Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1446

A relatively straightforward puzzle this week. It was okay, though a couple of recent repeats and one clue in particular ruffled my feathers a smidge. As ever, you can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. I also have solutions for the past ninety-odd of these things on my Just For Fun page should they be of any use to you. There are also some book reviews if that’s your thing, and a story of mine to help while away half an hour.

In the meantime, stay safe, continue giving thanks to the NHS and all the key workers still keeping everything ticking over. Oh, and stamp out every bad -ism you see. That’d be smashing, thanks.



Across clues

1. Huge Parisian friends entertaining street criminals with partners? (9)

Answer: BIGAMISTS (i.e. “criminals with partners”). Solution is BIG (i.e. “huge”) followed by AMIS (i.e. “Parisian friends”, i.e. the French for “friends”) once it has been wrapped around or “entertaining” ST (a recognised abbreviation of “street”), like so: BIG-AMI(ST)S.

6. Courtesy of French firm finishing with drink (7)

Answer: DECORUM (i.e. “courtesy”). Solution is DE (i.e. “of French”, i.e. the French for “of”) followed by CO (i.e. “firm”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “company”) and RUM (i.e. “drink”).

10. Dresses as backward-looking father, retro-style (5)

Answer: SARIS (i.e. “dresses”). A guess here, as I can’t quite decode what the setter is up to. My solution, for what it’s worth, is AS reversed (indicated by “backward-looking”) followed by SIR also reversed (indicated by “retro-style”, another way of saying “backward-looking”). I can’t find anything to back that up, though. To father someone is to “sire” them, which is obviously too long. If anyone offers a better solution I’ll update the post.
[EDIT: Thanks to Dr John and Chris in the comments who both mention how the use of “sir” when addressing one’s father used to be a thing back in the day. It’s not something explicitly backed up by a dictionary, but could well be what the setter is getting at. “Retro-style” could hint at this and also indicate the word needs to be reversed. I’d also add that addressing one’s father as “sir” is still a bit of a thing over in the US, if that helps. – LP]

13. Bird in the morning by heather then wanted, not half, to cross silver lake (8,5)

Answer: AMERICAN EAGLE (i.e. “bird”). Solution is AM (i.e. “in the morning”) followed by ERICA (i.e. “heather”), then the first half of NEEDED (indicated by “wanted, not half”) once it has been wrapped around or “crossing” AG (chemical symbol of “silver”) and L (a recognised abbreviation of “lake”), like so: AM-ERICA-NE(AG-L)E.

14. Idiot, one enthralling African politicians, producing sort of vocal repetition (9)

Answer: ASSONANCE (i.e. “sort of vocal repetition”, as opposed to the sound of flatulence). Solution is ASS (i.e. “idiot”) followed by ONE once it has been wrapped around or “enthralling” ANC (i.e. “African politicians”, specifically the African National Congress), like so: ASS-ON(ANC)E.

15. One good old-style rocker around Belfast etc getting lit up (7)

Answer: IGNITED (i.e. “getting lit up”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) followed by G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) and TED (i.e. “old-style rocker”, i.e. a teddy boy) all wrapped “around” NI (i.e. “Belfast etc”, i.e. Northern Ireland), like so: I-G-(NI)-TED.

16. Daughter is meeting short beast returning – trouble! (7)

Answer: DISTURB (i.e. “trouble”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”) followed by IS, then BRUTE (i.e. “beast”) once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “short”) and the remainder reversed (indicated by “returning”), like so: D-IS-TURB.

17. A very old city engages chum as unpaid volunteer? (7)

Answer: AMATEUR (i.e. “unpaid volunteer”). Solution is A and UR (i.e. “very old city”, and a favourite of setters everywhere) wrapped around or “engaging” MATE (i.e. “chum”), like so: A-(MATE)-UR.

18. Difficult to put up with lane in which vehicles may be stopped (4,8)

Answer: HARD SHOULDER (i.e. “lane in which vehicles may be stopped”). Solution is HARD (i.e. “difficult”) followed by SHOULDER (i.e. “to put up with”).

20. Bored officer, one with expression of dismay when boss comes round (10)

Answer: STULTIFIED (i.e. “bored”). Solution is LT (i.e. “officer”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “lieutenant”), I and FIE (i.e. “expression of dismay”) all placed in STUD (indicated by “boss comes round”), like so: STU(LT-I-FIE)D.

23. Store with sign of approval for the most part (5)

Answer: CACHE (i.e. “store”). Solution is CACHET (i.e. “sign of approval”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “for the most part”).

24. Naughty sister, I have to be kicking against the pricks (9)

Answer: RESISTIVE (i.e. “to be kicking against the pricks” – a Biblical phrase, apparently, meaning “to react futilely against discipline or authority, to the extent of injuring oneself” (Chambers)). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “naughty”) of SISTER followed by I’VE (a contraction of “I have”), like so: RESIST-I’VE.

25. Former queen getting on and turning crazy (7)

Answer: QUONDAM (Latin for “former”). Solution is QU (a recognised abbreviation of “queen”) followed by ON, then MAD (i.e. “crazy”) once this latter has been reversed (indicated by “turning”), like so: QU-ON-DAM.

26. Hurry around and sound cheerful maybe in one type of institution (7,4)

Answer: NURSING HOME (i.e. “type of institution”). Solution is RUN (i.e. “hurry”) which is reversed (indicated by “around”) and followed by SING (i.e. “sound cheerful maybe”) and HOME (i.e. “in”, i.e. at home), like so: NUR-SING-HOME.

28. Writer with another novel about foremost of detectives, a multifaceted figure (11)

Answer: PENTAHEDRON (i.e. “multifaceted figure”). Solution is PEN (i.e. “writer”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “novel”) of ANOTHER once wrapped “about” D (i.e. “foremost of detectives”, i.e. the first letter of “detectives”), like so: PEN-TAHE(D)RON.

30. Provoked and greatly worried by social worker (11)

Answer: ANTAGONISED (i.e. “provoked”). Solution is AGONISED (i.e. “greatly worried”) placed after or “by” ANT (i.e. “social worker” – riffing on how ants are social insects).

32. Stirring words provided by former husband starting speech – about time! (11)

Answer: EXHORTATION (i.e. “stirring words”). Solution is EX (i.e. “former”) followed by H (a recognised abbreviation of “husband” – “starting” seems a little redundant), then ORATION (i.e. “speech”) once this latter has been wrapped “about” T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”), like so: EX-H-OR(T)ATION.

34. Twelve daughters, indeed, following hardly anybody? (7)

Answer: NOONDAY (i.e. “twelve [PM]”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughters” – usually singular) and AY (i.e. “indeed”, both taken to mean “yes”) both placed after or “following” NO-ONE (i.e. “hardly anybody” – (sighs) I can see what the setter is trying to do here, passing off NOON as NO-ONE with its last letter removed (indicated by “hardly”), while also trying to pass off NO-ONE as meaning “hardly anybody”, and hoping to get away with it by slapping a riddly question mark on the end. But no. “No-one” is not the same as “hardly anybody”. There’s a world of difference, for example, between “no Covid-19” and “hardly any Covid-19”. Had the setter written “hardly nobody” in the clue, then everything’s gravy because “hardly” would then indicate NO-ONE gets shortened. As it stands, this is a poor clue for me. Yellow card.) like so: (NO-ON)-D-AY.

36. Music-maker having short drink given word of approval in newspaper (9)

Answer: FLAGEOLET (i.e. “music-maker”, specifically a small high-pitched flute). Solution is LAGER (i.e. “drink”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “short”) and OLE (i.e. “[Spanish] word of approval”) both placed “in” FT (i.e. “newspaper”, specifically the Financial Times), like so: F(LAGE-OLE)T.

38. Like Rex when forming dire pop group? (5)

Answer: INDIE (i.e. “pop group” – group taken to mean “genre”). Clue plays on how you would place R (a recognised abbreviation of “Rex”) IN DIE to form the word “dire”.

39. Record being played, something sure to upset (10)

Answer: DISCONCERT (i.e. “to upset”). Solution is DISC (i.e. “record”) followed by ON (i.e. “being played”) and CERT (i.e. “something sure” – specifically a contraction of “certainty”).

41. A fine handout arranged for spring (12)

Answer: FOUNTAINHEAD (i.e. “spring”). “Arranged” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of A FINE HANDOUT.

45. Funny drawing box containing extra egg? (7)

Answer: CARTOON (i.e. “funny drawing”). Solution is CARTON (i.e. “box”) wrapped around or “containing” O (i.e. “extra egg”, as in the shape of a letter O), like so: CART(O)ON.

46. Little sleep and some food – what babies need? (7)

Answer: NAPPIES (i.e. “what babies need”). Solution is NAP (i.e. “little sleep”) followed by PIES (i.e. “some food”).

47. Attempt to capture India with diary that consists of three books (7)

Answer: TRILOGY (i.e. “that consists of three books”). Solution is TRY (i.e. “attempt”) wrapped around or capturing I (“India” in the phonetic alphabet) and LOG (i.e. “diary”), like so: TR(I-LOG)Y.

49. Edit a clue somehow, and explain (9)

Answer: ELUCIDATE (i.e. “explain”). “Somehow” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of EDIT A CLUE. A near carbon copy of this clue appeared in the Times Cryptic Crossword 90th anniversary puzzle earlier this year.

50. Troubled inner-city geek shows work capacity in motion (7,6)

Answer: KINETIC ENERGY (i.e. “work capacity [of a body] in motion”). “Troubled” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of INNER-CITY GEEK.

52. Monsieur? The Parisian stalking a bird (5)

Answer: TITLE (i.e. “monsieur” – other titles are available). Solution is LE (i.e. “the Parisian”, i.e. the French for “the”) placed after or “stalking” TIT (i.e. “a bird”), like so: TIT-LE.

53. A Cockney idol, bringer of brightness in the mist (7)

Answer: AEROSOL (i.e. “mist”). Solution is A followed by HERO (i.e. “idol”) once its initial H has been removed (indicated by “Cockney”, as in how they’re always dropping their bleedin’ aitches, presumably while thumbing their braces and singing Roll Out The Barrel a lot) and SOL (i.e. “bringer of brightness”, i.e. the sun), like so: A-‘ERO-SOL.

54. Correspondent in prison, day before death (3-6)

Answer: PEN-FRIEND (i.e. “correspondent”). Solution is PEN (i.e. “prison”) followed by FRI (i.e. “day”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “Friday”) and END (i.e. “death”).

Down clues

1. Clumsy mistake has listener interrupting (7)

Answer: BEARISH (i.e. “clumsy” – one definition of “bear” is a “rude, rough or ill-mannered fellow” (Chambers)). Solution is BISH (an informal word for a “mistake”) wrapped around or “interrupted” by EAR (i.e. “listener”), like so: B(EAR)ISH.

2. Trader in public space coarser in speech (11)

Answer: GREENGROCER (i.e. “trader”). Solution is GREEN (i.e. “public space”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “in speech”) of GROSSER (i.e. “coarser”).

3. Damp cat can get upset – is to be kept inside (5)

Answer: MOIST (i.e. “damp”). Solution is TOM (i.e. “cat”) reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue) and wrapped around IS (indicated by “…to be kept inside”), like so: MO(IS)T.

4. Obnoxious person penning article, thus one held in contempt? (2-3-2)

Answer: SO-AND-SO (i.e. “one held in contempt”). Solution is SOD (i.e. “obnoxious person”) wrapped around or “penning” AN (i.e. “article”, being a word like a, an or the) and followed by SO (i.e. “thus”), like so: SO(AN)D-SO.

5. Woman certainly not right to take legal action (3)

Answer: SUE. A triple-header satisfying “woman”, “certainly not right” (i.e. the word SURE with R – a recognised abbreviation of “right” – removed), and “to take legal action”.

6. Like organic compounds in vessels for extraction (9)

Answer: DIGESTERS. Solution satisfies “like organic compounds” and “vessels for extraction”, being vessels through which strong extracts are drawn from animal or vegetable substances.
[EDIT: Thanks to zouzoulap in the comments, who suggests DIG for “like” and ESTERS for “organic compounds”, making DIG-ESTERS. Cheers, Z! – LP]

7. What sounds like European method of payment (6)

Answer: CHEQUE (i.e. “method of payment”). “What sounds like” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of CZECH (i.e. “European”).

8. Mostly prepared in place where there may be no soldiers to understand hidden message (4,7,3,5)

Answer: READ BETWEEN THE LINES (i.e. “to understand hidden message”). Solution is READY (i.e. “prepared”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and the remainder followed by BETWEEN THE LINES (i.e. “where there may be no soldiers”).

9. Host going round is meeting everyone, giving address inappropriately? (7)

Answer: MISCALL (i.e. “giving address inappropriately”). Solution is MC (i.e. “host”, specifically a Master of Ceremonies) wrapped “round” IS and then followed by ALL (i.e. “everyone”), like so: M(IS)C-ALL.

10. Religious army overcoming terrible iron man in country (3,6)

Answer: SAN MARINO (i.e. “country”). Solution is SA (i.e. “religious army”, specifically the Salvation Army) followed by an anagram (indicated by “terrible”) of IRON MAN, like so: SA-NMARINO.

11. Discoverer of mountains gets instrument to assess distance (11)

Answer: RANGEFINDER (i.e. “instrument to assess distance”). When written as RANGE FINDER the solution also satisfies “discoverer of mountains”.

12. Guide is wise person covering start of tour (5)

Answer: STEER (i.e. “guide”). Solution is SEER (i.e. “wise person”) wrapped around or “covering” T (i.e. “start of tour”, i.e. the first letter of “tour”), like so: S(T)EER.

16. Psychological problem damaging us: no-one disregardful (9,2,8)

Answer: DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR (i.e. “psychological problem”). “Damaging” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of US NO-ONE DISREGARDFUL.

19. Trying to find location of bishop and monarch (7)

Answer: SEEKING (i.e. “trying to find”). Solution is SEE (i.e. “location of bishop”, i.e. their diocese) followed by KING (i.e. “monarch”).

21. Old man favoured in social event to be in control (9)

Answer: DOMINANCE (i.e. “to be in control”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”), M (ditto “man”) and IN (i.e. “favoured”) all placed “in” DANCE (i.e. “social event”), like so: D(O-M-IN)ANCE.

22. Drink very quietly, wearing a hat (6)

Answer: TIPPLE (i.e. “drink”). Solution is PP (i.e. “very quietly”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “pianissimo” in musical lingo) which is placed in or “wearing” TILE (i.e. a slang word for “hat”), like so: TI(PP)LE.

23. Detain criminal, prisoner at the outset to be restricted (9)

Answer: CONTAINED (i.e. “to be restricted”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “criminal”) of DETAIN which has CON (i.e. “prisoner”) placed before it, or “at the outset”, like so: CON-TAINED.

24. English in pressing situation without leader – the answer? (7)

Answer: REGENCY. Solution E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) which is placed “in” URGENCY (i.e. “pressing situation”) once its initial letter has been removed (indicated by “without leader”), like so: R(E)GENCY. Within the context of the clue, a nation finding themselves without a leader could place a regent in temporary charge. Nicely done.

25. Yard above desert in area of environmental significance (7)

Answer: QUADRAT (i.e. “area of environmental significance” – over to Chambers again for this one: “a small area (usually one square metre) of ground marked off for the detailed investigation of animal and plant life”). Solution is QUAD (i.e. “yard”) followed by or placed “above” – this being a down clue – RAT (i.e. “[to] desert”).

27. Make beloved stop with attentiveness being required (6)

Answer: ENDEAR (i.e. “make beloved”). Solution is END (i.e. “stop”) followed by EAR (i.e. “attentiveness”).

29. Telling a story, not beginning to give sense of joy (7)

Answer: ELATION (i.e. “sense of joy”). Solution is RELATION (i.e. “telling a story”) with its initial letter removed (indicated by “not beginning”).

31. Silly tourist sure to appear in two-piece outfit (7,4)

Answer: TROUSER SUIT (i.e. “two-piece outfit”). “Silly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TOURIST SURE.

33. Provide series of lectures at the appropriate time (2,3,6)

Answer: IN DUE COURSE (i.e. “at the appropriate time”). Solution is INDUE (a variant form of “endue”, i.e. “provide”) followed by COURSE (i.e. “series of lectures”).

35. Remove smell from house finally through swinging side door (9)

Answer: DEODORISE (i.e. “remove smell from”). Solution is E (i.e. “house finally”, i.e. the last letter of “house”) placed in or “through” an anagram (indicated by “swinging”) of SIDE DOOR, like so: D(E)ODORISE.

37. Each lover originally receiving proposal may be this (9)

Answer: EMOTIONAL. Solution is EA (a recognised abbreviation of “each”) and L (i.e. “lover originally”, i.e. the first letter of “lover”) wrapped around or “receiving” MOTION (i.e. “proposal”), like so: E(MOTION)A-L. Within the context of the clue, lovers receiving proposals [of marriage] may well get emotional.

40. Rubbish in wedding venue presented as “musical item” (7)

Answer: CANTATA (a short musical work or “musical item”). Solution is TAT (i.e. “rubbish”) placed “in” CANA (i.e. “wedding venue” – referring to the Marriage at Cana at which Jesus turned water into wine, the first miracle of a short but influential career he had as the son of God), like so: CAN(TAT)A.

42. Unknown investigator probing teetotal movement with any number of old people (7)

Answer: AZTECAN (i.e. “of old people” – referring to the Aztecs of Mexico). Solution is Z (i.e. “unknown” – setters love referring to X, Y or Z in their solutions as unknowns) and TEC (i.e. “investigator”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “detective”) both placed in AA (i.e. “teetotal movement”, specifically Alcoholics Anonymous) and then followed by N (i.e. “any number”), like so: A(Z-TEC)A-N.

43. Unemotional and boring, I had to be listened to (3-4)

Answer: DRY-EYED (i.e. “unemotional”). Solution is DRY (i.e. “boring”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “to be listened to”) of I’D (a contraction of “I had”).

44. Laces in sports shoes (6)

Answer: SPIKES. Solution satisfies “laces [a drink]” and “sports shoes”. Nicely done.

45. Talk around start of exam and get someone else’s answers? (5)

Answer: CHEAT (i.e. “get someone else’s answers”). Solution is CHAT (i.e. “talk”) wrapped “around” E (i.e. “start of exam”, i.e. the first letter of “exam”), like so: CH(E)AT. Don’t worry. I won’t judge.

48. Intimate transgressor losing head (5)

Answer: INNER (i.e. “intimate”). Solution is SINNER (i.e. “transgressor”) with the first letter removed (indicated by “losing head”). A very similar clue to this appeared not too long ago.

51. What waiter would like, giving hint (3)

Answer: TIP. Solution satisfies “what waiter would like” and “hint”.

9 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1446

  1. I agree with with your parsing of SARIS. Bit of a naff clue, to be honest. I really took issue with INDIE. What a bodge! Where does “pop” come into it? Awful wordplay there, I thought. Overall, a bit of an unremarkable crossword.

    1. Yeah, it didn’t do too much for me. That said, I was relieved to find it some way easier than the wall-of-text clues first suggested. Took ages to type up, mind! Re: INDIE, I think the setter’s okay on that one, taking indie to be a genre or “group” of pop music. I didn’t twig the nuance of the trailing question mark until I came to type up the post. Hope all is well, – LP

  2. Hello,
    We had a slightly different parsing for 6 D:
    We thought “like” = “dig” to dig something or someone is to like it/them and “esters” are organic compounds (solvents – those slightly sweet smelling chemicals)
    Also 36A “Music-maker” did make us chuckle, reminded of
    Beans beans the musical fruit, the more you eat, the more you toot! as we only knew of Flageolet beans rather than the flute 🙂

    1. Hi, Z. Thanks for that. I wondered about DIG-ESTERS when putting the post together, but the definition I found for ester in Chambers (“a compound formed by the condensation of an alcohol and an acid”) didn’t sound terribly organic. I’m no scientist, mind, so I could easily have misinterpreted the meaning. Plus, as you say, there’s “like” = DIG, which would otherwise have been a redundant word. I’ll update the post. Cheers! – LP

  3. In old books, sons often addressed their father as “Sir” as indeed I did when speaking to my future father-in-law. Mind you, I am 74…

    1. Agreed, and Chris offers much the same explanation in a later comment. I was hoping to find the usage explicitly backed up by a dictionary, but then my pedantry knows no bounds! I’ll update the post. Stay safe! – LP

  4. Not happy about “elation” … telling a story would be relating not relation. Lazy clue!
    (But some of the other clues were rather nice.)

  5. New to cryptic crosswords so I do as many as I can and then learn from your explanations. I am up to 80 percent now – I got two answers in my first attempt – so thank you!

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