Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1575

A relatively straightforward Jumbo this week, albeit one leavened with the occasional spicy clue. There seemed to be a bit of a cultural mini-theme developing at one point too, what with Shakespeare and Carroll and Ibsen and that Greek bloke and Shakespeare again and probably a few others I can’t recall. Still, rather that than obscure geographical stuff few people are going to know outright. Oh, hello, Edmonton…

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

Thanks again for the kind words and input. It’s always interesting to hear the thoughts of other solvers once they’ve put down their pens. Till next time, stay safe out there kids.


Across clues

  1. So Roman hosts ladies perhaps from Prague? (6)

Answer: SLAVIC (i.e. “perhaps from Prague”). Solution is SIC (i.e. “So Roman”, i.e. the Latin for “so” or thus) wrapped around or “hosting” LAV (i.e. “ladies”, short for lavatory), like so: S(LAV)IC.

  1. Once again gather take after pocketing a shilling (10)

Answer: REASSEMBLE (i.e. “once again gather”). Solution is RESEMBLE (i.e. “take after”) wrapped around or “pocketing” A and S (a recognised abbreviation of “shilling”), like so: RE(A-S)SEMBLE.

  1. Filled with seasoning, starter of lamb cut (5)

Answer: SATED (i.e. “filled”). Solution is SALTED (i.e. “with seasoning”) once the L has been removed (indicated by “starter of lamb cut”, i.e. the first letter of “lamb”).

  1. Battling with setter primarily what cryptic crosswords offer (9)

Answer: SWORDPLAY (i.e. “battling”). Solution is S (i.e. “setter primarily”, i.e. the first letter of “setter”) followed by WORDPLAY (i.e. “what cryptic crosswords offer”). Simple, but nicely worked.

  1. Worst rogue caught in lie, ultimately shady, could be described thus? (13)

Answer: UNTRUSTWORTHY. The solution satisfies the clue as a whole, but is also an anagram (indicated by “rogue”) of WORST placed or “caught in” UNTRUTH (i.e. “lie”) and followed by Y (i.e. “ultimately shady”, i.e. the last letter of “shady”), like so: UNTRU(STWOR)TH-Y.

  1. Extremely eccentric discussion item is misplaced (7)

Answer: ECTOPIC (i.e. in an abnormal position or “misplaced”). Solution is EC (i.e. “extremely eccentric”, i.e. the first and last letters of “eccentric”) followed by TOPIC (i.e. “discussion item”).

  1. Reptile wanting soft ground (7)

Answer: TERRAIN (i.e. “ground”). Solution is TERRAPIN (i.e. “reptile”) with the P removed (indicated by “wanting soft”, P being a recognised abbreviation of “piano” or quiet or soft in musical lingo).

  1. Public flogging for all to see during battle (7)

Answer: AUCTION (i.e. “public flogging”). Solution is U (i.e. “for all to see”, i.e. the U certificate given to family-friendly films) placed “during” ACTION (i.e. “battle”), like so: A(U)CTION.

  1. What the Globe Theatre might tell us? (3,3,6,1,5)

Answer: ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE. Solution satisfies the clue as a whole, given the Globe Theatre would show William Shakespeare’s plays, and the solution is a line from As You Like It. Also WORLD = “Globe”, you get the idea, etc etc.

  1. Tot losing heart in nightmare? (4)

Answer: DRAM (i.e. “tot” or short measure of drink). Solution is DREAM (i.e. “nightmare”) with the middle letter or “heart” removed.

  1. Former leader Macbeth’s seen here (5)

Answer: HEATH. Solution satisfies “former leader”, specifically the former PM Edward HEATH, and “Macbeth’s seen here” – more Shakespeare, luvvies, this time referring to the blasted heath of The Scottish Play.

  1. Figure working picked out tool (5,3)

Answer: TENON SAW (i.e. “tool”). Solution is TEN (i.e. “figure” or number) followed by ON (i.e. “working”), then SAW (i.e. “picked out”).

  1. Day fashion journalist gets ahead in capital city (8)

Answer: EDMONTON (i.e. “capital city” of Alberta, a Canadian province). Solution is MON (i.e. “day”, specifically a shortened form of “Monday”) followed by TON (i.e. “fashion”, a variant meaning of the word seldom seen outside of cryptic crosswords) both placed after or having “ahead” ED (i.e. “journalist”, short for editor), like so: ED-(MON-TON).

  1. Play – if given this? (1,5,5)

Answer: A DOLL’S HOUSE. The solution satisfies the clue as a whole, and is also the name of a “play” by Henrik Ibsen. Again, simple, but nicely worked.

  1. Coming to pass, right back hoping to hold Arsenal’s No. 5 (11)

Answer: TRANSPIRING (i.e. “coming to pass”). Solution is RT (a recognised abbreviation of “right”, e.g. Rt Hon) reversed (indicated by “back”) and followed by ASPIRING (i.e. “hoping”) once wrapped around or “holding”) N (i.e. “Arsenal’s No. 5”, i.e. the fifth letter of “Arsenal”), like so: TR-A(N)SPIRING.

  1. One grinning teacher is travelling past Switzerland (8,3)

Answer: CHESHIRE CAT (i.e. “one grinning” in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “travelling”) of TEACHER IS once placed after or “past” CH (country code of “Switzerland”, from the Latin Confederatio Helvetica), like so: CH-ESHIRECAT.

  1. Cryptic indication of “par” or standard (3,3,5)

Answer: OLD MAN RIVER (i.e. “standard” or song from the musical Show Boat – though it seems this ought to have been OL’ MAN RIVER). Clue plays on how the solution could “cryptically indicate” the word “par”, being formed of “pa” (i.e. “old man” or father) and R (a recognised abbreviation of “river”).

  1. Duck sandwiches left with old piece of meat (8)

Answer: ESCALOPE (i.e. “piece of meat”). Solution is ESCAPE (i.e. “duck” or dodge) wrapped around or “sandwiching” L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) and O (ditto “old”), like so: ESCA(L-O)PE.

  1. A politician sacked at first for explosive stuff (8)

Answer: FIREDAMP (i.e. “explosive stuff”, or coal gas). Solution is A and MP (i.e. “politician”, specifically a Member of Parliament) both placed after or having “at first” FIRED (i.e. “sacked”), like so: FIRED-(A-MP).

  1. Biblical figure, one keen to head west (5)

Answer: NAOMI (i.e. “biblical figure”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and MOAN (i.e. “keen” or wail) all reversed (indicated by “to head west” – this being an across clue), like so: NAOM-I.

  1. Group of students finally pay attention (4)

Answer: YEAR (i.e. “group of students”). Solution is Y (i.e. “finally pay”, i.e. the last letter of “pay”) followed by EAR (i.e. “attention”).

  1. Try hard to move away from kerb everywhere you can catch a bus (4,3,3,3,5)

Answer: PULL OUT ALL THE STOPS (i.e. “try hard”). Solution is PULL OUT (i.e. “move away from kerb”) followed by ALL THE STOPS (descriptive of “everywhere you can catch a bus”).

  1. Agreeable overlooking lake for rustic sort (7)

Answer: PEASANT (i.e. “rustic sort”). Solution is PLEASANT (i.e. “agreeable”) with the L removed (indicated by “overlooking lake” – L being a recognised abbreviation of “lake”).

  1. Bank bordering Severn periodically smaller (7)

Answer: TEENIER (i.e. “smaller”). Solution is TIER (i.e. “bank”) wrapped around or “bordering” EEN (i.e. “Severn periodically”, i.e. every other letter of SEVERN), like so: T(EEN)IER.

  1. Concerning vision of the compiler in plump state (7)

Answer: OPTICAL (i.e. “concerning vision”). Solution is I (i.e. “the compiler” from the point of view of the setter) placed “in” between OPT (i.e. to “plump” for, i.e. to choose or select decisively) and CAL (i.e. a recognised abbreviation of the US “state” of California), like so: OPT-(I)-CAL.

  1. Person displaying dog I wrapped in brown waterproof sheet (6,7)

Answer: SHOWER CURTAIN (i.e. “waterproof sheet”). Solution is SHOWER (i.e. “person displaying”) followed by CUR (i.e. “dog”) and I once placed or “wrapped in” TAN (i.e. “brown”), like so: SHOWER-CUR-TA(I)N.

  1. Red part in shell of vacant vehicle (9)

Answer: CHEVROLET (i.e. “vehicle”). Solution is CHE Guevara (i.e. “red” or famed communist) followed by ROLE (i.e. “part”) once placed “in” VT (i.e. “shell of vacant”, i.e. the word “vacant” with all its middle letters removed), like so: CHE-V(ROLE)T.

  1. Silly billy possibly picked up frozen water (5)

Answer: RHYME (i.e. “silly billy possibly”). “Picked up” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of RIME (i.e. frost or “frozen water”).

  1. After school, foolishly indulge in timetabling (10)

Answer: SCHEDULING (i.e. “timetabling”). Solution is SCH (a recognised abbreviation of “school”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “foolishly”) of INDULGE, like so: SCH-EDULING.

  1. Look, what striking clothes! (6)

Answer: BEHOLD (i.e. “look”). Solution is EH (i.e. “what”, as in eh? what? pardon?) placed in or “clothed” by BOLD (i.e. “striking”), like so: B(EH)OLD.

Down clues

  1. Cheek on knight pinched by every Englishman (9)

Answer: SASSENACH (i.e. a Scottish derogatory term for an “Englishman”). Solution is SASS (i.e. “cheek”) followed by N (a recognised abbreviation of “knight” used in chess) once placed in or “pinched by” EACH (i.e. “every”), like so: SASS-E(N)ACH.

  1. American, working as a cashier, has a party drink (11)

Answer: AMONTILLADO (i.e. “drink”). Solution is AM (a recognised abbreviation of “American”) followed by ON TILL (i.e. “working as a cashier”), then A and DO (i.e. “party”).

  1. Pint he’d drunk to the bottom (2,5)

Answer: IN DEPTH (i.e. “to the bottom”). “Drunk” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of PINT HE’D.

  1. Pain to enter borders of easternmost land (5)

Answer: EGYPT (i.e. country or “land”). Solution is GYP (i.e. “pain”) placed in or “entering” ET (i.e. “borders of easternmost”, i.e. the first and last letters of “easternmost”), like so: E(GYP)T.

  1. Activity for couples, uncool, inside European clubs (6,5)

Answer: SQUARE DANCE (i.e. “activity for couples”). Solution is SQUARE (i.e. “uncool”) followed by DANE (i.e. “European”) once wrapped around or having “inside” C (a recognised abbreviation of “clubs” used in card games), like so: SQUARE-DAN(C)E.

  1. Run with wanderer, no run going too far (11)

Answer: EXTRAVAGANT (i.e. “going too far”). Solution is EXTRA (i.e. a “run” in cricket) followed by VAGRANT (i.e. “wanderer”) once the R has been removed (indicated by “no run” – R being a recognised abbreviation of “run” used in ball games), like so: EXTRA-VAGANT.

  1. Sporty student lifted weight with energy in reduced interval (4,4)

Answer: BLUE NOTE (i.e. “reduced interval” – over to Chambers: “a flattened note, usually third or seventh, characteristic of the blues”). Solution is BLUE (i.e. “sporty student” of Oxford or Cambridge) followed by TON (i.e. “weight”) once reversed (indicated by “lifted” – this being a down clue), then E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”), like so: BLUE-NOT-E. One nailed from the wordplay, if I’m honest.

  1. Distant way over mountains crossed by Edward (9)

Answer: ESTRANGED (i.e. “distant”). Solution is ST (i.e. “way”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “street”) and RANGE (i.e. “mountains”) all placed in or “crossed by” ED (short for “Edward”), like so: E(ST-RANGE)D.

  1. Brit getting taps or knock on the head (6)

Answer: SCOTCH (i.e. to end or “knock on the head”). Solution is SCOT (i.e. “Brit”) followed by C and H (i.e. “taps”, short for “cold” and “hot” respectively).

  1. I disapprove about providing king with vermouth served up for dessert (5-6)

Answer: TUTTI-FRUTTI (i.e. “dessert”). Solution is TUT-TUT (i.e. “I disapprove”) wrapped “about” IF (i.e. “providing”) and R (a recognised abbreviation of “king”, specifically the Latin Rex) and followed by IT (i.e. Italian “vermouth”, a recognised abbreviation. No, me neither) once reversed (indicated by “served up” – this being a down clue), like so: TUT-T(IF-R)UT-TI. One of those clues that were a hell of a lot easier to guess than to parse!

  1. Master cook given foreign bread (5)

Answer: DOYEN (i.e. “master”). Solution is DO (i.e. “cook”) followed by YEN (i.e. “foreign bread”, specifically the currency of Japan).

  1. Observe timepiece, having disheartened employer? This person may (5-7)

Answer: CLOCK-WATCHER. Solution satisfies the clue as a whole, but is also formed from CLOCK (i.e. to “observe”) followed by WATCH (i.e. “timepiece”) and ER (i.e. “disheartened employer”, i.e. the word “employer” with all the middle letters removed).

  1. Drop of whiskey rejected by flier that’s put on a little weight (8)

Answer: RENOUNCE (i.e. “drop”). Solution is WREN (i.e. bird or “flier”) with the W removed (indicated by “whiskey rejected by…” – W being whiskey in the phonetic alphabet) and the remainder reversed (indicated by “rejected”). This is then followed by OUNCE (i.e. “a little weight”), like so: REN-OUNCE.

  1. Coach and horse surrounded by horse with raised tail (7)

Answer: MANAGER (i.e. “coach”). Solution is NAG (i.e. “horse”) placed in or “surrounded by” MARE (i.e. “horse”) once its last letter or “tail” has been brought back a notch or “raised” – this being a down clue, like so: MAR(E) => MA(E)R => MA(NAG)ER.

  1. Place with resistance for current particle (8)

Answer: POSITRON (i.e. “particle”). Solution is POSITION (i.e. “place”) with the latter I (a recognised abbreviation of an electric “current” used in physics) swapped “for” R (ditto “resistance”), like so: POSIT(I)ON => POSIT(R)ON.

  1. Male golfer’s going to succeed in awful place (8)

Answer: HELLHOLE (i.e. “awful place”). When written as HE’LL HOLE the solution also satisfies “male golfer’s going to succeed”.

  1. Possible reason for booking hotel as well as formal do (8)

Answer: HANDBALL (i.e. “possible reason for booking” in a game of football). Solution is H (“hotel” in the phonetic alphabet) followed by AND (i.e. “as well as”) and BALL (i.e. “formal do”).

  1. Learner in pain with fancy, spurious science (7)

Answer: ALCHEMY (i.e. “spurious science”). Solution is L (a recognised abbreviation of “learner”) placed “in” ACHE (i.e. “pain”) and followed by MY (i.e. “fancy”, both exclamations), like so: A(L)CHE-MY.

  1. Might one snipe start to sing, interrupting clever owl? (12)

Answer: SHARPSHOOTER (i.e. “might one snipe…?”) Solution is S (i.e. “start to sing”, i.e. the first letter of “sing”) placed in or “interrupting” SHARP (i.e. “clever”) and HOOTER (i.e. “owl”), like so: SHARP-(S)-HOOTER.

  1. Old priest with Conservatives on both sides expressing sudden emotion (11)

Answer: EXCLAMATORY (i.e. “expressing sudden emotion”). Solution is EX (i.e. “old”) followed by LAMA (i.e. Buddhist “priest”) once placed between or having on “both sides” C and TORY (i.e. “Conservatives” – the former a recognised abbreviation thereof), like so: EX-(C-(LAMA)-TORY).

  1. Queen’s stand-in, perhaps, in bar butted in rudely (7,4)

Answer: TRIBUTE BAND (i.e. “Queen’s stand-in, perhaps” – other cover bands are available. So… many… cover bands…) “Rudely” indicates anagram. Solution is BAR BUTTED IN.

  1. Running round before games, using good sense (11)

Answer: OPERATIONAL (i.e. “running”). Solution is O (i.e. “round”) followed by PE (i.e. “games”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of Physical Education) and RATIONAL (i.e. “using good sense”).

  1. After 5.10, I’m leaving Italian liqueur for one in orchestra (11)

Answer: VIOLONCELLO (i.e. “one in orchestra”). Solution is V (i.e. “[Roman numeral] five”) followed by IO (representative of “10” in the clue) and LIMONCELLO (i.e. “Italian liqueur” once the IM has been removed (indicated by “I’m leaving…”), like so: V-IO-LONCELLO.

  1. Young bird with chills getting medical treatments (9)

Answer: POULTICES (i.e. “medical treatments”). Solution is POULT (i.e. “young bird”) followed by ICES (i.e. “chills”).

  1. Covered area, slated on the outside (9)

Answer: INSULATED (i.e. “covered”). Solution is A (a recognised abbreviation of “area”) once placed in or having “outside” INSULTED (i.e. “slated”), like so: INSUL(A)TED.

  1. Phrase containing line by mischievous Greek writer (8)

Answer: PLUTARCH (i.e. “Greek writer” and philosopher – again, me neither. He was a bit before my time. Chalk one to my Bradford’s here). Solution is PUT (i.e. to “phrase”) wrapped around or “containing” L (a recognised abbreviation of “line”) and followed by ARCH (i.e. “mischievous”), like so: P(L)UT-ARCH.

  1. Release group without charge (3,4)

Answer: SET FREE (i.e. “release”). Solution is SET (i.e. “group”) followed by FREE (i.e. “without charge”).

  1. Cell’s entrance blocked by this person (6)

Answer: GAMETE (i.e. “cell”). Solution is GATE (i.e. “entrance”) followed by ME (i.e. “this person” from the point of view of the setter), like so: GA(ME)TE.

  1. Someone sitting in more upmarket hospital departs (5)

Answer: POSER (i.e. “someone sitting” for an artist). Solution is POSHER (i.e. “more upmarket”) with the H removed (indicated by “hospital departs” – H being a recognised abbreviation of “hospital” used on maps).

  1. Suppose king’s gone scouting in the US (5)

Answer: RECON (i.e. “scouting in the US”, shortened form of reconnaissance). Solution is RECKON (i.e. “suppose”) with the K removed (indicated by “king’s gone” – K being a recognised abbreviation of “king” used in chess).

5 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1575

  1. Thanks, Lucian. Some very pleasing clues in this one I thought. As is often the way with good clues, the resulting crossword is on the easy side. It must have been as it was finished in the pub which is most unusual. Favourites were Auction (public flogging, very good) and Old Man River (cryptic indication of par, excellent). Cheers

  2. Not good this week. Went to Tesco on Saturday. All the papers were there except “The Times”. So, went over to the local Indian supermarket. They had plenty of copies but the Review section was missing from each of them.

    Don’t tell anyone, but I bought “The Guardian” instead.

  3. Agree, not difficult but pleasantly meaty. Ashamed not to have spotted Chevrolet though.
    Thanks for keeping this ship afloat Lucien

  4. Really enjoyed this one – some clues/answers that made me smile. Usually I start and then keep coming back to Jumbos, but finished it all in one go, which is always a good sign.

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