Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1568

Another medium-strength Jumbo this week and, while it didn’t get quite as far up my nose as last week’s effort, it does seem this week’s setter was pining hard for Provence. I felt so French by the end I nearly took up smoking Gauloise cigarettes in a cool and dismissive manner.

Maintenant, 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 on strike despite not being in gainful employment what with it being a Jumbo n’ all then you might find succour in my Just For Fun page, where you’ll find links to solutions to 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 their pens are stilled. Till next time, stay safe out there kids.


Across clues

  1. Onset of tension and pressure in soldiers repeatedly producing lethargy (6)

Answer: TORPOR (i.e. “lethargy”). Solution is T (i.e. “onset of tension”, i.e. the first letter of “tension”) followed by P (a recognised abbreviation of “pressure”) once placed “in” between OR and OR (i.e. “soldiers repeatedly”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army), like so: T-(OR-(P)-OR).

  1. Intense complaint about travel company, European (3,2,5)

Answer: CRI DE COEUR (i.e. “intense complaint” – over to Chambers for this common-or-garden English phrase: “a cry from the heart, a heartfelt, passionate entreaty, complaint or reproach”). Solution is C (i.e. “about”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “circa”) followed by RIDE (i.e. “travel”), then CO (a recognised abbreviation of “company”) and EUR (ditto “European”). While both my Chambers and Oxford dictionaries spell this with an “Œ” short vowel, my Collins Concise backs the setter up.

  1. Military leader accepting high award for amusement (5)

Answer: COMIC (i.e. “amusement”). Solution is CIC (i.e. “military leader”, specifically a Commander-In-Chief) wrapped around or “accepting” OM (i.e. “high award”, in this case the Order of Merit), like so: C(OM)IC.

  1. Artist studies put up for discussion (9)

Answer: John CONSTABLE (i.e. “artist”). Solution is CONS (i.e. “studies” as a verb – an archaic definition) followed by TABLE (i.e. “put up for discussion”).

  1. Current aria is repositioned as first item (7-6)

Answer: CURTAIN-RAISER (i.e. “first item”). “Repositioned” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CURRENT ARIA IS.

  1. One editor finally turning in story ready to break? (7)

Answer: FRIABLE (i.e. crumbly or “ready to break”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and R (i.e. “editor finally”, i.e. the last letter of “editor”) reversed (indicated by “turning”) and placed “in” FABLE (i.e. “story”), like so: F(R-I)ABLE.

  1. Month to go round historic US state or European state (7)

Answer: MOLDOVA (i.e. “European state”). Solution is MO (a recognised abbreviation of “month”) wrapped “round” OLD (i.e. “historic”) and followed by VA (i.e. “US state” abbreviation of Virginia), like so: M(OLD)O-VA.

  1. Biblical character in history not starting attack (7)

Answer: ASSAULT (i.e. “attack”). Solution is SAUL (i.e. “biblical character”) placed “in” PAST (i.e. “history”) once its first letter has been removed (indicated by “not starting”), like so: AS(SAUL)T.

  1. It’s replies recalled after being trounced? (7,2,9)

Answer: L’ESPRIT DE L’ESCALIER. Over to Chambers to define this tiresomely overused English phrase: “thinking of an apt or witty retort after the opportunity of making it is past”. The solution therefore satisfies the clue as a whole but is also an anagram (indicated by “after being trounced”) of IT’S REPLIES RECALLED. I still maintain that obscure general knowledge solutions getting clued up as anagrams is about as helpful as offering a drowning man a nice cup of tea, but at least in this case the phrase was something interesting and the clue cleverly constructed.

  1. So taken aback about turning up for work (4)

Answer: OPUS (i.e. “work”). Solution is SO reversed (indicated by “taken aback”) and wrapped “about” UP once also reversed (indicated by “turning”), like so: O(PU)S.

  1. Extended period in New York city? No hesitation (5)

Answer: YONKS (i.e. “extended period”). Solution is YONKERS (i.e. “New York city”, specifically a city in New York state – some nice misdirection) with the ER removed (indicated by “no hesitation”).

  1. Article carried by flying insect, for example (8)

Answer: INSTANCE (i.e. “example”). Solution is AN (i.e. “article”, being a word like a, an or the) placed in or “carried by” an anagram (indicated by “flying”) of INSECT, like so: INST(AN)CE.

  1. Old period ballet move restricting dancing once (8)

Answer: PLIOCENE (i.e. “old period” between 5 and 1.8 million years ago (Chambers)). Solution is PLIE (i.e. “ballet move”, specifically one “in which the knees are bent while the body remains upright” (Chambers again). Me neither, but then ballet really isn’t my scene) wrapped around an anagram (indicated by “dancing”) of ONCE, like so: PLI(OCEN)E.

  1. Be excessive – go and live under rock (11)

Answer: OVERINDULGE (i.e. “be excessive”). “Rock” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of GO and LIVE UNDER.

  1. United meant to play for dramatised reconstruction? (11)

Answer: EDUTAINMENT (i.e. “dramatised reconstruction”, a ugh-worthy contraction of education and entertainment). “To play” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of UNITED MEANT.

  1. Understand it is behind image displaying two figures? (6-5)

Answer: DOUBLE-DIGIT (i.e. “displaying two figures”). Solution is DIG (i.e. slang for “understand”) and IT placed “behind” DOUBLE (i.e. “image”, in this case “a person or thing that closely resembles another” (Chambers)), like so: DOUBLE-(DIG-IT).

  1. Problem with element of education probed by the heartless school employee (4,7)

Answer: HEAD TEACHER (i.e. “school employee”). Solution is HEADACHE (i.e. “problem”) and R (i.e. “element of education”, being one of the three Rs: reading, riting and rithmetic – still one of the dumbest phrases ever coined considering its context) all wrapped around or “probed by” TE (i.e. “the heartless”, i.e. the word “the” with its middle letter removed), like so: HEAD(TE)ACHE-R.

  1. Scoundrel, emotional, keeping wife in two areas (8)

Answer: TEARAWAY (i.e. “scoundrel”). Solution is TEARY (i.e. “emotional”) wrapped around or “keeping” W (a recognised abbreviation of “wife”) once placed “in” between A and A (both ditto “area”), like so: TEAR(A-(W)-A)Y.

  1. Soccer group roster including popular visitor to Wembley? (8)

Answer: FINALIST (i.e. “visitor to Wembley”). Solution is FA (i.e. “soccer group”, specifically the Football Association) and LIST (i.e. “roster”) all wrapped around or “including” IN (i.e. “popular”), like so: F(IN)A-LIST. [Speaking of which, good luck to the Lionesses tomorrow!]

  1. First contractor for The Times? (5)

Answer: TEMPI (i.e. “the times” – ignore the misleading formatting, this is the plural form of “tempo”). When written as TEMP I the clue playfully satisfies “first contractor”, taking I to be a Roman numeral one.

  1. Nasty trick, disposing of piano (4)

Answer: RANK (i.e. “nasty”). Solution is PRANK (i.e. “trick”) with the P removed (indicated by “disposing of piano” – P being a recognised abbreviation of “piano” used in musical lingo).

  1. Leave the board so as maybe to get experience later? (4,2,2,3,4,3)

Answer: DIVE IN AT THE DEEP END. Clue satisfies “leave the [diving] board” and “so as maybe to get experience later”.

  1. A sound from waterfowl endlessly crossing it, turning in the water? (7)

Answer: AQUATIC (i.e. “in the water”). Solution is A followed by QUACK (i.e. “sound from waterfowl”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “endlessly”) and the remainder wrapped around or “crossing” IT once reversed (indicated by “turning”), like so: A-QUA(TI)C.

  1. Barrister showing a lot of character after matter cut short (7)

Answer: COUNSEL (i.e. “barrister”). Solution is SELF (i.e. “character”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “showing a lot of”) and the remainder placed “after” COUNT (i.e. to “matter”) once it too has had its last letter removed (indicated by “cut short”), like so: COUN-SEL.

  1. Drink’s prepared, to take care of King? That’s betrayal (7)

Answer: TREASON (i.e. “betrayal”). Solution is TEA’S ON (i.e. “drink’s prepared”) wrapped around or “taking care of” R (i.e. “king”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of the Latin Rex), like so: T(R)EA’S-ON.

  1. After cut in revenue, German city reduced business, eschewing contacts (13)

Answer: INCOMMUNICADO (i.e. “eschewing contacts” – Chambers would disagree, suggesting this is instead a state of being without means of communication rather than actively shunning contact). Solution is INCOME (i.e. “revenue”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “after cut”) and the remainder followed by MUNICH (i.e. “German city”) once it too has had its last letter cut (indicated by “reduced”). This is all then followed by ADO (i.e. “business”, in this case “a complex, difficult or awkward matter or affair” (Chambers)), like so: INCOM-MUNIC-ADO.

  1. Comes up to snatch family silver at the outset? Chancy stuff (9)

Answer: RISKINESS (i.e. “chancy stuff”). Solution is RISES (i.e. “comes up”) wrapped around or “snatching” KIN (i.e. “family”) and followed by S (i.e. “silver at the outset”, i.e. the first letter of “silver”), like so: RIS(KIN)ES-S.

  1. A duke taken in by cunning, alas (5)

Answer: SADLY (i.e. “alas”). Solution is A and D (a recognised abbreviation of “duke”) both placed in or “taken in by” SLY (i.e. “cunning”), like so: S(A-D)LY.

  1. Subsequently shortened vague Keaton film (3,7)

Answer: THE GENERAL (i.e. Buster “Keaton film”). Solution is THEN (i.e. “subsequently”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “shortened”) and the remainder followed by GENERAL (i.e. “vague”).

  1. Things to do with target coming into range (6)

Answer: AGENDA (i.e. “things to do”). Solution is END (i.e. aim or “target”) placed “into” AGA (i.e. a big ol’ stove or “range”), like so: AG(END)A.

[EDIT: Thanks to Dr John in the comments for the typo fix. I’d accidentally written ADENDA. Cheers, Doc! – LP]

Down clues

  1. Reckoning to keep Court fellows unsettled initially, in a diplomatic way (9)

Answer: TACTFULLY (i.e. “in a diplomatic way”). Solution is TALLY (i.e. “reckoning”) wrapped around or “keeping” CT (a recognised abbreviation of “court”), F and U (i.e. “fellows unsettled initially”, i.e. the first letters of “fellows” and “unsettled”), like so: TA(CT-F-U)LLY.

  1. Improving time? An era’s since undergoing revision (11)

Answer: RENAISSANCE (i.e. “improving time”). “Undergoing revision” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of AN ERA’S SINCE.

  1. Upturn in company to be resumed initially in just over four weeks (7)

Answer: OCTOBER (i.e. “just over four weeks”). Solution is CO (a recognised abbreviation of “company”) reversed (indicated by “upturn in…” – this being a down clue) and followed by TO BE and R (i.e. “resumed initially, i.e. the first letter of “resumed”), like so: OC-TO-BE-R.

  1. Evidence of cold inert gas in strange surroundings (5)

Answer: RHEUM (i.e. “evidence of cold”, e.g. after one has blown their nose). Solution is HE (i.e. “insert gas”, specifically the chemical symbol of helium) placed “in…surroundings” of RUM (i.e. “strange”), like so: R(HE)UM.

  1. Revealing dress, of French school, securing cheers (11)

Answer: DECOLLETAGE (i.e. “revealing dress” with a plunging neckline). Solution is DE (i.e. “of French”, i.e. the French for “of”) followed by COLLEGE (i.e. “school”) wrapped around or “securing” TA (i.e. “cheers”), like so: DE-COLLE(TA)GE.

  1. Good for the French, blocking two vehicles in environmental action (6,5)

Answer: CARBON CYCLE (i.e. “environmental action”, being “the circulation and transfer of carbon between animals, plants and the atmosphere” (Chambers)). Solution is BON (i.e. “good for the French”, i.e. the French for “good”) placed between or “blocking” CAR and CYCLE (i.e. “two vehicles”), like so: CAR-(BON)-CYCLE.

  1. Black period at the outset not fixed in memory? (8)

Answer: ERASABLE (i.e. “not fixed in memory”). Solution is SABLE (i.e. “black” in heraldry) with ERA (i.e. “period”) placed before it or “at the outset”, like so: ERA-SABLE.

  1. Provide a reminder to get Tom active? (4,1,4)

Answer: RING A BELL. Solution satisfies “provide a reminder to” and “get tom active”, ignoring the misleading capitalisation. A tom in this case being “a name for a big bell” (Chambers), a new one on me.

  1. Smart, cold, smooth, but not good (6)

Answer: CLASSY (i.e. “smart”). Solution is C (a recognised abbreviation of “cold”) followed by GLASSY (i.e. “smooth”) once the G has been removed (indicated by “but not good” – G being a recognised abbreviation of “good”), like so: C-LASSY.

  1. Exhibit inspiration and hesitation before calm on the radio (6,5)

Answer: MUSEUM PIECE (i.e. “exhibit”). Solution is MUSE (i.e. “inspiration”) followed by UM (i.e. an expression of “hesitation”) and a homophone (indicated by “on the radio”) of PEACE (i.e. “calm”), like so: MUSE-UM-PIECE.

  1. Oversight on source of theory? Something used in proof? (5)

Answer: CARET (i.e. “something used in proof[reading]”, being a “mark to show where to insert something omitted” (Chambers)). Solution is CARE (i.e. “oversight”) followed by T (i.e. “source of theory”, i.e. the first letter of “theory”).

  1. Forgetful sailor made very happy with sea around 60 per cent of India (6-6)

Answer: ABSENT-MINDED (i.e. “forgetful”). Solution is AB (i.e. “sailor”, specifically of Able Bodied rank) followed by SENT (i.e. “made very happy”, a lesser-used definition) and MED (i.e. “sea”, short in this case for Mediterranean) once wrapped around IND (i.e. “60 per cent of [the letters of] India”), like so: AB-SENT-M(IND)ED.

  1. Sealing off centre of field, making fodder (8)

Answer: ENSILAGE (i.e. “fodder” – can describe the process or the matter itself). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “off”) of SEALING followed by E (i.e. “centre of field”, i.e. the middle letter of “field”), like so: ENSILAG-E.

  1. Promise to hem edges of threadbare garment (7)

Answer: SWEATER (i.e. “garment”). Solution is SWEAR (i.e. “promise”) wrapped around or “hemming” TE (i.e. “edges of threadbare”, i.e. the first and last letters of “threadbare”), like so: SWEA(TE)R.

  1. Unhappy performers covered with feathers (8)

Answer: DOWNCAST (i.e. “unhappy”). Solution is CAST (i.e. “performers”) placed after or “covered with” – this being a down clue – DOWN (i.e. “feathers”), like so: DOWN-CAST.

  1. Is upset about hard work slowly storing a lot of cargo (8)

Answer: SHIPLOAD (i.e. “lot of cargo”). Solution is IS reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue) and wrapped “about” H (a recognised abbreviation of “hard” used in grading pencils). This is then followed by PLOD (i.e. “work slowly”) once wrapped around or “storing” A, like so: S(H)I-PLO(A)D.

  1. Barrel remains to catch half of fine seafood (4,4)

Answer: TUNA FISH (i.e. “seafood”). Solution is TUN (i.e. “barrel”) and ASH (i.e. “remains”) wrapped around or “catching” FI (i.e. “half of fine”, specifically the first half), like so: TUN-A(FI)SH.

  1. Veteran Democrat coming in to support ditching leader (7)

Answer: OLDSTER (i.e. “veteran”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “Democrat”) once placed “in to” HOLSTER (i.e. “support”) once its first letter has been removed (indicated by “ditching leader”), like so: OL(D)STER.

  1. Article put it differently over dislike for employment assessment (8,4)

Answer: APTITUDE TEST (i.e. “employment assessment”). Solution is A (i.e. “article”, as described earlier) followed by an anagram (indicated by “differently”) of PUT IT, then DETEST (i.e. “dislike”), like so: A-PTITU-DETEST.

  1. Surprise part of speech hosted by African party captured by a French daughter (11)

Answer: UNANNOUNCED (i.e. “surprise”). Solution is NOUN (i.e. “part of speech”) placed in or “hosted by” ANC (i.e. “African party”, specifically the African National Congress), which is itself placed in or “captured by” UNE (i.e. “a French”, i.e. the feminine form of “a” in French). This is all then followed by D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”), like so: UN(AN(NOUN)C)E-D.

  1. Not easy, not right, engaging in dull survey (11)

Answer: TRIANGULATE (i.e. to “survey”). Solution is ANGULAR (i.e. “not easy” or ungraceful) with the R removed (indicated by “not right” – R being a recognised abbreviation of “right”) and the remainder placed “in” TRITE (i.e. “dull”), like so: TRI(ANGULA)TE.

  1. Coals ultimately surrounded by brownish colour under hot part of fireplace (11)

Answer: HEARTHSTONE (i.e. “part of fireplace”). Solution is S (i.e. “coals ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “coals”) placed in or “surrounded by” EARTH TONE (i.e. “brownish colour”). This is all then placed after or “under” – this being a down clue – H (a recognised abbreviation of “hot” used on taps), like so: H-(EARTH-(S)-TONE).

  1. Lyricist criticises money required to secure opening of Evita (11)

Answer: Oscar HAMMERSTEIN (i.e. “lyricist”). Solution is HAMMERS (i.e. “criticises”) followed by TIN (slang for “money”) once wrapped around or “securing” E (i.e. “opening of Evita”, i.e. the first letter of “Evita”), like so: HAMMERS-T(E)IN.

  1. Once more losing heart? Try to win battle (9)

Answer: AGINCOURT (i.e. “battle” in 1415). Solution is AGAIN (i.e. “once more”) with the middle letter removed (indicated by “losing heart”) and the remainder followed by COURT (i.e. to solicit or “try to win”), like so: AGIN-COURT.

  1. Asian country containing one S? (9)

Answer: INDONESIA (i.e. “Asian country”). Solution is INDIA (i.e. “country” – a bit of recycling there) wrapped around or “containing” ONE S, like so: IND(ONE-S)IA.

  1. Observe French priest suppressing wretched vice (8)

Answer: PERCEIVE (i.e. “observe”). Solution is PERE (i.e. “French priest”, French for “father”) wrapped around or “suppressing” an anagram (indicated by “wretched”) of VICE, like so: PER(CEIV)E.

  1. No time for equestrian activity later in the day (7)

Answer: EVENING (i.e. “later in the day”). Solution is EVENTING (i.e. “equestrian activity”) with the T removed (indicated by “no time for…” – T being a recognised abbreviation of “time”).

  1. See about gut, being squat (6)

Answer: STUMPY (i.e. “being squat”). Solution is SPY (i.e. “see”) wrapped “about” TUM (i.e. “gut”), like so: S(TUM)PY.

  1. English novelist and son may be wide of the mark (5)

Answer: AMISS (i.e. “wide of the mark”). Solution is Kingsley AMIS (i.e. “English novelist” – unlikely to be Martin Amis as one of the unwritten rules of Times cryptic crosswords is people have to be dead to feature in them) followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”).

  1. Insect form in some particular variation (5)

Answer: LARVA (i.e. “insect form”). “In some” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: PARTICU(LAR VA)RIATION.

10 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1568

  1. Thanks Lucian. We’ve just come back from France, and after completing this we found ourselves wondering if we were still there. What a weird selection of answers. And we weren’t impressed with the deletions – especially those with two in the same clue.

    Re 34d, we’ve never come across ANGULAR as meaning NOT EASY. Can any of your dictionaries back it up?

    Take care, and stay safe. SB

  2. ^^ My Collins (courtesy of a Times jumbo win!) gives ‘angular’ as: ‘awkward or stiff in manner or movement’, which I suppose could be ‘not easy’.

      1. See third meaning below (from the Chambers entry). (NB The Chambers app is well worth investing in. As well as the standard dictionary features it has a word search facility which is very useful.)
        angular /angˈgū-lər or -gyə-/
        1. Having an angle or corner
        2. Measured by an angle
        3. Stiff in manner, the opposite of easy or graceful
        4. Bony and lean in figure

  3. Many thanks for the explanations.

    I wasn’t too sure about CIC for Commander-in-Chief (my Collins dictionary has C-in-C). And my dictionary didn’t have “Tom“ as a bell, although I did have a vague recollection.

    Nice clues for Indonesia and Hearthstone.

    Now I’ve learned about “l’esprit de l’escalier” you can bet I’ll casually drop it into conversation at the earliest opportunity. Ironically, I expect I’ll only think of that when it’s too late.

  4. Enjoyed this even though had trouble with “l’esprit…..”
    Shamefully couldn’t think of “classy”
    Thanks Lucien
    ps you have a typo at 55a in the explanations

  5. Thanks, Lucian. Re 29d, I think it is d for democrat in ‘bolster’ (support) ditching leader & not ‘holster’ as you have it. Some good clues I thought, favourite was ‘Indonesia’. Cheers

  6. A reasonable test this week. I didn’t like 19a clued as (7,2,9). It is surely (1’6,2,1’8). For consistency, If apostrophes are now forbidden, then why not ban all punctuation marks? So, for example 28d (Tuna Fish) would be indicated as (8) rather than (4,4).

    With 33d (Unannounced), shouldn’t the first word in the clue have been “Surprised” rather than “Surprise”?

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