Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1510

A medium strength offering this week with a few nicely worked clues. Not much I can add, really, though it was nice to find RAPSCALLION in the grid. Here’s hoping we’ll see some scallywags, perishers and jackanapes in future puzzles.

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 you jiggered, then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions for the last 150+ of these things. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks once more for the kind words and help. It’s always interesting to hear the thoughts and alternative takes from other solvers once their pens are stilled. Till next time, stay safe and keep the flag flying for the NHS and key workers everywhere.


Across clues

  1. Fruit producer’s problem with cooling system (5)

Answer: SUMAC (i.e. “fruit producer”). Solution is SUM (i.e. an arithmetic “problem”) followed by AC (i.e. “cooling system”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “air conditioning”).

  1. What cricketer did, bagging half century, is strove (7)

Answer: BATTLED (i.e. “strove”). Solution is BATTED (i.e. “what cricketer did”) wrapped around or “bagging” L (i.e. “half century”, specifically the Roman numeral for 50, L), like so: BATT(L)ED.

  1. Subject oneself to debts free of interest (9)

Answer: INCURIOUS (i.e. “free of interest”). Solution is INCUR (i.e. “subject oneself to”) followed by IOUS (i.e. “debts”). Nicely worked.

  1. Pit in grounds not ultimately a watering hole (9)

Answer: ESTAMINET (i.e. “watering hole”, a small bar or café, from the French). Solution is MINE (i.e. “pit”) placed “in” ESTATE (i.e. “grounds”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “not ultimately”), like so: ESTA(MINE)T. A new one on me, gotten mostly from the wordplay and a shufti in my Bradford’s.

  1. Not a chime of gold, but one’s highly decorated (5,8)

Answer: NOBEL LAUREATE (i.e. “one’s highly decorated”). Solution is NO BELL (i.e. “not a chime”) followed by AUREATE (i.e. gilded or “of gold”).

  1. Inspire to show clothes very well (7)

Answer: PROVOKE (i.e. “inspire”). Solution is PROVE (i.e. “to show”) wrapped around or “clothing” OK (i.e. “very well”, both taken as expressions of reluctant assent), like so: PROV(OK)E.

  1. A team mate around the Central Line? (7)

Answer: AXIALLY (i.e. “around the central line”). Solution is A followed by XI (i.e. football “team”, i.e. Roman numerals for eleven) and ALLY (i.e. “mate”).

  1. Fishing boat, one with sharp point crossing river (7)

Answer: DRAGGER (i.e. “fishing boat” – though not one explicitly acknowledged in any of my reference books. A definition for “drag” is a net that is pulled through the water, so you could extend from there, but this seems to be more of a North American term. Can’t say I’m keen). Solution is DAGGER (i.e. “one with sharp point”) wrapped around or “crossing” R (a recognised abbreviation of “river”), like so: D(R)AGGER.

  1. The Book of Numbers? (8,6-4)

Answer: NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR (a “book” by George Orwell). Clue plays on how the title of the book comprises all “numbers”. Nicely worked.

  1. This person’s a leader of Muslims (4)

Answer: IMAM (i.e. “leader of Muslims”). Solution is I’M (i.e. “this person’s” taken as a contraction of “this person is”) followed by A and M (i.e. “leader of Muslims”, i.e. the first letter of “Muslims”). Another nicely worked clue.

  1. Periodical fashion magazine one’s found in cell (9)

Answer: ORGANELLE (i.e. “one’s found in cell”). Solution is ORGAN (i.e. “periodical”) followed by ELLE (i.e. a “fashion magazine”). One gotten from the wordplay, if I’m honest.

  1. A little food consumption limited by it both ways (6)

Answer: TITBIT (i.e. “a little food”). Solution is TB (i.e. “consumption” or tuberculosis) placed between or “limited by” TI and IT (i.e. “it both ways”), like so: TI-(TB)-IT.

  1. Did carp stew done with a starter of mussels (6)

Answer: MOANED (i.e. “did carp”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “stew”) of DONE, A and M (i.e. “starter of mussels”, i.e. the first letter of “mussels”).

  1. Silly if neat pants, including the lady’s underwear (12)

Answer: FEATHERBRAIN (i.e. “silly”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “pants” or rubbish) of IF NEAT wrapped around or “including” HER (i.e. “the lady’s”) and BRA (i.e. “underwear”), like so: FEAT(HER-BRA)IN.

  1. Extra property of fruit ingested by Frenchman (4-1-5)

Answer: PIED-A-TERRE (i.e. “extra property”). Solution is DATE (i.e. “fruit”) placed in or “ingested by” PIERRE (i.e. “Frenchman”), like so: PIE(DATE)RRE.

  1. Criminal sent down, stealing muggins’s funds (10)

Answer: ENDOWMENTS (i.e. “funds”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “criminal”) of SENT DOWN wrapped around or “stealing” ME (i.e. “muggins”), like so: ENDOW(ME)NTS.

  1. Set supervisor in two different coaches (5,7)

Answer: STAGE MANAGER (i.e. “set supervisor”). Solution comprises “two different” words for “coach”.

  1. One’s time off drinks counter (6)

Answer: RESIST (i.e. to “counter”). Solution is I’S (i.e. a Roman numeral “one” made possessive) placed in or “drunk” by REST (i.e. “time off”), like so: RES(I’S)T.

  1. Make settlement affected by opponents at table (6)

Answer: ENCAMP (i.e. “make settlement”). Solution is CAMP (i.e. an “affected” manner) placed after or “by” E and N (i.e. “opponents at table”, specifically East and North in a game of bridge), like so: E-N-(CAMP).

  1. Prepare to fire a round really high (4-1-4)

Answer: COCK-A-HOOP (i.e. very happy or “really high”). Solution is COCK (i.e. “prepare to fire” a gun) followed by A and HOOP (i.e. “round”).

  1. Big promotion secured by pushy person (4)

Answer: HYPE (i.e. “big promotion”). “Secured by” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: PUS(HY PE)RSON.

  1. Enlarge works – an artistic number (7,11)

Answer: GENERAL ANAESTETIC (i.e. “number”, as in how it numbs). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “works”) of ENLARGE followed by AN and AESTHETIC (i.e. “artistic”).

  1. About a pair of French words for the drink… (4,3)

Answer: REAL ALE (i.e. “drink”). Solution is RE (i.e. regarding or “about” – think email replies) followed by A, then LA and LE (both “French words for ‘the’” – female and male forms respectively).

  1. …which is given name for bird (7)

Answer: BITTERN (i.e. “bird”). Previous solution, REAL ALE, feeds into this clue. Another word for REAL ALE is BITTER, which is followed by or “given” N (a recognised abbreviation of “name”).

  1. Doughnut present in, e.g. breakfast foodstuff (7)

Answer: OATMEAL (i.e. “foodstuff”). Solution is O (i.e. “doughnut”) followed by AT (i.e. “present”) and MEAL (i.e. “e.g. breakfast”, other mealtimes are available).

  1. Clowning around, I twice do superman routine (5,8)

Answer: MODUS OPERANDI (i.e. “routine”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “clowning around”) of I, DO, DO (i.e. “twice do”) and SUPERMAN.

  1. An indication with wine courses (9)

Answer: ANTIPASTI (i.e. “courses”). Solution is AN followed by TIP (i.e. hint or “indication”) and ASTI (i.e. “wine”).

  1. After a kind of sleep, make time for artist (9)

Answer: REMBRANDT (i.e. “artist”). Solution is REM (i.e. “a kind of sleep”, short for Rapid Eye Movement) followed by BRAND (i.e. “make”) and T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”).

  1. Cover old song, done at first (7)

Answer: OVERLAY (i.e. “cover”). Solution is LAY (i.e. “old song”) with OVER (i.e. “done”) placed “at first”, like so: OVER-LAY.

  1. Fabric cape taken out of drawer? (5)

Answer: RAYON (i.e. “fabric”). Solution is CRAYON (i.e. a “drawer”) with the C removed (indicated by “cape taken out of…” – C being a recognised abbreviation of “cape”).

Down clues

  1. Confounded pest to write and devour novel (11)

Answer: STEPPENWOLF (i.e. “novel” by Hermann Hesse). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “confounded”) of PEST followed by PEN (i.e. “to write”) and WOLF (i.e. to “devour”), like so: STEP-PEN-WOLF.

  1. Marks higher than a German, as a rule (5)

Answer: MOTTO (i.e. “rule”). Solution is M (a recognised abbreviation of “marks”, the old German currency) followed by OTTO (i.e. “German”, basically a German bloke’s name).

  1. What the Great Ouse will do, finally, is to be known (4,3,2,3,4)

Answer: COME OUT IN THE WASH. Solution satisfies “what the Great Ouse will do, finally” and “to be known”.

  1. Solvent German car maker on principle losing outside races (7)

Answer: BENZENE (i.e. “solvent”). Solution is BENZ (i.e. “German car maker”) followed by TENET (i.e. “principle”) once the T and T on the “outside” have been removed or “lost”. TT is also a famous motorbike “race” held on the Isle of Man.

  1. Four empty theatres without a seat (4-1-4)

Answer: TETE-A-TETE (i.e. “seat”, specifically an S-shaped sofa designed to bring sitters face to face). Solution is TE, TE, TE and TE (i.e. “four empty theatres”, i.e. the word “theatre” with all its middle letters removed and repeated four times) all wrapped around or placed “without” A, like so: TE-TE-(A)-TE-TE.

  1. Bagging sportswear one may take off here (7,5)

Answer: LANDING STRIP (i.e. “one may take off here”). Solution is LANDING (i.e. “bagging”) followed by STRIP (i.e. “sportswear”). You could also tack on “one may take off” to further underline STRIP.

  1. Make feeble argument defending current books (10)

Answer: DEBILITATE (i.e. “make feeble”). Solution is DEBATE (i.e. “argument”) wrapped around or “defending” I (a recognised abbreviation of an electric “current” used in physics) and LIT (i.e. “books”, short for literature), like so: DEB(I-LIT)ATE.

  1. Murderer’s confession somewhere in Scotland (5)

Answer: ISLAY (i.e. “somewhere in Scotland”). When written as I SLAY the solution also satisfies “murderer’s confession”.

  1. 150 cars bearing uniform for fratricidal ruler (8)

Answer: CLAUDIUS (i.e. “fratricidal ruler”). Solution is CL (i.e. “150” in Roman numerals) followed by AUDIS (i.e. “cars”) once wrapped around or “bearing” U (“uniform” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: CL-AUDI(U)S.

  1. Theology’s double bill for study again (6)

Answer: REREAD (i.e. “study again”). Solution is RE and RE (i.e. “theology’s double”, i.e. Religious Education repeated) followed by AD (i.e. “bill”, notice or advertisement).

  1. Protestant country suppressing wild anger (9)

Answer: ORANGEMAN (i.e. “protestant”). Solution is OMAN (i.e. “country”) wrapped around or “suppressing” an anagram (indicated by “wild”) of ANGER, like so: O(RANGE)MAN.

  1. Range Rover’s tail with car forced to go around (6,5)

Answer: SIERRA MADRE (i.e. a Mexican mountain “range”). Solution is R (i.e. “Rover’s tail”, i.e. the last letter of “Rover”) placed in or having “around” SIERRA (i.e. a Ford-flavoured “car”) and MADE (i.e. “forced”), like so: SIERRA-MAD(R)E.

  1. Crawl along with booze up? One is tight (7)

Answer: NIGGARD (i.e. “one is tight” or miserly). Solution is DRAG (i.e. “crawl along”) and GIN (i.e. “booze”) all reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue), like so: NIG-GARD.

  1. What secretary does, fixing a flaw (7)

Answer: FAILING (i.e. a “flaw”). Solution is FILING (i.e. “what secretary does”) wrapped around or “fixing” A, like so: F(A)ILING.

  1. Short figure gets meat and warm egg on the side (9,7)

Answer: TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (i.e. “side” or football team). Solution is TOT (i.e. “short” or measure of strong drink) followed by TEN (i.e. “figure” or number), then HAM (i.e. “meat”), then HOT (i.e. “warm”) and SPUR (i.e. “egg on”).

  1. One adding embellishment perhaps in food store (6)

Answer: LARDER. Solution satisfies “food store” and “one adding embellishment” – one definition of “lard” is to “garnish or strew” (Chambers). “Perhaps” indicates the latter meaning of LARDER suggested in the clue isn’t exactly one you’re going to find in the dictionary.

  1. Not entirely bad: amicable like the first person (6)

Answer: ADAMIC (i.e. “like the first person” in The Bible). “Not entirely” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: B(AD AMIC)ABLE.

  1. In street abroad, European can train (7)

Answer: RETINUE (i.e. entourage or “train”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”) and TIN (i.e. “can”) both placed “in” RUE (i.e. “street abroad”, specifically France), like so: R(E-TIN)UE.

  1. Tease wife getting nothing right, one with yellow bloomers (7)

Answer: RAGWORT (i.e. “one with yellow flowers”). Solution is RAG (i.e. “tease”) followed by W (a recognised abbreviation of “wife”), then O (i.e. “nothing”) and RT (a recognised abbreviation of “right”, e.g. the Rt Hon Lucian Poll MP. Kindly address all bungs to my constituency office).

  1. Block some text, sentence in final part of play (8,4)

Answer: STOPPAGE TIME (i.e. “final part of play”, often in a game of football). Solution is STOP (i.e. “block”) followed by PAGE (i.e. “some text”) and TIME (i.e. a prison “sentence”).

  1. Quake there, with mortar exploding (5,6)

Answer: EARTH TREMOR (i.e. “quake”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “exploding”) of THERE and MORTAR.

  1. Rogue is to knock salad ingredient (11)

Answer: RAPSCALLION (i.e. “rogue”). Solution is RAP (i.e. “to knock”) followed by SCALLION (i.e. “salad ingredient”, specifically a leek or spring onion). A great word I’ve not heard for a while.

  1. Working on sonata in US city (3,7)

Answer: SAN ANTONIO (i.e. “US city”). “Working” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ON SONATA IN.

  1. Ethnic group’s record tough to keep in game (9)

Answer: SEPHARDIM (i.e. “ethnic group”, specifically “the Jews of Spanish, Portuguese or N African descent” (Chambers)). Solution is EP (i.e. “record”, specifically an Extended Play) and HARD (i.e. “tough”) both placed “in” SIM (i.e. “game”, short for simulation), like so: S(EP-HARD)IM. Not one I was going to get from shallow pool of general knowledge I possess, so had to get this largely from the wordplay.

  1. Protection of Earl Grey, say, featured by tabloid (5,4)

Answer: CHAIN MAIL (i.e. “protection”). Solution is CHA (i.e. “Earl Grey, say” – other teas or cups of cha are available) followed by IN (i.e. “featured by”) and the Daily MAIL (i.e. “tabloid”).

  1. Fabulously young fellow’s safe shot (5,3)

Answer: PETER PAN (i.e. “fabulously young fellow” – “fabulous” referencing the fantastic nature of the story). Solution is PETER (a slang word for a “safe”, rather popular with Times setters) followed by PAN (i.e. a cinematic camera “shot”)

  1. Soldiers backing officer brought in retiring soon (7)

Answer: SHORTLY (i.e. “soon”). Solution is OR (i.e. “soldiers”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army) and LT (i.e. “officer”, short for lieutenant) reversed (indicated by “backing”) and both placed “in” SHY (i.e. “retiring”), like so: SH(OR-TL)Y.

  1. Parent, one having recourse to, e.g. speed gun (6)

Answer: MAUSER (i.e. “gun”, specifically a German rifle). Solution is MA (i.e. “parent”) followed by USER (i.e. “one having recourse to, e.g. speed” – speed being a drug in this case).

  1. Topping for a French loaf? (5)

Answer: BERET. Clue plays on the item of headwear or “topping” being something you’d associate with “France”, and how “loaf” is a slang word for the head. You get the idea.

  1. Leaders in Evening Standard and Express paper (5)

Answer: ESSAY (i.e. “paper”). Solution is ES (i.e. “leaders in Evening Standard”, i.e. the first letters of “Evening” and “Standard”) followed by SAY (i.e. to “express” – ignore the misleading capitalisation).

8 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1510

  1. Very enjoyable this week. I had to work quite hard to get some of these, especially PROVOKE and BENZENE which I couldn’t see for such a long time. You liked RAPSCALLION, I liked COCK A HOOP. My favourites were COME OUT IN THE WASH and ISLAY. Well done, setter.
    As usual, some of the parsing passed me by, so thanks once again for the clarifications.

  2. The best puzzle we’ve had for a while I think. Elegant clues, hard enough but not too hard. Having got the correct answers, I still needed your explanation of Peter=Safe and the TT races to remove from Tenet to get Benzene, so thx as ever for helping us all. Cheers Graham

  3. As quite often, I found myself solving the bottom-right of the grid and then working my way upwards and leftwards. Hard work for a short while but enjoyable this week, and with some very decent clues. But I didn’t like 1d (STEPPENWOLF). Who has ever heard of that book, let alone the author?

    I had to look it up on the Internet as none of my reference books even mentions it. First published in Germany in 1927 apparently. A ridiculous answer in a cryptic crossword.

  4. Best puzzle in many months in my opinion. Needed you Lucian (as usual) for some of the parsing, especially TT – I was miles away. Hesse was the “in” philosopher/novelist of the hippy generation, and I actually read Steppenwolf in 1972, the same year that I watched the band of the same name play at an open air concert in Central Park, New York – they were huge at the time.

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