Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1571

A medium strength puzzle this week and a decent one to boot. There were a few clues that I had to pinch my nose for, but overall the clueing and the steady progression made for one of the better Jumbos.

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 given you the slip then you might find succour in my Just For Fun page, where you’ll find links to solutions for hundreds of the things.

Thanks for the kind words and input. It’s always interesting to hear the thoughts and opinions of other solvers once they’ve set down their pens. I’ll be away from my keyboard next weekend so will probably be a few days late in posting the next one. Till I return, stay safe out there kids.


FBV (French-By-Volume): 3.3%

Across clues

  1. Man United stew about a possible pen? (4,4)

Answer: MUTE SWAN (i.e. “a possible pen” – a pen is a female swan. The mute swan, meanwhile, is another name for the common swan. So a swan, then). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “about”) of MAN, U (a recognised abbreviation of “united”) and STEW.

  1. Way a long tooth cut finds place (6)

Answer: STATUS (i.e. “place”). Solution is ST (i.e. “way”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “street”) followed by A and TUSK (i.e. “long tooth”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “cut”), like so: ST-A-TUS.

  1. Resident scholar Ginger knocked over by wild pig (7)

Answer: BOARDER (i.e. “resident scholar”). Solution is RED (i.e. “ginger” – ignore the misleading capitalisation) reversed (indicated by “knocked over”) and placed “by” or after BOAR (i.e. “wild pig”), like so: BOAR-DER.

  1. Sails across ocean and far away? Hardly (5,2,4)

Answer: CLOSE AT HAND (i.e. “far away? Hardly”). Solution is CLOTH (i.e. “sails”) wrapped around or “across” SEA (i.e. “ocean”) and followed by AND, like so: CLO(SEA)TH-AND.

  1. Corrupt senate has excellent backing that puts one out (11)

Answer: ANAESTHESIA (i.e. “that puts one out”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “corrupt”) of SENATE HAS followed by AI (i.e. “excellent”, i.e. A1 using its Roman numeral equivalent – a common piece of wordplay used by setters) once reversed (indicated by “backing”), like so: ANAESTHES-IA.

  1. Genesis performing selected songs? (5)

Answer: ONSET (i.e. “genesis” or beginning). Solution is ON (i.e. “performing”) followed by SET (i.e. “selected songs”). Nicely worked.

  1. Bishop presses son to become writer (7)

Answer: Anthony BURGESS (i.e. “writer”). Solution is B (a recognised abbreviation of “bishop” used in chess) followed by URGES (i.e. “presses”) and S (a recognised abbreviation of “son”).

  1. Doctors set out at night to cover area (9)

Answer: DENATURES (i.e. “doctors”). Solution is DENTURES (i.e. “set out at night”, as in how you’d probably not kip with them in) wrapped around or “covering” A (a recognised abbreviation of “area”), like so: DEN(A)TURES.

  1. Such a fish as sinks beneath the waves? (7)

Answer: TORPEDO. Solution satisfies a variety of “fish” also known as an electric ray, and “as sinks beneath the waves”, referring to the weapon used to sink ships.

  1. Up north, pastiche irritated primitive sort (15)

Answer: PITHECANTHROPUS (i.e. “primitive sort”, referring to “a fossil hominid discovered by Dutch palaeontologist Dr Eugene Dubois in Java in 1891-2” (Chambers)). “Irritated” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of UP NORTH PASTICHE. Wordplay was obvious but this took a few intersecting letters before I was able to brute-force my Chambers, because, let’s be honest, this isn’t exactly an everyday term is it? If this was the first clue you put into the grid then bully for you, but for the rest of us who didn’t take GCSE Anthropogeny I stand by my previous gripes about obscure general knowledge crap getting uselessly clued up as anagrams. Still, at least this wasn’t stuck in the grid to fill an awkward space!

  1. Journeys to the bar and back? (5,5)

Answer: ROUND TRIPS (i.e. “journeys to…and back”). Clue plays on people buying ROUNDS of drinks at a “bar”. You get the idea.

  1. Commercial rubbish about one being skilled (6)

Answer: ADROIT (i.e. “skilled”). Solution is AD (i.e. “commercial”, short for advertisement) followed by ROT (i.e. “rubbish”) once wrapped “about” I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), like so: AD-RO(I)T.

  1. Shorten extract from poet: Rimbaud (4)

Answer: TRIM (i.e. “shorten”). “Extract from” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: POE(T RIM)BAUD.

  1. Hopping mad, presumably? (3,1,5,5)

Answer: NOT A HAPPY BUNNY. Solution satisfies the clue as a whole, but also plays on how BUNNIES “hop”. A genuinely witty clue that had me chuckling when I twigged it.

  1. Singular craft needed to produce epigram? (3-5)

Answer: ONE-LINER (i.e. “epigram” or short poem – one-liner might be pushing it, mind!) Solution is ONE (i.e. “singular”) followed by LINER (i.e. “craft” or sea vessel).

  1. Plant pots not carelessly buried (8)

Answer: ENTOMBED (i.e. “buried”). Solution is EMBED (i.e. “plant”) wrapped around or “potting” an anagram (indicated by “carelessly”) of NOT, like so: E(NTO)MBED.

  1. Man’s expert knowledge about artist in border region (6-8)

Answer: ALSACE-LORRAINE (i.e. former “border region” formed by the German empire and reverted back to French ownership after WWI). Solution is AL’S (i.e. “man’s”, basically a man’s name made possessive) followed by ACE (i.e. “expert”) and LORE (i.e. “knowledge”) once wrapped “about” RA (i.e. “artist”, specifically a Royal Academician) and IN, like so: AL’S-ACE-LOR(RA-IN)E.

  1. Pub needs introduction to drummer and rhymer (4)

Answer: BARD (i.e. “rhymer”). Solution is BAR (i.e. “pub”) followed by D (i.e. “introduction to drummer”, i.e. the first letter of “drummer”).

  1. Unpleasant smell in small ditch rook must escape (6)

Answer: STENCH (i.e. “unpleasant smell”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) followed by TRENCH (i.e. “ditch”) once the R has been removed (indicated by “rook must escape” – R being a recognised abbreviation of “rook” used in chess), like so: S-TENCH.

  1. What might be asset with mice spreading – answer welcomed? (7,3)

Answer: SIAMESE CAT. Solution satisfies the clue as a whole, but is also an anagram (indicated by “spreading”) of ASSET, MICE and A (a recognised abbreviation of “answer”, as in Q&A).

  1. Stage at which drinkers may drink no more? (10,5)

Answer: SATURATION POINT. A relatively straightforward clue and solution.

  1. Candidate turning on explosive energy (7)

Answer: NOMINEE (i.e. “candidate”). Solution is ON reversed (indicated by “turning”) and followed by MINE (i.e. “explosive”) and E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”), like so: NO-MINE-E.

  1. Weller? He needs to change to receive greeting (9)

Answer: HEALTHIER (i.e. “weller” – the question mark is an indicator the setter is being a bit loose). Solution is HE followed by ALTER (i.e. “to change”) once wrapped around or “receiving” HI (i.e. “greeting”), like so: HE-ALT(HI)ER. What a naff clue!

  1. Recover from failed miracle (7)

Answer: RECLAIM (i.e. “recover”). “Failed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MIRACLE.

  1. Weapon brought back before court causes bleed (5)

Answer: EXACT (i.e. “bleed”, both meaning to extort money). Solution is AXE (i.e. “weapon”) reversed (indicated by “brought back”) and followed by CT (a recognised abbreviation of “court”), like so: EXA-CT.

  1. John, Scots engineer holding monarch to his breast? (5,6)

Answer: WATER CLOSET (i.e. “john”, slang for toilet). Solution is James WATT (i.e. “Scots engineer”) wrapped around or “holding” ER (i.e. “monarch”, specifically Elizabeth Regina) and CLOSE (i.e. “holding…to his breast”), like so: WAT(ER-CLOSE)T.

  1. Pope’s defender penning short quote about Keats scholar? (11)

Answer: ROMANTICIST (i.e. “Keats scholar”). Solution is ROMANIST (i.e. “Pope’s defender” or Roman Catholic) wrapped around or “penning” CITE (i.e. “quote”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “short”) and the remainder reversed (indicated by “about”), like so: ROMAN(TIC)IST.

  1. Hardly active, Mike enters rave after party (7)

Answer: DORMANT (i.e. “hardly active”). Solution is M (“Mike” in the phonetic alphabet) placed in or “entering” RANT (i.e. “rave”). This is all then placed “after” DO (i.e. “party”), like so: DO-R(M)ANT.

  1. Duke and daughter to occupy Manchester town land (6)

Answer: SADDLE (i.e. “land”, as in to burden or encumber another). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “duke”) and D (ditto “daughter”) both placed in or “occupying” SALE (i.e. “Manchester town”), like so: SA(D-D)LE.

  1. Top class batsman’s first to leave, and drive away (8)

Answer: ESTRANGE (i.e. to “drive away”). Solution is BEST (i.e. “top”) and RANGE (i.e. “class”) with the B removed (indicated by “batsman’s first to leave”, i.e. the first letter of “batsman”), like so: EST-RANGE.

Down clues

  1. Skilled solver’s brother in Scots farmland the writer owns? (7)

Answer: MYCROFT (i.e. “skilled solver’s brother”, i.e. Mycroft Holmes, brother of Sherlock Holmes). When written as MY CROFT the solution also satisfies “Scots farmland the writer owns” from the point of view of the setter.

  1. Steal hearts perhaps in such attire? (7,4)

Answer: TROUSER SUIT (i.e. “attire”). Solution is TROUSER (i.e. “steal”) followed by SUIT (i.e. “hearts perhaps”, other playing card suits are available). Nicely worked.

  1. Extremist eviscerated on Highland peak in hut? There’s a hitch (5,4)

Answer: SHEET BEND (i.e. “a hitch” – over to Chambers: “a type of knot used especially for joining ropes of different sizes”. A new one on me, but not one I fancy remembering). Solution is ET (i.e. “extremist eviscerated”, i.e. the word “extremist” with all its middle letters removed) and BEN (i.e. “Highland peak”) both placed “in” SHED (i.e. “hut”), like so: SHE(ET-BEN)D.

  1. Disturbed, our phobias great, we lay down our lives for others (15)

Answer: AUTOBIOGRAPHERS (i.e. “we lay down our lives for others” – nice misdirection). “Disturbed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of OUR PHOBIAS GREAT.

  1. Prime Minister gone to shake out hay on moorland (3,5)

Answer: TED HEATH (i.e. “Prime Minister” 1970-74). Solution is TED (i.e. “to shake out hay” for drying – another new one on me) followed by HEATH (i.e. “moorland”).

  1. Mystical Pole in dream has any number of teeth (14)

Answer: TRANSCENDENTAL (i.e. “mystical”). Solution is S (i.e. “pole” – ignore the misleading capitalisation, this is a recognised abbreviation of “south”) placed “in” TRANCE (i.e. “dream”) and followed by N (i.e. “any number”, mathematically speaking) and DENTAL (i.e. “of teeth”), like so: TRAN(S)CE-N-DENTAL.

  1. Photograph intimidating woman, one encountered in bed (10)

Answer: SNAPDRAGON (i.e. “one encountered in [flower] bed”). Solution is SNAP (i.e. “photograph”) followed by DRAGON (i.e. “intimidating woman”).

  1. Helmet has function opener perhaps admits (7)

Answer: BASINET (i.e. a kind of “helmet”). Solution is SIN (i.e. trigonometrical “function”, short for sine) placed in or “admitted” by BAIT (i.e. “opener perhaps”, if you’re a fish I guess), like so: BA(SIN)ET.

[EDIT: As a number of commenters have stated, the more likely solution to this one is SINE (i.e. “function”) being placed in BAT (i.e. “opener perhaps” – it seems BAT on its own can mean batsman. Cricket’s weird), like so: BA(SINE)T. Thanks, all! – LP]

  1. Maybe drawing around leader of Hindus – a Buddhist monk (5)

Answer: ARHAT (i.e. “Buddhist monk”. Not something recognised by my Chambers, Collins Concise or Bradford’s. Oxford lists it but suggests it’s a saint or someone holiest-of-the-holy. Would a monk qualify? Who cares, it’s religion either way so let’s move on quickly). Solution is ART (i.e. “maybe drawing” – other art forms are available) wrapped “around” H (i.e. “leader of Hindus”, i.e. the first letter of “Hindus”) and A, like so: AR(H-A)T.

  1. Eastern hand one detected in academic account (11)

Answer: DESCRIPTION (i.e. “account”). Solution is E (a recognised abbreviation of “eastern”), SCRIPT (i.e. “hand” or writing) and I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) all placed “in” DON (i.e. “academic”), like so: D(E-SCRIPT-I)ON.

  1. Blockheads among others curtailed check again (8)

Answer: REASSESS (i.e. “check again”). Solution is ASSES (i.e. “blockheads”) placed “among” REST (i.e. “others”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “curtailed”), like so: RE(ASSES)S.

  1. Fine horse lost to Barnet’s travelling show? (4)

Answer: FAIR (i.e. “travelling show”). Solution is F (a recognised abbreviation of “fine” used in grading pencils) followed by HAIR (i.e. “Barnet”, after the cockney rhyming slang Barnet Fair, itself from a once-famous horse fair held there) once the H (i.e. “horse”, both slang names for heroin) has been removed (indicated by “lost”), like so: F-AIR.

  1. Tropical fruit old man consumes always (6)

Answer: PAPAYA (i.e. “tropical fruit”). Solution is PAPA (i.e. “old man” or father) wrapped around or “consuming” AY (i.e. shortened form of aye, or “always”), like so: PAP(AY)A.

  1. Venomous American upset Republican (7)

Answer: RATTLER (i.e. “venomous American”, short for rattlesnake). Solution is RATTLE (i.e. “upset”) followed by R (a recognised abbreviation of “Republican”).

  1. Some player in Germany who knows the ropes? (6)

Answer: RINGER (i.e. “who knows the ropes”, a playful reference to bell-ringers). “Some” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: PLAYE(R IN GER)MANY.

  1. Soldiers under charge detained in camp in holy orders (3,12)

Answer: TEN COMMANDMENTS (i.e. “holy orders”). Solution is MEN (i.e. “soldiers”) placed after or “under” – this being a down clue – COMMAND (i.e. “charge”). This is all then placed “in” TENTS (i.e. “camp”), like so: TEN(COMMAND-MEN)TS.

  1. Charitable and well-known ghost writer-in-chief? (6-8)

Answer: PUBLIC-SPIRITED (i.e. “charitable”). Solution is PUBLIC (i.e. “well-known”) followed by SPIRIT (i.e. “ghost”) and ED (i.e. “writer-in-chief”, short for editor).

  1. Forest with walnut finally burning (6)

Answer: ARDENT (i.e. “burning”). Solution is ARDEN (i.e. “forest”, a reference to an area in Warwickshire that was once heavily wooded, apparently) followed by T (i.e. “walnut finally”, i.e. the last letter of “walnut”).

  1. Cigar box cast from rhodium (7)

Answer: HUMIDOR (i.e. “cigar box”). “Cast from” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of RHODIUM. Nicely worked.

  1. Singular to be so politically incorrect? (6)

Answer: SEXIST (i.e. “politically incorrect”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “singular”) followed by EXIST (i.e. “to be”).

  1. Good health professional warm and adept? (11)

Answer: TOASTMASTER (i.e. “good health professional”, a play on the words such a person would say). Solution is TOAST (i.e. to “warm”) and MASTER (i.e. “adept”).

  1. Old Peruvian people accepting time for magical words (11)

Answer: INCANTATION (i.e. “magical words”). Solution is INCA (i.e. “old Peruvian”) and NATION (i.e. “people”) all wrapped around or “accepting” T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”), like so: INCA-N(T)ATION.

  1. Some wines laid down in this pleasant situation? (3,2,5)

Answer: BED OF ROSES (i.e. “pleasant situation”). Clue plays on ROSÉ being a variety of “wine” and how one “lays” in a BED. You get the idea.

  1. French banker runs to embrace porky waiter (9)

Answer: SOMMELIER (i.e. wine “waiter”). Solution is SOMME (i.e. “French banker”, specifically a river in northern France) and R (a recognised abbreviation of “runs” used in a number of ball games) all wrapped around or “embracing” LIE (i.e. “porky”, after the cockney rhyming slang, pork pie), like so: SOMME-(LIE)-R.

  1. Avoided middle in test ground (8)

Answer: ESCHEWED (i.e. “avoided”). Solution is ES (i.e. “middle in test”, i.e. the middle letters of “test”) followed by CHEWED (i.e. “ground”).

  1. Gut sear with evil twists (8)

Answer: VISCERAL (i.e. “gut”, in this case probably relating to instinct or intuition). “Twists” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SEAR and EVIL.

  1. Hallucination allowed in some rhyming verses (7)

Answer: TRIPLET (i.e. “some rhyming verses”). Solution is TRIP (i.e. “hallucination”) followed by LET (i.e. “allowed”).

  1. Diminutive singer in Henley’s content to show style (7)

Answer: ENTITLE (i.e. to “style”, not usage I can immediately put in a sentence, but it’s backed up by my Chambers). Solution is TIT (i.e. “diminutive singer” or songbird) placed “in” ENLE (i.e. “Henley’s content”, i.e. all the middle letters of Henley), like so: EN(TIT)LE.

  1. Legally land chelonian reptile missing leg (5)

Answer: TERRA (i.e. “legally land”, i.e. the Latin for “land” often used in legalese). Solution is TERRAPIN (i.e. “chelonian reptile”) with the PIN removed (indicated by “missing leg”, PIN being a slang word for one).

  1. Month in service that’s perfect culminating point (4)

Answer: ACME (i.e. “culminating point”). Solution is M (a recognised abbreviation of “month”) placed “in” ACE (i.e. “service that’s perfect”), like so: AC(M)E.

8 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1571

  1. Thanks Lucian, great parsing as always.
    Like you, I quite enjoyed this one.
    Re 9d. I think SINE is the function and BAT is the opener (an opener in cricket, ie. one of the first two batsmen, is sometimes referred to as an ‘opening bat’).

  2. Thanks, Lucian, quite a nice one this week with some pleasing clues. Agree with the above re basinet & it was actually the last one I got having been delayed by a conviction it must be bushhat until I solved denatures while in the shower. Cheers

  3. Quite a few chuckles in this one. DENATURED being my favourite.
    Don’t be too hard on dear old PITHECANTHROPUS, in my schooldays thought be “the missing link” nowadays, a bit worryingly, renamed Homo Erectus Erectus.
    As always, thanks to Lucien and the setter

  4. Thank you Lucian, we didn’t spot why ‘short quote about’ gets ‘tic’ without your help – but don’t feel too bad about it!
    A few strong clues this time, and no grimaces, so good fun all round.

  5. By the way, my Collins has Arhat … a Buddhist, esp a monk who has achieved enlightenment and at death passes to nirvana.
    A handy word to keep in mind, huh?

  6. Lucian
    I agree – a nice puzzle for which I had many blanks to start with but finished – bar ‘arhat’ – eventually.
    I agree with Michael Allen about ‘sine’ and ‘bat’.
    One other comment re 46 …”to “style”, not usage I can immediately put in a sentence”. If you take ‘style’as the noun, not the verb, it makes more sense. You and I have the bog standard ‘style’ (title) of ‘Mister’, but our style might be ‘Sir’ or ‘Lord’. Chambers Thesaurus reaffirms this :’title’ … ‘rank, status, office, position’

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