Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1541

Another medium strength puzzle this week, peppered with a decent helping of well-worked clues and the kind of steady progression I like. Except for BESS. That was a proper swine.

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 taken to hiding under your bed, forcing you to climb up a ladder each night just to get some sleep, then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the buggers. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks again for the kind words and feedback. It’s always interesting to hear how other solvers fared once the dust settles. Till next time, stay safe out there, kids.


Across clues

  1. One has Bond smashing luge into pieces (9)

Answer: SUPERGLUE (i.e. “one has bond” – ignore the misleading capitalisation). Solution is SUPER (i.e. “smashing”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “into pieces”) of LUGE, like so: SUPER-GLUE.

  1. Appeal forces landowner to regenerate location in Essex (7,6)

Answer: SAFFRON WALDEN (i.e. “location in Essex”). Solution is SA (i.e. “appeal”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of Sex Appeal you see more in cryptic crosswords than in real life) followed by F and F (i.e. “forces” – F being a recognised abbreviation of “force”), then an anagram (indicated by “to regenerate”) of LANDOWNER, like so: SA-FF-RONWALDEN.

  1. Dramatist in one book Sterne regularly shunned (5)

Answer: Henrik IBSEN (i.e. “dramatist”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) followed by B (a recognised abbreviation of “book”) then SEN (i.e. “Sterne regularly shunned”, i.e. every other letter of STERNE).

  1. Turn up with ace band feeling triumphant (4-1-4)

Answer: COCK-A-HOOP (i.e. “feeling triumphant”). Solution is COCK (i.e. “turn up”, as in cocking an ear) followed by A (a recognised abbreviation of “ace” used on playing cards) and HOOP (i.e. “band”).

  1. Vehicle is heap – pity me having to leave (7)

Answer: RICKSHA (i.e. “vehicle”, a variant spelling of rickshaw). Solution is RICK (i.e. “heap”) followed by SHAME (i.e. “pity”) once the ME has been removed (indicated by “me having to leave”), like so: RICK-SHA.

  1. Photograph enrages sheik when developed – it’s really small (4-4,2,1,11)

Answer: KNEE-HIGH TO A GRASSHOPPER (i.e. “it’s really small”). “When developed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of PHOTOGRAPH ENRAGES SHEIK. An easier get due to it being a recentish repeat.

  1. Feats from retired airmen one moved along (8)

Answer: EXPLOITS (i.e. “feats”). Solution is EX-PILOTS (i.e. “retired airmen”) with the I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) “moved along”, like so: EX-P(I)LOTS => EX-PLO(I)TS.

  1. Boatman who has secret watch with silver lining (8)

Answer: VOYAGEUR (i.e. “boatman”). Solution is VOYEUR (i.e. “who has secret watch”) wrapped around or “lined” with AG (chemical symbol of “silver”), like so: VOY(AG)EUR. One nailed solely from the wordplay.

  1. Rabbit meat paste right to be eaten (5)

Answer: PRATE (i.e. to “rabbit” or talk a lot). Solution is PATE (i.e. “meat paste”) wrapped around or “eating” R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”), like so: P(R)ATE.

  1. Daughter seen with runner in club (6)

Answer: DRIVER (i.e. a golf “club”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”) followed by RIVER (i.e. “runner”, as in how a river runs).

  1. Excellent returns by accounts in plant (6)

Answer: ACACIA (i.e. “plant”). Solution is AI (i.e. “excellent”, i.e. A1 with the 1 replaced by its Roman numeral equivalent) reversed (indicated by “returns”) and placed after or “by” AC and AC (i.e. “accounts”, AC being a recognised abbreviation of “account”), like so: (AC-AC)-IA.

  1. One dancing graduate touring Ireland in its entirety? (9)

Answer: BALLERINA (i.e. “one dancing”). Solution is BA (i.e. “graduate”, specifically a Bachelor of Arts) wrapped around or “touring” ALL ERIN (i.e. “Ireland in its entirety”), like so: B(ALL-ERIN)A.

  1. Inseparable Bury ladies – five not married (10)

Answer: INTERWOVEN (i.e. “inseparable”). Solution is INTER (i.e. “bury” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) followed by WOMEN (i.e. “ladies”) once the M (a recognised abbreviation of “married”) has been swapped for V (i.e. “[Roman numeral] five”), like so: INTER-WO(M)EN => INTER-WO(V)EN.

  1. Lizzy in addition wants fish chucked out (4)

Answer: BESS (i.e. “Lizzy”, both shortened forms of Elizabeth). Solution is BESIDES (i.e. “in addition”) with the IDE removed (indicated by “fish chucked out”).

  1. Skirt appearing in G&S finds justification (7)

Answer: GROUNDS (i.e. “justification”). Solution is ROUND (i.e. to avoid or “skirt”) placed “in” between G and S, like so: G(ROUND)S.

  1. Bouncy castle melting when current passed through (7)

Answer: ELASTIC (i.e. “bouncy” – a bit of a stretch, if you’ll forgive the pun). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “melting”) of CASTLE wrapped around or having “passed through” I (a recognised abbreviation of an electrical “current” used in physics), like so: ELAST(I)C.

  1. Conservative newspaper makes rough projection (4)

Answer: CRAG (i.e. “rough projection”). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “Conservative”) followed by RAG (slang for a “newspaper”).

  1. Spinner uses heavy atmosphere against one in the middle (10)

Answer: CENTRIFUGE (i.e. “spinner”). Solution is FUG (i.e. “heavy atmosphere”) placed after or “against” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), and all placed “in” CENTRE (i.e. “the middle”), like so: CENTR(I-FUG)E.

  1. Band’s regular engagement in leader’s office, but no piano (9)

Answer: RESIDENCY (i.e. “band’s regular engagement”). Solution is PRESIDENCY (i.e. “leader’s office”) with the P removed (indicated by “but no piano” – P being a recognised abbreviation of “piano” used in musical lingo).

  1. Maybe Chesterfield group should meet golfing supporter (6)

Answer: SETTEE (i.e. “maybe Chesterfield”). Solution is SET (i.e. “group”) followed by TEE (i.e. “golfing supporter”).

  1. Unqualified one must abandon English course (6)

Answer: ENTRÉE (i.e. dinner “course”). Solution is ENTIRE (i.e. “unqualified”) with the I removed (indicated by “[Roman numeral] one must abandon”) and the remainder followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”), like so: ENTRE-E.

  1. Ship loads drink that’s brought back strength (5)

Answer: ASSET (i.e. “strength”). Solution is SS (i.e. “ship”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “steamship”) placed in or “loading” TEA (i.e. “drink”) once reversed (indicated by “that’s brought back”), like so: A(SS)ET.

  1. Cat chasing dog seizes old clothing item (8)

Answer: TAILCOAT (i.e. “clothing item”). Solution is CAT placed after or “chasing” TAIL (i.e. to “dog”) and wrapped around or “seizing” O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”), like so: TAIL-C(O)AT.

  1. Slip on mountain pass and fall down (8)

Answer: COLLAPSE (i.e. “fall down”). Solution is LAPSE (i.e. “slip”) placed “on” or after COL (i.e. “mountain pass” – one we’ve seen a few times in Jumbos), like so: COL-LAPSE.

  1. Computer thought certificate illegal twice in requiring regulation (10,12)

Answer: ARTIFICAL INTELLIGENCE (i.e. “computer thought”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “requiring regulation”) of CERTIFICATE ILLEGAL and IN IN (i.e. “twice in”).

  1. Turning dark and damp around South American region (7)

Answer: MIDWEST (i.e. “American region”). Solution is DIM (i.e. “dark”) reversed (indicated by “turning”) and followed by WET (i.e. “damp”) once wrapped “around” S (a recognised abbreviation of “south”), like so: MID-WE(S)T.

  1. I’m obliged to exercise caution, handling large knives etc (9)

Answer: TABLEWARE (i.e. “knives etc”). Solution is TA (i.e. “I’m obliged”, both forms of expressing thanks) followed by BEWARE (i.e. “exercise caution”) once wrapped around or “handling” L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”), like so: TA-B(L)EWARE.

  1. Build up initially appalling service (5)

Answer: AMASS (i.e. “build up”). Solution is A (i.e. “initially appalling”, i.e. the first letter of “appalling”) followed by MASS (i.e. religious “service”).

  1. Valuable box certain to be found among the crates at sea (8,5)

Answer: TREASURE CHEST (i.e. “valuable box”). Solution is SURE (i.e. “certain”) placed in or “found among” an anagram (indicated by “at sea”) of THE CRATES, like so: TREA(SURE)CHEST.

  1. Philosopher and some things to mark his birthday? (9)

Answer: Rene DESCARTES (i.e. French “philosopher”). When written as DES CARTES the solution satisfies “some things to mark his birthday”, specifically “cards” in French. Nicely done.

Down clues

  1. Close result – disastrous conclusion (6,3)

Answer: STICKY END (i.e. “disastrous conclusion”). Solution is STICKY (i.e. humid or “close”) followed by END (i.e. “result”).

  1. Online contributor on beer absorbing a creative product (6,5)

Answer: POSTER PAINT (i.e. “creative product”). Solution is POSTER (i.e. “online contributor”) followed by PINT (i.e. “beer”) once wrapped around or “absorbing” A, like so: POSTER P(A)INT.

  1. Academician and Knight Companion arriving at farm (5)

Answer: RANCH (i.e. “farm”). Solution is RA (i.e. “academician”, specifically a Royal Academician) followed by N (a recognised abbreviation of “knight” used in chess) and CH (i.e. “companion”, specifically a Companion of Honour).

  1. Opening yard by church good for carrying in deceased (8)

Answer: LYCHGATE (i.e. “opening” specifically “a roofed churchyard gate” (Chambers)). Solution is Y (a recognised abbreviation of “yard”), CH (ditto “church”) and G (ditto ditto “good”) all placed “in” LATE (i.e. “deceased”), like so: L(Y-CH-G)ATE.

  1. Thrill having caught the thing in Devon river (6)

Answer: EXCITE (i.e. “thrill”). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “caught” used in ball games) and IT (i.e. “the thing”) both placed “in” EXE (i.e. “Devon river”), like so: EX(C-IT)E.

  1. Stigma – a mark that hurt blustery old coward (10)

Answer: SCARAMOUCH (i.e. “blustery old coward”). Solution is SCAR (i.e. “stigma”) followed by A, then M (a recognised abbreviation of “mark”, the former German currency) and OUCH! (i.e. “that hurt”).

  1. One supervising Sellers in Goon realm, far gone (5,7)

Answer: FLOOR MANAGER (i.e. “one supervising sellers” in a department store – ignore the misleading capitalisation). “Gone” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of GOON REALM FAR.

  1. East German comes in ready to make swift reply (7)

Answer: RIPOSTE (i.e. “swift reply”). Solution is OST (i.e. “east German”, i.e. the German for “east”) placed “in” RIPE (i.e. “ready”), like so: RIP(OST)E.

  1. Celestial phenomenon stars follow and not sailors? (8,6)

Answer: NORTHERN LIGHTS (i.e. “celestial phenomenon”). Solution is LIGHTS (i.e. “stars”) placed after or “following” NOR (i.e. “and not”) and THE RN (i.e. “sailors”, specifically the Royal Navy”), like so: (NOR-THE-RN)-LIGHTS.

  1. Firm accessing a large population provides drink (7)

Answer: ALCOPOP (i.e. “drink”). Solution is CO (a recognised abbreviation of “company”) placed in or “accessing” A, L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) and POP (ditto “population”), like so: A-L-(CO)-POP.

  1. Man facing surgery has nothing to lose in hopeless state (11)

Answer: DESPERATION (i.e. “hopeless state”). Solution is DES (i.e. a “man’s” name) followed by OPERATION (i.e. “surgery”) once the first O has been removed (indicated by “has nothing to lose”), like so: DES-PERATION.

  1. Accessible content of online article (4)

Answer: NEAR (i.e. “accessible”). “Content of” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: ONLI(NE AR)TICLE.

  1. See tailless canine hero, one revered as god (8)

Answer: Haile SELASSIE (i.e. “one revered as god” by Rastafarians). Solution is SE (i.e. “see tailless”, i.e. the word “see” with its last letter removed) and the remainder followed by LASSIE (i.e. “canine hero”). I was more of a Littlest Hobo fan.

  1. Ended unreliable trade given excessive merit (9)

Answer: OVERRATED (i.e. “given excessive merit”). Solution is OVER (i.e. “ended”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “unreliable”) of TRADE, like so: OVER-RATED.

  1. Shrill native Americans getting through school year (8)

Answer: SCREECHY (i.e. “shrill”). Solution is CREE (i.e. “native Americans”) placed in or “getting through” SCH (a recognised abbreviation of “school”) and Y (ditto “year”), like so: S(CREE)CH-Y.

  1. Top banana regarded as not looking straight (4-4)

Answer: BOSS-EYED (i.e. “not looking straight”). Solution is BOSS (i.e. the “top banana” of an organisation) followed by EYED (i.e. “regarded”).

  1. Schmaltzy book about Scottish island on loch (9)

Answer: EMOTIONAL (i.e. “schmaltzy”). Solution is TOME (i.e. “book”) reversed (indicated by “about”) and followed by IONA (i.e. “Scottish island”), then L (a recognised abbreviation of “loch”), like so: EMOT-IONA-L.

  1. Wild thing preferring squash to snakebite? (3,11)

Answer: BOA CONSTRICTOR (i.e. “wild thing”). Clue plays on how the snake crushes or “squashes” the life from its prey rather than kill through a “snake bite”. Nicely done.

  1. This writer cries out on radio for scoop’s content (3,5)

Answer: ICE CREAM (i.e. “scoop’s content”). Solution comprises homophones (indicated by “on radio”) of I SCREAM (i.e. “this writer cries out”, from the point of view of the setter).

  1. About to exploit star concerned with controversial issue (5,7)

Answer: CAUSE CELEBRE (i.e. “controversial issue”). Solution is CA (i.e. “about”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “circa”) followed by USE (i.e. “to exploit”), then CELEB (i.e. “star”, short for celebrity) and RE (i.e. “concerned with” – think email replies).

  1. Evaluate short game – beginners find this difficult (5,6)

Answer: ASSES BRIDGE (i.e. “beginners find this difficult” – over to Chambers: “the fifth proposition in the first book of Euclid’s Elements of geometry, as being for some an impassable barrier to further progress”). Solution is ASSESS (i.e. “evaluate”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “short”) and the remainder followed by BRIDGE (i.e. card “game”). I’ll admit I only got this after looking up asses… oh, stop it now, don’t be common, etc.

  1. Incorrigible author stops cracking rune article appearing in Times (11)

Answer: UNREPENTANT (i.e. “incorrigible”). Solution is PEN (i.e. to “author”) placed between or “stopping” an anagram (indicated by “cracking”) of RUNE and AN (i.e. “article”, i.e. a word like a, an or the) once this latter has been placed “in” T and T (i.e. “times” – ignore the misleading capitalisation, T is a recognised abbreviation of “time”), like so: UNRE-(PEN)-T(AN)T.

  1. People in dishonour finding success after effort? (10)

Answer: ATTAINMENT (i.e. “success after effort”). Solution is MEN (i.e. “people”) placed “in” ATTAINT (i.e. to “dishonour”), like so: ATTAIN(MEN)T.

  1. Snack’s good chance for tucking into pickled eels (9)

Answer: ELEVENSES (i.e. “snack”). Solution is EVENS (i.e. “good chance”) placed or “tucked into” an anagram (indicated by “pickled”) of EELS, like so: EL(EVENS)ES.

  1. Officer circling over headland finds detachment (8)

Answer: COOLNESS (i.e. “detachment”). Solution is COL (i.e. “officer”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “colonel”) wrapped around or “circling” O (a recognised abbreviation of “over” used in cricket) and followed by NESS (i.e. “headland”), like so: C(O)OL-NESS.

  1. Second case of pistols for arms contractor? (7)

Answer: TRICEPS (i.e. muscle or “arms contractor”). Solution is TRICE (i.e. “second”, both brief moments of time) followed by PS (i.e. “case of pistols”, i.e. the first and last letters of “pistols”).

  1. Ridiculous old woman having to abandon native (7)

Answer: IDIOTIC (i.e. “ridiculous”). Solution is IDIOMATIC (i.e. “native”) with MA removed (indicated by “old woman having to abandon…”).

  1. Hawk-headed god restrained outside produces trumpet (6)

Answer: HERALD (i.e. “trumpet”). Solution is RA (i.e. “hawk-headed god”) placed in or having “outside” HELD (i.e. “restrained”), like so: HE(RA)LD.

  1. Country bringing Chinese people into Georgia (5)

Answer: GHANA (i.e. “country”). Solution is HAN (i.e. “Chinese people”) placed “into” GA (US state abbreviation of “Georgia”), like so: G(HAN)A.

  1. Salacious material that has stomachs turning (4)

Answer: SMUT (i.e. “salacious material”). Solution is TUMS (i.e. “stomachs”) reversed (indicated by “turning”).

11 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1541

  1. Wow, how on earth did you work out Bes-ide-s? All hail Lucian! We were pretty sure the answer would be Bess but got bored of trying to take fish out of other words.
    Despite the years of study leading to my Maths degree, I’d never heard of the Bridge of Asses until Uncle Google showed me yesterday.
    Otherwise an enjoyable puzzle. Especially Descartes, and I did like the construction of Nor-the-RN.

  2. Thanks Lucian. Well done for BESS – we concluded this must be the answer, but couldn’t figure out the parsing. Having seen your explanation, we now see why. A deletion on speed. Meh.

    Elsewhere, we took issue with EMOTIONAL (26d). SCHMALTZY is emotional, but emotional isn’t necessary schmaltzy. Other emotions are available. I hope the setter is suitably corrigible.

    But we did like DESCARTES. Très bien fait.

    Take care, and stay safe. SB

  3. Thanks, Lucian. A good one I thought this week. Bess was tricky. I too liked Descartes (gave an always appreciated opportunity to trip through the Python philosophers’ song!) I also thought the construction of northern was good and I’m not sure why the setter felt the need to give it a wriggly question mark. Cheers

  4. Enjoyed this week’s many nice clues. Unlike last week, anagrams were fewer and more satisfying, and we didn’t an ancient awful Yankee expression.
    I did get Bess, using Chambers to find a three letter fish to yank out. I though 45a should have been 4-4, and I got sidetracked trying to squeeze Aintree/Trainee into 40a before getting Entree. Thanks Lucian, as ever. Graham

  5. Agree with all: many nice clues. Apart from those already mentioned I particularly liked 53a TABLEWARE – any setter who takes the trouble to make the whole clue hang together like that gets my attention. Some were even cleverer than your parsing, eg LYCHGATE isn’t just “a roofed churchyard gate” but is also called resurrection gate, being the place where the bier was sheltered under cover prior to funeral service – lych being an old English word for corpse. VOYAGEUR was a very specific boatman namely French Canadian, so using another French word (voyeur) in the parsing was a nice gesture. Hats off (again) to you Lucian – I knew it had to be BESS from Lizzie, but would never have found the missing IDE.

  6. Slightly confused by triceps (arms contractor) as it is the bicep which contracts and the tricep which actually extends, the arm. I guess the tricep itself “contracts” and it is on the arm. Hey ho, too much time in the gym and not enough doing crosswords

  7. “SA (i.e. “appeal”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of Sex Appeal you see more in cryptic crosswords than in real life)”. You’re telling me. Do you ever hear it in real life, in fact? Sturmabteilung (S.A.) comes up more often! But then I did admittedly study 1918-1945 for A-level history many decades ago.

  8. Dad agrees with all but BESS. Being a crossword solver since 17 (now 92) he knows the IDE is a fish. I on the other hand only think of IDE as in IDES of March.

    Thanks for your weekly help and comments.

    1. I also didn’t get the parsing of Bess (Thank you for explaining it Lucian).
      That’s a great age to still be doing the Times crossword.
      My dad, when he was alive, loved the line from Julius Caesar.
      ‘The ides of March are come’.
      ‘Ay, Caesar, but not gone’.

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