Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1478

A medium strength puzzle this week, though you’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise looking at some of the solutions on show. A good deal of the exotics were gettable, thankfully, with some relatively straightforward clueing (and a decent thumbing of reference books). All in all, a decent one.

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 recent Jumbo has you stumped, you might find relief in my Just For Fun page, where you’ll find links to solutions for the last 100+ of these things. There’s also the usual dusty old book reviews and a story of mine.

Till next time, stay safe, stay in, turn the heating up and keep the flag flying for the NHS and key workers everywhere. If this Covid keeps up we’ll be gaffer-taping the door seals.


Across clues

  1. Abolish hotel by river where people go to eat (9)

Answer: CHOPHOUSE (i.e. “where people go to eat”). Solution is CHOP (i.e. “abolish”) followed by H (“hotel” in the phonetic alphabet) and OUSE (i.e. a “river”).

  1. Mineral from drinking goblet, not one put on back of lorry (10)

Answer: CHALCEDONY (i.e. “mineral”). Solution is CHALICE (i.e. “drinking goblet”) with the I removed (indicated by “not [Roman numeral] one”) and the remainder followed by DON (i.e. “put on”) and Y (i.e. “back of lorry”, i.e. the last letter of “lorry”), like so: CHALCE-DON-Y. One gotten mostly through the wordplay.

  1. Notorious gangster’s problem casing Yankee plant (7)

Answer: ALYSSUM (i.e. “plant”). Solution is AL’S SUM (i.e. “notorious gangster’s problem” – AL being Al Capone, and SUM being “a problem in addition, or in arithmetic generally” (Chambers)) wrapped around or “carrying” Y (“Yankee” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: AL(Y)’S-SUM.

  1. Quirky fellow ringing about money (9)

Answer: ECCENTRIC (i.e. “quirky”). Solution is ERIC (i.e. “fellow”, basically a man’s name) wrapped around or “ringing” C (i.e. “about”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “circa”) and CENT (i.e. “money”), like so: E(C-CENT)RIC.

  1. Absolutely what an author would do for listeners (5)

Answer: RIGHT (i.e. “absolutely” – both can be used to express agreement). “For listeners” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of WRITE (i.e. “what an author would do”).

  1. Bug eerie E Sussex town picked up (6-6)

Answer: CREEPY-CRAWLY (i.e. “bug”). Solution is CREEPY (i.e. “eerie”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “picked up”) of CRAWLEY (i.e. “E Sussex town”).

  1. Girl Ted clobbered with whip: it prevents stock going missing! (6-4)

Answer: CATTLE-GRID (i.e. “it prevents [live]stock going missing”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “clobbered”) of GIRL TED placed after or “with” CAT (i.e. “whip”, specifically a cat-o-nine-tails), like so: CAT-TLEGRID.

  1. Tree left by old poet in my part of London (8,6)

Answer: LOMBARDY POPLAR (i.e. “tree”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) followed by O (ditto “old”), then BARD (i.e. “poet”) once placed “in” MY. The whole is then followed by POPLAR (i.e. “part of London”), like so: L-O-M(BARD)Y-POPLAR.

  1. Absent-minded detective’s distinguishing feature (8)

Answer: DISTRAIT (i.e. “absent-minded”). Solution is DI’S (i.e. “detective’s”, specifically a Detective Inspector) followed by TRAIT (i.e. “distinguishing feature”).

  1. Powder used in hospital (Cumbrian) (6)

Answer: TALCUM (i.e. “powder”). “In” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: HOSPI(TAL CUM)BRIAN.

  1. Her music so confused some of the singers (10)

Answer: SEMICHORUS (i.e. “some of the singers”). “Confused” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HER MUSIC SO.
[EDIT – Thanks to several commenters for flagging a typo in this one. I’d written SEMICHORAL for some reason. Cheers, all! – LP]

  1. Notice girl dropping by spontaneously (2,3)

Answer: AD-LIB (i.e. “spontaneously”). Solution is AD (i.e. “notice”, i.e. a shortened form of “advertisement”) followed by LIBBY (i.e. “girl”, basically a girl’s name) once the BY has been removed (indicated by “dropping by”).

  1. Bloomin’ tailless fish! (4)

Answer: RUDD (i.e. “fish”). Solution is RUDDY (i.e. “bloomin’”, both minor oaths) with its last letter removed (indicated by “tailless”).

  1. Agreement worker associated with enchanting female group (8)

Answer: COVENANT (i.e. “agreement”). Solution is ANT (i.e. “worker”) placed after or “with” COVEN (i.e. “enchanting female group”), like so: COVEN-ANT.

  1. People engaged by board, not impossible to find (9)

Answer: TRACEABLE (i.e. “not impossible to find”). Solution is RACE (i.e. “people”) placed in or “engaged by” TABLE (i.e. “board”, the table company bigwigs sit around), like so: T(RACE)ABLE.

  1. Silver-tongued Conservative leaving badly organised public sale (9)

Answer: PLAUSIBLE (i.e. “silver-tongued”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “badly organised”) of PUBLIC SALE once the C has been removed (indicated by “Conservative leaving” – C being a recognised abbreviation of “Conservative”).

  1. Free novel initially enjoyed by fashionable young man (8)

Answer: BUCKSHEE (i.e. “free” or gratuitous). Solution is SHE (i.e. “novel” by H. Rider Haggard) and E (i.e. “initially enjoyed”, i.e. the first letter of “enjoyed”) both placed after or “by” BUCK (i.e. “fashionable young man”), like so: BUCK-SHE-E.

  1. Actors in musical with Eliot in a spin (4)

Answer: CAST (i.e. “actors”). Solution is CATS (i.e. “musical”) with the TS (i.e. “Eliot”, the poet) reversed (indicated by “in a spin”), like so: CA(TS) => CA(ST).

  1. Cricket side everyone backs, it’s plain (5)

Answer: LLANO (i.e. South American “plain”). Solution is ON (i.e. “cricket side”, sometimes called leg side) and ALL (i.e. “everyone”) all reversed (indicated by “backs”), like so: LLA-NO.

  1. Enclosure ultimately very analytic, not in papal letter (10)

Answer: ENCYCLICAL (i.e. “papal letter” sent by the Pope to all his bishops). Solution is ENC (a recognised abbreviation of “enclosure” used in formal correspondence) followed by Y (i.e. “ultimately very”, i.e. the last letter of “very”) and CLINICAL (i.e. “analytic”) with the IN removed (indicated by “not in”), like so: ENC-Y-CLICAL.

  1. Muslim official once – namely one employed by Queen (6)

Answer: VIZIER (i.e. “Muslim official once”). Solution is VIZ (i.e. “namely”, a shortened form of the Latin videlicet) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and ER (i.e. “Queen”, specifically Elizabeth Regina).

  1. Vehicles carrying lean Spanish monarchists (8)

Answer: CARLISTS (i.e. “Spanish monarchists”). Solution is CARS (i.e. “vehicles”) wrapped around or “carrying” LIST (i.e. “lean”), like so: CAR(LIST)S.

  1. S Atlantic islands transformed by Canadian with thrust (7,2,5)

Answer: TRISTAN DA CUNHA (i.e. “S Atlantic islands”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “transformed”) of CANADIAN and THRUST.

  1. Naval officer unexpectedly hid maps in entrance to mess (10)

Answer: MIDSHIPMAN (i.e. “naval officer”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “unexpectedly”) of HID MAPS IN and M (i.e. “entrance to mess”, i.e. the first letter of “mess”).
Pro tip: setters sometimes like to refer to EASY as “midshipman”, after the 1836 novel Mr Midshipman Easy by Frederick Marryat, which we have obviously all read.

  1. Singer or priest turning over unfinished sculpture (5-7)

Answer: BASSO-RELIEVO (i.e. “sculpture”, also known as a bas-relief). Solution is BASS (i.e. “singer”) followed by OR, then ELI (i.e. “priest” – a favourite wordplay of several setters) and OVER once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “unfinished”) and the remainder reversed (indicated by “turning”), like so: BASS-OR-ELI-EVO.

  1. Container brought back by soldiers for gunpowder constituent (5)

Answer: NITRE (i.e. “gunpowder constituent”). Solution is TIN (i.e. “container”) reversed (indicated by “brought back”) and followed by RE (i.e. “soldiers”, specifically the Royal Engineers of the British Army), like so: NIT-RE.

  1. Adverse info about old times dishonestly come by (3-6)

Answer: ILL-GOTTEN (i.e. “dishonestly come by”). Solution is ILL (i.e. “adverse”) followed by GEN (i.e. “info”) once wrapped “about” O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and TT (i.e. “times” – T is a recognised abbreviation of “time”, two Ts gets you “times”), like so: ILL-G(O-TT)EN.

  1. Weighty matter party goes over after all the others (7)

Answer: BALLAST (i.e. “weighty matter”). Solution is LAB (i.e. “party”, specifically a shortened form of the Labour Party) reversed (indicated by “goes over”) and followed by LAST (i.e. “after all the others”), like so: BAL-LAST.

  1. European left visitor briefly in posh quarter (10)

Answer: PORTUGUESE (i.e. “European”). Solution is PORT (i.e. “left” side of a ship) followed by GUEST (i.e. “visitor”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “briefly”) and the remainder placed between U (a recognised abbreviation of the upper class, or “posh” lot) and E (i.e. one “quarter” of a compass, being a recognised abbreviation of “east”), like so: PORT-U-(GUES)-E.

  1. Roofing requirement I’d obtain in anger (5,4)

Answer: RIDGE TILE (i.e. “roofing requirement”). Solution is I’D and GET (i.e. “obtain”) both placed “in” RILE (i.e. “anger”), like so: R(I’D-GET)ILE.

Down clues

  1. Wife leaves old Welsh county, going over English river (5)

Answer: CLYDE (i.e. “river”). Solution is CLWYD (i.e. “old Welsh county”) with the W removed (indicated by “wife leaves” – W being a recognised abbreviation of “wife”) and the remainder followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”), like so: CLYD-E.

  1. Old French art work capturing witch’s gullet (10)

Answer: OESOPHAGUS (i.e. “gullet”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) followed by ES (i.e. “French art” – we’ve seen this one recently, being the French for “are”, or “art” in ye olde times), then OPUS (i.e. “work”) once wrapped around or “capturing” HAG (i.e. “witch”), like so: O-ES-OP(HAG)US.

  1. Murderer – one detectives found in private residence (8)

Answer: HOMICIDE (i.e. “murderer” – can refer to the criminal as well as the crime). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and CID (i.e. “detectives”, specifically the Criminal Investigation Department) both placed “in” HOME (i.e. “private residence”), like so: HOM(I-CID)E.

  1. Schedule mainly involves this group of Muslim scholars (5)

Answer: ULEMA (i.e. “group of Muslim scholars”). “Involves” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: SCHED(ULE MA)INLY.

  1. Oil producers having typical ground south of Brussels (9)

Answer: EUCALYPTI (i.e. “oil producers”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “ground”) of TYPICAL placed after or “south of” – this being a down clue – EU (i.e. “Brussels”, seat of the European Union), like so: EU-CALYPTI.

  1. Attorney leaves Commonwealth country for scene of marriage feast (4)

Answer: CANA (i.e. “scene of marriage feast” at which Jesus was said to have turned water into wine). Solution is CANADA (i.e. “Commonwealth country”) with the DA removed (indicated by “attorney leaves” – DA being a District Attorney).

  1. Abroad securing Irish transport route (6)

Answer: AIRWAY (i.e. “transport route”). Solution is AWAY (i.e. “abroad”) wrapped around or “securing” IR (a recognised abbreviation of “Irish”), like so: A(IR)WAY.

  1. Publican aid’s creating agitation in Manhattan? (8,6)

Answer: COCKTAIL SHAKER (i.e. “publican’s aid”). Clue plays on Manhattan being a cocktail. You get the idea.

  1. Extremely weird new retreat oddly, a Cumbrian lake (12)

Answer: DERWENTWATER (i.e. “a Cumbrian lake”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “oddly”) of WD (i.e. “extremely weird”, i.e. the first and last letters of “weird”) and NEW RETREAT.

  1. Rise of first-class fellow in W African republic (7)

Answer: NIGERIA (i.e. “W African republic”). Solution is AI (i.e. “first-class”, i.e. A1 with I representing the 1 – a favourite play of several setters) followed by REG (i.e. “fellow”, basically a man’s name) and IN, all reversed (indicated by “rise of” – this being a down clue), like so: NI-GER-IA.

  1. Electronic device a local court deployed, missing nothing (10)

Answer: CALCULATOR (i.e. “electronic device”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “deployed”) of A LOCAL COURT once one of the Os has been removed (indicated by “missing nothing”).

  1. Returning, amend story about book constituting navigational aid (4,5)

Answer: TIDE TABLE (i.e. “navigational aid”). Solution is EDIT (i.e. “amend”) reversed (indicated by “returning”) and followed by TALE (i.e. “story”) once wrapped “about” B (a recognised abbreviation of “book”), like so: TIDE-TA(B)LE.

  1. Pitiful way to get quote set up! (8)

Answer: PATHETIC (i.e. “pitiful”). Solution is PATH (i.e. “way”) followed by CITE (i.e. “quote”) reversed (indicated by “set up” – this being a down clue), like so: PATH-ETIC.

  1. Genial sounding, taking small drink before a production (9)

Answer: MELODRAMA (i.e. “production”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “sounding”) of MELLOW (i.e. “genial”) followed by DRAM (i.e. “small drink”) and A, like so: MELO-DRAM-A.

  1. First choice when low-value coins secure advert (10)

Answer: PREFERENCE (i.e. “first choice”). Solution is PENCE (i.e. “low value coins”) wrapped around or “securing” REFER (i.e. “advert” – a variant meaning of the word, from the Latin advertere), like so: P(REFER)ENCE.

  1. Capital invested at first in unruly kid’s discharge (10)

Answer: BRATISLAVA (i.e. “capital” of Slovakia). Solution is I (i.e. “invested at first”, i.e. the first letter of “invested”) placed “in” BRAT’S (i.e. “unruly kid’s”) and followed by LAVA (i.e. volcanic “discharge”), like so: BRAT(I)’S-LAVA.

  1. Politician, Republican, heretic – one looking after books (9)

Answer: LIBRARIAN (i.e. “one looking after books”). Solution is LIB (i.e. “politician”, specifically a shortened form of Liberal) followed by R (ditto “Republican”) and ARIAN (i.e. “heretic”, specifically a follower of Arius who believed Christ was not the son of God but the first and highest of mortals).

  1. Drink putting an end to string player’s technique (6-8)

Answer: DOUBLE-STOPPING (i.e. “string player’s technique” – a recent repeat). Solution is DOUBLE (i.e. a measure of “drink”) followed by STOPPING (i.e. “putting an end to”).

  1. A pound bill (or more, ultimately) for fish (8)

Answer: ALBACORE (i.e. “fish”). Solution is A followed by LB (a recognised abbreviation of “pound” weight, after the Latin libra), then AC (i.e. “bill”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “account”), then OR and E (i.e. “more, ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “more”).

  1. Disbelief as regarding one’s Queen visiting shelter (12)

Answer: ASTONISHMENT (i.e. “disbelief”). Solution is AS followed by ON (i.e. “regarding”), I’S (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one’s”) and HM (i.e. “Queen”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of Her Majesty) once all placed in or “visiting” TENT (i.e. “shelter”), like so: AS-T(ON-I’S-HM)ENT.

  1. Law enforcer’s plan of action endlessly upset celebrity (9)

Answer: POLICEMAN (i.e. “law enforcer”). Solution is POLICY (i.e. “plan of action”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “endlessly”) and the remainder followed by NAME (i.e. “celebrity”) once reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue), like so: POLIC-EMAN.

  1. Tat a rector recycled, making sculpture perhaps (10)

Answer: TERRACOTTA (i.e. “sculpture perhaps”). “Recycled” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TAT A RECTOR.

  1. Cull a flower, so to speak – it adds zest to the course (10)

Answer: PICCALILLI (i.e. “it adds zest to the course” or meal. Well, it would if it wasn’t always the jar left unopened from a Christmas hamper). “So to speak” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of PICK A LILY (i.e. “cull a flower” – to cull is to select or “pick” out for destruction).

  1. Fellow required in Bury right away (9)

Answer: INSTANTER (i.e. “right away” in legalese). Solution is STAN (i.e. “fellow”, basically a man’s name) placed “in” INTER (i.e. “bury” – ignore the misleading capitalisation), like so: IN(STAN)TER.

  1. Clever, accepting woman as deserving love (8)

Answer: ADORABLE (i.e. “deserving love”). Solution is ABLE (i.e. “clever”) wrapped around or “accepting” DORA (i.e. “woman” – a lot of people’s names in this one, isn’t there?), like so: A(DORA)BLE.

  1. Delivered books primarily telling of 18th-cent masquerade (7)

Answer: RIDOTTO (i.e. “18th-cent masquerade”). Solution is RID (i.e. “delivered”) followed by OT (i.e. “books”, specifically the Old Testament of The Bible) and TO (i.e. “primarily telling of”, i.e. the first letters of “telling” and “of”). One gotten from a combination of the wordplay and a decent thumbing of my Bradford’s and Chambers.

  1. Scottish magistrate, that is, propping up cricketers’ bar? (6)

Answer: BAILIE (i.e. “Scottish magistrate”). Solution is IE (i.e. “that is”, i.e. …um… “i.e.”!) placed after or “propping up” – this being a down clue – BAIL (i.e. a “cricketers’ bar” that sits atop the stumps), like so: BAIL-IE.

  1. Academics upset about conclusion of priestly council (5)

Answer: SYNOD (i.e. “council”). Solution is DONS (i.e. “academics”) reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue) and wrapped “about” Y (i.e. “conclusion of priestly”, i.e. the last letter of “priestly”), like so: S(Y)NOD.

  1. Delete Times editorial for a start (5)

Answer: ERASE (i.e. “delete”). Solution is ERAS (i.e. “times” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) followed by E (i.e. “editorial for a start”, i.e. the first letter of “editorial”).

  1. Sleep lightly, being nearly twelve (4)

Answer: DOZE (i.e. “sleep lightly”). Solution is DOZEN (i.e. “twelve”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “nearly”).

Musical accompaniment was had, what with there being no proper sport with it being FA Cup weekend. If dystopian sci-fi synthwave sounds like your thing, give Dan Terminus a whirl. Or don’t. I’m not your boss. Not yet, anyway. (Stifles villainous laughter.) – LP

12 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1478

  1. Thanks. Always a pleasure to read your post after the Jumbo. Thought today’s a bit a stroll. Ho hum. Liked 8 down & the use of ‘agitation in Manhattan.’ Other than that, a bit yawn-inducing. Cheers!

    1. Move along please, nothing to see here. Much preferred last week’s effort. This was very pedestrian. I feel I have to take issue with 1 down. Clwyd is definitely not an old Welsh county. On the contrary, it’s very recent, created in 1976.
      Stay safe and keep your distance. We’ll pull through yet.

  2. Thanks Lucian. We finished this but we weren’t impressed overall. Rather too many subtraction clues, and also a higher-than-average proportion of ones involving proper nouns – both types are very unsatisfactory because they’re pretty well impossible to solve from first principles.

    Regarding 1d, isn’t CLWYD a current Welsh county, rather than an old one?

  3. 16across As a resident of creepy Crawley, I feel I must point out that the clue is misleading since we are a WEST Sussex town!

    1. Having grown up in East Sussex I agree. Can’t help thinking clue should have been “Bug – eerie E Sussex town lost” to show the E being removed from Crawley.

  4. Thanks, Lucian. We finished this one fairly quickly, but we weren’t impressed. Far too many subtraction clues, and a higher-than-average proportion of “man/woman” clues (indicating that the answer includes a name) – and in once case (AD-LIB) a very convoluted combination of the two!

    I also take issue with CLWYD being described as an old Welsh county. Yellow card, setter.

    (I’m commenting via my Blogger account this time, because for some reason my WP comments don’t show up.)

    Take care, and stay safe. SB

    1. I suppose because it was abolished again in1996 ( just checked) but I agree with you it is not very ‘old’ and word could have been omitted,

    2. Apologies, Sue, it looks like WordPress’s spam folder swallowed your previous comments to this one. It’s weird, given you are a fellow WordPresser, but it does have form on this if I recall correctly. I’ll mark one such comment as ‘not spam’ and with luck that will do do the trick for future. Keep well – LP.

  5. Thanks for another enjoyable application of prudence to my habit of rushing at things. This time it was an inexplicable tangle with 25a “semichorus”, although in your blog you have a typo with “semichoral” which makes me feel a bit better.

  6. Crossword solutions are almost pointless to me without the logic of an explanation. That is why I enjoy checking your post when I have a crisis of confidence. Thank you. However, I note that JT 1478, 25 ac. is shown as semichoral, in fact it is semichorus, which I’m sure you know. Pesky predictive text?

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