Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1525

A fairly straightforward one this week. I don’t mind that! 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 you in a tizz then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions for the last 170+ 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. They’re always appreciated, and it’s always interesting to hear how other solvers fared. Till next time, stay safe out there, kids.


Across clues

  1. Bat observed by queen, possibly, in tree (5,6)

Answer: PUSSY WILLOW (i.e. “tree”). Solution is WILLOW (i.e. cricket “bat”) placed after or “by” PUSSY (i.e. “queen”, or adult female cat).

  1. Family member’s move getting visitor finally into trouble (11)

Answer: STEPBROTHER (i.e. “family member”). Solution is STEP (i.e. “move”) followed by R (i.e. “visitor finally”, i.e. the last letter of “visitor”) once placed “into” BOTHER (i.e. “trouble”), like so: STEP-B(R)OTHER.

  1. Mad Finn began fiddling, swearing appallingly (6,3,8)

Answer: EFFING AND BLINDING (i.e. “swearing appallingly”). “Mad” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of FINN BEGAN FIDDLING.

  1. Piece of information corporation attorney provided first (5)

Answer: DATUM (i.e. “piece of information”). Solution is TUM (i.e. “corporation” – setters love this archaic variant meaning of the word) with DA (i.e. “attorney”, specifically a District Attorney) “provided first”, like so: DA-TUM.

  1. Harebrained son of spiteful disposition (6)

Answer: SCATTY (i.e. “harebrained”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”) followed by CATTY (i.e. “of spiteful disposition”).

  1. Revolutionary figure recalled in register (8)

Answer: LENINIST (i.e. “revolutionary”). Solution is NINE (a number or “figure”) reversed (indicated by “recalled”) and placed “in” LIST (i.e. “register”), like so: L(ENIN)IST.

  1. Footwear found in coach (7)

Answer: TRAINER. Solution satisfies “footwear” and “coach”.

  1. Work with men broken by media tyrant (9)

Answer: OPPRESSOR (i.e. “tyrant”). Solution is OP (i.e. “work”, short for “opus”) and OR (i.e. “men”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army) “broken by” PRESS (i.e. “media”), like so: OP-(PRESS)-OR.

  1. Like some highly flavoured cake Liberal consumed with caution (8)

Answer: GINGERLY (i.e. “with caution”). Solution is GINGERY (i.e. “like some highly flavoured cake”) wrapped around or “consuming” L (a recognised abbreviation of “Liberal”), like so: GINGER(L)Y.

  1. Reportedly a female unit of heredity (4)

Answer: GENE (i.e. “unit of heredity”). “Reportedly” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of JEAN (i.e. “female”, basically a woman’s name).

  1. Severe pain encountered in French and African state (5)

Answer: EGYPT (i.e. “African state”). Solution is GYP (i.e. “severe pain”) placed “in” ET (i.e. “French and”, i.e. the French for “and”), like so: E(GYP)T.

  1. Crustacean current lawmaker found crossing Italian river? (6)

Answer: ISOPOD (i.e. “crustacean”). Solution is I (a recognised abbreviation of an electrical “current” used in physics) followed by SOD (i.e. “lawmaker” – a reference to Sod’s Law) once wrapped around or “crossing” PO (i.e. “Italian river”), like so: I-SO(PO)D.

  1. Varsity athlete with courage, a member of the constabulary (10)

Answer: BLUEBOTTLE (i.e. “a member of the constabulary”). Solution is BLUE (i.e. “varsity athlete” – could be Oxford in dark blue or Cambridge in light blue) followed by BOTTLE (i.e. “courage”).

  1. Unworldly woman seen around army corps area (8)

Answer: ETHEREAL (i.e. “unworldly”). Solution is ETHEL (i.e. a “woman’s” name) wrapped “around” RE (i.e. “army corps”, specifically the Royal Engineers of the British Army) and A (a recognised abbreviation of “area”), like so: ETHE(RE-A)L.

  1. Omnipresence of posh bishop I left over by American cape (14)

Answer: UBIQUITOUSNESS (i.e. “omnipresence”). Solution is U (i.e. “posh” – U denotes the upper class, don’t you know, what-what-what, tallyho and so forth, old thing) followed by B (a recognised abbreviation of “bishop” used in chess), then I, then QUIT (i.e. “left”), then O (a recognised abbreviation of “over” used in cricket), then US (i.e. “American”) and NESS (i.e. “cape”, as in the geographic feature).

  1. Terribly idle woman is not without depth (3-11)

Answer: TWO-DIMENSIONAL (i.e. “without depth”). “Terribly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IDLE WOMAN IS NOT.

  1. Malicious goddess ensnaring old doctor (8)

Answer: VENOMOUS (i.e. “malicious”). Solution is VENUS (i.e. “goddess”) wrapped around or “ensnaring” O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and MO (i.e. “doctor” or Medical Officer), like so: VEN(O-MO)US.

  1. Generous, though suffering from cardiomegaly? (3-7)

Answer: BIG-HEARTED. Solution satisfies “generous” and “suffering from cardiomegaly”.

  1. Run into upholstered seat used by several in squat? (6)

Answer: CROUCH (i.e. “squat”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “run”) placed “into” COUCH (i.e. “upholstered seat”), like so: C(R)OUCH.

  1. Hard man repeatedly supplying meat acceptable to Muslims (5)

Answer: HALAL (i.e. “meat acceptable to Muslims”). Solution is H (a recognised abbreviation of “hard” used in the grading of pencils) followed by AL and AL (i.e. “man[‘s name] repeatedly”).

  1. Censor both sides of agreement secured by company (4)

Answer: CATO (i.e. “censor” of Roman times). Solution is AT (i.e. “both sides of agreement”, i.e. the first and last letters of “agreement”) placed in or “secured by” CO (a recognised abbreviation of “company”), like so: C(AT)O.

  1. European embassy, one of those we’re trying to cut? (8)

Answer: EMISSION (i.e. “one of those we’re trying to cut” – timely given the recent COP26 summit). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”) followed by MISSION (i.e. “embassy”).

  1. Role in theatrical do for men only (4,5)

Answer: STAG PARTY (i.e. “do for men only”). Solution is PART (i.e. “role”) placed “in” STAGY (i.e. “theatrical”), like so: STAG(PART)Y.

  1. Exceed allotted time with respect to race (7)

Answer: OVERRUN (i.e. “exceed allotted time”). Solution is OVER (i.e. “with respect to”) followed by RUN (i.e. “race”).

  1. Pitiful way it gets knocked back in City area (8)

Answer: PATHETIC (i.e. “pitiful”). Solution is PATH (i.e. “way”) followed by IT once it has been reversed (indicated by “knocked back”) and placed “in” EC (i.e. “City [of London] area”, a reference to its postcode), like so: PATH-E(TI)C.

  1. Cross about start of feisty female’s gag? (6)

Answer: MUFFLE (i.e. “gag”). Solution is MULE (i.e. “cross” between a horse and a donkey) wrapped “about” F (i.e. “start of feisty”, i.e. the first letter of “feisty”) and F (a recognised abbreviation of “female”), like so: MU(F-F)LE.

  1. I visit the Hollywood area, having false notions (5)

Answer: IDOLA (i.e. “having false notions” – over to Chambers: an idol can be “a false notion or other erroneous way of looking at things to which the mind is prone as classified by Bacon in Novum Organum”. Glad that’s cleared up, then). When written as I DO LA the solution also satisfies “I visit the Hollywood area”. (cough)made-to-fit(cough)

  1. Injuries shown by Scottish poet with PhD, perhaps? (6-6,5)

Answer: SECOND-DEGREE BURNS (i.e. “injuries”). Clue plays on a PhD being a SECOND DEGREE earned by postgraduates, and Robert BURNS being a “Scottish poet”.

  1. Remedial treatment for cutie following censure (11)

Answer: THERAPEUTIC (i.e. “remedial”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “treatment for”) of CUTIE placed after or “following” THE RAP (i.e. “censure”), like so: (THE-RAP)-EUTIC.

  1. Uncommon process involving fluorine becoming less dense (11)

Answer: RAREFACTION (i.e. of air “becoming less dense”). Solution is RARE (i.e. “uncommon”) and ACTION (i.e. “process”) wrapped around or “involving” F (chemical symbol of “fluorine”), like so: RARE-(F)-ACTION.

Down clues

  1. Silence poet’s representation of a prehistoric age (11)

Answer: PLEISTOCENE (i.e. “prehistoric age”). “Representation” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SILENCE POET.

  1. Capital I invested in upholstered seat (5)

Answer: SOFIA (i.e. “capital” city of Bulgaria). Solution is I placed or “invested in” SOFA (i.e. “upholstered seat”), like so: SOF(I)A.

  1. Dread losing son before sharp double bend: you must cross that river! (7)

Answer: YANGTZE (i.e. “river”). Solution is ANGST (i.e. “dread”) with the S removed (indicated by “losing son” – S being a recognised abbreviation of “son”) and followed by Z (i.e. “sharp double bend”, descriptive of the letter Z’s shape). These are then placed in or “crossed” by YE (i.e. ye olde “you”), like so: Y(ANGT-Z)E.

  1. Terrible ruler’s current form of transport (4)

Answer: IVAN (i.e. “terrible ruler”, i.e. Ivan the Terrible). Solution is I (a recognised abbreviation of an electrical “current”) followed by VAN (i.e. “form of transport”).

  1. New maid’s role involving old woman’s retreat? (6,4)

Answer: LADIES ROOM (i.e. “woman’s retreat”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “new”) of MAID’S ROLE wrapped around or “involving” O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”), like so: LADIESR(O)OM.

  1. Western jazzman too biased at first over footwear (10,4)

Answer: WELLINGTON BOOT (i.e. “footwear”). Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “western”) followed by Duke ELLINGTON (i.e. “jazzman”), then TOO and B (i.e. “biased at first”, i.e. the first letter of “biased”) once these latter two have been reversed (indicated by “over”), like so: W-ELLINGTON-(B-OOT).

  1. Feeling transmitted by head of Irish hospital department (8)

Answer: SENTIENT (i.e. “feeling”). Solution is SENT (i.e. “transmitted”) followed by I (i.e. “head of Irish”, i.e. the first letter of “Irish”) and ENT (i.e. “hospital department”, specifically Ear Nose and Throat).

  1. Time to get upset about Conservative decree (5)

Answer: EDICT (i.e. “decree”). Solution is TIDE (i.e. “time”, poetically) reversed (indicated by “to get upset” – this being a down clue) and wrapped “about” C (a recognised abbreviation of “Conservative”), like so: EDI(C)T.

  1. Beautiful girl holding a gun? A thing of little significance (9)

Answer: BAGATELLE (a trinket or “thing of little significance”). Solution is BELLE (i.e. “beautiful girl”) wrapped around or “holding” A GAT (i.e. “a gun”, short for Gatling), like so: B(A-GAT)ELLE.

  1. Nightmare of French exam taken externally (6)

Answer: ORDEAL (i.e. “nightmare”). Solution is DE (i.e. “of French”, i.e. the French for “of”) placed in or having “externally” ORAL (i.e. “exam”), like so: OR(DE)AL.

  1. Very angry, like a boxer on a sweltering day? (3,5,3,6)

Answer: HOT UNDER THE COLLAR (i.e. “very angry”). Clue plays on “boxers” being dogs, dogs often wear collars, you get the idea.

  1. Hard-hearted note on inspector? Not so (11)

Answer: REMORSELESS (i.e. “hard-hearted”). Solution is RE (i.e. “note”) followed by MORSE (i.e. “inspector” of Colin Dexter’s novels) and LESS (i.e. “not so” much).

  1. Evaluate French art this writer’s exhibited in gallery (8)

Answer: ESTIMATE (i.e. “evaluate”). Solution is ES (i.e. “French art” – we’ve seen this a couple of times now: “art” is being taken as a ye olde form of “are”; the French for “are” is ES) followed by I’M (i.e. “this writer’s” taken from the point of view of the setter, a contraction of I AM) once placed or “exhibited in” TATE (i.e. “gallery”), like so: ES-T(I’M)ATE.

  1. Settle extortionate bill involving hooter? (3,7,3,4)

Answer: PAY THROUGH THE NOSE (i.e. “settle extortionate bill”). Clue plays on “hooter” being an informal name for a NOSE.

  1. Rich confection English girl left unfinished (6)

Answer: ÉCLAIR (i.e. “rich confection”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) followed by CLAIRE (i.e. a “girl’s” name) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “unfinished”), like so: E-CLAIR.

  1. Thus otters originally plunged into river – truly (8)

Answer: FORSOOTH (i.e. “truly”). Solution is SO (i.e. “thus”) and O (i.e. “otters originally”, i.e. the first letter of “otters”) both placed “into” FORTH (i.e. “river”), like so: FOR(SO-O)TH.

  1. Name one’s used to cover extremities of these insects (8)

Answer: TERMITES (i.e. “insects”). Solution is TERM (i.e. “name”) followed by I’S (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one’s”) once placed around or “covering” TE (i.e. “extremities of these”, i.e. the first and last letters of “these”), like so: TERM-I(TE)’S.

  1. RAF officer “S”? (8,6)

Answer: SQUADRON LEADER (i.e. “RAF officer”). Clue plays on S being the start letter or LEADER of the word SQUADRON.

  1. Become excessively agitated about eliminating round (8)

Answer: OVERHEAT (i.e. “become excessively agitated”). Solution is OVER (i.e. regarding or “about”) followed by HEAT (i.e. “eliminating round” in sports).

  1. Evaluate merchandise ultimately carried in a couple of ships (6)

Answer: ASSESS (i.e. “evaluate”). Solution is E (i.e. “merchandise ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “merchandise”) placed or “carried in” A, SS and SS (i.e. “couple of ships”, SS is a recognised abbreviation of a steamship), like so: A-SS-(E)-SS.

  1. Trader’s con cost a bit, unfortunately (11)

Answer: TOBACCONIST (i.e. “trader”). “Unfortunately” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CON COST A BIT.

  1. Poor ass is lonely – nothing much happening now (5,6)

Answer: SILLY SEASON (i.e. “nothing much happening now”. Chambers offers this: “a time of year, usually late summer, when newspapers print trivial matter for lack of more newsworthy material”). “Poor” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ASS IS LONELY.

  1. Greek characters hang about, arresting duke’s malicious vilifier (10)

Answer: MUDSLINGER (i.e. “malicious vilifier”). Solution is MUS (i.e. “Greek characters” – mu is the twelfth letter of the Greek alphabet) and LINGER (i.e. “hang about”) all wrapped around or “arresting” D (a recognised abbreviation of “duke”), like so: MU(D)S-LINGER.

  1. Recapture thoughts about skirts causing excitement at first (9)

Answer: REMINISCE (i.e. “recapture thoughts”). Solution is RE (i.e. regarding or “about” – think email replies) followed by MINIS (i.e. “skirts”), then C and E (i.e. “causing excitement at first”, i.e. the first letters of “causing” and “excitement”).

  1. Like works of poet and philosopher briefly taking pick-me-up (8)

Answer: MILTONIC (i.e. “like works of poet”, specifically John Milton). Solution is John Stuart MILL (i.e. a “philosopher” who couldn’t handle his shandy, some might say) with its last letter removed (indicated by “briefly”) and the remainder followed by TONIC (i.e. “pick-me-up”), like so: MIL-TONIC.

  1. Sound iron chest primarily containing lead (7)

Answer: PLUMBIC (i.e. “containing lead”). Solution is PLUMB (i.e. “sound” – once more to Chambers: “to sound as by a plumb line”, whatever that means) followed by I and C (i.e. “iron chest primarily”, i.e. the first letters of “iron” and “chest”).

  1. A jolly girl – and fleet (6)

Answer: ARMADA (i.e. “fleet” of ships). Solution is A followed by RM (i.e. “jolly”, slang for a Royal Marine, it says here), then ADA (i.e. a “girl’s” name – names are clearly this setter’s calling card).

  1. Feature of needlework originally produced in bed (5)

Answer: PICOT (i.e. “feature of needlework”). Solution is P and I (i.e. “originally produced in”, i.e. the first letters of “produced” and “in”) followed by COT (i.e. “bed”).

  1. Asian language principally spoken in remote island (5)

Answer: FARSI (i.e. “Asian language”). Solution is S (i.e. “principally spoken”, i.e. the first letter of “spoken”) placed “in” FAR (i.e. “remote”) and I (a recognised abbreviation of “island”), like so: FAR-(S)-I.

  1. Man once bound to take to the waves, we hear? (4)

Answer: SERF (i.e. “man once bound”). “We hear” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of SURF (i.e. “to take to the waves”).

8 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1525

  1. Thanks Lucian. This wasn’t too bad on the whole, apart from a couple of contrived solutions and a slight over-reliance on archaic definitions.

    A quick word re 18d: ES meaning “French art” is a reference to TU ES, which is the familiar version of the second person singular. In everyday parlance it does mean “you [familiar] are”, but translated literally it means “thou art”.

    Hope this helps. Take care, and stay safe. Sue

  2. Easiest for a long time.

    My only gripe was with 53a (IDOLA). Having already established the intersecting letters (i.e. I-O-A), the answer would obviously be either “IDOLA” or (less likely) “IGOLA”. But neither word is in my dictionaries (Collins and the two-volume Shorter Oxford).

    I do feel that crossword setters should avoid words that only appear in a particular dictionary.

    1. The answer is IDOLA plural of IDOLUM (a false idea or fallacy) – Don’t worry – I think it flummoxed Lucian too!

  3. We liked ‘hot under the collar’ and ‘squadron leader’ was clever. But like you, not impressed by ‘idols’ and I thought ‘Miltonic’ was rather weak. But overall, nice to rattle through and finish it quickly.

  4. Yes, an easier one this week, with a few old setters’ favourites such as French and, of French & French art as well as corporation meaning the body. Squadron leader was my favourite clue & 42d got me absent-mindedly singing along with Monty Python’s Philosophers’ Song. Cheers.

  5. Nice and easy this week except for 53 across. The reason that IDOLA doesn’t appear in a dictionary is that it is the plural of IDOLUM (a false idea or fallacy).

    1. I appreciate the point (and I did study Latin at skool – many moons ago). But Idola doesn’t appear in my dictionary as the plural of idolum. Yet if, for example, I look up the word “referendum”, my Collins does give the plural – being either “referendums” or “referenda”. Fair enough, and that’s what we need from English dictionaries.

      But, for me, Latin plurals have no place if they aren’t in the dictionary. On such a basis, I could claim that “dra” is the Latin plural of “drum”.

      Funnily enough, years ago I did some Latin translation for someone publishing a book. My Latin days are behind me but one of my sources (besides a Latin dictionary) was the “Pocket Oxford Latin” software program which still works in Windows 10 today.

      I just fired it up and entered “Idola” and then “idolum”. Zero hits.

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