Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1492

A tougher challenge this week, not helped by this being 1) a working weekend for this internet nobody, and 2) a weekend in which this internet nobody’s brain has been stuck in second gear. The two could be related. In all this was another good ‘un with some nicely worked clues to enjoy. Maybe they’re keeping the stinker for the May bank holiday…

As ever 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 done for you then you might find solace in my Just For Fun page, where I’ve curated links to solutions for the last 100+ of these things. Also, there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks again for the kind comments, folks. It’s always interesting to hear how other solvers fared. Till next time, stay safe, mask up, get vaccinated and keep supporting the NHS and key workers everywhere.


Across clues

  1. Opening stairs for approach to higher regions? (11)

Answer: SPACEFLIGHT (i.e. “approach to higher regions”). Solution is SPACE (i.e. “opening”) followed by FLIGHT (i.e. “stairs”).

  1. Proof bar has brought in learner, one that’s overworked (6,5)

Answer: GALLEY SLAVE (i.e. “one that’s overworked”). Solution is GALLEY (i.e. a “proof” of a book created prior to full publication) followed by SAVE (i.e. “bar”, both taken to mean “except”) once wrapped around or having “brought in” L (a recognised abbreviation of “learner”), like so: GALLEY-S(L)AVE.

  1. Distribute vote to oust leader (5)

Answer: ALLOT (i.e. “distribute”). Solution is BALLOT (i.e. “vote”) with its initial letter removed (indicated by “to oust leader”).

  1. Appear in front and pressure soldiers to surrender (7)

Answer: PRECEDE (i.e. “appear in front”). Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “pressure”) followed by RE (i.e. “soldiers”, specifically the Royal Engineers of the British Army) and CEDE (i.e. “to surrender”).

  1. Scented substance good in Morning Fruit (not ultimate in perfume) (9)

Answer: AMBERGRIS (i.e. “scented substance”). Solution is G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) placed “in” AM (i.e. “morning”) and BERRIES (i.e. “fruit”) once its second E has been removed (indicated by “not ultimate in perfume”, i.e. the last letter of “perfume”), like so: AM-BER(G)RIS.

  1. Knight, beset by flies in sun resolved to take armour off (9)

Answer: UNHARNESS (i.e. “to take armour off”). Solution is N (a recognised abbreviation of “knight” used in chess) placed in or “beset by” HARES (i.e. “flies”, as in to race about) which is itself placed “in” an anagram (indicated by “resolved”) of SUN, like so: UN(HAR(N)ES)S.

  1. Radical not right about husband? It’s misleading information (3,7)

Answer: RED HERRING (i.e. “misleading information”). Solution is RED (i.e. “radical” or socialist) and ERRING (i.e. “not right”) both wrapped “about” H (a recognised abbreviation of “husband”), like so: RED-(H)-ERRING.

  1. Fibres a touch hard in place for horses (7)

Answer: TOWPATH (i.e. “place for horses”). Solution is TOW (i.e. “fibres”) followed by PAT (i.e. “a touch”) and H (a recognised abbreviation of “hard” used in grading pencils).

  1. Pasta dish, note, involved in US city story (7)

Answer: LASAGNA (i.e. “pasta dish”). Solution is N (a recognised abbreviation of “note”) placed in LA (i.e. “US city”, specifically Los Angeles) and SAGA (i.e. “story”), like so: LA-SAG(N)A.

  1. Beer conceals when one’s missing exams (1,6)

Answer: A LEVELS (i.e. “exams”). Solution is ALE (i.e. “beer”) followed by VEILS (i.e. “conceals”) once the I has been removed (indicated by “when [Roman numeral] one’s missing”), like so: ALE-VELS.

25. Regret backing drug element (8)

Answer: EUROPIUM (i.e. chemical “element”). Solution is RUE (i.e. “regret”) reversed (indicated by “backing”) and followed by OPIUM (i.e. “drug”), like so: EUR-OPIUM.
[EDIT: Thanks to jegc2014 for flagging that I’d missed this one from the original post. Much obliged! – LP]

  1. Watch, taking in the fielder beginning to play game (4,3,7)

Answer: HUNT THE SLIPPER (i.e. a hiding “game” popular in Victorian times in which participants form a circle around a finder and pass among themselves a small item such as a slipper with the aim of not being caught holding it – you had to make your own entertainment back then). Solution is HUNTER (i.e. “watch” – chalk one to my Bradford’s here as I wouldn’t have made the connection) wrapped around or “taking in” THE and SLIP (i.e. a “fielder” in cricket), like so: HUNT(THE-SLIP)ER.
[EDIT: Thanks to Sid in the comments for the typo fix. I’d written HIDE THE… rather than HUNT THE… Cheers, Sid! – LP]

  1. Newspaper etc omitting indefinite number in statistical quantity (5)

Answer: MEDIA (i.e. “newspaper etc”). Solution is MEDIAN (i.e. “statistical quantity”, being the middle value of a set of numbers when placed in ascending order) with the N removed (indicated by “omitting indefinite number”).

  1. Magician? Not the real article (6)

Answer: SHAMAN (i.e. “magician”). Solution is SHAM (i.e. “not the real”) followed by AN (i.e. “article”, i.e. a word like a, an or the).

  1. That chap, not very serious in promotions, beams (10)

Answer: HEADLIGHTS (i.e. “beams”). Solution is HE (i.e. “that chap”) followed by LIGHT (i.e. “not very serious”) once placed “in” ADS (i.e. “promotions”, i.e. a shortened form of “advertisements”), like so: HE-AD(LIGHT)S.

  1. Flower child about to snooze, faced with boring event (10)

Answer: SNAPDRAGON (i.e. “flower”). Solution is SON (i.e. “child”) wrapped “about” NAP (i.e. “to snooze”) and DRAG (i.e. “boring event”), like so: S(NAP-DRAG)ON.

  1. Female underwear in small? That shows intelligence (6)

Answer: BRAINS (i.e. “intelligence”). Solution is BRA (i.e. “female underwear”) followed by IN and S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”).

  1. Bill loves what’s prohibited (5)

Answer: TABOO (i.e. “what’s prohibited”). Solution is TAB (i.e. “bill” or account) followed by O and O (i.e. “loves”, i.e. zero scores in tennis).

  1. Scientist with a small prize, thus first (14)

Answer: ASTROPHYSICIST (i.e. “scientist”). Solution is A followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”), then TROPHY (i.e. “prize”), then SIC (i.e. “thus”) and IST (i.e. “first”, with the 1 written as a Roman numeral I).

  1. Warrior pre-empts responding when securing upland (8)

Answer: ACHILLES (i.e. “warrior” of Greek legend). Solution is ACES (i.e. “pre-empts responding”, i.e. serving without return in tennis) wrapped around or “securing” HILL (i.e. “upland”), like so: AC(HILL)ES.

  1. Composer dismissing a writer from Italy and a painter from further East (2,5)

Answer: EL GRECO (i.e. “a painter from further East”, relative to Italy – he was of Greek origin, hence the nickname). Solution is Edward ELGAR (i.e. “composer”) with the A removed (indicated by “dismissing a”) and the remainder followed by Umberto ECO (i.e. “writer from Italy”), like so: ELGR-ECO.

  1. Rest admit following Schubert song? (3-4)

Answer: LIE-DOWN (i.e. “rest”). Solution is OWN (i.e. “admit” responsibility) placed after or “following” LIED (i.e. Franz “Schubert song” – a lied is “a German lyric or song” (Chambers)), like so: LIED-OWN.

  1. Seaweed to move round avoiding old holiday region (7)

Answer: ALGARVE (i.e. “holiday region”). Solution is ALGA (i.e. “seaweed”) followed by ROVE (i.e. “to move round”) once its O has been removed (indicated by “avoiding old” – O being a recognised abbreviation of “old”), like so: ALGA-RVE.

  1. Parliamentarian say is restricted by claptrap everyone recalled (10)

Answer: LEGISLATOR (i.e. “parliamentarian”). Solution is EG (i.e. “say”, or for example) and IS both placed in or “restricted by” ROT (i.e. “claptrap”) and ALL (i.e. “everyone”) once these have been reversed (indicated by “recalled”), like so: L(EG-IS)LA-TOR.

  1. Embarrassingly rude about line after deliveries disallowed (9)

Answer: OVERRULED (i.e. “disallowed”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “embarrassingly”) of RUDE placed “about” L (a recognised abbreviation of “line”). This is then preceded by or placed “after” OVER (six regulation “deliveries” in cricket), like so: OVER-RU(L)ED.

  1. Chords? Urge to follow piano in endless song (9)

Answer: ARPEGGIOS (i.e. “chords”). Solution is EGG (i.e. to “urge” on) placed after or “following” P (a recognised abbreviation of “piano” in musical lingo). These are then placed “in” ARIOSO (i.e. “song”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “endless”), like so: AR(P-EGG)IOS.

  1. No odd elements in party invite? Go (7)

Answer: ATTEMPT (i.e. a “go”). Solution is AT (i.e. “no odd elements in party”, i.e. every other letter of PARTY) followed by TEMPT (i.e. “invite”).

  1. Foreign letter about popular zoo animal (5)

Answer: RHINO (i.e. “zoo animal”). Solution is RHO (i.e. “foreign letter”, specifically the seventeenth letter of the Greek alphabet) wrapped “about” IN (i.e. “popular”), like so: RH(IN)O.

  1. Unethical behaviour: shaky camera clip capturing it at last (11)

Answer: MALPRACTICE (i.e. “unethical behaviour”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “shaky”) of CAMERA CLIP wrapped around or “capturing” T (i.e. “it at last”, i.e. the last letter of “it”), like so: MALPRAC(T)ICE.

  1. Romantic atmosphere may be charming around lake (11)

Answer: CANDLELIGHT (i.e. “romantic atmosphere”). Solution is CAN DELIGHT (i.e. “may be charming”) wrapped “around” L (a recognised abbreviation of “lake”), like so: CAN-D(L)ELIGHT.

Down clues

  1. Ends in the Government blocking law award? (9)

Answer: STATUETTE (i.e. “award”). Solution is E and T (i.e. “ends in the Government”, i.e. the last letters of “the” and “Government”) both placed in or “blocking” STATUTE (i.e. “law”), like so: STATU(E-T)TE.

  1. Indication we’ll have to act when boarding coach after everyone (3,3,6,1,5)

Answer: ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE, a line from William Shakespeare’s As You Like It. Haven’t touched Shakespeare since school and I’m very happy to keep it that way. Clue plays on “coach” and “stage” having similar meanings. After that, I’ll leave it to the luvvies.

  1. Penetrate the heart of America, not the top (5)

Answer: ENTER (i.e. “penetrate”). Solution is CENTER (i.e. “the heart of America”, i.e. how the US spells “centre”) once its initial letter has been removed (indicated by “not the top”).

  1. Irish figures reel as punch is thrown (11)

Answer: LEPRECHAUNS (i.e. “Irish figures”). “Is thrown” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of REEL AS PUNCH.

  1. Old King freely exhibiting unctuousness? (8)

Answer: GREASILY (i.e. “exhibiting unctuousness”). Solution is GR (i.e. “old King”, specifically Georgius Rex) followed by EASILY (i.e. “freely”).

  1. Author remains confused, having missed a statement from Pope (2,3,2,5)

Answer: TO ERR IS HUMAN (i.e. “statement from [Alexander] Pope”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “confused”) of AUTHOR REMAINS once one of the As has been removed (indicated by “having missed a”).

  1. Guzzler decided to avoid opening variable bottle (6,4)

Answer: GREEDY GUTS (i.e. “guzzler”). Solution is AGREED (i.e. “decided”) once its first letter has been removed (indicated by “to avoid opening”) followed by Y (i.e. “variable” – setters love referring to X, Y or Z in solutions as unknowns or variables), then GUTS (i.e. “bottle” or bravery).

  1. Permission to take off (5)

Answer: LEAVE. Solution satisfies “permission” and “to take off”.

  1. Nasty beard smears will make you self-conscious (11)

Answer: EMBARRASSED (i.e. “self-conscious”). “Nasty” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of BEARD SMEARS.

  1. African ecosystem re-created as green site (9)

Answer: SERENGETI (i.e. “African ecosystem”). “Re-created” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of AS GREEN SITE.

  1. Enjoying the atmosphere? That’s risky in part of London (4)

Answer: AIRY, as in something jaunty and enjoyable. Clue also plays on AIR being another word for “atmosphere”, and finally in how all ‘em cockneys “in part of London” are always droppin’ their bleedin’ aitches, innit, guvnor, as in ‘ow they’d say HAIRY (i.e. “risky”).

  1. What makes bone bony? Simple (4)

Answer: EASY (i.e. “simple”). When written as E AS Y the solution also satisfies “what makes bone bony”, as in how one would replace the E with Y to get from “bone” to “bony”.

  1. Choose not to stop dance held by the wealthy below tower (4,3,4,7)

Answer: KEEP THE BALL ROLLING (i.e. “choose not to stop”). Solution is BALL (i.e. “dance”) placed in or “held by” THE and ROLLING (i.e. “wealthy”, as in rolling in it). These are then placed after or “below” – this being a down clue – KEEP (i.e. “tower”), like so: KEEP-(THE-(BALL)-ROLLING).

  1. European journalists tucking into very good coffee (8)

Answer: ESPRESSO (i.e. “coffee”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”) followed by PRESS (i.e. “journalists”) once placed in or “tucked into” SO (i.e. “very good”), like so: E-S(PRESS)O.

  1. Acclaim of the French: a record by old man climbing (7)

Answer: APPLAUD (i.e. “acclaim”). Solution is DU (i.e. “of the French”, i.e. the French for “of”) followed by A, then LP (i.e. a long-play “record” – ask your parents, kids) and PA (i.e. “old man” or father). These are all then reversed (indicated by “climbing” – this being a down clue), like so: AP-PL-A-UD.

  1. Sporting new hat, allowed in college at the outset (8)

Answer: ATHLETIC (i.e. “sporting”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “new”) of HAT followed by LET (i.e. “allowed”), then I and C (i.e. “in college at the outset”, i.e. the first letters of “in” and “college”), like so: ATH-LET-I-C.

  1. Caught taking turn on large fairground attraction (8)

Answer: CAROUSEL (i.e. “fairground attraction”). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “caught” used in a number of ball games) followed by AROUSE (i.e. “turn on” – wahey!) and L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”).

  1. Arab capital leading to upturn in the French grape variety (8)

Answer: MUSCATEL (i.e. “grape variety”). Solution is MUSCAT (i.e. “Arab capital”, specifically the capital city of Oman) followed by LE (i.e. “the French”, i.e. the masculine form of “the” in French) once this latter has been reversed (indicated by “upturn” – this being a down clue), like so: MUSCAT-EL.

  1. Suggesting shifting hotel? It’s a popular idea (2-5)

Answer: IN-THING (i.e. “popular idea”). Solution is HINTING (i.e. “suggesting”) with the H (“hotel” in the phonetic alphabet) “shifting” to the middle, like so: (H)INTING => INT(H)ING.

  1. Mostly boring of philosopher to receive tons of privileged people (12)

Answer: ARISTOCRATIC (i.e. “of privileged people”). Solution is ARID (i.e. “boring” with its last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and followed by SOCRATIC (i.e. “of philosopher”, specifically Socrates) once wrapped around or “receiving” T (a recognised abbreviation of “tons”), like so: ARI-S(T)OCRATIC.

  1. One will turn on radio chap is altering (11)

Answer: APHRODISIAC (i.e. “one will turn on” – phew, steady on setter! (Eases collar)). “Altering” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of RADIO CHAP IS.

  1. A Catholic when uplifted will get crazy about religious rite (11)

Answer: SACRAMENTAL (i.e. “about religious rite”). Solution is A, RC (i.e. “Catholic”, specifically of the Roman Catholic persuasion) and AS (i.e. “when”) all reversed (indicated by “uplifted” – this being a down clue) and followed by MENTAL (i.e. “crazy”), like so: (SA-CR-A)-MENTAL.

  1. Stress a lot of US cash is involved in move (10)

Answer: ACCENTUATE (i.e. “stress”). Solution is CENT (i.e. “US cash”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “a lot of”) and the remainder placed “in” ACTUATE (i.e. “move”), like so: AC(CEN)TUATE.

  1. Too keen with regard to monarch? About time! (9)

Answer: OVEREAGER (i.e. “too keen”). Solution is OVER (i.e. “with regard to”) followed by ER (i.e. “monarch”, specifically Elizabeth Regina) once wrapped “about” AGE (i.e. “time”), like so: OVER-E(AGE)R.

  1. What may be ending in drop to seabed after accident? (9)

Answer: SPEEDBOAT. Solution is an anagram (indicated by “after accident”) of TO SEABED once wrapped around or having “in” P (i.e. “ending in drop”, i.e. the last letter of “drop”), like so: S(P)EEDBOAT. In context of the clue, a speedboat accident could indeed see it drop to the seabed. Nicely worked.

  1. A Parisian officer leading Frenchmen forward and out of the way (8)

Answer: UNCOMMON (i.e. “out of the way”). Solution is UN (i.e. “a Parisian”, i.e. the masculine form of “a” in French) followed by CO (i.e. “officer”, specifically a Commanding Officer), then M and M (i.e. “Frenchmen” – the recognised abbreviation of “monsieur” is M), then ON (i.e. “forward”).

  1. Girl, going to capital of India, finding a drink there (5)

Answer: LASSI (i.e. “a drink there [in India]”). Solution is LASS (i.e. “girl”) followed by I (i.e. “capital [letter] of India”).

  1. Artist breaking 60% of laws of the country (5)

Answer: RURAL (i.e. “of the country”). Solution is RA (i.e. “artist”, specifically a Royal Academician) placed in or “breaking” RULES (i.e. “laws”) once the last two letters have been removed (indicated by “60% of…” – RULES being five letters long), like so: RU(RA)L.

  1. Prize money initially given to friend… (4)

Answer: PALM (i.e. “prize” – Chambers offers this: “emblematically, pre-eminence, the prize”). Solution is M (i.e. “money initially”, i.e. the initial letter of “money”) placed after or “given to” PAL (i.e. “friend”), like so: PAL-M.

  1. …after old gem (4)

Answer: OPAL (i.e. “gem”). The ellipsis indicates a connection with the previous clue. The previous clue ends in “friend” or PAL. This is carried over into this clue and placed “after” O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”), like so: O-PAL.

Not much musical accompaniment was had this weekend, though it was notable that London Grammar have dropped another track from their upcoming album. America is a fine listen which led me to revisit their debut album If You Wait. Seven years on it still sounds great and features this spine-tingling (and Novello-winning) wonder. – LP

10 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1492

  1. Thanks Lucian. I enjoyed this fair puzzle, featuring for me the holy trinity of a clue with beer, with cricket and one with some lefties. Didn’t like 2down so much. Although I pieced it together, Indication we’ll have to act seemed a bit weak. Ho hum. All the best – Graham

  2. Thanks Lucian. We figured 32d must be ARISTOCRATIC but couldn’t work out why. It didn’t help that we were convinced the philosopher was Aristotle.

    We weren’t very impressed by the setter using the exact same element twice in quick succession (27d and 34d). It smacks of laziness, IMHO.

    Take care, and stay safe. SB

  3. Got a bit bogged down bottom right until I cracked SPEEDBOAT, after which everything else fell into place. Another reasonable puzzle, I thought. Although I tend to bosh my answers in I’m never certain on some until I read your parsing, so ta once again.

  4. If they were all like this we wouldn’t have much to complain about – but I expect we’d manage somehow.
    Congratulations on your parsing of “aristocratic”, passed me by entirely.
    Thermals are in the airing cupboard, ready for the pub tomorrow, then 2nd jab on Thursday. Big week!
    Lucian, thanks for your valued efforts, they are so much appreciated. Keep Well.

  5. Thank you. Thorough as always! Pretty straightforward puzzle this week. Just one tiny , waffer-thin observation; 22a ‘lasagna’. Lasagna is a singular sheet of pasta , I think, so is the dish not ‘Lasagne’ (plural)? Chianti is your man whether it’s lasagna or lasagne.

  6. Thanks as ever Lucian, not just for your parsing, but also for pointing me towards “London Grammar”.
    This week I particulary enjoyed the setter’s visualisation. Clues like 1, 4 and 10 down (to take just three) all paint a credible picture – where others might have settled for formulaic word-plays.
    Loving your tiny, wafer-thin sheet of pasta, Chris – but if you had several of these, should they not become ‘paste’ which is not in any English language dictionary with that meaning? I think the Italians lost the battle for the purity of their plurals when salame became salami across the entire English-speaking world. Agree with you of course about the Chianti (but no disrespect to Pinot Grigio, Nebbiolo, and a few other great Italians…)

  7. Finished this one in record time (I don’t usually start until Sunday or Monday) and with no little help from my newly-acquired Bradford’s — an aid of which I was unaware until I started reading Lucian’s posts. So thank you on two counts, Lucian. As always, some of the parsing eluded me, even if I knew the answer was correct. Please keep it up for the more challenged among us!

    1. I also bought a Bradford’s as Lucian mentioned it. I hope he gets a commission. I prefer my Chambers Crossword Dictionary though both for layout and contents .

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