Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1480

Another medium strength puzzle this week, but another with some well worked clues offering steady progression throughout. Despite some looseness in the clueing here and there, this was one of the good ones.

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. If a recent Jumbo has you flummoxed 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. Meanwhile there’s the usual (increasingly dusty) book reviews and a story of mine.

Till next time, stay safe, stop in and keep supporting the NHS and key workers everywhere. I’m off to sit on a radiator awhile. Brrrrr.

LP

Across clues

  1. Setter introduced to fellow performer around country (5,4)

Answer: COSTA RICA (i.e. “country”). Solution is I (i.e. the “setter” from the point of view of… um… the setter) placed between or “introduced to” CO-STAR (i.e. “fellow performer”) and CA (i.e. “around”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “circa”), like so: CO-STAR-(I)-CA.

  1. Bone I’m not sure is placed in earth (7)

Answer: HUMERUS (i.e. “bone”). Solution is ER (i.e. “I’m not sure”) “placed in” HUMUS (i.e. “earth”, specifically decomposing matter in the soil – seems weak, but Bradford’s allows it), like so: HUM(ER)US.

  1. Espy sponge, we hear, for oily substance (5)

Answer: SEBUM (i.e. “oily substance”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “we hear”) of SEE (i.e. “espy”) followed by BUM (i.e. to “sponge” or cadge), like so: SE-BUM. The hypercritical side of me winces at the positioning of “we hear”. Something like “espy, on the radio, sponge for oily substance” would have worked better.

  1. Problem dyer resolved in bright colour (4-3)

Answer: RUBY-RED (i.e. “bright colour”). Solution is RUB (i.e. “problem” – you might sometimes hear the phrase “here’s the rub…” before a problem is outlined) followed by an anagram (indicated by “resolved”) of DYER, like so: RUB-YRED.

  1. Consumer who’s cutting back leaves island, getting put off (5)

Answer: DETER (i.e. “put off”). Solution is DIETER (i.e. “consumer who’s cutting back”) with the I removed (indicated by “leaves island” – I being a recognised abbreviation of “island”).

  1. Taking off restraint, initially discarded (9)

Answer: IMITATION (i.e. “taking off”). Solution is LIMITATION (i.e. “restraint”) with the first letter removed (indicated by “initially discarded”).

  1. Be a contestant that keeps the front seats quiet, keen on operas (5,4,3,4,3,4)

Answer: THROW ONES HAT INTO THE RING (i.e. “be a contestant”). Solution is THAT wrapped around or “keeping” ROW ONE (i.e. “the front seats”) and SH (i.e. “quiet”). This is then followed by INTO THE RING (i.e. “keen on operas”, specifically Wagner’s Ring cycle). Put together, you have (TH(ROW-ONE-SH)AT)-INTO-THE-RING. Another one of those where you’re lucky I don’t set these things, otherwise you’d have something entirely scatological on your hands. So to speak.

  1. Old organ is musical (6)

Answer: OLIVER (i.e. “musical” based on Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) followed by LIVER (i.e. “organ”).

  1. Changing sides at first, English radical is one joining a party (8)

Answer: REVELLER (i.e. “one joining a party”). Solution is LEVELLER (i.e. “English radical”) with the “first” letter “changing sides”, i.e. going from L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) to R (ditto “right”), like so: (L)EVELLER => (R)EVELLER.

  1. Island in China toured by priest (2,5)

Answer: LA PALMA (i.e. “island”). Solution is PAL (i.e. “China” – it’s ownly bleedin’ Cockerney rhymin’ slang, innit, geezah? Oy-oy! and other stuff you probably hear on EastEnders, I dunno. Anyway, china plate => mate => PAL. Ignore the misleading capitalisation of “China”) placed in or “toured by” LAMA (i.e. Buddhist “priest”), like so: LA(PAL)MA.

  1. Make flower from the east something sweet (6,4)

Answer: BRANDY SNAP (i.e. “something sweet”). Solution is BRAND (i.e. “make”) followed by PANSY (i.e. “flower”) once reversed (indicated by “from the east” – this being an across clue), like so: BRAND-YSNAP.

  1. Genuine clothing design just for fun? (12)

Answer: RECREATIONAL (i.e. “just for fun”). Solution is REAL (i.e. “genuine”) wrapped around or “clothing” CREATION (i.e. “design”), like so: RE(CREATION)AL.

  1. Big cheese roll (5)

Answer: WHEEL. Solution satisfies “big cheese” – cheese wheels are indeed rather big – and to “roll”. Nicely worked.

  1. Make good old loaf stuffed with last of salami (7)

Answer: EXPIATE (i.e. to completely atone for or “make good”). Solution is EX (i.e. “old”) and PATE (i.e. “loaf”, slang for “head”) wrapped around or “stuffed with” I (i.e. “last [letter] of salami”), like so: EX-P(I)ATE.

  1. Intrude in resort, breaking lock (8)

Answer: TRESPASS (i.e. “intrude”). Solution is SPA (i.e. “resort”) placed in or “breaking” TRESS (i.e. “lock” of hair), like so: TRE(SPA)SS.

  1. Bachelor, not so serious a pest (8)

Answer: BLIGHTER (i.e. “pest”). Solution is B (a recognised abbreviation of “bachelor”) followed by LIGHTER (i.e. “not so serious”).

  1. Number one reduction on board? (4,3)

Answer: CREW CUT. Solution satisfies a “number one” at the barbers, and, playfully, a “reduction on board” a ship.

  1. The French welcome a holiday (5)

Answer: LEAVE (i.e. “holiday”). Solution is LE (i.e. “the French”, i.e. the French for “the”) followed by AVE (i.e. “welcome”).

  1. Mixing drug in major quantity (12)

Answer: ADULTERATION (i.e. “mixing”). Solution is E (i.e. “drug”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “ecstasy”) placed “in” between ADULT (i.e. “major”, as in having reached the age of majority) and RATION (i.e. “quantity”), like so: ADULT-(E)-RATION.

  1. Taken on by business, head shows weak quality (10)

Answer: INFIRMNESS (i.e. “weak quality”). Solution is IN FIRM (i.e. “taken on by business”) followed by NESS (i.e. “head”, as in the geographic feature).

  1. The rate excluding board, originally light, increased (7)

Answer: TREBLED (i.e. “increased”). Solution is TREB (i.e. “the rate excluding board, originally”, i.e. the first letters of “The”, “Rate”, “Excluding” and “Board”) followed by LED (i.e. “light”, specifically a Light Emitting Diode).

  1. Mother irritated with me, one showing resistance (8)

Answer: OHMMETER (i.e. “one showing [electrical] resistance”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “irritated”) of MOTHER and ME.

  1. Like a piece of canvas that’s set about (6)

Answer: ASSAIL (i.e. to attack or “set about” someone). When the solution is written as AS SAIL the solution also satisfies “like a piece of canvas”.

  1. Poet’s accepting prison: he’d battled on, resolved to rest only a little (4,3,6,2,4,4)

Answer: BURN THE CANDLE AT BOTH ENDS (i.e. “to rest only a little”). Solution is Robert BURNS (i.e. “poet”) wrapped around or “accepting” THE CAN (i.e. “prison”) and an anagram (indicated by “resolved”) of HE’D BATTLED ON, like so: BURN(THE-CAN-DLEATBOTHEND)S.

  1. Defensive work by two protecting men on area with better grounds (1,8)

Answer: A FORTIORI (i.e. Latin for “with stronger reason” (Chambers), i.e. “with better grounds”). Solution is FORT (i.e. “defensive work”) followed by II (i.e. “[Roman numeral] two”) once wrapped around or “protecting” OR (i.e. “men”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army). This is all then placed “on” or after A (a recognised abbreviation of “area”), like so: A-(FORT-I(OR)I).

  1. Princess I see back in a state (5)

Answer: IDAHO (i.e. US “state”). Solution is IDA (i.e. “Princess” – a reference to Gilbert & Sullivan’s comic opera Princess Ida) followed by OH (i.e. an acknowledgement of enlightenment, or “I see”) once reversed (indicated by “back”), like so: IDA-HO.

  1. In different ways, the writer’s thoughtful (7)

Answer: PENSIVE (i.e. “thoughtful”). Solution is PEN’S and I’VE, which, “in different ways”, both express “the writer’s”: the former as a contraction of “the pen is” (stop sniggering at the back) – a pen being a writing implement – and the latter a contraction of “the writer has” taken from the point of view of the setter, i.e. “I have”, or “I’ve”. Very nicely worked.

  1. Famous sailor one’s often seen on water (5)

Answer: DRAKE. Solution satisfies “famous sailor”, i.e. Sir Francis DRAKE, and “one’s often seen on water”, referring to a male duck.

  1. Intense he-men stripped off after endless run (7)

Answer: EXTREME (i.e. “intense”). Solution is EME (i.e. “he-men stripped off”, i.e. “he-men” with its first and last letters removed) placed “after” EXTRA (i.e. a type of “run” in cricket) once it’s last letter has been removed (indicated by “endless”), like so: EXTR-EME.

  1. Perhaps a rat, namely one getting his own back (9)

Answer: SCAVENGER (i.e. “perhaps a rat”). Solution is SC (i.e. “namely”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of its Latin form scilicet – we’ve seen this a few times lately) followed by AVENGER (i.e. “one getting his own back”).

Down clues

  1. Vehicle bearing a quantity of weight (5)

Answer: CARAT (i.e. “quantity of weight”). Solution is CART (i.e. “vehicle”) wrapped around or “bearing” A, like so: CAR(A)T.

  1. Constabularies due to revise part of statement (11,6)

Answer: SUBORDINATE CLAUSE (i.e. “part of statement”, specifically a part detailing a condition that must be met for a statement to be true, but which cannot stand on its own as a complete sentence. So a clause, then. Bloody grammarians). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “to revise”) of CONSTABULARIES DUE.

  1. Hear a word broadcast, making a point (9)

Answer: ARROWHEAD (i.e. “point”). “Broadcast” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HEAR A WORD.

  1. I take sustenance after ten (6)

Answer: IODINE (i.e. “I”, it’s chemical symbol). Solution is DINE (i.e. “take sustenance”) placed “after” IO (i.e. “ten”), like so: IO-DINE. Nicely done.

  1. Assistants flee after a fateful day (5-2-4)

Answer: AIDES-DE-CAMP (i.e. “assistants”). Solution is DECAMP (i.e. “flee”) placed “after” A and IDES (i.e. “fateful day” for Julius Caesar, referring to the IDES of March), like so: A-IDES-(DECAMP).

  1. Trouble perhaps brewing in this? (3,5)

Answer: HOT WATER. Solution satisfies “trouble” and “perhaps brewing [tea] in this”.

  1. In speech, officer is hawk-like (7)

Answer: MARTIAL (i.e. warlike or “hawk-like”, as in one taking an aggressive or combative view of things). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “in speech”) of MARSHAL (i.e. “officer”).

  1. Pen triter novel, carrying on to read anew (11)

Answer: REINTERPRET (i.e. “to read anew”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “novel”) of PEN TRITER wrapped around or “carrying” RE (i.e. “on” or regarding – think email replies), like so: REINTERP(RE)T.

  1. Isn’t lilac fancy, just a little bit? (9)

Answer: SCINTILLA (i.e. “a little bit”). “Fancy” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ISN’T LILAC.

  1. Unnerve swimmer in drink (5,2)

Answer: SHAKE UP (i.e. “unnerve”). Solution is HAKE (i.e. fish or “swimmer”) placed “in” SUP (i.e. “drink”), like so: S(HAKE)UP.

  1. Russian’s fare home: one pound to go north (5)

Answer: BLINI (i.e. “Russian fare”). Solution is IN (i.e. at “home”), I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and LB (a recognised abbreviation of “pound” weight, after the Latin libra). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “to go north” – this being a down clue), like so: BL-I-NI.

  1. Crooked angle with a beam causing no issues (10)

Answer: MANAGEABLE (i.e. “causing no issues”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “crooked”) of ANGLE and A BEAM.

  1. Nothing that’s wrong with London area’s kind of lake (5)

Answer: OXBOW (i.e. “kind of lake”). Solution is O (i.e. “nothing”) followed by X (i.e. “that’s wrong”) and BOW (i.e. “London area”).

  1. Obtains ceremonial garb, longing to frame one artwork (9,8)

Answer: LANDSCAPE PAINTING (i.e. “artwork”). Solution is LANDS (i.e. “obtains”) followed by CAPE (i.e. “ceremonial garb”) and PANTING (i.e. “longing” – one definition of “pant” is to long or yearn for) once wrapped around or “framing” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: LANDS-CAPE-PA(I)NTING.

  1. Claim a foregone conclusion loudly (6)

Answer: ASSERT (i.e. “claim”). Solution is A followed by a homophone (indicated by “loudly”) of CERT (i.e. “foregone conclusion”).

  1. Report of small key for a small hole (6)

Answer: EYELET (i.e. “small hole”). “Report of” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of ISLET, a “small key” or island. Nicely done.

  1. Drive into Antrim pell-mell (5)

Answer: IMPEL (i.e. “drive”). “Into” suggests the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: ANTR(IM PEL)L-MELL.

  1. Mostly awkward round plainsman (6)

Answer: GAUCHO (i.e. “plainsman”). Solution is GAUCHE (i.e. “awkward”) with it’s last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and the remainder followed by O (i.e. “round”), like so: GAUCH-O.

  1. Run in accordance with the rules (5)

Answer: LEGIT (i.e. “in accordance with the rules”). When written as LEG IT the solution also satisfies “run”.

  1. Require leads to be taken from excited, naughty dog (6)

Answer: ENTAIL (i.e. “require”). Solution is EN (i.e. “leads to be taken from excited, naughty”, i.e. the first letters of “Excited” and “Naughty”) followed by TAIL (i.e. to ceaselessly follow or “dog”).

  1. Thinker, one in shop for famous people (11)

Answer: RATIONALIST (i.e. “thinker”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed “in” RAT ON (i.e. to grass up or “shop” someone) and followed by A-LIST (i.e. “famous people”), like so: (RAT-(I)-ON)-A-LIST.

  1. Disputed message with promises of settlement (11)

Answer: CONTENTIOUS (i.e. “disputed”). Solution is CONTENT (i.e. “message” – much too loose for my liking, and those of my reference books it seems. Even Perry Mason would struggle to build a case for this one) followed by IOUS (i.e. “promises of settlement”).

  1. Stand with treacherous type deposing leader (5)

Answer: EASEL (i.e. “stand”). Solution is WEASEL (i.e. “treacherous type”) with its initial letter removed (indicated by “deposing leader”).

  1. Tailor adapts robe that’s flimsy (10)

Answer: PASTEBOARD (i.e. “that’s flimsy” – can describe “sham or trumpery” (Chambers)). “Tailor” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ADAPTS ROBE.

  1. Timber’s free, say, brought back by European (9)

Answer: RIDGEPOLE (i.e. “timber” forming the ridge of a roof). Solution is RID (i.e. “free”) followed by EG (i.e. “say”, as in for example) reversed (indicated by “brought back”), then POLE (i.e. “European”), like so: RID-GE-POLE.

  1. Beef, perhaps, about wasted cash? It’s unfortunate (9)

Answer: MISCHANCE (i.e. “it’s unfortunate”). Solution is MINCE (i.e. “beef, perhaps”) wrapped “about” an anagram (indicated by “wasted”) of CASH, like so: MI(SCHA)NCE.

  1. Ruler’s elevated emissary is lower in rank (8)

Answer: RELEGATE (i.e. to “lower in rank”). Solution is ER (i.e. “ruler”, specifically Elizabeth Regina) reversed (indicated by “elevated” – this being a down clue) and followed by LEGATE (i.e. “emissary”), like so: RE-LEGATE.

  1. Stop tinkering with that song! (3,2,2)

Answer: LET IT BE. Solution satisfies “stop tinkering with” and a Beatles “song”.

  1. Kind of crisis with replacing learner who makes deliveries (7)

Answer: MIDWIFE (i.e. “who makes deliveries”). Solution is MIDLIFE (i.e. “kind of crisis”) with the L (a recognised abbreviation of “learner”) “replaced” by W (ditto “with”), like so: MID(L)IFE => MID(W)IFE.

  1. A large bear turned up in game (6)

Answer: HOOPLA (i.e. “game”). Solution is A, L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) and POOH (i.e. “bear”, specifically Winnie the Pooh) all reversed (indicated by “turned up” – this being a down clue), like so: HOOP-L-A.

  1. Tip for tippler: one soft drink and a wine (5)

Answer: RIOJA (i.e. “wine”). Solution is R (i.e. “tip for tippler”, i.e. the last letter of “tippler” – a bit of a naughty one, this. In a down clue one could be forgiven for thinking a singular “tip” would refer to the first or “top” letter of a word, not the bottom one) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), then OJ (i.e. “soft drink”, specifically Orange Juice) and A.

  1. Shepherd’s farm animal (5)

Answer: STEER. Solution satisfies “shepherd” and “farm animal”, a young ox.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1479

Blimey, there were so many deletions involved in this week’s puzzle it began to make Jonathan Safran Foer’s Tree Of Codes look positively amateurish. Reductio ad absurdum, perhaps, if I knew what any of that meant. Otherwise, this was another medium strength offering with decent progression throughout.

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. My Just For Fun page offers links to solutions for the last 100+ of these things, should a recent Jumbo have you stumped. Meanwhile there’s the usual dusty old book reviews and a story of mine.

Till next time, keep safe, keep your pecker up (masked, obviously), keep the flag flying for the NHS and key workers everywhere, and – most importantly – keep buggering on. We’ll get to the end of this rotten plague eventually. Also, the nights are (slowly) drawing back again, which is always nice.

LP

Across clues

  1. Advance across delta by small boat (9)

Answer: OVERDRAFT (i.e. a cash “advance”). Solution is OVER (i.e. “across”) followed by D (“delta” in the phonetic alphabet) and RAFT (i.e. “small boat”).

  1. Maybe US criminals had briefly to be imprisoned (7)

Answer: PERHAPS (i.e. “maybe”). Solution is PERPS (i.e. “US criminals”, short for perpetrators) wrapped around or “imprisoning” HAD once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “briefly”), like so: PER(HA)PS.

  1. To start with alibi for example is a defence (5)

Answer: AEGIS (i.e. a shield or “defence”). Solution is A (i.e. “to start with alibi”, i.e. the first letter of “alibi”) followed by EG (i.e. “for example”) and IS.

  1. Distance often affected a proclamation from the French (5,2,6)

Answer: EDICT OF NANTES (i.e. a sixteenth century “proclamation from the French”). “Affected” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DISTANCE OFTEN.

  1. Uncomfortable with allies failing to eat meal (3,2,4)

Answer: ILL AT EASE (i.e. “uncomfortable”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “failing”) of ALLIES wrapped around or “eating” TEA (i.e. “meal”), like so: ILLA(TEA)SE.

  1. Glass changing hands in this checkout cart (7)

Answer: TUMBREL (i.e. “checkout cart” – they were used to transport people to be executed. Also dung, just to rub it in). Solution is TUMBLER (i.e. “glass”) with the L and R swapped (indicated by “changing hands” – L and R being recognised abbreviations of “left” and “right”), like so: TUMB(L)E(R) => TUMB(R)E(L).

  1. Working twenty-four hours? At first no – twelve (7)

Answer: NOONDAY (i.e. “twelve”). Solution is ON (i.e. “working”) and DAY (i.e. “twenty-four hours”) with NO placed “at first”, like so: NO-(ON-DAY).

  1. Put down duke, a powerful ruler, to be unmarried (7)

Answer: DEPRESS (i.e. “put down”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “duke”) followed by EMPRESS (i.e. “powerful ruler”) once the M has been removed (indicated by “unmarried” – M being a recognised abbreviation of “married”), like so: D-EPRESS.

  1. Relaxed, one’s agent finally very adequate (12)

Answer: SATISFACTORY (i.e. “adequate”). Solution is SAT (i.e. “relaxed”) followed by I’S (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one’s”), then FACTOR (i.e. “agent”) and Y (i.e. “finally very”, i.e. the last letter of “very”).

  1. Wickedness in dog suggested? (10)

Answer: WRONGDOING (i.e. “wickedness”). The remainder of the clue plays on the solution, when written as WRONG DOING, being cryptic in itself, i.e. how DOING is an anagram (indicated by “WRONG”) of “in dog”.

  1. He gambles debtor is concealing reserve (5)

Answer: DICER (i.e. “he gambles”). Solution is DR (a recognised abbreviation of “debtor”) wrapped around or “concealing” ICE (i.e. a chilly nature or “reserve”), like so: D(ICE)R.

  1. Leap to one’s feet and refuse to move (5,4)

Answer: STAND FAST. Solution satisfies “leap to one’s feet” and “refuse to move”. Nicely worked.

  1. Old woman’s herbal therapy? (7)

Answer: MASSAGE (i.e. “therapy”). When written as MA’S SAGE the solution also playfully satisfies “old woman’s herbal”.

  1. Bill tends to cry, in comprehensive victory (1,5,5)

Answer: A CLEAN SWEEP (i.e. “comprehensive victory”). Solution is AC (i.e. “bill”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “account”) followed by LEANS (i.e. “tends to”) and WEEP (i.e. “cry”).

  1. Unwise to fail to fill in old exercise books (11)

Answer: INEXPEDIENT (i.e. “unwise”). Solution is DIE (i.e. “to fail”) placed in or “filling” IN, EX (i.e. “old”), PE (i.e. “exercise”, specifically Physical Education) and NT (i.e. “books”, specifically the New Testament of The Bible), like so: IN-EX-PE-(DIE)-NT.

  1. Being August, start to sweat on US borders (11)

Answer: STATELINESS (i.e. “being august” – ignore the misleading capitalisation). Solution is S (i.e. “start to sweat”, i.e. the first letter of “sweat”) placed “on” or after STATE LINES (i.e. “US borders”), like so: STATE-LINES-S.

  1. Thoroughly learn something for party that is of top quality (11)

Answer: MASTERPIECE (i.e. “that is of top quality”). When written as MASTER PIECE the solution also satisfies “thoroughly learn something for party” – referring to someone’s party piece.

  1. Each group of diners wants food so (7)

Answer: EATABLE (i.e. “wants food so”). Solution is EA (a recognised abbreviation of “each”) followed by TABLE (i.e. “group of diners”).

  1. Brave daughter, relatively short? (9)

Answer: DAUNTLESS (i.e. “brave”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”) followed by AUNTLESS (i.e. “relatively short”, a play on how one maybe has an aunt missing).

  1. Busy giving the pot this? (5)

Answer: ASTIR (i.e. “busy”). When written as A STIR the solution also satisfies “giving the pot this”.

  1. Judge member of cast going through lines uncooperative (10)

Answer: REFRACTORY (i.e. “uncooperative”). Solution is REF (i.e. “judge”, specifically a shortened form of “referee”) followed by ACTOR (i.e. “member of cast”) once placed in or “through” RY (i.e. “lines”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “railway”), like so: REF-R(ACTOR)Y.

  1. Before Mailer, nothing American is unbelievable (12)

Answer: PREPOSTEROUS (i.e. “unbelievable”). Solution is PRE (i.e. “before”) followed by POSTER (i.e. “mailer” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), then O (i.e. “nothing”) and US (i.e. “American”).

  1. In defence, good for the French to drink wine (7)

Answer: BASTION (i.e. “defence”). Solution is BON (i.e. “good for the French”, i.e. the French for “good”) wrapped around or “drinking” ASTI (i.e. “wine”), like so: B(ASTI)ON.

  1. Reveller losing head: he’s waking others? (7)

Answer: AROUSER (i.e. “he’s waking others”). Solution is CAROUSER (i.e. “reveller”) with its first letter removed (indicated by “losing head”).

  1. Farm workers ending in embarrassment, colouring (7)

Answer: PIGMENT (i.e. “colouring”). Solution is PIG-MEN (i.e. “farm workers”) followed by T (i.e. “ending in embarrassment”, i.e. the last letter of “embarrassment”).

  1. Unworldly, one union trapped in cycle of decline? (9)

Answer: SPIRITUAL (i.e. “unworldly”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and TU (i.e. “union”, specifically a Trade Union) both placed or “trapped in” SPIRAL (i.e. “cycle of decline”), like so: SPIR(I-TU)AL.

  1. See lecturer in swimming pool here? (7,6)

Answer: LEISURE CENTRE (i.e. “swimming pool here”). “Swimming” also indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SEE LECTURER IN.

  1. Departs school, coming back famous (5)

Answer: NOTED (i.e. “famous”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “departs”) and ETON (i.e. “school”) all reversed (indicated by “coming back”), like so: NOTE-D.

  1. Compel men for cell to be stripped (7)

Answer: ENFORCE (i.e. “compel”). “Stripped” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, revealed by stripping the surrounding letters of M(EN FOR CE)LL.

  1. Oliver’s horse has smooth flanks (9)

Answer: IRONSIDES (i.e. “Oliver [Cromwell]’s horse” – “horse” can collectively refer to a cavalry, a new one on me). Solution is IRON (i.e. to “smooth”) and SIDES (i.e. “flanks”).

Down clues

  1. Greek character and others one’s assumed nameless (7)

Answer: ORESTES (i.e. “Greek character” who avenged the murder of his father by killing his mother. Games night was rough back then). Solution is REST (i.e. “others”) placed in or “assumed” by ONE’S once the N has been removed (indicated by “nameless” – N being a recognised abbreviation of “name”), like so: O(REST)E’S. One gotten from the wordplay, if I’m honest.

  1. Magician left without female contrived to be mystifying (11)

Answer: ENIGMATICAL (i.e. “mystifying”). Solution is an anagram of MAGICIAN LEFT once the F has been removed (indicated by “without female” – F being a recognised abbreviation of “female”). Nicely worked.

  1. Put off find (not mine) (5)

Answer: DETER (i.e. “put off”). Solution is DETERMINE (i.e. “find”) with the MINE removed (indicated by “not mine”).

  1. Two equal parts? Not hard at all, with a fodder plant (7)

Answer: ALFALFA (i.e. “fodder plant”). Solution is HALF and HALF (i.e. “two equal parts”) with the Hs removed (indicated by “not hard at all” – H being a recognised abbreviation of “hard” used in grading pencils) and the remainder followed by A, like so: ALF-ALF-A.

  1. Drop of water shortly for plant (3)

Answer: TEA (i.e. “plant”). Solution is TEAR (i.e. “drop of water”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “shortly”).

  1. City in revolution at first pretty backward, rejecting both sides (9)

Answer: PETROGRAD (i.e. Russian “city in revolution”, now known as Saint Petersburg, via Leningrad). Solution is P (i.e. “at first pretty”, i.e. the first letter of “pretty”) followed by RETROGRADE (i.e. “backward”) once its first and last letters have been removed (indicated by “rejecting both sides”), like so: P-ETROGRAD.

  1. Live on the edge (6)

Answer: RESIDE (i.e. “live”). Solution is RE (i.e. “on the” or regarding – think email replies) followed by SIDE (i.e. “edge”). Simple, but neatly done.

  1. First Murderer’s speech: I make peers sick, drinking my soup – and the monarch (2,1,2,8,6)

Answer: AM I MY BROTHER’S KEEPER? (response from Cain, “first murderer” in The Bible, when asked by God for Abel’s whereabouts after he’d done him in). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “sick”) of I MAKE PEERS wrapped around or “drinking” MY, BROTH (i.e. “soup”) and ER (i.e. “the monarch”, specifically Elizabeth Regina), like so: AMI(MY-BROTH-ER)SKEEPER.

  1. Shame about horrible noise in tank (7)

Answer: SALADIN (i.e “tank” created in the mid-1950s – more an armoured car with a turret stuck on top. Perfect for the school run). This took a while to twig, but the solution is ALAS (i.e. “shame”) reversed (indicated by “about”) and followed by DIN (i.e. “horrible noise”), like so: SALA-DIN.

  1. Coming across page, not fond of Shelley? The exact opposite (9)

Answer: ANTIPODES (i.e. “the exact opposite”). Solution is ANTI-ODES (i.e. “not fond of [romantic poet Percy] Shelley”) wrapped around or “coming across” P (a recognised abbreviation of “page”), like so: ANTI-(P)-ODES.

  1. Serious wizard in Tyrone, say, worshipped figure (6,5)

Answer: GRAVEN IMAGE (i.e. “worshipped figure”). Solution is GRAVE (i.e. “serious”) followed by NI MAGE (i.e. “wizard in Tyrone, say” – County Tyrone being in Northern Ireland, or NI).

  1. Maybe young member of family has not got on flight (5)

Answer: STEPS (i.e. “flight” of stairs). Solution is STEPSON (i.e. “maybe young member of family”) with the ON removed (indicated by “has not got on”).

  1. Fail to understand why coin toss doesn’t produce result? (3,4,4,2,4,2)

Answer: NOT MAKE HEAD OR TAIL OF. Solution satisfies “fail to understand” and “why coin toss doesn’t produce result”.

  1. Regain consciousness, nearly safe following powerful shot? (7)

Answer: SURFACE (i.e. “regain consciousness”). Another that took a while to twig. Solution is SURE (i.e. “safe”) once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “nearly”) and the remainder followed by F (a recognised abbreviation of “following”) and ACE (i.e. “powerful shot” in tennis), like so: SUR-F-ACE.

  1. Spooner’s finest clothes not regularly seen at the bar (5,4)

Answer: GUEST BEER (i.e. “not regularly seen at the bar”). “Spooner’s” indicates the solution is a Spoonerism of BEST GEAR (i.e. “finest clothes”).

  1. One is taken in by a most peculiar philosophy (6)

Answer: TAOISM (i.e. “philosophy”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed or “taken in by” an anagram (indicated by “peculiar”) of A MOST, like so: TAO(I)SM.

  1. Tug on left side circling southern approaches (5,4)

Answer: DRAWS NEAR (i.e. “approaches”). Solution is DRAW (i.e. “tug”) and NEAR (i.e. “on left side” with reference to vehicles on roads, supposedly) wrapped around or “circling” S (a recognised abbreviation of “southern”), like so: DRAW-(S)-NEAR.

  1. Sort of wave, going round one way in chapel (7)

Answer: SISTINE (i.e. a “chapel”). Solution is SINE (i.e. “sort of wave”) wrapped or “going round” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and ST (i.e. “way”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “street”), like so: S(I-ST)INE.

  1. Trees start off sale, unplanned? (7)

Answer: MAPLESS (i.e. “unplanned”, playing on maps being plans). Solution is MAPLES (i.e. “trees”) followed by S (i.e. “start off [of] sale”, i.e. the first letter of “sale”).

  1. Creature pouched in the afternoon biting us, very upset (6)

Answer: POSSUM (i.e. “creature pouched”). Solution is PM (i.e. “in the afternoon”) wrapped around or “biting” US and SO (i.e. “very”) once reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue), like so: P(OS-SU)M. “Biting” is pushing it a little, IMLTHO.

  1. Corrupt sheriff’s assistant half-cut at wild party (7)

Answer: DEPRAVE (i.e. “corrupt”). Solution is DEPUTY (i.e. “sheriff’s assistant”) “half-cut”, making DEP. This is followed by RAVE (i.e. “wild party”), like so: DEP-RAVE.

  1. Probable left-winger’s broadcast is fantastic (11)

Answer: ANTIFASCIST (i.e. “probable left-winger”). “Broadcast” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IS FANTASTIC.

  1. Turned out and applied to keep most of treasure (11)

Answer: EXTROVERTED (i.e. “turned out”). Solution is EXERTED (i.e. “applied”) wrapped around or “keeping” TROVE (i.e. “treasure”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “most of”), like so: EX(TROV)ERTED.

  1. Made happy to have meal, if I must be in the garden (9)

Answer: BEATIFIED (i.e. “made happy”). Solution is EAT (i.e. “to have meal”) and IF I all placed “in” BED (i.e. “garden”), like so: B(EAT-IF-I)ED.

  1. Act with elegance on the radio, one admits (9)

Answer: TURNSTILE (i.e. “one admits”). Solution is TURN (i.e. performer or “act”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “on the radio”) of STYLE (i.e. “elegance”), like so: TURN-STILE.

  1. Large amount, definitely brother’s cut (7)

Answer: TONSURE (i.e. a friar or “brother’s [hair]cut”). Solution is TON (i.e. “large amount”) followed by SURE (i.e. “definitely”).

  1. Drink more extravagantly as commander (7)

Answer: SUPREMO (i.e. “commander”). Solution is SUP (i.e. “drink”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “extravagantly”) of MORE, like so: SUP-REMO.

  1. Subjects for painting that shouldn’t be dropped (7)

Answer: SITTERS. Solution satisfies “subjects for painting” and, I guess, “that shouldn’t be dropped”. One I’m not 100% on, as SITTERS in my view (and that of Chambers) are easy shots such as open goals in football, i.e. something that requires an offensive action. I’m not convinced that the word extends to ball games that involve catching, e.g. fly balls in baseball or in cricket. I don’t know, maybe Bumble said it once.
[EDIT: My Oxford expands on Chambers, defining a sitter as an easy shot or catch. Thanks to all the commenters below for baring their souls. 😀 For the record, I have all the hand-eye coordination of Captain Hook on a trampoline. – LP]

  1. Monkey’s mistake (6)

Answer: HOWLER. Solution satisfies “monkey”, specifically one found in South America, and “mistake”. Chalk one to my Bradford’s.

  1. Perhaps Higgs’ two children, one missing a sex chromosome (5)

Answer: BOSON (i.e. “perhaps Higgs’” – referring to the Higgs Boson, sometimes referred to as “the God particle”). Solution is BOY and SON (i.e. “two children”) with the Y removed (indicated by “one missing a sex chromosome”).

  1. Assume visitors are short of time (5)

Answer: GUESS (i.e. “assume”). Solution is GUESTS (i.e. “visitors”) once the T has been removed (indicated by “short of time” – T being a recognised abbreviation of “time”).

  1. Someone other than me, as it were, educated here? (3)

Answer: UNI (i.e. “educated here”, a shortened form of “university”). When read as UN-I the solution also satisfies “someone other than me, as it were”, UN- being a prefix denoting “not”. Not-I, un-I, you get the I-dea.

No musical accompaniment this week as proper live footie had returned. (Cue single firework.) Any other neutrals losing interest? It’s weird, as it’s one of the most open seasons for years and yet… meh. The lack of crowd, the lack of atmosphere, the surfeit of mostly dull matches, the recent interruptions through Covid, the FA Cup (and Amazon)… it’s hard to care any more. My Fantasy team has still got Bruce Grobbelaar in goal, it hasn’t been checked for so long. Weird. Anyway, TTFN! – LP

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1478

A medium strength puzzle this week, though you’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise looking at some of the solutions on show. A good deal of the exotics were gettable, thankfully, with some relatively straightforward clueing (and a decent thumbing of reference books). All in all, a decent one.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a recent Jumbo has you stumped, you might find relief in my Just For Fun page, where you’ll find links to solutions for the last 100+ of these things. There’s also the usual dusty old book reviews and a story of mine.

Till next time, stay safe, stay in, turn the heating up and keep the flag flying for the NHS and key workers everywhere. If this Covid keeps up we’ll be gaffer-taping the door seals.

LP

Across clues

  1. Abolish hotel by river where people go to eat (9)

Answer: CHOPHOUSE (i.e. “where people go to eat”). Solution is CHOP (i.e. “abolish”) followed by H (“hotel” in the phonetic alphabet) and OUSE (i.e. a “river”).

  1. Mineral from drinking goblet, not one put on back of lorry (10)

Answer: CHALCEDONY (i.e. “mineral”). Solution is CHALICE (i.e. “drinking goblet”) with the I removed (indicated by “not [Roman numeral] one”) and the remainder followed by DON (i.e. “put on”) and Y (i.e. “back of lorry”, i.e. the last letter of “lorry”), like so: CHALCE-DON-Y. One gotten mostly through the wordplay.

  1. Notorious gangster’s problem casing Yankee plant (7)

Answer: ALYSSUM (i.e. “plant”). Solution is AL’S SUM (i.e. “notorious gangster’s problem” – AL being Al Capone, and SUM being “a problem in addition, or in arithmetic generally” (Chambers)) wrapped around or “carrying” Y (“Yankee” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: AL(Y)’S-SUM.

  1. Quirky fellow ringing about money (9)

Answer: ECCENTRIC (i.e. “quirky”). Solution is ERIC (i.e. “fellow”, basically a man’s name) wrapped around or “ringing” C (i.e. “about”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “circa”) and CENT (i.e. “money”), like so: E(C-CENT)RIC.

  1. Absolutely what an author would do for listeners (5)

Answer: RIGHT (i.e. “absolutely” – both can be used to express agreement). “For listeners” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of WRITE (i.e. “what an author would do”).

  1. Bug eerie E Sussex town picked up (6-6)

Answer: CREEPY-CRAWLY (i.e. “bug”). Solution is CREEPY (i.e. “eerie”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “picked up”) of CRAWLEY (i.e. “E Sussex town”).

  1. Girl Ted clobbered with whip: it prevents stock going missing! (6-4)

Answer: CATTLE-GRID (i.e. “it prevents [live]stock going missing”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “clobbered”) of GIRL TED placed after or “with” CAT (i.e. “whip”, specifically a cat-o-nine-tails), like so: CAT-TLEGRID.

  1. Tree left by old poet in my part of London (8,6)

Answer: LOMBARDY POPLAR (i.e. “tree”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) followed by O (ditto “old”), then BARD (i.e. “poet”) once placed “in” MY. The whole is then followed by POPLAR (i.e. “part of London”), like so: L-O-M(BARD)Y-POPLAR.

  1. Absent-minded detective’s distinguishing feature (8)

Answer: DISTRAIT (i.e. “absent-minded”). Solution is DI’S (i.e. “detective’s”, specifically a Detective Inspector) followed by TRAIT (i.e. “distinguishing feature”).

  1. Powder used in hospital (Cumbrian) (6)

Answer: TALCUM (i.e. “powder”). “In” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: HOSPI(TAL CUM)BRIAN.

  1. Her music so confused some of the singers (10)

Answer: SEMICHORUS (i.e. “some of the singers”). “Confused” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HER MUSIC SO.
[EDIT – Thanks to several commenters for flagging a typo in this one. I’d written SEMICHORAL for some reason. Cheers, all! – LP]

  1. Notice girl dropping by spontaneously (2,3)

Answer: AD-LIB (i.e. “spontaneously”). Solution is AD (i.e. “notice”, i.e. a shortened form of “advertisement”) followed by LIBBY (i.e. “girl”, basically a girl’s name) once the BY has been removed (indicated by “dropping by”).

  1. Bloomin’ tailless fish! (4)

Answer: RUDD (i.e. “fish”). Solution is RUDDY (i.e. “bloomin’”, both minor oaths) with its last letter removed (indicated by “tailless”).

  1. Agreement worker associated with enchanting female group (8)

Answer: COVENANT (i.e. “agreement”). Solution is ANT (i.e. “worker”) placed after or “with” COVEN (i.e. “enchanting female group”), like so: COVEN-ANT.

  1. People engaged by board, not impossible to find (9)

Answer: TRACEABLE (i.e. “not impossible to find”). Solution is RACE (i.e. “people”) placed in or “engaged by” TABLE (i.e. “board”, the table company bigwigs sit around), like so: T(RACE)ABLE.

  1. Silver-tongued Conservative leaving badly organised public sale (9)

Answer: PLAUSIBLE (i.e. “silver-tongued”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “badly organised”) of PUBLIC SALE once the C has been removed (indicated by “Conservative leaving” – C being a recognised abbreviation of “Conservative”).

  1. Free novel initially enjoyed by fashionable young man (8)

Answer: BUCKSHEE (i.e. “free” or gratuitous). Solution is SHE (i.e. “novel” by H. Rider Haggard) and E (i.e. “initially enjoyed”, i.e. the first letter of “enjoyed”) both placed after or “by” BUCK (i.e. “fashionable young man”), like so: BUCK-SHE-E.

  1. Actors in musical with Eliot in a spin (4)

Answer: CAST (i.e. “actors”). Solution is CATS (i.e. “musical”) with the TS (i.e. “Eliot”, the poet) reversed (indicated by “in a spin”), like so: CA(TS) => CA(ST).

  1. Cricket side everyone backs, it’s plain (5)

Answer: LLANO (i.e. South American “plain”). Solution is ON (i.e. “cricket side”, sometimes called leg side) and ALL (i.e. “everyone”) all reversed (indicated by “backs”), like so: LLA-NO.

  1. Enclosure ultimately very analytic, not in papal letter (10)

Answer: ENCYCLICAL (i.e. “papal letter” sent by the Pope to all his bishops). Solution is ENC (a recognised abbreviation of “enclosure” used in formal correspondence) followed by Y (i.e. “ultimately very”, i.e. the last letter of “very”) and CLINICAL (i.e. “analytic”) with the IN removed (indicated by “not in”), like so: ENC-Y-CLICAL.

  1. Muslim official once – namely one employed by Queen (6)

Answer: VIZIER (i.e. “Muslim official once”). Solution is VIZ (i.e. “namely”, a shortened form of the Latin videlicet) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and ER (i.e. “Queen”, specifically Elizabeth Regina).

  1. Vehicles carrying lean Spanish monarchists (8)

Answer: CARLISTS (i.e. “Spanish monarchists”). Solution is CARS (i.e. “vehicles”) wrapped around or “carrying” LIST (i.e. “lean”), like so: CAR(LIST)S.

  1. S Atlantic islands transformed by Canadian with thrust (7,2,5)

Answer: TRISTAN DA CUNHA (i.e. “S Atlantic islands”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “transformed”) of CANADIAN and THRUST.

  1. Naval officer unexpectedly hid maps in entrance to mess (10)

Answer: MIDSHIPMAN (i.e. “naval officer”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “unexpectedly”) of HID MAPS IN and M (i.e. “entrance to mess”, i.e. the first letter of “mess”).
Pro tip: setters sometimes like to refer to EASY as “midshipman”, after the 1836 novel Mr Midshipman Easy by Frederick Marryat, which we have obviously all read.

  1. Singer or priest turning over unfinished sculpture (5-7)

Answer: BASSO-RELIEVO (i.e. “sculpture”, also known as a bas-relief). Solution is BASS (i.e. “singer”) followed by OR, then ELI (i.e. “priest” – a favourite wordplay of several setters) and OVER once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “unfinished”) and the remainder reversed (indicated by “turning”), like so: BASS-OR-ELI-EVO.

  1. Container brought back by soldiers for gunpowder constituent (5)

Answer: NITRE (i.e. “gunpowder constituent”). Solution is TIN (i.e. “container”) reversed (indicated by “brought back”) and followed by RE (i.e. “soldiers”, specifically the Royal Engineers of the British Army), like so: NIT-RE.

  1. Adverse info about old times dishonestly come by (3-6)

Answer: ILL-GOTTEN (i.e. “dishonestly come by”). Solution is ILL (i.e. “adverse”) followed by GEN (i.e. “info”) once wrapped “about” O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and TT (i.e. “times” – T is a recognised abbreviation of “time”, two Ts gets you “times”), like so: ILL-G(O-TT)EN.

  1. Weighty matter party goes over after all the others (7)

Answer: BALLAST (i.e. “weighty matter”). Solution is LAB (i.e. “party”, specifically a shortened form of the Labour Party) reversed (indicated by “goes over”) and followed by LAST (i.e. “after all the others”), like so: BAL-LAST.

  1. European left visitor briefly in posh quarter (10)

Answer: PORTUGUESE (i.e. “European”). Solution is PORT (i.e. “left” side of a ship) followed by GUEST (i.e. “visitor”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “briefly”) and the remainder placed between U (a recognised abbreviation of the upper class, or “posh” lot) and E (i.e. one “quarter” of a compass, being a recognised abbreviation of “east”), like so: PORT-U-(GUES)-E.

  1. Roofing requirement I’d obtain in anger (5,4)

Answer: RIDGE TILE (i.e. “roofing requirement”). Solution is I’D and GET (i.e. “obtain”) both placed “in” RILE (i.e. “anger”), like so: R(I’D-GET)ILE.

Down clues

  1. Wife leaves old Welsh county, going over English river (5)

Answer: CLYDE (i.e. “river”). Solution is CLWYD (i.e. “old Welsh county”) with the W removed (indicated by “wife leaves” – W being a recognised abbreviation of “wife”) and the remainder followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”), like so: CLYD-E.

  1. Old French art work capturing witch’s gullet (10)

Answer: OESOPHAGUS (i.e. “gullet”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) followed by ES (i.e. “French art” – we’ve seen this one recently, being the French for “are”, or “art” in ye olde times), then OPUS (i.e. “work”) once wrapped around or “capturing” HAG (i.e. “witch”), like so: O-ES-OP(HAG)US.

  1. Murderer – one detectives found in private residence (8)

Answer: HOMICIDE (i.e. “murderer” – can refer to the criminal as well as the crime). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and CID (i.e. “detectives”, specifically the Criminal Investigation Department) both placed “in” HOME (i.e. “private residence”), like so: HOM(I-CID)E.

  1. Schedule mainly involves this group of Muslim scholars (5)

Answer: ULEMA (i.e. “group of Muslim scholars”). “Involves” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: SCHED(ULE MA)INLY.

  1. Oil producers having typical ground south of Brussels (9)

Answer: EUCALYPTI (i.e. “oil producers”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “ground”) of TYPICAL placed after or “south of” – this being a down clue – EU (i.e. “Brussels”, seat of the European Union), like so: EU-CALYPTI.

  1. Attorney leaves Commonwealth country for scene of marriage feast (4)

Answer: CANA (i.e. “scene of marriage feast” at which Jesus was said to have turned water into wine). Solution is CANADA (i.e. “Commonwealth country”) with the DA removed (indicated by “attorney leaves” – DA being a District Attorney).

  1. Abroad securing Irish transport route (6)

Answer: AIRWAY (i.e. “transport route”). Solution is AWAY (i.e. “abroad”) wrapped around or “securing” IR (a recognised abbreviation of “Irish”), like so: A(IR)WAY.

  1. Publican aid’s creating agitation in Manhattan? (8,6)

Answer: COCKTAIL SHAKER (i.e. “publican’s aid”). Clue plays on Manhattan being a cocktail. You get the idea.

  1. Extremely weird new retreat oddly, a Cumbrian lake (12)

Answer: DERWENTWATER (i.e. “a Cumbrian lake”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “oddly”) of WD (i.e. “extremely weird”, i.e. the first and last letters of “weird”) and NEW RETREAT.

  1. Rise of first-class fellow in W African republic (7)

Answer: NIGERIA (i.e. “W African republic”). Solution is AI (i.e. “first-class”, i.e. A1 with I representing the 1 – a favourite play of several setters) followed by REG (i.e. “fellow”, basically a man’s name) and IN, all reversed (indicated by “rise of” – this being a down clue), like so: NI-GER-IA.

  1. Electronic device a local court deployed, missing nothing (10)

Answer: CALCULATOR (i.e. “electronic device”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “deployed”) of A LOCAL COURT once one of the Os has been removed (indicated by “missing nothing”).

  1. Returning, amend story about book constituting navigational aid (4,5)

Answer: TIDE TABLE (i.e. “navigational aid”). Solution is EDIT (i.e. “amend”) reversed (indicated by “returning”) and followed by TALE (i.e. “story”) once wrapped “about” B (a recognised abbreviation of “book”), like so: TIDE-TA(B)LE.

  1. Pitiful way to get quote set up! (8)

Answer: PATHETIC (i.e. “pitiful”). Solution is PATH (i.e. “way”) followed by CITE (i.e. “quote”) reversed (indicated by “set up” – this being a down clue), like so: PATH-ETIC.

  1. Genial sounding, taking small drink before a production (9)

Answer: MELODRAMA (i.e. “production”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “sounding”) of MELLOW (i.e. “genial”) followed by DRAM (i.e. “small drink”) and A, like so: MELO-DRAM-A.

  1. First choice when low-value coins secure advert (10)

Answer: PREFERENCE (i.e. “first choice”). Solution is PENCE (i.e. “low value coins”) wrapped around or “securing” REFER (i.e. “advert” – a variant meaning of the word, from the Latin advertere), like so: P(REFER)ENCE.

  1. Capital invested at first in unruly kid’s discharge (10)

Answer: BRATISLAVA (i.e. “capital” of Slovakia). Solution is I (i.e. “invested at first”, i.e. the first letter of “invested”) placed “in” BRAT’S (i.e. “unruly kid’s”) and followed by LAVA (i.e. volcanic “discharge”), like so: BRAT(I)’S-LAVA.

  1. Politician, Republican, heretic – one looking after books (9)

Answer: LIBRARIAN (i.e. “one looking after books”). Solution is LIB (i.e. “politician”, specifically a shortened form of Liberal) followed by R (ditto “Republican”) and ARIAN (i.e. “heretic”, specifically a follower of Arius who believed Christ was not the son of God but the first and highest of mortals).

  1. Drink putting an end to string player’s technique (6-8)

Answer: DOUBLE-STOPPING (i.e. “string player’s technique” – a recent repeat). Solution is DOUBLE (i.e. a measure of “drink”) followed by STOPPING (i.e. “putting an end to”).

  1. A pound bill (or more, ultimately) for fish (8)

Answer: ALBACORE (i.e. “fish”). Solution is A followed by LB (a recognised abbreviation of “pound” weight, after the Latin libra), then AC (i.e. “bill”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “account”), then OR and E (i.e. “more, ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “more”).

  1. Disbelief as regarding one’s Queen visiting shelter (12)

Answer: ASTONISHMENT (i.e. “disbelief”). Solution is AS followed by ON (i.e. “regarding”), I’S (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one’s”) and HM (i.e. “Queen”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of Her Majesty) once all placed in or “visiting” TENT (i.e. “shelter”), like so: AS-T(ON-I’S-HM)ENT.

  1. Law enforcer’s plan of action endlessly upset celebrity (9)

Answer: POLICEMAN (i.e. “law enforcer”). Solution is POLICY (i.e. “plan of action”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “endlessly”) and the remainder followed by NAME (i.e. “celebrity”) once reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue), like so: POLIC-EMAN.

  1. Tat a rector recycled, making sculpture perhaps (10)

Answer: TERRACOTTA (i.e. “sculpture perhaps”). “Recycled” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TAT A RECTOR.

  1. Cull a flower, so to speak – it adds zest to the course (10)

Answer: PICCALILLI (i.e. “it adds zest to the course” or meal. Well, it would if it wasn’t always the jar left unopened from a Christmas hamper). “So to speak” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of PICK A LILY (i.e. “cull a flower” – to cull is to select or “pick” out for destruction).

  1. Fellow required in Bury right away (9)

Answer: INSTANTER (i.e. “right away” in legalese). Solution is STAN (i.e. “fellow”, basically a man’s name) placed “in” INTER (i.e. “bury” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), like so: IN(STAN)TER.

  1. Clever, accepting woman as deserving love (8)

Answer: ADORABLE (i.e. “deserving love”). Solution is ABLE (i.e. “clever”) wrapped around or “accepting” DORA (i.e. “woman” – a lot of people’s names in this one, isn’t there?), like so: A(DORA)BLE.

  1. Delivered books primarily telling of 18th-cent masquerade (7)

Answer: RIDOTTO (i.e. “18th-cent masquerade”). Solution is RID (i.e. “delivered”) followed by OT (i.e. “books”, specifically the Old Testament of The Bible) and TO (i.e. “primarily telling of”, i.e. the first letters of “telling” and “of”). One gotten from a combination of the wordplay and a decent thumbing of my Bradford’s and Chambers.

  1. Scottish magistrate, that is, propping up cricketers’ bar? (6)

Answer: BAILIE (i.e. “Scottish magistrate”). Solution is IE (i.e. “that is”, i.e. …um… “i.e.”!) placed after or “propping up” – this being a down clue – BAIL (i.e. a “cricketers’ bar” that sits atop the stumps), like so: BAIL-IE.

  1. Academics upset about conclusion of priestly council (5)

Answer: SYNOD (i.e. “council”). Solution is DONS (i.e. “academics”) reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue) and wrapped “about” Y (i.e. “conclusion of priestly”, i.e. the last letter of “priestly”), like so: S(Y)NOD.

  1. Delete Times editorial for a start (5)

Answer: ERASE (i.e. “delete”). Solution is ERAS (i.e. “times” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) followed by E (i.e. “editorial for a start”, i.e. the first letter of “editorial”).

  1. Sleep lightly, being nearly twelve (4)

Answer: DOZE (i.e. “sleep lightly”). Solution is DOZEN (i.e. “twelve”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “nearly”).

Musical accompaniment was had, what with there being no proper sport with it being FA Cup weekend. If dystopian sci-fi synthwave sounds like your thing, give Dan Terminus a whirl. Or don’t. I’m not your boss. Not yet, anyway. (Stifles villainous laughter.) – LP

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1477

A toughie to round off the festive period, and a pangram to boot. (A nod to Ong’ara for pointing this out in the past.) I’m not usually keen when setters lean on general knowledge solutions to help toughen up the puzzle, but, come on, who didn’t like ZAPHOD BEEBLEBROX? This nerd approves.

Anyway, you can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. My Just For Fun page has links to solutions for the last 100+ of these things, should a recent Jumbo have you stumped. There’s also the usual dusty old book reviews and a story of mine.

Till next time, keep safe, mask up and keep supporting the NHS and key workers everywhere. This second wave of Covid just keeps powering on, sadly. Just stay in, if you can. It’s overrated out there anyway.

LP

Across clues

  1. Old Greek image that’s sacred, commonly including Mass (7)

Answer: OLYMPIC (i.e. “old Greek”). Solution is ‘OLY PIC (i.e. “image that’s sacred, commonly”, i.e. playing on how the aitch has been dropped from HOLY) wrapped around or “including” M (a recognised abbreviation of “mass” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), like so: ‘OLY-(M)-PIC.

  1. School flag is appropriate (8)

Answer: HIGHJACK, a recognised variant of hijack (i.e. to steal or “appropriate”). Solution is HIGH (i.e. “school”) followed by JACK (i.e. “flag”).

  1. Features, something Greek might write, connected with old Balkan ruler (6)

Answer: PHIZOG (i.e. “features”, after physiognomy). Solution is PHI (i.e. “something Greek might write”, being the twenty-first letter of the Greek alphabet) followed by ZOG (i.e. “old Balkan ruler”).

  1. Thing troubling babe, soon nineteen (1,3,2,4,6)

Answer: A BEE IN ONE’S BONNET (i.e. “thing troubling”). “Troubling” also indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of BABE SOON NINETEEN.

  1. Glass that’s filled behind agent’s back (6)

Answer: BUMPER (i.e. “glass that’s filled [to the brim, for a toast]” – chalk one to by Bradford’s here: a phrase you’ll see a lot in this post). Solution is BUM (i.e. “behind”) followed by REP (i.e. “agent”) once reversed (indicated by “back”), like so: BUM-PER.

  1. Most bold in corporation – the rest falling short (8)

Answer: GUTSIEST (i.e. “most bold”). Solution is GUT (i.e. “corporation”, an archaic word for a belly, often a large one. A pet play for setters, so if you see this in a clue, think TUM or GUT) followed by SIESTA (i.e. “rest”) once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “falling short”), like so: GUT-SIEST. Nicely worked.

  1. Flier, held, fall out of cases (2,2)

Answer: EL AL (i.e. “flier”, specifically “the Israeli airline” (Chambers)). Solution is derived from HELD and FALL once the first and last letters of each word have been removed, indicated by “out of cases”. Probably not the setter’s first entry in the grid…

  1. Boasts of returning, returning to the fold (5-4)

Answer: CROWS-FOOT (i.e. “fold” in the skin around the eyes). Solution is CROWS (i.e. “boasts”) followed by OF once reversed (indicated by “returning”) and TO also reversed (also indicated by “returning”), like so: CROWS-FO-OT.

  1. Performers once cut grass on pitch in front of one (8)

Answer: CASTRATI (i.e. “performers once cut”, the like of which you shouldn’t see again given they were routinely castrated as children in order to help preserve their voices. Brian Hodge wrote an excellent story about a modern-era castrato and his patron, reprinted in Best New Horror 6, called The Alchemy of the Throat). Solution is RAT (i.e. “grass”) placed “on” or after CAST (i.e. to throw or “pitch”), both of which are then placed “in front of” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: CAST-RAT-I.

  1. Job involved keeping ointment by for particular case (8,3)

Answer: JUNCTION BOX (i.e. “case” housing electrical wires and such – there may be something clever to justify “particular”, but I’m not seeing it). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “involved”) of JOB wrapped around or “keeping” UNCTION (i.e. “ointment”) and then followed by X (i.e. “by”, i.e. the multiplication symbol), like so: J(UNCTION)BO-X.

  1. Some smelt tar derivative back in plant (3,6)

Answer: RED RATTLE (i.e. “plant”). “Some” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “back” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: SM(ELT TAR DER)IVATIVE.

  1. Special purpose yellow packs pursued (8)

Answer: TAILORED (i.e. “special purpose”). Solution is OR (i.e. “yellow” or gold in heraldry) placed in or “packing” TAILED (i.e. “pursued”), like so: TAIL(OR)ED.

  1. Ultimately, they conclude agenda with informal agreement (4)

Answer: YEAH (i.e. “informal [word of] agreement”). “Ultimately” indicates the solution is derived from the final letters of “theY concludE agendA witH“.

  1. A travel writer holding talk at house, fearing to leave it? (11)

Answer: AGORAPHOBIC (i.e. “house, fearing to leave it”). Solution is A, GO (i.e. “travel”) and BIC (i.e. “writer”, as in a Bic biro) wrapped around or “holding” RAP (i.e. “talk”) and HO (a recognised abbreviation of “house”), like so: A-GO-(RAP-HO)-BIC.

  1. Footwear sellers paid to diversify (11)

Answer: ESPADRILLES (i.e. “footwear”). “To diversify” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SELLERS PAID.

  1. One putting down a grand on a flat? On the contrary (5,6)

Answer: PIANO PLAYER. “On the contrary” asks you to swap words in the first half of the clue, i.e. “one putting down ‘A flat’ on a grand”, which gets you the solution. Clue also plays on PIANO LAYER (i.e. “one putting down a grand”), and probably something else I’m not twigging to net you the P in between the words, but you get the idea.

  1. Allowed only famous poem – and one leading up to it (11)

Answer: JUSTIFIABLE (i.e. “allowed”). Solution is JUST (i.e. “only”) followed by IF (i.e. “famous poem” by Rudyard Kipling), then I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and ABLE (i.e. “up to it”).

  1. House that had a rose bowl (4)

Answer: YORK. Solution satisfies “house that had a rose” – referring to the House of York, one half of the War of the Roses – and “bowl”, as in to bowl a yorker in cricket – a delivery aimed at the crease.

  1. Old chief investigator hesitates: he’s backtracking (8)

Answer: TECUMSEH (i.e. “old chief”, specifically a Native American leader from the nineteenth century). Solution is TEC (i.e. “investigator”, shortened form of “detective”) followed by UMS (i.e. “hesitates”) and HE once reversed (indicated by “backtracking”), like so: TEC-UMS-EH. One gotten from the wordplay if I’m honest.

  1. Needing a cut of beef to be picked up after deliveries (9)

Answer: OVERGROWN (i.e. “needing a cut”, a bit like my lockdown barnet). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “picked up”) of GROAN (i.e. “beef” or complaint) placed “after” OVER (i.e. a series of six regulation “deliveries” in cricket), like so: OVER-GROWN.

  1. Small section of block crossed by a gaoler waving a bunch of keys? (11)

Answer: ARCHIPELAGO (i.e. “keys” or group of islands). Solution is CHIP (i.e. “small section of block”) placed in or “crossed by” an anagram (indicated by “waving”) of A GAOLER, like so: AR(CHIP)ELAGO. A recent repeat, but this one is very nicely done.

  1. Recalling who the sunglasses belong to…? (6,2)

Answer: SHADES OF. Solution satisfies “recalling” and “who the sunglasses belong to”.

  1. Watchful dog with no tail you once had (5-4)

Answer: SHARP-EYED (i.e. “watchful”). Solution is SHAR-PEI (i.e. breed of “dog” – score another to my Bradford’s here) with it’s last letter removed (indicated by “with no tail”) and the remainder followed by YE’D (i.e. “you once had” – a contraction of ye-olde “you” (indicated by “once”) and “had”), like so: SHAR-PE-(YE’D).

  1. Take in cable, with height not constant (4)

Answer: HOAX (i.e. “take in”). Solution is COAX (shortened form of “coaxial cable”) with the C swapped for an H (indicated by “height not constant” – H being a recognised abbreviation of “height”, ditto C “constant”), like so: (C)OAX => (H)OAX.

  1. Long running drama, Farewell Monsieur, is back (8)

Answer: MARATHON (i.e. “long running”). Solution is NOH (i.e. Japanese “drama”), followed by TARA (i.e. “farewell”) and M (a recognised abbreviation of “Monsieur”). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “is back”), like so: M-ARAT-HON.

  1. Stateswoman we’d understand an important member of the opposition? (6)

Answer: Maria Corazon Cojuangco AQUINO, former president of the Philippines (i.e. “stateswoman”). “We understand” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of A KEY NO (i.e. “an important member of the opposition”).

  1. Dedication ends with shoe-leather being badly worn (16)

Answer: WHOLEHEARTEDNESS (i.e. “dedication”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “being badly worn”) of ENDS, W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”) and SHOE-LEATHER.

  1. On return, prepared bread and port (6)

Answer: NANTES (i.e. “port”). Solution is SET (i.e. “prepared”) and NAN (i.e. “bread” – a variant spelling of naan) all reversed (indicated by “on return”), like so: NAN-TES.

  1. Cannon once essential, note, for securing back of line (8)

Answer: AMUSETTE (i.e. “cannon once”, a light field gun used in the 18th century – another win for the Bradford’s). Solution is A MUST (i.e. “essential”) and TE (i.e. “note” in the doh-ray-me way) wrapped around or “securing” E (i.e. “back of line”, i.e. the last letter of “line”), like so: A-MUS(E)T-TE.

  1. Story about a doctor turned railway worker (7)

Answer: YARDMAN (i.e. “railway worker”). Solution is YARN (i.e. “story”) wrapped “about” A and MD (i.e. “doctor”, specifically a Doctor of Medicine or Medicinae Doctor) once reversed (indicated by “turned”), like so: YAR(DM-A)N.

Down clues

  1. Zero scope for movement – and hence a squash? (6)

Answer: ORANGE (i.e. “a squash”). Solution is O (i.e. “zero”) followed by RANGE (i.e. “scope for movement”).

  1. Possibly miss last part of comedy screened? Not the last (6)

Answer: YVETTE (i.e. “possibly miss”, basically a woman’s name). Solution is Y (i.e. “last part of comedy”) followed by VETTED (i.e. “screened”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “not the last”), like so: Y-VETTE.

  1. Particular sort of beer, right to give to a new mum (9)

Answer: PRIMIPARA (i.e. “new mum”). Solution is PRIM (i.e. “particular”) followed by IPA (i.e. “sort of beer”, specifically Indian Pale Ale), then R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”) and A. Another nod to Bradford’s here. Cool word. I like it.

  1. Embroidery done a certain way, given the needle’s very small one (5-6)

Answer: CROSS-STITCH (i.e. “embroidery done a certain way”). Solution is CROSS (i.e. “given the needle”), followed by ‘S (the contraction of “is” after “needle”) and TITCH (i.e. “very small one”), like so: CROSS-‘S-TITCH.

  1. Humble clerk has energy, bursting with it (4)

Answer: Uriah HEEP, “humble clerk” from Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield. Solution is HEP (i.e. cool or “with it”) wrapped around or being “burst” by E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”), like so: HE(E)P.

  1. Trap the lot with one’s sudden movement – then lose it (2,9)

Answer: GO BALLISTIC (i.e. “lose it”). Solution is GOB (i.e. “trap”, both slang words for mouth) followed by ALL (i.e. “the lot”), then I’S (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one’s”) and TIC (i.e. “sudden movement”).

  1. Nice jug Jules smashed, spilling son’s liquor (6,5)

Answer: JUNGLE JUICE (i.e. slang for strong, poor-quality “liquor”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “smashed”) of NICE JUG JULES once the S has been removed (indicated by “spilling son” – S being a recognised abbreviation of “son”).

  1. Faith, involving short display of emotion, getting stronger (9)

Answer: CRESCENDO (i.e. “getting stronger” in musical lingo). Solution is CREDO (i.e. “faith”) wrapped around or “involving” SCENE (i.e. “display of emotion”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “short”), like so: CRE(SCEN)DO.

  1. London area head office not dragging its feet? (8)

Answer: HOUNSLOW (i.e. “London area”). Solution is HO (a recognised abbreviation of “head office”) followed by UNSLOW (i.e. “not dragging its feet” – the riddly question mark acknowledges this isn’t exactly a word you’re going to find in the dictionary).

  1. Unknown, he boxed probable criminal in double-header on radio show (6,10)

Answer: ZAPHOD BEEBLEBROX (i.e. “double-header on radio show”, referring to a character in Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy who had two heads). Solution is Z (i.e. “unknown” – setters love referring to X, Y or Z as “unknowns” in their clues) followed by an anagram (indicated by “criminal”) of HE BOXED PROBABLE. Proof positive that any puzzle can be immediately improved with a spot of Douglas Adams. Except for Sudoku, perhaps. They have enough 42s already.

  1. Fabric made of net: good strong thing all round (4-3)

Answer: GORE-TEX (i.e. “fabric”). Solution is RETE (i.e. “net”, often a network of blood vessels or nerves) with G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) and OX (i.e. “strong thing”) placed “all round” it, like so: G-O(RETE)X.

  1. Nanny’s tender way under attack by chap (8)

Answer: GOATHERD (i.e. “nanny’s tender”, as in one who tends goats). Solution is RD (a recognised abbreviation of “road”) placed at the end of or “under” – this being a down clue – GO AT (i.e. “attack”) and HE (i.e. “chap”), like so: (GO-AT-HE)-RD.

  1. Job where each apparently has his own assistant? (8)

Answer: PAPERBOY (i.e. “job”). When written as PA PER BOY the remainder of the clue satisfies “where each apparently has his own assistant”, as in each paperboy having his own Personal Assistant. I rather liked this one.

  1. Put on early pressure to work at gathering harvest (8)

Answer: PREAPPLY (i.e. “put on early”, like an undercoat of paint). Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “pressure”) and PLY (i.e. “to work at”) wrapped around or “gathering” REAP (i.e. to “harvest”), like so: P-(REAP)-PLY.

  1. Lines of John’s, eg, radio announcer fluffed (3,2,1,7,3)

Answer: ODE ON A GRECIAN URN (i.e. “lines of John” Keats. Romantic poets would write odes to their big toes given half a chance. O vital member of flesh and bone; giver of balance, prey of bedposts, the unholed socks doth fear you; So wiggle on, my porcine general! Hold firm thine aegis of keratin, thine hangnail lance, and let not the market take you… I’ll accept my laureateship now, thanks). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “fluffed”) of EG RADIO ANNOUNCER.

  1. Is like Jack early in fairytale, on hearing people out (3-5)

Answer: HAS-BEENS (i.e. “people out”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “on hearing”) of HAS BEANS, rather “like Jack early in fairytale”, specifically Jack and the Beanstalk.

  1. Website inviting knowledgeable improvements, primarily? (4)

Answer: WIKI. “Primarily” indicates the solution is derived from the initial letters of Website Inviting Knowledgeable Improvements. Wikis are community-editable knowledgebases, which the clue sums up rather well. Very nicely done.

  1. Headless giant is very curious (4)

Answer: AGOG (i.e. “very curious” – not sure this equates to “excited eagerness” (Chambers), so I might not have this right). My solution for what it’s worth is MAGOG (i.e. “giant” who, with Gog, were “the last two survivors of a mythical race of giants inhabiting ancient Britain” (Chambers)) with its initial letter removed (indicated by “headless”).

  1. History exam as teacher’s responsibility? (8)

Answer: PASTORAL (i.e. “teacher’s responsibility” – over to Chambers again, one definition of the solution is “relating to care and advice given by teachers to pupils beyond the basic teaching of the subject”). Solution is PAST (i.e. “history”) followed by ORAL (i.e. “exam”).

  1. Prince of Wales theatre’s latest, fittingly, coming up: playing regularly (8)

Answer: LLEWELYN ap Gruffudd or Llewelyn the Last (i.e. “Prince of Wales” during the 13th century). Solution is E (i.e. “theatre’s latest”, i.e. the last letter of “theatre”) and WELL (i.e. “fittingly”) both reversed (indicated by “coming up” – this being a down clue) and followed by LYN (i.e. “playing regularly”, i.e. every other letter of PLAYING), like so: (LLEW-E)-LYN.

  1. Spurs lose: I start to hear delirious Reds fans (11)

Answer: RUSSOPHILES (i.e. “Reds fans” or people who rather like Russia, its people, its culture etc). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “delirious”) of SPURS LOSE I and H (i.e. “start to hear”, i.e. the first letter of “hear”).

  1. What stops kid, a page, taking headpiece for old king (11)

Answer: JEHOSHAPHAT (i.e. “old king” fond of jumpin’, as some rootin’ tootin’ cartoon gunmen might claim). Solution is EH (i.e. “what” as in Eh? What? Pardon?) placed in or “stopping” JOSH (i.e. to joke or “kid”) and followed by A, then P (a recognised abbreviation of “page”), then HAT (i.e. “headpiece”), like so: J(EH)OSH-A-P-HAT. Another win for the Bradford’s!

  1. Popular lament about a new style, periodically so lacking grace (11)

Answer: INELEGANTLY (i.e. “lacking grace”). Solution is IN (i.e. “popular”) followed by ELEGY (i.e. “lament”) once wrapped “about” A, N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”) and TL (i.e. “style, periodically”, i.e. every other letter of STYLE), like so: IN-ELEG(A-N-TL)Y.

  1. Thousandth employee to come across opposition in the workplace? (2,3,4)

Answer: US AND THEM (i.e. “opposition in the workplace”). “To come across” indicates the solution has been hidden or wrapped into the clue, like so: THO(USANDTH EM)PLOYEE.

  1. Game with ring and rubber duck (9)

Answer: GOOSANDER (i.e. “duck” – another nod to my Bradford’s here). Solution is GO (i.e. “go”) followed by O (i.e. “ring”) and SANDER (i.e. “rubber” as in something that rubs).

  1. Ten exercises brought in for a small sum (8)

Answer: SIXPENCE (i.e. “small sum”). Solution is X (i.e. “[Roman numeral] ten”) and PE (i.e. “exercises”, specifically Physical Education) both placed “in” SINCE (i.e. “for”, as in for the last however-long), like so: SI(X-PE)NCE.

  1. Don’t put an X rating on the spot (7)

Answer: ABSTAIN (i.e. “don’t put an X”, i.e. refrain from voting). Solution is AB (i.e. “rating” given to Able-Bodied seamen) followed by STAIN (i.e. “spot”).

  1. Being collected from public house, left meeting (6)

Answer: PHLEGM (i.e. “being collected”, as opposed to a big grolly). Solution is PH (a recognised abbreviation of “public house”) followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) and EGM (i.e. “meeting”, specifically an Extraordinary General Meeting).

  1. Concert with possible Oxbridge dons – not outside (6)

Answer: UNISON (i.e. working in “concert”). Solution is UNIS (i.e. “possible Oxbridge”, in how the word is a contraction Oxford and Cambridge Universities) followed by ON (i.e. “dons – not outside”, i.e. the word “dons” with its first and last letters removed), like so: UNIS-ON.

  1. Fail to apply for audition, and flourish (4)

Answer: WAVE (i.e. “flourish” – another nod to Bradford’s as I couldn’t make the connection). “For audition” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of WAIVE (i.e. “fail to apply”, as in waiving one’s right to something).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1476

Happy New Year! Pinch, punch and all that. The Jumbos are coming thick and fast, aren’t they? Another medium strength puzzle, but at least it was another with a decent dollop of well worked clues. Stinker tomorrow, anyone?

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If you’ve come a cropper against a previous Jumbo then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions for the last 100+ of these things plus a recent one-off post covering the very first Jumbo Cryptic. There are also the usual dusty old book reviews and a story of mine.

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

LP


With thanks to Noel in the comments for his correction to 33a. Cheers, Noel! – LP

Across clues

  1. Parody lacking singular finish (3,2)

Answer: END UP (i.e. “finish”). Solution is SEND-UP (i.e. “parody”) with the S removed or “lacking” – S being a recognised abbreviation of “singular”.

  1. Website comment on committee that might be a load of manure? (7)

Answer: COMPOST (i.e. “manure”). Solution is POST (i.e. “website comment”) placed “on” or after COM (a recognised abbreviation of “committee”), like so: COM-POST.

  1. Information document supports keeping performers happy at the outset (9)

Answer: FACTSHEET (i.e. “information document”). Solution is FEET (i.e. “supports”) wrapped around or “keeping” ACTS (i.e. “performers”) and H (i.e. “happy at the outset”, i.e. the first letter of “happy”), like so: F(ACTS-H)EET.

  1. Delay lunches consumed by sailors (9)

Answer: TARDINESS (i.e. “delay”). Solution is DINES (i.e. “lunches”) placed in or “consumed by” TARS (i.e. “sailors”), like so: TAR(DINES)S.

  1. Channels carrying light-hearted reminder for farm output? (5,8)

Answer: DAIRY PRODUCTS (i.e. “farm output”). Solution is DUCTS (i.e. “channels”) wrapped around or “carrying” AIRY (i.e. “light-hearted”) and PROD (i.e. “reminder”), like so: D(AIRY-PROD)UCTS.

  1. A saint will protect Biblical leader in onslaught (7)

Answer: ASSAULT (i.e. “onslaught”). Solution is A followed by ST (a recognised abbreviation of “saint”) once wrapped around or “protecting” SAUL (i.e. “Biblical leader”), like so: A-S(SAUL)T.

  1. Someone disinclined to speak for us produces uproar (7)

Answer: CLAMOUR (i.e. “uproar”). Solution is CLAM (i.e. “someone disinclined to speak”) followed by OUR (i.e. “for us”).

  1. Armed forces I landed within target making return trip (7)

Answer: MILITIA (i.e. “armed forces”). Solution is I and LIT (i.e. “landed”) both placed “within” AIM (i.e. “target”) once reversed (indicated by “making return trip”), like so: M(I-LIT)IA.

  1. Program misled graduates about conceptual numerical discipline (7,11)

Answer: APPLIED MATHEMATICS (i.e. “numerical discipline”). Solution is APP (i.e. “program”) followed by LIED (i.e. “misled”) and MAS (i.e. “graduates”, specifically Masters of Art) once wrapped “about” THEMATIC (i.e. “conceptual”), like so: APP-LIED-MA(THEMATIC)S.

  1. A regular selection of bread in a position to rise? (4)

Answer: ABED (i.e. “in a position to rise”). Solution is A followed by BED (i.e. “regular selection of bread”, i.e. every other letter of BREAD).

  1. Arrogance takes a tumble where putdowns occur? (9)

Answer: AIRSTRIPS (i.e. “where putdowns occur”). Solution is AIRS (i.e. “arrogance”) followed by TRIPS (i.e. “takes a tumble”).

  1. Stipulate quantity to be eaten daily in following paleo, ultimately (6)

Answer: ORDAIN (i.e. “stipulate”). Solution is RDA (i.e. “quantity to be eaten daily”, specifically the Recommended Daily Allowance) and IN placed after or “following” O (i.e. “paleo, ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “paleo”), like so: O-(RDA-IN).

  1. Most of France no longer accepting drink or cake (6)

Answer: GATEAU (i.e. “cake”). Solution is GAUL (i.e. “France no longer”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “most of”) and the remainder placed around or “accepting” TEA (i.e. “drink”), like so: GA(TEA)U.

  1. Famously tall building sabotaged below for a bet (5,2,5)

Answer: TOWER OF BABEL (i.e. “famously tall building”). “Sabotaged” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of BELOW FOR A BET.

  1. Part of speech in feisty urban novel (6,4)

Answer: VERBAL NOUN (i.e. “part of speech”). “Feisty” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of URBAN NOVEL.

  1. Retriever retriever? (3-7)

Answer: DOG-FANCIER. I guess the setter is playing on one definition of “fancy”, that being the “faculty of the mind by which it recalls, represents or conjures up past images or impressions” (Chambers) and a retriever also being a kind of dog. Can’t say I was overly keen on this one.
[EDIT: Thanks to Noel in the comments for the swift correction. Solution is DOG-CATCHER, which is a much better fit, given how they retrieve dogs n’ all. Cheers, Noel! – LP]

  1. Group starts to examine rough shape of course – it’s monstrous (12)

Answer: BANDERSNATCH (i.e. “it’s monstrous”). Solution is BAND (i.e. “group”) followed by ERS (i.e. “starts to examine rough shape”, i.e. the first letters of “examine”, “rough” and “shape”) and NATCH (i.e. “of course”, a slang form or “naturally”).

  1. Fixer essential to renovate the room (6)

Answer: TETHER (i.e. “fixer”). “Essential” indicates the solution has been hidden or forms an essence of the clue, like so: RENOVA(TE THE R)OOM.

  1. Piece of music: performing in it will get cheers (6)

Answer: SONATA (i.e. “piece of music”). Solution is ON (i.e. “performing”) placed “in” SA (i.e. “it”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of Sex Appeal I’ve never seen used outside of cryptic crosswords) and the whole then followed by TA (i.e. “cheers”), like so: S(ON)A-TA.

  1. Animator working with first of animations one’s loved (9)

Answer: INAMORATA (i.e. “one’s loved”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “working”) of ANIMATOR followed by A (i.e. “first [letter] of animations”), like so: INAMORAT-A. One I remembered from a previous puzzle, if I’m honest.
[EDIT: Thanks to Noel in the comments for the typo fix. I’d gotten the M and R the wrong way around. Cheers, Noel! – LP]

  1. King removed from power, perhaps, in one-sided battle (4)

Answer: ROUT (i.e. “one-sided battle”). Not a Scooby on the rest of it, though, so watch out. The phrasing suggests adding a king to the solution gets you something meaning or equating to “power”, but, to be honest, there have been a few kings over the years and I’m not in any mood to go through them all.
[EDIT: Thanks to Sue and a number of commenters for nailing this one. I was clearly overthinking it. The solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of Rex, which is “King” in Latin) followed by OUT (i.e. “removed from power”). Cheers, all! – LP]

  1. Hold an election – keep nobleman happy with Tory? Not half (6,2,3,7)

Answer: APPEAL TO THE COUNTRY (i.e. “hold an election”). Solution is APPEAL TO THE COUNT (i.e. “keep nobleman happy”) followed by RY (i.e. “Tory? Not [first] half”).

  1. I am mostly supporting it having secured new publisher’s details (7)

Answer: IMPRINT (i.e. “publisher’s details”). Solution is I’M (a contraction of “I am”) followed by PRO (i.e. “supporting”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”), then IT once wrapped around or “securing” N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”), like so: I’M-PR-I(N)T.

  1. Bag run after start of bowling (7)

Answer: BLADDER (i.e. “bag”). Solution is LADDER (i.e. “run” in tights) placed “after” B (i.e. “start [letter] of bowling”), like so: B-LADDER.

  1. A stone may be found in untouched meadow (7)

Answer: PASTURE (i.e. “meadow”). Solution is A and ST (a recognised abbreviation of “stone”) both placed “in” PURE (i.e. “untouched”), like so: P(A-ST)URE.

  1. Sort of visiting boutiques? (5,1,7)

Answer: AFTER A FASHION. Solution satisfies “sort of” and “visiting boutiques”, presumably to try the clothes on for size before buying them cheaper online.

  1. Scrutinising reversal of cut applied to military activity (9)

Answer: EXAMINING (i.e. “scrutinising”). Solution is AXE (i.e. “cut”) “reversed” and followed by MINING (i.e. “military activity”, i.e. the laying of mines).

  1. Man one observed entering small lake in waterproof (9)

Answer: TARPAULIN (i.e. “waterproof”). Solution is PAUL (i.e “man’s” name) and I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed in or “entering” TARN (i.e. “small lake”), like so: TAR(PAUL-I)N.

  1. Intriguing people dismissing school supported by US thinker (7)

Answer: Ralph Waldo EMERSON (i.e. “US thinker”). Solution is SCHEMERS (i.e. “intriguing people”) with the SCH (a recognised abbreviation of “school”) “dismissed” and the remainder followed by ON (i.e. atop or “supported by”), like so: EMERS-ON.

  1. Observation requiring switch in direction: it’s becoming dark (5)

Answer: NIGHT (i.e. “dark”). Solution is SIGHT (i.e. “observation”) with the S swapped for N (indicated by “requiring switch in direction” – N and S being recognised abbreviations of “north” and “south”).

Down clues

  1. Outrageous wanderer avoiding run after run (11)

Answer: EXTRAVAGANT (i.e. “outrageous”). Solution is VAGRANT (i.e. “wanderer”) with the R removed (indicated by “avoiding run” – R being a recognised abbreviation of “run” used in a number of ball games) and the remainder placed “after” EXTRA (i.e. another kind of “run” awarded in cricket to penalise duff deliveries or for runs scored off the batsman’s arse), like so: EXTRA-VAGANT.

  1. Daughter and son retaining skill in sport (5)

Answer: DARTS (i.e. “sport” – very apt given the time of year!) Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”) and S (ditto “son”) wrapped around or “retaining” ART (i.e. “skill”), like so: D-(ART)-S.

  1. Standard adopted by super minister, perhaps (6,5,5)

Answer: PRIMUS INTER PARES – “first among equals” in Latin, or the unofficial big dog in a group of supposed equals. Solution is PAR (i.e. “standard”) placed in or “adopted by” an anagram (indicated by “perhaps”) of SUPER MINISTER, like so: PRIMUSINTER(PAR)ES. A “super minister” could be described thus, I guess.

  1. Made time to follow article in statement of belief (7)

Answer: CREATED (i.e. “made”). Solution is T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) placed after or “following” A (an “article”, being a word like a, an or the). These are then placed “in” CREED (i.e. “statement of belief”), like so: CRE(A-T)ED.

  1. Band, in capturing spies, engaged in disorder (9)

Answer: MUSICIANS (i.e. “band”). Solution is IN wrapped around or “capturing” CIA (i.e. “spies”, specifically the Central Intelligence Agency in the US). This is itself then placed or “engaged in” MUSS (i.e. “disorder” – think bed hair), like so: MUS(I(CIA)N)S. Took a lot longer to twig the solution than it did to parse the clue, weirdly.

  1. Drunk mostly off his noddle with a cocktail (3-9)

Answer: OLD-FASHIONED (i.e. “cocktail” over in the States). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “drunk”) of OF (i.e. “mostly off”, i.e. “off” with its last letter removed), HIS NODDLE and A.

  1. How to make Edam to order (6-4)

Answer: TAILOR-MADE (i.e. clothing made “to order”). Solution cryptically satisfies “how to make Edam”, i.e. how one could use an anagram to TAILOR the word MADE to “make Edam”.

  1. Antique article brought in for hall (5)

Answer: FOYER (i.e. “hall”). Solution is YE (i.e. “antique article”, i.e. a ye-olde form of “the” – articles being words like a, an and the) placed “in FOR”, like so: FO(YE)R.

  1. Most of ice cream’s distributed in pots (8)

Answer: CERAMICS (i.e. “pots”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “distributed”) of IC (i.e. “most of ice”, i.e. the word “ice” with its last letter removed) and CREAM’S.

  1. Second muddle in tax? (6)

Answer: SADDLE (i.e. “tax” – to saddle someone is to be a burden on them, not unlike a “tax”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “second”) followed by ADDLE (i.e. “muddle”).

  1. Times probing city board after one gets volatile (9)

Answer: EXCITABLE (i.e. “volatile”). Solution is X (i.e. “times”, as in the multiplication symbol) placed in or “probing” EC (postcode area of the “City” of London) and followed by TABLE (i.e. “board” – can refer to the table a committee sits around) once placed “after” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: E(X)C-I-TABLE.

  1. Cast with performer to get no repose (4,3,4)

Answer: TOSS AND TURN (i.e. “get no repose”). Solution is TOSS (i.e. to “cast”, say, a stone) followed by AND (i.e. “with”) and TURN (i.e. “performer”).

  1. Antique rug messy sort used to cover flex up (7)

Answer: PERIWIG (i.e. “antique rug” or toupee). Solution is PIG (i.e. “messy sort”) wrapped around or “covering” WIRE (i.e. “flex”) once reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue), like so: P(ERIW)IG.

  1. The last thanks I provide (4-3)

Answer: TAIL-END (i.e. “the last”). Solution is TA (i.e. “thanks”) followed by I and LEND (i.e. “provide”).

  1. Have suspicions about visit to help with inquiries? (4,4,8)

Answer: CALL INTO QUESTION. Solution is “have suspicions about” and, when written as CALL IN TO QUESTION, “visit to help with inquiries”.

  1. Soccer organisation about to block international, actually (2,4)

Answer: IN FACT (i.e. “actually”). Solution is FA (i.e. “soccer organisation”, specifically the Football Association) and C (i.e. “about”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “circa”) both placed in or “blocking” INT (a recognised abbreviation of “international”), like so: IN(FA-C)T.

  1. I breathe the atmosphere, climbing in peninsular region (6)

Answer: IBERIA (i.e. “peninsular region”). Solution is I, followed by BE (i.e. “breathe”. Hmm. I’m fairly certain the state of existence extends to more than just those things capable of breathing…) and AIR (i.e. “atmosphere”) once reversed (indicated by “climbing” – this being a down clue), like so: I-BE-(RIA).

  1. Excellent quality of organic compound (7)

Answer: ACETONE (i.e. “organic compound”). Solution is ACE (i.e. “excellent”) followed by TONE (i.e. “quality”).

  1. Working oven maintains temperature: so beans served? (2,5)

Answer: ON TOAST (i.e. “so beans served”). Solution is ON (i.e. “working”) and OAST (i.e. “oven” used for roasting hops or malt) wrapped around or “maintaining” T (a recognised abbreviation of “temperature”), like so: ON-(T)-OAST.

  1. Eggs overturned in cab bounce about – a dereliction of duty? (3,9)

Answer: TAX AVOIDANCE (i.e. “dereliction of duty” – duty in this case being another word for TAX). Solution is OVA (i.e. “eggs”) reversed (indicated by “overturned”) and placed “in” TAXI (i.e. “cab”) and followed by DANCE (i.e. “bounce about”), like so: TAX(AVO)I-DANCE.

  1. Resolving evidence of accident around airport building – not learner driver (11)

Answer: DETERMINANT (i.e. “resolving”). Solution is DENT (i.e. “evidence of accident”) placed “around” TERMINAL (i.e. “airport building”) once the L has been removed (indicated by “not learner driver”, after the L places slapped on their car), like so: DE(TERMINA)NT.

  1. The guy getting very into novel way with crew of substance (11)

Answer: HEAVYWEIGHT (i.e. “of substance”). Solution is HE (i.e. “the guy”) followed by V (a recognised abbreviation of “very”) once placed “into” an anagram (indicated by “novel”) of WAY and then followed by EIGHT (i.e. boating “crew”), like so: HE-A(V)YW-EIGHT.

  1. Looking sickly, swallowing up one vital new painkiller (10)

Answer: PALLIATIVE (i.e. “painkiller”). Solution is PALE (i.e. “looking sickly”) wrapped around or “swallowing up” an anagram (indicated by “new”) of I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and VITAL, like so: PAL(LIATIV)E.

  1. One praising odd power retained by head of French Resistance (9)

Answer: TRUMPETER (i.e. “one praising”). Solution is RUM (i.e. “odd”) and P (a recognised abbreviation of “power”) placed in or “retained by” TETE (i.e. “head of French”, i.e. the French for “head”) and R (a recognised abbreviation of “resistance” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), like so: T(RUM-P)ETE-R.

  1. Has new reins arranged, working together (2,7)

Answer: IN HARNESS (i.e. “working together”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “arranged”) of HAS, N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”) and REINS.

  1. Nasty, small and contemptible, requiring change of heart (8)

Answer: SPITEFUL (i.e. “nasty”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) followed by PITIFUL (i.e. “contemptible”) once the middle I has been swapped for an E (indicated by “requiring a change of heart” – I’m seldom keen when setters use hand-wavy wordplay like this), like so: S-PIT(I)FUL => S-PIT(E)FUL.

  1. US police officer acceptable to probe murderer (7)

Answer: CAPTAIN (i.e. “US police officer”). Solution is APT (i.e. “acceptable”) placed in or “probing” CAIN (i.e. Biblical “murderer”), like so: C(APT)AIN.

  1. Climbing is to go wrong on a mountain range (6)

Answer: SIERRA (i.e. “mountain range”). Solution is IS reversed (indicated by “climbing” – this being a down clue), followed by ERR (i.e. “to go wrong”) and A, like so: SI-ERR-A.

  1. Odd bits of boat found on wrong coastal feature (5)

Answer: BASIN (i.e. “coastal feature”). Solution is BA (i.e. “odd bits of boat”, i.e. every other letter of BOAT) followed by SIN (i.e. “wrong”).

  1. Being an employer, thinking to dismiss 1000 (5)

Answer: USING (i.e. “being an employer”). Solution is MUSING (i.e. “thinking”) with the M removed (indicated by “to dismiss 1000” – M being 1000 when expressed as a Roman numeral).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1475

Another medium strength puzzle for Bank Holiday Monday, but a bit more enjoyable than Boxing Day’s effort. One good thing about having several riddly clues in the line-up is that they (sometimes) don’t take long to decode, or to write up!

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. You can also find past solutions on my Just For Fun page, should a recent one have given you bother. Meanwhile there’s a bunch of book reviews and a story of mine.

Till next time, keep safe, mask up and keep supporting the NHS and key workers everywhere. And, if you are able to amid all that, have a Happy New Year!

LP

Across clues

  1. Barrel old US actress tipped over, its contents yellow (4,3)

Answer: YOLK SAC (i.e. “its contents yellow”). Solution is CASK (i.e. “barrel”) and Myrna LOY (i.e. “old US actress”) all reversed (indicated by “tipped over”), like so: YOL-KSAC.

  1. Framing judge, one is corrupt – that is shameful (9)

Answer: BAREFACED (i.e. “shameful”). Solution is REF (i.e. “judge”) and ACE (i.e. “one”) both placed in or “framed” by BAD (i.e. “corrupt”), like so: BA(REF-ACE)D.

  1. Bay tree’s part (4)

Answer: BARK. Solution satisfies “bay”, as in a mob baying for blood, and “tree’s part”.

  1. Hollywood’s production that’s moving? (6,7)

Answer: MOTION PICTURE. Clue plays on “moving” to mean in MOTION, as well as stirring emotions. You get the idea.

  1. Vandalising oil rig, mob makes mess (9)

Answer: IMBROGLIO (i.e. “mess”). “Vandalising” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of OIL RIG MOB.

  1. Resigned, he had to box with southpaw (4-6)

Answer: LEFT-HANDER (i.e. “southpaw”). Solution is LEFT (i.e. “resigned”) followed by HE’D (a contraction of “he had”) once wrapped around or “boxing” AND (i.e. “with”), like so: LEFT-H(AND)E’D.

  1. Reviewing the situation, rustling cattle? (6,5)

Answer: TAKING STOCK. Solution satisfies “reviewing the situation” and “rustling cattle”.

  1. Lecture screen behind head in classroom (5)

Answer: CHIDE (i.e. to scold or “lecture”). Solution is HIDE (i.e. to “screen”) placed after or “behind” C (i.e. “head in classroom”, i.e. the first letter of “classroom”), like so: C-HIDE.

  1. Puff of smoke dashing motorsport (4,6)

Answer: DRAG RACING (i.e. “motorsport”). Solution is DRAG (i.e. “puff of [cigarette] smoke”) followed by RACING (i.e. “dashing”).

  1. Workshop so terribly untidy, disorder is offensive initially (6)

Answer: STUDIO (i.e. “workshop”). “Initially” indicates the solution is derived from the first letters of So Terribly Untidy, Disorder Is Offensive.

  1. Getting on on a grand scale? That’s manipulation (9)

Answer: MASSAGING (i.e. “manipulation”). When read as MASS AGING the solution also satisfies “getting on on a grand scale”.

  1. Copper’s open certain bottles (5)

Answer: PENCE (i.e. “coppers”). “Bottles” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: O(PEN CE)RTAIN.

  1. Entering club, champagne primarily on order for Greek character (7)

Answer: OMICRON (i.e. “Greek character”, specifically the fifteenth letter of the Greek alphabet). Solution is C (i.e. “champagne primarily”, i.e. the first letter of “champagne”) placed in or “entering” IRON (i.e. a golf “club”). The whole is then placed “on” or after OM (i.e. “order”, specifically the Order of Merit), like so: OM-I(C)RON.

  1. Sporting club needing tutelage if hammered, fighting repercussions? (6,7)

Answer: BATTLE FATIGUE (i.e. “fighting repercussions”). Solution is BAT (i.e. “sporting club”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “hammered”) of TUTELAGE IF, like so: BAT-TLEFATIGUE.

  1. Inside tackling the enemy? (5,4)

Answer: DOING TIME (i.e. “inside” – both referring to prison terms). Solution is DOING (i.e. “tackling”) followed by TIME (i.e. “enemy”, after the phrase “time is the enemy” – we’ve seen this a few times now in these things).

  1. Forced training on a red dog (9)

Answer: DRAGOONED (i.e. “forced”). “Training” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ON A RED DOG.

  1. Current panic frequently requiring courage (5-2-3-3)

Answer: STATE-OF-THE-ART (i.e. “current”). Solution is PANIC (i.e. “state” – one definition is having “a perturbed condition of mind” (Chambers), but I’d argue it’s a stretch to equate this to “panic”) followed by OFT (i.e. “frequently”) and HEART (i.e. “courage”).

  1. Brush back (7)

Answer: SWEEPER. Solution satisfies “brush” and “back”, referring to a player’s position in a game of football.

  1. Two females securing a bundle (5)

Answer: SHEAF (i.e. “bundle”). Solution is SHE and F (i.e. “two females”, the latter a recognised abbreviation of “female”) wrapped around or “securing” A, like so: SHE-(A)-F.

  1. Tornado perhaps, spinning hole in a way (9)

Answer: AEROPLANE (i.e. “Tornado, perhaps” – other aeroplanes are available). Solution is PORE (i.e. “hole”) reversed (indicated by “spinning”) and placed “in” A LANE (i.e. “a way”), like so: A-(EROP)-LANE.

  1. Become more sympathetic, maybe, or arrogant (6)

Answer: UPPITY (i.e. “arrogant”). When read as UP PITY the solution also satisfies “become more sympathetic, maybe”.

  1. It’s very hairy stirring arsenic into some butter (7,3)

Answer: PERSIAN CAT (i.e. “it’s very hairy”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “stirring”) of ARSENIC placed “into” PAT (i.e. “some butter”), like so: P(ERSIANC)AT.

  1. Unnatural lake beyond measure, ultimately (5)

Answer: EERIE (i.e. “unnatural”). Solution is ERIE (one of the Great “Lakes” in North America) placed after or “beyond” E (i.e. “measure ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “ultimately”), like so: E-ERIE.

  1. A fruit into which bloke injected poison (5,6)

Answer: AGENT ORANGE (i.e. “poison”). Solution is A and ORANGE (i.e. “fruit”) “into which” is “injected” GENT (i.e. “bloke”), like so: A-(GENT)-ORANGE.

  1. Possible description of broken record too good for batsmen? (10)

Answer: UNPLAYABLE. Solution satisfies “possible description of broken record” and a delivery that is “too good for batsmen”.

  1. Establish controversial doctrine about university (9)

Answer: INTRODUCE (i.e. “establish”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “controversial”) of DOCTRINE wrapped “about” U (a recognised abbreviation of “university”), like so: INTROD(U)CE.

  1. How to get thousand, perhaps, for a number in the sixties (5,3,5)

Answer: TWIST AND SHOUT (i.e. “number in the sixties” by The Beatles). “How to get a thousand, perhaps” plays on how the solution is a cryptic clue in itself when written as TWIST ‘ANDSHOUT’, i.e. an anagram of “thousand”. Nicely done.

  1. Polish base for white castle? (4)

Answer: HONE (i.e. “polish”). When written as H ONE the solution also satisfies “base for white castle”, referring to the initial position of the white castle piece on a chess board, i.e. H1. Sneaky!

  1. Garden set to go to seed in residence elsewhere? (9)

Answer: ESTRANGED (i.e. “in residence elsewhere”). “To go to seed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of GARDEN SET.

  1. Having steered past it, reversal of plague made possible (7)

Answer: ENABLED (i.e. “made possible”). Solution is BANE (i.e. “plague”) “reversed” and with LED (i.e. “steered”) placed after or “past it”, like so: ENAB-LED.

Down clues

  1. All ultimately easy, so warm up for difficult trek (4)

Answer: YOMP (i.e. “difficult trek”). “All ultimately” indicates the solution is found in the last letters of easY sO warM uP.

  1. Take a chance on those stories about Tarka, say? (9)

Answer: LOTTERIES (i.e. “take a chance on those”). Solution is LIES (i.e. “stories”) wrapped “about” OTTER (i.e. “Tarka”), like so: L(OTTER)IES.

  1. Soccer game – penalty shoot-out? (4,3,4,11)

Answer: SPOT THE BALL COMPETITION. Solution satisfies “soccer game” in some newspapers where readers are invited to mark where the ball has been removed from a still from a recent footie match, and “penalty shoot-out”, playing on how the ball is placed on the penalty SPOT. Nicely done.

  1. Idea entertained by bogus composer (7)

Answer: Aaron COPLAND (i.e. “composer”). Solution is PLAN (i.e. “idea”) placed in or “entertained by” COD (i.e. “bogus”), like so: CO(PLAN)D.

  1. Withdrawal of current support by man on board (11)

Answer: BACKDRAUGHT (i.e. “withdrawal of current”). Solution is BACK (i.e. “support”) followed by DRAUGHT (i.e. playing piece or “man on board”).

  1. Stumble after a few drinks: ultimately it gets us nowhere! (5,4)

Answer: ROUND TRIP (i.e. “ultimately it gets us nowhere!”). Solution is TRIP (i.e. “stumble”) placed “after” ROUND (i.e. “a few drinks”).

  1. Flying boats (5)

Answer: FLEET. Solution satisfies rather quick or “flying”, and a bunch of “boats”.

  1. Very little change in Orpington fare? (7,4)

Answer: CHICKEN FEED (i.e. “very little change”). Solution is CHICKEN (one breed of which being “Orpington”) followed by FEED (i.e. “fare”).

  1. First-timer with sole fillet (6)

Answer: DEBONE (i.e. to “fillet”). Solution is DEB (i.e. “first-timer”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “debutante”) followed by ONE (i.e. “sole”).

  1. Each considered narration finished then? (3,4)

Answer: ALL TOLD. Solution satisfies “each considered” and “narration done”.

  1. Affordable place in Mayo, Irish county (9)

Answer: KNOCKDOWN (i.e. “affordable”). Solution is KNOCK, a village in County “Mayo”, followed by DOWN (i.e. “Irish county”).

  1. Don’t worry, the army’s safer than the navy? (5,6,6,2,3)

Answer: WORSE THINGS HAPPEN AT SEA (i.e. “don’t worry”). You get the idea. Has anyone ever been comforted by these words?!

  1. Scout’s need affected plot (4,3)

Answer: CAMP BED (i.e. “scout’s need”). Solution is CAMP (i.e. “affected”) followed by BED (i.e. garden “plot”).

  1. Measure of brightness is able to melt lead (7)

Answer: CANDELA (i.e. “measure of brightness”). Solution is CAN (i.e. “is able to”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “melt”) of LEAD, like so: CAN-DELA.

  1. Wonderful – as is martyr’s cause? (2,3,3)

Answer: TO DIE FOR. Solution satisfies “wonderful” and “martyr’s cause”.

  1. Fighters batting, cool test (8)

Answer: INFANTRY (i.e. “fighters”). Solution is IN (i.e. “batting”) followed by FAN (i.e. to “cool”) and TRY (i.e. “test”).

  1. Eaten up by Gujarati, a rice dish from India (5)

Answer: RAITA (i.e. “dish from India”). “Eaten…by” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “up” indicates the solution has been reversed – this being a down clue – like so: GUJAR(ATI A R)ICE.

  1. Suggestion people should be under arrest, finally (5)

Answer: TRACE (i.e. “suggestion”). Solution is RACE (i.e. “people”) placed after or “under” – this being a down clue – T (i.e. “arrest, finally”, i.e. the last letter of “arrest”), like so: T-RACE.

  1. Leader of girl guides, well, well, well? (7)

Answer: GUSHERS (i.e. “well, well, well” – basically a plural of “well”). Solution is G (i.e. “leader of girl”, i.e. the first letter of “girl”) followed by USHERS (i.e. “guides”).

  1. Very high mass in timber, might you say? (7)

Answer: EXTREME (i.e. “very high”). Solution is M (a recognised abbreviation of “mass”) placed “in” EX-TREE (i.e. “timber, might you say”), like so: EX-TRE(M)E.

  1. Perception in recent minds, flawed (11)

Answer: DISCERNMENT (i.e. “perception”). “Flawed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of RECENT MINDS.

  1. Free image coming up, spread around (11)

Answer: EMANCIPATED (i.e. description of someone now “free”). Solution is PIC (i.e. “image”) reversed (indicated by “coming up” – this being a down clue) and placed in or having “around” EMANATED (i.e. “spread”), like so: EMAN(CIP)ATED.

  1. Native American shelters beginning to evaporate, slightly nauseous (9)

Answer: SQUEAMISH (i.e. “slightly nauseous”). Solution is SQUAMISH (i.e. “Native American”) wrapped around or “sheltering” E (i.e. “beginning [letter] to evaporate”), like so: SQU(E)AMISH.

  1. With no love for foe, a cracking war hero? (9)

Answer: FEATURING (i.e. “with”). Solution is FE (i.e. “no love for foe”, i.e. the word “foe” with the O removed – O being “love”, a zero score in tennis) followed by A and Alan TURING (i.e. code “cracking war hero”).

  1. Someone had dessert in spring? (5,4)

Answer: APRIL FOOL. Solution satisfies “someone had (…in spring)” and “dessert in spring”, APRIL being slap bang in the middle of “spring” and a FOOL being a fruity “dessert”.

  1. Fast descending on N Lancs town (7)

Answer: PRESTON (i.e. “Lancs town”). Solution is PRESTO (i.e. “fast” in musical lingo) followed by or “descending on” – this being a down clue – N.

  1. Retain wayward English student (7)

Answer: TRAINEE (i.e. “student”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “wayward”) of RETAIN followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”), like so: TRAINE-E.

  1. Carp or meat? (6)

Answer: GROUSE. Solution satisfies to “carp”, and “meat”.

  1. Yesterday’s odds dropped before bagging ten more (5)

Answer: EXTRA (i.e. “more”). Solution is ETRA (i.e. “yesterday’s odds dropped”, i.e. every other letter of YESTERDAY) wrapped around or “bagging” X (i.e. “[Roman numeral] ten”), like so: E(X)TRA.

  1. Last to leave office: boss (4)

Answer: STUD (i.e. “boss”). Solution is STUDY (i.e. “office”) with the “last” letter removed or “leaving”.

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1474

A medium strength effort for Boxing Day, but not one that will live long in the memory. There were some good clues to be had, but as a whole it didn’t really spark with me. Shame too that the Times seems to have missed the Jumbo Cryptic’s 50th birthday. Maybe they’ll do something for the Bank Holiday special.

Anyway, you can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a previous Jumbo has done for you, then you might find succour in my Just For Fun page, where I’ve curated links to solutions for the last 100+ of these things, plus the very first Jumbo Cryptic. Meanwhile there’s the usual dusty old book reviews and a story of mine.

I hope you had a good Christmas, all considered. Till next time, stay safe, mask up and keep flying the flag for the NHS and key workers everywhere.

LP

Across clues

  1. Horrified at coming across golf cheats (6)

Answer: AGHAST (i.e. “horrified”). Solution is AT wrapped around or “coming across” G (“golf” in the phonetic alphabet) and HAS (i.e. “cheats” someone), like so: A(G-HAS)T.

  1. One with old school tie is oddly usual around Merchant Navy (7)

Answer: ALUMNUS (i.e. “one with old school tie”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “oddly”) of USUAL wrapped “round” MN (a recognised abbreviation of “Merchant Navy”), like so: ALU(MN)US.

  1. What’s dropped letters of nearly two ounces outside post office (8)

Answer: LIPOGRAM (i.e. “what’s dropped letters” – Chambers doesn’t cover this one, so over to my Oxford: “a composition from which the writer systematically omits a certain letter or certain letters of the alphabet”). The gist of this one is LI-(PO)-GRAM, with PO a recognised abbreviation of “post office” and LI being Roman numerals for 51. 51 GRAMs, meanwhile, gets you “nearly two ounces” – “nearly” could be recycled to indicate the ‘s’ gets trimmed. Too wishy-washy for me.

  1. Exploitable water initially in the centre of freezer? (9,8,4)

Answer: EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE (i.e. “exploitable water”). The remainder of the clue plays on how the “initials” EEZ form the “centre” of “frEEZer”).

  1. Choral piece has an unruly place, hard and concerning (8)

Answer: ANTIPHON (i.e. “choral piece” – a word you often see in these things). Solution is AN followed by TIP (i.e. “unruly place”), then H (a recognised abbreviation of “hard” used in pencil gradings) and ON (i.e. “concerning”).

  1. Worrying about second part of map reference (7)

Answer: EASTING (i.e. “part of map reference”, along with northing). Solution is EATING (i.e. “worrying”, as in the question “what’s eating you?”) wrapped “about” S (a recognised abbreviation of “second”), like so: EA(S)TING.

  1. Managed Dominican in an irregular order (6)

Answer: RANDOM (i.e. “in irregular order”). Solution is RAN (i.e. “managed”) followed by DOM (a recognised abbreviation of “Dominican”).

  1. Short statement is untruthful about volume, one of Aubrey’s (5,5)

Answer: BRIEF LIVES (a book or “volume” by John “Aubrey” – no, me neither). Solution is BRIEF (i.e. “short statement”) followed by LIES (i.e. “is untruthful”) once wrapped “about” V (a recognised abbreviation of “volume”), like so: BRIEF-LI(V)ES.

  1. A quiet twenty-four hours, fast from here on? (3,9)

Answer: ASH WEDNESDAY (i.e. “fast from here on” – not for us heathens, nom, nom, nom!). Solution is A followed by SH (i.e. “quiet”) and WEDNESDAY (i.e. “twenty-four hours” – other days are available).

  1. Afternoon when Pip leaves in classic novel (4)

Answer: EMMA (i.e. “classic novel”). A guess given the intersecting letters and how most setters nurse semis for Jane Austen. Not a Scooby on the rest of the clue, though, sorry.
[EDIT: Steve in the comments wins the internet this week, pointing out the clue refers to Pip Emma, signalman speak for “afternoon”. Not something listed in my reference books, but a quick Google nails it. Cheers, Steve! – LP]

  1. Short clue about mental ability is only half my exclusive idea (8) (not 7, as shown in the paper)

Answer: CLIQUISM (i.e. “exclusive idea”). Solution is CLU (i.e. “short clue”, i.e. the word “clue” with its last letter removed) wrapped “about” IQ (i.e. “mental ability”), followed by IS and M (i.e. “half my”, i.e. the first half of the word “my” – “only” seems unnecessary here), like so: CL(IQ)U-IS-M.

  1. Namely European stopping French city’s early development (8)

Answer: NASCENCY (i.e. “early development”). Solution is SC (i.e. “namely”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of the Latin “scilicet” you see some setters use) and E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”) both placed in or “stopping” NANCY (i.e. “French city”), like so: NA(SC-E)NCY.

  1. A mutiny – I’m out rioting for the destruction of defences? (12)

Answer: AUTOIMMUNITY (i.e. “destruction of defences”). “Rioting” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of A MUTINY I’M OUT.

  1. Sea bird dropping ‘em in English cutter (10)

Answer: GUILLOTINE (i.e. “cutter”). Solution is GUILLEMOT (I.e. “sea bird”) with EM removed (indicated by “dropping ‘em”) and the remainder followed by IN and E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”), like so: GUILLOT-IN-E.

  1. Loaded in goat skin, getting to run out with great speed (2,4,4)

Answer: AT FULL PELT (i.e. “with great speed”). Solution is FULL (i.e. “loaded”) placed “in” GOAT and PELT (i.e. “skin”). GO is then removed from this, indicated by “getting to run out”, leaving AT-(FULL)-PELT.

  1. Substitute for wedding where no one’s able to relax (8,4)

Answer: STANDING ROOM (i.e. “where no one’s able to relax”, as in “standing room only”). When written as STAND-IN GROOM the solution also satisfies “substitute for wedding”.

  1. Take journey, second, reportedly, to see work of art (8)

Answer: TRIPTYCH (i.e. “work of art”). Solution is TRIP (i.e. “take journey”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “reportedly”) of TICK (i.e. “second”), like so: TRIP-TYCH.

  1. Rush and short-tailed teal, perhaps tons in salt water channel (4,4)

Answer: TEAR DUCT (i.e. “salt water channel”). Solution is TEAR (i.e. “rush”) followed by DUCK (i.e. “teal, perhaps”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “short-tailed”), then T (a recognised abbreviation of “tons”), like so: TEAR-DUC-T.

  1. Nothing but shilling removed from funds (4)

Answer: PURE (i.e. “nothing but”). Solution is PURSE (i.e. “funds”) with the S removed (indicated by “shilling removed” – S being a recognised abbreviation of “shilling”).

  1. Darting bullfighter’s bolder linear moving (12)

Answer: BANDERILLERO (i.e. “darting bullfighter”). “Moving” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of BOLDER LINEAR.

  1. One predicting result after score goes badly (10)

Answer: FORECASTER (i.e. “one predicting”). “Goes badly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of AFTER SCORE.

  1. Be baffled, seeing no key on time switch (6)

Answer: TOGGLE (i.e. “switch”). Solution is BOGGLE (i.e. “be baffled”) with the B removed (indicated by “seeing no [musical] key”) and the remainder placed “on” or after T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”), like so: T-OGGLE.

  1. No more regret over needling scientist? (7)

Answer: Louis PASTEUR (i.e. “scientist” – “needling” refers to his pioneering work with vaccines). Solution is PAST (i.e. “no more”) followed by RUE (i.e. “regret”) once reversed (indicated by “over”), like so: PAST-EUR.

  1. Release relative with key in new hotel (8)

Answer: UNCLENCH (i.e. “release”). Solution is UNCLE (i.e. “relative”) followed by C (i.e. “[musical] key”) once placed between or “in” N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”) and H (“hotel” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: UNCLE-N(C)H.

  1. Reckon hotel eel pie mash awful? Local is best (6,2,5,4,4)

Answer: THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME (i.e. “local is best”). “Awful” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of RECKON HOTEL EEL PIE MASH.

  1. Ship’s rope he had succeeded getting across a river (8)

Answer: HEADSTAY (i.e. “ship’s rope” – another not listed in Chambers but covered in my Oxford). Solution is HE’D (a contraction of “he had”) and S (a recognised abbreviation of “succeeded”) wrapped around or “getting across” A and the whole then followed by TAY (i.e. “river”), like so: HE(A)’D-S-TAY.

  1. Up till now dressed in previous baby’s clothing (7)

Answer: LAYETTE (i.e. “baby’s clothing” – like ANTIPHON, this is another you often see in these things). Solution is YET (i.e. “up till now”) placed or “dressed in” LATE (i.e. “previous”), like so: LA(YET)TE.

  1. When leader’s overturned, furiously – not like this (6)

Answer: MILDLY (i.e. “furiously – not like this”). Solution is WILDLY (i.e. “furiously”) with the first letter or “leader” W flipped or “overturned” to make an M, like so: (W)ILDLY => (M)ILDLY.

Down clues

  1. Harvest area in valley (5)

Answer: GLEAN (i.e. “harvest”). Solution is A (a recognised abbreviation of “area”) placed “in” GLEN (i.e. “valley”), like so: GLE(A)N.

  1. Chap holds power over girl up in the Hebrides? (11)

Answer: ARCHIPELAGO (i.e. “the Hebrides”). Solution is ARCHIE (i.e. “chap”, basically a man’s name) wrapped around or “holding” P (a recognised abbreviation of “power”). The whole is then followed by O (a recognised abbreviation of “over” used in cricket) and GAL (i.e. “girl”) once they’ve been reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue), like so: (ARCHI(P)E)-LAG-O.

  1. Play around upper-class youngster, mostly irritably (8)

Answer: TOUCHILY (i.e. “irritably”). Solution is TOY (i.e. “play”) wrapped “around” U (a recognised abbreviation of “upper-class”) and CHILD (i.e. “youngster”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “mostly”), like so: TO(U-CHIL)Y.

  1. Foreign article about Remain (5)

Answer: ALIEN (i.e. “foreign”). Solution is AN (i.e. “article”, a word like a, an or the) wrapped “about” LIE (i.e. “remain” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), like so: A(LIE)N.

  1. Worthless exercise bar (7)

Answer: USELESS (i.e. “worthless”). Solution is USE (i.e. “exercise”) followed by LESS (i.e. “bar”, as in “everything bar the kitchen sink”).

  1. Unavoidably and as sincerely disturbed (11)

Answer: NECESSARILY (i.e. “unavoidably”). “Disturbed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of AS SINCERELY.

  1. Peninsula overthrown during sectarianism (5)

Answer: SINAI (i.e. “peninsula”). “During” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “overthrown” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: SECTAR(IANIS)M. Chalk one to my Bradford’s here. My geography ain’t all that.

  1. Grassy under tree’s shade (4,5)

Answer: LIME GREEN (i.e. “shade” or colour). Solution is GREEN (i.e. “grassy”) placed “under” – this being a down clue – LIME (i.e. “tree”).

  1. Trained horse is very good in pair (5)

Answer: PACER (i.e. “trained horse”). Solution is ACE (i.e. “very good”) placed “in” PR a recognised abbreviation of “pair”), like so: P(ACE)R.

  1. Waterproof barrier’s woven tough and denser (11)

Answer: GROUNDSHEET (i.e. “waterproof barrier”). “Woven” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TOUGH and DENSER.

  1. Growth linking Yemen’s port to most of nearby country (7)

Answer: ADENOMA (i.e. tumour-like “growth”). Solution is ADEN (i.e. “Yemen’s port”) followed by OMAN (i.e. “nearby country” to Yemen) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “most of”), like so: ADEN-OMA. Another nod to my Bradford’s.

  1. Christmas fare strange British put out (3,6)

Answer: RUM BUTTER (i.e. “Christmas fare”). Solution is RUM (i.e. “strange”) followed by B (a recognised abbreviation of “British”) and UTTER (i.e. “put out”).

  1. Bird’s very social behaviour that avoids cold (7)

Answer: VULTURE (i.e. “bird”). Solution is V (a recognised abbreviation of “very”) followed by CULTURE (i.e. “social behaviour”) once the C has been removed (indicated by “avoids cold” – C being a recognised abbreviation of “cold”), like so: V-ULTURE.

  1. Walmington-on-Sea’s finest in Minder? (4,5)

Answer: HOME FRONT (i.e. “Walmington-on-Sea’s finest” – a reference to BBC sitcom Dad’s Army). Solution is HOME (i.e. “in”) followed by GUARD (i.e. “minder” – ignore the misleading capitalisation and italics).

  1. Chick dressed in finest lingerie (8)

Answer: NESTLING (i.e. “chick”). “Dressed in” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: FI(NEST LING)ERIE.

  1. Sound work fencing position with battens in the middle (9)

Answer: QUINTETTE (i.e. “sound work” for a five-piece). Solution is QUINTE (i.e. “fencing position”) followed by TTE (i.e. “battens in the middle”, i.e. the middle letters of “baTTEns”).

  1. Meeting in study classes on a particular topic (9)

Answer: CONCOURSE (i.e. “meeting”). Solution is CON (i.e. archaic word for “study” setters love to use) followed by COURSE (i.e. “classes on a particular topic”).

  1. Engineers set up outside device for company (8)

Answer: EMPLOYER (i.e. “company”). Solution is REME (i.e. “engineers”, specifically the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) reversed (indicated by “set up” – this being a down clue) and placed “outside” of PLOY (i.e. “device”), like so: EM(PLOY)ER.

  1. One swaying and dancing dunce in Ireland (7)

Answer: INDUCER (i.e. “one swaying” opinion). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “dancing”) of DUNCE placed “in” IR (a recognised abbreviation of “Ireland”), like so: I(NDUCE)R.

  1. Dug deeper in ground without obvious extraction? (11)

Answer: UNPEDIGREED (i.e. “without obvious extraction”). “Ground” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DUG DEEPER IN.

  1. Tide came in to damage unknown marsh plant (3,8)

Answer: SEA ROSEMARY (i.e. “marsh plant”). Solution is SEA (i.e. “tide”) followed by ROSE (i.e. “came in”), then MAR (i.e. “to damage”) and Y (i.e. “unknown” – setters love referring to X, Y or Z in solutions as “unknowns”).

  1. Roe cooked with deli peas, a vegetarian product (8,3)

Answer: RAPESEED OIL (i.e. “a vegetarian product”). “Cooked” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ROE and DELI PEAS.

  1. Alfred and Penelope chasing Henry’s old money (9)

Answer: HALFPENNY (i.e. “old money”). Solution is ALF (shortened form of “Alfred”) and PENNY (ditto “Penelope”) both following or “chasing” H (a recognised abbreviation of “Henry” – a unit of measurement), like so: H-(ALF-PENNY).

  1. Mice race round for sweet food (3,5)

Answer: ICE CREAM (i.e. “sweet food”). “Round” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MICE RACE.

  1. Champion beer seen outside station (7)

Answer: APOSTLE (i.e. a promoter or “champion”). Solution is ALE (i.e. “beer”) placed “outside” of POST (i.e. “station”), like so: A(POST)LE.

  1. Fine fish in well (7)

Answer: FORFEIT (i.e. “fine”). Solution is ORFE (i.e. “fish” – another nod to my Bradford’s here) placed “in” FIT (i.e. “well”), like so: F(ORFE)IT.

  1. Stop dispensing with public relations function (5)

Answer: EVENT (i.e. “function”). Solution is PREVENT (i.e. “stop”) with the PR removed (indicated by “dispensing with public relations” – PR being a recognised abbreviation of “public relations”).

  1. Rising end of petal imitates part of flower (5)

Answer: SEPAL (i.e. “part of flower”). Solution is L (i.e. “end [letter] of petal”) and APES (i.e. “imitates”) all reversed (indicated by “rising” – this being a down clue), like so: SEPA-L.

  1. Join one female in Paris welcoming sex (5)

Answer: UNITE (i.e. “join”). Solution is UNE (i.e. “one female in Paris”, i.e. the female form of “one” in France; the masculine form being “un” – the whole masculine/feminine thing in French fries (sorry) my robot brain and was probably a large reason why I didn’t pursue the language back in the day) wrapped around or “welcoming” IT (i.e. “sex”, as in, you know, nudge, nudge, you know (whispers) doing it, tee-hee), like so: UN(IT)E.

  1. Caught part of fishing rod In net (5)

Answer: CREEL (i.e. “net” – not according to my reference books, matey, they all say creels are a kind of basket). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “caught”) followed by REEL (i.e. “part of fishing rod”).

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1

Merry Christmas! Thank you all for the kind wishes in the run up the big day. Now we are here, let’s give Covid and the news and all that rubbish the middle finger for 24 hours and escape back to a much happier time: 1970! Okay, perhaps it was only a marginally happier time. Let’s not split hairs.

Anyway, as you may or may not know, Christmas 2020 marks the 50th birthday of the Times Jumbo Cryptic. The first was published as a Christmas special back in 1970 and became a regular fixture on public holidays thereafter, eventually switching to weekly puzzles in the 1990s. The Jumbo Cryptic was the brainchild of then Times crossword editor, Edmund Akenhead, who went on to produce all the Jumbo Cryptics throughout the 1970s and early 1980s.

To commemorate the Jumbo Cryptic’s 50th, I thought it would be interesting to put together a post examining the clues and solution for the very first puzzle. As you’ll see, clueing was a bit different back then. Certain conventions we’re used to didn’t necessarily apply, plus a larger element of general knowledge was required. Also (whisper it) it’s a stinker, which should please the battle-hardened solvers among you! Also, also, I can’t help but admire Akenhead’s skill and breadth of knowledge in putting these things together. It’s not as if he could jump onto Google or CrosswordSolver.org to help him out of a tight spot.

I appreciate some of you might fancy a stab at the puzzle before diving into its solution, so below you’ll find an empty grid and clues. I’m hoping this counts as fair usage, given 1) that we’ll then go through its solution, and 2) how tricky it was (and still is) finding a copy of The Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword Book 1. It was last republished back in 2002 and doesn’t seem to have been kept in print, not even an eBook/print-on-demand version. Also, 3) this is very much a fan post done solely for the love of it.

So without much further ado, let’s get to it. Till tomorrow’s Boxing Day Jumbo, stay safe, mask up and keep supporting the NHS and key workers everywhere. Let us all look forward to a much brighter 2021. (Probably the latter half, but, hey, it’ll be better than nothing.)

LP

Across clues
1. Poor fiddler at the front door (7)
5. Fat-headed turkey-chaser (4-7)
11. Take Mrs. Swan’s part in the nursery (4-3)
15. The order of the clues (9)
16. Uses a small volume to begin with, making charges (7)
17. A river rises and many enter, for P.T. perhaps? (9)
18. Life-saving tales (7,6,13)
19. In ancient France, way back, a doctor has nothing for this complaint (7)
21. Took off 18’s number twice for a start (8)
23. Takes for granted that St. Paul’s toe is broken (10)
26. Vessel proves the service is classier as well as senior (3)
27. The hotter they are, the lower in degree, the world around (9)
29. Point to the dubious character of the people (5)
30. Was the enemy, when the sabre was? (7)
31. Simple boy? (4)
32. Saint? Come that makes you a flatterer! (9)
34. Pneumatically operated, can be blown in or out of church (5,6)
37. But they were anti the S. African cricket tour (10)
39. Who, unloved, received that of the Sonnets (10)
41. The body of the Ancient Mariner’s nephew “stood by me ____ to ____” (4)
44. Sluggish sounding river (4)
45. Doing well enough for a season round the Orient (10)
48. One ropy store? Could be (10)
50. Gold in lump form returned by Georgia to Edward, then disseminated (11)
52. Turn out across the broken pier (9)
54. Address to Sir Launcelot’s father in Scotland (4)
56. Fencing offensives (7)
59. Clue for G.L.O. in a manner of speaking (5)
60. Gets smaller binders in business (9)
62. Touchstone’s peacemakers in erstwhile Eire (3)
63. A girl without religious attachment shows such medical skill (10)
64. The bishop’s in ruined Pisa, at the end of a sentence (8)
66. What market researchers do to any sale, perhaps (7)
69. A certain royal caution on Boxing Day? (4,4,9,6,3)
73. Being unlike the axe-grinder makes us, abroad, like the little people (9)
74. Writing to one bird in return for support for the pathetic fallacy (7)
75. Start rope-spinning in a horizontal position (9)
76. President has a square garden (7)
77. Ere this month relaxed, but failed to survive (11)
78. His the unpainted flower in the Queen’s croquet-ground (7)

Down clues
1. Old Nick? The deuce he isn’t! (5,5)
2. Island has bachelor dance (5)
3. She appears lost in the dramatic winter story (7)
4. One corner it might be worth your while to explore (11)
5. Cloak had for a penny from the London theatre (7)
6. Man barely was before his fall (9)
7. What one of these does to holes in roads (5)
8. Dig up Steed – he’s madly impartial (13)
9. Used by punter in putting up favourites (6)
10. They accommodate from conjectures about half a thousand (5-6)
11. Prophet on the Ack-Ack site (9)
12. They may build up high tension as the last race approaches (12)
13. Plan toast for a change after the little visitors arrive (4-5)
14. Paul on a ship, see! (4)
20. Not one of Italy’s literally countless islands (5,6)
22. The Big Apple by brilliant performer in fishy milieu (7)
24. No lady players to take the collection? (8)
25. The African tourist may find his charges heavy (10)
27. Bumpkin took food with auricular projection (6)
28. Watches Hearts? (7)
33. Haddock comes in these cases (10)
35. They used to be beastly to Tower sightseers (5)
36. Feature of sport is to twist Roman by tail (11)
38. Shoot the odds on the thimble trick (5)
40. In mixing the spirit ‘e gets this way (7)
42. Put into a semi-democratic rising, as calculated (8)
43. Sharpens up for return athletic contests (6)
46. Like those eyes appearing outside the window? (13)
47. Had a quick look and shot off at an angle (7)
49. Runyon’s musical types (4,3,5)
51. Business discussion – Parliament? (7,4)
53. Doctrine takes care of Holy Gates, perhaps, Doomsday and All That (11)
55. Roman copper, sent with one and ten change, is agreeable (10)
57. Back on 44 many are stirred up again (9)
58. But Pompeia wasn’t above it (9)
61. Miners’ complaint of the way the annual general meeting goes in New York, America (9)
65. Showing no cloven hoof, he does get worried about insolence (7)
67. Accomplice is a superior man of course (7)
68. Chaps get no younger in this domestic set-up (6)
70. No screw loose, we hear, in the river (5)
71. Animal took a piece out of this (5)
72. Many a battle to stem the coal-dust (4)

So them’s the clues. To spare careless scrollers or printer-outers from accidentally spilling over onto the answers, I’d better flannel a bit, and what better way to flannel than to tell a long and silly joke that probably hasn’t worked since Christmas 1970? Yes, that would be a fine and constructive way to while away a couple of paragraphs, Mr Poll, you do that.

-(=+=)-

A couple are out for a romantic meal one evening. The waiter approaches their table and asks if they are ready to order. The lady asks for a light salad. The gentleman orders squid. The waiter nods, bows and minutes later returns with a tank of water alive with squid. The gentleman mulls over his choices and eventually picks a pathetic looking specimen huddled in one corner of the tank. “That one,” he says.

The waiter frowns. “That one? The weird green one?”

The gentleman nods.

“The one with the hairy lip?”

The gentleman nods firmly. The waiter shrugs and returns the tank to the kitchen.

“Yufais!” yells the waiter, flapping his order. He directs the chef to the doomed squid. Yufais pulls the creature from the tank and onto the chopping block in one swift motion. He holds aloft a gleaming cleaver.

“No! No! No!” squeals the squid in a high-pitched voice. “Please don’t kill me, I’m just a little squid!”

“I can’t kill that,” says Yufais. “The poor little bugger’s pleading for its life.”

The waiter holds his head in his hands. “Fine, you massive wimp. Hans! Get over here!”

The pot-washer attends the scene. The waiter orders him to slaughter the squid. Hans shrugs, grabs the cleaver and holds it above the creature.

And once again the squid pleads, “No! No! No! Please don’t kill me!”

Hans sets down the cleaver, visibly moved. “Sorry. I can’t do it.”

The waiter throws his hands up in despair. “Fine!” he says, storming out of the kitchen. He returns to the couple’s table.

“I’m sorry, sir,” he says, “but Hans that does dishes is as soft as Yufais with mild green hairy-lipped squid!”

-(=+=)-

B-bum tish! Thank you very much, I’m here all week.

Okay, that should be enough flannelling. Let’s move on. You can find the completed grid below along with explanations of the solutions where I have them. As I mentioned earlier, this would definitely qualify as a stinker these days, at least in my book, so expect red bits! If a kind commenter swings by with further info, I’ll update the post.

Across clues

  1. Poor fiddler at the front door (7)

Answer: SCRAPER. Solution satisfies “poor fiddler” and “at the front door”, referring to boot scrapers. Not much call for them from urbanites these days since they’ve taken all them horses off the road.

  1. Fat-headed turkey-chaser (4-7)

Answer: PLUM-PUDDING (i.e. “turkey chaser”, as in something consumed after a big helping of Christmas turkey). “Fat-headed” refers to how the solution starts with PLUMP. Here’s an example of how clueing has changed over the years. These days one would expect the solution to be fully parsed, not just the first bit.

  1. Take Mrs. Swan’s part in the nursery (4-3)

Answer: PLAY-PEN. Solution satisfies “take Mrs Swan’s part” – a pen is a female swan – and something found “in the nursery”.

  1. The order of the clues (9)

Answer: NUMERICAL. Pretty much as straight an answer as you’ll get!

  1. Uses a small volume to begin with, making charges (7)

Answer: ACCUSES (i.e. “charges”). Solution is USES with A CC (i.e. “small volume” or cubic centimetre) placed “to begin with”, like so: A-CC-(USES).

  1. A river rises and many enter, for P.T. perhaps? (9)

Answer: EXERCISES (i.e. “P.T. perhaps” – P.T. being Physical Training). Solution is EXE (i.e. “a river”) and RISES once wrapped around or having “entered” C (i.e. “many”, i.e. the Roman numeral for 100), like so: EXE-R(C)ISES.

  1. Life-saving tales (7,6,13)

Answer: ARABIAN NIGHTS ENTERTAINMENT, the original English language version of One Thousand And One Nights. The book is a collection of stories with a framing device of Scheherazade using her storytelling skills to help to prolong her life, lest her husband, the King, have her executed like all his brides before her, hence “live-saving tales”.

  1. In ancient France, way back, a doctor has nothing for this complaint (7)

Answer: LUMBAGO (i.e. “complaint”). Not 100% on this one. My solution is MB (i.e. “a doctor”, specifically a Bachelor of Medicine or Medicinae Baccalaureus) placed “in” between LU (i.e. “ancient France” – I’m guessing this is a reference to Luxembourg, country code LU) and AGO (i.e. “way back”), like so: LU-(MB)-AGO. This leaves “has nothing for” unaccounted for, so I might not have this right.
[EDIT: Big thanks to Dooj in the comments for cracking this one. MB was correct, but had to be placed in GAUL (i.e. “ancient France”) reversed (indicated by “back”; “way” seems a bit of a red herring there to make the clue scan better). The whole was then to be followed by O (which accounts for “has nothing”), like so: LU(MB)AG-O. Cheers, dooj! – LP]

  1. Took off 18’s number twice for a start (8)

Answer: MIMICKED (i.e. “took off”). Like 5a, the clue plays on how the solution “starts” with MI and MI (i.e. “18’s number twice” – recall 1001 Nights and think Roman numerals), but leaves the rest unparsed.

  1. Takes for granted that St. Paul’s toe is broken (10)

Answer: POSTULATES (i.e. “takes for granted”). “Is broken” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ST PAULS TOE.

  1. Vessel proves the service is classier as well as senior (3)

Answer: URN (i.e. “vessel”). Another I’m not sure about, so feel free to suggest other solutions. Mine, as it stands, when written as U RN, satisfies both “the service is classier” and “the service is … senior”, taking RN as a recognised abbreviation of the Royal Navy (a “service”) and U as a recognised abbreviation of the upper class, who can be said to be “classier” and have “seniority” over us lowly proles.

  1. The hotter they are, the lower in degree, the world around (9)

Answer: LATITUDES. The clue refers to lines of latitude “the world around”, which narrow to zero degrees around the equator.

  1. Point to the dubious character of the people (5)

Answer: ETHOS (i.e. “character of the people”). Again, not sure here, but I reckon the clue is playing on the solution being an anagram (indicated by “dubious”) of THOSE (i.e. what one might say when they “point to the…”). If so, then this seems another bit of wordplay you don’t see these days, i.e. not only getting solvers to deduce a word but then making an anagram of it.

  1. Was the enemy, when the sabre was? (7)

Answer: RATTLED. Clue plays on two meanings of the solution, i.e. shaking something to make a noise, and being annoyed. Sabre-rattling is an aggressive display of power designed to intimidate.

  1. Simple boy? (4)

Answer: HERB. Solution satisfies “simple” (one definition of the word is “a medicinal plant”) and “boy”, as in a boy’s name, a shortened form of Herbert. I didn’t get it.

  1. Saint? Come that makes you a flatterer! (9)

Answer: ENCOMIAST (i.e. “flatterer”). “That makes” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SAINT COME.

  1. Pneumatically operated, can be blown in or out of church (5,6)

Answer: NASAL ORGANS. Clue plays on how one “blows” their nose (which one could argue is a “pneumatic operation”), and how church organs also use air to get the job done. If you got this one you are a better solver than me! In my defence, m’lud, the solution isn’t exactly something you’d find in the dictionary.

  1. But they were anti the S. African cricket tour (10)

Answer: PROTESTERS. The S African cricket team was due to tour England during the summer of 1970, but this was cancelled after protests from the anti-apartheid movement. While that fleshes out the solution, the clue also plays on how the solution can be written as PRO TESTERS, suggesting people in favour of test cricket. Put PRO TESTERS at the start of the clue and you complete the sentence. Nicely done, but I didn’t get it.

  1. Who, unloved, received that of the Sonnets (10)

Answer: DEDICATION. The clue references the dedication Shakespeare gave to his Sonnets, the mysterious W.H. Meanwhile “who, unloved” also gets you WH, i.e. removing O (“love” being a zero score in tennis) from “who”. Blimey!

  1. The body of the Ancient Mariner’s nephew “stood by me ____ to ____” (4)

Answer: KNEE. General knowledge rather than cryptic. The solution completes the quotation.

  1. Sluggish sounding river (4)

Answer: OUSE (i.e. “river”). “Sounding” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of OOZE (i.e. something “sluggish”).

  1. Doing well enough for a season round the Orient (10)

Answer: PROSPERING (i.e. “doing well enough”). Solution is PRO (i.e. “for”) followed by SPRING (i.e. “season”) once wrapped around E (i.e. “the Orient”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “eastern”), like so: PRO-SP(E)RING.

  1. One ropy store? Could be (10)

Answer: REPOSITORY. Solution is an anagram (weakly indicated by “could be”) of I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and ROPY STORE. A repository is a “store”.

  1. Gold in lump form returned by Georgia to Edward, then disseminated (11)

Answer: PROMULGATED (i.e. “disseminated”). Solution is OR (i.e. “gold” in heraldry) placed in LUMP. The whole is then reversed (indicated by “returned”), and followed by GA (abbreviation of the US state “Georgia”) and TED (shortened form of “Edward”), like so: (P(RO)MUL)-GA-TED. I didn’t get it.

  1. Turn out across the broken pier (9)

Answer: TRANSPIRE (i.e. “turn out”). Solution is TRANS (i.e. “across”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “broken”) of PIER, like so: TRANS-PIRE.

  1. Address to Sir Launcelot’s father in Scotland (4)

Answer: OBAN. Solution satisfies a town “in Scotland” and, when written as O BAN, “address to Sir Launcelot’s father”, King Ban.

  1. Fencing offensives (7)

Answer: THRUSTS in the sport of “fencing”. That’s about it, unless I’m missing something clever.

  1. Clue for G.L.O. in a manner of speaking (5)

Answer: LINGO (i.e. “a manner of speaking”). When written as L IN G.O. the solution also satisfies “clue for G.L.O.”, a cryptic reference of how L has been placed IN the middle of G.O.

  1. Gets smaller binders in business (9)

Answer: CONTRACTS. Solution satisfies “gets smaller” and “binders in business”, a contract being a binding agreement between parties. This took a while to twig!

  1. Touchstone’s peacemakers in erstwhile Eire (3)

Answer: IFS. When written as IF’S, the solution satisfies “touchstone’s”, a contraction of “touchstone is” – a touchstone can be a criterion or condition – and when written as IFS the solution satisfies “peacemakers in erstwhile Eire”, specifically the Irish Free State, established to end the Irish War of Independence. I didn’t get it.
[EDIT: Hats off to JHS in the comments for correcting this one. “Touchstone’s peacemakers” relates to Shakespeare’s As You Like It, in which a character, Touchstone, says the line “Ifs are the only peacemakers”. This then makes “erstwhile Eire” IFS, being the Irish Free State. Cheers, J! – LP]

  1. A girl without religious attachment shows such medical skill (10)

Answer: DIAGNOSTIC (i.e. “medical skill”). Solution is DI (i.e. “a girl’s” name) followed by AGNOSTIC (i.e. “without religious attachment”).

  1. The bishop’s in ruined Pisa, at the end of a sentence (8)

Answer: APODOSIS. In the dry and joyless world of grammar, APODOSIS is “the clause in a conditional sentence that indicates the consequence if the condition applies” (Chambers), which, when written in the form “if (condition) then (consequence)”, one would find “at the end of a sentence”. Depends how you write it, really. Anyway, solution is ODO’S (i.e. “bishop” of Bayeux, and brother of William the Conqueror; the apostrophe ‘s is a contraction of “is”) placed “in” an anagram (indicated by “ruined”) of PISA, like so: AP(ODO’S)IS.

  1. What market researchers do to any sale, perhaps (7)

Answer: ANALYSE (i.e. “what market researchers do”). “Perhaps” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ANY SALE.

  1. A certain royal caution on Boxing Day? (4,4,9,6,3)

Answer: GOOD KING WENCESLAS LOOKED OUT. Clue plays on GOOD KING WENCESLAS being “a certain royal” and LOOKED OUT being “cautious”. In the Christmas carol Good King Wenceslas, the solution is followed by the words “on the feast of Stephen” (i.e. “Boxing Day”).

  1. Being unlike the axe-grinder makes us, abroad, like the little people (9)

Answer: UNSELFISH (i.e. “being unlike the axe-grinder”). Solution is UNS (i.e. “us, abroad”, in this case the German for “us”) followed by ELFISH (i.e. “like the little people”).

  1. Writing to one bird in return for support for the pathetic fallacy (7)

Answer: ANIMISM, “the attribution of the soul to natural objects and phenomena” (Chambers), i.e. “support for the pathetic fallacy”. In literature the “pathetic fallacy” is “the transference of human emotions to inanimate objects” (also Chambers). Solution is MS (i.e. “writing”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “manuscript”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) then MINA (i.e. “bird”). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “in return”), like so: ANIM-I-SM. Very nicely done.

  1. Start rope-spinning in a horizontal position (9)

Answer: PROSTRATE (i.e. “in a horizontal position”). “Spinning” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of START ROPE.

  1. President has a square garden (7)

Answer: MADISON. Solution satisfies “President”, specifically James MADISON, fourth President of the United States of America, and “square garden”, i.e. the Madison Square Garden arena in New York City.

  1. Ere this month relaxed, but failed to survive (11)

Answer: PREDECEASED (i.e. “failed to survive”). Solution is PRE (i.e. “ere”, poetic form of “before”) followed by DEC (i.e. “this month”, being a shortened form of December, this being a Christmas crossword) and EASED (i.e. “relaxed”).

  1. His the unpainted flower in the Queen’s croquet-ground (7)

Answer: YORKIST, a supporter of the House of York in the War of the Roses, symbolised by a white rose. The clue refers to Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. A rose tree is situated in the Queen of Hearts’ croquet ground, upon which white roses grow. The gardeners would paint the roses red in order to appease the Queen, lest she find out they planted the wrong variety.

Down clues

  1. Old Nick? The deuce he isn’t! (5,5)

Answer: SANTA CLAUS. Clue plays on “old Nick” being the devil and how “old Nick” can be descriptive of Santa Claus, seeing as though he is depicted as an “old” man and is based upon St Nicholas, “Nick” being a shorted form of the name. The remainder of the clue comments on how they’re rather unalike.

  1. Island has bachelor dance (5)

Answer: RUMBA (i.e. “dance”). Solution is RUM (i.e. an “island” of the Inner Hebrides) followed by BA (i.e. “bachelor”, specifically a Bachelor of Arts).

  1. She appears lost in the dramatic winter story (7)

Answer: PERDITA, a heroine in Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale or “dramatic winter story”. Perdita is “lost” in Latin. Needed a Google, not being a Shakespeare nut.

  1. One corner it might be worth your while to explore (11)

Answer: RECONNOITRE (i.e. “to explore”). “Might be” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ONE CORNER IT.

  1. Cloak had for a penny from the London theatre (7)

Answer: PALLIUM (i.e. “cloak” worn in Ancient Rome). Solution is PALLADIUM (i.e. “London theatre”) with A and D (i.e. “penny” – this puzzle was published pre-decimalisation; pennies used to get abbreviated to “d”, short for “denarius”, which got translated to “penny” in the New Testament) have been removed.

  1. Man barely was before his fall (9)

Answer: UNASHAMED. Clue plays on how Adam and Eve used to gad about in the nip or “barely” before they were chucked out of the Garden of Eden (i.e. man’s “fall”). The solution relates to the following Bible quotation: “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” (Genesis 2:25)

  1. What one of these does to holes in roads (5)

Answer: PICKS, hand-held tools used for breaking ground, rocks etc. Clue plays on the noun and verb forms of the word, as in how one would use a pick to pick holes in a road.

  1. Dig up Steed – he’s madly impartial (13)

Answer: DISINTERESTED (i.e. “impartial”). Solution is DISINTER (i.e. “dig up”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “madly”) of STEED. “He’s” seems there to make the clue scan a little better. Clueing tends to be a little tighter these days, with anagram indicators nearly always preceding or following the word(s) being manipulated.

  1. Used by punter in putting up favourites (6)

Answer: INSTEP (i.e. part of the foot “used by punter” in, say, a game of rugby). Solution is IN followed by PETS (i.e. “favourites”) once reversed (indicated by “putting up” – this being a down clue), like so: IN-STEP.

  1. They accommodate from conjectures about half a thousand (5-6)

Answer: GUEST-HOUSES (i.e. “they accommodate”). Solution is GUESSES (i.e. “conjectures”) wrapped “about” THOU (i.e. “half a thousand”, specifically the first half), like so: GUES(THOU)SES.

  1. Prophet on the Ack-Ack site (9)

Answer: PREDICTOR (i.e. “prophet”). The solution is also “an anti-aircraft range-finding and radar device” (Chambers). “Ack-Ack” refers to anti-aircraft fire, or anti-aircraft in general.

  1. They may build up high tension as the last race approaches (12)

Answer: ACCUMULATORS. Clue refers to accumulator bets in which success depends on the correct predictions of multiple events, e.g. a series of horse races. Tension could indeed accumulate or “build up” in these situations.

  1. Plan toast for a change after the little visitors arrive (4-5)

Answer: POST-NATAL (i.e. “after the little visitors arrive” – a curious description of children, but then I guess we’re all just visitors in the end). “For a change” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of PLAN TOAST.

  1. Paul on a ship, see! (4)

Answer: “Paul” NASH, British surrealist painter. “See” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: O(N ASH)IP. A bit mean not having any kind of indicator, e.g. “artist” or “painter”. I guess he was better known back then.

  1. Not one of Italy’s literally countless islands (5,6)

Answer: MONTE CRISTO. Clue plays on Alexander Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo, i.e. Monte Cristo being one of Italian islands with a Count, the other being “Countless”.

  1. The Big Apple by brilliant performer in fishy milieu (7)

Answer: COSTARD, a large variety of cooking apple (i.e. “the big apple” – ignore the misleading capitalisation). Solution is STAR (i.e. “brilliant performer”) placed “in” COD (i.e. “fishy”). “Milieu” reinforces “in”, meaning “setting” or “environment”, like so: CO(STAR)D.

  1. No lady players to take the collection? (8)

Answer: SIDESMEN (i.e. “to take the collection”, sidesmen are deputy churchwardens. Not being a churchgoing type, I imagine these are the ones who dish out the “collection” plates). When written as SIDES MEN, the solution also satisfies “no lady [sports] players”.

  1. The African tourist may find his charges heavy (10)

Answer: RHINOCEROS. Clue plays on how one can find the beasts in “Africa”, how “rhino” is a slang word for money (something I only learned from a much more recent Jumbo), and how rhinos are rather “heavy” and are prone to “charging”. Very nicely worked.
[EDIT: Hat-tip to Sue in the comments for the typo fix. – LP]

  1. Bumpkin took food with auricular projection (6)

Answer: LOBATE (i.e. “with auricular projection”, i.e. having ear lobes). Solution is LOB (i.e. “bumpkin”, both taken to mean a clumsy person) followed by ATE (i.e. “took food”). I didn’t get it.

  1. Watches Hearts? (7)

Answer: TICKERS. Solution satisfies pocket or wrist “watches” and “hearts”, ignoring the misleading capitalisation. Excellent clue!

  1. Haddock comes in these cases (10)

Answer: MISLEADING. Clue plays on a series of fictitious law reports written by A. P. Herbert and published in Punch, called Misleading Cases. Protagonist Albert “Haddock” would appear in many of these cases, through which Herbert would demonstrate and satirise aspects of the law he saw as deficient or in need of change. I didn’t get this one, but it was probably better known back in 1970 as the BBC had adapted a number of these as a TV series around that time, called A. P. Herbert’s Misleading Cases. That said, I love the concept. I’m a big fan of using the absurd to demonstrate deficiencies in things, so this sounds right up my alley.

  1. They used to be beastly to Tower sightseers (5)

Answer: LIONS. Clue refers to The Royal Menagerie, which used to be kept at the “Tower” of London for 600 years before being transferred to London Zoo in the 19th century. Not being much of a history buff, I didn’t get it.

  1. Feature of sport is to twist Roman by tail (11)

Answer: ABNORMALITY (i.e. “feature of sport” – one I’m throwing open to anyone in the know. My Bradford’s lists “sport” under “abnormal”, but nothing’s leaping out at me). “Twist” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ROMAN BY TAIL.
[EDIT: A big thank you to Doctor John in the comments for clearing this one up. Chambers offers this definition for “sport”: “an animal or plant that varies singularly and spontaneously from the normal type”, hence ABNORMALITY. Cheers, Doc! – LP]

  1. Shoot the odds on the thimble trick (5)

Answer: SPRIG (i.e. a plant “shoot”). Solution is SP (i.e. “odds”, specifically the Starting Price) followed by RIG (i.e. “thimble trick” – this refers to a game of thimblerig, which is basically Find The Lady except using a pea or similar token hidden under one of three thimbles). Another I didn’t get!

  1. In mixing the spirit ‘e gets this way (7)

Answer: TIPSIER. “In mixing” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SPIRIT ‘E. I can confirm that “mixing spirits” does indeed get one tipsy. I can confirm this several times. Several, sheveral timesh, your honour.

  1. Put into a semi-democratic rising, as calculated (8)

Answer: COMPUTED (i.e. “calculated”). Solution is PUT placed “into” the first half or “semi” of “DEMOCratic” once reversed (indicated by “rising” – this being a down clue), like so: COM(PUT)ED. I didn’t get this, but neither did I have many intersecting letters. That’s my excuse, anyway.

  1. Sharpens up for return athletic contests (6)

Answer: STROPS (i.e. “sharpens up”). Solution is SPORTS (i.e. “athletic contests”) reversed (indicated by “for return”) – this being a down clue.

  1. Like those eyes appearing outside the window? (13)

Answer: INTROSPECTIVE, which is an ability to analyse the processes of one’s own mind, often summed up in the phrase “outside looking in”. I guess that’s it, but if anyone spots anything clever, I’ll update the post.

  1. Had a quick look and shot off at an angle (7)

Answer: GLANCED. Solution satisfies “had a quick look” and “shot off at an angle”.

  1. Runyon’s musical types (4,3,5)

Answer: GUYS AND DOLLS, a “musical” by Damon “Runyon”.

  1. Business discussion – Parliament? (7,4)

Answer: TALKING SHOP. Solution satisfies “business discussion” and, wittily, “Parliament”.

  1. Doctrine takes care of Holy Gates, perhaps, Doomsday and All That (11)

Answer: ESCHATOLOGY, “doctrine” of death and final matters, i.e. “Doomsday and All That”. Solution is an anagram (indicated by “perhaps”) of C/O (a recognised abbreviation of “care of”) and HOLY GATES.

  1. Roman copper, sent with one and ten change, is agreeable (10)

Answer: ASSENTIENT (i.e. “agreeable”). Solution is AS (i.e. “Roman copper [coin]”) followed by SENT, then I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and finally an anagram (indicated by “change”) of TEN, like so: AS-SENT-I-ENT.

  1. Back on 44 many are stirred up again (9)

Answer: REAROUSED (i.e. “stirred up again”). Solution is REAR (i.e. “back up”) followed by OUSE (solution to “44” across) and D (i.e. “many” – the setter played this card earlier in 17a; this time “many” is D, the Roman numeral for fifty).

  1. But Pompeia wasn’t above it (9)

Answer: SUSPICION. The clue refers to the wife of Julius Caesar, whom he divorced in order to protect his dignity after reports of her illicit behaviour emerged, claiming “my wife ought not even to be under suspicion”. I got the solution but had to look up the reason why.

  1. Miners’ complaint of the way the annual general meeting goes in New York, America (9)

Answer: NYSTAGMUS (i.e. “miner’s complaint”). Solution is ST (i.e. “way”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “street”) and AGM (abbreviation of “annual general meeting”) both placed or “going in” between NY (i.e. “New York”) and US (i.e. “United States”), like so: NY-(ST-AGM)-US. One gotten purely through the wordplay!

  1. Showing no cloven hoof, he does get worried about insolence (7)

Answer: SOLIPED (an animal “showing no cloven hoof”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “worried”) of DOES wrapped “about” LIP (i.e. “insolence”), like so: SO(LIP)ED.

  1. Accomplice is a superior man of course (7)

Answer: ABETTER. Solution satisfies “accomplice” and, when written as A BETTER, “a superior man”.

  1. Chaps get no younger in this domestic set-up (6)

Answer: MENAGE (i.e. “domestic set-up”). When written as MEN AGE, the solution also satisfies “chaps get no younger”.

  1. No screw loose, we hear, in the river (5)

Answer: SEINE (i.e. “river”). “We hear” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of SANE (i.e. “no screw loose”).

  1. Animal took a piece out of this (5)

Answer: OKAPI (i.e. “animal”). “Out of this” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: TO(OK A PI)ECE.

  1. Many a battle to stem the coal-dust (4)

Answer: CULM (i.e. “coal-dust”). Not 100% on this, but I reckon the solution is C (i.e. “many”, as in the Roman numeral of 100, as seen in 17a) followed by ULM (i.e. “a battle”) in the early 19th century between the French Empire and the Habsburg Monarchy, an early victory in Napoleon I’s reign. “To stem”, however, suggests something being clipped, so there might be another battle out there beginning with ULM.
[EDIT: Thanks once more to JHS in the comments for highlighting that another meaning of CULM is a “stem of grass or sedge” (Chambers), hence “stem” in the clue. Cheers, J! – LP]

So there we go. I hope you enjoyed this little blast from the past. Till next time, Merry Christmas, and have a safe New Year! – LP

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1473

Another comparatively easy ride this week, which rather raises the chances (hopes for some!) of a stinker come Boxing Day. There was some good clueing to enjoy this time around, plus a couple of new things learned, which can’t be bad.

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. If a recent Jumbo has left you jiggered then you can find links to solutions to the last 100+ of these things on my Just For Fun page. There’s also the usual dusty old book reviews and a story of mine.

Till next time, hunker down, stay safe, mask up and keep supporting the NHS and key workers everywhere. In the meantime I’m off to secure a year’s supply of hermetically-sealed body condoms, as that seems to be the way things are heading. If you see a man-sized amoeba shambling about the place on your travels, stop and say hi.

LP

Across clues

  1. Rex one with physic cured fast (10)

Answer: HYPERSONIC (i.e. “fast”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “cured”) of R (a recognised abbreviation of “Rex”, Latin for “king”), ONE and PHYSIC.

  1. Cut dead polar bear (4-8)

Answer: COLD-SHOULDER (i.e. to “cut dead”). Solution is COLD (i.e. “polar”) followed by SHOULDER (i.e. to “bear”).

  1. Fix again with reference to a parking place (9)

Answer: REAPPOINT (i.e. “fix again”). Solution is RE (i.e. “with reference to” – think email replies) followed by A, then P (a recognised abbreviation of “parking”, used on maps and signage) and POINT (i.e. “place”).

  1. Example given in current understanding (5)

Answer: IDEAL (i.e. “example”, e.g. setting an example for someone). Solution is I (a recognised abbreviation of an electrical “current”) followed by DEAL (i.e. “understanding”, both taken as a formal or informal agreement).

  1. Checked where gold tester initially had it outside (7)

Answer: AUDITED (i.e. “checked”). Solution is AU (chemical symbol of “gold”) followed by T (i.e. “tester initially”, i.e. the first letter of “tester”) once DIED (i.e. “had it”) has been placed “outside” of it, like so: AU-DI(T)ED.

  1. Crime a seaman mentioned with one charged (7,3,7)

Answer: ASSAULT AND BATTERY (i.e. “crime”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “mentioned”) of A SALT (i.e. “a sailor”) followed by AND (i.e. “with”) and BATTERY (i.e. “one charged” with electricity).

  1. Thick-skinned sort making cash (5)

Answer: RHINO. Solution satisfies “thick-skinned sort” and “cash” – a variant meaning of RHINO is an archaic slang word for money. A new one on me.

  1. Old diet adjusted to create muscle (7)

Answer: DELTOID (i.e. “muscle”). “Adjusted” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of OLD DIET.

  1. British bombshell in France and county here (6)

Answer: DORSET (i.e. “county here” – The Times being a British newspaper). Solution is Diana DORS (i.e. “British bombshell”) followed by ET (i.e. “in France and”, i.e. the French for “and”).

  1. Decorative tiles made by girl, given time and energy (8)

Answer: TESSERAE (i.e. “decorative tiles”). Solution is TESS (i.e. “girl’s” name) followed by ERA (i.e. “time”) and E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”).

  1. Cosy situation Johnson accepts in human rights group (7)

Answer: AMNESTY (i.e. “human rights group”). Solution is NEST (i.e. “cosy situation”) placed in or “accepted” by AMY “Johnson”, famed aviatrix and the first woman to fly solo from London to Australia, like so: AM(NEST)Y.

  1. Be marked, cut by one Bavarian with sword (8)

Answer: SCIMITAR (i.e. “sword”). Solution is SCAR (i.e. “be marked” – an intransitive verb definition is “to become scarred” (Chambers), but don’t ask me to put it into a sentence!) wrapped around or “cut by” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and MIT (i.e. “Bavarian with”, i.e. the German for “with”), like so: SC(I-MIT)AR.

  1. Alfresco meal and walk in park (6)

Answer: PICNIC. Solution satisfies “alfresco meal” and “walk in park”, as in something that’s really easy.

  1. Present ploy at last decisive in long-term investment (6,5)

Answer: TROJAN HORSE (i.e. “present ploy” – present as in a gift). The remainder of the clue refers to how the Trojan Horse wheeze was the breakthrough needed to end a ten-year siege by the Greeks upon the city of Troy. I guess after that length of time you’d try anything.

  1. One likely to behave unpredictably in firing-line? (5,6)

Answer: LOOSE CANNON (i.e. “one likely to behave unpredictably”). Chambers continues, “like a cannon that may discharge unpredictably and cause damage to one’s own side”.

  1. Volatile Scot in Irish melodrama (11)

Answer: HISTRIONICS (i.e. “melodrama”). “Volatile” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SCOT IN IRISH.

  1. Unselfish in good position in box (11)

Answer: CONSIDERATE (i.e. “unselfish”). Solution is ONSIDE (i.e. “in good position”) placed “in” CRATE (i.e. “box”), like so: C(ONSIDE)RATE. Nicely done.

  1. Soak companion after anorak returned (6)

Answer: DRENCH (i.e. “soak”). Solution is CH (i.e. “companion”, specifically a Companion of Honour) placed “after” NERD (i.e. geek or “anorak”) once reversed (indicated by “returned”), like so: DREN-CH.

  1. Shabby old magistrate a revolutionary (3-5)

Answer: DOG-EARED (i.e. “shabby”). Solution is DOGE (i.e. “magistrate”, specifically “formerly the title of the chief magistrate in republican Venice or Genoa” (Chambers)) followed by A and RED (i.e. “revolutionary” or, variously, socialists, communists, anarchists or anyone demanding radical changes of government).

  1. Rubber man shot approaching ancient city (7)

Answer: MASSEUR (i.e. “rubber man” – rubber as in one who rubs; “man” seems surplus to requirements). Solution is MASSE (i.e. “shot” in snooker, where one hits the cue ball from above to achieve strong swerving spin. The kind of shot guaranteed to see me ruin the cue, rip the baize, pot the white and get me barred from the place) followed by UR (i.e. “ancient city” – a favourite of setters everywhere).

  1. Switch positions occasionally (3,3,2)

Answer: OFF AND ON. Solution satisfies “switch positions” and “occasionally”.

  1. Staff without rupees suffer from hunger (6)

Answer: STARVE (i.e. “suffer from hunger”). Solution is STAVE (i.e. “staff”) wrapped around or placed “without” R (a recognised abbreviation of “rupees”), like so: STA(R)VE.

  1. Blaze contained in mile radius ultimately circulates (7)

Answer: MINGLES (i.e. “circulates”). Solution is INGLE (i.e. “blaze” – an ingle is a Scots word for a fireplace. While to some degree fire and fireplace are interchangeable, I’m not sure that would extend to synonyms of fire, such as “blaze”. Could just be me) placed between or “contained” by M (a recognised abbreviation of “mile”) and S (i.e. “radius ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “radius”), like so: M-(INGLE)-S.

  1. Language used by Magwich in Dickens (5)

Answer: HINDI (i.e. “language”). “In” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: MAGWIC(H IN DI)CKENS.

  1. Government department troubled over idealistic Conservative MP (10,7)

Answer: DIPLOMATIC SERVICE (i.e. “government department”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “troubled”) of OVER IDEALISTIC, C (a recognised abbreviation of “Conservative”) and MP. Nicely worked.

  1. Points raised badly needing to be accepted by Scottish bank (7)

Answer: BRAILLE (i.e. “points raised”). Solution is ILL (i.e. “badly”) placed in or “accepted by” BRAE (i.e. “Scottish bank”, as in a Scots word for a sloping bank), like so: BRA(ILL)E.

  1. Pleased haze at last is clearing (5)

Answer: GLADE (i.e. “clearing”). Solution is GLAD (i.e. “pleased”) followed by E (i.e. “haze at last”, i.e. the last letter of “haze”).

  1. Aggressor making trouble between two creatures (9)

Answer: ASSAILANT (i.e. “aggressor”). Solution is AIL (i.e. “trouble”) placed “between” ASS and ANT (i.e. “two creatures”), like so: ASS-(AIL)-ANT.

  1. Poetic technique nothing but repeats (12)

Answer: ALLITERATION (i.e. “poetic technique”). When written as ALL ITERATION the solution also satisfies “nothing but repeats”. Nicely worked, considering alliteration is the same initial sound used in quick succession, as in “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers”.

  1. Printed notepaper? (5,5)

Answer: SHEET MUSIC. Clue plays on musical “notes”, and sheet music being “printed” on “paper”. Simple, but nicely done.

Down clues

  1. Not moving like cannonball (4,3,4)

Answer: HARD AND FAST. Solution satisfies “not moving” and “like cannonball”, when fired.

  1. Mountain up north on small maps (5)

Answer: PLANS (i.e. “maps”). Solution is ALP (i.e. “mountain”) reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue) and followed by N (a recognised abbreviation of “north”) and S (ditto “small”), like so: PLA-N-S.

  1. Exalted god, universal, seen in Proust reworked (9)

Answer: RAPTUROUS (i.e. “exalted”). Solution is RA (i.e. Egyptian sun “god”) followed by U (a recognised abbreviation of “universal”, used in film certification) once placed in an anagram (indicated by “reworked”) of PROUST, like so: RA-PT(U)ROUS.

  1. Hand detected in reference work is overlooked (7)

Answer: OMITTED (i.e. “overlooked”). Solution is MITT (i.e. “hand”) placed “in” OED (i.e. “reference work”, specifically the Oxford English Dictionary), like so: O(MITT)ED.

  1. Sang canticle as passionate about Scots hooligan (7)

Answer: INTONED (i.e. “sang canticle”). Solution is INTO (i.e. “passionate about”) followed by NED (i.e. “Scots [slang for] hooligan”).

  1. Past it and into next valley? (4,3,4)

Answer: OVER THE HILL. Solution satisfies “past it” and “into next valley”.

  1. Trick left soldiers in prehistoric tomb (6)

Answer: DOLMEN (i.e. “prehistoric tomb”). Solution is DO (i.e. to “trick”) followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) and MEN (i.e. “soldiers”).

  1. Mesomorphic villain on stage (8)

Answer: HEAVYSET (i.e. “mesomorphic” or strongly built. Surprisingly HEAVYSET isn’t recognised by Chambers, but is listed in my Oxford). Solution is HEAVY (i.e. “villain”) followed by SET (i.e. “stage”).

  1. Erudite men sat around – judge not well? (13)

Answer: UNDERESTIMATE (i.e. “judge not well”). “Around” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ERUDITE MEN SAT.

  1. Party time – couple runs for more nuts (7)

Answer: DOTTIER (i.e. “more nuts”). Solution is DO (i.e. “party”) followed by T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”), then TIE (i.e. to “couple”) and R (a recognised abbreviation of “runs” used in a number of ball games).

  1. Do anaerobic exercises – one knows where one is with it (5,6)

Answer: RADIO BEACON (i.e. “one knows where one is with it”). “Exercises” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DO ANAEROBIC.

  1. Capital the enemy surrounds in woodland boundary (10)

Answer: TIMBERLINE (i.e. “woodland boundary”). Solution is BERLIN (i.e. “capital” of Germany) placed in or “surrounded” by TIME (i.e. “enemy”, as in the phrase “time is the enemy” – something we’ve seen a couple of times in recent grids), like so: TIM(BERLIN)E.

  1. Good drive out in Channel to find shellfish (9)

Answer: LANGOUSTE (i.e. “shellfish”). Solution is G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) and OUST (i.e. “drive out”) both placed “in” LANE (i.e. “channel” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), like so: LAN(G-OUST)E.

  1. Distress signal used by news boss in isolated position (8)

Answer: MAROONED (i.e. “in isolated position”). Solution is MAROON (i.e. “distress signal” – over to Chambers: “a detonating firework, especially one used as a distress signal”. Another new one on me) followed by ED (i.e. “news boss”, i.e. a shortened form of “editor”).

  1. Louts still heading north – Soho in uproar (6)

Answer: YAHOOS (i.e. “louts”). Solution is AY (i.e. “still” – ay or aye can be taken to mean ever or always) reversed (indicated by “heading north” – this being a down clue) followed by an anagram (indicated by “in uproar”) of SOHO, like so: YA-HOOS.

  1. Path round assumed by sun that’s sweet (8)

Answer: SORBITOL (a substance derived from sugar, i.e. “that’s sweet”). Solution is ORBIT (i.e. “path round”) placed in or “assumed by” SOL (i.e. “sun”), like so: S(ORBIT)OL.

  1. Man, carrying on, average or unique? (9)

Answer: NONPAREIL (i.e. “unique”). Solution is NEIL (i.e. “man”, basically a man’s name) wrapped around or “carrying” ON and PAR (i.e. “average”), like so: N(ON-PAR)EIL.

  1. This writer slow to introduce uniform method (6)

Answer: MEDIUM (i.e. “method”). Solution is ME (i.e. “this writer”, taken from the point of view of the setter) followed by DIM (i.e. “slow”) once wrapped around or “introducing” U (“uniform” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: ME-DI(U)M.

  1. Moor for example with nameless wild plant (7,6)

Answer: AFRICAN VIOLET (i.e. “plant”). Solution is AFRICAN (i.e. “moor for example”) followed by VIOLENT (i.e. “wild”) once the N has been removed (indicated by “nameless” – N being a recognised abbreviation of “name”).

  1. Work hard on magic to stop monster showing an aversion (11)

Answer: HYDROPHOBIA (i.e. “aversion” to water). Solution is OP (i.e. “work”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “opus”), H (a recognised abbreviation of “hard” used in pencil gradings) and OBI (i.e. “magic”, specifically a form of witchcraft practiced in the W Indies) all placed in or “stopping” HYDRA (i.e. mythical “monster”), like so: HYDR(OP-H-OBI)A.

  1. Tuber thus contains little tasteless stuff going round belly (5,6)

Answer: SWEET POTATO (i.e. “tuber”). Solution is SO (i.e. “thus”) wrapped around or “containing” WEE (i.e. “little”) and TAT (i.e. “tasteless stuff”) once this latter has itself been wrapped “round” POT (i.e. “belly”), like so: S(WEE-T(POT)AT)O.

  1. Nurse without fear obtains security device (4,6)

Answer: CARD READER (i.e. “security device”). Solution is CARER (i.e. “nurse”) placed around or “without” DREAD (i.e. “fear”), like so: CAR(DREAD)ER.

  1. Cup tie score excited one not keen on Union (11)

Answer: EUROSCEPTIC (i.e. “one not keen on [European] Union”). “Excited” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CUP TIE SCORE.

  1. My singers resolved to show effective integration (9)

Answer: SYNERGISM (i.e. “effective integration”). “Resolved” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MY SINGERS. I’d have had a homophonic field day with this one, which is perhaps why I should never be allowed to set these things.

  1. Cherish husband, an elderly person (4,4)

Answer: HOLD DEAR (i.e. “cherish”). Solution is H (a recognised abbreviation of “husband”) followed by OLD DEAR (i.e. “an elderly person”).

  1. Cool guy mentioned letters from admirers (3,4)

Answer: FAN MAIL (i.e. “letters from admirers”). Solution is FAN (i.e. to “cool”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “mentioned”) of MALE (i.e. “guy”).

  1. Final word mine in each pub (7)

Answer: EPITAPH (i.e. “final word”). Solution is PIT (i.e. “mine”) placed “in” EA (a recognised abbreviation of “each”), followed by PH (i.e. “pub” or Public House), like so: E(PIT)A-PH.

  1. Stone in French museum not to be missed (4-3)

Answer: MUST-SEE (i.e. “not to be missed”). Solution is ST (a recognised abbreviation of “stone”) placed “in” MUSEE (i.e. “French museum”, i.e. the French for “museum”), like so: MU(ST)SEE.

  1. Tap on barrel from glutton feeding drunk (6)

Answer: SPIGOT (i.e. “tap on barrel”). Solution is PIG (i.e. “glutton”) placed in or “feeding” SOT (i.e. “drunk”), like so: S(PIG)OT.

  1. Geordie mother is taken round to see holy men (5)

Answer: IMAMS (i.e. “holy men”). Solution is MAM (i.e. “Geordie mother”) placed in IS or “having IS taken round”, like so: I(MAM)S.

No musical accompaniment this week. So… much… darts! – LP

Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1472

A simpler ride this week, though this could be a case of me being more familiar with some of the exotic solutions. As has been noted, “it’s only easy if you know it”. Still, there was some nice clueing on display. (And maybe we’re being softened up for a Boxing Day stinker.)

As ever, you can find my completed solution below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. You can find links to solutions for the last 100+ of these things on my Just For Fun page, should a recent Jumbo have given you nightmares. Meanwhile there’s the usual dusty old book reviews and a story of mine.

Till next time, stay safe, mask up and keep supporting the NHS and key workers everywhere. If you have had to cancel Christmas this year, don’t worry, you aren’t the only one. My liver and kidneys would breathe a sigh of relief if, you know, they had lungs and stuff. Anyway, if you are at a loose end come the big day, swing on by and I might have a little something.

Laters,

LP

Across clues

  1. Plan whiskey during vigil, fully alert (4-5)

Answer: WIDE-AWAKE (i.e. “fully alert”). Solution is IDEA (i.e. “plan”) and W (“whiskey” in the phonetic alphabet) both placed in or “during” WAKE (i.e. “vigil”), like so: W(IDEA-W)AKE.

  1. Cook hot flan? You bet (3,4)

Answer: NOT HALF (i.e. “you bet”, both expressions of agreement). “Cook” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HOT FLAN.

  1. Charlatan’s about to cover start of tough subject (5)

Answer: MATHS (i.e. “subject” at school or college). Solution is SHAM (i.e. “charlatan”) reversed (indicated by “about”) and wrapped around or “covering” T (i.e. “start [letter] of tough”), like so: MA(T)HS.

  1. First of trout caught by Paddy’s lure (7)

Answer: TEMPTER (i.e. “lure”). Solution is T (i.e. “first [letter] of trout”) placed in or “caught by” TEMPER (i.e. “paddy” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), like so: TEMP(T)ER.

  1. Box against Home Counties in Scottish centre (2,3)

Answer: TV SET (colloquially called the “box”). Solution is V (i.e. “against”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “versus”) and SE (i.e. “Home Counties”, a.k.a. the South East of England) both placed “in” TT (i.e. “Scottish centre”, i.e. the middle letters of ScoTTish), like so: T(V-SE)T.

  1. You can see one in zoo barking at gorilla (9)

Answer: ALLIGATOR (i.e. “you can see one in zoo”). “Barking” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of AT GORILLA.

  1. It’s a wonder anything could grow there! (7,7,2,7)

Answer: HANGING GARDENS OF BABYLON, one of the Seven “Wonders” Of The World. Experts reckon they were more likely to have been rooftop gardens than whacking great hanging baskets, which, no matter how you spin it, isn’t quite the same. I’d have asked for my money back. The Colossus of Rhodes was much more impressive, plus it had a souvenir shop.

  1. Build up a team by phone (6)

Answer: ACCRUE (i.e. “build up”). Solution is A followed by a homophone (indicated by “by phone”) of CREW (i.e. “team”).

  1. Regularly show up vulgar cook, at last, with one’s exotic dish (8)

Answer: SOUVLAKI (i.e. “exotic dish”, a “Greek dish of lamb, similar to a shish kebab” (Chambers). Sounds good to me.) Solution is SOUVLA (i.e. “regularly show up vulgar”, i.e. every other letter of SHOW UP VULGAR) followed by K (i.e. “cook, at last”, i.e. the last letter of “cook”) and I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: SOUVLA-K-I. One I got purely from the wordplay, to be honest.

  1. Jerk splits stone, affecting his eyesight (7)

Answer: OPTICAL (i.e. relating to “eyesight”). Solution is TIC (i.e. “jerk”) placed in or “splitting” OPAL (i.e. “stone”), like so: OP(TIC)AL.

  1. Left before service talk’s prominent feature (7,3)

Answer: LANTERN JAW (i.e. “prominent feature”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) followed by ANTE (i.e. “before” in Latin), then RN (i.e. “service”, specifically the Royal Navy) and JAW (i.e. “talk”).

  1. Girl encountering an adder? That goes on in unseasonal weather (6,6)

Answer: INDIAN SUMMER (i.e. “unseasonal weather”). Solution is DI (i.e. “girl”, specifically a shortened form of Diana), AN and SUMMER (i.e. “adder” – think maths) all placed after or “on” IN, like so: IN-(DI-AN-SUMMER).

  1. It could supply mast, either sort (5)

Answer: BEECH. Clue plays on variant meanings of “mast”, one being a ruddy big pole stuck up on sailing ships, the other being the fruit of trees such as the beech. Nicely done.

  1. Old Ford’s ideal, right for advancement (7)

Answer: PREFECT (i.e. “old Ford” motor car). Solution is PERFECT (i.e. “ideal”) with the R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”) moved along a notch (indicated by “for advancement”), like so: PE(R)FECT => P(R)EFECT. Hands up who would have preferred a Hitchhiker’s reference. Yeah, me too.

  1. Band hero a bundle of nerves (8)

Answer: GANGLION (i.e. “bundle of nerves” of the anatomical kind, rather than a fit of butterflies). Solution is GANG (i.e. “band”) followed by LION (i.e. “hero”). One I remembered from putting together The Floors, when I wanted something to help describe a big fizzing ball of anachronometric energy, without making up words like anachronometric. Predominantly relates to tumours and cysts if you do a Google Image search, so perhaps there were better contenders!

  1. One’s second strip of carpet lifted (6-2)

Answer: RUNNER-UP (i.e. “one’s second”). Solution is RUNNER (i.e. “strip of carpet” used in corridors and on staircases) followed by UP (i.e. “lifted”).

  1. Indian shelter made from porous material I raised (7)

Answer: WICKIUP (i.e. “Indian shelter”). Solution is WICK (i.e. “porous material”) followed by I and UP (i.e. “raised”). Chalk one to my Bradford’s here.

  1. Letters from Crete about large pile of rocks (5)

Answer: TALUS (i.e. “pile of rocks”). Solution is TAUS (i.e. “letters from Crete” – tau is the nineteenth letter of the Greek alphabet) wrapped “about” L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”), like so: TA(L)US.

  1. Painter’s tool sticks covering first of long shades (12)

Answer: ROLLERBLINDS (i.e. “shades”). Solution is ROLLER (i.e. “painter’s tool”) followed by BINDS (i.e. “sticks”) once wrapped around or “covering” L (i.e. “first [letter] of long”), like so: ROLLER-B(L)INDS.

  1. Who pulls teeth, perhaps, in privileged seclusion? (5,5)

Answer: IVORY TOWER (i.e. “privileged seclusion”). Clue plays on TOWER meaning “one who tows” or “pulls”, and tusks being made of IVORY – a tusk being a long protruding “tooth”. Nicely worked.

  1. Note name visiting smart MO in US (7)

Answer: TECHNIC (i.e. “MO in US” – MO being Modus Operandi, a method of working, while TECHNIC is basically another word for “technique”. My Oxford attributes use of TECHNIC chiefly to North America, though in which field I couldn’t say. You certainly don’t hear it much in the wild. Meanwhile, my Chambers makes no such geographical distinction. Anyway, I’m rambling…) Solution is TE (i.e. “note” in the do-ray-me fashion) followed by N (a recognised abbreviation of “name”) once placed in or “visiting” CHIC (i.e. “smart”), like so: TE-CH(N)IC.

  1. Seriously cut off location in fens (8)

Answer: SEVERELY (i.e. “seriously”). Solution is SEVER (i.e. “cut off”) followed by ELY (i.e. “location in fens”, a coastal plain in eastern England).

  1. Heritage prison set back within Londonderry’s walls (6)

Answer: LEGACY (i.e. “heritage”). Solution is CAGE (i.e. “prison”) reversed (indicated by “set back”) and placed “within” LY (i.e. “Londonderry’s walls”, i.e. the first and last letters of “Londonderry”), like so: L(EGAC)Y.

  1. North Korean warships went off to block progress (5,1,7,2,3,5)

Answer: THROW A SPANNER IN THE WORKS (i.e. “to block progress”). “Off” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of NORTH KOREAN WARSHIPS WENT. Very nicely worked.

  1. Food and spirit for each old region of UK (9)

Answer: PEPPERONI (i.e. “food”). Solution is PEP (i.e. “spirit”) followed by PER (i.e. “for each”), then O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and NI (i.e. “region of UK”, specifically Northern Ireland).

  1. Ground taken back at end of Victorian era (5)

Answer: ARENA (i.e. sports “ground”). “At end of” indicates the solution has been hidden at the end of the clue, while “taken back” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: VICTORI(AN ERA).

  1. Classic struggle to obtain books with silver (7)

Answer: VINTAGE (i.e. “classic”). Solution is VIE (i.e. “struggle”) wrapped around or “obtaining” NT (i.e. “books”, specifically the New Testament of The Bible) and AG (chemical symbol of “silver”), like so: VI(NT-AG)E.

  1. Dirty mark or marks scorch clothes (5)

Answer: SMEAR (i.e. “dirty mark”). Solution is M (a recognised abbreviation of “marks”, the former German currency) placed in or “clothed” by SEAR (i.e. “scorch”), like so: S(M)EAR.

  1. In tent, try revolutionary hot dairy product (7)

Answer: YOGHURT (i.e. “dairy product”). Solution is GO (i.e. “try”) reversed (indicated by “revolutionary”) and, with H (a recognised abbreviation of “hot”), both placed “in” YURT (i.e. “tent”), like so: Y(OG-H)URT.

  1. Most colourful hi-vis top Victor discarded (9)

Answer: YELLOWEST (i.e. “most colourful”). Solution is YELLOW VEST (i.e. “hi-vis top”) with the V (“Victor” in the phonetic alphabet) “discarded”.

Down clues

  1. Charming woman with yen (5)

Answer: WITCH (i.e. “charming woman” – “charm” as in a spell or enchantment). Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”) followed by ITCH (i.e. “yen” or yearning).

  1. Country friar respecting people (9,8)

Answer: DOMINCAN REPUBLIC (i.e. “country”). Solution is DOMINICAN (i.e. “friar”) followed by RE (i.e. “respecting” or “about” – think email replies) and PUBLIC (i.e. “people”).

  1. Feature a time-consuming testimony (9)

Answer: ATTRIBUTE (i.e. “feature”). Solution is A and TRIBUTE (i.e. “testimony”) wrapped around or “consuming” T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”), like so: A-(T)-TRIBUTE.

  1. A top class European capital stars (6)

Answer: AURIGA (i.e. “stars” – other constellations are available). Solution is A followed by U (i.e. “top-class” – a favourite play of several setters, U is sometimes used to refer to the upper or “top class”) and RIGA (i.e. “European capital” of Latvia).

  1. Predict more staff will need to keep extremely alert (11)

Answer: EXTRAPOLATE (i.e. “predict”). Solution is EXTRA (i.e. “more”) followed by POLE (i.e. “staff”) once wrapped around or “keeping” AT (i.e. “extremely alert”, i.e. the first and last letters of “alert”), like so: EXTRA-POL(AT)E.

  1. In broadcast, recognises joint slump (4-4)

Answer: NOSE-DIVE (i.e. “slump”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “in broadcast”) of KNOWS (i.e. “recognises”) followed by DIVE (i.e. “joint” or disreputable bar).

  1. Drama queen, a Titian representation (7)

Answer: TITANIA (i.e. “drama queen” of the fairies, from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream). “Representation” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of A TITIAN.

  1. After a bit, I tweet “Job for pathologist” (11)

Answer: ANATOMISING (i.e. “job for pathologist” – to anatomise is to dissect, while pathologists get busy with post mortems and such). Solution is AN ATOM (i.e. “a bit”) followed by I and SING (i.e. “tweet”).

  1. Spooner’s claptrap displayed aloft at its peak (4-5)

Answer: FULL BLOWN (i.e. “peak”). Solution is BULL (i.e. “claptrap”) and FLOWN (i.e. “displayed aloft”) with their initial letters swapped (indicated by “Spooner’s”).

  1. Margaret has rather a lot of data (7)

Answer: MEGABIT (i.e. “data”). Solution is MEG (shortened form of “Margaret”) followed by A BIT (i.e. “a lot” – rather different this time to AN ATOM!) Unnecessary nerd tip: if you ever find yourself struggling to marry the download rates of your broadband connection to its bandwidth, remember that 8 bits make a byte. This means your 80Mb (megabits) broadband connection gives you bandwidth of up to 10MB (megabytes) per second. Oh, look, everyone’s buggered off.

  1. Write off sum (5)

Answer: TOTAL. Solution satisfies “write off” and “sum”. Simple, but nicely done.

  1. Lies initially among unfamiliar company: they’re breathtaking! (10)

Answer: STRANGLERS (i.e. “they’re breathtaking”. A bit like Keanu Reeves in the eyes of one particular gamer.) Solution is L (i.e. “lies initially”, i.e. the first letter of “lies”) placed in or “among” STRANGERS (i.e. “unfamiliar company”), like so: STRANG(L)ERS.

  1. A German tabloid points up unscripted remark (2-3)

Answer: AD-LIB (i.e. “unscripted remark”). Solution is A followed by BILD (i.e. “German tabloid”) once reversed (indicated by “points up” – this being a down clue), like so: A-DLIB.

  1. Company wife and male go arm in arm, somehow forming union (6-3,8)

Answer: COMMON-LAW MARRIAGE (i.e. “union”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “somehow”) of CO (a recognised abbreviation of “company”), W (ditto “wife”) and MALE GO ARM IN ARM.

  1. Sharpshooter frets about missing bullseye at the end (6)

Answer: SNIPER (i.e. “sharpshooter”). Solution is REPINES (i.e. “frets”) reversed (indicated by “about”) and once one of the Es has been removed (indicated by “missing bullseye at the end” – E being the last letter of “bullseye”), like so: REPIN(E)S => REPINS => SNIPER.

  1. Spot what’s found in warmer water? (6)

Answer: NOTICE (i.e. “spot”). When written as NOT ICE the solution also satisfies “what’s found in warmer water”. I have to admit this one made me smile when I twigged it.

  1. Nice place to sleep in the dark (5)

Answer: UNLIT (i.e. “in the dark”). When written as UN LIT the solution also satisfies “Nice place to sleep”, being the French for “a bed” – Nice being a city in France.

  1. What Persian did when cut round top of ear? (6)

Answer: MEOWED (i.e. “what Persian did”, as in the breed of cat). Solution is MOWED (i.e. “cut”) wrapped “round” E (i.e. “top [letter] of ear”), like so: M(E)OWED.

  1. Ambassador defends English enclosure (5)

Answer: HENGE (i.e. “enclosure”). Solution is HE (i.e. “ambassador”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of His Excellency) wrapped around or “defending” ENG (short for “English”), like so: H(ENG)E.

  1. Linen a traveller picked up in city (6)

Answer: NAPERY (i.e. table “linen”). Solution is A and REP (i.e. “traveller” – think of company agents gadding hither and thither), the latter reversed (indicated by “picked up” – this being a down clue), and both then placed “in” NY (i.e. “city”, specifically New York), like so: N(A-PER)Y.

  1. Meticulous old man at home putting up posts (11)

Answer: PAINSTAKING (i.e. “meticulous”). Solution is PA (i.e. father or “old man”) followed by IN (i.e. “at home”) and STAKING (i.e. “putting up posts”).

  1. Popular impromptu piece moved automatically (11)

Answer: INVOLUNTARY (i.e. “automatically”). Solution is IN (i.e. “popular”) followed by VOLUNTARY (i.e. “impromptu piece”, specifically “a piece of music played at will” (Chambers)).

  1. Bouquet for one impresses pair (5)

Answer: SPRAY (i.e. “bouquet”). Solution is SAY (i.e. “for one”, both ways of saying “for example”) wrapped around or “impressing” PR (a recognised abbreviation of “pair”), like so: S(PR)AY. Chalk another one to my Bradford’s. I wouldn’t have made the connection.

  1. Samples for child sure to involve piano (10)

Answer: PROTOTYPES (i.e. “samples”). Solution is PRO (i.e. “for”) followed by TOT (i.e. “child”) and YES (i.e. “sure”) once wrapped around or “involving” P (a recognised abbreviation of “piano”), like so: PRO-TOT-Y(P)ES.

  1. What has occurred before Conservative supports sponsors (4,5)

Answer: BACK STORY (i.e. “what has occurred before”). Solution is TORY (i.e. “Conservative”) placed after or “supporting” – this being a down clue – BACKS (i.e. “sponsors”).

  1. Take down unstable ring for sport (3,4,2)

Answer: TAE KWON DO (i.e. “sport”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “unstable”) of TAKE DOWN followed by O (i.e. “ring”).

  1. Nearly interrupt suspect like peeping Tom? (8)

Answer: PRURIENT (i.e. “like peeping Tom”, as in someone who takes an unhealthy sexual interest in something). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “suspect”) of INTERRUPT once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “nearly”).

  1. Close to crossing river? Time for resolution (3,4)

Answer: NEW YEAR (i.e. “time for resolution”). Solution is NEAR (i.e. “close to”) wrapped around or “crossing” WYE (i.e. “river”), like so: NE(WYE)AR.

  1. Fifth to abandon Tuvalu, swimming round a new island group (7)

Answer: VANUATU (i.e. “island group”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “swimming”) of TUVALU once its “fifth” letter has been removed, wrapped “round” A and N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”), like so: V(A-N)UATU. I get a sense of “why on earth did I put this in the grid” about this clue! One I remembered from a previous puzzle, if I’m honest.

  1. Scoop! Liberal gets push first (6)

Answer: SHOVEL (i.e. “scoop”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “Liberal”) with SHOVE (i.e. “push”) placed ahead of it, or “first”, like so: SHOVE-L.

  1. Not much change in Mumbai plant incorporating gym (5)

Answer: RUPEE (i.e. “not much change in Mumbai” – at the moment 1 rupee is worth a shade over 1p). Solution is RUE (a strong-smelling shrubby Mediterranean “plant” (Chambers)) wrapped around or “incorporating” PE (i.e. “gym”, specifically Physical Education), like so: RU(PE)E.

  1. Exhausted writer gets in the way (5)

Answer: SPENT (i.e. “exhausted”). Solution is PEN (i.e. “writer”) placed “in” ST (i.e. “way”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “street”), like so: S(PEN)T.