Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1391

A toughie this week with a fair few exotic solutions peppering the grid. It took a while but I got there in the end. You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful.

Before we get there, some housekeeping in time-honoured fashion. If you’ve got a recent puzzle for which you are missing a few solutions then my Just For Fun page might interest you. Likewise, if you’re a fan of horror fiction, my Reviews page might have a few things to tickle your fancy. I’ll have a review of Best New Horror 8 coming shortly. Ish.

Right then, here we go. Till next week, TTFN!


Across clues

1. Average sound quality got with older player (10)

Answer: MIDFIELDER (i.e. a positional “player” in some field games). Solution is MID-FI (i.e. “average sound quality”, a play on how high-fidelity audio is often shortened to “hi-fi”) followed by ELDER (i.e. “older”).

6. Parades truth about state (5,7)

Answer: UTTAR PRADESH (i.e. a “state” in Northern India). “About” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of PARADES TRUTH. This clue kicks off an Arabic and Indian mini-theme that seems dotted throughout the puzzle. See how many you can spot!

14. Keenly observant, she prayed all over the place (5-4)

Answer: SHARP-EYED (i.e. “keenly observant”). “All over the place” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SHE PRAYED.

15. Arab digger, maybe, with no time for gardening tool (5)

Answer: ROWEL, which is a small spiked wheel found on a spur (i.e. “Arab digger, maybe” – Arab being a breed of horse in this case, but chalk one for the mini-theme too). Solution is TROWEL (i.e. “gardening tool”) with the T removed (indicated by “with no time for…” – T being a recognised abbreviation of “time”).

16. What can be good with a cuppa – getting universal vote? (7)

Answer: GATEAUX. Solution is G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) followed by A TEA (i.e. “a cuppa”), then U (a recognised abbreviation of “universal” used in film certification) and finally X (i.e. how you cast your “vote” – not that it counts for much these days, maddeningly). Within the context of the clue, you might enjoy a bit of gateaux with a cuppa. Not me. Bourbon Creams forever!

17. Terribly casual orator, no pro, is one using voice to great effect (10,7)

Answer: COLORATURA SOPRANO (i.e. “one using voice to great effect”). “Terribly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CASUAL ORATOR NO PRO. I got the “soprano” bit fairly easily but had to root through a few books for the rest.

18. Saw race where India obliterates English (5)

Answer: SPIED (i.e. “saw”). Solution is SPEED (i.e. “race”) with the first I (“India” in the phonetic alphabet – continuing the mini-theme) replacing or “obliterating” E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”).

19. Where bells may be ringing to raise spirits? (7)

Answer: INSPIRE (i.e. “to raise spirits”). Solution also satisfies “where bells may be ringing”, i.e. IN SPIRE. A clue that scans really well. I like it.

21. The old country gentleman working at court (6)

Answer: YEOMAN (i.e. “gentleman working at court”). Solution is YE (i.e. “the old”, as in a ye olde form of “the” – a similar trick was used last week using YE for “you”, but with no “old” indicator, which was bloody sneaky – I was consequently wiser to it this time around) followed by OMAN (i.e. “country” – in keeping with the puzzle’s mini-theme).

22. Spirit of large Latin female appearing in a Roman church (8)

Answer: ARMAGNAC (i.e. “[alcoholic] spirit”). Solution is MAGNA (i.e. “large Latin female” – the male equivalent being “magnus”) placed or “appearing in” A and RC (i.e. “a Roman church”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of Roman Catholic), like so: A-R(MAGNA)C.

24. Little error allowed in what musician might play (7)

Answer: TRIPLET, which, in this case, and according to my Chambers, is “a group of three notes occupying the time of two, indicated by a slur and the figure 3”. Got all that? Good. Anyway, “what musician might play”. Solution is TRIP (i.e. “little error”) followed by LET (i.e. “allowed” – the tense is a little iffy taken in isolation but works a little better in context of the clue).

26. Suspicious bringing back Diana on a criminal charge? (8)

Answer: PARANOID (i.e. “suspicious”). Solution is DI (i.e. shortened form of “Diana”) followed by ON, then A, then RAP (i.e. “criminal charge”). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “bringing back”), like so: PAR-A-NO-ID.

27. Stomach bananas – month old – on the turn (6)

Answer: OMASUM (i.e. “stomach” – specifically the third stomach of a cow. Also called the psalterium or manyplies because they’re clearly more memorable). Solution is MUSA (a variety of “banana”) followed by M and O (recognised abbreviations of “month” and “old” respectively), and the whole then reversed (indicated by “on the turn”), like so: O-M-ASUM. Needless to say, not being a veterinarian, I had to get this from the wordplay and a fair rummage of my Chambers.

30. Answer separate item with correspondence (11)

Answer: COUNTERPART (i.e. “with correspondence”, as in an equivalent or corresponding person or thing – a bit weak, but it just about works). Solution is COUNTER (i.e. “answer”) followed by PART (i.e. “separate item”).

32. Music surprise with official record (4,3,4)

Answer: ROCK AND ROLL (i.e. “music”). Solution is ROCK (i.e. “[to] surprise”) followed by AND (i.e. “with”) and then ROLL (i.e. “official record”, e.g. the electoral roll).

33. Being disapproving is losing value when I can’t be seen (11)

Answer: DEPRECATING (i.e. “being disapproving”). Solution is DEPRECIATING (i.e. “losing value”) with the first I removed (indicated by “when I can’t be seen”).

35. Try nice chop cooked using a little rocket? (11)

Answer: PYROTECHNIC (i.e. “rocket”). “Cooked” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TRY NICE CHOP. A clue that scans really well.

37. Herb’s missing society conference (6)

Answer: PARLEY (i.e. “conference”). Solution is PARSLEY (i.e. “herb”) with the S removed (indicated by “missing society” – S being a recognised abbreviation of “society”).

38. Church has to gauge years used for churchyard? (8)

Answer: CEMETERY (i.e. “churchyard”). Solution is CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England) followed by METER (i.e. “gauge”) and Y (a recognised abbreviation of “year”).

39. Speaking is a habit that’s lost nowadays (7)

Answer: DICTION (i.e. “speaking”). Solution is ADDICTION (i.e. “habit”) with the AD removed (indicated by “that’s lost nowadays”, AD standing for Anno Domini). Another clue that scans really well.

42. Proposal to confine dying criminal (8)

Answer: OFFENDER (i.e. “criminal”). Solution is OFFER (i.e. “proposal”) wrapped around or “confining”) END (i.e. final or “dying”), like so: OFF(END)ER.

44. Unknown person in crazy area that has banned unknowns (6)

Answer: ANYONE (i.e. “unknown person”). Solution is ZANY (i.e. “crazy”) and ZONE (i.e. “area”) both with the Z removed (indicated by “that has banned unknowns” – setters love using “unknown” to represent X, Y or Z in their solutions), like so: ANY-ONE. A bit of a clumsy one this, for me.

46. Large creature seen in stream in Indian state (7)

Answer: GORILLA (i.e. “large creature”). Solution is RILL (i.e. “stream” – further proof following my comment last week that there were sometimes too many names for things) placed “in” GOA (i.e. “Indian state” – kerching for the mini-theme), like so: GO(RILL)A.

48. Having a bite free on account (5)

Answer: ACRID (i.e. “having a bite”). Solution is RID (i.e. “[to] free [oneself of]”) placed beside or “on” AC (a recognised abbreviation of “account”), like so: AC-RID.

49. What upsets us – even carbonating red wine? (8,9)

Answer: CABERNET SAUVIGNON (i.e. “red wine”). “What upsets” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of US EVEN CARBONATING.

51. One man keeps a house somewhere in the US (7)

Answer: IDAHOAN (i.e. “somewhere in the US” – a bit weak, this. It feels like the setter panel-beat this clue into shape to make it work). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) followed by DAN (i.e. “man”, shortened form of Daniel) which is wrapped around or “keeping” A and HO (a recognised abbreviation of “house”), like so: I-D(A-HO)AN.

52. Read this page in correct order? (5)

Answer: RECTO, which, in publisher-speak, is the right-hand page of an open book (i.e. “this page” – the Times Jumbo Cryptic puzzle is published each week in the Saturday Review supplement and always occupies the penultimate page, and therefore a right-hand page). “In” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: COR(RECT O)RDER. Crossword nerds will know The Times collects many of these puzzles in an annual book a couple of years after their original publication. I wonder if this particular puzzle will make it in, because the clues in those books are published on the left-hand page…

53. Relating to issuing musical title with backing (9)

Answer: EMANATIVE (i.e. “relating to issuing”). Solution is EVITA (i.e. “musical”) and NAME (i.e. “title”) both reversed (indicated by “with backing”), like so: EMAN-ATIVE.

54. Race annoyed America, perhaps (5-7)

Answer: CROSS-COUNTRY. Solution satisfies “race” and “annoyed country, perhaps”.

55. Part of team abandoned player (6,4)

Answer: INSIDE LEFT (i.e. a positional “player” in some field games). Solution is IN SIDE (i.e. “part of team”, as in someone who is in a side) followed by LEFT (i.e. “abandoned”). A nice bit of symmetry by the setter between this and MIDFIELDER. I like it.

Down clues

1. A comic’s this upsetting, taking pleasure in hurt (11)

Answer: MASOCHISTIC (i.e. “taking pleasure in hurt”). “Upsetting” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of A COMIC’S THIS.

2. Speak slowly to bring out learner (5)

Answer: DRAWL (i.e. “speak slowly”). Solution is DRAW (i.e. “to bring out”) followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “learner”).

3. Disclose current key Liberal objective (9)

Answer: IMPARTIAL (i.e. “[to be] objective”). Solution is IMPART (i.e. “disclose”) followed by I (a recognised abbreviation of an electrical “current”) then A (i.e. “[musical] key”) and then L (a recognised abbreviation of “Liberal”). A clue that scans rather well.

4. Baby’s gear still coming in behind schedule (7)

Answer: LAYETTE (i.e. “baby’s gear”). Solution is YET (i.e. “still”) placed or “coming in” LATE (i.e. “behind schedule”) like so: LA(YET)TE. One I got through the wordplay, if I’m honest.

5. Old tree lay with heart gone (7)

Answer: ELDERLY (i.e. “old”). Solution is ELDER (i.e. “tree”) followed by LY (i.e. “lay with heart gone”, i.e. the word LAY with the middle letter removed).

7. Leather maker about to have place for environmental adviser (4,7)

Answer: TOWN PLANNER (i.e. “environmental advisor”). Solution is TANNER (i.e. “leather maker”) which is placed “about”) OWN (i.e. “to have”) and PL (a recognised abbreviation of “place”), like so: T(OWN-PL)ANNER.

8. Solvent, see, found in a stout? (6)

Answer: AFLOAT (i.e. “solvent”, as in being debt-free). Solution is LO (i.e. “see”, as in “lo and behold”) placed in A and FAT (i.e. “stout”), like so: A-F(LO)AT.

9. What offers a lot of openings in council that’s under limit (8)

Answer: PEGBOARD, which is a wooden block covered in holes used to help keep score in games such as cribbage (i.e. “what offers a lot of openings”). Solution is BOARD (i.e. “council”) which is placed “under” PEG (i.e. “[to] limit”), this being a down clue, like so: PEG-BOARD.

10. Remedy sorting out most acid pains (13)

Answer: ANTISPASMODIC (i.e. “remedy”). “Sorting out” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MOST ACID PAINS. Another clue that scans really well.

11. Dodge row about alternative vote that’s turned up (7)

Answer: EVASION (i.e. “dodge”). Solution NOISE (i.e. “row”, as in an argument) placed “about” AV (a recognised abbreviation of “alternative vote”) and the whole then reversed (indicated by “that’s turned up” – this being a down clue), like so: E(VA)SION.

12. Hard day cutting leather climber’s item up in a high base (11)

Answer: HEXADECIMAL (i.e. “[numerical] base [16]” – computer types will be familiar with base 16, i.e. the numbers 1-9 and the letters A-F which represent the numbers 1 through 16. Most other people will usually see these numbers when their computer buggers over and produces an error code). Bloody hell, what a convoluted mess this was! It took a while to decode this one, but my solution is H (a recognised abbreviation of “hard” used in pencil grading) with D (a recognised abbreviation of “day”) placed in or “cutting” LAM (i.e. “leather”, as in to hit something) and ICE AXE (i.e. “climber’s item”) which have been reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue), like so: H-(EXA-(D)-ECI)-MAL. Good grief, I’m off for a lie down after that one.

13. Revolutionary target endlessly at risk to Conservative informer (10)

Answer: ARISTOCRAT (i.e. “revolutionary target” – an unusual description. I’m fairly certain few aristocrats will have “revolutionary target” on their business cards, but fair enough). Solution is A and RIS (i.e. “endlessly at risk”, i.e. the words “at” and “risk” with the final letters removed) followed by TO, then C (a recognised abbreviation of “Conservative”) and RAT (i.e. “informer”), like so: A-RIS-TO-C-RAT.

20. Mostly fleece garment for a winter sportsman? (3-6)

Answer: SKI JUMPER (i.e. “winter sportsman”). Solution is SKI (i.e. “mostly fleece”, i.e. the word SKIN with the last letter removed – another weak one for me. If you were to skin an animal, you’d have its pelt rather than its fleece, wouldn’t you?) followed by JUMPER (i.e. “garment”).

23. Go wrong, getting very muddy around steep cliff (8)

Answer: MISCARRY (i.e. “go wrong” – another rather jarring description from the setter). Solution is MIRY (i.e. “very muddy”) wrapped “around” SCAR (i.e. “steep cliff”), like so: MI(SCAR)RY.

25. Skill used to cut bronze material (6)

Answer: TARTAN (i.e. “material”). Solution is ART (i.e. “skill”) placed in or “cutting” TAN (i.e. “bronze”), like so: T(ART)AN.

26. Hypocrite under pressure – he’s grabbing a pay increase (8)

Answer: PHARISEE, an over-adherent religious type obsessed with its rules. The word also means “hypocrite”. A new one on me, but I like it. Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “pressure”) followed by HE once it has been wrapped around or “grabbed” A RISE (i.e. “a pay increase”), like so: P-H(A-RISE)E.

28. Flyer showing cost of cutlery item? (9)

Answer: SPOONBILL (i.e. “flyer”, as in a bird). Solution also satisfies “cost of cutlery item”, as in a SPOON BILL.

29. Did season put girl and boy together? (6)

Answer: SALTED (i.e. “did season”). Solution is SAL (a “girl”, short for Sally) and TED (a “boy”, short for Edward) “put together”.

31. One understands what sweets the very poor might afford? (3,5,5)

Answer: THE PENNY DROPS. Solution satisfies “one understands” and “what sweets the very poor might afford”.

33. Alcoholic sinks an Arab account (11)

Answer: DISPOMANIAC (i.e. “alcoholic”). Solution is DIPS (i.e. “sinks”) followed by OMANI (i.e. “an Arab” – kerching the mini-theme again) and AC (a recognised abbreviation of “account”).

34. Avocado, perhaps, and it’s said, more disgusting fruit he sells (11)

Answer: GREENGROCER. Solution is GREEN (i.e. “avocado, perhaps”) followed by GROCER, a homophone of GROSSER (indicated by “it’s said, more disgusting”). In the context of the clue, a GREENGROCER would often sell avocados.

35. Men phone, after stumbling on incident (10)

Answer: PHENOMENON (i.e. “incident”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “after stumbling”) of MEN PHONE followed by ON, like so: PHENOMEN-ON.

36. Quite happy to include area in motorway control (11)

Answer: CONTAINMENT (i.e. “control”). Solution is CONTENT (i.e. “quite happy”) wrapped around or “including” A (a recognised abbreviation of “area”), IN and M (ditto “motorway”), like so: CONT(A-IN-M)ENT.

40. Eat garlic cooked, but this is not good in a pie (9)

Answer: CARTILAGE. “Cooked” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of EAT GARLIC. Within the context of the clue, cartilage isn’t good if found in a pie.

41. Notable C given out in operatic style (3,5)

Answer: BEL CANTO (i.e. “operatic style”). “Given out” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of NOTABLE C. One I got through the wordplay, if I’m honest.

43. Extreme ridicule over confused mix-up (7)

Answer: FARRAGO (i.e. “confused mix-up”). Solution is FAR (i.e. “extreme”) followed by RAG (i.e. “[to] ridicule”) and O (a recognised abbreviation of “over” used in cricket).

45. Maidstone finally trailing Orient (7)

Answer: EASTERN (i.e. “Orient”). Solution is E (i.e. “Maidstone finally”, i.e. the last letter of “Maidstone”) followed by ASTERN (i.e. “trailing”).

46. Nearly squash foreign friend’s tropical fish (7)

Answer: GOURAMI (i.e. “tropical fish” – did a Google Image search – yup, it’s a fish). Solution is GOURD (i.e. “squash”, as in a big fleshy fruit) with the last letter removed (indicated by “nearly”) and then followed by AMI (i.e. “foreign friend” – “ami” is French for “friend”). Score one for the Bradford’s here.

47. Honour no queen over Shakespearean king (6)

Answer: OBERON, “king” of the fairies in “Shakespeare’s” A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Solution is OBE (i.e. “honour”, specifically the Order of the British Empire) followed by NO and R (a recognised abbreviation of Regina, being Latin for “queen”) both reversed (indicated by “over”), like so: OBE-(R-ON).

50. Rogue losing head about one innocent (5)

Answer: NAÏVE (i.e. “innocent”). Solution is KNAVE (i.e. “rogue”) with the first letter removed (indicated by “losing head”) and wrapped “about” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: NA(I)VE.

4 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1391

  1. Just to say: really appreciate all the time and effort you put into these. And that you take the trouble to add detailed explanations for the answers, so that we can learn for next time. Thank you.

    1. Thanks for dropping in, Ong’ara. Welcome aboard! I’d probably agree with you re: (AD)DICTION – it’s a really well worked clue. Weirdly, despite its convoluted solution, I have to admit that the clue for HEXADECIMAL has also grown on me. – LP

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.