Ugh. Working weekends sucks arse. (My entry in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations right there.)
Another medium strength offering this week, and a decent one if you forgive the number of recent repeats that were slotted in the grid. Shame I’m not in a forgiving mood…
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 my Just For Fun page of some use, hosting links to solutions for the last 100+ of these things. There are also the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.
Thanks once more for the kind words and comments, folks. It’s always interesting to read how you all got on with the Jumbo, and I’m loving how my weird music tastes are finding appreciative ears! (Still no big band music yet though, Sid. Sorry!)
Till next time, stay safe, mask up, get your 5G shot and continue flying the flag for the NHS and key workers everywhere.
- Kid arrested by inspector put away for attack (8)
Answer: DIATRIBE (i.e. “attack”). Solution is RIB (i.e. to “kid” someone) placed in or “arrested by” DI (i.e. “inspector”, specifically a Detective Inspector) and ATE (i.e. “put away”), like so: DI-AT(RIB)E.
- Flower pot almost useless (6)
Answer: CROCUS (i.e. “flower”). Solution is CROCK (i.e. “pot”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “almost”) and the remainder followed by US (i.e. “useless” – Chambers doesn’t want to know, but Oxford allows it), like so: CROC-US.
- Leads astray spies holding foreign nobleman (7)
Answer: SEDUCES (i.e. “leads astray”). Solution is SEES (i.e. “spies”) wrapped around or “holding” DUC (i.e. “foreign nobleman”, specifically a French one), like so: SE(DUC)ES.
- Internal strain some might say brings carelessness (11)
Answer: INATTENTION (i.e. “carelessness”). “Some might say” indicates the solution comprises homophones of INNER (i.e. “internal”) and TENSION (i.e. “strain”).
- In which all the sides get to score? (11)
Answer: ICOSAHEDRON, a twenty-“sided” figure. Clue plays on a “score” being twenty.
- Live as daughter – prosperously (5)
Answer: DWELL (i.e. “live”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”) followed by WELL (i.e. “prosperously”).
- Approachable female appears in a moral tale (7)
Answer: AFFABLE (i.e. “approachable”). Solution is F (a recognised abbreviation of “female”) placed “in” A and FABLE (i.e. “moral tale”), like so: A-(F)-FABLE.
- Dignitary having to praise horse in speech (4,5)
Answer: LORD MAYOR (i.e. “dignitary”). Solution is LORD (i.e. “to praise”) followed by a homophone (indicated by “in speech”) of MARE (i.e. “horse”).
[EDIT – thanks to Mark in the comments for nailing this one. The solution is all homophones, not just the latter half. LORD is a homophone of LAUD (i.e. “to praise”). Cheers, Mark! – LP]
- Last words of mine in each quiet hour (7)
Answer: EPITAPH (i.e. “last words”). Solution is PIT (i.e. “mine”) placed “in” EA (a recognised abbreviation of “each”), P (ditto “quiet”, specifically “piano” in musical lingo) and H (ditto “hour”), like so: E(PIT)A-P-H.
- One among nine soldiers rating rebel in gambling haunt (9,6)
Answer: AMUSEMENT ARCADE (i.e. “gambling haunt”). Solution is A MUSE (i.e. “one among nine”) followed by MEN (i.e. “soldiers”), then TAR (i.e. “rating” – another one Chambers doesn’t cover, but my Oxford suggests a rating could be a non-commissioned sailor in the navy; sailors also get nicknamed tars) then John CADE (i.e. Irish “rebel” back in the 15th century).
- Main source of energy and power: runner holding record (5,5)
Answer: PRIME MOVER (i.e. “main source of energy”). Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “power”) followed by RIVER (i.e. “runner”, as in how rivers run) once wrapped around or “holding” MEMO (i.e. “record”), like so: P-RI(MEMO)VER.
- Chuffed having ended argument amicably (4,2)
Answer: MADE UP. Solution satisfies “chuffed” and “having ended argument amicably”.
- Brute, tiresome person in conversation (4)
Answer: BOOR (i.e. “brute”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “in conversation”) of BORE (i.e. “tiresome person”).
- Having been around to hotel – nothing in order (4,2,3,5)
Answer: LONG IN THE TOOTH (i.e. “having been around”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “in order”) of TO HOTEL NOTHING.
- Radiant discharge associated with constellation losing alpha star (8)
Answer: ARCTURUS (i.e. “star”). Solution is ARC (i.e. “radiant discharge” of electricity) followed by TAURUS (i.e. “constellation”) once the A has been removed or “lost” (“alpha” being A in the phonetic alphabet), like so: ARC-TURUS.
- What students may wear as provided in university rules (8)
Answer: UNIFORMS (i.e. “what students may wear”). Solution is UNI (short for “university”) and FORMS (i.e. “rules”).
- Getting on train for Winchester, perhaps? (8,6)
Answer: BOARDING SCHOOL (i.e. “Winchester, perhaps”, specifically Winchester College, established over 600 years ago. Mine is timeless, having been demolished a few years ago. I win!) Solution is BOARDING (i.e. “getting on”) and SCHOOL (i.e. to “train”).
- What precedes foxtrot in the choreography (4)
Answer: ECHO (i.e. “what precedes foxtrot” in the phonetic alphabet). “In” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: TH(E CHO)REOGRAPHY.
- What in time controlled capital (6)
Answer: TEHRAN (i.e. “capital” of Iran). Solution is EH (i.e. “what”, as in eh? what? pardon?) placed “in” between T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) and RAN (i.e. “controlled”), like so: T-(EH)-RAN.
- Be creative using black cats and dogs? (10)
Answer: BRAINSTORM (i.e. “be creative”). Solution is B (a recognised abbreviation of “black” used in chess) followed by RAINSTORM (i.e. “cats and dogs”).
- Book’s first note: wretched mortal flees war (1,8,2,4)
Answer: A FAREWELL TO ARMS (i.e. a “book” by Ernest Hemingway). Solution is A (i.e. “first [musical] note”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “wretched”) of MORTAL FLEES WAR.
- Those taking marks off in schools for example? (7)
Answer: ERASERS. Clue riffs on how erasers remove pencil “marks” from paper, and are most often used in “schools”. That’s about it, unless I’m missing something desperately clever.
- Overly emotional behaviour where mad racist thrown out (9)
Answer: DRAMATICS (i.e. “overly emotional behaviour”). “Thrown out” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MAD RACIST.
- Excellent guy from east must take minute in shops (7)
Answer: EMPORIA (i.e. “shops”). Solution is AI (i.e. “excellent”, i.e. A1 with the 1 replaced by its Roman numeral equivalent) and ROPE (i.e. “guy”) both reversed (indicated by “from east” – this being an across clue) and wrapped around or “taking…in” M (a recognised abbreviation of “minute”), like so: E(M)POR-IA.
- Trouble associated with graduate’s blind faith? (5)
Answer: DOGMA (i.e. “blind faith”). Solution is DOG (i.e. to “trouble”) followed by MA (i.e. “graduate”, specifically a Master of Arts).
- Doctor Tom Potter is an eye specialist (11)
Answer: OPTOMETRIST (i.e. “eye specialist”). “Doctor” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TOM POTTER IS.
- Italian leader having run-in with Croat moved political border (4,7)
Answer: IRON CURTAIN (i.e. “political border”). Solution is I (i.e. “Italian leader”, i.e. the first letter of “Italian”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “moved”) of RUN-IN and CROAT, like so: I-RONCURTAIN.
- Disorder casts monarch into endless peril (7)
Answer: DERANGE (i.e. to “disorder”). Solution is ER (i.e. “monarch”, specifically Elizabeth Regina) placed “into” DANGER (i.e. “peril”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “endless”), like so: D(ER)ANGE.
- What’s yet to come from Stevenson? (4,2)
Answer: EVEN SO (i.e. “what’s yet to come”, as in how these words are an indicator that someone has more to say). “From” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: ST(EVEN-SO)N.
- Gatecrasher one less polite entertaining conservationists (8)
Answer: INTRUDER (i.e. “gatecrasher”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and RUDER (i.e. “one less polite”) wrapped around or “entertaining” NT (i.e. “conservationists”, specifically the National Trust), like so: I-(NT)-RUDER.
- Snake left in den after cutting tail off (7)
Answer: DWINDLE (i.e. “tail off”). Solution is WIND (i.e. to “snake” or meander) and L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) both placed “in” DEN once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “after cutting tail off”), like so: D(WIND-L)E.
- Scholar develops a manic idea with maximum speed (11)
Answer: ACADEMICIAN (i.e. “scholar”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “develops”) of A MANIC IDEA and C (i.e. “maximum speed” – in physics C is taken as the speed of light).
- Retired boxer who refused to fight at Penge finally hit back (9)
Answer: RETALIATE (i.e. “hit back”). Solution is RET (a recognised abbreviation of “retired”) followed by Muhammad ALI (i.e. “boxer who refused to fight” in the Vietnam war), then AT and E (i.e. “Penge finally”, i.e. the last letter of “Penge”).
- Where you may find content in dictionary despicable (7,8)
Answer: BENEATH CONTEMPT (i.e. “despicable”). Clue plays on how one would find the word “content” listed after or “beneath ‘contempt'” in a dictionary. I rather liked this one.
- Urban wheels revealed? (8)
Answer: RUNABOUT (i.e. “urban wheels”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “wheels”) of URBAN followed by OUT (i.e. “revealed”). Another I rather liked.
- Product perhaps unique to Asian light industry? (7,7)
Answer: CHINESE LANTERN. Pretty straight forward, unless I’m missing something clever.
- Taken on in the case that communist imports ecstasy (10)
Answer: SHOULDERED (i.e. “taken on”). Solution is SHOULD (i.e. “in the case that”) and RED (i.e. “communist”) wrapped around or “importing” E (street name for the drug “ecstasy”), like so: SHOULD-(E)-RED.
- Haar coming from south-east a worry (3,4)
Answer: SEA FRET (i.e. “haar”). Solution is SE (a recognised abbreviation of “south-east”) followed by A and FRET (i.e. “worry”).
- Fantasise about barricade put round (5)
Answer: DREAM (i.e. “fantasise”). Solution is RE (i.e. “about” – think email replies) with DAM (i.e. “barricade”) “put round” it, like so: D(RE)AM.
- Suck up taste of vindaloo left abandoned (5,6)
Answer: CURRY FAVOUR (i.e. “suck up”). Solution is CURRY FLAVOUR (i.e. “taste of vindaloo”) with the L removed (indicated by “left” abandoned – L being a recognised abbreviation of “left”).
- Penny added to endless small items – like raisins? (3-5)
Answer: SUN-DRIED (i.e. “like raisins”). Solution is SUNDRIES (i.e. “small items”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “endless”) and a D “added” (being a recognised abbreviation of a pre-decimalisation “penny”, after the Latin denarius), like so: SUNDRIE-D.
- Inflexible leader lost argument (4)
Answer: TIFF (i.e. “argument”). Solution is STIFF (i.e. “inflexible”) after the initial letter or “leader” has been removed or “lost”.
- Everything peripheral to First Lady needed for test (1,5)
Answer: A LEVEL (i.e. “test”). Solution is ALL (i.e. “everything”) wrapped around or “peripheral to” EVE (i.e. “first lady”, according to The Bible), like so: AL(EVE)L. A recent repeat, which is very much on-brand for these Jumbos, sadly.
- Old boy in tight trio constant, like mechanical man? (7)
Answer: ROBOTIC (i.e. “like mechanical man”, for example the Marconi GridFill 4000TM, which for years has worked tirelessly to slot the same solutions into Times crossword grids over and over again). Solution is OB (a recognised abbreviation of “old boy”) placed in an anagram (indicated by “tight” or drunk) of TRIO and followed by C (a recognised abbreviation of “constant”), like so: R(OB)OTI-C.
- Stop going in either direction (4,2)
Answer: PULL UP (i.e. “stop”). “In either direction” indicates the solution is a palindrome.
- Replacing of erne that’s taken out faster bird of prey (9,6)
Answer: PEREGRINE FALCON (i.e. “bird of prey”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “that’s taken out”) of REPLACING OF ERNE. “Faster” seems redundant in this clue. Maybe the setter attends some annual erne vs peregrine falcon race we’re all missing out on.
- Cripes! Trouble with root vegetable amongst cabbage? Possible culprit (8,6)
Answer: COLORADO BEETLE, a pest or “possible culprit” for “trouble with root vegetable”. Solution is… why bother? I literally had this from the ‘T’ without any parsing. Having done a couple of these things now, I’ve a pretty good sense of when the Marconi GridFill 4000TM has shat out another repeated solution. This one only appeared a fortnight ago. You could get the solution by going back two pages in the paper. For goodness sake, setters, if you’re going to crutch on Griddy every sodding week, at least apply an update to him every now and again. This is getting embarrassing. Solution is LOR (i.e. “cripes”), ADO (i.e. “trouble”) and BEET (i.e. “root vegetable”) placed “amongst” COLE (i.e. “cabbage”), like so: CO(LOR-ADO-BEET)LE.
- Shelter Yankee in a squalid neighbourhood (6)
Answer: ASYLUM (i.e. “shelter”). Solution is Y (“Yankee” in the phonetic alphabet) placed “in” A and SLUM (i.e. “squalid neighbourhood”), like so: A-S(Y)LUM.
- I really put the sauce away in elementary form (7)
Answer: ISOTOPE (i.e. “elementary form”). When written as I SO TOPE the solution also satisfies “I really put the sauce away” – a toper is another word for a drunk.
- Asian runner, fierce cruel person, is losing energy (6)
Answer: TIGRIS (i.e. “Asian runner” or river). Solution is TIGER (i.e. “fierce cruel person”) and IS once the E of TIGER has been removed (indicated by “is losing energy” – E being a recognised abbreviation of “energy”), like so: TIGR-IS.
- Somehow certain to engage cleaner as appropriate (2,9)
Answer: IN CHARACTER (i.e. “appropriate”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “somehow”) of CERTAIN wrapped around or “engaging” CHAR (i.e. a daily or “cleaner”), like so: IN(CHAR)ACTER.
- Wary about dangerous switching (2,4,5)
Answer: ON ONE’S GUARD (i.e. “wary”). Solution is ON (i.e. “about”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “switching”) of DANGEROUS.
- Greek character first in queue sees barbarian (10)
Answer: PHILISTINE (i.e. “barbarian”). Solution is PHI (i.e. “Greek character”, specifically the twenty-first letter of the Greek alphabet) followed by IST (i.e. “first”, with the 1 replaced by its Roman numeral equivalent) once placed “in” LINE (i.e. “queue”), like so: PHI-L(IST)INE.
- Whose words may lead to action? (9)
Answer: SLANDERER. Solution plays on “action” being another word for legal proceedings that may arise from, say, a slanderer’s words.
- Letter also featured in comical write-up (8)
Answer: LANDLORD (i.e. “letter”). Solution is AND (i.e. “also”) placed or “featured in” DROLL (i.e. “comical”) when “written up” or reversed – this being a down clue – like so: L(AND)LORD.
- Attempts made to contain old boozer in cups (8)
Answer: TROPHIES (i.e. “cups”). Solution is TRIES (i.e. “attempts”) wrapped around or “containing” O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and PH (ditto Public House or “pub”), like so: TR(O-PH)IES.
- Message left in European skiing area (7)
Answer: EPISTLE (i.e. “message”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) placed “in” E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”) and PISTE (i.e. “skiing area”), like so: E-PIST(L)E.
- Tool causing catastrophe in works? (7)
Answer: SPANNER. Clue riffs on the phrase “throwing a spanner in the works”, as in causing “catastrophe”.
- Management notice time is short (5)
Answer: ADMIN (i.e. “management”). Solution is AD (i.e. “notice”, short for advertisement) followed by MIN (i.e. “time”, specifically a “shortened” form of minute).
- Iodine in decay gives dazzling display (4)
Answer: RIOT (i.e. “dazzling display”). Solution is I (chemical symbol of “iodine”) placed “in” ROT (i.e. “decay”), like so: R(I)OT.
I was sorely tempted to listen to Krokus’s Metal Rendez-Vous album after solving 5a (it was on the stereo a lot back when I was a nipper), but that wouldn’t be in keeping with my hip and happening image, hep cats. So I listened instead to Fury Weekend’s latest album Signals. Yes, more synthwave, but this album mixes things up by going heavy on vocal collaborations. Some of them work (including a surprisingly decent Ozzy Osbourne cover), while others are a bit cringe. The highlight is the brilliantly uber-macho instrumental In The Speed Of Light.
Oh, and I’m totally lying. Metal Rendez-Vous is playing as I type this. It’s awesome. Laters, – LP