A tougher puzzle for Bank Holiday Monday (aren’t they all?) with a few exotic solutions to keep the pages of one’s Chambers warm and a few other toughies to test the grey matter. Sadly, there were a few too many repeats as well. Can’t have ’em all, I guess.
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 have a previous Times Jumbo Cryptic showing a few gaps then you might be interested in my Just For Fun page. If you can be tempted into a spot of horror fiction then you’ll find a few bits and pieces on my Reviews page.
Right, on with the show. Nearly caught up. Till the next one, laters.
1. Systematically examine barbarian, uncivilised (2,7)
Answer: GO THROUGH (i.e. “systematically examine”). Solution is GOTH (i.e. “barbarian”, as opposed to those with a fancy for eyeliner and a spot of
Black Lace black lace) followed by ROUGH (i.e. “uncivilised”). Aaaa-gaaa-doo-doo-d<gunshot sound>
6. Indication of scores seeing one good character going on by (4,9)
Answer: TIME SIGNATURE (i.e. “indication of [musical] scores”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) followed by G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) and NATURE (i.e. “character”) with TIMES (i.e. “by”, as in multiplication) placed at the beginning, like so: TIMES-I-G-NATURE. The first of several repeats in this grid.
13. Not going anywhere yet (5)
Answer: STILL. Solution satisfies “not going anywhere” and “yet”.
14. Dog bites kit from behind, getting rear of United supporter (3,6)
Answer: BOX GIRDER (i.e. “supporter”). Solution is BOXER (i.e. “dog”) wrapped around or “biting” RIG (i.e. “kit”) which is reversed (indicated by “from behind”) and followed by D (i.e. “rear of United”, i.e. the last letter of “United”), like so: BOX(GIR-D)ER.
15. Manage poem in ode lacking content (7)
Answer: OVERSEE (i.e. “manage”). Solution is VERSE (i.e. “poem”) placed in OE (i.e. “ode lacking content”, i.e. the word “ode” with the middle letter removed), like so: O(VERSE)E.
16. Why leaves aren’t green? (5,6,4,2,5)
Answer: MONEY DOESN’T GROW ON TREES. Solution riffs on how “green” can describe the colour of leaves on a tree as well as money. I loved this clue when I finally got it. Very cool.
18. In discovery of the swine, Poirot ultimately messes up (8)
Answer: TRUFFLES (i.e. “discovery of the swine”). Solution is T (i.e. “Poirot ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “Poirot”) followed by RUFFLES (i.e. “messes up”).
20. Lady in colonial India – shame I’m cavorting with bishop (8)
Answer: MEMSAHIB (i.e. “lady in colonial India”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “cavorting”) of SHAME I’M followed by B (a recognised abbreviation of “bishop” used in chess), like so: MEMSAHI-B. I got the last half but had to brute force the first.
21. Look to think tank, some stupid conclusions being reflected (5)
Answer: DEKKO (i.e. “look” – I’ve never heard this one before, but it’s in the dictionary. I’m more of a shufti person, myself). “Conclusions” indicates the solution is hidden in the final letters of TO THINK TANK SOME STUPID, while “being reflected” indicates those letters have been reversed.
23. Theological teachings in study brought up (6)
Answer: REARED (i.e. “brought up”). Solution is RE (i.e. “theological teachings”, specifically Religious Education) placed “in” READ (i.e. “[to] study”), like so: REA(RE)D.
24. Infiltrating pack briefly, track animal (6)
Answer: BRUTAL (i.e. “animal”). This took a bit of figuring, but the solution is RUT (i.e. “track”) placed in or “infiltrating” BALE (i.e. “pack”) once its final letter has been removed (indicated by “briefly”), like so: B(RUT)AL. A nice bit of misdirection by the setter, though I didn’t think this at the time.
25. Receptive about daughter, OK for a change? (9)
Answer: AMENDABLE (i.e. “OK for a change”). Solution is AMENABLE (i.e. “receptive”) placed “about” D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”), like so: AMEN(D)ABLE.
28. Fascinated by period in chains, say? (10)
Answer: SPELLBOUND (i.e. “fascinated”). Solution also satisfies “period in chains, say”, as in a SPELL during which one was BOUND.
29. Winger, one’s granny (4)
Answer: KNOT. Solution satisfies “winger” – a KNOT can be a bird – and “granny”, as in a granny KNOT. Another one that took some figuring. I was weighing this and GNAT up for most of the puzzle, which seems a bit daft in hindsight.
30. Breakfast for those in bed? (7)
Answer: KIPPERS (i.e. “breakfast”). Solution riffs on how those asleep or kipping in bed can also be referred to as KIPPERS. A simple clue, but one that made me smile when I got it.
32. Team arrives finally in stadium late for kick-off? (7)
Answer: ARSENAL (i.e. “[English football] team”). Solution is S (i.e. “arrives finally”, i.e. the last letter of “arrives”) placed “in” ARENA (i.e. “stadium”) and followed by L (i.e. “late for kick-off”, i.e. the first letter of “late”), like so: AR(S)ENA-L.
34. Hooligan left unconscious (4)
Answer: LOUT (i.e. “hooligan”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) followed by OUT (i.e. “unconscious”).
35. Everyone knows this pretence, so shaky (4,6)
Answer: OPEN SECRET (i.e. “everyone knows this”). “Shaky” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of PRETENCE SO.
38. A tramp originally occupying some wood, in consequence was begging (9)
Answer: ENTREATED (i.e. “was begging”). Solution is A and T (i.e. “tramp originally”, i.e. the first letter of “tramp”) placed in or “occupying” TREE (i.e. “some wood”), which in turn is placed “in” END (i.e. “consequence”), like so: EN(TRE(A-T)E)D.
39. Wonderful shiner came up shortly after punch, stuffing knocked out (6)
Answer: PHAROS, which is a lighthouse or beacon (i.e. “wonderful shiner”). A new one on me, but it’s there in the dictionary. Solution is AROSE (i.e. “came up”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “shortly”) and placed “after” PH (i.e. “punch, stuffing knocked out”, i.e. the word “punch” with the middle letters removed), like so: PH-AROS. A clue that scans rather well.
40. No starter with Chinese food – or a huge plateful? (6)
Answer: OODLES. Solution is NOODLES (i.e. “Chinese food”) with the first letter removed (indicated by “no starter”). In the context of the clue, a huge plateful could be deemed oodles of noodles. Another cool clue that made me smile.
43. Artist inspired by modern style (5)
Answer: Max ERNST, an “artist” who’s appeared in another grid relatively recently. He also showed up late last year. Ho hum. “Inspired by” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: MOD(ERN ST)YLE.
45. Chinos primarily shipped out of heaving workplace where cords once manufactured (4-4)
Answer: ROPE-WALK, which is a long narrow shed for twisting threads into rope (i.e. “where cords once manufactured”). Good grief, this took me forever to decode! The solution is an anagram (indicated by “heaving”) of WORKPLACE once the C has been removed (indicated by “chinos primarily shipped out of…”, C being the first letter of “chinos”).
47. Artist leaving bride’s package unopened (8)
Answer: Henri ROUSSEAU (i.e. “artist”). Solution is TROUSSEAU (i.e. “bride’s package”, as in the clothes collected by the bride for her marriage (taps Chambers)) with the first letter removed (indicated – I guess – by “unopened”, though I can’t quite visualise why).
49. M. Monroe: celeb sure acting badly in O’Neill play (8,7,7)
Answer: MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA (i.e. “[Eugene] O’Neill play” – no, me neither, though the name rang a bell). “Badly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of M MONROE CELEB SURE ACTING. One of those clues where I took one look and thought, “Sod that. Hello, Google”. I have literally no shame.
52. Capital city the Balkan ideal, Ljubljana in Slovenia is always first (7)
Answer: TBILISI (i.e. “capital city” of Georgia). “Always first” indicates the solution is hidden in the initial letters of THE BALKAN IDEAL LJUBLJANA IN SLOVENIA IS. What a convoluted mess, but at least that made the wordplay a little easier to spot.
53. Plan arrived, stress picked up? (9)
Answer: INTENTION (i.e. “plan”). Solution is IN (i.e. “arrived”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “picked up”) of TENSION (i.e. “stress”), like so: IN-TENTION. Regular readers of my crossword posts may have noticed I’ve given up bleating about non-words being used as homophones. “King” and “Canute” spring to mind.
54. Weariness in recollection of current athlete, unlimited (5)
Answer: ENNUI (i.e. “weariness”). Solution is RUNNER (i.e. “athlete”) with the first and last letters removed (indicated by “unlimited”) and followed by I (a recognised abbreviation of “[electrical] current”). The whole is then reversed, indicated by “recollection”, like so: ENNU-I.
55. Cutting device, something sharp college tries (7,6)
Answer: PINKING SHEARS (i.e. “cutting device”). Solution is PIN (i.e. “something sharp”) followed by KINGS (i.e. “college”, located – you guessed it – in London) and HEARS (i.e. “tries”, as in a court of law).
56. Pygmy shot remarkably small creature (5,4)
Answer: GYPSY MOTH (i.e. “small creature”). “Remarkably” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of PYGMY SHOT.
1. Going over top of roost, egg possibly broken by very big tank (9)
Answer: GASOMETER (i.e. a storage “tank” for gas). Solution is R (i.e. “top of roost”, i.e. the first letter of “roost”) upon which (indicated by “going over” – this being a down clue) is placed GAMETE (i.e. “egg possibly”) once it has been wrapped around or “broken by” SO (i.e. “very big”, as in that is soooooooo gnarly, dude), like so: GA(SO)METE-R. SO could also be OS reversed (being a recognised abbreviation of “outsized”) but I can’t see a reverse indicator to bring it into play.
2. Great aunt Lily not half struggling to get into some sort of shape? (11)
Answer: TRIANGULATE (i.e. “to get into some sort of shape”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “struggling”) of GREAT AUNT and LI (i.e. “Lily not half”, i.e. the first half of “Lily”).
3. Improve demo (5)
Answer: RALLY. Solution satisfies “improve” and “demo”.
4. A foreign relation, knowledge complete (8)
Answer: UNBROKEN (i.e. “complete”). Solution is UN (i.e. “a foreign”, i.e. the masculine form of “a” in French) followed by BRO (i.e. “relation”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “brother”) and KEN (i.e. “knowledge”).
5. Sweet thing, old lover in stockings (6)
Answer: HEXOSE (i.e. “sweet thing”, being a sugar with six carbon atoms to the molecule). Solution is EX (i.e. “old lover”) placed “in” HOSE (i.e. “stockings”), like so: H(EX)OSE. One I got purely from the wordplay, to be honest.
6. Unlucky date maybe to be hit with the rent, unfortunately (10)
Answer: THIRTEENTH (i.e. “unlucky date maybe”). “Unfortunately” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HIT and THE RENT.
7. After defamation, forcibly remove swimmer for slippery practice (3-9)
Answer: MUD-WRESTLING (i.e. “slippery practice”). Solution is MUD (i.e. “defamation”) followed by WREST (i.e. “forcibly remove”) and LING (i.e. “swimmer”, a ling is a kind of fish).
8. Spread half of this well! (7)
Answer: STREWTH (i.e. an exclamatory “well!”). Solution is STREW (i.e. “spread”) followed by TH (i.e. “half of this”, specifically the first half of “this”).
9. Pioneering, seismic shifts? (6-8)
Answer: GROUND-BREAKING. Solution satisfies “pioneering” and is a possible result of “seismic shifts”.
10. Prayer a shade beneath king, it’s said (7)
Answer: AVERRED (i.e. “said”). Solution is AVE (i.e. “prayer”) and RED (i.e. “a shade”) once it has been placed “beneath” R (i.e. “king”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “Rex”), this being a down clue, like so: AVE-(R)-RED. One of those words I would have spelled with a single R, which shows what I know.
11. Would Trappist’s thoughts be so shocking? (11)
Answer: UNSPEAKABLE (i.e. “shocking”). Solution riffs on how Trappist monks have sworn a vow of silence. I rather liked this one when I got it.
12. Lookers ultimately attractive, I agree (4)
Answer: EYES (i.e. “lookers”). Solution is E (i.e. “ultimately attractive”, i.e. the last letter of “attractive”) followed by YES (i.e. “I agree”).
17. County, an outstanding place – that’s about right (8)
Answer: SOMERSET (i.e. “county”). Solution is SOME (i.e. “outstanding”, as in “that’s some dungeon you’ve got there, Mr Poll”) and SET (i.e. “[to] place”) both placed “about” R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”), like so: SOME-(R)-SET.
19. Fish in the Seine, perhaps, labouring here and there? (9)
Answer: FREELANCE (i.e. “labouring here and there”). Solution is EEL (i.e. “fish”) placed in FRANCE (i.e. “in the Seine, perhaps” – taken in the context of the clue, our fishy friend could find himself in France), like so: FR(EEL)ANCE.
22. Happy sound from sty came first (8)
Answer: GRUNTLED (i.e. “happy”). Solution is GRUNT (i.e. “sound from sty” as in the sound a pig makes) followed by LED (i.e. “came first”). The word was coined by P.G. Wodehouse in The Code of the Woosters: “…I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled”. One of my all-time favourite Wodehouse lines, though the fact the word is now recognised in the dictionary spoils the joke a tad!
25. Nation a little upset about public hangings at first – sentence noted? (8)
Answer: ANTIPHON, which is alternate chanting or singing (i.e. “sentence [musically] noted”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “a little upset”) wrapped “about” P and H (i.e. “public hangings at first”, i.e. the first letters of “public” and “hangings”), like so: ANTI(PH)ON. Another repeat, which made this an easier get than was perhaps envisaged.
26. Like flies in soup, tired swimming (9)
Answer: DIPTEROUS, which describes an insect or fly with two wings (i.e. “like flies”). “Swimming” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SOUP TIRED. This was a brute force job once I had the first three intersecting letters.
27. Linen dry, then wet – messy practice? (6-8)
Answer: TOILET-TRAINING (i.e. “messy practice”). Solution is TOILE (i.e. “linen” – chalk one to my Bradford’s here) followed by TT (i.e. “dry”, being a recognised abbreviation of “teetotal”) and RAINING (i.e. “wet”).
28. Height of water almost entirely maintained by raising of flood barriers (3,5)
Answer: SEA LEVEL (i.e. “height of water”). Solution is ALL (i.e. “entirely”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “almost”) and placed in or “maintained by” LEVEES (i.e. “flood barriers”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “raising of”), like so: SE(AL)EVEL. A clue that scans rather well.
31. Something explosive brewing? (9,3)
Answer: GUNPOWDER TEA. Yes, it does exist. Clue riffs on how gunpowder is an “explosive”. This was another recent repeat, disappointingly, which made for an easy get.
33. Launch proposal after group elected (3,2,6)
Answer: SET IN MOTION (i.e. “launch”). Solution is MOTION (i.e. “proposal”) placed “after” SET (i.e. “group”) and IN (i.e. “elected”).
36. Wrinkly old nan, later slowing down (11)
Answer: RALLENTANDO (i.e. “[music] slowing down”). “Wrinkly” indicates anagram. Solution is anagram of OLD NAN LATER. Chalk one to my Bradford’s. The anagram indicator was obvious but, as with the thousands of musical terms out there, you either know them or don’t.
37. Every quarter covered by British writers (10)
Answer: BALLPOINTS (i.e. “writers”). Solution is ALL POINTS (i.e. “every quarter”) preceded or “covered by” – this being a down clue – B (a recognised abbreviation of “British”).
41. English invading, native American quick to recoil in horror (9)
Answer: SQUEAMISH (i.e. “quick to recoil in horror”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) placed in or “invading” SQUAMISH (i.e. “native American”, specifically the not-quite-four-thousand indigenous Squamish people of British Colombia in Canada, as opposed to the not-quite-seven-thousand indigenous Suquamish people of Washington state a bit further down – I bet they’re forever getting each other’s mail), like so: SQU(E)AMISH.
42. Brief rest might lift God (5,3)
Answer: POWER NAP (i.e. “brief rest”). Solution is POWER (i.e. “might”) followed by PAN (i.e. “God”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “lift”, this being a down clue).
44. Number fed by service industry initially, then one stops (7)
Answer: TERMINI (i.e. “stops”). Solution is TEN (i.e. “number”) wrapped around or “fed by” RM (a recognised abbreviation of Royal Marines, i.e. “service”) and I (i.e. “industry initially”, i.e. the first letter of “industry”). The whole is then followed by another I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: TE(RM-I)N-I.
46. Nonsense incarcerating extremists in gulag, I mean (7)
Answer: PIGGISH (i.e. “mean”). Solution is PISH (i.e. “nonsense”) wrapped around or “incarcerating” GG (i.e. “extremists in gulag”, i.e. the first and last letters of “gulag”) and I, like so: PI(GG-I)SH.
48. Expedition leader heading for Russia in essence (6)
Answer: Vitus BERING (i.e. “expedition leader”). Solution is R (i.e. “heading for Russia”, i.e. the first letter of “Russia”) placed “in” BEING (i.e. “essence”), like so: BE(R)ING.
50. Rival in gym energetically doing a backflip (5)
Answer: ENEMY (i.e. “rival”). “In” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, while “doing a backflip” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: G(YM ENE)RGETICALLY.
51. On playing out the Alamo, heads raised (4)
Answer: ATOP (i.e. “on”). “Heads” indicates the solution is derived by the initial letters of PLAYING OUT THE ALAMO, while “raised” indicates those initial letters are reversed, this being a down clue.