Following last week’s post, here’s my completed grid for this week’s Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword, along with explanations for the solutions where I have them. As ever with these things there were a few WTF solutions in there and a couple of clues that still leave me scratching my head, but overall this was easier than last week’s puzzle. At least it didn’t keep me up until 1am trying to solve it. And to think there are crossword kings and queens out there who can crack these things in an hour or two. Sheesh!
1. Unfunny art park regularly shows something outstanding in white (7)
Answer: NUNATAK, a point of rock appearing above a surface of land ice, (i.e. “something outstanding in white”). If you ever needed proof that everything has to have a name, there it is. Solution is derived by removing every other letter (i.e. “regularly”) from UNFUNNY ART PACK.
5. Father’s returned with little desire for food? (8)
Answer: APPETITE (i.e. “desire for food”). Solution is AP (i.e. “father’s returned”, i.e. “pa” reversed) followed by PETITE (i.e. “little”).
9. Chap has shortly to cut weight (6)
Answer: GRAHAM, (i.e. “chap”). Solution is HA (i.e. “has shortly”, i.e. the word “has” with the last letter removed) inserted into (inferred by “to cut”) GRAM (i.e. “weight”), like so: GRA(HA)M. As noted in last week’s post, I’m never keen when the setter has to rely on given names to get the job done. It’s even worse when the entire solution is a given name.
13. Physics device compresses matter in a strange way (4, 13)
Answer: MASS SPECTROMETER (i.e. “physics device”). “In a strange way” indicates an anagram. Solution is rather a neat anagram of COMPRESSES MATTER.
14. Woody material needs straightening with edges removed (6)
Answer: LIGNIN, “a complicated mixture of substances deposited in the thickened cell walls of plants, making them rigid”, i.e. (“woody material”). So another everyday word then! The solution is ALIGNING (i.e. “straightening”) with the first and last letters removed (i.e. “with edges removed”). Needless to say this is one of those solutions I got from the wordplay rather than a deep knowledge of… er… “woody material”.
16. Dutiful round patient’s place in hospital that is not empty (8)
Answer: OBEDIENT (i.e. “dutiful”). Solution is O (i.e. “round”) followed by BED (i.e. “patient’s place in hospital”) then IE (i.e. “that is”) and finally NT (i.e. “not empty”, i.e. the word “not” with its middle letter removed).
17. An objection over a large orchestral piece? (4)
Answer: TUBA (i.e. “large orchestral piece”). Solution is A BUT (i.e. “an objection”) reversed (inferred by “over”).
18. I flirt awfully after tea – something that could get one suspended? (9)
Answer: CHAIRLIFT (i.e. “something that could get one suspended”). Solution is IRLIFT (an anagram of I FLIRT, as indicated by “awfully”) preceded by (inferred by “after”) CHA (i.e. “tea”).
20. Form of soya planted in river that’s no longer running? (3, 2, 3)
Answer: OUT OF USE (i.e. “no longer running”). Solution is TOFU (i.e. “form of soya”) inserted into (i.e. “planted in”) OUSE (i.e. “river” – the River Ouse in North Yorkshire), like so: OU(TOFU)SE.
21. Public speaker, warm and adept (11)
Answer: TOASTMASTER (i.e. “public speaker”). Solution is TOAST (i.e. “warm”, as in “as warm as toast”) followed by MASTER (i.e. “adept”).
24. Not giving in, city guards survive one (9)
Answer: INELASTIC (i.e. “not giving”). Not entirely sure about the solution for this one, but I reckon it’s IN (as in the “in” in the clue, if you get what I mean) followed by the letters EC (i.e. “city” – though quite which city I couldn’t say) wrapped around (inferred by “guards”) LAST (i.e. “survive”) and I (i.e. “one”), like so: IN-E(LAST-I)C.
25. Taking on a lecturer without work – half time (8)
Answer: ADOPTION (i.e. “take on”). Solution is A DON (i.e. “a lecturer”) wrapped around (inferred by “without”) OP (i.e. “work” – “op” being a recognised abbreviation for operator or operation) and TI (i.e. “half time”, i.e. the first half of the word “time”), like so: AD(OP-TI)ON.
26. Crack bringing head of safety into aircraft (4)
Answer: JEST (i.e. “crack”, as in a wisecrack). Solution is S (i.e. “head of safety”, i.e. the first letter of “safety”) placed into JET (i.e. “aircraft”), like so: JE(S)T.
29. Philharmonic took in composer audibly a lover of French timbres? (11)
Answer: PHILATELIST, a stamp collector. Solution satisfies the wordplay in both “Philharmonic took in composer” and “a lover of French timbres”. Regarding the former, the solution reads PHIL-ATE-LIST, i.e. Phil (short for “Philharmonic”) ate (i.e. “took in”) list (i.e. a homophone (inferred by “audibly”) of composer Franz Liszt’s surname). Regarding the latter, the French for stamp is “timbre”, so solution is a lover of stamps.
31. Notes country is keeping one Conservative and tame (11)
Answer: DOMESTICATE (i.e. to “tame”). Solution is DO and ME (i.e. “notes”, taken from the do-re-me-fa-so-la-te scale – your spellings may vary from those of the setter!) followed by STATE (i.e. “country”) wrapped around (inferred by “keeping”) I (i.e. “one”) and C (i.e. “Conservative”, C being a recognised abbreviation of the Conservative Party), like so: DO-ME-ST(I-C)ATE.
33. Get annoyed with aim for decoration (11)
Answer: NEEDLEPOINT (i.e. “decoration”). Solution is NEEDLE (i.e. “get annoyed”) followed by POINT (i.e. “aim”).
36. Leave – it holds wild panic for one who’s involved (11)
Answer: PARTICIPANT (i.e. “one who’s involved”). Solution is PART (i.e. “leave”) followed by IT wrapped around an anagram of PANIC (i.e. “it holds wild panic”), like so: PART-I(CIPAN)T.
38. Twisting old street in Paris – and what one needs to buy there (4)
Answer: EURO, the currency used in France. Solution is an anagram (indicated by “twisting”) of O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and RUE (i.e. “street in Paris” – the French for street is “rue”).
39. Overstep the mark and move twelve inches back, right? (2, 3, 3)
Answer: GO TOO FAR (i.e. “overstep the mark”). Solution is GO (i.e. “move”) followed by TOOFA (i.e. “twelve inches back”, i.e. the letters of “a foot” reversed) and then R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”), like so: GO-TOOFA-R.
41. American male working where ships unload in remote country (9)
Answer: BOONDOCKS, a slang North American term describing wild or remote country. Solution is BO (i.e. “American male”, “bo” being an American slang word for a man) followed by ON (i.e. “working”) and DOCKS (i.e. “where ships unload”).
44. Sportsman leapt the net excitedly (11)
Answer: PENTATHLETE (i.e. “sportsman”). “Excitedly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of LEAPT THE NET.
45. Memorise poem for discussion (8)
Answer: CONVERSE (i.e. “discussion”). Solution is CON (an archaic word meaning “study”) followed by VERSE (i.e. “poem”).
48. Crossing a line in pursuit of writer of farces (9)
Answer: TRAVERSAL (i.e. “crossing”). Solution is A and L (i.e. “a line”, “l” being a recognised abbreviation of “line”) following (i.e. “in pursuit of”) TRAVERS (i.e. “writer of farces”, specifically Ben Travers).
49. Word no peacekeepers needed (4)
Answer: NOUN, a naming “word”. Solution is NO and UN (i.e. “peacekeepers”, i.e. the United Nations). Tsk. It seems there’s nothing the Russians won’t hack these days.
50. Heaven is being trapped in a row of shops (8)
Answer: PARADISE (i.e. “heaven”). Solution is IS inserted into PARADE (i.e. “is being trapped in a row of shops”), like so: PARAD(IS)E.
52. A bachelor told to go away (6)
Answer: ABSENT (i.e. “away”). Solution is A and B (i.e. “a bachelor”, “B” being a recognised abbreviation of bachelor) followed by SENT (i.e. “told to go”).
53. I sing idiot patter, arranging conjuring tricks (16)
Answer: PRESTIDIGITATION, a sleight of hand (i.e. “conjuring tricks”). “Arranging” indicates an anagram. Solution is an anagram of I SING IDIOT PATTER. I had to dig the Chambers out for this one, though I suspected it would start with something like “prestige” thanks to the Christopher Priest novel. A great word!
54. Worker in house or outbuilding (4-2)
Answer: LEAN-TO, a shed or suchlike propped up against the side of a property (i.e. “outbuilding”). Solution is ANT (i.e. “worker”, as in a worker ant) surrounded by LEO (i.e. “house”, i.e. a division of the horoscope more often called a sign), like so: LE(ANT)O.
55. Old soldier about to finish Territorial Army feud (8)
Answer: VENDETTA (i.e. “feud”). Solution is VET (i.e. “old soldier”, short for “veteran”) wrapped around (indicated by “about”) END (i.e. “to finish”) and then followed by TA (i.e. “Territorial Army”), like so: V(END)ET-TA.
56. Colour of a red elm when worked (7)
Answer: EMERALD (i.e. “colour”). “When worked” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of A RED ELM.
1. Some variation, perhaps, in bedroom – both upside down? (6)
Answer: NIMROD, specifically Variation IX of Elgar’s Enigma Variations. You’ll know it when you hear it. Solution is a reversal of both IN and DORM (i.e. “in bedroom”) as indicated by “both upside down”.
2. New monster turned up, killing English military designer (6)
Answer: Major Peter Norman NISSEN, who invented prefabricated huts of corrugated steel (i.e. “military designer”). Solution is N (a recognised abbreviated form of “new”) followed by ISSEN (i.e. “monster” – Nessie – “turned up” – i.e. reversed – “killing English” – i.e. remove end “E”).
3. A routine gets to be fixed over singer’s vocal range (9)
Answer: TESSITURA (i.e. “singer’s vocal range”). This was another solution I got from the wordplay rather than actually knowing the word. Solution is A RUT (i.e. “a routine”) followed by IS SET (i.e. “to be fixed”) and the whole lot then reversed (indicated by “over”).
4. Unfortunately it’ll betoken a four-dimensional concept (5, 6)
Answer: KLEIN BOTTLE (i.e. “a four-dimensional concept” – trust me, it is). “Unfortunately” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IT’LL BETOKEN.
5. Singer taking part in abysmal Tosca (4)
Answer: ALTO, a high falsetto male voice (i.e. “singer”). “Taking part in” suggests the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: ABYSM(AL TO)SCA.
6. Sticking out in favour of underground rave (11)
Answer: PROTUBERANT (i.e. “sticking out”). Solution is PRO (i.e. “in favour of”) followed by TUBE (i.e. “underground”, specifically the London Underground rail network) and RANT (i.e. “rave”).
7. Final statement is exam – at least as far as these clues go? (3, 4, 4)
Answer: THE LAST WORD (i.e. “final statement”). As for the rest of the clue, I haven’t the foggiest idea what the setter is going on about! Anyone?
8. Cutting song after resistance during number (9)
Answer: TRENCHANT (i.e. “cutting”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation for electrical resistance) with TEN wrapped around it (i.e. “during number”) and followed by CHANT (i.e. “song”), like so: T(R)EN-CHANT.
10. American line is to complain bitterly with Republican over a Democrat (8)
Answer: RAILROAD (i.e. “American line”). Solution is RAIL (i.e. “to complain bitterly”) followed by recognised abbreviations of the remaining words, i.e. “Republican Over A Democrat”.
11. Be uncertain with short tapestry on a zodiac subject (4, 2, 3, 7)
Answer: HANG IN THE BALANCE (i.e. “Be uncertain”). Solution is HANGIN (i.e. “short tapestry”, i.e. the word “hanging” with the final letter removed) followed by THE BALANCE (i.e. “a zodiac subject”, specifically Libra, the scales).
12. Check up on men having second egg to begin with (7)
Answer: MONITOR (i.e. “check”). This is another clue that has me shrugging my shoulders. I’m guessing that “men having second egg” means replacing the second letter of “men” with an O, but, frankly, after that the setter has lost me.
15. Careful with parking for university being critical (8)
Answer: CAPTIOUS (i.e. “being critical”). Solution is CAUTIOUS (i.e. “careful”) with U (for “university”) replaced by P (for “parking”).
19. Vegetable with unknown feature put in dutchie regularly (8)
Answer: ZUCCHINI, a courgette (i.e. “vegetable”). Solution is Z (i.e. “unknown” – the letters X, Y, and Z are often referred to as “unknown” in clues) followed by CHIN (i.e. “feature”) placed in UCI (i.e. “dutchie regularly”, i.e. every other letter of DUTCHIE), like so: Z-UC(CHIN)I.
22. VIP’s a bit out of date? (8)
Answer: SIXPENCE. Solution satisfies the wordplay of both “VIP” and “a bit out of date”. Regarding the latter, a “bit” is another name for a coin (e.g. a “threepenny bit”), and a sixpence is a coin no longer in circulation, i.e. “a bit out of date”. As for “VIP”, it took me ages to realise the setter had used Roman numerals, i.e. VI-p => 6p => sixpence. Well played.
23. Name eater associated originally with sardine? (13, 3)
Answer: MEDITERRANEAN SEA. And so from a great clue in 22d we come to one that is somewhat woollier. “Originally” indicates an anagram. Essentially the solution is an anagram of NAME EATER and SARDINE.
27. Surprise event is had with European paper (8)
Answer: TREATISE (i.e. “paper”). Solution is TREAT (i.e. “surprise event”) followed by IS and then E (i.e. “European”).
28. Bird seen in sky, big owl? Tit? (4)
Answer: KIWI. Solution is derived from the middle letters (i.e. “seen in”) of SKY, BIG, OWL and TIT.
30. Rod has beer around ten (4)
Answer: AXLE (i.e. “rod”). Solution is ALE (i.e. “beer”) wrapped around X (i.e. “ten”), like so: A(X)LE.
32. Dying to tease in bank? (8)
Answer: MORIBUND (i.e. “dying”). Solution is RIB (i.e. “to tease”) inserted into MOUND (i.e. “bank”), like so: MO(RIB)UND.
34. Rugby player – he’s unknown to see forwards (8)
Answer: PROPHESY (i.e. “see forwards”). Solution is PROP (i.e. “rugby player”) followed by HE’S and then Y (i.e. “unknown” – as mentioned earlier, setters like to use “unknown” to represent the letters X, Y or Z).
35. Fees often do upset snobbish (6-5)
Answer: TOFFEE-NOSED (i.e. “snobbish”). “Upset” indicates an anagram. Solution is an anagram of FEES OFTEN DO.
36. Skydiver has ruined haircut in times gone by (11)
Answer: PARACHUTIST (i.e. “skydiver”). Solution is PAST (i.e. “times gone by”) wrapped around an anagram (indicated by “ruined”) of HAIRCUT like so: PA(RACHUTI)ST.
37. Not working in musical show I have to follow troupe’s lead (11)
Answer: INOPERATIVE (i.e. “not working”). Solution is IN OPERA (i.e. “in musical show”) followed by T (i.e. “troupe’s lead”, i.e. the first letter of “troupe”) and I’VE (a contraction of “I have”), like so: IN-OPERA-T-IVE.
40. Rather obese on account of swilling lager (9)
Answer: OVERLARGE (i.e. “rather obese”). Solution is OVER (i.e. “on account of”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “swilling”) of LAGER, like so: OVER-LARGE.
42. Scorn girl’s passion after a year (9)
Answer: DISPARAGE (i.e. “scorn”). This is another clue where I’m not on the same page as the setter. I’m guessing “girl’s” is DI’S, “passion” could be RAGE and PA is “a year”, as in “per annum”, but it doesn’t feel right.
43. Obscure large cask turning up for fruit (8)
Answer: HAZELNUT (i.e. “fruit”). Solution is HAZE (i.e. “obscure”) followed by both TUN (i.e. “cask”) and L (recognised abbreviation for “large”) reversed (indicated by “turning up”), like so: HAZE-L-NUT.
44. Difficulty is mine, following everything (7)
Answer: PITFALL (i.e. “difficulty”). Solution is PIT (i.e. “mine”) followed by F (recognised abbreviation of “following”) and ALL (i.e. “everything”).
46. Compound’s a mix of calcium, sulphur, lithium and iodine (6)
Answer: SILICA (i.e. “compound”). “A mix of” indicates an anagram. Solution is an anagram of CA (chemical symbol for calcium), S (sulphur), LI (lithium) and I (iodine).
47. Wrote how sheep are sometimes treated (6)
Answer: PENNED. Solution satisfies both “wrote” and “how sheep are sometimes penned”.
51. Girl taking a university exam (4)
Answer: VIVA, a type of university exam students can take if they are on the brink of achieving a particular grade. Solution is VIV (i.e. “girl”) followed by (i.e. “taking”) A.