Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1544

A relatively straightforward Jumbo this week with some nicely worked clues and the kind of steady progression I like.

You can find my completed grid below along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them useful. If a recent Jumbo invited all his Jumbo pals over to watch the elephant polo game last night and left peanut shells absolutely everywhere then you might find my Just For Fun page of help, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the blighters. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks again for the comments and input. It’s always interesting to hear the thoughts of other solvers once they’ve put down their pens. Till next time, stay safe out there, folks.


Across clues

  1. Woman wrapping a sort of porcelain bird (8)

Answer: FLAMINGO (i.e. “bird”). Solution is FLO (i.e. “woman’s” name, short for Florence) “wrapped” around A and MING (i.e. “sort of porcelain”), like so: FL(A-MING)O.

  1. Generous offering to retired judge securing whiskey (6)

Answer: TWOFER (i.e. “generous offer”, informal shortening of “two-for-one” – my Chambers doesn’t want to know, but my Oxford backs it up). Solution is TO and REF (i.e. “judge”, short for referee), the latter reversed (indicated by “retired”) and all wrapped around or “securing” W (“whiskey” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: T(W)O-FER.

  1. Medication supplied by a police department worker perhaps first (7)

Answer: ANTACID (i.e. “medication”). Solution is A and CID (i.e. “police department”, specifically the Criminal Investigation Department) both placed after or having “first” ANT (i.e. “worker perhaps” – other flavours of ant are available), like so: ANT-(A-CID).

  1. Sport Alicia developed, devoted to fishing (11)

Answer: PISCATORIAL (i.e. “devoted to fishing”). “Developed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SPORT ALICIA.

  1. Regret accepting delicate material primarily meant for substitution (11)

Answer: REPLACEMENT (i.e. “substitution”). Solution is REPENT (i.e. “regret”) wrapped around or “accepting” LACE (i.e. “delicate material”) and M (i.e. “primarily meant”, i.e. the first letter of “meant”), like so: REP(LACE-M)ENT.

  1. Is it not commonly a lodging place with appeal? (5)

Answer: INNIT (i.e. “is it not commonly”). Solution is INN (i.e. “lodging place”) followed by IT (i.e. “appeal”, as in having it about oneself).

  1. Baroque composer my girl briefly identifies (7)

Answer: Arcangelo CORELLI (i.e. “baroque composer”). Solution is COR (i.e. “my”, both exclamations) followed by ELLIE (i.e. “girl’s” name) once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “briefly”), like so: COR-ELLI.

  1. One speculates over blocking particular part of stair (9)

Answer: THEORISER (i.e. “one speculates”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “over” used in cricket) placed in or “blocking” THE RISER (i.e. “particular part of stair”), like so: THE-(O)-RISER.

  1. Report of fellow not so lacking in colourfulness (7)

Answer: HUELESS (i.e. “lacking in colourfulness”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “report of”) of HUGH (i.e. “fellow’s” name) followed by LESS (i.e. “not so”), like so: HUE-LESS.

  1. It identifies something specific? Sure thing (8,7)

Answer: DEFINITE ARTICLE (i.e. “it defines something specific”). Solution is DEFINITE (i.e. “sure”) followed by THING (i.e. “article”).

  1. Principal items of bedding sometimes used on sailing vessels (10)

Answer: MAINSHEETS (i.e. “used on sailing vessels”). Solution is MAIN (i.e. “principal”) followed by SHEETS (i.e. “items of bedding”).

  1. Join with enthusiastic females at first, and gush (6)

Answer: EFFUSE (i.e. “gush”). Solution is FUSE (i.e. “join”) placed after or “with” E and F (i.e. “enthusiastic females at first”, i.e. the first letters of “enthusiastic” and “females”), like so: (E-F)-FUSE.

  1. Time not a single person gives up MDMA (4)

Answer: NOON (i.e. a “time” of day). Solution is NO-ONE (i.e. “not a single person”) with the E removed (indicated by “gives up MDMA”, commonly known as ecstasy or E).

  1. Funny about men with sons oddly showing practical wisdom (14)

Answer: COMMONSENSICAL (i.e. “showing practical wisdom”). Solution is COMICAL (i.e. “funny”) wrapped “about” an anagram (indicated by “oddly”) of MEN and SONS, like so: COM(MONSENS)ICAL.

  1. Composer possibly going about church in heatwave (8)

Answer: SCORCHER (i.e. “heatwave”). Solution is SCORER (i.e. “composer possibly”, as in one writing a musical score) wrapped “about” CH (a recognised abbreviation of “church”), like so: SCOR(CH)ER.

  1. Former publication initially allowed to be bawdy (8)

Answer: EXPLICIT (i.e. “bawdy”. Chambers doesn’t agree, but my Oxford backs the setter up). Solution is EX (i.e. “former”) followed by P (i.e. “publication initially”, i.e. the first letter of “publication”) and LICIT (i.e. “allowed”).

  1. Learning about her acts, agitatedly examining own feelings (5-9)

Answer: HEART-SEARCHING (i.e. “examining own feelings”). Solution is HEARING (i.e. “learning” of, say, the news) wrapped “about” an anagram (indicated by “agitatedly”) of HER ACTS, like so: HEAR(TSEARCH)ING.

  1. Part of opera in which woman is beheaded (4)

Answer: ARIA (i.e. “part of opera”). Solution is MARIA (i.e. “woman’s” name – quite a few this week already) with the first letter removed (indicated by “beheaded”).

  1. What youth leader accommodates paintings of a crude nature? (6)

Answer: EARTHY (i.e. “of a crude nature”). Solution is EH (i.e. “what”, pardon or come again) and Y (i.e. “youth leader”, i.e. the first letter of “youth”) all wrapped around or “accommodating” ART (i.e. “paintings”), like so: E(ART)H-Y.

  1. E.g. pigeon enthusiasts keeping trendy gnomes (10)

Answer: FINANCIERS (i.e. “gnomes”, a facetious name for bankers). Solution is FANCIERS (i.e. “pigeon enthusiasts”) wrapped around or “keeping” IN (i.e. “trendy”), like so: F(IN)ANCIERS.

  1. Lacking status in spite of everything (15)

Answer: NOTWITHSTANDING (i.e. “in spite of everything”). When written as NOT WITH STANDING the solution also satisfies “lacking status”. Nicely worked.

  1. Here begins chapter one, page one, in current set of books (7)

Answer: INCIPIT (i.e. “here begins” – over to Chambers: “(Latin) (here) begins (commonly used as an introduction in medieval manuscripts)”). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “chapter”), I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), P (a recognised abbreviation of “page”) and I (again, “one”) all placed “in” I (a recognised abbreviation of an electric “current” used in physics) and NT (i.e. “set of books”, specifically the New Testament of The Bible), like so: I-N(C-I-P-I)T. Another nicely worked clue.

  1. Device driving ship, suitable for touring European lakes (9)

Answer: PROPELLER (i.e. “device driving ship”). Solution is PROPER (i.e. “suitable”) wrapped around or “touring” E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”), L and L (ditto “lake”, of which we have two), like so: PROP(E-L-L)ER.

  1. Board in Parisian school (7)

Answer: ENTRAIN (i.e. to “board” a train). Solution is EN (i.e. “in Parisian”, i.e. the French for “in”) followed by TRAIN (i.e. to “school”).

  1. Become confused, seeing theologian overcome by drink (5)

Answer: ADDLE (i.e. “become confused”). Solution is DD (i.e. “theologian”, specifically a Doctor of Divinity or Divinitatis Doctor that we’ve seen a number of times in recent Jumbos) placed in or “overcome by” ALE (i.e. “drink”), like so: A(DD)LE.

  1. Politician breaking Irish law I briefly dub unrealistic (11)

Answer: IMPRACTICAL (i.e. “unrealistic”). Solution is MP (i.e. “politician”, specifically a Member of Parliament) placed in or “breaking” IR (a recognised abbreviation of “Irish”) and followed by ACT (i.e. “law”), then I and CALL (i.e. “dub”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “briefly”), like so: I(MP)R-ACT-I-CAL.

  1. Strand property ultimately built with alacrity (11)

Answer: THREADINESS (i.e. “strand property” – nicely disguised). Solution is T and H (i.e. “ultimately built with”, i.e. the last letters of “built” and “with”) followed by READINESS (i.e. “alacrity”).

  1. Entertain, offering port (7)

Answer: HARBOUR. Solution satisfies “entertain” and “port”.

  1. Fat English king’s place for storing food (6)

Answer: LARDER (i.e. “place for storing food”). Solution is LARD (i.e. “fat”) followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) and R (ditto “king”, specifically the Latin Rex).

  1. Framework of ode finally penned by Tudor court poet (8)

Answer: SKELETON (i.e. “framework”). Solution is E (i.e. “ode finally”, i.e. the last letter of “ode”) placed in or “penned by” John SKELTON (i.e. “Tudor court poet”), like so: SKEL(E)TON.

Down clues

  1. Work quietly dividing seafood, like a dandy (7)

Answer: FOPPISH (i.e. “like a dandy”). Solution is OP (i.e. “work”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “opus”) and P (ditto “quietly”, specifically “piano” in musical lingo) both placed in or “dividing” FISH (i.e. “seafood”), like so: F(OP-P)ISH.

  1. A charge that’s inappropriate for the present? (11)

Answer: ABSENTEEISM (i.e. “charge”). Clue plays on “present” being taken to mean those in attendance. You get the idea.

  1. Unsuitability of fashionable head drinking a pint (9)

Answer: INAPTNESS (i.e. “unsuitability”). Solution is IN (i.e. “fashionable”) and NESS (i.e. “head”, both geographical features) wrapped around or “drinking” A and PT (a recognised abbreviation of “pint”), like so: IN-(A-PT)-NESS.

  1. County changing ends of council house register (15)

Answer: GLOUCESTERSHIRE (i.e. “county”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “changing”) of CL (i.e. “ends of council”, i.e. the first and last letters of “council”) and HOUSE REGISTER.

  1. Aspect of nature, one Lord Liverpool originally introduced to spouse (8)

Answer: WILDLIFE (i.e. “aspect of nature”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), LD (a recognised abbreviation of “Lord”) and L (i.e. “Liverpool originally”, i.e. the first letter of “Liverpool”) all placed in or “introduced to” WIFE (i.e. “spouse”), like so: W(I-LD-L)IFE.

  1. Far off Nigeria’s complex overseas relations (7,7)

Answer: FOREIGN AFFAIRS (i.e. “overseas relations”). “Complex” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of FAR OFF NIGERIA’S.

  1. Opera company employee regarding small ancient city (10)

Answer: REPETITEUR (i.e. “opera company employee”, a coach or tutor). Solution is RE (i.e. “regarding” – think email replies) followed by PETITE (i.e. “small”) and UR (i.e. an “ancient city” you often see in cryptic crosswords).

  1. A Buddhist monk embracing top journalist in tree-lined walk (7)

Answer: ALAMEDA (i.e. “tree-lined walk”). Solution is A and LAMA (i.e. “Buddhist monk”) wrapped around or “embracing” ED (i.e. “top journalist”, specifically an editor), like so: A-LAM(ED)A.

  1. Belonging to those people in that place, so to speak (5)

Answer: THEIR (i.e. “belonging to those people”). “So to speak” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of THERE (i.e. “in that place”).

  1. Loosely woven material possibly used around Leicester? (11)

Answer: CHEESECLOTH (i.e. “loosely woven material”). Clue plays on Leicester being a variety of cheese. Made somewhat easier after last week’s Jumbo also referred to Leicester in this way.

  1. Retired man slipped up, being discouraged (8)

Answer: DETERRED (i.e. “discouraged”). Solution is TED (i.e. “man’s” name, again with the names!) reversed (indicated by “retired”) and followed by ERRED (i.e. “slipped up”), like so: DET-ERRED.

  1. Fulminate over this retailer of pork pies (4)

Answer: LIAR (i.e. “retailer of pork pies”, referring to the cockney rhyming slang for “lies”). Solution is RAIL (i.e. “fulminate”) reversed (indicated by “over”).

  1. Devoted pet possibly carrying can (6)

Answer: DOTING (i.e. “devoted”). Solution is DOG (i.e. “pet possibly” – other pets are available) wrapped around or “carrying” TIN (i.e. “can”), like so: DO(TIN)G.

  1. Like Hindu movement’s instant riches? Not entirely (7)

Answer: TANTRIC (i.e. “like Hindu movement”). “Not entirely” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, stripping away the ends of INS(TANT RIC)HES.

  1. Debunkers may take it for a celluloid mouse (6)

Answer: MICKEY. Solution satisfies “debunkers may take it” and Walt Disney’s “celluloid mouse”.

  1. Misguidedly mix and talk on camera! (11,4)

Answer: EXCLAMATION MARK (i.e. “!”). “Misguidedly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MIX and TALK ON CAMERA.

  1. Top academic’s opportunity to stop corruption: set up register (4,10)

Answer: VICE CHANCELLOR (i.e. “top academic”). Solution is CHANCE (i.e. “opportunity”) placed between or “stopping” VICE (i.e. “corruption”) and ROLL (i.e. “register”) once this latter has been reversed (indicated by “set up” – this being a down clue), like so: VICE-(CHANCE)-LLOR.

  1. Black floor coverings seen around east European city (6)

Answer: BRUGES (i.e. “European city”). Solution is B (a recognised abbreviation of “black” used in chess) followed by RUGS (i.e. “floor coverings”) once wrapped “around” E (a recognised abbreviation of “east”), like so: B-RUG(E)S.

  1. Old European capital starts to maintain its Japanese craft (7)

Answer: ORIGAMI (i.e. “Japanese craft”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) followed by RIGA (i.e. “European capital” of Latvia), then M and I (i.e. “starts to maintain its”, i.e. the first letters of “maintain” and “its”).

  1. Inquiring how Olivier appeared in Richard III (6)

Answer: ASKING (i.e. “inquiring”). When written as AS KING the solution also satisfies “how Olivier appeared in Richard III”.

  1. Airborne soldier’s accepted standard, a staunch colleague, they say (11)

Answer: PARATROOPER (i.e. “airborne soldier”). Solution is PAR (i.e. “accepted standard”) followed by A, then a homophone (indicated by “they say”) of TROUPER (i.e. “staunch colleague”), like so: PAR-A-TROOPER.

  1. Dash in in hurry? Mostly unsuitable (11)

Answer: INEXPEDIENT (i.e. “unsuitable”). Solution is EN (i.e. “dash” – an en-dash is a printing term for a dash the width of the letter n) placed “in” IN and EXPEDITE (i.e. “hurry”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “mostly”), like so: IN-EXPEDI(EN)T.

  1. Like rhetoric or logic principally involving parts of Croatia (10)

Answer: ORATORICAL (i.e. “like rhetoric”). Solution is OR and L (i.e. “logic principally”, i.e. the first letter of “logic”) wrapped around or “involving” an anagram (indicated by “parts of”) CROATIA, like so: OR-(ATORICA)-L.

  1. East End mate, male, about to draw parrot (9)

Answer: COCKATIEL (i.e. “parrot”). Solution is COCK (i.e. “East End mate”) followed by AL (i.e. “male” name – more names!!) once wrapped “about” TIE (i.e. “to draw” a game), like so: COCK-A(TIE)L.

  1. Irritable foreign character in photo, Sarah’s first husband (8)

Answer: SNAPPISH (i.e. “irritable”). Solution is PI (i.e. “foreign character”, specifically the sixteenth letter of the Greek alphabet) placed “in” SNAP (i.e. “photo”), S (i.e. “Sarah’s first”, i.e. the first letter of “Sarah”) and H (a recognised abbreviation of “husband”), like so: SNAP-(PI)-S-H.

  1. Wrongly identify thin fog – it upset the Spanish (8)

Answer: MISTITLE (i.e. “wrongly identify”). Solution is MIST (i.e. “thin fog”) followed by IT and EL (i.e. “the Spanish”, i.e. the Spanish for “the”) once this latter has been reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue), like so: MIST-IT-LE.

  1. Ultimately foolish senior citizen losing daughter’s leather case (7)

Answer: HOLSTER (i.e. “leather case”). Solution is H (i.e. “ultimately foolish”, i.e. the last letter of “foolish”) followed by OLDSTER (i.e. “senior citizen”) once the D has been removed (indicated by “losing daughter” – D being a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”), like so: H-OLSTER.

  1. Time and justification for crime against the state (7)

Answer: TREASON (i.e. “crime against the state”). Solution is T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) followed by REASON (i.e. “justification”).

  1. Source of inspiration provided by lecturer at Oxford (5)

Answer: ERATO (i.e. “source of inspiration”, being one of the Greek muses). “Provided by” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: LECTUR(ER AT O)XFORD.

  1. Live outside key Israeli port (4)

Answer: ACRE (i.e. “Israeli port” – chalk one to my Bradford’s). Solution is ARE (i.e. “live”) wrapped around or “outside” of C (i.e. musical “key”), like so: A(C)RE.

8 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1544

  1. Thanks as ever Lucian for your lucid explanations. I wasn’t sure about 35D but your parsing makes all clear.
    Absenteeism was good – nice to get a riddle-type clue rather than constructions or anagrams all the time. Likewise Asking. Admiration also for “innit” and exclamation mark.
    English type tuts for Americanisms in Twofer and Alameda. Did we get taken over by the New York Times?
    But overall, a pleasing puzzle!

  2. Thanks for publishing the answers. This week’s was pretty easy or am I becoming more intelligent the older I get? The wife will definitely favour the former.

  3. Yes, a quite nicely balanced puzzle, albeit a bit too easy. It’s rare I can completely fill in a quadrant (the top left was very easy today) and normally I hop around as best I can. Had most of my fav clue types except the usual politics ie Che/Reds/Con etc but it did have an old city, beer, cricket, Ireland, the military and also some ‘appy cockney Sparta speak. Very reassuring.
    Thx Lucian, as ever.

  4. Thanks Lucian. A bit of a mixed bag this week; some good clues, but rather too many deletions and names for my liking – and in two cases (17a and 37a) both devices in the same clue! Come to think of it, we had the same last week with (L)AURA.

    Re 19a, I’m not convinced about LESS being a used as synonym for NOT SO. I’ve always thought NOT SO was another way of saying NO. If you were asked “Do you think this is a good clue?”, would you answer “LESS”? I don’t think I would!

    Take care, and stay safe. SB

  5. Thanks, Lucian. Enjoyed this week’s & thought Exclamation Mark was a good one although I’ve seen the same device before or it may have been Question Mark. Cheers

  6. Having immediately taken “East End mate” in 40d to mean “china” (china plate = mate in CRS) I long pondered what Chinese species of parrot I could dredge up. Along the lines of the Norwegian Blue (“beautiful plumage, squire”), you might say. I already had c—a-i-I so this seemed reasonable. I finally found “incipit” in 45a, however, and saw that the third letter was in fact c. My fanciful “chinarill” thus instantly became an ex-parrot.

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