Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1434

A decent puzzle for Bank Holiday Monday, despite a few recent repeats, though it didn’t quite seem so at the time! Got there in the end, I think. You can find my completed grid below along with explanations for my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them useful.

Some me-time again before we jump in: my Just For Fun page carries links for solutions to the last eighty-odd Times Jumbo Cryptics should that be of any use to you; my Reviews page, meanwhile, has some book reviews from a time back when I had the time to read; meanwhile I have a story of mine to help while away a spare half hour.

And so to the answers. Keep your chins up, peeps. Stay healthy and all being well I’ll see you for the next one.


Across clues

1. Superior agent bringing government security (7,4)

Answer: PREMIUM BOND (i.e. “government security”). Solution is PREMIUM (i.e. “superior”) followed by James BOND (i.e. “agent”). Or Basildon Bond, for any Russ Abbot fans out there.

7. Two police informers that could feed many behind bars (6,5)

Answer: CANARY GRASS. Solution satisfies “two police informers” and “that could feed many behind bars” – its grain is often used as birdseed. Nicely worked.

13. Past master following surgeon’s work, an invasive procedure (9,8)

Answer: OPERATION OVERLORD (i.e. “an invasive procedure”, referring to the successful Allied invasion of Western Europe during WWII). Solution is OVER (i.e.” past”) followed by LORD (i.e. “master”) both placed after or “following” OPERATION (i.e. “surgeon’s work”), like so: OPERATION-OVER-LORD. An easier get, given this solution appeared a few months ago in puzzle 1414. I guess the setter didn’t get a paper that day.

14. Coat in two sizes gaining appreciation (5)

Answer: SMEAR (i.e. “[to] coat”). Solution is S and M (i.e. “two sizes”, specifically recognised abbreviations of “small” and “medium”) followed by EAR (i.e. “appreciation”, as in having an ear for something).

15. Agrees fares, as passenger does (4,2)

Answer: GETS ON. A triple-header, this, as the solution satisfies “agrees”, “fares” and “as passenger does”.

16. What’s lost by guru bottling medicine? (8)

Answer: SPILLAGE (i.e. “what’s lost”). Solution is SAGE (i.e. “guru”) wrapped around or “bottling” PILL (i.e. “medicine”), like so: S(PILL)AGE.

17. Concert stars from Emirates, heading off abroad (7)

Answer: MAESTRI (i.e. “concert stars”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “abroad”) of EMIRATES once the initial letter has been removed (indicated by “heading off”). Another easier get, the solution having recently appeared in puzzle 1431. The setter really must have a word with their newsagent, all these Saturday Times they seem to be missing.

19. I invested in second family home minimally well covered (9)

Answer: SKINNIEST (i.e. “minimally well covered” – I get it, as in a covering of skin, but bloody hell it’s a bit of a stretch). Solution is I placed or “invested” in S (a recognised abbreviation of “second”), KIN (i.e. “family”) and NEST (i.e. “home”), like so: S-KIN-N(I)EST.

21. Claiming everyone died escaping from border (8)

Answer: ALLEGING (i.e. “claiming”). Solution is ALL (i.e. “everyone”) followed by EDGING (i.e. “border”) once the D has been removed (indicated by “died escaping”, D being a recognised abbreviation of “died”), like so: ALL-EGING.

23. College coach not head of athletics (4)

Answer: TECH (i.e. “college”). Solution is TEACH (i.e. “coach”) with the A removed (indicated by “not head of athletics”, i.e. the first letter of “athletics”).

25. Tea service, third of plates going west (5)

Answer: ASSAM (i.e. “tea”). Solution is MASS (i.e. “[church] service”) followed by A (i.e. “third of plates”, i.e. the third letter of “plates”), all reversed (indicated by “going west” – this being an across clue), like so: A-SSAM.

27. Turn against one splitting party from the start (2,4)

Answer: DE NOVO (i.e. Latin for “from the start”). Solution is V (i.e. “against”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “versus”) and ONE placed in or “splitting” DO (i.e. “party”). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “turn”), like so: D(ENO-V)O. Some brute forcing of Chambers was needed here, me not being versed in dead languages n’ all.

28. Jazz musician’s men briefly recalled playing piece (4,6)

Answer: FATS DOMINO (i.e. “jazz musician”). Solution is STAFF (i.e. “men”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “briefly”) and the remainder reversed (indicated by “recalled”), then followed by DOMINO (i.e. “playing piece”), like so: FATS-DOMINO. A clue that scans rather well.

30. Issue rebounding sound when phone card’s installed (8)

Answer: EMISSION (i.e. “issue”). Solution is NOISE (i.e. “sound”) wrapped around or “installing” SIM (i.e. “phone card”). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “rebounding”), like so: E(MIS)SION.

31. Get the better of twenty fielders not performing well (5,6,3)

Answer: SCORE POINTS OFF (i.e. “get the better of”). Solution is SCORE (i.e. “twenty”) followed by POINTS (i.e. some “fielders” in cricket) and OFF (i.e. “not performing well”).

34. Large whisky, say in local producing bad language (6,8)

Answer: DOUBLE NEGATIVE (i.e. “bad language” – The Times’ own Oliver Kamm might disagree…) Solution is DOUBLE (i.e. “large whisky”) followed by EG (i.e. “say”, as in “for example”) once it has been placed “in” NATIVE (i.e. “local”), like so: DOUBLE-N(EG)ATIVE. Another clue that scans rather well.

35. Pallid quality a bad sign in clarets, perhaps season’s first (8)

Answer: WAXINESS (i.e. “pallid quality”). Solution is A and X (i.e. “bad sign”, as in a sign off of teacher that you’ve gotten something wrong) placed “in” WINES (i.e. “clarets, perhaps”) and then followed by S (i.e. “season’s first”, i.e. the first letter of “season”), like so: W(A-X)INES-S.

38. Missile launchers stolen on board with prior support from medic (10)

Answer: SLINGSHOTS (i.e. “missile launchers”). Solution is HOT (i.e. “stolen”) placed in or “on board” SS (a recognised abbreviation of a “steamship” – the “on board” inferring we’re on a ship). This is then placed after (indicated by “with prior”) SLING (i.e. “support from medic”), like so: SLING-S(HOT)S.

40. Particular hamper engineers disposed of (6)

Answer: STRICT (i.e. “particular”). Solution is RESTRICT (i.e. “hamper”) with the RE removed (indicated by “engineers disposed of”, RE being the Royal Engineers of the British Army).

41. Right page in incorrect order? (5)

Answer: RECTO (i.e. “right page” of a book in publisher lingo – the left page being “verso”, in case you were wondering). “In” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, likes so: INCOR(RECT O)RDER.

43. Weeper’s last, dying tear (4)

Answer: REND (i.e. to rip or “tear”). Solution is R (i.e. “weeper’s last”, i.e. the last letter of “weeper”) followed by END (i.e. “dying”).

44. Sound measures to seize half Russian’s capital (8)

Answer: BRUSSELS, “capital” of Belgium. Solution is BELS (i.e. “sound measures”) wrapped around or “seizing” RUSS (i.e. “half of Russian’s”, specifically the first half – the possessive ‘s included), like so: B(RUSS)ELS.

45. Beguiled consultant’s discipline criticised (9)

Answer: ENTRAPPED (i.e. “beguiled”, both taken as tricking someone into a course of action). Solution is ENT (i.e. “consultant’s discipline”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of the Ear Nose and Throat field of medicine) followed by RAPPED (i.e. “criticised”).

48. Pizza dish from region east of Golden State (7)

Answer: CALZONE (i.e. “pizza dish”). Solution is ZONE (i.e. “region”) placed after or “east of” – this being an across clue – CAL (a recognised abbreviation of California, nicknamed the “Golden State”), like so: CAL-ZONE. Chalk one to my Bradford’s here.

49. With united soul, wandering like a cloud (8)

Answer: CUMULOUS (i.e. “like a cloud” – dictionaries differ on this it seems. Chambers doesn’t recognise the word, suggesting CUMULOSE instead, while my Oxford chooses not to get involved at all. It’s left to my battered old Collins Concise to back the setter up on this one. (Puts red card back in pocket.)). Solution is CUM (i.e. Latin for “with”) followed by U (“uniform” in the phonetic alphabet a recognised abbreviation of “united”) and an anagram (indicated by “wandering”) of SOUL, like so: CUM-U-LOUS.
[EDIT – Thanks to Sue in the comments for the catch re: “united”. I must have been getting tired by this point! – LP]

50. Several hands needed for this dental work (6)

Answer: BRIDGE. Solution satisfies “several hands [of cards] needed for this” and “dental work”.

53. Civet spied in grass, often retreating (5)

Answer: FOSSA (i.e. “civet”). “Spied in” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, while “retreating” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: GR(ASS OF)TEN. One gotten by the wordplay alone, to be honest.

54. Centenarian hermit, funny old man of verse (3,7,7)

Answer: THE ANCIENT MARINER (i.e. “old man of verse”). “Funny” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CENTENARIAN HERMIT.

55. “Loos” misread in translation as more exclusive facilities? (6,5)

Answer: LADIES ROOMS (i.e. “more exclusive facilities”, taken in relation to the more generic “loos”). “In translation” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of LOOS MISREAD.

56. Chance inaccuracy from tabloid (E for I) backing organised party (6,5)

Answer: RANDOM ERROR (i.e. “chance inaccuracy”). Solution is the Daily MIRROR (i.e. “tabloid”) with the I replaced by E (indicated by “(E for I)”) and then placed after or “backing” RAN (i.e. “organised”) and DO (i.e. “party”), like so: RAN-DO-MERROR.

Down clues

1. Stars helping to create something groundbreaking (11)

Answer: PLOUGHSHARE (i.e. “something groundbreaking”). Solution is PLOUGH (i.e. “stars”, as in the constellation) followed by SHARE (i.e. a “helping” of something).

2. European clubs wearing black kick out (5)

Answer: EJECT (i.e. “kick out”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”) followed by C (ditto “clubs”, used in card games) once it has been placed in or “wearing” JET (i.e. “black”), like so: E-JE(C)T.

3. One in a state needed aid on a horse, desperately (7)

Answer: IDAHOAN (i.e. “one in a [US] state”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “desperately”) of AID ON A and H (a recognised abbreviation of “horse”).

4. Within minutes, trunk road’s put out of action (4)

Answer: MAIM (i.e. “put out of action”). Solution is M and M (a recognised abbreviation of “minute” made plural) with AI (i.e. “trunk road”, specifically the A1) placed “within” them, like so: M-(AI)-M.

5. Tempt with onion crackers, supremely strong (10)

Answer: OMNIPOTENT (i.e. “supremely strong”). “Crackers” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TEMPT and ONION.
[EDIT: Corrected from OMNIPRESENT, a . Thanks to Mark in the comments for the correction. – LP]

6. Unravelling vital code saved Vatican official (6,8)

Answer: DEVIL’S ADVOCATE (i.e. “Vatican official”, one played rather well by Rob Lowe in Sky One’s pretty good You Me and the Apocalypse, if I recall correctly). “Unravelling” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of VITAL CODE SAVED.

7. GPs might welcome these queries regularly during visits (4-4)

Answer: CURE-ALLS (i.e. “GPs might welcome these”). Solution is URE (i.e. “queries regularly”, i.e. every other letter of QUERIES) placed in or “during” CALLS (i.e. “visits”), like so: C(URE)ALLS. Another clue that scans rather well.

8. Ring through snout a form of restraint (5)

Answer: NOOSE (i.e. “form of restraint”). Solution is O (i.e. “ring”) placed in or “through” NOSE (i.e. “snout”), like so: NO(O)SE.

9. Beginnings of weak energy seen in puniest creatures (9)

Answer: RUDIMENTS (i.e. “beginnings”). Solution is DIM (i.e. “weak”) and E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”) placed “in” RUNTS (i.e. “puniest creatures”), like so: RU(DIM-E)NTS.

10. Records in diary reflected evangelist’s message (6)

Answer: GOSPEL (i.e. “evangelist’s message”). Solution is EPS (i.e. “records”, specifically Extended Plays – ask your parents, kids) placed “in” LOG (i.e. “record”) and the whole then reversed (indicated by “reflected”), like so: GO(SPE)L.

11. Achievement of a parent full of energy engaged in short flight (1,7,2,4,3)

Answer: A FEATHER IN ONES CAP (i.e. “achievement”). Solution is A, then FATHER (i.e. “parent”) wrapped around or “full of” E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”) followed by IN ON (i.e. “engaged in” something) and ESCAPE (i.e. “flight”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “short”), like so: A-F(E)ATHER-IN-ON-ESCAP.

12. Homeless aristo given a hearing forthwith (8,3)

Answer: STRAIGHT OFF (i.e. “forthwith”). Not got much of a hook on this one, so watch out. “Aristo” can be a TOFF, but I haven’t figured the rest of it. As ever, if I have a brainwave, or if some kind commenter swings by, then I’ll update the post.
[EDIT: Thanks to Steve in the comments for the quick turnaround on this one. The solution is a homophone (indicated by “given a hearing”) of STRAY TOFF (i.e. “homeless aristo”). Sometimes you just don’t see ’em. Thanks, Steve! – LP]

18. Convict’s singular ambition reduced (4,4)

Answer: SEND DOWN (i.e. “[to] convict”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “singular”) followed by END (i.e. “ambition”) then DOWN (i.e. “reduced”).

20. Having started outside, a lion is somehow confined (17)

Answer: INSTITUTIONALISED (i.e. “confined”). Solution is INSTITUTED (i.e. “started”) placed “outside” of an anagram (indicated by “somehow”) of A LION IS, like so: INSTITUT(IONALIS)ED.

22. Drink that’s right during interval? Pop (6)

Answer: GRAPPA (i.e. “drink”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”) placed in or “during” GAP (i.e. “interval”) and then followed by PA (i.e. “pop”, both terms for father), like so: G(R)AP-PA. Nicely worked.

24. On cruise ship, disheartened, drink more stout (8)

Answer: PORTLIER (i.e. “more stout”). Solution is PORT (i.e. “drink”) placed “on” top of – this being a down clue – LINER (i.e. “cruise ship”) once its middle letter has been removed (indicated by “disheartened”), like so: PORT-LIER.

26. Dress badly, something actor should never do, we’re told (8)

Answer: MISALIGN (i.e. “dress badly”). “We’re told” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of MISS A LINE (i.e. “something actor should never do”). This took bloody ages to get. Yes, I facepalmed when I finally twigged it.

29. Junior in service reserved bread for nursery breakfast? (7,7)

Answer: PRIVATE SOLDIER (i.e. “junior in [armed] service”). Solution is PRIVATE (i.e. “reserved”) followed by SOLDIER (i.e. “bread for … breakfast” – I guess the “nursery” bit is to indicate the eggs for which one would have soldiers).

32. Disorganised at home, like philanthropist (2,1,5)

Answer: IN A STATE (i.e. “disorganised”). Solution is IN (i.e. “at home”) followed by AS (i.e. “like”) and Henry TATE (i.e. sugar baron and “philanthropist” of old).

33. A fixed silver mounting for gemstones (6)

Answer: AGATES (i.e. “gemstones”). Solution is A followed by SET (i.e. “fixed”) and AG (chemical symbol of “silver”) once these latter two have been reversed (indicated by “mounting” – this being a down clue), like so: A-(GA-TES).

34. Inspector’s benevolence, almost total, is shocking (11)

Answer: DISGRACEFUL (i.e. “shocking”). Solution is DI’S (i.e. “inspector’s”, specifically a Detective Inspector’s) followed by GRACE (i.e. “benevolence”) and FULL (i.e. “total”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “almost”), like so: DI’S-GRACE-FUL.

36. Public official, speech back to front, to support queen (5-6)

Answer: SWORD-BEARER (i.e. “public official”). Solution is WORDS (i.e. “speech”) with the last letter placed first (indicated by “back to front”), then followed by BEAR (i.e. “to support”) and ER (i.e. “queen”, specifically Elizabeth Regina), like so: SWORD-BEAR-ER.

37. The unmissable “Sparkling sequin” by prolific author (4,3,3)

Answer: SINE QUA NON (i.e. “unmissable” – sigh… more dead language japes, this time a Latin phrase meaning “an indispensable condition”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “sparkling”) of SEQUIN followed by ANON (i.e. “prolific author”, being a recognised abbreviation of “anonymous” – a bit sneaky but I get the gist of it), like so: SINEQU-ANON.

39. Sprinter runs bearing singlet, one gathers (9)

Answer: HARVESTER (i.e. “one gathers”). Solution is HARE (i.e. “sprinter”) and R (a recognised abbreviation of “runs” used in a number of ball games) wrapped around or “bearing” VEST (i.e. “singlet”), like so: HAR(VEST)E-R.

42. American word for depot? (8)

Answer: TERMINUS (i.e. “depot”). When written as TERM IN US the solution also satisfies “American word for”. Nicely played.

46. Scots town has equipment for stylist wanting all-round trim (7)

Answer: AIRDRIE (i.e. “Scots town”). Solution is HAIRDRIER (i.e. “equipment for stylist”) once the first and last letters have been removed (indicated by “wanting all-round trim”). Best clue we’ve had for quite a while. Love it!

47. Elevated accountant given exclusive housing as compensation (6)

Answer: SOLACE (i.e. “compensation”). Solution is CA (a recognised abbreviation of a Chartered “Accountant”) placed in or given “housing” in SOLE (i.e.” exclusive”), like so: SOL(AC)E.

49. Socialist bound by firm principles (5)

Answer: CREDO (i.e. “principles”). Solution is RED (i.e. “socialist”) placed in or “bound by” CO (a recognised abbreviation of company, i.e. “firm”), like so: C(RED)O.

51. Thailand’s last queen raised money abroad (5)

Answer: DINAR (i.e. “money abroad”). Solution is D (i.e. “Thailand’s last”, i.e. the last letter of “Thailand”) followed by RANI (i.e. “queen”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “raised” – this being a down clue), like so: D-INAR.

52. Bishop put in a flash reading desk (4)

Answer: AMBO (i.e. “reading desk”). Solution is B (a recognised abbreviation of “bishop”) placed or “put in” A and MO (i.e. “flash”, both meaning a short period of time), like so: A-(M)-BO. One I got purely from the wordplay, to he honest.

4 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1434

  1. 5D. Omnipotent. An unintentional slip in writing the answer in the clues section on your part I’m sure. As it’s correct in the grid itself. I blame lockdown!

  2. Thanks Lucian. This one was a bit less frustrating than Saturday’s.

    A couple of things: 12d sounds like “STRAY TOFF”. And in your parsing of 49a you give the first U as “uniform”. In the clue it’s “united” (which I’ve seen elsewhere as a indicator for the letter U).

    Stay safe.

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