Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1423

A welcome one-off switch to the 27×27 jumbo grids of old as The Times celebrates 90 years of their cryptic crossword. This one was very well done, with a lot of clues and solutions themed around the number 90 or the year 1930 or crosswords in general.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them useful. A little housekeeping before we jump in. If you have a previous Times Jumbo Cryptic that’s showing a few gaps then my Just For Fun page is the place to head. If horror stories are your bag then I have a few Reviews knocking about the place, and even a story of my own.

Right, that’s enough gabbing. To the answers! Meanwhile, after rattling out over 4,000 words of solutions over the last however many hours, I’m going to place these aching fingertips of mine into an ice bath. TTFN!


Across clues

1. The number for today’s 45? (5,8,2,3)

Answer: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU (i.e. a song or “number”). The solution to 45d is TIMES CROSSWORD, and this puzzle celebrates its 90th birthday. The first of many themed clues.

10. Ninety-ton load originally transported with great diligence (8)

Answer: INTENTLY (i.e. “with great diligence”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “transported”) of NINETY, T (a recognised abbreviation of “ton”) and L (i.e. “load originally”, i.e. the first last of “load”). Themed.

16. Miss, perhaps, loch, with fog to the west (5)

Answer: HAZEL (i.e. “miss, perhaps”, i.e. a girl’s name). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “loch”) with HAZE (i.e. “fog”) placed before or “to the west” of it, like so: HAZE-L.

17. Came out with partner once requested? (9)

Answer: EXCLAIMED (i.e. “came out with”). Solution is EX (i.e. “partner once”) followed by CLAIMED (i.e. “requested”). Note the XC in the solution, being the Roman numerals for 90.

18. Drag couple, pushing wife back (3)

Answer: TOW (i.e. “drag”). Solution is TWO (i.e. “couple”) with the W (a recognised abbreviation of “wife”) sent to the “back”.

19. Carbon copy perfectly covers a composition (7)

Answer: TOCCATA (i.e. “composition”). Solution is CC (i.e. “carbon copy”) placed in or “covered by” TO A T (i.e. “perfectly”) and followed by A, like so: TO-(CC)-A-T-A. An easier get thanks to this solution appearing relatively recently in puzzle 1417.

20. Times cryptic has bagged large one (9)

Answer: MILESTONE. Solution is an anagram (indicated by “cryptic”) of TIMES wrapped around or “bagging” L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) and followed by ONE, like so: MI(L)EST-ONE. In the general context of the puzzle, the Times crossword can be said to have passed a significant milestone. Good clue!

21. Piano master given one month by notorious landlord (11)

Answer: Sergei RACHMANINOV (i.e. “piano master”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and NOV (i.e. “month”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of November) both preceded “by” Peter RACHMAN (i.e. “notorious landlord”, who exploited and threatened his tenants to such an extent that his name became synonymous with the practice), like so: RACHMAN-I-NOV. Helpfully, today’s Times feedback column contained a piece on the accepted spelling(s) of Rachmaninov. Which was nice.

23. See, in singular working method, way to extend playtime (3-2)

Answer: SLO-MO (i.e. “way to extend playtime”). Solution is LO (i.e. “see”, as in “lo and behold”) placed “in” between S (a recognised abbreviation of “singular”) and MO (i.e. “working method”, or Modus Operandi), like so: S-(LO)-MO.

24. Flash detective with Latin touch (7)

Answer: MODICUM (i.e. “touch”). Solution is MO (i.e. “flash”, both descriptive of a short period of time) followed by DI (i.e. “detective”, specifically a Detective Inspector) and CUM (i.e. “with Latin”, i.e. the Latin for “with”).

25. In short, why you can’t ring chemist (5)

Answer: Alfred NOBEL (i.e. “chemist”). Solution is NO BELL (i.e. “why you can’t ring”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “in short”).

26. Forward social security packs for one (5)

Answer: SASSY (i.e. “forward”). Solution is SS (a recognised abbreviation of “social security”) placed in or “packing” SAY (i.e. for example or “for one”), like so: SA(SS)Y.

28. Advance payments: one way to get by (7)

Answer: SUBSIST (i.e. “to get by”). Solution is SUBS (i.e. “advance payments”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and ST (i.e. “way”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “street”).

29. “Meet in Colorado” – I like this clue! (4,6)

Answer: COME ACROSS (i.e. “meet”). Solution is CO (a recognised abbreviation of “Colorado”) followed by ME (i.e. “I” from the point of view of the setter) and ACROSS (i.e. “like this clue”, this being an across clue).

31. Running to ground, maybe, voracious predator turning on swallow (8)

Answer: DOWNFLOW (i.e. “swallow”). This feels a bit weak to me – I’d argue swallowing is a positive action and a downflow to be passive. I could also be overthinking this. Either way, watch out. My solution is DOWN (i.e. “running to ground, maybe” – if you are running prey to ground then you are downing them) followed by WOLF (i.e. “voracious predator”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “turning”), like so: DOWN-FLOW.
[EDIT: Thanks to Mick in the comments for offering a better explanation of this one. The operative phrase here is “running to ground, maybe”, not “swallow”, as in water flowing or running down to the ground. The solution is therefore DOWN (i.e. “swallow”) placed before WOLF, as described above. – LP]

33. Grand performance’s finale for circus clown (7)

Answer: AUGUSTE (i.e. “circus clown”). Solution is AUGUST (i.e. “grand”) followed by E (i.e. “performance’s finale”, i.e. the last letter of “performance”).

35. Cricket team after hotel (5)

Answer: INDIA. Solution satisfies “cricket team” and “after hotel”, referring to the phonetic alphabet where Hotel is H and India is I.

37. Hard test occurring at regular intervals (5)

Answer: HORAL, which describes something happening every hour (i.e. “at regular intervals”). Solution is H (a recognised abbreviation of “hard” used in pencil grading) followed by ORAL (i.e. “test”). One gotten through the wordplay, if I’m honest.

38. Children’s doctor lacking energy to work out (4)

Answer: SUSS (i.e. “to work out”). Solution is children’s author Dr SEUSS (i.e. “children’s doctor”) with the E removed (indicated by “lacking energy”, E being a recognised abbreviation of “energy”). A small nod to the theme, given how solvers suss cryptic clues.

39. Touching, moving letters from dog trainer (2,6,2)

Answer: IN REGARD TO (i.e. “touching [on]”). “Moving letters from” indicates anagram. Solution is anagram of DOG TRAINER.

41. Hot, wearing kit attached to mat – it’s 90 degrees! (5-5)

Answer: RIGHT-ANGLE (i.e. “it’s 90 degrees” – a nod to the puzzle’s theme again). Solution is H (a recognised abbreviation of “hot”) placed in between or “wearing” RIG (i.e. “kit”) and TANGLE (i.e. “[to] mat”), like so: RIG-(H)-TANGLE.

43. Extravagant Times clue for “Einstein”? (7,8)

Answer: NAUGHTY NINETIES, referring to the 1890s, not the comparatively staid 1990s. Anyway, “extravagant times” – ignore the misleading capitalisation. “Clue for ‘Einstein’” indicates the solution forms a cryptic clue for “Einstein” – an anagram of NINETIES, with “naughty” being an anagram indicator. Clever stuff. I like it.

46. Some of our best, and biggest, friends win dosh and flourish, unexpectedly (5,10)

Answer: IRISH WOLFHOUNDS (i.e. “some of our best, and biggest, friends” – referring to dogs being man’s best friend and how Irish wolfhounds are big old buggers. I’m not much of a dog person, but I have always had a soft spot for Irish wolfhounds. I’d get one but its kennel would be bigger than my house.) “Unexpectedly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of WIN DOSH and FLOURISH.

49. Singles that are old: at least 90 (5-5)

Answer: FORTY-FIVES (i.e. “[vinyl record] singles that are old” – ask your parents, kids). Solution also satisfies “at least 90”, 90 being the first multiple of 45. Another nod to the puzzle’s theme, there.

53. Country girl left a party held by Queen Victoria (2,8)

Answer: EL SALVADOR (i.e. “country”). Solution is ELSA (i.e. “girl”) followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) and A DO (i.e. “a party”) once it has been placed in or “held by” VR (i.e. “Queen Victoria”, or Victoria Regina), like so: ELSA-L-V(A-DO)R. After clean missing GABON in last week’s puzzle, I was pleased to quickly nail this one.

54. What solvers are keen to fill? Not quite keen, on reflection (4)

Answer: GRID (i.e. “what solvers are keen to fill”). Solution is DIRGE (i.e. “keen” – an alternative definition describes this as a “lamentation over the dead” (Chambers)) with the last letter removed (indicated by “not quite”). The remainder is then reversed (indicated by “on reflection”). Another good clue, and another small nod to the theme.

56. Live outside Rugby by backward out-of-town area (5)

Answer: EXURB (i.e. “out-of-town area”). Solution is BE (i.e. “live”) placed around or “outside” of RU (i.e. “rugby”, specifically Rugby Union) and X (i.e. “by”, as in the multiplication symbol), and the whole reversed (indicated by “backward”), like so: E(X-UR)B. One gotten solely through the wordplay. Cool word, though.

58. Film for setter? (5)

Answer: LAYER. Solution satisfies “film” and “setter”, as in one who sets or lays something.

60. For a song in Italian, what a carry on! (7)

Answer: CHEAPLY (i.e. “for a song”). Solution is CHE (i.e. “in Italian, what”, i.e. the Italian of “what” – thank goodness for Google Translate, eh, folks?) followed by A and PLY (i.e. to make one’s way or “carry on”).

62. Sanction attendant to find a place for 45, most days (4,4)

Answer: BACK PAGE (i.e. “a place for 45, most days” – another themed clue, the solution to 45d is TIMES CROSSWORD, which is often found on the back page of the newspaper). Solution is BACK (i.e. “sanction”) followed by PAGE (i.e. “[boy] attendant”).

63. Explains and edits a clue after revision (10)

Answer: ELUCIDATES (i.e. “explains”). “After revision” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of EDITS A CLUE. Another nicely worked little nod to the crossword theme.

66. Charged to company blessed person’s expenses! (7)

Answer: ONCOSTS (i.e. “expenses”). Costs, then. Anyway, solution is ON (i.e. “charged”) followed by CO (a recognised abbreviation of “company”) and ST’S (i.e. “blessed person’s”, being a recognised abbreviation of “saint” made possessive).

68. Sudden attack, somewhat uncivil, ungentlemanly (5)

Answer: LUNGE (i.e. “sudden attack”). “Somewhat” indicates solution is hidden in the clue, like so: UNCIVI(L UNGE)NTLEMANLY.

70. Place mostly full of parasites to get caught in (5)

Answer: LOCUS (i.e. the “place” of something). Solution is LOUSY (i.e. “full of parasites”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and the remainder wrapped around or “getting” C (a recognised abbreviation of “caught” used in several ball games), like so: LO(C)US.

71. Roughly holds sibling’s body (7)

Answer: CHASSIS (i.e. “body”). Solution is C (i.e. “roughly”, as in a recognised abbreviation of “circa”) followed by HAS (i.e. “holds”) and SIS (i.e. “sibling”, being a shortened form of “sister”).

73. Mostly when jumbo appears easy, oddly is gratifying (5)

Answer: SATES (i.e. “is gratifying”). Solution is SAT (i.e. “mostly when jumbo appears” – keeping with the theme of the puzzle, this refers to a shortened form of Saturday, when the Times Jumbo is usually published) followed by ES (i.e. “easy, oddly”, i.e. the odd letters of EASY). Another good clue!

74. It’s change you must accept from extremely lovable female carer! (5,6)

Answer: LEGAL TENDER (i.e. “it’s change you must accept”). Solution is LE (i.e. “extremely lovable”, i.e. the first and last letters of “lovable”) followed by GAL (i.e. “female”) and TENDER (i.e. “carer”). Another good ‘un.

76. Plant from study picked up at front of shop (4,5)

Answer: REED GRASS (i.e. “plant”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “picked up”) of READ (i.e. “study”) placed in “front of” GRASS (i.e. to “shop” someone to the police).

78. Like 9 and 0, for instance – neither one thing nor the other to Shakespeare (3-4)

Answer: ODD-EVEN. Solution satisfies “like 9 and 0, for instance” (I’ll let the debate about whether 0 is an even number rage elsewhere) and “neither one thing nor the other to Shakespeare”, referring to a quote from Othello about midnight: “at this odd-even and dull watch o’ the night”.

79. House-sitter concealing a plot (3)

Answer: MAP (i.e. “plot”). Solution is MP (i.e. “house-sitter”, specifically a Member of Parliament who sits in the House of Commons) wrapped around or “concealing” A, like so: M(A)P.

80. (Ad)dressing down? (7-2)

Answer: TALKING-TO. Solution satisfies “dressing down” and, without the hyphen, “addressing”.

82. One appearing in drag – one in Pirandello? (5)

Answer: LUIGI “Pirandello”, Italian dramatist. No, me neither. Solution is LUG (i.e. “drag”) with I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) “appearing in” it and then followed by another I (ditto “one”), like so: LU(I)G-I. The second “in” seems unfairly misleading here, suggesting solvers also squeeze the second I into LUG. Either way, not a classic.

83. Senior women, old, long in post, going back (8)

Answer: DOYENNES (i.e. “senior women”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and YEN (i.e. to yearn or “long” for) placed “in” SEND (i.e. “[to] post”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “going back”), like so: D(O-YEN)NES.

84. What’s seen end of Romanov – our one irrefutably cryptic! (8,10)

Answer: FEBRUARY REVOLUTION (i.e. “what’s seen end of Romanov [dynastic rule in Russia]”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “cryptic”) of V (i.e. “end of Romanov”, i.e. the last letter of “Romanov”) and OUR ONE IRREFUTABLY. Nicely played.

Down clues

1. Gases with unpleasant smell in flat (2-3)

Answer: HO-HUM (i.e. uninteresting or “flat”). Solution is H and O (i.e. “gases”, specifically chemical symbols for hydrogen and oxygen) followed by HUM (i.e. “unpleasant smell”).

2. Revolutionary poser with unknown values being tried for Brain-teasers’ World (9)

Answer: PUZZLEDOM (i.e. “brain-teasers’ world” – ignore the misleading capitalisation). Solution is MODEL (i.e. “poser”) followed by Z and Z (i.e. “unknown values” – setters love referring to X, Y and Z in their solutions as “unknowns”), then UP (i.e. “being tried”, i.e. being up in court). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “revolutionary”), like so: PU-ZZ-LEDOM.

3. Bag for yellow sock lay abandoned (4,3)

Answer: YOLK SAC (i.e. “bag for [egg] yellow”). “Abandoned” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SOCK LAY.

4. Fateful day when leader’s abandoned pair flanking demo? (4,2,5)

Answer: IDES OF MARCH (i.e. “fateful day” for Julius Caesar). Solution is SIDES OF MARCH (i.e. “pair flanking demo”) with the first letter removed (indicated by “leader’s abandoned”).

5. What could be long under end of snout (5)

Answer: TACHE, a contraction of “moustache”, i.e. “what could be … under end of snout”). Solution is ACHE (i.e. to “long” for) placed “under” T (i.e. “end of snout”, i.e. the last letter of “snout”), like so: T-ACHE. Another clue nicely played.

6. Tirade sent up charity race (8)

Answer: DIATRIBE (i.e. “tirade”). Solution is AID (i.e. “charity”) reversed (indicated by “sent up” – this being a down clue) and followed by TRIBE (i.e. “race”), like so: DIA-TRIBE.

7. Regularly sampled syrup, my, that’s tasty! (3)

Answer: YUM (i.e. “that’s tasty”). “Regularly sampled” indicates the solution is derived by taking every other letter of SYRUP MY.

8. What solver may refer to when looking up identical medical conditions (7)

Answer: OEDEMAS (i.e. “medical conditions”). Solution is OED (i.e. “what solver may refer to”, specifically the Oxford English Dictionary) followed by SAME (i.e. “identical”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “when looking up” – this being a down clue), like so: OED-EMAS. One gotten purely through the wordplay.

9. Many Times newspaper plugs unsettled one (5)

Answer: OFTEN (i.e. “many times” – ignore the misleading capitalisation). Solution is FT (i.e. “newspaper”, specifically the Financial Times) placed in or “plugging” an anagram (indicated by “unsettled”) of ONE, like so: O(FT)EN.

11. Locals show up in nanoseconds! (7)

Answer: NATIVES (i.e. “locals”). Solution is EVITA (i.e. musical “show”) which is reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue) and placed “in” NS (a recognised abbreviation of “nanoseconds”), like so: N(ATIVE)S.

12. A case perhaps for charging, out of old tax, interest on deposit (6,7)

Answer: EXCESS BAGGAGE (i.e. “a case perhaps for charging”). Solution is EX (i.e. “old”), followed by CESS (i.e. “tax” – a new one on me, but it’s there in the dictionary), then BAG (i.e. “interest”, as “reading horror stories is my bag”) and GAGE (an archaic word for a pledge, i.e. “deposit” – another new one on me). Another solution with the numerals XC (i.e. 90).

13. Is to cease manufacturing warm coats for mothers-to-be? (3,6)

Answer: TEA COSIES (i.e. “warm coats for mothers-to-be” – this refers to a popular phrase “shall I be mother” when someone’s pouring a cuppa). “Manufactured” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IS TO CEASE.

14. 1930 for Chinese show in Birmingham with parts exchanged… (4,2,3,5)

Answer: YEAR OF THE HORSE (i.e. “1930 for Chinese”). Solution is HORSE OF THE YEAR (i.e. “show in Birmingham”) with the YEAR and HORSE “parts exchanged”. Another nod to the puzzle’s theme.

15. …This year keen for some cricket? (6-6)

Answer: TWENTY-TWENTY. This seems a triple-header, being “this year” (i.e. 2020), “keen” (relating to 20-20 vision, perhaps) and “some cricket” (being the popular short-short form of the game). Most of these Jumbo Cryptics will be collected and republished in a few years’ time, so this clue might not work so well in future.

22. Insensitive request for a ring – receiving different sort (7)

Answer: CALLOUS (i.e. “insensitive”). Solution is CALL US (i.e. “request for a ring”) wrapped around or “receiving” O (i.e. a “different sort” of ring), like so: CALL-(O)-US.

24. Host nabbing posh family to help out (4,2)

Answer: MUCK IN (i.e. “to help out”). Solution is MC (i.e. “host”, specifically a Master of Ceremonies) wrapped around or “nabbing” U (i.e. “posh”, being a recognised abbreviation of the upper class – another favourite tell of some setters) and followed by KIN (i.e. “family”), like so: M(U)C-KIN.

25. Overheard refusals to touch kid’s hankie (4,3)

Answer: NOSE RAG (i.e. “hankie”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “overheard”) of NOES (i.e. “refusals”) placed beside or “touching” RAG (i.e. “[to] kid”).

27. Only be doing this having put away volume (4)

Answer: SOLE (i.e. “only”). Solution is SOLVE (i.e. “be doing this” from the point of view of us solvers when faced with this clue) with the V removed (indicated by “having put away volume” – V being a recognised abbreviation of “volume”).

30. Crawling out, mostly quiet (5)

Answer: AWASH (i.e. “crawling”). Solution is AWAY (i.e. “out”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and followed by SH (i.e. “quiet”), like so: AWA-SH.

32. Feeds small numbers at college, in High School (4-3)

Answer: NOSH-UPS (i.e. “feeds”). Solution is NOS (i.e. “small numbers”, i.e. a contraction of the word “numbers”) followed by UP (i.e. “at college” – another favourite of some solvers) once it has been wrapped around or placed “in” HS (a recognised abbreviation of “High School”), like so: NOS-H(UP)S.

33. The last word? Just what one needs? Yes, primarily (7)

Answer: AMENITY. Pure guess this, as I’ve no idea what the setter is playing at here. Amenity is a pleasantness or pleasing characteristic, neither sense of the word I can seem to crowbar into this clue. You might want to take this with a pinch of salt. My solution is AMEN (i.e. “the last word”) followed by IT (i.e. “just what one needs” – I mean, yeah, kinda, I guess I see it, but…) and Y (i.e. “yes, primarily”, i.e. the first letter of “yes”). There’s probably some quotation or something clever I’m missing that sheds light on this.

34. A game for the 45’s birthday party? (6)

Answer: CLUEDO (i.e. “a game”). The solution to 45d is TIMES CROSSWORD, so, when read as a CLUE DO – a do being a “party” – then the solution satisfies the clue.

36. There are stories from Welshman appearing in The Times etc (7)

Answer: DAILIES (i.e. newspapers such as “The Times etc”). When read as DAI LIES the solution also satisfies “stories from Welshman”.

40. Derby game involves four sort of shooting (5-2)

Answer: DRIVE-BY (i.e. “sort of shooting”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “game” as in something gamy or gone off) of DERBY wrapped around or “involving” IV (i.e. “[Roman numerals] four”), like so: DR(IV)EBY.

42. In turning up sibyl, a monastery’s deviant (7)

Answer: ANOMALY (i.e. “deviant”). “In” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, while “turning up” indicates the solution has been reversed – this being a down clue – like so: SIB(YL A MONA)STERY’S.

43. Less likely to spot one putting on one’s coat? (7)

Answer: NONDRIP. Solution riddles on people being less likely to be dripped on or “spotted” when “putting on” a coat of non-drip paint. That’s it, unless I’m missing something especially clever. Shouldn’t this solution have been hyphenated?

44. Removed from board, sulked (6)

Answer: HUFFED. Solution satisfies “removed from [draughts] board” – according to my Chambers, to huff is “to remove from the board for failing to make a possible capture” (blimey, who knew draughts was so complicated?) – and “sulked”.

45. This enigmatic item’s put out along with news (5,9)

Answer: TIMES CROSSWORD (i.e. “this”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “enigmatic”) of ITEM’S followed by CROSS (i.e. “put out”) and WORD (i.e. “the news”), like so: TIMES-CROSS-WORD. A more obvious nod to the puzzle’s theme.

47. 1930, where fifty percent of history is still (4,4,5)

Answer: HALF PAST SEVEN (i.e. “1930” as shown on a twenty-four-hour clock). Solution is HALF (i.e. “fifty percent”) followed by PAST (i.e. “of history”) then ‘S (a contraction of “is” – not keen on this, but there you go) and EVEN (i.e. “still”). Another themed clue.

48. Base bachelor quite keen for 90-minute affair (8,4)

Answer: FOOTBALL GAME (i.e. “90-minute affair”). Solution is FOOT (i.e. “base”) followed by B (a recognised abbreviation of “bachelor”) and ALL GAME (i.e. “quite keen”). Another themed clue.

50. Disturbances after polling bringing change in Russia (7)

Answer: ROUBLES (i.e. “change in Russia”). Solution is TROUBLES (i.e. “disturbances”) after the first letter has been removed (indicated by “polling” – the act of cutting the tops of trees).

51. Ticked over five hundred large – that is five hundred – boxes! (5)

Answer: IDLED (i.e. “ticked over”). Solution is D (i.e. “[Roman numeral] five hundred”) and L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) placed in or “boxed” by IE (i.e. “that is”, i.e. er… “i.e.”) and D (again, “five hundred”), like so: I(D-L)E-D.

52. Emergency or upset thus besetting teacher (6)

Answer: CRISIS (i.e. “emergency”). Solution is SIC (i.e. “thus”) wrapped around or “besetting” SIR (i.e. “teacher”) and the whole reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue – like so: C(RIS)IS.

55. Might the setters pull a fast one? (7)

Answer: DOGSLED. Solution riddles on setters being a breed of dog, though I’m not entirely sure they’d be able to pull a dogsled with much speed! That’s it, unless I’m missing something clever.

57. Stick with this game – a version you’re still saddled with? (7,4)

Answer: BICYCLE POLO. Another riddly clue, this time riffing on how you would have a “stick with this game”. Bikes have “saddles”, as you’d have with horse-based polo. You get the idea.

59. Examine origins of special crossword at ninety (4)

Answer: SCAN (i.e. “examine”). “Origins of” indicates the solution is derived by taking the initial letters of SPECIAL CROSSWORD AT NINETY. Another themed clue.

61. Fervently, finally celebrated elite puzzling across 90 years (9)

Answer: EXCITEDLY (i.e. “fervently”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “puzzling”) of D (i.e. “finally celebrated”, i.e. the last letter of “celebrated”) and ELITE wrapped around or placed “across” XC (i.e. “[Roman numerals for] 90”) and then followed by Y (a recognised abbreviation of “years”), like so: E(XC)ITEDL-Y. Another themed clue.

64. Conductor’s inaction’s outrageous (9)

Answer: Arturo TOSCANINI (i.e. “conductor”). “Outrageous” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of INACTION’S. One I knew, weirdly!

65. Want to leave mark on financial institutions (8)

Answer: SCARCITY (i.e. “want”). Solution is SCAR (i.e. “to leave mark”) followed by CITY (i.e. “financial institutions”).

67. Offend Anglicans, passing round half of lewd gag (7)

Answer: SILENCE (i.e. “gag”). Solution is SIN (i.e. “offend”) and CE (i.e. “Anglicans”, i.e. the Church of England) wrapped “round” LE (i.e. “half of lewd”, specifically the first half of “lewd”), like so: SI(LE)N-CE.

69. Old German prince’s shocking treatment, in part after rising (7)

Answer: ELECTOR (i.e. “old German prince” – no, me neither). Solution is ECT (i.e. “shocking treatment”, specifically Electroconvulsive Therapy) placed “in” ROLE (i.e. “part”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “after rising” – this being a down clue), like so: EL(ECT)OR. One gotten from the wordplay alone. I suspect the next five things I read will be coincidentally stuffed full of electors.

72. Writer in The Guardian, or in Le Monde (7)

Answer: Maya ANGELOU (i.e. “writer”). Solution is ANGEL (i.e. “guardian” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) followed by OU (i.e. “or in Le Monde”, Le Monde is a French newspaper, the French for “or” is “ou”. Another gotten solely from the wordplay and a quick check on Wikipedia.

75. Drinks picked up with ear drop (5)

Answer: LAPSE (i.e. “drop”). “Picked up with ear” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of LAPS (i.e. “drinks”).

76. Like a difficult jumbo, not like the others? (5)

Answer: ROGUE. Solution satisfies “like a difficult jumbo”, as in a rogue elephant, and “not like the others”. Another themed clue.

77. Twig, at last, Times Cryptic Number One’s being recalled! (5)

Answer: SCION (i.e. “twig”). Solution is S and C (i.e. “at last, Times Cryptic”, i.e. the last letters of “Times” and “Cryptic”) followed by NO (a contraction of “number”) and I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) once they have been reversed (indicated by “being recalled”), like so: S-C-(I-ON). Another themed clue.

81. Field of grass bound to need cutting (3)

Answer: LEA (i.e. “field of grass”). Solution is LEAP (i.e. “bound”) once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “to need cutting”).

3 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1423

  1. A bit of an arm wrestle this week but all in all quite enjoyable.
    I got 31across as ‘down’ meaning to swallow. Not the best clue. I got the same for AMENITY. Like you, I have no idea why!

      1. Amenity could be ‘what you need’ – if you need the toilet, for example “To make use of the amenities” otherwise, i have no idea.

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