Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1461

A medium strength puzzle this week, and a decent one overall. The use of European words and places got a little wearisome after a while, but nothing that would send me all Dads Army. You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. You can also find links to previous solutions to these things on my Just For Fun page, should a recent Jumbo have given you gyp. While you’re here, I’ve also got some dusty old book reviews and a story of mine.

Till next time, stay safe, mask up, and keep flying the flag for NHS and key workers everywhere. It looks like we’ll be relying on them more and more the way things are going.


Across clues

1. One may expand broadcast quiz (3,4)

Answer: AIR PUMP (i.e. “one may expand”, say, a tyre). Solution is AIR (i.e. “broadcast”) followed by PUMP (i.e. “quiz”).

5. Guy stranded without employment? (5,3)

Answer: BEACH BUM, being an informal description of “a young man who loafs about on the beach” (Chambers). I’m guessing the setter is playing on clichés of castaways on desert islands, who could be described as being “stranded” on a BEACH. A BUM, meanwhile, can somewhat uncharitably describe someone “without employment”. I hope I’m missing something clever here, because this feels a bit naff otherwise.
[EDIT: Thanks to Steve and a few others in the comments for pointing out that “strand” is another word for a BEACH, which makes for a much better fit. Thanks all! – LP]

9. Not many backed retaining old centre of Hull – that’s sad (6)

Answer: WOEFUL (i.e. “sad”). Solution is FEW (i.e. “not many”) reversed (indicated by “backed”) and wrapped around or “retaining” O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”). This is then followed by UL (i.e. “centre of Hull”, i.e. the middle letters of “Hull”), like so: W(O)EF-UL.

13. Madly imperil secret plan, dispatching one undercover operator (7,9)

Answer: SCARLET PIMPERNEL, eponymous “undercover operator” of Baroness Orczy’s play and novel). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “madly”) of IMPERIL SECRET PLAN once one of the Is has been removed (indicated by “dispatching [Roman numeral] one”). Nicely worked.

14. It’s not really a souvenir of the Parisian experience (4,2)

Answer: DÉJÀ VU, that unsettling “experience” one sometimes has of reliving past events. “Parisian” hints at the solution being a French phrase. The first half of the clue appears to riff on the etymology of the word “souvenir”, which originates from the Latin subvenire, meaning “to come to mind”, and how a sense of déjà vu one experiences is often “not real”. Something like that, anyway.

16. One picks the French to invest in part of industry? (8)

Answer: SELECTOR (i.e. “one picks”). Solution is LE (i.e. “the French”, i.e. the masculine form of “the” in French) placed or “invested” in SECTOR (i.e. “part of industry”), like so: SE(LE)CTOR.

17. Source of meat initially modified in research centre (4)

Answer: LAMB (i.e. “source of meat”). Solution is M (i.e. “initially modified”, i.e. the first letter of “modified”) placed “in” LAB (i.e. “research centre”, i.e. a shortened form of “laboratory”), like so: LA(M)B.

18. Nagged, having concern about new quantity of grain? (9)

Answer: HENPECKED (i.e. “nagged”). Solution is HEED (i.e. “concern”) wrapped “about” N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”) and PECK (i.e. “quantity of grain” or dried goods in general – you may recall the tongue-twister “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers”), like so: HE(N-PECK)ED.

20. Metal worker preserves it in casing in March (8)

Answer: TINSMITH (i.e. “metal worker”). Solution is TINS (i.e. “preserves” taken as a verb rather than a noun) followed by IT once it has been placed “in” MH (i.e. “casing in March”, i.e. the first and last letters of “March”), like so: TINS-M(IT)H.

21. A constant matter about to be adopted by a US city business course (11)

Answer: ACCOUNTANCY (i.e. “business course”). Solution is A followed by C (a recognised abbreviation of “constant”), then COUNT (i.e. “matter”, as in counting for something), then C (i.e. “about”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “circa”) once it has been placed in or “adopted by” A and NY (i.e. “US city”, specifically New York), like so: A-C-COUNT-A-N(C)Y.

24. Medical specialist in Paris to go with main point (9)

Answer: ALLERGIST (i.e. “medical specialist”). Solution is ALLER (i.e. “in Paris to go”, i.e. the French for “to go”) followed by GIST (i.e. “main point”).

25. Stifling any sense of air, time and energy, except when outside (8)

Answer: TUNELESS (i.e. “stifling any sense of air” – “air” in this case being another word for a piece of music or TUNE). Solution is T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) followed by E (ditto “energy”) once placed in or having “outside” UNLESS (i.e. “except when”), like so: T-UN(E)LESS.

26. Record of payment providing backing for objections (4)

Answer: STUB (i.e. “record of payment”, say in a chequebook). Solution is BUTS (i.e. “objections”) reversed (indicated by “backing for…”).

29. Vital current – not electric current – in mortal bodies, possibly (11)

Answer: BLOODSTREAM (i.e. “vital current”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “possibly”) of MORTAL BODIES once the I has been removed (indicated by “not electric current”, the recognised abbreviation of which being I). Nicely worked.

31. Feeling of home – it’s recalled in feature of cathedral city (11)

Answer: DOMESTICITY (i.e. “feeling of home”). Solution is IT’S reversed (indicated by “recalled”) and placed “in” between DOME (i.e. “feature of cathedral”) and CITY, like so: DOME-(S’TI)-CITY.

33. Fake very soon scaled down, university subsequently getting involved (11)

Answer: INAUTHENTIC (i.e. “fake”). Solution is IN A TICK (i.e. “very soon”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “scaled down”) and the remainder wrapped around or “involving” U (a recognised abbreviation of “university”) and THEN (i.e. “subsequently”), like so: IN-A-(U-THEN)-TIC.

36. Enchant with a lot of sensation? There’s a cost (8,3)

Answer: ENTRANCE FEE (i.e. “cost”). Solution is ENTRANCE (i.e. “enchant”) followed by FEEL (i.e. “sensation”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “a lot of”), like so: ENTRANCE-FEE.

38. Article dismissed by a European source (4)

Answer: GERM (i.e. “source”, as in a germ of an idea). Solution is GERMAN (i.e. “European”) with the AN removed (indicated by “article dismissed” – an article being a word like a, an or the).

39. Larger part of river includes one form of water (8)

Answer: MOISTURE (i.e. “form of water”). Solution is MOST (i.e. “larger part of”) and URE (i.e. “river”) wrapped around or “including” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: MO(I)ST-URE.

41. Sign of winter? Many people adopting hairstyle protecting wearer ultimately (9)

Answer: HOARFROST (i.e. “sign of winter”). Solution is HOST (i.e. “many people”) wrapped around or “adopting” AFRO (i.e. “hairstyle”) which is itself wrapped around or “protecting” R (i.e. “wearer ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “wearer”), like so: HO(A(R)FRO)ST.

44. Reveal all Earth is following food article (4,3,4)

Answer: DISH THE DIRT (i.e. “reveal all”). Solution is DIRT (i.e. “earth” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) placed after or “following” DISH (i.e. “food”) and THE (i.e. “article”).

45. Tormented and unfeeling, hogging seats near the front? (8)

Answer: HARROWED (i.e. “tormented”). Solution is HARD (i.e. “unfeeling”) wrapped around or “hogging” ROW E (i.e. “seats near the front” – I’ll admit this made me smile when I twigged it), like so: HAR(ROW-E)D.

48. Article in Spanish justifying online study (1-8)

Answer: E-LEARNING (i.e. “online study”). Solution is EL (i.e. “article in Spanish”, i.e. the Spanish for “the”) followed by EARNING (i.e. “justifying”).

49. Rabbit not coming forward round end of garden (4)

Answer: CONY (i.e. “rabbit”). Solution is COY (i.e. “not coming forward”) wrapped “round” N (i.e. “end of garden”, i.e. the last letter of “garden”), like so: CO(N)Y.

50. Hoping I will participate in a period of growth (8)

Answer: ASPIRING (i.e. “hoping”). Solution is I placed or “participating” in A and SPRING (i.e. “period of growth”), like so: A-SP(I)RING.

52. City girl calling in medic (6)

Answer: MADRID (i.e. “city”). Solution is MAID (i.e. “girl”) wrapped around or “calling in” DR (i.e. “medic”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “doctor”), like so: MA(DR)ID.

53. Give up and offer a free cake? (5,2,3,6)

Answer: THROW IN THE SPONGE. Solution satisfies “give up” and “offer a free cake”.

54. Place to slightly shift commitment (6)

Answer: PLEDGE (i.e. “commitment”). Solution is PL (a recognised abbreviation of “place”) followed by EDGE (i.e. “to slightly shift”).

55. Plan sending back some puddings for one year (8)

Answer: STRATEGY (i.e. “plan”). Solution is TARTS (i.e. “some puddings”) reversed (indicated by “sending back”) and followed by EG (i.e. “for one”, or for example) and Y (a recognised abbreviation of “year”), like so: STRAT-EG-Y.

56. Democrat attack involving that man repelled conservative (3-4)

Answer: DIE-HARD (i.e. “conservative” – both taken to mean dyed-in-the-wool or resistant to change). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “Democrat”) and RAID (i.e. “attack”) wrapped around or “involving” HE (i.e. “that man”). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “repelled”), like so: DI(EH)AR-D.

Down clues

1. Making no changes without singular source of temporary help (6)

Answer: ASSIST (i.e. “help”). Solution is AS IS (i.e. “making no changes”) wrapped around or placed “without” S (a recognised abbreviation of “singular”) and followed by T (i.e. “source of temporary”, i.e. the first letter of “temporary”), like so: AS-(S)-IS-T.

2. Recover after injection of illegal drug? Come off it! (6)

Answer: REALLY (i.e. “come off it”, both taken as expressions of disbelief). Solution is RALLY (i.e. “recover”) wrapped around or having “injected” E (i.e. “illegal drug”, as in the street name for the drug “ecstasy”), like so: R(E)ALLY.

3. United, note, more daring but losing lead – that’s less fortunate (9)

Answer: UNLUCKIER (i.e. “less fortunate”). Solution is U (a recognised abbreviation of “united”) and N (ditto “note”) followed by PLUCKIER (i.e. “more daring”) once its first letter has been removed (indicated by “losing head”), like so: U-N-LUCKIER.

4. Supportive influence that may be not partisan (6,5)

Answer: PATRON SAINT (i.e. “supportive influence”). “That may be” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of NOT PARTISAN.

5. Naval prison has transport to release indefinite number (4)

Answer: BRIG (i.e. “naval prison”). Solution is BRING (i.e. to “transport”) with the N removed (indicated by “to release indefinite number”).

6. First star, rich, with yacht gutted, heads for his marina, having brainwave (5,6)

Answer: ALPHA RHYTHM (i.e. “brainwave”). Solution is ALPHA (i.e. the brightest or “first star” of a constellation) followed by RH and YT (i.e. “rich [and] yacht gutted”, i.e. the first and last letters or “rich” and “yacht”), then HM (i.e. “heads for his marina”, i.e. the first letters of “his” and “marina”).

7. Foolish to run a quantity of water into the sack (4-7)

Answer: HARE-BRAINED (i.e. “foolish”). Solution is HARE (i.e. “to run”) followed by RAIN (i.e. “a quantity of water”) once it has been placed “into” BED (slang for which being “the sack”), like so: HARE-B(RAIN)ED.

8. Not fair, misprinting a clue and hint (9)

Answer: UNETHICAL (i.e. “not fair”). “Misprinting” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of A CLUE and HINT.

10. About to interrupt unhappy poet with cheers for lyrical work (8)

Answer: OPERETTA (i.e. “lyrical work”). Solution is RE (i.e. “about” – think email replies) placed in or “interrupting” an anagram (indicated by “unhappy”) of POET and then followed by TA (i.e. “cheers”), like so: OP(ER)ET-TA.

11. Genuine onions, feted after modification – becoming this? (12,4)

Answer: FRANKENSTEIN FOOD. Solution is FRANK (i.e. “genuine”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “after modification”) of ONIONS FETED, like so: FRANK-ENSTEINFOOD. Clue riffs on how genetically modified food sources are sometimes called Frankenstein foods. The arguments against GM food never quite stacked up for me. In the red corner: using science to help improve the resilience, quality and quantity of food sources the world over; in the blue corner: lowering global demand for food, however that’s achieved. Resorting to GM techniques is less than ideal, I agree, but I’m not quite ready to ally myself to the Utopia project just yet.

12. Country railway bringing in uniform for washing (7)

Answer: LAUNDRY (i.e. “washing”). Solution is LAND (i.e. “country”) and RY (a recognised abbreviation of “railway”) wrapped around or “bringing in” U (“uniform” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: LA(U)ND-RY.

15. Investigations start to identify lodges as accommodation for Queen (8)

Answer: INQUESTS (i.e. “investigations”). Solution is I (i.e. “start to identify”) and NESTS (i.e. “lodges”) wrapped around or “accommodating” QU (a recognised abbreviation of “Queen”), like so: I-N(QU)ESTS.

19. Abuse is matter dealt with criminally (8)

Answer: MISTREAT (i.e. “abuse”). “Dealt with criminally” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IS MATTER. Nicely worked.

22. Speculation publication reflected on kitschy jewellery (8)

Answer: GAMBLING (i.e. “speculation”). Solution is MAG (i.e. “publication”) reversed (indicated by “reflected”) and followed by BLING (i.e. “kitschy jewellery”), like so: GAM-BLING.

23. A significant point for sightseers in three different cities (10,6)

Answer: CLEOPATRA’S NEEDLE. These were ancient Egyptian obelisks that were shipped to and re-erected in each of London, Paris and New York. Clue riffs on how needles are “pointed”. You get the idea.

27. Cry with pity about English in German city (8)

Answer: BAYREUTH (i.e. “German city”, though a not entirely populous one). Solution is BAY (i.e. “cry”) followed by RUTH (i.e. “pity”) once it has been placed “about” E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”), like so: BAY-R(E)UTH.

28. Start of chat with police officer’s on record (4)

Answer: DISC (i.e. “record”). Solution is C (i.e. “start of chat”, i.e. the first letter of “chat”) placed “on” or after DI’S (i.e. “police officer’s”, specifically Detective Inspector), like so: DI’S-C.

30. Old-fashioned, overlooking small charge (4)

Answer: DUTY (i.e. “charge”). Solution is DUSTY (i.e. “old-fashioned”) with the S removed (indicated by “overlooking S” – S being a recognised abbreviation of “small”).

32. American subject not entirely uninteresting, having embraced a spy (4,4)

Answer: MATA HARI (i.e. “spy”). Solution is MATH (i.e. “American subject” – a reference to how they drop the S of “maths”) followed by ARID (i.e. dry or “uninteresting”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “not entirely”). This is then all wrapped around or “embracing” A, like so: MAT(A)H-ARI.

34. Drunk in middle of week? Lush endlessly mysterious (8)

Answer: ESOTERIC (i.e. “mysterious”). Solution is SOT (i.e. “drunk”) placed “in” EE (i.e. “middle of week”, i.e. the middle letters of “week”), and then followed by RICH (i.e. “lush”) once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “endlessly”), like so: E(SOT)E-RIC.

35. Scathing over soft drink – not something to be swallowed (7,4)

Answer: CAUSTIC SODA (i.e. “not something to be swallowed”). Solution is CAUSTIC (i.e. “scathing”) followed by SODA (i.e. “soft drink”).

36. Flying in the plane behind European jumbo (11)

Answer: ELEPHANTINE (i.e. “jumbo”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “flying”) of IN THE PLANE placed after or “behind” E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”), like so: E-LEPHANTINE.

37. Unoccupied toilet observed in a bit (2,1,5,3)

Answer: AT A LOOSE END (i.e. “unoccupied”). Solution is LOO (i.e. “toilet”) and SEEN (i.e. “observed”) both placed “in” A TAD (i.e. “a bit”), like so: A-TA(LOO-SEEN)D. Weird how this phrase also appeared a couple of weeks ago.

40. Supports popular weapon (9)

Answer: SLINGSHOT (i.e. “weapon”). Solution is SLINGS (i.e. “supports”) followed by HOT (i.e. “popular”).

42. Sense initially employed when going about small scamp’s inheritance (3,6)

Answer: FEE SIMPLE (i.e. “inheritance”). Solution is FEEL (i.e. “sense”) and E (i.e. “initially employed”, i.e. the first letter of “employed”) wrapped “about” S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) and IMP (i.e. “scamp”), like so: FEE(S-IMP)L-E. One of those gotten from the wordplay and a check in the dictionary, if I’m honest.

43. Looking to trap large bird (8)

Answer: STARLING (i.e. “bird”). Solution is STARING (i.e. “looking”) wrapped around or “trapping” L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”), like so: STAR(L)ING.

44. Imagine challenge, avoiding a big cat climbing (5,2)

Answer: DREAM UP (i.e. “imagine”). Solution is DARE (i.e. “challenge”) with the A removed (indicated by “avoiding a”) and followed by PUMA (i.e. “big cat”) once reversed (indicated by “climbing” – this being a down clue), like so: DRE-AMUP.

46. Contend girl’s name should be taken up for city (6)

Answer: VIENNA (i.e. “city”, continuing the setter’s little jaunt around Europe). Solution is VIE (i.e. “contend”) followed by ANN (i.e. “girl’s name”) once reversed (indicated by “should be taken up” – this being a down clue), like so: VIE-NNA.

47. America’s first intent to acquire is not in dispute (6)

Answer: AGREED (i.e. “not in dispute”). Solution is A (i.e. “America’s first”, i.e. the first letter of “America”) followed by GREED (i.e. “intent to acquire”).

51. Runs from random check (4)

Answer: STAY (i.e. “check” or to block). Solution is STRAY (i.e. “random”) once the R has been removed (indicated by “runs from” – R being a recognised abbreviation of “runs” used in some ball games).

6 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1461

  1. Not too bad this week. I had to work mainly from the bottom as I couldn’t get properly started from top left, so BEACH BUM was one of the last I got. Made me chuckle anyway. 😁 Thanks for the parsing, as always. I knew it was DUTY but couldn’t see why.

  2. Yep, Beach Bum seemed rather weak. Also couldn’t quite believe 31 across would have “city” in the clue and also the solution. It’s like the setter couldn’t be bothered. Or maybe it was a clever double-bluff?!

  3. BEACH BUM – I thought this was rather an amusing clue… as Steve says, ‘strand’ is a beach, and in the US, ‘bum’ is an unemployed drifter, not necessarily pejorative – so for me, ‘stranded without employment’ is legitimate wordplay for ‘beach bum’. OK, ‘guy’ isn’t a hard definition (presumably the reason for the question mark), but it’s probably how I described myself back in the 60s when I was a beach bum!

  4. 5A Beach bum / Stranded.
    I concur with a couple of the other comments: we forget since we use the word stranded without thinking of original (maritime) meaning. A strand is a beach/shore (cf German: Der Strand).
    To be stuck upon a beach/strand (whether animal or person) is to be strandED.

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