Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1511

One of those medium strength puzzles artificially made more difficult by crowbarring in a few too many exotic solutions. You can tell these a mile off when you sail through most of the puzzle and are left wondering from which circle of hell the setter got the remaining solutions. It’s a cheap way of upping the difficulty level and nearly always results in an uneven and dissatisfying solution. The best Jumbos for me are the ones that offer steady progression, whether that’s an easy one that can be blazed through in double-quick time or a stinker that can be chipped away at throughout the day. Maybe next week, eh?

Anyway, 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 left you flummoxed then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions for the last 160+ of these things. Elsewhere you can find the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks once more for the kind words and insights, folks. It’s always interesting to hear how other solvers get on with these things, and to hear alternative takes on the clues. Till next time, stay safe and keep supporting the NHS and key workers everywhere.


Across clues

  1. Prize money to be shared? It could be topped, in case? (7)

Answer: CUPCAKE (i.e. “it could be topped, in case”, referring to icing and a paper bun case). Solution is CUP (i.e. “prize”) followed by CAKE (i.e. “money to be shared” – not according to Chambers, but my Oxford backs this one up: “(the cake) Brit. The amount of money or assets available to be divided up or shared.”)

  1. Subordinate topic (7)

Answer: SUBJECT. Solution satisfies “subordinate” – imagine some high and mighty type lording over their subjects – and “topic”.

  1. Bubble car, say, son has taken over from husband (7)

Answer: VESICLE (i.e. a “bubble” in the medical world: “a small globule, bladder, sac, blister, cavity, or swelling” (Chambers)). Solution is VEHICLE (i.e. “car, say” – other flavours of vehicle are available) with the H (a recognised abbreviation of “husband”) replaced or “taken over” by S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”), like so: VE(H)ICLE => VE(S)ICLE.

  1. Interrupting ignoring introductions on a January day’s end? (11)

Answer: INTERVENING (i.e. “interrupting”). Solution is WINTER EVENING (i.e. “January day’s end”) with the first letter removed from each word (indicated by “ignoring introductions”).

  1. Every Charlie sitting in plane gives a big wave (11)

Answer: BEACHCOMBER (i.e. “big wave”). Solution is EACH (i.e. “every”) and C (“Charlie” in the phonetic alphabet) both placed or “sitting in” BOMBER (i.e. “plane”), like so: B(EACH-C)OMBER.

  1. Lovely entertaining European relative (5)

Answer: NIECE (i.e. “relative”). Solution is NICE (i.e. “lovely”) wrapped around or “entertaining” E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”), like so: NI(E)CE.

  1. Kitchen device rotates cooking (7)

Answer: TOASTER (i.e. “kitchen device”). “Cooking” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ROTATES. Nicely done.

  1. Mother is holding capital back together with notes (9)

Answer: MEMORANDA (i.e. “notes”). Solution is MA (i.e. “mother”) wrapped around or “holding” ROME (“capital” city of Italy) reversed (indicated by “back”) and AND (i.e. “together with”), like so: M(EMOR-AND)A.

  1. Time to cut opening photo session in golf contest – the lot (3,5,8,5)

Answer: THE WHOLE SHOOTING MATCH (i.e. “the lot”). Solution is T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) followed by HEW (i.e. “to cut”), then HOLE (i.e. “opening”), then SHOOT (i.e. “photo session”), then IN, then G (“golf” in the phonetic alphabet”) and finally MATCH (i.e. “contest”). Phew!

  1. Capsize open vessel (8)

Answer: OVERTURN (i.e. “capsize”). Solution is OVERT (i.e. “open”) followed by URN (i.e. “vessel”). Nicely worked.

  1. French city’s name is translated (6)

Answer: AMIENS (i.e. “French city”). “Translated” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of NAME IS.

  1. Note just what one is looking for in offensive academic? (7)

Answer: ERUDITE (i.e. “academic”). Solution is E (a musical “note”) followed by IT (i.e. “just what one is looking for”) once placed “in” RUDE (i.e. “offensive”), like so: E-RUD(IT)E.

  1. Broken up getting back into narcotic shrub (5)

Answer: KAPUT (i.e. “broken”). Solution is UP reversed (indicated by “getting back”) and placed “into” KAT (i.e. “narcotic shrub”, also spelled khat), like so: KA(PU)T.

  1. Composer of substance I will back (7)

Answer: Arcangelo CORELLI (i.e. “composer”). Solution is CORE (i.e. the “substance” of something) followed by I’LL (a contraction of “I will”) once reversed (indicated by “back”), like so: CORE-LL’I.

  1. Check performance of screen and computer peripheral (4-5)

Answer: TEST-DRIVE (i.e. “check performance”). Solution is TEST (i.e. to “screen” job candidates, for example) followed by DRIVE (i.e. “computer peripheral”).

  1. Beguiling scheme to sharpen up returned Labour? (9)

Answer: HONEYTRAP (i.e. “beguiling scheme”). Solution is HONE (i.e. “to sharpen up”) followed by PARTY (i.e. “Labour” – the question mark hints other political parties are available) reversed (indicated by “returned”), like so: HONE-YTRAP.

  1. Thoroughly search around university and see charging unit (7)

Answer: COULOMB (i.e. “charging unit”, i.e. a unit of electrical charge). Solution is COMB (i.e. “thoroughly search”) wrapped “around” U (a recognised abbreviation of “university”) and LO (i.e. “see”, as in lo and behold), like so: CO(U-LO)MB. The component parts were reasonably easy to deduce, but the whole needed a push from my Chambers to nail. A solution to file under “Made to Fit”.

  1. Bad-tempered note about not drinking (5)

Answer: RATTY (i.e. “bad-tempered”). Solution is RAY (i.e. “note” in the doh-ray-me style) wrapped “about” TT (i.e. “not drinking”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “teetotal”), like so: RA(TT)Y.

  1. Place crate with working parts for harpsichords (7)

Answer: PLECTRA (i.e. “parts for harpsichords”, i.e. its plucky bits – plural of plectrum). Solution is PL (a recognised abbreviation of “place”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “with working”) of CRATE, like so: PL-ECTRA.

  1. Move in the middle of keen game (6)

Answer: ECARTE (a card “game”). Solution is CART (i.e. to transport or “move”) placed “in” EE (i.e. “the middle [letters] of keen”), like so: E(CART)E. Chalk one to my Bradford’s.

  1. Group of planes singular chap planted around court (8)

Answer: SQUADRON (i.e. “group of planes”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “singular”) and RON (i.e. “chap”, basically a bloke’s name) all wrapped or “planted around” QUAD (i.e. “court”) like so: S-(QUAD)-RON.

  1. Healthy calories and more PE sorted out cause of blocked arteries (21)

Answer: HYPERCHOLESTEROLAEMIA (i.e. “cause of blocked arteries”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “sorted out”) of HEALTHY CALORIES and MORE PE. Very nicely worked.

  1. Food of poor quarter in land round Madrid neither finished (9)

Answer: SPAGHETTI (i.e. “food”). Solution is GHETTO (i.e. “poor quarter”) placed “in” SPAIN (i.e. “land round Madrid”) once the last letter has been removed from both (indicated by “neither finished”), like so: SPA(GHETT)I.

  1. Road user growth swelled by 151 (7)

Answer: CYCLIST (i.e. “road user”). Solution is CYST (i.e. “growth”) wrapped around or “swelled by” CLI (i.e. “151” in Roman numerals), like so: CY(CLI)ST.

  1. Fur bought initially during offer period (5)

Answer: SABLE (i.e. “fur”). Solution is B (i.e. “bought initially”, i.e. the first letter of “bought”) placed in or “during” SALE (i.e. “offer period”), like so: SA(B)LE.

  1. Go beyond one small tango in unfashionable foxtrot? (11)

Answer: OUTDISTANCE (i.e. “go beyond”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) and T (“tango” in the phonetic alphabet) all placed “in” OUT (i.e. “unfashionable”) and DANCE (i.e. “foxtrot” – again the question mark indicates there are other dances out there such as… such as… hmm. I appear to have drawn a blank. Bear with me while I find another one…), like so: OUT-D(I-S-T)ANCE.

Ah, here we go. A classic Mediterranean dance performed in traditional costume. Lovely.

  1. Hillary perhaps organising team reunion (11)

Answer: MOUNTAINEER (i.e. “[Edmund] Hillary perhaps”). “Organising” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TEAM REUNION.

  1. Believing in an illusion of Christ, refer to fish being turned (7)

Answer: DOCETIC (i.e. “believing in an illusion of Christ”). Solution is CITE (i.e. “refer to”) and COD (i.e. “fish”) all reversed (indicated by “turned”), like so: DOC-ETIC. Another one for the “made to fit” file.

  1. Carbuncle, gemstone in the end certainly something from a mine (7)

Answer: EYESORE (i.e. “carbuncle”). Solution is E (i.e. “gemstone in the end”, i.e. the last letter of “gemstone”) followed by YES (i.e. “certainly”) and ORE (i.e. “something from a mine”).

  1. Foul fiend featured in sermon’s terrifying (7)

Answer: MONSTER (i.e. “foul fiend”). “In” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: SER(MON’S TER)RIFYING.

Down clues

  1. Dependant court accepts right to hold another’s property (6)

Answer: CLIENT (i.e. “dependant”). Solution is CT (a recognised abbreviation of “court”) wrapped around or “accepting” LIEN (i.e. “right to hold another’s property”), like so: C(LIEN)T.

  1. Invalid’s conspicuous around unit (7)

Answer: PATIENT (i.e. “invalid”). Solution is PATENT (i.e. “conspicuous”) wrapped “around” I (i.e. “unit” or the Roman numeral for 1), like so: PAT(I)ENT.

  1. Contract aide initially to welcome outside people (9)

Answer: AGREEMENT (i.e. “contract”). Solution is A (i.e. “aide initially”, i.e. the first letter of “aide”) followed by GREET (i.e. “to welcome”) once wrapped around or placed “outside” of MEN (i.e. “people”), like so: A-GREE(MEN)T.

  1. Get up before chalet emptied (5)

Answer: ERECT (i.e. “get up”). Solution is ERE (poetic form of “before”) followed by CT (i.e. “chalet emptied”, i.e. the word “chalet” with all its middle letters removed). Fnar, fnar.

  1. Appropriate uniform I used in firm (8)

Answer: SUITABLE (i.e. “appropriate”). Solution is U (“uniform” in the phonetic alphabet) and I both placed “in” STABLE (i.e. “firm”), like so: S(U-I)TABLE.

  1. Wreck’s left out in wide bay (5)

Answer: BIGHT (i.e. “wide bay”). Solution is BLIGHT (i.e. “wreck”) once the L has been removed (indicated by “left out” – L being a recognised abbreviation of “left”).

  1. Turn up to get my attention over bar (7)

Answer: EMBARGO (i.e. to block or “bar”). Solution is GRAB ME (i.e. “get my attention”) reversed (indicated by “turn up” – this being a down clue) and followed by O (a recognised abbreviation of “over” used in cricket), like so: (EM-BARG)-O. Took most of the puzzle to decrypt this one. Sometimes you just don’t see ‘em.

  1. Am anti-tourist flying round area is shocking experience (14)

Answer: TRAUMATISATION (i.e. “shocking experience”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “flying”) of AM ANTI-TOURIST wrapped “round” A (a recognised abbreviation of “area”), like so: TR(A)UMATISATION.

  1. Passion of macho types in Italian city, missing Northern Ireland (9)

Answer: VEHEMENCE (i.e. “passion”). Solution is HE-MEN (i.e. “macho types”) placed “in” VENICE (i.e. “Italian city”) once the NI has been removed (indicated by “missing Northern Ireland”), like so: VE(HE-MEN)CE.

  1. Thoroughly search tart concealing cents (5)

Answer: SCOUR (i.e. “thoroughly search”). Solution is SOUR (i.e. “tart”) wrapped around or “concealing” C (a recognised abbreviation of “cents”), like so: S(C)OUR.

  1. Best incriminate revolutionary member of the government (7,8)

Answer: CABINET MINISTER (i.e. “member of the government”). “Revolutionary” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of BEST INCRIMINATE.

  1. Nag party, supporting willingness to listen (7)

Answer: EARBASH (i.e. “nag”). Solution is BASH (i.e. “party”) placed after or “supporting” – this being a down clue – EAR (i.e. “willingness to listen”).

  1. Greeting speed merchant turning up in rented vehicle (4,3)

Answer: HIRE CAR (i.e. “rented vehicle”). Solution is HI (i.e. “greeting”) followed by RACER (i.e. “speed merchant”) once reversed (indicated by “turning up” – this being a down clue), like so: HI-RECAR.

  1. Images from staggering musical artist (9)

Answer: SIMULACRA (i.e. “images”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “staggering”) of MUSICAL followed by RA (i.e. “artist”, specifically a Royal Academician), like so: SIMULAC-RA.

  1. Perhaps one making cast slowly break down (7)

Answer: MOULDER. Solution satisfies “one making cast” or mould – the “perhaps” indicates we’re straying a little outside the dictionary here – and to “slowly break down”.

  1. Sliced meat – either end of pack hard work to keep cold (4,4)

Answer: PORK CHOP (i.e. “sliced meat”). Solution is P OR K (i.e. “either end of pack”, i.e. descriptive of the beginning/end letters of “pack”), H (a recognised abbreviation of “hard” used in grading pencils) and OP (i.e. “work”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “opus”) all wrapped around or “keeping” C (a recognised abbreviation of “cold”), like so: (P-OR-K)-(C)-H-OP.

  1. When it’s transported, did as plan except for packaging material (8,7)

Answer: EXPANDED PLASTIC (i.e. a mesh-like “packaging material”). “When it’s transported” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DID AS PLAN EXCEPT.

  1. Tchaikovsky’s Sixth loses its way, dry eastern form (9)

Answer: ETIQUETTE (i.e. “form”). Solution is PATHETIQUE (i.e. “Tchaikovsky’s Sixth” – of course I looked it up. What did you expect?) with the PATH removed (indicated by “loses its way”) and the remainder followed by TT (i.e. “dry”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “teetotal”) and E (ditto “eastern”), like so: ETIQUE-TT-E.

  1. The whole world always has that energy (8)

Answer: EVERYONE (i.e. “the whole world”). Solution is EVER (i.e. “always”) followed by YON (i.e. poetic form of “that”) and E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”).

  1. Stumble on loyal Scots with English about to fix up coalition (6,8)

Answer: TRIPLE ALLIANCE (i.e. a “coalition” of countries formed in opposition to another state – there appear to have been a few of these throughout history). Solution is TRIP (i.e. “stumble”) followed by LEAL (i.e. “Scots” poetic form of “loyal” – my Oxford agrees, but Chambers suggests the word is Old French), then E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”), C (i.e. “about”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “circa”) and NAIL (i.e. “to fix”) once these latter three have been reversed (indicated by “up” – this being a down clue), like so: TRIP-LEAL-(LIAN-C-E). Bloody hell.

  1. One of two meeting to attempt to control eliminating ecstasy (7)

Answer: TRYSTER (i.e. “one of two meeting”). Solution is TRY (i.e. “attempt”) followed by STEER (i.e. “to control”) once one of the Es has been removed (indicated by “eliminating ecstasy” – E being a street name for the drug), like so: TRY-STER. What a naff word.

  1. Underwater clubs abandoning diving apparatus on wharf endlessly (7)

Answer: SUBAQUA (i.e. “underwater”). Solution is SCUBA (i.e. “diving apparatus”) once the C has been removed (indicated by “clubs abandoning” – C being a recognised abbreviation of “clubs” used in card games) and the remainder followed by QUAY (i.e. “wharf”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “endlessly”), like so: SUBA-QUA.

  1. Writhing unnaturally sorted out itch at toe (9)

Answer: ATHETOTIC (i.e. “writhing unnaturally”, usually the fingers and toes). “Sorted out” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ITCH AT TOE. Wordplay was fairly obvious but took a brute force of my Chambers. Another for the ‘Made to Fit’ file.

  1. Recognition of a key assignment (9)

Answer: ADMISSION (i.e. “recognition”). Solution is A followed by D (a musical “key”) and MISSION (i.e. “assignment”).

  1. Note settled puddles regularly in deserted location (8)

Answer: SOLITUDE (i.e. “deserted location”). Solution is SO (i.e. “note” in the doh-ray-me style) followed by LIT (i.e. landed or “settled”) and UDE (i.e. “puddles regularly”, i.e. every other letter of PUDDLES).

  1. Like ordinary tissue hospital is to establish the identity of (7)

Answer: HISTOID (i.e. “like ordinary tissue”). Solution is H (a recognised abbreviation of “hospital”) followed by IS TO and ID (i.e. “establish the identity of”). One gotten from the wordplay, to be honest.

  1. Hide in empty structure on Mediterranean island (7)

Answer: SECRETE (i.e. “hide”). Solution is SE (i.e. “empty structure”, i.e. the word “structure” with all of its middle letters removed) followed by CRETE (i.e. “Mediterranean island”).

  1. Going round one hospital department after a doctor (7)

Answer: AMBIENT (i.e. “going round”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) followed by ENT (i.e. “hospital department”, specifically one dealing with the Ear Nose and Throat) both placed “after” A and MB (i.e. “doctor”, specifically a Medicinae Baccalaureus or Bachelor of Medicine), like so: (A-MB)-I-ENT.

  1. Who carries the ale round topless bar? (6)

Answer: BEARER (i.e. “who carries”). Solution is BEER (i.e. “ale”) placed “round” BAR once its first letter has been removed (indicated by “topless”), like so: BE(AR)ER.

  1. Robbery losing support from Jewish expert (5)

Answer: HEIST (i.e. “robbery”). Solution is HEBRAIST (i.e. “Jewish expert”) with the BRA removed (indicated by “losing support”).

  1. Senior director holds a minute or very small role (5)

Answer: CAMEO (i.e. “very small role”). Solution is CEO (i.e. “senior director”, specifically a Chief Executive Officer) wrapped around or “holding” A and M (a recognised abbreviation of “minute”), like so: C(A-M)EO.

  1. Found part of Bible set up as a revered item (5)

Answer: TOTEM (i.e. “revered item”). Solution is MET (i.e. “found”) followed by OT (i.e. “part of Bible”, specifically the Old Testament) all reversed (indicated by “set up” – this being a down clue), like so: TO-TEM.

20 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1511

  1. So, cause of blocked arteries. A quick google and visits to half a dozen websites and the answer is…
    Artherosclerosis, which didn’t fit the anagram. No mention of hyperdoodah bring a factor to be found anywhere. This then turned out to be an exercise in substituting letters until the correct answer showed up. No fun. The rest was okay but I agree with you, Lucian, a bit too much shoehorning and showing off.
    Thanks for parsing heist- I never got the Jewish reference. My bad!

  2. I also failed to see the bra (oh err missus) in the Jewish ref so ta for that. Was slowed down by having 39 d Athetosic which is an allowed alt spelling. For 44 a I’d surmised the H, P and R of hyper and then schlepped through the dictionary until I found the answer. A bit forced therefore. Overall a fairish puzzle though. Cheers Lucian – Graham

  3. Yes, I agree a medium-strength affair this week and nothing too tricky apart from one. I stared & stared at E-A-T- for at least half an hour. I surmised how the clue must work i.e a four letter word for move with an e on either side from keen but could I come up with cart? Could I thump. I’m afraid I resorted to the missing letter word-solver. Not a proud moment. Cheers.

  4. Nothing much to add here. The clues were mostly solvable without recourse to dictionary, but there were a couple of words I’d not come across before. I find such clues tedious as this is meant to be a cryptic crossword, not an entry to a Scrabble championship whereby one memorises all the words in the English language without having to know what they all mean.

    Re: 44a – “hyper” + sixteen more letters (yawn!), I realised it would start with “hyper” but who on earth would know the full word? It isn’t even in my copy of “Black’s Medical Dictionary”. And “Black’s Medical Dictionary Matters!”, to coin a phrase ☹

    BTW, when I opened the above dictionary earlier, it fell open at “Herpes Simplex”. That is surely worthy of a clue-writing competition.

  5. I struggled with this crossword, I must admit.
    But I did know hypercholesterolaemia.
    It’s actually a word I use quite often, it’s quite commonly seen in dogs with diabetes mellitus or Cushing’s disease (hyperadrenocorticism) among other things.
    But then I am a vet.
    Thanks as usual Lucian.

  6. Lucian, red card simply will not do. Ten match ban with some community service thrown in. Hilarious though

  7. Hi Lucian. Thanks, as ever, for your explanations. We finished this one fairly quickly, but it wasn’t enjoyable. Far too many obscure terms, plus a couple of VERY dubious spellings. KAT (30a) is usually spelled KHAT (not that we’ve ever come across it in either format), and the musical notes in 37a and 43d are normally RE and SOH respectively rather than RAY and SO. Nor were we impressed with 7d; to have BAR in both the clue and the answer is just sloppy.

    Re 35a, isn’t HONEYTRAP usually hyphenated?

    Take care, and stay safe. SB

  8. After last week’s, which I couldn’t finish, this was something of a relief. But I agree that there were too many words forced to fit. Hypercholesterolaemia was actually the first one I got, but then I love a good anagram. Lucian, as always, solved some of the parsing where I knew the answer was right but couldn’t figure it out. Thanks for all your insights.

    1. The longest one I’m aware of appeared in the second ever Jumbo, back when the grids were 27×27. The clue was merely “____” (L. L. Lost) (27), and the solution was honorificabilitudinitatibus. Yikes! – LP

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