Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1437

A relatively easy one this week, which is no bad thing. Another with some nicely worked clues too. You can find my completed solution below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful.

Some housekeeping before any of that. If you have a previous Times Jumbo Cryptic that’s given you the slip recently, then you might find my Just For Fun page useful, covering the last eighty-odd puzzles. There are some book reviews leavening all this crossword stuff, and even a not-so-little story of mine.

Right that’s enough of me. I hope you’re all continuing to cope with the lockdown and its variant effects. Stay safe, and I’ll see you for the next big ‘un.


Across clues

1. French nobleman’s quickly comprehending company minutes (7)

Answer: VICOMTE (i.e. “French nobleman”, equivalent to a viscount). Solution is VITE (i.e. “quickly” in musical lingo) wrapped around or “comprehending” CO (a recognised abbreviation of “company”) and M (ditto “minutes”), like so: VI(CO-M)TE.

5. Precise account by parish priest’s assistant (8)

Answer: ACCURATE (i.e. “precise”). Solution is AC (a recognised abbreviation of “account”) followed by CURATE (i.e. “parish priest’s assistant”).

9. Absolutely correct, boy receiving trophy (4-2)

Answer: SPOT-ON (i.e. “absolutely correct”). Solution is SON (i.e. “boy”) wrapped around or “receiving” POT (i.e. “trophy” – usage backed up by my Chambers), like so: S(POT)ON.

13. Don’t rate computer services at all? There’s no need to apologise (5,7,2,2)

Answer: THINK NOTHING OF IT. Solution satisfies “don’t rate computer services at all” – IT being a recognised abbreviation of “information technology” – and “there’s no need to apologise”. A very similar version of this clue appeared relatively recently back in puzzle 1404.

14. Old flat-bottomed boat goes on heading for Malta’s capital city (6)

Answer: MOSCOW (i.e. “capital city” of Russia. Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and SCOW (i.e. “flat-bottomed boat”) placed “on” or after M (i.e. “heading for Malta”, i.e. the first letter of “Malta”), like so: M-(O-SCOW).

16. The Song of Hiawatha, say, and English film by US writer, male (4,4)

Answer: EPIC POEM (i.e. “The Song of Hiawatha, say”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) followed by PIC (i.e. “film”, short for [motion] picture), then Edgar Allan POE (i.e. “US writer”) and finally M (a recognised abbreviation of “male”).

17. Heard offspring give up (4)

Answer: CEDE (i.e. “give up”). “Heard” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of SEED (i.e. “offspring”).

18. Say he, for instance, gets church backing (9)

Answer: PRONOUNCE (i.e. “say”). Solution is PRONOUN (i.e. “he, for instance” – in keeping with the times, I should declare that my pronouns are… well, you can call me anything you like because I don’t really exist) followed or “backed” by CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England).

20. Believer in destiny in big group of stars, perhaps (8)

Answer: FATALIST (i.e. “believer in destiny”). Solution is FAT (i.e. “big”) followed by A-LIST (i.e. “group of stars, perhaps” – stars as in celebrities).

21. Berths here for the rest of the travellers? (8,3)

Answer: SLEEPING CAR – a carriage of a train in which travellers can get some shuteye. Clue plays on how “rest” can mean to sleep. You get the idea.

24. Able to remember a lot of information about sacramental wine I have (9)

Answer: RETENTIVE (i.e. “able to remember a lot of information”). Solution is RE (i.e. “about” – think email replies) followed by TENT (i.e. “sacramental wine”) and I’VE (a contraction of “I have”).

25. Conventional scholar (8)

Answer: ACADEMIC. Solution satisfies “conventional” and “scholar”.

26. Crack in ground, we’re told (4)

Answer: FLAW (i.e. “crack”). “We’re told” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of FLOOR (i.e. “ground”).

29. Support me at an inn, playing before church (11)

Answer: MAINTENANCE (i.e. “support”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “playing”) of ME AT AN INN followed by CE (i.e. “church” – again the Church of England), like so: MAINTENAN-CE.

31. Old cat of Eliot’s in another book? (11)

Answer: DEUTERONOMY. Solution satisfies “old cat of Eliot’s” – referring to TS Eliot’s poem Old Deuteronomy in his book Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, upon which Andrew Lloyd Webber’s muscial Cats was based – and “book”, specifically a book of The Bible.

33. Wasteful tramp runs out after more (11)

Answer: EXTRAVAGANT (i.e. “wasteful”). Solution is VAGRANT (i.e. “tramp”) with the R removed (indicated by “runs out” – R being a recognised abbreviation of “runs” used in a number of ball games) and the remainder placed “after” EXTRA (i.e. “more”), like so: EXTRA-VAGANT.

36. Personal souvenirs from Iberia and Malmo, mixed up (11)

Answer: MEMORABILIA (i.e. “personal souvenirs”). “Mixed up” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IBERIA and MALMO.

38. Toy boy losing face – Joy too, both being rejected (2-2)

Answer: YO-YO (i.e. “toy”). Solution is BOY and JOY “both” “losing face” (i.e. their initial letters removed). The remainder is then reversed (indicated by “being rejected”).

39. Figure blocking female in lift (8)

Answer: HEIGHTEN (i.e. “lift”). Solution is EIGHT (i.e. “figure”- could be taken to mean a figure of eight, or merely just the number 8) placed in or “blocking” HEN (i.e. a “female” bird), like so: H(EIGHT)EN.

41. Figure reportedly shattered by outlook (9)

Answer: RECTANGLE (i.e. a shape or “figure”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “reportedly”) of WRECKED (i.e. “shattered”) followed by ANGLE (i.e. “outlook”).

44. Suitable lift (11)

Answer: APPROPRIATE. Solution satisfies “suitable” and “lift”, as in to steal something.

45. Religious studies: love journal delving into the unknown (8)

Answer: THEOLOGY (i.e. “religious studies”). Solution is O (i.e. “love”, i.e. a zero score in tennis) and LOG (i.e. “journal”) both placed in or “delving into” THE and Y (i.e. “unknown” – setters love referring to X, Y or Z in solutions as “unknowns”), like so: THE-(O-LOG)-Y.

48. Finished feeding a group left behind (9)

Answer: ABANDONED (i.e. “left behind”). Solution is DONE (i.e. “finished”) placed in or “feeding” A BAND (i.e. “a group”), like so: A-BAN(DONE)D.

49. Comfort stop, not the first (4)

Answer: EASE (i.e. “comfort”). Solution is CEASE (i.e. “stop”) with the initial letter removed (indicated by “not the first”).

50. George, a writer from Maine, close to glamour girl (8)

Answer: “George” MEREDITH, “a writer”. Solution is ME (a recognised abbreviation of US state “Maine”) followed by R (i.e. “close to glamour”, i.e. the last letter of “glamour”) and EDITH (i.e. “girl”).

52. Cavalryman arresting a mosstrooper (6)

Answer: RAIDER (i.e. “mosstrooper” – over to my Chambers for this one: “one of the freebooters that used to frequent the Border between Scotland and England in the 17c”. So a “raider”, then.) Solution is RIDER (i.e. “cavalryman”) wrapped around or “arresting” A, like so: R(A)IDER.

53. Who’s Who set we want, desperately, for a film (3,3,4,3,3)

Answer: HOW THE WEST WAS WON (i.e. “film”). “Desperately” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of WHO’S WHO SET WE WANT.

54. Grub shown in periodical taken (6)

Answer: MAGGOT (i.e. “grub”). Solution is MAG (i.e. “periodical”, short for magazine) followed by GOT (i.e. “taken”).

55. What a guard may have to support small family (8)

Answer: BEARSKIN (i.e. “what a guard may have”). Solution is BEAR (i.e. “to support”) followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) and KIN (i.e. “family”).

56. Vessel departs, having to crawl entering rivers (7)

Answer: DREDGER (i.e. “vessel”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “departs”) followed by EDGE (i.e. “to crawl”) once it has been placed in or “entering” R and R (recognised abbreviations of “river”), like so: D-R-(EDGE)-R.

Down clues

1. To scrutinise dictionary may be forbidden (6)

Answer: VETOED (i.e. “forbidden”). Solution is VET (i.e. “to scrutinise”) followed by OED (i.e. “dictionary”, specifically the Oxford English Dictionary).

2. Mostly warm to each other round fashionable private hospital (6)

Answer: CLINIC (i.e. “private hospital”). Solution is CLICK (i.e. “warm to each other”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and the remainder wrapped “round” IN (i.e. “fashionable”), like so: CL(IN)IC.

3. Spell out type found on prairie (4,5)

Answer: MAKE PLAIN (i.e. “spell out”). Solution is MAKE (i.e. kind or “type”) followed by PLAIN (i.e. “prairie”).

4. Not including one allotment in clearing (11)

Answer: EXONERATION (i.e. “clearing”). Solution is EX (i.e. “not including”) followed by ONE, then RATION (i.e. “share”).

5. Suffer mental anguish in hospital visiting one (4)

Answer: ACHE (i.e. “suffer mental anguish”). Solution is H (a recognised abbreviation of “hospital”) placed in or “visiting” ACE (i.e. “one” in playing cards), like so: AC(H)E.

6. Focus on money put in box (11)

Answer: CONCENTRATE (i.e. “focus”). Solution is ON and CENT (i.e. “money”) both “put in” CRATE (i.e. “box”), like so: C(ON-CENT)RATE.

7. I, in part of Greece, put down state (5,6)

Answer: RHODE ISLAND (i.e. “[US] state”). Solution is I placed “in” RHODES (i.e. “part of Greece”) and followed by LAND (i.e. “put down”), like so: RHODE(I)S-LAND.

8. Epilogue of story listened to by bishop? (9)

Answer: TAILPIECE (i.e. “epilogue”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “listened to”) of TALE (i.e. “story”) followed by PIECE (i.e. “bishop”, a chess piece).

10. Far-reaching, expert discovered (8)

Answer: PROFOUND (i.e.” far-reaching”). When read as PRO FOUND the solution also satisfies “expert discovered”.

11. Licence: he got call, unhappily for institute (9,7)

Answer: TECHNICAL COLLEGE (i.e. “institute”). “Unhappily” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of LICENCE HE GOT CALL.

12. When resolutions were made? Were any broken? (3,4)

Answer: NEW YEAR (i.e. “when resolutions were made”). “Broken” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of WERE ANY.

15. Sea creature having little power or balance (8)

Answer: PORPOISE (i.e. “sea creature”). Solution is P (i.e. “little power”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “power”) followed by OR, then POISE (i.e. “balance”).

19. Husband going over part of Europe that includes Northern Ireland (8)

Answer: HIBERNIA (i.e. “Ireland”). Solution is “H” (a recognised abbreviation of “husband”) followed by IBERIA (i.e. “part of Europe” – being Spain and Portugal) once it has been wrapped around or “including” N (a recognised abbreviation of “northern”), like so: H-IBER(N)IA.

22. Not false, lines about politician’s foolish talk (8)

Answer: TRUMPERY (i.e. “foolish talk”). Solution is TRUE (i.e. “not false”) and RY (i.e. “lines”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “railway”) both wrapped “about” MP (i.e. “politician”, specifically a Member of Parliament), like so: TRU(MP)E-RY.

23. In actual fact, dance show’s reaching a climax (8,8)

Answer: STRICTLY SPEAKING (i.e. “in actual fact”). When read as STRICTLY’S PEAKING the solution refers to “dance show’s reaching a climax”, referring to BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.

27. Consider more passable, say, for traveller (8)

Answer: WAYFARER (i.e. “traveller”). “Say” indicates homophone. When heard as WAY FAIRER the solution also satisfies “consider more passable”.

28. Egg dessert, unfinished (4)

Answer: BOMB (i.e. “egg” – a slang term, it seems). Solution is BOMBE (i.e. “dessert” – one memorably confused by Inspector Clouseau in Revenge of the Pink Panther) with the last letter removed (indicated by “unfinished”).

30. Carriage split up (4)

Answer: TRAP (i.e. “[horse] carriage”). Solution is PART (i.e. “split”) reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue).

32. Demanding higher prices at college fair (8)

Answer: UPMARKET (i.e. “demanding higher prices”). Solution is UP (i.e. “at college” – a favourite usage of setters) followed by MARKET (i.e. “fair”).

34. Be taken in by utter rogue (8)

Answer: ABERRANT (i.e. “rogue”). Solution is BE placed in or “taken in by” ARRANT (i.e. “utter”). Nicely worked.

35. Precisely how rent should be paid? (2,3,6)

Answer: TO THE LETTER. Solution satisfies “precisely” and “how rent should be paid”, the clue playing on how a LETTER can be one who lets property.

36. Fast food item: very small and pale, we hear (6,5)

Answer: MINUTE STEAK (i.e. “fast food item”, referring to how long it takes to cook rather than an item you can get from a fast food outlet). Solution is MINUTE (i.e. “very small”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “we hear”) of STAKE (i.e. “pale”, as in a post or stake of wood – think “impale”).

37. Called to mind religious education and prayer with editor (11)

Answer: RECOLLECTED (i.e. “called to mind”). Solution is RE (a recognised abbreviation of “religious education”) followed by COLLECT (i.e. a short “prayer” consisting of one sentence – chalk one to my Chambers) and ED (a recognised abbreviation of “editor”).

40. Organised manoeuvres impressive (9)

Answer: GRANDIOSE (i.e. “impressive”). “Manoeuvres” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ORGANISED. Nicely worked.

42. Total amount of silver Greek, for example, put away (9)

Answer: AGGREGATE (i.e. “total amount”). Solution is AG (chemical symbol of “silver”) followed by GR (a recognised abbreviation of “Greek”), then EG (i.e. “for example”) and ATE (i.e. “put away”).

43. So long, as well, endless strips of pasta consumed (6-2)

Answer: TOODLE-OO (i.e. “so long”). Solution is TOO (i.e. “as well”) wrapped around or “consuming” NOODLES (i.e. “strips of pasta”) with both the first and last letters removed (indicated by “endless” – the wordplay can apply to both or either ends of a word), like so: T(OODLE)OO.

44. What can make user sure? (7)

Answer: ANAGRAM. Clue plays on how USER and SURE are anagrams of one another. You get the idea.

46. Large piece for VIP (6)

Answer: BIGWIG (i.e. “VIP”). Solution is BIG (i.e. “large”) followed by WIG (i.e. “[hair]piece”).

47. Mouse star? (6)

Answer: SHINER. Solution satisfies “mouse” – an informal term for a black eye, though not one I can say I’m familiar with – and “star”, as in how they shine.

51. Study occupied by a senior official at college (4)

Answer: DEAN (i.e. “official at college”). Solution is DEN (i.e. “study”) wrapped around or “occupied by” A, like so: DE(A)N.

3 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1437

  1. Just about the easiest jumbo crossword I’ve ever done. I had it finished just after lunch and that was without rushing😁

  2. Pure pedantry but in 1ac vite is French for quickly. In music it is allegro, presto or similar. Cheers, enjoy your ramblings.

    1. Thanks, Desmond. Happy to have you along. Chambers agrees with you, but also flags vite as a musical term, it’s entry being “vite: (music) adv – quickly [Fr]”. My Oxford and Collins Concise didn’t want to get involved, it seems. 🙂 Keep well – LP

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