Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1411

A weird one this week, in that I solved most of the relatively easy clues at the beginning, unwittingly leaving all the bloody hard ones to the end. Sheesh, talk about a false sense of security! I got there in the end, I think, which is the main thing.

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 jump in, a spot of housekeeping: if you have a recent Times Jumbo Cryptic that’s gotten one over you, then you might find succour in my Just For Fun page. If book reviews are your bag then I have the odd one on my Reviews page. I hope to have one up for Best New Horror 11 shortly(ish), as it’s been a while. Finally, if you’d like to read a short story of mine, then you can find one here.

Right, with that little lot out of the way, it’s straight on through to Answerville.

Till next time,


Grid image corrected thanks to a comment from Sid on my About page. Thanks, Sid! – LP

Across clues

1. Open wide his cell, but not completely (7)

Answer: DEHISCE (i.e. “open wide”). “But not completely” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: WI(DE HIS CE)LL. Cool word, but a brute force of Chambers was needed to get it.

5. Mechanic’s grand when in better shape (3,6)

Answer: GAS FITTER (i.e. “mechanic”). Solution is G (a recognised abbreviation of “grand”) followed by AS (i.e. “when”) and FITTER (i.e. “in better shape”).

10. Sunlight makes ozone gas, initially producing this? (4)

Answer: SMOG. “Initially” indicates the solution is derived by taking the first letters of SUNLIGHT MAKES OZONE GAS. Not sure of the science behind this one, but then I’m no scientist.

14. Until David is prepared to tour India, he’s not a team player (13)

Answer: INDIVIDUALIST (i.e. “he’s not a team player”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “prepared”) of UNTIL DAVID IS which is wrapped around or “touring” I (“India” in the phonetic alphabet). A clue that scans rather well.

15. Greeks exploited this devious foresight (4,5)

Answer: GIFT HORSE (i.e. “Greeks exploited this”, referring to the Trojan Horse used by the Greeks to infiltrate the city of Troy). “Devious” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of FORESIGHT.

16. County with lots of money transferred electronically? (10)

Answer: DOWNLOADED (i.e. “transferred electronically”). Solution is DOWN (i.e. “[Irish] County”) followed by LOADED (i.e. “with loads of money”).

17. Remove police officers from allotment again as punishment (11)

Answer: RETRIBUTION (i.e. “punishment”). Not sure about this one, so watch out. I guess the solution is derived by “removing” some letters from RE(AT)TRIBUTION (i.e. “allotment again”), but I can’t see how AT gets you “police officers”.
[EDIT – Mick comes to the rescue in the comments, highlighting that the word ought to have been REDISTRIBUTION. If one removes DIS (being Detective Inspectors, i.e. “police officers”), you then get RETRIBUTION. Thanks, Mick! – LP]

18. Prominent feature of unfinished material (5)

Answer: CHINO (i.e. “material”). Solution is CHIN (i.e. “prominent feature”) followed by O (i.e. “of unfinished”, i.e. the word “of” with the last letter removed).

19. As many plays are to Mike touring revolutionary Havana (10)

Answer: TRAGICOMIC (i.e. “as many plays are”). Solution is TO and MIC (i.e. “Mike”, both recognised words for a microphone) wrapped around or “touring” CIGAR (i.e. “Havana”) which is reversed (indicated by “revolutionary”), like so: T(RAGIC)O-MIC.

21. Cleverly obtain women’s view (6)

Answer: WANGLE (i.e. “cleverly obtain”). Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “women”) and ANGLE (i.e. “view”).

23. Fine old important ass with no name (4-5)

Answer: OKEY-DOKEY (i.e. “fine”, as in a word of assent). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) followed by KEY (i.e. “important”) and DONKEY (i.e. “ass”) with the N removed (indicated by “no name” – N being a recognised abbreviation of “name”), like so: O-KEY-DOKEY.

25. Start university owing money? (5)

Answer: DEBUT (i.e. “start”). Solution is U (a recognised abbreviation of “university”) placed in DEBT. The “owing money” bit plays on how the U is placed “in DEBT” to derive the solution. You get the idea.

26. A copper breaking up rave’s beaming (7)

Answer: RADIANT (i.e. “beaming”). Solution is A DI (i.e. “a copper”, specifically a Detective Inspector) placed in or “breaking up” RANT (i.e. “rave”), like so: R(A-DI)ANT.

28. Top sailor and German worker make more than enough (13)

Answer: SUPERABUNDANT (i.e. “more than enough”). Solution is SUPER (i.e. “top”) followed by AB (i.e. “sailor”, specifically one of the Able Bodied variety) then UND (i.e. “and German”, i.e. the German for “and”) and ANT (i.e. “worker”).

31. Drop two drinks containing last of gin (9)

Answer: DOWNSWING (i.e. “drop”). Solution is DOWN and SWIG (i.e. “two drinks”) wrapped around or “containing” N (i.e. “last of gin”, i.e. the last letter of “gin”), like so: DOWN-SWI(N)G.

33. American sent back a strong beer brought in for each fan (9)

Answer: SUPPORTER (i.e. “fan”). Solution can be US (i.e. “American”) reversed (indicated by “sent back”) and PORTER (i.e. “a strong beer”) once P (i.e. “for each”, or per – I’m guessing the setter has “per annum” in mind here, often shortened to “pa”, but in isolation this is not an abbreviation of “per” that is recognised by my Chambers) is “brought in” between them, like so: SU-(P)-PORTER. Alternatively, if you pretend for a moment that the setter’s screwed up, that PORT is a strong beer and not fortified wine, then you could place it in PER (being “for each”), like so: SU-P(PORT)ER. Either way, this ain’t great. Next!!!

35. Called bully regularly in Euston, say, for using throttle (13)

Answer: STRANGULATION (i.e. “using throttle”). Solution is RANG (i.e. “called [on the telephone]”) and UL (i.e. “bully regularly”, i.e. every other letter of BULLY) placed “in” STATION (i.e. “Euston, say”), like so: ST(RANG-UL)ATION.

37. You brought in coffee and baby’s clothing (7)

Answer: LAYETTE (i.e. “baby’s clothing”). Solution is YE (i.e. ye olde “you”) placed “in” LATTE (i.e. “coffee”), like so: LA(YE)TTE. Another go-to solution for setters it seems, having recently appeared here and here.

38. Cunning servicemen open case of claret (5)

Answer: CRAFT (i.e. “cunning”). Solution is RAF (i.e. “servicemen”, specifically the Royal Air Force) placed in or “opening” CT (i.e. “case of claret”, i.e. the first and last letters of “claret”), like so: C(RAF)T.

40. Check what golfer does on tee to try out buggy? (4,5)

Answer: TEST DRIVE. Solution is TEST (i.e. “[to] check”) followed by DRIVE (i.e. “what golfer does on tee”). Test drives are taken in motor vehicles by prospective owners in order to “try them out”. A golf “buggy” might be one such vehicle, at a stretch. You get the idea.

42. Charge the German for trough (6)

Answer: FEEDER (i.e. “trough”). Solution is FEE (i.e. “charge”) followed by DER (i.e. “the German”, i.e. the German for “the”).

44. Angle to pay for drink, including duck (10)

Answer: STANDPOINT (i.e. “angle”). Solution is STAND PINT (i.e. “to pay for drink”) wrapped around or “including” O (i.e. “duck”, being a zero score in cricket), like so: STAND-P(O)INT.

46. Republican university withdraws race (5)

Answer: RELAY (i.e. “race”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “Republican”) followed by YALE (i.e. “[American] university”) which is reversed (indicated by “withdraws”), like so: R-ELAY.

48. Study society involved in racket with your authority (11)

Answer: CONNOISSEUR (i.e. “authority”). Another one I’m not 100% on, so watch out. Solution is CON (an archaic word for “study” often used by setters) followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “society”) once it has been placed or “involved” in NOISE (i.e. “racket”). I’m guessing the setter then means UR to be “your”, to then make CON-NOIS(S)E-UR, but this usage isn’t supported by any of my assorted reference books. If the intention was a contraction of “you are”, then 1) “you’re” is not the same as “your”, and 2) some kind of homophone indicator should have been used. So are we allowing textspeak now, setters, or am I missing something? Hmm. Given my recent form, the latter is a possibility…
[EDIT – After sneaking a look in a few other dictionaries, I see the latest Oxford lists UR as an abbreviation of “your”. Shame, Oxford! Shame! (Rings bell.) – LP]

50. Goods in a recession ignoring City’s hostility (10)

Answer: AGGRESSION (i.e. “hostility”). Solution is GG (i.e. “goods” – G is a recognised abbreviation of “good”, so GG would be the plural “goods”) placed “in” A RECESSION once the letters EC have been removed (indicated by “ignoring City” – EC is the post code area of the City of London), like so: A(GG)RESSION.

52. Gentleman calling for taxi briskly, good to go (9)

Answer: CABALLERO (i.e. a Spanish “gentleman”). Solution is CAB (i.e. “taxi”) followed by ALLEGRO (i.e. “fast” in musical lingo) once the G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) has been removed, like so: CAB-ALLERO.

53. Run new article about outcome of WWIII? (7,6)

Answer: NUCLEAR WINTER (i.e. “outcome of WWIII”). “About” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of RUN NEW ARTICLE.

54. First female premier’s right wing, still (4)

Answer: EVER (i.e. “still”). Solution is EVE (i.e. “[Biblical] first female”) followed by R (i.e. “premier’s right wing”, i.e. the last letter of “premier”).

55. Baked bits and pieces bits Kitty dumps across river (9)

Answer: POTSHERDS, which, in archaeological terms, are fragments of pottery (i.e. “baked bits and pieces”). Solution is POT (i.e. “kitty” as in a pot of money – ignore the misleading capitalisation) followed by SHEDS (i.e. “dumps”) once it has been wrapped around or placed “across” R (a recognised abbreviation of “river”), like so: POT-SHE(R)DS. A new word on me, but not one I can see using in conversation anytime ever. Also, the second mention of “bit” seems redundant, unless it’s supposed to qualify “kitty” – bits being another word for coins. Given that the second “bit” doesn’t scan at all well within the clue, I’m guessing this is an editor fail.

56. Battle colour (7)

Answer: MAGENTA. Solution satisfies “battle” – referring to the Battle of Magenta fought during the Second Italian War of Independence in 1859 (so says Wikipedia, anyway) – and “colour”.

Down clues

1. Stage cow, perhaps, with no tail (4)

Answer: DAIS (i.e. “stage”). Another where the setter shakes me off, so be aware. My best guess is that the solution is derived from DAISY with the last letter removed (indicated by “with no tail”), but I’m not getting how this is a “cow, perhaps”. There’s probably some enormous neon-lit cultural reference I’m missing somewhere.

2. Extremely happy vet maybe with leather needing horse compound (9)

Answer: HYDROXIDE (i.e. “compound” of hydrogen and oxygen). Solution is HY (i.e. “extremely happy”, i.e. the first and last letters of “happy”) followed by DR (a recognised abbreviation of doctor, i.e. “vet maybe”) and OX HIDE (i.e. “leather”) with the H removed (indicated by “needing horse” – H being a recognised abbreviation of heroin, also known as “horse”), like so: HY-DR-OX-IDE.

3. Son still muses on mundane old edifices, including a lighthouse (5,7,2,3,5)

Answer: SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD (i.e. “old edifices, including a lighthouse” – the latter referring to the Lighthouse of Alexandria). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”) followed by EVEN (i.e. “still” – 54a has EVER being “still”, 3d has EVEN being “still” – both work), then WONDERS (i.e. “muses on”) and OF THE WORLD (i.e. “mundane”).

4. Final violent demonstration missing quota (7)

Answer: ENDMOST (i.e. “final”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “violent”) of DEMONSTRATION once the RATION has been removed (indicated by “missing quota”).

5. King George with cleric going round Yankee landmark (5,6)

Answer: GRAND CANYON (i.e. “landmark”). Solution is GR (i.e. “King George” or Georgius Rex in Latin) followed by AND (i.e. “with”) and CANON (i.e. “cleric”) once it has been placed “around” Y (“Yankee” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: GR-AND-CAN(Y)ON.

6. Cool GP, seen running round getting dehydrated fast? (4-5)

Answer: SPIN-DRIED (i.e. “getting dehydrated fast”, or at least faster than being left out in the open). Solution is SPIED (i.e. “seen”) placed “round” IN (i.e. hip and happening and “cool”) and DR (a recognised abbreviation of “doctor”, i.e. “GP” or General Practitioner), like so: SP(IN-DR)IED.

7. Season without wife’s place in ground (5)

Answer: INTER (i.e. “place in ground”). Solution is WINTER (i.e. “season”) with the W removed (indicated by “without wife” – W being a recognised abbreviation of “wife”).

8. Grasping digits the FT put about (11)

Answer: TIGHTFISTED (i.e. “grasping”). “Put about” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DIGITS THE FT.

9. Fliers on female, one supported by a hat-maker (6)

Answer: RAFFIA (i.e. “hat-maker”. It is also used to make other things, like mats and baskets.) Solution is RAF (i.e. “fliers”) followed by F (a recognised abbreviation of “female”), then I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and A. The “supported by” bit relates to how these pieces are all stacked on top of the final A, this being a down clue.

11. Greeting old seafarers in China (7)

Answer: MORNING (i.e. “greeting” – hoo boy, the swearing when this finally clicked!) Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and RN (i.e. “seafarers”, specifically the Royal Navy) placed “in” MING (i.e. “china” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), like so: M(O-RN)ING.

12. A degree in martial arts restricted building here (5,4)

Answer: GREEN BELT. Solution satisfies “a degree in martial arts” and “restricted building here”.

13. Somehow understanding solids has special relish (8,6,8)

Answer: THOUSAND ISLAND DRESSING (i.e. “relish”). Both “somehow” and “special” appear to be anagram indicators here, which seems a tad excessive. Unless thousand island dressing is indeed “special”. Never tried it. Solution is an anagram of UNDERSTANDING SOLIDS HAS. An easier get, having appeared in a previous grid.

18. Rich man’s wrinkles mentioned? (7)

Answer: CROESUS (i.e. “rich man”). “Mentioned” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of CREASES (i.e. “wrinkles”). Another easier get, having appeared in a previous grid.

20. Troops maybe fly spacecraft (7)

Answer: ORBITER (i.e. “spacecraft”). Solution is OR (i.e. “troops”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army) followed by BITER (i.e. “maybe fly”. Other biters are available.)

22. Mature people occasionally want to enter gangs (5-3)

Answer: GROWN-UPS (i.e. “mature people”). Solution is WN (i.e. “occasionally want”, i.e. every other letter of WANT) placed in or “entering” GROUPS (i.e. “gangs”), like so: GRO(WN)UPS.

24. Royal couple, taking in current blitz, left out US meddler (8)

Answer: KIBITZER, which is a Yiddish word used in the “US” to describe someone who interferes or gives unwanted advice, i.e. “meddler”. No, me neither. Solution is K and ER (i.e. “royal couple”, being recognised abbreviations of “king” and “Elizabeth Regina” respectively) wrapped around or “taking in” I (a recognised abbreviation for an electrical “current”) and BLITZ once the L has been removed (indicated by “left out” – L being a recognised abbreviation of “left”), like so: K-(I-BITZ)-ER.

27. Defence one entered, jumping bail (5)

Answer: ALIBI (i.e. “defence”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed in or “entering” an anagram (indicated by “jumping”) of BAIL, like so: AL(I)BI.

29. Drug source, old man with paltry margins (5)

Answer: POPPY (i.e. “drug source”). Solution is POP (i.e. “old man”, both informal descriptions of one’s father) followed by PY (i.e. “paltry margins”, i.e. the first and last letters of “paltry”).

30. Volunteers in sailor’s home don’t drink (7)

Answer: ABSTAIN (i.e. “don’t drink”). Solution is TA (i.e. “volunteers”, specifically the Territorial Army) placed “in” between AB’S (i.e. “sailor’s” – as mentioned earlier, AB is an Able-Bodied seaman) and IN (i.e. “home”), like so: AB’S-(TA)-IN.

32. Armaments chap holding notes and ruler (7)

Answer: GUNNERY (i.e. “armaments”). Solution is GUY (i.e. “chap”) wrapped around or “holding” NN (i.e. “notes” – N is a recognised abbreviation of “note”, so NN makes a pair of “notes”) and ER (i.e. “ruler”, specifically Elizabeth Regina), like so: GU(NN-ER)Y.

34. Hack to back her to make waves (4,3,4)

Answer: ROCK THE BOAT (i.e. “make waves”). “Hack” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TO BACK HER TO.

36. Vacuum old object found in northern loch (11)

Answer: NOTHINGNESS (i.e. “vacuum”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and THING (i.e. “object”) placed or “found in” N (a recognised abbreviation of “northern”) and NESS (i.e. “loch”), like so: N-(O-THING)-NESS.

37. Everyone goes through this lithium and iron carrier (4,5)

Answer: LIFE CYCLE (i.e. “everyone goes through this”). Solution is LI (chemical symbol of “lithium”) and FE (ditto “iron”) followed by CYCLE (i.e. “carrier”, referring to a bicycle).

39. Noisy performer hit reindeer (3-6)

Answer: TAP-DANCER (i.e. “noisy performer”). Solution is TAP (i.e. “hit”) followed by DANCER (i.e. “[Santa Claus’s] reindeer”).

41. I will try Times nurse acquired under the counter? (3-6)

Answer: ILL-GOTTEN (i.e. “acquired under the counter”). Solution is I’LL (a contraction of “I will”) followed by GO (i.e. “try”, as in have a go), then TT (i.e. “times” – ignore the misleading capitalisation. T is a recognised abbreviation of “time”, and as we’ve seen a number of times, this week’s setter likes to use plurals to indicate repeated letters, so “times” becomes TT) and EN (i.e. “nurse”, specifically an Enrolled Nurse), like so: I’LL-GO-TT-EN.

43. Maybe make peeress some genteel bonnets in retirement (7)

Answer: ENNOBLE (i.e. “maybe make peeress”). “Some” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, while “in retirement” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: GENTE(EL BONNE)TS.

45. Formula of The Golden Mean? Recall first half only (7)

Answer: THEOREM (i.e. “formula”). Solution is THE followed by OR (i.e. “golden” in heraldry) and ME (i.e. “mean … first half only”) which is reversed (indicated by “recall”), like so: THE-OR-EM.

47. A former PM’s getting up numb (6)

Answer: ASLEEP (i.e. “numb”). Solution is A followed by Robert PEEL’S (i.e. “former PM’s” – PM being Prime Minister) which is reversed (indicated by “getting up” – this being a down clue), like so: A-S’LEEP.

49. Spread limb, ignoring breadth (5)

Answer: RANCH (i.e. “spread”). Solution is BRANCH (i.e. “limb” of a tree) with the B removed (indicated by “ignoring breadth” – B being a recognised abbreviation of “breadth”).

51. Swimmer that completes two of the Balearics (4)

Answer: ORCA, a.k.a. a killer whale (i.e. “swimmer”). “That completes two of the Balearics” refers to MajORCA and MallORCA. Another repeated solution, this time from last month.

12 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1411

  1. Well, it looks like you had some fun parsing the ckues this week. You do know you’re my go-to man for this, don’t you!
    17a I saw as RE(DIS)TRIBUTION, which gets you your cop reference.
    I was really hoping you could explain the extra P in 33a (Supporter). Hey-ho.
    I’m with you on 48a and 55a, clumsy clues.
    1d. Have you never come across Daisy and Buttercup as traditional names for cows. Must admit it did have me stumped for a while but nade me giggle when I got it! 😁
    All in all, not a bad puzzle this week, I thought.

  2. I like your thinking on 17a, Mick. Thanks for that. I’ll update the post. As for the sea of red this week, there were a few too many rough edges to contend with, which rather knocked my confidence in some of the solutions. DAISY was perhaps the culmination of these. I accept it’s a popular name for a cow, but by the time it came to writing up the solutions I was hoping for something a little more substantial to go on than “some cows are called Daisy”! 33a smacks of a clue that was caught between two minds as it went to press, but I could be wrong. Here’s hoping I have a better time of it next week. Thanks again for your help! – LP

  3. “Daisy” is the generic name for a cow I thought!
    Also, Connoisseur – I agree with this answer, with UR being text speak for “You’re”
    Re the beer/porter, a google search shows that ‘port’ is sometimes used for ‘porter’

  4. Re Baked bits and pieces bits Kitty dumps across river , the second ‘bits’ is a mistake. Shouldn’t be there – agree it is an editor fail.

  5. UR site is a great find 😉
    Really irritated by supporter…would have been better if setter had gone for strong wine instead of beer.
    Also the extra ‘bits’.
    Amazing how we expect perfection from humans, eh

  6. 1 Down; in my view, is missing a ‘?’ Or ‘!’. The cultural reference would be to pantomime cows tending to be called Daisy (Jack and the Beanstalk). As this uses Stage twice as part of a self referencing clue some form of punctuation is missing.

  7. PS I think there may have been a changing of the guard recently. Some old setters retired or died and new ones replacing. This has brought new coding into play and increased the challenge. This is refreshing and might explain e.g. text use of UR for your in Connoisseur. The clue giving went a bit ‘loose’ for a while and then it got more precise and Times like again. Like you I think 55 second bits is a typo. Bravo to the setters surely it harder than solving…

    1. I like your reasoning for DAISY, John. Thanks for that. Re: textspeak, if the usage is supported by a dictionary then fair game. (Mine is a well-thumbed Chambers, so I might need to spruce up my reference library if things like UR, LOL and IMO have started to creep in elsewhere.) Re: setters, I like the extra effort Times setters put into their clues, often producing ones that scan well or are interesting to solve. Sometimes they go overboard, stuffing grids with dead people or ports to achieve a fill, or are overly tenuous in their clueing, but thankfully that doesn’t happen too often.

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