Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1527

A relatively easy puzzle this week, which is fine by me, especially when accompanied by some nicely worked clues. (And especially especially when said clues make the exotic solutions easier to get.)

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 trampled all over your flowers then you might find succour in my Just For Fun page, where you’ll find links to solutions to the last 170+ of these things. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks again for the kind words and help, folks. It’s always interesting to hear the thoughts of other solvers once they’ve set down their pens. And what’s this I see? Normal sized text in WordPress’s editor? Praise be! If anyone is in the market for a second-hand microfiche reader, let me know. Till next time, stay safe out there, kids.


Across clues

  1. A new coin eclipsing one from long ago (7)

Answer: ANCIENT (i.e. “from long ago”). Solution is A followed by N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”) and CENT (i.e. “coin”) once wrapped around or “eclipsing” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: A-N-C(I)ENT.

  1. This writer’s finished old painting (7)

Answer: IMPASTO (i.e. “painting” style, where you stick great gobs of the stuff onto the canvas). Solution is I’M (i.e. “this writer’s”, i.e. a contraction of “this writer is” taken from the point of view of the setter, i.e. “I am”) followed by PAST (i.e. “finished”) and O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”).

  1. Yearbook article stored in a large computer (7)

Answer: ALMANAC (i.e. “yearbook”). Solution is AN (i.e. “article”, i.e. a word like a, an or the) placed or “stored in” A, L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) and MAC (i.e. a line of “computers” manufactured by Apple, short for Macintosh), like so: A-L-M(AN)AC.

  1. Head office used Rover for training course (4,7)

Answer: HORS D’OUEVRE (i.e. meal “course”). Solution is HO (a recognised abbreviation of “head office”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “for training”) of USED ROVER, like so: HO-RSDOEUVRE. If someone could hack into The Times‘ puzzle style guide and add “Thou muft indicateth the proper length of apoftrophifed folutionf verily: HORS D’OEUVRE (4,1’6)” that would be lovely, thanks.

  1. Fish circles one very loud tug, an engineering marvel (6,5)

Answer: EIFFEL TOWER (i.e. “engineering marvel”). Solution is EEL (i.e. “fish”) wrapped around or “circling” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and FF (i.e. “very loud”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “fortissimo” used in musical lingo), then followed by TOWER (i.e. “tug”, a reference to how it tows other boats behind it).

  1. Victor leaves club towel perhaps (5)

Answer: DRIER (i.e. “towel perhaps” – other methods of drying are available. You could stick your wet plates on a warm radiator for example. #LifeHacks). Solution is DRIVER (a golf “club”) with the V removed (indicated by “Victor leaves…” – Victor is V in the phonetic alphabet).

  1. Well-known extract in English books (7)

Answer: EMINENT (i.e. “well-known”). Solution is MINE (i.e. to “extract”) placed “in” between E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) and NT (i.e. “books”, specifically the New Testament of The Bible), like so: E-(MINE)-NT.

  1. Pick up article about current distress (9)

Answer: HEARTACHE (i.e. “distress”). Solution is HEAR (i.e. “pick up”) followed by THE (i.e. “article”, as already covered) once wrapped “about” AC (i.e. a recognised abbreviation of alternating “current”), like so: HEAR-T(AC)HE.

  1. Unexpectedly, Nepal is reconstructing IT hub (7,10,4)

Answer: CENTRAL PROCESSING UNIT (the heart of electronic computers. You could also call it a centre of activity or “hub”. I couldn’t possibly comment). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “unexpectedly”) of NEPAL IS RECONSTRUCTING followed by IT.
[EDIT: Thanks to Natalie in the comments for repairing this one. I nearly had it. The anagram is merely of NEPAL IS RECONSTRUCTING, making the solution an “IT hub”. Cheers, Natalie! – LP]

  1. Sheep enclosure by church that’s not worth much (8)

Answer: TUPPENCE (i.e. “not worth much”). Solution is TUP (i.e. a ram or “sheep” – we’ve seen this usage a couple of times in Jumbos) followed by PEN (i.e. “enclosure”), then CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England).

  1. Old firm collecting tax returns book (6)

Answer: OCTAVO (i.e. “book” printed on sheets folded in such a way to produce eight leaves per sheet rather than four). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) followed by CO (ditto “company”) once wrapped around or “collecting” VAT (i.e. “tax”, specifically Value Added Tax) once this has been reversed (indicated by “returns”), like so: O-C(TAV)O. One cracked via the wordplay.

  1. Daisy reorganised beer garden having removed study (7)

Answer: GERBERA (i.e. colourful “daisy”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “reorganised”) of BEER GARDEN once the DEN or “study” has been “removed”.

  1. Fertilise a lot to protect first of lettuce (5)

Answer: MULCH (i.e. “fertilise” – can be used in verb form). Solution is MUCH (i.e. “a lot”) wrapped around or “protecting” L (i.e. “first [letter] of lettuce”), like so: MU(L)CH.

  1. Old PM hugs a secretary, fluttering (7)

Answer: PITAPAT (i.e. “fluttering” – can refer to “a palpitating sensation” (Chambers)). Solution is PITT (i.e. “old PM” or Prime Minister) wrapped around or “hugging” A and PA (i.e. “secretary” or Personal Assistant), like so: PIT(A-PA)T.

  1. One’s utmost – or even better! (5,4)

Answer: LEVEL BEST (i.e. “one’s utmost”). Solution is LEVEL (i.e. “even”) followed by BEST (i.e. to “better” someone). Simple, but nicely done.

  1. Reportedly only Mike defends American tunes (4,5)

Answer: SOUL MUSIC (i.e. “tunes”). Solution comprises homophones (indicated by “reportedly”) of SOLE (i.e. “only”) and MIKE wrapped around or “defending” US (i.e. “American”), like so: SOUL-M(US)IC.

  1. Couple arranged to house new Gallic barman (7)

Answer: Francis POULENC (i.e. French composer or “barman”, given music comprises bars and such). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “arranged”) of COUPLE wrapped around or “housing” N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”), like so: POULE(N)C. One of those to file under “made to fit”, but mercifully made easier by the wordplay.

  1. A drunkard devours cold course (5)

Answer: ASCOT (i.e. “course” for horse racing). Solution is A followed by SOT (i.e. “drunkard”) once wrapped around or “devouring” C (a recognised abbreviation of “cold”), like so: A-S(C)OT.

  1. Obliterate some Parisian system of weights (7)

Answer: DESTROY (i.e. “obliterate”). Solution is DES (i.e. “some Parisian”, i.e. the French for “some”) followed by TROY (i.e. “system of weights”).

  1. Try to catch each cook swigging whiskey (6)

Answer: EARWIG (i.e. to eavesdrop or “try to catch”). Solution is EA (a recognised abbreviation of “each”) followed by RIG (i.e. to “cook”, manipulate or falsify) once wrapped around or “swigging” W (i.e. “whiskey” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: EA-R(W)IG.

  1. Put emphasis on sweets going west (8)

Answer: STRESSED (i.e. “put emphasis on”). Solution is DESSERTS (i.e. “sweets”) reversed (indicated by “going west” – this being an across clue).

  1. Instinctive broadcast that assists motorists (9,12)

Answer: AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION (i.e. “that assists motorists”). Solution is AUTOMATIC (i.e. “instinctive”) followed by TRANSMISSION (i.e. “broadcast”).

  1. Bans speaker backing target limits (9)

Answer: MORATORIA (i.e. “bans”). Solution is ORATOR (i.e. “speaker”) placed in or “limited” by AIM (i.e. “target”) once this has been reversed (indicated by “backing”), like so: M(ORATOR)IA.

  1. Rewrite medical lecture (7)

Answer: DECLAIM (i.e. to harangue or “lecture”). “Rewrite” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MEDICAL.

  1. Heroin features in cocaine gag (5)

Answer: CHOKE (i.e. to “gag”). Solution is H (i.e. street name for “heroin”) placed or “featured in” COKE (ditto “cocaine”), like so: C(H)OKE.

  1. Associate to bury china with foreign article (11)

Answer: INTERMINGLE (i.e. to “associate”). Solution is INTER (i.e. “to bury”) followed by MING (i.e. “china” or porcelain) and LE (i.e. “foreign article”, i.e. the French for “the”).

  1. Like top man and his unnamed son giving cost before haggling (6,5)

Answer: ASKING PRICE (i.e. “cost before haggling”). Solution is AS (i.e. “like”) followed by KING (i.e. “top man”) and PRINCE (i.e. “his…son”, in reference to KING) once the N has been removed (indicated by “nameless” – N being a recognised abbreviation of “name”), like so: AS-KING-PRICE.

  1. Colt maybe raised wretchedly by side of mountain (7)

Answer: SIDEARM (i.e. “Colt maybe” – other gun manufacturers are available). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “wretchedly”) of RAISED followed by M (i.e. “side of mountain”, i.e. the first letter of “mountain”), like so: SIDEAR-M.

  1. Delay writer following our group in South Dakota (7)

Answer: SUSPEND (i.e. “delay”). Solution is PEN (i.e. “writer”) placed after or “following” US (i.e. “our group”). These are then placed “in” SD (US state abbreviation of “South Dakota”), like so: S(US-PEN)D.

  1. Slander constant smoker in a city (7)

Answer: CALUMNY (i.e. “slander”). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “constant”) followed by LUM (i.e. a chimney or “smoker” – we’ve also seen this usage a couple of times in Jumbos) once placed “in” between A and NY (i.e. “city”, specifically New York), like so: C-A-(LUM)-NY.

Down clues

  1. A research graduate’s catching current pests (6)

Answer: APHIDS (i.e. “pests”). Solution is A followed by PHD’S (i.e. “research graduate’s”) once wrapped around or “catching” I (a recognised abbreviation of an electric “current” used in physics), like so: A-PH(I)D’S.

  1. Club maybe regularly finance person with pump problem? (7)

Answer: CARDIAC (i.e. someone with cardiac disease or “person with pump problem”). Solution is CARD (i.e. “club maybe” – other suits are available) followed by IAC (i.e. “regularly finance”, i.e. every other letter of FINANCE).

  1. Finish university event around north showing stamina? (9)

Answer: ENDURANCE (i.e. “stamina”). Solution is END (i.e. “finish”) followed by U (a recognised abbreviation of “university”) and RACE (i.e. athletic “event”) once wrapped “around” N (a recognised abbreviation of “north”), like so: END-U-RA(N)CE.

  1. Second person once arresting male subject (5)

Answer: THEME (i.e. “subject”). Solution is THEE (i.e. “second person once”, i.e. ye olde form of “you”: first person being “I”, second person being “you”, third person being “they”) wrapped around or “arresting” M (a recognised abbreviation of “male”), like so: THE(M)E.

  1. Dupe wearing mask takes in good European (8)

Answer: INVEIGLE (i.e. “dupe”). Solution is IN VEIL (i.e. “wearing mask”) wrapped around or “taking in” G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”) and followed by E (ditto “European”), like so: IN-VEI(G)L-E.

  1. Part of receipt sent up with margins trimmed (5)

Answer: PIECE (i.e. “part”). Solution is RECEIPT with its first and last letters or “margins” removed or “trimmed”, and the remainder reversed (indicated by “sent up” – this being a down clue), like so: R(ECEIP)T => ECEIP => PIECE.

  1. One who has doubts about filling sort of tank (7)

Answer: SCEPTIC (i.e. “one who has doubts”). Solution is SEPTIC (i.e. “sort of tank”) wrapped around or “filled” by C (i.e. “about”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “circa”), like so: S(C)EPTIC.

  1. Bid to secure article ought to be somewhat revealing (3-3-8)

Answer: OFF-THE-SHOULDER (i.e. “somewhat revealing”). Solution is OFFER (i.e. “bid”) wrapped around or “securing” THE (i.e. “article”, already discussed) and SHOULD (i.e. “ought to be”), like so: OFF(THE-SHOULD)ER.

  1. State becoming older, losing energy and getting mean (9)

Answer: AVERAGING (i.e. mathematical “mean”). Solution is AVER (i.e. to “state”) followed by AGEING (i.e. “becoming older”) once the E has been removed (indicated by “losing energy” – E being a recognised abbreviation of “energy”), like so: AVER-AGING.

  1. Books in opera house for choral piece (5)

Answer: MOTET (i.e. “choral piece”). Solution is OT (i.e. “books”, this time the Old Testament of The Bible) placed “in” MET (i.e. “opera house”, specifically the Metropolitan Opera House in New York), like so: M(OT)ET.

  1. Where reporters gather fresh small pears (4,11)

Answer: NEWS CONFERENCES (i.e. “where reporters gather”). Solution is NEW (i.e. “fresh”) followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) and CONFERENCES (i.e. variety of “pears”).

  1. County right concerning court rebuke (7)

Answer: CORRECT (i.e. “rebuke”). Solution is CO (a recognised abbreviation of “county”) followed by R (ditto “right”), then RE (i.e. “concerning” – think email replies) and CT (a recognised abbreviation of “court”).

  1. Distributed precise formulae (7)

Answer: RECIPES (i.e. “formulae”). “Distributed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of PRECISE.

  1. Initially roll then twice decorate bakery item (4,5)

Answer: RICE PAPER (i.e. “bakery item”). Solution is R (i.e. “initially roll”, i.e. the first letter of “roll”) followed by ICE and PAPER (i.e. “twice decorate” – the former being to decorate a cake, the latter to decorate a room).

  1. In Indian state burn primate (7)

Answer: GORILLA (i.e. “primate”). Solution is GOA (i.e. “Indian state”) wrapped around or having “in” RILL (i.e. “burn” – both being small waterways), like so: GO(RILL)A.

  1. Like fine spray, so made it elsewhere (8)

Answer: ATOMISED (i.e. “like fine spray”). “Elsewhere” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SO MADE IT.

  1. Sort of fat old college with room for more students? (15)

Answer: POLYUNSATURATED (i.e. “sort of fat”). The clue plays on a POLY or polytechnic being an “old college”. The rest, I guess, playfully riffs on SAT tests and whether potential students are U-RATED, taking U to be a recognised abbreviation of “university”. UN- being a negating prefix would then suggest said POLY is lacking in suitable applicants. Something along those lines, anyway. Could be I’ve missed something devious, though.

[EDIT: As a few commenters have pointed out, the UNSATURATED part of the solution satisfies how said POLY hasn’t yet reached saturation point, or “has room for more students”. Thanks all! – LP]

  1. Old king’s from day one into knitwear! (9)

Answer: ARTHURIAN (i.e. “old king’s”, taken to mean “of an old king”, specifically King Arthur). Solution is THUR (i.e. “day” of the week, short for Thursday) and I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) both placed “into” ARAN (i.e. style of “knitwear”), like so: AR(THUR-I)AN.

  1. A quiet bird you’d heard displaying flair (8)

Answer: APTITUDE (i.e. “flair”). Solution is A followed by P (a recognised abbreviation of “piano” or “quiet” in musical lingo), then TIT (i.e. “bird”) and a homophone (indicated by “heard”) of “you’d”, like so: A-P-TIT-UDE.

  1. Routine chats where bulls and bears gather (5,9)

Answer: STOCK EXCHANGES (i.e. “where bulls and bears gather”, bulls and bears symbolising trading on rising and falling share prices). Solution is STOCK (i.e. mundane or “routine”) followed by EXCHANGES (i.e. “chats”).

  1. Dull sound made by certain workers on cylinder (7)

Answer: HUMDRUM (i.e. “dull”). Solution is HUM (i.e. “sound made by certain workers”, in this case worker bees) followed by DRUM (i.e. “cylinder”).

  1. Relinquishes duty importing a hundred tablets (7)

Answer: VACATES (i.e. “relinquishes”). Solution is VAT (i.e. “duty”, Value Added Tax again) wrapped around or “importing” A and C (i.e. “[Roman numeral] hundred”) and followed by ES (i.e. “tablets” of ecstasy, E being its street name), like so: V(A-C)AT-ES.

  1. Addition to table Betty Muir designed (9)

Answer: YTTERBIUM (i.e. chemical element or “addition to [periodic] table”). “Designed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of BETTY MUIR.

  1. Bishop’s huge stone embodying saint (9)

Answer: EPISCOPAL (i.e. “bishop’s”, read as belonging to bishops). Solution is EPIC (i.e. “huge”) and OPAL (i.e. “stone”) wrapped around or “embodying” S (a recognised abbreviation of “saint”), like so: EPI(S)C-OPAL.

  1. Got on British vessel in eastern sea (8)

Answer: EMBARKED (i.e. “got on”). Solution is B (a recognised abbreviation of “British”) and ARK (i.e. “vessel”) both placed “in” E (a recognised abbreviation of “eastern”) and MED (i.e. “sea”, short for Mediterranean), like so: E-M(B-ARK)ED.

  1. Hairy locations where weapons are hidden? (7)

Answer: ARMPITS (i.e. “hairy locations”). The remainder plays on ARMS being a word for “weapons”. I guess you could hide them in PITS. Inactive volcano bases are another option for budding supervillains.

  1. Engineers line up compensation (7)

Answer: REDRESS (i.e. “compensation”). Solution is RE (i.e. “engineers”, specifically the Royal Engineers of the British Army) followed by DRESS (i.e. to “line up” – usage I remembered from a recent puzzle, if I’m honest).

  1. Metal miners employ old boy in islands (7)

Answer: NIOBIUM (i.e. “metal”). Solution is NUM (i.e. “miners”, specifically the National Union of Miners) wrapped around or “employing” OB (a recognised abbreviation of “old boy”) once this has itself been placed “in” between I and I (i.e. “islands”, I being a recognised abbreviation of “island”), like so: N(I(OB)I)UM.

  1. Plant that would need IT installed to generate speed (6)

Answer: CELERY (i.e. “plant”). After IT has been “installed” within the solution you get CELER(IT)Y, another word for “speed”.

  1. Land legally grabbed by Walter Raleigh (5)

Answer: TERRA (i.e. “land legally”, a comment on how the word is used in legalese). “Grabbed by” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: WAL(TER RA)LEIGH.

  1. First of couturiers to flatten fashion (5)

Answer: CRAZE (i.e. “fashion”). Solution is C (i.e. “first [letter] of couturiers”) followed by RAZE (i.e. to “flatten” a building).

  1. Demented bloke in charge (5)

Answer: MANIC (i.e. “demented”). Solution is MAN (i.e. “bloke”) followed by IC (a recognised abbreviation of “in charge”).

10 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1527

  1. Thanks Lucian, I think 31d just about sums up this week’s offering. Can’t think of one pleasing clue/solution. Ho hum Cheers

    1. You beat me to it!
      I do expect a bit of a tussle with a cryptic crossword. This one was all over bar the shouting well before lunch.

  2. Easy one this week. I think 24d (which you wonder about in red) was simply “Poly” plus “Unsaturated”, the latter meaning room for more students.

    As ever, thanks for slaving away on our behalves.

    1. 24d, absolutely agree with sirram999 but was delighted by your tortuous (?tortured) parsing Lucian.
      Thanks as always for your much valued labour.

  3. No complaints about a relatively easy ride! We liked Hors d’oeuvre (took a while to put all those vowels in a row) and Tuppence was a nice clue.

  4. Thanks Lucian. As you say, a comparatively straightforward one this week. Having said that, we weren’t impressed by the same element being used twice in two different clues (VAT in 25a and 34d), and the lack of an apostrophe in HORS D’OEUVRE.

    Take care, and stay safe. Sue

  5. Agree about lazy use of VAT twice, not to mention two other answers being names of different chemical elements , 39d Ytterbium and 46d Niobium. There is a possible play on ‘Addition’ in 39d as I think Ytterbium is one of several sub-divided rare earths from the earlier discovered Yttrium, all of which were found in Ytterby in Sweden and confusingly all called after a part of the name of the town .There must be a niche market Jumbo waiting to be put together for chemists who know more about the periodic table than I.
    About apostrophes, Edmund Akenhead notes the Times decision – though not its date – about the elision of separate words without ther separate recognition, in his foreword to the first collection of Jumbos.
    …I’m off to wrestle with the Powers and Triangular numbers in the Listener 4686…

    Thanks, as always, for explanations

  6. Insultingly easy, I thought. I can never understand why the level of difficulty can vary so violently, week to week. At least when the Jumbo is a positive breeze the smaller Saturday prize is more red-alert Storm Arwen – and vice versa. From which reference you may gather that I usually save both for late in the week!

  7. Thanks as always for your explanations. Sorry a bit late with my suggestion….

    For 18a, “central processing unit” is an anagram of “Nepal is reconstructing” (no need to use the letters of IT), meaning this leaves “IT hub” making the answer of “central processing unit” a better one I would say.

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