Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1438

A decent puzzle to keep us entertained this Bank Holiday Monday Friday, and another that offered steady progression with a few well worked clues. Even the half-dozen or more place names didn’t get up my nose. (Inserts thumbs emoji.)

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful.

A few pre-flight checks before we begin. Solutions to umpteen previous Times Jumbo Cryptic crosswords can be found on my Just For Fun page. Meanwhile, I have a few book reviews over here, and a story of mine over there. Emergency exits are here, here and here.

Right. Looks like you’re all set. I’ll leave you to it. Stay safe, and, all being well, I’ll see you tomorrow for another big ‘un.


Across clues

1. Troublesome – could it be compatible given right input? (11)

Answer: PROBLEMATIC (i.e. “troublesome”). Solution is an anagram (indicated weakly by “could it be” – I think “troublesome” is too far away from the anagram to count as an indicator) of COMPATIBLE wrapped around or having “input” R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”), like so: P(R)OBLEMATIC.

7. Cheap beer that made for expansive habit (11)

Answer: FARTHINGALE (i.e. “expansive habit” – over to Chambers for this: “a kind of crinoline of whalebone for extending a woman’s dress outward from the waist”). When read as FARTHING ALE, the clue also satisfies “cheap beer”.

13. Attractive lie spun deviously for business insider (7,10)

Answer: VENTURE CAPITALIST (i.e. “business insider”). “Deviously” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ATTRACTIVE LIE SPUN. Nicely worked.

14. Pipe connects with eastern state (5)

Answer: MAINE (i.e. “[US] state”). Solution is MAIN (i.e. “pipe”) followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “eastern”).

15. Linen not covering picture’s frame (6)

Answer: NAPERY (i.e. “linen”). Solution is NARY (i.e. “not”) wrapped around or “covering” PE (i.e. “picture’s frame”, i.e. the first and last letters of “picture”), like so: NA(PE)RY.

16. Prisoner holding a little flower set to be hung in Tower (8)

Answer: CARILLON (i.e. “set [of bells] to be hung in tower” – ignore the misleading capitalisation). Solution is CON (i.e. “prisoner”) wrapped around or “holding” A and RILL (i.e. “little flower” – flower in this case being a river, as in one that flows – a rill is a small stream), like so: C(A-RILL)ON.

17. Work with uranium, fast becoming rich (7)

Answer: OPULENT (i.e. “rich”). Solution is OP (i.e. “work”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “opus” or, as I like to think, “operation”) followed by U (chemical symbol of “Uranium”) and LENT (i.e. “fast”).

19. Fool brought back after school as planned (9)

Answer: SCHEDULED (i.e. “planned”). Solution is DELUDE (i.e. “[to] fool”) reversed (indicated by “brought back”) and placed “after” SCH (a recognised abbreviation of “school”), like so: SCH-EDULED.

21. Vicious perhaps, Scotsman chasing alumnus produces glass (8)

Answer: OBSIDIAN (i.e. “glass”). Solution is SID (i.e. “Vicious perhaps”, he of the Sex Pistols) and IAN (i.e. “Scotsman” – a common play by setters) placed after or “chasing” OB (i.e. “alumnus”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “old boy”), like so: OB-SID-IAN.

23. Some ground overlooks ruin (4)

Answer: UNDO (i.e. “ruin”). “Some” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: GRO(UND O)VERLOOKS.

25. Giants substitute appears shortly after blunder in field (5)

Answer: OGRES (i.e. “giants”). Solution is RES (a recognised abbreviation of reserve, i.e. “substitute” – the “shortly” feels a little misleading here, given how it often indicates the removal of an end letter) placed “after” OG (i.e. “blunder in field”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of an “own goal”), like so: OG-RES.

27. Shaking bunk about to hamper phase of sleep (6)

Answer: TREMOR (i.e. “shaking”). Solution is ROT (i.e. “bunk” or nonsense) reversed (indicated by “about”) and wrapped around or “hampering” REM (i.e. “phase of sleep”, being Rapid Eye Movement), like so: T(REM)OR.

28. Saunter round northern capital, obtaining picture (10)

Answer: MONOCHROME (i.e. “picture”). Solution is MOOCH (i.e. “saunter”) wrapped “round” N (a recognised abbreviation of “northern”) and followed by ROME (i.e. “capital” of Italy), like so: MO(N)OCH-ROME. Solutions where you get only the even letters are often harder than the odd-lettered ones, given how often you’re stuck with umpteen vowels. This one was a good example: _O_O_H_O_E. Not much to go on there.

30. This, installed across the pond, to make flight optional? (8)

Answer: ELEVATOR. Clue plays on how lifts are called elevators “across the pond” over in the US, and how they offer an alternative to “flights” of stairs. You get the idea.

31. Somewhat limited success as year in Down ends badly (4,4,6)

Answer: NINE DAYS WONDER (i.e. “somewhat limited success”). “Badly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of YEAR IN DOWN ENDS. I guess eight and ten day wonders never caught on.

34. Stylish gesture reworked for panto dames (3,4,7)

Answer: THE UGLY SISTERS (i.e. “panto dames”). “Reworked” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of STYLISH GESTURE. Nicely worked.

35. Cathedral plans to include religious education (8)

Answer: CHARTRES (i.e. “[Parisian] cathedral”). Solution is CHARTS (i.e. “plans”) wrapped around or “including” RE (i.e. “religious education”), like so: CHART(RE)S.

38. Needing atmosphere after interlude, books diner (10)

Answer: RESTAURANT (i.e. “diner”). Solution is AURA (i.e. “atmosphere”) placed “after” REST (i.e. “interlude”), and then followed by NT (i.e. “books”, specifically the New Testament of The Bible), like so: REST-AURA-NT.

40. With this, not doing as much in class (6)

Answer: LESSON (i.e. “class”). When read as LESS ON, the solution also satisfies “with this, not doing as much”, i.e. having less to do.

41. Find penny on public transport vehicle in March (5)

Answer: TRAMP (i.e. “march” – ignore the misleading capitalisation). Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “penny”) placed “on” or after TRAM (i.e. “public transport vehicle”), like so: TRAM-P.

43. Dispute on chairs around piano (4)

Answer: SPAT (i.e. “dispute”). Solution is SAT (i.e. “on chairs”) wrapped “around” P (a recognised abbreviation of “piano”, being quiet in musical lingo), like so: S(P)AT.
[EDIT: As noted by Sue in the comments, SAT is the past tense or part participle form of SIT. As the clue is present tense, SAT ought to have been SITTING. Bad setter, naughty setter! – LP]

44. Retired sleuth visiting Alpine ridge and similar things (2,6)

Answer: ET CETERA (i.e. “similar things”). Solution is TEC (i.e. “sleuth”, being a recognised abbreviation of a detective) placed in or “visiting” ARETE (i.e. “Alpine ridge”, as opposed to those common-or-garden ridges of other mountain ranges), like so: ET(CET)ERA.

45. European craft touching down on frozen mass (9)

Answer: ICELANDER (i.e. “European”). Solution is LANDER (i.e. “[sea]craft”) placed after or “touching down on” ICE (i.e. “frozen mass”), like so: ICE-LANDER.

48. Company car is damaged in mountainous place (7)

Answer: CORSICA (i.e. “mountainous place” – the island is approx two-thirds mountains, it says here). Solution is CO (a recognised abbreviation of “company”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “damaged”) of CAR IS, like so: CO-RSICA.

49. Waffle about god endlessly, then finish speaking (8)

Answer: PERORATE (i.e. to sum-up or “finish speaking”). Solution PRATE (i.e. “[to] waffle”) placed “about” EROS (i.e. “god”) once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “endlessly”), like so: P(ERO)RATE.

50. Literary lion takes time on slope (6)

Answer: ASLANT (i.e. “on slope”). Solution is ASLAN (i.e. “literary lion” of CS Lewis’s Narnia books) followed by T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”).

53. Love new song being broadcast (2,3)

Answer: ON AIR (i.e. “being broadcast”). Solution is O (i.e. “love”, i.e. a zero score in tennis) followed by N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”) and AIR (i.e. “song”).

54. In which leading Oxbridge pair will make repeated appearances? (7,3,7)

Answer: NOUGHTS AND CROSSES. Clue plays on how a noughts and crosses grid will see repeated appearances of Os and Xs, which just so happen to be the “leading…pair” of letters of “OXbridge”. Like it!

55. Green Man? Here one may find whiskey! (7,4)

Answer: EMERALD ISLE (i.e. “here one may find whiskey” – note the Irish spelling). Solution is EMERALD (i.e. “green”) followed by ISLE (i.e. “Man”, as in the Isle of Man).

56. Seer rejecting crazy schemes – common sense deployed about this (11)

Answer: NOSTRADAMUS (i.e. “seer”). Solution is MAD (i.e. “crazy”) and ARTS (i.e. “schemes”, taken in the context of wily tricks) both reversed (indicated by “rejected”). NOUS (i.e. “common sense”) is then placed “about this”, like so: NO(STRA-DAM)US.

Down clues

1. Flag seen in street – Pentagon is very troubled (6,5)

Answer: PAVING STONE (i.e. “flag”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “troubled”) of PENTAGON IS and V (a recognised abbreviation of “very”).

2. Admit that was painful bit of humour, taken the wrong way (3,2)

Answer: OWN UP (i.e. “admit”). Solution is OW (i.e. “that was painful”) followed by PUN (i.e. “bit of humour”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “taken the wrong way”), like so: OW-NUP.

3. Museum finally supplied with slats (7)

Answer: LOUVRED (i.e. “with slats”). Solution is LOUVRE (i.e. “[Parisian] museum”) followed by D (i.e. “finally supplied”, i.e. the last letter of “supplied”).

4. Once proper hounds assembly (4)

Answer: MEET. A triple-header, I believe, satisfying: “once proper” – Chambers shows this as an archaic word meaning fitting or qualified; “hounds” – as in a “meeting of participants in a fox hunt” (Chambers again), and “assembly”.
[EDIT: John adds a bit more flesh to “once proper” in the comments, FYI – LP]

5. Accountant in women’s underwear leaves containers (3-7)

Answer: TEA-CADDIES (i.e. “[tea] leaves containers”). Solution is ACA (i.e. “accountant”, specifically an Associate Chartered Accountant) placed “in” TEDDIES (i.e. “women’s underwear”), like so: TE(ACA)DDIES.

6. Experts in the wrong? (14)

Answer: CRIMINOLOGISTS. Clue plays on how these are “experts” in “wrong[doing]”.

7. Confident female – and why she won’t listen? (8)

Answer: FEARLESS (i.e. “confident”). Solution is F (a recognised abbreviation of “female”) followed by EARLESS (i.e. “why she won’t listen”).

8. Good to be in control for this! (5)

Answer: REIGN. Solution is G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) placed “in” REIN (i.e. “control”), like so: REI(G)N. Within the context of the clue, it is “good to be in control” when reigning.

9. Stew over author regularly seeing controversial problem (3,6)

Answer: HOT POTATO (i.e. “controversial problem”). Solution is HOTPOT (i.e. “stew”) followed by ATO (i.e. “author regularly”, i.e. every other letter of AUTHOR), like so: HOTPOT-ATO.

10. Summit avoided, wing enters warmer rising cloud (6)

Answer: NIMBUS (i.e. “cloud”). Solution is LIMB (i.e. “wing”) with its initial letter removed (indicated by “summit avoided”) and the remainder “entering” SUN (i.e. “warmer”, as in how it warms things) once it has been reversed (indicated by “rising” – this being a down clue), like so: N(IMB)US.

11. Fantastic girl, elected, having triumphed over the German state (5-2-10)

Answer: ALICE-IN-WONDERLAND (i.e. “fantastic” or out-of-this-world, rather than the book itself). Solution is ALICE (i.e. “girl”) followed by IN (i.e. “elected”), then WON (i.e. “triumphed”), then DER (i.e. “the German”, i.e. the German for “the”) and LAND (i.e. “state”).

12. Campaigner the Spanish church upset, one dragged into row (11)

Answer: ELECTIONEER (i.e. “campaigner”). Solution is EL (i.e. “the Spanish”, i.e. the Spanish for “the”) followed by CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England) which is reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue) and then followed by ONE once it has been “dragged into” TIER (i.e. “row”), like so: EL-EC-TI(ONE)ER.

18. Greed shown where corporation man banks pounds (8)

Answer: GLUTTONY (i.e. “greed”). Solution is GUT (i.e. “corporation” – a favourite play of setters is to refer to tums, bellies and guts in their solutions as corporations – an informal word) and TONY (i.e. “man”) wrapped around or “banking” L (a recognised abbreviation of “pounds” of weight), like so: G(L)UT-TONY.

20. Researcher’s goal is to develop powered vehicle (9,8)

Answer: HORSELESS CARRIAGE (i.e. “powered vehicle”). “To develop” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of RESEARCHER’S GOAL IS.

22. Returned to make cut into beloved tree (6)

Answer: DEODAR (i.e. “tree”). Solution is DO (i.e. “to make”) reversed (indicated by “returned”) and placed in DEAR (i.e. “beloved”), like so: DE(OD)AR. One gotten mainly from the wordplay and a quick shufti of Chambers.

24. Article by rotter about firm sent up revered leader (8)

Answer: THEOCRAT (i.e. “revered leader”). Solution is THE (i.e. “article”, i.e. words like the, a or an) and RAT (i.e. “rotter”) both placed “about” CO (a recognised abbreviation of company or “firm”) which is reversed (indicated by “sent up” – this being a down clue), like so: THE-(OC)-RAT.

26. Remain in quiet given excellent port (8)

Answer: SHANGHAI (i.e. “port”). Solution is HANG (i.e. “remain”) placed “in” SH (i.e. “quiet”) and AI (i.e. “excellent” or A1), like so: S(HANG)H-AI.

29. Group member wants her ego massaged in fortress (6,8)

Answer: GEORGE HARRISON (i.e. “group member” of The Beatles). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “massaged”) of HER EGO placed “in” GARRISON (i.e. “fortress”), like so: G(EORGEH)ARRISON.

32. Small prehistoric monument within borders of certain European area (8)

Answer: SCHENGEN (i.e. “European area” so often mentioned when there was all that Brexit stuff going on back in 1863 it seems). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) followed by HENGE (i.e. “prehistoric monument”) once it has been placed “within” CN (i.e. “borders of certain”, i.e. the first and last letters of “certain”), like so: S-C(HENGE)N.

33. Intended to underwrite funding where one name absconds (6)

Answer: FIANCE (i.e. one’s “intended”). Solution is FINANCE (i.e. “to underwrite funding”) once the first N (a recognised abbreviation of “name”) is removed (indicated by “absconds”).

34. Muse and priest thrashing tedious Job (11)

Answer: TERPSICHORE (i.e. Greek “muse” of dance and chorus – a terpsichorean is another word for a dancer, and one I reckon must have been used in a Will Self novel by now). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “thrashing”) of PRIEST followed by CHORE (i.e. “tedious job” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), like so: TERPSI-CHORE.

36. For whom south, set apart, is potentially enough? (11)

Answer: SEPARATISTS. Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “south”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “potentially”) of SET APART IS, like so: S-EPARATISTS. Separatists campaign for the breaking up of organisations, countries etc, so, within the context of the clue, setting south apart could, for them, suffice. You get the idea.
[EDIT: Thanks to John in the comments for the typo fix. I’d mistakenly missed the last S. Cheers, John! – LP]

37. Silly workers maybe must welcome first people helping (10)

Answer: ASSISTANTS (i.e. “people helping”). Solution is ASS (i.e. “silly”) and ANTS (i.e. “workers maybe” – other types of ants are available) wrapped around or “welcoming” IST (i.e. “first” – the I substituting 1, like we had with SHANGHAI earlier), like so: ASS-(IST)-ANTS.

39. Redundant staff are often kept on, Republican admitted (9)

Answer: RETRAINED (i.e. “redundant staff are often…” – really? Not sure which Alice-In-Wonderland company the setter is thinking about here…) Solution is RETAINED (i.e. “kept on”) wrapped around or “admitting” R (a recognised abbreviation of “Republican”), like so: RET(R)AINED.

42. Maybe Vatican brings in cunning Frenchman I don’t know (6,2)

Answer: SEARCH ME (i.e. “I don’t know”). Solution is SEE (a religious office, i.e. “maybe Vatican”, probably referring to the Holy See) wrapped around or “bringing in” ARCH (i.e. “cunning”) and M (i.e. “Frenchman” – seems this week’s setter is pining for France, what with Chartres and The Louvre ‘n all. Anyway, over yonder in France, monsieur sometimes gets abbreviated to M), like so: SE(ARCH-M)E.

46. Sailors trick duke and skip town (7)

Answer: ABSCOND (i.e. “skip town”). Solution is ABS (i.e. “sailors”, particularly the Able-Bodied variety) followed by CON (i.e. “trick”) and D (a recognised abbreviation of “duke”).

47. Chain letter read out on radio (6)

Answer: SIERRA, a mountain “chain”. “Letter read out on radio” refers to how SIERRA is used to represent S in the phonetic alphabet. Nicely worked.

49. Rains temporarily stop, as some might hear? (5)

Answer: POURS (i.e. “rains”). “As some might hear” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of PAUSE (i.e. “temporarily stop”).

51. Top grade schools vacated before noon in this region (5)

Answer: ASSAM (i.e. “region” of India). Solution is A (i.e. “top grade”) followed by SS (i.e. “schools vacated”, i.e. the word “schools” with all its middle letters removed) and AM (i.e. “before noon”). An easier get than it ought to have been as this solution only appeared a few weeks ago.

52. Maple, one seen by river (4)

Answer: ACER (i.e. “maple”). Solution is ACE (i.e. “one” in playing cards) followed by R (a recognised abbreviation of “river”).

4 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1438

  1. Thanks Lucian. This was a good one on the whole, though I must take issue with the setter re 43a for using SAT for “on chairs”; the correct term should be SITTING. As an editor it’s one grammar gaffe which I often have to correct – and an alarmingly large number of people don’t even realise it’s wrong!

    Stay safe. SB

  2. 4d Book of common Prayer “it is meet and right so to do…”
    36d separatists, plural?
    Thanks Lucian and setter from a “loyal lurker”

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