For me this was much the same as last week’s Jumbo, easing up a smidge on the general knowledge in favour of… forenames. Oof, that’s never a good sign. Plants, people and places are often tell-tale signs of an awkward grid-fill, but forenames are another level entirely. A lot of the clueing was pretty good, but overall this was another miss from me.
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 gone and scratched your favourite recordtched your favourite recordtched your favourite recordtched your favourite recordtched (…bump…) then you might 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 input and kind words. It’s always interesting to hear the thoughts of other solvers once their pens are stilled. Till next time, stay safe out there kids.
- Key aide: very few could afford one with forty-eight hours off (4-3,4)
Answer: FIVE-DAY WEEK (i.e. “one with forty-eight hours off”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “could afford”) of KEY AIDE, V (a recognised abbreviation of “very”) and FEW.
- Was witness to suffer detention? (6)
Answer: BEHELD (i.e. “was witness to”). When written as BE HELD the solution also satisfies “to suffer detention”.
- A US military hospital losing its second nurse (4)
Answer: AMAH (i.e. a “nurse” in East Asia). Solution is A followed by MASH (i.e. “US military hospital”, short for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital) once the S has been removed (indicated by “losing its second” – S being a recognised abbreviation of “second”), like so: A-MAH.
- Environmentalists, disapprovingly, to use empty cistern for recycling (7)
Answer: ECONUTS (i.e. “environmentalists, disapprovingly”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “recycling”) of TO USE and CN (i.e. “empty cistern”, i.e. the word “cistern” with all its middle letters removed).
- Calls round with drink (5,2)
Answer: RINGS UP (i.e. “calls”). Solution is RING (i.e. a “round” structure) followed by SUP (i.e. “drink”).
- Bloomer, ultimately encouraging fan to invade pitch (7)
Answer: SPIGNEL (i.e. “bloomer” – not one I’d heard of, but images of them look familiar). Solution is G and N (i.e. “ultimately encouraging fan”, i.e. the last letters of “encouraging” and “fan”) both placed in or “invading” SPIEL (i.e. “pitch” or, more generally, a line of talk), like so: SPI(GN)EL.
- King being trapped by horse having reared in southern China (9,4)
Answer: SMOTHERED MATE (i.e. “King being trapped by horse” – over to Chambers: “in chess, checkmate by a knight, the king having been prevented from moving by the positions of his own forces”). Solution is MOTHERED (i.e. “reared”) placed “in” S (a recognised abbreviation of “southern”) and MATE (i.e. “China”, specifically the cockney rhyming slang: china plate = mate), like so: S-(MOTHERED)-MATE.
- Eccentricity of relatives repeating verses every so often (9)
Answer: KINKINESS (i.e. “eccentricity”). Solution is KIN and KIN (i.e. “relatives repeatedly”) followed by ESS (i.e. “verses every so often”, i.e. every other letter of VERSES).
- The capital’s Circle Line about to be withdrawn (5)
Answer: ACCRA (i.e. “the capital” of Ghana). Solution is ARC (i.e. “circle line” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) and CA (i.e. “about”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “circa”) all reversed (indicated by “to be withdrawn”), like so: AC-CRA. Nicely worked.
- Note short bad-tempered ape used for lab research? (10)
Answer: MICROSCOPY (i.e. technology “used for lab research”). Solution is MI (i.e. “note” in the sol-fa notation, i.e. the whole doh-ray-mi thing) followed by CROSS (i.e. “bad-tempered”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “short”), then COPY (i.e. to imitate or “ape”), like so: MI-CROS-COPY.
- A little blue in demeanour, is querulous (6)
Answer: RISQUE (i.e. “a little blue”). “In” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: DEMEANOU(R IS QUE)RULOUS.
- End of play or film – lute playing (4,4)
Answer: FULL TIME (i.e. “end of play”). “Playing” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of FILM and LUTE.
- One doing good work first, welcome among factory personnel earlier (14)
Answer: PHILANTHROPIST (i.e. “one going good”). Solution is OP (i.e. “work”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “opus”) and IST (i.e. “first”, I being the Roman numeral one) both placed after or having “earlier” HI (i.e. “welcome”) once it’s placed “among” PLANT (i.e. “factory”) and HR (i.e. “personnel”, specifically Human Resources), like so: (P(HI)LANT-HR)-OP-IST.
- Porter, not up in Scotland, touring Sandhurst (7)
Answer: DOORMAN (i.e. “porter”). Solution is DOON (i.e. “not up in Scotland”, i.e. the Scots form of “down”) wrapped around or “touring” RMA (i.e. “Sandhurst”, a Royal Military Academy), like so: DOO(RMA)N.
- Band leader’s tweet to press, backing men (4,5)
Answer: PIPE MAJOR (i.e. “band leader”). Solution is PIPE (i.e. to “tweet”) followed by JAM (i.e. “to press”) once reversed (indicated by “backing”) and OR (i.e. “men”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army), like so: PIPE-MAJ-OR.
- Yank’s courage (5)
Answer: PLUCK. Solution satisfies “yank” and “courage”.
- Character an old letter once used by mapmakers (5)
Answer: ETHOS (i.e. “character”). Solution is ETH (i.e. “an old letter once used”, specifically a barred D character that was used in Old English) followed by OS (i.e. “mapmakers”, specifically Ordnance Survey).
- Shares for auditors in the city (9)
Answer: STOCKHOLM (i.e. capital “city” of Sweden). I’m not quite on the same page as the setter here, so watch out. My guess is each half of the name can be another word for “share”, getting you its plural in the clue. This certainly fits STOCK in the financial world. “For auditors” is usually a homophone indicator, so I guess the HOLM part will be something like HOME, but I’m buggered if I can make the leap from that to “share”. If someone swings by with the actual answer then I’ll update the post.
[EDIT: Thanks to Steve in the comments for nailing this one. I was half-right (…ish) but failed to twig the “in” in the clue, which is often referred to as being at HOME in cryptic clues. This is where the homophone is to be applied (i.e. “for auditors: ‘in'”) to get you HOLM. Sneaky, as you are much more likely to see this wordplay in reverse, i.e. see IN in a solution clued as “home”, but fair play to the setter and cheers, Steve! – LP]
- It’s a deal that includes reform of Euro (5,2)
Answer: YOU’RE ON (i.e. “it’s a deal”). Solution is YON (i.e. poetic form of “that”) wrapped around or “including” an anagram (indicated by “reform of”) of EURO, like so: Y(OURE)ON.
- Potter character’s return links with short quiz being organised (8,6)
Answer: SQUIRREL NUTKIN (i.e. Beatrix “Potter character”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “being organised”) of RETURN LINKS and QUIZ once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “short”).
- Accessory when snapping various creatures together, for blokes crossing lake (4,4)
Answer: ZOOM LENS (i.e. “accessory when snapping”, meaning photography). Solution is ZOO (i.e. “various creatures together”) followed by MEN’S (i.e. “for blokes”) once wrapped around or “crossing” L (a recognised abbreviation of “lake”), like so: ZOO-M(L)EN’S.
- With an extra royalty cheque initially coming back, the writer’s rich! (6)
Answer: CREAMY (i.e. “rich”). Solution is CREA (i.e. “with an extra royalty cheque initially coming back”, i.e. the first letters of “an”, “extra”, “royalty” and “cheque” all reversed) followed by MY (i.e. “the writer’s” from the point of view of the setter).
- Open to attack when seaworthy? (10)
Answer: ASSAILABLE (i.e. “open to attack”). Solution is AS (i.e. “when”) followed by SAILABLE (i.e. “seaworthy”).
- Sum small child has completed (3,2)
Answer: TOT UP (i.e. “sum”). Solution is TOT (i.e. “small child”) followed by UP (i.e. “completed”).
- Split – but not the bill, presumably (2,1,6)
Answer: DO A RUNNER (i.e. to flee or “split”). The rest of the clue plays on how a bill can’t be split if everyone legs it before paying. You get the idea.
- Oliver and Mack perhaps rub it in (5,3,5)
Answer: TWIST THE KNIFE (i.e. “rub it in”). Solution is “Oliver” TWIST followed by “Mack” THE KNIFE, a song from The Threepenny Opera.
- Palace one’s dwelling in deserted, time to move (7)
Answer: VATICAN (i.e. “palace”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed or “dwelling in” VACANT (i.e. “deserted”) once the T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”) has been “moved” like so: VACAN(T) => VA(T)CAN => VAT(I)CAN.
- Italian constitutional body has boycotted hearing (7)
Answer: CLAUDIO (i.e. an “Italian” forename). Solution is CL (i.e. “constitutional body has boycotted”, i.e. the word “constitutional” with all its middle letters removed) followed by AUDIO (i.e. “hearing”). Forename alert!
- Claws: little ones (7)
Answer: NIPPERS. Solution satisfies “claws” and “little ones” or toddlers.
- Complete degree (4)
Answer: RANK. Solution satisfies “complete” or absolute, and “degree”.
- Not moving back, I parked behind, between poles (6)
Answer: STASIS (i.e. the state of “not moving”). Solution is I and SAT (i.e. “parked”) all reversed (indicated by “back”) and placed “between” S and S (i.e. “poles”, specifically South ones), like so: S-(TAS-I)-S.
- Argument with the Italian visiting celebrity: I’m astounded! (5,4,2)
Answer: WORDS FAIL ME (i.e. “I’m astounded”). Solution is WORDS (i.e. “argument”, as in having words with someone) followed by IL (i.e. “the Italian”, i.e. the Italian for “the”) once placed in or “visiting” FAME (i.e. “celebrity”), like so: WORDS-FA(IL)ME.
- Delivers one a plant (7)
Answer: FREESIA (i.e. “plant”). Solution is FREES (i.e. “delivers”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and A.
- One bowed out of awkward love-in with cool Liberal (11)
Answer: VIOLONCELLO (i.e. “one bowed”, i.e. a musical instrument played with a bow). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “awkward”) of LOVE-IN, COOL and L (a recognised abbreviation of “Liberal”).
- Ready to roll? (5)
Answer: DOUGH. Solution satisfies “ready”, both slang words for money. I guess the setter’s playing on DOUGH eventually becoming a bread “roll”. (Makes so-so gesture.)
- TV show you and son prepare to attend (3,5,8)
Answer: YES PRIME MINISTER (i.e. “TV show”). Solution is YE (i.e. “you”, ye olde style) followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”), then PRIME (i.e. “prepare”) and MINISTER (i.e. “attend” to).
- Nymph looked back on chance with regret, reflecting over years (8)
Answer: EURYDICE (i.e. “nymph looked back on” – in Greek mythology she was the wife of Orpheus and was tragically killed by a viper. She was eventually allowed to walk free of the Underworld so long as Orpheus always walked ahead of her along the path and never looked back to her. You can guess how that turned out). Solution is DICE (i.e. “chance”) placed after or “with” RUE (i.e. “regret”) once reversed (indicated by “reflecting”) and placed ahead of or “over” Y (a recognised abbreviation of “years”), like so: (EUR-Y)-DICE.
- Make awkward progress on a graph: nothing OK, somehow (8-3)
Answer: KANGAROO-HOP (i.e. “make awkward progress”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “somehow”) of ON A GRAPH, O (i.e. “nothing”) and OK.
- Mean to maintain tango beat (5)
Answer: BASTE (i.e. to “beat” – a variant meaning of the word). Solution is BASE (i.e. “mean”, both taken to mean reprehensible) wrapped around T (“tango” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: BAS(T)E.
- Bound to miss start after grappling with field event (3,4,3,4)
Answer: HOP SKIP AND JUMP (i.e. “field event”). Solution is HOP (i.e. “bound”), SKIP (i.e. “to miss”) and JUMP (i.e. to “start” with surprise) all wrapped around or “grappling” AND (i.e. “with”), like so: HOP-SKIP-(AND)-JUMP.
- See that Carol is down (6)
Answer: LOSING (i.e. “is down” in score). Solution is LO (i.e. “see”, as in lo and behold) followed by SING (i.e. to “carol” – ignore the misleading capitalisation).
- Political philosopher from US, one men quote erroneously (11)
Answer: MONTESQUIEU (i.e. “political philosopher”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “erroneously”) of US, I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and MEN QUOTE.
- Get all outspoken in Rome? (4,3)
Answer: HOLY SEE (i.e. “Rome”). “Outspoken” indicates homophone. When expressed as WHOLLY SEE the solution satisfies “get all”.
- Ridiculously cheap, fashionable pastry cases from somewhere in Asia (8)
Answer: FILIPINO (i.e. “from somewhere in Asia”, specifically the Philippines). Solution is IP (i.e. “ridiculously cheap”, i.e. [Roman numeral] one penny) and IN (i.e. “fashionable”) placed in or “cased” by FILO (i.e. “pastry”), like so: FIL(IP-IN)O.
- Goddess of the pictures, heading down for cup tie? (7)
Answer: ARTEMIS (i.e. Greek “goddess” of the hunt). Solution is ART (i.e. “pictures”) followed by SEMI (i.e. “cup tie”, a semi-final) once its first letter or “heading” has been sent “down” to the end, like so: ART-(S)EMI => ART-EMI(S).
- Boy requiring uniform collected clothes (5)
Answer: CALUM (i.e. a “boy’s” name). Solution is U (“uniform” in the phonetic alphabet) placed in or “clothed” by CALM (i.e. “collected”), like so: CAL(U)M. Forename alert!
- Those of a certain age, longing to shun society, part with property (16)
Answer: THIRTYSOMETHINGS (i.e. “those of a certain age”). Solution is THIRSTY (i.e. “longing”) with the S removed (indicated by “to shun society”, S being a recognised abbreviation of “society”) and the remainder followed by SOME (i.e. “part”) and THINGS (i.e. “property”), like so: THIRTY-SOME-THINGS.
- Following primitive instincts, turns and twitches? (7)
Answer: FIDGETS (i.e. “twitches”). Solution is F (a recognised abbreviation of “following”) followed by ID (i.e. “primitive instincts” in the world of psychology) and GETS (i.e. “turns”, both taken to mean “becomes”).
- Proceeds to analyse, first and foremost, one of two books (7)
Answer: TAKINGS (i.e. “proceeds”). Solution is T and A (i.e. “to analyse, first and foremost”, i.e. the initial letters of “to” and “analyse”) followed by KINGS (i.e. “two books” of the Old Testament of The Bible).
- Misbehaving like a competent card player? (2,2,4,6)
Answer: UP TO ONE’S TRICKS (i.e. “misbehaving”). Clue plays on UP TO being “competent”, and “card” games where a round of cards is called a TRICK. You get the idea.
- Satisfied after fruit drop (7)
Answer: PLUMMET (i.e. “drop”). Solution is MET (i.e. “satisfied”) placed “after” PLUM (i.e. “fruit”), like so: PLUM-MET.
- Flyer put up in around trading centre (5,6)
Answer: HOUSE MARTIN (i.e. “flyer”). Solution is HOUSE (i.e. to “put up”) and IN wrapped “around” MART (i.e. “trading centre”), like so: HOUSE-(MART)-IN.
- Girl always thanks cook finally when rising (5)
Answer: KATYA (i.e. a “girl’s” name). Solution is AY (i.e. archaic or dialectical form of “always”), TA (i.e. “thanks”) and K (i.e. “cook finally”, i.e. the last letter of “cook”) all reversed (indicated by “when rising” – this being a down clue), like so: K-AT-YA. Forename alert!
- Light in women’s loo wired badly (5,6)
Answer: ORIEL WINDOW (i.e. “light”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “badly”) of IN, W (a recognised abbreviation of “women”), and LOO WIRED.
- Fish I caught having chosen appropriate equipment all round (8,3)
Answer: ELECTRIC EEL (i.e. “fish”). Solution is I and C (a recognised abbreviation of “caught” used in a number of ball games) placed in or having “all round” ELECT (i.e. “chosen”, e.g. a president elect) and REEL (i.e. “appropriate equipment” for fishing), like so: ELECT-R(I-C)EEL.
- Drink taken from seat, one in Paris church (3,5)
Answer: RUM PUNCH (i.e. “drink”). Solution is RUMP (i.e. “seat”) followed by UN (i.e. “one in Paris”, i.e. the French for “one”) and CH (a recognised abbreviation of “church”).
- A club closed by the taxman once, scene of killing (8)
Answer: ABATTOIR (i.e. “scene of killing”). Solution is A followed by BAT (i.e. “club”), then TO (i.e. “closed”, e.g. a door closed to) and IR (i.e. “the taxman once”, specifically the Inland Revenue).
- Body’s state: one likely to be rotten at the top! (7)
Answer: CADAVER (i.e. “body”). Solution is AVER (i.e. to “state”) placed after or having “at the top” CAD (i.e. “one likely to be rotten”), like so: CAD-AVER.
- Something given urgency, case of importance (7)
Answer: PRESSIE (i.e. “something given”). Solution is PRESS (i.e. “urgency”) followed by IE (i.e. “case of importance”, i.e. the first and last letters of “importance”).
- Maybe get granny out of bunk – no tender hugs! (6)
Answer: UNKNOT (i.e. “maybe get granny [knot] out”). “Hugs” (and “of”, now I think of it) indicate the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: B(UNK NO T)ENDER.
- Race has to be arranged with IT (5)
Answer: THAIS (i.e. “race”, in this case the people of Thailand). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “arranged”) of HAS and IT.
- Letter from abroad: one to seal well, we understand? (5)
Answer: KAPPA (i.e. “letter from abroad”, specifically the tenth letter of the Greek alphabet). “We understand” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of CAPPER (i.e. “one to seal [oil] well”).