Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1469

Another of those weird semi-stinkers for me. Decent progress was had diagonally, north-west down to south-east, with perhaps the exception of ET IN ARCADIA EGO, but in the other corners it seemed the setter was a little too determined to play nasty, which spoiled the fun.

I think I got there in the end, at least as far as a grid fill goes. You can find mine below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. While you are here, you can find links to solutions to the last 100+ of these things on my Just For Fun page, should a recent Jumbo have you stumped. I’ve also got some dusty old book reviews and a story of mine.

If I may quote the eminent philosopher of our times, Eric Cartman, Lockdown II continues “to suck donkey balls”, so stay safe, mask up and keep supporting the NHS and key workers everywhere. Time for me to hit one of them there shiny new games consoles. (Flexes thumbs.)

LP

Across clues

  1. Worked with teeth – appropriate for a rodent (9)

Answer: GROUNDHOG (i.e. “a rodent”). Solution is GROUND (i.e. “worked with teeth”) followed by HOG (i.e. to take or “appropriate”).

  1. Conflict, depression and division on colony, ultimately (10)

Answer: DISHARMONY (i.e. “conflict”). Solution is DISH (i.e. a bowl or “depression”) followed by ARM (i.e. branch or “division”), then ON and Y (i.e. “colony, ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “colony”).

  1. Men in retreat mostly ruined attack (5,2)

Answer: ROUND ON (i.e. “attack”). Solution is OR (i.e. “men”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army) reversed (indicated by “in retreat”) and followed by UNDONE (i.e. “ruined”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “mostly”), like so: RO-UNDON.

  1. Something wet to clear up, sprayed with warm jet (5,4)

Answer: WATER JUMP (i.e. “something wet to clear”, say in a steeplechase). “Sprayed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of UP and WARM JET.

  1. One’s preceded by gracious primate proceeding slowly (5)

Answer: LORIS (i.e. “primate proceeding slowly”, referring to slow lorises). Solution is I’S (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one’s”) placed after or “preceded by” LOR (i.e. “gracious”, both taken as exclamations – “lor” is a slang abbreviation of “lord”), like so: LOR-I’S.

  1. Storm involving priest seen with plunder in car (7,5)

Answer: RELIANT ROBIN (i.e. “car” – after a setter tried to score a free Bugatti the other week by including the car maker among the solutions, it seems this week’s setter has lowered their expectations a little). Solution is RANT (i.e. “storm”) wrapped around ELI (i.e. Biblical “priest”) and then followed by ROB (i.e. to “plunder”) and IN, like so: R(ELI)ANT-ROB-IN.

  1. Society greets secure form of lottery (10)

Answer: SWEEPSTAKE (i.e. “form of lottery”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “society”, used in abbreviations like the RSPCA) followed by WEEPS (i.e. “greets” – a new one on me, “greet” has an old Scots meaning “to weep”) and TAKE (i.e. to “secure”).

  1. Renowned Irish columns from author having huge influence all round (6,8)

Answer: GIANT’S CAUSEWAY (i.e. those “renowned Irish columns” where geology and geometry meet). Solution is CAUSE (i.e. to “author” or create) with GIANT (i.e. “huge”) and SWAY (i.e. “influence”) placed “all round” it, like so: GIANT-S(CAUSE)WAY.

  1. Drops out of academy during a New York October? (8)

Answer: RAINFALL (i.e. “drops”). Solution is RA (i.e. “academy”, specifically the Royal Academy of Arts) followed by IN (i.e. “during”) and FALL (i.e. “a New York October”, referring to how Americans refer to the autumn months as “fall”).

  1. Part of the company’s stable? Hardly (6)

Answer: INFIRM (i.e. “stable? Hardly”). When written as IN FIRM the solution also satisfies “part of the company”.

  1. Nonplussed when fashion editor goes on rather! (10)

Answer: ASTONISHED (i.e. bewildered or “nonplussed”) Solution is AS (i.e. “when”) followed by TON (i.e. “fashion” – a variant meaning of “ton” that you see in crossword clues more often than everywhere else combined) and ED (shortened form of “editor”) once the latter has been placed after or “on” ISH (i.e. “rather”), like so: AS-TON-(ISH)-ED.

  1. Singers turning round unmissable shows (5)

Answer: BASSI (i.e. “singers”, specifically a plural of basso). “Shows” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, in this case within the word “unmissable”, while “turning round” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: UNM(ISSAB)LE.

  1. Gallery’s encouragement to investigating officer? (4)

Answer: GODS (i.e. “gallery” in a theatre, as in “up in the gods”). When written as GO DS the solution also satisfies “encouragement to investigating officer”, specifically a Detective Sergeant.

  1. The female expert appearing across commercial channel (8)

Answer: HEADRACE (i.e. “channel” – over to Chambers: “the channel leading to a water wheel or other hydraulically-operated machine”. Not something that’ll live long in the memory, sadly). Solution is HER (i.e. “the female”) and ACE (i.e. “expert”) wrapped around or “appearing across” AD (i.e. “commercial”, short for “advertisement”), like so: HE(AD)R-ACE. One of those nailed solely from the wordplay.

  1. Page about supporting education graduate put together in advance (9)

Answer: PREFORMED (i.e. “put together in advance”). Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “page”) followed by RE (i.e. “about” – think email replies), then FOR (i.e. “supporting”) and MED (i.e. “education graduate”, specifically a Master of Education).

  1. Clapped out old vehicle, in short one delivered at inopportune time? (4,5)

Answer: LOVE CHILD (i.e. “one delivered at inopportune time” – too vague). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “clapped out”) of OLD VEHICLE once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “in short”). Ugh.

  1. Choice reflected your excellent work with animals (8)

Answer: BESTIARY (i.e. “work with animals”). Solution is BEST (i.e. “choice”) followed by YR (a recognised abbreviation of “your”) and AI (i.e. “excellent”, i.e. A1 with the 1 represented as a Roman numeral) once these latter two have been reversed (indicated by “reflected”), like so: BEST-(IA-RY).

  1. Wily crook (4)

Answer: ARCH. Solution satisfies “wily” and “crook”, as in a bend or something bent. Nicely done.

  1. Row after firm closed (3-2)

Answer: SET-TO (i.e. “row”). Solution is SET (i.e. “firm”) followed by TO (i.e. “closed”, as in how one would close a door “to”).

  1. Act wisely: ring new solicitors (3,7)

Answer: LAW SOCIETY (i.e. “solicitors”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “new”) of ACT WISELY and O (i.e. “ring”).

  1. One shut up after battle to impress conference (6)

Answer: POWWOW (i.e. “conference”). Solution is POW (i.e. “one shut up after battle”, i.e. a Prisoner Of War) followed by WOW (i.e. “to impress”).

  1. Man set to become minister (8)

Answer: CHAPLAIN (i.e. “minister”). Solution is CHAP (i.e. “man”) followed by LAIN (i.e. “set” down).

  1. Painting’s eradication, sadly, with age (2,2,7,3)

Answer: ET IN ARCADIA EGO (i.e. “painting” by Nicolas Poussin. I’m no Brian Sewell – I’m much too nice for a start (looks to camera) – but I do like gawping at artworks and looking into the techniques used to create them. Poussin never really did it for me, though.) “Sadly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ERADICATION and AGE.

  1. Lesser characters punishing people in return refuse their food? (10)

Answer: SCAVENGERS (i.e. “refuse [is] their food”, as in how scavengers forage through another’s waste). Solution is SC (i.e. “lesser characters” – specifically those in Small Capitals) followed by AVENGERS (i.e. “characters punishing people in return”). Nice bit of recycling there.

  1. US zoo let bear out? How low can you go! (8,4)

Answer: ABSOLUTE ZERO (i.e. “how low can you go”, referring to the coldest temperature possible. Even then, Geordie footie fans will turn up topless.) “Out” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of US ZOO LET BEAR.

  1. Sort of share purchase with English girl in rugby team (2,3)

Answer: EX DIV (i.e. “sort of share purchase”, short for “ex dividend”, in which a purchase has been made in a company’s shares during a short period in which the next dividend would be paid to the seller of the shares in a transaction rather than the purchaser). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) followed by DI (i.e. a “girl’s” name) once placed “in” XV (i.e. “rugby team”, i.e. Roman numerals for “fifteen”), like so: E-X(DI)V.

  1. Changing latest film in our name (2,3,4)

Answer: ON THE TURN (i.e. “changing”). Solution is NTH (i.e. “latest”, as in taking something “to the nth degree”) and ET (i.e. “film”, specifically ET: The Extra-Terrestrial) both placed “in” OUR and followed by N (a recognised abbreviation of “name”), like so: O(NTH-ET)UR-N.

  1. Did career damage (light) (7)

Answer: HURTLED (i.e. “did career”). Solution is HURT (i.e. “damage”) followed by LED (i.e. “light”, specifically a Light Emitting Diode).

  1. College keeping yellow spirit – a litre far from fresh (10)

Answer: UNORIGINAL (i.e. “far from fresh”). Solution is UNI (i.e. “college”) wrapped around or “keeping” OR (i.e. “yellow” or gold in heraldry), then followed by GIN (i.e. “spirit”), A and L (a recognised abbreviation of “litre”), like so: UN(OR)I-GIN-A-L.

  1. Child meeting the head, one guilty of serious wrongdoing? (9)

Answer: KIDNAPPER (i.e. “one guilty of serious wrongdoing”). Solution is KID (i.e. “child”) followed by NAPPER (i.e. “the head”, as in how one gets their head down for a nap).

Down clues

  1. Poor serving? Set to clinch game (5)

Answer: GRUEL (i.e. “poor serving” – Oliver Twist famously asked for more). Solution is GEL (i.e. “set”) wrapped around or “clinching” RU (i.e. “game”, specifically Rugby Union), like so: G(RU)EL.

  1. Model not oddly recalled with flowers in paintings (3,7)

Answer: OLD MASTERS (i.e. “paintings”). Solution is MDLO (i.e. “model not oddly”, i.e. every other letter of MODEL NOT) reversed (indicated by “recalled”) and followed by ASTERS (i.e. “flowers”), like so: OLDM-ASTERS.

  1. Sort of pan, note, where you’d put cocktail sausage? (8)

Answer: NONSTICK (i.e. “sort of pan”). Solution is N (a recognised abbreviation of “note”) followed by ON STICK (i.e. “where you’d put cocktail sausage”).

  1. Anything in house for use as guide? (3-2)

Answer: HOW-TO (i.e. “guide”). Solution is OWT (i.e. “anything” oop north) placed “in” HO (a recognised abbreviation of “house”), like so: H(OWT)O.

  1. Frightful egotist we suss out (3,4,2)

Answer: GET WISE TO (i.e. “suss out”). “Frightful” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of EGOTIST WE.

  1. Fleet-footed attorney’s patch (4)

Answer: DARN (i.e. to repair or “patch”). Solution is DA (i.e. “attorney”, specifically a District Attorney) followed by RN (specifically the Royal Navy, a “fleet”). As this is a down clue, RN is placed beneath or “footing” DA.

  1. Radar signal is small, and as weak (6)

Answer: SQUAWK (i.e. “radar signal” – another new one on me, but interesting). So here we have an example of the setter playing nasty. The solution, as best I can establish, is S (i.e. “small”) followed by QUA (i.e. “as [being]” – Latin, because, you know, it’s The Times) and WK. Except WK is a recognised abbreviation of “week”, not “weak”. Poor of the setter for trying to pass this off as acceptable wordplay, and equally poor of the editor for allowing it. Yellow cards all round.

  1. Flight software the French put round Polish Conference? (6,3,5)

Answer: APPLES AND PEARS (i.e. “flight” of stairs – The Times is at heart a London paper, and setters do love their Cockney rhyming slang, gawblessem. (Thumbs braces.)). Solution is APP (i.e. “software”, short for application or applet) followed by LES (i.e. “the French”, i.e. French for “the” used for collectives) once “put round” SAND (i.e. “polish” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) and PEAR (i.e. “Conference” – chalk one to my Bradfords here, as I’m not a pear man. Not much of a fruit man either, truth be told), like so: APP-LE(SAND-PEAR)S.

  1. Married woes coming with blessing? That’s hopelessly romantic! (5-3-4)

Answer: MILLS-AND-BOON (i.e. “hopelessly romantic”, in comparison to the popular line of romance novels. Pub fact: when you see a job lot on eBay for 2000 Mills and Boon novels, there’s a good chance they’ll all be different. Same story arc, mind…) Solution is M (a recognised abbreviation of “married”) followed by ILLS (i.e. “woes”), then AND (i.e. “with”) and BOON (i.e. “blessing”).

  1. Heaven recalled in bible stories (7)

Answer: NIRVANA (i.e. “heaven”, perhaps taken more as a blissful state than a chunk of supermundane real estate). Solution is IN reversed (indicated by “recalled”) and followed by RV (i.e. “bible”, specifically the Revised Version) and ANA (i.e. “stories” or anecdotes), like so: NI-RV-ANA. Nicely done. Probably my favourite clue.

  1. Working group go in, after finally halting (10)

Answer: PROROGUING (i.e. “halting”. Blimey, has someone set the calendar back a year? (Reviews 2020 thus far.) Actually, yes, somebody! anybody! set the calendar back a year, please! Worthless aside: while “proroguing” became a political buzzword last autumn, perhaps my favourite word from the whole torrid affair was “tergiversation”, used by then Speaker John Bercow in this testy slap-down during the closing moments of the parliamentary session:

Dr Johnson – On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Earlier this week, the Leader of the Opposition said that he would vote for a general election tonight if Royal Assent was passed, but today he said that he would not, because he wants to prevent no deal. Can you confirm that, if an election had been held on 15 October, there would have been plenty of time, had he won the election, to have prevented no deal, so, in actual fact, there must be another reason for him running scared?
Mr Speaker – I cannot confirm anything of the sort. The expression “plenty of time” is an evaluative statement and it is obviously a view that the hon. Lady holds and she is entitled to it, but I certainly cannot confirm anything of the sort. I think that, essentially, she is accusing the Leader of the Opposition of tergiversation. [Interruption.] Yes, tergiversation. It is not a new charge. It is a charge that has been levelled many times over the centuries.
Dr Johnson (rose)
Mr Speaker – No, no. I do not need anything further.
Dr Johnson (rose)
Mr Speaker – No, no. Nothing further is required. That is the charge that the hon. Lady is levelling, but it is not a fatal charge. It has to be said that not only is it not a fatal charge, but it is not a novel concept, or without precedent in the history of our politics. We will leave it there.

https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2019-09-09/debates/44BDF5ED-3C22-40B5-AAD8-1EA95DED732C/EarlyParliamentaryGeneralElection(No2)

You’ll find this at the very end of the page as it took place at stupid o’clock in the morning, and, yes, I was watching. You’re right, I need to get out more. Anyway…) Solution is an anagram (indicated by “working”) of GROUP GO IN followed by G (i.e. “finally halting”, i.e. the last letter of “halting”), like so: PROROGUIN-G.

  1. Indicate difficulty creating entrance (9)

Answer: SPELLBIND (i.e. “entrance”). Solution is SPELL (i.e. “indicate”) followed by BIND (i.e. “difficulty”, as in being placed in a bind).

  1. Girl getting round periodical lack of diligence (8)

Answer: LAZINESS (i.e. “lack of diligence”). Solution is LASS (i.e. “girl”) placed “round” ZINE (i.e. “periodical”, shortened form of “magazine”), like so: LA(ZINE)SS.

  1. One’s sworn at, very loudly, girls included (9)

Answer: AFFIDAVIT (i.e. “one’s sworn”). Solution is AT wrapped around or “including” FF (i.e. “very loudly”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “fortissimo” in musical lingo), IDA and VI (i.e. “girls” – VI can be short for a number of girl’s names), like so: A(FF-IDA-VI)T.

  1. Team in bright blue gets turned over (6-4)

Answer: UPSIDE-DOWN (i.e. “turned over”). Solution is SIDE (i.e. “team”) placed “in” UP (i.e. “bright” or happy) and DOWN (i.e. “blue” or sad), like so: UP-(SIDE)-DOWN.

  1. One with an outlet for their criminal aspirations? (10)

Answer: SHOPLIFTER. Clue plays on how “outlet” can mean a shop as well as a means of expressing oneself.

  1. Brigadier’s outside with private wearing identical belt (3,6)

Answer: SAM BROWNE (i.e. “belt”). Solution is BR (i.e. “Brigadier’s outside”, i.e. the first and last letters of “Brigadier”) and OWN (i.e. “private”) placed in or “wearing” SAME (i.e. “identical”), like so: SAM(BR-OWN)E. One of those gotten from the wordplay and a quick check on Google.

  1. Rules appearing long I revised (6,8)

Answer: AERIAL PINGPONG (i.e. “rules”, apparently a recognised reference to Australian Rules Football, also called… well, you guessed it). “Revised” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of APPEARING LONG I. Here’s another where the setter is playing nasty, but just about escapes a second yellow. Even so, it’s rather mean to have setters perform a double-jump to get to the solution, i.e. this aka that aka the solution, especially when the solution isn’t particularly well-known to us poms, and, to make matters worse, slotting it into a tricky part of the grid with even intersecting letters, which are frequently more difficult. Not nice.

  1. Scottish town elder, maybe, in France, briefly on a promise (8)

Answer: ARBROATH (i.e. “Scottish town”). Another nasty clue, though mercifully one with a solution that was much easier to guess. You expect a certain amount of foreign words in these things as setters seek ways of getting the job done, but I’d have been knackered decoding this one without Google Translate giving me the French word ARBRE, meaning “tree”, i.e. “elder, maybe, in France”. Remove the last letter (indicated by “briefly”) and follow the remainder with OATH (i.e. “promise”), like so: ARBR-OATH. Sod it, I’m waving the second yellow. Piss off for an early bath, setter, and take a one grid ban with you.

  1. Possible sixteen year-old getting changed to serve alcohol? (6-6)

Answer: SCHOOL-LEAVER (i.e. “possible sixteen year-old”). “Getting changed to…” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SERVE ALCOHOL.

  1. Reportedly, more than one can shed or forfeit rank (4,5)

Answer: LOSE CASTE (i.e. “forfeit rank” amongst Hindus in India). “Reportedly” indicates homophone. Solution is composed of homophones of LOOS (i.e. “more than one can” – can and loo being slang words for a toilet) and CAST (i.e. to “shed”).

  1. Welcome enquiry into way of making jam (3-2-3-2)

Answer: HOW-DO-YOU-DO. A triple-header, I believe, satisfying “welcome” and “enquiry into way of making” and, according to my Bradford’s, “jam”, though of the latter my Chambers doesn’t want to know.

  1. What’s very quietly catching Leo racing with artic? (6,4)

Answer: POLICE TRAP. Solution is PP (i.e. “very quietly”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “pianissimo” in musical lingo) wrapped around or “catching” an anagram (indicated by “racing”) of LEO and ARTIC, like so: P(OLICETRA)P. Within the context of the clue, a POLICE TRAP could be used to catch speeding motorists.

  1. City pub’s heading for bar brawl (9)

Answer: INNSBRUCK (i.e. “city” in Austria renowned for winter sports). Solution is INN’S (i.e. “pub’s”) followed by B (i.e. “heading for bar”, i.e. the first letter of “bar”) and RUCK (i.e. “brawl”).

  1. Old Russian’s British alias taking in US president (8)

Answer: BABUSHKA (i.e. “old Russian”). Solution is B (a recognised abbreviation of “British”) and AKA (i.e. “alias”, i.e. Also Known As) wrapped around or “taking in” George BUSH (i.e. “US president”), like so: B-A(BUSH)KA.

  1. Pantomime as done for daughters at home (7)

Answer: ALADDIN (i.e. “pantomime” – oh, no, it isn’t! Now, now, don’t boo. Be nice.) Solution is À LA (i.e. in the manner of or “as done for” – more French, a contraction of à la mode de) followed by D and D (D being a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”, so two daughters in this case gets you DD) and IN (i.e. “at home”).

  1. Singer out of A&E – he’s at home with us? (6)

Answer: BRITON (i.e. “he’s at home with us” – the Times being published in Great Britain). Solution is BARITONE (i.e. “singer”) with the “A” & “E” taken “out”, like so: B(A)RITON(E) => BRITON.

  1. Had garden worker put up fences (5)

Answer: OWNED (i.e. “had”). “Fences” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “put up” indicates the solution has been reversed – this being a down clue – like so: GAR(DEN WO)RKER.

  1. Mathematician showing odd parts equalled four, finally (5)

Answer: Leonhard EULER (i.e. “mathematician” – weirdly one I knew). Solution is EULE (i.e. “odd parts of equalled”, i.e. every other letter of EQUALLED) followed by R (i.e. “four, finally”, i.e. the last letter of “four”), like so: EULE-R.

  1. Where prisoner waits to be flogged for speaking out? (4)

Answer: CELL (i.e. “where prisoner waits”). “For speaking out” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of SELL (i.e. “to be flogged”).

No musical accompaniment this time around. Lots of live Premier League was had instead. Call me cynical, but I never really bought the Premier League’s change of heart on pay-per-view. “Well, there’s another lockdown, so we’ll roll back our pay-per-view matches to help the fans”. Yeah right. If enough people were paying £15 a pop, do you think they’d have rolled back? Money talks. So does the lack of it. – LP

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1468

A medium strength puzzle this week, and a decent one overall with some nicely worked clues. As ever you can find my completed grid below along with (at times snarky) explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them useful.

Elsewhere I’ve curated links to the last 100+ of these things on my Just For Fun page, should a recent Jumbo have you stumped. I’ve also got some mouldy old book reviews and a story of mine.

Two years ago this week I started posting Jumbo solutions as a means of resurrecting my blog. I’d seen a few too many comments here and there along the lines of “I really wish they explained the solutions to these things” and thought I’d put a few posts together to demonstrate the wily ways setters apply their trade. As my Just For Fun page attests, I never really thought I’d keep this up for so long, never mind build up an audience in the process, but I’m glad I’ve stuck with it – even during the stinkers! To all the commenters, subscribers and regular readers, thank you. And if you’ve only just found me, welcome along. Solutions and occasional silliness awaits you.

Till next time, Lockdown II is a bugger so stay safe, mask up and keep flying the flag for the NHS and key workers everywhere.

LP

Across clues

  1. List that starts at H (8,5)

Answer: PERIODIC TABLE. H is the chemical symbol of hydrogen, atomic number 1, which appears top-left of said table.

  1. Problem reported by newspaper occasionally (9)

Answer: SOMETIMES (i.e. “occasionally”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “reported”) of SUM (i.e. “a ‘problem’ in addition, or arithmetic generally” (Chambers)) followed by TIMES (i.e. “newspaper”).

  1. Female writer briefly including a mystic syllable (5)

Answer: NAOMI (i.e. a “female” name). Solution is NIB (i.e. “writer”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “briefly”) and the remainder wrapped around or “including” A and OM (i.e. “mystic syllable”), like so: N(A-OM)I.

  1. All ventured out having experienced little (11)

Answer: UNTRAVELLED (i.e. “having experienced little”). “Out” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ALL VENTURED.

  1. Covert mercenary in position in Jamaica (5)

Answer: NINJA (i.e. “covert mercenary”). “In” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: POSITIO(N IN JA)MAICA.

  1. Philosopher one girl entertains over the years (9)

Answer: MILLENNIA (i.e. “years”). Solution is John Stuart MILL (i.e. “philosopher”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) once it has been placed in or “entertained” by ANNE (i.e. “girl’s” name) reversed (indicated by “over”), like so: MILL-ENN(I)A.

  1. School broadcast welcome (4)

Answer: HIGH (i.e. “school”). “Broadcast” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of HI (i.e. “welcome”).

  1. American singer depressed meets Charlie Parker (8)

Answer: BLUEBIRD (i.e. “American singer” or songbird). Solution is BLUE (i.e. “depressed”) followed by BIRD (nickname of influential saxophonist “Charlie Parker”).

  1. Line appended to schedule going round (6)

Answer: ROTARY (i.e. “going round”). Solution is RY (i.e. “line”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of a “railway”) “appended to” the end of ROTA (i.e. “schedule”), like so: ROTA-RY.

  1. Flower of British nobility baroness made famous? (7,9)

Answer: SCARLET PIMPERNEL (i.e. “flower”). The remainder of the clue refers to Baroness Orczy’s play and novel The Scarlet Pimpernel, in which the eponymous hero would rescue aristos destined for the guillotine while also living it up as a noble. “We seek him here! We seek him there!” Well, they weren’t seeking hard enough as he made an appearance here only a couple of months ago.

  1. Baltic people succeeded amongst elite pupils (9)

Answer: ESTONIANS (i.e. “Baltic people”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “succeeded”) placed “amongst” ETONIANS (i.e. “elite pupils”), like so: E(S)TONIANS.

  1. King opposed to an apriorist (7)

Answer: KANTIAN (i.e. “apriorist”, specifically “a person who believes in Kant’s view of a priori cognition” (Chambers)). Solution is K (a recognised abbreviation of “king”) followed by ANTI (i.e. “opposed to”) and AN.

  1. Fool in school system (5)

Answer: SCHMO (i.e. “fool”). Solution is SCH (a recognised abbreviation of “school”) followed by MO (i.e. “system”, specifically Modus Operandi).

  1. Toothache rages, having consumed mostly cold drink (3,9)

Answer: HOT CHOCOLATE (i.e. “drink”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “rages”) of TOOTHACHE wrapped around or “having consumed” COLD once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “mostly”), like so: HOTCHO(COL)ATE.

  1. Dramatic platform accommodating good band (10)

Answer: STAGGERING (i.e. “dramatic” – weak, IMO). Solution is STAGE (i.e. “platform”) wrapped around or “accommodating” G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) and followed by RING (i.e. “band”), like so: STA(G)GE-RING.

  1. One short poem penned by a Mitford in Cambridge? (10)

Answer: UNIVERSITY (i.e. “Cambridge”, plus a few others). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and VERSE (i.e. “poem”) trimmed of its final letter (indicated by “short”) both placed in or “penned by” UNITY (i.e. “a Mitford [sister]”, British socialite, fancier of Hitler and prominent advocate of fascism, Nazism and antisemitism – another week, another Times setter keen to memorialise history’s shittiest people. Good job, everyone. Well done. (Slow clap)) like so: UN(I-VERS)ITY.

  1. Mark is sullen about English having to stand for trespass (12)

Answer: MISDEMEANOUR (i.e. “trespass”). Solution is M (a recognised abbreviation of “mark”, the former German currency) followed by IS, then DOUR (i.e. “sullen”) once wrapped “about” E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) and MEAN (i.e. “to stand for”), like so: M-IS-D(E-MEAN)OUR.

  1. Broadcast brings controversy (5)

Answer: ISSUE. Solution satisfies “broadcast” and “controversy”.

  1. Island man in Iowa converted (3,4)

Answer: IWO JIMA (i.e. “island”). Solution is JIM (i.e. “man’s” name) placed “in” an anagram (indicated by “converted”) of IOWA, like so: IWO(JIM)A.

  1. Putting together new dissertation after second year (9)

Answer: SYNTHESIS (i.e. “putting together”). Solution is N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”) and THESIS (i.e. “dissertation”) both placed “after” S (a recognised abbreviation of “second”) and Y (ditto “year”), like so: S-Y-(N-THESIS).

  1. Vulgar verse still needs correction in book (9,7)

Answer: GULLIVER’S TRAVELS (i.e. “book” by Jonathan Swift). “Needs correction” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of VULGAR VERSE STILL.

  1. Sweet run for B52? (6)

Answer: BOMBER (i.e. “B52”). Solution is BOMBE (i.e. pudding or “sweet”) followed by R (a recognised abbreviation of “run” used in several ball games).

  1. Shoot wraps the whole onion (8)

Answer: SCALLION (the leek, or a spring “onion”). Solution is SCION (i.e. descendant or “[off]shoot”; also refers to viable plant cuttings) “wrapped” around ALL (i.e. “the whole”), like so: SC(ALL)ION.

  1. Transgression involving parking for short trip (4)

Answer: SPIN (i.e. “short trip”). Solution is SIN (i.e. “transgression”) wrapped around P (a recognised abbreviation of “parking” used on maps), like so: S(P)IN.

  1. League has location for playing across island (9)

Answer: COALITION (i.e. “league”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “has…for playing”) of LOCATION wrapped around or placed “across” I (a recognised abbreviation of “island”), like so: COAL(I)TION.

  1. Tree more bare with bark initially removed (5)

Answer: ALDER (i.e. “tree”). Solution is BALDER (i.e. “more bare”) having “removed” the B (i.e. “bark initially”, i.e. the first letter of “bark”).

  1. Basic soldier, endlessly in two minds, stops hunting target (11)

Answer: PREPARATORY (i.e. “basic”, as in the fundamentals or foundations of something. I don’t like it. My Bradford’s doesn’t want to know. My Chambers and Oxford dictionaries don’t really cover it, but my Chambers Thesaurus eventually bails the setter out). Solution is PARA (i.e. “soldier”, short for paratrooper) and TORN (i.e. “in two minds”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “endlessly”) both placed in or “stopping” PREY (i.e. “hunting target”), like so: PRE(PARA-TOR)Y.

  1. Absurd how dialogue ends (5)

Answer: INANE (i.e. “absurd”). When written as IN AN E, the solution also satisfies “how ‘dialogue’ ends”. Simple, but nicely done. Probably my favourite clue this week.

  1. Fungus needs soil and sun (9)

Answer: EARTHSTAR (i.e. “fungus”). Solution is EARTH (i.e. “soil”) followed by STAR (i.e. “sun”). One I remembered from a previous grid, if I’m honest.

  1. Valuable box, safe found in stretch in river (8,5)

Answer: TREASURE CHEST (i.e. “valuable box”). Solution is SURE (i.e. “safe”) placed “in” REACH (i.e. “stretch”), which is itself placed “in” TEST (a “river” in Hampshire), like so: T(REA(SURE)CH)EST.

Down clues

  1. Confine foreign character ascending slope in shadowy areas (9)

Answer: PENUMBRAE (i.e. “shadowy areas”). Solution is PEN (i.e. “confine”) followed by MU (i.e. “foreign character”, specifically the twelfth letter of the Greek alphabet) reversed (indicated by “ascending” – this being a down clue) and BRAE (i.e. Scots word for a “sloping” bank), like so: PEN-UM-BRAE.

  1. Search vigorously over time for minor radical (7)

Answer: ROOTLET (i.e. “minor radical” – radical has many meanings, a botanical one being “proceeding from near the root” (Chambers), so that’s what I’m going for here). Solution is ROOTLE (i.e. “search vigorously”) followed by T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”).

  1. Girl born on farm makes conciliatory gesture (5,6)

Answer: OLIVE BRANCH (i.e. “conciliatory gesture”). Solution is OLIVE (i.e. “girl’s” name) followed by B (a recognised abbreviation of “born”) and RANCH (i.e. “farm”).

  1. Crested lizard one year vanishing from country (6)

Answer: IGUANA (i.e. “crested lizard”, tasty when barbequed in Tijuana, apparently). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) followed by GUYANA (i.e. “country”) once the Y has been removed (indicated by “year vanishing from…” – Y being a recognised abbreviation of “year”), like so: I-GUANA.

  1. Hatters mad to receive Roman Catholic rulers (9)

Answer: TETRARCHS (i.e. “rulers” – over to Chambers again, a tetrarch was “under the Romans, the ruler of the fourth part of a province”, or “one of four joint rulers”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “mad”) of HATTERS wrapped around or “receiving” RC (a recognised abbreviation of “Roman Catholic”), like so: TETRA(RC)HS.

  1. Gossip from British bird about soaps (12)

Answer: BLATHERSKITE (i.e. “gossip”). Solution is B (a recognised abbreviation of “British”) and KITE (i.e. “bird”) wrapped “about” LATHERS (i.e. “soaps”), like so: B-(LATHERS)-KITE. Another I remembered from a previous grid. Cool word, still.

  1. Woman on river leaves to cook perennial favourites (10)

Answer: EVERGREENS (i.e. “perennial favourites”). Solution is EVE (i.e. “woman’s” name) followed by R (a recognised abbreviation of “river”) and GREENS (i.e. “leaves to cook”).

  1. Completely convinced, faithful ultimately placed in ground (4)

Answer: SOLD (i.e. “completely convinced”). Solution is L (i.e. “faithful ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “faithful”) “placed in” SOD (i.e. dirt or “ground”), like so: SO(L)D.

  1. Mediator me in representative level of organisation (6,10)

Answer: MIDDLE MANAGEMENT (i.e. “level of organisation”). Solution is MIDDLEMAN (i.e. “mediator”) followed by ME once placed “in” AGENT (i.e. “representative”), like so: MIDDLEMAN-AGE(ME)NT.

  1. Charged for contract (5)

Answer: TENSE. Solution satisfies “charged”, as in a charged atmosphere, and “contract”, as in how one tenses their muscles. Something like that, anyway.

  1. One incarcerated in murderous family home (7)

Answer: MANSION (i.e. “home”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed or “incarcerated” in MANSON (i.e. “murderous family” – (continues slow clap) Will next week’s setter continue the shitty people theme? Join us to see how Paul POT, IDI/AMIN and Fred WEST get worked into the clues! Hell, maybe DOCTOR HAROLD SHIPMAN will make an appearance too, seeing as though he’s dead n’ all), like so: MANS(I)ON.

  1. One to relish canard spread? (13)

Answer: SCANDALMONGER. A canard is a false rumour or hoax, while scandals can be malicious gossip, which are kind of the same thing. Ish or thereabouts. Scandalmongers, meanwhile, spread… um… scandals. That’s it, I guess, though the riddly question mark could mean the setter is playing clever. If anyone swings by with a better solution then I’ll update the post. Meanwhile I’m getting on with my weekend.

  1. Ran second copy by news boss (8)

Answer: SPRINTED (i.e. “ran”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “second”) followed by PRINT (i.e. “copy”) and ED (i.e. “news boss”, shortened form of an editor).

  1. Opponents at table go to law for result (5)

Answer: ENSUE (i.e. “result”). Solution is E and N (i.e. “opponents at table”, which I believe is a reference to a game of bridge, which pitches North and South against East and West. I’m about 90 years too young to know for sure. I’m joking, bridge fans! I’m only 70 years too young…) followed by SUE (i.e. “go to law”).

  1. Food sent round hospital has lactoprotein taken out (10,6)

Answer: LANCASHIRE HOTPOT (i.e. “food”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “taken out”) of HAS LACTOPROTEIN wrapped or “sent round” H (a recognised abbreviation of “hospital”), like so: LANCAS(H)IREHOTPOT. Nicely worked.

  1. Snacks made from bird parts (7)

Answer: TITBITS (i.e. “snacks”). Solution is TIT (i.e. “bird”) followed by BITS (i.e. “parts”).

  1. Wicked male and one with common sense (7)

Answer: HEINOUS (i.e. “wicked”). Solution is HE (i.e. “male”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and NOUS (i.e. “common sense”).

  1. New Stone Age hut is found in buildings complex (7,6)

Answer: HOUSING ESTATE (i.e. “buildings complex”). “New” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of STONE AGE HUT IS.

  1. Lease smallest rooms – key supplied for free (3,5)

Answer: LET LOOSE (i.e. “free”). Solution is LET (i.e. “lease”) followed by LOOS (i.e. “smallest rooms”) and E (i.e. “[musical] key”). Nicely done.

  1. Revised data given captures deplorable weakness (12)

Answer: DISADVANTAGE (i.e. “weakness”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “revised”) of DATA GIVEN wrapped around or “capturing” SAD (i.e. “deplorable” – often jocularly), like so: DI(SAD)VANTAGE.

  1. Resin from tree around eastern India (5)

Answer: ELEMI (i.e. “resin”). Solution is ELM (i.e. “tree”) wrapped “around” E (a recognised abbreviation of “eastern”) and followed by I (“India” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: EL(E)M-I. One almost certainly pulled from the setter’s “HELP ME!!!” file. My Bradford’s came to the rescue here.

  1. The other driver on move in Cairo is a PhD (11)

Answer: APHRODISIAC (i.e. “the other driver” – “the other” being a euphemism for… you know… (recites entirety of Monty Python’s ‘Nudge, nudge’ sketch)). “Move” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CAIRO IS A PHD.

  1. Interpreter, one in principle role: public house worker? (10)

Answer: HIEROPHANT, which Chambers lists as “a person who shows or reveals sacred things” (i.e. “interpreter” – chalk another to my Bradford’s here, as I wouldn’t have made the connection). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed “in” HERO (i.e. “principle role”), then followed by PH (a recognised abbreviation of “public house”) and ANT (i.e. “worker”), like so: H(I)ERO-PH-ANT.

  1. Lecherous Sarah promises to pay without bill (9)

Answer: SALACIOUS (i.e. “lecherous”). Solution is SAL (a contracted form of “Sarah” I don’t think I’ve ever seen in the wild) and IOUS (i.e. “promises to pay”) wrapped around or placed “without” AC (i.e. “bill”, shortened form of “account”), like so: SAL-(AC)-IOUS.

  1. Tight cord flexed when first pulled (9)

Answer: STRINGENT (i.e. “tight”). Solution is STRING (i.e. “cord”) followed by BENT (i.e. “flexed”) once the initial letter has been removed (indicated by “first pulled”), like so: STRING-ENT.

  1. Youth from Abydos with piercing look (7)

Answer: LEANDER, a platform game released by Psygnosis on the Commodore Amiga in 1991 that looked good for its time, like a lot of Psygnosis’s games, but one I sadly couldn’t get to work as I didn’t have the right model… oh, wait, “youth from Abydos”. Classics. Right. I forget this is The Times, home of the Latin crossword, so this must relate to the story of Hero and Leander. The remainder of the clue could be a reference to the story, but I’ve no desire to read it, not when I can rot away what remains of my mind with a shiny new games console. Yay, technology!
[EDIT – Thanks to Chris in the comments for nailing this one. “…with piercing look” instructs us to insert or “pierce” LEER (i.e. “look”) with AND (i.e. “with”), like so: LE(AND)ER. Cheers, Chris! – LP]

  1. Soldiers ordered to carry kit (7)

Answer: BRIGADE (i.e. “soldiers”). Solution is BADE (i.e. “ordered”) wrapped around or “carrying” RIG (i.e. “kit”), like so: B(RIG)ADE. Nicely worked.

  1. Bar worker keeps whiskey in coat (6)

Answer: LAWYER (i.e. “Bar worker” – Bar being the legal profession in general). Solution is W (“whiskey” in the phonetic alphabet) placed “in” LAYER (i.e. “coat”), like so: LA(W)YER.

  1. Tree line to extend over (5)

Answer: LARCH (i.e. “tree”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “line”) followed by ARCH (i.e. “to extend over”).

  1. Stick close to housemate in block (4)

Answer: BEAR (i.e. “stick”, as how one might stick out a bad situation). Solution is E (i.e. “close to housemate”, i.e. the last letter of “housemate”) placed “in” BAR (i.e. to “block”), like so: B(E)AR.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1467

A medium-to-tough offering this week that managed to get so far up my nose it could have taken a swab test. There were a handful of really good clues, but overall this was not for me. Expect swears.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful, despite the grumpiness. While you are here, I’ve curated links to solutions for the last 100+ of these things on my Just For Fun page, should a recent puzzle have you stumped. I’ve also got some mouldy old book reviews and a story of mine.

I hope the start of Lockdown II finds you well, or at least as well as can be expected. As ever, stay safe, mask up and keep supporting NHS and key workers everywhere. We could be in this for the long haul.

LP

Across clues

  1. City rivals swallowing drink after drink in case (11)

Answer: PORTMANTEAU (i.e. “case”). Solution is MAN U (i.e. “city rivals” – straight out of the blocks we get a flavour of some of the slack clueing we’re in for this week. I often make fun of stiff grammarians in these posts, but I do acknowledge the importance of grammar in clarifying the written word. The way this clue has been written is wilfully misleading, suggesting more than one city rival is going to appear in the solution, the city rivals in this case being Manchester United and Manchester City football clubs. Misdirection may be a setter’s stock in trade, but it should also remain within the rules. To those who’d argue Manchester United is a multitude of players, management staff, fans etc, I would point out they collectively comprise a team, i.e. a single entity. The clue therefore ought to have been written as “city rival”. (Heavy sigh.) Meanwhile the world keeps spinning…) wrapped around or “swallowing” TEA and the whole then placed “after” PORT (i.e. another “drink”), like so: PORT-(MAN-(TEA)-U).

  1. Beaten by elements in war, where not in formation (11)

Answer: WEATHERWORN (i.e. “beaten by elements”). “In formation” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of WAR WHERE NOT.

  1. One checks pulse or pulses after bad actor recoiled (17)

Answer: ELECTROCARDIOGRAM (i.e. “one checks pulse”). Solution is GRAM (i.e. “pulses” – an alternative meaning of the word is “the chickpea” (Chambers). My Oxford dictionary goes further, helpfully indicating the word also works a mass noun, so wouldn’t be GRAMS) placed “after” an anagram (indicated by “bad”) of ACTOR RECOILED, like so: ELECTROCARDIO-GRAM.

  1. Graceful female enters river from the east (5)

Answer: ELFIN (i.e. “graceful” – again, too slack. The dictionaries I have centre around “small, delicate and (mischievously) charming” or a butterfly, for the lepidopterists out there. My Bradford’s, meanwhile, will have none of it. You could argue the thinnest of links to “graceful” through “charming”, but not for this pseudonymous nobody. Ugh. Back to setter school with you.) Solution is F (a recognised abbreviation of “female”) placed in NILE (i.e. “river”) once this has been reversed (indicated by “from the east” – this being an across clue), like so: EL(F)IN.

  1. One Communist enforcer somewhere in Europe (6)

Answer: IBERIA (i.e. “somewhere in Europe”, being Spain and Portugal collectively). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) followed by Lavrentiy BERIA (i.e. a “Communist enforcer” who was one of Stalin’s most influential secret police chiefs and was responsible, among other atrocities, for wartime massacres, the vast expansion of gulags in post-war Russia and who was eventually executed on charges of over 350 counts of rape and treason. Nice guy he was not. It’s bad enough that the setter thought it fine to memorialise this fucker in one of the clues, but that the puzzles editor of The Times, with a number of Jumbos lined up in advance, don’t forget, considered it acceptable to publish this over Remembrance weekend beggars belief.)

  1. Theatre hands round account showing revenge (8)

Answer: REPRISAL (i.e. “revenge”). Solution is REP (i.e. “theatre”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of a repertory theatre) followed by R and L (i.e. “hands” – specifically recognised abbreviations of “right” and “left”) once these have been placed “round” ISA (i.e. “account”, specifically an Individual Savings Account, a tax efficient savings account available here in the UK), like so: REP-R(ISA)L.

  1. Unknown speed trap’s without siren, perhaps (7)

Answer: NYMPHET (i.e. “siren, perhaps” – other mythical temptresses are available). Solution is Y (i.e. “unknown” – setters cannot resist referring to X Y or Z in solutions as “unknowns”) and MPH (i.e. “speed”, specifically Miles Per Hour) with NET (i.e. “trap”) placed around or “without” them, like so: N(Y-MPH)ET.

  1. Real logic set out in the form of a parable, say (9)

Answer: ALLEGORIC (i.e. “in the form of a parable, say”). “Set out” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of REAL LOGIC.

  1. Appeal about maintaining virtue in retirement (8)

Answer: EMERITUS (i.e. “in retirement”, often from academia). Solution is SUE (i.e. to apply, plead or “appeal” – again, too wilfully slack for my liking) reversed (indicated by “about”) and wrapped around or “maintaining” MERIT (i.e. “virtue”), like so: E(MERIT)US.

  1. Cockney’s bum note, one in orchestra (4)

Answer: OBOE (i.e. “one in orchestra”. An orchestra is “a large company of musicians” (Chambers) so I’m guessing this is one of those magic oboes that can play all by themselves. Again, slack.) Solution is HOBO (i.e. “bum”) with the H removed (indicated by “Cockney”, as in how they’re forever dropping their bleedin’ aitches, not to mention incorrectly using “was” with such frequency it makes you wonder whether they were taught it in school) followed by E (i.e. “[musical] note”), like so: OBO-E.

  1. Spades held back in grassy plant borders (5)

Answer: EDGES (i.e. “borders”). Solution is SEDGE (i.e. “grassy plant”) with the S (a recognised abbreviation of “spades” used in some card games) “held back” to the end, like so: (S)EDGE => EDGE(S).

  1. Slate sample in store (6)

Answer: PANTRY (i.e. “store”). Solution is PAN (i.e. to criticise or “slate”) followed by TRY (i.e. to “sample” something).

  1. Cow’s close, suppressing instinctive urges (10)

Answer: INTIMIDATE (i.e. to bully or “cow” someone). Solution is INTIMATE (i.e. “close”) wrapped around or “suppressing” ID (i.e. “instinctive urges”, one of the parts of the psyche in psychoanalytic theory), like so: INTIM(ID)ATE.

  1. Not great jockeys in shape (8)

Answer: TETRAGON (i.e. “shape”). “Jockeys” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of NOT GREAT.

  1. Supply fashion garments after working in northern town (8-2-4)

Answer: STOCKTON-ON-TEES (i.e. “northern town”). Solution is STOCK (i.e. “supply”) followed by TON (i.e. “fashion” – another favourite play of setters, and a valid definition of “ton”, but I’m still to see it used in the wild) and TEES (i.e. “garments”, specifically T-shirts) once this latter has been placed “after” ON (i.e. “working”), like so: STOCK-TON-(ON)-TEES.

  1. One disdainful about people arriving at top London location (8,6)

Answer: SPEAKERS CORNER (i.e. “London location”). Solution is SCORNER (i.e. “one disdainful”) wrapped “about” PEAKERS (i.e. “people arriving at top”), like so: S(PEAKERS)CORNER.

  1. Less than a couple, moving with current (8)

Answer: UNDERTOW (i.e. “current” beneath the water’s surface). Solution is UNDER (i.e. “less than”) followed by TWO (i.e. “a couple”) with the W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”) “moved”, like so: UNDER-T(W)O => UNDER-TO(W).

  1. Mostly toxic substance, name for fuel (10)

Answer: ANTHRACITE (i.e. “fuel”). Solution is ANTHRAX (i.e. “toxic substance”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and the remainder followed by CITE (i.e. “name”), like so: ANTHRA-CITE. One I remembered from a previous puzzle, if I’m honest.

  1. Mended coats tailor vacuously left here and there (6)

Answer: STREWN (i.e. “left here and there”). Solution is SEWN (i.e. “mended”) wrapped around or “coating” TR (i.e. “tailor vacuously”, i.e. the word “tailor” with its middle letters removed), like so: S(TR)EWN.

  1. Officer no longer receiving a raise (5)

Answer: EXALT (i.e. “raise”). Solution is EX-LT (i.e. “officer no longer” – Lt being a recognised abbreviation of “lieutenant”) wrapped around or “receiving” A, like so: EX-(A)-LT.

  1. Pods round ship heading west (4)

Answer: OKRA (i.e. “pods” of an edible tropical plant of the same name). Solution is O (i.e. “round”) followed by ARK (i.e. “ship”) reversed (indicated by “heading west” – this being an across clue), like so: O-KRA.

  1. Familiar with animal’s home around lawn, say (8)

Answer: MATERIAL (i.e. “lawn, say” – Chambers offers “a sort of fine linen or cambric”). Solution is MATE (i.e. “familiar” in its noun form – Chambers again: “a person with whom one is well or long acquainted”) followed by LAIR (i.e. “animal’s home”) once this latter has been reversed (indicated by “around”), like so: MATE-RIAL.

  1. Maybe saw manufacturer’s fixed motor with leak (9)

Answer: TOOLMAKER (i.e. “maybe saw manufacturer”). “Fixed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MOTOR and LEAK.

  1. Official stops work in plant (7)

Answer: TREFOIL (i.e. “plant” – chalk one to my Bradford’s here. I can seldom be arsed applying much brainpower when setters resort to using plants in their grids). Solution is REF (i.e. “official”) placed in or “stopping” TOIL (i.e. “work”), like so: T(REF)OIL.

  1. Cheaply con one lady out of publicity (8)

Answer: STINGILY (i.e. “cheaply”). Solution is STING (i.e. “con”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and LY (i.e. “lady out of publicity”, i.e. the word LADY with the AD removed, an ad being a shortened form of an advertisement).

  1. Wrong exam before lunch? (6)

Answer: AMORAL (i.e. “wrong”). When written as AM ORAL the solution also satisfies “exam before lunch”.

  1. Scrap of fruit and shell of hazelnut (5)

Answer: FIGHT (i.e. “scrap”). Solution is FIG (i.e. “fruit”) followed by HT (i.e. “shell of hazelnut”, i.e. the first and last letters of “hazelnut”).

  1. Love smooth winger’s passes in game (7,3,7)

Answer: NOUGHTS AND CROSSES (i.e. “game”). Solution is NOUGHT (i.e. “love”, as in a zero score in tennis) followed by SAND (i.e. to “smooth” e.g. some wood) followed by CROSSES (i.e. “winger’s passes” in a game of football).

  1. Exactly how Generation Rent is obligated? (2,3,6)

Answer: TO THE LETTER. Solution satisfies “exactly” and “how Generation Rent is obligated”, a letter being a landlord.

  1. Prodigal son has power to stop the endless conflict (11)

Answer: SPENDTHRIFT (i.e. “prodigal”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”) followed by P (ditto “power”), then END (i.e. “to stop”), then TH (i.e. “the endless”, i.e. the word “the” with its final letter removed) and finally RIFT (i.e. “conflict”), like so: S-P-END-TH-RIFT. Nicely done.

Down clues

  1. Divine, eating the last word in jam (11)

Answer: PREDICAMENT (i.e. “jam” or sticky situation). Solution is PREDICT (i.e. to “divine”) wrapped around or “eating” AMEN (i.e. “the last word”), like so: PREDIC(AMEN)T.

  1. Bird’s old beak (5)

Answer: REEVE. Solution satisfies “bird” and “old beak” – a “beak” being slang for a judge. One definition of reeve is “[historical] chief magistrate of a district” (Chambers)).

  1. Issue about dry home’s rugs etc. (7)

Answer: MATTING (i.e. “rugs etc”). Solution is MAG (i.e. “issue”, i.e. a magazine) wrapped “about” TT (i.e. “dry”, being a recognised abbreviation of “teetotal”) and IN (i.e. at “home”), like so: MA(TT-IN)G.

  1. Revolutionary happening upon fine shelter (4)

Answer: NOOK (i.e. “shelter”). Solution is ON (i.e. “happening”) reversed (indicated by “revolutionary”) and followed by OK (i.e. “fine”), like so: NO-OK.

  1. Passing vehicle in the middle of deep trail (10)

Answer: EVANESCENT (i.e. “passing”). Solution is VAN (i.e. “vehicle”) placed “in” EE (i.e. “middle [two letters] of dEEp”) and followed by SCENT (i.e. “trail”), like so: E(VAN)E-SCENT.

  1. Official resurrected any careers (14)

Answer: UNDERSECRETARY (i.e. “official”). “Careers” indicates anagram, as in running or dashing. Solution is an anagram of RESURRECTED ANY.

  1. Duke has scrap behind court building (8)

Answer: WOODSHED (i.e. “building”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “duke”) and SHED (i.e. to “scrap” or abandon something) both placed after or “behind” WOO (i.e. to “court”), like so: (WOO)-D-SHED.

  1. Girl lowers cap touching the ears? (5)

Answer: AURAL (i.e. relating to or “touching [on] the ears”). Solution is LAURA (i.e. “girl”) with the initial letter or “cap” “lowered” to the end – this being a down clue, like so: (L)AURA => AURA(L).

  1. Little people in hospital developing inoculum (9)

Answer: HOMUNCULI (i.e. “little people”, plural of homunculus; a dwarf or manikin). Solution is H (a recognised abbreviation of “hospital”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “developing”) of INOCULUM, like so: H-OMUNCULI. Nicely worked.

  1. Lots of leaves picked up in cathedral city (6)

Answer: RHEIMS (i.e. “cathedral city” in France). “Picked up” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of RHYMES (i.e. “lots of leaves” – RIME can be a variant form of REAM, one meaning of which being a whole bunch of paper).
[EDIT: Thanks to Sue in the comments for pointing out RHEIMS is pronounced REAMS anyway, and so works as a direct homophone. Cheers, Sue! – LP]

  1. Syncopated, say, in French song in odd places (3,3,6,5)

Answer: OFF THE BEATEN TRACK (i.e. “in odd places”). Solution is OFF THE BEAT (i.e. “syncopated, say” – off to Chambers again: “to alter the rhythm of (music, etc) temporarily by transferring the accent to a normally unaccented beat”. Yup. Exactly what I was going to say. (Looks to camera.)) followed by EN (i.e. “in French”, i.e. the French for “in”) and TRACK (i.e. “song”).

  1. Not a single girl wearing cape still (11)

Answer: NONETHELESS (i.e. “still”). Solution is NO (i.e. “not a single” – Chambers accepts “not any” and “not one” under a variant sense of the word NO) followed by ETHEL (i.e. “girl”) once placed in or “wearing” NESS (i.e. “cape”, as in the geographic feature), like so: NO-N(ETHEL)ESS.

  1. Opening in building with raised cross-piece? (4-4)

Answer: TRAP-DOOR (i.e. “opening in building” often flush with a surface, e.g. that found on a theatre stage. Note, not an opening to a building. That would be a rather harsh way of garnering footfall). Solution is ROOD PART (i.e. “cross-piece” – rood is another word for Christ’s cross) all reversed (indicated by “raised” – this being a down clue).

  1. Combatant one quickly smashed, admitting confusion (5,12)

Answer: LIGHT WELTERWEIGHT (i.e. “combatant” in boxing). Solution is LIGHTWEIGHT (i.e. “one quickly smashed” or intoxicated) wrapped around or “admitting” WELTER (i.e. “confusion”), like so: LIGHT(WELTER)WEIGHT.

  1. Burn coal, not its top (6)

Answer: IGNITE (i.e. “burn”). Solution is LIGNITE (i.e. brown “coal”, technically almost-but-not-quite-yet coal) with its initial letter removed (indicated by “not its top”). Solution was obvious but needed a quick dip into my Bradford’s to narrow the 25-1 odds of guessing the right initial letter to remove.

  1. From capital city in France, runs away during struggle (8)

Answer: VIENNESE (i.e. “from capital” of Austria). Solution is RENNES (i.e. “city in France”) with the R removed (indicated by “runs away” – R being a recognised abbreviation of “runs” used in a number of ball games) and the remainder placed “during” VIE (i.e. “struggle”), like so: VI(ENNES)E.

  1. Onlookers surrounding king revealing all (8)

Answer: STARKERS (i.e. “revealing all”). Solution is STARERS (i.e. “onlookers”) wrapped around or “surrounding” K (a recognised abbreviation of “king”), like so: STAR(K)ERS.

  1. Believers in sect losing it, so silly! (14)

Answer: SCIENTOLOGISTS (i.e. “believers”). “Silly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SECT LOSING IT SO. Best clue this week by a country mile. Very nicely worked!

  1. Unacceptable news about priestess without working alliance (3-5)

Answer: NON-UNION (i.e. “without working alliance”). Solution is NON-U (i.e. something that is “unacceptable” in the eyes of posh nobs) followed by N and N (recognised abbreviation of “new”, the plural of which being “news”) wrapped around IO (i.e. “priestess” of Greek mythology), like so: (NON-U)-N(IO)N. One for the Eton set, there.

  1. Female nursing pet once hurt (6)

Answer: SCATHE (i.e. “once hurt”, referring to how this word would more commonly appear in older texts). Solution is SHE (i.e. “female”) wrapped around or “nursing” CAT (i.e. “pet”), like so: S(CAT)HE.

  1. See red drunk recover quickly (4,3,2,2)

Answer: SNAP OUT OF IT (i.e. “recover quickly”). Solution is SNAP (i.e. “see red”, a bit like a certain solver this week) followed by OUT OF IT (i.e. “drunk”, a bit like a certain solver in a couple of hours’ time).

  1. Smallest room in ruined castle tower (5,6)

Answer: WATER CLOSET (i.e. the “smallest room” of the house). “Ruined” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CASTLE TOWER.

  1. Splenetic European concocted serious complaint (10)

Answer: PESTILENCE (i.e. disease or “serious complaint”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “concocted”) of SPLENETIC followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”).

  1. Tax measure brought back, cutting a little money (9)

Answer: CHALLENGE (i.e. to “tax”). Solution is ELL (i.e. “measure”, specifically “a varying measure of length originally taken from the arm” (Chambers). Probably explains why there isn’t a single proper right-angle in my house) reversed (indicated by “brought back”) and placed in or “cutting” CHANGE (i.e. “a little money”), like so: CHA(LLE)NGE.

  1. One crossing the line in interrupting Peter, say (8)

Answer: FINISHER (i.e. “one crossing the [finishing] line”). Solution is IN placed in or “interrupting” FISHER (i.e. “Peter, say”, referring to Saint Peter, a former fisherman who makes several guest appearances in the New Testament of The Bible).

  1. A distance covered by insect is huge (7)

Answer: MAMMOTH (i.e. “huge”). Solution is A and MM (i.e. “distance”, being a recognised abbreviation of a millimetre) both placed in or “covered by” MOTH (i.e. “insect”), like so: M(A-MM)OTH.

  1. Small men join in trip (6)

Answer: SORTIE (i.e. “trip”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) followed by OR (i.e. “men”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army) and TIE (i.e. “join”).

  1. Check development of attention-seeking exploit (5)

Answer: STUNT. Solution satisfies to stop or “check development” and “attention-seeking exploit”.

  1. Sage European bringing down leader (5)

Answer: RISHI (i.e. “sage” or poet, from the Sanskrit). Solution is similar to 8d, with the first letter or “leader” of IRISH (i.e. “European”) being “brought down” to the end – this being a down clue – like so: (I)RISH => RISH(I).

  1. Bitter is an intoxicating substance (4)

Answer: ACID. Solution satisfies “bitter” and “intoxicating substance”.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1466

A medium strength offering this week, and a decent one “to boot”. There were some good clues to be had, plus a few things I’ve learned during its solution – always a good thing – but there were a couple of repeats to get through as well. I appreciate NAIROBI is useful, what with the vowels ‘n all, but come on, setters, there are other cities out there. I’ve counted at least half a dozen of them.

As ever 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 are here, I’ve curated links to the last 100+ of these things on my Just For Fun page should that be of any interest, plus a bunch of book reviews and a story of mine.

Till next time, with another lockdown now officially on the doorstep, keep calm, stay safe, mask up and keep flying the flag for NHS and key workers everywhere. Let’s hope things don’t get as bleak as all the projections suggest.

LP

Across clues

  1. Swift’s bathtime story? (1,4,2,1,3)

Answer: A TALE OF A TUB, a “story” by Jonathan “Swift” – technically a story with a whole lot of asides. Clue plays on how “bathtime” can involve a bathtub. You get the idea.

  1. Young animal was taking food to effect a transformation (6)

Answer: PUPATE (i.e. “to effect a transformation”). Solution is PUP (i.e. “young animal”) followed by ATE (i.e. “was taking food”).

  1. Gasper – holding new one in the mouth (4)

Answer: FANG (a tooth or “one in the mouth”). Solution is FAG (i.e. “gasper” – both slang words for a cigarette) wrapped around or “holding” N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”), like so: FA(N)G.

  1. Suffer, and fail to reach destination? (7)

Answer: UNDERGO (i.e. “suffer”). Solution is UNDER (i.e. “fail to reach [a target]”) followed by GO (i.e. “destination” on a Monopoly board). Seems wishy-washy to me, so there could be better explanations for this one.

  1. Cows produce it: change the name (7)

Answer: METHANE (i.e. “cows produce it”). “Change” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of THE NAME.

  1. Two big beasts clash for the gold (7)

Answer: BULLION (i.e. “gold”). The “two big beasts” in this case are BULL and LION, while “clash” indicates they overlap, like so: BUL(L)ION.

  1. The coming Utopia makes one tense (6,7)

Answer: FUTURE PERFECT (i.e. “tense” – in the dry and joyless world of grammar, this is a combination of future tense and a “perfect”, an event seen as completed or having already occurred, e.g. a sentence like “Mr Poll will have read and reviewed Best New Horror 14 by the end of time”). Solution is FUTURE (i.e. “the coming”) followed by PERFECT (i.e. “Utopia”).

  1. Boring cricket? But it could lead to an explosion (4,5)

Answer: SLOW MATCH, a slowly burning rope for firing explosives (i.e. “it could lead to an explosion”). Solution is SLOW (i.e. “boring”) followed by MATCH (i.e. “cricket”, e.g. a test match – other sports are available).

  1. Admirer unveils boxing programme again (5)

Answer: RERUN (i.e. “programme again”, as in TV reruns). “Boxing” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: ADMI(RER UN)VEILS.

  1. Majority of ship separating two creatures (5,5)

Answer: LION’S SHARE (i.e. “majority”). Solution is SS (a recognised abbreviation of “ship”, specifically a steamship) “separating” LION and HARE (i.e. “two creatures”), like so: LION-(SS)-HARE.

  1. Source of energy, damming river flow (6)

Answer: STREAM (i.e. “river flow”). Solution is STEAM (i.e. “source of energy”) wrapped around or “damming” E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”), like so: ST(R)EAM.
[Typo fix courtesy of purleypab in the comments. I’d accidentally written STR(E)AM. Much obliged! – LP]

  1. Bore behind pipe in US street (4,4)

Answer: MAIN DRAG (i.e. “US street” – basically what they call a main road through a town or city). Solution is DRAG (i.e. “bore”) placed “behind” MAIN (i.e. “pipe”).

  1. Designing to remove a Spanish king is fine by shadowy officials (3,2,4,5)

Answer: MEN IN GREY SUITS (i.e. “shadowy officials”). Solution is MEANING (i.e. “designing” – a bit loose for me) with the A removed (indicated by “to remove a”) and followed by REY (i.e. “Spanish king”, i.e. the Spanish for “king”) and SUITS (i.e. “is fine by”), like so: MENING-REY-SUITS.

  1. Loathing one’s grot, removing decay, clean all round (7)

Answer: DISGUST (i.e. “loathing”). Solution is I’S (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one’s”) and G (i.e. “grot, removing decay”, i.e. the word GROT with ROT removed) with DUST (i.e. “[to] clean”) placed “all round” them, like so: D(I’S-G)UST.

  1. Twitchy movement in sweet grass skirt (9)

Answer: PETTICOAT (i.e. “skirt”). Solution is TIC (i.e. “twitchy movement”) placed “in” between PET (i.e. “sweet” – both terms of affection) and OAT (i.e. “grass”), like so: PET-(TIC)-OAT.

  1. Simpleton tending to drift into sleep? (5)

Answer: NODDY. Solution satisfies “simpleton” and “tending to drift into sleep”, as in nodding off.

  1. Confines doctor in island (5)

Answer: AMBIT (i.e. “confines”). Solution is MB (i.e. “doctor”, specifically a Medicinae Baccalaureus or Bachelor of Medicine) placed “in” AIT (i.e. an “island”), like so: A(MB)IT.

  1. Half of college heads at school or university (9)

Answer: PRINCETON (i.e. US “university”). Solution is the first “half of” PRINCIPALS (i.e. “college heads”) followed by ETON (i.e. “school”), like so: PRINC-ETON.

  1. After fast, no stomach to eat meat (7)

Answer: BRISKET (i.e. “meat”). Solution is BRISK (i.e. “fast”) followed by ET (i.e. “no stomach to eat”, i.e. the word “eat” with its middle letter removed), like so: BRISK-ET.

  1. Game of tennis wonderful practice for string player (6-8)

Answer: DOUBLE-STOPPING (i.e. “practice for string player”, being “the simultaneous stopping of and playing on two strings” (Chambers)). Solution is DOUBLES (i.e. “game of tennis”) followed by TOPPING (i.e. “wonderful”).

  1. Small group of families America turned back at frontier (8)

Answer: SUBORDER (i.e. “small group of [biological] families”). Solution is US (i.e. “America”) reversed (indicated by “turned back”) and followed by BORDER (i.e. “frontier”), like so: SU-BORDER. Fitting, given the times. Nicely done.

  1. Muddle up little shepherdess’s name: that amuses baby (4-2)

Answer: PEEP-BO (i.e. game “that amuses baby”, i.e. a game seemingly identical to peekaboo but with rules sufficiently different to warrant separate administrative bodies, with predictable animosity between the two as a result. If you thought Rugby Union vs Rugby League was bad, just check out the bad blood online between peekabooers and peepboers. Definitely not for kids.) Solution is BO PEEP (i.e. “little shepherdess”) with both parts of the name “muddled up”.

  1. Preacher concerned with order of candidates for examination (10)

Answer: REVIVALIST (i.e. an itinerant “preacher”, often plying their trade in big tents over in the US). Solution is RE (i.e. “concerned with” or regarding – think email replies) followed by VIVA LIST (i.e. “order of candidates for examination” – vivas are sometimes used when a student’s degree is borderline between, say, a 2:1 and a 1st).

  1. Alice is wounded in the guts (5)

Answer: ILEAC (i.e. “in the guts”). “Is wounded” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ALICE. Another of those solutions I suspect wasn’t the first in the grid.

  1. Feeling of revulsion as certain N American people spasm regularly (3,6)

Answer: THE CREEPS (i.e. “feeling of revulsion”). Solution is THE (i.e. “certain”) and CREE (i.e. indigenous “N American people”) followed by PS (i.e. “spasm regularly”, i.e. every other letter of SPASM), like so: THE-CREE-PS.

  1. Cabbage ordered since he doesn’t eat (7,6)

Answer: CHINESE LEAVES (i.e. “cabbage”, e.g. bok choi/pak choy). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “ordered”) of SINCE HE followed by LEAVES (i.e. “doesn’t eat”).

  1. Returning home with a spring in one’s step? (7)

Answer: INBOUND (i.e. “returning” journey). Solution is IN (i.e. “home”) followed by BOUND (i.e. “spring in one’s step”). Simple, but nicely done all the same.

  1. Rodents a horror in boarding school on winter nights? (7)

Answer: DORMICE (i.e. “rodents”). Solution is DORM (shortened form of “dormitory”, of a kind found in “boarding schools”) and ICE (found on some “winter nights”). I guess “a horror” is there to make the clue scan, but I could be missing something clever.
[EDIT: the consensus opinion would be that the solution satisfies “rodents” and, when written as DORM ICE, also satisfies “a horror in boarding school on winter nights”. Thanks all! – LP]

  1. Makes bigger uniform and boasts (7)

Answer: UPRATES (i.e. “makes bigger”). Solution is U (“uniform” in the phonetic alphabet) followed by PRATES (i.e. “boasts”).

  1. Good year evens out for artist (4)

Answer: Francisco GOYA (i.e. “artist” whose Black Paintings were and still remain Metal AF. Keep an eye out for his skull on eBay, as it was found to be missing when his body was reinterred.) “Evens out” indicates the solution is derived by removing every other letter of GOOD YEAR.

  1. Encouragement to start fires (4,2)

Answer: LETS GO. Solution satisfies “encouragement to start” and “fires”. Again, simple, but nicely worked.

  1. Emperor who condemns king he hangs (7,4)

Answer: GENGHIS KHAN (i.e. “emperor”). “Condemns” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of KING HE HANGS.

Down clues

  1. Supplier of water showing nerves maybe, receiving fine for missing volume (7)

Answer: AQUIFER (i.e. “source of water”). Solution is AQUIVER (i.e. “showing nerves”) with the V (a recognised abbreviation of “volume”) replaced by F (ditto “fine”), like so: AQUI(V)ER => AQUI(F)ER. A very similar clue appeared a few months ago in grid 1450.

  1. Documentary evidence of car time-lags (5,6)

Answer: AUDIT TRAILS (i.e. “documentary evidence”). Solution is AUDI (i.e. “car”) followed by T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) and TRAILS (i.e. “lags”).

  1. Prolonged hesitation with nothing to conceal is a mistake (5)

Answer: ERROR (i.e. “mistake”). Solution is ERRR (i.e. “prolonged hesitation”) wrapped around or “concealing” O (i.e. “nothing”), like so: ERR(O)R.

  1. Hither and thither troops patrol and film freely (4,6,2,4)

Answer: FROM PILLAR TO POST (i.e. “hither and thither”). “Freely” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TROOPS PATROL and FILM.

  1. Endless grave misery headed off for another day (8)

Answer: TOMORROW (i.e. “another day”). Solution is TOMB (i.e. “grave”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “endless”) followed by SORROW (i.e. “misery”) with its first letter removed (indicated by “headed off”), like so: TOM-ORROW.

  1. Cutting water into stone arousing conflicting emotions (11)

Answer: BITTERSWEET (i.e. “conflicting emotions”). Solution is BITTER (i.e. “cutting”) followed by WEE (i.e. “water”, as in feeling something in one’s waters) once this latter has been placed “into” ST (a recognised abbreviation of “stone”), like so: BITTER-S(WEE)T.

  1. Long line’s broken in factory (5)

Answer: PLANT (i.e. “factory”). Solution is PANT (i.e. to “long” for something) with L (a recognised abbreviation of “line”) “broken in” as follows: P(L)ANT.

  1. Recreation area suggesting super ale? (8,6)

Answer: PLEASURE GROUND (i.e. “recreation area”). “Suggesting super ale” refers to the solution being a cryptic clue in itself, in how PLEASURE is an anagram (indicated by “GROUND”) of “super ale”.

  1. Also for kicking? (2,4)

Answer: TO BOOT. Solution satisfies “also” and “for kicking”.

  1. Anonymous informer’s short sentence (1,6,4)

Answer: A LITTLE BIRD. Solution satisfies “anonymous informer” and “short sentence”.

  1. Travelling player short of nothing in dress material (7)

Answer: GINGHAM (i.e. “dress material”). Solution is GOING (i.e. “travelling”) and HAM (i.e. “player”, or actor, luvvie, dahling) with the O of GOING removed (indicated by “short of nothing”), like so: GING-HAM.

  1. Mark put in wedge is for climber (8)

Answer: CLEMATIS (i.e. “climber”). Solution is M (a recognised abbreviation of “mark”, as in the former German currency) “put into” CLEAT (i.e. “wedge”) and followed by IS, like so: CLE(M)AT-IS.

  1. I am sure to bound excitedly (2,5)

Answer: NO DOUBT (i.e. “I am sure”). “Excitedly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TO BOUND.

  1. British out of custom found on one half of island (5)

Answer: HAITI (i.e. “island”). Solution is HABIT (i.e. “custom”) with the B removed (indicated by “British out of…” – B being a recognised abbreviation of “British”) and the remainder followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: HAIT-I.

  1. Attend boxing match? The president has to equivocate (4,5,3,4)

Answer: BEAT ABOUT THE BUSH (i.e. “equivocate”). Solution is BE AT A BOUT (i.e. “attend boxing match”) followed by THE and BUSH (i.e. former US “president”, take your pick).

  1. Motorway I would come down away from the coast (7)

Answer: MIDLAND (i.e. “away from the coast”). Solution is M (a recognised abbreviation of “motorway”) followed by I’D (a contraction of “I would”) and LAND (i.e. “come down”).

  1. Hospital worker putting out one for extremely hungry swindler (7)

Answer: SHYSTER (i.e. “swindler”). Solution is SISTER (i.e. a senior nurse or “hospital worker”) with the I removed (indicated by “putting out [Roman numeral] one for…”) and replaced by HY (i.e. “extremely hungry”, i.e. the first and last letters of “hungry”), like so: S(I)STER => S(HY)STER.

  1. In vicious pitilessness, do roar (5,4,5)

Answer: SPLIT ONES SIDES (i.e. “roar” with laughter). “Vicious” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of PITILESSNESS DO.

  1. Oxygen needed for energy in elevated Spanish city (7)

Answer: NAIROBI (i.e. “city”). Solution is IBERIAN (i.e. “Spanish”, also Portuguese) with the E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”) replaced by (indicated by “for”) O (chemical symbol of “oxygen”), and the whole then reversed (indicated by “elevated” – this being a down clue), like so: IB(E)RIAN => IB(O)RIAN => NAIR(O)BI. While it’s tiresome that this is the fourth time this year NAIROBI has been used as a solution, this is by far the most creative clue I’ve seen for it. Very nicely done.

  1. Favourite son athlete watched over (4-4,3)

Answer: BLUE-EYED BOY (i.e. “favourite”). Solution is SON (i.e. “boy”) with BLUE (i.e. “athlete”, specifically the rah-rah-rah types from Oxford, Cambridge, Harrow or Eton, old thing, what, what, what) and EYED (i.e. “watched”) placed “over” it – this being a down clue – like so: (BLUE-EYED)-BOY.
[Thanks to Sue in the comments for the typo fix. I’d written (BLUE-EYED)-SON at the end. Cheers, Sue! – LP]

  1. About twenty-four days, possibly, in holiday island? (5)

Answer: CAPRI (i.e. “island”). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “circa”, i.e. “about”) followed by the first four letters of APRIL (i.e. “twenty-four days”, being 80% of the thirty days in April), like so: C-APRI. I guess “holiday” refers to Capri being a popular tourist spot, rather than the Easter holiday, which can occur in March or April.

  1. Volunteers new short story I confess very gripping (11)

Answer: TANTALISING (i.e. “very gripping”). Solution is TA (i.e. “volunteers”, specifically the Territorial Army) followed by N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”), then TALE (i.e. “story”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “short”) and I SING (i.e. “I confess”), like so: TA-N-TAL-I-SING.

  1. Organ voluntary’s beginning to cut into ladies’ fingers (6,5)

Answer: KIDNEY VETCH (i.e. “ladies’ fingers”, a medicinal plant). Solution is KIDNEY (i.e. “organ”) followed by V (i.e. “voluntary’s beginning”, i.e. the first letter of “voluntary”) and ETCH (i.e. “to cut into”).

  1. Wood supplier getting a blaze going in chimney (8)

Answer: LABURNUM (i.e. “wood supplier”). Solution is A BURN (i.e. “a blaze”) placed “in” LUM (Scots word for a “chimney”), like so: L(A-BURN)UM.

  1. Replacement cleric’s unusual deviance (4-4)

Answer: VICE-DEAN (i.e. “replacement cleric”). “Unusual” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DEVIANCE.

  1. Looking sadly on ostensibly good drawing (7)

Answer: PITYING (i.e. “looking sadly on”). Solution is PI (i.e. “ostensibly good”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “pious”) followed by TYING (i.e. “drawing” or being evenly matched in a contest).

  1. Play’s begun? Gets knitting (5,2)

Answer: CASTS ON. Solution satisfies “play’s begun” and “gets knitting”.

  1. Buyer in French department (6)

Answer: VENDEE. Solution satisfies “buyer” and “French department” – a department is an administrative division of France (hat-tip to Steve, who mentioned this in the comments of a previous puzzle). One such department is Vendée.

  1. In Madagascar, God is a sort of cult (5)

Answer: CARGO (i.e. “sort of cult”, specifically “a type of religion in certain S Pacific islands based on the belief that ancestors or supernatural beings will return bringing products of modern civilization and thus make the islanders rich and independent” (Chambers) – fascinating stuff. I didn’t know that.) “In” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: MADAGAS(CAR GO)D.

  1. Love pocketing initially unwanted coins (5)

Answer: EUROS (i.e. “coins”). Solution is EROS, Greek god of “love”, wrapped around or “pocketing” U (i.e. “initially unwanted”, i.e. the first letter of “unwanted”), like so: E(U)ROS.

Not much music listened to this time – mostly live footie and chipping away at a backlog of about 20 NFL games. I did have a moment, however, hunting out the tune that’s on that Peloton advert at the moment: Sofi Tukker – Purple Hat. Very cool.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1465

A toughie this week. Probably even a stinker judging by TWOC, BRRR and leaving solvers _R_C_S for one of the tougher clues. This was a setter who was in no mood to play nice. Writing this the day after solving it lets me appreciate some of the good clueing on display, but at the time this was a bit of a joyless grind.

As ever, 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 have links to solutions for the last 100+ of these things on my Just For Fun page, along with some dusty book reviews and a story of mine.

Still persevering with WordPress’s new editor. It’s a bit like driving with the handbrake on, but at least I can still use MS Word to do much of the work. It’s not a pretty read, but it does what it needs to do.

Till next time, stay safe, mask up, and keep flying the flag for NHS and key workers everywhere.

LP

Across clues

  1. Get beaten for holding bible class? That’s hairy! (11)

Answer: BEWHISKERED (i.e. “hairy”). Solution is BE WHISKED (i.e. “get beaten”) wrapped around or “holding” RE (i.e. “bible class”, specifically Religious Education), like so: BE-WHISKE(RE)D.

  1. Inferior sound device with important second function (6,5)

Answer: MICKEY MOUSE (i.e. slang for “inferior” – I was surprised to find this doesn’t quite chime with Chambers, which suggests something that’s simple/unimportant/cliched). Solution is MIC (i.e. “sound device”, short for a microphone) followed by KEY (i.e. “important”), then MO (i.e. “second”, shortened form of “moment”) and USE (i.e. “function”).

  1. No going back – so suffer immediately (2,3,4)

Answer: ON THE NAIL (i.e. “immediately”). Solution is NO reversed (indicated by “going back”) followed by THEN (i.e. “so”) and AIL (i.e. “suffer”), like so: ON-THEN-AIL.

  1. Error diminished old Greek car manufacturer (7)

Answer: BUGATTI (i.e. “car manufacturer”. I’m not sure it’s enough to land the setter a free Veyron, but nice try all the same). Solution is BUG (i.e. “error”) followed by ATTIC (i.e. “old Greek”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “diminished”), like so: BUG-ATTI.

  1. The crossword editor retained by Express is dull! (5)

Answer: SAMEY (i.e. “dull”). Solution is ME (i.e. “the crossword editor” taken from the point of view of the setter) placed in or “retained by” SAY (i.e. to “express” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), like so: SA(ME)Y.

  1. Waiting to connect leg with horse before getting on (2,4)

Answer: ON HOLD (i.e. “waiting to connect”). Solution is ON (i.e. “leg” side in cricket) followed by H (i.e. “horse” – both slang words for heroin) and OLD (i.e. “getting on”).

  1. The woman chasing fairies finds little devil (8)

Answer: PERISHER (i.e. a scamp or “little devil”). Solution is HER (i.e. “the woman”) placed after or “chasing” PERIS (i.e. “fairies”), like so: PERIS-HER.

  1. Against the current voting system, one’s put in united resistance (7)

Answer: UPRIVER (i.e. “against the [water] current”). Solution PR (i.e. “voting system”, specifically Proportional Representation) and by I’VE (i.e. “one’s” read as a contraction of “one has” or “I have” rather than “one is”) both “put in” between U (a recognised abbreviation of “united”) and R (ditto “resistance”), like so: U-(PR-I’VE)-R.

  1. Female suffering terrific stress moved as queue dealt with? (5,4,5,6)

Answer: FIRST COME FIRST SERVED (i.e. “as queue dealt with”). Solution is F (a recognised abbreviation of “female”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “suffering”) of TERRIFIC STRESS MOVED.

  1. Religion’s expression of enlightenment in repeated Mass (7)

Answer: BAHAISM (i.e. “religion”). Solution is AHA (i.e. “expression of enlightenment”) placed in BIS (i.e. twice or “repeated” in musical lingo) and followed by M (a recognised abbreviation of “mass” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), like so: B(AHA)IS-M.

  1. Salty food Parisian prepared with article taken from fire (7)

Answer: PRETZEL (i.e. “salty food”). Solution is PRET (i.e. “Parisian prepared”, i.e. the French for ready or “prepared”, as in Pret a Manger, Pret a Porter etc) followed by ZEAL (i.e. passion or “fire”) once the A has been removed (indicated by “article taken from” – an article being a word like a, an or the), like so: PRET-ZEL.

  1. With track race put back, athlete finally gets to train (7)

Answer: NURTURE (i.e. “train”). Solution is RUT (i.e. “track”) and RUN (i.e. “race”) both reversed (indicated by “put back”) and followed by E (i.e. “athlete finally”, i.e. the last letter of “athlete”), like so: (NUR-TUR)-E.

  1. Drive away unauthorised pair of canvassers at the front (4)

Answer: TWOC (i.e. “drive away unauthorised”, i.e. an acronym of Take Without Consent, often in relation to vehicle theft). Solution is TWO (i.e. “pair”) followed by C (i.e. “canvassers at the front”, i.e. the first letter of “canvassers”).

  1. Kept in hand men’s prize at festival (5,3)

Answer: PALME DOR (i.e. “prize at [film] festival”). Solution is PALMED (i.e. “kept in hand”) followed by OR (i.e. “men”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army).

  1. Go crawling along out of gear? (6-3)

Answer: SKINNY-DIP, or swimming around in one’s birthday suit. Clue plays on how “crawling” is a swimming stroke, and how one removing all their clothes would be “out of gear”.

  1. Tries the lot again, mostly for practice (9)

Answer: REHEARSAL (i.e. “practice”). Solution is REHEARS ALL (i.e. “tries the lot again” in a court of law) with the last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”).

  1. Scrape trailer filling skip (8)

Answer: ESCAPADE (i.e. “scrape” or exciting or mischievous adventure). Solution is AD (i.e. “trailer”, i.e. a shortened form of “advertisement”) placed in or “filling” ESCAPE (i.e. to “skip” out of something, e.g. school), like so: ESCAP(AD)E.

  1. Reaction to the cold basics of learning by the book? (4)

Answer: BRRR (i.e. “reaction to the cold” – I wasn’t keen on this one either, especially after TWOC, but it is in the dictionary and with three Rs too, so…) Solution is B (a recognised abbreviation of “book”) placed before or “by” RRR (i.e. “basics of learning”, being reading, writing and arithmetic, collectively called the “three Rs” despite floods of smartarse schoolkids pointing out only one of those begins with an R), like so: B-RRR.

  1. Save one’s cheers for the person serving the drinks (7)

Answer: BARISTA (i.e. “person serving the drinks”). Solution is BAR (i.e. “save”, as in “all over bar the shouting”) followed by I’S (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one’s”) and TA (i.e. “cheers”, both expressions of thanks).

  1. Knock one over: not exactly sweet! (7)

Answer: TAPIOCA (i.e. “sweet”). Solution is TAP (i.e. “knock”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), then O (a recognised abbreviation of “over” used in cricket) and CA (i.e. “not exactly”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “circa”).

  1. Noble fellow cheated on the first female? (7)

Answer: GALAHAD (i.e. “noble”, as in “a person notable for nobility and integrity of character” (Chambers), after Sir Galahad, the most noble knight of the Round Table of Arthurian legend). Solution is HAD (i.e. having “cheated” someone) placed “on” or after GAL A (i.e. “the first female”, assuming there was a GAL B, C, D etc), like so: (GAL-A)-HAD.

  1. Light work made of devout folk – how much punishment’s involved unknown (3,7,2,8)

Answer: THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE (i.e. “light work” or comic opera by Gilbert and Sullivan, which includes the oft-parodied I Am The Very Model Of A Modern Major General). Solution is THE PI (i.e. “devout folk” – “pi” being a shortened form of “pious”) followed by RATES OF PENANCE (i.e. “how much punishment”) once wrapped around or “involving” Z (i.e. “unknown” – setters love referring to X, Y or Z in solutions as “unknowns”), like so: THE-PI-(RATES-OF-PEN(Z)ANCE).

  1. Nearly all choose to accept current condition for peace (7)

Answer: PACIFIC (i.e. “for peace”). Solution is PICK (i.e. “choose”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “nearly all”) and the remainder wrapped around or “accepting” AC (i.e. “current”, specifically Alternating Current) and IF (i.e. “condition”), like so: P(AC-IF)IC.
EDIT – a quick thank you to Michael in the comments for the typo fix. I’d written “condition for peace” as the solution, which should have merely been “for peace” – LP

  1. Material with which to test cosmetic (8)

Answer: TOILETRY (i.e. “cosmetic”). Solution is TOILE (i.e. “material”) followed by TRY (i.e. “to test”).

  1. Publisher takes role of petitioner (6)

Answer: ISSUER. Solution satisfies “publisher” and “role of petitioner”, as in one who raises an issue or point of dispute.

  1. Shaped outlines round first part of encyclopaedia? (5)

Answer: OVOLI (plural of ovolo, or “arc of an ellipse with the curve greatest at the top” (Chambers) i.e. “shaped outlines”). Solution is O (i.e. “round”) followed by VOL I (i.e. “first part of encyclopaedia”, as in Volume One). Call me cynical, but I doubt this was the first solution the setter slotted into the grid…

  1. Fair, perhaps, to have teams in red (7)

Answer: MARXIST (i.e. “red” or communist). Solution is MART (i.e. “fair, perhaps”) followed by XIS (i.e. “teams”, i.e. a plural of eleven expressed in Roman numerals), like so: MAR(XIS)T.

  1. Real nice uniform that’s worn (9)

Answer: AUTHENTIC (i.e. “real”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “worn”) of NICE, U (“uniform” in the phonetic alphabet) and THAT.

  1. Neutral zone of old formerly swallowed up by Polish (6,5)

Answer: BUFFER STATE (i.e. “neutral zone” or country between two states at loggerheads with one another). Solution is ERST (i.e. “formerly”) and ATE (i.e. “swallowed up”) both placed after or “by” BUFF (i.e. to “polish” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), like so: BUFF-(ERST-ATE). “Of old” seems unnecessary in the clue as neither BUFFER STATE nor ERST are flagged as archaic terms in the dictionary.
EDIT: Hat-tip to burleypab in the comments for the typo fix. I’d accidentally written BUFF-(ESRT-ATE) – LP

  1. Military command dispatched divisions in advance? (7,4)

Answer: PRESENT ARMS (i.e. “military command”). Solution is PRE-SENT (i.e. “despatched…in advance”) and ARMS (i.e. “divisions”).

Down clues

  1. Barrack the person that is heard sobbing (6)

Answer: BOOHOO (i.e. “sobbing”). Solution is BOO (i.e. “barrack”) followed by HOO (a homophone, indicated by “that is heard”, of WHO, i.e. “the person”).

  1. Kids TV shows cave containing possible emperor and queen (5,4,6)

Answer: WATCH WITH MOTHER (i.e. “kids TV shows” – ask your grandparents, kids). Solution is WATCH (i.e. “cave” – an alternative meaning of the word is to beware of something) followed by WITH (i.e. “containing”), then MOTH (i.e. “possible emperor”, referring to emperor moths or wild silk moths) and ER (i.e. “queen”, specifically Elizabeth Regina).

  1. Romantic rendering italicised (10)

Answer: IDEALISTIC (i.e. “romantic”). “Rendering” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ITALICISED.

  1. Old ruler shook hands, disappearing outside (4)

Answer: KHAN (i.e. “old ruler”). “Disappearing outside” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, i.e. the outside letters must disappear, like so: SHOO(K HAN)DS.

  1. What shows highs and lots of plot to remove the old guard? (6,3)

Answer: RELIEF MAP. I suspect this clue contains a typo and that it ought to have read “what shows highs and lows”. While “lots” can refer to parcels of land, this seems to serve more an administrative function than a geographical one. Clue plays on how “removing the old guard” can be to relieve them, and how a plot can be a plan or map. You get the idea.

  1. Excellent, having cheese in grill (7)

Answer: DEBRIEF (i.e. interrogate or “grill”). Solution is DEF (i.e. “excellent” – fresh from the 1980s, kids!) wrapped around or “having” BRIE (i.e. “cheese”), like so: DE(BRIE)F.

  1. Radio unit taking great pains to broadcast (9)

Answer: MEGAHERTZ (i.e. “radio unit” of frequency). Solution is MEGA (i.e. “great”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “to broadcast”) of HURTS (i.e. “pains”).

  1. Just leave odd parts for Henry Archer (5)

Answer: CUTER (i.e. “archer” or more cunning – ignore the misleading capitalisation). Solution is CUT (i.e. “leave” – not sure where “just” factors into this, if at all, but then CUT has more definitions than I have fingers and toes) followed by ER (i.e. “odd parts of Henry”, i.e. every other letter of HENRY), like so: CUT-ER. Another for the “trying too hard” file.

  1. I run peace movement for pleasure (9)

Answer: EPICUREAN (i.e. one “for pleasure” and the pursuit of it – usually one who digs on good food). “Movement” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of I RUN PEACE.

  1. Archbishop’s doctors turn out upset: RIP! (4,8)

Answer: MOST REVEREND (i.e. “archbishop”). Solution is MOS (i.e. “doctors”, specifically Medical Officers) followed by EVERT (i.e. “turn out[wards]”) reversed (indicated by upset” – this being a down clue), then REND (i.e. “rip” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), like so: MOS-TREVE-REND

  1. Calm as king must be prior to being taken to castle (7)

Answer: UNMOVED (i.e. “calm”). Clue refers to a move in chess known as castling, where the king and a rook or “castle” can swap places in a single go so long as neither piece has previously been moved.

  1. Friend to bear errors excepted long ago (6)

Answer: EEYORE (i.e. “friend to bear”, specifically Winnie The Pooh). Solution is EE (a recognised abbreviation of “errors excepted”) followed by YORE (i.e. “long ago”, as in times of yore).

  1. Rogues succeeded with much (8)

Answer: SCUMBAGS (i.e. “rogues”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “succeeded”) followed by CUM (i.e. “with” in Latin) and BAGS (i.e. “much”).

  1. Lectures on horses for touts (5,2)

Answer: TALKS UP (i.e. “touts”). Solution is TALKS (i.e. “lectures”) followed by UP (i.e. “on horses”).

  1. Penny, coming in flushed after double PE, showered (8)

Answer: PEPPERED (i.e. “showered”). Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “penny”) placed “in” PE and PE (i.e. “double PE”) and followed by RED (i.e. “flushed”), like so: PE-(P)-PE-RED. The clue’s a bit clunky, but does work. Ish.

  1. Albert’s heart, pounding inside loose garment (8)

Answer: BATHROBE (i.e. “loose garment”). Solution is BE (i.e. “Albert’s heart”, i.e. the middle letters of “AlBErt”) with ATHROB (i.e. “pounding”) placed “inside” of it, like so: B(ATHROB)E.

  1. Give in to the French: what’s expected (5)

Answer: ENDUE (i.e. “give”). Solution is EN (i.e. “in to the French”, i.e. the French for “in”) followed by DUE (i.e. “what’s expected”).

  1. One presumably telling too little about article illegally acquired (5-3-7)

Answer: UNDER-THE-COUNTER (i.e. “illegally acquired”). Solution is UNDERCOUNTER (i.e. “one presumably telling too little” – “telling” in this case meaning “mattering” or “counting” for something) wrapped “about” THE (i.e. “article”).
EDIT: Michael makes a good point in the comments, saying that “telling” could also refer to a bank teller, which probably chimes better with what the setter had in mind. Cheers, Michael! – LP

  1. FA’s forerunner came down on one with a certain force (7)

Answer: MILITIA (i.e. “force”, usually armed). Solution is MI (i.e. “fa’s forerunner” in solfège, or do-re-MI-“FA”-sol-la-ti-do and all its variant forms – ignore the misleading capitalisation) followed by LIT (i.e. “came down” or landed) then I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and A.

  1. Play area closed – leaves to the right (5)

Answer: RECTO (i.e. “leaves to the right” – a printing term: recto refers to the right-hand pages of a book, verso the left). Solution is REC (i.e. “play area” or recreation area) followed by TO (i.e. “closed”, as in leaving a door closed to).

  1. In dire need of film company dismissing English fellow (8)

Answer: INDIGENT (i.e. “in dire need”). Solution is INDIE (i.e. “film company” – often describes some record companies too) with the E removed (indicated by “dismissing English” – E being a recognised abbreviation of English) and the remainder followed by GENT (i.e. “fellow”), like so: INDI-GENT.

  1. Serializes a fine novel, not interfering with anything? (7-5)

Answer: LAISSEZ-FAIRE (i.e. “not interfering with anything”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “novel”) of SERIALIZES A and F (a recognised abbreviation of “fine”, used in grading pencils).

  1. What’s somehow keeping everything out of Chelsea net? (5,5)

Answer: CLEAN SHEET. Solution is an anagram (indicated by “out”) of CHELSEA NET. Clue plays on a game of football, where to keep the opponent from scoring i.e. keeping the ball out of one’s net is referred to as a clean sheet. Nicely done.

  1. Friends, perhaps, in the main revolting, however (2,2,5)

Answer: AS IT COMES (i.e. “however” – taken to mean “however it is made” or “in any way whatsoever”, e.g. when ordering food in a restaurant). Solution is SITCOM (i.e. “Friends, perhaps” – other sitcoms are available) placed “in” SEA (i.e. “the main”) once reversed (indicated by “revolting” or uprising – this being a down clue), like so: A(SITCOM)ES.

  1. Cliff, Charlie and I, dividing homework, finish off (9)

Answer: PRECIPICE (i.e. “cliff”). Solution is C (“Charlie” in the phonetic alphabet) and I both placed in or “dividing” PREP (i.e. “homework”) and followed by ICE (i.e. to kill or “finish off”), like so: PRE(C-I)P-ICE.

  1. Like normal, bland sweetener (9)

Answer: ASPARTAME (i.e. “sweetener”). Solution AS (i.e. “like”) followed by PAR (i.e. “normal”) and TAME (i.e. “bland”). Chalk one to my Bradford’s here.

  1. Lecture Mark completed (4,3)

Answer: TICK OFF. Solution satisfies “lecture” and “mark completed” – ignore the misleading capitalisation.

  1. Be too generous, glaring at paltry sum (7)

Answer: OVERTIP (i.e. “be too generous” – depends on your perspective…). Solution is OVERT (i.e. “glaring”) followed by IP (i.e. “paltry sum”, i.e. 1p expressed as a Roman numeral).

  1. Being collected in a Post Office, large computer storage unit (6)

Answer: APLOMB (i.e. “being collected”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) placed “in” A and PO (ditto “Post Office”) and followed by MB (i.e. “computer storage unit”, short for a megabyte), like so: A-P(L)O-MB.

  1. Writes off to a dictator, the king (6)

Answer: WRECKS (i.e. “writes off”). “To a dictator” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of REX, Latin for “king”. Sneaky.

  1. Film star in fur coat putting king in his place in Ireland? (5)

Answer: TARKA (i.e. “film star in fur coat”, referring to Tarka the Otter. Way to ignore the book there, setter.) Solution is K (a recognised abbreviation of “king”) placed “in” TARA (i.e. “[king’s] place in Ireland, referring to the Hill of Tara, inaugural place of old for the High Kings of Ireland), like so: TAR(K)A.

  1. Inflammation contracted last year (4)

Answer: STYE (i.e. “inflammation”). “Contracted” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, found by removing or contracting the outer letters of LA(ST YE)AR.

No music accompanied this week’s post. Lots of sport was had instead: a blend of live footie and game 4 of the World Series. (Let’s go, Dodgers!)

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1464

There’s a certain whiff of someone trying too hard in this week’s puzzle. There were good clues to be had, don’t get me wrong, but some others didn’t quite elicit the “ooh, that’s clever” response the setter may have wanted. Then again, my mood’s been through the floor for much of this week, so it could just be me being a grumpy bugger.

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. You can find links to solutions to the last 100+ of these things on my Just For Fun page should a recent Jumbo have done for you. While you are here, I’ve also got some mouldy old book reviews and a story of mine.

This post marks my first concerted effort to stick with WordPress’s new editor. I’ve had to make some formatting changes to lessen the overheads caused by some of the new editor’s idiot design choices, but there’s nothing too controversial I hope. I’ll still highlight the stuff I’m not sure about in dark bloody red, but other than that welcome to Pleasantville.

Anyway, time’s getting on and this week’s been rubbish. I hope yours has been better. Till next time, stay safe, mask up and keep supporting the NHS and key workers everywhere.

LP

Across clues

1. Introductory letters and end articles? That’s wrong (11)

Answer: CREDENTIALS (i.e. “introductory letters”). “That’s wrong” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of END ARTICLES.

7. Former treasurer to provide football stadium (3,8)

Answer: OLD TRAFFORD (i.e. “football stadium”). Solution is OLD (i.e. “former”) followed by TR (an abbreviation of “treasurer” not recognised by my Chambers, Oxford or Bradford’s, but is listed in my Collins Concise) and AFFORD (i.e. “to provide”).

13. City guides on audio (5)

Answer: LEEDS (i.e. “city”). “On audio” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of LEADS (i.e. “guides”).

14. Weapon, right for unknown minor noble (7)

Answer: BARONET (i.e. “minor noble”). Solution is BAYONET (i.e. “weapon”) with R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”) replacing (indicated by “for”) Y (i.e. “unknown” – setters love referring to X Y or Z in solutions as unknowns), like so: BA(Y)ONET => BA(R)ONET.

15. Broody hen at home getting youngster area to run (9)

Answer: INCUBATOR (i.e. “broody hen”). Solution is IN (i.e. “at home”) followed by CUB (i.e. “youngster”), then A (a recognised abbreviation of “area”), then TO, then R (a recognised abbreviation of “run” used in several ball games).

16. Goat, perhaps, caught up in meadow plant (9)

Answer: BUTTERCUP (i.e. “meadow plant”). Solution is BUTTER (i.e. “goat, perhaps”, as in how they are known to headbutt things) followed by C (a recognised abbreviation of “caught” used in several ball games), then UP.

17. What’s eaten until turning rank (10)

Answer: LIEUTENANT (i.e. military “rank”). “Turning” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of EATEN UNTIL.

20. Rum solo or old dark sherry (7)

Answer: OLOROSO (i.e. “dark sherry”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “rum”) of SOLO OR and O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”).

22. Fool includes a parliamentarian in satirical attack (7)

Answer: LAMPOON (i.e. “satirical attack”). Solution is LOON (i.e. “fool”) wrapped around or “including”) A and MP (i.e. “parliamentarian”), like so: L(A-MP)OON.

24. Feeling section of opera perhaps must cut slab (7)

Answer: TACTILE (i.e. “feeling”). Solution is ACT (i.e. “section of opera perhaps” – other dramatic productions are available) placed in or “cutting” TILE (i.e. “slab”), like so: T(ACT)ILE.

25. Book about one double-cross for Smiley? (8)

Answer: EMOTICON (i.e. “smiley” – ignore the misleading capitalisation). Solution is TOME (i.e. “book”) reversed (indicated by “about”), followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and CON (i.e. “double-cross”), like so: EMOT-I-CON.

26. Lower number Swiss canton cast off starved (14)

Answer: UNDERNOURISHED (i.e. “starved”). Solution is UNDER (i.e. “lower”) followed by NO (a recognised abbreviation of “number”), then URI (i.e. “Swiss canton”), then SHED (i.e. “cast off”).

28. Constant atmosphere round capital (5)

Answer: CAIRO (i.e. “capital” city of Egypt). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “constant”) followed by AIR (i.e. “atmosphere”) and O (i.e. “round”).

29. Expensive importing French article? One might find it so (6)

Answer: DEALER. Solution is DEAR (i.e. “expensive”) wrapped around or “importing” LE (i.e. “French article”, i.e. the French for “the” – an article being a word like a, an or the), like so: DEA(LE)R. Within the context of the clue, a DEALER is someone engaging in a transaction. I’d argue the likes of shipping agents would handle the importing of stuff rather than the people trading or dealing the goods, but what do I know. Weak, in any case.

30. Conclusion of Hamlet? (10)

Answer: SETTLEMENT. Solution satisfies “conclusion”, say, of a court case, and “hamlet” – ignore the misleading capitalisation.

33. Fabric is one easily taken in by Sibyl, perhaps (10)

Answer: SEERSUCKER (i.e. “fabric”). Solution is SUCKER (i.e. “one easily taken in” or fooled) placed after or “by” SEER (i.e. “Sibyl, perhaps” – other oracles are available), like so: SEER-SUCKER. One I remembered from a previous solution, TBH.

35. Sins go after getting renewed spiritual knowledge (6)

Answer: GNOSIS (i.e. “spiritual knowledge”). “After getting renewed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SINS GO. Nicely worked.

37. Port has its fans – I must be the latest to be included among those (5)

Answer: HAIFA (i.e. “port” of Israel). The setter has gone off on their own here, so watch out. Bradford’s offers HAIFA (if the setter is inclined to use a lazy solution to bail them out of an awkward spot then I’m going to be equally lazy in solving it), and I can see the solution is hidden in the first one or two letters of HAS ITS FANS, but I can’t see how the remainder of the clue gets you there. If someone swings by with the lowdown on this one then I’ll update the post.
[EDIT: Some excellent work from Steve in the comments nails this one. The solution is HAS ITS FANS with every letter after I in the alphabet removed, as indicated by “I must be the latest to be included among those”. While part of me thinks “trying too hard again!”, another appreciates the setter trying to bring some fresh wordplay into the mix. Either way, hats off to Steve! – LP]

39. Effect of exposure turning to such hue of tan? (1,5,2,3,3)

Answer: A TOUCH OF THE SUN (i.e. “effect of exposure”). “Turning” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TO SUCH HUE OF TAN.

41. Looking embarrassed, abandon West Midlands town (8)

Answer: REDDITCH (i.e. “West Midlands town”). Solution is RED (i.e. “looking embarrassed”) followed by DITCH (i.e. “abandon”).

44. A second copy – experts initially make attribution (7)

Answer: ASCRIBE (i.e. “make attribution”). Solution is A followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “second”), then CRIB (i.e. “copy”) and E (i.e. “experts initially”, i.e. the first letter of “experts”).

45. Cautious driver and passengers keeping safe, ultimately (7)

Answer: CAREFUL (i.e. “cautious”). Solution is CARFUL (i.e. “driver and passengers”) wrapped around or “keeping” E (i.e. “safe, ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “safe”), like so: CAR(E)FUL.

46. Newspaper interrupting key web operation by police (7)

Answer: DRAGNET (i.e. “operation by police”). Solution is RAG (i.e. slang for “newspaper”) placed in or “interrupting” D (i.e. “[musical] key”) and NET (i.e. “web”), like so: D-(RAG)-NET.

47. Illicit trader in Merseyside town cell backing resistance (10)

Answer: BOOTLEGGER (i.e. “illicit trader”). Solution is BOOTLE (i.e. “Merseyside town”) followed by EGG (i.e. “cell”) reversed (indicated by “backing”) and then R (a recognised abbreviation of “resistance”), like so: BOOTLE-GGE-R.

49. Adorn rice – needs to be chopped herb (9)

Answer: CORIANDER (i.e. “herb”). “Needs to be chopped” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ADORN RICE.

53. Carry on Sergeant perhaps currently showing (7,2)

Answer: SOLDIER ON (i.e. “carry on”). Solution is SOLDIER (i.e. “sergeant perhaps”) followed by ON (i.e. “currently showing”).

54. Parisian inn needs time accepting taxi firm (7)

Answer: AUBERGE (i.e. “Parisian inn” – also Chris Rea’s best song by a country mile, in case there was anyone left in the universe who thought I was cool). Solution is AGE (i.e. “time”) wrapped around or “accepting” UBER (i.e. “taxi firm”), like so: A(UBER)GE.

55. Calico, plain, regularly used for dressing (5)

Answer: AIOLI (i.e. a rather nice garlicky “dressing”). “Regularly used” indicates the solution is derived from every other letter of CALICO PLAIN.

56. Stick around restaurant by large lake and mountain (7,4)

Answer: SCAFELL PIKE (i.e. “mountain” in the Lake District). Solution is SPIKE (i.e. “[to] stick”) wrapped “around” CAFÉ (i.e. “restaurant”), L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) and L (ditto “lake”), like so: S(CAFÉ-L-L)PIKE.

57. Venerable chap in English society is quite well-balanced? (4-7)

Answer: EVEN-STEVENS (i.e. “well-balanced”). Solution is VEN (a recognised abbreviation of “venerable”) and STEVEN (i.e. “chap”) placed “in” E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) and S (ditto “society”), like so: E-(VEN-STEVEN)-S.
[EDIT: Typo fix. I’d accidentally wrote EVEN-MINDED. Thanks to James and Mrs D for flagging this. – LP]

Down clues

1. Caught a sailor locked up in lax jail (9)

Answer: CALABOOSE (i.e. slang name for “jail”). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “caught” used in a number of ball games) followed by A and AB (i.e. “sailor”, specifically of the Able-Bodied variety) once this latter has been placed or “locked up in” LOOSE (i.e. “lax”), like so: C-A-L(AB)OOSE.

2. What wave power generates shortly found in Bloemfontein? (13,5)

Answer: ELECTOMOTIVE FORCE (i.e. “what [electromagnetic] wave power generates”). “Shortly found in…” plays on how its abbreviated form, EMF, can be found in BloEMFontein. See what I mean about the setter trying too hard? Good grief.

3. Follow nurse Susan (5)

Answer: ENSUE (i.e. “follow”). Solution is EN (i.e. “nurse”, specifically an Enrolled Nurse) followed by SUE (a shortened form of “Susan”).

4. Distributed coca to broad in novel of poor Americans (7,4)

Answer: TOBACCO ROAD (i.e. a 1932 “novel of poor Americans” by Erskine Caldwell – everyday reading, then). “Distributed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of COCA TO BROAD.

5. After a key game, pint emptied lustily and rapidly (8)

Answer: ABRUPTLY (i.e. “rapidly”). Solution is A followed by B (i.e. “[musical] key”), then RU (i.e. “game”, specifically Rugby Union), then PT (a recognised abbreviation of “pint”) and LY (i.e. “emptied lustily”, i.e. the word “lustily” with all its middle letters removed).

6. One cared for obsessive (6-6)

Answer: SINGLE-MINDED (i.e. “obsessive”). Solution is SINGLE (i.e. “one”) followed by MINDED (i.e. “cared”).

7. Some Hellespont hero, pessimistic and near defeat (2,3,5)

Answer: ON THE ROPES (i.e. “near defeat”). “Some” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: HELLESP(ONT HERO PES)SIMISTIC.

8. State of indecision is Democrat fault (5)

Answer: DRIFT (i.e. “state of indecision” – topical, given the pitched battle currently going on between local and central governments over their Covid response). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “Democrat”) followed by RIFT (i.e. “fault”).

9. Shocking cost with current fashion again (11)

Answer: RECONSTRUCT (i.e. “fashion again”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “shocking”) of COST and CURRENT.

10. Series creator coming up with some Wiccan obi fantasy (9)

Answer: FIBONACCI (i.e. “series creator”, referring to a sequence of numbers he devised that have since been observed in a spooky number of other areas, from nature to several branches of mathematics. The word “observed” is key here for this sceptic, as in not necessarily “proven”. It reminds me of a stockbroker who once upon a time enthusiastically espoused the Fibonacci sequences he and his peers had detected in market patterns, seemingly oblivious to the umpteen self-fulfilling prophecies like it that had helped fuel every boom and bust since the dawn of finance. But I digress…) “Some” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “coming up” indicates the solution has been reversed – this being a down clue – like so: W(ICCAN OBI F)ANTASY. Another clue that’s trying too hard, but I do like what the setter was trying to do.

11. Obscenity is old hat, unfortunately (4)

Answer: OATH (i.e. a curse word, “obscenity”, or, if you’re showing off, an imprecation) (Puts away thesaurus.) Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “unfortunately”) of HAT, like so: O-ATH.

12. Gently featured in detective fiction, a dagger (4)

Answer: DIRK (i.e. “a dagger” – chalk another to my Bradford’s). “Gently featured in detective fiction” refers to Dirk Gently, holistic detective and central character of two-and a-bit Douglas Adams novels. This nerd approves! This nerd also rather liked the Netflix series. Shame it got cancelled.

18. Brilliant device Liberal European Democrat may be confused with? (5-8,5)

Answer: LIGHT-EMITTING DIODE (i.e. “brilliant device” – brilliant as in being very bright, though they’re also rather nifty little things). After the exploits demonstrated in 2d, it might not surprise you to learn the rest of the clue plays on how the solution’s shortened form, LED, is also the initials of “Liberal European Democrat”.

19. Examine volunteers injected with last bad blood (8)

Answer: VENDETTA (i.e. “bad blood”). Solution is VET (i.e. “examine”) and TA (i.e. “volunteers”, specifically the Territorial Army) wrapped around or “injected with” END (i.e. “last”), like so: V(END)ET-TA.

21. Extremely worrying when some fine house gets stripped (7)

Answer: OMINOUS (i.e. “extremely worrying”). “Gets stripped” indicates the solution is derived by removing the first and last letters of SOME FINE HOUSE.

23. Bunk, not a single one, in which briefly to dispatch son (8)

Answer: NONSENSE (i.e. “bunk”). Solution is NONE (i.e. “not a single one”) “in which” is placed SEND (i.e. “to dispatch”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “briefly”), and S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”), like so: NON(SEN-S)E.

27. Most impressive crack I found in waterproof coat (8)

Answer: MAJESTIC (i.e. “most impressive”). Solution is JEST (i.e. “crack”) and I placed or “found in” MAC (i.e. “waterproof coat”), like so: MA(JEST-I)C.

28. Perhaps Crusoe’s reason for putting nothing on? (8)

Answer: CASTAWAY (i.e. “perhaps Crusoe”, referring to the central character of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe). “Reason for putting nothing on” is a play on how a theatre might have nothing on as the CAST is AWAY. Something like that.

31. Spiny anteater concealed in tangled cane (7)

Answer: ECHIDNA (i.e. “spiny anteater” – chalk another to my Bradford’s here. Anteaters aren’t interesting enough to warrant extra names. I’d stake my zoology degrees on it. (Looks to camera.)) Solution is HID (i.e. “concealed”) placed “in” an anagram (indicated by “tangled”) of CANE, like so: EC(HID)NA.

32. Too much is coverable without following fine English (12)

Answer: INSUFFERABLE (i.e. “too much”). Solution is INSURABLE (i.e. “coverable”) wrapped around or placed “without” F (a recognised abbreviation of “following”), F (ditto “fine”) and E (ditto “English”), like so: INSU(F-F-E)RABLE.

34. School banning son about boy offering harmful substance? (11)

Answer: CHOLESTEROL (i.e. “harmful substance”). Solution is SCHOOL with the S removed (indicated by “banning son” – S being a recognised abbreviation of “son”), and the remainder placed “about” LESTER (i.e. “boy” – bloody hell, how hateful a parent must you be to name your child Lester? Have a word…) like so: CHO(LESTER)OL.

36. Absence of large figure from small building society head? (11)

Answer: SLENDERNESS (i.e. “absence of large figure”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) followed by LENDER (i.e. “building society”) and NESS (i.e. “head” – both as in the geographic feature).

38. Backing note about Leningrad formerly removing leader (10)

Answer: RETROGRADE (i.e. “backing”). Solution is RE (i.e. “note” in the do-re-me scale, sometimes anglicised as “ray”) wrapped “about” PETROGRAD (i.e. “Leningrad formerly”) once its initial letter has been removed (indicated by “removing leader”), like so: R(ETROGRAD)E.

40. Credit one number with style for female garment (9)

Answer: CRINOLINE (i.e. “female garment”). Solution is CR (a recognised abbreviation of “credit”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), then NO (a recognised abbreviation of “number”) and LINE (i.e. “style”).

42. Casual greeting to Royal Marines on one steam ship (3-2-4)

Answer: HIT-OR-MISS (i.e. “casual”). Solution is HI (i.e. “greeting”) followed by TO, then RM (a recognised abbreviation of “Royal Marines”), then I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and SS (a recognised abbreviation of “steam ship”).

43. Like item in restaurant with a fabric covering design (1,2,5)

Answer: A LA CARTE (i.e. “like item in restaurant”). Solution is A and LACE (i.e. “fabric”) wrapped around or “covering” ART (i.e. “design”), like so: A-LAC(ART)E.

48. Seen insulin regularly used for tiredness (5)

Answer: ENNUI (i.e. “tiredness”). “Regularly used” indicates the solution can be derived by taking every other letter of SEEN INSULIN.

50. Precious stone and silver bolted down? (5)

Answer: AGATE (i.e. “precious stone”). Solution is AG (chemical symbol of “silver”) followed by ATE (i.e. “bolted down”).

51. Time of difficulty, not leading pair to find goddess (4)

Answer: ISIS (i.e. Egyptian “goddess”). Solution is CRISIS (i.e. “time of difficulty”) with its “leading pair” of letters removed.

52. Florida invaded by European parasite (4)

Answer: FLEA (i.e. “parasite”). Solution is FLA (a recognised abbreviation of “Florida”) wrapped around or “invaded by” E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”), like so: FL(E)A.

And now, apropos of nothing, here’s a rundown of the tip-top choonage that accompanied the production of this post. There may be rock.
(Insert devil-horns-hand-sign emoji here.)

Des Rocs – Let The Vultures In (“Let Me Live/Let Me Die” and “Used to the Darkness” especially – modern goth is alive! …or undead at least)
Dorothy – ROCKISDEAD (“Dark Nights” is my new obsession; like a power-trippin’ Dolly Parton)
Dorothy – 28 Days In The Valley (cleaned up sound – still pretty good; looking forward to next album)
Royal Blood – Trouble’s Coming (looking forward to their new album)
Rival Sons – Feral Roots (if you liked Bad Company and old school Aerosmith, you’ll love these)
Airbourne – Black Dog Barking (ditto AC/DC and Alice Cooper)
Airbourne – Runnin’ Wild
Volkor X – This Means War (the last 4 mins of the title track is guitar-wangling bliss)
Volkor X – This Is Our Planet Now (“Shoot Them Up” especially – brilliantly cheesy!)

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1463

Back to a medium strength puzzle after last week’s stinker. It was another good ‘un too, with a healthy dollop of well-written clues marred only by yet another appearance of AT A LOOSE END. When I cast an initial glance over the clues and saw blah, blah, blah (2,1,5,3), I immediately thought AT A LOOSE END and genuinely groaned when I actually read the clue. I rather liked how setters were slotting different shapes into their grids earlier this year, but sticking the same solution in week-in-week-out feels a bit cheap. Maybe Max ERNST will start haunting these pages again…

Anyway, minor bellyaching aside, you can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them useful. If a previous Jumbo has done for you, then you might find succour in my Just For Fun page, where you’ll find links to solutions for the last 100+ of these things. I’ve also got a dusty collection of book reviews and a story of mine knocking about the place.

In other news, I’ve tried to persevere again with WordPress’s new editor – the one I’m being increasingly pressured to use – and once more had to work around it, reverting to the old editor. Sadly the new editor is poor, enforcing concepts like document blocks which don’t lend themselves easily to these kinds of posts, plus it hides useful controls away in cumbersome menus and no longer recognises often-used keyboard shortcuts. (No Ctrl+U for underline? Seriously?) Producing these posts in the new editor is like pulling teeth. I really appreciate the kind words and assistance I receive in the comments each week, so I’ll have a think on how to continue these posts once WordPress finally kills off its classic editor. Would anyone object to me posting these things as PDFs, for example? Would that adversely affect accessibility for anyone? Let me know in the comments.

Till next time, stay safe, mask up and keep supporting the NHS and key workers everywhere, especially as this second wave of Covid ticks ever upwards. And to the anti-lockdowners who leafleted my neck of the woods this weekend: try being a little less paranoid. Wearing a mask isn’t going to kill you. The restrictions on our lives aren’t going to be permanent. This isn’t the thin end of the wedge that’ll see government stormtroopers goose-stepping up and down Main Street. By all means moan about the state of things, but let’s also get some perspective on this. Also, thank you for closing my gate.

Laters,

LP

Across clues

1. Out of action, sort lower in rank (9)

Answer: DOWNGRADE (i.e. “[to] lower in rank”). Solution is DOWN (i.e. “out of action”) followed by GRADE (i.e. “sort”).

6. Money about right for wreck (5)

Answer: CRASH (i.e. “wreck”). Solution is CASH (i.e. “money”) wrapped “about” R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”), like so: C(R)ASH.

9. Source of inspiration after retirement perhaps caused bewilderment? (7)

Answer: BEMUSED (i.e. “caused bewilderment”). Solution is MUSE (i.e. “source of inspiration”) placed in BED (indicated by “after retirement perhaps”, a play on how MUSE has been put to bed), like so: BE(MUSE)D.

13. Book first of vacations in time for Christmas (5)

Answer: NOVEL (i.e. “book”). Solution is V (i.e. “first [letter] of vacations”) placed “in” NOEL (i.e. “time for Christmas”), like so: NO(V)EL.

14. Singer taking short cut to city in Nevada, heading west (7)

Answer: CROONER (i.e. “singer”). Solution is CROP (i.e. “cut”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “short”) and followed by RENO (i.e. “city in Nevada”) reversed (indicated by “heading west” – this being an across clue), like so: CRO-ONER.

15. Decide to turn off before quarry, possibly (9)

Answer: DETERMINE (i.e. “decide”). Solution is DETER (i.e. “to turn off”) followed by MINE (i.e. “quarry, possibly”).

16. Musical composition by college principal, a tour de force (11)

Answer: MASTERPIECE (i.e. “a tour de force”). Solution is PIECE (i.e. “musical composition”) placed after or “by” MASTER (i.e. “college principal”).

17. Solemn Aussie, a sexton maybe (11)

Answer: GRAVEDIGGER (i.e. “a sexton maybe” – a sexton is “an officer who rings a church bell, attends the clergyman, digs graves etc” (Chambers)). Solution is GRAVE (i.e. “solemn”) followed by DIGGER (“an informal Australian term of address” (Chambers again)).

18. Reindeer given mashed potato, say, before run (6)

Answer: DANCER (i.e. one of Santa Claus’s “reindeer”). Solution is DANCE (i.e. “mashed potato” – ask your grandparents, kids) followed by R (a recognised abbreviation of “run” used in a number of ball games).

19. Eavesdrop? Line isn’t tapped! (6,2)

Answer: LISTEN-IN (i.e. “eavesdrop”). “Tapped” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of LINE ISN’T.

21. Yellow flowers in neat borders (6)

Answer: OXLIPS (i.e. “yellow flowers”). Solution is OX (i.e. “neat” – an alternative meaning of the word is “an ox, cow or bull” (Chambers)) followed by LIPS (i.e. “borders”). One I remembered from a previous puzzle, if I’m honest.

25. Family, edgier unfortunately, after gym (8)

Answer: PEDIGREE (i.e. “family”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “unfortunately”) of EDGIER placed “after” PE (i.e. “gym” or Physical Education), like so: PE-DIGREE.

26. End disagreement? This may have a bearing on title (4,10)

Answer: GOAL DIFFERENCE (i.e. “this may have a bearing on title”). Solution is GOAL (i.e. “end” or aim) followed by DIFFERENCE (i.e. “disagreement”).

28. Baffle fool, hiding face (5)

Answer: ELUDE (i.e. “baffle”). Solution is DELUDE (i.e. “fool”) once the first letter has been removed (indicated by “hiding face”).

29. Spot used to be put back for playground attraction (6)

Answer: SEESAW (i.e. “playground attraction”). Solution is SEE (i.e. “[to] spot”) followed by WAS (i.e. “used to be”) once reversed (indicated by “put back”), like so: SEE-SAW.

30. Crowd sitting for improvised performance (3,7)

Answer: JAM SESSION (i.e. “improvised performance”). Solution is JAM (i.e. “[to] crowd”) followed by SESSION (i.e. “sitting”, as in a court session).

33. Where one is a consequence of being sent for an early bath? (2,3,5)

Answer: IN HOT WATER. Clue plays on how serious on-field offences in sports can warrant a player being dismissed from the game, often called “being sent for an early bath”, which places them in trouble or IN HOT WATER with their teammates. Also plays on how baths generally place you IN HOT WATER, unless you are one of those people who for some reason like ice baths. Brrr!

35. Cloak carried by Ripon chorister (6)

Answer: PONCHO (i.e. “cloak”). “Carried by” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: RI(PON CHO)RISTER.

36. One like Harpagon, in intense discomfort, endlessly (5)

Answer: MISER (i.e. “one like Harpagon”, central character of Molière’s The Miser). Solution is MISERY (i.e. “intense discomfort”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “endlessly”).

38. Play a hit, newsletter broadcast (3,7,4)

Answer: THE WINTER’S TALE (i.e. “play” by William Shakespeare). “Broadcast” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of A HIT NEWSLETTER.

40. Old-fashioned Republican next to witness (6-2)

Answer: PASSER-BY (i.e. “witness”). Solution is PASSE (i.e. “old-fashioned”) followed by R (a recognised abbreviation of “Republican”) and BY (i.e. “next to”).

42. A year in mean accommodation provides sanctuary (6)

Answer: ASYLUM (i.e. “sanctuary”). Solution is A followed by Y (a recognised abbreviation of “year”) once it has been placed “in” SLUM (i.e. “mean accommodation”), like so: A-S(Y)LUM.

43. Damn tack, the cause of a sore finger? (8)

Answer: HANGNAIL (i.e. “cause of a sore finger”, being “a torn shred of skin beside the fingernail” (Chambers)). Solution is HANG (i.e. a euphemism for “damn”) followed by NAIL (i.e. “tack”).

44. Precise as regards unfinished shopping centre (6)

Answer: FORMAL (i.e. “precise”). Solution is FOR (i.e. “as regards”) followed by MALL (i.e. “shopping centre”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “unfinished”), like so: FOR-MAL.

47. Somehow smart, hi-tech policy back in the 1980s (11)

Answer: THATCHERISM (i.e. “policy back in the 1980s”). “Somehow” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SMART HI-TECH.

50. Bored? Answer: eat noodles, specially prepared (2,1,5,3)

Answer: Your weekly appearance of AT A LOOSE END, folks (i.e. “bored”). Solution is A (a recognised abbreviation of “answer”, as in Q&A) followed by an anagram (indicated by “specially prepared”) of EAT NOODLES, like so: A-TALOOSEEND.

52. Limit beer in grounds (9)

Answer: RATIONALE (i.e. “grounds”). Solution is RATION (i.e. “limit”) followed by ALE (i.e. “beer”).

53. Father hiding key makes one cross (7)

Answer: SALTIRE (i.e. St Andrew’s “cross” and national flag of Scotland). Solution is SIRE (i.e. “[to] father”) wrapped around or “hiding” ALT (i.e. “key”, as in the Alt key on a computer keyboard), like so: S(ALT)IRE.

54. Black and yellow cape missing (5)

Answer: RAVEN (i.e. “black”). Solution is CRAVEN (i.e. cowardly or “yellow”) with the C removed (indicated by “cape missing” – C being a recognised abbreviation of “cape”, the geographic feature).

55. Disorder resulting from exploding grenade (7)

Answer: DERANGE (i.e. “disorder”). “Resulting from exploding” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of GRENADE.

56. Around noon, wee can of beer in Perth? (5)

Answer: TINNY (i.e. “can of beer in Perth” – Perth in this case being the one in Australia. I love how, during one recent Boxing Day test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, fans were reminded that they were limited to bringing in one case of beer per person – my kind of people!). Solution is N (a recognised abbreviation of “noon”) “around” which is placed TINY (i.e. “wee”), like so: TI(N)NY.

57. Completed articles by Lawrence? Ask for more (2,3,4)

Answer: UP THE ANTE (i.e. “ask for more”). Solution is UP (i.e. “completed”, as in time’s up) followed by THE and AN (both of which are “articles”) and then TE (i.e. “Lawrence” – aka Lawrence of Arabia).

Down clues

1. Material excavated mounted (5)

Answer: DENIM (i.e. “material”). Solution is MINED (i.e. “excavated”) reversed (indicated by “mounted” – this being a down clue).

2. Book in certain members of the clan? (5,3,9)

Answer: WIVES AND DAUGHTERS (i.e. “book” by Elizabeth Gaskell). Clue plays on how wives and daughters are often “members of the clan” or family.

3. Bird in vicious gale, on ledge (6,5)

Answer: GOLDEN EAGLE (i.e. “bird”). “Vicious” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of GALE ON LEDGE.

4. Pass law about edible fungus (6)

Answer: ACCEPT (i.e. “pass”). Solution is ACT (i.e. “law”) wrapped “about” CEP (i.e. “edible fungus”), like so: AC(CEP)T.

5. Circle in compound on island, circle initially difficult to understand (8)

Answer: ESOTERIC (i.e. “difficult to understand”). Solution is O (i.e. “circle”) placed “in” ESTER (i.e. a “compound”) and followed by I (a recognised abbreviation of “island”) and C (i.e. “circle initially”, i.e. the first letter of “circle”), like so: ES(O)TER-I-C.

6. Established nunnery on Hebridean island, then left (12)

Answer: CONVENTIONAL (i.e. “established”). Solution is CONVENT (i.e. “nunnery”) followed by IONA (i.e. “Hebridean island”) and L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”).

7. Brazenly, turn up inside, with pride (10)

Answer: ARROGANTLY (i.e. “with pride”). Solution is ARRANTLY (i.e. “brazenly”) with GO (i.e. “turn”) reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue) and placed “inside”, like so: ARR(OG)ANTLY.

8. Monster in Binchy drama (5)

Answer: HYDRA (i.e. mythical “monster”). “In” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: BINC(HY DRA)MA.

9. Gambler leaving in profit? (6,3)

Answer: BETTER OFF (i.e. “in profit”). Solution is BETTER (i.e. “gambler”) followed by OFF (i.e. “leaving”). Nicely done.

10. Officer reportedly in game, heading off for karate, etc. (7,4)

Answer: MARTIAL ARTS (i.e. “karate, etc”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “reportedly”) of MARSHAL (i.e. “officer”) followed by DARTS (i.e. “game”) once its first letter has been removed (indicated by “heading off”).

11. Smart, Romeo leaving procession (5)

Answer: STING (i.e. to hurt or “smart”). Solution is STRING (i.e. “procession”) with the R removed (indicated by “Romeo leaving” – Romeo represents R in the phonetic alphabet).

12. Dull days breed melancholy, ultimately (6)

Answer: DREARY (i.e. “dull”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “days”) followed by REAR (i.e. “breed”), then Y (i.e. “melancholy, ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “ultimately”).

18. I must go in to protest against decline (10)

Answer: DEPRECIATE (i.e. “decline”). Solution is I placed “in” DEPRECATE (i.e. “to protest”), like so: DEPREC(I)ATE.

20. Bore is lying in shade (8)

Answer: NUISANCE (i.e. “bore”). Solution is IS placed in or “lying in” NUANCE (i.e. “shade”), like so: NU(IS)ANCE.

22. Song’s unexpected benefit (7,4,6)

Answer: PENNIES FROM HEAVEN. Solution satisfies “song” from the film of the same name, and “unexpected benefit”.

23. Ridiculous age, his female companion (6)

Answer: GEISHA (i.e. “female companion”). “Ridiculous” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of AGE HIS.

24. Mint coin – sovereign, perhaps (10)

Answer: PENNYROYAL, a variety of “mint”. Solution is PENNY (i.e. “coin”) followed by ROYAL (i.e. “sovereign, perhaps”).

27. Look into touching prior to examination (8)

Answer: RESEARCH (i.e. “look into”). Solution is RE (i.e. “touching [on]” or regarding – think email replies) followed by SEARCH (i.e. “examination”).

31. Work hard on a new jingle (6)

Answer: SLOGAN (i.e. “jingle”, both taken to mean catchy arrangements of words used to advertise products). Solution is SLOG (i.e. “work hard”) followed by A and N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”).

32. Where one may get spares down the lane? (7,5)

Answer: BOWLING ALLEY. Clue plays on how “spares” in tenpin bowling are where you knock over your pins with a ball to spare, and how the sport takes place on “lanes”. You get the idea.

34. Nonsense written about large cap and papal tiara (6,5)

Answer: TRIPLE CROWN (i.e. “papal tiara”). Solution is TRIPE (i.e. “nonsense”) wrapped or “written about” L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) and followed by CROWN (i.e. “cap”), like so: TRIP(L)E-CROWN.

36. Wrongly interpret young lady defending argument against? Correct (11)

Answer: MISCONSTRUE (i.e. “wrongly interpret”). Solution is MISS (i.e. “young lady”) wrapped around or “defending” CON (i.e. “argument against”, as in pros and cons) and followed by TRUE (i.e. “correct”), like so: MIS(CON)S-TRUE.

37. Man soon set off – his business may be flagging (10)

Answer: STONEMASON (i.e. “his business may be flagging”, referring to flagstones). “Off” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MAN SOON SET.

39. Paddy had a meal, balanced (9)

Answer: TEMPERATE (i.e. “balanced”). Solution is TEMPER (i.e. “paddy”) followed by ATE (i.e. “had a meal”).

41. American and I ruin it, upside-down dessert (8)

Answer: TIRAMISU (i.e. “dessert”). Solution is US (i.e. “American”) and I MAR IT (i.e. “I ruin it”) all reversed (indicated by “upside-down” – this being a down clue), like so: TI-RAM-I-SU.

45. Kept being annoyed about time taken by duke (6)

Answer: STORED (i.e. “kept”). Solution is SORE (i.e. “annoyed”) wrapped “about” T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) and followed by D (ditto “duke”), like so: S(T)ORE-D.

46. Concealed hide close to nest (6)

Answer: COVERT (i.e. “concealed”). Solution is COVER (i.e. “hide”) followed by T (i.e. “close to nest”, i.e. the last letter of “nest”).

48. A sailor holding line where knot may be tied (5)

Answer: ALTAR (i.e. “where knot may by tied” – tying the knot meaning to get married). Solution is A TAR (an informal term for “a sailor”) wrapped around or “holding” L (a recognised abbreviation of “line”), like so: A-(L)-TAR.

49. Delicate point, female being sacked for showing no skill (5)

Answer: INEPT (i.e. “showing no skill”). Solution is FINE (i.e. “delicate”) and PT (a recognised abbreviation of “point”) once the F of FINE has been removed (indicated by “female being sacked” – F being a recognised abbreviation of “female”), like so: INE-PT.

51. Slow to understand Democrat, unable to relax, blowing top (5)

Answer: DENSE (i.e. “slow to understand”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “Democrat”) followed by TENSE (i.e. “unable to relax”) once the first letter has been removed (indicated by “blowing top”), like so: D-ENSE.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1462

Stinker alert! I suppose we were due one, and for the most part it was pretty good, though the setter did seem a little too hell-bent on shaking off as many solvers as possible. You can find my completed solution below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. Expect red bits! If you receive these posts via email, you might want to check back in to see if a kind commenter has saved the day.

While you are here, I’ve also got solutions to the last 100+ of these things on my Just For Fun page should that interest you, plus a few mouldy old book reviews and a story of mine.

In other news, it seems WordPress is equally hell-bent on forcing its new blog editor on me. I no longer get the option when creating new posts, and I’m sorry to say the new editor makes producing these crossword posts a right old slog. I’ve found a workaround that lets me use the classic editor for the time being but I don’t know how long that’ll last. (Shakes angry fist toward WordPress.)

Anyway, such things pale into insignificance given the state of the world. Till next time, stay safe, mask up and keep supporting NHS and key workers everywhere. It sadly feels like we have a dark few months ahead.

LP

Across clues

1a. Atmosphere in the centre fairly lively (9)

Answer: SPRIGHTLY (i.e. “lively”). Solution is SP (i.e. “atmosphere in the middle”, i.e. the middle letters of “atmoSPhere”) followed by RIGHTLY (i.e. “fairly”).

6a. Secretary’s dogs must cross the high road (2,7,4)

Answer: ST BERNARD PASS, a “high road” over in Switzerland. Solution is PA’S (i.e. “secretary’s”, specifically Personal Assistant made possessive) placed in or “crossing” ST BERNARDS (i.e. “dogs”), like so: ST-BERNARD(PA’S)S. One I remembered from a previous puzzle, if I’m honest.

13a. Note twelve old pennies could make one wealthy! (5)

Answer: NABOB (i.e. “one [who is] wealthy”). Solution is N (a recognised abbreviation of “note”) followed by A BOB (an informal name for a shilling or “twelve old pennies”).

14a. As key policy expert, perhaps, recalled for wisdom (9)

Answer: KNOWLEDGE (i.e. “wisdom”). This took some twigging, but the solution is EG (i.e. “as”, as in “for example”) followed by DEL (i.e. “key”, as in the Delete key on a keyboard) and WONK (i.e. “policy expert, perhaps” – other wonks are available). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “recalled”), like so: KNOW-LED-GE.

15a. Roundabout, or what looks like one, desolate, we understand (7)

Answer: OBLIQUE (i.e. “roundabout”, both taken to mean indirect). Solution is O (i.e. “what looks like one”, referring to “roundabout”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “we understand” – a bit too loose for my liking) of BLEAK (i.e. “desolate”), like so: O-BLIQUE.

16a. Bothered by “intervertebral”, I, with a loaf that’s poor? (1,4,2,4,6,5)

Answer: A BEAR OF VERY LITTLE BRAIN. The solution is an anagram of BY INTERVERTEBRAL I and A LOAF. The anagram indicator could be “bothered” or “that’s poor”. The solution is a reference to Winnie The Pooh which makes me wonder whether “poor” in the clue was supposed to be “pooh”. I was never much of a fan of Winnie the Pooh, so I can’t say whether the setter is being clever here. As it stands, the clue resembles what happens when you shake your dictionary so hard the words fall out.
[EDIT: Thanks to Sue in the comments for clarifying this one. The quote continues thus: “…and long words bother me”. The anagram indicator is therefore “that’s poor”. Cheers, Sue! – LP]

18a. Rake nearly ready a month before start of autumn (8)

Answer: CASANOVA (i.e. “rake”, as in a debauched or immoral person. Chalk one to my Bradford’s here. I couldn’t see past seeking a definition of rake to actually name one). Solution is CASH (i.e. “ready”, as in ready money or readies) with its last letter removed (indicated by “nearly”) followed by A, then NOV (i.e. “month”, specifically a shortened form of November) and A (i.e. “start of autumn”, i.e. the first letter of “autumn”), like so: CAS-A-NOV-A.

20a. Happen to regret following space traveller (4,4)

Answer: COME TRUE (i.e. “happen”). Solution is RUE (i.e. “to regret”) placed after or “following” COMET (i.e. “space traveller”), like so: COMET-RUE.

21a. Take the 4×4 across the channel (5)

Answer: SEIZE. Solution satisfies “take” and “4×4 across the channel”, i.e. the French for sixteen, or 4×4. Nicely worked.

23a. Oily stuff’s running to the left of me (6)

Answer: SMARMY (i.e. “oily”). Solution is RAM’S (i.e. “stuff’s”) reversed (indicated by “running to the left” – this being an across clue) and then followed by MY (i.e. “of me”), like so: S’MAR-MY.

24a. Not moving theatre’s two shows (2,4)

Answer: AT REST (i.e. “not moving”). “Shows” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: THE(ATRE’S T)WO.

25a. An element of love, quiet reflecting, is a must, somehow (9)

Answer: POTASSIUM (i.e. “element”). Solution is O (i.e. “love”, as in a zero score in tennis) and P (a recognised abbreviation of “piano”, which is “quiet” in musical lingo) both reversed (indicated by “reflecting”) and then followed by an anagram (indicated by “somehow”) of IS A MUST, like so: (P-O)-TASSIUM.

28a. Speeding impressively thus, for all to see, and being arrested (10)

Answer: SUPERSONIC (i.e. “speeding”). Given the trickery the setter demonstrates in 19d, I think the solution to this is SUPERB (i.e. “impressively”), SO (i.e. “thus”) and [put] ON ICE (i.e. “being arrested”) once the last letter has been removed from each, like so: SUPER-S-ONIC. I can’t immediately see an indicator for this, though, so I could be wrong – “for all to see” doesn’t quite fit the bill. If anyone swings by with a better solution then I’ll update the post.
[EDIT: Hats off to mjcs in the comments for nailing this one. Basically ignore everything I said! The solution is U (i.e. “for all to see”, as in film certification) and PERSON (i.e. “being”) both placed in or “arrested” by SIC (i.e. “thus”), like so: S(U-PERSON)IC. Awesome sauce, M! Thanks for that. – LP]

29a. Killer is nonracial, which is oddly overlooked (4)

Answer: ORCA (i.e. “killer”). “Oddly overlooked” indicates the solution is derived by taking every other letter of NONRACIAL.

30a. Spaniard possibly to win nothing when chasing gold (7)

Answer: ORLANDO (i.e. “Spaniard possibly” – not the greatest clue, is it?) Solution is LAND (i.e. “to win”) and O (i.e. “nothing”) both placed after or “chasing” OR (i.e. “gold” in heraldry), like so: OR-LAND-O.

32a. The idiot that is His Majesty the King touring capitals (7)

Answer: SCHMUCK (i.e. “the idiot”). Solution is SC (i.e. namely or “that is”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of the Latin scilicet, a wordplay you don’t often see in these Jumbos) followed by HM (a recognised abbreviation of “His Majesty”) and K (ditto “King”) once these have been wrapped around or “touring” UC (i.e. “capitals”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “uppercase”), like so: SC-HM-(UC)-K.

34a. Grand welcome for Lent (4)

Answer: GAVE (i.e. “lent” – ignore the misleading capitalisation). Solution is G (a recognised abbreviation of “grand”) followed by AVE (i.e. “welcome”).

35a. Teams go off for each leg next to the other (4-6)

Answer: SIDE-SADDLE (i.e. to ride a horse with “each leg next to the other”). Solution is SIDES (i.e. “teams”) followed by ADDLE (i.e. “go off”).

38a. Supporter going on about a previously successful team (3-6)

Answer: CUP-HOLDER (i.e. “previously successful team”). Solution is UPHOLDER (i.e. “supporter”) placed after or “going on” C (i.e. “about”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “circa”), like so: C-UPHOLDER.

39a. Came down in a red convertible (6)

Answer: RAINED (i.e. “came down”). “Convertible” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IN A RED.

40a. Piping tune – or just words? (3,3)

Answer: HOT AIR (i.e. “words”). Solution is HOT (i.e. “piping”) followed by AIR (i.e. “tune”).

43a. Norwegian lake you can evidently cross by car? (5)

Answer: ROALD (i.e. “Norwegian” – basically a Norwegian name). Solution is ROAD (i.e. “by car”) wrapped around or “crossing” L (i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “lake”), like so: ROA(L)D. And, yes, I too had originally pencilled in FJORD for this.

45a. Sailors putting their heads together plot something very different (8)

Answer: OPPOSITE (i.e. “something very different”). Solution is PO (i.e. “sailor”, specifically a Petty Officer). Two of these with “their heads together” gets you OP-PO. This is then followed by SITE (i.e. “plot”), like so: OP-PO-SITE.

47a. Means, indeed, always to include five reservists at sea (4,4)

Answer: WAVY NAVY (i.e. “reservists at sea” – specifically an old name for “the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, so called from the undulating gold braid on officer’s sleeves” (Chambers)). Another I’ve not been able to fully decode, I’m afraid. I can see that AY satisfies “indeed” and “always” – all three being words expressing agreement – and that wrapping AY around V (i.e. “five” expressed as a Roman numeral) can get you A(V)Y and A(V)Y, but that’s about all from me.
[EDIT: Still not got this one, but I’m wondering whether “means” gets you WAY and AV in the solution, the latter being a recognised abbreviation of “average”. “Indeed” could merely be Y, being a shortened form of “yes”, giving us WAY-AV-Y. Slot in a singular V or “five” then gets you WA(V)Y-AV-Y. Not sure how the N would come in, though. – LP]
[FURTHER EDIT: Thanks to several commenters for their input on this one. The consensus view is WAY (i.e. a “means” of doing something) and NAY (i.e. “indeed”, both taken to mean “in point of fact”) both or “always” including V (i.e. “[Roman numeral] five”), like so: WA(V)Y-NA(V)Y. One to file under “Best Forgotten”, I think! – LP]

49a. Poem of old incorporated in poster for literary lass’s dance? (3,6,2,7,4)

Answer: THE BALLAD OF READING GAOL (i.e. “poem” by Oscar Wilde). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) placed in (deep breath) THE BALL AD OF READING GAL (i.e. “poster for literary lass’s dance”).

52a. Sun’s now all we’re aware of in garden? (7)

Answer: WEEKEND (i.e. “Sun”, as in a shortened form of “Sunday”). Yet another I’m not 100% on. My solution for what it’s worth is KEN (i.e. “aware of”) placed “in” WEED (i.e. “[to] garden”), like so: WEE(KEN)D. “Now all we’re” doesn’t mean anything to me, though, so I’ve probably missed something.
[EDIT: Thanks to Steve in the comments for helping to clarify this one some more, in that KEN = “all we’re aware of”, rather than just “aware of”. It still leaves “now” unaccounted for, so I’ll leave this in red for the time being. – LP]

53a. One’s online business, something tiny, picked up (9)

Answer: DOTCOMMER (i.e. “online business”). Solution is DOT (i.e. “something tiny”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “picked up”) of “,”, like so: DOT-COMMER.

54a. Look for a bite in the end to eat: bagel (5)

Answer: TROLL (i.e. “look for a bite” – trolling is the act of saying stuff, usually on social media, with the intent of winding people up). Solution is T (i.e. “the end to eat”, i.e. the last letter of “eat”) followed by ROLL (i.e. “bagel”).
[EDIT: Thanks to Charlie in the comments for providing an excellent alternative to this one, pointing out that to TROLL is to fish using moving bait, often along behind a boat. Cheers, Charlie! – LP]

55a. Such as honey, and ducks? (5,8)

Answer: SWEET NOTHINGS. Clue plays on how “honey” and “ducks” can be words of affection, and also how “honey” is SWEET and “ducks” are NOTHINGS scored in a game of cricket. Nicely worked.

56a. Wind one’s papa up with hoax (9)

Answer: SAXOPHONE (i.e. “wind” instrument). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “wind…up”) of ONE’S, P (i.e. “papa” in the phonetic alphabet) and HOAX.

Down clues

1d. Native American ceremonies can send US crazy (3,6)

Answer: SUN DANCES (i.e. “Native American ceremonies”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “crazy”) of CAN SEND US. Nicely worked.

2d. Pass pack down after bridge match? (6,5)

Answer: RUBBER STAMP (i.e. to approve or “pass”). Solution is STAMP (i.e. “pack down”) placed “after” RUBBER (i.e. “bridge match”). Another one that’s nicely done.

3d. Much-married actress a gift to the loquacious men (5)

Answer: Zsa Zsa GABOR (i.e. “much-married actress” – she did get through ‘em, no doubt). Solution is GAB (i.e. “gift to the loquacious”, as in having the gift of the gab – loquacious means being rather chatty) followed by OR (i.e. “men”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army).

4d. Break off – score fifteen subsequently? (4,4)

Answer: TAKE FIVE (i.e. “break off”). “Score fifteen subsequently” refers to how, when TAKING FIVE from a “score” or twenty gets you “fifteen”.

5d. Farmers once needing possible six-month forecast? (6)

Answer: YEOMEN (i.e. “farmers once”). Solution is YE (i.e. “six-month” – a sneaky one this, basically being half a YEAR) followed by OMEN (i.e. “forecast”).

6d. A bomb, but hardly a smart one? (5,5)

Answer: SILLY MONEY (i.e. “a bomb” – both taken to mean a large amount of cash). Clue plays on how SILLY is “hardly…smart”. You get the idea.

7d. What to tell children of plot by politician (7,5)

Answer: BEDTIME STORY (i.e. “what to tell children”). Solution is BED (i.e. “plot”) followed by TIMES (i.e. “by”, as in to multiply) and TORY (i.e. “politician”).

8d. One who’s sore maybe after kicking small log over (2-5)

Answer: RE-ENTER (i.e. to “log over”, or re-enter some information). Solution is RESENTER (i.e. “one who’s sore maybe”) with the S removed (indicated by “after kicking small” – S being a recognised abbreviation of “small”).

9d. Above supervisors, I note, revelling in promotion (14)

Answer: AFOREMENTIONED (i.e. “above” – again, a bit too loose for my liking). Solution is FOREMEN (i.e. “supervisors”) and an anagram (indicated by “revelling”) of I NOTE all placed “in” AD (i.e. “promotion”, i.e. a shortened form of “advertisement”), like so: A(FOREMEN-TIONE)D.

10d. Girl of 14’s seen at party (7)

Answer: DOLORES (i.e. “girl” – basically a girl’s name). Solution is LORE’S (i.e. “14’s” – the solution to 14a is KNOWLEDGE) following or “seen at” DO (i.e. “party”), like so: DO-LORES.

11d. What’s got Parisian who is roused into fighting? (11)

Answer: ACQUISITION (i.e. “what’s got”). Solution is QUI (i.e. “Parisian who”, i.e. the French for “who”) followed by IS reversed (indicated by “roused” – this being a down clue). These are then placed “into” ACTION (i.e. “fighting”), like so: AC(QUI-SI)TION.

12d. Police force has turned up to make arrest (4)

Answer: STEM (i.e. “arrest”). Solution is MET’S (i.e. “police force has”, i.e. London’s Metropolitan Police force made possessive) reversed (indicated by “turned up” – again, this being a down clue).

17d. Potter’s mate hire men, especially to hold wheel? (8)

Answer: HERMIONE (i.e. “[Harry] Potter’s mate”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “especially”) of HIRE MEN wrapped around or “holding” O (i.e. “wheel”), like so: HERMI(O)NE.

19d. Rome’s top nun men round on never-endingly (6,3)

Answer: NUMERO UNO (i.e. “Rome’s top” – i.e. the Italian for “number one”). “Never-endingly” indicates the solution can be derived by removing the final letter from each of NUN MEN ROUND ON.

22d. Journalist’s copy – way superior (8)

Answer: STRINGER (i.e. “journalist”, specifically one “employed part-time by a newspaper or news agency to cover a particular (especially remote) town or area” (Chambers). I’ve learned something). Solution is RINGER (i.e. “copy”) with ST (i.e. “way”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “street”) placed above or made “superior” to it – this being a down clue – like so: ST-RINGER.

25d. One’s hypocritical praise he rubbished (8)

Answer: PHARISEE (i.e. “one’s hypocritical”). “Rubbished” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of PRAISE HE. Another I remembered from a previous Jumbo, if I’m honest.

26d. Girl, thanks to your rearing, is naturally a bounder! (9)

Answer: SALTATORY (i.e. “naturally a bounder” – seemingly a biological term meaning “of or for leaping or jumping” (Chambers). Another I’ve not come across before, but I doubt this will live long in the memory). Solution is SAL (i.e. a “girl’s” name) followed by TA (i.e. “thanks”), then TO and YR (a recognised abbreviation of “your”) reversed (indicated by “rearing”), like so: SAL-TA-TO-RY. One I got from the wordplay and a check in the dictionary.

27d. Rubbish article, carelessly written over and over, is a wake-up call! (4-1-6-3)

Answer: COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO (i.e. “a wake-up call”). Solution is COCK (i.e. “rubbish” – I wholeheartedly approve this usage!), followed by A (i.e. “article”, as in a word like a, an or the), then DOODLED (i.e. “carelessly written”) and O and O (i.e. “over and over” – O being a recognised abbreviation of “over” used in cricket).

28d. Has CD, so runs new feature of Windows operating system (4,4)

Answer: SASH CORD (i.e. “feature of windows operating system” – as in the glassy things that attract dirt approximately 2 minutes after every clean). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “new”) of HAS CD SO and R (a recognised abbreviation of “runs” used in a number of ball games).

31d. Occasionally, Oscar’s opening pianissimo, in English and in French (5,2,5)

Answer: EVERY SO OFTEN (i.e. “occasionally”). Solution is O (i.e. “Oscar” in the phonetic alphabet) placed in or “opening” VERY SOFT (i.e. “pianissimo”). This is then itself placed “in” between E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) and EN (i.e. “in French”, i.e. the French for “in”), like so: E-(VERY-SO(O)FT)-EN.

33d. Sportswoman with husband permitted to visit trendy gallery (11)

Answer: HEPTATHLETE (i.e. “sportswoman”). Solution is H (a recognised abbreviation of “husband”) and LET (i.e. “permitted”) placed in or “visiting” HEP (i.e. “trendy”) and TATE (i.e. “gallery”), like so: HEP-TAT(H-LET)E.

36d. Being history of French girl: tragic suicide attempt maybe coming to nothing (4,2,1,4)

Answer: DEAD AS A DODO (i.e. “being history”). Solution is DE (i.e. “of French”, i.e. the French for “of”), followed by ADA (i.e. a “girl’s” name), then SAD (i.e. “tragic”), then OD (i.e. “suicide attempt maybe”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of a drug overdose – “maybe” recognises an OD might also come about through misadventure) and O (i.e. “nothing”), like so: DE-ADA-SAD-OD-O.

37d. Champion can be harsh without turning corrupt (10)

Answer: VICTORIOUS (i.e. “champion”). Solution is VICIOUS (i.e. “harsh”) placed around or “without” ROT (i.e. “corrupt”) once reversed (indicated by “turning”), like so: VIC(TOR)IOUS.

41d. Boys spent unwisely, we hear? A shade (5,4)

Answer: ROYAL BLUE (i.e. “a shade”). Solution is ROY and AL (i.e. “boys’” names) followed by a homophone (indicated by “we hear”) of BLEW (i.e. “spent unwisely”).

42d. Caretaker’s raised team right after New Year’s Day (8)

Answer: JANITRIX (i.e. a female janitor, or “caretaker”). Solution is XI (i.e. “team” – i.e. Roman numerals for eleven) and RT (a recognised abbreviation of “right”, as in the title Right Honourable) both reversed (indicated by “raised” – this being a down clue) and placed “after” JAN I (i.e. “New Year’s Day”), like so: JAN-I-(TR-IX).

44d. Noble reference that would appear had better be drastically reversed (7)

Answer: DEBRETT (i.e. “noble reference”, being the easily ridiculed code of etiquette the upper crust are often advised to observe, as if any of it bloody matters. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of saying things like “I wonder what Debrett’s has to say on fellatio” – be thankful you don’t know me). “That would appear” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “reversed” indicates the solution has been… um… reversed, like so: BE(TTER BE D)RASTICALLLY.

46d. Begin to go through scale model with this? (4-3)

Answer: PLAY-DOH. Solution satisfies “begin to play through scale” – as in PLAY DOH-RAY-ME etc – and “model with this”. Ugh. I’m rarely keen when trademarked products find their way into Jumbos. It is in the dictionary, though.

48d. Greek island’s conveniently laid on medics (6)

Answer: PATMOS (i.e. “Greek island”, albeit not a terribly populous one). Solution is PAT (i.e. “conveniently”) placed above or “laid on” – this being a down clue – MOS (i.e. “medics”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of Medical Officer made plural).

50d. Costume to show a leg? (3-2)

Answer: GET-UP. Solution satisfies “costume” and “show a leg” or to get a move on.

51d. Weight having gone up, needing very large braces (4)

Answer: TWOS (i.e. “braces”). Solution is WT (a recognised abbreviation of “weight”) reversed (indicated by “having gone up” – this being a down clue) and followed by OS (i.e. “very large”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “outsize”), like so: TW-OS.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1461

A medium strength puzzle this week, and a decent one overall. The use of European words and places got a little wearisome after a while, but nothing that would send me all Dads Army. You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. You can also find links to previous solutions to these things on my Just For Fun page, should a recent Jumbo have given you gyp. While you’re here, I’ve also got some dusty old book reviews and a story of mine.

Till next time, stay safe, mask up, and keep flying the flag for NHS and key workers everywhere. It looks like we’ll be relying on them more and more the way things are going.

LP

Across clues

1. One may expand broadcast quiz (3,4)

Answer: AIR PUMP (i.e. “one may expand”, say, a tyre). Solution is AIR (i.e. “broadcast”) followed by PUMP (i.e. “quiz”).

5. Guy stranded without employment? (5,3)

Answer: BEACH BUM, being an informal description of “a young man who loafs about on the beach” (Chambers). I’m guessing the setter is playing on clichés of castaways on desert islands, who could be described as being “stranded” on a BEACH. A BUM, meanwhile, can somewhat uncharitably describe someone “without employment”. I hope I’m missing something clever here, because this feels a bit naff otherwise.
[EDIT: Thanks to Steve and a few others in the comments for pointing out that “strand” is another word for a BEACH, which makes for a much better fit. Thanks all! – LP]

9. Not many backed retaining old centre of Hull – that’s sad (6)

Answer: WOEFUL (i.e. “sad”). Solution is FEW (i.e. “not many”) reversed (indicated by “backed”) and wrapped around or “retaining” O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”). This is then followed by UL (i.e. “centre of Hull”, i.e. the middle letters of “Hull”), like so: W(O)EF-UL.

13. Madly imperil secret plan, dispatching one undercover operator (7,9)

Answer: SCARLET PIMPERNEL, eponymous “undercover operator” of Baroness Orczy’s play and novel). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “madly”) of IMPERIL SECRET PLAN once one of the Is has been removed (indicated by “dispatching [Roman numeral] one”). Nicely worked.

14. It’s not really a souvenir of the Parisian experience (4,2)

Answer: DÉJÀ VU, that unsettling “experience” one sometimes has of reliving past events. “Parisian” hints at the solution being a French phrase. The first half of the clue appears to riff on the etymology of the word “souvenir”, which originates from the Latin subvenire, meaning “to come to mind”, and how a sense of déjà vu one experiences is often “not real”. Something like that, anyway.

16. One picks the French to invest in part of industry? (8)

Answer: SELECTOR (i.e. “one picks”). Solution is LE (i.e. “the French”, i.e. the masculine form of “the” in French) placed or “invested” in SECTOR (i.e. “part of industry”), like so: SE(LE)CTOR.

17. Source of meat initially modified in research centre (4)

Answer: LAMB (i.e. “source of meat”). Solution is M (i.e. “initially modified”, i.e. the first letter of “modified”) placed “in” LAB (i.e. “research centre”, i.e. a shortened form of “laboratory”), like so: LA(M)B.

18. Nagged, having concern about new quantity of grain? (9)

Answer: HENPECKED (i.e. “nagged”). Solution is HEED (i.e. “concern”) wrapped “about” N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”) and PECK (i.e. “quantity of grain” or dried goods in general – you may recall the tongue-twister “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers”), like so: HE(N-PECK)ED.

20. Metal worker preserves it in casing in March (8)

Answer: TINSMITH (i.e. “metal worker”). Solution is TINS (i.e. “preserves” taken as a verb rather than a noun) followed by IT once it has been placed “in” MH (i.e. “casing in March”, i.e. the first and last letters of “March”), like so: TINS-M(IT)H.

21. A constant matter about to be adopted by a US city business course (11)

Answer: ACCOUNTANCY (i.e. “business course”). Solution is A followed by C (a recognised abbreviation of “constant”), then COUNT (i.e. “matter”, as in counting for something), then C (i.e. “about”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “circa”) once it has been placed in or “adopted by” A and NY (i.e. “US city”, specifically New York), like so: A-C-COUNT-A-N(C)Y.

24. Medical specialist in Paris to go with main point (9)

Answer: ALLERGIST (i.e. “medical specialist”). Solution is ALLER (i.e. “in Paris to go”, i.e. the French for “to go”) followed by GIST (i.e. “main point”).

25. Stifling any sense of air, time and energy, except when outside (8)

Answer: TUNELESS (i.e. “stifling any sense of air” – “air” in this case being another word for a piece of music or TUNE). Solution is T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) followed by E (ditto “energy”) once placed in or having “outside” UNLESS (i.e. “except when”), like so: T-UN(E)LESS.

26. Record of payment providing backing for objections (4)

Answer: STUB (i.e. “record of payment”, say in a chequebook). Solution is BUTS (i.e. “objections”) reversed (indicated by “backing for…”).

29. Vital current – not electric current – in mortal bodies, possibly (11)

Answer: BLOODSTREAM (i.e. “vital current”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “possibly”) of MORTAL BODIES once the I has been removed (indicated by “not electric current”, the recognised abbreviation of which being I). Nicely worked.

31. Feeling of home – it’s recalled in feature of cathedral city (11)

Answer: DOMESTICITY (i.e. “feeling of home”). Solution is IT’S reversed (indicated by “recalled”) and placed “in” between DOME (i.e. “feature of cathedral”) and CITY, like so: DOME-(S’TI)-CITY.

33. Fake very soon scaled down, university subsequently getting involved (11)

Answer: INAUTHENTIC (i.e. “fake”). Solution is IN A TICK (i.e. “very soon”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “scaled down”) and the remainder wrapped around or “involving” U (a recognised abbreviation of “university”) and THEN (i.e. “subsequently”), like so: IN-A-(U-THEN)-TIC.

36. Enchant with a lot of sensation? There’s a cost (8,3)

Answer: ENTRANCE FEE (i.e. “cost”). Solution is ENTRANCE (i.e. “enchant”) followed by FEEL (i.e. “sensation”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “a lot of”), like so: ENTRANCE-FEE.

38. Article dismissed by a European source (4)

Answer: GERM (i.e. “source”, as in a germ of an idea). Solution is GERMAN (i.e. “European”) with the AN removed (indicated by “article dismissed” – an article being a word like a, an or the).

39. Larger part of river includes one form of water (8)

Answer: MOISTURE (i.e. “form of water”). Solution is MOST (i.e. “larger part of”) and URE (i.e. “river”) wrapped around or “including” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: MO(I)ST-URE.

41. Sign of winter? Many people adopting hairstyle protecting wearer ultimately (9)

Answer: HOARFROST (i.e. “sign of winter”). Solution is HOST (i.e. “many people”) wrapped around or “adopting” AFRO (i.e. “hairstyle”) which is itself wrapped around or “protecting” R (i.e. “wearer ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “wearer”), like so: HO(A(R)FRO)ST.

44. Reveal all Earth is following food article (4,3,4)

Answer: DISH THE DIRT (i.e. “reveal all”). Solution is DIRT (i.e. “earth” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) placed after or “following” DISH (i.e. “food”) and THE (i.e. “article”).

45. Tormented and unfeeling, hogging seats near the front? (8)

Answer: HARROWED (i.e. “tormented”). Solution is HARD (i.e. “unfeeling”) wrapped around or “hogging” ROW E (i.e. “seats near the front” – I’ll admit this made me smile when I twigged it), like so: HAR(ROW-E)D.

48. Article in Spanish justifying online study (1-8)

Answer: E-LEARNING (i.e. “online study”). Solution is EL (i.e. “article in Spanish”, i.e. the Spanish for “the”) followed by EARNING (i.e. “justifying”).

49. Rabbit not coming forward round end of garden (4)

Answer: CONY (i.e. “rabbit”). Solution is COY (i.e. “not coming forward”) wrapped “round” N (i.e. “end of garden”, i.e. the last letter of “garden”), like so: CO(N)Y.

50. Hoping I will participate in a period of growth (8)

Answer: ASPIRING (i.e. “hoping”). Solution is I placed or “participating” in A and SPRING (i.e. “period of growth”), like so: A-SP(I)RING.

52. City girl calling in medic (6)

Answer: MADRID (i.e. “city”). Solution is MAID (i.e. “girl”) wrapped around or “calling in” DR (i.e. “medic”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “doctor”), like so: MA(DR)ID.

53. Give up and offer a free cake? (5,2,3,6)

Answer: THROW IN THE SPONGE. Solution satisfies “give up” and “offer a free cake”.

54. Place to slightly shift commitment (6)

Answer: PLEDGE (i.e. “commitment”). Solution is PL (a recognised abbreviation of “place”) followed by EDGE (i.e. “to slightly shift”).

55. Plan sending back some puddings for one year (8)

Answer: STRATEGY (i.e. “plan”). Solution is TARTS (i.e. “some puddings”) reversed (indicated by “sending back”) and followed by EG (i.e. “for one”, or for example) and Y (a recognised abbreviation of “year”), like so: STRAT-EG-Y.

56. Democrat attack involving that man repelled conservative (3-4)

Answer: DIE-HARD (i.e. “conservative” – both taken to mean dyed-in-the-wool or resistant to change). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “Democrat”) and RAID (i.e. “attack”) wrapped around or “involving” HE (i.e. “that man”). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “repelled”), like so: DI(EH)AR-D.

Down clues

1. Making no changes without singular source of temporary help (6)

Answer: ASSIST (i.e. “help”). Solution is AS IS (i.e. “making no changes”) wrapped around or placed “without” S (a recognised abbreviation of “singular”) and followed by T (i.e. “source of temporary”, i.e. the first letter of “temporary”), like so: AS-(S)-IS-T.

2. Recover after injection of illegal drug? Come off it! (6)

Answer: REALLY (i.e. “come off it”, both taken as expressions of disbelief). Solution is RALLY (i.e. “recover”) wrapped around or having “injected” E (i.e. “illegal drug”, as in the street name for the drug “ecstasy”), like so: R(E)ALLY.

3. United, note, more daring but losing lead – that’s less fortunate (9)

Answer: UNLUCKIER (i.e. “less fortunate”). Solution is U (a recognised abbreviation of “united”) and N (ditto “note”) followed by PLUCKIER (i.e. “more daring”) once its first letter has been removed (indicated by “losing head”), like so: U-N-LUCKIER.

4. Supportive influence that may be not partisan (6,5)

Answer: PATRON SAINT (i.e. “supportive influence”). “That may be” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of NOT PARTISAN.

5. Naval prison has transport to release indefinite number (4)

Answer: BRIG (i.e. “naval prison”). Solution is BRING (i.e. to “transport”) with the N removed (indicated by “to release indefinite number”).

6. First star, rich, with yacht gutted, heads for his marina, having brainwave (5,6)

Answer: ALPHA RHYTHM (i.e. “brainwave”). Solution is ALPHA (i.e. the brightest or “first star” of a constellation) followed by RH and YT (i.e. “rich [and] yacht gutted”, i.e. the first and last letters or “rich” and “yacht”), then HM (i.e. “heads for his marina”, i.e. the first letters of “his” and “marina”).

7. Foolish to run a quantity of water into the sack (4-7)

Answer: HARE-BRAINED (i.e. “foolish”). Solution is HARE (i.e. “to run”) followed by RAIN (i.e. “a quantity of water”) once it has been placed “into” BED (slang for which being “the sack”), like so: HARE-B(RAIN)ED.

8. Not fair, misprinting a clue and hint (9)

Answer: UNETHICAL (i.e. “not fair”). “Misprinting” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of A CLUE and HINT.

10. About to interrupt unhappy poet with cheers for lyrical work (8)

Answer: OPERETTA (i.e. “lyrical work”). Solution is RE (i.e. “about” – think email replies) placed in or “interrupting” an anagram (indicated by “unhappy”) of POET and then followed by TA (i.e. “cheers”), like so: OP(ER)ET-TA.

11. Genuine onions, feted after modification – becoming this? (12,4)

Answer: FRANKENSTEIN FOOD. Solution is FRANK (i.e. “genuine”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “after modification”) of ONIONS FETED, like so: FRANK-ENSTEINFOOD. Clue riffs on how genetically modified food sources are sometimes called Frankenstein foods. The arguments against GM food never quite stacked up for me. In the red corner: using science to help improve the resilience, quality and quantity of food sources the world over; in the blue corner: lowering global demand for food, however that’s achieved. Resorting to GM techniques is less than ideal, I agree, but I’m not quite ready to ally myself to the Utopia project just yet.

12. Country railway bringing in uniform for washing (7)

Answer: LAUNDRY (i.e. “washing”). Solution is LAND (i.e. “country”) and RY (a recognised abbreviation of “railway”) wrapped around or “bringing in” U (“uniform” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: LA(U)ND-RY.

15. Investigations start to identify lodges as accommodation for Queen (8)

Answer: INQUESTS (i.e. “investigations”). Solution is I (i.e. “start to identify”) and NESTS (i.e. “lodges”) wrapped around or “accommodating” QU (a recognised abbreviation of “Queen”), like so: I-N(QU)ESTS.

19. Abuse is matter dealt with criminally (8)

Answer: MISTREAT (i.e. “abuse”). “Dealt with criminally” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IS MATTER. Nicely worked.

22. Speculation publication reflected on kitschy jewellery (8)

Answer: GAMBLING (i.e. “speculation”). Solution is MAG (i.e. “publication”) reversed (indicated by “reflected”) and followed by BLING (i.e. “kitschy jewellery”), like so: GAM-BLING.

23. A significant point for sightseers in three different cities (10,6)

Answer: CLEOPATRA’S NEEDLE. These were ancient Egyptian obelisks that were shipped to and re-erected in each of London, Paris and New York. Clue riffs on how needles are “pointed”. You get the idea.

27. Cry with pity about English in German city (8)

Answer: BAYREUTH (i.e. “German city”, though a not entirely populous one). Solution is BAY (i.e. “cry”) followed by RUTH (i.e. “pity”) once it has been placed “about” E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”), like so: BAY-R(E)UTH.

28. Start of chat with police officer’s on record (4)

Answer: DISC (i.e. “record”). Solution is C (i.e. “start of chat”, i.e. the first letter of “chat”) placed “on” or after DI’S (i.e. “police officer’s”, specifically Detective Inspector), like so: DI’S-C.

30. Old-fashioned, overlooking small charge (4)

Answer: DUTY (i.e. “charge”). Solution is DUSTY (i.e. “old-fashioned”) with the S removed (indicated by “overlooking S” – S being a recognised abbreviation of “small”).

32. American subject not entirely uninteresting, having embraced a spy (4,4)

Answer: MATA HARI (i.e. “spy”). Solution is MATH (i.e. “American subject” – a reference to how they drop the S of “maths”) followed by ARID (i.e. dry or “uninteresting”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “not entirely”). This is then all wrapped around or “embracing” A, like so: MAT(A)H-ARI.

34. Drunk in middle of week? Lush endlessly mysterious (8)

Answer: ESOTERIC (i.e. “mysterious”). Solution is SOT (i.e. “drunk”) placed “in” EE (i.e. “middle of week”, i.e. the middle letters of “week”), and then followed by RICH (i.e. “lush”) once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “endlessly”), like so: E(SOT)E-RIC.

35. Scathing over soft drink – not something to be swallowed (7,4)

Answer: CAUSTIC SODA (i.e. “not something to be swallowed”). Solution is CAUSTIC (i.e. “scathing”) followed by SODA (i.e. “soft drink”).

36. Flying in the plane behind European jumbo (11)

Answer: ELEPHANTINE (i.e. “jumbo”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “flying”) of IN THE PLANE placed after or “behind” E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”), like so: E-LEPHANTINE.

37. Unoccupied toilet observed in a bit (2,1,5,3)

Answer: AT A LOOSE END (i.e. “unoccupied”). Solution is LOO (i.e. “toilet”) and SEEN (i.e. “observed”) both placed “in” A TAD (i.e. “a bit”), like so: A-TA(LOO-SEEN)D. Weird how this phrase also appeared a couple of weeks ago.

40. Supports popular weapon (9)

Answer: SLINGSHOT (i.e. “weapon”). Solution is SLINGS (i.e. “supports”) followed by HOT (i.e. “popular”).

42. Sense initially employed when going about small scamp’s inheritance (3,6)

Answer: FEE SIMPLE (i.e. “inheritance”). Solution is FEEL (i.e. “sense”) and E (i.e. “initially employed”, i.e. the first letter of “employed”) wrapped “about” S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) and IMP (i.e. “scamp”), like so: FEE(S-IMP)L-E. One of those gotten from the wordplay and a check in the dictionary, if I’m honest.

43. Looking to trap large bird (8)

Answer: STARLING (i.e. “bird”). Solution is STARING (i.e. “looking”) wrapped around or “trapping” L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”), like so: STAR(L)ING.

44. Imagine challenge, avoiding a big cat climbing (5,2)

Answer: DREAM UP (i.e. “imagine”). Solution is DARE (i.e. “challenge”) with the A removed (indicated by “avoiding a”) and followed by PUMA (i.e. “big cat”) once reversed (indicated by “climbing” – this being a down clue), like so: DRE-AMUP.

46. Contend girl’s name should be taken up for city (6)

Answer: VIENNA (i.e. “city”, continuing the setter’s little jaunt around Europe). Solution is VIE (i.e. “contend”) followed by ANN (i.e. “girl’s name”) once reversed (indicated by “should be taken up” – this being a down clue), like so: VIE-NNA.

47. America’s first intent to acquire is not in dispute (6)

Answer: AGREED (i.e. “not in dispute”). Solution is A (i.e. “America’s first”, i.e. the first letter of “America”) followed by GREED (i.e. “intent to acquire”).

51. Runs from random check (4)

Answer: STAY (i.e. “check” or to block). Solution is STRAY (i.e. “random”) once the R has been removed (indicated by “runs from” – R being a recognised abbreviation of “runs” used in some ball games).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1460

This was probably the easiest Jumbo Cryptic since I started doing these posts. By the time I’d finished it I was surprised to find no scribbles or workings dotted around the grid. Not that I’m complaining, mind. It’s nice to have a good chunk of Saturday left!

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them useful. If a recent Jumbo cryptic has gotten the better of you, then you might be interested in my Just For Fun page, which has links to the last 100+ of these things. Meanwhile, there are also some book reviews and a story of mine.

Till next time, keep well, mask up, and keep flying the flag for NHS and key workers everywhere. Let’s hope another lockdown doesn’t come to pass.

LP

Across clues

1. Note on flying mammals incorporating first of innovative material (7)

Answer: BATISTE (i.e. “material”). Solution is TE (i.e. “note”, in the do-ray-me style) placed “on” or after BATS (i.e. “flying mammals”) once it has been wrapped around or “incorporating” I (i.e. “first of innovative”, i.e. the first letter of “innovative”), like so: BAT(I)S-TE.

5. Married man goes round introducing current yearbook (7)

Answer: ALMANAC (i.e. “yearbook”). Solution is M (a recognised abbreviation of “married”) with ALAN (i.e. “man”) placed “round” it, and then followed by AC (i.e. “[alternating] current”), like so: AL(M)AN-AC.

9. One who butts in, talking of rosaceous tree (7)

Answer: MEDDLER (i.e. “one who butts in”). “Talking of” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of MEDLAR (i.e. “rosaceous tree”).

13. Appallingly great van tax: it’s extortionate! (11)

Answer: EXTRAVAGANT (i.e. “extortionate”). “Appallingly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of GREAT VAN TAX.

14. Eminent university entertained by bad American music groups (11)

Answer: ILLUSTRIOUS (i.e. “eminent”). Solution is U (a recognised abbreviation of “university”) placed in or “entertained by” ILL (i.e. “bad”), US (i.e. “American”) and TRIOS (i.e. “groups”), like so: ILL-US-TRIO(U)S.

15. Admitted being possessed (5)

Answer: OWNED. Solution satisfies “admitted [being]” and “possessed”.

16. South Carolina celebrity digesting Berlioz’s last piece (7)

Answer: SCHERZO (i.e. a lively “[musical] piece”). Solution is SC (state abbreviation of “South Carolina”) followed by HERO (i.e. “celebrity”) once it has been wrapped around or “digesting” Z (i.e. “Berlioz’s last”), like so: SC-HER(Z)O.

17. Doctor regularly quelled barmen that can be counted (9)

Answer: NUMERABLE (i.e. “can be counted”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “doctor”) of ULE (i.e. “regularly quelled”, i.e. every other letter of QUELLED) and BARMEN.

18. Warning describing fate of inquisitive Somali? (9,6,3,3)

Answer: CURIOSITY KILLED THE CAT (i.e. “warning”). Clue plays on how Somali can describe a breed of cat, not just a Somali national. You get the idea.

23. Booked, being unforthcoming (8)

Answer: RESERVED. Solution satisfies “booked” and “unforthcoming”.

25. He abandons the city man’s Asian headdress (6)

Answer: TURBAN (i.e. “man’s Asian headdress”). Solution is T (i.e. “he abandons the”, i.e. the word THE without the HE) followed by URBAN (i.e. “the city”).

27. Middle East scholar taken at first with trailing plant (7)

Answer: ARABIST (i.e. “Middle East scholar”). Solution is T (i.e. “taken at first”, i.e. the first letter of “taken”) placed after or “with” ARABIS (i.e. “trailing plant”).

30. Fruit pie originally making us podgy (5)

Answer: PLUMP (i.e. “podgy”). Solution is PLUM (i.e. “fruit”) followed by P (i.e. “pie originally”, i.e. the first letter of “pie”).

32. One leaves Moroccan port carrying a N American singer (7)

Answer: TANAGER (i.e. “N American singer” – a bird). Solution is TANGIER (i.e. “Moroccan port”) with the I removed (indicated by “[Roman numeral] one leaves…”) and the remainder wrapped around or “carrying” A, like so: TAN(A)GER. One I remembered from a previous puzzle, if I’m honest.

33. Report of husky animal producing material for violin bows (9)

Answer: HORSEHAIR (i.e. “material for violin bows”). Solution is formed of homophones (indicated by “report of”) of HOARSE (i.e. “husky”) and HARE (i.e. “animal”).

35. New paperback briefly covering large variety of fruit (4,5)

Answer: CRAB APPLE (i.e. “variety of fruit”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “new”) of PAPERBACK once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “briefly”), wrapped around or “covering” L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”), like so: CRABAPP(L)E.

36. Greek hero’s article initially edited in S America (7)

Answer: THESEUS (i.e. “Greek hero”). Solution is THE (i.e. “article”, as in a word like a, an or the) followed by E (i.e. “initially edited”, i.e. the first letter of “edited”) once it has been placed “in” S and US (i.e. “America”), like so: THE-S-(E)-US.

37. Spot where builders work, so to speak (5)

Answer: SIGHT (i.e. “spot”). “So to speak” indicates homophone. Solution is an homophone of SITE (i.e. “where builders work”).

38. Pull fish back on the sheltered side (7)

Answer: LEEWARD (i.e. “on the sheltered side”). Solution is DRAW (i.e. “pull”) and EEL (i.e. “fish”) all reversed (indicated by “back”), like so: LEE-WARD.

40. Way to go on horseback, or walk with long steps? (6)

Answer: STRIDE (i.e. “walk with long steps”). Solution is ST (i.e. “way”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “street”) followed by RIDE (i.e. “to go on horseback”).

41. Musician married in centre of Boston – about fifty (8)

Answer: MINSTREL (i.e. “musician”). Solution is M (a recognised abbreviation of “married”) followed by IN, then ST (i.e. “centre of Boston”, i.e. the middle letters of BOSTON), then RE (i.e. “about” – think email replies) and L (i.e. “[Roman numeral] fifty”).

44. Regimental NCO’s favour given to leading cloth-worker? (13-8)

Answer: QUARTERMASTER-SERGEANT (i.e. “regimental NCO” or Non-Commissioning Officer). Solution is QUARTER (i.e. “favour”) followed by MASTER (i.e. “leading”), then SERGE (i.e. “cloth”) and ANT (i.e. “worker”).
[EDIT: Thanks to Greg for the correction. I’d incorrectly had NCO as Non-Commanding Officer. Cheers, Greg! – LP)

48. Naughtily bend a rule? That can be tolerated (9)

Answer: ENDURABLE (i.e. “that can be tolerated”). “Naughtily” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of BEND A RULE.

50. Bill a continental noble rings about (7)

Answer: ACCOUNT (i.e. “bill”). Solution is A then COUNT (i.e. “continental noble”) once it has been wrapped around or “ringed” C (i.e. “about”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “circa”), like so: A-C(C)OUNT.

53. Operatic princess with house in US state (5)

Answer: IDAHO (i.e. “US state”). Solution is IDA (i.e. “operatic princess” from Gilbert & Sullivan’s Princess Ida) followed by HO (a recognised abbreviation of “house”).

54. Clear water flowing round managed health resort (11)

Answer: TRANSPARENT (i.e. “clear”). Solution is [River] TRENT (i.e. “water”) wrapped or “flowing around” RAN (i.e. “managed”) and SPA (i.e. “health resort”), like so: T(RAN-SPA)RENT.

55. Medallist initially whips ring with pronounced force (11)

Answer: PRIZEWINNER (i.e. “medallist”). Solution is W (i.e. “initially whips”, i.e. the first letter of “whips”) and INNER (i.e. “ring” around a bullseye) placed after or “with” a homophone (indicated by “pronounced”) of PRISE (i.e. to “force [open]”), like so: PRIZE-(W-INNER).

56. Tried again to pick up daughter after scripture lesson (7)

Answer: REHEARD (i.e. “tried again” in court). Solution is HEAR (i.e. “pick up”) and D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”) both placed “after” RE (i.e. “scripture lesson”, specifically Religious Education), like so: RE-(HEAR-D).

57. Turtle abandoning quiet tract of land (7)

Answer: TERRAIN (i.e. “tract of land”). Solution is TERRAPIN (i.e. “turtle”) once the P has been removed (indicated by “abandoning quiet” – P being a recognised abbreviation of “piano”, or quiet in musical lingo).

58. Doctor in broadcast regularly riled Lanarkshire town (7)

Answer: AIRDRIE (i.e. “Lanarkshire town”). Solution is DR (a recognised abbreviation of “doctor”) placed “in” AIR (i.e. “broadcast”) and IE (i.e. “regularly riled”, i.e. every other letter of RILED), like so: AIR-(DR)-IE.

Down clues

1. Rupees invested in wager relating to French national (6)

Answer: BRETON (i.e. “French national”). Solution is R (i.e. “Rupees”) placed or “invested” in BET (i.e. “wager”) and followed by ON (i.e. “relating to”), like so: B(R)ET-ON.

2. Giant bird with bill seen around part of UK (7)

Answer: TITANIC (i.e. “gigantic”). Solution is TIT (i.e. “bird”) followed by AC (i.e. “bill”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “account”) once wrapped “around” NI (i.e. “part of UK”, i.e. Northern Ireland), like so: TIT-A(NI)C.

3. One defaming Cuban perhaps, ignoring tip with hesitation (9)

Answer: SLANDERER (i.e. “one defaming”). Solution is ISLANDER (i.e. “Cuban perhaps” – other islands are available) with the first letter removed (indicated by “ignoring tip”) and the remainder followed by ER (i.e. “hesitation”), like so: SLANDER-ER.

4. English vehicle primarily serving Welshman (5)

Answer: EVANS (i.e. “Welshman”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) followed by VAN (i.e. “vehicle”) and S (i.e. “primarily serving”, i.e. the first letter of “serving”).

5. Arthropod from Irish islands I’d seen outside church (8)

Answer: ARACHNID (i.e. “arthropod”). Solution is ARAN (i.e. “Irish islands”) and I’D placed “outside” of CH (a recognised abbreviation of “church”), like so: ARA(CH)N-I’D.

6. It measures oxygen escaping from shooting star? (5)

Answer: METER (i.e. “it measures”). Solution is METEOR (i.e. “shooting star”) with the O removed (indicated by “oxygen escaping” – O being the chemical symbol of oxygen).

7. Toff, one breathing in ozone in African capital (7)

Answer: NAIROBI (i.e. “African capital”). Solution is NOB (i.e. “toff”) and I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) wrapped around or “breathing in” AIR (i.e. “ozone”), like so: N(AIR)OB-I.

8. Man guarding only boss in honorary military rank (7-2-5)

Answer: COLONEL-IN-CHIEF (i.e. “honorary military rank”). Solution is COLIN (i.e. “man” – basically a man’s name) wrapped around or “guarding” LONE (i.e. “only”) and followed by CHIEF (i.e. “boss”), like so: CO(LONE)LIN-CHIEF.

9. Communicators collectively aimed to disperse after service (4,5)

Answer: MASS MEDIA (i.e. “communicators collectively”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “to disperse”) of AIMED placed “after” MASS (i.e. “[religious] service”).

10. Ancient city adopted by the German engraver (5)

Answer: Albrecht DURER (i.e. “engraver”). Solution is UR (i.e. “Ancient city” often used by setters in their solutions) placed in or “adopted by” DER (i.e. “the German”, i.e. the German for “the”), like so: D(UR)ER.

11. Play what irate motorists do perhaps when tailgated? (4,4,2,5)

Answer: LOOK BACK IN ANGER. Solution satisfies a “play” by John Osborne, and “what irate motorists do perhaps when tailgated”.

12. Particular deference (7)

Answer: RESPECT. Solution satisfies “particular” (as in “with respect to”) and “deference” (as in “have respect for”).

19. Excel with regard to start of this surgical procedure (7)

Answer: OVERTOP (i.e. “excel”). Solution is OVER (i.e. “with regard to”) followed by T (i.e. “start of this”, i.e. the first letter of “this”) and OP (i.e. “surgical procedure”).

20. Engineer urges on extremely tardy kid (9)

Answer: YOUNGSTER (i.e. “kid”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “engineer”) of URGES ON and TY (i.e. “extremely tardy”, i.e. the first and last letters of “tardy”).

21. Archbishop initially overwhelmed by male archdeacon’s goodness (7)

Answer: HEAVENS (i.e. “goodness” – both taken as exclamations). Solution is A (i.e. “archbishop initially”, i.e. the first letter of “archbishop”) placed in or “overwhelmed by” HE (i.e. “male”) and VEN’S (i.e. “archdeacon’s” – VEN being a recognised abbreviation of “venerable”), like so: HE-(A)-VEN’S.

22. Republican in sun hat, mostly relaxed and very hot (8)

Answer: TROPICAL (i.e. “very hot”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “Republican”) placed “in” TOPI (i.e. “sun hat”) and followed by CALM (i.e. “relaxed”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “mostly”), like so: T(R)OPI-CAL.

24. Outside America, herb served at first with mother’s hot food (8,3,4)

Answer: SAUSAGES AND MASH (i.e. “food”). Solution is US (i.e. “America”) with SAGE (i.e. “herb”) placed “outside” of it, then S (i.e. “served at first”, i.e. the first letter of “served”), then AND (i.e. “with”), then MA’S (i.e. “mother’s”) and H (a recognised abbreviation of “hot”), like so: SA(US)GE-S-AND-MA’S-H.

26. Man involved in drinking spree, a pub employee (9)

Answer: BARTENDER (i.e. “pub employee”). Solution is ART (i.e. “man”, specifically a shortened form of Arthur) placed or “involved in” BENDER (i.e. “drinking spree”), like so: B(ART)ENDER.

28. Device controlling flow of fuel – or choke? (8)

Answer: THROTTLE. Solution satisfies “device controlling flow of fuel” and “choke”.

29. European articles on country gents ultimately apt for playing down (14)

Answer: UNDERSTATEMENT (i.e. “playing down”). Solution is UN and DER (i.e. “European articles”, i.e. the French for “a” and the German for “the”) followed by STATE (i.e. “country”), then MEN (i.e. “gents”) and T (i.e. “ultimately apt”, i.e. the last letter of “apt”).

31. Country bumpkin’s pulse a surgeon felt in the end (7)

Answer: PEASANT (i.e. “country bumpkin”). Solution is PEAS (i.e. “pulse”) followed by A, then N and T (i.e. “surgeon felt in the end”, i.e. the last letters of “surgeon” and “felt”).

34. Harsh call arresting Cleopatra’s killer (7)

Answer: RASPING (i.e. “harsh”). Solution is RING (i.e. “call”) wrapped around or “arresting” ASP (i.e. “Cleopatra’s killer”), like so: R(ASP)ING.

39. Necessity for game identified by river managers (9)

Answer: DARTBOARD (i.e. “necessity for game [of darts]”). Solution is DART (i.e. “river” in Devon) followed by BOARD (i.e. “managers”).

42. Alarm if one is kept ultimately for a soil loosener (9)

Answer: SCARIFIER (i.e. “soil loosener”). Solution is SCARE (i.e. “alarm”) wrapped around or “keeping” IF and I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), and then followed by R (i.e. “ultimately for”, i.e. the last letter of “for”), like so: SCAR(IF-I)E-R.

43. Native of Lima perhaps, salesman turning up with one in posh vehicle (8)

Answer: PERUVIAN (i.e. “native of Lima perhaps”). Solution is REP (i.e. “salesman”) reversed (indicated by “turning up” – this being a down clue) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) once placed “in” U (i.e. “posh” – U being an abbreviation used to describe the upper class) and VAN (i.e. “vehicle”), like so: PER-U-V(I)AN.

44. One searching for game in macaque’s territory (7)

Answer: QUESTER (i.e. “one searching for game” – a quest is a variant spelling of queest, a kind of wood pigeon). “In” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: MACA(QUE’S TER)RITORY.

45. Kitchen device misplaced at store (7)

Answer: TOASTER (i.e. “kitchen device”). “Misplaced” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of AT STORE.

46. Item of footwear found in coach? (7)

Answer: TRAINER. Solution satisfies “item of footwear” and “coach”.

47. Origin of condiment, reportedly (6)

Answer: SOURCE (i.e. “origin”). “Reportedly” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of SAUCE (i.e. “condiment”).

49. One adheres to WI religion – partly, for a start (5)

Answer: RASTA (i.e. “one adheres to WI religion”). “Partly” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: FO(R A STA)RT.

51. Dried kernels represented by Constable, the artist? (5)

Answer: COPRA (i.e. “dried kernels” of coconuts). Solution is COP (i.e. “constable” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) followed by RA (i.e. “artist”, specifically a Royal Academician).

52. Governor dipping into Times – a character! (5)

Answer: THETA (i.e. “a character” of the Greek alphabet). Solution is HE (i.e. “governor” – a recognised abbreviation of His Excellency) placed “into” T and T (recognised abbreviations of “time”, i.e. “times” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) and followed by A, like so: T(HE)T-A.