Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1361

Phew! Finally caught up! You turn your back for a couple of beers and these jumbo cryptics quickly mount up, don’t they? Anyway, here’s my completed grid for last Saturday’s puzzle, along with explanations where I have them.

[UPDATE: The answer to 12d turned out to be STEP, not SEED.]

Across clues

1. Close to the Dutch shore, not in any trouble (3,3,4)

Answer: OFF THE HOOK. Solution satisfies both “close to the Dutch shore” (i.e. off a small coastal town called The Hook of Holland) and “not in any trouble”.

6. Startling approach adopted by barber? (5,7)

Answer: SHOCK TACTICS (i.e. “startling approach”). Solution riffs on how “shock” is another word for “hair”.

14. Terrible months around zero Kelvin (7)

Answer: William THOMSON, 1st Baron “Kelvin”, physicist after whom the Kelvin scale was named. Solution is an anagram (indicated by “terrible”) of MONTHS placed “around” O (which resembles a “zero”), like so: TH(O)MSON.

15. May beauty defeat crowd circling around (7)

Answer: BLOSSOM (i.e. “May beauty”). Solution is LOSS (i.e. “defeat”) with MOB (i.e. “crowd”) reversed (indicated by “circling”) and placed “around” it, like so: B(LOSS)OM.

16. Concerned with walrus, revealing compassion (7)

Answer: REMORSE (i.e. “compassion”). Solution is RE (i.e. “concerned with”, i.e. an abbreviation of regarding) and MORSE (i.e. “walrus” – a new one on me. I wonder if Colin Dexter named his famed detective after one).

17. Able to hold glass at last, one’s ready for punch (4)

Answer: FIST (i.e. “one’s ready for punch”). Solution is FIT (i.e. “able”) “holding” S (i.e. “glass at last”, i.e. the last letter of the word “glass”), like so: FI(S)T.

18. Poor and simple, holding a grudge at the outset (6)

Answer: MEAGRE (i.e. “poor”). Solution is MERE (i.e. “simple”) “holding” A and G (i.e. “grudge at the outset”, i.e. the first letter of the word “grudge”), like so: ME(A-G)RE.

20. Going round meadows is unalloyed joy (8)

Answer: PLEASURE (i.e. “joy”). Solution is LEAS (i.e. “meadows”) with PURE (i.e. “unalloyed”) “going round” like so: P(LEAS)URE.

24. What’s needed, as pharmacist, when ill? That’s rough justice (1,5,2,4,3,8)

Answer: A TASTE OF ONE’S OWN MEDICINE. Solution satisfies both “what’s needed, as pharmacist, when ill” and “rough justice”.

25. Man on board ship needs so much water? (7)

Answer: DRAUGHT. Solution satisfies both “man on board” i.e. in a game of draughts or checkers, and “ship needs so much water” – the draught is the depth to which a ship sinks in the water, i.e. between the waterline and the bottom of the hull. So now you know.

26. In its turn it picks up loads regularly that trades, say, collect (8)

Answer: WINDLASS, which is a kind of hoist. This is one of those solutions I got without fully twigging what the setter had in mind, so beware. My solution is WINDS (i.e. “in its [windlass’s] turn”) “loading” LAS (i.e. “loads regularly”, i.e. every other letter of the word LOADS), like so: WIND(LAS)S. As for the rest of the clue… (shrugs shoulders).

27. In no hurry to give one away, it’s plain (6)

Answer: PATENT (i.e. “it’s plain”). Solution is PATIENT (i.e. “in no hurry”) with the I removed (i.e. “to give one away”).

29. Ample librarian reinvented as athletic star (5,9)

Answer: PRIMA BALLERINA (i.e. “athletic star”). “Reinvented” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of AMPLE LIBRARIAN.

31. Wander round trench, half quivering (8)

Answer: ATREMBLE (i.e. “quivering”). Solution is AMBLE (i.e. “wander”) placed “round” TRE (i.e. “trench, half”, specifically the first half), like so: A(TRE)MBLE.

34. Was dragged along by dogs and killed for crying out (8)

Answer: SLEIGHED. Solution satisfies both “was dragged along by dogs” and “killed for crying out”, i.e. a homophone of “slayed”.

36. Penniless short journeys by public transport convenient for gentleman booked (8,6)

Answer: TRISTRAM SHANDY, the titular character of Laurence Sterne’s influential eighteenth century novel (i.e. “gentleman booked”). Solution is TRIPS minus the P (i.e. “penniless short journeys”) followed “by” TRAMS (i.e. “public transport”) and HANDY (i.e. “convenient”), like so: TRIS-TRAMS-HANDY.

39. Feeble Luddism a labourer embraces (6)

Answer: DISMAL (i.e. “feeble”). “Embraces” hints that the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: LUD(DISM A L)ABOURER.

41. Figure closely confined with endless pain (8)

Answer: PENTAGON (i.e. “figure”). Solution is PENT (i.e. “closely confined”) followed by AGON (i.e. “endless pain”, i.e. the word “agony” with the final letter removed).

43. In a way, keeping muscle in check (7)

Answer: INSPECT (i.e. “check”). Solution is IN followed by ST (i.e. “a way”, ST being a recognised abbreviation of “street”) “keeping” PEC (i.e. “muscle”), like so: IN-S(PEC)T.

46. Overreaching at law, estate lost – no one understood it (4,7,2,3,7)

Answer: TWAS CAVIARE TO THE GENERAL, a quote from Shakespeare’s Hamlet meaning a good thing unappreciated by the ignorant (i.e. “no one understood it”). “Lost” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of OVERREACHING AT LAW ESTATE. Not being a massive fan of Shakespeare, this took me a while to decrypt.

47. Great circle is right one to split in the middle (8)

Answer: MERIDIAN, an imaginary “great circle” going through the poles of the Earth. Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”) and I (i.e. the Roman numeral “one”) “splitting” MEDIAN (i.e. “in the middle”), like so: ME(R-I)DIAN.

48. Niggardly, parting with pound creates distress (6)

Answer: MISERY (i.e. “distress”). Solution is MISERLY (i.e. “niggardly”) with L removed (i.e. “parting with pound”, L being a recognised abbreviation of “pound”).

49. Dope back from the six counties (4)

Answer: INFO (i.e. “dope”). Solution is OF NI (i.e. “from the six counties” – the six counties being another name for Northern Ireland) reversed (indicated by “back”).

53. After sailor died, submariner’s return shows guts (7)

Answer: ABDOMEN (i.e. “guts”). Solution is AB (i.e. “sailor”, specifically Able Bodied) followed by D (a recognised abbreviation for “died”) and then OMEN (i.e. “submariner’s return”, i.e. Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea’s Captain NEMO spelled backwards).

54. I despise small, cosy position (7)

Answer: SCORNER (i.e. “I despise”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) followed by CORNER (i.e. “cosy position”).

56. As one in feud, I get stirred up (7)

Answer: UNIFIED (i.e. “as one”). “Get stirred up” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IN FEUD I.

57. Having been sent to prison, going down very angry (12)

Answer: INCANDESCENT (i.e. “very angry”). Solution is IN CAN (i.e. “having been sent to prison”) followed by DESCENT (i.e. “going down”).

58. Villain with the Midas touch? (10)

Answer: GOLDFINGER (i.e. “villain”). (Coughs.) Gollllllld-fingahhhhhhh (wah-waaa-wah) He’s the man, the man with the Midas touch… Best. Frasier. Scene. Ever.

Down clues

1. So get pet bird fed without delay? (3,2,4)

Answer: OUT OF HAND. Solution satisfies both “so get pet bird fed” and “without delay” – not a variant meaning I was familiar with, if I’m honest.

2. Cool about holding box by broken side? Content here is not secure (5,8)

Answer: FOOL’S PARADISE (i.e. feeling “content here is not secure”). Solution is ALOOF (i.e. “cool”) reversed (indicated by “about”) “holding” SPAR (i.e. to “box”… think Rocky) and then followed by an anagram (indicated by “broken”) of SIDE, like so: FOOL(SPAR)A-DISE. This was one of those solutions I’d had filled in lightly for ages before I finally twigged the wordplay. Well played.

3. What signifies a number to chop up (4)

Answer: HASH. Solution satisfies both “what signifies a number”, e.g. #1, and “to chop up”.

4. The only organised man calls round in southern town (6-2-6)

Answer: HENLEY-ON-THAMES (i.e. “southern town”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “organised”) of THE ONLY with HE NAMES (i.e. “man calls”) placed “round” it, like so: HE-N(LEYONTH)AMES.

5. Eye monk up (3)

Answer: ORB (i.e. “eye”). Solution is BRO (i.e. “monk”, i.e. Brother – I’ve now got the image of a bunch of monks telling Yo Mama jokes to one another) backwards (indicated by “up”, this being a down clue).

7. Urgently whisper part of this speech (4)

Answer: HISS (i.e. “urgently whisper”). “Part of” suggests the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: T(HIS S)PEECH.

8. Appears to admit poetry’s beauty (10)

Answer: COMELINESS (i.e. “beauty”). Solution is COMES (i.e. “appears”) wrapped around (i.e. “to admit”) LINES (i.e. “poetry”), like so: COME(LINES)S. I had this down as “seemliness” for a long time, and it was only when I solved 15a that I knew I had it wrong. I don’t imagine I was the only one. Again, well played.

9. Look likely to have small card briefly over a higher one (8)

Answer: THREATEN (i.e. “look likely”). Solution is THRE (i.e. “small card briefly”, i.e. a “three” with the last letter removed) placed “over” A TEN (i.e. “a higher one”, as in a higher card).

10. Take a host from kibbutz, maybe, including one pet (11)

Answer: COMMUNICATE (i.e. “take a host”… think communion). Solution is COMMUNE (i.e. “kibbutz, maybe”) “including” I CAT (i.e. “one pet”), like so: COMMUN(I-CAT)E.

11. Tribesman is artist, top drawer (9)

Answer: ISRAELITE (i.e. “tribesman”). Solution is IS RA (i.e. “is artist”, specifically a Royal Academician) followed by ELITE (i.e. “top drawer”).

12. Rank particularly cherished by solider at first on the up (4)

Answer: SEED (i.e. “rank”). I’m not twigging the wordplay here, so take this with a pinch of salt. Pretty much all I can get is the initial S (i.e. “soldier at first” i.e. the first letter of the word “soldier”) and how “on the up” suggests this will be placed at the start. As for “particularly cherished”… nope, not getting it.
[UPDATE: The answer for this turned out to be STEP. I’m guessing this is referring to the steps of a podium. Ugh… Solution is PET (i.e. “particularly cherished”) followed by S (i.e. “soldier at first” i.e. the first letter of the word “soldier”) and the whole lot reversed (i.e. “on the up”, this being a down clue.)]

13. Anticipated wood cut has been executed (8)

Answer: FORESEEN (i.e. “anticipated”). Solution is FORES (i.e. “wood cut”, i.e. the word “forest” with the final letter removed) followed by EEN (i.e. “been executed”, i.e. the word “been” with its first letter – or head – removed).

19. Presumably one properly left an intangible asset (8)

Answer: GOODWILL. Solution satisfies both “presumably one properly left” – i.e. a good will as opposed to a crappy one – and “intangible asset”.

21. A mark, good? It’s the reverse – a bad one (6)

Answer: STIGMA (i.e. “a bad [mark]”). Solution is A then M (short for “mark”) then G (ditto “good”) then ITS all “reversed”, like so: STI-G-M-A.

22. Spirit of country seen in vacation (8)

Answer: HOLLANDS, a gin made in Holland (i.e. “spirit [of country]”). Solution is LAND (i.e. “country”) “seen in” HOLS (i.e. “vacation”), like so: HOL(LAND)S.

23. Tough article in early edition (8)

Answer: LEATHERY (i.e. “tough”). Solution is THE (i.e. “article”) placed “in” an anagram (indicated by “edition”) of EARLY, like so: LEA(THE)RY.

28. Reason to support marking familiar territory (8,6)

Answer: STAMPING GROUND. Solution satisfies both “reason to support” – i.e. ground for giving something a stamp of approval – weak, I know – and “familiar territory”.

29. Stop immediate use of information on envelope (8)

Answer: POSTDATE. Solution satisfies both “stop immediate use”, i.e. of a cheque, and “information on envelope”.

30. One taking part in regimental ceremonies which don’t occur often (8)

Answer: RARITIES (i.e. “which don’t occur often”). Solution is RA (i.e. “regimental”, specifically Royal Artillery) followed by RITES (i.e. “ceremonies”) wrapped around I (i.e. a Roman numeral “one” “taking part”), like so: RA-RIT(I)ES.

32. Being indisposed, doctor indelibly writing “overindulgence” (5,8)

Answer: BINGE DRINKING (i.e. “overindulgence”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “indisposed”) of BEING followed by DR (short for “doctor”) and INKING (i.e. “indelibly writing”), like so: BINGE-DR-INKING.

33. Subsidiaries of British farms (8)

Answer: BRANCHES (i.e. “subsidiaries”). Solution is B (short for “British”) followed by RANCHES (i.e. “farms”).

35. Appalling arrogance, in which old Frenchman is showing classical influence (6-5)

Answer: GRAECO-ROMAN (i.e. “classical influence”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “appalling”) of ARROGANCE “in which” OM (though quite what makes this specifically “old Frenchman” is beyond me) “is showing”, like so: GRAECOR(OM)AN.

37. Washing down accommodation university’s not used (6)

Answer: HOSING (i.e. “washing down”). Solution is HOUSING (i.e. “accommodation”) with U (short for “university”) removed.

38. Ridiculously, grapes came a huge distance (10)

Answer: MEGAPARSEC (i.e. “a huge distance”). “Ridiculously” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of GRAPES CAME.

40. Detectives order fools to turn up in bursts (9)

Answer: SPASMODIC (i.e. “in bursts”). Solution is CID (i.e. “detectives”, specifically the Criminal Investigation Department) followed by OM (i.e. “order”, specifically the Order of Merit) and SAPS (i.e. “fools”) all reversed (i.e. “turn up”, this being a down clue), like so: SPAS-MO-DIC.

42. Look into playing on computer in the half dark (8)

Answer: GLOAMING (i.e. “in the half dark”). Solution is LO (i.e. “look” – think of hammy actors pointing and saying something like “lo, a castle, my lord”) placed “into” GAMING (i.e. “playing on computer”), like so: G(LO)AMING.

44. Demand for giraffes perhaps that is hard to fulfil? (4,5)

Answer: TALL ORDER. Solution satisfies both “demand for giraffes” (stop groaning) and “[demand] that is hard to fulfil”.

45. Signs of drug depravity around where you would expect? (8)

Answer: EVIDENCE (i.e. “signs”). Solution is E (i.e. “drug”, specifically the shortened form of “ecstasy”) followed by VICE (i.e. “depravity”) wrapped “around” DEN (i.e. “where you would expect [drug depravity]”), like so: E-VI(DEN)CE.

50. Dry course with a dull instructor, principally (4)

Answer: WADI (i.e. “dry course” – a new word on me, but not one I can see using too often). “Principally” suggests the solution is found in the initial letters of With A Dull Instructor.

51. A time to reflect, but not to change (4)

Answer: NOON. Solution riffs on how NOON is a palindrome.

52. A mouse is heard in vehicle (4)

Answer: MINI. Solution satisfies both “a mouse is heard”, i.e. a homophone of “Minnie” Mouse, and “vehicle”.

55. Letter Cecil only half finished (3)

Answer: RHO. Solution satisfies both “letter” – i.e. the seventeenth letter of the Greek alphabet – and “Cecil only half finished” – I’m guessing the Cecil in question here is Cecil Rhodes, businessman, politician and founder of Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.

So there were are. Another post, another crossword solution. As mentioned previously, I’ll soon start leavening these blog posts with something a little less dry. If you are a fan of the Best New Horror book series or other such anthologies, stay tuned.

Laters, taters.

LP

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