Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1474

A medium strength effort for Boxing Day, but not one that will live long in the memory. There were some good clues to be had, but as a whole it didn’t really spark with me. Shame too that the Times seems to have missed the Jumbo Cryptic’s 50th birthday. Maybe they’ll do something for the Bank Holiday special.

Anyway, you can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a previous Jumbo has done for you, then you might find succour in my Just For Fun page, where I’ve curated links to solutions for the last 100+ of these things, plus the very first Jumbo Cryptic. Meanwhile there’s the usual dusty old book reviews and a story of mine.

I hope you had a good Christmas, all considered. Till next time, stay safe, mask up and keep flying the flag for the NHS and key workers everywhere.


Across clues

  1. Horrified at coming across golf cheats (6)

Answer: AGHAST (i.e. “horrified”). Solution is AT wrapped around or “coming across” G (“golf” in the phonetic alphabet) and HAS (i.e. “cheats” someone), like so: A(G-HAS)T.

  1. One with old school tie is oddly usual around Merchant Navy (7)

Answer: ALUMNUS (i.e. “one with old school tie”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “oddly”) of USUAL wrapped “round” MN (a recognised abbreviation of “Merchant Navy”), like so: ALU(MN)US.

  1. What’s dropped letters of nearly two ounces outside post office (8)

Answer: LIPOGRAM (i.e. “what’s dropped letters” – Chambers doesn’t cover this one, so over to my Oxford: “a composition from which the writer systematically omits a certain letter or certain letters of the alphabet”). The gist of this one is LI-(PO)-GRAM, with PO a recognised abbreviation of “post office” and LI being Roman numerals for 51. 51 GRAMs, meanwhile, gets you “nearly two ounces” – “nearly” could be recycled to indicate the ‘s’ gets trimmed. Too wishy-washy for me.

  1. Exploitable water initially in the centre of freezer? (9,8,4)

Answer: EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE (i.e. “exploitable water”). The remainder of the clue plays on how the “initials” EEZ form the “centre” of “frEEZer”).

  1. Choral piece has an unruly place, hard and concerning (8)

Answer: ANTIPHON (i.e. “choral piece” – a word you often see in these things). Solution is AN followed by TIP (i.e. “unruly place”), then H (a recognised abbreviation of “hard” used in pencil gradings) and ON (i.e. “concerning”).

  1. Worrying about second part of map reference (7)

Answer: EASTING (i.e. “part of map reference”, along with northing). Solution is EATING (i.e. “worrying”, as in the question “what’s eating you?”) wrapped “about” S (a recognised abbreviation of “second”), like so: EA(S)TING.

  1. Managed Dominican in an irregular order (6)

Answer: RANDOM (i.e. “in irregular order”). Solution is RAN (i.e. “managed”) followed by DOM (a recognised abbreviation of “Dominican”).

  1. Short statement is untruthful about volume, one of Aubrey’s (5,5)

Answer: BRIEF LIVES (a book or “volume” by John “Aubrey” – no, me neither). Solution is BRIEF (i.e. “short statement”) followed by LIES (i.e. “is untruthful”) once wrapped “about” V (a recognised abbreviation of “volume”), like so: BRIEF-LI(V)ES.

  1. A quiet twenty-four hours, fast from here on? (3,9)

Answer: ASH WEDNESDAY (i.e. “fast from here on” – not for us heathens, nom, nom, nom!). Solution is A followed by SH (i.e. “quiet”) and WEDNESDAY (i.e. “twenty-four hours” – other days are available).

  1. Afternoon when Pip leaves in classic novel (4)

Answer: EMMA (i.e. “classic novel”). A guess given the intersecting letters and how most setters nurse semis for Jane Austen. Not a Scooby on the rest of the clue, though, sorry.
[EDIT: Steve in the comments wins the internet this week, pointing out the clue refers to Pip Emma, signalman speak for “afternoon”. Not something listed in my reference books, but a quick Google nails it. Cheers, Steve! – LP]

  1. Short clue about mental ability is only half my exclusive idea (8) (not 7, as shown in the paper)

Answer: CLIQUISM (i.e. “exclusive idea”). Solution is CLU (i.e. “short clue”, i.e. the word “clue” with its last letter removed) wrapped “about” IQ (i.e. “mental ability”), followed by IS and M (i.e. “half my”, i.e. the first half of the word “my” – “only” seems unnecessary here), like so: CL(IQ)U-IS-M.

  1. Namely European stopping French city’s early development (8)

Answer: NASCENCY (i.e. “early development”). Solution is SC (i.e. “namely”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of the Latin “scilicet” you see some setters use) and E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”) both placed in or “stopping” NANCY (i.e. “French city”), like so: NA(SC-E)NCY.

  1. A mutiny – I’m out rioting for the destruction of defences? (12)

Answer: AUTOIMMUNITY (i.e. “destruction of defences”). “Rioting” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of A MUTINY I’M OUT.

  1. Sea bird dropping ‘em in English cutter (10)

Answer: GUILLOTINE (i.e. “cutter”). Solution is GUILLEMOT (I.e. “sea bird”) with EM removed (indicated by “dropping ‘em”) and the remainder followed by IN and E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”), like so: GUILLOT-IN-E.

  1. Loaded in goat skin, getting to run out with great speed (2,4,4)

Answer: AT FULL PELT (i.e. “with great speed”). Solution is FULL (i.e. “loaded”) placed “in” GOAT and PELT (i.e. “skin”). GO is then removed from this, indicated by “getting to run out”, leaving AT-(FULL)-PELT.

  1. Substitute for wedding where no one’s able to relax (8,4)

Answer: STANDING ROOM (i.e. “where no one’s able to relax”, as in “standing room only”). When written as STAND-IN GROOM the solution also satisfies “substitute for wedding”.

  1. Take journey, second, reportedly, to see work of art (8)

Answer: TRIPTYCH (i.e. “work of art”). Solution is TRIP (i.e. “take journey”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “reportedly”) of TICK (i.e. “second”), like so: TRIP-TYCH.

  1. Rush and short-tailed teal, perhaps tons in salt water channel (4,4)

Answer: TEAR DUCT (i.e. “salt water channel”). Solution is TEAR (i.e. “rush”) followed by DUCK (i.e. “teal, perhaps”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “short-tailed”), then T (a recognised abbreviation of “tons”), like so: TEAR-DUC-T.

  1. Nothing but shilling removed from funds (4)

Answer: PURE (i.e. “nothing but”). Solution is PURSE (i.e. “funds”) with the S removed (indicated by “shilling removed” – S being a recognised abbreviation of “shilling”).

  1. Darting bullfighter’s bolder linear moving (12)

Answer: BANDERILLERO (i.e. “darting bullfighter”). “Moving” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of BOLDER LINEAR.

  1. One predicting result after score goes badly (10)

Answer: FORECASTER (i.e. “one predicting”). “Goes badly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of AFTER SCORE.

  1. Be baffled, seeing no key on time switch (6)

Answer: TOGGLE (i.e. “switch”). Solution is BOGGLE (i.e. “be baffled”) with the B removed (indicated by “seeing no [musical] key”) and the remainder placed “on” or after T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”), like so: T-OGGLE.

  1. No more regret over needling scientist? (7)

Answer: Louis PASTEUR (i.e. “scientist” – “needling” refers to his pioneering work with vaccines). Solution is PAST (i.e. “no more”) followed by RUE (i.e. “regret”) once reversed (indicated by “over”), like so: PAST-EUR.

  1. Release relative with key in new hotel (8)

Answer: UNCLENCH (i.e. “release”). Solution is UNCLE (i.e. “relative”) followed by C (i.e. “[musical] key”) once placed between or “in” N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”) and H (“hotel” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: UNCLE-N(C)H.

  1. Reckon hotel eel pie mash awful? Local is best (6,2,5,4,4)

Answer: THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME (i.e. “local is best”). “Awful” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of RECKON HOTEL EEL PIE MASH.

  1. Ship’s rope he had succeeded getting across a river (8)

Answer: HEADSTAY (i.e. “ship’s rope” – another not listed in Chambers but covered in my Oxford). Solution is HE’D (a contraction of “he had”) and S (a recognised abbreviation of “succeeded”) wrapped around or “getting across” A and the whole then followed by TAY (i.e. “river”), like so: HE(A)’D-S-TAY.

  1. Up till now dressed in previous baby’s clothing (7)

Answer: LAYETTE (i.e. “baby’s clothing” – like ANTIPHON, this is another you often see in these things). Solution is YET (i.e. “up till now”) placed or “dressed in” LATE (i.e. “previous”), like so: LA(YET)TE.

  1. When leader’s overturned, furiously – not like this (6)

Answer: MILDLY (i.e. “furiously – not like this”). Solution is WILDLY (i.e. “furiously”) with the first letter or “leader” W flipped or “overturned” to make an M, like so: (W)ILDLY => (M)ILDLY.

Down clues

  1. Harvest area in valley (5)

Answer: GLEAN (i.e. “harvest”). Solution is A (a recognised abbreviation of “area”) placed “in” GLEN (i.e. “valley”), like so: GLE(A)N.

  1. Chap holds power over girl up in the Hebrides? (11)

Answer: ARCHIPELAGO (i.e. “the Hebrides”). Solution is ARCHIE (i.e. “chap”, basically a man’s name) wrapped around or “holding” P (a recognised abbreviation of “power”). The whole is then followed by O (a recognised abbreviation of “over” used in cricket) and GAL (i.e. “girl”) once they’ve been reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue), like so: (ARCHI(P)E)-LAG-O.

  1. Play around upper-class youngster, mostly irritably (8)

Answer: TOUCHILY (i.e. “irritably”). Solution is TOY (i.e. “play”) wrapped “around” U (a recognised abbreviation of “upper-class”) and CHILD (i.e. “youngster”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “mostly”), like so: TO(U-CHIL)Y.

  1. Foreign article about Remain (5)

Answer: ALIEN (i.e. “foreign”). Solution is AN (i.e. “article”, a word like a, an or the) wrapped “about” LIE (i.e. “remain” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), like so: A(LIE)N.

  1. Worthless exercise bar (7)

Answer: USELESS (i.e. “worthless”). Solution is USE (i.e. “exercise”) followed by LESS (i.e. “bar”, as in “everything bar the kitchen sink”).

  1. Unavoidably and as sincerely disturbed (11)

Answer: NECESSARILY (i.e. “unavoidably”). “Disturbed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of AS SINCERELY.

  1. Peninsula overthrown during sectarianism (5)

Answer: SINAI (i.e. “peninsula”). “During” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “overthrown” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: SECTAR(IANIS)M. Chalk one to my Bradford’s here. My geography ain’t all that.

  1. Grassy under tree’s shade (4,5)

Answer: LIME GREEN (i.e. “shade” or colour). Solution is GREEN (i.e. “grassy”) placed “under” – this being a down clue – LIME (i.e. “tree”).

  1. Trained horse is very good in pair (5)

Answer: PACER (i.e. “trained horse”). Solution is ACE (i.e. “very good”) placed “in” PR a recognised abbreviation of “pair”), like so: P(ACE)R.

  1. Waterproof barrier’s woven tough and denser (11)

Answer: GROUNDSHEET (i.e. “waterproof barrier”). “Woven” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TOUGH and DENSER.

  1. Growth linking Yemen’s port to most of nearby country (7)

Answer: ADENOMA (i.e. tumour-like “growth”). Solution is ADEN (i.e. “Yemen’s port”) followed by OMAN (i.e. “nearby country” to Yemen) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “most of”), like so: ADEN-OMA. Another nod to my Bradford’s.

  1. Christmas fare strange British put out (3,6)

Answer: RUM BUTTER (i.e. “Christmas fare”). Solution is RUM (i.e. “strange”) followed by B (a recognised abbreviation of “British”) and UTTER (i.e. “put out”).

  1. Bird’s very social behaviour that avoids cold (7)

Answer: VULTURE (i.e. “bird”). Solution is V (a recognised abbreviation of “very”) followed by CULTURE (i.e. “social behaviour”) once the C has been removed (indicated by “avoids cold” – C being a recognised abbreviation of “cold”), like so: V-ULTURE.

  1. Walmington-on-Sea’s finest in Minder? (4,5)

Answer: HOME FRONT (i.e. “Walmington-on-Sea’s finest” – a reference to BBC sitcom Dad’s Army). Solution is HOME (i.e. “in”) followed by GUARD (i.e. “minder” – ignore the misleading capitalisation and italics).

  1. Chick dressed in finest lingerie (8)

Answer: NESTLING (i.e. “chick”). “Dressed in” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: FI(NEST LING)ERIE.

  1. Sound work fencing position with battens in the middle (9)

Answer: QUINTETTE (i.e. “sound work” for a five-piece). Solution is QUINTE (i.e. “fencing position”) followed by TTE (i.e. “battens in the middle”, i.e. the middle letters of “baTTEns”).

  1. Meeting in study classes on a particular topic (9)

Answer: CONCOURSE (i.e. “meeting”). Solution is CON (i.e. archaic word for “study” setters love to use) followed by COURSE (i.e. “classes on a particular topic”).

  1. Engineers set up outside device for company (8)

Answer: EMPLOYER (i.e. “company”). Solution is REME (i.e. “engineers”, specifically the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) reversed (indicated by “set up” – this being a down clue) and placed “outside” of PLOY (i.e. “device”), like so: EM(PLOY)ER.

  1. One swaying and dancing dunce in Ireland (7)

Answer: INDUCER (i.e. “one swaying” opinion). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “dancing”) of DUNCE placed “in” IR (a recognised abbreviation of “Ireland”), like so: I(NDUCE)R.

  1. Dug deeper in ground without obvious extraction? (11)

Answer: UNPEDIGREED (i.e. “without obvious extraction”). “Ground” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DUG DEEPER IN.

  1. Tide came in to damage unknown marsh plant (3,8)

Answer: SEA ROSEMARY (i.e. “marsh plant”). Solution is SEA (i.e. “tide”) followed by ROSE (i.e. “came in”), then MAR (i.e. “to damage”) and Y (i.e. “unknown” – setters love referring to X, Y or Z in solutions as “unknowns”).

  1. Roe cooked with deli peas, a vegetarian product (8,3)

Answer: RAPESEED OIL (i.e. “a vegetarian product”). “Cooked” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ROE and DELI PEAS.

  1. Alfred and Penelope chasing Henry’s old money (9)

Answer: HALFPENNY (i.e. “old money”). Solution is ALF (shortened form of “Alfred”) and PENNY (ditto “Penelope”) both following or “chasing” H (a recognised abbreviation of “Henry” – a unit of measurement), like so: H-(ALF-PENNY).

  1. Mice race round for sweet food (3,5)

Answer: ICE CREAM (i.e. “sweet food”). “Round” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MICE RACE.

  1. Champion beer seen outside station (7)

Answer: APOSTLE (i.e. a promoter or “champion”). Solution is ALE (i.e. “beer”) placed “outside” of POST (i.e. “station”), like so: A(POST)LE.

  1. Fine fish in well (7)

Answer: FORFEIT (i.e. “fine”). Solution is ORFE (i.e. “fish” – another nod to my Bradford’s here) placed “in” FIT (i.e. “well”), like so: F(ORFE)IT.

  1. Stop dispensing with public relations function (5)

Answer: EVENT (i.e. “function”). Solution is PREVENT (i.e. “stop”) with the PR removed (indicated by “dispensing with public relations” – PR being a recognised abbreviation of “public relations”).

  1. Rising end of petal imitates part of flower (5)

Answer: SEPAL (i.e. “part of flower”). Solution is L (i.e. “end [letter] of petal”) and APES (i.e. “imitates”) all reversed (indicated by “rising” – this being a down clue), like so: SEPA-L.

  1. Join one female in Paris welcoming sex (5)

Answer: UNITE (i.e. “join”). Solution is UNE (i.e. “one female in Paris”, i.e. the female form of “one” in France; the masculine form being “un” – the whole masculine/feminine thing in French fries (sorry) my robot brain and was probably a large reason why I didn’t pursue the language back in the day) wrapped around or “welcoming” IT (i.e. “sex”, as in, you know, nudge, nudge, you know (whispers) doing it, tee-hee), like so: UN(IT)E.

  1. Caught part of fishing rod In net (5)

Answer: CREEL (i.e. “net” – not according to my reference books, matey, they all say creels are a kind of basket). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “caught”) followed by REEL (i.e. “part of fishing rod”).

8 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1474

  1. Hi Lucian, thanks as ever! 23a Pip Emma is an Army (possibly forces in general) term for “afternoon”. From memory I have the wonderful novelist and memoirist John Masters to thank for that pearl of otherwise useless wisdom!

    1. Awesome work, Steve. Many thanks for that. Chambers defines emma as signal speak for the letter M, but I’d never have made the leap to “meridian”. I’ve now updated the post. All the best! – LP

  2. Thanks, Lucian, clear and droll as always. It took me ages to see why the answer to 23a was Emma until I googled Pip Emma & there it was. I bet there is an old retired army type somewhere with a pair of whippets called Pip & Emma. I always fancied having a couple of dogs called Fido & Aeneas.

  3. Thanks Lucian. We didn’t find this one too challenging – which doesn’t augur well for tomorrow’s…

    I agree with you about CREEL. I’m glad it wasn’t just me who reached for the yellow card there.

    Take care, and stay safe. SB

    1. Slightly tough, not hugely enjoyable, too many anagrams. I didn’t finish this one, fell short by two. Just couldn’t see EMPLOYER and QUINTETTE. I was misled by quarte as a fencing term. I am, however, old enough to know about pip emma.
      Thanks for the parsing. I had no idea on how some of those clues worked, just knew I had the correct answer 😁
      Looking forward to giving #1a go over the next few days.

    1. I wonder whether Agatha was playing the clever one there? A M being “morning” which is “ack emma” in Army-speak. Nah, overthinking. I’ll get me coat!

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