Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1449

A relatively gentle affair compared to last week’s stinker, and a decent puzzle to boot, offering some well worked clues and good progression throughout.

As ever, you can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. Over on my Just For Fun page you’ll find links to solutions for this and the previous 99 puzzles, which you might find useful. I’ve also got a bunch of book reviews and a story of mine, should any of that appeal.

Till next time, give thanks to the NHS and key workers everywhere, keep safe and all being well I’ll see you here for #101.


Across clues

1. Short couple returning pawnbroker’s gem (9)

Answer: CARBUNCLE (i.e. “gem”). Solution is BRACE (i.e. “couple”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “short”) and the remainder reversed (indicated by “returning”), followed by UNCLE (a slang word for a “pawnbroker”), like so: CARB-UNCLE.

6. Including a feature with note passed across counter (6,7)

Answer: ADDING MACHINE (i.e. “counter”). Solution is ADDING (i.e. “including”) followed ME (i.e. “note” in the doh-ray-me notation) once it has been wrapped around or “passed across” A and CHIN (i.e. “[facial] feature”), like so: ADDING-M(A-CHIN)E.

13. Rowed and yelled, losing head (5)

Answer: OARED (i.e. “rowed”). Solution is ROARED (i.e. “yelled”) with the first letter removed (indicated by “losing head”).

14. Imagined names to cover old area one’s set in (11)

Answer: NONEXISTENT (i.e. “imagined”). Solution is N and N (both recognised abbreviations of “name”) wrapped around or “covering” O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and followed by EXTENT (i.e. “area”) once I’S (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one’s”) been “set in”, like so: N(O)N-EX(I’S)TENT.

15. Assign many, about 50 (5)

Answer: ALLOT (i.e. “assign”). Solution is A LOT (i.e. “many”) wrapped “about” L (i.e. “[Roman numeral] fifty), like so: A-(L)-LOT.

16. Love being in a strip club, dancing, hot and humid? (11)

Answer: SUBTROPICAL (i.e. “hot and humid”). Solution is O (i.e. “love”, being a zero score in tennis) placed “in” an anagram (indicated by “dancing”) of STRIP CLUB, like so: SUBTR(O)PICAL.

17. One female detected hole in a jug, a Paris icon (6,5)

Answer: EIFFEL TOWER (i.e. “a Paris icon”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), F (a recognised abbreviation of “female”), FELT (i.e. “detected”) and O (i.e. “hole” – as in the letter’s resemblance to one) all placed “in” EWER (i.e. “jug”), like so: E(I-F-FELT-O)WER.

18. Alluring type in charge of cutting record (7)

Answer: ENTICER (i.e. “alluring type”). Solution is IC (a recognised abbreviation of “in charge”) placed in or “cutting” ENTER (i.e. “[to] record”), like so: ENT(IC)ER.

20. Mole spotted everyone grabbing European (7)

Answer: SEAWALL (i.e. “mole” – one of the various meanings of the word is “a massive breakwater”). Solution is SAW (i.e. “spotted”) and ALL (i.e. “everyone”) wrapped around or “grabbing European”), like so: S(E)AW-ALL.

21. A river by old US city yields gold ring (7)

Answer: AUREOLA (i.e. a halo, corona or “gold ring”). Solution is A followed by URE (i.e. “river”), then O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and LA (i.e. “US city”, specifically Los Angeles).

23. Implying convoluted legal nicety, maybe controversially engineered? (11,8)

Answer: GENETICALLY MODIFIED (i.e. “maybe controversially engineered”). Solution cryptically satisfies “implying convoluted legal nicety”, in that “legal nicety” is an anagram or MODIFIED form of GENETICALLY.

27. One who admires fine article (3)

Answer: FAN (i.e. “one who admires”). Solution is F (a recognised abbreviation of “fine” used in grading pencils) followed by AN (i.e. “article”, being a word like a, an or the).

28. What some casual readers do? Take drugs (3-3)

Answer: DOG-EAR. Solution satisfies “what some casual readers do” – referring to the abhorrent practice of folding the corner of a page to mark one’s place in a book – and, when written as DO GEAR, also satisfies “take drugs”.

29. Yell “Clear off!”, seizing tablet (6)

Answer: SCREAM (i.e. “yell”). Solution is SCRAM (i.e. “clear off!”) wrapped around E (street name of the drug ecstasy, often taken in “tablet” form), like so: SCR(E)AM.

31. Actor’s exit stumped old men packing circle (5,4)

Answer: STAGE DOOR (i.e. “actor’s exit”). Solution is ST (a recognised abbreviation of “stumped” used in cricket) followed by AGED (i.e. “old”) and OR (i.e. “men”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army) wrapped around or “packing” O (i.e. “circle”), like so: ST-AGED-(O)-OR.

34. Crossing lake, supports pale Oz bird (5,4)

Answer: BLACK SWAN (i.e. “Oz bird”). Solution is BACKS (i.e. “supports”) wrapped around or “crossed” by L (a recognised abbreviation of “lake”) and followed by WAN (i.e. “pale”), like so: B(L)ACKS-WAN.

35. Muscle oil company’s used to guard diamonds (6)

Answer: BICEPS (i.e. “muscle”). Solution is BP’S (i.e. “oil company’s”, specifically British Petroleum, made possessive) wrapped around or “guarding” ICE (i.e. “diamonds”), like so: B(ICE)P’S.

36. With bottle of mineral knocked back, resultant sound going about? (6)

Answer: HEROIC (i.e. “with bottle”). Solution is ORE (i.e. “mineral”) reversed (indicated by “knocked back”) and placed in, or having “about”, HIC (i.e. “resultant sound”, i.e. a hiccup, the implication being one has knocked something back a little too quickly), like so: H(ERO)IC.

39. Community gathering endless drink (3)

Answer: BEE (i.e. “community gathering”, like a sewing bee). Solution is BEER (i.e. “drink”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “endless”).

40. Everything under discussion I’ve used with our forensics nuts (8,2,9)

Answer: UNIVERSE OF DISCOURSE (i.e. “everything under discussion”). “Nuts” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of I’VE USED and OUR FORENSICS.

42. Popular teams showing guts (7)

Answer: INSIDES (i.e. “guts”). Solution is IN (i.e. “popular”) followed by SIDES (i.e. “teams”).

43. Playwright’s very large book, one gripping queen (7)

Answer: John OSBORNE (i.e. “playwright”). Solution is OS (i.e. “very large”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “outsize”) followed by B (a recognised abbreviation of “book”) and ONE once it has been wrapped around or “gripping” R (a recognised abbreviation of Regina, Latin for “queen”), like so: OS-B-O(R)NE.

45. Weeds grow wild, eaten by rodent (7)

Answer: RAGWORT (i.e. “weeds”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “wild”) of GROW placed on or “eaten by” RAT (i.e. “rodent”), like so: RA(GWOR)T.

47. Second service stops religious breaking with tradition (11)

Answer: MODERNISTIC (i.e. “breaking with tradition”). Solution is MO (shortened form of “moment”, i.e. “second”) followed by RN (i.e. “[armed] service”, specifically the Royal Navy) once it has been placed in or “stopping” DEISTIC (i.e. “religious”), like so: MO-DE(RN)ISTIC.

49. Title associated with range in US, I’d say? (11)

Answer: APPELLATION (i.e. “title”). “I’d say” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of the APPALACHIAN mountain “range in US”.

51. Hotel in Med resort designed for specific market (5)

Answer: NICHE (i.e. “designed for specific market”). Solution is H (“Hotel” in the phonetic alphabet) placed “in” NICE (i.e. “Med resort”), like so: NIC(H)E.

52. Encouraging cool strong drink in gallons (11)

Answer: INSPIRITING (i.e. “encouraging”). Solution is IN (i.e. “cool” or popular) followed by SPIRIT (i.e. “strong drink”), then IN and G (a recognised abbreviation of “gallons”).

53. Irish oddly acquit Arab (5)

Answer: IRAQI (i.e. “Arab”). Solution is IR (a recognised abbreviation of “Irish”) followed by every other letter (indicated by “oddly”) of ACQUIT, like so: IR-AQI.

54. A girl into maths briefly disputed term in it (13)

Answer: ANTILOGARITHM (i.e. “term in [maths]”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “disputed”) of A GIRL INTO and MATHS once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “briefly”).

55. County dismisses charter (9)

Answer: YORKSHIRE (i.e. “county”). Solution is YORKS (i.e. “dismisses” a batsman in cricket with a yorker, a specific type of delivery) followed by HIRE (i.e. “[to] charter”).

Down clues

1. Like relaxed Buddhist, thwarted touring large cell (5-6)

Answer: CROSS-LEGGED (i.e. “like relaxed Buddhist”). Solution is CROSSED (i.e. “thwarted”) wrapped around or “touring” L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) and EGG (i.e. “cell”), like so: CROSS(L-EGG)ED.

2. Two groups of soldiers chewed toastie (7)

Answer: RAREBIT (i.e. “toastie”). Solution is RA and RE (i.e. “two groups of soldiers”, specifically the Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers of the British Army) followed by BIT (i.e. “chewed”).

3. Jack doesn’t start to shake milk container (5)

Answer: UDDER (i.e. “milk container”). Solution is JUDDER (i.e. “shake”) with the J removed (indicated by “Jack doesn’t start” – J is a recognised abbreviation of “Jack” used in playing cards).

4. Plot against second main crime (10)

Answer: CONSPIRACY (i.e. “plot”). Solution is CON (i.e. “against”, as in pros and cons) followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “second”) and PIRACY (i.e. “main crime” – setters love referring to the sea as “main”).

5. Sultan’s guards regularly return such bananas (7)

Answer: EUNUCHS (i.e. “Sultan’s guards”). Solution is every other letter (indicated by “regularly”) of RETURN followed by an anagram (indicated by “bananas”) of SUCH, like so: EUN-UCHS.

6. Will should have three examples of this (9,4)

Answer: AUXILIARY VERB. “Three examples of this” are the auxiliary verbs “will”, “should” and “have”. These are verbs which add function or grammatical meaning to a clause, e.g. “she will do something”, “she should do something” or “they have done something”.

7. Outlaw some French and English in gallery (9)

Answer: DESPERADO (i.e. “outlaw”). Solution is DES (i.e. “some French”, i.e. the French for “some”) followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) once it has been placed “in” PRADO (i.e. Spain’s national art “gallery”), like so: DES-P(E)RADO.

8. End fuel supply that’s essential (7)

Answer: NEEDFUL (i.e. “essential”). “Supply” indicates anagram, as in something being supple – sneaky, eh? Solution is an anagram of END FUEL.

9. Rigorous man abridged inspiring article about subject (12)

Answer: MATHEMATICAL (i.e. “rigorous”). Solution is MALE (i.e. “man”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “abridged”) and the remainder wrapped around or “inspiring” A (i.e. “article”, as in a word like a, an or the) and THEMATIC (i.e. “subject”), like so: M(A-THEMATIC)AL.

10. Like some accountants about to be drafted outside (9)

Answer: CHARTERED (i.e. “like some accountants”). Solution is RE (i.e. “about” – think email replies) with CHARTED (i.e. “drafted”) placed “outside” of it, like so: CHARTE(RE)D.

11. Relative’s trendy wife bagging French article (2-3)

Answer: IN-LAW (i.e. “relative”). Solution is IN (i.e. “trendy”) and W (a recognised abbreviation of “wife”) wrapped around or “bagging” LA (i.e. “French article”, i.e. the French for “the”), like so: IN-(LA)-W.

12. Register English church composer without top performer (11)

Answer: ENTERTAINER (i.e. “performer”). Solution is ENTER (i.e. “register”) followed by Sir John STAINER (i.e. “English church composer” – no, me neither. Chalk one to my Bradfords here) with the first letter removed (indicated by “without top”), like so: ENTER-TAINER.

19. Trim copper heading to seize book (3,4)

Answer: CUT BACK (i.e. “trim”). Solution is CU (chemical symbol of “copper”) followed by TACK (i.e. “heading” or course) wrapped around or “seizing” B (a recognised abbreviation of “book”), like so: CU-T(B)ACK.

22. Sick of quartet entertaining officer (3,6)

Answer: OFF COLOUR (i.e. “sick”). Solution is OF followed by FOUR (i.e. “quartet”) wrapped around or “entertaining” COL (i.e. “officer”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of a colonel), like so: OF-F(COL)OUR.

24. Restricted zones in Genoa or Siena, extremely mysterious (2-2,5)

Answer: NO-GO AREAS (i.e. “restricted zones”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “mysterious”) of GENOA OR and SA (i.e. “Siena, extremely”, i.e. the first and last letters of “Siena”).

25. Permit fifty-one churches to keep name (7)

Answer: LICENCE (i.e. “permit”). Solution is LI (i.e. “fifty-one” in Roman numerals) followed by CE and CE (i.e. “churches”, specifically the Church of England) wrapped around or “keeping” N (a recognised abbreviation of “name”), like so: LI-CE-(N)-CE.

26. On reflection, sauce is not ideal at first, being tasteless (7)

Answer: INSIPID (i.e. “tasteless”). Solution is DIP (i.e. “sauce”) followed by IS, then N and I (i.e. “not ideal at first”, i.e. the first letters of “not” and “ideal”). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “on reflection”), like so: I-N-SI-PID.

30. Grim CIA morons spread spore maybe (5-8)

Answer: MICRO-ORGANISM (i.e. “spore maybe”). “Spread” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of GRIM CIA MORONS.

32. Spanish article about golf catches on soon (7)

Answer: ERELONG (i.e. “soon”). Solution is EL (for “Spanish article”, i.e. the Spanish for “the”), ON (i.e. “about”) and G (“golf” in the phonetic alphabet) all wrapped about or “catching” RE (i.e. “on” or about – think email replies), like so: E(RE)L-ON-G. I’ve twisted over this one for a while, and this seems the best solution I can get, but I’m not exactly cock-a-hoop about it. Using ON for “about” only to then use RE for “on” feels weirdly off, like a circular reference in a spreadsheet or something. [Reads that back.] Bloody hell, I’m such a nerd…

33. Hoping to drink German wine that’s sublime (3-9)

Answer: AWE-INSPIRING (i.e. “sublime”). Solution is ASPIRING (i.e. “hoping”) wrapped around or “drinking” WEIN (i.e. “German [for] wine”), like so: A(WEIN)SPIRING.

34. I’m in Bilbao crazily nursing a passion for shelf-stacking? (11)

Answer: BIBLIOMANIA (i.e. “passion for shelf-stacking”, as in having a thing for books). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “crazily”) of I’M IN BILBAO wrapped around or “nursing” A, like so: BIBLIOM(A)NIA.

37. Helm saves energy, anxious about four covering same length (11)

Answer: COEXTENSIVE (i.e. “covering same length”). Solution is COX (i.e. “helm”) wrapped around or “saving” E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”) and followed by TENSE (i.e. “anxious”) once this has been wrapped around or “covering” IV (i.e. “four” in Roman numerals), like so: CO(E)X-TENS(IV)E.

38. Star analyst runs over diary penned by Daisy (10)

Answer: ASTROLOGER (i.e. “star analyst”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “runs” used in a number of ball games), O (a recognised abbreviation of an “over” in cricket) and LOG (i.e. “diary”) all placed in or “penned by” ASTER (i.e. “daisy” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), like so: AST(R-O-LOG)ER.

40. Waterproof submarine, second in Clyde (9)

Answer: UNDERSEAL (i.e. “[to] waterproof”). Solution is UNDERSEA (i.e. “submarine”) followed by L (i.e. “second in Clyde”, i.e. the second letter of “Clyde”).

41. Small number possibly needing to edit screenplay perhaps (9)

Answer: SUBSCRIPT (i.e. “small number possibly” – subscripts can be text too). When read as SUB SCRIPT, the solution also satisfies “edit screenplay perhaps”.

43. Less intelligent old boy beginning to transform addict (7)

Answer: OBTUSER (i.e. “less intelligent”). Solution is OB (a recognised abbreviation of “old boy”, or alumnus) followed by T (i.e. “beginning to transform”, i.e. the first letter of “transform”) and USER (i.e. “[drug] addict”).

44. Bronte sister admits exercising with no effect (7)

Answer: EMPTILY (i.e. “with no effect”). Solution is EMILY (i.e. “Bronte sister”) wrapped around or “admitting” PT (i.e. “exercising”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of Physical Training), like so: EM(PT)ILY.

46. Ring friend abroad about kit for art in Tokyo (7)

Answer: ORIGAMI (i.e. “art in Tokyo”). Solution is O (i.e. “ring”) and AMI (i.e. “friend abroad”, i.e. the French for “friend”) wrapped “about” RIG (i.e. “kit”), like so: O-(RIG)-AMI.

48. Old coin originally accepted in tube (5)

Answer: DUCAT (i.e. “old coin”). Solution is A (i.e. “originally accepted”, i.e. the first letter of “accepted”) placed “in” DUCT (i.e. “tube”), like so: DUC(A)T.

50. Section of program is simply wrong (5)

Answer: AMISS (i.e. “wrong”). “Section of” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: PROGR(AM IS S)IMPLY.

4 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1449

  1. Pls never stop posting these! You’ve saved me here with seawall, aureola and erelong ! Side note is it me or are these getting harder??

    1. Thanks, Tom. Glad you like the posts. This week certainly had its moments – not least the construction of ERELONG – but last week’s grid…? Phew! That was a workout! (A good one, though.) I’m all for an easier one this Saturday.

      Keep well! – LP

      1. Agreed! And it seems your wish was granted – just polished off this weeks and the only one I can’t fully explain is 3 down, looking forward to your interpretation!

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