I rather lost patience with this one toward the end. I don’t mind toughies when they have me camped in a dictionary, but few of the exotic solutions present this week were especially interesting. Onwards, I guess.
You can find my completed solution below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If you’ve been stumped by a recent Jumbo then you might find succour in my Just For Fun page, where you’ll find links to solutions to the last 100+ of these things. Meanwhile I’ve the usual dusty old book reviews and a story of mine.
Till next time, stay safe, mask up and keep flying the flag for the NHS and key workers everywhere. Won’t be long till most of us move from Lockdown II to… well, Lockdown II: The Directors Cut, it seems.
- Rug with a motif originally in tent-like dwelling (6)
Answer: WIGWAM (i.e. “tent-like dwelling”). Solution is WIG (i.e. “rug”) followed by W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”) then A and M (i.e. “motif originally”, i.e. the first letter of “motif”).
- “Green Mountain Record Company” spoken of in Asian city (10)
Answer: RAWALPINDI (i.e. “Asian city”). Solution is RAW (i.e. “green” or inexperienced) followed by ALP (i.e. “mountain”) and a homophone (indicated by “spoken of”) of INDIE (i.e. “record company”), like so: RAW-ALP-INDI.
- Chinese dog drinking first of oolong tea (5)
Answer: PEKOE (i.e. “tea”). Solution is PEKE (i.e. “Chinese dog”, short for Pekinese) wrapped around or “drinking” O (i.e. “first [letter] of oolong”), like so: PEK(O)E. One I remembered from an earlier puzzle, if I’m honest.
- Hit back, seeing extremely rude woman in gallery (9)
Answer: RETALIATE (i.e. “hit back”). Solution is RE (i.e. “extremely rude”, i.e. the first and last letters of “rude”) followed by ALI (i.e. “woman’s” name) once placed “in” TATE (i.e. “gallery”), like so: RE-T(ALI)ATE.
- Inaccuracy of English bishop, one with an old American cape (13)
Answer: ERRONEOUSNESS (i.e. “inaccuracy”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) followed by RR (i.e. “bishop”, specifically a Right Reverend), then ONE, then O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”), then US (i.e. “American”) and NESS (i.e. “cape”, as in the geographic feature), like so: E-RR-ONE-O-US-NESS.
- A container that briefly reveals a prickly structure (7)
Answer: ACANTHA (i.e. “prickly structure”, i.e. a thorn or spine). Solution is A followed by CAN (i.e. “container”) and THAT once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “briefly”), like so: A-CAN-THA.
- Functions involving army once in Surrey town (7)
Answer: STAINES (i.e. “Surrey town”). Solution is SINES (i.e. mathematical “functions”) wrapped around or “involving” TA (i.e. “army once”, specifically the Territorial Army), like so: S(TA)INES.
- What one should not do to welcome public support! (7)
Answer: OUTSTAY (i.e. “what one should not do to welcome”). Solution is OUT (i.e. “public”) followed by STAY (i.e. “support”, e.g. a mainstay).
- He had to garden to get working for the elite (3,5,3,3,4)
Answer: THE GREAT AND THE GOOD (i.e. “the elite”, often ironically). “Working” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HE HAD TO GARDEN TO GET.
- The last word in glam entertainment (4)
Answer: AMEN (i.e. “the last word”). “In” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: GL(AM EN)TERTAINMENT.
- Fast mover runs to left of maple tree (5)
Answer: RACER (i.e. “fast mover”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “runs”) followed by ACER (i.e. “maple tree”).
- A girl has ways to replace last of these old quibblers (8)
Answer: SOPHISTS (i.e. “old quibblers”). Solution is SOPHIE (i.e. “a girl’s” name) with the E (i.e. “last [letter] of these”) “replaced” by STS (i.e. “ways”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “street” made plural), like so: SOPHI(E)=>SOPHI(STS). Chalk one to my Bradford’s here as I’d gotten the arse with the puzzle by this point.
- Greeting woman reportedly in charge of sanitation (8)
Answer: HYGIENIC (i.e. “of sanitation”). Solution comprises homophones (indicated by “reportedly”) of HI (i.e. “greeting”) and JEAN (i.e. “woman’s” name), plus IC (a recognised abbreviation of “in charge”), like so: HY-GIEN-IC.
- Mousy girl with swept-back hair the writer’s pursuing? (11)
Answer: UNASSERTIVE (i.e. “mousy”). Solution is UNA (i.e. “girl”) followed by TRESS (i.e. “hair”) reversed (indicated by “swept-back”), then I’VE (i.e. “the writer’s” – in this case a contraction of “the writer has” rather than “the writer is” – taken from the point of view of the setter), like so: UNA-SSERT-I’VE.
- Slogan originally coined at church wears thin, we’re told (11)
Answer: CATCHPHRASE (i.e. “slogan”). Solution is C (i.e. “originally coined”, i.e. the first letter of “coined”) followed by AT, then CH (a recognised abbreviation of “church”) and a homophone (indicated by “we’re told”) of FRAYS (i.e. “wears thin”), like so: C-AT-CH-PHRASE.
- Killer serving sentence – keeping busy? Not at first (11)
Answer: INSECTICIDE (i.e. “killer”). Solution is INSIDE (i.e. “serving sentence”) wrapped around or “keeping” HECTIC (i.e. “busy”) once its initial letter has been removed (indicated by “not at first”), like so: INS(ECTIC)IDE.
- Assertive supporter’s revolutionary songs heard by Queen (11)
Answer: CHEERLEADER (i.e. “assertive supporter”). Solution is CHE Guevara (i.e. “revolutionary”) and a homophone (indicated by “heard”) of LIEDER (i.e. “songs”) once this latter has been placed after or “by” ER (i.e. “Queen”, specifically Elizabeth Regina), like so: CHE-(ER)-LEADER.
- Old dignitary conceals slip, fifth of harvest being past its best (8)
Answer: OVERRIPE (i.e. “being past its best”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and VIP (i.e. “dignitary” or Very Important Person) once wrapped around or “concealing” ERR (i.e. “slip”). This is all then followed by E (i.e. “fifth [letter] of harvest”), like so: O-V(ERR)IP-E.
- Small number arresting posh fool, one on the run (8)
Answer: FUGITIVE (i.e. “one on the run”). Solution is FIVE (i.e. “small number”) wrapped around or “arresting” U (i.e. “posh” – U is sometimes used to denote the upper classes, what, what, what) and GIT (i.e. “fool”), like so: F(U-GIT)IVE.
- Traps detective swigging the hard stuff (5)
Answer: DRUMS (i.e. “traps” – a jazz term denoting drums or other percussive instruments (pats Chambers)). Solution is DS (i.e. “detective”, specifically a Detective Sergeant) wrapped around or “swigging” RUM (i.e. “the hard stuff”), like so: D(RUM)S.
- Winged creature identified by old woman without hesitation (4)
Answer: MOTH (i.e. “winged creature”). Solution is MOTHER (i.e. one’s “old woman”) with the ER removed (indicated by “without hesitation”).
- Avoid stirring up trouble – don’t disturb dozy setters! (3,8,4,3)
Answer: LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE. Solution satisfies “avoid stirring up trouble” and “don’t disturb dozy setters”.
- Roughly shows impatience on road, maybe, finding collusion (7)
Answer: CAHOOTS (i.e. “collusion”). Solution is CA (i.e. “roughly”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “circa”) followed by HOOTS (i.e. “shows impatience on road” – pah! Maybe back in the 1950s, gramps. Modern motoring etiquette compels drivers to aggressively tailgate people, then force them to the roadside and bludgeon them with whatever comes to hand).
- Opposed to a way profit is secured (7)
Answer: AGAINST (i.e. “opposed to”). Solution is A and ST (i.e. “way”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “street”) between which is “secured” GAIN (i.e. “profit”), like so: A-(GAIN)-ST.
- As loose shoes, perhaps, not spiked (7)
Answer: UNLACED. Solution satisfies “as loose shoes” and a drink that is “not spiked”.
- School in a rut, a terrible state (5,8)
Answer: SOUTH CAROLINA (i.e. “[US] state”). “Terrible” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SCHOOL IN A RUT A.
- Grand heraldic device incorporating grey bird? (9)
Answer: GOLDCREST (i.e. “bird”). Solution is G (a recognised abbreviation of “grand”, e.g. 100 Gs being 100,000) and CREST (i.e. “heraldic device”) wrapped around or “incorporating” OLD (i.e. “grey”), like so: G-(OLD)-CREST. Chalk one to my Bradford’s.
- Endlessly check one’s first sound system (5)
Answer: AUDIO (i.e. “sound system”). Solution is AUDIT (i.e. “check”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “endlessly”) and the remainder followed by O (i.e. “one’s first [letter]”), like so: AUDI-O.
- Tropical tree governor included in unsophisticated paintings? (10)
Answer: GREENHEART (i.e. “tropical tree”). Solution is HE (i.e. “governor”, short for His Excellency) placed between or “in” GREEN (i.e. “unsophisticated”) and ART (i.e. “paintings”), like so: GREEN-(HE)-ART. Chalk another to my Bradford’s here. Regular readers will know I have no great love when setters stuff plants into their grids. To be fair, this seems a genuine entry rather than some obscure specimen that barely half a dozen botanists can name, that flowers only once a century in remotest Tibet and, handily, also fits the letters Z_M_Q.
- Travelling salesman, one who hunts with birds of prey (6)
Answer: HAWKER. Solution satisfies “travelling salesman” and “one who hunts with birds of prey”.
- One guarantees intemperate speech by men supporting conflict (9)
Answer: WARRANTOR (i.e. “one guarantees”). Solution is RANT (i.e. “intemperate speech”) followed by OR (i.e. “men”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army). The whole is then placed after or “supporting” – this being a down clue – WAR (i.e. “conflict”), like so: WAR-(RANT-OR).
- Great chap frantically securing ends of uncut thermoplastic (5-6)
Answer: GUTTA-PERCHA (i.e. “thermoplastic”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “frantically”) of GREAT CHAP wrapped around or “securing” UT (i.e. “ends of uncut”, i.e. the first and last letters of “uncut”), like so: G(UT)TAPERCHA. Had to call it something, I guess. One of those “look up gutta in Chambers and see what happens” moments.
- Table including fifty entertainers ultimately of celebrity status (3-4)
Answer: ALL-STAR (i.e. “celebrity status”). Solution is ALTAR (i.e. “table”) wrapped around or “including” L (i.e. “fifty” as a Roman numeral) and S (i.e. “entertainers ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “entertainers”), like so: AL(L-S)TAR.
- An archdeacon’s type of rosaceous plant (5)
Answer: AVENS (i.e. “rosaceous plant”). When written as A VEN’S, the solution also satisfies “an archdeacon’s” – VEN being a recognised abbreviation of “venerable”, an honorific prefix given to archdeacons.
- A law and ceremony identifying a variety of chrysoberyl (11)
Answer: ALEXANDRITE (i.e. “a variety of chrysoberyl”. Righto. Glad that’s clear then.) Solution is A followed by LEX (i.e. “law” in Latin), then AND and RITE (i.e. “ceremony”).
- Pitiful, ringing about name in brackets (11)
Answer: PARENTHETIC (i.e. “in brackets”). Solution is PATHETIC (i.e. “pitiful”) wrapped around or “ringing” RE (i.e. “about” – think email replies) and N (a recognised abbreviation of “name”) like so: PA(RE-N)THETIC.
- Failure to employ wise man lacking in social graces (3-5)
Answer: NON-USAGE (i.e. “failure to employ”). When written as NON-U SAGE the solution also satisfies “wise man lacking in social graces” – if U is used to describe the upper classes, then NON-U is used to describe the rest of us lowly unwashed.
- I pore over old register, having yen for study of symbolism (9)
Answer: ICONOLOGY (i.e. “study of symbolism”). Solution is I followed by CON (i.e. “pore over” – CON is an archaic word for “study” often used by setters in their clues), then O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”), then LOG (i.e. “register”) and Y (a recognised abbreviation of “yen”, the currency of Japan).
- Exercise group supported by a Spanish currency once (6)
Answer: PESETA (i.e. “Spanish currency once”). Solution is PE (i.e. “exercise”, specifically Physical Education) followed by SET (i.e. “group”). These are then placed before or “supported by” A – this being a down clue.
- Sadly like a top man’s recurrent urge to steal (11)
Answer: KLEPTOMANIA (i.e. “recurrent urge to steal”). “Sadly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of LIKE A TOP MAN.
- Composition of French art, for example (5)
Answer: ESSAY (i.e. “composition”). Solution is ES (i.e. “French art” – setters love using “art” as a ye olde form of “are”, ES is French for “are”, used, I believe, when posing a question, but don’t quote me on that) followed by SAY (i.e. “for example”).
- Area vicars prepared outside an Eastern inn (12)
Answer: CARAVANSERAI (i.e. “Eastern inn”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “prepared”) of AREA VICARS wrapped around or placed “outside” of AN, like so: CARAV(AN)SERAI. One I remembered from a previous puzzle, after some mental prodding.
- American character with endless penchant for frogs and things (8)
Answer: AMPHIBIA (i.e. “frogs and things”). Solution is AM (a recognised abbreviation of “American”, e.g. how Amex is a contraction of American Express, or how Pan Am is a contraction of Pan American) followed by PHI (i.e. “character”, specifically the twenty-first letter of the Greek alphabet) and BIAS (i.e. “penchant”) once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “endless”), like so: AM-PHI-BIA.
- Greek character given plain description of close family unit (7)
Answer: NUCLEAR (i.e. “description of close family unit”). Solution is NU (i.e. “Greek character”, this time the thirteenth letter) followed by CLEAR (i.e. “plain”).
- Kept back comic thought about husband (8)
Answer: WITHHELD (i.e. “kept back”). Solution is WIT (i.e. “comic”) followed by HELD (i.e. “thought”) once wrapped “about” H (a recognised abbreviation of “husband”), like so: WIT-H(H)ELD.
- Deliverer turns tail, snatching time for restorative treatment (4-4)
Answer: REST-CURE (i.e. “restorative treatment”). Solution is RESCUER (i.e. “deliverer”) with the last two letters reversed (indicated by “turning tail”) and the whole then wrapped around or “snatching” T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”), like so: RESCU(ER) => RESCU(RE) => RES(T)CURE.
- Greek article framed by an Edinburgh man, perhaps (8)
Answer: ATHENIAN (i.e. “Greek character”). Solution is THE (i.e. “article”, as in a word like a, an or the) placed in or “framed by” AN and IAN (i.e. “Edinburgh man, perhaps” – setters love referring to IANs as Scotsmen), like so: A(THE)N-IAN.
- Outfit college introduces for head of maths (7)
Answer: UNIFORM (i.e. “outfit”). Solution is UNI (shortened form of university, i.e. “college”) placed before or “introducing” FOR and M (i.e. “head of maths”, i.e. the first letter of “maths”).
- Dreadfully dry hours Noel suffers (12)
Answer: HORRENDOUSLY (i.e. “dreadfully”). “Suffers” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DRY HOURS NOEL.
- Investigator the UN should get replaced (11)
Answer: SLEUTHHOUND (i.e. “investigator”). “Get replaced” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of THE UN SHOULD.
- Counting of English mineworkers initially expecting allowance (11)
Answer: ENUMERATION (i.e. “counting”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) followed by NUM (i.e. “mineworkers”, specifically the National Union of Mineworkers), then E (i.e. “initially expecting”, i.e. the first letter of “expecting”) and RATION (i.e. “allowance”).
- Drink with knight in damaged chair, perhaps (11)
Answer: CHIPPENDALE (i.e. “chair, perhaps”). Solution is ALE (i.e. “drink”) placed after or “with” N (a recognised abbreviation of “knight” used in chess) once placed “in” CHIPPED (i.e. “damaged”), like so: CHIPPE(N)D-ALE. Toughie, the way it was phrased.
- Repeatedly investigate lookalike, a native of Prague, do we hear? (6-5)
Answer: DOUBLE-CHECK (i.e. “repeatedly investigate”). Solution is DOUBLE (i.e. “lookalike”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “do we hear”) of CZECH (i.e. “a native of Prague”).
- Recruiting group journalists joke about naturally at first (5,4)
Answer: PRESS GANG (i.e. “recruiting group”, not that the “recruits” had much choice in the matter!) Solution is PRESS (i.e. “journalists”) followed by GAG (i.e. “joke”) once wrapped “about” N (i.e. “naturally at first”, i.e. the first letter of “naturally”), like so: PRESS GA(N)G.
- Overcome by amphetamine, heartlessly drive fast car (9)
Answer: SPEEDSTER (i.e. “fast car”). Solution is SPEED (slang for “amphetamine”) followed by STEER (i.e. “drive”) once the middle E has been removed (indicated by “heartlessly”), like so: SPEED-STER.
- Slice of veal left over during flight (8)
Answer: ESCALOPE (i.e. a boneless “slice of veal” or any meat really). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) and O (ditto “over”, used in cricket) placed “during” ESCAPE (i.e. “flight”), like so: ESCA(L-O)PE.
- Girl with note on central European province (7)
Answer: GALICIA (i.e. “central European province” – doesn’t look terribly central European to me, being parked in the north-western corner of Spain, so I might not have this right). Solution is ALICIA (i.e. “girl’s” name) placed after or “with” G (i.e. “[musical] note”), like so: G-ALICIA.
[EDIT: Thanks to burleypab in the comments for highlighting a further Galicia which straddles Poland and Ukraine. Cheers! – LP]
- Attention seeking cry heard from solver and doctor? (3-3)
Answer: YOO-HOO (i.e. “attention seeking cry”). Solution is comprised of homophones (indicated by “heard from”) of YOU (i.e. “solver”, from the point of view of the setter) and “Doctor” WHO.
- Conspirator’s son taken in about accountant (5)
Answer: Publius Servilius CASCA (“conspirator” and one of Julius Caesar’s assassins). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”) “taken into” C (i.e. “about”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “circa”) and ACA (i.e. “accountant”, specifically an Associate Chartered Accountant), like so: C-A(S)CA.
- Row about introduction of great big cat (5)
Answer: TIGER (i.e. “big cat”). Solution is TIER (i.e. “row”) placed “about” G (i.e. “introduction of great”, i.e. the first letter of “great”), like so: TI(G)ER.
Musical accompaniment this week from a whole host of bands and artists spanning big band, jazz, funk, rap, electronica, alternative and everything in between. Playlist embedded below, or linked here if WordPress doesn’t play ball. Toe-tapping may ensue. Also Lionrock’s An Instinct For Detection album got an airing, which has aged pretty well considering it was released in 1995. Ah, the days. – LP
17 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1470”
Strangely, we found ourselves working from top-left to bottom-right filling in answers quite readily, remarking how easy it seemed to be – I guess it’s a matter of being in the right groove. But like you, totally underwhelmed by gutta-percha (still don’t really agree it’s a thermoplastic) and alexandrite … not planning to memorise those for future reference.
Your explanation of Essay was a revelation, thank you. And my Collins dictionary didn’t have that definition of traps, so that’s another mystery solved thank you again.
btw. there are two Galicia’s, one is “a region of East central Europe on the North side of the Carpathians, now in SE Poland and Ukraine”. No, we didn’t know that either. Every day is a schoolday.
A bit underwhelming this week. I had it finished early afternoon yesterday. Oddly enough, Galicia popped up on University Challenge last week, the Polish one, but it was one I knew anyway. If you’re a fan of PG Wodehouse, you might well have come across gutta-percha in one of his golf stories. It’s what golf balls used to be made from.
Good skills re: Galicia! Thanks for that. I’ve now updated the post. Every day is indeed a school day! – LP
Alicia could be obtained by the name Gaia, with the musical note “li” followed by “c” for central…Ga-li-c-ia, maybe? Then it is a European province rather than a central European province, which would remove your geographical objection. Thanks for the explanation of “essay”, couldn’t see it at all!
Meant Galicia… autocorrect grrrr!
Thanks for that re Galicia. I was with LP & couldn’t see why Northern Spain was Central Europe. Good cider round there btw. Favourite was essay; French art, nice body swerve there. Incidentally ‘es’ is simply ’are’ as in tu es, you are (singular), not in any interrogative sense.
Overall an easyish one this time but with a handful of toughies. Keep up the good work.
Thanks Lucian. We found this one somewhat underwhelming overall. We’re particularly unimpressed with the setter’s fondness for using “boy” or “girl” to indicate that the answer includes a name. Those kind of clues are almost impossible to solve from first principles; you have to guess the answer and then work backwards. Ditto subtraction-type clues – but then, as you know, I’m no fan of those anyway.
Re 12d: ES is the second person singular of the French verb ÊTRE (= to be), and is used with the familiar form TU. The modern equivalent of TU doesn’t really exist in English, as we use YOU for both the familiar and polite forms, but strictly speaking TU ES means THOU ART. Thus, ES = FRENCH ART. It’s cropped up in the past, I think, but not recently. I can’t decide whether this is better or worse than last week’s ARBRE (French tree).
Take care, and stay safe. SB
Thanks, Sue. Yeah, tricky clues with highly enumerable keywords are seldom much fun. Worse still when said part of the solution intersects another stinker of a clue. It either shows a lack of grid awareness from the setter, or that the setter has an evil streak a mile wide. My money’s on the latter! Stay safe – LP
In 12 down we think es = art, because ‘tu es’ in French means ‘you are’ or ‘thou ART’.
Thanks for Galicia. Was puzzled as we thought the girl was GAL and wanted to put CE for central Europe, giving a somewhat ropey Galicea as alternative spelling for the province.
By the way, just want to say a general thank you for your weekly posts Lucian, We have only recently discovered them though we have been doing the jumbo crossword for 20 plus years We never look until we have finished but it is helpful and fun to read your parsings and comments!
Thanks, both! Really nice of you to say. Welcome along! – LP
Agree with all of you above – once again Lucian you do us great service. Your parsing of 12d ESSAY was my favourite revelation this week but there’s always something I have missed. By the way Burleypap, gutta percha really is a natural thermoplastic, the gum (gutta) of the Malay percha tree. Not just the innards of Wodehousian golf-balls – those of you dismissing it from your memories may badly need it next time you have toothache, as it’s still the filling of choice for root canals. Galicia I knew from the quite wonderful podcast The Ratline (available on iPlayer) as it’s the province that the Nazi Otto Waechter governed from 1943-44, committing horrible crimes which he then evaded through the “Ratline” thanks to a Catholic bishop – long but highly recommended.
re 28dn … I think it’s worth highlighting that the setter has clued ‘Edinburgh man’ for ‘Ian’ rather than the more commonly seen ‘Scotsman’. The reason I point this out is that besides the defamatory ‘Auld Reekie’ Edinburgh is often more kindly referred to as ‘the Athens of the North’ – hence ‘Athenian’ as the solution becomes even stronger when referring to an Edinburgh resident. BTW … it’s a matter of controversy as to whether the epithet derives from Edinburgh’s key role in the Enlightenment or, less kindly, to the Corporation’s attempt to grace Calton Hill with a full scale replica of the Parthenon – which remains unfinished to this day.
Cool. I’d assumed the setter had used Edinburgh to account for AN in the solution. Interesting to know there was more nuance to it. Cheers, Barry! – LP
I tried to post a comment on your website just now about the latest crossword. But when I clicked on âPost Commentâ, all my text disappeared with no explanatory message. Is there some trick to this?
Iâm a great fan of your emails though.
Also, it’s not clear why some of my pretty ordinary text has been converted into square shapes.
Well, now my posts seem to be getting through, here is another go. I am a recent subscriber to this forum. This week’s puzzle was pretty easy and I got “essay” straight away. Last week’s was harder and there were still a couple I hadn’t solved by the following Friday.
This week, “gutta percha” was straightforward but only because an odd historical reference had stuck in my mind. Here is an extract from a letter concerning someone’s application to have their pedigree accepted by the office of Ulster King of Arms, then situated in Dublin Castle:
“29 Aug. 1940 – You will be wondering about your Patent, which was further delayed by the difficulty of getting a seal, as gutta-percha is difficult to procure. To be quite frank, we could have supplied the document in July,
but there were a couple of R.N. men so anxious to get work done before they started on hazardous voyages, that I felt they must be given precedence. But you have been very patient, & it would be intolerable to have further delay,
so that if we cannot manage gutta-percha within ten days, I shall affix the old red wax seal & send it on.”
So, it would appear that those old seals attached to various heraldic documents were made of the stuff.