Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1586

A medium strength puzzle this week, and one enjoying a generous dollop of well-written clues. A good un, then, and somewhat welcome after grinding through a couple of duffers.

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

Thanks again for your 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.


FBV (French-By-Volume): 1.33%

Across clues

  1. Tailored coat mum’s altered, done without lining (6-4)

Answer: CUSTOM-MADE (i.e. “tailored”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “altered”) of COAT MUM’S followed by DE (i.e. “done without lining”, i.e. the word “done” with its middle letters removed), like so: CUSTOMMA-DE.

  1. What people pour into gardens with a cane and string for lashing (8,4)

Answer: WATERING CANS (i.e. “what people pour into gardens”). Solution is W (a recognised abbreviation of “with”) and A followed by an anagram (indicated by “for lashing”) of CANE and STRING, like so: W-A-TERINGCANS.

  1. Intimate audition for Court Theatre? (4,5)

Answer: SHOW TRIAL (i.e. “court theatre”, playfully. A show trial is “a trial at which the opportunity to expose the accused to public opprobrium is given priority over the impartial prosecution of justice” (Chambers)). Solution is SHOW (i.e. to “intimate”) followed by TRIAL (i.e. “audition”).

  1. Work at including queen in abstract piece (2,3)

Answer: OP ART (i.e. “abstract piece”). Solution is OP (i.e. “work”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “opus”) followed by AT once wrapped around or “including” R (i.e. “queen”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of the Latin Regina), like so: OP-A(R)T.

  1. Job involving a large American choir (7)

Answer: CHORALE (i.e. “American choir”). Solution is CHORE (i.e. “job”) wrapped around or “involving” A and L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”), like so: CHOR(A-L)E.

  1. Elected Conservative party scold head for lack of respect (17)

Answer: INCONSIDERATENESS (i.e. “lack of respect”). Solution is IN (i.e. “elected”) followed by CON (short for “Conservatives”), then SIDE (i.e. team or “party”), then RATE (i.e. to “scold”) and NESS (i.e. “head”, in this case the geographical feature).

  1. New York has speed and spirit (5)

Answer: NYMPH (i.e. “spirit”). Solution is NY (a recognised abbreviation of “New York”) followed by MPH (i.e. “speed”, specifically Miles Per Hour).

  1. Dog grips part of leg, exerting pressure (7)

Answer: PUSHING (i.e. “exerting pressure”). Solution is PUG (i.e. “dog”) wrapped around or “gripping” SHIN (i.e. “part of leg”), like so: PU(SHIN)G.

  1. Closed Civil Service during alarm (6)

Answer: TOCSIN (i.e. an “alarm”). Solution is TO (i.e. “closed”, as in a door closed to) followed by CS (short for “Civil Service”) and IN (i.e. “during”). One nailed from the wordplay and a shufti in Chambers. It’s from the French, so you know what that means…

  1. Wrong spring put into lock (8)

Answer: TRESPASS (i.e. “wrong”). Solution is SPA (i.e. “spring”) “put into” TRESS (i.e. “lock” of hair), like so: TRES(SPA)S.

  1. I am having beans? This will get one going (7)

Answer: IMPULSE (i.e. “this will get one going”). Solution is I’M (a contraction of “I am”) followed by PULSE (i.e. “beans”).

  1. Financially embarrass senator holding property (8)

Answer: STRAITEN (i.e. “financially embarrass”). Solution is SEN (short for “senator”) wrapped around or “holding” TRAIT (i.e. attribute or “property”), like so: S(TRAIT)EN.

  1. We should be away from fires (4,2)

Answer: LET’S GO (i.e. “we should be away”). When written as LETS GO the solution also satisfies “fires” from a job.

  1. They can up the tension to go round bends (11)

Answer: TURNBUCKLES (i.e. “they can up the tension”). Solution is TURN (i.e. “to go round”) followed by BUCKLES (i.e. “bends”).

  1. A stone? Queen and king, say, after millions for jewel in the crown (11)

Answer: MASTERPIECE (i.e. “jewel in the crown”). Solution is A, ST (a recognised abbreviation of “stone”), ER (i.e. “queen”, specifically Elizabeth Regina) and PIECE (i.e. “king, say” – other chess pieces are available) all placed “after” M (a recognised abbreviation of “millions”), like so: M-(A-ST-ER-PIECE).

  1. Kindly don outraged to be disturbed (4-7)

Answer: GOOD-NATURED (i.e. “kindly”). “To be disturbed” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of DON OUTRAGED.

  1. Protest loudly about circuit crash (11)

Answer: THUNDERCLAP (i.e. a “crash” of thunder). Solution is THUNDER (i.e. “protest loudly”) followed by C (i.e. “about”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “circa”) and LAP (i.e. “circuit”).

  1. Extremely clever solver’s got this (4,2)

Answer: EVER SO (i.e. “extremely”). “Got this” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: CL(EVER SO)LVER.

  1. Annoying person is in touch (8)

Answer: NUISANCE (i.e. “annoying person”). Solution is IS placed “in” NUANCE (i.e. “touch”), like so: NU(IS)ANCE.

  1. Attach payment: a bit off Sunday roast? (7)

Answer: SUBJOIN (i.e. “attach”). Solution is SUB (i.e. “payment”) followed by JOINT (i.e. “Sunday roast”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “a bit off”), like so: SUB-JOIN.

  1. As some wild animals ate English lamb unfortunately (8)

Answer: TAMEABLE (i.e. “as some wild animals are”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “unfortunately”) of ATE, E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) and LAMB.

  1. Show off floor National Trust inlaid with gold (6)

Answer: FLAUNT (i.e. “show off”). Solution is FL (a recognised abbreviation of “floor”) and NT (ditto “National Trust”) wrapped around or “inlaid with” AU (chemical symbol of “gold”), like so: FL-(AU)-NT.

  1. Aperture in very large copper chimney up north (7)

Answer: OSCULUM (i.e. “aperture”, specifically “an exhalant aperture in a sponge” (Chambers)). Solution is OS (i.e. “very large”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “outsize”) followed by CU (chemical symbol of “copper”) and LUM (i.e. “chimney up north”, a Scots word). One nailed from the wordplay, unsurprisingly.

  1. Ruminant – I had three finally in compound (5)

Answer: OXIDE (i.e. “compound”). Solution is OX (i.e. “ruminant”) followed by I’D (a contraction of “I had”) and E (i.e. “three finally”, i.e. the last letter of “three”).

  1. Much action with bombers flying in which fuel catches fire (10,7)

Answer: COMBUSTION CHAMBER (i.e. “in which fuel catches fire”). “Flying” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of MUCH ACTION and BOMBERS.

  1. Underlying theme of message from HMS Vanguard? (7)

Answer: SUBTEXT (i.e. “underlying theme”). When written as SUB TEXT the solution playfully satisfies the remainder of the clue, “HMS Vanguard” being a submarine and TEXT being an informal name for an SMS message.

  1. Mend incomplete iron blade (5)

Answer: KNIFE (i.e. “blade”). Solution is KNIT (i.e. “mend”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “incomplete”) and the remainder followed by FE (chemical symbol of “iron”), like so: KNI-FE.

  1. Poisonous plant of the underworld Persephone finally brought forth (9)

Answer: HELLEBORE (i.e. “poisonous plant”). Solution is HELL (i.e. “the underworld”) followed by E (i.e. “Persephone finally”, i.e. the last letter of “Persephone”) and BORE (i.e. “brought forth”). Another nailed from the wordplay. Nicely worked, though.

  1. Walk in sounding weary, something unprepared players may do (5-7)

Answer: SIGHT-READING (i.e. “something unprepared players may do”, being “someone who can read or perform music at first sight of the notes” (Chambers)). Solution is TREAD (i.e. “walk”) placed “in” SIGHING (i.e. “sounding weary”), like so: SIGH(TREAD)ING.

  1. Crucial batsman’s actions – these could be character forming (10)

Answer: KEYSTROKES (i.e. “these could be character forming”, as in typed characters on paper or a screen). Solution is KEY (i.e. “crucial”) followed by STROKES (i.e. “batsman’s actions” in cricket).

Down clues

  1. Specific example of something in milk and nought in beer? (4,2,5)

Answer: CASE IN POINT (i.e. “specific example”). Solution is CASEIN (i.e. “something in milk”, a protein used in the production of cheese) followed by O (i.e. “nought”) once placed “in” PINT (i.e. “beer”), like so: CASEIN-P(O)INT.

  1. Philosopher – one in short supply (5)

Answer: STOIC (i.e. “philosopher” – a Stoic is “a disciple of the philosopher Zeno, who taught in the Stoa Poikilē (Painted Porch) at Athens” (Chambers). It can also relate to said Stoics or their philosophy. Try as I might, I can’t twist any of this to make a “philosopher”. The clue seems to imply that disciples of a philosopher are philosophers themselves, which might explain why there are so many of them). Solution is I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) placed “in” STOCK (i.e. “supply”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “short”), like so: STO(I)C.

  1. Endless game in old California lasting a number of years (9)

Answer: OCTENNIAL (i.e. “lasting a number of years”, in this case eight). Solution is TENNIS (i.e. “game”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “endless”) and the remainder placed “in” O (a recognised abbreviation of “old”) and CAL (ditto “California”), like so: O-C(TENNI)AL.

  1. Intend to break pottery, causing damage (7)

Answer: MAIMING (i.e. “causing damage”). Solution is AIM (i.e. “intend”) placed in or “breaking” MING (i.e. “pottery”), like so: M(AIM)ING.

  1. United playing with learner, tending to reduce concentration (7)

Answer: DILUENT (i.e. “tending to reduce concentration” of a substance). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “playing”) of UNITED and L (a recognised abbreviation of “learner”).

  1. Trained medics aim to follow a constant and formal way of teaching (11)

Answer: ACADEMICISM (i.e. “formal way of teaching”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “trained”) of MEDICS AIM placed after or “following” A and C (a recognised abbreviation of “constant”), like so: A-C-ADEMICISM.

  1. Take selection from Keith? Eric? Keith or Eric? (6)

Answer: EITHER (i.e. “Keith or Eric”, an inference that EITHER person would satisfy the first half of the clue. The riddly question mark at the end unnecessarily confuses things in my less-than-humble opinion). “Take selection from” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: K(EITH ER)IC.

  1. Cutters in navy can inflict sinkings on raiding subs from the outset (8)

Answer: INCISORS (i.e. teeth that are “cutters”). “From the outset” indicates the solution is derived from the initial letters of In Navy Can Inflict Sinkings On Raiding Subs.

  1. US park worker crushed small ring (13)

Answer: GROUNDSKEEPER (i.e. “US park worker”). Solution is GROUND (i.e. “crushed”) followed by S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) and KEEPER (i.e. a guard “ring” – I recalled this from a previous Jumbo).

  1. Cell deficiency of a new blood group English intend going over (7)

Answer: ANAEMIA (i.e. “cell deficiency”). Solution is A followed by N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”), then A (i.e. “blood group”), then E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”) and AIM (i.e. “intend”) once the latter has been reversed (indicated by “going over”), like so: A-N-A-E-MIA.

  1. Leave it on hospital round? Possibility for this? (11)

Answer: STETHOSCOPE (i.e. “this” within the context of the clue, inferring a piece of medical equipment). Solution is STET (i.e. “leave it”, i.e. an editor’s note to ignore changes made and retain the original text, after the Latin for “let it stand”) followed by H (a recognised abbreviation of “hospital”), then O (i.e. “round”) and SCOPE (i.e. “possibility”). Very nicely worked.

  1. Frank put on trousers as a means of expression (5,5)

Answer: VOCAL CORDS (i.e. “a means of expression”). Solution is VOCAL (i.e. “frank”) followed by CORDS (i.e. “trousers”).

  1. Great attitude to get on? (9)

Answer: SUPERPOSE (i.e. “to get on” top of another). Solution is SUPER (i.e. “great”) followed by POSE (i.e. an assumed “attitude”).

  1. Concerned with fool leading river rally (8)

Answer: REASSURE (i.e. to “rally” another). Solution is RE (i.e. “concerned with” – think email replies) followed by ASS (i.e. “fool”) and URE (i.e. a “river”).

  1. Nearly left somewhere without key in move (6)

Answer: EXCITE (i.e. to “move”). Solution is EXITED (i.e. “left”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “nearly”) and the remainder wrapped around or placed “without” C (i.e. a musical “key”), like so: EX(C)ITE.

  1. Notes one found in odd room with beds and lamps (8)

Answer: SOLARIUM (i.e. “room with beds and [tanning] lamps”). Solution is SO and LA (both “notes” in the sol-fa notation) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) once placed “in” RUM (i.e. “odd”), like so: (SO-LA)-R(I)UM.

  1. Cleaner reported to run off with fleece (5,4)

Answer: STEEL WOOL (i.e. “cleaner”). Solution is a homophone (indicated by “reported”) of STEAL (i.e. “run off with”) followed by WOOL (i.e. “fleece”).

  1. Hollow rocks of granite, ovoid, excrescences on the outside (6)

Answer: GEODES (i.e. “hollow rocks”). “On the outside” indicates the solution can be derived from the first and last letters of GranitE, OvoiD and ExcrescenceS.

  1. Riverside’s gallery chaps need time for financial report (4,9)

Answer: BANK STATEMENT (i.e. “financial report”). Solution is BANK’S (i.e. “riverside’s”) followed by TATE (i.e. London art “gallery”), then MEN (i.e. “chaps”) and T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”).

  1. Pensions, perhaps, you once got in speculations (11)

Answer: GUESTHOUSES (i.e. “pensions, perhaps” – a variant meaning of the word is a continental boarding house). Solution is THOU (i.e. “you once”, i.e. ye olde form of “you”) placed “in” GUESSES (i.e. “speculations”), like so: GUES(THOU)SES.

  1. Maya chasing daughter is let down (11)

Answer: DISILLUSION (i.e. “let down”). Solution is ILLUSION (i.e. “maya” – a new one on me) placed after or “chasing” D (a recognised abbreviation of “daughter”) and IS, like so: D-IS-(ILLUSION).

  1. Dumb part of shoe done up like laces (6-4)

Answer: TONGUE-TIED (i.e. struck “dumb”). Solution is TONGUE (i.e. “part of shoe”) followed by TIED (i.e. “done up like laces”).

  1. Mammals, marine, wild – tons kept in enclosures (4,7)

Answer: PINE MARTENS (i.e. “mammals”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “wild”) of MARINE and T (a recognised abbreviation of “tons”) all “kept in” PENS (i.e. “enclosures”), like so: P(INEMAR-T)ENS.

  1. Raised youngster has the ability always to be a reckless adventurer (9)

Answer: BUCCANEER (i.e. “reckless adventurer”). Solution is CUB (i.e. “youngster”) reversed (indicated by “raised” – this being a down clue) followed by CAN (i.e. “has the ability to”) and E’ER (i.e. poetic form of “always”), like so: BUC-CAN-E’ER.

  1. British have no restraint in formal wear (5,3)

Answer: BLACK TIE (i.e. “formal wear”). Solution is B (a recognised abbreviation of “British”) followed by LACK (i.e. “have no”) and TIE (i.e. “restraint”).

  1. Post holder initially makes trouble over sack (7)

Answer: MAILBAG (i.e. “post holder”). Solution is M (i.e. “initially makes”, i.e. the first letter of “makes”) followed by AIL (i.e. “trouble”) and BAG (i.e. “sack”).

  1. Foot regularly started outside darts players’ mark (7)

Answer: TROCHEE (i.e. “foot” in poetic terms. Again to Chambers: “a foot of two syllables, a long followed by a short”). Solution is TRE (i.e. “regularly started”, i.e. every other letter of STARTED) placed “outside” of OCHE (i.e. “darts players’ mark”), like so: TR(OCHE)E.

  1. Hides from view round leader of crazy sects (7)

Answer: OCCULTS (i.e. “hides from view”). Solution is O (i.e. “round”) followed by C (i.e. “leader of crazy”, i.e. the first letter of “crazy”) and CULTS (i.e. “sects”).

  1. Fumed as a small donkey died (6)

Answer: SMOKED (i.e. “fumed”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) followed by MOKE (slang for a “donkey”, apparently) and D (a recognised abbreviation of “died”).

  1. Stream runs inside reserve (5)

Answer: BROOK (i.e. “stream”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “runs” used in a number of ball games) placed “inside” of BOOK (i.e. to “reserve”), like so: B(R)OOK.

19 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1586

  1. Thanks Lucian,
    I enjoyed this one too.
    My one hiccup was 30a (turnbuckles).
    I had: T – – – B – C – – – S
    and put in THUMBSCREWS – they must increase the tension, psychologically if nothing else.
    The risks of filling in without parsing.

  2. A pretty good puzzle overall I thought. A slight quibble 6a that you don’t pour a watering can into a garde. Pour it in a garden maybe, or use it to pour …
    Bigger beef was 51a which needed a ‘possibly’ because I think the Vanguard name was most used and best known re surface ships
    Thanks as ever Lucian – Graham

    1. In 6a ‘with’ serves a double purpose: essential to the definition (‘what people pour into gardens with’), and also providing the initial w.

      1. Thank you Michael. If I’d read Lucian’s write-up I’d have seen the explanation earlier. I was fixated on my reading of the clue – a lack of broad thinking that oftens makes puzzles harder for me. Hey ho. Thx G

  3. Thanks Lucian. Not too bad this week, though a few answers got the reaction “No, me neither”. And we weren’t impressed with the same device being used twice in two different clues: 4d and 11d both contain INTEND (in the clue) to indicate AIM (in the answer). Sloppy at best.

    Take care, and stay safe.

  4. Thanks, Lucian. Re 2d, I think it’s ok to refer to a stoic as a philosopher in that a stoic practises the philosophy of stoicism. All in all not a bad one with some good clues. I liked the use of pension in 33d to throw us of-track. Cheers

  5. My Collins describes a Stoic as “a member of the ancient Greek school of philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium” which suggests they themselves would be a philosopher.
    It also defines Superpose as “a rare word for superimpose” … so, another weird word plucked from the dusty end of the dictionary. Not impressed!
    But I did like Keith Eric (unlike everyone else) and Stethoscope was pleasing.

  6. My usual Sunday afternoon treat! I liked this one and completed the LH side (top to bottom) pretty quickly, but then got bogged down on the RH side (again, top to bottom). There were some excellent clues on the RH side, which got me pretty stuck for a while. But most enjoyable.

    And thanks as ever Lucian for your efforts.

    Did any of you other commenters ever enter The Times National Crossword Competition years ago? This was in the days before Google. I did get through to the London Regional Finals a few years running but was always definitely an also-ran. The London regional final was held at the Hilton in Park Lane (a cup of tea beforehand cost the earth). One year, I was sat next to someone who told me he was a Postman. “Ah! a man of letters, I quickly replied.”

    The London regional final was usually won by the editor of the Oxford English dictionary – or some other frustrating clever-clogs. The winner always completed the four Times puzzles in under nine minutes each (one was allowed thirty minutes). I have (on the train) completed the daily Times crossword in such a short time, but extremely rarely.

  7. Very interesting. I’m far too slow to enter a comp like that. I wonder if anyone who follows Lucian, or the great man himself ever composes their own puzzles?

  8. I never went in for the national competition – partly because you could fit entire planets in the gaps in my knowledge, but mostly because I’m a big cheating so-and-so. That said, I was often intrigued when the puzzles got reprinted in The Times later in the year.

    As for setting crosswords, I did one in my other half’s birthday card a few years ago. It was good fun to do, though perhaps not to solve! Here are half a dozen clues from it, should you fancy a taste:

    Place to rest troublesome doubts for peer (4,6,3)
    Good learner was eager but prone to error (8)
    Fruit: goodness when skinned (4)
    All of a sudden, pub rat exploded! (6)
    Player is tense under topless tart (7 – a down clue)
    In a wee bit of parfait d’amour, ice (4)

    – LP

    1. Very clever, Lucian. Some years ago I entered a crossword-compiling competition run by the Daily Telegraph. It was challenging but fun. Here are a couple of my efforts:

      A fast time? O no, a slow time! (5)
      Troubled man comes in, forgetting note, but remembering keys (9)

      I’ve also compiled questions for Round Britain Quiz (the Radio 4 sister programme to Only Connect). Does that count?

      – SB

    2. Zut alors Lucian, or, as Steve Bell might have penned in ‘IF’ in the eighties, “Early Smirk” – translated, it was a Frenchman saying Holy Some. FBV score 16.7%. Couldn’t crack that sixth clue though … Graham

    3. For completeness, the answers were:
      FOUR POSTER BED (i.e. “place to rest”), an anagram (indicated by “troublesome”) of DOUBTS FOR PEER.
      GLITCHED (i.e. “prone to error”), comprising G (a recognised abbreviation of “good”), L (ditto “learner”) and ITCHED (i.e. “was eager”).
      LIME (i.e. “fruit”). Solution is BLIMEY (i.e. “goodness”, both exclamations) once its first and last letters have been removed (indicated by “skinned”).
      ABRUPT (i.e. “all of a sudden”), an anagram (indicated by “exploded”) of PUB RAT.
      HARPIST (i.e. “player”), comprising IS and T (a recognised abbreviation of “tense” I’m surprised setters haven’t cottoned onto yet) all placed after or “under” – being a down clue – SHARP (i.e. “tart” or sour-tasting) once its first letter has been removed (indicated by “topless”), like so: HARP-(IS-T).
      URIC (i.e. “in a wee”). “Bit of” indicates the solution is hidden in the clue, like so: PARFAIT D’AMO(UR IC)E.

  9. Too hard for me – about 10 missing when I threw in the towel – would never had got tocsin and disillusion- maya??
    Thanks for clearing up my mess.

  10. From John (Dad)

    Two of us at school in the 1940s used to attempt the Ximenes puzzle in the Observer. Some years later, meeting my friend on a London bus, I asked him if he was still doing so. “No”, he answered, “I set them now”.

  11. I’d dispute, being pedantic, that “touch” is really quite cognate with “nuance” and had no idea there was a “keeper” to guard one’s “ring” (so to speak). With slightly more authority, I’d insist that “batsman’s actions” are not “strokes” – far too lazy/loose a link: I speak as one paid to write about the game. And for this newspaper indeed!

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