Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1443

An easier time of it this week after Bank Holiday Monday’s toughie, and by and large another good ‘un, offering a number of good clues and steady progression.

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: you can find lots of past solutions to these things on my Just For Fun page, or some book reviews gathering dust over thisaway, or a story of mine over thataway. Go check ’em out.

As we enter week plenty of lockdown, I hope you are keeping well and safe and all that. All being well I’ll see you for the next one. Meanwhile, do forgive me while I get incredibly nerdy ahead of Thursday’s PlayStation 5 announcement. (Flails arms Kermit-style.)



Across clues

1. Bracketed father, say, with man having time in charge (11)

Answer: PARENTHETIC (i.e. “bracketed”). Solution is PARENT (i.e. “father, say”) followed by HE (i.e. “man”), then T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) and IC (ditto “in charge”).

7. Go in with five by two strengthening strip (6)

Answer: BATTEN (i.e. “strengthening strip”). Solution is BAT (i.e. “go in”, say, in a game of cricket) followed by TEN (i.e. “five by two”, i.e. 5×2).

10. Port city with area for university student residence (4)

Answer: HALL (i.e. “student residence”). Solution is HULL (i.e. “port city”) with the U (a recognised abbreviation of “university”) swapped “for” A (ditto “area”), like so: H(U)LL => H(A)LL.

14. Note aunt’s unfortunate disease (7)

Answer: TETANUS (i.e. “disease”). Solution is TE (i.e. “note” in the doh-ray-me style) followed by an anagram (indicated by “unfortunate”) of AUNT’S, like so: TE-TANUS.

15. Quash right boxing ace in a ring (7)

Answer: ANNULAR (i.e. “[in a] ring”). Solution is ANNUL (i.e. “quash”) and R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”) wrapped around or “boxing” A (a recognised abbreviation of “ace” used on playing cards), like so: ANNUL-(A)-R.

16. Certainly bachelor interrupts ruse for ladies’ man (9)

Answer: PLAYBOY (i.e. “ladies’ man”). Solution is AY (i.e. “certainly”, being a variant spelling of “aye”) and B (a recognised abbreviation of “bachelor”) both placed in or “interrupting” PLOY (i.e. “ruse”), like so: PL(AY-B)OY.

17. Famous maestro, not English, getting cue wrong after Lohengrin’s wife is dressing (8,5)

Answer: BECHAMEL SAUCE (i.e. “dressing”). Solution is Sir Thomas BEECHAM (i.e. “famous maestro”) with an E removed (indicated by “not English” – E being a recognised abbreviation of “English”), then followed by an anagram (indicated by “wrong”) of CUE once it has been placed “after” ELSA (i.e. “Lohengrin’s wife” in Richard Wagner’s opera, Lohengrin), like so: BECHAM-ELSA-UCE. One for the Radio 3 listeners out there, I think.

18. City with terrible secret about gold (9)

Answer: WORCESTER (i.e. “city”). Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”) and an anagram (indicated by “terrible”) of SECRET both placed “about” OR (i.e. “gold” in heraldry), like so: W-(OR)-CESTER. Nice juxtaposition.

19. One living abroad has European vote, very conveniently (5)

Answer: EXPAT (i.e. “one living abroad”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”) followed by X (i.e. “vote”) and PAT (i.e. “very conveniently” – one for my Oxford here, as my Chambers wasn’t terribly convinced).

21. Heavy work I have outside printing house (10)

Answer: OPPRESSIVE (i.e. “heavy”). Solution is OP (i.e. “work”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “opus” or, as I also like to think, “operation”) and I’VE (a contraction of “I have”) both placed “outside” of PRESS (i.e. “printing house”), like so: OP-(PRESS)-I’VE.

23. Charge involving one Zulu witch doctor? (6)

Answer: WIZARD (i.e. “witch doctor”, or a man who practices witchcraft). Solution is WARD (i.e. “charge”, as in “ward of the state”) wrapped around or “involving” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and Z (“Zulu” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: W(I-Z)ARD.

25. Confused pie chart and inscription (8)

Answer: EPIGRAPH (i.e. “inscription”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “confused”) of PIE followed by GRAPH (i.e. “chart”), like so: EPI-GRAPH.
[EDIT: A nod to Chris in the comments for the typo fix. I’d written EPIGRAM at the start when it ought to have been EPIGRAPH. Cheers, Chris! – LP]

26. What may result in prince’s military manoeuvre (6,8)

Answer: PINCER MOVEMENT (i.e. “military manoeuvre”). Clue plays on how PINCER is an anagram of PRINCE, i.e. “what may result in prince” following a MOVEMENT of PINCER’s letters. Good clue.

29. Large cactus so full of water of Mexican river (7)

Answer: SAGUARO (i.e. “large cactus”). Solution is SO wrapped around or being “full of” AGUA (i.e. “water of Mexico”, i.e. the Spanish for “water”) and R (a recognised abbreviation of “river”), like so: S(AGUA-R)O. Chalk one to my Bradford’s here. I bet this wasn’t the first word the setter placed in the grid…

30. Anaesthetic unit is the best (6,3)

Answer: NUMBER ONE (i.e. “the best”). Solution is NUMBER (i.e. “anaesthetic”) followed by ONE (i.e. “unit”).

31. Royal Society’s in misery with lower standards (5)

Answer: WORSE (i.e. “with lower standards”). Solution is RS (a recognised abbreviation of “Royal Society”) placed “in” WOE (i.e. “misery”), like so: WO(RS)E.

32. Speak at length with old judge (5)

Answer: ORATE (i.e. “speak at length”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) followed by RATE (i.e. “[to] judge”).

34. Queen trapped by duty? Right, this may give her strength (9)

Answer: EXERCISER (i.e. “this may give her strength”). Solution is ER (i.e. “Queen”, specifically Elizabeth Regina) placed in or “trapped by” EXCISE (i.e. “duty”, both forms of taxation) and then followed by R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”), like so: EX(ER)CISE-R.

37. Golf provides for a place to swing (7)

Answer: GALLOWS (i.e. “a place to swing”). Solution is G (“Golf” in the phonetic alphabet) followed by ALLOWS (i.e. “provides for”). I love the black humour in this clue. Great stuff!

39. Key mineral fat for pastry producing artistic effect (14)

Answer: FORESHORTENING (i.e. “artistic effect”). Solution is F (i.e. “[musical] key”) followed by ORE (i.e. “mineral”) and SHORTENING (i.e. “fat for pastry”).

41. Established working name for language (8)

Answer: ESTONIAN (i.e. “language”). Solution is EST (a recognised abbreviation of “established”) followed by ON (i.e. “working”, as in switched on) and IAN (i.e. “name”).

43. Familiarly, wheels stick and make a harsh noise (6)

Answer: JAMJAR (i.e. “familiarly, wheels” – or cockney rhyming slang for “car” – remember The Times is predominantly a London newspaper so this happens from time to time, gorblimey, gercha, thumbs-behind-braces, etc). Solution is JAM (i.e. to “stick”) followed by JAR (i.e. “make a harsh noise” – a bit like the whistle I’m blowing to the setter for trying to pass this off as a 6-letter solution, when it should obviously be 3,3. Yellow card, setter.)

44. Absolute commander-in-chief chasing car holding traitor (10)

Answer: AUTOCRATIC (i.e. having an “absolute commander-in-chief”). Solution is CIC (a recognised abbreviation of “commander-in-chief”) placed after or “chasing” AUTO (i.e. “car”) and wrapped around RAT (i.e. “traitor”), like so: AUTO-C(RAT)IC. Nice bit of recycling in the clue, there.

45. Fine inventions, jets? (5)

Answer: FLIES (i.e. “jets”). Solution is F (a recognised abbreviation of “fine” used in grading pencils) followed by LIES (i.e. “inventions”).

48. Like flowers when meeting to study illness with hospital department (9)

Answer: CONFLUENT (i.e. “like flowers when meeting” – flowers in this case being a sneaky reference to rivers, given how they flow). Solution is CON (an archaic word for “study” often used by setters) followed by FLU (i.e. “illness”) and ENT (i.e. “hospital department” – specifically Ear Nose and Throat).

49. See beer in guilty sense without one getting better (13)

Answer: CONVALESCENCE (i.e. “getting better”). Solution is V (i.e. “see”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of the Latin “vide” – we’ve seen this used a couple of times before) and ALE (i.e. “beer”) both placed “in” CONSCIENCE (i.e. “guilty sense”) once the I has been removed (indicated by “without one”), like so: CON(V-ALE)SCENCE.

51. Doctor exposed about operation as one who failed to qualify (7)

Answer: DROPOUT (i.e. “one who failed to qualify”). Solution is DR (a recognised abbreviation of “doctor”) and OUT (i.e. “exposed”) both placed “about” OP (a recognised abbreviation of “operation”), like so: DR-(OP)-OUT.

52. Seller of pills made from tips of acacia blossom on tree (7)

Answer: Thomas BEECHAM (i.e. chemist and “seller of pills” – also the grandfather of the conductor Sir Thomas Beecham, referenced in 17a – I did wonder this during solving…). Solution is A and M (i.e. “tips of Acacia blossoM“, i.e. the first and last letters of “acacia blossom” – a wordplay you don’t see every day – usually “tips” refers to the first and last letters of a single word) placed “on” or after BEECH (i.e. “tree”, like so: BEECH-AM.

53. Took on suitable editor without visit to see (7)

Answer: ADOPTED (i.e. “took on”). Solution is APT (i.e. “suitable”) and ED (a recognised abbreviation of “editor”) wrapped around or placed “without” of DO (i.e. “visit to see” – as in something like “let’s do Paris”), like so: A(DO)PT-ED.

54. Smart suppressing singular desire (4)

Answer: WISH (i.e. “desire”). Solution is SWISH (i.e. “smart”) with the initial S removed (indicated by “suppressing singular”, S being a recognised abbreviation of “singular”).

55. Failing to cross over desert (6)

Answer: DEFECT. A triple-header, it seems, with the solution satisfying “failing”, “to cross over” and “[to] desert”.

56. Web crawler that predicts where the wealth is going? (5,6)

Answer: MONEY SPIDER (i.e. “web crawler”). Clue plays on how one may let a money spider run over the palm of their hand, supposedly to bring them luck with money. Despite being a black-hearted sceptic, I must admit I still do this. Then I put them on my chilli plants in the hope they’ll munch on the greenfly.

Down clues

1. Pill introduced by east European is fit to drink down (7)

Answer: POTABLE (i.e. “is fit to drink down”). Solution is TAB (i.e. “pill”) placed in or “introduced by” POLE (i.e. “east European”), like so: PO(TAB)LE.

2. Informer about in Epping restraining local authority (4-7)

Answer: RATE-CAPPING (i.e. “restricting local authority”). Solution is RAT (i.e. “informer”) followed by CA (i.e. “about”, being a recognised abbreviation of “circa”) once it has been placed “in” EPPING, like so: RAT-E(CA)PPING.

3. Girl trapping judge’s assassin (5)

Answer: NINJA (i.e. “assassin”). Solution is NINA (i.e. “girl”) wrapped around or “trapping” J (a recognised abbreviation of “judge”), like so: NIN(J)A.

4. What’s inverted horny porno tester suffering? (8,8)

Answer: HYSTERON PROTERON (i.e. “what’s inverted” – over to Chambers for this one: “a figure of speech in which what would ordinarily follow comes first”. An example of this would be the phrase “salt and vinegar”, where, of course, every right-minded person knows to put the vinegar on first. Don’t listen to the salt-first crowd. They are deluded and unfit to wield condiments without adult supervision.) “Suffering” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HORNY PORNO TESTER. One of those where the anagram is significantly more interesting than the solution!

5. Managed a month in teetotal wing of church (8)

Answer: TRANSEPT (i.e. “wing of church [building]”). Solution is RAN (i.e. “managed”) and SEP (i.e. “a month”, specifically September) both placed “in” TT (a recognised abbreviation of “teetotal”), like so: T(RAN-SEP)T.

6. Mum’s core sin unfortunately is a love of shopping (11)

Answer: CONSUMERISM (i.e. “a love of shopping”). “Unfortunately” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MUM’S CORE SIN.

7. Bulk large on the outside? (5)

Answer: BULGE (i.e. “bulk”). “On the outside” indicates the solution has been hidden in the outer letters of BUL(K LAR)GE. Sneaky, yes?

8. Jettison bedcover on top of antique table (5,9)

Answer: THROW OVERBOARD (i.e. “jettison”). Solution is THROW (i.e. “bedcover”) followed by OVER (i.e. “on top of”) and BOARD (i.e. “antique table” – Oxford has this as an archaic word for “a table set for a meal”).

9. Sandwich spread? (6)

Answer: EXPORT (i.e. “spread”). When read as EX-PORT the solution also satisfies “Sandwich” – referring to Sandwich in Kent, now a couple of miles inland. Nicely worked.

11. Market exploiter using a rand drop to bait Europe (11)

Answer: ARBITRAGEUR (i.e. “market exploiter”). Solution is A followed by R (a recognised abbreviation of “rand”), then BIT (i.e. a “drop” of something, e.g. liquid), then RAG (i.e. “to bait” or tease someone) and EUR (a recognised abbreviation of “European”).

12. Stratified lake certainly a warning of something dangerous (7)

Answer: LAYERED (i.e. “stratified”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “lake”) followed by AYE (i.e. “certainly”, both forms of yes) and RED (i.e. “a warning of something dangerous”).

13. British petroleum jelly, not very standard for comparison (8)

Answer: BASELINE (i.e. “standard for comparison”). Solution is B (a recognised abbreviation of “British”) followed by VASELINE (i.e. “petroleum jelly”) once the V has been removed (indicated by “not very” – V being a recognised abbreviation of “very”), like so: B-ASELINE.

20. Convert home to church in stretch of land for row of houses (7)

Answer: TERRACE (i.e. “row of houses”). Solution is TERRAIN (i.e. “stretch of land”) where the IN (i.e. “[at] home”) has been swapped for CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England), like so: TERRA(IN) => TERRA(CE).

22. Certain about Chile’s capital being somewhere in the Andes (5)

Answer: SUCRE (i.e. “somewhere in the Andes”, specifically Bolivia’s constitutional capital). Solution is SURE (i.e. “certain”) wrapped “about” C (i.e. “Chile’s capital”, i.e. the first letter of “Chile”), like so: SU(C)RE. One gotten purely from the wordplay.

24. Strange being on underground with a railway minister (7,9)

Answer: FOREIGN SECRETARY (i.e. UK government “minister”). Solution is FOREIGN (i.e. “strange”) followed by SECRET (i.e. “underground”), then A and RY (a recognised abbreviation of “railway”). Nicely worked.

25. Moderate teases toffs endlessly (4,3)

Answer: EASE OFF (i.e. “moderate”). “Endlessly” indicates the solution can be derived by taking the first and last letters from T(EASE)S T(OFF)S.

27. No tears about disloyalty (7)

Answer: TREASON (i.e. “disloyalty”). “About” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of NO TEARS.

28. Includes bitter brewed to be very strong (14)

Answer: INDESTRUCTIBLE (i.e. “very strong”). “Brewed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of INCLUDES BITTER.

31. Rich, fit and not working (4-3)

Answer: WELL-OFF (i.e. “rich”). Solution is WELL (i.e. “fit”) followed by OFF (i.e. “not working”).

33. A blush digesting record of debt leaving son to the very end bitter (11)

Answer: ACRIMONIOUS (i.e. “bitter”). Solution is A followed by CRIMSON (i.e. “blush”) which is wrapped around IOU (i.e. “record of debt”) once the S – a recognised abbreviation of “son” has been placed “to the very end”, like so: A-CRIMON(IOU)S.

35. Section of poem to preserve – Tasso’s no fool (5)

Answer: CANTO (i.e. “section of poem”). Solution is CAN (i.e. “to preserve”) followed by TASSO once the ASS has been removed, indicated by “no fool”, like so: CAN-TO.

36. HM’s in grand construction – here? (11)

Answer: SANDRINGHAM (i.e. “here” – referring to where Her Majesty (HM) sometimes plonks herself). “Construction” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HM’S IN GRAND.

38. Dogmatic idea, no point shifting (11)

Answer: OPINIONATED (i.e. “dogmatic”). “Shifting” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IDEA NO POINT.

40. Delay one riding horse (8)

Answer: STALLION (i.e. “horse”). Solution is STALL (i.e. “delay”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and ON (i.e. “riding”).

42. Sham opponent’s name a million nasty people sent up (5,3)

Answer: STRAW MAN (i.e. “sham opponent” or argument set up for the sake of disputation (Chambers)). Solution is N (a recognised abbreviation of “name”) followed by A, then M (a recognised abbreviation of “million”) and WARTS (i.e. “nasty people”). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “sent up” – this being a down clue), like so: STRAW-M-A-N.

43. Bird’s to raise hatch, reportedly (7)

Answer: JACKDAW (i.e. “bird”). Solution is JACK (i.e. “to raise”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “reportedly”) of DOOR.

46. Mailer accepting Pound is rather fine (7)

Answer: SLENDER (i.e. “rather fine”). Solution is SENDER (i.e. “mailer”) wrapped around or “accepting” L (a recognised abbreviation of a “pound” of weight – ignore the misleading capitalisation), like so: S(L)ENDER.

47. Get annoyed with what might appear on waste land (6)

Answer: NETTLE. Solution satisfies “get annoyed” and “what might appear on waste land”.

49. Socialists pursuing Conservative split (5)

Answer: CLEFT (i.e. “split”). Solution is LEFT (i.e. “socialists”) placed after or “pursuing” C (a recognised abbreviation of “Conservative”), like so: C-LEFT. Nicely worked.

50. Mike’s stuffing piece of meat to munch with gusto (5)

Answer: CHOMP (i.e. “munch with gusto”). Solution is M (“Mike” in the phonetic alphabet) placed in or “stuffing” CHOP (i.e. “piece of meat”), like so: CHO(M)P.

4 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1443

  1. Thanks Lucian. I must admit we weren’t totally happy with WIZARD (23a). I may be wrong about this, but I’m not convinced that a wizard is the same as a witch doctor. And in any case, why should it be automatically assumed that a witch doctor is male? Smacks of misogyny, IMHO.

    1. The riddly question mark suggests to me that the setter’s stretching it a bit. My guess is that the clue is riffing on them both being practitioners: one of witchcraft, the other of medicine. I could be off the mark, though. Re: sexism – there are a few elements of wordplay seen regularly that feel rooted in the 70s. The one that tends to make my teeth itch is the assumption that there are only men in the army. Nnnggg!!! Of the 16 setters listed in the most recent Jumbo Cryptic collection, covering 2015, only 2 are female, which ain’t great. Need more female setters! – LP

  2. Re 25 across. Solution is epigraph as you have entered in the grid, not epigram as you list as the answer. Sorry. I do have a life, honestly.

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