Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1420

Here’s my completed grid for this week’s Times Jumbo cryptic, along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. If you have a previous Jumbo that’s given you sleepless nights chewing over a few pesky clues, then my Just For Fun page might help you out. While I’ve got you here, I might as well hawk a few other things to help idle away a quiet half hour, such as my reviews page or a short story. Hey, a guy’s gotta try!

And so to the answers….


Across clues

1. Material provided by trader, £50 being spent by gullible person (10)

Answer: SEERSUCKER (i.e. “material” – not one I’m overly familiar with). Solution is SELLER (i.e. “trader”) with the LL removed (indicated by “£50 being spent” – a cheeky one this: L is the Roman numeral for 50, meanwhile L is also a recognised abbreviation of “pounds”, albeit pounds of weight rather than currency) and the remainder followed by SUCKER (i.e. “gullible person”), like so: SEER-SUCKER. One gotten through the wordplay only.

6. Best performances at athletics stadium in lists of achievements (5,7)

Answer: TRACK RECORDS. Solution satisfies “best performances at athletic stadium” and “lists of achievements”.

14. Native beginning to settle in Lincoln (9)

Answer: ABORIGINE (i.e. “native”). Solution is ORIGIN (i.e. “beginning”) placed or “settling in” ABE (i.e. “Lincoln”, specifically Abraham Lincoln), like so: AB(ORIGIN)E.

15. Top name for chocolate? (5)

Answer: BROWN (i.e. “chocolate”). Solution is BROW (i.e. “top”) followed by N (a recognised abbreviation of “name”).

16. Son and friend holding City of London area to be remarkably good (7)

Answer: SPECIAL (i.e. “remarkably good”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”) and PAL (i.e. “friend”) wrapped around or “holding” ECI (i.e. “City of London area”, i.e. the postcode area EC1), like so: S-P(ECI)AL.

17. Problematic jumbo, one of those things being ignored in Chambers! (8,2,3,4)

Answer: ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM, being an obvious problem that people do not wish to acknowledge. Clue riffs on “jumbo” being another word for an elephant, and “chamber” being another word for a room. You get the idea. A clue that reads rather well, given its context.

18. 15 out of practice? (5)

Answer: RUSTY. Solution satisfies “15” – the solution to 15a being BROWN, the colour of rust – and “out of practice”.

19. More than one group in Paris is absorbed by gangs (7)

Answer: SESTETS, which are “groups” of six. The “more than one” indicates the solution is a plural. Solution is EST (i.e. “in Paris is”, i.e. the French for “is”) placed in or “absorbed by” SETS (i.e. “gangs”), like so: S(EST)ETS.

21. Fellow not upper-class embraces girl void of expression (6)

Answer: GLASSY (i.e. “void of expression”). Solution is GUY (i.e. “fellow”) with the U removed (indicated by “not upper-class” – U being a recognised abbreviation for the upper-class) and the remainder wrapped around or “embracing” LASS (i.e. “girl”), like so: G(LASS)Y.

22. Command to surrender one’s arms (8)

Answer: ORDNANCE (i.e. “arms”). Solution is ORDINANCE (i.e. “command”) with the I removed (indicated by “to surrender one” – I being the Roman numeral for “one”).

24. Foolish African dictator, old and twitching (7)

Answer: IDIOTIC (i.e. “foolish”). Solution is IDI Amin (i.e. “African dictator”) followed by O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and TIC (i.e. “twitching”).

26. Bear, say, getting caught in elaborate trap, oddly (8)

Answer: TETRAPOD (i.e. “bear, say”, along with a sizeable chunk of the animal kingdom). “Caught in” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: ELABORA(TE TRAP OD)DLY. This was the last clue I solved and took a while for me to spot what was going on. Nicely played.

27. Old city goddess appears in street, looking back (6)

Answer: THEBES (i.e. “old city”). Solution is HEBE (i.e. Greek “goddess” of youth) placed “in” ST (a recognised abbreviation of “street”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “looking back”), like so: T(HEBE)S.

30. Use video device to show rugby player moving rapidly (4-7)

Answer: FAST-FORWARD. Solution satisfies “use video device” and “rugby player moving rapidly”.

32. Mother has performing career with that US writer (5,6)

Answer: DAMON RUNYON (i.e. “US writer” – no, me neither). Solution is DAM (i.e. “mother”, usually of cattle, horses etc – again, me neither) followed by ON (i.e. “performing”), then RUN (i.e. to sprint or “career”) and YON (i.e. a poetic “that”). Sheesh!

33. Organise office, beginning to end, providing areas for growth (11)

Answer: PLANTATIONS (i.e. “areas for growth”). Solution is PLAN (i.e. “organise”) followed by STATION (i.e. “office”) once its first letter has been placed at the end (indicated by “beginning to end”), like so: PLAN-TATIONS.

35. Adriatic resort almost the best for a very brief period (5,6)

Answer: SPLIT SECOND (i.e. “very brief period”). Solution is SPLIT (i.e. “Adriatic resort”) followed by SECOND (i.e. “almost the best”).

37. Everything serf wanted after end of enslavement (3,3)

Answer: THE LOT (i.e. “everything”). Solution is HELOT (i.e. “serf” – a word I’m wise to now it’s been used a few times) placed “after” T (i.e. “end of enslavement”, i.e. the last letter of “enslavement”), like so: T-HELOT. Another clue that scans really well.

38. Misunderstanding of French hero going round America (8)

Answer: DELUSION (i.e. “misunderstanding”). Solution is DE (i.e. “of French”, i.e. the French for “of”) followed by LION (i.e. “hero”) once it has been placed “round” US (i.e. “America”), like so: DE-L(US)ION.

39. Trendy type greeting Bill, exuding love (7)

Answer: HIPSTER (i.e. “trendy type”). Solution is HI (i.e. “greeting”) followed by POSTER (i.e. “bill” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) once the O has been removed (indicated by “exuding love” – “love” being a zero score in tennis), like so: HI-PSTER.

42. Designer of home – bit of a hole with nothing right (8)

Answer: INVENTOR (i.e. “designer”). Solution is IN (i.e. “[at] home”) followed by VENT (i.e. “bit of a hole”) then O (i.e. “nothing”) and R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”).

44. At end of loud game girl is restrained (6)

Answer: FRUGAL (i.e. “restrained”). Solution is F (a recognised abbreviation of “forte”, which is “loud” in musical lingo) followed by RU (i.e. “game”, specifically Rugby Union) and GAL (i.e. “girl”). The “at end of ” bit seems a bit redundant, so I might not have this 100% right.

46. Town sending family member round the twist (7)

Answer: SWINDON (i.e. “town”). Solution is SON (i.e. “family member”) wrapped “round” WIND (i.e. “twist”), like so: S(WIND)ON.

48. Hooter’s small cry of pain? (5)

Answer: OWLET, a baby owl (i.e. “hooter”). The “small cry of pain” jokingly hints at an “ow!”, using the suffix -let to indicate a little ‘un.

49. Working group that may be sitting, despite what you may think? (8,9)

Answer: STANDING COMMITTEE (i.e. “working group”). Clue plays on how “standing” and “sitting” are opposites. You get the idea.

51. What’s large and icy, endlessly moving? (7)

Answer: GLACIER (i.e. “what’s large and icy”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “moving”) of LARGE and ICY, once the last letter Y has been removed (indicated by “endlessly”). Nicely played.

52. Secret societies? They pick up things (5)

Answer: TONGS. Solution satisfies “secret [Chinese] societies” and “they pick up things”.

53. Loony ran up tree in delight (9)

Answer: ENRAPTURE (i.e. “delight”). “Loony” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of RAN UP TREE.

54. Frenchman understood the thing about article editor dealt with afresh (12)

Answer: RENEGOTIATED (i.e. “dealt with afresh”). Solution is RENE (i.e. “Frenchman”) followed by GOT (i.e. “understood”) then IT (i.e. “the thing”) once it has been wrapped “about” A (i.e. “article”), and finally finished with ED (a recognised abbreviation of “editor”), like so: RENE-GOT-I(A)T-ED.

55. It’s imprudent, not having more than one part, we hear (10)

Answer: INDISCREET (i.e. “imprudent”). “We hear” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of INDISCRETE (i.e. “not having more than one part”).

Down clues

1. Head of school was worried – dead body – terribly frightened! (6,5)

Answer: SCARED STIFF (i.e. “terribly frightened”). Solution is S (i.e. “head of school”, i.e. the first letter of “school”) followed by CARED (i.e. “was worried”) and STIFF (i.e. “dead body”).

2. Escape as European heading north, then east (5)

Answer: ELOPE (i.e. “escape [to marry]”). Solution is POLE (i.e. “European”) reversed (indicated by “heading north” – this being a down clue) and followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “east”), like so: ELOP-E.

3. Most modest learner in expression of frustration over exam? (9)

Answer: SLIGHTEST (i.e. “most modest”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “learner”) placed “in” SIGH (i.e. “expression of frustration”) and followed by TEST (i.e. “exam”), like so: S(L)IGH-TEST.

4. Customers more or less right? Foremost of trusty shoppers (7)

Answer: CLIENTS (i.e. “customers”). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “circa”, i.e. “more or less”) followed by LIEN (i.e. a “right” to hold another’s property) and the initial or “foremost” letters of “Trusty” and “Supporters”, like so: C-LIEN-T-S.

5. When the light goes down, say, with poison being swallowed (7)

Answer: EVENING (i.e. “when the light goes down”). Solution is EG (i.e. “say”, as in “for example”) wrapped around or “swallowing” VENIN (i.e. “poison”), like so: E(VENIN)G. Chalk one to my Bradfords for the poison bit.

7. Deployed soldier had to protect northern state (5,6)

Answer: RHODE ISLAND (i.e. “[US] state”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “deployed”) of SOLDIER HAD wrapped around or “protected” by N (a recognised abbreviation of “northern”), like so: RHODEISLA(N)D.

8. Insincere talk about country’s division (6)

Answer: CANTON (i.e. “country’s division”). Solution is CANT (i.e. “insincere talk”) followed by ON (i.e. “about”).

9. Herb’s woman (8)

Answer: ROSEMARY. Solution satisfies “herb” and “woman”. Also my benefactress for a few reference books used in these blog posts. (Tips hat.)

10. Acting before moving home, maybe, one deals with financial matters (8,5)

Answer: CLEARING HOUSE. Solution satisfies “acting before moving house” and “one deals with financial matters”.

11. Stops wickedness after period of monarchy, not good (5,2)

Answer: REINS IN (i.e. “stops”). Solution is SIN (i.e. “wickedness”) placed “after” REIGN (i.e. “period of monarchy”) once the G has been removed (indicated by “not good” – G being a recognised abbreviation of “good”), like so: REIN-SIN.

12. Lousy essay son’s penned badly in period not taken seriously? (5,6)

Answer: SILLY SEASON (i.e. “period not taken seriously”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “lousy”) of ESSAY SON wrapped around or “penning” ILL (i.e. “badly”), like so: S(ILL)YSEASON.

13. Taken away, being scatterbrained (10)

Answer: ABSTRACTED. Solution satisfies “taken away” and “scatterbrained”.

20. Well-presented fruits eaten by quiet zoo animal? (9)

Answer: SHIPSHAPE (i.e. “well-presented”). Solution is HIPS (i.e. “fruits” of a rose) placed in or being “eaten by” SH (i.e. “quiet”) and followed by APE (i.e. “zoo animal”), like so: S(HIPS)H-APE.

23. Supporting one of Ireland’s heads, offering a solution (8)

Answer: FORMALIN (i.e. “solution”). Solution is FOR (i.e. “supporting”) followed by MALIN (i.e. “one of Ireland’s heads”, and the most northerly part of the island of Ireland, it says here). Chalk another one to my Bradfords here.

25. Minister – scoundrel and mischief maker (6)

Answer: CURATE (i.e. “minister”). Solution is CUR (i.e. “scoundrel”) followed by ATE (i.e. “mischief maker”, referring to Ate, the Greek goddess of mischief).

26. Rips around socks? Hard to avoid that in prickly plants (3,5)

Answer: TEA ROSES (i.e. “prickly plants”). Solution is TEARS (i.e. “rips”) placed “around” HOSE (i.e. “socks”) once the H has been removed (indicated by “hard to avoid” – H being a recognised abbreviation of “hard”), like so: TEAR(OSE)S.

28. Ostracised son sent to bed, young lout as was (9)

Answer: BOYCOTTED (i.e. “ostracised”). Solution is BOY (i.e. “son”) followed by COT (i.e. “bed”) and TED (i.e. “young lout, as was”, short for a Teddy boy).

29. Tin deposited on long grass (6)

Answer: SNITCH (i.e. “grass”). Solution is SN (chemical symbol of “tin”) followed by ITCH (i.e. to yearn for or “long”).

31. Offer made by generous tailor is no good at all (3,3,7)

Answer: FIT FOR NOTHING. Solution satisfies “offer made by generous tailor” and “no good at all”. A clue that scans rather well.

33. State of bewilderment in domesticated and wild animals gets one quibbling (11)

Answer: PETTIFOGGER (i.e. “one quibbling”). Solution is FOG (i.e. “state of bewilderment”) placed “in” PET (i.e. “domesticated…animal”) and TIGER (i.e. “wild animal”), like so: PET-TI(FOG)GER.

34. Social activity after nine maybe, old tribe attending church (6,5)

Answer: SQUARE DANCE (i.e. “social activity”). Solution is SQUARE (i.e. “nine maybe”, referring to the square of 3) followed by DAN (i.e. “old tribe [of Israel]” – I remembered this from a previous puzzle) and CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England”).

35. Smart head – one concealed lack of generosity (10)

Answer: STINGINESS (i.e. “lack of generosity”). Solution is STING (i.e. “smart”) and NESS (i.e. “head”, as in the geographical feature) wrapped around or “concealing” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: STING-(I)-NESS.

36. Ten men raged, out to create disorder (11)

Answer: DERANGEMENT (i.e. “disorder”). “Out” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TEN MEN RAGED.

40. Oration of Greek character delivered with insolence – listener’s choice (9)

Answer: PHILIPPIC (i.e. “oration”, and a particularly angry one at that). Solution is PHI (i.e. “Greek character”, specifically the twenty-first letter of the Greek alphabet) followed by LIP (i.e. “insolence”) and PIC (i.e. “listener’s choice”, i.e. a homophone of the word PICK). Another I remembered from a previous puzzle, if I’m honest. Hmm. Looks like I’d spelled it incorrectly back then too. (Facepalms oneself.)

41. Spar bends on rough trip (8)

Answer: BOWSPRIT (i.e. “spar [of a ship]”). Solution is BOWS (i.e. “bends”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “rough”) of TRIP, like so: BOWS-PRIT.

43. Scoundrel is outwardly conceited, inwardly wicked (7)

Answer: VILLAIN (i.e. “scoundrel”). Solution is VAIN (i.e. “conceited”) placed “outwardly” of ILL (i.e. “wicked”), like so: V(ILL)AIN. Another clue that reads well.

45. Hannibal? Carthaginian finally making a stand (7)

Answer: LECTERN (i.e. “stand”). Solution is “Hannibal” LECTER, a character featuring in several Thomas Harris novels, followed by N (i.e. “Carthaginian finally”, i.e. the last letter of “Carthaginian”).

46. Old city captured by fantastic Masai warrior (7)

Answer: SAMURAI (i.e. “warrior”). Solution is UR (i.e. “old city”, a favourite of setters) placed in or “captured by” an anagram (indicated by “fantastic”) of MASAI, like so: SAM(UR)AI.

47. Popular phrase – snare for a bloke, almost (6)

Answer: MANTRA (i.e. “popular phase”). Solution is MAN-TRAP (i.e. “snare for a bloke”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “almost”).

50. End of the short uprising, break from hostilities (5)

Answer: TRUCE (i.e. “break from hostilities”). Solution is E (i.e. “end of the”, i.e. the last letter of “the”) followed by CURT (i.e. “short”). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “uprising”, this being a down clue), like so: TRUC-E.

2 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1420

  1. Thank you for your parsing, as usual. I had the answers but couldn’t see why!
    I agree about 44a, FRUGAL. At end of suggested the D in Loud, so had me stumped for a while.
    Damon Runyon wrote humorous tales about life on Broadway in the ’30s. He was responsible for the story behind Guys and Dolls. A must read😄

    1. No worries, Mick. Glad to help. After sleeping on it, I guess the “at the end of” bit means placing RU and GAL after F, but I reckon the clue would have worked just as well without it. – LP

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