Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1365

Though not quite as harsh as the Boxing Day puzzle, there was still a load of farting about going on here. A grid that employs four plants, five dead people(*) and a half-dozen words from those hard-to-reach places of the dictionary suggests a setter having trouble getting the job done. The saving graces of this puzzle are a handful of these esoteric solutions being rather cool words.

(*) It’s an unwritten rule that The Times only allow people to be used as solutions in their crosswords if they are no longer living.

Anyway, enough bitching from me. Here’s my completed grid along with solutions where I have them. Hope this helps!

Across clues

1. Toast to show support, perhaps, then drink (7,2)

Answer: BOTTOMS UP (i.e. “toast”). Solution is BOTTOM (i.e. “support, perhaps”) “then” SUP (i.e. “drink”). One of the best episodes of “Bottom” too!

6. Scare makes close friend conceal identity (10)

Answer: INTIMIDATE (i.e. “scare”). Solution is INTIMATE (i.e. “close friend”) “concealing” ID (i.e. “identity”) like so: INTIM(ID)ATE.

12. Sketch by artist depicts hurly-burly of competitive work (3,4)

Answer: RAT RACE (i.e. “hurly-burly of competitive work”). Solution is TRACE (i.e. “sketch”) placed “by” RA (i.e. “artist”, specifically a Royal Academician), like so: RA-TRACE.

13. Girl I love close by, not a type to preach at people? (9)

Answer: MISSIONER, a person in charge of parochial missions (i.e. “not a type to preach at people”). Solution is MISS (i.e. “girl”), then I, then O (i.e. “love”, i.e. zero in tennis) then NER (i.e. “close by, not a”, i.e. the word “near” with the letter “a” removed), like so: MISS-I-O-NER.

14. Nick turning a hundred, in need of companion (5)

Answer: NOTCH (i.e. “nick”). Solution is TON (i.e. “a hundred”) reversed (indicated by “turning”) and followed by CH (i.e. “companion”, specifically a Companion of Honour), like so: NOT-CH.

16. Comprehensive cellar big man organised (3-9)

Answer: ALL-EMBRACING (i.e. “comprehensive”). “Organised” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CELLAR BIG MAN.

17. Avoid getting drunk with beer when entertaining university philosopher (2,8)

Answer: Simone DE BEAUVOIR (i.e. “philosopher”. I have no shame in looking this one up as, frankly, there are more philosophers than people who have read them.) Solution is an anagram (indicated by “getting drunk”) of AVOID and BEER wrapped around (i.e. “entertaining”) U (a recognised abbreviation of “university”), like so: DEBEA(U)VOIR.

19. Financial process (singular, not variable, internally) that makes some characters look big (14)

Answer: CAPITALISATION. Solution satisfies both “financial process (singular, not variable, internally)” – both “capitalisation” and “capitalization” exist in the dictionary, so the part in brackets tells us to use S, a recognised abbreviation of “singular”, instead of Z (setters love using “unknown” or “variable” to represent X, Y or Z in their clues) – and “that makes some characters look big”.

22. Supports British activity in court (8)

Answer: BRACKETS (i.e. “supports”). Solution is B (a recognised abbreviation of “British”) followed by RACKETS (i.e. “activity in [tennis] court”).

24. Dissonant composer is not consistent, leaving out one note (6)

Answer: Edgard VARESE (i.e. “dissonant composer” – another one I looked up as composers are also ten-a-penny). Solution is VARIES (i.e. “is not consistent”) with I removed (i.e. “leaving out [Roman numeral] one”) and followed by E (i.e. a musical “note”).

25. Bitter speeches an encouragement to audience, accompanied by illustrations (10)

Answer: PHILLIPPICS (i.e. “bitter speeches” – this is a new one on me, but I rather like it). Solution is PHILLIP (i.e. “an encouragement to audience”, i.e. a homophone of “fillip”) followed by PICS (i.e. “accompanied by illustrations”).

26. Fellow must keep quiet in wood (5)

Answer: MAPLE (i.e. “wood”). Solution is MALE (i.e. “fellow”) “keeping” P (a recognised abbreviation of “piano”, a musical term for “quiet”), like so: MA(P)LE.

29. Man in game is cheat (4)

Answer: ROOK. Solution satisfies both “man in game” i.e. a chess piece, and “cheat” (a rook is a card sharp).

30. Headline: “Ship has crossed river” (8)

Answer: STREAMER (i.e. a large, bold “headline”). Solution is STEAMER (i.e. “ship”) wrapped around (i.e. “has crossed”) R (a recognised abbreviation of “river”), like so: ST(R)EAMER.

32. Identification of woman, ‘orrible one, no relation (9)

Answer: DIAGNOSIS (i.e. “identification”). Solution is DI (i.e. a “woman’s” name) followed by AG (i.e. “’orrible one”, the apostrophe indicates that the initial “h” of “hag” – a horrible woman – should be dropped) then NO and SIS (i.e. “relation”, short for “sister”).

34. Conservative politician hiding nothing and within the law or guilty with others? (9)

Answer: COMPLICIT (i.e. “guilty with others”). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “Conservative”) and MP (i.e. “politician”, specifically a Member of Parliament) “hiding” O (representative of “nothing”) and then followed by LICIT (i.e. “within the law”), like so: C-(O)-MP-LICIT.

35. Importance of small foreign church (8)

Answer: SALIENCE (i.e. “importance”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) followed by ALIEN (i.e. “foreign”) then CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England).

36. Artist of major importance making comeback (4)

Answer: Joan MIRO (i.e. “artist” – as composers, ditto artists). “Of” suggests the solution is hidden in the clue and “making a comeback” suggests the solution is reversed, like so: MAJ(OR IM)PORTANCE.

39. Excellence of top female in American university (5)

Answer: MERIT (i.e. “excellence”). Solution is ER (i.e. “top female”, i.e. the word “her” with the first letter removed) placed “in” MIT (i.e. “American university”, specifically the Massachusetts Institute of Technology), like so: M(ER)IT.

40. One can detect a certain amount of bluster (10)

Answer: ANEMOMETER, a wind gauge. An oddly uncryptic clue, this, with a minimum of wordplay.

42. Sports official from West ‘am’s annoyance and anger (6)

Answer: UMPIRE (i.e. “sports official”). Solution is UMP (i.e. “West ‘am’s annoyance”, i.e. the word “hump” with the letter “h” dropped, as them West ‘am types are forever dropping their aitches) followed by IRE (i.e. “anger).

44. Getting on, accepting the conclusions of proper debate? (8)

Answer: AGREEING. Solution plays on how it satisfies both “accepting” and “getting on”, and how AGEING – another meaning of “getting on” – can be transformed into the solution by adding the final letters – or “conclusions” – of the words “proper debate”, like so: AG(RE)EING. Something like that, anyway.

46. Number half-resigned after change offering words of reconciliation (2,4,8)

Answer: NO HARD FEELINGS (i.e. “words of reconciliation”). Solution is NO (a recognised abbreviation of “number”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “after change”) of HALF-RESIGNED.

48. What parliamentary candidate can lose almost? Politician maybe safe (10)

Answer: DEPOSITORY (i.e. “safe”). Solution is DEPOSIT (i.e. “what parliamentary candidate can lose”) with the final letter removed (indicated by “almost”) and then followed by TORY (i.e. “politician”).

49. William and I broadcasting news periodically – we’ve made a packet? (12)

Answer: BILLIONAIRES (i.e. “we’ve made a packet”). Solution is BILL (i.e. alternative form of “William”) followed by I, then ON AIR (i.e. “broadcasting”) then ES (i.e. “news periodically”, i.e. alternate letters of the word NEWS).

53. Gentleman returning, greeting wise man (5)

Answer: RISHI, a Sanskrit word for a sage (i.e. “wise man”). Solution is SIR (i.e. “gentleman”) reversed (indicated by “returning”) and followed by HI (i.e. “greeting”), like so: RIS-HI.

54. This writer’s book of sayings – no book for those not yet perfect! (9)

Answer: IMPROVERS (i.e. “those not yet perfect”). Solution is IM (i.e. “the writer’s” – from the perspective of the setter, “the writer is” becomes “I am”, the contraction of which is “I’m”) followed by PROVERBS (i.e. “book of sayings”) with the B removed (i.e. “no book” – “b” being a recognised abbreviation of “book”).

55. Anecdotes by this fellow full of energy in Californian city (7)

Answer: ANAHEIM (i.e. “Californian city”). Solution is ANA (i.e. “anecdotes” – not a word I was familiar with, if I’m honest) followed by HIM (i.e. “this fellow”) wrapped around E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”), like so: ANA-H(E)IM.

56. No good territory for Scot to occupy – so he emigrates to here? (3,7)

Answer: NEW ENGLAND. Solution is N (a recognised abbreviation of “no”), G (ditto “good”) and LAND (i.e. “territory”), wrapped around EWEN (i.e. “Scot to occupy”), like so: N-(EWEN)-G-LAND.

57. Like some dates ending in kiss? Lacking style (9)

Answer: STONELESS (i.e. “like some dates”). Solution is S (i.e. “ending in kiss”, i.e. the last letter of the word “kiss”) followed by TONELESS (i.e. “lacking style”).

Down clues

1. Something risky – the Spanish people may chew on it (5)

Answer: BETEL, a chewable leaf (i.e. “people may chew on it”). Solution is BET (i.e. “something risky”) followed by EL (i.e. “the Spanish” – the Spanish for “the” is “el”).

2. What could make one irate: smut – a shock (10)

Answer: TRAUMATISE (i.e. to “shock”). “What could make” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IRATE SMUT A.

3. Don’t allow botanical body to admit blunder (8)

Answer: OVERRULE (i.e. “don’t allow”). Solution is OVULE (i.e. “botanical body”) “admitting” ERR (i.e. “blunder”), like so: OV(ERR)ULE.

4. Tree French author climbs (5)

Answer: SUMAC (i.e. “tree” – I only know this because I’ve seen a clue very much like it rather recently). Solution is a reversal (indicated by “climbs”) of Albert CAMUS (i.e. “French author”).

5. Job somewhere in Africa in a time of new life (9)

Answer: POSTNATAL (i.e. “time of new life”). Solution is POST (i.e. “job”) followed by NATAL (i.e. “somewhere in Africa”).

6. Two islands in river (4)

Answer: ISIS, an alternative name of the River Thames (i.e. “river”). Solution is IS (a recognised abbreviation of “island”) repeated (i.e. “two islands”).

7. Offer facility for steam train (6)

Answer: TENDER. Solution satisfies both “offer” and “facility for steam train” – a tender is a train carriage containing fuel and water.

8. Car makers there organised test of customers’ requirements (6,8)

Answer: MARKET RESEARCH (i.e. “test of customers’ requirements”). “Organised” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CAR MAKERS THERE.

9. Knight about to enter final scene, saying something’s wrong (12)

Answer: DENOUNCEMENT (i.e. “saying something’s wrong”). Solution is DENOUEMENT (i.e. “final scene”) with N (a recognised abbreviation of “knight” used in chess) and C (a recognised abbreviation of “circa”, i.e. “about”), like so: DENOU(N-C)EMENT.

10. Walked with external support, a bit of electronic apparatus (7)

Answer: TETRODE (i.e. “a bit of electronic apparatus”). Solution is TROD (i.e. “walked”) placed inside (indicated by “external”) TEE (i.e. a golf “support”), like so: TE(TROD)E.

11. Come out with holiday insurance (5,5)

Answer: BREAK COVER (i.e. “come out”). Solution is BREAK (i.e. “holiday”) followed by COVER (i.e. “insurance”).

15. Troublesome types rush around a ship, taking risk regularly (9)

Answer: HARASSERS (i.e. “troublesome types”). Solution is HARE (i.e. “rush”) placed “around” SS (a recognised abbreviation of a steamship, i.e. “ship”) and then followed by RS (i.e. “risk regularly”, i.e. every other letter of the word RISK), like so: HARA(SS)E-RS.

18. My friend entertaining soldiers is one of them? (8)

Answer: CORPORAL. Solution is COR (i.e. an exclamatory “my!” as in “cor blimey!”) followed by PAL (i.e. “friend”) wrapped around (i.e. “entertaining”) OR (i.e. “soldiers”, specifically the Other Ranks of the army), like so: COR-P(OR)AL. Within the context of the clue, the solution is “one of them [soldiers]”.

20. Agent set up yesteryear’s entertainer? (9)

Answer: PERFORMER (i.e. “entertainer”). Solution is REP (short for “representative”, i.e. “agent”) reversed (indicated by “up”, this being a down clue) and followed by FORMER (i.e. “yesteryear’s”), like so: PER-FORMER.

21. The crew is shipwrecked with last character aboard a theologian (10)

Answer: Albert SCHWEITZER (i.e. “theologian”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “shipwrecked”) of THE CREW IS wrapped around Z (i.e. “with last character aboard” – Z being the last letter of the alphabet), like so: SCHWEIT(Z)ER. I admit I got this purely through the wordplay rather than any real knowledge of theologians.

23. Leader of orchestra, one may surmise, is young and green (10)

Answer: FIDDLEHEAD, the edible curled frond of some ferns, it says here. So more bloody plants, then! Solution plays on how a FIDDLE HEAD may be the “leader of [an] orchestra”.

27. Rider to send wild beast across island (9)

Answer: POSTILION, someone who guides posthorses by riding on one of them (i.e. “rider”). No, me neither. Solution is POST (i.e. “to send”) then I (a recognised abbreviation of “island”) and LION (i.e. “wild beast”).

28. Thinking to act’s tricky – keep trying (5,2,7)

Answer: STICK AT NOTHING (i.e. “keep trying”). “Tricky” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of THINKING TO ACT’S.

31. Big beast gets post keeping little old fellow under (8)

Answer: MASTODON (i.e. “big beast”). Solution is MAST (i.e. “post”) with O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and DON (i.e. “fellow”) “kept under”, like so: MAST-O-DON.

33. Brats and the like spouting nonsense (12)

Answer: BLATHERSKITE, a garrulous talker of “nonsense” – I have never seen, heard or come close to this word in all my eighteen-and-a-bit-and-a-bit years. I really like it!). “Spouting” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of BRATS and THE LIKE.

34. Arrive, having ditched English chap, to meet the German boss (9)

Answer: COMMANDER (i.e. “boss”). Solution is COME (i.e. “arrive”) with the E removed (i.e. “having ditched English” – E being a recognised abbreviation of “English”), followed by MAN (i.e. “chap”) and DER (i.e. “the German” – the German for “the” is “der”), like so: COM-MAN-DER.

37. Key command in move against thieves (4,6)

Answer: OPEN SESAME. In Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, the door to the thieves’ den is opened by these words, i.e. “key command”.

38. Mix in a Spanish city, having abandoned a friend (10)

Answer: AMALGAMATE (i.e. “mix”). Solution is A, then MALAGA (i.e. “Spanish city”) with its middle A removed (i.e. “having abandoned a”), then MATE (i.e. “friend”), like so: A-MALGA-MATE.

41. Former French friend observed turning up – they’d have testing time (9)

Answer: EXAMINEES (i.e. “they’d have a testing time”). Solution is EX (i.e. “former”) then AMI (i.e. “French friend” – the French for “friend” is “ami”) then SEEN (i.e. “observed”) reversed (indicated by “turning up” – this being a down clue), like so: EX-AMI-NEES.

43. Move of company northwards noted in chronicle (8)

Answer: RELOCATE (i.e. “move”). Solution is CO (a recognised abbreviation of “company”) reversed (indicated by “northwards” – this being a down clue) and placed in RELATE (i.e. “chronicle”, albeit rather weakly), like so: REL(OC)ATE.

45. Ceremony embracing sailor’s swift comeback (7)

Answer: RIPOSTE (i.e. “swift comeback”). Solution is RITE (i.e. “ceremony”) “embracing” POS (i.e. “sailors”, specifically Petty Officers), like so: RI(POS)TE.

47. Spirit of good old man accepting modern style of music (6)

Answer: GRAPPA (i.e. “spirit”). Solution is G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) and PA (i.e. “old man”) “accepting” RAP (i.e. “modern style of music”), like so: G-(RAP)-PA.

50. What cowboy uses, see, for catching animal (5)

Answer: LASSO. At first it looks like a strangely uncryptic clue, but solution is LO (i.e. “see”, as in “lo and behold”) “catching” ASS (i.e. “animal”), like so: L(ASS)O.

51. Music-makers overwhelmed by greed sometimes (5)

Answer: REEDS (i.e. “music-makers”). “Overwhelmed” (as in “swamped by”) indicates the solution is hidden within the clue, like so: G(REED S)OMETIMES.

52. Proceed with commercial that provides motivation (4)

Answer: GOAD (i.e. “provides motivation”). Solution is GO (i.e. “proceed”) followed by AD (i.e. “commercial”).

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