Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1436

A good one this week, peppered with a number of well worked clues offering good progression throughout the puzzle, and marred only by a few repeats. You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful.

As ever, some housekeeping before we jump in: my Just For Fun page has links to the last eighty-odd Times Jumbo Cryptic crosswords if that’s your thing, meanwhile I’ve got some book reviews that I really ought to get back to (day job has dominated almost everything since lockdown, sadly – even eating into my Saturdays! Mondo bleh!) and a story I stuck on here a while ago.

Meanwhile, lockdown does have its moments, not least in seeing how people on telly are trying to make do with having no barber or hairdresser as the weeks go by. I’m somewhat ahead of the curve on this one, not having had the barnet cropped since mid-December. I’m currently somewhere between Noel Edmonds and Boomer from Blink 182’s “First Date” video. It’s… a look.

Anyway, to the solutions. Keep well, and I’ll see you next time.


With thanks to Mark in the comments for the correction on 37a


Across clues

1. Hit American football player around chest (11)

Answer: BLOCKBUSTER (i.e. “hit [movie]”). Solution is BLOCKER (i.e. “American football player”) wrapped “around” BUST (i.e. “chest”), like so: BLOCK(BUST)ER.

7. Not sorting out dressing Penny in long suit (6,5)

Answer: STRONG POINT (i.e. “long suit”, which, outside of card games, can mean “an advantage one has”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “out”) of NOT SORTING which is wrapped around or “dressing” P (a recognised abbreviation of “penny” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), like so: STRONG(P)OINT.

13. Vow to maintain eastern sense of beliefs (9)

Answer: IDEOLOGIC (i.e. “of beliefs”). Solution is I DO (i.e. “vow” during a wedding ceremony) wrapped around or “maintaining” E (a recognised abbreviation of “eastern”) and then followed by LOGIC (i.e. “sense”), like so: I-D(E)O-LOGIC.

14. One with a large bill, £1000, for making pangs (7)

Answer: PUFFING (i.e. “making pants”). Solution is PUFFIN (i.e. “one with a large bill”) followed by G (a recognised abbreviation of a grand, or “£1000”).

15. The end for Spaniard, delicate and attractive (5)

Answer: ELFIN (i.e. “delicate and attractive”). When read as EL FIN, the solution also satisfies “the end for Spaniard”, i.e. Spanish for “the end”.

16. Statuette’s weight that’s surprising (6)

Answer: GRAMMY (i.e. “statuette”). Solution is GRAM (i.e. “weight”) followed by MY (i.e. “that’s surprising”, as in an exclamatory “my!”).

17. Write some graffiti about military leadership (8)

Answer: PENTAGON (i.e. “[US] military leadership”). Solution is PEN (i.e. “write”) followed by TAG (i.e. “some graffiti”) and ON (i.e. “about”).

18. Learner driver’s equipment to hold bucket down (7)

Answer: TRAINEE (i.e. “learner”). Solution is TEE (i.e. “driver’s equipment [in golf]”) wrapped around or “holding” RAIN (i.e. “bucket down”), like so: T(RAIN)EE.

20. Frances’s well-mannered youth schooled till older, unfortunately (6,4,10)

Answer: LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY, a childrens book by “Frances” Hodgson Burnett’s “well-mannered youth”. “Schooled” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TILL OLDER UNFORTUNATELY.

23. Stray female cat initially missing after days (7)

Answer: DIGRESS (i.e. “stray”). Solution is TIGRESS (i.e. “female cat”) with its first letter removed (indicated by “initially missing”) and the remainder placed “after” D (a recognised abbreviation of “days”), like so: D-IGRESS.

24. Dismissed error when defending support for logs (7)

Answer: FIREDOG (i.e. “support for logs” in a fire – also called an andiron, if that helps). Solution is FIRED (i.e. “dismissed”) followed by OG (i.e. “error when defending”, specifically an Own Goal).

26. Front of bus gets cold: regularly colder transport (7)

Answer: BICYCLE (i.e. “transport”). Solution is B (i.e. “front of bus”, i.e. the first letter of “bus”) followed by ICY (i.e. “cold”), then CLE (i.e. “regularly colder”, i.e. every other letter of COLDER), like so: B-ICY-CLE. Nicely worked.

28. It may make cameo, just not fifty times (4)

Answer: ONYX (i.e. “it may make cameo”, as in a gem with a figure carved in relief). Solution is ONLY (i.e. “just”) with the L removed (indicated by “not [Roman numeral] fifty”) and X (i.e. “times”, as in the multiplication symbol), like so: ONY-X. Another well-worked clue.

29. Superior small hotel hosting aristocrat again (8)

Answer: SNOBBISH (i.e. “superior”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) and H (“hotel” in the phonetic alphabet) wrapped around or “hosting” NOB (i.e. “aristocrat”) and BIS (i.e. musical lingo for “again”), like so: S-(NOB-BIS)-H.

32. Being old, one’s figure has cellulite at the edges (9)

Answer: EXISTENCE (i.e. “being”). Solution is EX (i.e. “old”, both taken to mean “former”) followed by I’S (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one” made possessive), then TEN (i.e. “figure”, basically just a number) and CE (i.e. “cellulite at the edges”, i.e. the first and last letters of “cellulite”), like so: EX-I’S-TEN-CE. Another good clue.

35. Miserable son, changeable in nature (9)

Answer: SATURNINE (i.e. “miserable”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “changeable”) of IN NATURE, like so: S-ATURNINE.

36. After turnover, flans providing unknown layer (8)

Answer: STRATIFY (i.e. “[to] layer”). Solution is TARTS (i.e. “flans”) reversed (indicated by “after turnover”) and then followed by IF (i.e. “provided”) and Y (i.e. “unknown” – setters love referring to X, Y and Z as unknowns in their clues), like so: STRAT-IF-Y.

37. Where you might find better or flipping remarkable person (4)

Answer: HERO (i.e. “remarkable person”). I’m reasonably confident of this one but am open to other solutions that fit. My solution is HE (i.e. “[one’s] better”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “His Excellency”) followed by OR once it has been reversed (indicated by “flipping”), like so: HE-RO. The “where you might find” seems to be there to make the clue scan better but it could also mean I’ve missed something. Also, without wanting to get too Wolfie Smith about it, nobody is anyone’s better. Don’t accept it. We all rub along together in this world as best we can. Well, at least two metres apart, anyway.
[EDIT: I was right to exercise a little caution on this one. Mark in the comments nails it, the solution being RENO (i.e. “where you might find better” as in a gambler), which, when reversed (indicated by “flipping”) gives you ONER, a “remarkable person”. Thanks, Mark! – LP]

39. Charity case writing in handbook losing account (7)

Answer: ALMSMAN (i.e. “charity case”). Solution is MS (a recognised abbreviation of manuscript, i.e. “writing”) placed “in” ALMANAC (i.e. “handbook”) once the AC has been removed (indicated by “losing account”, AC being a recognised abbreviation of “account”), like so: AL(MS)MAN.

41. Top Nazi entertaining East German entertainer (7)

Answer: HOSTESS (i.e. “entertainer”). Solution is Rudolph HESS (i.e. “top Nazi” – I guess “top” here is being taken to mean “elite”, as I’ve some faint knowledge there was someone above him…) which is wrapped around or “entertaining” OST (i.e. “East German”, i.e. the German for “east” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), like so: H(OST)ESS. Nicely worked.

44. Gold jumper? Extremely snazzy for the PM (7)

Answer: AUTOPSY (i.e. “PM”, a recognised abbreviation of “post-mortem”). Solution is AU (chemical symbol of “gold”) followed by TOP (i.e. “jumper”, both taken as items of clothing) and then SY (i.e. “extremely snazzy”, i.e. the first and last letters of “snazzy”), like so: AU-TOP-SY.

45. Token resistance, slowly changing, is subversive (20)

Answer: COUNTERREVOLITIONARY (i.e. “subversive”). Solution is COUNTER (i.e. “token”, say, in a board game) followed by R (a recognised abbreviation of “resistance”) and EVOLUTIONARY (i.e. “slowly changing”). An easier get than it ought to have been as this solution and a good chunk of its clue also appeared in puzzle 1413 back in December. Back then the solution was hyphenated, a spelling backed up by my Chambers. A small niggle, I guess.

49. Colouring perhaps in French colour (1-6)

Answer: E-NUMBER (i.e. “colouring, perhaps” – other e-numbers covering stuff like flavourings, for example). Solution is EN (i.e. “in French”, i.e. the French for “in”) followed by UMBER (i.e. a brown earthy pigment or “colour”).

50. Pardoned sinner finally released (8)

Answer: REMITTED (i.e. “pardoned”). Solution is R (i.e. “sinner finally”, i.e. the last letter of “sinner”) followed by EMITTED (i.e. “released”).

51. Through which we look more banal, we hear (6)

Answer: CORNEA (i.e. “through which we look”). “We hear” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of CORNIER (i.e. “more banal”).

53. Some foul up industrial plant (5)

Answer: LUPIN (i.e. “plant”, and a particular favourite of Monty Python’s memorable highwayman, Dennis Moore, dum-dum-dum). “Some” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: FOU(L UP IN)DUSTRIAL.

54. Bit of rock clip released at first (7)

Answer: OUTCROP (i.e. “bit of rock”). Solution is CROP (i.e. “clip”) with OUT (i.e. “released”) placed before it or “at first”, like so: OUT-CROP.

55. Land’s politician accepting slip with modern tech (9)

Answer: TERRITORY (i.e. “land”). Solution is TORY (i.e. “politician”, specifically one from the Conservative Party) wrapped around or “accepting” ERR (i.e. “slip”) and IT (i.e. “modern tech”, specifically Information Technology), like so: T(ERR-IT)ORY.

56. When clasped by ex-PM, embrace in eatery (6,5)

Answer: GREASY SPOON (i.e. “eatery”). Solution is Charles GREY, 17th century Prime Minister (i.e. “ex-PM”) wrapped around or “clasping” AS (i.e. “when”) and then followed by SPOON (i.e. “[to] embrace”), like so: GRE(AS)Y-SPOON.

57. Trouble is doubled with current examiner (11)

Answer: SCRUTINISER (i.e. “examiner”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “trouble”) of IS and IS (indicated by “is doubled”), and also CURRENT.

Down clues

1. Partner in match accepting golf game (6)

Answer: BRIDGE (i.e. “game”). Solution is BRIDE (i.e. “partner in match” or wedding) wrapped around or “accepting” G (“golf” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: BRID(G)E.

2. Android perhaps doing medical work with void safety check (9,6)

Answer: OPERATING SYSTEM (i.e. “Android perhaps” – other OSes are available). Solution is OPERATING (i.e. “doing medical work”) followed by SY (i.e. “void safety”, i.e. the word SAFETY with all its middle letters removed) and STEM (i.e. “check”, both taken to mean restrict), like so: OPERATING-SY-STEM.

3. Silk worms covering awfully remote distance (10)

Answer: KILOMETRES (i.e. “distance”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “worms”) of SILK which is then placed around a further anagram (indicated by “awfully”) of REMOTE, like so: KIL(OMETER)S.

4. When topless, sudden increase in desire (4)

Answer: URGE (i.e. “desire”). Solution is SURGE (i.e. “sudden increase”) with the initial letter removed (indicated by “when topless”).

5. Marked as finished and rated (6,3)

Answer: TICKED OFF. Solution satisfies “marked as finished” and “rated”, i.e. scolded.

6. Place overgrown by grass is known (7)

Answer: REPUTED (i.e. “known”). Solution is PUT (i.e. “place”) placed in or “overgrown by” REED (i.e. “grass”), like so: RE(PUT)ED.

7. Protection for one quaking as fraud is around (9)

Answer: SAFEGUARD (i.e. “protection”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “quaking”) of AS FRAUD which “is [wrapped] around” EG (i.e. “for one”, as in “for example”), like so: SAF(EG)UARD.

8. What people do when in power shower, audibly (5)

Answer: REIGN. Solution satisfies “what people do when in power” and “shower, audibly”, i.e. a homophone of RAIN.

9. Distinguished chap’s outspoken staff in fun venue (5-4)

Answer: NIGHT-CLUB (i.e. “fun venue”). Solution is NIGHT, a homophone (indicated by “outspoken”) of KNIGHT (i.e. “distinguished chap”), which is then followed by CLUB (i.e. “staff”).

10. Design a carpet fibre to manufacture in advance (12)

Answer: PREFABRICATE (i.e. “manufacture in advance”). “Design” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of A CARPET FIBRE.

11. Early period imagined? (7)

Answer: INFANCY (i.e. “early period”). When read as IN FANCY, the solution also satisfies “imagined”.

12. Someone with a burning desire may use this app (6)

Answer: TINDER (i.e. a dating “app”). Clue plays on how tinder, i.e. kindling, is used to help get stuff “burning”. You get the idea.

19. Go down in the pit briefly by India’s capital (8)

Answer: HELSINKI (i.e. “capital” of Finland). Solution is HELL (i.e. “the pit”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “briefly”) and the remainder placed “by” SINK (i.e. “go down”) and then followed by I (“India” in the phonetic alphabet”), like so: HEL-SINK-I.

21. Forget information about the Parisian court (7)

Answer: NEGLECT (i.e. “forget”). Solution is GEN (i.e. “knowledge”) which is reversed (indicated by “about”) and followed by LE (i.e. “the Parisian”, i.e. the French for “the”), then CT (a recognised abbreviation of “court”), like so: NEG-LE-CT.

22. Say what’s raised cash to oust English power (8)

Answer: HEGEMONY (i.e. “power”). Solution is EG (i.e. “say”, i.e. “for example”) and EH (i.e. “what[?]”, pardon?, hmm? etc) both reversed (indicated by “raised” – this being a down clue) and then followed by MONEY (i.e. “cash”) once the E has been removed (indicated by “to oust English” – E being a recognised abbreviation of “English”), like so: HE-GE-MONY.

23. Spirits lifted by Democrat in utter catastrophe (8)

Answer: DOOMSDAY (i.e. “catastrophe”). Solution is MOOD (i.e. “spirits”) which is reversed (indicated by “lifted” – this being a down clue) and then followed by D (a recognised abbreviation of “Democrat”) once it has been placed “in” SAY (i.e. “utter”), like so: DOOM-S(D)AY.

25. Borders crossing close to notable French city (5)

Answer: REIMS (i.e. “French city”). Solution is RIMS (i.e. “borders”) wrapped around or “crossing” E (i.e. “close to notable”, i.e. the last letter of “notable”), like so: R(E)IMS. The wordplay was fairly obvious but took a quick Google to get right. Apologies to any French readers for not knowing your twelfth most populous city.

27. At the same time as computer, no one works (15)

Answer: CONTEMPORANEOUS (i.e. “at the same time”). “Works” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of AS COMPUTER NO ONE.

30. Rabbit on table – the rabbit cages (7)

Answer: BLETHER (i.e. “rabbit”, i.e. a variant form of blather). “Cages” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: TA(BLE THE R)ABBIT.

31. Mob’s stash picked up (5)

Answer: HORDE (i.e. “mob”). “Picked up” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of HOARD (i.e. “stash”).

33. Beneath one home, like hiding brother (5,3)

Answer: INFRA DIG (i.e. “beneath” in Latin). Solution is IN (i.e. “[at] home”) and DIG (i.e. “like”) wrapped around or “hiding” FRA (i.e. Italian for “brother” or friar), like so: IN-(FRA)-DIG.

34. Fee for good French detective, an investment drawn on? (7,5)

Answer: PREMIUM BONDS (i.e. “an investment drawn on”). Solution is PREMIUM (i.e. “fee”) followed by BON (i.e. “good French”, i.e. the French for “good”) and DS (i.e. “detective”, specifically a Detective Sergeant). Another recent repeat, making this an easier get.

38. Such a voice is resonant? It’s rolling (10)

Answer: STENTORIAN, a loud, carrying, powerful or “resonant” “voice”. “Rolling” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of RESONANT IT’S. Another nicely worked clue.

40. Infamous rejection of Olympic city by American? (9)

Answer: NOTORIOUS (i.e. “infamous”). Solution is NO TO RIO (i.e. “rejection of Olympic city” – Rio De Janeiro having hosted the 2016 Olympic Games) followed by US (i.e. “American”).

42. Smoother South Side club (5,4)

Answer: STEAM IRON (i.e. “smoother”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “south”) followed by TEAM (i.e. “side”) and IRON (i.e. “[golf] club”).

43. Angry about card player with another hat (9)

Answer: SOUWESTER (i.e. “hat” often worn by seamen). Solution is SOUR (i.e. “angry”) wrapped “about” WEST (i.e. “card player” in bridge) and E (i.e. “another”, being a recognised abbreviation of “east” – another player in bridge), like so: SOU(WEST-E)R.

45. Behind calves, oddly, trousers crease (7)

Answer: CRUMPLE (i.e. “crease”). Solution is RUMP (i.e. “behind”) which is placed in or “trousered” by CLE (i.e. “calves, oddly”, i.e. every other letter of CALVES), like so: C(RUMP)LE.

46. Month to get work for army type, in the main? (7)

Answer: OCTOPUS (i.e. a creature found “in the main” – “main” being another word for “sea” often used by setters in their clues). Solution is OCT (i.e. “month”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of October) followed by OPUS (i.e. artistic “work”). “Army type” perhaps hints that an octopus is a “marine” creature, but I might have missed something clever here.
[EDIT: Thanks to John in the comments for clarifying this one. Octopuses have eight limbs, also variously called tentacles, legs or “arms”. The clue is therefore playing on how octopuses are rather “army”. (Opens window to hear collective groans.) Cheers, John! – LP]

47. Issue when travelling in Spooner’s rented car (3,3)

Answer: JET LAG (i.e. “issue when travelling”). Solution is a “Spoonerism” of LET JAG (i.e. “rented car”).

48. A cutting sort, one speaking about wife (6)

Answer: SAWYER (i.e. “a cutting sort”, being one who cuts timber). Solution is SAYER (i.e. “one speaking”) wrapped “about” W (a recognised abbreviation of “wife”), like so: SA(W)YER.

50. Share not quite in proportion (5)

Answer: RATIO (i.e. “proportion”). Solution is RATION (i.e. “share”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “not quite”).

52. Time to go off for a jog (4)

Answer: TROT (i.e. “jog”). Solution is T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) followed by ROT (i.e. “to go off”).

8 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1436

  1. Hi Lucian, 46 down re the Octopus. Apparently tentacles only have suckers at the end whereas arms have tentacles along their entire length and with a few exceptions the octopus has arms so I’m guessing the Army Type refers to this. Best Wishes and stay well

    1. That’s such a bad pun, it’s really rather good. Definite groans here when the penny dropped! Thank you.

  2. 46A. RENO. Definition is ‘Where you might find better (ie. a gambler) with ONER, meaning ‘a remarkable person’ flipped/reversed. Stay safe. Cheers Mark.

  3. Hi Lucian. Thanks for this. I agree with John about “Army Type”. Regarding 37a, I might be way off the mark here, but we had RENO. ONER (defined in Chambers as “a person or thing unique or outstanding in any way), when reversed, gives RENO – a city in Nevada, a US state where gambling is permitted. In other words, a place where you might find a “better” (someone who bets). But your solution fits just as well. It will be interesting to see what the official answer turns out to be. Stay safe.

    1. Hi Sue. Mark narrowly beat you to it re: RENO. I agree with you both and have corrected the post. I’ve a feeling WordPress doesn’t send updated posts to subscribers, though, unless there’s a setting I’ve missed. Stay well! – LP

      1. I must confess I struggle with WordPress (I much prefer Blogger, which is the one I use more often). For some bizarre reason I can only post comments here if I use my laptop. If I try from my iPad, I just get the error message “Sorry, this comment cannot be posted”. 😦 SB

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