Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1447

Not sure what to make of this week’s puzzle. I can’t say I was overly keen on the elastic wordplay on show, but there was still some good stuff to be had. You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my answers where I have them. I hope you find them helpful.

While you are here, I do have some non-crossword-related content somewhere around here, honest guv. There’s a dusty collection of book reviews, for example, or a story I put out a while ago. But it’s mainly crosswords at the moment, which is a bit naff. Speaking of which, if you’ve come a cropper against a recent Times Jumbo Cryptic, then my Just For Fun page might be just the tonic.

And so with the ephemeral British summer swiftly blown into the North Sea for another year, it’s on with the show. Stay safe, give thanks to the NHS and all key workers out there, and I’ll see you soon.


Across clues

1. Primitive sea creature can die swimming round waving nori (10)

Answer: CRINOIDEAN (i.e. “primitive sea creature”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “swimming”) of CAN DIE wrapped around another anagram (indicated by “waving”) of NORI, like so: C(RINO)IDEAN. Wordplay was fairly obvious but needed a brute force of my Chambers to nail it.

6. Analytical way of looking at income sector? (12)

Answer: ECONOMETRICS. “Way of looking at” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of INCOME SECTOR. Within the context of the clue, the solution could well be an analytical way of looking at the income sector.

14. Don’t take as much junk? (7)

Answer: USELESS (i.e. “junk”). When read as USE LESS the solution also satisfies “don’t take as much”.

15. Church primate with gold hat (7)

Answer: CHAPEAU (i.e. a French “hat”). Solution is CH (a recognised abbreviation of “church”) followed by APE (i.e. “primate”) and AU (chemical symbol of “gold”).

16. Is untruthful about drink? An understatement (7)

Answer: LITOTES (i.e. “an understatement” – an example of litotes in action is saying “he was not a little drunk”, mean he was absolutlely plastered). Solution is LIES (i.e. “is untruthful”) wrapped “about” TOT (i.e. “drink”), like so: LI(TOT)ES.

17. Drugs provided by jerks after party (4)

Answer: DOPE (i.e. “drugs”). Solution is PE (i.e. “jerks” – Hmm. I’m tempted to call bullshit on this. To the best of my knowledge, jerk is a weightlifting discipline, while PE is a recognised abbreviation of “physical education”. Call me weird, but any school that puts weightlifting into their PE classes would be up for child cruelty toot sweet. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the curriculum has changed and the setter’s kids are all built like brick shithouses…) preceded by or placed “after” DO (i.e. “party”), like so: DO-PE.

18. Drawing of a dandy, not American (6)

Answer: DOODLE (i.e. “drawing”). Solution is YANKEE DOODLE “DANDY”, without the YANKEE (indicated by “not American”).

20. Relax rule, we hear, and hold back (8)

Answer: RESTRAIN (i.e. “hold back”). Solution is REST (i.e. “relax”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “we hear”) of REIGN (i.e. “rule”).

24. Enter race with hooting North Eastern loco (5,4,3,4,3,4)

Answer: THROW ONES HAT INTO THE RING (i.e. “enter race”). “Loco” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of WITH HOOTING NORTH EASTERN.

25. Some just read lever here? (7)

Answer: TREADLE. “Some” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: JUS(T READ LE)VER. A treadle is a “lever” worked by the foot to work a machine.

26. Submissive old criminal about to pass on (8)

Answer: OBEDIENT (i.e. “submissive”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and BENT (i.e. “criminal”) wrapped “about” DIE (i.e. “to pass on”), like so: O-BE(DIE)NT.

27. One giving money embraces Republican appeal (6)

Answer: PRAYER (i.e. “appeal”). Solution is PAYER (i.e. “one giving money”) wrapped around or “embracing” R (a recognised abbreviation of “Republican”), like so: P(R)AYER.

29. Mountain cat den, strangely clean (14)

Answer: UNCONTAMINATED (i.e. “clean”). “Strangely” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MOUNTAIN CAT DEN.

31. Apple tree ain’t better if skins are removed (8)

Answer: REINETTE (i.e. a variety of “apple” – did a Google image search. Yup. Looks like an apple.) Solution is derived by removing the first and last letters (indicated by “if skins are removed”) of TREE AIN’T BETTER. One gotten purely through the wordplay, TBH.

34. Fake article providing cover under corporation, once (8)

Answer: CODPIECE (i.e. “cover under corporation, once” – “corporation” is an old word used to refer to a belly, often a pot-belly. Codpieces, meanwhile, are pouches that “cover” a chap’s bits and pieces). When read as COD PIECE, the solution also satisfies “fake article”.

36. Short testimonial that leads to another piece of work? (5-9)

Answer: CROSS-REFERENCE (i.e. “that leads to another piece of work”). Solution is CROSS (i.e. “short”, both taken to mean angry) followed by REFERENCE (i.e. “testimonial”).

39. Gurnard in pies, regularly hard to digest? (6)

Answer: UNRIPE (i.e. “hard to digest”). “Regularly” indicates the solution is derived by taking every other letter of GURNARD IN PIES.

41. National flag followed by hard crew (8)

Answer: IRISHMAN (i.e. “national”). Solution is IRIS (i.e. “flag” – one definition of “flag” is a plant of the iris family), “followed by” H (a recognised abbreviation of “hard” used in grading pencils) and MAN (i.e. “crew” – both taken as verbs, as in to man or crew something).

43. Search two New England states, united with Canadian region (7)

Answer: MANHUNT (i.e. “search”). Solution is MA and NH (i.e. “two New England states”, specifically Massachusetts and New Hampshire), followed by U (a recognised abbreviation of “united”) and NT (i.e. “Canadian region”, specifically its Northwest Territories).

46. College initially incorporated by Wolseley (6,6,2,9)

Answer: LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS (i.e. “college”). “Initially incorporated by” indicates the initials of the college have been hidden in WO(LSE)LY.

47. Lively one entering the next day (8)

Answer: SPIRITED (i.e. “lively”). Solution to “the next” clue is SPRITE. “Entering” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) into this and then following it with D (a recognised abbreviation of “day”) nets you the solution, like so: SP(I)RITE-D. Took a while to twig. Sometimes you just don’t see ‘em.

48. Fairy Queen’s involved in malice (6)

Answer: SPRITE (i.e. “fairy”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of Regina, Latin for “queen”) placed or “involved” in SPITE (i.e. “malice”), like so: SP(R)ITE.

49. Pine used in trial for making tea chest? (4)

Answer: ACHE (i.e. “pine” or to long for). “In” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: TE(A CHE)ST. The fuller “in trial for making tea chest” riffs on how ACHE has been slotted into TEST to make “tea chest”.

53. Highest point is always estimated (7)

Answer: Mount EVEREST (i.e. “highest point”). Solution is EVER (i.e. “always”) followed by EST (a recognised abbreviation of “estimated”).

54. Stupid person wrapping present cut cigar (7)

Answer: CHEROOT (i.e. “cigar”). Solution is COOT (i.e. “stupid person”) “wrapped” around HERE (i.e. “present”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “cut”), like so: C(HER)OOT.

56. UK employment scheme in which some get their cards? (3,4)

Answer: NEW DEAL. Solution satisfies “UK employment scheme” launched by New Labour in the late 1990s, and “in which some get their [playing] cards”.

57. Aid institute to change posture (12)

Answer: ATTITUDINISE (i.e. “posture”). “To change” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of AID INSTITUTE. One of those words that’d see anyone laughed out of a normal conversation, and rightly so.

58. Way of working with general builder in goldmine (10)

Answer: MONEYMAKER (i.e. “goldmine”). Solution is MO (i.e. “way of working”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of Modus Operandi) followed by Michel NEY (popularly known as Marshal Ney, he was one of Napoleon’s Marshals of the Empire – a Marshal is the French equivalent of a “General” here in the UK) and MAKER (i.e. “builder”). Hello, Wikipedia!

Down clues

1. State seizure success in hoax gallery turned up (4,5)

Answer: COUP DETAT (i.e. “state seizure”). Solution is UP (i.e. “success”) placed “in” COD (i.e. “hoax”) and followed by TATE (i.e. “gallery”) once this latter has been reversed (indicated by “turned up” – this being a down clue), like so: CO(UP)D-ETAT.

2. Mostly untrained, I stop protecting chief engineer new to the job (13)

Answer: INEXPERIENCED (i.e. “new to the job”). Solution is INEXPERT (i.e. “untrained”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and the remainder followed by I and END (i.e. “stop”) once this latter has been wrapped around or “protecting” CE (a recognised abbreviation of “chief engineer”), like so: INEXPER-I-EN(CE)D.

3. Sign name in Latin when dispatching note (4)

Answer: OMEN (i.e. “sign”). Solution is NOMEN (i.e. “name in Latin”) with the initial N removed (indicated by “when despatching note”, N being a recognised abbreviation of “note”).

4. Unfortunate innocent caused shame (14)

Answer: DISCOUNTENANCE (i.e. “shame”). “Unfortunate” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of INNOCENT CAUSED.

5. No straight line in bar code (3)

Answer: ARC (i.e. “no straight line” – an arc is a section of a circle’s circumference). “In” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: B(AR C)ODE.

7. Revolutionary women’s champ? (4)

Answer: CHEW (i.e. “champ”). Solution is CHE Guevara (i.e. “revolutionary”, and catnip for setters everywhere) followed by W (a recognised abbreviation of “women”).

8. Not available, posh chairs? Disgusting (10)

Answer: NAUSEATING (i.e. “disgusting”). Solution is N/A (a recognised abbreviation of “not applicable”) followed by U (a recognised abbreviation taken to mean the “upper” class, i.e. “posh”) and SEATING (i.e. “chairs”).

9. I cheered up, friend being around to provide influence (8)

Answer: MILITATE (i.e. to have weight or “provide influence”). Solution is I and LIT (i.e. “cheered up”) both placed in MATE (indicated by “friend being around”), like so: M(I-LIT)ATE.

10. Don’t rate her out of shape figure (11)

Answer: TETRAHEDRON (i.e. “figure”). “Out of shape” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DON’T RATE HER. A recent repeat from two weeks ago, which is disappointing. What with PENTAHEDRON last week it seems we’ve hit upon the setters’ latest mania. My vote is for CUBICUBOCTAHEDRON next week. Make it so, setters. (Claps twice for emphasis.)

11. How decades are arranged if years hot up (9)

Answer: INTENSIFY (i.e. “hot up”). Solution is IN TENS (i.e. “how decades are arranged”) followed by IF and then Y (a recognised abbreviation of “years”).

12. Frame elite regiment with heroin (4)

Answer: SASH (i.e. a window “frame”). Solution is SAS (i.e. “elite regiment”, specifically the Special Air Service) followed by H (street name of “heroin”).

13. Tree cutting behind schedule – cut deeply (8)

Answer: LACERATE (i.e. “cut deeply”). Solution is ACER (i.e. “tree”) placed in or “cutting” LATE (i.e. “behind schedule”), like so: L(ACER)ATE.

19. Oppressive awkward situation I found in December (8)

Answer: DESPOTIC (i.e. “oppressive”). Solution is SPOT (i.e. “awkward situation”) and I both placed or “found in” DEC (a recognised abbreviation of “December”), like so: DE(SPOT-I)C.

21. Country garden under sweet williams initially (6)

Answer: SWEDEN (i.e. “country”). Solution is EDEN (i.e. “garden [in The Bible]”) preceded by or “placed under” – this being a down clue – S and W (i.e. “sweet williams initially”, i.e. the first letters of “sweet” and “williams”), like so: SW-EDEN.

22. Cruel first piece in Greek Scrabble for Plato and second son (8)

Answer: PITILESS (i.e. “cruel”). Solution is PI TILE (i.e. “first piece in Greek Scrabble for Plato” – Scrabble uses lettered TILEs. The “first” letter of “Plato” is P, its equivalent being PI in the Greek alphabet) followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “second”) and S (ditto “son”).

23. Cause to resent a confused veggie eating rook (8)

Answer: AGGRIEVE (i.e. “cause to resent”). Solution is A followed by an anagram (indicated by “confused”) of VEGGIE wrapped around or “eating” R (a recognised abbreviation of “rook” used in chess), like so: A-GG(R)IEVE.

28. Male working out with fine pectorals standing proud (4-10)

Answer: SELF-IMPORTANCE (i.e. “standing proud” – Hmm. One of those where the setter’s desire to write a good clue ends up leaving considerable stretch marks on the English language). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “working out”) of M (a recognised abbreviation of “male”) and FINE PECTORALS.

29. Break link with relative about publisher (8)

Answer: UNCOUPLE (i.e. “break link”). Solution is UNCLE (i.e. “relative”) wrapped “about” OUP (i.e. “publisher”, specifically the Oxford University Press), like so: UNC(OUP)LE.

30. Wearing an undergarment upside down is working (8)

Answer: ABRASION (i.e. “wearing”). Solution is A BRA (i.e. “an undergarment”) followed by IS reversed (indicated by “upside down” – this being a down clue) and ON (i.e. “working”), like so: A-BRA-SI-ON.

32. Chaincap, sausance or lipalip, say? Only joking! (6-2-5)

Answer: TONGUE-IN-CHEEK (i.e. “only joking”). Clue plays on how different languages or TONGUES have been placed IN different words for CHEEK, like so CHA(INCA)P, SAU(SAN)CE and L(IPAL)IP.

33. Regretted horse nipping queen when mounted in fine ceremony (8)

Answer: GRANDEUR (i.e. “fine ceremony”). Solution is RUED (i.e. “regretted”) followed by NAG (i.e. “horse”) wrapped around or “nipping” R (a recognised abbreviation of Regina, “queen” in Latin). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “when mounted” – this being a down clue), like so: G(R)AN-DEUR.

35. I am in favour – one day in port is wasteful (11)

Answer: IMPROVIDENT (i.e. “wasteful”). Solution is I’M (a contraction of “I am”) followed by PRO (i.e. “in favour of”) and VENT (i.e. “port”, both outlets) once this latter has been wrapped around I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and D (a recognised abbreviation of “day”), like so: I’M-PRO-V(I-D)ENT.

37. Contingent charged party millions (6)

Answer: RANDOM (i.e. “contingent” – both taken to mean accidental or by chance – another I’m not entirely on board with, but then I’m just some bloke on the internet). Solution is RAN (i.e. “charged [towards something]”) followed by DO (i.e. “party”) and M (a recognised abbreviation of “millions”).

38. Cleric’s strange charade over swindle (10)

Answer: ARCHDEACON (i.e. “cleric”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “strange”) of CHARADE followed by CON (i.e. “swindle”), like so: ARCHDEA-CON.

40. More sensible about coin coming back into currency (9)

Answer: RENASCENT (i.e. “coming back into currency” – a twisty bit of wordplay by the setter, here, taking “currency” to mean the here and now. Renascent means “coming into renewed life” (Chambers)). Solution is SANER (i.e. “more sensible”) reversed (indicated by “about”) and followed by CENT (i.e. “coin”), like so: RENAS-CENT.

42. Space launch low over poles, hard to put up (8)

Answer: MOONSHOT (i.e. “space launch”, specifically one aiming for the moon). Solution is MOO (i.e. “low”, taken to mean the noise a cow makes – another pet play of setters) followed by NS (i.e. “poles”, i.e. recognised abbreviations of North and South), then H (a recognised abbreviation of “hard”) and TO reversed (indicated by “put up” – this being a down clue), like so: MOO-NS-H-OT.

44. Small hawk dropped in to rip in small pieces (9)

Answer: TESSELAR (i.e. “[paving or mosaic] in small pieces”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) and SELL (i.e. “[to] hawk”) “dropped into” TEAR (i.e. “to rip”) like so: TE(S-SELL)AR.

45. Helped when sister is getting over boy (8)

Answer: ASSISTED (i.e. “helped”). Solution is AS (i.e. “when”) followed by SIS (a recognised abbreviation of “sister”) and TED (i.e. “boy”, basically a boy’s name).

50. Try one’s luck with a foreign character (4)

Answer: BETA (i.e. “foreign character”, specifically the second letter of the Greek alphabet). Solution is BET (i.e. “try one’s luck”) followed by A.

51. The French succeeded not so much (4)

Answer: LESS (i.e. “not so much”). Solution is LES (i.e. “the French”, i.e. the French for “the”) followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “succeeded”).

52. Be immersed with wife in computer game (4)

Answer: SWIM (i.e. “be immersed with”). Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “wife”) placed “in” SIM (i.e. “computer game”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of a “simulation”, I believe, as opposed to EA’s Sims series).

55. Pair of books about keeping whiskey (3)

Answer: TWO (i.e. “pair”). Solution is OT (i.e. “books”, specifically the Old Testament of The Bible) reversed (indicated by “about”) and wrapped around or “keeping” W (“whiskey” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: T(W)O.

6 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1447

  1. Jumbo 1447. 17a Dope. I think you are being harsh on the setter here. Possibly an Orwellian reference to mandatory physical jerks ( physical education) undertaken by Winston Smith in 1984 or, more generally, to the exercise regimen of public schools, though I can claim no personal experience of same.

    1. I think ‘jerks’ may have been an imported American usage from WW2. Back in the 1960’s I remember staying with a schoolfriend whose American father (an author called James Wellard) made us do ‘physical jerks’ before breakfast every morning. They turned out to be what I would then have called PE – star jumps, touching toes, press-ups, etc. Needless to say I didn’t visit a second time.

      1. Back in the 1970s, in preparation for a trip to Stockholm, I borrowed a copy of “Teach Yourself Swedish” from the library. One of the translation exercises included the question “Do you do physical jerks in the morning?”

  2. Thanks Lucian. We didn’t understand some of the parsing so your explanations have been very helpful.

    One small thing: TESSELAR (44d) should be TESSELLAR. I think this must be a typo, as you have it correct in the grid, and also elsewhere in the description.

    Stay safe. SB

  3. Totally agree with your assessment on this one! Some good stuff but…
    Groaned at attitudinise (after looking up the word to double check it was attested).
    Ditto codpiece – I always dislike the use of overtly misleading archaic nonsense like corporation = belly (rather than straight archaic body).

    Very minor comment: (French) Marshal not strictly the equivalent of a (British) General. A Marshal was/is a specific honorary title not a rank. The officer will also effectively be a General though so ok I guess…

  4. Your weekly analysis is very much appreciated – thank you – and I do enjoy your observations on the merits or otherwise of individual clues and themes. Please keep it up!

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