Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1487

An easier time of it this week, thankfully! Another decent puzzle too, perhaps save for one clue that irked me. You might spot which one further on. (Looks away, whistling.)

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 jiggered, then head on over to my Just For Fun page where you’ll find links to solutions for the last 100+ of these things. Meanwhile there’s the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks once more for the kind comments. They are much appreciated. Thanks also to whoever at WordPress decided to change the editing font from some tiny serif creation to something much easier to read. Now if only someone can help me consistently strike the right keys on this laptop. This 2,500 word post has felt more like 10,000!

Till next time, stay safe, mask up, get vaccinated and let’s look forward to all this Covid rubbish getting knocked on the head. In the meantime, keep supporting the NHS and key workers everywhere.


Across clues

  1. Store form of isotope in desert (10)

Answer: DEPOSITORY (i.e. “store”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “form of”) of ISOTOPE placed “in” DRY (i.e. “desert”, both descriptive of a lack of moisture), like so: D(EPOSITO)RY.

  1. Some knitting order a pain (6,6)

Answer: GARTER STITCH (i.e. “some knitting”). Solution is GARTER (the highest “order” of knighthood) followed by STITCH (i.e. “a pain” sometimes felt during exercise).

  1. As one man is on, two union leaders off (9)

Answer: UNANIMOUS (i.e. “as one”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “is off”) of MAN IS ON, U and U (i.e. “two union leaders”, U being the first letter of “union”).

  1. Pull away from wife and sleep (5)

Answer: WREST (i.e. “pull away”). Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “wife”) followed by REST (i.e. “sleep”).

  1. Country cutting an American test (7)

Answer: AUSTRIA (i.e. “country”). Solution is A US TRIAL (i.e. “an American test”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “cutting”).

  1. Corrupt lot parliament, pure down-and-outs (6,11)

Answer: LUMPEN PROLETARIAT (i.e. “down-and-outs”). “Corrupt” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of LOT PARLIAMENT PURE. Nicely worked.

  1. Cause of ferment, Irish poet turning tail (5)

Answer: YEAST (i.e. “cause of ferment”). Solution is William Butler YEATS (i.e. “Irish poet”) with its last two letters swapped (indicated by “turning tail”), like so: YEA(TS) => YEA(ST).

  1. Does loveless couple give up hope? (7)

Answer: DESPAIR (i.e. “give up hope”). Solution is DOES with the O removed (indicated by “loveless” – “love” being a zero score in tennis) and the remainder followed by PAIR (i.e. “couple”), like so: DES-PAIR.

  1. Inside scrapheap hid some bugs (6)

Answer: APHIDS (i.e. “bugs”). “Inside” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: SCRAPHE(AP HID S)OME.

  1. Taking hour to go in, hospital department has one seat (8)

Answer: ENTHRONE (i.e. to “seat” someone). Solution is HR (a recognised abbreviation of “hour”) “going in” between ENT (i.e. “hospital department”, specifically Ear Nose and Throat) and ONE, like so: ENT-(HR)-ONE.

  1. In brief, run is for trainer (7)

Answer: TRELLIS (i.e. “trainer” for plants). Solution is TELL (i.e. to “brief” someone) with R (a recognised abbreviation of “run” used in a number of ball games) placed “in” it, and then followed by IS, like so: T(R)ELL-IS.

  1. Sign drenched clothes most worn out (8)

Answer: WEARIEST (i.e. “most worn out”). Solution is ARIES (i.e. “sign” of the zodiac) placed in or “clothed” by WET (i.e. “drenched”), like so: WE(ARIES)T.

  1. Son isn’t wearing any trousers (6)

Answer: SLACKS (i.e. “trousers”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”) followed by LACKS (i.e. “isn’t wearing any”).

  1. What a stone being catapulted is, for sure (4,3,4)

Answer: HARD AND FAST. Solution satisfies “what a stone being catapulted is” and “sure”.

  1. Not in Italy, a flying race (11)

Answer: NATIONALITY (i.e. “race”). “Flying” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of NOT IN ITALY A.

  1. A row I stomach, concealing bit of a pout for one always (2,9)

Answer: AD INFINITUM (i.e. “always”). Solution is A, DIN (i.e. “row”), I and TUM (i.e. “stomach”) all wrapped around or “concealing” FIN (i.e. “bit of a pout” – a pout is a fish of the cod family), like so: A-DIN-(FIN)-I-TUM.

  1. Sporting event turning live, though somewhat on the periphery (3,4,4)

Answer: THE BOAT RACE (i.e. “sporting event”). Solution is BE (i.e. to “live”) reversed (indicated by “turning”) and placed in or having “on the periphery” THO (a poetic contraction of “though”) and A TRACE (i.e. “somewhat”), like so: TH(EB)O-A-TRACE.

  1. Improvement finished, go (6)

Answer: UPTURN (i.e. “improvement”). Solution is UP (i.e. “finished”) followed by TURN (i.e. a “go”).

  1. In middle of bodega, is kitchen fixture perhaps cut off? (8)

Answer: DISUNITE (i.e. to “cut off”). Solution is DE (i.e. “middle [letters] of bodega”) wrapped around or having “in” IS and UNIT (i.e. “kitchen fixture”), like so: D(IS-UNIT)E.

  1. Pertinent European programme’s back (7)

Answer: GERMANE (i.e. “pertinent”). Solution is GERMAN (i.e. “European”) followed by E (i.e. “programme’s back”, i.e. the last letter of “programme”).

  1. Charm shown by boxer’s attendant after end of bout (8)

Answer: TALISMAN (i.e. “charm”). Solution is ALI’S MAN (i.e. “boxer’s attendant” – the boxer in question being Muhammad ALI) placed “after” T (i.e. “end [letter] of bout”), like so: T-(ALI’S-MAN).

  1. Swindle involving right number of racehorses, for example? (6)

Answer: STRING (i.e. a drove or “number of racehorses, for example”). Solution is STING (i.e. “swindle”) wrapped around or “involving” R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”), like so: ST(R)ING.

  1. A boy embracing me in front of a Spanish promenade (7)

Answer: ALAMEDA (i.e. “Spanish promenade”). Solution is A and LAD (i.e. “boy”) wrapped around or “embracing” ME, and then the whole then placed “in front of” A, like so: A-LA(ME)D-A.

  1. Gripping last of rocks, anchor found resting place (5)

Answer: ROOST (i.e. “resting place”). Solution is ROOT (i.e. “anchor”) wrapped around or “gripping” S (i.e. “last [letter] of rocks”), like so: ROO(S)T.

  1. Proving inconsistent, like sirocco and mistral? (7,3,3,4)

Answer: BLOWING HOT AND COLD (i.e. “proving inconsistent”). Clue plays on siroccos and mistrals being hot and cold winds respectively.

  1. Clump of vegetation seen, jumbo part circling island to the west (7)

Answer: TUSSOCK (i.e. “clump of vegetation”). Solution is TUSK (i.e. “jumbo part”, i.e. body part of an elephant) wrapped around or “circling” COS (i.e. a Greek “island”) once reversed (indicated by “to the west” – this being an across clue), like so: TUS(SOC)K.

  1. Papers etc dismissing knight from holy city (5)

Answer: MEDIA (i.e. “papers etc”). Solution is MEDINA (i.e. “holy city” in Saudi Arabia) with the N removed (indicated by “dismissing knight” – N being a recognised abbreviation of “knight” used in chess).

  1. Honest work out to protect ailing housing estate, initially (9)

Answer: GUILELESS (i.e. “honest”). Solution is GUESS (i.e. “work out” – no, in a word. I sincerely hope the setter doesn’t work in a profession upon which lives depend if they honestly believe guesswork equates to working something out. Scary if they do…) wrapped around or “protecting” ILL (i.e. “ailing”) once it has itself been wrapped around or “housing” E (i.e. “estate, initially”, i.e. the first letter of “estate”), like so: GU(IL(E)L)ESS.

  1. Pad, something soft for carpeting (8,4)

Answer: DRESSING DOWN (i.e. “carpeting” or what-I-just-did-above-in-53a). Solution is DRESSING (i.e. medical “pad”) followed by DOWN (i.e. “something soft”).

  1. Alleges car has crashed into comprehensive (5-5)

Answer: LARGE-SCALE (i.e. “comprehensive”). “Has crashed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ALLEGES CAR.

Down clues

  1. Nonsense – boast of bigamist? (6,5)

Answer: DOUBLE DUTCH (i.e. “nonsense”). Clue plays on “dutch” being cockney rhyming slang for “wife”, supposedly after the Duchess of Fife – we had this last week’s puzzle too, and how bigamists get hitched to more than one person.

  1. Hand in part penning second song (5)

Answer: PSALM (i.e. “song”). Solution is PALM (i.e. “hand in part”, or part of the hand) wrapped around or “penning” S (a recognised abbreviation of “second”), like so: P(S)ALM.

  1. Over everyone, small earwigs and beetles primarily creep (9)

Answer: SLIMEBALL (i.e. “creep”). Solution is SLIM (i.e. “small”) and E and B (i.e. “earwigs and beetles primarily”, i.e. the first letters of “earwigs” and “beetles”) placed “over” – this being a down clue – ALL (i.e. “everyone”), like so: (SLIM-EB)-ALL.

  1. Soldier drunk, other ranks caught up (7)

Answer: TROOPER (i.e. “soldier”). Solution is OR (a recognised abbreviation of “other ranks” of the British Army) reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue) and placed in or “caught by” TOPER (i.e. a “drunk”), like so: T(RO)OPER.

  1. Rash having two drinks, don’t start the second (7)

Answer: ROSEOLA (i.e. “rash”). Solution is ROSE and COLA (i.e. “two drinks”) with the first letter of COLA removed (indicated by “don’t start the second”). Chalk one to my Bradford’s here.

  1. A law on mummification finally accepted by Roman ruler, not head of ancient Egypt (11)

Answer: ALEXANDRIAN (i.e. “of ancient Egypt”). Solution is A followed by LEX (i.e. “law” in Latin) and N (i.e. “mummification finally”, i.e. the last letter of “mummification”) once placed in or “accepted by” HADRIAN (i.e. “Roman ruler”) once the first letter has been removed (indicated by “not head”), like so: A-LEX-A(N)DRIAN.

  1. Rubbish match for a Scottish vegetable (6)

Answer: TATTIE (i.e. “Scottish vegetable”, i.e. Scots word for a potato). Solution is TAT (i.e. “rubbish”) followed by TIE (i.e. “match”).

  1. Call to keep oven hot (8)

Answer: ROASTING (i.e. “hot”). Solution is RING (i.e. to “call”) wrapped around or “keeping” OAST (i.e. a kiln or “oven” used to dry hops), like so: R(OAST)ING.

  1. Putting it mildly, a Trappist’s remit? (2,3,3,5)

Answer: TO SAY THE LEAST. Solution satisfies “putting it mildly” and “a Trappist’s remit” – Trappist monks being known for keeping vows of silence.

  1. Devastating thing having ruined a trick (7)

Answer: TORNADO (i.e. “devastating thing”). Solution is TORN (i.e. “ruined”) followed by A and DO (i.e. “trick”, as in to con someone).

  1. Sumo like this is so without mercy (11)

Answer: HEARTLESSLY (i.e. “without mercy”). The first half of the clue cryptically plays on how one takes the middle letters or HEART of “sumo” to get “so”.

  1. Honey in soft centre? (10)

Answer: SWEETHEART (i.e. “honey”, both terms of endearment). Solution is SWEET (i.e. “soft”, as in fancying someone) followed by HEART (i.e. “centre”).

  1. Strong flavour merits pan being given a stir (9)

Answer: SPEARMINT (i.e. “strong flavour”). “Given a stir” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MERITS PAN. Nicely worked.

  1. Soft of a perch right to feed baby (2,2,4)

Answer: AS IT WERE (i.e. “sort of”). Solution is A followed by SIT (i.e. to “perch”) and WEE (i.e. “baby”) once wrapped around or “fed” by R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”), like so: A-SIT-WE(R)E.

  1. Track I’d sing out of tune (6)

Answer: SIDING (i.e. “track”). “Out of tune” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of I’D SING.

  1. Success securing wire to become less convincing (4,4)

Answer: WEAR THIN (i.e. “become less convincing”). Solution is WIN (i.e. “success”) wrapped around or “securing” EARTH (i.e. “wire” in an electrical flex), like so: W(EARTH)IN.

  1. Face piece, knowing pottery (9)

Answer: CHINAWARE (i.e. “pottery”). Solution is CHIN (i.e. “face piece”) followed by AWARE (i.e. “knowing”).

  1. With unlimited food comes yen for tea (6)

Answer: OOLONG (i.e. “tea”). Solution is OO (i.e. “unlimited food”, i.e. the word “food” with its first and last letters removed) followed by LONG (i.e. “yen” or yearning). One I recalled from a previous puzzle, if I’m honest.

  1. Acknowledging limitations, this train’s last stop? (2,3,2,2,4)

Answer: AS FAR AS IT GOES. Solution satisfies “acknowledging limitations” and “this train’s last stop”.

  1. Post-watershed screening time ultimately spoiled (11)

Answer: ADULTERATED (i.e. “spoiled”). Solution is ADULT-RATED (i.e. “post-watershed” telly) wrapped around or “screening” E (i.e. “time ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “time”), like so: ADULT-(E)-RATED.

  1. Netting second of goals, Man United playing with spirit (8,3)

Answer: MOUNTAIN DEW (i.e. “spirit”, specifically an informal name given to illicitly distilled whisky (thanks, Chambers)). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “playing”) of MAN UNITED wrapped around or “netting” O (i.e. “second [letter] of goals”) and the whole then followed by W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”), like so: M(O)UNTAINDE-W. Nicely worked.

  1. Train a girl until fluent in three languages (10)

Answer: TRILINGUAL (i.e. “fluent in three languages”). “Train” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of A GIRL UNTIL.

  1. Drennan’s country remedies all rubbished (7,4)

Answer: EMERALD ISLE (i.e. poet William “Drennan’s country”). “Rubbished” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of REMEDIES ALL.

  1. Again look at article penned by communist outfit (9)

Answer: READDRESS (i.e. “again look at”). Solution is A (i.e. “article”, i.e. a word like a, an or the) placed in or “penned by” RED (i.e. “communist”) and followed by DRESS (i.e. “outfit”), like so: RE(A)D-DRESS.

  1. Family of essayist warmer? (8)

Answer: LAMBSKIN (i.e. “warmer”). When written as Charles LAMB’S KIN the solution also satisfies “family of essayist”. Yeah, me neither (pat’s Bradford’s).

  1. Forget to secure permit before European check (4-3)

Answer: LOOK-SEE (i.e. “check”). Solution is LOSE (i.e. “forget”) wrapped around or “securing” OK (i.e. to “permit”) and then followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”), like so: LO(OK)SE-E.

  1. Country girl on my mind in old song (7)

Answer: GEORGIA. Solution satisfies “country” and “girl on my mind in old song”, a reference to Georgia On My Mind, most famously recorded by Ray Charles.

  1. A life protecting mother, sublime (7)

Answer: AMAZING (i.e. “sublime”). Solution is A and ZING (i.e. “life”, as in pzazz, zip, that kind of thing) wrapped around or “protecting” MA (i.e. “mother”), like so: A-(MA)-ZING.

  1. Overlooking sea, private room appeared (6)

Answer: LOOMED (i.e. “appeared”). Solution is LOO (i.e. “private room”) placed before or “overlooking” – this being a down clue – MED (i.e. “sea”, specifically the Mediterranean).

  1. Last of twenty-four, nothing major (5)

Answer: OMEGA (i.e. “last of twenty-four”, a reference to the number of letters in the Greek alphabet). Solution is O (i.e. “nothing”) followed by MEGA (i.e. “major”).

With Everything Everything dropping new music this week I thought I’d try once more to get into their last album, RE-ANIMATOR. It’s still a not-quite from me, but it gave me a good reason to revisit their back catalogue. Pick any of their first four albums and you’ll be in for a treat. Here’s the track that got me into them. And, yes, it’s well weird! – LP

10 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1487

  1. Thanks Lucian. Some pretty dubious definitions here, I think. I agree with you about GUESS (53a), which is definitely not the same as “work out” – quite the opposite, in fact. And in my book, AS IT WERE (23d) does not equate to “sort of”.

    We weren’t too impressed with 26a and 26d both starting with the same four letters, either. It looked a bit like laziness on the part of the setter.

    Take care, and stay safe. SB

  2. Thank you Lucian (as ever) for your prompt and clear explanations. We found it easier this week, but no less enjoyable, especially with some fun clues – the sort where it seems obvious when you finally work it out, but not before!

    We got Talisman without fully understanding … now I see your explanation, you might hear a groan of recognition. Nice one!

    Thanks again.

  3. A lot easier than last week’s with some nicely worked clues. I can’t think of anything else to say, really, apart from saying thank you for the parsing. AUSTRIA especially 😁

  4. Thanks, Lucian. I agree that this week’s was an easier ride than the last one though there were some good clues. I particularly liked 12d ‘Heartlessly’ for ‘sumo like this is so’. Also of note is that we had an anagram of Man United for the second week in a row which led me to believe that it was from the same setter although maybe not as it was a far simpler puzzle.
    Re 53a ‘Guileless’, the Americans use the verb ‘guess’ to mean suppose or conclude something to be the case, which, although not quite the same as ‘work out’, is a little more than our meaning of ‘complete stab in the dark’. Maybe I’m being too charitable to the setter.
    Cheers & thanks again.

  5. Thanks Lucian.
    Middling this week. Not as hard as last week.
    A knowledge of the Pogue’s Fairytale of New York helped with 34d.

    ‘And then he sang a song, The Rare Old Mountain Dew,
    I turned my face away,
    And dreamed about you…’


  6. Thanks Lucian. A decent puzzle for me with enough challenge. Glad you explained 12d though – I hadn’t spotted what you saw ie heartless sUMo. Well done and thank you. Graham

  7. Thanks, everyone. It’s much appreciated. I never noticed 26a/d started the same! I did think it was curious how we got a Man United anagram two weeks in a row, though. Maybe this is the new thing among setters, like when we had a string of shapes appearing in grids. Finally, I never twigged ‘mountain dew’ in Fairytale… I really ought to start looking up the lyrics to the songs I like. 😀 Keep well, all! – LP

    1. Who was the crossword setter who once created a complete grid without the letter “e” in any of the answers? He always regretted that no-one who solved it had noticed.

  8. Thanks again, a better one for me than last week. It would have helped me greatly had I not got hung up on Department for 1a. Doh!

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