly types” – Chambers considers them a type of large kangaroo, another new one on me – and “money across the Channel”, being the currency of several European countries.

  1. A trade union returning officer, cad in charge brooking no opposition (10)

Answer: AUTOCRATIC (i.e. “brooking no opposition”). Solution is A followed by TU (a recognised abbreviation of “Trade Union”) once reversed (indicated by “returning”), then OC (i.e. “officer”, specifically an Officer Commanding or Officer in Charge), then RAT (i.e. “cad”) and IC (a recognised abbreviation of “in charge”), like so: A-UT-OC-RAT-IC.

  1. Lad following college concert (6)

Answer: UNISON (i.e. together, or in “concert”). Solution is SON (i.e. “lad”) placed after or “following” UNI (i.e. “college”, short for university), like so: UNI-SON.

  1. Lean over to grab guy in seaweed (9)

Answer: CARRAGEEN (i.e. a type of “seaweed”). Solution is CAREEN (i.e. “lean over”) wrapped around of “grabbing” RAG (i.e. to “guy” or make fun), like so: CAR(RAG)EEN. I got the CAREEN bit but again had to brute force my Chambers to nail the rest.

  1. Is African archbishop endlessly backing African people? (5)

Answer: TUTSI (i.e. “African people”). Solution is IS and “Archbishop” Desmond TUTU once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “endlessly”). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “backing”), like so: TUT-SI.

  1. Percy is passionate when given incentive (7)

Answer: HOTSPUR (i.e. Sir Henry “Percy”, a fourteenth century English knight who pops up as a character in William Shakespeare’s Henry IV. The guy makes a near-annual appearance in Jumbos, probably enough to warrant an agent by now). Solution is HOT (i.e. “passionate”) followed by SPUR (i.e. “incentive”).

  1. Noble women, 10, provided with fee for hosting game (13)

Answer: ARCHDUCHESSES (i.e. “noble women”). Solution is ARCH (the solution to “10” across) followed by DUES (i.e. “fee”) once wrapped around or “hosting” CHESS (i.e. “game”), like so: ARCH-DU(CHESS)ES.

  1. Part of palace, say, with berth facing west (9)

Answer: STATEROOM (i.e. “part of palace”). Solution is STATE (i.e. “say”) followed by MOOR (i.e. “berth” taken as a verb, i.e. to park one’s ship) once reversed (indicated by “facing west” – this being an across clue), like so: STATE-ROOM.

  1. Short article with winning description of balding man (4,2,3)

Answer: THIN ON TOP (i.e. “description of balding man”). Solution is THING (i.e. “article”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “short”) and the remainder followed by ON TOP (i.e. “winning”).

  1. Fancies forecasts about Left beginning to emerge (13)

Answer: PREDILECTIONS (i.e. “fancies”). Solution is PREDICTIONS (i.e. “forecasts”) wrapped “about” L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) and E (i.e. “beginning [letter] to emerge”), like so: PREDI(L-E)CTIONS.

  1. Understand the French fashion seen outside entrance to classy hotel (5,2)

Answer: LATCH ON (i.e. “understand”). Solution is LA (i.e. “the French”, i.e. the feminine form of “the” in French) followed by TON (i.e. “fashion”, a variant meaning of TON you hardly ever see outside of cryptic crosswords) once wrapped around or placed “outside” of C (i.e. “entrance to classy”, i.e. the first letter of “classy”) and H (“hotel” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: LA-T(C-H)ON.

  1. Old biblical city in which there is party atmosphere (5)

Answer: ODOUR (i.e. an air or “atmosphere”. My Chambers dictionary and thesaurus don’t want to know; my Bradford’s is fairly cold on the matter; the closest I can get is “a lingering quality or impression attaching to something” (Oxford), which I guess just about gets it over the line). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and UR (i.e. “biblical city”, a favourite of cryptic crossword setters) wrapped around or “in which there is” DO (i.e. “party”), like so: O-(DO)-UR.

  1. Fruit comes with dubious promise: hollow melon? (9)

Answer: PERSIMMON (i.e. a plum-like “fruit”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “dubious”) of PROMISE and MN (i.e. “hollow melon”, i.e. the word “melon” with all its middle letters removed).

  1. Prune, I suspect, not fit for eating? (6)

Answer: UNRIPE (i.e. “not fit for eating”). “Suspect” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of PRUNE I.

  1. Leading girl falling short in concert – I’m living in a cell (10)

Answer: PROTOPLASM (i.e. “I’m living [material] in a cell”). Solution is TOP LASS (i.e. “leading girl”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “falling short”) and the remainder placed “in” PROM (i.e. “concert”), like so: PRO(TOP-LAS)M.

  1. King, stained and unconventional (5)

Answer: KINKY (i.e. “unconventional”). Solution is K (a recognised abbreviation of “king” used in chess) followed by INKY (i.e. “stained”).

  1. After party maiden sat upset (11)

Answer: DISCOMPOSED (i.e. “upset”). Solution is DISCO (i.e. “party”) followed by M (a recognised abbreviation of “maiden” used in cricket) and POSED (i.e. “sat” for an artist).

  1. A foreign hospital permitted to be totally secular? (10)

Answer: UNHALLOWED (i.e. “totally secular”). Solution is UN (i.e. “a foreign”, specifically the masculine form of “a” in French) followed by H (a recognised abbreviation of “hospital” used on maps), then ALLOWED (i.e. “permitted”).

  1. I am going one way and another, joining crush to enter new country (9)

Answer: IMMIGRATE (i.e. “to enter new country”). Solution is I’M and M’I (i.e. “I am going one way and another”, i.e. a contraction of “I am” followed by its reverse) followed by GRATE (i.e. “crush” – another that leaves my assorted dictionaries lukewarm at best. I guess we’re referring to the pressure one would apply on something in order to grate it, but I feel this setter’s going to need Perry Mason’s card if they keep this up).

  1. Makes amends with garland, certainly, whenever convenient (2,4,7)

Answer: AT ONE’S LEISURE (i.e. “whenever convenient”). Solution is ATONES (i.e. “makes amends”) followed by LEI (i.e. a “garland”) and SURE (i.e. “certainly”).

  1. Posturing evident in ridiculous ideas (4)

Answer: SIDE (i.e. arrogance, pretension or “posturing”, albeit fairly deep into the definitions). “Evident in” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: RIDICULOU(S IDE)AS.

  1. Daughter joining most intimate group that may be got together for meal (6,3)

Answer: DINNER SET (i.e. “that may be got together for meal”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”) followed by INNER SET (i.e. “most intimate group”).

  1. Nurses carrying silver bits left behind? (3,4)

Answer: TAG ENDS (i.e. “bits left behind”, also known as fag ends). Solution is TENDS (i.e. “nurses”) wrapped around or “carrying” AG (chemical symbol of “silver”), like so: T(AG)ENDS.

Down clues

  1. Island’s young adventurer just starting out? (4)

Answer: CUBA (i.e. “island”). Solution is CUB (i.e. “young” animal) followed by A (i.e. “adventurer just starting out”, i.e. the first letter of “adventurer”).

  1. Grown-up to transgress – end of marriage involved? (9)

Answer: ADULTERER. The solution solves the clue as a whole, but also comprises ADULT (i.e. “grown-up”) and ERR (i.e. “to transgress”) once wrapped around or “involving” E (i.e. “end [letter] of marriage”), like so: ADULT-ER(E)R.

  1. Undertake a task – with the anticipation of a cheese and pickle lunch? (3,4,4,2,3,6)

Answer: PUT ONE’S HAND TO THE PLOUGH (i.e. “undertake a task”). The remainder of the clue plays on a ploughman’s lunch, often including “cheese and pickle”.

  1. Satellite in turbulent episode seen in series of pictures? (7)

Answer: DIORAMA (i.e. “series of pictures”, in this case “an exhibition of translucent pictures seen through an opening with lighting effects” (Chambers). Can also be a three-dimensional scene in miniature). Solution is IO (i.e. “satellite”, specifically a moon of Jupiter) placed “in” DRAMA (i.e. “turbulent episode”), like so: D(IO)RAMA.

  1. The benefit from someone having the will to let another succeed (11)

Answer: INHERITANCE. Solution satisfies the clue as a whole, playing on how such a “benefit” is executed through the “will” of the deceased. “Succeed” can also mean to inherit. You get the idea.

  1. Namely, shop involved in wickedness getting shut finally (9)

Answer: VIDELICET (i.e. “namely” in Latin). Solution is DELI (i.e. “shop”, specifically a delicatessen) placed or “involved in” VICE (i.e. “wickedness”) and followed by T (i.e. “shut finally”, i.e. the last letter of “shut”), like so: VI(DELI)CE-T.

  1. Greek is charged? (5)

Answer: IONIC (i.e. “Greek”, specifically of the Ionian Islands). Clue plays on IONs being electrically “charged” particles.

  1. Pounds one will get with skills – so these can be paid off? (11)

Answer: LIABILITIES (i.e. “these can be paid off”, i.e. debts). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “pounds” of weight, after the Latin libra) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and ABILITIES (i.e. “skills”).

  1. Artist’s storage facility (6)

Answer: DRAWER. Solution satisfies “artist” and “storage facility”.

  1. Rodents surrounding brown trees (7)

Answer: RATTANS (i.e. a variety of “tree” made plural). Solution is RATS (i.e. “rodents”) wrapped around or “surrounding” TAN (i.e. “brown”), like so: RAT(TAN)S.

  1. Disciplinarian listened to, exuding energy on ship (9)

Answer: HARDLINER (i.e. “disciplinarian”). Solution is HEARD (i.e. “listened to”) with the E removed (indicated by “exuding energy” – E being a recognised abbreviation of “energy”) and the remainder followed by LINER (i.e. “ship”), like so: HARD-LINER.

  1. Experience disappointment and reconsider approach (4,7,5,6)

Answer: HAVE ANOTHER THINK COMING. Solution satisfies “experience disappointment” – Chambers offers: “(informal) to be wrong in what one thinks (about future events or actions)” – and, taking the phrase literally, to “reconsider approach”. And here was me always thinking it was “thing”. Can’t imagine why.

  1. Liking to hide head, showing charm (7)

Answer: ENCHANT (i.e. “charm”). Solution is PENCHANT (i.e. “liking”) with the first letter removed (indicated by “to hide head”).

  1. Performer in role, heading off – is theatre completely empty? (7)

Answer: ARTISTE (i.e. “performer”). Solution is PART (i.e. “role”) with the first letter removed (indicated by “heading off”) and the remainder followed by IS and TE (i.e. “theatre completely empty”, i.e. the word “theatre” with all its middle letters removed), like so: ART-IS-TE.

  1. Bird with musical awareness, full of passion (8)

Answer: WHEATEAR (i.e. “bird”). Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”) and EAR (i.e. “musical awareness”) all wrapped around or “full of” HEAT (i.e. “passion”), like so: W-(HEAT)-EAR. Chalk one to my Bradford’s.

  1. Referring to pursuing old lover as “energising” (8)

Answer: EXCITING (i.e. “energising”). Solution is CITING (i.e. “referring to”) placed after or “pursuing” EX (i.e. “old lover”), like so: EX-CITING.

  1. Piece of publicity for short time (5)

Answer: PROMO (i.e. “piece of publicity”). Solution is PRO (i.e. being in favour or “for” something) followed by MO (i.e. “short time”, short for a moment).

  1. Cold dressing for section of limestone pavement (5)

Answer: CLINT (i.e. “section of limestone pavement”, specifically “a block forming part of a natural limestone pavement, separated from others by fissures (grikes)” (Oxford)). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “cold” used on taps) followed by LINT (i.e. a type of linen or “dressing”, as opposed to belly-button fluff). One of those “C_I_T, eh? Hmm. I wonder if it’s ‘clint’. Let’s see if it’s ‘clint’. Well bugger me, it is ‘clint’!” moments. It’s nice when that happens.

  1. Back to drink fortified wine (7)

Answer: SUPPORT (i.e. to “back” something). Solution is SUP (i.e. “to drink”) followed by PORT (i.e. “fortified wine”).

  1. Indication of pregnant Virgin, as revealed in stonework? (7)

Answer: MASONRY (i.e. “stonework”). The remainder of the clue plays on how the solution is formed of MARY (i.e. biblical “Virgin”) wrapped around or being “pregnant” with SON, like so: MA(SON)RY.

  1. Demanding conformity, posture can ultimately suffer terribly (11)

Answer: PROCRUSTEAN (i.e. “demanding conformity” – Chambers again: “taking violent measures to ensure conformity to a standard. [From Procrustes, a legendary Greek robber, who stretched or cut his captives’ legs to fit a bed]”. Another new one on me, but also interesting. Also, also: sheesh! that’s some serious OCD going on, there). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “terribly”) of POSTURE CAN and R (i.e. “ultimately suffer”, i.e. the last letter of “suffer”). Nicely worked, with an appreciable dash of grim irony!

  1. Men emphatic about charge against Nixon? (11)

Answer: IMPEACHMENT (i.e. a “charge against [Richard] Nixon”, 37th President of the United States). “About” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MEN EMPHATIC. Another nicely worked clue.

  1. Stories about start of affair with a foreign doctor – they deal with dirty stuff (9)

Answer: LAUNDRIES (i.e. “they deal with dirty stuff”). Solution is LIES (i.e. “stories”) wrapped “about” A (i.e. “start [letter] of affair”), UN (i.e. “a foreign” – our French “a” again) and DR (a recognised abbreviation of “doctor”), like so: L(A-UN-DR)IES.

  1. Modern music before fantastic tour has American “over the moon” (9)

Answer: RAPTUROUS (i.e. “over the moon”). Solution is RAP (i.e. “modern music”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “fantastic”) of TOUR, then US (i.e. “American”), like so: RAP-TURO-US.

  1. Model with deficient style, one of five in group (9)

Answer: MANNEQUIN (i.e. “model”). Solution is MANNER (i.e. “style”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “deficient”) and the remainder followed by QUIN (i.e. “one of five in group”), like so: MANNE-QUIN.

  1. Supposed to have dumped leader and started afresh (7)

Answer: RESUMED (i.e. “started afresh” – I always thought this was to start from where one left off, but “begin again” seems a widely supported definition). Solution is PRESUMED (i.e. “supposed”) with the first letter removed (indicated by “to have dumped leader”).

  1. Plant Mollie transplanted beginning to thrive (7)

Answer: MELILOT (i.e. a grassland “plant”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “transplanted”) of MOLLIE followed by T (i.e. “beginning [letter] to thrive”). Needless to say, this was another that needed a brute force of my Chambers once I’d had enough letters. Hooray for made-to-fit solutions! Yaayyyy, made-to-fit solutions!!! (Narrator: sadly, only madness lay in store for Mr Poll from that day on…)

  1. Leaders of urban district penning scheme for geographical area (6)

Answer: UPLAND (i.e. “geographic area”). Solution is U and D (i.e. “leaders of urban district”, i.e. the first letters of “urban” and “district”) wrapped around or “penning” PLAN (i.e. “scheme”), like so: U-(PLAN)-D.

  1. Sailor – Devon’s foremost man of dubious reputation? (5)

Answer: Sir Francis DRAKE (i.e. “sailor”). Solution is D (i.e. “Devon’s foremost” letter) followed by RAKE (i.e. “man of dubious reputation”). Neatly done, considering Drake was born in Devon.

  1. Iron ship, ordinary (4)

Answer: FESS (i.e. “ordinary”. This is all to do with heraldry, it seems. One definition of “ordinary” is “one of a class of armorial charges, figures of simple or geographical form, conventional in character”, while a FESS or FESSE is “one of the simple heraldic forms, a horizontal band over the middle of an escutcheon, usually one third of the whole” (both Chambers)). Solution is FE (chemical symbol of “iron”) followed by SS (i.e. “ship”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of a “steamship”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1562

For me this was much the same as last week’s Jumbo, easing up a smidge on the general knowledge in favour of… forenames. Oof, that’s never a good sign. Plants, people and places are often tell-tale signs of an awkward grid-fill, but forenames are another level entirely. A lot of the clueing was pretty good, but overall this was another miss from me.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a recent Jumbo has gone and scratched your favourite recordtched your favourite recordtched your favourite recordtched your favourite recordtched (…bump…) then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the things. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks again for the input and kind words. It’s always interesting to hear the thoughts of other solvers once their pens are stilled. Till next time, stay safe out there kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. Key aide: very few could afford one with forty-eight hours off (4-3,4)

Answer: FIVE-DAY WEEK (i.e. “one with forty-eight hours off”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “could afford”) of KEY AIDE, V (a recognised abbreviation of “very”) and FEW.

  1. Was witness to suffer detention? (6)

Answer: BEHELD (i.e. “was witness to”). When written as BE HELD the solution also satisfies “to suffer detention”.

  1. A US military hospital losing its second nurse (4)

Answer: AMAH (i.e. a “nurse” in East Asia). Solution is A followed by MASH (i.e. “US military hospital”, short for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital) once the S has been removed (indicated by “losing its second” – S being a recognised abbreviation of “second”), like so: A-MAH.

  1. Environmentalists, disapprovingly, to use empty cistern for recycling (7)

Answer: ECONUTS (i.e. “environmentalists, disapprovingly”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “recycling”) of TO USE and CN (i.e. “empty cistern”, i.e. the word “cistern” with all its middle letters removed).

  1. Calls round with drink (5,2)

Answer: RINGS UP (i.e. “calls”). Solution is RING (i.e. a “round” structure) followed by SUP (i.e. “drink”).

  1. Bloomer, ultimately encouraging fan to invade pitch (7)

Answer: SPIGNEL (i.e. “bloomer” – not one I’d heard of, but images of them look familiar). Solution is G and N (i.e. “ultimately encouraging fan”, i.e. the last letters of “encouraging” and “fan”) both placed in or “invading” SPIEL (i.e. “pitch” or, more generally, a line of talk), like so: SPI(GN)EL.

  1. King being trapped by horse having reared in southern China (9,4)

Answer: SMOTHERED MATE (i.e. “King being trapped by horse” – over to Chambers: “in chess, checkmate by a knight, the king having been prevented from moving by the positions of his own forces”). Solution is MOTHERED (i.e. “reared”) placed “in” S (a recognised abbreviation of “southern”) and MATE (i.e. “China”, specifically the cockney rhyming slang: china plate = mate), like so: S-(MOTHERED)-MATE.

  1. Eccentricity of relatives repeating verses every so often (9)

Answer: KINKINESS (i.e. “eccentricity”). Solution is KIN and KIN (i.e. “relatives repeatedly”) followed by ESS (i.e. “verses every so often”, i.e. every other letter of VERSES).

  1. The capital’s Circle Line about to be withdrawn (5)

Answer: ACCRA (i.e. “the capital” of Ghana). Solution is ARC (i.e. “circle line” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) and CA (i.e. “about”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “circa”) all reversed (indicated by “to be withdrawn”), like so: AC-CRA. Nicely worked.

  1. Note short bad-tempered ape used for lab research? (10)

Answer: MICROSCOPY (i.e. technology “used for lab research”). Solution is MI (i.e. “note” in the sol-fa notation, i.e. the whole doh-ray-mi thing) followed by CROSS (i.e. “bad-tempered”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “short”), then COPY (i.e. to imitate or “ape”), like so: MI-CROS-COPY.

  1. A little blue in demeanour, is querulous (6)

Answer: RISQUE (i.e. “a little blue”). “In” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: DEMEANOU(R IS QUE)RULOUS.

  1. End of play or film – lute playing (4,4)

Answer: FULL TIME (i.e. “end of play”). “Playing” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of FILM and LUTE.

  1. One doing good work first, welcome among factory personnel earlier (14)

Answer: PHILANTHROPIST (i.e. “one going good”). Solution is OP (i.e. “work”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “opus”) and IST (i.e. “first”, I being the Roman numeral one) both placed after or having “earlier” HI (i.e. “welcome”) once it’s placed “among” PLANT (i.e. “factory”) and HR (i.e. “personnel”, specifically Human Resources), like so: (P(HI)LANT-HR)-OP-IST.

  1. Porter, not up in Scotland, touring Sandhurst (7)

Answer: DOORMAN (i.e. “porter”). Solution is DOON (i.e. “not up in Scotland”, i.e. the Scots form of “down”) wrapped around or “touring” RMA (i.e. “Sandhurst”, a Royal Military Academy), like so: DOO(RMA)N.

  1. Band leader’s tweet to press, backing men (4,5)

Answer: PIPE MAJOR (i.e. “band leader”). Solution is PIPE (i.e. to “tweet”) followed by JAM (i.e. “to press”) once reversed (indicated by “backing”) and OR (i.e. “men”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army), like so: PIPE-MAJ-OR.

  1. Yank’s courage (5)

Answer: PLUCK. Solution satisfies “yank” and “courage”.

  1. Character an old letter once used by mapmakers (5)

Answer: ETHOS (i.e. “character”). Solution is ETH (i.e. “an old letter once used”, specifically a barred D character that was used in Old English) followed by OS (i.e. “mapmakers”, specifically Ordnance Survey).

  1. Shares for auditors in the city (9)

Answer: STOCKHOLM (i.e. capital “city” of Sweden). I’m not quite on the same page as the setter here, so watch out. My guess is each half of the name can be another word for “share”, getting you its plural in the clue. This certainly fits STOCK in the financial world. “For auditors” is usually a homophone indicator, so I guess the HOLM part will be something like HOME, but I’m buggered if I can make the leap from that to “share”. If someone swings by with the actual answer then I’ll update the post.

[EDIT: Thanks to Steve in the comments for nailing this one. I was half-right (…ish) but failed to twig the “in” in the clue, which is often referred to as being at HOME in cryptic clues. This is where the homophone is to be applied (i.e. “for auditors: ‘in'”) to get you HOLM. Sneaky, as you are much more likely to see this wordplay in reverse, i.e. see IN in a solution clued as “home”, but fair play to the setter and cheers, Steve! – LP]

  1. It’s a deal that includes reform of Euro (5,2)

Answer: YOU’RE ON (i.e. “it’s a deal”). Solution is YON (i.e. poetic form of “that”) wrapped around or “including” an anagram (indicated by “reform of”) of EURO, like so: Y(OURE)ON.

  1. Potter character’s return links with short quiz being organised (8,6)

Answer: SQUIRREL NUTKIN (i.e. Beatrix “Potter character”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “being organised”) of RETURN LINKS and QUIZ once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “short”).

  1. Accessory when snapping various creatures together, for blokes crossing lake (4,4)

Answer: ZOOM LENS (i.e. “accessory when snapping”, meaning photography). Solution is ZOO (i.e. “various creatures together”) followed by MEN’S (i.e. “for blokes”) once wrapped around or “crossing” L (a recognised abbreviation of “lake”), like so: ZOO-M(L)EN’S.

  1. With an extra royalty cheque initially coming back, the writer’s rich! (6)

Answer: CREAMY (i.e. “rich”). Solution is CREA (i.e. “with an extra royalty cheque initially coming back”, i.e. the first letters of “an”, “extra”, “royalty” and “cheque” all reversed) followed by MY (i.e. “the writer’s” from the point of view of the setter).

  1. Open to attack when seaworthy? (10)

Answer: ASSAILABLE (i.e. “open to attack”). Solution is AS (i.e. “when”) followed by SAILABLE (i.e. “seaworthy”).

  1. Sum small child has completed (3,2)

Answer: TOT UP (i.e. “sum”). Solution is TOT (i.e. “small child”) followed by UP (i.e. “completed”).

  1. Split – but not the bill, presumably (2,1,6)

Answer: DO A RUNNER (i.e. to flee or “split”). The rest of the clue plays on how a bill can’t be split if everyone legs it before paying. You get the idea.

  1. Oliver and Mack perhaps rub it in (5,3,5)

Answer: TWIST THE KNIFE (i.e. “rub it in”). Solution is “Oliver” TWIST followed by “Mack” THE KNIFE, a song from The Threepenny Opera.

  1. Palace one’s dwelling in deserted, time to move (7)

Answer: VATICAN (i.e. “palace”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed or “dwelling in” VACANT (i.e. “deserted”) once the T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) has been “moved” like so: VACAN(T) => VA(T)CAN => VAT(I)CAN.

  1. Italian constitutional body has boycotted hearing (7)

Answer: CLAUDIO (i.e. an “Italian” forename). Solution is CL (i.e. “constitutional body has boycotted”, i.e. the word “constitutional” with all its middle letters removed) followed by AUDIO (i.e. “hearing”). Forename alert!

  1. Claws: little ones (7)

Answer: NIPPERS. Solution satisfies “claws” and “little ones” or toddlers.

  1. Complete degree (4)

Answer: RANK. Solution satisfies “complete” or absolute, and “degree”.

  1. Not moving back, I parked behind, between poles (6)

Answer: STASIS (i.e. the state of “not moving”). Solution is I and SAT (i.e. “parked”) all reversed (indicated by “back”) and placed “between” S and S (i.e. “poles”, specifically South ones), like so: S-(TAS-I)-S.

  1. Argument with the Italian visiting celebrity: I’m astounded! (5,4,2)

Answer: WORDS FAIL ME (i.e. “I’m astounded”). Solution is WORDS (i.e. “argument”, as in having words with someone) followed by IL (i.e. “the Italian”, i.e. the Italian for “the”) once placed in or “visiting” FAME (i.e. “celebrity”), like so: WORDS-FA(IL)ME.

Down clues

  1. Delivers one a plant (7)

Answer: FREESIA (i.e. “plant”). Solution is FREES (i.e. “delivers”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and A.

  1. One bowed out of awkward love-in with cool Liberal (11)

Answer: VIOLONCELLO (i.e. “one bowed”, i.e. a musical instrument played with a bow). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “awkward”) of LOVE-IN, COOL and L (a recognised abbreviation of “Liberal”).

  1. Ready to roll? (5)

Answer: DOUGH. Solution satisfies “ready”, both slang words for money. I guess the setter’s playing on DOUGH eventually becoming a bread “roll”. (Makes so-so gesture.)

  1. TV show you and son prepare to attend (3,5,8)

Answer: YES PRIME MINISTER (i.e. “TV show”). Solution is YE (i.e. “you”, ye olde style) followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”), then PRIME (i.e. “prepare”) and MINISTER (i.e. “attend” to).

  1. Nymph looked back on chance with regret, reflecting over years (8)

Answer: EURYDICE (i.e. “nymph looked back on” – in Greek mythology she was the wife of Orpheus and was tragically killed by a viper. She was eventually allowed to walk free of the Underworld so long as Orpheus always walked ahead of her along the path and never looked back to her. You can guess how that turned out). Solution is DICE (i.e. “chance”) placed after or “with” RUE (i.e. “regret”) once reversed (indicated by “reflecting”) and placed ahead of or “over” Y (a recognised abbreviation of “years”), like so: (EUR-Y)-DICE.

  1. Make awkward progress on a graph: nothing OK, somehow (8-3)

Answer: KANGAROO-HOP (i.e. “make awkward progress”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “somehow”) of ON A GRAPH, O (i.e. “nothing”) and OK.

  1. Mean to maintain tango beat (5)

Answer: BASTE (i.e. to “beat” – a variant meaning of the word). Solution is BASE (i.e. “mean”, both taken to mean reprehensible) wrapped around T (“tango” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: BAS(T)E.

  1. Bound to miss start after grappling with field event (3,4,3,4)

Answer: HOP SKIP AND JUMP (i.e. “field event”). Solution is HOP (i.e. “bound”), SKIP (i.e. “to miss”) and JUMP (i.e. to “start” with surprise) all wrapped around or “grappling” AND (i.e. “with”), like so: HOP-SKIP-(AND)-JUMP.

  1. See that Carol is down (6)

Answer: LOSING (i.e. “is down” in score). Solution is LO (i.e. “see”, as in lo and behold) followed by SING (i.e. to “carol” – ignore the misleading capitalisation).

  1. Political philosopher from US, one men quote erroneously (11)

Answer: MONTESQUIEU (i.e. “political philosopher”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “erroneously”) of US, I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and MEN QUOTE.

  1. Get all outspoken in Rome? (4,3)

Answer: HOLY SEE (i.e. “Rome”). “Outspoken” indicates homophone. When expressed as WHOLLY SEE the solution satisfies “get all”.

  1. Ridiculously cheap, fashionable pastry cases from somewhere in Asia (8)

Answer: FILIPINO (i.e. “from somewhere in Asia”, specifically the Philippines). Solution is IP (i.e. “ridiculously cheap”, i.e. [Roman numeral] one penny) and IN (i.e. “fashionable”) placed in or “cased” by FILO (i.e. “pastry”), like so: FIL(IP-IN)O.

  1. Goddess of the pictures, heading down for cup tie? (7)

Answer: ARTEMIS (i.e. Greek “goddess” of the hunt). Solution is ART (i.e. “pictures”) followed by SEMI (i.e. “cup tie”, a semi-final) once its first letter or “heading” has been sent “down” to the end, like so: ART-(S)EMI => ART-EMI(S).

  1. Boy requiring uniform collected clothes (5)

Answer: CALUM (i.e. a “boy’s” name). Solution is U (“uniform” in the phonetic alphabet) placed in or “clothed” by CALM (i.e. “collected”), like so: CAL(U)M. Forename alert!

  1. Those of a certain age, longing to shun society, part with property (16)

Answer: THIRTYSOMETHINGS (i.e. “those of a certain age”). Solution is THIRSTY (i.e. “longing”) with the S removed (indicated by “to shun society”, S being a recognised abbreviation of “society”) and the remainder followed by SOME (i.e. “part”) and THINGS (i.e. “property”), like so: THIRTY-SOME-THINGS.

  1. Following primitive instincts, turns and twitches? (7)

Answer: FIDGETS (i.e. “twitches”). Solution is F (a recognised abbreviation of “following”) followed by ID (i.e. “primitive instincts” in the world of psychology) and GETS (i.e. “turns”, both taken to mean “becomes”).

  1. Proceeds to analyse, first and foremost, one of two books (7)

Answer: TAKINGS (i.e. “proceeds”). Solution is T and A (i.e. “to analyse, first and foremost”, i.e. the initial letters of “to” and “analyse”) followed by KINGS (i.e. “two books” of the Old Testament of The Bible).

  1. Misbehaving like a competent card player? (2,2,4,6)

Answer: UP TO ONE’S TRICKS (i.e. “misbehaving”). Clue plays on UP TO being “competent”, and “card” games where a round of cards is called a TRICK. You get the idea.

  1. Satisfied after fruit drop (7)

Answer: PLUMMET (i.e. “drop”). Solution is MET (i.e. “satisfied”) placed “after” PLUM (i.e. “fruit”), like so: PLUM-MET.

  1. Flyer put up in around trading centre (5,6)

Answer: HOUSE MARTIN (i.e. “flyer”). Solution is HOUSE (i.e. to “put up”) and IN wrapped “around” MART (i.e. “trading centre”), like so: HOUSE-(MART)-IN.

  1. Girl always thanks cook finally when rising (5)

Answer: KATYA (i.e. a “girl’s” name). Solution is AY (i.e. archaic or dialectical form of “always”), TA (i.e. “thanks”) and K (i.e. “cook finally”, i.e. the last letter of “cook”) all reversed (indicated by “when rising” – this being a down clue), like so: K-AT-YA. Forename alert!

  1. Light in women’s loo wired badly (5,6)

Answer: ORIEL WINDOW (i.e. “light”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “badly”) of IN, W (a recognised abbreviation of “women”), and LOO WIRED.

  1. Fish I caught having chosen appropriate equipment all round (8,3)

Answer: ELECTRIC EEL (i.e. “fish”). Solution is I and C (a recognised abbreviation of “caught” used in a number of ball games) placed in or having “all round” ELECT (i.e. “chosen”, e.g. a president elect) and REEL (i.e. “appropriate equipment” for fishing), like so: ELECT-R(I-C)EEL.

  1. Drink taken from seat, one in Paris church (3,5)

Answer: RUM PUNCH (i.e. “drink”). Solution is RUMP (i.e. “seat”) followed by UN (i.e. “one in Paris”, i.e. the French for “one”) and CH (a recognised abbreviation of “church”).

  1. A club closed by the taxman once, scene of killing (8)

Answer: ABATTOIR (i.e. “scene of killing”). Solution is A followed by BAT (i.e. “club”), then TO (i.e. “closed”, e.g. a door closed to) and IR (i.e. “the taxman once”, specifically the Inland Revenue).

  1. Body’s state: one likely to be rotten at the top! (7)

Answer: CADAVER (i.e. “body”). Solution is AVER (i.e. to “state”) placed after or having “at the top” CAD (i.e. “one likely to be rotten”), like so: CAD-AVER.

  1. Something given urgency, case of importance (7)

Answer: PRESSIE (i.e. “something given”). Solution is PRESS (i.e. “urgency”) followed by IE (i.e. “case of importance”, i.e. the first and last letters of “importance”).

  1. Maybe get granny out of bunk – no tender hugs! (6)

Answer: UNKNOT (i.e. “maybe get granny [knot] out”). “Hugs” (and “of”, now I think of it) indicate the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: B(UNK NO T)ENDER.

  1. Race has to be arranged with IT (5)

Answer: THAIS (i.e. “race”, in this case the people of Thailand). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “arranged”) of HAS and IT.

  1. Letter from abroad: one to seal well, we understand? (5)

Answer: KAPPA (i.e. “letter from abroad”, specifically the tenth letter of the Greek alphabet). “We understand” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of CAPPER (i.e. “one to seal [oil] well”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1561

A medium strength puzzle this week, but another of those that leaned too far into general knowledge to be of much interest to me. Your mileage may vary.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a recent Jumbo has begun to outstay its welcome then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the things. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks again for the kind words and input. It’s always interesting to hear what other solvers think once they set down their pens. Till next time, stay safe out there kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. In position with weapons for military command (7,4)

Answer: PRESENT ARMS (i.e. a “military command”). Solution is PRESENT (i.e. attending or “in position”) followed by ARMS (i.e. “weapons”).

  1. Say what I saw and heard, naked man in court (4,7)

Answer: BEAR WITNESS (i.e. “say what I saw”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “heard”) of BARE (i.e. “naked”) followed by WITNESS (i.e. “man in court”).

  1. No piffling oration broadcast, but something of enduring value (9-8)

Answer: INFLATION-PROOFING (i.e. “of enduring value”). “Broadcast” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of NO PIFFLING ORATION.

  1. Fields for example almost all next to sea (5)

Answer: MEDAL (i.e. “Fields for example”, apparently a medal awarded to mathematicians under the age of 40 for outstanding contributions to the field. No, me neither). Solution is ALL with the last letter removed (indicated by “almost”) and the remainder placed after or “next to” MED (i.e. “sea”, short for Mediterranean), like so: MED-AL.

  1. Macbeth’s life a brief one, but a measure of certain intensity (6)

Answer: CANDLE. Solution satisfies Lady “Macbeth’s life a brief one”, referencing a line from The Scottish Play, and “a measure of certain intensity”, specifically of light.

  1. Heavenly group beg one to interrupt less regularly (8)

Answer: PLEIADES (i.e. “heavenly group”, a constellation you see in Jumbos suspiciously more than others). Solution is PLEAD (i.e. “beg”) wrapped around or “interrupted” by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and followed by ES (i.e. “less regularly”, i.e. every other letter of LESS), like so: PLE(I)AD-ES.

  1. Material can appeal to the left, and in France to the right (7)

Answer: SATINET (i.e. “material”). Solution is TIN (i.e. “can”) with SA (i.e. “appeal”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of Sex Appeal I’ve only ever seen used in cryptic crosswords) placed “to the left” of it, and ET (i.e. “and in France”, i.e. the French for “and”) placed “to the right” of it, like so: SA-(TIN)-ET. One nailed from the wordplay, to be honest.

  1. Excellent month with a brilliant sight (9)

Answer: SUPERNOVA (i.e. “brilliant sight”, as in being a bit on the bright side). Solution is SUPER (i.e. “excellent”) followed by NOV (i.e. “month”, short for November) and A.

  1. Bond linking animal to one insect (8)

Answer: ASSIGNAT (i.e. “bond” – over the Chambers: “one of the paper bonds first issued in 1789 by the French government on the security of the appropriated church lands, and later (1790-97) accepted as notes of currency”. A modern everyday term, then. Righto). Solution is ASS (i.e. “animal”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and GNAT (i.e. “insect”).

  1. Jump out of plane tree in the end (4)

Answer: JETE (i.e. “jump” – and again to Chambers: “a leap from one foot to the other in which the free leg usually finishes extended forward, backwards or sideways”. If you were in any doubt that this week’s setter has wilfully gone heavy on the general knowledge, consider how many other words could have fitted the letters _E_E). Solution is JET (i.e. “plane”) followed by E (i.e. “tree in the end”, i.e. the last letter of “tree”).

  1. Indian sage’s last to lead islanders (5)

Answer: IRISH (i.e. “islanders”). Solution is RISHI (i.e. an “Indian sage” or poet) with the “last” letter placed first or “to lead”, like so: RISH(I) => (I)RISH.

  1. Odds on at first, nonetheless (4,2)

Answer: EVEN SO (i.e. “nonetheless”). Solution is EVENS (i.e. “odds”) followed by O (i.e. “on at first”, i.e. the first letter of “on”).

  1. Water and a leek vegan digested (4,6)

Answer: LAKE GENEVA (i.e. a body of “water”). “Digested” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of A LEEK VEGAN.

  1. Sweet ban rejected: a handout all round (8)

Answer: ADORABLE (i.e. “sweet”). Solution is BAR (i.e. “ban”) reversed (indicated by “rejected”) and placed in or having “all round” A and DOLE (i.e. “handout”), like so: A-DO(RAB)LE.

  1. They distrust all sportsmanship: it flourished only without pressure (14)

Answer: MISANTHROPISTS (i.e. “they distrust all”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “flourished”) of SPORTSMANSHIP IT once one of the Ps has been removed (indicated by “without pressure” – P being a recognised abbreviation of “pressure”).

  1. Baronet is concealing difficult time, old flame discovered (7,2,5)

Answer: BROUGHT TO LIGHT (i.e. “discovered”). Solution is BT (a recognised abbreviation of “baronet”) wrapped around or “concealing” ROUGH (i.e. “difficult”) and T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”), and followed by O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) then LIGHT (i.e. “flame”), like so: B(ROUGH-T)T-O-LIGHT.

  1. In Rome, building stone dries up, but not out (2,6)

Answer: ST PETERS Basilica (i.e. “in Rome, building”). Solution is ST (a recognised abbreviation of “stone”) followed by PETERS (i.e. “dries up, but not out”, i.e. peters out with the “out” removed).

  1. Soldiers love armoured vehicles to capture so-called German (5,5)

Answer: OTHER RANKS (i.e. some “soldiers” of the British Army – often you’ll see its abbreviation, OR, used in cryptic crosswords). Solution is O (i.e. “love”, a zero score in tennis) followed by TANKS (i.e. “armoured vehicles”) once wrapped around or “capturing” HERR (i.e. “so-called German”, a form of address), like so: O-T(HERR)ANKS.

  1. Heart is troublesome, somewhat, for performer (6)

Answer: ARTIST (i.e. “performer”). “Somewhat” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: HE(ART IS T)ROUBLESOME.

  1. Captain engaging Mike to do a rush job (5)

Answer: SKIMP (i.e. “to do a rush job”). Solution is SKIP (i.e. “captain”, short for skipper) wrapped around or “engaging” M (“Mike” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: SKI(M)P.

  1. In inaccessible place I lost Jane (4)

Answer: EYRE (i.e. “Jane”, eponymous heroine of Charlotte Brontë’s novel). Solution is EYRIE (i.e. a high or “inaccessible place”) with the I removed (indicated by “I lost”).

  1. Artist and minor comic (8)

Answer: Piet MONDRIAN (i.e. “artist” – again, me neither). “Comic” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of AND MINOR.

  1. A “dispiriting” worker, tax inspector finally traps men (9)

Answer: EXORCISER (i.e. “a ‘dispiriting’ worker”, playfully taking the word to mean the removal of spirit from something). Solution is EXCISE (i.e. “tax”) and R (i.e. “inspector finally”, i.e. the last letter of “inspector”) all wrapped around OR (i.e. “men”, specifically the Other Ranks we encountered in 38a), like so: EX(OR)CISE-R.

[EDIT: Thanks to Michael in the comments for fixing this one. I’d accidentally written EXORCIST rather than EXORCISER. Cheers, Michael! – LP]

  1. Wounded hare – it’s less speedy? (7)

Answer: HASTIER (i.e. “less speedy” – I guess this is playing on the phrase “more haste, less speed”, replacing “haste” and “speed” with the comparative adverbs HASTIER and “speedier”). “Wounded” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HARE IT’S.

[EDIT: Thanks to Sue in the comments for tidying this one up. I’d accidentally written HERE IT’S rather than HARE IT’S. Cheers, Sue! – LP]

  1. Angry way we must enter lawless zone (4,4)

Answer: WILD WEST (i.e. “lawless zone”). Solution is WILD (i.e. “angry”) and ST (i.e. “way”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “street”) wrapped around or having “entered” WE, like so: WILD-(WE)-ST.

  1. Hard work with a new catchphrase (6)

Answer: SLOGAN (i.e. “catchphrase”). Solution is SLOG (i.e. “hard work”) followed by A and N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”).

  1. A poem in part of cell (5)

Answer: ANODE (i.e. “part of cell” – and once more to Chambers: “the electrode of an electrolytic cell by which current enters the electrolyte or gas”). When written as AN ODE the solution also satisfies “a poem”. Another nailed solely from the wordplay.

  1. Most substantial course is something involving blackbirds? Allow opposition (5,2,10)

Answer: PIECE DE RESISTANCE (i.e. “most substantial course”, perhaps delivered with a chef’s kiss). Solution is PIE (i.e. “something involving blackbirds”, after the nursery rhyme: “Sing a song of sixpence; a pocket full of rye; four and twenty blackbirds; baked in a pie…”) followed by CEDE (i.e. “allow”) and RESISTANCE (i.e. “opposition”).

  1. No one more important than Cassius once? (3,8)

Answer: THE GREATEST (i.e. “no one more important”). The remainder of the clue plays on a famous speech by heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali, formerly “Cassius Clay”, about how he was the greatest. What I didn’t realise was he made a spoken word album of it in 1963.

  1. Three or four days perhaps a short space to penetrate obscure knowledge (4,7)

Answer: LONG WEEKEND (i.e. “three or four days perhaps”, considering bank holidays and Easter). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “obscure”) of KNOWLEDGE wrapped around or being “penetrated” by EN (i.e. “a short space”, specifically printer’s lingo for a space half the width of a lowercase ‘m’), like so: LONGWEEK(EN)D.

Down clues

  1. Operetta ticket costs around November said to fluctuate (8,3)

Answer: PRINCESS IDA (i.e. “operetta” by Gilbert & Sullivan). Solution is PRICES (i.e. “ticket costs”) wrapped “around” N (“November” in the phonetic alphabet) and followed by an anagram (indicated by “to fluctuate”) of SAID, like so: PRI(N)CES-SIDA.

  1. The end, in two languages, is delicate in another (5)

Answer: ELFIN (i.e. “delicate”). Clue plays on how the solution, when written as EL FIN, is “the end” when expressed “in two languages”: EL being “the” in Spanish and FIN being “end” in French.

  1. People being leaderless, competent king is creator of opportunities (7)

Answer: ENABLER (i.e. “creator of opportunities”). Solution is MEN (i.e. “people”, or 48% of them anyway) with the first letter removed (indicated by “being leaderless”) and the remainder followed by ABLE (i.e. “competent”) and R (i.e. “king”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of the Latin Rex), like so: EN-ABLE-R.

  1. Fight’s ending with victory for Tweedledum – or Tweedledee? (4)

Answer: TWIN (i.e. “Tweedledum – or Tweedledee”, identical twins from Lewis Carroll’s Through The Looking Glass). Solution is T (i.e. “fight’s ending”, i.e. the last letter of “fight”) followed by WIN (i.e. “victory”).

  1. Remarkably rare day round fireplace for head of gang (10)

Answer: RINGLEADER (i.e. “head of gang”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “remarkably”) of RARE and D (a recognised abbreviation of “day”) wrapped “round” INGLE (i.e. Scots word for a “fireplace”), like so: R(INGLE)ADER.

  1. Cleaner, or theatre ghost? (8,6)

Answer: SURGICAL SPIRIT (i.e. “cleaner”). Clue plays on operating “theatres”, in which SURGERY is performed, and how “ghosts” are sometimes called SPIRITS. You get the idea.

  1. Most general doubts are resolved after leaving university (8)

Answer: BROADEST (i.e. “most general”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “resolved”) of DOUBTS ARE once the U has been removed (indicated by “after leaving university” – U being a recognised abbreviation of “university”).

  1. Briefly, a storyteller’s other name (5)

Answer: ALIAS (i.e. “other name”). Solution is A followed by LIAR (i.e. “storyteller”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “briefly”). The possessive ‘S is tacked on the end, like so: A-LIA-‘S.

  1. Employee carries on, clean (4,5)

Answer: WAGE SLAVE (i.e. “employee”). Solution is WAGES (i.e. “carries on”) followed by LAVE (i.e. an archaic word meaning to “clean”).

  1. Drum almost filled with a fruit (6)

Answer: TOMATO (i.e. “fruit”). Solution is TOMTOM (i.e. “drum”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “almost”) and the remainder wrapped around or “filled with” A, like so: TOM(A)TO.

  1. Animal’s in group on the way out? (10,7)

Answer: ENDANGERED SPECIES. Solution satisfies the clue as a whole, playing on how ENDANGERED can be described as being “on the way out”.

  1. Profit from ID document, and betray trust (4,3,4)

Answer: SELL THE PASS (i.e. “betray trust” – not a phrase I’ve come across before, but my Chambers backs it up). The first half of the clue pretty much sums up the solution as well.

  1. Charlie committed too many tenants: one’s on the bed (8)

Answer: COVERLET (i.e. “one’s on the bed”). Solution is C (“Charlie” in the phonetic alphabet) followed by OVERLET (i.e. “committed too many tenants”).

  1. For example, Plato’s gall bladder problem that has a transforming effect? (12,5)

Answer: PHILOSOPHER’S STONE (i.e. “that has a transforming effect”, a mythical compound sought by alchemists to turn some metals into gold). Solution is PHILOSOPHER’S (i.e. “for example, Plato’s” – other philosophers are available) followed by STONE (i.e. “gall bladder problem”).

  1. Short performance by little creatures and big ones (6)

Answer: GIANTS (i.e. “big ones”). Solution is GIG (i.e. “performance”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “short”) and the remainder followed by ANTS (i.e. “little creatures”), like so: GI-ANTS.

  1. Wanting assistance from power in underworld, minutes away from tricky situation (8)

Answer: HELPLESS (i.e. “wanting assistance”). Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “power”) placed “in” HELL (i.e. “underworld”) and followed by MESS (i.e. “tricky situation”) once the M has been removed (indicated by “minutes away from…” – M being a recognised abbreviation of “minutes”), like so: HEL(P)L-ESS.

  1. Senior pupil hid lager to distribute (4,4)

Answer: HEAD GIRL (i.e. “senior pupil”). “To distribute” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HID LAGER.

  1. Vehicle fitted with the one replacement body part that sparkles in its turn (9,5)

Answer: CATHERINE WHEEL (i.e. a firework “that sparkles in its turn”). Solution is CAR (i.e. “vehicle”) wrapped around or “fitted with” THE and followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and NEW HEEL (i.e. “replacement body part”), like so: CA(THE)R-I-NEW-HEEL.

  1. In regular succession go off people, forgetting first name (8)

Answer: ROTATION (i.e. “regular succession”). Solution is ROT (i.e. “go off”) followed by NATION (i.e. “people”) once the “first” N (a recognised abbreviation of “name”) has been removed or “forgotten”, like so: ROT-ATION.

  1. Shown a card – taken (6)

Answer: BOOKED. Solution satisfies “shown a card” in a number of sports, and “taken”.

  1. Penniless, taking new courage, loving disaster? (6,5)

Answer: BROKEN HEART (i.e. a “loving disaster”). Solution is BROKE (i.e. “penniless”) followed by N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”) and HEART (i.e. “courage”).

  1. Really, really mean to take charge (11)

Answer: SUPERINTEND (i.e. “to take charge”). When written as SUPER INTEND the solution also playfully satisfies “really, really mean to”.

  1. Man of the cinema shot tennis, I see (10)

Answer: Sergei EISENSTEIN (i.e. “man of the cinema”). “Shot” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TENNIS I SEE.

  1. For Judith and others, a call father accepts with cry of delight (9)

Answer: APOCRYPHA (i.e. “Judith and others”, a reference to books of The Bible). Solution is A followed by CRY (i.e. “call”) once placed in or “accepted” by POP (i.e. “father”, informally) and followed by HA (i.e. “cry of delight”), like so: A-PO(CRY)P-HA.

  1. Being most stupid, is buried in wet earth (8)

Answer: SILLIEST (i.e. “being most stupid”). Solution is LIES (i.e. “is buried” – think headstones) placed “in” SILT (i.e. “wet earth”), like so: SIL(LIES)T.

  1. Writer leaves joint epistle unfinished (7)

Answer: Sidonie-Gabrielle COLETTE (i.e. French “writer”. Search me). Solution is CO- (a prefix denoting “joint”) followed by LETTER (i.e. “epistle”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “unfinished”), like so: CO-LETTE. Another solved solely through the wordplay.

  1. Long and very narrow lake I approach (6)

Answer: LINEAR (i.e. “long and very narrow”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “lake”) followed by I and NEAR (i.e. “approach”).

  1. Expression of delight about examiner’s last question (5)

Answer: WHERE (i.e. a “question” – a bit too airy-fairy for me, but there you go). Solution is WHEE (i.e. “expression of delight”) wrapped “about” R (i.e. “examiner’s last” letter), like so: WHE(R)E.

  1. Messy stuff runs out of some rock (5)

Answer: GUNGE (i.e. “messy stuff”). Solution is GRUNGE (i.e. “some rock” music) with the R removed (indicated by “runs out of” – R being a recognised abbreviation of “runs” used in a number of ball games).

  1. Inspection of car that is held (4)

Answer: VIEW (i.e. “inspection”). Solution is VW (i.e. “car”, short for a Volkswagen) wrapped around or “holding” IE (i.e. “that is”, i.e. “i.e.”, short for the Latin id est), like so: V(IE)W.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1560

A relatively straightforward one, which is fine by me! You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them useful. If a recent Jumbo is acting sheepishly after attempting to enact Schrödinger’s cat experiment with next-door’s Persian then you might find my Just For Fun page of help, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the things. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks again for the kind words and input. It’s always interesting to hear the thoughts of other solvers once they’ve set down their pens. Till next time, stay safe out there kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. Composer neglecting king’s brass in Paris once (5)

Answer: FRANC (i.e. “brass in Paris one”, i.e. the former currency of France). Solution is César FRANCK (i.e. “composer”) with the K removed (indicated by “neglecting king” – K being a recognised abbreviation of “king” used in chess).

  1. Understanding company with mass potential (10)

Answer: COMPROMISE (i.e. “understanding”). Solution is CO (a recognised abbreviation of “company”) followed by M (ditto “mass”) and PROMISE (i.e. “potential”).

  1. Keep confined in vessel (6)

Answer: KETTLE. Solution satisfies “keep confined” and “vessel”.

  1. Cry for Tom to serve food with Manuel intermittently missing (9)

Answer: CATERWAUL (i.e. “cry for tom” – ignore the misleading capitalisation, we’re dealing with a male cat here). Solution is CATER (i.e. “to serve food”) followed by W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”) and AUL (i.e. “Manuel intermittently”, i.e. every other letter of MANUEL).

  1. Foul quality of new lace and linen woven by society in United States (13)

Answer: UNCLEANLINESS (i.e. “foul quality”). Solution is N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”), an anagram (indicated by “woven”) of LACE and LINEN and S (a recognised abbreviation of “society”) all placed “in” US (i.e. “United States”), like so: U(N-CLEANLINE-S)S.

  1. What can be cut from cultivar, but usually a shrub or tree (7)

Answer: ARBUTUS (i.e. “a shrub or tree”). “What can be cut from” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: CULTIV(AR BUT US)UALLY. One nailed from the wordplay, if I’m honest.

  1. Repeating – that is about three times … four? (9)

Answer: ITERATIVE (i.e. “repeating”). Solution is IE (i.e. “that is”, i.e. “i.e.”, short for the Latin id est) wrapped “about” T, ERA and T (i.e. “three times”, the first and third of these being recognised abbreviations of “time”) along with IV (i.e. “four” expressed in Roman numerals), like so: I((T-ERA-T)-IV)E.

  1. Tax – it’s included in article (5)

Answer: TITHE (i.e. a “tax”). Solution is IT placed or “included in” THE (i.e. “article”, being a word like a, an or the), like so: T(IT)HE.

  1. Goon is holding a note about Liberal involved with ministers? (14)

Answer: ECCLESIASTICAL (i.e. “involved with ministers”). Solution is ECCLES (a character from the “Goons’” radio show) followed by IS once wrapped around or “holding” A, then TI (a “note” in the sol-fa notation), then CA (i.e. “about”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “circa”) and L (ditto “Liberal”), like so: ECCLES-I(A)S-TI-CA-L.

  1. Open-handedneSS? That shows it (7)

Answer: LARGESS (i.e. “open-handedness”). Clue plays on how the solution, when written as LARGE SS, describes the two uppercase Ss at the end of “open-handedneSS“.

  1. Novel taken up when new paper is introduced (10)

Answer: UNEXAMPLED (i.e. “novel”). Solution is UP wrapped around or having “introduced” N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”) and EXAM (i.e. “paper”), followed LED (i.e. “introduced” – a sneaky spot of recycling), like so: U(N-EXAM)P-LED.

  1. Like OS output to move round visual display (12)

Answer: CARTOGRAPHIC (i.e. “like OS output”, OS taken as Ordinance Survey). Solution is CART (i.e. “to move”) followed by O (i.e. “round”) and GRAPHIC (i.e. “visual display”).

  1. Grouse is good and ready to eat (5)

Answer: GRIPE (i.e. “grouse”). Solution is G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) followed by RIPE (i.e. “ready to eat”).

  1. Speaker needs input-output to make music work (8)

Answer: ORATORIO (i.e. “music work”). Solution is ORATOR (i.e. “speaker”) followed by IO (a recognised abbreviation of “input-output” in computer-speak).

  1. Below what one needs to get money for support (8)

Answer: UNDERPIN (i.e. “support”). Solution is UNDER (i.e. “below”) followed by PIN (i.e. “what one needs to get money”, say, from a cashpoint – short for a Personal Identification Number).

  1. What Allan holds to be versatile (3-5)

Answer: ALL-ROUND (i.e. “versatile”). When written as ALL ROUND the solution cryptically satisfies “what Allan holds”, i.e. how the middle letters of “Allan”, LLA, is the word ALL reversed or had ROUND.

  1. Climber’s not wild about being in climbs without doctor present (8)

Answer: CLEMATIS (i.e. “climber”). Solution is TAME (i.e. “not wild”) reversed (indicated by “about”) and placed “in” CLIMBS once the MB has been removed (indicated by “without doctor present”, an MB being a Medicinae Baccalaureus or Doctor of Medicine), like so: CL(EMAT)IS.

  1. Guest at banquet possibly at home between duke and queen (5)

Answer: DINER (i.e. “guest at banquet possibly”). Solution is IN (i.e. “at home”) placed “between” D (a recognised abbreviation of “duke”) and ER (i.e. “queen”, specifically Elizabeth Regina), like so: D-(IN)-ER.

  1. Explode in game court after less deft playing (4-8)

Answer: SELF-DESTRUCT (i.e. “explode”). Solution is RU (i.e. “game”, specifically Rugby Union) and CT (a recognised abbreviation of “court”) both placed “after” an anagram (indicated by “playing”) of LESS DEFT, like so: SELFDEST-(RU-CT).

  1. Harmful action of pieces in a defect resolved (10)

Answer: DEFACEMENT (i.e. “harmful action”). Solution is MEN (i.e. chess “pieces”) placed “in” an anagram (indicated by “resolved”) of A DEFECT, like so: DEFACE(MEN)T.

  1. Warrior needs one with a spirit as backing (7)

Answer: SAMURAI (i.e. “warrior”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), A, RUM (i.e. “spirit”) and AS all reversed (indicated by “backing”), like so: SA-MUR-A-I.

  1. Is leaderless country following London, say? London merits it (14)

Answer: CAPITALISATION (i.e. “London merits it”, referencing how “London” is a proper name, and how such things are usually fronted with capital letters). Solution is IS and NATION (i.e. “country”) with its first letter removed (indicated by “leaderless”) both placed “after” CAPITAL (i.e. “London, say” – other capital cities are available), like so: CAPITAL-(IS-ATION).

  1. A small bird, grey (5)

Answer: ASHEN (i.e. “grey”). Solution is A followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) and HEN (i.e. “bird”).

  1. A large salmon with a lot of parasites – one often soused (9)

Answer: ALCOHOLIC (i.e. “one often soused”). Solution is A followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”), then COHO (i.e. a Pacific “salmon” useful to crossword setters), then LICE (i.e. “parasites”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “a lot of”), like so: A-L-COHO-LIC.

  1. In cold English November, rowers get into rough condition (7)

Answer: COARSEN (i.e. “get into rough condition”). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “cold” used on taps), E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) and N (“November” in the phonetic alphabet) all wrapped around or having “in” OARS (i.e. “rowers”), like so: C-(OARS)-E-N.

  1. One predicting conditions melting remotest igloo (13)

Answer: METEOROLOGIST (i.e. “one predicting conditions”). “Melting” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of REMOTEST IGLOO.

  1. Save lines in altering positions for animation (9)

Answer: ALIVENESS (i.e. “animation”). “In altering” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SAVE LINES.

  1. Passable way down having missed beginning of steps (6)

Answer: DECENT (i.e. “passable”). Solution is DESCENT (i.e. “way down”) with the S removed (indicated by “having missed beginning [letter] of steps”).

  1. Fess in the middle made shorter, revolutionary on shield (10)

Answer: ESCUTCHEON (i.e. “shield”). Solution is ES (i.e. “fess in the middle”, i.e. the middle letters of “fess”) followed by CUT (i.e. “made shorter”), then CHE Guevara (i.e. “revolutionary”) and ON.

  1. Clergyman avoiding parking offence (5)

Answer: ARSON (i.e. criminal “offence”). Solution is PARSON (i.e. “clergyman”) with the P removed (indicated by “avoiding parking” – P being a recognised abbreviation of “parking” used on maps and signage).

Down clues

  1. Female account regularly dismissed miracle beauty treatment (6)

Answer: FACIAL (i.e. “beauty treatment”). Solution is F (a recognised abbreviation of “female”) followed by AC (ditto “account”) then IAL (i.e. “regularly dismissed miracle”, i.e. every other letter of MIRACLE).

  1. I learn a cat bit indiscriminately, perhaps killing thrush (13)

Answer: ANTIBACTERIAL (i.e. “perhaps killing thrush”). “Indiscriminately” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of I LEARN A CAT BIT.

  1. Weight of vehicle? Answer: tons (5)

Answer: CARAT (i.e. unit of “weight” used in gems). Solution is CAR (i.e. “vehicle”) followed by A (a recognised abbreviation of “answer”, e.g. in Q&A) followed by T (a recognised abbreviation of “tons”).

  1. Structure of church unaltered with saint buried inside (7)

Answer: CHASSIS (i.e. “structure”). Solution is CH (a recognised abbreviation of “church”) and AS IS (i.e. “unaltered”) wrapped around or having “buried inside” S (a recognised abbreviation of “saint”), like so: CH-A(S)S-IS.

  1. Having many parties involves pounds in damage really regularly (12)

Answer: MULTILATERAL (i.e. “having many parties”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “pounds” of weight, after the Latin libra) placed or “involved” in MUTILATE (i.e. “damage”) and followed by RAL (i.e. “really regularly”, i.e. every other letter of REALLY), like so: MU(L)TILATE-RAL.

  1. Oxford University character putting up head of Rugby for game (8)

Answer: ROULETTE (i.e. “game”). Solution is OU (short for “Oxford University”) and LETTER (i.e. “character”) once the R (i.e. “head [letter] of Rugby”) has been “put up” – this being a down clue – like so: OU-LETTE(R) => (R)-OU-LETTE.

  1. Millions going on to city about here? (5)

Answer: MECCA. The solution satisfies the clue as a whole – MECCA being a place of pilgrimage for Muslims – and also comprises M (a recognised abbreviation of “millions”), EC (i.e. “city” – basically the postcode area of the City of London) and CA (i.e. “about”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “circa”).

  1. LA City pies cooked as a signature dish? (10)

Answer: SPECIALITY (i.e. “signature dish”). “Cooked” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of LA CITY PIES.

  1. Source of charges to cause hostility with British leaving (7)

Answer: EMITTER (i.e. “source of charges”). Solution is EMBITTER (i.e. “cause hostility”) with the B removed (indicated by “with British leaving” – B being a recognised abbreviation of “British”).

  1. The clue to 41 across is so like last century? (9)

Answer: TWENTIETH. Solution satisfies “the clue to 41 across”, the twentieth of the puzzle, and “like last century”. If you’re reading this in the 22nd century then say hi to our robot overlords from me.

  1. When Romeo exits, make certain to follow (5)

Answer: ENSUE (i.e. “follow”). Solution is ENSURE (i.e. “make certain”) with the R removed (indicated by “when Romeo exits” – R being “Romeo” in the phonetic alphabet).

  1. Who might develop elitist leaning? (14)

Answer: INTELLIGENTSIA. Solution satisfies the clue as a whole, originating in Russia for the intellectual elite, but is also formed by an anagram (indicated by “develop”) of ELITIST LEANING. Very nicely done.

  1. Land, perhaps meadow auctioned without a form of enquiry? (9)

Answer: LEASEHOLD (i.e. “land, perhaps”. You can also get leasehold properties, for example). Solution is LEA (i.e. “meadow”) followed by SOLD (i.e. “auctioned”) once wrapped around or placed “without” EH (i.e. “a form of enquiry”, as in eh? what? pardon?), like so: LEA-S(EH)OLD.

  1. Attraction all round is a seductive quality (8)

Answer: CHARISMA (i.e. “seductive quality”). Solution is CHARM (i.e. “attraction”) wrapped “round” IS and followed by A, like so: CHAR(IS)M-A.

  1. Mo going with speed that’s mediocre (6-4)

Answer: SECOND-RATE (i.e. “mediocre”). Solution is SECOND (i.e. “mo” or moment) followed by RATE (i.e. “speed”).

  1. Form of protection from what informer’s done with girls? (10)

Answer: SUNGLASSES (i.e. “form of protection”). Solution is SUNG (i.e. “what informer’s done”) followed by LASSES (i.e. “girls”).

  1. One who foresees rotating crops ingeniously around a circle (14)

Answer: PROGNOSTICATOR (i.e. “one who foresees”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “ingeniously”) of ROTATING CROPS wrapped “around” O (i.e. “a circle”), like so: PR(O)GNOSTICATOR.

  1. Change, switching from Circle to terminus in a very short time (9)

Answer: AMENDMENT (i.e. “change”). Solution is A MOMENT (i.e. “a very short time”) with the O (i.e. “circle” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) “switched” for END (i.e. “terminus”), like so: A-M(O)MENT => A-M(END)MENT.

  1. Sheet size is deceptive with Excel (8)

Answer: FOOLSCAP (i.e. “sheet size”). Solution is FOOLS (i.e. “is deceptive”) followed by CAP (i.e. to “excel” – again, ignore the misleading capitalisation).

  1. Sound response unfortunately shows lack of delicacy (13)

Answer: PONDEROUSNESS (i.e. “lack of delicacy” – ponderous can mean heavy or unwieldy). “Unfortunately” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SOUND RESPONSE.

  1. Trapped by exorbitant contract, church mounted competition (12)

Answer: STEEPLECHASE (i.e. “mounted competition”). Solution is STEEP (i.e. “exorbitant”) and LEASE (i.e. “contract”) wrapped around or “trapping” CH (a recognised abbreviation of “church”), like so: STEEP-LE(CH)ASE.

  1. Devout about RE, children of clerics initially matured early (10)

Answer: PRECOCIOUS (i.e. “matured early”). Solution is PIOUS (i.e. “devout”) wrapped “about” RE and COC (i.e. “children of clerics initially”, i.e. the first letters of “children”, “of” and “clerics”), like so: P(RE-COC)IOUS.

  1. Sluggish, large and unknown MP with Derby, say, in charge (9)

Answer: LYMPHATIC (i.e. “sluggish”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) followed by Y (i.e. “unknown” – setters love referring to X, Y or Z in solutions as unknowns), then MP, then HAT (i.e. “derby, say” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), then IC (a recognised abbreviation of “in charge”).

  1. Fit shelves oddly missing in loft (8)

Answer: ATHLETIC (i.e. “fit”). Solution is HLE (i.e. “shelves oddly missing”, i.e. every other letter of SHELVES) placed “in” ATTIC (i.e. “loft”), like so: AT(HLE)TIC.

  1. Knock has to administer county in Ireland (3,4)

Answer: RUN DOWN (i.e. to criticise or “run down”). Solution is RUN (i.e. “to administer”) followed by DOWN (i.e. “county in Ireland”).

  1. What draws in diagram of internal structure using uranium for energy (7)

Answer: SUCTION (i.e. “what draws in”). Solution is SECTION (i.e. “diagram of internal structure”) with the E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”) swapped “for” U (chemical symbol of “uranium”), like so: S(E)CTION => S(U)CTION.

  1. United Nations works for agreement (6)

Answer: UNISON (i.e. “agreement”). Solution is UN (short for “United Nations”) followed by IS ON (i.e. “works”).

  1. Hotel eliminated, damaged with guns (5)

Answer: ARMED (i.e. “with guns”). Solution is HARMED (i.e. “damaged”) with the H removed (indicated by “hotel eliminated” – H being “hotel” in the phonetic alphabet).

  1. Poem greeting sound of dove as it is heard (5)

Answer: HAIKU (i.e. Japanese “poem”). “As it is heard” indicates homophone. Solution comprises homophones of HI (i.e. “greeing”) and COO (i.e. “sound of dove”), like so: HAI-KU.

  1. Neighbourhood around northern sports venue (5)

Answer: ARENA (i.e. “sports venue”). Solution is AREA (i.e. “neighbourhood”) wrapped “around” N (a recognised abbreviation of “northern”), like so: ARE(N)A.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1559

A medium strength puzzle for Bank Holiday Thursday. I was half-expecting a Jubilee themed puzzle, so was quite pleased when this didn’t arise. (I guess we could still get one on Saturday.) On the whole I rather liked this one. There were a good number of well worked clues to decipher and it offered the kind of steady progression I always enjoy.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a recent Jumbo has severely overdone it with the coronation chicken and your house is now virtually uninhabitable as a result then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the things. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks for the warm words and welcomes back. It’s always interesting to hear the thoughts of other solvers once their pens are stilled. Till next time, stay safe out there kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. Camp entertainer visibly embarrassed by film (7)

Answer: REDCOAT (i.e. holiday “camp entertainer”). Solution is RED (i.e. “visibly embarrassed”) followed by COAT (i.e. layer or “film”).

  1. Check little woman taking in garment fabric (8)

Answer: CHAMBRAY (i.e. “fabric”). Solution is CH (a recognised abbreviation of “check” used in chess) followed by AMY (i.e. a character in Louisa May Alcott’s novel, “Little Women”) once wrapped around or “taking in” BRA (i.e. “garment”), like so: CH-AM(BRA)Y.

  1. Pint almost finished – in a manner of speaking (6)

Answer: JARGON (i.e. “a manner of speaking”). Solution is JAR (slang word for a “pint” of beer) followed by GONE (i.e. “finished”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “almost”), like so: JAR-GON.

  1. Money put into poor stage hit we back as movie (9,7)

Answer: SPAGHETTI WESTERN (i.e. “movie”). Solution is P (i.e. “money”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of a penny) placed “into” an anagram (indicated by “poor”) of STAGE HIT and followed by WE and STERN (i.e. the “back” of a ship), like so: S(P)AGHETTI-WE-STERN.

  1. Married one deserting concubine put weight on (6)

Answer: STRESS (i.e. to emphasise or “put weight on”). Solution is MISTRESS (i.e. “concubine”) with the M and I removed (indicated by “married one deserting” – M being a recognised abbreviation of “married” and I being the Roman numeral “one”).

  1. Ace business paper with energy slowing in the end (5,3)

Answer: AFTER ALL (i.e. “in the end”). Solution is A (a recognised abbreviation of “ace” used on playing cards) followed by FT (i.e. “business paper”, specifically the Financial Times), then E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”) and RALL (i.e. “slowing”, short for rallentando in musical lingo).

  1. Problem with looker in Vogue not ultimately cool (4)

Answer: STYE (i.e. “problem with looker” or the eye). Solution is STYLE (i.e. “vogue”) with the L removed (indicated by “not ultimately cool”, i.e. the last letter of “cool”).

  1. At home having a ball around five? That’s early (2,7)

Answer: IN ADVANCE (i.e. “early”). Solution is IN (i.e. “at home”) followed by A and DANCE (i.e. “ball”) once wrapped “around” V (i.e. “[Roman numeral] five”), like so: IN-A-D(V)ANCE.

  1. Rubbish delivered from the east drowning City boss (8)

Answer: DIRECTOR (i.e. “boss”). Solution is ROT (i.e. “rubbish”) and RID (i.e. “delivered”) all reversed (indicated by “from the east” – this being an across clue) and wrapped around or “drowning” EC (i.e. “city” – basically the City of London’s post code area), like so: DIR-(EC)-TOR.

  1. Doubly popular installing new setter, good and unusual (11)

Answer: INTERESTING (i.e. “unusual”). Solution is IN and IN (i.e. “doubly popular”) wrapped around or “installing” an anagram (indicated by “new”) of SETTER and followed by G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”), like so: (IN-(TEREST)-IN)-G.

  1. Queen perhaps chasing lover no longer vivacious (9)

Answer: EXUBERANT (i.e. “vivacious”). Solution is UBER ANT (i.e. “queen perhaps”) placed after or “chasing” EX (i.e. “lover no longer”), like so: EX-(UBER-ANT).

  1. Upstanding character inspired by high earning African? (8)

Answer: NIGERIAN (i.e. an “African”). Solution is I (i.e. “upstanding character”) placed in or “inspired by” an anagram (indicated by “high”) of EARNING, like so: N(I)GERIAN. Nicely worked.

  1. National relationship spoken of (4)

Answer: THAI (i.e. a “national” of Thailand). “Spoken of” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of TIE (i.e. “relationship”).

  1. Hate man with brutality dispatching one (11)

Answer: MALEVOLENCE (i.e. “hate”). Solution is MALE (i.e. “man”) followed by VIOLENCE (i.e. “brutality”) once the I has been removed (indicated by “dispatching [Roman numeral] one”), like so: MALE-VOLENCE.

  1. Maybe sansculottes behind in France also being lassoed? (11)

Answer: PROLETARIATS (i.e. “maybe sansculottes”, “generally, a strong republican, democrat or violent revolutionary” (Chambers)). Solution is PRO (i.e. supportive of or “behind”) followed by ET (i.e. “in France also”, i.e. the French for “and”) once placed in LARIAT (i.e. “being lassoed”, playfully), like so: PRO-L(ET)ARIAT.

  1. Redeeming feature celebrated by cricketer bagging six (6,5)

Answer: SAVING GRACE (i.e. “redeeming feature”). Solution is SANG (i.e. “celebrated”) and GRACE (i.e. beardy “cricketer” of old) wrapped around or “bagging” VI (i.e. “six” expressed in Roman numerals), like so: SA(VI)NG-GRACE.

  1. Supply column tracked vehicle (11)

Answer: CATERPILLAR (i.e. “tracked vehicle”). Solution is CATER (i.e. “supply”) followed by PILLAR (i.e. “column”).

  1. Leading lady receiving answer by Liberal peer (4)

Answer: EARL (i.e. “peer”). Solution is ER (i.e. “leading lady”, specifically Elizabeth Regina) wrapped around or “receiving” A (a recognised abbreviation of “answer”, e.g. in Q&A) and followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “Liberal”), like so: E(A)R-L.

  1. Warnings applied to Aegean regularly expected (8)

Answer: FORESEEN (i.e. “expected”). Solution is FORES (i.e. “warnings” in golf) followed by EEN (i.e. “Aegean regularly”, i.e. every other letter of AEGEAN).

  1. Bubbly dictator’s trouble with phantom limb? (9)

Answer: CHAMPAGNE (i.e. “bubbly”). “Dictator’s” indicates homophone. Solution comprises homophones of SHAM and PAIN, a play on pain that is sometimes experienced from a missing limb. A very similar clue appeared in another Jumbo only a few weeks ago, making this a much easier get.

  1. Beer served with dessert to give an ambiguous flavour (11)

Answer: BITTERSWEET (i.e. “ambiguous flavour”). Solution is BITTER (i.e. “beer”) followed by SWEET (i.e. “dessert”).

  1. One testing Resistance after chopper sent back to lay bombs (8)

Answer: EXAMINER (i.e. “one testing”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “resistance” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) placed “after” AXE (i.e. “chopper”) once reversed (indicated by “sent back”) and MINE (i.e. “to lay bombs”), like so: (EXA-MINE)-R.

  1. Walk quietly back to circumvent curious threat in unsafe structure (5-4)

Answer: DEATH-TRAP (i.e. “unsafe structure”). Solution is PAD (i.e. “walk quietly”) reversed (indicated by “back”) and wrapped around or “circumventing” an anagram (indicated by “curious”) of THREAT, like so: D(EATHTR)AP.

  1. First nine letters sent round: the ninth from Greeks (4)

Answer: IOTA (i.e. “the ninth [letter] from Greeks”). Solution is A TO I (i.e. “first nine letters”), which is then reversed (indicated by “sent round”), like so: I-OT-A.

  1. Curse stories associated with The Graduate (8)

Answer: ANATHEMA (i.e. “curse”). Solution is ANA (i.e. “stories” – over to Chambers again: “a collection of someone’s table talk or of gossip, literary anecdotes or possessions”) followed by THE and MA (i.e. “graduate”, specifically a Master of the Arts – ignore the misleading capitalisation).

  1. Darkness found in initially easy puzzle (6)

Answer: EREBUS (i.e. “darkness” – back to Chambers: “(myth) the dark and gloomy cavern between Earth and Hades”). Solution is E (i.e. “initially easy”, i.e. the first letter of “easy”) followed by REBUS (i.e. a picture “puzzle”).

  1. Keen policeman caught in corrupt fiddle becomes hero (5,11)

Answer: DAVID COPPERFIELD (i.e. eponymous “hero” of Charles Dicken’s novel). Solution is AVID (i.e. “keen”) and COPPER (i.e. “policeman”) both placed in an anagram (indicated by “corrupt”) of FIDDLE, like so: D(AVID-COPPER)FIELD. Nicely worked.

  1. Flower attached to tail of giant guinea pig (6)

Answer: TASTER (i.e. “guinea pig”). Solution is ASTER (i.e. “flower”) placed after or “attached to” T (i.e. “tail of giant”, i.e. the last letter of “giant”), like so: T-ASTER.

  1. Python sliding around, one cold and bewitching (8)

Answer: HYPNOTIC (i.e. “bewitching”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “sliding around”) of PYTHON followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and C (a recognised abbreviation of “cold” used on taps), like so: HYPNOT-I-C.

  1. Author means to throw out an old plaything (7)

Answer: Leo TOLSTOY (i.e. “author”). Solution is TOOLS (i.e. “means”) with one of the Os removed (indicated by “throw out an old” – O being a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and the remainder followed by TOY (i.e. “plaything”), like to: TOLS-TOY.

Down clues

  1. Rogue Indian sailor confusing his port with starboard? (6)

Answer: RASCAL (i.e. “rogue”). Solution is LASCAR (i.e. “Indian sailor”) with the L swapped for R and vice versa (indicated by “confusing his port [i.e. left] with starboard [i.e. right]”), like so: (L)ASCA(R) => (R)ASCA(L).

  1. Anything but cheap, this is missed in poverty (6)

Answer: DEARTH (i.e. “poverty”). Solution is DEAR (i.e. “anything but cheap”) followed by THIS once the IS has been removed (indicated by “this is missed”), like so: DEAR-TH.

  1. Soldiers protecting the Western Isles: east under different conditions (9)

Answer: OTHERWISE (i.e. “under different conditions”). Solution is OR (i.e. “soldiers”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army) wrapped around or “protecting” THE and followed by W (a recognised abbreviation of “western” – ignoring the misleading capitalisation), IS (i.e. “isles” – I is a recognised abbreviation of “isle”, made plural) and E (ditto “east”), like so: O(THE)R-W-IS-E.

  1. Remember with this everything linked to phone conversation? (5,6)

Answer: TOTAL RECALL (i.e. “remember with this everything”). Solution is TOTAL (i.e. “everything”) followed by RE (i.e. “linked to” or regarding – think email replies) and CALL (i.e. “phone conversation”).

  1. Endless crack in part of mug (4)

Answer: CHIN (i.e. “part of mug” or face). Solution is CHINK (i.e. “crack”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “endless”).

  1. Harmful herbicide one with power to act on royal house (5,6)

Answer: AGENT ORANGE (i.e. “harmful herbicide”). Solution is AGENT (i.e. “one with power to act”) followed by ORANGE (i.e. Dutch “royal house”).

  1. Beguiling boozer in the ascendant keeps talking (9,2)

Answer: BUTTERING UP (i.e. “beguiling”). Solution is PUB (i.e. “boozer”) reversed (indicated by “in the ascendant” – this being a down clue) and wrapped around or “keeping” UTTERING (i.e. “talking”), like so: B(UTTERING)UP.

  1. Strain twice to locate automobile part (3,6)

Answer: AIR FILTER (i.e. “automobile part”). Clue plays on how the two words of the solution can be taken separately as other words for “strain” – the former being a tune or air, the latter being to filter out impurities. Nicely done.

  1. Militant performance quartet is in Berlin (8)

Answer: ACTIVIST (i.e. “militant”). Solution is ACT (i.e. “performance”) followed by IV (i.e. “quartet”, i.e. four expressed in Roman numerals) and IST (i.e. “is in Berlin”, i.e. the German for “is”).

  1. City district verdant with one church and house Goethe vacated (9,7)

Answer: GREENWICH VILLAGE (i.e. New York “city district”). Solution is GREEN (i.e. “verdant”) followed by W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”), then I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), then CH (a recognised abbreviation of “church”), then VILLA (i.e. “house”) and GE (i.e. “Goethe vacated”, i.e. “Goethe” with all the middle letters removed).

[EDIT: Thanks to Sue in the comments for tidying this one up. I’d forgotten to parse the W in the above solution. Cheers, Sue! – LP]

  1. Obtains inside information for a rise in savings (4,3)

Answer: NEST EGG (i.e. “savings”). Solution is GETS (i.e. “obtains”) placed “inside” of GEN (i.e. “information”) and the whole then reversed (indicated by “for a rise” – this being a down clue), like so: NE(STEG)G. A very good clue. Probably my favourite of the puzzle.

  1. Bearing used in horse-drawn vehicle (8)

Answer: CARRIAGE. Solution satisfies “bearing” and “horse-drawn vehicle”.

  1. Foreign coin to add in among Jamaican notes? (8)

Answer: STOTINKA (i.e. “foreign coin” of Bulgaria). Solution is TOT (i.e. “to add”) and IN both placed “among” SKA (i.e. “Jamaican notes” or music), like so: S(TOT-IN)KA. Made to fit.

  1. Meet wayward son in shelter I need to check (3,2,3)

Answer: LET ME SEE (i.e. “I need to check”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “wayward”) of MEET and S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”) both placed “in” LEE (i.e. “shelter”), like so: L(ETME-S)EE.

  1. Large organ’s featured in visceral composer’s work (9,7)

Answer: GULLIVER’S TRAVELS (i.e. a novel or “work” by Jonathan Swift). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) and LIVER’S (i.e. “organ’s”) placed or “featured in” GUT (i.e. “visceral”) and followed by Maurice RAVEL’S (i.e. “composer’s”), like so: GU(L-LIVER’S)T-RAVEL’S. Another nicely worked clue.

  1. Heads off for winter in pet surfing place (8)

Answer: INTERNET (i.e. “surfing place”). “Heads off” indicates the solution is derived through removing the initial letters from WINTER IN PET.

  1. Star witnesses appearing in first issue? (4)

Answer: MAGI (i.e. “star witnesses”, i.e. the Three Wise Men who followed a star to Christ’s baby shower). When written as MAG I the solution playfully satisfies “first issue” of a magazine.

  1. Blade going round front end of turbine (4)

Answer: VANE (i.e. “blade” of a fan or windmill). Solution is VAN (i.e. “front”, short for vanguard) followed by E (i.e. “end of turbine”, i.e. the last letter of “turbine”). Chalk one to my Bradford’s. I couldn’t make the leap from “blade”.

  1. Work on red colour reported for visual specialist (8)

Answer: OPTICIAN (i.e. “visual specialist”). Solution is OP (i.e. “work”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “opus”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “reported”) of TITIAN (i.e. “red colour” attributed to the artist), like so: OP-TICIAN.

  1. Man having to accept defeat, where terms laid out? (8)

Answer: GLOSSARY (i.e. “where terms laid out” in a book). Solution is GARY (I.e. “man’s” name) wrapped around or “accepting” LOSS (i.e. “defeat”), like so: G(LOSS)ARY.

  1. Dropping intro in nice clarinet playing produces sparks (11)

Answer: ELECTRICIAN (i.e. “sparks”, informally). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “playing”) of NICE once the first letter has been removed (indicated by “dropping intro in…”) and CLARINET.

  1. Hartfordians here one saw under bridge (11)

Answer: CONNECTICUT (i.e. “Hartfordians here”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and CUT (i.e. to “saw”) both placed after or, being a down clue, “under” CONNECT (i.e. “bridge”), like so: CONNECT-(I-CUT).

  1. Disheartened grain workers in truth shortened shift (11)

Answer: REALIGNMENT (i.e. “shift”). Solution is GN (i.e. “disheartened grain”, i.e. the word “grain” with its middle letters removed) and MEN (i.e. “workers” – hang on while I check we’re still in 2022) both placed “in” REALITY (i.e. “truth”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “shortened”), like so: REALI(GN-MEN)T.

  1. Perfect woman keeping place by Devonian river (9)

Answer: EXEMPLARY (i.e. “perfect”). Solution is MARY (i.e. “woman’s” name) wrapped around or “keeping” PL (a recognised abbreviation of “place”) and placed after or “by” EXE (i.e. “Devonian river”), like so: EXE-M(PL)ARY.

  1. Fill net up at sea in good supply (9)

Answer: PLENTIFUL (i.e. “in good supply”). “At sea” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of FILL NET UP.

  1. Many layers shed? (8)

Answer: HENHOUSE. Clue plays on hens being “layers” of eggs. You get the idea.

  1. Unrecoverable cash duke and girl brought into club? (3,4)

Answer: BAD DEBT (i.e. “unrecoverable cash”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “duke”) and DEB (ditto “girl”, in this case a debutante; could also be a shortened form of Deborah) both placed “into” BAT (i.e. “club”), like so: BA(D-DEB)T.

  1. Joiner in building industry church people finally accept (6)

Answer: CEMENT (i.e. “joiner in building industry”). Solution is CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England) followed by MEN (i.e. “people”) and T (i.e. “finally accept”, i.e. the last letter of “accept”).

  1. Hydra moving across lake only with great difficulty (6)

Answer: HARDLY (i.e. “with great difficulty”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “moving”) of HYDRA wrapped around or placed “across” L (a recognised abbreviation of “lake”), like so: HARD(L)Y.

  1. English prince appearing regularly in spectacular film (4)

Answer: EPIC (i.e. “spectacular film”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) followed by PIC (i.e. “prince appearing regularly”, i.e. every other letter of PRINCE).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1558

…and back again.

A relatively straightforward Jumbo while I was away, at least for the most part. There were a handful of toughies to get snagged up on, but these were mostly smoothed over with some good clueing.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a recent Jumbo has siphoned all the petrol from your car and sold it to make a killing on Bitcoin then… well, then the money has probably been nicked three times over already because, you know, crypto, but you might also find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the things. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks again for the kind words and input. It’s always interesting to hear the hot takes of fellow solvers. Till next time, whenever that’ll be (Thursday?), stay safe out there kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. Feel the loss of planet’s great beauty (4,5)

Answer: MISS WORLD (i.e. “great beauty”). Solution is MISS (i.e. “feel the loss”) followed by WORLD (i.e. “planet”).

  1. Diocese was perhaps making this condition? (3,3,7)

Answer: MAD COW DISEASE (i.e. “condition”). Clue plays on the solution being somewhat cryptic in itself, specifically how MAD can be an anagram indicator and how COW DISEASE is an anagram of “diocese was”.

  1. Tin backed by engineers as a valuable natural substance (5)

Answer: NACRE (i.e. “valuable natural substance”). Solution is CAN (i.e. “tin”) reversed (indicated by “backed”) and followed by RE (i.e. “engineers”, specifically the Royal Engineers of the British Army), like so: NAC-RE.

  1. Certificates nobody in the office has? (4,5)

Answer: SICK NOTES (i.e. “certificates” issued by a doctor). Clue plays on how one would obtain such a thing to not attend a place of work, such as an “office”.

  1. One formerly driven to organise crusade (4,3)

Answer: USED CAR (i.e. “one formerly driven”). “To organise” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CRUSADE.

  1. For film, polite folk like to choose the lighter sort (9,6,7)

Answer: GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (i.e. “film”). Solution is GENTLE (i.e. “polite”) followed by MEN (i.e. “folk”), then PREFER (i.e. “like to choose”) and BLONDES (i.e. “the lighter sort”, with respect to hair colour).

  1. A woman holding other people briefly in her prayers? (8)

Answer: ROSEMARY (i.e. “a woman’s” name). Solution is ‘EM (i.e. “other people briefly”, a contraction of “them”) placed “in” ROSARY (i.e. “prayers”), like so: ROS(‘EM)ARY.

  1. Many happy returns for MP here? (4,4)

Answer: SAFE SEAT. Clue plays on “Returning” Officers in General Elections. Such a seat could see a Member of Parliament elected there “many” times over. You get the idea.

  1. Mark maybe Bismarck’s watchword (5)

Answer: MOTTO (i.e. “watchword”). Solution is M (a recognised abbreviation of “mark”, the former German currency) followed by OTTO (i.e. “Bismarck’s” first name).

  1. From peak, leader drops right back, nowhere near podium finish (6)

Answer: EIGHTH (i.e. “nowhere near podium finish”). Solution is HEIGHT (i.e. “peak”) with the H (i.e. its “leading” letter) “dropped right back”, like so: (H)EIGHT => EIGHT(H).

  1. Put up with a south wind? Not that one (6)

Answer: BOREAS (i.e. “south wind – not that one” – the definition is literally “the north wind” (Chambers)). Solution is BORE (i.e. “put up with”) followed by A and S (a recognised abbreviation of “south”).

  1. Confessed end of working week not always filled with love and calmness (9)

Answer: SANGFROID (i.e. “calmness”). Solution is SANG (i.e. “confessed”) followed by FRIDAY (i.e. “end of working week” for most) once the AY has been removed (indicated by “not always” – AY and “always” are both forms of assent) and the remainder wrapped around or “filled with” O (i.e. “love” – a zero score in tennis), like so: SANG-FR(O)ID.

  1. Obtain file with trickery: that would be reported (10)

Answer: NOTIFIABLE (i.e. “that would be reported”). “With trickery” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of OBTAIN FILE.

  1. Engine lacking constant temperature for haul (4)

Answer: LOOT (i.e “haul” or booty). Solution is LOCO (i.e. “engine”, short for locomotive) with the C removed (indicated by “lacking constant” – C being a recognised abbreviation of “constant”) and the remainder followed by T (ditto “temperature”), like so: LOO-T.

  1. Endlessly tough surgeon seizes top of scalpel for period of cutting (7)

Answer: HARVEST (i.e. “period of cutting”). Solution is HARD (i.e. “tough”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “endlessly”) and the remainder followed by VET (i.e. “surgeon”, short for veterinary) once wrapped around or “seizing” S (i.e. “top of scalpel”, i.e. the first letter of “scalpel”), like so: HAR-VE(S)T.

  1. On reflection silly lisp – I tick boxes like being drunk (7)

Answer: TIPSILY (i.e. “like being drunk”). “Boxes” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “on reflection” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: SILL(Y LISP I T)ICK.

  1. Rejecting sexually ambivalent old goat (4)

Answer: IBEX (i.e. a mountain “goat”). Solution is BI (i.e. “sexually ambivalent”, short for bisexual) reversed (indicated by “rejecting”) and followed by EX (i.e. “old” or former), like so: IB-EX. Nicely worked.

  1. Just a two course meal could be an unacceptable idea (3-7)

Answer: NON-STARTER (i.e. “an unacceptable idea”). Clue plays on how “a two course meal” could comprise a main meal and pudding, leaving out the STARTER.

  1. Henry and Rose arranged to drive off for hearing: it may bring them luck (9)

Answer: HORSESHOE (i.e. “it may bring them luck”). Solution is H (a recognised abbreviation of “Henry”, a unit of measurement you’ll see a lot more in cryptic crosswords than you will out in the wild) followed by an anagram (indicated by “arranged”) of ROSE, then a homophone (indicated by “for hearing”) of SHOO (i.e. to “drive off”), like so: H-ORSE-SHOE.

  1. Man fired by bureaucrat with good courage (6)

Answer: DARING (i.e. “courage”). Solution is MANDARIN (i.e. “bureaucrat”) with the MAN removed (indicated by “man fired by…”) and the remainder followed by G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”), like so: DARIN-G.

  1. Hall a great success, but no place to get a drink (6)

Answer: ATRIUM (i.e. “hall”). Solution is A followed by TRIUMPH (i.e. “great success”) once the PH has been removed (indicated by “no place to get a drink” – PH is a recognised abbreviation of a Public House), like so: A-TRIUM.

  1. Quietly swelling, becoming this? (5)

Answer: PLUMP (i.e. “this” in the context of the clue, describing something “swollen”). Solution is P (i.e. “quietly”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “piano” used in musical lingo) followed by LUMP (i.e. a “swelling”).

  1. So tennis involved strains (8)

Answer: TENSIONS (i.e. “strains”). “Involved” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SO TENNIS.

  1. A teacher enters bank, but not for change (4-4)

Answer: READ-ONLY (i.e. descriptive of a file or data that is “not for change” in computer-speak). Solution is A and DON (i.e. “teacher”) both “entering” RELY (i.e. to “bank” on something), like so: RE(A-DON)LY.

  1. There’s a drought; the teapot works, though, as the saying goes (2,5,5,3,2,5)

Answer: IT NEVER RAINS BUT IT POURS (i.e. a “saying”). Solution is IT NEVER RAINS (i.e. “there’s a drought”) followed by BUT IT POURS (i.e. “the teapot works, though”).

  1. One against entering legal process of no account (7)

Answer: TRIVIAL (i.e. “of no account”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and V (i.e. “against”, short for “versus”) both placed in or “entering” TRIAL (i.e. “legal process”), like so: TR(I-V)IAL.

  1. Achieve reversal of revolutionary loss of rights (9)

Answer: ATTAINDER (i.e. “loss of rights” – over to Chambers: “the loss of civil rights through conviction for high treason”). Solution is ATTAIN (i.e. “achieve”) followed by RED (i.e. “revolutionary”) once “reversed”, like so: ATTAIN-DER.

  1. Permission to stick head out (5)

Answer: LEAVE. A triple-header clue where the solution satisfies “permission”, “to stick” (Chambers offers: “to allow, or cause, to remain”) and to “head out”.

  1. Girl who reacts with apathy, traffic cops appearing (7,6)

Answer: HIGHWAY PATROL (i.e. “traffic cops”). “Reacts” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of GIRL WHO and APATHY.

  1. Royal authentication left beside ocean? (5,4)

Answer: GREAT SEAL (i.e. “royal authentication”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) placed after or “beside” GREAT SEA (i.e. “ocean”), like so: (GREAT-SEA)-L.

Down clues

  1. Minute horse enters frightening collection of animals (9)

Answer: MENAGERIE (i.e. “collection of animals”). Solution is M (a recognised abbreviation of “minute”) followed by NAG (i.e. a “horse”) once placed in or “entering” EERIE (i.e. “frightening”), like so: M-E(NAG)ERIE.

  1. Intuition not immediately arousing love? (6,5)

Answer: SECOND SIGHT (i.e. “intuition”). Clue plays on the phrase “love at first sight”, intimating “not immediately arousing love”.

  1. Cry of excitement before learner makes turn (5)

Answer: WHEEL (i.e. to “turn”). Solution is WHEE! (i.e. “cry of excitement”) followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “learner” used on driver’s L-plates).

  1. Mount and gallop even faster (8)

Answer: RUSHMORE (i.e. “mount”). When written as RUSH MORE the solution also satisfies “gallop even faster”.

  1. Lower classes are not able to handle wine (6)

Answer: DECANT (i.e. “handle wine”). Solution is D and E (i.e. “lower classes” relative to A, I guess) followed by CAN’T (i.e. “not able to”).

  1. Be irritated by bookworm, one of unusual sense (4-6)

Answer: MIND-READER (i.e. “one of unusual sense”). Solution is MIND (i.e. “be irritated by”) followed by READER (i.e. “bookworm”).

  1. Airport outlet where staff have nothing to do? (4-4,4)

Answer: DUTY-FREE SHOP (i.e. “airport outlet”). Clue plays on DUTY being another word for “job”. You get the idea. Simple, but I rather liked this one.

  1. Notice paper has run out (7)

Answer: OBSERVE (i.e. “notice”). Solution is OBSERVER (i.e. “[news]paper”) with the last R removed (indicated by “has run out” – R being a recognised abbreviation of “run” used in a number of ball games).

  1. How to make t-those old clothes (7,3,4)

Answer: DOUBLET AND HOSE (i.e. “old clothes”). When written as DOUBLE-T AND HOSE the solution playfully satisfies “how to make t-those”.

  1. Serious, regular gaps in tummy bone (7)

Answer: STERNUM (i.e. “bone”). Solution is STERN (i.e. “serious”) followed by UM (i.e. “regular gaps in tummy”, i.e. every other letter of TUMMY).

  1. Omen certain to disturb seat of empire (7,4)

Answer: ANCIENT ROME (i.e. “seat of empire”). “To disturb” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of OMEN CERTAIN.

  1. Man entitled ahead of time to stop short (4)

Answer: EARL (i.e. “man entitled”). Solution is EARLY (i.e. “ahead of time”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “to stop short”).

  1. Very many thanks at end of tour for guide (8)

Answer: LOADSTAR (i.e. “guide”, a variant spelling of LODESTAR – over to Chambers again: “the star that guides, the Pole Star, often used figuratively”). Solution is LOADS (i.e. “very many”) followed by TA (i.e. “thanks”) and R (i.e. “end of tour”, i.e. the last letter of “tour”).

  1. Government facility; a police station? (3,6)

Answer: MET OFFICE (i.e. “government facility”). In reference to London’s Metropolitan Police, the clue also playfully satisfies “a police station”.

  1. Shares fish, relaxing here after swim? (8)

Answer: POOLSIDE (i.e. “relaxing here after swim”). Solution is POOLS (i.e. “shares”) followed by IDE (i.e. a variety of “fish” often useful in cryptic crosswords).

  1. To establish part of argument may be an advantage in court (3,5)

Answer: SET POINT (i.e. “an advantage in [tennis] court”). Solution is SET (i.e. “to establish”) followed by POINT (i.e. “part of argument”).

  1. Put into shape, since tangled (9)

Answer: FORMATTED (i.e. “put into shape”). Solution is FOR (i.e. “since”) followed by MATTED (i.e. “tangled”).

  1. Woman in work: one having conversation on-line? (4,10)

Answer: LADY CHATTERLY (i.e. “woman in [literary] work” by DH Lawrence). Solution is LADY (i.e. “woman”) followed by CHATTER (i.e. “conversation”) and LEY (i.e. “line”, mystical lines of energy if you believe that kind of thing).

  1. This book isn’t one of the Ruritanian series? No chance! (3,1,4)

Answer: NOT A HOPE (i.e “no chance”). Clue plays on a series of books by Anthony HOPE based on the fictitious country of “Ruritania”.

  1. Detectives suppress vice among more corrupt band of heralds (4,8)

Answer: BEND SINISTER (a “band” used in “heraldry”). Solution is DIS (i.e. “detectives”, specifically Detective Inspectors) wrapped around or “suppressing” SIN (i.e. “vice”) which is itself placed in or “among” BENTER (i.e. “more corrupt”, perhaps if you were to throw away your dictionary), like so: BEN(D(SIN)IS)TER.

  1. In leaving the racetrack, rake creates spinning (11)

Answer: PIROUETTING (i.e. “spinning”). Solution is PITTING (i.e. “leaving the racetrack”) wrapped around or having “in” ROUE (i.e. a “rake”), like so: PI(ROUE)TTING. Tough bugger.

  1. Do survey in pouring rain and gale? Tut! (11)

Answer: TRIANGULATE (i.e. “do survey”). “Pouring” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of RAIN and GALE TUT.

  1. Brain cells struggling to identify plant (6,4)

Answer: CRANES BILL (i.e. “plant”). “Struggling” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of BRAIN CELLS.

  1. Why not take an extra month? (3,2,4)

Answer: MAY AS WELL (i.e. “why not”). The rest of the clue plays on MAY being a “month” and AS WELL being “extra”. Nicely worked.

  1. Half encourage a creative spirit (8)

Answer: DEMIURGE (i.e. “creative spirit” – over to Chambers again: “the maker of the world”). Solution is DEMI (i.e. “half”) followed by URGE (i.e. “encourage”).

  1. Pressure to reconsider, getting a peek ahead (7)

Answer: PREVIEW (i.e. “a peek ahead”). Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “pressure”) followed by REVIEW (i.e. “to reconsider”).

  1. A misplaced lamb stew turns up: bliss! (7)

Answer: NIRVANA (i.e. “bliss”). Solution is NAVARIN (i.e. “lamb stew” – no, me neither) reversed (indicated by “turns up” – this being a down clue) and with the middle “A misplaced” and stuck on the end, like so: NAVARIN => NIR(A)VAN => NIRVAN(A).

  1. Twice gallon bottles ruin pointer (3,3)

Answer: GUN DOG (also known as a “pointer”). Solution is G and G (i.e. “twice gallon” – G being a recognised abbreviation of “gallon”) placed around or “bottling” UNDO (i.e. to “ruin”), like so: G(UNDO)G.

  1. Director wants one to go through storyline (5)

Answer: PILOT (i.e. “director”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed in or “going through” PLOT (i.e. “storyline”), like so: P(I)LOT.

  1. A neighbour’s ID, about a half incomplete (4)

Answer: UTAH (i.e. “a neighbour’s ID” – ID is a US state abbreviation of Idaho). “Incomplete” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: ABO(UT A H)ALF. Took a while to twig.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1557

A relatively straightforward one after last week’s stinker. A pretty good one too with a few well worked clues. NETIZEN, though? Sheesh. Get with the times, granddad. You’ll be talking about the information superhighway next.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a recent Jumbo has leaked all kinds of stories about you to the press, culminating in a court battle that few if anyone gives a shit about, then you might find succour in my Just For Fun page, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the things. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks again for the kind words and input. It’s always interesting to hear the thoughts of other solvers once they’ve set down their pens. I’ll be away from the keyboard next weekend so will be a little late in posting the next one. Till then, stay safe out there kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. Bead on fastener for nut (9)

Answer: SCREWBALL (i.e. “nut”). Solution is BALL (i.e. “bead”) placed “on” or after SCREW (i.e. “fastener”), like so: SCREW-BALL.

  1. Ride wave ahead of ship (13)

Answer: ROLLERCOASTER (i.e. “ride”). Solution is ROLLER (i.e. sea “wave”) followed by or placed “ahead of” COASTER (i.e. “ship”).

  1. Lift maintained by bra is extraordinary (5)

Answer: RAISE (i.e. “lift”). “Maintained by” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: B(RA IS E)XTRAORDINARY.

  1. Formality, warning for drivers in court once (4,7)

Answer: STAR CHAMBER (i.e. “court once”, being an English court that sat during the 16th century). Solution is STARCH (i.e. “formality”) followed by AMBER (i.e. “warning for driver”).

  1. Piano parts over before a dramatic work (5)

Answer: OPERA (i.e. “dramatic work”). Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “piano” used in musical lingo) placed in or “parting” O’ER (poetic form of “over”) and followed by A, like so: O’(P)ER-A.

  1. Crunchy food in vessel served with puree of apricots (6,5)

Answer: POTATO CRISP (i.e. “crunchy food”). Solution is POT (i.e. “vessel”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “puree of…”) of APRICOTS, like so: POT-ATOCRISP.

  1. Protestants against stealing a bread roll, saints (11)

Answer: ANABAPTISTS (i.e. “protestants”). Solution is ANTI (i.e. “against”) wrapped around or “stealing” A and BAP (i.e. “bread roll”), and followed by STS (i.e. “saints” – ST being a recognised abbreviation of “saint”), like so: AN(A-BAP)TI-STS.

  1. Having lost land, Ireland and USA sacked a massive continent (7)

Answer: EURASIA (i.e. “massive continent”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “sacked”) of IRE (i.e. “having lost land, Ireland”, i.e. IRELAND with the LAND removed) and USA followed by A, like so: EURASI-A.

  1. See good, soft, skin on sausage (7)

Answer: GLIMPSE (i.e. “see”). Solution is G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) followed by LIMP (i.e. “soft”) and SE (i.e. “skin on sausage”, i.e. the first and last letters of “sausage”).

  1. Personage listless then? (7)

Answer: NOTABLE (i.e. “personage” – over to Chambers: “a person or thing worthy of note, especially in plural for people of distinction and political importance in France in pre-Revolution times”). When written as NOT ABLE the solution also playfully satisfies “listless then?”.

  1. One of Jerome Kern’s smouldering looks after this? (5,4,2,4,4)

Answer: SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES (i.e. “one of Jerome Kern’s” compositions). Clue plays on SMOKE/”smouldering” and EYES/”looks”. You get the idea.

  1. Puck is merely prodded initially (3)

Answer: IMP (i.e. “puck”, a goblin or mischievous sprite). “Initially” indicates the solution comprises the first letters of “is”, “merely” and “prodded”.

  1. Cloth wrapping metal, rank (6)

Answer: RATING (i.e. “rank”). Solution is RAG (i.e. “cloth”) “wrapped” around TIN (i.e. “metal”), like so: RA(TIN)G.

  1. Shrivelled up thing is in shower (6)

Answer: RAISIN (i.e. “shrivelled up thing”). Solution is IS placed “in” RAIN (i.e. “shower”), like so: RA(IS)IN.

  1. One admits present giver losing heart (5,4)

Answer: FRONT DOOR (i.e. “one admits”). Solution is FRONT (i.e. to “present”) followed by DONOR (i.e. “giver”) once its middle letter has been removed (indicated by “losing heart”).

  1. What I said when I pootled off with minimum of pretence? (6-3)

Answer: TOODLE-PIP (i.e. “what I said when I pootled off”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “off”) of I POOTLED followed by P (i.e. “minimum of pretence”, i.e. the first letter of “pretence”), like so: TOODLEPI-P. Nicely done.

  1. Warmer for pig’s ears? I’m not interested (2,4)

Answer: SO WHAT (i.e. “I’m not interested”). When written as SOW HAT the clue playfully satisfies “warmer for pig’s ears”.

  1. One location for a start, with beach all round? (6)

Answer: ISLAND. Solution playfully satisfies the clue as a whole, but is also formed from I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and L (i.e. “location for a start”, i.e. the first letter of “location”) once placed in or having “all round” SAND (i.e. “beach”), like so: I-S(L)AND.

  1. Harm with strike on the counter (3)

Answer: MAR (i.e. “harm”). Solution is RAM (i.e. to “strike”) once reversed (indicated by “on the counter”).

  1. Why should I tell you the name of a plant? (4-4-3-8)

Answer: MIND-YOUR-OWN-BUSINESS (i.e. “the name of a plant” of the nettle family, apparently). When written without the hyphens the solution also satisfies “why should I tell you?”.

  1. Recalled pictures perhaps with fungi in ranges of colours (7)

Answer: SPECTRA (i.e. “ranges of colours”). Solution is ART (i.e. “pictures perhaps”) and CEPS (i.e. “fungi”) all reversed (indicated by “recalled”), like so: SPEC-TRA.

  1. US president is very keen on hugs (7)

Answer: James MADISON (i.e. “US president”). Solution is MAD ON (i.e. “very keen on”) wrapped around or “hugging” IS, like so: MAD-(IS)-ON.

  1. Most ill at ease, I’d see outline of ghost that’s shapeshifting (7)

Answer: EDGIEST (i.e. “most ill at ease”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “shapeshifting”) of I’D SEE and GT (i.e. “outline of ghost”, i.e. the first and last letters of “ghost”).

  1. Time when house connects district to old city (7-4)

Answer: QUARTER-HOUR (i.e. “time”). Solution is HO (a recognised abbreviation of “house”) placed between or “connecting” QUARTER (i.e. “district”) and UR (i.e. an “old city” often used by setters in their clues), like so: QUARTER-(HO)-UR.

  1. Repeating a little, our dodgy dish (11)

Answer: RATATOUILLE (i.e. “dish”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “dodgy”) of AA (i.e. “repeating a”) and LITTLE OUR.

  1. Prophet respected, no way ending in gutter (5)

Answer: AUGUR (i.e. “prophet”). Solution is AUGUST (i.e. “respected”) with the ST removed (indicated by “no way” – ST being a recognised abbreviation of a street) and the remainder followed by R (i.e. “ending in gutter”, i.e. the last letter of “gutter”), like so: AUGU-R.

  1. Commotion about one drink Buddhist gets cheap (1,4,1,5)

Answer: A DIME A DOZEN (i.e. “cheap”). Solution is ADO (i.e. “commotion”) wrapped “about” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) MEAD (i.e. “drink”) and followed by ZEN (i.e. “Buddhist”), like so: AD(I-MEAD)O-ZEN.

  1. Zoroastrian in capital city turning tail (5)

Answer: PARSI (i.e. “Zoroastrian”). Solution is PARIS (i.e. “capital city” of France) with the last two letters reversed (indicated by “turning tail”). Cough-(made-to-fit)-cough.

  1. Be a pig – while a stallion? (3,4,1,5)

Answer: EAT LIKE A HORSE. Solution satisfies “be a pig” while playing on “stallion”/HORSE.

  1. By inference, maybe honest trial without dispute (2,7)

Answer: NO CONTEST (i.e. “without dispute”). Solution is NO CON (i.e. “by interference, maybe honest”) followed by TEST (i.e. “trial”).

Down clues

  1. Empty puzzle, tantalising thing? (11)

Answer: STRIPTEASER (i.e. “tantalising thing”). Solution is STRIP (i.e. to “empty”) followed by TEASER (i.e. “puzzle”).

  1. Celebrate finding upright character in schedule (7)

Answer: ROISTER (i.e. “celebrate”). Solution is I (i.e. “upright character”) placed “in” ROSTER (i.e. “schedule”), like so: RO(I)STER.

  1. Gathering last of rice, I didn’t quite get that grain (5)

Answer: WHEAT (i.e. “grain”). Solution is E (i.e. “last [letter] of rice”) placed in or “gathered” by WHAT (i.e. “I didn’t quite get that”), like so: WH(E)AT.

  1. While very cold, I consumed first of daiquiris, mixed (10)

Answer: ASSOCIATED (i.e. “mixed”, “denoting a company that is amalgamated with another company” (Chambers)). Solution is AS (i.e. “while”) followed by SO (i.e. “very”), then C (a recognised abbreviation of “cold”), then I, then ATE (i.e. “consumed”) and D (i.e. “first [letter] of daiquiris”).

  1. Record claiming a steering mechanism is doing little (7)

Answer: LOAFING (i.e. “doing little”). Solution is LOG (i.e. “record”) wrapped around or “claiming” A and FIN (i.e. “steering mechanism”), like so: LO(A-FIN)G.

  1. Those perhaps working for a hotel inspector, ties knotted (13)

Answer: RECEPTIONISTS (i.e. “those perhaps working for a hotel”). “Knotted” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of INSPECTOR TIES.

  1. Dog possesses article, and licks around it with love (5,4)

Answer: LHASA APSO (i.e. a long-haired “dog” originating from Tibet – no, me neither). Solution is HAS (i.e. “possesses”) and A (i.e. “article”, being a word like a, an or the) both placed in or having “around” LAPS (i.e. “licks”), all followed by O (i.e. “love”, a zero score in tennis), like so: L(HAS-A)APS-O.

  1. Welcome them briefly, a couple (7)

Answer: EMBRACE (i.e. “welcome”). Solution is ‘EM (i.e. “them briefly”) followed by BRACE (i.e. “a couple”).

  1. Never interact, only when circulating (9,3)

Answer: CERTAINLY NOT (i.e. “never”). “When circulating” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of INTERACT ONLY.

  1. A naval officer says they’re infidels (9)

Answer: APOSTATES (i.e. “infidels”). Solution is A followed by PO (i.e. “naval officer”, specifically a Petty Officer) and STATES (i.e. “says”).

  1. Bags of Scottish tenacity rarely evident with Scots first of all (5)

Answer: TREWS (i.e. “bags of Scottish” – bags and trews are informal references to trousers). “First of all” indicates the solution is derived from the initial letters of “tenacity”, “rarely”, “evident”, “with” and “Scottish”.

  1. Person clearing the way, announcing emotional islander? (4,7)

Answer: ROAD SWEEPER (i.e. “person clearing the way” – roads and streets are often referred to as “ways” in cryptic crosswords). “Announcing” indicates homophone. The solution is a homophone of RHODES WEEPER (i.e. “emotional islander”).

  1. Second constant, not first, relating to a bone (7)

Answer: STERNAL (i.e. “relating to a bone”, the sternum). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “second”) followed by ETERNAL (i.e. “constant”) once its initial letter has been removed (indicated by “not first”), like so: S-TERNAL.

  1. Makeshift construction short in diameter, joiner crossing the drink (9)

Answer: BRICOLAGE (i.e. “makeshift construction” – over to Chambers again: “a work of art or construction put together from whatever materials are available”). Solution is BRIDGE (i.e. “joiner”) with the D removed (indicated by “short in diameter” – D being a recognised abbreviation of “diameter”) and the remainder wrapped around or “crossing” COLA (i.e. “drink”), like so: BRI(COLA)GE. One nailed from the wordplay and a short brute force of Chambers.

  1. Buy from another company, being courteous to engineer? (9)

Answer: OUTSOURCE (i.e. “buy from another company”). “To engineer” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of COURTEOUS. Nicely played. Probably my favourite clue of the puzzle.

  1. What angel has, foxy dresses with some style (7)

Answer: SHARPLY (i.e. “with some style”). Solution is HARP (i.e. “what angel has”) placed in or “dressed” by SLY (i.e. “foxy”), like so: S(HARP)LY.

  1. Stop repeating phrase (7)

Answer: REFRAIN. Solution satisfies “stop” and a “repeating phrase” in music or poetry.

  1. Item on executive’s desk with a knock-on effect? (7,6)

Answer: NEWTON’S CRADLE (i.e. “item on executive’s desk”). Clue plays on how the toy demonstrates the conservation of momentum using a frame and five suspended metal balls. An end ball is swung or “knocked” into the others. This kicks out the ball at the opposite end while leaving the middle three balls stilled. It’s witchcraft, I tell you.

  1. Using tongue it is turned over, passing flavour around (7)

Answer: TASTING (i.e. “using tongue”). Solution is IT’S (a contraction of “it is”) reversed (indicated by “turned over”) and placed in or having “around” TANG (i.e. “flavour”), like so: TA(S’TI)NG.

  1. Match where both sides may play away? (4,8)

Answer: OPEN MARRIAGE. Clue plays on how weddings are sometimes referred to as “matches” in cryptic crosswords, and how in open marriages spouses are comfortable for the other to “play away”.

  1. What goes from 42nd to 47th by 49, for example (5,6)

Answer: TIMES SQUARE (i.e. “what goes from 42nd to 47th” street in New York). Solution is TIMES (i.e. multiplied “by”) followed by SQUARE (i.e. “49, for example”, being the square of 7).

  1. Serve mud pie? (4,3,4)

Answer: DISH THE DIRT. Clue plays on the phrase describing “mud”-slinging, and how “pies” are DISHES. You get the idea.

  1. Second note put in score, tremulous (10)

Answer: SUPERTONIC (i.e. “second note” – over to Chambers again: “the second degree of the diatonic scale, e.g. D in the scale of C”). “Tremulous” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of PUT IN SCORE.

  1. Bones at times are almost breaking (9)

Answer: METATARSI (i.e. “bones”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “breaking”) of AT TIMES and AR (i.e. “are almost”, i.e. the word “are” with the last letter removed).

  1. Hose perhaps submerged in river? (9)

Answer: UNDERWEAR (i.e. “hose perhaps”). When written as UNDER WEAR the solution also satisfies “submerged in river”.

  1. North African upland so described? (7)

Answer: MOORISH. Solution satisfies “north African…so described” and, playfully, “upland so described”.

  1. Surfer – spot one finally coming up in river, briefly (7)

Answer: NETIZEN (i.e. “surfer” or someone online). Solution is ZIT (i.e. “spot”) and E (i.e. “one finally”, i.e. the last letter of “one”) all reversed (indicated by “coming up” – this being a down clue) and placed “in” NENE (i.e. “river”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “briefly”), like so: N(E-TIZ)EN.

  1. Inversion of some integral, needlessly elaborate (7)

Answer: ENLARGE (i.e. “elaborate”). “Some” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “inversion” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: INT(EGRAL NE)EDLESSLY.

  1. Worry stone under tooth missing crown (5)

Answer: ANGST (i.e. “worry”). Solution is ST (a recognised abbreviation of “stone”) placed after or “under” – this being a down clue – FANG (i.e. “tooth”) once its first letter has been removed (indicated by “missing crown”), like so: ANG-ST.

  1. Release pressure in loveless marriage (5)

Answer: UNPIN (i.e. “release”). Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “pressure”) placed “in” UNION (i.e. “marriage”) once the O has been removed (indicated by “loveless”, again love being a zero score in tennis), like so: UN(P)IN.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1556

A decent enough stinker with some clever misdirection and fine clueing to decode, though its reliance on general knowledge and a few made-to-fit solutions made it drag after a while. My Bradford’s was rather warm by the end of it.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a recent Jumbo ran off with your £184,000,000 EuroMillions jackpot-winning ticket – yours as well, huh? – then you might find solace in my Just For Fun page, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the things. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks again for the kind words and input. It’s always interesting to hear the thoughts of other solvers when their pens are stilled. Till next time, stay safe out there kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. Reg maybe backing Paul the physicist (5)

Answer: DIRAC (i.e. “Paul the physicist”). Solution is CAR ID (i.e. “reg maybe”, a playful reference to a car registration) reversed (indicated by “backing”). Made. To. Fit.

  1. Yankee after arrest to be sick as a parrot? (7)

Answer: COPYCAT (i.e. to “parrot”). Solution is Y (“Yankee” in the phonetic alphabet) placed “after” COP (i.e. to “arrest”) and followed by CAT (i.e. “to be sick” – can’t place the usage, but Chambers backs it up), like so: COP-(Y)-CAT.

  1. Symbol from memory needed on most of elite kit (9)

Answer: PICTOGRAM (i.e. “symbol”). Solution is RAM (i.e. computer “memory”, specifically Random Access Memory) placed “on” or after PICK (i.e. “elite”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “most of…”) and TOG (i.e. “kit”, both words for clothing), like so: (PIC-TOG)-RAM.

  1. Leaving it to fuzz? One presumably not (9)

Answer: VIGILANTE. Clue plays on “fuzz” being a slang word for the police, and how vigilantes act outside of the law. Not picking much else up from this one, to be honest. I could be missing something clever.

[EDIT: Thanks to Craig in the comments for clearing this up. The solution is an anagram (indicated by “to fuzz”) of LEAVING IT. Nicely done. Thanks, Craig! – LP]

  1. A welcome game of cricket forces our Elizabeth to stop arguing? (5,2,6)

Answer: AGREE TO DIFFER (i.e. “stop arguing”). Solution is A followed by GREET (i.e. “welcome”), then ODI (i.e. “game of cricket”, specifically a One Day International), then F and F (recognised abbreviations of “force”), then ER (i.e. “our Elizabeth”, i.e. the Queen, or Elizabeth Regina).

  1. A little foreign cash needs dispatched to auditor, as I see it (7)

Answer: CENTIMO (i.e. “a little foreign cash”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “to auditor”) of SENT (i.e. “dispatched”) followed by IMO (i.e. “as I see it”, specifically an abbreviation of In My Opinion), like so: CENT-IMO.

  1. Compounds skill fabulously with a touch of aplomb (7)

Answer: ALKILIS (i.e. “compounds”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “fabulously”) of SKILL, A and A (i.e. “a touch of aplomb”, i.e. the first letter of “aplomb”).

  1. Haze from rear crossing unobstructed, largely (3,4)

Answer: SEA FRET (i.e. “haze”). Solution is SEAT (i.e. “rear”) wrapped around or “crossing” FREE (i.e. “unobstructed”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “largely”), like so: SEA(FRE)T.

  1. Explain I must have quiet at rave (4,7,4,3)

Answer: TALK THROUGH ONE’S HAT (i.e. “rave” or talk insensibly). Solution is TALK THROUGH (i.e. “explain”) followed by ONE (i.e. “I”, its Roman numeral equivalent), then SH (i.e. “quiet”) and AT.

  1. After first of January, pub serves spirits (4)

Answer: JINN (i.e. “spirits”). Solution is J (i.e. “first [letter] of January”) followed by INN (i.e. “pub”).

  1. A large Lowry? Remarkable Irish drawing (3,6)

Answer: ALL SQUARE (i.e. “drawing”). Solution is A followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) followed by LS (initials of artist “Lowry”), then QUARE (i.e. “remarkable Irish”, i.e. a dialectical variation of QUEER).

  1. Twig gate’s not closing right (6)

Answer: WICKER (i.e. “twig”). Solution is WICKET (i.e. “gate”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “not closing”) and the remainder followed by R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”), like so: WICKE-R.

  1. Space probe that’s reached across third of universe (6)

Answer: GIOTTO (i.e. “space probe” used to observe Halley’s comet up close in the mid-1980s). Solution is GOT TO (i.e. “reached”) wrapped around or placed “across” I (i.e. “third [letter] of universe”), like so: G(I)OT-TO. Made. To. Fit.

  1. Aim to put on air transport (7,5)

Answer: EXPRESS TRAIN (i.e. “transport”). Solution is TRAIN (i.e. to “aim”) placed “on” or after EXPRESS (i.e. to “air”, say, an opinion).

  1. To perform, men getting in camera (6-4)

Answer: CLOSED-DOOR (i.e. “in camera”, or in secret). Solution is CLOSED (as in a door being closed “to”) followed by DO (i.e. “perform”) and OR (i.e. “men”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army).

  1. Updates record, having finally included it in a bizarre ritual (5,5)

Answer: AUDIT TRAIL (i.e. “updates record”). Solution is D (i.e. “finally included”, i.e. the last letter of “included”) and IT both placed “in” A and an anagram (indicated by “bizarre”) of RITUAL, like so: A-U(D-IT)TRAIL.

  1. Place for one of the cabal, later evacuated frantically (8,4)

Answer: BACHELOR FLAT (i.e. “place for one”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “frantically”) of OF THE CABAL and LR (i.e. “later evacuated”, i.e. the word “later” with all its middle letters removed).

  1. Help to push horse back: that’s painful, indeed! (3,3)

Answer: AND HOW (i.e. “indeed!”). Solution is HAND (i.e. “help”) with the H (i.e. “horse”, both slang words for heroin) “pushed…back” and followed by OW (i.e. “that’s painful”), like so: (H)AND-OW => AND(H)-OW.

  1. Some inside sang – or applauded yarn (6)

Answer: ANGORA (i.e. “yarn”). “Some inside” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: S(ANG OR A)PPLAUDED.

  1. Unwrapped afternoon treat carried by mother, the perfect combination! (5,4)

Answer: DREAM TEAM (i.e. “the perfect combination”). Solution is CREAM TEA (i.e. “afternoon treat”) with the first and last letters removed (indicated by “unwrapped”) and the remainder placed in or “carried by” DAM (i.e. “mother”, a cattle-related usage we’ve seen occasionally in Jumbos), like so: D(REAM-TE)AM.

  1. You might catch one at sea, or catch one at the piano (4)

Answer: TUNA (i.e. “you might catch one at sea”). The solution is a homophone (indicated by “catch” or to hear) of TUNER (i.e. “one at the piano”).

  1. Warning people passed on should be believed? (4,3,4,2,5)

Answer: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES (i.e. a “warning”). Clue plays on DEAD MEN being “people passed on” and how TALES are often referred to as lies. If one TELLS NO TALES then they “should be believed”. You get the idea.

  1. One’s more ineffectual executioner? (7)

Answer: IMPALER (i.e. “executioner”). When written as I’M PALER the solution also satisfies “one’s more ineffectual”.

  1. Education publication’s, I hesitate to say, a little square (7)

Answer: TESSERA (i.e. a “little square” used in a mosaic). Solution is TES’S (i.e. “education publication’s”, specifically the Times Educational Supplement) followed by ER (i.e. “I hesitate to say”) and A.

  1. First taxi maybe about to drive brother from Spain? (7)

Answer: CARAMBA (i.e. “brother from Spain”, playing on “brother” being an exclamation). Solution is CAB A (i.e. “first taxi maybe”) wrapped “about” RAM (i.e. “to drive” into something), like so: CA(RAM)B-A.

  1. Miscreant errs with abandon in Mormon city (3,10)

Answer: SAN BERNARDINO (i.e. “Mormon city”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “miscreant”) of ERRS and ABANDON IN.

  1. Private network, small one, not English, is being moved (2,7)

Answer: IN TRANSIT (i.e. “being moved”). Solution is INTRANET (i.e. “private network”) with the E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) swapped for (indicated by “not”) S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) and I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: INTRAN(E)T => INTRAN(S-I)T.

  1. PC meeting army officers? It’s a small world! (9)

Answer: MICROCOSM (i.e. “it’s a small world”). Solution is MICRO (i.e. computer or “PC”) followed by CO and SM (both “army officers”, a Commanding Officer and a Sergeant Major respectively).

  1. Cheat Harry getting into row (7)

Answer: FINAGLE (i.e. “cheat”). Solution is NAG (i.e. to “harry” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) placed “into” FILE (i.e. a line or “row”), like so: FI(NAG)LE.

  1. Wash thoroughly and comb (5)

Answer: SCOUR. Solution satisfies “wash thoroughly” and to “comb” or search.

Down clues

  1. Within Homer’s house perhaps there’s name for later poet’s (4,7)

Answer: DOVE COTTAGE (i.e. a “house” in which the “poet” William Wordsworth lived). Solution is DOVECOTE (i.e. “homer’s house” – ignore the misleading capitalisation, this is a reference to homing birds) wrapped around or having “within” TAG (i.e. “name”), like so: DOVECOT(TAG)E.

  1. Ungrateful daughter of stage manager’s showing up (5)

Answer: REGAN (i.e. “ungrateful daughter of stage”, specifically in William Shakespeare’s King Lear). “Showing” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “up” indicates the solution has been reversed – this being a down clue, like so: MA(NAGER).

  1. All fashionable ladies’ hats eclipsed by suit, without a doubt (4,4,8)

Answer: CALL INTO QUESTION (i.e. “doubt”). Solution is ALL, IN (i.e. “fashionable”) and TOQUES (i.e. “ladies’ hats”) all placed in or “eclipsed by” ACTION (i.e. legal “suit”) once the A has been removed (indicated by “without a”), like so: C(ALL-IN-TOQUES)TION.

  1. Being open, willing and positive, game turned around (7)

Answer: CANDOUR (i.e. “being open”). Solution is CAN DO (i.e. “willing and positive”) followed by RU (i.e. “game”, specifically Rugby Union) reversed (indicated by “turned around”), like so: (CAN-DO)-UR.

  1. Rash more manageable on reflection, with no spots around (9)

Answer: PREMATURE (i.e. “rash”). Solution is TAMER (i.e. “more manageable”) reversed (indicated by “on reflection”) and placed in or having “around” PURE (i.e. “no spots”), like so: P(REMAT)URE.

  1. Be suddenly assertive in finally mastering that dessert recipe? (5,3,4)

Answer: CRACK THE WHIP. Solution satisfies “be suddenly assertive” and, playfully, “finally mastering that dessert recipe”. I rather liked this one.

  1. Sweater something the unfortunate canoeist may turn down (10)

Answer: TURTLENECK (i.e. “sweater”). Solution is TURTLE (i.e. “something the unfortunate canoeist may turn”) followed by NECK (i.e. to “down” a drink).

  1. Supports old ploughman in work (5)

Answer: PIERS. Solution satisfies “supports” and “old ploughman in work”, a reference to a fourteenth century poem called Piers The Ploughman ascribed to William Langland. A new one on me. Chalk one to my Bradford’s.

  1. Part of goal put out by legal people generally (8)

Answer: CROSSBAR (i.e. “part of goal”). Solution is CROSS (i.e. angered or “put out”) followed by BAR (i.e. “legal people generally”).

  1. Round holiday time carrying one’s “bag for life”? (6)

Answer: OVISAC (i.e. “bag for life”, or egg capsule). Solution is O (i.e. “round”) followed by VAC (i.e. “holiday time”, short for vacation) once wrapped around or “carrying” I’S (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one’s”), like so: O-V(I’S)AC.

  1. One who’d make improvements dealing with health first (9)

Answer: REFORMIST (i.e. “one who’d make improvements”). Solution is RE (i.e. “dealing with” – think email replies) followed by FORM (i.e. “health”) and IST (i.e. “first”, with I being a Roman numeral one).

  1. Battle site’s ruins by chance not recalled (7,4)

Answer: MARSTON MOOR (i.e. “battle site”). Solution is MARS (i.e. “ruins”) followed by ROOM (i.e. “chance” – over to Chambers: “opportunity, scope or occasion”) and NOT once these latter two have been reversed (indicated by “recalled”), like so: MARS-(TON-MOOR).

  1. Pal idly twisting leaf (4,3)

Answer: LILY PAD (i.e. “leaf”). “Twisting” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of PAL IDLY.

  1. Cautious movement – fraction of half-inch as it were? (7)

Answer: STEALTH (i.e. “cautious movement”). The remainder of the clue plays on “half-inch” being cockney rhyming slang for pinch, or to STEAL, and TH being a suffix denoting a “fraction” of something.

  1. Dramatise larkish, unconventional trilogy (3,4,9)

Answer: HIS DARK MATERIALS (i.e. “trilogy” of books by Philip Pullman). “Unconventional” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DRAMATISE LARKISH.

  1. Sailor in Camargue on delta, a long way from sound (6)

Answer: ABSURD (i.e. “a long way from sound”). Solution is AB (i.e. a “sailor” of Able-Bodied rank) followed by SUR (i.e. “in Carmague on”, i.e. the French for “on”) and D (“delta” in the phonetic alphabet).

  1. Drug dealer’s confession for old Irish lover (6)

Answer: ISOLDE (i.e. “old Irish lover”, from the legend of Tristan and Isolde). When written as I SOLD E the solution also satisfies “drug dealer’s confession”. Nicely done.

  1. Was boss fired again after losing it? (7)

Answer: REIGNED (i.e. “was boss”). Solution is REIGNITED (i.e. “fired again”) with the IT removed (indicated by “after losing it”).

  1. Boring advice to stop squeaking? (3,4)

Answer: OIL WELL. Solution satisfies a “boring” and, playfully, “advice to stop squeaking”.

  1. What Rover might do pointlessly in one’s parking place? (3,2,3,4)

Answer: BAY AT THE MOON (i.e. a futile or “pointless” gesture). Clue plays on how you might find a lunar “rover” on THE MOON, and how “parking places” are sometimes referred to as BAYS. Nicely worked.

  1. Scottish actor’s intention to catch LA flight (8,3)

Answer: ALASTAIR SIM (i.e. “Scottish actor”). Solution is AIM (i.e. “intention”) wrapped around or “catching” LA and STAIRS (i.e. “flight”), like so: A(LA-STAIRS)IM. Another great clue.

  1. Poem that’s more a novel primarily, somehow (3,8)

Answer: TAM O’SHANTER (i.e. a “poem” by Robert Burns). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “somehow”) of THAT’S MORE A and N (i.e. “novel primarily”, i.e. the first letter of “novel”).

  1. Very fed up as British radicals quarrel about nothing (5,5)

Answer: BORED STIFF (i.e. “very fed up”). Solution is B (a recognised abbreviation of “British”), REDS (i.e. “radicals”) and TIFF (i.e. “quarrel”) all wrapped “about” O (i.e. “nothing”), like so: B-(O)-REDS-TIFF.

  1. Remain calm about unsuitable acknowledgement returned (4,5)

Answer: DON’T PANIC (i.e. “remain calm”). Solution is C (i.e. “about”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “circa”), INAPT (i.e. “unsuitable”) and NOD (i.e. “acknowledgement”) all reversed (indicated by “returned”), like so: DON-TPANI-C.

  1. Part of maybe Mirage’s rising light over time inspiring wonderment (5,4)

Answer: DELTA WING (i.e. “part of maybe Mirage”, a reference to a variety of French fighter jets). Solution is LED (i.e. “light”, specifically a Light Emitting Diode) reversed (indicated by “over”) and followed by T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) and AWING (i.e. “inspiring wonderment”), like so: DEL-T-AWING. Took a brute force of my Chambers after I twigged the first few letters.

  1. Drop liking for attack (4,4)

Answer: TEAR INTO (i.e. “attack”). Solution is TEAR (i.e. a “drop” of water) followed by INTO (i.e. “liking”).

  1. Make out payment finally? That is for some clothing (7)

Answer: NECKTIE (i.e. “some clothing”). Solution is NECK (i.e. “make out” or smoochies) followed by T (i.e. “payment finally”, i.e. the last letter of “payment”) and IE (i.e. “that is”, i.e. “i.e.” – an abbreviation of the Latin id est).

  1. Game that’s played could end in stalemate (6)

Answer: CLUEDO (i.e. “game”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “that’s played”) of COULD and E (i.e. “end [letter] in stalemate”).

  1. Tattoo of weaver’s remains? (5)

Answer: THRUM. Solution satisfies a “tattoo” or drumming sound, and “weaver’s remains”, a variant meaning. Another new one on me.

  1. At least three notes to get wrong (5)

Answer: MISDO (i.e. “to get wrong”). When written as MIS and DO the solution also satisfies “at least three notes”, MI and DO being part of the sol-fa notation, MI in this case being plural.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1555

A medium strength Jumbo this week, with a sprinkling of toughies to spice things up. Good clueing too, in the main.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a recent Jumbo has been looking for Dominator tractors on your mobile phone (perhaps via expertsexchange.com, penisland.com and susanalbumparty.com) then you might find solace in my Just For Fun page where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the little perishers. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks again for the kind words and input. It’s always interesting to hear the thoughts of other solvers once they’ve put down their pens. Till next time, stay safe out there kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. I’m sure I can whizz through elevated motorway (2,7)

Answer: NO PROBLEM (i.e. “I’m sure I can”). Solution is PRO (i.e. “whizz” or expert) placed in or “through” NOBLE (i.e. “elevated”) and M (a recognised abbreviation of “motorway”), like so: NO(PRO)BLE-M.

  1. Noise made tapping bread and butter (3-1-3)

Answer: PIT-A-PAT (i.e. “noise made tapping”). Solution is PITA (i.e. “bread”, also spelled with a double-T) followed by PAT (i.e. a chunk of “butter”).

  1. Says good things about somewhat grouchy pessimist (5)

Answer: HYPES (i.e. “says good things about”). “Somewhat” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: GROUC(HY PES)SIMIST.

  1. Photo session at farm? There’ll be sniping here (8,5)

Answer: SHOOTING RANGE (i.e. “there’ll be sniping here”). Solution is SHOOTING (i.e. “photo session”) followed by RANGE (i.e. “farm”).

  1. Mainly during classes, before end of school (2,7)

Answer: IN GENERAL (i.e. “mainly”). Solution is IN (i.e. “during”) followed by GENERA (i.e. “classes”) and L (i.e. “end of school”, i.e. the last letter of “school”).

  1. Badly hit area is old Roman province (7)

Answer: RHAETIA (i.e. “old Roman province”). “Badly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HIT AREA. Another of those made-to-fit solutions. Good clue, though.

  1. Taps into theatre to make money once (7)

Answer: DRACHMA (i.e. “money once”, specifically the former currency of Greece). Solution is C and H (i.e. “taps”, specifically recognised abbreviations of “cold” and “hot”) placed “into” DRAMA (i.e. “theatre”), like so: DRA(CH)MA.

  1. Shabbily treated compiler’s going to America with his boss (3-4)

Answer: ILL-USED (i.e. “shabbily treated”). Solution is I’LL (i.e. “compiler’s going to” from the point of view of the setter, a contraction of “I will”) followed by US (i.e. “America”) and ED (i.e. “[compiler’s] boss”, i.e. the newspaper editor).

  1. Novel generated unpleasant whiff around America, needing change (6,6)

Answer: MADAME BOVARY (i.e. “novel” by Gustave Flaubert). Solution is MADE BO (i.e. “generated unpleasant whiff” or Body Odour) wrapped “around” AM (a recognised abbreviation of “America”, e.g. in Trans-Am) and followed by VARY (i.e. “change”), like so: (MAD(AM)E-BO)-VARY.

  1. Cavorting belle – a dish in scantily clad state (10)

Answer: DÉSHABILLÉ (i.e. “scantily clad state”). “Cavorting” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of BELLE A DISH. Wordplay was obvious, but can’t say I’ve ever seen the word before.

  1. British cooking ingredient for American cook (5)

Answer: BROIL (i.e. “American [word for] cook” or to grill). Solution is BR (a recognised abbreviation of “British”) followed by OIL (i.e. “cooking ingredient”).

  1. Peacenik, observe: doctor, Scot or Latin type (9)

Answer: COLOMBIAN (i.e. “Latin [American] type”). Solution is CO (i.e. “peacenik”, specifically a Conscientious Objector) followed by LO (i.e. “observe”, as in “lo and behold”), then MB (i.e. “doctor”, specifically a Doctor of Medicine or Medicinae Baccalaureus), then IAN (i.e. “Scots” man’s name – this wordplay still makes my teeth itch whenever I see it).

  1. You said cleric punches good swimmer? That’s bizarre (7)

Answer: SURREAL (i.e. “bizarre”). Solution is U (i.e. “you said”, i.e. a homophone of “you”) and RR (i.e. “cleric”, or Right Reverend) both placed in or “punching” SEAL (i.e. “good swimmer”), like so: S(U-RR)EAL.

  1. Wife irrational after drink, in a state (11)

Answer: MISSISSIPPI (i.e. US “state”). Solution is MISSIS (i.e. “wife”) and PI (i.e. an “irrational” number) once the latter has been placed “after” SIP (i.e. “drink”), like so: MISSIS-(SIP)-PI.

  1. It gets oxygen round big home refurbished with loan (11)

Answer: HAEMOGLOBIN (i.e. “it gets oxygen round” the bloodstream). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “refurbished”) of BIG HOME and LOAN.

  1. Not feeling popular, one overwhelmed by life? (11)

Answer: INSENTIENCE (i.e. “not feeling”). Solution is IN (i.e. “popular”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) once placed in or “overwhelmed by” SENTENCE (i.e. “life”, i.e. a prison sentence), like so: IN-SENT(I)ENCE.

[EDIT: Thanks to Bertie in the comments for cleaning this one up. I’d written INSENTIENT for some reason. Cheers, Bertie! – LP]

  1. Safe time to welcome teacher, a Potter character (5,6)

Answer: PETER RABBIT (i.e. “a [Beatrix] Potter character”). Solution is PETER (a slang word for “safe” and something we’ve seen in a few Jumbos now) and T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) all wrapped around or “welcoming” RABBI (i.e. “teacher”), like so: PETER-(RABBI)-T.

  1. Westerly Parisian street contains place to sleep over in trip that won’t cost the earth (7)

Answer: ECOTOUR (i.e. “trip that won’t cost the earth” – Chambers doesn’t want to know, but the solution is backed up by my Oxford and Collins Concise. I’m with Chambers on this one, to be honest.) Solution is RUE (i.e. “Parisian street”, i.e. the French for “street”) reversed (indicated by “westerly” – this being an across clue) and wrapped around or “containing” COT (i.e. “place to sleep”) and O (a recognised abbreviation of “over” used in cricket), like so: E(COT-O)UR.

  1. Costly sparkler is what malingerer has picked up? (9)

Answer: CHAMPAGNE (i.e. “costly sparkler”). “Has picked up” indicates homophone. Solution comprises homophones of SHAM and PAIN (i.e. “what malingerer has”, being someone who feigns sickness to bunk off work). Clever. I like it.

  1. Empty delta with dropping water (5)

Answer: DRAIN (i.e. to “empty”). Solution is D (“delta” in the phonetic alphabet) followed by RAIN (i.e. “dropping water”).

  1. Cash for Roman trustees I’m moving around (10)

Answer: SESTERTIUM (i.e. “cash for Roman”). “Moving around” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TRUSTEES I’M. One nailed from the wordplay and a short brute force of my Chambers.

  1. Old King Edward, say, cuts caper, getting bump (12)

Answer: PROTUBERANCE (i.e. “bump”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and TUBER (i.e. “King Edward, say” – other varieties of potato are available) both placed in or “cutting” PRANCE (i.e. to “caper” about), like so: PR(O-TUBER)ANCE.

  1. Boozing, wanting constant stimulation (7)

Answer: AROUSAL (i.e. “stimulation”). Solution is CAROUSAL (i.e. “boozing”) with the C removed (indicated by “wanting constant” – C being a recognised abbreviation of “constant”).

  1. Indian’s oven has brown opening (7)

Answer: TANDOOR (i.e. “Indian oven”). Solution is TAN (i.e. “brown”) followed by DOOR (i.e. “opening”).

  1. Fish submerged in drink in sea-change (5-2)

Answer: SHAKE-UP (i.e. “sea-change”). Solution is HAKE (i.e. “fish”) placed or “submerged in” SUP (i.e. to “drink”), like so: S(HAKE)UP.

  1. Sausage course sandwiched by Italian beer (9)

Answer: PEPPERONI (i.e. “sausage”). Solution is PPE (i.e. “course” – over to Chambers: “Philosophy, Politics and Economics, as a university school or course of study”. Never heard of it) placed in or “sandwiched by” PERONI (i.e. “Italian beer”, and very nice it is too. (Awaits free promotional crate of Peroni)), like so: PE(PPE)RONI.

  1. Assistant crime-fighter engaged by PM, with boy ludicrously involved (5,8)

Answer: HEATH ROBINSON (i.e. “ludicrously involved”, after the artist famous for drawing ridiculously complicated devices. Perhaps this ought to have been hyphenated to separate it from the man himself.) Solution is ROBIN (i.e. “assistant crime-fighter” to Batman) placed in or “engaged by” Edward HEATH (i.e. “PM”, or former Prime Minister) and SON (i.e. “boy”), like so: HEATH-(ROBIN)-SON. I often love these drawings, probably thanks to programs like The Great Egg Race. Rube Goldberg was also famous for similar such pictures in the US.

  1. What indicates requirement of energy in old vehicle (5)

Answer: CARET (i.e. “what indicates” a position in a document, e.g. in proofreading). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”) placed “in” CART (i.e. “old vehicle”), like so: CAR(E)T.

[EDIT: Thanks to Sue in the comments for cleaning this one up. The object of the clue ought to be “what indicates requirement”, given, when proofreading, a caret indicates where some text is needed. Cheers, Sue! – LP]

  1. Earn dime? I’m going to work in restaurant (7)

Answer: DESERVE (i.e. “earn”). Solution is DE (i.e. “dime … I’m going”, i.e. the word DIME with the IM removed) followed by SERVE (i.e. “to work in restaurant”).

  1. Charlie maybe playing golf in crowd (9)

Answer: CONCOURSE (i.e. “crowd” or “an assembly of people for an event” (Chambers)). Solution is C (“Charlie” in the phonetic alphabet) followed by ON COURSE (i.e. “maybe playing golf”).

Down clues

  1. Treatment for the gullible son, excluding alcohol bottles (7)

Answer: NOSTRUM (i.e. “treatment for the gullible”, e.g. snake oil). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”) placed in or “bottled” by NOT RUM (i.e. “excluding alcohol”), like so: NO(S)T-RUM.

  1. Something to weigh up for Polish politicians (4,3,4)

Answer: PROS AND CONS (i.e. “something to weigh up”). Solution is PRO (i.e. “for” or in favour of something) followed by SAND (i.e. to “polish” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), then CONS (i.e. “politicians”, specifically Conservatives).

  1. Group turned around business before the New Year (5)

Answer: OCTET (i.e. “group” of eight musicians). Solution is CO (i.e. “business”, short for company) reversed (indicated by “turned around”) and followed by TET (the Vietnamese lunar “new year” festival – another new one on me), like so: OC-TET.

  1. Some dialogue on item of unmentionables turned up in old script (6,1)

Answer: LINEAR B (i.e. “script”, specifically “an ancient script (c. 1400BC) found in Crete, deciphered as a form of Greek seven centuries earlier than any previously known” (Chambers)). Solution is LINE (i.e. “some dialogue”) followed by BRA (i.e. “item of unmentionables”) once reversed (indicated by “turned up” – this being a down clue), like so: LINE-ARB. A recent-ish repeat, making this an easier get.

  1. Damage in memory on the rise (3)

Answer: MAR (i.e. “damage”). Solution is RAM (i.e. “memory”, specifically Random Access Memory found in a computer) reversed (indicated by “on the rise” – again this being a down clue).

  1. Write name on sign, a mystical symbol (9)

Answer: PENTAGRAM (i.e. “mystical symbol”). Solution is PEN (i.e. to “write”) followed by TAG (i.e. “name”) and RAM (i.e. “sign” of the zodiac, specifically Aries – a bit of a stretch, but Bradford’s backs it up).

  1. What toddlers do, having temperature: get angry, losing head (6)

Answer: TEETHE (i.e. “what toddlers do”). Solution is SEETHE (i.e. “get angry”) wrapped around or “having” T (a recognised abbreviation of “temperature”) and the first letter then removed (indicated by “losing head”), like so: (T)EETHE. Valid but unsatisfying clueing.

  1. Soldier to seek returns on gold, holding one piece? He’ll do some probing (7,12)

Answer: PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR (i.e. “he’ll do some probing”). Solution is PRIVATE (i.e. “soldier”) followed by INVEST (i.e. “to seek returns”) and OR (i.e. “gold” colour in heraldry) once wrapped around or “holding” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and GAT (i.e. “piece”, both slang words for a gun), like so: PRIVATE-INVEST-(I-GAT)-OR.

  1. Ferociously catty Middle Eastern runner gets hot (7)

Answer: TIGRISH (i.e. “ferociously catty”). Solution is TIGRIS (i.e. “Middle Eastern runner” or river, as in how a river runs) followed by H (a recognised abbreviation of “hot”, as covered earlier).

  1. What rider needs to deal with some pressure (9)

Answer: HANDLEBAR (i.e. “what rider needs” on a bike). Solution is HANDLE (i.e. “to deal with”) followed by BAR (i.e. a measure of “some pressure”).

  1. Initially very brash, Pearl somehow gets to chill out, for example (7,4)

Answer: PHRASAL VERB (i.e. “chill out, for example” – in the dry and joyless world of grammar, this is “a phrase, consisting of a verb and an adverb or preposition, or both, having the function of a verb, e.g. blow over, sift through, put up with(Chambers)). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “somehow”) of V (i.e. “initially very”, i.e. the first letter of “very”) and BRASH PEARL.

  1. Arsenal gutted, overrun by blue side (5)

Answer: SALAD (i.e. “side” dish). Solution is AL (i.e. “arsenal gutted”, i.e. the word “arsenal” with all its middle letters removed) placed in or “overrun by” SAD (i.e. “blue”), like so: S(AL)AD.

  1. What may create neurotics in India and Pakistan? (10,9)

Answer: DEVELOPING COUNTRIES (i.e. “India and Pakistan” as examples). “What may create” is a nod to how the solution cryptically describes “neurotics”, i.e. as an anagram, indicated by DEVELOPING, of the word COUNTRIES. Again, clever.

  1. I continue to ponder frames for part of window (7)

Answer: MULLION (i.e. “part of window”, specifically “an upright division between the panes or casements of a window” (Chambers)). Solution is I placed in or “framed” by MULL ON (i.e. “continue to ponder”), like so: MULL-(I)-ON.

  1. Duke topped another one (9)

Answer: ELLINGTON (i.e. “Duke”, the jazz musician and composer). Solution is WELLINGTON (i.e. “another [duke]”) with the first letter removed (indicated by “topped”). A similar clue appeared in grid 1525.

  1. Happening upon dance music style (3-3)

Answer: HIP-HOP (i.e. “music style”). Solution is HIP (i.e. “happening”, for all you hep cats and daddios) followed by HOP (i.e. a “dance”).

  1. Uneven quality of sponges covering trees (9)

Answer: BUMPINESS (i.e. “uneven quality”). Solution is BUMS (i.e. “sponges” or begs for money) wrapped around or “covering” PINES (i.e. “trees”), like so: BUM(PINES)S.

  1. Fire, or what’s left of it that is in hollow container (7)

Answer: CASHIER (i.e. to “fire” or “dismiss from a post, especially in the armed forces” (Chambers). Another new one on me.) Solution is ASH (i.e. “what’s left of [fire]”) and IE (i.e. “that is”, i.e. …um… “i.e.”!) all placed “in” CR (i.e. “hollow container”, i.e. the word “container” with all its middle letters removed), like so: C(ASH-IE)R.

  1. Flog small bottle after removing article (7)

Answer: SCOURGE (i.e. to whip or “flog”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) followed by COURAGE (i.e. “bottle”) once the A has been removed (indicated by “removing article” – an “article” being a word such as a, an or the), like so: S-COURGE.

  1. Current coating of cheese gets better – it shouldn’t be melting! (3,3)

Answer: ICE CAP (i.e. “it shouldn’t be melting”). Solution is I (a recognised abbreviation of an electrical “current” used in physics) followed by CE (i.e. “coating of cheese”, i.e. the first and last letters of “cheese”), then CAP (i.e. to “better” something).

  1. Perhaps one inclined to embrace daughter’s lover (7)

Answer: LEANDER (i.e. “lover”, from the Greek myth of Hero and Leander). Solution is LEANER (i.e. “perhaps one inclined” – an acknowledgement the word isn’t exactly one you’re going to find in the dictionary) wrapped around or “embracing” D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”), like so: LEAN(D)ER. One remembered from a previous Jumbo, if I’m honest.

  1. Broadcast capturing hearts? Bung in a crowd-pleaser (4-7)

Answer: SHOW-STOPPER (i.e. “crowd-pleaser”). Solution is SOW (i.e. to scatter or “broadcast”) wrapped around or “capturing” H (a recognised abbreviation of “hearts” used in card games) and followed by STOPPER (i.e. “bung”), like so: S(H)OW-STOPPER.

  1. Crazily, Eritrea bans the crossword puzzle, perhaps (5-6)

Answer: BRAIN-TEASER (i.e. “crossword puzzle, perhaps”). “Crazily” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ERITREA BANS.

  1. Tardily woke Liberal seen in month in public (9)

Answer: OVERSLEPT (i.e. “tardily woke”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “Liberal”) placed or “seen in” SEP (a recognised abbreviation of “September”, i.e. “month”) which is itself placed “in” OVERT (i.e. “public”), like so: OVER(S(L)EP)T.

  1. Attendant admitting illicit act in holy residence (9)

Answer: PARSONAGE (i.e. “holy residence”). Solution is PAGE (i.e. a boy “attendant”) wrapped around or “admitting” ARSON (i.e. “illicit act”), like so: P(ARSON)AGE.

  1. Having lifted obstacle, go across new town (7)

Answer: TELFORD (i.e. one of England’s “new towns”). Solution is LET (an archaic word for “obstacle” that we’ve seen a few times in Jumbos) reversed (indicated by “having lifted” – this being a down clue) and followed by FORD (i.e. to “go across” a river at a shallow point), like so: TEL-FORD.

  1. One’s blown asset, allowing idiot in (7)

Answer: BASSOON (i.e. “one’s blown”, i.e. a woodwind instrument). Solution is BOON (i.e. “asset”) wrapped around or “allowing … in” ASS (i.e. “idiot”), like so: B(ASS)OON.

  1. Charge made by swans in river (7)

Answer: EXPENSE (i.e. “charge”). Solution is PENS (i.e. female “swans” I remembered from the very first Jumbo) placed “in” EXE (i.e. a “river”), like so: EX(PENS)E.

  1. An unending job for fixer, in the main (6)

Answer: ANCHOR (i.e. “fixer, in the main” or the sea). Solution is AN followed by CHORE (i.e. “job”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “unending”), like so: AN-CHOR.

  1. Gelatinous substance not quite a flavour enhancer (5)

Answer: ASPIC (i.e. “gelatinous substance”). Solution is A SPICE (i.e. “a flavour enhancer”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “not quite”).

  1. Fighter entering a ring in China (5)

Answer: AMIGO (i.e. “china”, cockney rhyming slang for a friend or mate, after china plate). Solution is MIG (i.e. “fighter” jet plane) placed in or “entering” A and O (i.e. a “ring”), like so: A-(MIG)-O.

  1. Noise made by drunk here, classically (3)

Answer: HIC. Solution satisfies “noise made by drunk” and “here, classically”, i.e. the Latin for “here”.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1554

A relatively straightforward one for Bank Holiday Monday, though there were a couple of clues to get snagged upon. Nobody please get me a TAPIS for Christmas.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a recent Jumbo has invented time-travel leaving you serving a race of snooty elephants all wearing top hats and monocles then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the things. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks again for the kind words and input. It’s always interesting to hear the hot takes of other solvers. Till next time, stay safe out there kids.

LP

Across clues

  1. Deer of exceptional bulk originally in common crowd (7)

Answer: ROEBUCK (i.e. “deer”). Solution is OEB (i.e. “of exceptional bulk originally”, i.e. the first letters of “of”, “exceptional” and “bulk”) placed “in” RUCK (i.e. “common crowd”), like so: R(OEB)UCK.

  1. Poet with high honour in extremely leafy part of Italy (8)

Answer: LOMBARDY (i.e. “part of Italy”). Solution is BARD (i.e. “poet”) placed after or “with” OM (i.e. “high honour”, specifically the Order of Merit) all “in” LY (i.e. “extremely leafy”, i.e. the first and last letters of “leafy”), like so: L(OM-BARD)Y.

  1. Declare a clear favourite at Epsom, so to speak (6)

Answer: ASSERT (i.e. “declare”). Solution is A followed by a homophone (indicated by “so to speak”) of CERT (i.e. “clear favourite at Epsom”, i.e. a dead cert).

  1. Old court officials nod, having way with smugglers (3,6,7)

Answer: BOW STREET RUNNERS (i.e. “old court officials”). Solution is BOW (i.e. to “nod”) followed by STREET (i.e. “way”) and RUNNERS (i.e. “smugglers”).

  1. Irish girl in India, accommodated by Danes, oddly (6)

Answer: SINEAD (i.e. “Irish girl’s” name). Solution is I (“India” in the phonetic alphabet) placed in or “accommodated by” an anagram (indicated by “oddly”) of DANES, like so: S(I)NEAD.

  1. Desert son in big way? (5)

Answer: SINAI (i.e. a “desert”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”) followed by IN then AI (i.e. “big way”, a playful reference to the A1 motorway with the 1 replaced by its Roman numeral equivalent).

  1. Peacekeepers are able to reach New York? That’s weird (7)

Answer: UNCANNY (i.e. “weird”). Solution is UN (i.e. “peacekeepers”, specifically the United Nations) followed by CAN (i.e. “able to”) and NY (a recognised abbreviation of “New York”).

  1. Speech made in summer month by Russian river (9)

Answer: INAUGURAL (i.e. “speech”). Solution is IN followed by AUG (i.e. “summer month”, short for August) and URAL (i.e. “Russian river”).

  1. Trendy people (not us) keeping Westminster at the heart of things (2,3,4)

Answer: IN THE SWIM (i.e. “at the heart of things”). Solution is IN (i.e. “trendy”) followed by THEM (i.e. “people (not us)”) once wrapped around or “keeping” SWI (i.e. “Westminster”, specifically its post code area, again using the Roman numeral I for 1), like so: IN-THE(SWI)M.

  1. Acknowledge record bridge player holds a single time (7)

Answer: CONCEDE (i.e. “acknowledge”). Solution is CD (i.e. “record”, in this case a Compact Disc) and E (i.e. “bridge player”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “east”) all wrapped around or “holding” ONCE (i.e. “a single time”), like so: C(ONCE)D-E.

  1. Joint in the Spanish part of London (5)

Answer: ELBOW (i.e. “joint”). Solution is EL (i.e. “the Spanish”, i.e. the Spanish for “the”) followed by BOW (i.e. “part of London”).

  1. Greek character fencing in thick-skinned animal (5)

Answer: RHINO (i.e. “thick-skinned animal”). Solution is RHO (i.e. “Greek character”, specifically the seventeenth letter of the Greek alphabet) wrapped around or “fencing” IN, like so: RH(IN)O.

  1. Unruly beast briefly backing universal fast (9)

Answer: TURBULENT (i.e. “unruly”). Solution is BRUTE (i.e. “beast”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “briefly”) and the remainder reversed (indicated by “backing”), followed by U (a recognised abbreviation of “universal” used in film certification) and LENT (i.e. religious “fast”), like so: TURB-U-LENT.

  1. Yesterday’s man is not entirely penniless, do we hear? (3-4)

Answer: HAS-BEEN (i.e. “yesterday’s man”). “Do we hear” indicates homophone, in this case of HAS BEAN (i.e. “is not entirely penniless” – a nod to the phrase “not having a bean to one’s name”).

  1. Basic lent meal abandoned after start of Easter (9)

Answer: ELEMENTAL (i.e. “basic”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “abandoned”) of LENT MEAL placed “after” E (i.e. “start [letter] of Easter”), like so: E-LEMENTAL.

  1. Not in school at first, dig new head’s candour (13)

Answer: OUTSPOKENNESS (i.e. “candour”). Solution is OUT (i.e. “not in”) followed by S (i.e. “school at first”, i.e. the first letter of “school”), then POKE (i.e. “dig”), then N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”) and NESS (i.e. “head”, the geographic feature).

  1. Expensive drink dipped into by extremely large horse (13)

Answer: STEEPLECHASER (i.e. “horse”). Solution is STEEP (i.e. “expensive”) and CHASER (i.e. “drink” had alongside another) with LE (i.e. “extremely large”, i.e. the first and last letters of “large”) “dipped in” between the two, like so: STEEP-(LE)-CHASER.

  1. Poet and prophet, connected to broadband internally (9)

Answer: SONNETEER (i.e. “poet”). Solution is SEER (i.e. “prophet”) wrapped around of having “internally” ON NET (i.e. “connected to broadband”), like so: S(ON-NET)EER.

  1. Huntsman’s cry identified by Yankee in lofty house (5-2)

Answer: TALLY-HO (i.e. “huntsman’s cry”). Solution is Y (“Yankee” in the phonetic alphabet) placed “in” TALL (i.e. “lofty”) and HO (a recognised abbreviation of “house”), like so: TALL-(Y)-HO.

  1. Raise proteges away from the front (9)

Answer: REARWARDS (i.e. “away from the front”). When written as REAR WARDS the solution also satisfies “raise proteges”.

  1. Consequences? Not after a lesson at school (5)

Answer: MATHS (i.e. “a lesson at school”). Solution is AFTERMATHS (i.e. “consequences”) with the AFTER removed (indicated by “not after”).

  1. See off the composer of Perchance to Dream? That’s original (5)

Answer: NOVEL (i.e. “original”). Solution is Ivor NOVELLO (i.e. “composer of Perchance to Dream“) with the LO removed (indicated by “see off” – think “lo and behold”).

  1. More vacuous politician caught in drug row (7)

Answer: EMPTIER (i.e. “more vacuous”). Solution is MP (i.e. “politician”) placed or “caught in” E (i.e. “drug”, in this case slang for ecstasy) and TIER (i.e. “row”), like so: E-(MP)-TIER.

  1. Short-lived English friend crossing border with leading lady (9)

Answer: EPHEMERAL (i.e. “short-lived”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) and PAL (i.e. “friend”) wrapped around or “crossing” HEM (i.e. “border”) and ER (i.e. “leading lady”, specifically Elizabeth Regina), like so: E-P(HEM-ER)AL.

  1. Betrayer tsar tries to reform (9)

Answer: TRAITRESS (i.e. “betrayer”). “To reform” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TSAR TRIES.

  1. Petty action involving veil regularly (7)

Answer: TRIVIAL (i.e. “petty”). Solution is TRIAL (i.e. court “action”) wrapped around or “involving” VI (i.e. “veil regularly”, i.e. every other letter of VEIL), like so: TRI(VI)AL.

  1. Twilled fabric used in coarser gear (5)

Answer: SERGE (i.e. “twilled fabric”). “Used in” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: COAR(SER GE)AR.

  1. Greeting welcomed by French film director in Pacific island (6)

Answer: TAHITI (i.e. “Pacific island”). Solution is HI (i.e. “greeting”) placed in or “welcomed by” Jacques TATI (i.e. “French film director”), like so: TA(HI)TI.

  1. L, M or S on garment? You’ve got it right! (5,3,4,2,2)

Answer: THAT’S THE SIZE OF IT. Solution playfully satisfies “L, M or S on garment” and “you’ve got it right”.

  1. Trustworthy entertainer touring Tyneside (6)

Answer: HONEST (i.e. “trustworthy”). Solution is HOST (i.e. “entertainer”) wrapped around or “touring” NE (i.e. “Tyneside”, situated in North-East England), like so: HO(NE)ST.

  1. Simple-minded, not like our solvers! (8)

Answer: CLUELESS. Solution satisfies “simple-minded” and “not like our solvers”, given how crosswords comprise a series of clues.

  1. Where to see paintings? Go to Paris in good year (7)

Answer: GALLERY (i.e. “where to see paintings”). Solution is ALLER (i.e. “go to in Paris”, i.e. the French for “go to”) placed “in” between G and Y (recognised abbreviations of “good” and “year” respectively), like so: G-(ALLER)-Y.

Down clues

  1. French revolutionary formally dresses fellow countryman? (11)

Answer: Maximilien ROBESPIERRE (i.e. “French revolutionary”). Solution is ROBES (i.e. “formally dresses”) followed by PIERRE (i.e. “fellow countryman”, basically a French man’s name).

  1. Onset of ear-splitting noise overwhelming western man (5)

Answer: EDWIN (i.e. “man’s” name). Solution is E (i.e. “onset of ear-splitting”, i.e. the first letter of “ear-splitting”) followed by DIN (i.e. “noise”) once wrapped around or “overwhelming” W (a recognised abbreviation of “western”), like so: E-D(W)IN.

  1. In East London, search port, perhaps, and unwind (7)

Answer: UNTWINE (i.e. “unwind”). Solution is HUNT (i.e. “search”) once its H has been removed (indicated by “in East London”, as in ‘ow all ‘em cockneys are always droppin’ their bleedin’ aitches innit, gorblimey, apples and pears, me old china and such) and the remainder followed by WINE (i.e. “port, perhaps”), like so: ‘UNT-WINE.

  1. Strive to compete socially with Inigo’s family? (4,2,4,3,7)

Answer: KEEP UP WITH THE JONESES (i.e. “strive to compete socially”). “Inigo” JONES was a seventeenth century architect, upon whose surname the clue plays.

  1. One arrives behind time, fixing metal core (9)

Answer: LATECOMER (i.e. “one arrives behind time”). “Fixing” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of METAL CORE.

  1. Keen army medic on vessel (5)

Answer: MOURN (i.e. to “keen”). Solution is MO (i.e. “army medic”, specifically a Medical Officer) followed by URN (i.e. “vessel”).

  1. Pain a canny one could become (9)

Answer: ANNOYANCE (i.e. “pain”). “Could become” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of A CANNY ONE.

  1. Little creatures with sleeping place, one by church (7)

Answer: DORMICE (i.e. “little creatures”). Solution is DORM (i.e. “sleeping place”, short for a dormitory) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England).

  1. Run round hot gravelly substance on beach? (7)

Answer: SHINGLE (i.e. “substance on beach”). Solution is SINGLE (i.e. a “run” in a number of ball games) wrapped “round” H (a recognised abbreviation of “hot” used on taps), like so: S(H)INGLE.

  1. Hateful big gun meeting half-hearted mob (9)

Answer: EXECRABLE (i.e. “hateful”). Solution is EXEC (i.e. “big gun” within a company, i.e. an executive) followed by RABBLE (i.e. “mob”) once one of the middle Bs has been removed (indicated by “half-hearted”), like so: EXEC-RABLE.

  1. Slightly drunk, signals conspiratorially, it’s just a game (11)

Answer: TIDDLYWINKS (i.e. “game”). Solution is TIDDLY (i.e. “slightly drunk”) followed by WINKS (i.e. “signals conspiratorially”).

  1. As army recruits would do once, getting royally rewarded? (4,3,5,8)

Answer: TAKE THE KING’S SHILLING (i.e. “as army recruits would do once” – over to Chambers: “to enlist as a soldier by accepting a recruiting officer’s shilling, a practice discontinued in 1879”). Clue plays on KINGs being “royal” and all that. You get the idea.

  1. Audible attempt by military engineers to identify ancient warship (7)

Answer: TRIREME (i.e. “ancient warship”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “audible”) of TRY followed by REME (i.e. “military engineers”, specifically the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers), like so: TRI-REME. One remembered from previous Jumbos.

  1. Company in the lead on introduction of such vouchers (7)

Answer: COUPONS (i.e. “vouchers”). Solution is CO (a recognised abbreviation of “company”) followed by UP (i.e. “in the lead”), then ON, then S (i.e. “introduction of such”, i.e. the first letter of “introduction”).

  1. Excessively reward retired minister surrounded by work always (7)

Answer: OVERPAY (i.e. “excessively reward”). Solution is REV (i.e. “minister”, short for “reverend”) reversed (indicated by “retired”) and placed in or “surrounded by” OP (i.e. “work”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “opus”) and AY (i.e. “always”, both expressions of assent), like so: O(VER)P-AY.

  1. One involved in argument over carpeting (5)

Answer: TAPIS (i.e. “carpeting” – meanwhile Chambers has this: “(obsolete) a covering, hanging, etc of tapestry or the like”. Maybe the setter lives in some kind of Dr Seuss house with walls for ceilings and ceilings for walls, and doors for windows and windows for doors). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed “in” SPAT (i.e. “argument”) once reversed (indicated by “over”), like so: TAP(I)S.

  1. Ray’s article going into busmen’s ill-treatment (7)

Answer: SUNBEAM (i.e. “ray”). Solution is A (i.e. “article”, i.e. a word like a, an or the) placed “into” an anagram (indicated by “ill-treatment”) of BUSMEN, like so: SUMBE(A)M.

  1. He composed some memorable harmonies (5)

Answer: Franz LEHÁR (i.e. “he composed”). “Some” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: MEMORAB(LE HAR)MONIES. Wordplay was simple but still one to file under “Made To Fit”.

  1. Person who casts historical romances primarily in castle (7)

Answer: THROWER (i.e. “person who casts”). Solution is HR (i.e. “historical romances primarily”, i.e. the first letters of “historical” and “romances”) placed “in” TOWER (i.e. “castle”), like so: T(HR)OWER.

  1. One who chooses to be English reader (7)

Answer: ELECTOR (i.e. “one who chooses”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) followed by LECTOR (i.e. a “reader” in college).

  1. Embroidery feature second little chap demonstrated first (5,6)

Answer: SATIN STITCH (i.e. “embroidery feature”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “second”) and TITCH (i.e. “little chap”) both placed after or having “first” SAT-IN (i.e. “demonstrated”), like so: (SAT-IN)-S-TITCH.

  1. Soldiers quietly crossing island with flexibility (11)

Answer: RESILIENTLY (i.e. “with flexibility”). Solution is RE (i.e. “soldiers”, specifically the Royal Engineers of the British Army) followed by SILENTLY (i.e. “quietly”) once wrapped around or “crossing” I (a recognised abbreviation of “island”), like so: RE-SIL(I)ENTLY.

  1. A monster, Jacob’s son, and close by, mostly (9)

Answer: LEVIATHAN (i.e. “a monster”). Solution is LEVI (i.e. “Jacob’s son”) followed by AT HAND (i.e. “close by”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “mostly”), like so: LEVI-AT-HAN.

  1. Noble title? It’s escaped an old philosopher (9)

Answer: ARISTOTLE (i.e. “old philosopher”). Solution is ARISTO (i.e. “noble”) followed by TITLE once the IT has been removed (indicated by “it’s escaped”), like so: ARISTO-TLE.

  1. Being prepared to bring in extra energy for a shrill quality (9)

Answer: REEDINESS (i.e. “shrill quality”). Solution is READINESS (i.e. “being prepared”) with an “extra” E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”) being swapped in “for A”, like so: RE(A)DINESS => RE(E)DINESS.

  1. It’s no small matter, say, translating TS Eliot (7)

Answer: LITOTES (i.e. “it’s no small matter, say” – basically a phrase that expresses something through the negation of its opposite, e.g. “a not inconsiderable sum of money” or “he’s no spring chicken”). “Translating” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TS ELIOT. Another remembered from a previous Jumbo.

  1. French physicist captures hearts, relating to religious feast (7)

Answer: PASCHAL (i.e. “relating to religious feast”, specifically Passover). Solution is Blaise PASCAL (i.e. “French physicist”) wrapped around or “capturing” H (a recognised abbreviation of “hearts” used in card games), like so: PASC(H)AL.

  1. Reportedly Kentish beauty queen’s blunder at table (7)

Answer: MISDEAL (i.e. “blunder at table”). “Reportedly” indicates homophone, in this case MISS DEAL (i.e. “Kentish beauty queen” – Deal is a town in Kent).

  1. Man possibly securing top of tough fibre (5)

Answer: ISTLE (i.e. “fibre”). Solution is ISLE (i.e. “Man possibly”, i.e. the Isle of Man) wrapped around or “securing” T (i.e. “top of tough”, i.e. the first letter of “tough”), like so: IS(T)LE.

  1. Firearm common around Lima (5)

Answer: RIFLE (i.e. “firearm”). Solution is RIFE (i.e. “common”) wrapped around L (“Lima” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: RIF(L)E.