Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1583

A medium strength offering with a couple of snaggy clues holding up proceedings. Setting those aside, and the occasional odd phrasing, this was a pretty good un.

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 you flummoxed then you might find my Just For Fun page of use, where you’ll find links to solutions for 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 set down their pens. Till next time, stay safe out there kids.


Across clues

  1. Simple bit of comeback for those who love Legolas etc (7)

Answer: SNAFFLE (i.e. “simple bit” for horses). Solution is ELF FANS (i.e. “those who love Legolas etc” – Legolas being an elf in JRR Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings books) reversed (indicated by “comeback for…”), like so: SNAF-FLE.

  1. Junior reporter left in cool office space? (7)

Answer: CUBICLE (i.e. “office space”). Solution is CUB (i.e. “junior reporter”) followed by ICE (i.e. “cool”) once wrapped around or having “in” L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”), like so: CUB-IC(L)E.

  1. Get right through one’s last run and see notice in gym (7)

Answer: PERVADE (i.e. “get right through”). Solution is E (i.e. “one’s last”, i.e. the last letter of “one”), R (a recognised abbreviation of “run” used in several ball games), V (i.e. “see”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of the Latin vide) and AD (i.e. “notice”, short for advertisement) all placed “in” PE (i.e. “gym”, or Physical Education), like so: P(E-R-V-AD)E.

  1. I’ll squeeze old ruler that contains mark of error, wrong unit in two forms (11)

Answer: EXTORTIONER (i.e. “I’ll squeeze”). Solution is ER (i.e. “old ruler”, specifically Elizabeth Regina – it’ll be interesting to see if “old” is kept in this clue by the time it gets republished in the annual Jumbo book) wrapped around or “containing” X (i.e. “mark of error”), TORT (i.e. “wrong”) and both I and ONE (i.e. “unit in two forms”, in this case 1 expressed as a Roman numeral and in word form), like so: E(X-TORT-I-ONE)R.

  1. In no way depends on installing Nan’s first and second vacuum (11)

Answer: NOTHINGNESS (i.e. “vacuum”). Solution is NOT (i.e. “in no way”) and HINGES (i.e. “depends on”) wrapped around or “installing” N (i.e. “Nan’s first” letter). This is all then followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “second”), like so: NOT-HING(N)ES-S.

  1. Capital has some regressive decision ahead (5)

Answer: HANOI (i.e. “capital” city of Vietnam). “Some” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “regressive” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: DECIS(ION AH)EAD.

  1. Supporter allowed to take a break after cycling (7)

Answer: TRESTLE (i.e. “supporter”). Solution is LET (i.e. “allowed”) with the last letter placed first (indicated by “after cycling”, i.e. LE(T) -> (T)LE) and wrapped around or “taking” REST (i.e. “a break”), like so: T(REST)LE.

  1. A pita isn’t out of place for snacks (9)

Answer: ANTIPASTI (i.e. “snacks”). “Out of place” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of A PITA ISN’T. A recent repeat, making this an easier get.

  1. Misfit awkwardly cornered? (6,3,2,1,5,4)

Answer: SQUARE PEG IN A ROUND HOLE (i.e. “misfit”). The rest of the clue plays on the “corners” of a SQUARE. That’s about it, I guess.

  1. The guy succeeded according to American star of Twilight (8)

Answer: HESPERUS (i.e. “star of twilight” – or the evening star, specifically the planet Mercury or Venus reflecting the sun in the evening). Solution is HE (i.e. “the guy”) followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “succeeded”), then PER (i.e. “according to”) and US (i.e. “American”). One nailed solely from the wordplay.

  1. Returning home, one’s to use a specific case in house (6)

Answer: GEMINI (i.e. “house” or astrological sign). Solution is IN (i.e. “home”), I’M (i.e. “one’s”, a contraction of I AM) and EG (i.e. “to use a specific case”, i.e. for example) all reversed (indicated by “returning”), like so: GE-M’I-NI.

  1. Shock of singular small filled pastry left unfinished (7)

Answer: STARTLE (i.e. “shock”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) followed by TART (i.e. “filled pastry”) and LE (i.e. “left unfinished”, i.e. the word “left” with the last couple of letters removed). “Singular” seems superfluous in the clue, and wordplay such as “unfinished” nearly always suggests the removal of a single letter from the end of a word, so I might not have this one 100% right.

  1. Rocket consumes last of fuel, using sustainable power (5)

Answer: SOLAR (i.e. “sustainable power”). Solution is SOAR (i.e. to “rocket”) wrapped around or “consuming” L (i.e. “last [letter] of fuel”), like so: SO(L)AR.

  1. Usual dithering about mean heartless old boy (7)

Answer: ALUMNUS (i.e. “old boy”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “dithering”) wrapped “about” MN (i.e. “mean heartless”, i.e. the word “mean” with all its middle letters removed), like so: ALU(MN)US.

  1. Not taking drink away, keeping can (9)

Answer: ABSTINENT (i.e. “not taking drink”). Solution is ABSENT (i.e. “away”) wrapped around or “keeping” TIN (i.e. “can”), like so: ABS(TIN)ENT.

  1. Somewhat timeless series of clues, still (9)

Answer: QUIESCENT (i.e. “still”). Solution is QUITE (i.e. “somewhat”) with the T removed (indicated by “timeless” – T being a recognised abbreviation of “time”) and the remainder followed by SCENT (i.e. “series of clues” in an investigation), like so: QUIE-SCENT.

  1. Something with pith and a little weight on record (7)

Answer: EPIGRAM (i.e. “something with pith” – Chambers offers “condensed substance, essence” for “pith”, while an EPIGRAM is “any concise and pointed or sarcastic saying”. Too wishy-washy for my liking). Solution is I GRAM (i.e. “little weight”, i.e. 1g) placed “on” or after EP (i.e. “record”, in this case an Extended Play), like so: EP-(I-GRAM).

  1. Brush tones lacking colour for the ears (5)

Answer: GRAZE (i.e. to “brush” against). “For the ears” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of GREYS (i.e. “tones lacking colour”).

  1. Letter printer provides ruler (7)

Answer: EMPRESS (i.e. “ruler”). Solution is EM (i.e. the “letter” m in speech) followed by PRESS (i.e. “printer”).

  1. Place long recalled as starting point of boat race (6)

Answer: PUTNEY (i.e. “starting point of boat race” each year between Oxford and Cambridge universities). Solution is PUT (i.e. “place”) followed by YEN (i.e. to “long” for or yearn) once reversed (indicated by “recalled”), like so: PUT-NEY.

  1. Actors to keep line out of score, which may provoke a reaction (8)

Answer: CATALYST (i.e. “which may provoke a reaction”). Solution is CAST (i.e. “actors”) wrapped around or “keeping” TALLY (i.e. “score”) once one of the Ls has been removed (indicated by “line out of…” – L being a recognised abbreviation of “line”), like so: CA(TALY)ST.

  1. Without commitments, descriptions of change in (of/to) reef (9,3,5-4)

Answer: FOOTLOOSE AND FANCY-FREE (i.e. “without commitments”). The remainder of the clue plays on the solution cryptically satisfying how FOOT and FREE are anagrams (indicated by LOOSE and FANCY respectively) of “of/to” and “reef”. What a bizarrely worded clue.

  1. Run, everyone, after some deliveries go too far (9)

Answer: OVERREACH (i.e. “go too far”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “run”, covered earlier) and EACH (i.e. “everyone”) both placed “after” OVER (i.e. “some deliveries” in cricket), like so: OVER-(R-EACH).

  1. Reversal of intention to stop widespread lunacy (7)

Answer: MADNESS (i.e. “lunacy”). Solution is END (i.e. “intention”) “reversed” and placed in or “stopping” MASS (i.e. “widespread”), like so: MA(DNE)SS.

  1. Sons stand to emulate troopers? (5)

Answer: SWEAR (i.e. “emulate troopers”, after the phrase “swearing like a trooper”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “sons” – Chambers supports singular and plural) followed by WEAR (i.e. to bear or “stand”).

  1. Turning over vermouth, vent and take place inside pub, being sozzled (11)

Answer: INEBRIATION (i.e. “being sozzled”). Solution is O (a recognised abbreviation of “over” used in cricket), IT (short for Italian “vermouth” – an easier get after the same wordplay was used a few weeks ago), AIR (i.e. “vent”) and BE (i.e. “take place”) all reversed (indicated by “turning”) and placed “inside” INN (i.e. “pub”), like so: IN(EB-RIA-TI-O)N.

  1. Mother moves without agency, accepting article’s core subject (11)

Answer: MATHEMATICS (i.e. “core subject”). Solution is MAMA (i.e. “mother”) and TICS (i.e. “moves without agency”) all wrapped around or “accepting” THE (i.e. “article”, as in a word like a, an or the), like so: MA(THE)MA-TICS.

  1. Twitchy condition of failed UN state (7)

Answer: TETANUS (i.e. “twitchy condition”). “Failed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of UN STATE.

  1. Quizzical archer? (7)

Answer: EYEBROW. Clue plays on how one arches an eyebrow when being inquisitive. A proper groaner that took a brute force of my Chambers to nail.

  1. Doctor wraps right side for bottom scraper (7)

Answer: DREDGER (i.e. river “bottom scraper”). Solution is DR (a recognised abbreviation of “doctor”) “wrapped” around R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”) and EDGE (i.e. “side”), like so: D(R-EDGE)R.

Down clues

  1. Boil or spot next to be reduced (6)

Answer: SEETHE (i.e. “boil”). Solution is SEE (i.e. “spot”) followed by THEN (i.e. “next”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “to be reduced”), like so: SEE-THE.

  1. A nondrinker stops and comes to (7)

Answer: ATTENDS (i.e. “comes to”). Solution is A followed by TT (i.e. “nondrinker”, short for teetotaller), then ENDS (i.e. “stops”).

  1. Guts misshaped red outfit (9)

Answer: FORTITUDE (i.e. “guts”). “Misshaped” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of RED OUTFIT.

  1. Are southern breaks way out? (5)

Answer: EXIST (i.e. “are”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “southern”) placed in or “breaking” EXIT (i.e. “way out”), like so: EXI(S)T.

  1. Tory to invite disrespect (8)

Answer: CONTEMPT (i.e. “disrespect”). Solution is CON (short for “Conservative”) followed by TEMPT (i.e. “to invite”).

  1. Loose lid stripped without force? (5)

Answer: BERET (i.e. “loose lid”, lid being slang for a hat). Solution is BEREFT (i.e. “stripped”) with the F removed (indicated by “without force” – F being a recognised abbreviation of “force”).

  1. As soon as in credit, taking on new business (7)

Answer: CONCERN (i.e. “business”). Solution is ONCE (i.e. “as soon as”) placed “in” CR (a recognised abbreviation of “credit”) and followed by N (ditto “new”), like so: C(ONCE)R-N.

  1. Heading north, before crossing Iowa, northern Idaho, shout: Texas is outstanding (14)

Answer: EXTRAORDINAIRE (i.e. “outstanding”). Solution is ERE (poetic form of “before”) wrapped around or “crossing”) IA (US state abbreviation of “Iowa”), N (a recognised abbreviation of “north”), ID (US state abbreviation of “Idaho”), ROAR (i.e. “shout”) and TX (US state abbreviation of “Texas”). This is all then reversed (indicated by “heading north” – this being a down clue), like so: E(XT-RAOR-DI-N-AI)RE.

  1. Head of research keen on cutting phrases for paper copies (9)

Answer: PRINTOUTS (i.e. “paper copies”). Solution is R (i.e. “head of research”, i.e. the first letter of “research”) and INTO (i.e. “keen on”) both placed in or “cutting” PUTS (i.e. “phrases”), like so: P(R-INTO)UTS.

  1. Patch together little dog one runs over (3,2)

Answer: RIG UP (i.e. “patch together”). Solution is PUG (i.e. “little dog”), I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and R (a recognised abbreviation of “runs”, already covered) all reversed (indicated by “over”), like so: R-I-GUP.

  1. Negative conditioning, a type someone nonbinary is about to criticise (8,7)

Answer: AVERSION THERAPY (i.e. “negative conditioning”). Solution is A followed by VERSION (i.e. “type”), then THEY (i.e. pronoun of “someone nonbinary”) once wrapped “about” RAP (i.e. “to criticise”), like so: A-VERSION-THE(RAP)Y.

  1. Result takes in sexual activity connected to bedroom (2,5)

Answer: EN SUITE (i.e. “connected to bedroom”). Solution is ENSUE (i.e. “result”) wrapped around or “taking in” IT (i.e. “sexual activity”), like so: ENSU(IT)E.

  1. Menu item available after scrolling? (7)

Answer: ROULADE (i.e. dish or “menu item”). I think the clue is playing on ROUL being an obsolete word for “roll” or “scroll” and -ADE being a suffix expressing the result of an action. (Chambers offers masquerade and lemonade as examples.) In this case, the solution is playfully describing the result of scrolling. Can’t say I was keen on this one.

  1. Dan’s inferior defence against sprawl? (5,4)

Answer: GREEN BELT. Solution satisfies “dan’s inferior” in martial arts grading, and “defence against [urban] sprawl”.

  1. Sketch en travesti is a triumph (7)

Answer: DRAWING (i.e. “sketch”). I guess en travesti is another way of saying “in drag” in another language (Spanish?), so the clue is effectively saying “in drag is a triumph”, in this case WIN placed “in” DRAG, like so: DRA(WIN)G.

  1. Constitution of champagne, I’m afraid to say (8)

Answer: PHYSIQUE (i.e. “constitution”). “To say” indicates homophone. Solution comprises homophones of FIZZ (i.e. informal word for “champagne”) and EEK! (i.e. “I’m afraid”).

  1. Small mischievous pair roam with guys, not ultimately becoming better (4-11)

Answer: SELF-IMPROVEMENT (i.e. “becoming better”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) followed by ELF and IMP (i.e. “mischievous pair”), then ROVE (i.e. “roam”), then MEN (i.e. “guys”) and T (i.e. “not ultimately”, i.e. the last letter of “not”).

  1. Notwithstanding retreat of enemy, warns part of UK (2,5,2)

Answer: IN SPITE OF (i.e. “notwithstanding”). Solution is FOE (i.e. “enemy”) followed by TIPS (i.e. “warns”) and NI (i.e. “part of UK”, specifically Northern Ireland). This is all then reversed (indicated by “retreat of”), like so: IN-SPIT-EOF.

  1. Request admission, to dine inside (8)

Answer: ENTREATY (i.e. “request”). Solution is ENTRY (i.e. “admission”) wrapped around or having “inside” EAT (i.e. “dine”), like so: ENTR(EAT)Y.

  1. Product of top quality with limited options (8-6)

Answer: MULTIPLE-CHOICE (i.e. “with limited options”). Solution is MULTIPLE (i.e. mathematical “product”) followed by CHOICE (i.e. “top quality”).

  1. Republican America to win acceptance of British philosopher (7)

Answer: Bertrand RUSSELL (i.e. “British philosopher”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “Republican”) followed by US (i.e. “America”) and SELL (i.e. “to win acceptance”, as in selling an idea to someone).

  1. Brief report of hot weather on radio (7)

Answer: SUMMARY (i.e. “brief report”). “On radio” indicates homophone. Solution is a homophone of SUMMERY (i.e. descriptive of “hot weather”).

  1. People looking for a secret passage? (9)

Answer: STOWAWAYS. Solution satisfies the clue as a whole, taking “passage” to mean a journey. I’m not often a fan of riddly clues, but I rather liked this one.

  1. Aviation industry and beyond love boarding quickly (9)

Answer: AEROSPACE (i.e. “aviation industry and beyond”). Solution is EROS (i.e. god of “love”) placed in or “boarding” APACE (i.e. “quickly”).

  1. Low current turned off with zero watts (8)

Answer: UNDERTOW (i.e. “low current”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “off”) of TURNED followed by O (i.e. “zero”) and W (a recognised abbreviation of “watts”), like so: UNDERT-O-W.

  1. Run joint without any women’s bloomers supplied by me (7)

Answer: FLORIST (i.e. “bloomers supplied by me”). Solution is FLOW (i.e. “run”) and WRIST (i.e. “joint”) both with their Ws removed (indicated by “without any women” – W being a recognised abbreviation of “women”), like so: FLO-RIST.

  1. Has-been, I’m one in part up as Oscar candidate? (7)

Answer: NOMINEE (i.e. “Oscar candidate”). “In part” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “up” indicates the solution has been reversed – this being a down clue – like so: HAS-B(EEN I’M ON)E.

  1. Late PM’s unlimited revenge, staying elected (7)

Answer: EVENING (i.e. “late PM”). Solution is EVENG (i.e. “unlimited revenge”, i.e. the word “revenge” with its start and end letters removed) wrapped around or “staying” IN (i.e. “elected”), like so: EVEN(IN)G.

  1. When signature’s ending in slip, use this? (6)

Answer: ERASER (i.e. “this”, within the context of the clue, i.e. something you’d use to rub out an error). Solution is AS (i.e. “when”) and E (i.e. “signature’s ending”, i.e. the last letter of “signature”) both placed “in” ERR (i.e. to “slip”), like so: ER(AS-E)R.

  1. Leading couple in repertory theatre season’s show again (5)

Answer: RERUN (i.e. “show again”). Solution is RE (i.e. “leading couple in repertory”, i.e. the first two letters of “repertory”) followed by RUN (i.e. “theatre season”).

  1. Below delta there’s uncapped bone object (5)

Answer: DEMUR (i.e. to “object”). Solution is D (“Delta” in the phonetic alphabet) followed by FEMUR (i.e. “bone”) once its first letter has been removed (indicated by “uncapped”), like so: D-EMUR.

  1. Await settlement after small outlay (5)

Answer: SPEND (i.e. “outlay”). Solution is PEND (i.e. “await settlement”) placed “after” S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”), like so: S-MALL.

4 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1583

  1. A goodish puzzle that I made more difficult by plumping for Nutates as the anagram 56a. I knew it wasn’t a perfect answer, but fell into the hole. It was an answer recently – my error. Liked 22d Physique which had a bit of humour. As ever, thanks Lucian. Cheers Graham

  2. Thanks Lucian. Not too bad on the whole, apart from a couple of dubious definitions.

    Re STARTLE (27a), I think the parsing is S (a recognised abbreviation of SINGULAR) followed by TARTLET (small filled pastry) with its last letter removed. Hope this helps.

    Deletions By Volume: 11/62 (17.7%). Lower than last week but still too many for my liking!

    Take care, and stay safe. SB

  3. Interesting! We had trouble with several clues this week, got the answer without being fully confident, and felt pretty dissatisfied. Maybe our heads were just in the wrong place. So thank you Lucian for putting us out of our misery.

    For 13A we thought “old ruler” would be ex-R … which would stand the test of time, but not as tight as your explanation.

    All agreed on Roulade being dodgy!

    But several admirable clues, like Stowaways, Physique and even Putney!

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