Oh, good grief, it’s this setter again. Someone must have read my “…as we become a more secular society…” line last week and said, “hold my communion wine”.
Yes, it’s another of those Godathon Jumbos, praise be. I got to the end of it, though how I did so without spontaneously combusting I’ll never know. I’m going to need at least a month of sin and debauchery to cleanse myself of it.
So off I go to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool with cocaine, champagne and Russian prostitutes. The lengths I go to for this blog… Anyway, in the meantime, here’s my completed grid along with explanations of my solutions where I have them. I hope you find them helpful. If a recent Jumbo has maxed out your credit card seeking salvation from a televangelist then you might find enlightenment – halleluiah! – in my Just For Fun page, 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 sinful out there, kids. Amen.
GBV (God-By-Volume): 20%
Contains dangerous levels of holier-than-thou. Diabolists beware.
- Bishop, one having power – skilled operator backed by more than one faction (10)
Answer: BIPARTISAN (i.e. “backed by more than one faction”). Solution is B (a recognised abbreviation of “bishop” used in chess) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”), then P (a recognised abbreviation of “power”) and ARTISAN (i.e. “skilled operator”).
- Women who wanted to make their mark in politics (12)
Answer: SUFFRAGETTES. Solution satisfies the clue as a whole, but that’s all I’m getting. I hope I’m missing something clever. If I am, and if some kind soul enlightens me, then I’ll update the post.
[EDIT: Thanks to Sue and Michael A in the comments for fleshing this out some more. “Who wanted to make their mark” plays on how the suffragettes fought for women’s right to vote, i.e. to make their mark on a ballot paper. Thanks, all! – LP]
- One to attack a church book in speech (9)
Answer: ASSAULTER (i.e. “one to attack”). Solution is A followed by a homophone (indicated by “in speech”) of PSALTER (i.e. “church book”). Interesting fact: the last blatant Godathon Jumbo featured ASSAULTERS as one of the solutions. Coincidence?
- Bathroom item an idiot knocked over (5)
Answer: LOOFA (i.e. “bathroom item”). Solution is A and FOOL (i.e. “idiot”) all reversed (indicated by “knocked over”), like so: LOOF-A.
- Affair in which the female gets hit (7)
Answer: SHEBANG (i.e. “affair”). Solution is SHE (i.e. “the female”) followed by BANG (i.e. “hit”).
- Group joined late, seen but not heard? The other way round! (3,5,9)
Answer: THE CHOIR INVISIBLE (i.e. “group joined late” – to die is said to join said group, after George Eliot’s poem O May I Join The Choir Invisible). The rest of the clue plays on how you may hear them but not see them, the reverse or “other way round” of “seen but not heard”.
[EDIT – Michael A in the comments kindly reminds us the solution also gets a mention in Monty Python’s dead parrot sketch. I’d quite forgotten, but it was too perfect a reference to not acknowledge. Cheers, Michael! – LP]
- All performers given this instruction (5)
Answer: TUTTI. Another where the solution satisfies the clue as a whole, being “all performers” in musical lingo. Again, I really hope I’m missing something clever here because it’s a pretty bald clue otherwise.
- A theologian beset by shortage of feeling gets unhappy (7)
Answer: SADDENS (i.e. “gets unhappy”). Solution is A and DD (i.e. “theologian”, specifically a Doctor of Divinity or Divinitatis Doctor) placed in or “beset by” SENSE (i.e. “feeling”) once its last letter has been removed (indicated by “shortage of…”), like so: S(A-DD)ENS.
- Some terror-stricken, leading to mistakes (6)
Answer: ERRORS (i.e. “mistakes”). “Some” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: T(ERROR-S)TRICKEN.
- Stomach not ace, with one repeatedly getting this disease (8)
Answer: BERIBERI (i.e. “disease”). Solution is BEAR (i.e. to “stomach”) with the A removed (indicated by “not ace” – A being a recognised abbreviation of “ace” used on playing cards) and the remainder followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”). The whole is then “repeated”, like so: (BER-I)-(BER-I).
- Furry creatures somersaulting about by tunnels (7)
Answer: ERMINES (i.e. “furry creatures”). Solution is RE (i.e. “about” – think email replies) reversed (indicated by “somersaulting”) and followed by MINES (i.e. “tunnels”), like so: ER-MINES.
- Yeoman getting rid of loud bird (3,5)
Answer: BEE-EATER (i.e. a variety of “bird”). Solution is BEEFEATER (i.e. “yeoman”) with the F removed (indicated by “getting rid of loud” – F being a recognised abbreviation of “fortissimo” or loud in musical lingo). Virtually the same clue appeared six months ago in grid 1565.
- Plant Bill in a secret agency (6)
Answer: ACACIA (i.e. “plant”). Solution is AC (i.e. “bill” – ignore the misleading capitalisation, this is a recognised abbreviation of an account) placed “in” A and CIA (i.e. “secret agency”, being the Central Intelligence Agency in the US), like so: A-C(AC)IA.
- I sat with smart GP, troubled – we hope for a realistic outcome (11)
Answer: PRAGMATISTS (i.e. “we hope for a realistic outcome”). Solution is an anagram (indicated by “troubled”) of I SAT and SMART GP.
- A new pole will be inserted into river, that’s clear (11)
Answer: TRANSPARENT (i.e. “clear”). Solution is A, N (a recognised abbreviation of “new”) and SPAR (i.e. “pole”) all placed or “inserted into” TRENT (i.e. English “river”), like so: TR(A-N-SPAR)ENT.
- Certain traders sign up comedian Peter (11)
Answer: BOOKSELLERS (i.e. “certain traders”). Solution is BOOK (i.e. “sign up”) followed by SELLERS (i.e. “comedian Peter”).
- Sacred act censored surprisingly (11)
Answer: CONSECRATED (i.e. “sacred”). “Surprisingly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of ACT CENSORED.
- What to expect with an invader crossing the Channel? (6)
Answer: NORMAN (i.e. “invader crossing the Channel” back around 1066). Solution is NORM (i.e. “what to expect”) followed by AN.
- Vessel in hamper is a bottle (8)
Answer: DECANTER (i.e. “bottle”). Solution is CAN (i.e. “vessel”) placed “in” DETER (i.e. to “hamper”), like so: DE(CAN)TER.
- See location of religious significance – some French place for pilgrims (7)
Answer: LOURDES (i.e. “French place for Pilgrims”). Solution is LO (i.e. “see”, as in lo and behold) followed by UR (i.e. an ancient city, “location of religious significance”) and DES (i.e. “some French”, i.e. the French for “some”).
- Those who walk or run into border area (8)
Answer: MARCHERS (i.e. “those who walk”). Solution is R (a recognised abbreviation of “run” used in a number of ball games) placed “into” MARCHES (i.e. “border area” – an easier get after this was a solution in last week’s Jumbo), like so: MARCHE(R)S.
- Old boys in US city returning, stifling hesitation (6)
Answer: ALUMNI (i.e. “old boys”). Solution is IN and LA (i.e. “US city”, Los Angeles) all reversed (indicated by “returning”) and wrapped around or “stifling” UM (i.e. “hesitation”), like so: AL-(UM)-NI.
- Candidate in election, originally in area of Greece (7)
Answer: NOMINEE (i.e. “candidate”). Solution is IN and E (i.e. “election, originally”, i.e. the first letter of “election”) all placed “in” NOME (i.e. “area of Greece” – over to Chambers: “a province or department, especially in ancient Egypt or modern Greece”. A new one on me), like so: NOM(IN-E)E.
- Points made by any number of poems (5)
Answer: NODES (i.e. “points”). Solution is N (i.e. denoting “any number” in mathematics) followed by ODES (i.e. “poems”).
- Old Jesuit of note, one left difficult home after difficult last month (8,2,7)
Answer: Pierre TEILHARD DE CHARDIN (i.e. “old Jesuit”. No, me neither). Solution is TE (i.e. musical “note” in the sol-fa notation) followed by I (i.e. “[Roman numeral] one”) and L (a recognised abbreviation of “left”). This is then followed by HARD (i.e. “difficult”) and IN (i.e. at “home”) once these have been placed “after” HARD (again, “difficult”) and DEC (i.e. “last month”, short for December), like so: TE-I-L-((HARD-DEC)-HARD-IN). Unsurprisingly, one nailed from the wordplay.
- One giving tearful welcome? (7)
Answer: GREETER (i.e. “one giving…welcome”). The clue also plays on a variant meaning of GREET, being to weep.
- Church dignitary’s law (5)
Answer: CANON. Solution satisfies “church dignitary” and “law”.
- What woman wears in teashop is fancy (9)
Answer: PANTIHOSE (i.e. “what woman wears”). “Fancy” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of IN TEASHOP.
- Once again spotted problem for Crucible player? (12)
Answer: REDISCOVERED (i.e. “once again spotted”). When written as RED IS COVERED the clue playfully satisfies “problem for Crucible player”, the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield being the home of the World Snooker Championship. Nicely done. Comfortably my favourite clue of the puzzle.
- This is becoming violent, unacceptable from start to finish (10)
Answer: THROUGHOUT (i.e. “from start to finish”). Not sure what the setter is playing at here. I guess TH is “this is becoming” – perhaps THIS with the IS removed, though I can’t see how “becoming” can be used as a removal indicator – followed by ROUGH (i.e. “violent”) and OUT (i.e. “unacceptable”).
[EDIT: Thanks again to Michael A in the comments for nailing this one. I should have taken a step back to read more of the clue before trying to parse it. “This is becoming violent” is the wordplay to focus on, being THIS with the IS swapped for or “becoming” ROUGH, like so: TH(IS) => TH(ROUGH). OUT remains as described. Thanks, Michael! – LP]
- Being out to become attractive? (6,5)
Answer: BEAUTY SLEEP. Clue plays on “out” as another way of saying asleep. You get the idea.
- Hit of yesteryear – number one for Eurythmics (5)
Answer: PASTE (i.e. to “hit”). Solution is PAST (i.e. “yesteryear”) followed by E (i.e. “number one for Eurythmics”, i.e. the first letter of “Eurythmics”).
- Uncouth – when? (5-4)
Answer: ROUGH-HEWN (i.e. “uncouth”). The remainder of the clue plays on how the solution cryptically satisfies “when”, i.e. as an anagram, indicated by ROUGH, of HEWN.
- Somehow feels at home with birds outside university (7)
Answer: INTUITS (i.e. “somehow feels”). Solution is IN (i.e. “at home”) followed by TITS (i.e. “birds”) once placed “outside” of U (a recognised abbreviation of “university”), like so: IN-T(U)ITS.
- Transport business – something that may recede without hotel (7)
Answer: AIRLINE (i.e. “transport business”). Solution is HAIRLINE (i.e. “something that may recede”) with the H removed (indicated by “without hotel” – “hotel” being H in the phonetic alphabet).
- Superior toff butler maybe found to be inattentive (11)
Answer: UNOBSERVANT (i.e. “inattentive”). Solution is U (i.e. “superior”, basically a recognised abbreviation of the upper classes. If you honestly believe the upper classes are superior then this blog perhaps isn’t for you…) followed by NOB (i.e. “toff”) and SERVANT (i.e. “butler maybe”).
- Meat in iron container subjected to heat and alcohol (6)
Answer: FLAMBÉ (i.e. of food “subjected to heat and alcohol”). Solution is FE (chemical symbol of “iron”) wrapped around or “containing” LAMB (i.e. “meat”), like so: F(LAMB)E.
- Some with moans were dubiously “satisfied” (8)
Answer: ANSWERED (i.e. “satisfied”). “Some” indicates the solution has been hidden in the clue, like so: MO(ANS WERE D)UBIOUSLY.
- Seat at the end no one would want? (8,5)
Answer: ELECTRIC CHAIR. Clue plays on how such a “seat” is used to execute people, being “at the end” of their lives. You get the idea. I rather liked the gallows humour in this one.
- Hot food and wine consumed by little piggy? (7)
Answer: TOASTIE (i.e. “hot food”). Solution is ASTI (i.e. “wine”) placed in or “consumed by” TOE (i.e. “piggy”, as teased during the nursery rhyme “this little piggy went to market” etc), like so: TO(ASTI)E.
- Important gesture if given personal message of incompetence (11)
Answer: SIGNIFICANT (i.e. “important”). Solution is SIGN (i.e. “gesture”) followed by IF, then I CAN’T (i.e. “personal message of incompetence”).
- Intelligence of leading pair of class always meeting head (10)
Answer: CLEVERNESS (i.e. “intelligence”). Solution is CL (i.e. “leading pair of class”, i.e. the first two letters of “class”) followed by EVER (i.e. “always”) and NESS (i.e. “head”, the geographic feature).
- Behaviour of upset editor less generous, reportedly (9)
Answer: DEMEANOUR (i.e. “behaviour”). Solution is ED (short for “editor”) reversed (indicated by “upset” – this being a down clue) and followed by a homophone (indicated by “reportedly”) of MEANER (i.e. “less generous”), like so: DE-MEANOUR.
- Consideration for long-standing employee (8)
Answer: RETAINER. Clue plays on a definition of “consideration” being payment or recompense. If a key long-standing employee retires, an employer may agree to keep them on a retainer just in case they need to be called upon.
- Put down roots in Yorkshire town (6)
Answer: SETTLE. Solution satisfies “put down roots” and “Yorkshire town”.
- Something worth having in garden plot with surface rock formation (8)
Answer: BASSETED (i.e. “with surface rock formation” – a geological definition of “basset” is “(of strata) to outcrop” (Chambers)). Solution is ASSET (i.e. “something worth having”) placed “in” BED (i.e. “garden plot”), like so: B(ASSET)ED.
- Tory getting irate inside, being betrayed? (7,2)
Answer: CHEATED ON (i.e. “being betrayed”). Solution is CON (short for “Conservative”, i.e. “Tory”) wrapped around or “getting…inside” HEATED (i.e. “irate”), like so: C(HEATED)ON.
- Bony bird with very big head (6)
Answer: OSTEAL (i.e. “bony”). Solution is TEAL (i.e. “bird”) with OS (i.e. “very big”, specifically a recognised abbreviation of “outsize”) placed at the “head”, like so: OS-TEAL.
- State of holy ritual a church employs when keeping dry (13)
Answer: MASSACHUSETTS (i.e. US “state”). Solution is MASS (i.e. “holy ritual”) followed by A, then CH (a recognised abbreviation of “church”) and USES (i.e. “employs”) once wrapped around or “keeping” TT (i.e. “dry”, in this case a recognised abbreviation of a teetotaller), like so: MASS-A-CH-USE(TT)S.
- Rely on fellow over time – right person to look after your money? (4,7)
Answer: BANK MANAGER (i.e. “person to look after your money”). Solution is BANK (i.e. “rely on”) followed by MAN (i.e. “fellow”), then AGE (i.e. “time”) and R (a recognised abbreviation of “right”).
- Minor reform requiring not much money (5,6)
Answer: SMALL CHANGE (i.e. “not much money”). Solution is SMALL (i.e. “minor”) followed by CHANGE (i.e. “reform”).
- Vessels crossing a river, competitive boats? (10)
Answer: CATAMARANS (i.e. “competitive boats”, the ones with two hulls). Solution is CANS (i.e. “vessels”) wrapped around or “crossing” A and TAMAR (i.e. “river” in south-west England), like so: C(A-TAMAR)ANS.
- Acumen is needed by laboratory workers in odd bits of duty (11)
Answer: DISCERNMENT (i.e. “acumen”). Solution is IS, CERN (i.e. a “laboratory” in Switzerland) and MEN (i.e. “workers” – blimey, which century did the setter step out from?) all placed “in” DT (i.e. “odd bits of duty”, i.e. every other letter of DUTY), like so: D(IS-CERN-MEN)T.
- Silly nun in game that is inconsequential (9)
Answer: UNMEANING (i.e. “inconsequential”). “Silly” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of NUN IN GAME.
- Musical work I love introduced by speaker (8)
Answer: ORATORIO (i.e. “musical work”). Solution is I and O (i.e. “love”, a zero score in tennis) both placed after or “introduced by” ORATOR (i.e. “speaker”). Interesting fact: the last blatant Godathon Jumbo also featured ORATORIO as one of its solutions. Coincidence?
- Communist leader, hairy type in the minority (7)
Answer: REDHEAD (i.e. “hairy type in the minority”). Solution is RED (i.e. “communist”) followed by HEAD (i.e. “leader”).
- Exhaustive Home Department, prime feature of e.g. Harrods? (2-5)
Answer: IN-DEPTH (i.e. “exhaustive”). Solution is IN (i.e. at “home”, used a few times already) followed by DEPT (a recognised abbreviation of “department”) and H (i.e. “prime feature of e.g. Harrods”, basically an elaborate way of saying the first letter of “Harrods”).
- Other than container for beer? Party impossible! (2,3,2)
Answer: NO CAN DO (i.e. “impossible”). Solution is NO CAN (i.e. “other than container for beer” – can’t say I’m convinced by this one either) followed by DO (i.e. “party”).
- Group cleric upset (6)
Answer: CIRCLE (i.e. “group”). “Upset” indicates anagram. Solution is an anagram of CLERIC.
- Couple receiving order in holy building (5)
Answer: DUOMO (i.e. “holy building”, an Italian cathedral). Solution is DUO (i.e. “couple”) wrapped around or “receiving” OM (i.e. “order”, in this case the Order of Merit), like so: DU(OM)O. (Cough)-made-to-fit-(Cough)
As a parting shot, after all this Holy Grail-ing, I thought I’d sign off with my favourite piece of music from the film, The Promised Land by Stanley Black, heard near the end as Arthur and Bedevere approach Castle Aargh. The full length version below is well worth a listen. Enjoy!