Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1593

A toughie to finish the seasonal period, and a good one to chip away at during the day. Consistent difficulty, good progression, fair clueing… Yup. More like this, please!

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 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 set down their pens. Till next time, stay safe out there, kids.


FBV (French-By-Volume): 8.3%
A smoky Reno that commands respect. Not usually had with fromage.

Across clues

  1. Cricketer gets runs during a defeat – this is sub-par (9)

Answer: ALBATROSS (i.e. “this is sub-par” in a game of golf, being three shots under par). Solution is BAT (i.e. “cricketer”) and R (a recognised abbreviation of “runs” used in several ball games) both placed in or “during” A LOSS (i.e. “a defeat”), like so: A-L(BAT-R)OSS.

  1. Something said about periodically pallid bouquet (10)

Answer: COMPLIMENT (i.e. “bouquet”; one of bouquet’s later definitions is “a compliment, praise” (Chambers)). Solution is COMMENT (i.e. “something said”) wrapped “about” PLI (i.e. “periodically pallid”, i.e. every other letter of PALLID), like so: COM(PLI)MENT.

  1. Understanding French in wine catalogue finally (7)

Answer: ENTENTE (i.e. an “understanding”). Solution is EN (i.e. “French in”, i.e. the French for “in”) followed by TENT (i.e. “wine” variety) and E (i.e. “catalogue finally”, i.e. the last letter of “catalogue”). A doubly French clue so take care, Francophobes.

  1. Tailored tussore with gold clothing collection (9)

Answer: TROUSSEAU (i.e. “clothing collection” – over to Chambers again: “the clothes…collected by a bride for her marriage”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “tailored”) of TUSSORE followed by AU (chemical symbol of “gold”), like so: TROUSSE-AU.

  1. Accountant back on problem? This may bear fruit (5)

Answer: SUMAC (i.e. “this may bear fruit”). Solution is CA (i.e. “accountant”, specifically a Chartered Accountant) reversed (indicated by “back”) and placed “on” or after SUM (i.e. mathematical “problem”), like so: SUM-AC.

  1. Soldier’s holding large weapon or seaman’s tool (12)

Answer: MARLINESPIKE (i.e. “seaman’s tool” – and again to Chambers: “a spike for separating the strands of a rope on a splicing”). Solution is MARINE’S (i.e. “soldier’s”) wrapped around or “holding” L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) and followed by PIKE (i.e. “weapon”), like so: MAR(L)INE’S-PIKE. One nailed from the wordplay and a shufti in Chambers to confirm.

  1. Forced dialogue eating last of Dundee cakes (10)

Answer: MADELEINES (i.e. “cakes”). Solution is MADE (i.e. “forced”) followed by LINES (i.e. actors’ “dialogue”) once wrapped around or “eating” E (i.e. “last [letter] of Dundee”), like so: MADE-L(E)INES.

  1. Idiot follows nurse stifling pain, one in the rear? (4-3,7)

Answer: TAIL-END CHARLIE (i.e. “one in the rear”). Solution is CHARLIE (i.e. “idiot”) placed after or “following” TEND (i.e. “nurse”) once wrapped around or “stifling” AIL (i.e. “pain”), like so: T(AIL)END-CHARLIE.

  1. Tombs of Chinese leader round American field (8)

Answer: MAUSOLEA (i.e. “tombs”). Solution is MAO (i.e. “Chinese leader”) once wrapped “round” US (i.e. “American”) and followed by LEA (i.e. a meadow or “field”), like so: MA(US)O-LEA.

  1. Tory leader dismissing head of state once in shock (6)

Answer: THATCH (i.e. “shock”, both referring to hair). Solution is Margaret THATCHER (i.e. former “Tory leader”) with the ER removed (indicated by “dismissing head of state once”, specifically Elizabeth Regina).

  1. Marches, say, with marshal left in group (10)

Answer: BORDERLAND (i.e. “marches, say” – a variant meaning of “march” is a boundary or border). Solution is ORDER (i.e. “marshal”) and L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”) both placed “in” BAND (i.e. “group”), like so: B(ORDER-L)AND.

  1. Something on plate men sent back? Got it! (5)

Answer: ROGER (i.e. an acknowledgement or “got it” in radio comms). Solution is REG (i.e. “something on [number]plate”) and OR (i.e. “men”, specifically the Other Ranks of the British Army) all reversed (indicated by “sent back”), like so: RO-GER.

  1. Bar is to accumulate funds (4)

Answer: SAVE. Solution satisfies “bar” or except for, and “accumulate funds”.

  1. Rhythmic record contains funky dance with energy (8)

Answer: CADENCED (i.e. “rhythmic”). Solution is CD (i.e. “record” or Compact Disc) wrapped around or “containing” an anagram (indicated by “funky”) of DANCE and E (a recognised abbreviation of “energy”), like so: C(ADENC-E)D.

  1. Ready to drop ecstasy after gift, looking embarrassed (9)

Answer: KNACKERED (i.e. “ready to drop”). Solution is E (slang name for the drug “ecstasy”) placed “after” KNACK (i.e. talent or “gift”) and followed by RED (i.e. “looking embarrassed”), like so: KNACK-E-RED.

  1. Day Arab is given a hobby horse (9)

Answer: MONOMANIA (i.e. “hobby horse”). Solution is MON (i.e. “day”, specifically Monday) followed by OMANI (i.e. “Arab”) and A.

  1. Metal I’d coated in wonderful uranium, say (8)

Answer: ACTINIDE (i.e. “uranium, say” – over to Chambers again: “a group of radioactive metallic elements from atomic number 89”). Solution is TIN (i.e. “metal”) and I’D both placed in or “coated in” ACE (i.e. “wonderful”), like so: AC(TIN-I’D)E. Another done solely through the wordplay.

  1. Jack investing billions making device for skiers (1-3)

Answer: T-BAR (i.e. “device for skiers”, a type of ski lift). Solution is TAR (i.e. “jack”, both slang words for a sailor) wrapped around or “investing” B (a recognised abbreviation of “billions”), like so: T(B)AR.

  1. Sucker about to get taken in by flipping scoundrel (5)

Answer: LEECH (i.e. “sucker”). Solution is C (i.e. “about”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “circa”) placed or “taken in by” HEEL (i.e. “scoundrel”) once reversed (indicated by “flipping”), like so: LEE(C)H.

  1. Remark of reader not getting in a state (10)

Answer: ANNOTATION (i.e. “remark of reader”, say, in the margins). Solution is NOT placed or “getting in” A and NATION (i.e. “state”), like so: A-N(NOT)ATION.

  1. Going around unknown, vacant citadel besieged by army chief (6)

Answer: CYCLIC (i.e. “going around”). Solution is Y (i.e. “unknown” – setters love referring to X, Y or Z in solutions as “unknowns”) and CL (i.e. “vacant citadel”, i.e. the first and last letters of “citadel”), all placed in or “besieged by” CIC (i.e. “army chief”, short for Commander-In-Chief), like so: C(Y-CL)IC.

  1. Judicious to limit a computer program’s damage (8)

Answer: SABOTAGE (i.e. “damage”). Solution is SAGE (i.e. “judicious”) wrapped around or “limiting” A and BOT (i.e. “computer program”), like so: S(A-BOT)AGE.

  1. Get soundly defeated, as Brad may? (4,1,9)

Answer: TAKE A HAMMERING (i.e. “get soundly defeated”). The remainder of the clue plays on a brad being a type of nail, ignoring the misleading capitalisation.

  1. Not toeing the line, which could generate some gaffes? (3-7)

Answer: OFF-MESSAGE (i.e. “not toeing the line”). “Which could generate” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of SOME GAFFES.

  1. Alluring person grasps the French for “autocue” (12)

Answer: TELEPROMPTER (i.e. “autocue”). Solution is TEMPTER (i.e. “alluring person”) wrapped around or “grasping” LE (i.e. “the French”, i.e. the masculine form of “the” in French) and PRO (i.e. “for” or in favour of), like so: TE(LE-PRO)MPTER.

  1. Praise officer on chopper heading west (5)

Answer: EXALT (i.e. “praise”). Solution is LT (i.e. “officer”, short for a Lieutenant) placed “on” or after AXE (i.e. “chopper”) once reversed (indicated by “heading west” – this being an across clue), like so: EXA-LT.

  1. Club with foil decoration from Germany (4,5)

Answer: IRON CROSS (i.e. military medal or “decoration from Germany”). Solution is IRON (i.e. golf “club”) followed by CROSS (i.e. “foil”, both probably taken to mean to thwart; Chambers also has this fairly deep into the definitions of “foil”: “to destroy a trail by crossing (hunting)“).

  1. Immature creature, bit extreme (7)

Answer: TADPOLE (i.e. “immature creature”). Solution is TAD (i.e. a little or “bit”) followed by POLE (i.e. “extreme”).

  1. A single teacher punching another? That’s a bit thick! (10)

Answer: BONEHEADED (i.e. “that’s a bit thick”). Solution is ONE HEAD (i.e. “single teacher”) placed in or “punching” BED (i.e. “another” teacher, in this case a BEd or Bachelor of Education), like so: B(ONE-HEAD)ED.

  1. Caught leaving French vehicle, with time for jaunt (9)

Answer: GALLIVANT (i.e. “jaunt”). Solution is GALLIC VAN (i.e. “French vehicle”) with the C removed (indicated by “caught leaving” – C being a recognised abbreviation of “caught” used in a number of ball games) and the remainder followed by T (a recognised abbreviation of “time”), like so: (GALLI-VAN)-T.

Down clues

  1. Table held up by barrister-at-law (5)

Answer: ALTAR (i.e. “table”). “Held” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, while “up” indicates the solution has been reversed, like so: BARRISTE(R-AT-LA)W.

  1. Spy one composer taking in English seaside (5,5)

Answer: BONDI BEACH (i.e. “seaside” over in Australia). Solution is James BOND (i.e. “spy”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), then Johann Sebastian BACH (i.e. “composer”) once wrapped around or “taking in” E (a recognised abbreviation of “English”), like so: BOND-I-B(E)ACH.

  1. Issue when resurfacing new drive, initially, in ancient city (3,5)

Answer: THE BENDS (i.e. “issue when resurfacing”). Solution is N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”) and D (i.e. “drive, initially”, i.e. the first letter of “drive”) both placed “in” THEBES (i.e. “ancient city”), like so: THEBE(N-D)S.

  1. Performing rap where one might get beer (2,3)

Answer: ON TAP (i.e. “where one might get beer”). Solution is ON (i.e. “performing”) followed by TAP (i.e. to “rap”).

  1. Awkwardly positioned in corner before getting put in empty shed (9)

Answer: SNOOKERED (i.e. “awkwardly positioned”). Solution is NOOK (i.e. “corner”) and ERE (i.e. poetic form of “before”) both “put in” SD (i.e. “empty shed”, i.e. the word “shed” with its middle letters removed), like so: S(NOOK-ERE)D.

  1. The damage is small, breaking nursery item (4)

Answer: COST (i.e. “the damage”). Solution is S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) placed in or “breaking” COT (i.e. “nursery item”), like so: CO(S)T.

  1. Frenzied female relative knocked over European (6)

Answer: MAENAD (i.e. “frenzied female” of Greek mythology). Solution is MA (i.e. “relative”, or mother) followed by DANE (i.e. “European”) once reversed (indicated by “knocked over”), like so: MA-ENAD. This is one of those solutions that seems to crop up a couple of times a year. While repeats like this can be a bit tiresome, this one does at least give me another opportunity to flag up a great short story by Elizabeth Hand that plays on the myth, which you can read for free on Nightmare Magazine’s website.

  1. Breaking a rule, acquire English novelist’s comics (6,3,5)

Answer: LAUREL AND HARDY (i.e. “comics”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “breaking”) of A RULE followed by LAND (i.e. “acquire”) and Thomas HARDY (i.e. “English novelist”), like so: LAURE-LAND-HARDY.

  1. Exploit old lady cuddling small pet (12)

Answer: MASTERSTROKE (i.e. “exploit”). Solution is MATER (i.e. “old lady”) wrapped around or “cuddling” S (a recognised abbreviation of “small”) and followed by STROKE (i.e. to “pet”), like so: MA(S)TER-STROKE.

  1. Very tiny number, oddly, neatly divided by 1001 (7)

Answer: NOMINAL (i.e. “very tiny”). Solution is NO (a recognised abbreviation of “number”) and NAL (i.e. “oddly, neatly”, i.e. every other letter of NEATLY) all wrapped around or “divided by” MI (i.e. “1001” expressed as Roman numerals), like so: NO-(MI)-NAL.

  1. Rash protest mostly subdued without resistance rising (10)

Answer: DERMATITIS (i.e. “rash”). Solution is SIT-IN (i.e. “protest”) with the last letter removed (indicated by “mostly”) and the remainder followed by TAMED (i.e. “subdued”) once wrapped around or placed “without” R (a recognised abbreviation of “resistance” used in physics). The whole is then reversed (indicated by “rising” – this being a down clue – like so: DE(R)MAT-(I-TIS).

  1. What leading actors did about Apple stores (2-7)

Answer: CO-STARRED (i.e. “what leading actors did”). Solution is COSTARD (i.e. “apple” variety – ignore the misleading capitalisation) wrapped around or “storing” RE (i.e. “about” – think email replies), like so: COSTAR(RE)D.

  1. Small image, minute one doctor developed (8)

Answer: MICRODOT (i.e. “small image”). Solution is M (a recognised abbreviation of “minute”) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and an anagram (indicated by “developed”) of DOCTOR, like so: M-I-CRODOT.

  1. During a social event, drinking very early (2,7)

Answer: IN ADVANCE (i.e. “early”). Solution is IN (i.e. “during”) followed by A and DANCE (i.e. “social event”) once wrapped around or “drinking” V (a recognised abbreviation of “very”), like so: IN-A-D(V)ANCE.

  1. Endlessly jeered relative’s musical performance (10)

Answer: HOOTENANNY (i.e. “musical performance”, and very apt given the time of year. I loved Rachael & Vilray on this year’s show. Would also have loved to have seen Gregory Porter on there again. Maybe next year.) Solution is HOOTED (i.e. “jeered”) with its last letter removed (indicated by “endlessly”) and the remainder followed by NANNY (i.e. “relative”, short for grandmother), like so: HOOTE-NANNY.

(Of the two tracks they performed, I preferred the utterly charming “Do Friends Fall In Love“, but the BBC haven’t uploaded that one to YouTube. This one was pretty good, though.)
  1. Scottish designer’s principal clothing label rubbish (10)

Answer: Charles Rennie MACKINTOSH (i.e. “Scottish designer”). Solution is MAIN (i.e. “principal”) wrapped around or “clothing” CK (i.e. “label” – I can only think this might be short for Calvin Klein, but I really hope I’m missing something clever. If someone swings by with a better solution then I’ll update the post) and followed by TOSH (i.e. “rubbish”), like so: MA(CK)IN-TOSH.

  1. Biscuit a somewhat naughty serving man eats (9)

Answer: GARIBALDI (i.e. “biscuit”). Solution is A and RIBALD (i.e. “somewhat naughty”) both placed in or “eaten” by GI (i.e. “service man” in the US), like so: G(A-RIBALD)I.

  1. Theologian isn’t commonly revered in stopping case of sacrilege (5,9)

Answer: SAINT AUGUSTINE (i.e. “theologian”). Solution is AINT (i.e. “isn’t commonly”), AUGUST (i.e. “revered”) and IN placed in or “stopping” SE (i.e. “case of sacrilege”, i.e. the first and last letters of “sacrilege”), like so: S(AINT-AUGUST-IN)E.

  1. Top entertaining line by vulgar speaker is guff (8)

Answer: CLAPTRAP (i.e. “guff”). Solution is CAP (i.e. “top”) wrapped around or “entertaining” L (a recognised abbreviation of “line”) and followed by TRAP (i.e. “vulgar speaker”, i.e. slang for the mouth), like so: C(L)AP-TRAP.

  1. Some current success in this place, including at play area (12)

Answer: AMPHITHEATRE (i.e. “play area”). Solution is AMP (i.e. “some current”) followed by HIT (i.e. “success”), then HERE (i.e. “in this place”) once wrapped around or “including” AT, like so: AMP-HIT-HE(AT)RE.

  1. How a philosopher speaks, getting 1 across? (9)

Answer: MILLSTONE (i.e. “1 across”, the solution of which is ALBATROSS. Both are figurative of a heavy burden). When written as MILL’S TONE the solution also playfully satisfies “how a philosopher speaks”, in this case John Stuart Mill.

  1. Tremble, with awful danger in picturesque area (4,6)

Answer: ROCK GARDEN (i.e. “picturesque area”). Solution is ROCK (i.e. “tremble”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “awful”) of DANGER.

  1. After publicity, admire engineered software (10)

Answer: HYPERMEDIA (i.e. “software”). Solution is HYPE (i.e. “publicity”) followed by an anagram (indicated by “engineered”) of ADMIRE, like so: HYPE-RMEDIA.

  1. Seem drunk in skimpy pants? It’s part of the programme (5,4)

Answer: THEME SONG (i.e. “it’s part of the programme”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “drunk”) of SEEM placed “in” THONG (i.e. “skimpy pants”), like so: TH(EMES)ONG.

  1. A futurist writer wanting popular almondy snacks (8)

Answer: AMARETTI (i.e. “almondy snacks”). Solution is A followed by Filippo Tommaso MARINETTI (i.e. “futurist writer”. He was the founder of Futurism, which violently rejected the past and violently advocated for the future: youth, speed, industry and so on. Let’s not go celebrating shitty people again, eh, setters?) once the IN has been removed (indicated by “wanting popular” – IN being “popular”), like so: A-MARETTI.

  1. Devotee having a look in New York City? (7)

Answer: BUFFALO (i.e. “New York City”, or, put another way, a city in New York State. You’ll probably have heard all about Buffalo during the recent bomb cyclone event that hit the US over Christmas, but Buffalo had also had over 6ft of snow dumped on them only weeks earlier. Keep that in mind the next time we get a couple of inches!) Solution is BUFF (i.e. fan or “devotee”) followed by A and LO (i.e. “look”, as in lo and behold).

  1. Criminal gaoled, it’s well established (3-3)

Answer: AGE-OLD (i.e. “well established”). “Criminal” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of GAOLED.

  1. Lowering large rent for item in studio (5)

Answer: EASEL (i.e. “item in studio”). Solution is LEASE (i.e. “rent”) with the L (a recognised abbreviation of “large”) “lowered” a few notches – this being a down clue – like so: (L)EASE => EASE(L).

  1. Member of school or university dressed in red (5)

Answer: TROUT (i.e. “member of school” of fish). Solution is U (a recognised abbreviation of “university”) placed “in” TROT (i.e. “red” or communist), like so: TRO(U)T.

  1. Trip facilitator’s support touring Croatia’s capital (4)

Answer: ACID (i.e. “trip facilitator”). Solution is AID (i.e. “support”) wrapped around or “touring” C (i.e. “Croatia’s capital” letter), like so: A(C)ID.

7 thoughts on “Times Jumbo Cryptic Crossword 1593

  1. Yes, a good one, even though there were a couple of answers we couldn’t explain. Thank you for Costard and sorry we can’t add anything to Mackintosh.
    Tadpole gave me a laugh and I thought Millstone was rather clever.

  2. Thanks Lucian. Yes, a toughie. We finished it, but didn’t understand a few of the parsings, so thanks, as ever, for your explanations. We weren’t too happy with the definition of CADENCE – we’ve only ever come across it in a musical context, where it means a pair of chords at the end of a musical sequence. It’s the sound, rather than the rhythm, which makes the cadence.

    Re 17a, I did wonder whether to point out that a MADELEINE is a French cake, but then thought it might annoy you too much. So I decided not to.

    Take care, and stay safe. SB

  3. Thanks, Lucian. I thought this was another easyish one. Some good clues but favourite was millstone……”John Stuart Mill ,of his own free will, on half a pint of cider was particularly ill. Plato they say, could stick it away, half a crate of whisky every day. Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle, Hobbes was fond of his dram and Rene Descartes was a drunken fart,”I drink therefore I am!””……Cheers

  4. Not at all easyish to me! Struggled with the top left, until the bitter end. Enjoyed it though.
    On Chris’s alcohol theme*, can anyone enlighten us (12a) about a wine variety TENT? Lucian has accepted it, and flags it as French, but is there good oenological authority? I have not drunk all 246 varieties listed here: https://www.tasteatlas.com/wine-varieties but it doesn’t feature. On the other hand, I can’t make anything else out of the clue.

    *Meanwhile more philosophers from Eric Idle:
    Immanuel Kant was a real pissant
    Who was very rarely stable
    Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar
    Who could think you under the table
    David Hume could out-consume
    Wilhelm Freidrich Hegel
    And Wittgenstein was a beery swine
    Who was just as schloshed as Schlegel….

    1. A fair point re: tent. I’d remembered it from a previous Jumbo but hadn’t considered its relative obscurity when writing up the post. Chambers has this definition for one of tent’s variant meanings: “a deep-red Spanish wine [Spanish /tinto/, from Latin /tinctus/, past participle of /tingere/ to dye]”

      – LP

  5. Great reply Lucian. I should have known better than to question. You may need a new icon for Spanish language imports (something to do with the Spanish Inquisition?)

    1. I’m thinking of swapping out the FBV skit for a Jumbo trope bingo card, so I’ll keep it in mind. It’d be pretty funny if I could achieve such a thing using only Monty Python images. – LP

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