Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1489

After last week’s puzzle went mad for people’s names, it seems this week’s effort went for a mini-theme of animals and, er, bits of animals, what with JACKDAWs, SKYLARKs and BIG CATs with their TALONs, OXTAILs and TENDERLOINs. Overall this was on the easier end of the Jumbo scale – I don’t mind that! – but at least there were a number of well-crafted clues for solvers to enjoy.

As ever you can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them useful. If a recent Jumbo has given you night sweats then you might find salvation in my Just For Fun page, where you’ll find links to solutions to 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 words and well wishes. They are always appreciated. Thanks are restored to WordPress for switching back once again to a more readable editing font. I get the feeling they’re making changes off the cuff, which isn’t exactly a good sign. That’s what test servers are for, peeps. You shouldn’t be dicking around with your production environment. (Wags finger authoratively authoritatly authoritatively…)

Anyway, till next time, stay safe, mask up, get vaccinated and keep supporting the NHS and key workers everywhere. Meanwhile, I’ll be counting down the days till the pubs open again. One year on, I’m a bit parched.


Across clues

  1. Sizable hat, roomy but not special (9)

Answer: CAPACIOUS (i.e. “sizable”). Solution is CAP (i.e. “hat”) followed by SPACIOUS (i.e. “roomy”) once the SP has been removed (indicated by “but not special” – SP being a recognised abbreviation of “special”), like so: CAP-ACIOUS.

  1. Bird’s bill knocked empty, grabbed by rabbit (7)

Answer: JACKDAW (i.e. “bird”). Solution is AC (i.e. “bill”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “account”) and KD (i.e. “knocked empty”, i.e. the word “knocked” with all its middle letters removed) both placed in or “grabbed by” JAW (i.e. to “rabbit” or talk a lot), like so: J(AC-KD)AW.

  1. Car crash driver’s ending in sudden pain (5)

Answer: PRANG (i.e. “car crash”). Solution is R (i.e. “driver’s ending”, i.e. the last letter of “driver”) placed “in” PANG (i.e. “sudden pain”), like so: P(R)ANG.

  1. Top partnership’s victory in cricket match over (7)

Answer: TWINSET (i.e. “top partnership”, being “a cardigan and jumper made more or less to match” (Chambers)). Solution is WIN (i.e. “victory”) placed “in” TEST (i.e. “cricket match”) once reversed (indicated by “over”), like so: T(WIN)SET.

  1. Deadly killer of toxin in jam (5)

Answer: NINJA (i.e. “deadly killer”). “Of” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: TOXI(N IN JA)M.

  1. How baleen may be put another way (9)

Answer: WHALEBONE. “Put another way” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HOW BALEEN. Baleen, according to Chambers, is “whalebone, horny plates growing from the palate of certain whales”. Very nicely worked.

  1. Steal from faculty division after head of profession’s function (11,12)

Answer: PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTION (i.e. a statistical “function”). Solution is ROB (i.e. “steal from”), ABILITY (i.e. “faculty”) and DISTRIBUTION (i.e. “division”) all placed “after” P (i.e. “head of professor”, i.e. the first letter of “professor”), like so: P-(ROB-ABILITY-DISTRIBUTION).

  1. Bird settled on quiet lake (6)

Answer: PLOVER (i.e. “bird”). Solution is OVER (i.e. “settled” or finished) placed “on” or after P (i.e. “quiet”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “piano” in musical lingo) and L (a recognised abbreviation of “lake”), like so: P-L-(OVER).

  1. Belt trio out in vital part of opera (8)

Answer: LIBRETTO (i.e. “vital part of opera”, technically a book of the text or words of a musical production). “Out” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of BELT TRIO.

  1. Managed a wicket after at least twelve balls (7)

Answer: OVERSAW (i.e. “managed”). Solution is A and W (a recognised abbreviation of “wicket” used in cricket) both placed “after” OVERS (i.e. “at least twelve balls” – an over in cricket comprising six regulation deliveries), like so: OVERS-A-W. Nicely done.

  1. Symbolic when he turns to his dissenting (10)

Answer: SCHISMATIC (i.e. “dissenting”). Solution is SCHEMATIC (i.e. “symbolic”) with the HE “turned into” HIS, like so: SC(HE)MATIC => SC(HIS)MATIC. Twigging this one led me to solve 8d.

  1. Tool with sharpness Henry concealed in prison (12)

Answer: SLEDGEHAMMER (i.e. “tool”). Solution is EDGE (i.e. “sharpness”) and H (a recognised abbreviation of “Henry”, a unit of measurement setters have been crutching on this last year) both “concealed in” SLAMMER (i.e. slang for “prison”), like so: SL(EDGE-H)AMMER.

  1. Set fire to church on hill (5)

Answer: TORCH (i.e. “set fire to”). Solution is CH (a recognised abbreviation of “church”) placed “on” or after TOR (i.e. “hill”), like so: TOR-CH.

  1. Air play about high-flying singer (7)

Answer: SKYLARK (i.e. “high-flying singer” or bird). Solution is SKY (i.e. “air”) followed by LARK (i.e. “play about”).

  1. Capital is destroyed when idle (3,5)

Answer: NEW DELHI (i.e. “capital” of India). “Is destroyed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of WHEN IDLE.

  1. Man’s man, perhaps, is left to drift without wife (8)

Answer: ISLANDER (i.e. “Man’s man, perhaps” – taken to mean a male inhabitant of the Isle of Man). Solution is IS followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) and WANDER (i.e. “to drift”) once the W has been removed (indicated by “without wife” – W being a recognised abbreviation of “wife), like so: IS-L-ANDER.

  1. Woman wrapped up with a cause of death? (7)

Answer: BANSHEE, a “woman” or female spirit whose shrieks are said to presage a death in the household. The clue generally riffs on this, but is also formed by SHE (i.e. that “woman”) being placed or “wrapped up” in BANE (i.e. “a cause of death”), like so: BAN(SHE)E.

  1. Belief Spanish wine is cut with ecstasy (5)

Answer: TENET (i.e. “belief”). Solution is TENT (i.e. “Spanish wine”) wrapped around or “cut with” E (street name of the drug “ecstasy”), like so: TEN(E)T.

  1. Weapon photographing by press (8,4)

Answer: SHOOTING IRON (i.e. “weapon”). Solution is SHOOTING (i.e. “photographing”) followed by IRON (i.e. to “press” clothes).

  1. Offer line round at home in dodgy district in America (10)

Answer: TENDERLOIN (i.e. “dodgy district in America”, specifically one where police corruption is rife. A new one on me, but interesting. I like it). Solution is TENDER (i.e. “offer”) followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “line”), O (i.e. “round”) and IN (i.e. “at home”).

  1. Canter wildly round course finally to go through again (2-5)

Answer: RE-ENACT (i.e. “to go through again”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “wildly”) of CANTER placed “round” E (i.e. “course finally”, i.e. the last letter of “course”), like so: RE(E)NACT.

  1. Working bakery introduces rounds for regular output (8)

Answer: YEARBOOK (i.e. “regular output”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “working”) of BAKERY wrapped around or “introducing” O and O (both “rounds”), like so: YEARB(OO)K.

  1. Orders half of paramedics to embrace training at the start (6)

Answer: EDICTS (i.e. “orders”). Solution is EDICS (i.e. latter “half of paramEDICS”) wrapped around or “embracing” T (i.e. “training at the start”, i.e. the first letter of “training”), like so: EDIC(T)S.

  1. Daily puff in secret? (10,13)

Answer: CLASSIFIED ADVERTISMENT, the kind one often finds in “daily” newspapers. Clue plays on “puff” being self-promotion or ADVERTISMENT, and CLASSIFIED being “in secret”. You get the idea.

  1. Cut? Refrain from using bars (5,4)

Answer: SPARE RIBS (i.e. “cut” of meat. Well, bone, mainly, but you know what I mean). Solution is SPARE (i.e. “refrain from using”) followed by RIBS (i.e. “bars” used to strengthen structures).

  1. Ring mother about a hotel in US city (5)

Answer: OMAHA (i.e. “US city”). Solution is O (i.e. “ring”) and MA (i.e. “mother”) wrapped “about” A and H (“hotel” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: O-M(A-H)A.

  1. Wealth from a mine in California (7)

Answer: CAPITAL (i.e. “wealth”). Solution is A and PIT (i.e. “mine”) both placed “in” CAL (a recognised abbreviation of “California”), like so: C(A-PIT)AL. Nicely done.

  1. Poet’s love interest without name (5)

Answer: DANTE Alighieri (i.e. “poet”). Solution is DATE (i.e. “love interest”) placed around or “without” N (a recognised abbreviation of “name”), like so: DA(N)TE.

  1. Polite Liberal is after general support (7)

Answer: GENTEEL (i.e. “polite”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “Liberal”) placed “after” GEN (a recognised abbreviation of “general”) and TEE (i.e. a “support” used in golf), like so: (GEN-TEE)-L.

  1. Think about record beat surrounding one (9)

Answer: ENTERTAIN (i.e. “think about”). Solution is ENTER (i.e. to “record” information) followed by TAN (i.e. to “beat”) once wrapped around or “surrounding” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: ENTER-TA(I)N.

Down clues

  1. Upset dice (3,2)

Answer: CUT UP. Solution satisfies “upset” and to “dice”.

  1. Mill’s thing for grinding? It’s what many have sought (12,5)

Answer: PHILOSOPHER’S STONE (i.e. “it’s what many have sought”, being a stone or compound said to transform other metals into gold). Solution is PHILOSOPHER’S (i.e. John Stuart “Mill’s”) followed by STONE (i.e. “thing for grinding”).

  1. Go fishing with sons in Spanish sound? (9)

Answer: CASTANETS (i.e. clickety-clackety “Spanish sound”). Solution is CAST A NET (i.e. “go fishing”) followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “sons”).

  1. Type of soup unknown in Old Testament, innards in yak milk (6)

Answer: OXTAIL (i.e. “type of soup”). Solution is X (i.e. “unknown” – setters love referring to X, Y or Z as unknowns) placed “in” OT (a recognised abbreviation of “Old Testament”) and followed by A and IL (i.e. “innards in yak milk”, i.e. the middle letters of “yak” and “milk”), like so: O(X)T-A-IL.

  1. Reforming Sybil ties in as a subject of English novel (11)

Answer: SENSIBILITY (i.e. “subject of English novel”, specifically Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility). “Reforming” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SYBIL TIES IN.

  1. Drug addict on a road where there’s little of value (8)

Answer: JUNKYARD (i.e. “where there’s little of value”). Solution is JUNKY (i.e. “drug addict” – can be spelled junkie or junky) followed by A and RD (a recognised abbreviation of “road”).

  1. Carriage central heating behaving uncontrollably (7)

Answer: CHARIOT (i.e. “carriage”). Solution is CH (a recognised abbreviation of “central heating”) followed by ARIOT (i.e. “behaving uncontrollably”).

  1. Oppressed staff study for working in unreal stately home (11)

Answer: DOWNTRODDEN (i.e. “oppressed”). Solution is DOWNTON (i.e. “unreal stately home”, a reference to TV drama Downton Abbey) with the ON (i.e. “working”) swapped “for” ROD (i.e. “staff”) and DEN (i.e. “study”), like so: DOWNT(ON) => DOWNT(ROD-DEN).

  1. Trying, we come to light embracing sacred mantra (9)

Answer: WEARISOME (i.e. “trying”). Solution is WE followed by ARISE (i.e. “come to light”) once wrapped around or “embracing” OM (i.e. “sacred mantra” of Buddhists), like so: WE-ARIS(OM)E.

  1. Right to avoid following piano piece by Chopin, perhaps (7)

Answer: PRELUDE (i.e. “piece by Chopin, perhaps” – other composers are available). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”) and ELUDE (i.e. “to avoid”) both placed after or “following” P (a recognised abbreviation of “piano”), like so: P-(R-ELUDE).

  1. Some filo I asked to be rolled in seasoned sauce (5)

Answer: AIOLI (i.e. “seasoned sauce” – essentially garlicky mayo). “Some” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “to be rolled” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: F(ILO I A)SKED.

  1. Verdant area with gardeners working (10)

Answer: GREENSWARD (i.e. “verdant area”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “working”) of GARDENERS and W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”). One I got largely thanks to being subscriber to PS Publishing’s weekly newsletter, in which owner Pete Crowther often signs off with well wishes from the greensward. Rather spooky considering I’ve just today taken receipt of my signed copy of Best New Horror 30 from the same publisher! (Cue Twilight Zone music.)

  1. It is work put up in advance (5)

Answer: POSIT (i.e. to put forward or “advance” an argument). Solution is TIS (i.e. “it is”) and OP (i.e. “work”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “opus”) all reversed (indicated by “put up” – this being a down clue), like so: PO-SIT.

  1. Performers of dreadful pathos and corny rhymes (8,9)

Answer: SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (i.e. “performers”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “dreadful”) of PATHOS and CORNY RHYMES. Nicely done.

  1. Congratulated when having lack of parking brought up (6)

Answer: RAISED (i.e. “brought up”). Solution is PRAISED (i.e. “congratulated”) once the P has been removed (indicated by “lack of parking” – P being a recognised abbreviation of “parking” used on maps and signage).

  1. Weakness left current head of state (6)

Answer: LIKING (i.e. having a fondness or “weakness” for something). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) followed by I (a recognised abbreviation of an electrical “current” used in physics) and KING (i.e. “head of state”).

  1. Advise caution right after beer (5)

Answer: ALERT (i.e. “advise caution”). Solution is RT (a recognised abbreviation of “right”, often used in titles like Rt Hon) placed “after” ALE (i.e. “beer”), like so: ALE-RT.

  1. Grass skirts from Burma, low around back initially (6)

Answer: BAMBOO (i.e. “grass”). Solution is BA (i.e. “skirts from Burma”, i.e. the first and last letters of “Burma”) followed by MOO (i.e. “low” – one of the word’s meanings is a cow’s mooing sound) once wrapped “around” B (i.e. “back initially”, i.e. the first letter of “back”), like so: BA-M(B)OO.

  1. Detect beat finally in this? (5)

Answer: HEART, upon which the clue largely riffs. The solution is HEAR (i.e. to “detect”) followed by T (i.e. “beat finally”, i.e. the last letter of “beat”).

  1. Uses little energy in remote area (6)

Answer: WIELDS (i.e. “uses”). Solution is E (a “little” (i.e. recognised abbreviation of) “energy”) placed “in” WILDS (i.e. “remote area”), like so: WI(E)LDS.

  1. Monsoon ruined anyone’s sari (5,6)

Answer: RAINY SEASON (i.e. “monsoon”). “Ruined” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ANYONE’S SARI.

  1. Steady loss putting one into red? (11)

Answer: HAEMORRHAGE. Clue plays on the solution being a sustained or “steady loss” of blood (i.e. “red”). You get the idea, but this was a sod to get.

  1. City has close to eight educational establishments (5)

Answer: TUNIS (i.e. “city” of Tunisia). Solution is T (i.e. “close to eight”, i.e. the last letter of “eight”) followed by UNIS (i.e. “educational establishments”, short for universities).

  1. Banished old vehicles coming up on off side? (10)

Answer: OSTRACISED (i.e. “banished”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) followed by CARTS (i.e. “vehicles”) once reversed (indicated by “coming up” – this being a down clue) and an anagram (indicated by “off”) of SIDE, like so: O-STRAC-ISED.

  1. Telling number forming a knot around one female (9)

Answer: NOTIFYING (i.e. “telling”). Solution is NO (a recognised abbreviation of “number”) followed by TYING (i.e. “forming a knot”) once placed “around” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and F (a recognised abbreviation of “female”), like so: NO-T(I-F)YING.

  1. Soundly studied book on pig in something like a scotch bonnet? (3,6)

Answer: RED PEPPER (i.e. “something like a scotch bonnet”). “Soundly” indicates the solution is formed of homophones of READ (i.e. “studied book”) and PEPPA (i.e. “pig”, as in kids TV show Peppa the Pig).

  1. Sailor almost in charge of everyone, primarily (5,3)

Answer: ABOVE ALL (i.e. “primarily”). Solution is AB (i.e. “sailor”, specifically one of Able-Bodied rank) followed by OVER ALL (i.e. “in charge of everyone”) once the last letter of OVER has been removed (indicated by “almost” – can’t say I was too keen on this usage, if I’ve got it right), like so: AB-(OVE-ALL).

  1. All Ulster, note, contains not a single lough grave (7)

Answer: AUSTERE (i.e. “grave”). Solution is ALL ULSTER and E (i.e. musical “note”) once all the Ls have been removed (indicated by “contains not a single lough” – lough is an Irish word for “lake”, a recognised abbreviation of which is L), like so: A(LL)-U(L)STER-E => AUSTER-E.

  1. Seafood, dab and sole – though last of cod is gone (7)

Answer: ABALONE (i.e. “seafood”). Solution is DAB and ALONE (i.e. “sole”) once the D has been removed (indicated by “though last [letter] of cod is gone”).

  1. Piece about George Cross being taken by a top killer (3,3)

Answer: BIG CAT (i.e. “top killer”). Solution is BIT (i.e. “piece”) placed “about” GC (a recognised abbreviation of “George Cross”) and A (the “being taken by” bit I’m taking to mean “place alongside”), like so: BI(GC-A)T.

  1. Locally not in favour of protecting area once more (5)

Answer: AGAIN (i.e. “once more”). Solution is AGIN (i.e. “locally not in favour”, in this case a Scots form of the word “against”) wrapped around or “protecting” A (a recognised abbreviation of “area”), like so: AG(A)IN.

  1. Volunteers half of the City’s stock (5)

Answer: TALON (i.e. “stock” – both taken to mean the remaining undealt cards in a card game. Another new one on me). Solution is TA (i.e. “volunteers”, specifically the Territorial Army) followed by LON (i.e. “half of the City”, i.e. the first half of LONdon).

UNKLE is back with a new album, and rather good it is too – If We Don’t Make It is an instant toe-tapper – but this week’s post was mostly soundtracked courtesy of Cheerzo’s enormous and really rather good Retrowave/Synthwave playlist. Lacquer your lockdown mullet, pop on your all-round shades and roll up your jacket sleeves. It’s party time. Laters! – LP

9 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1489

  1. Thank you. Pretty straightforward this week though wasn’t sure why 52d was talon so cheers for the explanation. Most obscure but I like that in a puzzle.

  2. Thanks Lucian. We too didn’t understand TALON either, so thank you for highlighting the obscure definition. We also struggled with AUSTERE, until we realised that “lough” was being used in the sense of “lake”. A bit sneaky, IMHO.

    Re your parsing of 7d, should ARIOT be A RIOT?

    1. Lough is fair enough given the reference to Ulster. Lough Neagh (think loch) is the largest lake there (and the largest freshwater lake in the UK).

  3. Thanks as ever. I couldn’t see derivation for 22ac (even having got 8d). I only got tent and talon in the sense used because of previous puzzles. My favourite clue this week was 26d – it was nicely crafted I thought.

    (Slight typo in your parsing for 16ac – you use ‘professor’ rather than ‘profession’)

  4. An enjoyable puzzle this week, let down only by 35d. My dictionary defines Haemorrhage as a sudden loss of blood, certainly not “steady”. That said, some clever clueing. I was tearing my hair out over bamboo and spare ribs!
    FWIW,Tenderloin is a district in San Francisco, well known for avoiding, especially if you’re a tourist🙂 I didn’t realise it was prevalent across the rest of the US.

  5. Thanks Lucian. I thought 4 down was a brilliant clue. I will file “tenderloin” under my learn something every day category 😁

  6. Pleasingly straightforward this week, except we thought the poet was Donne and couldn’t work out why … it’s because we were wrong!
    I liked the Peppa Pig clue, but once again flag the US-oriented clues (eg. shooting iron and Tenderloin). Oh yes, and Talon was pretty desperate – definition #25 of Stock in my dictionary! Obscure or what?

  7. Thanks as ever. Relatively straightforward but that is okay as it meant I could have a crack at The Listener, something I vowed NEVER to do before lockdown, but which sadly I have now got into!
    Talon / stock too much for me. But Red Pepper was fun. It is Peppa Pig btw not Peppa the Pig, no definite article!

  8. Fairly straightforward this week but there were some clever clues. I solved most in a reasonable time but got stuck at the end with three in the middle. My usual whisky and soda helped unclutter the brain.

    I liked 26d (bamboo) – very clever, as was 34a (banshee). And finally, I realised that this was the first time in my whole life I had ever tried to spell 35d (hemmoridge – OK, not quite exactly).

    I always refer to “she who must be obeyed” when it comes to cooking and gardening clues. I asked her (11d), “is there a sauce of some kind called Aoili?” Quick as a flash, she replied, “yes, there’s a jar in the fridge”.

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