Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1533

Happy New Year, peeps! I hope you all had a fine Christmas and that the start of your 2022 has been a good one. It’s not been the greatest of times in Poll Towers, sadly, after yours truly acquired an unwelcome passenger. Yuck. It says something to the transmissibility of the Omicron variant when it can even infect no-names on the internet.

Meanwhile it appears puzzle 1532 was an online-only affair so we’ll skip straight onto 1533, a toughie that weirdly felt like one of those “greatest hits” puzzles while I was solving it. For the most part, though, it was a good ‘un with some nicely worked clues and the kind of steady progression I like.

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 pulled all of your Christmas crackers and sat on your presents then you might find some joy in my Just For Fun page, where you’ll find solutions to (most of) the last 180+ of them. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks once more for the kind comments and help. It’s always appreciated, and it’s always interesting to read the thoughts of other solvers once their pens are stilled. Till next time, mask up, get jabbed and stay safe out there, kids.


Across clues

  1. Sensational experience where island girl drinks punch (9)

Answer: ITCHINESS (i.e. “sensational experience”). Solution is I (a recognised abbreviation of “island”) and TESS (a “girl’s” name) wrapped around or “drinking” CHIN (i.e. to “punch”), like so: I-T(CHIN)ESS.

  1. Dog biting that is to be retired (4,3)

Answer: SHAR PEI (i.e. “dog”). Solution is SHARP (i.e. “biting”) followed by IE (i.e. “that is”, i.e. is the abbreviated form of its Latin equivalent id est) reversed (indicated by “to be retired”), like so: SHARP-EI. I knew from a previous puzzle this was going to be “something” PEI, but needed my Bradford’s to get me over the line.

  1. Artist first person admitted to cricket club in good time (5)

Answer: CRAIC (i.e. “good time”). Solution is RA (i.e. “artist”, specifically a Royal Academician) and I (i.e. “first person” – first person is “I”, second person is “you” and third person is “they”) both placed in or “admitted to” CC (a recognised abbreviation of “cricket club”), like so: C(RA-I)C.

  1. Something to stop worker on main line? (7)

Answer: SEALANT (i.e. “something to stop” leaks). Solution is ANT (i.e. “worker”) placed “on” or after SEA (i.e. the “main” – a favourite usage of most setters) and L (a recognised abbreviation of “line”), like so: (SEA-L)-ANT.

  1. Grand used by Scottish group making harsh sound (5)

Answer: CLANG (i.e. “harsh sound”). Solution is G (a recognised abbreviation of “grand”) placed after or “by” CLAN (i.e. “Scottish group”), like so: CLAN-G.

  1. No-one stressed is returning for work (9)

Answer: SITUATION (i.e. “work”). Solution is NO followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), then TAUT (i.e. “stressed”) and IS all reversed (indicated by “returning”), like so: SI-TUAT-I-ON.

  1. Ridiculously arrogant liar potentially faces hanging here? (8,8,7)

Answer: NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY (i.e. “faces hanging here”). “Ridiculously” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ARROGANT LIAR POTENTIALLY. Nicely worked.

  1. Church added to substantial harvest crop (6)

Answer: CEREAL (i.e. “crop”). Solution is CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England) followed by REAL (i.e. “substantial”).

  1. Princess cool patriarch backed to dismiss bishop (8)

Answer: MAHARANI (i.e. “princess”). Solution is IN (i.e. “cool”) followed by ABRAHAM (i.e. biblical “patriarch”) once the B has been removed (indicated by “dismiss bishop” – B being a recognised abbreviation of “bishop” used in chess) and the whole then reversed (indicated by “backed”), like so: MAHARA-NI.

  1. Coffee discontented barista knocked over, helping criminal (7)

Answer: ABETTAL (i.e. “helping criminal”). Solution is LATTE (i.e. “coffee”) followed by BA (i.e. “discontented barista”, i.e. the word “barista” with all its middle letters removed), all reversed (indicated by “knocked over”), like so: AB-ETTAL.

  1. Sacred text to which Citizen Dave’s Talmud owes much (4-6)

Answer: ZEND-AVESTA (i.e. “sacred text”). “To which…owes much” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: CITI(ZEN DAVE’S TA)LMUD. Wordplay was pretty obvious but took a shufti in my swish new Brewer’s to confirm.

  1. Undisciplined alumnus fronts corrupt superstore (12)

Answer: OBSTREPEROUS (i.e. “undisciplined”). Solution is OB (i.e. “alumnus”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of Old Boy) followed by an anagram (indicated by “corrupt”) of SUPERSTORE, like so: OB-STREPEROUS.

  1. Eccentric commander taking lead in William’s place? (5)

Answer: OCCAM (i.e. “William’s place”, refencing fourteenth century philosopher and friar William of Ockham). A guess, this one, so watch out. You can almost see the letters of the solution in the first words of clue, but I’m getting nothing else on this one.

[EDIT: Thanks to Chris in the comments for clearing this one up. The solution is CAM (i.e. “eccentric” – according to my Chambers a variant spelling of CAM is KAM or KAMME, a ye olde Shakespearean word for “awry”) with OC (i.e. “commander”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of Officer Commanding or Officer in Charge) placed before it or “taking lead”, like so: OC-CAM. Cheers, Chris! – LP]

  1. Fruit here sourced as an alternative with green vegetable (7)

Answer: ORCHARD (i.e. “fruit here sourced”). Solution is OR (i.e. “an alternative”) followed by CHARD (i.e. “green vegetable”).

  1. Rail service to take in Jura at last (8)

Answer: COMPLAIN (i.e. to “rail” against something). Solution is COMPLIN (i.e. a religious “service”, specifically the last hours of the Divine Office, also known as night prayer, if that means anything to anybody) wrapped around or “taking in” A (i.e. “Jura at last”, i.e. the last letter of “Jura”), like so: COMPL(A)IN. Nicely worked, but religious clues don’t half make me come out in a rash.

  1. Second one exits African countries to avoid duty (8)

Answer: MALINGER (i.e. “to avoid duty”). Solution is MALI and NIGER (i.e. “African countries”) with the “second [Roman numeral] one” or I “exiting”, like so: MALI-N(I)GER => MALI-NGER.

  1. Pressure on after time in war zone (7)

Answer: THEATRE (i.e. “war zone”). Solution is HEAT (i.e. “pressure”) and RE (i.e. “on” or regarding – think email replies) both placed “on” or after T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”), like so: T-(HEAT-RE).

  1. Fish starters in top restaurant forbidden (5)

Answer: TROUT (i.e. “fish”). Solution is TR (i.e. “starters in top restaurant”, i.e. the first letters of “top” and “restaurant”) followed by OUT (i.e. “forbidden”).

  1. Slab with key in slate together found outside 24’s lodgings (7,5)

Answer: ROSETTA STONE (i.e. “slab with key” – the stone features three versions of a decree across its surface, which proved key to deciphering Egyptian scripts). Solution is ROAST (i.e. to criticise or “slate”) and ONE (i.e. united or “together”) both wrapped “outside” of SETT (i.e. “24’s lodgings” – the solution to 24d is BADGER), like so: RO(SETT)AST-ONE.

  1. Absurd, a vehicle powered with LPG perhaps in the country (10)

Answer: MADAGASCAR (i.e. “country”). Solution is MAD (i.e. “absurd”) followed by A GAS CAR (i.e. “a vehicle powered with LPG perhaps” – LPG is liquid petroleum gas).

  1. Look closely at pressure encountered in cricket? (7)

Answer: INSPECT (i.e. “look closely at”). Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “pressure”) placed or “encountered in” INSECT (i.e. “cricket”), like so: INS(P)ECT.

  1. Game over between league’s leading pair (8)

Answer: LACROSSE (i.e. “game”). Solution is ACROSS (i.e. “over” something) placed in “between” L and E (i.e. “league’s leading pair”, i.e. the first two letters of “league”), like so: L(ACROSS)E.

  1. Vicious with ram brought inside? That’s mindless (6)

Answer: STUPID (i.e. “mindless”). Solution is SID (i.e. “Vicious” of the Sex Pistols) wrapped around or having “brought inside” TUP (i.e. “ram”, both words for a male sheep), like so: S(TUP)ID.

  1. Public agency rearranged trips: we voice our concerns (5,11,7)

Answer: CROWN PROSECUTION SERVICE (i.e. “public agency”). “Rearranged” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of TRIPS WE VOICE OUR CONCERNS.

  1. Friend from Bow behind elected party in Asian peninsula (9)

Answer: INDOCHINA (i.e. “Asian peninsula”). Solution is CHINA (i.e. “friend from Bow” – a reference to the cockney rhyming slang: china plate => mate) placed “behind” IN (i.e. “elected”) and DO (i.e. “party”), like so: (IN-DO)-CHINA.

  1. Old king from India wheeled carriage round (5)

Answer: PRIAM (i.e. “old king” of Troy in Greek mythology). Solution is I (“India” in the phonetic alphabet) placed in or having “round” PRAM (i.e. “wheeled carriage”), like so: PR(I)AM.

  1. Without the use of which one might drop dead? (7)

Answer: RIPCORD. Clue plays on how the failure of one during a parachute “drop” will likely result in “death”. One could argue that the landing would bear more of the responsibility than the drop itself…

  1. Day was one to have men coming into the underworld (5)

Answer: DORIS (i.e. “Day was one”, referring to screen icon and singer Doris Day). Solution is OR (i.e. “men”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army) placed “into” DIS (i.e. the infernal world or “underworld”), like so: D(OR)IS.

  1. Villainous group in secret outrageously seizing power (7)

Answer: SPECTRE (i.e. “villainous group” that pops up in Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “outrageously”) of SECRET wrapped around or “seizing” P (a recognised abbreviation of “power”), like so: S(P)ECTRE. One of the things that instantly amused me watching No Time To Die was how it used the exact same plot device as that in Spectre, i.e. Bond finding all the bad guys of SPECTRE in the same room at the same time. I got the impression the organisation all went on holiday together too, and perhaps even lived cheek-by-jowl in a big SPECTRE house, like some weird reality TV show. Wasn’t exactly great writing though, was it?

  1. House needs rice that’s for cooking (9)

Answer: RESIDENCE (i.e. “house”). “That’s for cooking” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of NEEDS RICE.

Down clues

  1. Dramatist in Swinburne’s biography on the rise (5)

Answer: Henrik IBSEN (i.e. “dramatist”). “In” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “on the rise” indicates the solution has been reversed – this being a down clue – like so: SWINBUR(NE’S BI)OGRAPHY.

  1. Young women talking idly around clubs educated people? (10,7)

Answer: CHATTERING CLASSES (i.e. “educated people”). Solution is CHATTERING LASSES (i.e. “young women talking idly”) wrapped “around” C (a recognised abbreviation of “clubs” used in card games), like so: CHATTERING-(C)-LASSES.

  1. Lover a Catholic picked up in Italian area (9)

Answer: INAMORATA (i.e. “lover”). Solution is A and ROMAN (i.e. “Catholic”) reversed (indicated by “picked up” – this being a down clue) and placed “in” IT (a recognised abbreviation of “Italian”) and A (ditto “area”), like so: I(NAMOR-A)T-A. One I remembered from a previous puzzle, which made it an easier get.

  1. Short team-mate soars to find net (6)

Answer: ENTRAP (i.e. “net”). Solution is PARTNER (i.e. “team-mate”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “short”) and the remainder reversed (indicated by “soars” – this being a down clue).

  1. Obsequious son City chap sacked (11)

Answer: SYCOPHANTIC (i.e. “obsequious”). “Sacked” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SON CITY CHAP.

  1. Fish from cutter before noon circling close to cape (3,5)

Answer: SEA BREAM (i.e. “fish”). Solution is SABRE (i.e. “cutter”) and AM (i.e. “before noon”) wrapped around or “circling” E (i.e. “close to cape”, i.e. the last letter of “cape”), like so: S(E)ABRE-AM.

  1. Germany in trouble over supporting a republic (7)

Answer: ALGERIA (i.e. “republic”). Solution is GER (a recognised abbreviation of “Germany”) placed “in” AIL (i.e. “trouble”) and A once reversed (indicated by “over”) like so: A-L(GER)IA.

  1. Training revolutionary girl I remain mostly gloomy about future (11)

Answer: PESSIMISTIC (i.e. “gloomy about future”). Solution is PE (i.e. “training” or Physical Education) followed by MISS (i.e. “girl”) reversed (indicated by “revolutionary”), then I and STICK (i.e. “remain”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “mostly”), like so: PE-SSIM-I-STIC.

  1. End segregation: we target N Ireland, somewhat upset (9)

Answer: INTEGRATE (i.e. “end segregation”). “Somewhat” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “upset” indicates the solution has been reversed – this being a down clue – like so: W(E TARGET N I)RELAND. Nicely worked.

  1. Daily with story for idiot (7)

Answer: CHARLIE (i.e. “idiot”). Solution is CHAR (i.e. a cleaner or “daily”) followed by LIE (i.e. “story”).

  1. Four getting stuck into the drink – it’s bubbly (5)

Answer: ALIVE (i.e. “bubbly”). Solution is IV (i.e. “four” expressed in Roman numerals) placed or “getting stuck into” ALE (i.e. “drink”), like so: AL(IV)E.

  1. Café regularly meeting cost to cover boy’s confection (10)

Answer: CANDYFLOSS (i.e. “confection”). Solution is CF (i.e. “café regularly”, i.e. every other letter of CAFÉ) and LOSS (i.e. “cost”) all wrapped around or “covering” ANDY (i.e. a “boy’s” name), like so: C(ANDY)F-LOSS.

  1. Zulu impressed by copper company in Peruvian location (5)

Answer: CUZCO (i.e. “Peruvian location”). Solution is Z (“Zulu” in the phonetic alphabet) placed in or “impressed by” CU (chemical symbol of “copper”) and CO (a recognised abbreviation of “company”), like so: CU-(Z)-CO. You have my personal guarantee that this was the first clue placed in the grid by the setter. No doubt about it.

  1. Miller’s Tale having a certain degree of latitude throughout? (6,2,9)

Answer: TROPIC OF CAPRICORN (i.e. Henry “Miller’s Tale”). Clue plays on the solution also being one of the tropics or imaginary lines of “latitude” marking “where the sun turns on reaching its greatest declination north or south” (Chambers).

  1. Solecistic declaration from ape-king in Asian river? (6)

Answer: MEKONG (i.e. “Asian river”). When written as ME KONG the solution also satisfies “solecistic declaration from ape-king”.

  1. Evil microbe nearly accounts for hound (6)

Answer: BADGER (i.e. to harass or “hound”). Solution is BAD (i.e. “evil”) and GERM (i.e. “microbe”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “nearly”), like so: BAD-GER.

  1. Ostentation came initially in story read the other way (5)

Answer: ECLAT (i.e. “ostentation”). Solution is C (i.e. “came initially”, i.e. the first letter of “came”) placed “in” TALE (i.e. “story”) once reversed (indicated by “read the other way”), like so: E(C)LAT.

  1. Insincere talk about administrative division (6)

Answer: CANTON (i.e. “administrative group” in some European countries). Solution is CANT (i.e. “insincere talk”) followed by ON (i.e. regarding or “about”).

  1. Damp fog in which nothing is visible (5)

Answer: MOIST (i.e. “damp”). Solution is MIST (i.e. “fog”) wrapped around or having “in” O (i.e. “nothing”), like so: M(O)IST. Simple, but elegant.

  1. Female inducted by frantic bacchante (6)

Answer: MAENAD (i.e. “bacchante” or female follower of Bacchus). I’m not 100% on this one, but I guess this is ENA (i.e. a “female’s” name, though hardly a common one) placed in or “inducted by” MAD (i.e. “frantic”), like so: MA(ENA)D. Elizabeth Hand wrote a great short horror story in the early 1990s that offered a modern spin on the legend, called The Bacchae. It ruffled a few feathers at the time, attracting unfounded accusations of misandry. Nightmare Magazine republished the story a few years ago, which you can read here:

The Bacchae

  1. Serpent appears as dissolute man, talents cunningly concealed (11)

Answer: RATTLESNAKE (i.e. “serpent”). Solution is RAKE (i.e. “dissolute man”) wrapped around or “concealing” an anagram (indicated by “cunningly”) of TALENTS, like so: R(ATTLESN)AKE.

  1. Electromagnetic device right answer according to the writer, interrupting treasurer (11)

Answer: TRANSFORMER (i.e. “electromagnetic device”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”) followed by ANS (ditto “answer”) and FOR ME (i.e. “according to the writer”, from the point of view of the setter) all placed in or “interrupting” TR (a recognised abbreviation of “treasurer” in my Collins Concise – my Chambers and Oxford don’t want to know), like so: T(R-ANS-FOR-ME)R.

  1. Couple having lost energy “bloody exhausted”! (5)

Answer: TIRED (i.e. “exhausted”). Solution is TIE (i.e. to “couple”) with the E removed (indicated by “having lost energy” – E being a recognised abbreviation of “energy”) and the remainder followed by RED (i.e. “bloody”), like so: TI-RED.

  1. Idea showers – cold and hot – should be taken in Berlin daily (10)

Answer: BRAINCHILD (i.e. “idea”). Solution is RAIN (i.e. “showers”), C and H (recognised abbreviations of “cold” and “hot” respectively) all placed “in” BILD (i.e. “Berlin daily” newspaper), like so: B(RAIN-C-H)ILD.

  1. Radio sets modified for travellers in space (9)

Answer: ASTEROIDS (i.e. “travellers in space”). “Modified” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of RADIO SETS.

  1. Non-university man: old school insect? (9)

Answer: ARTHROPOD (i.e. “insect”). Solution is ARTHUR (i.e. a “man’s” name) with the U removed (indicated by “non-university” – U being a recognised abbreviation of “university”) and the remainder followed by O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and POD (i.e. “school” of fish), like so: ARTHR-O-POD. One made a little easier by the umpteen unsuccessful anagram attempts I’d made before finally cracking 15a in grid 1530 two weeks ago. It’s weird what I remember.

  1. Reptile in wrong French river (8)

Answer: TORTOISE (i.e. “reptile”). Solution is TORT (i.e. “wrong French”, i.e. the French for “wrong” – not one that’s stuck with me from school, to be honest) followed by OISE (i.e. French “river” – another win for my Bradford’s).

  1. Did they care for sultanas not being whole? (7)

Answer: EUNUCHS. Clue playfully references the wives of sultans, and the castrated fellas charged with their safety.

  1. Mate at the outset possible: it shows position on board (7)

Answer: COCKPIT (i.e. “shows position on board” an aeroplane – well, its instruments do, I suppose). Solution is COCK (i.e. “mate”, both familiar forms of address) followed by P (i.e. “at the outset possible”, i.e. the first letter of “possible”) and IT. Rather amusing considering the previous clue…

  1. Very upset, Henry should flee national underworld boss (6)

Answer: OSIRIS (i.e. “underworld boss” of Egyptian myth). Solution is SO (i.e. “very”) reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue) and followed by IRISH (i.e. “national”) once the H has been removed (indicated by “Henry should flee” – H being a recognised abbreviation of “Henry”, a unit of measurement), like so: OS-IRIS.

  1. Group under religious rule right to dam German river (5)

Answer: ORDER (i.e. “group under religious rule”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”) placed in or “damming” ODER (i.e. a “German river”), like so: O(R)DER.

  1. Supply, needing to last, runs out (5)

Answer: ENDUE (i.e. “supply”). Solution is ENDURE (i.e. “to last”) with the R removed (indicated by “runs out” – R being a recognised abbreviation of “runs” used in a number of ball games).

12 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1533

  1. Thanks, Lucian. Re 27a, my Shorter Oxford cites an obsolete meaning of ‘cam’ as ‘awry, weird,’ so ‘eccentric’ after O.C. for Officer-in-Command. I think William of Ockham (or sometimes Occam) was a mathematician/monk who basically said that if a solution to a problem appears simple then it probably is. Don’t go looking for a smarter answer. Good advice. Cheers & Happy New Year!

  2. Yes, I thought of the eccentric rollers on a camshaft – most likely the same origin.

    Welcome back Lucian, we missed you! Hope the lurgy is quickly quelled.

  3. Thanks Lucian. We’ve missed you. Happy new year. Here’s hoping it’s an improvement on the previous two.

    Re 30a, I’ve always thought the service was called COMPLINE. I’ve never ever seen it spelled without the final E. Yellow card, setter.

    I agree with you about MAENAD (31d). Personally I detest that type of clue because even if you figure out how the parsing works, it’s impossible to solve just from the wordplay. The “female” could be any three-letter girl’s name, which gives rise to any number of possibilities (MAANND, MAEVED, MAAMYD, or even MASUED, to name but a few…). The same is true, to some extent, of 49d – how on Earth are we supposed to know that in this particular case “national” means IRISH? (That clue is a double-whammy, because it also features my other bête noire: the dreaded deletion…)

    Take care, stay safe, and get well soon. SB

  4. Happy New Year all. Thank you Lucian for your work throughout the parsing year (i’ll get me coat).
    My only comment is I’m not sure 1d makes sense.
    The answer may be written downwards but the clue isn’t!

  5. Glad you are feeling a bit better Lucian and hope the worst you will suffer from in 2022 is “long Jumbo” rather than “long Covid”.

    BTW, I just finished Jumbo 1533. Expecting your answers any minute Lucian – no slacking now 🙂

    Happy new year everyone.

  6. Many thanks Lucian. Just got round to checking my answers and, as usual, greatefully finding a few explanations. Re 43d, tort is a word I remember from law studies as an English term for a ‘wrong’ under the law. The French bit refers only to the river Oise. All the best Graham

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