Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1406

[NOTE: I’ll be away from my laptop next weekend for a couple of weeks. All being well, I’ll be back in the saddle again early-November. Look after the place while I’m gone, will you? – LP]

Another relatively straightforward puzzle this week, though there was a smattering of exotic solutions to keep things a little spicy. It would also appear this week’s setter is the one who has a thing for dead people. (One of the unwritten rules The Times employs in their crosswords is to only allow real people as solutions if they’ve kicked the bucket.) I counted three dead guys lying around, stinking up the place, and another three that were shoehorned into other solutions. The irony wasn’t lost on me, given I’d grumped about precisely this in a comment to last week’s post. Ho and hum.

Anyway, to a spot of housekeeping. If you have a recent Times Jumbo Cryptic that’s tripped you up, then you might find my Just For Fun page a handy resource. If you have a passing interest in books, then I’ve a few things on my Reviews page that might interest. Maybe. No promises.

Right then. Here’s my completed grid, along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful.

Till next time,


Across clues

1. About an hour changing motorway (8)

Answer: AUTOBAHN (i.e. a “motorway” in Germany). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “changing”) of ABOUT AN and H (a recognised abbreviation of “hour”).

5. Author on the right put off about vote (6)

Answer: Colin DEXTER, creator of Inspector Morse (i.e. “author” – with apologies to any other deceased authors of his namesake – don’t haunt me). Solution is DETER (i.e. “put off”) placed “about” X (i.e. “vote”), like so: DE(X)TER. Solution also satisfies “on the right”. I’m sinister, which may not surprise anyone.

9. Order to purchase gemstone reportedly for cyborg technology (7)

Answer: BIONICS (i.e. “cyborg technology”). “Reportedly” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of BUY ONYX (i.e. “order to purchase gemstone”).

14. Fiery and extreme English politician in present day (3-8)

Answer: HOT-TEMPERED (i.e. “fiery”). Solution is OTT (i.e. “extreme”, being a recognised abbreviation of “over the top”), E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) and MP (i.e. “politician”, specifically a Member of Parliament) placed “in” HERE (i.e. “present”) and finally followed by D (a recognised abbreviation of “day”), like so: H(OTT-E-MP)ERE-D.

15. Alas, your pic is spoiled as gannets take food (11)

Answer: RAPACIOUSLY (i.e. “as gannets take food”). “Spoiled” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ALAS YOUR PIC.

16. Europe’s capital resides in wealthy German state (5)

Answer: REICH (i.e. “German state”). Solution is E (i.e. “Europe’s capital”, i.e. the first letter of “European”) placed or “residing in” RICH (i.e. “wealthy”), like so: R(E)ICH.

17. Poisonous mushroom mother’s fed to girl (7)

Answer: AMANITA (i.e. “poisonous mushroom”). Solution is MA (i.e. “mother”) placed in or “fed to” ANITA (i.e. “girl”, as in a girl’s name), like so: A(MA)NITA. I owe this one in part to a frightening number of hours spent gadding about Skyrim. And Skyrim VR.

18. Ireland in round are initially one up on points? (9)

Answer: BALLERINA (i.e. “one up on points”, as in being up on one’s tippy-toes). Solution is ERIN (i.e. “Ireland”, poetically) placed “in” between BALL (i.e. “round” – a bit weak) and A (i.e. “are initially”, i.e. the first letter of “are”), like so: BALL-(ERIN)-A.

19. Rupees southern India discovered in drug island (7)

Answer: CORSICA (i.e. “island”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “rupees”), S (ditto “southern”) and I (“India” in the phonetic alphabet) placed or “discovered in” COCA (i.e. “drug”), like so: CO(R-S-I)CA.

20. Perhaps Oscar is number two (6-2-7)

Answer: SECOND-IN-COMMAND (i.e. “number two”). Solution also satisfies “perhaps Oscar”, referring to how O (“Oscar” in the phonetic alphabet) is the second letter of “command”.

22. Not let Anne Dutten out (10)

Answer: UNTENANTED (i.e. “not let”). “Out” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ANNE DUTTEN.
[EDIT: Thanks to Mark in the comments for the correction. Solution was UNTENANTED, not UNATTENDED. The grid image was correct, but my brain went wrong when writing up the solutions. Stoopid brain… – LP]

23. Give Spanish noblewoman note (6)

Answer: DONATE (i.e. “give”). Solution is DONA (i.e. “Spanish noblewoman”, the female equivalent of a Don) followed by TE (i.e. “note”, in the doh-ray-me notation).

25. Once more throwing away a win (4)

Answer: GAIN (i.e. “win”). Solution is AGAIN (i.e. “once more”) with the first A removed (indicated by “throwing away a”).

28. Putting longer, I developed a brassy technique (6-8)

Answer: TRIPLE-TONGUING (i.e. “brassy technique”). “Developed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of PUTTING LONGER I. Not one to stick into Google. (Right, Mick? 😉 )

30. Ale month shifted alcohol (8)

Answer: METHANOL (i.e. “alcohol”). “Shifted” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ALE MONTH.

32. Soldiers protecting heads of Asian trade mission (8)

Answer: LEGATION (i.e. a diplomatic “mission”). Solution is LEGION (i.e. “soldiers”) wrapped around or “protecting” the “heads” or first letters of “Asian” and “trade”, like so: LEG(A-T)ION.

34. Headless rat in eggs and cheese pastries? Take any remedy (6,2,6)

Answer: CLUTCH AT STRAWS (i.e. “take any remedy”). Solution is AT (i.e. “headless rat”, i.e. the word “rat” with its initial letter removed) placed “in” between CLUTCH (i.e. “eggs”) and STRAWS (i.e. “cheese pastries”), like so: CLUTCH-(AT)-STRAWS.

37. Pint puller needs no help to get froth on liquor (4)

Answer: BARM (i.e. “froth on [fermenting] liquor”). Solution is BARMAID (i.e. “pint puller”) with the AID removed (indicated by “needs no help”). One gotten purely from the wordplay, if I’m honest.

38. Note hint about card game (6)

Answer: ECARTE (i.e. “card game”). Solution is E (i.e. a musical “note”) followed by TRACE (i.e. “hint”) both reversed (indicated by “about”), like so: ECART-E. Another one gotten from the wordplay.

39. 3-D art of changing hands in clock-making (10)

Answer: HOLOGRAPHY (i.e. “3-D art”). Solution is HOROGRAPHY (i.e. “clock-making”) with the R replaced by L (indicated by “changing hands”; R being a recognised abbreviation of “right”, L being “left”).

43. US determination to change inadequate rating (15)

Answer: UNDERESTIMATION (i.e. “inadequate rating”). “To change” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of US DETERMINATION.

45. Vet meeting requirements given time (7)

Answer: INSPECT (i.e. to “vet”). Solution is IN SPEC (i.e. “meeting requirements”, as in being within specification) followed by T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”).

47. Vandyke perhaps knowing about English illustrator (9)

Answer: Aubrey BEARDSLEY (i.e. “illustrator”). Solution is BEARD (i.e. “Vandyke perhaps”, being a short pointy beard) followed by SLY (i.e. “knowing”) once it has been wrapped around E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”), like so: BEARD-SL(E)Y. No, me neither. Another one gotten from the wordplay.

49. Mixture of aluminium in molten rock on the turn (7)

Answer: AMALGAM (i.e. “mixture”). Solution is AL (chemical symbol of “aluminium”) placed “in” MAGMA (i.e. “molten rock”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “on the turn”), like so: AM(AL)GAM.

51. Country concerned with peace after Conservative loss (5)

Answer: REALM (i.e. “country”). Solution is RE (i.e. “concerned with” – think email replies, for example) followed by CALM (i.e. “peace”) with the C removed (indicated by “after Conservative loss” – C being a recognised abbreviation of “Conservative”), like so: RE-ALM.

52. Diplomat needs suit as cover for briefs (7,4)

Answer: ATTACHE CASE (i.e. “cover for briefs”). Solution is ATTACHE (i.e. “diplomat”) followed by CASE (i.e. “suit”). An easier get than it ought to have been, being a recent repeat.

53. Evil American is into careless faker of images (11)

Answer: ILLUSIONIST (i.e. “faker of images”). Solution is ILL (i.e. “evil”) followed by US (i.e. “American”) and an anagram (indicated by “careless”) of IS INTO, like so: ILL-US-IONIST.

54. Sleeping – something not to do around Sandhurst (7)

Answer: DORMANT (i.e. “sleeping”). Solution is DON’T (i.e. “something not to do”) placed “around” RMA (i.e. Royal Military Academy, “Sandhurst” – it’s listed as RMAS in my Chambers, with no separate entry for RMA. Your dictionary may differ.)

55. Dangerous element runs for street in sports venue (6)

Answer: RADIUM (i.e. “dangerous element”). “For” indicates a replacement is afoot. Solution is STADIUM (i.e. “sports venue”) with the ST (a recognised abbreviation of “street”) replaced with R (ditto “runs”, as used in various ball games). Spookily, the last book I’ve read this week is Brooke Bolander’s The Only Harmless Great Thing, which is up for a World Fantasy Award next month. The novella is partly about the Radium Girls, who painted radium onto clock faces, tragically unaware of the radiation poisoning until it was much too late. Also, sentient glow-in-the-dark elephants. It’s a good read, incidentally, but takes some getting into. Anyway, moving on…

56. Hardly daunting storing film material (8)

Answer: SCARCELY (i.e. “hardly”). Solution is SCARY (i.e. “daunting”) wrapped around or “storing” CEL (i.e. “film material”), like so: SCAR(CEL)Y.

Down clues

1. Steam haricots with some tongue inside (7)

Answer: AMHARIC, the official language of Ethiopia (i.e. “tongue”). “With some … inside” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: STE(AM HARIC)OTS. One I only got once I had all the intersecting letters filled in, and even then a brute force of my Chambers was needed.

2. All playing on grass put up with half time ice cream (5-6)

Answer: TUTTI-FRUTTI (i.e. “ice cream”). Solution is TUTTI (musical lingo for “all playing”) followed by TURF (i.e. “grass”) reversed (indicated by “put up” – this being a down clue), then TI (i.e. “half time”, i.e. the first half of the word “time”), like so: TUTTI-FRUT-TI.

3. Writer’s from German right, one limited by injunction? (9)

Answer: BRECHTIAN (i.e. “writer’s” – I’m taking this to mean “of Bertolt BRECHT”). Solution is RECHT (i.e. “German right”, i.e. the German for “right”) and I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed in or “limited by” BAN (i.e. “injunction”), like so: B(RECHT-I)AN.

4. US comedian’s internal struggle to be eternally optimistic? (4,7,4)

Answer: HOPE AGAINST HOPE. Solution satisfies “US comedian [Bob HOPE]’s internal struggle” and “to be eternally optimistic”). A clue that scans rather well.

6. Ghostly tingling follows tree emitting echo (8)

Answer: ELDRITCH (i.e. “ghostly” – fans of H.P. Lovecraft will be all over this one). Solution is ITCH (i.e. “tingling”) placed after or “following” ELDER (i.e. “tree”) with the second E removed (indicated by “emitting echo” – E is “echo” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: ELDR-ITCH.

7. Orientating car badly in unfamiliar area (5,9)

Answer: TERRA INCOGNITA (i.e. “unfamiliar area”). “Badly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ORIENTATING CAR. Another clue that scans rather well. The solution also begs to be a story title. Really cool.

8. Politician managed to take in English people (10)

Answer: REPUBLICAN (i.e. “politician”). Solution is RAN (i.e. “managed”) wrapped around or “taking in” E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) and PUBLIC (i.e. “people”), like so: R(E-PUBLIC)AN. I really ought to start using a recognised abbreviation for “a recognised abbreviation”…

9. Rural bus curtailed – a severe pain (7)

Answer: BUCOLIC (i.e. “rural”). Solution is BUS with the last letter removed (indicated by “curtailed”) and followed by COLIC (i.e. “a severe pain”), like so: BU-COLIC.

10. Old unit containing unknown toxic gas (5)

Answer: OZONE (i.e. “toxic gas”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and ONE (i.e. a “unit”) wrapped around or “containing” Z (i.e. “unknown” – setters love calling the letters X, Y or Z in their solutions “unknowns”), like so: O-(Z)-ONE.

11. Where train stops around one with good reason to get going (11)

Answer: INSTIGATION (i.e. “reason to get going”). Solution is IN STATION (i.e. “where train stops”) placed “around” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”), like so: IN-ST(I-G)ATION.

12. Heavens! NHS bed places going up? (8)

Answer: SKYWARDS (i.e. “going up”). Solution is SKY (i.e. “heavens”) followed by WARDS (i.e. “NHS bed places”, as in hospital wards).

13. Killer beheaded Spanish poet (4)

Answer: ORCA, a “killer” whale. Solution is Federico García LORCA (i.e. “Spanish poet”) with the initial letter removed (indicated by “beheaded”). Chalk one to my Bradfords here. My knowledge of Spanish poets is almost as good as my knowledge of non-Spanish poets.

20. Queen’s put up in Italian city (6)

Answer: SIENNA (i.e. “Italian city”). Solution is ANNE IS (i.e. “queen’s”, read as “queen is”), reversed (indicated by “put up” – this being a down clue), like so: SI-ENNA.

21. Picture reason for dropping coffee? (7)

Answer: MUGSHOT. Solution satisfies “picture” and, when read as MUG [IS] SHOT (i.e. “reason for dropping coffee”).

22. Indescribable hunt hold topless meet (6)

Answer: UNTOLD (i.e. “indescribable”). Solution is derived by removing the initial letters (indicated by “topless”) of HUNT HOLD.

24. The food of love, perhaps with chips? (10,5)

Answer: ELECTRONIC MUSIC. Solution riffs on an oft quoted line from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night: “If music be the food of love, play on”. “Chips”, in context of the solution, represent microchips. You get the idea.

26. Treats cloth on side with a napper as quickly as possible (4,5,5)

Answer: FULL STEAM AHEAD (i.e. “as quickly as possible”). Solution is FULLS (i.e. “treats cloth” – an alternative definition of “full” is to scour and beat woollens) followed by TEAM (i.e. “side”) and A HEAD (i.e. “a napper” – a definition supported by my Chambers), like so: FULLS-TEAM-A-HEAD.

27. Flamboyant wood used in old carriage (6)

Answer: FLASHY (i.e. “flamboyant”). Solution is ASH (i.e. “wood”) placed “in” FLY (i.e. “old carriage”), like so: FL(ASH)Y.

29. The French on watch, perhaps for English martyr (7)

Answer: Hugh LATIMER, one of the Oxford “Martyrs” tried for heresy in the sixteenth century and burnt at the stake. Solution is LA (i.e. “the French”, i.e. the feminine form of the word “the” in French) followed by TIMER (i.e. “watch, perhaps”). Another one gotten from the wordplay.

31. Disconcerted wife in large crowd losing key (6)

Answer: THROWN (i.e. “disconcerted”). Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “wife”) placed “in” THRONG (i.e. “large crowd”) once the G has been removed (indicated by “losing [musical] key”), like so: THRO(W)N.

33. Piano virtuoso, expert at moving pieces (11)

Answer: GRANDMASTER. Solution, when read as GRAND MASTER, satisfies “piano virtuoso”. Solution also satisfies “expert at moving [chess] pieces”.

35. Amentia treated with hemp drug (11)

Answer: AMPHETAMINE (i.e. “drug”). “Treated” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of AMENTIA and HEMP.

36. Novel sin – just (6,4)

Answer: VANITY FAIR, a “novel” by William Makepeace Thackery. Solution is VANITY (one of the seven deadly “sins”) followed by FAIR (i.e. “just”).

40. Stock film boxers perhaps avoided? (9)

Answer: RESERVOIR (i.e. “stock”). Solution is RESERVOIR DOGS (i.e. a “film” by Quentin Tarantino) with the DOGS removed (indicated by “boxers perhaps avoided”).
[EDIT: Thanks to Sid in the comments for the typo corrections. Much obliged, Sid! – LP]

41. Store directors chasing award (8)

Answer: CUPBOARD (i.e. “store”). Solution is BOARD (i.e. “directors”) placed after or “chasing” CUP (i.e. “award”), like so: CUP-BOARD.

42. Unfortunately, it is a rum dessert (8)

Answer: TIRAMISU (i.e. “dessert”). “Unfortunately” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IT IS A RUM.

44. Note way to remove fumes making acetone? (7)

Answer: SOLVENT (i.e. “acetone”). Solution SOL (i.e. “note”, in the doh-ray-me style) followed by VENT (i.e. “way to remove fumes”).

46. Grass’s book (7)

Answer: TIMOTHY. Solution satisfies “grass” – as in the flora – and “book” – as in one of the books of the New Testament.

48. Russian’s home in Moscow, yes, before tea (5)

Answer: DACHA (i.e. “Russian’s home”). Solution is DA (i.e. “in Moscow, yes” – as in the Russian word for “yes”) followed by CHA (i.e. “tea”). One I knew, weirdly, though I can’t recall from where.

50. Day record set up for top prize (4)

Answer: GOLD (i.e. “top prize”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “day”) followed by LOG (i.e. “record”). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “set up” – this being a down clue), like so: GOL-D.

5 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1406

  1. Another walk in the park this week. I don’t mind the dead people as much as you and I got them quite quickly. I must be older than you 😁However, my main gripe was 20d. Sienna is the name of a pigment. The town in Italy is SIENA. One of my favourite cities.
    I didn’t Google triple-tonguing, finding it instead in my dictionary. I can only inagine what you found😱😁
    We’ll get the stinker next week and I won’t have the benefit of your parsing. ☹️ Hurry back!

    1. Nice of you to say, Mick. Thanks! I’ve cast the runes (well, Scrabble tiles) and they turned up I-N-K-S-T-E-R. Make of that what you will. All being well I’ll have something for puzzle 1407, just not for a couple of weeks. My spies will be on the lookout for puzzle 1408 while I’m away, which is nice of them. – LP

    2. I had the same issue, Anne is parses nicely but the Italian city is Siena. I tried to find an alternative spelling as Sienna but could not.

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