Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1545

A medium strength offering this week, and one where solvers had to take the rough with the smooth. There were plenty of well worked clues to enjoy, but the setter was at times too loose with their definitions.

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 has rolled itself up in toilet tissue and ran throughout the house, then you might find my Just For Fun page of help, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the things. Elsewhere there are the usual ancient book reviews and a story of mine.

Thanks again for the kind words 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, kids.


Across clues

  1. Go to enlist jockeys surrounding horse race expert (11)

Answer: ETHNOLOGIST (i.e. “race expert”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “jockeys”) of GO TO ENLIST wrapped around or “surrounding” H (i.e. “horse”, both street names for heroin), like so: ET(H)NOLOGIST.

  1. A benefit, with view to invest around development stage (11)

Answer: ADOLESCENCE (i.e. “development stage”). Solution is A followed by DOLE (i.e. “benefit”), then SCENE (i.e. “view”) once wrapped around or “investing” C (i.e. “about”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “circa”), like so: A-DOLE-SCEN(C)E.

  1. Get lost in Amerindian territory’s westernmost part (3,2)

Answer: HOP IT (i.e. “get lost”). Solution is HOPI (i.e. “Amerindian” – over to Chambers: “a Pueblo people living chiefly in NE Arizona”) followed by T (i.e. “territory’s westernmost part”, i.e. the first letter of “territory” – this being an across clue).

  1. Abnormal beginnings of delirium tremens, drinking water (7)

Answer: DEVIANT (i.e. “abnormal”). Solution is D and T (i.e. “beginnings of delirium tremens”, i.e. the first letters of “delirium” and “tremens”) wrapped around or “drinking” EVIAN (i.e. “water”), like so: D-(EVIAN)-T. Nicely worked.

  1. Outrageous quality of criminal across the Channel, it’s suggested? (9)

Answer: FLAGRANCE (i.e. “outrageous quality”). Solution is LAG (i.e. “criminal”) placed in or “across” FRANCE (i.e. “across the Channel”), like so: F(LAG)RANCE.

  1. Converted barn unfortunately bagging zero profit (4-5)

Answer: BORN-AGAIN (i.e. “converted”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “unfortunately”) of BARN wrapped around or “bagging” O (i.e. “zero”) and followed by GAIN (i.e. “profit”), like so: B(O)RNA-GAIN.

  1. One makes request flexibly, mostly? It’s beyond me (10)

Answer: SUPPLICANT (i.e. “one makes request”). Solution is SUPPLY (i.e. “flexibly”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and the remainder followed by I CAN’T (i.e. “it’s beyond me”), like so: SUPPL-I-CAN’T.

  1. Rang about Republican getting provoked (7)

Answer: TROLLED (i.e. “provoked”, usually online). Solution is TOLLED (i.e. “rang”) wrapped “about” R (a recognised abbreviation of “Republican”), like so: T(R)OLLED.

  1. Shady way of working from the east, I sense (7)

Answer: OMINOUS (i.e. sinister or “shady” – too loose for my liking). Solution is MO (i.e. “way of working” or Modus Operandi) reversed (indicated by “from the east” – this being an across clue), followed by I and NOUS (i.e. good “sense”).

  1. Clean frames using computers to make image (7)

Answer: PICTURE (i.e. “image”). Solution is PURE (i.e. “clean”) wrapped around or “framing” ICT (i.e. “computers”, a recognised abbreviation of Information and Communication Technology), like so: P(ICT)URE.

  1. In power lighting once again, it’s lacking (8)

Answer: REIGNING (i.e. “in power”). Solution is REIGNITING (i.e. “lighting once again”) with the IT removed (indicated by “it’s lacking”).

  1. No cooler aboard vessel, touring delta in uncertain venture (1,4,2,3,4)

Answer: A SHOT IN THE DARK (i.e. “uncertain venture”). Solution is AS HOT IN THE ARK (i.e. “no cooler aboard vessel”) wrapped around or “touring” D (“delta” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: AS-HOT-IN-THE-(D)-ARK.

  1. Crooks in a car dropping back on motorway (5)

Answer: MAFIA (i.e. “crooks”). Solution is A followed by FIAT (i.e. “car” make) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “dropping back”). These are then placed “on” or after M (a recognised abbreviation of “motorway”), like so: M-(A-FIA).

  1. Taps in bathrooms turned for group under water (6)

Answer: SCHOOL (i.e. “group under water”). Solution is C and H (i.e. “taps”, specifically recognised abbreviations of “Cold” and “Hot”) placed “in” LOOS (i.e. “bathrooms”) once reversed (indicated by “turned”), like so: S(CH)OOL.

  1. Brought down personnel blocking public grant (10)

Answer: OVERTHROWN (i.e. “brought down”). Solution is HR (i.e. “personnel”, or Human Resources) placed in or “blocking” OVERT (i.e. “public”) and OWN (i.e. “grant”, both taken to mean an admission of something), like so: OVERT-(HR)-OWN. A bit of a swine, this one.

  1. Foolishly ennoble any wife at court (4,6)

Answer: ANNE BOLEYN (i.e. “wife at court” of Henry VIII. Not sure “wife at court” is a strong enough nod to Henry VIII. That said, given my relative lack of interest in history, I’m hardly the best judge). “Foolishly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ENNOBLE ANY.

  1. Jack getting together with Elizabeth’s sister (6)

Answer: ABBESS (i.e. “sister”). Solution is AB (i.e. “Jack” – both terms for a sailor) followed by BESS (i.e. shortened form of “Elizabeth”). Made significantly easier after BESS appeared in a Jumbo a few weeks ago.

  1. Publication with The Times is for enchanting fellow (5)

Answer: MAGUS (i.e. “enchanting fellow”). Solution is MAG (i.e. “publication”, short for magazine) followed by US (i.e. “The Times”, being the paper hosting the crossword).

  1. Likely to drop billions, say, implicated in crime (14)

Answer: BUTTERFINGERED (i.e. “likely to drop”). Solution is B (a recognised abbreviation of “billions”) followed by UTTER (i.e. “say”) and FINGERED (i.e. “implicated in crime”).

  1. We’re told superior room is suitable for priests (8)

Answer: HIERATIC (i.e. “suitable for priests”). Solution comprises homophones (indicated by “we’re told”) of HIGHER (i.e. “superior”) and ATTIC (i.e. “room”). One nailed through the wordplay.

  1. Not as engaging setter working for one with pride (7)

Answer: LIONESS (i.e. “one with pride” – pride being a collective noun for a group of lions). Solution is LESS (i.e. “not as” much) wrapped around or “engaging” I (i.e. “setter”, from the point of view of the setter) and ON (i.e. “working” or operational), like so: L(I-ON)ESS.

  1. One who throws out European champion (7)

Answer: EVICTOR (i.e. “one who throws out”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”) followed by VICTOR (i.e. “champion”).

  1. Winger to tip over, getting hold of small right back (7)

Answer: KESTREL (i.e. “winger” or bird). Solution is KEEL (i.e. “tip over”) wrapped around or “getting hold of” S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) and RT (ditto “right”) once the latter as been reversed (indicated by “back”), like so: KE(S-TR)EL.

  1. Appoint entertaining quartet, as the case may be (10)

Answer: NOMINATIVE (i.e. “as the case may be” – a reference to nominative case, one of many cases found in the dry and joyless world of grammar). Solution is NOMINATE (i.e. “appoint”) wrapped around or “entertaining” IV (i.e. “quartet”, specifically 4 expressed in Roman numerals), like so: NOMINAT(IV)E.

  1. An evil is ultimately forgiven – it could be this one? (6,3)

Answer: VENIAL SIN (i.e. within the context of the clue: “it could be this one”, in this case a sin that’ll be forgiven by Him Upstairs when you snuff it). “It could be” also acts as an anagram indicator. Solution is an anagram of AN EVIL IS and N (i.e. “ultimately forgiven”, i.e. the last letter of “forgiven”). Nicely worked, but another clue made somewhat easier by the solution’s relatively recent appearance in another Jumbo.

  1. Supply fashionable and French fabric (9)

Answer: STOCKINET (i.e. “fabric”). Solution is STOCK (i.e. “supply”) followed by IN (i.e. “fashionable”) and ET (i.e. “and French”, i.e. the French for “and”).

  1. Clear a bishop found with crack (7)

Answer: ABSOLVE (i.e. “clear”). Solution is A followed by B (a recognised abbreviation of “bishop” used in chess) and SOLVE (i.e. “crack”).

  1. Rubbish military decoration initially five times greater (5)

Answer: DROSS (i.e. “rubbish”). Solution is CROSS (i.e. “military decoration”) with the “initial” letter made “five times greater”, i.e. going from C, the Roman numeral for 100, to D (500), like so: (C)ROSS => (D)ROSS.

  1. Bachelor’s serious kind of crime in Washington? (5-6)

Answer: FIRST-DEGREE (i.e. “serious kind of crime in Washington” – the US recognises various degrees of murder within its legal system). When written without the hyphen the solution also satisfies “bachelor”, being the first university degree one attains.

  1. Man picked up drink for hotel employee (5,6)

Answer: NIGHT PORTER (i.e. “hotel employee”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “picked up”) of KNIGHT (a chess piece; chess pieces are sometimes referred to as “men”) followed by PORTER (i.e. “drink”).

Down clues

  1. Boxer hit out, punched by one in shower (9)

Answer: EXHIBITOR (i.e. “shower” or one who shows). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “out”) of BOXER HIT wrapped around or “punched by” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: EXH(I)BITOR.

  1. Cosh, say, with excessive force and fake fervour (10,8)

Answer: HYPERBOLIC FUNCTION (i.e. “cosh”, a mathematical abbreviation of a hyperbolic cosine, a trigonometric function). Solution is HYPERBOLIC (i.e. “excessive”) followed by F (a recognised abbreviation of “force”) and UNCTION (i.e. “fake fervour”). Nicely worked.

  1. East German capital erected in ancient Roman port (5)

Answer: OSTIA (i.e. “ancient Roman port”). Solution is OST (i.e. “east German”, i.e. the German for “east”) followed by AI (i.e. “capital” – A1 can refer to something that is excellent) once reversed (indicated by “erected” – this being a down clue), like so: OST-IA. Straight to Bradford’s the moment I saw “port”. Life’s too short to waste on made-to-fit rubbish.

  1. Diverse articles coming from curious object in beach (4,3,4)

Answer: ODDS AND ENDS (i.e. “diverse articles”). Solution is ODD (i.e. “curious”) followed by END (i.e. aim or “object”) once placed “in” SANDS (i.e. “beach”), like so: ODD-SAND(END)S.

  1. Bell, perhaps gold, under cool air (8)

Answer: INVENTOR (i.e. Alexander Graham “Bell, perhaps” – other inventors are available). Solution is OR (i.e. “gold” in heraldry) placed after or “under” – this being a down clue – IN (i.e. “cool” or fashionable) and VENT (i.e. to “air”), like so: (IN-VENT)-OR.

  1. Tutors lacking current goal in broadcast (12)

Answer: TRANSMISSION (i.e. “broadcast”). Solution is TRAINS (i.e. “tutors”) with the I removed (indicated by “lacking current” – I is a recognised abbreviation of an electrical current used in physics) and the remainder followed by MISSION (i.e. “goal”), like so: TRANS-MISSION.

  1. Particle, not ion, with part spinning round (10)

Answer: ANTIPROTON (i.e. “particle”). “Spinning round” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of NOT ION and PART.

  1. Tripe found by ancient king on line (5)

Answer: OFFAL (i.e. “tripe”). Solution is OFFA (i.e. an “ancient king”) followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “line”).

  1. A romance to spread around, one ruling out bondage? (11)

Answer: EMANCIPATOR (i.e. “one ruling out bondage”, inferring one freeing from slavery). “Spread around” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of A ROMANCE TO.

  1. Record lasting lifetime, but only the covers (9)

Answer: CHRONICLE (i.e. “record”). Solution is CHRONIC (i.e. “lasting”) followed by LE (i.e. “lifetime, but only the covers”, i.e. the first and last letters of “lifetime”).

  1. Lacking class, like New Yorker’s behaviour? (3-1)

Answer: NON-U (i.e. “lacking class” – U denotes the upper class, should you choose to observe such constructs). The remainder of the clue plays on how Americans (indicated by “New Yorker”) drop Us from their words, reducing “behaviour” to “behavior”. Good grief, this took a while to twig! Well played.

  1. Something that happens briefly in flat (4)

Answer: EVEN (i.e. “flat”). Solution is EVENT (i.e. “something that happens”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “briefly”).

  1. Get to the point that may make saga sag? (3,1,4,5,5)

Answer: CUT A LONG STORY SHORT (i.e. “get to the point”). The solution cryptically fulfils “that may make saga sag”, i.e. how “saga” (i.e. “A LONG STORY”) is CUT SHORT to get “sag”. Nicely done.

  1. What gardener does without knowledge in time off (8)

Answer: WEEKENDS (i.e. “time off”). Solution is WEEDS (i.e. “what gardener does”) wrapped around or placed “without” KEN (i.e. “knowledge”), like so: WEE(KEN)DS.

  1. Old fashioned script politician keeps close (6,1)

Answer: LINEAR B (i.e. “old fashioned script” – over to Chambers: “an ancient script (c. 1400BC) found in Crete, deciphered as a form of Greek seven centuries earlier than any previously known”). Solution is LIB (i.e. “politician”, short for a Liberal) wrapped around or “keeping” NEAR (i.e. “close”), like so: LI(NEAR)B. One I remembered from a previous Jumbo, if I’m honest.

  1. More than one domestic goes AWOL around six (8)

Answer: SKIVVIES (i.e. “more than one domestic” – a skivvy is “a disrespectful name for a (especially female) domestic servant” (Chambers)). Solution is SKIVES (i.e. “goes AWOL”) wrapped “around” VI (i.e. “six” in Roman numerals), like so: SKIV(VI)ES.

  1. Asian bread eaten by socialist born in US capital (8)

Answer: CHEYENNE (i.e. “US capital”, specifically the state capital of Wyoming). Solution is YEN (i.e. “Asian bread” or money) placed in or “eaten by” CHE Guevara (i.e. “socialist”) and NÉ (i.e. “born” – over to Chambers again! “(of a man) born, used in giving the original name of a titled man”, from the French), like so: CHE-(YEN)-NÉ.

  1. Tiring complaint where one sees dancers mince (8)

Answer: MEATBALL (i.e. “mince” – I mean, one begets the other but I’d struggle to argue they’re the same). Solution is ME (i.e. “tiring complaint”, short for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) followed by AT BALL (i.e. “where one sees dancers”).

  1. Contact sport breaking philosopher’s bone (7)

Answer: HUMERUS (i.e. “bone”). Solution is RU (i.e. “contact sport”, short for Rugby Union) placed in or “breaking” David HUME’S (i.e. “philosopher’s”), like so: HUME(RU)’S.

  1. Don’t protect so much about perfect example (6,6)

Answer: OBJECT LESSON (i.e. “perfect example”). Solution is OBJECT LESS (i.e. “don’t protest so much”) followed by ON (i.e. regarding or “about”).

  1. After sentence, con abandons morality for zoology? (4,7)

Answer: LIFE SCIENCE (i.e. “zoology”). Solution is LIFE (i.e. prison “sentence”) followed by CONSCIENCE (i.e. “morality”) once the CON has been removed (indicated by “con abandons”).

  1. Possible pet to shove among group of extremists (5,6)

Answer: STICK INSECT (i.e. “possible pet”). Solution is STICK (i.e. “to shove” – again, too loose for me. The closest I can get is “to thrust”) followed by IN (i.e. “among”) and SECT (i.e. “group of extremists”).

  1. Run over India and China is sensible (10)

Answer: LEGITIMATE (i.e. “sensible” – and, again, much too loose and an absolute horror show of a clue when you only have vowels to work with. Poor grid awareness, or a setter playing nasty? You decide). Solution is LEG IT (i.e. “run”) followed by I (“India” in the phonetic alphabet) followed by MATE (i.e. “China”, after the cockney rhyming slang “china plate”).

  1. I heard hit film is one that grips the viewer (3,6)

Answer: EYE SOCKET (i.e. “that grips the viewer”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “heard”) of “I”, followed by SOCK (i.e. to “hit”) and ET (i.e. “film”, specifically ET: The Extra-Terrestrial). Nicely done.

  1. Criminal in cooler’s one appropriating territory (9)

Answer: COLONISER (i.e. “one appropriating territory”). “Criminal” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IN COOLER’S.

  1. Composer’s brought in to good account of American abroad? (8)

Answer: TRAVELOG (i.e. “account of American abroad” – we would spell the word with a UE on the end – not a Jumbo for those annoyed by Americanisms!) Solution is Maurice RAVEL (i.e. “composer”) “brought in” between TO and G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”), like so: T(RAVEL)O-G.

  1. Tail of sea bird moving around (5)

Answer: ASTIR (i.e. “moving around”). Solution is A (i.e. “tail of sea”, i.e. the last letter of “sea”) followed by STIR (i.e. “bird”, both taken to mean stretches in prison). That said, it seems Chambers disagrees on this one, suggesting that STIR is merely slang for a prison, not a stretch inside of one.

  1. Car wheel is sound (5)

Answer: AUDIO (i.e. “sound”). Solution is AUDI (i.e. “car” make) followed by O (i.e. “wheel”). Simple, but nicely done.

  1. A hand almost raised? Pull the other one (2,2)

Answer: AS IF (i.e. “pull the other one”). Solution is A followed by FIST (i.e. “hand”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “almost”) and the remainder reversed (indicated by “raised” – this being a down clue), like so: A-SIF.

  1. Show derision before king, one wanting culture (4)

Answer: BOOR (i.e. a coarse, ill-mannered person or “one wanting culture”). Solution is BOO (i.e. “show derision”) followed by R (a recognised abbreviation of “king”, specifically the Latin Rex).

7 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1545

  1. An enjoyable puzzle this week. Only a couple of US references for mild criticism (never heard of Hopi before, probably never will again). But respect for explicitly marking the New Yorker’s missing U. Although who talks about non-U nowadays, other than crossword setters? And they really need to get out more and see films other than ET. That was 40 years ago! Maybe they could work Spartacus into a clue, or Fargo?

  2. Thanks Lucian. I agree – too many dubious definitions here, including NOT SO, which was made much easier to spot by the fact that it also appeared last week. I didn’t like it then either.

    Re 48d, you’re right about STIR being slang for PRISON – but BIRD does mean a stretch inside. It’s rhyming slang: BIRD LIME = TIME. So “doing bird” means “doing time”. Hope this helps.

    Take care,and stay safe. SB

  3. An easyish top half, but I made the bottom hard for myself by getting wrongly fixated on BEHINDHAND being the answer for 36d with HIND doing for India and HAN for Chinese. Couldn’t explain it 100% so put it down as one that Deep Thought (aka Lucian) would explain. Eventually realised the error and mostly ejojed the puzzle.
    Liked 55a Dross. Didn’t mind 36d (stick your oar in/ shove your oar in for example).
    Cheers Lucian

  4. 55A There is an arithmetical error here: 500 is 4 times greater than 100. “five times greater [than]” means “six times as much”.

  5. Thanks, Lucian. Re 15a Flagrance, I think the point is that lag is in France (across the channel) not across France. Re 36d I think to stick in is pretty much the same as to shove among so that’s fair enough. Lastly, yes one DOES bird IN stir I think. Also I thought it was called doing bird because you’re behind bars like a bird in a cage but the rhyming slang could well be its origin. Love the last comment btw, should have been five times AS GREAT, excellent, I didn’t spot that. Cheers

  6. Is the setter going up before the beak shortly? At least eleven clues (or answers) this week involved criminality of some sort.

  7. I thought ‘hyperbolic function’ was what Leonard Sachs used to perform as MC in The Good Old Days (remember that?). Needed google to reveal its trigonometric persona.

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