Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1551

A medium strength offering for Easter Monday. I wasn’t so keen while solving it, but having given myself a few hours’ distance before writing this up I guess it wasn’t too bad. I still think the setter ought to have eased up on the office GridFill 4000TM, though.

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 set up a crystal meth lab at the bottom of your garden and not sought planning permission for it 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 once more for the kind words and input. It’s always interesting to hear how other solvers fare with these things. Till next time, stay safe out there kids.


Across clues

  1. Solid shape of Cheddar one chopped up (10)

Answer: DECAHEDRON (i.e. “solid shape”). “Chopped up” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CHEDDAR ONE.

  1. Bring East and West together maybe to achieve financial viability (4,4,4)

Answer: MAKE ENDS MEET. Solution playfully satisfies “bring East and West together maybe” and “achieve financial viability”.

  1. Footballers, grumblers abandoning hotel (7)

Answer: WINGERS (i.e. “footballers”). Solution is WHINGERS (i.e. “grumblers”) with the H removed (indicated by “abandoning hotel” – hotel being H in the phonetic alphabet).

  1. Share accommodation with husband, not much company to begin with (7)

Answer: COHABIT (i.e. “share accommodation”). Solution is H (a recognised abbreviation of “husband”) and A BIT (i.e. “not much”) all proceeded by CO (indicated by “company to begin with” – CO being a recognised abbreviation of “company”), like so: CO-(H-A-BIT).

  1. Warning light at the back of church room (7)

Answer: CHAMBER (i.e. “room”). Solution is AMBER (i.e. “warning light”) placed “at the back of” CH (a recognised abbreviation of “church”), like so: CH-AMBER.

  1. Rain sees gathering retreating (4)

Answer: TEEM (i.e. “rain”). Solution is MEET (i.e. “gathering”) reversed (indicated by “retreating”).

  1. Wreath with unusual name covering notice (6)

Answer: ANADEM (i.e. “wreath”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “unusual”) of NAME wrapped around or “covering” AD (i.e. “notice”, short for advertisement), like so: AN(AD)EM. One nailed pretty much through the wordplay.

  1. Writer penning a miserable article somewhere in California (8)

Answer: PASADENA (i.e. “somewhere in California”). Solution is PEN (i.e. “writer”) wrapped around or “penning” A and SAD (i.e. “miserable”), then followed by A (i.e. “article”, being a word like a, an or the), like so: P(A-SAD)EN-A. Meanwhile in 1991…

  1. Hate the sound of revenge? No, resolved to be realistic (4,4,4,2,3,6)

Answer: HAVE ONE’S FEET ON THE GROUND (i.e. “be realistic”). “Resolved” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of HATE THE SOUND OF REVENGE NO.

  1. More irritable artist close to portrait row (7)

Answer: RATTIER (i.e. “more irritable”). Solution is RA (i.e. “artist”, specifically a Royal Academician) followed by T (i.e. “close to portrait”, i.e. the last letter of “portrait”) and TIER (i.e. “row”).

  1. Trophy one had to hold small yellow spittoon (8)

Answer: CUSPIDOR (i.e. “spittoon”). Solution is CUP (i.e. “trophy”) and I’D (a contraction of I had or “one had”) wrapped around or “holding” S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) and followed by OR (i.e. “yellow” or gold in heraldry), like so: CU(S)P-I’D-OR. Took a small brute force of my Chambers once I’d had enough letters filled in.

  1. Bright and bouncy? Not yours truly in the morning! (6)

Answer: AGLEAM (i.e. “bright”). Solution is AGILE (i.e. “bouncy”) with the I removed (indicated by “not yours truly”) and the remainder followed by AM (i.e. “in the morning”), like so: AGLE-AM. Took a while to twig.

  1. Bit of a state (4,2,3,5)

Answer: COIN OF THE REALM. Solution satisfies the clue as a whole, taking “bit” as another word for COIN (e.g. thrupenny bit) and “state” being a country or REALM. Nicely played. Probably my favourite clue of the puzzle.

  1. Agreement opposing religious document (8)

Answer: CONTRACT (i.e. “agreement”). Solution is CON (i.e. “opposing”, as in pros and cons) followed by TRACT (i.e. “religious document”).

  1. Quietly showing initiative, providing legal statement (8)

Answer: PLEADING (i.e. “providing legal statement”). Solution is P (i.e. “quietly”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “piano” used in musical lingo) followed by LEADING (i.e. “showing initiative”).

  1. Health problem – is it sore throat possibly? (14)

Answer: OSTEOARTHRITIS (i.e. “health problem”). “Possibly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IS IT SORE THROAT.

  1. Author’s old set of books in prominent position (6)

Answer: Truman CAPOTE (i.e. “author”). Solution is OT (i.e. “old set of books”, specifically the Old Testament of The Bible) placed “in” CAPE (i.e. “prominent position”, a reference to the geographical feature), like so: CAP(OT)E.

  1. Insects in season win out against arachnids (8)

Answer: TERMITES (i.e. “insects”). Solution is WINTER (i.e. “season”) with the WIN removed (indicated by “win out”) and the remainder followed by MITES (i.e. “arachnids”), like so: TER-MITES. Another that took a while to twig.

  1. What farmer harvests – fellow getting top award? (7)

Answer: MANGOLD (i.e. “what harmer harvests”, apparently a beet used for animal feed). Solution is MAN (i.e. “fellow”) followed by GOLD (i.e. “top award”). Another nailed from the wordplay.

  1. A saint isn’t a saint to blurt out “I hold traditional Catholic belief” (23)

Answer: TRANSUBSTANTIATIONALIST (i.e. “I hold traditional Catholic belief” – over to Chambers: “the doctrine that, or the mystical process by which, in the consecration of the elements of the Eucharist, the whole substance of the bread and wine is converted into Christ’s body and blood, only the appearances of bread and wine remaining”). “Out” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of A SAINT ISN’T A SAINT TO BLURT. A word I knew, believe it or not. It was also the first solution I entered into the grid, give or take a few syllables.

  1. I took food, having arrived earlier, turning waste away? (8)

Answer: EMACIATE (i.e. “waste away”). Solution is I and ATE (i.e. “took food”) placed after or “having…earlier” CAME (i.e. “arrived”) once reversed (indicated by “turning”), like so: (EMAC)-I-ATE.

  1. Music maker spilled oil in French wine (6)

Answer: VIOLIN (i.e. “music maker”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “spilled”) of OIL placed “in” VIN (i.e. “French wine”, i.e. the French for “wine”), like so: V(IOL)IN.

  1. Important Indian seen as unharmonious on reflection (4)

Answer: RAJA (i.e. “important Indian” or ruler). Solution is AJAR (a variant meaning of the word being “unharmonious”, although this should really be “inharmonious”) reversed (indicated by “on reflection”).

  1. Getting rid of time to celebrate (7)

Answer: ERASING (i.e. “getting rid of”). Solution is ERA (i.e. period of “time”) followed by SING (i.e. “to celebrate”).

  1. One area to the east of one country and another (7)

Answer: NIGERIA (i.e. “another” country, within the context of the clue). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and A (a recognised abbreviation of “area”) both placed after or “to the east of” – this being an across clue – NIGER (i.e. a “country”), like so: NIGER-(I-A).

  1. In a very cold region with no hint of sun? Yes and no! (7)

Answer: IBERIAN (i.e. “in a very cold region…no!” – Iberia being Spain and Portugal). Solution is SIBERIAN (i.e. “in a very cold region”) with the S removed (indicated by “with no hint of sun”, or in other words the first letter of “sun”). Can’t say I was a fan of this one.

  1. One who may be up for a job in the medical profession (6,6)

Answer: FLYING DOCTOR. Clue plays on how said doctors can be found “up” in the air. That’s about it, really.

  1. Put in the correct position in resting place, cheered up (10)

Answer: BRIGHTENED (i.e. “cheered up”). Solution is RIGHTEN (i.e. “put in the correct position”) placed “in” BED (i.e. “resting place”), like so: B(RIGHTEN)ED.

Down clues

  1. Bird with irritation when grasped by performer (9)

Answer: DOWITCHER (i.e. “bird” – did a Google Image search. Meh. Random.) Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”) and ITCH (i.e. “irritation”) both placed in or “grasped by” DOER (i.e. “performer”), like so: DO(W-ITCH)ER.

  1. Rare voices not messed about with in music school? (13)

Answer: CONSERVATOIRE (i.e. “music school”). “Messed about with” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of RARE VOICES NOT.

  1. German philosopher, no good – a baddie (4)

Answer: HEEL (i.e. “baddie”). Solution is Georg Wilhelm Friedrich HEGEL (i.e. “German philosopher”) with the G removed (indicated by “no good” – G being a recognised abbreviation of “good”).

  1. Criminal in dirtiest gang is collapsing (14)

Answer: DISINTEGRATING (i.e. “collapsing”). “Criminal” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IN DIRTIEST GANG.

  1. Monster some sailor caught (3)

Answer: ORC (i.e. “monster”). “Some” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: SAIL(OR C)AUGHT.

  1. First maiden to be chucked off dance platform (4)

Answer: AMBO (i.e. “platform”, specifically “an early Christian raised reading-desk or pulpit” (Chambers)). Solution is MAMBO (i.e. “dance”) with the “first” M (a recognised abbreviation of “maiden” used in cricket) removed or “chucked off”. Cough-(made-to-fit)-cough!

  1. Family of lover no longer having grip (10)

Answer: EXTRACTION (i.e. lineage or “family”). Solution is EX (i.e. “lover no longer”) followed by TRACTION (i.e. “grip”).

  1. Winks from Conservative arts donor in rising scandal (8)

Answer: NICTATES (i.e. “winks”). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “Conservative”) and Henry TATE (i.e. sugar daddy and “arts donor”) both placed “in” SIN (i.e. “scandal”) once it has been reversed (indicated by “rising” – this being a down clue), like so: NI(C-TATE)S.

  1. Great fights erupting – an unwelcome experience in the theatre (5,6)

Answer: STAGE FRIGHT (i.e. “an unwelcome experience in the theatre”). “Erupting” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of GREAT FIGHTS.

  1. Medic in time certain to find an opening (9)

Answer: EMBRASURE (i.e. an “opening” through which to fire a cannon). Solution is MB (i.e. “medic”, specifically a Bachelor of Medicine or Medicinae Baccalaureus) placed “in” ERA (i.e. period of “time”) and followed by SURE (i.e. “certain”), like so: E(MB)RA-SURE.

  1. Weed in derelict area (4)

Answer: TARE (i.e. a “weed”). “In” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: DERELIC(T ARE)A.

  1. Fizzy drink in cold picnic baskets (8)

Answer: CHAMPERS (i.e. “fizzy drink”, an informal word for champagne). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “cold” used on taps) followed by HAMPERS (i.e. “picnic baskets”).

  1. Weighted down by imperfection, journalist left the country (8)

Answer: DEFECTED (i.e. “left the country”). Solution is DEFECT (i.e. “imperfection”) followed by ED (i.e. “journalist”, specifically an editor). The whole “weighted down by” bit is a reference to this being a down clue, i.e. how ED is placed under DEFECT in the grid.

  1. Party child loses footing – one to fall over? (6)

Answer: DOMINO (i.e. “one to fall over”). Solution is DO (i.e. “party”) followed by MINOR (i.e. “child”) once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “loses footing”), like so: DO-MINO.

  1. What’s said to be pleasant meadow for a refreshing drink? (5,3)

Answer: ROSIE LEE (i.e. “refreshing drink”, specifically cockney rhyming slang for a cup of tea. A new one on me, but Chambers supports it). “What’s said” indicates homophones. Solution comprises homophones of ROSY (i.e. “pleasant”) and LEA (i.e. “meadow”).

  1. Poem about tiny people, members of a tribe (8)

Answer: EDOMITES (i.e. “members of a tribe” – over to Chambers again: “people of the ancient kingdom of Edom, south of the Dead Sea”). Solution is ODE (i.e. “poem”) reversed (indicated by “about”) and followed by MITES (i.e. “tiny people”), like so: EDO-MITES.

  1. Study music speed increasing, getting with it? (14)

Answer: CONTEMPORISING (i.e. bringing up to date or “getting with it”). Solution is CON (archaic word for “study” often used in cryptic crosswords) followed by TEMPO (i.e. “music speed”) and RISING (i.e. “increasing”).

  1. Size of a large conurbation? There’s an upper limit (8)

Answer: CAPACITY (i.e. “size”). Solution is A and CITY (i.e. “large conurbation”) placed after or having “upper” of it – this being a down clue – CAP (i.e. “limit”), like so: (CAP)-A-CITY.

  1. Legal entitlement this person in senate renegotiated (8)

Answer: EASEMENT (i.e. “legal entitlement”). Solution is ME (i.e. “this person”, from the point of view of the setter) placed “in” an anagram (indicated by “renegotiated”) of SENATE, like so: EASE(ME)NT.

  1. Writer, Italian heretic who brooks no opposition? (13)

Answer: AUTHORITARIAN (i.e. “who brooks no opposition”). Solution is AUTHOR (i.e. “writer”) followed by IT (a recognised abbreviation of “Italian”) and ARIAN (i.e. “heretic” – once more to Chambers, Arianism is “the heretical doctrine of Arius, that Christ was not consubstantial with God the Father, but only the first and highest of all finite beings”).

  1. Voice of a Liberal in loud row (8)

Answer: FALSETTO (i.e. singing “voice”). Solution is A and L (a recognised abbreviation of “Liberal”) both placed “in” F (i.e. “loud”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “fortissimo” used in musical lingo) and SET TO (i.e. “row” or argument), like so: F-(A-L)-SET-TO.

  1. Hatred of English assessment – a time I get kept in by lecturer? (11)

Answer: DETESTATION (i.e. “hatred”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”), TEST (i.e. “assessment”), A, T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) and I all “kept in” DON (i.e. “lecturer”), like so: D(E-TEST-A-T-I)ON.

  1. Method at bottom of ladder that may be needed to go up (6)

Answer: RUNWAY (i.e. “that may be needed to go up”). Solution is WAY (i.e. “method”) placed after or “at bottom of” – this being a down clue – RUN (i.e. a “ladder” in some tights), like so: RUN-WAY.

  1. Writer cheers invigorating person with five notes (10)

Answer: PENTATONIC (i.e. “with five notes” in music). Solution is PEN (i.e. “writer”) followed by TA (i.e. “thanks”) and TONIC (i.e. “invigorating person”).

  1. Flier to wait, having lost heart as orbital traveller (9)

Answer: PLANETARY (i.e. “as orbital traveller”). Solution is PLANE (i.e. a “flier”, short for aeroplane) followed by TARRY (i.e. “to wait”) once its middle letter has been removed (indicated by “having lost heart”), like so: PLANE-TARY.

  1. This curtailed each criminal’s activity (8)

Answer: THIEVERY (i.e. “criminal’s activity”). Solution is THIS with its last letter removed (indicated by “curtailed”) and the remainder followed by EVERY (i.e. “each”), like so: THI-EVERY.

  1. Investigator came down and stepped onto platform? (9)

Answer: DETRAINED (i.e. having disembarked from a train or “stepped onto platform”). Solution is DET (i.e. “investigator”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “detective”) followed by RAINED (i.e. “came down”).

  1. Knight escapes from a Welsh town diminished (8)

Answer: ABRIDGED (i.e. “diminished”). Solution is A followed by BRIDGEND (i.e. “Welsh town”) once the N has been removed (indicated by “knight escapes from…” – N being a recognised abbreviation of “knight” used in chess), like so: A-BRIDGED.

  1. Lowly worker mostly impudent when turning up (4)

Answer: SERF (i.e. “lowly worker”). Solution is FRESH (i.e. “impudent”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and the remainder reversed (indicated by “when turning up” – this being a down clue).

  1. Nigerian leads off immigrant grabbed by officer (4)

Answer: IGBO (i.e. East “Nigerian”). “Leads off” indicates the solution is derived from the initial letters of Immigrant Grabbed By Officer. Another solved from the wordplay.

  1. Minimal money about to be given to hospital department (4)

Answer: CENT (i.e. “minimal money”). Solution is C (i.e. “about”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “circa”) followed by ENT (i.e. “hospital department”, specifically one dealing with the Ear, Nose and Throat).

  1. Song is heard in this Scottish town (3)

Answer: AYR (i.e. “Scottish town”). “Is heard” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of AIR (i.e. “song”). You could feasibly work this the other way and have AIR as the solution, but I reckon the use of “this” steers us towards AYR. I could be wrong, though.

3 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1551

  1. Thank you Lucian for your customary speedy clarifications. We felt the same way: got through it pretty quickly but without feeling overjoyed. We got Agleam without realising we had to take the i out of agile. And I couldn’t find any connection between Arian and heretics, so maybe I need to buy a Chambers dictionary too.
    On the other hand, we did admire “coin of the realm“. And it was pretty exciting to find a 23 letter word, particularly as somehow the answer jumped out on first sight. Must get out more.

  2. Thanks, Lucian, quite a straightforward offering I thought. Re 55d, I suppose it could be Air or Ayr but I agree that the ‘this’ swings it for Ayr. If it had been ‘a’ Scottish town, then who knows? Cheers

  3. Thanks Lucian. Half fairly straightforward, the other half a slog (not helped by the setter’s heavy reliance on deletions). We weren’t impressed with PEN being used in both the clue and the answer for 20a, or with MITES being used twice in 41a and 23d. Also, having two Nigerian-themed clues intersecting (54a and 51d) felt a bit sloppy. We didn’t understand where WEIGHED DOWN fitted into 19d, so thanks for explaining that.

    Sorry – must dash. I’ve just noticed that the door is unharmonious, and I need to go and close it.

    Take care, and stay safe. SB

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