Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1558

…and back again.

A relatively straightforward Jumbo while I was away, at least for the most part. There were a handful of toughies to get snagged up on, but these were mostly smoothed over with some good clueing.

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 siphoned all the petrol from your car and sold it to make a killing on Bitcoin then… well, then the money has probably been nicked three times over already because, you know, crypto, but you might also find my Just For Fun page of use, 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 hot takes of fellow solvers. Till next time, whenever that’ll be (Thursday?), stay safe out there kids.


Across clues

  1. Feel the loss of planet’s great beauty (4,5)

Answer: MISS WORLD (i.e. “great beauty”). Solution is MISS (i.e. “feel the loss”) followed by WORLD (i.e. “planet”).

  1. Diocese was perhaps making this condition? (3,3,7)

Answer: MAD COW DISEASE (i.e. “condition”). Clue plays on the solution being somewhat cryptic in itself, specifically how MAD can be an anagram indicator and how COW DISEASE is an anagram of “diocese was”.

  1. Tin backed by engineers as a valuable natural substance (5)

Answer: NACRE (i.e. “valuable natural substance”). Solution is CAN (i.e. “tin”) reversed (indicated by “backed”) and followed by RE (i.e. “engineers”, specifically the Royal Engineers of the British Army), like so: NAC-RE.

  1. Certificates nobody in the office has? (4,5)

Answer: SICK NOTES (i.e. “certificates” issued by a doctor). Clue plays on how one would obtain such a thing to not attend a place of work, such as an “office”.

  1. One formerly driven to organise crusade (4,3)

Answer: USED CAR (i.e. “one formerly driven”). “To organise” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CRUSADE.

  1. For film, polite folk like to choose the lighter sort (9,6,7)

Answer: GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (i.e. “film”). Solution is GENTLE (i.e. “polite”) followed by MEN (i.e. “folk”), then PREFER (i.e. “like to choose”) and BLONDES (i.e. “the lighter sort”, with respect to hair colour).

  1. A woman holding other people briefly in her prayers? (8)

Answer: ROSEMARY (i.e. “a woman’s” name). Solution is ‘EM (i.e. “other people briefly”, a contraction of “them”) placed “in” ROSARY (i.e. “prayers”), like so: ROS(‘EM)ARY.

  1. Many happy returns for MP here? (4,4)

Answer: SAFE SEAT. Clue plays on “Returning” Officers in General Elections. Such a seat could see a Member of Parliament elected there “many” times over. You get the idea.

  1. Mark maybe Bismarck’s watchword (5)

Answer: MOTTO (i.e. “watchword”). Solution is M (a recognised abbreviation of “mark”, the former German currency) followed by OTTO (i.e. “Bismarck’s” first name).

  1. From peak, leader drops right back, nowhere near podium finish (6)

Answer: EIGHTH (i.e. “nowhere near podium finish”). Solution is HEIGHT (i.e. “peak”) with the H (i.e. its “leading” letter) “dropped right back”, like so: (H)EIGHT => EIGHT(H).

  1. Put up with a south wind? Not that one (6)

Answer: BOREAS (i.e. “south wind – not that one” – the definition is literally “the north wind” (Chambers)). Solution is BORE (i.e. “put up with”) followed by A and S (a recognised abbreviation of “south”).

  1. Confessed end of working week not always filled with love and calmness (9)

Answer: SANGFROID (i.e. “calmness”). Solution is SANG (i.e. “confessed”) followed by FRIDAY (i.e. “end of working week” for most) once the AY has been removed (indicated by “not always” – AY and “always” are both forms of assent) and the remainder wrapped around or “filled with” O (i.e. “love” – a zero score in tennis), like so: SANG-FR(O)ID.

  1. Obtain file with trickery: that would be reported (10)

Answer: NOTIFIABLE (i.e. “that would be reported”). “With trickery” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of OBTAIN FILE.

  1. Engine lacking constant temperature for haul (4)

Answer: LOOT (i.e “haul” or booty). Solution is LOCO (i.e. “engine”, short for locomotive) with the C removed (indicated by “lacking constant” – C being a recognised abbreviation of “constant”) and the remainder followed by T (ditto “temperature”), like so: LOO-T.

  1. Endlessly tough surgeon seizes top of scalpel for period of cutting (7)

Answer: HARVEST (i.e. “period of cutting”). Solution is HARD (i.e. “tough”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “endlessly”) and the remainder followed by VET (i.e. “surgeon”, short for veterinary) once wrapped around or “seizing” S (i.e. “top of scalpel”, i.e. the first letter of “scalpel”), like so: HAR-VE(S)T.

  1. On reflection silly lisp – I tick boxes like being drunk (7)

Answer: TIPSILY (i.e. “like being drunk”). “Boxes” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “on reflection” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: SILL(Y LISP I T)ICK.

  1. Rejecting sexually ambivalent old goat (4)

Answer: IBEX (i.e. a mountain “goat”). Solution is BI (i.e. “sexually ambivalent”, short for bisexual) reversed (indicated by “rejecting”) and followed by EX (i.e. “old” or former), like so: IB-EX. Nicely worked.

  1. Just a two course meal could be an unacceptable idea (3-7)

Answer: NON-STARTER (i.e. “an unacceptable idea”). Clue plays on how “a two course meal” could comprise a main meal and pudding, leaving out the STARTER.

  1. Henry and Rose arranged to drive off for hearing: it may bring them luck (9)

Answer: HORSESHOE (i.e. “it may bring them luck”). Solution is H (a recognised abbreviation of “Henry”, a unit of measurement you’ll see a lot more in cryptic crosswords than you will out in the wild) followed by an anagram (indicated by “arranged”) of ROSE, then a homophone (indicated by “for hearing”) of SHOO (i.e. to “drive off”), like so: H-ORSE-SHOE.

  1. Man fired by bureaucrat with good courage (6)

Answer: DARING (i.e. “courage”). Solution is MANDARIN (i.e. “bureaucrat”) with the MAN removed (indicated by “man fired by…”) and the remainder followed by G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”), like so: DARIN-G.

  1. Hall a great success, but no place to get a drink (6)

Answer: ATRIUM (i.e. “hall”). Solution is A followed by TRIUMPH (i.e. “great success”) once the PH has been removed (indicated by “no place to get a drink” – PH is a recognised abbreviation of a Public House), like so: A-TRIUM.

  1. Quietly swelling, becoming this? (5)

Answer: PLUMP (i.e. “this” in the context of the clue, describing something “swollen”). Solution is P (i.e. “quietly”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “piano” used in musical lingo) followed by LUMP (i.e. a “swelling”).

  1. So tennis involved strains (8)

Answer: TENSIONS (i.e. “strains”). “Involved” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SO TENNIS.

  1. A teacher enters bank, but not for change (4-4)

Answer: READ-ONLY (i.e. descriptive of a file or data that is “not for change” in computer-speak). Solution is A and DON (i.e. “teacher”) both “entering” RELY (i.e. to “bank” on something), like so: RE(A-DON)LY.

  1. There’s a drought; the teapot works, though, as the saying goes (2,5,5,3,2,5)

Answer: IT NEVER RAINS BUT IT POURS (i.e. a “saying”). Solution is IT NEVER RAINS (i.e. “there’s a drought”) followed by BUT IT POURS (i.e. “the teapot works, though”).

  1. One against entering legal process of no account (7)

Answer: TRIVIAL (i.e. “of no account”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and V (i.e. “against”, short for “versus”) both placed in or “entering” TRIAL (i.e. “legal process”), like so: TR(I-V)IAL.

  1. Achieve reversal of revolutionary loss of rights (9)

Answer: ATTAINDER (i.e. “loss of rights” – over to Chambers: “the loss of civil rights through conviction for high treason”). Solution is ATTAIN (i.e. “achieve”) followed by RED (i.e. “revolutionary”) once “reversed”, like so: ATTAIN-DER.

  1. Permission to stick head out (5)

Answer: LEAVE. A triple-header clue where the solution satisfies “permission”, “to stick” (Chambers offers: “to allow, or cause, to remain”) and to “head out”.

  1. Girl who reacts with apathy, traffic cops appearing (7,6)

Answer: HIGHWAY PATROL (i.e. “traffic cops”). “Reacts” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of GIRL WHO and APATHY.

  1. Royal authentication left beside ocean? (5,4)

Answer: GREAT SEAL (i.e. “royal authentication”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) placed after or “beside” GREAT SEA (i.e. “ocean”), like so: (GREAT-SEA)-L.

Down clues

  1. Minute horse enters frightening collection of animals (9)

Answer: MENAGERIE (i.e. “collection of animals”). Solution is M (a recognised abbreviation of “minute”) followed by NAG (i.e. a “horse”) once placed in or “entering” EERIE (i.e. “frightening”), like so: M-E(NAG)ERIE.

  1. Intuition not immediately arousing love? (6,5)

Answer: SECOND SIGHT (i.e. “intuition”). Clue plays on the phrase “love at first sight”, intimating “not immediately arousing love”.

  1. Cry of excitement before learner makes turn (5)

Answer: WHEEL (i.e. to “turn”). Solution is WHEE! (i.e. “cry of excitement”) followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “learner” used on driver’s L-plates).

  1. Mount and gallop even faster (8)

Answer: RUSHMORE (i.e. “mount”). When written as RUSH MORE the solution also satisfies “gallop even faster”.

  1. Lower classes are not able to handle wine (6)

Answer: DECANT (i.e. “handle wine”). Solution is D and E (i.e. “lower classes” relative to A, I guess) followed by CAN’T (i.e. “not able to”).

  1. Be irritated by bookworm, one of unusual sense (4-6)

Answer: MIND-READER (i.e. “one of unusual sense”). Solution is MIND (i.e. “be irritated by”) followed by READER (i.e. “bookworm”).

  1. Airport outlet where staff have nothing to do? (4-4,4)

Answer: DUTY-FREE SHOP (i.e. “airport outlet”). Clue plays on DUTY being another word for “job”. You get the idea. Simple, but I rather liked this one.

  1. Notice paper has run out (7)

Answer: OBSERVE (i.e. “notice”). Solution is OBSERVER (i.e. “[news]paper”) with the last R removed (indicated by “has run out” – R being a recognised abbreviation of “run” used in a number of ball games).

  1. How to make t-those old clothes (7,3,4)

Answer: DOUBLET AND HOSE (i.e. “old clothes”). When written as DOUBLE-T AND HOSE the solution playfully satisfies “how to make t-those”.

  1. Serious, regular gaps in tummy bone (7)

Answer: STERNUM (i.e. “bone”). Solution is STERN (i.e. “serious”) followed by UM (i.e. “regular gaps in tummy”, i.e. every other letter of TUMMY).

  1. Omen certain to disturb seat of empire (7,4)

Answer: ANCIENT ROME (i.e. “seat of empire”). “To disturb” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of OMEN CERTAIN.

  1. Man entitled ahead of time to stop short (4)

Answer: EARL (i.e. “man entitled”). Solution is EARLY (i.e. “ahead of time”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “to stop short”).

  1. Very many thanks at end of tour for guide (8)

Answer: LOADSTAR (i.e. “guide”, a variant spelling of LODESTAR – over to Chambers again: “the star that guides, the Pole Star, often used figuratively”). Solution is LOADS (i.e. “very many”) followed by TA (i.e. “thanks”) and R (i.e. “end of tour”, i.e. the last letter of “tour”).

  1. Government facility; a police station? (3,6)

Answer: MET OFFICE (i.e. “government facility”). In reference to London’s Metropolitan Police, the clue also playfully satisfies “a police station”.

  1. Shares fish, relaxing here after swim? (8)

Answer: POOLSIDE (i.e. “relaxing here after swim”). Solution is POOLS (i.e. “shares”) followed by IDE (i.e. a variety of “fish” often useful in cryptic crosswords).

  1. To establish part of argument may be an advantage in court (3,5)

Answer: SET POINT (i.e. “an advantage in [tennis] court”). Solution is SET (i.e. “to establish”) followed by POINT (i.e. “part of argument”).

  1. Put into shape, since tangled (9)

Answer: FORMATTED (i.e. “put into shape”). Solution is FOR (i.e. “since”) followed by MATTED (i.e. “tangled”).

  1. Woman in work: one having conversation on-line? (4,10)

Answer: LADY CHATTERLY (i.e. “woman in [literary] work” by DH Lawrence). Solution is LADY (i.e. “woman”) followed by CHATTER (i.e. “conversation”) and LEY (i.e. “line”, mystical lines of energy if you believe that kind of thing).

  1. This book isn’t one of the Ruritanian series? No chance! (3,1,4)

Answer: NOT A HOPE (i.e “no chance”). Clue plays on a series of books by Anthony HOPE based on the fictitious country of “Ruritania”.

  1. Detectives suppress vice among more corrupt band of heralds (4,8)

Answer: BEND SINISTER (a “band” used in “heraldry”). Solution is DIS (i.e. “detectives”, specifically Detective Inspectors) wrapped around or “suppressing” SIN (i.e. “vice”) which is itself placed in or “among” BENTER (i.e. “more corrupt”, perhaps if you were to throw away your dictionary), like so: BEN(D(SIN)IS)TER.

  1. In leaving the racetrack, rake creates spinning (11)

Answer: PIROUETTING (i.e. “spinning”). Solution is PITTING (i.e. “leaving the racetrack”) wrapped around or having “in” ROUE (i.e. a “rake”), like so: PI(ROUE)TTING. Tough bugger.

  1. Do survey in pouring rain and gale? Tut! (11)

Answer: TRIANGULATE (i.e. “do survey”). “Pouring” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of RAIN and GALE TUT.

  1. Brain cells struggling to identify plant (6,4)

Answer: CRANES BILL (i.e. “plant”). “Struggling” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of BRAIN CELLS.

  1. Why not take an extra month? (3,2,4)

Answer: MAY AS WELL (i.e. “why not”). The rest of the clue plays on MAY being a “month” and AS WELL being “extra”. Nicely worked.

  1. Half encourage a creative spirit (8)

Answer: DEMIURGE (i.e. “creative spirit” – over to Chambers again: “the maker of the world”). Solution is DEMI (i.e. “half”) followed by URGE (i.e. “encourage”).

  1. Pressure to reconsider, getting a peek ahead (7)

Answer: PREVIEW (i.e. “a peek ahead”). Solution is P (a recognised abbreviation of “pressure”) followed by REVIEW (i.e. “to reconsider”).

  1. A misplaced lamb stew turns up: bliss! (7)

Answer: NIRVANA (i.e. “bliss”). Solution is NAVARIN (i.e. “lamb stew” – no, me neither) reversed (indicated by “turns up” – this being a down clue) and with the middle “A misplaced” and stuck on the end, like so: NAVARIN => NIR(A)VAN => NIRVAN(A).

  1. Twice gallon bottles ruin pointer (3,3)

Answer: GUN DOG (also known as a “pointer”). Solution is G and G (i.e. “twice gallon” – G being a recognised abbreviation of “gallon”) placed around or “bottling” UNDO (i.e. to “ruin”), like so: G(UNDO)G.

  1. Director wants one to go through storyline (5)

Answer: PILOT (i.e. “director”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed in or “going through” PLOT (i.e. “storyline”), like so: P(I)LOT.

  1. A neighbour’s ID, about a half incomplete (4)

Answer: UTAH (i.e. “a neighbour’s ID” – ID is a US state abbreviation of Idaho). “Incomplete” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: ABO(UT A H)ALF. Took a while to twig.

12 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1558

  1. Thought it was medium-strength offering this week, but SAFE SEAT, PIROUETTING and UTAH had me reaching for the coffee!

  2. Thanks Lucian. Using benter in the heraldry clue was pretty poor I thought. Didn’t spot Utah, so thanks for that. Otherwise a fairish challenge. Cheers Graham

  3. Good to have you back!

    We started off at a gallop (“this is easy!”) but then got bogged down on a few clues. We got ‘daring’ without quite understanding why – it seems so obvious now you’ve explained it.

    Not keen on the variant spelling of ‘lodestar’. But applause for ‘formatted‘ and ‘doublet and hose’ (which my 21st-century iPhone heard as ‘tablet and hoes’!)

  4. I was also guilty of failing to spot the hidden word UTAH – supposedly the easiest clues !! Straightforward to start, tricky to complete, this one……

  5. Glad to have you back! Like others I eventually saw the hidden UTAH but its parsing certainly passed me by.
    PIROUETTING also left me in a spin.
    Thanks for being such a reliable rescue service.

  6. Thanks. Easyish one I thought this week with a couple of toughies thrown in. Favourites were Mad Cow Disease & Utah ( excellent clue). I confess I didn’t get the mandarin connection with Daring so ta for that. Cheers

  7. 13 across has valid alternative answer…NITRE. In fact I feel its a better, because simpler answer.

  8. Further to post just made I of course realise its not actually valid in terms of whole puzzle , only in terms of a stand alone clue

  9. Took a little longer than usual. Rushed through most clues but got a little bogged down towards the end. I broke the back of it on Saturday and finished the rest Sunday lunchtime (while the wife was preparing lunch – ahem!).

  10. In 25 across the AY is archaic for ‘ever’ or ‘always’. AYE is the usual spelling of the affirmative. Graham

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