Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1569

[FBV (French By Volume): 10.0%]
KNOW YOUR LIMITS: The UK Chief Medical Officers recommend adults do not regularly take more than 14 units of Frenchness a week

Stinker time! You can tell as this week’s setter is the one who likes to use every letter of the alphabet in their grids. Sadly, this Jumbo wasn’t one of their best. While there were plenty of well-written clues and creative misdirection at play, there were a few clues that tried waaaaaay too hard, particularly in throwing solvers off the scent with word lengths. It’s great that you found a dictionary slack enough to allow what you were trying to do, setter, I’m happy for you, but tricks like that don’t add anything to the enjoyment of the puzzle. Pity. Still, at least you didn’t reach for the office GridFill 4000(TM) at the drop of a hat, unlike some of your peers.

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 taken far too long to write up, taking a bigger bite out of the weekend than was anticipated, dammit, 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 kind words and input. It’s always interesting to hear how other solvers fared once they set down their pens. Till next time, stay cool out there kids.


Across clues

  1. Trophy competed for once lad’s done with rap music (8,3)

Answer: ADMIRAL’S CUP (i.e. yachting “trophy competed for once”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “done”, probably as in doing someone in) of LAD and RAP MUSIC.

  1. Where Rosemary and Iris may go until bedtime? (7,4)

Answer: POTTING SHED. Clue plays on rosemary and irises being plants rather than girl’s names, and how one would plant them in a potting shed before transferring them to flower “beds”. You get the idea.

  1. Some music track accompanying film on aristocrat (7,3,7)

Answer: COUNTRY AND WESTERN (i.e. “some music”). Solution is RY (i.e. “track”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of a railway), AND (i.e. “accompanying”) and WESTERN (i.e. “film” genre) all placed “on” or after COUNT (i.e. “aristocrat”), like so: COUNT-(RY-AND-WESTERN).

  1. River where Mississippi is crossing delta (5)

Answer: INDUS (i.e. “river” – a popular one with setters). Solution is IN US (i.e. “where Mississippi is”) wrapped around or “crossing” D (“delta” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: IN-(D)-US.

  1. One’s closing on criminal finally going straight (6)

Answer: LINEAR (i.e. “going straight”). Solution is I NEAR (i.e. “one’s closing on”) placed “on” or after L (i.e. “criminal finally”, i.e. the last letter of “criminal”), like so: L-(I-NEAR).

  1. Takes orders from US agent, returning diamonds (8)

Answer: DEFROCKS (i.e. “takes orders from” – an order in this case being a rank or religious fraternity, both apply). Solution is FED (i.e. “US agent”) reversed (indicated by “returning”) and followed by ROCKS (slang for “diamonds”), like so: DEF-ROCKS.

  1. Carry a couple of speakers – it’s a question of destination (7)

Answer: WHERETO (i.e. “it’s a question of destination”). Solution comprises homophones (indicated by “of speakers”) of WEAR (i.e. “carry”) and TWO (i.e. “a couple”), like so: WHERE-TO.

  1. Lap dance blunder (5,4)

Answer: ROUND TRIP (i.e. “lap”). Solution is ROUND (i.e. a “dance” in a ring) followed by TRIP (i.e. “blunder”).

  1. Perhaps with walkers on street, one should stop motorists (3-5)

Answer: RED-LIGHT. Solution satisfies “perhaps with walkers on street” – streetwalkers being a reference to prostitutes who might ply their trade in a city’s red-light district, or so I’ve heard anyway – and “one should stop motorists”.

  1. Shrub, one found by river (4)

Answer: ACER (i.e. “shrub”). Solution is ACE (i.e. playing card with a value of “one”) followed by R (a recognised abbreviation of “river”).

  1. Mountain lake of a height one on foot can handle (5)

Answer: TAHOE (i.e. “mountain lake” between California and Nevada). Solution is A and H (a recognised abbreviation of “height”) both placed in or “handled” by TOE (i.e. “one on foot”), like so: T(A-H)OE.

  1. Old governor in whom rested blame (6)

Answer: SATRAP (i.e. “old governor” – over to Chambers: “a viceroy or governor of an ancient Persian province”). Solution is SAT (i.e. “rested”) followed by RAP (i.e. “blame”, as in taking the rap for something). Once nailed solely from the wordplay, eventually.

  1. Hold up small bouquet (10)

Answer: BUTTONHOLE. Solution satisfies “hold up” or “to detain in talk” (Chambers), and “small bouquet”.

  1. Cunningly led us on: I fancy that’s wrong (8)

Answer: DELUSION (i.e. “that’s wrong”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “cunningly”) of LED US ON I.

  1. I walk on ice, turning you mad (3,4,7)

Answer: OFF ONE’S TROLLEY (i.e. “mad”). Solution is ONE (i.e. “I”) and STROLL (i.e. “walk”) both placed “on” or after OFF (i.e. “ice”, both slang words for killing someone) and followed by YE (i.e. ye olde “you”) once reversed (indicated by “turning”), like so: OFF-(ONE-STROLL)-EY.

  1. Drive to entrance of church with weapon, causing anger (5,9)

Answer: CHARM OFFENSIVE (i.e. a “drive to entrance”). Solution is CH (a recognised abbreviation of “church”) followed by ARM (i.e. “weapon”) and OFFENSIVE (i.e. “causing anger”).

  1. Nice white girl, observe, with short spear (3,5)

Answer: VIN BLANC (i.e. “Nice white” – Nice being a city in France and the solution being French for “white” wine). Solution is VI (i.e. “girl’s” name, short for Violet and such) followed by NB (i.e. “observe”, from the Latin nota bene), then LANCE (i.e. “spear”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “short”), like so: VI-NB-LANC. #French

  1. Made over five hundred European visits without protesting (10)

Answer: REDESIGNED (i.e. “made over”). Solution is D (i.e. Roman numeral for “five hundred”) and E (a recognised abbreviation of “European”) both placed in or “visiting” RESIGNED (i.e. “without protesting”), like so: RE(D-E)SIGNED.

  1. Liberals on lookout for a hero in the Great War (6)

Answer: Edith CAVELL (i.e. a pioneer of modern nursing and “a hero in the Great War”). Solution is L and L (both abbreviations of “Liberal”) placed “on” or after CAVE (i.e. “lookout” – a variant meaning of CAVE is to “beware”. If, like me, you were wondering which idiot allowed “lookout” to be one word in this regard, step forward the Collins family of dictionaries. I hope they are proud of themselves), like so: CAVE-(L-L).

  1. Party involves one not drinking as previously (5)

Answer: DITTO (i.e. “as previously”). Solution is DO (i.e. “party”) wrapped around or “involving” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and TT (i.e. “not drinking”, being a recognised abbreviation of a teetotaller), like so: D(I-TT)O.

  1. Admired one’s having nothing to do with a dictator? (4)

Answer: IDOL (i.e. “admired one”). “With a dictator” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of IDLE (i.e. “having nothing to do”).

  1. Reserve place for farm animal, regularly taken inside (4,4)

Answer: FORT KNOX (i.e. US gold “reserve place”). Solution is FOR and OX (i.e. “farm animal”) with TKN (i.e. “regularly taken”, i.e. every other letter of TAKEN) placed “inside”, like so: FOR(TKN)OX.

  1. Willing female volunteers in experiment, one run by hosts (9)

Answer: TESTATRIX (i.e. “willing female”, as in one writing a will). Solution is TA (i.e. “volunteers”, i.e. the old Territorial Army) placed “in” TEST (i.e. “experiment”) and followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) once placed between or “hosted” by R (a recognised abbreviation of “run” used in a number of ball games) and X (i.e. “by”, i.e. the multiplication symbol), like so: TES(TA)T-(R-(I)-X).

  1. Re-engage, presumably, after finally playing volley? (7)

Answer: GUNFIRE (i.e. “volley”). Solution is UNFIRE (i.e. “re-engage [a former employee], presumably”) placed “after” G (i.e. “finally playing”, i.e. the last letter of “playing”), like so: G-UNFIRE.

  1. Who’s ties turned out to be most gawdy? (8)

Answer: SHOWIEST (i.e. “most gawdy” – curious that the setter opts for the lesser-spotted Shakespearean spelling here. Plumage, as Wayne Mardle might suggest). “Turned out” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of WHO’S TIES.

  1. Lines of WWI troops cut down on the way (6)

Answer: STANZA (i.e. “lines” of poetry). Solution is ANZAC (i.e. “WWI troops”, short for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) with its last letter removed (indicated by “cut down”) and the remainder placed “on” or after ST (i.e. “the way”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “street”), like so: ST-ANZA.

  1. Mate to duck out of duty initially, and degenerate (5)

Answer: DRAKE (i.e. “mate to duck”). Solution is D (i.e. “duty initially”, i.e. the first letter of “duty”) followed by RAKE (i.e. “degenerate”).

  1. Versatile player getting drug into GCHQ in a tracksuit, somehow (5-6,6)

Answer: QUICK-CHANGE ARTIST (i.e. “versatile player” or performer). Solution is E (i.e. “drug”, being a slang term for ecstasy) placed “into” an anagram (indicated by “somehow”) of GCHQ IN A TRACKSUIT.

  1. Inexperienced goalie: one must take care of course (11)

Answer: GREENKEEPER (i.e. “one must take care of [golf] course”). Solution is GREEN (i.e. “inexperienced”) followed by KEEPER (i.e. “goalie”).

  1. Standard films shown after a light feast (2,6,3)

Answer: ST DAVID’S DAY (i.e. “feast”). Solution is STD (a recognised abbreviation of “standard”) followed by VIDS (i.e. “films”) once placed “after” A. This is all then followed by DAY (i.e. “light”), like so: (STD-(A)-VIDS)-DAY

Down clues

  1. Account by famous face never-ending, did judge put his foot down? (11)

Answer: ACCELERATED (i.e. “did…put his foot down”). Solution is AC (a recognised abbreviation of “account”) followed by CELEB (i.e. “famous face”, short for celebrity) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “never-ending”), then RATED (i.e. “did judge”), like so: AC-CELE-RATED.

  1. Keen for us to enter Merchant Navy (5)

Answer: MOURN (i.e. to “keen”). Solution is OUR (i.e. “for us”) placed in or “entering” MN (a recognised abbreviation of “Merchant Navy”), like so: M(OUR)N.

  1. County’s brand of football ultimately brought win (7)

Answer: RUTLAND (i.e. “county”). Solution is RU (i.e. “brand of [rugby] football”, specifically Rugby Union) followed by T (i.e. “ultimately brought”, i.e. the last letter of “brought”), then LAND (i.e. to “win”).

  1. Sinking spades, kill plants (4)

Answer: LAYS (i.e. “plants”). Solution is SLAY (i.e. “kill”) with the S (a recognised abbreviation of “spades” used in card games) moved on a few notches (indicated by “sinking” – this being a down clue), like so: (S)LAY => LAY(S).

  1. Track card: the PIN’s changed (6,4)

Answer: CINDER PATH (i.e. race “track” laid with cinders). “Changed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CARD THE PIN.

  1. High-level meeting might end swiftly (5,9)

Answer: POWER BREAKFAST (i.e. “high-level meeting”). Solution is POWER (i.e. “might”) followed by BREAK (i.e. “end”) and FAST (i.e. “swiftly”).

  1. After false bottom for case, and zip? (8)

Answer: POSTCODE (i.e. “zip”, i.e. a ZIP code, the US’s version). Solution is POST (i.e. “after”) followed by COD (i.e. “false”) and E (i.e. “bottom for case”, i.e. the last letter of “case” – this being a down clue).

  1. Upset that key is removed from lock (5)

Answer: TRESS (i.e. “lock” of hair). Not 100% on this one, but I think the solution is ASSERT (i.e. “that” – one I’d take issue with if this is correct. Taking “that” to be a demonstrative adjective rather than a conjunction, which I presume was the setter’s intention, I’d argue it’s too big a leap to reach the solution, ASSERT. ASSERTION, yes, given “that” could be a suitable example, but not its verb form ASSERT. Put another way, someone doesn’t “that” their opinion to another, do they? Of course not. That would be silly. It would sound like something Google Translate would spit out when translating a phrase from English into ten successive languages and back to English again. Anyway, world keeps spinning…) with the A removed (indicated by “[musical] key is removed”) and the remainder reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue).

[EDIT: As a number of commenters have… er… commented, the solution was actually DISTRESS (i.e. “upset”) with the D (a musical “key”) and IS “removed”. Thanks, all! – LP]

  1. Here’s an idea for cooking with a new wok (1,4,4)

Answer: I KNOW WHAT (i.e. “here’s an idea”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “cooking”) of WITH A N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”) and WOK.

  1. Counter person’s resistance, as I for one recalled (6)

Answer: Hans GEIGER (i.e. “counter person”, inventor of a device that measures radioactivity levels). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “resistance” used in physics) followed by EG (i.e. “as” or for example), then I, then EG again (i.e. “for one”, another way of saying “for example”). This is all then reversed (indicated by “recalled”), like so: GE-I-GE-R.

  1. This old teacher’s home outskirts of Glenties? Potentially (5-6,6)

Answer: HEDGE-SCHOOL MASTER. A hedge-school was “an open-air school, common in Ireland in the 17c and 18c during the ban on Catholic education” (Chambers). It also lists schoolmaster as all one word within the phrase, but I guess dictionaries are going to vary on this one. Anyway, the solution is an anagram (indicated by “potentially”) of OLD TEACHER’S HOME and GS (i.e. “outskirts of Glenties”, i.e. the first and last letters of “Glenties”). Interesting. Also, how long must the setter have been searching for placenames in Ireland beginning with G and ending in S before hitting on Glenties? Oh, wait, Wikipedia. Right.

  1. It’s impolite to search through notes during home repairs (11)

Answer: DISCOURTESY (i.e. “it’s impolite”). Solution is SCOUR (i.e. “search through”) and TES (i.e. “notes”, specifically a plural of TE in the sol-fa notation, also spelled TI) both placed “during” DIY (i.e. “home repairs”, or Do-It-Yourself, known in my house as Screw-That-Call-A-Professional), like so: DI(SCOUR-TES)Y.

  1. Slight split appearing beneath middle of floorboards (8)

Answer: BRUSHOFF (i.e. to “slight”). Solution is RUSH OFF (i.e. “split”) placed after or “beneath” B (i.e. “middle [letter] of floorboards”), like so: B-(RUSH-OFF). If, like me, you were wondering what idiot thought it would be a good idea to accept this as a single word, then step forward again the Collins family of dictionaries. They’ll let anything go it seems, the lexical slatterns.

  1. Posh chap quaffed beer when talking about estate persistently (2,4,3,4,4)

Answer: UP HILL AND DOWN DALE (i.e. “persistently”). Solution is U (i.e. “posh”, a recognised abbreviation of the upper classes you hardly ever see outside of cryptic crosswords) followed by PHIL (i.e. “chap’s” name) and DOWND ALE (i.e. “quaffed beer” taken as a homophone, indicated by “when talking”). This is all wrapped “about” LAND (i.e. “estate”), like so: U-PHIL-(LAND)-DOWND-ALE.

  1. Used folder uniquely when mounting demos (6)

Answer: INURED (i.e. “used” to). “Demos” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “mounting” indicates the solution has been reversed – this being a down clue – like so: FOL(DER UNI)QUELY.

  1. Around November, fragments of bud come as a shock? (8)

Answer: UNCOMBED (i.e. “as a shock” of hair). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “fragments”) of BUD COME wrapped “around” N (“November” in the phonetic alphabet), like so: U(N)COMBED.

  1. Film about when rugby official’s becoming most distant – at three o’clock? (8)

Answer: EASTMOST (i.e. “most distant – at three o’clock”). Solution is ET (i.e. “film”, specifically ET – The Extra-Terrestrial) wrapped “about” AS (i.e. “when”) and TMO’S (i.e. “rugby official’s”, specifically a Television Match Official – not something that’s in any of my dictionaries, another transgression from this setter), like so: E(AS-TMO’S)T. Also, how naff that half of the solution is sitting there as clear as day in the clue.

  1. Group that has lately been rolling off our neighbour’s tongue? (8,6)

Answer: NOUVEAUX RICHES (i.e. “group that has lately been rolling” or come into wealth). The remainder of the clue plays on how this is a French phrase. I mean, of course it is. It’s in a Times cryptic Jumbo, isn’t it? #FrenchAgain

  1. Old French taxes extended? Or cut at the end (8)

Answer: TAILLESS (i.e. “cut at the end”). Solution is TAILLES (i.e. “old French taxes” – no, me neither. Bradford’s to the rescue here) with, I guess, the last letter repeated or “extended”. Weak, if that is the solution. If a better one comes to light then I’ll update the post. #FrenchAgainAgain

  1. Frenchman’s head suitably clad? Or missing something? (6)

Answer: BEREFT (i.e. “missing something”). Solution is F (i.e. “Frenchman’s head” or first letter) placed or “clad” in BERET, French headwear, like so: BERE(F)T. #FrenchAgainAgainAgain

  1. Spotted best friend bearing down on goal – just tops! (8,3)

Answer: CARRIAGE DOG (another name for a dalmatian or “spotted best friend”). Solution is CARRIAGE (i.e. “bearing”) followed by DOG (i.e. “down on goal – just tops”, i.e. the first letter of “down”, “on” and “goal”).

  1. Transported from Cyprus: a hot cross bun ingredient? (5,6)

Answer: CHOUX PASTRY (i.e. “bun ingredient” from… guess where. Le Piat d’Or! You’re right! Choux pastry does indeed come from France. It’s almost like you’re psychic). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “transported from”) of CYPRUS, A HOT and X (i.e. “cross”). #FrenchAgainAgainAgainAgain

  1. Boy in black tie departs, abandoned (10)

Answer: JETTISONED (i.e. “abandoned”). Solution is SON (i.e. “boy”) placed “in” JET (i.e. “black”), TIE and D (a recognised abbreviation of “departs” used on timetables), like so: JET-TI(SON)ED.

  1. Grand mechanical procedure’s what Parisian finds bizarre (9)

Answer: GROTESQUE (i.e. “bizarre”). Solution is G (a recognised abbreviation of “grand”) followed by ROTE’S (i.e. “mechanical procedure’s”) and QUE (i.e. “what Parisian”, i.e. the French for “what”). Zut alors, I’m going to have to start placing trigger warnings on these pages for any Francophobes visiting. If you have a sensitive disposition toward the French – booze cruises notwithstanding – then don’t worry, I’ve got your back. Should any French references or solutions creep their way into Jumbos from now on then I’ll add this handy warning image.

That way you can safely sidestep the solutions that may cause you distress, allowing you to get on with your day. I’ll also provide an FBV (French By Volume) measure at the top of each post, just so you can see the strength of Frenchness in each week’s Jumbo. As you can see, this week’s was quite a potent one. #HereToHelp

  1. Witness, only on kerb, never wholly crossing roundabout? (8)

Answer: ONLOOKER (i.e. “witness”). Solution is ONLY ON KERB with the last letters of each removed (indicated by “never wholly”) and the remainders placed around or “crossing” O (i.e. “roundabout”), like so: ONL-O-(O)-KER.

  1. In clothes worn by archaeologist, but only outside (7)

Answer: ATTIRED (i.e. “in clothes”). Solution is TIRED (i.e. “worn”) placed after or “by” AT (i.e. “archaeologist, but only outside”, i.e. the first and last letters of “archaeologist”), like so: AT-TIRED.

  1. Cohabiting, as it happens, fashionable (4-2)

Answer: LIVE-IN. Solution is LIVE (i.e. “as it happens”) followed by IN (i.e. “fashionable”).

  1. Cut corners in slalom, maybe, having reduced speed (5)

Answer: SKIMP (i.e. “cut corners”). Solution is SKI (i.e. “slalom, maybe” – other skiing disciplines are available) followed by MPH (i.e. “speed”, or Miles Per Hour) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “reduced”), like so: SKI-MP.

  1. Broadcast nearby, marketing beauty of lake and river (5)

Answer: NAIAD (i.e. water nymph or “beauty of lake and river”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “broadcast”) of NEAR (i.e. “nearby”) followed by AD (i.e. “marketing”), like so: NAI-AD.

  1. Fuel somewhat undervalued (4)

Answer: DERV (i.e. diesel “fuel”). “Somewhat” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: UN(DERV)ALUED. One I remembered from a recent puzzle, if I’m honest.

11 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1569

    1. Sorry, my similar comment repeats yours. By the time I had logged into wordpress (who knew it could be so complex?) It crossed over.

  1. Not a fun run this week. As you say, far too many French words and phrases.
    8 down is DISTRESS for Upset, get rid of D (key) and IS.

  2. OOF! This really was a stinker and a half, and probably at the limits of what I’m prepared to wrestle with. Really poor that 26d has ‘most’ in the clue and answer. Going to go through all your parsings to see if they tally with mine, as there are a few I’ve circled to check…..

  3. Thanks Lucian. We finished this but didn’t understand a lot of the parsings, so thanks, as ever, for your explanations. I agree with all the above comments. Quelle horreur.

    Re 31a, I’ve never come across ICE and OFF as being slang for KILL (what a sheltered middle-age I’ve had), and I don’t see any indication in the clue that YOU is in archaic form. And as for 26d, don’t get me started. Mind you, it wouldn’t be the first time something like this has happened. Remember LUNCHES a few months ago?

    Re 11d, I’d never heard of HEDGE-SCHOOLMASTER . When I looked it up (yes, the second part is one word not two), the first definition I found was “master of a hedge school”. Really helpful. Not.

    Take care, and stay safe. SB

  4. 51d also I think bnearby is nigh-ad not near-ad. I guess the royal family might pronounce near as naaa but I am from up noo-orth.

    Also hi from France to my parents back up north who will be reading this.

    1. I agree with nigh. Painful and slow this week. The solutions make iit sound simpler than it was. Too many cases of reverse engineeering solutions for words that fitted in.

  5. Thanks, Lucian. This was hard but good & I enjoyed it. Favourites were Nouveaux Riches, Fort Knox, Bereft & Testatrix. Cheers

  6. Had a quick look on Saturday and rattled off a few answers (“this is easy!”) then resumed on Sunday and had a real tussle (“this is hard!”). Was that my fuzzy brain or were the clues variable? But like Chris, we enjoyed toughing it out.
    Not impressed by ‘ice’ for ‘off’ (variant #27 in my Collins!).
    Did like ‘bereft’ – didn’t feel that was too gallic.
    btw. ‘brushoff’ as a noun is a single word in my Collins, but not as a verb. But that seems to make sense.

  7. First time this year that I had to give up once I’d gone through the three possibilities for 4d (“lays”, “leys” or loys”) and opted for the last since it’s an Irish digging implement and thus may have had faint relevance to “plants”. Stupidly I’d not taken verb “lays” to be in any way cognate with verb “plants”. Once I’d checked the answer on this site and found my error I didn’t even attempt the four other answers I was after. I think I would have found them in the end but have the strict rule that once there is a known error the whole game’s a bogey. That is your actual Glaswegian. Now back out to face 35-degree heat: that’s not your actual Glaswegian.

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