Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1447

Not sure what to make of this week’s puzzle. I can’t say I was overly keen on the elastic wordplay on show, but there was still some good stuff to be had. You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my answers where I have them. I hope you find them helpful.

While you are here, I do have some non-crossword-related content somewhere around here, honest guv. There’s a dusty collection of book reviews, for example, or a story I put out a while ago. But it’s mainly crosswords at the moment, which is a bit naff. Speaking of which, if you’ve come a cropper against a recent Times Jumbo Cryptic, then my Just For Fun page might be just the tonic.

And so with the ephemeral British summer swiftly blown into the North Sea for another year, it’s on with the show. Stay safe, give thanks to the NHS and all key workers out there, and I’ll see you soon.

LP

Across clues

1. Primitive sea creature can die swimming round waving nori (10)

Answer: CRINOIDEAN (i.e. “primitive sea creature”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “swimming”) of CAN DIE wrapped around another anagram (indicated by “waving”) of NORI, like so: C(RINO)IDEAN. Wordplay was fairly obvious but needed a brute force of my Chambers to nail it.

6. Analytical way of looking at income sector? (12)

Answer: ECONOMETRICS. “Way of looking at” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of INCOME SECTOR. Within the context of the clue, the solution could well be an analytical way of looking at the income sector.

14. Don’t take as much junk? (7)

Answer: USELESS (i.e. “junk”). When read as USE LESS the solution also satisfies “don’t take as much”.

15. Church primate with gold hat (7)

Answer: CHAPEAU (i.e. a French “hat”). Solution is CH (a recognised abbreviation of “church”) followed by APE (i.e. “primate”) and AU (chemical symbol of “gold”).

16. Is untruthful about drink? An understatement (7)

Answer: LITOTES (i.e. “an understatement” – an example of litotes in action is saying “he was not a little drunk”, mean he was absolutlely plastered). Solution is LIES (i.e. “is untruthful”) wrapped “about” TOT (i.e. “drink”), like so: LI(TOT)ES.

17. Drugs provided by jerks after party (4)

Answer: DOPE (i.e. “drugs”). Solution is PE (i.e. “jerks” – Hmm. I’m tempted to call bullshit on this. To the best of my knowledge, jerk is a weightlifting discipline, while PE is a recognised abbreviation of “physical education”. Call me weird, but any school that puts weightlifting into their PE classes would be up for child cruelty toot sweet. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the curriculum has changed and the setter’s kids are all built like brick shithouses…) preceded by or placed “after” DO (i.e. “party”), like so: DO-PE.

18. Drawing of a dandy, not American (6)

Answer: DOODLE (i.e. “drawing”). Solution is YANKEE DOODLE “DANDY”, without the YANKEE (indicated by “not American”).

20. Relax rule, we hear, and hold back (8)

Answer: RESTRAIN (i.e. “hold back”). Solution is REST (i.e. “relax”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “we hear”) of REIGN (i.e. “rule”).

24. Enter race with hooting North Eastern loco (5,4,3,4,3,4)

Answer: THROW ONES HAT INTO THE RING (i.e. “enter race”). “Loco” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of WITH HOOTING NORTH EASTERN.

25. Some just read lever here? (7)

Answer: TREADLE. “Some” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: JUS(T READ LE)VER. A treadle is a “lever” worked by the foot to work a machine.

26. Submissive old criminal about to pass on (8)

Answer: OBEDIENT (i.e. “submissive”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and BENT (i.e. “criminal”) wrapped “about” DIE (i.e. “to pass on”), like so: O-BE(DIE)NT.

27. One giving money embraces Republican appeal (6)

Answer: PRAYER (i.e. “appeal”). Solution is PAYER (i.e. “one giving money”) wrapped around or “embracing” R (a recognised abbreviation of “Republican”), like so: P(R)AYER.

29. Mountain cat den, strangely clean (14)

Answer: UNCONTAMINATED (i.e. “clean”). “Strangely” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MOUNTAIN CAT DEN.

31. Apple tree ain’t better if skins are removed (8)

Answer: REINETTE (i.e. a variety of “apple” – did a Google image search. Yup. Looks like an apple.) Solution is derived by removing the first and last letters (indicated by “if skins are removed”) of TREE AIN’T BETTER. One gotten purely through the wordplay, TBH.

34. Fake article providing cover under corporation, once (8)

Answer: CODPIECE (i.e. “cover under corporation, once” – “corporation” is an old word used to refer to a belly, often a pot-belly. Codpieces, meanwhile, are pouches that “cover” a chap’s bits and pieces). When read as COD PIECE, the solution also satisfies “fake article”.

36. Short testimonial that leads to another piece of work? (5-9)

Answer: CROSS-REFERENCE (i.e. “that leads to another piece of work”). Solution is CROSS (i.e. “short”, both taken to mean angry) followed by REFERENCE (i.e. “testimonial”).

39. Gurnard in pies, regularly hard to digest? (6)

Answer: UNRIPE (i.e. “hard to digest”). “Regularly” indicates the solution is derived by taking every other letter of GURNARD IN PIES.

41. National flag followed by hard crew (8)

Answer: IRISHMAN (i.e. “national”). Solution is IRIS (i.e. “flag” – one definition of “flag” is a plant of the iris family), “followed by” H (a recognised abbreviation of “hard” used in grading pencils) and MAN (i.e. “crew” – both taken as verbs, as in to man or crew something).

43. Search two New England states, united with Canadian region (7)

Answer: MANHUNT (i.e. “search”). Solution is MA and NH (i.e. “two New England states”, specifically Massachusetts and New Hampshire), followed by U (a recognised abbreviation of “united”) and NT (i.e. “Canadian region”, specifically its Northwest Territories).

46. College initially incorporated by Wolseley (6,6,2,9)

Answer: LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS (i.e. “college”). “Initially incorporated by” indicates the initials of the college have been hidden in WO(LSE)LY.

47. Lively one entering the next day (8)

Answer: SPIRITED (i.e. “lively”). Solution to “the next” clue is SPRITE. “Entering” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) into this and then following it with D (a recognised abbreviation of “day”) nets you the solution, like so: SP(I)RITE-D. Took a while to twig. Sometimes you just don’t see ‘em.

48. Fairy Queen’s involved in malice (6)

Answer: SPRITE (i.e. “fairy”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of Regina, Latin for “queen”) placed or “involved” in SPITE (i.e. “malice”), like so: SP(R)ITE.

49. Pine used in trial for making tea chest? (4)

Answer: ACHE (i.e. “pine” or to long for). “In” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: TE(A CHE)ST. The fuller “in trial for making tea chest” riffs on how ACHE has been slotted into TEST to make “tea chest”.

53. Highest point is always estimated (7)

Answer: Mount EVEREST (i.e. “highest point”). Solution is EVER (i.e. “always”) followed by EST (a recognised abbreviation of “estimated”).

54. Stupid person wrapping present cut cigar (7)

Answer: CHEROOT (i.e. “cigar”). Solution is COOT (i.e. “stupid person”) “wrapped” around HERE (i.e. “present”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “cut”), like so: C(HER)OOT.

56. UK employment scheme in which some get their cards? (3,4)

Answer: NEW DEAL. Solution satisfies “UK employment scheme” launched by New Labour in the late 1990s, and “in which some get their [playing] cards”.

57. Aid institute to change posture (12)

Answer: ATTITUDINISE (i.e. “posture”). “To change” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of AID INSTITUTE. One of those words that’d see anyone laughed out of a normal conversation, and rightly so.

58. Way of working with general builder in goldmine (10)

Answer: MONEYMAKER (i.e. “goldmine”). Solution is MO (i.e. “way of working”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of Modus Operandi) followed by Michel NEY (popularly known as Marshal Ney, he was one of Napoleon’s Marshals of the Empire – a Marshal is the French equivalent of a “General” here in the UK) and MAKER (i.e. “builder”). Hello, Wikipedia!

Down clues

1. State seizure success in hoax gallery turned up (4,5)

Answer: COUP DETAT (i.e. “state seizure”). Solution is UP (i.e. “success”) placed “in” COD (i.e. “hoax”) and followed by TATE (i.e. “gallery”) once this latter has been reversed (indicated by “turned up” – this being a down clue), like so: CO(UP)D-ETAT.

2. Mostly untrained, I stop protecting chief engineer new to the job (13)

Answer: INEXPERIENCED (i.e. “new to the job”). Solution is INEXPERT (i.e. “untrained”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and the remainder followed by I and END (i.e. “stop”) once this latter has been wrapped around or “protecting” CE (a recognised abbreviation of “chief engineer”), like so: INEXPER-I-EN(CE)D.

3. Sign name in Latin when dispatching note (4)

Answer: OMEN (i.e. “sign”). Solution is NOMEN (i.e. “name in Latin”) with the initial N removed (indicated by “when despatching note”, N being a recognised abbreviation of “note”).

4. Unfortunate innocent caused shame (14)

Answer: DISCOUNTENANCE (i.e. “shame”). “Unfortunate” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of INNOCENT CAUSED.

5. No straight line in bar code (3)

Answer: ARC (i.e. “no straight line” – an arc is a section of a circle’s circumference). “In” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: B(AR C)ODE.

7. Revolutionary women’s champ? (4)

Answer: CHEW (i.e. “champ”). Solution is CHE Guevara (i.e. “revolutionary”, and catnip for setters everywhere) followed by W (a recognised abbreviation of “women”).

8. Not available, posh chairs? Disgusting (10)

Answer: NAUSEATING (i.e. “disgusting”). Solution is N/A (a recognised abbreviation of “not applicable”) followed by U (a recognised abbreviation taken to mean the “upper” class, i.e. “posh”) and SEATING (i.e. “chairs”).

9. I cheered up, friend being around to provide influence (8)

Answer: MILITATE (i.e. to have weight or “provide influence”). Solution is I and LIT (i.e. “cheered up”) both placed in MATE (indicated by “friend being around”), like so: M(I-LIT)ATE.

10. Don’t rate her out of shape figure (11)

Answer: TETRAHEDRON (i.e. “figure”). “Out of shape” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DON’T RATE HER. A recent repeat from two weeks ago, which is disappointing. What with PENTAHEDRON last week it seems we’ve hit upon the setters’ latest mania. My vote is for CUBICUBOCTAHEDRON next week. Make it so, setters. (Claps twice for emphasis.)

11. How decades are arranged if years hot up (9)

Answer: INTENSIFY (i.e. “hot up”). Solution is IN TENS (i.e. “how decades are arranged”) followed by IF and then Y (a recognised abbreviation of “years”).

12. Frame elite regiment with heroin (4)

Answer: SASH (i.e. a window “frame”). Solution is SAS (i.e. “elite regiment”, specifically the Special Air Service) followed by H (street name of “heroin”).

13. Tree cutting behind schedule – cut deeply (8)

Answer: LACERATE (i.e. “cut deeply”). Solution is ACER (i.e. “tree”) placed in or “cutting” LATE (i.e. “behind schedule”), like so: L(ACER)ATE.

19. Oppressive awkward situation I found in December (8)

Answer: DESPOTIC (i.e. “oppressive”). Solution is SPOT (i.e. “awkward situation”) and I both placed or “found in” DEC (a recognised abbreviation of “December”), like so: DE(SPOT-I)C.

21. Country garden under sweet williams initially (6)

Answer: SWEDEN (i.e. “country”). Solution is EDEN (i.e. “garden [in The Bible]”) preceded by or “placed under” – this being a down clue – S and W (i.e. “sweet williams initially”, i.e. the first letters of “sweet” and “williams”), like so: SW-EDEN.

22. Cruel first piece in Greek Scrabble for Plato and second son (8)

Answer: PITILESS (i.e. “cruel”). Solution is PI TILE (i.e. “first piece in Greek Scrabble for Plato” – Scrabble uses lettered TILEs. The “first” letter of “Plato” is P, its equivalent being PI in the Greek alphabet) followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “second”) and S (ditto “son”).

23. Cause to resent a confused veggie eating rook (8)

Answer: AGGRIEVE (i.e. “cause to resent”). Solution is A followed by an anagram (indicated by “confused”) of VEGGIE wrapped around or “eating” R (a recognised abbreviation of “rook” used in chess), like so: A-GG(R)IEVE.

28. Male working out with fine pectorals standing proud (4-10)

Answer: SELF-IMPORTANCE (i.e. “standing proud” – Hmm. One of those where the setter’s desire to write a good clue ends up leaving considerable stretch marks on the English language). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “working out”) of M (a recognised abbreviation of “male”) and FINE PECTORALS.

29. Break link with relative about publisher (8)

Answer: UNCOUPLE (i.e. “break link”). Solution is UNCLE (i.e. “relative”) wrapped “about” OUP (i.e. “publisher”, specifically the Oxford University Press), like so: UNC(OUP)LE.

30. Wearing an undergarment upside down is working (8)

Answer: ABRASION (i.e. “wearing”). Solution is A BRA (i.e. “an undergarment”) followed by IS reversed (indicated by “upside down” – this being a down clue) and ON (i.e. “working”), like so: A-BRA-SI-ON.

32. Chaincap, sausance or lipalip, say? Only joking! (6-2-5)

Answer: TONGUE-IN-CHEEK (i.e. “only joking”). Clue plays on how different languages or TONGUES have been placed IN different words for CHEEK, like so CHA(INCA)P, SAU(SAN)CE and L(IPAL)IP.

33. Regretted horse nipping queen when mounted in fine ceremony (8)

Answer: GRANDEUR (i.e. “fine ceremony”). Solution is RUED (i.e. “regretted”) followed by NAG (i.e. “horse”) wrapped around or “nipping” R (a recognised abbreviation of Regina, “queen” in Latin). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “when mounted” – this being a down clue), like so: G(R)AN-DEUR.

35. I am in favour – one day in port is wasteful (11)

Answer: IMPROVIDENT (i.e. “wasteful”). Solution is I’M (a contraction of “I am”) followed by PRO (i.e. “in favour of”) and VENT (i.e. “port”, both outlets) once this latter has been wrapped around I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and D (a recognised abbreviation of “day”), like so: I’M-PRO-V(I-D)ENT.

37. Contingent charged party millions (6)

Answer: RANDOM (i.e. “contingent” – both taken to mean accidental or by chance – another I’m not entirely on board with, but then I’m just some bloke on the internet). Solution is RAN (i.e. “charged [towards something]”) followed by DO (i.e. “party”) and M (a recognised abbreviation of “millions”).

38. Cleric’s strange charade over swindle (10)

Answer: ARCHDEACON (i.e. “cleric”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “strange”) of CHARADE followed by CON (i.e. “swindle”), like so: ARCHDEA-CON.

40. More sensible about coin coming back into currency (9)

Answer: RENASCENT (i.e. “coming back into currency” – a twisty bit of wordplay by the setter, here, taking “currency” to mean the here and now. Renascent means “coming into renewed life” (Chambers)). Solution is SANER (i.e. “more sensible”) reversed (indicated by “about”) and followed by CENT (i.e. “coin”), like so: RENAS-CENT.

42. Space launch low over poles, hard to put up (8)

Answer: MOONSHOT (i.e. “space launch”, specifically one aiming for the moon). Solution is MOO (i.e. “low”, taken to mean the noise a cow makes – another pet play of setters) followed by NS (i.e. “poles”, i.e. recognised abbreviations of North and South), then H (a recognised abbreviation of “hard”) and TO reversed (indicated by “put up” – this being a down clue), like so: MOO-NS-H-OT.

44. Small hawk dropped in to rip in small pieces (9)

Answer: TESSELAR (i.e. “[paving or mosaic] in small pieces”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) and SELL (i.e. “[to] hawk”) “dropped into” TEAR (i.e. “to rip”) like so: TE(S-SELL)AR.

45. Helped when sister is getting over boy (8)

Answer: ASSISTED (i.e. “helped”). Solution is AS (i.e. “when”) followed by SIS (a recognised abbreviation of “sister”) and TED (i.e. “boy”, basically a boy’s name).

50. Try one’s luck with a foreign character (4)

Answer: BETA (i.e. “foreign character”, specifically the second letter of the Greek alphabet). Solution is BET (i.e. “try one’s luck”) followed by A.

51. The French succeeded not so much (4)

Answer: LESS (i.e. “not so much”). Solution is LES (i.e. “the French”, i.e. the French for “the”) followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “succeeded”).

52. Be immersed with wife in computer game (4)

Answer: SWIM (i.e. “be immersed with”). Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “wife”) placed “in” SIM (i.e. “computer game”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of a “simulation”, I believe, as opposed to EA’s Sims series).

55. Pair of books about keeping whiskey (3)

Answer: TWO (i.e. “pair”). Solution is OT (i.e. “books”, specifically the Old Testament of The Bible) reversed (indicated by “about”) and wrapped around or “keeping” W (“whiskey” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: T(W)O.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1446

A relatively straightforward puzzle this week. It was okay, though a couple of recent repeats and one clue in particular ruffled my feathers a smidge. As ever, you can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. I also have solutions for the past ninety-odd of these things on my Just For Fun page should they be of any use to you. There are also some book reviews if that’s your thing, and a story of mine to help while away half an hour.

In the meantime, stay safe, continue giving thanks to the NHS and all the key workers still keeping everything ticking over. Oh, and stamp out every bad -ism you see. That’d be smashing, thanks.

TTFN,

LP

Across clues

1. Huge Parisian friends entertaining street criminals with partners? (9)

Answer: BIGAMISTS (i.e. “criminals with partners”). Solution is BIG (i.e. “huge”) followed by AMIS (i.e. “Parisian friends”, i.e. the French for “friends”) once it has been wrapped around or “entertaining” ST (a recognised abbreviation of “street”), like so: BIG-AMI(ST)S.

6. Courtesy of French firm finishing with drink (7)

Answer: DECORUM (i.e. “courtesy”). Solution is DE (i.e. “of French”, i.e. the French for “of”) followed by CO (i.e. “firm”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “company”) and RUM (i.e. “drink”).

10. Dresses as backward-looking father, retro-style (5)

Answer: SARIS (i.e. “dresses”). A guess here, as I can’t quite decode what the setter is up to. My solution, for what it’s worth, is AS reversed (indicated by “backward-looking”) followed by SIR also reversed (indicated by “retro-style”, another way of saying “backward-looking”). I can’t find anything to back that up, though. To father someone is to “sire” them, which is obviously too long. If anyone offers a better solution I’ll update the post.
[EDIT: Thanks to Dr John and Chris in the comments who both mention how the use of “sir” when addressing one’s father used to be a thing back in the day. It’s not something explicitly backed up by a dictionary, but could well be what the setter is getting at. “Retro-style” could hint at this and also indicate the word needs to be reversed. I’d also add that addressing one’s father as “sir” is still a bit of a thing over in the US, if that helps. – LP]

13. Bird in the morning by heather then wanted, not half, to cross silver lake (8,5)

Answer: AMERICAN EAGLE (i.e. “bird”). Solution is AM (i.e. “in the morning”) followed by ERICA (i.e. “heather”), then the first half of NEEDED (indicated by “wanted, not half”) once it has been wrapped around or “crossing” AG (chemical symbol of “silver”) and L (a recognised abbreviation of “lake”), like so: AM-ERICA-NE(AG-L)E.

14. Idiot, one enthralling African politicians, producing sort of vocal repetition (9)

Answer: ASSONANCE (i.e. “sort of vocal repetition”, as opposed to the sound of flatulence). Solution is ASS (i.e. “idiot”) followed by ONE once it has been wrapped around or “enthralling” ANC (i.e. “African politicians”, specifically the African National Congress), like so: ASS-ON(ANC)E.

15. One good old-style rocker around Belfast etc getting lit up (7)

Answer: IGNITED (i.e. “getting lit up”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) followed by G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) and TED (i.e. “old-style rocker”, i.e. a teddy boy) all wrapped “around” NI (i.e. “Belfast etc”, i.e. Northern Ireland), like so: I-G-(NI)-TED.

16. Daughter is meeting short beast returning – trouble! (7)

Answer: DISTURB (i.e. “trouble”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”) followed by IS, then BRUTE (i.e. “beast”) once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “short”) and the remainder reversed (indicated by “returning”), like so: D-IS-TURB.

17. A very old city engages chum as unpaid volunteer? (7)

Answer: AMATEUR (i.e. “unpaid volunteer”). Solution is A and UR (i.e. “very old city”, and a favourite of setters everywhere) wrapped around or “engaging” MATE (i.e. “chum”), like so: A-(MATE)-UR.

18. Difficult to put up with lane in which vehicles may be stopped (4,8)

Answer: HARD SHOULDER (i.e. “lane in which vehicles may be stopped”). Solution is HARD (i.e. “difficult”) followed by SHOULDER (i.e. “to put up with”).

20. Bored officer, one with expression of dismay when boss comes round (10)

Answer: STULTIFIED (i.e. “bored”). Solution is LT (i.e. “officer”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “lieutenant”), I and FIE (i.e. “expression of dismay”) all placed in STUD (indicated by “boss comes round”), like so: STU(LT-I-FIE)D.

23. Store with sign of approval for the most part (5)

Answer: CACHE (i.e. “store”). Solution is CACHET (i.e. “sign of approval”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “for the most part”).

24. Naughty sister, I have to be kicking against the pricks (9)

Answer: RESISTIVE (i.e. “to be kicking against the pricks” – a Biblical phrase, apparently, meaning “to react futilely against discipline or authority, to the extent of injuring oneself” (Chambers)). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “naughty”) of SISTER followed by I’VE (a contraction of “I have”), like so: RESIST-I’VE.

25. Former queen getting on and turning crazy (7)

Answer: QUONDAM (Latin for “former”). Solution is QU (a recognised abbreviation of “queen”) followed by ON, then MAD (i.e. “crazy”) once this latter has been reversed (indicated by “turning”), like so: QU-ON-DAM.

26. Hurry around and sound cheerful maybe in one type of institution (7,4)

Answer: NURSING HOME (i.e. “type of institution”). Solution is RUN (i.e. “hurry”) which is reversed (indicated by “around”) and followed by SING (i.e. “sound cheerful maybe”) and HOME (i.e. “in”, i.e. at home), like so: NUR-SING-HOME.

28. Writer with another novel about foremost of detectives, a multifaceted figure (11)

Answer: PENTAHEDRON (i.e. “multifaceted figure”). Solution is PEN (i.e. “writer”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “novel”) of ANOTHER once wrapped “about” D (i.e. “foremost of detectives”, i.e. the first letter of “detectives”), like so: PEN-TAHE(D)RON.

30. Provoked and greatly worried by social worker (11)

Answer: ANTAGONISED (i.e. “provoked”). Solution is AGONISED (i.e. “greatly worried”) placed after or “by” ANT (i.e. “social worker” – riffing on how ants are social insects).

32. Stirring words provided by former husband starting speech – about time! (11)

Answer: EXHORTATION (i.e. “stirring words”). Solution is EX (i.e. “former”) followed by H (a recognised abbreviation of “husband” – “starting” seems a little redundant), then ORATION (i.e. “speech”) once this latter has been wrapped “about” T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”), like so: EX-H-OR(T)ATION.

34. Twelve daughters, indeed, following hardly anybody? (7)

Answer: NOONDAY (i.e. “twelve [PM]”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughters” – usually singular) and AY (i.e. “indeed”, both taken to mean “yes”) both placed after or “following” NO-ONE (i.e. “hardly anybody” – (sighs) I can see what the setter is trying to do here, passing off NOON as NO-ONE with its last letter removed (indicated by “hardly”), while also trying to pass off NO-ONE as meaning “hardly anybody”, and hoping to get away with it by slapping a riddly question mark on the end. But no. “No-one” is not the same as “hardly anybody”. There’s a world of difference, for example, between “no Covid-19” and “hardly any Covid-19”. Had the setter written “hardly nobody” in the clue, then everything’s gravy because “hardly” would then indicate NO-ONE gets shortened. As it stands, this is a poor clue for me. Yellow card.) like so: (NO-ON)-D-AY.

36. Music-maker having short drink given word of approval in newspaper (9)

Answer: FLAGEOLET (i.e. “music-maker”, specifically a small high-pitched flute). Solution is LAGER (i.e. “drink”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “short”) and OLE (i.e. “[Spanish] word of approval”) both placed “in” FT (i.e. “newspaper”, specifically the Financial Times), like so: F(LAGE-OLE)T.

38. Like Rex when forming dire pop group? (5)

Answer: INDIE (i.e. “pop group” – group taken to mean “genre”). Clue plays on how you would place R (a recognised abbreviation of “Rex”) IN DIE to form the word “dire”.

39. Record being played, something sure to upset (10)

Answer: DISCONCERT (i.e. “to upset”). Solution is DISC (i.e. “record”) followed by ON (i.e. “being played”) and CERT (i.e. “something sure” – specifically a contraction of “certainty”).

41. A fine handout arranged for spring (12)

Answer: FOUNTAINHEAD (i.e. “spring”). “Arranged” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of A FINE HANDOUT.

45. Funny drawing box containing extra egg? (7)

Answer: CARTOON (i.e. “funny drawing”). Solution is CARTON (i.e. “box”) wrapped around or “containing” O (i.e. “extra egg”, as in the shape of a letter O), like so: CART(O)ON.

46. Little sleep and some food – what babies need? (7)

Answer: NAPPIES (i.e. “what babies need”). Solution is NAP (i.e. “little sleep”) followed by PIES (i.e. “some food”).

47. Attempt to capture India with diary that consists of three books (7)

Answer: TRILOGY (i.e. “that consists of three books”). Solution is TRY (i.e. “attempt”) wrapped around or capturing I (“India” in the phonetic alphabet) and LOG (i.e. “diary”), like so: TR(I-LOG)Y.

49. Edit a clue somehow, and explain (9)

Answer: ELUCIDATE (i.e. “explain”). “Somehow” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of EDIT A CLUE. A near carbon copy of this clue appeared in the Times Cryptic Crossword 90th anniversary puzzle earlier this year.

50. Troubled inner-city geek shows work capacity in motion (7,6)

Answer: KINETIC ENERGY (i.e. “work capacity [of a body] in motion”). “Troubled” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of INNER-CITY GEEK.

52. Monsieur? The Parisian stalking a bird (5)

Answer: TITLE (i.e. “monsieur” – other titles are available). Solution is LE (i.e. “the Parisian”, i.e. the French for “the”) placed after or “stalking” TIT (i.e. “a bird”), like so: TIT-LE.

53. A Cockney idol, bringer of brightness in the mist (7)

Answer: AEROSOL (i.e. “mist”). Solution is A followed by HERO (i.e. “idol”) once its initial H has been removed (indicated by “Cockney”, as in how they’re always dropping their bleedin’ aitches, presumably while thumbing their braces and singing Roll Out The Barrel a lot) and SOL (i.e. “bringer of brightness”, i.e. the sun), like so: A-‘ERO-SOL.

54. Correspondent in prison, day before death (3-6)

Answer: PEN-FRIEND (i.e. “correspondent”). Solution is PEN (i.e. “prison”) followed by FRI (i.e. “day”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “Friday”) and END (i.e. “death”).

Down clues

1. Clumsy mistake has listener interrupting (7)

Answer: BEARISH (i.e. “clumsy” – one definition of “bear” is a “rude, rough or ill-mannered fellow” (Chambers)). Solution is BISH (an informal word for a “mistake”) wrapped around or “interrupted” by EAR (i.e. “listener”), like so: B(EAR)ISH.

2. Trader in public space coarser in speech (11)

Answer: GREENGROCER (i.e. “trader”). Solution is GREEN (i.e. “public space”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “in speech”) of GROSSER (i.e. “coarser”).

3. Damp cat can get upset – is to be kept inside (5)

Answer: MOIST (i.e. “damp”). Solution is TOM (i.e. “cat”) reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue) and wrapped around IS (indicated by “…to be kept inside”), like so: MO(IS)T.

4. Obnoxious person penning article, thus one held in contempt? (2-3-2)

Answer: SO-AND-SO (i.e. “one held in contempt”). Solution is SOD (i.e. “obnoxious person”) wrapped around or “penning” AN (i.e. “article”, being a word like a, an or the) and followed by SO (i.e. “thus”), like so: SO(AN)D-SO.

5. Woman certainly not right to take legal action (3)

Answer: SUE. A triple-header satisfying “woman”, “certainly not right” (i.e. the word SURE with R – a recognised abbreviation of “right” – removed), and “to take legal action”.

6. Like organic compounds in vessels for extraction (9)

Answer: DIGESTERS. Solution satisfies “like organic compounds” and “vessels for extraction”, being vessels through which strong extracts are drawn from animal or vegetable substances.
[EDIT: Thanks to zouzoulap in the comments, who suggests DIG for “like” and ESTERS for “organic compounds”, making DIG-ESTERS. Cheers, Z! – LP]

7. What sounds like European method of payment (6)

Answer: CHEQUE (i.e. “method of payment”). “What sounds like” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of CZECH (i.e. “European”).

8. Mostly prepared in place where there may be no soldiers to understand hidden message (4,7,3,5)

Answer: READ BETWEEN THE LINES (i.e. “to understand hidden message”). Solution is READY (i.e. “prepared”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and the remainder followed by BETWEEN THE LINES (i.e. “where there may be no soldiers”).

9. Host going round is meeting everyone, giving address inappropriately? (7)

Answer: MISCALL (i.e. “giving address inappropriately”). Solution is MC (i.e. “host”, specifically a Master of Ceremonies) wrapped “round” IS and then followed by ALL (i.e. “everyone”), like so: M(IS)C-ALL.

10. Religious army overcoming terrible iron man in country (3,6)

Answer: SAN MARINO (i.e. “country”). Solution is SA (i.e. “religious army”, specifically the Salvation Army) followed by an anagram (indicated by “terrible”) of IRON MAN, like so: SA-NMARINO.

11. Discoverer of mountains gets instrument to assess distance (11)

Answer: RANGEFINDER (i.e. “instrument to assess distance”). When written as RANGE FINDER the solution also satisfies “discoverer of mountains”.

12. Guide is wise person covering start of tour (5)

Answer: STEER (i.e. “guide”). Solution is SEER (i.e. “wise person”) wrapped around or “covering” T (i.e. “start of tour”, i.e. the first letter of “tour”), like so: S(T)EER.

16. Psychological problem damaging us: no-one disregardful (9,2,8)

Answer: DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR (i.e. “psychological problem”). “Damaging” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of US NO-ONE DISREGARDFUL.

19. Trying to find location of bishop and monarch (7)

Answer: SEEKING (i.e. “trying to find”). Solution is SEE (i.e. “location of bishop”, i.e. their diocese) followed by KING (i.e. “monarch”).

21. Old man favoured in social event to be in control (9)

Answer: DOMINANCE (i.e. “to be in control”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”), M (ditto “man”) and IN (i.e. “favoured”) all placed “in” DANCE (i.e. “social event”), like so: D(O-M-IN)ANCE.

22. Drink very quietly, wearing a hat (6)

Answer: TIPPLE (i.e. “drink”). Solution is PP (i.e. “very quietly”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “pianissimo” in musical lingo) which is placed in or “wearing” TILE (i.e. a slang word for “hat”), like so: TI(PP)LE.

23. Detain criminal, prisoner at the outset to be restricted (9)

Answer: CONTAINED (i.e. “to be restricted”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “criminal”) of DETAIN which has CON (i.e. “prisoner”) placed before it, or “at the outset”, like so: CON-TAINED.

24. English in pressing situation without leader – the answer? (7)

Answer: REGENCY. Solution E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) which is placed “in” URGENCY (i.e. “pressing situation”) once its initial letter has been removed (indicated by “without leader”), like so: R(E)GENCY. Within the context of the clue, a nation finding themselves without a leader could place a regent in temporary charge. Nicely done.

25. Yard above desert in area of environmental significance (7)

Answer: QUADRAT (i.e. “area of environmental significance” – over to Chambers again for this one: “a small area (usually one square metre) of ground marked off for the detailed investigation of animal and plant life”). Solution is QUAD (i.e. “yard”) followed by or placed “above” – this being a down clue – RAT (i.e. “[to] desert”).

27. Make beloved stop with attentiveness being required (6)

Answer: ENDEAR (i.e. “make beloved”). Solution is END (i.e. “stop”) followed by EAR (i.e. “attentiveness”).

29. Telling a story, not beginning to give sense of joy (7)

Answer: ELATION (i.e. “sense of joy”). Solution is RELATION (i.e. “telling a story”) with its initial letter removed (indicated by “not beginning”).

31. Silly tourist sure to appear in two-piece outfit (7,4)

Answer: TROUSER SUIT (i.e. “two-piece outfit”). “Silly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TOURIST SURE.

33. Provide series of lectures at the appropriate time (2,3,6)

Answer: IN DUE COURSE (i.e. “at the appropriate time”). Solution is INDUE (a variant form of “endue”, i.e. “provide”) followed by COURSE (i.e. “series of lectures”).

35. Remove smell from house finally through swinging side door (9)

Answer: DEODORISE (i.e. “remove smell from”). Solution is E (i.e. “house finally”, i.e. the last letter of “house”) placed in or “through” an anagram (indicated by “swinging”) of SIDE DOOR, like so: D(E)ODORISE.

37. Each lover originally receiving proposal may be this (9)

Answer: EMOTIONAL. Solution is EA (a recognised abbreviation of “each”) and L (i.e. “lover originally”, i.e. the first letter of “lover”) wrapped around or “receiving” MOTION (i.e. “proposal”), like so: E(MOTION)A-L. Within the context of the clue, lovers receiving proposals [of marriage] may well get emotional.

40. Rubbish in wedding venue presented as “musical item” (7)

Answer: CANTATA (a short musical work or “musical item”). Solution is TAT (i.e. “rubbish”) placed “in” CANA (i.e. “wedding venue” – referring to the Marriage at Cana at which Jesus turned water into wine, the first miracle of a short but influential career he had as the son of God), like so: CAN(TAT)A.

42. Unknown investigator probing teetotal movement with any number of old people (7)

Answer: AZTECAN (i.e. “of old people” – referring to the Aztecs of Mexico). Solution is Z (i.e. “unknown” – setters love referring to X, Y or Z in their solutions as unknowns) and TEC (i.e. “investigator”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “detective”) both placed in AA (i.e. “teetotal movement”, specifically Alcoholics Anonymous) and then followed by N (i.e. “any number”), like so: A(Z-TEC)A-N.

43. Unemotional and boring, I had to be listened to (3-4)

Answer: DRY-EYED (i.e. “unemotional”). Solution is DRY (i.e. “boring”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “to be listened to”) of I’D (a contraction of “I had”).

44. Laces in sports shoes (6)

Answer: SPIKES. Solution satisfies “laces [a drink]” and “sports shoes”. Nicely done.

45. Talk around start of exam and get someone else’s answers? (5)

Answer: CHEAT (i.e. “get someone else’s answers”). Solution is CHAT (i.e. “talk”) wrapped “around” E (i.e. “start of exam”, i.e. the first letter of “exam”), like so: CH(E)AT. Don’t worry. I won’t judge.

48. Intimate transgressor losing head (5)

Answer: INNER (i.e. “intimate”). Solution is SINNER (i.e. “transgressor”) with the first letter removed (indicated by “losing head”). A very similar clue to this appeared not too long ago.

51. What waiter would like, giving hint (3)

Answer: TIP. Solution satisfies “what waiter would like” and “hint”.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1445

A decent puzzle this week, and one with a religious mini-theme if the scorch marks on my keyboard are anything to go by. One that doesn’t feature any reversal wordplay too, which you don’t often see. You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my clues where I have them. I hope you find them useful.

As ever, some housekeeping before all that: I gots ya some mouldy old book reviews here, a story of mine there, and a whole bunch of previous solutions over thisaway. Go check ’em out. Or not. Your choice.

Till next time, stay safe and enjoy the sun.

LP

Across clues

1. Proud feature in paper, that indicates maximum coverage (4-5,4)

Answer: HIGH-WATER MARK (i.e. “that indicates maximum coverage” – referring to the marks you sometimes see on bridges and such showing the highest level the water has reached). Solution is HIGH (i.e. “proud”) followed by WATERMARK (i.e. “feature in paper”). For an awkward moment early on in the puzzle, I thought this going to be PAGE-THREE GIRL. Thankfully less smutty minds prevailed.

8. Paint a sickener for animal (9)

Answer: DISTEMPER. Solution satisfies a kind of “paint” and “sickener for animal”.

13. Part of church left sort of orange (5)

Answer: NAVEL (i.e. “sort of orange”). Solution is NAVE (i.e. “part of church”) followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”).

14. Waves that are called grey (5,6)

Answer: WHITE HORSES. Solution satisfies “waves” – think a certain Guinness advert from a while back –and, I suppose, “that are called grey”. Are they though? Chambers has a definition of “grey” as “a grey or greyish animal, esp a horse”. Doesn’t necessarily scream white to me. Perhaps it’s a horse racing term. (Shrugs. Gets on with life.)

15. Powerless to block basin (5)

Answer: STOUP (a vessel or “basin” for holy water). Solution is STOP UP (i.e. “to block”) with the first P removed (indicated by “powerless” – P being a recognised abbreviation of “power”).

16. One soldier, carried round on the back of a native (9)

Answer: ABORIGINE (i.e. “native”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and GI (i.e. “soldier”) with BORNE (i.e. “carried”) placed “round” them both. The whole is then preceded or placed “on the back of” A, like so: A-BOR(I-GI)NE.

17. Down-and-out perhaps protected by Valkyries (4)

Answer: ALKY, a slang word for an alcoholic (i.e. “down-and-out perhaps”). “Protected by” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: V(ALKY)RIES.

18. Be told about saw cutting out a hat (8)

Answer: HEADGEAR (i.e. “hat”). Solution is HEAR (i.e. “be told about”) wrapped “about” ADAGE (i.e. “saw”, taken to mean a phrase or saying) once the middle A has been removed (indicated by “cutting out a”), like so: HE(ADGE)AR.

20. Before too late, hint at leaving (2,4)

Answer: IN TIME (i.e. “before too late”). Solution is INTIMATE (i.e. “hint”) with the AT removed (indicated by “at leaving”).

21. Young party disturbs spider by accident (5,5,6)

Answer: TEDDY BEARS PICNIC (i.e. “young party”). “Disturbs” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SPIDER BY ACCIDENT. Nicely done.

24. One conveying an impulse from steel dungeon (5,4)

Answer: NERVE CELL (i.e. “one conveying an [electrical] impulse”). Solution is NERVE (i.e. “steel”) followed by CELL (i.e. “dungeon”).

26. One note penned by emperor not yet delivered (2,5)

Answer: IN UTERO (i.e. “[pregnancy] not yet delivered”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) followed by UT (i.e. “note” – apparently this was a precursor of “doh” in the doh-ray-me scale) once it has been wrapped in or “penned by” NERO (i.e. “emperor”), like so: I-N(UT)ERO.

27. Almost make blood donation – slow progress (5)

Answer: AMBLE (i.e. “slow progress”). Solution is AM BLED (i.e. “make blood donation”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “almost”).

29. Bus turned sharply beside flowing creek (6-6)

Answer: DOUBLE-DECKER (i.e. “bus”). Solution is DOUBLED (i.e. “turned sharply”, as in a double-take) followed by an anagram (indicated by “flowing”) of CREEK, like so: DOUBLED-ECKER.

31. Lear’s folk giving away one beer for fund raiser (6,4)

Answer: JUMBLE SALE (i.e. “fund raiser”). Solution is JUMBLIES (i.e. “[Edward] Lear’s folk” referring to his children’s poem The Jumblies) with the I removed (indicated by “giving away [Roman numeral] one”) and followed by ALE (i.e. “beer”), like so: JUMBLES-ALE.

33. Active, for one, to make hard copy of recorded speech (10)

Answer: VOICEPRINT (i.e. “recorded speech”). Solution is VOICE (i.e. “active, for one” – a quick demonstration of active vs passive voice: active voice – “Sam kicked the ball”; passive voice “the ball was kicked by Sam”. Active voice is generally a nifty way of injecting a little bit of life into a piece of writing) followed by PRINT (i.e. “to make hard copy”).

35. Trails ticked off by walker here? (4,8)

Answer: LAKE DISTRICT. “Off” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TRAILS TICKED. Within the context of the clue, you may well tick off a list of trails while trotting about the Lake District. Another nicely worked anagram.

38. Figure having third name for film is silly (5)

Answer: NINNY (i.e. “silly”). Solution is NINETY (i.e. “figure”) with ET (i.e. “film” – specifically ET: The Extra-Terrestrial) replaced by a third N (being a recognised abbreviation of “name”), like so: NIN(ET)Y => NIN(N)Y.

39. Creeper it was tempting to have in the garden (7)

Answer: SERPENT (i.e. “creeper”). “It was tempting to have in the garden” refers to the Bible story of Eve, who succumbed to temptation in the Garden of Eden, nibbling on an apple despite the large “DO NOTTE EATETH THE APPLES” signs that were dotted everywhere, because a snake said so. Which obviously happened.

40. This glow hard to disperse in laser display (5,4)

Answer: LIGHT SHOW (i.e. “light show”). “To disperse” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of THIS GLOW and H (a recognised abbreviation of “hard” used in grading pencils).

42. Luxurious prison transport? (7,9)

Answer: STRETCH LIMOUSINE (i.e. “luxurious…transport”). “Prison” plays on STRETCH being a slang word for a prison sentence.

44. Cut open, took a quick look: not good (6)

Answer: LANCED (i.e. “cut open”). Solution is GLANCED (i.e. “took a quick look”) with the G removed (indicated by “not good” – G being a recognised abbreviation of “good”).

47. Minister has to tear round at any time (8)

Answer: REVEREND (i.e. “minister”). Solution is REND (i.e. “to tear”) wrapped “round” EVER (i.e. “at any time”), like so: R(EVER)END.

49. Man a bit short for Heather? (4)

Answer: ERIC (i.e. “man” – basically a man’s name). Solution is ERICA (i.e. “heather” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) with the last letter removed (indicated by “a bit short for…”).

50. Mixed drink and snack, first getting wind (9)

Answer: SNAKEBITE (i.e. “mixed drink”). Solution is BITE (i.e. “snack”) with SNAKE (i.e. “[to] wind”) placed “first”, like so: SNAKE-BITE.

52. Right to leave mildly humorous order (5)

Answer: IONIC (i.e. “order” – Chambers has this: “relating to the Ionians, one of the main divisions of the Ancient Greeks, to their dialect, or to Ionia”, and “relating to an order of Greek architecture characterised by the volute of its capital”. So it’s probably something to do with that, then.) Solution is IRONIC (i.e. “mildly humorous”) with the R removed (indicated by “right to leave” – R being a recognised abbreviation of “right”).

53. Like grand old man in goal, stand prepared (11)

Answer: GLADSTONIAN (i.e. “like grand old man” – William Gladstone was referred to as such by his supporters). “Prepared” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IN GOAL STAND.

54. Not initially unresponsive, but stiff (5)

Answer: RIGID (i.e. “stiff”). Solution is FRIGID (i.e. “unresponsive”) with the first letter removed (indicated by “not initially”).

55. Basic way to describe aluminium? (9)

Answer: ELEMENTAL (i.e. “basic”). When written as ELEMENT AL the solution satisfies “way to describe aluminium” – Al being the chemical symbol of aluminium. Nicely worked. Best clue of the puzzle.

56. Sends the pasty to cook: it won’t arrive until after Christmas (2,8,3)

Answer: ST STEPHENS DAY (i.e. “it won’t arrive until after Christmas”, specifically 26th December, or Boxing Day). “To cook” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SENDS THE PASTY. Speaking of the C-word, the Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword will celebrate its 50th birthday this Christmas. We’ve got to be due something special for it, right? Some years ago, when it was still a broadsheet, my local paper The Northern Echo used to publish a whacking great 73×73 crossword on Christmas Eve. It was a superb time-filler between Bond films during Christmas and New Year. I mean, just look at it. No pressure, setters!

Down clues

1. Foreigner depended on contribution to Opera North (9)

Answer: HUNGARIAN (i.e. “foreigner”, unless you are reading this in Hungary. (Waves in Hungarian)). Solution is HUNG (i.e. “depended on”) followed by ARIA (i.e. “contribution to opera” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) and N (a recognised abbreviation of “north”).

2. Announce painful condition I have contracted internally (4,3)

Answer: GIVE OUT (i.e. “announce”). Solution is GOUT (i.e. “painful condition”) wrapped around or having “internalised” I’VE (a “contraction” of “I have”), like so: G(I’VE)OUT.

3. Intention late at night to instruct freedom fighter (7,4)

Answer: WILLIAM TELL (i.e. “freedom fighter”). Solution is WILL (i.e. “intention”) followed by I AM (i.e. “late at night”, read as 1am) and TELL (i.e. “to instruct”).

4. Have to break link – one’s not in the country (6)

Answer: TOWNIE (i.e. “one’s not in the country”). Solution is OWN (i.e. “have”) placed in or “breaking” TIE (i.e. “link”), like so: T(OWN)IE.

5. Start to discuss great suffering and complain furiously (5,4)

Answer: RAISE HELL (i.e. “complain furiously”). Solution is RAISE (i.e. “start to discuss”) followed by HELL (i.e. “great suffering”).

6. Digital assistant at first nearly forgets what to say – fed with new lines (12)

Answer: ALEXANDRINES (i.e. “lines” – once more unto the Chambers, my friends: “a verse of six iambs (English), or in French of twelve and thirteen syllables in alternate couplets (perhaps from a poem on Alexander the Great by Alexandre Paris)”. So there you go.) Solution is ALEXA (i.e. Amazon’s “digital assistant”) followed by N (i.e. “at first nearly”, i.e. the first letter of “nearly”) then DRIES (i.e. “forgets what to say”) once this latter has been wrapped around or “fed with” N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”), like so: ALEXA-N-DRI(N)ES.

7. Criticise a fight that’s boisterous (10)

Answer: KNOCKABOUT (i.e. “boisterous”). When written as KNOCK A BOUT the clue also satisfies “criticise a fight”.

8. Frustrate hurried travel (4)

Answer: DASH. Solution satisfies “frustrate” and “hurried travel”.

9. Held up crossing, stupidly ignored business pressure (10,6)

Answer: SUSPENSION BRIDGE (i.e. “held up crossing”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “stupidly”) of IGNORED BUSINESS and P (a recognised abbreviation of “pressure”).

10. Lent hasn’t started, so relaxed (5)

Answer: EASED (i.e. “relaxed”). Solution is LEASED (i.e. “lent” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) with the first letter removed (indicated by “hasn’t started”).

11. Dietary essential for youngster announced (7)

Answer: PROTEIN (i.e. “dietary essential”). Solution is PRO (i.e. “for”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “announced”) of TEEN (i.e. “youngster”).

12. Criticise tart husband entering bond for boosting relations (13)

Answer: RAPPROCHEMENT (i.e. “boosting relations”). Solution is RAP (i.e. “criticise”) followed by PRO (i.e. “tart”, taken as a recognised abbreviation of prostitute) and H once it has been placed in or “entering” CEMENT (i.e. “bond”) like so: RAP-PRO-C(H)EMENT.

19. Put beyond doubt what one can do when user moves (4,4)

Answer: MAKE SURE (i.e. “put beyond doubt”). “What one can do when user moves” plays on how “user” is an anagram of “sure”, i.e. you can MAKE SURE from its letters.

22. Picture that is the cover of periodical (5)

Answer: IMAGE (i.e. “picture”). Solution is IE (i.e. “that is”, i.e. “i.e.”) wrapped around or “covering” MAG (i.e. “periodical”, short for magazine), like so: I(MAG)E.

23. Scott’s work as nurse I glimpse, covering on one occasion (6,2,3,5)

Answer: TENDER IS THE NIGHT (i.e. “[F.] Scott [Fitzgerald]’s work”). Solution is TENDER (i.e. “work as nurse”) followed by I and SIGHT (i.e. “glimpse”) once the latter has been wrapped around or “covering” THEN (i.e. “on one occasion”), like so: TENDER-I-S(THEN)IGHT. Solution also featured in puzzle 1426 earlier this year. I had no idea there were so few classic books in the world.

25. French department concerned with organisation of labour (7)

Answer: REUNION (i.e. “French department”, i.e. the French for “department” – a guess, really, not speaking the language much outside of please and thank you. Google Translate kind of backs it up, ish or thereabouts. I could easily be wide of the mark though.) Solution is RE (i.e. “concerning” – think email replies) followed by UNION (i.e. “organisation of labour”).
[EDIT: A big thank you to Steve in the comments for clearing this one up tout de suite! The clue refers to a small island near Madagascar called Réunion, which is an overseas “department” and region of France. Cheers, Steve! – LP]

28. Radiant to live with strict sect (7)

Answer: BEAMISH (i.e. “radiant”). Solution is BE (i.e. “to live”) followed by AMISH (i.e. “strict sect”). Also a pretty cool museum up north, if you remember such things.

29. Foresees royal weakness, which minister takes charge of (6,7)

Answer: DIVINE SERVICE (i.e. “which minister takes charge of” – not something listed in Chambers but my Oxford backs it up). Solution is DIVINES (i.e. “foresees”) followed by ER (i.e. “royal”, specifically Elizabeth Regina, the Queen) and VICE (i.e. “weakness”).

30. Skyline shows train travelling through high pass (8)

Answer: CONTRAIL (i.e. “skyline”, i.e. the trails in the sky left behind by jet planes). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “travelling”) of TRAIN placed in or “through” COL (i.e. “high [mountain] pass”), like so: CO(NTRAI)L.

32. Symbol of order getting islanders upset (7,5)

Answer: MALTESE CROSS (i.e. “symbol of order”, specifically the Knights of Malta). Solution is MALTESE (i.e. “islanders”) followed by CROSS (i.e. “upset”).

34. Land in east, not as open to pain (5)

Answer: EGYPT (i.e. “land”). Solution is EAST with the AS removed (indicated by “not as”) and the remaining letters “open to” GYP (i.e. “pain”), like so: E(AS)T => E(GYP)T.

36. Two men collecting earth reshaped a pyramid (11)

Answer: TETRAHEDRON (i.e. “pyramid”). Solution is TED and RON (i.e. “two men”) wrapped around or “collecting” an anagram (indicated by “reshaped”) of EARTH, like so: T(ETRAH)ED-RON.

37. Comfortable situation, but it is growing prickly (3,2,5)

Answer: BED OF ROSES (i.e. “comfortable situation”). Clue riffs on how thorns on rose bushes see them “grow prickly”. You get the idea.

40. Mortal danger: country is led astray (9)

Answer: LANDSLIDE (i.e. “mortal danger”). Solution is LAND (i.e. “country”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “astray”) of IS LED, like so: LAND-SLIDE.

41. One in seven needs to change driver, avoiding water flowing in road (9)

Answer: WEDNESDAY (i.e. “one in seven [days of the week]”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “to change”) of NEEDS and D (i.e. “driver, avoiding water”, i.e. the word DRIVER with RIVER removed) both placed “in” WAY (i.e. “road”), like so: W(EDNES-D)AY.

43. Regret saving regular income (7)

Answer: REVENUE (i.e. “income”). Solution is RUE (i.e. “regret”) wrapped around or “saving” EVEN (i.e. “regular”), like so: R(EVEN)UE.

45. Charlie, surrounded, looked embarrassed (7)

Answer: CRINGED (i.e. “looked embarrassed”). Solution is C (“Charlie” in the phonetic alphabet”) followed by RINGED (i.e. “surrounded”).

46. Deliver blow, catching a belly (6)

Answer: PAUNCH (i.e. “belly”). Solution is PUNCH (i.e. “deliver blow”) wrapped around or “catching” A, like so: P(A)UNCH.

48. Sport red frill (5)

Answer: RUCHE (i.e. “frill”). Solution is RU (i.e. “sport”, specifically Rugby Union) followed by CHE Guevara (i.e. “red” or communist). Chalk one to my Bradford’s here, as I couldn’t look past ruff, even though it didn’t have enough letters.

51. Friend at length is to become tedious (4)

Answer: PALL (i.e. “to become tedious”). Solution is PAL (i.e. “friend”) followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “length”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1444

A toughie this week, but not an entirely enjoyable one. Some of the clues were word salads than anything coherent, as if the setter was having a hard time gluing all the components together. Could just be me. There were some good clues to be had, mind, as well as some interesting bits of wordplay, but overall it wasn’t for me.

Anyway, I got there in the end. You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them useful.

As ever a spot of housekeeping before all that, if you’ll permit: I’ve got some book reviews gathering dust over here, and an old story of mine over there. If you’ve come to grief with a recent Jumbo Cryptic, then my Just For Fun page could be just the ticket, stuffed with links to solutions for the last ninety-odd of the buggers.

Right. With that little lot out of the way, let’s get down to business. Stay safe, youses, and all being well I’ll see you around for the next one.

LP

Across clues

1. Try to spot invisible character in play (5)

Answer: GODOT (i.e. “invisible character in play”, referring to Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting For Godot, in which two characters wait for the titular Godot, who never arrives). Solution is GO (i.e. “try”, as in have a go) followed by DOT (i.e. “to spot”).

4. Barrier protecting platform for unconventional art (7)

Answer: DADAISM (i.e. “unconventional art” of the early 20th century – think Salvador Dali and such). Solution is DAM (i.e. “barrier”) wrapped around or “protecting” DAIS (i.e. “platform”) like so: DA(DAIS)M.

8. Lip ring ensemble with no strings attached (5,4)

Answer: BRASS BAND (i.e. “ensemble with no strings attached”). Solution is BRASS (i.e. “lip”, both taken to mean impertinence) followed by BAND (i.e. “ring”).

13. Passage that spans short story about uninhibited people (9)

Answer: TRAVERSAL (i.e. “passage”). Solution is TALE (i.e. “story”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “short”) and the remainder wrapped “about” RAVERS (i.e. “uninhibited people”), like so: T(RAVERS)AL.

14. Publish marks off Rhodes scholars etc (13)

Answer: POSTGRADUATES (i.e. “Rhodes scholars etc” – the Rhodes Scholarship is an international postgraduate award for students to study at the University of Oxford (Wikipedia)). Solution is POST (i.e. “publish”) followed by GRADUATES (i.e. “marks off [by degrees]”).

15. Be rude to seaside town where each dismisses an English dramatist (7)

Answer: Anton CHEKHOV (i.e. “dramatist”). Solution is CHEEK (i.e. “be rude to”) and HOVE (i.e. “seaside town”) once both have removed or “dismissed” an E (being a recognised abbreviation of “English”), like so: CHEK-HOV.

16. Sound contented, getting back into bed unclean (7)

Answer: CORRUPT (i.e. “unclean”). Solution is PURR (i.e. “sound contented”) reversed (indicated by “getting back”) and placed “into” COT (i.e. “bed”), like so: CO(RRUP)T.

17. Rotary engine’s short piece, spun almost completely around (7)

Answer: TURBINE (i.e. “rotary engine”). Solution is BIT (i.e. “piece”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “short”) and the remainder then placed in or “surrounded” by TURNED (i.e. “spun”) once it too has had its last letter removed (indicated by “almost completely”), like so: TUR(BI)NE.

18. Answer book dispatched virtually having no pages unexpectedly missing (6,7,5)

Answer: ABSENT WITHOUT LEAVE (i.e. “unexpectedly missing”). Solution is A (a recognised abbreviation of “answer”, as in Q&A) followed by B (ditto “book”) then SENT (i.e. “dispatched”) and WITHOUT LEAVES (i.e. “[book…] having no pages” – pages of a book are referred to as leaves) with the last letter removed (indicated by “virtually”), like so: A-B-SENT-WITHOUT-LEAVE.

21. Rafter on Mississippi hotel attached to back of roof (4)

Answer: Huckleberry FINN (i.e. a “rafter on Mississippi” in a number of Mark Twain’s books). Solution is INN (i.e. “hotel”) placed after or “attached to” F (i.e. “back of roof”, i.e. the last letter of “roof”), like so: F-INN. Good clue.

23. Settled in house, sister produces fumes from trap? (9)

Answer: HALITOSIS (i.e. “fumes from trap” – trap being a slang term for one’s mouth). Solution is ALIT (i.e. “settled”) placed “in” HO (a recognised abbreviation of “house”) and followed by SIS (ditto “sister”), like so: H(ALIT)O-SIS.

25. Observation of lucre paid back but not in full (6)

Answer: APERCU (i.e. a brief outline, glimpse or “observation”). “But not in full” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “back” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: L(UCRE PA)ID. One of those weird words I strangely knew. Doesn’t always happen like that!

26. Not fancy food? It’s arisen unexpectedly (6)

Answer: SARNIE, an informal name for a sandwich or “not fancy food”. “Unexpectedly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ARISEN.

28. Not an original way of multiplying (12)

Answer: REPRODUCTION. Solution satisfies “not an original” and “way of multiplying”.

30. Persecution hurt agreement, with delay of minutes (10)

Answer: HARASSMENT (i.e. “persecution”). Solution is HARM (i.e. “hurt”) and ASSENT (i.e. “agreement”) with the M (a recognised abbreviation of “minutes”) of HARM pushed back a few notches (indicated by “delay of…”), like so: HARM-ASSENT => HAR-ASS(M)ENT.

33. I attack old health resort with knife containing boron (10)

Answer: SANDBAGGER (i.e. “I attack”). Solution is SAN (i.e. “old health resort”, short for a sanatorium) followed by DAGGER (i.e. “knife”) once it has been wrapped around or “containing” B (chemical symbol of “boron”), like so: SAN-D(B)AGGER.

34. Dead and (outwardly) buried, like parts of a conspiracy? (12)

Answer: INTERRELATED (i.e. “like parts of a conspiracy”). Solution is LATE (i.e. “dead”) with INTERRED (i.e. “buried”) placed “outwardly” of it, like so: INTERRE(LATE)D.

37. Horseman with lance, not the first person unseating someone (6)

Answer: OUSTER (i.e. “person unseating someone”). Solution is JOUSTER (i.e. “horseman”) with the first letter removed (indicated by “not the first”).

39. First person expelled from more forward part of China? (6)

Answer: SAUCER (i.e. “part of china” – ignore the misleading capitalisation). Solution is SAUCIER (i.e. “more forward”) with the I removed (indicated by “first person expelled from” – to demonstrate: first person: “I did something”; second person: “you did something”; third person: “he/she/they did something”).

40. With overdose constricting the heart, depressants are marvellously effective (2,7)

Answer: DO WONDERS (i.e. “marvellously effective”). Solution is the letters OD (a recognised abbreviation of “overdose”) wrapped around or “constricting” the middle letter or “heart” of DOWNERS, like so: DOW(O)N(D)ERS.

42. Blunder and nearly get fired (4)

Answer: GOOF (i.e. “blunder”). Solution is GO OFF (i.e. “get fired”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “nearly”).

43. Be determined to acquire the company? (4,2,4,8)

Answer: MAKE IT ONE’S BUSINESS. Solution satisfies “be determined” and “to acquire the company”. Nicely worked.

46. Mozart’s contemporary position in exotic dress (7)

Answer: Antonio SALIERI (i.e. “Mozart’s contemporary”). Solution is LIE (i.e. “position”) placed “in” SARI (i.e. “exotic dress”), like so: SA(LIE)RI.

47. Cheese from Monterey urgently recalled (7)

Answer: GRUYERE (i.e. “cheese”). “From” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue while “recalled” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: MONT(EREY URG)ENTLY. Another nicely worked clue.

48. Title composed by Beatles’ leading pair? (3,2,2)

Answer: LET IT BE (i.e. “title composed by [The] Beatles”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “composed”) of TITLE followed by B and E (i.e. “Beatles’ leading pair”, i.e. the first two letters of “Beatles”), like so: LETIT-BE. Best clue of the puzzle. Very nicely done.

50. Too easily hurt at the workplace, introducing metric works, the fourth brought in later (13)

Answer: OVERSENSITIVE (i.e. “too easily hurt”). Solution is ON SITE (i.e. “at the workplace”) which is wrapped around both VERSE (i.e. “metric works” as in poetry, verse, metre, that kind of thing) and, “later” on, IV (i.e. “[Roman numeral] fourth”), like so: O(VERSE)NSIT(IV)E.

51. Way to cure turkey that won’t burst into flames (despite appearances) (5,4)

Answer: SMOKE BOMB (i.e. a projectile “that won’t burst into flames (despite appearances)”). Solution is SMOKE (i.e. “way to cure” or preserve meat or fish) followed by BOMB (i.e. “turkey”, both references to box office flops).

52. Get off course to westernise, apparently (9)

Answer: DISORIENT (i.e. “get off course”). Solution punningly also satisfies “westernise”, given the orient refers to the east.

53. Greenhouse gas meant he worried (7)

Answer: METHANE (i.e. “greenhouse gas”). “Worried” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MEANT HE.

54. Rough outskirts of Derby found on visit (5)

Answer: SEEDY (i.e. “rough”). Solution is DY (i.e. “outskirts of Derby”, i.e. the first and last letters of “Derby”) placed after or “found on” SEE (i.e. “visit”), like so: SEE-DY.

Down clues

1. Horrendous rates charge one received without being asked (4-7)

Answer: GATE-CRASHER (i.e. “one received without being asked”). “Horrendous” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of RATES CHANGE.

2. Duke, libertine and noted sailor (5)

Answer: Sir Francis DRAKE (i.e. “noted sailor”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “duke”) followed by RAKE (i.e. “libertine”).

3. Difficulty in setting up extremely great Russian funds after support diluted? (8,8)

Answer: TEETHING TROUBLES (i.e. “difficulty in setting up”). Solution is GT (i.e. “extremely great”, i.e. the first and last letters of “great” – “extremely” is unnecessary IMLTHO as GT is already a recognised abbreviation of “great”) and ROUBLES (i.e. “Russian funds”) both placed “after” TEE (i.e. “[golf ball] support”) and THIN (i.e. “diluted”), like so: TEE-THIN-GT-ROUBLES.

4. Refuse to acknowledge capsize without vessel identification (7)

Answer: DISAVOW (i.e. “refuse to acknowledge”). Solution is WO (a recognised abbreviation of “without”) followed by VAS (i.e. a “vessel”, tube or duct carrying liquid (Chambers)) and ID (a recognised abbreviation of “identification”). The whole lot is then reversed (indicated by “capsize” – this being a down clue), like so: DI-SAV-OW.

5. Rebuff hardened tart, keeping the French lingerie etc? (9)

Answer: DELICATES (i.e. “lingerie etc”). Solution is SET (i.e. “hardened”) and ACID (i.e. “tart” or sharp of taste) once it has been wrapped around or “keeping” LE (i.e. “the French”, i.e. the French for “the”). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “rebuffed” – this being a down clue), like so: D(EL)ICA-TES.

6. Pretender’s scion imprisoned by Roman emperor (12)

Answer: IMPERSONATOR (i.e. “pretender”). Solution is SON (i.e. “scion”) placed in or “imprisoned by” IMPERATOR (i.e. “Roman emperor”), like so: IMPER(SON)ATOR.

7. Pests I shut in religious buildings (10)

Answer: MOSQUITOES (i.e. “pests”). Solution is I and TO (i.e. “shut”, as in closing a door to) both placed “in” MOSQUES (i.e. “religious buildings”), like so: MOSQU(I-TO)ES.

8. Inlet of considerable width and great height (5)

Answer: BIGHT (i.e. “inlet of considerable width”). Solution is BIG (i.e. “great”) followed by HT (a recognised abbreviation of “height”).

9. Flexible fitting installed in a low bar (8)

Answer: ADAPTIVE (i.e. “flexible”). Solution is APT (i.e. “fitting”) placed or “installed in” A DIVE (i.e. “a low bar”), like so: A-D(APT)IVE.

10. Parisian who stops married woman returning to worm (6)

Answer: SQUIRM (i.e. “worm”). Solution is QUI (i.e. “Parisian who”, i.e. the French for “who”) placed in or “stopping” MRS (i.e. “married woman”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “returning”), like so: S(QUI)RM.

11. Aristocrat losing head’s spoken of natural wastage (9)

Answer: ATTRITION (i.e. “natural wastage”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “spoken of”) of PATRICIAN (i.e. “aristocrat”) once its initial letter has been removed (indicated by “losing head”).

12. Perception of part of field, is CERN mentioned? (11)

Answer: DISCERNMENT (i.e. “perception”). “Of” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: FIEL(D IS CERN MENT)IONED.

19. Replace a plant’s dried up basin (7)

Answer: SALTPAN (i.e. “dried up basin” – referring to the geographic feature). “Replace” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of A PLANT’S.

20. Somewhere to go from ‘ere includes one place inside another (7)

Answer: ENCLAVE (i.e. “one place inside another”). Solution is LAV (i.e. “somewhere to go”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “lavatory” – “go” taken to mean visiting the toilet) placed or “included” in HENCE (i.e. “from ‘ere”) once the H has been dropped (indicated by “’ere” – like wot all ’em cockneys do, innit, droppin’ their aitches all the bleedin’, gawblessem, guv’nor, jellied eels and so forth), like so: ENC(LAV)E.

22. Heading away from States I had blue and white flowers, keen to raise saving target (6,2,8)

Answer: DAMSEL IN DISTRESS (i.e. “saving target”). Solution is ASSERT (i.e. “states” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) once the initial letter has been removed (indicated by “heading away from”), followed by I’D (a contraction of “I had”), then NILES (i.e. “blue and white flowers”, referring to the Blue Nile and White Nile rivers, as in how they “flow”) and MAD (i.e. “keen”). These are all then reversed (indicated by “to raise” – this being a down clue), like so: DAM-SELIN-D’I-STRESS. Phew!

24. It’s covered in Ypres mud, getting a dirty mark (6)

Answer: SMUDGE (i.e. “dirty mark”). “It’s covered in” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: YPRE(S MUD GE)TTING.

27. Plant’s energy lost in time disturbance (6)

Answer: YARROW (i.e. “plant”). Solution is YEAR (i.e. “time”) with the E removed (indicated by “energy’s lost in…” – E being a recognised abbreviation of “energy”), then followed by ROW (i.e. “disturbance”), like so: YAR-ROW. Chalk one to my Bradford’s here, given there’s a few plants out there in the world.

29. Herts town, neither small nor very relevant to youth (7)

Answer: TEENAGE (i.e. “[relevant to] youth”). Solution is STEVENAGE (i.e. “Herts town”) with the S and the V removed (indicated by “neither small or very” – S being a recognised abbreviation of “small”, V “very”).

31. Record possibly first released by later engineers (7)

Answer: EXTREME (i.e. “[world] record possibly”). Solution is NEXT (i.e. “later”) with its initial letter removed (indicated by “first released”) and the remainder followed by REME (i.e. “engineers” – specifically the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers of the British Army), like so: EXT-REME.

32. Breaking into 31, fellows start on theft (12)

Answer: INFRINGEMENT (i.e. “breaking [into]”). Solution is IN (i.e. “into”) followed by FRINGE (the solution to 31d being EXTREME, being much the same thing… ish…) then MEN (i.e. “fellows”) and T (i.e. “start on theft”, i.e. the first letter of “theft”), like so: IN-FRINGE-MEN-T.

33. Doctor half-heartedly neatens up, accepting hooligan’s punishment is self-serving choice? (11)

Answer: SMORGASBORD (i.e. “self-serving choice”). Solution is DR (a recognised abbreviation of “doctor”) and GROOMS (i.e. “neatens”) once one of the middle Os has been removed (indicated by “half-heartedly”).These are then both reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue) and wrapped around or “accepting” ASBO (i.e. “hooligan’s punishment”), like so: SMORG-(ASBO)-RD.

35. Tailor badly misses stripping (11)

Answer: DISASSEMBLY (i.e. “stripping”). “Tailor” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of BADLY MISSES.

36. Ethical travel company heading for old city is filling space (10)

Answer: ECOTOURISM (i.e. “ethical travel”). Solution is CO (a recognised abbreviation of “company”), TO (i.e. “heading for”), UR (i.e. “old city” – and a favourite of setters everywhere) and IS all placed in or “filling” EM (i.e. “space” – another favourite of setters, this is a printing term for the width of a space, supposedly the same as the letter “m”), like so: E(CO-TO-UR-IS)M.

38. Son breaks down, has repressed feelings (9)

Answer: SMOULDERS (i.e. “has repressed feelings”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”) followed by MOULDERS (i.e. crumbles to dust or “breaks down”).
[EDIT: Typo fix courtesy of Mike in the comments. Cheers, Mike! – LP]

40. Remedy sipped, say, for this? (9)

Answer: DYSPEPSIA. “Remedy” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SIPPED SAY. In the context of the clue, you may well sip a remedy to help a dyspeptic stomach. Nicely worked.

41. Bravery of Scotsman caught in glen (8)

Answer: VALIANCE (i.e. “bravery”). Solution is IAN (i.e. “Scotsman” – another favourite play of setters) and C (a recognised abbreviation of “caught” used in a number of ball games) both placed “in” VALE (i.e. “glen”), like so: VAL(IAN-C)E.

44. In triumph, presumably, nothing is free (7)

Answer: UNLOOSE (i.e. “[to] free”). Solution is UNLOSE (i.e. “triumph, presumably” – an acknowledgement that the word doesn’t really exist) “in” which is placed O (i.e. “nothing”), like so: UNL(O)OSE.

45. Landlord with gold taken away? (6)

Answer: LESSOR (i.e. “landlord”). When written as LESS OR the solution also satisfies “with gold taken away” – OR being “gold” in heraldry.

47. Flash grand, something that collects in pocket (5)

Answer: GLINT (i.e. “flash”). Solution is G (a recognised abbreviation of “grand”) followed by LINT (i.e. “something that collects in pocket”).

49. Expression in French, too European? (5)

Answer: TROPE (i.e. a figure of speech or “expression”). Solution is TROP (i.e. “in French, too” – i.e. the French for “too”) followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”). Thank goodness for Google Translate, eh?

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1443

An easier time of it this week after Bank Holiday Monday’s toughie, and by and large another good ‘un, offering a number of good clues and steady progression.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful.

As ever, some housekeeping: you can find lots of past solutions to these things on my Just For Fun page, or some book reviews gathering dust over thisaway, or a story of mine over thataway. Go check ’em out.

As we enter week plenty of lockdown, I hope you are keeping well and safe and all that. All being well I’ll see you for the next one. Meanwhile, do forgive me while I get incredibly nerdy ahead of Thursday’s PlayStation 5 announcement. (Flails arms Kermit-style.)

Laters,

LP

Across clues

1. Bracketed father, say, with man having time in charge (11)

Answer: PARENTHETIC (i.e. “bracketed”). Solution is PARENT (i.e. “father, say”) followed by HE (i.e. “man”), then T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) and IC (ditto “in charge”).

7. Go in with five by two strengthening strip (6)

Answer: BATTEN (i.e. “strengthening strip”). Solution is BAT (i.e. “go in”, say, in a game of cricket) followed by TEN (i.e. “five by two”, i.e. 5×2).

10. Port city with area for university student residence (4)

Answer: HALL (i.e. “student residence”). Solution is HULL (i.e. “port city”) with the U (a recognised abbreviation of “university”) swapped “for” A (ditto “area”), like so: H(U)LL => H(A)LL.

14. Note aunt’s unfortunate disease (7)

Answer: TETANUS (i.e. “disease”). Solution is TE (i.e. “note” in the doh-ray-me style) followed by an anagram (indicated by “unfortunate”) of AUNT’S, like so: TE-TANUS.

15. Quash right boxing ace in a ring (7)

Answer: ANNULAR (i.e. “[in a] ring”). Solution is ANNUL (i.e. “quash”) and R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”) wrapped around or “boxing” A (a recognised abbreviation of “ace” used on playing cards), like so: ANNUL-(A)-R.

16. Certainly bachelor interrupts ruse for ladies’ man (9)

Answer: PLAYBOY (i.e. “ladies’ man”). Solution is AY (i.e. “certainly”, being a variant spelling of “aye”) and B (a recognised abbreviation of “bachelor”) both placed in or “interrupting” PLOY (i.e. “ruse”), like so: PL(AY-B)OY.

17. Famous maestro, not English, getting cue wrong after Lohengrin’s wife is dressing (8,5)

Answer: BECHAMEL SAUCE (i.e. “dressing”). Solution is Sir Thomas BEECHAM (i.e. “famous maestro”) with an E removed (indicated by “not English” – E being a recognised abbreviation of “English”), then followed by an anagram (indicated by “wrong”) of CUE once it has been placed “after” ELSA (i.e. “Lohengrin’s wife” in Richard Wagner’s opera, Lohengrin), like so: BECHAM-ELSA-UCE. One for the Radio 3 listeners out there, I think.

18. City with terrible secret about gold (9)

Answer: WORCESTER (i.e. “city”). Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”) and an anagram (indicated by “terrible”) of SECRET both placed “about” OR (i.e. “gold” in heraldry), like so: W-(OR)-CESTER. Nice juxtaposition.

19. One living abroad has European vote, very conveniently (5)

Answer: EXPAT (i.e. “one living abroad”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”) followed by X (i.e. “vote”) and PAT (i.e. “very conveniently” – one for my Oxford here, as my Chambers wasn’t terribly convinced).

21. Heavy work I have outside printing house (10)

Answer: OPPRESSIVE (i.e. “heavy”). Solution is OP (i.e. “work”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “opus” or, as I also like to think, “operation”) and I’VE (a contraction of “I have”) both placed “outside” of PRESS (i.e. “printing house”), like so: OP-(PRESS)-I’VE.

23. Charge involving one Zulu witch doctor? (6)

Answer: WIZARD (i.e. “witch doctor”, or a man who practices witchcraft). Solution is WARD (i.e. “charge”, as in “ward of the state”) wrapped around or “involving” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and Z (“Zulu” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: W(I-Z)ARD.

25. Confused pie chart and inscription (8)

Answer: EPIGRAPH (i.e. “inscription”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “confused”) of PIE followed by GRAPH (i.e. “chart”), like so: EPI-GRAPH.
[EDIT: A nod to Chris in the comments for the typo fix. I’d written EPIGRAM at the start when it ought to have been EPIGRAPH. Cheers, Chris! – LP]

26. What may result in prince’s military manoeuvre (6,8)

Answer: PINCER MOVEMENT (i.e. “military manoeuvre”). Clue plays on how PINCER is an anagram of PRINCE, i.e. “what may result in prince” following a MOVEMENT of PINCER’s letters. Good clue.

29. Large cactus so full of water of Mexican river (7)

Answer: SAGUARO (i.e. “large cactus”). Solution is SO wrapped around or being “full of” AGUA (i.e. “water of Mexico”, i.e. the Spanish for “water”) and R (a recognised abbreviation of “river”), like so: S(AGUA-R)O. Chalk one to my Bradford’s here. I bet this wasn’t the first word the setter placed in the grid…

30. Anaesthetic unit is the best (6,3)

Answer: NUMBER ONE (i.e. “the best”). Solution is NUMBER (i.e. “anaesthetic”) followed by ONE (i.e. “unit”).

31. Royal Society’s in misery with lower standards (5)

Answer: WORSE (i.e. “with lower standards”). Solution is RS (a recognised abbreviation of “Royal Society”) placed “in” WOE (i.e. “misery”), like so: WO(RS)E.

32. Speak at length with old judge (5)

Answer: ORATE (i.e. “speak at length”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) followed by RATE (i.e. “[to] judge”).

34. Queen trapped by duty? Right, this may give her strength (9)

Answer: EXERCISER (i.e. “this may give her strength”). Solution is ER (i.e. “Queen”, specifically Elizabeth Regina) placed in or “trapped by” EXCISE (i.e. “duty”, both forms of taxation) and then followed by R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”), like so: EX(ER)CISE-R.

37. Golf provides for a place to swing (7)

Answer: GALLOWS (i.e. “a place to swing”). Solution is G (“Golf” in the phonetic alphabet) followed by ALLOWS (i.e. “provides for”). I love the black humour in this clue. Great stuff!

39. Key mineral fat for pastry producing artistic effect (14)

Answer: FORESHORTENING (i.e. “artistic effect”). Solution is F (i.e. “[musical] key”) followed by ORE (i.e. “mineral”) and SHORTENING (i.e. “fat for pastry”).

41. Established working name for language (8)

Answer: ESTONIAN (i.e. “language”). Solution is EST (a recognised abbreviation of “established”) followed by ON (i.e. “working”, as in switched on) and IAN (i.e. “name”).

43. Familiarly, wheels stick and make a harsh noise (6)

Answer: JAMJAR (i.e. “familiarly, wheels” – or cockney rhyming slang for “car” – remember The Times is predominantly a London newspaper so this happens from time to time, gorblimey, gercha, thumbs-behind-braces, etc). Solution is JAM (i.e. to “stick”) followed by JAR (i.e. “make a harsh noise” – a bit like the whistle I’m blowing to the setter for trying to pass this off as a 6-letter solution, when it should obviously be 3,3. Yellow card, setter.)

44. Absolute commander-in-chief chasing car holding traitor (10)

Answer: AUTOCRATIC (i.e. having an “absolute commander-in-chief”). Solution is CIC (a recognised abbreviation of “commander-in-chief”) placed after or “chasing” AUTO (i.e. “car”) and wrapped around RAT (i.e. “traitor”), like so: AUTO-C(RAT)IC. Nice bit of recycling in the clue, there.

45. Fine inventions, jets? (5)

Answer: FLIES (i.e. “jets”). Solution is F (a recognised abbreviation of “fine” used in grading pencils) followed by LIES (i.e. “inventions”).

48. Like flowers when meeting to study illness with hospital department (9)

Answer: CONFLUENT (i.e. “like flowers when meeting” – flowers in this case being a sneaky reference to rivers, given how they flow). Solution is CON (an archaic word for “study” often used by setters) followed by FLU (i.e. “illness”) and ENT (i.e. “hospital department” – specifically Ear Nose and Throat).

49. See beer in guilty sense without one getting better (13)

Answer: CONVALESCENCE (i.e. “getting better”). Solution is V (i.e. “see”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of the Latin “vide” – we’ve seen this used a couple of times before) and ALE (i.e. “beer”) both placed “in” CONSCIENCE (i.e. “guilty sense”) once the I has been removed (indicated by “without one”), like so: CON(V-ALE)SCENCE.

51. Doctor exposed about operation as one who failed to qualify (7)

Answer: DROPOUT (i.e. “one who failed to qualify”). Solution is DR (a recognised abbreviation of “doctor”) and OUT (i.e. “exposed”) both placed “about” OP (a recognised abbreviation of “operation”), like so: DR-(OP)-OUT.

52. Seller of pills made from tips of acacia blossom on tree (7)

Answer: Thomas BEECHAM (i.e. chemist and “seller of pills” – also the grandfather of the conductor Sir Thomas Beecham, referenced in 17a – I did wonder this during solving…). Solution is A and M (i.e. “tips of Acacia blossoM“, i.e. the first and last letters of “acacia blossom” – a wordplay you don’t see every day – usually “tips” refers to the first and last letters of a single word) placed “on” or after BEECH (i.e. “tree”, like so: BEECH-AM.

53. Took on suitable editor without visit to see (7)

Answer: ADOPTED (i.e. “took on”). Solution is APT (i.e. “suitable”) and ED (a recognised abbreviation of “editor”) wrapped around or placed “without” of DO (i.e. “visit to see” – as in something like “let’s do Paris”), like so: A(DO)PT-ED.

54. Smart suppressing singular desire (4)

Answer: WISH (i.e. “desire”). Solution is SWISH (i.e. “smart”) with the initial S removed (indicated by “suppressing singular”, S being a recognised abbreviation of “singular”).

55. Failing to cross over desert (6)

Answer: DEFECT. A triple-header, it seems, with the solution satisfying “failing”, “to cross over” and “[to] desert”.

56. Web crawler that predicts where the wealth is going? (5,6)

Answer: MONEY SPIDER (i.e. “web crawler”). Clue plays on how one may let a money spider run over the palm of their hand, supposedly to bring them luck with money. Despite being a black-hearted sceptic, I must admit I still do this. Then I put them on my chilli plants in the hope they’ll munch on the greenfly.

Down clues

1. Pill introduced by east European is fit to drink down (7)

Answer: POTABLE (i.e. “is fit to drink down”). Solution is TAB (i.e. “pill”) placed in or “introduced by” POLE (i.e. “east European”), like so: PO(TAB)LE.

2. Informer about in Epping restraining local authority (4-7)

Answer: RATE-CAPPING (i.e. “restricting local authority”). Solution is RAT (i.e. “informer”) followed by CA (i.e. “about”, being a recognised abbreviation of “circa”) once it has been placed “in” EPPING, like so: RAT-E(CA)PPING.

3. Girl trapping judge’s assassin (5)

Answer: NINJA (i.e. “assassin”). Solution is NINA (i.e. “girl”) wrapped around or “trapping” J (a recognised abbreviation of “judge”), like so: NIN(J)A.

4. What’s inverted horny porno tester suffering? (8,8)

Answer: HYSTERON PROTERON (i.e. “what’s inverted” – over to Chambers for this one: “a figure of speech in which what would ordinarily follow comes first”. An example of this would be the phrase “salt and vinegar”, where, of course, every right-minded person knows to put the vinegar on first. Don’t listen to the salt-first crowd. They are deluded and unfit to wield condiments without adult supervision.) “Suffering” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HORNY PORNO TESTER. One of those where the anagram is significantly more interesting than the solution!

5. Managed a month in teetotal wing of church (8)

Answer: TRANSEPT (i.e. “wing of church [building]”). Solution is RAN (i.e. “managed”) and SEP (i.e. “a month”, specifically September) both placed “in” TT (a recognised abbreviation of “teetotal”), like so: T(RAN-SEP)T.

6. Mum’s core sin unfortunately is a love of shopping (11)

Answer: CONSUMERISM (i.e. “a love of shopping”). “Unfortunately” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MUM’S CORE SIN.

7. Bulk large on the outside? (5)

Answer: BULGE (i.e. “bulk”). “On the outside” indicates the solution has been hidden in the outer letters of BUL(K LAR)GE. Sneaky, yes?

8. Jettison bedcover on top of antique table (5,9)

Answer: THROW OVERBOARD (i.e. “jettison”). Solution is THROW (i.e. “bedcover”) followed by OVER (i.e. “on top of”) and BOARD (i.e. “antique table” – Oxford has this as an archaic word for “a table set for a meal”).

9. Sandwich spread? (6)

Answer: EXPORT (i.e. “spread”). When read as EX-PORT the solution also satisfies “Sandwich” – referring to Sandwich in Kent, now a couple of miles inland. Nicely worked.

11. Market exploiter using a rand drop to bait Europe (11)

Answer: ARBITRAGEUR (i.e. “market exploiter”). Solution is A followed by R (a recognised abbreviation of “rand”), then BIT (i.e. a “drop” of something, e.g. liquid), then RAG (i.e. “to bait” or tease someone) and EUR (a recognised abbreviation of “European”).

12. Stratified lake certainly a warning of something dangerous (7)

Answer: LAYERED (i.e. “stratified”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “lake”) followed by AYE (i.e. “certainly”, both forms of yes) and RED (i.e. “a warning of something dangerous”).

13. British petroleum jelly, not very standard for comparison (8)

Answer: BASELINE (i.e. “standard for comparison”). Solution is B (a recognised abbreviation of “British”) followed by VASELINE (i.e. “petroleum jelly”) once the V has been removed (indicated by “not very” – V being a recognised abbreviation of “very”), like so: B-ASELINE.

20. Convert home to church in stretch of land for row of houses (7)

Answer: TERRACE (i.e. “row of houses”). Solution is TERRAIN (i.e. “stretch of land”) where the IN (i.e. “[at] home”) has been swapped for CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England), like so: TERRA(IN) => TERRA(CE).

22. Certain about Chile’s capital being somewhere in the Andes (5)

Answer: SUCRE (i.e. “somewhere in the Andes”, specifically Bolivia’s constitutional capital). Solution is SURE (i.e. “certain”) wrapped “about” C (i.e. “Chile’s capital”, i.e. the first letter of “Chile”), like so: SU(C)RE. One gotten purely from the wordplay.

24. Strange being on underground with a railway minister (7,9)

Answer: FOREIGN SECRETARY (i.e. UK government “minister”). Solution is FOREIGN (i.e. “strange”) followed by SECRET (i.e. “underground”), then A and RY (a recognised abbreviation of “railway”). Nicely worked.

25. Moderate teases toffs endlessly (4,3)

Answer: EASE OFF (i.e. “moderate”). “Endlessly” indicates the solution can be derived by taking the first and last letters from T(EASE)S T(OFF)S.

27. No tears about disloyalty (7)

Answer: TREASON (i.e. “disloyalty”). “About” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of NO TEARS.

28. Includes bitter brewed to be very strong (14)

Answer: INDESTRUCTIBLE (i.e. “very strong”). “Brewed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of INCLUDES BITTER.

31. Rich, fit and not working (4-3)

Answer: WELL-OFF (i.e. “rich”). Solution is WELL (i.e. “fit”) followed by OFF (i.e. “not working”).

33. A blush digesting record of debt leaving son to the very end bitter (11)

Answer: ACRIMONIOUS (i.e. “bitter”). Solution is A followed by CRIMSON (i.e. “blush”) which is wrapped around IOU (i.e. “record of debt”) once the S – a recognised abbreviation of “son” has been placed “to the very end”, like so: A-CRIMON(IOU)S.

35. Section of poem to preserve – Tasso’s no fool (5)

Answer: CANTO (i.e. “section of poem”). Solution is CAN (i.e. “to preserve”) followed by TASSO once the ASS has been removed, indicated by “no fool”, like so: CAN-TO.

36. HM’s in grand construction – here? (11)

Answer: SANDRINGHAM (i.e. “here” – referring to where Her Majesty (HM) sometimes plonks herself). “Construction” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HM’S IN GRAND.

38. Dogmatic idea, no point shifting (11)

Answer: OPINIONATED (i.e. “dogmatic”). “Shifting” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IDEA NO POINT.

40. Delay one riding horse (8)

Answer: STALLION (i.e. “horse”). Solution is STALL (i.e. “delay”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and ON (i.e. “riding”).

42. Sham opponent’s name a million nasty people sent up (5,3)

Answer: STRAW MAN (i.e. “sham opponent” or argument set up for the sake of disputation (Chambers)). Solution is N (a recognised abbreviation of “name”) followed by A, then M (a recognised abbreviation of “million”) and WARTS (i.e. “nasty people”). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “sent up” – this being a down clue), like so: STRAW-M-A-N.

43. Bird’s to raise hatch, reportedly (7)

Answer: JACKDAW (i.e. “bird”). Solution is JACK (i.e. “to raise”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “reportedly”) of DOOR.

46. Mailer accepting Pound is rather fine (7)

Answer: SLENDER (i.e. “rather fine”). Solution is SENDER (i.e. “mailer”) wrapped around or “accepting” L (a recognised abbreviation of a “pound” of weight – ignore the misleading capitalisation), like so: S(L)ENDER.

47. Get annoyed with what might appear on waste land (6)

Answer: NETTLE. Solution satisfies “get annoyed” and “what might appear on waste land”.

49. Socialists pursuing Conservative split (5)

Answer: CLEFT (i.e. “split”). Solution is LEFT (i.e. “socialists”) placed after or “pursuing” C (a recognised abbreviation of “Conservative”), like so: C-LEFT. Nicely worked.

50. Mike’s stuffing piece of meat to munch with gusto (5)

Answer: CHOMP (i.e. “munch with gusto”). Solution is M (“Mike” in the phonetic alphabet) placed in or “stuffing” CHOP (i.e. “piece of meat”), like so: CHO(M)P.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1442

A toughie for Bank Holiday Monday, as feared! Though this wasn’t quite on a par with recent puzzles, I do appreciate toughies that have me dug deep into the pages of a dictionary, which is what we had today. Some of the clueing was a bit wayward (and expect red bits, regulars), but I’d still say this was a good ‘un overall.

You can find my completed grid below – though note that I’m not sure about 8d – along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful.

As ever, some housekeeping. A few book reviews can be found mouldering here, along with a story I did a while ago. Meanwhile, if you’ve been buggered by a recent Jumbo, so to speak, you can find solutions to the past ninety-odd of them on my Just For Fun page.

Finally, if you subscribe to these posts it might be worth checking in a little later in case a helpful commenter sheds light on my… er… red bits. I don’t believe WordPress pings out updates to my posts.

Right, that’s all for now. Stay safe, keep well and I’ll see you around.

LP

Across clues

1. Whisky with wine hosts consumed did harm (10)

Answer: MALTREATED (i.e. “did harm”). Solution is MALT (i.e. “whisky”) and RED (i.e. “wine”) once the latter has been wrapped around or “hosting” ATE (i.e. “consumed”), like so: MALT-RE(ATE)D.

6. Sporting tournament press run (6,6)

Answer: SQUASH LADDER (i.e. “sporting tournament”). Solution is SQUASH (i.e. “press”) followed by LADDER (i.e. a “run” in a pair of tights).

14. Girl in condition for race walk (2,7)

Answer: GO MISSING (i.e. “walk”). Solution is MISS (i.e. “girl”) placed “in” GOING (i.e. “condition for [horse] race”), like so: GO(MISS)ING.

15. Good of heathen to go for English hymn (5)

Answer: PAEAN (i.e. “hymn”). Solution is PAGAN (i.e. “heathen”) once the G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) has been replaced by E (ditto “English”), like so: PA(G)AN => PA(E)AN.

16. Seeing that, husbands each quietly refuse (3-4)

Answer: ASH-HEAP (i.e. “refuse”). Solution is AS (i.e. “seeing that”) followed by H and H (recognised abbreviations of “husband”, made plural), then EA (a recognised abbreviation of “each”) and P (ditto “piano”, which is to play “quietly” in musical lingo).

17. The doggone Italian rogue, giving John’s address to singer! (3,2,1,11)

Answer: ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE (i.e. “giving John [Keats]’s address to singer” – a singer this case being a songbird). “Rogue” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of THE DOGGONE ITALIAN.

18. Fragments of rock of crystal, usually after erosion (5)

Answer: TALUS (i.e. “fragments of rock”). “After erosion” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: CRYS(TAL US)ALLY.

19. Scottish umpire and bookmaker? (7)

Answer: ODDSMAN. Solution satisfies “Scottish umpire” and, cryptically, “bookmaker” – playing on how “odds” are often used in betting. A nod to my Bradfords here.

21. We’d have girls coming out without anoraks, across pond? (6)

Answer: DWEEBS (i.e. “anoraks, across pond”, referring to how geeks are referred over in the US). Solution is WE with DEBS (i.e. “girls coming out”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “debutantes”) placed “without” it, like so: D(WE)EBS.

22. Sloth appearing in lake, by the side, briefly (8)

Answer: FLANERIE (i.e. “sloth”). Solution is ERIE (one of the Great “Lakes”) placed after or “by” FLANK (i.e. “side”) once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “briefly”), like so: FLAN-ERIE. I needed my Oxford to nail this one, as my Chambers and Collins Concise didn’t want to know.

24. Like to go on home? It’s early days (7)

Answer: INFANCY (i.e. “it’s early days”). Solution is FANCY (i.e. “like”) placed “on” or after IN (i.e. “[at] home”), like so: IN-FANCY.

26. Find Toby desperate to get through (2,4,2)

Answer: BY DINT OF (i.e. “through”). “Desperate” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of FIND TOBY.

27. A word of annoyance is very bad, if said by drunk? (6)

Answer: SHUCKS (i.e. “a word of annoyance”). Solution is SUCKS (i.e. “very bad”) if the initial S is slurred (i.e. “if said by drunk”).

30. Physicist canned grand scheming (11)

Answer: MACHINATING (i.e. “scheming”). Solution is Ernst MACH (i.e. “physician”) followed by IN A TIN (i.e. “canned”) and G (a recognised abbreviation of “grand”).

32. Run shower, not having yet risen? Crazy! (11)

Answer: HAREBRAINED (i.e. “crazy”). Solution is HARE (i.e. “run”) followed by RAIN (i.e. “shower”) once it has been placed in BED (playing on “not having yet risen”), like so: HARE-B(RAIN)ED.

33. Nice health food? (6,5)

Answer: FRENCH TOAST (i.e. “food”). Solution also satisfies “Nice health” when taking “Nice” as a city over in French Franceland, and “health” as a toast (raises glass). Good clue.

35. Either way, an advantage men take away (4,2,5)

Answer: PLUS OR MINUS (i.e. “either way”). Solution is PLUS (i.e. “an advantage”) followed by OR (i.e. “men”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army) and MINUS (i.e. “take away”).

37. Months in precious metal barrel giving time to mature (6)

Answer: AUTUMN (i.e. “time to mature”). Solution is M (a recognised abbreviation of “months”) placed “in” AU (chemical symbol of gold, i.e. “precious metal”) and TUN (i.e. “barrel”), like so: AU-TU(M)N.

38. Hunted rabbits: celebrated bagging stray (8)

Answer: FERRETED (i.e. “hunted rabbits”). Solution is FETED (i.e. “celebrated”) wrapped around or “bagging” ERR (i.e. “[to] stray”), like so: F(ERR)ETED.

39. Sweet little face turned to the front (7)

Answer: GUMDROP (i.e. “sweet”). Solution is DROP (i.e. a “little” bit) with MUG (i.e. “face”, as in a mugshot) placed “to the front” once it has been reversed (indicated by “turned”), like so: GUM-DROP.

42. Champion’s cover lapsed (8)

Answer: BACKSLID (i.e. “lapsed”). Solution is BACKS (i.e. “champions” – ignore the misleading possessive apostrophe) followed by LID (i.e. “cover”).

44. Large amount of red or white antelope marks on the mother (6)

Answer: MAGNUM (i.e. “large amount of red or white [wine]”). Solution is GNU (i.e. “antelope”) and M (a recognised abbreviation of “marks” – the former German currency) both placed “on” or after MA (i.e. “mother”), like so: MA-(GNU-M).

46. Alien hot on crime (7)

Answer: INCOMER (i.e. “alien”). “Hot” indicates anagram, if somewhat weakly. Solution is an anagram of ON CRIME.

48. Quickly make approach (3-2)

Answer: RUN-UP. Solution satisfies “quickly make” and “approach”. It satisfies the clue taken as a whole too.

49. Something legendary in range of pants: singular, fashionable – lots reduced (10,7)

Answer: ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN (i.e. “something legendary in [mountain] range”). Solution is ABOMINABLE (i.e. “pants”, both taken to mean something a bit rubbish) followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “singular”), then NOW (i.e. “fashionable”) and MANY (i.e. “lots”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “reduced”), like so: ABOMINABLE-S-NOW-MAN.

51. State place mostly that song’s about (7)

Answer: ARIZONA (i.e. “[US] state”). Solution is ZONE (i.e. “place”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and ARIA (i.e. “song”) placed “about” the remainder like so: ARI(ZON)A.

52. Revise opinion? Swell to have change of heart! (5)

Answer: BUDGE (i.e. “revise opinion” – backed up by my Oxford but not Chambers). Solution is BULGE (i.e. “swell”) once the middle letter or “heart” has been “changed”, like so: BU(L)GE => BU(D)GE.

53. Request from cameraman for one to desist (3,6)

Answer: SAY CHEESE (i.e. “request from cameraman”). Solution is SAY (i.e. “for one”, as in “for example”), while CHEESE seems to relate to the phrase “cheese it”, supposedly said by someone wanting another to stop or “desist” doing something. Too loose for my liking.

54. A major piece some catch still when acquiring books (5,7)

Answer: TROUT QUINTET, “a major piece” by Franz Schubert. Solution is TROUT (i.e. “some catch” of fish) followed by QUIET (i.e. “still”) once it has been wrapped around or “acquiring” NT (i.e. “books”, specifically the New Testament of The Bible), like so: TROUT-QUI(NT)ET. My knowledge of classical music isn’t exactly comprehensive, so this was gotten solely through the wordplay.

55. Mediated, having done originally with priest (10)

Answer: INTERPOSED (i.e. “mediated”). Blimey, this was a late one! I was about to click on the big blue ‘Publish’ button when the clue finally clicked. The solution is an anagram (indicated by “originally”) of DONE and PRIEST. Sometimes you just don’t see ’em. Which, coincidentally, was the reason I gave when I failed my driving test, m’lud.

Down clues

1. In place of gentle breeding, sporting too grim a mug (11)

Answer: MAGGOTORIUM (i.e. “place of gentle breeding” – one meaning of “gentle” is a soft maggot used as bait in fishing. I mean, you could just call them maggots, I dunno…) “Sporting” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TOO GRIM A MUG.

2. My problem, mulled over, has diminished (5)

Answer: LUMME (i.e. “my”, both expressions of surprise). “Has diminished” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “over” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: PROBL(EM MUL)LED.

3. Irish town’s trio regularly the last to rise in parliament (9)

Answer: ROSCOMMON (i.e. “Irish town”). Solution is RO (i.e. “trio regularly”, i.e. every other letter of TRIO) followed by COMMONS (i.e. “parliament”) once the S has been promoted to the beginning (indicated by “the last to rise in…”), like so: RO-SCOMMON. One gotten mostly from the wordplay.

4. French town, one plugging 5g in soon (7)

Answer: AVIGNON (i.e. “French town”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) “plugged” into V (i.e. “[Roman numeral] 5”) and G, which is itself then placed “in” ANON (i.e. “soon”), like so: A(V(I)G)NON. I’m usually rubbish with places, given there are more than about ten of them in the world, but I was quite pleased to know this one.

5. Took part of our tongue, in short well past its sell-by date? (7)

Answer: ENGAGED (i.e. “took part”). Solution is ENG (i.e. “our tongue, in short”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “English”) followed by AGED (i.e. “well past its sell-by-date”). Setters words, folks, not mine!

7. Division of court’s seen new barrister initially put out cases (6,5)

Answer: QUEENS BENCH (i.e. “division of court”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “new”) of SEEN followed by B (i.e. “barrister initially”), around which is wrapped or “cased” with QUENCH (i.e. “put out”), like so: QU(EENS-B)ENCH.

8. War refugee late in because having to keep disappearing (6)

Answer: AENEAS. I’m not 100% sure here as I haven’t got much of a fix on the parsing, but this, or perhaps AENEAD, seems the best fit, especially considering how often Times setters nurse semis for the classics. Aeneas, in Virgil’s The Aeneid, was a survivor of the Trojan War, after which both he and a bunch of his followers, the so-called Aeneads, legged it to Italy. So, “war refugee”. Of AENEAS and AENEAD, I’ve gone for the former purely due to “because having to keep”, which I’m assuming means wrapping AS around the midsection, like so: A(ENEA)S. But that’s all I’ve got for now, and I’m happy to be corrected.
[EDIT: Huge thanks for Mark in the comments for acing this one, pointing out that “to keep disappearing” suggests the removal of every other letter of LATE IN BECAUSE. That’s some top solving there! – LP]

9. Perfect pitch simply with nothing lacking! (8)

Answer: HEAVENLY (i.e. “perfect”). Solution is HEAVE (i.e. “pitch”) followed by ONLY (i.e. “simply”) with the O removed (indicated by “with nothing lacking”), like so: HEAVE-NLY.

10. Running the marathon is something invigorating! (1,4,2,3,3)

Answer: A SHOT IN THE ARM (i.e. “something invigorating”). “Running” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of THE MARATHON IS.

11. Liver finally pronounced healthier? That’s wrong! (7)

Answer: DWELLER (i.e. “liver”, as in one who lives… somewhere). Solution is D (i.e. “finally pronounced”, i.e. the last letter of “pronounced”) followed by WELLER (i.e. “healthier? That’s wrong!” – a riddly riff on how one cannot be “weller” as it’s not a proper word. Yeah, I think it stinks as well.)

12. Gangs close to woods, hiding in grass, getting seized (11)

Answer: REPOSSESSED (i.e. “seized”). Solution is POSSES (i.e. “gangs”) and S (i.e. “close to woods”, i.e. the last letter of “woods”) both placed or “hiding in” REED (i.e. “grass”), like so: RE(POSSES-S)ED.

13. Observed trouble – and there’s afters! (7,3)

Answer: SPOTTED DOG, another name for spotted dick, a dessert or “afters”. Solution is SPOTTED (i.e. “saw”) followed by DOG (i.e. to worry or “trouble”).

20. Wanting, if enticed, to misbehave (9)

Answer: DEFICIENT (i.e. “wanting”). “To misbehave” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IF ENTICED.

23. The regular activities in an Indian state, perhaps, are enough (2,6)

Answer: GO AROUND (i.e. “are enough”, as in having enough to go around). When read as GOA ROUND the solution also satisfies “the regular activities in an Indian state”.

25. Looking down on good guy, Yankee is indeed in a ferment (6)

Answer: YEASTY (i.e. “in a ferment”). Solution is ST (a recognised abbreviation of “saint”, i.e. “good guy”) and Y (“Yankee” in the phonetic alphabet) with YEA (i.e. “indeed”, being a variant form of “yes”) placed ahead of these, or “looking down on” them – this being a down clue – like so: YEA-(ST-Y).

26. A stir in the navy assists, we hear, parts of the army (8)

Answer: BRIGADES (i.e. “parts of the army”). Solution is BRIG (i.e. “a stir in the navy” – a brig being a ship’s prison; “stir” is also a slang word for prison) followed by a homophone (indicated by “we hear”) of AIDS (i.e. “assists”), like so: BRIG-ADES.

28. Something fishy about sister with unusual problem (9)

Answer: CONUNDRUM (i.e. “problem”). Solution is COD (i.e. “something fishy”) placed “about” NUN (i.e. “sister”) and then followed by RUM (i.e. “unusual”), like so: CO(NUN)D-RUM.

29. Passed on wish in earnest for a slim figure (6)

Answer: OBLONG (i.e. “slim figure”). Solution is OB (i.e. “passed on”, being a recognised abbreviation of “obiit”, Latin for “died”) followed by LONG (i.e. “wish in earnest”).

31. Benefit from popular approach – winning in game (6,7)

Answer: INCOME SUPPORT (i.e. “benefit”). Solution is IN (i.e. “popular”) followed by COME (i.e. “approach”), then UP (i.e. “winning”) once it has been placed “in” SPORT (i.e. “game”), like so: IN-COME-S(UP)PORT.

33. Fat creature holding up first two on ground floor (11)

Answer: FLABBERGAST (i.e. to astound or “floor” someone). Solution is FLAB (i.e. “fat”) followed by BEAST (i.e. “creature”) once it has been wrapped around or “holding” the “first two” letters of “ground” after they’ve been reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue), like so: FLAB-BE(RG)AST.

34. Sailor and artist do stuff (11)

Answer: TARRADIDDILE (i.e. “stuff”, as in stuff and nonsense). Solution is TAR (i.e. a word for “sailor” often used by setters) followed by RA (i.e. “artist”, specifically a Royal Academician) and DIDDLE (i.e. to con or “do” someone).

35. A PE test not designed for powerful figures (10)

Answer: POTENTATES (i.e. “powerful figures”). “Designed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of A PE TEST NOT.

36. Manage to be both marvellous and mean (11)

Answer: SUPERINTEND (i.e. “manage”). Solution is SUPER (i.e. “marvellous”) followed by INTEND (i.e. “mean”). Nicely worked.

40. Implant in animal? Note reptile with it (9)

Answer: MICROCHIP (i.e. “implant in animal”). Solution is MI (i.e. a “note” in the doh-ray-mi style) followed by CROC (i.e. “reptile”) and HIP (i.e. “with it”).

41. Family united, gathering a party to climb mountain (8)

Answer: KINABALU (i.e. “mountain”). Solution is KIN (i.e. “family”) and U (a recognised abbreviation of “united”) both wrapped around or “gathering” A and LAB (i.e. “party”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of the Labour Party) once the latter has been reversed (indicated by “to climb” – this being a down clue), like so: KIN-(A-BAL)-U. I had most of the components to this one but needed my Bradford’s to help stitch them together.

43. Bit of an odour from the mouth, if you ask me (7)

Answer: CENTIMO (i.e. a “bit” or coin used in a number of Latin American countries). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “from the mouth”) of SCENT followed by IMO (i.e. “if you ask me”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “in my opinion” often used online), like so: CENT-IMO.

45. Curse of old Liberal, domiciled in France? (7)

Answer: MALISON (i.e. “curse of old”, being a poetic word I guess from ye olde times). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “Liberal”) placed in MAISON (French for “house”, and so “domiciled in France”), like so: MA(L)ISON. A new one on me. I like it.

46. Isn’t Ely laid out impressively (2,5)

Answer: IN STYLE (i.e. “impressively”). “Laid out” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ISN’T ELY.

47. A horse for a child’s birthday, complete with box? (6)

Answer: DOBBIN (i.e. “a horse for a child”). Solution is DOB (i.e. “birthday”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of Date Of Birth) followed by BIN (i.e. “box”).

50. Judge rises after giving out initial answers (5)

Answer: MEETS (i.e. “answers”). Solution is ESTEEM (i.e. “judge”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “rises”) and its initial letter removed (indicated by “after giving out initial”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1441

Yay! Bank Holiday weekend! What better reason can there be to stop in the house and to slave over an inky grid? Well, there’s avoiding the plague, for one. Reducing the chance of being decapitated by roof tiles flung about thanks to the usual Bank Holiday hurricanes, for another.

Anyway, I thought this week’s puzzle was a really good one. Though erring towards the easier end of the spectrum, there were plenty of well-worked clues to appreciate. I guess that means we’re in for a stinker on Monday…

Until then, you can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them useful.

While you’re here, I’ve got some old content in the shape of book reviews and a story I put out a while ago. If you could blow the dust off of those that would be nice. If you’ve got a recent Times Jumbo Cryptic that’s given you grief, you might also find succour in my Just For Fun page, where you’ll find solutions for the last ninety-odd Jumbos.

That’s all for now. Stay safe, and I’ll see you soon.

LP

Across clues

1. Car part collected in metropolis, familiarly (5,4)

Answer: BRAKE DRUM (i.e. “car part”). Solution is RAKED (i.e. “collected”) placed “in” BRUM (i.e. “metropolis, familiarly”, i.e. a familiar name for Birmingham, England’s second city), like so: B(RAKED)RUM.

6. White knight bitter having rescued itinerant earlier (7)

Answer: ALBUMEN (i.e. “[egg] white”). Solution is N (a recognised abbreviation of “knight” sometimes used in chess) with ALE (i.e.” bitter”) placed before it or “earlier”, once it has been wrapped around or having “rescued” BUM (i.e. “itinerant”), like so: AL(BUM)E-N.

10. Taking portside tack, a gamble for ship (5)

Answer: SLOOP (i.e. “ship”). Solution is POOLS (i.e. “a gamble”, referring to the football pools, which, if memory serves me correctly, used to have something to do with predicting the outcomes of football games back in the 1980s with the hope of winning enough money to keep oneself in perms, Hai Karate and Duran Duran records) reversed (indicated by “taking portside tack”, i.e. going from right-to-left – this being an across clue).

13. Attack Irish resistance in a charity (3,4)

Answer: AIR RAID (i.e. “attack”). Solution is IR (a recognised abbreviation of “Irish”) and R (ditto “resistance”) placed “in” A and AID (i.e. “charity”), like so: A-(IR-R)-AID.

14. Old actor in series about political extremists (7)

Answer: Charlie CHAPLIN (i.e. “old actor”). Solution is CHAIN (i.e. “series”) wrapped “about” PL (i.e. “political extremists”, i.e. the first and last letters of “political”), like so: CHA(PL)IN.

15. Strip featuring London university, fully established (4-3)

Answer: WELL-SET (i.e. “fully-established”). Solution is WELT (i.e. a narrow “strip” of leather) wrapped around or “featuring” LSE (i.e. “London university”, specifically the London School of Economics), like so: WEL(LSE)T.

16. Seemingly forever, while stock temporarily unavailable? (4,3,4,4,4)

Answer: TILL THE COWS COME HOME (i.e. “seemingly forever”). Clue plays on how “stock” can mean livestock. You get the idea. An easier get, being a relatively recent repeat from puzzle 1424.

17. Energy coming from exercising quietly (3)

Answer: PEP (i.e. “energy”). Solution is PE (i.e. “exercise”, specifically Physical Education) followed by P (i.e. “quietly” – P is a recognised abbreviation of “piano” which is quiet in musical lingo).

18. Do leave church (6)

Answer: FLEECE (i.e. “do”, both taken to mean to con someone). Solution is FLEE (i.e. “leave”) followed by CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England).

20. Carnivorous plant requiring warmer moisture (6)

Answer: SUNDEW (i.e. “carnivorous plant” – not exactly a looker, though). Solution is SUN (i.e. “warmer”, as in how the sun warms things) followed by DEW (i.e. “moisture”).

21. Applying pressure, rough up characters in central Lisbon, finally (9)

Answer: SANDBLAST (i.e. “[in] applying pressure, rough up”). Solution is S AND B (i.e. “characters in central LISBON” when written out in full) followed by LAST (i.e. “finally”).

23. Slug sandwiches infiltrating Spanish tapas starters, frantic! (10)

Answer: DISTRAUGHT (i.e. “frantic”). Solution is DRAUGHT (i.e. “slug”, both measures of booze) wrapped around or “sandwiching” I S and T (i.e. “infiltrating Spanish tapas starters”, i.e. the first letters of “infiltrating”, “Spanish” and “tapas”), like so: D(IST)RAUGHT.

25. Last of four cracks disappear after fix that’s cosmetic (4,7)

Answer: NAIL VARNISH (i.e. “cosmetic”). Solution is R (i.e. “last of four”, i.e. the last letter of “four”) placed in or “cracking” VANISH (i.e. “disappear”) and the whole then placed “after” NAIL (i.e. “fix [in place]”), like so: NAIL-VA(R)NISH.

29. Full – all holes? (5)

Answer: ROUND. Solution satisfies “full” and “all holes”, as in a round of golf. Nicely played.

30. Keeper on second team originally unknown (8)

Answer: STRANGER (i.e. “unknown”). Solution is RANGER (i.e. “[US park] keeper”) placed on or “after” S (a recognised abbreviation of “second”) and T (i.e. “team originally”, i.e. the first letter of “team”), like so: S-T-RANGER.

31. Location of pavement, incidentally (2,3,3)

Answer: BY THE WAY. Solution satisfies “location of pavement” if you take “way” to mean a road, and “incidentally”.

34. Garment to criticise, notice twists in it (4,4)

Answer: KNEE SOCK (i.e. “garment”). Solution is KNOCK (i.e. “to criticise”) with SEE (i.e. “notice”) placed “in it” once it has been reversed (indicated by “twists”), like so: KN(EES)OCK.

36. Very cold, having unfastened zip (8)

Answer: FREEZING (i.e. “very cold”). Solution is FREE (i.e. “unfastened”) followed by ZING (i.e. “zip”, as in pizazz, that kind of thing).

37. Top cake’s back with fewer calories (5)

Answer: ELITE (i.e. “top”). Solution is E (i.e. “cake’s back”, i.e. the last letter of “cake”) followed by LITE (i.e. “with fewer calories”).

39. Try to win European woman’s heart with single flower (4,7)

Answer: WOOD ANEMONE (i.e. “flower”). Solution is WOO (i.e. “try to win … heart”) followed by DANE (i.e. “European”), then M (i.e. “woman’s heart”, i.e. the middle letter of “woman”) and ONE (i.e. “single”), like so: WOO-DANE-M-ONE. Nicely played.

41. One would be transported by this musical after various dances (5,5)

Answer: SEDAN CHAIR (i.e. “one would be transported by this”). Solution is HAIR (i.e. a “musical” that was notorious in its day for having a spot of male nudity) placed “after” an anagram (indicated by “various”) of DANCES, like so: SEDANC-HAIR.

43. See fabric stuffed in bag (9)

Answer: BRIEFCASE (i.e. “bag”). “Stuffed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SEE FABRIC.

45. Fight to get sheep onto public transport (4-2)

Answer: BUST-UP (i.e. “fight”). Solution is TUP (i.e. “sheep”, being another word for a ram) placed after or “onto” BUS (i.e. “public transport”), like so: BUS-TUP.

47. Common tease, darling turning back (6)

Answer: VULGAR (i.e. “common”). Solution is RAG (i.e. “tease”) and LUV (i.e. “darling”) both reversed (indicated by “turning back”), like so: VUL-GAR.

49. Ace in pontoon essential (3)

Answer: ONE (i.e. “ace” in playing cards). “In” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: PONTO(ON E)SSENTIAL. Nicely worked.

50. Turn from the shadows – and cheer up? (4,2,3,6,4)

Answer: LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE. Solution satisfies “turn from the shadow” and “cheer up”.

52. Commie figure in vehicle to the left? (7)

Answer: MARXIST (i.e. “commie”). Solution is SIX (i.e. “figure” – a number, basically) placed “in” TRAM (i.e. “vehicle”) and the whole then reversed (indicated by “to the left” – this being an across clue), like so: MAR(XIS)T.

53. Prisoner wearing hat for work in the field (7)

Answer: TILLAGE (i.e. “work in the field”). Solution is LAG (i.e. “prisoner”) placed in or “wearing” TILE (a slang term for a “hat”), like so: TIL(LAG)E.

54. Looking back, I delivered packages perfect for African capital (7)

Answer: NAIROBI (i.e. “African capital”). Solution is I and BORN (i.e. “delivered”) both reversed (indicated by “looking back” – this being an across clue) and wrapped around AI (i.e. “perfect”, i.e. A1, with an I representing the 1), like so: N(AI)ROB-I.

55. First performance not entirely good, correct program (5)

Answer: DEBUG (i.e. to “correct [computer] program”). Solution is DEBUT (i.e. “first performance”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “not entirely”) and followed by G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”), like so: DEBU-G.

56. I regret snatching it back, a huge area of land (7)

Answer: EURASIA (i.e. “huge area of land”). Solution is I and RUE (i.e. “regret”) wrapped around or “snatching” SA (i.e. “it” – a sneaky bit of wordplay we haven’t seen for a while, SA is a recognised abbreviation of “sex appeal”, i.e. having got “it”) and the whole reversed (indicated by “back”) before being followed by A, like so: (EUR-(AS)-I)-A.

57. Car insurance carried excess? (5,4)

Answer: SPARE TYRE. Solution satisfies “car insurance” and “carried excess”, as in a couple of pounds extra body weight. Nicely worked.

Down clues

1. Damn rotten, start of mission (5-3)

Answer: BLAST-OFF (i.e. “start of mission”). Solution is BLAST (i.e. “damn”, both mild expletives) followed by OFF (i.e. “rotten”).

2. Borrowing rate one pound a month (5)

Answer: APRIL (i.e. “a month”). Solution is APR (i.e. “borrowing rate”, specifically an Annualised Percentage Rate) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and L (a recognised abbreviation of a “pound” of weight). Simple, but nicely worked.

3. Sat with delicate pants – like knickers? (11)

Answer: ELASTICATED (i.e. “like knickers” – only at weekends, mate). “Pants” indicates anagram, taken to mean poor or rubbish. Solution is an anagram of SAT and DELICATE. Another good ‘un.

4. More claret – the same served up? (6)

Answer: REDDER (i.e. “more claret”). “The same served up” indicates the solution is a palindrome, “up” being a popular reversal indicator in down clues.

5. Delicate operation adding dash of ginger in my curries, or otherwise (12)

Answer: MICROSURGERY (i.e. “delicate operation”). Solution G (i.e. “a dash of ginger”, i.e. the first letter of “ginger”) placed in an anagram (indicated by “otherwise”) of MY CURRIES OR, like so: MICROSUR(G)ERY.

6. A plank in sea, collected (7)

Answer: AMASSED (i.e. “collected”). Solution is A followed by ASS (i.e. “plank”, both taken to mean a fool) once it has been placed “in” MED (i.e. “sea”, specifically the Mediterranean), like so: A-M(ASS)ED.

7. Team no world-beaters unfortunately, relegation finally accepted (6,9)

Answer: BOLTON WANDERERS (i.e. “[football] team”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “unfortunately”) of NO WORLD-BEATERS wrapped around or “accepting” N (i.e. “relegation finally”, i.e. the last letter of “relegation”), like so: BOLTO(N)WANDERERS. A brilliantly worked clue, especially considering Bolton’s assorted woes.

8. Formal clothes to get a day before important case (6,4)

Answer: MONKEY SUIT (i.e. slang for “formal clothes”). Solution is MON (i.e. “a day”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of Monday) followed by KEY (i.e. “important”) and SUIT (i.e. “[legal] case”).

9. Force man to keep wife in Crawley, say? (3,4)

Answer: NEW TOWN (i.e. “Crawley, say” – other new towns are available). Solution is NEWTON (i.e. “force” in physics) wrapped around or “keeping” W (a recognised abbreviation of “wife”), like so: NEWTO(W)N.

10. What might be used as capital punishment in wood (6,5)

Answer: SILVER BIRCH (i.e. “wood”). Solution is SILVER (i.e. “what might be used as capital”) followed by BIRCH (i.e. “[rod of] punishment”). Another good ‘un.

11. Channels Iago hopes to manipulate (9)

Answer: OESOPHAGI (i.e. “channels”). “To manipulate” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IAGO HOPES.

12. Sound of one gently stepping in bread and butter (3-1-3)

Answer: PIT-A-PAT (i.e. “sound of one gently stepping”). Solution is PITA (i.e. “bread”, a variant spelling of pitta) followed by PAT (i.e. “butter” – over to Chambers: “a small soft mass, especially of butter”). Another well-worked clue.

19. Bon vivant, Argentine ultimately still missing tango (7)

Answer: EPICURE (i.e. “bon vivant”). Solution is E (i.e. “Argentine ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “Argentine”) followed by PICTURE (i.e. “still” or photograph) once the T has been removed (indicated by “missing tango” – T being “tango” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: E-PICURE.

22. To kill queen, cold tea served up (8)

Answer: MASSACRE (i.e. “to kill”). Solution is ER (i.e. “Queen”, specifically Elizabeth Regina) followed by C (a recognised abbreviation of “cold”) and ASSAM (i.e. a variety of “tea”) all reversed (indicated by “served up” – this being a down clue), like so: MASSA-C-RE. We’ve seen ASSAM used a few times recently, so this was a slightly easier get than it ought to have been.

24. Counting number – sixty legs on those? (3,5,7)

Answer: TEN GREEN BOTTLES (i.e. “counting number”). “Sixty legs on those” plays on how greenbottles are a variety of fly, and, flies having six legs, you have ten of them and… well, you do the maths.

26. On a cruise, five of you initially getting on (8)

Answer: VOYAGING (i.e. “on a cruise”). Solution is V (i.e. “[Roman numeral] five”) followed by O and Y (i.e. “of you initially”, i.e. the first letters of “of” and “you”) and AGING (i.e. “getting on”).

27. Tomboy in Scottish island lair (6)

Answer: HOYDEN (i.e. “tomboy” – a new one on me, but it’s there in the dictionary). Solution is HOY (i.e. “Scottish island”, where a certain Old Man lives) followed by DEN (i.e. “lair”).

28. European city where two vessels capsized (6)

Answer: KRAKOW (i.e. “European city”). Solution is ARK and WOK (i.e. “two vessels” – one a boat, the other used in cooking) both reversed or “capsized” – this being a down clue. Nicely done.

32. Trouble in faction expressing sorrow (7)

Answer: WAILING (i.e. “expressing sorrow”). Solution is AIL (i.e. “trouble”) placed “in” WING (i.e. “faction”), like so: W(AIL)ING.

33. Part of horse where hamstrings injected with measure of fluid (12)

Answer: HINDQUARTERS (i.e. “part of horse”). Solution is HINDS (i.e. “where hamstrings”, as in the general area you’d find them, i.e. under your arse) wrapped around or having “injected” QUARTER (i.e. “measure of fluid”), like so: HIND(QUARTER)S.
[EDIT: Thanks to Chris in the comments of my About page for the correction. Solution should be HINDERS (i.e. “hamstrings”) wrapped around QUART (i.e. “measure of fluid”). Thanks, Chris! – LP]

35. Supporter tipping out hot drinks (11)

Answer: SCAFFOLDING (i.e. “supporter”). Solution is OFF (i.e. “out”) reversed (indicated by “tipping” – this being a down clue), which SCALDING (i.e. “hot”) then takes in or “drinks”, like so: SCA(FFO)LDING.

37. Channel for waste a ship put out into river (7,4)

Answer: EXHAUST PIPE (i.e. “channel for waste”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “out”) of A SHIP PUT placed in EXE (i.e. “river”), like so: EX(HAUSTPIP)E.

38. US maestro, one carrying a crop? (4,6)

Answer: COLE PORTER (i.e. “US maestro”). When considering COLE is a kind of cabbage, and PORTER can mean one who carries, the solution also satisfies “one carrying a crop”.

40. Pub rogue beginning to open up a shade (5,4)

Answer: OLIVE DRAB (i.e. “shade” of US military uniforms). Solution is BAR (i.e. “pub”) followed by DEVIL (i.e. “rogue”) and O (i.e. “beginning to open”, i.e. the first letter of “open”). This is all then reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue), like so: O-LIVED-RAB.

42. When one’s not working on the house, shed put up (4,4)

Answer: FREE TIME (i.e. “when one’s not working”). Solution is FREE (i.e. “on the house”) followed by EMIT (i.e. “shed”, as in to give out) once it has been reversed (indicated by “put up” – this being a down clue), like so: FREE-TIME.

43. Hiding between the sheets, menace came out (7)

Answer: BLOOMED (i.e. “came out”). Solution is BED (i.e. “sheets”) wrapped around or “hiding” LOOM (i.e. “menace” – a bit loose, but fair enough), like so: B(LOOM)ED.

44. A school set up, and support – child taken care of (7)

Answer: ADOPTEE (i.e. “child taken care of”). Solution is A followed by POD (i.e. “school” of whales) which is reversed (indicated by “set up” – this being a down clue), and then TEE (i.e. “support” for a golf ball), like so: A-DOP-TEE.

46. Some actress met an American composer (7)

Answer: Bedrich SMETANA (i.e. “composer”). “Some” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: ACTRES(S MET AN A)MERICAN. One I remembered from a recent puzzle done elsewhere, if I’m honest.

48. Nation everyone can see on borders of Georgia? (6)

Answer: UGANDA (i.e. “nation”). Solution is U (i.e. “everyone”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “universal”) followed by G AND A (i.e. “borders of Georgia”, i.e. the first and last letters of “Georgia” written out in full).

51. White as a Welshman? (5)

Answer: IVORY (i.e. “white”). Clue plays on how IVOR is deemed a Welshman’s name, so to be like an Ivor could be said to be a bit “Ivory”. Look, I don’t write ‘em, okay…

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1440

A straightforward one this week. Perhaps we’re being softened up for a Bank Holiday stinker, hmm? (Strokes beard.) Also, this week’s setter seems more than a little fond of animals, don’t you think? The grid covers most animal groups, what with corgis, tapirs, elands, yellowhammers, parrs, orange-tips, centipedes, ibises, squirrels, sea basses, and deceased Irish writers.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my answers where I have them. I hope you find them useful.

Some me-me-me links before any of that: my Just For Fun page contains links to solutions for the last ninety Times Jumbo Cryptic crosswords, should any of that appeal. Meanwhile, there’s a smattering of book reviews and a short(ish) story of mine knocking about the place.

And so to the answers. Keep well, KBO, and all being well I’ll see you for the next one.

LP

Across clues

1. Yatter with Marciano, missing the first lot of nonsense (11)

Answer: JABBERWOCKY (i.e. “nonsense”). Solution is JABBER (i.e. “yatter”) followed by W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”) and ROCKY (i.e. “Marciano”, the boxer) with the first letter removed (indicated by “missing the first lot”), like so: JABBER-W-OCKY.

7. Lively spirit of new girl initially entering top set? (11)

Answer: POLTERGEIST (i.e. “lively spirit”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “new”) of GIRL, E (i.e. “initially entering”, i.e. the first letter of “entering”) and TOP SET.

13. Some who gather intelligence about ancient city’s papal court (5)

Answer: CURIA (i.e. “papal court”). Solution is CIA (i.e. “some who gather intelligence”, specifically the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States) wrapped “about” UR (i.e. “ancient city” – a pet play of some setters), like so: C(UR)IA. One I remembered from a previous puzzle, to be honest.

14. Advance publicity identifying towed vehicle (7)

Answer: TRAILER. Solution satisfies “advance publicity”, e.g. for a movie, and “towed vehicle”. This took ages to get compared to most of the other clues. Sometimes you just don’t see ‘em.

15. Way unhealthy existence is presented in painting (5,4)

Answer: STILL LIFE (i.e. “painting”). Solution is ST (i.e. “way”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “street”) followed by ILL (i.e. “unhealthy”) and LIFE (i.e. “existence”).

16. Parliamentarian and German ambassador in centre of thoroughfare (9)

Answer: ROUNDHEAD (i.e. “Parliamentarian” during the English Civil War). Solution is UND (i.e. “and German”, i.e. the German for “and”) and HE (i.e. “ambassador”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “His Excellency”) both placed “in [the] centre of” ROAD (i.e. “thoroughfare”), like so: RO(UND-HE)AD.

17. Composer’s work regularly decried by Times is in German (10)

Answer: OPERETTIST (i.e. “composer”). Solution is OP (i.e. “work”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “opus”) followed by ERE (i.e. “regularly decried”, i.e. every other letter of DECRIED), then T and T (i.e. “times” – ignore the misleading capitalisation – both are recognised abbreviations of “time”), and finally IST (i.e. “is in German”, i.e. the German for “is”).

20. Races into san for treatment (7)

Answer: NATIONS (i.e. “races”). “For treatment” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of INTO SAN.

22. One sticks publicity in this place, then runs! (7)

Answer: ADHERER (i.e. “one sticks”). Solution is AD (i.e. “publicity”) followed by HERE (i.e. “in this place”) and R (a recognised abbreviation of “runs” used in a number of ball games).

24. More like Parker, holding one to be more rowdy (7)

Answer: NOISIER (i.e. “more rowdy”). Solution is NOSIER (i.e. “more like [Nosey] Parker”) wrapped around or “holding” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: NO(I)SIER.

25. Preprandial drink? A healthy traveller returns to secure one (8)

Answer: APERITIF (i.e. “preprandial drink”). Solution is A followed by FIT (i.e. “healthy”) and REP (i.e. “traveller”, short for a representative or company agent), these latter two reversed (indicated by “returns”) and wrapped around or “securing” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: A-(PER-(I)-TIF).

26. A friend mostly ensures his confounded lack of professionalism (14)

Answer: AMATEURISHNESS (i.e. “lack of professionalism”). Solution is A followed by MATE (i.e. “friend”) once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “mostly”), and then an anagram (indicated by “confounded”) of ENSURES HIS, like so: A-MAT-EURISHNESS.

28. Fellow soldier holding head of rifleman’s dog (5)

Answer: CORGI (i.e. “dog”). Solution is CO (i.e. “fellow”, as in the prefix “co-“) and GI (i.e. “soldier”) both wrapped around or “holding” R (i.e. “head of rifleman”, i.e. the first letter of “rifleman”), like so: CO-(R)-GI. A clue that reads rather darkly, don’t you think? Like it!

29. Follower in Paris that stops overthrow of the French (6)

Answer: SEQUEL (i.e. “follower”). Solution is QUE (i.e. “in France that”, i.e. the French for “that”) placed in or “stopping” LES (i.e. “the French”, i.e. French for “the”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “overthrow of…”), like so: SE(QUE)L.

30. Propose shortly to engage priest’s first server? (10)

Answer: TABLESPOON (i.e. “server”). Solution is TABLE (i.e. “propose”) and SOON (i.e. “shortly”) wrapped around or “engaging” P (i.e. “priest’s first”, i.e. the first letter of “priest”), like so: TABLE-S(P)OON.

33. Criticise attempt by Monsieur to help serving girl (10)

Answer: PANTRYMAID (i.e. “serving girl”). Solution is PAN (i.e. “criticise”) followed by TRY (i.e. “attempt”), then M (a recognised abbreviation of “Monsieur”) and AID (i.e. “to help”).

35. Eats most of Latvian meat loaf (6)

Answer: HASLET (i.e. “meat loaf”). Solution is HAS (i.e. “eats”) followed by LETT (i.e. “Latvian”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “most of”), like so: HAS-LET.

37. Actual bodily harm soldiers are repelled by (5)

Answer: ABHOR (i.e. “repelled by”). Solution is ABH (a recognised abbreviation of “actual bodily harm”) followed by OR (i.e. “soldiers”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army).

39. It’s confused with a self-trained early US Democrat (4-10)

Answer: ANTI-FEDERALIST (i.e. “early US Democrat”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “confused”) of IT and A SELF-TRAINED.

41. Prisoner’s girl entertaining Greek character at home (8)

Answer: DETAINEE (i.e. “prisoner”). Solution is DEE (i.e. “girl[‘s name]”) wrapped around or “entertaining” ETA (i.e. “Greek character”, specifically the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet) and IN (i.e. “at home”), like so: D(ETA-IN)EE.

44. A superior partner in crime? (7)

Answer: ABETTER (i.e. “partner in crime”). Solution is A followed by BETTER (i.e. “superior”).

45. Page allowed to produce handbill (7)

Answer: LEAFLET (i.e. “handbill”). Solution is LEAF (i.e. “page”) followed by LET (i.e. “allowed”).

46. Patient old American’s description of cheese? (7)

Answer: CASEOUS (i.e. “of cheese”). Solution is CASE (i.e. medical “patient”) followed by O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and US (i.e. “American”).

47. Possible priest’s diatribe after short skirts start to tantalise (10)

Answer: MINISTRANT (i.e. “possible priest”). Solution is RANT (i.e. “diatribe”) placed “after” MINIS (i.e. “short skirts”) and T (i.e. “start to tantalise”, i.e. the first letter of “tantalise”), like so: MINIS-T-RANT. A clue that scans rathher well.

49. Having little money, delay disposing of minute creepy-crawly (9)

Answer: CENTIPEDE (i.e. “creepy-crawly”). Solution CENT (i.e. “little money”) followed by IMPEDE (i.e. “delay”) once the M has been removed (indicated by “disposing of minute”, M being a recognised abbreviation of “minute”), like so: CENT-IPEDE.

53. Oscar managed to obtain tiny amount for a butterfly (6-3)

Answer: ORANGE-TIP (i.e. “butterfly”). Solution is O (“Oscar” in the phonetic alphabet) followed by RAN (i.e. “managed”), then GET (i.e. “to obtain”) and IP (i.e. “tiny amount [of money]”, i.e. 1 pence, with I being the Roman numeral for 1 – sneaky, yes?).

54. Tourist, one rewarding waiter outside front of restaurant? (7)

Answer: TRIPPER (i.e. “tourist”). Solution is TIPPER (i.e. “one rewarding waiter”) wrapped around or placed “outside” of R (i.e. “front of restaurant”, i.e. the first letter of “restaurant”), like so: T(R)IPPER.

55. Craze involving painter’s electrical unit (5)

Answer: FARAD (i.e. “electrical unit”, named after Michael Faraday, English physicist). Solution is FAD (i.e. “craze”) wrapped around or “involving”) RA (i.e. “painter”, specifically a Royal Academician), like so: FA(RA)D.

56. Potter’s spicy dish initially upgraded for area in frantic haste (5-6)

Answer: HURRY-SCURRY (i.e. “frantic haste”). Solution is HARRY’S CURRY (i.e. “Potter’s spicy dish”) with the A (a recognised abbreviation of “area”) swapped “for” U (i.e. “initially upgraded”, i.e. the first letter of “upgraded”), like so: H(A)RRY’S CURRY => H(U)RRY’S-CURRY.

57. Uninvited guest consumed bacon outside clubs after midnight (11)

Answer: GATECRASHER (i.e. “uninvited guest”). Solution is ATE (i.e. “consumed”) and RASHER (i.e. “bacon”) wrapped “outside” of C (a recognised abbreviation of “clubs” used in card games). These are all then placed “after” G (i.e. “midnight”, i.e. the middle letter of “night”), like so: G-ATE-(C)-RASHER.

Down clues

1. Judge with an estate, perhaps, and a flowering tree (9)

Answer: JACARANDA (i.e. “flowering tree”). Solution is J (a recognised abbreviation of “judge”) followed by A CAR (i.e. “an estate, perhaps” – other flavours of car being available) then AND and A.

2. Misdirect effort, as 28 across might when pursuing 27? (4,2,3,5,4)

Answer: BARK UP THE WRONG TREE (i.e. “misdirect effort”). The solutions to “28 across” and “27” down are CORGI and SQUIRREL respectively. The clue plays on how the former may mistakenly “pursue” the latter. You get the idea.

3. With style and vigour, start to describe African ungulate (5)

Answer: ELAND (i.e. “African ungulate” or hoofed creature, in this case a kind of antelope). Solution is ELAN (i.e. “with style and vigour”) followed by D (i.e. “start to describe”, i.e. the first letter of “describe”), like so: ELAN-D.

4. Thin shrew is moving anticlockwise (11)

Answer: WITHERSHINS (i.e. “anticlockwise”). “Moving” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of THIN SHREW IS.

5. Prince received by key academic from ancient Babylonian region (8)

Answer: CHALDEAN (i.e. “from ancient Babylonian region”). Solution is HAL (i.e. “Prince” – relating to Henry V’s younger years: Prince Hal is a pet play of certain setters) placed in or “received by” C (i.e. “[musical] key”) and DEAN (i.e. “academic”), like so: C-(HAL)-DEAN. One only gotten once all the intersecting letters had been solved, and after a quick shufti on Wikipedia.

6. Cry out in pain and violently attack singer (12)

Answer: YELLOWHAMMER (i.e. “singer”, as in a bird – did a Google Image search. Yup. Definitely a yellow bird. Cute little critter, too). Solution is YELL OW (i.e. “cry out in pain”) and HAMMER (i.e. “violently attack”).

7. Inflict charge for each domestic animal first (10)

Answer: PERPETRATE (i.e. “inflict”). When read as PER PET RATE the solution also satisfies “charge for each domestic animal”. “First” is a little superfluous, reinforcing that PER PET is placed “first”, ahead of RATE. I think the clue would have worked perfectly well without it.

8. Car leaves Cumbrian city, getting strong cotton fabric (5)

Answer: LISLE (i.e. “strong cotton fabric”). Solution is CARLISLE (i.e. “Cumbrian city”) with the CAR removed or “leaving”.

9. Like being former partner, one taking unruly Latin set (11)

Answer: EXISTENTIAL (i.e. “like being”). Solution is EX (i.e. “former partner”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), then an anagram (indicated by “unruly”) of LATIN SET, like so: EX-I-STENTIAL.

10. Good metalworker hugging elderly Irish writer (9)

Answer: Oliver GOLDSMITH (i.e. “Irish writer”). You may be familiar with one of his quotes: “ask me no questions, and I’ll tell you no fibs.” Solution is G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) and SMITH (i.e. “metalworker”) wrapped around or “hugging” OLD (i.e. “elderly”), like so: G-(OLD)-SMITH.

11. Bird lives in the same place overhead (4)

Answer: IBIS (i.e. a wading “bird”). Solution is IS (i.e. “lives”) with IB (i.e. “in the same place”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of the Latin “ibidem”) “placed overhead” or first – this being a down clue – like so: IB-IS.

12. Start to tour border? Not us! (4)

Answer: THEM (i.e. “not us”). Solution is T (i.e. “start to tour”, i.e. the first letter of “tour”) followed by HEM (i.e. “border”).

18. Be attracted exclusively to extraterrestrial objects? Very strange! (4,7,2,5)

Answer: LIKE NOTHING ON EARTH. Solution satisfies “very strange” and “be attracted exclusively to extraterrestrial objects”. Nicely played.

19. Convict – one forcing open safe just after entering? (8)

Answer: PRISONER (i.e. “convict”). Solution is PRISER (i.e. “one forcing open safe”) with ON (i.e. “just after”) “entering” like so: PRIS(ON)ER.

21. Twist taking in current actor? (7)

Answer: Laurence OLIVIER (i.e. “actor”). Solution is OLIVER (i.e. “Twist”, after the Dickens novel) wrapped around or “taking in” I (a recognised abbreviation of “[electrical] current”), like so: OLIV(I)ER.

23. Extremely rare posh fur designed for repeated wear (8)

Answer: REUSABLE (i.e. “designed for repeated wear”). Solution is RE (i.e. “extremely rare”, i.e. the first and last letters of “rare”) followed by U (i.e. “posh”, supposedly a recognised abbreviation of  the upper-class – another pet play used by some setters) and SABLE (i.e. “fur”).

27. Tree creature landowner observed crossing river and lake (8)

Answer: SQUIRREL (i.e. “tree creature”). Solution is SQUIRE (i.e. “landowner”) wrapped around or “crossing” R (a recognised abbreviation of “river”), followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “lake”), like so: SQUI(R)RE-L.

28. Vehicle carrying old map on the same flat surface (8)

Answer: COPLANAR (i.e. “on the same flat surface”). Solution is CAR (i.e. “vehicle”) wrapped around or “carrying” O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and PLAN (i.e. “map”), like so: C-(O-PLAN)AR.

31. Home counties singer consuming a marine fish (3,4)

Answer: SEA BASS (i.e. “marine fish”). Solution is SE (i.e. “home counties”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of the South East [of England]) and BASS (i.e. “singer”) wrapped around or “consuming” A, like so: SE-(A)-BASS.

32. Sensitivity pivotal at first in cutting such din? (3-9)

Answer: EAR-SPLITTING (i.e. “such din”). Solution is EAR (i.e. “sensitivity”) followed by P (i.e. “pivotal at first”, i.e. the first letter of “pivotal”) once it has been placed “in” SLITTING (i.e. “cutting”), like so: EAR-S(P)LITTING.

34. Avant garde disc with no merit, unfortunately (11)

Answer: MODERNISTIC (i.e. “avant garde”). “Unfortunately” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DISC and NO MERIT.

36. New English choir, etc, digesting books focused on God (11)

Answer: THEOCENTRIC (i.e. “focused on God”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “new”) of E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) and CHOIR ETC wrapped around or “digesting” NT (i.e. “books”, specifically the New Testament of The Bible), like so: THEOCE(NT)RIC.

38. Friendly remark of Liberal visiting simple country folk (10)

Answer: PLEASANTRY (i.e. “friendly remark”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “Liberal”) placed in or “visiting” PEASANTRY (i.e. “simply country folk”), like so: P(L)EASANTRY.

40. Suitably affected by pins and needles after nasty turn (9)

Answer: FITTINGLY (i.e. “suitably”). Solution is TINGLY (i.e. “affected by pins and needles”) placed “after” FIT (i.e. “nasty turn”), like so: FIT-TINGLY.

42. Possible Londoner’s aim to get involved in festival (4,5)

Answer: EAST ENDER (i.e. “possible Londoner”). Solution is END (i.e. “aim”) placed or “involved in” EASTER (i.e. “festival”), like so: EAST(END)ER.

43. Cooking vessel right to be removed from Gt Manchester town (8)

Answer: STOCKPOT (i.e. “cooking vessel”). Solution is STOCKPORT (i.e. “Gt Manchester town”) once the R has been removed (indicated by “right to be removed from…” – R being a recognised abbreviation of “right”).

48. Hoofed mammal Irish man or woman raised first (5)

Answer: TAPIR (i.e. “hoofed mammal”). Solution is IR (a recognised abbreviation of “Irish”) with PAT (i.e. “man or woman” – can be Patrick or Patricia) reversed (indicated by “raised” – this being a down clue) and placed “first”, like so: TAP-IR.

50. Lacking energy, conclude article below (5)

Answer: INFRA (i.e. Latin for “below”). Solution is INFER (i.e. “conclude”) with the E removed (indicated by “lacking energy” – E being a recognised abbreviation of “energy”) and the remainder followed by A (i.e. “article”, being a word like a, an or the), like so: INFR-A.

51. Drama involving squadron leader’s fare (4)

Answer: NOSH (i.e. food or “fare”). Solution is NOH (i.e. “[Japanese] drama”) wrapped around or “involving” S (i.e. “squadron leader”, i.e. the first letter of “squadron”), like so: NO(S)H.

52. Average king’s sixth wife? Something’s fishy here (4)

Answer: PARR. A triple-header, it seems, albeit a little tenuously (hence the riddly ? at the end). Solution satisfies: “average” – e.g. a par score on a golf course – ought to have had a homophone indicator, in my less-than-humble opinion; “king’s sixth’s wife”, being Henry VIII’s sixth wife Catherine Parr; and “something’s fishy here” – a parr is also a young fish such as a salmon.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1439

Goodness these Jumbos roll around quickly, don’t they? It feels like only yesterday we had one. This was another good ‘un, a touch tougher than before, but again offering good progression and some well-worked clues. You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them useful.

A quick spot of housekeeping before all that: solutions to previous Jumbo Cryptics can be found on my Just For Fun page; I’ve also got some book reviews and a story of mine should any of that tickle your fancy.

Okay, that’s quite enough of me for one week. To the answers. Keep buggering on, folks!

LP

Across clues

1. Shock viewpoint presented by Judge (6)

Answer: JANGLE (i.e. “shock”). Solution is ANGLE (i.e. “viewpoint”) placed after or “by” J (a recognised abbreviation of “judge”), like so: J-ANGLE.

5. Pinch place, returning to see some bowling (7)

Answer: TOPSPIN (i.e. “some [cricket] bowling”). Solution is NIP (i.e. “pinch”) and SPOT (i.e. “place”) both reversed (indicated by “returning”), like so: TOPS-PIN.

9. Shocked I get offer, nothing less – this? (4,4)

Answer: FREE GIFT. Solution is an anagram (indicated by “shocked”) of I GET and OFFER once the O has been removed (indicated by “nothing less”). Solution satisfies “offer” within the context of the clue. A bit clumsy, but you get the gist of it.

13. Failing to match boasts, mount horse around stall awkwardly (3,5,3,2,8)

Answer: ALL MOUTH AND NO TROUSERS (i.e. “failing to match boasts”). “Awkwardly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MOUNT HORSE AROUND STALL.

14. Bird with territory ultimately capable of expansion? (8)

Answer: STRETCHY (i.e. “capable of expansion”). Solution is STRETCH (i.e. “bird” – both slang words for prison sentences) followed by Y (i.e. “territory ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “territory”).

15. Boat journey, not quiet with engineers! (7)

Answer: TRIREME (i.e. “boat”). Solution is TRIP (i.e. “journey”) with the P removed (indicated by “not quiet” – P being a recognised abbreviation of “piano” which is quiet in musical lingo) followed by REME (i.e. “engineers”, specifically the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers of the British Army), like so: TRI-REME. This was a swine to get, and ultimately a win for my Bradford’s… eventually. For some reason the book maintains a list of boats separate from a list of ships. Go figure.

16. Recalled work to celebrate taking a stance? (6)

Answer: POSING (i.e. “taking a stance”). Solution is OP (i.e. “work”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “opus” or, as I also like to think, “operation”) followed by SING (i.e. “to celebrate”), like so: PO-SING.

17. Easy to get to account, else head of bank is distressed (10)

Answer: ACCESSIBLE (i.e. “easy to get into”). Solution is ACC (a recognised abbreviation of “account”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “distressed”) of ELSE, B (i.e. “head of bank”, i.e. the first letter of “bank”) and IS, like so: ACC-ESSIBLE.

20. Start eating – to ingest excitedly will involve food (3,5,4)

Answer: GET STUCK INTO (i.e. “start eating”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “excitedly”) of TO INGEST which is wrapped around or “involving” TUCK (i.e. “food”), like so: GETS(TUCK)INTO.

23. Very satisfied with return of trees (4)

Answer: SMUG (i.e. “very satisfied”). Solution is GUMS (i.e. variety of “tree”) reversed (indicated by “return of”).

24. Get on top of those not wanted by market (8)

Answer: OUTSMART (i.e. “get on top of”). Solution is OUTS (i.e. “those not wanted”) followed by MART (i.e. “market”).

26. French fiend holding in Parisian? That can be disproved (8)

Answer: DENIABLE (i.e. “that can be disproved”). Solution is DIABLE (i.e. “French fiend”, i.e. the French for “devil”) wrapped around EN (i.e. “in Parisian”, i.e. the French for “in”), like so: D(EN)IABLE.

29. Mere outline’s developed for dramatic show (3,2,7)

Answer: SON ET LUMIERE (i.e. “dramatic show” – think images projected on buildings, that kind of thing). “Developed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MERE OUTLINE’S. An easier get than it ought to have been, sadly, being a repeat from a few weeks ago.

30. Fully appreciating approach involved in bringing up? (10)

Answer: EMPATHETIC (i.e. “fully appreciating”). Solution is PATH (i.e. “approach”) placed or “involved in” EMETIC (i.e. “bringing up” – an emetic is a substance used to induce vomiting), like so: EM(PATH)ETIC.

32. Praise I applied to place in remark (10)

Answer: COMPLIMENT (i.e. “praise”). Solution is I placed after or “applied to” PL (a recognised abbreviation of “place”). These are then placed “in” COMMENT (i.e. “remark”), like so: COM(PL-I)MENT.

34. Come across appropriate attachment to jacket (6,6)

Answer: BREAST POCKET (i.e. “attachment to jacket”). Solution is BREAST (i.e. “come across” – this doesn’t really fit any of the definitions cited in my Chambers or Oxford dictionaries, so I might not have this right) followed by POCKET (i.e. to take or “appropriate”).

36. Marine creature I brought in on a regular basis, without love (3,5)

Answer: SEA SNAIL (i.e. “marine creature” and the bane of aquaria everywhere, I should imagine). Solution is SEASONAL (i.e. “on a regular basis”) with the O removed (indicated by “without love”, “love” being a zero score in tennis) and an I “brought in”, like so: SEAS(O)NAL => SEASNAL => SEASNA(I)L.

38. I’d headed back into Biblical land, coming from part of America (8)

Answer: CANADIAN (i.e. “from part of [North] America”). Solution is I’D reversed (indicated by “headed back”) and placed “into” CANAAN (i.e. “Biblical land”), like so: CANA(D’I)AN.

39. Dam displacing English river insect (4)

Answer: MOTH (i.e. “insect”). Solution is MOTHER (i.e. “dam” – a variant meaning of the word being a “mother, usually of cattle, horses etc” (Chambers)) once the E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) and R (ditto “river”) have been removed or “displaced”.

41. Quiet energy suppressed by a cold fish is a weakness (8,4)

Answer: ACHILLES HEEL (i.e. “weakness”). Solution is SH (i.e. “quiet”) and E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”) both placed in or “suppressed by” A CHILL EEL (i.e. “a cold fish”), like so: A-CHILL-E(SH-E)EL.

43. Frenchman, say, embracing person seen in flat (4-1-5)

Answer: PIED-A-TERRE (i.e. a “flat” kept for temporary, secondary or occasional lodging – the kind of place businessmen keep so they can kip overnight somewhere close to their office and not at all to boff lovers behind their spouse or partner’s back. Goodness me, no. Okay, maybe just a bit…) Solution is PIERRE (i.e. “Frenchman, say” – other Frenchmen are available) wrapped around or “embracing” DATE (i.e. “person seen”, say, on a date), like so: PIE(DATE)RRE. After yesterday’s Jumbo it seems we have another setter pining for France, what with SON ET LUMIERE, DIABLE and so on. Quoting a correspondent to the Feedback column of the main paper today: “In view of the recent spate of clues and answers relating to Germany, may we now expect many more Brexit-related connections?” Something tells me this weekend’s brace of puzzles aren’t exactly going to smooth things over!

44. Composer, irrational to abandon carnival city (6)

Answer: Frederick DELIUS (i.e. “composer” – no, me neither. Chalk another one to my Bradfords, here.) Solution is DELIRIOUS (i.e. “irrational”) with RIO removed (indicated by “to abandon carnival city” – referring to Rio De Janeiro).

46. Worker on strike for payment (7)

Answer: HANDOUT (i.e. “payment”). Solution is HAND (i.e. “worker”) followed by OUT (i.e. “on strike”).

48. Drink after broadcast involving hard confrontation (8)

Answer: SHOWDOWN (i.e. “confrontation”). Solution is DOWN (i.e. “[to] drink”) placed “after” SOW (i.e. “broadcast”) once it has been wrapped around or “involving” H (a recognised abbreviation of “hard”), like so: S(H)OW-DOWN.

50. Approximate location of return address? (2,3,4,2,2,8)

Answer: ON THE BACK OF AN ENVELOPE. Solution satisfies “approximate”, in the spirit of fag-packet-calculations, and “location of return address”. Nicely done.

51. Famous lover caught entering path leading to area of land (8)

Answer: LANCELOT (i.e. “famous lover” of Guinevere. I’m not sure whether a pied-a-terre was involved.) Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “caught” used in a number of ball games) placed in or “entering” LANE (i.e. “path”) and followed by LOT (i.e. “area of land”), like so: LAN(C)E-LOT.

52. Happen to be behind comic, mostly – reading about me? (3,4)

Answer: DAN DARE. Solution is ARE (i.e. “happen to be”) placed “behind” DANDY (i.e. “[UK] comic”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “mostly”), like so: DAND-ARE. Dan Dare was, of course, the poster boy of another UK comic, the Eagle, which I used to love reading as a bairn. Sadly, my impressive collection of Beanos, Dandys, Beezers, Eagles and Oinks didn’t survive a house move back in the day. I’m still receiving therapy about it to this day.

53. Stone slipping into line making a quiet sound (6)

Answer: RUSTLE (i.e. “quiet sound”). Solution is ST (a recognised abbreviation of “stone”) placed or “slipped into” RULE (i.e. “line”), like so: RU(ST)LE.

Down clues

2. Craftiness keeping old man estranged (5)

Answer: APART (i.e. “estranged”). Solution is ART (i.e. “craftiness”) wrapped around or “keeping” PA (i.e. “old man”, both terms for one’s father), like so: A(PA)RT.

3. Bird of prey alleged gone, having flown (6,5)

Answer: GOLDEN EAGLE (i.e. “bird of prey”). “Having flown” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ALLEGED GONE.

4. Action against evil spirit – head of church has six more dancing around (8)

Answer: EXORCISM (i.e. “action against evil spirit”). Solution is C (i.e. “head of church”, i.e. the first letter of “church”) placed in or having “around” an anagram (indicated by “dancing”) of SIX MORE, like so: EXOR(C)ISM.

5. Crumpled Times wrapping a last piece of crockery (5)

Answer: TATTY (i.e. “crumpled”). Solution is T T and T (i.e. “times” – ignore the misleading capitalisation, each is a recognised abbreviation of “time”) “wrapping” around A and then followed by Y (i.e. “last piece of crockery”, i.e. the last letter of “crockery”), like so: T(A)TT-Y.

6. Gas power leading to shock? (7)

Answer: PRATTLE (i.e. “gas”, both taken to mean talking excessively). Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “power”) followed by RATTLE (i.e. “to shock”).

7. Student following course getting an E is source of flaming disaster (7,4)

Answer: PUDDING LANE, believed to be the starting point of the Great Fire of London of 1666 (i.e. “source of flaming disaster”). Solution is L (i.e. “student”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “learner”) followed by AN and E. These are then all placed after PUDDING (i.e. “[dinner] course”), like so: PUDDING-L-AN-E. Nicely worked.

8. Marriage, some say, almost immediately raised energy (5)

Answer: NOOSE (i.e. “marriage, some say”). Solution is SOON (i.e. “almost immediately”) reversed (indicated by “raised” – this being a down clue) and followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”), like so: NOOS-E.

9. Excited and honoured to welcome King and soldiers (9)

Answer: FERMENTED (i.e. “excited”). Solution is FETED (i.e. “honoured”) wrapped around or “welcoming” R (a recognised abbreviation of “Rex”, which is “king” in Latin) and MEN (i.e. “soldiers”), like so: FE(R-MEN)TED.

10. Picked up confusion about Queen’s outfit (5)

Answer: EQUIP (i.e. “[to] outfit”). Solution is PIE (i.e. “confusion” – an alternative sense of the word I wasn’t aware of) reversed (indicated by “picked up” – this being a down clue) and then wrapped “about” QU (a recognised abbreviation of “queen”), like so: E(QU)IP.

11. Reckoning visitor with another singular friend will embrace one (11)

Answer: GUESSTIMATE (i.e. “reckoning”). Solution is GUEST (i.e. “visitor”) wrapped around or “with” S (a recognised abbreviation of “singular”), and MATE (i.e. “friend”) both “embracing” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: GUES(S)T-(I)-MATE. One for the chillaxers out there.

12. Fixed trawler accessory in area of ocean (7)

Answer: FASTNET (i.e. “[Shipping Forecast] area of [Atlantic] ocean”). Solution is FAST (i.e. “fixed”) followed by NET (i.e. “trawler accessory”).

18. Military leader to turn up, bringing in modern troops (9)

Answer: COMMODORE (i.e. “military leader”). Solution is COME (i.e. “to turn up”) wrapped around or “bringing in” MOD (a recognised abbreviation of “modern”) and OR (i.e. “troops”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army), like so: COM(MOD-OR)E.

19. Stranger’s last to go after British city dweller (7)

Answer: BRUMMIE (i.e. “city dweller” of Birmingham). Solution is RUMMIER (i.e. “stranger”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “last to go”) and the remainder placed “after” B (a recognised abbreviation of “British”), like so: B-RUMMIE.

21. Expression of ownership, like a lord claiming river (5,4)

Answer: TITLE DEED (i.e. “expression of ownership”). Solution is TITLED (i.e. “like a lord”) wrapped around or “claiming”) DEE (a “river” in Scotland), like so: TITLE(DEE)D.

22. Elevated single drum in church is a memorial (8)

Answer: CENOTAPH (i.e. “memorial”). Solution is ONE (i.e. “single”) reversed (indicated by “elevated” – this being a down clue) and TAP (i.e. “drum”) both placed “in” CH (a recognised abbreviation of “church”), like so: C(ENO-TAP)H.

25. Speculation story about Conservative will be something worth seeing (9)

Answer: SPECTACLE (i.e. “something worth seeing”). Solution is SPEC (a recognised abbreviation of “speculation”) followed by TALE (i.e. “story”) once it has been placed “about” C (a recognised abbreviation of “Conservative”), like so: SPEC-TA(C)LE.

27. City allowed to import summer desserts with support of Queen (9)

Answer: LEICESTER (i.e. “city”). Solution is LET (i.e. “allowed”) wrapped around or “importing” ICES (i.e. “summer desserts”) and then followed by ER (i.e. “Queen”, specifically Elizabeth Regina), like so: LE(ICES)T-ER.

28. Drained a couple of Lakes, considering everything (3,2,3)

Answer: ALL IN ALL (i.e. “considering everything”). Solution is ALL IN (i.e. “drained” or exhausted) followed by A and LL (i.e. “a couple of Lakes” – L being a recognised abbreviation of “lake”).

31. Cost of delivering naval officer on coach (7)

Answer: POSTAGE (i.e. “cost of delivering”). Solution is PO (i.e. “naval officer”, specifically a Petty Officer) followed by STAGE (i.e. “coach”).

33. I almost failed to climb street in photo, favouring the downward direction? (11)

Answer: PESSIMISTIC (i.e. “favouring the downward direction”). Solution is I and MISSED (i.e. “failed”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “almost”) all reversed (indicated by “to climb” – this being a down clue) and followed by ST (a recognised abbreviation of “street”). These are then all placed “in” PIC (i.e. “photo”), like so: P(ESSIM-I-ST)IC.

34. Rabbit found elf dancing, a jolly figure (6,2,3)

Answer: BUNDLE OF FUN (i.e. “a jolly figure”). Solution is BUN (“a playful name for a rabbit or squirrel” (Chambers)) followed by an anagram (indicated by “dancing”) of FOUND ELF, like so: BUN-DLEOFFUN.

35. Concise committee very good about conclusion (11)

Answer: COMPENDIOUS (i.e. “concise”). Solution is COM (a recognised abbreviation of “committee”) followed by PIOUS (i.e. “very good”) once it has been wrapped “about” END (i.e. “conclusion”), like so: COM-P(END)IOUS.

37. Try to enter small room with opening barred and give up (4,5)

Answer: LOSE HEART (i.e. “give up”). Solution is HEAR (i.e. “try” in court) placed in or “entering” CLOSET (i.e. “small room”) once its first letter has been removed (indicated by “with opening barred”), like so: LOSE(HEAR)T.

40. Hacker, perhaps, regrets getting upset about a program (8)

Answer: SABOTEUR (i.e. “hacker, perhaps”). Solution is RUES (i.e. “regrets”) reversed (indicated by “getting upset” – this being a down clue) and then wrapped “about” A BOT (i.e. “a [computer] program” – if you’ve ever tried to buy tickets for some event and wondered why it has sold out in a matter of seconds, these little shits are often to blame), like so: S(A-BOT)EUR. Another nicely worked clue.

42. Historic Italian city mostly best around Monday (7)

Answer: CREMONA (i.e. “historic Italian city”). Solution is CREAM (i.e. “best”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and the remainder wrapped “around” MON (a recognised abbreviation of “Monday”), like so: CRE(MON)A. One gotten pretty much from the wordplay alone. Sorry Italians, I’m not as familiar with your 79th most populous city as the setter seems to think.

43. Potential energy I observed in fish and plant (7)

Answer: PETUNIA (i.e. “plant”). Solution is PE (a recognised abbreviation of “potential energy”) followed by I once is has been placed or “observed” in TUNA (i.e. “fish”), like so: PE-TUN(I)A.

45. Hum a few lines, omitting start of oratorio (5)

Answer: SMELL (i.e. “hum”). Solution is SOME (i.e. “a few”) and LL (i.e. “lines”, L being a recognised abbreviation of “line”), once the O has been removed (indicated by “omitting start of oratorio”, i.e. the first letter of “oratorio”), like so: SME-LL.

47. Twisted, dropping head, being without cover (5)

Answer: NAKED (i.e. “without cover”). Solution is SNAKED (i.e. “twisted”) with its initial letter removed (indicated by “dropping head”).

48. Reason bridge team is participating in match (5)

Answer: SENSE (i.e. “reason”). Solution is NS (i.e. “bridge team”, being North and South in a game of bridge) placed or “participating in” SEE (i.e. “match” – as “I see your bet and raise you x”), like so: SE(NS)E.

49. Roll with slope (5)

Answer: WHEEL (i.e. “roll”). Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”) followed by HEEL (i.e. “slope”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1438

A decent puzzle to keep us entertained this Bank Holiday Monday Friday, and another that offered steady progression with a few well worked clues. Even the half-dozen or more place names didn’t get up my nose. (Inserts thumbs emoji.)

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful.

A few pre-flight checks before we begin. Solutions to umpteen previous Times Jumbo Cryptic crosswords can be found on my Just For Fun page. Meanwhile, I have a few book reviews over here, and a story of mine over there. Emergency exits are here, here and here.

Right. Looks like you’re all set. I’ll leave you to it. Stay safe, and, all being well, I’ll see you tomorrow for another big ‘un.

LP

Across clues

1. Troublesome – could it be compatible given right input? (11)

Answer: PROBLEMATIC (i.e. “troublesome”). Solution is an anagram (indicated weakly by “could it be” – I think “troublesome” is too far away from the anagram to count as an indicator) of COMPATIBLE wrapped around or having “input” R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”), like so: P(R)OBLEMATIC.

7. Cheap beer that made for expansive habit (11)

Answer: FARTHINGALE (i.e. “expansive habit” – over to Chambers for this: “a kind of crinoline of whalebone for extending a woman’s dress outward from the waist”). When read as FARTHING ALE, the clue also satisfies “cheap beer”.

13. Attractive lie spun deviously for business insider (7,10)

Answer: VENTURE CAPITALIST (i.e. “business insider”). “Deviously” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ATTRACTIVE LIE SPUN. Nicely worked.

14. Pipe connects with eastern state (5)

Answer: MAINE (i.e. “[US] state”). Solution is MAIN (i.e. “pipe”) followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “eastern”).

15. Linen not covering picture’s frame (6)

Answer: NAPERY (i.e. “linen”). Solution is NARY (i.e. “not”) wrapped around or “covering” PE (i.e. “picture’s frame”, i.e. the first and last letters of “picture”), like so: NA(PE)RY.

16. Prisoner holding a little flower set to be hung in Tower (8)

Answer: CARILLON (i.e. “set [of bells] to be hung in tower” – ignore the misleading capitalisation). Solution is CON (i.e. “prisoner”) wrapped around or “holding” A and RILL (i.e. “little flower” – flower in this case being a river, as in one that flows – a rill is a small stream), like so: C(A-RILL)ON.

17. Work with uranium, fast becoming rich (7)

Answer: OPULENT (i.e. “rich”). Solution is OP (i.e. “work”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “opus” or, as I like to think, “operation”) followed by U (chemical symbol of “Uranium”) and LENT (i.e. “fast”).

19. Fool brought back after school as planned (9)

Answer: SCHEDULED (i.e. “planned”). Solution is DELUDE (i.e. “[to] fool”) reversed (indicated by “brought back”) and placed “after” SCH (a recognised abbreviation of “school”), like so: SCH-EDULED.

21. Vicious perhaps, Scotsman chasing alumnus produces glass (8)

Answer: OBSIDIAN (i.e. “glass”). Solution is SID (i.e. “Vicious perhaps”, he of the Sex Pistols) and IAN (i.e. “Scotsman” – a common play by setters) placed after or “chasing” OB (i.e. “alumnus”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “old boy”), like so: OB-SID-IAN.

23. Some ground overlooks ruin (4)

Answer: UNDO (i.e. “ruin”). “Some” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: GRO(UND O)VERLOOKS.

25. Giants substitute appears shortly after blunder in field (5)

Answer: OGRES (i.e. “giants”). Solution is RES (a recognised abbreviation of reserve, i.e. “substitute” – the “shortly” feels a little misleading here, given how it often indicates the removal of an end letter) placed “after” OG (i.e. “blunder in field”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of an “own goal”), like so: OG-RES.

27. Shaking bunk about to hamper phase of sleep (6)

Answer: TREMOR (i.e. “shaking”). Solution is ROT (i.e. “bunk” or nonsense) reversed (indicated by “about”) and wrapped around or “hampering” REM (i.e. “phase of sleep”, being Rapid Eye Movement), like so: T(REM)OR.

28. Saunter round northern capital, obtaining picture (10)

Answer: MONOCHROME (i.e. “picture”). Solution is MOOCH (i.e. “saunter”) wrapped “round” N (a recognised abbreviation of “northern”) and followed by ROME (i.e. “capital” of Italy), like so: MO(N)OCH-ROME. Solutions where you get only the even letters are often harder than the odd-lettered ones, given how often you’re stuck with umpteen vowels. This one was a good example: _O_O_H_O_E. Not much to go on there.

30. This, installed across the pond, to make flight optional? (8)

Answer: ELEVATOR. Clue plays on how lifts are called elevators “across the pond” over in the US, and how they offer an alternative to “flights” of stairs. You get the idea.

31. Somewhat limited success as year in Down ends badly (4,4,6)

Answer: NINE DAYS WONDER (i.e. “somewhat limited success”). “Badly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of YEAR IN DOWN ENDS. I guess eight and ten day wonders never caught on.

34. Stylish gesture reworked for panto dames (3,4,7)

Answer: THE UGLY SISTERS (i.e. “panto dames”). “Reworked” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of STYLISH GESTURE. Nicely worked.

35. Cathedral plans to include religious education (8)

Answer: CHARTRES (i.e. “[Parisian] cathedral”). Solution is CHARTS (i.e. “plans”) wrapped around or “including” RE (i.e. “religious education”), like so: CHART(RE)S.

38. Needing atmosphere after interlude, books diner (10)

Answer: RESTAURANT (i.e. “diner”). Solution is AURA (i.e. “atmosphere”) placed “after” REST (i.e. “interlude”), and then followed by NT (i.e. “books”, specifically the New Testament of The Bible), like so: REST-AURA-NT.

40. With this, not doing as much in class (6)

Answer: LESSON (i.e. “class”). When read as LESS ON, the solution also satisfies “with this, not doing as much”, i.e. having less to do.

41. Find penny on public transport vehicle in March (5)

Answer: TRAMP (i.e. “march” – ignore the misleading capitalisation). Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “penny”) placed “on” or after TRAM (i.e. “public transport vehicle”), like so: TRAM-P.

43. Dispute on chairs around piano (4)

Answer: SPAT (i.e. “dispute”). Solution is SAT (i.e. “on chairs”) wrapped “around” P (a recognised abbreviation of “piano”, being quiet in musical lingo), like so: S(P)AT.
[EDIT: As noted by Sue in the comments, SAT is the past tense or part participle form of SIT. As the clue is present tense, SAT ought to have been SITTING. Bad setter, naughty setter! – LP]

44. Retired sleuth visiting Alpine ridge and similar things (2,6)

Answer: ET CETERA (i.e. “similar things”). Solution is TEC (i.e. “sleuth”, being a recognised abbreviation of a detective) placed in or “visiting” ARETE (i.e. “Alpine ridge”, as opposed to those common-or-garden ridges of other mountain ranges), like so: ET(CET)ERA.

45. European craft touching down on frozen mass (9)

Answer: ICELANDER (i.e. “European”). Solution is LANDER (i.e. “[sea]craft”) placed after or “touching down on” ICE (i.e. “frozen mass”), like so: ICE-LANDER.

48. Company car is damaged in mountainous place (7)

Answer: CORSICA (i.e. “mountainous place” – the island is approx two-thirds mountains, it says here). Solution is CO (a recognised abbreviation of “company”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “damaged”) of CAR IS, like so: CO-RSICA.

49. Waffle about god endlessly, then finish speaking (8)

Answer: PERORATE (i.e. to sum-up or “finish speaking”). Solution PRATE (i.e. “[to] waffle”) placed “about” EROS (i.e. “god”) once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “endlessly”), like so: P(ERO)RATE.

50. Literary lion takes time on slope (6)

Answer: ASLANT (i.e. “on slope”). Solution is ASLAN (i.e. “literary lion” of CS Lewis’s Narnia books) followed by T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”).

53. Love new song being broadcast (2,3)

Answer: ON AIR (i.e. “being broadcast”). Solution is O (i.e. “love”, i.e. a zero score in tennis) followed by N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”) and AIR (i.e. “song”).

54. In which leading Oxbridge pair will make repeated appearances? (7,3,7)

Answer: NOUGHTS AND CROSSES. Clue plays on how a noughts and crosses grid will see repeated appearances of Os and Xs, which just so happen to be the “leading…pair” of letters of “OXbridge”. Like it!

55. Green Man? Here one may find whiskey! (7,4)

Answer: EMERALD ISLE (i.e. “here one may find whiskey” – note the Irish spelling). Solution is EMERALD (i.e. “green”) followed by ISLE (i.e. “Man”, as in the Isle of Man).

56. Seer rejecting crazy schemes – common sense deployed about this (11)

Answer: NOSTRADAMUS (i.e. “seer”). Solution is MAD (i.e. “crazy”) and ARTS (i.e. “schemes”, taken in the context of wily tricks) both reversed (indicated by “rejected”). NOUS (i.e. “common sense”) is then placed “about this”, like so: NO(STRA-DAM)US.

Down clues

1. Flag seen in street – Pentagon is very troubled (6,5)

Answer: PAVING STONE (i.e. “flag”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “troubled”) of PENTAGON IS and V (a recognised abbreviation of “very”).

2. Admit that was painful bit of humour, taken the wrong way (3,2)

Answer: OWN UP (i.e. “admit”). Solution is OW (i.e. “that was painful”) followed by PUN (i.e. “bit of humour”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “taken the wrong way”), like so: OW-NUP.

3. Museum finally supplied with slats (7)

Answer: LOUVRED (i.e. “with slats”). Solution is LOUVRE (i.e. “[Parisian] museum”) followed by D (i.e. “finally supplied”, i.e. the last letter of “supplied”).

4. Once proper hounds assembly (4)

Answer: MEET. A triple-header, I believe, satisfying: “once proper” – Chambers shows this as an archaic word meaning fitting or qualified; “hounds” – as in a “meeting of participants in a fox hunt” (Chambers again), and “assembly”.
[EDIT: John adds a bit more flesh to “once proper” in the comments, FYI – LP]

5. Accountant in women’s underwear leaves containers (3-7)

Answer: TEA-CADDIES (i.e. “[tea] leaves containers”). Solution is ACA (i.e. “accountant”, specifically an Associate Chartered Accountant) placed “in” TEDDIES (i.e. “women’s underwear”), like so: TE(ACA)DDIES.

6. Experts in the wrong? (14)

Answer: CRIMINOLOGISTS. Clue plays on how these are “experts” in “wrong[doing]”.

7. Confident female – and why she won’t listen? (8)

Answer: FEARLESS (i.e. “confident”). Solution is F (a recognised abbreviation of “female”) followed by EARLESS (i.e. “why she won’t listen”).

8. Good to be in control for this! (5)

Answer: REIGN. Solution is G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) placed “in” REIN (i.e. “control”), like so: REI(G)N. Within the context of the clue, it is “good to be in control” when reigning.

9. Stew over author regularly seeing controversial problem (3,6)

Answer: HOT POTATO (i.e. “controversial problem”). Solution is HOTPOT (i.e. “stew”) followed by ATO (i.e. “author regularly”, i.e. every other letter of AUTHOR), like so: HOTPOT-ATO.

10. Summit avoided, wing enters warmer rising cloud (6)

Answer: NIMBUS (i.e. “cloud”). Solution is LIMB (i.e. “wing”) with its initial letter removed (indicated by “summit avoided”) and the remainder “entering” SUN (i.e. “warmer”, as in how it warms things) once it has been reversed (indicated by “rising” – this being a down clue), like so: N(IMB)US.

11. Fantastic girl, elected, having triumphed over the German state (5-2-10)

Answer: ALICE-IN-WONDERLAND (i.e. “fantastic” or out-of-this-world, rather than the book itself). Solution is ALICE (i.e. “girl”) followed by IN (i.e. “elected”), then WON (i.e. “triumphed”), then DER (i.e. “the German”, i.e. the German for “the”) and LAND (i.e. “state”).

12. Campaigner the Spanish church upset, one dragged into row (11)

Answer: ELECTIONEER (i.e. “campaigner”). Solution is EL (i.e. “the Spanish”, i.e. the Spanish for “the”) followed by CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England) which is reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue) and then followed by ONE once it has been “dragged into” TIER (i.e. “row”), like so: EL-EC-TI(ONE)ER.

18. Greed shown where corporation man banks pounds (8)

Answer: GLUTTONY (i.e. “greed”). Solution is GUT (i.e. “corporation” – a favourite play of setters is to refer to tums, bellies and guts in their solutions as corporations – an informal word) and TONY (i.e. “man”) wrapped around or “banking” L (a recognised abbreviation of “pounds” of weight), like so: G(L)UT-TONY.

20. Researcher’s goal is to develop powered vehicle (9,8)

Answer: HORSELESS CARRIAGE (i.e. “powered vehicle”). “To develop” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of RESEARCHER’S GOAL IS.

22. Returned to make cut into beloved tree (6)

Answer: DEODAR (i.e. “tree”). Solution is DO (i.e. “to make”) reversed (indicated by “returned”) and placed in DEAR (i.e. “beloved”), like so: DE(OD)AR. One gotten mainly from the wordplay and a quick shufti of Chambers.

24. Article by rotter about firm sent up revered leader (8)

Answer: THEOCRAT (i.e. “revered leader”). Solution is THE (i.e. “article”, i.e. words like the, a or an) and RAT (i.e. “rotter”) both placed “about” CO (a recognised abbreviation of company or “firm”) which is reversed (indicated by “sent up” – this being a down clue), like so: THE-(OC)-RAT.

26. Remain in quiet given excellent port (8)

Answer: SHANGHAI (i.e. “port”). Solution is HANG (i.e. “remain”) placed “in” SH (i.e. “quiet”) and AI (i.e. “excellent” or A1), like so: S(HANG)H-AI.

29. Group member wants her ego massaged in fortress (6,8)

Answer: GEORGE HARRISON (i.e. “group member” of The Beatles). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “massaged”) of HER EGO placed “in” GARRISON (i.e. “fortress”), like so: G(EORGEH)ARRISON.

32. Small prehistoric monument within borders of certain European area (8)

Answer: SCHENGEN (i.e. “European area” so often mentioned when there was all that Brexit stuff going on back in 1863 it seems). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) followed by HENGE (i.e. “prehistoric monument”) once it has been placed “within” CN (i.e. “borders of certain”, i.e. the first and last letters of “certain”), like so: S-C(HENGE)N.

33. Intended to underwrite funding where one name absconds (6)

Answer: FIANCE (i.e. one’s “intended”). Solution is FINANCE (i.e. “to underwrite funding”) once the first N (a recognised abbreviation of “name”) is removed (indicated by “absconds”).

34. Muse and priest thrashing tedious Job (11)

Answer: TERPSICHORE (i.e. Greek “muse” of dance and chorus – a terpsichorean is another word for a dancer, and one I reckon must have been used in a Will Self novel by now). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “thrashing”) of PRIEST followed by CHORE (i.e. “tedious job” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), like so: TERPSI-CHORE.

36. For whom south, set apart, is potentially enough? (11)

Answer: SEPARATISTS. Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “south”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “potentially”) of SET APART IS, like so: S-EPARATISTS. Separatists campaign for the breaking up of organisations, countries etc, so, within the context of the clue, setting south apart could, for them, suffice. You get the idea.
[EDIT: Thanks to John in the comments for the typo fix. I’d mistakenly missed the last S. Cheers, John! – LP]

37. Silly workers maybe must welcome first people helping (10)

Answer: ASSISTANTS (i.e. “people helping”). Solution is ASS (i.e. “silly”) and ANTS (i.e. “workers maybe” – other types of ants are available) wrapped around or “welcoming” IST (i.e. “first” – the I substituting 1, like we had with SHANGHAI earlier), like so: ASS-(IST)-ANTS.

39. Redundant staff are often kept on, Republican admitted (9)

Answer: RETRAINED (i.e. “redundant staff are often…” – really? Not sure which Alice-In-Wonderland company the setter is thinking about here…) Solution is RETAINED (i.e. “kept on”) wrapped around or “admitting” R (a recognised abbreviation of “Republican”), like so: RET(R)AINED.

42. Maybe Vatican brings in cunning Frenchman I don’t know (6,2)

Answer: SEARCH ME (i.e. “I don’t know”). Solution is SEE (a religious office, i.e. “maybe Vatican”, probably referring to the Holy See) wrapped around or “bringing in” ARCH (i.e. “cunning”) and M (i.e. “Frenchman” – seems this week’s setter is pining for France, what with Chartres and The Louvre ‘n all. Anyway, over yonder in France, monsieur sometimes gets abbreviated to M), like so: SE(ARCH-M)E.

46. Sailors trick duke and skip town (7)

Answer: ABSCOND (i.e. “skip town”). Solution is ABS (i.e. “sailors”, particularly the Able-Bodied variety) followed by CON (i.e. “trick”) and D (a recognised abbreviation of “duke”).

47. Chain letter read out on radio (6)

Answer: SIERRA, a mountain “chain”. “Letter read out on radio” refers to how SIERRA is used to represent S in the phonetic alphabet. Nicely worked.

49. Rains temporarily stop, as some might hear? (5)

Answer: POURS (i.e. “rains”). “As some might hear” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of PAUSE (i.e. “temporarily stop”).

51. Top grade schools vacated before noon in this region (5)

Answer: ASSAM (i.e. “region” of India). Solution is A (i.e. “top grade”) followed by SS (i.e. “schools vacated”, i.e. the word “schools” with all its middle letters removed) and AM (i.e. “before noon”). An easier get than it ought to have been as this solution only appeared a few weeks ago.

52. Maple, one seen by river (4)

Answer: ACER (i.e. “maple”). Solution is ACE (i.e. “one” in playing cards) followed by R (a recognised abbreviation of “river”).