Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1563

A medium strength puzzle this week, and a decent one save for a couple of clues that got up my nose. To be fair these didn’t overshadow matters too much, and the puzzle did offer the kind of steady progression I always like. Plus, it’s always good to learn new things.

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 buggered off to Glastonbury with your tickets then you might find solace in my Just For Fun page, 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 help. It’s always interesting to hear how other solvers fared once their pens are stilled. Till next time, stay safe out there kids.


Across clues

  1. Fixed source of light in church before onset of darkness (7)

Answer: CLAMPED (i.e. “fixed”). Solution is LAMP (i.e. “source of light”) placed “in” CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England) and followed by D (i.e. “onset of darkness”, i.e. the first letter of “darkness”), like so: C(LAMP)E-D.

  1. Cajoled at home, not showing one’s face? Little good in that (9)

Answer: INVEIGLED (i.e. “cajoled”). Solution is IN (i.e. “at home”) followed by VEILED (i.e. “not showing one’s face”) once wrapped around or having “in” G (i.e. “little good”, i.e. a recognised abbreviation of “good”), like so: IN-VEI(G)LED.

  1. Impish maiden removed from demonstration? (4)

Answer: ARCH (i.e. “impish”). Solution is MARCH (i.e. “demonstration”) with the M removed (indicated by “maiden removed from…” – M being a recognised abbreviation of “maiden” used in cricket).

  1. Bounders to hop around, going to and fro repeatedly (13)

Answer: BOUSTROPHEDON (i.e. “going to and fro repeatedly” – over to Chambers: “(of ancient writing) alternately from right to left and from left to right”). “Around” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of BOUNDERS TO HOP. Wordplay was reasonably obvious, but it took a brute force of my Chambers once I’d had enough intersecting letters.

  1. Smooth and white flower sitting at rear of a workplace (9)

Answer: ALABASTER (i.e. “smooth and white”). Solution is ASTER (i.e. “flower”) placed after or “at rear of” A and LAB (i.e. “workplace”, short for laboratory), like so: (A-LAB)-ASTER.

  1. Funny fellow with an unusual allure at end of street (4,6)

Answer: STAN LAUREL (i.e. “funny fellow”, one half of Laurel and Hardy). Solution is AN and an anagram (indicated by “unusual”) of ALLURE both placed after or “at end of” ST (a recognised abbreviation of “street”), like so: ST-(AN-LAUREL).

  1. By ravines we turned back, everything leading to a communications barrier (7,4)

Answer: CHINESE WALL (i.e. “communications barrier” – and so to Chambers again: “the strict demarcation barrier which must exist between eg the corporate finance and investment advisory departments of a bank, etc in order to ensure that privileged information available to one department is not available to the other and so prevent conflicts of interest arising”). Solution is CHINES (i.e. “ravines” – a new one on me, apparently derived from the Old English word for a cleft) followed by WE reversed (indicated by “turned back”), then ALL (i.e. “everything”), like so: CHINES-EW-ALL.

  1. Beastly types making money across the Channel (5)

Answer: EUROS. Solution satisfies “beastly types” – Chambers considers them a type of large kangaroo, another new one on me – and “money across the Channel”, being the currency of several European countries.

  1. A trade union returning officer, cad in charge brooking no opposition (10)

Answer: AUTOCRATIC (i.e. “brooking no opposition”). Solution is A followed by TU (a recognised abbreviation of “Trade Union”) once reversed (indicated by “returning”), then OC (i.e. “officer”, specifically an Officer Commanding or Officer in Charge), then RAT (i.e. “cad”) and IC (a recognised abbreviation of “in charge”), like so: A-UT-OC-RAT-IC.

  1. Lad following college concert (6)

Answer: UNISON (i.e. together, or in “concert”). Solution is SON (i.e. “lad”) placed after or “following” UNI (i.e. “college”, short for university), like so: UNI-SON.

  1. Lean over to grab guy in seaweed (9)

Answer: CARRAGEEN (i.e. a type of “seaweed”). Solution is CAREEN (i.e. “lean over”) wrapped around of “grabbing” RAG (i.e. to “guy” or make fun), like so: CAR(RAG)EEN. I got the CAREEN bit but again had to brute force my Chambers to nail the rest.

  1. Is African archbishop endlessly backing African people? (5)

Answer: TUTSI (i.e. “African people”). Solution is IS and “Archbishop” Desmond TUTU once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “endlessly”). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “backing”), like so: TUT-SI.

  1. Percy is passionate when given incentive (7)

Answer: HOTSPUR (i.e. Sir Henry “Percy”, a fourteenth century English knight who pops up as a character in William Shakespeare’s Henry IV. The guy makes a near-annual appearance in Jumbos, probably enough to warrant an agent by now). Solution is HOT (i.e. “passionate”) followed by SPUR (i.e. “incentive”).

  1. Noble women, 10, provided with fee for hosting game (13)

Answer: ARCHDUCHESSES (i.e. “noble women”). Solution is ARCH (the solution to “10” across) followed by DUES (i.e. “fee”) once wrapped around or “hosting” CHESS (i.e. “game”), like so: ARCH-DU(CHESS)ES.

  1. Part of palace, say, with berth facing west (9)

Answer: STATEROOM (i.e. “part of palace”). Solution is STATE (i.e. “say”) followed by MOOR (i.e. “berth” taken as a verb, i.e. to park one’s ship) once reversed (indicated by “facing west” – this being an across clue), like so: STATE-ROOM.

  1. Short article with winning description of balding man (4,2,3)

Answer: THIN ON TOP (i.e. “description of balding man”). Solution is THING (i.e. “article”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “short”) and the remainder followed by ON TOP (i.e. “winning”).

  1. Fancies forecasts about Left beginning to emerge (13)

Answer: PREDILECTIONS (i.e. “fancies”). Solution is PREDICTIONS (i.e. “forecasts”) wrapped “about” L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) and E (i.e. “beginning [letter] to emerge”), like so: PREDI(L-E)CTIONS.

  1. Understand the French fashion seen outside entrance to classy hotel (5,2)

Answer: LATCH ON (i.e. “understand”). Solution is LA (i.e. “the French”, i.e. the feminine form of “the” in French) followed by TON (i.e. “fashion”, a variant meaning of TON you hardly ever see outside of cryptic crosswords) once wrapped around or placed “outside” of C (i.e. “entrance to classy”, i.e. the first letter of “classy”) and H (“hotel” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: LA-T(C-H)ON.

  1. Old biblical city in which there is party atmosphere (5)

Answer: ODOUR (i.e. an air or “atmosphere”. My Chambers dictionary and thesaurus don’t want to know; my Bradford’s is fairly cold on the matter; the closest I can get is “a lingering quality or impression attaching to something” (Oxford), which I guess just about gets it over the line). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and UR (i.e. “biblical city”, a favourite of cryptic crossword setters) wrapped around or “in which there is” DO (i.e. “party”), like so: O-(DO)-UR.

  1. Fruit comes with dubious promise: hollow melon? (9)

Answer: PERSIMMON (i.e. a plum-like “fruit”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “dubious”) of PROMISE and MN (i.e. “hollow melon”, i.e. the word “melon” with all its middle letters removed).

  1. Prune, I suspect, not fit for eating? (6)

Answer: UNRIPE (i.e. “not fit for eating”). “Suspect” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of PRUNE I.

  1. Leading girl falling short in concert – I’m living in a cell (10)

Answer: PROTOPLASM (i.e. “I’m living [material] in a cell”). Solution is TOP LASS (i.e. “leading girl”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “falling short”) and the remainder placed “in” PROM (i.e. “concert”), like so: PRO(TOP-LAS)M.

  1. King, stained and unconventional (5)

Answer: KINKY (i.e. “unconventional”). Solution is K (a recognised abbreviation of “king” used in chess) followed by INKY (i.e. “stained”).

  1. After party maiden sat upset (11)

Answer: DISCOMPOSED (i.e. “upset”). Solution is DISCO (i.e. “party”) followed by M (a recognised abbreviation of “maiden” used in cricket) and POSED (i.e. “sat” for an artist).

  1. A foreign hospital permitted to be totally secular? (10)

Answer: UNHALLOWED (i.e. “totally secular”). Solution is UN (i.e. “a foreign”, specifically the masculine form of “a” in French) followed by H (a recognised abbreviation of “hospital” used on maps), then ALLOWED (i.e. “permitted”).

  1. I am going one way and another, joining crush to enter new country (9)

Answer: IMMIGRATE (i.e. “to enter new country”). Solution is I’M and M’I (i.e. “I am going one way and another”, i.e. a contraction of “I am” followed by its reverse) followed by GRATE (i.e. “crush” – another that leaves my assorted dictionaries lukewarm at best. I guess we’re referring to the pressure one would apply on something in order to grate it, but I feel this setter’s going to need Perry Mason’s card if they keep this up).

  1. Makes amends with garland, certainly, whenever convenient (2,4,7)

Answer: AT ONE’S LEISURE (i.e. “whenever convenient”). Solution is ATONES (i.e. “makes amends”) followed by LEI (i.e. a “garland”) and SURE (i.e. “certainly”).

  1. Posturing evident in ridiculous ideas (4)

Answer: SIDE (i.e. arrogance, pretension or “posturing”, albeit fairly deep into the definitions). “Evident in” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: RIDICULOU(S IDE)AS.

  1. Daughter joining most intimate group that may be got together for meal (6,3)

Answer: DINNER SET (i.e. “that may be got together for meal”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”) followed by INNER SET (i.e. “most intimate group”).

  1. Nurses carrying silver bits left behind? (3,4)

Answer: TAG ENDS (i.e. “bits left behind”, also known as fag ends). Solution is TENDS (i.e. “nurses”) wrapped around or “carrying” AG (chemical symbol of “silver”), like so: T(AG)ENDS.

Down clues

  1. Island’s young adventurer just starting out? (4)

Answer: CUBA (i.e. “island”). Solution is CUB (i.e. “young” animal) followed by A (i.e. “adventurer just starting out”, i.e. the first letter of “adventurer”).

  1. Grown-up to transgress – end of marriage involved? (9)

Answer: ADULTERER. The solution solves the clue as a whole, but also comprises ADULT (i.e. “grown-up”) and ERR (i.e. “to transgress”) once wrapped around or “involving” E (i.e. “end [letter] of marriage”), like so: ADULT-ER(E)R.

  1. Undertake a task – with the anticipation of a cheese and pickle lunch? (3,4,4,2,3,6)

Answer: PUT ONE’S HAND TO THE PLOUGH (i.e. “undertake a task”). The remainder of the clue plays on a ploughman’s lunch, often including “cheese and pickle”.

  1. Satellite in turbulent episode seen in series of pictures? (7)

Answer: DIORAMA (i.e. “series of pictures”, in this case “an exhibition of translucent pictures seen through an opening with lighting effects” (Chambers). Can also be a three-dimensional scene in miniature). Solution is IO (i.e. “satellite”, specifically a moon of Jupiter) placed “in” DRAMA (i.e. “turbulent episode”), like so: D(IO)RAMA.

  1. The benefit from someone having the will to let another succeed (11)

Answer: INHERITANCE. Solution satisfies the clue as a whole, playing on how such a “benefit” is executed through the “will” of the deceased. “Succeed” can also mean to inherit. You get the idea.

  1. Namely, shop involved in wickedness getting shut finally (9)

Answer: VIDELICET (i.e. “namely” in Latin). Solution is DELI (i.e. “shop”, specifically a delicatessen) placed or “involved in” VICE (i.e. “wickedness”) and followed by T (i.e. “shut finally”, i.e. the last letter of “shut”), like so: VI(DELI)CE-T.

  1. Greek is charged? (5)

Answer: IONIC (i.e. “Greek”, specifically of the Ionian Islands). Clue plays on IONs being electrically “charged” particles.

  1. Pounds one will get with skills – so these can be paid off? (11)

Answer: LIABILITIES (i.e. “these can be paid off”, i.e. debts). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “pounds” of weight, after the Latin libra) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and ABILITIES (i.e. “skills”).

  1. Artist’s storage facility (6)

Answer: DRAWER. Solution satisfies “artist” and “storage facility”.

  1. Rodents surrounding brown trees (7)

Answer: RATTANS (i.e. a variety of “tree” made plural). Solution is RATS (i.e. “rodents”) wrapped around or “surrounding” TAN (i.e. “brown”), like so: RAT(TAN)S.

  1. Disciplinarian listened to, exuding energy on ship (9)

Answer: HARDLINER (i.e. “disciplinarian”). Solution is HEARD (i.e. “listened to”) with the E removed (indicated by “exuding energy” – E being a recognised abbreviation of “energy”) and the remainder followed by LINER (i.e. “ship”), like so: HARD-LINER.

  1. Experience disappointment and reconsider approach (4,7,5,6)

Answer: HAVE ANOTHER THINK COMING. Solution satisfies “experience disappointment” – Chambers offers: “(informal) to be wrong in what one thinks (about future events or actions)” – and, taking the phrase literally, to “reconsider approach”. And here was me always thinking it was “thing”. Can’t imagine why.

  1. Liking to hide head, showing charm (7)

Answer: ENCHANT (i.e. “charm”). Solution is PENCHANT (i.e. “liking”) with the first letter removed (indicated by “to hide head”).

  1. Performer in role, heading off – is theatre completely empty? (7)

Answer: ARTISTE (i.e. “performer”). Solution is PART (i.e. “role”) with the first letter removed (indicated by “heading off”) and the remainder followed by IS and TE (i.e. “theatre completely empty”, i.e. the word “theatre” with all its middle letters removed), like so: ART-IS-TE.

  1. Bird with musical awareness, full of passion (8)

Answer: WHEATEAR (i.e. “bird”). Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”) and EAR (i.e. “musical awareness”) all wrapped around or “full of” HEAT (i.e. “passion”), like so: W-(HEAT)-EAR. Chalk one to my Bradford’s.

  1. Referring to pursuing old lover as “energising” (8)

Answer: EXCITING (i.e. “energising”). Solution is CITING (i.e. “referring to”) placed after or “pursuing” EX (i.e. “old lover”), like so: EX-CITING.

  1. Piece of publicity for short time (5)

Answer: PROMO (i.e. “piece of publicity”). Solution is PRO (i.e. being in favour or “for” something) followed by MO (i.e. “short time”, short for a moment).

  1. Cold dressing for section of limestone pavement (5)

Answer: CLINT (i.e. “section of limestone pavement”, specifically “a block forming part of a natural limestone pavement, separated from others by fissures (grikes)” (Oxford)). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “cold” used on taps) followed by LINT (i.e. a type of linen or “dressing”, as opposed to belly-button fluff). One of those “C_I_T, eh? Hmm. I wonder if it’s ‘clint’. Let’s see if it’s ‘clint’. Well bugger me, it is ‘clint’!” moments. It’s nice when that happens.

  1. Back to drink fortified wine (7)

Answer: SUPPORT (i.e. to “back” something). Solution is SUP (i.e. “to drink”) followed by PORT (i.e. “fortified wine”).

  1. Indication of pregnant Virgin, as revealed in stonework? (7)

Answer: MASONRY (i.e. “stonework”). The remainder of the clue plays on how the solution is formed of MARY (i.e. biblical “Virgin”) wrapped around or being “pregnant” with SON, like so: MA(SON)RY.

  1. Demanding conformity, posture can ultimately suffer terribly (11)

Answer: PROCRUSTEAN (i.e. “demanding conformity” – Chambers again: “taking violent measures to ensure conformity to a standard. [From Procrustes, a legendary Greek robber, who stretched or cut his captives’ legs to fit a bed]”. Another new one on me, but also interesting. Also, also: sheesh! that’s some serious OCD going on, there). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “terribly”) of POSTURE CAN and R (i.e. “ultimately suffer”, i.e. the last letter of “suffer”). Nicely worked, with an appreciable dash of grim irony!

  1. Men emphatic about charge against Nixon? (11)

Answer: IMPEACHMENT (i.e. a “charge against [Richard] Nixon”, 37th President of the United States). “About” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MEN EMPHATIC. Another nicely worked clue.

  1. Stories about start of affair with a foreign doctor – they deal with dirty stuff (9)

Answer: LAUNDRIES (i.e. “they deal with dirty stuff”). Solution is LIES (i.e. “stories”) wrapped “about” A (i.e. “start [letter] of affair”), UN (i.e. “a foreign” – our French “a” again) and DR (a recognised abbreviation of “doctor”), like so: L(A-UN-DR)IES.

  1. Modern music before fantastic tour has American “over the moon” (9)

Answer: RAPTUROUS (i.e. “over the moon”). Solution is RAP (i.e. “modern music”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “fantastic”) of TOUR, then US (i.e. “American”), like so: RAP-TURO-US.

  1. Model with deficient style, one of five in group (9)

Answer: MANNEQUIN (i.e. “model”). Solution is MANNER (i.e. “style”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “deficient”) and the remainder followed by QUIN (i.e. “one of five in group”), like so: MANNE-QUIN.

  1. Supposed to have dumped leader and started afresh (7)

Answer: RESUMED (i.e. “started afresh” – I always thought this was to start from where one left off, but “begin again” seems a widely supported definition). Solution is PRESUMED (i.e. “supposed”) with the first letter removed (indicated by “to have dumped leader”).

  1. Plant Mollie transplanted beginning to thrive (7)

Answer: MELILOT (i.e. a grassland “plant”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “transplanted”) of MOLLIE followed by T (i.e. “beginning [letter] to thrive”). Needless to say, this was another that needed a brute force of my Chambers once I’d had enough letters. Hooray for made-to-fit solutions! Yaayyyy, made-to-fit solutions!!! (Narrator: sadly, only madness lay in store for Mr Poll from that day on…)

  1. Leaders of urban district penning scheme for geographical area (6)

Answer: UPLAND (i.e. “geographic area”). Solution is U and D (i.e. “leaders of urban district”, i.e. the first letters of “urban” and “district”) wrapped around or “penning” PLAN (i.e. “scheme”), like so: U-(PLAN)-D.

  1. Sailor – Devon’s foremost man of dubious reputation? (5)

Answer: Sir Francis DRAKE (i.e. “sailor”). Solution is D (i.e. “Devon’s foremost” letter) followed by RAKE (i.e. “man of dubious reputation”). Neatly done, considering Drake was born in Devon.

  1. Iron ship, ordinary (4)

Answer: FESS (i.e. “ordinary”. This is all to do with heraldry, it seems. One definition of “ordinary” is “one of a class of armorial charges, figures of simple or geographical form, conventional in character”, while a FESS or FESSE is “one of the simple heraldic forms, a horizontal band over the middle of an escutcheon, usually one third of the whole” (both Chambers)). Solution is FE (chemical symbol of “iron”) followed by SS (i.e. “ship”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of a “steamship”).

8 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1563

  1. Thanks Lucian. A bit of a mixed bag this time. Some pretty odd words. BOUSTROPHEDON??? No, me neither. But I did rather like MASONRY. Nicely worked.

    I’m not convinced with RATTANS, though. The parsing works fine, but as far as I know, rattans are a type of creeping plants, not trees. Yellow card, setter.

  2. A fair and enjoyable test this week. And, as ever Lucian, thanks for taking the trouble to explain some of the more obscure clues.
    For example, when solving 18a (EUROS), I was unaware that Euros were kangaroos and had assumed that “beastly types” was simply referring to the European Union – Boo! Hiss!
    And, as above, I was surprised the setter thinks RATTANS are trees.
    32d (MASONRY) was a clever clue, as was 49d (DRAKE)

  3. Yep, we didn’t like Boustrophedon either. And Carrageen just seemed to be two obscure words used to create another. And Fess? Another heraldry word?
    But appreciation for Drawer, Masonry, Stateroom and more – so pretty good on balance.

  4. Thanks, Lucian. Uneven this week, I thought. Some doddles and some real teeth-pullers; boustrophedon, strewth! Ditto Procrustean. Masonry was good though, Drake too with his Devonian origin. Cheers

  5. I agree! Thoroughly enjoyable puzzle. And isn’t a weirdish word or three pretty much inevitable in a Jumbo?

  6. Hear hear! Loved the NHO BOUSTROPHEDON!
    A fragile defence for the setter re RATTAN in Wikipedia:
    “Most rattan palms are ecologically considered lianas due to their climbing habits, unlike other palm species. Though a few species also have tree-like or shrub-like habits”

  7. Agree with all above. 53 across, a bit of a swizz!! I wish there was some way of showing apostrophes in the clues.

    Also, 38a, a polite and dated way of saying there’s a smell in room, “a bit of an atmosphere”.

  8. boustrophedon, carrageen, melilot? You what? You what, you what, you what? Thankfully each could be worked out without knowing the meaning. And helpfully our exemplary Prime Minister had himself used “procrustean” a few weeks ago.

    Quelle plonker.

    Was I alone in thinking “masonry” wilfully blasphemous?!!

    Finally had time to sit down with this one yesterday, eight days after publication! At least I managed an hour with Saturday’s offering this morning while the plumber was round and before having to leave for work assignments.

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