Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1577

A medium strength Jumbo this week. To me there seemed a few more spicy solutions in this one than usual, but they were mostly gettable thanks to some forgiving clues. Not much more to add, really.

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 grief then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions to hundreds of the things.

Speaking of which, I note that The Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword Book 21 is out and that it partly republishes Jumbos I’ve previously covered. I’ve therefore updated the Just For Fun page and a few old posts accordingly.

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

FBV (French-By-Volume): 1.6%

Across clues

  1. Muse, when given info, probing twitch causing malformation (11)

Answer: TERATOGENIC (i.e. “causing malformation” – over to Chambers: “producing monsters; causing abnormal growth (in a fetus)”). Solution is ERATO (one of the Greek “muses”) and GEN (i.e. “info”) both placed in or “probing” TIC (i.e. “twitch”), like so: T(ERATO-GEN)IC. This clue brought to mind the title of an extreme horror novella by Edward Lee and Wrath James White called The Teratologist. I’ll leave it up to the sick puppies among you to look it up. It ain’t Book At Bedtime material, that’s for sure.

  1. Set up area to have meal outside (6)

Answer: LAUNCH (i.e. “set up”). Solution is A (a recognised abbreviation of “area”) placed in or “having…outside” LUNCH (i.e. “meal”), like so: L(A)UNCH.

  1. A joke about being doddery (4)

Answer: GAGA (i.e. “doddery”). Solution is A and GAG (i.e. “joke”) all reversed (indicated by “about”), like so: GAG-A.

  1. Actor in America: act’s ending with popular love verse (7)

Answer: Peter USTINOV (i.e. “actor”). Solution is US (i.e. “America”) followed by T (i.e. “act’s ending”, i.e. the last letter of “act”), then IN (i.e. “popular”), then O (i.e. “love”, a zero score in tennis) and V (a recognised abbreviation of “verse”).

  1. Overact as radio geek with modern technology increased? (3,2,2)

Answer: HAM IT UP (i.e. “overact”). Solution is HAM (i.e. “radio geek”) followed by IT (i.e. “modern technology”) and UP (i.e. “increased”).

  1. Number joining the woman outside work that no-one would fancy? (2-5)

Answer: NO-HOPER (i.e. “that no-one would fancy”). Solution is NO (short for “number”) followed by HER (i.e. “the woman”) once wrapped around or placed “outside” of OP (i.e. “work”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “opus”), like so: NO-H(OP)ER.

  1. Sculptor as one to fashion government offices (13)

Answer: PROCONSULATES (i.e. Roman “government offices”, apparently). “To fashion” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SCULPTOR AS ONE.

  1. Former English politician (one in a hundred) getting let-off (9)

Answer: EXEMPTION (i.e. “let-off”). Solution is EX (i.e. “former”) followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”), then MP (i.e. “politician”, specifically a Member of Parliament), then I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) once placed “in” TON (i.e. “a hundred”), like so: EX-E-MP-T(I)ON.

  1. Draw sketches maybe moving around church (5)

Answer: TRACE (i.e. to “draw”). Solution is ART (i.e. “sketches maybe”) reversed (indicated by “moving around”) and followed by CE (i.e. “church”, specifically the Church of England), like so: TRA-CE.

  1. Film about old school is exposing hater of marriage (10)

Answer: MISOGAMIST (i.e. “hater of marriage”). Solution is MIST (i.e. a “film” of moisture) wrapped “about” O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”), GAM (i.e. a “school” or pod of whales) and IS, like so: MIS(O-GAM-IS)T.

  1. What may sound like iron temperament (6)

Answer: METTLE (i.e. “temperament”). “What may sound like” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of METAL (i.e. “iron”).

  1. What’s falsely portrayed about Queen brings conflict (8)

Answer: FRICTION (i.e. “conflict”). Solution is FICTION (i.e. “what’s falsely portrayed”) wrapped “about” R (i.e. “queen”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of the Latin Regina), like so: F(R)ICTION.

  1. Daughter is going to gig with blokes, event ultimately producing upset (14)

Answer: DISCONCERTMENT (i.e. “upset”). Solution is D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”) followed by IS, then CONCERT (i.e. “gig”), then MEN (i.e. “blokes”) and T (i.e. “event ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “event”).

  1. Woman in the course of time to become mean? (7)

Answer: AVERAGE (i.e. mathematical “mean”). Solution is VERA (i.e. “woman’s” name) placed “in” AGE (i.e. “the course of time”), like so: A(VERA)GE.

  1. Not favouring Eastern jewellery for presents (9)

Answer: OFFERINGS (i.e. “presents”). Solution is OFF (i.e. “not favouring”) followed by E (a recognised abbreviation of “Eastern”), then RINGS (i.e. “jewellery”).

  1. Reptile with label turning yellow (5)

Answer: GATOR (i.e. “reptile”). Solution is TAG (i.e. “label”) reversed (indicated by “turning”) and followed by OR (i.e. “yellow” or gold in heraldry), like so: GAT-OR.

  1. Drunk this evening? That’s not on! (5)

Answer: TIGHT (i.e. “drunk”). Solution is TONIGHT (i.e. “this evening”) with the ON removed (indicated by “that’s not on”).

  1. They have offensive weapons? They must be charged (9)

Answer: BATTERIES. Solution satisfies “they have offensive weapons” and “they must be charged”.

  1. Grumble with the old woman down below (7)

Answer: MAUNDER (i.e. “grumble”). Solution is MA (i.e. “old woman”, both informal terms for mother) followed by UNDER (i.e. “down below”).

  1. Computer feature, from being uninitialised, expanded? (4-4,6)

Answer: READ-ONLY MEMORY (i.e. “computer feature”). Solution is FROM with the first letter removed (indicated by “uninitialised”). The remainder, ROM, is a recognised abbreviation of the solution.

  1. Have a bit of time with girls – that’s sweet (8)

Answer: MOLASSES (i.e. “that’s sweet”). Solution is MO (i.e. “a bit of time”, short for a moment) followed by LASSES (i.e. “girls”).

  1. Tears apart the character finally appearing as substitute (6)

Answer: ERSATZ (i.e. “substitute”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “apart”) of TEARS followed by Z (i.e. “the character finally”, i.e. the last letter of the alphabet), like so: ERSAT-Z.

  1. A series of points suggesting one should sign up? (6,4)

Answer: DOTTED LINE. Solution satisfies the clue as a whole. Not much to add to that, really.

  1. Time to go to India to find enchantress (5)

Answer: HOURI (i.e. “enchantress” – no, me neither). Solution is HOUR (i.e. “time”) followed by I (“India” in the phonetic alphabet).

  1. Instrument in a workplace knocked over by travelling dog (9)

Answer: BALALAIKA (i.e. “instrument”). Solution is A and LAB (i.e. “workplace”, short for laboratory) all reversed (indicated by “knocked over”) and followed by LAIKA (i.e. “travelling dog” – she was one of the first animals sent into space), like so: (BAL-A)-LAIKA.

  1. Prisoners OK for being disciplined, not beyond being controlled (13)

Answer: CONSTRAINABLE (i.e. “not beyond being controlled”). When written as CONS TRAINABLE the solution also satisfies “prisoners OK for being disciplined”.

  1. Engineers facing gales maybe – procedures to start again? (7)

Answer: REWINDS (i.e. “procedures to start again”). Solution is RE (i.e. “engineers”, specifically the Royal Engineers of the British Army) followed by WINDS (i.e. “gales maybe”).

  1. Statement of personal ambition to pen lines revealing malice (3,4)

Answer: ILL WILL (i.e. “malice”). Solution is I WILL (i.e. “statement of personal ambition”) wrapped around or “penning” L and L (both recognised abbreviations of “line”), like so: I-(LL)-WILL.

  1. Country peasants ultimately embraced by public schoolboy without end (7)

Answer: ESTONIA (i.e. “country”). Solution is S (i.e. “peasants ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “peasants”) placed in or “embraced by” ETONIAN (i.e. “public schoolboy”) once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “without end”), like so: E(S)TONIA.

  1. Plant seen in old vessel, round to the left (4)

Answer: OKRA (i.e. “plant”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) followed by ARK (i.e. “vessel”) once reversed (indicated by “to the left” – this being an across clue), like so: O-KRA.

  1. What’s expected – disciple becoming minister (6)

Answer: PARSON (i.e. “minister”). Solution is PAR (i.e. “what’s expected”) followed by SON (i.e. “disciple”).

  1. Log – wood that can be eaten! (6,5)

Answer: MINUTE STEAK (i.e. “that can be eaten”). Solution is MINUTES (i.e. “log” of a meeting) followed by TEAK (i.e. “wood”).

Down clues

  1. Elephantine yell of loose woman losing head (7)

Answer: TRUMPET (i.e. “elephantine yell”). Solution is STRUMPET (i.e. “loose woman”) with the first letter removed (indicated by “losing head”).

  1. New realisation brings excuse (11)

Answer: RATIONALISE (i.e. to “excuse”). “New” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of REALISATION.

  1. Dance with zest and love (5)

Answer: TANGO (i.e. “dance”). Solution is TANG (i.e. “zest”) followed by O (i.e. “love”, covered earlier).

  1. Call a person to allocate belfry duty? (4,7,1,4)

Answer: GIVE SOMEONE A BELL. Solution satisfies “call a person” and, playfully, “allocate belfry duty”.

  1. Sort of philosopher’s province, greeting cant (8)

Answer: NIHILIST (i.e. “sort of philosopher”). Solution is NI (i.e. “province”, specifically Northern Ireland) followed by HI (i.e. “greeting”) and CANT (i.e. incline or “list”)

  1. Violent ma got fierce and suffered badly (4,2,5)

Answer: CAME TO GRIEF (i.e. “suffered badly”). “Violent” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MA GOT FIERCE.

  1. Car plant (5)

Answer: LOTUS. Solution satisfies “car” brand and “plant”. Simple but elegant.

  1. Disagreeable incident when a Parisian worker carrying requests meets head (14)

Answer: UNPLEASANTNESS (i.e. “disagreeable incident”). Solution is UN (i.e. “a Parisian”, i.e. the French for “a”) and ANT (i.e. “worker”) wrapped around or “carrying” PLEAS (i.e. “requests”). This is all then followed by NESS (i.e. “head”, both geographic features), like so: (UN-(PLEAS)-ANT)-NESS.

  1. Report of triumph over one of two in autumn game (6)

Answer: CONKER (i.e. “one of two in autumn game”). “Report of” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of CONQUER (i.e. “triumph”).

  1. A bit of the argument intended to be heard in scheduled meeting? (11)

Answer: APPOINTMENT (i.e. “scheduled meeting”). Solution is A followed by P (i.e. “bit” or coin, in this case short for a penny), then POINT (i.e. “argument”) and a homophone (indicated by “to be heard”) of MEANT (i.e. “intended”), like so: A-P-POINT-MENT.

  1. A right row or “do” (7)

Answer: ARRANGE (i.e. “do”). Solution is A followed by R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”) and RANGE (i.e. “row”).

  1. Sailors taking time to produce cargo? (8)

Answer: SHIPMENT (i.e. “cargo”). Solution is SHIPMEN (i.e. “sailors”) followed by T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”).

  1. Competitor, not entirely intelligent, ranting (7)

Answer: ENTRANT (i.e. “competitor”). “Not entirely” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: INTELLIG(ENT RANT)ING.

  1. Scottish officer? A Scot with little hesitation (5)

Answer: MACER (i.e. “Scottish officer” of the courts). Solution is MAC (i.e. “a Scot”) followed by ER (i.e. “little hesitation”).

  1. Tell a person off in no uncertain terms, but don’t remove computer? (3,7,4,2)

Answer: LET SOMEONE HAVE IT. Solution satisfies “tell a person off in no uncertain terms” and, playfully, “don’t remove computer” – IT being short for Information Technology.

  1. Praise female – second (7)

Answer: FLATTER (i.e. “praise”). Solution is F (a recognised abbreviation of “female”) followed by LATTER (i.e. the “second” of two things).

  1. Fighters hurting, climbing at foot of hill (7)

Answer: TOREROS (i.e. “fighters”, specifically bullfighters on foot). Solution is SORE (i.e. “hurting”) reversed (indicated by “climbing” – this being a down clue) and placed after or “at foot of” TOR (i.e. “hill”), like so: TOR-EROS.

  1. People in the same school class maybe rose with importance unexpectedly (14)

Answer: CONTEMPORARIES (i.e. “people in the same school class maybe”). “Unexpectedly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ROSE and IMPORTANCE.

  1. Abandoning hotel, fiend has smashed dish (7)

Answer: GOULASH (i.e. “dish”). Solution is GHOUL (i.e. “fiend”) with the H removed (indicated by “abandoning hotel” – H being “hotel” in the phonetic alphabet) and the remainder followed by an anagram (indicated by “smashed”) of HAS, like so: GOUL-ASH.

  1. One whose work might result in a fiasco (11)

Answer: GLASSBLOWER. Solution satisfies the clue as a whole – a variant meaning of “fiasco” is a flask or bottle.

  1. Cornish tourist in ME upset police force (5)

Answer: EMMET (i.e. “Cornish tourist”, or, more specifically, a Cornish term for a tourist. Made to fit, anyone?) Solution is ME reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue) and followed by MET (i.e. “police force”, specifically the London Metropolitan Police), like so: EM-MET.

  1. Stir with dire men out to create political movement wanting land grab? (11)

Answer: IRREDENTISM (i.e. “political movement wanting land grab”. Over to Chambers again: “the doctrine of ‘redeeming’ territory from another state, especially where there is some historical claim to the territory or when an ethnic group seeks to rejoin the major part of the ethnic group in another state”). “Out” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of STIR and DIRE MEN.

  1. Gap outside old city, source of bloody riot (11)

Answer: DISTURBANCE (i.e. “riot”). Solution is DISTANCE (i.e. “gap”) wrapped around or placed “outside” of UR (i.e. “old city” – a favourite of cryptic crossword setters) and B (i.e. “source of bloody”, i.e. the first letter of “bloody”), like so: DIST(UR-B)ANCE.

  1. Go around in public, ultimately keen to stop criticism (8)

Answer: OUTFLANK (i.e. “go around”). Solution is OUT (i.e. “in public”) followed by N (i.e. “ultimately keen”, i.e. the last letter of “keen”) once placed in or “stopping” FLAK (i.e. “criticism”), like so: OUT-FLA(N)K.

  1. One in Somerset location left operating sporting event (8)

Answer: BIATHLON (i.e. “sporting event”). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed “in” BATH (i.e. “Somerset location”) and followed by L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”), then ON (i.e. “operating”), like so: B(I)ATH-L-ON.

  1. Stop gambler somehow losing pounds, ending with nothing (7)

Answer: EMBARGO (i.e. “stop”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “somehow”) of GAMBLER once the L has been removed (indicated by “losing pounds”, L being a recognised abbreviation of pounds weight, after the Latin libra), followed by O (i.e. “nothing”), like so: EMBARG-O.

  1. Short piece specially placed on ‘orse – it may ease swelling (3,4)

Answer: ICE PACK (i.e. “it may ease swelling”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “specially placed”) of PIECE once the last letter has been removed (indicated by “short”). This is then followed by ‘ACK (i.e. “’orse”. A variant meaning of hack is a horse. The H is dropped from each), like so: ICEP-‘ACK.

  1. Busiest afternoon accommodates it? Yes and no! (6)

Answer: SIESTA. “Accommodates it” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: BU(SIEST A)FTERNOON. The remainder of the clue plays on how siestas aren’t exactly busy occasions.

  1. Mark part of body (5)

Answer: COLON. Solution satisfies punctuation “mark” and “part of body”.

  1. Among partners in game had to be bottom (5)

Answer: NATES (i.e. “bottom” or the buttocks in anatomy). Solution is ATE (i.e. “had”) placed “among” N and S (i.e. “partners in game”, specifically a game of bridge. Partners are situated North and South, or East and West), like so: N(ATE)S.

6 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1577

  1. We found this one a bit disappointing – several of those weak clues where you can only pencil-in the answer. Or a dull hunt through the dictionary for an obscure word like Misogamist.
    We’d say that Gaga really refers to mental instability rather than the physical instability of Doddery.
    According to Collins, Maunder means “to move, talk, or act aimlessly or idly” which doesn’t match Grumble.
    And Fiasco is the Italian for flask, not quite on target (IMNSHO).
    But to be fair, Siesta was pretty good!

  2. My Chambers (2011) gives the setter’s solutions for ‘maunder’ and ‘fiasco’. I rather enjoyed this one, neither too easy nor too hard!

  3. Thanks Lucian.

    Not much pleasure in this one. Some dubious definitions (we agree with burleypap regarding GAGA and MAUNDER, and we’re not 100% convinced about ARRANGE being a synonym for DO) and some very sneaky deletions (especially ICE PACK, which we concluded must be the answer but hadn’t a Scooby-Doo why). Not to mention all the words we’d never heard of (TERATOGENIC, MISOGAMIST, EMMET, HOURI and IRRENDENTISM). Meh.

    Take care, and stay safe. SB

  4. Thanks, Lucian. Not the best this week with no particularly pleasing clues. I liked travelling dog for Laika though. I think poor old Laika’s journey was a one-way trip unfortunately. Cheers

  5. Agree that this was pretty straightforward, with no hold-ups that had to be come back to. Liked the inclusion of Laika, which made me think of the critic of the play ‘I Am A Camera’, who wrote: ‘me no Leica’.

  6. Enjoyed this – I quite like clues with words I don’t know, but can deduce from the wordplay – TERATOGENIC and IRRENDENTISM, for instance – makes me feel smarter than I actually am ! But was led astray by MISOGAMIST, which I put in as ‘misogynist’ without thinking it through.
    Agree about ‘do’ not really being a synonym for ‘arrange’; and fortunately I have many happy memories of ordering fiascos of chianti in Italy!

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