Another of those weird semi-stinkers for me. Decent progress was had diagonally, north-west down to south-east, with perhaps the exception of ET IN ARCADIA EGO, but in the other corners it seemed the setter was a little too determined to play nasty, which spoiled the fun.
I think I got there in the end, at least as far as a grid fill goes. You can find mine below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. While you are here, you can find links to solutions to the last 100+ of these things on my Just For Fun page, should a recent Jumbo have you stumped. I’ve also got some dusty old book reviews and a story of mine.
If I may quote the eminent philosopher of our times, Eric Cartman, Lockdown II continues “to suck donkey balls”, so stay safe, mask up and keep supporting the NHS and key workers everywhere. Time for me to hit one of them there shiny new games consoles. (Flexes thumbs.)
- Worked with teeth – appropriate for a rodent (9)
Answer: GROUNDHOG (i.e. “a rodent”). Solution is GROUND (i.e. “worked with teeth”) followed by HOG (i.e. to take or “appropriate”).
- Conflict, depression and division on colony, ultimately (10)
Answer: DISHARMONY (i.e. “conflict”). Solution is DISH (i.e. a bowl or “depression”) followed by ARM (i.e. branch or “division”), then ON and Y (i.e. “colony, ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “colony”).
- Men in retreat mostly ruined attack (5,2)
Answer: ROUND ON (i.e. “attack”). Solution is OR (i.e. “men”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army) reversed (indicated by “in retreat”) and followed by UNDONE (i.e. “ruined”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “mostly”), like so: RO-UNDON.
- Something wet to clear up, sprayed with warm jet (5,4)
Answer: WATER JUMP (i.e. “something wet to clear”, say in a steeplechase). “Sprayed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of UP and WARM JET.
- One’s preceded by gracious primate proceeding slowly (5)
Answer: LORIS (i.e. “primate proceeding slowly”, referring to slow lorises). Solution is I’S (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one’s”) placed after or “preceded by” LOR (i.e. “gracious”, both taken as exclamations – “lor” is a slang abbreviation of “lord”), like so: LOR-I’S.
- Storm involving priest seen with plunder in car (7,5)
Answer: RELIANT ROBIN (i.e. “car” – after a setter tried to score a free Bugatti the other week by including the car maker among the solutions, it seems this week’s setter has lowered their expectations a little). Solution is RANT (i.e. “storm”) wrapped around ELI (i.e. Biblical “priest”) and then followed by ROB (i.e. to “plunder”) and IN, like so: R(ELI)ANT-ROB-IN.
- Society greets secure form of lottery (10)
Answer: SWEEPSTAKE (i.e. “form of lottery”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “society”, used in abbreviations like the RSPCA) followed by WEEPS (i.e. “greets” – a new one on me, “greet” has an old Scots meaning “to weep”) and TAKE (i.e. to “secure”).
- Renowned Irish columns from author having huge influence all round (6,8)
Answer: GIANT’S CAUSEWAY (i.e. those “renowned Irish columns” where geology and geometry meet). Solution is CAUSE (i.e. to “author” or create) with GIANT (i.e. “huge”) and SWAY (i.e. “influence”) placed “all round” it, like so: GIANT-S(CAUSE)WAY.
- Drops out of academy during a New York October? (8)
Answer: RAINFALL (i.e. “drops”). Solution is RA (i.e. “academy”, specifically the Royal Academy of Arts) followed by IN (i.e. “during”) and FALL (i.e. “a New York October”, referring to how Americans refer to the autumn months as “fall”).
- Part of the company’s stable? Hardly (6)
Answer: INFIRM (i.e. “stable? Hardly”). When written as IN FIRM the solution also satisfies “part of the company”.
- Nonplussed when fashion editor goes on rather! (10)
Answer: ASTONISHED (i.e. bewildered or “nonplussed”) Solution is AS (i.e. “when”) followed by TON (i.e. “fashion” – a variant meaning of “ton” that you see in crossword clues more often than everywhere else combined) and ED (shortened form of “editor”) once the latter has been placed after or “on” ISH (i.e. “rather”), like so: AS-TON-(ISH)-ED.
- Singers turning round unmissable shows (5)
Answer: BASSI (i.e. “singers”, specifically a plural of basso). “Shows” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, in this case within the word “unmissable”, while “turning round” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: UNM(ISSAB)LE.
- Gallery’s encouragement to investigating officer? (4)
Answer: GODS (i.e. “gallery” in a theatre, as in “up in the gods”). When written as GO DS the solution also satisfies “encouragement to investigating officer”, specifically a Detective Sergeant.
- The female expert appearing across commercial channel (8)
Answer: HEADRACE (i.e. “channel” – over to Chambers: “the channel leading to a water wheel or other hydraulically-operated machine”. Not something that’ll live long in the memory, sadly). Solution is HER (i.e. “the female”) and ACE (i.e. “expert”) wrapped around or “appearing across” AD (i.e. “commercial”, short for “advertisement”), like so: HE(AD)R-ACE. One of those nailed solely from the wordplay.
- Page about supporting education graduate put together in advance (9)
Answer: PREFORMED (i.e. “put together in advance”). Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “page”) followed by RE (i.e. “about” – think email replies), then FOR (i.e. “supporting”) and MED (i.e. “education graduate”, specifically a Master of Education).
- Clapped out old vehicle, in short one delivered at inopportune time? (4,5)
Answer: LOVE CHILD (i.e. “one delivered at inopportune time” – too vague). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “clapped out”) of OLD VEHICLE once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “in short”). Ugh.
- Choice reflected your excellent work with animals (8)
Answer: BESTIARY (i.e. “work with animals”). Solution is BEST (i.e. “choice”) followed by YR (a recognised abbreviation of “your”) and AI (i.e. “excellent”, i.e. A1 with the 1 represented as a Roman numeral) once these latter two have been reversed (indicated by “reflected”), like so: BEST-(IA-RY).
- Wily crook (4)
Answer: ARCH. Solution satisfies “wily” and “crook”, as in a bend or something bent. Nicely done.
- Row after firm closed (3-2)
Answer: SET-TO (i.e. “row”). Solution is SET (i.e. “firm”) followed by TO (i.e. “closed”, as in how one would close a door “to”).
- Act wisely: ring new solicitors (3,7)
Answer: LAW SOCIETY (i.e. “solicitors”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “new”) of ACT WISELY and O (i.e. “ring”).
- One shut up after battle to impress conference (6)
Answer: POWWOW (i.e. “conference”). Solution is POW (i.e. “one shut up after battle”, i.e. a Prisoner Of War) followed by WOW (i.e. “to impress”).
- Man set to become minister (8)
Answer: CHAPLAIN (i.e. “minister”). Solution is CHAP (i.e. “man”) followed by LAIN (i.e. “set” down).
- Painting’s eradication, sadly, with age (2,2,7,3)
Answer: ET IN ARCADIA EGO (i.e. “painting” by Nicolas Poussin. I’m no Brian Sewell – I’m much too nice for a start (looks to camera) – but I do like gawping at artworks and looking into the techniques used to create them. Poussin never really did it for me, though.) “Sadly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ERADICATION and AGE.
- Lesser characters punishing people in return refuse their food? (10)
Answer: SCAVENGERS (i.e. “refuse [is] their food”, as in how scavengers forage through another’s waste). Solution is SC (i.e. “lesser characters” – specifically those in Small Capitals) followed by AVENGERS (i.e. “characters punishing people in return”). Nice bit of recycling there.
- US zoo let bear out? How low can you go! (8,4)
Answer: ABSOLUTE ZERO (i.e. “how low can you go”, referring to the coldest temperature possible. Even then, Geordie footie fans will turn up topless.) “Out” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of US ZOO LET BEAR.
- Sort of share purchase with English girl in rugby team (2,3)
Answer: EX DIV (i.e. “sort of share purchase”, short for “ex dividend”, in which a purchase has been made in a company’s shares during a short period in which the next dividend would be paid to the seller of the shares in a transaction rather than the purchaser). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) followed by DI (i.e. a “girl’s” name) once placed “in” XV (i.e. “rugby team”, i.e. Roman numerals for “fifteen”), like so: E-X(DI)V.
- Changing latest film in our name (2,3,4)
Answer: ON THE TURN (i.e. “changing”). Solution is NTH (i.e. “latest”, as in taking something “to the nth degree”) and ET (i.e. “film”, specifically ET: The Extra-Terrestrial) both placed “in” OUR and followed by N (a recognised abbreviation of “name”), like so: O(NTH-ET)UR-N.
- Did career damage (light) (7)
Answer: HURTLED (i.e. “did career”). Solution is HURT (i.e. “damage”) followed by LED (i.e. “light”, specifically a Light Emitting Diode).
- College keeping yellow spirit – a litre far from fresh (10)
Answer: UNORIGINAL (i.e. “far from fresh”). Solution is UNI (i.e. “college”) wrapped around or “keeping” OR (i.e. “yellow” or gold in heraldry), then followed by GIN (i.e. “spirit”), A and L (a recognised abbreviation of “litre”), like so: UN(OR)I-GIN-A-L.
- Child meeting the head, one guilty of serious wrongdoing? (9)
Answer: KIDNAPPER (i.e. “one guilty of serious wrongdoing”). Solution is KID (i.e. “child”) followed by NAPPER (i.e. “the head”, as in how one gets their head down for a nap).
- Poor serving? Set to clinch game (5)
Answer: GRUEL (i.e. “poor serving” – Oliver Twist famously asked for more). Solution is GEL (i.e. “set”) wrapped around or “clinching” RU (i.e. “game”, specifically Rugby Union), like so: G(RU)EL.
- Model not oddly recalled with flowers in paintings (3,7)
Answer: OLD MASTERS (i.e. “paintings”). Solution is MDLO (i.e. “model not oddly”, i.e. every other letter of MODEL NOT) reversed (indicated by “recalled”) and followed by ASTERS (i.e. “flowers”), like so: OLDM-ASTERS.
- Sort of pan, note, where you’d put cocktail sausage? (8)
Answer: NONSTICK (i.e. “sort of pan”). Solution is N (a recognised abbreviation of “note”) followed by ON STICK (i.e. “where you’d put cocktail sausage”).
- Anything in house for use as guide? (3-2)
Answer: HOW-TO (i.e. “guide”). Solution is OWT (i.e. “anything” oop north) placed “in” HO (a recognised abbreviation of “house”), like so: H(OWT)O.
- Frightful egotist we suss out (3,4,2)
Answer: GET WISE TO (i.e. “suss out”). “Frightful” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of EGOTIST WE.
- Fleet-footed attorney’s patch (4)
Answer: DARN (i.e. to repair or “patch”). Solution is DA (i.e. “attorney”, specifically a District Attorney) followed by RN (specifically the Royal Navy, a “fleet”). As this is a down clue, RN is placed beneath or “footing” DA.
- Radar signal is small, and as weak (6)
Answer: SQUAWK (i.e. “radar signal” – another new one on me, but interesting). So here we have an example of the setter playing nasty. The solution, as best I can establish, is S (i.e. “small”) followed by QUA (i.e. “as [being]” – Latin, because, you know, it’s The Times) and WK. Except WK is a recognised abbreviation of “week”, not “weak”. Poor of the setter for trying to pass this off as acceptable wordplay, and equally poor of the editor for allowing it. Yellow cards all round.
- Flight software the French put round Polish Conference? (6,3,5)
Answer: APPLES AND PEARS (i.e. “flight” of stairs – The Times is at heart a London paper, and setters do love their Cockney rhyming slang, gawblessem. (Thumbs braces.)). Solution is APP (i.e. “software”, short for application or applet) followed by LES (i.e. “the French”, i.e. French for “the” used for collectives) once “put round” SAND (i.e. “polish” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) and PEAR (i.e. “Conference” – chalk one to my Bradfords here, as I’m not a pear man. Not much of a fruit man either, truth be told), like so: APP-LE(SAND-PEAR)S.
- Married woes coming with blessing? That’s hopelessly romantic! (5-3-4)
Answer: MILLS-AND-BOON (i.e. “hopelessly romantic”, in comparison to the popular line of romance novels. Pub fact: when you see a job lot on eBay for 2000 Mills and Boon novels, there’s a good chance they’ll all be different. Same story arc, mind…) Solution is M (a recognised abbreviation of “married”) followed by ILLS (i.e. “woes”), then AND (i.e. “with”) and BOON (i.e. “blessing”).
- Heaven recalled in bible stories (7)
Answer: NIRVANA (i.e. “heaven”, perhaps taken more as a blissful state than a chunk of supermundane real estate). Solution is IN reversed (indicated by “recalled”) and followed by RV (i.e. “bible”, specifically the Revised Version) and ANA (i.e. “stories” or anecdotes), like so: NI-RV-ANA. Nicely done. Probably my favourite clue.
- Working group go in, after finally halting (10)
Answer: PROROGUING (i.e. “halting”. Blimey, has someone set the calendar back a year? (Reviews 2020 thus far.) Actually, yes, somebody! anybody! set the calendar back a year, please! Worthless aside: while “proroguing” became a political buzzword last autumn, perhaps my favourite word from the whole torrid affair was “tergiversation”, used by then Speaker John Bercow in this testy slap-down during the closing moments of the parliamentary session:
Dr Johnson – On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Earlier this week, the Leader of the Opposition said that he would vote for a general election tonight if Royal Assent was passed, but today he said that he would not, because he wants to prevent no deal. Can you confirm that, if an election had been held on 15 October, there would have been plenty of time, had he won the election, to have prevented no deal, so, in actual fact, there must be another reason for him running scared?https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2019-09-09/debates/44BDF5ED-3C22-40B5-AAD8-1EA95DED732C/EarlyParliamentaryGeneralElection(No2)
Mr Speaker – I cannot confirm anything of the sort. The expression “plenty of time” is an evaluative statement and it is obviously a view that the hon. Lady holds and she is entitled to it, but I certainly cannot confirm anything of the sort. I think that, essentially, she is accusing the Leader of the Opposition of tergiversation. [Interruption.] Yes, tergiversation. It is not a new charge. It is a charge that has been levelled many times over the centuries.
Dr Johnson (rose)
Mr Speaker – No, no. I do not need anything further.
Dr Johnson (rose)
Mr Speaker – No, no. Nothing further is required. That is the charge that the hon. Lady is levelling, but it is not a fatal charge. It has to be said that not only is it not a fatal charge, but it is not a novel concept, or without precedent in the history of our politics. We will leave it there.
You’ll find this at the very end of the page as it took place at stupid o’clock in the morning, and, yes, I was watching. You’re right, I need to get out more. Anyway…) Solution is an anagram (indicated by “working”) of GROUP GO IN followed by G (i.e. “finally halting”, i.e. the last letter of “halting”), like so: PROROGUIN-G.
- Indicate difficulty creating entrance (9)
Answer: SPELLBIND (i.e. “entrance”). Solution is SPELL (i.e. “indicate”) followed by BIND (i.e. “difficulty”, as in being placed in a bind).
- Girl getting round periodical lack of diligence (8)
Answer: LAZINESS (i.e. “lack of diligence”). Solution is LASS (i.e. “girl”) placed “round” ZINE (i.e. “periodical”, shortened form of “magazine”), like so: LA(ZINE)SS.
- One’s sworn at, very loudly, girls included (9)
Answer: AFFIDAVIT (i.e. “one’s sworn”). Solution is AT wrapped around or “including” FF (i.e. “very loudly”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “fortissimo” in musical lingo), IDA and VI (i.e. “girls” – VI can be short for a number of girl’s names), like so: A(FF-IDA-VI)T.
- Team in bright blue gets turned over (6-4)
Answer: UPSIDE-DOWN (i.e. “turned over”). Solution is SIDE (i.e. “team”) placed “in” UP (i.e. “bright” or happy) and DOWN (i.e. “blue” or sad), like so: UP-(SIDE)-DOWN.
- One with an outlet for their criminal aspirations? (10)
Answer: SHOPLIFTER. Clue plays on how “outlet” can mean a shop as well as a means of expressing oneself.
- Brigadier’s outside with private wearing identical belt (3,6)
Answer: SAM BROWNE (i.e. “belt”). Solution is BR (i.e. “Brigadier’s outside”, i.e. the first and last letters of “Brigadier”) and OWN (i.e. “private”) placed in or “wearing” SAME (i.e. “identical”), like so: SAM(BR-OWN)E. One of those gotten from the wordplay and a quick check on Google.
- Rules appearing long I revised (6,8)
Answer: AERIAL PINGPONG (i.e. “rules”, apparently a recognised reference to Australian Rules Football, also called… well, you guessed it). “Revised” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of APPEARING LONG I. Here’s another where the setter is playing nasty, but just about escapes a second yellow. Even so, it’s rather mean to have setters perform a double-jump to get to the solution, i.e. this aka that aka the solution, especially when the solution isn’t particularly well-known to us poms, and, to make matters worse, slotting it into a tricky part of the grid with even intersecting letters, which are frequently more difficult. Not nice.
- Scottish town elder, maybe, in France, briefly on a promise (8)
Answer: ARBROATH (i.e. “Scottish town”). Another nasty clue, though mercifully one with a solution that was much easier to guess. You expect a certain amount of foreign words in these things as setters seek ways of getting the job done, but I’d have been knackered decoding this one without Google Translate giving me the French word ARBRE, meaning “tree”, i.e. “elder, maybe, in France”. Remove the last letter (indicated by “briefly”) and follow the remainder with OATH (i.e. “promise”), like so: ARBR-OATH. Sod it, I’m waving the second yellow. Piss off for an early bath, setter, and take a one grid ban with you.
- Possible sixteen year-old getting changed to serve alcohol? (6-6)
Answer: SCHOOL-LEAVER (i.e. “possible sixteen year-old”). “Getting changed to…” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SERVE ALCOHOL.
- Reportedly, more than one can shed or forfeit rank (4,5)
Answer: LOSE CASTE (i.e. “forfeit rank” amongst Hindus in India). “Reportedly” indicates homophone. Solution is composed of homophones of LOOS (i.e. “more than one can” – can and loo being slang words for a toilet) and CAST (i.e. to “shed”).
- Welcome enquiry into way of making jam (3-2-3-2)
Answer: HOW-DO-YOU-DO. A triple-header, I believe, satisfying “welcome” and “enquiry into way of making” and, according to my Bradford’s, “jam”, though of the latter my Chambers doesn’t want to know.
- What’s very quietly catching Leo racing with artic? (6,4)
Answer: POLICE TRAP. Solution is PP (i.e. “very quietly”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “pianissimo” in musical lingo) wrapped around or “catching” an anagram (indicated by “racing”) of LEO and ARTIC, like so: P(OLICETRA)P. Within the context of the clue, a POLICE TRAP could be used to catch speeding motorists.
- City pub’s heading for bar brawl (9)
Answer: INNSBRUCK (i.e. “city” in Austria renowned for winter sports). Solution is INN’S (i.e. “pub’s”) followed by B (i.e. “heading for bar”, i.e. the first letter of “bar”) and RUCK (i.e. “brawl”).
- Old Russian’s British alias taking in US president (8)
Answer: BABUSHKA (i.e. “old Russian”). Solution is B (a recognised abbreviation of “British”) and AKA (i.e. “alias”, i.e. Also Known As) wrapped around or “taking in” George BUSH (i.e. “US president”), like so: B-A(BUSH)KA.
- Pantomime as done for daughters at home (7)
Answer: ALADDIN (i.e. “pantomime” – oh, no, it isn’t! Now, now, don’t boo. Be nice.) Solution is À LA (i.e. in the manner of or “as done for” – more French, a contraction of à la mode de) followed by D and D (D being a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”, so two daughters in this case gets you DD) and IN (i.e. “at home”).
- Singer out of A&E – he’s at home with us? (6)
Answer: BRITON (i.e. “he’s at home with us” – the Times being published in Great Britain). Solution is BARITONE (i.e. “singer”) with the “A” & “E” taken “out”, like so: B(A)RITON(E) => BRITON.
- Had garden worker put up fences (5)
Answer: OWNED (i.e. “had”). “Fences” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “put up” indicates the solution has been reversed – this being a down clue – like so: GAR(DEN WO)RKER.
- Mathematician showing odd parts equalled four, finally (5)
Answer: Leonhard EULER (i.e. “mathematician” – weirdly one I knew). Solution is EULE (i.e. “odd parts of equalled”, i.e. every other letter of EQUALLED) followed by R (i.e. “four, finally”, i.e. the last letter of “four”), like so: EULE-R.
- Where prisoner waits to be flogged for speaking out? (4)
Answer: CELL (i.e. “where prisoner waits”). “For speaking out” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of SELL (i.e. “to be flogged”).
No musical accompaniment this time around. Lots of live Premier League was had instead. Call me cynical, but I never really bought the Premier League’s change of heart on pay-per-view. “Well, there’s another lockdown, so we’ll roll back our pay-per-view matches to help the fans”. Yeah right. If enough people were paying £15 a pop, do you think they’d have rolled back? Money talks. So does the lack of it. – LP